PRINCESS OF THE LIGHT: Book Trailer, Cover and Blurb


 

Book Cover

Book Cover

Miriam Miller likes the simple things in life: a good book, close friends, and a healthy relationship with God. But, destiny comes calling, and her neat, little life turns upside down.

Ethanial, an angel of God, has been sent to reveal Miriam’s true calling -– she is the Princess of the Light, the woman chosen by God Himself to vanquish the demons intent on infusing the world with evil. And her first assignment: restore the soul of a homeless man known only as the Walking Man.

Enter Joe Deacons, a man intent on stealing her heart. But as Miriam embarks on her journey to save the Walking Man and fulfill her calling, it becomes clear that Joe isn’t what he appears to be. Miriam must decide: Is she willing to risk her soul to save those she loves?

Go to Goodreads and add it to your Want To Read bookshelf today!!!

Let Gratitude Fill Your Heart


Gratitude heart

I woke up this morning feeling heaping amounts of gratitude.  I am grateful for a roof over my head, food to eat and the unconditional love of MR N.  I am grateful for supportive and loving family/friends.  I am grateful for the ability to type words and for each of you!

What about you?  What are you grateful for?

Does your heart look like the one above?  Is gratitude the largest part of your heart?

Every person has a bad day, week, month, etc.  Heck, I woke up to snow falling on the ground in the middle of April!  Once I got over the shock, I started thinking how grateful I was to have shelter.  I am one of the lucky ones.

The Walking Man does not have shelter.  He is out there somewhere in my town huddled against a building or sleeping with a plastic tarp over him.  I pray that he finds shelter today and can stay warm.

What are you grateful for?  Is there some way you can spread the Light to someone in your town like the Walking Man?  I bet you can! Even giving him/her a warm coffee will warm their insides and your kindness will be felt long after the coffee is gone!

Be grateful for the little things and spread the Light!  I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

:-) MRS N

Writers: Encourage Other Writers


Writers Encourage Writers

The world is filled with people who try to tear us down.  As writers, we must encourage each other, not tear each other down!

I get so sick and tired of writers ripping other writers.  A writer friend of mine had the worst thing happen to her… her publisher closed. Did I cheer?  NO!  I gave my shoulder for her to cry on and told her that I was there for her!  I encouraged her that this could be a blessing in disguise and she should follow her dreams!  I offered her my undying support and told her I wanted to help her in whatever way I could.

I didn’t have to do any of that.  I could have done what I saw other writers do.  I could have told her she made a huge mistake signing with that publisher.  I could have told her she’s better off not being a writer.  But that’s not me!

I encourage as many writers as I can to follow their dreams!  I celebrate with them when fabulous things happen and I cry with them when bad things happen.  It’s a natural thing for me and I encourage you to do the same!

Writers Encouraging Writers!!! WHOO HOO!

MRS N, the Author :-)

A Long and Winding Road Trailer Reveal


WindingRoadTrailerToday I am thrilled to present you with my dear friend’s book trailer!  Her book will touch your heart and will make you laugh.  It’s about love, life and family! Please add it to your Goodreads To Be Read Bookshelf!  Without further ado, here it is:

 

A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love and Chaos
By Linda Brendle

winding road

Blurb:
Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

Release Date: July 1, 2014

Linda Brendle
Author Bio:
After 15 years as a family caregiver, Linda began writing to encourage, inspire and amuse other caregivers. She loves to travel and since retiring has traveled mostly by motorcycle and RV. She and her husband live in a small East Texas town where she gardens, writes and attends church.

Website: http://www.LifeAfterCaregiving.WordPress.com
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/LindaBrendle/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/linda.brendle
Google+: http://goo.gl/5Ov8qo
Goodreads: http://goo.gl/SeqyBz
Yahoo Voices: http://goo.gl/NT0bdt
Red Letter Christians: http://goo.gl/xYSvRf

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983741-a-long-and-winding-road
Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

Be Your Own Best Friend and Stop Beating Yourself Up!!!


Beating yourself up

I love this and it totally applies to me! For many years (and on occasion even now), I was my own worst enemy.  Something would happen and I would beat myself up.  Even when I was writing, it was a constant berating session.  It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me that I started noticing how much I was destroying my inner self!

So, today’s Inspirational Thought is for me and for all of you: Stop beating yourself up and be your own best friend!

Pay close attention to your inner thoughts.  When you start beating yourself up, STOP!  Shake your head to clear it and immediately say three nice things about yourself.

The world is filled with negativity and we need to spread the Light to ourselves too! :-)

You are a beautiful person and you should remember that! :-)

MRS N

How to Write a Successful Query Letter


query letter

A friend of mine, Jessica, is holding a #JustPitchIt Query Workshop on her blog this week (http://www.jessicaschmeidler.com/?p=1058).  She invited me to participate and I have to tell you, I have really enjoyed it.  Not only is it a terrific way for querying writers to gain some insight into crafting an intriguing query letter, but it reminds me of my personal experience with querying.

A query letter is a cover letter/resume you send out to literary agents and/or editors to sell them your book.  It’s your one shot to make a great impression, pitch your book and wow them.  The statistics don’t lie and the quote by Nicholas Sparks is accurate.  It is a very low percentage of success for a writer and for me, it was a lot like applying for my dream job.  I researched those I wanted to apply to and then wrote my query letter.  I edited it over 15 times before I sent it to Kara Leigh Miller at Anaiah Press.

The best way to tell you how to write a successful query letter is to show you mine.

1- Make sure it is one page and no more than 400 words.  I know, you are shaking your head and thinking to yourself, “She’s crazy!  There’s no way I can describe my book and my accomplishments in 400 words!”  The truth is you have no choice.  You’re a writer so be creative.  Be concise.  No fluff and no B.S. in the query letter.

2- Your query letter should be 4 paragraphs long. Hook, summary, writing accomplishments and closing.

3- Be professional.  Remember, your query letter should reflect you as a serious writer and not some fly by night writer who couldn’t care less.

Let’s go through mine step by step and hopefully you will see what I mean:

Dear Kara Leigh Miller,

Address the letter personally and don’t forget to spell their name right.  This is the very first impression of you and nothing is more embarrassing as a writer than to get the name wrong.  Go online and make sure of the spelling and you have the right agent/editor.

Destined to be vanquisher of Darkness and champion of Light, Miriam must risk her soul to banish the demons sent to kill her.

This is my hook.  A hook is a one sentence pitch that hooks the reader and makes them want to read more.  It should grab the person by the lapels and not let go.  It should be intriguing and easy to remember.  In the publishing industry, this is called the elevator pitch.  You have ten seconds to impress someone.

You know your book better than anyone else.  Think about what your book is about and who your main character is.  What is the conflict of the main character?  Read my hook again.  Did your breath catch?  Did you wonder if Miriam will survive?  That is exactly what a hook does!

Miriam receives a visit from the Archangel Ethanial and discovers she is the Princess of the Light. Ethanial reveals her true calling, to restore the Light to all. Simultaneously, she meets and falls in love with Joe. Can she trust him with her true identity or must she keep it a secret?
Miriam’s first assignment is the Walking Man, a homeless man whose soul is filled with darkness and tormented by the demon, Than. Than doesn’t like Miriam interfering in his business and after many unsuccessful attempts, he enlists the help of Lisbeth, his second in command. Lisbeth takes control and wages war on the Light. With every attack, Miriam grows more powerful. Lisbeth is hell-bent on killing her and Miriam knows that the only way to stop Lisbeth is to banish her.

This is my summary or blurb of my book.  It describes a little more about the book and reads a lot like the back of a book cover.  I don’t list every single character, just the main ones.  The blurb must be specific in the conflict and the main plot lines of your book while still being mysterious.  You want the agent/editor to be curious enough to read more.  It will take several drafts to get the balance just right.  Don’t know where to start?  Look at some of your favorite books and read the blurb on the back cover.  Ask yourself what made you pick up the book?  How did they word it?

I also recommend giving your blurb to as many people as you can (who you trust) and ask them their opinion.  When working on mine, I asked my beta readers, my writing mentor and a few writing friends.  If a sentence seemed out of place or too wordy, they told me the truth.  I thanked them for their candor and tweaked my blurb accordingly.

Princess of the Light is complete at 130,049 words and the genre is speculative fiction.

Normally, this is the first sentence of your blurb but I found it didn’t work there so I placed it here, in the middle of the query letter.  You need to list the title, word count and the genre.  I balked at putting in the word count because I thought it would deter agents/editors from even giving me a shot.  But after reading an article about query letters, I decided I needed to do it.  You don’t want to shock them.  The same with the genre.  If your book is a crossover between two genres, please take my advice and pick one.  Saying that my book is a crossover speculative fiction and romance makes me look like a waffling writer.  If they decide to switch your genre, then leave it up to them.  They are the professionals.

I am a professional Twitter marketer for the largest coin dealer in Canada (inserted twitter link) and I have a blog that I started in July 2013 (inserted blog link). I started my blog as a marketing tool for my upcoming book and to let my 1,248 Twitter followers stay up to date on the progress of my book. I have 244 blog followers to date and have received many blog awards. I write an Inspirational Thought of the Day, Writing articles and I have received several positive comments.

Okay, this is where you list your accomplishments and qualifications.  If you have won any contests or published before, by all means, include it here.  I didn’t have any experience other than my blog and Twitter.  I hemmed and hawed about this.  I had to put something down.  So, I decided to highlight my marketing experience and the beginning of my author platform.  I gave two links so that they could research my writing online to see for themselves what I have to offer.

You will notice that I didn’t say I was debut author.  I found that stating the obvious would only hurt me in the end.  I concentrated on the positives and that made a good impression.

I want to thank you for your time and consideration, Kara. Princess of the Light is distinctive in the speculative genre blending inspiration within an action-packed ass-kicking story and will help to create a new literary sub-genre. It has the potential to be a series and I will begin writing book two starting in January 2014. I have a completed manuscript and it is available to you upon request. I look forward to hearing from you and have a great evening!

This is my closing paragraph.  I thanked her and used her name again.  I mentioned the title of my book and gave a reason why she should sign me.  I wasn’t cocky saying that it was going to be a best seller.  I remained humble but still focused on the positive.  I also mentioned that it had the potential to be a series.  I left it with saying I have a manuscript ready for her review at any point.

I then signed my name and included my address, phone number and email so she can contact me.

As most of you know, Kara (and Anaiah Press) signed me three weeks later.  I asked her this week for some of her insight when she first read my query letter and this is what she had to say:

What caught my eye with your query:

1. It was straightforward. You didn’t waste time with a bunch of unnecessary information. You jumped right into the story and put the stakes on the line.

2. You very clearly identified the title, genre, and word count. (I’m amazed at how often that information is missing from queries.)

3. The idea was unique to me — meaning I hadn’t read anything like this before. Although I know similar plot devices and tropes have been used,
I was intrigued by the spin you put on it, which was incorporating a homeless man.

For me a good query makes me ask questions. Questions I need answers to and therefore *have* to read your book. The ones that popped into my
head when I read your query:

Why was Miriam chosen?

What’s so special about her?

Who is Joe?

What kind of romantic relationship will develop between these two characters?

What bigger part does he play in Miriam’s mission?

Who is the Walking Man?

Why is he homeless?

Why is he important enough for God to choose a Princess to save him?

Why do Than and Lisbeth care about the Walking Man?

Thanks Kara, for your insight!  :-)

I hope that by showing you my successful query letter, you will find it useful.  Querying can be scary but the best piece of advice I can give you is to take your time and craft the best possible query letter.  The time and effort you take now will pay off later when your query letter lands you a contract. :-)

If you have any questions or would like some tips on querying, please ask me in the comments below.  If you know someone who would find this information useful, please share using the social media buttons below.

Until next time,

MRS N, the Author :-)