Archive | December 2016

A Prayer for Christmas Love


On Christmas day, Oh Lord, on this day when Your great light came into the world, we celebrate. We give You our life and give others our gifts as a sign of our love for You. As you brought Your Light for the world to Bethlehem, let each of us show your great Light of love, kindness, caring, and compassion to those around us. 

When we find frustrations in our hustle and bustle this Christmas season, remind us that what we do this Christmas is not just because of You. Remind us, Oh Lord, that what we do is for You and for all of Your children on earth. 

Let love spread around the world through us, because of Your Son coming into the world. By Your Holy name, let love touch every heart on earth, and let there be peace and good will among all nations. All these things I pray in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!


Captured Lies by Maggie Thom


I have just finished reading Captured Lies by Maggie Thom and my review follows after the author’s blurb found on Amazon.

“He jammed his knee into the back of hers. She closed her eyes for a second, trying to will away the pain. “There have been no photos in my life. My mom didn’t believe in them. I… DON’T… HAVE… ANY.”

Grabbing her left arm, he twisted it behind her back which brought her around. He marched her into the living room. In the dim light she could barely see her way and stumbled over the mess on the floor.

“What’s in those bags?”
She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it….
Her life was a lie!
Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs. 
Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years”

I was literally enthralled by this book. Thom has written a fast paced, literally running pace at times, in this thriller that is rife with suspense, mystery, and danger. Romance only came into play near the very end, and so those who want romance with their thrillers; this book isn’t for you. Imagine a life in which you are on the run most of the time, almost 30 years of running. Then your mother dies and your life is turned upside down in every way possible. Bailey does everything she can to survive, and survive she does, since birth.

I think that the characters need more development, and partly because there are so many characters in play. Thom did well in describing clothing, landscape, buildings, and all surrounding used in the story, but again, the characters lacked true depth. This may be due in part to sheer number of characters used. Thom has writer a truly fast paced, frenetic at times, book; once you get past the first few chapters. For a freshman novel, the author has spun a tale that is normally seen with writers who are more advanced in the business. This book has the potential to become a best seller, or even a great feature film, if Thom hires a professional editor. If this novel had just a few editing issues, it wouldn’t take away from the story. However, the editing issues are numerous, commas needed or wrongly placed, numerous grammar and spelling issues, that I had a hard time getting my head around, thus being on the fence about how many stars I would give this book. In the end, I just couldn’t see how I could give more than three stars. For example: “Mr. Lund? Miss Bailey Saunders is here to see you.” Bailey stood by the reception desk tapping her fingernails on the polished wood surface. The secretary glared, sniffed indignantly and then turned sideways, her hand cupped around the phone mike (should be phone mic or microphone) resting against her cheek. This book has too many missing letters, words, and usage of “then versus than”, etc.  

Note: the word ‘mike’ was used to denote a microphone from 1927, yet in the last thirty or so years the word ‘mic’ has taken its place. For a contemporary book, ‘mic’ is the version to use. 


The Importance of Color in Book Cover Design

Truly food for thought in this post. I design all my own book covers and I feel confident that I made the right choices.

Rachael Ritchey

Earlier this week we talked about How Not to Get Overwhelmed: The Book Cover Design, and I felt like something was missing. Yesterday I listened in on a webinar hosted by Joseph Michael and featuring Mike Balmaceda that discussed making your book cover the best it can be to sell your story. That’s when it dawned on me what I’d forgotten to add when we discussed cover design! Color! I wanted to give you one more bit of info whether you plan to design your own cover or commission one.

Colors Matter

I have always enjoyed the feel of colors, and any time I’ve asked for feedback on the various covers I’ve designed the response often comes with an emotional connection of some sort. There is something about colors that attract and repel us, and they also convey a sense of emotion, which as writers and indie publishers we…

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How Not to Get Overwhelmed: Copyrighting Your Work

Copyright beware, for those who truly wish to copyright their original works. I have copyrights on our screenplay based on our best selling memoir, When Angels Fly, and I have the creds to back it up.

Rachael Ritchey


This is the fifth article in the series: How Not to Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing. Below is the list, including links to the subjects we’ve already covered. Today’s topic is Copyright. We’ll be focusing on US, though, because that’s where I live. It will be purely informational since copyright involves law, and I do not give legal advice.

Here’s the symbolcopyright symbol

Here are the codes for various uses of the copyright symbol:

Here’s the definition of Copyright from Merriam-Webster:

“the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work)”

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How Not to Get Overwhelmed: Picking Your Publishing Platform(s)

Great information for those who are starting their writing journey and those already in theirs.

Rachael Ritchey


This is the sixth article in the series: How Not to Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing. Below is the list, including links to the subjects we’ve already covered. Today’s topic is publishing platforms. These apply to most countries for accessibility as far as I know, but since most of my research has been about my own publishing, some of the info I share may only be useful to US authors.

Main Types of Book Formats

  1. ebook
    1. epub
    2. mobi
    3. pdf; etc.
  2. paperback
    1. varying sizes
    2. I prefer 5.25 x 8
  3. hardbound
    1. varying sizes
    2. I prefer 6×9

Depending on how you plan to make your book available you…

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How Not to Get Overwhelmed: ISBNs

A good read…

Rachael Ritchey

Sorry there’s been such a delay in getting on to the next chunk of this indie publishing break down! Life has been full. But you might be struggling with this whole ISBN business. I want to help you as much as I can. Here in the US, we have to buy our ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers). In some countries you do not, like Canada. It’s currently December, so I don’t recommend moving there right now. . . .


If you’ve missed any of the previous articles in the How Not to Get Overwhelmed with Indie Publishing series, here is the list of what we have been and are covering:

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