Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

Coming Soon! 1920s Historical Novel for Tweens and Teens

Something new is coming in October, and it’s

  • My first historical novel
  • My first crime drama
  • My first novel with a male protagonist

When the reward is the most costly sacrifice of all …

In a southern farming community in 1925, thirteen-year-old Salvatore and his Italian immigrant father become involved against their will in a crime that results in the murder of an innocent man and family friend. Will Sal keep the secrets about that night as his father asks, or risk everything he and his family cherish in their new homeland, including their lives? 

Amidst bigotry, bootlegging, police corruption, and gangland threats, Sal must discover whom he can trust in order to protect himself and his family and win back his father’s freedom. Sal’s family, their African-American farmhand, and the girl who is Sal’s best friend find their lives forever changed as dreams are shattered and attitudes challenged in a small community called Freedom.

 

Let’s visit the 1920s like you’ve never seen them before! I hope to meet you there!

 

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Enter to Win an Exciting Dystopian Trilogy by Theresa Linden!

      

(This series is for New Adults or for Young Adults who have advanced beyond novels that take place in high school and crave more mature, although cleanly written, themes.  I have read the first book and am into the second. I hope you find them as interesting as I do. )

The Liberty trilogy – A young woman named Liberty lives in a dystopian society where the earth has been elevated above man and the government controls everything. Moving from one trial to another—escapes, imprisonment, secret missions, rescues, 3D games—this action-packed trilogy follows Liberty to her final sacrifice as she learns that true freedom is within, cannot be taken away, and is worth fighting for.

Click HERE to watch the trailer for the third book, Fight for Liberty.

Giveaway:

Stop by the author’s website to enter the Chasing Liberty Trilogy Giveaway for a chance to win the complete trilogy!

Giveaway ends: 12:00AM July 9, 2017.

Winner will be announced at the end of Sabbath Rest Book Talk, 7:00PM July 9th and posted on Theresa’s author website.

Books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback, Kindle edition, and Nook eBooks. Other eBook options at Smashwords.

   Raised in a military family, Theresa Linden developed a strong patriotism and a sense of adventure. She began writing in grade school and her passion for writing has never waned. Love for faith, family, and freedom inspired her to write the Chasing Liberty trilogy, a dystopian story about a future she hopes never becomes a reality. Her other published works include award-winning Roland West, Loner, first in a series of Catholic teen fiction, Life-Changing Love, and her newest release, Battle for His Soul. A member of the Catholic Writers Guild and the International Writers Association, she balances her time between family, homeschooling, and writing. She lives in Elyria, Ohio with her husband, their three adopted boys, and a sweet old dog named Rudy.

Visit Theresa on Facebook, her blog Things Visible & Invisible, or on her website.

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A Story of First Love, Buried Treasure, and Waiting

Rightfully Ours Front  Author Carolyn Astfalk is enjoying the release of her first Young Adult (YA) novel, which I am looking forward to reading. I wonder if she notices the parallels between elements of the book’s story and her journey as an author, which she recently shared with me.

Until now, Carolyn’s published titles were adult inspirational romance, Stay With Me and Ornamental Graces. I’m always curious about authors who try writing a different genre, so I asked her to explain how that happened. Here’s what she said:

“Although Rightfully Ours is my third published book, it is the first novel I wrote, before my two new adult/adult inspirational romances. Most of the first draft of Rightfully Ours was written during National Novel Writing Month in 2010, which I began without a clue as to what I was doing and only a newspaper clipping for inspiration. Because the story involves a treasure hunt, both literally and figuratively, I think young protagonists were a perfect fit. Teens generally have a natural optimism and enthusiasm that open their hearts to discovering truth, beauty, and the possibility of treasure unimpeded by the cynicism and practicality that many of us adults have adopted.”

These are some of the similarities I notice between Carolyn’s journey and the description of this book:

This YA novel about first love was her first manuscript! Dare I say YA might be her first true love among genres?

Like the treasures in the story, this treasure of a book had to be discovered in the right way at the right time.

Finding a treasure requires patience. Waiting. Nothing about treasures is supposed to be easy, is it?

Sixteen-year-old Paul Porter’s relocation to Pennsylvania is a temporary move during his dad’s deployment. Or so he and his brother think, until devastating news lands on their doorstep. 

Paul’s new home with the Muellers provides solace, especially in the form of Rachel, his friend and confidante. Their abiding friendship deepens as they work side-by-side to uncover what could be lost treasure. 

Will they acquire the strength of character and virtue to take only what rightfully belongs to them or are they in way over their heads, with more than a few lost artifacts at stake? 

The teen characters in Rightfully Ours learn to wait as they strive for premarital chastity. The author: “…it will touch the hearts of young people trying to discover the truth and beauty of human sexuality … this book’s journey has come to fruition just as my oldest child is on the verge of entering high school.”

Some might call it coincidence that this novel achieved publication so many years after being written. Others might call it fate or the simple result of the author’s determination to see this YA book in print.

But Carolyn says, “God’s timing is perfect.” I must agree.

Enjoy this trailer for Rightfully Ours. Learn more about Carolyn Astfalk and her books by visiting her website.

Let’s welcome Carolyn to the exciting world of writing for teens!

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Battle between Darkness and Light: author Katy Huth Jones

Note from Bird Face Wendy: I’ve read two of this author’s books (including the one featured below) and recommend them for teens and adults. Now for Katy …

 

Since I was a young girl, I’ve been aware of the great battle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. In the 1960s, Communism embodied the darkness in my mind, because that’s what my parents talked about. They had met while working at the CIA and saw current events filtered through what they’d learned, things that the average citizen did not know. Other turmoil of the sixties added to my realization that all was not right in the world.

 

Later I came to realize that the physical battles were but a reflection of the great spiritual battle taking place all around us. I discovered books about real people standing valiantly against the forces of darkness, even when they often lost their lives doing so. The Diary of Anne Frank and The Hiding Place were two stories that made a profound impact on me at a young age, and I wanted to emulate the heroism demonstrated by Anne Frank and the ten Boom sisters.

 

One historical person came to embody this great spiritual battle in a personal way for me. The story of Saint Wenceslas (Good King Wenceslas, as you may know him) touched me so much I had to know everything that was knowable about his life of faith. Even as a very young man, his fervor for light and truth shone in the midst of a dark and evil time (the early 10th century, the Dark Ages). Wenceslas stands as a beacon of hope not only to the people of his time, but to those of us living today. I wrote his story as Treachery and Truth: A Story of Sinners, Servants, and Saints.

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My two YA fantasy series have similar themes of finding hope and light in the midst of darkness, though one is more overtly Christian than the other.

In all my books, I show through my characters how young people can demonstrate courage and faith while struggling to make sense of the turmoil of our current times, just as I did in the sixties.

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Katy Huth Jones in costume similar to a 10th century woman’s in Bohemia

Katy Huth Jones grew up in a family where creative juices overflowed and made puddles to splash in. When not writing or sewing or drawing or taking photos, Katy plays piccolo and flute in The Symphony of the Hills. She lives with her husband Keith in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Their two sons, whom she homeschooled, have flown the nest and live creative lives of their own. Best of all, she is a cancer survivor.

Visit Katy’s blog at http://www.katyhuthjones.blogspot.com or contact her on twitter @KatyHuthJones

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The Teen Weather Report

This post first appeared on The Scriblerians blog, November 17, 2015.

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Image courtesy of Morguefile free photos

Weather plays a part in setting descriptions for most adult novels I read and for the teen novels I write. But there’s a difference.

In writing for teens, I have to keep in mind that they react to weather conditions differently from the way mature individuals do.

Most adults monitor the weather to take safety precautions or plan their essential business or family errands, keeping in mind those who depend on them. For teens, weather is much more personal than that.

For example, an adult with responsibilities looks at a hurricane tracked in the Gulf of Mexico and thinks, “I’d better stock up on supplies and board the windows.” A teen thinks, “I had a date for Saturday night!”

If a teen gave the daily weather report, it might go something like one of these:

  • “Windy today with temperatures dropping into the low fifties by this evening, perfect for wearing my new sweater to the football game.”
  • “Heavy snow is expected today, deep enough for my dad to make me shovel the driveway before he gets home from work.”
  • “Clear and sunny, with tulips and daffodils in bloom and a slow warming trend throughout the week. The best part is that I had my colors done, and I’m a ‘spring’!”
  • “Humidity this morning is high, with a likelihood of hair frizzing. By afternoon, we’re looking at an 80% chance of rain, so there goes my plan to lie out by the pool.”

Teens–gotta love the way God made them.

What is your favorite anecdote regarding a teen and his or her attitude toward the

 

 

 

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Spotlight on Amish Fiction, Featuring Author Molly Jebber

The Amish and their simple lifestyle interested me from the moment I learned as a child of their existence. One day I’d like to visit an Amish community, I told myself.

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Image courtesy of Morguefile free photos

When I noticed that a number of friends read Amish fiction, I wondered how many interesting plots could be developed about such a simple way of living. I gave the genre a try and became a fan because the stories are varied and surprising. So far, I’ve read several contemporary novels by authors Laura V. Hilton and Lynette Sowell. The young-adult/teen series Amish Girls by J.E.B. Spredemann is on my to-read list.

Molly Jebber’s debut novel, Change of Heart, is historical and a genre I’ve always loved. In 1899 a young Amish woman’s fiancé jilts her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home but moves to the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio. Sounds like a pretty exciting premise, doesn’t it?

Change-of-Heart cover with extra quilt

Let’s welcome Molly to the blog. If you have any questions of your own to ask her, please leave them in the comments.

Molly, what inspired you to write Amish fiction?

I’m fascinated with their way of life and talents. I love their dedication to serve God. I visited Amish Country in Ohio many times. They work hard and have such a close-knit friendship with each other. It’s heartwarming and uplifting. At the same time, they face hardships and difficult problems just like we do.

Why do you think non-Amish readers should consider reading Amish fiction or why so many already enjoy reading it?

It’s fun to learn about the Amish, their lifestyle, talents and ways of doing things.

I agree!

What is special about your particular novel’s story?

Becca Carrington, a midwife, leaves the Amish community, but she doesn’t abandon her faith and trust in God. She falls in love with Dr. Matthew Carrington, but his wealthy mother will stop at nothing to keep them from getting married. Her plan is for her son to marry a society woman. Becca doesn’t think God would want her to marry Mark against his mother’s will and ends their relationship. She’s miserable and asks God for a miracle.

Did writing your book require any research? If so, what kind and did you travel for it?

I research the Amish continuously and everything about them. Their way of life, laws, rules, toys, work, farming, harvest, weddings, funerals, etc. “Crank cars” were just coming into being. I researched them, the type of dress, the rural area of the town in 1899 and President and Senate history. My story takes place in Massillon, Ohio where William McKinley, President, had lived. I wanted to mention him.

Not all Amish belong to the same type of order or follow the exact same practices. Can you describe the type(s) of Amish portrayed in your novel?

My story starts out in Berlin, Ohio, an Old Order Amish community in 1899. They follow strict rules for no electricity, phones, cars, etc.

Did you include a glossary of Amish words inside your book?

Yes. A sampling is: boppli – baby; kinder – children; mamm – mother; daughter – dochder and I have other Amish words in the book.

Is Change of Heart the first in a series?

Yes, the Keepsake Pocket Quilt series. “Change of Heart” is released June 30th in print and ebook across the web and throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada stores.The second book in the series is “Grace’s Forgiveness” which will release February 29th, 2016. I also have a story in an anthology, “The Amish Christmas Sleigh,” along with Amy Lillard and Kelly Long that releases October 29, 2015.

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About Molly, in her own words: 

I said to my loving husband, Ed, “I’ve always wanted to write a book. A story that readers would get lost in for a while.” He said, “Do it!” My daughter, Misty, brother, Mitch, and Mom, Sue said, “Take Ed’s advice, do it!” So I did.

The road wasn’t easy, but the education, Amish research, and ride along the way to getting published taught me to take my favorite verse to heart: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV

I enjoy church activities, time with my husband and family, swimming, reading, and golf (I’m terrible at this, but I try!) Summer is my favorite season, and walking on the beach hand-in-hand with my soul mate is one of my favorite pastimes.

Learn more about Molly Jebber and her writing at

http://www.mollyjebber.com where you can sign up for her newsletter sent out only a few times a year.

You can also find her on Facebook:

http://facebook.com/mollyjebber

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