Sunday, December 28, 2008

Virtual Book Tours new shcedule - week beginning January 2

Virtual Book Tours Rotation for week beginning January 2. Follow some of your favorite authors aound the blog and see what some new authors may have to offer.

Deborah Ramos hosting Cheryl Pillsbury
Dr. John F. Murray hosting Yolanda Jackson
Dianne Sagan hosting Elysabeth Eldering (my JGDS series - I'll need to post some new info in the folder to be posted)
Harry Gilleland hosting Joyce Anthony
Lanaia Lee hosting Rosanna Ienco
Joy Delgado hosting Deborah Ramos
Lillian Cauldwell hosting Dr. John F. Murray
Karen Cioffi hosting Dianne Sagan
Kathy Stemke hosting Harry Gilleland
Linda Ballou hosting Lanaia Lee
Lea Schizas hosting Joy Delgado
Patricia Crandall hosting Lillian Cauldwell
Nancy Famolari hosting Karen Cioffi
Rosemary Chaulk hosting Kathy Stemke
Sharon Poppen hosting Linda Ballou
Suzanne Lieurance hosting Lea Schizas
Vivian Zabel hosting Patricia Crandall
Boyd Hipp hosting Nancy Famolari
Dehanna Bailee hosting Rosemary Chaulk
Margaret Fieland hosting Sharon Poppen
Ransom Noble hosting Suzanne Lieurance
Luigi Falconi hosting Vivian Zabel
Dwight Rounds hosting Boyd Hipp
Anna Maria Prezio hosting Dehanna Bailee
Crystalee Calderwood hosting Margaret Fieland
Rosanna Ienco hosting Ransom Noble
Elysabeth Eldering hosting Luigi Falconi
Joyce Anthony hosting Dwight Rounds
Cheryl Pillsbury hosting Anna Maria Prezio
Yolanda Jackson hosting Crystalee Calderwood


We have some new folks who have joined this group, so hopefully my readers and all the other blog readers will follow the tours as everyone is a guest and is hosting someone else for the week. This tour will run from January 2 through January 9.


Right behind that I'll be on my own blog tour (well the JGDS will be) starting with the Book Roast blog. Schedule will be posted on the JGDS blog on January 5th. See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Radio spot postponed

Okay I know I said I was going to do a radio spot today and I had all intentions of doing so, was told we wouldn't even eat dinner until late afternoon or closer to actual supper time because my brother and sister-in-law wouldn't be here until late afternoon. Well, they came about 2 o'clock this afternoon and we ended up having dinner at 4:15 and therefore, I missed my 4:30 time. I'll post when rescheduled, giving everyone a link to listen. Hope your Christmas was a merry one and that you all had a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the Radio

Just a reminder I will be making an appearance on the radio on December 25th at 4:30 p.m. (EST). I will be talking about my books. So if you around and want to listen, just click in the logo and you should be able to hear the program. See you all then - E :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster synopsis

If you are into new age and paranormal, then perhaps this book is for you. Earlier this week, I introduced Anna Maria Prezio to you. Now let me introduce the book to you.

Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster

This book was written to enlighten the reader on feng shui and reveal how it connects and relates to clearing negative energies, which can often be ghosts or spirits.

This exciting new book is unlike many feng shui books on the shelves. “Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster is the first of its non-fiction genre to combine two unlikely art and science forms to guide those traumatized by entities and ghosts to overcome their fear through understanding, knowledge and resolve from such supernatural forces. This simply written book on how to release ghosts invites us on a personal journey with uplifting tales that begin in a small village in Southern Italy. Anna Maria’s confessions will elevate your spirits, clarify your need for a productive environment and help you to create a serene sanctuary we all call home.

Over many years of feng shui consultations, Anna Maria Prezio was able to make the connection between negative energy and the presence of ghosts in an environment. In her book she explain this radical concept in an easy–to-read practical guide on how to apply feng shui principles to ghost-busting.
Keeping a secret such as interacting with a spirit or entity can haunt you and create a feeling of dis-ease with yourself and your environments. Some of us are more sensitive to the spirit world, see entities and oftentimes sense them around us. The ability to talk about it and clear the air through many different methods as defined and expressed in my book, can free us from the fear and allow us to discuss a subject that has been taboo for many years.
“The more we know and understand about what we fear, the easier it is to accept a solution”
Learn one of the many feng shui mysteries on removal techniques in “Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster”

More about Anna Maria Prezio at www.prezio.com
at www.lulu.com/content/1681674


PRODUCT INFORMATION:

ISBN: 978-1-4357-0640-8
Publisher: Lulu.com
Rights Owner: Anna Maria Prezio
Copyright: © 2007 Anna Maria Prezio
Standard Copyright License
Language: English
Country: United States

For Purchase:
Visit: http://www.fengshuiharmony.net/
or Contact Prezio@sbcglobal.net

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meet Anna Maria Prezio author of "Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster"

Bio of the Author


Anna Maria Prezio, author of Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster, is a professional Feng Shui Consultant. She has audited hundreds of Feng Shui sites. Her clients include: Hollywood producers, directors, actors, doctors, architects, and corporate executives.

As a marketing consultant in health care, entertainment, and the non-profit sectors she has incorporated her knowledge of Feng Shui and its effects on personal environments to enhance people’s lives. Ms. Prezio’s mission is to help people gain the knowledge and tools of Feng Shui to improve and enhance their wealth, health, creativity and relationships.

Ms. Prezio is a writer. She has published screenplays, articles and books. Her love for the visual arts has led her to produce feature films, film shorts, music videos, and photography. Her experience, Feng Shui knowledge and highly intuitive talent gives her the ability to sense people, places and things which help to nurture and facilitate her clients’ lifestyles.

Contact: Anna Maria Prezio
Phone: 818.980.6861
E-mail: prezio@sbcglobal.net

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Virtual Book Tours

I'm on a yahoo forum, Virtual Book Tours, and we are rotating hosting and guesting on blogs twice a month. The list is for the week of December 15th. The first name is the person hosting with their link and who will be their guest. As you can see, I'm guesting on the first blog. The way this tour works is that the host will post several postings or may only do one from the guest for a week (interviews, reviews, articles). Follow the tour to see what will be up for each guest. See you all in the postings - E :)


WEEK OF DECEMBER 15 tour
(CLICK ON HOST'S NAME TO SEE GUEST BLOGGER'S INFO

Dr. John F. Murray hosting Elysabeth Eldering

Dianne Sagan hosting Joyce Anthony

Harry Gilleland hosting Rosanna Ienco

Lanaia Lee hosting Dr. John F. Murray

Joy Delgado hosting Dianne Sagan

Lillian Cauldwell hosting Harry Gilleland

Karen Cioffi hosting Lanaia Lee

Kathy Stemke hosting Joy Delgado

Linda Ballou hosting Lillian Cauldwell

Lea Schizas hosting Karen Cioffi

Patricia Crandall hosting Kathy Stemke

Nancy Famolari hosting Linda Ballou

Rosemary Chaulk hosting Lea Schizas

Sharon Poppen hosting Patricia Crandall

Suzanne Lieurance hosting Nancy Famolari

Vivian Zabel hosting Rosemary Chaulk

Boyd Hipp hosting Sharon Poppen

Dehanna Bailee hosting Suzanne Lieurance

Margaret Fieland hosting Vivian Zabel

Ransom Noble hosting Boyd Hipp

Luigi Falconi hosting Dehanna Bailee

Dwight Rounds hosting Margaret Fieland

Anna Maria Prezio hosting Ransom Noble

Crystalee Calderwood hosting Luigi Falconi

Rosanna Ienco hosting Dwight Rounds

Elysabeth Eldering hosting Anna Maria Prezio

Joyce Anthony hosting Crystalee Calderwood

Several folks on this list are 4RV authors. So check us out the week of December 15. See you all in the postings.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Time flies, yet again

Over a week has passed since the SCWW writer's conference in Myrtle Beach and I have yet to post anything about the conference nor other updates. So I figured I'd take a brief moment and get something posted. So here goes:

1) SCWW conference was a blast. Because of being able to lock the complete building where the silent auction items were held, most of my volunteer duties got taken away from me. I felt bad because I wasn't being used for what they paid for me to do (the SCWW covered the cost of the conference for me in exchange for working half the conference). I felt it was a successful conference and seemed to run pretty smoothly. We didn't have any incidents like last year (someone stalked one of the agents or authors by gaining entrance to their room and leaving a manuscript on their bed or some folks got a bit disorderly from drinking too much). The slushfests were fun and the workshops I attended were pretty cool too. Karen Petit and I shared a room and got to know each other better. In February, I will be staying with her when I attend the SC Book Festival (probably as an exhibitor this year since I've not heard about being a guest speaker or panelists or anything). I found out who is chairing the conference next year and I may have an in as a guest speaker/panelist with Karen. We can do panel discussions or workshops and share a room again - lol - it will be a lot of fun for us both (fingers crossed and will keep you all posted on that as things develop since nothing can really be done until after the first of the year).

2) State of Quarries is completed except for a few minor edits for Vivian. The teacher's guide is finished as well. State of Wilderness's teacher's guide is completed. I am using my NaNo month/goal to get ahead on the state stories. I can't wait to see the illustrations for the book and see it laid out (will keep you updated on that as well).

3) NaNo - November is National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. I have adjusted my goal to 20,000 words in 30 days (there is a lot of family stuff going on this month, will be in a virtual book tour and have two book signings scheduled) which will basically be (hopefully) three new state stories and the teacher's guides to go with them. I will post my "excerpts" which are my updates on where I am on my goal on my NaNo site. So if you want to see if I am on track with my self-adjusted goals and getting things accomplished, check out www.nanowrimo.org and look for elysabeth42 (you can check out my profile and click on novel info to see everything I've posted).

4) Cybil award nomination: State of Wilderness and Prairie Dog Cowboy are in the running for this award in the middle grade fiction category. Trockle has been nominated for the children's picture book fiction category. Winners will be announced in February. Nominations are made from anyone (but you have to scan through a lot of posts to see if the book you want to nominate has already been nominated as they only want one nomination per title and each person can make one nomination per category - there are 9 total) between October 1 and 15. Then the group of folks decides if all nominations are valid (checking to see when the books were published to make sure they fall into this year's timeframe) and then they have to contact all the publishers and/or authors to request review copies which are not mandatory but do help the panelists. Then after receiving all the books, they have the fun job of reading and picking a winner. So here's to the three 4RV books nominated and hopefully one will take the award or maybe two (one in each category would be nice). (I'd like them to add another category to cover books that present facts with fictional characters like my state stories do but for now, I'll have to take whatever nominations and the categories I can get.) The finalists will be listed in January with the winners announced in February - so stay tuned for more updates.

That about covers all my goings on for now - see you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Midnight Review


I've been asked to host Vivian on her Midnight Hours tour. I am posting a review of this well-written thriller.

I like thrillers and anything that borders on the psychological really intrigues me. Midnight Hours is well written and kept me intrigued all the way to the end. Just when I think it is one person, I got fooled into believing it was someone else. The reasons for Midnight's "calling in life" become apparent as the reader reaches the end of the story. Vivian has a way of weaving a tale and making the reader want more. This is a highly recommended story for those who enjoy getting inside the mind of a serial killer.

Vivian is not only a writer but she is a publisher, my publisher. Over the past few months I have been getting to know her first online and then when I met her for the whirlwind weekend of the Decatur Book Festival. She is an author of several middle grade novels for reluctant readers (Case of the Missing Coach and The Base Stealers Club) and a newly released historical novel, Prairie Dog Cowboy.




Born to Raymond and Dolly Gilbert July 28, 1943, Vivian followed her father as he transferred from military base to military base from Randolph AFB, Texas to Loring AFB, Maine. During her school years, Vivian, always a reader and story teller, discovered a love of writing.

She wrote her first poetry in third grade. By the time she was in junior high, she wrote stories and knew that some day she would write a book.

After marrying Robert Zabel, she became the mother of three children, the grandmother of ten, and the great-grandmother of four, so far. All the time telling and writing.

She now has three juvenile books written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel and under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel a mystery/suspense novel, a collection of short stories with Holly Jahangiri, and an anthology of poetry with seven other poets.




Product Details
Hardcover: 228 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (June 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979751330
ISBN-13: 978-0979751332
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Ordering may be done at 4RV's site or through Amazon or check your local book store for a copy.



CONTEST INFORMATION:

There will be a prize offered: Prize: $25 gift certificate from Amazon.com

Rules:
1. Each person who comments on a blog stop receives one entry.
For example, if a person leaves a comment ( or more) on four blog stops, he has four entries. (one entry per blog tour stop)

2. A purchase of Midnight Hours from the 4RV Bookstore, or from the author, receives fifteen (15) entries.

Books must be bought directly from the author or from the publisher.

A person may have entries from a purchase and from leaving comments.

3. The final step in the contest: Each person with entries must send an email to president@4rvpublishingllc.com with the answer to the following question:
What time does Midnight appear on the game site to chat with Martin?

November 5, a random drawing will be held using a program online to choose a winner. I will notify the winner by email and will post the result on my blogs at Vivian's site and Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.



Please remember to put your email address in the comment and send the answer to the question in #3 to Vivian in order to be eligible for the contest. No email addy equals disqualification. See you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spooky Blog Tour for Searching For A Starry Night and The Witch Tree


Christine Verstraete is the author of Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery and The Witch Tree, a spooky ebook

She loves writing, collecting miniatures, and reading, with Halloween a favorite.

Why Halloween?

I enjoy reading scary stories and it's even more to decorate for Halloween. While I enjoy the real-life decorations and a good scare as much as anyone, I especially like decorating in miniature. All kinds of things you can dream up.


Tell us about your story, The Witch Tree. Where did the idea come from?

I can tell it's spring out here in Wisconsin when the red-winged blackbirds appear. We'll get hundreds sitting in the trees, swinging on the cattails. They flock in hundreds, then do the same in fall, until they suddenly disappear, flying off to wherever they go until next spring. It's a screeching, noisy, eerie mass.

Have you written other books with paranormal or supernatural elements?

My middle grade book, Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, from Quake/Echelon Press, has some spooky elements and a creepy family legend. Sam and her friend, Lita, are staying at her great aunt's old Victorian while they search for a missing miniature replica of Van Gogh's famous painting, Starry Night. They're working in an old shed that Aunt Hilda once used as her painting studio, and where a family barn burned down, inspiring the family legend. Plus, Sam tends to like to tease Lita, who is kind of skittish about ghosts.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?

Readers are welcome to stop by my website, http://cverstraete.com and also see some of the miniatures I collect. I also am featuring various Halloween miniatures at my blog, Candid Canine.
Bonus: Visit my blog for a Scavenger Hunt this week and a chance to win some Halloween miniatures and a pdf copy of "The Witch Tree." See question at end.

What's your favorite horror novel?
I have several favorites, Salem's Lot, Dracula, Pet Sematery...


Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Visit Candid Canine this week for details on how to follow my Spooky Scavenger Hunt.





Jimmy Grayson thinks he's found utopia - a new house, a nice porch to relax on... and then THEY came.... Day by day, they arrive by the dozens, the hundreds, their beady eyes, watching, waiting. Jimmy fears for his sanity.
How will it end?
Who will survive?
Will it be him-or them?



Scavanger Hunt Contest and Rules:

Searching For A Starry Night & Witch Tree Scavenger Hunt!

Enjoy reading some excerpts from Searching For A Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery and from the spooky ebook, The Witch Tree . Learn more about both books and even scarier, learn a little more about author Christine Verstraete at each blog stop.




Scavenger Hunt Clue 2:
The door opens, creepy music plays
A hand reaches out, a voice says, Stay!


Bonus! Halloween Treats!

No trick! Take a chance to win a PDF copy of "The Witch Tree" or some handmade Halloween miniatures for your desk or wherever by following the blog tour.

How to Play

1. Go to each stop on the blog tour. Each stop ends with a Scavenger Hunt Clue. The clue refers to a page on Christine's website at http://cverstraete.com. Only a few specific pages are involved.

2. Look for the mini pumpkin on the page corresponding to each question. Find the pages at http://cverstraete.com.

3. Email Christine the list of all 6 places you found the pumpkins, and their corresponding numbers - plus your full mailing address (US Only) - to chrisATcverstraete.com (replace AT with @)

Contest ends Nov. 8, 2008. All 6 answers and numbers must be included. Two winners to be chosen; one will receive a spooky miniatures set by mail and the other will receive a Witch Tree ebook by email.

Have fun! Boo!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Midnight schedule update

I am posting the new Midnight Hours virtual book tour update (since it just changed a couple of days ago and I've not had a chance to do so).

Oct. 26 Holly Jahangiri http://blog.jahangiri.us/

Oct. 27 Brian L. Porter http://tinyurl.com/4qa4tw
Lee Lofland, The Graveyard Shift http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress

Oct. 28 Karen Syed http://karensyed.blogspot.com
Joyce Anthony http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog

Oct. 29 Elysabeth Eldering http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
Joyce Anthony http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog

Oct. 30 Joyce Anthony http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog and
Jean Henry Mead http://advicefromeditors.blogspot.com

Oct. 31 Aidana WillowRaven http://coverchatter.blogspot.com
Joyce Anthony http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog

Nov. 1 Crystalee Calderwood http://crystaleecalderwood.blogspot.com

Nov. 2 Vivian Zabel http://vzabel.multiply.com/journal and http://VivianZabel.blogspot.com

Midnight schedule update

I am posting the new Midnight Hours virtual book tour update (since it just changed a couple of days ago and I've not had a chance to do so).

Oct. 26
Holly Jahangiri

Oct. 27
Brian L. Porter
and
Lee Lofland, The Graveyard Shift

Oct. 28
Karen Syed
and
Joyce Anthony - day 1

Oct. 29
Elysabeth Eldering
and
Joyce Anthony - day 2

Oct. 30
Jean Henry Mead
and
Joyce Anthony - day 3

Oct. 31
Aidana WillowRaven
Joyce Anthony - day 4

Nov. 1
Crystalee Calderwood

Nov. 2
Vivian Zabel's multiply blog
and Vivian's Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap blog

Thursday, October 23, 2008

SCWW Conference time is here

It's that time of year again. I will be heading to the beach (Myrtle) for the SCWW Muse Writer's conference. I will be attending as a volunteer again this year (I can't afford the conference plus the hotel and travel, so volunteer status it is). Maybe when my series takes off the group will ask me to be a guest speaker (I can hope, can't I?).

This weekend is also state competition which I will miss again. But I will be there in spirit and hoping that they do well.

Updates from the conference upon my return. See you all in the postings. E :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Midnight is Coming!


My publisher, Vivian, is touring her mystery/thriller book Midnight Hours starting Sunday. The following is the tour schedule and prize information.

Oct. 26 Holly Jahangiri

Oct. 27 Brian L. Porter
and Patty @ TAL and Patty @ TAL

Oct. 28 Karen Syed
and Joyce Anthony day 1

Oct. 29 Elysabeth Eldering
and Joyce Anthony day 2

Oct. 30 Jean Henry Mead
and Joyce Anthony day 3

Oct. 31 Aidana WillowRaven
and Joyce Anthony day 4

Nov. 1 Crystalee Calderwood
and Lee Lofland, The Graveyard Shift

Nov. 2 Vivian Zabel on Multiply and Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap for the wrap up of the tour.


There will be a prize offered: Prize: $25 gift certificate from Amazon.com

Rules:
1. Each person who comments on a blog stop receives one entry.
For example, if a person leaves a comment ( or more) on four blog stops, he has four entries. (one entry per blog tour stop)

2. A purchase of Midnight Hours from the 4RV Bookstore, or from the author, receives fifteen (15) entries.

Books must be bought directly from the author or from the publisher.

A person may have entries from a purchase and from leaving comments.

3. The final step in the contest: Each person with entries must send an email to president@4rvpublishingll.com with the answer to the following question:
What time does Midnight appear on the game site to chat with Martin?

November 5, a random drawing will be held using a program online to choose a winner. I will notify the winner by email and will post the result on my blogs at Vivian's site and Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap.


Please remember to put your email address in the comment in order to be eligible for the contest. No email addy equals disqualification. See you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stacy Gooch Anderson interview

I had the opportunity to interview Stacy about her writing and her book, The Santa Letters. Following are her answers.


What writing project are you currently working on?
I have a couple I am working on. They all are listed on my author website. The two that are closest to being done though are As A Beacon Light, Talk to Me, Sweetheart and The Inmate Letters which is the companion book to The Santa Letters. The first chapter of that is on The Santa Letters website.


What inspires you most as a writer?
Everyday life and everyday people. I see ordinary people who do extraordinary things as they find a way to get through life one day at a time and that inspires me. I watch people who, in a world filled with so many negative things, find a way to hang onto the positive and count their many blessings and help others to do the same - and that inspires me. I witness those who, despite the many challenges placed before them, follow in their Savior's footsteps keeping their focus singularly on eternal goals and that inspires me too.

Describe part of the research process it took to write a certain manuscript.
For The Santa Letters, it was important for me to get it just right and truly understand the mission and life of the Savior so I read and studied the New testament and another book by James Tallmadge called Jesus The Christ. I then took that information and in a non-threatening and non- offensive way (I hope) wrote it into the letters in language that was as simple as could possibly be while putting all the emotion and respect His life deserves into them.

Where do you get most of your ideas?
From real life and real people and the emotions they inspire. Anything that brings a tear to my eye or making me go hummmmm I think makes a good story. Anything that connects one human to another in a good and positive way I think makes a good story.

Describe your typical writing schedule.
This summer has been a bit chaotic as my siblings and I have parched through my mom's things and gotten her home ready to sell but on a normal day, I get up and get myself ready for the day, hit the computer for a couple of hours, have lunch and then get my housework done before the kids get home form school and I'm off to soccer and hockey practices and school functions. If a story line is really pounding at my skull, I'll go back to it late at night when it's quiet and do some more and find every other moment in-between to get it down.

As a child, what were your favorite books to read?
Anything I could get my hands on. In St. Louis, the Bookmobile lady knew me by name. I'd walk out of there with as many books as she would let me carry home and I'd have them all read by the next week when it would be back. When I was in 5th grade I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond and I still love that one. In seventh grade I read Johnny Trumain and still love that one! And as a junior in highschool, I read The Scarlet Letter and to this day it's one of my favorites.....

What books influenced you most of all when you were growing up?
I loved anything historical, that made me think or gave me a good feeling as I closed the book. My dad always surrounded me with good literature and spent a LOT of money on books. All six siblings inherited a collection that was important to them. One got his Franklin Mint leather bound collection, one his Zane Gray collection (my dad grew up in Arizona where Zane Gray is huge), another his church doctrine collection, my sister has his children's classics collection and my youngest brother has his and my mother's scriptures. I inherited his complete Harvard Classics collection. So as you can see, reading was of paramount importance in our family and a well rounded reading education was even more important.

What inspired you the most to write The Santa Letters?
Right after my father died, I found out that two of my sons had been in a sexually abusive situation. Since the perpetrators were wards of the state and under the care of a foster father who is lacking at best, the state knowing its liability came after us to take our children trying to scare us into silence. After spending an exorbitant amount on legal and counseling bills, there was no money for Christmas. I needed however, to find a way to heal my family and bring peace into my home again. I decided upon letters from Santa reminding us of the many blessings we still had. A friend finding out what we were doing, later challenged me to write the story insisting that it was one that needed to be told. Two years later......

What writers' how-to books do you have on your bookshelf, and which one is your favorite?
The Dictionary, my Thesaurus, Comedy Writing Secrets, the AP styleguide to name a few. Probably my reference books because if I read too many "how too" books, I subconsciously adopt someone else's voice rather than staying true to my own. But I do like the educational value of them so I read them when I'm not in the middle of writing projects.

Share one tip you would like to give about writing a book with a holiday theme.
Don't be afraid to write what is in your heart and stay true to the real meaning of Christmas. It is after all about the birth of a Savior - the greatest gift ever given on any Christmas day! There was a time when we didn't try to pretend that this wasn't a religious holiday. Unfortunately, in recent times however, it has become heresy to admit that Christianity has anything to do with Christmas. The thing that I have found out during this process is that people are starving to find a way to return to simple truths and return to those simple meanings. The commercialization of the season has become overwhelming to them and they long for the peace and tranquility a season celebrating a Savior's birth was meant to give.

Review of The Santa Letters

It took me about three nights of reading, about an hour or so each night to read The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch Anderson. This is a very spirtual story yet compelling and so true to Christians everywhere. If you are looking for a reminder of the lessons taught by Christ, this is a must read. I will tell you that I did cry many times during my reading.

The Santa Letters is warming to the core and teaches valuable life lessons we should all make part of our daily lives. The story will inspire you to strive to become more Christ-like and to overall be a better person.

For ordering information, check out the posting about Stacy Gooch Anderson to see where available.

Introducing Stacy Gooch Anderson

“The Santa Letters”

by Stacy Gooch Anderson



You can visit www.thesantaletters.org to learn more about the author and the book. To find out more about this story and where it is going nationally, please contact Mr. Kim Garvey, the author’s national publicist at ComsMgt@aol.com.

STACY'S BIO:

Stacy Gooch Anderson moved often during her growing up years living in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, St. Louis, and finally ended up in Salt Lake City, where she currently resides with her husband and four sons. She is the oldest of six children.

She attended the University of Utah before turning her focus to raising her family. She never abandoned her love of writing, however, and later returned to her roots as a journalist and won several awards through the Society of Professional Journalists for her feature writing and investigative skills.

She began her public speaking career at age eighteen when she was asked to speak at an event with a local TV personality and a nationally renown author. It was then that she found her voice, her ability to tell stories and draw visual analogies that uplifted and inspired those she publicly shared her skills with.

She is currently a corporate trainer for new writers at her company and spends her extra time publicly speaking and teaching. She is also an advocate for crime victims and acts as a voice for children in difficult situations and raises money and awareness for cancer research.

She enjoys reading, learning, anything creative and soaking in the sunshine with her friends and family. She readily admits however, that her greatest source of joy and pride is her husband and four sons who even on dark cloudy days, bring extraordinarily bright rays of sunshine into her life.


To purchase this book, contact any area store or order online at www.cedarfort.com or by calling any of the telephone numbers listed below.


Media review copies are available by calling (801) 489-4084. You may also contact CFI’s publicist, Bevan Olsen, or Mr. Kim Garvey, her national PR spokesman, to book author appearances, interviews or to obtain further information. Mr. Olsen may be reached at bolsen@cedarfort.com, by calling the number listed above, or by mail at 2373 W 700 S, Springville, UT 84663. Mr. Garvey may be contacted by emailing ComsMgt@aol.com or by mail at 4815 West Sunnyside Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85304.


Visit our website at www.cedarfort.com for Books That Make a Difference.



PREVIOUS REVIEWS:
“Stacy Anderson’s The Santa Letters is storytelling at its best in the finest tradition of American literature. Her wrenching, lucid insight into to the human condition makes it impossible to read this book unmoved bringing us close as we can ever get to another person’s heart and soul through the written word. This eloquent an honestly told remembrance allows the reader to not only witness her story – but live it. A true Christmas classic for now and generations to come.” - Craig L. Clyde, Emmy winning screenwriter and director


“Stacy G. Anderson delivers a true holiday gem that will be passed on from one generation to the next. In the tradition of such classics as Christmas Jars and The Christmas Box, The Santa Letters is a story you will find yourself thinking about long after you’ve finished the last page. Funny, touching and inspiring. A definite Christmas winner!” – J. Scott Savage, author of the national young adult fantasy series Farworld


“The Santa Letters will touch your heart bringing you closer to the Savior. A timeless story that is certain to become a classic.“ - Michele Ashman Bell, author of A Candle in the Window, Perfect Timing and A Modest Proposal.


"I am writing you upon having finished reading The Santa Letters. It is indeed a powerful, thought provoking and potentially life altering work. It is a simple story with a compound message. It is true that we lose our way year to year as we lose sight of meaning and the things that really matter. The Santa Letters effectively and poignantly reminds us of those things. It is a journey that everyone who celebrates Christmas should visit. And, it is an awakening for anyone who has experienced loss. An element of the story; "pass it forward" was particularly meaningful and appreciated and 'Santa's' Survival Kit for the New Year' inspired. Thank you for sharing this touching & meaningful story." - Libby Brien, Producer/Director Flicker Fusion, Inc.


“The Santa Letters” by Stacy Gooch Anderson, 200 pages, hardback, will be available on Amazon.com August 1, at most national book retail chains and bookstores this fall, by telephone at 1-800-sky-book or on-line at www.cedarfort.com

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Updates on everything

I told you all I was being a bad host for virtual book tours. I am supposed to be hosting Stacy Gooch Anderson on the 20th (tomorrow) with a review of The Santa Letters and an interview. For more on her book tour, you will have to check her blog out for a listing of places to follow. The list is extensive and the tour has been going on for a while apparently.

Next week, I'll be hosting two virtual book tours, one for Chris Verstraete and Search for a Starry Night on Tuesday (I think this will be fun since she has it set up as a scavanger hunt from stop to stop) and one for Vivian Zabel and Midnight Hours. I need to finish reading Midnight Hours so I can post a review for Vivian. Fear not, it won't take too long to read and get that written. Vivian is offering a one prize deal for her tour, so check for details next week.

Band update: We have finished our regular season of competitions. This past Saturday was upper state (online there had been 26 bands listed to compete but when we arrived only 19 in the program). To get to state, a band has to be in the top 6 from upper state and top 6 from lower state - so there are supposed to be 12 bands competing for the title of best in the state. We hosted a competition on the first week, did a competition the next week, and two the following week. Saturday was upper state and we placed 4th out of the 19 bands that competed. This is pretty good considering we only competed in three actual competitions during this season. It seems that they keep cutting our competitions shorter and shorter. Before you know it, we will host a competition and then the next week will be upper state - but hope not - that would be hard on the kids not having the opportunity to go up against schools in regular competitions and see what they need to work on. It's been a crazy season but we survived.

Next weekend, I will miss the state competition but my ears and eyes will let me know what happens. I may post some pictures of the season but just haven't had time of late.

I'll be attending the SCWW Writer's conference in Myrtle Beach again this year (Oct. 24 - 26th) and am so looking forward to this. With one book in the series of 50 published and the second on its way, I'm hoping that soon I can be on panel discussions or do workshops at book festivals and things like the SCWW conference. I can hope for the fame some way some day.

Be on the lookout for more updates as I get them - see you all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Halloweeny Tag (Childish or Childhood Games)

Holly (clink on Title to find the original posting) has tagged me again (must be because the JGDS is hosting her on another Trockle tour this week and we are tying everything into Halloween which is just 26 days away. So I will play and try to have fun and tag some people this go round.


Here are the rules: One person is "It" - that'd be me. The rest of y'all - RUN!! If I tag you (as in, reach out through the monitor and grab you by the arm, or visit your blog and say "You're IT!" or somehow suck you in and get you to read this post), you're IT! YOU, in turn, must answer the questions below, then go tag as many people as you can. You can repost these rules, or point to this blog entry for explanations. If you're feeling super-creative this morning, you can even post your answer in video form, on YouTube! Or in audio form! Phone it in to Utterli.com! Or...oh, just play, okay? Then come back here and post a link to your reply. That's important - post a link here so we can all see what you did when it was your turn to be "It." I mean, you could just take your marbles and go home, like the kid who says, "This is stupid. I don't wanna BE 'It' again. I'm going home. What a bunch o' losers." But then good luck finding anyone to go trick-or-treating with at the end of the month.

1) What were your favorite games to play when you were a kid? Do you remember the rules? Share them here (bored kids grounded from video games will thank you):

Games - we played games? I played school and made my brothers endure lesson after lesson of whatever I could figure out was good school material. Of course, reading was always a requirement. Card games came early from my parents - we learned how to play spades but not many people really know how to nowadays. The rules vary from region to region I think. I know my parents taught us 2-handed spades, 3-handed spades and of course 4-handed spades which is played as partners. I have tried teaching my kids to play spades but they don't get it.

The object of the game is to take as many "tricks" as you can. You have to first bid or guess how many tricks you think you can take (Aces are always good bets to take tricks and if you have the Kings, Queens and maybe the Jacks to back them up, those are pretty much good calls, especially in 2-handed spades but be careful not to count on all those as tricks if you have an abundance of one suit; it's very possible your opponent has none or very few in that suit and will "trump" your high cards with a spade). Once you count how many tricks you think you can take, you write that guess down and then play out the hand. If you just make what you guessed you would make you get a 0 added behind the number you guessed (let's say you think you can take 5 tricks and your opponent says he can take 7 tricks and you make 5 exactly, then your opponent has made 8 (because there are 13 tricks available - in 2-handed and 4-handed spades; in 3-handed spades there are 17 tricks availble - you take out the 2 of clubs and shuffle and distribute the remaining 51 cards between the three people playing (51 divided by 3 = 17)). So in this example, you would score 50 and your opponent would score 71. You keep playing hands until you reach a set "winner's" score or until you become tired and bored with the game. The highest score wins.

2) Did you go trick-or-treating when you were a kid? What was your favorite costume ever?

I remember going trick-or-treating with my brothers and friends but don't remember any of my costumes.

3) How old is "too old" to go trick-or-treating?

If you are a kid at heart, you are never too old to go trick-or-treating.

4) Do you remember any silly or gross songs or rhymes from your childhood (like, "Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts")? Share them with us!

The only one that comes to mind is "Found a Peanut" or the "Bumble Bee" song

(both are too long to post the words to - Found a peanut, it was rotten, ate it anyway, got sick, died and went to heaven, - I don't remember all the verses and the bumble bee song - I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee, Ouch, he stung me; I'm squashing up a baby bumble bee, ...; and again don't remember any more words or verses - but you can always look them up somewhere. I'm sure that one version that shows up will have the words I learned.

5) What is your favorite Halloween memory?

Halloween memory? I'm supposed to remember stuff from over 30 years ago? Oy vey. I don't really have any favorite memories. Maybe that is because nothing stands out as memorable. I can't even remember my costumes let alone my favorite Halloween Memory.

6) What goodies do you hope to find in your treat bag this Halloween?

With band season upon us and my kids teenagers, they don't go trick-or-treating. If their father is off and he feels like taking them to the neighborhoods that still participate in trick-or-treating, he will take them but usually there are no treats or not many by the time they get home. So I don't expect any tricks or treats this year.

Okay, YOUR TURN!! You're IT!

I'm tagging Chai (http://raindropsays.blogspot.com/), Janelle (http://janelledakota.blogspot.com/), Mary Ann (http://thebrokentree.blogspot.com/), Henri the Ghost (http://henritheghost.blogspot.com/), and Cassie (http://cassielitton.blogspot.com/) - I know that is only 5 but that is all I can think of right now. So if you are reading my blog and feel inclined to participate, consider yourself tagged and leave a comment if you take the tag and run with it posting your link so I can go read your meme. Have fun with it and keep the tag going.

(This tag is in conjunction with Holly's Trockle Trick-or-Treat tour which I'm hosting on my other blog - http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com later this week. Trockle is a created monster - the monster under the bed to be exact - who has all kinds of funky features (he is orange and bumpy like a basketball, has one eye, three fingers with long pointed, green colored fingernails) and with whom we are going to have fun. So stop by the different host stops and see what kind of tricks or treats we may have for you.

TROCKLE TOUR SCHEDULE:

October 5:
Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors
http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog/

October 6:
Joyce Anthony @ Books and Authors
http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog/

October 7:
Janet @ Janet’s Book Nook
http://www.sheneedstoknow.com/booknook

October 8:
Kimberly @ All About Kimberly
http://www.allaboutkimberly.com

October 9:
Jen (Pantheistic Mom) @ My Terrene Reality
http://terrenereality.blogspot.com

October 10:
Elysabeth Eldering @ the Junior Geography Detective Squad
http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com/

October 11:
Ron Berry @ The Surreal Writer
http://unwriter1.wordpress.com/

October 12:
Lynne Thompson @ La Vida Es Un Sueno
http://suenogrande.blogspot.com/

October 13:
Wrap-up by Holly Jahangiri and Jordan M. Vinyard
http://blog.jahangiri.us

There Will Be Prizes!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tagged, yet again!!

Wow, Tagging is becoming a way of blogging now - lol - I've been tagged on two Multiply sites (Rena's site and Crystalee's site) as well as Holly's blog. On Rena's site, I was asked to answer 20 questions, so if you want to be tagged to do that one, you can go here and play that one; and on Holly's and Crystalee's, I was asked to do 6 random things about myself, so you can take whichever tag you want. I don't have people to tag so figure if you read my blogs or anything, consider yourself tagged - lol; how's that.

The rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you: Holly Jahangiri, Do I Have to Spell it Out?

2) Post the rules on the blog: Here you go.

3) Write six random things about yourself:

Okay, here goes:

- I'm highly allergic to aspirin - if I get even the tiniest amount of aspirin in my system, I go into anaphylaxis.
- I'm working towards a van and house (sometime in the far future it seems)
- I was shy when I was a youngun (true - it would take me a long time to make friends or speak to people). I didn't overcome this shyness until I was in college (but now, only shy for short periods of time, unless there is an immediate click when I meet someone)
- I have never had a broken bone but have had probably close to 150 stitches at some point or another (I have had three cesarean sections and had a hernia repair, knee surgery and busted my face twice with stitches right below my lower lip (a tiny X marks the spot) and stitches above my eye)
- Five and six are just not coming to me so I guess if you want more random things about me - you need to read my posting from 2007 and read some more random things (although in looking back, one of the things about me is the same - the aspirin allergy)
- (*five - just thought of this) - the first movie I ever saw in a theater was "Sound of Music" and it was during a very rare mother/daughter outing - which included my grandmother. I was big stuff back then - going to an actual theater with my grandmother and mother.


4) Tag six people at the end of your post: Tagged at end and beginning - whoever is reading my blog is tagged.

5) Let each person know they have been tagged: Not sure who all reads so can't leave them a message.

6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up: Okay, Holly, Crystalee and Rena - my tags are up -


"Tag, You're It!"


I'm tagging the six people who may be reading my blog right now - lol unless you have already been tagged and have posted your six random items.

I will also cross post this on my Multiply site - so consider everyone tagged who feels like responding - E :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coffee, Tea and you want me to host what?

Virtual book tours (or blog book tours) are the wave of the future. With the economy as it is and finances dropping (as well as some institutions on the verge of collapse), doing a live book tour is getting near impossible. The travel alone is the biggest expense an author has to incur to do a book tour. You have to spend your time schmoozing with the managers of the bookstores or wherever you happen to want to set up a book signing with no guarantee that you will make enough sales (that's of course sales for the store and receiving royalties months later which amount to pennies on the dollar; most authors make less than $1 per book, even priced at $25 for a hardback copy), then either book a flight or drive to your destination, book a hotel for the number of nights you plan to be in the area and then of course eat out or on the run. Then you pack up and head out either to the next destination or home. Expenses are racking up with no definite income based on the sales or lack of sales you may have.

So what's an author to do? Well, a simple solution is to do a virtual book tour. This is done online and if you don't have a regular day job that you have to get dressed for, you could actually visit all your tour stops in your pajamas. But I wouldn't recommend it since someone told me before that if you want to feel the part, you need to dress the part. At least put on comfortable clothing just in case you need to run out during the day for that cup of coffee or you need a break.

I have hosted several tours of late and have been a poor host. That is until the recent tour on my JGDS blog with Trockle. No, I wasn't the best host for the tour but I was more active and participated in the tour more than I have other tours. Why? The difference could have been that I am writing children's books now and felt that promoting a child's book would help get my blog noticed and hopefully boost sales for me as well as the author of Trockle, or maybe it was because Vivian (my publisher) was the one putting it together and since it was a fellow author in the same publishing house I felt obligated to do a better job than previously.

Most of the other tours I have hosted have been from a professional service and it was kind of "here is the tour we are doing now and would you mine posting something on such and such day" and then it was over and done with - not much contact with the author (if any at all) nor the people putting on the tour. I felt distant, like I didn't really need to worry about anything. I would post my obligatory article, that I volunteered to do but there would be nothing in return. I didn't see much change in the hits or comments on my blog during a tour stop than before. I was a bad host. You have to stay active, authors in contact with hosts and keep things out there in the public's eye in order to have a successful tour.

I am about to host three more tours, one on the JGDS blog and two here and because of the guidelines Holly and Vivian have come up with, I believe I will be a better host and having been more active in the most recent tour doesn't hurt either.

If you are a fellow writer and want to have your book hosted, it is fine but remember to stay involved with the tour all the way to the end. Post responses on your host blogs as the comments build during the day on a particular spot. Promote yourself like crazy everywhere you have connections. Your blog should be very active during the time of your tour. Your hosts need to make sure they talk your book up during the tour as well, not just for the day they host you but all the stops you plan on making during your tour. Try to offer your hosts something. Maybe have contests and have door prizes, doesn't have to be anything that costs a lot, but offer something. Your hosts and followers will participate more if you have something to give away.

For more guidelines on what makes a good host, email me at eeldering@gmail.com and I'll share with you the list Holly and Viv have come up with and are willing to share with future hosts.

So, yes, I will host book tours and I will be a good hostess and promote your book to help you out.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So busy (in other words - too much to do and so little time to do it in)

A lot has happened since I last posted. Let's see - a friend of Hailie's family moved; she is also in band with Hailie and so I've been granted temporary guardianship so that she could continue in band and not mess things up for the program; Benjamin had decided at the end of the school year he wanted to play football (against my wishes that he participate in something safer) and then after band camp had started, he decided he wanted to go back into marching band. The first week of band camp was an 8 to 12 week; the girls attended Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday, Trish's throat started bleeding from her tonsillectomy (scab came off and she was bleeding not as much as she thought) I had to run up the road to take Trish to the on-call doctor for the group that had done her tonsillectomy. Cauterized the bleeding spot and sent her on her way (told her to rest, not be active in the colorguard until this week). Thursday took the girls up to practice (they had to be there after lunch for a bit) and when I picked them up, the colorguard director (if you want to call her that) came over to my car and told me to leave Trish at home (she sat and observed, did not participate) because she (the director) had her nieces and nephew and daughter up there and she was worried that Trish might be contagious and didn't want to chance her infant/toddler niece would get something (hello - Trish had her tonsils taken out and is no longer contagious; the whole reason for taking them out was to prevent her from contracting strep throat and other diseases as is. Her bleeding is not contagious; just a part of the healing process. So how stupid of the director to say something like this.)

Friday had to run Hailie to the doctor to have this lump (inflamed lymph node probably) on her neck checked out. Found out sheh as tonsilitis and will need a tonsillectomy and lymph node resection. The doctor also checked Trish's ears (not a patient and not on the schedule) because she was complaining of her throat up to her ears hurting and I was going to have to run her up to the Urgent Care or one of those facilities and I'd forgotten to have the ENT look at her when he cauterized her throat Wednesday; Hailie's ENT doctor was very nice and just checked her out and said it was all part of the healing process from the tonsillectomy, advised her on what she needed to do and that the pain would go away (by Monday night or Tuesday morning the pain had disappeared which was two weeks postoperative for Trish). After the doctor's appointments had to get a bit of shopping done, then meet with Trish's mother to sign the papers and get them notarized and get Hailie back up to practice to play catch up.


Band camp long week started this past Monday. It seems I had something to do Monday but I don't remember at this point. Tuesday I had to take Trish to the doctor in the opposite direction for her followup appointment with the ENT who did her tonsillectomy. Got her back right at lunch time which was good timing on my part, lol. I had to go see my doctor in the afternoon due to a toothache and needing an antibiotic.

This week they have been up at the school from 8 AM to 8 PM, with an hour for lunch and 45 minutes for dinner (band booster club provides them with supper which is usually donated from our local businesses). They are so worn out, it's a miracle they can even take their showers when returning in the evening. I only live 5 minutes from the school but by time they get out (has been after 8 when they are finished so far) and I take the rider home (yes I have a full car every day - three girls and Benjamin in the Focus), and possibly pick up a quick snack type food and get home, it has been about 9 or later.

Yesterday, I did another presentation at the Belton Center for the Arts in their summer camp program (theme this year is storybook time). I read from State of Wilderness and let the kids guess the state, but Stephanie would rather just tell them the state and not let them buy the book and figure it out on their own, so she wants me to read clue #25 (which is my giveaway clue on all my states I hope) and let them guess. This group didn't seem as enthused as the first group I did a couple of weeks ago. Overall, it was good though. I dropped off three press releases to the local newspaper next door to the Center for the Arts and am awaiting a picture from Stephanie to post on the other blog.

Today, the kids decided they didn't want to bring their lunches so they want me to go to Burger King and take their lunches to them. So in a bit, I'm heading out to hit the pavement again to pick up lunches and check mail.

State #2 has some progress made - I've got 5 clues with dialogue and interaction with my characters and the bonus clue in place; I've added 6 more clues that are at the end but not added anything else yet (since each state will have 27 clues and I know what the last two clues for each state are going to be, I will put those in automatically. The 25th clue in each book should be the giveaway clue (something that is common knowledge and just seems so trivial you don't think about it). I'm going to include a silly law (State #1's is - It is illegal to give another citizen in this state a box of candy weighing more than 50 pounds. State #2's is a good one (remember to pronounce your states properly or you could go to jail) but I shall wait to reveal it later.

Okay - that's how busy I've been lately - see you all in the postings - E :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bob Avey guest poster

As promised, Bob Avey has written an interesting article on going from short stories to writing novels. Here is his posting. See you all in the postings - E :)


From 2,500 to 80,000 in 4.5 seconds
By Bob Avey

Transitions of any kind offer the potential for difficulties, but changing from a writing form that possesses unexplored territory to one you know even less about serves up a different set of problems. When it comes to writing, as with any endeavor, a community of like-minded people can offer support and understanding, which can go a long way, but sometimes following the advice of others can have unexpected results.

I began writing at an early age, when I was in the ninth grade to be exact, but, for reasons I don’t really understand, I didn’t take it seriously until I was caught up in the throws of a rather intense midlife crisis during my late thirties. Of course, I’d fallen in love with reading many years before that, when my third grade teacher gave us a break from Dick and Jane and introduced us to fairy tales, fantasy stories that offered interesting characters with problems worth reading about. From that, my starting out with fantasy short stories when I began writing exhibits a logical path. However, by that time, due to a fascination with writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz, my literary tastes had begun to lean toward the dark side.

At the apex of this psychological meltdown, my wife and I decided to move the family back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we’re both from. I’d spent years traveling the southern half of the country, working in the oil and gas industry and we both harbored desires of getting back to our roots. Apart from the love of my wife and family, about the only thing holding me together during this period was my desire to write, and once we were settled in I contacted the local library system and asked about writers’ groups in the area. The library staff put me in touch with The Tulsa NightWriters, a group I still belong to. After attending a few meetings, I learned that some of the members had formed a critique group, which met once a week. I made a few inquiries and soon I was sitting in a room, reading out loud words that no one outside the family had previously seen or heard. As it turned out, the rather conservative members of the group weren’t exactly thrilled about what I was writing. Looking back, I guess some of the stories were pretty bad. Anyway, the group encouraged me to abandon short stories and begin a novel. In addition they suggested, perhaps a bit more subtly, that I choose a more serious subject matter. You can probably imagine how I felt. Being a new writer, unaccustomed to constructive criticism, I was devastated.

As a result, I dropped out of the critique group. But that didn’t last. A few weeks later, I sat at home, brooding over what I’d thought at the time to be overly harsh words, when something happened. An idea began to form. Stories come to me in different ways, but often they will start with what I call a snippet of character monologue or dialogue. I don’t think I’m schizophrenic or anything, but I often hear – actually it’s a thought process, but it seems like they are talking – my characters talk. In this particular instance, a rather forceful character said, “You can’t fill out a homicide report, indicating the suspect to be a ghost.” That caught my attention. It was obviously some kind of cop story, which should satisfy the conservative critique group members, but at the same time there was this ghost element, which gave me something to work with. I went to my desk and wrote a few pages. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, I was still a little miffed, or hurt over the group’s comments, so I decided to poke a little fun at them. I would give them what they wanted, only in an exaggerated format, everything, from characterization to dialogue would be over the top. That’s how I wrote it. When it came time for the next critique session, I grabbed my pumped up pages and attended the meeting. However, when my turn to read came up, I almost chickened out. After all, I didn’t really want to make anyone angry, which is what I was sure would happen if I continued. Before I could stop myself, though, I began to read my little literary joke. I nearly fell out of my chair when the comments started. The group members were not offended. On the contrary, they loved it, praising me to the point of embarrassment. Well, at that point I couldn’t very well tell them it was a joke, so I just kept writing. About a year later, I had a completed novel manuscript. And that’s how I made the transition from short story writing, to writing novels.

Being around people who offer support and caring through a sharing of interests not only makes things easier, but is also an avenue to lasting friendships. Similarly, making the transition from one form of writing to another should not be feared, but welcomed as a means of learning and an expansion of horizons. Don’t be afraid to take a little advice along the way. You never know where it might lead.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beneath a Buried House by Bob Avey

This is the snyopsis of Bob's book, Beneath a Buried House. Check out more info here.

Synopsis: Things aren’t always what they seem. A police detective’s quest to uncover the truth behind the death of a transient makes him a target…from whom or what, he isn’t sure.

Tulsa Police Detective, Kenny Elliot, brushes the dirt from the surface of an apparent John Doe overdose case, finding a labyrinth of misdirection and deception beneath, and a trail, which leads him to the dark side of religion, a place where anything can happen.


ORDERING INFORMATION: B&N
Amazon
Product Details
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Deadly Niche Press (June 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0937660817
ISBN-13: 978-0937660812
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces


EXCERPT:

BENEATH A BURIED HOUSE
Chapter 1


People go missing. Llewellyn knew that as well as anyone but when a whole family fell victim to such a fate, that tended to get his attention. It had the interest of someone else as well. Threats had been made. But the way he saw it, with Millie gone, he didn't have all that much to lose anyway.

Llewellyn watched his step as he moved from the sidewalk to the street, for it was dark, the sun skimming the bottom of the sky in a thin, red line, the color of embers clinging to life in a dying campfire. A disturbing thought—a deep suspicion that had grown to such proportion that he feared it might twist his reasoning—snaked through him. He'd previously abandoned the project with good reason.

At times like this, he would think back to when he was a boy, visiting his mother. Her house sat on a small hill and behind it was a pond with huge willow trees growing from its banks. It always struck him as odd that the surface of the water remained calm and never rippled, as if it were not real at all, but a painting, an artificial backdrop put there for the effect.

Llewellyn had resolved that he too would be like the waters of the pond, unmovable, unflappable, and later, during his adult life, he would call on that image, not every time the going got tough, but when life got particularly hard.

He stared at the dilapidated building with a sign hanging from it; a cheap plastic job with florescent lights inside that backlit the bar's name: CYMRY'S.

He shook his head and pushed open the door, a heavy wooden model that looked out of place, as if it had been ripped from the hinges of an old house and brought there against its will.

Just inside the door, Llewellyn paused, and when his eyes adjusted to the darkness he took a seat in the second booth by the window, like the man who called himself Jerry Sinclair had told him to do. Llewellyn was five minutes late, and he hoped that wouldn't matter, though he saw no one fitting Sinclair's description. At least the darkness was explained. It was the d├ęcor, which included the walls and the ceilings, and even the floors. Everything was black with the exception of a large piece of red artwork that radiated from the center of the floor in a rather unprofessional manner, as if it were a bad afterthought, the awkward brushstrokes obvious even from a distance.

Llewellyn waited but no one showed. He checked his watch. Thirty minutes had passed. He slid out of his seat and went to the bar. The man had his back turned but a mirrored wall showed his face. He must've known Llewellyn was there though he did not acknowledge him. Llewellyn laid a five on the counter. "I'd like a beer, please."

The man gave no visible indication he had heard the request.

"I'll just cut to the chase then," Llewellyn said. "What I really need is some information."

Turning around, the man drew a pint of lager, then set it down and snatched up the five. "What kind of information?"

Llewellyn slid his hand around the cool, damp handle, then brought the mug to his lips, relishing the bitter yet soothing brew. After a few sips, he said, "Does the name Jerry Sinclair mean anything to you?"

"Doesn't jump out at me."
"He said he would be wearing blue jeans and a tan corduroy jacket. Have you seen anyone like that?"
"Not since the eighties."
"Right, some people are habitually late. Perhaps Mr. Sinclair is one of those." After a pause, unable to control his inquisitiveness, Llewellyn asked, "What's up with the artwork on the floor?"

The bartender leaned forward, placing his beefy hands on the railing. "Don't know. It's always been there."

Llewellyn had dealt with his kind before; smug, confident with his size, and, as with any animal, the less challenging you could make yourself the better your odds were. He slouched a little. "Do you know what it is?"

"Maybe."

The bartender said this with a crooked grin, as if he and he alone were privy to the mysteries of the universe, which undoubtedly meant he knew nothing.

"If I had to guess," Llewellyn said, "I'd say it has something to do with the occult. But what do I know?"

Llewellyn retrieved one of his business cards and held it out. "I'm a reporter, on assignment."

Taking the card, the bartender examined it. "Florida? Long way from home, aren't you?"

"I go where the story takes me."
"Is that right?"
"So you haven't seen him, the guy I asked about?"
"Who?"
"Jerry Sinclair."

The bartender squinted. "Are you sure you're in the right place?"
"I'm sure."
"What kind of assignment are you on?"

Llewellyn sipped his beer, then set it down. "I look for the unusual. A few years back, I was working some leads, concerning a small town near here. You know, bizarre circumstances and all of that. Good Stuff. I decided to revive it, made a few phone calls, sent some e-mails, ran an ad in the paper. Then I get this reply from Sinclair. He claimed to have some information. It's not unusual. I get lucky like that sometimes."

Llewellyn heard the door and realized someone else had finally come into the place. The bartender had noticed as well, and Llewellyn took the opportunity to return to his booth by the window.

Three people had come in, and unlike Llewellyn they did not look out of place inside Cymry's, which meant they were not wearing dress pants and button-down shirts. Nor were any of them wearing blue jeans and a corduroy jacket.

One of them, a tall, slender girl wearing tight leather pants, strolled across the floor, stopping in front of the jukebox. Llewellyn couldn't imagine what kind of music might be popular in such a place, but it wasn't the anticipation of the music that held his attention. Even dressed as she was, the girl captivated him and he could not stop looking at her, which was a mistake. That indefinable female sense that alerts a woman to a man's attention seemed present in full force; she turned her head toward him.

Llewellyn looked away. He was asking for trouble. He thought of Millie. Not once during their thirty years together had he cheated on her, and he wasn't about to start now. He heard someone walk across the floor toward him, and he prayed that it would be Sinclair, that he had come through the door while Llewellyn wasn't looking and was even now preparing to slide into the other side of the booth across the table from him.

As a thick, musky smell of perfume crossed Llewellyn's senses, desperation shot through him. He turned his head, looking at the smooth patch of skin between the bottom of her shirt and the beginning of her leather pants. A tattoo of Saint Brighid's cross moved sensuously with the muscles of her stomach.

She said nothing. Llewellyn could feel her staring down at him, and when he finally raised his head, allowing for the first time their eyes to meet, he felt like the victim in an old vampire movie: frightened by the nature of his captor but hopeful that she would find him desirable and as he looked into her face, the thought occurred to him that if the eyes are truly the windows to the soul then hers was surely dark.

A color somewhere between purple and black graced her lips, as it did her fingernails. Her hair, which jabbed at the air in choreographed insolence, was as dark as either of these.

Llewellyn slid deeper into the booth, exposing an unused section of the vinyl cushion. She sat down. Llewellyn began to wonder, and not for the first time, what sort of person she really was and why was he, a slightly over-the-hill freelancer, entertaining romantic thoughts about a distant cousin of Vlad the Impaler? She was no teenager, but still half his age, twenty-four or twenty-five he suspected, and about as far away from his type as you could get. The pressure of her leg against his made none of that seem to matter.

She grinned. "You look a little out of place. Are you lost?"
"I'm here on business."

She lit a cigarette, and in response to Llewellyn's answer, she blew the smoke out a little harder than she needed to, the exhaust propelled into the air by something that could only be described as a prelude to a laugh. "What kind of business?"

Llewellyn checked his watch. Nearly forty-five minutes had passed and still his contact had not shown. In his opinion, that was late, even for the very lax. "I'm meeting someone, or at least I was supposed to."

"Sounds to me," she said, playing with the lapel of his jacket, "like maybe you just did."

Llewellyn nodded. He tried to concentrate, but his thoughts were all over the place.

"Maybe your girlfriend changed her mind."
"Come again?"
"Your little trick."

Llewellyn shook his head. "There's no trick."

She leaned closer, bringing her shoulders forward in an unspoken offer.

Llewellyn glanced up to see the bartender hovering over the booth. He wasn't sure how he'd gotten there without his hearing him or seeing his approach. "This guy bothering you?" the bartender asked.

The girl smiled and touched his arm, old friends apparently. "Nothing I can't handle, Snub." She reached over and took Llewellyn's hand. "Just a little business."

"You know this guy?"

She winked. "I do now."

The bartender turned and stalked away. He acted protective, like an older brother, siblings from the dark side looking out for one another. It amazed Llewellyn that no matter how low you sank in life, you could still find evidence of a sense of community.

Llewellyn wondered what it might be like to be with this strange woman. Then, she leaned close, and with a kiss that teased with a slip of her tongue she said that she wanted him as well, or at least she intended to give him that impression.

He pushed away slightly. "Look, I'm not sure this is a good idea."

"Yes you are. You're just afraid to give in to it."
"You read me pretty well."
"I usually do."

Llewellyn felt insecure, trapped. "I really am meeting someone."

"So where are they?"
"I don't know. I'm starting to have my doubts."

She let go of Llewellyn's hand and lit another cigarette. "Okay, I'll lay it out straight. Sinclair sent me."

"Is that right? Why would he do that?"
"I don't know. But he said to tell you that he has the whole story, everything that you're looking for."

She took a long draw on her cigarette. Llewellyn usually felt a mixture of sorrow and disdain when he saw someone do that, but she impressed him as someone who could handle just about anything, and anyone. His sense of good judgment, what he had left of it anyway, was telling him to excuse himself from this odd encounter, yet he resisted that urge. He hadn't told her Sinclair's name, and yet she knew it. He certainly hadn't said anything about a story. He'd always been drawn to the unusual, the unexplained, that which frightens most people—and here it all was, epitomized in this intimidating yet fascinating person. "So what happens next?"

"I'm supposed to take you somewhere. A private place where you can talk."
"Thanks," Llewellyn said, indicating with a nudge that he was ready to leave. "But I really should be going."

He half expected her to move closer and refuse to let him out, but instead she slid from the booth. Llewellyn did the same and started for the door, and then it occurred to him that he had no car and there would be no cabs waiting on the street in this part of town. He signaled the bartender. "Could you call a cab?"

The strange girl put her arm through Llewellyn's, and he realized that not only had they not exchanged names but he had anticipated her actions and welcomed her touch. She evaluated him with her gaze. "Save the call, Snub. I've got a car."

The look on the bartender's face said he was confused, and it seemed that in some strange way he might even be concerned for Llewellyn. "Whatever you think," he said.

"It's nice of you to offer," Llewellyn said to the girl, "but I hate to impose."

His resistance, though, was superficial at best. Still holding his arm, she shook her head and guided him through the door. Once they were outside, she pulled him close and they kissed again. He was in deep, and he knew it, but he kept going along with it. In the parking lot, they stopped beside a red Monte Carlo, and she did something that surprised Llewellyn. She tossed him the keys. "You drive."

Llewellyn stuck the key into the slot and opened the door, and after getting inside he reached over and unlocked the passenger side. She gave him directions and Llewellyn followed them, driving farther from his place with every block. A little later she said, "Turn here. We'll park in the back."

When they got out of the car, Llewellyn glanced around the area, seeing a few spent wine bottles. "No offense," he said, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about this. Maybe I should go."

"All right, but come in for a quick drink. I won't keep you. I promise." She ran a long nail along his jaw, making it an almost predatory gesture and an enticing one.

As they approached the building, it occurred to Llewellyn that her place didn't look much better than the bar.

She turned to look at him and caught him surveying the lines of the building. "Neat old place, huh? I like it here, love the vibes, if you know what I mean."

"It does have character," Llewellyn said.

She unlocked the door and they stepped into a small landing. The place was grim, and populated, Llewellyn suspected, by various strata of socioeconomic defeat, and as they walked the red, carpeted hallway, a red that reminded Llewellyn of blood, he thought of Dante's Inferno, for as they walked deeper into the building each successive apartment appeared more steeped in despair.

The girl's place was no exception, and once inside, Llewellyn could not imagine anyone actually living there. From a chip-edged kitchen table, she grabbed a bottle of bourbon and poured some into a glass, mixed in a little soda, and handed it to him.

He swirled the amber mixture, unable to meet her eyes. His heart pounded. Leave. Just gulp it down and leave.

Before he could consider other options, she took the untouched drink and placed it on the table. Then she took Llewellyn's hand and placed it on her stomach, where she began to guide it upward, beneath her shirt, until it came to rest upon the warm, soft flesh of her breast.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bob Avey bio

My guest on the 21st of this month will be Bob Avey. He is an Oklahoma writer who will join me with a posting about going from short stories to novels. For more info on Bob, you can find it on his website.



Bob Avey is the author of the Kenny Elliot mystery series, which includes Twisted Perception, released April 2006, and Beneath a Buried House, June 2008, several short stories and various non-fiction articles. He lives with his wife and son in Broken Arrow , Oklahoma where he works as an accountant in the petroleum industry, and when he’s not writing or researching mystery writing techniques, he spends his free time prowling through dusty antique shops looking for the rare or unusual, or roaming through ghost towns, searching for echoes from the past. Through his writing, which he describes as a blend of literary and genre, he explores the intricacies and extremities of human nature.

Bob is a member of The Tulsa NightWriters, The Oklahoma Writers Federation (active board member for 2006), The Oklahoma Mystery Writers, and Mystery Writers of America.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Book cover nominated for Author's Lounge cover of the month award

Click the title of this post to be taken directly to the Author's Lounge, Children's book covers nominated for the cover of the month award.

Everything is moving in a very positive direction. Proof will be with Vivian today and order placed and book should be in hand by the week of the 21st of this month. If my cover wins this month's cover of the month award, I can add that to my portfolio of awards and that would be so awesome.

Stop by the Author's Lounge and cast your vote. Don't forget to place your order here for your copy. If you don't want to order directly, then stop by Decatur Book Festival and pick up your autographed copy. If not there, email me directly and I will get a copy out to you (after the 1st of August). Vote and get your copy today - see you in the postings - E :)


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For a bit of mystery, trivia, geography, and history, check out the JGDS series.

Where will the adventure take you next?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Upcoming author spotlight

Bob Avey will have a guest posting on my blog July 21st. I have read his book "Beneath a Buried House" and hope to have a review posted by the end of the week (along with a couple other reviews that are long overdue). I should have his author bio and book ordering info posted before his article. See you all in the postings. - E :)

News and upcoming events

My first book has gone to the printers and is available for ordering now on Vivian's website for only $10.99. The book will be available just in time for school to start back so if you like a bit of trivia, a bit of geography and a bit of history all mixed in one, order your copy today.

If you want to wait until the book is actually out in print, come visit the 4RV group at Decatur Book Festival Labor Day weekend. We will have a book there with all the newly released books available. We will have games, readings, and prizes - lots of fun. Vivian will be doing a 20-minute presentation on "Writing for the Reluctant Reader". I am so looking forward to this trip. There is a lot to be done before the end of August so I guess I better get back on track so I can be ready - looking forward to seeing all you - E :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Walking on a Rainbow: How I Became a Children’s Book Author
By Mayra Calvani

I used to think writing children’s books was boring. Writing for those demanding, whining creatures? Are you kidding? Not for me. No thanks.

That was a few years ago.

Now, nothing fills me with more joy and excitement than writing a picture book or a novel for tweens. Writing for children is like stepping into a fresh, magical, innocent, marvelous world of color and words. Writing for children is, in fact, like walking on a rainbow.

So how did the change happen?

Easy. I had children.

I recently read an interesting post by another children’s author about how in order to write good children’s stories, one must know children. Of course, as always, there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, I find this observation to be true. This doesn’t necessarily mean that one must have children in order to write great children’s stories, but it does mean that one must interact with them, know their fears, fantasies, dreams. In sum, one must have a clear idea of what goes on inside their little heads and hearts.

In my case, having children brought out a tender, gentler part of me to the surface, a part I didn’t know I had. Suddenly, as I read to my little daughter every night, picture books, with their beautiful and evocative illustrations, began to appear very appealing to me. I don’t remember when the exact moment hapenned, the moment when I thought, ‘I want to write a children’s book.’ But I do know I went from extreme to extreme: from chilling horror to sweet picture books. Two very different worlds, but I’m able to switch from one to the other without much problem. On the contrary, each one serves as a refreshing break from the other. So I may work on a lovable children’s story in the morning, and dive into a disturbing werewolf scene in the afternoon. It’s fun, like having split personalities, without the crazy element (or at least, I hope so!).

So far, I’ve written four picture books. Two have already been published: The Magic Violin and CRASH!. The other two are in the illustrating stages and will be released next year. I also have a finished tween novel in the editing stages and another one in progress.

The world of children’s book publishing is extremely competitive, to say the least. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and commitment to become a published author. I know the stakes, but once you step into that magical rainbow, there’s no turning back.

*****
Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author, reviewer, dog lover, and animal advocate. A regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine and American Chronicle, she is also the author of CRASH!, a children’s picture book about a little boy and how he learns to care and find the perfect name for his new golden retriever puppy. Check out her ‘Crash the Puppy’ blog.

Introducing Mayra's newest book, Crash!

This is Mayra's newest addition to her stories.

Ordering can be done from a number of places: amazon.com or Guardian Angel's page.

Stop by Mayra's blog or Pump Up Your Book Promotion for more info.

A quick run down of places Mayra will be:

June 24 - http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ReviewsbyHeidi - Review

June 25 - http://www.fictionscribe.com – Guest Post

June 27 - http://www.thebookstacks.com – Review


Also, Mayra is having a drawing, so be sure to stop by her blog and find out how to be entered for the $20 Amazon.com gift card drawing.

See you all in the postings - E :)