Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Beware Book Lovers Extraordinaire—You Are the Gatekeepers

By Lorilyn Roberts 

If you love to read, relish a good story, visit the library or bookstore frequently to satisfy your unquenchable thirst for something new and original – this blog post is for you.

If you are a Christian and love reading more than watching TV, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or sleeping, don’t miss out on this great opportunity to discover new authors. (Click here for a sneak peek if you can't wait to preview our pre-Christmas extraordinaire).

Book lover beware: If you don’t want to listen to the ranting of an eccentric author, skip the next two paragraphs, but I feel led to share some thoughts that have been burning a hole in my heart. Here goes, the pent-up frustrations of an indie author.

I’m tired of indie authors getting a bad rap. I’m tired of readers and editors and authors and self-proclaimed experts bashing authors who independently publish. I’m tired of hearing that indie authors are unprofessional, have too many grammar mistakes, produce inferior quality books, don’t know how to write, and want to plug up Amazon with worthless books that are mostly given away or sold at 99 cents. I’m tired of reading “this website is for real authors (meaning those traditionally published).” I still struggle with being ignored or bullied. Some authors who have contracts with traditional publishers snub writers like me who have chosen to go indie. You’ve read their comments on blogs and in public places. Worst of all, they contaminate readers. They tell readers indie published books are no good and not to buy them. 

I want to respond to those bullies. Does God really care how books are published? You, the reader, if you take their comments to heart and believe them, are sacrificing an opportunity to discover new books by unknown authors—including me. I will never publish with a traditional publisher. A traditional publisher would have to pay me six months’ advance salary while I wrote that book, and because I make a very comfortable living providing sports captioning for television, no publisher is going to do that. 

That’s the end of my negative rant. I’ll probably never post this anywhere else on the web because I can’t help but be optimistic about the future of book publishing. The opportunities afforded to writers who are willing to work hard and follow an uncharted path are enormous. Readers deserve every opportunity to discover new authors, including this unique pre-Christmas feature offered by the John 3:16 Marketing Network. 

Book lovers are the new gatekeepers. They know a good book when they see one.  I’m giving readers a special opportunity to check out some books that are both traditionally and indie published, books that will bless readers from here to eternity.

I lead a network of authors readers might not have heard of because I don’t advertise or promote the network. Authors find us. The John 3:16 Marketing Network includes both traditional and indie published authors. Before I admit an author into the network, I check out the author’s website and make sure the prospective author is born again and believes writing is a calling from God. 

God should be at the center of everything we do. As a network of Christian authors, our passion for Jesus Christ spills out onto the pages of our books. We can’t hold back the blessing—we are simply the conduit, the voice, and the pen. Authors find their joy and fulfillment in God when they use their talents to glorify Him. As we fulfill our calling as writers, we trust God to get our books into the hands of readers.

If you want to buy books that are cutting edge, books that aren’t written just to make money, but books that define the times in which we live, that speak of redeemed lives from broken dreams, or take the reader to faraway places, I ask you to go to our Christmas page and check out the books we have featured. Many authors have chosen to go indie. Others are traditionally published. We have done book comparisons that you will find nowhere else. 

Let me give an analogy. If a new restaurant opens up in town and no one goes to that restaurant to “check it out,” is that restaurant going to stay in business? If readers want the options that indie authors offer, I ask that book socialites support us. An opportunity readers don’t want to miss is right here. I hope everyone will check out these wonderful Christian books, many published in the last year.

I spent hours compiling these comparisons to help readers choose books they might enjoy. The books featured on the left side are well-known books, many of which are secular, best-selling books on Amazon and the New York Times. We are giving readers a Christian alternative on the right side of the page. 

While you can give presents for Christmas that will make great gifts, I challenge you to give a gift that will last a lifetime—the gift of reading. Give your mother, your father, your daughter, your son, your best friend, your teacher or your boss a book waiting to be filled with memories. You can sign the book and personalize it. Most recipients of signed books keep those books in a special place on their bookshelf. 

When I think of what’s survived the last few thousand years, the written word has outlasted almost everything. We treasure those relics, we use books to rebuild the past, we cherish the books we read, and we long to enjoy another good story that will touch our souls and become a part of us. Take this opportunity to make future memories for you and your loved ones. Check out the link below and discover new books. You never know what blessing you might be missing if you don’t take a peek. 

All of the books by John 3:16 authors are highly rated. Help us to keep writing books you want to read by supporting us. Share the link with your friends and family, and if you discover a new author you love, please encourage that author by writing a review on Amazon and Goodreads. John 3:16 authors have united as “one in the spirit” to fulfill God’s calling without regard to how a book is published. We want to share these books with you. Be blessed by clicking here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Taste of Friday - Alice Wisler and a recipe

Welcome Back to Alice Wisler, who shares about her new book Under the Silk Hibiscus and shares a recipe for a literal "Taste" of Friday.

Book releases November 19 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold pocket watch, a family heirloom brought over from Japan. He fails; the watch is stolen. Struggling to make sense of his life in a bleak camp as the only responsible man of the household, Nathan discovers truths 
about his family, God, and the girl he loves.

Alice says:
This novel takes place in an internment camp in Wyoming where many Japanese-Americans were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There's upheaval, frustration, pain, and sorrow.  Families are separated.  Some members are accused of being spies, like Nathan Mori's father.

To balance the discrimination that evolved during this time period, I had to rely on humor and romance.

One of the most fun relationships I enjoyed crafting was between the main character, Nathan, and his aunt Kazuko. Even though she's single and has no children of her own, Aunt Kazuko knows how to keep Nathan and his brothers in line.  But even she knows a body can't live on hard work alone.  Cookies are her friends! She keeps morsels in her sweater sleeves, taking them out when she needs “a pep".

And of course, there's young romance. Nathan dreams of the lovely singer, Lucy, and wants her to notice him, but she seems more interested in his older brother, Ken.

There are two characters which are not people---one is Heart Mountain, the mountain viewed every day from those in the barracks at the camp.  Then there is the Mori family's coveted gold watch, a family heirloom from Japan.

So the questions form:  Will Nathan get the girl?  What happens to the family heirloom during the war and after the war ends? Does Nathan's father return?  How does war and discrimination change hearts?  How does God's love prevail?

Recipe from Under the Silk Hibiscus:
My character, Aunt Kazuko, is all about eating a cookie . . . or two.  She often says she needs “a pep” to pep her up.  Here is her cookie recipe for raisin cookies, sure to add fun to anyone’s day.

Recipe for Aunt Kazuko’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (1946)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
 1 ½ cups rolled oats
2/3 cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped nuts
1 cup seedless raisins
Cream shortening, blend in sugar and add egg. Beat until smooth and light.  Sift flour with salt, soda and cinnamon.  Stir half the flour in with egg mixture; add milk, the rest of flour, and then oats, nuts and raisins.  Stir till well mixed.  Drop from a teaspoon onto a buttered baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.  Yields about 36 cookies.

About Alice:

Alice has authored four contemporary novels published by Bethany House:  Rain Song (Christy Finalist), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation, and Still Life in Shadows by River North/Moody. Her newest novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is her first historical romance. 

Since the death of her four-year-old son, Alice teaches grief-writing workshops and her devotional, Getting out of Bed in the Morning:  Reflections of Comfort in Heartache (Leafwood), covers the many losses we face and how God sustains us through each one.  In 2012, Alice and her husband started a business, Carved By Heart, where they carve memorial plaques/remembrances, house number signs, bird feeders, rustic clocks, and other home d├ęcor.  


Alice’s Patchwork Quilt Blog:  http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/

John 3:16 Books donated to orphans and library in Nepal