Monday, August 31, 2009

Perseverance and Perspective

Perseverance and Perspective -- two of the best tools in a writer’s tool kit.

Hello and thank you to L. Diane for hosting me on her blog today. I’ve been writing for nearly fifteen years and the journey certainly has been filled with many ups and downs. So many wonderful experiences and craft tools I’ve learned, but today I’d like to speak a bit on two tools that writer’s don’t often think about… perseverance and perspective.

I think one of the biggest mistakes a writer can make is believing that once a first draft or even twelfth draft is done that a story is done. That once you’ve gotten a handful of rejections the story is rejected for good. What I’ve discovered after writing over 33 manuscripts and selling nine books, is no story is ever done until it’s published.

The first book I sold to a publisher was my fifteenth manuscript. I had written it for a romance line that closed the week I sent the story in to an editor. Undaunted, I rewrote the story as a single title-adding more conflict, a subplot, and sexy bits and resubmitted. But I was told, while the story was good, that particular setting was of no interest to the publishers at that time. So, I put the manuscript away and continued to write other stories. Three years later a publisher opened a new line and was looking for all settings, but this publisher wanted short sweet books- half the size of my manuscript. So, I set to work and ruthlessly cut 250 pages from the work including all the bits that I had put in after the initial rejection. The book sold within six weeks and Saving Samantha was one of two debut historical romances published by Avalon books.

You might think published authors would no longer have full manuscripts around as they sell on proposal. But this is also a myth. Even with 7 books on the shelf, when I wanted to change from historical to romantic suspense, I had to have a completed work for editors to see. So, I wrote Mr. Charming, my first romantic suspense. I sent it to a series publisher who rejected it as not right for their list at this time. So, I rewrote it as a big single title, but was unable to find a house for the story because to them the story line sounded like a series romance. So, I put it away and wrote other things. Then Avalon thought they would have a romantic suspense line. So, I took out Mr. Charming and once again cut it down in size and scope and rewrote it as a sweet. Unfortunately, Avalon decided against a romantic suspense line and the book came back to me again—rejected. Still I didn’t give up. When I heard that The Wild Rose Press was looking for romantic suspense, I dusted off the book, revised, edited it yet again and sent it in. This time~ it sold!

The lesson I’ve learned from these two experiences is that no book is ever “unsellable.”
Stories are fluid and can be written and rewritten many times. The only time a story is set in stone is when it’s published and put on a shelf. And just because it’s not right for the current market, doesn't mean it won’t eventually find a home and an audience.

Perseverance—if you love your characters and are will to preserver then your chances of selling go up. Perspective helps if you can remember that publishing is a business and a good book may be rejected a thousand times before it finds a home. Even though rejections hurt—and they do—if you have faith in your work and are willing to keep trying, it will pay off. For me, the real pay off comes when someone takes the time to write me an e-mail and tells me that the LOVE the book and want to know when my next one is out. Those e-mails make my day… and all the effort worthwhile. Keep writing!
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Mr. Charming, a romantic suspense where a single mom discovers that love doesn’t follow the rules, is available now at The Wild Rose Press, amazon.com, fictionwise.com
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Nancy J. Parra has a degree in Journalism but turned to writing fiction when she discovered it was more interesting to interview the people in her head. She loves to interact with readers and writers. You can contact her at Nancy J. Parra

Follow her blogs at:
This Writer’s Life
Room With A View

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And the Winner is...


The person who made the most comments during my virtual tour - thus winning a copy of The Circle of Friends, Book...James is -


drumroll please!


Crystal at Crystal Clear Proofing !!!!!

She diligently followed and commented on almost every appearance! Crystal recently discovered my series and was excited to follow a blog tour.

Thanks SO much, Crystal! You earned that copy!

I'd also like to thank the following top contributors:

Morgan Mandel – Double M – Morgan Mandel
Jane Kennedy Sutton - Jane’s Ride
Karen Walker – Following the Whispers
Jo-Jo - Jo-Jo Loves to Read

Thank you everyone for your support!

One final review came in on Friday at Paradoxical
She's tough on books, so I was very pleased with her review!
And another review was posted yesterday for "Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!" at CC Chronicles
Spunky is speechless on that one!

Friday, August 28, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

"On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place. ..."


I saw a ten second clip of the video for The Circle of Friends - oh my gosh, it rocked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see the whole thing complete. It's amazing!

Several giveaways are still going on - please see my sidebar for cutoff dates.

I will announce the winner of MY giveaway on Sunday.

And now, on to the news!

Slipdown Mountain Publications LLC is seeking reviewers for their upcoming release, "The Evolution Conspiracy." View From the Publishing Trenches

I like that twist, don't you?

Vivian Zabel at Brain Cells & Bubble Wrap had some writing Do’s & Don’t Do’s

Donna McDine posted a link to an article - "Can You Profit from Writing for Free?" Write What Inspires You!

Yvonne Perry answers the question regarding separate ISBN for physical and ebooks Writers in the Sky

Marketing Tips for Authors had two great posts this week Promote Your Book With Facebook Groups & How to Deal With Negative Reviews

And 2 Kids and Tired Books posted a review of "Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families" 2 Kids And Tired Books
We all need that, don't we?

And my heart goes out to Jenners, who hosted me this week. She lost her father last weekend. Please visit her site and read the beautiful eulogy she wrote for him - Find Your Next Book Here



And thank you so much to Crystal at Crystal Clear Proofing for giving me the Helping Hand Award!

* MOVIE REVIEW *

Inglorious Basterds - A

Wow, I feel I should apologize for the title! And would it be morally wrong if I said this is a really great film? If you like Tarantino's movies, you'll love it - if not, you probably won't. He loves interesting dialogue, so don't go expecting an action fest - it's quite talky. However, be prepared for the action when it does appear. Tarantino loves his blood! There's also many subtitles, as most of the cast speaks either French or German.
But the ending is SO worth it!

* PHOTO OF THE DAY *
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A big high five for all my Bloggy friends!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Excerpt & Last Stop!!

Today's post is more than an excerpt. And it's a special thanks to my blog tour hosts and those who followed along!

It is also the very last day of my tour. Please see my sidebar and visit Kathy’s blog & Belle of the Books for the final features.

Thanks to everyone listed below for allowing me to visit your blog through reviews, guest posts, & interviews. This was a lot of fun, and a lot of work, for everyone involved. In addition to those who featured me from August 11-27, I’d also like to thank the seventeen individuals who featured me on Deviant Art with interview questions & announcements. My hosts were all awesome and the comments received wonderful. Thank you, everyone!

And if you missed any of these stops, I’ve provided a direct link to the post:

J Kaye’s Book Blog & Giveaway Guest post - From Dream to 5-Book Series
TexasRed Books Review & Interview
Genevieve's Blog Interview & Giveaway
Jamieson Wolf Review
Jo-Jo Loves to Read Review & Giveaway
Frenetic Reader Guest post - Challenge of Writing 5 Overlapping Books
Always Something to Read & Interview & Review
Pudgy Penguin Perusals & Giveaway Guest post - Abuse & Self-image-James's Story
The Story Siren Guest post - Writing from a Male POV
Today's Adventure
Find Your Next Book Here Guest post - Do the Right Thing
Hidden Cait
Kathy Erskine’s Blog
Belle of the Books

NEWS FLASH! This article DID appear today at Belle of the Books !!!

The Cycle Ends Now
By James Alan Sheppard

I will not remain a prisoner of my past.
I will not repeat the mistakes of my father.
I will not hurt those I love.
The cycle of abuse stops here…


I stare at those words as they lay scrawled across my notebook paper. They were written earlier today during my anger management class. I should’ve been paying attention, but I just couldn’t relate to those who were speaking. I feel so out of place there, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do.

I endured many years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my father. And now I’m terrified I’ll turn out just like him…

I hate living with that fear, too. It’s a tough burden to carry, especially alone. Seeing my father’s reflection in my mirror, hearing his angry voice in my own – fear just haunts me. Some days it feels like I am smothering. The sensation weighs down my heart and I often go days without smiling. I live trapped in a bad dream, only waking on rare occasions.

It’s difficult to hide my nightmare, especially from my closest friends. Bad enough they know my past and the pain I endured. God only knows their opinion of me if they knew my hidden anxiety, though. Those dark thoughts I share with no one. I should take comfort in the fact none of my friends ever expressed concern that I’d act like my father. Maybe they see something I don’t.

More than anything, I just want to erase the pain. Some days I feel so depressed, it almost angers me to see others enjoying their life. I want to be happy, too! Of course, I just feel like striking out at whoever crosses my path at that point, and that sensation scares me. If I could just forget my lonely childhood… I can’t carry this burden forever.

My father used words and fists to intimidate and exact compliance, but I don’t want that to be the extent of my communication with others. I don’t want my friends to fear me. That’s why I have to get a handle on this now, before I do something really, really stupid. I don’t like anger management, but it may be my only chance for a better life. And I’ve got to try.

So, I’m back to those words written during class. Cold and defiant, they are a challenge, and I can either cower in fear or stand up and defend myself. If I ever wanted to fight, now is the time. My past does not equal my future.

The cycle of abuse ends now…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Author Laura Frantz

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
The Frontiersman’s Daughter Revell (September 1, 2009)
by
Laura Frantz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I was born and raised in Kentucky and my love of history goes deep - way back to the 18th-century when my family first came into the Bluegrass State. It will always be home to me, even though I now live with my husband, Randy, and my sons, Wyatt and Paul, in the misty woods of northwest Washington. I go back as often as I can to visit family and all the old haunts that I love.
I grew up playing on the original site of Fort Boonesborough and swimming in the Kentucky River and climbing the Pinnacle near Berea and watching the great outdoor dramas of the early settlers. Often my cousins and brother and I would play in my Granny's attic and dress up in the pioneer costumes she made us and pretend to be Daniel Boone, Rebecca, Jemima, or the Shawnee.
As I grew up I began to write stories and they were always historical, filled with the lore I had heard or read about. It's no accident that my first book (which is actually my fifth book - the others were practice!) is about those first Kentucky pioneers.
I feel blessed beyond measure to write books. My prayer is that you are doubly blessed reading them.
Note: Laura Frantz credits her 100-year-old grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in 1792 and settled in Madison County where her family still resides. Frantz is a former schoolteacher and social worker who currently lives in the misty woods of Washington state with her husband and two sons, whom she homeschools.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded.
Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills.
But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption. This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman.
Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
The Frontiersman’s Daughter, go HERE
The book link is:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0800733398

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photo Tuesday - Perspectives

Most of us are used to viewing the world from our own perspective. Wherever we go, we tend to see our surroundings from one height. However, that may differ from our characters!
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In the case of a child, the height difference may be great. Get down on your knees and look around the room. Quite a change isn't it? You no longer look down on most objects. Counters and table tops may be at eye level. You no longer stare at the roof of the car - you stare at the taillight.



Twelve inches can make a big difference in terms of perspective, too. While someone 6'3" may have a clear view of the scene, a person who's only 5'3" will not see it so clearly.




Consider viewpoint when your characters change position, too. Bending over, kneeling, lying down - these all offer different viewpoints.




Do you remember to alter perspective when writing from a character shorter or taller than you?
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Remember to place objects where your character would naturally see them - but only if you want to suffer the consequences!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Some Winners, Travels, and a Little Relaxation

My blog tour continues through Thursday, but my Deviant Art tour ended this weekend. It was a joy to pull two winners from those commenting on appearances on that site.


A wonderful young lady by the name of Cait won from my hosts - on DA she is HiddenCaitastrophe, "Rearranging the world on paper..." She used to assist with my writer's club on DA and is just an amazing writer.


Jessica, also known as DgenRetEliteRabbit, won the general drawing. She was also one of my hosts and was featured here recently on The Thursday Excerpt with "The Conductor."


And there is a third winner - KerriSwift, who lives in Poland, diligently commented on every one of my stops, so hopeful of winning the contest! My contest here is based on the most comments, but on DA, it was random. Since she was so diligent, she is winning a free E-Book version of Book III!




I had one physical appearance in the middle of all this virtual stuff - a place called Quartermoon Books & Gifts on Topsail Island, NC. Lori is the owner (yup, same as Book I's character) and the shop is just too cool with books, gifts, & coffee. It also helped that I had my best day EVER at this store and almost sold out of my YA series!!!




Oh, and my husband hates it, but I often take photos while I am driving. This is climbing the giant bridge leading out of Topsail. Just look at those clouds though!




And for relaxation, I confess - I am an LOL Cats JUNKIE!

How can anyone not laugh at this stuff?????


funny pictures of cats with captions




funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions


Everyone have a good week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who Loves You Baby! & B.I.N.G.O.



J. Kaye was sweet enough to award me with the Who Loves You Baby! award!

This award is designed with one purpose in mind. Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

Spunky's memory isn't what it used to be, but I'd like to pass it along to these people:

Elizabeth Spann Craig
TexasRed
Morgan Mandel
Marvin Wilson

Thanks again, J. Kaye!


This award was given to me by Missy at Missy’s Book Nook She is just so sweet and I love the variety of her posts. She is beautiful and so is her blog. Thank you, Missy!

The rules:This award was started by Bookin With BINGO and here are the rules:This "B-I-N-G-O" BEAUTIFUL BLOG AWARD means that this blog is...

B: Beautiful: Kristi at The Story Siren

I: Informative: Helen at Straight From Hel

N: Neighborly: Karen at Following the Whispers

G: Gorgeous: Jo-Jo at Jo-Jo Loves to Read!

O: Outstanding: J. Kaye at J. Kaye’s Book Blog

Thanks again, Missy!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

"I'm not quite dead yet!"

First off, thank you Hurricane Bill for NOT beating up on the N. Carolina coast while I am there today for a booksigning - much appreciated!

Now on to the news!

Is the Kindle in danger of becoming the Ebooks BetaMax? Market Watch

How many books should an author order? A Book Inside

Helen tells us how to shape our characters - Straight From Hel

Mayra Calvani has tips for breaking into children’s magazines- Mayra’s Secret Bookcase
She also recommends an Illustrator

Has Twilight ruined all men’s chances? Babbling About Books, And More

Marketing Tips For Authors had two great posts this week - 8 Ways to Jump on Breaking News & 10 Ways to Stimulate Conversation About Your Book

Did you hear Brett’s back? One fan's take on his on-again/off-again NFL status- Jo-Jo Loves to Read

And I've been honored with a nomination for the BBAW! My little blog, written by an over-optimistic, stubborn redhead...


Thanks to everyone who has commented on my virtual tour thus far! I appreciate the support, both from fellow Bloggers, my fans, and my awesome hosts.

The tour continues through next Thursday. Please visit past hosts as well as upcoming spots:

Aug 11 J Kaye’s Book Blog & Giveaway
Aug 13 TexasRed Books
Aug 14 Genevieve's Blog
Aug 14 Jamieson Wolf
Aug 15 Jo-Jo Loves to Read & Giveaway
Aug 17Frenetic Reader
Aug 18-20 Always Something to Read & Interview & Review
Aug 19 Pudgy Penguin Perusals & Giveaway
Aug 21 The Story Siren
Aug 24 Ultimate Book Hound
Aug 25 Find Your Next Book Here
Aug 26 Belle of the Books
Aug 27 Kathy Erskine’s Blog


* MOVIE REVIEW *

DISTRICT 9 - A

Very solid movie! This is indeed movie making at its finest. It's a twist on several themes, many of which you've seen before, but never like this and especially in a summer devoid of great movies. However, I can't say I loved it because it's not that type of film. District 9 is very dark and depressing. Excellent film though.


* PHOTO OF THE DAY *

It's that time of year again - prepare for the cicadas!



Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt - Killer Career

A topic in Morgan Mandel's third novel, Killer Career is quitting your day job. Morgan still has hers. She puts her experience as an administrative assistant at a workers' compensation law firm to use in this book's setting. The excerpt below, taken from the 12th chapter, provides a short glimpse into the workers' comp world.

The chapter also illustrates how even a gorgeous day can turn deadly. A side issue here is Julie's fear of elevators and closed-in places. Her phobia becomes a major part of the plot later in the book.

From "Killer Career" by Morgan Mandel

Julie sighed. Vacation must wait until she waded through the mounds of paperwork which claimed her attention. Legal descriptions to examine, trials to get ready, new cases to consider, telephone messages to answer, her duties were endless. Would she ever break loose?

She needed to remind Dade to look for a partner. He seemed to be ignoring the inevitable, as if that would make her stay longer. He had to accept she couldn’t go on like this. It wasn’t her anymore.

She’d driven downtown early his morning instead of relaxing on the train, since she’d be working late again.

Julie swung the top of the holder closed and took a deep breath. In a few minutes she’d tear herself away from the office and trek to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission where she’d fight for her clients’ rights. Before that, she’d relax a few more minutes, enjoy the loons on the paperclip holder, and think good thoughts.

Like how in a few days she’d be at the workshop. Delicious anticipation shot through her at the thought. She loved the learning process and could hardly wait to incorporate some of it in her book. Also, she had to admit Jensen’s continued interest in her was flattering.

It was fun daydreaming and not thinking of chores. With her mind still in the clouds, she grabbed her briefcase and told Dee she’d be back around noon.

As she stepped into the dreaded elevator and the doors closed behind her, the familiar helpless feeling rushed over her, making her feel faint. The slow descent began. Would the torture every stop?

It wouldn’t hurt to adopt Jensen’s advice. Transferring her fears to the typewritten page would be daring, but ignoring them hadn’t helped. As soon as she got a chance, she’d explore that possibility.

As the doors swung open on the ground floor, she breathed a sigh of relief. She’d made it. She was safe.

* * *

Julie was almost in front of the Thompson Building, when her cell phone rang.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but do you know where Dade is,” Pam, the receptionist asked.

“He didn’t say anything to me. What’s the problem?”

“Mr. Burns says Dade was supposed to meet him an hour ago at the Commission about an offer, but he hasn’t shown up. I can’t reach him on his cell.”

“The client may have gotten the date wrong. Dade’s good at remembering appointments. Just in case, I’ll look around for him inside. If I see him, I’ll let you know. Don’t worry, he’ll show up.”

As she replaced the phone in her purse, she smilingly admired the play of sunlight across the glass panes of the octagonal architecture of the James R. Thompson Center, which housed the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. On such a gorgeous July day, nothing could go wrong. Sure, she had tons of work and it might take a while to follow her dream, but she’d survive.

Another good thing was her dizzy spells had vanished. They’d probably been caused by overwork. That situation wouldn’t last forever. Her goal was within reach.

She just knew she’d win all of her cases today.

Stop woolgathering, she told herself, using a favorite phrase of her mother’s.

Upstairs on the eighth floor, she glanced around for Dade but didn’t see him. Just in case he turned up, she left a message with the receptionist for him to call the office. She called Pam back and told her what she’d done. After that, she gathered her client, Danny Devers, out of the waiting room. “Let’s go get ‘em,” she said.

He flashed her a timid smile.

“Don’t be nervous. Just tell the truth.”

The man had a good case. They’d get through in no time.

Her prediction proved correct. It wasn’t long before Julie smilingly sent her client on his way. She sailed through the next case as well, then strolled across the concourse to look for Dade. She didn’t see him in the hallway, meeting rooms or the downstairs eating area where the attorneys often met to hash over cases. He must have already gone back to the office.

She may as well head back too. When she saw him, she’d learn soon enough how the mix-up had occurred.

As soon as Julie stepped into the office, Pam’s frantic voice greeted her. “You didn’t see Dade at all at the Commission?”

“No. You mean he still hasn’t called?”

Pam shook her head. “He never did. I don’t know where he is. The phones are going crazy. What do I tell the clients?”

“Just say he’s at an emergency trial and will get back to them.”

Julie frowned. A strange uneasiness gripped her, making her terrific mood evaporate. Dade was meticulous about advising the office of his whereabouts. Something was wrong.

Her steps quickened. Even before she reached her desk, she grabbed her cell phone from her purse and punched the quick dial. “Be there,” she said.

It didn’t even ring. Strange. If the telephone were out of range, at least his voice mail should kick in. Maybe his phone was broken.

Or maybe his mom was sick and he had to rush her to the hospital and didn’t have time to call. No, it couldn’t be that. Marcia and Avery had gone to Wisconsin. They wouldn’t be back for a week.

Now what to do? Julie glanced at her watch. It was past one. Maybe she was being an alarmist, but she couldn’t help it. What if Dade had fallen and banged his head in the shower this morning. His life’s blood could be flowing out of him while he hung on, hoping to be rescued. God forbid, it might already be too late.

She called the operator and asked for his condominium’s office. Once she was connected, she requested a well being check. Ten minutes of pacing passed. Julie was about to dial back when Dee’s voice rang over the intercom, “There’s a Linda, from Dade’s building on line nine.”

Julie snatched up the receiver. “Is he all right?”



Thanks for letting me share a portion of my book with your readers, Diane.
Morgan Mandel

Website - Morgan Mandel
Blog - Morgan Mandel
KILLER CAREER NOW ON SALE AT Amazon & B&N
CAN BE ORDERED AT BOOKSTORES OR Mobipocket
COMING SOON TO KINDLE

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Author David Claassen

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Kathryn's Fountain Cladach Publishing (November 8, 2008)
by David Claassen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I'm a follower of Jesus Christ and seek to live my life to please Him and for His glory. I'm walking this journey with my life's partner, Diann. We've been married since 1972 and have two grown children. Our daughter Julie serves as a missionary with her husband Victor in Mexico in a ministry they founded called Fishers of Men. Check their ministry out at www.fishersofmenmexico.org. Our son Dan is married to Teri and he's a detective in a police department in a suburb of Indianapolis.
I have pastored the Mayfair-Plymouth Congregational Church of Toledo, Ohio since 1975, having just celebrated 33 years at the church. You can check out the church at http://www.mayfairplymouth.org/ . You can also visit me at my blog, where I add material about every other day or so.
I enjoy photography, that's why I'm treating you with a different photo of mine each week on the web site. Over three hundred of my photos are for sale at http://www.istockphoto.com/.
I'm also a ventriloquist, of sorts, and treat the children of my church with a "visit with Ricky" every third Sunday of the month in the morning worship services.
Raising white homing pigeons is another of my hobbies. I enjoy watching them soar overhead.
That's just a little bit about me. Thanks for visiting. God bless you!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Kathryn is resigned to living out her last days at Victorian Manor, a beautiful old home for senior citizens. Then one day a miraculous experience happens to Kathryn at the garden fountain, and she begins living an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Love and sacrifice take on new meaning as she involves a social worker and a police detective in carrying out what she believes to be her calling -- to rescue a street child named Jasmine.
Kathryn's Fountain celebrates the gifts that the generations can bring to each other. The conclusion is a resounding affirmation that it's never too late to make a difference.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Kathryn's Fountain, go HERE
The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0975961993

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Haunted by a Troubled Past...


Now Available!

THE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
BOOK III … JAMES
BY L. DIANE WOLFE


Haunted by a troubled past…

The future appears bright for James Sheppard. Emerging from a troubled childhood, he is blessed with talent and a good work ethic. Excelling in his classes and at the campus newspaper, James’s goal of editor appears within his grasp.

However, years of abuse and loneliness have dampened his spirit. By the time Maria enters his world, James is nearing the breaking point. Her innocent love slowly fills the void in his life, boosting his confidence and giving him hope.

When a crisis abruptly forces him into adulthood, James is saddled with more responsibility than expected. Struggling to cope with the situation, the past returns to haunt him. Will James find peace before the mistakes of his father destroy him completely?

Release date: August 18, 2009, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$19.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 296 pages, Fiction/YA
ISBN 978-0-9816210-3-6 / 0-9816210-3-1

“This book is very motivating and inspiring! This just tells you how much someone is willing to go for the best in his or her life!! There are so many twists and turns and it can teach you how far you would be willing to go to have the perfect moment.”
- TeensReadToo.com

“I could not put this book down… This was a wonderful book that will make you fall in love with the characters, hurt when they hurt and rejoice when things go their way.”
- Debbie’s World of Books

“It is a study of the depth of the human heart and the choices we make in our lives… Wolfe deftly manages to draw you into the story and makes you care for these characters.”
- The Book Pedler

“Full of friendship, love and true life situations, Circle Of Friends Book III is a recommended read for YA of all ages.”
- Missy’s Book Nook

Visit- The Circle of Friends

Book II available at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Book I - Amazon & Barnes & Noble
Book II - Amazon & Barnes & Noble

Follow the virtual tour for your chance to win a free copy:

Aug 11 Interview J Kaye’s Book Blog & Giveaway
Aug 13 Review & interview TexasRed Books
Aug 14 Interview Genevieve's Blog
Aug 14 Review Jamieson Wolf
Aug 15-16 Review Jo-Jo Loves to Read & Giveaway
Aug 17 Guest post Frenetic Reader
Aug 18-19-20 Interview & review Always Something to Read
Aug 19 Book giveaway & guest post Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Aug 21 Guest post & review The Story Siren
Aug 24 Review & interview Ultimate Book Hound
Aug 25 Guest post Find Your Next Book Here
Aug 26 Guest post & review Belle of the Books
Aug 27 Interview Kathy Erskine’s Blog

And from Aug. 16-21, interviews & appearances on Deviant Art - see SpunkOnAStick for details.
Time to do the Spunky dance!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award


Elizabeth Spann Craig at Mystery Writing is Murder awarded me with the Superior Scribbler Award! Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

Rules for Passing on the Superior Scribbler Award
The blog award rules are as follows (which according to rule #5 I am required to post here):
Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.
I choose…

Angie God Uses Broken Vessels
Kitten The BookKitten
Chris CC Chronicles
Karen Following the Whispers
Helen Straight From Hel

Tour Odds & Ends

The tour continues today with a guest post at Frenetic Reader

Remember, in addition to the giveaways listed in my sidebar, I am giving away one copy of Book III to the person with the most comments during my tour, which includes my own blog on days Book III is featured.

The Goodreads giveaway winner was announced - congratulations, Beth in NJ!

I am also making appearances all week on social site, Deviant Art. Commentors there will also be entered to win a free book! See my DA journal for stops & details - SpunkOnAStick

And while a major book trailer is in the works, I was treated to a surprise last Friday when fellow author & fan Jamieson Wolf posted a video for Book III. I was stunned and so humbled that he would go to the trouble of creating this:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meet The Goobers!

No not the chocolate covered ones! Our two little trouble-makers, Rocko & Spunky.

Someone dumped them off in our neighborhood when they were just three months old. A trip to the vet and $300+ later, they came inside permanently. And it's been nothing but black fur and mischief ever since...
But I would like to showcase some of their talents! They are pretty amazing...




Rocko loves to sing and is a Kareoke natural. Should get her on American Idol.





Spunky is adept at attacking stuffed animals. Those plushies don't stand a chance, either!




Rocko has a special way with towels, including the ability to tie one into a complete pretzel.




Spunky also has a super power! When he hides anywhere, he turns invisible. Completely. You can't even see him, can you?


How about now?






If cat carpet-sliding were a sport, Rocko would be an Olympic champion! She can shimmy sideways across our living room in just three seconds...


So there you have it! Two uber-talented goobers.
.
Any other talented kitties out there?
.
And Spunky would like to express his thoughts on the laughter regarding his big ole' butt:


"You lookin' at me?"
.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And The Show Continues...


The tour continues! Today's stop - a review at Jo-Jo Loves to Read
Check back on Sunday for Jo-Jo's giveaway!

More dates coming! Check out these past and future appearances. Remember, in addition to their giveaways, I am also giving away a copy of The Circle of Friends, Book III...James. Just comment at any of these stops or on my blog during a Book III feature and you'll be entered to win. Comment often for multiple entries!

Aug 11 Interview J Kaye’s Book Blog & Giveaway Giveaway
Aug 13 Review & interview TexasRed Books
Aug 14 Appearance & Giveaway Genevieve's Blog
Aug 14 Review Jamieson Wolf
Aug 15 Review Jo-Jo Loves to Read
Aug 17 Guest post Frenetic Reader
Aug 18-19-20 Interview & review Always Something to Read
Aug 19 Book giveaway and guest post Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Aug 21 Guest post & review The Story Siren
Aug 24 Review & interview Ultimate Book Hound
Aug 25 Guest post Find Your Next Book Here
Aug 26 Guest post & review Belle of the Books
Aug 27 Interview Kathy Erskine’s Blog

Friday, August 14, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different!

"We apologise for the fault in the subtitles. Those responsible have been sacked.”

Wow, there was so much going on this week!!!

For todays stops in my tour, please visit Jamieson's site - Jamieson Wolf (and be sure to click on NightWolfDesigns for video he designed and surprised me with today!) and Genevieve's site -Genevieve's Blog
And don’t forget the giveaways in my sidebar.

12 Places Authors Should Look To Develop a Strong Web Presence by Ryan Frank Marketing Tips For Authors
And be sure to enter his contest - Twitter Contest

The Dark Side of Blogging – an outlandish attack! The Story Siren

Some grammar tips on joint & separate possession - Crystal Clear Proofing

Marketing to libraries- A Marketing Expert

Placing Your Books in Stores- Stephen Tremp

The Future of Books? Straight From Hel

Is it poor book marketing to compare one book to another? My Friend Amy

What is true self-publishing? Walt Shiel

How to do a Twitter party! Jane’s Ride

And for news of the fun - world wide movie grosses for all time: IMDB
Now THOSE are the numbers that matter!

Speaking of movies, a review will definitely be posted next week - hitting "District 9" tonight! And I've been excited about this movie since the beginning of summer...

* CONCERT REVIEW *

Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick

Short & sweet - Def Leppard was fantastic and the screens behind them constantly showed video. I've seen these guys at least five times now and they are master showmen. Poison - they were fine, but I guess I'm the only one on the planet who never liked Posion. And this was my first time for Cheap Trick, a band I've always loved but never seen live. Wish they'd gone second and had a light show - and got to play more songs! - but I really enjoyed them.

Which leads us to....

* PHOTO OF THE DAY *

Def Leppard!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt - Book III

* Interview today at TexasRed Books

Excerpt from

The Circle of Friends, Book III...James

Chapter VI

Traffic was unusually heavy. Every car moved slowly and there were few opportunities to pass. James was used to congestion, but he did not like to be late for any reason. When the next light turned yellow, he reluctantly stopped. At least he would have a clear shot when the light changed.

He glanced at Maria and noticed her blank stare. “Hey,” he said, drawing her attention away from the road. “You’re awfully quiet today. Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I just got a lot on my mind,” she answered.

“Anything I did?” James asked.

Maria shot him a startled look and then shook her head. “No. It’s probably nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

“You’re not about to dump me, are you?”

She smiled and the light returned to her eyes. “No,” Maria said firmly, patting his thigh.

“Well, good. I couldn’t handle that right now,” said James, his lighthearted reply concealing the truth. It would devastate him to be alone now.

The light turned green and he hit the gas. There were no other cars for at least half a mile now. They might arrive on time after all.

James felt the jolt even before the sound of crunching metal reached his ears. The force knocked the wind right out of him and fear rose in his heart. Almost simultaneously, he felt a sharp pain in his head and a twinge in his left leg. James thought his hands were still on the wheel, but he felt as if he were grasping air. His mind raced as he tried to comprehend what had happened. Suddenly, everything went black.

Somewhere in the darkness, James could hear a voice. He struggled to identify the speaker, concentrating all energy on that single sound. The words were muffled and unclear, but the tone caused him great concern. James could sense urgency and alarm. The ache in his leg was still present and his head throbbed painfully. He could feel something warm and wet on his neck, but did not have the strength to move. Gradually, the dark hole of unconsciousness opened up again and James slipped once more into nothingness.

He slowly became aware of several voices. He struggled to awaken and return to his senses. The darkness around him no longer seemed all-consuming. Even through lidded eyes, he could tell that it was very bright. The smells were unfamiliar and boasted a medicinal odor. James detected movement near his feet and realized that he was lying on his back. Obviously, he was no longer in his Camaro. Panic swept through him as he tried to discern his present location. The last thing he remembered was driving to the park. The light had turned green and he pulled into the intersection. Something had collided rather forcefully with his car and…

“Maria!” he gasped.


THE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
BOOK III … JAMES
BY L. DIANE WOLFE

Haunted by a troubled past…
The future appears bright for James Sheppard. Emerging from a troubled childhood, he is blessed with talent and a good work ethic. Excelling in his classes and at the campus newspaper, James’s goal of editor appears within his grasp.
However, years of abuse and loneliness have dampened his spirit. By the time Maria enters his world, James is nearing the breaking point. Her innocent love slowly fills the void in his life, boosting his confidence and giving him hope.
When a crisis abruptly forces him into adulthood, James is saddled with more responsibility than expected. Struggling to cope with the situation, the past returns to haunt him. Will James find peace before the mistakes of his father destroy him completely?

Release date: August 18, 2009, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$19.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 296 pages, Fiction/YA
ISBN 978-0-9816210-3-6 / 0-9816210-3-1

“This book is very motivating and inspiring! This just tells you how much someone is willing to go for the best in his or her life!! There are so many twists and turns and it can teach you how far you would be willing to go to have the perfect moment.”- TeensReadToo.com

“It is a study of the depth of the human heart and the choices we make in our lives… Wolfe deftly manages to draw you into the story and makes you care for these characters.”- The Book Pedler

Book III online-
The Circle of Friends
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Dancing Lemur Press LLC

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Invisible Battle

Book III of my series will be released on August 18 and it follows a young man's quest to overcome abuse.

As a foster parent, I witnessed many abuse victims. Child abuse grabs headlines when it involves acts of sexual, physical or neglectful nature, but most people don't hear about mental or emotional abuse. This involves an even greater amount of children and adults and often goes without detection.

Today's post is an article I wrote that covers this invisible enemy.

The Invisible Battle

Child abuse has come to the forefront lately, flooding our news with reports of violence, neglect and sexual abuse. Estimates range from three to nine million American children become victims each year. Yet some forms of abuse go undetected, and while not as extreme, can have lasting effect on a person’s psyche.

Mental abuse is not as readily apparent as its counterparts, but it can leave deep, painful scars. In The Circle of Friends, the main character, James, suffered from physical abuse and mild neglect, but emotional berating caused the most damage. Verbal attacks target a person’s self esteem, eating away at his sense of worth and moral foundation. Constant belittling or being treated as inferior damages a child’s self-image, and that portrait is carried over into adulthood. Young people crave love and acceptance and will seek it elsewhere if their needs are not being met at home. The fear of rejection can be traced back to rejection experienced as a child. Coldness and criticism can alter a child’s perspective of relationships, and he may in turn treat others with the same chilly indifference.

Like a debilitating disease, abuse can cripple one’s ability to function in society. For some, the results of extensive mental abuse are devastating. They may react violently, resorting to anti-social behaviors, substance abuse, or mistreating their own children or spouses, thus perpetuating the problem. Inner stress and turmoil can manifest as a physical ailment or an anxiety disorder, the true cause of which may go undiscovered. Deep psychological scarring means some individuals will spend years trying to resolve issues, occasionally at the expense of those around them.

More often, abuse causes less debilitating problems, filling the child with any number of inhibitions. As adults, they can become depressed or withdrawn, avoiding new situations for fear of failure. Negative and inconsistent behavior from a parent can result in misplaced suspicions and a lack of trust. Social skills can be lacking, causing difficulties with relationships and all forms of intimacy. James struggled with this problem, occasionally exhibiting unacceptable behavior. Some individuals may not be able to form an attachment with their spouse or children, keeping them emotionally distant. Others crave and seek acceptance, desperate to find the unconditional love they did not receive as a child. All of these situations eat away at an already depleted self-image and further destroy a person’s confidence.

An emotionally troubled childhood does not automatically confine one to a life of misery, though. Many factors go into one’s ability to overcome an abusive past. Certain characteristics affect one’s resiliency, such as a good self-image, a high level of intelligence, a sense of humor, and optimism. A positive mental attitude may be the only thing a person can control that will affect his or her future success. Those with a strong sense of independence sometimes feel challenged to achieve a better, more rewarding existence. James funneled his anger into work and school, determined to excel at both endeavors. Possession of such attributes can be the difference between succumbing to the abuse or rising above it with purpose and meaning.

Sometimes resiliency is not enough and recovery requires outside assistance. To aid the healing process, it is crucial to find positive influences. Associating with a supportive circle of friends will begin to raise one’s self esteem. A good reading program or support group can provide guidance and assurance, reinforcing a sense of worth and belief that life can be better. At one point, James attended anger management classes to better control his temper. As a result, he continued to struggle with frustration, but his outbursts were no longer so violent. The average person’s perception of normal may be foreign to victims of abuse, and therapy or counseling may be necessary to readjust their belief system. Parental examples may have taught inappropriate responses to various situations and reinforced negative views of the world. Coping skills will need to be fine tuned so that they may properly handle unpleasant circumstances and discover what is normal, acceptable behavior.

Coming to terms with negative feelings is essential to dissolving the internal conflict and moving forward in life. Many discover guilt to be their greatest struggle and blame themselves for their childhood trauma. Others battle daily with their anger, fighting the urge to foist their agony onto someone else. Coping mechanisms may be in place to block the hurt, such as James’s desire to place the needs of others before his own. All of these issues need to be dealt with in order to restore internal balance. Ultimately though, the pain and frustration at some point needs to be dispersed and released. While making amends with the abuser may be out of the question, forgiving that person will dissolve one’s own ill feelings and set them free. Reconciling oneself with the past, coupled with setting realistic goals, will focus anger and negative energy towards a more constructive purpose and begin the road to recovery.

No one has to remain a victim. The effects of mental abuse are far-reaching, but they do not have to be permanent. In the end, James overcame his struggle, as have many survivors, and broke the cycle of abuse. There is always hope that for those who can abandon the baggage of abuse, a life of fulfillment and contentment awaits.

- Author & professional speaker, L. Diane Wolfe www.spunkonastick.net www.thecircleoffriends.net

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Virtual Tour Kickoff!


My tour for The Circle of Friends, Book III...James kicked off today with several posts at J. Kaye’s Book Blog


Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and she's also giving away a free copy. Feel free to join us!
.
* And Amazon even has it on sale right now - $13.57 instead of $19.95...

Photo Tuesday - Envisioning Characters


As we write our stories, we usually have a good idea what the main characters look like. But sometimes, a visual really helps!


I am a visual person, so having a photo in front of me often spurs my creativity.


All of the main characters in my series, The Circle of Friends, are loosely based on a celebrity's appearance. Lori resembled Anna Kournikova. Heather looks a lot like a younger version of Sean Young.


For each of the main characters, I selected a well-known athlete or celebrity and searched online for photos. Google Image Search is great for this! Those photos helped me envision a real person while writing my stories.


For Book III, which comes out August 18th, I selected Martin Henderson (from The Ring) for the character of James. (See photo above!) They shared similar features and hair style. Even more important, Martin's expression and eyes reflected the hint of sadness that I saw in James, and it helped me connect with this character on a personal level.


How about you? Do you use photos of real people to bring your characters to life?


BTW - a caution when searching for images. While I enjoyed looking for photos of Christian Bale (Jason in Book I) I happened upon a few that were more of him than anticipated. (Not that I'm really complaining!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Author Keith Clemons

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Mohamed's Moon Realms (May 5, 2009)
by
Keith Clemons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A strong defender of Christian values, noted author and lecturer Keith Clemons is a native of Southern California and graduate of English Literature at California State University, Fullerton. In his former capacity as Vice President of Marketing for Mytec Technologies Inc.
He was a frequent conference speaker, particularly when the forum centered on Electronic Commerce. Today, in addition to writing, he appears on radio and television where he uses his communications skills to explain coming trends that will affect both the church and society at large.
His passion for communication has resulted in the previous publication of more than a hundred articles. To date, Mr. Clemons has completed five novels including Angel in the Alley and the award winning If I Should Die, These Little Ones, and Above The Stars.
He resides with his wife and daughter at their home in Caledon, Ontario, Canada.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Are we enemies...or brothers?
Two brothers separated at birth grow up worlds apart. Outwardly, they're exactly alike, but inwardly, nothing's the same--one is a devotee of fundamentalist Islam; the other, a Christian. In this modern-day Cain and Abel story, the lines are drawn not just over whose God is right, but also over the fact that they're both in love with the same girl.
It's a conflict with grave repercussions, little hope of resolution--and time is running out. In the background, a plan has been set in motion that will bring the United States government to its knees. Will an unexpected visitation reconcile the brothers in time to save the woman they love--and ultimately, themselves--from the coming devastation?
In his award-winning style, author Keith Clemons delivers a profound comparison between Christianity and Islam, a dichotomy of life versus death, love versus hate, and grace versus legalism. Mohamed's Moon will plunge you into a world where hatred and heinous acts are justified. But if hatred is potent, it pales in comparison to the power of God's love.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Mohamed's Moon, go HERE
The book link is:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1599795256

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Thank you!


I would like to take a moment to thank my Blogger friends!


Thank you to all of the book bloggers who will be hosting me in the upcoming weeks. I appreciate the opportunity to share my books and my vision with your readers.


Thanks to those who've reviewed my books or hosted me in the past. I know the effort required.


Thank you to those who stop by my blog every day. Your comments add so much value to my site! I appreciate the support, the Tweets, and the mentions on your blog. May I continue to provide interesting posts and information for all of my wonderful followers.


You guys all rock!!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different!

"'Tis but a scratch"
"A scratch?! Your arm's off!''
"No, it isn't.'"

So much news, so little time!

Book Giveaway of THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE J Kaye’s Book Blog

Twitter contest! Marketing Tips For Authors
(And I’m donating a copy of “Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!” as a prize!)

Yvonne Perry shares tips on how to create a good bio- Sharing With Writers

Angie Breidenbach gives pointers on being professional- God Uses Broken Vessels

Morgan Mandel’s book blog tour begins next Wednesday! Double M’s Take on Books...

Do we really need more pricey e-readers? Walt Shiel
And Walt Shiel talks about Google’s “Cloud” Walt Shiel

Don’t forget Book III is available as a giveaway! GoodReads
Also, for those who want to help children, please check out this site Fresh Air Fund

* The virtual tour for Book III begins Tuesday, August 11th! *

This includes interviews, articles, reviews, and MANY chances to win a free copy! In addition to the blogs that are giving away copies, the fan who makes the most comments during this tour will also win a free book:

Aug 11 Book giveaway & announcement J Kaye’s Book Blog
Aug 12 Abuse article HERE
Aug 13 Review & interview TexasRed Books
Aug 13 Excerpt HERE
Aug 14 Interview Genevieve's Blog
Aug 15-31 Book giveaway Jo-Jo Loves to Read
Aug 17 Guest post Frenetic Reader
Aug 18 announcement HERE
Aug 18-19-20 Interview & review Always Something to Read
Aug 19 Book giveaway and guest post Pudgy Penguin Perusals
Aug 21 Guest post & review The Story Siren
Aug 24 Review & interview Ultimate Book Hound
Aug 25 Guest post Find Your Next Book Here
Aug 26 Guest post & review Belle of the Books
Aug 27 Interview Kathy Erskine’s Blog

Good luck, everyone!

* MOVIE NEWS *
And in movie news, the folks at Fox are laughing all the way to the bank! “Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” has made $734,116,992 world-wide, while Disney’s “Up” has only made $366,253,296, less than half that amount.
“Titanic” still reigns supreme with $1,835,300,000 – only three other movies are even over the billion-dollar mark!

* MUSIC NEWS *

New albums coming on September 1st:

Chevelle - Sci-fi Crimes

Arjen A. Lucassen's Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
(This is the music genius behind Ayreon and Stream of Passion.)

And early tickets for Trans Siberian Orchestra fans go on sale Sept. 3 & 4!!!
We see the show every single year and look forward to another incredible experience. THE BEST concert on earth!

* PHOTO OF THE DAY *

Dream Theater ONE more time, because it was such an incredible concert!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt - Alexander Pyles


Every now & then, I meet someone with such incredible potential as an author, as a speaker, and as a person.

Last spring I met Alex at a small book festival and was just so impressed by this young man. (He's only 18!) His mannerisms and speech suggested someone older and far more polished. If Alex continues to fine-tune his writing skills and holds on to his dream, he will one day experience great success!

Here is an excerpt from Alex's work:

Prologue

Where the sky is gray and dark.
The world that yearns for completion finally receives.
The Savior shall be born among the feet of high peaks.
The stars will blaze with the fire of Dragons on the night.
He shall walk the world and the Sun shall hang above in the sky.
The weapon he shall wield will be one forged of metal and magic.
He shall cast darkness away into the light.
This weapon shall not only sever darkness, but heal.
And heal it shall, the broken realm of Kings.

Apprentice Oroth’s finger traced over the words taking each one in. “Oroth,” his master called. Oroth turned back to the hissing, glowing orange forge.

Master Lazar, out of his customary Lumuid robes, seemed almost alien in a blacksmith’s leather apron. Yet, he wielded a hammer with skill that even the most adept blacksmith could not achieve.

Oroth worked the bellows as the flames flared to a white-hotness. He paused and wiped his brow. The crackle of otherworldly energies filled the air as unbridled magic surged from Lazar’s, fingertips sizzling upon the hunk of dwarven steel that lay in the heart of the fire.

The white energy glided and shaped the metal into a sword blade. Lazar swiftly whipped around, grabbing a pair of tongs. “Stop Oroth,” he shouted, over the roar of the fire. And then Lazar thrust the tongs into the flames, snatching the metal from the greedy tongues of fire and placed it on the anvil.

Oroth jumped back from the bellows, and with presumption beyond his thirteen cycles, he went to the corner well and filled a bucket. He knew somewhat of the workings of a forge and the process of creating a sword.

He returned to see Lazar bending over the still white-hot blade with a small knife. Before Oroth could move Lazar slit the vein at his wrist. As an apprentice Oroth could not question his master, but confusion and panic rushed through him seeing flesh so carelessly mutilated.

Muttering an incantation, Lazar let the dark blood fall onto the metal. Oroth stood, rooted, watching the blood hiss upon the blade. Not bothering to bind the wound, which had blood still dribbling from it, Lazar strode over to a table. Returning he grasped an empty, ornate hilt.

Oroth then remembered the bucket at his side and hurried over to the anvil. Lazar glared at him with eyes, the color of dull steel.

“Throw the water on it,” he said, pointing to the blade.

Unquestioningly, Oroth dumped the bucket over it. Suddenly he felt the breath of winter amid the heat, and there sat the blade cool and shiny, as if it had been done for days.

Lazar then took the blade in his hand, ignoring the pain as it cut into his flesh. Looking at his shocked apprentice he said in a low voice, “Oroth, my companion, I now give you one final charge. Take this sword to the elven prince, Onder. Once you have done so, it will be your choice to join him or not.”

With confusion clouding Oroth’s thoughts and before he could speak Lazar finished his final work. He joined the hilt and blade, with a great crash that shook the room. Then there was a blinding flash of white light that pierced Oroth’s eyelids. And then silence. Once the light faded Oroth opened his eyelids. Lazar was gone and his last words echoed in his head. His hand rested on the now cold anvil and twitched, tapping something hard.

He looked down to see the sword laying there, in one piece. Red was streaked through the blade, like blood. He picked it up feeling a strange warmth within the hilt. Deep in his heart Oroth now knew what he must do. Holding the sword carefully, he left the forge as the flames flickered out, but stopped to grasp the parchment that held Zebinalin’s salvation.

Thank you Alex!

Please visit Alexander online:
Blogger- The Penciled One
Wordpress- The Penciled One
Twitter
FaceBook
My Space
Deviant Art

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Author Terry Brennan

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
The Sacred Cipher Kregel Publications (July 31, 2009)
by
Terry Brennan

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the past 35 years, Terry Brennan has accumulated a broad range of experience in both the profit and non-profit business sectors.
His 22-year, award winning journalism career included:
• Seven years as a sportswriter and editor with The Philadelphia Bulletin, at the time the largest-circulation afternoon newspaper in the nation;
• Leading The Mercury of Pottstown (PA), as its editor, to a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing;
• Serving as Executive Editor of a multi-national newspaper firm – Ingersoll Publications – with papers in the USA, England and Ireland.
In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for the Christian Herald Association, Inc., the parent organization of four New York City ministries, including The Bowery Mission.
Now Chief Operating Officer of the National Organization on Disability, Brennan also won the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation. His two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. Terry, his wife Andrea and their two adult children live in New York City. The Sacred Cipher is his first novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades.
When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.

If you want to read the Prologue of
The Sacred Cipher, go HERE
The book link is:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0825424267