Thursday, June 29, 2017

James Herriot's Wonderful Books--A Review

Quote
"I'm never at my best in the early morning, especially a cold morning in the Yorkshire spring with a piercing March wind sweeping down from the fells, finding its way inside my clothing, nipping at my nose and ears."
James Herriot 

 Have you read James Herriot? When I was a teenager, my mother bought his now famous "All Creatures Great and Small" debut novel/memoir, and I borrowed it. Since then, I have read this book at least five times, and of course I have my own treasured copy.  

 I used public transportation a lot back then. Riding on the metro bus in NYC, I passed time by reading. Herriot was so hilarious at times that I laughed out loud on crowded buses--and didn't care what people thought, which was unusual for self-conscious me.
 
A gifted writer, Herriot's books are astonishingly charming true stories of his life as a vet in the early nineteenth century in Yorkshire, England. Having read all his books more than once,  I learned things that came in handy when I later wrote my own novels set in England, though not in Yorkshire. 
 
There aren't many books I can read again and again. Herriot's are exceptions. They'll have you laughing your sides off,  squirming,  re-reading passages for sheer pleasure, and shaking your head at characters. (Animals are characters in their own right, and you'll learn much about cattle, birthing livestock, pigs and dogs, to name a few.) 
 
My favorite of his, and the creme de la creme, in my opinion, is All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Some of the funniest moments I have ever read in literature are in this book.
 
The PBS series ("All Creatures Great and Small") drew on material from the books, but I never was able to really appreciate the adaptations. The characters in the book were so strongly drawn in my mind  that the actors couldn't compare. I've only seen a handful of episodes.     
 
The beauty of the books is that each chapter is a perfect little story of its own, and you can read them that way; but together the story of Herriot's life unfolds, always with unflinching honesty, self-effacing humor, and above all, great affection for the people, places, and animals he lived and worked among.  You will never feel the same about the beautiful northern area that is Yorkshire. 
 
I seldom recommend books with such glowing assurance--but Herriot's have brought me so many happy hours that I would be unjust not to. Millions of people have made the trek to Yorkshire just to visit his now famous "surgery" (the vet's office) and the countryside he so wonderfully depicts in the stories.  

If you take the plunge into his world, here are a few tips:
 
1. Some people find the dialect of the dales off-putting. My advice is to stick with it. You'll soon understand and enjoy it.
 
2. Read the books in the order they were written. Herriot borrowed a famous poem to title his works, but the first book in the series is not the first line of the poem. Here's the proper order to read them in: 
 
            All Creatures Great and Small
            All Things Bright and Beautiful
            All Things Wise and Wonderful
            The Lord God Made Them All
            (Much later) Every Living Thing
Eventually more books came out of these stories, including ones for children, for dog lovers, or horse lovers, but these first are not to be missed! 
 
A note for Christian readers--Despite the titles, Herriot's books are not "Christian" books. That is, he avoids the subject of God almost entirely. He spends a great deal of time admiring Creation up in those dales and "fells" but seems to have kept a strict policy of leaving religion out of his writing.   Just FYI.
 
"AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT"
If the Herriot books seem too "tame" for you, try my latest apocalyptic/suspense YA series.
To See Book One--PULSE--Click Here
Warmly,
Linore
PS: I'm preparing a coaching program for new writers who want to write and publish a book, but haven't found a way to follow through and do it. I'll hold your hand through the process--all the way from idea (or first draft) to published novel. I can only take on 12 people or less. Let me know if you might be interested and I'll send you the details.. Email me: Linore(at)LinoreBurkard(dot)com. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Novel Rocket: How Not to Do A Critique

Novel Rocket: How Not to Do A Critique: By Linore Rose Burkard, @LinoreRBurkard



Seasoned writers know that having one's work critiqued by fellow writers (or even savvy readers) can determine the difference between a finished piece that is merely "good," or one that sings. ...

[click the title to read more]



Friday, May 26, 2017

And Then There Were Three (Thank You, Readers!)

The Pulse Effex trilogy is now complete!

When I wrote PULSE, I didn't expect to write a sequel, much less a third volume in the series. Today, having finished the three, I'm grateful for the many readers who wanted more and thus, spurred me on.

My life has been richer for knowing the characters in the stories.  But I couldn't have come to know them quite as deeply had I stopped the series with the first book. I didn't plan from the beginning to write a trilogy, but when I kept writing and stayed in the world of the story, it developed.

The same thing happened after I wrote my first novel, Before the Season Ends. In this case, it was the world of regency England that I was immersed in, and again, I had no idea of writing a trilogy, but that's what happened. When Harvest House Publishers asked me if I could write a sequel, I did. When they offered a contract for a third book, suddenly I had ideas for it.

Takeaway: Our brains are capable of producing way more than we think, and more than we often give ourselves credit for.    

If you're starting a book and want to write a series, don't feel that you need to know the end from the beginning. Even though you are the author, you're not God.  You'll learn and grow on the way, just like the characters in your stories. And, those characters, if you've developed them into real people, will lead you into the drama and conflict that is necessary to sustain a novel. 

The key is to keep writing. Explore the lives of your characters until you locate their hot spots and areas of conflict--and make the most of both. 

To Your Success and God's Glory!

Linore
PS: The early reviews for DEFIANCE are great (all but one). See what readers are saying HERE.
 
  Here's one of my favorite reviews so far, from reader Cale Nelson:

 My 13 year old son and I are both L.R. Burkard Fans!
I read the first book and was hooked on the story.  Passed it onto my son who has read it at least 4 times and listened to the Audio countless times as well.  Book 2 was a blast that we both enjoyed too!  Again, I read once and he has read 3 times since I loaded to his Kindle.
He actually moped around for months waiting for Defiance to be released, and he was stoked when I uploaded a pre-release of the book to his Kindle.  He's read it twice in a matter of weeks now and just told me last night he's getting ready to start it again!  I'm actually about 1/2 through and it; like book two, it takes off right away and gets you right into the action and struggle these folks are facing.
Dystopian Fiction is my favorite genre, but there isn't much that I can allow my son to read due to the language or situations presented.  L.R. has filled this void with her 3 novels.  There are great life lessons as well as practical applications of skills and processes in emergent situations.  If you or your Pre-Teen/Teen are interested in the 'what if' These books are a Must Read!

I could type more, but that would only take away from your time that could be spent reading these fine novels! ***** 5 Stars

What's It About?

In this third installment of the PULSE EFFEX SERIES, foreign soldiers and fellow Americans gone rogue are just the beginning of what Andrea, Lexie and Sarah must face. Beneath the threat of nuclear strikes and guerrilla armies, the girls long for a free country in which to live--and love. Survival means resistance must give way to defiance. But can ordinary teens and their families withstand powerful forces and keep hope alive?

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here's 2 Chances to Win Prizes with Guest Author Debbie Lynne Costello

When Did You Last Win Something?

Today, thanks to Christian author Debbie Lynne Costello, you have two opportunities to win prizes!  But first, read her interesting, illustrated post on one aspect of medieval living that is far different from what we experience today.

(Note from Linore: If you read my Pulse Effex Series, you'll remember that we could one day be reverted back to the old way of doing things! Take note and be thankful for modern conveniences!) Giveaway info. is at the end of the post.  

Taking A Bath--A Peek Through History

by Debbie Lynne Costello

Recently, a medieval "sin-washing well" was discovered. How fascinating! I thought.
I wanted to learn more about it. I searched through lots of medieval-era reference material, but couldn't find anything on it besides the name of the new discovery.

But what I did find was a lot of articles on bathing from Roman times to medieval times. I thought I'd share with you some of what I learned.






Ancient Rome was famous for their public bath houses. Some of those buildings are still standing today, allowing us a glimpse into that part of history. These bath houses had hot rooms, cold rooms and even just plain old warm rooms to lounge around in. Some of the wealthier people had their own private bath houses.


                                          https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1231248

Around the 12th century there was Jewish ritual bathing. The water had to come from a live well (water that came from a river, rain water or a spring but the water could not be drawn. This made the water fit for one to dip one's body into, according to Jewish law.)


Jerome and Clement, early Christian fathers, (during the 4th and 5th centuries) did not take a liking to bathing in public bath houses and discouraged it.


                     By Ryan Freisling, 2005. Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w.index.php?curid-479193

         During the medieval and renaissance periods the Roman-type bath houses were reintroduced and encouraged by Islamic countries. It's possible that the bath houses returned to western Europe from the Middle East due to the crusades.
          I'm sure you have all heard the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. And you've probably read those emails where they tell you how all of our sayings came about. This one goes that the people only bathed once a year and they bathed oldest to youngest, so by the time the baby was washed the water was black and they couldn't even see the child in the water. Thus, don't throw the baby out with the bath water!


          However, medieval people did bathe depending on the time period and their place in society. The poor, or laborers, bathed less due to the fact they couldn't afford to have tubs, or purchase fuel to warm water; so their bathing was done more in the summer months when they could take a dip in a pond or a river.
          In winter months when the weather was not as conducive for bathing, personal hygiene wasn't at its best, but washing of the hands before and after meals was common practice and good hygiene no matter what your social status.

Archimedes' Bath
          For the middle class, having the means to warm water for a tub was a status symbol, making it even more popular for that class to take baths.
          Even the wealthy who could afford the fuel to heat water usually had the tubs brought to the rooms to bathe, rather than construct the elaborate bath houses they had in the Middle East.
       
          So did bathing decline and if it did, when? It does seem that during the Renaissance period,  people didn't bathe frequently. They worried that it was unhealthy and that perhaps it helped spread the plague. (People stopped everything that might cause the spread of the disease.)

          I have to say when I'm writing about medieval and 19th century times, I do like to have my heroes and heroines clean and with good hygiene regardless of whether it really was that way in history.

          What about you?  Do you want history to always ring true or are there times that changing something is okay?

A Note from Debbie Lynne (On How to Enter this great giveaway!) 


GIVEAWAY:
I’m giving away a copy of Sword of the Matchmaker! (Medieval romance and adventure).

Already purchased the book? Choose among any of my others for your free copy if you win. 

HOW TO ENTER:
Leave a comment
OR: answer one of the questions I’ve asked
OR: ask me a question
That's it!


PLUS


                                             Enter the rafflecopter drawing, too!
                                           You could win more cool prizes including
                                                               A KINDLE FIRE!
(with Sword of the Matchmaker already uploaded)
 PLUS a  $15 Amazon gift card--and much more!







Penelope Beatty made up her mind long ago she would live and die a Scottish warrior not a wife. But when nearly all her clan is killed and she is betrayed, she loathes doing the unthinkable, but must seek the help of an Englishman who owed her father his life.

Thomas Godfrey never married, but when a Scottish warrior lass shows up needing his aid, he finds her both annoying and irresistible. But the last thing he wants is to marry a woman who fights alongside him. If he was going to marry—which he isn’t—it would be to a soft, submissive woman. But when the Lady Brithwin meets the Scottish lass, she’s sure she’s found the perfect match for Thomas and nothing is going to stop her from seeing a summer wedding.
 
PURCHASE LINK:  Get Your Copy of Sword of the Matchmaker HERE!

Check out Debbie Lynne's Other Fiction:
Sword of Forgiveness

After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.

     Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.



Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.
Connect with Debbie Lynne online at:
REMEMBER: There are TWO drawings. One here at the blog, which you enter by leaving a comment.
Good luck and God bless!

For Other Chances to Win Prizes, follow Debbie Lynne's Blog Tour:

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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Should I Give a Webinar? Part III

By Linore R. Burkard

In Parts One and Two, I discussed fears about giving webinars, and how to put such hindrances to rest. But are there real drawbacks to the medium that offline events don't have? Let's take a look.

PROBLEM: YOU CAN'T SEE THE AUDIENCE

Is this a PRO or a CON?
For people who get nervous in front of an audience, this aspect of webinars may be helpful. All one need do is speak in front of a safe, little camera.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

DEFIANCE: Book Three in the PULSE EFFEX SERIES
                                                                 Coming May 23rd!

                                             Because sometimes resistance just isn't enough.

In this third installment of the PULSE EFFEX SERIES, foreign soldiers and fellow Americans gone rogue are just the beginning of what Andrea, Lexie and Sarah must face. Beneath the threat of nuclear strikes and guerrilla armies, the girls long for a free country in which to live--and love. Survival means resistance must give way to defiance. But can ordinary teens and their families withstand powerful forces and keep hope alive?


“A POST-APOCALYPTIC TALE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS”SUSAN K. STEWART, Author, Vine Voice


“GRABBED MY HEART AND NEVER LET GO”
Had me spellbound! You won't want to miss this gritty and powerful series. 
NORA ST. LAURENT, CEO, Book Club Network

To Your Success and God's Glory,









Friday, January 27, 2017

Thinking Thoughts: L.R. Burkard | Author Chat

People still ask what made me switch genres, why I went from writing sweet romance to Apocalyptic Suspense. This interview explains what led to it.



Thinking Thoughts: L.R. Burkard | Author Chat: I'm excited to introduce you to... Linore Rose Burkard is best known for her inspirational regency romance series with Harvest H...

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Just A Note (and Drawing Winner Announced!)




First: Thank You and WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!


My next newsletter isn't ready yet but I wanted to announce the drawing winner of the Christmas Tour and Giveaway without making everyone wait to find out who won.

Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing! I loved hearing how others enjoy Christmas as much as I do.


The winner of a free copy of one of my books is: CARYL KANE

Congratulations, Caryl! You didn't leave your email, so please email me so we can coordinate getting your book to you.
Linore (at) LinoreBurkard (dot) com.

I'll have it in the next newsletter and hope to hear back from you, either by your seeing it here or in the newsletter.

Welcome to 2017



It's been 2017 for six days by the time you see this and it's already beginning to feel like old news.

I don't know about you, but I am energized at the start of a new year, and I write out my goals for the coming 12 months with high hopes and optimism. I take them before the Lord and ask Him to winnow out the time-wasters, the distractions, the unimportant. Then I write down the ones that won't go away, not only the ones that feel most urgent, but the ones that make me stretch, challenge my abilities and maybe even my faith.

Do You Write Your Goals?

According to Mike Hyatt, there are five important reasons why you should. He says writing them down forces us to crystallize what we want, clarifying vague longings and wishes into concrete goals that can be reached.  

Writing goals provides motivation, and once you begin to meet those goals, new opportunities open up. Finally, writing goals helps you overcome resistance and gives you legitimate cause to celebrate when you reach them.

Still Need Encouragement?

There are plenty of studies that show the efficacy of writing goals. Putting them on paper just seems to reinforce them, helping us move closer to achieving them.

But is it enough?


According to Dr. David Hamilton, writing them is good--but writing them, thinking about them, adding concrete action steps and then having a friend to answer to for your progress is the BEST way to achieve goals. People who wrote their goals down and took all the extra steps achieved more of their goals than people who merely wrote them down.  

Where Are You in the Continuum?

I'm really good, as I said above, at writing my goals. I also write down action steps, and concrete ways to work towards achieving them. But I have yet to get a friend involved at the level of keeping me accountable. Maybe I'll do that this year. What about you? What's your biggest goal for 2017? Have you written it down?