Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Real Heroes Day

thank you AOL Greetings for the sentiment. This is a father's day card, but since there are so many non-father heroes out there I wanted to send this out to everyone who makes a difference in a child's life. Thanks again AOL.

PS. my novel Prophecy of Vithan is coming out August 2. Only a month and one half away.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Choices Meant For Gods

Wow! Watch out and read the book. Sandy Lender and a Sword.

Have you read the questions from her Virtual Blog Tour just below??? Add you comments too.


1) Do you have a belief in certain spiritual things? (For instance, souls, nirvana, God, invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, or heaven.)
Love the flying spaghetti monster. Ohmigosh. When I found that, I sent the link to everyone I could think of…
But I definitely believe in God. I know that Jesus Christ is my personal savior and I am eternally grateful for that (otherwise, I'd be in a heap o' trouble).
2) Which of the following motivates you more to accomplish something? The prospect of fame or self-fulfillment.

Self-fulfillment is the big motivator. I don't want fame for myself: I want fame for Nigel and Chariss out of Choices Meant for Gods. I want to watch some talk show some day in the future and hear the host say, "Like Romeo and Juliet or Nigel and Chariss." Now, this will do one of two things to me: it will either make me burst into tears (very likely) or it'll send me into cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is probably best so I can die before I hear the audience say in crushing unison, "Who?"
3) Which of the following best describes you? And give us an example of how emotions or logic show up in your work.I am emotional and base my decisions and writing on feelings.
I am a thinker and I base my decisions and writing on logic and research.
Well, I'm a Gemini, so they both describe me to a "T". Seriously. In my day job, everything is based on the Vulcan way of thinking: what's logical? How can I back up this decision? But I'm very impatient (character flaw!) so I don't like to take a long time with research. I make gut-reaction decisions often, but they're gut-reaction decisions that are backed up with fast, find-this-and-figure-it-out-in-the-next-30-minutes kind of research, if that makes sense.

In my writing and personal life, decisions are made on an emotional basis, which is probably why my bank account weeps and I've been to 33+ Duran Duran concerts…

4) Tell me about a decision in your book that you made which was a bad one for your character. Did you keep the scene in the book or did you delete it?

I don't think any of the characters in Choices Meant for Gods make any bad decisions, really. They do things that are necessary and right, and I don’t fault any of them for the things they do. Now, the sequel is another story altogether…Toward the first third of Choices Made by Gods, the sequel to CMFG, Nigel Taiman makes a rash decision that will cost someone his or her life. It's very bad. I've left it in. It has to be there.

And Chariss and The Master Rothahn both make a horrible decision in the sequel as well. But, again, they have to. These are choices made by gods…

5) What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to writing?
I'm not sure if I'm going to answer this right, but I'll give it a shot here. A strength I have in writing is dialogue. I'm not going to pretend that I'm as good at it as Charlotte Bronte, but I learned from her. I've read her works and I wanted to emulate that style. A weakness I have in writing is probably using all those blasted adjectives. I over-describe stuff. Now, yeah, in epic fantasy, you have to describe things and explain just what the heck is going on—it's a world no one has seen before—but I have to edit myself A LOT before I turn stuff over to my publisher.

6) Describe a time when you had to sacrifice quality for a deadline, or vice versa. Would you try to extend a deadline to stay true to the quality of writing you aspire to?
In magazine publishing (my day job), you sacrifice for the deadline all the time, but I don't think we really sacrifice quality of writing. What usually suffers is the editing/proofreading. "Just send it," has come out of my mouth more than once when it's 11 p.m. and it's time to upload to the printer's ftp site. Extending deadlines is rarely an option in the professional world. Now, in book publishing, there are times you can morph the deadline schedule within the production schedule, but there's a drop-dead date for printing, and if you miss the window…ah…well…someone else's project goes on press in front of you because any time a press is quiet, that eerie sound of wind is the sound of the printing company's money going out the window…and they don't like that. So presses don't sit idle for long. If your project isn't ready to go on press when it's supposed to be there, they throw someone else's on and you get to wait for them to finish.

7) Tell me about a project you have been working on and how you organize your paperwork, chapters, writing goals, etc.
Right now the biggest project I've been working on is my online book tour. (I've already completed Book II of the Choices trilogy and I'm almost finished with Book III, so those are taking a back seat to promotion of Book I.) So I organized the tour down to every last anal-retentive detail.

When I'm working on a writing project, I don't typically outline chapters and I never set writing goals. The goal is to tell the story. Pow. My paperwork is sets and series of notebooks, notecards, sticky notes, and calendars with sticky notes on them so I can track where characters are and on what dates specific things happen. Now, for my vampire trilogy that I'm working on, things are more structured. I have what looks like an outline for the story-line and I have histories and descriptions written out in an orderly fashion for the characters (their character sketches), but this is a function of the muse, Caleb, who is a vampire, visiting and making those demands. He's quite meticulous and detail-oriented, which is fine. I think you have to be when your survival depends upon staying-alive-through-advanced-planning every time the sun rises—which is daily. It will drive me insane when I get started on the series in earnest.

8) Describe for me two improvements you have made in your writing in the past six months. Greater word count. More emotions. Better able to describe a character. Etc. What have you improved?
I think lesser word count would make my publisher happy…he'll be delighted when I send him Choices Made by Gods because it's only 120,000 words (currently…I'm not done editing stuff in), which is 150,000 less than CMFG started out with.

I think I've improved on punching up my action scenes. I don't know, really. They've always had the combo of short and long sentences to make flow "go," but I think I've given them more "hit." And that's important for Books II and III.

9) What aspect of your past books did you enjoy the most?
Chariss's sense of humor. I love it when she teases someone because it usually takes them a minute to realize she's just "got" them…

10) Now that we know you better, how can we buy your book Choices Meant for Gods?
My publisher's site gives a 25% discount, but you have to pay shipping. So Amazon has an option to get free shipping at
Thank you for hosting me at your site today, Charlene! Your note to me said these questions were "off-the-wall," but I thought they were refreshingly off-the-beaten-path. This was a fun interview. I'll check in later on to see what questions or comments I can answer from your visitors.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Virtual BlogTour Visit from Sandy Lender

Sandy Lender Says:

This is my pet and don't forget to come visit Monday June 11 for some fun questions on this leg of my Virtual Blog Tour.

Petri is a sun conure! He's vibrant and gorgeous (and I'm not biased at all). ;)
He taught himself to wave "goodbye" when I leave for work in the mornings. And we have a game called "I'm gonna get your toes" that we play when I'm being a bad mom and don't have time to get him out of the cage for a playdate that evening. I tell him I'm going to get his toes and he jumps up on the bars of the cage and clings to it so his toes are exposed to me, and I tickle when I pull my hand back, he pulls his whole body back...then I reach for his toes again and he puts his beak through the bars to lick my fingers...then we do this back and forth for a while, and he just squeaks and carries on like it's the grandest thing...I feel terrible because it's not really a replacement for getting to come out and play and flap around, but it's better than being ignored I guess.

He's going to be a star in June. We have his fledgling picture in the magazine I work for in the Healthy Pet column where we talk about making juices for birds.Powered by Qumana

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Prepare for Sandy Lender's visit June 11

Copied from USA Today magazine.

Fantasy Novelist Makes Splash With Choices Meant for Gods
From the blog:
Blogging Authors
Friday, June 01, 2007
Choices Meant for Godsby Sandy Lender
Choices Meant for Gods from ArcheBooks Publishing is the story of Amanda Chariss, a young lady who’s been on the run from a madman all her life. When she finally chooses to stand and fight, she discovers she’s wrapped in centuries of prophecy that demand she protect the very gods of her society.
None of the gods noticed when Chariss was born with the mark of The Protector. Now the story picks up when she and her wizard guardian seek shelter from a mad sorcerer in a household not just full of secrets and false hope, but watched by the god who will unwittingly reveal her role in an impending war.
Choices Meant for Gods is without a doubt the freshest most engaging high fantasy novel to come out in years. Jamieson Wolf, reviewer for Linear ReflectionsWhen an orphan sets aside a lifetime of running and fear to accept the responsibilities of guarding an arrogant deity, can she face the trials in the prophecies she uncovers? And will Nigel Taiman of her latest refuge dare to use his dragon heritage to bind her to his estate or to help her in her duty?
The novel is written in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien, a gentler Terry Goodkind, and a more mature David Eddings all rolled into one.
Author Sandy Lender is pleased to announce that she’ll be a panelist at Context 20 this Sept. 28-30 in Columbus, Ohio. She joins other science fiction, fantasy, anime, manga, poetry, and filking experts to speak on 1) researching things that don’t exist such as vampires, wizards, and dragons; 2) religion in SF/F; 3) a day in the life of an editor; and 4) E-publishing. Readers and fantasy aficionados interested in attending the con can get more information here.
About the AuthorNew author Sandy Lender breaks onto the writing scene with a high epic fantasy novel titled Choices Meant for Gods. She began writing stories as soon as she learned to string words together on the page.
As a child, Lender entertained the folks in her great grandmother’s apartment building in Southern Illinois with tales of squeaky spiders and mice picking berries, and then won awards with writing projects as she moved through the elementary and high school systems in the St. Louis area.
It was apparent that a career in journalism was her calling, and she found herself proofreading, editing, and (finally) writing for trade publications after she graduated from Truman State University in Missouri.
Now she writes in Southwest Florida where her love of sea turtles and all things related to the Gulf waters keeps her imagination growing. Her fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods is now available from ArcheBooks Publishing.
Reader may get information about grammar and writing from Sandy’s main blog.

Monday, June 4, 2007

June 11

Next Monday, June 11th, Sandy Lender will be here on a leg of her Virtual Blog Tour. I made up some questions she called really off-the-beaten-path questions. If you would like to participate in the tour - other than just reading - I would urge you to submit questions for Sandy (the stranger the moreinteresting). Submit them to in an email. I will send them to Sandy and she will answer them in the comment area of the blog. Sounds like fun? Sure, come join.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Friday, June 1, 2007

Helping Fellow Author LL Rucker

For the last few weeks I have been so busy promoting other's books that I had seriously neglected any promotion of my own novel, "Dark Ridge". Honestly, you can't sell a book that no one knows exists, right? Right. So, I am including a brief synopsis of "Dark Ridge" for your consideration. For those of you who are totally into love stories, or romances, then "Dark Ridge" might not be your cuppa, although there is some romance in the book. "Dark Ridge" is a drama, with a bit of history and suspense thrown in. I hope you all will consider it the next time you want to buy a book. To purchase a copy of "Dark Ridge" please go to,, or order it at any online book retailer or brick and mortar bookstores nationwide.


In 1948, the mountains of eastern Tennessee were peaceful, but undergoing signs of progress with the encroachment of the lumber mills. On a cool, crisp October morning, seventeen year old Lonnie Patterson and his younger brother, Bo stumble upon a nude and near dead young woman on the back side of Dark Ridge. That discovery sends the Patterson family and the rest of the residents of Dark Ridge into a nightmare of murder and insanity. Convinced that she must lie to protect herself from her father’s wrath, sixteen year old Molly Matthews lies to Sheriff Amos Quimby about the true identity of her attacker. She names Lonnie Patterson, and as sheriff, Amos has no choice but to arrest the terrified young man. But, Amos is certain that there is more to young Molly’s story and he sets out to prove Lonnie is innocent. Molly soon comes to regret her lie, and when she discovers she is pregnant, she decides the truth must come out. When she tries to tell her father that her attacker was not Lonnie Patterson, Harlan Matthews erupts into a furious rage and begins beating Molly. Mary, Harlan’s wife hurries to her daughter’s defense Harlan turns his brutality on her, beating her. Lying helpless on the floor, Mary watches in horror as Harlan once again turns his fury on her daughter. Terrified for her daughter’s life, and determined to put an end to the abuse Molly has suffered her entire life, Mary blurts out a dark secret. Harlan is stunned by the revelation of his wife. In a fury he races from the room only to return moments later with a gun. Calmly, he puts a bullet in Mary’s brain, and then turns the gun on a terrified Molly, who runs for her life, straight to Sheriff Quimby. Amos now has a murderer on the loose and he knows in his heart that Harlan has gone up to Dark Ridge, and Amos must face a blinding snow storm to try and stop the madman from killing again. Harlan begins his murderous rampage by killing Tip Preston, but his intended victim is Molly. Finding Molly at Granny Ketchum’s where Amos secreted her, Harlan holds the two terrified women at knife point. When Amos rushes in, gun in hand, his fingers are numb from the cold, and when the gun flies out of his hand, Harlan attacks. As the two men fight for their lives, Molly picks up Amos’ gun and pulls the trigger. When the sun finally rises, Dark Ridge and the folks who live there are forever changed.

I hope this synopsis has piqued your curiosity enough to want to buy the book. I am also looking for any reviews of this book, so if you buy it and read it, please drop me a line. If you hated it, say so, and if you loved it, hey that's a definite plus!!!

Thanks Y'all, LL Rucker

And remember that Sandy Lender will visit here on June 11 on a leg of her Virtual Blog Tour.