Revising, Rewriting, Re-releasing

When the landscape becomes a character, the story comes to life. I’ve seen a couple of well-done miniseries lately. They will always be set apart in my memory because of the cinematography. The scenery lives and breathes. It’s heart beats.

The characters are on the screen, but your eyes are drawn to the entire scene, taking in the backdrop, which may be airplanes landing behind them, or a battle scene, with blinding flashes and heart-stopping explosions.

In one of the movies, the characters are arguing in the middle of a cotton mill. The air is white with fiber. It looks like snowflakes, so thick you can hardly see. The noise of the looms is deafening. You can barely make out what they’re saying, but their body language makes the meaning clear. And the scenery almost steals the show. Without this setting, the dialogue would fall flat. With the setting, we’re riveted.

How do you translate this to writing? How do you balance your characters’ interaction with descriptions of scenery so the reader feels the place, sees the sunset, hears the waves crash? It’s a challenge I’d like to take up, after seeing these films.

What does all this have to do with Revising, Rewriting, Re-releasing? I tested the limits in The Lady of the Haven. I tried to maintain a balance between the magnificent hulking scenery of my imagination and the actual words I put on paper. My first efforts, the scenery overshadowed at times. In my second effort, I hope I’ve brought more balance. In my future work, I hope to achieve even more.

The beautiful new cover art for The Lady of the Haven spurred me on, almost drove me, to rewrite parts of the book. The revised version, just released, has some new scenes. The beginning is new, the ending is redone. And I beefed-up several of the action scenes, renamed some chapters. Sharpened the view.

I’m still a novice. I’m learning and each time I think I’ve learned all I need to know, someone opens another chapter. Ah! There’s more.

The Lady of the Haven, 3rd Edition*, is now available at most book sites.
Buy link

Coming Tuesdays through the end of the year – Authorviews. Interviews with writers and authors, a chance for you to get to know some special people. Drop back by and see what’s happening.

*Cover created by Debi Warford

Announcing the Winners of the Door Prizes!

To all of you who took the time to enter the giveaway and help me celebrate my book launch,  Thank you so much!

The winner of the first prize

The Audible Version of The Message Bible

Allison Owens

The winner of the second prize

The Coffee Mug & Starbucks Gift Card & Goodies

Linda Yezak

The winner of the third prize 

Lavender Dreams

Sherrie Mabrey

Again, thanks, all of you for taking the time to enter. 
You’re the best kind of friends. Please stay in touch. 
There are more good things in the works throughout the year. 

Lavender Dreams

On Friday, May 2, my launch party begins with a Rafflecopter giveaway, right here on this website. I have titled it “Lavender Dreams,” for several reasons–none of them important.

What am I launching? The Second Edition of The Lady of the Haven, and a few days later, the Second Edition of A Gathering of Eagles. They are being released by Sign of the Whale Books, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell Press. Debi Warford is responsible for the beautiful new covers and Gregg Bridgeman redesigned the interiors. I am very proud of the final product.

Scroll down for a look at the not too shabby door prizes. I hope you will return during the next two weeks and take a few moments to enter your name in the Rafflecopter entry form. There are several ways to gain entries. In the meantime, check out the prizes.

The Message Bible, Audible Version
Reader: Kelly Ryan Dolan

Hand decorated coffee mug, $5 Starbucks card, and 2 biscottis.
Lavender foam bath by Aura Cacia, lavender-scented candle and a beautiful jar/candle holder.
Thanks so much for stopping by! 
Watch for details of the contest here or on my Facebook author page

Dreaming in the Rain – Hello, April!

The month of March was a lot of fun for me as I interviewed four of my favorite authors. If you missed any of those posts, I’ve linked them here so you can catch up. Dreams are a vital part of a writer’s life. In fact, dreams can be useful for everyone. What do you hope to achieve in life? If you can dream it, you can do it. Yes, I know dreams can be wild and crazy and maybe we don’t want to go there, but some of the wildest, craziest dreams have come true.

For instance, consider the wild and crazy worlds that have been created by writers and envisioned by filmmakers – Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll, Baum, Lucas — just to name a few. These writers dreamed a dream that caught on to our imaginations and voila! We can live these dreams by watching movies. They’ve become real.

I first met William du Frain, a prince of Coldthwaite, in a dream. Mortally wounded, he fell from his horse into a raging, flood-swollen river. Downstream, below a fifty-foot cascade, a young woman waited. In my dream, I gave her special powers. Enhanced hearing and acute vision. She actually heard William fall from his horse into the river, several miles away. She heard the change in the water’s path as it carried the semi-lifeless body into the cascade and deposited it in the fall’s basin.

I gave her a name, Jael of Rogan. She became known as The Lady of the Haven. I published the book in 2007. It was my dream, and I loved it. I went on to write another chapter of her life in A Gathering of Eagles, when the shadows of war darken the kingdom of Coldthwaite and beyond. William is called into action once more and Jael must step into her destiny.

Throughout the month of April, I will share my memories of these two stories in celebration of my dream. What became for me a wonderful adventure into a fantasy land inhabited by believers in a powerful God. Then, about halfway through the month, I’ll launch my campaign for the re-release of The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles. I’ll be offering a couple of valuable prizes, and showing off the beautiful new cover art for these two stories.

I hope you’ll stop in often to see what’s happening here at my blog. Or you can stay in touch by liking my Facebook author page at

I’m @batowens on Twitter and you can find me on Pinterest and Google+ as well. I hope you’ll stop by and enter the contest for some really nice prizes and be around to download the books when they become available. If you like fantasy adventure that won’t embarrass you or your younger family members, you’ll love Jael’s story. She’s family friendly. I don’t know about you, but that’s important to me.

Here are the links for the “Dream” Interviews –

Ann Gabhart
Nike Chillemi
Fay Lamb
Elizabeth Noyes

Thanks for stopping by!