John Maxwell-Leadership Expert

 

By Betty Boyd

Books on leadership have always fascinated me.  It’s the subject I read the most, and have the greatest number of books. There are many authors that I enjoy reading, but one of my favorite authors is John Maxwell.

John C. Maxwell.jpg

John Maxwell started as a pastor in the 1970’s, and writes on the human side of leadership. He emphasizes the true qualities of how God has guided him both as a pastor and writer. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker, and has sold over 25 million books in 50 languages.  Maxwell is the type of author that I find very inspiring.

I’ve been privileged to hear him speak, and get great energy from his talks. The books I own by him, I go back to time and time again.  I have read other leadership books, but none compare to the breadth and depth of knowledge that Maxwell exudes in his writings.

He is a prolific writer and seems to come out with a new book each year. The topics that Maxwell covers are timely and on target. I always look forward to see what he will author next.

His belief in God is one of the reasons I really appreciate who he is and what he writes. Leadership is a hard subject to talk about, but John Maxwell, in my opinion, is the best in the field.

One of my favorite books by Maxwell is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and here is a link to the 10th anniversary addition: https://www.amazon.com/21-Irrefutable-Laws-Leadership-Anniversary/dp/149151311X

Who is your favorite author and can you imagine writing just like them…

 

Ten Reasons To Read Rooms (And All James L. Rubart Books)

ROOMS.

My all-time favorite modern fiction book by my all-time favorite modern fiction author.

Why? Let me share ten reasons. 🙂

10. Series or stand-alone. He writes both. I enjoyed the Well Springs Novel series and singles, like The Five Times I Met Myself.

9.  Page turners. I’ve yet to read one of his books that I could set aside for an extended length of time.

8.  Believable characters. I sometimes forget they’re just that. Characters.

7.  Relatable characters. In The Well Springs Novel series, I so related with the professor. For example, the way he approached the good and bad in life.

6.  Good plots. I read constantly so I need a good plot so I don’t get bored. His books aren’t boring. At all.

5.  Twists. And to go along with good plots, I like to be surprised. James L. Rubart definitely thinks outside of the box.

4.  Well-written. The writing is crisp and clean. Nothing to distract me from the story.

3.  Deep meaning. I could go on here forever. Each book deals with different themes and themes within the themes. I enjoy layered stories.

2.  Speaks to  your heart. The tissue I’ve went through reading these books? Plenty. I’ve laughed and cried with the characters like they were real people.

1. I just love them. In 2010, I read ROOMS and it really impacted my life. The main character, Micah, has to decide whether to run from his fears or face them. In the spring of 2011, I faced a challenge of my own. I wanted to go to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference near Asheville, North Carolina.

Only one problem.

I’d never been to a writer’s conference and the very thought terrified me. But like Micah, I chose to face my fear and go, shaking in my socks. I survived and even met James Rubart there, got him to autograph my book, and shared my story of how his book helped me.

One book that God used to speak to me made a difference beyond what I could’ve ever dreamed. I’ve been to six conferences since then.

Don’t ever doubt it. Books can have a part in changing lives.

Like mine.

Click to tweet: My all-time favorite #fiction book by my all-time favorite fiction author. https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com #write

Writing Prompt: Below is the book cover of SOUL’S GATE. Imagine you are by the fire. What do you smell? see? hear? taste? feel?

Hope by Fay Lamb

I’m thrilled to welcome back to the blog, my friend, author extraordinaire, Fay Lamb. She helped me when I first joined the Scribes critique group as a newbie. I don’t think I could have made it without her constant encouragement. So what’s she up to these days? Let’s see…

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Fay: My husband and I have lived in Titusville, Florida, our entire lives though we didn’t met until we were in our twenties. We are actually fifth generation Titusvillians and two more generations (our two sons and our six grandchildren) follow us. We’re all still here in this small town where the building of a new bridge is entertainment, and don’t get us started on our new shopping center where everyone provides at least one update a day as to the progress. I think that our citizen’s interest in small-town life is pretty remarkable when you realize that Titusville is the gateway to space, and we have grown up watching rockets and space shuttles blast off and return from outer space. Our parents and grandparents were the generation that made those things happen, and Titusville, through it all, has remained small and neighborly.

My life has consisted of work as a court clerk, a legal secretary/paralegal, a church secretary, and various other jobs, including a stint in a mental hospital—working there, not voluntarily or involuntarily committed. However, at no time since my memory formed can I remember wanting to be anything but an author. School aptitude tests always indicated that I would be either a great librarian or an author. That should have been enough to lock me away, I think. However, every job I have ever undertaken proved good experience for my writing career.

What genre are your books? What draws you to this genre?

Fay: I’ve never adhered to the admonition that writing in more than one genre can be fatal to a career. I do mainly write romance and romantic suspense, yet I do have a couple contemporary fiction novels I’d love to see published one day.

So, what draws me to the genre? True confession: when I first started out writing, you would never have gotten an admission out of me that I wrote romance. No, ma’am, not me. I wrote women’s fiction—oh wait—they told me women’s fiction doesn’t do well in the market. Therefore, I declared myself a writer of contemporary fiction so that someone might find an interest in it. Well, when I finished my first contemporary fiction novel, and edited it and edited it and edited it, one truth became blaringly honest. Anything without romance, no matter how much of a role it plays in a story, is boring. Since that truth struck me upside the head, I have never shied away from admitting I write romance.

So, if you’re trying to think this one out, I have an example for you. It’s a movie I love to loathe. I’ve never had any interest in the story. The mention of any of the sequels cause my eyes to roll back in my head, but my husband loves it, and sometimes I suffer my way through it with him. Think about Rocky’s story. If it had only been about boxing, if he hadn’t fallen in love with Adrienne, would the movie still be the same? Why did Rocky go the distance—what moved him forward? Without romance, the movie ended with him going down and not getting up. In my version of the thing, Rocky would have beaten the crap out of Apollo Creed and gotten the title, hugged Adrienne, lived happily ever after, and there would have been no need for any sequels. Romance, for better for worse, is the reason that movie works and for those **rolling eyes** sequels.

Do you work to an outline or prefer to see where an idea takes you?

Fay: I do prefer to see where an idea takes me. With my novel, Hope, when my publisher gave me my deadline for the release date, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hope and her hero, Danny, had taken me almost to the very end of the book.
In my current work-in-progress Frozen Notes, I found I’d already written 70,000+ words when I was told of the due date for an autumn release. The difference between Hope and Frozen Notes is that the 70,000+ words need a quite a bit of revision. That can be the hard part about letting your ideas take you where they want to go, but I will admit, that the plot of Frozen Notes holds together. The tweaking I plan to do, though, will make it a much stronger book, conflict-wise.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Fay: I honestly believe that I answer this question in a different way each time it is asked simply because life is constantly changing for us or for those around us that depend upon us.

Currently, what I find the most difficult is sitting at my chair and keeping my bottom firmly placed. This isn’t because of my desire to get up and down and do other things, but at this time in my life, I am dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s, and that person is living in her own story world and pulling those of us who care for her into it with her daily. Therefore, bottom firmly in chair for me for more than thirty minutes at a time is a luxury.

But if you look at my answer to Question 3, you’ll find that God was never surprised by what would be happening in the life of my loved one or how it would affect my life. He’s actually made a way that thirty minutes at a time works for me right now, and I am grateful for that because, though I long for all the time in the world to write, the quenching of that longing will come at a great price, and I’m just not ready to pay that yet.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Fay: Alive and writing, if the Lord so wills.

Thanks for dropping by, Fay!


Hope

Hope Astor is literally a starving artist, living off the good graces of her friends as she seeks help for the fatigue that has plagued her for over a month. Dr. Daniel Duvall is a noted oncological surgeon whose life hasn’t been the same since losing his sister in a car accident the year before.

When Hope receives her diagnosis, she understands that her carefree artist’s lifestyle has left her without any options to save her life, but her friends try to convince her otherwise. They persuade Hope to seek treatment from the best doctor she knows. Trouble is, Hope is the reason Daniel’s sister is dead, and she doesn’t think saving her life is on his list of priorities.


Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories that remind the reader that God is always in the details. Three of the four books in the Amazing Grace romantic suspense series, are available: Stalking Willow, Better than Revenge, and Everybody’s Broken. Hope is the third book in The Ties that Bind Series, which also includes Charisse and Libby. Fay’s adventurous spirit has also taken her into the realm of non-fiction with The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Future releases from Fay will be: Frozen Notes, Book 4 of the Amazing Grace series, and Delilah, Book 4 from The Ties that Bind.

Fay loves to meet readers, and you can find her on her personal Facebook page, her Facebook Author page, and at The Tactical Editor on Facebook and on Goodreads. She’s also active on Twitter. Then there are her blogs: On the Ledge, Inner Source, and the Tactical Editor.

If You Give a Writer a Book . . .

by Carlton Hughes

Who is my favorite modern author? That’s a good, loaded question.

book-1840910_1280I have many friends who are authors, so, for the sake of my own protection, I won’t be naming any of them. They’re ALL wonderful writers who have written AWESOME books that I LOVE.

There, that should cover everyone’s ego.

If you’d asked me this question a few years ago, I would have named the author of the books that I was reading most often back then: Laura Numeroff. When my boys were younger, we loved reading her If You Give a . . . series: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Pancake. I read those books too many times to count, and they put a smile on my face (as well as on my sons’ faces) each time.

My wife and I are empty nesting now, so I don’t read those books anymore. Sad and surprising, I know. When pressed to name my favorite modern author (other than my friends) of books geared toward adults, there is a clear answer: Joni Eareckson-Tada. No modern author has challenged me or helped build my faith like her.

gloriousintruderYou probably know Joni’s story: rendered a quadriplegic from a failed dive at 17, she went through the “valley of the shadow of death” yet learned how to live a fruitful, meaningful life for Christ. She writes from the heart, not afraid to share her experiences with suffering and her questions. She has taught me about dealing with struggles while celebrating the small joys in the Christian life.

When I first became a Christian almost 20 years ago, I found Joni’s book Glorious Intruder at the library, and it knocked my socks off. I was so young in Christ that I felt like I was stumbling in the dark, but Joni’s stories of finding God’s hand in everyday life encouraged me. I even wrote her a fan letter (a first for me), and her assistant sent me a lovely card with one of Joni’s paintings on the front—yes, she is also an artist!

On those days when I feel sorry for myself, I pick up one of Joni’s books. Reading a piece or two of hers always makes me feel better, seeing life from a different perspective. However, I discovered something while researching this post: Laura Numeroff has released If You Give a Mouse a Brownie. Laura’s writing and brownies—two of my favorite things! I may have to sneak back into the children’s section.

(Click to tweet) Who is my favorite modern author? That’s a good, loaded question. 

WRITING PROMPT: Imagine you are in your local library, and you wander into the children’s section. You spot a favorite book from your childhood (or your children’s younger years), and . . .

 

A Good Book is Worth More than A Thousand Words

By Tammy Trail

My favorite modern author? The topic this month is a hard one for me because I read a variety of genres and have several favorite authors. Narrowing it down to just one has been tough.

I thought about early influences that would make my choice easier. As a young student, I loved history. My brothers and I tended to gravitate toward television programs like Daniel Boone and Grizzly Adams. Frontiersmen who were larger than life; living extraordinary lives apart from the social norm. They lived in a time-period when American was young and untouched. They cut  new paths through untraveled countryside or made friends with bears.

My teen years were filled with more romance and dramatic taste in books and television. Who didn’t love watching Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder’s courtship on “Little House on the Prairie”? I was glued to the television one night each week with anticipation. Having read all the Little House books, I knew they eventually got married. Seeing it played out week after week by actors was a great treat for myself and other girls my age.

A few years ago, I found an author who mixes my love of the great unknown on the frontier with intriguing romance. I also follow her on Pinterest. Judging by the kinds of pins she saves, we share many similar interests. I just know we could be kindred spirits!

Laura Frantz is such a wonder with her pen. Her characters leap off the page with realistic conflict and personal growth. Courting Morrow Little is a great read. The title alone made me want to read the book. Who is this girl with such an unusual name? Why would we care about her courting activities? Unless, of course, there is more than one man waiting in line to court her.

Of course, there are two men. One man is a military officer who would be a safe, secure choice. The other man? Well … he would make tongues wag. Morrow’s judgment would be  questioned. 

The other book that I enjoyed reading very much is The Mistress of Tall Acre. Who isn’t intrigued by a marriage of convenience? I liked the heroine, Sophie Menzie. She’s a proud, strong woman with a heart of gold. And a secret crush. General Seamus Ogilvy is a likable hero who just can’t seem to catch a break. And when you think life for these two will be all sunshine and roses, a twist of fate comes into play. I won’t give it all away. You must read it for yourself.

A rainy day, a cup of hot tea, and one of Laura Frantz’ books. I can’t think of better way to spend time in the present.


Click to tweet: “A rainy day, a cup of hot tea, and one of Laura Frantz’ books.

Writing Prompt: Every Thursday afternoon you can find Sally Thomas sitting on a bench inside the bookmobile……

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Pastry, Royalty, and Mystery

I don’t know about your TBR list, but mine is growing weekly. As I meet and hear about new authors, I’m curious to read their books. That’s a lot of writers and even more books. To narrow that list down to a favorite would be almost impossible. Ack!

So…

I’ve decided to tell you about one author I know a little better than the rest because I’ve known her for a longer period of time. This year marks eight years. I’m honored to call her mentor, friend, and one of my favorite authors.

headshot21I met Sandra when I enrolled in a two-year Apprentice Course with the Christian Writers Guild. Through bi-weekly emails, I became acquainted with her philosophies.

One of the first pieces of advice she gave to me was about vulnerability. It is a bit of guidance I carry with me daily.

Your vulnerability is what buys you the right to teach your reader, remember! – Sandra Byrd

Curling up with one of Sandra’s books is like sitting down with an old friend. I reach for my much-loved blanket, my favorite hot beverage, and climb in my comfy chair for an extended visit. It’s easy to lose myself in whatever period she writes. The sights, sounds, and smells, of her imaginary worlds, bring life to the characters in her story.

For example in the modern French Twist series, you can almost taste the delectable pastries in the Bijoux. The Ladies in Waiting series takes the reader to the uncertain times of Henry VIII’s court and ends with the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Daughters of Hampshire is set in the adored Victorian Era.

17197682_10210762378807328_1032950164_n Sandra Byrd

The last book in the DH set, A Lady in Disguise, is coming out this month, so I need to arrange my TBR list.

For anyone who loves to read, I highly recommend Sandra Byrd as an author whose books will be a delight to explore.

You can connect with Sandra on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or her Blog.

Click to tweet: Your vulnerability is what buys you the right to teach your reader, remember!

Writing Prompt: You are seated at the ACFW Conference when your favorite author joins you for a chat.

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Love Wemmicks, Parables, and Max Lucado Books

By Jennifer Hallmark

wemmickDo you know what Wemmicks are? How about little Hermie? If not, you probably haven’t read a Max Lucado book to a child yet.

What? You didn’t know that my all-time favorite non-fiction author of encouraging, inspirational books for adults also writes children’s books? Then let me share with you 5 reasons you need to read these books…child reading

  • The Wemmicks– There are at least 5 books featuring the Wemmicks, small wooden people carved by a woodworker named Eli. The issues and situations they deal with definitely mirror those we encounter daily. Max addresses these issues gently, displaying the grace of God.
  • They touch your heart-One book I especially love is “Just In Case You Ever Wonder.” I cannot read this to my grandchildren without tearing up. We are so special to God and this book is simple enough for a child to understand, but deep in truth.
  • Little Hermie books-They are extremely easy to read with bright illustrations children enjoy. And I love the way Max uses insects as the main characters.
  • Christmas stories-Beside A Fruitcake Christmas, which is a little Hermie story, there is Itsy Bitsy Christmas: You’re Never Too Little For His Love, The Crippled Lamb, and one that I own, The Christmas Story for Children. Again, basic truth written for all ages.
  • Parables, Love and Acceptance-The basic theme of all these books is grace. They resonate with the parable of the prodigal son’s message: If you cry out to God, He will hear and come running. You and your children will feel the one-of-a-kind of love the Father has for you through the sweet messages in Max Lucado’s books.

(Click to Tweet): 5 reasons to love Wemmicks, parables, and Max Lucado books. https://ctt.ec/SD4ff+ #amwriting #amreading

20170214_134402Oh, and as for his selection of books for adults? I presently own ten, but would love to have them all. The first inspirational Christian book I ever read was When God Whispers Your Name. Someone at the church I had just started attending gave it to me, saying they felt like I needed it. They were right. It opened a whole new world of reading and drawing closer to God.

My favorite Lucado books are When God Whispers Your Name, In the Grip of Grace, On the Anvil, Facing Your Giants, and the mini-book, Give It All to Him. I buy that last one in large quantities and give them away. The parable within is a wonderful tool for witnessing to the lost or strengthening anyone who needs a little reassurance.

I’ve just purchased one of his latest, a novel titled Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café. I can’t wait to see what encouragement and surprises await me.

So why don’t you give those Wemmicks a try? You’ll be glad you did…

Writing Prompt: The Max Lucado book lay near the fireplace, just inches from the burning logs. I’d meant for it to go in when I threw it but it seemed to have a mind of its own. I fell to my knees as…

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