Saturday, December 31, 2011

Guest Post by a Canadian Housewife

Let's be honest -- who are we fighting?
GUEST POST BY 
One Canadian Housewife




Written by a housewife in New Brunswick , to
her local newspaper. This is one ticked off lady...


"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was
it or was it not, started by Islamic people who
brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001
and have continually threatened to do so since?


Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered
that day, in downtown Manhattan , across the Potomac from
the capitol of the USA and in a field in Pennsylvania ?


Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?


And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were
claiming to be tortured by a justice system of a
nation they are fighting against in a brutal Insurgency.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle
East, start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief
of which, is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan .


I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are
sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head, while Berg
screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.


I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents'
in Afghanistan , come out and fight like men,
instead of disrespecting their own religion by
hiding in Mosques and behind women and children.


I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow
themselves up in search of Nirvana, care about the
innocent children within range of their suicide Bombs.


I'll care when the Canadian media stops pretending that
their freedom of Speech on stories, is more important than
the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting
at home, to hear about them when something happens.


In the meantime, when I hear a story about a
CANADIAN soldier roughing up an Insurgent
terrorist to obtain information, know this:

I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the
head when he is told not to move because he
might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank:


I don't care. Shoot him again.


When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed 'special' food, that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe, in your heart of hearts:

I don't care.


And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes
it's spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.'
Well, Jimmy Crack Corn you guessed it.


I don't care!!


If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to
all your E-mail Friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to
the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior!


If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete
button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't
complain when more atrocities committed by radical
Muslims happen here in our great Country! And may I add:


Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering, if
during their life on earth, they made a difference in
the world. But, the Soldiers don't have that problem.

I have another quote that I would like to
share AND...I hope you forward All this.


One last thought for the day:


Only five defining forces have ever offered to die for you:


1. Jesus Christ


2. The British Soldier.


3. The Canadian Soldier.


4. The US Soldier, and


5. The Australian Soldier


One died for your soul,
the other four, for you and your children's Freedom.



Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Snapshots from the Roberts Family

Hey, we all look halfway decent!

Joy going to a Bat Mitzvah with friend

Disney

Having Fun!

Waiting for Dinner at Disney

The Laser Show at Disney. Awesome!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Building Faith by Pedaling Across Florida

Guest Post by CJ Hitz





During my 4 ½ years at Anderson University (Anderson, IN) I had the opportunity to participate in three spring break bicycle trips organized by Jim & Louise Pickens.  This dear couple called these trips the “Recyclers” in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.”   Each year, they would send a simple flyer to AU students in hopes of filling forty spots to trek across a different 400 mile route in Florida.  Upon receiving this flyer my freshman year, I was immediately intrigued and set out to find a way to come up with the $170 fee.


Little did I know what kind of impact Jim & “Lulu” would have on me over the course of my time at Anderson.  They practically became my grandparents away from home since I was literally 2500 miles from my family in Oregon.  It became a tradition to come over to their house (merely a block from campus) on many a Sunday where they fed me a hearty meal and allowed me to do my laundry.  Along the way, I think Louise took me through every Recyclers photo album she ever put together and Jim was quite possibly filled with more stories than any man I ever met.  It was nothing to come over to their house at noon and leave at 7pm.

In one of their across the country (3000+ miles) summer bicycle trips, Jim recalled spotting a set of “brand new looking” tire chains on the side of the highway in Arizona where temps were over 100 degrees.  “I couldn’t pass on a perfectly good set of chains”, Jim said.  So he put all four tire chains (over 60 lbs) around his neck and pedaled the remaining forty miles to their destination!  I kid you not, the man had tree trunks for thighs well into his 70s and THE most powerful handshake I ever encountered.  He was a legend.

The spring break trips certainly attracted students of varying backgrounds and skill levels.  From foreign students with virtually no cycling experience to guys who could give Lance Armstrong a run for his money, we had quite the mix and match.  Jim & Louise had a gift of meshing everyone together as a team…Team Recyclers.

Not About the Bike

One of the most vivid things I experienced on these adventures is the power of prayer.  If you were uncomfortable praying in public coming into the trip, you were comfortable doing it by the end.  Each morning began with a short devotion led by someone different each time.  Following the devotion, everyone picked a name out of an envelope and this was the person you prayed for all day during the 40-80 mile ride.  If someone wrecked, we would jokingly ask if their prayer partner was sleeping on the job.  At the end of each cycling break which came about every 10-15 miles, the whole group of forty riders would gather in a large circle while holding hands to pray.  This had to be an interesting site for drivers who saw us along busy highways.  We attracted our fair share of honks.

And what were we praying for?  I forgot to mention that Jim & Louise built a faith component into these trips.  Each day, we had no idea where we were going to sleep that night.  Most of the time it was churches but we rarely knew exactly which ones when we began each day.  There were many days where our place of lodging didn’t materialize until the last minute and in the last moments of daylight.  But the Lord always came through.  This spoke volumes to people of all faith levels.

Another example of seeing the Lord come through came in the form of his protection.  We always made an effort to ride on roads & highways that had ample shoulder space or specific bike path available but this wasn’t always possible.  One day we found ourselves on a fairly busy road with almost no shoulder and traffic buzzing by at 50mph. 

I happened to be riding behind a Lebanese girl named Michelle who was one of the more inexperienced riders when her bike went off the road and onto the gravel alongside.  Unfortunately, she overcompensated as she tried returning to the paved road too quickly.  In a split second her Schwinn Voyager crashed and she went spilling into the busy highway.  Not having any time to react, those of us behind her rode over her bike before coming to a stop.

Amazingly, she avoided being hit by any cars and sustained mere scrapes and bruises.  The closest car that would have hit her pulled over a little further ahead and a man got out to make sure she was ok.  “I felt a strong urge to slow down shortly before the girl wrecked”, the man said.  “I just felt like something was going to happen.”  After realizing we were a Christian-based group, the man was thrilled and said he’d given his life to the Lord only a month before.  Quite shaken by the experience, Michelle decided to ride in the Recyclers van the remainder of the trip but she was thanking God that she was still alive.

Imagine having thirty years worth of stories from these trips.  All the chances to see God provide and show Himself to so many.  All the friendships and bonds (and marriages) formed along the way.  Never realizing you could eat so much oatmeal in one week.  Praying like you never had before.  Experiencing Jesus in ways you never dreamed.

Thanks for that flyer Jim & Louise.  I’ll never forget you

CJ Hitz is the co-author of Forgiveness Formula: Finding Lasting Freedom in Christ, along with his wife Shelley.  Visit their book website to check out the full virtual book tour schedule and special gifts with purchase at: www.TheForgivenessFormula.com





Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tips for Setting Up Categories on Kindle







"According to the latest information from Amazon, here is how to get your categories set up for a Kindle e-book.


Second, sign into your account.

Third, click the "actions" button for the book you would like to update

Fourth, scroll down to number three, target your book to customers

Fifth, click on add categories. That will open up to a new screen, add or change categories

Sixth, click on the plus button in front of these main categories to open up subcategories and sub-subcategories. Make your selections.
Seven, click on save.

The screen will return to the default page, where you started. Please notice that this is also where you make other changes to your e-book, including editing your book details."

This information is taken from my book, How to Launch a Christian Best-Seller, the John 3:16 Marketing Network Manual, that is only $1.99 on Amazon. 

The link if you are interested is: 




We just published our first book as a Network that is free, Taste and See, on Smashwords or 99 cents on Kindle. 



And if you would like to watch the video about the Taste and See book, you can see it on Youtube:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Taste and See, Interview with Lorilyn Roberts





Interview with John 3:16 Marketing Network 
Founder Lorilyn Roberts

About
New Book
Taste and See


QUESTION: Why did you decide to publish Taste and See?

LORILYN: The idea for Taste and See, a Sampling of First Chapters, came after reading Nathan Bransford's blog on September 29, 2011. He asked the following question:

“There is so much talk about self-published books in the writing-o-sphere. But have you actually read one?"  69% said yes and 30% said no out of 1,772 votes.

That made me think, one out of three readers has never read a book that is self-published, and if you include print-on-demand books, the percentage is probably higher. I thought, why not give those readers an opportunity to enjoy a sampling of first chapters by authors they have never heard about who are published in a variety of ways?

The John 3:16 Marketing Network doesn't make a distinction and I have always maintained that readers don't care how books are published. If someone finds a book he likes, he will buy it. From that thought came the idea, why not give authors an opportunity to share a first chapter of their book in a "First Chapters Sampling"?

We have all enjoyed chocolate samplings, coffee samplings, tea samplings, and other such assortments, and it's fun to "experiment" and try something new. Sometimes we find something we really like and then we head to the store or web and buy the product, whatever that might be. It's long been known as a proven marketing strategy to give people samples of free products to try, so we are just "piggybacking" on an old idea with a new twist.  I sent out an email to our members to see how many would be interested and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

A very small portion of the publishers were reluctant to let their author contribute a first chapter, so we offered the option to contribute something else; hence, the miscellany section. We wanted to include everybody who wanted to participate.

QUESTION: What are your long-term goals for Taste and See?

LORILYN: My long-term goal is to increase the opt-in list for the John 3:16 Marketing Network.  I hope to eventually offer free e-books, more sample chapters, and other book opportunities. Perhaps we will have a book club where books can be purchased at a discounted price.

The short-term goal is to provide exposure for the John 3:16 Marketing Network as well as Network authors. New and low-profile authors' greatest obstacle to successful sales is exposure. I hope readers will take advantage of this FREE opportunity to sample first chapters and other offerings by close to sixty authors. It's a win-win for everyone. Readers discover new authors, and authors get exposure to readers who may want to buy their books.

QUESTION: How were the books chosen for Taste and See?

LORILYN: The chapters in Taste and See were chosen by the authors themselves. The opportunity was weighted toward those who had contributed the most to the John 3:16 Marketing Network; i.e., featuring authors in the network on their blogs, posting Facebook and Twitter announcements for book launches, offering free e-gifts for book launches, participating on the forum, and other social networking activities.

QUESTION: How does Taste and See expand upon the John 3:16 Marketing Network's ability to help authors market their books?

LORILYN: Because this is an innovative idea, I am not sure how successful it will be to promote authors' books, but my feeling is we focus on process and God controls the outcome. My overall goal is to promote books with a Christian worldview, and in so doing, we are making an impact on the world. If we make a difference for one reader or one author, that is a profound accomplishment. Every great book ever discovered began with one person.

QUESTION: What other plans do you have for the John 3:16 Marketing Network in the future?

I have lots of ideas but until I finish my Masters in Creative Writing, my time to implement them is limited. I do struggle with that because I tend to be impatient, but God is teaching me patience and to wait on Him. As it is said in Ecclesiastes 3:1: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." (King James Bible, Cambridge Ed.)  It is then I remind myself that the John 3:16 Marketing Network is bigger than my vision and that God has a purpose and a plan. When I give my dreams to the Creator, He does far more than I could ever have hoped for or imagined.

My biggest "reward" from the John 3:16 Marketing Network has been the relationships I have formed with members. We pray for each other, encourage each other, share knowledge, post links to articles, announce upcoming opportunities, provide answers to questions, write book reviews, and offer encouragement when needed. We even share heartaches and disappointments, for there is a genuine humility among members. There is nothing else like it on the web.



Friday, December 2, 2011

SIXTY BOOKS IN ONE, AND IT'S OUR FREE GIFT TO YOU!










SIXTY BOOKS IN ONE, AND IT'S OUR FREE GIFT TO YOU! 
Christmas Gift 2011
Volume One


We are on the cusp of a revolution in publishing, and the John 3:16 Marketing Network is at the forefront of marketing innovation. Readers want diversity, options, and choices. The John 3:16 Marketing Network has released the most innovative way to expose readers to the latest in fiction and nonfiction Christian publishing.

Check out our new book, Taste and See, A Sampling of First Chapters by John 316 Marketing Network Authors.

Dear Readers of Christian Books, you are in for a treat! This is our gift to you for Christmas, and it's completely free through Smashwords or the John 3:16 Marketing Network!  You don't have to sign up for ANYTHING through the holidays, not even give us your email for an opt-in list.

Enjoy reading the first chapter of fifty-eight books and other surprises by sixty authors
AT NO COST. Nothing like beginning a new book that whets your appetite for more. You won’t have to travel to a book store or surf the web to find the kind of book you want. We have made it easy for you to sample close to sixty books and authors while drinking your latte at Starbucks, at home curled up on the sofa, or during your lunch break at work. Sit in front of your fireplace and relax. Taste and See is over 165,000 words long--the equivalent to TWO BOOKS.

Our John 3:16 Marketing Network authors are known and unknown, young and old, first-time published and multi-published, standard-industry published, self-published, and print-on-demand published. Our goal is to glorify God in our writings and help each other to promote books with a Christian worldview.

Taste and See is also available at Amazon for  $0.99 if you prefer to "purchase" it there. Don't miss out on this FREE OPPORTUNITY through the holidays. Find a chapter you like? There is a link at the end of each author's original work to buy the complete book HASSLE-FREE.

Remember, this is the season of our Savior's birth. We want to celebrate that with this FREE GIFT from us to you.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him”
Psalm 34:8


Smashwords  FREE (multiple formats available): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/104475


Kindle (99 cents):    http://amzn.to/vawD1F

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New Way to Sample Christian Books, "Taste and See," by the John 3:16 Marketing Network authors

John 3:16 Network to Release Taste and See First Chapters Book Soon

Article by Cheryl Rogers original appeared on the John 3:16 Marketing Network blog.

A new book by the John 3:16 Marketing Network will showcase the work of 58 authors who have banded together to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through their writing talents. Slated for release in early December, Taste and See, a Sampling of First Chapters by John 3:16 Marketing Network Authors, will be available in various ebook formats.

"I am excited to offer this book completely free through the Christmas holidays," says Lorilyn Roberts, the network's founder, who is editing the book. "I had no idea initially if anyone would be interested or if publishers would let us reprint a first chapter, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive."

"After the first of the year, people will need to sign up for the John 3:16 ezine to get Taste and See for free, but until January 1, everyone can download as many copies as they want from Smashwords and other distribution sites, including Apple, Kindle, Nook, and Sony with a coupon."

Lorilyn started the John 3:16 Marketing Network, which is free to join, as a means of collaborating on book launches and other marketing endeavors. As of this writing, the network has grown to 150-plus members. In addition to launching books, the network offers book showcases, reciprocal blogging, monthly prayer meetings via teleconferences, a bulletin board, an active Facebook page, a site to post book reviews, and tutorials for some of the more technical aspects of marketing. Lorilyn has also written a book, How to Launch a Christian Best-Seller Book, to help authors reach best-seller status on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A storefront is run in affiliation with the New Christian Books Magazine, operated by network member Cheryl Rogers.

Taste and See, a Sampling of First Chapters, features fiction and non-fiction aimed at readers of all ages, plus a few surprises," says Lorilyn.

The John 3:16 Marketing Network plans to publish the Taste and See book annually to enable readers to enjoy new authors' books. "We write and publish a lot of books each year," Lorilyn adds. "I am sure we will have many new books to include in another sampling next year."

Again, the sample book will be free through the holidays; sales links to the full works are included. Taste and See will retail for $3.99 at Smashwords.com after the holiday promotion. It will continue to be free after the new year if you sign up for the John 3:16 ezine.

Distribution is planned through Smashwords.com and its retail network, the John 3:16 Marketing Network website and blog, New Christian Books Online Store, and network member blogs and websites.

The book's cover features mini book covers submitted by authors, in a collage format. "My goal was to showcase all the authors and their books in a visually pleasing way," says Rogers, who designed the cover and assisted with the book's formatting. Rogers, who has authored a number of books aimed at Christians of all ages, publishes New Christian Books Online Magazine as a free service to Christian readers and writers.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ten Characteristics That Make Good Books Great

This article originally appeared on Pentalk's blog.

An Author's Study of the Classics
Ten Characteristics That Make Good Books Great
By Lorilyn Roberts




When I began my Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College two years ago, I was frightfully afraid I wouldn't be able to write fiction. I had spent the last thirty years reading and writing nonfiction in a journalistic setting. Long ago were the days I spent as a child reading fiction books about mushroom planets, traveling through tesserects, meeting talking animals, solving mysteries of hidden staircases, becoming a heroine, and falling in love with war heroes. Those delightful stories were my constant companion and escape from reality; how different my early years would have been without those great books.

As I grow older, it's refreshing to see my inner child peek out and remind me I am still who I was way back then--yes, a little bigger around the waist with a few more wrinkles, but I treasure those wonderful stories that were such a big part of my childhood. What was it about them that stole my heart and gave me such a love for books and writing?

I wondered, can I write a book similar to those that I so dearly loved? Matthew 10:24 states, "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." I reasoned, how can I be the best writer possible unless I read the best literature? So I asked my professor, Ken Kuhlken, "What is the most perfect book ever written?" From this question we had a series of discussions that led to me taking two classes of independent study. I set about reading some of the books he suggested. I am now finishing my second class and am looking forward to reading works by C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien. I saved the best for last.

After reading over a million words from the best literature, I have come to appreciate what makes a good book great is not by accident or luck. The stunning story that emerges from the pen of a Master  is a work of art--painstakingly designed, written, and edited. The stories are  not created out of a "one size fits all' mentality or factory-produced where the plots are predictable and the characters "stereotypical." To write a great book, I won't find any GPS directions to get me there or weekend seminars to  make it easy.

Those activities serve useful purposes, but not to write great stories. It takes a commitment to excellence, patience, talent, and perseverance.

After having read ten of the best classics, I also wonder if great writing is caught, not taught, borne out pain and suffering. I was surprised by the many similarities in the biographies of classic authors: The crucible of suffering was imprinted in their lives and found its way into the pages of their books.
To help me sort through what makes these books classics, I have listed ten characteristics I found in common. You might be surprised--I know I was.

1.  Create characters that will be remembered long after the book is finished. We are made for relationships, and this part of our nature carries over into books. For example, I remember my first love crush from The Exodus by Leon Uris when I was seventeen; and the poor, battered soul in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Make characters memorable and your book will be remembered.

2. The Christian worldview speaks to the heart of man. While fads come and go, new ideas spread across continents, and knowledge increases with each passing year, written on our hearts are values that cross generations and cultures. All the classics I have read present a Christian worldview. While some make no mention of the Bible (Frankenstein), it is implied, and writers who have written classics embrace this universal truth.

3. Write tight plots. John Piper has written a wonderful book called Don't Waste Your Life.  I would say don't waste your reader's precious time by including scenes or characters that add nothing to the story. Every scene, every character, and every chapter must serve a point. Examples of the best are A Tale of Two Cities and Wuthering Heights. That doesn't mean there can't be many characters. It just means each character must be absolutely necessary to propel the story forward.

4. To add to your book's greatness, let it make a statement about society, about life, about those things that are deep within us that cause us to groan and laugh, reflect and ponder, and most of all, never to give up hope (The Brothers Karamazov).

5. Take risks. Original works oftentimes make people squirm because they take the reader out of his comfort zone. Some of the great classics were not originally well received because they were "different" (Wuthering Heights).

6. Don't shy away from embracing controversial topics or paradigms that impact the story and raise the stakes for the protagonist (The Grand Inquisitor, Crime and Punishment, Frankenstein, The Power and the Glory, Wuthering Heights, The Brothers Karamazov, and Pride and Prejudice).

7. Redemption out of chaos brings hope, leaving the reader with optimism about his future. I am reminded that our words will outlive us in the pages of our books. Make your book a gift worth remembering. (Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice)..

8. The tone, symbolisms, and motifs should work in unison to undergird the subliminal theme and arc of the story. Make it relevant to the reader (Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, The Power and the Glory).

9. Slow down the forward progression of the story sufficiently to explore the psychological and spiritual warfare experienced by the protagonist For example, here is a comment I wrote from my analysis of Crime and Punishment: "Never mind the 'punishments' I received. What I learned early on is I have a conscience. A relentless whisper spoke to me even when I didn't want to listen. My guilt pricked my soul like a thorn, bothering me more than I could have imagined. I did not know I would feel so miserable before I committed each of my various "crimes." I was forced to carry a heavy burden that painfully weighed me down until I either confessed my sin or my guilt was discovered. The suffering was relentless and did more to drive me to a loving God than the severe discipline I received from those who showed no grace." (Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and Pride and Prejudice).



10.   Leave the reader forever changed. If your book is forgotten after the last page is read, you will have forfeited a great opportunity to make the world a better place.

If you have additional characteristics you would like to share, please do.

Lorilyn Roberts is an up-and-coming new author who writes with passion about life--politically incorrect topics, homeschooling, adoption, book reviews, author interviews, inspirational stories, family topics, Bible studies, poetry, and the art of writing. Lorilyn has written three books: The Donkey and the King, Children of Dreams, and How to Launch a Christian Best-Seller Book. She is the founder the John 3:16 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who focus on launching books, and the president of the Gainesville, Florida, Word Weavers Chapter.

Lorilyn's personal website:  http://lorilynroberts.com; to learn more about the John 3:16 Marketing Network, you can visit http://john316mn.blogspot.com.
.






Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, Launch Day for Letters to God on a Prodigal Son



November 8th is the big launch day for Letters to God on a Prodigal Son—Overcoming Addiction Through Prayer by Anita Estes. 

When you purchase the book on Nov. 8th you will be able to choose from many free gifts and your name will be entered into a contest to win either a $25 or $50 from some of your favorite stores! Here’s how: http://www.anitaestes.com/landing-page.html