Category Archives: Publishing

Beatitudes & Woes: A One-of-a-Kind Anthology — post by Mary C. Findley

From the Amazon book description — “Explore the Beatitudes and Woes of the Bible through the stories of thirteen Christian authors in this uniquely powerful anthology. These science fiction and fantasy stories will bring you to the point of tears, make you laugh, surprise you, amaze you, and inspire you. ”

Contributions in this amazing work are by Travis Perry, C.W. Briar, Parker J Cole, JL Ender, Lelia Rose Foreman, Gen Gavel, Rachel Kimberly Hastings, Hillari DeSchane, Rebekah Loper, Andra Marquardt, RJ Conte, AT Hamlet, Steve Rzasa, Randy Streu.

I was privileged to design the cover for this anthology from Bear Publications, and I am excited by the reception it’s gotten. Already there are multiple five star reviews. The book got noticed at a recent conference by none other than Steve Laube and the cover is up for an award.

One thing a book needs to get even more notice is more reviews! That’s why the publisher is giving away PDF copies to willing readers. There are no strings attached. But whether you buy a copy or accept a PDF, we hope you’ll consider leaving an honest review. To request a PDF copy, please email me at mjmcfindley@gmail.com. It’s yours for the asking. If you prefer to support the authors and their publisher, here is the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Beatitudes-Woes-Speculative-Fiction-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07TVYXN49

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A Warm Heart — A Very Short Story by Mary C. Findley

Image of Female EMT
Image of female EMT from Depositphotos

“Whoa. Your hands are cold.” Eric Morrow winced.

“Sorry. Sorry.” The EMT shoved her hands inside her jacket. Eric tried to smile through his grimace of pain.

“I guess that’s pretty petty of me, complaining about your cold hands, Erin,” He whispered, reading her ID badge as she went back to inserting the IV. “Considering you’re saving my life.”

“My husband always complained about my cold hands,” she said with a smile. “And I don’t know about saving your life. The doctors and nurses will work on that, when we get you to the hospital.”

“Wow, that was kind of cruel – your husband should have been happy that you wanted to touch him. I’ve met a lot of ice queens who didn’t want to touch or be touched.”

“My husband wasn’t complaining, really,” Erin replied. “I do have cold hands. But he always said that meant I had a warm heart.”

“You keep talking about your husband past tense,” Eric said, struggling against his weakness to keep talking, to keep from blacking out. “Can I be nosy and ask–?”

“He passed away.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. Okay, you should have less pain now, right?”

“Yeah. Thanks. That is better.”

“That’s the best part of the job, when it’s that easy to make people feel better. So, you were all done waiting for this day?”

“Yeah, they told me when I described what was happening that it’s now or never. I should be thankful this match came up at just the right time.”

“I’m sure it’s not easy to come up with a match.”

“Yeah, and they tell me I’m a rare type.”

“Wow. My husband was, too. Small world.” Erin fell silent, apparently checking something out of Eric’s field of vision.

“Hey, could you take over on this for a minute?” Erin said to her partner. “I need to make a phone call.”

“A phone call? What can be so important?” His badge read Jose, and he grumbled as he moved over to take her place.

“Trust me. This is important.”

*****

“Mr. Morrow! Eric!”

Eric climbed mentally out of that deep white place of unknowing as the echoing voice called him.

“Yeah. Yeah.”

Strangely enough, Eric had found himself unable to let go of wondering why an EMT would interrupt her care of him to make a phone call. Man, of all the things for me to obsess over.

“You’re in recovery. Technically we have to list your condition as critical, this soon after surgery, but I’m authorized to tell you that the surgery and your responses couldn’t have gone better. The team is very optimistic that you will be downgraded to stable and out of Intensive Care in record time.”

“Great. That’s great.” As glad as Eric was to hear that he was in great shape from a post-surgical standpoint, he felt beat up and beat down and just plain beat. He slipped away again.

When he awoke, his mom sat by his bedside. “Hi, sweetie,” she said, touching his hand very gently. “Dad just went to get some coffee.”

“How long?” Eric’s words stuck in the rasp of his paper-dry throat. His mother quickly got him a cup with a bendy straw.

“Sip it slow, sweetie. Just rinse a little and swallow a little.”

“Thanks.”

“The surgeon said you’ve slept for twelve hours,” his mother said with a weary smile. “They said that’s good. Even the bloodwork didn’t wake you.”

“When did you get here?”

His dad came back into the room with two cups. “Four hours ago.” He apparently read the longing look in Eric’s eyes. No, sir,” his dad said, grinning. “They’re telling us no stimulants, no nothing that they don’t put in the IV for some time.”

“I’ve heard of mainlining coffee.” Eric pouted. “Sorry to drag you guys all the way across the country.”

“Son, hearing that you finally got a transplant match was worth traveling around the world.” Eric’s father handed a cup to his wife and sat down on the other side of the bed from her. “They told us this match came up very unexpectedly. Someone actually called in to confirm that this was your perfect donor? How does that even happen?”

Eric didn’t answer, because something reminded him of a certain phone call.

“Are you okay, sweetie?” Eric’s mother started fidgeting with his covers.

“As okay as I can be with somebody else’s heart inside me. This is the part when I start wondering who it was, and how he or she died. Will who and what that person was change who and what I am?”

“You watch too many sci fi shows,” his dad grumbled. It’s a heart, not a soul. Who that person was has no effect on you.”

“Is there any way to find out anything about the EMTs who brought me in?” Eric asked after a longer silence.

“The EMTs? Why would you want to know about them?”

“Well … just one of them, really.”

*****

Next time Eric awoke, Erin stood beside his bed. She smiled down at him. “My fingers are itching to take your vitals. How are you?”

“Good,” Eric said. “It was your husband, right? He just died? Right when I had to have the heart, or else?”

Erin made a gulping, hiccupping noise and quickly turned away. Eric couldn’t do anything but wait until she turned back around, red-eyed and sniffling into her sleeve. “Yes.”

“Well, I know one thing he was right about.”

“Okay …?”

“That whole warm heart thing. That has got to be the ultimate warm heart. That phone call you made? You were checking on my match-worthiness?”

“Sort of. When you mentioned that you were a rare type, I remembered how they had to make special arrangements any time my husband needed care, so I wanted to make sure they were completely prepared to take care of you.”

“Wow. Thanks.”

“That’s the best part of the job, remember? When it’s that easy to make people feel better.”

Please visit us at Elkjerkyforthesoul.com and find more faith-filled fiction and biblically sound nonfiction. Thank you for reading!

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This Is How to Get Your Book Written and Published! — Guest Post by Nishoni Harvey

Are you ready to write your book? Are you ready to get published? Are you ready to receive the recognition you deserve? Are you ready to get your story out there so you can influence and impact lives?

Are you ready to help others in your niche? Are you ready to promote your business by getting the credentials under your belt that will lift you as an authority in your field?

Are you ready to start how for $500 off PLUS an additional 30% off?

Authors Aflame is here to help.

Logo of Authors Aflame: Creating Authority Authors
Logo of Authors Aflame Creating Authority Authors

The Author Organizing Course starts June 10th and runs the 11th, and then the 13th through the 15th from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM each night.

It covers:

✏️ Organizing Your Story

✏️ Organizing You, the Author

✏️ Organizing Your Tools

✏️ Organizing Your Plan

✏️ Organizing Your Book

✏️ Organizing for Publication

✏️ Organizing for Marketing

We are doing a giveaway! The first person from this blog to email me at nishoni@authorsaflame.com will receive 30% off their ticket to the Author Organizing Course! Everyone will receive $500 off until June 10th! In your email, tell me your name, which blog referred you, your email, and tell me why you enjoy writing, what you like to write, and what you have written! I’ll get back to you! 😊

For more information about Authors Aflame, visit us at www.authorsaflame.com.

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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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Mapped Out Murders Ready for Readers

mapped out murders 25

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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When Moving Day Comes: CreateSpace to KDP

moving-3671446_640

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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