The Indie Author Manifesto

An excellent manifesto and something to follow.

Indie Hero

Indie Authors.

Each and every one of us should post this on our websites, blogs, etc.

THE INDIE AUTHOR MANIFESTO by Mark Coker @ Smashwords:

Indie Author Manifesto

THE INDIE AUTHOR MANIFESTO


We indie authors believe all writers are created equal, that all writers are endowed with natural creative potential, and that writers have an unalienable right to exercise, explore and realize their potential through the freedom of publication. 

I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  1. I am an indie author
  2. I have experienced the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from self-publishing
  3. I have a right to publish
  4. My creative control is important to me.  I decide when, where and how my writing graduates to become a published book.
  5. Indie does not mean “alone.”  I choose my partners.
  6. I shall not bow beholden or subservient to any publisher. In my business relationships, I seek partnership, fairness, equity and mutually aligned interests.
  7. We indie…

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Map of Kammbia

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Here is a map of Kammbia. The fictional world where my novel, Descendant of Destiny, is set in.  The land of Kammbia is divided into two regions:  North of the Great Forest and South of the Great Forest. There are four main cities in each region of Kammbia and they will be featured throughout this series starting in the Descendant of Destiny.

Cities North of the Great Forest: Santa Sophia, Santa Teresa, Alicia, & Issabella

Cities South of the Great Forest: Charlesville, Galicea, Fuente Pointe, & Adrianna

Charlesville and Santa Sophia are the two cities where The Descendant of Destiny takes place and are the main cities for the entire series.

I just wanted to give a little background into the fictional world of Kammbia.  I have created an author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kammbia where I give some more history of the land and cultures that inhabited it. Check out when you get a chance and don’t forget to “like” it as well. 🙂

The Descendant of Destiny by Marion Hill

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For those who have been following my blog, I briefly mentioned that yours truly is getting his first novel published this year.  Actually, it will be June 4th. I have attached the actual cover and spine for the book.  Here’s the back cover blurb:

What is Destiny?

 

Is destiny something to be shaped by your own hands?

Is destiny something to be shaped by other people?

Or is there a higher power that ultimately shapes our destiny?

 

This is the journey that Diondray Azur of Charlesville will discover when he finds out the existence of a book called The Book of Kammbi. The book reveals an ancient prophecy that needs to be fulfilled by a descendant of Oscar Ortega, one of the land of Kammbia’s greatest men. All signs point to Diondray being the one who will fulfill this prophecy. However, he does not believe in the prophecy and thus begins the journey towards his destiny.

More to come as we get closer to the publication date.  Also, this blog will move to my website in the next week or two.  I would like to thank all of those who have read my book reviews over the years and checked out the blog.  It is an exciting time for me as this life-long dream is coming to fulfillment.  I promise I will catch up with my blogging now that my novel is done. 🙂

 

Book Review 51: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

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It has been interesting as a book review blogger to see what books you gravitate towards in posting a review. I have noticed in the couple of years of doing these reviews that you choose some books and some books choose you.

That was the scenario for Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

I heard her interviewed on the Book Lust podcast last year and the host was asking Ms. Patchett questions about her latest novel, State of Wonder, when the host mentioned to the author that Bel Canto was one of her favorite novels. The host’s genuine enthusiasm about Bel Canto changed the entire interview and I sensed that Ms. Patchett appreciated her passion for that novel.  I knew I would read and review Bel Canto after that interview.

Bel Canto was loosely based on the Lima Hostage Crisis of December 1996. Where members of a revolutionary guerrilla movement took hostage of high-level diplomats, government and military officials, and business executives who were attending a party at the official residence of Japan’s ambassador to Peru, Morihisa Aoki, in celebration of Emperor Akihito’s 63rd birthday.

Ms. Patchett’s version left the country unnamed and the birthday party was for a wealthy businessman, Mr. Hosokawa. The home belonged to the vice president of this unnamed South American country and the hook of the novel revolved around Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano who performed at birthday party per request by Mr. Hosokawa. The businessman loved opera and the only reason he would have came to this unnamed country because his favorite opera singer was performing at the party.

The guerrilla fighters took hostage of the residence because they thought the president of the unnamed country would be attendance for the birthday party. And if they could have taken the president as a hostage, all of their demands for freedom and overthrowing the government would be realized. However, the president did not attend the birthday party and they decided to keep everyone else as hostages.

The strength of Bel Canto was the characters and their interaction with each other under this extreme situation. Patchett created a colorful, multicultural cast of characters (Russians, Italians, Americans, Japanese, Swedes, & Germans) that grabbed my attention and made it a fascinating read.

Roxanne Coss was definitely a “diva” in a stereotypical sense but after an incident early in their captivity, she began to reveal a warmth to her personalty that belied her ‘world renowed opera singer’ persona. Mr. Hosowoka grew as well and learned the meaning of love in an entire new way. Even of the some guerrilla fighters showed their humanity and reading the story made you hope for a different outcome to their eventual fate.

Most of all, Bel Canto was a romance novel in the best sense of that genre. It seemed that the novelist was asking the question, does love really conquer all?  I would write that Patchett gave a definitive answer to that question in this story.  But, I didn’t quite agree with it.

That will not stop me from writing from how much I enjoyed reading Bel Canto and would recommend the novel be added to your reading piles and discussed at your book clubs.

I’m pleased that Bel Canto chose me to read and review this fascinating story of crisis, opera, and ultimately of love and romance.

 

 

Book Review 50: Why Jesus? by Ravi Zacharias

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I must admit I did not think my first review for 2014 would be a non-fiction book. Since I tend to read more fiction than non-fiction and all my reviews reflect that truth.  Anyway, there is always a book that jumps out at you and asks to be read and reviewed.  Why Jesus by Ravi Zacharias is such a book.

Also, I have one more admission to make before I get into the review.  Ravi Zacharias is my favorite Christian apologist.  I’ve hesitated in reviewing this book because I didn’t want to have my objectivity compromised by someone you truly respect and admire.  However, I believe in reading this book has been this best thing for me because you still have to judge the book on its own merits and not about your personal feelings towards the author.

Zacharias tackles one of the biggest themes currently in Western Spirituality.  The subtitle of the book (Rediscovering His Truth In An Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality) covers a wide ground and Zacharias does an admirable job in presenting his argument for Christianity.

He explains how the New Age Movement got spiritual lineage from Eastern pantheistic religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism.  The attractiveness of those religions have been craftily repackaged for Westerners who are seeking spirituality away from Christianity.

Zacharias argues that all religions are not the same and have exclusive tenets for their believers.  However, one of the effective marketing methods of the New Age Movement is that you can have spirituality without the religious and theological dogma of monotheistic religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

I heard him speak about this book recently and he wanted to title the book From Oprah to Chopra.  But, the publisher decided against it and went with the aforementioned title. Zacharias devotes a couple chapters to Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra and I feel that non-Christian believers would read those chapters and see him attacking them for their embracing of New Age Spirituality.

However, I thought in reading those chapters were worth the entire price of the book.  Zacharias shows quite a bit of sympathy towards Oprah while bringing up strong arguments against some of the beliefs she had incorporated on her TV show.  While he does go after Chopra quite strong for some his views, Zacharias argues point-by-point against those beliefs in a fair manner.

What reading Why Jesus reveals  that most people have a spiritual hunger inside and are determined to seek it.  Now that we have a religious supermarket where people can choose some of this religion and a little bit of that religion unfortunately misses the mark.  Zacharias reveals that all religions have a worldview and to create a gumbo spirituality will truly not make you spiritual or religious.

In closing, I would like to write as a Christian reading and reviewing a book like this one does affirm and strength my faith.  That’s easy.  However, I believe that non-believers should give a book like this one a try. Because it isn’t always about affirmation but information.  Even though you may not believe in Christanity. Whatever your beliefs are have an origin and worldview they subscribe to. At least one should have some kind of knowledge on where your beliefs come from.

Also, I would like to write that I studied Taoism and practice Astrology before I became a Christian.  I have always been a searcher for spiritual truth and it has led down some interesting paths.  And reading a book like Why Jesus shows that knowledge and truth about different faiths is needed in order to satisfy the spiritual hunger that man has always had.

I give Why Jesus by Ravi Zacharias a highly recommended rating and a good start to my reading and reviewing year in 2014.

Introduction to the Book of Titus

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A few years ago, I decided that I would I do online bible studies for the lesser known books of the Bible. It seems even amongst Christians, we have our favorite books of the Bible.  From the Gospels to Paul’s most popular letters (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Corinthians…etc) to Genesis and Exodus in the Torah to Psalms and Proverbs and so on.  Even though I’ve heard many pastors proclaim that we should learn and study the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  However, the reality is far different from that proclamation.

Well, I have taken that proclamation seriously and I did my first study on the Book of Ecclesiastes several years ago and most recently did a study of the Book of Habakkuk.  Since I have done two Old Testament books for study, I thought it is time do one on a New Testament book.

My hope for these studies is that we as believers truly begin to read the word for ourselves and apply these principles to our daily lives and truly live out faith in an honest and unashamed way for a world that needs to see authentic Christianity.

For the next three weeks, I will post the Book of Titus one chapter at a time.  Well, there are only three chapters and the entire book can be read in about 30 minutes.   Here’s a introduction to the study of Titus:

The letter of Titus was written by Paul to a young protege named Titus somewhere between AD 62-64 on the island of Crete.  It has been considered that Paul did a fourth missionary journey to Crete, but it was not recorded in the Book of Acts.

As a result, there have been some critics who have questioned the authenticity of Paul’s letter to Titus.  However, the letter of Titus has strong evidence that it was written by Paul and theology of the letter is aligned with Paul’s doctrine.

The theme of Titus is the inseparable link between faith and practice, belief and behavior.

–The letter covers the church’s need of authentic leadership and how that can be destroyed by false teachers. {Titus 1:1-16}

–True leaders live by the gospel and their actions reflect their faith. {Titus 2:1-3:8}

–Discipline false teachers and troublemakers.  Cut them out of the gospel in order to preserve the foundational truths of the faith.  {Titus 3:9-15}

Paul wanted to give Titus instruction on what a healthy church should act and look like. This lesser known epistle is relevant to our day because I believe we accepted entertainment and number-counting as being authentic expressions of our faith.  Instead of equipping believers how to live out being a Christian in world that has decided to turn away from Him.

See you next week!