Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The 11 Secrets of Getting Published

Title: The 11 Secrets of Getting Published                
Author: Mary DeMuth
Available at Amazon 

Mary DeMuth, one of my favourite authors, follows her own advice as she shares her secrets which will help writers improve their skills and have a better chance of being published.This is her "gift to the future. You never know the impact Jesus will make through another writer." 

Written in an informal chatty style, this book is packed full with hard-won and practical advice valuable to writers--published and pre-published--of any genre. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to the author for giving me an electronic copy of "The 11 Secrets of Getting Published" in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

The 11 Reasons Why Writers Should Buy this Book
1 This book lives up to its title—it gives valuable insights and principles which can help writers get published.

2 This is no airy-fairy book, but one written by a popular author from her own hard-won experience

3 It will benefit writers of fiction and non-fiction.

4 The information in it is pertinent for published and pre-published writers.

5 It's written in a chatty style so that the information is easy to read and absorb.

6 The author isn't afraid to talk about her own mistakes so that writers can learn from them.

7 The advice given in this book is practical eg Mary gives instructions how to make an em dash, which font to use . . .

8 It covers a wide range of subjects including the craft of writing, finding your voice, formatting, the publishing industry, agents, critiques, queries, proposals and marketing.

9 Mary encourages writers to consider their readers. "Use your words too, to encourage others. Don't simply write for publication, but seek to write words to others that will bless them."

10 She encourages writers to give back wherever they can "Consider that helping other people become better writers is a gift you give to the future. You never know the impact Jesus will make through another writer."

11 There are three bonus sections at the end with more advice.

Thursday, 01 March 2012

"Downfall" Starts with a Bang

Book title: Downfall
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Date: February, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-310-20586-5

"Downfall" concludes the Intervention Christian suspense series by Terri Blackstock. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, but readers will connect more deeply with the characters if they read the other two books first.

The book literally starts with a bang as a homemade bomb explodes under Emily Covington's car. Is this a repercussion from her past? Emily, drug-free now for two years, is working hard to rebuild her family's trust and complete her studies, but the Avenger is after her. I found myself rooting for her as she plunges deeper and deeper into trouble as she attempts to prevent a murder.

Lance, her brother, is also caught up in the aftermath of Emily's addictions. He's a social misfit at his new school, and puts himself at risk to protect April, his only friend there.

I listened to interviews with Terri Blackstock and discovered that she relates strongly to Barbara, Emily's mother, as her own daughter was a drug addict for several years. She knows what it is like to fight for your child as she goes in and out of rehab in an effort to break free. She knows what it's like to learn to trust your child again. She knows what it's like to live with the fear of a relapse. I admire Blackstock's courage in drawing on her personal experience to write "Downfall" and that of her daughter in giving her blessing to the book.

"Downfall" is not just a compelling mystery which keeps you guessing to the end, it's a message of hope for drug addicts and their families—addiction can be broken with God's help.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Be warned though—if you start reading it, you'll get caught in the I'll-just-read-one-more-chapter-trap as I did! The short enthralling chapters captured me and I read the whole book quickly in a few sittings.

Thank you to Shelton Interactive for giving me an Advanced Reading Copy of "Downfall" in exchange for my unbiased review.