Friday, January 31, 2014

Take Control of Your Writing Career

I am a member of My Book Therapy, a writing community started by author, Susan May Warren. Some members are featuring the following book on our blogs this month. Please enjoy reading about this great resource. 

What does it take to become a successful author in today’s publishing world?  It’s not enough to write a powerful book – today’s author must understand and leverage the business side of writing.  Authorpreneurship by Sharon Jenkins takes the aspiring writer from curiosity to career, combining both sides of publishing – author and entrepreneur – to empower writers with direction, publishing options, marketing solutions and business savvy to grow their career.
You’ll learn:
·         What publishing model is right for you
·         Branding and how it sells your book
·         Your publishing personality, and how to leverage it
·         A business plan for a successful book launch
·         How to manage your time
·         How to create a powerful product
·         Winning traits of a personal support team
·         How to financially support your dream
·         Strategic and easy marketing secrets – online and off!
And resources to help you apply what you learn!

About the author: 

Sharon C. Jenkins is a literary project manager, author, motivational speaker and visionary who serves as the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator’s Writing Services.  Formerly the managing editor of four electronic and print journals (business, community, health and wellness, faith-based) for one of the largest African American marketing and communications companies in Houston, she has also written articles in various national and local publications. These include Yahoo Shine, Diva Toolbox, Beauty Come Forth Magazine, Gospel Truth,, Houston Black Book and Small Business Today.
Jenkins is also the best-selling Amazon author of Beyond the Closet Door and has co-authored two other books, Songs of Three Sisters and Ready, Set, Succeed: Making Your Dream Come True.
Known as the Master Communicator, because she is proficient in communicating in multiple forms of media, (radio, newspapers, magazines, and spoken word) her prevailing mission is to equip authors to live their literary dreams without emptying their bank accounts. She started this undertaking four years ago with the Desire to Inspire Workshops, which progressed to the 2010 – 2013 Authors Networking Summit, which were hosted in Houston and Detroit.

Sharon can be found at:

The book I wish I had when I started my writing journey.  Authorpreneurship is a practical, thorough, empowering tool for writers at every level that will equip them to create a thriving career.  -Best Selling, award-winning novelist and founder of My Book Therapy, Susan May Warren
I want thank Sharon for her dedication in supporting aspiring writers and authors like myself! In writing my first ever published book, Stories of An Entrepreneur in August, 2012, I dedicated it to Sharon Jenkins for providing me the tools and resources to write and share my book with my audience of start-up entrepreneurs of Women Entrepreneurs of America. -Yolanda Lamar Wilder, Founder of Women Entrepreneurs of America
Sharon has been working with authors for years, giving us opportunities to learn from one another and benefit from her wealth of knowledge. Finally, she has gathered her resources and put them in an easy-to-read guide that will help authors follow their dreams! -Best Selling Author Michelle Stimpson
Sharon Jenkins’ book, Authorpreneurship: Build a successful business as an Author , is a must read for anyone aspiring to master the art of writing, while at the same time learning what it takes to market and publish a book in today’s competitive landscape. You won’t be disappointed!Cynthia O’Neal, TM3, LLC, Founder

Links to buy the book:
**special:  Buy Authorpreneurship between now and February 6th, and get 2 free video classes with your order!  (see bundle details!)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Small Changes; Big Results

The title of this blog is my hope. As I have mentioned, one of my goals this year is to be more organized, as I adjust to working at home with a full-day of availability, rather than a half-day. While this may sound enviable to some, and I would not give it up for anything, it has its’ challenges. Here are a few things I have done to organize my work and time. 


Since mornings are when I am most alert or creative, I chose to keep the same hours at which I worked at my part-time job. So, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I write, read things for an assignment, etc., in other words, things where I need an alert mind.

In the afternoons, after lunch, I feel sleepy, so, I do things like email, clean out files, etc. Now, if I am on deadline, I have had to continue working through the afternoon, just with more breaks.


I have instituted some things to keep me on track. These include: a calendar, a diary (which I posted about earlier), and a small journal for a to-do list. I have had to train myself to look at these daily, because I can be distracted easily and be pulled into something not on my agenda.

Calender. I list any deadlines (from an outside source or self-imposed), appointments, scheduled webinars, emailing, calling etc. on my calendar.

Work Diary. I call this a work diary, because I also keep a personal one. At the end of my day, or throughout, I record all projects I worked on, pertinent emails I sent or received, etc.

To-Do Journal. Also, I use a smaller separate journal for my to-do list. I used to list it on my calendar, but there wasn't enough room on the day slots. Now, I have also started a smaller journal to list “to-dos in the near future” or those things that are not as urgent.

I sometimes find myself wanting to change locations, whether it be to my living room or to a local coffee shop. I use a small vinyl carryall to take my calendar, diary, etc. to the place I choose to plan or schedule. It seemed when I went to another location, I invariably would leave an item I needed, behind.

It may all might sound elementary, but I find, every little bit helps.

And don't forget the coffee!

How about you? Any little things that have made 
a big difference?

Friday, January 17, 2014

BETRAYED: A New Novel by Lillian Duncan and Giveaway

I welcome Lillian Duncan to my blog. To celebrate the release of her new novel, BETRAYED, we have an interview with Lillian and she is also running a giveaway on her blog.

Giveaway Details:

To celebrate the release of BETRAYED, Lillian is giving away a virtual gift basket at Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at The virtual gift basket includes a copy of her books, SERENITY SPRINGS, OHIO; DARK ALLEYS; and GEESE MATE FOR LIFE.  Along with the books, a $25 Amazon gift card is included plus a few books from some writer friends. To enter the contest, simply hop on over to Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at, leave a comment on the post titled CELEBRATION! Winner will be chosen and announced on 
February 14.

From the Back Cover of BETRAYED:
Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules, so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake.

Lillian, tell us about BETRAYED.
BETRAYED is the second book in my Sisters By Choice series released this month. In DECEPTION (the first in the series), there is a terrorist. I kept wondering what kind of woman could be married to a terrorist and not know it.

BETRAYED is the answer to that question. It is Maria’s story and her struggle to get past the betrayal of her husband and create a new life for her daughter.

Is BETRAYED the first book you published?
No, I’ve published several others in the past few years, including DECEPTION and PURSUED also published by Pelican Book Group along with a novella, THE CHRISTMAS STALKING.

Why did you write BETRAYED?
I had actually written much of Maria’s story in DECEPTION, but it was taken out of that book. Maria wasn’t happy about that and begged me to write her story, so I did.

What do you want readers to take away from BETRAYED?
Bad things happen to all of us. How we react to those things will determine the quality of our future. We can make the choice to stay in the past and be angry and bitter, but a much better choice would be to forgive and move on with our own life.

What’s the SISTERS BY CHOICE series about?
This series definitely has romance in it, but I also wanted to explore the strong bonds that form between women—through blood or through the choices we make. Each story focuses on a relationship between two women that becomes as important to the story as the romantic plot.

DECEPTION was the first in the series and it focused on the broken relationship of identical twin sisters, Patti and Jamie. The lesson from DECEPTION was don’t waste time arguing with those you love—you may not get a second chance to repair that relationship.
In BETRAYED, it focuses on two strangers bonding and becoming friends as they face a crisis together.  One of the characters teaches Maria about how to honor God by her actions even in the most horrible of circumstances.

What is your writing process?
I am not an outliner. I wish I were—it seems easier to me. But my mind doesn’t work that way. I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.

When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.

Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s ok, I understand that. I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.

I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.

Then what makes your stories Christian Fiction?
My stories always have an element of faith in them. How that plays out depends on the individual plots of each specific story. My main characters are always on a spiritual journey, though some may be further along than others.

One more word about Christian Fiction, it has changed dramatically over the past ten years. Other than erotica, readers can find their favorite genre as Christian Fiction as well as mainstream fiction. There are Christian Fiction books out there for every book lover—historical; romance; regency; science fiction; even horror novels.

What are you working on now?
I have a devotional blog POWER UP WITH GOD’S WORD: Secrets For a Better Life at: I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors this past year and so many of the devotions focus help others who are facing a crisis—physical or spiritual.

Along with that, the third book in The Sisters By Choice series (REDEMPTION) is in the process of rewriting. I’m also working on a new mystery novella series, DEADLY COMMUNICATIONS. It features a crime-fighting speech pathologist. Having been a speech pathologist for almost 35 years, this story was so much fun for me to write.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christian Writer's Market Guide 2014 Giveaway


The Christian Writer’s Market Guide 2014 is out and I am giving away a copy.

This is the time of the year to think about our goals and new markets we might want to target. The guide also has sections on contests and conferences.

I plan to take some time to look through the guide before my year gets away from me. If you don’t win the book on this blog here is a link to order one:

Please leave a comment to be entered into the drawing and leave your email address. When you leave it, use “at”  and “dot” written out to avoid spammers.

Contest ends Thursday, January 16, at midnight (CT).

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mornings with Jesus New Year Giveaway

The Winner of the 2014 Mornings with Jesus is

Gayle Ottenmiller

Happy New Year!

A new year brought about 15 inches of snow to our area and it looked like a Winter Wonderland. I hope wherever you are, you are safe and healthy and looking forward to new adventures in 2014.

To celebrate a new year and encourage you in your walk with God, I am giving away the daily devotional, Mornings with Jesus 2014, published by Guideposts.

Devotional writers for MWJ 2014 are: Renee Andrews, Susanna Foth Aughtmon, Gwen Ford Faulkenberry, Grace Fox, Tricia Goyer, Sharon Hinck, Rebecca Barlow Jordan, Erin Keeley Marshall, Dianne Neal Matthews and Cynthia Ruchti.

Leave a comment and your email address to be entered into the drawing, which ends on Thursday, January 9 at midnight (CST).