Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Oddity of an Author's Life

Authors lead some pretty weird lives and encounter unique situations.

And while the following event could happen to anyone, it did in fact occur to yours truly!

Quick background - our AC unit is about to die and someone was to come out this morning to give us an estimate.

Tomorrow is my anniversary and I wanted to surprise my husband by filling in the bald spots in our flower beds out front with new lava rocks. So I went and purchased half a 'scoop,' which equated to a lot more rocks than expected. It filled three large, plastic recycle bins and the rest was tossed into the back of my SUV.

As I pulled into my driveway, I realized there was no way I could carry those bins around to the side of the house. It made more sense to simply back up to the flower bed and dump from that location. So, off across the lawn I drove.

As I backed up to the side flowerbed, I noticed a red pickup rolling slowly past our house. He stopped, and then slowly backed into view. I got out and walked around to the garage, all the while eyeing this pickup. As I entered the garage, he pulled into our driveway. I scurried inside and peered out the window, wondering who on earth this person was following me. Neighborhood watch? Undercover cop?

My husband called and I prepared to inform him of our strange visitor. Before I could say anything, my husband told me that the AC guy had just called him to say he was at the house and that some crazy woman in an SUV had just driven across our front lawn!!!

I explained what I was doing and said I'd wanted to surprise him. After a good laugh, he assured me he was indeed surprised!

Yup, just another normal day around here!

And I ask - what were the odds the AC guy would arrive at the exact same moment and spill the beans?

I've also created a unique selling point for my SUV - comes complete with lava rocks!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Author Susan May Warren

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Nothing But Trouble Tyndale House Publishers (May 1, 2009)
Susan May Warren


Susan grew up in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis, and became an avid camper from an early age. Her favorite fir-lined spot is the north shore of Minnesota is where she met her husband, honeymooned and dreamed of living.
The north woods easily became the foundation for her first series, The Deep Haven series, based on a little tourist town along the shores of Lake Superior. Her first full-length book, Happily Ever After, became a Christy Award Finalist published in 2004 with Tyndale/Heartquest.
As an award winning author, Susan returned home in 2004, to her native Minnesota after serving for eight years with her husband and four children as missionaries with SEND International in Far East Russia. She now writes full time from Minnesota's north woods and the beautiful town that she always dreamed of living in.
You can sample a chapter of each and every one of Susan's novels, on her website,


PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:
1) After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that's become her life, she needs a fresh start.
2) The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister's wedding is Boone-her former flame and the reason she left town.
3) Her best friend's husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota, has seen in more than a decade.
What PJ doesn't know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she'll uncover much more than she bargained for-a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe, just maybe, that fresh start she's been longing for.
It's not fair to say that trouble happens every time PJ Sugar is around, but it feels that way when she returns to her home town, looking for a fresh start. Within a week, her former teacher is murdered and her best friend's husband is arrested as the number-one suspect. Although the police detective investigating the murder—who also happens to be PJ's former flame—is convinced it's an open-and-shut case, PJ's not so sure. She begins digging for clues in an effort to clear her friend’s husband and ends up reigniting old passions, uncovering an international conspiracy, and solving a murder along the way. She also discovers that maybe God can use a woman who never seems to get it right

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Nothing But Trouble, go HERE The book link is:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Creative Commons

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Creative-Commons License.

However, Creative-Commons is detrimental to photographers!

For an in-depth view, read "Why Photographers Hate Creative-Commons": Black Star

Under this law, any photos that are labeled as such can be used by anyone for any purpose under the "Fair Use" law. It basically gives up the copyright. As a photographer, I am not about to give up the rights to my photos! I spent years doing stock photography, and every photo selected for a magazine or publication was granted one-use right - and I received payment, as well as retained all rights to my photo. So I cannot imagine giving up my rights for any reason whatsoever!

As an author, the changes Congress wants to make to the copyright laws are just as frightening. Someone using our work without our permission has only to claim that they did attempt to locate us - and we are left standing as the guilty party. (What is wrong with this country?)

What's your take on Creative-Commons and the "Fair Use" copyright law?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another View on the Dying Bookstore

There's been much talk about independents unable to compete with the big boys and chains such as Borders in serious trouble and closing many of their stores.

However, my husband offered up another theory regarding the fate of the bookstore.

He points to what has happened with the music industry.

Remember how there used to be multiple 'record' stores in every town? What happened?

The Internet.

Music stores can only carry so much inventory - it costs money. So they cannot carry the variety of music one can find online. And if you are seeking a band that does not reside in the top 40, you'll probably have to turn to the Web to find it. Yes, it may take a couple days to receive a CD, but the store will take just as long to get it in stock, too.

I-Tunes and music downloads have changed the face of music as well. Don't need a store for song files! And mp3 files are instant - no waiting! Just download a CD and listen. Or just pick one song rather than plunking down $15 for the whole CD.

Compare that to books. No store can carry the variety available online, whether it be Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or Powell's if you are seeking a used book. Yes, there's a few days of waiting for it to arrive, but if your local store doesn't carry the title...

Now we have E-Books in the mix as well. Again, no store needed. Instant download and gratification. And the price is lower than for the physical product.

And with 400,000 new books last year, no store can carry all those titles - so from an author's standpoint, the Internet has created a level playing field, just as it's done for a lot of bands and musicians.

I think it's an interesting theory. As my husband pointed out, we haven't purchased music in a physical store in years. And physical book purchases have only occurred because I visit a lot of stores for signings - otherwise, we order most books online, too. (Wish I could support my local independent, but sadly, we don't have one!)

What do you think?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Bern, NC

New Bern is a beautiful town not far from the Carolina coastline. It is also host to the New Bern Literary Symposium, which takes place next month. Friday, May 15th features several workshops for writers and Saturday is the main event, with talks and panel discussions.

For details - Calendar of Events or Brochure

New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi, and you can visit the original store downtown.

The city's biggest attraction is Tryon Palace Historical Sites & Gardens - Tryon Palace It was the first permanent capital of North Carolina and home to the governor.

On Saturday, our photo club went to Tryon Palace for a shoot. My schedule rarely permits me to attend these outings, so it was a real treat to get out and do something completely unrelated to my books. I spent years as a professional photographer, shooting everything from weddings to portraits to stock photos, so the opportunity to take fun photos is something I cherish!

Every now & then, we need to take a break. What fun thing have you done lately?

Friday, April 24, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

A man with two noses!

Quick mention - The Circle of Friends, Book II...Sarah just received a great review at Katies Book Blog

This week in the Friday roundup of interesting news...

Chester Campbell talks about E-Book rights- Straight From Hel

MAC viruses have begun! CNN

Win a copy of Gardening Eden by Mike Abbaté: A Book Lover Forever

The Writer's Journey Journal will be available May 15th: Wolfmont
(And I'm honored I got to contribute to this book!)

Spinal Tap unwigged! CNN
I wonder if their amps still go to eleven...?

And I made the front cover of the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald this week, much to my surprise: News Herald

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On the Road and the Lemonade Stand

Spunky is on the road this week with back-to-back-to-back speaking engagements, so my apologies if I am a little sparse in the virtual world!
(Friday, I am not going ANYWHERE!!!!)

This week, Lynnette Labelle awarded me with the Lemonade Stand. Lynnette Labelle
Thank you Lynnette!

Now it is my turn to nominate!

1. Post the logo on your blog
2. Nominate 10 blogs with great gratitude/attitude

3. List and link your nominees
4. Alert them of their nomination on their blog

My nominees for The Lemonade Stand Award are (in no particular order):

Jamieson Wolf
Marvin Wilson
Angela Breidenbach
Helen Ginger
Jane Kennedy Sutton
Carol Denbow
J. Kaye
Lea Schizas

Notice my list goes to eleven.
It doesn't go to ten. It's special. This one goes to eleven.
(Anyone name the movie????)

And yes, I had to leave out many wonderful blogs!!! I follow so many now...

Author Don Hoesel

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Elisha's Bones (Bethany House March 1, 2009)
Don Hoesel


Don Hoesel was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but calls Spring Hill, TN home. He is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief Journal.
He lives in Spring Hill with his wife and two children.
Elisha's Bones is his first novel.


Every year, professor of antiquities Jack Hawthorne looks forward to the winter break as a time to hide away from his responsibilities. Even if just for a week or two. But this year, his plans are derailed when he's offered almost a blank check from a man chasing a rumor.
Billionaire Gordon Reese thinks he knows where the bones of the prophet Elisha are--bones that in the Old Testament brought the dead back to life. The bones of the prophet once raised the dead to life... but they vanished from history in a whisper.
Bankrolled by a dying man of unlimited means, Hawthorne's hunt spans the globe and leads him into a deadly conspiracy older than the church itself. A born skeptic, Jack doesn't think much of the assignment but he could use the money, so he takes the first step on a chase for the legendary bones that will take him to the very ends of the earth.
But he's not alone. Joined with a fiery colleague, Esperanza Habilla, they soon discover clues to a shadowy organization whose long-held secrets have been protected . . . at all costs. And he soon discovers those sworn to keep the secret of the bones will do anything to protect them. As their lives are threatened again and again, the real race is to uncover the truth before those chasing them hunt them down.

If you would like to read the first chapter of
Elisha's Bones, go HERE
The book link is:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stump the Spunky Giveaway!

If you’ve got questions – Spunky’s got answers!

Send me your questions – any question related to my books or myself – and I will post my answers online May 4th here at my blog and at:

FaceBook - FaceBook
Deviant Art - Deviant Art

Those who send in questions and/or post a comment on any of those three sites will be eligible to win a free copy of Book II! Questions & answers will be posted on May 4th – one day before the release of Book II - and the winner drawn the morning of the 5th.

There's one question I am asked more often than others - double your chances to win by asking that question!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Multi-Talented Mayra Calvani!

Today I'd like to welcome Mayra Calvani! She is so incredibly involved and busy with more sites than I can even imagine. Her dog, Amigo, had to chip in and do one blog for her!

So without further ado, may I present Mayra!

Tell us a little about The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing...

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody-be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist-who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. I’m happy to say it has garnered great reviews and has been nominated for 3 awards, including the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction. More information can be found at:

You have several other books as well - and they are very different! Tell us a little about each one...

Lately my passion is writing children’s picture books. I have 2 out (plus 3 others coming out later this year):

Crash is about a little boy and his first puppy, and how he learns to care for it as well as find a perfect name. Readers may find more about this book at I’m donating 50% of royalties for this book to Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. This one seems to be popular with young kids and I’m having lots of fun doing school visits and readings.

The Magic Violin is a Christmas-theme book about a little violinist who runs into trouble while learning to play Vivaldi’s “Winter”. It is about self esteem and the importance of hard work and discipline. For more information, readers can visit my children’s books website, I have trailers of both books there as well.

I also have two supernatural thrillers, Dark Lullaby and Embraced by the Shadows.
For blurbs, reviews, trailers, etc., reader may visit my main website:

You manage several blogs & websites - tell us about them...

The first thing I’d like to say is that they’re very time consuming!

These are my websites: (children’s books)

These are my blogs: (children’s books)

I recently became the National Latino Books Examiner for and my column there is at:

I’m also a regular contributor to Suite101:

What got you into doing reviews and interviews?

Besides writing, reading is my passion and reviewing is a way to get free books. I also review as a way to promote my name out there and share my opinion about books with others. I’ve been reviewing for about 10 years. Interviewing authors, on the other hand, is relatively new. It started about 3 years ago along with blogging. Informative interviews make good blog content. I also like finding out about new authors and books.

Did you envision all you now do when you began this journey?

To be honest, when I started writing seriously in my twenties, I didn’t envision that the publishing world would be so tough, or that there would be so much competition.

Tell us a little about home...

Hmm. I really wonder where home is. After leaving my homeland, Puerto Rico, when I was 18, and living in various different countries, I feel more like a citizen of the world. I guess right now my home is Belgium. It rains a lot and the sun doesn’t come out often. This is sometimes depressing, but the advantage is that this weather is perfect to get those creative juices flowing.

We can't do an interview without asking about Amigo! (He might be offended...)

You’re right! He won’t look at me for days if I don’t mention him. Amigo is my 3-year old golden retriever and he has his own blog where he interviews authors’ pets. The blog is called Pets and Their Authors, He loves visitors and especially comments. I’m afraid fame has gotten badly to his head.

And the last word, Mayra...?

Blogging, reviews, interviews, freelance articles… all these are very time consuming. In order to keep producing books, I have to keep myself focused and I have to prioritize. I never do any of these things unless I have worked on my current work-in-progress one hour a day minimum. It’s easy to get distracted by emailing and blogging, so it’s important to stay focused in order to keep writing and producing new work.

Thank you, Mayra! Please visit her sites and blogs for more information - and be sure to tell Amigo hello!

One of those days...

One of those GOOD days!
(Don't we all need them now and then?)

It was a long day - on the road for over six hours - but well worth the time invested.

I attended an author luncheon in Virginia Beach, VA, and while the current state of our economy meant low attendance compared to previous years, the smaller crowd made it more intimate. I met some interesting people and got to chat with the other authors. That in of itself was a treat! I met children's author, Sue Corbett, and Blake Cullen, who's history with the Cubs and Major League Baseball just boggles the mind. Nathan Richardson sat at my table, and he is not only an author & poet, but he teaches self-publishing workshops in the area. (His voice also perfectly matched Trans Siberian Orchestra's narrator!)

The most impressive was a young man named Alexander Pyles. He has not yet published a book and is only a senior in high school. But he's won many contests and devotes so much time to learning his craft. He was also the most poised young speaker I've ever heard! He had done his research and was already sending out query letters to publishers. I was just really impressed with this young man and predict he will go quite far if he does not give up his dream. (Photo is Alex and his brother, Peter.)

I also sold quite a few books... grin!

The day capped off with a visit to a local bookstore to drop off bookmarks - the manager gave me a big hug and asked when I was going to visit - and then I met up with a young man who was in the singles group at our church but moved back to Suffolk recently. We've really missed Corey and it was so wonderful to see him again!

It was just one of those days when everything fell into place, not necessarily in a phenomenal way, but in a smooth and positive manner. I needed that. We all do!
What was your last good day like?

Friday, April 17, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

And who could forget the classic, Sam Peckinpah's "Salad Days?"

In the news...

Amazon takes action against 'some' adult material (and Amazonfail becomes a hot topic on Twitter): The Writing Jungle

Why the first Christian Book Expo failed: Southern Review of Books

Win a free lecture packet from Margie Lawson, who has developed innovative editing systems and deep editing techniques for writers: God Uses Broken Vessels

The Muse Online Writers Conference is this October! Muse Online Writers Conference
(And I'm delighted to announce that I will be doing a one hour chat workshop during the event!)

Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in the race to reach one million Twitter followers: CNN

I had a short article in the Literary Lynnch Pen this week: Literary Lynnch Pen
(Thanks for the opportunity, Lynn!)

Please join me here Monday when I host author Mayra Calvani!!

Also on Monday, I will be featured by new author, Fran Slayton: Fran Slayton
Her interview will follow here next month!

And finally, Friday's thoughts:
"We will face critics at every corner, even more so when we pursue worthwhile goals. Be prepared for criticism and remove personal consideration from the equation. Negative judgment cannot harm us if we refuse to take it personal. Criticism is one fear we don’t want to take with us on the road to success!"
- from "Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reviewer Wanted to be Shocked...

I'm usually very positive, but today I'm going to tell you about a less-than-stellar review - and the sad truth behind it.

A three star review was posted of "The Circle of Friends, Book I...Lori" yesterday. It was written by a teenager, so it was poorly and unprofessionally crafted, and since it is the only sub-par review of the book so far, I can easily discredit it.

What bothered me though was a comment she made about the story. She wanted something really bad and dramatic to occur - such as Lori getting raped!


Where are we as a society that a sixteen year old expects or wants to see a rape in her reading material? Have we completely desensitized our youth? Do they require something so shocking to jolt their senses and feel anything at all? Are they only able to relate to such negative?

I wrote a sweet, innocent story filled with hope and optimism. I feel bad this young lady totally missed the point. She'll probably never view the world that way, either. I can't reach her, but hopefully I can reach others who still view the world with hope, dare to dream and believe in love...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Author Beverly Lewis

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
The Secret (Bethany House May 1, 2009)
Beverly Lewis


Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."
Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."


In the seemingly ordinary Amish home of Grace Byler, secrets abound. Why does her mother weep in the night? Why does her father refuse to admit something is dreadfully wrong? Then, in one startling moment, everything Grace assumed she knew is shattered.
Her mother's disappearance leaves Grace reeling and unable to keep her betrothal promise to her long-time beau. Left to pick up the pieces of her life, Grace questions all she has been taught about love, family, and commitment.
Heather Nelson is an English grad student, stunned by a doctor's diagnosis. Surely fate would not allow her father to lose his only daughter after the death of his wife a few years before. In denial and telling no one she is terminally ill, Heather travels to Lancaster County-- the last place she and her mother had visited together.
Will Heather find healing for body and spirit? As the lives of four wounded souls begin to weave together like an Amish patchwork quilt, they each discover missing pieces of their life puzzles--and glimpse the merciful and loving hand of God.

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's the Worst Job You Ever Worked?

Being an author & speaker is mostly fun, although it does have moments. However, I can think of far worse jobs I could be doing!

The worst job I ever had the misfortune to work was at UPS. I worked in delivery records, and had to be there at 6am in the morning. I lived over 30 minutes from Little Rock at the time, so I had to get up at 4:30am - and I don't care who you are, that hurts!

At the time, we had to keep up with our time card and there was a code for every duty. We had to account for every minute of our day. We were only given so much 'down' time, and if one had to go to the bathroom, that was 'down' time.

Sometimes when I arrived, the side door was not yet open - which meant I had to go all the way to the back, through the security check point, and by the time I reached the office, through no fault of my own, I was already a couple minutes late.

I also worked in an office full of women, and it was constant gossiping and backstabbing. (Now I know why I prefer working with men!) You had to stay on the good side of the right people, and even then, they probably still talked behind your back. Office politics were just not my thing, either.

Needless to say, it was very stressful and I made at least three trips to the doctor's during that time with stress-related problems. After six months, I was SO happy to land a position in my field of photography and escape!

So, what was the worst job YOU ever worked?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cost of Doing Business

Many writers do not consider all of the options available to authors and are often not prepared for the expense and effort required to go after this business. But one cannot start a fire without first investing in some wood!

One such possibility is public speaking outside of just book promotion. This requires research, planning, and the building of one's platform. Rather than discuss the intangibles, let me give everyone a rundown on some of the physical expenses and investment.

A professional website that focuses on speaking

Business cards

Professional letterhead

A brochure that covers all speaking topics

Office supplies - paper, envelopes, postage, etc.

Investment in training and joining professional organizations

Travel expenses, such as gas and hotels

Willingness to make a lot of free appearances to build up the resume!

These items all cost money. Notice I did not even mention those things that will also cost time, such as researching and preparing subjects to discuss. But if you are not prepared, such expenses might sneak up and bite you in the butt! (Or worse, cause one to skip vital investments just to save money.)

When considering professional speaking, remember - it's an investment in YOU! It's also an investment into those who attend your events, depending on your subject matter. Be prepared for the cost of doing business.

And don't forget to enjoy the ride!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This is what Easter means to me.
This is why I have peace.
This is my salvation.

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Friday, April 10, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

And I'd like to start with a quick note about Valerie Connelly.
Valerie interviewed me last week on her program, Calling All Authors and I had the chance to meet her last night when she visited the Robeson County Library in Lumberton, NC. It would take to long to list all of Valerie's experiences, achievements and travels, but safe to say I learned a lot from her last night! She's also the owner of Nightengale Press a truly unique publishing business model.

And now on to the news!

Users have finally decided to boycott Kindle's high prices- BookSquare

Here's some great dialogue tips - Make Mine Mystery

Interesting story on POD publishing & POD printing - CNN

A publisher sues Borders and Baker & Taylor for excessive returns - Southern Review of Books

A helpful book, "The Plot Thickens – 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life" - Writing By Faith

"House" cast member explains departure - CNN

And finally, Leonard Nimoy joins "Fringe" - Entertainment Weekly
(Oh, the sci-fi geeks are drooling now!)

Have a Blessed Good Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Insanity is...

Insanity is... doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Seems obvious, yet we are all guilty of being crazy at some point!

We rise in the morning, hoping today will be different, and yet we follow the same routine.

We continue to pursue a goal that seems unattainable, yet we refuse to try a new approach.

We are confounded by problems, yet we do nothing to make them go away.

In order for our situation to change, we must change! Nothing in life is static. Nature is constantly changing and growing, adjusting to challenges. If our life is stuck in a holding pattern, if what we are doing to achieve our goals is not working, then we must approach things differently and try something new. We tend to be stubborn creatures of habit, clinging to the familiar and afraid to change.

But if today is to be any better, if we want different results, if we want to accomplish our dreams, then we've got to move out of this false comfort zone. We've got to stretch and take risks if we hope to escape the rut of mediocrity and live up to our full potential!

What do you need to do differently? What needs changing?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Author Marcia Gruver

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Chasing Charity Barbour Publishing (April 2009)
Marcia Gruver


Marcia Gruver is a full time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, Marcia delights in writing historical fiction. Her deep south-central roots lend a Southern-comfortable style and a touch of humor to her writing.
Awarded a three book contract by Barbour Publishing for full-length historical fiction, Marcia is busy these days pounding on the keyboard and watching the deadline clock. Diamond Duo, the first installment in the trilogy entitled Texas Fortunes, is scheduled for release in October 2008.
Marcia won third place in the 2007 ACFW Genesis contest and third in the 2004 ACFW Noble Theme contest. Another entry in 2004 finished in the top ten. She placed second in the 2002 Colorado Christian Writer’s contest for new authors, securing a spot in an upcoming compilation book. “I Will Never Leave Thee,” in For Better, For Worse—Devotional Thoughts for Married Couples, was released by Christian Publications in January 2004.
She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Fellowship of Christian Writers, and The Writers View—and a longstanding member of ACFW Crit3 and Seared Hearts, her brilliant and insightful critique groups.
Lifelong Texans, Marcia and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons. Collectively, this motley crew has graced them with ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter—so far.


When, in full view of family and friends, Charity Bloom's fiance leaves her stranded at the altar and takes off with her best friend, Charity is humiliated. How will this raven-haired beauty ever recover from losing both her betrothed and best friend on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life?
When tall, handsome roughneck Buddy Pierce finds oil on Charity's mama's land, he hopes to free the Blooms from their poverty-stricken state. But will Buddy find the real treasure lies above ground-in Charity herself?
Ruing the day he left his fiancee for Emily Dane, Daniel Clark is determined to recapture Charity's affection. But can he remove the three things that stand in his way-a manipulative mama, a spurned lover, and the stranger at his ex-fiancee's side?
When Daniel re-stakes his claim on Charity's heart, tongues wag and minds speculate amid schemes and scandals in Humble, Texas. Whom will she choose-the handsome roughneck or the deceitful rouge?

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

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

UNC and the Road to Victory

The Tarheels won the title game last night. An early, substantial lead easily propelled them to victory. (And here in NC, there's much rejoicing.)

For most of us, our victories are not so pronounced or defined. It's the small triumphs that contribute to our success, those moments when we crest the hill of our roller coaster ride.

My recent victory involved a business development team accepting my book and placing their first order. This could ultimately result in the sale of thousands of books...

So what hill have you climbed lately? What's your most recent moment of success?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Spirited Christine Rose, Author Extraordinaire!

Special, special feature today!

Christine is one spirited woman and simply bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Really, I wish I could bottle it up and let you all get a whiff of it here.

Christine, thank you for kicking off your virtual tour here!

Tell us about Rowan of the Wood!

Rowan of the Wood is a magical adventure tale mixed with tragic romance and Celtic Mythology. Cullen Knight is a seventh grader with a 1400-year-old wizard trapped in his head. Literally. Whenever Cullen gets scared, Rowan the wizard takes over Cullen’s body. Not only does Cullen have to deal with the ancient druid who has possessed him, but he also must deal with Fiana, the druid’s vampire wife, who wants to turn her husband into another vampire. To get to Rowan, she has to go through Cullen. Again, literally.

Fill us in a little about Celtic myths…

In our story, we focus on the mythology of the Celtic Otherworld. It is the mystical land of the dead and land of they fey folk. It is said that the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thinnest on Samhain (Halloween) night. This is the night that Rowan and Fiana are separated. This is the night that Cullen finds the wand. This is the most magical and powerful night in Druidic lore.

As an extra special treat, I'll be telling the sorrowful tale of Rowan and Fiana at libraries and Celtic/Renaissance Faires in the Bardic Storytelling Tradition, all with an accompaniment of an Anglo-Saxon Lyre (my husband built for me). You Tube

How did you get started with Renaissance fairs?

I worked my first Renaissance Faire when I was 17. I was a garland girl at the Texas Renaissance Festival, and my Faire name was Fiana. I became instantly enamored with the Rennie life, and I wanted to join the circuit! But my mother was horrified at the notion. I settled for visiting Renfaires as a patron for the next 15 years. Then I met Ethan, who also used to work at a Renaissance Faire in California (Black Point). We shared this and many other passions, so when our publicist suggested we attend Faires as vendors to promote our book, we embraced the idea to the fullest. I began creating artwork relating to our book. We're planning to attend Renaissance Faires and Celtic Festivals both large and small throughout the rest of the year vending our wares as merchants. The largest scheduled is Scarborough Renaissance Festival near Dallas, TX. We have several videos from our travels in our "On the Road to a Bestseller" series on YouTube You Tube

You also offer artwork…?

We do! I paint Green Men, sculpt dragons, and create calligraphic Ogham and Runic images. These are two ancient languages of the Druids and Anglo-Saxons. Ethan hand carves magic wands and little wizard magnets. You can see examples of our art work on our website Christine Rose under the "Art" tab. You can also see me painting one on YouTube you Tube

I love the setup of your website! How much of that came from you? (Or did you do it all?)

I do it all. Sometimes I'm quite overwhelmed with it all, as I've blogged about. I started dabbling in web design back in 1997. I taught myself HTML, and I still write and edit directly in the code. I've since fully immersed myself into Web 2.0! I produce two video vlogs per week on YouTube (TheTuberRose), I broadcast live from blogTV (TheTuberRose) every Monday at 1pm (and live from book signings), and I host a BlogTalkRadio show (christinerose) every Wednesday at 5pm. All times CST.

How did you get started with your show on BlogTalkRadio?
(And she's a darned good host, too!)

My cousin does a show (punkprincess) and turned me onto the possibilities around BTR. I was looking for further ways to be visible online while helping my fellow authors, and BTR seemed to be the perfect platform to do so! It's been great fun so far, and I look forward to doing more shows. It looks like actress/author Amber Benson might be joining me on BTR later in April!

Tell us about your RV – and do you have a photo to share?

The Geekalicious Gypsy Caravan! Since we are going to be driving all over the country this year on a book promotion tour, I thought it would be beneficial to basically be a mobile billboard. After all, you can write the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, it'll fade into oblivion. Additionally, we have three dogs and a cat (who are our children) that travel with us. We had to have something of relative comfort in which to live. Our book cover artist, Ia Layadi, designed and painted the RV. I made a video of the process on YouTube You Tube Our Gyspy Caravan ensures that passersby will at least see the name "Rowan of the Wood" and get an eyeful of our beautiful pictish druid Rowan!

And the last word, Christine…?

Please read Rowan of the Wood! It's won a national award and has gotten great reviews from both critics and readers. It's available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. It's also available wherever books are sold! If they're out of them on the shelf, they can order you a copy. Just ask! - Amazon - Kindle
CONTEST: I'm giving away $100 Barnes & Noble gift card! Just purchase Rowan of the Wood from Amazon between April 6-17 and email me the confirmation to enter! That's all you have to do! It's good for 10 entries.
Additional entries: Comment on my blog (5), Sign up for the Newsletter (5), Subscribe to YouTube & share with friends (10), review Rowan on Amazon (10), follow me on Twitter (5) & Facebook (5), and more!
All contest details are on Christine Rose

Finally - Join us for a Discussion on Goodreads Q&A with the Authors, April 6-17 Good Reads


Wannabe Authors - Avoid Inappropriate Behavior

As with any profession, proper etiquette must be displayed. If you are a writer with author dreams, there's a few things you need to remember.

At book festivals, events, signings, etc., most authors are present for one reason - to sell their books. During this time, it is tempting for writers to ask questions about the publishing industry. Don't! And here's why-

Authors work hard to promote their work and set up appearances. It gives them a chance to meet fans in person and entice new readers to purchase their books. Often we have a small window of opportunity in which to accomplish this - sometimes not even an hour.

You may be tempted to take this time to ask an author questions. If it is related to their work, they are happy to speak with you! However, too often a writer simply wants to pump an author for information and then walk away without even buying a book. The five minutes you spent with us may not seem much to you, but unfortunately, you are not alone! Times that by the dozen others who asked questions, and we are left with no time to actually sell our books.

Next time you meet an author at an event, unless he or she is there specifically to answer publishing questions, please keep this in mind:

It is rude to ask how much that person makes.

Do not ask for the author's agent or publisher contact.

Do not ask that person how you can get published.

Do not ask the author to review your work.

Resist the urge to tell the person all about the book you are writing.

Do not hang around his or her table unless you plan to purchase a book.

We do not mind answering questions, but our events are not the proper time or place. Ask if you can email us one or two questions and we will likely be more responsive.

If you can't resist the urge to ask questions, please have the courtesy to purchase a book.

We do not mean to be rude or aloof, but being an author is our profession and how we earn a living. Please show some respect and avoid the above inappropriate behavior!

I am sure I left out a few points - authors please feel free to add other situations that you may have encountered!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Google's Street-Level Map

There's an article over at CNN - "Angry Villagers Chase Away Google Car."CNN

Google has decided it will create a street-level map of three continents to go along with its Google Earth overhead view. However, the residents of this little UK town decided they did NOT want their properties photographed and made available for all the world's criminals to see. Google claims it blurs faces & license plates, but...

How do you feel about this little invasion of privacy?

Friday, April 03, 2009

And now for something completely different...

It's the Friday roundup of news!

A listing of romance author advances & royalties by publisher:
Brenda Hiatt

Uncut version of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” leaked to web!

Listing of major book festivals:
Book Fairs

April Fool’s jokes from around the world, including The Guardian in London announcing it would cease printing and post all news via Twitter. (And thank you Marvin for your April Fool's joke!)
And Spunky got to enjoy some time at the beach this week! I had a speaking engagement on the Outer Banks Thursday morning and they put us up in a hotel Wednesday night. We were right on the beach, too! And while I was at my speaking engagement, my husband visited the site of the first flight by Wilbur & Orville Wright. (Don't worry, he took lots of photos and bought me a new travel mug!)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Author Bill Myers

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Angel Of Wrath FaithWords (April 8, 2009)
Bill Myers


Well, one thing led to another and even though I got C's in my one writing class in college (and told God I could do anything for him but write) I got my first writing job for a TV series. And then another and then some directing jobs and finally some books. (I think I've written and/or directed a few dozen films and about 60 books). The projects have won about 40 awards, I get to travel all over the world, and I'm having the time of my life. I often think that none of this would have happened if I lived my life my way. I would have never chosen writing and directing for a living. Instead, I might be in somebody's mouth this very minute drilling away as a dentist. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being a dentist, it's just not what I was designed for. So, everywhere I go, I encourage people to say yes to God, no matter how foolish it may feel, because by doing that, they'll be in the center of His will and living a cooler life than they'd ever dreamed possible. It's not always easy and it can be a little scary…but it's anything but boring!

Today I live in California, not too far from Hollyweird (where I'm still trying to make a difference) with two cats, two kids, one dog and one wife.Another
Faithword book by Bill Myers is The Voice.


Thirteen-year-old Jazmin, her ex-Special Ops uncle Charlie, and former FBI agent Lisa are reunited in the second of the Voice of God series to stop a an assassin driven to murder members of a megachurch led by Lisa's brother. This assassin has drawn in a coven of teens toying with satanic practices to support his efforts. The naive youth engage in ceremonies that appear to usher in the death of each of his victims. When their rituals open a portal into the spiritual realm, a terrifying and mysterious entity crosses over to our world.The battle culminates with the capture of Lisa's father as the next target and a Black Mass requiring both their deaths as a sacrifice. The team will, once again, have to rely on all their wits, strength, and faith to survive in this action-packed, unearthly warfare.

If you would like to read an excerpt from
Angel Of Wrath, go HERE
The book link is: