Thursday, November 30, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by Norman Vincent Peale

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 

Norman Vincent Peale



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Leena from Deadly Seven

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

I am Leena, a shifter who can transform into a white wolf. I have been able to do so since the age of eleven. I was born in a valley nestled between the Steep-tips Peak Mountains. After I lost my family, other shifters took me to live in the desert, Hell’s Ridge, for safety. I have fiery red hair and am built for endurance running with lean muscles and keen green eyes. I desire nothing more than for myself and my family to survive and thrive without having to glance for our shoulders for the humans, hunting us.

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What do you like to do in your spare time?

What little spare time I have is spent with my three-year-old daughter, Tinga. In the evenings, as the sun begins to set in Hell’s Ridge, I take the child outside for a chance to unwind and play.

What is your favorite color and why?

My favorite color is red. My mother knit me a red doll as a child and though I have lost both her and the doll, the color brings me back to happier times.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Elk with a little wild honey drizzled over the top. Elk rarely ventures outside the Denovian forest and bees are scarce.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I tend to believe I am bigger and more powerful than I actually am. It gets me into altercations and I don’t often emerge unscathed.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Fratricide, homicide and genocide are all acceptable if it saves the majority.
                       
“I make no apologies or fabrications of remorse,” Valyrik declared, “Many died, Yes. But to make a nation stronger, sometimes culling is necessary.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Keeping my people alive is the most important thing. I have lied and killed to protect them. When necessary, I have sacrificed myself.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I am loyal to my people, but I want to believe the humans still possess goodness in their hearts.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I would tell my creator, as much as I want to protect my people, I thought maybe I could redirect the king and his plans. I believe in him and his long-term goals.

***





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Mountain by Charles G. Thompson


If you are looking for a book on mountaineering, this is not your read. In, The Mountain, I will be sharing experiences about the mountains or challenges we all face daily. I chose the cover photo because it is a favorite of mine and Jeanne’s. It was taken by an old inexpensive digital pocket camera balanced on a rock, using the camera’s timer. We had just come from a shelter above Zermatt, Switzerland and crested a hill when this scene came into view. The date was September 10, 2001. We had no communication with the outside world. There were no phones, no computers, no mail service until we were in Vernaza, Italy the next afternoon. Where were you on 9/11?

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HOW I CAME TO WRITE THIS BOOK

My name is Chuck Thompson. I am retired, have been married 45 years, and am the father of 3 wonderful children. I am a grandfather to one special grandson – Damien.
The reason for writing this book began with a drastic health change. I had been a poster child of good health all of my life. I was active and full of energy. I probably ate a little too much chocolate or chips, but my diet was pretty good.
One morning in April 2015, I experienced a tingling on my left side. After a quick trip to the University of Utah Hospital to check my heart I was released as very healthy. A month later I was in Minnesota visiting my 93-year-old father and had a seizure in the hotel room. My sister, Judy, called a friend and Judy’s husband, Dennis, drove me to Memorial hospital which specializes in Nero medical issues. They did a CT scan and finally a MRI. The doctor came in with a serious look on her face.
“Mr. Thompson, I believe we found your problem, you have two brain tumors.”
A neurosurgeon came in and said he would do a biopsy.
“Why the heck not?” I responded.
He did his best to prepare me for the procedure. Until then I thought an electric drill and small sample would do the trick. Little did I know. I called a good friend who is a radiologist in Salt Lake City. He said when you come home bring your scans. Jeanne had to accompany me home on the plane the next day. My thinking was semi clear; I drove, but I couldn’t figure out simple equations like counting change. 

MOLE HILLS AND MOUNTAINS

Sunday evening, a couple of days after my diagnosis and with scans in hand, Jeanne and I went to the doctor’s home and while sitting in his dining room listened to his evaluation. It was quiet, as the Doctor manipulated his computer.
“Chuck this is bad, really bad,” he said. “You will die from this. In fact, this is what killed another friend of ours about a year ago.”
I was stunned, and felt like I had a death sentence pronounced upon me. Here was a good friend, an expert, telling me I now had a death sentence. About all I could think to say was, “Any other good news Doc?”
There was no good news but there were many hugs and tears that evening.
I had been a Mormon bishop at the Utah State Prison for 5 years and was over maximum security. Some of the men had death sentences, some would be in prison for life. Now I knew what it felt like to get a death sentence!
My doctor friend made a few phone calls and two days later I was sitting in the waiting room of the neurosurgeon who would do my biopsy. He was fantastic and very thorough. He explained what the biopsy operation would be like. It was way more complicated than I ever imagined. It would involve 4 hours of surgery and another 4 hours to analyze the tumor.
I awoke right away (apparently, I sat up during the surgery and ranted about a past scout camp; it shocked everyone in the operating room) and once semi-conscious I found myself in a room with many machines, lights, and buzzers. I was in intensive care with a nurse 100% of the time. I saw myself in the mirror with a new look. One side of my head was shaved and 16 staples held a circular part of my skull about the size of a golf ball in place. I had no pain, but quickly found out I was in for no rest for the next few days. My one tumor (probably the one causing the seizures) had been removed and the other one was inoperable. Both were stage 4 and would require chemo and radiation.
The next week I escaped with Jeanne to the parking lot to view fireworks in the valley. The Huntsman Center is about 1,000 feet above the valley. We loved it until several nurses came for us to get me back to my room. I came home three days later looking like Frankenstein; everyone was interested in my staples.
In fact, the next day a good friend and I met with our attorney general and chief of staff to discuss transitioning inmates. The meeting went well and I imagine both of them wondered what I had been up to. I said nothing; no reason to pull the “cancer card”.
My new mountain was not a “mole hill”, but a big chunk of rock. I had decisions to make. I have climbed many mountains, but this one was going to take spiritual strength to conquer.



    Monday, November 27, 2017

    AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Eliza Crosby

        Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

    I started writing in High school for Honors English assignments, then I wrote for the school literary magazine. I was always a closet writer, but once I started having kids, I realized I needed a creative outlet and something to focus my stresses on. Writing just came to me, and I fell in love with it.


     How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

    I    I usually write when everyone has gone to bed. It’s quiet, and I’m not being asked questions every two minutes. I may have to stay up late to do it, but I really get my best writing and stories late at night.

           How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

    I use my laptop, and I usually write in my bed. I like my space there. It’s comfy and I think best in my spot. I can’t concentrate sitting in a hard chair. Sometimes I can write on the couch, but not often. Best times to write are during a rainstorm. Or three in the morning. If I get an idea I use whatever is handy, whether it’s my phone, a small notebook, I have even used a gum wrapper before.

    What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
              
    My favorite part of writing is seeing it all play out in my head. It’s like having a movie play in my head, and then seeing where it goes. I may come up with a great scene, but my characters often take it someplace else, and the adventure just gets better.

    My least favorite part, cutting stuff out, or editing. It’s like making a soufflĂ©, they can’t all be perfect. You take so much time making it, and you only know if it turned out at the very end. Hoping that the middle doesn’t fall. Because if the middle falls, then the whole thing is ruined. I want it to come out perfect but it’s going to take a few tries to get there. And the sweet reward is the finished product, and even just one person coming to me and saying they loved my book, or can’t wait for another.

             How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

    That’s a loaded question. To keep it simple the story was always there. It just took years of growing up to get it into what it is now, a book. My family is from Minersville, Utah. I have a lot of stories from my family and relatives from there, and I had my very own adventures there growing up. I always imagined ghosts roaming the streets of the town and a love story there. It took me two years to really complete my first published novel. It was my story, and I needed it to stay that way.

    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
                
    I use social media, to promote my writing. It’s not much, but for a mom of four, with a separate full-time job outside of writing, I can’t do much more than that. But I write because I love it. Not for the money, or fame, or any of that stuff. I do it because I just want my stories to get out into the world. So, I try to keep it simple and do it in my time.

    What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

    I just released a middle-grade book this last spring. The Eyeball Mysteries. About a boy with a mechanical prosthetic eye and he solves mysteries and goes on pirate adventures. Like a Goonie type book. I am working on a few projects, but with my job and kids, it’s been hard to get back to it.

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    Amazon
    Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
                
    I do have a few, I have a book that I started a few years ago and wanted to finish. about a storm chaser that gets swept away to OZ. It’s something that I really want to finish, but another book that was similar to it got published by someone around the time I was writing it, so I got discouraged and stopped writing it. I hope to at least finish it for myself one day.

    What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

    Talent has little to do with it. It’s all about passion, motivation and a love for the art of writing. Talent is only a small piece of it, but really if you want to write do it. Don’t let anything stop you. Just sit down and start writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning the middle or the end. We all start somewhere.

    ***
    A Question for Kathryn:

    Authors usually ask each other the same question, how do you do it? How do you find the time? How do you not get distracted? And how do you not get discouraged when 99% of the time it’s already been written, or how do you make it different?

    The subject you have decided to write about, the time period, perhaps even the main character you have chosen, may be just like a character another author has created, but only you can share it in in your voice. You have your own way of putting things together on paper, and it's up to you to share your voice no matter what else has already been written.

    I make the time for writing. I treat writing like a job because it is. Yes, writing is a job I like, but it needs to be treated beyond a hobby. I also write when it's the quietest in the house; that's the mornings for me. I also get away as often as I can away from home and write without the usual distractions; i.e., dishes, laundry, folks dropping by for an unannounced visit, and things like that. I find I can really get the pages done when I'm away from home. 









    Saturday, November 25, 2017

    Small Business Saturday: Who are you supporting?

    For those of you who don't know, my husband and I have our own small business, it's called Idea Creations Press



    Not only do we publish my own books through this company, we also publish 22 other authors who are currently with us.

    Maybe you're next.

    Or maybe you're interested in trying out one of my books. (Two of them are FREE today).

    Today is Small Business Saturday, and, whatever you do, I hope you'll shop at a small business today and show your support. It can be tough out there, competing with the big stores like Walmart. And it can be satisfying for a small business to know that you haven't forgotten about them, whether they sell books or something else.

    Thank You!

    Kathryn






    Friday, November 24, 2017

    Conquer Your Goliaths this Black Friday

    I don't know about you, but I used to stand in the long line of my favorite department store the morning after Thanksgiving.

    It was cold and unbelievably tiresome.

    Once I asked a lady in front of me why she was waiting in line at 5 a.m. 

    "Socks," she said.

    I couldn't believe it, but then I could. 

    I'd been coming to these Black Friday events for years, standing in line with my daughters, and sometimes with friends or family members. There was something about racing for the deals and getting to them before someone else did that I found exciting. 

    Maybe I'm getting old, but, nowadays I prefer staying indoors to do my shopping. It's warmer, not nearly as tiresome, and I can take a nap if I want to.

    That being said, some of the joy is missing. I don't get to talk to anyone in line or buy a cup of cocoa to warm me up. Like buying a real Christmas tree, you lose a little when you by the fabricated kind.

    Still...

    There's the warmth.

    I suppose I'm going to vie for warmth again this year. How about you?

    If you decide to stay inside, or if you're in one of those long lines at your favorite department store, you might just want to take a moment and order something for free. I may not be able to help you conquer the long lines and cold hands, but I will more than likely be able to help you out with those other unmentionables. Those things most of us keep hidden.

    God knows what they are and so do we. And he will help us with those things, whatever they are. Things like listening and trusting in Him. Being optimistic even when things are the darkest. Keeping that tenacious spirit; never giving up, and being constant with Him, no matter what anyone else says or does that we may not like.


    Here's where you can get it: Amazon 





    Thursday, November 23, 2017

    THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving! FREE books!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of my writer and reader friends!

    Today through Cyber Monday, get Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones FREE. 


    Get The Feast: A Parable of the Ring, FREE beginning the 25 - that's Small Business Saturday!


    Both of these books may just help you through the holiday season! Start Conquering Your Goliaths on Thanksgiving, and continue the saga of Ms. Virginia Bean on Saturday. Both books are short, uplifting, and motivating. Just what you need!

    You may just want to take a look at the final book in the series, and prepare yourself for the best Christmas ever!



    Tuesday, November 21, 2017

    TUESDAY TRAILERS: Give some love this Thanksgiving


    Monday, November 20, 2017

    AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Rebecca Howie

    Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

    I’ve always, always loved stories, and the first time I can remember writing for fun was when I was at a friend’s party when I was maybe six or seven, and there was a notepad in with the cake and balloons and plastic toys that made up the party favours, and I had this compulsion to write in it.

    That compulsion to fill up blank pages is still the same, although my approach to writing has changed massively.

    How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

    I’ve long since given up trying to schedule my writing time because schedules make writing feel more like a chore than something I’m doing for fun, and being on the clock makes it harder for me to get anything done because I’m worried about how little time I have left.

    I’m more productive when I have a whole day ahead of me and nothing else to do because it gives me the chance to go back to my laptop if I’m feeling inspired.

    How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

    I write in my bedroom, on my laptop, but if I’m plotting or get ideas for scenes, I use paper.
      
    What's your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite part of writing?

    My favourite part of writing is easily coming up with stories. I love starting with one character and building a whole world from nothing and making all the pieces fit together.
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    at Amazon

    My least favourite part is definitely the editing, although writing the blurb is a close second.

    How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

    I’d written versions of Sam and Marshall before I started The Game Begins, and versions of the story which I eventually published, so when I decided to seriously consider publishing a book, I already had some idea of what it was going to be about.

    It helped a lot that I roughly knew where the story was going and what was going to happen, and because I already had that head start with the characters and the first few chapters, it only took me around three months to finish the first draft.

    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

    I’ve tried a bit of everything since publishing my book, but social media has been the most fun for me. I love meeting new writers and hearing their stories and the things they’ve overcome to get their books published, and it works for getting me interested in other people’s works instead of all those ‘buy my book’ tweets that pop up on occasion.

    What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

    I’m working on the sequel to The Game Begins, which is called A Woman Scorned. It isn’t the first sequel I’ve ever worked on, but it’s certainly the hardest.

    Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

    I have a few projects I switch between when I can’t write AWS, but there’s none I’m in any particular hurry to finish.

    What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

    Keep reading and writing. Reading is like a practice marathon before the real thing, and writing every day even if you don’t feel like it, is how you’re going to grow as a writer and develop your unique voice.

    ***
    A Question for Kathryn

    Have you ever thought about giving up writing and doing something else?

    No, though I'm also interested in interior design and gardening. Writing, for me, is like breathing. I wouldn't forget to breathe on a particular day, and that same day I wouldn't forget to write.

    ***







    Saturday, November 18, 2017

    Last Day of the Battlecreek Boutique!

    What treasures are you missing out on?




    Friday, November 17, 2017

    FRIDAY FLICKS: Battlecreek Boutique

    My Newest Book

    Thursday, November 16, 2017

    Battlecreek Boutique - Day 2

    Come and see the awesomeness at Battlecreek Boutique!

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Matilda Moore from The Matilda Effect

    Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)


    My name is Matilda Moore. I am 12 years old and live in Arnos Yarm, which is in boring old Canterbury. I am an inventor and love designing and building things that I have come up with. I’m working on getting an international patent for my latest design. I mean business, you see.




    What do you like to do in your spare time?


    Draw and invent and draw and invent and maybe invent some more. There’s not much time left for anything after that. Oh, I do like reading autobiographies of famous inventors and scientists, though. 
    I’ve just finished one on Marie Curie.


    What is your favorite color and why?


    Silver, because it reminds me of metal.


    What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?


    Pizza! I like it hot, hot, hot. I do NOT like vegetable pasta bake. (See below.)


    What would you say is your biggest quirk?


    I’ve known I’ve wanted to be an inventor for years and the international patent for my design is going to cost thousands of pounds and I don’t get any pocket money, but Mum and Dad give me £3 for school dinners, so I buy vegetable pasta bake which is the cheapest thing on the school menu at £1.30 and I save the £1.70 for my international patent. I’ve been eating vegetable pasta bake for six months now and probably have another three years of it before I’ve saved up enough.


    What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? 


    Well, my Granny was a scientist back in the 1960s and she discovered a brand new planet. But her boss, Professor Smocks, claimed that HE discovered it and everyone believed him and not my granny because there weren’t many female scientists back then and Professor Smocks was really respected. And in two days time, he’s about to be awarded a Nobel Prize for Granny’s achievement. So it annoys me that he’s lied to everyone and that Granny and I have to somehow get all the way to Sweden to gatecrash the Nobel Prize ceremony and tell everyone the truth.


    What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?


    I was really close to my Grandad Wilf because he was the one who got me into inventing. We would visit my grandparents every Sunday and I’d spend hours in Grandad Wilf’s shed, cutting and drilling metal and doing my woodwork. But he died a few months ago and I’d give anything to get him back again. The world feels a bit greyer without him in it.


    What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?


    That I’m actually really funny. I tell really good jokes. Except I’m quite serious in the book because justice is a serious business!


    If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?


    Maybe – maybe just once – I could have a vegetable pasta bake free day.


    ***

    A Question for Kathryn: 

    Do you like ALL your characters? Even the bad ones? Can you understand where they’re coming from?

    Great question! Yes, I like all of my characters because each of my characters teaches me about life. We need both the good and the bad characters anyway to carry a story forward. I think of my own life. Would I have been able to move forward and improve if not for those less than great people helping me out?

    Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    In a pickle? Come to the Battlecreek Boutique

    Get the best Gifts for Christmas at the Battlecreek Boutique event!

    I would love to see you!


    I will be signing my books all four days!

    Monday, November 13, 2017

    AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Ellie Irving

    Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

    I’m 36 and currently live in London. I wrote my first story aged 7 because I was obsessed with Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote and asked my parents for a typewriter for Christmas. The first story I wrote was a rubbish murder mystery but I enjoyed writing and kept at it. I studied broadcasting at University, worked in TV for a while and then enrolled on an MA in Screenwriting in 2007. On the course, I wrote a feature film that I then turned into a children’s book – For the Record – which (after many rejections) was published in 2011.


    Get the Book at Amazon
    How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

    I’m lucky in that I can write full time, so if I’m not on a school visit, it’s a writing day. I’ll aim for a word count of 1500 a day, but also maybe spend time researching the subject I’m writing. Though normally that leads to me whiling away hours on YouTube…

    How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

    When I’m in the initial stages of plotting and planning and just thinking about what the story’s about, I’ll use a notepad and pen. I like mind maps – thinking of the title or keywords to do with the theme I want to write about and explore from there. I’ll then write a 4-5 page synopsis of the story on my laptop, before sitting down to write the first draft, which I also do on my laptop. I prefer a laptop to the computer as it’s portable. I like spending time writing at the Royal Festival Hall or the National Theatre, or even just my local Costa. I like getting out and about most days.

    What's your favorite part of writing? Your least favorite part of writing?


    My favourite part of writing is playing around with the initial idea. Once I’ve got the germ of what the story’s going to be about, I love thinking about all the different directions it could take. At this point, it’s the best idea ever and a guaranteed bestseller! My least favourite part is when I sit down to write the first draft because getting to the end is like pulling teeth and I realise that the book is never going to match the perfect idea that I have in my head. But you get through that – get to the end of your first draft and then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. It’ll come good again.

    How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

    I’m obsessed with space and often bore my husband with facts about meteors while he’s trying to watch the football. I’ve wanted to write a story about space for years. As I was researching the theme, I discovered a lady called Jocelyn Bell Burnell. She was an astrophysicist in the 1960s and was the very first person in the world to discover radio pulsars. Her boss used her findings in his own research and went on to win the Nobel Prize for it. Jocelyn Bell Burnell did not. So I wanted to write about this injustice. I decided to broaden the scope of the story from space to science and inventing, and thus the character of Matilda was born.

    To give an idea of how long it took – I came up with the idea for the story in September 2015, wrote the synopsis in November 2015 and the book was published in July 2017. So all that time!

    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

    As well as the normal outreach to schools about visits where I can promote the book (and The Matilda Effect plays well in schools, being all about STEM and promoting girls in STEM, too) I’ve done a couple of science festivals, have written articles in magazines, had national newspapers pick The Matilda Effect as a top read, and used social media and bloggers to help spread the word.

    What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

    At this point in time, I’m currently working on a book for a slightly younger age range, 7-9s. I’m halfway through the first draft at the moment, so there’s still a long road ahead.

    Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

    As well as writing books for children, I have an idea for an adult novel and a play that I’d like to pursue at some point. It’s just a matter of finding the time to write everything!

    What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

    I sought out a network of like-minded individuals – a writer’s group – who would offer support and constructive feedback upon reading my work. I’d recommend joining a local writer’s group and asking for feedback. BUT – you don’t have to agree with everything someone tells you; remember, it’s YOUR story. Hold on to the essence of what you want to write – remember why you started writing the story in the first place. And remember that EVERY SINGLE PUBLISHED AUTHOR will have had (multiple) rejections before they became published. So keep going!

    ***


    A Question for  Kathryn:

    I have a question about research – how important do you think it is for your story? Or is just using your imagination enough?

    I remember when I was working on my first mystery. My editor told me that I should never guess on something, but should look it up. Someone was bound to discover the falsehood if I didn't. Sure, using your imagination is great, but in a mystery, you need to know how people really die, and if this poison or this murder weapon will work for your story. If you're writing a fantasy, you need to know if the planet you've created will work with the light source you've envisioned. You need to know about the setting, backwards and forwards. If you don't know about the place you're writing about, research is needed. And in nonfiction, you need to research the topic to make sure you've covered everything. You need to make sure that what you've written is accurate, and that you have sourced everything you end up using.

    ***
    www.ellieirving.com

    Twitter: @Ellie_Irving


    Friday, November 10, 2017

    FRIDAY FLICKS: Visions of a Dream


    Get the Book at Amazon

    Thursday, November 9, 2017

    THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY from James Allen



    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    You're Invited to a Book Signing at...