Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend Box Office and Finding A Market

* Weekend Box Office *

The box office numbers are out and it was a record weekend.

Despite dropping 70%, New Moon grossed $42 million this weekend for a total of $230 million so far.
However, The Blind Side rose 18% for $40 million for a total of $100 million.
Mind-boggling is the fact that 2012 has now grossed $590 million world-wide!

Only four movies have crossed the $1 billion mark - can you name them???

* Marketing Tip *

Marketing is the ability to effectively reach out to consumers and offer your product or service

Find a market & need first – then fill it. Find what people want and offer it – target a market eager to buy.

Know everything about your target audience – who is your book geared towards and who will purchase it? What age & gender? What income bracket or location? Where do they shop, where do they frequent, what are their interests, etc.? How will you reach this audience? Target & know where your customers go online.

Create a profile on several of your target groups. (Often there's more than one target audience.) Discover what words will rock them, what images, to what specifically they will respond. You'll need to keep this in mind both while writing the book and preparing to market it.

Always keep in mind - will your book make them healthier, wealthier, sexier, or save them time? Think beyond the obvious with these four items, too. A book can make people wealthier by expanding their mind or sexier just by being hip enough to read it.

People purchase things because of the results & what it can do for them. They buy answers and things they desire. Tap into your prospects deepest desires.

- Adapted from my seminar "Promoting in a Virtual World!"

* I will also be a guest today on Robin Falls Kids Holiday's Author Reading at 4:15pm EST - Blog Talk Radio - reading a new excerpt from Book V!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Sunday Sillies

And after a Thanksgiving stuffing, we need them!

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

And for something a little different...

"Storm Troopers in Love!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

* Book News & Stuff *

Harlequin and RWA at War – Babbling About Books And More

Smashwords! Straight From Hel

Conrad Feagin discusses why visitors leave your site – Marketing Tips For Authors

Publisher’s Weekly begins accepting e-book galleys through net-Galley - Feathered Quill

HUGE Thanksgiving Giveaway!!! Peace Love & Pat Book Reviews

Will it blend? GREAT Thanksgiving video spoof! The Book Kitten

Sharing with Writers had two great articles – Marvin Wilson Talks Public Speaking & Joint Venture Marketer Shares

Thanks so much to Terry for her great review of Book IV - Terry Lynn Johnson

And authors seeking a feature! I do guest posts on Mondays, excerpts on Thursdays, and a feature in my monthly newsletter - let me know if you want to promote yourself or a book in 2010!

* Movie Review *

New Moon
LOL - just kidding!!!

The Blind Side
Ever watch those sweet, syrupy, sappy, true-life movies and feel nauseous?
Well, you won't get that sensation watching this movie!
Yes, it has its tender moments, but this one is NOT sappy. And after about five minutes, you forget that it's Sandra Bullock playing Leigh Anne, too. Yes, she is that good in the role.
I kept waiting for a REALLY bad moment in the movie, like most real-life movies. But the REALLY bad moment never came. There were many ups and downs and critical points, but it was so true to life - such a slice of real life.
And at the end of the movie, there's photos of the real life Michael Oher and his family. He now plays for the Ravens.
Biggest surprise was the humor in this movie. I laughed SO hard at several scenes, and the one where Leigh Anne tells Michael what she will do to him if he gets a girl pregnant is hysterical.
Skip the vampires. Go see a quality movie. You will be a better person for your efforts!
Rating - solid A

* Music Review *

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Night Castle

This is their much-awaited double album, of which the band has been working for years. These guys tour SO MUCH though, I can certainly forgive them the delay.
I am still listening & absorbing - prog rock music takes many listens - but I will tell you right now, this is another great album by TSO. To finally hear "Carmina Burana" after being teased for two years at their concerts is wonderful. Although one of my biggest delights was "The Mountain," their rendition of "In the Hall of the Mountain King."
I do believe if classical musicians such as Beethoven and Mozart were alive today, they would be composing prog rock music!
And I will see TSO live NEXT WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rating - A

* Photo of the Day *

And in celebration of the fact that I have second row, middle section, floor seats for TSO next Wednesday...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to my USA friends! I hope today finds you well fed and with family.

We are spending the day with our neighbors and friends, so Spunky will not be cooking a full meal. (Yeah for me!)

However, I have cooked many turkeys in the past. I may be a vegan, but I always do a proper turkey with stuffing for my husband. He does protest when I make the naked bird dance across the counter, claiming I am playing with his food...

Don't tell his mom, but he admits that I do a better, juicer turkey than she - LOL!

So enjoy a drumstick! I'll be busy gnawing on my Tofurkey...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Author Russ White

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Loss Of Carrier - BookSurge Publishing (October 27, 2009)
by Russ White


Russ White is an internationally recognized internetwork engineer. He has co-authored eight books in the field of network design and routing protocols and is a regular speaker at international networking conferences.
In addition to working on several expert and senior-level network engineering certifications, he is a certified firearms instructor.
Russ, his wife, and their two children live in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, where they enjoy spending time on Jordan Lake and attending Colonial Baptist Church. Loss of Carrier is his first novel.


Bright yellow cables against a blue shirt? Carl never would have approved of that color combination. Why was his face so white? His eyes should be closed, not open. Why hadn’t one of the security guards seen this and reported it to the police? The lights were off, the cameras were useless in the dark.

Of course, the cables wrapped around Carl’s neck explained why the server wasn’t working. Loss of carrier.

Jess Wirth lives a dreary life. He spends most of his time crammed inside a cubicle, toiling as a network engineer and stewing over the details of his ugly divorce. But when he finds his co-worker dead in the basement of their office, Jess’s life takes a surprising—and unpleasant—turn.

The police quickly declare the death a suicide, but Jess isn’t so sure. Not long after he begins digging into the victim’s work, another co-worker turns up dead, convincing him once and for all that something sinister is brewing behind the cubicle walls.

His investigation leads him to a mysterious woman name Leah, who pushes him to entrust her with the information he’s collected about his dead colleagues. Wary of Leah’s motives yet inexorably drawn to her, Jess keeps her at arm’s length...until an attempt is made on both their lives. Realizing they are close on the trail of a dangerous criminal, the pair race to expose a data theft ring before they become the killer’s next victims.

The book link is:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photo Tuesday - Character Flaws

As writers, we are told not to present perfect characters.

Those inhabiting our story must possess flaws, hang-ups, imperfections, and internal conflicts.

Sometimes it is difficult to assign these negative characteristics. We love our characters and don't want them to be too unlikable, ignorant, or emotionally unstable. Our readers must identify with these people and root for the heroes. What if we go too far and create a character too offensive or pathetic?

The secret is to have our characters outgrow some of these negative issues.

Remember the ugly duckling. Homely as a chick, he eventually grew into a beautiful swan.

Our characters can grow and change as well. During the course of our story, situations will arise that  challenge our characters, forcing them to improve and adapt. The basic storyline will likely involve the overcoming of poor behaviors, mental fears, or emotional barriers. The bully will cease to fight. The antagonist will realize the error of his ways. The wallflower will understand that she can achieve more. Some characters will remain stuck in their ways (and some will even regress) but others will flourish and grow.

And by the end of our story, while far from perfect, they will resemble a beautiful swan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Author Lisa E. Shiel and The Evolution Conspiracy

Today I welcome author Lisa A. Shiel, author of The Evolution Conspiracy.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times featured a photo of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins standing in front of a bus emblazoned with the slogan "there's probably no God." The most vocal evolutionists, like Dawkins, are atheists. A survey conducted this year by the Pew Research Center revealed that 51% of scientists believe in a higher power while 41% don't. Contrast this with the general public, of whom 83% believe in a higher power. And the atheistic evolutionists don't simply reject the notion of God, they insist on ridiculing anyone who does believe. The description for The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins' best-known book, states that Dawkins exposes how belief is dangerous and has wrought "grievous harm" on the world.

The atheists may be the most vocal evolutionists but the Pew survey demonstrated they are not in the majority. Most scientists, from Isaac Newton to National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins, believe in a higher power. Scientists like Collins have found a way to reconcile evolution and faith into theistic evolution. A Gallup poll conducted for Darwin's birthday earlier this year showed that 25% of people don't believe in evolution and another 36% have no opinion about it. Why then do atheistic evolutionists focus their attacks on God, implying that anyone who doubts evolution is a religious wacko? Such tactics seem counterproductive, since an overwhelming majority of the public has faith and at least a quarter doubt evolution. But the tactic succeeds brilliantly in one area, namely diverting attention away from the flaws in the evidence for evolution.

That's why I wrote The Evolution Conspiracy, to critique the evidence from a secular perspective without involving my personal beliefs. This way, no matter what your beliefs, you can examine the evidence and decide for yourself whether to accept or reject evolution. Pro-evolution books tell you evolution is an absolute fact and an increasing number of them also ridicule belief in God, while virtually all books critiquing evolution promote the author's beliefs or favorite theory. I adopted a different approach in The Evolution Conspiracy, providing all the tools you need to reach your own conclusions.

When I first considered writing a book criticizing evolution, I knew I'd be entering a war zone—and I don't mean the science vs. faith debate. Diehard evolutionists attack anyone who expresses the slightest doubt about evolution, labeling every doubter a creationist as if that word were an insult. I believe in God but I'm not a creationist. Although the evidence mustered in support of evolution has failed to convince me, I proffer no alternative theory. I don't need to, because the evidence can stand or fall on its own. What I find the most interesting is that when creationists or intelligent design advocates disagree with me they do so politely, sans name-calling (in fact a creationist, Paul Abramson, offered a nice blurb for my book). Diehard evolutionists, on the other hand, must resort to ridicule in their futile attempts to silence me. The fact that seems to soar over their heads is that I have made a career out of writing about controversial topics like Bigfoot and UFOs. Anything evolutionists throw at me I've heard before.

You might think paranormal researchers would support each other. Oh, if only! Bigfoot researchers argue with UFO researchers, Bigfoot researchers argue with each other, and UFO researchers argue with each other. Sometimes they argue about the meanings of words like paranormal, other times they argue about whether to capitalize the term Bigfoot. But these arguments don't get published in the New York Times or scientific journals. The battles waged by atheistic evolutionists against dissenters often do. The gist of atheists' derisive rants says that evolution is a fact and you'd better accept it or else.

What's the lesson here? As a writer I recognize that words can exert great power—but only if we let them. Ignore ridicule and it loses its potency. Let only those words that inspire you have any power over you. Believe what is right for you, not what a minority of scientists tell you to think. That's the motto of The Evolution Conspiracy. Read about the evidence, think about it, and decide for yourself.


Lisa A. Shiel researches and writes about everything strange, from Bigfoot and UFOs to alternative history. She has been interviewed for big-city newspapers, national magazines, drive-time talk radio shows, and TV news. She has a master’s degree in library science. As a fiction writer, Lisa developed the Human Origins Series—which includes the novels The Hunt for Bigfoot and Lord of the Dead. Lisa’s other nonfiction books are Backyard Bigfoot: The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs & the Sasquatch (a finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Awards) and Strange Michigan. Her latest book, The Evolution Conspiracy, Vol. 1, marks the initial release in a planned three-book series. Find her online at EvolutionConspiracy, Twitter, or on Facebook.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

"The winter was harsh, so they ate Robin's minstrils... and there was much rejoicing."

Eleni has a great holiday contest going! La Femme Readers

Another place authors can list events, courtesy of Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Marvin has more great editing tips! The Old Silly

The sexiest man alive… Babbling About Books And More

Author Lynn Tincher is in the process of setting up a website for her newsletter, The Literary Lynnch Pen. I’ve been a regular contributor and will be listed as part of her ‘team.’ Anyone interested in contributing should contact Lynn – lynntincher AT She wants to keep the newsletter fresh and exciting!

And anyone interested in reviewing Book V…Heather, please see One Arc Tours


Let me just say that I wisely left my brain at the door for this one!
This is every disaster/end-of-the-world movie rolled into one. The only way the director could top this is to blow up the solar system.
99 % of the movie is completely unrealistic.
That said... this is actually a fun movie. It's incredible eye candy. The sight of L.A. sliding off into the ocean is like WOW. It is a roller coaster of effects and thrills. It does become exhausting at the end, but it's one hell of a ride. A couple characters are a little shallow, but there's certainly more development and story than what the critics claim. (And as one critic stated "You never get off a rollercoaster and complain about the storyline!")
I give it a B

Next week's review will be The Blind Side!!! Football and a sweet, true story? I am so there!


Waldenbooks, New Bern, NC

This store is home to Nicholas Sparks - or rather was. New Bern's Waldenbooks will close in January, along with 200 other stores. So this visit will be sad as I say goodbye to Ann, Leslie, Wendy, and the others...


"Ah, the essence of badminton birdie..."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Excerpt - River Passage by p.m.terrell

Today I have the honor of featuring my dear friend and mentor, p.m.terrell, and her latest book, River Passage!

Excerpt from River Passage by p.m.terrell:

Sycamore Shoals,
The Watauga Settlement, 1775

They appeared at dawn, rising like apparitions through the mist. The morning dew clung to their bronzed bodies as their sinewy arms sliced paddles through the water in a rhythmic motion borne of hours of toil. They moved silently on the glistening current, their black eyes alert, ever searching for others along the shore and in the gathering canoes. When at last they rounded the final bend, they were greeted with the ghostly vision of braves pulling ashore, their lean, taut bodies gliding out of the vessels, their flat, bare feet touching the cold ground without leaving as much as a footprint on the pristine shore. The canoes were lined up wordlessly, their wooden bodies pressed side by side as dozens and then hundreds gathered.

The men greeted one another with a quiet nod, their eyes meeting for the briefest of moments before they began trotting through the thickening woods. Their figures seemed to morph from the very tree trunks that concealed them into a forest that came alive with their bodies, the branches swaying ever so slightly as they completed a journey across lands where their forefathers’ spirits still roamed.

Their feet found the paths as if they had minds of their own, as if their toes could see the brambles and pine straw stretched out before them, freeing their dark, brooding eyes to stare straight ahead at the scores of men before them. They knew without so much as a glance behind them that others followed in their steps, and that all would gather at the place the white men called Sycamore Shoals…


p.m.terrell is the internationally acclaimed author of 11 books, including four computer books, one non-fiction for authors, and four contemporary suspense/thrillers. But her most popular books are her historical suspense/adventures inspired by the true story of Mary Neely: Songbirds are Free and River Passage. A full-time author since 2002, terrell followed in Mary’s footsteps as she joined the river expedition westward from Virginia to Fort Nashborough (present-day Nashville, TN) and again after her capture by Shawnee warriors, when she was taken hundreds of miles from home before she eventually escaped. Photographs and video from her trips are found at Mary Neely and her author web site is pmterrell

About River Passage:

The trip should have taken four weeks. More than 200 people set out for Fort Nashborough in November 1779, expecting to arrive by Christmas. Instead, the survivors limped into Fort Nashborough almost five months later with a harrowing tale. Their river passage had been watched by Dragging Canoe, the leader of the Chickamauga Indians, who attacked them in wave after wave as they struggled westward. Four teenagers were captured, more than 26 were killed, and countless others wounded. In addition, they’d faced frostbite, near starvation, and a small pox outbreak. Mary Neely was on board one of the flatboats with nine brothers and sisters and their mother, and it would be a journey she could never forget.

River Passage has been determined to be so historically accurate that the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives has admitted the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.

At Amazon and at all fine book stores. Free shipping at pmterrell and Mary Neely

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Author Kirk Outerbridge

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
Eternity Falls Marcher Lord Press (October 1, 2009)
by Kirk Outerbridge


Kirk Outerbridge developed a passion for storytelling at an early age. Through years of reading Fantasy and Science Fiction novels, comics, table top gaming and watching endless hours Japanese anime, he developed a keen sense for what made stories enjoyable and more importantly—what didn’t.

While pursuing an engineering degree in college, Kirk endeavored to tell his own stories, choosing writing as the easiest and cheapest medium to master—or so he thought. Several years and several hundred thousand words later, he produced a Sci-fi trilogy that shall never (God willing) see the light of day, but that did teach him much needed lessons about the craft of writing fiction.

After college Kirk returned to his homeland of Bermuda where he reunited with his childhood friend and future wife, Ria. But before marrying his lovely wife, Kirk entered an even greater marriage and devoted his life to Christ in 2002.

With a new found direction in life, writing fell by the wayside but the urge to tell futuristic stories never left. After much prayer and contemplation, Kirk purposed his writing for God’s Will, seeking to draw to Christ those who shared his passions for all things futuristic and Sci-fi.

Kirk currently lives with his wife Ria and 18 month old son Miles in beautiful Bermuda. He is a faithful member of the Church of Christ and is a professional engineer employed by the government.


In the future, death is only a problem if you can’t afford the price. Such is the promise of Gentec Corporation’s “Miracle Treatment”, a genetic anti-aging elixir that grants eternal life—or does it?

When a Gentec client suddenly dies of natural causes, the powers that be will stop at nothing to ensure their version of eternity remains unchallenged; even if it means concocting a religious sabotage conspiracy to cover a lie.

With the media about to blow the story wide open, the credibility of Gentec and the lives of millions of clients rest on one man’s ability to uncover the truth.
Enter detective Rick Macey, religious counterterrorist expert and Gentec executive Sheila Dunn’s last hope for salvation.

Now with the clock ticking and the corporate brass seeking their own solution at any cost, Macey must track down a religious zealot out to destroy the Miracle Treatment for good.

But when Macey finds himself not only falling for his client, but confronted with the possibility that the culprit could hold a connection to his shaded past, the truth suddenly becomes a dangerous thing.

Only through a test of faith can he stop the crisis before it’s all too late and eternity falls.

If you would like to read an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Eternity Falls, go HERE
The book link is:



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo Tuesday - Reviews From The Bookshelf

Twelve Days of Terror by Richard G. Fernicola, M.D.

Today's Photo Tuesday involves the solid oak bookcase that resides in our living room. It's filled with favorite hardbacks, some movie books, favorite paperbacks, my books (of course!), and some Laserdiscs. (LOL - remember those?!)

My recent reading has consisted of marketing and self-help books, so thought I would grab one off the shelf for you today!

Twelve Days of Terror by Richard G. Fernicola, M.D.
Hardback - April 2001, ISBN-13: 9781585742974
Paperback - April 2002, ISBN-13: 9781585745753
Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
400 pages

I am an animal lover and fascinated with sharks. I never miss Shark Week on Discovery! When this book was released in 2001, I simply had to pick it up. I'd heard about the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks for years and wanted to know more about this tale. And I was not disappointed!

400 pages of documentary might sound boring, but this was a fascinating read. The author chronicles each day and every attack in detail in a narrative form that reads more like a novel. He is precise with dates, names, & quotes, and presents the story from every possible angle. There are photos and drawings scattered throughout the book and a large portion is compiled in the middle.

Each chapter entices one to read more, gripped with anticipation. The story of how one shark held an entire coastline hostage for twelve days loses nothing in the retelling. The attacks in fresh water are especially intense. (Attacked by a shark while swimming in a river - how scary is that?) The 1916 New Jersey shark attacks were also the inspiration for Peter Benchley's thriller Jaws. Once you read this book, you'll realize that reality is far more frightening than fiction, too!

Was it a rougue shark? A tiger or great white? And why did it attack? Read and decide for yourself...

I give it 9 out of 10. If you love sharks and history, you will love this book!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Special Guest, Author Jamieson Wolf!

Today I want to welcome a very special author and a friend dear to my heart, Jamieson Wolf. We may spell our names different, but we are brother & sister at heart!

Tell us a little about Hunted, Book One in The Hunted Series-

Well, in Hunted – The Hunted Series Book One, we meet Susan Halliway…

Susan Halliway is desperate to change her life. But something is desperate to hunt her....

A serial killer begins to leave increasingly frightening notes for Susan after he kills each of his victims. Little girls with blond hair and bright eyes. She receives details of the killings days before the bodies are found. The trouble is, the killings match a storyline on the soap opera "Hope Falls". The storyline where Susan's old character was the final victim.

Turning to Erin Edwards, the script writer who wrote the "Hope Falls" storyline, they both try to solve the puzzle of who is killing little girls and why they've targeted Susan. Meanwhile, Derrick Madison, Susan's old flame comes back into her life.

Will Derrick's flame for Susan get in the way of his police investigation? Or will Susan's lust for Derrick blind her to powerful secrets that Derrick may be withholding from her. They will need all their cunning, all their daring, if they are to reach the end of this hunt alive....

What are some of the other books you write?

Well, I seem to be all over the place!

I write romance novels for Breathless Press (Cupids Delight and Starlight Starbright are out now!) and erotic romance for Cobblestone Press (including The Written Word Series, The Owen Diaries and The Other Trilogy).

I’ve also written a dark young adult book (The Ghost Mirror), a book of short stories (Light in the City of Shadows) and some micro fiction collections (The Sleepless Book of Dreams and The Wakeful Book of Desire).

I’ve also written quite a bit of non-fiction and some how to write books for those that want to try their hand at the craft of writing. I’ve even written poetry and some science fiction.

Like I said, I seem to be all over the place!

I know you have a special manuscript that you hope to have published soon – and thank you for allowing me the chance to read it! Can you tell us a little about it and why you were inspired to write it?

Well the book is called One Step at a Time.

It’s a memoir about my life living with Cerebral Palsy. People often ask me what it's like living with a disability.

I usually don't like talking about it. I've been teased and ridiculed enough growing up to be conditioned to the idea that no one really cares; they just ask out of sympathy. I know this is not the case, but it is a hard habit to break.

So it remains a little talked subject in my life. I exist day to day and try to ignore the pain as much as I can. And I remain quiet about my disability.

Until now.

After finding out that my niece possibly had Cerebral Palsy, I was inspired to write something that might help her, that might aid her in her difficult years that were ahead. I wanted to write a memoir so that she knew she was not the only person suffering with Cerebral Palsy.

I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone.

Later I found out that my niece didn’t have Cerebral Palsy, but I had already begun. The words were already set free, so I decided to continue.

I knew that writing about my life would be difficult. I also knew that it would not focus solely on Cerebral Palsy. Having grown up as a disabled homosexual and survivor of abuse, I knew that there would be many ghosts clamouring for attention.

I wanted the benefits of this memoir to be threefold: I wanted to let go of past ghosts and move on with life. I wanted to go through a healing process that would help me achieve that. And I wanted to write something that would be an inspiration to others.

I wanted to write something that would let other people with disabilities that they were not alone. I wanted to write something that would be of some help to other survivors of physical and sexual abuse.

I can only hope that I have succeeded.

Despite the difficulties in my life, I am thankful for every single aspect, every single thing that has happened to me. That may seem odd to some, considering what I have been through, but I know that it has taught me to be a better person.

It has taught me how to be a better human being.

The book is incredibly personal to me and it was incredibly difficult to write. It’s also had an incredibly hard journey with publishers at the moment. It was supposed to be published with one publisher in the summer of 2008. Then that publisher went bankrupt. Then it was supposed to be published with another publisher in November 2009. Then that publisher closed its doors due to family problems.

I am beginning to wonder whether or not I will find a publisher for it, but I won’t give up hope. I believe that it’s a book that deserves to be read and possibly the most important thing I’ve written.

(And I hope that it is published, as it's incredibly powerful!)

You not only write a lot of books, but you read a lot, too! When do you find the time? What are some of your favourite genres and books?

You know, books are like air to me. I need books like I need oxygen, food and water. In fact, though my husband insists that books are a luxury, to me they are a necessity.

I read any time I can. I always have a book with me. I read on the bus, the elevator (when you live 21 floors up in a high rise, that elevator ride can be VERY long), in line ups. Anywhere I can read, I do.

I also read pretty fast. I usually read about two or three books a week, sometimes more depending on the size of the book. Obviously something the size of the later Harry Potter books or the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon take me longer, but it’s all about finding a balance right?

As for genre’s, I read anything and everything. Like my writing, I’m all over the board on this too.

As I’m a writer of paranormal, speculative and horror fiction, I tend to read a lot of that. I love Caridad Pineiro’s Calling Series, the Choices Trilogy by Sandy Lender (she writes some incredible high fantasy that’ll knock your socks off) and I love the experimental novels by Caroline Smailes (Black Boxes is one of the most amazing novels I’ve read in years).

I love historical fiction, biographies, anything having to do with Anne of Green Gables and Lucy Maud Montgomery. I love fantasy, sci fi and I really love Anne Rice’s new Christian oriented novels: Christ the Lord Out of Egypt, Christ the Lord The Road To Cana and Angel Time. I have a real hankering for Young Adult books as of late too.

But if I had to pick a favourite? Well, that would have to be Stephen King hands down. He constantly surprises and scares me and I always go back for more!

How long have you participated in The Muse Online Writer’s Conference?

I’ve been teaching workshops for The Muse Online Writers Conference since it began four years ago. Every year I teach a new and different workshop that focuses on a different area of writing.

It’s always amazing to take part in something like that. Not only is it a good chance to market yourself and network, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to help people become better writers.

In fact, if you go to the non fiction page of my web site at Jamieson Wolf you can download all of my workshops for free! They’re available from Night Wolf Press LLC, something I’ve been working on for a little while. But there are five different workshops to choose from, so download them and write to your hearts content!

What advice would you tell a new writer?

Don’t listen to the people who tell you not to bother writing.

If you want to write, you’ll know that it’s a compulsion that shouldn’t be ignored. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as it’s something you want to do. Just ignore them and make sure to write every day.

Also, don’t get discouraged! When I look at some of my early writing, I cringe. But the lovely thing about the craft of writing is that by writing more and reading more, you constantly grow as a writer and become better at the craft of writing.

And I can’t stress this last part enough: read read read! Read as many books as you can get your hands on. Stephen King once said that if you don’t read, you don’t have the will or the tools to write.

I couldn’t agree more!

Would your cat Mave like to add a word? Tell us something about her human owner perhaps?

Hold on a second, I’ll check…what’s that Mave? No, I can’t say that in an interview…no, I can’t say that either and I don’t know where you picked up that kind of language young lady!...What do you mean you heard it from me?...I would never say something like that! You’ve been watching cop drama’s again haven’t you?

What? Oh, okay, I can say that: Mave says that I can be terribly stubborn, anal retentive and just a tad neurotic…oh, Mave, that’s not a very nice thing to say about someone you know. Maybe we have to send you to the vet…

Oh, Mave says that I’m an incredibly wonderful person and she loves me very, very much, oh, what’s that? Oh yes, she says send money. Or books…and cat nip….what? Oh, alright, I added in the money and books part, but she did ask for cat nip.

To where would you like to travel?

As I’ve been all over Canada and to some parts of the United States, I’d love to go further. I’d love to go to Ireland and Egypt, Las Vegas and New York. I’ve love to go to Italy or to Venice. Anywhere really, as long as I get to come home.

Where can we find your books?

Well, you can find links to buy my books and excerpts at my web site which you can find here: Jamieson Wolf

And if you’re out and about on the web, you can find me here:

Blog: Jamieson Wolf
The Book Pedler (my book review web site)
Night Wolf Designs (my book trailer design company)

And the last word, Jamieson… ?

Well, I’ve got something really special for all your blog readers!

Hope Falls – The Hunted Series Book Two will be coming out in paperback early next year! Hunted is already out in paperback and has been a huge best seller!

To celebrate the release of Hope Falls in paperback, I’m giving away ebook copies of Hunted! How awesome is that?

If your readers click on the following link, they’ll be able to download their very own copy of Hunted – The Hunted Series Book One absolutely free! The Hunted Book One

It was one of my absolute favourite books to write and I hope you all enjoy reading it!

Thanks for having me here today Diane! You’ve been lovely as always and this tea was fantastic!

So happy to have you!

Please also check out his book trailer - You Tube

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay!"

Book news galore this week!

Marvin gives us some great self-editing tips: The Old Silly

Great places to discover new authors – excellent resource! The Writing Jungle

YA magazine seeks submissions: YA Books Central

Great interview with Suzanne Lieurance - Children's Author, Writing Coach and Radio Host: Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

Jane Kennedy had two great posts this week –  New Read or ReRead & Screenwriting

Kristi provides book bloggers with some fantastic advice: The Story Siren

Elizabeth Spann Craig's guest post about Twitter: Terry’s Place

A new book covering the history of real vampires: My Overstuffed Bookshelf

Registration now open for 2010! The Muse Online Writers Conference

Carolyn Howard-Johnson gives us ten publicity commandments:  Marketing Tips For Authors

* Spunky on the road *

Some days, I forget where I live...

14th 11 - 1 pm
Waldenbooks, Columbia, SC
(sadly, one of the stores that will close in January)

14th 2 - 4 pm
Waldenbooks, Sumter, SC

17th 3 - 5 pm
Kingdom Resources Bookstore, Ahoskie, NC

17th 6 - 9 pm
Roanoke-Chowan CC, Ahoskie, NC
*seminar - How to Promote Your Book Now!

* Photo of the Day *

What I miss most about Albuquerque is the International Balloon Fiesta, the largest in the world. We went every year and I usually shot about eight rolls of film a day.
This shot was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! I was taking photos of this little balloon as they laid it out and began inflating. One of the men noticed me and gestured me forward. To my surprise, he allowed my husband and I to step inside the balloon through the slit and take photos from within. I was shooting B&W at the time, but even without color, the photo is still pretty wild!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt - Joseph Sturm

I met Joseph on Deviant Art, where he is known as Mattiello Please welcome him today to The Thursday Excerpt!

Excerpt From Counting Clouds:

Commitment to The Road

Cracks upon the pavement
are stretched to their limit;
vioces break upon the ground –
the ground is tenasciously faltering –
and drivers are wont to fly.

Signs red – they mean go
and signs green –they mean both.
Does blood mean I go as well?
Do yellow signs warn of drivers
or are they headlights from a car?

Curbs crumble – rocks that sting
various faces on the road,
thrown by ignorant children –
and allow pidestrians to wander;
they can walk free again.

Green upon sidewalks –
nature reclaims and
people simply decline
and become human once more.
We bury our weapons.

Putty to fix the road -
voices that soothe the mind;
in retrospect, oil on pavement
that waits to sieze and throw,
the poor, cautious fool.

I keep my eyes on the horizon
and whistle tunes of the wind.
I see nothing different;
colors melt upon each other,
but I just follow the grey.

Book info

Counting clouds can be found on, Barnes and Noble, Chapters Indigo, e-bay, and various other online retailers. Look for the e-book version to be available in December of ’09!

Counting Clouds is comprised of various pieces of poetry and short story which focus on hardships, morals, romance, exciting horror, philosophy, and common values in a serious calming manner. Become captivated as you read pieces like Want To, Life’s Rolls, Mirror symmetry, You Are A Rose, Serial Killer, and The Secrets of Statues. Contemplate your thoughts as your transverse a new world, painted in colors that only you will see and heard with music that only you will hear. Taste the enlightenment and feel the change.

About the author

Joseph L.M. Sturm spent parts of his childhood in South Central and Westren Pennsylvania. While in Foster care, he dwelved into the mystery of books, losing himself in fantasy, sience fiction, horror, and the classics. After his adoption in 2001, he experienced life in a wholly different aspect though his love for books was fueled ever more by his new-found parents. At the age of sixteen, Sturm began to write. While trying his hand at the ocasional short story satisfied him, he found his needs expressed by his poetry. While only a few select friends saw his work, their encouragement and genuine delight in his work enticed him to write more. And his love for writing grew; thus, the cycle had begun. While attending Mercersburg Academy ’07, a teacher of Sturm’s asked him a simple question after being shown one his many works: “Why haven’t you published yet?”

Joseph L.M. Sturm graduated from both Shalom Christian Academy ’06 and Mercersburg Academy ’07 and is currently working to acquire a Bachelor’s in English with an Anthropology minor.

As the Radio Show Host for, Sturm hosts workshop, provides tips on writing and publishing, and interviews writers such as Julie Hoffenberg and Sarah Woodward, author of The Healing Patch, Karin Steyn, author of Pomp-In Jay Pomp, and Frederick O. Marsh, author of Social Kissing.

Look for Joseph:
Writer Face
Mattiello’s Creation
Herald-Mail Interview

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

200 Waldenbooks Killed by Borders

Borders, Inc. announced last Thursday that it is closing 200 Waldenbooks in January - leaving only 130 across America. (For a full listing of stores, go to the Borders News Releases site.)

I cannot begin to describe to you how angry and sad this makes me feel!!! I could write several pages of rant, but will refrain. Let me just sum up...

Borders stores are losing money and this past year, Waldenbooks managers were told it was the Waldens side that was floating Borders and keeping it viable. Well, the company is in even bigger financial trouble now. Their solution? Close the Waldenbooks, even if the store itself is profitable. (What? Close down the non-profitable Borders? That would actually make SENSE!!!)

I saw the list on Saturday - most of my favorite stores will be gone in January. The two stores in Chesapeake, VA that I visited for signings on Saturday will both be gone. (There used to be seven Waldens in the area - by January, there will be none.) I had to say goodbye to two managers, friends I've known for several years now. And it was heartbreaking!! I couldn't believe it was my last visit ever to their store - and doubtful I'll see those people again except on FaceBook.

Most shocking in North Carolina is the loss of the New Bern Waldenbooks. That's Nicholas Sparks' home store!!! He appears there twice a year, whenever a book is released. The manager, Ann, has trained ALL the managers in the area. And she'll be gone soon. (I'm appearing there in two weeks and it SUCKS that I will have to say goodbye to Ann, Leslie, Wendy and the others...)

Many of these stores ARE profitable, too. I've no idea what the criteria was for the decicion, but like closings in the previous years, it makes no sense. Yes, online stores and ebooks are taking away the physical stores' business. But for Borders, Inc. to close 200 Waldenbooks just because the Borders stores are doing bad is DUMB business!

The only saving grace is my favorite Waldens will stay open - Southern Pines, NC. Charleston and Sumter SC will also remain open. There will be a total of six stores remaining in the Carolinas...

Spunky is really, really sad. These were my favorite stores to visit...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photo Tuesday - The Journey

Today's Tuesday post is a little different! I've selected a few moments of my journey as an author & speaker and highlighted them here. Unfortunately, as I am a professional photographer as well, I've taken thousands of photos over the years, and it was difficult to choose. But here is a little slice of life, looking back...

Here I am at a book festival with Catherine Coulter.
Okay, how many people can say they shared a panel discussion with Catherine?

This is my cousin, Chris, in Iraq. I sent a copy of my very first, self-published book to Chris, and this is my cousin siting on his Hummer, reading my book. All of the boys in his troop read my book, too.

This is an interview with NBC...

This is one of the many interviews I did with Ben at WTKF!

He always jokes that at least ONE person looks good in the photo!

This is Stephanie!

She came to a signing in Myrtle Beach, and then the following year, came to see me in her home state of Ohio. Her mother came with her and said Stephanie was SO inspired by my work!
The following year, I got an email from this man - he'd seen Stephanie's photo on my website and claimed she was a college friend and could I send her his email address? Long story short, they were engaged less than a year later!!!

This is Trish, manager of a Waldenbooks in Chesapeake!!!

She is SUCH a doll! And her hubby, Richard, always comes by to see me as well.

(This past Saturday, I got to go spend a few hours with them, too!)

On Deviant Art, she is YuriPanda - but this is my friend, Lindsay!!!

I was SO thrilled we got to meet in person!

This is Brittany.
She got one of my books in Myrtle Beach, and then her family drove over 100 mils down to Charleston so she could see me there!

This is Linda.

On Deviant Art, she is Granny-Chobit.

Due to health reasons, she's not online often anymore. But she helped me found The Writer's Meow on DA, and she came to see me when I toured through Ohio. AND took me out to eat afterwards. AND had them bring a big cake with a candle that played happy birthday all the way back to North Carolina...

This is Darlene Wofford, The Spirited Southerner!!!

We met on a List-Serv. I answered a question she posted, we exchanged messages, she ordered a book, and then asked me to be a guest on a radio program she co-hosted in Atlanta!

We've met several times now - and she contributed two chapters to my non-fiction book!

And this is me with my best friend in the whole world!

No - not Shrek!!!

This photo was taken during one of my Fall Southern Tours. My husband treated me to three days of Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.

He is my biggest cheerleader. My hero.

And just the other day he told me how proud he was of my efforts and dedication.

That's all I really need to keep going, too. Love you, Baby!

And there's so many more - Trish (p.m. terrell) whom you've all heard me rave about; my friend Denise Sutton; CC (another Chris - so many in my life!); Stephany, a fan so devoted that I nameed a character after her in Book IV; my mom, who cries every time she reads Book II; my DA friends & fans, like MDog02; too many to name!!

Thank you everyone for the incredible journey. And just think - it's not over yet!!!!

So - what's your journey look like???

Monday, November 09, 2009

Welcome, Author Julie Lomoe!

Thanks to Diane for inviting me to be a guest blogger on this first day of my first Blog Book Tour ever. She’s asked me to share something about how my background helped my writing. In my case, the background is actually foreground, since my life story plays a central role in both my books.

Both my mystery novels explore the lives of people who live at the margins of society. Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders explores the stigma and stereotyping that afflict people living with mental illness, while Eldercide delves into the lives of the homebound elderly and their caregivers. Both draw on my years of experience as a health care professional: a creative arts therapist with the mentally ill and later the CEO of a home health care agency.

I began my creative career as a painter. For many years I enjoyed the high life of loft living in SoHo. Then, feeling the need for a viable profession that actually paid the bills, I trained as an art therapist, receiving my M.A. from New York University. A job search led me upstate to Hudson River Psychiatric Center in Poughkeepsie, where I served 12 years as an art therapist and senior recreation therapist. Burned out but vested in the retirement system, I quit the state and founded ElderSource, Inc., a Licensed Home Care Services Agency specializing in round-the-clock live-in care.

ElderSource was a successful business, but the nonstop stress quite literally drove me crazy. After several years of supervising up to 50 staff, carrying a beeper round the clock and filling in frequently for absent aides, I started on antidepressants, which in turn precipitated a full-blown manic episode and earned me an official diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I hung on for two more years, until my husband and I sold the agency and moved further upstate to Rensselaer County.

I spent a year in virtual hibernation, licking my wounds and gaining weight, then found a job in Troy as assistant director at a psychiatric social club run by a not-for-profit agency. I loved working with the consumers, but the staff I supervised lacked professional training, and their notion of therapeutic activities centered on van rides to Vermont to purchase discount cartons of cigarettes. Even so, things seemed okay until the day a client was talking with me about her experiences with bipolar illness, and I told her I too was bipolar. She shared the news with a subordinate who hated my guts, and the next morning, I was summoned to human resources and summarily fired. A fine message that sent to the club members: dare to be upfront about your illness, and you’ll lose your job. Best stay in the closet.

A few weeks later, I began work on the novel that became Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders. The social club for mentally ill consumers proved the perfect setting for a mystery, but to protect the innocent, I renamed the club WellSpring and transported it to the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In the novel, when club members begin dying unexpectedly, police write off the deaths as routine – suicides and drug overdoses are par for the course for the mentally ill. Erika Norgren, the club’s director, suspects otherwise. Like the victims, she’s diagnosed bipolar, but when she makes a similar disclosure to mine, she does it on the 11 o’clock news. Not only does she keep her job; the TV story draws the attentions of a charismatic community activist, also bipolar, who becomes the novel’s chief romantic interest. Sometimes writing is the best revenge.

After completing Mood Swing, I began work on Eldercide, which draws directly on my experiences as CEO of ElderSource. The agency became Compassionate Care, and I moved it from Ulster County to the fictional town of Kooperskill in Rensselaer County, but the staff dynamics, the infighting between nurses, the marvelously caring Jamaican aides, are rooted in real experience. The elderly clients nearing the ends of their lives, the families who agonize over the enormous cost of round-the-clock care and sometimes think about hastening things along, are also all too realistic. Fortunately, no one got murdered on my watch, either as a therapist or as a home care administrator – at least no one that I know of.

Since Eldercide came out last year, I’ve been at quite a few panels and signings with the Mavens of Mayhem, the upstate New York chapter of Sisters in Crime, and I’ve found many potential readers – the majority of whom tend to be women of AARP age and above – are turned off by the title and concept of the book. One elderly bookstore owner refuses to carry it, saying the whole concept is “ghastly.”

Then just recently I learned that I’ve been chosen for “2009 Author of the Year” by the Friends of the Albany Public Library, and they’re going to honor me at a luncheon on November 14th. One of the main reasons they chose Eldercide is because of its treatment of important social issues, especially in light of the current debate over health care and the talk of “death panels.” I’m delighted to be recognized because rather than in spite of my treatment of difficult topics. Not everyone prefers “Death Lite.”

In contrast, readers absolutely love the title Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders – they think it’s a laugh riot, and buy more copies than they do of Eldercide. Go figure.

Thanks to Diane for hosting me. Please visit my blog: Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso. Follow along on my Blog Book Tour: tomorrow I’ll be visiting Maryann Miller at It’s Not All Gravy. And by all means buy my books. You can bypass big business interests by shopping directly from my publisher, Virtual Bookworm. You can also order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, or best of all, encourage your local bookseller or library to order copies.

About the author:
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Barnard College, Julie received an MFA from Columbia University and an MA in Art Therapy from New York University. She lived in SoHo for many years, exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and many Manhattan galleries. She showed her paintings and won a prize at the Woodstock Festival of Music and Art in 1969, an experience she blogged about in a three-part series this past August.
Julie has published poetry as well as articles on home care, mental health, aging, and women’s issues. Recently, she was named 2009 Author of the Year by the Friends of the Albany Public Library. Visit her blog, Julie Lomoe’s Musings Mysterioso to learn more and read the first chapters of her novels.