Monday, December 31, 2007

Achieving My Dreams in 2008

Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams”
With 2007 behind us and 2008 on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on how we want the rest of our journey here on earth to go. Do we settle for letting life happen or do we take steps toward achieving our dreams? Do we think about it or do we DO it? Judi Moreo has written a book Achievement Journal. In it you are supposed to track your progress toward your dreams. Track you achievements.

This month, January of the new year 2008, as part of Judi’s Virtual Book Tour, I am supposed to let you know what I am doing to being me closer to the realization of my dreams.

My lifelong dream of being a published writer was fulfilled last year 2007 in August with the release of Prophecy of Vithan with Cerridwen Press. For 2008 I have a new dream. Not to simply be a published author, but be a prolific author.
Have you heard of the National Novel Writing Month each November? is a yearly competition with yourself to see if you can write 50,000 words in 30 days November 1 thru November 30. Last year I won, this year I didn’t. However I did start a new novel.
So to bring the dream of being a prolific writer closer to fruition I plan on running my very own personal nanowrimo each month of 2008. My goal is to write 2000 words each day. It is a daunting goal and I may not make it. But if I aim for the 2000 words I may hit 1000, or 500. It won’t matter. I will have set up a habit of writing every day in 2008 and I will be finishing novels left and right.
Another dream of mine is probably the same as 99% of the women out there. That is to lose excess weight and get this body of mine in better physical shape.
Have you ever wondered where the fat that you lose goes? I mean, if you lose something, don’t you normally want to find it again? Well, I have lost and found my weight waaaay too often. So I have come up with a solution.
I do not plan on losing weight this coming year. I plan on giving it away. To whom, you might ask. To the Hollywood stars. They are much too thin and are finally beginning to realize it. So in an attempt to bring health to those hardworking actors and actresses that have too long deprived themselves of nutrition and are now underweight, I will generously give my excess weight. I do not need thanks nor do I need to have it returned. The excess weight is a gift and not something I am lending. In fact I do not want it back.
With that in mind, the steps I am taking to get my body in healthy shape and to donate my excess weight are: 1) begin a workout program. Start slow and work up to a more active workout. I am an dyed in the wool couch potato. So I will start with being active for 10 minutes at a time and work my way up until I can do aerobics with out stopping for 30 minutes then keep up the 30 minutes a day for the rest of the year. And 2) I will change my eating habits. I know what good stuff I am supposed to eat. I just don’t do it. This year, I will make a serious effort to consciously change the way I eat. That means be aware of what I am putting in my mouth and then be just as aware of what I should put in my mouth and make the two match.
Perhaps something else I should make a dream and take steps to accomplish is to be a consistent blogger. You wonderful people come by and read my blog, so I should at least make sure you have something to read.
While I am preparing to be a consistent blogger, you can work on achieving your dreams during the year 2008. You can start that process by getting Judi’s book Achievement Journal at Have a wonderful and dream filled 2008.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welome to Theresa Chaze, Author of Awakening the Dragon

Theresa Chaze, thanks for stopping by on a leg of your virtual book tour. Yesterday we read some exciting reviews of your novel
Awakening the Dragon. Today you agreed to answer some questions.
Why did you become a writer?
It is who I am. I’ve always been very imaginative. Most people daydream about TV shows that they like and take the place of their favorite character; I created my own characters that entered the show in my daydream and changed the direction of the plot. I remember watching Dark Shadows back in the late 60’s. My character’s name was Shannon Marie. She was one of Barnabas’ sisters. She knew what he had become and loved him anyway. When their father caught her trying to help him, he disowned her and erased all mention of her in the family history. Shannon used magic to become immortal until he could be free from the curse. Angrily she disappeared until Barnabas was released from the coffin. She then returned to Collinwood.

Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I always wanted to help cats. My father hated them so I wasn’t allow to have one as a child. I once told my mother that when I grew up I was going to have a hundred. I do have ten not a hundred, which is enough. But I do cat rescue. One of my dearest dreams is to help create the nation’s largest no-kill shelter. Every book of mine that is bought brings me one step closer to making that a reality.

What do you love about being an author?
I love giving my imagination free reign. Of telling myself tales that I just happen to share with others. It is a way of exploring my inner world and the universe beyond. By allowing my characters to act and react, I heal my old wounds and show others how to do the same.

Is there anything you dislike?
The editing process. The long rewrites. Creating the story is easy. Making it readable to others takes time and hard work.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
If you tell me how to do that, then we will both know. I have a tendency to be a bit compulsive and a workaholic. It is easy to get caught up when you love what you do.

How do you write?
I write on the computer. However, I do make hand written notes. I’ll get plot ideas or pieces of dialogue and I’ll quickly jot it down. The third novel is not only in my head but also on a stack of pieces of paper.

Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
I’ve done both. Mostly I start with the characters. However, with the current project, I started with the plot.

What genre(s) do you write?
I write magical fantasy and science fiction. I am following in the footsteps of Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley. I submitted a story to MZB many years ago. I got a handwritten note from her ripping me a new one about my print size and style--she also said I was capable of doing better. She told me to get to work and do what I was capable of. It was good advice.

Why do you write the stories that you write?
I like fantasy novels. Both McCaffrey and Bradley introduced me to female characters who were strong and capable. They didn’t just yell for help; they helped themselves.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it is exciting and easy. That all authors are famous. Writing isn’t just about writing. Even when you create your own worlds, you have to do a lot of research. It is time consuming and tiring. It you want to make your work believable, it has to be based in reality.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I take pieces of people and put them together to make characters. You might call me Dr. Frankenstein. But instead of body parts, I put together character traits and personalities.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I like them all--even the ones who are not so nice. Even though, I take pieces from others, there is some of me in all of them. Hum--I wonder what that says about me?

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I have writing two screenplays: Never Can Say Good Bye and Eye of Ra. I wrote Katherine Hepburn a letter requesting that she take part in one of the projects. The grand woman she was, she wrote back, thanking me for the offer but she had retired and wasn’t taking on anything new. I would like to see Goldie Hawn play Rachael. The character was some what modeled after her. Demi Moore would play Carmen. Whoopi Goldberg would play Raven. There are also characters in the last book for Angelica Huston and Tina Turner. I sent Angelica a copy of Awakening the Dragon through her agent, hoping she would like it enough to endorse it. It would be a major Yule gift if she did. There is also a character that is mentioned in Dragon Domain that will have a larger role in the third that would be good for Adrian Paul.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
There are two things. I would like people to have a clearer understanding of what earth-based religions are so they can release their fear of the stereotype. Secondly and more importantly is that we can all get along when we come from respect. We don’t have to look, act or believe the same in order to find common ground. If we respect each other and ourselves, we can find a way to live peacefully.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Read what you want to write and just plain write. Also you need to be curious about the world. Ask questions. Study everything. You never know when you are going to run across that one piece of information that will inspire you. They also need to be ready for hard work both during the writing and after. Promotions and marketing are the most important aspect of making a book successful. You could have written a fabulous book, but if people don’t know about it, it will just gather dust. Writers need to be wary of unethical publishers and agents. There are many who make grandiose promises to get you money, but never carry through with their obligations. I was caught by two such publishers. They had an issue about paying royalties. It is the reason I started Valkyrie Publishing. Not only do I publish my own work, but also I am a consultant who helps other authors prepare their work for the printers, create covers and help with publicity. It is easier and cheaper to publish and distribute than most people think.

Who are your favorite authors?
Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey. Dragon Riders of Pern is the book that started me on the fantasy path. There is also a warped little novel by William Nolan called Space for Hire. Imagine Sam Spade in the future. It is silly, warped and totally wonderful. Twenty years after I first read it, I spend twelve bucks on a used copy just to be able to read it again. It’s out of print but if you can find a copy, it is worth every penny.

What are you reading right now?
Ripples on a Cosmic Sea. It is about gravitational waves.
Thank you for coming, Theresa!
Can you tell us where everyone can pick up a copy of Awakening the Dragon and

Both are distributed by Ingram and Baker & Taylor, so they are available through most bookstores. In addition, they are on Amazon. However, two things about ordering online. The previous versions are still listed. Please only buy the new versions that have been released by Valkyrie Publishing. They both have the Dragon Clan Trilogy listed in the title. Plus, I have my own store through Amazon. It’s listed as Easternguardian. When you buy books from me, I will autograph them. The direct link is can be found here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Awakening the Dragon Authored by Theresa Chaze

Theresa Chaze has been described as the woman who plays with dragons, especially the dragons of the mind. She leads her readers to magical realms and others worlds. Her work is based on her philosophy that all peoples can live together in peace as long as we come from respect, not only for ourselves but those who follow different paths or beliefs. Whether fiction or non fiction, Ms Chaze uses her talent to help others find the path to healing and take back their own power. In many ways, she is a life coach who helps others find alternative life paths and regain their passion. Her work has been compared to Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey with an adult version of Harry Potter mixed in. Theresa Chaze's major works so far include the first two novels of the Dragon Clan Trilogy , a ebook of Shadows, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, and a free fantasy ebook called, Sisters, Mother, Daughters. Her screenplay, Never Can Say Good-bye, is one of the 2006 winners of the Gloria Film Festival. She publishes an ezine called, Messages From the Universe, which is available on her site


Buy this book! I found myself smiling when I finished the last page of Awakening The Dragon--Book One of the Dragon Clan Trilogy (formally Dragon's New Home), by Theresa Chaze. I've read a pretty good number of books in my life, but none have given me quite the mix of emotions that this books has.
Joe Murphy, The Dragon Page

Magic, Mystery, and Murder. The three M's! Ms. Chaze shows colorful, visual language that will even keep the romance novel buff obsessed in finishing this novel in one read! The pacing is excellent the main character strong and likeable, and the hint of romance to come in the final installments of the trilogy. I must say I'm already addicted to Ms. Chaze's writing style! A guaranteed page turner! Bring on the rest of the trilogy!
Catherine J. St. Amour, author

Therese Chaze draws her readers in from the first page and refuses to release them until the last word of this fantastic tale of witches, magic, love and betrayal. Set in the village of Coyote Springs, Dragon Domain is a book of lessons; lessons on love, forgiveness, and above all truth to oneself. In the grand traditions of Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley, Therese Chaze captures the imagination as well as the heart of her readers. Dragon Domain is an open door to a world of wonder, and from the first page to the last, you will be hard pressed to put it down.
Linda Rucker, author

Thank you for coming, Theresa!
Can you tell us where everyone can pick up a copy of Awakening the Dragon and
Both are distributed by Ingram and Baker & Taylor, so they are available through most bookstores. In addition, they are on Amazon. However, two things about ordering online. The previous versions are still listed. Please only buy the new versions that have been released by Valkyrie Publishing. They both have the Dragon Clan Trilogy listed in the title. Plus, I have my own store through Amazon. It’s listed as Easternguardian. When you buy books from me, I will autograph them. The direct link is can be found here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome Marilyn Morris, Author of Diagnosis: Lupus

Welcome Marilyn Morris, Author of Diagnosis: Lupus

Thanks for dropping by on your Virtual Book Tour. Yesterday we learned a little about you. Today we learn about your book and you have agreed to answer some questions.

Diagnosis: Lupus : The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient

Book Description: When she was suddenly assaulted by myriad baffling symptoms of joint pain and extreme fatigue, the author embarked on an intensive search for diagnosis and treatment of what would be diagnosed as systemic lupus erythematosus, a little-known autoimmune disease that promised to destroy her body, her mind and her spirit. From the pages of her intimate daily journal, we travel with her through chronic joint pain, frustration, anger and grief for her former self to her current state of remission. Far from being a litany of complaints, the author’s pages reveal her unexpected spiritual growth and gratitude for life itself, and she hopes she can be of help to others who suffer from this disease or other chronic illnesses.

Thanks for answering some questions about your writing.

1) How old were you when did you start writing?

I've always written, since I was in kindergarten and had a pencil in my hand. I figured out right away that the letters on the blackboard made words, and words made sentences, and sentences made stories. I was off and running!

2) Why did decide you wanted to be a writer?

I think the answer is "revenge." I was in a very troubled marriage, too afraid to escape it, so I turned my energies to writing for publication. My husband, in the divorce decree, wanted to include a clause that stipulated any income I derived from my writing while I was married to him would entitle him to half the proceeds. I squashed that right away, and when 'Sabbath's Room" came out, I felt such a thrill. It was also kind of "See, I told I could do it!"

3) What was the first job you had with writing?

Actually, I began with a local newspaper, writing a couple of columns. Then I turned my attention to Sabbath's Room. I had been editing some work for a friend who had his book published, and I thought, hey, if he can do it, so can I.

4) In your life who has influenced you the most?

I pull on my parents, who recognized my drive early on, and encouraged me.

5)How many books have you written?

Three, so far. Or four, really, if you can count the one that's hanging out there in limbo.

The first book and my first novel is Sabbath's Room, Publish America, 2001. It's a paranormal murder mystery:
When New York writer Joanna Elliott flees her abusive husband to the Texas Hill Country, she and her six-year old son Jason unwittingly become a killer’s prey.
Despite Realtor Tommy Joe Greenleaf’s warning that Wanda and Ralph Spencer had mysteriously disappeared from the remote farmhouse ten years earlier, Joanna moves in, and makes the sun room into her office.
Joanna adopts a cat from the local veterinarian, Sam Kelly, who tells her that Sabbath “had belonged to a witch.” Immediately, unexplained events unfold: Joanna is locked overnight inside the storage shed, footprints appear under the sun room windows, and Jason’s dog, Mournful is found poisoned.
Sheriff Judson Pollard investigates. He is puzzled by Wilma Foulkes’indifference to her sister’s fate, the activities of an itinerant evangelist, Brother Adam, and Joanna’s former husband has arrived in town.

My second publication is Once a Brat, Publish America, 2002:
As one of the first dependents to be sent overseas at the end of WWII, eight-year old Marilyn Celeste Morris received her very own orders from The War Department. From Seoul, Korea to Linz, Austria, she traversed the globe from 1938 to 1958 with her Army Officer father, mother and younger brothers. Between assignments in the primitive world of the Far East, to the sublime luxury of exploring castles in Bavaria, the family shuttled between the various Stateside Forts: Bragg, Bliss, Hood and Sill. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes gut-wrenchingly sad, her narrative is part travelogue, part therapy session. She still cries at “Taps” and stands tall when the colors pass; yet she realizes she carries an odd mixture of pride and resentment over her nomadic way of life.
Her conclusion, however, is that she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Once a Brat, Always a Brat.

My third publication is Diagnosis: Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient, PublishAmerica 2005.An intimate journey of a lupus patient taken from personal journals as she embarks on a three-year, five doctor search for a diagnosis of her baffling symptoms.

My fourth published work is The Women of Camp Sobingo, released on June 9, 2007 as an ebook by Mardi Gras Publishing.Four women of diverse backgrounds form a bond while en route to join their Army officer husbands in Korea in 1946.
Their experiences in a far-flung military compound strengthen three of the women, but a fourth chooses to end her life, and during a reunion twenty-five years later, long-held dark secrets and sorrows are revealed.
The site has since closed down and this novel will probably be tied up in bankruptcy proceedings for quite some time.

6) Which aspects of the work that you put into the book did you find most difficult?

I'll take my lupus book as an example for that. I can deal with making up stories and characters who encounter various difficulties, but with my lupus book, I laid my feelings bare. I exposed all my little secrets, like having a melt-down in my parish priest's office because I couldn't afford my prescription meds that month; raging at God for allowing this to happen and admitting that I had difficulty accepting help from others and from various government agencies such as the country health system. But I also recognized that I learned much about myself and was willing to share it with others so they won't feel alone.

7) Which did you enjoy most? Why is this?

I found my work just flowed, explaining why I wrote the book, what I had learned and how this book might help others, thus setting the stage for the actual journal entries.
What sets the book apart from the other things you've written?
It's factual, and I expose my shortcomings.

8)How did you get to be the writer that you are?

Applying the seat of the pants to the office chair. No matter what. I consider writing every day to be my occupation, and my "paycheck" is the thrill of holding MY book in my hands.

Marilyn Celeste Morris may be reached by email: to schedule a speaking engagement or arrange for editing services.

Her book is available at

An Excerpt of Marilyn's Blog

Someone You Know Has Lupus
4:35 PM PDT, May 15, 2007
Half of the Proceeds from the Sale of This Book Will be Donated to The Lupus Foundation of America for Research to Find a Cure for This Disease.

The Story Behind Diagnosis: Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient

Like many lupus patients, I had suffered for years before finding a diagnosis and treatment for this baffling disease. As part of my ongoing personal therapy, I had kept a daily journal, venting my frustrations, pain, hope and despair as this disease progressed and no progress was on the horizon. I wrote of losing jobs, applying for food stamps standing in line at the Unemployment Commission, filling out volumes of paperwork for various agencies, and seeing a “shrink” at one of the Alphabet Soup social services agencies, all the time in physical pain that responded to no treatment.
First, Some Facts…..
Some symptoms of lupus:

Do you have/ever had/been told you have:

Achy, painful and/or swollen joints for more than three months;
Fingers and/or toes becoming pale, numb or uncomfortable in the cold;
Sores in the mouth for more than two weeks;
Been told you have a low blood count, anemia, low white cell count or a low platelet count;
Ever had a prominent redness or color change in the shape of a butterfly across the bridge of your nose and cheeks;
An unexplained fever over 100 degrees for more than a few days;
A sensitivity to the sun where the skin breaks out after being in the sun (not a sunburn);
Had chest pain with breathing for more than a few days (pleurisy);
Been told you had protein in your urine;
Experienced persistent, extreme fatigue and weakness for days or weeks at a time even after 6-8 hours of restful nighttime sleep.
If you have 3 or more symptoms, you should see your doctor.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus is more common than Leukemia, Hodgkin’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis. And yet, the average person rarely knows about lupus and is generally misinformed, vaguely believing it to be “kind of like arthritis, isn’t it?” While my symptoms first presented themselves as “kind of like arthritis,” and I was thus diagnosed and treated for two years for RA, other symptoms soon presented themselves, until, after three emotionally charged and pain-filled years from the onset of symptoms, laboratory tests confirmed the presence of SLE, or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
There are two distinct types of lupus. One is discoid lupus, where the skin shows large “splotches” or red rashes in clusters, mostly on the face, across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, creating a “wolf-like” mask. One can have discoid lupus and systemic lupus at the same time; generally, those who suffer with the discoid form of lupus do not develop the systemic form.
The second is systemic lupus; that is, it is throughout the body. It has been classified as “an autoimmune disease.”
Lupus has nothing to do with AIDS, I must point out. I like the ‘short’, understandable description of what lupus is: Think of the body as a fort, like in the Wild West Days. Every now and then, Indians would attack the fort, and the soldiers inside the fort (white blood cells) would repel the Indians (the infection). Then the fort (body) would settle down and go back to its usual routine, until the next Indian attack
Only with lupus, THERE ARE NO INDIANS. The soldiers inside the fort are ever ready for an attack, but the Indians don’t arrive, so the soldiers (stressed) turn on each other, fighting among themselves, eventually destroying the fort itself: lungs, kidneys, central nervous system, etc.
As of this printing, there is no cure, but it is treatable.
For more information or to make a donation, go to
Marilyn Celeste Morris

Yet I also found in these pages, as I looked back on them from my current stage of remission, a spark of hope, a determination to survive and even thrive, and a realization that God had not forsaken me. I joined a local Lupus Support Group, sponsored by the Lupus Foundation of America, and discovered many members had felt the same as I had; yet they had also felt so alone in this disease’s symptoms. That was when I decided to take the best – and worst – of my journal entries and put them into a book format, which was released in 2005.

This book has been designated in the Lupus Now magazine, Spring 2007 edition as earning the LFA Education Committee Seal of Approval.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Let me Introduce Marilyn Morris, Author of Diagnosis Lupus

Marilyn Celeste Morris Author of Diagnosis: Lupus will be dropping by on Monday during her virtual book tour for an interview. I'd like to introduce her today.

Although she was raised as a Military Brat, Marilyn Celeste Morris was born in her grandfather’s house in Toronto, Texas, a small Southern Pacific Railroad Section six miles west of Alpine. Perhaps as an omen of what would be the next twenty years of her life, the railroad’s abandonment of this settlement shortly afterward left her with no “permanent” home.
Schooling consisted of Dependents’ Schools while overseas, in Seoul Korea, 1946-47 and Linz, Austria (1949-1952) and various schools stateside. A rarity for a Military Brat, she was fortunate enough to have attended all three high school years and graduated at Lawton Senior High School, Lawton OK. Further education was attained at Cameron State College, Lawton OK, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, and North Texas State University. She received an AAS Degree in Mental Health in 1995.
After studying under the late Grace Nies Fletcher (author of Merry Widow and In My Father’s House), Marilyn began her writing career as a guest columnist in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and for ten years wrote a weekly humor/human interest column for Suburban Newspapers in the Fort Worth TX area. Besides receiving a First Place award in the Nostalgia category at an Ozark Mountain Writers’ Conference, two “confession” stories were published (under pseudonyms) in the magazines “Jive” and “Bronze Thrills.”
She has taught creative writing at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, survived numerous book signings and speaking engagements, and her first novel, Sabbath’s Room, a paranormal murder mystery was published in 2001. In August 2002, Once a Brat was released. Described as “part travelogue, part therapy session,” she relates sometimes hilarious, sometimes wrenchingly sad experiences of an Army officer’s daughter from 1938 to her father’s retirement in 1958. Her newest book, Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient, chronicles her intensive three-year, five doctor search for diagnosis and treatment of her baffling symptoms, her struggles with God and society her anger and frustration (“But you don’t look sick!”) vividly expressed in her daily writings from first symptoms to current remission. Ms. Morris’s intent is to inform other lupus patients, both diagnosed and still searching their feelings are valid, normal and they are not alone.
She is co-facilitator for the Fort Worth Lupus Support Group, North Texas Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America and member of the Board of Directors. When not writing or editing emerging writers’ manuscripts, she enjoys searching for former classmates and true to her Brat heritage, she has a suitcase packed under the bed, ready to travel at a moment’s notice.
For more information about Lupus go to

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Welcome Sydney Molare, Author of Devil's Orchestra

This evening we have a Guest Blogger.
Sydney Molare, Author of Devil's Orchestra is stopping on one leg of her Virtual Book Tour.
Thanks for stopping by Syndney.

On and we learned a little about you and about your book Devil's Orchestra. Today you have graciously agreed to answer some questions.

1) Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life? I was a late bloomer. I actually began writing as a way to vent when my marriage was going the way of the dinosaurs. So I actually wrote my first piece in 2001.

2) What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike? Love? Gushing emails trumpeting my greatness to that particular person. Dislike? Author jealousy I've encountered on tours.

3) How do you balance your personal and writing time? I can't honestly say I've got it all balanced. Right now, it feels like life has got me by the hinny and I'm just swinging in the wind. But what I try to do, is work as a veterinarian during the day and then become Sydney Molare nights and weekends. LOL.

4) I have visited your website The Devil’s Orchestra at
It seems like you enjoy stirring the pot a bit. Is that something you have always been interested in doing? Did your desire to shake things up come from a particular incident in your life? I like pushing the envelope, tackling controversial subjects people shy away from, scratch a soul or two. As far as where it came from, I've always been my parent's rebel child. They tend to be too pacifist for me. Where they say, walk away, I like to stay until both parties have an "understanding" about the situation, whatever it is. Yes, I got punished plenty as a kid. LOL.

5) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? It's really a mixture. I know people talk about outlines, but a character will pop into my head and I tend to shelve them if they aren't applicable to what I'm writing currently. Then when a plot pops into my head, I got back to my character shelf, pluck one off, and see where they lead me.

6) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write? I'm cross-genred: Short stories, erotica/romantica, mystery/suspense, quasi-Christian and mainstream. I will tell anyone, i write stories I would like to read.

7) Is there any type of book you would not want to write? Is there something you would like to try but have not written yet? Honestly, I feel that to be a great writer, you should be like a great actor: able to write anything with a little research. I can't think of a genre I abhor. I read everything so I think giving a shot at writing in a new genre would be a pleasant challenge. There are many books in my head to be written. I recently finished a paranormal erotica. I thought that was great fun! But an unchartered genre I'm planning, probably the children's fiction arena.

8) What is the biggest misconception about being an author? That you make plenty of money and that it is easy.

9) Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? Actually, my characters are compilations of real and imagined. I may use a mannerism from this person, with a speech pattern from that, add in what I'd like to see, and voile' we have a character.

10) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why? I'm a Southern fiction junkie so Madame A in Grandmama's Mojo STill Working is definitely my favorite. This is a feisty 75 YO grandmother who has two boyfriends. She lives life on her terms and to heck with those who have something to say about it. Shucks, I want to be her when I get older. Something about those sharp women in those flamboyant hats down here in the South. Can't wait!

11) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie? This is a tough question. An big name would get the movie seen...but I'm also partial to the unknown underdog. I don't have anyone "penciled in my mind" yet, so I think the best course would be to put the script out, let them duke it out and to the winner goes the spoils. LOL.

12) What would you want readers to take away from your books? I want my books to scratch their souls, make them think, leave them rubbing their chins going, "Hmmmm." Every book has a message or theme to it, so I'm hoping they "get" it.

13) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book? Sydney Confucius says, "The road to publication will not be without bumps, bruises, many reams of paper and red ink."Don't take too much advice from too many people. Use common sense and talk to other published authors and you should be fine.

14) Who are your favorite authors? James Patterson, Eric Jerome Dickey, Jude Devereaux, John Grisham

15) What are you reading right now? The Heretic by Andrew Feder. It's the second part to, When Angel Have Risen

Thanks for having me over!


Monday, December 3, 2007

I'd like to Introduce Sydney Molare Author of Devil's Orchestra

Sydney Molare Author of Devil's Orchestra will be visiting tomorrow on a leg of her Virtual Book Tour.
Sydney Molare' is one of the latest crop of Southern authors to watch. Her novel's messages cross genres, ethnicities and locales. Her goal is to always have "little message for everyone." Her books are garnering her awards from bookclubs and reviewers across the country. Sydney was recently named, "Mississippi Hometown Hero, Most Likely to Succeed" and the 2006 Mississippi's BEST Author. She is the host of "You Don't Know Jack" radio show on Blog Talk Radio.


Tab McGrifth- 1 radio personality on the Eastern seaboard. He made his money the old way--by stepping on one person at a time. He's lied, cheated and "misrepresented" whatever needed to be as he clawed his way to the top of the pile. Now the man that taught him everything he knows, his old mentor Whitey Ford, has returned....

Deva- Hip hop princess extraordinaire. Many are under the impression that she is just a gorgeous airhead. But nothing could be further from the truth. With her shrewd business mind and amazing "luck", Deva is worth somewhere in the upper nine digit range. Deva, like all of us, has her faults. She loves the money--and what accompanies it--just a bit TOO much. In fact, she is slap out of control. When an old friend from back home, Ed Burris, confronts her about her lifestyle, things get explosive...

Juan Rodriguez- gay author and proud of it too. With his life partner, Zeus and son, Loam, Juan's life is definitely on track. That is, until Bodie pops back into his life. Bodie. Blond, beach boy tan, Juan's first lover. He put the w-h-o-r in whore...and doggonit if Juan wasn't still feeling him...

And then there's Luke....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

December, New Year and Resolutions

December, A New Year and Resolutions
Today is December 1. Can you believe it? This year as sped by and has crawled by.I don't usually talk about personal things. I don't think the Internet is the place for personal things. But today I am going to write about my personal last year.The year before, 2005, I made a resolution to write a book. On December 2006 I signed a contract with Ellora's Cave/Ceridwen Press for my first novel Prophecy of Vithan. For 2007 I have finished a second novel - Stone of Cruento and am starting a third novel - Vials of Aquilonia. My resolution is to finish Aquilonia and write oh, let's say two more books.January 2006 I made a resolution to lose 50 pounds. I lost 50 and regained 40. I guess that is a 10 pound score for the resolution side. So, for 2007 I am resolving to lose those 50 pounds again and maybe lose another 50. (Yeah, I'm that big, but beautiful too)In 2006 My quadriplegic husband started showing some improvement. Just this morning he started moving his paralyzed arm. He is eating two meals a day - where he had to have tube feedings last year. He has an electric wheelchair and we have a small hoist to put him in and out of the car so we can go places. 2007 resolution is to continue to work with him to get him improving even more.In 2006 I had my first experience with blogs, websites, chats, and yahoo groups. I have 15 blogs. Just in trying to understand what I was doing, I over did. I also have 3 websites, or is it 4? In 2007 my resolution is to manage them all and to blog regularly instead of sporatically.How many resolutions will I manage to keep? Who knows. The fun in resolutions is making them. The hard work is doing them. Maybe I will be able to keep one or two. Maybe none. But I had fun this year - granted life got in the way occaisionally - but I had fun anyway.So I will make my resolutions. And break them. What resolutions are you planning on breaking this year??

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Welcome Sheila Roberts on her Virtual Book Tour

I'd like to welcome Sheila Roberts, author of On Strike for Christmas
Thanks for dropping by. We learned a little about your book and about you yesterday. Today, you have agreed to answer some questions for us. Well, here we go.
1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change? I would have started writing contemporary stories right from the get go. I got my beginnings writing Regency Romances - not surprising since I love them, but they have a limited readership. Plus although I tried hard, I really was terrible at research and it seemed I was always getting some historical detail wrong. Very embarrassing. I really think I would have done better writing about my own time period right from the get go. But, writing is a learning process, and I don't know any writers who ever got it all right at the beginning.
2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer? Never give up.
3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Actually, that list is rather long. But, to name a few: Stephen King, Dr. Phil and his wife, Steve Martin, Dustin Hoffman, and Cliff Richard, the British singing star
4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be? Jane Austen's Elizabeth Darcy, Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights" and Dickens's Mr. Fezziwigg
5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for? That would be remarkable to be remembered in the next century. Down the road, I'd like to be remembered as a writer who inspired people to be their best.
6) How do you balance your personal and writing time? I write during the day, just like a job, but unless I'm under deadline, I don't write more than a couple hours at a stretch. Then I go do something else. Fitting in time to be with friends and get other work done is important.
7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? What usually comes to me first is a story idea - something following the words, "What if?"
8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write? I've been published under different names in Romance, but I've also written for gift books and written non-fiction. I love to write about things that are important to women. And I like to write humor. Everyone needs to laugh.
9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why? Some of my favorite characters have never seen the light of day. They all made guest appearances in manuscripts that never sold. Right now my favorite character is in a book that will be coming out next summer. She's a ditz and I love her.
10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie? Hmmm. Maybe some of the angry housewife chicks.
11) What would you want readers to take away from your books? A smile.
12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book? Finish the book. Many writers spend more time talking about writing than they do actually writing. Being able to type "the end" on something you've created is hugely satisfying.
13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book? At their nearby Barnes and Noble or Borders. And, of course, there's always Amazon. It's a fun book and I hope readers will give it a try.
14) What other projects are you working on right now? I just turned in Bikini Season, my second book for St. Martin's Press. It's about diets, true love, cheating, and friendship. I should have an excerpt posted on my website ( in the new year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sheila Roberts Author of On Strike for Christmas

Introduce Sheila Roberts Author of On Strike for Christmas

Tomorrow Sheila Roberts is dropping by on a leg of her virtual book tour to talk about her book
On Strike for Christmas
So today I would like to introduce her to you.

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She's happily married and has three children. She's been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. When she's not speaking to women's groups or at conferences or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women's hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
Romantic Times Magazine Reviewed On Strike for Christmas and said:
RT Rating: 4½ Stars
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: November 2007
Type: Mainstream Fiction
Roberts' witty and effervescently funny holiday novel will warm hearts. Realistic characters populate the pages of this captivating story, which is a great escape from holiday hustle and bustle.Summary: In the town of Holly, some of the members of the Stitch 'n Bitch knitting club have decided to teach their husbands a lesson. Led by Joy, one of the club's older members, the women have collectively decided to go on strike, forcing their husbands to provide all of the holiday preparations.As the men get together to complain, the women remain steadfast in their strike efforts. But Carol, a knitting club member whose husband and son are both deceased, thinks the women should be thankful for their husbands and hectic lives. And when Jerri, another knitting club member, suffers from the ill effects of chemotherapy, the women unite to support their friend. (St. Martin's griffin, Nov., 352 pp., $13.95)—Sheri Melnick

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boji Stones by Sandra Cox

Boji Stones by Sandra Cox

Review by Charlene Leatherman

Sandra Cox writes a suspense story that has you sitting on the edge of your seat.
Maureen or as her friends call her “Marnie” inherited a special bracelet from her mother. Someone wants it and is willing to kill her for it. The Boji Stones of the amulet give her the ability to heal. The person who wants to steal the amulet runs her off the road, injuring her to the point of death. She heals quickly and returns home with her friend and farm hand Hank.
Her healing attracts the attention of the police. She was a hit and run victim and discharged herself from the hospital much earlier than the doctor advised. She must be hiding something.
The day of her leaving the hospital, she met at her home by Jack Wolfe, author and horse owner. He has come to her ranch so she can heal his horse. Or at least that is what he says. It seems every time there is an attempt on Marnie’s life, Jack is just out of sight, or just stepped out of the room.
Could he be working for the person who wants the amulet?
The attraction between Marnie and Jack builds, yet the tension between them because of Marnie’s and Hank’s suspicion of Jack and his part in the threats make for good reading. If you like a good suspense with keep you on your toes romance, you will enjoy Boji Stones by Sandra Cox. Available at Cerridwen Press (

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Welcome Dyan Garris

WELCOME Dyan Garris to the blog on her Virtual Book Tour.

She has graciously agreed to an interview.

Hello Charlene. Here are the answers to your questions for the interview:

1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?
In high school and college when others cringed regarding creative writing assignments, I embraced them completely. I viewed writing as an interesting and effective way to create and communicate. If I could change anything, I would have perhaps written historical romance or mystery novels. I always appreciate a good story.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?
The best piece of advice I received regarding anything was from my mother and it was that I have the ability to create anything that I want if I hold myself responsible and accountable for creating it.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would like to meet everyone and anyone that I could because I believe that we learn something valuable from everyone. I am fascinated by what is on the inside of people and interested in what makes them unique. I am interested in the perceptions and ideas of others. There is so much to learn! I think Mother Theresa would have been a very interesting person to have been able to visit with. She had so much wisdom and compassion.

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?
I would like to meet Captain Kirk or Doctor Who. Imagine the interesting stories of life they would be able to tell!

5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?
I hope that people would remember the loving vibration that hopefully shines through my words, music and books. Someone told me once that the thing people remember most about you is the way you made them feel.

6) How do you balance your personal and writing time?
To me, so much is about rhythm and timing and balance. I like to adhere to a schedule, yet remain flexible enough to go with whatever comes along. So, I usually have a good idea of how I want my day to show up. Organization and setting priorities are key for me. But then I like to factor in the mood of the day and the unexpected elements that may crop up. If I need personal time during the day, I make time for it. If I feel I must write during the middle of the night, I do it. I find life easier if one simply goes with the flow and respects and honors their unique rhythms.

7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Whatever I write is based upon real life experiences. I weave real life into stories for teaching purposes. For example, I wrote a short story called, "Fish Tale of Woe - Lost at Sea." The plot is based upon people I have met and experiences that I've had or observed in real life. There is always a teaching element involved. The story always has a deeper meaning designed to teach the reader something valuable and about life. It is meant to be a catalyst to deeper examination of the reader's own life. In my cookbook I wrote twelve food related stories or messages. One of those is, "Johnny and Susie - Ode to Popcorn." This was based upon a story that my grandmother used to tell us, which really was rather a non-story in actuality. So wanting to honor her I simply embellished a bit. I based the character of Susie on a person that I knew in childhood. The plot is based on an event that really happened. It is a story about how two people can have an almost identical experience - in this case the experience was about learning how to make popcorn - and how circumstances and reactions and perceptions can have a quite different, life altering and lasting effect. I wove that all together and in the end, in addition to challenging me to look at the deeper meaning of things, it also made me laugh and that is always good! I also write a daily message on my website, which is meant to inspire and help the reader delve into the more mysterious and esoteric areas of life. It challenges one to examine their thinking and perceptions.

8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write fiction which is really non-fiction. It is based upon truths. I like to write short stories. I like to write messages that inspire the reader to grow and learn and think.

9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I don't really have characters per se because I'm writing mostly messages that are non-fiction. I like the mother in the Johnny and Susie story because when faced with a choice she inspired her child to grow and learn from experience, thus leading to an awesome adult. It could have gone either way, based on certain choices made in certain moments.

10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Anyone who can make me laugh and make me cry, as well. Anyone who can naturally express the gamut of emotions that is the full range of being alive.

11) What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I would like my readers to take with them the feeling of satisfaction that comes with learning something new and applying it in a positive way that makes a difference in their lives.

12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
My advice is to focus, get and stay organized, have a plan, and keep a good solid vision of what you want to accomplish and what you want to impart.

13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book? or

14) What other projects are you working on right now?
I just finished my eleventh New Age music CD in my relaxation series for vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit. It's called "Release." I just finished "The Book of Daily Channeled Messages," which is a compilation of 180 inspirational messages from the last year. I am almost done with a line of greeting cards that are different, deep, and inspiring. I'm in the beginning stages of creating a meditation journal. I'm toying with the idea of doing another CD. It's always nice to have music to cook by!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nanowrimo Word Count and Dyan Garris

:-( Sadly my word count is abysmal. I have 19,000 words and should be at 35,000. But all is not lost. This holiday weekend will hopefully give up some made typing time and I will be able to recover.

;-> Now for some great news. Guest Blogger Dyan Garris is going to be here tomorrow. She says about herself and her book:
I’m a psychic, clairvoyant, clairaudient, and clairsentient. I could say I was ordered by Divine guidance to write the book and that would be true. It was a natural segue. However, one of the main reasons I wrote it was because when my mother was dying she tried desperately to write all her recipes down and make them into a cookbook for her family. She mostly finished it, but I think it was not in the complete way that she really wanted to do it. What I wanted to with my own cookbook was to do it in a way that I know she would have done her own if she had had the time, energy, and opportunity to do so. I dedicated my book to her and that’s why. It’s a loving tribute to her.

5 STARS Simple, fun, and delicious, November 11, 2007
D. Campbell (Chicago) - This cookbook is a "10"! Dyan Garris is a master in the kitchen. I have tried many of the recipes and they have all been great. For a "non-cooker", I am now getting pretty comfortable in the kitchen. Most recently, the Chicken Cinnamon was very tasty and a big hit with my dinner group. The directions are all easy to follow and the pictures are excellent. I can't wait to try the desserts. A great addition to any cookbook collection.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest Blogger Dennis Griffin, Author of Cullotta

This review appeared on The Literary World site on July 17 2007.

July 17:Jim Agnew On Crime
Cullotta--The Life Of A Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness (Huntington Press Publishing)
This is the best book written on the Chicago crime syndicate and I've read them all. Virgil Petersen summed up the Chicago crime syndicate in the title of his 1950's book..."Barbarians In Our Midst".It's the best book because its all first person, gloves off and very rough.Frank Cullotta was a very active...bomber, killer, master burglar, fence, and criminal confidant to the mob lords of Chicago and Las Vegas. He describes these roles and capers as they happened with lots of play-by-play details.Cullotta also describes real prison life and the Witness Protection Program...up close and personal.I read Cullotta in one afternoon and so will any true-crime fan. Its just a real-good read about very dangerous professional criminals.

Thank you for dropping by on your Virtual Book Tour. Our readers are interested not only in your book but in you as an author as well. Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions.
1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?1 – For one thing, I’d have started much earlier in life rather than waiting until after retirement. I would also have done a lot more research about the writing business — including publishing options and marketing — while working on my first manuscript.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?2 – Try to do something writing-related every day. That can include the actual writing, conducting interviews, doing research, and marketing.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?3 – I’m a World War II buff and would have enjoyed discussing those times with President Franklin Roosevelt.

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?4 – I’d like to meet Superman.

5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?5 – I’d like to be recognized as a good researcher who produced accurate books regarding the Tony Spilotro era in Las Vegas.

6) How do you balance your personal and writing time?6 – Although I’m retired, I treat my writing as a job that requires a minimum of three hours per day.

7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?7 – For my fictions the plot comes first. For non-fiction I take an interest in either a character or an event.

8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?8 – I write mystery/thriller fiction and true crime non-fiction. I imagine my prior career in investigations and law enforcement was the primary influence for those choices.

9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?9 – My favorite character that I’ve created is Steve Garneau, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective.

10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?10 – I’m partial to the movies Casino and Goodfellas. I think Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro did outstanding jobs in those films and I’d like them in my movie.

11) What would you want readers to take away from your books?11 – For my non-fictions I want the reader to come away knowing they learned the true story of the people and events in the book.

12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?12 – I’d tell beginners to do their homework before they start. Learn what’s involved to be a successful writer. Know what publishing options are available and study marketing and promotion methods. The more knowledge a writer has, the better the decisions he or she will make.

13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book?13 – My books are available through the online sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They can be purchased at or ordered through the brick and mortal outlets as well.I also have purchase links on my site,

14) What other projects are you working on right now?14 – I’m currently finishing the third book in my Las Vegas trilogy featuring Detective Garneau. I’m also looking at three true crime stories and will soon make my decision on which one to write.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nanowrimo and Visiting Author Dennis Griffin

Last post for Nanowrimo I was ahead. Life, the Universe and trying to finish a wip has put me behind word count. Ah, well, that just means burning the midnight oil to catch up.

Now, for an Introduction:

Dennis Griffin will be visiting my blogs for an interview on his Virtual Book Tour.

I'd like to give you a little background information from Mr. Griffin himself.

Mr. Dennis Griffin said:
I began my investigative career with Pinkerton's Inc. and finished with the Dept. of Health. There were stops as a Sr. Child Support Investigator and deputy sheriff in Madison County, New York in between.
I started writing in 1996 to tell the story of what I learned while investigating the operation of a medical examiner's office. It was an eye-opening experience for me and I felt compelled to share it with others. I eventually produced a fictionalized account called The Morgue. I found to my chagrin that readers didn't believe anything in the book could actually happen, but they liked the story and my style; rough edges and all. That response caused me to write Red Gold, also based on personal experience. I now have a total of six fictions in print.
In January 2002, I decided to try my hand at non-ficton and began writing Policing Las Vegas. This book covers the history of law enforcement in Las Vegas and Clark County from 1905 thru 2004. Policing was released in April 2005.
My second non-fiction, The Battle for Las Vegas, is the story of the Vegas reign of Chicago mob enforcer Tony Spilotro. In the movie Casino, actor Joe Pesci played a character based on Spilotro. Battle was released nationally on July 1, 2006.
My third Vegas-based non-fiction, CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness was released nationally in July 2007.
If you try one of my books I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

nanowrimo word count and excerpt

NaNoWriMo word count today 2579 bringing the total word count to 14012. I am above the required amount which is 1667 x 8 days = 13336. Yay!
Found this fantastic picture of a mermaid. It personifies the look I want for Jaden, my mermaid of Aquilonia. Unfortunately it is copy right protected so I can't post it here. However I can share an excerpt with you.
Here is a little excerpt of Aquilonia:
Chapter Two Aquilonia
Jaden slapped her tail in the water again. She sat on a boulder near the beach of a deserted island. Landers generally were not a problem but sometimes they tried to capture mermaids. Jaden never understood the desire of landers to own a mermaid. Away from water she had legs like the landers. Yet the land dwellers seemed to think owning a mermaid was somehow magical.
This island had no landers on it. Jaden had explored the island on foot time and time again. She learned about the food and the animals that existed on land. Today she stayed on the boulder near the beach. Today she wanted the satisfaction of slapping her tail in the water.
She smacked the large fin at the end of her tail on the water. Tiny fish scattered. Crabs no bigger than her finger nail dodged into their tiny holes.
“How could my father dismiss me like that? He treated me like a child,” Jaden said to no one particular. She wanted to vent but she didn’t want the entire ocean to know she was having a temper tantrum. “Imagine my embarrassment when he told me, in front of the entire court, that I was picking up someone’s nightmares. That this Emperor Khai had been kidnapped two years ago and nothing I dreamt about him mattered.” Jaden picked up a small crab and stuffed it in her mouth. Her teeth crunched the shell that satisfied more than her hunger. “I am not a child. I am at the age of joining. I’ve seen twenty-five years.”
Jaden looked at her reflection in the water as it calmed around her tail. Her long hair reached to mid-tail. When she had legs her hair came to mid-thigh. Green tresses with blond and red highlights she decorated her hair with shells and coral. Her princess crown made of pearls encircled her forehead. Her lips were full with a slight green tint. Her eyes were golden with long lashes. Green with gold accents covered her eyelids. High cheekbones and a long slender neck completed the image she saw in the water.
Jaden sighed. She was indeed the age of joining. Soon her father will find a prince in another undersea kingdom and marry her off. She would be joined with some scaly tailed merman who probably blew bubbles while he slept.
“Old enough to be joined and still dismissed as a child,” Jaden huffed. She dove into the water. She had to talk to her father. She had to let him know that she was not a child. She was an adult and a dreamer. She should be treated like an adult and with the respect a dreamer deserves.
First, she would swim until her anger wore off and she could talk to her father in a calm, adult manner.
Jaden propelled herself as fast as she could go. She didn’t pay attention where she went. She just paid attention enough to keep from running into rocks, and other sea creatures. She headed out to sea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maureen Fisher's Virtual Book Tour

Welcome Maureen Fisher, Author of The Jaguar Legacy on this step of her Virtual Book Tour.
Thank you, Maureen for stopping by. In the last few days we have learned a little about you, and enjoyed learning about The Jaguar Legacy.
Today you are here for an interview.

So Let's get started.

1. If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?

I gave this question considerable thought before answering, and came to the happy conclusion that I wouldn’t change anything. Nada. Not one painful, gut-wrenching moment of despair; not one beginner’s mistake (and I made every one of them in the book and then some, but oh, how I learned and grew!), and not one glorious, miraculous moment of triumph. I must admit, though, that looking back at the bright and sunny June morning in 2002 when I made the fateful decision to hang up my hat as a management consultant to write romance, I had no concept of what lay ahead.

2. What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?

I think the best advice was, “Never edit your first draft while you are writing it. Get the thing written, THEN you’ll have something to edit.” I’m still trying to master this one, and finally broke down and told my critique partners that they won’t be seeing any more of my next manuscript until I have reviewed and edited it and am ready to unveil it for critique. Another great piece of advice was, “Eat chocolate.”

3. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533 - 1603). She was one of the most powerful women in history, and her story has always fascinated me. A decisive ruler during a time known as The Golden Age, Elizabeth negotiated the slippery slope of male-dominated politics with ease, dealing ruthlessly with any opposition. Despite the fact that she might lop off my head, I would love to ask her about the personal stuff -- for example: Did you love your daddy, Henry VIII, in spite of the fact that he executed your mom, Anne Boleyn? Do you have any issues around being locked in the Tower of London by your sister? Why did you never marry? Is it because of physical deformities in the, ahem, most private areas of your body as some claim, fear of childbirth, or merely a desire to avoid male dominance? Do you feel any guilt over killing off Mary Queen of Scots, your cousin and main rival to the throne? Were you really a virgin when you died or did you indulge in at least one mad, passionate affair?

4. If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?

It’s a toss-up. Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum because I think she’s a hoot and Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser because he’s the most sympathetic hero I have ever encountered -- I guess I prefer Beta males with Alpha moments. And he’s hot. And he’s not afraid to show his emotions. And he knows how to pleasure a woman, oh yeah.

5. In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?

I hope people will remember me for my humor, intelligence, strength, integrity, and insight into human nature. I hope they will say, “Maureen Fisher touched many lives. I wish I could be just like her.”

6. How do you balance your personal and writing time?

I have no idea how other authors manage to tend to young children, work outside the home, prepare gourmet dinners, and still crank out wonderful books between feedings and diaper changes. I salute these authors. I take my hat off to them. I’m jealous of their dedication. And consider myself blessed that I do not have a ‘day job’, other than my writing, to worry about.

My two sons are adults and long gone from the family nest, allowing me to focus most of my creative energy on writing. My husband respects my writing and is very good about giving me my space. He now understands (after many gentle and not-so-gentle hints) that any interruption breaks my train of thought, jolts me out of the story.
I try not to schedule any activities other than writing before noon, but this self-imposed schedule conflicts with my new bike riding regime. And coffee with friends. And doctors’ appointments. And household chores. Truth be told, if I am in the throes of writer’s block, which is most of the time during the first draft, morning writing conflicts with almost everything.

7. How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?

I generally start with a high level concept. The characters come next (using a character template), followed by the plot, though these tend to be iterative as the plot drives my characters’ back story and vice versa. For example, when beginning The Jaguar Legacy, I knew I wanted to write a story about a hunky archaeologist and smart-mouthed heroine, a lost city, and past life flashbacks triggered by the dig’s energy. Initially, I planned to set the story in Egypt, but changed the location to Mexico because my husband and I had recently visited Monte Alban, a Zapotec city built on top of ancient Olmec ruins. I settled on the Olmecs because they were an advanced race and so ancient that only a smattering of conflicting information exists. Archaeologists agree, however, that the Olmecs worshipped the jaguar and that the priests believed they could shape-shift into the jaguar. Hence, The Jaguar Legacy was conceived.

My second book started the same way -- with a high level concept. A newspaper article describing the Fur Ball, a hoity-toity charity extravaganza to raise money for the animal shelter, inspired Fur Ball Fever. Also, I wanted the book to take place in an upscale condominium complex on the Jersey Shore, a setting guaranteed to provide an unlimited supply of quirky characters doing outrageous things.

8. What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

The Jaguar Legacy is a paranormal romantic suspense, though I would call it more of a mystical romantic adventure, akin to Raiders of the Lost Ark with hot sex. An avid fan of romance ever since I laid hands on my first Barbara Cartland novel, I am a firm believer in reincarnation and past lives. Furthermore, archaeology has always fascinated me to the extent that, as a child, I wanted to be an archaeologist.

People tell me my voice lends itself to humor (though others claim this is debatable). Fur Ball Fever, a romantic suspense with comic elements, is the first-born in The Condo Capers mystery series. Hopefully many siblings will follow.

I also have a couple of great ideas for more paranormal romantic suspense novels and would love to write a women’s mainstream fiction. Some day, I might even write a how-to book on writing after I figure out how to do it properly.

9. Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?

I haven’t written many characters, but I must admit that the heroine of The Jaguar Legacy, Charley Underhill, is my favorite. While loving the flaws and foibles that make her human, I admire her complexity, spunk, and wit. Never boring, Charley is full of contradictions and more than a few hang-ups. And no wonder. An independent woman at heart, she has lived under the thumb of her manipulative and alcoholic mother her entire life. While honest and ethical, she sees no alternative but to tell a lie that nearly destroys her in order to save her mother’s life. Her passion for life bubbles over, while her tendency towards bossiness, rash actions, inquisitiveness, and mulish obstinacy trip her up at every turn. When feeling nervous, which happens a lot around Alistair Kincaid, she falls back on smart-assed comments, witticisms, and a quirky sense of humor to mask her discomfort. She will do anything in the world for her friends and is intensely loyal. Courageous and resolute, if she believes in a cause, nothing will stop her from doing what she feels is right. In the end, Charley finds within herself the strength of character to overcome emotional trauma, supernatural evil forces, and mind-numbing fear to save the man she loves.

10. If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?

The Jaguar Legacy would require a hunky dark-haired hero (Clive Owen playing a Scot) and a blonde woman with curly hair as the heroine (Scarlett Johansson).

I also like Josh Holloway and Dennis Quaid as male actors; Jennifer Anniston and Sandra Bullock as female actors.

11. What would you want readers to take away from your books?

Emotional healing is possible when denial is stripped away, and anything is possible, if only you have the courage to take a chance.

12. Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?

· Don’t give up because of rejections or stinging critiques. Keep on writing.
· Mistakes are inevitable. Every writer makes them. Learn from your mistakes and keep on writing.
· Send that manuscript out. I was amazed at the number of authors who won’t submit their manuscript to an agent, editor, or contest because they fear criticism.
· Pitch your book at every opportunity. Practice first on a fellow writer.
· Eat chocolate and keep on writing.

13. Where can readers buy a copy of your book?

The Jaguar Legacy is available at Borders and Barnes & Noble, though you may have to order it online. It is also available at or

14. What other projects are you working on right now?

My next book is a comic romantic suspense, Fur Ball Fever, the first salvo in the Condo Capers Mystery Series.

Whirlwind action alternates between the seamiest side of Atlantic City and an upscale Jersey Shore condominium complex called Saltwater Village, proud sponsor of a hoity-toity pet charity extravaganza called The Fur Ball.

Sporting a dwindling bank account, an overwhelming debt load, and her family’s censure for a lifetime of impetuous mistakes, renegade Grace Donnelly faces catastrophe. Her family poodle, last year’s Fur Ball winner, disappears, the apparent victim of a dastardly dog-napping. How can she launch her new career as private investigator if word of her incompetence spreads? Unless she nails the perp, Grace faces not only the loss of her furry companion, but also the humiliation of failure and bankruptcy when yet another career bites the dust.

Grace’s suspicions focus on several candidates: a neighbor’s trophy wife, a slick televangelist, and her former flame, Nick Jackson, finest PI east of the Rockies. Her persistent investigation nearly blows his cover in his quest to nail the phony preacher whose corruption killed his twin. Unable to save his brother’s life during Desert Storm, Nick finds himself re-living his worst fears when confronted with Grace’s rash actions. To salvage his case, his sanity, and Grace’s skin, Nick sees no choice but to join forces with the sassy crusader who rubs him the wrong way -- and so many of the right ways.

Locked in an uneasy alliance, their joint investigation leads the reluctant couple into unexpected romance against a wacky backdrop of animal politics, drag queens, a dominatrix or two, the swinging scene, and a fascinating underworld of fetishism and bondage. The two cases converge in a zany roller-coaster ride of murder and mayhem, culminating in a Fur Ball extravaganza the locals will never forget.

Thanks so much for dropping by Maureen. And good luck with The Jaguar Legacy and your latest book Fur Ball Fever.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Jaguar Legacy - A Synopsis

Title of Book: The Jaguar Legacy

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Lachesis Publishing

Publication Date: March, 2007

The Jaguar Legacy

Ancient Danger Stalks the Jungle on Velvet Paws…

What if she had lived before? What if she had created a legacy of betrayal that spanned several millennia? What if passion could heal her soul and love could release her from bondage?

THE JAGUAR LEGACY is a vivid story of romance and humor, peril and suspense, betrayal and trust, healing and absolution.

Despite baffling panic attacks that devastated her career, journalist Charley Underhill barges in on a Mexican archaeological dig, bent on sniffing out a juicy exposé that will restore her reputation and earn enough money for her mother’s life-saving treatment. Haunted by past betrayals, Dr. Alistair Kincaid isn’t about to let a smart-mouthed reporter leak word of his latest discovery, an ancient Olmec city, to the press. A battle of wills and wits ensues. Strands from a past life intertwine with the present, drawing the couple into a vortex of chilling evil. Torn between redeeming her soul and betraying the man she loves, Charley faces impossible choices.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Meet Maureen Fisher, Author of Jaguar Legacy

Maureen Fisher will be stopping by on November 6, Tuesday. She will be here as part of her Virtual Book Tour which is sponsored by Pump Up Your Online Promotion.

Her book Jaguar Legacy is available at I will post a synopsis tomorrow.

But today, I'd like to let you meet the author.

The skirl of bagpipes still brings a tear to Maureen’s eye. An only child torn from her beloved Scotland by well-meaning parents at age seven, she sailed to Canada where she immersed herself in the imaginary world of books for ten years, surfacing only to eat and attend school. Unfurling her wings at the University of Toronto, she studied Fine Art between social engagements. Shortly after graduation, her first marriage precipitated a move to Ottawa where she succeeded in convincing the federal government to hire a Fine Arts specialist as a computer programmer. After a rocky start in the world of bits and bytes, she discovered bridge, downhill skiing, and women’s canoe trips.

Three years later, Maureen graduated again, this time to full-time homemaker and mom, raising two wonderful sons, orchestrating countless dinner parties, playing bridge, and reading romance novels. Eight years later, she plunged back into the business world to start a thriving management consulting business in partnership with her second husband. This marriage survived because she and her husband pledged never to work on the same project again. Ever.

After a century in the consulting world, Maureen grew weary of wearing snappy power suits, squeezing into panty hose, and fighting rush hour traffic. She still didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up, but was certain it wasn’t a consultant. An avid fan of romantic suspense, she announced to her husband, “I’m going to write a book.” After a five-day course, she quit her day job, rolled up her sleeves, and started to write. Fifteen rejections, six tons of chocolate, and ninety-five re-writes later, Lachesis Publishing acquired her prizewinning paranormal romantic suspense and first book, The Jaguar Legacy.

Between trips, Maureen and her husband live in Ottawa where she volunteers for an addiction family program, plays bridge, and slaves several hours a day over her computer to improve her writing skills.

Word count and excerpt of Saturday's work

Word count Saturday was miserable only 584. Here is what I wrote:“As I said, we have to have all the stones. Since Tina found the ruby, we should be able to get the stones from the pastor, so that is no problem.
“The Guardians can heal Bel. They can not bring someone back from near death. Bel,” Claren swallowed hard. “That is where Bel’s condition stands. He is near death. The Guardians also can’t stop Chaoun without Bel and the twenty-fifth Guardian. It has to be a full complement, all of them, all twenty-four plus one more.
“Since I am now Ancient,” Claren looked at the confused looks of Daniel and Tina. She half-shrugged. “Panniyah’s blood has added another chain of DNA to my makeup. I am a carrier of every specie’s DNA know to Cruento.
“Anyway, I am crucial to the Guardians in their effort to bring Bel back to health. Once Bel is healed then the Guardians and the twenty-fifth Guardian,” Claren continued.
“You mentioned the twenty-fifth Guardian several times. Who or what is that?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t know. Aintin said that the twenty-fifth Guardian would be revealed in time.”
“So how does this all keep you from marrying me?” Daniel asked.
Claren took a deep breath.
“The constraints. Stupid rules that have to be followed and are so bizarre I don’t think they can be. That means Bel is going to die,” Claren shuddered as the tears tried to come out. She sniffled and wiped her eyes with the heel of her hand.
“For the Guardians to be able to use my genetic material to heal Belgretor I have to be married to him. To be married to Bel, I have to first be married to his brother. But the Guardians were all created at the same time, sort of like clones. As far as I know, Bel doesn’t have a brother.”
Daniel opened his mouth to speak. Claren raised her hand to stop him.
“There’s more. To marry Belgretor I have to be introduced to the Guardians by my mother and I have to have permission from the Spirit of Cruento but Krisiries can’t be in both roles.”
“Krisiries?” Tina asked.
“Remember how we used to joke about being aliens since we never really fit in?” Claren asked. Tina nodded. “Seems I am an alien. Krisiries is my biological mother. I’m an alien and also a centaur. Yeah, the half-horse kind of centaur.
“Once everything is in place and assuming that Chaoun has not dismembered our universe, then the Guardians will find their twenty-fifth counterpoint and destroy Chaoun.
“If I had just told Geoffrey to stuff it and went home like Belgretor wanted, this would never be happening,” Claren said. She started crying. Daniel held her close and stroked her hair.
“It’s not as bad as you think,” Daniel began. “I am Belgretor’s blood brother. So was Jamros. Krisiries performed the ceremony.”
“Brother? I don’t understand. Why?” Claren asked looking intently at Daniel.
“We all love you. We couldn’t agree on who would court you. Being guys, the tendency was to fight it out over you. Bel rightly said that neither Jamros nor I would have a chance against him. Krisiries offered the solution. She said we could all have you, be married to you if we were brothers. Some Cruentoan law made it legal.”
“The dreams?” Claren said breathless.
Daniel pulled Claren close. He crushed her mouth to his. Claiming her with his tongue, Daniel cupped her breast with his hand unmindful of the young woman sitting beside them.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Word Count and Maureen Fisher

Word Count and Maureen Fisher
NaNoWriMo Word Count for Friday was 2179 making the word total 3750.

Now to other business. Maureen Fisher, author of Jaguar Legacy will be visiting here at and at on her Virtual Book Tour on November 6. Drop by and learn why Joyfully Reviewed said this about Jaguar Legacy:
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The Jaguar Legacy, September 3, 2007
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M. Nix "Joyfully Reviewed" - ..>..>Charley Underhill is an investigative journalist trying to get the inside scoop on Dr. Alistair Kincaid's archeological dig. Charlie needs the money the article will provide to help get treatment for her mother. When she finds Kincaid though, the extremely handsome Scotsman wants her gone, and fast. Kincaid has his hands full with two beautiful women and he's stuck with them for a while, but when his attraction to Charlie gets too strong to ignore, he decides he wants her to stay a little longer. Charlie suffers from panic attacks that seem more like memories. As she starts to figure them out, she discovers something pretty unbelievable about herself. There is a dangerous connection between Charlie and the dig site, and it's growing greater by the minute. In The Jaguar Legacy , the romance is terrific and the jaguar legacy is intriguing. I love Kincaid and Charlie together. Aside from a part of the story that was left unfinished, The Jaguar Legacy is very good and it has great characterization as well. Nannette Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed