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Amber Lea:

The first snow of winter always bring out the kid in me!

Originally posted on Christian's Critters:

Most people like to sleep in on Saturdays, but around here, “Pee-o-clock” or “chase-my-tail-o-clock” usually arrives for Frodo between 3:30 – 4:00 AM.

PeeOClock

Good morning. It’s Pee-o-clock!”

This morning was no different, except that we woke up to the first snowfall of the year.

DSC02845

When I opened the door to let the dogs out, instead of the usual leaps and bounds down the steps, there was a cautious investigation of the cold white surface, every inch of the porch being sniffed.

Even though it was not the first snow for either dog, (Sydney has seen 9 winters, and this is Frodo’s 2nd) both dogs appeared as excited as if it were their first.

As they began rolling and rubbing around in the snow, I walked down the hill into the woods. I stood there listening, and the only sound I could hear was the sound of snow…

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Amber Lea:

It happens to all of us…

Originally posted on Christian's Critters:

bad hare day

Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you could go back to bed and just start over? Or perhaps just skip it altogether?

Today started out that way. But after taking some time off to just play with my furry kids, the day got better. Funny, how they always manage to do that!

Do any of you find that having a little playtime with the pets helps you unwind and de-stress? What are some ways your pets help you relax?

Have a great weekend, and hug your furry friends! – Amber & Christian

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Heroes

Amber Lea:

Thank you to all the heroes! God bless you all!

Originally posted on Christian's Critters:

I remember. I was in my van alone, at work and I turned on the radio. The DJ was babbling in his normal way, and I didn’t want to hear chatter, just music. I turned the dial to another station, and they were chattering too, something about a “horrible situation”. I turned to a 3rd station. This time I heard the words, along with the panic in the DJ’s voice.

I remember the feeling as strongly today, as that day 13 years ago. A feeling that swept through this nation. There were many tears, along with fear, anxiety, and anguish. But slowly, in the following hours and days, almost like a faint whisper, a sense of unity, a bond of comradery began to spread. It was unspoken, like a somber resolve of peace and determination. And a silent hope grew as so many came together to help.

I remember the images showing…

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Tips for Writing

A friend recently shared a question they had been asked about what is considered “good writing”. As I’ve come to learn, it is related to the old saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. There is no such thing as a book that every single person in the world is going to like. And the criteria for what constitutes a good book as just as varied as the people that read.

Yes, there are certain key points to remember when writing. Things such as spelling mistakes, poor grammar and vocabulary, can all ruin a good story. Editing and proofreading are necessary tools of the trade. But since people’s preferences in their reading choices are so varied, how does an author know how to write a “good book”?

The best answer I’ve come up with is this: an author usually writes for one of two reasons. They have a particular message they wish to share, or they have a creative imagination that likes to make up stories. Sometimes they combine both.

In either case, the author wants to connect in some way with their readers. I think perhaps the best way to do that is to simply write from the heart, as if writing for yourself. Write something that you would enjoy reading. At least that is what works for me.

Since there are so many curious minds out there seeking advice on writing, for this week’s #FridayForwards post, I decided to do things a little differently. Instead of listing books, I decided to share a few links to a few blogs of other authors. These authors share tips and advice about writing on occasion that are well worth looking into for those considering taking on the journey of becoming an author, as well as those already on that journey.

I hope you’ll take a moment and check out these blogs. And make sure to leave a comment. We all love to hear from our readers, and the feedback helps us to improve in our work.

Keep on writing, and have a great weekend! – Amber

Blogs:

Timothy Pike of “Dream, Play, Write” http://theimportanceofbeingedited.wordpress.com/

Lisette Brodey, author http://lisettebrodey.com/category/blog/

Melissa Foster, author http://www.melissafoster.com/resources-for-writers/

#FridayForwards #authors #writing #TBSU

Fearless Authors

When asked in a casual conversation what I did for a living, I replied, “I am an author”. I had just published my first book, and I admit that I felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in hearing myself say the words. The reply however, was not what I expected. The words, “Oh, living the easy life. It must nice to just work when you feel like it, ” rang out in my ears like a jack-hammer. I thought to myself, “Are you serious”? I thought about a quote I once read: “It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader…” (from “Confessions of a Story Writer” by Paul Gallico, author of “The Poseidon Adventure” and  “Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees”)

When an author writes, they are exposing a part of themselves to the world. One never knows what kind of reviews (if any at all) their work will receive. What if people hate it? Or even worse, what if no one ever reads it at all? There is an endless list of fears (both real and imagined) that can fill an authors head.

I will fear no evil

So what does an author do to overcome those fears and put the pen to the paper? Some do nothing, and those words stay locked up inside forever.  I chose to “do it afraid”. I felt like if I tried to keep those words inside, my head would explode. So I just started writing. To change Mr. Gallico’s words slightly, I opened my heart and let it bleed onto the pages.

Most of the authors I know work in that way. They write because they love it. They write the words that are in their hearts and minds. It is not an easy way to make a living. In fact, most authors work at other jobs to pay their bills, at least in the beginning. But it is a great reward to see the fruit of your labors in print, especially if others are sharing it by spreading the word about it.

Which brings me to this week’s #FridayForwards, and a message to all the authors out there: Keep writing, FEARLESSLY! And when you find something you enjoy, PLEASE SHARE IT!

The Wolf of Tebron by C.S. LakinThe Wolf of Tebron by C.S. Laskin. C.S. Lakin’s first novel in The Gates of Heaven series is about the journey of Joran in his quest to find his wife. Along the way, he is joined by a huge wolf, Ruyah, who soon becomes Joran’s companion, friend and teacher. It’s written in classic fairytale style, where magic, fantasy, and the forces of good and evil abound. Rich in vibrant language, adventure, personification, and more, this allegory offers the reader more than just a thrilling story. As Lakin says, “Joran’s journey inspires and encourages readers to focus on our deep purpose and meaning in life.”

 

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. A classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation—and triumph over it—ever written.

 

 

1 book coverFaith, Hope & Miracles by Amber Leggette-Aldrich. A tragic snowmobile accident that resulted in the death of 8 year old Christian Aldrich is just the beginning. Miraculously revived over 40 minutes later, there was still little reason to believe that this child would survive, let alone fully recover. What Christian describes about his experience with death and heaven has had a profound impact on many. Faith, Hope & Miracles is a true story about a family’s 18 month journey through tragedy and blessings. It is a story of hope and encouragement. Anyone who has lost a loved one, suffered in agonizing pain, or felt desperate and alone will appreciate this straightforward account which describes in detail what Christian and his family went through, and the true miracles they witnessed.

Have a great weekend and God bless! – Amber

#FridayForwards #TBSU #Authors #Books

Help 4 authors

It’s Friday again, already? Seems like time just flies on by these days. At least there were a few things crossed off the “to do” list. At this time of year, for me, there are usually more things added to the list than accomplished.

A few things that I did accomplish was to complete a few reviews, finished the outline for my upcoming book, along with the first two chapters, and the #FridayForwards list for this week.

As stated in the post last week, being an author involves a lot of hard work and diligence. One of the hardest and most time consuming aspects is the promotions and marketing. On the other hand, one of the most rewarding aspects is engagement with our readers.

Our readers mean a great deal to us. After all, if it wasn’t for the readers, there would be no reason for writing. And we absolutely love to hear from you! Whether it’s in the form of an honest review on Amazon, or comments left on our blogs, or meeting you in person at a book signing event, it is a great encouragement and reward for an author to make those connections.

It is also very much appreciated when our work is shared with others. That is the main reason that this #FridayForwards was started, to share. So I’m asking for your help in spreading the word about these authors, and helping to share their work. It only takes a few minutes, and it means so much!

Also, if you have any suggestions or comments you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks, and have an awesome weekend! – Amber

Stage Wars by Mary E HanksStage Wars by Mary E. Hanks. During an onstage sword fight, rivals, Shem Michaels and TJ Fortine, crash through the trap door straight into Professor Plunkmeyer’s whirling time machine. Thrown into medieval battles, they must either find a way to help each other or die. Can they survive? Perhaps, even become friends? (Ages 10+)

 

 

Beyond My Control by Stuart Ross McCallumBeyond My Control: One Man’s Struggle With Epilepsy, Seizure Surgery & Beyond by Stuart Ross McCallum. Stuart Ross McCallum shares a true account of his battle with epilepsy-beginning with the peculiar sensations he experienced as a teenager that led to his diagnosis and concluding with his eventual recovery from a temporal lobe lobectomy.McCallum vividly describes his twenty-year journey of living with epilepsy and how this unpredictable disease has not only impacted his life but the lives of everyone around him.

 

The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall and David ManuelThe Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall. Peter Marshall and David Manuel explore the Christian foundations of American history, considering God’s special role in America’s creation and its implications for today.

 

 

 

#FridayForwards #TBSU #Authors

As an author, I know all too well the struggles of promoting and marketing our work. It can be grueling work, and sometimes down right frustrating. But the joy and rewards of sharing what we do as an artist is well worth the effort!

I came across this on Facebook this morning, and I think it explains things quite well. Remember, artists of all kinds do what they do because they are sharing a piece of their heart. You can show appreciation for what they do by helping to spread the word about their work, give reviews, and of course, buying their creations.

The Heart of an Artist

In honor of a few author friends, I’m beginning a “Fridays Forwards”, to help them share their work. And so, for this week: (Click on the images for the links to purchase on Amazon.)

Butterfly Fields

Butterfly Fields by Twylla Carlson

Set in the foothills of a thriving cattle ranch, this story begins the journey of a naïve young woman dealing with a family tragedy that will change her life forever. Through the unexpected struggles of others she finds healing and a new awareness of the evil in her world while discovering that divine intervention surrounds her daily.

 

 

 

 

 

Out from the Shadows

Out from the Shadows by Pamela Thorson

Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don’t have to exist in the shadows of their faith.

Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author’s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus’ call upon our lives as we care for others.

 

 

Seumas book cover 1

Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales by Seumas Gallacher

A self-publisher with over 75,000 sales/downloads explains in simple steps how he uses the social networks and ePublishing to enhance sales of his books on the Web and in hard copy.
As always, if you see something you like, please feel free to share away. And if you have any recommendations you’d like to share, you may do that also by leaving a link in the comments section.
Blessings to all, and have a great weekend! – Amber
#FridayForward #TBSU #Authors #amwriting

 

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