Monday, May 24, 2010

Do you Know that Nose? Answers...

Here's the game, pick your nose and choose a name...

1. Demi Moore 

2. Cameron Diaz                 

3. Doris Day                                  

4. Judy Garland                  
5. Shirley Temple                          
6. Julia Roberts                               

7. Blake Shelton                   

8. Brad Pitt                               

9. Clark Gable                                    
10. Hugh Jackman                         

11. Jimmy Stewart                                   

12. Paul Walker                                     
13. Johnny Depp                    
14. Tom Cruise                    
15. Tom Selleck. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Graduation Prayer...

A Parent's Graduation Prayer

By Tina Pinson

Precious Son… Beloved to me,

I watch you walk away and I am filled with a sense of pride.

for the man you've become, the man you will be.

You've grown now, and you're heading off into a
the world to blaze that trail

To live your life.

Much has been accomplished in what seems too short of time.

I'm prouder than any parent could be.

But deep in my heart, in that sheltered place,

I feel as though someone has taken a knife
 and hollowed my soul.

I long to run after you, to continue this walk together,

But the path is only wide enough for you and one other.

and I know I am not the one who can walk it with you.

Nor the one who should

Oh, but all my senses cry out, begging me to run to your side,

take your hand in mine and never relinquish that hold.

But my feet are planted, and I stand silently in the shadows, weeping,

watching as you walk away.

My hands are limp and empty by my side.

Then in moments of sorrow, I look up and see who walks with you.

I look up and see, like me, you are sheltered under His arm.

Close to His heart. And He'll never let you walk alone.

And my hand, finding the strength to let you go,

Lifts with prayer for your tomorrows,

lifts with praise as I lay you in the hands of the only one who can carry you.

The one who always has.


Congratulations to all the 2010 Graduates. And to the Parent's who have traveled with them on their journey

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We have a Winner...

Thanks so much everyone who stopped in and left a comment. You are all entered in the contest that continues through out this month for the release of ... No Other.

You can enter Shawna's contest multiple times, the details are here.

As promised I have come bearing the name of the winner for my blog.

 Congratulations to R. Ann Siracusa ... you've won the ebook of  "No Other", a freshwater pearl/inspirational bracelet, and a signed postcard.

Thanks again for coming by, be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for the release of my new ebook In the Manor of the Ghost.

 I will be running a contest through the month of June with some great prizes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Interview with Shawna K. Williams -- author of 'No Other.'

Today, I am honored to welcome Shawna K. Williams. She has been busy lately on several blogs and has graceously found the time to stop in and tell us about her new ebook release ... 'No Other.'  Now Available through Desert Breeze Publishing

How long have you been writing? What's the most rewarding aspect of it?

I've been writing off and on for about eight years, but I didn't start writing for the purpose of seeking publication until a little over two years ago. I had thought about it before then, but always chickened out.

The most rewarding aspect is being able to share the story of these characters – Jakob and Meri. They've been with me so long, and I've kinda come to love them. It thrills me to think this 'thing' that was locked in my head for years is now something anyone can read. I feel really passionate about the characters and their stories (there's a sequel) and I hope that others are touched by them in the way I was. I honestly don't really feel like I made their story up so much as it was given to me.

You have a new release from Desert Breeze Publishing entitled "No Other." For those who haven't read the book yet, can you tell us a little about it?

"No Other" is set in the aftermath of WWII when the nation was trying to heal. That's what Jakob Wilheimer wants too. He wants to get past the pain of his family's internment, get on with his life, and if possible, forgive those who've wronged his family -- including himself.

Having quit school three years earlier to look after the family business and care for his younger siblings, Jakob knows his first step back into normalcy must be to return and get his diploma. And after enduring the stigma and isolation associated with the internment camp, the awkwardness of being a twenty year old amidst a bunch of teen aged high school students shouldn't have been a bother. What Jakob hadn't counted on was his former schoolmate, Meri Parker, being one of his teachers.

Seeing her every day, with her life on track, uninterrupted by the war, only serves as a reminder of Jakob's hardship. However, a school assignment brings these two in closer contact, and soon Jakob begins to see little hints of a not-so-perfect life behind the facade that is Meri Parker.

As a friendship deepens into feelings of something more, these two are faced with the dilemma of their situation. To be together, means they'd have to lie to everyone around them in order to keep their relationship a secret. But Jakob also fears for Meri, and the pressure from her family who wants her to marry someone else. He's aware of their cruelty and how they use Meri's yearning for their affection as a means of control. Jakob is afraid that without him at her side, she'll succumb and be lost to him forever.

And then there's that nagging Bible verse his Grandma made him memorize all those years ago. "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."

Is Jakob what Meri needs, or is he getting in the way?

What was the inspiration behind "No Other?"

The inspiration for "No Other" actually came from a dream I had eight years ago. It was bizarre, like watching a movie almost. And for the next six months I kept thinking about it, trying to fill in all the gaps between scenes. It eventually grew to be so complicated that I had to write it down. After playing with it off and on for six years, I finally decided to try and turn it into something publishable, and began studying the craft of writing, joining critique groups, and submitting short stories to rack up a few publishing credits. "No Other" was inspired from the first part of that dream, when the characters were young. All the details came later as I researched and got to know them better.

What made you choose this time period as the setting for your novel?

I love this time period, but the way the story came to me was really what determined the time period. I just always knew that it was set around this era.

Is there a particular reason you chose a German family? Are you from German ancestry yourself?

Actually, yes. My grandfather was of German descent. I don't know how much of the German culture was prevalent in his family, but he was orphaned at a very young age, so any customs that may have been in keeping with the culture were lost.

After writing "No Other" I find myself very curious about my roots. I've done some minor research into the Kail lineage, and would love to visit Germany someday. My kids and I have been looking into language lessons too.

Do you draw on people from real life when you come up with characters?

Yes and no. I don't have any characters representative of anyone I know in real life. My characters are their own thing. But sometimes certain personality traits that remind me of someone I know sneak in.

Do you have a favorite character in No Other? What makes him/her so dear to your heart?

I like both Jakob and Meri a great deal. It's hard to say that I have a favorite between them. I think I relate a little more to Jakob. He's introverted and tends to over think, not unlike myself. But Meri questions herself on everything, also not unlike myself. I just like these two together, and I love the their story.

Do you plot things out, or do you write "by the seat of your pants"?

A little of both. I have to have an idea of the story, including its conclusion. I write out a summary just to get an idea of the story's framework. Then I write my first draft, which is horrible. I'm a character writer, so my stories focus a great deal on the hero and heroine's internal journey. My first drafts tend to ramble and meander with all sorts of emotional pondering, not unlike a therapy session. This helps me to nail down what my character's struggles are. It gives me an idea of what they need, and how to get them there.

Once I've done this I go back and start the rewrite. I take this on a chapter by chapter basis, writing out the goals I need to achieve to keep the story progressing. Then I go back and edit. During this process I try to weave everything together as tight as possible, and also look for any missed opportunities to strengthen the overall theme.

How do you develop your characters?

To me, characters are what make or break a story. Characters are who we experience a story through and if they aren't interesting and relatable, then no matter how intriguing the plot, a huge facet to the story is lost.

Now, I know some authors do character sketches involving the looks and profession of their characters. While this works for some, I don't do this. To me this is surface stuff and it has little to do with the person I want to convey. These details actually fill in themselves as the character evolves anyway. I like to focus on my characters history. This sometimes, as with Jakob, necessitated me going to great depths to uncover his family's history. Most of this stuff never makes it into the book in the form of information, but it does make it into the book in the way it frames my character's mind set, mannerisms, insecurities.

I'll use Jakob as an example again. One of the things I found interesting about him was his duel culture. He grew up in a family that was thoroughly German, in a town that was thoroughly Texan, and he's thoroughly both. The clash of these two cultures cause a bit of an identity crises in him in the sense that the betrayal he feels over his family's internement because of their German heritage is harder for him to fathom when he's American, and Texan to boot. Yet, when he speaks to his parents its perfect German, and many of his fondest childhood memories involve the culture. In the midst of war he wonders if that's something to be ashamed of. can imagine, this story begins with a character already caught up in a whirlwind of internal struggle.

Now Meri...This girl's got issues, and quite a backstory of her own! I'm not giving that away though. Hopefully a few people will be curious enough to read the book.

There's a sequel to "No Other". Care to tell us about it?

"In All Things" is the sequel to "No Other" -- ten years later. While "No Other" is a complete story, if you look, you'll see there are some loose ends that are left unclear. One has to do with a promise Jakob makes to his rival, and another has to do with Meri's salvation. You know she's headed that direction, but when the book ends she hasn't committed her life to Christ yet. The theme to "In All Things" is similar to "No Other" but it deals with unresolved issues from a different phase in life, and adds to them with the complexities of family and careers, and substitutes for God. "No Other" mainly focuses on Jakob and Meri -- primarily because much of their interaction is in secret – but "In All Things" involves Jakob's entire family a lot more.

It's been an emotionally taxing story to write because there's so much to grasp. I find myself praying daily, "Lord, help me tell this story." But I find that there's also so much to love about it, and things I never expected to explore – one of them being how events in the first book affected Jakob's youngest sister, Esther. See, I just gave you something to think about if you read the book.

What do you want people to take from this story?

I wrote "No Other" because I wanted to tell an inspirational story about getting up after you fall. About how Christians don't just struggle, sometimes we blow it, but God doesn't abandon us. Even when our efforts to right things fail, He's still in control. Him, and No Other.

Thank you for coming by Shawna, and for such a wonderful interview.

And thanks to everyone who stops by. Shawna is giving a way an ebook for Kindle or another ebook format depending on the winner's preference. To the winner of the ebook, she will also give a freshwater pearl/inspirational bracelet, and a signed postcard.

Anyone who leaves a comment through today and tomorrow (May 13th), will automatically be entered in the drawing for the prize. The winner will announced on Friday May 14th. (Please leave your email in your comment)

For another chance to win a book and other prizes, Shawna is running a contest throughout the month of May and offering the following three prizes – a Good one, a Great one, and a Grand one. You can enter multiple times, the details are here.

Anyone leaving a comment today gets one entry (please leave your email. I promise these will all be destroyed after the drawing) And, if you can answer this question you get another entry.

What topic did Meri ask her students to write about?

The answer can be found in the second chapter, viewable through Freado, where you can also read the first four chapters.

Or through the free sample available as a Kindle download.

Here are links where to find me.!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245?ref=ts

Link to trailer

Sunday, May 09, 2010

An Interview with K. Dawn Byrd author of 'Queen of Hearts'

 Today it is my pleasure to welcome author, K. Dawn Byrd. She has graciously stopped in to answer a few questions and give a teaser about her new inspirational historical suspense novel Queen of Hearts available now through Desert Breeze Publishing

How long have you been writing (stories)?

K. Dawn -- I've been writing for about two years. It's a wonderful, stress-relieving hobby for me.

Do you have another job, or did you get to live the writer's dream and quit your day job?What did you do before you started writing?

I do work a full-time job. I'm not sure I'd want the pressure of writing full-time. I'd have to worry about landing the next contract, plotting the next book, writer's block, etc

Why do you write? If you couldn't write, what would you do?

I write because I love it. If I couldn't write, I'd probably still be riding a Harley (I gave it up to have more time to write.)

Does your family back your writing?

My husband is very supportive and helps me with titles and plotting. Sometimes it helps to get a guy's perspective.

Since it's was just mother's day, tell us how your mother feels about your writing?

My mother believes that I take on too much. She's probably right as I'm more driven than can possibly be healthy.

How long did it take you before you were published?

I wrote for about a year and a half before landing my first contract. During that time, I studied everything I could find about craft.

Writers have been know to be quirky people, would admit to having any quirks?

 I'm terrified of driving in snow. We had so much of it last winter that it was a real challenge for me to just get out there and go.

 Tell us something people may find interesting about you.

I have two hairless dogs. Almost hairless anyway. My Chinese Cresteds have hair only on their head, feet and tail.

Most writers have an inspiration moment when they start a new book, ( a dream, a thought, etc), did you have such a moment for Queen of Hearts?

No such inspiration for Queen of Hearts. I love romantic suspense and had written two. I wanted to try something different. A historical fit the bill nicely.

How long did it take to write Queen of Hearts?

It was my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) project. I wrote it during November of last year.

A WWII era story cast in an abandoned mental institution, quite a mix for setting. What sparked your interest for the asylum?

I ran across a website containing photos of dozens of abandoned mental institutions. It gave me the idea of placing my heroine inside one.

What kind of research did you do for mental institutions?

I watched a couple of videos of frontal labotomies and also studied the photos of abandoned asylums. That's pretty much it.

And Photography, since your heroine is an OSS operative/reporting photographer?

Since photography doesn't play a huge part in the story, I didn't really research it. I did, however, have to research the O.S.S.

What's one of the strangest things you've done for research?

I traveled to a small town an hour away and in the middle of nowhere. It's only a few miles wide, but I had to know what was there.

What actors or historical figures would best describe your hero or heroine?

My heroine reminds me of Isla Fisher


                                                           and Vito, a young Clark Gable.

Do your characters resemble you in anyway? Like in traits or quirks?

No, my characters don't resemble me unless you count the fact that they love pickles.

Thanks for stopping in, K.  You can be scared all you want of driving in the snow, I'm scared of Harley's.

As for research, for one book, I've taken the trip up the Oregon trail stopping at every site I could hit in two days. Twice. You must have an iron stomach, cause I might read about it,  but I doubt I'd watch a lobotomy, frontal or otherwise. 

I love stories that take place during the WWII era. So much espionage took place then that we don't understand fully. I am amazed by how many asylums there are in the US that were in use during that time. That your character hides in one, is intriguing.

I wish you well with your book, K. Thank you again for coming by.Following is a short excerpt from Queen of Hearts. To read more follow the links below.

Daphne Dean is proud to be serving her country stateside during WWII as a reporter and an Office of Strategic Services operative. When the photograph she takes of the crowd at a murder scene places her on the mob's hit list, she's forced into hiding in a vacant mental asylum in the middle of nowhere with terrifying secrets of its own.

Daphne believed herself to still be in love with her ex-fiance, Kenneth, until she spends several days locked away in the asylum with Vito, the mob boss' son. Can she put the terrifying events that occurred there behind her and allow herself to pursue a relationship with Vito? Or, will she return to Kenneth who has turned his back on his country by becoming a draft dodger and a black market racketeer? One thing's for sure, it won't matter if she can't escape the mental institution alive.

Purchase links:

Queen of Hearts at Desert Breeze Publishing

Queen of Hearts for Kindle at Amazon

Youtube: Queen of Hearts Book Trailer

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

And Now for the Winners ...

Congratulations to Carolyn O, Anne Patrick, Deborah M. and Regan Taylor--they are the winners of the $20.00 gift certificates to Desert Breeze Publishing. If you would email me at so I can make sure I have your proper email, I can get your certificates to you.

Thanks again for everyone who entered the In the Manor of the Ghost Contest Part 1.

REMEMBER ... Part 2 of the contest will be coming soon.

Monday-May 10th Author K. Dawn Byrd stops by to tell us a bit about herself and share about her new book Queen of Hearts . Available through Desert Breeze Publishing. Be sure to come by.

Wednesday- May 12th Author Shawna K. Williams stops in to share about her new release No Other, available now through Desert Breeze Publishing.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

My sincere Thanks to everyone who signed up during this first part of the In the Manor of the Ghost Contest.

Winners will be announced this week, so don't forget to check back.

Also, keep your eyes open for Phase Two of the contest, prizes will be bigger and better.

Monday-May 10th Author K. Dawn Byrd stops by to tell us a bit about herself and share about her new book Queen of Hearts .  Available through Desert Breeze Publishing. Be sure to come by.

Wednesday- May 12th Author Shawna K. Williams stops in to share about her new release No Other, available now through Desert Breeze Publishing.