Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my friends & fans!
May you achieve all of your goals & dreams in 2008.
Watch for a change here, as the focus of this blog is about to shift to writing, publishing and author tips.
With a continued dose of optimism, of course!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

How To Promote Your Book Now!

And happiness is having my new seminar outlines & notes all prepared ahead of schedule!
For those getting ready to promote a book, I give you this expanded list:
Recommended Web Sites:
https://www.writersdigest.com/pcd.asp - has list of 100 best sites
http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/ - self publishing & promoting resource
http://www.literarymarketplace.com - book publishing industry resource
http://www.publicityhound.com/ - publicity resource
http://www.sellingbooks.com - book publishing, marketing & writing resources
http://www.inktreemarketing.com/ - self publishing & book marketing
http://www.bookmarket.com - John Kremer’s site
http://www.aeonix.com/ - independent publisher resource
http://www.mysterypromotion.com - book promoting
http://www.bookcatcher.com/ - book publicity & book publishing
http://writingshow.com/ - writing & promoting tips
http://www.sellingbooks.com - promoting resource
http://www.anniejenningspr.com/publicitypro.htm - expert publicity resource
http://www.rtir.com/index.html - Radio & TV Interview Report
http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/SiteMap/northamerica.htm - lists all newspapers
http://www.ontheradio.net - lists all radio stations
http://www.mediapost.com - media listings
http://www.oxbridge.com - Standard Periodicals Directory, magazine listings
http://www.contactanycelebrity.com - for celebrity addresses
http://www.prweb.com - press release service
http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com - virtual tour
http://www.blogads.com/index_html - blog ads
http://www.booktour.com - author/tour listings
http://www.authorsden.com/ - free author websites
http://www.myspace.com - My Space, free website
http://www.bookweb.org/index.html - American Booksellers Association
http://www.quality-books.com - library distributor & PCIP
http://www.pma-online.org - Independent Book Publishers Association
http://www.bookwire.com/bookwire/bookwire.html - Publisher’s Weekly
http://www.ala.org/ - American Library Association
http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/bookfair.html - lists major book festivals
http://www.bookexpoamerica.com - largest US book festival

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Author Websites

I have always jokingly said I had almost a dozen sites on the Internet!
In addition to the sites below, I belong to numerous community groups and have detailed author listings & interviews on sites such as Teens Read Too and Fresh Fiction.
Earthlink site
Okay, I have just boggled my own mind!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas & God Bless!

Merry Christmas everyone! I'll not hide the fact that I celebrate the day as the birth of Christ, my Lord and Savior! Craig and I always treasure the day together, just us and the kitties. I pray everyone's day is equally blessed with love & family!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Everyone has their traditions around the holidays.
We always have a spread of snacks on Christmas Eve, followed by the opening of one gift, and then snuggling on the couch to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. (This year that will be followed by Monday night football!)
Saturday morning will be the opening of the gifts and watching the cats tear through the wrapping paper and boxes. Christmas dinner is usually around 1pm and is a much smaller spread than Thanksgiving.
It's just the two of us and the cats, but don't feel sorry for us!
It's our favorite type of Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Kicking Off The Christmas Season!



We saw Trans Siberian Orchestra again in concert in Raleigh, NC. Fan Club perks got us eleventh row floor seats and we were allowed to bring cameras! I took pictures with my little Nikon CoolPix until the battery died and ended up with almost a hundred good shots.


TSO is just the most amazing experience - one cannot describe it! I've only been through a couple things in my life that were beyond words, and their concert is one of those moments. And I have seen A LOT of concerts, but nothing compares to TSO! It is moving, breathtaking, and almost life-changing.
Christmas has now offically begun!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Author Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Distant Heart (Avon Inspire January 2, 2008)
by Tracey Bateman
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, including Defiant Heart, the First in the Westeard Hearts series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and recently served on the board as President. She loves in Lebanon, Montana, with her husband and their four children.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Trans Siberian Orchestra

We will be seeing them in concert VERY soon! We're sitting on the floor, eleventh row - gonna get snowed upon!
In the meantime, I found them on YouTube. A guy in Ohio decorated his house and set the light to go with their song, "Wizards in Winter" - it's absolutely incredible!
Check it out:
And this was LONG before Miller decided to make it a commercial!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Famous

Last night at our photo club Christmas party, one of the members told me that a woman in her mom's group had recommended my books. Ashley laughed and said that she knew me. The other woman didn't believe her! Ashley told me that was the definition of famous - when people don't believe you know a celebrity, that means they are famous.

I don't know about famous, but I did think it was pretty darn funny!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writer Quote

From Dan Poynter's book, "Self-Publishing Manual":

"Recognition is evrything you write for: it's much more than money. You want your books to be valued. It's the basic aspiration of a serious writer."
- William Kennedy

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Author Karen Ball

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
What Lies Within Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)
by Karen Ball

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather - both pastors who shared God's truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…
until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.
Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.
Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.
Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

The book link is:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Book CLub Link

For those looking for a book club, either reader or author, this site has listings for all fifty states, plus a list of all independent book stores:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Publishing & Promoting

I have numerous Publishing, Promoting and Overcoming Obstacles seminars scheduled for next year!

Go to my Current Events page to see when I am coming to a city near you : http://www.thecircleoffriends.net/id6.html

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Circle is Complete...

My last and final stop for 2007 was yesterday at my favorite Waldenbooks. It was a repeat visit, and I'd not planned to do any appearances after Thanksgiving, but they'd begged me to return.

I have to admit I am a little beat. The tour for JAMES was exhausting, too. Fortunately HEATHER will not be out until 2009, which gives me a chance to recover next year. I'll still make appearances, of course. I've numerous seminars and book festivals, plus I'll do some signings in the spring. But it won't be at this fall's break-neck speed.

I have no regrets though - this has been an incredible year, full of new opportunities and a slew of new friends. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Important Book by Jocelyn Andersen

An author and friend of mine currently has a book out that many women need to read!

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence
Is packed with information which not only empowers battered / abused Christian women to navigate the minefield of abuse and domestic violence, but it also empowers churches, Christian Ministries and individuals to offer compassionate, effective and biblical support to the battered or abused women within their congregations and spheres of influence.

Her website is: http://jocelynandersen.com/

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Season’s Greetings! Thank you again for your support. This year yielded incredible results, both for myself as an author and for my series, The Circle of Friends. Book IV of the series, MIKE, was released last spring and enjoyed a successful promotional launch. This resulted in numerous interviews and another flurry of book signings, of which I have done close to 250 now in my career, and some great reviews for the fourth book.

Internet presence increased tremendously for my books. In addition to my main website and blog, there are now dozens of sub-sites and numerous book clubs featuring my series. I co-manage an online writer’s group and contribute articles for several other sites. My series now has readers in over a dozen new countries, including South Africa and New Zealand. Two virtual tours have also increased online awareness and garnered many new fans.

My previous experience as a speaker began to pay off this year as I began conducting seminars at North Carolina colleges. I cover publishing and all of the options open to writers today; promoting and marketing; and overcoming obstacles, a very interactive and creative seminar. My appearances now include middle and high schools, where I teach the students how to design and build a believable character. The greatest honor came when I was asked to be a featured speaker at the Book 'Em Festival in Virginia, alongside authors Catherine Coulter and Ellen Hopkins, and participating in a panel discussion on best sellers and a solo talk on book tours.

Next year promises many things as well. While HEATHER: Book V will not be released until 2009, (as it is now under the guidance of a publishing house), I will continue to tour and promote my series. My seminars are scheduled well into May and will continue through the fall. I also intend to complete my first science-fiction novel, a non-fiction book on publishing & promoting, and begin a historical romance. There will also be revisions to the first four books of the series, including new graphics for Books I and II.

None of this would be possible without the support of fans, book industry people and those in the media. Thank you for your enthusiasm and belief! Salacious material may sell, but I refuse to compromise and will continue to push uplifting and positive books for young adults and adults. Making a difference is what truly matters in life!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Author Virginia Smith

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Bluegrass Peril (Steeple Hill December 4, 2007)
by Virginia Smith
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker in the summer of 2005. Since then she has contracted eight novels and numerous articles and short stories.She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including her debut, Just As I Am (Kregel Publications, March 2006) and her new release, Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007). Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines.An energetic speaker, Virginia loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”

ABOUT THE BOOK:
WHO KILLED HER BOSS?
Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she'd only been in the wrong place at the wrong time...admittedly, with her boss's lifeless body. Sure it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing...even if she had opportunity.When the director of the retirement farm for thoroughbred champions is murdered, Becky Dennison teams up with the handsome manager of a neighboring horse farm, Scott Lewis, to find her boss's killer. Soon the amateur detective are hot on the trail of the murderer...even as their feelings for each other deepen.The amateur sleuths uncover a trail of clues that lead them into the intricate society of Kentucky's elite thoroughbred breeding industry. They soon find themselves surrounded by the mint julep set - jealous southern belles and intensely competitive horse breeders - in a high-stakes game of danger, money, and that famous southern pride.And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks has the greatest stakes of all: life or death!

Romantic Times awarded Bluegrass Peril* * * * FOUR STARS! * * * *

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Book 'Em 2008 - Charleston!

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina will be hosting their 1st Annual Book 'Em Event on Saturday, May 24, 2008. Book' Em will take place at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Book 'Em originated in Waynesboro, VA in 2004. They will be holding their 5th Annual Book 'Em on Saturday, October 18, 2008.You can visit their Book 'Em pages by visiting www.bookemfoundation.org.

This ground-breaking Book Fair highlighting the connection between illiteracy and high crime rates features dozens of authors who will be signing their books and giving talks on writing, the publishing industry, and other topics of interest throughout the day.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Seeds Of Greatness

From Denis Waitley's book, "Seeds Of Greatness":

"The First Best-Kept Secret of Total Success is that we must feel love inside ourselves before we can give it to others."

"The Fifth Best-Kept Secret of Total Success is that the reason so many individuals fail to achieve their goals in life is that they never really set them in the first place."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Book Production Services

These come from several publisher's email groups I belong to and offer a variety of services. If you're publishing a book, please check them out:

If you need proofreading, any type of editing, ghostwriting or other help with a book, please take a look at my writing services and editing services page at A Writer's Edge. The Writing Help page also contains some free articles authors might find useful.
Georganna Hancock
10725 Escobar Drive, San Diego CA 92124
858-571-5390
http://www.writers-edge.info/http://www.hancockwebsites.com/

Do you earn as much as you would like from your book? Chances are, your income from book sales is not enough to support you.
My Cash Content Formula course will be officially released next week, but you can get a free preview at http://www.IdeaLady.com/pe.htmWhen you sign up for my free newsletter you will get an ebook and one hour audio about creative ways you can profit from your content. You will also be among the first to be able to purchase the new Cash Content Formula course, and you will have access to special bonuses offered only to my newsletter subscribers.
Cathy Stucker
Author of "The Mystery Shopper's Manual"http://www.MysteryShoppersManual.com/

One of my several hats is providing Cataloging-in-Publication blocks forindependent and self publishers. I have over 10 years of experience inlibraries and with cataloging, and when I started learning about selfpublishing I soon discovered there was a need for CIP data done quickly,at a reasonable price, and with the customer's needs in mind. Please think of me for your CIP block needs!
Adrienne Bashista
CIP Blocks for Independent Publishers
http://www.cipblock.com/

If you ever need a professional and fast turn around on a book project, we provide editing, interior design and layout, and cover design services. With almost eight years in book retailing and eight successful years in publishing, we know what works. Having written over 1,000 book reviews since June of 2002, we know where the trends are headed.
Bob Spear CEO Sharp Spear Enterprises
www.sharpspear.comhttp://www.sharpspear.com
sharpspear@kc.rr.com
410 Delaware, Leavenworth, KS 66048
Store (913) 682-6518
We know how to do all stages of book writing, production, and selling.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcoming Christee Gabour Atwood!

Today I welcome Christee Gabour Atwood!

Her latest book is "A Celebration of Midlife … and Elastic Waistbands"

http://www.christee.biz/ & http://www.journalofamidlifecrisis.com/

Welcome Christee!


Was it always your goal to do a book on midlife crisis?
Well, actually, it was my goal to do any book that lots and lots of people would buy and I would end up rich enough to have a maid so I could see what color my carpet is.
Instead I wrote this one…
I truly love to write and this book was actually born because I found that writing is not only a hobby, it’s my therapy. I started writing all the things that drove me crazy like the fact that Victoria’s “Secret” was that all her pictures are airbrushed. And the fact that my inner child and my outer adult have traded places and refuse to go back to their proper positions. And the realization that I have an exercise bike but it functions as a coat rack.
Then it all came together when a good-looking young fellow held the door for me and called me “ma’am”. I realized that was it. I had started midlife and all these things were part of that experience. To be a little Dickensian – it’s the best of times; it’s the stinkiest of times. (Okay, I took a little license there…)
Since this book came out, I’ve found there are a whole bunch of us who are living in midlife crisis … and actually celebrating it! And being able to share those adventures makes this period of life really funny.

You offer a lot of workshops - which one do you enjoy the most?
I love doing the writers’ workshops because I can really relate to the groups.
I do one workshop where we write the “world’s worst novel”. Talk about a fun way to take the pressure off yourself when writing. We’ve created everything from vampires who faint at the sight of blood to heroines with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. That’s just good stuff…
I also enjoy my sessions on presentation skills for writers, because most of us find it hard to narrow down the description of our works. I like to remind writers that we need to be able to describe our books in 30 seconds. That’s called an “elevator speech” and it’s great in case you find yourself in the company of an editor or agent. You can get the whole plot across to them in the time of an elevator ride. (Then, if the elevator breaks down, you can go through a chapter by chapter description until they finally try to crawl out of the top of the elevator to get away.)

Talk to me about this 101 Uses for a Rubber Chicken workshop!
I find that rubber chickens are a valuable tool, no matter what your profession. They help us keep perspective. They are an attention-getter. And when you use them, no one gets hurt…
For example: I use a rubber chicken in meetings. Whenever someone says something negative, they get the chicken thrown to them. Then they’re stuck with it until someone else says something negative. So the chicken continues to be thrown to anyone who says anything negative. This is a great tool for reminding us to use positive language … and it’s just really funny to watch a naked chicken flapping across the room during a meeting.
I also carry a rubber chicken keychain with me at all times. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously. It also never gets lost at valet parking.
These are the sorts of things we discuss in this workshop. It’s a workshop to remind us that “If I laugh at myself first, then the rest of the world is laughing with me, not at me.”

You write a column for City Social Magazine in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Do you find the routine challenging sometimes? Did Katrina affect the content of your column?
Writing a column is the best exercise for me. Especially since I really fail at the other kinds of exercise that involve that nasty sweating thing…
It’s challenging, but it’s also a way of never allowing myself to use the excuse of “writer’s block”. After all, no other profession allows you to say you’re blocked and take off work. (“I’m sorry. I can’t operate today. I have surgeon’s block.” Nope, that wouldn’t fly at all.) So, it’s good for my discipline.
But there are days when nothing seems funny. Katrina was definitely one of those times. I was working at the makeshift animal shelter as evacuees came in and it affected me in a way I can’t even explain. I truly couldn’t find any humor in me.
So, I turned to my quote collection. I found quotations that were inspirational or cheered me up. I introduced the column by explaining that I just wasn’t finding anything to laugh at on that day, and that these were the words that lifted me in these times. As I read through them, it actually helped me. I hope it did the same for others.
Anybody who keeps a journal everyday is taking the first step to being a columnist. I highly recommend that people look at the single issue that bothers them the most in their journal pages every day and turn it around by taking a few jabs at it. You’d be amazed what it does for your mood! And it’s much less expensive than a psychiatrist.

You are an "Ambassador of Mirth". Do you find optimism a tough sell sometimes?
Great question! And, “Oh Yes!” is the answer.
Isn’t it a shame that being happy is considered childish?
Act your age.
Stop acting like a child.
Oh, grow up.
So, the message seems to be that if you enjoy life, you’re not an adult.
Every day people lock their joy into the pocket of their briefcases next to their PDA and leave the spring in their step in the tennis shoes that they push out of the way to get to those basic black business shoes. They save their laughter for the occasional email joke or for lunchtime.
What’s great is that all it takes is one person with the nerve to laugh at herself or himself to give us permission to lighten up. I like to think I’m that person. When I walk into classes or a client’s workplace with a rubber chicken poking out of my pocket, it’s amazing to see how many people respond positively. It’s easier to be creative, to be open to unusual problem-solving, and to be less self-conscious when you’re laughing.
By the way, laughter also burns calories. When I want to lose a few pounds, I read reports from the Louisiana legislature.

I saw that you were also at Book Expo 2006 (and sorry we missed one another!); what was the highlight of that event for you?
I got a picture with Dave Barry!! And Dr. Ruth!! Not sure which one thrilled me the most. Dave Barry is such an incredible writer. And Dr. Ruth … well, she’s Dr. Ruth!!
I visited with a number of prominent authors I really respect. I’ve even stayed in touch with a few of them. Which brings up a non-related question: What does the term “restraining order” really mean?
On May 29 through June 1, 2008 I’ll be signing copies of my three newest books at Book Expo, so I want to invite you and any writers in the Los Angeles area to come visit! These three are business and training books, Succession Planning Basics, Presentation Skills Training, and Manager Skills Training. Even if you don’t want the free book, I’ll have free candy on my table. Yeah, I’m not above bribery…
Book Expo is one of the most exciting events you can attend. It’s just amazing to experience the energy and electricity that you get from being around writers, publishers, librarians, and so many other people who respect books like we do.

You have accomplished so much! What were your first steps of success?
Having career-induced A.D.D. was the first step of my success. I just couldn’t stay with one project for a long period of time, so I accumulated knowledge about a variety of useful --and many useless – things. Sooner or later all that knowledge has come in handy.
I’ve been writing since I was a child and that constant emphasis on the written word was the basis of my communication skills. Then, in high school, I got into radio and that helped me focus on the spoken word. The combination of those two has made me a better communicator and that’s been the magic ingredient in everything I do.
That ingredient was useful when I worked in television, newspaper, corporations, and as a Universal Studios Tour Guide. (That’s the occupation where I learned to point to my left and my right.) And it’s been priceless as I’ve started learning about the world of book promotion. The ‘communication’ that is, not the ‘pointing to the left and right’.
Also, with my attention span of a gnat that’s had too much caffeine, I continue to learn new things every day.

What tips can you offer for surviving a midlife crisis?
Laugh. It’s going to be funny to you someday, so why not just push fast-forward and laugh at it now?

Refuse to accept the fact that midlife crisis is a bad thing. If it’s an excuse to wear elastic waistbands and buy a shiny red car, it can’t be all bad!

And remember, you’re not alone. There are millions of us going through the same thing. Share those experiences and we can laugh together. Try to hide them and you’ll be embarrassed alone.

Any advice for authors & speakers who want to continue to grow as such?
Well, I’m not the world’s greatest overnight success story. In fact, I have a workshop called “Overnight Success…the 48-Year Method.” I possess what I believe to be the world’s largest collection of rejection slips … including one that was actually copied with a hair on the page. What a blow to the ego when they don’t even clean the copier to send you a form rejection letter…

But whatever success I do have is due to my persistence and my willingness to continue to learn, practice, and beat my writing into shape with a ball peen hammer.

I would make this recommendation: Find topics or stories that you’re passionate about and you will find success. Then you’re writing for yourself, so you know you always have an audience. And even if it’s not an accepted genre or keynote topic, your passion is what can make it become one.

Also, write or speak even if there’s not a check involved.

I’ve been doing presentations since 1976 and I still find every opportunity to speak to groups. Yes, I’ve been known to turn around in the elevator and say, “I suppose you wonder why I called this meeting.” That’s how I keep improving. Some day I may even get it right…

My other recommendation: Write every day, even if it’s just a journal entry. Opera singers clear their throats before they sing. We should clear our throats on paper so that, when we’re ready to “sing” our stories, we’re already warmed up.

And the final humorous word.
You know what my favorite word is?

Next!

It means that no matter how badly I mess something up, I’ve still got another chance.

As for my final humorous word, I would have to step aside and quote the queen, Erma Bombeck. She had the right idea when she said, “Seize the day. Remember those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” How can you top that??

Thanks so much for letting me be a guest on your blog. I love communicating with people, laughing with them, and making them feel better about themselves by letting them see how much better off they are than I. Yes, they might be crazy, going through midlife crisis, and at the fat end of their closets, but I have all that and I quit my day job. If nothing else, that should make them feel really good about themselves.

Make it a marvelous day!
Christee & her pet rubber chicken, Elvis

Thanks, Christee!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Author Jeffrey Overstreet

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
AURALIA'S COLORS (WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007)
byJeffrey Overstreet
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image.His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread. ABOUT THE BOOK:
As a baby, she was found in a footprint.
As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.
As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.
When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lit more!
PRAISE
"Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."--Publishers Weekly
“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”-–Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast ofNoor and Dragon's Keep
“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”-–Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and TheCurse of the Raven Mocker

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Character Tip

I do character-building sessions at schools, walking the students through the steps of designing a believable and interesting character. They determine the background first, then the personality type and traits, then physical attributes, and fill in small details last.
A book I highly recommend to the students is "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer. It covers in depth the strengths and weaknesses of the four basic personalities - choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholy.Another book that ties in well with this is "The Birth Order Book" by Dr. Kevin Leman. The four personalities can be seen in the qualities of the oldest, middle, youngest, and only child.
Once you have determined your character's personality type, it becomes much easier to have them react to situations and people in a believable fashion!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Attitude of a Winner

From Thomas B. Smith's book, "If It Is To Be, It's Up To Me":

"Unless you give yourself to some great cause, you haven't even begun to live."

"Many times the difference between whether you achieve your goals or not is your attitude."

"Be healthy so you can be more productive and successful and enjoy each day of your life more."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

For Which I Am Thankful...

Thanksgiving should not be the only time for which we give thanks for the blessings in our lives. Every day should be a treasured event, full of many appreciated things and people.

I have much for which to be thankful - my eternal salvation; my wonderful husband; my two cats; my friends; my family; my home; my vehicle; my health; my lifestyle; my writing ability...

And this weekend, with numerous wonderful emails and notes from readers and fans, I am reminded how grateful I am for them and the success they have helped me achieve thus far. I just wanted to make a difference in this world and I am thankful that I am able to through my books!

Thank you Lord for the life I have now!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

College Football

Arkansas beat LSU last night! In three overtimes, too! Way to go little Hoggies. The Razorbacks have now eliminated LSU's chances of playing for the BCS title.
And Hawaii is STILL undefeated, with the their quarterback breaking the college quarterback touchdown record. They are finally taking about Hawaii playing in the Sugar Bowl if they can just win their last game!
I love BCS shakedowns like this!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all the wonderful things in my life for which I am thankful:

my wonderful husband, our kitties, a nice home, friends & family, author success, my salvation and all of the incredible things yet to happen in my life!







The turkey and stuffing...







...and the feast.







Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Author Neta Jackson

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT
Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2007)
by Neta Jackson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neta Jackson Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 350,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning husband/wife writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books--a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.8 million in sales--and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4). Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of the Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-racial congregation that is a daughter church of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Turkey dinners, tree trimming, and decking the halls--it's that time of year again! And I Jodi Baxter, can't wait to celebrate. My kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then all of us Yadas are getting decked out for a big New Year's party.But God's idea of "decked out" might just change the nature of our party plans. A perplexing encounter with a former student, a crime that literally knocks me off my feet, a hurry-up wedding, and a child who will forever change our family...it's times like these that I really need my prayer sisters.This holiday season, we Yada Yadas are learning that no one can out celebrate God. So let's get this party started!THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT is a festive novella featuring America's favorite prayer group, the Yada Yadas!Sometimes dubbed "chick-lit" for their bright covers and catchy titles, this series provides far more depth than witty banter and wacky situations. Inspired by a prayer group of real women, each book will have you laughing, crying, and perhaps praying anew.In this highly anticipated installment, the Yada Yada sisters-a group of multi-cultural friends-and their families prepare for the event of the season.But yes, eager readers, this novella—which picks up a year and a half after the end of book #6 The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling concludes the series with some twists and turns that will amaze and encourage you. Plus, it sets the stage for Neta’s new series with new characters and new situations but also occasional roles for the beloved Yada Yada sisters in familiar Chicago neighborhoods with all their cultural richness.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Testosterone and Male & Female Characteristics

This comes from Gary Smalley's book, "Connecting With Your Husband":

"The amount of big T that drips on the brain during fetal development will determine how strongly a child demonstrates certain characteristics typically considered male or female.

"A brain soaked in testosterone is ...
  • assertive
  • individualistic
  • self-confident
  • self-reliant
  • competitive
  • rough
  • playful
  • singly focused

A brain not soaked in testosterone is ...
  • nurturing
  • considerate
  • affectionate
  • gentle
  • compassionate for those in pain
  • multi-task minded
  • emotiona;
  • generous"

Now that explains a lot!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Author Tip

Just a quick one, but I have heard it many, many times -
Do something every single day to promote your book!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Waldenbooks In Martinsville, VA

This is a special thank you to the crew at the Waldenbooks in Martinsville, VA!
They are so supportive and such big fans of my series. That makes all the difference in the world!! They've read my books and understand how to promote them. I will always visit the awesome Waldenbooks in Martinsville!
Thanks Lynne, Tammi, Joy, Greg, and Jesse!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Space

Okay, I have a page once again on My Space -
And I managed CSS feed all by myself! (As in, my husband did not have to guide me through it.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writing Muse Returns

With only a few dates left on my tour, and a couple seminars and a school, I have finally been able to return to my writing. I have missed it tremendously. Now I am full steam ahead with completing HEATHER and bringing The Circle of Friends to a close.
For now!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Author James Scott Bell

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
TRY DYING (Center Street October 24, 2007)
by James Scott Bell

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.His book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry.In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if hie has to kill for the truth.

"Bell is one of the best writers out there...he creates characters readers care about...a story worth telling."~Library Review~

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clinton as President is Nuts!

I don't normally get political here, but there was an article on CNN that made me chuckle. Joel Surnow, creator and executive producer for the TV show "24" claims that Clinton as president is nuts!
Read entire article here for a laugh:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Honoring Our Veterans

Yesterday was actually Veteran's Day, but the sentiment is what matters!
A salute to all the men & women who have served our country for the past few hundred years, defending our freedoms and way of life.

Thank you for your sacrifice!



Sunday, November 11, 2007

College Football Dreams

*guest blogger today

"I won't voice my opinion of the BCS ranking & bowl system.
"But I will point out a team who defies that system - Hawaii.
"They are now undefeated, only one of two teams remaining who can make that claim. The quarterback just tied the NCAA record for career touchdowns - 121. With three games remaining in their schedule, he will likely own the record, and if they win all three games, have a shot at one of the BCS bowl games.
"I always root for the underdog, for the team with the most heart and spirit, the ones who dream biggest. And right now, that would be Hawaii.
"And just maybe they might also change the design of the BCS!"

- Lori Phillips, Olympic Gold Medal winner

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Writer's Meow - One Year Later

Today marks the birthday of The Writer's Meow!
I and two others founded and run this writer's club on Deviant Art. What began with a handful of people now boasts over two hundred members! We've become one of the largest writing clubs on DA, with contests, writing tips, author quotes, news and amazing club members who post their work and critique others.
If you're a writer and not part of any club, you need to join one! It can be so rewarding!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Many Names of Success

From Roget's College Thesaurus:

Success -
Victory, triumph, advantage, winner, accomplish, make progress, gather the harvest, win, prevail, master, surpass, conquer, overcome a difficulty or obstacle, hit the mark, weather the storm

Success can be called many things - what would you call it?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Author Robert Liparulo

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
DEADFALL (Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)
by Robert Liparulo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel,
Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!He is currently working on his fourth novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.Armes with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon.With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friend elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice.
Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.
Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at www.LIPARULO.com
"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"-In The Library Reviews
"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."-Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"-Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial
"In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.-Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more."-DAve Dun, best selling author of The Black Silent
A NOTE from Bob: I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website (www.robertliparulo.com) and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.
And a second NOTE from Bob: I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:
**one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall
**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall
***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of Deadfall
Winners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site. If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Meeting a Dear Friend & Fan



This weekend my tour took me through Ohio and I got to meet a dear friend and fan for the very first time!




Linda and her daughter took me out to eat afterwards and the staff brought out a cake with "Congratulations Spunky!" across the top!




This is the reason I keep writing and touring. Special friends are worth any cost!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

One last big road trip...

My last big road trip is this weekend, although I still have many signings, seminars and a school visit planned through December 8th. This trip is special, as I have several fans who are close to my heart that will be coming out to see me. No one told me of all the friends I would make as an author, but I am loving it!

My spring calendar of seminars is filling up rapidly as well!

Happy November - Christmas will be here before you know it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Author Denise Hunter

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
SURRENDER BAY (Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)
by Denise Hunter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped.Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!In addition to Surrender Bay, the second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day. Denise is currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home.As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"
--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Series)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Promotion Tip!

When looking for outlets to sell books, many authors miss big opportunities!

As taken from author & friend p.m.terrell's book, "Take the Mystery Out of Promoting Your Book":

"If you are involved in any causes, you can use your celebrity status as a published author to raise money for them and obtain additional publicity by agreeing to donate a portion of the book sales to the cause in return for a book signing at the event."

So don't forget those causes! And what a wonderful way to sell books and support something dear to your heart.

Author Austin Boyd

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
THE RETURN(Navpress Publishing Group July 13, 2007)by
Austin Boyd

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Austin Boyd writes from his experience as a decorated Navy pilot, spacecraft engineer and an astronaut candidate finalist. Austin lives with his wife Cindy and four children in America’s “Rocket City”--Huntsville, Alabama, where he directs business development for a large NASA and defense contractor. His creative talents include inspirational fiction and poetry, finely crafted reproduction colonial furniture, archery and long distance cycling. He serves his community as an advocate for a crisis pregnancy center and as a motivational speaker in the area of lifestyle evangelism.
THE RETURN is part of the Mars Hill Classified Series with The Evidence and The Proof

ABOUT THE BOOK:
IS SEEING BELIEVING?
Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells is set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race."While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth.Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.
From the Back Cover:
With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.
"Austin Boyd is one of the brightest new voices in Christian fiction. His long association with the space program lends authenticity as he reveals the turmoil in the minds and hearts of those who are willing to risk everything by making that journey. In The Return, we learn that both human emotions and God's presence reach far beyond the pull of Earth's gravity."--Richard L Mabry, author of The Tender Scar

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ghost Swing In Argentine

* Guest Blogger Today

"Once in a while, a true news of the weird comes through the newsroom. The press release on the ghostly swing in Firmat, Argentine caught my eye. We didn't run with the story, but several papers around the country did, and it's truly an odd tale.

"A swing on a playground in Firmat has begun swinging on its own for no apparent reason. The Ghosthunters from Discovery have even been invited to investigate.

"Now while the story is vague and short on details, it was the video of the swing that really caught my attention. I am surprised more of the media are not jumping on that one!

"Be curious to see how it all turns out!"

Story-
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=489616&in_page_id=1811
Video- http://www.metacafe.com/watch/862340/ghost_moves_a_swing/

- James Sheppard, Orlando Sentinel Junior Editor

Friday, October 26, 2007

Book Cover Express Blog

I am always looking for new sites and blogs. This one was posted on Publish-L and starts with a great article on bar codes:
For anyone looking for someone to design their cover, Book Cover Express designs book covers!
They also have several links for publishers, including one to a book on Amazon called "Bookmaking: Editing, Design, Production, Third Edition". (And on that page are numerous other books on publishing!)
So go check it all out!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bruce Garrabrandt Quotes

Taken from Bruce Garrabrandt's book, "The Power of Having Desire":

"What is your gift? Take that gift - which is your passion or desire - and commit to making it happen. Act on it with relentless dicipline and perseverance, and you will be successful."

"Unless you were born with a key in your back, don't expect anyone else to wind you up."

"A change in looks
Or what you own
Or work you choose to do,
A move from here to somewhere else
And still you live with you.
The only change that really counts
When all is done or said,
Is ever hid from public view
And happens in your head."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Author Matt Bronleewe

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Illuminated (Thomas Nelson August 7, 2007)
by Matt Bronleewe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
IT'S BEEN 500 YEARS IN THE MAKING...PREPARE TO BE ILLUMINATED...August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit of adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major religions, and change the course of Western civilization. Two ruthless, ancient organizations are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. And August has the span of one transatlantic flight to figure it out.If he fails, those he holds most dear will die. If he succeeds, he'll destroy a national treasure.The clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.
"...this rare breed of suspense thriller combines mysterious hidden clues, secret societies, buried treasure, double agents, and the Knights Templar...if you turned National Treasure into international treasure, traded DaVinci codes for Gutenberg Bibles, married it to Indiana Jones, and added the pacing of 24 you'd be in the neighborhood of Illuminated...on a scale of one to 10, this one goes to 11."-Aspiring Retail Magazine

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Book 'Em Experience





Book ‘Em was such a tremendous experience!

Friday morning, I visited Shelburne Middle School in Staunton, VA and walked two English classes through the process of designing a character. The kids were a delight and came up with very colorful characters. Several of them came out to see me the next day at the festival.

Friday evening we set up our booths. Craig and I arrived early to assist with the tables and chairs and got to meet some of my fellow authors. Author Alan Krugel was there with Serpico, a three-legged police dog. I got to meet my fellow panelist, 57 best-selling author, Catherine Coulter. Publisher Karen Syed from Echelon Press and one of her authors were in the booth beside me – they were both wonderful! Afterwards we went to a late dinner with several other authors, including AJ Rodriguez and 88 year-old Maxine Kleier.

Saturday was the main event!!! We arrived early and I roamed the booths for a while. Fellow author and seminar partner Denise Sutton was setting up her booth and we met Ground Zero Chaplin and author, Bob Johnson. I also met one of the ladies who set up my virtual tour, author & promoter Nikki Leigh.

Book ‘Em was founded by author p.m.terrell and Officer & author Mark Kearney. Mark’s latest book had just arrived, so he was excited! Trish (p.m.terrell), a fellow NC author and friend, was a delight as always! She was positively the most genuine & caring author there that day. If she ever tours your area, you HAVE to go meet Trish!!! She also introduced me to author Dirk Robertson from Scotland – he visits the Robeson County Library in NC and Book ‘Em every year. In addition to writing, Dirk knits scarves and hats! He was a hoot and I just LOVED the Scottish accent.

At 1pm was my class discussion on book tours. It was small and intimate, but a lot of fun! 3pm was the panel discussion on what makes a best seller. I joined publisher Karen Syed, Catherine Coulter, and author Ellen Hopkins for the panel. (Yes, which one of these does not belong?!) Karen is a very determined, bold and dynamic speaker! I probably spoke the least, but I must’ve been effective, as I had people waiting to get a book when I returned to my booth.

I learned so much, especially from Karen, who willingly gave me publishing tips and advice. I also made some new friends and Craig came away with several autographed books. He was awesome watching my booth during my talks! We’ve got some new promotional ideas and new jacket cover designs for the first three of the series. I also have several authors who want to know when Dancing Lemur Press opens for business!

Book ‘Em is such an awesome program, promoting literacy to teens and children, and I intend to participate every year from now on!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

School Visits

Back from Book 'Em and a most tremendous time! I'll fill everyone in over the next few days.


Friday morning I visited two middle school English classes for a session on building a character. The kids seemed to enjoy the exercise and some came up with really intriguing, conflicted characters. Several of the students came out to see me the nest day at the festival, too.


Let's hear it for young minds!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Book 'Em

This weekend is the Book 'Em Festival in Waynesboro, VA.
There are 65 authors in attendance, including Catherine Coulter and Ellen Hopkins. I am fortunate enough to be participating in a panel discussion with both of them and publisher Karen Syed, plus I am giving a solo talk on book tours.
Lord knows I've toured enough!
It all kicks off Friday morning as I visit Staunton Middle School to teach two English classes how to design a character. That evening we set up my table and then all of the participants are going out to dinner. I look forward to meeting the organizer, Mark Kearney, and seeing Trish again! (author p.m.terrell)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Author Brandilyn Collins

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
CRIMSON EVE (Zondervan October 30, 2007)
by Brandilyn Collins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale.Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith.Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.
“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”
“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”
Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...
Brandilyn Collins fans and reviewers are saying Crimson Eve is her best book yet:
“Collins tops herself by creating a suspenseful nonstop thrill ride … Truly the best Christian Fiction suspense title so far this year.”– Library Journal, starred review“Crimson Eve is Collins at her very best. It left me feeling as if I’d climbed Mount Everest without oxygen … I didn’t think Brandilyn could outdo herself after reading Coral Moon. She did.”–TitleTrakk.com
“I’ve never edited a more tightly crafted, deftly woven, compellingly written book.” –a Crimson Eve editor, with 20 years experience
“This is your best book! I could not stop reading!” – one of many readers with similar responses
Read about Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, books one and two in the Kanner Lake series.
Do you know someone who’s never read a Brandilyn Collins novel? Surely no such person exists. However, should you scrounge up such a friend—someone who enjoys suspense—here’s a special offer from Brandilyn. Be among the first 50 people between now and October 21, 2007 to e-mail her assistant at gayle.brandilyncollins@gmail.com with the person’s name, e-mail address and street address. (Due to exorbitant overseas mailing costs, United States residents only, please).
A signed copy of Crimson Eve will be sent to your friend—free—along with an e-mail from Brandilyn announcing the book is on its way, courtesy of you. (Don’t worry. Brandilyn won’t spam these email addresses. She just wants your friend to know who to thank.) No worries that this story is third in the Kanner Lake series. Each book stands alone. Brandilyn is convinced your friend will so love Crimson Eve, he/she will surely reciprocate with expensive chocolate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reading Quotes

"Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours." - John Locke

"Not every reader is a leader, but every leader must be a reader." - Harry Truman

"Reading, like no other medium, can transform your life in a flash, and you never know which book ... at which time in your life ... might be the one that rocks your world and inspires you to grow in ways you never thought possible." - Burke Hedges

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Road Trips!

Big road trip next weekend to Waynesboro, VA and the Book 'Em Festival! Looking forward to meeting my fellow authors and the organizer, Mark Kearney. Will also get to see Trish again! (a.k.a. p.m.terrell)

Please check out the two authors I will be sitting with for the panel discussion on "What Makes A Best Selling Novel?":




Also had a great road trip to Boone, NC and a couple signings there. The girls at Black Bear Books were a delight, as were the customers! Plus the scenery was beautiful as the leaves were starting to change:

And the virtual tour continues! I will have links to all of the sites that featured me up here very soon - this month was a little bit overloaded!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Special Orlando Fans & Stuff!

The Fall Southern Tour was full of wonderful people, but two young ladies really stood out to me. They each attended one of my Orlando signings this past weekend and were such delightful individuals!




First there's Maggie, who was just so polite. She has amazing parents who encourage her, which shows in Maggie's wonderful attitude!




Then there's Isabel. She had the most beautiful smile! One of those people that just makes a person feel good to be near. She is going to touch many lives!






The schedule for the Book 'Em Festival has been announced and I have the privaledge of both a panel discussion and a solo talk. Click here for all of the events:






And the Virtual Tour continues! Something new everyday, including many revealing interviews:


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Author Creston Mapes

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
NOBODY (Multnomah Fiction September 11, 2007)
by Creston Mapes
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Creston Mapes is a talented storyteller whose first two novels, Dark Star and Full Tilt, made him a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards and the Inspirational Readers Choice awards. Creston has written for major corporations, colleges, and ministries, including Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, Oracle, Focus on the Family, and In Touch Ministries. Committed to his craft and his family, Creston makes his home in Georgia with his wife, Patty, and their four children.He's been married for twenty-one years to the girl he first loved way back in fourth grade. They have three lovely girls and a boy in a very close-knit family, spending a lot of time together - watching old classic movies, going on outings, and taking in various school and community events and activities. Creston loves to go for morning walks with his dog, read, paint watercolors, meet friends for coffee and Bible study, watch hockey, take his wife on dates, and spend time in God's Word.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas!
They said, “He’s a nobody.”They were dead wrong.
When reporter Hudson Ambrose hears an early morning call on his police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop on Las Vegas Boulevard, he rushes to the scene to get the scoop.His world is blown off its axis when he discovers a murdered homeless man with a bankbook in his pocket showing a balance of almost one million dollars. Should he wait for the police, knowing the case will get lost in reams of red tape, or swipe the bankbook and take the investigation–and perhaps a chunk of the money–into his own hands?With sirens bearing down on the scene, Hudson makes an impulse decision that whisks him on a frantic search for answers, not only about the mysterious dead man, but about the lost soul lurking within himself.Uncovering bizarre links between a plane crash, a Las Vegas pit boss, a dirty cop, and a widowed Atlanta business mogul, Hudson is forced to find out: who was Chester Holte, what was he doing on the streets, and why are his homeless friends convinced he was an angel in disguise?
“Nobody was absolutely riveting from the opening scene to the final page. With compelling characters, a plot that surprised me at every turn, and a subtle, yet profound message that moved me to tears, this book goes straight to the top of my highly recommended list.”- Deborah Raney, author of Remember to Forget and Within This Circle“A taut, entertaining novel of mystery, intrigue, and spiritual truth. Creston Mapes delivers a winner in Nobody.”- James Scott Bell, bestselling author of No Legal Grounds and Try Dying
“Nobody had me fascinated from the first paragraph and kept the surprises coming to the very end. Somehow, as the pages flew by, it also managed to convey a beautiful picture of faith the size of a mustard seed. From now on I’ll read anything by Creston Mapes the instant it hits the shelves.”- Athol Dickson, Christy Award—winning author of River Rising and The Cure