Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nicole Seitz

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)
by Nicole Seitz
NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet.A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children.
Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim.Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand.Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice. More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret.When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do.The SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart. Together, with Daddy Jim, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Truth About Fear

I put the finishing touches on a seminar I am doing this fall on overcoming obstacles. Part of the process includes overcoming fear.
According to Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.'s book "Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway", there are five truths about fear:
1- The fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow
2- The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it
3- The only way to feel better about myself is to go out ... and do it
4- Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I'm on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else
5- Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness
So the answer is ... get over it and get on with it!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reviews for MIKE

I would like to take a moment to thank those who have posted a review of MIKE somewhere on the Web! I appreciate the encouraging words. Apparently Book IV really touched a lot of people.
I hope Book V will do the same!
Thanks so much!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Book Expo America

This year Book Expo America is in New York City, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from May 31 - June 3.
I'm not attending this year, but I will never forget my first Book Expo last year in DC. Upstairs housed hundreds of children's book publishers and some promotional companies. Downstairs ... there were thousands of publishers! The main floor could have held several football fields, it was so massive. I remember going down the stairs in total awe, completely overwhelmed by what I saw. I had mapped out the contacts I wanted to make, but it was impossible to hit every booth on my list. I even managed to get into the agent area for thirty minutes! I was a little more composed for Sunday and was the second author at my publisher's booth signing books that morning. (Moved all fifty copies, too!) I did get some time to simply wander aimlessly and met some really nice people.
Craig had a good time, too. He came home with dozens of bags and over a hundred books!
If you ever get the opportunity to attend, do so! It will be a weekend you will never forget.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

American Idol Laugh

* Guest Blogger Today

"I'd have to file this under Things that make me laugh!
"I just read where Paula Abdul broke her nose this past weekend - while trying to avoid stepping on her Chihuahua!
"Paula sustained a broken nose, bruises and a fractured toe.
"Tulip the Chihuahua, however, was not injured in the mishap.
"Some things need no embelishment!"

- Sarah Gardner, wife of Denver's wide reciever, Matt Gardner

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Alpha Delta Kappa Day!

I was asked to come speak to an order of Alpha Delta Kappa ladies today and it was a total delight! They were so full of questions, which is always fun. I was given a beautiful little ceramic holder from Sicily as a gift, too.

In listening to them, I was amazed how active these ladies were with their travels and get-togethers. One even has a daughter living in Albuquerque, NM, and she had also seen the International Balloon Fiesta.

And the biggest surprise of all - half of them purchased a book. I was not expecting that!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Defiant Heart (Avon Inspire May 8, 2007) by Tracey Bateman
Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer'simagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book.Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root. Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off.She currently has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres. Tracey Bateman believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!
Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier?Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west.Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train.But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety? Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Good Day!!

Every book store appearance is memorable and I appreciate the people who come out to purchase my books.

Today I had two really great people stop by to see me! Heather not only purchased a book for herself, but got several as birthday gifts!

The other was Charles, a friend who had come out to get Book II a while back. He had let his daughter read it and returned to the store to get Book I. Today he came out with Asia to get signed copies of III and IV! She even brought me a letter and pictures - so sweet!!!

This is what keeps me going - thanks so much!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bikini Coffee

Guest Blogger Today!

"A coffee stand in Oregon called Coffee Nation is trying something new. Their girls wear bikini tops to increase sales!
"Now while this doesn't give the ladies much to look at, I'm sure it's a big draw for the guys. I'm not protesting, that's for sure! In California, this would be no big deal, but Oregon is just a wee bit colder. Guess that would make it interesting on chilly days!
"There's always drawbacks, though. What if they hire someone who has no right to be wearing a bikini? No one wants to see that!
"Even worse - what if the guys had to wear them? Augh!!!"
- Jason Phillips, Chicago Bears Quarterback

Orchard of Hope by Ann Gabhart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Revell March 1, 2007)
by Ann Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.

Nothing will be the same after the summer of 1964.Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.Jocie finds herself befrending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever.In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.Let this riveting novel take you along to experience unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Writing Show Podcast - Information and inspiration for writers!

My interview is now up and may be viewed at:

Many thanks to Paula Berinstein for a fantastic interview!!!

And another review of MIKE is up:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Images From St Paul's

Marcus came down to pick up some books...

Myra's granddaughter and her dog Blossom kept me amused ...

And Tiny attracted the crowds!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Little Encouragements

It's the little things, the small triumphs, that keep me going!
Yesterday I dropped off several orders for my forth book, one of them at a high school. I was told by the librarian that she had one girl in particular whom she would save MIKE for, as the young lady had been pestering her to get the next book in the series. I guess she has just fallen in love with the series and been to my website numerous times. That simply thrills me! I told the librarian to have this girl email me, as I would love to hear her thoughts on the latest book.

I also got a surprise yesterday when booking another publishing & promoting seminar: the director also set up one for my Overcoming Obstacles With Spunk, too! Woo-hoo! I love doing that seminar.

Spunk is right up my alley!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Seminar Sample

Here is a little tidbit from my publishing & promoting seminar:
It is very important that you plan your marketing budget! Outline what you will do before and after your book is released. Research all of the possibilities and options you wish to pursue - advertising, review copies, materials, promotional travels, etc. Then determine how much money you can spend in each area. You may find that your ambitions exceed your budget, but better now than later! Readjust appropriately and then do everything you can to stick to your budget. It is easy to become overzealous and spend all of your profits before you've made a dime!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
RANSOMED DREAMS (Multnomah April 16, 2007)
by Amy Wallace

Amy Wallace is a member of the CFBA and an avid Blogger. A self-confessed chocoholic, this freelance writer is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and serves as the liaison for the training division of the county police department. Amy is a contributing author of God Answers Moms' Prayers, God Allows U-Turns for Teens, Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes, and A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers. She lives in Georgia with her husband and three daughters.

Drama. Tragedy. Thriller. Romance. Can these four actually go together? Amy Wallace's meaty first book of the Defenders of Hope Series, RANSOMED DREAMS, has successfully united these genres.
It is one of those books that after you read a little and put it down, the desire to see what will happen next is so strong that it will occupy your thoughts, compelling you to make the time to finish. But watch out! It is best consumed where no one will hear you cry because, if you have children, it will hit you like a stab in the gut and wrench you with a twist of the knife.
Although the subject at first depresses, the characters are so real and likable that you need to see what will become of them.
This book will NOT bore you.
Chained To Yesterday
When tragedy struck and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.
Forgiveness Unlocks the Future
An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people’s children and nights caring for his son. He’s through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn’t expect what’s coming next.
The Past Is the Key
A plot to kidnap a British ambassador’s daughter dangerously intersects Steven and Gracie’s worlds–a collision that demands a decision. But are they willing to pay the high ransom required to redeem dreams and reignite hope?
Steeped in police intrigue and rich characters, Ransomed Dreams entertains, educates, and captivates. Amy Wallace is a fresh, vibrant voice in the Christian market
~Mark Mynheir, Homicide Detective and Author of The Void
Ransomed Dreams had me hooked from the start and didn't let go until the deeply satisfying ending.
~Kristin Billerbeck, Author of What a Girl Wants

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just When I Thought All Was Lost ...

With the rash of book store closings this past six months, I had begun to think all of my favorite locations would soon be gone. Fortunately, I was able to set several signings today with stores that are most definitely still in place! Plus I was informed of some changes within one chain that will stop the onslaught of closings. That is certainly good news for all of the wonderful people working those stores!

I am also thinking outside the box and have a list of other potential locations, such as coffee shops and doing more book club and writing club appearances, something I have not done enough of in the past.

Things change - must keep up with those changes!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Next Article

This is the next article I am working on and still needs some editing:

The Most Difficult Apology – Forgiving Ourselves

From an early age, we are taught to apologize when we have erred and excuse the mistakes of others. The release of guilt is integral to our mental health, like a cleansing of the soul. Indeed, Christianity’s very foundation is based on the act of forgiving. But what happens when the person we most need to forgive is ourselves?

An apology is the first step in a process of healing. There is an admission of guilt or fault in a given situation. Responsibility is taken for the erroneous words or action and an offer is given to set things right. This can be very humbling for those of us not accustomed to admitting our failings. We suddenly become vulnerable. Forgiving is the acceptance of that apology and a willingness to forget the offense. Occasionally it will be denied, and we must learn to deal with that reality. Usually a sincere, heartfelt apology will be well received. From there, the relationship can heal, continuing to grow and move forward.

Forgiving ourselves requires that the internal hurt be healed as well, but this does not always happen. The other person might grant us forgiveness, but we are unable to bestow upon ourselves similar consideration. When this occurs, we struggle mentally and emotionally. Our spiritual life is hindered as guilt takes over our mind. Our misdeed influences all our decisions and weighs heavily around our hearts. Where there is constant remorse, there can be no peace.

The deepest guilt is often the result of a violation of our own moral standards. In my fourth book, Mike, the main character suffered tremendous guilt from a former girlfriend’s abortion because it violated his Christian beliefs. Every one of us has a moral code, and when it is broken, there is incredible anxiety. Transgressions as simple as lying can linger in our hearts long after we have been forgiven by the offended. We allow the memory of past failures to linger, constantly reminding us of our imperfections. This slowly eats away at our stability and self-image.

This guilt affects our future relationships in a very negative manner. When we encounter a similar situation, we are reminded how poorly we handled our first response. A reluctance to deal with the issue can cause us to withdraw. Sometimes we even portray ourselves as a martyr. However, this self-sacrifice is for unhealthy reasons and it inhibits rather than encourages personal growth. In essence, we stagnate in our own shame and condemnation.

We need to break free of these self-imposed prisons and not be held captive by the past. The first step in the process is admitting the error of our words or actions. We need to realize that we are only human, and humans make mistakes. A sincere apology must be made, just as if we were apologizing to another person. The final step is to accept that apology and forgive. For the greatest impact, write down the words or speak them aloud. A friend not involved in the original transgression can be called upon, as my character Mike called upon Danielle to assist in the process. What matters most is the acceptance of the apology. Once we have truly forgiven ourselves, the healing procedure can begin.

Just as we are our own worst critics, so are we less likely to forgive ourselves. Guilt creates a very small cage, inhibiting our ability to maintain healthy relationships and develop as a person. Mike had to forgive himself if he ever hoped to have a future with Danielle. Once we discard the shackles of guilt and condemnation, we will also be free to pursue a bright future!

- Author & Speaker, L. Diane Wolfe,

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Publishing & Promoting Seminar

I meet people every day who want to publish or need promoting tips and this past week, there's been several every day! For anyone in the Eastern North Carolina area, I and another author are currently doing seminars, free to the public, on publishing & marketing. Below is a brief description of the three hour class and we cover A LOT of information during that time. For the seminar nearest you, visit my main website:

How To Publish & Market Your Book Now!
Have you always dreamed of publishing a book, but didn’t know where to begin? Two local authors walk you through the steps, from creating a marketable product to generating publicity. All of the options available will be outlined, with an emphasis on self-publishing, including the incredible potential of the Internet as a resource and platform for your work. Anyone serious about writing is encouraged to attend this lively seminar.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Death of the Book Store

The small, quaint book store used to be the staple of every town.
Every mall had a Waldenbooks or a B. Dalton or a Brentano. For my husband and I, that was always one of three places we hit at the mall. Now, finding a book store in a mall is almost like being struck by lightening - it's not likely to happen!
Since January first, I have watched many of my favorite stops for book signings close their doors. Some of them made no sense - the Waldenbooks in Norfolk's MacArthur Center was always SO busy! Some areas lost multiple stores - Roanoke, VA and Myrtle Beach, SC each lost two Waldenbooks.
Fewer independent stores remain open, too. They usually fall victim to a larger chain, such as Books-A-Million. The smaller chain stores simply get swallowed up by the big corporate store - we have many Barnes & Nobles in NC, but the last B. Dalton closed its doors in 2006. Borders Inc. is depleting its Waldenbooks numbers faster than Harry Potter books fly off the shelves.
And I while I do shop online for books, the bulk of what I buy continues to come from a physical store. Nothing can compare to walking into a store and seeing all of the books on the shelf, enticing one to browse and buy. There's just something about being able to touch the book and thumb through the pages that one can't get online. Plus, it's easier to find a hidden nugget that way. Who is going to search, page view by page view, through all million plus books on Amazon's site? No one - it would take way too long!
So I am all in favor of supporting your local store, no matter what it is, while you still have that choice!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tribulation House by Chris Well

This week the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
TRIBULATION HOUSE (Harvest House 2007)
by Chris Well

Chris Well is a fellow member of the CFBA and founder of its sister organization, FIRST. He is an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from Evelyn and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of 2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is hard at work on his next novel.

IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD—WHICH COULD BE A PROBLEM...Mark Hogan has it all. The job. The family. A position on the board at church. All he’s missing is a boat. Not just any boat—a 2008 Bayliner 192.When Reverend Daniel Glory announces that the Rapture is taking place on October 17 at 5:51am, Hogan realizes his boat–buying days are numbered. So he does what any man in his situation would do—he borrows a load of money from the mob.Not that there’s any risk involved: After all, when the Rapture comes, Hogan will be long gone. The mob will never find him.But when Jesus fails to come back on schedule, Mark Hogan finds the mob is in no mood to discuss the finer points of end–times theology...Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION HOUSE does not disappoint!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Update of Stuff

I've already got an appearance planned for 2008, even though I don't believe my brain can think that far ahead!

Working on a new article - forgiving oneself.

And progressing forward with Book V!

I've also been invited to attend the next local Toastmasters meeting. Should be interesting! I know some people join to get over their fear of speaking in public. I have no qualms about that!

And today, May 1st, is my sixteen year anniversary!!!