Archive | March 2009

Christian Fiction Surging in Down Economy

I read this article this morning – thanks to one of my White Rose Publishing author friends. It’s a wonderful nod to how people turn to God in times of trouble… And this time, thanks to the wealth of amazing Christian and Inspirational authors out there, we have baskets overflowing with loaves and fishes for the masses!

Has anyone noticed how The Shack continues to teeter at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List? Whether or not you believe in its philosophy, you have to love the heart in which it was written.

If you want romance! it’s there. Check out White Rose Publishing and download titles today.  If your tastes run to the paranormal, there are even publishers tiptoeing around the vampire and shape shifting sub-genres. Action. Adventure. Historical. And let’s not forget the time honored non-fiction books to feed your spirit. And the common thread through it all – a message of hope. Of more than just flagging economies and crisis. A message of love, and promises that you are not alone.

Read on to find out how this rise in the popularity of the Christian Fiction Market helps everyone.

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Sparks Still Fly! Free Read Contracted from White Rose Publishing – and a note on constructive criticism

Hey, everyone! Just wanted to share that my new free read-Sparks Still Fly-was just contracted by White Rose Publishing.

So, why write another free read? Tessa Takes a Chance is up there…showcasing my style, giving potential readers a taste of my voice…right?

The truth of it is, I’m writing in my comfort zone as I continue to hone my craft. I had a wonderful experience, learning from Nancy Taylor Rosenberg from her Fight to Write seminar – learning that writing is rewriting. Once you get comfortable with the idea, the rewrites, page line edits, and everything that comes along with it don’t rile you up anymore. Instead of trying to explain myself during critique groups (and those of you who go hopefully can tell) that when comments come out, my mouth closes and my eyes open. I learned through the All or Nothing rewrite process that every time my CPs had a comment, it was because I’d been unclear. If they couldn’t “see” something in my story, it’s because I’d clouded the vision for them. I’d made an error that knocked them out of the web I wove for them. I’d jarred them out of that warm, wonderful suspension of disbelief. And there’s no one else to fix that but the author.

When being critiqued, take your lumps. Read up on How to Be Critiqued here – good stuff! Someone once told me, God gave us two ears, two eyes, and one mouth for a reason. And anything that needs explanation more than likely is worth a second glance. But, writing is an art. And art gets critiqued – or it’s nasty cousin – criticized. So how, as a creative person, do you take the good and leave the bad? What’s good? Well. Good criticism is something that will help you build your story. It’s something that — even if you have to knock down a wall or two — leaves you with a bigger, brighter room than you started with. Bad criticism offers no resolution. No suggestions. And in the same vein of the building example – it’s destructive. It knocks down a retaining wall and leaves the whole story in the dust.

However, the only way to grow as a writer is to allow others to read what you’ve written. And the only way to do that is to embark upon the journey with someone OTHER than your mother, your father, or your best friend. As a good writer friend of mine once said… “It’s nice to hear my writing’s great. But I want to know what’ll make it BETTER.”

The flip side of the coin is – how do you critique someone else’s work? Again, you have to know where they are in their writer’s journey. Are they ready to get to work? still in the planning stages? If someone’s trying to crank out a story in a first draft, don’t bog them down with surgical grammar corrections. Give them notes on the plot. The believability of their characters. The fine tuning of their hooks, and cliffhangers. If someone is getting ready to seek an agent or publisher, that’s when it’s time to dig to the nitty gritty. Sentence structure. Grammar. Forgotten elements and when you make those dreaded POV slips.

So, this is what I’m attempting to do while working on my next WIP — which is growing from a short to a good sized novella. Writing is rewriting. Know it. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

And if you still have difficulty with the whole acceptance of being critiqued…I suggest a classic: Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.”

Look it up. You won’t be sorry.

Book Trailers

Thanks to everyone for taking a look at the All or Nothing trailer. I’m still weighing in on the validity of having a book trailer. Does it make you more apt to buy a book? Or is it just a sign that the author just wants to live in their story a bit longer? Or perhaps, a small shot at the small screen? NOT every story is big-screen or small-screen worthy. I know that. But as a former employee of a movie trailer production studio, I’m curious.

I’m still reeling from having my publication date bump up from September 25 to MAY 29, 2009!  So, what does that mean, exactly? It means that things are suddenly going to get VERY busy around here. We’re switching quickly into marketing mode. I’m open for suggestions and ideas on how to market books, how to get the word out, how to host a book signing, and how to find readers who are interested in inspirational romance. LOL. Okay. Enough of that. My pulse is racing. I can’t decide if this feels like getting ready for a baby, or planning a wedding. It’s somewhere in between.

And, in the mean time – I’m releasing By Another Name through the new Wild Rose Press imprint, White Rose Publishing – on April 11th. April 11th is Holy Saturday of the Easter Weekend. I’m in shock. Seriously. Someone send the paramedics. Or maybe my sister. I could use a good dose of family right now. My sister is an amazingly strong woman, and someone I have always admired. More about her later – because it’s the only way I can get her to pop in and read my blog. Paige is more a woman who enjoys a good murder mystery than a romance. I’ve done my best to weave some in to my stories… but will do my darndest to write one that she’ll want to read. That’s my goal. To turn my sis into a romance reader. Shh. Don’t tell.

At any rate – Please take a look at the stories that are coming out this spring – Ordering Information will be posted as soon as it’s available.

~Ashley

All or Nothing – The Trailer

All or Nothing’s trailer has released today…

Pop on over and take a peek!

What is The One Flaw In Women?

This was an e-mail forward that bore repeating… to my friends – both near and far – remember how special you are.

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
‘Why are you spending so much time on this one?’

And the Lord answered,
‘Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on coffee and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart-and she will do everythingwith only two hands.’

The angel was astounded at the requirements.
‘Only two hands!? No way!
And that’s just on the standard model?
That’s too much work for one day.Wait until tomorrow to finish.

”But I won’t, ‘ the Lord protested. ‘I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days.’

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
‘But you have made her so soft, Lord.’

‘She is soft,’ the Lord agreed,’
but I have also made her tough.You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.’

‘Will she be able to think?’, asked the angel.

The Lord replied,’Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate.’

The angel then noticed something,
and reaching out, touched the woman’s cheek.
‘Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.’

‘That’s not a leak,’the Lord corrected,’that’s a tear!’

‘What’s the tear for?’ the angel asked.

The Lord said, ‘The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,her loneliness, her grief and her pride.’

The angel was impressed.
‘You are a genius, Lord.You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing.’

And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy;
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear abouta birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give
HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE TINY FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

PLEASE take a moment today to remind your women friends and relatives just how amazing they are.

Love, Ashley

Blogging today at White Roses in Bloom

Good morning, everyone! come over and join me at White Roses in Bloom!

Look forward to seeing you there…

~Ashley