Bird Face Wendy

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

Sorry for the long break—7 months! So…

May I make it up to you with a SALE? May 20-26, the Amazon ebook version of 6 Dates to Disaster is only 99 cents.

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Maybe my timing isn’t all that bad, because you can catch up with Wendy and her friends at a reduced price while waiting for book four of the Bird Face series, 3 Things to Forget. Watch for it in September!

And for the first time, I have *completed* a short story! (Never thought I’d do it.) “Recreation” will be part of an anthology, Secrets. Sign up for the newsletter at the website featured in the meme below to receive updates. While you’re there, check out all the middle-grade and young adult novels from its members.

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The West Brothers series … Standing Strong

Standing Strong is the fourth and most recent volume in the West Brothers contemporary Christian teen fiction series by award-winning author Theresa Linden. I’ve read the first three books to completion and am in the process of reading the fourth. I recommend this series containing spiritual, uplifting messages, especially for teens.

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One of the most interesting characteristics of this series is that each book has its own unique flavor, in my opinion. The first has a strong anti-bullying message, the second is more romantic, and the third contains a battle between angels and demons. The fourth book, Standing Strong, goes like this:

Having just confessed his sins to his priest–more sins than a kid his age should have–Jarret jumps in his Chrysler 300 and races to the outskirts of town. Overwhelmed with emotion, he pulls off the road and flings himself face down behind an outcropping of rocks. Ever since that life-changing night in the canyon, Jarret has felt the presence of the Lord in his soul. Now that presence is fading. Is it his fault? How will he remain faithful without it when he still struggles against the same temptations?

Meanwhile his twin brother, Keefe, questions whether he has a calling to religious life. He’s gone along with Jarret’s bad schemes for years. Is he worthy of such a calling? What would he have to give up to pursue a vocation? Keefe reads everything he can about St. Francis and the Franciscans, but he’s afraid to talk to his father about the Franciscans’ upcoming discernment retreat because his father seems closed to faith. Is he ready to go all in?

And because we enjoy knowing how stories come about, here’s some background on the series from the author:

While writing another story from Roland West’s point of view, I received an email that changed my writing plans. I learned about a teen who finished reading Battle for His Soul in two days and who texted his teacher (a nun) to find more of my books!

The nun wrote, “This is a young man who does not like reading, and who is not the type to text nuns for a half an hour on a Sunday evening! But he is so ecstatic about this book.”

That totally made my day and inspired me! Then the nun shared her ideas for the next story. She thought it would be great to read a novel about the converted Jarret West. Although he would want to do the right things, he would still have temptations and struggles to deal with and a lot of tough lessons to learn. “It’s great for modern youth to have examples of how to deal with the everyday struggles they have.”

After considering this nun’s suggestions concerning Jarret West—and knowing his twin brother’s unfinished business from Battle for His Soul—the storyline for Standing Strong came together! The book was written in record time too! It’s a story that offers hope for those struggling with temptation. And it’s a story for those who wonder if God might be calling them. And it’s just plain fun! I hope that my readers find Standing Strong entertaining as well as encouraging. And I can’t wait to find out how this young man and other teens feel about this story!

Follow the West brothers as they struggle through temptations and trials, down paths they can barely see, toward goals they desire in the depths of their hearts.

Standing Strong is available for pre-order. It releases October 4th in paperback and ebook on Amazon and in ebook on Barnes&Noble and Kobo.

square theresa An avid reader and writer since grade school, Theresa Linden grew up in a military family. Moving every few years left her with the impression that life is an adventure. Her Catholic faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the reality we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. Visit her website: TheresaLinden.com. Follow Theresa Linden on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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A new novel for teen boys by Theresa Linden

It’s a trend long awaited–growing numbers of contemporary novels for boys in junior high and high school with a male protagonist 13 to 17 years old. Not to say that girls or adults can’t read and enjoy them too!

Watch for more posts in the coming weeks about novels being released for this audience. Today, please take a look at this one mixing realism and the supernatural–Roland West, Loner–by author Theresa Linden. It is one of my favorites.

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Description:
Roland West, Loner is a contemporary Christian story of a fourteen-year-old boy who finds himself friendless at a new school and the subject of cruel rumors. Despised by older twin brothers, he feels utterly alone but not without hope. If he can avoid his brothers while his father is away, he might have a solution to his problem. When his brothers lock him away, having a plan of their own, he gets rescued by an unlikely pair: a neighboring autistic boy and his brother. Struggling to trust his new friends, secrets, rumors, lies, and an unusual inheritance put him on a journey that just might have the power to change the life of this loner.

Roland West, Loner addresses loneliness, sibling relationships, facing fears, autism, and the Communion of the Saints. Susan Peek, highly popular author of saint stories for teens, including A Soldier Surrenders said, “Roland West, Loner is one of those books I couldn’t put down. Linden tells a delightful tale, weaving the supernatural with the ordinary in a way that left me breathless. You’ll never doubt the Communion of Saints after reading this wonderful novel. I can’t wait for the sequel.”  

Excerpt: 

Time stopped. In a moment of clarity, Roland knew what he had to do. Ignore him. The advice hung in his mind like a caption between scenes of a silent movie. Walk away.

A second later, something inside him snapped. He visualized the buttons popping off his shirt and sailing through the air, their threads like streamers. His sleeve ripping in slow motion, exposing his weakness. Jarret wanted to steal his trip to Italy, his salvation? No way.

Roland’s hands shot out and landed on Jarret’s chest. He shoved.

Jarret staggered back, shock in his eyes. Roland had never made the first move in a fight. He hardly ever defended himself.

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Author Bio: 
Theresa Linden, an avid reader and writer since grade school, grew up in a military family. Moving every few years left her with the impression that life is an adventure. Her Catholic faith inspires the belief that there is no greater adventure than the reality we can’t see, the spiritual side of life. She hopes that the richness, depth, and mystery of the Catholic faith arouse her readers’ imaginations to the invisible realities and the power of faith and grace. A member of the Catholic Writers’ Guild, Theresa lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, three boys, and one dog. Her other published books include Chasing Liberty and Testing Liberty, books one and two in a dystopian trilogy.

Connect with Theresa Linden:

Website: http://theresalinden.wix.com/theresalindenfiction

Author FB page: https://www.facebook.com/theresalindenauthor

Twitter handle: @LindenTheresa

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/TheresaALinden/catholic-teen-fiction

 

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Enter to Win a Copy of 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status on Goodreads

10 Steps to Girlfriend Status FRONT COVER  If you’ve wanted to read the second novel of the Bird Face series, 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status, a giveaway of a signed print copy is going on right now on Goodreads.com. This giveaway is open to addresses in the U.S. and Canada.

You don’t necessarily have to read the first novel, 8 Notes to a Nobody, to understand the second. If you’d prefer to read the books in order, look for an announcement soon about how to acquire a free Kindle version of 8 Notes to a Nobody.

If you are not a member of Goodreads, here are some reasons to join–and these are only a few!

  • It doesn’t cost a thing.
  • It’s a great place to find out about books with topics or themes you’re interested in.
  • It’s a great place to meet authors, writers like yourself, and readers with similar interests.
  • You can keep track of books you’ve read and want to read.
  • You can rate or review books and see other members’ ratings and reviews.
  • You can recommend books to friends and receive recommendations if you wish.
  • You can be notified of giveaways for books on your to-read list.
  • You can search for giveaways and enter them.

So, what are you waiting for? Someone will win, and it could be you!

Goodreads Giveaway of 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status

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Bash and the Pirate Pig

Bash PiratePigThe delightfully illustrated cover is enough to entice you to pick up the book.

Then there’s this great opening line:  “For stupid reasons that weren’t my fault, I was tried, convicted, and sentenced to a summer with my wacko cousin Bash on the Farm of Doom.”

Burton W. Cole’s middle-grade novel shows children the great big beautiful playground God has created for them outdoors, containing cousins, weird friends, and other living creatures. Through Bash and his “farmin’ and fishin’” book, Raymond (aka Beamer) builds, explores, and learns to care about much more than himself.

Both boys and girls ages 8 to 11 can relate to the characters and enjoy the fun of their antics. And as an adult, I was reminded that kids often labeled “mischievous” are merely adventurous. There’s goodness in those pranksters and stunt performers.

This is a book the whole family can appreciate, and it may nudge the kids out of their virtual worlds and into the real one. Find it on Amazon and in Christian bookstores, as well as in others.

Please take a look at what author Leigh DeLozier has to say about Bash and the Pirate Pig at Writing Stars.

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Learn From Critiques

First of all, thank you to all the writers of fiction and nonfiction who have read and critiqued my work and allowed me to read and critique theirs. I wouldn’t have made it this far without them. I’ve learned so much from them, no matter from which side of the aisle.

Honestly, though, both giving and receiving critiques can be a bit intimidating. Who am I to give advice to another writer? What do I know? After all, if I knew enough to criticize another’s writing, wouldn’t I be published already? And how do I know that someone giving me advice knows what he’s talking about? What if I follow his advice and then have to unlearn what he’s taught me?

Okay, calm down. You’ve probably read enough literary classics as well as commercial fiction and nonfiction to recognize good writing when you see it. Or bad advice, for that matter. Just remember to refer to The Chicago Manual of Style for assistance with technical issues regarding a novel. And if you haven’t subscribed to a writer’s magazine such as Writer’s Digest or built a nice library of self-help books, get started. Today. A good book to begin with is SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS by Browne and King.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a close friend who writes, and you believe he has talent, partner with him for critiques. Warning: the friendship should be strong enough to handle the truth, or you may lose a friend. And you may want to set some ground rules regarding tact and constructive criticism, while agreeing not to hold back when a major problem needs to be addressed. In BIRD FACE, Wendy’s best friend, Jennifer, loves her enough to tell her where she’s gone wrong–spoken with kindness, of course. Totally different circumstances, but the same type of friendship is required here.

If you’re not so fortunate to have such a friend–or even if you are–join critique groups available through writing societies and associations, both national and local. I am most familiar with ACFW, American Christian Fiction Writers. Critiquing is handled through email. This is convenient if you’re a recluse, as many writers are. But you may not remain a recluse for long, because even long-distance critique partners often become close friends.

For me, the best part of critiquing is that learning moment when I say, “Why didn’t I think of that (before)?” It can happen as easily when I’m trying to help another writer as when one is helping me. And when it does happen, it’s golden.

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