Today’s Featured Author – Dr. Bridgette Jenkins

Today I welcome author Dr. Bridgette Jenkins to my blog. She is on a Blog Tour promoting her book, Bounce Back: Tips for Overcoming Adversity, Life Challenges and Setbacks.

Book Blurb

Bounce Back will encourage you to be intentional about facing adversity and challenges while staying positive about your situation. With practicality, wisdom and experience, Dr. Bridgette shares strategies and tips that can be used to help you Bounce Back from any negative life situation. After reading this book, and applying the practical Bounce Back tips, you will be able to withstand, recover from and overcome any challenge you might face in life.

About the Author

Dr. Bridgette is a doctorly prepared registered nurse who specializes in education and community health. She has a heart for nursing students and those struggling to reach their education and career goals. She serves as mentor and coach to nurses and nursing students as they matriculate through the nursing profession.

She is the owner of Health Education Institute where she teaches lifesaving courses to healthcare providers and the public. She also offers a variety of courses to healthcare providers to help them stay current on updates and changes within the healthcare arena. Dr. Bridgette also speaks at churches and community events on various health issues that are prevalent among vulnerable populations.

She is the CEO/President of the Houston Chapter of Black Nurses Rock, a nonprofit organization committed to changing the lives of the citizens in the Houston area and surrounding communities through service and education.

Bridgette resides in Houston, Texas where she’s actively involved in her church and community. She is a mother to three adult children and a miniature schnauzer named Dallas. She is also MiMi to two adorable grandsons.

You can find out more about Bridgette on her website.

You can purchase Bounce Back on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Joanne Otto

Please welcome author Joanne Otto to my blog. Joanne is on a virtual book tour to promote her books The You-Song and Daughter of Jerusalem. 

The You-Song

The You-Song celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God’s world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who’s helped many children overcome reading challenges, “The You-Song” is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it’s also fun to read aloud to pre-readers.

Juvenile Nonfiction

Daughter of Jerusalem

Daughter of Jerusalem” takes its 21st-century readers on a journey back to the first-century world of a young rabbi named Yeshua—better known to us as Jesus. Mara, the young heroine of this story, gets to mingle with the crowds who come to hear him teach during his visits to Jerusalem and, finally, to meet him face to face in a brief, life-changing encounter—one that comes at no small cost to herself. For middle-grade readers who want to use the book as a springboard for deeper study, there are Bible references and questions on each chapter, as well as a glossary. For others, the story itself will be the full journey.

Christian Fiction

About the Author

Joanne Otto is a lifelong student of the Bible who has taken four exciting tours of Bible lands and done extensive research, including numerous courses. She has taught foreign languages and English and more recently, as an academic language therapist, has helped dyslexic children strengthen their reading and writing skills. Also a music lover and amateur pianist, she especially enjoys accompanying singers.

You can find out more about Joanne on her website.

You can purchase Joanne’s books on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Tonya Barbee

Please welcome Tonya Barbee as she stops by my blog as part of her virtual book tour promoting her book The Little Girl Inside: Owning my Role in My Own Pain. 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Tonya

She’s a singer.

She could dance all night.

She loves to burn candles.

She’s a neat freak but has a hidden junk area.

She’s very sensitive but working on that.

She wanted to be a DJ when she was in high school.

She was a drum major for two full years as well.

She also wanted to be an actress and write plays.

She dropped out of college in her early years.

She loves cooking new things.

Book Blurb

The Little Girl Inside is a prolific story of triumph and discovery of inner peace. With each page, the reader will be captivated while the author uses the writing pen as a sowing tool-seaming a garment of praise, banner of victory and fabric of joy. With imaginative color, the book is a perfectly designed combination of patterns expressing the maturation of a woman.

A uniquely designed transparent jewel every woman should own in her jewelry box. The Little Girl Inside is a ministry resource tool for women in search for transparency in the human heart. The author shows us how to overcome the inner battle of doing the right thing the wrong way, going from finding love in the wrong places to allowing love to be revealed in the right time and in the right place.

About the Author 

TONYA BARBEE is a novelist and aspiring playwright. Tonya grew up in Durham, NC, a family of four daughters and one son. Her father, Woodrow served his country for twenty years as an Army officer, retired then taught ROTC for another twenty years and her mother, Doris, a college administrator. She is a proud 1980 graduate of Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, DC. She worked in operations and management for Department of Agriculture for twenty years. For the past ten years, she’s worked as a project manager for Department of Defense in Washington, DC. She studied at National-Louis University where she earned her Masters in Business Administration in 2009.

Although she’s worked her way up the ladder in the federal government, she had no idea she would end up writing professionally however she has always enjoyed sharing her personal life through story telling with those she thought she could help. Then something clicked. As she writes, she is in hopes that her work reaches her readers that have been through something and have contemplated giving up. Her goal is to enable her readers to become empowered to keep moving forward to accomplish their dreams no matter what challenges they have been faced with.

Tonya resides in Bowie, MD with two of her youngest children, Christian and Zachary. Her eldest two, Andrew and Jessica left the nest years ago and have blessed her with seven beautiful grandkids.’

You can find more about Tonya on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase The Little Girl Inside: Owning my Role in My Own Pain Amazon.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Paulette Harper

Today I welcome author Paulette Harper to my blog. Her book, That was Then, This is NOW, was released in August. 

Excerpt: Walking in Purpose

How can I live in my purpose? While it is important to define what purpose is, I believe purpose must start with God. When I began to recognize my purpose for living, I realized it was about producing a life that was fulfilling, complete, and satisfying. As a believer in Christ, I believe that I am in a place where I am fulfilling the purpose for which I was created.

What I find most rewarding is making sure I’m doing what I believe the Lord will have me to do. I’m a strong believer in the fact that if God wanted me to do something else, I would be and if He wanted me to be somewhere else, I would.  True happiness comes when a person identifies his purpose and lives his dreams with God in the center of everything he or she does.

Inside each of us is a yearning to know why we are created and for what reasons we exist. I don’t believe we will be satisfied in life or even enjoy the life we have been given apart from walking in our divine purpose.  Finding your purpose in life should be one of your greatest goals. For one to fulfill his role and assignment here on earth, one must be aware of his own skills, talents, passions and abilities. Once those qualities are identified it makes doing what we love easy.

Some of my life’s challenges and struggles lead me to God’s divine purpose and plan for my life.  I found that in my own personal struggles there were ideal and dreams that God had birth inside me that where pulled out when I went through the most challenging times in life.  I learned that God’s purpose and will in my troubles were being fulfilled through my life’s experiences.

I live by my own motto…”Intentionally Living Life on Purpose.”

Book Blurb

HOW COULD GOD HAVE A PURPOSE FOR ME AMIDST THIS MESS?

WHY DO SUCH BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

If you’ve recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper’s That Was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding. And through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.

That Was Then, This is Now, minsters to hurting hearts in every season in life, reminding them that God restores shattered lives, intent on using them for His sovereign purposes.

About the Author

In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole and Secret Places Revealed, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, The Sacramento Observer and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.

Paulette resides in Northern California.

You can find out more about Paulette on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase That Was Then, This is NOW on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Nikola Dimitrov

Today I welcome author Nikola Dimitrov to my blog. Nikola is on a virtual book tour promoting his non-fiction book The Four in One Gospels of Jesus that was released in May.

Book Blurb

The Four in One Gospel of JESUS is the Four Gospels compiled chronologically and contextually, this giving the fullness of each Bible story in the Gospels. This unique material is describing the life of Jesus in its fullness, without the repetitions. It stores all facts about Jesus and comprises a full biography of Jesus Christ. It’s a chronological Bible project, but also a contextual one, featuring subjects such as: Jesus in the Old Testament, the story of the birth of Jesus, Jesus life, Jesus saves, Jesus Cross, Jesus crucifixion, Jesus death, Jesus blood, Jesus tomb, Jesus resurrection, Jesus in Heaven, Jesus works, Jesus miracles, Jesus baptism, Jesus crown, Jesus call, The Jesus teaching, the Passion of Jesus, etc. It shows us how we can be walking with Jesus – the Anointed One, and how we can be servants of Jesus. The book will show You that King Jesus loves You, and will trigger our falling in love with Jesus as well. It’s a one of a kind material indeed, the result of thousands of hours of work in compiling, referencing, structuring and fitting all details in this easy to read, yet, fully referenced edition of the Four Gospels of the Bible.

About the Author

In 1992 Nikola Dimitrov experienced a miraculous conversion, receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Since 1995 he has been a full time minister of the Gospel, serving as pastor, Bible teacher, preacher, and Christian educator. He started his first church in 1994, which is still standing today, and in 1998 he began his traveling ministry. Nikola is currently pastoring several church groups in Bourgas, Bulgaria and is frequently sought out as a speaker around the country. He also serves as a Bible teacher at the Apostolic Kingdom Institute in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.

As editor-in-chief of Vetil Media Ministry, Nikola has translated and published more than thirty books into Bulgarian, as well as writing some himself. He is passionate for a glorious Church, without spot, wrinkle or any such thing. Nikola’s dynamic preaching pointedly encourages believers to be everything the Lord created them to be. He then encourages his congregations to take responsibility in word and deed toward that end.

As a translator, Nikola has also produced and distributed around the nation nearly 1000 Bulgarian versions of audio and video teachings by famous foreign preachers and teachers.

As part of a charity in Bulgaria, along with other volunteers, Nikola takes care of needy people from the minorities, distributing clothes, food, medicine, and school materials to children.

Nikola is married to Helen, and they have two lovely young-adult daughters, Annie (which means grace) and Mikaela (which means who is like God?). Both are part of Nikola and Helen’s ministry, serving in the area of music.

You can find out more about Nikola on his website or follow him on Facebook.

You can purchase The Four in One Gospels of Jesus on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Leonard Stegmann

Today I welcome Leonard Stegmann to my blog. His latest book, There Are Places I Remember, came out in June. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Bethpage, which is a little further out on Long Island. After college graduation in 1975 my equally clueless friend and I loaded our stuff onto a tiny Toyota Corona and headed to California, never having been there and not knowing a soul in the entire state. Without jobs or references we got a modern furnished apartment, with a pool, Jacuzzi and tennis courts, for $189 a month. It was a different time, for sure. I currently live in the beautiful coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California with my wife Melinda and a fluffy orange cat named Celine.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

There was never any decision like, Hey, I’m gonna be a writer! Sure, like anything you have to work at it to improve, but I’ve always believed that the desire, or rather the compulsion, to write, or make music or to be an artist, is often something with which you’re born. For example, I’ve been playing guitar for over forty years and I’m terrible at it and always will be. For me it’s always been the written word. I remember writing a poem about Halloween when I was about six or so. I tell you, it was a big hit with the family! When the creative writing instructor came to our elementary school class once a month, I was the guy who was excited while most of the class just groaned.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My Jobs Cover JPEGAlmost always. I’ve had dozens of miserable jobs, as documented in my book My Jobs and Why They All Sucked. And in each of these jobs I was always of the mind that Sure, I might be getting paid to call deadbeats about their delinquent car payments or sweep out the back room of a x-rated book store, but I’m really a writer.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

(Laughs) All of me! At least in most of my books. I write mostly first person humorous non-fiction. At least I hope it’s humorous.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

Damned if I know. I recently finished my twentieth book and had the idea in my head that, Okay that’s enough, I’ve said it all. Also, I think part of it was I liked that twenty was a nice even number and the books could all be arranged in a neat 4 x 5 rectangle! Then almost before I knew what I was doing I put out the twenty-first book, and am nearly finished collecting the topics for the twenty-second. They once asked Ringo why, at his age and with his wealth, he continues to go on tour and perform. He explained that he’s a musician and that’s what he does. I guess I can relate to that. Except, sadly, for the wealth part.

Please tell us about your current release.

It’s called There Are Places I Remember, and it’s my second book of nostalgia. When I started writing in earnest the last thing I thought I’d be doing is writing stories about the ‘olden days.’ I figured I’d be the new Hunter Thompson, a wild man trying to expose all the hypocrisy in the world. I finally came to realize that this was unlikely, as I avoid confrontation, have never fired a gun and don’t really like to drink. You have to find your own style, your own voice. Re The Beatles CoverOne day I noticed that I did a lot of these nostalgia stories and, more surprising, that they were my favorite pieces.  I’ve also just put out a collection of my writing on the Beatles, called Re: The Beatles.

If you could jump into any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

The Kama Sutra.. Next question!

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

We use the smallest bedroom in our house as a little office. When we first moved in my wife and I called it ‘the turn-around room,’ because that’s about all there was room for. We live a few blocks from the ocean, but unfortunately I can’t see it from my office. Sometimes I can hear it, but more often than not it’s drowned out by that yappy little mutt next door.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

I have many, many favorite snacks, and when I’m writing might be the only time I’m not actually eating them! I go through phases where I drink a single glass of wine when I do my night’s writing. Even then, I sometimes don’t even finish it. Did I just hear Hunter Thompson spin in his grave? Incidentally, Hunter Thompson once threw an ice cube at me. I’ve always been very proud that I caught it in mid air!

Do you have an all time favorite book?

I’m not sure you can have one favorite book any more than you can choose a  single favorite movie or Beatles song. In elementary school I read all the joke and riddle books in our school library, so I’ve always been drawn to humor. To this day I can answer nearly any riddle a kid throws at me. There was a recent thread in a writers’ forum where people named their favorite writers. As soon as I wrote mine I remembered a bunch more.  Some of my favorites, at least as of today, include Mark Twain, Larry McMurtry, Philip Roth, Douglas Kenney, too many to list. I’ve known of H.L. Mencken for most of my adult life, but only have recently begun to appreciate him.  To me he’s to the written word what Clapton is to the guitar.

What book are you reading right now?

I picked up a biography of Henry Miller in a thrift shop the other day and put it on my nightstand. I figured I’d maybe get through it someday, but since I started reading it I’m having trouble putting it down.

Tell us some random facts about you that we never would have guessed.

I’ve eaten kangaroo, I’ve never been to an NFL game and I have webbed toes.

Book Blurb

There Are Places Cover - thezombiestudioThe follow-up to Leonard Stegmann’s nostalgic “People and Things That Went Before” once again takes you back to a time of bottle rockets and snow days, Beatles albums and Kool-Aid stands. Warm, funny and sometimes sad, “There Are Places I Remember” will stir memories of those not-so-long ago-days that you once believed would never end.

About the Author

Leonard Stegmann PhotoLeonard Stegmann is an American humor writer. He was born in New York City and currently lives in Half Moon Bay, California with his wife Melinda. And a cat.

You can find out more about Leonard on his Facebook page. You can purchase his books on Amazon.

 

Today’s Featured Author – Rob Bignell

Please welcome author Rob Bignell to my blog. His latest book, Storystarters: 200+ Writing Prompts That Lead To Actual Stories, a guidebook for aspiring writers, came out this week. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a long-time professional editor who owns and runs Inventing Reality Editing Service. I’ve helped more than a hundred novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m the author of the “7 Minutes a Day…” writing guidebooks, the nonfiction “Hikes with Tykes,” “Hittin’ the Trail,” and Headin’ to the Cabin” book series, the literary novel “Windmill,” and more. My latest book – released just this week – is “Storystarters: 200+ Writing Prompts That Lead To Actual Stories”. Since 2011, at least five of my hiking guidebooks have topped Amazon.com bestsellers lists. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published. I hold a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s in journalism, have taught college writing classes, and am an award-winning publications editor and writer, having worked in San Diego and Palm Springs, Calif.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

In second grade, I used to play “Star Trek” with one of my friends, whose mother was from Vietnam,  One day my friend told me that he wished just once Sulu would get to save the day. I wrote a story that night on penmanship paper in which Sulu saved Captain Kirk and gave it to him the next day. He loved it, and I was his personal hero. For the first time, I tasted the power of writing. Despite that, I still wanted to be something other than a writer. I planned to be an astronaut, but then in fifth grade had to start wearing glasses. At the time, you couldn’t be a jet fighter pilot if you wore glasses, and the only way to become an astronaut was to fly jets. So I decided I would write about being an astronaut.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Almost everything in the writing guides I’ve penned comes from advice I’ve dispensed as an editor to my writing clients. I’ve discovered that writers tend to ask many of the same questions, and they ask a lot of them! Eventually I started collecting those answers and assembling them into books. My answers always come from my own experiences. I’ve also asked those same questions and spent a lot of time in the reading guidebooks, examining stories, and trying them in my tales to find the answers.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book? 

I’ve always got several books going. For writing guidebooks, I’m working on a primer for indie authors about how to treat their writing as a business – if they need to incorporate, how to file taxes, stuff like – and then some guides of how to market their books via pubic presentations and various social media. Though an editor, I get those business-oriented questions a lot. As an author of hiking and writing guidebooks, I’ve asked them, too, and so had to figure out the answer often even before a client asks me.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I am a full-time book editor and writer. My time is about evenly split between editing novels/ nonfiction manuscripts and then writing guidebooks, primarily about how to be a successful self-published author and on hiking. My work day always is different, based on what I’m editing and what I’m writing about. One day I may be editing a science fiction novel set on another planet while writing about how to properly use commas. The next day I may be editing a nonfiction book about how to improve sales strategies while writing about a hike I took past waterfalls en route to an 11,000-foot elevation summit in Colorado.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The worst advice I’ve received in the past few years is that if you don’t go the route of traditional publishing, you’ll never make any sales. Perhaps that’s more of a sentiment but the advice is implied: get a lit agent, let her get you a publisher, and you’ll be successful. The numbers bear out quite the opposite, though. Frankly, if you’re not self-publishing, you’re just giving away your earnings.

Probably the best piece of writing/publishing advice I’ve ever heard is “plan but be flexible.” Always outline, always draft, always develop and implement a marketing strategy but also always be ready to dump what’s not working. If you feel good about the story you’re writing but it doesn’t match your outline, then toss the outline rather than force your story to fit it. If Facebook isn’t selling books for you but Twitter is, trash the former and out more effort into the latter. Don’t stick with what isn’t working.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

For me, it’s knowing that writing is my destiny. It’s more than just a hobby. It is reaching for my full potential; it is those moments when I feel most self-empowered. When writing, I experience fulfillment and bliss. I feel successful and enjoy affluence, perhaps not always monetarily but certainly I am showered with the emotional and intellectual wealth that a creative pursuit brings. When writing, I feel like I am doing exactly what I was placed on this Earth to do. Writing is meaningful, and I have purpose. It is living my dream.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I’m definitely an outliner. I don’t always stick to the outline, however, just use it as a guide. Should the scene I write not quite fit the outline and I can see a new direction to take the book, I’ll revise the outline. A lot of writers say they don’t outline, but I don’t believe most of them. A writer may not place the outline on paper, but it’s up there in their head. When a writer doesn’t outline, they may pen a great descriptive paragraph or dialogue exchange, but they very rarely have a story with direction. When editing my clients’ works, I always can tell which ones outlined and which ones winged it. The latter inevitably end up doing a lot more rewriting.

Please tell us about your current release.

Writing Prompts coverMy latest – which just came out this week – is a guidebook for aspiring writers or those established writers who are stuck for ideas: “Storystarters: 200+ Writing Prompts That Lead To Actual Stories.” The book approaches writing prompts from a whole new perspective – by presenting conflicts for characters to solve. It’s divided into 52 different topics with four writing prompts for each one, say man vs. nature, man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. God(s) and man vs. himself.

For example, under the topic of “Aging” is the following prompt: Our protagonist, now retired, decides to move back to the place of his childhood and renovate an old residence that nature is quickly reclaiming. As he struggles against the damage that Mother Nature has wrought (pipes broken from overgrown roots, weeds, rotted roof that leaks, etc.), how does he come to terms with his own aging, which is ravaging his once virile body?

That is a prompt a writer actually could work with and take a lot of different directions. It’s a “storystarter.”

What inspired you to write this book?

Among the greatest challenges facing writers is coming up and developing a fantastic story idea. The problem isn’t that writers have a shortage of ideas, just that many of them are not fantastic, as currently formulated in their heads. They sense that and so sometimes face a mini-episode of writer’s block. Being proactive, they turn to writing prompts – a single word, a phrase, a situation, or a picture – to spur their imagination, to inspire them. Often, writers unfortunately find that while these prompts result in a lot of creative output, they still don’t result in a story that is publishable.

As reading through books on writing prompts, I found most were useless for anything beyond journaling or introducing students to certain modes of writing, such as descriptive writing or character building. To generate a story, a new approach to writing prompts was needed.

I began to wonder what this approach should be. After a while, I realized that the bad prompts almost never led to an actual story, as the prompt did not focus on what a story is about: resolving a conflict. Thus was born this book.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I scoured through summaries of the greatest fiction books of all time, not just in literature but in today’s popular genres, writing down the major conflicts in each one. I then organized those conflicts into topics and without thinking what story they originally came from, devised two- or three-sentence prompts that could work for a story.

Using conflicts of previous novels doesn’t mean you’ll end up copying that story. “Obsession” for example is a theme of the conflicts in a number of great novels, such as “Moby Dick,” Wuthering Heights” and “The Great Gatsby,” and those are quite different stories. The fact that the conflicts inherent in such a broad theme have been addressed in a number of ways, makes it an excellent topic for a book. Advising writers, who are seeking inspiration, to write about a conflict arising from obsession is much more fruitful than asking them to write about what they find in a box that was buried in their backyard.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

If the book is successful, I’ll write a follow-up in which I present mostly new topics. I’ve got a lot leftover from my research, often a couple of prompts per topic that could be completed (to get four conflicts per topic).

About the Author

Rob Bignell is the owner and chief editor at Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the editing and proofreading needs of writers both new and published. He is author of the nonfiction “Hikes with Tykes” guidebooks as well as a collection of poetry, “Love Letters to Sophie’s Mom”. Several of his short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published. For more than two decades, he worked as an award-winning journalist, with half of those years spent as an editor. In addition, for seven years he worked as an English teacher or a community college journalism instructor. He holds a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s in journalism and English.

Find out more about Rob on his website.

You can purchase Storystarters: 200+ Writing Prompts That Lead To Stories on Amazon.