Monday, March 31, 2008

Review - The Crown of Zeus by Christine Norris

The Crown of Zeus
Christine Norris
Samhain Publishing, ltd.
ISBN # 1-59998-556-X

"Thirteen-year-old Megan Montgomery’s world is falling apart. Her father’s promotion means leaving her whole life in New York behind. She finds herself transplanted to a huge, lonely manor house in the English countryside, with no one for company but the distant staff. Her new school only adds to her misery—neither the girls nor the teachers seem to like her."

None of the girls like her until she invites them to her house, which has a reputation that precedes her. What follows is an un-likely, yet totally cool adventure involving a secret library, ancient Greece and learning almost by osmosis. A fantastic book that will leave kids wanting more, and maybe doing a little research on their own.
(February 2008, pp 176, $5.50)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring is Sprouting!!

Bedside Table Books

Quite a list this week...

  • Ready, Aim, Specialize - Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money by Kelly James-Enger (for review)

  • Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein (for review)

  • The 7 Triggers To Yes by Russell H. Granger (for review)

  • Death of a Darklord by Laurell K. Hamilton (for fun)

  • Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (for fun, and maybe review)

  • Song of Ireland by Juilene Osborne-McKnight (for fun)

  • Tipperary by Frank Delaney (for fun)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Twitter, feed readers and Grand Central... oh, my!

I joined Twitter yesterday. According to Twitter's FAQ "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Bloggers can use it as a mini-blogging tool." I call it really short-form blogging. I suspect, as with any of the time saving services I've tried, it will grow on me, and within a month or so, I'll be wondering how I ever lived without it. Pay attention, there is a theme emerging.

I spent some time on Tuesday evening subscribing to the many blogs I read. I used Google's feed reader, mostly because I can access it from my cell phone. I love this feature. It saves me so much time. I just scan through the listed headlines, and if I want to read the entire blog post, CLICK, and there it is.

Tuesday night, in an online chat, another service was brought to my attention - Grand Central. "GrandCentral gives you 'One Number...for Life' -- a phone number that instead of being tied to a device or a location, is tied to you. Use GrandCentral to centralize your communication, customize your callers' experience, and make sure you never miss a call you want to take (or take a call you want to miss)." I'm not so sure I want to jump on this wagon just yet. I'm not so important that I need to be available all the time.

So here is the theme - doesn't all of this technology seem a little redundant? I mean, really, all we need to do is own an I-phone(I-touch?), and have a pocket or purse to carry it, and aren't we available, all the time, all ways, all stations? I'm not saying all of this stuff isn't nifty and cool, but I don't know that it's necessary.

And by the way, does anyone remember what a busy signal sounds like?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Interview - Dyan Garris, author of Money and Manifesting

Dyan Garris is back to visit with us and to talk about her new book, Money and Manifesting.

1.) What's been happening with you since we last spoke?
Thank you for the interview, Mary, and the opportunity to connect with your readers. I'm excited to be here again. So much has been happening. I've been working on putting the finishing touches on the tools that I'm building for people to use for self-empowerment.

2.) Why write a spiritual book about money?
There are many reasons why I wrote this book. The first reason is that is the next logical step in the toolbox that Spirit has asked me to build. Next, The Secret gave us part of the story. The Law of Attraction and the power of positive thinking are not secrets. These principles have been around forever. What was different about The Secret was the slick marketing. However, these very important principles needed to be accepted now into collective consciousness on a mass scale. The timing was right for that to happen and people were open to accepting these truths. It has set the foundation for what is to come spiritually and transformationally. However, The Secret only gave people part of the story. So now we have a lot of people out there trying to apply the laws of attraction and the power of positive thinking and they're manifesting absolutely nothing. There is a lot of frustration out there. I wrote the book to teach people how to manifest. It isn't hard. It doesn't have to take years. But it is way beyond just applying the laws of attraction and the power of positive thinking. It teaches people not only how to go from A to B, but from A to B to C to Z. You already know now about the laws of attraction. Why tell you what you already know?

3.) Do you find that people have strong preconceived notions when it comes to their finances?
Yes. People have ingrained and learned belief systems about money. These underlying belief systems were learned. Babies don’t come in here with any preconceived notions about money. Children are taught these things based on their caretaker’s beliefs about money. People's self-worth is intertwined with their money and beliefs about money. Sometimes, this is all that is in the way of someone being able to manifest. Clear up those limiting belief systems and you've effectively cleared a pathway for the energy of money. It’s a start.

4.) Do you think credit cards are a good or a bad thing?
We live in a world where credit cards have become necessary. However, it is people’s distortions about credit and about debt that get them into financial trouble.

5.) Your last book focused on food, this one on money, what's next?
All of my work, including the cookbook, is about transformation. So, while it may appear as if there are a just bunch of unrelated products, this is not so. They all work together as a “healing journey,” hence, “Voice of the Angels – A Healing Journey,” which is at the base of the body of work. Money and Manifesting is at the top. It’s part of the roof. My entire body of work is about clearing blockages to whatever is in your way so you can move forward on the path. The cookbook teaches people to take raw ingredients and use them to transform food into what truly nourishes your whole self – your mind, body, and spirit. That is accomplished basically by focusing on what you're doing, integrating your thoughts and feelings about food and then taking action to make something that really “feeds” you. My cookbook is a method for practicing integration – in a fun and creative way – which is a necessary step and prelude to learning to manifest. Also, the energy of both food and money resides in the root or base chakra. In order to manifest anything, we must first understand that this is the seat of creation. It’s where the power of creation lives. We don’t create with our minds. Although using the power of the mind is part of creating, we can’t create anything if we are blocked at the base. It’s like building a house on a non-solid foundation and then years later wondering why the house is crumbling. You built the house on a faulty foundation.

There are two more items that go in this toolbox that I’m almost done building. One is a DVD for relaxation and chakra balance. You may already know that I have a series of relaxation music and meditation CDs for this. However, meditation is still seen as somewhat of an effort. So the purpose of the DVD is to remove the “work” aspect. The CDs and of course the new DVD are Automatic Chakra Balance™. My most recent CD “Release” is all music that vibrates to and clears the seventh or crown chakra. The final product that goes into the toolbox is another CD of music that vibrates to and clears the eighth chakra. That’s a chakra that no one ever really talks about. We are still all focused on having seven of them, which is a very limited schematic. Then this will be a complete set of tools for self-empowerment. I’ll probably go around the country and help people in person learn to manifest and clear and balance themselves so they can move forward. But, I’ll have to see what Spirit has in mind for me after I get through building the whole house.

Thanks so much for coming by, Dyan!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Field Trip!

I'm going to Barnes and Noble today. That may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it's about half an hour away, and I don't get over there very often. I love bookstores. When I walk in, my heart rate slows down, my shoulders drop and I breathe deeper. The shelves and shelves of books make me very happy. It's almost like going to church.

I'm on a mission. I saw a blog post about this book yesterday - The 7 Triggers to Yes: The New Science Behind Influencing People's Decisions by Russell H. Granger - and I want to get a copy. Yes, I could probably email the author to see about getting a review copy, but I want it now!

Road trip! Field trip!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Review - Money and Manifesting by Dyan Garris

Money and Manifesting
Dyan Garris
Journeymakers Inc.
ISBN # 978-0977614066

"The Real Secrets of Manifesting? It is not enough to think positively, repeat affirmations, and attract positive energy. We must implement and integrate this learning into our daily lives. This is the real secret of manifesting money. It is the real secret to manifesting anything."

Money is not the root of all evil, but our perceptions and assumptions about it could be. Dyan Garris gives great examples of different financial situations we all find ourselves in, and then provides suggestions to move forward and improve. Money and Manifesting is the perfect size book to carry in a purse or laptop case. Read it, it might just change your life.
(February 2008, pp 198, $14.99)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bedside Table Books and snow

The books on my bedside table this morning are...

  • Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily(done)
  • Bikini Season by Sheila Roberts(done)
  • Christ The Lord - The Road to Cana by Anne Rice(done)
  • Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman(halfway thru)
  • Birthing the Elephant by Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman(a quarter into it)

And, it is snowing here this morning. Big, beautiful, heavy, wet flakes - 3 inches on the ground so far. If this was January, I'd probably be irritated, but since it's March and Spring, I'm enjoying it. It'll all be gone by mid-week. Husband and littlest boy are out playing in it right now.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Today is the first day of Spring, and the first day of Spring break. My kids are on vacation from school until March 31st. So, things will be lively around here. Luckily, my husband has tomorrow and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday next week off.

I have interview questions to write, an article to work on, some books to read and a book blog tour starting on April 1st. Just because kids and hubby have vacation time doesn't mean I do.

I've also been having some minor issues with my eyes. Eye exam is scheduled for Saturday morning and hopefully by Saturday afternoon, I'll have contacts again. It's been 4 years since my last visit, so I'm sure I need a new prescription.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Interview - Linda K. Silva, author of Across Time

Today's 5 Q&A is with Linda K. Silva, author of Across Time.

1.) Who are you?
I just published my eighth novel titled ACROSS TIME. I have been writing for 20years. I wrote 4 horrid novels when I was younger...until someone asked me why I didn't write cop stories, since I had been one way back in the dark ages. I fought that urge, not being a mystery reader at the time and because police work was not a match for me. Instead, I took my Masters in English to education and I have been a teacher for the majority of my life. I prefer to touch young lives rather than arrest them. Nonetheless, one day, Delta Stevens sprang into my head, as well as my heart, and so I wrote. And wrote. And the next thing I knew...there she was, and there a publisher was, and there was the beginning of my writing career and my love of the irascible Delta Stevens. Like a love affair that sneaks up on you, Delta and her cast of characters came into my life, changing me forever. Perhaps it was Delta, maybe it was writing itself, but my life transformed dramatically.

Publishers have come and gone as the industry has changed dramatically. With Borders and Barnes and Nobles pushing out the smaller bookstores, smaller presses went with them...and so ended my publishers and Delta. But I kept on writing...and now, I have published 8 novels in a variety of genres ready to go...if only I could find an agent!

Traveling also aids in my teaching world. I have been a teacher for 23 years, teaching everything from 4th grade to college, and I now teach at Linn Benton Community College as well as Nicolet Community College in Wisconsin and Darton Community College in Georgia. I love teaching online, and teach everything from American Minority Literature to World and British Lit, Tech Writing, and composition.

When I'm not teaching, I am travelling all over the place, and just recently returned from a trip through the Panama Canal and South America. Travel is my muse, and I see her as often as I can.

I guess, in short, I have a great time and a wonderful life, and I've told people that I want my headstone to read "She lived an enviable life." I guess that's what I want for the people I love...for them to live the kind of life they write if that's what they want, to be a farmer if that is the life for do and be what they dream because I am living proof that dreams come true. After eight published novels, I have a new dream, and I'm making steps every day to make that one come true.

2.) How did this book come about?
I have always been fascinated by the concept of past lives. There are just too many inexplicable things in the universe that can’t be covered by “miracles” or science. A couple of years ago, on a lark, I had my past lives read. I was at the boardwalk and it sounded like something fun to do. I told the reader nothing about myself, so when we sat down for the reading I was a complete stranger who didn’t really take any of this seriously. The woman proceeded to tell me that I had once been a German warrior. I was a little amazed and surprised because I have a tattoo of a warrior on my back (that she could not see) and I was fluent in German. The language came up so easily to me, I had to take college German in high school. Anyway, as the reading went on, she looked right in my face and said, “There is a reason you hate circuses.” My friend who was with me almost fell off her chair. It was impossible for this woman to know that I hated circuses. I hate everything about the circus. I hate the smell, I hate clowns, I hate all of it, and yet, I have never been. Not once.

When I was eight years old, my parents tried to take me to the circus, but I fought like a wild Banshee when they tried to get me into the car. I fought so hard, they eventually stopped trying and made me stay home. They never took me to the circus, and I never went, but I hate it nonetheless. I couldn’t even tell you why I hate
the circus, especially since it is clearly an irrational fear based on…on what? So you can imagine my surprise when she went on to explain why I was afraid of the circus, but that’s a story for another day.

3.) Jesse and Cate are very strong girl/woman characters in this story. Who are they modeled after?
Wow. Good question. I think that all characters are an amalgam of the people we know...or want to know...or want to be. Jessie is a combination of a younger Delta Stevens, my first series' character, and who I was as a young girl.

4.) Have you experienced any past life regressions? If not, would you like to?
I have always been fascinated by the concept of past lives. There are just too many inexplicable things in the universe that can’t be covered by “miracles” or science. A couple of years ago, on a lark, I had my past lives read. I was at the boardwalk and it sounded like something fun to do. I told the reader nothing about myself, so when we sat down for the reading I was a complete stranger who didn’t really take any of this seriously. The woman proceeded to tell me that I had once been a German warrior. I was a little amazed and surprised because I have a tattoo of a warrior on my back (that she could not see) and I was fluent in German. The language came up so easily to me, I had to take college German in high school. Anyway, as the reading went on, she looked right in my face and said, “There is a reason you hate circuses.” My friend who was with me almost fell off her chair. It was impossible for this woman to know that I hated circuses. I hate everything about the circus. I hate the smell, I hate clowns, I hate all of it, up and yet, I have never been. Not once.

When I was eight years old, my parents tried to take me to the circus, but I fought like a wild Banshee when they tried to get me into the car. I fought so hard, they eventually stopped trying and made me stay home. They never took me to the circus, and I never went, but I hate it nonetheless. I couldn’t even tell you why I hate
the circus, especially since it is clearly an irrational fear based on…on what? So you can imagine my surprise when she went on to explain why I was afraid of the circus, but that’s a story for another day.

5.) What's next?
Next? I just finished the fifth novel of the series and the fourth of a new series featuring an empath. I'll just keep writing and reading and travelling, hoping I can touch readers and take them away to wonderful lands and mystical adventures.

Thanks so much for having me here! I am having a
blast with all of this!

Thank you, Linda!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Review - Across Time by Linda K. Silva

Across Time
Linda K. Silva
Spinsters Ink Books
ISBN # 978-1883523916

"Jessie Ferguson's life is going nowhere. She's tried drugs, alcohol, even sex to fill the void that has no name, but nothing seems to quench that dull ache that visits her nightly. When she moves into a restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast, all of that changes the instant she hears a call from the past. A call from her past. A past life two thousand years ago from a place she knows nothing of, from a woman she's seen only in her dreams. It is a past that needs her, a past that has burst through the boundaries of time in order to ask for her help."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Across Time. I was enthralled from page one. Linda K. Silva's writing is fluid and musical. It led me back to a time of struggle and hope, and really made me wonder who I was in former lives.
(January 14, 2008, pp 264, $14.95)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunshine on my desk!

Friday, March 14, 2008

March AW Blog Chain

I'm taking part in the March Absolute Write Blog Chain. In the previous post by Heather at For the First Time, she said -

"At this stage in my life, I’m going to let other people in my life parent the dogs. I’m going to be the “aunt” who goes over, feeds them treats, plays with them, and once they’re wound up, say goodbye! I’ll leave the poop-scooping, feeding, training, etc to those who possess the patience to do so!"

I absolutely agree. I have a cat, but she is the chief bug and mouse catcher. She pretty much takes care of herself. She's more the kids' pet than mine. I occasionally refer to her as my "office mascot", because she likes to curl up on my printer.

At this stage in my life, I see dogs much the same as I see babies. Dogs are great, as long as they belong to someone else. Babies are adorable, as long as they aren't mine. I've had dogs at one point or another in my life. I loved them. I don't want one now. I have 4 kids. I don't want any more babies of my own, ever. I am, however, looking forward to Grand-babies, say in about, oh, 10 years.

With that, please visit PolySpace, the next blog in the chain.

Secret Government EGGO Project

Fantastical Imagination

For the First Time

Virtual Wordsmith


My Life, You're Welcome to It

Polenth's Quill

Food History

Spontaneous Derivation

Spittin' (out words) Like a Llama

Fresh Hell


Forbidden Snowflake

Virginia Lee's Vagaries

Interview - Marianne Arkins, author of One Love For Liv

Today's 5 Q&A is with Marianne Arkins, author of One Love For Liv

1.) Who are you?
Marianne was born in California, met her husband in Colorado, got a puppy and got pregnant, then moved with the group of them to the frozen north of New Hampshire where her thin blood keeps her indoors six months of the year. It's the perfect scenario for writing! She has seven sweet, sassy stories with The Wild Rose Press, and has a novel, "One Love For Liv" from Samhain Publishing. Check out her website or blog for more information or to see what's going on inside her brain. If you dare.

2.) Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?
For the most part, I've always written, which isn't exactly the same thing as being a "writer". I toyed with the idea of publication as a teen, but didn't really take myself seriously until my early thirties. Still, writing was something I couldn't NOT do. If I wasn't writing stories, I wrote poetry or song lyrics, or even just my journal.

Maybe the question should have been, "Have you always known you wanted to be a published author?" My answer in that case would have been--No.

3.) Why did you choose the Romance genre?
I like to read happy things. Romance novels by definition are always happy. Additionally, I love LOVE. What makes two people click? How can they get past their differences and find a HEA? Nothing in society drives human beings as much as the search for love. Often, it's mixed up with sex, but love is what moves us. Why would I NOT want to write about it?

4.) How was it working with Samhain Publishing?
Working with Samhain has been a joy. My editor was wonderful, the staff was helpful and responsive and even the other authors are right there to help each other. They're very professional and they do everything in their power to help me be successful. I can't wait to work with them again!

5.) What's next?
I have a 20,000 word story coming out with The Wild Rose Press soon -- I'm proofreading the galley right now, so it should be out fairly soon. I have a short story (about 12,000 words) with Samhain, though my editor resigned and I'm being reassigned to someone new, so it's taking a bit of time. I have a mystery that I'm focusing on finishing -- I'm about three-quarters of the way through, and I have two other romantic comedies that are either done (and in need of going through revisions) or nearly done. Can't let the moss grow on me!

Thank you, Marianne.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Review - One Love for Liv by Marianne Arkins

One Love for Liv
Marianne Arkins
Samhain Publishing
ISBN # 1-59998-325-7

"Olivia “Liv” Leigh, wealthy socialite and spa owner, suspects her fiancĂ© of cheating on her. Drastic steps are required to discover whether appearances are deceiving. And if those steps require a bit of stalking, a change of appearance, a hippo-sized dog named Spike, and sacrificing her manicure to clean house for a sexy-but-sloppy man whose neighbor is determined to break several of the strangest Guinness world records, why should that be a problem?"

One Love for Liv is a fun romp to read - the kind of book you take with you on vacation. The writing is clean and the story flows. It was almost a guilty pleasure for me, like the extra dark chocolates I have stashed (hidden) in my kitchen cabinet.
(February 2008, pp 177, $4.50)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Virtual Woman's Day Celebration

I will be speaking about Blog Stop Book Tours at the Virtual Woman's Day Celebration on Saturday, March 15 at 9:45 am Eastern Time. Come by and visit!

I'm published!

Click the link if you'd like to see. Bee Culture and The WAHM Magazine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


This photo was taken by me today. If you click the picture you can see the rainbow more clearly.

Interview - Amanda Ford, author of Kiss Me, I'm Single: An Ode to the Solo Life

Today's 5 Q&A is with Amanda Ford, author of Kiss Me, I'm Single: An Ode to the Solo Life

1.) Who are you?
Love this question! It reminds me of that moment in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland when the hookah smoking caterpillar asks Alice, "Who are you?" and she responds, "I hardly know, sir, just at present--at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then."

Who am I? Mostly I'm not sure. But there are a few things I can say for certain. I love to write. I have written a few small, books that fit somewhere in that indefinable category where self-help collides with memoir and marries philosophical pontification. I write freelance articles for newspapers, magazines and websites. You can see a sample of my work at

I also love to bike ride, cook, host tea parties, flirt and Lindy Hop.

2.) Why did you write this book?
When I was 22 I married my college sweetheart only to file for divorce two years later. We were too young and despite the fact that we really did love one another, my ex husband and I needed to live our lives as adults before settling down. We needed to "find ourselves" if you will. I knew pretty early on in our marriage that we had made a mistake. I often joke that as soon as the honeymoon ended, our marriage ended. This isn't far from the truth, although I didn't want to admit it at the time. It's scary to be a young newlywed filled with regret. I ignored my gut for nearly two years and worked really hard to make my marriage work, but in the end it wasn't right. My epiphany came one afternoon in the form of a daydream about myself in my 40s with daughters in their late teens. I imagined myself telling my girls, "Don't get married young like I did. Live alone. Travel the world. Date many, many men. Experience everything before getting married." It was a hard slap in the face to see myself already living vicariously through daughters that hadn't even been conceived. That daydream made me realize that if I didn't leave my marriage I would regret it for the rest of my life.

So I got divorced. And getting divorced was one of the biggest acts of bravery and self-care I had ever performed. I had been without-a-doubt certain that marriage was what I wanted, yet shortly after my wedding I realized that I did not want it at all. It scared me to see that something could feel so right in one moment and then so wrong in the next. I was embarrassed, disappointed, humbled. I was excited by the new possibilities that came with being single, but also scared by the uncertainty of it all.

In order to make sense of my new position in life, I did what I know best: I wrote. I have always used writing as a way of grounding me during chaotic times. For me the best writing comes from uncertainty rather than certainty, from a question rather than an answer.

Kiss Me, I'm Single is what came out of those years of writing after my divorce. I did not want to write a book that was anti-marriage or even a book that was pro-single. These slants bore me. I am interested the universal, in what transcends circumstance. Existential crises seem to be forever erupting within us, sometimes because of specific events, sometimes for no apparent reason. This is what interests me. Why am I here? How can I make the most of my time on this planet? Why am I happy one moment and sad the next?

3.) Your mom is also a writer. Will you be collaborating with her on any future projects?

My mother and I have been writing together for a long time. She got her first publishing contract when I was in 9th grade and I remember her working on the book at night and calling me into her office to read passages to me. I would correct her grammar and offer my opinion of her stories. When I was 19, she and I co-authored a book together called Between Mother and Daughter. It was a remarkable experience and a great way for me to get exposure to the publishing world.

I don't think my mother really considers herself a writer despite the fact that she has written nearly a dozen books. She considers herself a therapist (she has a private practice as a family counselor). I, on the other hand, am a writer. I don't think my mom has the desire to write another book, and I'm not sure that I want to share the page with another voice.

My mother will definitely remain a character in my work and a muse of my work. She is my biggest inspiration. She asks me daily, "Did you write anything new today?" When the answer is yes, she insists that I read to her, no matter how small or rough. My mom insists that every word I write is brilliant. I wouldn't be where I am without her.

4.) How do you celebrate your singleness?
I don't really view my life in terms of single or coupled, so I don't really celebrate my singleness so much as I simply celebrate my life. I try to savor every moment, to be aware, to notice details as I go about my day. I remain open to possibility. I flirt. I dance. I ride my bicycle. I pray. I laugh. I pour myself into my creativity. I love my friends and family with every ounce of my being. I get a kick out of life. I don't take any of it too seriously. I try to enjoy what comes to me rather than stress about making things happen as I think they should be.

5.) What's next?
I'm working on a book about my mother's childhood and her adulthood and how her life has influenced my childhood and my adulthood. I've been describing it as Joy Luck Club meets Eat, Pray, Love meets A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius meets House on Mango Street meets something utterly indescribable that is uniquely Amanda Ford. When the book is done, I'm going to adapt it to a screenplay. Jason Reitman is going to direct the film and Reese Witherspoon is going to star in it. That part about Jason Reitman and Reese Witherspoon is wishful speaking, but I feel pretty confident that I will make it happen.

Thanks so much, Amanda!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Review - Kiss Me, I'm Single: An Ode to the Solo Life by Amanda Ford

Kiss Me, I'm Single
Amanda Ford
Conari Press
ISBN # 978-1573243018

"True love is an inside job and begins with you. It is a basic fact of life that in order to be truly happy and fulfilled with another person, you must be truly happy and fulfilled on your own first. A good relationship can enhance life for sure, but it cannot take what is just "okay" and turn in into perfect."

This book does a fine job of saying "Being with yourself is okay, loving yourself is okay, and knowing yourself is okay." Not everyone is ready to pair off in their twenties, or sometimes even their thirties. You don't have to be part of a couple to be happy. Maybe life is not about what you can't live without, so much as what you can't live with.
(July 2007, pp 208, $15.95)

Friday, March 7, 2008

TG it's a Friday

Okay. Littlest boy did more than share his cold with me, he GAVE the entire illness to me - lock, stock and barrel. I am seriously miserable in that curled up in bed-box of tissues next to me-steaming mug of cinnamon tea in one hand-magazine in the other kind of way.

I will be sleeping as much as I can today, because I have to have a voice next Saturday.

Can winter with all of its viral contagion opportunities please, please, PLEASE be over soon?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Virtual Woman's Day Celebration

I will be speaking about Blog Stop Book Tours at the Virtual Woman's Day Celebration next Saturday, March 15 at 9:45 am. Please stop by and see what else these wonderful ladies have to say.

In other news, I have an essay published in The WAHM Magazine(March/April issue). And my littlest boy shared his head cold with me. Isn't that sweet?

I'm off to get as much work done this morning as I can, and then probably rest later this afternoon. For those of you not sick, enjoy! For those of you fighting illness, feel better soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Interview - Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution

Today's 5 Q&A is with Catherine Delors, author of Mistress of the Revolution.

1.) Who are you?
I was born and raised in France. I got my law degree at the Sorbonne and became an attorney in Paris at the age of twenty-one.

Later I moved to the United States and became a member of the State Bar of California. I worked at a few large law firms, then, after the birth of my son, set up my own practice. I now split my time between Los Angeles and Paris, two wonderful cities, each in its own right.

2.) How much fun was it to write this book?
A lot. Indeed for over a year, most of the fun in my life was focused on writing Mistress of the Revolution. It was a time when I was very unhappy and many things seemed hopeless. I discovered that writing brought me the joy, the freedom, the security, the sense of purpose I was otherwise missing. Once I began to find those things again outside my novel, I was hooked! Now I cannot imagine life without writing.

3.) Did you come to love your characters, as they developed?
Absolutely. I love those characters, even those who are not very nice. I enjoyed creating them all. I am thinking in particular of Gabrielle’s atrocious first husband, and also of the Count de Villers, a great favorite with my early readers. In a way, I even felt that those fictional people had too much of a grip on my mind after I stopped writing Mistress of the Revolution. The cure was easy: get run along with a new set of characters, those of my second book.

4.)Did you go to the geographical locations you describe in Mistress of the Revolution?
I know and love those places. I could not write about them otherwise. As a child, I spent all of my summers in the little mountain town of Vic, where Gabrielle, my heroine, grew up. Also, like Gabrielle, I fell in love with Paris as a teenager, and I am still in love today.

5.)What's next?
I am currently putting the finishing touches to my second novel, a historical thriller about a terrorist attack in 1800 Paris, at the beginning of Bonaparte's reign. And of course, beginning to work on Book 3, a prequel to Mistress of the Revolution.

Thanks so much, Catherine!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Don't limit yourself

The first article I wrote for publication in a magazine was about bumble bees - specifically raising them for fun and profit. You can see it in Bee Culture this month.

Now, I should probably tell you that I am NOT a fan of any insect that buzzes and has the ability to sting. I know wasps, and hornets, and bees have a very important job, and without them, I'd be missing fresh fruits and vegetables. I just tend to give them a wide berth.

As it happens, I knew someone who knew someone who'd written a book about bumble bees, so I sent the editor of Bee Culture a query letter about reviewing the book. That query resolved itself into the aforementioned article.

The point of sharing this with you is to point out that there are countless, boundless freelance writing opportunities out there. And yes, writing what you know is good, but stretching a little and learning about something entirely new is exciting and may land you a gig you never would have expected.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Review - Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors

Mistress of the Revolution
Catherine Delors
Dutton Adult
ISBN # 978-0525950547

"In 1815 England, an exiled Frenchwoman, Gabrielle de Monserrat, begins
a memoir of her days before and during the French Revolution. A girl of quiet strength and startling beauty, a widow at seventeen with a young daughter, Gabrielle is released into the world of Paris nobility. Determined and inquisitive, with little money and few prospects, she strives to find her own freedom. Around her, the French people attempt to build a utopia based on the ideals of liberty and equality. Differing currents of thought clash over the fate of a nation as the Revolution takes an ever more violent turn. Yet Gabrielle survives, maintaining her humanity and sense of decency. On occasion, she glimpses her first love as he ascends from obscure patriot to one of the most passionate architects of the new order. At last she reaches for him and an impossible happiness."

If you're a historical fiction fan, Mistress of the Revolution is a must read. It will take you deep into the story of the French Revolution, but it also shows the lengths a young woman had to go to in that time just to survive. Lush and evocative, Catherine Delors writing pulls you into Gabrielle's life and forces you to care about what happens to her.
(March 13, 2008, pp 464, $25.95)