Sunday, October 23, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

Review of Under a Prairie Moon- a novel by Madeline Baker

"Under a Prairie Moon," was one of the first romance novels I ever read, and one that impacted me as a writer so much, I plan to adapt it to film in the future. It is such a fast, easy read, and keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. I just love this book, and though I'm not a romance writer, Madeline inspired me in my early writing and gave me the courage to go for it!
Madeline also writes vamp romances under the name Amanda Ashley. Grab every opportunity to read her books, because you won't be disappointed!

I tried to keep spoilers at a minimum, but there are a few here. Read at your own risk! Enjoy!

Under a Prairie Moon
This is a wonderful story of romance and the paranormal, and is the book that made me a huge fan of Madeline Baker.

In this story, widow Kathy Conley inherits her husbands family farm after his death. No one has lived in the house for quite some time, and when they do move in, no one stays. Turns out, the place is haunted by the ghost of a man who was wrongly accused of trying to rape the wife of the original owner.

Dalton Crowkiller, tough, good looking, half-breed Native American, was lusted after by the farmer's wife, Lydia Conley, who threw herself at him every chance she got back in 1873. One night in the barn, Lydia attempts to seduce Dalton and when he won't reciprocate, she screams rape, quickly prompting his hanging.

Fast forward to present day, Kathy, who is overcome with grief over the loss of her husband, busies herself fixing up the old farm house. One day, she finds a diary jammed in an old dresser drawer and here she reads the story of how Lydia lusted after Dalton, the ranch hand. As time passes, Kathy hears and sees things that she can't explain and eventually discovers that the ghost she is seeing is that of Dalton. A relationship develops, which she explains away as her being a grieving, lonely widow. One day, Dalton talks her into buying a horse, and while riding together, they pass under the hanging tree on the property and are propelled into the past.

Given the chance to clear his name by changing the past, Dalton and Kathy express their love for one another in the past, but will they lose each other in the future?

I won't give anymore away, but I can tell you that this is one of the books that inspired me to write paranormal thrillers. Madeline Baker has a way of drawing you in, and keeping you there. I could not put this book down and have read it at least 20 times! If you love romance, time travel and good looking Native American men, this book is for you! Excellent read!

View all my Goodreads reviews.
Thursday, October 13, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

Revisiting the Journey

Hello everyone!

I hope you have enjoyed the guest author series I've featured here since August. I must admit that having guest's sure freed me up for pressing issues that I've had to deal with with the book and movie. Not having to write on the blog myself has given me some free time to finish the screenplay, which I have done. Not an easy task, but at least now there is something solid to hand over to interested parties, and yes, there are many interested parties.

What's going on with the movie? I've heard this a million times over the summer. The slump in progress with the movie was necessary to get things in order. As it was before, things were just kinda thrown out there without any real direction. Not so anymore. I will be once again posting on it's progress in the near future!

There are new friends everyday on the FB page, so I would like to take this opportunity to share a past blog for those who might be stopping by.

The following blog entry was from December of 2010, almost one year ago. It speaks for itself, but will be informative to those just getting to know me and what I'm all about – just a humble author trying to do good through a medium open to anyone who has the desire to listen within, sit down and write about it.

And now, I give you, "With a Lump in my Throat..."

When I was on my way out of town this morning, my cell phone beeped alerting me to a new message on my Facebook wall. A dear friend posted a link to a New York Times article regarding the hangings of the Dakota 38. As you all know by now, this is the subject of my book, Scattered Leaves: The Legend of Ghostkiller.

I wasn't driving the car, so was able to click the link and go to the page. As my eyes scanned the small screen of my phone, which is difficult enough to read at my age, I found it even more difficult to see with the tears that welled up in my eyes. It was an article that talked about the 38th Indian who was hanged by mistake. His name was Chaska- the character Ghostkiller in my book is based on this man. Chaska kidnapped a woman and her children during the uprising in order to save them from certain death, which he did. In my book, Ghostkiller came to Moccasin Flats (a fictitious name for Mankato) from South Dakota Territory after he heard the news of his mothers' starving people. Consequently, he was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time during the round up and hanged.

As I read the article, my eyes widened when I got to the part where they were talking about a public pardon. It is important not only for the government to acknowledge what happened to Chaska, but also to educate the public about what happened during that time to cause the Uprising in the first place. This was my mission when I wrote the book. I knew I needed to write it in a format that could be easily understood, but also be widely accepted by the masses. What better way to do that then through the love of reading? Now it has gone to the next step and into the Hollywood realm of movie making and I am thrilled with the aspects of reaching millions of people with this important story! If people understood the catalyst behind the uprising, perhaps a better understanding all these years later could heal some old wounds.

I have always said, "I am just the vehicle by which their story traveled to the paper," so while reading this article, I allowed the lump in my throat to grow and didn't try to swallow it; I released the tears and let them flow down my cheeks, and as I did I heard the pain and sorrow of 148 years worth of past atrocities cry out through the veil of time and space in which our past survives today. I pray that these things will come to light in every possible medium, and that one day these spirits will indeed rest in peace.

Mitakuye Oyasin,
Lynny Prince
Monday, October 03, 2011 | By: Lynny Prince

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: TRACY KRAUSS- GUEST AUTHOR

Rejection - and I mean hard core, downright heart wrenching 'this really stinks' rejection - was the best thing that ever happened to me in terms of my writing.

I'm a compulsive writer. It's just something I do. I've been writing for over a quarter century, and in those early years, I was happy to just pound away at my typewriter while my kids were taking their nap, dreaming that someday I'd get published, but not really believing it could ever happen. It was enough to just 'get the words out' and I figured if it ended up being nothing more than personal therapy, so be it.

Then, at one point (and I'm not exactly sure when that shift took place) I started to think that maybe - just maybe - somebody might actually like to read what I'd written. I took my first tentative steps toward sharing, starting with one of my daughters who was a voracious reader. She came back, manuscript in hand, with a semi-detached, 'bored' expression, saying, "It was okay."

Hm. Not exactly what I had hoped for, but I took it as a sign that a 14 year old really wasn't my best critique option, or I needed to go back and change things. In the end I slashed that manuscript to pieces and totally revamped it, sure that NOW it was worthy of someone's attention. I went online, (we had now entered the personal computer era) and started researching publishers.

To my surprise, most publishers did not take unsolicited manuscripts. I needed an agent. WHAT? Nobody ever told me that!! (You're getting the picture how really, really GREEN I was ...) I was imagining how I'd ship the finished book off to several publishing houses and then let them fight it out as I negotiated the best contract.

Instead, what did end up happening totally transformed my writing life. I send my manuscript to an agency that offered critiquing services. If things weren't too bad, they'd go on to post your work on their site for potential agents and publishers to see. If it wasn't up to standard, they'd at least offer a critique. Sure that I would be a shoe in, I waited with anticipation for their response.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. I got three different perspectives on my work, and all three were brutal. All the classic 'Show not tell', awkward phrasing, not moving the story forward, POV head hopping ... on and on it went. Once each and every one of these problems was pointed out, I couldn't believe I had missed it. It just seemed so obvious. I had spent so much time in my own head, that I literally did not see the forest for the trees.

I have since had the wonderful opportunity to be the recipient of many, many more such rejections! I've taken to embracing criticism, because I realize that in most cases, it will make me a better writer. The trick is, you have to detach yourself emotionally and see negative comments as roads to improvement. Actually applying what is suggested helps, too!

Many queries and many rejections later, I finally signed my first contract in 2008, with my first novel – AND THE BEAT GOES – an archeological thriller, leasing in 2009. This first contract was with a POD publishing house, but had many of the perks that traditional houses offer:

-My book was professionally edited

-It cost me nothing

-I receive royalties

-There is a ‘buy back’ clause from the supplier so that book stores can buy and send back copies if they want to.

Happy with my initial success, I went on to publish two more books with the same publisher. This time, my contracts were a bit more akin to ‘self publishing’. MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER was a ‘joint venture’ contract, where I paid a nominal fee, but the publisher took on the bulk of the costs. PLAY IT AGAIN was a ‘pre-sales’ contract where the publication process only kicked in (at no cost to me) once 100 books were pre-sold. I’m happy to say the book is now in production. (Incidentally, both books were nominated for an ‘Indie Excellence Book Award’ and MAN-EATER even went on to best seller status on Amazon when it first released in the Contemporary Romance category.)

So what have I learned from all this? There is still a lot of stigma when it comes to POD publishing, but when it comes right down to it, quality is still the best way to sell books, whether you publish the traditional way or you go a self pubbed, indie or strictly ebook route. I’m glad I didn’t take the easy route and self publish right away. All those early rejections taught me that good writing is the best thing you can do for yourself and your writing career. I’ve since signed with an agent and hope to see book number four, WIND OVER MARSHDALE, find a publishing home the traditional way. I don’t think that would have been possible without all the lessons I’ve learned the hard way.

Without that early wake up call, I'd still be in my own little world, writing for an audience of one. (And I don't mean God!) How has rejection transformed your writing?

Tracy Krauss

the creative process from a Christian perspective