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When the Write Door Opens -Matthew 7:7

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom

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The Writer’s Door

A Book Signing and a Surprise Guest…

Well, it’s official! I had my first library book signing yesterday evening. It was a great experience and encouraging to have, among the group, a couple of teenagers. One of them was a 15 year old girl interested in writing. As I looked at her, it was amazing to think that I was about her age when I began writing A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. Time sure does fly!

I’m thankful for my family who came and supported me, husband who herded the kiddos, and for 2 wonderful surprise guests!

I had just started speaking about my inspiration for writing my novel–how my best friend, Alicia, and her family took our family on a trip to Bailey’s Harbor, WI, where I fell in love with Cana Island Lighthouse. Just at that moment, Alicia and her mom (Mama Debbie) walked in the back door. I immediately teared up and couldn’t talk for a few minutes (and I’m definitely NOT a pretty crier), but after regaining my composure, I was able to introduce the group to the very people who provided the inspiration for me to write A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. 

Alicia

I’d like to end this short blog by giving a few tips on how to make a book signing more successful:

  1. Bring a pen. Seriously, I hadn’t even brought a pen to a book signing. So embarrassing!  (A big thank you [again] to my dear friend, Alicia, who saved me by having a pen.)
  2. Bring money to make change–guess that shows how sure I was about selling my books.
  3. Bring a phone or camera. Neither my husband nor I had brought anything to take pictures. Guess we felt it was a success to just arrive on time with the books and the boys. (Thank you to my mother-in-law and Alicia and Debbie for their pictures.)

Hopefully, there will be more book signings in my future and more books to sign.

One more friendly reminder to please, please review A Light in Bailey’s Harbor on Amazon.com.

1.Just click the “amazon reviews” icon below, and it will take you to Amazon.com.

2. Scroll down to “Write a Customer Review.” Thanks!

Have a wonderful week!

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Book Signing at Lawrenceburg Public Library-North Dearborne Branch

Can’t believe I’m announcing this, but I’m having my first public book signing for my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, on Monday, August 8th at 6:30-7:30pm!

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If you live in the area, I would love to see some familiar (or brand new) faces! Click the link below to see the location of the North Dearborn Library. After clicking the link, click “Get Directions” to map it from your location (because I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get the map to link up right to this page!)

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One last thing, if you’ve read A Light in Bailey’s Harbor and haven’t reviewed it, please take a minute and review it on Amazon! That would greatly help me out.

Just click below, and it will take you directly to it!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Bethany

 

 

 

 

What an awesome privilege I had last week to be a part of a FaceTime, book club discussion in DeLand, Florida.

It really does amaze me that a group of 12 ladies would set aside an evening to discuss a book that I’ve written! I still have to pinch myself on that one. The ladies were all calling the characters by name, asking to know what would happen to them in the next book. They spoke of each character like they were a neighbor or a friend from church. I had to keep my mouth from dropping open.

The most amazing part of the night was that after answering questions about why I included various characters, the struggles of their faith, and the way the Lord worked in their lives, I found out that this book club was not an all-Christian group.

It had never occurred to me that my book would reach non-Christian readers. What an exciting moment the Lord provided to encourage these women and to plant seeds. I now have a far greater reason to continue to work on the sequel.

I’m so thankful for this opportunity and pray the Lord will continue to use A Light in Bailey’s Harbor for His glory.

A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is Book Club Bound

imageI was so excited to hear that my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, is now Book Club “worthy.”

It’s true! One of my blog and FB author page followers asked me if I would mind my book being read in her ladies’ book club. Of course, I had to think long and hard… Of course!

Truthfully, I am honored that someone would want to sit around and discuss my novel! It is what I prayed for while writing the book, that God would use my words to encourage others in their spiritual walk.

Also, I will hold a FaceTime session with this book club on Monday evening so they can ask questions and share comments about A Light in Bailey’s Harbor. It’s exciting to see how God can use an author from Ohio to write a story set in Wisconsin to touch the lives of a group of ladies way  down in Florida.

God is good.

 

Amazon Reviews Needed!!

 

I have sold almost 200 books (which is exciting), but I have only received 16 reviews on Amazon. I’m asking anyone who has read my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to please take just about 2 minutes to click the Amazon Review button below, scroll down to “Write a Customer Review” and review it. This greatly helps my book get noticed on Amazon and noticed by bigger publishers.

imagesI also have a special deal coming up over Mother’s Day weekend! The Kindle version of my book will be on sale for $.99!  This will only be a 3 day event, May 6th-9th. You can actually gift a Kindle version of my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, to someone you love.

Just click the picture below and then click “Give as Gift” button on the right side of the screen.

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Thank you so much for the support you have given me! I do appreciate it. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

 

My Life-Friend

Day #5 and Day #8 – Author Life Month –

Inspiration for my novel’s cover and an Awesome Moment

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I took this picture on my first trip to see Cana Island Lighthouse.

I decided to combine a couple of days, since they are very much related.

The inspiration for the lighthouse picture on the front of my book came from visiting Cana Island itself. I actually took the picture the first time I visited the lighthouse. The cover designer from my publishing company had contacted me about the lighthouse pictures she had found on the Internet, saying that she would be seeking the permission needed to use the pictures. I mentioned to her that I had taken some when we were in Bailey’s Harbor. After showing her the pictures I took, we decided on the current one below.

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Cana Island Lighthouse, Bailey’s Harbor, WI

These pictures were taken the very first time I stepped onto Cana Island. It was just the most beautiful day.

The next few pictures are what I’m attributing to my Day #8 – Awesome Moments. After my husband, Chad, and I were first married, we went on a vacation back to Bailey’s Harbor with our best friends, Alicia and Ryan Estes, and Alicia’s parents and mine. This was just a dream to me–visiting this place with my husband and my loved ones.

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My husband will kill me for including this, but I couldn’t resist!

I must share just a little background with you.

From the time they were little, my parents and Alicia’s parents grew up together in a little town village (my grandmother always reminded me that it was a village, not a town) in Ohio. They became life-friends. When they married and had us, of course we also became life-friends (or as Anne of Green Gables put it) bosom friends. We did everything together–camping, went to church and school together, had sock fights together (don’t underestimate the sock fights–they were brutal). We were more together then we were apart.

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Alicia is on the left, and I’m on the right.

But one day the Lord decided we’d had enough sock fights, and Alicia’s dad was transferred to Wisconsin for his job.

My little 9 year old world suddenly came to a screeching halt. And even though it was 26 years ago, I still remember my first day back to third grade, after Alicia left. It was recess time and the other kids had just left the room. I was supposed to join them, but I remember just laying my head down on my desk and crying. I missed my bosom friend.

You would think that would have been the end of our friendship. What would keep two little girls’ friendship so strong, especially when they’re 400 miles apart?

It could have only been the Lord.

Well, he also used our parents to help out with the foot work. They encouraged us to write to each other, and they also took their vacations to take us to visit each other, helping us continue to create lasting memories. And it was on one of these vacations that I was introduced, for the very first time, to the lighthouse on Cana Island.

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This was in one of my scrapbooks. It’s one of my favorite pictures with my friend, Alicia.

Truly, the Lord was in control all along. I know he created us with the intelligence to make wise choices, but I also believe He orchestrates our paths, leading us to the ones that will spread His message the farthest. The message I hope to convey to all who read A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is that no matter where God takes you, whether it’s a physical distance or whether it’s spiritual, He can always give enough grace to get you through it and enough peace to keep you moving on.

And we did move on.

At each move, God kept our friendship strong. He knew I would need a life-friend, and He sure did choose her well. Here’s one example of our special friendship. I had just finished my senior year of high school, and we were getting ready for my graduation. My Mom had me go up to my room to get something, and when I flipped on my light, there was Alicia!  She had just had her wisdom teeth out a couple of days before, but she’d still come all the way from Wisconsin to be at my graduation.

Over the years, we were always able to find a way to be together and share the moments that bind friends together, despite the distances. And boy did we test out this distance thing.

I lived in Ohio. Alicia lived in Wisconsin. She went to college in South Carolina, and then got married and moved to Indiana. It was then that we thought we could kind of pick up where we had left off those 15 years earlier, since she was now only a couple hours away.

This lasted for about 3 years, and then my husband and I moved to Tennessee for his job.

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The cheese head who separated us again (just kidding, darling😏)

 

But even then, we remained best friends–taking trips to the beach, celebrating the births of our children, and hosting each other in our homes.

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Going golfing

And now, to watch our children play as friends, it’s almost too much for my sentimental heart to take.

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In all honesty, what choice do they have? Life-friends only produce more of their own kind, at least that’s what we’ve decided. God definitely had, and still has, a plan to foster this friendship that he began in our families nearly 60 years ago.

I think of the friendship of David and Jonathan and the moment that they had to part ways for David’s safety, running from Jonathan’s father, King Saul. Secretly warning David, Jonathan called out to his runner the heart breaking phrase, “Is not the arrow beyond thee? Make speed, haste, stay not…” (I Sam. 20: 37-38)

Even though it broke their hearts to leave each other, God had a plan. Because of their friendship, David befriended the family of Jonathan, despite all his father did to utterly destroy David. Because of this, others saw David’s forgiveness and loyalty and followed him. Because others followed him, he was able to accomplish God’s will in battle, conquering many nations for Israel. With these men who respected and followed him, he also paved the way for his son, Solomon, to one day build the most holy dwelling place of the Lord–the temple.

How exciting to think what he’ll do in our futures, in our children’s and what he can do in yours. I realize now how wise it is to choose good friends. They don’t just affect a moment in your past or your present, life-friends affect your life forever.

As Jonathan said, “Go in peace, for…we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever.'”

Cherish your life-friends. They will change your life.

 

Author Life Month

I thought this was an interesting and fun idea. I was made aware of it by some other authors and thought I’d jump on the band wagon.

Of course, I can’t honestly say I will be able to post every day. I’m finding out that potty training my two year old and homeschooling my seven year old are two things that just don’t work well together.

“Yes, Carson, Homer wrote about the Trojan War…Cole, do you have to peepee in the potty?…No, Carson I know you just went to the restroom. I was talking to Cole….Yes, the Trojan War was about all the guys hiding in the horse…No, Cole! Don’t empty the potty chair!…” Multiply these interruptions by maybe, hundreds?

Let’s just say today was a very long school day.

So, when I respond to the ‘Author Life Month’ questions, I’ll be grouping the days together. This will also save your Inbox from filling up, not that you mind, of course.

Without further adieu, Days #1-3:

Day #1 – My novel

onsale2.jpgIf you are interested in purchasing or reviewing a copy of my novel, please click the picture above.

Day #2 – First Person Who Inspired Me to be an Author

This was supposed to be my author photo, but I liked the idea another author had. I wanted to share a photo of the person who first inspired me to be an author. My mother, Vicki Lawson.

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Though I often had ‘too many words’ (as I put it, when I was 4), my mom never swept them aside. Instead, she brushed each word into her hand, like a tiny grain of sand, and bottled them for another day. And when Mom knew I was ready, she uncorked the bottle and slowly poured it out in front of me, spilling the grains of sand–the countless words. “Now,” she encouraged. “Use these to build something amazing. Write, Bethany.”

And I did.

Thanks, Mom.

Day #3 – My Last 5-Star Read

Does Mickey’s Tractor or Farmer Boy qualify as a 5-star read? It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to read for just pure pleasure, but I do have two ‘big people’ books that I would recommend.

Dawn Crandall’s The Everstone Chronicles

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I’ve only read The Hesitant Heiress, so far. It was very compelling, and I loved her style of writing. Click on the picture above and check out Dawn Crandall.

Here’s the other book. Although it’s more of a Bible study, it’s such a wonderfully written study. I’ve been through it once and am going through it again. All but one of the women in this study are in the line of Christ. It’s such a wonderful reminder that God can use anyone to accomplish his will.

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Stay tuned for more fun facts as the month goes on.

 

Nomination for the INSPY Award

I just got word from my publisher that my novel, A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, is eligible for nomination for the INSPY Award.

The INSPY Award was created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith.

So…here’s where you, my faithful readers, come in. By clicking the INSPY icon below, you can nominate (or I really think it should say ‘vote’ for ) A Light in Bailey’s Harbor for this award!

Before you click, there are a few things you will need to know in order to enter the information. When you click the icon, it will open a new window. This will allow you to toggle, or jump back and forth, between this post and the nomination page. If you want to cut and paste, I’ve included the needed information below. Here’s what you will need to enter:

Title: A Light in Bailey’s Harbor

Author: Baker, Bethany

Publisher: Click ‘Other‘ and type in: Mantle Rock Publishing. The company is small and has just recently attained the publishing status to be included in these types of awards.

Category: You can enter me in Debut Novel and/or Historical Romance. You have to do 2 separate entries, though. You can only click one at a time. It would be wonderful if you have the time to do both!!

Publishing Month: October 2015

ISBN: 9780996173476

Reason: This is just supposed to be 1 or 2 sentences. For example: This is the best-est book I’ve ever read. Of course, I’m joking 🙂

I think it ends with your name and email, but this will not be shared.

Voting ends on January 16th, so if you have a moment, please click below and vote away!!

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One more exciting opportunity I just had to share. Some of you have seen this already, but I was blessed with the privilege to share details about my novel with a reporter from the Citizen Tribune, our local newspaper. I wasn’t sure how much of the interview they would actually include, but I was pleased to see that they hadn’t cut out any of the spiritual content in my responses. This was such a wonderful way to, once again, share the Lord’s message through the printed word.

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If you’ve had a chance to read my novel, please take a minute and review it on Amazon.com! That really helps with my sales!

Thanks, so much. Have a wonderful week.

Bethany

 

 

Sneak Peek Saturday -And the Winner is…

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway tasks this week. There were 121 entries and so many encouraging words. I’m thankful for all of your support.

Ok, here goes…drumroll, please…

The winner of the signed copy of A Light in Bailey’s Harbor is…Tammy Jones Mullinix! Thanks for participating.

To everyone else who entered, don’t be discouraged! There’s so many exciting giveaways coming up. Make sure you have joined these events (click on the pictures below to get more info and to join):

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and

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Again, thanks to everyone for your support. If you get a chance to review my novel on Amazon.com, I would greatly appreciate it! Please keep sharing the word about A Light in Bailey’s Harbor, and have a great weekend.

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When the Write Door Opens -Matthew 7:7

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom

Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

God's lessons to a writer, teacher, wife, and mom