23Jul

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan 5/5 stars

Posted by in Authors, book reviews, books, humor, Jim Gaffigan, Karla Akins, Life, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

There are just so many reasons why this book is epic. First of all, it’s written by a dad. Second, it’s written by a dad who loves his kids Third, it’s written by a dad who adores his wife Fourth, it’s written by a dad who is a conservative who takes his kids to church Fifth, it’s written by a dad who is a comedian in secular clubs and on TV — and he’s clean. In the book, he talks about how he never intended to be “family friendly,” he just is. It’s full of hilarious anecdotes and...

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22Jul

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani — 4.5/5 stars

Posted by in Adriana Trigiani, book reviews, books, Contemporary, Karla Akins, Romance, Romance, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

I don’t know where I’ve been and why I’ve not heard of Adriana Trigiani but here is an author I can’t get enough of. Actually, I think I have read her before, but until I re-read her Big Gap book, I’m not positive. Funny how that happens. This book was kind of surreal for me because it mentioned places I had actually been while traveling from Indiana to New Jersey. And this is the same time I read the book. I spent the night in Youngstown, Ohio on my journey there and back and that’s where the Macaroni...

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21Jul

I’m baaaaaaack

Posted by in Karla Akins, Life, Musings, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

It’s been too long since I got to blog and I miss it! Juggling life and a book deadline are a huge challenge. But with God’s grace, I’ve emerged from the cave with my mind still intact. (Okay, fine, so that’s a subjective opinion. But just because some people think sitting on the roof singing “Yellow Submarine” is crazy doesn’t mean it is.) This deadline was extremely difficult for Mr. Himself. I’m hoping next time I get a contract my deadline won’t be so pressing. But hey, when you get...

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18Jun

Blogging from a bookstore

Posted by in Karla Akins, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

So this is a first for me. I’m blogging from Barnes and Noble with a delicious lemonade passion tea drink and cheese soup to keep me nourished. I’m experimenting. I originally intended to go to the “big city” library since I came to the “big city” (Fort Wayne) (let’s face it, any population with more than one grocery store is a big city compared to where I live). I had to come today to get my teeth cleaned. And since there is no bookstore or cafe in town where I can be anonymous (I don’t need my...

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11Jun

The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott — 4 out of 5 stars

Posted by in Authors, book reviews, books, Historical, history, Industrial Revolution, Kate Alcott, Strong Girls, Uncategorized, writing | 0 comments

I love historical fiction and when it features a strong and feisty heroine who is true to her ideals, I think I like it most. This book fit the bill. Alice is a farm girl with a dictatorial father. She chooses to leave the farm after her mother dies to work at the cotton mills in Lowell, Massachusetts. While working there, she takes on the cause of the working conditions of the mill. She also advocates for justice for her friend who is killed by a local minister. It’s the treatment of the Methodist movement in this book that causes me...

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10Jun

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg — 5 out of 5 stars

Posted by in books, Contemporary, Fannie Flagg, history, Karla Akins, Strong Girls, Uncategorized, World War II, writing | 0 comments

I’m a long, long, long-time Fannie Flagg, author fan. One of my all-time favorite movies is Fried Green Tomatoes. Fannie Flagg wrote that. I love books that explore the lives of women. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots. I yearn for good girlfriend relationships, but I think they’re really difficult. I think women’s lives are complex as they wrestle with their identity and who they are besides mom and wife. This book is just as funny and fresh as I expected it to be....

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09Jun

Why I don’t trust mascara

Posted by in Karla Akins, Life, Musings, Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are a few things in life I don’t trust. Take mascara for example. How do I know which one to buy? There’s mascara that makes your lashes long, others that make them thick. Then there’s 24-hour mascara, waterproof mascara and smudge-proof mascara. But how do I know they really do all those things? I mean, what if every brand of mascara is really just the same thing mixed in the same pot and put in different tubes with different shaped brushes? Fact is, there’s no way of knowing, really. As a conspiracy theorist, I...

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29May

Live blogging from Realm Makers Conference with BREAKING NEWS!

Posted by in Beginning writers, books, Fantasy, Karla Akins, Speculative fiction, Speculative Fiction, steampunk, Steampunk, Uncategorized, writing | 4 comments

I’m in Radnor, PA for the Realm Makers Conference! I am a slightly surprised to find myself here but there’s a nagging in my heart to learn how to write compelling YA, specifically in the Steampunk vein. I’m not really sure what to expect, but so far things are good. On my drive to Pennsylvania there was a rainbow! That’s a good sign, right? It took me two days to drive here from Indiana. Today before I checked into the conference I stopped at a mall in King of Prussia, PA, and had lunch at Ruby’s Diner. The clam...

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22May

Erica says goodbye and we wish her well

Posted by in Uncategorized | 0 comments

(This is my intern, Erica Graphman’s last blog post. I’ve really enjoyed working with this brilliant young woman and wish her great success in her studies and chosen career!) As the semester draws to a close and I scramble with final papers, final exams, and packing up my dorm room, I like to reflect on the school year, which happened to go by extremely quickly this time around. I learned a lot, took classes I loved and classes I didn’t love nearly as much. Most importantly to me, I had fun being with my friends, creating a...

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21May

Character Mapping

Posted by in Beginning writers, Karla Akins, Uncategorized | 2 comments

The first book I bought when I got serious about writing novels was Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. (I highly recommend both the book and the workbook together.) It was this book that taught me how to create a character map. If you’re new to creating characters and story lines, I highly recommend this. You’ll be surprised how many different ways you can connect your characters and it makes their back stories come to life almost on their own. When I used this method for my book, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker...

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