Announcing Blog of the Year Winner!

Last year I held a contest in which I featured a different blog each month. The following blogs recieved the Brilliant Blog Award in 2016 and were in the running for the Most Brilliant Blog of all 2016: 1. Camels and Chocolate by Kristen Luna. My favorite secular blog. It’s a travel blog and the photos and layout of this blog are impeccable. 2. Miss NiNi’s Food Blog. There’s nothing I don’t like about this baker and writer’s blog. Her writing voice is just as delicious as her delectable pastries. Meet Miss NiNi here: 3. Zoe M. McCarthy’s Blog on Writing.  This is probably my favorite blog right now for practical, simple, easy-to-grasp advice on writing. I have printed out pages of this blog to file in my writer’s notebook, and have created graphic organizers with some of the tips she shares. I highly recommend this blog. 4. Grace on Parade by Karen Wingate. Karen inspires me with  her fortitude and commitment to leading a life dedicated to her Savior.  Her life as a pastor’s wife is intense, but there’s a peace and serenity to her blog that I favor. Her struggle with legal blindness and the miracles attached to that experience are riveting. You really must visit this blog, and often! 5. Kristy Cambron. This blog is not only pretty, it’s rich in encouragement and spiritual food. I fell in love with Kristy after reading her first book. I also like the way Kristy incorporates video into her blog. You’re missing out on something very special if you don’t subscribe. Kristy is a consistent blogger and you can count on her posts each week to inspire you to draw closer to Jesus. 6. Bob Hostetler’s One Prayer a Day Blog. I love getting these prayers in my emails each day. (I subscribe to his blogs by mail.) He also has other blogs you can check out here. Bob’s a former pastor and a best-selling author. I can hardly wait to dig into his latest book: The Bard and the Bible.  7. Books & Such Literary Agency. Everything you need to know about working with a publishing agent can be found on this blog. Read and digest! 8. Shelley Wilburn’s Walking Healed.  Ever since Jesus healed Shelley, she can’t stop speaking and blogging about it! Her blog is delightful. And anyone who wears mismatched socks is just okay with me! You’ll love her. She now has a companion study guide to go with her book. You’ve got to check it out! 9. Tom Threadgill’s wit and satire on his blog are second to none. I always giggle when I read Tom’s blog. He is also an editor and you can acquire his services over on...

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July’s Brilliant Blog Award Winner

I’m super happy and excited to announce July’s winner for the Brilliant Blog Award because I’ve been wanting to give this blog an award for a long time. I wish I had something funny and witty to say about it because its author, Tom Threadgill is about the most comedic blogger I know. The thing I like about Tom’s blog, Wits’ End, is the dry humor and quick wit. Even though Tom writes suspense novels, I’ve been begging him to write a humorous novel. In fact, I look forward to the day he and I have time to collaborate on an idea I’ve shared with him. Congratulations, Tom! Be sure to check him out. And if you have any editing you need done, I can highly recommend Tom. Eagle Eye is the perfect name for his editing service. Do you have a blog to recommend for the Brilliant Blog Award? Find out my guidelines here.  Please tweet: Congrats to @Tom_Threadgill for winning July’s Brilliant Blog...

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Announcing the Brilliant Blog Winner for the Month of June

June’s pick was a no-brainer. I love this blog so much for so many reasons, it’s hard not to gush about it. What really amazes me, though, is that this author has only been published a short time. In fact, I read her first book and loved it. I was drawn to it because of the title. As a violinist, it was a must read. You can read my review of it here. Kristy Cambron impresses me on many levels. All  young, successful writers inspire me, but when I come across a young writer like Kristy: fresh, witty, confident, productive, speaker, wife, Mom, creative blogger — I have to gush just a little. Here’s a bit about Kristy quoted from her website: “Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel. The Illusionist’s Apprentice (HarperCollins, 2017) is her fourth novel.” Pretty impressive, eh? But her career and success aren’t why I chose her blog. I chose it because it’s fresh, visually appealing, and I sense her desire to connect with her readers. One way she does this is through video. As writers, I realize most of us really don’t like being in front of the camera. (I’m trying to learn to not be afraid of it.) Kristy has turned YouTube to her advantage when it comes to promoting her books. But I don’t feel like she’s pushing her books when I read her blog or watch her videos. I feel like she’s just hanging out. Which is what a really good author blog does. It helps the reader feel connected to the writer. One of her most recent videos does this brilliantly: And she’s a lefty like me! (That’s the real reason she won this month.) (Just kidding!) Please tweet: Congratulations, Kristy Cambron! Your blog is brilliant! Do you have a brilliant blog you’d like to nominate? You can do so...

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The May Brilliant Blog Award

This blog award thing has proven harder than I thought! Mainly because there are so many brilliant blogs out there. It truly is difficult to chose. However it is with great joy I present to you the Brilliant Blog for the month of May. It is already an award-winning blog but I can’t overlook it and refuse to give it this award because of their popularity. They’ve truly earned it because they’ve encouraged me more than once on my writing journey. Congratulations to Books & Such Literary Management! In my book, this blog is a definite must for Christian Writers, whether they’re just starting out or in the trenches. I’m regularly inspired by this great group of women. As I said, the last thing they need is another reward from me. But I hope by pointing them out, someone who hasn’t met them yet, will check them out and glean from their valuable info. What’s your favorite blog? Do you have one I should check out? Let me know in the comments below! Tweet this: Congratulations to Books & Such for winning May’s Brilliant Blog Award! ...

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How did the month of May get here so fast?

No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. My website has been having major problems, and I was having a difficult time getting in touch with my web people. There were (and still are a few) some glitches that made it plain ugly, so I was reluctant to post content that brought people to an unprofessional looking page. Alas, in the meantime, I got behind on my Brilliant Blog Awards! So here they are for the months of February, March and April: February: Kristen Lamb’s Blog. This is my go-to blog for writing. I always read this one. Kristen is a machine. She writes meaningful, useful content and lots of it. I’m always learning from her! March: People of One Fire. This is one of my favorite blogs, if not my very favorite, on Native American and Ancient American culture, architecture, and history. The copious amounts of information constantly blows my mind. How do people find time to write that much on one blog? It’s incredible! April: Elaine Stock’s Everyone’s Story. I admire Elaine’s work ethic when it comes to blogging. She’s consistent, hardworking, and loves to promote other authors. Her blog’s new makeover is a treat for the eyes. And the content is fantastic. I’m so excited that she won this award! So, there you go! Better late than never, I always say. <sigh> I’ll do better. I promise. Whose blogs do you love the most? Let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for May’s pick! Please tweet: Congratulations to Elaine Stock and Kristen Lamb for winning the Brilliant Blog Award!  ...

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January’s Brilliant Blog Winners!

As you may know if you read any of my posts last week, I’ve launched a new contest this year. I’m recognizing outstanding blogs. Blogs that catch my eye. Blogs that I love. In choosing blogs for this award, I follow the rubric below. Now, keep in mind, anytime there’s a contest that pits one thing against the other, a judge’s opinion is extremely subjective. Also, as this is my first time doing this type of thing, this rubric is subject to change. As I learn more about what works and what doesn’t in creating a great blog, and as I scrutinize blogs more carefully this year, I’m certain to figure out other important or not-so-important elements. But I also go with a gut reaction when I’m at the blog site. If there’s a quick intake of air, if I feel that my time has been well-spent, if I feel butterflies — chances are it’s a blog that even lines up with the rubric I’ve created. By the way, I’m not comparing blogs with over 1000 subscribers to blogs under 1000 subscribers. All blogs are considered in this contest as separate entities apart from their popularity. I don’t choose a blog simply because it’s more popular. There are a lot of popular blogs I don’t read or don’t like. I choose them for how they appeal to me or meet my needs as a Christian writer. Now. On to the awards! Drum roll please! My first pick is in the Secular Travel Blog category. I’ve chosen Camels and Chocolate by Kristen Luna. I’ve followed Kristen for quite a few years now. But when she gave her blog and website a makeover, I was mesmerized. There’s really nothing I don’t like about this blog. Copious pictures. An engaging writing style. Useful information. Not to mention the aesthetics of this blog are second to none. Congratulations, Kristen! Giving you this award is a no-brainer. Readers, if you want to know how to do a blog in an engaging way, study this one! Food category — The Miss Nini Blog.  Full disclosure: “Miss Nini” is a friend of mine from way back when I lived in Iowa. But we haven’t seen one another in person for more than 20 years! And we just recently (about a year ago) got back in touch via Facebook. She and her husband, a very successful sheep farmer, attended our little storefront church in Anita, Iowa years ago. And now she’s a famous baker! She’s won tons of awards at the Iowa State Fair, been a contestant on Shark Tank, and got her picture in the New York Times. But that’s not why I love her blog. First, who...

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