Saturday, June 28, 2014

Using Twitter for Effective Book Promotion

Bonnie Tranchtenberg, the iUniverse author whose book Wedlocked made it into the Kindle top 100, and who we interview in this issue of Footnotes, says that getting on Twitter was the best thing she ever did for her book promotion efforts.
She’s not alone. These days there are many big name authors who choose to communicate with the world through Twitter. So, perhaps it’s time you got tweeting too. In this month’s Author Advice, we show you how it’s done.

So, what is Twitter?
Twitter is an extremely popular instant messaging system. Users send very short messages (called tweets) that are up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. Authors can use Twitter to post about their books, their writing, and their interests.

Where do you start?
First off, sign up to a Twitter account. Write something about yourself in your bio and be sure to include a link to your blog or website. Some people recommend using a photo of yourself, others use photos of their book cover. It’s up to you.

Following and being followed.
In the world of Twitter you can choose to follow people. A good start is to look for famous authors or people who tweet about books and book marketing and follow them. You will now receive all of their tweets. At first you won’t have any followers, but by tweeting regularly and following others you will gradually build up a network.

How to use Twitter:

Tell the world about your book: Many authors use Twitter for book promotion. It’s a very easy and cost effective way to raise awareness about your work. Be careful though, constantly promoting your book and tweeting nothing else will quickly loose you followers.

Post about your interests: With many millions of users there’s bound to be someone with the same interests as you. Tweet them. Naturally it’s better if your interests relate to the subject of your book. If for example you wrote about raising children it makes sense that you tweet about that topic.

Re-tweet other people’s posts: If someone sent a good tweet you can re-tweet it. It means you are forwarding their post to your followers. People like it when you re-tweet them and your followers benefit from an interesting tweet.

Use hashtags: If you’re on Twitter long enough you will notice tweets that are marked with the # symbol. It’s called a hashtag and they work like this: if you have a writing tip, for example, you can mark it with the #writetip hashtag, and anyone looking for tips will see your tweet. It’s a good way to get new followers. Some other good hashtags for writers are #amwriting #writing #bookmarketing.

Interact with other authors: Try searching for tweets by other writers, for example by searching the #amwriting tag. Suddenly you will notice that there’s a large international community of writers. Join in the conversation, make friends and get networking. In this way Bonny Trachenberg made contact with a bestselling author and they agreed to do a cross promotion, and everyone benefited.

The secret to Twitter success

Patience. Posting one tweet will not suddenly drive hundreds of followers to buy your book. The most successful authors use Twitter regularly to build a following over a matter of months or years. Yes, years. It’s a powerful tool, and if used well it’s almost certainly guaranteed to help you market and sell your book, but unfortunately it does require time and effort.
Get started on your Twitter journey today by following @iuniversebooks.




Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.

AuthorK. Meador's website                   K.Meador on Amazon US             K.Meador on Amazon UK


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#BookReview All Hands Below by Lelani Black

 About All Hands Below:

Twice married and twice widowed tends to leave a girl wanting, so Evangeline Spencer decides to look for roses, romance, and a happily ever after. Wild sex with a smoking-hot crew member of the Sea Sapphire wasn't on Evie's to-do list when she booked a cruise to the Caribbean, but the delicious things Liam Rossi does on a moonlit deck leaves her addicted and needy.

Newly promoted ship captain Liam Rossi is allergic to gorgeous, husband-hunting hotties with bed-me blue eyes. But after one taste of Evie's charms, he must have her in his bed. He'll give her the roses and romance she came aboard for. The happily ever after? Well...

Amazon US                      Amazon UK

My review:
5.0 out of 5 stars 

Author Lelani Black is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. This is the sixth book I have read that has been penned by her hand with each book her stories and clean writing keeps getting better and steamier. I love the cover to this book too!

This book has it all - a Christmas cruise, a handsome man, a willing woman, a thief, an ex-fiance' - this is a recipe for deliciousness and the author does not disappoint.

Enjoy and Bon Voyage!
AmazonUS                      AmazonUK


About the Author:

Lelani Black is a multi-published author of sensual contemporary romance and sizzling erotic romance who grew up in Hawaii and spent many days on island beaches soaking up the sun. She's a lot busier these days raising kids, growing wine grapes, chasing escaped chickens around her yard and writing erotic spicemances. With a degree in medical administrative studies, she also works as an office administrator.

Readers can find Lelani on Facebook and Twitter. Please visit her website at





Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated. www.authorkmeador.com


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday #Snippet from #Chosen4Life



Hello and welcome to my blog. I hope you will stay a while and browse through the latest posts. It is a pleasure to be interacting with you and I love to hear feedback from readers/visitors.

Today we get to see a glimpse into Marcy's life at home.


Chosen

Marcy walked down the hall, stepped into her clothes littered bedroom, and grabbed her backpack and cellphone. She peered out her door and saw her mother in the living room, focused on the television. Marcy sneaked into her mother’s room and grabbed the crumpled five-dollar bill and assorted coins on the cluttered dresser.

She picked up the note that was lying beside the money and read, “Dianne, you were worth every penny. Until next time, Mark.”

“Ewww,” Marcy mumbled. But that would explain the extra food, her mom’s name brand cigarettes instead of the generic ones, and the cash in her pocket. 





Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.


Author K. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Maximizing Your Book’s Online Marketing with 5 Easy-to-Implement Tips


In indie publishing, the most crucial piece to your book’s online marketing plan is you. As the author, you need to be actively engaged in promoting your book. Here are 5 easy-to-implement online marketing tips that you can use to maximize your title’s presence and see sales start rolling in.

Maximize Your Social Network by Befriending Fellow Authors
Meeting and becoming friends with your fellow authors will do wonders for you and your book. They are your peers in the business and may help you market and promote your book. Also, interacting with fellow authors can lead to other opportunities for you. They can lead you to new global markets, help you develop new story ideas, and lend a hand as you hone your craft. But most importantly, becoming friends with your fellow authors will give you a positive sense of community—priceless to any author.

Maximize Your Online Presence
As much as possible, keep your book or author website updated and fresh. Post updates about your book, related activities, and your current writing projects. Casual visitors, readers, and fans of your book will enjoy browsing through your site.

Maximize Online Interest by Blogging
Blogging is a must for any author. Start your own blog or guest blog with fellow authors. Join online groups and social networks to gain attention for you and your book. Post updates and new information about your book, book signings and related activities. Interaction with readers and fellow authors will definitely keep the interest high.

Maximize Your E-mail Signature
Your e-mail signature can be one of your best marketing tactics. Every e-mail you send is a prime opportunity to market your book. Add your byline (or pen name), e-mail address, website address, latest novels, and where interested readers may get copies online.

Maximize Your e-Press Release
The electronic press release is one of your most powerful marketing weapons. For anything related that happens to your book or marketing activities send a press release. Planning library or bookstore signing? Send a press release. Opening a literary evening activity with a chapter reading? Send another press release. If you need a little help with your press release publicity campaign or designing your own blog and author website then iUniverse can make it happen. Contact your Marketing Consultant today on 1-800-AUTHORS. 




Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.

Author K. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Author Book Signing Tips

Nearly every aspect of the book publishing industry – including the traditional book signing and reading – is evolving into something different and more interactive. Authors can even do them virtually, using webinars to address large audiences and Kindlegraph to sign their e-books. 

In-person events are more engaging than ever, with demonstrations, question-and- answer sessions, and hands-on activities. If you’ve got a new book and want to do signings, don’t expect to sit at a bookstore table and welcome a crowd of book lovers anxious to get your signature. Simply writing the book isn’t enough anymore – you have to earn a book event purchase by interacting with people, whether the event is at a traditional bookstore or a different type of retailer.  

With all these ongoing changes, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Here are six tips for planning an event that will sell books and leave you and your host smiling. 

1. Plan an event, not a book signing. You want to engage your target audience, whether your book is fiction or nonfiction. When Marcia Layton Turner did a book signing event at her local Barnes & Noble for The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vision Boards, she didn’t sit at a table near the entrance. Turner taught store customers gathered in a second floor function room how to create vision boards with materials provided by the author and the store. “I shared the book’s message and showed how to apply it,” she says. 

2. Consider non-bookstore locations. Go where you’ll find your audience – and it might not be at a bookstore. Be creative – if your book is a vegetarian cookbook, schedule an event at a natural foods market or the produce section of a supermarket. Your new cozy mystery takes place at a museum? Talk to the most popular museum in your area about hosting a presentation and signing. When Irene Levine introduced her community to Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, her hair stylist hosted a book signing at the salon. Their friends brought friends, too. Borders sold books on site to about half of the 150 attendees. 

3. Market to warm. Are you an active member of a supportive group? Jackie Dishner, author of the regional travel book Back Roads and Byways of Arizona, sold more than 60 books at the weekly meeting of her businesswomen’s group. She kept members informed of her progress as she researched and wrote her first book, so they welcomed the opportunity to celebrate its publication with her. Do you belong to a similar group that might support you? 

4. Develop a signature activity. Megan McCafferty, author of the wildly popular Jessica Darling young adult series, plays off the Barry Manilow songs featured in the series books by offering Barry Manilow karaoke – Barryoke – at her book signing events. It’s irresistible. 

5. Don’t approach a bookstore to discuss a signing unless you’ve written your book for a wide consumer audience. Many bookstores won’t host book launch events when it’s clear that the audience for the book is too narrow – perhaps it applies only to accountants or nonprofit directors. Ask yourself if there’s a better place to meet your niche audience face-to-face. Go where the people you wrote the book for are already gathered. 

6. Do your share to get the word out. Don’t expect your event host to do all the promotional work – collaborate so you reach as many people as possible. Contact the press, send an e-mail to locals in your address book and ask them to forward it, and use social networking tools such as Facebook events and Twitter to spread the word.


Be prepared to invest time. Planning, promoting, and executing a successful book signing takes time, thought, and effort. It will all be worth it, though, as you watch those cases of books empty and your hand gets tired from writing with your favorite pen.


You have permission to reprint the article with this required author credit:
Get more author and book publicity tips and sign up for Sandra Beckwith’s free Build Book Buzz e-zine at http://buildbookbuzz.com.


Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.


Author K. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday #Snippet 3 from #Chosen4life


Hello and welcome to my blog. I hope you will stay a while and browse through the latest posts. It is a pleasure to be interacting with you and I love to hear feedback from readers/visitors.

Today we get to meet Beth. Beth and Alan were high school sweethearts. While in college they were married because they wanted to start their family. Never did they think they would run into issues with getting pregnant. In this scene, Beth flew from Oklahoma to Los Angeles to a “special” doctor….

 


Chosen

Although Beth was expecting it, the knock on the door made her jump, and she looked at the man who entered. He sat on the rolling chair and addressed her. "Beth, how are you doing?"

"Pretty anxious right now," a nervous laugh escaped her.

He opened her chart, glanced at it, put it aside, and began. Once finished, he waited for her reaction.

Beth was silent as the ramifications of the blood test shook her to the core. She looked at the doctor, her hands shaking. "What you are saying is that if either Alan or I were with different partners then we would be able to have our own biological children? And that I have been getting pregnant and yet because of our combined antibodies, my body has miscarried our babies?"

 



Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.


Author K. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK


Saturday, June 14, 2014

10 Tips for #Marketing Your Book



Before you can sell your book, you need to market it. The book promotion professionals at iUniverse have established a few key marketing tactics and tips to help you develop a great strategy for promoting your book.

·       First, identify your book's target audience. Many authors make the mistake of thinking everyone is a potential reader, when in reality, some people are more likely to purchase the book than others. Would your book appeal more to females or males? What age range best represents your readers? Where do they live? What kind of activities do they pursue? The more you can narrow your focus, the easier it will be to locate your audience and promote your book

·         Market and promote your book locally, then gradually expand your efforts. Create advertisements, such as business cards, posters and fliers,  that will catch your target audiences' eye and that can be used on all levels.  However, as a general rule, promoting your book locally is your best bet.  Regional and national media will not be interested in you or your book until you have generated local attention. It is much easier for new authors to gain attention from local media outlets—such as newspapers, television and radio.

·         Create an "elevator pitch" about your book. An "elevator pitch" is a brief, focused message aimed toward a particular person or group that summarizes why they should be interested in your book. Your elevator pitch should be no longer than two or three sentences and should focus on your book's selling points—those qualities that make it unique and special.

·         Network, network, network. Positive word-of-mouth publicity is an essential part of any book marketing plan. Start by telling your friends and family about your book. Then broaden your reach to include coworkers and professional acquaintances. The next step for promoting your book might be to inform local organizations such as clubs, churches, synagogues and book clubs. You can also network over the Internet by searching for organizations interested in your book's topic.

·         Create a professional looking media kit. This public relations tool will allow you to have your materials well organized.  Before you can gain attention for your book, you should compile information about it that you can send out to the media. Your media kit should include a pitch letter introducing yourself and your book, an excerpt from your book or a copy of it, your author bio and photo, any positive endorsements or reviews you've received, sample interview questions and news articles or clippings related to your book's topic. Your media kit will be the first impression that editors, producers, reviewers or reporters have of you and your book, so make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors.

·         Utilize one of the most effective marketing vehicles, the World Wide Web. The growth of the Internet has been advantageous to authors and publishers as it has presented new forums to find targeted groups of people, build awareness of books, and make purchasing fast and easy.  There are many Online Marketing tools available to you in order for you to best promote your book.

·         When promoting your book to the media, pitch story ideas, not your book. Many authors make the mistake of merely telling the media that they've written a book, hoping for a book review or interview. Think about the types of interviews you hear on the radio or see on television and the articles you've read in newspaper and magazines. They are almost always centered on providing helpful information, and to a lesser degree, entertainment. If your book is nonfiction, think about the specialized information that it offers, then make a tip sheet that lists the top 10 ideas from your book. If your book is fiction, is there an interesting story behind why you wrote it? What makes you an expert on the subject?

·         Always follow up. After you send out your media kits, don't just wait for a response; following up with your recipients by phone is imperative. It's much more difficult for someone to ignore you when you call them. Plus, contacting them more than once shows that you have persistence and drive. Don't become a pest while promoting your book, though. If someone doesn't respond after three contact attempts, it's probably best to move on.

·         Enter your book in competitions. Winning a competition is a major endorsement for your book; awards help with book publicity by verifying that your book is head and shoulders above many others. Start by looking for contests that don't require steep entry fees or the submission of an inordinate number of books. There are also many contests related to specific genres like mystery or romance. It's also best to find contests that are especially welcoming to independently published or print-on-demand books. You can find contests by searching the Internet or reading the monthly iUniverse Author Newsletter.

·         Don't give up. Promoting your book is not a task that you can do in a day, a week or even a month. Often, the fruits of your efforts won't be immediately evident. It takes time and persistence to get your book noticed. Be prepared for some rejection, but remember to celebrate every achievement.






Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends.

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.

AuthorK. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK


Friday, June 13, 2014

#BookReview Bucket Full of Lies

For the tattooed lady on the corner of 4th - you're right honey - ain't nothin' good about humidity except corn.
Sam was standing by his car door smiling proudly as I pulled in behind him. He hadn't bothered to open the triple garage. I couldn't see the neighbors' house for the trees but I could hear the sound of a running river and the neighing of horses. I shut off the engine and got out.
"You looking for a gardener?" I asked, flabbergasted.
"No, he isn't, but he had better be looking for an undertaker," my Guardian Angel yelled in a way I knew he was not kidding.
I darted toward Sam, hoping to knock him to the ground, but before I reached him a shot belched from the trees. The bullet entered the right side of Sam's head. For a brief moment there was a look of bewilderment in his eyes and then acceptance, as if getting killed was a relief. As Sam's body slid down the side of the new Lincoln, leaving a trail of blood on the shiny white paint, I knew I should have listened to my Guardian Angel.
"I told you, I told you," my Guardian Angel screeched.
There was another shot. The bullet sang a death song as it buzzed over my head. I sprawled on top of Sam, which was about as smart as trying to stop a runaway train with my hand, since Sam was as dead as dead can be.
After a few moments and no more shots, I quickly checked Sam's pants pockets and took a key from his front right pocket. In his shirt pocket was a folded up piece of paper. I stuffed both the key and the piece of paper into my Levi's pocket.
The next thing I knew, a very attractive lady was standing over Sam and screaming. "Oh Sam!! Why? Why?"
I grabbed her hand and yanked her to the ground. I didn't know who she was or how she got here so fast, but in the instant it took to yank her down I noticed the fine female form molded into one of the briefest string bikinis I had ever seen. People will tell you being close to death can heighten your senses. That may or may not be true, but the lady was gorgeous and the bikini she was wearing wasn't made to leave many tan lines. The lady started bawling. There was nothing I could do to help the woman. I am a stranger to women. I am not a stranger to death.

I learned one thing in the war; there is no guarantee about this life thing - the reaper takes you when he wants.



Author K. Meador's Review of Bucket Full of Lies:

A Bucket Full of Lies - no doubt! The author spins a tale of mystery surrounding an old friend of his. This mystery has a twist in it which is the Guardian Angel. He is one who can see and hear what is going on and can communicate with Roosevelt; however, no one else can see or hear him. He is quick witted and lends a humorous side to this story which made me laugh throughout the book. I enjoyed this story.




Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. 

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.

Author K. Meador's website                   K. Meador on Amazon US             K. Meador on Amazon UK


Thursday, June 12, 2014

12 ways to keep your nonfiction book in the news

Publishers are willing to publicize nonfiction books when they're released, but they rarely do much after the launch to keep books in the news, even though most deserve ongoing media exposure. Here are some easy things you can do to generate continuing publicity for your title. Use a mix of these ideas to develop a 12-month publicity plan that will provide the support your book needs. 

1. Turn the advice in your chapters into a series of monthly tip sheets. A tip sheet is a press release that offers tips or advice in a bulleted or numbered format. Start your tip sheet with an introductory paragraph that explains why the tips you're offering are important, list your bulleted advice, then tie it all together at the end with a concluding paragraph. Send it to appropriate media outlets; the distribution list will depend on your topic. 

2. Contact the press immediately when your topic is making headlines to offer your expert perspective. This is a sure thing with most local media outlets when it's a national news story because you're giving them a local angle. Fax or e-mail (no attachments) your bio and a cover letter explaining your position on the breaking news to the appropriate media contact. If you've done enough interviews to prepare for the big time, pitch the national news outlets, too. 

3. Add the media to your newsletter distribution list. The same useful advice or information you offer subscribers in your print or electronic newsletter could be of interest to reporters covering that topic, too. I got a book contract several years ago from the publicity that resulted from adding the media to the distribution list of a newsletter I publish. 

4. Repackage your book content into by-lined trade magazine articles. Depending on the terms of your publishing contract, you might need to do some rewriting so it's “new” material. Make sure the author credit at the end of the article includes your book title. 

5. Capitalize on holidays and special months, weeks and days by distributing a press release with useful, newsworthy information related to the topic, or by contacting the press to offer yourself as an expert information source. For example, many daily newspapers run articles in December about how the holidays are especially difficult for people who are grieving the recent loss of a loved one or facing the anniversary of a loss. This presents many coast-to-coast interview opportunities for the author of a book on grief and loss - but only if the author reaches out to the press. 

6. Contact the public relations department of your industry's trade association to offer yourself for media interviews. Association public relations people are often contacted by writers like us looking for members with a particular expertise to interview. Make sure your association knows about your qualifications and the topics you can comment on, and you'll get referral calls. 

7. Conduct a newsworthy and relevant survey on your topic and announce the interesting results in a press release. The author of a cookbook designed to make cooking simple and easy can survey people about why they don't cook more, and release the findings in a press release sent to newspaper food editors and cooking magazines. The release should include information about your book's connection to the survey topic. 

8. Sponsor an attention-getting contest and announce the results in a press release. To promote my humor book about men, I conducted a “Worst Gift from a Man Contest.” The resulting press release led to nationwide media attention, including a holiday appearance on a national cable TV talk show. 

9. Subscribe to Reporter Connection and HARO and monitor them for publicity opportunities. These free services connect journalists with experts and anecdote sources. Respond only to queries where you can make a definite contribution, and respond thoughtfully with information that helps the journalist understand why you're an excellent resource for the article or segment. 

10. Monitor writer forums for source requests. Members frequently post requests on the magazines and newspapers forum for interview sources. 

11. Tell the media when you're visiting their market. Reporters love to interview experts who aren't local, so if you're in another city for any reason, contact the appropriate media people two weeks before your trip to offer ideas for articles they can write based on an inperson interview with you. If you're in town to speak, send an announcement press release several weeks in advance and offer to do a pre-event telephone interview. 

12. Repurpose your best tips into a free booklet. Write and distribute a press release that describes the booklet and how people can get a free copy; make sure both the booklet and the release include information about your book, too.


Generating ongoing publicity is work, but it's not rocket science. Invest the time so you boost sales while contributing to your author platform. You'll see the rewards at the end of the year.


You have permission to reprint the article with this required author credit:
Sandra Beckwith offers a free book publicity and promotion e-zine at www.buildbookbuzz.com and teaches the “Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” e-course.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scarred

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
 
               His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could. Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two.

The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. 

               Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved.
              
The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too! ....... I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."
 
               You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.
 
               The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms - be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

               Never judge another person’s scars, because you don't know how they got them. 


note: This is a fictitious story; author unknown. 



Author K. Meador is a mom to two grown sons who are currently pursuing their adult lives outside the home. For the past several years, she has traveled with her job and has now settled down in Oklahoma City area.

She enjoys photography, walking, and visiting with family and friends. 

Please leave a comment on this blog and share if you are so inclined.  Author K. Meador has six books published which are available in paperback, eBook, and four are on audio.  Thank you. Your support is truly appreciated.