#AmReading, book reviews, indie author promotions

Special Book Feature: Lyric Harper and the Harmonic Bridge by Jen Lowry

Today I have a special book feature foran author who is a dear friend, a sister in Christ, a big part of my writers circle and a fellow podcaster. The following book was published on Audible on September 28, 2019. I will promise you this, no matter what format you choose to read this book in, you will absolutely love it, especially if you love fantasy as much as I do. Continue reading to find out more.

Book Title:

Lyric Harper and the Harmonic Bridge

Author name:

Jen Lowry

Description:
Lyric Harper, musical genius, is about to embark on her senior year at the most prestigious arts school in the world nestled right in the pines of North Carolina. Harmonic Arts Center, this hidden gem of talent and artistry, has another mission than to equip talented young musicians with the heart for greatness but to test and develop their inner spirit to bring out their mythological nature. Seven youth are selected for an early admittance summer program under the guise of performing at the opening showcase in the fall. They are called for a greater purpose and shapeshift, train, and work as one flock to combine their gifts to defeat the creatures threatening to cross the Harmonic Bridge into our world. Birds of a feather fly and rock together in this new MG Contemporary Fantasy set in 1985.

Purchase link:

Listen to my book review:

author bio:

Jen Lowry is North Carolina born and raised, still holding on to that country slang that is unique to the small town of Maxton she loves so much in Robeson County. She is an avid enthusiast of all things horror and UFC. She finds herself comfier in a pair of pajamas and would make all public appearances in them if she could get away with it. When she isn’t literacy coaching, life coaching, or homeschooling her two fabulous boys, she can be found napping or singing loudly, probably napping. Jen has her doctorate degree in Christian Ministry and is a member of Raleigh First Assembly. Check out Jen’s official author sites all over the net from podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, and more by searching up Jen Lowry Writes or follow her on @jenlowrywrites. Contact Jen for special author appearances and teaching opportunities or stay up to date with her journey at http://www.jenlowrywrites.com.

Connect with Jen at the following links:
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/jenlowrywrites/

Twitter:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/jenlowrywrites/

Website:
http://www.jenlowrywrites.com

Official Author Merch (every author needs a cool t-shirt):
https://shop.spreadshirt.com/jenlowrywrites

Daily Author Podcast to share my author journey and tips:

YouTube (Jen Lowry Writes – where I share publishing tips!):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQiNlUBqsnL3vnpFL97EqQ

#Amediting, #amwriting, #WritingTips

Inspirational Journeys Presents: The Three-act Story Structure

Hello everyone,
In today’s blog post and podcast episode, we’ll discuss the three-act story structure. Before we get started, I want to ask you a couple of important questions. You don’t have to answer them now, but I want you to think about them as you read and listen.

What is story structure? Why should you use it when writing fiction?

The story structure is a set of elements used to plot your novel, before you sit down to write. However, if you have written the first draft of your novel, you can use these same tools to revise your story during the editing process.
Depending on how little or how much pre planning you do before you write your short story or novel, your story structure can be as simple or as complex as you want. This plan gives you the basic plot points to use as a road map, while paving the way for creative storytelling.
If you’d like to listen to my explanation of each of the key points below, please listen to the latest episode of Inspirational Journeys:

The Three Act Story Structure

Act 1
This first act consists of the following three elements: The hook, The inciting incident, and the first plot point.

The hook is the opening sentence or paragraph that pulls your readers into the story and keeps them engaged to the end. This hook should do three things: Introduce the protagonist, establish her day to day life, and show her dealing with a normal conflict. Remember the post I did on Character development? You may want to learn more about your protagonist, before you write the opening hook. However, some writers develop their characters as they write. You can change your hook during edits, if you’re a true pantser or you write the bare bones of a plot like I do. Remember, the conflict you introduce in the hook is the element that moves your story forward. You won’t have a story if everything stays the same as it did when you started out.
For more resources on character development, visit the following links:
4 Tips for Creating Well-Rounded Characters blog post:
https://annwritesinspiration.com/2019/05/08/four-tips-for-creating-well-rounded-characters/
• Dynamic Character: How to write a compelling protagonist
Crafting Incredible Characters
My Favorite Method of Building Character Personalities
8 Character Development Exercises to Help You Nail Your Character
A Surefire Way to Craft Well-Developed Characters

The inciting incident is the situation that sets your story into motion. This beat gives your character a sense of adventure. For example, something must happen to make your character react in a way that moves the story forward. It is important to note that your protagonist may not grab the opportunity presenting itself in this beat, because it takes her out of her comfort zone. Some sort of internal fear or flaw holds her back.

Resources:
What is the Narrative Arc? A Guide to Storytelling Through Story Structure
How to Craft Your Character’s “Lie”
Writing the Perfect Flaw
Your Character’s Greatest Fear

The first plot point, is the part of the story, where the character has become heavily involved in the point of conflict. In some cases, the inciting incident and the first plot point are the same beat. However, in other stories, there are extra scenes to build up to this point of no return, which leaves the character no choice, but to get into the action of the story. In this first plot point, the steaks are too high for your protagonist to refuse to take the opportunity presented to her. The first plot point should take place within the first fifteen to twenty-five percent of your story.

Resources:
The First Act: Nailing Your Novel’s Opening Chapters
How to Determine Your Character’s Goal

Act 2

The second act is the middle build where your story escalates. It includes the following elements: the pre-midpoint action, the midpoint, and the post mid-point action.

The pre-midpoint is where the protagonist moves forward within the story, though she may not understand the reason for her actions. She tries her best to avoid meeting or coming into conflict with the villain. This is the beat that takes place before the big game changer brings a whole new plot twist into the story. However, your protagonist will face many trials during this plot point. Some of her conflict could be with her friends, her own internal conflict, or road blocks placed by the antagonist. For information about the pre midpoint action, click on the links below:
The Four Main Types of Epic Antagonists
How to Determine Your Character’s Story Goal

The midpoint, is where the protagonist gets a little too close to the truth and his or her efforts are discovered by the villain. At this point, your main character is unable to ignore the danger your villain and/or his cronies pose to her and her loved ones. Therefore, she must face the conflict head on and fight against the evil forces. This is the game changer, which heightens the steaks in your story. Click on these resources to learn more:
The Six Types of Conflict in Fiction: How to Identify Them and Make Them Work in Your Story
Breaking Down the Four Main Types of External Conflict
How to Raise the Stakes in Your Story

The post mid-point action, is the point at which the protagonist is ready to meet the villain head on, while striving to get what she wants. There are several plot points or scenes between the post mid-point and the third act that ramp up the action. These scenes may include unexpected twists and turns leading up to your story’s climax. Your Protagonist must face her enemy to protect supporting characters that are close to her. But watch out, for there will be a loss that throws a monkey wrench into her mission.

Resources:
The Second Act: Is the Middle of Your Story Dragging?
The Second Half of the Second Act
The Pre-Write Project: Prep Your Masterful Story

Act 3

The third and final act includes the following key elements to finish the story: The dark night of the soul, The climax, and the resolution.

The Dark night of the soul is where the protagonist loses something or someone near and dear to her. This loss can almost derail your main character’s mission, but the journey isn’t over at this point, the only thing for her to do is keep moving forward and fight to the end. Here’s where her central fear or flaw will come back to bite her. This short but powerful beat is the point at which the steaks ramp up, you remind your reader of your protagonist’s power, and complete her development as the story’s hero.

Resources:
How to Build Emotional Conflict by Utilizing Your Character’s Lie
Seeing Theme in the Dark Night of the Soul
What is the Theme of a Story? A Guide for Authors

The climax, is the point at which the protagonist confronts the villain. She also conquers her central flaw or fear.

Resources:
How to Build a Powerful Theme for Your Story
How to Craft Riveting Internal Conflict
What is the Role of Theme in a Story’s Climax?

The resolution, is where all the loose ends of your story are tied up. If the conflict with your antagonist has not yet been resolved, this is one of several loose ends that are tied up. Your character faces her central fear or flaw, and finds a much more positive normality in her life. This norm is better than the one she started out with at the beginning of your story.

Please note, I am working on a mystery as I write this, therefore this genre is the one in which I give examples to explain the key elements of story structure in the podcast episode linked above. Each genre is different, therefore your structure will very from story to story, though the same principals apply.

Tell me, what kind of writer are you? Do you completely pants your stories, with no regard to story structure in the first draft? Do you heavily outline your story, with each beat or key element strategically outlined, or are you a pantser with a plan? Do you simply write the bare bones of your story and allow your characters and your muse to drive the story from these foundational points? How do you use the three act story structure in your own novel writing? Leave your answers in the comments below, or visit my contact page to send me an email at:
https://annwritesinspiration.com/contact

I hope this lesson on story structure has been helpful in either the planning stage of your novel or during the editing process. I’ve found the breakdown of each beat, within each act helpful in my own writing.
Until next time, happy writing and God bless.
Hugs,
Ann

indie author promotions

Special book feature: The Dark Web Murders by Brian O’Hare

Today I have a special book feature to share with you. My publisher has asked some of us authors to help promote each other’s books. Here’s my first Crimson Cloak Publishing book feature:
Enjoy the book and happy reading.
Blessings,
Ann

Book Title:
The Dark Web Murders

Author Name:
Brian O’Hare

Description:
I am Nemein I am not a murderer. I am emotionally detached from my killings. I am, therefore, an instrument of Nemesis, a punisher. This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders. However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan’s famed intuition to the limit. Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

Purchase link:
http://mybook.to/DarkWeb

Author bio:
Because of a debilitating illness, Dr.Brian O’Hare [B.A., ADCE(Hons.), M.A., Ph.D] took early retirement in 1998 from his post as Assistant Director of a large Regional College in Newry in Northern Ireland. It transpired that he had an irreversible liver disease (a childhood affliction) that required a liver transplant. Married with three children and ten grandchildren, he now enjoys full health, plays golf, and writes from time to time.

Brian O’Hare is the author of articles in several educational journals and a number of substantial reports published by the Dept. Education (NI) and the University of Ulster

Other books by Brian O’hare
Memoir/Biography: A Spiritual Odyssey [Published by Columba Press, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, 2005]

THE INSPECTOR SHEEHAN MYSTERIES:
The Doom Murders
The 11:05 Murders
The Coven Murders
The Dark Web Murders

and the Short Stories:
Murder at Loftus House
Murder at the Roadside Cafe
Murder at the Care Home

Connect with Brian at the following links:
http://brianohareauthor.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/brian.ohare.96
https://www.facebook.com/inspectorsheehan
https://twitter.com/BrianO’Hare26

poetry

Original Poetry: Snow Drifters

As I sit out on my front porch,
Surrounded by the autumn wind
I think about the coming snow
In far away cities and towns
Where winter will soon begin.

I picture a small cottage
With a family seated by the kitchen fire.
As travelers drift along
To find their heart’s desire
.
I See these weary drifters
Walking through the snow
Following the distant light
Leading to the hillside cottage,
With a warm fire all aglow.

What brings these weary Travelers
Out in the winter wind
Are they on a mission
Where will the journey end?

Will they make it through the bitter cold
Or find shelter for the night?
Will they follow the beaten path
Or turn toward the fire light?

Let’s pray they make it safely home
In the blinding snow
Let the firelight Lead them
Where ever they must go.

Inspirational photo to get the creative juices flowing
pen and paper

The following exercise was inspired by this poem, which I wrote out on my front porch, yesterday afternoon. Listen to the windchimes in the podcast episode linked below or listen to the nature sounds around you and write a story, poem or essay about your favorite season. Feel free to email your pieces to annwrites75@gmail.com. If you decide to post your pieces on your blog, be sure to link back to this post, so my readers and I can share them.
Link to my podcast episode:

Hugs,
Ann

#WritingTips, marketing tips, publishing

Inspirational Journeys Presents: Beware of Scammers

Hello everyone in the blogosphere.
Today I’d like to give you an important author tip. Beware of author scams!
In today’s episode of the Inspirational Journeys Podcast, I share my own experiences with scammers from publishing to book marketing. Listen to my discussion at the following link:

In the episode linked above, I mention the following Reedsy article:

Author Scams and Publishing Companies to Avoid

Please feel free to use this as a resource, so you know what to look for when searching for a publisher. Until next time, happy writing.
Blessings,
Ann

author interviews

Big Announcement: Yours Truly is going to be on the radio!

ATTENTION READERS!
This afternoon at 2 pm I will make a live appearance on Crimson Cloak Publishing Radio’s In The Spotlight hosted by Cynthia MacGregor.
Be sure to listen as I share my story by visiting the following link:
crimsoncloakpublishing.com/crimson-cloak-radio.html

If you can’t listen life, you can click the link above and listen to the archive.

book reviews, podcasting

Inspirational journeys presents: my most recent book reviews

In today’s podcast episode, I give you a series of book reviews. The books that I review include Becoming Dad, Murder Mezzo Forte, It’s not What it Looks Like, Riley Mac and the Other Known Troublemakers. I also make mention of the following audible originals: The Sisters, Body of Proof, and For Everywhere. To hear these reviews, visit the following week:

https://anchor.fm/inspirational-journeys/episodes/My-latest-book-reviews-e5dp0n

author interviews

Inspirational Journeys Presents: Special Guest Interview with Jen Lowry

Today’s guest is an author, educator, a home school mom, a life coach, an author coach, a dreamer and host of the Jen Lowry Writes Podcast. Click the links below to hear her inspirational story.
INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS PRESENTS

SPECIAL GUEST INTERVIEW WITH JEN LOWRY!
Hello:
I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.
Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.
Thanks for listening and do write to let me and my guest know what you thought of this presentation.

WHO?
JEN LOWRY
WHEN?
Monday September 16, 2019
WHERE?
YouTube:

Podcast:

MORE ABOUT GUEST AUTHOR JEN LOWRY…

Jen Lowry is North Carolina born and raised, still holding on to that country slang that is unique to the small town of Maxton she loves so much in Robeson County. She is an avid enthusiast of all things horror and UFC. She finds herself comfier in a pair of pajamas and would make all public appearances in them if she could get away with it. When she isn’t literacy coaching, life coaching, or homeschooling her two fabulous boys, she can be found napping or singing loudly, probably napping. Jen has her doctorate degree in Christian Ministry and is a member of Raleigh First Assembly. Check out Jen’s official author sites all over the net from podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, and more by searching up Jen Lowry Writes or follow her on @jenlowrywrites. Contact Jen for special author appearances and teaching opportunities or stay up to date with her journey at http://www.jenlowrywrites.com.

Today’s featured book is entitled The Raptor Revolution.

Description:
Samuel Adams Squirrelly is on a mission. He must save Christmas Mountain from the red-tailed hawks, led by a fanatic Elvis impersonator, threatening their natural balance. Does he have what it takes to gather up his band and led them into battle? Will he be able to survive the vicious attacks from the sky? Is there one hawk among them that can set things right? Join Samuel and his O.R.E.O. militia, as they face their greatest challenge to stand for freedom and fight for liberty in this MG Historical Fantasy based on the American Revolution.

Description: Samuel Adams Squirrelly is on a mission. He must save Christmas Mountain from the red-tailed hawks, led by a fanatic Elvis impersonator, threatening their natural balance. Does he have what it takes to gather up his band and led them into battle? Will he be able to survive the vicious attacks from the sky? Is there one hawk among them that can set things right? Join Samuel and his O.R.E.O. militia, as they face their greatest challenge to stand for freedom and fight for liberty in this MG Historical Fantasy based on the American Revolution.

Purchase link:
https://amzn.to/2mcAsV3

YouTube book trailor:

Connect with Jen at the following links:
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/jenlowrywrites/

Twitter:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/jenlowrywrites/

Website:
http://www.jenlowrywrites.com

Official Author Merch (every author needs a cool t-shirt):
https://shop.spreadshirt.com/jenlowrywrites

Daily Author Podcast to share my author journey and tips:

YouTube (Jen Lowry Writes – where I share publishing tips!):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAQiNlUBqsnL3vnpFL97EqQ

BE A GUEST…

As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, please send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com or fill out the form found at:
https://annwritesinspiration.com/contact.
Please be sure to leave Inspirational Journeys in the subject line of your email or in your comment on my contact form so that I can send you my interview framework.
If you’re launching a book, please let me know and I’ll send you my featured book questionnaire. I ask that you do this, so I can feature your book in the show notes blog post associated with the podcast
Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.

Podcast cover art photo provided by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash:
https://unsplash.com/@nathananderson

Personal reflections

Original poetry: second thoughts

I have second thoughts about my journey,

The process of writing my story.

Are the words that I placed on the page

Written for gods glory?

Give me oh, Lord, the words to write

Lay your story upon my heart,

These second thoughts do not seem right

Please give me a brand new start.

What would you have me write today

To make my story ring true?

The words you Place upon my heart

I’ll share to give all the glory to you.

Amen.

#amwriting, indie author promotions

Inspirational Journeys Presents: 3 Recommended Twitter Chats for Writers

In today’s podcast episode I recommend three Twitter chats for writers. Log onto Twitter and search for the following hashtags, before the chats take place to learn more about them:

WHAT?
#MCChat
WHEN?
Tuesdays at 9 PM Eastern

#MCChat is a Twitter chat where writers answer questions posed by the host in the voice of the mmain character of their WIP as a comment in the retweeted question. This is a lot of fun and you may learn a few things about your character that you didn’t discover in the development process.

WHAT?
#WritersLifeChat
WHEN?
Wednesdays at 8 PM Eastern

In this chat, the host or guest host asks five questions about a specific topic centered around the writing life and chat participants will answer them, including the host.

WHAT?
#PubChat
WHEN?
Wednesdays at 9 PM Eastern, directly following #WritersLifeChat

In this chat the host talks about writing and publishing, but topics are focused more on the writing process, than the craft itself.

To hear a more in depth explanation of these chats and the story of how I found them, Listen to today’s episode at the following link:

If you know of any other writing related Twitter chats you’d like to share with me, be sure to tag me on Twitter with the appropriate hashtags and I’ll check them out.
Hugs,
Ann

Support this podcast:

Leave feedback and connect with me at the following links:
Email: annwrites75@gmail.com
Website:
https://annwritesinspiration.com/contact

Voice messages from anywhere:

Social media:
https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/annsmusic1