Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Monday, December 23, 2013

Author Tag!

I was tagged by the talented Daniel Coleman for this post, so here goes:

What am I working on?

Well, I'm working on the first draft of a new LDS sci-fi novel called The Glory of the Stars. I'm also working on final edits for The Ransomed Returning (sequel to my first novel, Defenders of the Covenant). And then I'll start my first revision pass on Shattered Skies (third book in the series).


How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

There isn't a lot of LDS sci-fi out there. My books are different from a lot of sci-fi because it is so overtly religious, and it's different from most LDS fiction because it is sci-fi. :) This isn't always a good thing, but it is what I long to write.

Why do I write what I do?

My goal in writing has always been to write stuff that is both uplifting and entertaining. That's what I strive for. Adventure and truth.

How does your writing process work?

Chaotically. I write my first draft out by hand in a notebook. Then I type it (the part I hate most). I usually make a few changes while I'm typing. Then I'll let it sit for a month or two and read it over again to get the big picture. I'll cut or add scenes or change what I feel needs changing. When I feel it is the best I can get it up to that point, I'll send it out to some of my trusted writer friends for critique. I'll revise based on those suggestions, give it another proofreading pass, and consider it done! This takes practically FOREVER, by the way. :)

Okay, so I'm passing this tag onto Terry W. Ervin II and Todd (T.M.) Hunter! 

Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Word Interview with S.M. Anderson

Today we welcome science fiction author S.M. Anderson to the writing chair. I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour for her new sci-fi adventure novel, Copied.


What fictional world would you most like to live in?
Damar 

From Robin McKinley's Blue Sword, I assume? I haven't thought about Damar in a long time, but I'd love to live there too.
 
What are you asking Santa to bring you for Christmas? 
Tuition for Writer conferences

Smart idea! I hope you get lots.
 
Which of your characters is the most like you?
 
Xan

The main character in Copied. We writers often have lots in common with our MCs, though I presume you weren't genetically engineered. ;)
 
What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
 
Eliza R Snow or  William Tyndale

I love both of those answers so much! Both wonderful and interesting people.
 
You're having your characters over for Christmas dinner. What are
you serving?

Sushi

That wouldn't be my first choice, but I think it would be interesting to dine with your characters.
 
Thanks so much for joining us today!

S. M. Anderson (Sarah Anderson) was born in Lima, Peru. She has lived in seven different countries, on five continents, and speaks a smattering of languages. As a child and even young adult, writing and reading were difficult for her, so difficult that she received extra help outside the classroom and was diagnosed with a learning disability. However, she always loved stories, especially ethnic folktales from the countries she lived in. It was the desire to create stories of her own that fueled her determination to overcome the challenges that came with writing. She has a BA in Art Education from BYU, with a minor in Russian, and a love of power tools. She has a growing family of three kids and currently lives in Springville, Utah.

You can find Ms. Anderson on her website or on Facebook

Adopted off the black market, Alexander Mitchell, has no idea his DNA is copyrighted and property of military weapons giant Texacom Defense. Nor that his DNA is being used to develop an army of clones. When the company discovers he was not properly disposed of 17 years ago, they send an assassin copy, BETA23, to terminate Xan and cover it up After he narrowly escapes BETA23’s first attempt, Xan teams up with Lacey, a genetically engineered genius he’s surprised to find common ground with— only they’re awkward together. Half of the time she stares at Xan like the science project he is and the other half…let’s just say Xan can’t keep his eyes off her lips. When they manage to capture a company copy by luck and sheer stupidity on Xan’s part, Lacey is determined to see the good in their prisoner to the point she believes BETA23 can be persuaded to give them the intelligence they need to keep the company forever off Xan’s back. Xan’s not sure if he can trust the darker version of himself, not when it means gambling with the lives of his family and the possibility of losing Lacey.

Watch the book trailer!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's that time of year again!

Oh, that time of year with presents to buy and wrap and mail and deliver. Cards to address. Lists to make. Halls to deck. Goodies to bake. Concerts to attend. Concerts to rehearse for. Etc, etc, etc.

Personally, I love it! It doesn't leave much time for writing, though. At least not for me. Still, I wouldn't trade the Christmas season for any amount of writing time.

So, Merry Christmas, my friends. Happy Holidays. Take the time to really enjoy yourself and focus on the ones you love.

And if you can keep your writing juices flowing too, all the better!


By the way, if you want to read some great Christmas stories, my sci-fi Christmas novelette, Joy Ride, is only 0.99 for Kindle.

Or you could pick up the Carol of the Tales anthology (with one of my stories) and help out a great cause too. All proceeds from the book will be donated to Autism Speaks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One Word Interview with Jaclyn Weist (with a Giveaway!)

Today we welcome Jaclyn Weist, author of the brand new YA contemporary fantasy novel, Stolen Luck. (Don't miss the blog tour giveaway at the bottom of the post!) Welcome to the writing chair, Jaclyn!

You've been plunked down in a fairy tale. Which mythical creature are you?  
Unicorn

Very beautiful and very wise. Sounds appropriate.

Uh-oh! Your house is on fire! After your kids, what's the first thing you grab? 
Books

If your house is like mine, you'll only have time to save a small fraction!
 
What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with? 
Shakespeare

I'm certain the bard would make a delightful lunch companion.
 
What quality do you share in common with your main character? 
Megan? Her unwillingness to give up. Also, she's not a morning person and neither am I. :)

Both excellent qualities! (Although, I am being converted to morning person against my will.)
 
We're holding a banquet in honor of your awesomeness. What are we serving for dessert? 
Cheesecake
By far the most popular dessert choice. Confession: I don't like cheesecake all that much. I must be missing something!

Thank you so much for being with us today, Jaclyn

Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve at BYU and they have six happy, crazy children that encourage her writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next.
Find Jaclyn on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, or her blog.


Sixteen year old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her until the day a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. Not only that, he follows her around and wreaks havoc in her life. With the help of her friends, Megan must get her luck back before he manages to destroy her life and the lives of all those around her.

Buy Stolen Luck from Amazon
Buy Stolen Luck from Barnes and Noble



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Announcing Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I am so pleased to be a part of the Carol of the Tales Christmas Anthology. My story "Sweet Singing in the Choir" is inside. This anthology is full of great stories for a great cause. All the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated toward Autism research and advocacy.

Christmas carols capture the spirit of Christmas, and Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels brings beloved carols to life like never before. Throw your cares away with the tales from sweet silver bells. Find out how Santa Claus dabbles in time travel, and feel the redemption of a dying wife's parting Christmas gift. Experience all this and more in these heartfelt, entertaining tales donated by a team of authors from across the country, working together for a good cause. 


Anthology authors include: Shirley Bahlmann, C. David Belt, Rebecca Carlson, Loretta Carter, Madonna D. Christensen, Danyelle Ferguson, C. Michelle Jefferies, Theric Jepson, Ryan Larsen, Angie Lofthouse, Betsy Love, J. Lloyd Morgan, Janet Olsen, Teresa G. Osgood, Brian Ricks, Jennifer Ricks, Peg Russell, and Michael Young.


Carol of the Tales is the 2nd book in the Advent Anthology series. Both anthologies are available in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats from Amazon.com. 

Purchase “Sing We Now of Christmas”: http://amzn.com/1479266248
Purchase: “Carol of the Tales”:  http://amzn.com/1484145526

To kick off the release of the second anthology, a Christmas concert will be held at American Fork Junior High on December 7th, 2013. The concert will feature the Saltaires Barbershop Chorus. All proceeds from this concert will be donated to charity as well. Purchase: Tickets for the Concert: https://tickettool.net/en/index/eventpopup/b54dab4bd0a13fa6975068f4784dfaa5

Blog Tour Giveaway!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win wonderful prizes, such as tickets to the concert and copies of the anthology. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Blogs on the Tour:

Www.notesfromthewritingchair.blogspot.com
Www.causeisaidso.me
www.queenoftheclan.com
www.JohnWaverly.com
http://iamareader.com
http//:lisaswinton.blogspot.com
moniquebucheger.blogspot.com
http://mariahoagland.blogspot.com/
http://www.annadelc.com/blog
http://jlloydmorgan.blogspot.com/
www.franklycreative.blogspot.com
http://www.writermike.com
http://fringies.blogspot.com
http://www.saythiswrite.blogspot.com
http://debbie-peterson.blogspot.com/
http://thmazing.blogspot.com
www.renaeswritespot.blogspot.com
http://shelliproffitthowells.com/amusings/
http://www.annadelc.com/blog
www.meritaking.com
blessedinweakness.com
lynndparsons.blogspot.com
http://lisaswinton.blogspot.com
http://stephaniereadthat.blogspot.com/
www.renaeswritespot.blogspot.com





Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One Word Interview with R.L. Drembic

Today  we have R.L. Drembic, author of The Knights of the Caers. Take it away!

You're trapped in a dark alley with the bad guys on your heels. Which one of your characters do you want by your side?
Cal

He must be quite the character!

Zombie apocalypse! Weapon of choice?
Lightsaber

Excellent choice! That should stop them.

If you could travel to any period in history, where would you go?
Renaissance

That would be an interesting and exciting time to visit.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Sir Robert Peel

He sounds like an interesting man.

You're performing on Broadway! What show are you in?
The Phantom of the Opera

Good choice. Maybe I should have asked which character you'd play.

Thanks for being with us today!


R.L. Drembic has loved reading from an early age. It wasn’t until shortly after high school that he got the idea for a book of his own. Inspired by a friend’s courage to try and get her own novel published, Drembic began writing and has continued through his college career. Drembic has plans for a dozen more books and hopes for a chance to share these adventures with avid readers everywhere.


Excerpts from The Knights of the Caers
     The flames danced and weaved intricate and ever-changing patterns in the desert breeze.  The light flickered and cast shadows from the rocks around the fire.  Edric sat on an old fallen tree, mesmerized by the dance.  This is where Edric found the closest thing to peace these days, the only place where he could come close to forgetting the past.  But the past was kept near by the bear tooth necklace that always hung like a weight around his neck.  Edric would never stop carrying this necklace though, it meant too much.

      The Knights fought desperately side by side.  The Freemen's charge had been valiant, but now their dwindling group was completely surrounded by the [enemy].  Their chant had also died away as the tide of battle turned against them.
     Edric fought with a dagger in his left hand and a sword in his right.  He furiously tried to hold the [enemy] back, blocking swords left, right, and overhead.  Beside him, Cal fought with two swords.  His skill was magnificent as he whipped the swords around, in unison but individually as well.  On the other side of Cal were Stephen and Quint.  Stephen was still fighting with a single sword but Quint had dropped his and was using the two daggers he favored.
     The [enemy] pressed in on them, but they were no match for the Knights of the Caers.  More and more [enemies] fell, but it seemed like there was an endless supply; each time an [enemy] fell, another one stepped forward.
   
      With the shift in focus to Captain Madiba, Edric and Cal found themselves at the back of the group.  Edric leaned over and whispered, "Why don't we get to be captains?"
     Cal rolled his eyes.  "Remember that time when Osgood let you plot the course back to Eliada. and we ended up in Avid?"
     "Oh, right."
     "However, I'm not sure why I don't get to be captain," Cal shrugged.
     "How 'bout the time Osgood gave you the helm during the mock battle and you almost sank both ships."
     "Yeah, I was never any good at sea tactics," Cal admitted.
     ...
     "Why don't I get to be a captain?" Quint asked, having heard their earlier conversation.  "Captain Quint, it has a nice ring to it, don't you think?"  He said with a grin.
     "You don't get to be captain because you'd paint the Storm Cloud orange," Edric replied, remembering the horrid orange robe Quint had bought back in Eliada.
     "I would not," Quint said indignantly.  "Maybe blue..." he shrugged, mostly joking.
     "So why is Stephen the captain?" Cal asked suddenly.  "It's his fault..."
     "Yeah, but otherwise we wouldn't have a ship and therefore no need of a captain to captain the ship that we wouldn't have anyways," Edric answered quickly.
     "I guess that makes sense... sort of," Cal said, still pretty confused.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest post: Terry W. Ervin II--Research: Even the Little Things Add Up

 I am pleased to welcome sci-fi/fantasy author, Terry W. Ervin II back to the writing chair to talk to us about the importance of research. (You can read Terry's One Word Interview here.) His latest novel, Relic Tech, is an action-packed sci-fi adventure I highly recommend. Take it away, Terry!



Research: Even the Little Things Add Up
When readers decide to pick up one of my novels, they’re committing both time and money—valuable commodities that they could easily spend elsewhere. Because of that fact, I strive to tell the best story I can, which includes doing the necessary research. To me necessary means not only the getting the big things right, but the small, peripheral ones as well.

For example, in my debut novel, Flank Hawk, one of the factors that led to the post-apocalyptic setting was handful of nuclear warheads penetrating the U.S. ballistic missile defense systems and detonating. Pulled from two chapter starts:

Nestled in Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD had been on full alert. Coordinated satellites viewing the earth in the infrared part of the spectrum recorded the demise of one ballistic missile while radars, including the Cobra Dane early-warning on in the Aleutian chain and the X-band floating on a nearby platform, tracked the two surviving sub launched missiles as they climbed…

…A battery of six interceptor rockets from silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four more from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base raced skyward. An experimental tracking and intercept aircraft from the Vandenberg base was already aloft. While it strained for altitude, airmen activated its advanced tracking and targeting systems, and prepared its powerful laser should any warheads survive the kill vehicles housed in the interceptor rockets.

To get it right required hours of research, learning the basics of the USA’s missile defense systems and equipment, capabilities, and locations along the West Coast. Only a fraction of what I dug up and organized actually made it to the pages of the novel, and only to a few paragraphs on a few pages, but the point of research isn’t to show off all the work an author did. It’s to incorporate only the necessary details to enhance the story.

As an author, I want to get it right for the reader, not only for the story, but because the readers out there have varied knowledge and experience. I’d be embarrassed to receive an email from a disappointed reader, telling me I’d gotten it wrong—especially something that I could’ve gotten right.

Another example comes from my most recent release, Relic Tech. It’s a science fiction novel that involves some interstellar space travel. One of the things I incorporated was time dilation, which is a phenomenon that occurs as a ship travels through space. The closer a ship comes to approaching the speed of light, the greater the time variation there is between those aboard the traveling ship as compared planet side individuals.

In Relic Tech, the time dilation was along the lines of minutes and hours, rather than months and years. Still, Security Specialist Keesay (the main character) uses a 20th century watch not controlled by the ship’s chronometer to track the phenomenon. It’s only a minor point in the plot, as Specialist Keesay attempts to predict when the civil transport Kalavar will actually emerge at its destination, as opposed to what’s been told to the crew.

Not only did it take considerable time and effort to research and calculate the time dilation based on the Kalavar’s rate of travel, but it was also important to remain consistent with the distances between the star systems and exoplanets, (only a few fictional) incorporated into the storyline, and how long the actual travel between them would take based on a ship’s or message rocket’s speed.

All of this took time, a lot of time—time that some might argue wasn’t really necessary. Nevertheless I did it, all the charts, figures and calculations, and had it double-checked by my former college roommate, who majored in physics and minored in astronomy, and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in mathematics. You might guess, in addition to internet research, I’m a firm believer in consulting experts in fields where my knowledge isn’t adequate.

Would the a reader know if I made it all up…remained orderly and consistent, but sort of played a little fast and loose with the rate of travel and distances, and ignored the relatively minor time dilation? Probably not. Would they have cared? Maybe not. But I owe it to the reader, to get as much right as I reasonably can. Even the little things, because I believe they add up, giving my novels, such as Relic Tech, depth, authenticity, and consistency.



Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His First Civilization’s Legacy Series includes FLANK HAWK and BLOOD SWORD. He is focused on completing SOUL FORGE, the third novel in the fantasy series.

His newest release through Gryphonwood Press is RELIC TECH, a science fiction novel packed with action, adventure, aliens and even a bit of a mystery.

In addition to writing novels, Terry’s short stories have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, magazines and ezines. The genres range from science fiction and mystery to horror and inspirational. GENRE SHOTGUN is a collection containing all of his previously published short stories.

To contact Terry or learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com and his blog, Up Around the Corner, at uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com (with information on where his newest release is currently available)


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

One Word Interview with Yolanda Renee

Today we have mystery author Yolanda Renee in the writing chair. Thanks for being with us Yolanda!


House is on fire! What do you grab first?
Patches! (Our house did catch on fire last March, and Patches, my Boston terrier is the only thing I grabbed. I never thought about my laptop, or my purse. I panicked.)

Aw. That's a lucky dog. And I sure hope your house was okay!

You've been called upon to solve a murder. What fictional detective do you want by your side?
Walt Longmire. He has that stoic demeanor that almost but not quite masks a hidden passion.

Sounds perfect!

Which of your characters is most like you?
Mavis.She's a meddler, always right, and has all the answers.

Heehee. That's terrific.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Obama.

Interesting. I think that's the first time a still-living historical figure was named. I hope someday you get the chance!

You're having your favorite author over for dinner. What are you serving? 
Shepherd's Pie. (To have Margaret Mitchell and Stephen King in the same room at the same table – how awesome would that be?)

That would be awesome indeed. And Shepherd's Pie is one of my favorites!

Thanks for asking me Angie, this was a blast!

Thank you for being here, Yolanda!

Yolanda Renée really wanted to be a drummer, or a racecar driver. Obviously she's neither, but they are on her bucket list, that, and owning her very own fire breathing dragon! Renée claims to have always loved books, and that it was through books that she escaped and experienced all the things she'd only been able to dream about. Through the stories, the characters, and the places created by talented authors, such as Caroline Keene, Margaret Mitchell, and Stephen King. She now reads K J Larsen , Jennifer Hillier, Joanie McDonell, J D Robb, and well, pretty much everyone and anyone who gets their words in front of her! SHE LOVES BOOKS! Renée says she's always been a writer, and that making things up gets her through the day - a crazy imagination is a good thing - right? An adventurous spirit took Yolanda Renée to Alaska where she hiked the Brooks Range, traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and learned to sleep under the midnight sun. She claims her vivid imagination as a blessing, a habit, a hobby, a calling and sometimes a curse. Renée now resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and Boston terrier, Patches.
You can find Renée here:
~ Defending The Pen ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~


Memories of Murder
Decades ago, the seeds were planted …
Today, dark, fathomless eyes rake the image before him. One final task and the transformation is complete. Steady fingers screw intricately carved horns on each side of a stiff brow, and a gargoyle suitable for Notre Dame scowls from the smokey mirror in satisfaction. A jagged smile rips through his smooth, hairless face, and inked, reptilian scales caress his naked body. A laugh of hideous resonance emanates from his gut as the demons of hell welcome Lucifer into their fold. In a dungeon-like chamber, his Lilith awaits. The kidnapped daughter of a nun, groomed to fit the final piece in the complex puzzle for world domination. Will Lucifer marry his bride, on the summer solstice? Only two things stand in his way ...His greed ...
And ...
Detective Steven Quaid.
***** ***** *****
~ Memories of Murder ~&~ Murder, Madness & Love ~
Amazon ~ Kobo ~ B&N ~












Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Word Interview with Sarah E. Seeley

Today, we have Sarah E. Seeley, author of Maladaptive Bind for a Halloween-themed One Word Interview. Welcome, Sarah!

Trapped in a monster movie! Which character are you?
I would be Evelyn from The Mummy. She's honest, smart, a little bit clumsy, and she totally cracks me up.

Heehee. Good choice.

What quality do you have in common with your main character? 
I'd like to think I have Angela's determination to face and overcome my inherent character weaknesses for the sake of my (future) children.

 That is an excellent quality to possess.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
I'd love to have lunch with Charles Darwin. I think we'd be good friends. 

Interesting! I'll bet you two would have a great conversation.

The little goblins are coming Trick-or-Treating. What candy are you handing out?
Mwahaha. Probably the first thing I'd hand out are the full-sized boxes of Jr. Mints that have gotten hard since we bought them as movie contraband a year ago. Then I'll hand out the good stuff (gotta save the best for last, right? Make sure there's enough bite-sized Twix and Snickers left over as an excuse to eat them myself). You can blame my dad for these tactics, haha. Just kidding. I'll probably mix a couple of NEW random bags of goodies of no particular preference. That just sounded way too boring by itself, so I thought I'd make it a little more intriguing. Although, I'll probably still swipe a few treats for myself... ;-)

That was more than one word, but I'll let it slide. I always swipe a few treats for myself. How else am I going to get any?

Alone in a haunted house! What's your must-have item?
I feel I must have my cello. Nothing keeps the ghosts and ghouls at bay like good music.

I never would have thought of that, but it's perfect!

Thanks so much for joining us in the writing chair today, Sarah. Have a happy Halloween!

Sarah E. Seeley is a speculative fiction writer who worked with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her BS degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.


Angela Thornley doesn’t know why she’s still alive. When park rangers found her, she couldn’t speak or move, let alone remember what the serial killer, “The Man,” did to her and her husband before he buried them alive. At least, not until she hears the social workers talk about putting her five-year-old son, Blake, in a foster home and she feels his little fingers slip from her hand.

Determined to function so she can protect and care for her son, Angela works hard to unlock and heal the dark memories of her kidnapping buried deep in her subconscious. But her journey leads to unsettling discoveries about the darkness she harbors in her own soul. Due to an unknown combination of genetic and traumatic triggers, Angela is beginning a rapid, painful transformation. The anger that kept Angela alive is also driving her to dangerous thoughts of retribution on the man that killed her husband and broke her spirit.

Soon, Angela begins attacking innocent victims she believes are “The Man.” As she struggles to cope with her transformation, she must determine how far she is willing to go to protect her son and avenge her wounded psyche before she becomes the very sort of monster that bit her.

Maladaptive Bind, is an LDS psychological thriller with a speculative twist, available as of October 3, 2013 in paperback on Amazon and electronically just about anywhere ebooks are sold.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Goals: Good or Bad?

Last week I set a goal for myself to write 5 pages a day, six days a week. I posted my intentions publicly in several Facebook groups and committed myself to report my progress each day. I didn't meet my goal every day, but I did write 25 pages, which was 25 more than I wrote the week before. So, that's awesome. Goals are great motivators and can help keep us focused on important things.

But I noticed something else too. As soon as I sat down and actually made a goal, the guilt set in. I went to bed almost every night feeling like a failure. Like I could never do enough. Either I wrote, but the housework didn't get done, or I went grocery shopping and made sure homework got finished, but didn't get the writing in. And so on, and so on... I began to feel again like I was never good enough. (A feeling that had largely left me when I wasn't so concerned about writing a certain amount each day or week. Of course, I wasn't writing anything!) I felt this way despite the fact that by and large I was successful in meeting my goals and taking care of the family.

Goals can be a two-edged sword.

So, while I think it's important to have goals and be accountable for reaching them, it is also helpful to realize that they are just goals. Not laws. Not life or death. Not living  up to a goal does not make me a failure. After all, I'm getting more done than I would otherwise. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can't do it all. I can do what I can. And that's okay.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Word Interview with Kevin Crouch (and a giveaway!)

Today we welcome author Kevin Crouch, author of Borrowed Lives.

Stranded on a desert island! What's your must-have item?
My wife—I would want someone interesting to talk to.

Aw. That's sweet. :)

What period in history would you most like to visit?
1755—I want to know what life was really like in the court of Louis XV.

That sounds fascinating.

Which of your characters is most like you?
Idella Pinson— but perhaps not in a positive way.

It is amazing what our characters can teach us about ourselves, isn't it?

We're having a banquet in honor of your awesomeness. What are we serving for dessert?
Crème Brulee—is an explanation really necessary?

Mmmm. Sounds wonderful.

Which historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Josephine Beauharnaise— she witnessed the most transformative events of 18th and 19th Century history.

What an interesting woman. I would like to meet her too!

Thanks for being joining us in the writing chair today, Kevin!  

Kevin has graciously agreed to give a copy of his novel, Borrowed Lives, to a reader of the blog. Just leave a comment, and you'll be entered! Leave your email address, so I can reach you. Drawing will be held on Wed. October 23.

About Kevin Crouch
I grew up in a beautiful Northern California village that was entirely too small for my big imagination. Nearly every free hour was spent at the local library, reading about distant places I could only dream of visiting, and people whose lives were far more interesting than my own. At night, I would fall asleep imagining myself occupying the lives of the people that I came to know on paper.

Eventually, I escaped and was able to see some of the world that I had read about and have adventures of my own. As I continued to read, I became fascinated by the coincidences of history that cut across time: how people and places and dates intersect in unexpected ways, although sometimes separated by thousands of years. Along the way, I acquired a wife and best friend, a degree in fashion design, and a son, in that order.

More years passed. Careers came and went; some glamorous and some not. Over time, I found that the thing I most enjoyed doing was helping others to discover and develop their own talents. Thus, about ten years ago, I became a professor of fashion at a design college on the outer fringes of Nashville, Tennessee. I love the work, I love the creativity, and I love the freedom to dream.

I have co-authored two non-fiction books, at the request of my wife’s editor, The Gospel According to Elvis and Sun King: The Life and Times of Sam Phillips, the Man Behind Sun Records. Before my tenure as a professor, I designed professionally for Vogue, Nevada Ballet Theatre, and Disney. My wife says I have a dry sense of humor, which you will come to appreciate if you sign me to be a client. As a writer, I want to have a body of work, not just one novel. I’m looking for an agent I can form a relationship with to advise and help me achieve that goal.

www.kevincrouchwrites.com
kevin@kevincrouchwrites.com



Borrowed Lives by Kevin Crouch
Synopsis
Reclusive literary researcher Ray Haddon is on the verge of a breakdown. The carefully crafted cyber wall that was created to keep the outside world at bay became a prison after the death of trusted mentor Ruth Meredith. It appears that the only way out of this self-inflicted fortress of solitude is to retreat into the past to figure out how life got so complicated. But this is not solely a mental exercise. The secret behind Ray’s successful career is the ability to travel back in time to gather research first-hand from the borrowed lives of others. So two weeks are set aside for quiet soul-searching in the ancient past.

What should have been a straightforward journey turns to confusion when Ray is unexpectedly trapped in Edwardian London, in the host body of an individual whose troubled life eerily mirrors Ray’s own. Quick to embrace the distraction of fixing this host’s problems, Ray gets embroiled in a chance encounter that offers the possibility of romance. Along the way, Ray’s interference becomes the intersection point for a variety of real life historical personages whose lives intertwine in surprising ways. But what is ignored tends to fester, and before long Ray’s problems seize control. What follows is a disaster that leaves everyone involved worse off than before.

Angry and hurt, Ray finally arrives in 12th Dynasty Egypt, where the calamity of London is almost repeated. Recognizing the mistake in time, Ray is able to work the issues through in tandem with the new host body, coming to the realization that life must be lived in the present, not the past. An attempt to right the chaos left behind in London proves only partly successful, but sets Ray up for the biggest adventure of all: living one’s own life.

Borrowed Lives is the first book in a series about Ray Haddon. There is also a short story, Idella Pinson, about one of the characters from the book.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Commitment

You've probably noticed that all I've been posting here lately are One Word Interviews. I really love those. I hope you do to. I think it's a fun way to introduce you to authors and their books.

My original intent was to post an interview every other week and my own posts every other week. That hasn't worked out so great. I'm keeping up with the interviews, but not with my own posts.

So, I am committing myself to posting on this blog every week, either an interview or some other post. I can do it!

Some important things have happened since I sort of fell of the blogging bandwagon.

I finished the second first draft of my third Defenders novel, Shattered Skies, at the end of June! (I call it the second first draft because I wrote it once, then wrote the whole thing over again from scratch. Sometimes it's just better that way.) I wrote it in only 6.5 months, compared with 15 months for my previous two books, so I felt good about that.

Unfortunately, my publisher decided to pass on my second Defenders novel, The Ransomed Returning. That was a rather hard blow. I have been waffling about what to do with it and Shattered Skies, but in the same sense of commitment I am taking with this blog, I am going to have The Ransomed Returning out by the end of November, and Shattered Skies by next summer. So watch for more information on that!

I published a collection of short stories, Ripped and Other Adventures. It contains nine previously published shorts and one all new novella, Sofie and the Night Eagle. It's gotten some great reviews so far. Check it out!

I also started to work on the first draft of a new LDS science fiction novel, tentatively title The Glory of the Stars.

So my writing goals for the next few months:

  • Publish The Ransomed Returning
  • Read-through and edit Shattered Skies for beta readers
  • Finish first draft of The Glory of the Stars
  • Keep up with blogging

No problem, right?

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One Word Interview with Karey White

Today we have Karey White, author of  My Own Mr. Darcy. Welcome to the writing chair, Karey!

You've been set down in the middle of a fairy tale. What character are you?
 Matchmaker 

Awesome! I would love to be the matchmaker too and find everyone their true love! 

What's one trait you share in common with your MC? 
Stubborn 

People talk about stubborn like it's a bad thing. I don't think so. Way to be!

You're having your favorite author for dinner. What will you serve
for dessert?

 ChocolateChipCookiePieWithVanillaIceCream

Yum. Just yum. That is all.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with? 
Eve 

Wonderful choice! That would be quite the lunch. I wonder if it would be like lunch with a favorite grandmother. :) 

What is your dream romantic getaway spot? 
Norway 

I've never thought of Norway as romantic, but now that you mention it, sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much for being here today, Karey!

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Word Interview with James Wymore

Today we have James Wymore, author of the sci-fi/fantasy adventure The Actuator: Fractured Earth, as well as other books Welcome, James! Always nice to have a fellow sci-fi author in the writing chair.

 Alien invasion! Weapon of choice?
Flamethrower

That would come in handy! You can be my alien invasion buddy any day.

You've been set down in your latest book. What character do you
seek out first?

Red 

I'll bet he's a tough one!  

What fictional world would you most like to live in?
Essentia

That sounds exciting!

We're having a banquet in honor of your awesomeness. What are we
serving for dessert?

Cheesecake

A popular dessert choice among interviewees. Confession: I'm not a huge cheesecake fan myself.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
 Huxley

Aldous or Thomas Henry? Either way, fascinating choice. Interesting men to meet for sure.

Thank you so much, James! Be sure to check out his blog and his latest release. It sounds like an exciting tale!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's my birthday!

Today is my birthday, and the first of three in my family this week. We call it Birthday Week, and we are partying hard! (Okay, not really, but it's still fun.) And in true Hobbit fashion (since I am a Hobbit, you know), I am giving away the presents!

In celebration of Birthday Week, Ripped and Other Adventures is FREE for Kindle until Saturday, Sept. 14. Go grab it and let your friends know too. Hope you enjoy!

PS. It has already hit the top 25 on two Amazon Bestseller lists (sci-fi adventure, and short stories), so a HUGE thanks to those who've picked it up already. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One Word Interview with Anna Del C. Dye

Today we have the delightful Anna Del C. Dye in the writing chair. She is the author of the young adult Elfs fantasy series. Take it away, Anna!

What fictional world would you most like to live in? 
Anduriah, the world were my Elfs live.

Sounds terrific. I'd like to visit sometime.
 
You have been set down in the middle of your latest book! Weapon of choice?
Two stylistic short swords, worn across my back.

Those sound both beautiful and handy.

Which of your characters is most like you?
Princess Adren, the main character in “The Silent Warrior Trilogy”. She has lost all her kindred and has to be adopted by another race. I left my Country at 21 and left everything I knew behind to be adopted by another race, customs, language, and love. :)

That's lovely. :)
 
What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
King Arthur at his round table, eating roasted pork, potatoes, corn, hot bread 

Wow. Wouldn't that be something!

You are having your favorite author over for dinner. What are you serving? 
That would be J. R. R. Tolkien and we would dine in the white halls of the White City, Middle Earth: rabbit stew, hot bread and ale. 

Awesome! Can I come too?

Thanks so much for being with us today, Anna!

Anna del C. Dye was born in Valparaiso, Chile, amongst some of the world’s most famous beaches. After meeting Rodney, a native of Idaho, in her hometown, two years later, Anna traveled to Utah on Christmas Eve and married him two weeks later. Their love story, "Why Him?", was published by Covenant in the book entitled Tender Mercies. Anna and Rodney reside in Taylorsville, Utah and are the parents of three princes and a princess. They love to camp, canoe, explore ruins, and have sword fights.

Anna del C. Dye is an accomplished, multi-award winning author. Her short story “Amerine—Fairy Princess” won 2nd place in the Oquirrh Writers contest. The first book in her new YA Romance Series entitled “A Kingdom By The Sea” won 2nd place in The Absolutely Write contest. Book three of “The Silent Warrior Trilogy,” won a bronze seal in the League of Utah Writers. Shahira and the Flying Elfs won Honor in the Oquirrh first chapter contest. Emerine’s Nightmare, a pre-teens short story, won 1st place right before it was released in digital formats for the Kindle and Nook.

Anna’s works include “The Silent Warrior Trilogy,” the beginning saga of her young adult elf series. Book one, “The Elf and the Princess” book two, “Trouble in the Elf City” and book three, “Elfs in a Conquered Realm.” Her stand alone books: “Curse of the Elfs,” “A Royal Elf of Abalon”, now “Shahira and the Flying Elfs” and also her children’s book “Emerine’s nightmare”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Word Interview with LuAnn Staheli

Today we have LuAnn Brobst Staheli in the writing chair. LuAnn has taken on the challenge of publishing a book a month this year! Wow. I'm super impressed.

Alien invasion! What fictional character do you most want by your side?
Indiana Jones

Excellent choice, that.

You've been set down in the middle of your latest book. What character do you seek out first?
 Ida Mae Ruth

I like her name. I'll bet she's quite a character!

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
William Shakespeare (We are 12th cousins, once removed)  

That's very cool. I'll bet he's an interesting conversationalist.

You're performing on Broadway! What show are you in?
Mama Mia!

Oh, how fun!

You are having your characters over for dinner. What are you serving?
Breaded tenderloin, mashed potatoes with white gravy, corn on the cob, and homemade strawberry pie.

Your characters must love you!

Thank you so much, LuAnn!



Lu Ann Brobst Staheli got her start as a celebrity paparazzi-stalker-chick, which led to her award-winning career as a ghostwriter for celebrity memoirs. A masochist at heart, she taught junior high school English for 33 years, moved to the school library beginning year 34, and once spent two weeks summer vacation backpacking through Europe with fifteen of her students. She has won three Best of State Medals—two for writing and one for teaching—but refuses to wear them all at the same time because she’d hate to be known as a show-off. Her other published works include Just Like Elizabeth Taylor; The Explorers: Tides Across the Sea; Leona & Me, Helen Marie; A Note With Taking; When Hearts Conjoin, the story of the conjoined Herrin twins; Psychic Madman about mentalist Jim Karol; One Day at a Time: Teaching Secondary Language Arts; and Books, Books, and More Books: A Parent and Teacher's Guide to Adolescent Literature. Lu Ann says, “But 2013 will be the year of the eBook for me. A long list of titles are in the finalization stage, and I’m excited to make them available to my readers.”

Lu Ann’s articles have appeared in Grit, Byline, Scouting, Library Media Connections, and The Writer magazines, and she is featured in the upcoming book release, Best of The Writer. She has published invitational essays in Teaching Secondary Language Arts K-12: It Really Works (Christopher-Gordon Publishers) and Famous Family Nights (Cedar Fort International).

As a Senior Editor with Precision Editing Group, Lu Ann Staheli has had a hand in a number of releases from Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain, Covenant Communications, and other regional publishers, including several winners and finalists for the Whitney Award and New York Times bestsellers. A former Associate Producer of Alan Osmond's Stadium of Fire, Lu Ann resides in Spanish Fork, Utah, with her husband, and tries to keep track of their five sons.

Twelve-year-old Liz Taylor has known for a long time that she would escape—escape the abuse against herself, and against her mother. She just didn’t know how or when. Then the perfect opportunity comes—money left of the table by her mother’s abuser—and Liz is on the run. But a girl her age doesn’t have many options when it comes to hideouts, making a K.O. A. campground and a nearby middle school her perfect choices. If only she can keep to herself, Liz, now using the name Beth, knows she can make it on her own, until things change, and she realizes she must face her situation head on if she is to save herself and her mom.

WINNER — Utah Arts Council Original Writing Competition, Juvenile Division
WINNER — League of Utah Writer’s Juvenile Novel & Diamond Quill

Follow me:
www.luannslibrary.blogspot.com
Twitter: @luannstaheli
Facebook: LuAnn Brobst Staheli, Author

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One Word Interview with Donna K. Weaver

Today's One Word Interview features clean romance author, Donna K. Weaver, whose romance/adventure on the high seas novel, A Change of Plans was released recently. Welcome to the writing chair, Donna!

 Stranded on a desert island. What's your must-have item? 
Hubby 

Aw. That's sweet. :)

Which one of your characters is most like you? 
None. All.

Oh, I can relate! They are all like us in some ways, and yet not at all.

If you could take a cruise anywhere in the world, where would it be? 
World

Sure! I mean, why choose just one place, right? (Can I come with you?)

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with? 
Helen Keller (nonreligious)  

Ooo, Interesting choice. I really admire her. 

We are holding a banquet in honor of your awesomeness. What are we
serving for dessert?
 
Cheesecake

Yum. Just, yum. That is all.

Thanks so much, Donna!

A Change of Plans: When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.

Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck. Get the audiobook!





Donna K. Weaver has always loved reading and creating stories, thus she’s been ever entertained. A Navy brat and U.S. Army veteran, she’s lived in many U.S. states as well as South Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific four times. When she retired from Shorei Kempo Karate with a black belt, she decided it was time to put her imaginary friends and places on paper. She lives in Utah with her husband. They have six children and eight grandchildren.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Release Day!

I'm pleased to announce that my new short story collection, Ripped and Other Adventures is now available for Kindle, and will be available in print in the next few weeks. Ripped contains many of my previously published stories as well as the all-new novella, "Sofie and the Night Eagle." Right now, it's on sale for half price at only $2.49. But get it soon, because that price only lasts until Saturday!

Want a chance to win a signed print copy?

Share the cover and/or purchase link on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, Pinterest, or any other social media site, and I'll enter you into a drawing to be held on Saturday, August 10. Be sure to comment here or tag me in your post, so I know you've shared.

Thanks a million, my friends!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Word Interview with C. David Belt

Today, we welcome LDS fantasy author C. David Belt to the Writing Chair. His novel, The Penitent, the second in his Children of Lilith Series was a 2012 Whitney Award Finalist. Welcome, David!

Zombie apocalypse! What fictional character do you most want by your
side?

John Carter.

An excellent choice!

Your MCs house is on fire. What's the first thing he would grab?
Daytime: cloak; Nighttime: broadsword.

Of course. He is a vampire after all!

You've been plunked down in the middle of your latest book. Weapon of choice? 
Mortal: M-16;  Vampire: basket-hilt claymore.

Yeah, I think I'd go for the sword myself.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
John Adams

That would be interesting. I wonder what he'd make of our current political climate.

You're having your favorite author over for dinner. What are you serving?
Spoo.

Wonderful! (Bonus points to everyone who gets the reference.)

 Thank you so much for joining us today!

In all the 6,000 years that the Children of Lilith have walked among us,
there has never been an unwilling vampire . . . until now.

Carl Morgan has lost everything. His wife and children were killed in a
senseless accident. Then he witnesses the murder of his sister at the hands
of a beautiful and mysterious woman named Rebecca. When the police cannot
locate the killer, Carl takes matters into his own hands. But his search for
justice costs him everything he holds dear.

Carl is unknowingly transformed into the world's first and only unwilling
vampire. He is cut off from the light, damned to an eternity of darkness,
barred from heaven and any hope of a reunion with his family.

Moira MacDonald, a repentant vampire, has roamed the earth alone for
centuries seeking redemption. The very existence of an unwilling vampire,
something she thought impossible, changes everything. Has she finally found
a path to redemption . . . and an end to her loneliness?

Carl and Moira discover that Rebecca's vampire Master, Michael, plans to
unleash a plague of vampires on the city. Can Carl and Moira stop the
slaughter of countless innocents?


In 6,000 years, no vampire has ever defied Lilith, Queen of the
vampires...until now.

Moira and Carl Morgan have saved the city from the horror of Michael and his
evil wives, but victory has come at terrible cost.

And there are consequences to every choice, every victory.

Word has spread that someone has broken Lilith's power, that someone has
defied the ancient Queen of the vampires.

And she's not happy about it.


For 6,000 years, Lilith and her Children have walked the earth, hunting,
preying, seducing, corrupting, ruling from the shadows...until now.

An ancient prophecy, spoken by Adam, Lilith's grandfather, foretells her
doom. She will do anything, corrupt any innocent, murder countless mortals
to save herself.

To survive, she knows she must destroy Carl and Moira Morgan.

The war has begun.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One Word Interview with Theresa Sneed

Today's One Word Interview comes to us from fantasy author Theresa Sneed. Her novels, No Angel and Earthbound were both Whitney Award Finalists! Welcome, Theresa.

Stranded on a desert island. What's your must-have item?
My must-have anything is my husband Bill ... but you said item, so I'll say my scriptures. But now my imagination is kicking in, and I'm betting I could live off fish and coconuts, make a thatched roof hut to live in, and boil water down if I can't find a fresh spring to drink from; and I'm thinking I could make paper out of wood pulp or leaves, so I guess all I need is a big box of pencils with good erasers. 

That was more than one word! But I'll let it pass. Nice logic. A box of pencils is a terrific item to have.

Your characters are coming over for dinner. What are you serving?
Angel hair spaghetti  with garlic and herbs and angel food cake for dessert.

Because they are angels! Hee hee. Sounds yummy.

You've been plunked down in the middle of your latest book. Which character do you do seek out first?
Coe - one of the leaders in the No-Choice Movement in my novel, Earthbound ~ not because he's my favorite character, but because he's so charismatic, and I'd like to find out for myself what he's up to.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, right?

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Other than religious leaders (which would be my first choice), I'd love to sit down with J.R.R. Tolkien, because his intellect fascinates me.

I would love to spend time visiting with Tolkien too. A true genius.

What fictional world would you most like to live in?
If I could live in a fictional world, I'd be a student at Hogwarts ~ too much fun and adventure!
Oh, Hogwarts. Yes. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Thanks for joining us in the writing chair today, Theresa!

People often ask me why I write about angels ~ I write about angels, because I believe in them. I can’t imagine that God would send us to earth without their extra help. Read my novels, and see if you don’t believe in them too.

No Angel is the story of Jonathan Stewart ~ an angel with an attitude. He was not at all happy about having to return to earth as a guardian angel, but it’s required of all post-mortal spirits to fulfill at least one angel guardianship. Fortunately, on the Guardians Unlimited application, he had the good sense to request a client with early-marked-death status, so he believes that while his stay on earth will be most unpleasant, at least it will be short. What he doesn’t know is that a spirit with EMD status can choose his or her time of death! Jonathan’s client, Celeste Knight, has a mind of her own and refuses death at every turn, leaving him stuck as her guardian angel – in a place he only wanted to forget.

Heaven used to be such a perfect place …

As the time draws near for the first spirits to leave their home in heaven, a group of rebellious dissenters begins to appear at every blue-planet planning meeting, demanding that all mortals are ruled by compulsory choice, instead of having the freedom to choose for themselves. Daniel is a courageous Freedom Fighter who vehemently opposes the No Choice movement. Sophie is impressed by his strong desire to do what’s right … and by his intense blue eyes. But she also has a strange attraction to the handsome and ostentatious Coe, a leader of the No Choice movement, who has his sights on her and will stop at nothing to claim her as his own.