Monday, October 9, 2017

Back Story l The Song of Solomon Revealed by Owen Sypher

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I am Owen Sypher and I love to understand the mysteries in the Bible. I got inspired to write my book from listening to someone who preached some from Song of Solomon.  I started to research the book so that I could give it out in church services as small sermons. I feel like God really started to reveal more truth and understanding about this book to me over the next 3 years.

This is a beautiful story or love letter if you will between Jesus and his bride or chosen people. It uses       
the natural to illustrate the spiritual and has we gain an understanding of the types and shadows my hope is that it will draw the reader into a closer walk with the Lord.

Someone told me they did not want to hear lessons on this subject so I was not going to preach on the subject anymore, but felt like I had to much understanding to just let it go to waste so I started to write it down for my own sake in case I decided to use it later in life. The more I wrote the more I revelations God revealed to me. I started to joke about how it was becoming a small book and before I knew it I had decided to publish it as a book.
Then I needed to make the decision on who I wanted to publish my book. This was a new experience for me and I ended up picking a company randomly off of the internet who did a good job. I decided after it was publish that I had to revise it with new revelations and went with Litfire Press to re-publish the book with the intent of getting into book stores. This book and an e-book can be gotten off my web page at: www.sypherbooks.com

 The greatest thing about writing this book outside of the understanding that I have personally gained from writing this book was on a more personal level and that was being able to do a long term project and actually finish it.  As a kid we were always starting projects with good potential and never finishing it so for me to start writing a book and then publishing it was not only a personal victory but also a major accomplishment in my life and I thank the Lord for that victory.


About the Author

Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at http://www.sypherbooks.com.  
 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Challenging Myself as a Writer / Caridad Pineiro @caridadpineiro #onesummernight

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I’ve always been an avid reader, but it wasn’t until a fifth grade teacher assigned a class project – to write a book for a class lending library – that I realized that I could maybe write one of those stories that I loved to read.
I went home that day in the fifth grade and started writing and I haven’t stopped.  Through high school, college and law school I kept on writing. After my daughter was born, I decided that I had to finally try to have one of my stories published.  I wanted to show my daughter that anything you wanted was possible if you were willing to work hard for it.
It took me nearly eight years to get “The Call,” but when it finally happened it was amazing!  I jumped up and down like a little kid once I hung up the phone.
Since then I’ve written over 50 novels/novellas and have sold over a million books.  Again, amazing!  I still wonder at times if it’s all been real or just a really exciting dream.
I love challenging myself as a writer and have written in a number of romance genres:  contemporary, paranormal, vampire suspense, romantic suspense, erotic romance, women’s fiction, and military romance.  You name it and I love testing my writing chops by trying it although my heart will always remain true to the first series of my heart, The Calling is Reborn Vampire novels.  Those characters have taken me through some tough times and have also brought me great joy.
I’m working on another series of my heart right now:  The At the Shore Contemporary Romance series.  The women in this series came to me and would not stop until I wrote their fun, tender and sensual tales.  The first book in the series, One Summer Night, will be out on October 3 and it’s a Romeo and Juliet tale (but with a very happy ending) of enemies who become lovers despite a decades long family feud.  This is also a series of my heart because the stories are set on the Jersey Shore.  I love the Shore and spend as much time there as I can.  My dream is to one day one a small place close to the water!
Here’s a little excerpt from ONE SUMMER NIGHT for you!
“Owen,” she sighed as the man rose and she recognized his silhouette. She stopped, unsure whether he would acknowledge her, but he smiled and walked toward her. She noticed that he had changed into casual clothes, not that they lessened the sense of power that always seemed to surround him.
“Maggie,” he said with a dip of his head as he sidled up to her. “You’re up late.”
“You too.” She started walking again, alternately worried and excited that he would join her for her walk.
“Too many thoughts in my head.” He matched his pace to hers, taking an occasional puff on his cigar as they strolled down the beach.
“Me too,” she said, but then they fell silent. They had known each other all their lives and had been friends at one time, but in recent years, they’d kept an awkward distance. Even with the silence, there was something comforting about his presence beside her during the walk. Maybe it was that aura of innate strength and assurance in the way he carried himself. Maybe it was that she felt not so lonely with him. Regardless of the why of it, the quiet as they walked side by side along the beach soothed the riot of thoughts that had kept her from sleep.
With a half glance in his direction, she noticed that he seemed more relaxed as well, and a part of her wondered what it would be like if they could be more than just distant acquaintances. Deciding to breach that distance, she said, “Will you be at the lighthouse rededication at the end of the month?”
She and Owen had worked on their town’s committee to repair the destruction done by Hurricane Sandy years earlier. Federal and state funding had helped to rebuild most of the public areas, like the boardwalk. Their fundraising efforts had gone toward fixing the damage to the Main Street business area in time for the first summer season after the horrific storm, but it had taken much longer to raise the funds to fix the lighthouse and a nearby pier. The committee was still working on how to help repair the many private homes and cottages not covered by insurance and that still languished years later.
“I hope to be there. It all depends on some business items that need to be wrapped up.” He paused as they neared the long rock jetty that marked the end of Sea Kiss and the start of the next town. She hadn’t realized that they’d walked nearly a mile together in companionable silence. With a wry smile and a wave of his hand, they turned and started the walk back up the beach. Every now and again, he would meet her gaze and hold it, almost as if to reassure himself she was still there.
“Is that what kept you from sleep?”
“Possibly. What about you? Will you be there? Seems like we should attend, considering how much time we put into the committee.”
“I’ve got some things I need to do as well, but it would be nice to be there to celebrate. It took so long to reach this point.”
“But we did it. The town was ready for the first season. We helped a lot of people get back into their homes, even if we still have a long way to go to set everything right.”
“You led most of that, Owen. I was hard-pressed to know one end of the hammer from the other,” she said with a laugh, recalling her tortured efforts when they had volunteered to do some construction work on one of the damaged homes.
Owen chuckled. With a sexy grin, he said, “You did okay, and more importantly, you were there to help. People appreciated that, and they won’t forget it any- time soon.”
“That’s not why I did it,” she said. He nodded. “I know.”
His easy reply and the warmth of his gaze confirmed that he understood what had motivated her to volunteer, and in truth, she’d always known that he’d helped for the same reason. They both loved Sea Kiss and considered it home, even though they both worked and had residences in New York City.
They fell quiet again until they reached the board- walk for the Pierce mansion. Maggie waited for him to head there, but Owen kept on walking beside her.
“No need for you to see me home,” she said.
He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I always see a lady home,” he replied and did just that, going so far as to walk her up the boardwalk and across the great lawn. When they reached the patio, he looked back toward the dunes and jerked his head in the direction of the corner of the lot.
“I see you rebuilt the gazebo that Sandy took out.”
“I couldn’t imagine not putting it back up.” When the storm surge had gouged away huge pieces of the protective dunes behind the house, it had swept the old boardwalk and gazebo out to sea.
“You always spent a lot of time there reading,” he said, surprising her.
“I didn’t realize you’d noticed,” she replied, but as she glanced toward the Pierce mansion, she recalled that he would often sit on the second-story balcony where he would have a clear view of the gazebo.
“I’ve noticed a lot about you, Maggie,” he said and then walked with her again until they reached the french doors to her home.
Maggie faced him and stood there awkwardly, wondering how to end the night. A handshake was way too formal given the situation. A hug way too friendly. A kiss was…unfathomable.
That Owen was feeling the same way was obvious as he rocked back and forth on his heels and then shoved his hands into his jeans pockets. With a very masculine head nod, he said, “I guess I’ll see you around.”
She dipped her head in agreement and said, “See you around.”
He forced a smile, pivoted on his heel, and walked away, but as he did so, she called out to him.
“Owen.”
Turning, he stared at her, a perplexed look on his face.
 “This was nice. Thank you.”
His smile was brilliant in the dark of the night. “It  was nice. Get some sleep, Maggie.”
“You too, Owen.” As she headed through the french doors and up to her bedroom, she suspected her thoughts would once again keep her from a restful slumber. Only this time, those thoughts wouldn’t be about her family’s business problems and losing the home she loved. They would be about something much more pleasurable.
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and find out more about me.  I hope that I’ll get to know more about you and love hearing from readers via e-mail or on social media.  You can contact me by visiting my website at www.caridad.com.  Talk to you soon!
About the Author

Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.
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Caridad values your privacy and will not share your e-mail or personal information.

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About the Book:

An offer that’s impossible to accept . . .
Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey Shore. But now, she’s out of options.
The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…
Watch the Trailer at YouTube!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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How Fixing Your 'Sweet Tooth' Could Save Your Life l Tony Hampton MD

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Fixing your “sweet tooth” may help save your life. Why fructose and most refined sugars should be public health enemy number one and why you should avoid them.

Research has confirmed that consuming the various forms of refined sugars is harmful to your health.

Fructose increases your risk for:

• Insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity

Elevated blood pressure
• Elevated triglycerides and elevated LDL
• Depletion of vitamins and minerals
• Cardiovascular disease
• Fatty liver disease, cancer, arthritis, and gout

Why is fructose bad:

• The organ that metabolizes fructose is your liver which is a different process compared to glucose. This puts an unusually high burden on the liver leading to a fatty liver in many cases.
• Our consumption of refined fructose is high, allowing its negative metabolic effects to occur.

Why is fructose different:

• When you eat fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver leading to a fatty liver. The liver only has to break down 20% of the glucose you consume.

• Glucose is a more pure form of energy utilized by your cells. Fructose, however is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. Fructose makes you FAT!

• The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism causes fatty liver and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

• Fructose metabolism results in waste products that increase blood pressure and causes gout.
• Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

Alternatives to your sweet addition:

• First realize that you may have a sugar addition. So stand up, look at your audience, admit you have a problem, and start your journey fixing you “sweet tooth”. It’s hard to imagine but I promise your new life will be much better.

• If you must, use organic cane sugar or raw honey but only rarely and in moderation. They are less harmful than fructose.

• Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose. If you must a substitute, use Stevia or Monk fruit.

• Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose.

• Avoid soda, natural juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks because they are loaded with sugar, sodium, and chemical additives. Better options are water first followed by teas and at times coffee. Try teas with a variety of flavors. Try coffee with non sugar creamers (I like coconut cream) and use vanilla flavor, nutmeg flavor, cinnamon flavor, and others.

About the Author

Dr. Tony Hampton has been treating patients with multiple chronic conditions for nearly two decades. In addition to his role as an Advocate Medical Group (AMG) family physician over the last nine years, Dr. Hampton currently holds multiple responsibilities within the Advocate Healthcare, including Medical Director of AMG Beverly, Vice-Chair of AMG’s Governing Council, Chair of Health Outcomes Committee and Co-Chair of Executive Diversity Council. 

Over the last two years, Dr. Hampton has worked closely with AOS, successfully piloting advancements in AMG’s operations management systems. He is a champion for change that results in greater work-life balance for physicians and an enhanced patient experience. His interpersonal skills, clinical knowledge, and desire for strong patient/team engagement will continue to make Tony an asset to the AOS team. 

A regular speaker for the American Diabetes Association and consultant for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Initiative to Improve Diabetes Care, Dr. Hampton is passionate about empowering patients by changing old beliefs to new ones which better serve them using evidence-based medicine. Educating them on the root cause of disease processes and the importance of diet provides the path to positive health outcomes for diabetics, borderline diabetics, and patients not at their ideal body weight. 

He is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Tony authored the book Fix Your Diabetes, Fix Your Diet, Your Dietary Solution to Reversing Diabetes which was published in April 2017.

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Saved By My Paper Blizzard | M.K. Theodoratus @kaytheod

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Saved By My Paper Blizzard
by M.K. Theodoratus

Paper makes it possible for me to be a writer. I’m so old I can remember when gurus promised the world that computers would rid it of paper. They made the pronouncements without considering my addiction to sticky-notes.

Yeah, I’d be lost without those little squares of paper with the gluey-stuff down one edge. They’re my idea-saver. Without them, I could never be a writer.

Losing ideas is a common gripe among the writers I know. My critique partners often complained about the “idea that got away”. They’d give up on something that wouldn’t work, thinking the idea or solution would come back when they’re doing something else. The missing piece would, eventually, pop into their heads at the most inconvenient times. After a firm resolve to remember the idea, they’d lose it before they got the idea into the manuscript.

I’m no different. For years, great ideas would flash between my ears only to get lost in the ether. Since I wrote fiction mainly to amuse myself, it didn’t matter. I just jotted down whatever popped into my head, wondering what would happen next. Maybe it’s just as well most of those sheets of paper are lost.

Then, I got more serious about writing fiction. I started working with critique groups that expected me to write something coherent. My sense of duty got in the way of my laziness. I felt obligated not to waste my partners’ time.

First, I jotted new insights or plot developments down on any handy piece of paper, only to lose most of them. Worse, there usually was never a piece of paper or a pen in sight when I needed them. Of course, I never remembered the idea beyond a couple nano-seconds. Fortunately, 3M came to the rescue with their Post-Its.

3M didn’t solve my problem, though. The sticky pads sit at my elbow at the kitchen table. Lay in the clutter by my comfy chair in front of the TV. Are buried under the clutter around my computer. Lurk in my wallet and car. The ideas get written down, but the sticky notes don’t do any good unless they’re organized.

I solved that problem two ways:
  1. I classify them at the top, like the book and character they pertain to.
  2. I enter them into my computer…eventually. Each of my projects gets a folder on my desktop. Ideas get written in a document and filed. If I’m not getting any new ideas about a project, I file the folder in another folder called “Inactive”.
It may not be neat and tidy, but it helps me keep things organized and accessible.

 One good thing about the pile of sticky notes, they tend not to go anywhere. They stick together in a clump.

I know there must be some neater way of salvaging those lost inspirations, but I haven’t found it. Doubt if I’ll ever discover it. So, I make do with a salvage system that that works for me.


About the Author

Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus’ life, starting when she starting playing with an imaginary friend when she was three. Comics, books, TV, and movies followed throughout her life. A northern California girl, many of her Andor alternative-world stories are firmly rooted there. Today, she lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two lap-cats, and writes when she’s not wasting time on social media.

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About the Book:

Title: THERE BE DEMONS
Author: M.K. Theodoratus
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 360
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Paranormal
BOOK BLURB: 
Heroes come in all shapes.

The war for Andor has lasted a century. Humans and their allies, the Angeli, fight demons from another plane who need a warmer planet to hatch and raise their young. Trebridge becomes Ground zero when Abraxas, a minion of the demon Prince Vetis, opens a secret portal into the city. The demons’ goal is to build an army to subjugate the city before the humans realize they are under attack.

Standing in the demons’ way are two disparate groups: the humans of Andor and their Angeli allies who command gargoyle warriors.

Leading the four gargoyles guarding Trebridge is Gillen, a proven war hero who uses magic to fight demons. But Gillen is an outcast, mocked for his tuft of hair that normal gargoyles lack. It’s up to him to prove once and for all that he’s worthy of his command, in spite of dissention in his ranks. When Gillen asks the Angeli Commanders for reinforcements to fight the growing demon menace in Trebridge, headquarters send four human teens from the projects.

The leader of the humans is Britt, a 14-year-old half-Hispanic girl who is one of the four magic-possessing Chosen. But Britt was never trained in the art of magic, and like most girls her age, spends her days preoccupied with school and romance. Like Gillen, she must rise above her station in life--if she is to save the ones she loves.

But Gillen and Britt are facing formidable demon foes, Abraxas: a chicken-headed demon who possesses several humans as part of his plan to build the demons’ base in Trebridge and power-hungry Prince Vetis who is his commander. Neither will let the deaths of expendable humans get in their way of the conquest.

In There Be Demons, author M.K. Theodoratus spins a brilliant tale of good versus evil. In this thrilling Young Adult fantasy novel, unlikely heroes rise to challenge a relentless enemy. Join them as they risk everything to save their city.
 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Don't Call Me Crazy! Book Trailer by Swiyyah Woodard

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Title: DON’T CALL ME CRAZY! I’M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD
Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian




BOOK BLURB:
Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




     Anika begins to lose her mind. While continuing to stare at the television set, Anika sees a vision of Jesus. He appears to her in just as perfect form and image as the paintings on Mary’s wall. She then hears Jesus speak, “I am the son of God.” Then just as fast as he appears, he leaves her vision.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika turns and looks at her friends. Words are stuck within their throats.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika repeats once more.
     “Anika, you’re really scaring us. I thought you were Muslim?” Mary says.

Anika then feels as if someone was controlling her thoughts. “Forgive yourself.”  

She then begins to ramble, “Atoms are neither created nor destroyed. There was always an existence. You have to take baby steps to understand how this existence works, where we came from, how it started. Don’t jump from A to Z. No, you must go from A to C. Take a break. It has been painted. First there was nothing; it was blackness, pitch blackness. There was first the black hole. A plumber can understand the black hole. There was a white light. The creator is positive energy. We all have a little bit of positive energy. A person of positivity can change your life without saying a word. We try to increase positive energy which is the same as increasing spiritually. Once we are of that same positivity as the creator, we become one with him. Only a few souls have reached this level of existence. The rest of us are growing spiritually so we can reach that level.“

     It appears to Anika that she is making sense as she began to explain herself, justifying her words.

   “Positive times positive equals positive. Negative times positive equals negative. Therefore, if you have any negativity in you, you cannot become one with positivity.”

   “The creator is all positive energy. Negative times negative equals positive. If you learn from loads of negativity you will learn from your mistakes and become all positive. It’s mathematics. Everything stems from mathematics. Less than a cup of wine is what I need to rest. Don’t want to scare away this beautiful spirit controlling my thoughts.” While holding the sides of her head trying to rid her racing thoughts, she runs into the kitchen and pours herself a cup of wine. She then thinks, “no one will ever have to go through what I went through again!”

Anika takes a look at her past to see how in the world she got to this point in her life.



Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental
illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.

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RESEARCH LIKE A BOSS: TIPS FOR WRITERS l Kathryn Troy

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Not everyone who writes successful books—be they writers of historical fiction, fantasy, or narrative nonfiction—have advanced degrees in research or disciplines closely related to their topic. But they all have one thing in common. They kill it in the research phase of writing. Ignoring the urge to pull out my eyeballs and give up is a huge part of what filled my new historical nonfiction book The Specter of the Indian: Race, Gender, and Ghosts in American Séances, 1848-1890 with illuminating details about nineteenth-century dark rooms and the phenomena experienced there by waves of Americans from all classes.
For many writers, the thought of research can be intimidating. How do you know you’ve collected enough information? All the information that you need? When do you start to see yourself as an expert, and able prove it? And let’s not forget the all-important question: when do you stop researching, and start writing?
Everyone’s mind is different, and therefore everyone’s method is different. In some cases, every project is different, and requires a unique approach. But today I’m sharing some of my research principles—things that I consistently do whenever I conduct research, whether for nonfiction or fiction, that help me achieve my research goals and incorporate what I learn into my writing successfully.

1. Being thorough = being exhaustive
Before I could fully formulate my ideas and conclusions for The Specter of the Indian, I had to know everything about the Spiritualist movement. So I dug up everything I could about Spiritualists in the 1800s. Everything. Every. Single. Word. Everything Spiritualists themselves had written, everything their critics had written, every pamphlet, newspaper article, book, journal, photograph, advertisement. Everything that had already been written by scholars. If something was printed in the 1800s, and included the words “spirit,” “ghost,” “medium,” or “séance,” I’ve read it.
This maxim is more in tune with the rigor expected of academics, and for nonfiction is absolutely essential. You know you’ve gotten it all when there’s nothing out there you haven’t seen. In the world of fiction, your goal to, say, understanding Venetian culture so that you can twist it around and use it as inspiration, will be reached faster. When you start thinking more about the world you’re building and less about its muse, you’ve gotten what you needed. The need for details just won’t stretch as far, because your mind will (at some point) start using what it’s learned to create a new world.

2. Learn to use a Microfiche Reader
I use the dreaded microfiche as an example here. My ultimate point is not to fear outdated or unfamiliar technologies. This also applies to archives. Don’t be afraid to travel to a resource, or copy down something in a foreign language, or interview an expert. Sometimes it’s the only way to get what you want. Not everything you need is on Wikipedia, and plenty of times, Wikipedia gets it wrong. The internet is wonderful, but if your research repertoire is solely digital, you’re barely scratching the surface. I’m thinking specifically of world-building here, whether it’s a fantasy world you’re creating, a historical context you’re trying to conjure, or one you’re trying to explain to a reader who knows nothing about the time period you’re writing about. Authenticity is found in the details, and unfortunately, the details that might bring your book to life could be stored in the human memory, in another language, or be shuffled away onto minute print that requires patience, a good librarian, and a boatload of Tylenol.

3. Browse the stacks
What made the presence of Indian spirits so important in nineteenth-century séances was their context—how they were perceived in a world that contained publicly visible living Indians (think Plains Indians Wars) at the same time that Americans imagined them dead and gone (The Last of the Mohicans). Spirits are neither living nor dead, so where do they fit? This is one of the main questions I pose in The Specter of the Indian. But, if I’d only ever troubled myself with materials that said “Spiritualists” or some such on the cover, I would not have found very much. And, I had to remember that Spiritualists did not live in a bubble, or walk around with blinders on. They lived in the real world, with a million and one things shaping their worldview. In order to understand the importance of spirits, I had to understand lots of things—the history of religion and religious experience, in America and Europe (their cultural ancestor), the relationship between religion and science, religion and medicine, religion and technology, religion and politics. And just like that, my reading list got five times bigger. Any world—fantastical or historical—needs a context, or the story you’re trying to tell has no meaning. That context is all the different facets of society that work together to make a whole, and all of them should be taken into account when describing worlds. What you chose to emphasize is what gives your narrative (true or otherwise) its flavor.
The path to those details is not always clear, and doesn’t always show up in a Google or Amazon search. But if you find a book you think is useful, peruse the titles on the shelf next to it. I’ve found some excellent resources that way, that I might not have found otherwise, simply because of how libraries categorize books.

4. Compartmentalize
The first three tips are about getting enough material to drown yourself in. This last one is about how to keep your head above water, and remain sane. My research bin is so minutely managed that if I stood it upright, it would function like the Dewey Decimal system to my own private library of Xeroxes, handwritten notes, and photographs of archival material. This is where my A-type-on-overdrive personality serves me best. I know where everything is, I don’t have to waste time re-reading material or searching for it in a useless pile, and I can access only the pieces that I need at any given time. When you’ve compartmentalized all the information you have, it becomes that much easier to compartmentalize your writing as well—to make an outline, or split up your workload into smaller, manageable pieces, rather than feeling overwhelmed and backing off from the project and slowing your momentum. It can make sense of all you’ve found, give it a semblance of order, and allow your mind to focus on one thing at a time while, somewhere in the back of your head, you keep in mind how all the smaller pieces fit together into a cohesive, compelling whole.
There you have it. The keys to the research universe. Use wisely.
About the Author


Kathryn Troy has two Master’s Degrees in History from Stony Brook University. She contributed to the anthology The Spiritualist Movement published by Prager in August 2013, and teaches at Farmingdale State College and Suffolk County Community College. In her spare time she pours all she knows about the ghostly and supernatural into her fiction writing.

Her latest book is The Specter of the Indian.

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About the Book:

Title: THE SPECTOR OF THE INDIAN: RACE, GENDER, AND GHOSTS IN AMERICAN SEANCES, 1848 - 1898
Author: Kathryn A. Troy
Publisher: SUNY Press
Pages: 200
Genre: Historical Nonfiction

The Specter of the Indian unveils the centrality of Native American spirit guides during the emergent years of American Spiritualism. By pulling together cultural and political history; the studies of religion, race, and gender; and the ghostly, Kathryn Troy offers a new layer of understanding to the prevalence of mystically styled Indians in American visual and popular culture. The connections between Spiritualist print and contemporary Indian policy provide fresh insight into the racial dimensions of social reform among nineteenth-century Spiritualists. Troy draws fascinating parallels between the contested belief of Indians as fading from the world, claims of returned apparitions, and the social impetus to provide American Indians with a means of existence in white America. Rather than vanishing from national sight and memory, Indians and their ghosts are shown to be ever present. This book transports the readers into dimly lit parlor rooms and darkened cabinets and lavishes them with detailed séance accounts in the words of those who witnessed them. Scrutinizing the otherworldly whisperings heard therein highlights the voices of mediums and those they sought to channel, allowing the author to dig deep into Spiritualist belief and practice. The influential presence of Indian ghosts is made clear and undeniable. 

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Zoom with us Today! l Gary & Susan Eby @EbyGary

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Disclaimer: You are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality.  But why don't you talk to us face-to-face? It's all free. All you need is a webcam/mike connected to your computer.  Then you can Zoom with us!
 As you know there are many great books out there.  The key and trick to success rests squarely with your marketing approach.  How do you get people to visit your blog?
We suggest you start by asking questions.  Try and hit upon something in your book that will draw people into your world.  For example:
"We promise to make you smile, warm your heart, and provide you with some relief from real life problems.  Are you interested to find out the differences between religion and spirituality?  Have you ever questioned why you are here on earth and what your true purpose might be?
Want to ask questions about spiritual healing for depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, relationships, and health challenges?
Would you like to know more about yourself?  You may not be as far off the path from joy and happiness as you may think you are.  Relationships can be healed, problems can be dissolved and what seems like major issues can be brought down to size.  Nothing is impossible."
See where we are going with these questions? Try to engage the reader in reasons to visit your blog via new and interesting approaches.
 Let's talk.  Let's connect.  It's all good.  It's free.  Check it out.
Here's a quote from one of the reviews on our book: "Reflections: A Journey to God":  
"...I would mention the manner in which they managed to incorporate in their book a touching dose of feelings, emotions and life lessons, captivating me, as a reader, down to the last page.
But, what I mostly appreciate is the way in which Gary B. Eby and Susan Eby mixed the realism of nowadays with the concept of a “self -discovery journey.”
If you would like more information about our Zoom process, please visit us here: http://reflectionsinspirit.blogspot.com/  Just scroll down to "Zoom with the Authors".
Oh... let us know if Zooming caught your interest.  You can even try it out yourself.  Smiles...
Joy on your Journey, Gary and Susan Eby.
About the Authors

Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"
Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.
Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.

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About the Book:

Title: REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD
Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

BOOK BLURB: 
Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

WHERE I GET IDEAS FOR WRITING FICTION l Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy

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I’ve always wondered what brings people into a room together or onto a street at just that time, and where their journeys are taking them. This can give rise to many stories. Sometimes, one truly captures my imagination.

For example, the love story in Night In Jerusalem came to me on a movie set. We were filming on a blazingly hot day, dressed as lightly as possible. A young Hasidic woman in long black clothes and a wig kept coming out to look at us from her balcony. We spent most of the afternoon shooting there, and she kept reappearing. I realized she was attracted to one of the crew members who had unbuttoned the top of his shirt, exposing his chest. I sensed how strongly she yearned for contact. The gap between us could have been crossed in a few paces, yet we were centuries apart. I imagined what it would be like to be her, what courage it would take for her to break free, how she might do it. Decades later, I wrote her story in Night In Jerusalem.

I set the book in Israel at the time of the Six Day War, which I experienced firsthand. I remember vividly huddling in shelters with other women, listening to Arab radio news reports proclaiming victory while we contemplated how we would end it for ourselves. It turned out, of course, that the war went the other way. We were to live! Winston Churchill wrote that there is nothing as exhilarating as when someone shoots at you and misses. Emerging from that shelter sure was exhilarating! It also brought up questions that have been with me ever since - why does it take such courage to truly love, how impossible it seems to bring peace to the world, and, of course, how “God works in mysterious ways.”  The characters in Night In Jerusalem, and their responses to the challenges they encounter, express different points of view that I share, even as they conflict with each other.

There are endless ways to work with these themes - it’s a matter of grounding them in a time and place with characters you love. As you get to know the characters, they will tell you more about themselves. That’s when the story begins to reveal itself, often in surprising ways.

About the Author

Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

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About the Book:

Title: NIGHT IN JERUSALEM
Author: Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy
Publisher: PKZ Inc.
Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Romance

A bewitching love story that is also an extraordinary portrait of Jerusalem, its faith, spirituality, identity, and kaleidoscope of clashing beliefs, Night in Jerusalem is a novel of mystery, beauty, historical insight, and sexual passion.
David Bennett is invited to Jerusalem in 1967 by his cousin who, to the alarm of his aristocratic British family, has embraced Judaism. He introduces David to his mentor, Reb Eli, a revered sage in the orthodox community. Despite his resistance to religious teaching, David becomes enthralled by the rabbi’s wisdom and compassionate presence. When David discloses a sexual problem, Reb Eli unwittingly sets off a chain of events that transforms his life and the life of the mysterious prostitute, Tamar, who, in a reprise of an ancient biblical story, leads both men to an astonishing realization. As passions rise, the Six Day War erupts, reshaping the lives of everyone caught up in it.

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