Monday, April 23, 2018

Writing Your Family Legacy

The importance of writing your family history can never be over emphasized. Each of us has a story from our ancestors or even our very own story to tell. If these stories are unwritten, how are your children going to know of their ancestry, of their parentage, or even family traditions of the past? Are these stories and traditions going to be lost to your children simply because you failed to put them down on paper? It’s up to us to write these experiences.

You can turn your family history into a variety of fun stories. Remember, conflict is part of life. Don’t leave out what your grandparents suffered and why. You want your children to be proud of who they are. We must share these stories with them.

First, collect your thoughts. Write down any experiences that you remember. Talk to family members and discuss memories. Use letters they wrote to one another. Do research of that time period and find out what the country was going through, and insert it in the history of your ancestor. The turmoil of a country helps you to understand what your family went through and why they suffered. Did they live during the depression? If so, how did it affect them? What the country went through has to do with the circumstances of your ancestors. If they lived during World War II, it helps your children understand why their grandparents had such tough times, why they barely made ends meet, or why they had to flee a certain country.

Find out everything you can about the area, to both educate your readers and to make the setting feel real. If possible, go to the area you want to write about and walk around. Find out where your ancestors lived, went to school, and played. If you can’t go there, then do research and find pictures of that area. Study books at the library or search the Internet.

The time period is another important part of research. During the roaring twenties, bobbed hair was the rage. If your grandmother bobbed her hair and went to the dance marathons, write about it. If he or she loved reading books in the evening before retiring, it would be interesting to add what kind of light he used. Little details like this warms a story up and can bring your ancestor to life. Did he use electricity, candlelight, or an oil lantern? It sounds more interesting to say, “Grandfather sat in his overstuffed chair and read for hours with an oil lantern at his side.” Rather than just saying, “Grandfather read extensively before retiring.”

For those writing your own autobiography, don’t forget the importance of description. Remember, emotion is part of life and is an essential part of your story. Use it! Show, don’t tell! If you had been faced with a grizzly bear in the wild, did your face turn pale and your hands tremble? Describe your feelings when you fell in love. I asked my mother what it was like when she first met my father, and she said, “When our eyes met, my heart leapt within me and a warm glow filled my soul.”

Example of writing your family legacy: Sarah Eckersley Robinson, my great grandmother, was a beautiful woman and an example of fortitude and courage. Since she was deaf, Sarah relied on the Lord and followed the promptings given her. After returning from town, she sensed the presence of someone in the house. Acting quickly, she grabbed her broom and began searching her home. She had a feeling to check her bedroom, but when she entered the room, no one was in sight. She quietly stepped to her bed and looked under it. There she found an evil and lustful man crouched and waiting for Sarah, but he was not prepared for a strong and determined woman with a weapon in her hands.

With all the strength she had, she whacked him out from under the bed with the broom. She then hit him over the head again and again. Chasing him from the house, she continued beating him as he ran down the street. Sarah had spirit. This wicked man thought he could take advantage of her since she was deaf, but he did not expect such courage and fled.

Here’s another example. Frances Davies Clark, my great grandmother, noticed a band of marauders picking her grapes, stripping the vineyard of all its fruit. It upset Frances as she watched them filling their bags full of ripe grapes. She had babied those vines and this was her first crop. An idea popped into her mind. She quickly donned her husband’s military suit, hat, and cape. Grasping his sword with one hand, she strode out onto the porch, waving it in the air in a threatening manner and demanding in a loud voice, “Leave now or perish!” Terrified, the marauders dropped their bags and fled as fast as they could, in fear of their lives. When they had disappeared, she changed her clothes, gathered up the grapes and made grape jelly.

Another story of courage! When a mob stopped by at my great grandfather’s home, he was only twelve years old at the time. Gilbert Weaver described the leader as a “large, burly and murderous demon.” This was from the viewpoint of a young boy. When the leader ordered his mother to deny her religion or he would burn their home down, my great grandfather wrote: She stomped her foot with defiance and said, “You may burn it and be damned!”

What courage this must have taken for her to do this! Martha Raimer’s husband had died from pneumonia and she had seven children to care for. Yes. The mob threw a torch to the house and burned their home down. Did this affect her heritage? It certainly did. As a result, one of her grandchildren wrote this poem in her honor.

What do we think of when we read of her?
With head held high, asserting staunchest faith;
Stripped of the haven that she held so dear,
Facing the hardships, ever true ‘til death.

Thanks, grandmother dear, for your ever-trusting heart.
Faith such as yours will bless us our lives thru—
Helping us chart our wavering steps with firmer tread,
Lifting us up to climb to your stature, too.
--Sarah Weaver Hulse

It’s important to write your family legacy. Your children will be grateful once they’re grown. They’ll want to know their heritage, what their ancestors stood for, and what they believed. Make your family legacy something your children will remember, something they will be proud of.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Importance of Promoting Your Book

As an author, we're so excited to get our book published so people can read it. Many people think that an author can now relax after their book has been written and begin their next book, but it’s not so. At this point an author’s responsibilities are just beginning. An author must promote his or her book by doing SIX THINGS that will enhance the book’s success.

1. Create an attractive website or blog. People want to know who the author is and what other books he or she has written. This is a way to introduce yourself to the public. Make sure that your website can be loaded easily. If it can’t be loaded within 10 seconds, visitors will give up. Make sure your images are optimized for web view. Don’t make the site too busy or visitors will feel overwhelmed and give up.

2. Give lectures! Public libraries are an excellent place to begin. They present programs every month for children, teens, and adults. The Friends of the Library usually sponsor events that will educate the public. Remember, when you come up with a program, it must be original, something different that hasn’t been overdone.

When I told various libraries that I could teach a writing class, they said it had already been done. I finally came up with another idea in which I could educate the public and promote my books at the same time. I could teach the public how to write their family history, their ancestor’s experiences, and autobiographies. Instantly, they were interested.

The most important thing is to begin in your own area and gradually spread out. You need to make a name for yourself for some libraries to pay for your services. So begin at home first. Remember to ask the libraries to order your books before you arrive. That way people can check them out and get to know you. I have now toured 17 states, presented around 500 workshops, and my books are in bunches of libraries.

3. Enter contests. This helps your book get out into the public's eyes. My first book, “Melinda and the Wild West,” was one of the top ten semi-finalists for the "Reviewers Choice Award 2007." Since it won an award, people became interested in reading my book.

4. Send your book to reviewers. Pick reviewers who specifically review your genre, otherwise the reviews won’t be as good. I have found many reviewers who have blogs and post reviews after reading a book. Their followers trust their opinion so this is a good way to go. Ask them to post it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and on Goodreads. It is well known that someone will read a book just because a friend suggested it on Goodreads.

5. Get interviews. An interview on a blogger’s website is very important because his or her friends will read it and become interested in you and your book. You are developing new friendships this way.

6. Write articles for the Internet and newspapers. Publishing articles is a good way to be recognized as an author, and it will also enhance your web presence. These articles are important for your book’s success, for the one reason that people are getting to know you. Articles help you and your book to stand out and be noticed. There are some excellent websites to write articles online.

Why does writing articles on the Internet help you as an author? More books are sold on the web than anything else, so a good web presence is important. Before I began writing articles on the Internet, I would do a Google search for my website and my name. It wouldn’t come up. After I began submitting articles, my website popped up on the first page of a search. I was shocked that writing articles could make such a difference.

How do you begin writing for the web? All you have to do is sign up and begin writing. You can also contact the editor of your local newspaper and ask if you can write an article for their paper. Have an article ready in case they need a sample of your work.

Remember that your goal is not to charge them for each article, but to get your name out there so people will know who you are. If you have to begin writing articles free, then do it. You have to pay your dues before you’re recognized. The goal is to get your name out into the public with a good byline.

What is a good byline? Along with your name, you can mention your book and provide contact information—such as your website. Here’s a sample byline: Written by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Melinda and the Wild West, a semi- finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” To contact the author, visit

Remember that an author’s duties don’t stop when the book is written. It’s just beginning. There are thousands of books published every year but you need to get out into the public’s eye and be recognized before your book will be noticed.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Romances in Several Genres

All these books are Sweet Romances for both young and old alike. Even though some are the first in a series, they can be read separately.


Melinda and the Wild West: BOOK 1 from A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho
Award: Semi-Finalist for Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award
Synopsis: Melinda Gamble wants to make a difference in the world. Without hesitation, she accepts a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho. She has many challenges such as trying to help a rebellious student, coming face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and finding herself in a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.
Review: From the first page I was captivated by this book. I had to continue reading, rushing to turn the page, I had to see what next adventure would catch up with Melinda. The plot is interesting: mixing history with fiction, adventure with romance. Ms Clarke, this is a piece to be proud of, well done!” -Debra Gaynor, Reader Views

The Rebels of Cordovia: BOOK 1 from The Rebel Series
--> Set in the late 1700s, Robin’s Rebels realize they must fight against the tyranny of a wicked king and help the people survive the oppression. In this battle for freedom, a love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?
Review: “There is nothing like a nice, simple love story to put a smile on your face. And that is one of the things that Linda Weaver Clarke does. She will also have you laughing out loud, make your heart race and speed up your reading! It’s a story about a man that is smitten with a young lady during a time where men were complete gentlemen and the ladies were very proper. Once you start reading this book, the story will take you away. The Rebels of Cordovia is like a fresh breath of air.” –Missi’s Book Review


The Treasure of Isian: BOOK 1 from The Isian Series
Synopsis: Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him, even die for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by angry giants, soul-stealing elves, bewitched dragons, a vengeful water-witch, battling foes, and a mysterious kingdom. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Garin must decide what the most important things are in his life. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom? And will Elani find true love?
Review: I love the mix of adventure and prophecy in this novel. Clarke takes readers away into an unforgettable and magical fantasy world with descriptions that paint the world in vivid colors. The magical creatures and diverse peoples that we meet kept me enthralled. All the while, the exciting and emotional plot was unforgettable. This is a book that I really had fun with.” -Jonel Boyko, Confessions of a Bibliophile

The Alliance of Isian: BOOK 2 from The Isian Series
Synopsis: Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?
Review: “I love a good story with an arranged marriage in it--especially if it involves royalty. How could I not love this one? I loved how kind and gracious this couple was and how they worked together to find a solution to the problems at hand. I really liked the first book, but I loved this one! So far, they just keep getting better!” -Katie’s Clean Book Collection


The Bali Mystery: BOOK 1 from Amelia Moore Detective Series
Synopsis: Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, traces missing persons, checks people’s backgrounds, and protects them. With the help of Rick Bonito, a cunning and crafty man, her business is flourishing. When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.
Review: “Linda Weaver Clarke paints a beautiful portrait of the island of Bali. In fact, she made me wish I were there. Amelia and Rick were very realistic to me. I thought Rick’s Bucket List gave readers a great insight into his character. Throughout the book you couldn’t help pulling for these two to realize they were more than co-workers. The mystery and romance flowed beautifully through each page.” -- Socrates Book Reviews

Her Lost Love: BOOK 5 from Amelia Moore Detective Series
Synopsis: Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.
Review: “These are some of my favorite cozy mysteries and I know exactly what I'm getting with them--a fun, unique mystery that isn't too intense, mingled with a sweet, clean romance. I think Amelia and Rick compliment each other perfectly, both professionally and personally. Of course, since I'm a romantic at heart, I love the romantic moments in the story.” -Katies Clean Book Collection

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