Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fliterary Welcomes Author Marta Perry

Welcome to Fliterary! We love making new friends.

Let’s sit together on the swings and you can introduce yourself: 
Thanks so much for inviting me. I’m Marta Perry, and I’ve been writing forever, it seems to me, starting when I had three young children in the house and had to write in ten minute snatches of time. Now that they’re grown and have provided me with six beautiful grandchildren, I can write every day—except when those grandkids come to visit. Then my time is completely devoted to them! My husband and I lived in an 1860s era farmhouse on 25 acres of land in a rural Pennsylvania valley, and this time of the year we’re always busy trying to keep up with the garden and the flowers and the ripening strawberries!

You have a new book out, what’s it about? 
Lydia’s Hope, the Lost Sisters of Pleasant Valley, is the first of a two-book series from Berkley Books, and it releases June 4th. Lydia Beachy, an Amish wife and mother, is stunned to discover that she has two sisters she doesn’t remember—sisters from whom she was separated after a tragic accident killed their parents. One was adopted by an Amish couple from another community and the youngest was taken away by their English grandmother and raised English. Grieving the relationship they might have had, Lydia sets out to find her two lost sisters, despite the strain it puts on her marriage. Will her efforts bring them fresh trouble—or lead to a richer life for all of them?
The series concludes with Susanna’s Dream, coming out in February, 2014.

Where can we buy it? 
Lydia’s Hope is available at;;, and in bookstores and Walmart, Target, and similar stores.

If we invited your main character to sit with us, how would she/he react? 
As an Amish woman, Lydia would dislike being the certain of attention, but if any one of us felt ill at ease of needed something, her strong maternal instincts would kick in, and she would be the first one to offer help.

What would they say? What advice would they give? 
Lydia would say that family and faith are the two most important things in her life. She’d advise us to cherish the small blessings of each day and never take them for granted.

If any one person from history could sit with us, who would it be and why? 
I would love to talk with any of my favorite authors from my childhood, especially Louisa May Alcott, whose stories of her own family’s love and care for each other have always meant so much to me.

Why did you choose to be a Christian writer and what does it mean to you? 
I feel strongly that God has guided my writing career every step of the way. Sometimes He has opened a door to something that would have seemed impossible to me—and sometimes He’s had to kick me through it! With each book, I strive to be obedient to the words He would have me say, believing that someone has already been prepared to hear them.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 
Read, read, read and write, write, write. There really aren’t any short cuts, and if writing is what you’re meant to do, then you have to surmount each discouragement and hold onto your dream.

Where can we find you on the web?
My website is; and you can find me on Facebook at
 If you’d like to receive a signed bookmark and my brochure of Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, just write to me at with your mailing address.

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit! 
 Thank you for inviting me!

Thought for the day

“The Psalms wrap nouns and verbs around our pain better than any other book.” ~Joni Eareckson Tada

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Free Devotional by Lisa Buffaloe! -- Living Joyfully Free

Howdy, Fliterary Friends! Lisa Buffaloe is offering her devotional, Living Joyfully Free (Finding freedom, hope, and joy in the journey), for free on Kindle. If you aren't in the US, you can still download a free copy.

Here are some links for your free copies! 

#Free #Amazon #Kindle 5/30 Living Joyfully Free Devotional by Lisa Buffaloe!

#Free #AmazonUK #Kindle 5/30 Living Joyfully Free Devotional by Lisa Buffaloe!

#Free #Amazon #Brazil #Kindle 5/30 Living Joyfully Free Devotional by Lisa Buffaloe!

#FREE #Amazon #Canada #Kindle 5/30 Living Joyfully Free Devotional by Lisa Buffaloe!

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Free in any country on Amazon!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Story stakes: and the movie Premium Rush

Without the careful use of ESCALATING STAKES, the movie Premium Rush is just two guys on bikes chasing each other around New York City. And since most of us know, or think we know, pretty much all of what New York looks like from one movie or another, it’s now become as normal as your hometown.

Stakes are, quite simply, “What’s at stake?” Thus proving that nothing about writing is rocket science. (I thought you might like that little gem-o-wisdom.) And if your stakes grow and grow and grow… Well, then, your story’s drama level grows with it. Add to that relationship conflict, conflict between other characters and conflict with your antagonist and your story’s drama is multifaceted.

Back to Premium Rush.
1.       Bike messenger gets a package to deliver. Goes and picks it up the envelope from the Asian chick at the university.
Stakes level: 0
2.       13 mins: Guy in a suit asks for the envelope, but the messenger won’t hand it over.
Stakes level: 1

3.       Guy in a suit catches up to the bike messenger in his car. Still wants the envelope. This is the first indication it’s serious – because the suit guy won’t quit. But our bike messenger gets away.
Stakes level: 2
4.       23 mins: The bike messenger goes to a police station, where he discovers the suit guy is a cop. The stakes are raised but still, the bike messenger gets away. Clearly something seriously hinky is going on.
Stakes level: jumps to a 4.
5.       37 mins: Bike messenger tries to give the package back. The Asian chick cries when someone has picked it up and is sending it to the wrong place.
Stakes level: 5
6.       50 mins: She asks the messenger, “Why do you care?” And he decides to get involved personally. She is trying to bring her son to America.
Stakes level jumps to a 7.
7.       Bike messenger chases the envelope to try and get it back. Two bike messengers clash with the suit cop and another bike cop.
Stakes level: 8
8.       1 hr: Bike messenger crashes and is loaded into an ambulance. Suit cop questions him to find out who took the envelope.  
Stakes level: 8.5
9.       Bike messenger gets his bike back, but it’s busted up. He takes the envelope and his girlfriend’s bike.  
Stakes level: 8
10.   1hr 15:Big confrontation between the suit cop and a big posse of bike messengers. The cop gets killed by Asian mob guys and the little boy is cleared to come to America.
Stakes level: 10
11.   Happy ending: all is now right in our bike messenger’s world.

Add in the annoyance of the bike cop who keeps chasing our messenger and the girl troubles he’s having, as well as the antagonist’s personal issues with gambling and the Asian chick’s immigration problems and you actually have a full story. Instead of a guy doing tricks on his bike in an urban setting.

As you can see from the movie, the stakes gradually rise, and in places jump. Then the drama/tension levels off, just before the big climax. And so, the progression of stakes in your novel should follow much the same pattern.

Go ahead: ask your character. What’s at stake? And then turn the heat up. 

Lisa Phillips is a wife and mom of two littles who moonlights during nap time as an Inspirational Romantic Suspense author. You can find her at or on Twitter @lisaphillipsbks

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Story Like A Child

The 90-Day NovelRight now I'm reading "The 90 Day Novel" by Alan Watt. Yes, you read that right. A first draft in 90 days. But honestly, not even that long, since you spend days 1-29 planning your story.
A portion of that planning involves "stream of consciousness" writing, which is something relatively new to analytic-me. The idea of frolicking in the wilds of my imagination mostly makes me want to puke. I'd rather do the Snowflake method any day. Because clearly, when you plan your story in its most basic element and then flesh that out, it just flows...right?

But something in there hit a chord with me. You see, there's this Little Princess who lives in my house. She's one of those girls who can't go five minutes without creating some elaborate scenario whereby what we're doing has backstory and we all have a role to play in the drama.

The 90 Day Novel says this:

"Think about the way a child tells a story. When you ask him a question, he delivers an answer without hesitation. It is with this spirit of boldness that we inquire into our world. There are no wrong answers. Children have complete confidence in their narrative. They are fearless, lost in the bliss of their imaginations. Their motivation is to delight themselves. As we amuse ourselves, we will naturally move in the direction of our story."

So...bring on the frolicking, I guess.

Okay, maybe that came out wrong. But you get the idea. A little roaming in your imagination and seeing what comes out, doing it again and digging up stuff you never would have thought of if you were just "reasoning" out a solution to the impossible problem you've created for you character...maybe we'll be surprised at what happens.

How about you? Ever tried 'stream of consciousness' writing?
What writing books have you read lately that helped you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Untold Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

Friday, May 10, 2013

Special deal on The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2013!

Special Offer Ends 05/11/13! 

The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2013 is the most comprehensive resource available for Christian writers, agents, editors, publishers, publicists, and writing teachers.   

Revised and updated, it features:
  • more than 160 book publishers, subsidy publishers, and self-publishers
  • literary agencies, writers' contests, conferences, workshops, and writers' groups
  • more than 140 periodicals by category, with rates of pay
Through 05/11/13, you can get the guide in ebook format for only $10.99. 

Click here to get your copy on Amazon.
Click here for Barnes & Noble   

Free Books! Lisa Buffaloe's novels for free 5/10/13!

In honor of Mother's Day, Lisa Buffaloe is offering her three novels for FREE on 5/10/13! Pick up Nadia's Hope, Prodigal Nights, and Grace for the Char-Baked for free on Amazon
  Nadia's Hope
Prodigal Nights
Grace for the Char-Baked

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Novak Auction for Diabetes research

What it is:

An auction organized by author Brenda Novak, who's son has type 1 diabetes. All the money raised will go to Diabetes research.

The Diabetes Research Institute (DRI)is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research. Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet cell transplantation. From innovations in islet isolation and transplant procedures to advances in cell biology and immunology, the Diabetes Research Institute is now harnessing the power of emerging technologies to develop new cell-based therapies to restore insulin production.

Home page link:

The following is the link to the items being auctioned by Love Inspired authors:

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Author Blues

I’d call this affliction, ‘Writer’s Blah’ but that’s more like writers block, which is probably a distant cousin of what I’m going to talk about.

Lately it seems like I’m yo-yo-ing all over the place. Emotionally, at least. Because let me tell you, signing your first contract DOES NOT in any way shape or form make you stop doubting yourself as a writer.
Let’s just get that out, straight away.

You should feel like you made it…at least a little bit. And it’s nice to say ‘someone thinks I can do this’ but you can’t read it until next year. Such is the publishing world.

The next book should be a cake-walk, right?


Got an email from my editor. She liked it… BUUUUUUUUUUUUUT.

That big old “but” will get you every time.

All of a sudden you’re knee deep in the discarded wrappers of an entire bag of peanut butter cups and soggy Kleenex. Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you get the idea. And it doesn’t matter where you’re at as a writer. One rejection slip…BAM. You tell the dental hygienist you’re a writer and she gives you a look, like, ‘yeah, right’…BAM. You’re trying to be all business-y and be all professional and junk and your husband says, ‘yeah, but it’s just a hobby’…BA—you get the idea.

Back to the drawing board.

Somehow always when I lose focus in these moments it’s because I’m forgetting where my foundation is. Duh. I should have learned better by now, but I guess our lives are a work-in-progress, not just our books. I let someone’s realistic assessment of my work dictate my worth as a human being. Go figure. But that’s the point, it’s not RATIONAL.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gently and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11v28-30)

Takes some of the pressure off, when you don’t have to carry the load. You can let go of what you’re stressed out about and say, “God, what are you going to do about this?!?!?!?! I have to re-write half my book now!”
It’s not irreverent to express your frustration/anger. Something I’ve learned recently is that God just wants my HEART.

However I’m feeling.

However you’re feeling.

So…how are you feeling?

Lisa Phillips is a wife and mom of two littles. She lives a double life during nap time as a writer of Inspirational Romantic Suspense. Her first book, The Ultimate Betrayal, a Love Inspired Suspense, is due out summer 2014.