Friday, November 9, 2012

SafeHaven of Tarrant County

At the first of October, I published that I would donate the proceeds of my October sales to a local organization that assists victims of domestic violence.  This is a few days late, because I've been out of town, but the organization that I am sending my proceeds to is SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

For those who are interested in learning more about the organization, there website is here:

Thank you to all who have supported this cause to raise awareness for domestic violence!

Monday, October 1, 2012

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Hello Readers,

Thank you for your patience as I continue to work on my other projects.

Today, however, I would like to share with you that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Because Hope for Joy deals with this very topic, I would like to announce that the proceeds from the sale of my book for the month of October will be donated to a local charity to support domestic violence victims.  I will name this charity at a later date.

Below is a link to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  They have a lot of valuable resources for those who may be victims or know someone who is.  In addition, there are many resources available locally that are just a quick search online or through a phonebook.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

I'm also including a link to Focus Ministries, which provides Christian support to victims of domestic violence.

Focus Ministries

I would like to share your stories on my blog throughout October.  If you have a story of survival, or perhaps some encouraging words, scripture or prayers for victims, please feel free to email me at  You can remain anonymous if you prefer, and no identifying details will be used.

I am also doing a free giveaway of the paperback copy of Hope for Joy.  Anyone can enter.  To enter, simply email me at RebekahBurtonsWords at with the word "Giveaway" in the subject.  The deadline to enter is October 31, 2012 and winner will be chosen the following week.  If you win, I will notify you by email to request a mailing address.

My prayer is that those suffering will receive help and find their way to safety.

Thank You,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Through Experience

I talked with a friend the other day about my book Hope for Joy.  She asked how much of it reflected personal experiences I had.  This is something that every writer faces: how much of their own experience do they draw on for their writing?

I will start by saying this:  many of the experiences I have had or those I have heard of firsthand have made it, in disguised form, into my writing.  For me, I couldn't write if I didn't have a frame of personal reference for my fiction.  Other writers may feel differently, but the idea of "write what you know" has always helped me get started.

My experience as a teaching assistant gave me a good story for the opening of my book.  I will say that the specific experience in the Hope for Joy opener did not happen to me, but I did experience a similar incident where a student was reading a  magazine in my classroom and it fell to the floor.  In my experience, the magazine's cover had a celebrity that looked *just like* my student. I made a few comments, held the magazine up for all to see, and I never *saw* a magazine open in class again. (Of course I am well aware that they may have found a better way to conceal them).

There's more to share, but I'll save it for another post.    See you next time!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Slow But Steady?

Have you ever heard the phase "slow and steady wins the race"?  Well, I'm not exactly racing but I am working toward my goal of publishing The Independence Inn soon.  I've hit a few snags in time management lately.  My days have become a bit busier since taking on an old but familiar part time job.  I've also had visits with family and friends, and the hot Texas sunshine has kept my attention elsewhere.  However, I am editing and making changes daily and will keep you informed on my progress.  Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Editing on the Road

My apologies for not writing something in the past couple weeks.  Brian and I went to Mount Rushmore for the Independence Day holiday and I did quite a bit of editing on the road.  I printed out my pages from The Inheritance Inn, and read through almost the entire book, making notes along the way.  I did try to do more actual writing, but even on smooth, boring stretches of road, I had a hard time concentrating and keeping my hand still.  Anyway, I managed to get some much needed work done and I am working on meeting personal deadlines.  Can't wait to share it with you when it is done!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Few Favorites

Okay, so please read last week's post if you haven't already done so.  Today is a continuation of sorts, where I am going to discuss some of my "favorite" authors.  I have a difficult time picking and choosing, and my preferences have changed since discovering new authors in the years since I got my Kindle.

Lynn Austin is one of my favorites.  Among other things, she writes Christian historical fiction.  The stories are well developed and take the reader back to another time and place, depicting realistic scenarios of struggles representative of the time.  I truly feel as though I *know* her characters by the end of the book.

Another favorite is Melody Carlson, whose protagonists are women from various seasons of their lives.  I particularly like her True Colors series.  Each book in the series focuses on a different modern day problem that teen girls face and tackles it within a Biblical worldview.  To me, these issues are not often talked about in teen Christian fiction, which is perhaps why they stand out as some of my favorites, although I am older than the target audience.

I have others, but need to save some for next time, right?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Do I Choose What to Read?

I've had a few people ask me who some of my favorite authors or books are.  I really have a difficult time answering that question, because I don't have favorites when it comes to books.  I don't generally reread, even the best books.  Sometimes, if something has struck a particular chord with me, and I haven't read it in years (and I mean long enough to forget much of the message or plot), then I might pick it up and read it again.  Otherwise, I'm constantly in search of new books to enjoy.  I do have favorite authors, which I'll talk more about next time.

I'll continue to say that I don't read a lot of  books that are a part of large trends.  You know the ones, that fly off the shelves and usually are followed up with a blockbuster movie.  Sometimes it is the movie that makes the books popular.  For whatever reason, a lot of these stories don't have plots that I am interested in. There are exceptions to almost every rule, and so there have been books that I've enjoyed that have been very well known and/or movies at some point in time. However, I tend to read something because the blurb catches my attention, and continues to hold my interest as I read.

What about reviews?  As a writer, I love to get reviews of my book (soon to be books).  I know that reviews hold value and many readers select partly based on reviews.  As a reader, I don't read a lot of book reviews when it comes to fiction.  If I do glance at them, I keep in mind a few things: we all have different preferences, some reviews are left by people who haven't read a book but have ulterior motives, and others don't read enough about a book and then find themselves disappointed when they wanted a light beachy read and get a dark memoir instead.  What does this mean for me?  The premise that the book is built upon is still the strongest reason for me to choose to read or not read a book.

Stay tuned for next week where I talk about some of my favorite authors.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Moment of Thanks

I want to take the time to thank those who have supported me the past couple of months, and really, beyond.  I've found readers from places that I haven't expected, and that makes me smile.  When a book sells in a faraway place like the UK, I know that there was a reason for me to write.  It also helps me keep going.  Sometimes a writer needs encouragement, just like anyone who pursues turning a hobby into something more.

Meanwhile, I have been busy working on a couple of projects and hope to have at least one of them ready soon.  Keep reading in the weeks ahead to stay updated with The Inheritance Inn and Seasons of Joy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pen Graveyard

So I've been writing the past week or so by hand, which is quite a change for me.  I mentioned that it helps me keep focused, away from the computer distractions that eat up some of my writing time.  What I've also discovered is that pens don't seem to have much ink in them anymore?  I'm pretty sure it is the type of pen I'm using, the gel pens with a medium tip.  There's something about the way the ink flows that makes my writing feel "solid" on the page.  However, after writing a few thousand words, the pens dry up.  I've hand written about 10,000 words and have gone through two and a half pens already.  My husband asked about the collection of pens on the end table.  I told him that they were there in hopes that they would magically start writing again after a rest.  Ha.  They do not, in fact, write anymore once they have died.  It is almost enough to make me get out an inkwell and use that instead.  What would Jane Austen do?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An "Off" Week

Let's face it, sometimes life changes our plans.  This past weekend was Memorial Day.  My husband and I planned a road trip and I was going to bring my notebook along to write in while on the road.  A few things happened along the way and we chose to be with friends and family who were going through very difficult times.  Why am I making a point to mention this?  Because life brings challenges and setbacks.  Difficulties must be worked through.  Sometimes my writing, as important as it is to me, will get set aside for the love of a friend or family.  That's okay, there will be time for me to catch up on my writing.  There may not be time to see that loved one again.   Mary Kay Ash put it well when she advised her salesforce to put "God first, family second and career third."  One of my favorite scriptures states it best:  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"  Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writing Without Distractions

One of the most difficult things for me as a writer is writing without distractions.  It seems as though I love to create stories in my head all day long, when completing other tasks: walking on the treadmill, baking cookies, doing laundry, cleaning house.  But when it comes to sitting down and focusing, I find it challenging to stay in one place and write.  Sometimes I wish I could carry around a recorder and record my thoughts all day.  The problem is, people might stop to stare, especially if I did so in public.  However, I know that some writers use recorders, although it is more common with non-fiction, such as interviews for articles and biographies.  Another thing I have started doing is using pen and paper versus the computer.  This past week I have started using the old-fashioned way of writing, so I can get comfortable on the sofa and avoid any computer distractions.  It is slower, and requires the second step of typing it all up, but I can consider that as my second draft if I make changes as I go.  I'll give it a try and see how it goes.  I like the idea of being able to record my thoughts anywhere, at least on paper and write wherever I may be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Inspiration This Week

My goal this week is to make substantial headway toward completing The Inheritance Inn.  It currently sits at 56,000 words, and my goal is around 80,000 at completion. I had hoped to be a little further by now, but I tend to edit as I go.  I can't stand leaving typos, incomplete scenes, and convoluted sentences for later.  Sure, there will certainly be plenty of edits and corrections needed in the next round, but I like my first draft to be as clean as possible.  One of the things I had to do this week to get my word count up was to write a scene that occurs later in the book.  I knew how I wanted the scene to go, so I decided to go ahead an put it at the end in a different color.  That way, I know it goes elsewhere, and can continue working until I'm ready to weave it into the story.  Another thing that took some time was an idea that came to me this weekend while I was visiting my mom.  I wanted to change up an earlier scene in the book.  That meant writing the scene, but also looking for places in the text before and after the scene that were affected by the scene change.  There needs to be coherence.  Making those changes, however small, was a tedious but "worth it" process.  The thing is, I know how I want my current WIP to end.  I know the general sense of the conflicts that are present.  But I'm not sure how those conflicts will be resolved.  Sometimes as I write, the characters just tell me as I go.  Maybe that sounds crazy, but if you're a fellow writer, you'll understand.  Back to the keyboard for me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing Is...

Writing is hard work!  I know that probably sounds like a given, but it is something a lot of non-writers might not think about.  I don't think I could write if I didn't enjoy it.  I enjoy getting lost in my fictional worlds, composing characters, messing with their lives, and working hard to find the words that will engage my readers.  Just yesterday I was working on a scene in The Inheritance Inn when I decided to take that scene in a completely different direction: which means that I had to remove it and start all over.  Just so nothing is lost, I keep a file of "out-takes" where I copy and paste any major scene that is taken out of my work-in-progress.  That allows me to feel free to make changes without worry of losing something should I choose to go back and change things again.

Right now, I'm about to go into my "writing mode" and try to work through the rest of that scene and work into the next few pages.  I have nothing to distract me at the moment, which is the best time to write.  Unlike other writers, I keep no daily targets: some days I write little, others a lot, but as long as I can make steady progress toward completion, I'm happy.

Monday, April 30, 2012

What to Write Now?

Just a few weeks ago, I took the plunge and published my first full-length novel, Hope for Joy.  I now have the dilemma of looking through my other un-published works and deciding what comes next.  Hope for Joy, while fiction, is a look into the challenges people face in domestic violence situations.  My main focus as a writer is to showcase different struggles that people go through and how they triumph with God's help.  In fact, at least one or two characters from Hope for Joy will resurface with completely different life-issues to deal with in future works.  However, I am not only a writer but a reader and as such, I enjoy reading "light reads" or "beach reads" too.  I need a break sometimes from the heavier topics...and I think that is what my next project for readers will be.  I have a partially completed novel, The Inheritance Inn, that looks promising as my next offering.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Free for April 25th

I just wanted to share that the Kindle edition of Hope for Joy is free for Wednesday, April 25th.  Thanks!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hope for Joy: Available in Paperback!

Buy Paperback on Amazon

Buy Paperback on CreateSpace

Hope for Joy is now available as a paperback!  I'm making every effort to have my first novel available in as many formats as possible.  Readers have two choices available for this edition:  buy on Amazon or on CreateSpace.  As always, you continue to have the choice to also buy the eBook for Kindle or Kindle reader app here:  Buy Kindle Version on Amazon

Thank You, Readers for your continued support and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Proof Is Here!

Okay, there is just something about getting an actual, physical, hardcopy proof of my book that makes me smile!  CreateSpace did a wonderful job and the layout, cover, and quality are great!  But it does teach me one thing about the necessity of ordering proofs.  At first glance, everything was perfect, and there were no need for changes.  But I took a second look at my Copyright page, where I had typed my ISBN numbers.  One tiny typo.  One number, one digit off.  The barcode on the cover was correct, because CreateSpace automatically fills that in from the system. But my hand-typed number on the inside was off.  So I had to make a teensy change and re-upload the file.  Now I will hear back in 48 hours that it is available to re-proof although I think I can skip the step the second time around.  I'm "thismuch" closer to a print edition, and I'm ready.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Cover!

Hope for Joy can now be found with a new cover!

When I originally created the sunflower cover, I loved the image  but the cover didn't connect with the story as much as I'd like.  I had toyed with the idea of using a royalty free image of a young woman to include in the cover, but was nervous.  However, after feeling disappointed in the appearance of my books versus the more professional looking self-published books, I changed my mind.  I contacted the photographer and told her I was using the image in my book, and how did she wish to be attributed.  Her name is Anita Peppers.  

Here's the new cover for the eBook edition.  What do you think?

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Learning Process

Self-publishing is a learning process.  My first step in distributing Hope for Joy was to prepare it for the eBook market, specifically for Amazon Kindle.  Working through the formatting was tedious, but now that I have done it once, it should be easier in the future.  Should be.  Today I am working on getting my book formatted for print at CreateSpace, which is a completely different set of requirements.  Unlike the digital edition which I was able to instantly check along the way, I will need a bit more patience with print.  I am going to order a proof, make any changes and then it will be time to hit send.  However, all of this work is worth it to me so that I can make my book available in as many formats as possible.  Even though many people prefer to read digitally these days, there are still quite a few who want to hold a tangible book in their hands.  I can understand that.  No matter the format, I'm appreciative for all of my readers.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Domestic Violence?

Why indeed. 

Why does domestic violence even have to exist?  I chose it as the subject matter of my first full-length novel because there have been some family members and friends affected by it and I wanted to somehow share their stories.  To me it is important for others to read about this subject, even in fiction, in order to learn that it does exist, it does hurt, but that help is available!  After the bruises fade, the emotional scars can last a lifetime. The children of violent households learn from the violence, and it can be an unending cycle of abuse in families.  It doesn't have to be, however.  It takes strength, courage and God's help to get through the pain and make it to safety.  Time.  The support of others.  Please, I encourage you; if you or someone you know is affected by abuse of any kind, get help.  It is not your fault!  There are many resources ready to assist.  Don't go another minute without seeking assistance.  You are loved.

Matthew 10:30-32

King James Version (KJV)
 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
 31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

*A note about my book:  although it is about abuse, I have tried my best to keep the writing as light as possible.  There is very minimal references and most of it is implied rather than "visible" in the book.  I know that this is a difficult subject matter, so I tried my best to keep a balance in the writing.  The book is inspirational, which does mean that there are triumphs...just keep reading!  Thank You!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Beginnings

Greetings Readers!

Yesterday began the next phase in a journey that has lasted for years.  I've enjoyed writing for years but up until now have only published a few small pieces...a short story Gemma's Box, a devotional and a few other things.  Hope for Joy is my first full-length work, and I have finally gotten it ready via Amazon Direct Publishing for Kindle.  Gotta start somewhere, right?  I hope to make it available in paperback form soon, as well as in other digital formats.  For those who would like to read it now, but don't have Kindles, you can download a free Kindle Reader application from Amazon for your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and a few others.  Thank you for visiting my blog and happy reading!