Autumn's Going Strong--and GIVEAWAY!

Do you love the fall? What's your favorite season?

We've lived in Ohio for 19 years. For most of those years I've looked forward to September since it was always my favorite month, weather-wise. 

I now realize that October in Ohio equals September on Long Island. (It only took me a decade and a half to get it!) But now I know. My favorite month, weather-wise, is  OCTOBER. 

How about you?  Leave a comment telling me your favorite season or month and why, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a free DVD, "Becoming Jane." (Christmas season doesn't count--we're talking weather-wise--unless that season's weather is your favorite.) For a bonus entry, send a friend to the blog! When she/he mentions you, you'll get another entry. 


"Becoming Jane" stars Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy, and I found it delightful. I don't necessarily like it when filmmakers play with Jane Austen's life, but this flick works. It's both intelligent and joyful. 

Unlike "Miss Austen Regrets"--another film supposedly about Jane's life--this script did well at capturing Jane's sense of fun as well as her sharp wit. "Miss Austen Regrets" missed the mark, showing Jane as a bitter spinster, when in fact, her letters and even her books do not convey a sense of personal bitterness. 

Admittedly, there are letters we've never seen, as Jane's sister destroyed many of them. But Jane was writing until only a few months before her death, and I just don't get a sense of bitterness in what she left us. 

This is a great DVD to have in one's collection of period flicks!  

  But first, enjoy another Autumn poem.

 Bits and Pieces
By Joan Leotta

Cool, crisp air and its brilliant
fire hues
are hard to find where
heat simmers until well
into December.
Here, long still-hot
days of October and November
allow early darkness to eat
out the green,
leaving mottled brown
arrayed on branches until
storms wash them
down onto my lawn.
Yet, now and again,
bits and pieces of
autumn glory appear—
a vine, a baby tree hiding
in my palmetto grass,
burst into red
or bright yellow,
defying heat,
“Fall is here.”

Joan Leotta is an award-winning writer and spoken word performer who lives on the North Carolina coast. Her chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon is available on Amazon. Please check out her blog, What Editors Want You to Know at www,
"Bits and Pieces" originally published in RPG Digest; used by courtesy of E.B.(Gene) Alston, and the author. 

Don't forget to leave a comment to enter the drawing! 

AVAILABLE NOW: The Pulse Effex Box Set!


Please note: Due to mailing costs, giveaway is for US residents only, sorry. International commenters can win an ebook, choosing from any of my books.  

True Autumn Glory

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. 

Psalm 125:5-6

This is a timely verse for Autumn, a time of reaping what has been sown, of farm-stands dotted with orange pumpkins and squash and corn. 

  "Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow"--the image is of farmers who  carry onerous bags of seed across their fields, laboriously sowing row after row. Their work is so hard, the seed so heavy, they weep.   

"Will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." But then they reap the bounty of harvest. The sheaves of wheat or other grain, are their reward. They have armfuls of them to show for their labor. Food for home and families.

   But I urge you to look past the agricultural image and see the deeper spiritual meaning. 

The "seed to sow" represents our prayers. We carry them to the Lord in what often feels like a burden, a labor.  

I don't know about you, but I can rarely come before God without shedding tears over the "seeds" I carry. The heartfelt pleas for lost loved ones, for needs and requests that, apart from grace, could weigh me down. 

I "plant" my seeds into the LORD's loving hands. And I know the joy will come. Answered prayer. Miracles. Intervention where none could be seen coming; help where none was expected; healing where there was hurt; saved souls where there was darkness and hopelessness. Sometimes the answer is "no," or "wait"--but plant the seed of prayer and joy is on the way.  

This is true Autumn glory--God's assurance that when we sow in tears, we will reap in joy. 

Weeping may tarry for the night,

    but joy comes with the morning. 
Psalm 30:5

A free book on Amazon this week may help you find determination to spend more time in prayer. The Lost Art of Intercession. I haven't read it yet but share it in the hope that it's well written and encouraging.  

Till next time,blessings and grace,Linore



Autumn Wonders

View  on our property

Don't you love Autumn?

Here in Ohio, we've had 85 degree weather for the last week--not very autumnal--but today it dropped to 55. A thirty degree change overnight--that's Ohio! But I welcome it, for I love the chill in the air, the turning of the leaves, the crisp footfalls through leaves as I hike, and the deep blue sky.

While storms are rocking other parts of the country (our family prays for those affected), here is most definitely a beautiful pumpkin-harvest fall. Over the next few weeks, I'll post images from my area, and other things that delight me at this time of year--beginning with a fall poem.

I'll be posting more autumnal beauty, poetry, recipes and quotes--so stay tuned. :)

 By Gerald E. Greene

                                           The heat of summer slowly dissipates.
Long days grow shorter and the weather cools,
as Autumn equinox delineates,

when children move from beaches back to schools,
and leaves begin to dry as sap recedes,
preparing for their colorful array.

When frost arrives with glistening silver beads,

Fall’s arbor shines in glorious display,

while pumpkins ripen in the farmer’s field.

Thanksgiving overflows from grateful breast,

with larders full of generous summer yield,

and nature slows for winter’s frozen rest.

Bright leaves fall, leaving twigs and branches bare,

as forest floors acclaim autumnal flare.

Gerald E. Greene is the author of Kaleidoscope - A Poetry Collection

"Harvest Time" by Alfred A. Glendening

Writing Update:
My time-travel regency is with my agent. I'll keep you posted on its progress and publishing plans! 

Happy Autumn! See you soon,


The Country House Courtship

[Amazon really messed up the book description--it's one big jumbled mess, despite my efforts and emails--click the ebook version to read it the way it SHOULD look. Amazon has recently decided to become a printer of books instead of just a seller of them. Sadly, they have a long way to go in terms of quality control.]  

An Author's "In-Between" Time (and Book Giveaway!)

         My initial idea was to tell how a typical author spends their time between books, their "down time."
But when I thought about it, the reality of what most authors do to maintain a career in publishing ruled out all of the following periods:  

a.  After the first draft is done 
This isn't down time, though a short celebration is in order.  Now it's time to edit and polish, which is often harder than writing the first draft.  

b. After you edit and polish--the book's ready for the world!
This isn't down time unless the book's already contracted and you can send it to your editor. (The work resumes when galleys arrive, but by this stage there isn't usually much to do on the text.)
If it's not under contract, it's time to write a proposal for your agent, or hunt for a publisher on your own--or Indie publish, which opens another can of worms!   
c. After you send it with a proposal to your agent  
Not down time because you're either working on marketing materials, interviews, media contacts, your website or newsletter, or returning to an incomplete manuscript and/or starting a new one.

d. After you Indie-publish 
Don't stop now, because much of the work has just begun. Unlike "Field of Dreams" it doesn't work to think, If I write it, readers will come. Un-uh. Indie publishers have many hats to wear, and marketing is a big one. 

e. d. After a good sales uptick   
You'd think that would be a good time to take a break and indulge in some "real" down time, right? Experts say the opposite is true. To stay on a readers' radar, you need to put out more books! Fast! 

Question: IS there such a thing as downtime for today's author?
In the past, writers wrote. Publishers marketed and sold books. Today, writers are expected to do it all, no matter who publishes the book. Yes, a big publisher will ease the burden, and prior success paves the way for easier marketing with each new book. But every author I know spends time on marketing and promotion, whether they've got a big name publisher or Indie publish.    
Note: This is why you can be eternally beloved by an author simply by taking a few minutes to post a good review of their book on Amazon or GoodReads or even Facebook. We need and appreciate the help in spreading the word!

So what is down time for me?
Like any professional in any field, I take breaks often. I hope you do, too. Productivity experts say output and quality of output increase when people are able to take breaks from their work. 

I have favorite ways of relaxing and I'm sure you do, too. (Leave a comment below to tell us what yours are--you'll be automatically entered in the giveaway.) I have more, but here are my top three guilty pleasures. 

a. Watch a period flick. I love these! Recently I watched, "Ekaterina," a Russian series subtitled in English about Catherine the Great's rise to power. Really well done.

b.  Watch a Mets game. I'm a former New Yorker and a long-ago pitcher for Girls' Little League! I love baseball. My husband buys me for my birthday in March so I can watch the season's games. Sometimes I think I'd be better off not watching, because
              a. I could be writing!
              b. Though I'm usually not loud or demonstrative, put me in front of  a Mets game and I'm a different person. (Mike says he knows how the Mets are doing from the other side of the house. What can I say? You can take the girl out of New York, but....)

c. Read a great book.
Non-fiction doesn't count! Real down time requires fun reading. For instance, I picked up a new copy of Northanger Abbey at Half-Price books for a few bucks and read it (for the third time) just this week.  It's my favorite Austen novel. Of course, when I read Pride and Prejudice, that's my favorite. Mansfield Park is a favorite too. The fact is, whichever book of Jane's I'm reading is my FAVORITE!
Leave a comment telling your favorite way to relax and you'll be entered in the giveaway!   
A copy of any of my books * (Not the trilogy, but a single book from one of them)

And a  set of lovely French-Toile scented drawer liners

*Print copies to US residents only,  E-books everywhere else. \

So--what's your favorite way to spend "down time?" Even if you have to steal away to get it?

Leave a comment to enter,and CONTACT EMAIL so I can notify you if you win. 
Drawing ends on 9-28.   

Metamorphosis of a Novel, Part III

In the last two posts, we saw how my novel Before the Season Ends, was transformed from its first, self-published edition to a new one with Harvest House Publishers. The book was well received and so popular with many Christian authors that a bunch of them went on to write regencies themselves.

Today, I'll show two other editions of the book from Harvest House Publishers.

1. The Self Published Edition

2. The Harvest House Edition
I loved this cover. The model captured Ariana perfectly.(Mr. Mornay, not!)  


And here's the other editions from Harvest House (Yea, Harvest House! They were great to work with, by the way, and wonderful to do so many editions of the book. They've got great people over there. My editor, Nick Harrison, has moved on from being a Senior Editor with them to a literary agent with WordServe Literary.)  

3. Large Print Edition
This is a hard back, beautiful version of the book.

4. Before the Season Ends--Russian Edition

There may be a book club edition also;  I have a copy of the sequel in a hardcover book club edition, but couldn't find it for this one. (If YOU have a book club edition of  Before the Season Ends, please send me a picture! Thank you.)  There were also, of course, kindle, Nook, and EPub editions.  

I have to say that getting letters from Russian readers was thrilling. Each one was incredibly SWEET. They seem to be the nicest people you could ever want to meet. (At least, the readers of historical romance are!)

I've been privileged and blessed with this book and its "metamorphoses."


Here's the latest Lilliput Press edition--newly revised and edited, with some new content added, a bonus recipe and bigger glossary. There's also a foreword from Nick Harrison, the editor who acquired the book for Harvest House.

The new imprint has been accepted into the Library of Congress and the LCCN# has now been added to the copyright page. (So excited about that!)   


Next stop: Audible! (ACX) The cover is already prepared. :) 

If you're published, do you have books that have gone through a metamorphosis? Self-pubbed to traditional? If it's a clean read, leave your links so we can take a look. Thanks!

Warmest Blessings,


Tip for Writers:
1. Do you have a book that is with a publisher but out of print? See if you can get the rights reverted back to you. (The conditions under which you can do this are probably in your contract.) By getting back the rights, you can edit your original work--if desired--and give a book new life!  I've mentioned how Harvest House was so easy to work with. This was another instance where that was true. I had merely to send a letter requesting the rights to my three books with them, and I got them back. You will get legal documentation of this so that there is no question of copyright infringement when you re-publish.    


Metamorphosis of a Novel, Continued (Part II)

                                       Did you miss part one of the Metamorphosis of a Novel? 
Catch it here.

Before the Season Ends

2nd Edition with Harvest House, above, right 
In my last post I discussed the earliest, self-published edition of the book, above left
Nowadays, we are told that if a book is self-published, it can never be picked up by a traditional publisher. 

I'm glad the editor that picked up my book for Harvest House, Nick Harrison, didn't believe that! 

Here's what happened: 2006-2008 

After I followed the Lord's leading and got my book into print, I spent the next two + years taking courses on marketing and promotion. I learned rudiments of platform building, and the importance of sprinkling the net with one's URL and book image. A lot of what I learned is no longer applicable, and I paid big bucks to learn it. (For instance, how to organize an Amazon best seller campaign via joint-venture marketing and email blasts. Basically, this is where you offer a ton of bonuses so people will buy your book in large numbers and it will shoot to the top of the sales ranking.)

That method used to work, but it wasn't for me. Amazon has since discouraged such campaigns and will work against you if they discover you're trying to work the system that way. (Just in case you're thinking it sounds like a good idea!) I also learned about leaving marks across the web--sort of like saying "Linore was here,"  except it's more polite than that. You find sites that have content related to your book and leave a well-written article with your name and website URL.

At the same time that I was busily spreading my website link and book image all over the web. (Read: Writing articles like mad that related to Regency England, since my book is a regency; spreading these articles onto as many online article banks as I could find, and building my email list and website) an editor was looking around for a Christian regency.
Coincidence? I think not.
When God told me to get moving on my "almost blunted purpose," He knew the timing was important.

So Nick found me and my book. In fact, his email said he was looking around for a Christian regency and "I keep running into you and your book." He politely asked me if I would send him a copy.

So I immediately went out and mailed it first-class, right? An editor from Harvest House! One of the top five Christian publishers! But no--not thick-headed me. I thought, "What if he hates it?" And I procrastinated. Again!

Nick, God bless him, sent me a reminder email. So I put together a cover letter and sent him a book.
He liked it so well he pitched it to his marketing committee. He warned me not to get my hopes up.
But soon enough Harvest House sent me a contract!
2008 Edition with Harvest House Publishers
I told Nick he was my publishing hero. I think it sort of embarrassed him, but I still think of him that way. Eventually, Harvest House gave me contracts for two more books, which are sequels to Before the Season Ends. But it all started with them because of Nick.  

PS: Small wonder Nick found me then, not only because I'd worked so hard to BE found, but because there were NO other Christian regencies at the time! That was why I wrote the book in the first place. I'm grateful that Nick was also interested in bringing this wonderful genre to Christian readers. He wrote the foreword of the newest edition and talks about that himself--but I get ahead of myself.

To Be Continued...Next time--a couple of wonderful editions, thanks to Harvest House.    

Read an EXCERPT from Before the Season Ends HERE.

Need a copy? Purchase the book HERE.

Today's Writing Tip:
 Platform building can feel endless, but if you put the right foundational pieces into place, it will stay there and last for a long time--and serve you well with potential editors, agents, or media.  Social media posts come and go. Learn the foundational building blocks to make a good platform. I gave a thorough webinar on this. (If you want to view the webinar, there is a small fee. Please email me Linore (at) LinoreBurkard (dot) com. and I'll send you the link.)

The Metamorphosis of a Novel, Part One

The First Edition

With the release of the new edition of my first novel, Before the Season Ends, I thought it might interest some of you to follow its journey since I first wrote "the end." In this post and the next few, I'll be sharing the many published versions there are of this one novel. (Three are with Harvest House alone).
Each post will have tips for writers at the end.

Year: 1990s-2003

1st Edition 2005
Indie Excellence Finalist Award
There's a saying that goes like this: If you can't find the book you want to read, write it yourself.

That is exactly what spurred me to write my first novel. I hoped and waited for years for someone else to write a "real" Christian regency, but it never happened. When I read some that fell woefully short, I thought, I could do better than that. So I did.

Here's how it happened:
Once I realized that in order to read a "real" Christian regency, I would have to write it myself, I spent hours and hours at the library in their reference department, scouring resource material. (Today's authors don't realize how easy they have it now! What is a click away for them, sometimes took hours for me to dig up.) I was determined to get my research right.

Meanwhile,  I had three young labors of love called children, so library--or writing time--was hard to come by. But I would try to get alone at night and work on various literary labors of love--one of which became Before the Season Ends. My husband watched the kids upstairs while I wrote at a desk in a little basement bedroom in our house on Long Island. But there were also days when I scribbled scenes as a toddler crawled across my lap. (The difficulty of carving out time to write made me work harder at it, I think, than if I had had all the hours in the world to do it.)

Little by little the book took shape. After my fourth child was born, I kept up my sporadic attempts to finish a novel. Just about the time I finished it, we moved to Ohio. I spent years homeschooling and dabbling with other books, but I couldn't get away from Before the Season Ends. I spent a year  editing the book with such skill as I had. (Not as much as I've acquired.)

The Game Changer
I began praying about how to get it published. I knew NOTHING about the world of publishing, agents, etc. I did some poking around and decided to send it to two publishers. One--a major Christian publisher--expressed interest and requested the full manuscript, but later turned it down. That close call discouraged me. Nowadays, I would know that when you're seeking to get a book published, you either use an agent, or you query as many publishers as you can find who accept unsolicited manuscripts in your genre. But after only two rejections, I was (foolishly) discouraged and ready to quit. Except that the Lord wouldn't let me.

Little Holy Nudges
I love to tell this story. Here's how God nudged me not to give up on the book. In college, as an English Lit. major, I read my fair share of Shakespeare. In Hamlet, the ghost of the dead king nudges his son to kill the usurper who has not only stolen his crown and his wife, but murdered him to boot. He wants Hamlet to avenge his death but has to remind the famous procrastinator of
"thine almost blunted purpose." Well, oddly enough, God kept reminding me of "thine almost blunted purpose." It would have been startling, except I already knew the Lord has an exquisite sense of humor. I knew, too, exactly what "purpose" He was talking about: my book! It took me years to figure out why He chose a line from Hamlet, however: (in retrospect, it's painfully obvious) Because, like that poor prince, I was an expert procrastinator! After those first rejections, I'd done nothing to get the book published.

There were two wonderful things that came of His reminders.
1. I knew HE cared about the book!
2. I realized it was no less than my purpose (one of them, anyway) to get it out there! 

With incentive coming from God himself, I had the courage to look around some more. I settled upon a Christian self-publishing company (never even considered querying more traditional publishers--you'd think with divine inspiration I would have; but no, because I'm about as thick-headed as they come.) In any case, the first edition was born, and was a finalist in The Indie Exellence Contest. (See picture above)

(To Be Continued...)

WHAT I LEARNED (Tips for Writers)
1. Don't scrimp on research. If I did anything right, it was being meticulous about this.
2. Don't be too quick to give up! The publishing world is tough to break into, but not impossible. 
3. Commit your work to the Lord. And let Him direct its path. 
4. Be flexible. Your perfect vision for how and when your book gets published may not be God's plan for that work.
5. Nowadays, the old-style vanity publisher should be a last resort unless the writer only wants to publish for friends and family. As a publisher myself, I help authors who want to get their books into print--but I would caution any writer from going with a company who will print anything. Back then, I didn't know better. Even so, when I got the galleys, I made endless changes--all costing me--but I was aiming for excellence. If editing and/or book doctoring isn't part of the deal, run, don't walk, in another direction. (And that book still needed editing--don't scrimp on that, either.)  

Click here to see the latest, newly updated and edited release of Before the Season Ends