Archive | November 2018

The Serenity Stone Murder


This week, we are pleased to feature Marianne Jones. Welcome to my blog Marianne! Shall we get started? 

When did you start writing and how did that come about?

I was about 10 or 11 when I realized that I wanted to be a writer. I had always been writing descriptions in my head of the things I saw around me, even from a younger age. I was an insatiable reader, constantly taking out as many books as the library would allow and devouring them. I especially loved poetry, and would compose poems for the pleasure of it, not for show. One day, when I was looking at a poem I had just written, the thought came into my head, “I want to be a writer.” I felt such a glow of excitement and affirmation that I knew I had found my purpose.

Tell us about you, what you want readers to know.

I am a wife of some 47 years, a mother of two wonderful daughters and besotted grandmother to two adorable granddaughters. I’m also a retired teacher, children’s choir conductor, and sometimes actor and director. As my friends and family will attest, I’m a bit of a goofball.

Do you have suggestions for new authors? Tell us how you started and what struggles you overcame.

It’s always been a struggle, especially because of that voice in my head. You know, the one that’s constantly saying, “Who do you think you are? You really think you can do this? Who are you kidding?” Then there were the long periods of rejection letters that used to discourage me and make me want to give up. What helped me a lot was reading somewhere that success in writing comes to the undiscourageable. So I would pick up my pen again and carry on. I would advise new authors to keep reading, keep studying your craft, and be true to yourself. Write for love, primarily, not for money. If you write for love, you will find your true voice and do your best work.

How do you structure your works and what is your current work in process?

have a loose structure in my head that is open to change as I go along. I think it would be a lot easier if I plotted everything out to the last detail before starting, but that’s not me. I have to immerse myself in the writing to discover how the story wants to be told. Currently, I’m working on a sequel to The Serenity Stone Murder. It’s called Death on the Water, and it shows my protagonists from Serenity Stone, Margaret and Louise, trying to solve their next case, a murder within Louise’s own family.

How do you relax? Travel, anything you like to do in your downtime?

My husband Reg and I enjoy Netflix, going to live plays and jazz, traveling (when we can afford it), and mentoring people at church.

Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla.

Have you thought of writing a screenplay?

Many times. But I have so many irons in the fire that I don’t think I need to add one more!

Name one actor you think would make the perfect protagonist in your book and why?

I’d love to see Meryl Streep as my character Margaret, because she’s so incredibly versatile and has such a wonderful sense of humour in her acting. She could perform crusty, but good-hearted Margaret to perfection!

If you could move in time, such as going back in time or to the future, which would you choose and why?

Maybe back to the fifties, the decade when I was born. It was such an innocent time, and an ideal era for bringing up children.

What other things have you written?

In addition to articles and poems in a variety of magazines and anthologies, plays for church and Christian organizations, I’ve written three children’s books, an as-told-to memoir, a chapbook and book of poetry and a literary novel that I’m currently shopping out.

What are some recurring elements in your writing?

Humour and geography. Humour sneaks into most of my writing. I grew up in a family that loved to laugh, and loved to read humorists. My Dad was especially funny. I tend to see the funny side of things, and it shows in my writing. The other element is northwestern Ontario, where I have lived all my life. It’s a spectacularly beautiful part of the world, rugged and majestic, with thousands of freshwater lakes and thousands of acres of forest. Thunder Bay, where we live, is situated on Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world, often called the inland sea. My love of this region permeates my consciousness, and is reflected in my writing.

Proudest moments as a writer?

The most amazing moment was when I won a national writing contest for teenagers. I was fourteen, and entered as a test, to see if I really had what it took to be a writer. Decades later, being named International Christian Poet Laureate 2010 by Utmost Christian Writers was a great honour. Having three of my poems engraved in stone benches at Prince Arthur’s Landing in Thunder Bay was a special thrill. I love knowing that my grandchildren will be able to point out my work there after I’m gone!

Links below!!! Check Marianne out soon!

Book Link

Facebook Author Page    





Amazon Author Page       

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5 Tips For Successful Publishing And Book Marketing. Lessons Learned From The Independent Author Conference. – by Joanna Penn…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on The Creative Penn:

I’m just back from the Independent Author Conference in Philadelphia.

Here are some of my thoughts from the trip in this solo show:

People don’t buy books, publishing wide is more than just retail, tips for being a better publisher, strategy is what you DON’T do, plus, learn what you need for your stage of the author journey.

Continue reading HERE

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How to Begin Using Scrivener

Story Empire

Hello to all the Story Empire readers. PH here today, getting ready for Thanksgiving! No, this isn’t a themed post. Instead, I’m here to help anyone out there who needs a start with Scrivener and just can’t figure out what to do with it.

I’ve seen several comments from other writers over the last few years which indicates they have Scrivener but just didn’t know where to begin. I understand the feeling. When I first started with Scrivener there was so much to learn and I needed to do other work that I didn’t have time to learn it. It wasn’t until I read several posts in which other authors described how they used Scrivener that I began to understand its power.

Why the confusion and reluctance in engaging with Scrivener?

It is fundamentally different from just using a text editor. It is a robust development software for an entire…

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Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Son of the Serpent by Vashti Q

Hello, everyone! Today I thought I would mention some of the places in my Fantasy Angels Series, along with some of the supporting characters and other beings introduced in Son of the Serpent.

Fantasy Angels Series-the fall of lilith-son of the serpent-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-blog tour-book_tour-angels and demons-Floraison-heaven-paradise FLORAISON by Jeff Brown

Dracúl is the main character in Son of the Serpent and Lilith is the villain in the book. Interspersed chapters in Dracúl’s voice and chronicles in Lilith’s voice divide the book.

There are three realms of Heaven:

Heaven Most High– Where God resides.

Metá Heaven – Where God’s presence could be reached in His throne room. Only by His expressed permission could one cross the portal to this level of heaven. It is in the throne room God passed laws and judgments.

Floraison – The lowest realm of Heaven. A paradise where angels are born.

Different dimensions separate these realms and only God traveled between them as He pleased.


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This entry was posted on November 14, 2018. 3 Comments

I’ve finished my manuscript! What now? 16 ultimate resources to make good decisions about your book

Nail Your Novel

A friend has turned into a writer. Unbeknown to me, she’s been chipping away at a novel and her husband just sent this email.

Her novel is more or less finished!!! I may need to pick your brains about marketing! We also think we need to get it professionally proof-read. We tried doing it ourselves with Grammarly, but realise it’s way more complex than it seems …’

Ah bless. If you’re well seasoned in the author world, you’ll already be counting the many erroneous assumptions. Carts before horses. Running before walking.

But we all have to start somewhere. And even if you’re already wiser than my beginner friend here, you might know a writer who’s effervescing in a similar state of enthusiastic, ecstatic, multi-plinged euphoria. High on all those well-earned Es, they can’t possibly know what’s coming next.

So this post is a gentle reality check, a bit of tough love…

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This entry was posted on November 13, 2018. 2 Comments

Too much is not enough.

Dan Alatorre

Alatorre your humble host

Try to paint emotion in thick when you have a dramatic scene.

Use more words than you think you need.

When Bonnie, the killer, is about to confront the random fisherman after the murder, YOU have the scene in your head. You’re seeing it in all its tension-filled glory.

But is the reader?

Did you put it on the page?

Deliver MORE than an adequate amount of info. For the scene to sear itself into the reader’s mind, we need to go bigger at those times. Have her holding her breath, wiping sweaty palms on her pants leg, interspersing thoughts about do I have a second kill I’m about to have to make? What does he want? Is this car a cop?

Then, dwell there.

Readers are reading SO FAST at those times (because it’s exciting), YOU can add and add and add and make us…

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Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality For New Authors – by Derek Haines…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Just Publishing Advice:

Self-publishing is a great opportunity – if you have a head for business

Are you dreaming of becoming the next bestselling author?

For anyone who writes, it is natural to want your hard work to reap the rewards you believe it deserves.

Self-publishing today gives all authors the chance to publish for (almost) free and to have a book on sale on Amazon and many other online book retailers.

Continue reading HERE

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7 Ways To Market Books For Children – by Karen Inglis…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on David Gaughran site:

There are successful self-publishers in every niche, but authors of children’s books face more challenges than most – both on the publishing and marketing side. 

When I heard that Karen Inglis was releasing How To Self-Publish and Market A Children’s Book I invited her along to talk about the particular problems that self-publishers of children’s books face, as well as strategies for overcoming them. 

Here’s Karen with more:

Continue reading HERE

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Pastor Jacqueline Goodwin


This week, we are pleased to feature Pastor Jacqueline Goodwin. Welcome Jacqueline and shall we get started? 

When did you start writing and how did that come about?

I have been writing poems since the fifth grade. I began writing poetry because of my experiences that I was going through from friendship to having my heart broken.

Tell us about you, what you want readers to know.

Jacqueline Goodwin is an ordained pastor and prophetess who’s ministry focuses on deliverance and healing. She has a passion and heart for the youth which has led her to various positions within the ministry and career field.  Since 2002 Goodwin has served as Youth Director, a mentor, and Sunday School teacher within her local church.  A former paralegal, educator, and substance abuse counselor who use her gift of empowerment to transform lives within her career field.  She has earned a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Regent University, Master of Counseling from Webster University, Columbia SC, a Master of Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg VA, an Associate Degree of Paralegal graduating “Magna Cum Laude” from South University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Francis Marion University, Florence SC.

She currently resides in South Carolina with her son, two daughters and granddaughter.  Her hobbies include running, walking, meditating, and writing, counseling youth and working in the community.

Do you have suggestions for new authors? Tell us how you started and what struggles you overcame.

Do not let rejections become a stumbling block for you, but let rejections become the stepping stones that propels you to write. I started writing when I was in the 5th grade my mother had bought me a diary and from that point I began writing poetry.

How do you structure your works and what is your current work in process?

I structure my work process by finding me a place of solitude, so I can go into prayer and hear what the Holy Spirit would have me to write. My current work in process is my new book entitled, Bitter to Better.

How do you relax? Travel, anything you like to do in your downtime?

I relax by praying, mediating, exercising, and traveling.

Chocolate or vanilla?


Have you thought of writing a screenplay?

Yes, that would be something I would want to venture out and do.

Name one actor you think would make the perfect protagonist in your book and why?

I would want Angela Bassett to be my protagonist in my book because it takes a strong woman to go through what I went through and not lose her mind. She is a strong woman.

If you could move in time, such as going back in time or to the future, which would you choose and why?

I would love to go back in time to spend time with Jesus just to witness His ministry first hand. ((Perfect answer!!!))

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

I put all of myself in my books. God has placed in my heart to be authentic and transparent when I am writing to always share a part of my life that He has brought healing, restoration, and deliverance in.

What is your motivation for writing more?

The Holy Spirit has motivated me to write more. I have been given several titles, but God has not downloaded in me yet what to write.

How did you come up with your book title, Healing in the Vessel A Mother’s Love A Daughter’s Journey of Faith?

Healing in the Vessel was given to me out a testimony. I was diagnosed with HIV, but God healed me completely from it. He told me, “There was Healing in the Vessel” and I was the vessel. My mother covered me in prayer while I fasted and prayed for my healing, and it was her love and faith that empowered me to stand on my faith for my healing. My life is a journey of faith in all areas of my life.

Do you have a specific place to write?

I write mostly at my desk or in my bedroom. Sometimes, I will go to the park and write.

How do you see writing?

I see writing as a gift that God has given me to bring healing and revelation to the world.

book cover

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Thank you for stopping by  Pastor Jacqueline Goodwin!


This entry was posted on November 8, 2018. 2 Comments