Newsletter For Readers and Writers

August 2011  

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Jo HuddlestonWelcome and thank you for sharing your time with me. Those of you who signed up for my newsletter since last time, thank you for subscribing.

month ...  


In Guest Gab: An interview with Delia Latham, author of Kylie's Kiss.  


In Writing Wisdom: SEO Tips for Optimizing Your Site. 

In What Am I Reading:  Announcement of the winner of last newsletter's book and review of a book by James L. Rubart.

In Book Buzzings: Highlight of two recent novels, one by Lillian Duncan and one by Lisa Wingate.

Check Inspirational Insights to read my thoughts on summer.   

If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please go to my website and click the "email me" button beneath my photo. And remember to visit my blog--you can click here or at the top of this introductory block. Above the very top of this newsletter is a small horizontal bar with the Facebook, etc. logos on it. If you have accounts on any of those places and would like to share this newsletter with your friends there, please click the appropriate link(s).   
You can take a look at earlier newsletters here. Always remember: I value your presence here and the time you share with me.

Quality Quote

"If you know peace, then you thrive; if you know contentment, then you are rich."

--Su Shi (1037-1101), a Chinese writer and poet 



BookBook Buzzings

Yours and Mine



Let me know your five favorite books and their authors and I'll include them here. Your last name is optional.




Amazon is selling more ebooks than paper books! I've joined other authors in this explosion of ebooks: I've converted my two prayer books into ebooks. They're available here. You may view a portion of each book for free. When you purchase, you select the format that works on your e-reader. If you don't have a Kindle, you can go to and on the left click Kindle then download their free "Kindle for PC" app; then go back to my books' pages and download the Kindle version, which allows you to read the books on your computer screen. The paper version of  these books are still available; see the Books page on my website



This month I highlight Pursued by Lillian Duncan and Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate. Below is information about these books. (Disclaimer: I may not have read these recent releases yet; just letting you know about them.)  



Pursued Title: Pursued       

Author: Lillian Duncan  

Genre: Thriller-Suspense    

Publisher: White Rose Publishing 

Release Date: July 2011

Lillian's website
Book available here

Reggie Meyers has spent her life pursing the American Dream, but now she's the one being pursued by an unknown killer. Putting her trust in Dylan Monroe, a man she barely knows, will either be the best decision she ever made or the last.



DandelionTitle: Dandelion Summer   

Author: Lisa Wingate  

Genre: General Fiction  

Publisher: Penguin Praise   

Release Date: July 2011

Lisa's website     

Book available here     


Gabe Lasley finds Shannon Dysart stranded in a mountaintop cave and saves her. She is on a quest to prove her father's research isn't the work of a madman, that he really did find a treasure in the wild west.



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 GuestGab Guest Gab
Interview with Delia Latham
Author of Kylie's Kiss

DeliaOur guest this month is Delia Latham, author of Kylie's Kiss. You can visit with Delia here. Delia is offering a PDF copy of her book to one subscriber to this newsletter. I will draw the winner from the current subscriber's list on August 25.


JO: Delia, glad to have you with us. Please tell us a bit about who you are outside of the writing field.


DELIA: I'm a born-and-bred California gal, transplanted to Oklahoma at age 50. Talk about your change of life! My husband and I moved here in 2008, after he was medically retired (with COPD) and needed to get out of the San Joaquin Valley in California, with its sadly tarnished air. I am fortunate to be able to write full time--a new thing for me, and I'm loving it!


JO: The Solomon's Gate Series sounds intriguing, with the whole dating agency concept. Is your new release, Kylie's Kiss, a part of that series? Share a bit about Solomon's Gate.


DELIA: Solomon's Gate is a set of three books, based around a Christian dating agency of the same name. The introductory novel, Destiny's Dream, focuses on Destiny May, who founds a Christian dating agency in a mid-sized, conservative California town. The two follow-up novels involve a couple of Destiny's "Seekers," which is her name for the people who come to her seeking a soul mate.


KylieKylie's Kiss, book two in the series, released April 29, 2011. I'm excited about this book, and the true-to-life issues in the storyline. Here's a blurb:

On a dare, Kylie Matthews lands smack in the middle of Solomon's Gate--Castle Creek's new Christian dating agency--and she finds herself revealing exactly what she's waiting for in a relationship: "The kiss that steals my breath away."


What she doesn't reveal is her lack of self-esteem or her irrational reaction to facial disfigurement. Neither is applicable to her quest to find the perfect match. But that seemingly superficial malady becomes all-important when her first agency-arranged date is Rick Dale--a man who is everything Kylie is searching for. He's handsome, smart, fun. Rick has it all...including an angelic six-year-old daughter with severe scarring on one side of her face.


Hard at work founding a therapy camp for young female victims of deformity or disfigurement, Rick wants Kylie to be a part of those plans. She'd love to say yes...but how can she, when every contact with the facility's guests--and Rick's own daughter--will make her violently ill?


Kylie is ready to admit their relationship doesn't stand a chance, but she's forgotten that God makes a way where there seems no way.


JO: How do you market your work, or does your publisher do the majority of the marketing?


DELIA: My publisher is wonderful about doing everything they can to get the word out and place our books. They are, however, a small press, and I am expected to help with the marketing. That said, even large publishing houses are now asking authors to contribute something to the promotional process, so I don't mind. I'm grateful to find a reputable home for my books. White Rose Publishing is recognized by both RWA and ACFW, so they must be doing something right.


JO: What can we expect from you next?


DELIA: I'm working on a book of women's fiction. It incorporates characters from two of my earlier books...Yesterday's Promise and Goldeneyes. This is a bit unusual, since Goldeneyes is set in 1936 and 1959, and Yesterday's Promise is a contemporary romance. Readers who've read either or both of those books will definitely be interested in this one. I'm also working on a short novella for a Valentine collection. Now to find a home for it... :)


JO: What advice would you give to budding authors who have published a book and now ask, "What next?"?


DELIA: Start writing your next one! That said, it's so important to learn everything you can about marketing a book, because you should be doing that even before yours is released. If you don't already have a platform of followers/fans, start building one--yesterday! Use as many social networking tools as you can efficiently handle, and work them. If you don't have a website, get one. This will be crucial to your publicity, and if you can't afford to have one done professionally, there are numerous free web hosting companies online. is a good one. Above all, place your career in the hands of God and follow His lead. He sees the bumps in the road ahead that are not within your line of sight yet, and He knows how to guide you through, around, under, or over them...whichever is best for your situation. Trust Him!


JO: As a successful author, are there any words of wisdom you'd like to share?


DELIA: "Successful" is probably stretching it a bit. I'm still struggling to make a name for myself and get my books on the bookstore shelves, because I truly feel that each of them holds a message from God for someone--hopefully more than one someone.  My advice is always, first of all, to write from the heart. Also, I think it's absolutely vital to a writer's success to find a place they can call their own, whether that means a fully-dedicated office, the corner of a bedroom, the end of a dining table, or a closet dedicated to the cause. Wherever, whatever it is, go to that place every day, preferably at the same time every day, and write. Write badly if necessary on some days, but write. That's what writer's do.


JO: Do you have a favorite verse of scripture?


DELIA: I actually have two, and it's impossible for me to choose one over the other.


This first one is my daily plea, because I need a new, clean heart every day--and only God can keep my spirit right and steadfast!

Psalm 51:10--Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.


And this one I like to read every morning, because it reminds me where my mind should be channelled.

Philippians 4:8--Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


JO: Just for fun, what super power would you like to be blessed with?


DELIA: Just one? I think I'd like to be able to fly then I could visit all the places I'd love to see without having to spend the money to get there.


JO: Thank you, Delia, for spending time with our readers. And thanks again for the PDF copy of Kylie's Kiss that one reader will win.



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WhatReadingWhat Am I Reading?
Let me know what you've read that really impressed you, tell why in about 100 words, and I'll include it here. Giving your name is optional.


If you enjoy this newsletter pass it on to someone else who might also enjoy it: at the end of this email just click "Forward Email."


To select winners in my drawings I use a computer program that randomly selects the winners. No pulling names out of a hat!! If you're a winner, the rules are simple: I'll email winners asking for their mailing address and get the book out to them right away. You can win only once in a calendar year.

winner from the last newsletter of a copy of A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck is Bonnie, doct...@... 

If you didn't win this month, see below for news about two book giveaways.


On August 25, I'll draw a winner from all current subscribers for a PDF copy of Kylie's Kiss by Delia Latham and also a copy of Book of Days by James L. Rubart, which I review below.


Book DaysI recently read Book of Days by James L. Rubart, B&H Publishing Group, 2011, 376 pp. "God's Book of Days: a record of the past, present, and future of every soul. Some say it's fable. Others are sure it's real, hidden somewhere on Earth." Cameron Vaux wants to fulfill his dying father's request: find the Book of Days, which his father says he has seen. Cameron's leads take him to a small town in Oregon. There Cameron finds enemies, those also looking for the book. And a woman he detests becomes his only ally. Rubart gives us characters that are real and memorable. His description of settings helps us to walk with Cameron in the small town of Three Peaks as he vows never to give up his search for the Book of Days. A good read. 




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 WritingWisdomWriting Wisdom

Three Quick SEO Tips for Optimizing Your Size

by Penny Sansevien    


Penny SSocial content: make sure that you have something "social" on your site, whether it's a blog, forum or even your very own social networking. The easiest and best of these is a blog in my opinion.  


Update often: always provide fresh content. Update the social aspect of your site often. This will really help you with ranking.  


Share and share alike: make sure that your content is easy to share. If you don't have sharing widgets on your site (Upload to Facebook, Tweet This!, etc.) then get your designer to add it to the site asap. Most blogging software comes with this all ready to go.


Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. 




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Clean Chuckle



GRANDMAA doctor that had been seeing an 80-year-old woman for most of her life finally retired. At her next checkup, the new doctor told her to bring a list of all the medicines that had been prescribed for her. As the young doctor was looking through these, his eyes grew wide as he realized she had a prescription for "birth control pills."


"Mrs. Smith, do you realize these are BIRTH CONTROL pills?"


"Yes, they help me sleep at night."


"Mrs. Smith, I assure you there is absolutely NOTHING in these that could possibly help you sleep!"


She reached out and patted the young Doctor's knee."Yes, dear, I know that. But every morning, I grind one up and mix it in the glass of orange juice that my 16-year-old granddaughter drinks. And believe me, it helps me sleep at night."


You gotta love Grandmas.



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InspThoughtsInspirational Insight
by Jo Huddleston 

How's the heat in your neck of the woods? Summer came earlier than usual here in the South. May is usually a pleasant time to be outside, but not so much this year. We like to go to the beach in May before all the summer crowds get there. This May at the beach felt like mid-June (even if we did get sick and could only stay two days).


And until this past week, we'd had such dry weather our yard looks almost like a sand box for children. Our house sits on a double lot and therefore our lawn is huge in comparison to others around us. With the economy like it is we've watered the lawn very little. Then last week we had a few days of downpours, which resulted in greener weeds in our yard. So from a distance and with a quick glance, it appears we have green grass.


Also, our lot slopes downward in the back. That allows what rain we get to flow to the backyard before it can soak into the soil above. Therefore, our backyard is lovely if we have enough rain and water sprinklers.


Another thing about living in the South and vacationing at the beach is that you can detect by their Yankee accent those who have come down to enjoy warmer weather than they have at home. If they'd only known, they could have stayed at home this summer if all they sought was warm weather. But if they'd stayed home they'd have missed our Southern hospitality. They smile and act amused hearing our slow drawls but I think secretly they enjoy being around folks who aren't in a rush all the time.


I recall leaving home for college in East Tennessee each September when I took woolen skirts and sweaters. Whew! We hardly wear heavy coats in winter for more than a month where we now live. And the college kids around here sometimes wear shorts and hoodies well into late November. We're such persnickety humans who want to be satisfied all the time; we fuss in the summer that it's too hot and then in the winter we complain that it's too cold. Apostle Paul in the Bible said he had learned to be content whatever his circumstances. Contentment is a peaceful place to be.


"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."

--Author Unknown





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