UNWRITER Ron Berry

November 16, 2010

The Killer Valentine Ball blog tour

 

Author C. A. Verstraete has written a masterful short story combining two of my favorite holidays. Read the review below and then keep  going to read my interview with her. 

Title: The Killer Valentine Ball

Author: C. A. Verstraete

Publisher: MuseItUp publishing

Copyright: 2010

ISBN:

Format: Short Story                 

Genre: Horror

 

I am NOT going to any valentines balls with you. With that in mind, MS Verstraete has created a world that Stephen King would love. It’s all so simple, a blind date to make mom happy. I think this is one time that love is blind and the date rather dangerous.  But, read it for yourselves and see how many Valentines balls YOU want to go to.

 

It’s a short story and well worth the read. I rate this story highly.

 

Interview questions for C. A. Verstraete

  1. What prompted you to write a Halloween/Valentine story?

Initially I saw a post about a themed anthology and Valentine’s Day came to mind… a natural for horror, wouldn’t you say?

  1. As a writer, I need music in the background. Do you need special backgrounds?

I usually have music on, too, mostly pop or sometimes I confess I put on some old disco tunes. I do admit a weakness lately to watching Hoda and Kathie Lee on TV.

  1. What is your favorite animal, domestic or wild and why?

All kinds. I love animals. I’ve had dogs all my life, have birds, fish, but if I had to pick two, I really like wolves and dolphins. Unfortunately, I can’t have either as the dog pen and the outside pond aren’t big enough. (Well, the dog pen might be.)

  1. What is your favorite holiday and why?

With this kind of story you had to ask? Haa! I like Halloween. I enjoya good scare and like the decorating aspect. I decorate in miniature for dollhouses, too, so that’s always fun (there’s a link for miniatures on my website, http://cverstraete.com). I also enjoy Christmas, both in real life and miniature.

  1. Your publisher has given you the book title, “Dancing with Snakes”. What are your first three sentences?

Do I have to do this? My legs shake. I hate snakes. Hate ’em. (Really.)

  1. Your publisher has arranged for you to be on the first tourist suborbital flight. You have been given a list of required items and are allowed three optional items. What are they?

Required: Makeup, floss, toothpaste (only 3 items? The list would be pretty long.). Optional: Camera, notebook, pen (Personally required.)

  1. You have just returned home from your FUGRETI group meeting (Future GREet The Interterestials). As soon as you step up on the porch, something lands in your yard. From a distance it appears to be a meteorite, but when you pick it up it is something much stranger. What is it?

My first thought? Fossilized dinosaur poop. Ugh, wish I’d brought gloves.

  1. You are going on an Alaskan cruise. You may take any four people along. This includes movie stars and others you may not yet know. Whom do you select?

My, I’m going a lot of places, more than in real life. Haa! Hmm, have to ask my good friend Courtney Mroch who’s already gone on this cruise and family members, of course. The famous will already be on the cruise so I don’t have to ask them, just mingle!

  1. You write in several genres. Where may our readers learn more?

Christine’s website: http://cverstraete.com   Blog: http://candicanine.blogspot.com

10.  Take all the space you want and tell us anything about you, your background or your history. The floor (paper, word, etc), is yours.

Fun questions, Ron, thanks for asking and hosting me.

Christine Verstraete is a Wisconsin author who enjoys writing both fiction and nonfiction. Her recent stories were published in the DAW Books anthologies Steampunk’d and Timeshares. She also is author of a children’s book, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, for ages 9-12. She’s currently working on a follow-up story to her Edison Steampunk characters and a YA zombie book.

 

 

October 6, 2009

The Zombie Cookbook Tour!

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Ok everyone, as promised, here is the interview questions first, then the review for:

ZombieCookbook

Two of the other authors have also answered these questions, so please read the comments section also to get a more complete picture of the authors.

Interview questions for The Zombie Cookbook, edited by Kim Richards

Answers by Karina Fabian, author of “Wokking Dead” and “My Big, Fat, Zombie Wedding”

1. ‘Personally I won’t cook ghouls without at least a pound of curried and brandied dill weed. What’s your preferred spices?’ {Note: I asked this question before reading the book}

Lots of vinegar–it’s an antibacterial, after all.

2. Director Deutch Dors devised a devilishly dour movie deal. His grand scheme was to garishly gather ghouls, trap then zap zombies. Once they signed a contract, they were all shipped via the flying Dutchman, to an uninhabited and uninhabitable island thinking this was a new reality show. The reality was that they now were trapped. What would these hapless zombies do for fun?

Eat each others’ brains. After that, it wouldn’t matter. You can make brainless fun out of just about anything.

3. Dr. Duchess Doris developed a serum to cure the undead and protect the living. What was her secret ingredient?

4.

If we told you, it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

5. A massive invasion as described in “The Zombie Cookbook” would surely cause ripples across all the realms. How would Vern handle the situation?

For those who may not knkow: Vern is a Faerie dragon, living in our world and eeeking out a living as a private detective with Sister Grace, a nun/mage, for a partner. They solve mysteries and save the world on an all-too regular basis. Their adventures can be found at http://www.dragoneyepi.net, where you can purchase their stories or order their books. I’ll let Vern answer this question for himself.

Vern: What is it with your humans and zombies? Imagine sticking a roast in the back of your fridge and forgetting it so long it decays, takes on a life of its own and comes back to exact revenge. Disgusting, right? Well, that’s how dragons feel about zombies. As for what I’d do: a liberal application of drake-style pyrotechnics, followed by a long bath and gargling.

6. If you ask a zombie out on a date, do you go ‘Dutch Treat’?

I think I’d ask for separate checks. Separate tables. Separate restaurants…

7. You’ve been hired as a private cook at a very good salary. However, your employer will only allow you to use three spices. What are they?

Cinnamon, pepper and dried essence of braaaaaiiiins.

8. A Zombie Cookbook had many sales but one person really liked it and offered you a special reward. As a group you’ve been invited to spend a week’s vacation, all expenses paid, on the space station, using the new tourist mode. You may each take five items. What five will you take?

Will I get cell phone reception up there? Either way, I’d take it, since I can take pictures and video, and write notes. Then I’d bring four things of my kids’ choosing, so they could have something that’s been in space. (I’d also wear Rob’s wedding band, so it will have been in space with me, too, but since I’d be wearing a ring, anyway, I don’t think that would count.)

This could be long since each of the authors may want a chance at these questions. To keep this post at less than novel length, I’ll stop here, with only one more question.

8. Take as much space as you want and please let our readers know where to buy A Zombie cookbook and anything else you want to say.

Purchase The Zombie Cookbook through Amazon or directly from the publisher at http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615720378. It’s available in electronic and print format.

If you’d like to know more about my own writings, I invite you to check out my website, http://www.fabianspace.com.

I’d just like to close by letting you know that Vern is buying some Listerine as I write this and thanks you oh-so warmly for making him have to think about zombies. He really does have an aversion to them.

Title: The Zombie Cookbook

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC.

Copyright: 2009

ISBN: Digital: 978-1-61572-037-8; Print: 978-1-61572-036-1

Format: Ebook, print

Genre: Humor

One had a spring hanging from his–

Oh, that’s just not right!

Welcome to the world of Zombies and the people who love them. That list includes all who like horror stories and macabre humor like Karina Fabian, the author of the opening quote. Zombies aren’t really funny (imagine your 8th grade math teacher coming back), or are they? The Zombie cookbook puts a totally new twist on the lives or rather lack thereof, of such creatures.

“”stay.”

“You have to say his name, or he won’t know you’re talking to him. They are simple-minded that way.””

As you may have noticed, Lisa Haselton has her own zombie problems. This particular undead one likes to work in kitchens. What will they think of next? Let’s read on, and find out.

‘It uses the eyeballs poached but there is a special chocolate sauce for dipping that I just can’t get right.”

I guess you have to ask Lin Neiswender for the right recipe. I haven’t found it yet, but I’m looking. I’m expecting company this weekend and this looks like just what I need for appetizers.

“You can add a sprig of moonflower or nightshade for a mellow datura-induced ambiance.”

Kate Sender thanked our most competent muse conference mistress, Lea Schizas and Kim Richards for this tasty dish.

“Spotting fresh meat, Richard’s dad lets go of his prey and starts crawling off the seat—he’s much faster than the old man.”

Dawn Marshallsay’s zombies are trained. Read all about it and watch your back (wrist, arm, legs, etc). They’re everywhere, they’re everywhere!

“Her eyeball fell in and bobbed around a moment before sinking.”

I guess Carla Girtman’s “Brain Food” doesn’t include cooking instructions. Hmm, maybe there’s a lesson or two here for all you zombies out there? Check it out.

“I saw the brains of the dead as a resource to be used, and came up with the following recipe after much experimenting.”

Well, this is a cookbook after all. This delightful tidbit comes from the creative mind of Scott Virtes. Are we hungry yet?

“It was more like chewing on a heavily-seasoned, greasy, car tire!”

Our poor zombies can’t even get a decent meal these days. Cinsearae Santiago did the research and discovered humans just ain’t what they used to be.

““My dear, he may be a little stiff, but he is, as they say, stiff.””

I’m not sure I would want to go on a double date with Karina Fabian. She can really ‘dig up’ some unusual dates. However, the good news is that she is just writing about a zombie wedding. The question that comes to mind is, What do you serve at the reception?

There you have it boys, girls and zombies. The zombie cookbook and assorted readings by all listed. I believe you will find this to be a great addition to any library, both humorous and horror. Pick up a few copies today and amaze your friends with your good ‘taste’ in books.

October 4, 2009

Look out, here they come!

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 7:38 am
Tags: , , ,

ZombieCookbook

The Zombies are coming! Just in time for Halloween. Watch this spot Oct 7th for the Virtual Book Tour stop of one of our favorite authors. Karina Fabian is one of the featured authors in this wild collection of stories and recipes. More on Wednesday.

July 28, 2009

When Someone You Love Has Cancer

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 4:54 am

when someone you love

Cancer. One of the deadliest words spoken in modern times. The disease and side effects of treatment break the hearts of onlookers, leaving caregivers and family members feeling helpless and useless in knowing how to help their loved ones.

 

Cecil Murphey, author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and a seasoned ghostwriter of more than 100 books, has written a loving inspirational book for cancer caregivers and family members. Cec isn’t new to cancer. His intimate care for his wife as she fought cancer is evident on the pages of this sweetly written book. From the cover of this beautifully illustrated book to the closing remarks, he guides caregivers through a gentle question and answer session. Prayers for difficult situations are scattered throughout the book and personal illustrations from cancer caregivers help validate and encourage readers. 

 

A Word from The Man Behind the Words

 

When Shirley walked in from the garage, she didn’t have to say a word: I read the diagnosis in her eyes. I grabbed her and held her tightly for several seconds. When I released her, she didn’t cry. The unshed tears glistened, but that was all.

I felt emotionally paralyzed and helpless, and I couldn’t understand my reaction. After all, I was a professional. As a former pastor and volunteer hospital chaplain I had been around many cancer patients. I’d seen people at their lowest and most vulnerable. As a writing instructor, I helped one woman write her cancer-survival book. Shirley and I had been caregivers for Shirley’s older sister for months before she died of colon cancer.

All of that happened before cancer became personal to me–before my wife learned she needed a mastectomy. To make it worse, Shirley was in the high-risk category because most of her blood relatives had died of some form of cancer. Years earlier, she had jokingly said, “In our family we grow things.”

In the days after the diagnosis and before her surgery, I went to a local bookstore and to the public library. I found dozens of accounts, usually by women, about their battle and survival. I pushed aside the novels that ended in a person’s death. A few books contained medical or technical information. I searched on-line and garnered useful information–but I found nothing that spoke to me on how to cope with the possible loss of the person I loved most in this world.

Our story ends happily: Shirley has started her tenth year as a cancer survivor. Not only am I grateful, but I remember my pain and confusion during those days. That concerns me enough to reach out to others who also feel helpless as they watch a loved one face the serious diagnosis of cancer.

 

That’s why I wrote When Someone You Love Has Cancer. I want to encourage relatives and friends and also to offer practical suggestions as they stay at the side of those they love.

The appendix offers specific things for them to do and not to do–and much of that information came about because of the way people reacted around us.

It’s a terrible situation for anyone to have cancer; it’s a heavy burden for us who deeply love those with cancer.

by Cecil Murphey

 

About the Book:

The World Health Organization reported that by the year 2010 cancer will be the number one killer worldwide. More than 12.4 million people in the world suffer from cancer. 7.6 million people are expected to die from some form of cancer. That’s a lot of people, but the number of loved ones of cancer sufferers is far greater. What do they do when a special person in their life is diagnosed with this devastating disease?

Murphey brings his experiences as a loved one and many years of wisdom gained from being a pastor and hospital chaplain to his newest book When Someone You Love Has Cancer: Comfort and Encouragement for Caregivers and Loved Ones (Harvest House Publishers). His honest I’ve-been-there admissions and practical helps are combined with artist Michal Sparks’ soothing watercolor paintings.

 

An interview with the author

cedil murphy

1. The first sentence of your book reads, “I felt helpless.” Tell us about that feeling.

Because her doctor put Shirley into the high-risk category, I felt helpless. To me, helpless means hating the situation, wanting to make it better, but admitting there was nothing I could do for her.

2. On that same page you also write, “One thing we learned: God was with us and strengthened us through the many weeks of uncertainty and pain.” How did you get from feeling helpless to that assurance?

Shirley and I sat down one day and I put my arm around her. “The only way I know how I can handle this,” I said, “is to talk about it.” Shirley knows that’s my way of working through puzzling issues. “Let’s consider every possibility.” If her surgeon decided she did not have breast cancer, how would we react? We talked of our reaction if he said, “There is a tumor and it’s obviously benign. Finally, I was able to say, with tears in my eyes, “How do we react if he says the cancer is advanced and you have only a short time to live?” By the time we talked answered that question, I was crying. Shirley had tears in her eyes, but remained quite calm. “I’m ready to go whenever God wants to take me,” she said. She is too honest not to have meant those words. As I searched her face, I saw calmness and peace. I held her tightly and we prayed together. After that I felt calm. Since then, one of the first things I do when I awaken is to thank God that Shirley and I have at least one more day together.

3. When most people hear the word cancer applied to someone they love, they have strong emotional reactions. What are some of them? What was your reaction when your wife was diagnosed with breast cancer?

As a pastor, a volunteer chaplain, and a friend I’ve encountered virtually every emotional reaction. Some refuse to accept what they hear. Some go inward and are unable to talk. Others start making telephone calls to talk to friends.

Me? I went numb, absolutely numb. That was my old way of dealing with overwhelming emotions. I heard everything but I couldn’t feel anything. It took me almost two weeks before I was able to feel–and to face the possibility that the person I loved most in the world might die.

4. “What can I do for my loved one with cancer?” That’s a good question for us to ask ourselves. How can we be supportive and helpful?

Many think they need to do big things; they don’t. Express your concern and your love.

Be available to talk when the other person needs it–and be even more willing to be silent if your loved one doesn’t want to talk. Don’t ask what you can do; do what you see needs doing. To express loving support in your own way (and we all express love differently) is the best gift you can offer.

5. Why do you urge people not to say, “I know exactly how you feel”?

No one knows how you feel. They may remember how they felt at a certain time. Even if they did know, what help is that to the person with cancer? It’s like saying, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. I know what it’s like and I’m fine now.”

Instead, focus on how the loved one feels. Let him or her tell you.

6. Those with cancer suffer physically and spiritually. You mention God’s silence as a form of spiritual suffering. They pray and don’t seem to sense God. What can you do to help them?

God is sometimes silent but that doesn’t mean God is absent. In my upcoming book, When God Turns off the Lights, I tell what it was like for me when God stopped communicating for about 18 months.

I didn’t like it and I was angry. I didn’t doubt God’s existence, but I didn’t understand the silence. I read Psalms and Lamentations in various translations. I prayed and I did everything I could, but nothing changed.

After a couple of months, I realized that I needed to accept the situation and wait for God to turn on the lights again. Each day I quoted Psalm 13:1: “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way?” (NLT)

I learned many invaluable lessons about myself–and I could have learned them only in the darkness. When God turns off the lights (and the sounds) I finally realized that instead of God being angry, it was God’s loving way to draw me closer.

7. Guilt troubles many friends and loved ones of caregivers because they feel they failed or didn’t do enough. What can you say to help them?

We probably fail our loved ones in some ways. No one is perfect. If you feel that kind of guilt, I suggest 3 things:

(1) Tell the loved one and ask forgiveness.

(2) Talk to God and ask God to forgive you and give you strength not to repeat your failures.

(3) Forgive yourself. And one way to do that is to say, “At the time, I thought I did the right thing. I was wrong and I forgive myself.”

8. Do you have some final words of wisdom for those giving care to a loved one with cancer?

Be available. You can’t take away the cancer but you can alleviate the sense of aloneness. Don’t ever try to explain the reason the person has cancer. We don’t know the reason and even if we did, would it really help the other person?

Be careful about what you say. Too often visitors and friends speak from their own discomfort and forget about the pain of the one with cancer. Don’t tell them about your cancer or other disease; don’t tell them horror stories about others. Above all, don’t give them false words of comfort. Be natural. Be yourself. Behave as loving as you can.

When Someone You

Love Has Cancer

Author: Cecil Murphey

Harvest House Publishers

ISBN: 978-0-7369-2428-3

Retail: $10.99

June 15, 2009

Interview with Mosetta Penickphillips-Cermak

Filed under: book tour,interviews — unwriter1 @ 9:06 pm
Mosetta

Mosetta Rajah and the Big Blue Ball

1. You have Rajah featured in “Rajah and the Big Blue Ball”, Do you have plans to feature your Siamese cats in one of your books? 

Dr. Mosetta: I haven’t totally decided yet. One of the books (number seven) was not picked up by my publisher because it is about the death of one of the cats, and what Rajah tries to do to help. Although the publishers have an option, they would like me to rewrite it to soften the story line.

 2. I’ve noticed you are well versed in the classics. Would you please write the opening paragraph of Rajah meets Chynna for the first time, featuring the cats as Charles Dickens would?

 Dr. Mosetta: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Chynna stared at the black thing with white markings. Already it’s head was half the length of her whole body.

“It is a pleasant thing to reflect upon, and furnishes a complete answer to those who contend for the gradual degeneration of the human species, that every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last”. But, this baby was canine.

It slept in the sun, in her sunny spot. “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”.

“I have to find Mommy Maia”, said Chynna. “To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart”.

Chynna jumped into mommy Maia’s lap. “HISS”.

“Don’t you like the new puppy?” ask Mommy. “I know you two will become the best of friends.”

Chynna was not too sure about that, but ,…”There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart”.

Mommy Maia had yet to be wrong.

3. You have been given two tickets and keys to a cabin. Firewood, food, coats and blankets are provided. You may take one animal and ten items. What animal and what items do you take? Hint: the cabin is in the Northwest Territories.

 Dr. Mosetta: Of course I would take Rajah LeBeau with me. Although I would NEVER want to visit this cabin, I would take lighters, a portable electric generator, my car, wireless computer, battery packs, carbonated water, medicine, a satellite cell phone, extra gasoline for the car, and a comprehensive medical kit.

 4. You have an interesting link with the number two, cats, dogs, kids, grandkids and great grandkids. Let’s keep that theme going. You’ve just won two all expenses paid tickets to the twin cities. You are allowed two books and two music CD’s. What are they?

 Dr. Mosetta: If I were only allowed two books, one of them would be the Jim Butcher’s “Harry Dresden” book. I haven’t read it as of yet, and I was distressed when they took it off of television. The other might be “Skin Trade” by Laurall K. Hamilton.

The first music CD would be the comprehensive works of Barbra Streisand, and the other, most likely would be Cher.

 5. You’ve written a lot of books. Hollywood is making a movie of your life. Who plays you?

Dr. Mosetta: Whoopie Goldberg.

 6. As told to Joyce, you have a strong connection with animals. You are walking through the forest when suddenly you come face to face with a lonely albino fox. What is the name of the book, the fox and the little girl that befriends the fox?

 Dr. Mosetta: The title of the book might be “Outcast”, and the little girl that befriends the fox might be called Jamie King. I think that I would name the fox something like Crystal.

 7. Parents seem to prefer game consoles to books. Have you considered turning your books into interactive games for these consoles?

 Dr. Mosetta: Yes, I have considered it, but first of all, I am not sure where to begin with this, and secondly, I have a concern that parents don’t choose to read to their children. There is a special bond that develops between children when their parents read to them.

June 14, 2009

Meet Children’s author Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 11:46 pm
Tags: , ,

As a newly minted grandfather I am very interested in  children’s book’s and over the next two days I have the privilege

of meeting Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak.

Book Title: The Magic of Laven-Rock

Author: Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak

ISBN: 9780981777733

Publisher: PM Moon Publishers, LLC

Genre: Children

Additional Features:

hardcover/68 pages/approx. size 8.25 x 10.75/trade

Price: $29.95

Synopsis:

The people of K’briadron lived an idyllic life. Purple and blue magic created by the Jockspurs supplied their every need. That is, until the coming of the Lockstick.

 

Princess Kaylin Veronica and her cousin, Prince Theodore, escape the confines of their royal lives and set out to find the being who caused so many problems in their land.

 

Written by the author of The Wishing Flower, The Magic of Laven-Rock is a delightful fairy tale adventure where children learn that sharing is much better than fighting, and that people throughout the world are not so very different than themselves.

 

Author’s Bio:

Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak, Ph.D. lives with her two Labrador Retrievers, one black and one yellow, and two Siamese cats in West Park, Ohio. Dr. Penick Phillips-Cermak is the mother of two, grandmother of two, and great grandmother of two. A native of Cleveland Ohio, from a family of educators, she is a retired psychotherapist/counselor and a teacher of many years. Over the years, she has taught everything from kindergarten through teacher education, English, psychology and sociology. Mosetta’s first short, short story was published in the local newspaper when ,at the age of ten, she won first prize in a creative writing contest. In college, her literary essays and short stories were published in the colleges’ literary magazine, The Spectrum. Eventually, she rose to serve as editor-in-chief of the very same magazine. A woman with a myriad of talents, she performed as both an instrumentalist and vocalist, played the piano and flute, as well as teaching chorus, and both instruments. She is also a dog trainer, registered with the State of Ohio to train and certify Handicap Assistant Dogs. A relatively well-known speaker in the Cleveland area, this writer has presented more than a dozen papers and workshops throughout the State of Ohio. A minister ordained in 1980, she states that her main strength resides in her absolute faith and tenacity, a desire to know all that is knowable, a love of research, and the ability to consistently identify the truth of any subject matter. She is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), has attended numerous writers’ workshops, and is currently active in a critique group. She also has completed several other short stories, a children’s interactive picture book to teach educational concepts, and her first middle-grade children’s fantasy novel that she expects will be published soon.

Book Cover: attached

– Quantity Offered- Unlimited

– Delivery strategy-Purchase on-line:

Google

http://tinyurl.com/myehj9

Publisher’s Graphics Bookstore

http://tinyurl.com/mm8jcv

Alibris Books

http://tinyurl.com/ld92lg

Current online reviews:

“The Magic of Laven-Rock.(Brief article)(Children’s review)(Book review)”

from Literature and Periodicals Library provided by thefreelibrary.com

URL: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Magic+of+Laven-Rock-a0192000680

http://www.buildingrainbows.com/bookreview/reviewid/33180

http://www.buildingrainbows.com/bookreview/reviewid/33640

 contact info: publisher@pmmoonpublishers.com

Website: http://www.pmmoonpublishers.com

 

Book Award Nomination:

The Magic of Laven-Rock, written by Dr. Mosetta Penick Phillips-Cermak has received a national nomination for The Independent Publisher Book Award for 2008. It is also in contention for the Great Lakes Region’s award for children’s books.

May 28, 2009

Interview with Lynn McMonigal

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 9:03 am

I have had the great pleasure of reading and reviewing Lynn McMonigal’s book ‘Summertime. The interview I had with her is posted below. Tomorrow I will post the review.

Lynn’s interview

You now have your own house but do not realize that the one next door belongs to

George May, a famous song mixer with his own studio in his basement. As you are out

Bar-Be-Queuing one afternoon, you hear some loud, yet muffled noise next door. Since

you are new to the neighborhood and don’t want to start trouble, you realize that the best

reaction is to ask your neighbor what the racket is and will it get loud enough to be heard

at night. Again, being the wise neighbor, you go over, knock on his door and invite him

and his wife over to the feast you’re cooking up. They accept. The question is, what are

you fixing?

Grilled turkey and veggie pizza. YUM!!! Just found the recipe this year and I

LOVE it. Low fat, tasty. Add a salad and it is a very filling meal. I make my own

wheat crust for the pizza, sprinkle on a tiny bit of olive oil, basil, and oregano, then

cover it with provolone, turkey, bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Ooooh, I

think I will have to put that on the menu this week….

Rumor has it, you like a certain musical group. As it turns out, your neighbor is mixing

songs for the latest hot group on the market and they have invited you to join them as a

member. You know the group, BBMT or Bach, Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and they

make rock music by jazzing up the masters. You have already told them you don’t play

an instrument. As it turns out, neither do these guys. They use synthesizers and offer to

teach you. The boys look like the Beatles in their younger days.

Do you accept?

Heck no!!! LOL Music is not where my creative gifts lie, and I have no problem

admitting that. I’d sit in and watch them, though, and I might hum along. Of

course, if you said BBMT looked like New Kids on the Block or 98 Degrees, I’d be

drooling too much too even manage a hum.

Which one is your favorite?

My favorite of Bach, Brahms, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky? That would be

Tchaikovsky. Though I have to say I prefer Beethoven over all of them.

3. Your editor writes you, telling you that you are a fantastic romance author. In fact, you

are deemed so good that you’ve been asked to write another book. However, after hearing

the description, you are told that the title must not reflect the true plot. The gist of the

book is that a man is getting married to the ghost of his late fiancé. The question then is:

What do you use as a title?

To be honest, I don’t know that I would accept this assignment at all. It’s not a

topic I am sure I could do justice. And I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist about my

work! You can ask Lori, my lifelong best friend, about this. She will think a

passage I’ve written is awesome, but if I am not happy with how it sounds, I chuck it

and try again. Drives her nuts (so she claims; personally, I think it is 14 years of

marriage and 2 children that have made her insane) but I still do it. I can’t stand

the thought of putting something I am not 100% satisfied with into print.

Paranormal is not something I’ve even read enough to attempt writing.

Though I suppose if I had to come up with a title, something like “Life After Love”

might work.

4. You are going on your first iderod. You have been provided with all the necessary

provisions such as food and clothing. You may take up to four personal items. What are

they?

My Bible, a journal and pens, a small photo album full of pics of my husband and

sons, and a HUGE Hazelnut Hot Smoothee from Tim Horton’s.

5. You are hired as the purchase agent for the book and magazine department of Kybles

and Bytes dog and cat book and computer store. What are the first five books you order?

Henry and Ribsy, The Cat In The Hat, Where the Red Fern Grows, Ralph S.

Mouse, and Computers for Dummies.

6. Your book, “Summertime” has been selected as a movie of the week. Who do you

want to star in it?

It is funny that you asked this, as I recently had a dream about another of my books

becoming a movie! I have the cast for that one all picked out, even though the book,

Discovering Miranda, is not even close to being finished!

But for Summertime…. Hmmmm… That one takes some thought! I’d like to see

Alyssa Milano as Laura, Reese Witherspoon as Crystal, Kellie Martin as Erin, and

Nick Lachey as Joey. For Barrett, I’d pick my niece Tori. She’s a little older than

Barrett, but when I think of Barrett, I think of Tori.

7. Have you developed a character website? If so, what is the URL?

I have started a blog for the characters in Sumemrtime. It has thoughts and feelings

from the characters, about the things that happened before the story began. You

can find it here http://livinginmyhead.wordpress.com/

8. Summertime is a very good book. Have you considered making it a set of four,

covering all the seasons?

Thank you, Ron. I am very glad that you enjoyed it. No, I had not thought of

making it into a set of four, at least not until now!!! I can see making a story about

Crystal and one about Erin, though. Gosh, you have given me something to think

about now!!

9. You are sitting on a beach. You find a shell and put it up to your ear. You expect to

hear the sound of the ocean but instead you hear, “Write my story”. You agree. What is

the title?

Life’s A Beach

10. You’ve just gotten a job as an assistant sheepherder. The owner of the sheep is bit

eccentric. His herd is one floor below his apartment and that is on the forty-first floor.

You are told that his sheep like music but you have to bring your own. What do you

bring?

I don’t know…Baa Baa Black Sheep? Seriously, I would probably bring along

some praise and worship music. That normally keeps me centered and focused

when I feel overwhelmed. Something tells me tending sheep would be very

overwhelming!

11. In the play, “Phantom of the Opera”, which part do you play, and why?

Christine. I can’t really see myself as a leading lady, one that would inspire the love

of the Phantom that way, but it sure would be fun! Though I can’t say it would be

as fun to those who would have to hear me sing….

12. Will there be a “Summertime to a lifetime”, a sequel featuring Joey?

Like I said earlier, I haven’t planned any sequels to this book. I suppose it could be

fun to delve into Joey’s life after the book ends, but it is not on my to-do list.

13. You’ve been invited to make an appearance on TV to promote “Summertime”. You

have a choice of: Jerry Springer, David Letterman, or Sesame Street. Which one do you

select and why?

Can’t I go on The Today Show? Oh, Nana would love that! Of the three, my choice

would be Sesame Street. After all, it is the only one of the three that I ever watch!

14. Where can our readers get more information and purchase them?

You can find out more about me and my books at http://www.lynnscorner.wordpress.com.

Books can be purchased through Amazon.com and at

http://lynnmcmo.webs.com/apps/webstore/ (PayPal is accepted there!).

15. Your turn to talk to the audience. Take as much space as you need. Tell us about

Lynn and anything else. I have room on my blog so a mini book is fine.

What more can I say? I am really blessed to be doing what I love! After 20 years of

dreaming about it, it still finds almost surreal that I have two books in print, and

that people want to read them. I can’t take the credit for it, though. This is all

God’s doing.

Right now, I am working on writing my first young adult novel, Discovering

Miranda. It is more work than I expected it would be, but the book is coming along

rather well. I am also editing The Ladies of Faith, which I expect to release in

October. It is the first in what I plan to be a three-part series, though as I sketch out

the next two books, I am finding enough material about these women that it could

go on even longer!

You said I could talk about anything, so before I say good-bye I am going to take a

moment to brag on one of my nieces (I have five sisters and between them 15 nieces

and nephews!). Rebekah Mallette is graduating from Lewisville High School on

June 8. I can’t be there to see her receive her diploma, but I couldn’t be more

proud! She is a beautiful, intelligent young woman, in love with Christ and not

ashamed to let others know. She is graduating in the top 5% of her class of over

800 students. Not only that, but she has been awarded a full scholarship to study at

the University of Texas. Bekah, I love you and am so proud of you. I can’t wait to

see all of the wonderful things God has planned for you

April 9, 2009

Magic, Mensa and Mayhem

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 9:20 pm

mmmcoverfrontkarina106

 

 

 

Today my very special guest is Karina Fabian. Her last name should be Fabulous because that is what her writing is, and You may check it out yourself in Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem. Let us now meet Karina:
1. Where did the idea for magic, Mensa and mayhem come from?

My friend, Shirley Starke, edits the North Dakota Mensa newsletter, The Prairie Dawg. She asked if she could print a DragonEye, PI, story. I thought it’d be fun to do a serial, and since the World Gathering was taking place in Florida, I perused the program, asked folks about Mensa gatherings and came up with a story light on mystery and heavy on farce.

2. Magic, Mensa and mayhem (hereafter referred to as MMM), is a fun, action-filled read. How long did it take to write?

Tough question, because I was already halfway into the serial–about eight months’ worth of plot–when Dindy at Swimming Kangaroo approached me about a book. I’d say it took about a month to write, but a lot of the story was already laid out for me and about 8000 words done. One thing to note, however: the novelization turns out quite a bit different fromt eh serial. Even the ending changed. So folks can enjoy both!
3. What, to date, have you found to be the most effective marketing tool?

Online Conventions, actually. I get a lot of website hits and sales when I present or participate in online conventions.

4. Do you have any plans for giving Vern his own book?

Not sure what you mean, since this is Vern’s book–he’s the main character. However, the next novel, Live and Let Fly, has more Vern-focus, I guess you could say. That’s a fun book–not quite as slapstick, though.

5. Have you developed a character website for MMM and if so, what is the address?

Vern and Grace’s website is http://www.dragoneyepi.net. Vern blogs twice a week on the home page; the books and snippets about him and the world there. In addition, I have DragonEye, PI stories for sale. Those who register on the website get a free DragonEye, PI story, “Amateurs” (Honorable mention in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008) and a subscription to “A Dragon’s Eye View” with articles and special offers.

6. You belong to several online groups and social networks. How effective do you find them in terms of marketing and which do you feel is the most effective?

Most of my marketing is done on-line. Each one has its own niche, though I must admit MySpace is least effective I think. Twitter has turned into an unexpected find. Yahoo groups still remain the mainstay, though. I have a lto of friends I met through Yahoo groups.
7. You wrote that there is a difference between Faerie, and Mundane Liturgical music. Could you briefly explain to our readers just what the differences are?

Grace gave a lecture on the differences between Mundane Christian music and Faerie Liturgical music. To be honest, I didn’t write the paper she presented. However, in general, Mundane music has a more entertainment aspect, especially in Christian Rock, while Faerie liturgical music is very worship focused. Also, you don’t find the social aspect in Faerie Music that you find in Mundane music.

Grace takes music very seriously because it’s how she channels power and how power is channeled through her. Thus, there are some Mundane Catholic songs that Grace won’t sing, and she hardly ever sings a secular song.

8. Concerning your writing environment: I do my best writing when I have music playing, preferably classical. Do you prefer quiet or a background of sound?

Depends on the book. Sometimes, I wear my fedora. For Live and Let Fly, which is a super-spy spoof, I played songs from 007 movies. Often, though, I prefer silence.

9. Vern and Grace have picked you up for night out. Where do you have dinner and what evening’s entertainment do they take you to?

If we’re on their turf, it’d probably at Natura’s All-You-Can-Eat buffet. In addition to having lots of food, Natura was one of the first people to befriend Vern, and he has a special attachment to her. She’s a fun lady, too. As for entertainment? Probably watching videos or playing card games. We have a lot of card games Vern would like, though he’d rule out “Give Me the Brain.” He has a thing about zombies.

10. We haven’t discussed Vern yet. You’ve been given the power to visit his world. Describe please, what his personal living space looks like.

In Los Lagos. Colorado? Imagine a warehouse with add-ons so that from above it looks like a Tetris piece. Inside, the front area has a homemade division for the office and another for the kitchen/dining area. Double doors lead to the main warehouse, where Grace and Vern spend much of their time. A raised platform creates a second floor along two sides of the room; below the left side is a small bath and shower. Grace’s bedroom is a converted office on the second level; Vern’s next (old mattresses, pillows and memory foam) is below it. In the far corner, abutting the cement-block wall, is Grace’s workshop where she does her major magic. The top of the walls have stained glass, and when she’s working, the colored lights fill the area; very lovely. The other add-on warehouse sections house stuff that came with the place. Vern never really looked into the boxes. It’s enough that they’re his. I think he likes to imagine they contain treasure, though he won’t admit that.

11. Referring back to question ten, what do you take as a welcoming gift?

A DVD of a movie Vern hasn’t seen yet. Probably sci-fi. Dragons, being immortal creatures, value novelty.

12. A simple question. You have the unique opportunity to live in the Faerie, Mundane or Human world. Which is your choice and why?

There is no “Human” world. Humans live in Faerie and Mundane. However, I like where I live.

13. You have quite the sense of imagery, have you considered opening a virtual Faerie and Mundane clothing store?

ROFL. The visual aspects of the world are the hardest part for me. I have to really work at them. I used to play at designing clothes in middle school, but no. I do want to make some DragonEye, PI, t-shirts, though. My daughter is the artist. She’s working on the design.

14. Where can our readers learn more about Vern, Grace and be able to purchase a copy of this most delightful book?

You can get it at amazon http://tinyurl.com/mmmamazon (also in Kindle version http://tinyurl.com/mmmkindle ). Or order from the publisher at http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/mensa.html.

To learn more about Vern and Grace, check out their website: http://www.dragoneyepi.net.

15. For your final question, would you like to please add a few comments for our readers?
Well, I’d like to offer folks a free autographed bookplate if they e-mail me and tell me they’ve bought Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. They can contact me through the website. Vern will sign, too.

Books don’t happen on their own. I had some great editors at Swimming Kangaroo–Linda Anderson and Jennifer Walker. Roe Mesquita created the awesome cover. And of course, Dindy Robinson, publisher, has been an incredible support through it all. I love working with the Kangaroo Krew!

I really enjoy writing DragonEye, PI, stories, so if you love Vern, please go to the website and check out what else is available.

To see the youtube trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36ao0_gkEjY

March 15, 2009

The Resqueth Revolution, a review

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 10:23 pm

Title: The Resqueth Revolution
Author: Mark H. Phillips
Publisher: iUniverse
Copyright: 2009
ISBN: 978-1-440-10953-9 (paperback), 978-1-440-10954-6 (ebook)
Format: Paperback, ebook
Genre: Science Fiction

“I felt the wind of the scalpel, saw the glitter of it out of the corner of my eye as it passed my left ear and embedded itself in the brick wall behind me.” With an opening like that, it’s hard not to get interested. Mark Phillips knows how to draw the reader in, and glue them to their seat. Was this apparition real or just some trickery? Who, or what, threw that scalpel? I’ll never tell, but it’s an interesting road to the truth. For the record, this is only a bit part in this story. It gets better.

The Resquesth Revolution delves into the world of the paranormal. Is it possible that this book, science fiction though it may be, may have some trickle of truth? How much do we really know about other worlds, other events that seem out of place? Mark Phillips uses clever turns of words to paint a very vivid picture. As you read, a movie plays in your head. You can see and feel the action.

This is not your normal, everyday type of science fiction because there are just enough facts to make a person wonder. Order or pick up a copy and see for yourself how to write good science fiction.

December 19, 2008

Forsaking the Call

Filed under: book tour — unwriter1 @ 11:10 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to interview the next great writer. Let’s now meet Lynn McMonigal, the author of Forsaking the Call.  This is the first of what promises to be a long line of good reading material.

 

1. Let’s start out simple. How long did it take to write, “Forsaking the Call”?
The first draft? It only took me 30 days! The idea had been in my head and sketched in a journal for a few months when I heard about NaNoWriMo in 2007. I thought it was crazy to even consider trying to write a novel in just 30 days, but I figured I would give it a try. Then I took the next year to edit and refine the story into what it is now.
2. How many rejections did it take before being accepted?
It actually was never rejected. It is a self-published book. Not because I thought I would not be able to sell it to a publisher, but because it was an offer from the NaNoWriMo people. After 20 years of dreaming about “someday” being a published novelist, I just did not want to wait anymore. Now seeing my name on a novel has really pushed me to work hard on the next novel to get it published by a traditional publisher.

You’ve got a good imagination. The next few questions will put it to the test.

3. You’ve been hired to write ‘a day in the life’ article. But you want music with you. You will spend the day with a sheepherder and his ranch. The only problem is, his ‘ranch’ is an apartment on the 43rd floor. What music do you want?
Well, the 43rd floor is pretty high up in the air. I would probably feel pretty close to God up there, so I would want some praise and worship music. Maybe Newsboys or Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James or Jaci Velasquez. I know!! I would want one of those WOW Worship CDs, with various artists on it.
4. You’ve won two tickets to nowhere, a small island in the mid Pacific. You’re allowed to take seven items besides clothes. What are they?
My laptop. Need t almost as much as I need oxygen!
My CD collection (that counts as just one item, right?)
Pictures of my sons
My Bible
Pens
Stamps
Stationary set (gotta write home and to my friends!)
5. The shuttle needs a librarian for the space station. You’re it. But you can only take ten books. What are they?
Forsaking the Call, of course!
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Beneath the Surface by Michael Phelps
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
The Bible
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Any Karen Kingsbury Book
Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathy Wunnenberg

6. You’ve entered a drawing held in the space station cafeteria. You won! It’s a round trip ticket to Mars. You may take three books, four DVD movies and five music CD’s. What are they?
Books-
Anne of Green Gables
My Bible
One Tuesday Morning (or whatever Karen Kingsbury book I have on hand!)

DVD Movies-
Fireproof
Aladdin
White Christmas
27 Dresses

Music CDs-
Clay Crosse-Stained Glass Window
Michael W. Smith-The First Decade
New Kids on the Block-The Block
Shania Twain-The Woman In Me
Tim McGraw-Not A Moment Too Soon

7. It’s the end of your vacation. You’ve learned that you are allowed to take the little pet you’ve found on Mars. What is it, what is it’s name, and what do you feed it?
It is a large red Mars rock name Marsy (pronounced as Marcie). Marsy is a rock, so does not need to be fed. I have three sons, one cat, one dog, and one husband. There is no time to worry about feeding, exercising, and cleaning up after another pet. But I think I can handle a pet rock.

8. You’re back home. What is the title of the book describing your adventures?
Lynn’s McMartian Adventures

9. You have two novels started. Tell us a bit more about them, especially “The Ladies of Faith”. That sounds like a good mystery.
The Ladies of Faith actually started off as a series of short stories. I read them one after another and realized they could easily fit together. I had four women-Abby, Lorna, Emily, and Morgan-who attended the same church, but were all harboring secrets they did not want the others to know about. All I had to do was add a little depth to each character and the relationships they had with each other. It was actually a lot of fun! Of course, when the ladies in the Bible study I attend found out what I was working on, they told me I needed to stop coming to the study until I was finished!

It really is not as mysterious as you might think. What the women are dealing with are, for the most part, normal, everyday problems that are faced by women all over the world. All four women are very devout Christians and very involved in the church. Abby is the daughter of a pastor. Lorna is the wife of a pastor. Emily is married to a youth pastor. And Morgan has taught Sunday School for years. They are keeping the events in their lives private because they are afraid of what the others will think of them. How many Christian women have a cheating husband or a husband addicted to pornography or an unwed pregnant daughter? More than might be thought, but these women are so self-conscious about what they are dealing with that they are afraid to lean on one another. It makes for a pretty interesting dynamic.

Summertime, the other novel draft I am working on, came about because of my fascination with boy bands. It was inspired by some New Kids on the Block songs. Originally, I just wrote it for fun for a couple of friends who also love NKOTB. But then it grew and evolved into something I was not expecting. I am very pleased with how it is going.

10. Per our email conversation, you mentioned Kirk Cameron. The name is familiar but that’s all. Please tell us a bit more about him.
You don’t know who Kirk Cameron is? He played Mike Seaver on Growing Pains. Oh, I loved that show! I think Kirk is the first celebrity I ever had a crush on.

He is now a devout Christian, making Christian films and preaching rather than taking part in the more profitable side of Hollywood. I admire that. It is not always easy to speak about your beliefs, especially in this day and age, where those beliefs are often looked at as weaknesses.

Kirk shares his testimony on his website. He talked about sin being anything that is more important in your life than God. There was a time, he said, when he thought so little about God that his dirty socks were more important to him than God was. That really got to me. It made me think about my own life and what things that I put ahead of God. That led to the idea that other people, other Christians probably had things in their lives that kept them from devoting daily time to God. A devotional book, God Vs. The Dirty Socks evolved from that. It’s not finished yet, and needs a lot of work before I even feel comfortable searching for a publisher or agent for it.

11. To borrow a page from a friend of mine. Where can our readers purchase “Forsaking the Call”?
Forsaking the Call is available on Amazon.com, CreateSpace.com, and at my website, Lynn’s Corner

12. Ok, it’s your turn. Take as much space as you need. Tell our readers more about you. Why do you write, what is your muse, etc?
I was 11 when I first knew that I wanted to write. I liked to make up stories to tell my friends on the school playground. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Niedzielski, convinced me to start writing down those stories. I wish I still had some of those, but I don’t. I’ve written short stories and poems since then, always dreaming that “someday” I would publish a novel. But I was never very disciplined about it. I thought it was a good thing to do in my spare time, but I didn’t think it was something that it was wise to quit my day job for.

In 2007, I was forced to leave a job because of pregnancy complications. My third son was born on May 10, a healthy 9 pound, 11 ounce bundle of joy. The day he was born, I started journaling. I talked about him, his big brothers, made up little stories about them. It was fun for me. And then when my doctor cleared me to go back to work, my employer refused to rehire me. They said that even though I had done work for them, I had left without giving a two week notice. I was bothered by that at first, but then I figured, “Maybe this is the time for me to write.” It has been great to be able to do it, to stay home with my youngest, be here when the older two get off the school bus, and still work at something that I love.

Why do I write? To keep my sanity! Nothing has ever made me feel as comfortable as writing. It helps me to release stress and just enjoy life. Writing helps to focus my mind and keep my clinical depression under control. It might sound cliché, but I write because I just cannot not write.

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