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The Hidden Monastery by E. J. Dawson

Synopsis shown as on Amazon

Captain Katarina Salisbury of the airship the Iron Lady and propaganda tool for the Illisian government, has been given a very simple assignment; to go and rescue villagers threatened with avalanches in the far southern Drezusk Mountains.

With unwelcome nobles on her vessel, diminishing part of her fame and good press from the venture, she is determined to do her duty and be done with them as quickly as possible.
They destroy an avalanche within reach of the village on their first day in the valley.

Except the fall of the avalanche reveals something beneath the tumbling snow and rock; a hidden monastery of a dead religion, never seen before this far south on the Illisian continent.
It’s stone doors are opened to reveal a secret, and something malicious moves in the shadows, to keep that secret.

Captain Katarina Salisbury is drawn to the monastery, she struggles against forces that would stop her. As the weather worsens she is forced to make choices for herself and the future of the Iron Lady.

 

A little about the author

I grew up in a household that loved and revered books and the world of fantasy.

I can’t count how many times my mother read Nargan and the Stars or the Hobbit to us, and we loved every minute.

Growing up in such a place all I wanted to do was tell stories, from a little girl to a teenager putting emotions to paper it was all naively innocent and fostered a love for the written word, but a knowledge that whatever I wrote wasn’t right.

Several lost novels and many years later I came across an idea that grew into a series I couldn’t fathom had so much depth; The Last Prophecy.

In worlds were a single person has a chance to change the world for the better wouldn’t you? These stories are what I decided to write and publish, and they are filled with all the hopes, dreams, and deceptions of the real world. . To learn more about E. J. read her complete bio HERE.

 

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Where it all Began by Lorana Hoopes

Where It All Began tells the story of Sandra Baker, a woman who finds herself pregnant with a partner who doesn't want the baby. With not enough money and no family to help, she allows him to push her into abortion. Unable to fully recover from the experience, she descends into a depression and turns to alcohol to cope, further distancing her relationship. She struggles to find meaning in her life until she meets Henry Dobbs, a Christian who radiates a comfort Sandra has been seeking. As their relationship grows, Sandra wonders if the God Henry speaks so highly of would accept her? Will she tell Henry her darkest secret? And will she ever be able to forgive herself and find healing?

Though this is technically the second book in my Heartbeats series, it can be read before the Power of Prayer as it tells the backstory of one of the characters. However, it should be read before When Hearts Collide.

 

A little about the author.

Lorana Hoopes is a teacher in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. She is an active member of her church choir and enjoys acting and kickboxing in her spare time. Having always inspired to be a writer, she completed her first novel last year after feeling led to speak for the unborn. Her novels are inspirational fiction – a good clean romance with an inspirational message about how God cares for all of us.

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Cowboy Sanctuary by Michelle Hughes

Cowboy Sanctuary is a new novel that has been awarded a Kindle Scout publishing contract. I want to take the opportunity to congratulate Michelle Hughes on her achievement. This is a happy day for authors as we support each other in the writing community. I happen to know Michelle and we had a little chat. I feel privileged to present her and her newest novel, which will be released on January 17, 2017. As I understand it, this has now turned in to a series. So look out for books 2 and 3 in the coming weeks.

 

A little about Michelle Huges

I grew up thinking I'd become the next great country singer of our time.  I began singing at three years old, after being bribed by our insurance man to belt out a song, and that was it.  My life was set in stone.  I pursued that dream for many years, and also wrote songs. I had the pleasure of singing on the Midnight Jamboree in Nashville, and touring the US performing at state fairs, nightclubs, and a myriad of other events.  My first son went on the road with me, my mom and manager and it was an exciting, but sometimes crazy life.  When I got pregnant with my twins, I knew my days of touring were coming to an end.
 
Writing books didn't even occur to me until I was laid off many years later from a job in respiratory. For six months I stayed home raising my,  by that time,  fifth child (yes I wanted a huge family and had one), I was going stir crazy.  I loved hanging out with my little man, but for someone who worked hard their entire life, there were too many hours in the day.  One day I sat down at my computer and started writing a book just to curb my boredom.  Eight years later I have over twenty books in my library and still can't believe how writing became a career! 
 
I'd always been an avid reader.  The kind of kid that would look up words in the dictionary for fun, yes a true nerd.  My granny Louise was responsible for that.  She grew up on a cotton farm and didn't get a chance to finish her education, so I helped her with what I was learning in school. Granny never put down a book, except to cook, after that and she got me hooked on  Harlequin romance novels that came four at a time each month.  
 
When I started writing that's what I wanted to do, write those happily ever after love stories with the virgin and strong alpha male character.  I loved reading historical romances, but quickly realized that type of writing wasn't for me, so I modified my books to be modern day bodice rippers (which I know is an oxymoron).  That's me, in a nutshell!

 

Welcome to Cowboy Sanctuary!

Dana Waterfield’s well-organized life gets tipped upside down when the brutal murder of her twin sister Danielle threatens to unravel everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. Having found herself the sole guardian of her sister’s newborn lovechild, Jeremy, and at the receiving end of her ex-brother-in-law’s unchecked rage, Dana flees to the safety of Dixon Ranch and the strong, muscled arms of Brock Dixon. 

In order to protect the baby from the wrath of Danielle’s husband and murderer, Dana must blend into the daily routine of ranch life, and rethink who she really is. When the wrath of a madman threatens the life of her nephew and everything she holds dear, will Dana put her trust in Brock or let the winds of change tear her family apart?

Falling for her sister’s lover was never part of the plan, but there’s something about a cowboy that no woman can resist. After all, the safest place to be is in a cowboy’s arms…

 

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Allowing your dialogue to flow

Some authors seem to have a problem with the dialogue in their script. I can’t say why that is, as I never experienced dialogue problems before.

While reading some books I noticed the dialogue seemed forced and stilted. In some instances, the dialogue is bland as though the author wasn’t certain what she wanted the characters to say.

As I mentioned, I don’t know why some authors’ dialogue lack the oomph it needs, but here are some questions that if answered, may provide some answers.

 

Q: Does the story flow smoothly in your head from start to finish?

A: It should. If it doesn’t, then you may find that you have problems moving the story along. When you get a story idea, trying playing out the story in your head. How does it start? What happens in the middle and what is the outcome? Having all that figured out will help to make your dialogue flow because you already know what you want in your story.

 

Q: Are there glitches in your story for which you have a problem smoothing out?

A: There are times you are stuck or something seems off in your story. Find out what caused these glitches and fix them. Are there inconsistences? Do you need to do some research to verify information? Although you are writing fiction, the elements of most stories are fact. Unless you are writing High Fantasy or Intergalactic Sci-Fi, then your readers will expect that the setting be real along with the other elements. Readers of crime thrillers and mysteries are especially picky when it comes to police procedural and other elements relating to the law. Be careful with this. Do the research and your dialogue will benefit.

 

Q: Is each scene in your story necessary OR does each scene drive the story forward?

A: Make sure you don’t add a scene just because you need to add word count. Every scene should be necessary to the character and plot development. If this is the case, then make sure the dialogue is the same.

 

Q: Why are your characters conversing?

A: Are you characters talking because there is nothing to do, or are they talking because they have something important to say? The answer should be because they have something of value to add to the story, whether it’s saying ‘hi’ to another character or just babbling about the dead fish. It should add value to the plot. Are they expressing themselves because of a past or future event in the story? The answer should be yes. Are they conversing as a means to reveal information? Yes again.

 

Q: Is the dialogue a part of the story development?

A: It should be, whether it’s introducing another character, another element/event or as mentioned above, revealing relevant information. Information could simply mean a character’s feeling about a matter, what they think, information about a case or another character.

 

Q: Does the dialogue help to develop any of the characters in the scene or story in general?

A: The above Q & A should already do this, but just in case you are still uncertain, look again at your dialogue and ask yourself this question.

 

Q: What caused the conversation? Meaning, what event led to these characters talking?

A: Something should happen or will happen that lead to a conversation.  The conversation should not come out of thin air, or fall off the cliff. The conversation should stick with the reader and give the reader the urge to move forward.

 

Q: What do you want to tell your readers through this dialogue scene?

A: This is of utmost importance. You must have a reason to add the dialogue. You must have a story to tell the reader. What do you want to say through your characters?

 

After answering these questions, you should have a better idea about what may be wrong with your dialogue. I am sure there are other questions that could be asked, however, these are the questions that came to mind.

Note: I am no expert. I am just an author with experience who prefer to show my story through dialogue.

I love showing my character’s character through voice and body language. My dialogue usually tells a few things.

  1. Show you the emotions of the characters involved which helps in their development.
  2. My dialogue is an essential part of the story development in that it reveals elements of the story that I would otherwise have to reveal in narration/description.
  3. It expresses the connection between the characters involved in the story; whether it’s love, friendship, kinship or enmity.
  4. My dialogue usually moves the story along, bring in new information and reveal the secrets that were left behind.

 

The dialogue should give the reader a sense of reveal. The reader should know more about the characters and the story after every dialogue scene. If a reader skips the dialogue, then it means it was not necessary and can be omitted.

The reader should find answers within the dialogue, which would make them hang on to every word.  One scene should transition to another seamlessly, moving action and dialogue along smoothly.

Dialogue scenes should not necessarily be long scenes, but they should add depth, moving the story forward.

 

I hope this article helped you today.

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New Year – No Compromise

2016 has been a devastating year for many people, including myself. I almost went off the deep end due to certain events. But being the strong woman I am, I picked myself up and started moving ahead, determined to succeed.

I want to tell all my detractors that I will not compromise on my integrity, nor will I back away from what I believe to be right. There are those that will want me compromise on what I believe to be true, and I will not. I will not lie, nor will I lower myself to the level in which you want to drag me. I have had enough!

I cried peace because I wish to move ahead, but remaining silent does not mean I have given up my right. Therefore, for those who seek hold me back, too bad, I've already stepped ahead.

Don't waste your time on old grudges. In a few days, it will be a new year. Let's move past the old and step into the new. I will not be looking back, rehashing old battles. I will be getting to a place where I can become the author I need to be, regardless of those who want to stop me. Please do the same. I have reinvented myself and I urge those who are stuck on the past to do so as well.

I urge you my friends and those who are not, get past the old and step into the new. Let sleeping dogs lie, because that dog you see resting, may be a lion in disguise.

I want to be left in peace to fulfill my dreams. Though my trust is shattered and my confidence slipped a bit, I am determined to be a better person. I will not waste my energies going back. I will spend my time perfecting my brand, making money and becoming the author I have always wanted to be.

It's always amazing that people will hurt you and never say sorry, but when they feel wronged they make demands. Don't be the person who cannot say sorry for hurting someone. Be that person who can look into himself and accept responsibility for his own actions.

There is an Indian drama called The Promise which airs on my local television station. It's about a couple who were married for 12 years, living happily, until the man's college girlfriend showed up and seduced him. Being his first love, he believed her to be his true love, given that his marriage was an arranged one. He walked out of his home, but soon realized how jealous he was of other men wanting his wife. He also soon realized that he loved his wife and not this girl. The girl soon realized the man she so desperately wanted loved his wife and not her. She did everything in her power to destroy this woman, including trying to kill her but ended up killing the man. Ten years later she is still trying to destroy the man's wife blaming her for everything wrong in her life.

Watching this drama reminds me of some people who can't see the wrong they did. They blame others for their own downfall and will spend all the money they have to destroy someone they felt did them wrong. These people are narcissistic, a mental disorder that makes the person unable to recognize when they have erred. 

If you are reading this and this applies to you, please let 2017 be the year you change. Try getting past the old stuff and look forward to greater things happening in your life. Accept responsibility for your actions and move away from hate and malice.

Forgiveness is hard, but when the pain becomes just a memory, it will be just an experience. I have forgiven those who have hurt me. It's very tasking to live with unforgiveness in one's heart. It only hurts me and no one else. I urge those who have that grudge buried deep, to let it go and be happy. Imagine how happy you can be if you let it go. Those you hate are living life to the fullest while you are hurting yourself with malice.

Make peace with yourself, it's worth it.

Happy and prosperous 2017, and may the light of the Lord encompass you about as you seek to make the year a great one.

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Why Non-Americans Opinions Matter In The US 2016 Presidential Elections

I’m not American and my friends know me as a Jamaican national. I have never been to the United States and I don’t plan to in the near future. I had hoped a while back to visit, but given all that may happen, I’m not holding out hope.

Now, as a foreigner to my United States friends, I have seen where Americans are not happy when someone like me voices my opinions on the presidential race. What Americans do not realize is that what happens in the US happens to the rest of the world. Here are some reasons why your presidential race matters to the rest of us.

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