Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Love Hawaii? Get Sunny Side-Up

Sunny Side-Up may be on pre-order status, but if you've been waiting for part two of the Susan Cramer series, you just my want to pre-order your copy now!

The official release date is October 1, 2014, but don't be afraid to get your hands on something sunny side-up a bit early.

Get Sunny Side-Up at Amazon

Susan Cramer was desperately in need of a vacation, but not at the expense of another dead man. 

A leisurely vacation turns deadly when an old man falls dead at Susan's feet on the cruise ship Aloha. 

Was she some sort of death magnet? 

Maybe so. Maybe not. 

One thing was for sure. Through the lies, secrets, and surprises to be discovered on board and off, Susan will learn at least one important thing, and this thing called "love" will be something she wished had never followed her out to the high seas.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ASPIRING AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brenda D. Priddy from Daily Mayo

How long have you been writing? Why did you decide to write?

I've written all my life. One of my first completed stories I wrote when I was 7 years old. It was about a family of pegusi who went on a flying adventure together. It was thrown away long ago. That makes me sad.

I love writing because I get to share my experiences and feelings with others. Plus, creating new worlds is fun!

What makes you keeping going?

Well, as a professional writer/journalist, sometimes it’s the money. Other times, it’s the thrill of creating something that I think other people will enjoy.

What does your writing day look like? What do you do to study the craft?

My day consists of about three parts. In the morning, I do blogging for my book blog Daily Mayo. In the afternoon, I write my projects for any clients I am working for. I work with websites and companies to create online marketing materials and company blog posts. At night, it is time for me to work on my personal book projects.

I study writing by reading amazing books, following the blogs of writers I admire, and reading writing books and blog posts.

Do you have a goal when you'd like to be published? What is it? If you don't have a goal, why haven't you set one?

I would love to be published by the summer of next year, if possible. But I’m going to have to work really hard to reach that goal!

Are you thinking to go the self-published or traditional route?

I think I want to be published traditionally first, then once I have an established reputation as an author, then I can move into the self-published field easier.

Tell us about the genre(s) you write and why you like them.

I have two stories in the works right now- one is a middle grade/early YA story about children who work with the CIA to catch communists after WWII. My second series is an adult/upper YA fantasy story filled with magic and adventure.

I love writing children’s’ stories because I feel it is easier to capture imagination during childhood than it is once you’re an adult. Adult life is filled with mundane events, stress, and a whole lot of complicated relationships. Children’s stories can include adventure and a carefree attitude without feeling flippant and unrealistic.

Why is the Tiffany Aching Series your favorite? What have you learned from it to help you to be a better writer?

I love the Tiffany Aching Series because it is an amazing mix of beautiful, yet simple writing that appeals to readers of all ages. Tiffany is a kid, but she is self-assured and a complete master of her environment. Like Terry Pratchett, I hope the books I write will appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.

What would you tell a writer like yourself, struggling to get published?

Stop making excuses and write! I allow myself way too many excuses, which is why I have yet to be published today. I firmly believe that people who buckle down and go after it are the ones who succeed.


Thank you, Brenda!

Learn more about Brenda here:

--Brenda D. Priddy Writer, Blogger, Editor
brenda@dailymayo.com | www.dailymayo.com

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What You Hope For in Writing

What you hope for in writing goes beyond a dream or wish.

It has to.

I remember thinking years ago that I wanted to be a published writer. But it took work.

I talked with other wishful thinkers who wanted to be authors but they never wrote - anything. You probably know them.

"I have always wanted to write a book," they always said, but their desires remained a wish.

I remember thinking years ago that I wanted my own publishing company. In my head I thought, "Well, I'm going to need a building, some help, plenty of paper and materials, and the withal to do such a huge task."

Years later, when the publishing industry changed (authors no longer had to purchase 1,000 copies at a time in order to get their book in print) I realized something else.

I could publish my own books and I could set up shop right in my very own home.

Even later, I realized that, with my years of learning the craft of writing, that I could mentor others in their desires to write and get published.

What you hope for in writing has to be more than a pipe dream.

Your dream has to be concrete. It has to be written down or drawn out on paper. You have to see it every day. You have to believe it and then work towards your reality.

There is no other way.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Petra Longstride from The Pen Pieyu Adventure Series

1      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 Petra Longstride. I am nine. I live in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu. I am a princess who became a knight in my author’s first book. Oh, it is all such a long story, but I would rather just be a knight and protect my kingdom--my father, THE KING, would rather I did not be a knight. He has this silly royal rule book where he makes up rules to try to get me to be more, you know, princessy like and...”

Snarls: “Excuse me (pushing and shoving his big rump in front of Petra), is not this interview about me? I am the dragon in these stories—and now, royal steed and royal chef--and I make the whole story H.A.P.P.E.N., know what I mean? Ha-hah! Oh, by the way, Petra is cute, with long, and really messy hair I might add, but cute as far as girls go.”

 Petra: “Snarls, be quiet and behave for once.”

 What do you like to do in your spare time?

“I like to throw javelin to hit the mark; practice my onion throwing techniques; make mud pies; write stories like my Nana Longstride teaches me to; do art and have food-throwing parties with my friends, Bograt the Bog Witch, and Prince Nastybun, the puny prince from The Land of Mesoggie.

Oh, I also have a friend that tries to get me to crochet with him, Prince Duce Crablips, but he lives far away; and I like to wrestle with my crocodile friend, Letgo.  You know, girl stuff.”

Snarls: “Uhhhhuum, what about me? You hang out with me! (Steps in front of Petra again) Oh, I like to cook and I am a master chef . . .”

Petra: “Shush it!” (pokes dragon in the ribs, then whispering) “We are never going to get any noble character interviews if you keep acting this way. Remember what happened last time? That bloggy duchess nearly threw us out of her blogging studio.”

3     What is your favorite color and why?

“I like all the colors because I like doing art and all the colors deserve respectability, know what I mean?” (puts her hand on Snarls’ mouth).

Snarls: “I wike siiiilver shinnnny dings.”

Petra: “I mean it!” (stomps on his foot paw).

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

(Snarls turns his back toward Petra)

“Chocolate, mushrooms, wild berries, olives and nuts, because they taste good. Oh, and Snarls likes onions—I hate onions.”

5     What would you say is your biggest quirk?

“What is a quirk? Hmmmm, I think you meant to ask what do I not like? In that case, I really do not like big meanies, onions, like I just said, and bees.”

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

“Oh, oh,  I know what an antagonist is because my author told me. In the stories I am in, all the antagonists ruffle the feathers on me because they are big meanies.  But you know what? If you give antagonists a chance, sometimes they are not so antagonisingly bad. I ended up making friends with them all. So that is how you get rid of those kinds of antagonists.  The other antagonist in the stories is the obstacles I have to go through to become a knight. It was not easy and I was scared.”

7     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?

(Thinking with finger on her lips, rolling her eyes upward, then all around) “Hmmmm . . .”

Snarls: “Okay, that's it! (blasts out a stream of smoke and parchment from his nostrils) I am speaking up here! You know we are on these adventures together. I have had enough of your ignoring and putting me on the back-oven stuff just because I torched your new plume, accidentally I might add..."

Petra:  (Giggling and rubbing Snarls’ nose) “I am jesting you, Snarls. Of course you are the one that I cannot live without--even if your fire breathing needs some work, umm, you have kind a made a mess here--, you are my number one alliance, know what I mean?  Snarls is my royal steed since it was not written in the royal rule book that he could not be.  We would do anything to protect each other, right, Snarls?”

Snarls: (Grinning from ear to ear; nods quickly).

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

“Princess dresses are really itchy. That is why I like my knight clothes.”

Snarls: “Hahahah, knight clothes, like night clothes. Hahah. Good one! Oh, and I only, and very accidentally, exploded something once.”

Petra: “SHUUSHHH!  Hehehehe .”

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

“Well, thankfully, we have already worked that all out. You see, awhile back, we characters had a storybook union councilman come around and explain stuff to us. Now, I tell my writer what adventures I am willing to go on and she writes the stories that way. No more hassles, see? Oh, and she gets to keep all her author rights, whatever that is.”

Snarls: “Yep, that is how I became the royal chef.”

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

Petra: “Do your characters have to audition for the parts in your stories like we do?”
Snarls: “Do you write every day? Or do you loaf off like our writer? Going off to putz in the garden? Or clean your castle?”

Two questions, what a treat. Let's take the first one, first:

No one really has to audition for my books but I'll tell you, I often have one or two sneaking into the plot to be heard, and sometimes I actually use them in my book.

Now for the second question. Yes, I write every day, but I do loaf sometimes, too. If a writer is stuck behind the computer all day it makes for some pretty boring text. I do have to clean my castle, too, and I try to do that in between spurts of great book ideas.

Thank you for asking both questions.
To learn more about Petra and Snarls visit: 

Book one Amazon paperback

Twitter: @DianeMaeRobinson

Book two Amazon paperback

Goodreads book two

Book Award Info:
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (literary arts).
2012 First Runner Up, Purple Dragonfly Books Awards, Children’s Chapter Book Category.
2013 Honorable Mention, in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, K – 3rd Grade Category.
2013 Finalist in the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” Contest.
2014 Three Time Finalist in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Contest: K- 3rd Grade, 4th – 6th Grade, and Children’s Fantasy Categories (winners announced on Sept. 1, 2014).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When You're Discouraged about Writing

There comes a day, maybe even consecutive days when all you want to do as a writer is throw in the towel.

Maybe you feel like time is not on your side or those empty moments without noise and distraction. Maybe you're stumped in regards to ideas, or find that the ideas you come up with frankly don't make your heart sing.

I understand.

I have been there, too. And like you, I wonder sometimes, "Why am I doing this?"

I get discouraged. I feel as if there's not enough time, not enough quiet, not enough ideas (not even one semi-great idea) but I don't stop writing.

And neither should you.

"Never give up, never surrender," is my motto.

What's yours?

Monday, September 22, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Charles Thornton

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

I was working as a nurse and my co-workers would come over to the area where I was working and a group of us would talk about several of topics. It was much like The View or Talk on T.V. One day I said we should all write a book because we all have opinions that other people would love to hear. They declined on writing a book, but I didn't.

That year I wrote a horrible book called “Nursing Love”. It was a relationship book. I dedicated it to my wife. I sold each one by hand over a period of time. It was years ago before all of this new technology.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or do you prefer writing freehand?  

I prefer the laptop. Although I will write notes and crumble them into my pockets for later use.

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

Writing is a time consuming process and I feel that I have a little amount of time. So, I always feel rushed when I write. But I enjoy getting it out and having the satisfaction of having a completed work.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?  

The characters that I make are real life characters, that are always placed into a horrible situation or paradigm. I think people can relate to them because they have experienced what I am writing about and want a resolution or answer that can explain something in their own lives.

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

I write an e-book then I collaborate with a narrator and convert it to an audio book to make a synergistic effect. I also am on Facebook groups and Google + communities.

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

I write at anytime that an idea comes to mind and will continually work on it in between life. I have a family of professionals and children with activities.

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

I am creating an e-book and audiobook magazine (www.ebookandaudiobookmagazine.com) which will focus on authors and narrators.  

My main focus is to show listeners and readers that may not know theses authors and expand their community by giving them a different platform to promote and discuss their works. The e-magazine will also share information like best practices or tips on writing and narrating.

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

Everyone starts at the beginning; everyone has a voice and everyone an opinion.  So 
just write.

Get Little Nia's Dream

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pirate Day Boutique and Book Signing TODAY!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is arriving on Sept. 19, and we are celebratin' the fine day (thereafter) with a bit of our own fun!

Date: Saturday, Sept. 20
Time: 11-4 p.m.
Place: 12256 S. 1300 W. Riverton (Find us outside)
What you'll get: Books, jewelry, beautification products, scents for your home and MORE!

Get some great autographed books from:
Kathryn Elizabeth Jones author of the Christian fiction novel Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones (now available on audio) and five other books!

Buy some cool jewelry at:
Paparazzi Accessories 

Get skinny and beautified with It Works!

And don't forget to get your home, bath and laundry smelling lovely with: Scentsy.

An amazing safe alternative to fragrance your home, using an warmer heated by a light bulb or element and with over 80 fragrances of wax… 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Constance Jones from A Path Toward Home

1      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 Constance Jones, age 17, from Nipigon, Ontario (Canada).  I have lived there with my aunt and uncle since I was six years old. I have brown hair and blue eyes.  I plan to further my studies after high school.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with friends, going to the lake, and going to get a soda at Pop’s soda bar.

      What is your favorite color and why?
Red.  The color is so rich and reminds me of red roses, which I adore.

      What is your favorite food? 
      Ice Cream. 

      Why is it your favorite? 
      My neighbors, Drew and Lilly, make it every Sunday afternoon during the summer months. It is so smooth and creamy, it’s absolutely heavenly.

      What would you say is your biggest quirk?
I have the habit of frequently biting my lip when I’m confused or agitated.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?
Oh, you must be talking about Regan.  She is the most conceited girl I've ever met.  She is         absolutely convinced that Drinian loves her, when  in fact he does not!

      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?
      My Uncle Blake means everything to me.  He has been like a father to me since I was six       years old...I would do most anything in my power to make him happy.

      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 had the preconceived notion that all children of royalty were snobs. However, Drinian                 obviously proved me wrong.
I      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the   direction of  the plot, what would it be?  
       Nothing. I love my uncle so much and would not want to upset him.

 Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about  writers like  myself.   I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.  

  “Why should I care what another writer thinks, since I can’t think for myself?”  
  Great question. I'll be honest with you, it kind of took me off guard. You are the first character to   present this dilemma, and I'm not quite sure how to answer you. I readily agree that you really     don't think for yourself, but consider this: As a main character you must have some thoughts on   those scary scenes your writer puts you in, those things the author shares that you wished had   been kept quiet, etc. 

  Even as a character, you must have some loves and hates about your place within your novel.     Perhaps you would have rather been a secondary character or the antagonist...whatever your     question, it would have produced some thoughtful reading just as the comment above                 has. Thank you for sharing it.  BTW, I love your last name :) 

  Learn more about Constance and her author at: 

  Amazon page: 
  (uk) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Path-Toward-Home-Annals-Avonea-ebook/dp/B00GW9EN92