Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Monday, July 23, 2012

The Emperor's Edge

A high fantasy novel in the age of steam. Reviewed by Jorja Davis 7/7/2012

Buroker, Lindsay. The Emperor’s Edge. Ebook creation by Dellastar Designs 2010. Rated PG Violence: Young Adult and Adult

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is sent by the emperor’s regent to seduce and kill Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin. Either the regent believes she is implacable or they want her eliminated. While searching for a secret way out of the palace dungeons she over hears what seems to be a plot to poison the young emperor, Sespasian.

Amaranthe begins to gather an unlikely band of heroes and comes across a deadly fire on the waterfront. She finds arson covering human sacrifice and a powerful coalition’s machinations to take down the empire.

Brouker brings to print adventure, romance, and mystery in a fast paced fantasy. Her characters are flesh and blood and bring fresh, humorous and lively dialogue to this well thought out urban fantasy. 

Lindsay Buroker

3 Reasons I’m Glad I Chose Self-Publishing

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anita Estes

Anita Estes

Anita Estes resides in upstate New York with her husband and son. Her family also includes two grown daughters. Estes teaches art and photographs the beauty of nature in the Hudson Valley where she lives.

As the mother of a prodigal child Anita Estes found her way to scriptural prayer “to pray against addictions and for releasing captives” (since God promises His Word will not return void).

Delving deeper, she also used breakthrough prayer. Estes says, “Breakthrough prayer relies on the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of strongholds.  Another component is the continuance of prayer until an answer or breakthrough is received. This could be done in one session, multiple times of prayer throughout the day, week, month or year, depending how long the problem persists. Breakthrough prayer often involves intercessory prayer (standing in the gap and praying for a person, place or area), praise and thanksgiving as well as spirit led prayer, and sometimes a particular word of wisdom or spiritual insight into a problem.”

Once involved in breakthrough prayer, Estes became a prayer warrior. She says, “A prayer warrior is often in a state of prayer for a particular purpose, usually they intercede for others with an intensity born of God. A prayer warrior is also sensitive to the Holy Spirit and prays with passion and power that comes from above. Prayer warriors can often see more clearly into the spiritual realm and hear the voice of God more plainly. Their prayers are often directed by the Holy Spirit and divinely inspired. They are usually people who do not give up easily, pray passionately, and trust God to answer according to His will.”

This path dropped Estes to her knees, and raised her up to dance in prayer and praise as she prayed first for her prodigal son and then for others who shared his life controlling issues. Through her writing, Anita Estes longs “to help her readers know God better, to actively help them to achieve their potential in Him, and to encourage them in their spiritual walk.” Estes reaches out through her writing and ministry to comfort the brokenhearted.

When God Speaks: 40 Days and 40 Nights of His Promises ©2005 is dedicated to the men and women who revealed the power of God’s promises to Estes. This book is structured as a daily devotional including a scripture reference, a story that develops the promise carried within the scripture, a prayer, a daily application, and a nighttime reflection. It encourages the reader to connect with scripture and even more to connect with the God whose Word carries the power to create and change the circumstances of daily life. She includes five Focus Articles that carry us deeper into God’s promises as they are fulfilled in everyday life.

Her son’s experience at the Transformation Life Center led to compiling and editing the stories of men who, with help, dealt with and overcame their own life-controlling issues. Transformed: Inspiring Stories of Freedom ©2011 (now published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas) contains true stories that will bring hope and healing to parents and families as well as those they love who live daily with life-controlling issues such as addiction to drugs or alcohol. 

Letters to God on a Prodigal Son: Overcoming Addiction through Prayer  ©2011 is a frank and candid journal of one mother’s struggle with her child’s life-controlling issues. She offers lessons learned, suggestions, prayers and promises from her journal written from 2006 through 2009.

All three of these books have been self-published. Estes says she learned the hard way to handle feedback, preparation for publication, and copyediting. “When I published my first book, I ordered ten copies and then I saw all the mistakes in it, mainly typos. I re-edited it and also had some writers edit it.

“The next book was a bit of a fiasco since I was working to meet a deadline. I should have learned from my first experience and ordered a paper copy to edit, but I didn’t. The mistakes on the computer draft weren’t caught, and I ordered one hundred copies. I was embarrassed when a number of typos showed up in the last story because I rushed to meet the deadline. I then had other people edit it. It was distributed through a Christian rehab, “Transformation Life Center” and later picked up by the present publisher Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

“Finally, by my third book I got it right and ordered preview copies and then had it professionally edited.  Doing the whole process from start to finish was a big learning curve for me, especially the book cover and editing. I recommend professional editing as it’s difficult for writers to see their own mistakes, especially on the computer. “

Anita Estes’s work appears in several devotionals and compilations including The Upper Room, God Allows U-Turns, A Cup of Comfort Book of Prayer, and Deliver Me. Most recently Estes has published inspirational stories in a number of Christian on-line magazines such as Scarlet Thread and Living Better at 50.  She is also the Albany area spiritual examiner for Examiner.com.

Estes says, “When my children were younger, they were my first priority and I didn’t write a lot. For a number of years I only worked part-time, this provided  a little free time to write. However, once I started working full time, juggling my different roles as a Christian, mother, wife and a career woman was more of a challenge. Once the children got older and began to leave the house, I had more time to write, self-publish, market, speak at and attend conferences.

“Finding venues for selling and promoting books is sometimes a problem, especially in the Northeast. Here many Christian bookstores have closed and there aren’t as many conferences that want speakers. However, speaking at churches and events like “Aglow” are great ways to books into the public eye. I have also had success with local newspapers and book signings.

“Only recently I’ve become involved with on-line marketing. It’s not my favorite, though I do enjoy meeting new people on-line, and there is one great group: John 3:16 Christian Marketing and several good Christian on-line writing groups.”

Estes hopes to publisher her first novel The Dividing Stone by the Fall of 2013. The main theme of The Dividing Stone centers on the power of prayer and spiritual warfare to overcome demonic forces of witchcraft, which are wreaking havoc in area churches. Watch also for another daily devotional, Heaven Calling.

To her readers, Anita Estes says, “Don’t quit or give up. Persevere and surrender all to God in prayer and trust Him with everything. Listen to the Spirit, love like Jesus, and forgive like God. Don’t forget to laugh at yourself once in a while and with others. Stay focused on your call or vision and spend time listening to what God is directing you to do.”

In the end, Estes wants to be remembered as “a woman with a spirit like David’s. She loved God, her family and friends, and life in that order. She prayed and danced her heart out for them, and tried to love, and not hate, her enemies, except for the adversary of our souls. “

Anita Estes. When God Speaks: 40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Promises. ©2005 ISBN: 978-0-9727270-4-4

Anita Estes, comp. & ed. Transformed: Inspiring Stories of Freedom. © 2011 Kingsport TN: Christian Devotions Ministries in association with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. ISBN: 978-0-9833196-9-6

Anita Estes. Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son: Overcoming Addiction through Prayer. ©2011 Published by Transformation House. ISBN: 9780982651018

Monday, July 9, 2012

Evan Angler. Swipe
Thomas Nelson Publishers. April 2012. 
ISBN - 10: 140031836X. ISBN - 13: 978-1400318360.

Logan Langley's thirteenth birthday is approaching. He should be excited. Getting The Mark is the transition to adulthood. The Mark is a tattoo required by law in the American Union, the only way to access food, services, life and livelihood.

 Five years ago, when his sister went to make her pledge and receive The Mark, she didn't come home, and Logan is noticing it happens to others as well. So, Logan is beginning to think The Mark may not be best for everyone. 

Logan feels like he is being watched. Things in his room are moved or missing. When he is out and about he notices shadows and hears movements that indicated he is under scrutiny.

Then, Erin moves into small-town Spokie from Beacon City, half a continent away. Her father works for the Department of Marked Emergencies and is in Spokie to find and eliminate Dust - the unmarked.

The twists and turns begin. What is DOME really doing? Where is the Dust? Can Logan and Erin find answers before Logan takes his pledge?

Older elementary, tweens, teens and adults alike will enjoy this near future dystopian American Union seeking global unity where here is no conflict, no religion, no war - or, is there? Rick Riordan meets Suzanne Collins in Evan Angler'swell-crafted first novel. Non-stop suspense kept me reading when I needed to be doing other things.

Watch for Sneak, the sequel, to be released on September 4, 2012.

Evan Angler. Sneak.
Thomas Nelson Publishers. September 4, 2012.
ISBN-10: 400318424
ISBN-13: 978-14003-18421

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Abuelita

My Abuelita
ISBN: 978-0-15-216330-3

Abuelita’s hair is the color of salt. Her face is as crinkled chile. She booms out words as round as dimes and as wild as blossoms blooming. Her grandson knows he has the most spectacular grandmother ever – with a tremendously powerful job. What could Abuelita’s job be?

Sprinkled with Spanish and infused with love, My Abuelita, is a glorious celebration of family, imagination, and the power of story.

Abuelita and her grandson swoop and dance and yodel their way through the morning, while the cat, Frida Kahlo, sings for huevos estrellados – starry eggs. The language is brilliant and the illustrations dazzling.

Don’t miss the YouTube video of Yuyi Morales and Tim and Kelly O’Meara creating the illustrations.

Let’s create a stupendous list of grandparent books.  We now have All the World and My Abuelita. 

What books would you add?

Tony Johnston
Yuyi Morales