Thursday, February 20, 2014


Although I use my own photography when I create book covers, I don't always have the pictures (or the time to take them) I'd like for my social media. We know that pulling pictures from Google search is impolite at best (but more accurately, illegal due to copyright).

Stock photography is the option most bloggers turn to, and I'm no exception, but it can get expensive to buy individual photos. The solution? Free photos from the following wonderful websites:

  1. Stock Photos for Free
  2. Stock Xchng
  3. Dreamstime
  4. FreeFoto
  5. Creative Commons
Some pictures require credit, and some have more limiting licenses, so it's important to keep note of that when you find a photo you like. Of course, it's polite to always give credit even when it's not required. 

I really appreciate these sites and the artists behind them!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Clichés, Similes, and Metaphors

Recently, I was asked what the difference was between these three literary terms. 

Here's the short answer
A cliché is a phrase or an idea that has been repeated too many times, a simile likens something to another (this is like that; this is as big as that), and a metaphor says something is another (this is that...but not literally).
Cliché: The pen is mightier than the sword.
Simile: The pen is like a sword.
Metaphor: The pen is a weapon.

Cliché: That's like the pot calling the kettle black.
Simile: The pot is like a black kettle.
Metaphor: The pot is a black kettle.

Cliché: He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
Simile: His shooting is as bad as aiming for the broad side of a barn and missing.
Metaphor: His bullets are missing the broad side of a barn.

Cliché: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Simile: These lemons can be as sweet as lemonade.
Metaphor: Lemons are lemonade.

Cliché: It's raining cats and dogs.
Simile: The rain is so heavy today, it's like cats and dogs.
Metaphor: It's raining cats and dogs.

Your turn! Try turning the following clichés into similes and metaphors, or make up your own:
Make like a tree and leave.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof. 
Since most people feel clichés are overused, it's best to avoid them. If you can put a new spin on them, though, go for it! Similes and metaphors can be used in moderation. When in doubt, don't use them.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Author Interview: Marilynn Dawson

Today we have an interview with Marilynn Dawson, author of Dressed for Eternity, which was released today! You're invited to join the online book launch on Facebook.

Can you give short summaries of your books?

Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey
This is my story of healing and restoration presented in a manner allowing the reader to appropriate those lessons to their own life.

Mom's Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate
This book, filled with tidbits of advice, was written for my own graduating teenagers in 2013 and is available to parents and youth pastors who wish to offer their own high school graduates that extra bit of encouragement as they start life in the big world.

Dressed for Eternity
This book seeks to answer the question, “How does God adorn His Bride in the Scriptures?” The answer takes the reader through Scripture, history, archeology, and even the New Jerusalem.

What genre are your books?
My books are 99% non-fiction, with a small bit of fiction opening each chapter of the series.

Who is your books’ audience?
My books are generally aimed at the 16 – 95 crowd—anyone who is already a Christian and seeking to go deeper in their faith. Though the grad gift makes a great gift for the unsaved teen as well.

What first inspired your books?
My series was inspired by the lessons God was teaching me in 2007 and by a Pastor's wife encouraging me to share that story with others. The grad gift was inspired by quote books I'd read, and fed by the need for something I could give my kids on a budget. My latest book was inspired by questions that entered my head while going through the 2007 healing and restoration period. I just wasn't ready to deal with it at that time.

How long have you been writing, and why did you start?
I began writing short stories, poems, puppet plays, and youth skits as a kid. I began branching into devotional writing as a teen and got a couple poems published in the late 80's. But it wouldn't be till 2012 that my first book (read small series) would be published.

Where do you write most often?
I generally write at my computer at home.  I dream of writing via laptop at the beach, but that hasn't happened yet.

What are your ‘author quirks’?
Um...not sure I really have any quirks, per se. Although when I'm really concentrating I'll get so deep into the tunnel-vision zone that I won't even hear my kids trying to get my attention just 10 feet away.

What advice do you have for other authors?
The publishing landscape has opened up to accept all types of authors now. Don't let your subject matter or lack of affordability keep you from presenting the thoughts you long to get out. Research the options cropping up and go with the one that best suits your message and audience.

What do you do when you lack motivation?
I will let the writing sit for a bit in case lack of motivation is related to burn-out. Then I'll re-read what I've written, which usually stimulates me to continue.

What do you most want your readers to know?

I want them to know that the Christian faith is all about an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as the unseen Lover of our Soul, and with God the Father as that ultimate Dad many have never had, and the closest friendship with the Holy Spirit as our teacher. When you enter into this kind of relationship, the commands of Christ become “want to's”.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Online Book Launch Bazaar and Fashion Show: Marilynn Dawson

Author Marilynn Dawson has extended an invite to the online launch of her latest book, Dressed for Eternity. The book launch is happening on Facebook and starts at 6:15 Pacific (that's 8:15 Central) on Saturday, February 8th. There will be prizes!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Recent Releases

We are excited to share our most recent books with you!

Fighting for Life: The Midnight Hour by Laura Michelle

This book of poetry is a follow-up to Laura's first, Fighting for Life, and continues to tell her story through her beautiful, authentic poems.

GrandMa and the Miracles by Arthur Marinello

GrandMa and the Miracles, a hardcover book of poems, is Arthur's third collection of poetry, written throughout the years. He has a delightful, honest way of writing that shows both his humor and his insight.

Life is Crumbly by Jansina, with illustrations by Mary MacArthur
Also available directly from Jansina for $12 (hardcover) and $10 (paperback)

Called "morbidly cute" by some, this short story is about cookies and the ways they die - ultimately showing that it's not as bad as it seems. Illustrations are by the talented Mary MacArthur

Want to see your book listed here? Contact us to learn more, or view our publishing packages.