RELEASING TODAY!!

Mantle Rock Publishing is pleased to release the second book by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock, In Pursuit of an Emerald, today August 15, 2017. Check this book out at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=In+Pursuit+of+an+Emerald+by+Jacqueline+Freeman+Wheelock

In Pursuit of an EmeraldAll ex-slave Violette McMillan ever wanted was to see her troubled daughter Emerald grow up to be a better person than Violette has been, so when Benjamin Catlett, an old acquaintance, asks her to become his bookkeeper in 1869, in a business that is sinking due to southern backlash during the Reconstruction era, she agrees. But when his arrogance surfaces, their goals collide, and Violette wonders if she might be forced to renege at the expense of her daughter’s future education.

Benjamin Catlett is plagued by his past as a free man of color whose African American father was a slaveholder. Renouncing his father’s way of life, he moves to Natchez hoping to quietly atone. But his new hire, Violette McMillan, and her flirtatious teenage daughter, Emerald, test the limits of his good intentions one time too many, offending his straight-laced upbringing and tempting him to fire Violette.

Will the Lord who tugs at the heart of both Benjamin and Violette prevail in solidifying their efforts to tolerate each other and finally affirm the love already blossoming in their hearts?

And that’s not all. A Most Precious Gift is FREE August 15, 16, 17, 2017 on Amazon.com. The address is https://www.amazon.com/Most-Precious-Gift-Jacqueline-Wheelock-ebook/dp/B00MH4U7OG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502743081&sr=1-1&keywords=A+Most+Precious+Gift+by+Jac

A Most Precious Gift

If you are a history person and love Civil War stories, these two books are for you.

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she’s attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary.
A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield’s heart is set on finally becoming a respected businessman by outfitting a bedroom at the palatial Riverwood—until a beautiful new slave destroys his proof of freedom and his fragile confidence along with it.
When the mistress of Riverwood orders Dinah to work alongside the sullen Mr. Mayfield, sparks fly setting the two on a collision course. Is their mutual love for God strong enough to overcome deep-seated insecurities and set the couple on a path toward self-acceptance and love for each other?

Today we also start a preorder for Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty. This is Hope’s second book to be published with us. It’s a Romantic Suspense set in North Carolina. The print and ebook will release September 19, 2017, but you can preorder the ebook now and get it as soon as it is released, and the price is reduced until the release date. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Rescued-Hearts-Hope-Toler-Dougherty-ebook/dp/B074SXJLH4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502796895&sr=1-1&keywords=Rescued+Hearts+by+Hope+Toler

Rescued Hearts

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

These are three great books. You will enjoy reading each and every one of them them.

Kathy Cretsinger

Mantle Rock Publishing LLC

BIG NEWS for Mantle Rock!

As a writer and a publisher, I constantly try to stay up to date on trends in marketing. For about eighteen months, I’ve wanted to start podcasting. Every place I looked it was so expensive, but in the eighteen months I’ve been rolling this concept over in my mind things have improved. So I have bit the bullet.

In the near future, our podcasts will be airing once a week with different authors, both published by Mantle Rock Publishing and other publishers. We will also explore writing tips and ways to grow your business through social media, marketing, and book launches.

The first podcast has probably already aired by the time this post is made.

Click here to listen!

The name of the podcast is “That’s My Book.” At this moment, they will air on Wednesdays. That’s one day I know I will be home, but the easy part about podcasting is it can be done ahead of time.

The podcast will also be here on mantlerockpublishing.com. I’m still learning, and I will know more by next week. I’ve never been a podcast listener, having only listened to a few, but I do enjoy what I have heard so far. “That’s My Book” will be an audio broadcast.

Thanks to Erin Howard for helping this old woman try to understand what we’re doing. Also a big thanks to her son, Daniel, for telling us how to use Skype. Sometimes you have to get an expert to consult with, even if he is eleven years old. He did know more than we did.

Several authors have already stated their desire to be on the podcast. If any other authors would like to participate, please email me at mantlerockpublishing@gmail.com. I will begin recording next week.

Will You Ever Find a Publisher?

A new author has a really great book but can’t get anyone interested in publishing it. How many times have you heard that story? A lot! That was what we were hearing five years ago when we started Mantle Rock Publishing. So many authors had good books, but no one would give them a contract to publish their book. It’s sad when you have something you believe in, and no one wants to look at it. Let’s look at the manuscript and the author and see what we can do to help.

The first thing I’ll say is, “I don’t like the word ‘can’t.”’ It is a negative word and most people who use it are negative. When I’d use it as a child, my mother would always say, “I can’t never did a thing.” That is so right. You have to have the mindset to succeed.

Now, the manuscript. There are so many things I see in new author’s manuscripts that I can understand why a publisher or agent won’t take their book. Here are a few things I look at:

  1. Their market plan. If an author doesn’t have a Facebook presence, a blog, or willingness to do those two things, I won’t take their book.
  2. Does the manuscript have a lot of telling? If there is a lot of telling and not a lot of dialogue, I won’t take the book.
  3. No one wants to read a book with a lot of backstory up front. You can always weave the backstory in as you write the book. When you tell it up front, your book is shorter. But when you remember things in the book, you have things to talk about with another character.
  4. Too many Point of Views, or POVs. Most of the books published have three POVs. I have read some that have more, but it has to be a really good book and full of action to keep a reader’s attention. When every character in the book has a POV, it’s too many.
  5. A good balance of narrative and dialogue. This is important, and it makes the book more interesting. Personally, I like about a 50/50 balance. Readers get bored with a lot of narrative and not enough dialogue. And the other way around, a lot of dialogue and not much narrative.
  6. The book should read smoothly. Not jump around with scenes that make no sense. It should read smoothly from one scene to another. You should not have to turn pages backward to recall your memory.

Most writers are introverts. It’s hard sometimes for us to go up to someone and talk about our books. Personally, I feel like I’m bragging, and I don’t want to push my book on someone. But I have learned by being in direct sales for years, if you don’t ask them, someone else will. Work to get over that fear. It took me years to do it, and I’ve fallen back into my introverted ways. It takes a lot to get me to step forward.

Remember this. No one will buy your book if they don’t know about it. Marketing your book is as important as writing it.

Photo credit: Adobe

New Release and Other Mantle Rock News

Today, the eBook version for In Pursuit of an Emerald by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock goes on preorder. This book is a continuance of A Most Precious Gift by Jacqueline that we published in 2014. I loved the story of Violette and wanted to know what happened to her after the Civil War. Jacqueline leads us down several roads to explain more about Violette and her little sister, Emerald. If you love history this is a wonderful book for you.

The print version releases August 15, 2017. We are reducing the price of the eBook to $2.99 until it releases. Then it will be priced at $3.99.


In Pursuit of an EmeraldAll ex-slave Violette McMillan ever wanted is to see her troubled daughter Emerald grow up to be a better person than she has been, so when Benjamin Catlett, an old acquaintance, asks her to become his bookkeeper in 1869, in a business that is sinking due to southern backlash during the Reconstruction era, she agrees. But when his arrogance surfaces, their goals collide, and Violette wonders if she might be forced to renege at the expense of her daughter’s future education.

Benjamin Catlett is plagued by his past as a free man of color whose African American father was a slaveholder. Renouncing his father’s way of life, he moves to Natchez hoping to quietly atone. But his new hire, Violette McMillan, and her flirtatious teenage daughter, Emerald, test the limits of his good intentions one time too many, offending his straight-laced upbringing and tempting him to fire her.

Will the Lord who tugs at the heart of both Benjamin and Violette prevail in their efforts to tolerate each other and finally affirm the love already blossoming in their hearts?


Don’t miss this! I’m on The Lena Nelson Dooley Show on the Along Came a Writer Network from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. It’s going to be a busy day!

Things You Should Learn When an Editor Edits Your Book

If you’re a writer, these are things you should learn when an editor edits your book. Number 3 is my favorite.

Ten Things You Should Never Say to an Editor

By Denise Loock

denise@lightningeditingservices.com

 

Hiring an editor is wise. But you’ll waste the money you’ve invested if you’re unwilling to accept an editor’s advice. Here are ten things you may want to say to an editor but shouldn’t.

1. No one will notice. No one cares. If you’ve ever noticed a misspelled word or a misplaced comma in a newspaper or on a billboard, you care about accuracy. More than that, though, God cares. He loves excellence. In fact, He demands excellence. Colossians 3:23-25 says, “Don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God. … The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work” (MSG). Ouch. God never excuses “shoddy work.”

 

2. My friend, an English teacher, told me this was correct. I taught English for 29 years before I became an editor. The differences between English-teacher style and publication style are many. Get the right resources. Here are three: The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, fourth edition (CWMS); Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling AuthorsThe Associated Press Stylebook.

 

3. How will readers get my point if I don’t use italics, all-caps, and exclamation points? Make your words work. Don’t glitz them up with fancy fonts and superfluous punctuation. “The craft of writing involves arranging words and phrases in such a way as to emphasize the important points without depending on typographic peculiarities” (CWMS 77).“Typographic peculiarities” attempt to mask mediocrity with gaudiness. Don’t insult your reader with such shenanigans.

 

4. Max Lucado does it that way. According to his website, Lucado has sold 92 million books. Yes, he’s successful. But if God wanted another Max Lucado, He would clone him. Be your best self. Find your voice.

 

5. This is God’s message. I can’t change it. Yes the Holy Spirit impresses on us a message. He reveals fresh meanings and applications in Scripture. But He also uses traditional means of education. Paul’s letters are filled with post-resurrection connections to Old Testament Scriptures. Revealed by the Holy Spirit, yes. But Paul had studied the Hebrew Scriptures thoroughly. He learned under Gamaliel, the most respected rabbi of that era (Acts 5:34; 22:3). Messages need refinement. So do messengers. Just ask Paul.

 

6. That’s the way I talk (or blog.) The CWMS devotes three pages to the difference between blog style and book style. It covers topics such as tone, structure, transitions, repetition, and references. Learn the rules of good writing and practice them in everything you write.

 

7. I like it the way it is. Stubbornness is the twin of arrogance. Everyone makes mistakes—writers and editors. But wait at least 24 hours before insisting, “I won’t change it.” Pray about it. In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer says of the student: “And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.” Wise words.

 

 

8. But I love that song (book, speaker). We all have favorite books, speakers, and songs. But that doesn’t mean we insert lyrics, paragraphs, and illustrations from those sources in our books or blogs. Find a fresher way to say it that reflects your experiences, your environment, your interests.

 

9. I saw it somewhere on the Internet (heard it at church, at a conference, on TV). Documentation is essential. If you don’t know the source, don’t use it. Misquotes and wrong attributions permeate the Internet. Avoid using brainyquote.com and goodreads.com/quotes. And never depend on Wikipedia. Respect the sources you admire enough to read the original version of their words.

 

10. It could mean that, couldn’t it? Use Scripture accurately and appropriately. Context is everything. Don’t mix fiction with fact. Even if you’re using only one verse, study the context, read a few commentaries, and pray about it.  Research Scriptures as thoroughly as other citations. Plant 2 Timothy 2:15 in your heart and “correctly handle the word of truth” (NIV).

 

Remember, an editor is your friend. Editors want your manuscript to be the best it can be. Editing is a humbling career. Writing is a humbling career. Neither writers nor editors are infallible. But we both can strive for excellence and make our heavenly Father proud.

(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Master Isolated Images, Denise Loock, and Google Photos.)

TWEETABLE

Denise Loock tells us what NOT to say to an editor. (Click to Tweet.)

Neither writers nor editors are infallible. (Click to Tweet.)

Denise Loock is a writer, editor, and speaker. She is the former editor for The Journey Christian Newspaper, which reaches over 60,000 online and print readers. As an assistant editor, she helps Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas produce high quality, engaging inspirational books. She accepts freelance editing projects too. Contact her at info@digdeeperdevotions.com.


Thanks for humoring me by reading this post. I thought it was wonderful and something every author needs to read. Many authors think they have to put words in italics to make a point. Not so. Write so they know without having to put words in italics. Thoughts can be in third person like the rest of the text. You can even add, “She thought, . . .” No thoughts in italics. Also, capitalized words are shouting words. Instead of making a point by putting all words in caps, think of another way to not shout. Good article. I enjoyed it so much.

 

Have a blessed day,

Kathy Cretsinger,

Mantle Rock Publishing LLC

ELIMINATING DISTRACTIONS ~ A WRITER’S DAILY CHALLENGE

Last week I read this article by one of our authors, Cynthia Roemer. It inspired me share it with our blog friends. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

ELIMINATING DISTRACTIONS ~ A WRITER’S DAILY CHALLENGE

By

Cynthia Roemer

A good writer pours his/her heart into every grueling sentence, spending countless hours weaving words together until they transform the reader to another time or place. Finding a large slot of time to write can prove a struggle in today’s busy world. And if you’re like me, even when I have the time, distractions often tug at me, eating away at the minutes.

With so many things pulling at us–family needs, job commitments, church functions, phone calls, media devices, household duties–staying focused can be a real challenge.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead;

fix your gaze directly before you.”

(Proverbs 4:25)

We all deal with distractions. How many times do you check your phone or email a day? How many of us cheat one aspect of our lives to fill another? If we aren’t careful, we can crowd out what’s truly important.

Here are five essentials to help keep distractions at a minimum in writing, and in everyday life as well.

1) Pray
Writers: Start each writing session by asking the Lord’s will to be done in your writing. As Christian writers, our purpose is to bring glory and honor to God. He alone can give us the words to speak into the hearts of others.
Everyone : Start your day by seeking the Lord’s guidance and blessing. We never know how He might use us to touch others’ lives.

2) Organize
Writers: Begin by organizing your thoughts. What do you want to accomplish in this particular writing session? What’s your goal? Having a plan of action can help you keep on task.
Everyone: Make a mental list of your plans for today and how you hope to accomplish them. Make the best use of your time by determining beforehand how you’ll go about them.
3) Prioritize
Writers: Decipher what is most essential for that day. Have you made commitments to another writer, editor, or agent you need to follow through
with? Do you have a deadline to keep, or a schedule to maintain? Start there,
then work your way down to the other items on your list.
Everyone: Ask yourself, what matters most? Decide what needs to be done first. Then chip away at each task one by one.

4) Eliminate

Writers: Remove unnecessary distractions–noise, clutter, phones–whatever lures you from your writing. Resist the urge to check social media sites. Set a time limit on how long you’ll write, then reward yourself afterward with a break of some sort. Scrivener is great for this. You can easily set a word count and work to meet your goal.
Everyone:  Remove unnecessary clutter from your life. What can make your life easier? What can you eliminate that will help enhance the rest of your life?

5)Disengage

Writers: When your allotted writing time is over, give it a rest. Enjoy time with family, other hobbies, or focusing on other commitments. You’ll be fresher and more ready for another writing session when you lead a balanced life.(Of course it’s always fun to brainstorm in the shower, doing laundry, or while preparing a meal!) =)
Everyone: Seek a healthy balance between rest and work. When at work, “work with all your heart, as for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). But when you’re home–be home. Enjoy the blessing of resting both mind and body. After all, even the Lord rested on day 7 after creation! So what’s good for Him, must be good for us!

 

A Day in the Life of a Publisher

A day in the life of a publisher is usually a busy day. Since I work from home, it is often riddled with interruptions. Today has been no exception.

We returned home yesterday from a long weekend with my family. My sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and that is an accomplishment. We traveled to Florence, Alabama to be with their family. I’m the only other sibling and my brother-in-law has three others, but only one brother was able to come. It was so good to see my nephews and niece and most of their families. For me to see these great-nieces and nephews after they have grown up and some with families of their own is a treat I don’t get to enjoy very much.

Sunday we spent with a distant cousin of my husband’s. We enjoyed being with them so much. Families should be so important to all of us.

Now that we’re home, it’s laundry, getting a book ready for publication tomorrow, and answering many emails. On top of that, we’ve received several proposals in the last three weeks. I’m going through them while my lunch is in the oven, and the fresh green beans are cooking.

My diffuser is filled with Stress-Away, and easy listening music is playing. I’m trying to relax while I wait for approval of the next book.

What’s going on while I wait? A lot of things! There is a full manuscript in my Inbox, plus another manuscript I’ve already signed a contract for. Things are going along nicely. We’ve signed our last contract for 2017, and we’ll continue filling in 2018 with two releases a month. This is going to make us hustle, but it is good to stay busy.

Since it doesn’t look like I’ll have a link before I need to send this off, I invite you to go to Amazon.com and click on books. Type in “Aimee by Pam Watts Harris” and this book cover should come up. Or you can visit Pam’s Amazon author page. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have.