It’s in our backyard

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That’s what shocked Dr. Katharine (Kate) Bushnell in the nineteenth century.  Authorities wouldn’t believe her stories of girls enticed, held captive, and abused in the pristine forests of northern Wisconsin. And today we’re hearnig such a story right in a Cleveland neighborhood- three girls held captive for ten years and no one knew?

For the last five years — off and on– I’ve been writing Kate’s story. A valiant, fearless, unconventional woman living in the Victorian era, it was a lot more difficult for Kate to talk about prostitution, rape, brothels, bondage then than it is in today’s far too open society. The pendulum swings from one side to the other. As the first book Boundless reaches completion, I’ll be writing more about what I’ve found — not only what’s happening today, but how society dealt with “trafficking” more than one hundred years ago.

Share your thoughts and stories.  It’s not a pleasant subject, but it is among us, and I believe God cares about those who are caught in this desperate quickisand.

 

 

 

 

Changing directions

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I’ve shared my joys and concerns over my trip to South Africa — and if new issues arise I’ll get back to it.  But I want to begin sharing what I see going on as threats to women around the world.  Check out the progress of Boundless, my new book about Dr. Katherine Bushnell, who spent her life trying to release women from cruelty, trafficking and disabling attitudes.

Here are two short pieces about women’s response to recent acts of violence:

In the Muslim world, society often judges a victim of rape, rather than the perpetrator.  In spiet of this, women in Turkey are now rallying around a 26-year-old mother of two who killed a man who repeatedly raped her while her husband was away on a seasonal job.  She shot the rapist as he again returned to force his way into her house.  She then turned herself in to the police, saying she preferred to die but had cleansed her honor for her children’s sake.  Intercede for the protection and salvation of this woman and her family.  Also uphold Turkish politicians who wrestle with women’s issues in a harsh male-dominated environment. TWO

India (MNN) —
Remember that rape case in New Delhi that got international attention recently?
Six men assaulted a woman aboard a moving bus, and she later died from her
injuries. The defendants’ lawyer blames her for the attack. “That attitude
is very common in India. To blame a woman for dressing inappropriately or being
in a certain place at a certain time: these are just not constructive, not helpful attitudes.” Brent Hample of India Partners says the culture is a big part of the problem. “Even before they’re born,girls are discriminated against.” If they make it past birth, young girls
are often sold into sexual slavery. “Pray that God would do a miracle within the culture of India [and] within the people of India — within their hearts.”

Launch Day at Last

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It seemed it would never come.  Ten years in the making!  Today–December 1,2016– Amazon launched Daughters of Deliverance and the reviews are coming in.

To celebrate I’m having a Launch Party here at Wind Crest, the active retirement community I live in.  You should see my living room.  It’s piled with books, prizes, table decorations.  I’ve even been persuaded to display copies of of my eleven books published over the years– even the little 48-page booklet of youth programs I wrote for Youth Alive in South Africa back in the 70’s. (I think I was almost as awed to hold that little book when it was printed, as I am today.)

I couldn’t fall asleep last night wondering if we have enough cookies and cider for those who come.  Or would only a few people show up? Of course I can depend on my dear family; two of my children and several grandchildren will be here to boost my morale.

Above all this is a celebration, not just of the lovely book that Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas put out for me, but I’m celebrating  God’s faithfulness in nudging me to keep on writing — through loss and change, through slowing down as I inch (oh no, I’m flying) towards 90.I feel that God has privileged me to spend these years studying and developing the character of Katharine Bushnell.  And through her I too have learned to trust Him more and to do all I can to “finish well” as Kate did. (That’s coming next September when Daughters of the Queen will be released.)

 

Squanto and the pilgrims

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Squanto and the pilgrims

Read on!  there is a connection between Daughters of Deliverance and  Squanto’s story!

Reading Breakpoint  this morning, I  the learned the story of Squanto– a five year old Indian boy who was kidnapped by  Spanish traders  who had landed five years before the pilgrims.  Squanto was fortunate enough to be sold to a well-meaning monk in Spain who taught him about the Christian God. Later Squanto  made his way to England. There he worked in a stable for a kind Englishman who taught him English and looked for passage to the new world for Squanto. Ten years after he was captured, his benefactor found a way to send him home.

Sadly Squanto found his whole Wampanbog village had been decimated by an epidemic. A year later the Pilgrims arrived and settled on the very land where his village had stood. Squanto greeted them in English and became a friend to the Pilgrims.In the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . He showed [us] how to plant [our] corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities . . . and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.” Squanto died asking  prayer that he would go to the Englishman’s God in heaven.

There are many people like Squanto whose lives of sacrifice and compassion for those who  in need are lost to history. I was taught that Indians and Pilgrims praised God together for the harvest; today’s history books probably debunk that.  But Squanto’s life is kept alive, written in the diary of Governor Bradford.

One of the reasons I researched and wrote about the life of Katharine Bushnell was to bring her life and work alive.  Squanto helped to keep the early Pilgrims alive that first year they struggled against the elements in their new homeland.  Katharine’s compassion and persistence against the sin of sexual slavery kept women and girls alive in the 19th century. Her story, told in my historical novel, Daughters of Deliverance comes out next Thursday, December 1, on Amazon or through me. lorrylutz.com

Thanks for Squanto’s story written in  Breakpoint Commentary, originally  by Chuck Coleson. John Stonestreet and Eric Metaxis currently write the daily commentary.

 

 

 

Down to the wire/almost

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Down to the wire/almost

Twelve days till launch day.  Daughters of Deliverance will become public.

Amazon has already posted it , but no one can buy, or even review it until December 1, 2016. I have a small stash of books in preparation for the launch party on that night. Invitations have been issued, cookies and cider ordered, and door prizes arranged.

A special list of readers have a one-time-read- only-file  in the hopes that they will write a glowing– or even not so glowing– review for Amazon. Evidently Amazon’s algorithms will determine if my book has drawn in enough reviews to give it a boost.

The promo cards arrived from the printer which I’ll use to invite people to the launch party.  You probably won’t be in the vicinity that night to attend , but I shared the card above so you may know how to buy the book for yourself.*

I learned recently that  129,864,880 books have been published in all of modern history according to Google algorithms.  That makes  Daughters of Deliverance the 129,864,881st book to see the light of day. Which may make my contribution to the world’s wealth of literature infinitely small and unimportant, but the value  of Katharine Bushnell’s life and work among mistreated  women has impacted countless lives.

*The book’s description reads:  1886 Kate begins work with women in Hell’s Half Acre, then on to the white-slavery dens in Wisconsin’s brutal lumber camps.  Trusting God, she sends her report to the governor.  Will he listen to the plight of these young women?  Or brand her a liar?

Good intentions

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Somewhere underneath the pile of paper on my desk is a to-do list from a month ago.  My plan– to write on my blog every Saturday.

Here I am — lost the list –and haven’t written a word.

But there’s progress. Today I’m writing a blog twenty-four hours ahead of schedule to let you know how things are progressing with my latest book, Daughters of Deliverance.

I see it on Amazon– that’ s almost as exciting as holding the print book in my hand. Amazon is clever — they’ve put the teaser out: the cover, the price, a few words to intrigue you.  But the launch  date is almost a month away. Someone wrote me yesterday that she has already ordered a copy!!

This blog is just a teaser as well.  You can read Daughters of Deliverance now if you are willing to write a review by December 1.  Contact me through this blog, or on my Facebook and I’ll send you the information, not only how to get a pre-launch ebook, but even how to put a review on Amazon.  And they are clever too.  No help from them until the reviews start rolling in.  So write a few words — even if you didn’t like the book (how could you). Every review counts.

Here’s a word from the Psalms that I keep on my desk to encourage me — and now you.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Thy loving kindness, O Lord, is everlasting Do not forsake the word of Thy hands.  .Psalm 138:8

Lorry

LorryLutz.com

 

 

 

 

To Market, To market. . .

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To Market, To market. . .

Marketing is not my profession nor preference. In the good old days, I sent a manuscript to the publisher who had given me a contractor, and basically they did everything else. (Course they didn’t always sell a lot of books!)

Things have changed.  The fun stage of writing and editing (yes I enjoy that part) , and seeing the proofed copy on line are over.  Now I’m in the difficult stage — between writing and selling. It’s called marketing, and in this day, the author carries a lot of that responsibility.

So for the last few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out a marketing plan that would produce results right away!  Since Daughters of Deliverance will come out on December 1, just in time for  Christmas  shopping, it’s the ideal season. The problem is that there are just too many options–many options– which require knowledge and experience using social media. Here’s what I mean:

Launch party–for real, with snacks and door prizes

  • Facebook launch party–online, no snacks🙂 but free books
  • Blog
  • Book blog tour
  • Online book club
  • Email
  • Getting Reviews
  • Flyers produced and printed for handouts
  • Bookstore connections
  • Video interviews
  • Twitter
  • Goodreads
  • and more!

What’s most important — and what’s least productive? For your good advice,  I’ll send you a free copy of my biographical  fiction based on the life of Katharine Bushnell, MD,  advocate for women caught in white slavery in the 19th century.  Watch for Daughters of Deliverance coming out December 1.

Hope you like my creative formatting. The list was supposed to be in a straight line after dots, but I rather fancy WordPress’s design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Back

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My six foot almost-five inches grandson– bless his heart
The Happiness Engineers

For two months I’ve been attempting to get back to writing in my blog.  It’s been a conundrum.  I changed passwords over and over and over again. But every time I tried to open my WordPress site to write a new post — I was refused.  I almost felt like that little dialogue box and I were at war — I no sooner lifted my hands off the keys then it would shake back and forth.  No! No! No!.

Tonight my grandson came to help.  He’s one of these ‘dudes’ that can type text with his thumbs without looking — you know that kind. God love him, he’s keeping ahead of the junior high kids he works with at his church (and that’s no easy task.)  But even he couldn’t figure out how I’d been locked out of my domain, and couldn’t get back to post.

But then a miracle happened. At 10:32pm I sat down to close  my computer, and thought I’d just check my emails for the day. I found a message from the “Happiness Engineer” (that’s what those WordPress geeks call themselves) to say they’d resolved my issue and I could  sign in.

I did! And I’m back!

(Those crazy two lines at the top –” my six foot… and Happiness engi…–“? I hit a ‘read more’ tag on top and didn’t know how to get rid of it.  You’ll probably get a lot of this from a grandma trying to catch up to her grandkids.)

 

 

 

Two books is like having twins in the birth canal

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Two weeks ago I received a contract for the second book in the series about Katharine Bushnell.  Kate, M.D. is a strong, resilient , courageous woman who encountered sex slavery in the nineteenth century and grappled with it as fiercely as a dog with a bone.

In my coming blogs I’ll talk more about Kate and the not-too-distant-in- the-future  publishing date.  But now I want to talk a little about the publishing process.Anyone who has offered a book to a publisher knows you wait — and wait– and wait.  You keep contacting your editor to see that he’s done everything that he can do.  He has.

But you can understand why I was anxious.  I’m 88 year old — even if you turn 88 around it’s still 88.  But like my brother who is 84, he could mistakenly type 48.  This is a great time of life for me. I’m healthy, no metal parts, and still love to write.  Besides that I don’t have to plan meals, cook them, clean the kitchen and flop on the couch too tired to do anything else. Like last night, I ate a light dinner (had a virtual feast in the Bistro at noon) and worked until ten-thirty.

But getting back to waiting.  Boundless (we’ll call book number one that) had been with another publisher for over a year.  In that process they asked would I please rewrite the book.  I did, and still waited– and then they said “no.”

But in the meantime my editor had found another publisher who was interested. So we managed to keep the two in hand– and when the first said no, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas said “yes.”

So after ten years in the process (far too long to use the birth canal idiom) I actually had a contract and an editor who knew how to gently pull the best out of me.  I’ll probably write about that sometime.

My title says “two books,” and yes book two, The Queen’s Daughters, was accepted two weeks ago. And the process begins all over again.

I don’t know many writers, so most people around me aren’t interested in hearing about the publishing process. Writing back cover copy, a synopsis of your book which took ten years in 35 words, how an endnote line has appeared at the top of the last 75 pages of the manuscript and you don’t know how to get rid of it–  maybe you’re interested.

If so, hang in there, and when I get back to writing my blog — sooner than four months like my last one — I’ll tell you more  of what it takes to publish a book.