Friday, February 27, 2009

And now for something completely... Prill!

For a special treat today, I am welcoming author and Boomer extraordinare, Prill Boyle!

Prill is the author of "Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women" Her book has won international aclaim and she has traveled to some incredible places!

Her website is and her blog can be found at

So without further babble from me, please welcome the delightful Prill Boyle!

Describe your book “Defying Gravity” and what all went into it?

Defying Gravity recounts true stories of 12 everyday women who accomplished extraordinary things after 40. One woman became a medical doctor at 50; another became a flight attendant at 71. At the time I got the idea, I was teaching community college and wanted to provide role models to help my students stay focused on their dreams.

When you ask, “What all went into it?” I have to laugh. My heart and soul—that’s what! Before I began, I had no idea how to find people to interview, how to write a story, how to get published. Sometimes people say to me, “I can’t imagine writing a book.” I tell them that I used to think that, too. I’m not one of those people who always dreamed of becoming an author. In my wildest imagination, I never would have envisioned this future for myself. But I’ve come to believe that each of us has more potential than we realize. I always say, “If you’re still breathing, there’s hope!

Was this the book you always wanted to write?

As I said, I never imagined myself as a writer period, so I can’t say that this was the book I’d always wanted to write. I was an English teacher—that’s how I thought of myself. But if you take the word “always” out of the question, I’d say that, yes, this is the exact book I wanted to write. The day the idea came to me, I saw the finished product in my mind’s eye. I had almost no clue how to get from A to Z—from my vision to the reality— but the book I hoped to write is the book I eventually wrote. Pretty amazing now that I think about it.

I’m currently working on a novel about a late bloomer. I’m not sure I’ll be able to say the same thing about this new book when I’m done. The story is still so much richer in my head than it is on the page. We’ll see how it turns out. It helps me, though, to realize that I felt the same way about Defying Gravity when I was in the middle of writing it.

Tell us a little about your blog, Defying Gravity!

On the blog you’ll find common-sense tips, great resources, personal reflections, and true stories for aspiring "bloomers" of any age. I began posting in the fall of 2006. To date, I’ve featured fifty-five late bloomers (men and women). Depending on what’s going on in my life at the moment, I post between one and three times a week. I welcome all comments.

Tell us about speaking at the United Nations!!!

The National Council of Women of USA, an organization founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in the 1800’s and taken over by the United Nations when it came into existence in 1945, asked me to be the keynote speaker at one of their events. I titled my talk “Women of Vision: From Finding a Voice to Making a Difference.” Just being in the building was a thrill!

What are some of the bonuses that you didn’t predict in the beginning of your author journey?

Meeting and making friends with so many incredible people has got to be one of the biggest. Two years ago I spent a month in Africa at the invitation of a woman who read the book and contacted me—a 70-year old Peace Corps volunteer named Bonnie Orton. The novel I’m now writing is set in some of the places I visited with her. I also never imagined becoming an international speaker. I tell people that I used to be shy, and they look at me like I’m crazy. But it’s true. Even now, I have to admit that I sometimes get butterflies speaking in front of groups if I’ve gone a while without doing so.

What do you consider as a “late bloomer?”

A person who discovers their gifts and accomplishes their goals later in life than one would expect.

BTW – you do NOT look like a “boomer!”

I’m 54 and am going to be a grandmother for the first time this summer.

You reside in Connecticut – has that always been home?

I grew up here but have lived all over the country—Boston; Denver, Atlanta; Washington, DC; and Upstate New York.

Your website lists a lot of resources, which I really like! What did it take to pull this all together?

The list has evolved over time. I didn’t sit down and write it in a day. Since 2000 I’ve been collecting articles about late bloomers and second careers. I’ve also been compiling statistics and doing research on aging. I keep updating the list as new material comes along.

What’s next for Prill?

I’m collaborating with a wonderful guy named Larry Portzline on a male version of Defying Gravity. I’m also hoping to finish my novel this year. After that, we’ll see.

And the last word, Prill…?

Thank you, Prill!!!

Again, please look for Prill at her website and blog

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Rejuvenates You?

We all have little things that give us a daily boost, but what really rejuvenates your spirit? Where do you go, what do you do, that has a major, lasting effect that will sustain you for weeks? What sparks (or shocks) your system into feeling completely alive once more?

I am a roller coaster junkie, and nothing makes me feel more alive than a ride on a large steel coaster. The adrenaline rush, the sensation of flying, the complete inhibition all charge my spirit. And it is one of the few places where screaming at the top of your lungs is perfectly acceptable - that's an incredible release as well!

I also possess no sense of balance - I can walk down a hallway ten feet wide and still manage to run into the wall at some point. Riding a roller coaster somehow realigns my equilibrium, so when I get off the ride, I feel incredibly balanced. If I could afford it, I'd have one built in my backyard so I could experience that every single day!

You might not like roller coasters, but what jolts you back to life?

Diane and friends on a favorite coaster - Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Nothing like a 200-foot coaster at 10am in the morning!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Author Mary DeMuth

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Daisy Chain Zondervan (March 1, 2009)
by Mary DeMuth

Mary E. DeMuth is an expert in Pioneer Parenting. She enables Christian parents to navigate our changing culture when their families left no good faith examples to follow.
Her parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House, 2007), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005).
Mary also inspires people to face their trials through her real-to-life novels, Watching The Tree Limbs(nominated for a Christy Award) and Wishing On Dandelions (NavPress, 2006).
Mary has spoken at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, the ACFW Conference, the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, and at various churches and church planting ministries. Mary and her husband, Patrick, reside in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France, and planting a church.

The abrupt disappearance of young Daisy Chance from a small Texas town in 1973 spins three lives out of control—Jed, whose guilt over not protecting his friend Daisy strangles him; Emory Chance, who blames her own choices for her daughter’s demise; and Ouisie Pepper, who is plagued by headaches while pierced by the shattered pieces of a family in crisis.
In this first book in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy, fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper has a sickening secret: He’s convinced it’s his fault his best friend Daisy went missing. Jed’s pain sends him on a quest for answers to mysteries woven through the fabric of his own life and the lives of the families of Defiance, Texas. When he finally confronts the terrible truths he’s been denying all his life, Jed must choose between rebellion and love, anger and freedom.
Daisy Chain is an achingly beautiful southern coming-of-age story crafted by a bright new literary talent. It offers a haunting yet hopeful backdrop for human depravity and beauty, for terrible secrets and God’s surprising redemption.

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

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Special Monday Guest - Chuck Black

Everyone welcome author Chuck Black!

Chuck Black is the father of six children, all homeschooled through high school. His passion is to equip young Christians to serve the Lord. He wants kids to know that avoiding sin during their youth is critical. “What may seem harmless to a young person,” he says, “actually can create a stronghold for sin that lasts long into adult life.” Sir Bentley is the second book in Chuck’s Knights of Arrethtrae series. Each installment portrays a virtue and a vice. Readers of Sir Bentley will be encouraged to embrace the virtues of compassion and courage and warned against the vice of greed. Knight duals, a hideous beast to be slain, and a mysterious maiden of mercy will keep parents and kids alike begging for one more chapter.

"Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court"


This second installment in Chuck Black’s Knights of Arrethtrae series tells the tale of Sir Bentley, an honorable knight who abandons all to seek the truth of the Prince. Eirwyn, a mysterious young woman who brings food to the poor, teaches Bentley the power of compassion to overcome evil. Together, they save the people of Holbrook from poverty and despair.
Sir Bentley’s quest for the truth of the Prince finds him battling Shadow Warriors, a powerful lord, and a terrifying creature. Will greed destroy Holbrook? Or can Bentley and the mysterious Eirwyn restore prosperity to the kingdom through the compassion of the Prince? Intended for family read-alouds and Christian teens, this fantastic story will entertain and edify parents and kids alike.

Book Review:

Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court is an engaging read for boys and young teens. The book centers around Bentley, a young man who has just been accepted into the knighthood of Chessington. He is morally grounded and comes to odds with his duties when he is ordered to kill a group of men who follow the fallen prince. When he turns on his knight superior, he is forced to flee. With the help of the fallen princes followers, Bentley begin a new life as a peasant in the neighboring Kingdom of Holbrook. He is able to see from this new viewpoint the plight of the peasant workers in Holbrook. Bentley is forced into several adventures while learning about the fallen prince, his King and the intrigue surrounding Holbrook Court.

Sir Bentley is a Christian themed novel of knightly adventure. The book centers around the basic theme of good vs. evil and right vs. wrong. Young male teens may benefit from Bentley's example. Like most young teens, Bentley struggles to understand the influence of Jesus Christ in his life. The book sets a good example of critical decision making and choosing the right paths in life.
- Reviewed by HoHo the Magic Newt

Chuck also was kind enough to answer a few questions...

You wrote your books to inspire your children to read the Bible. Reaching children in this manner reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s work. Was he an inspiration to you?
I hardly dare to admit this, but I had not read The Chronicles of Narnia before I began writing my own series. I can’t claim Mr. Lewis’s work or any other’s for that matter as an inspiration. My inspiration truly came out of a father’s heart to see my children get excited about their own adventure in Christ. I wanted them to fully grasp the reality of what Jesus did on the cross and what it meant to be a believer and a participator in the kingdom of God.

In this day & age, salacious YA sells – have you found it a struggle to promote these books outside of Christian readership?
What a great but challenging question. I’ve seen that trend as well and am saddened by it. The Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae books tend to strike a chord with young Christians because they inspire, challenge, and disciple through stories that are uncompromising in biblical truth and moral values. My promotion of the books thus far has been almost exclusively to Christian circles so I can’t really say how they are received outside the Christian readership.

What has been the highlight of your author journey so far?
By God’s abundant grace it is without a doubt hearing from young people around the world how these books have strengthened their faith and walk with the Lord. This recent note from a reader brings tremendous encouragement as an author…”Dear Mr. Black, May the King continue to bless you richly for His work you are doing for Him! My friends and I love your books. Not since C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia have any fictional books boosted my faith so much. They make me cry with joy several times for what the King and the Prince do. They let me see our world through new eyes. I can’t wait to read the Knights of the Prince series [The Knights of Arrethtrae] and experience more. The King reigns- and His Son! Sophia”
This, and for no other reason, is why I write!

And the last word…
I am an accidental author. One day as I was driving home from my engineering job, I cried out to the Lord for something significant to do for His kingdom. He gently whispered in my ear, “You are going home to My great work, for I have given you six precious souls to raise and disciple. Do that well.” From that day on, I was content in my role as an ordinary dad who simply wanted to love his children. Little did I know what God would grow out of that simple obedience. Say yes to the Lord…then hang on!

Thank you, Chuck, and God Bless!

"Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court" -

Quick Post!

Just a quick note that I was featured over at's blog, Authors Unleashed:

Jen Wardrip runs the site and is just an awesome person! (And currently freezing in Central Illinois, from what I understand...)

I will be hosting YA Christian author, Chuck Black on Monday, so be watching!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Surprise Guest Spot - Heidi Thomas

I feature a YA author in my monthly newsletter, which entails a short bio & book description under 500 words. Yesterday's edition proudly featured Heidi Thomas and her latest book.

So this is a surprise guest spot, as I did not tell her I'd host her on my blog as well!

Please welcome the author of Cowgirl Dreams!


Raised on a ranch in isolated eastern Montana, Heidi Thomas has had a penchant for reading and writing since she was a child. Armed with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, she worked for the Daily Missoulian newspaper, and has had numerous magazine articles published.

A tidbit of family history, that her grandmother rode steers in rodeos during the 1920s, spurred Heidi to write a novel based on that grandmother’s life.

Cowgirl Dreams is the first in a series about strong, independent Montana Women.

Heidi is a member of Women Writing the West, Skagit Valley Writers League, Skagit Women in Business, and the Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She is an avid reader of all kinds of books, enjoys hiking the Pacific Northwest, where she writes, edits, and teaches memoir and fiction writing classes.

Married to Dave Thomas (not of Wendy’s fame), Heidi has no children, but as the “human” for two finicky felines, describes herself primarily as a “cat herder.”

Back Jacket Blurb:

Defying family and social pressure, Nettie Brady bucks 1920s convention with her dream of becoming a rodeo star. That means competing with men, and cowgirls who ride the rodeo circuit are considered “loose women.” Addicted to the thrill of pitting her strength and wits against a half-ton steer in a rodeo, Nettie exchanges skirts for pants, rides with her brothers on their Montana ranch, and competes in neighborhood rodeos.

Broken bones, killer influenza, flash floods, and family hardship team up to keep Nettie from her dreams. Then she meets a young neighbor cowboy who rides broncs and raises rodeo stock. Will this be Nettie’s ticket to freedom and happiness? Will her rodeo dreams come true?

Based on the life of the author’s grandmother, a real Montana cowgirl.

Cowgirl Dreams is available from the publisher, Treble Heart Books , the author website or It is suitable for both adult and young adult readers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

"That's an un-parrot!"

Thank you again, Morgan, for hosting me over at Acme Authors Link -

Thank you everyone for birthday wishes and well-wishes! I am still under the weather today, as I had a speaking engagement last night and it pretty well drained me. (The only reason to miss a speaking engagement is death - one's own!)

I will be hosting several authors here over the next few weeks! In addition, those interviews will be posted at my online writer's club journal, which boasts over 450 members. I also feature an author in my monthly newsletter, which goes out on the 20th - today is was author Heidi Thomas!

In other news...

Are E-Books Like Music?

This was a cute idea! Mayra’s dog, Amigo, will be interviewing other author’s pets on a brand new blog! Details are here:

And in the land of YouTube...

My husband's video, Steve's Bad Day, has over 400 views so far. Not bad for his first and with no advertising. (It's a shame - used to be new videos always appeared on the main page, but now one has to pay for a prime spot.)
Steve's Bad Day -

My husband also caught this video on Attack of the Show - "Obama's Elf." If you've ever heard Eric Carmen's song, you will laugh at this 18 second video!

That's all for now! What interesting news have you caught this week?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taking Time Off

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy..."

Or at least a little crazy!

Time off is something that's difficult when one is full tilt into promotions. However, if we don't take time off, our bodies may force us to do so regardless.

I quite willingly took off Monday - it was my birthday and I wanted a day out of the house and away from the computer. (BTW - it was the Raleigh-Durham area where we romped.) And yes, I had a scary amount of catching up to do Tuesday, some of which I simply had to let go...

However, yesterday and today are an entirely different matter! I woke up yesterday with a touch of the flu which by last night was making me miserable. (And I never get sick!) Something about the flu and aching and all that just makes one not want to do anything, which is frustrating! (And tonight I have a leadership seminar to teach - gee, that will be fun. The only way I could avoid it is death - my own!)

So, when you guys take time off, is it usually by choice or are you forced? Do you willingly take time away from the computer and writing and all that or does it take a major catastrophe to slow you down?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Author Jackina Stark

**Look for me over at Acme Authors today!

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Tender Grace Bethany House (February 1, 2009)
Jackina Stark


I have also spoken nationally and internationally at many retreats and seminars and enjoy running into many readers and former students. I have written frequently for both Christian Standard and Lookout, periodicals of Standard Publishing. Years ago I wrote two non-fiction books, published by College Press, but currently out of print. These days, I’m exploring fiction. My first novel, Tender Grace, will be released by Bethany House January 30, 2009, and a second, Things Worth Remembering, will be released in October, 2009. I’m working on new projects, including a third novel, as time permits. Whether speaking or writing, I love the opportunity to tell about Him whom Jesus called “Holy Father” and “the only true God.”
She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband, and she spends most of her free time doing is reading and writing. That is what she usually do when she's not teaching, enjoying the children and grandchildren, or sitting on the back porch drinking a Diet Coke and watching her husband till the garden!

Audrey Eaton awakes at three in the morning and gets up to retrieve her husband, Tom, from the recliner where he has fallen asleep watching a ball game. But when she enters the living room and looks at his gentle face in the soft lamp light, she knows their time together is over. Grief attacks her until all she can think about is how much she wants her old life back. Determined to find healing, she embarks on a journey to the one place Tom and she always intended to visit but never did. Along the way, she discovers, through shared experiences with friends old and new, the meaning of the "tender graces" God provides each and every day.
I've quit reading--even bestsellers, even the newspaper, even my Bible. I've also quit listening to music. This lack of appreciation for things I once loved is beginning to define me. More mornings than I can count, I say to myself before I open my eyes, "I don't want to do this." In the days shortly following Tom's death, that made sense, but what does it mean now? That I'm in trouble? One of the best qualities of the former me was thankfulness. As I was trying to sleep last night, needing Tom to be curled up behind me, his left arm slung across me, I realized to my horror that I couldn't remember the last time I was truly thankful. I think of a line from an old hymn: "Awake, my soul, and sing." I miss Tom. I also miss me. Determined to find healing, Audrey Eaton embarks on a trip to the one place she and her husband always intended to visit but never did. When things don't go as planned, will she embrace the unexpected graces that guide her journey?
If you would like to read the first chapter of
Tender Grace, go HERE
The book link is:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sign of the times...

I had a wonderful day in the big city yesterday! Spent almost all of my birthday money and ate several delicious meals. Dinner was especially nice, as the manager himself waited on us and ended up talking with my husband and I for over twenty minutes. (I even was treated to a complimentary apple crisp, complete with candle.) The manager was from Ireland and so engaging! It was just one of those special moments.

However, it was in the big city that we got our first taste of the recession. Many people had the day off and stores were boasting President's Day sales - but there were virtually no shoppers! While this made it easy for me to shop and find some great deals, it was almost eerie. Our little town shows no sign of recession - Walmart & Target are just as busy, restaurants are still packed, etc... So it was a real eye-opener to venture to a place where the recession has obviously affected the economy. Hopefully things will turn around very soon...

We did do our part to invest in consumer spending, though!

And I have a feature today at Bluestocking -

Sunday, February 15, 2009

From the Furry Paws…

Hello! This is Rocko & Spunky! Diane is off celebrating her birthday today (and don’t ask how many years – it’s far more than we can comprehend) so we have control of her blog today.

We don’t really understand this blogging thing, or the Internet for that matter. We know we have our own website over at My Cat Space. We’ve got numerous virtual friends and they send us funny photos. Diane posts photos of us at her Deviant Art site as well. Rocko’s photo is one of her most popular:

We’re pretty busy in the real world, too. Rocko has a list of things she’s not supposed to do and at least once a week she runs through that list – just in case an item has been removed! Spunky does his best to fur up the keyboard. (It’s looking pretty furry right now, too!) Otherwise, we love to play in the tube, chase furry mice and super balls, and sleep. Okay, not so much sleep for Rocko. She’s usually wired from licking coffee grounds off the floor…

Oh, and we’re supposed to announce the winners of Diane’s book giveaway! There were two – she had such a huge response from her Deviant Art fans & friends, she did a separate drawing just for them. So Richard Woodruff and Deborah “FunyGirl38” on DA were the winners!

Okay, we’re going to go swing from the ceiling fan now…

Thanks for listening. If you have kitties, please tell them to come say hi at My Cat Space!

Plethora of info!

If you've never checked out Southern Review of Books, they just posted their latest newsletter and it is chalk full of good stuff, including the workshops for the Atlanta event on March 7 - which features a workshop from my good friend and Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! co-author, Darlene Ford Wofford!

Also like to mention another great site, The Girls on Books - The Girls On Books
Looking forward to a review for my The Circle of Friends in May!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Ultimate Valentine

Love has so many definitions. I believe this is the ultimate -

1 Corinthians 13 - NIV

1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Friday, February 13, 2009

And now for something completely different...

In the news, around the web, and noteworthy people!

Great article at Christian Fiction blog on 5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Author:

An inspirational blog with seven great contributors, F. A. I. T. H. Following.Always.Intently.Trusting.Him.

Some awesome speakers I have come to know recently:
Sandra Livermon - Speaker - Trainer - Consultant
Sandi Says
Andy Core – Lifestyle Realist
Andy Core

A great resource, Book Industry Study Group’s listing of genres-

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis – from Time magazine (In case you need something new for your dart board),28804,1877351_1877350,00.html

And finally, a brief commentary on the woman with eight new babies...
She's $50 thousand in debt and on welfare
She has six other kids
She's unmarried and there's no father
What idiot doctor implanted this woman with so many babies?!?!?! Experts say that's well above standard. It's not like she couldn't have kids. How did she pay for it?
And now she's milking the media and asking for donations.
This woman is whacked!
Not surprisingly, social services is investigating...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tips for the traveler…

Here are some tips for those authors traveling the road.
Some are just practical tips. Some are from experience…

Always carry extra books with you, in case the bookstore/library/whatever flakes and forgets to order.

Always carry cash AND a credit card.

Bring a change of clothes if you tend to slop your drinks while driving.

Never stop at a gas station if one of the vehicles is on fire.

And of course, always carry a camera!

A map and/or GPS is highly recommended!

Pack water bottles and food bars or other snacks. You don’t want to dehydrate and if you don’t bring a snack, hunger will drive you to buy something really unhealthy!

Be sure your have the phone number of the place to where you are traveling, so if you are stuck in traffic (such as in the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel) you can call and let them know you may be running late…

Watch for animals on the road – deer, dogs, mules… (Wish I’d gotten a photo of that last one!)

Do not rely on the radio for inspiration and entertainment! Take CD’s or invest in XM/Sirius Radio.

And last but not least...
Never use your windshield wiper fluid when your windows are down!!!

What other tips would you suggest?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Author Colleen Coble

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
A Cry In The Night Thomas Nelson (February 3, 2009)
Colleen Coble


Author Colleen Coble's thirty novels and novellas have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award, the Holt Medallion, the ACFW Book of the Year, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best awards. She writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail and love begin with a happy ending.
2004 More Than Magic winner for Best Inspirational RomanceWithout a Trace, Thomas Nelson
2004 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year


The highly anticipated novel that delivers what romantic suspense fans have long awaited-the return to Rock Harbor.
Bree Nichols gets the shock of her life when her husband-presumed dead-reappears.
Bree Nichols and her search and rescue dog Samson discover a crying infant in the densely forested woods outside of Rock Harbor, Michigan. Against objections from her husband, Kade, who knows she'll become attached, Bree takes the baby in. Quickly she begins a search for the mother-presumably the woman reported missing just days earlier.While teams scour the forests, Bree ferrets out clues about the missing woman. But she soon discovers something more shocking: Bree's former husband-long presumed dead in a plane crash-resurfaces. Is he really who he says he is? And should she trust him again after all these years?An engaging, romantic suspense novel from critically-acclaimed author Colleen Coble.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Price

Every now & then, I wonder what the heck I am doing...

I tend to keep the personal side of me off the Internet, but sometimes that means it's hidden in the real world, too. Everything I do revolves around 'business.' With a couple books coming out this spring, I am racing along at Warp 9 trying to accomplish every task while five new ones spring up for every box checked. Funny, being on the road all the time wears me out, but I'm actually looking forward to an opportunity to escape for a while!

Sometimes, I have to pause and wonder why I am doing all of this. It hit me this morning while listening to the XM. (I've self-employed outside of speaking & writing, so I work twice a week on top of everything else.) You might not recall this 80's song, but Twisted Sister's "The Price" was playing on one of the stations. And it shot me back to a time almost three years ago and a lonely stretch of road between Charlotte and home - and the same song on the XM. I won't quote the song here, but sometimes I wonder if it is worth the price we pay...

(Ironically enough, I recently wrote an article on that topic!)

It is worth the price as long as we remember WHY we are doing it...

And tonight at my seminar, when I see all the eager people there to receive information, I will indeed remember WHY I am doing this!

* And just so no one thinks the Spunky is about to burn out - I AM taking next Monday off entirely. It's my birthday (forty-something...) and we are leaving the house for a day of fun! (Perhaps I can entice my cats to blog in my place...)

Part 2 of the Kindle2 review at Walt Shiel's blog -

Monday, February 09, 2009

Kindle 2

Tonight is short and to the point!

This post over at Walt Shiel's blog rather amused me! Maybe it's because I know a few people who are just so fanatical about Kindle that they think it's the ONLY game in town. But at any rate, I wanted to share it with you:

Spent the day making contacts and pursuing contacts and confirming dates and setting dates and booking hotels and packaging up press kits...

I'd say I need a vacation, but my busy season has just begun! Oh well, sleep is overrated!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Every Opportunity Hides a Nugget!

Just returned from a speaking engagement and two day road trip. Every time I venture out, I expect great things and am rarely disappointed!

Attendance at the event was incredible and it was all done first class. The hosts also had a wonderful gift for me, a bag of goodies, and fed me quite well - even catered to my weird 'vegan' lifestyle. I was the wrap-up speaker, so really had to call upon my spunky, redheaded attitude to send the women out the door fired up and ready to tackle the world!

In addition to networking - everyone picked up a bookmark, business card or brochure from my table - I pre-sold books and built on my mailing list. I think the greatest nugget came from the other keynote speaker, Lifestyle Realist Andy Core. He and I had several opportunities to speak and he gave me numerous valuable tips! (We also discussed our Arkansas experiences, as he lives in Fayetteville, AR and I used to live in N. Little Rock, AR.) Considering his success, I was also quite impressed with his down to earth attitude - if I'd met him on the street, I would've had no idea he was a top notch speaker. (Visit Andy at Andy Core )

This weekend was a big success, but even dud events hold opportunities, and I approach every one with an attitude of expectation! Do you?

Friday, February 06, 2009

And now for something completely different...

News around the web...

Donna McDine posted about the Muse Online Writer's Conference this coming October:

KittyFantastic24 posted about a group on Flickr that are posting photos of their scary-organized-and-color-coordinated bookshelves:

Sharp Spear Enterprises offers many services, including editing. Bob is a great guy, offers fast turnaround, and also heads up Heartland Reviews:
Sharp Spear Enterprises

Read an E-Book Week is March 8-14th:
E-Book Week

And finally, news of the weird - in Texas, roadside signs were hacked, warning drivers to use caution - zombies ahead!
If I saw a road sign warning me of zombies, I'd laugh about it all day!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Potential Problem or Opportunity?

I received word from my publisher that a couple small bookstores are refusing to carry my upcoming book due to the title - "Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting"

They do not want the book in their store because in England 'spunk' is a slang term with a sexual meaning.

My thoughts on this situation:

First, I am aware of the 'spunk' issue, although the only time I have heard it was someone commenting on my DeviantArt site, which is SpunkOnAStick. However, that is a slang term and not even an American one at that.

Second, who here in America is going to think that? (My husband says only dirty-minded English people.) Even if the book goes overseas, I doubt that will be the first thing that crosses someone's mind. Especially seeing the entire title! Besides, the British still call cigarettes 'fags' even though that is an American slang word for homosexual.

Third, the definition of 'spunk' according to Webster: PLUCK, COURAGE - spunky adj
(In other words, courageous, bold, determined - just as I intended it to mean.)

Finally, what to do about this situation! Do I just ignore these small protests? Or do I capitalize on the 'salacious & dirty' title of my book? Sad thing is, controversy sells, although I have gone out of my way to make sure none of my books, especially the YA fiction, are salacious or questionable. Since there really isn't anything objectionable, would it be wrong to play along for the sake of added exposure? Or would the extra attention make more stores think twice about ordering? Certainly none of the contributors or reviewers have protested! Obviously Quality Books didn't mind the title either.

What would you do?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Author Lisa Wingate

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Word Gets Around Bethany House (February 1, 2009)
Lisa Wingate


Lisa Wingate lives in central Texas where she is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books. Her novel, Tending Roses, received dozens of five-star reviews, sold out ten printings for New York publisher, Penguin Putnam, and went on to become a national bestselling book. Tending Roses was a selection of the Readers Club of America, and is currently in its tenth printing.

The Tending Roses series continued with Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, Drenched In Light, and A Thousand Voices. In 2003, Lisa’s Texas Hill Country series began with Texas Cooking, and continued with Lone Star CafĂ©, which was awarded a gold medal by RT BOOKCLUB magazine and was hailed by Publisher’s Weekly as “A charmingly nostalgic treat.” The series concluded with Over the Moon at the Big Lizard Diner.
Lisa is now working on a new set of small-town Texas novels for Bethany House Publishers. The series debuted with Talk of The Town and continued with Word Gets Around. A new series is also underway for Penguin Group NAL, beginning with A Month of Summer (July 2008), and continuing with The Summer Kitchen in July, 2009. Lisa’s works have been featured by the National Reader’s Club of America, AOL Book Picks, Doubleday Book Club, The Literary Guild, American Profiles, and have been chosen for the LORIES best Published Fiction Award.


When Romance Is In the Air, Word Gets Around Lauren Eldridge thought she'd wiped the dust of Daily, Texas, off her boots forever. Screenwriter Nate Heath thought he was out of second chances. Life's never that predictable, though. Cajoled by her father, Lauren is back in town helping train a skittish race horse set to star in a Hollywood film. But the handsome screenwriter gives her more trouble than the horse. And Nate is realizing there's a spark of magic in the project--and in the eyes of the girl who is so good with horses. Daily, Texas, has a way of offering hope, healing, and a little romance just when folks need it most.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Word Gets Around, go HERE
What people are saying:
"Lisa Wingate writes engaging stories that strike the heart. God has gifted her with a marvelous talent and I, for one, am most grateful."—Debbie Macomber, New York Times #1 bestselling author
The book link is:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Book Divas and Update

I'm always on the prowl for great websites and recently discovered Book Divas -

This is a pretty interactive site, beyond just book reviews and interviews. They have an extensive forum/message board, videos, contests, writing tips and more. The information is updated very regularly, which makes the site seem fresh and new. And if there wasn't enough on the site, they also have a blog - . So for writers and readers of YA, this site is a MUST.

They also have a "DIVA of the Day" - and I was surprised to see the featured Diva for Monday was ME! My image is that of my upcoming YA release and it almost startled me to see it at the top!

I also remember a cool site called Fresh Fiction that was for romance and I'm sure there's many more out there for all the genres. Anybody got a favorite?

And in other news, one of my articles is featured over at The Literary Lynnch Pen blog:

This is one of those "Oh my, why did I agree to write that?" articles, but once I found my angle, it flowed rather easily.

Steelers - It's not going to be pretty

Yes, the Steelers won the Super Bowl, but it's that comment from coach Mike Tomlin that really stood out to me.

One third of all Steelers victories this past season occurred in the final minutes of the game. When asked if they could just stop that - "Steeler football is 60 minutes," Tomlin said. "It's not going to be pretty."

We all want our path to victory to be golden, but often there's a lot of bumps and potholes along the way. It's not about how we got there, though, or how long it took. As long as our choices were ethical, moral & legal, it doesn't matter. All the struggles & pain vanish with the victory.

I think about this type of victory and consider the parallels. When I first began, I'd look upon the success of other authors & speakers and wonder how on earth did they do it. I've so much further to travel, but now when others ask me how I did it, I know the answer. I just kept beating against that brick wall until I got through! It wasn't pretty at times, but I made it through the wall. And it's not the struggles I remember anymore...

And if we continue to pursue new victories, we'll never even have time to dwell on past struggles!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Super Bowl & Looking to Feature an Author

All I gotta say about the Super Bowl is GO STEELERS!!!!! Win this one and you have the most Super Bowl wins by a team EVER!
Now that's pretty cool...

Yes, I am a football fan. Several of the characters in my books play college ball and two go on to play professional. It's just a great game and I admire those who play the sport.

In other news, I am seeking an author to feature!

My monthly newsletter goes out to over one thousand readers, fans & people, with young adults close to half of that population. I always feature another author in my newsletter as well, which goes out around the 20th of every month.

So I am seeking an author to feature in my February newsletter! Young adult fiction gets first consideration, but other genres may apply. Inspirational is definitely a bonus! Bottom line though, must be CLEAN! If interested or know someone who'd be a good fit, let me know!