Category Archives: Publishing

Ancient Sources — Post by Michael J. Findley


Cuneiform inscription found on the south side of the Van Castle hill, eastern Turkey. It’s several metres tall and wide, 25 centuries old and the message comes from the Persian king Xerxes. In Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Own work by uploader, http://bjornfree.com/galleries.html Wikipedia

“Can you please reference some sources you used for your Hittite series?”
Seems like a simple, innocuous question. However, the first series of books I wrote include What Is An Establishment of Religion?, What Is Secular Humanism?, and What Is Science? As SCOTUS Justice Scalia wrote “The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Antonin Scalia, in the case Edwards v. Aguillard, U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

Modern authors are so indoctrinated in the Established Religion of Secular Humanism that using them as sources for ancient history are worse than useless. You will need to spend considerable time unlearning their indoctrination before you can begin learning actual history. So here a few essentials before recommending sources.

1) Archbishop Ussher’s dates are essentially correct. Sir Isaac Newton also wrote a history of the world based on the evidence in Scripture and came to similar conclusions, that the world was created approximately 4000 BC. Sir Isaac Newton admitted that his dates could be off by decades, which is reasonable. Both Ussher and Newton use the Hebrew OT Masoretic text. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, the LXX or Septuagint add names to the geneaological records, making the creation centuries older. The first tablet of the Sumerian king’s list is different from the rest of the tablets. The rest use a base 60 numbering system. However, if the first tablet uses a base 10 system, then the number of kings are the same number and lived for the same number of years as the geneaological records in Genesis 5 between Adam and Noah in the Hebrew Masoretic text.

2) There are many minor adjustments which been made recently. Ussher has the date of the Exodus 1491 BC. Theile The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings cross references Assyrian chronology and dates the Exodus 1446 BC. The Hebrew chronology during the time of Hezekiah is uncertain. Many dissertations have shifted the exact dates back towards Ussher’s 1491 BC, but not quite that far. https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/evidentialism-the-bible-and-assyrian-chronology/

3) Carbon 14 dating is based on a constant formation of 14C by cosmic ray bombardment of 14N high in earth’s upper atmosphere. However, a ratio of 14C:12C the nonradioactive stable isotope is necessary to arrive at a date. The established religion of Secular Humanism begins with the belief that 12C has been stable and constant for over 100,000 years. The worldwide catastrophic flood 1656 years after creation was caused by the single antediluvian continent breaking up. That volcanic activity resulted in a massive outpouring of 12C. According to Ussher the flood occurred approximately 2350 BC. The levels of environmental 12C did not fall to the levels we have measured for the past 2,000 years until about 600 BC. Items radiocarbon dated during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his father Nabopolasser are in line with Ussher’s dates. The Minoan eruption of Thera is 14C dated between 1640-1540 BC. Making the reasonable assumption that the Thera eruption coincides with the Exodus, 14C dating is between 60-160 years older than actual dates at this time. Artifacts 14C dated 2300 years old and older have actual dates very soon after the flood.

4) Like the Assyrians and the Egyptians, the Hittites have an Old Kingdom, an intermediate period, and a New Kingdom. There are many works correlating the dates of the Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies. This one is usable. https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/unwrapping-pharaohs/

Comparing Egyptian and Hebrew chronologies, the Exodus ruined Egypt. That fits best with the end of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, which ended with the mysterious disappearance of the 13th dynasty. This begins the ruin of Egypt, the 2nd Intermediate Period. During this time Amalek ruled Egypt. Saul’s campaign to destroy Amalek brought about New Kingdoms of Egypt, the Assyrians, and the Hittites at the same time as the Israelite monarchy. The tel el Amarna letters, found in Egypt, written in Akkadian cuneiform, document diplomatic relationships during the New Kingdom. The letters between the Hittite Queen Puduhepa and Ramses the Great are especially enlightening. http://www.amarnaproject.com

5) The 8th century BC library of Ashurbanipal in Ninevah: https://www.academia.edu/2394909/The_British_Museums_Ashurbanipal_Library_Project
The Ugarit texts: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ugarit.html
The official chronicles of Babylon and Assyria: https://www.livius.org/sources/about/mesopotamian-chronicles/
The Babylonians reference the Hittites as the Hattie, with some spelling variations.

6) Many years of searching pyramid texts, funerary art, and obscure but interesting documents to learn how ordinary people lived in the 2nd millenium BC. The most massive and helpful collection along this line is Sacred Texts. https://www.sacred-texts.com
The editor of the sacred-texts website died in 2012 and to the best of my knowledge the site is maintained, but not updated.

7) The most important source for Hittites, the library of their capital city Hattusa.
https://eduscapes.com/history/beginnings/1400bce.htm
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-near-eastern-world/the-last-days-of-hattusa/
https://vici.org/vici/24102/
http://www.ancient-wisdom.com/turkeyhattusa.htm
http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190247/

I hope that this minor overview is just a start. These are “some sources.” I read several thousand cuneiform documents while writing these books. Translations, not the original Akkadian. That is not as difficult as it seems, since most cuneiform tablets are small and only a few sentences contain important information. One interesting fact I learned along the way is that over 2 million cuneiform tablets have never been translated. If anyone needs something to do…

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, History, Publishing, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Mapped Out Murders Ready for Readers

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Sarah Groben is an LAPD Homicide detective and a pastor’s wife. She’s got six murders she wants to solve by Sunday. Members of a fledgling group for 10-40 window transplants seeking Christianity are being killed. A Muslim charity interested in better relations with Americans seems to be connected by the death of a former financial manager. Family members of the victims might also end up in the crosshairs if Sarah is right about a “Persecutor for Hire.”

Sarah’s partner is down with the flu and her husband Don seems like a tailor-made substitute with his knowledge of Middle eastern languages and cultures. But the case keeps getting more complicated by the minute, and Sarah and Don might not be able to crack it before the killing starts again.

Avoid the lines and crowds to be a first reader of this murder mystery with a twist. You can request pdf, epub, or mobi versions. Email me directly at mjmcfindley@gmail.com.

Here are a couple of snippets:

“You cannot pretend to charge me with a hate crime,” Suleiman sneered. “Christianity is the only thing the whole world is allowed to hate and to discriminate against. Look at your own schools! You ban candy canes because they represent Jesus, and celebrate Muslim culture freely. Everything else is protected, taught, encouraged. Who these days hates Christianity more than Americans?”

“Raif Izzettin, my old friend,” Don said as a shrunken, twisted old man with a thick cloud of white hair and beard opened the door of a run-down efficiency apartment in North Hollywood. “This is my wife, Sarah.”
“Groben, Groben, welcome! This is your wife? You never told me she was such a beauty!”
“Well, her name is Sarah,” Don said with a grin as they entered the tiny but tidy dwelling. 
“God bless you for putting up with this rascal, my dear,” Raif said as he waved them to seats. “I am making tea. Give me just a moment.”
Sarah looked around at the shelves and small tables crammed with Middle Eastern curios. “You have so many beautiful things,” she exclaimed as the man brought a tea tray.
“They are not mine. I keep them in trust until the day they are reclaimed,” Raif said as he served them tiny cups of sweet mint tea. “Perhaps Don has told you that we met when I was known in Turkey as the Moses of Istanbul. I do not boast to say that for many years God allowed me to hold a position in the government that I discreetly used to help the persecuted find safer places to live, or to leave the country altogether. All glory to Christ, that I was privileged to be used in that way.
“So many wanted to cling to their family possessions, but they could carry nothing past inspectors, so they entrusted the things to me. I still have people arrive at my door and ask for things. I praise God with them, that they still found refuge and safety after I was forced out. These are like sacred things to me. I know the story of each one of them.”
Sarah nodded. “I would love to hear some of those stories, another time, sir, with respect.”
Raif heaved a great sigh. “But of course, you are the detective. You are here about the deaths. How many now?”

Mapped Out Murders is available for preorder on Amazon for 99 cents, and is free on Kindle Unlimited. http://mybook.to/MappedOutMurders

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Filed under Current Issues, Excerpts from our Fiction Books, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

When Moving Day Comes: CreateSpace to KDP

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Among my indie author friends, I am seeing a good deal of excitement and concern over the fact that CreateSpace, the go-to print book destination for many of us, is closing down. Our books will now be merged with Kindle Direct Publishing. I am going through this conversion now, and, with 50 titles in print, you can imagine it made me a bit nervous. For the most part the transition has been pretty smooth. I will share the steps in my process in order, and hope to help with what is easy and what is a bit tricky.

Most of us have gotten an email announcing the changeover. Some were able to go straight to CreateSpace and follow three easy steps to transfer books. Some of us, however, were a bit bewildered when we didn’t find any way to activate the process. I was able to take the first step, to verify and link up the two accounts. but that was as far as it went. I waited very impatiently, followed other author comments as they got the nod and did the switch. Nothing for me.

Then one day I had to send a question to KDP. That’s when I saw that one of the things you could ask them about was the changeover. When I clicked on that option, the ability to make the transfer blossomed before my eyes. So I took the plunge and made the transfer. Almost all the books came over very easily. Time will tell if there are problems with the books themselves, but so far it went very easily.

I saw that other people were still talking about the transfer. Some mentioned that there were a few things to be aware of. I wanted to share those here to try to get everything in one place.

  1. You may need to link some print and ebook files manually. Just run through your bookshelf list and see if they all appear to be linked up on your KDP dashboard. If not, follow the instructions. It does a search for the same/similar title and links them up.
  2. You will have access to two more keyword slots. Be sure to take advantage of those.
  3. You can choose one more BISAC category. This helps with discoverability.
  4. You will want to check worldwide rights to potentially reach readers in more countries.
  5. Check your prices and royalties. KDP print figures them differently, especially on shorter works. Adjust as needed.

Here are a couple more items that won’t affect everyone, it seems, but they have affected me.

  1. After changing my books over to KDP print, I got an email saying I would need to change my Benny and the Bank Robber study guides. They implied I wasn’t the author of the original works (I am), or that the original work isn’t included (it is). Happily, when I explained, they published the student and teacher editions without changes.
  2. The first time I tried to publish a print book directly through KDP print, I couldn’t get it to accept my cover. I’ve been designing print covers for myself and others for years with basically very few problems. But the print preview for this kept showing that the cover was sized and positioned wrong, no matter how much I adjusted. I finally gave up and went back to CreateSpace. But now, there’s no going back. So, yesterday I wanted to redo a book already published on CreateSpace and ported over to to KDP. I had no real problem with the interior. The cover, however, kept coming out too high, text at the top outside the dotted line. But, after a few adjustments, I got it to work, I think. Still waiting for final approval, but it looks good. I am hopeful. I think KDP Print is improving its customer experience and they will get it right.

So take the plunge! Please comment about issues you have had with the changeover. We can all help each other get through this. That’s what the indie author community does best. I’d love to hear how the process went (or is going) for you.

Post by Mary C. Findley image from Pixabay User Fabianne1

 

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The Write Stuff with Parker J. Cole: Interview Time!

parker

Parker J. Cole has a radio show called The Write Stuff. It exists specifically to encourage and showcase writers of all kinds. Earlier this year she asked many authors to join a group to help her line up guests for her show. I had wanted to do this for some time, but when we lived in the truck bandwidth and minutes were scarce. Also, I was scared of doing a live interview, even just a voice one. So I took my courage in both hands and signed up for the list. Today was the day, and it was a great experience. I’m going to share the link here so you can listen for yourself.

The subject of my interview was mostly my newest series, His Sign. The first book is called The Wait Is Over.  A few of the themes we talked about included people waiting for a sign to serve God. Drew Goddard got a sign nobody could ignore. We also talked about people who have left the church, especially if they believe it has hurt them. Some have left because they only got milk, never meat to help them get stronger and grow up in God. Another topic we covered was avoiding people we think may hurt us. We lose the ability to trust, and we run from those who, if we just took the time to listen to them, we might see mean to do us good.

God is in all these themes. He will tell us how to serve Him, in His way and His time, not ours. He is not responsible for the failures and hurt caused by sinful people in the church. He is perfect love, grace, and mercy.

Whether you are a reader or a writer, you need to become a fan of Parker’s show. She gives insight into so many kinds of books. There’s encouragement, faith, and great advice of all kinds on the show.  Readers are going to hear about books they’ll want to read. Writers are going to hear that someone shares their struggles, their dreams, and their desire to get words out about God’s truth. Be sure to tune in, for more interviews than just mine.

http://tobtr.com/10972971

 

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Writer Alert! Here’s your chance to win a free book!

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One of my goals for this year was to revise my writing and publishing advice book, Write for the King of Glory. I’ve learned a few things since the first edition of this book, and you are the ones to benefit if you want to learn how to make your writing distinctively Christian plus get an inside look at one indie writer’s publishing journey from start to finish.

If you didn’t know there was a first edition, here’s what it looked like:

king of glory 25

I’ve learned a few things about publishing (and cover design) since the first edition, and I’d love to share them with you. I’d also like to get more reviews. But most of all I’d like to give away some ebook copies of this book. So just respond to this post with your email or send your request to my email (mjmcfindley@gmail.com). I’m happy to send you a copy in whatever format you like!

Here are the links so you can check it out on your favorite site. But remember, you can have one for free! Just ask!

myBook.to/Write-King-Glory

books2read.com/Write-for-king-of-glory

http://bit.ly/2EPDCGX

 

 

 

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Filed under Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books, Publishing, Writing

Good-bye and Hello

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Aloha can mean both good-bye and hello in Hawaiian, or so I’m told. So it seems fitting as we try to plan for the new year, to say good-bye to some old friends, and hello to new plans for Findley Family Video Publications.

First, a sad farewell to Smashwords as our upload site for all the “other” ebook sites. When we started indie publishing Smashwords was the only simple way to get our books up on sites like Barnes&Noble (Nook), iTunes, Kobo, and the rest of the non-Amazon sites. It was a blessing to have it, but it was often a struggle to format books just so and please the “meatgrinder.”

When I recently tried to upload a revised version of a book there, I got an automated message saying it was rejected due to “text inside tables.” There weren’t any tables in the book, so I scratched my head over it a few minutes. Then I realized how many times I’d scratched my head over what Smashwords had found wrong with our 72 books and umpteen revisions over the years, and I said, enough.

We chose to go with Draft2Digital from now on. Possibly we will miss one or two different sites that Smashwords distributes to, but we have to make choices, and this seems to be the right choice. Draft2Digital even has a site, Books2Read, where customers can link to all the other ebook sites and choose how to get their books with a single link. That was really the deciding factor, a universal link to compete with, if not match, Amazon’s world links to all their stores.

Draft2Digital formats ebooks and even print layouts, and is a great timesaver. I’ll still remember fondly learning to format the Smashwords way and I know it will help in preparing to upload clean ebooks. So thank you, Smashwords, for the good times and the learning experiences, but it’s time to say Aloha. you may see some stray Smashwords links on older parts of the site. Think of them as tributes to a mostly great relationship. Remember you can always find our current links to books by clicking the colored genre images on the right and left sides of the blog.

Good-bye also to Atlantis Word Processor. It’s a good program, but it doesn’t do some of the things we need, like track changes for editors and, though it still does epub conversions, converting to mobi format for Kindle readers no longer happens since the Windows 10 operating system arrived. Since we need professional editing services, and don’t need conversion (see above, regarding Draft2Digital conversion), it seems like a good time to say Aloha to Atlantis.

Now on to what we want to embrace and welcome. The blog has been extensively updated, with some shiny new images, layouts, and links. Enjoy browsing among the posts and pages. Many book pages have new free snippets from the stories. Get a taste of our writing and our purpose.

We also have begun publishing a newsletter. The first issue went out a few weeks ago and we’ll be trying to keep subscribers informed about our plans, new releases, our progress toward returning to video creation, and, of course, special gifts and other disclosures just for our subscribers. You can find the link to subscribe just under the search box at the top of the left sidebar. Please join us as we try to keep you more informed, and give you a chance to inform us. If there is anything you want to see or receive, an email to mjmcfindley@gmail.com will definitely get our attention. We take praise or complaints with grace and want to hear from you.

Now, on to the planned releases for this year. It may be too late for New Year’s Resolutions, but, since Spring Cleaning just happened on the blog, we hope you realize our schedule is not quite normal. These are listed in no particular order of release. Just a plan for now, with hope and prayer.

  1. The Captain’s Blade (Sequel to The Baron’s Ring, and book 2 in the Men of the Realmlands Historical Romance series)
  2. Beware the Bustle (Book 4 in the Alexander Legacy Steampunk series, featuring Fun See as narrator)
  3. As the Sparks Fly Upward (Book 5 in the Benny and the Bank Robber YA Historical Adventure series)
  4. I Just Can’t See It (A contemporary romantic suspense)
  5. Amber and the Preacher (Book 2 in the Marshals of New Mexico series)
  6. His Sign 2: The Ezra Solution (episode 2 in the Paranormal Urban fantasy serial)
  7. The Hawk and the Kite (sequel to YA Historical Adventure Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion)
  8. An expansion of Carrie’s Hired Hand (a Civil War romantic suspense novella) into a novel-length story
  9. Guilty Stains, a Resurrection-themed sequel to Fall On Your Knees (Christmas Romantic Suspense Novella)
  10. Who Cares? (Book Three in the Fifty Shades of Faithful contemporary short story series)
  11. A revision and re-release of The Acolyte’s Education (an allegorical retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.)
  12. Updating Write for the King of Glory (nonfiction advice for Christian indie authors)

Newsletter subscribers are going to get samples of all these books, so if you want to know more, please sign up. There will, of course, be a special bonus to those who do. What is it? That would be telling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Valentine’s Day Link-up to Great Reading!

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A Christmas Eve romance for Valentine’s Day? Really? Well, why not? There’s no bad time to read about Murali Nanda, a spy who comes in from the cold for reference librarian Karin Arthur. They’ve talked to online for years but never met in person. Will this be a blind date to die for when a mysterious hacker tries to steal valuable agency intel? You get all this, plus a visit from Bruno, a very big dog who only wants to help Karin make the right choice about whether to trust that this romance is real.
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This Romantic suspense novella is normally 99 cents, but it  is just one of many great ebooks you might get free at our Valentine’s Day blowout. Here are the links for this book for all online retailers, anywhere in the world. Take a look, but don’t click “buy” yet, because I’ll be giving away copies to lucky commenters at the event:
myBook.to/Fall_on_your_knees
books2read.com/Fall-on-your-knees
And for a book that’s already always free, here’s the first in my Serial Archaeological Mystery:
myBook.to/Great-Thirst-1-Prepared books2read.com/Great-Thirst-1-Prepared 
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One lucky winner will receive the complete boxed set with all seven books in the series.
myBook.to/Great_Thirst_Boxed_Set
books2read.com/Great-thirst-boxed
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Now hop on to the blog where it’s all happening and see all the Valentine’s Day specials you can enjoy!
http://cwwriters.com/readers/valentines-day-mega-giveaway/
valentine's day promo 2018 CIAN

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Filed under Publishing, Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging