Friday, June 23, 2017

Unique 4RV Children's Book, SPEARFINGER, Receives Amazon Honor

     Charles Suddeth (@CharlesSuddeth on Twitter), with illustrations by Carrie Salazar, produced one of the first bilingual English - Cherokee children's book we've been able to find: Spearfinger. Charles Suddeth wrote the story based on a Cherokee legend. Tim Nuttle translated the story into Cherokee, which Lawrence Panther edited. Renee' La Viness worked hours and hours and hours to make sure both English and Cherokee worked together and nothing clashed or didn't agree. Carrie Salazar (@swampmonster) made the story live with her marvelous artwork. The unique book interests children and adults.

     Spearfinger, a witch, terrorizes the Cherokees of the Smoky Mountains. No one can stop her. A little boy named Chucha battles her. Can he discover her secrets? Can he put an end to her rampages? The answer is found between the covers of the book, which is available in both hardback and paperback versions.

     Of course, we hope people order copies of the book from the 4RV Bookstore or the 4RV Shop-lets in Oklahoma City/Edmond, but Amazon has given Spearfinger award already:

     Congratulations, Chuck, Carrie, Tim, Lawrence, and Renee', for the beautiful final book. 4RV is fortunate to have quality authors, artists/illustrators, and editors.

     Please visit the 4RV website and the 4RV Bookstore.

Vivian Zabel, President of 4RV Publishing
Traditional Publishing House based in Edmond Oklahoma


Saturday, June 17, 2017

4RV Offers its books for sale in 2 shop-letts

        4RV Publishing of Edmond, OK, first opened a shop-ett at The Market at Quail Springs, named 4RV  Shop-lett @ The Maket. The area, called an aisle cap, holds a limited number of books.  The 4RV Shop-lett @ The Market is located west of Quail Springs Mall in north west Oklahoma City.  Directions are at the bottom of the poster. Briefly,
take Memorial to May Avenue. Go north on May to NW 138, turn east to Joel McDonald Dr. Drive north to The Market, a boutique market.

      Planned activities include author book signings, special sales, and different titles available as books are rotated.

     In June, 2017, 4RV opened its second shop-lett at the Serendipity Market located in Edmond, Oklahoma:
4RV Shop-lett @ Serendipity.  The books are located in a small room/booth which allows over 40 titles to be on display. Serendipity Market is located at 917 E. Danforth, just a short distant east of Boulevard and several blocks west of Bryant. 

     Activities planned for 4RV Shop-lett @ Serendipity include author book signings, special sales, and the display of new releases.

    4RV books are seldom found in stores, so we decided to try direct sales other than from the 4RV online bookstore.  Therefore, readers have two places to find many of the quality books offered.

     We have books for everyone, written by some of the best authors to be found. Children's books are illustrated by a variety of artists who make the books come alive. We have books for children, tweens, teens, young adults, fiction, and nonfiction. 

      Information about our company and guidelines for submissions are on the 4RV website.
     Please visit, examine our books, touch them, admire them, and purchase the ones you most like. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Major Elements in Fiction Writing

By Karen Cioffi

There are five major elements to a fiction story and it’s the combination of these elements that make the story complete, interesting, and considered good writing. Too much of one or not enough of another can affect the readers ability to connect with the story. So, what are the major elements of a story?

The Major Elements of a Story

1. Protagonist
2. Setting
3. Plot
4. Point of view
5. Theme

Let’s break them down:

The Protagonist: Introduce the main character. Using your imagination you can make him unique. He can have particular mannerisms or quirks, or even distinct physical attributes. You can also make him likeable or unsavory, but remember you will need the reader to be able to create a connection to him. It’s this connection that will prompt the reader to continue reading on. Your protagonist needs to be real…believable.

The Setting: This will establish the time and place the story takes place. The setting can create a feeling and mood – if you’re writing about swashbuckling pirates, your reader will be in a certain mind set. The same holds true for any other setting you choose. It will be intrinsic to the plot/conflict and will help establish vivid imagery for the reader.

The Plot: This is the meat of the story – the forward movement, the conflict or struggle that drives the protagonist toward his goal. This involves any danger, suspense, romance, or other reader grabbing occurrence. The conflict can be emotional (an internal struggle – a tormented soul) or physical (from an external/outside force – good against evil).

Point of View: This establishes whose point of view the story is being told. It’s important to make this clear. Even if you have two main characters, there needs to be one who is primary in order to keep clarity within the story.

The Theme: This establishes what is important to the story. It usually evolves along with the story and the protagonist’s progression. If Jesus is your protagonist, establishing and promoting Christianity might be the theme. It might be the story’s view on life and the people/characters the protagonist encounters. It is the idea the author wants the reader to take away with him/her.

Utilizing each of these elements can create a unique, fascinating, and memorable story.

Just like the ingredients in a cooking recipe, writing has its own set of ingredients that produce a wonderful end product. A pinch here, a dab there – you hold the unique recipe to your story.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing. For must-know writing and marketing tips, get free access to The Writing World.

You can connect with Karen at:

Monday, May 15, 2017

4RV Publishing has a "shop-lett"

The 4RV Shop-lett with all books so far, including Walking Through Walls

          Thanks to the efforts of 4RV's Marketing Director Jodi Brungardt, we have an area as part of The Market at Quail Springs in Oklahoma City. It's not large, but it definitely showcases some of the books from 4RV.

The 4RV Shop-lett

         The Market at Quail Springs is located at  2501 W Memorial Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73134, which is just north of Memorial and on the east side of May. The Facebook link is

         The rent for the area is shared by the authors who have books available and on display at the 4RV shop-lett. If more authors, enough that they could and would cover the rent, maybe we could add another aisle-cap and double the number of books.

Another view of the 4RV Shop-lett
The aisle past the shop-lett

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rave review for Joan's Elder Care Guide

     Midwest Book  Review for May 2017,  carried the following review by Shawn Simon for Joan's Elder Care Guide:

Five Stars on a scale of 1-5

Joan's Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive, by Joan Y Edwards, is a comprehensive handbook for those who are taking care of or may need to take care of an elderly person. So often when one becomes a caregiver to a parent or other relative, they are not at all prepared for the job at hand. Being unprepared can cause stress to the caregiver and to the person being cared for.

With Joan's handbook, this stress, frustration, and exhaustion can be relieved. There is advice about how to handle emotions that are sure to arise and for making sure to provide social outlets for your elder, and so much more. From first deciding the best location for your loved one to the end of life discussions, this book has it all. The book even provides checklists to use and a whole host of resources!

Of essential importance, is making sure your own needs are met. We often forget to care for ourselves when we are caring for a loved one. However, we are no good to them, if we are not good to ourselves. What is sometimes difficult to think about are the financial issues to consider after your loved one has passed. Joan's book discusses how to best handle wills, trusts, estates, and more. There is even a section on grieving our loved one.

I especially love the anecdotal stories she shares about her time caring for her feisty, witty elderly mother. Her experiences are what prompted her to write this book. She realized how much she needed to consider before deciding to provide full-time care for her mother. There did not seem to be a comprehensive guide to help her, so she decided to write her own. This is a book everyone should have if they may ever need to care for an elderly person. Joan Y Edwards has thought of everything.

Shawn Simon, Reviewer

     Joan's Elder Care Guide can be bought through any brick and mortar bookstore, 4RV Bookstore, or other online sources.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Finding Children's Story Ideas

Sitting at the computer with a blank word document in front of you may be intimidating for a writer. You just finished one manuscript, or you’ve hired out to ghostwrite a story, or whatever the reason is, you need to begin writing a children’s story.

Hmmm. What should it be about? You think and think. You gaze out the window. You draw a blank.

Alexander Steele wrote a short article in the October 2010 issue of the Writer, “Where can you find the seeds of a good story?” It was interesting to read that Herman Melville, author of Moby-Dick, had his own whaling adventures which he used to create a wonderful, everlasting story. Steele advices, “Probably the most fertile place to look for ideas is right inside the backyard of your own life.”

You might be thinking you don’t have close contact with children, so you don’t have any experiences do draw on. Or, you may be so busy living your life and raising your children that you don’t have time to stop and see all the amazing story opportunities that are right in your own backyard. Well, even if these scenarios fit, you can take steps to rectify the situation.

Finding Story Ideas if You Don’t Have Close Contact with Children

1. Turn on the TV. Yes, this is an excellent source for story ideas, as well as watching children’s behavior. While it may be in the confines of a scripted show, the writers of these shows try to keep it as real as possible. Take note of the situations, the attitudes of the actors, the scenes, and everything else. Even children’s cartoons have engaging storylines. It may be just the spark you need.

2. Go to a playground with notebook in hand. Watch the children play and listen to them talk. If you’re a professional writer (ghostwriter), or you’re already published, consider asking your local age appropriate school if you could sit in the lunchroom during lunch periods. A useful way to get a positive answer would be to first ask if you could give an author or writing presentation to the students. The principal would need to be sure you are a legitimate writer. Please note though, I don’t know if there is any legal aspects a school would need to consider.

Note: If you do go to a playground, be sure to inform parents/guardians of what you're doing. It'd be a good idea to bring a copy of one of your published books with you, so they feel comfortable that you are indeed a writer. It's a crazy world, always take precautions, and keep the safety of our children at the forefront.

3.  Read newly published children’s books, and reread ones you enjoyed as a child, then reinvent a story. This is a tip I took advantage of with my own children’s fantasy chapter book. I read an old Chinese tale and reinvented it for a children’s book. I was recently reminded of this story idea source by multi-published children’s writer Margot Finke, during a teleclass she presented.

Finke advised to study books you like; pay attention to why they work, then “craft an entirely new story.” She explained that, “quirky and fresh” wins publishing contracts today.

Finding Story Ideas if You Do Have Close Contact with Children

1. Study the children you do have contact with, whether your own children, your grandchildren, or other relatives. Children are an amazing source of inspiration and ideas. They have an innate ability to make you feel: just looking at a picture of children may make you smile; hearing a baby laugh can actually make you laugh.

Watch the children, notice their mannerisms, body language, movements, attitudes and emotions, speech, and their interactions with other children and adults. You’ll not only get story ideas, you’ll also get dialogue and ‘showing’ descriptions.

2. If you have regular contact with children, you really shouldn’t need any other steps, but if the age of your new story differ from the ages of the children you see, use the steps noted above for writers who don’t have contact with children.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghost-writer, and online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing. For must-know writing and marketing tips, get free access to The Writing World.

You can connect with Karen at:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let’s Celebrate – Launching that New Book

            Weeks, months, even years of plotting words on paper or computer screen end at long last. The manuscript is submitted to a publisher and accepted. After a period of intense editing, the proof appears for another round of final editing. Finally, the book becomes a reality, and the author holds a copy of a marvelous book. Now, the time arrives to celebrate and launch that book with a party.
            A book launch takes more than a newly released book: It takes planning which begins before the book is released. So, let’s plan that book launch.
            First, we set a date. Due to problems which might arise, we will choose a date a month to two months after the supposed release date. If the book is related to a particular season or holiday, the launch celebration close to that time. For example, a book related to Christmas might be released in September or October but may be launched two or three weeks before Christmas.
            The second step is to select a crew to work the launch. The author is to be the honored guest during the event and will not have time to worry about serving the food or drinks or cutting the cake, etc. She or he must be involved in the planning, but once the party starts, greeting guests and signing books will the duties of the author. Therefore, we need people who will set up any refreshments and make sure empty dishes are replaced or refilled. Having people also help with those refreshments helps unless catering hasn’t been hired.
            Third, we need a place to have the launch. A place should have ample parking and be easy to find. It also needs to be large enough to handle a large number of invited guests, in case they all decide to attend. Facilities are needed for food storage and preparation, even if the location doesn’t have a kitchen. At least access to a sink and water is needed.
            Four, set a menu and know who is bringing what, unless the author is able to have the event catered. I have attended launches where almost a full meal was served. Others had finger foods, including little sandwiches, veggie trays, meat trays, desserts, and water, coffee, and punch for drinks. Having a quarter, half, or full sheet cake with the image of the book cover on the top frosting is a special way to honor the author and the book.
            Five, begin promotion of the book with notice that a launch celebration will be held (give date, location, and time) at least three months before the event.
            At least a month to six weeks before the event, invitations should be sent.
            The author and crew/helpers need to arrive at least one and a half hours before the event is scheduled to begin. Everything needs to be in place and decorated at least forty-five minutes before time to start. Be sure a table to set up for book sales (including a money box with change) and one for the author to sit to sign copies of her/his books. The books need to have a removable price tag on the back cover.
            Be sure someone helps organize the movement of people to the table to purchase books and to line up to have the author autograph copies. Helpers need to keep the food operation organized, too. Have someone who takes pictures.
            A successful launch party takes preparation and effort on the part of the author and any helpers, but a successful launch helps motivate the author to promote that book in other ways. It is a celebration to begin the life of that book.