This is my last book review of 2022, which is apt as it is centered around book people, just like us!
REVIEW: This is one of those novels that grips you from the first chapter. It is a joy for readers and writers alike as you follow Liv on her journey from cleaner to ghost writer. Getting inside a writer’s mind is as difficult for a reader as it is for one writer to another. A spellbinding story, I absolutely loved.
I managed to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2022 as well, and will look forward to another year of great stories in 2023. This is my TBR pile for this coming year.
How does yours look?
What book are you most excited about reading this year? Will it be a new novel by a favourite author, or a new genre?
It was a hot August day, and I was sitting on my back deck when, seemingly out of nowhere, I felt overwhelmed with emotions and heard a whisper, “stories to be told”. With a bit of an attitude, I thought, “Okay, if this is God, I’ve already shared my story. It was hard, but I did it. How often do I have to share?”
Again, a gentle whisper was felt; “stories to be told.” The scene before me, which was my backyard, turned into a black and white scene, as if it were an old movie reel. Within the scene was a young lady on her knees, sobbing. You could feel the emotion radiating out of what I was seeing. It lasted a second, but I knew who the person was and what the reminder was. Years ago, the young woman was me crying out to the God I told myself I didn’t believe in.
I knew then what the message was. Stories, as in many stories, needed to be told. So I reached out to a few ladies I knew and asked if they’d like to participate in an anthology I was considering putting together. They said yes. I reached out to a few more ladies, and they said yes. I soon had 20 women who wanted to share their stories of Grace. But it didn’t stop there. More women reached out, and I soon realized this would be more than one book. It turned into a 3-book series, with all three published within 12 months. As time went on, another nudge was received: to share Hope and my newest release, When Hope Found Me was born.
Has writing them given you a new perspective or mission or aided you in some way?
Oh, my yes. Once this journey of coordinating anthologies began, I realized that there is so much darkness and negativity in the world on TV, radio, social media, and within neighborhoods and communities. Seeing and hearing about negative things each day becomes tiring and emotionally draining.
God again nudged me to share, and the word Hope showed up.
The word Hope had been showing up everywhere for weeks at the end of 2021. Finally, I realized that I was to do something with that word.
I bought some inspirational cards, just the small kind, and began leaving them in random places in stores when I would be out and about. You know the kind, “You are amazing!”, “You are awesome!”. But I felt that I needed to do something else. Something more personal.
I then went online and found polished stones with the word Hope engraved on them. So I thought, “Okay, here we go. I’ll call them Nuggets of Hope!”
So now, I carry a few of those Nuggets of Hope wherever I go, and when I feel a nudge to approach someone, I’ll walk up to the person and quietly say, “I’ve got a small gift for you, a nugget of hope.” And I’ll place it in their hand, wish them a blessed day and be on my way. I don’t feel I am to talk with them but to hand them a small nugget of Hope and be on my way.
That is now a part of my mission, choosing to sprinkle Hope like confetti. One nugget of Hope at a time.
How else do you spread your words and experiences?
Over the past few years, I have started a podcast called Let Fear Bounce. It is an interview-style show where I have guests from all over the world and from different walks of life share their journey, be it writing, teaching, coaching, or simply having an amazing story or experience to share. I feel blessed to be able to provide a platform for others to share their nuggets of Hope.
What message do you have for your readers?
I hope they feel a spark of something when they read through any of the books. Maybe it will be inspiration or admiration. Perhaps it will be motivation to change something for the better in their own life. Or maybe the stories will spark something inside and provide them a bit of hope; for themselves, humanity, and their family, whatever the case may be. I want readers to FEEL and know that there is hope, goodness, and kindness in the world.
Do you think there are enough resources for sufferers of PTSD?
If you had asked me that question 10 years ago, even five years ago, I would say no.
I prefer to steer clear of the word “suffer.” For me, I choose to say, “live with PTSD.” Because you do, your experience has played a big part in who you are and who you will become. Living with PTSD is a part of you, and you of it. It’s a significant life experience. It is all in how you face and deal with it that matters.
Is it easy? No. Is it worth facing and finding safe and healthy ways to live with it? Yes. Because then you can turn that into a message to help others.
Are there enough resources out there to help all of those who live with PTSD? Maybe not, but great strides have been made. Over the years, I have seen many new programs, counselors, and assistance available, especially for women. I believe that more will become available in the future.
When you began writing, what was the hardest part?
The most difficult part of the process was being authentic. What I mean by that is sharing the whole story. Not just bits and pieces worded in a particular way so as not to make the reader uncomfortable.
I realized that I just needed to be open and honest. Share what was on my heart and share that in a way that was true to me, and hopefully, those who read my words will feel something.
Where is your favorite place to write?
It turns out my dining room table is the place where I typically write. Not sure why; it is just where I end up. I have my days, though, that on a beautiful summer day, I’ll haul my laptop outside and let nature speak to me, and I let words flow.
Do you have plans for future books?
Indeed I do! I have two books I am currently working on. We’ll see where they take me. There are always stories to be write and words to share that inspire!
What does the word ‘rescue’ mean to you?
Being pulled from the darkness. A place where you feel lost and unable to see or feel joy or light. When a person, a book, a song, or a pet provides a spark of light. That small light enters into your darkness, and you lift your eyes. That is a rescue to me. So many rescuers out there aren’t aware of what they have provided. How blessed we are that they exist!
Kim is a multi-published author, writer, podcast host of Let Fear Bounce, and TV show host of The Write Stuff, The Authors Voice with the Believe In Your Dreams TV Network.
In addition, she is an active speaker sharing her story of being a female veteran living with PTSD and spreading a message of Hope. She regularly speaks for local veteran and women’s organizations in her hometown area and across numerous global organizations.
She has been writing and speaking with empathy and emotion since 2004 showcasing her faith, nature, love of rescue animals, and advocacy for veterans living with PTSD. She showcases her writing through her books, business, and website; www.kimlenglingauthor.com.
She is the lead author and coordinator of a collaborative 3-book anthology series titled When Grace Found Me. In addition, she is a published co-author in seven anthologies and numerous print and online global newspapers and magazines.
Kim sees each day as an opportunity to spread hope and encouragement, for, without hope, life would be a dark place.
“The world can be a dark place. So I choose to toss nuggets of hope out into the world like confetti; little sparks of light in the darkness.”
Well, my NaNoWriMo manuscript is sitting and percolating in December. Many writers would take this time to relax, but that nagging voice of a new story was too difficult for me to resist. So, I am over six thousands words into a prequel to The Rython Kingdom and Rython Legacy series.
As many of you know the first novella, The Rython Kingdom was supposed to be a standalone, however I was contacted by several readers pleading for the ‘next’ book. This is obviously a dream come true for any writer and of course, I obliged with Rython Legacy.
I thought this series was then complete, until I was interviewed on a podcast show and the subject of this specific tale come up. Through those discussions the seed of an idea was sown. I can announce that a prequel is in the making. The title – Malgraf’s Dawning. For those of you who have not read these novella’s this is the name of the evil witch in the story. It will reveal the emergence of the witch from child to evil avenger.
I am asking for your help in creating the cover – as you can see each book has a similar image but the colours are different.
What colour(s) do you think this prequel should have on the book cover?
Your suggestions and comments are welcome.
Thank you to all my readers who made this series possible.
After the frantic word count goal of November, for those of us who participated in National Novel Writing Month, December is a strangely quiet month. No longer are we racing home after work to write those elusive 1667 words for the day’s total, and hoping to exceed them. We miss the rush, the excitement, even the panic. Initially, we feel relief, then goalless and at odds with ourselves. Now, we are floating in an undisciplined mode, unable to feel comfortable – that impetuous has gone.
We all know a goal is a good thing to have. It aids our making a deadline for publisher demands, editing and revising or any self imposed goal, whether for our writing or something else. So, what is the answer? Well, we have options:
1. Continue with our NaNo project and complete the novel.
2. Leave the project to ‘rest’ or percolate until the ending, plot arc, story line etc. solidifies in your mind (if it hasn’t already.)
3. Edit and revise what you have written. We all know it will need this at some point.
4. Begin another project, or return to another unfinished one.
5. Take a break from writing. Delve into the season’s festivities.
No matter which course you take, do what is best for you. Struggling to complete a writing project, when the holidays are approaching and you have other commitments, is not the way to go. Your project will be there waiting for you.
At this time of year there is a multitude of events which could fill our calendars. The chance to meet readers in person and to sell books for Christmas gifts is a pleasure. Explaining how our stories developed, what we know about the characters and their journey and how we hope the story transports our readers is a special opportunity.
Even if sales are slow, you have reached readers you would not otherwise have met and that is worth your time. On the flip side you may have the opposite ‘problem’ and run out of books to sell. This is where a business card with your links on it are a bonus. Hand them out and let people know your books are available at other places, such as bookstores, libraries and online. You might not get that immediate sale, but there is potential for sales another time.
With so many events on the same weekends, it is difficult to know which one(s) to attend. It is a lottery of sorts. Even if an event doesn’t have super traffic, it is still an opportunity to connect with other authors and artisans. The bonus being you pick up some individually crafted items, rather than from a box store or retail.
I was so happy to find a ladder planter for my deck and a beautiful Xmas decoration at the last event I attended.