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the enemyHave you ever wondered what it takes to write one of the books in the Locket Saga? Because each book is part of a family dynamic, I already have the already in place for the characters, I must decide the plot. In determining the plot, I first decide what events I want to cover in the book.

Research Begins with Curiosity

I get inspiration for my books from actual history. I like reading history and our country is rich in history that we never are exposed to in school so its easy for me to find a story that I want to share in future stories of the Locket Saga.

Setting Up for Future Stories in the Locket Saga

In Book VII of the Locket Saga, Two Rivers, I decided that I wanted to have two of the cousins Isaac Thorton and Andrew Mayford go down the Ohio River with Meriwether Lewis as he forms the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Isaac goes up river with the expedition. I had been curious to know about the details of the expedition and was fortunate enough to find an online site that not only told the adventure from one view point, but from the viewpoints of numerous members of the expedition party. The plot for this book, not only sets up this story, but also the plot for the next book which I have the first draft written called Sunrise on the Mississippi where Andrew becomes the first person to pilot a steamboat down the Mississippi. By sending Andrew down the Mississippi into Natchez, I am setting set up a southern branch to the family in preparation for the saga continuing through the Civil War.
The book after that will be the book that I will work on next during NaNoWriMo. I am not exactly sure yet what the plot will be, but I have some ideas from history for developing this plot. I have decided that the story will happen during the War of 1812. There’s a lot of cool history for the part of Pennsylvania where the families were living. There’s the fact that Chief Cornplanter comes out of the woods and no one is certain whether he is at this point a friend or an enemy because during the Revolution, the Seneca were on the side of the British. There’s the fact that Jonathan Mayford had been on a ship during the Revolution and that many of the young men of the revolution were the heroes of the War of 1812. The fact that he knows something about ship building from his father and that his relatives don’t live that far from Erie, Pennsylvania, port where battles on Lake Erie originated was, makes Erie a great setting for the story.
So, I have a lot of subplot material, but I haven’t yet determined yet who will get the locket, or the love story involved. This is what I need to develop before including it as a blog post. This needs more development. This I will show how this will develop during the next blog post.

The Locket Saga Series

The Locket Saga 5 books

 

Have you read the books already published in the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of the Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.

 

Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown


August 31, 2017

WGTHH not the First Book I started

When God turned his Head was not the first book of the Locket Saga that I started. I actually started Soldiers Don’t Cry several years before I started When God Turned His Head. I started writing When God Turned His House, based on a conversation that Rachel and Elizabeth had with Phillip and Gerald when they were talking in the parlor of the Mayford house the night that Phillip and Gerald arrived. Rachel mentioned that Elizabeth was only her half sister and that her parents had been indentured servants.

Death by Chocolate

death by chocolate

I know that this sounds crazy to people who have never written a novel, but I became curious about the lives of their parents. Who were they? What was their story? This was over twenty years ago, before a lot of information was out on the internet so I went to the library to see what I could find out about indentured servants. Not much, but I did find the story about the John Codman murder, who did it and why. I learned how the murder was conducted and included many of the actual events from the murder including the way Codman took the poison (in his hot chocolate).

 

 

I then started asking “what if” I wondered what would happen if I not only gave Codman a wife, but also gave him a daughter. Then wondered, what about Elizabeth’s father? Who was he? Where did he fit in the picture? I made quite an elaborate back story to all that happened before the murder. Drusilla, Elizabeth’s mother, had known Kanter Thorton when they were still on their way to America. Kanter had proposed marriage to her but then she married Codman and he married someone else. She had a daughter and he and his wife had three sons. He loved his wife, but he still feelings for Drusilla. He couldn’t understand how one day she seemed to be in love with him and a week later she was married to a man who treated her like chattel.

 

This brought me to the idea that John Adams who would have been a young lawyer at that time would make an interesting addition to this story. I put him and his cousin Samuel Adams into the story. After all, they did live in Boston at the time. I thought it would be interesting to compare the difference between Kanter’s marriage and Drusilla’s marriage. I decided that I wanted to have this occur in a church, the Old North Church to be exact.

yes, that John Adams, the one who later because our 2nd President

 

I studied a lot about Boston during that time. I even had a map of the area during the mid-1700s. I studied how different the culture was from the culture today. I even discovered that a Mrs. Hiller was quite the entrepreneur at that time. She was so interesting that I made her Rachel’s dame school teacher, one of Mrs. Hiller’s many enterprises. She was also a real dressmaker as she was in the story. The idea that she was anything more than just a resident of Boston at the time was sheer imagination on my part.

 

There was some involvement of Dr. Clarke’s slave Robin too, but of course, I am not going to spoil this story for you. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

 

To learn more about this story, it is regularly lways available free on Kindle Unlimited all the time. Through tomorrow Soldiers Don’t Cry is available FREE through KDP select. Pick up both today and HAPPY READING. Check them out here! https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

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Happy Memorial Day!

I hope that you are enjoying your Memorial Day! I know I am. I hope you also remember those who died for our freedoms.

Is Success a Result of Nature or Nurture?

Over this past weekend, my husband and I were discussing the concept of nature versus nurture. It’s a conversation that we often have and for the most part, we disagree. My husband says its primarily nature, that we are born with DNA and that we are destined to be the people that we become. On the other hand I believe that we decide what we want to become. I believe we become good at what we do because we enjoy what we do. He’s under the belief that we enjoy what we’re good at because we are destined to be good at it and because its easier, than not doing it, we do it.

Studies concerning successful people indicate that successful people are not successful because of genetic predispositions. We can’t do DNA tests to indicate who will be successful and who will be unsuccessful. One twin can be successful while the other is not. Successful people are successful because they think differently.

How Successful People Are Different

 

  1. For successful people, thinking is a discipline. They know that if they want to be better at it, they’ve got to work at it.

 

  1. Successful people take time to develop their thoughts. They don’t just settle on the first thing that comes to mind.

 

 

  1. Successful people think differently because they do things differently.

 

  1. Successful people create goals and plans. They plan ahead, while leaving room for some spontaneity

 

  1. Successful people don’t only plan for their day, they plan out their weeks, months, and long term goals. They don’t walk into meetings, parties, and coffee dates blind. They decide what they want to learn from people before walking in the door.

 

  1. Successful people figure out where they need to focus their energy, and then use the 80/20 rule. They spend 80% of their time on the 20% of things that are most valuable to them.

 

  1. Successful people make logical, informed decisions. Though many express “gut reactions” as something that they often utilize, they don’t let their emotions trump their intelligence. They slow down and think things through before they make life-changing decisions.

 

  1. Successful people are optimists that look for the silver lining in every situation. They don’t see problems, they see opportunities.

 

  1. Successful people are realists who are willing to get close enough to problems in order to tackle them. They understand the consequences and it gives them credibility.

 

  1. Successful people embrace ambiguity. They don’t fear failure.

 

  1. Successful people keep things simple. They narrow things down to best options and then follow through and avoid distractions.

 

  1. Successful people know how to focus.

 

  1. Successful people have agendas for the day and for when they meet people.

 

  1. Successful people take decisive and immediate action while others never take action and risks.

 

  1. Successful people focus on being productive, not just being busy.

 

  1. Successful people avoid perfectionism. They start projects and they finish them.

 

  1. Successful people willing to work outside of their comfort zone. They are willing to be uncomfortable so that they can grow.

 

  1. Successful people focus on making small, continuous positive changes. As their strength grows, they can take on bigger challenges. Henry Ford once said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small pieces.

 

  1. Successful people measure and track their progress. They don’t just work in their business, they work on their business.

 

  1. Successful people are resilient. They are not afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes just show them their progress.

 

  1. Successful people spend time with the right people. They associate with people who are focused, supportive, and likeminded.

 

  1. In addition to spending time with the right people.  Successful people expose themselves to different ideas and types of people to avoid groupthink where everyone thinks the same as everyone else. They spend time with people who challenge them.

 

  1. Successful people collaborate with other successful people.

 

  1. Successful people know when to turn off the phone and Facebook notifications.

 

  1. Successful people maintain balance in their lives.

 

  1. Successful people don’t care what other people think of them.

 

  1. Successful people have a strong connection to themselves and revere their individuality.

 

  1. Successful people are always working on their creativity and learning different things.

 

  1. Successful people know when to work alone and when to collaborate.

 

  1. Successful people know that they cannot live on past laurels. They live in the present and prepare for the future.

 

  1. Successful people don’t chase money because what they do is worth more to them than money.

 

  1. Most of all, successful people love what they do.

 

This is where my husband would say that what we love doing is in our DNA and that might be true. He would say that we love what we do because it is in our DNA. In any case, we should take our cue from the successful and do what we and do it with all of our hearts and minds that way we will live our lives to the fullest and not let the world tell us that we don’t have what we need to be successful. We need to believe that we can be, do what we love, take action, and hang out with people that believe in our commitment.

Have you read All 5 Books of The Locket Saga?

 

When God Turned His Head;(The Locket Saga Begins

Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues

Book III of the Locket Saga: A Coward’s Solace

Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag

Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Mill Pond

Five books of The Locket Saga are available

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Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Millpond is nearing completion!

I am looking for help in two areas. The first is that I would like you to check out my book’s description. Do you like it? Even more important, how would you change it?

 

Fifteen-year-old Lacey Mayford has been infatuated with Matthew since she was a little girl, but Matthew doesn’t see her as anything more than a little girl cousin. How can she convince him that she is not only not his cousin,.she is also growing into a beautiful young woman.

In the frontier town of Pittsburgh, PA near the turn of the century,  Matthew Thorton is blamed for Luther Hannibal’s murder because of an altercation that Matthew had with the man over some stolen furs. As a half-breed Indian, Matthew seems to have a chance to defend himself so Lacey with the help of a teacher at the Pittsburgh Academy, Felix Grackle, look into other suspects who could have killed Luther Hannibal. At the same time, Matthew’s father Luke and Luke’s best friend Jacque Pierre is looking for whoever it was who stole the furs because they believe that this person might have something to do with Luther Hannibal’s murder.

A  vigilante group heightens the danger. They are seeking to do everything they can to avoid a whiskey sales tax that has been imposed on them from stealing the US mail to tarring and feathering US government officials attempting to collect those taxes.

Will Lacey be able to clear Matthew’s name? Will Luke and Jacque Pierre find the man who stole the furs? Will the vigilantes stop the Whiskey Rebellion without bloodshed? The truth is far more sinister than anything that anyone could imagine.

 

What do you think of this description? Would you read this book? What do you think would improve it? Now that you’ve checked out the description, check out these book covers. Which book cover do you think best fits this book?

 

 

Which Book Cover Do You Like Best?

Comment below about which of the following seven book covers do you prefer that goes with this description? Which one is best? (Please refer to the book cover(s) you prefer by the corresponding letter).

A

A) In the Shadow of the Millpond

A) In the Shadow of the Millpond

 

B

B) In the Shadow of the Millpond

B) In the Shadow of the Millpond

 

C

c) In the Shadow of the Millpond

c) In the Shadow of the Millpond

 

D

in-the-shadow-of-the-millpond-03

D) IN the Shadow of the Millpond

 

E

in-the-shadow-of-the-millpond-04

E) In the Shadow of the Millpond

 

F

in-the-shadow-of-the-millpond-06

F) In the Shadow of the Millpond

G

G) In the Shadow of the Millpond

G) In the Shadow of the Millpond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which is your favorite? Which book would you be likely to pick up? Please share your answer in the comment section below! Please share with your friends! Please help me make this the best book of the Locket Saga!

 

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown is the author and publisher of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag! Her next book Book V of the Locket Saga: In the Shadow of the Millpond will be out later this year!

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com

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(Scripture reference: Genesis chapters 16,17, 21, Hebrews 11:8-13)

Abrahams family

Abram and his wife Sari were childless. Abraham thought that he would have to leave everything he had to his servant, but God told him that he would have a son. Abram waited several years and still they had no child. God even changed Abram’s name to Abraham and Sara’s name to Sarah.

Then Abraham and Sarah thought that they would help God along by having Sarah’s servant Hagar carry Abraham’s child. Sarah despised Hagar and her son born of Abraham. This son Ishmael was not God’s promised son for Abraham and Sarah.

We need to realize that God is always faithful to deliver his promises. A lot of the problems that people face in the Middle East today have everything to do with Abraham and Sarah’s impatience for God to move. Their child finally did come and they named him Isaac. God followed through just as he promised.

There are times in our own lives when we also are faced God delaying his promises to us. We believe that God told us one thing, but when it didn’t immediately occur, we start to doubt. Other times we think that there is something that we need to do to make it happen and we step out ahead of God’s provision.  We think that perhaps we really didn’t hear from God like we thought or we decide to “help God” make this promise come true. When we do this, like the situation with Abraham, it always turns out to be a disaster.

IMG_8330 final copy

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga,  Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag is also on sale now!

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and buy her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Scripture Reference: (Genesis chapter 6 and 7 and Hebrews 11:7)

God’s Mercy in Trying Times

noahsark

A number of years ago I was praying about a situation where an injustice had been done and I asked God, “How can such a just God allow something like this to happen? His answer was, “because I am also a loving God.”

Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayer for justice because he wants to be merciful. Let’s take for instance, the situation concerning Noah building his ark.

If you do the math, you will realize that Noah and his sons not only worked on the ark as a testimony that God was going to destroy the world with a flood. For over 100 years, Noah told that a flood was coming, but no one listened. Every day he saw the world becoming more and more corrupt and his efforts to change the tide of public opinion was to no avail.

The people weren’t going to change, but God allowed Noah to keep preaching despite the lack of response. In addition, God said that when Noah’s grandfather died, was when he would flood the earth. Methuselah lived to be the oldest man that ever lived. That was God’s mercy giving every possible chance.

God demonstrated that he had mercy on those other people even though he knew that they would not give in. Sometimes God withholds his promises because he wants to give others every chance to come to him. God gives us every chance to repent, but then if we still refuse to give into his authority, he will close the door like he did the ark and then it will be too late.

When God Closes the Door

In the past few days, I made a difficult decision that helps me understand where Noah’s position. I have been having services at Faith in God Church and have not had a regular congregation. Although I have had some financial contributions to the church, I have had not had the support either, financially or physically that I have needed to make a go of this church. In addition, other plugs have been pulled recently, and I have found it necessary to move back to Pennsylvania.

I am not saying that God is going to judge this area. In fact, I believe that recent revelation in the area of Grace (not a new thing by any means, but eyes are being opened to who really does the work of the church). I have just been called to a different place.

I intend to not only continue writing this blog, but I am going to continue this series about when God seems to turn away from us. Sometimes, like with Noah, it’s time to move on and leave what we knew behind. If you remember, it was God who closed the door to ark and I feel that God has closed the door to this part of my life as well. Who am I to try to keep it open?

IMG_8330 final copy

As Author Cygnet Brown, Donna Brown  has  published  several nonfiction books including: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener, Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, and Help from Kelp.

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 


me_on_the_laptop

Last week we talked about branding by looking at my goals and who I am. This week, we will be looking at my fiction series  and how these books relate to me, my goals, and it  brings my brand together to reflect the ideals of my vision and my mission statement.

Consistent Genre

One of the first things I  needed to understand about your product when developing a brand concerns what genre my  books are in. People associate writers with specific genres. For instance, what genre do you associate the name “Stephen King?” What genre would you associate with John Gresham? What genre would you associate with Lawrence Block or John Steinbeck? Imagine that these people came out with fiction that was outside their genre. How would you feel? Confused? Maybe even betrayer or cheated? These individuals have developed a brand based on the type of book that they right. We call it genre, but it is basically the same concept as “brand”.

Not that we have to use the same formula for every book. None of the writers mentioned above  have what could be called  formula fiction. My fiction series, The Locket Saga is all historical Christian, Romance. every book in the series has these aspects, however, each book has other aspects as well. When God Turned His Head and my upcoming book In the Shadow of the Millpond are mysteries, Soldiers Don’t Cry and my soon to be released Sailing Under the Black Flag are action adventure. A Coward’s Solace as well as another future book The Anvil are primarily straight Historical Christian Romance.  What holds all the books together is the family connection as well as the locket that is passed from one bride to the next.

Reflects Author Mission Statement

Last year I wrote out my business plan and wrote this as my mission statement:

“The mission of Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing is to write, publish, and market books that encourage, inspire, educate, and enlighten. “The Books Folks ‘Swan’ to read.”

Every one of my books in the Locket Saga reflects this statement even though what I write is fiction. I have written every book to reflect this statement. I write every one of these novels to be entertaining, but I also wrote them to encourage others, to educate individuals concerning historical figures or events that they might not otherwise know. There is also an inspirational aspect in every one of the books of the Locket Saga. I try to build into each book a spiritual component that is not preachy and allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

 

Reflects My Vision as a Self-Publisher

Cygnet of the Ozarks Publishing is destined to be the most sought after publishing enterprise through its uniquely created books that inspire, educate and enlighten. Books from this company are marketed in such a way that it benefits writer and reader alike. I have self-published my books because I wanted to get my books out more quickly than I might have been able to do through a traditional publisher. Although I have not yet fully realized this vision, I continue to see growth in my writing platform for this book series. Every day, more and more people are becoming fans of this series.

My Lifetime Goal concerning the Locket Saga

A new life goal that I have added is based on a goal that I heard that Walt Disney told. He said that  he intended to continue selling movies  so that I can continue making more movies. My goal is this

“I will continue marketing and selling books so that I can continue writing and publishing books”.

 

Equal Focus with Nonfiction Books

Just as I have gone through and compared my fiction series-The Locket Saga with my mission statement and my vision, I have also done the same with my nonfiction books. It is easier to see how these fit in with my mission statement and vision. My gardening book-Simply Vegetable Gardening as well as my other two books Help from Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard do entertain, educate, inspire and enlighten others of more natural ways of protecting pets, children, wildlife and self from toxic chemicals. I am also selling and marketing these books so that I have the means to continue to write and publish more books.  None of my gardening books promote the sale of harmful chemicals that harm the environment. Therefore, it is congruent with all that I stand for as an individual knowledgeable in this field.

 

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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