Patti's Porch

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
Saturday, January 6, 2018 by Patti Shene

FEATURED BOOK:  The Labor Day Challenge

AUTHOR:  Susan Page Davis

PUBLISHER:  Tea Tin Press

GENRE:  mystery-romance

SERIES OR STAND ALONE: Maine Justice Series book 6

TARGET AGE:  general

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS TO PATTI’S PORCH. SUSAN TALKS ABOUT THE PROCESS INVOLVED IN A WRITER’S CHOOSING OF A TITLE.

 

SUSAN IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A KINDLE OR PAPERBACK COPY (WINNER’S CHOICE) OF THE LABOR DAYCHALLENGE.

 

WHAT’S IN A TITLE?

 

by

 

Susan Page Davis

 

Every time I write a book, I have to come up with a title for it. Sometimes that’s easy, but other times it’s a grueling process.

 

The best titles give the reader an idea of what the book is about and the tone of the story, without giving away too much about the plot. They should capture the reader’s interest and be easy to understand.

 

On a good day, a title will jump out at me as I’m writing. If I find a phrase, an idea, or even a single word that expresses the essence of the story, I run with it. That doesn’t happen very often.

 

Sometimes my editor will name the book. In a few publishing houses that’s the norm. Others let the author name it, but sometimes they might want to change it. Maybe it’s too similar to the title of another book, so that readers looking for your book might be confused. For instance, just before my book Witness released (Christian romantic suspense), Dee Henderson came out with her book, The Witness (also Christian romantic suspense). I wanted a different title, but the publisher said no, so it remained Witness.

 

Authors use various methods of creating titles. As I look over the more than eighty titles my books have been given, I don’t see a clear pattern. I used a lot of different methods.

 

One of the best ways to find a good title is brainstorming with several other people. I give them the gist of my story and tell them some key words and phrases. For my featured book, The Labor Day Challenge, that might include murder of a police officer, mock crime scene, and workplace harassment. I chose The Labor Day Challenge because it is a major event in the book, at which the murder takes place.

 

One-Word titles can be tricky if an author is not the first to use it. Also, that one word must epitomize the book. It worked for Alex Haley with Roots, for James Michener with Hawaii, and for Leon Uris with Exodus.

 

Among my dozens of books, I have only two one-word titles, a romantic suspense novel I mentioned earleir called Witness and a children’s fantasy called Feather.

 

Originally, I wanted to call Witness by a different name: You Shouldn’t Have. I chose that because in the story three sisters owned a gift shop with that name. One of them witnessed a murder, and I thought it was appropriate to the story. The editor disagreed. She thought it sounded more like a cozy mystery or women’s fiction than romantic suspense and changed the title to Witness.

 

In the children’s book, Feather is the name of the main character. She is a young girl living in post-apocalyptic America, and she fletches arrows for her tribe. Since her arrow-making is important to the story, Feather seemed to me like a good title.

 

Sometimes an author will use the main character’s name as his or her title.This method is not usually memorable to the reader—unless the book is a big hit. Examples of past books where it worked: Anna Karenina, David Copperfield, Christy.

 

Sometimes the heroine’s or the hero’s name is used in a title in the possessive form or with a participle phrase. Ten or fifteen years ago, a lot of books, especially romances, seemed to have “ing” titles. Some examples: my very first published book (vintage 2004) was called Protecting Amy. A couple of years later, I had a romantic suspense called Finding Marie. I also used possessive names on a historical novel, Lady Anne’s Quest, and a young adult story, Sarah’s Long Ride. Lady Anne’s Quest clues you as the reader in to the fact that the main character in this prairie romance is an aristocrat. 

 

Allusion is another way to create a title. It’s a brief, usually indirect, reference to a person, place or event. Classical allusions, taking titles from the Bible or other literary works, might look like this: Vanity Fair (references Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress); Inherit the Wind (Bible); The Dogs of War (Shakespeare); For Whom the Bell Tolls (John Dunne).

 

Song titles as book titles are quite popular now, and this is perfectly legal. Titles cannot be copyrighted, and you’ll often find several books with the same title.

 

Alliteration can work sometimes. Think of The Wind in the Willows, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Mouse and the Motorcycle. I have a western series to which my editor assigned the names The Sheriff’s Surrender (the e-book is free Jan. 8. See below!), The Gunsmith’s Gallantry, and The Blacksmith’s Bravery.

 

Shock, juxtaposition and non sequiturs fall into one of my favorite categories. They can work well if the contrast is great enough. Here are a few I’ve seen: Anita and the Hit Man, The Reluctant Dragon, The Skunk Ladder.

 

A well-known phrase can work well if it brings the right image or mood to the reader’s mind. Here are a few that have been used as titles: Nothing to Declare, To the Hilt, Repent at Leisure, Rue the Day, Loaded for Bear. I used Found Art for one of my Maine Justice books that focuses on a ring of art thieves, and I’ve used All That Glitters, Nothing to Hide, Just Cause, and others. Editors from two different publishing houses named two of my books What a Picture’s Worth and A Thousand Words. That still cracks me up.

 

Sometimes a variation on a well-known phrase works even better: Nothing’s Sure But Death and Texas, Random Acts of Malice, Live and Let Die. For one of my romantic suspense books, I suggested In the Crosshairs. A genius editor changed it to Hearts in the Crosshairs.

 

What part does the title play in your decision when you choose a new book to read?

 

Blurb for The Labor Day Challenge:

What begins as a friendly city rivalry with Bangor turns into a baffling case for the Priority Unit. One of their colleagues turns up dead in what should have been a mock crime scene. Eddie is in charge of the investigation, but he’s more than a little distracted by Leeanne’s erratic behavior. Is the wedding on or off? Jennifer’s younger brother Travis shows up in Portland unexpectedly with some disturbing news, and Chief Browning is out of town every weekend, pursuing his dream of living in the north woods. Captain Harvey Larson holds everything together for the family and the Priority Unit, but the convoluted path to solving Detective Joey Bolduc’s murder turns up evidence of other crimes.

 

Amazon buy link

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A COPY OF THE LABOR DAY CHALLENGE. BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY, JANUARY 16TH AT MIDNIGHT MST. (PAPERBACK COPY OFFERED TO U.S. ENTRANTS ONLY).

 

Susan Page Davis is the author of more than eighty novels and novellas. Her Christian fiction includes romance, mystery, historicals, and romantic suspense. Her books have won the Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and the Will Rogers Medallion. A native of Maine, she now lives in western Kentucky.

Find Susan at:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Sign up for Susan’s occasional newsletter

The Sheriff’s Surrender by Susan Page Davis will be offered free as an e-book 

on Monday, January. 8th!

Click here!

 

SUBSCRIBE TO PATTI’S BLOGS HERE


Comments

Raeanay From jacksonville fl At 1/14/2018 9:16:57 PM

im reading In the superstition mountains now and im very intrested in your other titles.

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Raeanay. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. You are in the drawing for this book.

Rhonda From Florida At 1/14/2018 7:15:39 PM

Can't wait to read it!

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Rhonda. I made an error and reported this drawing as coming to a close today. It is actually open through Tuesday, January 16th! Glad you stopped by.

Linda Magurite From At 1/14/2018 5:11:20 PM

Sounds good ! Would love to read it ??

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Linda. You are in the drawing to possibly win a copy of The Labor Day Challenge. Thank you for dropping

Linda Orr From SC At 1/9/2018 2:27:31 AM

Titles are kinda like bonus material. Not only are you anxiously reading to see how the story ends, but you're also looking for where that title came from in the story.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Linda. Good point! We often discuss where the title came from in our book club. Thank you for stopping by.

Joan Arning From MO At 1/8/2018 8:17:48 PM

I don't think the title plays a very large part for me unless it's too "cutesy".

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Joan. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us.

Deanna Stevens From Nebraska At 1/8/2018 5:57:14 PM

would love to read this one!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Deanna. Wishing you the best in the drawing! Thank you for stopping by.

Emily Akin From TN At 1/8/2018 5:11:15 PM

Love the Maine Justice series. Susan, I think your titles are usually spot-on.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Emily. Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment for Susan.

Susan Page Davis From Kentucky At 1/8/2018 9:51:49 AM

Thank you all for your comments! I think titles are very important and should give us a feel for the story. When I get an email advertising discounted or new books, I do skim through the titles and see if one pops for me.

Vivian Furbay From Colorado Springs, CO At 1/7/2018 11:34:32 PM

Would enjoy winning a print copy of this mystery

Reply by: Patti Shene

HI Vivian. I wish you the best in the drawing! Thank you for stopping by.

Sonnetta Jones From New Brunswick NJ At 1/7/2018 3:02:33 PM

Titles sometimes makes me take a second look at a book. It is great to read about how much goes into getting a title.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Sonnetta. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I love catchy titles that make me curious about what's inside.

Becky Smith From Missouri At 1/6/2018 3:24:15 PM

I enjoyed this post so much with all the talk about Titles!! So interesting! Susan's book sounds really good! Have a good weekend!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Becky. I thought Susan explored the topic well and made it interesting for readers and writers. Thank you for stopping by.

Susan Page Davis From Kentucky At 1/6/2018 12:29:04 PM

Patti, thanks for having me over for a visit! Always great to connect with you and your readers.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you for spending time with us, Susan! I always enjoy having you stop by for a chat.

Patti’s Porch


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4/17/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR TAMERA RAFT
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4/1/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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3/25/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR ALEXIS A. GORING
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3/10/2017

THE HIGH CALLING OF MOTHERHOOD BLOG TOUR!
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3/8/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SUE BARR
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3/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
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2/25/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR ROBIN PATCHEN
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2/18/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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2/11/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY
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2/4/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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1/29/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
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1/21/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR MARY L. BALL
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1/14/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
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1/7/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JOI COPELAND
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12/17/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR TERRI WELDON
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12/9/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR LEEANN BETTS
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12/2/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
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11/5/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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10/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS
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10/14/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY KLEPFER
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10/1/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA D. MEYER
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9/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA SCHLACHTER
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9/3/2016

WHEN GOD SAYS "NO!"
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8/22/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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8/13/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
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8/6/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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7/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINE LINDSAY
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6/3/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR LEANN BETTS
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5/20/2016

Manners Are Golden ~ What the Bible Says by Nike Chillemi
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5/7/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DIANE KALAS
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4/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR TANYA EAVENSON
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4/1/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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3/18/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
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3/4/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KARIN BEERY
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2/24/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANGELA RUTH STRONG
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2/6/2016

REVIEW OF SNOW OUT OF SEASON BY CHRISTY BRUNKE
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1/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ELAINE STOCK
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1/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL PALLOTTA
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1/2/2016

IS CHRISTMAS REALLY OVER?
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12/26/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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12/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR BROOKE COX
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11/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR H L WEGLEY
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11/6/2015

PERSPECTIVE
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11/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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10/23/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SALLY CHAMBERS
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10/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
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10/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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10/3/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PAULA MOWERY
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9/11/2015

LIFE AFTER LIFE BY JUNE FOSTER
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8/22/2015

INTRODUCING A NEW BLOGGING COMMUNITY
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8/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
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7/24/2015

WHY WE WAIT
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7/11/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MISTY BELLER
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6/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR ELIZABETH MADDREY
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6/13/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA DOUGLAS
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5/22/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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5/9/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR LEE CARVER
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4/10/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR VALERIE COMER
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3/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR MARIAN MERRITT
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3/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR AMBER STOCKTON
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2/27/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE ALMONY
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2/14/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JAMES CALLAN
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1/24/2015

A MODERN DAY MIRACLE
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1/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE PEASE
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1/10/2015

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SEVEN
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12/27/2014

AUTHOR GINA WELBORN RETURNS
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12/20/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN ANNE MASON
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12/18/2014

WHAT DOES ADVENT MEAN TO YOU?
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12/14/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
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12/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
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12/6/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY WRAPS UP PURE GENIUS SERIES
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11/29/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART SIX
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11/22/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR BILL GARRISON
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11/14/2014

WHAT DO YOU MISS?
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11/8/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
Patti Shene
11/1/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FIVE
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10/25/2014

DINOSAURS AND THE BIBLE
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10/19/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR GINA WELBORN
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10/10/2014

POINT TO POINT TO POINT
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10/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART FOUR
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9/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
Patti Shene
9/19/2014

BY THE NUMBERS
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9/15/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR ADA BROWNELL
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9/5/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR JENNIFER SLATTERY
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8/30/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART THREE
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8/23/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA DeMARINO
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8/16/2014

SITTING IDLE
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8/10/2014

It's Hot Out Here! by CHERI SWALWELL
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8/3/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART TWO
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7/26/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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7/20/2014

WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
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7/14/2014

AUTHOR H. L. WEGLEY RETURNS
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7/5/2014

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS - PART ONE
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6/27/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
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6/20/2014

UNEXPECTED ACTS OF KINDNESS
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6/16/2014

REVIEW OF THREE NON-FICTION BOOKS
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6/7/2014

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR RENEE BLARE
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5/30/2014

SEVEN WAYS TO STRETCH SPIRITUALLY BY ADA BROWNELL
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5/17/2014

WHEN FINE IS NOT REALLY FINE
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4/23/2014

MOMMY MEMOIRS BY ANN VAN DE WATER
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4/19/2014

PLAY BALL!
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4/17/2014

JOE THE DREAMER BY AUTHOR A. B. BROWNELL
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4/12/2014

ON THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS BY H. L. WEGLEY
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4/4/2014

THE THIEF BY STEPHANIE LANDSEM
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3/29/2014

HUMOR AT THE HOSPITAL
Patti Shene
3/26/2014

HEAR NO EVIL BY MARY HAMILTON
Patti Shene
3/22/2014

WHEN THE ROAD GETS LONG AND LONELY
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3/19/2014

INTRODUCING RYAN'S FATHER BY JUNE FOSTER
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3/15/2014

WHERE ARE YOU THE MOST VULNERABLE?
Patti Shene
3/13/2014

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER BROOKE COX
Patti Shene
3/8/2014

Patti's Porch Welcomes Author Rebecca Carey Lyles
Patti Shene
3/1/2014

Flying for Jesus by Lee Carver
Patti Shene
2/22/2014

Putting Out the Fleece by Paula Mowery
Patti Shene
2/15/2014

What We Can Learn From the Olympics
Patti Shene
2/12/2014

Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
Patti Shene
2/8/2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
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2/5/2014

A Matter of Perspective
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2/1/2014

Introducing The Pure Genius Series by H. L. Wegley
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1/25/2014

Monopoly!
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1/21/2014

welcome author Cheri Swalwell
Patti Shene
1/17/2014

What Did You Mean By That?
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1/14/2014

Wildlife Video
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1/10/2014

My Best Reads of 2013
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1/8/2014

The Dumbest Kid in School
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1/3/2014

Good-bye to 2013
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1/1/2014

Focusing on What Christmas Really Means
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12/22/2013

One Spectacular Christmas Display
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12/19/2013

Where are You Going This Advent Season?
Patti Shene
11/29/2013

Shared Experience
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11/24/2013

Facing the Monster
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10/25/2013

Review of Reign by Ginger Garrett
Patti Shene
9/27/2013

I'll Be Happy When...
Patti Shene
5/14/2013

Sing Praises - Whether You Can Sing or Not
Patti Shene
5/5/2013

I Can't Do This!
Patti Shene
5/2/2013

BREAKING THE RULES
Patti Shene
4/28/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR TINA PINSON
Patti Shene
4/21/2013

Vulnerability to Fear
Patti Shene
4/17/2013

Faith and Fear
Patti Shene
4/15/2013

Those Temporary Interruptions
Patti Shene
2/21/2013

Grand Prize Winner at Int'l Wildlife Film Festival
Patti Shene
2/7/2013

Starsongs Giveaway Contest
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2/3/2013

Taking Stock
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1/30/2013

Welcome Author Janet K Brown
Patti Shene
1/26/2013

Winter - Bah Humbug!
Patti Shene
1/22/2013

Welcome Author Tanya Eavenson
Patti Shene
1/19/2013

Welcome Author Margaret Brownley
Patti Shene
1/16/2013

Travel Writing = Nearly Shooting Peacocks
Patti Shene
1/12/2013

Water, Water Everywhere - or Maybe Not
Patti Shene
1/9/2013

The last Day of the Christmas Season
Patti Shene
1/5/2013

Accountability in the Extreme
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1/2/2013

The day after Christmas
Patti Shene
12/26/2012

It's Dec 22nd - And We're Still Here!
Patti Shene
12/22/2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Hopping
Patti Shene
12/19/2012

Vanquishing the Christmas Blues by Linda Rondeau
Patti Shene
12/15/2012

Christmas Rayne by Joi Copeland
Patti Shene
12/12/2012

The Christmas Stalking by Lillian Duncan
Patti Shene
12/8/2012

News From Nashville & Beyond
Patti Shene
12/4/2012

Author Susan Sleeman offers great advice about wor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Welcome Home!
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Confessions of a first book editor
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Going Home
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

GPCWC in Restospect
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Vacation in the Adirondacks of New York
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

I am pleased to welcome author Staci Stallings
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Meet Award-Winning Journalist And Author Ada Brownell
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

An Interview with Author Eddie Jones
Patti Shene
11/13/2012

Nano Day 11 - um - day 1?
Patti Shene
11/13/2012