Are You Ready To Escape? Then Read: These Nameless Things

Shawn Smucker is an author that always leaves me thinking. His plotlines are always clever. In his recent novel, These Nameless Things, my mind was racing trying to sort out the truth. I can’t stop thinking about this book. The undercurrents, the double meanings, it all has me astounded. I’m left with a deep appreciation for his carefully crafted words and the journey the characters must take in order to escape their personal demons and the abyss.

This is a deep read. It is thought provoking. It’s a lot like the television series LOST, but with its own twists and turns and a much different ending. I highly recommend this novel.

And now a message from Shawn:
Ten years ago, I started writing a story about a man named Dan who had escaped a mountain of terror. But he didn’t go far, because his brother remained trapped in the pain and the suffering inflicted by their tormentors in the mountain. So, Dan waited in a village for his brother to escape, too. What Dan didn’t realize was that the rest of the villagers were also waiting for his brother to escape, each for their own reasons.

 

PICK UP YOUR COPY TODAY!! Anywhere books are sold.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping: Give the Gift of a Book

I love Christmas, and I love reading. One of my favorite gifts is a good book. Personally, I like to go on an adventure. I want to travel on a journey that will inspire me and leave me wondering.

These are the kinds of books I write. Adventures. If you have children, I’d recommend my latest Christmas book: The Magic Snow Globe. It’s currently on sale on amazon.com for $10.99. Click on the image below to go directly to the site and preview several pages of the story.

Merry Christmas!


Flywheel Books: My Publishing Label and Why I Chose This Business Name

I have many books inside of me that are bursting to be shared. Finally, I am able to do that. Presenting my new Indie Publishing Company… Flywheel Books.

You might wonder why I chose this name. I’m glad you wondered. There is a reason.

Flywheel Books is a spin-off from my husband, Jonathan’s music label.  When it came time to produce his first record, he needed to create his brand. That night in a dream the phrase, “Flywheel Music” came to him.

A Flywheel is a heavy revolving wheel in a machine (connected to the engine) that is used to increase the machine’s momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine. (Oxford Dictionary and my paraphrasing)

So what does that have to do with Jonathan and I?

We believe that Jesus is the flywheel inside of us. He gives us momentum to move. He gives us stability. And when our reserve is low, He powers us. We can’t do life or art apart from Him. He’s at the center of all we do.

Thank you for following me on this writing journey. The first release from Flywheel Books will be on November 7th. It’s a children’s picture book called, The Magic Snow Globe. In this Christmas adventure, you can travel with twins, Willow and Wendell Potter to magical lands, from snow fairies to toy soldiers, that will reveal the secret to real Christmas magic.

 

 

West Palm Beach Tour: Second Stop…Clematis Street and Liberty Book Store

West Palm Beach has a lively downtown area known as the historic arts and entertainment district. The heart of this district is Clematis Street. This area is known for its indigenous flavor for arts, music, food, boutiques, specialty shops, and nightclubs. Thursday nights from 5:30-9pm come alive when Clematis Street transforms into Clematis By Night.

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In my upcoming novel, Shrink Me, which is a romance mystery, I contemplated the perfect location for Jolene (my heroine) to have her “meet-cute.” The meet-cute is that special scene where the hero and heroine meet for the first time and a spark is ignited between them. Oftentimes, that original spark is squelched by a clash of interests or personalities only to be rekindled later in the book.

Oh how I love a sweet love story!

It wasn’t long into my search for the meet-cute location that I found the perfect store on Clematis Street. It’s a charming little shop called Liberty Book Store.

Prior to my flight into Florida, I contacted the store owner, Thorne, via email and asked him if I could highlight his store in my story. He generously agreed and when I was in town, Thorne personally showed my husband and I around his shop. It was a splendid adventure.

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I learned a lot from Thorne about his knowledge of literature and pricing vintage books. He says, “Condition is everything.” Wear and tear. Stains. Complete pages. Smell. The spine. All these things factor into the worth of a book.

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A view inside the antiquarian book room

In the back of the store is a special room that will make a book collector’s dream come true.  The antiquarian book room contains hundreds of association copies, first edition, signed and rare books. Locked glass display cases hold prized collections of Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Nonesuch Dickens 24 Volumes are a limited edition and includes the steel plate for the image “Mr. Noodle is led to the contemplation of his destiny,” proof print, and letter of authenticity. The price: $6,500.00.

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Set: The Great Gatsby,The Last Tycoon, All The Sad Young Men, The Vegetable, This Side of Paradise, Flappers and Philosophers, The Beautiful and Damned. New York: Scribner’s, 1920-1941. First Edition. Hardcover. Price: $7,250.00

In a glass case, near the front of the store was an item I found worn and beautiful. It was a copy of the Holy Bible printed in 1811. Price: $1,350.00.

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On the door of the rare book room is a sign that says, “I cannot live without books,” by Thomas Jefferson. That quote says it perfectly.

I am in love with books. I am in love with writing them, reading them, studying them, and collecting them. I need books. I’m drawn to book stores like a kid to a candy shop. Perhaps that is why I needed my heroine, Jolene to love books as well.

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If you are ever on the east coast of Florida, make it a point to visit Liberty Book Store located on Clematis St., Ste. 117
, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.

References:

http://www.westpalmbeach.com/clematis

http://www.libertybookstore.com

 

Books, Storytelling, and Using Imagination

In a world driven by technology, the art of storytelling and reading books can be lost. Imagination is stifled in children and adults when television and iPads replace creative thinking. I am passionate about reigniting the joy of books and story writing. That is why I’m dedicated to teaching my kids the importance of books and using their imaginations, and that is why I was so honored to  speak to my daughter’s preschool class yesterday.

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I presented the art of writing stories to a group of 18 bright-eyed children using storyboards.

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We discussed using our imaginations to dream up fun things like a fire-breathing dragon guarding a castle or a dragon that breathes bubbles and eats chocolate chip cookies.

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And then the kids helped me write a story called Farmer Ben’s Special Hen. As I told the story, I had the children contribute ideas along the way.

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Farmer Ben’s special hen laid many special things like…cars, rainbow candy canes, and lady bugs.

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She even had special talents like singing, doing cartwheels, riding a horse, building a snowman, and chasing dinosaurs.

Since the hen was so special, Farmer Ben decided to give her an extra special name. The kids loved shouting out names! This was the final product: Nina Aiyana John Piper Niber Sophia Carter Benjamin Gloria Bret Cup-paper.

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Farmer Ben entered the special hen into a pet contest, and the kids helped create other special animals that were there! In the end, Farmer Ben’s chicken won First Place.

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Using their imaginations, the children helped write a story and boy was it interesting! I hope my presentation will stick with them and inspire them to create more stories.

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Before there was television, people told stories and read books. That was fine entertainment. It saddens me when I hear that publishing houses are consolidating because they’re struggling to sell enough books to stay afloat. It grieves me when I hear people say, “I don’t like to read.” Is this what we are passing on to our next generation? Ohhh…I surely hope not. Let’s encourage our children and yes, other adults, to read, create, and use our imaginations!

Storybook Village

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As I entered Storybook Village, I shed my adult years and regained the youth of a child. It’s magical.

Each nook is an experience. Winding through a maze of colorful puppets, toys, and trinkets, I met the most beautiful books. I discovered tunnels and castles, secret passages to the theatre, and a sailboat with peeking port holes.

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And finally I made my way into the Starlight Theatre…a dream made real.

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In the story, Starlight Sailor by James Mayhew and Jackie Morris, a little boy travels to a new land of friendly dragons, fanciful friends, and flying fish inside his dreams.

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“Star light, star bright, First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. I wish I had a little boat! Far away I drift and float…”

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So where is this enchanting place? Visit 560 S. Hancock St. in Pentwater, Michigan. They have daily storytelling and special productions in the theatre. Storybook Village is not only memorable for children, but also for adults. It was voted the TOP 14 BEST EVER Chidlren’s Book Store in the Nation! And I would definitely agree.

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References:

http://www.astorybookvillage.com

Story Exerpt: “Starlight Sailor” by James Mayhew and Jackie Morris