Friday, May 31, 2013

10,000 Love Songs ~ My Best Marketing Tip

There may be 10,000 songs out there about love, probably more, but they each are unique. Some love songs have a way of assuaging our grief, bringing us back to the precipice of young love, or reminding us of our grandparents and their timeless bond.

The best marketing tip I recall and utilize every day is the one in which I am reminded to have boldness in the message I alone have for the world. There may be a million writers writing on rest, as in my devotional, A Mom's Battle Cry for Rest. However, when faced with someone who walks up to me and asks about my book or inquires after it online, I can have confidence that I am helping that person. I can have assurance that I'm not selling snake oil or sugar pills.

In the Christian Marketplace, we need to believe not only in our convictions, but in our offering to the world and to God. You have a unique voice and if God has called you to write, then believe that what you are marketing is your best effort and that it will help someone. So whether it's transporting the reader along a fictional journey to love, writing to help someone overcome addiction, or sharing how to find the rest that refreshes, market with the same loving intent of why you wrote in the first place…to glorify God.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Black As Night

Black as night she painted her nails,
Like the despair hidden deep in her soul.
It reminded her. 
It mocked her.
She held it close and examined it. 
She awoke at night and fought to not remember, 
But it beckoned and descended like a cloak she bore every waking hour.

The paint chipped and with it, her tears fell,
More so with a kind word or with the spontaneous laugh of a child.
With the laughter and the tears, the hours that seemed like days once again became twenty-four.

Hope took root and the shoots of it grew.
They pierced the pain, the loneliness of sorrow,
And slowly without noticing,
the cloak was replaced with dreams and plans
And laughter and love.

Written in conjunction with an upcoming new release, All The Angels Stood, A YA Novella.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Excerpt of A Heart's Home - Available Now

CLICK ON BOOK COVER TO GO TO AMAZON

A Heart's Home, A Novella
by Laura J. Marshall

Back Cover Blurb:

1746, India

Born in England and raised in India by her father after her mother's untimely death, Asyra has been ostracized from her small village most of her life.  News of her impending  marriage arranged by her grandmother back in England only serves to confuse her further about who she is and where she fits in.  When Madras is attacked by the French before Asyra's ship sails, she must pretend to be the wife of her grandmother's agent, who happens to be the elder brother of her intended.  Can she move beyond prejudice to find her place in the world?  


Excerpt:



Braddock sat for a long time, his head in his hands. Asyra had cleansed his forehead with the cool water. Her image had wavered as he watched her walk away and spread the blanket on the dirt floor. He heard her praying quietly, wishing he was closer to overhear. He joined her with silent prayers, for them to cast off safely from India…for Asyra…for his brother…and his own entangled heart.
He moved from the chair, almost sliding to the floor and stumbled to the bed. His head hit the hay, sharp ends digging into his face. He flipped to his back and fell into a deep sleep.
When he awoke, all was quiet in the small house. He could hear gentle snoring from Mrs. Campbell. The heat was oppressive, it clung to him and pushed him to his feet. As he straightened, he noticed Asyra awake and seated in a chair by a window at the back of the house. She had the burlap tucked up an inch and her nose stuck out the window. He grinned at the childish gesture, coughing quietly to announce his presence.
She turned, smoothing the burlap with her hand and met his gaze.
Braddock motioned to the blanket on the floor.
“Did you rest at all?”
“Yes, I slept just fine. You?”
“If I had awakened in heaven itself, I wouldn’t be surprised. I slept as if I were among the dead.”
She laughed quietly at his description, a small dimple appearing in her left cheek.  She quickly sobered as she saw Mrs. Campbell roll over.
“It looks to be late afternoon. The heat will ease.”
“We’ll be against the wind most of the way home and wishing for this heat come November.” He spoke quietly, not wishing to break the spell of time with her.
“Do you remember England at all?”
“I was but a babe. My father told me some of mother’s estate…the lush gardens and green pastures. He said there were woods so thick you could get lost.”
“It’s true. There’s an enchanting forest with its fill of plants, trees, and fauna. There’s one spot in particular, just a small path to the south of the estate that leads to a God-made haven, where honeysuckle climbs the trees and carpets the forest.”
Asyra seemed to roll this over in her mind. “It sounds beautiful….a-and what is fauna?”
“Animals native to our region….the migrant cuckoo, the roe deer.”
“I-I’m very interested in your herbs and flowers.”
“I’ll see you have books to study.” As she broke his gaze, he recalled what she had said about reading. Her eyes clouded with worry.
“Asyra.”
“Yes?”
“I have your mother’s bible, in the bag. We’ll teach you to read before we reach England.”
“That’s a high order.”
“We can do it…together.” The word slid over his tongue and his heart responded. It expanded and seemed to hesitate in its beating. Together. He and Asyra. His eyes fell to her white teeth worrying her lip. Her soft pink lips parted. She caught his gaze and fell still.
“Th-thank you for bringing the bible.” She stood and walked to the door, taking the bucket with the white willow over to the basin and placing it on the ground. “And the willow.” She bent her head and he saw a tear fall as she took a small cup, dipped it into the pitcher, and wet its roots.
Braddock felt like the air was being squeezed from his lungs. He crossed the room and stood behind her. She barely stood as tall as his shoulder. He looked down as an ankle skimmed into view, the bells quietly jingling. It was funny how the sound had become so commonplace now, part of his days and his memories.
He touched her arm and she turned, falling forward and against his chest. He could feel her silent sobs being wrenched from her very soul. She gulped a deep breath and put her face back against him so he couldn’t see her.
“I’m here. I won’t leave you.”
“Y-y-you can’t promise me that.”
“I can and I will promise you.”

See Laura's website for links to sale venues including Amazon and Barnes & Noble HERE

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brokenness

Daily I feel the gentle pressure, fingers of disappointment, hurt, sickness, lack pressing cracks into the surface of my soul until a chink is loosened.
Is this all that I have to give, Lord?  My brokenness?
Tears sting my eyes and blur my vision.
Is this the widow's mite?  I have naught much else.
Is the brokenness my gift to You or Your gift to me?
Like a vase with a chink, humble in its place among the others whole on a shelf.  How can the broken things of this world glorify God? 
But you call me beautiful and choose me, every time.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scriptures for Summer Learning

Here are nine Scriptures we're incorporating into our summer...the principles and for memorization.

I need two more. I'd love your input.



Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9


Monday, May 13, 2013

"Be Careful When You Try to Make a Name for Yourself."

My book is free today and tomorrow. Currently it sits at #3 and #11 in it's cozy little categories.

So why am I asking you to share about my book and who really cares...or benefits?

Well, first of all...I think it's a great book. It's the book I looked for for a long time sitting on a bookstore shelf when I would have an occasional Mom's night out. It's the book after my own heart set in romanticized 17th century England in a castle by a cliff. It's been likened to Wuthering Heights and Pride & Prejudice. What can get better than that? I mean, I could possibly live off of those compliments for the rest of my days.

So why am I asking you to download the book...and to share with your friends?

Most authors offer their books for free to gain exposure for their work. Many times they have a series planned and this generates a fan base and a buzz. It also gets their "name out there."

My pastor has warned and it rings in my head, "Be careful when you try to make a name for yourself." (Thanks, Pastor Mark!)