Thursday, August 21, 2014

Award Winning Author Spotlight - Lynn Dove



HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? I know this is a cliché answer, but I have always wanted to write. I have written poetry and short stories since I was in elementary school. I was always writing. In fact my biology teacher in high school signed my grade 12 year book: “To the only literary biologist I know”. My teachers could always count on me to give a lengthy treatise on any subject. 
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN WRITING? I did not have aspirations to be a novelist. My debut novel, Shoot the Wounded, actually started out as a short story, but 100 pages later I realized I couldn’t call it a “short story” any longer. It sat for ten years taking up valuable computer memory space until one day, as I was deleting files, I came across the story again. It was my husband who encouraged me to finish it and then get it published.
I call writing my ministry. I write for pleasure, I write as a career, I write for myself, I write for others. It’s in my blood to write, I guess, it’s something that drives me…the written word. So I suppose it is my “call” to write.  
At first I didn’t think that way about it. Like every author, all I was hoping for was that someone would pick up and read my book and enjoy it. Same with my blog, I just hoped someone would actually read it. I didn’t realize my audience was so large or so varied until people started to email me telling me how much they enjoyed my books and my little blog “musings” and then they began to pour out their life stories to me. Suddenly I realized that God had given me a huge opportunity to share my faith, and give encouragement to my readers. And that’s when I got really nervous! A scripture that has impacted me is James 3:1 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” I dare say that a writer in many ways is a teacher, especially those of us who are called by God to write. Our words may teach, empower, embolden, condemn, accuse, uplift, benefit and reprimand. I am very mindful of that when I write. I want my writing to be honouring to God at all times.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE? I was bullied in high school, but never to the extent as my daughter was. My daughter still carries some of the emotional scars from bullying she had to endure in middle school. I have worked with teenagers for well over thirty years (as a teacher and youth leader at church) so I have heard the horror stories of what kids do to one another. Certainly that has motivated me to address the topic to some extent in my books, and my books are listed as helpful resources on the largest anti-bullying website in the world: www.bullying.org
There is a "code of silence" about bullying. Kids, youth and even adults don't like to talk about being bullied because 1) they are embarrassed 2) they are fearful that they will be victimized more 3) they don't know where to go for help.  
Through the struggles of one of the characters in my book (Tim), I address his victimization in detail and then share with the readers how he was able to get the practical help he needed.
My books deal with a lot of "edgy" topics: teen pregnancy, family violence, alcoholism, cutting; as well as bullying and gossip. Every teenager deals with these contemporary social issues. Although Love the Wounded is Literary Classic’s silver winner in the “Faith based” category, my books have a universal message regardless of whether or not readers are familiar with faith-based literature. Parents, teens and young adults will appreciate the message of hope conveyed in the Trilogy.


IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK?  Love the Wounded is the third book in my award-winning “Wounded Trilogy”.  Shoot the Wounded was my debut novel and Heal the Wounded was the second novel in the series. Both books were finalists in the Readers Favorite Book Awards and Heal the Wounded won a bronze medal in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category.  
I am also published in three Chicken Soup for the Soul Books: Parenthood; Devotions for Wives; and O’Canada – the Wonders of Winter. As well as a contributor to anthologies Mother of Pearl – Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith (compiled by Margaret McSweeney); Purim Celebrations – 28 Daily Devotionals (compiled by Deborah H. Bateman) All books can be purchased at Amazon.com. I have also written articles for LifeWay’s HomeLife and Parenting Teens magazines.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS? I have been so busy writing articles and freelancing, I have had to put a couple of manuscript ideas on the back-burner for a while, however, I write an inspirational blog called Journey Thoughts that won a Canadian Christian Writing Award in 2011. I have a world-wide reading audience and I enjoy connecting with my readers with it. 
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF: I describe myself as a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). I find that I wear so many "hats" that prioritizing them in order keeps me focused. So often I tend to forget one, neglect another while I spend the majority of my time on another. Especially when I get in the writing mode I can forget that I have a family I need to care for and a house that needs to be cleaned. (Who am I kidding?...I have cobwebs on my vacuum cleaner!)
TELL US SOMETHING OUR READERS MIGHT FIND FASCINATING ABOUT YOU: I am a breast cancer survivor having been diagnosed in 2001 with the disease. I fought a two year battle but as I have shared repeatedly when I speak to women’s groups etc., God allowed me to experience the disease so I could draw closer to Him through the entire journey and so I might provide support to women and their families who are going through cancer. I write a bit of my journey with cancer through the character of Maggie Taylor in Love the Wounded. 
Looking back on that season of my life and sharing what I experienced then and telling what has happened to me since, I hope others will see that there is indeed life after cancer; I can honestly say I am not a “Survivor” – I am a “Thriver”!
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME? I thoroughly enjoy spending as much time as possible with my children, husband, and my two grandbabies. I love camping and traveling and I am an avid reader. 
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW/MOVIE? I enjoy Dancing with the Stars and Battle of the Blades (that’s the Canadian version of DWTS…hockey players paired with figure skaters, dancing on ice J My favorite movie of all time is the Wizard of Oz, although I must admit that I am a “trekky” at heart and I love all the Star Trek series and movies.  
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE AS AN AUTHOR? As an author, my greatest challenge is to find ways to promote and market my books to a world-wide audience. Readers tend to gravitate to well-known authors and book titles that are on top of best-seller’s lists. It is imperative to have an online presence so readers can connect with me, but it is also extremely time-consuming to market and promote when I would rather be writing.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS? I am asked this question a lot and my advice is always: WRITE! If you feel called to write, just write. Decide in advance what your goals are for writing. Is it for pure enjoyment that you write? Is it something you do that is private or is it something you want to share? Decide to whom you are writing. Knowing your audience will also determine how you will write and what your focus will be when you write. Also determine your “success” goals before you embark on the publishing journey. Do you want to have a small, intimate audience or a world-wide audience? That will help you set realistic expectations when it comes to selling and promoting your work.
I had no idea when I embarked on this writing adventure that there would be so much work involved in promoting myself and my work. I have always revered a humble attitude however, to be noticed in the industry and to get my books into the hands of readers, I have had to create a “buzz” about my work. It takes a lot of time, effort and purposeful networking and self-promotion.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY TIPS ON GETTING PUBLISHED? There are countless tips in countless books and blogs on how to get published. Authors have so many avenues available to them through traditional, print on demand, and self-publishing that if an author wants to pay for a book to be printed, or send in their manuscripts to agents and editors, eventually any book can be published. The question is whether a book is “worthy” of being published and whether or not readers will actually want to read the book. If you are an author, ensure that you have produced a quality work. Get someone other than a family member to read your manuscript before you publish, and make sure they are someone you trust that will give you an honest, critical opinion on what they thought of the book. The manuscript must be well-edited, and I recommend spending money on a great editor who will slice, dice and mash your manuscript to pieces to ensure that the finished product is exceptional. Do not assume that once your book is published that people will, in fact, read it. It requires perseverance and patience to market, self-promote and develop an audience.  
I enjoy connecting with my readers:

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Polar Bears and Penguins earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



Polar Bears and Penguins, by Katharine Hall is an engaging compare-and-contrast book that is sure to satisfy the curiosity of youngsters who are fascinated with wildlife.  Full of interesting facts about these two very unique sets of animals as well as their habitats, the Arctic and Antarctic, Polar Bears and Penguins is a book that will encourage further exploration into the lives and lifestyles of these polar creatures.  Delving into greater detail, the "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book offers even more information in addition to quizzes which provide an excellent resource for educators.

Polar Bears and Penguins comes highly recommended for home and school libraries and for use in classrooms.  This book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Monday, July 28, 2014

Compass, by Jennifer Gibson earns our Seal of Approval


Compass is book two in Jennifer Gibson's heartening trilogy about Jessie, a young girl who is hearing impaired.  Compass is solid as a stand-alone book, but is a wonderful read when followed by Sway, the first novel in her series which is based upon a true story.  In book two we are reintroduced to Jessie who is plagued by bullies who capitalize on her disability to cause her merciless shame.

Despite her struggles, life is pretty good for Jessie.  She has a boyfriend whom she adores and she enjoys karate, a sport at which she excels.  But when a jealous karate coach and a competitor in a tournament pit against her, they manage to turn her life upside down, leaving her hurt and disheartened.  Jessie is a very genuine and likable character struggling with some pretty powerful emotions, some of which she succumbs to, and some which she rises above.  But all the while she carries herself with dignity and grace as she searches herself for the truths that will help her sort out who she can really trust.

When Jessie and her boyfriend help at a summer camp working with challenged kids, she is able to connect with even the most troubled kids.  These kids sense a true connection with her as she is able to empathize with them and their daily struggles. Compass is delightful, insightful and a joy to read.  - This book comes highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Motive Games by LD Taylor earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Motive Games by LD Taylor is a fast-paced, high-tech murder mystery.  When Phil Roland's father passes away, he sets out to prove his death wasn't an accident.  Phil garners a job at his dad's company and with the help of his best friend Oliver and his father's detective friend, he channels his grief into finding out how and why his father really died.

Motive Games is an intriguing read that is sure to be a big hit with gamers, but is still a fascinating and enjoyable read for those with no real understanding of the gaming world.  Author LD Taylor harmoniously blends the world of high-tech with the despair of a young man coming to terms with the untimely loss of his father.  The book includes a glossary for those readers who may be at a loss where gaming jargon is concerned.

Motive Games is a Literary Classics Seal of Approval Recipient.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tyler the Fish Saves Lake Erie, by author Meaghan Fisher earns the CLC Seal of Approval

Tyler the Fish Saves Lake Erie, by author Meaghan Fisher, is the story of a young fish who comes to the rescue.  One day as Tyler and his pal Jimmy are playing tag, they discover some barrels filled with toxic sludge at the bottom of the lake.  Tyler devises a clever plan to help save the lake and, with the help of his friends, they succeed in cleaning up Lake Erie.

Tyler the Fish will inspire youngsters to help do their part in keeping our environment clean and safe, while reminding them that no matter how small they are they can make a difference.  Illustrations by Sandra Burns are a lovely addition to this children's picture book that is recommended as an educational tool for teachers and librarians.


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dinner at the Panda Palace, by Stephanie Calmenson, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Dinner at the Panda Palace, by Stephanie Calmenson, is the fanciful tale of Mr. Panda and the many and varied guests who arrive at his restaurant for dinner one night. There's one enormously hungry elephant, two royal lions, three pigs hoping to grab a bite while hiding from the big bad wolf, and so on. Each group of diners arrives one at a time wishing to find a table at the Panda Palace. This enchanting book is brimming with captivating and lyrical rhymes which are complemented by clever and whimsical illustrations. This classic is sure to keep youngsters entertained time and time again.

Dinner at the Panda Palace is comes highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Daisylocks by Marianne Berkes, has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



Daisylocks, written by renowned children's book author, Marianne Berkes, is the story of a daisy seed that is carried along by the wind in her quest to find the perfect place to grow.  As Daisylocks floats from place to place around the world she encounters various climates, soil conditions and other factors that will affect her ability to take root and grow.  Illustrations by Cathy Morrison are simply magical in this book that is an excellent resource for teachers in classroom settings, and would be a terrific selection for home and school libraries.

Daisylocks has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gideon's Confession earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



Gideon is a self-absorbed young man ambling through life and capitalizing on the generosity of his benefactor, a rich uncle. As Gideon indulges his whims he struggles with the notion that someday the steady flow of money will undoubtedly cease to roll in; yet, he continues to squander the money and his life away.  

Gideon's lack of self esteem is an overall component in this refreshingly honest book.  Author Joseph G. Peterson's expressive voice rings true in this novel in which realism and humor are flawlessly melded to create a symbiotic and resonating narrative.  

Gideon's Confession is highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bravo for Jennifer Gibson's Sway! - A Literary Classics Seal of Approval Recipient



Jessie is a hearing impaired high school student who has endured merciless bullying at the hands of her classmates for far too long.  As if that were not enough, some of her teachers are impatient with her because of the additional effort required to accommodate her disability.  All she really wants is to just fit in, but that's not easily done given her circumstances.

Based on a true story, Sway is the empowering story of a young-adult who rises above her circumstances and does so with a charm and finesse that is both touching and inspiring.  Jessie's encounter with a young man named Ethan is a significant component of this story as she finds true friendship with a sweet romantic element that makes Sway all the more appealing.

Jennifer Gibson's depiction of Jessie's story is insightful and moving.  This book comes highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Even Poop Has a Purpose, by Uncle Paul, earns the CLC Seal of Approval



Even Poop Has a Purpose, by Uncle Paul, is a fun and funny read.  Told in rhyme, this whimsical book about poop and it's role in helping plants grow, is sure to put a smile on the face of readers young and old.  Illustrations by Mr. Book are an excellent addition to this entertaining children's picture book that would be a terrific selection for home and school libraries.  Those with a unique sense of humor may even choose to give this book permanent residence upon their coffee table.

Even Poop Has a Purpose has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Without Me, by Kayleen West, earns the CLC Seal of Approval


Without Me, is the whimsical tale of a young boy who decides to run away from home.  But as he contemplates his departure, he begins to think of his pets and everyone in his family who needs him.  One at a time, he counts down the list of people, pets and things he will need to bring along with him on his journey.  Delightful illustrations depicting his exodus while joined by an ever-growing entourage are sure to incite a giggle or two as kids read along in this counting journey towards one boy's discovery of being loved, wanted and needed.

Without Me is an excellent book for youngsters and would be a terrific selection for home and school libraries.  

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Saturday, July 12, 2014

First Fire earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



First Fire, by Nancy Kelly Allen, is the retelling of a Cherokee folktale recounting the mythical events that unfold as a variety of creatures attempt to capture fire.  When a bolt of lightning strikes a sycamore tree on a nearby island, the animals decide they needed fire for themselves.  These animals, whose unique characteristics are developed as a result of their encounter with the elusive fire, endure a number of trials as each, one at a time, attempts to retrieve a burning ember.

Author, Nancy Kelly Allen, has taken a timeless folktale and given it wings in this lovely retelling of the first fire encountered by the creatures of this land.  Illustrations by Sherry Rogers are vividly depicted and offer vibrant and expressive renderings of this classic tale.

First Fire comes highly recommended to classrooms, home and school libraries and for gift giving.  This book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Beaver's Busy Year earns the CLC Seal of Approval



A Beaver's Busy Year is an excellent, and quite informative, book about beavers that will satisfy the inquisitive minds of even the most insatiable young reader. Engaging and educational, this book has a lot to offer without feeling "text-book-ish."  Author Mary Holland has left no stone unturned in regards to the fascinating lives of this elusive creature.

The main body of the book covers interesting facts about beavers and includes some terrific photographs which help support the content of the book.  In the back of the book, the author provides even more informational tidbits that will satisfy most any questions kids might have about beavers.  Youngsters with an unquenchable desire to find answers will not be left hanging after reading this book which comes highly recommended.

A Beaver's Busy Year is a great selection for classrooms, home and school libraries, and gift-giving for youngsters fascinated with animals.  This book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Thursday, July 3, 2014

When I See Grandma Earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval



Oh, what pure joy and delight we discovered within the pages of this lovely children's picture book.  Fans of Love You Forever, make room for a new favorite... and while you're at it, grab a box of tissues, because you're going to need it.  This book is so beautifully written and the illustrations are a perfect addition to author Debra Tidball's telling of a little girl's visits to her ailing Grandmother.  With the turn of each page, prepare to catch your breath as you see through the eyes of a beloved grandmother who may no longer be as full of life as she once was, but who is still very much alive in her dreams.

This book will offer insight and encouragement to youngsters while helping teach compassion.  When I See Grandma is a literary treasure that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.  This book comes highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org

Friday, June 27, 2014

What Do They Want From Me? A Gift Guide for Kids earns the CLC Seal of Approval



What Do They Want From Me? is a terrific book that has lots to offer readers, both young and old.  Author Kristina Kumar has covered every aspect of gift giving (and receiving).  -Everything from selecting the right gift, to how much to spend, and even when you should not get someone a gift.  She's covered all the bases and she's done it in a way that is interesting and entertaining.  Gift-giving craft projects, gift-giving trivia, and more are all neatly compiled in this book that is chock-full of fun photographs and illustrations.

Wondering if you should ever re-gift a gift?  She has even covered this topic in a straight-forward, common sense sort of way.   No gift giving stone has been left un-turned in this whimsical book that would, in fact, make a great gift.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews
International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org