Kelly Barr, Professional Freelance Editor

I am a Professional Freelance Editor. I have five years of experience editing fiction. If you have a fiction manuscript or short story you would like edited, check out my “Editing Services” page for more details–simply click on the “Editing Services” tab at the top of the page.

Here are some books I have worked on:

The Sorcerer's Bane (The Seven Words Book 1) by [Wachter, C. S. ]     Bride Tree (Secrets of Versailles Book 2) by [Robinson, JP]     Gods They Had Never Known by [Helms, J. S.]More Than A Second Chance: A Contemporary Christian Novel with clean romance by [Renee, Lisa]

For more books I’ve edited, click the “Editing Services” link at the top of the page.

Here is what some of my clients have to say about my work:

“Kelly is a pleasure to work with. She is well-versed enough to understand the nuances of my genre (Christian Speculative) even though she doesn’t write Speculative. She knows her craft and is sensitive and gentle when giving input about things that need to be corrected or rewritten. Her notes are thoughtful and her suggestions made my book a better read and a more polished final product. ‘The Sorcerer’s Bane‘, book one of my series The Seven Words, is slated to be released soon and I will continue to seek her professional help on future manuscripts.  — C. S. Wachter

Kelly Barr did a very thorough job, generating a final product that truly expresses what I had in mind. Also, they shortened it by about 1600 words and that’s always a plus! 🙂 There were some that I chose not to apply, but the vast majority of the edits proposed were golden. — J. P. Robinson
For more of my clients comments, click the “Editing Services” link at the top of the page.

The Rancher’s Unexpected Love by Ava Winters

The Rancher’s Unexpected Love: A Western Historical Romance Novel by [Winters, Ava]

The Rancher’s Unexpected Love by Ava Winters, a recent release, is the story of Samantha Loche, who has survived a tragedy and wasn’t sure where to go, but she had to leave her hometown. She found shelter in a barn loft, planning to be gone early in the morning before anyone would know she’d been there. However, her tired body kept her asleep longer than planned, and Jensen Reaves found her.

What happens from there is an “unexpected love” that seems impossible to bring to a happy ending, more danger for Samantha just as she was beginning to find healing and a place to belong, and Jensen having to make some difficult decisions.

I give this book 5 stars, and honestly believe Ava Winters earned them.

Ava Winters did an excellent job of creating great characters in The Rancher’s Unexpected Love. Samantha captured my heart from the start and I wanted to see her find happiness and belonging. I also wanted to see Jensen work through his inner turmoil and come to the knowledge of the best decisions for his life.

The plot had great pacing and was laced with danger, as well as both internal and external conflict. It kept me turning pages from start to finish and tempted me to keep reading late into the night.

I read a previous book by Ava Winters, His Blessing in Disguise. You can read my review of that book, here. I have to say that, though I also enjoyed His Blessing in Disguise, I really enjoyed The Rancher’s Unexpected Love to a greater degree, and I was especially pleased to see how much better Ms. Winter’s writing is in this newest release. She also must’ve had a better or more in-depth edit done on this book because I found far less errors, which made the book more enjoyable to me as well. I am truly glad that I didn’t give up after reading just one book by Ava Winters, and I will look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

If you enjoy western romance stories that are clean and sweet, you’ll enjoy The Rancher’s Unexpected Love.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tidbit:

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” — Ann Patchett, “Truth and Beauty”

About Blue
by Kelly F. Barr

Blue can be a feeling of loneliness and sadness.
Blue can be a song about that very feeling;
Or it can be the sky on a sunny day, warm and clear–
Such a day can touch deep and bring healing
Of the lonely, sad soul.

Blue is a shiny gemstone dug from the richness of the earth.
Blue can be one of two birds — a bluebird or a jay;
Or it can be the sweet, round, juicy berries
From which mother bakes a pie in the month following May.
Some foods are blue, like blue cheese.

Blue can be the color of water in a glassy sea.
Blue can be the waves crashing on a crystal beach
Bubbling upon the sand and rolling toward my toes.
I play with the stretching tendrils, keeping just out of reach
And chasing them back to the ocean as they recede.

Blue can be the dress I wear to a special party.
Blue can be the color of my brother’s hair,
The cover of my favorite book or teacup.
It may even be the color of a comfortable chair.
Blue is beautiful to me.

My Writing Life

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I have been writing fiction for a very long time and I love it. It is my favorite thing to do. However, it takes a very long time to make any money as a fiction writer. Yes, I have a completed historical fiction novel, but only the first draft is completed. I am working on revising/editing it, but time is another problem I struggle with.

As a homeschool mom with one remaining child/student, I spend every morning working with my child, which means I don’t get to do any writing related items until the afternoon. So, roughly three hours a day, then it’s time to make dinner. Then I may or may not have two hours to work on writing related items after dinner before I get too tired for my brain to focus on such tasks. So, on a good day, I get about five hours to work on writing related items.

What writing related items do I have to work on? Well, I have this blog, which I really enjoy writing posts for. As a writer, it is also suggested that I have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, which means posting on all of these media sites daily. But I don’t. I have found that I am not very interested in social media, so I try to have a presence by connecting my blog posts to my Facebook writer page and Twitter accounts. At least that keeps me present there.

I have been writing for Almost an Author, a popular website for writers, for about a year now. I am one of the regular columnists for the site and am required to post four romance and four historical posts each year. This is not a huge commitment, but it is a commitment nonetheless. I am also a regular interview writer for Faith Filled Family Magazine and have been doing this for almost a year. I love the writing I do for both of these. However, none of these wonderful jobs offers a salary, but I am not willing to give them up. I enjoy them too much. Besides, they give me material for my portfolio.

Back to the part about homeschooling. Being a homeschool mom means being there for your child(ren) all day every day. This was an important decision my husband and I made seventeen years ago, and it was an important decision we haven’t regretted.  However, it can be quite challenging to live on one income in today’s world.

Therefore, I have entered a new writing world–the world of freelance writing. I have also taken my freelance editing skills with me, and have become active on a reputable freelance website, where I am applying for writing and editing jobs that I will actually get paid to do. However, the writing is not fiction. So I am learning and experiencing writing in the “real” (nonfiction) world. It’s very different and quite challenging as compared to my preferred fiction world, but I am finding it enjoyable so far. But, it is time consuming–time to look through the “want ads”, time to write proposals to apply for the jobs I am interested in and believe I am able to do, and then, time to do the jobs. So now, I am working with solid deadlines–no procrastinating is allowed or tolerated.

In conclusion, my writing life has changed once again. For now, I need to put most of my time into the freelance writing that will enable me to earn an income. That may mean that my fiction works, like my novel, will have to wait longer to meet the world. But, as in every part of my life to this point, I have always been one to do what needs to be done and to keep my priorities straight.

There are three more years, after this one, until my last child graduates, then I’ll have eight or nine hours a day to write. (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)

Rowan’s Chronicle Vol. 1 by Andy Toppin Jr.

Rowan's Chronicle: Volume 1 by [Toppin Jr., Andy ]      36552306. sx318

Rowan’s Chronicle — Volume 1 by Andy Toppin Jr. is Mr. Toppin’s first book and the first volume in what he intends to be a series. I found it interesting that Amazon had the book listed with the cover on the left, and Goodreads had the book listed with the cover on the right. Personally, I prefer the cover on the left.

This is an action adventure story with steampunk elements, as well as some romance. I believe the author tried to include too many genre elements to try to reach a wide variety of readers.. The setting is 1834 and 1833 and the first five chapters take place in 1834 and the last six chapters take place in 1833.

I must say that I found the story hard to follow as it began with two characters, Chester Young and Jane Primstone. However, Rowan happens to be the captain of a ship that Chester and Jane board. Chapter two and chapter four tell the story of two different characters that seem to have no connection to Chester and Jane, but do have a connection to Rowan. Finally, chapter five introduces Rowan’s love interest and the rest of the book focuses on the two of them.

In addition to finding the story hard to follow, I also found it a bit disjointed and I felt that it had a lot of description and not enough action and dialogue. Also, the characters weren’t developed enough to really capture and hold my interest or make me care about them.

Finally, the ending is an abrupt cliffhanger, which is something I dislike in a book.

 

 

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Today’s Tea Tidbit: If you live in Korea, you might be enjoying a cup of Chrysanthemum tea — a favorite tisane, which is said to help ease headaches and fever as well as refresh the brain.

Broken, But With Hope
by Kelly F. Barr

I slip into the dark pit,
Wanting to be left alone.
Angry and hurt, I’m unfit
for the company of others.

Pain and numbness beside me;
They are my companions.
I always thought I was smart,
But your deception I did not see.

Your lies cut to my soul.
You made me a fool.
I am left with one goal–
To heal and find myself again.

I must again be strong
Relying only on the One above;
From whom real love comes,
And to Him only, I belong.