Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween & Horror

It's Halloween! Time for scary & chilling stories.
Actually, I'm not sure I could write a horror story. As with thrillers, I don't feel my style of writing could reach that level of intensity. My values would prevent me from writing on certain subjects as well, although I do enjoy a good horror film. Note I said GOOD - not torture-porn or slasher flicks.
I do have an idea for a werewolf story, although with my style it would be more relationship-based as opposed to chilling. But I think the dynamics of dealing with being a werewolf or coping with someone who changed once a month into something more primitive and animal would be an interesting topic to tackle!
I'll add it to my list...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Google & Amazon Lawsuits

Apparently the Google lawsuit has been settled, and they will be required to compensate the author for downloads of their work. For more details on that, go to:
Meanwhile, the Amazon/BookSurge Antitrust Lawsuit is still pending. Since Amazon enacted their policy of requiring that all digital books be printed through their company, Booksurge, they have created a monopoly and hurt many small publishers. For more information on this lawsuit, go to SPAN's website:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Author Patti Lacy

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
An Irishwomans' Tale Kregel Publications (July 8, 2008)
Patti Lacy


Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois.


Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future.
A shattered cup. Cheap tea. Bitter voices asking what's to be done with the "little eejit." Mary, an impetuous Irishwoman, won't face the haunting memories--until her daughter's crisis propels her back to County Clare. There, in a rocky cliffside home, Mary learns from former neighbors why God tore her from Ireland forty-five years earlier. As she begins to glimpse His sovereign plan, Mary is finally able to bury a dysfunctional past and begin to heal. Irish folk songs and sayings add color to the narrative.

If you would like to read the first chapter of , go
The book link is:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Chance to Write Again...

I had a couple down days (what on earth are those?) and actually began writing again.

I'm still doing final revisions on Book V, but it's refreshing. I've also been working on some new articles, too.

I love the promotions and everything else I do, but now and then it's nice to get lost in a story again. That's why we write in the first place I think!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Author Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Dangerous Heart Avon Inspire (October 14, 2008)
Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Westward Hearts Series,
Defiant Heart (#1) and Distant Heart (#2)
She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years. She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.
Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.
She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.

For the past seven years, Ginger Freeman has had one goal: find Grant Kelley and make him pay for allowing her brother to die. Growing up motherless with a father who leads an outlaw gang, Ginger isn’t exactly peaches and cream. So when she finally tracks down Grant on a wagon train headed west, she figured providence had stepped in and given her the chance she’s been waiting for.
On the wagon train, finally surrounded by a sense of family and under the nurturing eye of Toni Rodde, Ginger begins to lose her rough edges. She’s made friends for the first time and has become part of something bigger than revenge. Not only has her heart softened toward people in general, but God has become a reality she never understood before. And watching Grant doctor the pioneers, she’s realized she can’t just kill him and leave the train without medical care. Putting her anger aside, before long, Ginger’s a functioning part of the group.
But when the outlaw gang, headed by her pa, shows up and infiltrates the wagon train, she is forced to question her decision. Only self-sacrifice and her new relationship with God can make things right. But it might also means she loses everything she’s begun to hold dear.

If you would like to read from the first chapter of
Dangerous Heart, go HERE
The book link is:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

For the Cat Lovers...

This is for the cat lovers out there!
If you've not seen the website Stuff On My Cat, you need to check it out!
And it's not just dressing up cats - although there's plenty of that, too - but quite literally, stuff placed on cats!
I need to post my photo, Spunky And The Mice:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Importance of Editing

Editing is SO important! I cannot stress this enough.
We cannot hope to catch everything ourselves and an English teacher does not understand what is required in the publishing industry. An official book editor improves our work, catching mistakes and continuity errors, making it a more marketable product.
For a great article on the subject, visit:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Website Blues

Currently the host of my site is having issues and many of the photos are not appearing. They are working on the problem, but it's a bit frustrating! So my apologies if you visit my site and see empty boxes where photos should be placed!

In other news, I actually have a couple free days to get some things done! I'm currently working on another article for Lynn's newsletter as well as articles for several teen mags and sites. Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Author Tim Downs

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Less Than Dead Thomas Nelson (September 9, 2008)
Tim Downs


Tim Downs is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University. After graduation in 1976 he created a comic strip, Downstown, which was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate until 1986. His cartooning has appeared in more than a hundred major newspapers worldwide. His first book, a work of non-fiction, was awarded the Gold Medallion Award in 2000. His first novel, Shoofly Pie, was awarded the Angel Award in 2004, and his third novel,
PlagueMaker, was awarded the Christy Award for best suspense novel of 2007. First The Dead, the third book in this Bug Man series came out earlier this year. Tim lives in Cary, North Carolina, with his wife Joy.


Some secrets just won't stay buried.When strange bones surface on a U.S. senator's property, the FBI enlists forensic entomologist Nick Polchak to investigate the forgotten graveyard. Polchak's orders are simple: figure out the mess.But Polchak, known as the "Bug Man" because of his knowledge of insects and their interaction with the dead, senses darker secrets buried beneath the soil.Secrets that could derail the senator's presidential bid.Secrets buried in the history of a quaint Virginia town.Secrets someone is willing to kill to protect.With the help of a mysterious local woman named Alena and her uncanny cadaver dogs, Polchak sets out to dig up the truth.But with a desperate killer hot on his trail, he'll be lucky to wind up anything less than dead.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Less Than Dead, go HERE
The book link is:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Book 'Em!!!

Back from another incredible time at the Waynesboro, VA Book 'Em Event!
The school visits were wonderful - so many eager kids! All of the teachers were awesome. Resa gave me a big hug at Shelburne Middle School and I found another vegan in Mary at Kate Collins Middle School. Several of the teachers and students came out to get my books, too.

The meet & greet Friday night was cool, because it was at a quaint bookstore/cafe that was so organic and natural in flavor. I got to spend some time talking with one of the owners and told her I wish there was a place like hers in my home town.

The panel discussion was interesting - my work is so hopelessly optimistic compared to most YA authors - but my solo talk that morning rocked!

My huband was wonderful all day, selling my books while I was gone. My buddy Trish (author p.m. terrell) asked if I could clone him....

Author and Officer Mark Kearney works so hard putting all of this together, too! Don't know how he does it.

And, they even made us a special cake:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Book 'Em Foundation

Don't know how many you are aware of the Book 'Em Foundation, but their Waynesboro, VA festival is this weekend. There's sixty authors in attendance, including one from Scotland! (And Dirk is a really cool guy - I could listen to him speak for hours!)

Check out the Book 'Em website for a festival near you or to see who is appearing at this weekend's event - there's a full list of talks & discussions, too.

I've got a seminar in Roanoke Rapids tonight, and from there I visit five schools Friday and then the festival is Saturday. I am delighted to have a solo talk and participate in a panel discussion.

And now I'm off for the weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Author Chris Coppernoll

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
A Beautiful Fall David C. Cook (October 2008)
Chris Coppernoll

Chris Coppernoll is the founder of Soul2Soul Ministries, with his interviews with Christian artists airing weekly on 650 radio outlets in thirty countries. He has conducted hundreds of interviews on faith issues with personalities such as Amy Grant, Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith, and Kathie Lee Gifford. He also serves as a Deacon at The People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and is currently working toward a Masters in Ministry Leadership degree through Rockbridge Seminary.
His "Inspirations" column is published monthly in the mid Michigan newspaper, The Jackson Citizen Patriot.
Chris Coppernoll is the author of four other books including Soul2Soul, Secrets of a Faith Well Lived, and God's Calling. Providence, his first novel, is his fourth book.

High-powered Boston attorney Emma Madison is celebrating her latest courtroom victory when she gets a call from a number she doesn't recognize. Area code 803 home. Juneberry, South Carolina eight hundred miles, twelve years, and a lifetime away from Boston. Emma's father has had a serious heart attack. Emma rushes to his bedside, and a weekend trip threatens to become an extended stay. She has to work fast to arrange the affairs of his small-town law practice so she can return to her life and career in Boston.
And then Michael Evans shows up. They'd shared hopes, dreams, and a passionate love as young college students during a long-ago summer. But Emma walked away from Michael and from Juneberry to finish college and start a new life. Michael has never forgotten her.
Enveloped in the warmth of family and small-town life and discovering that she still cares for Michael Emma knows she'll have to make a choice between the career she's worked so hard to build and the love she left behind.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
A Beautiful Fall, go HERE

The book link is:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Characterization article

My article, "Characterization: Get Real!" was just featured in the newsletter, The Literary Lynnch Pen.
This weekly newletter on writing is available at Lynn Tincher's site - - and is full of information!
Check it out!
And thanks so much, Lynn!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Paid Advertising a Bust for Books

One thing I learned in all of my research (and a little through experience) is that paid advertising does not work well for books.

Advertising is just that - a paid promotion. No one trusts ads! However, a review or mention will get a lot more positive attention. Press releases get better results. A magazine or newspaper feature is a big plus! Paying for a service should be the last resort for an author. We can get in front of just as many people and with far better results on our own and by using reviews & press releases.

So save your money and market more effectively!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Seminars & Generosity

My seminars are very rewarding and I meet some incredible people. Last night's Leadership seminar held a dynamo group and I really enjoyed it! In Tuesday's group, there was a big fan and someone wanting me to come speak at their organization. Wednesday's group really surprised me, when the vice president of the college sat in the audience! But what really touched me was one of the attendees offered me tickets to her play. She is a playwright and a director and appreciated the seminar so much, she asked if I would be her guest. That's so incredibly generous! I was very touched by her offer.
It's moments like these that keep me going!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Authors Bill Barton and Henry O. Arnold

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Hometown Favorite Revell (September 1, 2008)
Bill Barton and Henry O. Arnold
Bill Barton is a business partner with Compass Technologies. An active member and volunteer at his church, Hendersonville Chapel, Barton is a regular speaker at services and other events. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his family.
Henry O. Arnold has been a professional actor, writer, and director in theatre, film, and television. He co-wrote and produced the film The Second Chance starring Michael W. Smith and wrote the screenplay for the first authorized film documentary on evangelist Billy Graham, God's Ambassador. Arnold lives in Portland, Tennessee.
Talented, handsome, and personable, Dewayne Jobe rose from humble beginnings in rural Mississippi to play college football in Southern California and beyond. One of the best wide receivers in college ball, Dewayne is assured a promising career in professional football as one of those rare athletes whose exceptional abilities place him in a league of his own.
He easily finds success both on and off the field. Dewayne's got a beautiful, intelligent wife running his lucrative endorsement business and carrying his child and the pristine white picket fence to boot. The only thing lacking is a road sign confirming his address on Easy Street.
But catastrophe looms right around the corner and ultimately strikes with a crushing vengeance. Will Dewayne's faith and character stand the test of such tragedy? Or will he lose everything--including the love of his life?
This modern retelling of the story of Job will capture readers with the age-old question of why bad things happen to good people--and how good people can survive.
Combining realistic sports action and a deadly serious challenge to faith, Hometown Favorite is a story that won't let you up off the turf until the game clock hits zero.
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Hometown Favorite, go HERE

"An amazing story of betrayal, forgiveness, redemption and hope. The characters are vibrant and alive. Barton and Arnold have a rare and keen understanding of human nature, making the spiritual truths of this story both profound and compelling."
~Michael W. Smith, recording artist
"Like a close game and a score that just won’t turn around, Dewayne’s true fans and Hometown Favorite readers will appreciate the daunting odds fate doles out and this story’s hard-won outcome." ~Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace

The book link is:

Monday, October 06, 2008

Book 'Em Waynesboro, VA

Book 'Em is fast approaching!
I am happy to announce that I have a solo talk at 10am and will be participating in a panel discussion with other YA authors at 2pm. The day before, I am visiting five classes at two different schools!
Anyone in the area, come on out! It's a fantastic cause and there's about 60 authors this year!

5th Annual Book 'Em literacy event
Saturday, October 18th, 2008
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Dozens of authors
Free Admission
Kate Collins Middle School
1625 Ivy Street
Waynesboro, VA 22980

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Charlotte, gas, and crazy things on the road!

Long trip to Charlotte today for two signings. A delightful time at both venues - Waldenbooks in Monroe and Park Road Books in Charlotte.

And yes, Charlotte - and everything within a fifty mile radius - is out of gas! I saw not ONE gas station with regular from Salisbury thru Charlotte and beyond Monroe. Scary!

As always, the road trip was interesting. Yes, I did ten miles over the speed limit - mostly because I did not want to be run over! But I saw an off-duty motorcycle cop gesture to a car to slow down in Durham and another police car zoom after a crow doing over 80mph - fortunately, I'd slowed down to 75 at that point!

I also had my doors blown off by a covertible Beamer! Dud must've been doing 100mph...

However, it was a great day! AND I came home to a request for two of my seminars next year from a college I've never visited. So how cool is that????

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Author Michelle Sutton

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
It's Not About Me Sheaf House Publishers (September 1, 2008)
Michelle Sutton

Michelle Sutton has lived in Arizona and since 1991 and has two sons and a husband of 18 years. She began writing fiction in August 2003 when God inspired her to write a novel with realistic characters that would glorify Him. In 2004 she joined ACFW - American Christian Fiction Writers. In 2006 Michelle ran for Volunteer Officer on the ACFW Operating board and ACFW members elected her to serve a two year term. She sold her first manuscript Then Sings My Soul (now re-titled It's Not About Me) to Sheaf House and her debut novel was released in Sept. 2008. The second book in the Second Glances series - It's Not About Him - will be released the following fall (Sept. 2009.) Last, Michelle is Editor in Chief of the new
Christian Fiction Online Magazine. The debut issue released in July 2008. The magazine is sponsored by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.

Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. One night an unexpected visitor appears and Annie's safe world is destroyed by a brutal attack. As she tries to pick up the pieces of her broken life, she is torn between two brothers, both of whom claim to love her. She is attracted to both, but which one does she love? How can she choose when her decision may cause a permanent rift between them? And more important, will she give her heart to the One who will sustain her even when human love fails.

"...the exquisitely written spiritual content shows the reader that redemption is available, no matter what the circumstances." - 4 Stars, Romantic Times!

Instead of dealing with timely issues like alcoholism, premarital sex and pornography in a preachy, oh-so-tired fashion, Michelle Sutton's It's Not About Me gets to the heart of the matter with a shocking dose of realism and poignant storytelling. From the first paragraph, Sutton weaves together a thoroughly entertaining story that'll keep readers intrigued for the long haul as they get to know Annie, Dan, Tony and Susie—young adults that probably don't look and sound all that different from themselves. Now that's a seriously refreshing turn for Christian fiction."~Christa Ann Banister~, author of Around the World in 80 Dates, (NavPress 2007) and Blessed are the Meddlers (NavPress 2008)

It's Not About Me is a wonderfully entertaining and deliciously suspenseful read that will keep you turning the pages. Sutton doesn't back away from the drama and with all of the twists and turns, It's Not About Me is hard to put down. I cannot wait for the sequel! Bravo!"~Victoria Christopher Murray~, Essence best-selling author of multiple titles including The Ex Files and the upcoming YA series The Divine Divas

“Annie captured my heart on the first page and kept me enthralled to the very end. This edgy, yet surprisingly poignant story travels the inroads of intimate relationships – man to woman, brother to brother, parent to child, friend to friend. But especially satisfying is the author’s delicate handling of the relationship between a searching soul and the loving Savior who alone possesses the power to work all things out for the good. A terrific debut for Michelle Sutton. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!” ~Virginia Smith~, author of Just As I Am and Sincerely, Mayla

"Michelle Sutton's gritty writing style will very likely go straight to the hearts of teens, addressing what they deal with every day in what is all too often grim reality for our youth. Sutton is no doubt a refreshing and much needed voice in today's YA fiction."~Tina Ann Forkner~, Author of Ruby Among Us Waterbrook Press/Random House
If you would like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of It's Not About Me, go HERE
The book link is: