Friday, August 31, 2007

Nothing To Do But Write

With the holiday weekend approaching, I have nothing on my plate except writing.
Today will be catch-up on some household chores, paperwork, and organizing.
Saturday through Monday, it's just me, my notebook and the computer!
I'm kinda looking forward to it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Author T. L. Hines

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
THE DEAD WHISPER ON (Bethany House July 1, 2007)
by T. L. Hines

Tony is the author of the acclaimed Waking Lazarus. He has been an advertising agency owner/principal, a trade amgazine editor, and now a novelist.He has been a professional writer for more than 15 years with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Conservative Theological Journal, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency.His long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, working the graveyard shift at a convenience store, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms.As a teen he was undefeated in air guitar competitions in which he performed songs by ZZ Top.He lives in Montana with his wife and daughter.

Would You Run Into A Burning Building?Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life.Once a proud Butte, Montana, miner who daily risked her life setting explosives, she's now a garbage collector in her dying hometown.Her beloves father is dead and she doesn't speak to her mom. More than anything, Candace Mac misses her father. He promised to contact her from the "other side" if he could...but it's been eleven long years. And now even her beloved city of Butte, Montana, seems to be dying off.Candace Mac is alone. Longing for the past. Dreaming of making a difference.Until one night when her father's voice speaks to her from the shadows. Bud MacHugh's trademark growl. The dead, it seems, have messages they hunger to share with the world...warnings of impending disasters and grave danger. Of cities doomed to burn.But they need Canada's help.T.L. Hines' first novel, Waking Lazarus was named one of the Library Journal's Top 25 Genre novels of 2006. Now he's back with a gripping suspense that brings to light our fears and asks us if we still have the courage to fight for those around us. if we have the guts to be one of those who run into burning buildings.

"Chilling!" Publishers Weekly

"...a well-paced suspense populated by dynamic characters." Kirkus Discoveries

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unique Writers

It always amazes me the diversity in those who write!

I taught a seminar last night on publishing at a local NC college and the range of people was quite amazing. Not so much the people themselves, but the goals and ambitions they had for their work! Every person came from a different background of writing and had their own style and preferred genre. Their tastes in what they read for pleasure were diversified as well.

Guess that's why book stores carry so many types of books!

Monday, August 27, 2007


I relly liked a quote we posted recently in our online writer's group:
“I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes...” - Philip Dusenberry

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Well, not really an alien, but normally praying mantis are outdoor critters - I brought this one in for a photo shoot and he really liked my light box.

Photography is my other creative passion. And a good diversion when I'm trying to re-align my thoughts!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Def Leppard Non-Concert Experience

We went to see a concert and wound up in the middle of a freak severe weather storm!

We had gotten to Walnut Creek early, were the first in line and I’d secured front & center grass seats. (We had general admission lawn seats – at the outdoor venue, it is my ONLY chance of actually seeing the concert due to my shortness!)

One of Craig's co-workers and his wife found us in the crowd and they chatted a bit. Finally, it began to rain, not hard, and I went for a snow cone.

As soon as I had the cone-cone in my hands, all heck broke loose! The rain came down in heavy sleets and it began dropping marble sized hail. I jumped aside and under slight cover at this beer & food permanent stand to wait it out. Then the 70 mph down blast hit – and the large snow-cone cart was blown over! Two young girls had been in line behind me and I saw one scrambling to get out of the way. The second girl – I don’t know how she did it – had the opening of the cart come down around her. She slowly poked her head up, climbed out, and they both ran like rabbits – so hopefully neither was injured! The girl manning the cart was okay and managed to get to where I was standing.

During all of this, half of the other stands and tents were blowing away, too! The merchandise tent lost some stuff (had I been downwind, I would’ve gotten a free t-shirt) and garbage cans and all sorts of large debris were flying through the air.

By the time the wind died some and it was just raining hard, I ventured out. Upon returning to the arena area, I saw there were lawn chairs, bottles, bags and people everywhere. Craig was still in our spot, our blanket over his head, and soaked to the bone. Someone had given me a large clear plastic bag, so I curled up next to him and just waited for the rain to stop. I guess when the hail hit, Craig said it was like a disaster movie – everyone screamed and went running to get under the cover of the amphitheater. At first security tried to stop them, because the seats are reserved, but gave up trying. However, with the rain going sideways, everyone under there got soaked as well and the stage was drenched. Roadies covered equipment, but not before it got really wet. Finally they announced that people on the lawn were welcome to take shelter under there, as it was lightning as well, or return to their car. (Usually there is no re-entry.) Several people were injured by flying debris, too.

The show was to begin with Foreigner at 7pm, but the rain did not even let up until 7:30. (Styx was to come on a little after 8pm and Def Leppard at 9:30.) People slowly began to reappear on the grass, many searching for their stuff and all completely soaked.

Shortly before 8pm, they announced that they were going to have to cancel and reschedule the show. (I guess this never happens!) There was still lightning, another band of rain was coming, and the stage & PA system had water damage. There were some moans, but I think at that point, the storm had taken out all of the fight in the crowd. We sloshed our way out of there and headed for home.

When that down blast hit, once I knew the snow cone cart hadn’t crush the girls, all I could think about was poor Craig, still sitting on the lawn. Stuff was flying everywhere and someone said the word tornado, so I wondered if I’d even be able to find him afterwards! But he credits watching Survivor Man and Man Vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel for his ability to survive the storm – when everyone else panicked and ran, he curled up tight under the blanket and just waited it out. Besides, he said I'd worked so hard to get those good seats and he was not about to lose them!

On the plus side, it did drop the temperature from 105 degrees (a Raleigh all –time record!) to about 71 degrees!! And I will never forget this Def Leppard concert experience!

Sadly, the concert has been rescheduled for an evening I already have a seminar to teach. Oh well!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Author Mark Mynheir

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
THE VOID (Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007)
by Mark Mynheir
Mark Mynheir is a cop writer. He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One) and From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two). During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective. Mark and his wife, Lori, live with their three children in central Florida.
The Truth Chasers Book Three
Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell.Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind.So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. The two turn to Lifetex, the genetics lab near the scene, hoping their elaborate security system might have captured the crime outside.But what’s going on inside the lab is far worse: a renegade scientist is cloning humans! As Robbie and Eric pursue clues–and a growing attraction–they are caught in a deadly battle as the clones begin to act on their own volition…but this battle threatens to claim more than human life; the clones are vying for human souls.
The Void is nothing short of a page-turner. Mynheir is truly hitting his stride as one of our industry's most notable Christian novelists. This latest book has it all: suspense, humor, intrigue, realistic police action, and one thought-provoking story line.
Creston MapesAuthor of Nobody

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michael Vick

*Guest Blogger Today

"There's been so much said lately on the subject of Michael Vick, as evidenced by all of the articles running through The Orlando Sentinel lately, that there's not much more I could add to the story.

"Except that it's really sad. Here's someone who had it all - wealth, fame, a future - and blew it by making poor choices in life. All of the accomplishments and all that could have happened are now laid waste."

"People make mistakes, but this isn't a case of getting caught with a DWI. Vick purchased that dog kennel the year he was drafted. He's been doing this for years. And sadly, I think his only regret is that he got caught.

"One's reputation takes years to build ... and but a single moment to ruin."

- James Sheppard, editor for The Orlando Sentinel

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Be A People Person

* Interesting thing about most blogs - the negative tends to draw people in. I rant as a character (or myself!) and it gets more attention.

So before I get caught in that web of negative, time to shift back to the original purpose of this blog - a daily dose of optimism!!!

From John C. Maxwell's book, "Be A People Person":
Roadblocks to Charisma-
Remember: Charisma is being more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are in making them feel good about you!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Outer Banks of North Carolina

I took my first every trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday. Had book signing in Duck. There's many quaint little shops that I want to see, plus the Wright Brothers Memorial. (I did catch a glimpse of it on the hill as I drove by.) Will return next spring when the crowds are not there - and the heat is missing, too!

One thing I noticed, and I had seen it on other NC beaches as well, you cannot see the beach from the road. Because of the small sand dunes they create as a barrier and the long line of condos and beach houses that occupy the entire length of the beaches, one cannot see the ocean. This is such an extreme contrast to the coastline of Oregon, where the road runs right along the beaches and cliffs, providing ample photo opportunities and views of the ocean.

There's also no place to access the beach! I counted ONE public access beach along almost 20 miles of road. ONE!!!!!! There's no parking around the condos, so that one beach is the only option for someone not renting a place for the summer. It's like they are penalizing you for not staying there. "You don't pay to stay, you don't get to see the beach!" Oregon had many places to park and walk down to the beach - state parks galore, public access beaches, restaurants on the waterfront, scenic view spots off the highway, etc. There are some beach houses, but they do not block the way or the view and do not occupy every spare inch of beach front!!!!!

I'll take a beautiful Oregon beach anytime!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Press Release Day

Today my latest press release came out through PR Web and various other services. I have also been sending it out to areas that I am visiting in the coming months. Needless to say, it has taken all day!
In doing all of this though, I have accomplished a lot of online work, including listings & postings. I even had an unexpected call and another appearance booked. So all is well!

"Success is achieved in inches, not miles. Most people never realize how close they are to attaining their dreams because they give up too soon."
- Julio Melara, from "It Only Takes Everything You've Got!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Elizabeth White

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
OFF THE RECORD (Zondervan August 15, 2007)
by Elizabeth White
Beth White is the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.
Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past.
Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd…and suddenly her past becomes a threat to her future.Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip…that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a facade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters.There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangles with Laurel's and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay.A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future...while keeping their feelings off the record?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Circle of Friends Update

Just a little update on the business end of things!

New speaker brochures should be in this week. They will be going out to dozens of local colleges, schools and libraries. My husband did a fantastic job with the setup and they look awesome!

New press release also comes out this Thursday - will be a busy day for me!

And I have mapped out this year's Fall Southern Tour - four signings and almost 20 book store stops in just three days! I have it timed to the minute, too. All business this time, which is okay as well.

More updates soon!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


We had severe weather last night - this is what happens when it's 104 degrees! I got some amazing cloud pictures, plus a bolt of lightning, too. I guess there's a lot of trees down across the county. Haven't seen it yet, but the wind took off part of the roof of a local hotel!
Nothing beats the storm damage from Hurricane Fran though - I still have a picture somewhere of the Motel 6 sign laying atop a Suburban!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Barry Bonds

*Guest Blogger Today

"Unless you've been under a rock this week, you know that Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's homerun record. The media did not go as nuts as I thought they would, but you still couldn't miss the news.
"The media always claims that Bonds is reviled because of the Steroids scandal. That is true, but he's also disliked because he's a big jerk! Bonds is rude to the fans, to the media ... he is a terrible ambassador for the sport!
"On a happier note, A-Rod hit #500 this past weekend and is poised to eventually beat Bonds' record.
"Go A-Rod!"
- Sarah Gardner, wife of Broncos wide receiver, Matt Gardner

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Review of MIKE

Sometimes I question that I am a convincing writer, that I have any real talent.
Then along comes a review like this!

John Aubrey Anderson

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
AND IF I DIE (Faithwords August 2007)
by John Aubrey Anderson

John grew up in Mississippi cotton country. After graduating from Mississippi State, he received an Air Force commission and has recently retired after flying twenty-eight years for a major airline. He lives in Texas with his wife, Nan.

AND IF I DIE is the third book in the Black and White Chronicles. The first was Abiding Darkness (August, 2006), the second was Wedgewood Grey (February, 2007).In 1945, a spirit voice told Mr. A. J. Mason to “Be ready.”In 1960, the spirit drew near and said the same words to the same man. “Be ready.”On both occasions Mason ended up in bloody battles with the forces of evil. On both occasions, he saved the life of a young girl named Missy Parker. And on both occasions good people died.It’s 1968.Missy Parker has been married to Dr. Patrick Patterson for nine years; they live in Denton, Texas. Missy plays tennis and golf; Pat is chairman of the philosophy department at North Texas State University.Mose Washington, a black man Missy refers to as her almost-daddy, is hiding behind a new name—Mose Mann. Mose and the young black man who poses as his grandson have spent eight years successfully evading the FBI, a murderous congresswoman, and creatures from the demonic realm. They now live in Pilot Hill, Texas—fifteen miles from Pat and Missy. Mose is committing the autumn of his life to the pursuit of the knowledge of God and the protection of his “grandson”. His “grandson” is interested in honing his skills as a bull rider.Close friends see portents of danger in events of the early summer and converge on Pilot Hill to warn the two black men that yet another confrontation with malevolent beings may be looming.In the pre-dawn hours, on the second day of the North Texas Rodeo, the voice of an invisible being speaks to Missy Parker Patterson. The voice warns her that it is now she, not A. J. Mason, who has been chosen as the person who needs to “Be ready” . . . and Missy doesn’t want the job.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot hot hot!

Yes, it's August, and on the East Coast that means our hottest month.
Currently it's about 101 degrees, with a heat index of 110. It's actually not THAT humid out there, which is good - or the heat index would be over 115!
Doing anything outside right now is pretty much out of the question. Which is why I'm on my computer, enjoying the AC. Don't know how they did it over a hundred years ago, when there was no such thing as air conditioning.
Maybe that's why everyone headed west!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Things For Which I Am Grateful...

Sometimes it takes hearing about a situation so bad to become grateful.
But I am never more thankful for a loving, dedicated, responsible, faithful, mature and caring husband!
He once gave me a list of words, alphabetical from A - Z, listing all the wonderful things about me. (It currently hangs on my computer door.)
He sacrificed last Saturday to ride with me for an all day romp around Columbia, SC doing signings and such because he wanted me to be safe.
He always get the door for me.
So many little things...
And I am so grateful!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Long Blogs & Emails

I admire the people who have long blog entries and emails. I just don't have that much to say!

I suppose if I wasn't trying to finish my novel right now, I would feel like writing in length and have time to research all sorts of interesting tidbits. I do a lot of research, but it's nothing anyone else would be interested in, that's for sure!

And my emails are short too. I say what I need to and move on. I know it must drive my friends nuts - they write along and intricate email, with many paragraphs, and I answer with about two lines of text!

Short and to the point I guess! (Or am I just short?)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Gilbert Arenas On Shark Attacks

I will not steal the thunder on this one - something to tickle your funnybone!
Basketball player Gilbert Arenas has gone beyond the world of sport on his blog, Agent Zero: The Blog File, and defined "Shark Attacks" for us.
Go to his site through this link:
And scroll down to:
There Are No Such Thing as Shark Attacks
You will be glad you did!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Robin Lee Hatcher

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
RETURN TO ME byRobin Lee Hatcher
Robin is the author of over fifty novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal. Winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin, who is also one of our CFBA members, lives in Boise, Idaho.
Discouraged and destitute, her dreams shattered, Roxy Burke is going home. But what lies beyond the front door?Rejection...or a bright future?
A lot has changed since Roxy Burke escaped small town life to become a Nashville star. Her former boyfriend Wyatt has found Christ and plans to become a minister. Her sister Elena, who comforted Wyatt when Roxy ran away, is now his fiancee. Her father Jonathan, a successful businessman, is heartbroken over the estrangement of Roxy from the family.
Now Roxy...her inheritance from her grandmother squandered, her hopes of stardom dashed...finds her way home...not by choice but because it's her only option. Her father's love and forgiveness surprise her, but her very presence throws the contented Burke family into turmoil, filling Roxy with guilt and shame.
Elena is shocked to discover doubt and resentment in her heart after her father's easy acceptance of Roxy into the family circle. Wyatt wrestles with doubts about marrying Elena. And Roxy struggles to accept forgiveness. Isn't she more deserving of rejection? As the story of the prodigal plays out, each member of the Burke family must search for and accept God's grace.