Monday, July 23, 2018

Recipe for a Novel l Cindy Vine @cindyvine

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A Recipe for a Novel

This recipe is for the most delicious, tastiest novel this decade.  You will certainly have all your dinner guests licking their lips, salivating and begging for more.  Of course, you do need to know who you are cooking up this delightful concoction for.  If it’s only for friends and family then you can play around with the ingredients to your heart’s content, experiment a little, go into the dark side and wallow in there for a while.  But if it is for many guests you haven’t met yet, then you probably need to stick to the recipe a little more.  Don’t deviate too much, otherwise the flavor might change and the aroma might be too pungent which might make your guests make a dash for the door.  The tastiest novel is not so much about the style or the perfect use of metaphor or beautiful descriptions of the way the clock ticks slowly, but about the story.  And what makes a good story?  Why, the plot and the characters of course.

 Ingredients (This is what you need to shove into that chipped glass mixing bowl of yours!)

A huge dilemma/crisis/problem/conflict, the bigger the better.  Not too convoluted, or the dinner guest might lose interest if the twists and turns require too much concentration and your guest gets bored and leaves before the main course is served.  The dilemma has to be real enough to grab the guest so that they can connect with it, and not too far-out there that they can’t identify with it at all so that they lose interest.  You’ll have to taste little bits every now and then to ensure you have just the right amount.  This is the tricky bit.  The plot has to unravel sequentially.  Remember, your dinner guest is there to eat up your novel, not develop a stress migraine.  You should stick to the basic format of a beginning, a middle and an end.

A good setting.  If you think of anyone from a book or your life, they’re always in a context.  They always come with a setting, a certain place and time, plus a whole lot of baggage clustered around them.  Any character in your novel must have some sort of a backdrop.  This makes them more believable.  Rather than relying on interior monologues and streams of consciousness which could alter the flavor of your dish considerably, and slow it down somewhat, it’s often more effective simply to subtly slip in a telling detail about a the place where the character’s hanging around, and show how they interact with their environment.

A few sub-plots is a tasty way to spice up the novel,  build up intrigue and make your dinner guest cry out in ecstasy or horror.  Either way, you want to get a reaction from them.  You want them to feel it, that cornucopia of taste sensations.  Like little interactions and conflicts between some of your other characters, their interactions with the protagonist.  This helps make it all the more real.  Nobody has a week without any kind of conflict at all, however minor.  Life is all about solving conflicts.

Next you need to add a point of view to maneuver your guest into the world you have created.  Your guests are handing over all their sensory faculties to you.  You have absolute control of them, and everything they experience is governed by what you choose to show or tell them.  And to do this well, you have to decide whether you are going to use a first person, second person, third person, or multiple persons.   Whichever point of view you decide with, you need to stick with.  Swapping viewpoints is like hopping from red, to white,  to sweet wine, to dry, in one meal.  You risk losing your guest, making them so inebriated that they no longer know if they are Arthur or Martha.

A few great characters and a mouth-watering protagonist.  Without characters, there can be no novel, no matter how great the plot.  The best protagonist is someone we can identify with for the duration of the meal.  What makes a character interesting is not how the world impacts on them, but how they impact on the world.  This is how the character develops.  Only describing things that happen to your characters make them one-dimensional.    Making your characters do and say things in an engaging way, giving them reasons, motivations and conflicts is what makes them three-dimensional and more believable.  You want your dinner guests to talk about your characters at other dinner parties, and for this to happen they need to connect to them.

 Seasonings, add at your discretion, but do add some otherwise your recipe might turn out bland and leave your guests with no taste in their mouths.  Some spice is always good, a little bit of sex to get the guests’ hormones going, action to give them a bit of an adrenalin rush; it tends to make the meat more tender and easier to chew on.  Salt and pepper are always essential, as is good realistic dialogue and descriptions.  A dash of herbs will add some color, maybe even add a slightly eccentric character with strange foibles.  A bit of chili which could be suspense, humor or both, will give the wow factor.
Method of preparation (Knowing the order in which you mix the ingredients)
Prepare your work space where you’ll mix your ingredients.  First come up with the problem, the dilemma.  Then add in the setting.  Come up with some interesting characters.  Write some character sketches first. It’s important to know how they will think and act in different situations.  It is only when you know how your character is expected to act, that you can introduce the element of surprise which definitely adds to the flavor of this recipe.  Once you have your characters, add in the sub-plots and mix.  Introduce the point of view and leave your concoction to stand for a while.

Transfer your concoction to a big black cauldron, and put it onto a slow heat.  Stir carefully while cooking the ingredients, and slowly add in the seasoning, stirring after each type of seasoning is added.  Stay vigilant and engaged, watching carefully that the liquid doesn’t evaporate so that your concoction is dried out and gets caught and burned out on the bottom.  Do not let yourself get distracted from the novel you are cooking up. Stay away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when in the kitchen.

Garnish and serve creatively on your best plates.  The presentation is important, so check the spellings, grammar and punctuation, Edit, revise and edit again.  Your dinner guests will be back for more if you have taken care of their needs, which is flavor and presentation.  You want them to leave satisfied, so that they tell other potential guests about the wonderful meal they had with you.

About the Author

Cindy Vine was born in South Africa and has lived and worked in many different countries as a teacher.  Cindy is currently living and working in Norway. She has three adult children who have all inherited her love of traveling and who all live in different countries.  Cindy likes to write about the difficult subjects that make you think.  Besides writing and traveling, Cindy loves cooking and fixing up houses.
Her latest book is the YA, The Freedom Club.



About the Book:

Author: Cindy Vine
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 184
Genre: YA

“We could be anybody and everybody. A group of high school stereotypes with one thing in common.  Every one of us has a story.”
Every high school has the bullies, the freaks, and the weird kids that make you feel uneasy.  Rourke High has more than their fair share.  A few months before the end of their senior year, a group of seemingly mismatched kids get together to form The Freedom Club, hoping that they can support the victims of bullying, before they graduate.  As they uncover secrets and lies they plot revenge - and discover love, friendship and truths about themselves, building up to a shocking climax that will leave you reeling.
Do you ever really know the person next to you?



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Privilege, Honor and Blessing of Writing the Book Entitled Prayer, Marrriage and the Leadership Roles of the Husband and Wife by Bishop Ken Giles and Pastor Sheila Giles

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The  Privilege, Honor and Blessing of Writing the Book Entitled: Prayer, Marriage and the Leadership Roles of the Husband and Wife
We(Bishop Ken and Pastor Sheila Giles) consider ourselves fortunate to know the Lord and be familiar with His ways(word and will) in our own lives, and in a tremendous sense, to be able to share the Lord and His word with others. Our book, Prayer, Marriage and the Leadership Roles of the Husband and Wife, gives us the privilege of lightening the load and burden of others, and helping them alleviate and eliminate unnecessary problems, and the pain and suffering they bring in life, marriage and family. In fact, we have been and are able to extend the wisdom of God's word to usher in and sustain peace, prosperity and blessing in lives, marriages and families through our book and speaking engagements.
Fundamentally, the wisdom shared through our book and speaking engagements come from the revelation of God's word, and is fueled by the burden passion derived from personal deliverance and victory, and a desire to see the lives, marriages and families of others blessed.
In a portion of our book introduction, the following excerpt is communicated:
"Marriage is an institution established by God. God ordains a man and a woman to be husband and wife in order to fulfill His purpose of expanding(multiplying) His likeness (image) and kingdom agenda through their rule and dominion over His creation (Genesis 1:27- 28). Within the institution of marriage, the man (husband) is responsible for carrying out and communicating Gods vision (Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:2-3). The woman(wife) enables, strengthens and encourages her husband to carry out Gods vision for himself, their marriage and family. The husband and wife become one flesh (person). No other human relationship, including that of parents and children, is to have priority or greater importance than that of the husband and wife to one another (Genesis 2:23-24 and Matthew 19:5-6).
The Leadership roles of the husband and wife are paramount to Gods plan of blessings in the marriage, family, generations and broader society. Therefore, obedience to God and His word establishes Gods order and facilitates the proper working and functioning of the marriage and family. Thus, establishing the peace, joy and increase the Lord has purposed in and through the marriage and family."

The above book excerpt establishes the Lord's foundation and framework marriage and family and reveals His desire to bless those who give heed to His word, will and way. Also, this is premise through which our book relays the details of God's word and the promises and blessings that are attached.
Our prayer is that many will hear and apply the biblical truths and principles shared in our book to their lives, in order that marriages and families are blessed; and, as the foundational institutions of human society, cause the blessedness of nations and our world, in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.

About the Author

Bishop Ken Giles began full-time ministry in 1993 as an inner-city Missions Leader in Dallas, Texas, while at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship under Dr. Tony Evans. He later served there as Assistant Executive Director of their nonprofit corporation. In 1998, he returned to his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, and served as Pastor of Outreach at Cathedral of Faith Baptist Church and Executive Director of their nonprofit corporation. In 2000, Lincoln Bible Church was planted in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area and is now located in the Greater Houston Texas area where Bishop Ken Giles and his wife, Pastor Sheila Giles provide servant leadership. Bishop Giles has a Master of Education Administration from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Theology from Southeast Texas Theological Seminary.



About the Book:

Author: Bishop Ken Giles & Pastor Sheila Giles
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 98
Genre: Christian Living

Marriage is an institution established by God. God ordains a man and a woman to be husband and wife to fulfill his purpose of expanding His likeness and kingdom through their rule and dominion over His creation. Within the institution of marriage, the man is responsible for carrying out and communicating God’s vision.  The woman enables, strengthens and encourages her husband to carry out God's vision for himself, the marriage and family. The husband and wife become one flesh. No other human relationship, including that of parents and children, is to have priority or greater importance than that of the husband and wife to one another. The Leadership roles of the husband and wife are paramount to God's plan of blessings in the marriage, family, generations and broader society. Therefore, obedience to God and His word establishes God's order and facilitates the proper working and functioning of the marriage and family. Thus, establishing the peace, joy and increase the Lord has purposed in and through the marriage and family.



Monday, July 16, 2018

Book Teaser Feature: Navy SEAL's Match by Amber Leigh Williams @aleighwilliams #bookteaser

5:21 AM 0 Comments

Inside the Book

Author: Amber Williams
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance


He believes he can’t be saved—she’ll prove him wrong!
Former SEAL Gavin Savitt always knew who he was—until his last deployment ended tragically. Now he’s home, his mind hijacked by trauma and the shadow of his once-perfect sight. Yet in this new hazy, unclear world, one person stands out—Mavis Bracken.
There are a million reasons why Gavin shouldn’t be with Mavis, including that she’s his best friend’s little sister. Yet he longs for her touch, her freckles and her special way with wild, skittish beasts like him. He just needs the courage to take his life back. And Mavis won’t let him give up without a fight.
Navy SEAL's Match is available at: 
You can also watch the book teaser at :

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Interview with John Allen, Author of Brimstone #mystery #historical #thriller #suspense

8:37 AM 0 Comments

“Judge Blair modified the contempt penalty imposed on Louise to time already served. Detective John Reeves, eager to inform her that she was free, was surprised when she insisted on serving the entire seven-day sentence. He hesitantly asked if she would mind him calling on her, once matters settled, but she did not respond. He reproached himself for such an untimely and selfish intrusion, and vowed to never again disturb her, to spend his time instead searching for the man with the dent in his forehead.”

--From Brimstone by John Allen

John Allen was born in Long Beach, CA. An engineer “by education, training, and experience,” he describes himself as “a recovering engineer.”  He left engineering to become the junior partner in Allen & Allen Semiotics Inc., a corporation that his wife, Lynn, launched for their diversified home business. Their projects include designing databases for mid-sized companies. John Allen holds a BS from the United States Air Force Academy, an MS from the University of Southern California, and an MA from the University of California, Riverside.

Book Description:

Author John Allen has a theory about the creator of Sherlock Holmes:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not create Holmes. It was Doyle’s wife, Louise Hawkins Conan Doyle, who gave birth to the beloved sleuth.

Allen has put his beliefs to the test, writing and publishing the first of a projected 12-novel series of Holmes mysteries titled BRIMSTONE. His detective is Louise Hawkins Conan Doyle, and Allen names her as the author of the tale he presents, set in 1879 Bristol, England.

In a previous book, SHADOW WOMAN, Allen set out to prove that Louise was the true creator of Sherlock Holmes. The inspiration for his startling and controversial theory of authorship was a 1980s essay by Martin Gardner called “The Irrelevance of Arthur Conan Doyle.” Gardner claimed that Arthur was “too gullible and to easily duped to have created Sherlock Holmes.”

Allen determined that Gardner was correct, but Gardner identified no alternative author. Allen continues, “So I decided to give it a try. I came to suspect Louise as the actual author, but I lacked the knowledge and tools to make a solid case.”

Then the Internet came along, giving Allen a valuable research tool. He became convinced that Louise did in fact create Sherlock Holmes. Allen presented his case in SHADOW WOMAN, which was published in 2017. To further advance Louise as Holmes’s creator, to give her the credit he believes she is due, he is now featuring her in a series of mystery novels, the first of which is BRIMSTONE.

As if Allen hadn’t set the bar too high already, he has added a subtext to BRIMSTONE that explores contemporary wrongful convictions through his Victorian thrillers.

BRIMSTONE brims with appeal to multiple audiences, from lovers of detective stories to those interested in justice for the wrongfully convicted. Sherlock Holmes would be proud.


What’s inside the mind of a mystery author?

Front and center in my thoughts, of course, is telling a compelling story. In that regard, I suspect I'm no different than my colleagues. Beyond that, however, I suspect my thoughts are unique in substantial fashion.

I'm fairly confident that I'm the only author writing a mystery series that features the woman who actually created Sherlock Holmes, presenting to the public in Brimstone even before she met the man who would take credit for her groundbreaking mystery writing. And I'm equally confident that none of my colleagues are basing Victorian mysteries on actual wrongful convictions from today's America.

My thoughts, therefore, are frequently upon how Louise Conan Doyle might have investigated the wrongful convictions that I have investigated. Alternatively, my thoughts are on how I might have investigated my cases had I been a woman in Victoria England. Either way, the thoughts can literally cause me to lose sleep.

What is so great about being an author?

I've written five non-fictional books, four on wrongful convictions and one on Louise's authorship of Sherlock Holmes. (That last book, by the way, is called Shadow Woman: The True Creator of Sherlock Holmes, and it is available on Amazon.) Brimstone is my first work of non-fiction, and the first book of twelve planned for the Louise Conan Doyle Mystery Series. Each book in the series combines my insight into the Holmes authorship issue with my insight into the sordid world of wrongful convictions.

I find that I prefer writing fiction, particularly when the story takes control of me, rather than vice versa. Those are the magical times when my writing is at its best, when even I am surprised to read what I'm writing, when the characters use my fingers to convert their thoughts and dreams to pixels on my screen. That is just one great aspect about being an author.

When do you hate it?

As I just noted, I frequently find writing non-fiction to be a slog. The writing becomes something that I need to do rather than something I want to do. That's when I most dislike writing.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

On an idealized day, my fingers are on the keyboard by 8, and they are busy writing of Louise solving mysteries in Victorian England until noon. During lunch, I'll research or watch a documentary, except on Wednesdays, which is date day with Lynn, my wife of 22 years. After lunch, I research and write to free innocent people, most of that writing never being made public. Lynn and I spend the evenings together, giving each other our attention. Approaching midnight, my thoughts are back to my writing. I fall asleep with plot twist or legal theories rattling around in my head, and I sometimes wake up with encouraging new thoughts.

That's an idealized day. Real life, though, manages to intrude so frequently and in such unexpected fashion that no day is typical.

How do you handle negative reviews?

Since I spent many years arguing, on my Skeptical Juror blog, that specific convicted murderers are actually innocent, it should come as no surprise that I have been subjected to harsh criticism. I know that my work is controversial and disruptive, and I know that it will engender negative reviews and comments. The more unhinged the comment or review, the easier it is to laugh it off. The more thoughtful and insightful the review, the more likely it is to cause me to think about my work, to try harder to get things right.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Being human, I much prefer the positive reviews to the negative. After the initial flush of satisfaction, which may last longer than I'd like to admit, I get back to work.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

I find that the new acquaintance is not as impressed as one might hope, more honestly as I might hope. Even if provided a copy of an impressive non-fictional book, any excitement seems feigned. However, having recently published my first fictional work, people seem sincerely excited about Brimstone, and seem sincerely thrilled if handed a print copy.

The difference in behavior is discernable and remarkable. I guess it's not surprising that people, in general, prefer a diversion from reality rather that another harsh glare of it.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I have a hypothesis that writers don't actually like to write. They like everything else that goes with being a writer: the prestige, the allure, the interview as they sit in a wingback chair, smoking a pipe, an impressive library at their back, an Irish Setter at their feet. The sole evidence for my hypothesis is that nearly every writer has some scheme to force herself or himself to write. Nearly every one of them has some thought on how to, using an indelicate term of art, get ass in seat. For me, I find it best to have a scheduled time for AIS. That's the hardest part. By my first carriage return, I'm in the groove.

It's rare when I don't want to dive into my Louise writing. It's much more common that circumstances prevent me from doing so.

Any writing quirks?

I like to have a nice cool glass of diet Mt. Dew, on the rocks, at the ready, on my left hand side, in the same beat up, battered, plastic glass I've so long used. Does that count as a quirk?

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Since I believe in what I'm trying to accomplish, to bring long overdue credit to Louise Conan Doyle and free innocent people from prison, I would continue to write with the hope and expectation that some day my work will take hold.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes, assuming love-hate is used in the metaphorical rather than literal sense. I much prefer fiction to non-fiction. With respect to my non-fiction writing, I like that I'm trying to set right a terrible wrong, but I dislike the circumstances that force me to write of such matters. With respect to Louise Conan Doyle, it is more of a love-love relationship, in the metaphorical sense. I have become quite fond of her. I hold her in exceptionally high regard for her achievements and her character, and I am feel honored to bring her to the public consciousness.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

If, through my writing, I can stop the execution of an innocent person, or free an innocent person from prison, or keep an innocent person from being convicted, then I am successful, even if no one in the general public has read a single word I've written, even if I've not earned a penny.

With the Louise Conan Doyle Mystery Series, on the other hand, I have recruited Louise to help me bring attention to a few of the wrongful convictions. For the two of us, Louise and I working together, success means public attention, and that means sales, and that is linked to money. The money would, of course, be wonderful, but it is far from the end all.

What has writing taught you?

Everyone is capable of both wonderful and horrible acts.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Each of us should carefully consider the possibility that we might be wrong.

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