3 Things To Do For Proof-Reading

So I’ve been doing a lot of proof-reading recently, and I’ve found these 3 tips to be very, very useful and save me a lot of time editing!

  1. Copy your text into a different editor or change fonts.
  2. Read your text backwards.
  3. Read your text out loud.

Check out the blog post below for further directions on how to use these three tips in your writing!

http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2015/3-things-you-should-do-when-speed-proofreading/?sf&utm_campaign=Blog_Augment_1&utm_source=Facebook_org&utm_medium=link_postthinking-kid-1428260-639x505

 

I’m Friends With A Guy… GASP! – Part 4

And now… Question #4 of the blog post series, “I’m Friends With A Guy… GASP!” Read the other blog posts here:

Introduction

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

Question #4: “Aren’t you emotionally involved?”

Nope! I’m not! And of course, it’s taken me a little while to get here. But I’m so glad that I learned these lessons early on so that now that I’m older I know how to interact with people of the opposite gender. It makes my life – and the lives of those around me – much easier and definitely not as awkward as it would’ve been if I had shut myself off from boys at a young age. Because the fact is…

If you don’t know how to talk to guys (or girls!), what happens when someone wants to court/date you? You’re not going to know what to say, what to talk to them about, or if you even like this person! What if you aren’t even compatible? Wouldn’t it be smarter to at least have some friends of the opposite gender who are really just your friends, so that you know how to interact with them, and your potential spouse, in the future?

And this doesn’t necessarily have to be in groups all of the time, either! I love spending time in big groups of people. I feel you get to know people really well that way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever have a one-on-one conversation with a member of the opposite sex. I’ve been able to do this, cultivate good friendship, and not get married! :-)

For example…

I was taking music classes at a local college. I had several friends there, and we would often meet for lunch on the one day a week that I was going to school. On several occasions, I ended up just having lunch with one of my guy friends. Or at least having thirty minutes to an hour of time with a guy friend before others joined us. Did we plan for that to happen? No, we didn’t. Was it a date? Definitely not! It was just two friends eating sandwiches on the front porch of the music building, catching up on life and talking about classes. We never got super in-depth. Neither of us shared our hearts. We were open and had fun and had great conversations and got to know each other better. We were in a public place and got to meet some other college students, as well. It was a great time of refreshment and fun and getting to know each other. But no, we’re not getting married.

At Spiritual Twist Productions, we often have late night play practices or performances or stay out late going to get food because we’re starving. :-) The guys always make sure that the girls get to their cars safely, which we greatly appreciate it! On several occasions, I’ve ended up talking with a guy who’s having a hard time or who just wants to catch up on life. People know where we are. We’ve never shared anything inappropriate. We aren’t getting married. We’re just friends.

Several of us really like to contra dance! Recently, our contra dancing hall moved to a creepy area of town, and then moved to another building where the only parking was a parking garage. Being a girl, I don’t like to go to parking garages by myself at night. I actually don’t like going anywhere in the dark by myself for reasons of safety. My guy friends always make sure I’m ok getting to my car. Not because I’m not a capable young lady, but because they want me safe, and I want me safe. So, in order to not be stuck in a creepy/unsafe parking garage by myself, I met one of my adopted little brothers for dinner at Wendy’s and we both drove the ten minutes to the dance together. Was it a date? No. We’re just looking out for each other and eating cheap food and having a good time! :-)

Some of my friends and I wanted to support a locally made Christian movie. When I got to the theater, it ended up only being me and one of my guy friends. Did I get up and leave because it was awkward and uncomfortable? Nope. I trusted him, he trusted me, and we had a good time supporting a good movie. It wasn’t awkward at all!

Since I speak and travel to conferences, there has been several times when I’ve taken a road trip with one of my publisher’s sons. We drove for several hours together, listened to music, talked, sang, even had dinner and ice cream together. His parents knew that we were coming to join them. My parents knew that we didn’t want to drive two cars several hundred miles there and back and were totally fine with it. We both had a great time and got to know each other better. Again, no one thought we were getting married. We were two friends going to work at a conference.

In all of these instances, again, you have to communicate and be careful.

I communicated to my parents when we needed to go to conferences together. I told my parents every time I ended up being alone with a guy eating food or talking, even if it was just for a few minutes. They knew where I was, what I was doing, and who I was talking to. There’s accountability there. There’s trust built there. And most importantly, you learn how to be friends and how to encourage each other in Christ.

But of course, use common sense and young ladies, don’t go anywhere with a guy you don’t know or are barely acquainted with. Instead, invite them to your church, your home, other group events. Guys, don’t go off with young ladies, either. Show you want to be friends, but again, communicate and be careful.

I’ve had many guy friends who have had to correct me on things. There have been times I’ve been too judgmental, or actually been unkind or unfeeling. There’s been times that I’ve been gossipy, or down in the dumps and self-pitying, and I needed someone to pull me back up. There have been times when I’ve had an emotional break-down with a guy friend of mine on the phone when I called to apologize or talk about something. There have been times I’ve been struggling in my walk, and the only people around at the time were my guy friends. I’ve been sick and had guys pray over me and comfort me. All of these times have been wonderful periods of growth for me. The guys all handled themselves respectfully in pointing me back to Christ, encouraging appropriate and Biblical behavior, protecting me, or just giving me a hug when I needed one. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had shut guys out from interacting with me. I know I wouldn’t be the person or the Christian that I am today.

Allow God to use the people in your life, guys and girls, to teach you how to interact with people and how to grow into the person that He means you to be.

Stay tuned for the final part of this series, Question #5, coming in just a few days!

 

NCHE Conference Fun!!

A very belated post…. But here’s some pictures from the pre-release of “A Stand At Sinai” at the NCHE (North Carolinians for Home Education) conference in May of 2014! It was an amazing weekend! We had so many great sales and awesome feedback! And a phenomenal team making everything work. :-)

Click on this link to pre-order your own copy of “A Stand At Sinai” before the big release in Fall!! :-)

Enjoy the pictures! :-)

And now there are two!!! :-)

Signing my first copy of “A Stand At Sinai”!

Here it is!!! Isn’t it beautiful??? :-)

My own little corner of the booth!! :-)

 

“A Stand At Sinai” is Available for Pre-Order!!!

YES!!! You read that right! “A Stand At Sinai,” book 2 of “The Promised Land” series and sequel to the award-winning book, “A Cry From Egypt,” is now available for preorder!! Yay!!

We’re printing a limited number of galley editions right now!! Galleys are the first printed version of the book that we send to reviewers, other authors, endorsers, etc. While there might be a few typos or little things that we didn’t catch, it’s essentially the same as the final version of the book which will be available in Fall! We only have a few copies available to sell from these galley editions, so order now if you want to be guaranteed to be one of the first to read “A Stand At Sinai”!!! I can’t wait to know what you all think of it!!

Click on this link to learn more about “A Stand At Sinai” and purchase the book!

By the way… Right now shipping is FREE! And you also get a free bonus download of my writing workshop, “How to Write a Novel: A Homeschooler’s Journey to Becoming an Author.” Don’t miss out on this great offer from Great Waters Press!

And…. Here it is!! The cover!! 😀 Doesn’t it look amazing? Mike Slaton, my homeschooled friend who illustrated “A Cry From Egypt” also illustrated “A Stand At Sinai”! Any guesses as to who is on the cover? :-)

 

Poll Time!!

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a poll on my blog! So… Before my new book is released… Let’s do it! :-)

Who is your favorite character in “A Cry From Egypt”? And why? And who do you want to see more of in “A Stand At Sinai,” book two in “The Promised Land Series”?

 

“A Cry From Egypt” has been awarded “Christian Small Publisher 2014 Book of the Year”!!!

Yes!! You read that correctly! My book, “A Cry From Egypt,” received the “Christian Small Publisher 2014 Book of the Year” award!! Ahhh!!!! :-)

Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK you so much to everyone who voted and who passed on the word about my book! I couldn’t have done it without all of you faithful fans and friends! :-) This is such a huge blessing to me, and to the Great Waters Press family, who now has two award-winning books in their catalogue! :-)

The crazy thing was that I really didn’t think I was going to win. I barely had any hope of receiving the award. I promoted it a ton on my blog and Facebook and other places when it was first announced, but I hate having to ask people to vote for things and didn’t push it too much. I meant to do another wave of posts on April 1st, when I suddenly realized (on April 1st!!) that the voting was closed!! No!!!!! Terrible planning on my part. 😛 So I just assumed that I hadn’t received the award and blamed myself for it.

On Saturday night, my dad got a phone call from my publishers saying that they wanted to come by our house. Now, my publishers live over an hour away. They don’t just come by. I had no clue why there were coming. My first thought was, “This is either really, really bad, or really good.” Since we’re still working through the editing/publishing process with book 2, I prepared myself that this would be pretty bad. Either that, or they just wanted to bring me a contract or let me know that I’d been accepted by a big distributor or something. So I prepared myself for the worse and was really nervous. They didn’t get to my house until over one-and-a-half hours after they had originally called. At this point, my nerves were fried!!

Then all of a sudden the doorbell rang. I immediately jumped up to answer it. My publishers and their son came in, and Mr. Young had a purple folder in his hand. Mrs. Young was holding something behind her back, and told me to scoot away from the door so that I couldn’t see what it was. My mind was kind of in a whirl at this point, and I didn’t know what to expect or what to do. Mr. Young simply said, “We received this email today about your first book and we really thought that you needed to read it.” He said it with such a straight face!! I don’t think I even said anything. I just took the folder that he offered me and flipped it open. My heart was racing! And then I read this:

Congratulations!

A Cry From Egypt, Hope Auer, Great Waters Press,

has won the 2014 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award in the Young Adult category!”

I still can’t remember how I responded. I think I gasped and screamed and said something along the lines of, “I got the award??” And my mom screamed. And my dad and brothers cheered. And my heart started racing in a completely different way and I had a hard time breathing. And I couldn’t stop smiling. :-) And my grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousin who were visiting for the night all ran up to congratulate me! And Mrs. Young presented me with flowers that she had been hiding behind her back. And I was laughing. Oh my goodness. Sometimes my heart still pounds thinking about it! To go from expecting the worse – or at least something not NEARLY as good! – to getting the best surprise of my LIFE!!

I want to again thank all of you for your votes and for spreading the word about my book! You all are so amazing! And I want to give a HUGE shout-out to my publishers, Hal and Melanie Young at Great Waters Press! They have worked SO HARD to get my book into the hands of so many people, and they worked hard to get it nominated for this award and get enough votes for us to win! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU everyone!! :-)

And finally, all glory and praise to God! This book is completely based off of His story, and as I’ve said before there were so many times that I know that He wrote through me. It was nothing I did of my own accord. It was all Him. Thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful gift to me! :-)

Click on the link below for the official announcement!

http://christianbookaward.com

Yep. That smile says it all! :-)

My publishers and I!

My publishers and my incredibly supportive and amazing parents. :-)

 

Big News!!!

Hello Friends!

I have two really big and exciting announcements!!

First of all…. The moment you’ve been waiting/praying for…. BOOK TWO HAS BEEN SENT TO THE PUBLISHERS!! We don’t have an official release date yet because my publishers are still reading/reviewing it and haven’t even approved it yet! But the fact that the book is completed and sent out is a huge praise and is so exciting! We’ll keep you updated further about new developments and about the release date!

Secondly…. My first book, “A Cry From Egypt,” has been nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Book of the Year in the Young Adult Category!!! This is such a huge deal and is so exciting!!! However… In order to receive this prize I need your help. You have to vote for my book! It’s really, really easy to do! Go to this link, fill in your name and email address at the top of the ballot, and scroll down until you see my book on the right-hand side of the screen. Click the little circle next to my book, go down to the bottom of the page and hit “Submit Votes,” and you’re done! It’s that easy! It only takes two minutes!

Please go to the link below to vote for “A Cry From Egypt” and please share this with your friends and family! There’s some heavy competition out there for this award, and it would mean so much for me to receive it! Thank you so much, friends, for all that you do!

Hope Auer

http://www.christianpublishers.net/14votes/

 

New Behind the Scenes Sneak-Peaks! :-)

Hello Everyone!

We’ve finally uploaded a bunch of behind the scenes pictures and an audio clip from the radio drama! It’s so exciting! :-) Go over to the page labeled “Radio Drama,” and you can click on either “Behind the Scenes!” or “Radio Drama News!” to see and hear new things! Subscribe to the pages so that you know when I add more pictures or new audio clips. Please continue to pray that we’ll get everything in place for final recording here in just a few weeks! I can’t wait for you all to be able to hear the whole thing!

 

“A Cry From Egypt” is now available on the Kindle!!!

Hello Everyone!

I’m thrilled to announce that “A Cry From Egypt” is now available on the Kindle!! We’ve had so many people asking about when it will be in electronic form, and now it is!! Many, many thanks to the crew at Great Waters Press for all of their hard work to get this out to you all!

You can order “A Cry From Egypt” for $6 on Amazon! Click on the link below to purchase the Kindle version and to see some great reviews on my book! And please share the news with all of your friends and family members! :-)

Thank you!

http://www.amazon.com/Cry-Egypt-Promised-Land-ebook/dp/B00G3M3OVG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382531088&sr=1-1&keywords=a+cry+from+egypt

Book Review! “The Draegonian Invasion”

Hi Everyone!

I read a book early in the summer by one of my writing friends that was thrilling and exciting and hard to put down! You know that I’ve been frustrated by how Christian fiction out there today isn’t really “Christian.” It’s full of romance, drama, and rarely focuses on Christ. Well this great book, written by Fred Jackson, breaks the mold. It’s called “The Draegonian Invasion,” and addresses what it’s like to live in public school and still stand strong as a Christian. The book also clearly shows that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Yes, there is spiritual warfare come to life! And it’s phenomenal and very intense at times! Here’s the synopsis:

“Fifteen-year-old Brad Johnson is struggling to figure out God’s will for his life. It’s hard to stay focused on doing what’s right amid the ‘normal drama’ of high school. Add to the mix a group of students who are bent on making life miserable if you dare to talk about Jesus, and things get real. Brad’s close friend Luke has become cynical and distant, drawn into a culture of drugs and black-metal music as the drummer of a local band.

“Things get even stranger when a video game Brad and his friends play, called ‘The Draegonian Invasion,’ begins to come to life. Brad awakens to the truth that sinister forces are attacking his friends and invading his community. He discovers that the dangers are very real and that a supernatural enemy is trying to take over his high school. The kids are wearing only black and being sucked into a life of absolute rebellion.

“With his friends, Matt and Bart, along with a youth Bible study group known as the G-Men, Brad battles alien beings, giant androids, mystical beasts, thugs, and a dark villain involved in the magical arts. He discovers the computer game’s amazing effect on reality. Facing his own fear, Brad learns how only the awesome power of God can defeat the evil lurking in the shadows.

“An action-packed adventure, ‘The Drageonian Invasion‘ speaks to the reality of spiritual warfare and shows the incredible power of faith in the only real superhero, Jesus.”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this books. However, there are a few things I want to specifically point out. While I would highly recommend it to you all, there are some things that I don’t think would be best to introduce to younger audiences.

Pros:  Brad and Matt, the main characters of this book, are amazing young men of God. They have weaknesses and they struggle like the rest of us. But their compassion for winning the lost and ministering to those in need is so beautiful to behold, and very inspiring! They give of themselves time and time again to stand up for their friends and for those weaker than themselves, often putting themselves into great danger. They treat girls with the utmost respect. Brad’s sister is a strong woman of prayer and devotion to the word. Brad and others who are hurting go to her and Brad’s parents for advice, comfort, and wisdom. The Biblical truths in this book are convicting and empowering, and you find yourself cheering for the heros and for Brad with all of your heart.

I also love how involved the parents are in this story. Brad’s parents are leading him and guiding him and challenging him in his faith. They take an interest in his friends and are there to help him as needed. Matt’s father is a police officer, and the boys are constantly calling on him to help them when they uncover crime. Matt’s father does his duty well and honorably and is always there for his son.

The two things that stood out to me in this book, besides what I’ve already mentioned, is how the Christian young people stand firm in their faith in the midst of terrible, terrible trials. They love unconditionally and reach out to the lost, not caring what other people may do to them or what others may think. It’s truly inspiring and encouraging.

The other thing is how the spiritual warfare is portrayed. I won’t give away anything that would ruin the story, but Brad, in a sense, sees demons and angels fighting each other in the battle of good and evil. Whenever it seems that evil will win, Jesus is there. One look at Him and the demons flee. It shows the awe-inspiring power of God to protect His loved-ones and never let anything happen to them that is not in His plan or in His control. Brad is taught how to use the spiritual weapons of our warfare (faith, truth, etc.) to battle the evils around him. And when confronted with people who are filled with evil, Brad and his friends revert to prayer and to God’s power to protect them and their friends.

Cons:  While there was nothing bad in this story, I do have some things to caution you about before letting younger children or young teens read it.

First, it definitely depicts public school life for what it really is – a day-to-day struggle to keep yourself guarded and pure and stand up for what you believe. While nothing bad is ever shown, things are often talked about. Drugs are mentioned. Rock bands and demonic influences are mentioned and shown to be taking an affect on the lives of students who are getting themselves wrapped up in evil things. Brad, Matt, and Bart get bullied quite frequently. But again, things are talked about and shown to be evil and bad, which is what I like about it.

Second, a good portion of this book takes place at a kind of nightclub/bar. Brad and Matt come here (as well as police force) to help friends who have been lured into “the dark side” of things. While nothing is shown specifically about drug use or drunkenness or inappropriate behavior, it is mentioned in terms that you understand what’s going on without being blatantly obvious. And again, everything is portrayed as sin and shows the negative affects of going down that path.

Third, one of the main girls in the story named Brittany is a very lost young lady. The boys and Brad’s sister witness to her and attempt to win her over to Christ. But before Brad and others can reach out to Brittany, she becomes pregnant. While nothing is shown and nothing graphic ever mentioned, her pregnancy is talked about and they pray and hope that she won’t consider an abortion.

Overall, I loved the book! It was dramatic, exciting, convicting, and pointed me towards Christ. I would highly recommend it for those 15-years-old or older.

Here’s the website where you can buy the book, find more information about the book, and about it’s author! I would encourage you to buy the book and pass it on! Thank you!

http://thedraegonianinvasion.com