Monday’s Manuscript with Suzy Parish

Advice for Writers

Flowers would not reproduce without bees and as we have seen and heard bees are essential for our vegetables and fruit trees to produce.

Cross-pollination for Writers


1: the transfer of pollen from one flower to the stigma of another.

My definition of Christian writers promoting Christian writers: CROSS-pollination.

If the flower stays alone, it withers and dies and does not produce seed (fruit.)

If the flower is allowed to CROSS pollinate with other flowers, it provides seed (fruit)

and benefits many.


CROSS Pollination=Life.

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24 NIV

Enter the humble bee.

He works tirelessly to provide for his hive. He’s working for himself and his queen, but in the process, he unknowingly creates a bounty of flowers, fruits, and vegetables from every bloom he touches.

Just his touch. He doesn’t spend hours at each flower. He alights, then he’s gone. But he’s left behind fruitfulness.

As writers, if we focus on our own marketing solely, we are cheating ourselves and our friends of the blessing of being connected, and increasing fruitfulness.

If we re-tweet and promote other’s books and blogs on social media, we are benefitting readers by providing them with a generous amount of book choices. We introduce them to new authors, and this creates hungry readers! This helps us all. And it only takes a second to re-tweet an author’s message.

If we are generous in promoting others, God honors that. It’s not the reason we do it, we do it without expecting any return, but God in his kindness gives us a harvest.

The humble bee.

Let’s become more like that beautiful creature in our personal and professional lives.

1 Cor. 3:7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Flowers from Afghanistan coming August 10th!

Pre-order your copy today!




About Suzy

Suzy Parish wrote as a Community Columnist for the Huntsville Times and has been published in Splickety Magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Suzy discovered her love of books as a child in Richmond, Virginia when she took refuge from the summer heat in the local Bookmobile. She believes strongly in the power of literacy to improve the lives of individuals and stewards a Little Free Library in a local park.

You can contact Suzy here:

Friday’s Feature with Kelly Goshorn

A Love Restored

She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.

With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.

Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.

When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?

A Love Restored is Kelly’s debut novel. I can’t wait to read it. I know it will touch many women. Read an excerpt below:

Loudoun County, Virginia

August 1873

Benjamin Coulter cringed as the shrill tune hung in the air. That woman sure knew how to ruin a Sunday afternoon. Sounded like something was dying and needed to be put out of its misery.

He shook his head. All he wanted to do was rest a while longer. His decision to go around his headstrong superior and talk to Mr. Farrell directly about his boss’s inaccurate measurements had made for a nerve wracking week. That decision could have cost him his job. Thankfully, his discovery had been received well, saving the struggling railroad both time and money.

Benjamin leaned against the sycamore tree and tossed his line into the creek. A slight hint of remorse nicked his conscience. He now sat poised to guide the construction of the Washington & Ohio Railroad through the town of Catoctin Creek and over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, but he hadn’t intended to get his boss fired. If only the man hadn’t refused to admit he’d made a mistake.

Yep, it was all coming together. Just the way he’d hoped it would when he agreed to leave Texas and take this apprenticeship in Virginia. All he had to do was pass that examination next spring and…

He shuddered. The woman’s screeching escalated to a bone-grating pitch. She’d frighten the fish away for sure. Like most folks, Sunday was his day off, and he didn’t intend to spend it listening to her sing off-key.

Wedging his pole in the mud of the creek bank, he set off to investigate. Her ear-piercing slaughter of The Merry, Merry Month of May led the way. He spied his first glimpse of the lyrical assassin through the thin limbs of a dogwood tree. Perched on a large, flat rock at the edge of the creek, she swirled her bare feet in the water. Behind the rock sat a pair of woman’s boots—fancy ones. Too bad she hadn’t spent some of her shoe allowance on singing lessons. Her voice cracked. “The skies were bright, our hearts were light, in the merry, merry month of May…”

Benjamin winced. That was the fourth time in a row she’d sung that part. For the love of Pete, didn’t Miss Fancy Boots even know the words? He needed to put a stop to this so he could continue fishing—and napping. He stepped forward then stopped. The woman reached up and removed a pin from her hair, then another. Mounds of long chestnut brown ringlets spilled over her shoulders into the middle of her back.

Curls. He groaned. Why’d she have to have curls?

“The skies were bright. Our eyes were light…”

Never mind. Curls or not, the woman’s voice could haunt the dead.

Get your copy today!

Purchase on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble

About Kelly

Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.

You can connect with Kelly on:

Her Website






Tools of the Trade

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably been asked, “What software do you use to write your books with?” You’ve probably asked that question, too. The answer you’ll get isn’t a one-size-fits-all response. Writing software is like ice cream—everyone has their favorite. What may work for one writer, may not work for you. The bottom line when using a writing software is that it makes you want to write and it makes your writing easier. If it’s too hard to learn and daunting to use, then you’re not going to love writing with it. And that defeats the whole purpose. I’m not going to waste your time trying to convince you of any one software over another. I’m only going to share with you some of my personal favorites and what I liked about them. Then you can try them out for yourself.

Scrivener ($45)

This one is the granddaddy of all writing software. It seems like every professional writer uses this one. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about it because I’m sure you’re either using it, or you’ve tried it and gave up on it. I’m in the latter group. It has tons of great features. The corkboard with index cards is my favorite feature. Scrivener allows you to keep notes, research, pictures, multiple drafts, character profiles, and just about anything else you need all in one place. It’s an amazing software. I tried really hard to like it. I wanted to say it was my all-time favorite and I wouldn’t use anything else. I attempted it many times. I bought how-to videos on Udemy and the Scrivener for Dummies book.  In the end, it was just no good for me. I spent all of my time fighting with it and wasting precious writing time trying to make it work. Do I think it’s a great tool? Yes! It’s just not for me. So, let’s move on.

Microsoft Word ($6.99/$69.99)

If you’re a writer, you need this one. No, really. You can’t be a writer without it. Most publishers will send back your revisions with tracking using this software. Some authors prefer to use it to write their books directly into it. It was once all I used. And honestly, I could probably go back to it easier than I could any other software. The only caveat is that it will cost to put it on your computer. You can purchase a monthly subscription to the Office 365 suite or purchase it yearly. Just know that either way, you’ll want to make sure to keep up with their updates. If your version and your editor’s version don’t mesh well, it could create a big headache for you. And no one wants a headache like that when you’re on a deadline.

Ulysses  ($4.99/$39.99)

I’m not even going to try to hide my enthusiasm for this one. I use it and I truly love it. I searchedfor something else to try because the nay-sayers claim you can’t write a long novel with it, but I’m here to tell you that’s just not true. There’s a small camp of writers out there who use it for novel writing. It does have a little bit of a learning curve because it uses Markdown. If you’ve never heard of Markdown, then you’re probably going to feel intimidated from the get-go. The truth is, I’m actually using Ulysses to create this blog post right now. I use it for all of my posts and then export it directly to my WordPress blog, where I do some final tweaking with spacing and font colors. I’m also writing my current WIP in Ulysses, too. One of the things I love about it is that it’s simple. I can see everything in one place, just like Scrivener—but very different. Ulysses is not for everyone and and comes with a subscription model pricing, which many scoff at. But like Microsoft, you can pay monthly or yearly. The great thing is that one price covers all of your devices. The other catch is it is currently only for MacOS and iOS. For me, that’s not a problem. It syncs perfectly with iCloud and you don’t have to shut down one device before moving to another to pick up where you left off. I use my iPad, MacBook and Mac consistently. I occasionally will use my phone if an idea hits me and I need to type it right away. The beautiful thing about Ulysses is that when I get home to open one of the other devices, it’s already synced and ready to go. No waiting. It’s flawless. If Markdown scares you, you really don’t have to worry. There’s an accessible cheatsheet on the right sidebar that’s aways there to help you with coding. After a few days, you’ll find you won’t even need it. It may not be for everyone, but even if you chose not to use it for your novels, I encourage you to try it for blogging. You’ll love it.

Storyist ($59)

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on this one. It’s been around a long time and works a lot like Scrivener without all the bells and whistles. It does have the cork board feature that I love. It’s pricey and only available for Apple devices, but the learning curve is a little less daunting as it is with Scrivener. The good thing about it is that it will sync using iCloud or Dropbox. I purchased mine with a coupon code I found online. I’m just cheap like that. I didn’t mind trying it out out since I was getting a bargain. I’m not sure I’d pay full price for this one, but it is a great writing tool if you want all of the features of Scrivener, but without the extra stuff.

MindNode ($39.99)

This is a mind mapping software. I love using this when I’m brainstorming a new book. You just start putting in your ideas, tying one in with the other. It automatically creates an outline on the sidebar for you to see in a more linear view. It will export as a pdf, text file, OPML, or an image. Mind mapping isn’t for everyone, but it’s a fun tool to use if you’re just throwing ideas out there. This particular one is only available through the App Store but there are Android versions out there that do the same thing.

AeonTimeline ($50.00)

This is beast to learn, but if you are working with a huge novel, multiple subplots, or your plot takes place over a big chunk of time, then you would benefit from this software. The image above is a sample Aeon Timeline provides to show you how to track your novel. You can even color code your timeline to show you when characters appear, their ages as the novel progresses and how often they show up in your novel. It’s expensive also, but I already said I’m frugal so I scoured the internet and found a discount code that worked. I tried it because I got a great price for it and I do like it, but again the learning curve is pretty steep and you have to be willing to put in the time. I caught an error with my WIP’s timeline using this so I can testify that it does what it’s supposed to do.

OneNote (Free)

This software is often overlooked by writers. The great thing about OneNote is that is it free. It works a little like Scrivener by using notebooks. I open a notebook for the novel I’m working on and upload pictures, research from the internet, notes, or anything else I want to save pertaining to my book. Ulysses can also do this to some extent, just without the use of notebooks. OneNote syncs easily if you have the app on different devices. It also works on Apple or Android. I really like the OneNote Clipper feature that you can install as a browser plug-in. No more bookmarking all those webpages so you can go back and get what you need later. OneNote does it all for you by adding what you need to your notebook. You just tell it what to clip and it’s there waiting for you when you need it.


There are countless other apps out there to help you write your novel. Bear, Evernote, Pocket, iAWriter, and Byword are just a few others. Some people use a few different apps and software to get what they really need. The bottom line is choose what works for you. If you don’t like your writing software then you’re going to waste a ton of time trying to figure it out. That’s priceless time you could be spending on writing. I’m sure I’ve missed someone’s favorite, but truly there are too many to list here. The other thing to remember is that just because someone else is using it, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I don’t like just one kind of ice cream and I don’t like just one kind of writing software. Sure chocolate if my favorite but I still like to mix it up from time to time. Many of the ones I talked about come with free trials and if you look hard enough you might find discounts codes like I did. NANOWRIMO is a great time to get a few of those discounts and try something new. Whatever you chose, you can’t go wrong if it helps you write your book.

Happy writing!


I can do all things through Christ who gives me Strength. ~Pillipians 4:13