Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In Memory Of : Brown, Evans and Ford

We lost some great ones these past few weeks.

James Brown - The Godfather of Soul

Mike Evans

Creator of Good times and

Lionel Jefferson on the Jefferson

Gerald Ford

The 38th President of The United States

Friday, December 22, 2006

What would you do?

I’m a big fan of For Better Or Worse comic strip. This week the story has been about a man finishing his manuscript. He typed THE END and thought he smelled smoke in his house. He got his family out and went back inside because he couldn’t leave his manuscript.

Would you have gone back in to get your book?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My First Review

How I Met My Sweetheart


Amani Publishing

ISBN: 097528519X

Published: February 2007

Rating: 5 Stars - Supreme

Reviewed by: Clara Sutton

Eighteen authors tell how they met their sweethearts. If you are a romantic at heart you will enjoy reading these stories. Sharing how they met his or her soulmate is an inspiration to all of us who have loved and lost, and who has been hurt badly by someone that you loved in the past.

Reading their stories, lets the reader know that with patient, time and the willingness to take that chance on true love, and above all that the love, faith, and belief in GOD, all things are possible and we all can find the love of a good man or woman. We just have to be patient and trust in GOD and what we feel in our hearts.

I really enjoyed reading How I Met My Sweetheart and especially your story. I am glad that you made the right decision for you. I just can't imagine how hard it was to break off an engagement without hurting someone's feelings.

Clara Sutton
Shades Of Romance Magazine Reviewer

You may pre-order an autographed copy of How I Met My Sweetheart by sending a check/money order to the following address for $12.00 (includes tax and shipping):

LaShaunda Hoffman
7127 Minnesota Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63111

Monday, December 11, 2006

AUTHOR INTRO: Brenda Jenkins

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Brenda Jenkins:
Brenda is a national motivational speaker that gets right to the heart of the issue. She is the mother to four adult children and the proud grandmother to twelve grandchildren. She loves people. Brenda is very transparent and has no problem sharing her victories overcoming rough times in her life. She has the ability to see the expected outcome of tasks and works to put plans in place to reach that end.

Brenda is well verse in problem solving, organizational, and interpersonal tasks.
As CEO of ARIEL Connections her passion is “Providing Relationship Solutions to Organizations that Value People”.

She is a volunteer instructor for Detroit Parent Network. She currently teaches the Facilitator/Speaker class for Parents.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

JENKINS: "He is Not Left Behind... He is with Me! Preparing for Legacy was written to encourage society that our children can not be left behind as long as we do the best we can to protect, teach, role model and love them.

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

JENKINS: Each of us do the best we can and share our skills with our younger generation. To continue learning, stay healthy, and have good relationships with all people.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

JENKINS: First just write. Revisit for purpose. Then outline with focus on purpose. Review and get feedback from others.

See Ya On The Net: What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

JENKINS: That it is possible to become published.

See Ya On The Net: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

JENKINS: Great for exploring ideas.

See Ya On The Net: What do you do to make time for yourself?

JENKINS: Use to do list that is updated daily.

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

JENKINS: "Gifted Hands" by Dr. Ben Carson

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

JENKINS: US Government sites (Federal, State and Local)
School Districts
Free Library

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

JENKINS: US Mail: ARIEL Connections
P.O. Box 22
Royal Oak, MI 48068-0022


Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Sue Dent

Sue Dent was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and currently resides in Ridgeland. When not writing, Sue designs websites and works with digital photograpy.

Sue loves to hear from her fans through her Website in fact, the push from eager readers has already set the ball rolling, and she's hard at work on Forever Richard, the sequel.

In Never Ceese, Sue sets out to prove that faith and fun can live happily in the same story, and that vampire/werewolf fantasy can have a spiritual message too.


Never Ceese takes religious fantasy to a new level, bringing an entirely new Light to a very dark side of fiction, doing a very admirable job to prove that vampire/werewolf fantasy does not have to be evil to be enjoyed.

The story starts with the classic tale of an English manor owned by Richard, the vampire who righteously is the bain of his neighbor's existence, what with the missing goats and all!

Then enters Cecelia, better known as Ceese, the young werewolf maiden who's arrived via invitation by Richard's aging companion, Penelope.

Ceese and Richard would prefer to tear each other apart, literally, but they are drawn together by their mutual love for Penelope. She is dying and has one request...that the two of them love one another.

This is the overall theme throughout Dent's interesting tale of two who were wronged but learn to work together. Meanwhile they are threatened by an evil stem cell researcher who wants the immortality and power that he thinks their blood will bring him!

Dent's characters do differ from the stock one's we're all accustomed to in a very important way. They are not mindless, brutal killers. Bloodthirsty, yes, but they are constantly resisting the urge to kill, and, thus, curse another human. Feeding on rodents, goats, virtually any warm-blooded animal helps to satiate the never ending thirst for blood, but how long will they be able to resist that most delicious morsel man?

There is a chance that their curses can actually be lifted if they can find the strength within to resist their selfish natures and act selflessly toward another. Will they succeed? That same basic choice lies before us all every day...

A vampire and a werewolf, one determined to, once again, be able to acknowledge what will get her to heaven, the other no so sure he can. A spiritual fantasy designed to spark the imagination, to speak to the heart as well as entertain.

Sue Den't website:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

CFBA Author Intro: R.K. Mortenson

R.K. Mortenson

I'm R. K. Mortenson (the R and K may stand for "Really Kind," "Radically Kool," or "Remarkably Knowledgeable." They also happen to be my initials-Randall Kent. Though I go by Randy.) I've loved children's fantasy and adventure stories my whole life. Still do. Can't get enough of them. That's why I decided to write some of my own.

Landon Snow

Meet Landon Snow he is a small town boy just like you! He fights with his younger sisters, he is confused by adults, filled with doubts about God, and disillusioned with life, but a magic journey through the Book of Meaning will lead him into a realm where new friends are discovered and answers unearthed.

Fall into the pages of Landon Snow and become captivated by this compelling story. Follow Landon into a fantasy world where books speak, chess pieces come to life, and a golden coin rules the Odds. You'll cheer when a once-disillusioned boy emerges from this awesome adventure with his faith regained and hope restored.

Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle is the first book of a new series for fantasy fans of all ages. Once you enter this otherworld, you may find it hard to leave.

Visit R.K. Mortenson:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In Memory Of Bebe Moore Campbell

The literary community is mourning the loss of a great African American writer.

Bebe Moore Campbell

Campbell was the author of three New York Times best sellers: Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001. Her other works include the novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for literature.
Her most recent novel was 72-Hour Hold, the story of mother willing to do anything to help her mentally ill child. She was diagnosed earlier this year with a neurological condition.

My deepest sympathies goes out to Ms. Campbell's family and friends.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

CFBA Author Intro: Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck

Born in Redwood City, I attended Sequoia High School, the same school my parents attended. Yeah, we're in a rut.

I went to San Jose State University and majored in Advertising, then I worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then,
I was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing. It's way more boring than it sounds, trust me.

I got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until I found my passion: Chick Lit. Who would have ever guessed all these useless facts might someday be useful?

Calm, Cool & Adjusted

Best friends since Johnny Depp wore scissors for hands, "The Spa Girls" live very separate lives, but stay in touch with routine visits to California's Spa Del Mar. The third novel in the Spa Girls Series focuses on Silicon Valley chiropractor Poppy Clayton, who is as colm, cool and adjusted as they come. Or is she? Known for her bad fashion sense, a love for all things natural and the inability to get a second date, Poppy is beginning to wonder if she might be misaligned herself. Her route to self discovery will be an unnatural one - a plastic surgeon, a house in Santa Cruz and a wedding date from the dark side. It's all enough to send a girl - and her gal pals - running for the spa.

Visit Kristin at:

Monday, November 20, 2006

St. Louis News Report

The next day after my beloved Cardinals won the World Series, our city was declared the #1 city for Crime, Detroit was #2.

We here in St. Louis were not happy with this news. The media has a habit of reporting the bad news in cities and never the good news.

This weekend we had some good news you probably won’t hear about in the world news.

This weekend 10 homes built by the Habitat for Humanity were dedicated to 10 single moms in St. Louis. For months, these mothers worked right beside other volunteers to build their home.

One of these individuals was my youngest sister. She is now a new home owner. Her two story home is beautiful. We all were so proud to see all her hard work pay off.

This is the type of news we like to hear about, but of course they’re never in the media.

Other news happening in St. Louis:

LaShaunda and Clyde Hoffman celebrated 10 years of marital bliss. On November 16th 1996 we became man and wife. Marriage has definitely been an adventure, but we both admitted these ten years have flown by. My hubby said it must mean we’re doing OK.

We both agreed for the next ten years to be more attentive.

One of our treats to each other was a movie together. We never go to the movies without the kids, so it was nice to snuggle together and watch Casino Royal. We’re both James Bond fans and enjoyed this movie. Of course the little baby, who tagged alone, decided he didn’t like seating in the chair and balled up in a knot for the whole movie. I decided that I won’t be doing any more movie dating until after the baby comes. Having a huge knot in your side isn’t very comfortable.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

CFBA AUTHOR INTRO: Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge

Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1 (WaterBrook Press). She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.


Channel 7 News producer Hugo Talley dreams of working with first-class professionals. Instead he’s saddled with an aging anchorwoman who refuses to release her claw-like grip on the newsdesk, a conscience-stricken reporter who’s reluctant to focus on sensationalism, and a new assistant–former homeschool student Hayden Hazard–who can’t just seem to leave her faith outside the newsroom. When the Channel 7 News team inadvertently stumbles on a hot news story, Hugo is frantic to exploit this rare opportunity. But a series of crises–including a Botox disaster and the disappearance of a colleague–threatens to destroy his chance for ratings success and send him completely over the edge. With their oddball antics and all-too-real foibles, this lovable cast of characters offers a hilarious look at the sometimes unexpected effects of taking one’s faith boldly into the workplace.

Visit Rene at:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NOV - Random Thoughts

Da Vinci Code

Have you read this book? I’m a little late on reading it, but I’m glad I did. I listen to it on CD. It kept my attention from CD one to CD 13. The story definitely made you do some serious thinking about the Bible and what was fiction and what wasn’t.

I’ve decided that this was a work of fiction. Yes some of the things said in it made me go hmmm. However I’ve decided that those are just more questions I have to ask Jesus when we meet up in heaven. I know we’ll have some interesting conversations when we do meet and I’m looking forward to them.


This show has captured my attention. I think it’s because I’m a superhero fan. I love the story line and look forward to each episode. They always ended making you go WHAT!

The brother’s flying, the man who can stop time and the girl who can never get hurt, it’s like a live comic book.

I hope they make it through the season.

The other show that I’m enjoying is brothersandsisters. They had me at Calista Flockhart. I loved her in Ally McBeal. This family drama definitely has some drama in the family.

When the mother let everyone know she knew her husband had an affair and who the affair was with, I cracked up because I knew she wasn’t as naive as she let on.

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next.

Monday, November 13, 2006

In Memory of Gerald Levert

Gerald Levert
Whenever I asked an author whose music she listened to when writing, Gerald’s name always came up. His songs were the type of songs that inspired, love scenes and romance.

When I think of Gerald, I remember him starting out with Levert and how much I played their first CD when I was stationed in San Diego.

I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert once and seeing Gerald in concert twice.
I was front row center listening to him croon to us.

The G-Bear as his fans called him knew how to romance a woman.

My sympathy goes out to his family and fans.
I know we’re going to miss him forever.
His music will always be with us to inspire us even more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Siri Mitchell: When I’m listening to a sermon and I’m taking notes, chances are, I’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If I’m nodding my head in response to a really profound statement, I’m probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.”

When I’m editing my manuscripts, I laugh at the funny parts. And I cry at the sad parts.

Sometimes I even talk to my characters. “Okay, Joe. Talk to me. Tell me what you’re thinking here.” And yes, the characters answer me. I actually hear them talking in my head.

Half the time, I think I’m an okay writer. The other half, I’m tempted to take a magnet to the hard drive.

The easy part is writing. The hardest part is editing. The worst part is wondering if the books are going to sell.

I have plenty of ideas for books; the thing I lack is the time to write them. I write by the word. Other writers write by the page. However you want to tally it, 85,000 words is a lot of pages.

In the world of writing I have done nothing right. I wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before I signed with a publisher. And then I had to write a fifth book so that they could publish it. In the process, I saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than I care to admit. I vowed never to write another word again. Ever. I went on writing strikes and I even stooped to threatening my manuscripts with the shredder.


Writing is the most fun I’ve ever had. Writing is what I look forward to. Writing is what gives me energy. A daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother. Those are the roles I have. A writer is who I am.

The Cubicle Next Door

Siri Mitchell’s insightful, funny chick–lit style shines in this story of putting up walls and tearing them down—all for love.

Jackie Harrison, a computer administrator at the Air Force Academy, is a self–proclaimed geek who must share her cubicle space with the new guy, instructor and former pilot Joe Gallagher. She turns to her online journal to vent and eventually to express growing feelings toward this office neighbor who is everything she is not—fun, happy, and social.

But when her blog is featured as a top pick on primetime news, everyone reads it—including Joe. Will he figure out the words of adoration and confusion are written about him? And will Jackie ever risk expressing her heart offline?

Monday, November 06, 2006

TGFBA: Author Intro: Tamika Johnson

Meet Me at the Altar

(Leading Ladies Publishers)

October 2006

Tamika Johnson

Where do you go when you discover your husband is on the down low? When your husband wants to come back after he abandoned you and your child? When you no longer want to prostitute yourself? When you've fallen for a woman who's soul is broken? You meet Me at the altar...




...I could tell you that my husband loves me and treats me, right...but you read enough fiction. My husband rarely comes home anymore and when he does he sleeps on the couch or complains that I am not the woman he married. He had the nerve to say that marrying me was an experience he would not want to repeat.

No one gets married thinking that one day they are going to fall out of love with their spouse and get a divorce, and no one, I mean no one ever thinks that the man that falls to his knees and plants an engagement ring on your finger, then stands before a room full of people and pronounces his undying love for you will ever sum up your life together as an experience. Judge Mablean where are you when we need you, girlfriend?

Now I know that you are wondering why I on't talk to someone like my pastor or the First Lady of my church...been there and done that so many times.

"Sister, Shana, if you would just submit things would get better." Pastor Hughes said that to me. Told me I have a problem with authority.

"A man likes to know that his wife is going to be home waiting up for him when he gets there , no matter what time he comes in the house." The First Lady told me that.

What I'd like to know is why I have to be the one waiting up until three and four o'clock for him when I am the one working three jobs to pay our bills? Can you answer that, Pastor and First Lady?

© 2006 Tamika Johnson

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Monday, October 30, 2006

OCT 06 AUTHOR INTRO: Janice Thompson

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Janice Thompson:
Hi readers! This is Janice Thompson from the Houston area. I've been writing for the Christian market for about ten years now, and love what I do! I'm the mother of four girls (we'll talk more about them in a bit). Many of my story ideas come from real-life experiences. To date, I've written nearly a dozen novels and a couple of non-fiction books. To learn more about me (and my book projects), feel free to visit my website at

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

I'm so excited about my first ever cozy mystery THE WEDDING CAPER (Barbour Publishing). Here's a blurb about the book:

When a $25,000 night deposit mysteriously disappears from the Clark County Savings and Loan, Annie Peterson has reason to be concerned and to assume the role of amateur sleuth. Her husband’s job at the bank makes him a potential suspect, but knowing him to be a godly man, she can’t imagine it. Then again, there is that matter of the weddings to factor in. Twin daughters Brandi and Candy have just received proposals and two weddings are pending. Sure, Warren occasionally jokes about robbing the bank to pay for the ceremonies, but Annie knows him better than that, doesn’t she?

Just about the time Annie thinks she can wriggle Warren off the suspect hook, he mysteriously shows up with enough cash to cover the cost of both weddings. Annie dives into the investigation and the suspects pile up. One by one they fall, leaving her with only one logical choice. Who will it be a somber-faced loan officer, a security guard with a shady past, a drifter with local ties or the man she loves?

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

Annie Peterson is an "average" mother and wife. She's "called" into the adventurous life of a super-sleuth quite accidentally. I can relate to Annie on so many levels! I'm more like her than I dare confess. She's trying to balance her workload of editing, wedding planning and crime-solving. I'm trying to balance my roles as author, speaker, wedding planner and mom. It's a lot, but I'm having a blast! I told you I'd get back to talking about my daughters, and the time has come! In 2004, two of my daughters (not twins, thankfully) received proposals within weeks of each other. My oldest (Randi) was married in February in a lovely Valentine's celebration. My second-oldest (Courtney) was married five months later, in June. The weddings - which I coordinated - were amazing! Since them, I've coordinated weddings for several others. And, I'm happy to announce, my third daughter (Megan) has just received a proposal of marriage, so we're in wedding-planning mode again! I also want to add (as a side note) that my dachshund (Sasha) makes several appearances in the book. The publisher was so excited that they actually put Sasha on the cover!

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

I'm a huge believer in marketing, and I'm pulling out all the stops for this one! Barbour has hired a marketing firm to help promote the book, but I'm not letting that stop me from getting the word out. One of the coolest ideas I've come up with thus-far is my podcast, which can be found at At this site, readers can hear me talking about the book, and can even see photos of my real-life family! Another really fun idea just came about today, in fact! Annie Peterson (my heroine/super-sleuth) learns how to become a crime fighter by taking online classes at (this is all in the book). Anyway, the site didn't really exist - until today! I got to thinking, "How fun would it be for readers - curious after reading the book - to visit the site, only to learn that it's Annie Peterson's "real" site! I'll add more to it as time goes by, but I've laid the foundation, and it's been a blast! All of these things are linked to my personal website: and my newsletter (on my website). If your readers are interested in signing up for my newsletter, they can send me an email at

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

I hardly know where to start! I guess the first thing would be to stay on a "forever" learning curve. Take as many courses (online or in person) as you can. I would also suggest creative writing exercises - to keep your ideas flowing. If your readers are ever in need of ideas, I have a ton of them! (I used to teach creative writing at a Christian school of the arts.) Go to conferences - and when you get there, take advantage of the opportunity to meet with editors and agents one-on-one. Overcome any fears you might have and realize that everyone there is just as nervous as you are! Be willing to accept critique - don't be easily offended. And remember that you are growing daily as a writer. Each day is a new day - and each word you write is a new word. Most of all (above anything you can do in the natural) stay tuned in to God for a fresh "word" from Him. He will keep your writing on-target.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

Don't necessarily buy into the trends. Just because publishing houses aren't buying historical fiction today (just an example) doesn't mean they won't be tomorrow. So don't toss your God-ordained ideas just because something doesn't seem to be selling.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Enrique Remarque)
The Pearl (John Steinbeck)
Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)
At the Scent of Water (Linda Nichols)

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

Coldwater Revival (Nancy Jo Jenkins)

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

I guess I'd probably have to say research sites are my number one hit. Well, after, that is. I use the online Bible (with its various versions) constantly. I also take advantage of stock photography and other graphics from the web for the sites I build.
See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

THOMPSON: (I'm taking submissions for this monthly ministry e-zine)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Halloween Party

Each year the business park has its annual Halloween party for the tenants.

They gave out door prizes and have the best costume contest. This year I entered.

I was Ms. Smartie Pants. No I didn’t win.

Part of the event is we participate in the trick or treating for the day care kids across the street. They come in and sing a song we give them a bag of goodies.

This year they thought I was the treat. These little children tried to attack me and take my smarties, it was too funny. I kept telling them, “I’m not the treat.” One little girl was bold enough to snatch one off. That made not winning worth it. LOL!

This is a closer picture, couldn't get it to rotate. If you know how to rotate, please tell me.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


The St. Louis Cardinals are the 2006 World Champions


Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Jerome Teel

Jerome is a graduate of Union University and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is a full time Attorney and is actively involved with his church, community, and coaching youth sports.

He and his wife Jennifer reside in Tennessee with their three children. This is his debut novel about faith and politics.


They seek ultimate power.

Nothing can stand in their way.

Ed Burke has waited a lifetime to become president of the United States. He's not about to let his nemesis, Mac Foster, stop him now...especially when he's sold his soul for the Oval Office.

Claudia Duval has lived a rough life. And finally, things have turned around for her after meeting the wealthy Hudson Kinney. But is all what it seems?

When a prominent citizen is murdered in Jackson, Tennessee, attorney Jake Reed doesn't want to know the truth. He just wants to get his client off. But as he investigates, he uncovers a sinister scheme. A scheme that would undermine the very democracy of America...and the freedom of the entire world.

Visit Jerome at:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Answered Prayers

Sunday night, my son comes down stairs near tears. A centipede was crawling on his cover, freaked him out. Since I didn't want to tackle those stairs I told him to bring his blanket down stairs. We shook the blanket out, but he still didn’t feel comfortable going back to his room.

I told him let's pray about it. The Lord will keep him safe. I said a quick prayer and he went upstairs.

The next afternoon, he comes to me and said, “It worked Mama,” I’m lost of course, so I say, “What worked honey?” "The prayer, God kept me safe. The centipede didn’t come back.”

I said, “Of course, God will always keep you safe.”

Don’t you just love it when God answers your prayers?

Keep on praying, he’s listening.

Monday, October 23, 2006

AUTHOR INTRO: Karen H. Whiting

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Karen H. Whiting:
I’m a mother of five and also a grandmother. I still have one teen son at home. I never wanted to write. My degree is math and I enjoy numbers and puzzles! Many people urged me to write about what I did with my children and as a mom. After much prayer I decided to try it. That was 12 years and ten books ago. I can’t get ideas out of my mind until I write them down!

I enjoy family, love children, and like to knit, bicycle ride (on a tandem with my husband), horseback ride, and entertaining. I’ve spoken as far away as Malaysia.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

My newest book is Secrets of Success for Women: Time. It offers inspiration, practical tips, and creative solutions for women drowning in busyness and chaos. It is compact and is a gift book, too, with beautiful color photos and graphics.

The time principles are drawn from Genesis 1, the most productive week in history. The book came after my own struggle with over-commitment! When I speak I share the hilarious stories of my time bloopers!

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

A sense that they can make better choices and reduce stress in life to allow them to spend more time in what they are truly called to do in relationships and ministry.

See Ya On The Net: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

My daughters starting having families and wanted help with time management, and I realized lots of women needed some of the same tips. I wanted to offer a compact book for busy women who don’t have time to read a big book!

See Ya On The Net: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

On the positive side, it’s a great outlet for creative ideas and I’ve meet many wonderful people as a writer and speaker. My mind is always popping with new thoughts and this is a great way to share them.

On the down side, it’s hard work and not glamorous. People seem to think I’m rich from writing books so I can speak for free (not even gas money). I do like speaking but it takes time from writing and the writing pays very little.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

I’ve done lots of radio interviews, speaking, articles, and anything I can do to get the word out. This is my second blog interview.

My best selling books simply spread by word of mouth and did not have a lot of competition in the market place. It’s very important to promote your books because the shelves are crowded with lots of choices.

If you like a book, do tell others about it. If you find a Christian book makes a difference in your life, share the book as it is a way to share your faith!

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five favorite writing books of all time.

Christian Writing and Speaking edited by Susan Titus Osborn (the first writing book I read. It helped me understand what to do).

Feminine Wiles by Donna Elizabeth Boetig taught me tons about writing for women

Websters Dictionary and Thesaurus-my handy tool for finding new words that has it all in one!

Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide-lets me know who is publishing what & gives tips of their needs.

100 Plus Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers compiled by Donna Goodrich, Mary Lou Kingler, and Jan Potter—infuses me with inspiration and reminds me I’m not alone in my writing experiences!

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

Fiction:Debra White Smith’s Reason and Romance

Nonfiction: Conversation Peace by Mary A Kassian

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

Dogpile for my search engine as it brings up the top and closest matches.

Amazon to scope out the competition.

I look for actual research studies, not just places that quote figures-I try and find the source of the facts.

Visit Karen at:

Friday, October 20, 2006

We're Going To The World Series

Don't tell me God doesn't answers prayers.

My boys are going to the World Series.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Go Cards!

I’m sure you know I’m a huge Albert Pujols fan. I’m sending up a prayer tonight they win the pendant. Its time we had another World Series here in St. Louis.

I’ve been glued to the t.v. all this week watching the game, praying for my boys, cheering and screaming.

Baseball is one of those games, you don’t know what’s going to happen. One minute it can be 0-0 and the next ending they can score five runs.

I would love to attend the World Series, but I know I’ll have to settle for the big screen in my den instead. That’s OK, I’ll still be screaming for my boys.

Go Cards!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s #1 inspirational novelist. There are nearly 5 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold in the past year. Karen has written more than 30 novels, nine of which have hit #1 on national lists.

Karen earned her degree in journalism in 1986 and worked as a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times and the LA Daily News. She went on to write general assignment front-page stories for the Daily News. Her first book was based on a murder story she covered in Los Angeles. She made the transition to inspirational fiction in 1998.

A popular speaker at women’s groups around the country, Karen spends her spare time writing songs with several chart-topping Nashville stars and corresponding with readers via her email ( and her website ( She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their six children, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. They celebrate their faith daily by laughing, loving and living life to the fullest.

Like Dandelion Dust

Jack and Molly Campbell enjoyed an idyllic life in their small hometown outside Atlanta with their adopted 4-year-old, Joey. Then they receive the phone call that shatters their world: a social worker delivers the news that Joeys biological father has been released from prison and is ready to start life overbut with his son. When a judge rules that Joey must be returned to his father, the Campbells, in a silent haze of grief and utter disbelief, watch their son pick a dandelion and blow the feathery seeds into the wind. Struggling with the dilemma of following the law, their hearts, and what they know to be morally right, the Campbells find that desperation leads to dangerous thoughts. What if they can devise a plan? Take Joey and simply disappear....LIKE DANDELION DUST.

Visit Karen at:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Author Intro: Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote: I'm an empty nester with two grown children. My husband and I will celebrate our 32 anniversary this week (I was only 10 when we married. ) I love to write light contemporary romance, contemporary romantic suspense, but my true love is writing historical family sagas.

Linda Leigh Sinclair is born in the aftermath of WW II. Raised near Ivy Manor, enveloped in the love of her family, Leigh has everything she could possibly need—but not everything she wants. Her overwhelming need for freedom for herself and for others leads her into the modern civil rights movement.

At eighteen, Leigh watches the powers that be collide with the radical causes of the 1960's. Choosing the dangerous path of a journalist, Leigh witnesses and writes about the protests and riots against segregation and the war in Vietnam. While caught up in the winds of change, she falls in love. Joy turns to pain when Leigh discovers that some men lie.

To survive, Leigh must mature quickly and call on God’s forgiveness and power.
Will she become the strong and capable woman
her child—and the world—needs?

Visit Lyn at:

Friday, October 13, 2006


When I was a teenager my middle sister hosted her annual slumber/birthday parties. They usually consisted of about 15 girls, friends and family members. We were up all night eating pizza and popcorn and talking about our favorite subject, boys.

The last weekend of September, we began the tradition again with my daughter. For her 9th birthday she wanted to have a slumber party. I stupidly agreed to 15 girls. I was thinking they all wouldn’t show up. The week of the party we’d only received three RSVPs, but I knew we’d probably hear from more by the day of the party. What is it with RSVP? Do we forget what the words mean?

My daughter likes Hello Kitty, so we used that as her party decorations and decided on a movie night as her theme. I rented a couple of movies, bought movies snacks, hotdogs, popcorn and tons of candy. My daughter wanted nachos, I was like no way.

The night of the party 11 girls showed up. Or should I say screaming girls. (I’d completely forgotten about the screaming)

The trampoline in the yard kept them entertain for a while, then they bum rushed the house and the real party began. While they changed into their pajamas, I started the hotdogs. I figured they would eat and settle down. (OK I was in complete denial, 11 screaming girls, settle down, yeah right)

They played a game of twister. These little girls were serious about winning. It was too funny they way they twisted their bodies. After the game I fed them which increased their energy, so they played a game of Scene It. This was noisy game too because you have to shout out the answers.

I finally convinced them to watch a movie. While they were watching the movie I snuck up to my bedroom to chat with my hubby. I moaned, “When are they going to sleep?” He laughed, “LaShaunda its only 10 o’clock.” “Oh no! Why does it feel later?”

This pregnant body wasn’t up for a slumber party. I had a flashback of sitting up talking all night. Ah man these girls would never go to sleep.

I think the best part of the party was my son announcing to me in the kitchen, while I fixed plates, “this is my house too and I’m not leaving.” This six year old decided his sister’s rule of him staying upstairs during the party wasn’t going to work for him. Through out the party he was right there checking everything out.

The girls had their talk about who likes who. I pretended to be watching the movie, while easedropping. My daughter glances over at me before saying, "I don't like anybody." I'm sure she does but since Mommy is in the room, I'm not confessing. I still like to believe she's not into boys. She's only 9.

Would you believe they even sang God Bless America at the top of their lungs. Its a song they're learning at school. I guess it beats Laffy Taffy (believe you don't want to know what that song says)

The girls finally passed out about 2 am. I slept for a little while, when I heard my niece wake up. It was 7:30. They thought it was time to start all over again. I set up the breakfast of cereal, fruit and yogurt and prayed for their parents to be on time.

We watched another movie, after the movie the trampoline called to them. They jumped on it until their parents came.

I survived the slumber party. I smiled to myself because I knew this was just the beginning of an old tradition. I’m sure one day my daughter will look back her slumber parties and remember all the good times. For that it was all worth it.

What traditions have you started with your children?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: Alison Strobel

Alison Strobel

I've had three dreams since I was a kid: to be a singer, to be a teacher, and to be a writer. You won't see me on American Idol any time soon, but the other two have, miraculously, come true.

Born and raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois, I started writing stories in the first grade and just never stopped. When it came to higher education, however, I went with the safe choice of an education major, which I pursued at the University of Illinois. Upon my 1999 graduation, I took a job that had nothing to do with writing or teaching—administration with the Axis ministry at Willow Creek Community Church—then moved a year later to California.

It was there that I began teaching and writing seriously. Shortly after relocating I began writing “Worlds Collide,” and in 2002 signed a two-book contract with Waterbrook Press, an imprint of Random House. I left teaching after my third year in order to pursue writing full-time, and saw that career launch with the release of my first novel in March of 2005. My second novel, “Violette Between,” will be released in may 2006, and my hope is that a new book will follow every year from now on.

Now if I could just get myself a record deal…

Violette Between

Between here and the past, there lies a place…
…a place of longing for what has been rather than hoping for what could be.

A true artist, Violette is passionate and emotional. Climbing back into life after suffering a loss, she teeters on the precipice of a new relationship with Christian, a psychologist who not only understands her struggles but offers safety and his heart.

As Violette and Christian begin to feel something they both thought impossible, tragedy strikes again. Violette becomes trapped in a place of past memories–and she finds that she may not.

Visit Alison at:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Organization for Black Fiction Writers

This new organization is open to FICTION writers, no matter what genres you write. We’re just getting started. If dues are a problem for you, then you want to be able to speak up now than wait until the dues are set. Do you want a group that will offer workshops online and off. Then this is the time to make your voice heard.

I truly believe if we come together collectively we can make a difference and help each other.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: Ginger Garrett

Ginger Garrett is an acclaimed novelist and expert in ancient women's history.

Her first novel, Chosen, was recognized as one of the best five novels of the year by the Christian publishing industry. Ginger enjoys a diverse reader base and creates conversation between cultures.

In addition to her 2006 and 2007 novels about the most evil women in biblical history, she will release Beauty Secrets of the Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) in Summer 2007.

Dark Hour

From the back cover:

God promised the Serpent a war with Woman, and was She ever ready.

One of the darkest and bloodiest stories of all time comes not from a medieval battlefield, but from inside one of the most opulent palaces ever built. The strategies come not from men eager to extend their influence, but from women bent on exercising their wit and prowess in a kingdom not their own. The only rule is that there are no rules. Treason and murder are fair game, marriage is meaningless, children are the enemy, and the days of the house of David are numbered. Unless one woman can find the strength to defeat them all.

Visit Ginger at:

Monday, October 02, 2006

OCT06 Author Intro: Margaret Daley

See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Margaret Daley:
I have been writing for twenty-eight years. I sold my first book to Silhouette Romance in 1981. Since then I have sold forty-nine more books. I am currently writing for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense.

When I’m not writing, I teach high school special education. I love to teach and have really enjoyed working with teenagers. I also enjoy reading and going to lunch and a movie with a friend.

I have been married to my husband for thirty-six years and we have one son who recently married. As a family we have enjoyed traveling to different places all over the world. It’s hard to pick one favorite place I’ve been.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

My current book is Tidings of Joy, my fifth and last book in the Ladies of Sweetwater Lake. This is the blurb on the back of the book:

He came to Sweetwater to repay a debt. Chance Taylor didn’t expect to have feelings for his new landlady, Tanya Bolton. He could see newly widowed Tanya had worked hard to put the pieces of her world back together, caring for her wheelchair-bound daughter and taking a job at the local bank.

Chance’s arrival interrupted Tanya’s routine...and brought unexpected happiness to her life. But the secret obligation he struggled with meant Chance could lose Tanya--and his chance for a fresh start--forever.

See Ya On The Net: What would I like my readers to take away from the book?

The importance of second chances. Both Tanya and Chance get one and almost lose it. We can start over and we shouldn’t be afraid to when we need to.

See Ya On The Net: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

The character of Tanya was in the first four books of the series and she kept growing throughout the other stories. She has had to deal with a lot in her life, but with Chance she finds she can actually help another hurting more than she.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

I think we have to promote our books. I have a web site and a blog which I think is important for a writer. I also participate in the Steeple Hill boards at eHarlequin web site. But the most important thing is to write the best book possible. Hopefully your story speaks for you.

See Ya On The Net: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That we get rich writing for a living. Yes, there are some who do but the majority of writers don’t.

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

James Rollins’ Black Order--I love his adventure/suspense books.

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

Whatever I need. I usually google a topic and search for resources that way. It will depend on what I need to research. Also, the writers on ACFW, FHL and KOD’s loops are wonderful as a resource.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you?

My e-mail is
My web site is

My address is P.O. Box 2074, Tulsa, OK 74101.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist, writing "Seatbelt Suspense" for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers. She also has written the distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons).

She and her family divide their time between the California Bay Area and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Visit her website at


A young woman with a mysterious past and a deep need to belong. An assassin with unusual methods and great professional pride. One woman’s secrets unleash an entire town’s pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

From the Back Cover

Something sinuous in the water brushed against Paige’s knee. She jerked her leg away. What was that? She rose to a sitting position, groped around with her left hand.

Fine wisps wound themselves around her fingers.


She yanked backward, but the tendrils clung. Something solid bumped her wrist. Paige gasped. With one frantic motion she shook her arm free, grabbed the side of the hot tub, and heaved herself out.

Paige Williams slips into her hot tub in the blackness of night—and finds herself face to face with death.

Alone, terrified, fleeing a dark past, Paige must make an unthinkable choice.

In Violet Dawn, hurtling events and richly drawn characters collide in a breathless story of murder, the need to belong, and faith’s first glimmer. One woman’s secrets unleash an entire town’s pursuit, and the truth proves as elusive as the killer in their midst.

I’m a big fan of Brandilyn’s blog. It was one of the first blogs I started visiting. I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing from her. I highly recommend reading from the first post until now. She shares her experiences about breaking into the writing business.

Brandilyn's blogsite:

Scenes and Beans, the virtual blog for the fictional Kanner Lake characters from this book series:

Baby Names

Don’t you just love coming up with your child’s name?

My husband and I had a great time coming up with our daughter’s name. I’d throw a name out and my hubby would veto it. I finally found a name I loved. Michaela, yes I was a Dr. Quinn fan. My husband thought I said Nichaela and fell in love with the name. I like unusual names, so I agreed on Nichaela. We haven’t met any Nichaela yet, so its hers for a while.

When it came to our son, I wanted to name him after his daddy. Clyde isn’t a name many people have so I thought it would be perfect. My hubby hated his name and vetoed it quickly. We went through a bunch of names until we agreed on Rahaman, which is my husband’s middle name. I even called the baby Rocky as he grew inside me.

The day he was born, my husband looked at him and said you can name him whatever you want. I smiled because the baby looked just like his daddy. I knew he could see he was a Clyde Jr too. We called him CJ until he started preschool last year. He politely informed us his name was Clyde not CJ.

Now we have to come up with a new name, so I’m asking for your help. My hubby is good at vetoing names, so if you have something unusual send it my way.

For now I’m calling the baby Malik. I like it, reminds me of Malik Yarbo he was a cutie.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It’s a BOY

I had the ultrasound and it’s a boy. Watching him move on the monitor was amazing. A little person is growing inside of me. Seeing his heart beat brought tears to my eyes. During pregnancy you always hear the child’s heart beat, but to actually see the heart beating is breath taking.

My little tummy is no longer little. Everyone at church keeps teasing me that I’m having twins, I tell them if so, one is going home with someone. LOL.

My kids are getting a kick out of seeing my stomach grow, each day the run up to me to touch and see how big it is.

Last week I attended a conference for my job. To my surprise they held a surprise baby shower for me. Again the tears were held in check. Have to stay professional.

I had no idea they were doing this, especially since there was another pregnant co-worker who is due next month. I knew about her shower, I just didn’t realize it was a joint one. There were two beautiful cakes and baby presents.

My son is six and so we gave away every baby thing we own two years ago. We honestly thought we were done. God had other plans, so now we’re like new parents, scrambling for baby things.

I registered at and if you would like to donate to the Hoffman’s new blessing. It will be greatly appreciated.

Under - LaShaunda Hoffman /Clyde Hoffman - St. Louis, MO

Monday, September 25, 2006

In Memory of Judy Candis

August 8, 1950 to September 18, 2006

Judy, author of ALL THINGS HIDDEN went home to be with the Lord.

She will be missed. My deepest sympathies goes out to her family, friends and fans.

Friday, September 22, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro: James David Jordan

Something That Lasts by James David Jordan.

When Ted Balik rises from his pew to speak, no one in the crowded sanctuary of the O'Fallon Bible Church can imagine that their peaceful community will be shattered by his shocking disclosure: Reverend David Parst, beloved husband and father and pastor, committed the unthinkable crime. He had an affair with Mrs. Balik.

As the church members explode into an uproar, Ted silently grabs a gun out of his pocket, raises it to his temple and pulls the trigger.

These few moments of horror plunge the reverend, his wife and their twelve-year-old son into a struggle with God and one another that will span generations - a struggle to find something that lasts beyond the rage, lies and fear.

James David Jordan's website:


Monday, September 18, 2006


See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Mary E. DeMuth:
I've been writing since 1992, first as a newsletter editor, then as a newspaper columnist. In 2002, I started publishing articles in magazines. After writing a novel, I attended Mount Hermon Christian Writer's conference ( and met my agent. Since then, I've published five books:

1. Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (A devotional for moms released by
Harvest House in 2005)

2. Sister Freaks (a devotional about girls that gave everything to God; I'm one of four authors. Time Warner, 2005)

3. Building the Christian Family You Never Had (a parenting book for those who don't want to duplicate the homes they were raised in released by WaterBrook in January 2006)

4. Watching the Tree Limbs: A Novel (NavPress, March 2006)

5. And its sequel Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress September 15, 2006)

Currently, I live in the south of France with my husband and three children where we are planting a church with two other families.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book.

My current release is Wishing on Dandelions where I revisit the character Maranatha Winningham from Watching the Tree Limbs. She's now seventeen years old and is haunted by sexual abuse from her past. This book highlights that struggle, along with God's continued redemptive hand as she pushes away Charlie, a faithful boy who loves her. Theirs is an interracial relationship set in East Texas. The book is populated with lots of quirky characters, all who play a role in Maranatha's story.

Here are some endorsements:

Wishing on Dandelions is a journey into the heart and mind of a young women caught between womanhood and a painful childhood. Natha is both fearful and fearless as she faces life's injustices, overcoming the only way she knows how -- one wish at a time.
T. Suzanne Eller, speaker and author of The Mom I Want to Be – Rising Above
Your past to Give Your Kids a Great Future

Mary DeMuth offers up a great story that's a feast for the senses. Her characters' struggles and triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned.
--Sandra Glahn, ThM, coauthor, Lethal Harvest and False Positive

Mary DeMuth's lovely talent for infusing prose with metaphorical treasures shines as brightly here in Wishing on Dandelions as in its poignant predecessor, Watching the Tree Limbs - and accomplishes the same wisely-employed task of exposing with dignity edgy themes like sexual abuse, bigotry and unforgiveness. Her finely drawn, multi-dimensional characters are allies to cheer for, scoundrels to loathe, wounded souls to
tenderly embrace.
--Susan Meissner, author of Why the Sky is Blue

"Step into words so beautiful they hurt, pages of rich symbol, and emotions so genuine you can't look away. Experience a powerful, lyrical voice in contemporary fiction. Maranatha pleads, "Jesus, show me your love." Her longing to be reassured of God's love will resonate with every reader as they share her journey." Sharon Hinck, author The Secret Life of Becky Miller

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I want my readers to long for Jesus' healing touch when they close the book. I want to offer readers hope that no matter what kind of horrific abuse someone may have suffered, God is bigger still.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

Since I live in France, I can't do book signings, unfortunately, so I've worked very hard developing a web presence. I have a website: where I highlight my current books and provide writer helps, recipes, examples of proposals, pictures from France, and several essays. My blog,, receives a lot of traffic. There I ruminate about the art and craft of writing, the difficulty and joy of living in France, and whatever else pops into my mind. I belong to Amazon connect. I've been on the radio several times.

Marketing is very important. Gone are the days when an author had the luxury of simply sitting down and writing. There's more to it. If you want to continue writing, you have to sell books.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

Read widely. Read deeply. Read writing books. Go to a critique group and dare to let others critique your stuff. Go to writers conferences. Write, write, write. There really is no substitute for BOC time (bottom on chair). I've found that the more I write, the easier the ideas come, the faster I get through books, and the more clear my prose.

Also resist the urge to be flowery. I started out writing flowery. Now I write spare. I want my words to bring readers into a world. I don't want flowery prose to pull them away from that world. Use strong verbs. Kill adverbs. Be relentless about not repeating words and phrases.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

Always be professional. Don't print business cards on your printer. Go to or and have them professionally printed. Design letterhead that matches your business cards. When you meet with editors, dress nicely. Always be polite. Don't gossip. Don't burn bridges. Don't be difficult. Be edited with grace. This is a very small world. If other publishers find out you're not easy to work with, they won't hire
You again.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Roget's Super Thesaurus
The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

DEMUTH: for gleaning Bible verses.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Use the contact form on my website:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CFBA - Author Intro - Taylor Field

I’ve joined the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance to help promote authors. My first author to promote is Taylor Field. His book is Squat.

Taylor Field has worked since 1986 in the inner city of New York where he is pastor of East Seventh Baptist Church and it’s service arm Graffiti Community Ministries. He holds a M.Div. from Princeton and Ph.D. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Among his previous books is Mercy Streets. Mercy Streets won Outreach magazine’s Best Outreach Resource of 2003 award in the Testimony/Biography category.

Field and his family live in New York, New York.


"We live in a squat. We don’t know squat. We don’t have squat. We don’t do squat. We don’t give a squat. People say we’re not worth squat."

In the shadow of Wall Street’s wealth, homeless people with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as "squats" where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. The light in Squid’s obsessive-compulsive mind’s eye is Rachel, a loving soup kitchen missionary who tells him about faith and unfaith, hypocrisy and justice, the character of God and finding identity in Him. And in the wild twenty-four-hour passage of literary time that is Squat, Squid begins to believe that his life may actually amount to something.

Read a sample chapter of SQUAT

Monday, September 11, 2006


See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Nikki Arana:
I live in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with my husband of thirty years, Antonio, and my two grown sons. I was a real estate broker for thirty-two years, but this year I have put my writing first. I write Inspirational fiction, and I’ve written four books for Revell, one romance and three women’s fiction. My agent, Natasha Kern, is currently shopping a new women’s fiction series I’ve written a proposal for.

See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book?

My most recent release is The Fragrance of Roses, number three in the Regalo Grande series. It came out in August. It is the story of a young boy with cancer and the desperate search to find a blood match for him so he can receive a peripheral blood stem cell transplant. But it is also a story of how God hears and answers our prayers, sometimes in unexpected ways. I just submitted a fourth, stand alone book to Revell, As I Have Loved You, that will come out early summer 2007.

See Ya On The Net: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

All of my books deal with contemporary or social issues. In The Fragrance of Roses there are a couple of things that I hope the reader takes away. One is regarding prayer. Without supernatural insight we can’t see how God is working. We must just faith into his infinite love, wisdom and caring for our lives, and the lives of those we pray for. In this book I suggest to the reader that there is more than one way to view the outcome of this particular situation. The second thing is that I hope to raise public awareness about the need for more minorities to donate to blood banks and marrow registries. Because minorities are underrepresented in marrow registries, it makes it more difficult to find a peripheral blood stem cell match for minorities who need a transplant.

See Ya On The Net: How are you marketing your book and what are your thoughts about the importance of marketing for authors?

In my opinion, marketing is as important as getting the book published. Without exposure you can have the best book on the shelf, but no one will know about it. This requires that the publisher be behind you. Authors can only do so much. The one thing I did that I think made a difference was I hired a publicist to set up a national radio campaign. That provided me with exposure to thousands and thousands of people I would have never reached. And I never left my house! My publisher backed me up by providing books for the radio stations to review and give away.

See Ya On The Net: What advice would you offer on learning the craft of writing?

Educating yourself is so important. Conferences can be expensive; fortunately there is a lot you can do even if you have a tight budget. Look on the internet for classes. Try to build a reference library. If you can save two or three dollars a week, you can build a nice library in six months. Just consider it investing in your career. I’ll tell you my favorite writing books in a minute. They are in my reference library.

See Ya On The Net: What writing business advice would you offer other writers?

First, realize that writing is a business. It is extremely unlikely that you’re going to just sit down, write a book and quickly get it placed somewhere. First, you need to get educated about the craft of writing. We may be gifted with words, but the craft of commercial fiction goes far beyond that. Take classes and read books about writing. Second, you need to study the market, study the publishers of the genre you write. Make choices about submitting that are based on an analysis of information. People are startled when they learn that I have sold or had accepted everything I’ve ever submitted. But that’s how I did it. If you write what the publisher is looking for, and if it’s well written, they’ll buy it.

See Ya On The Net: Name your top five writing books of all time.

This is tough because the top five books I would have listed while I was writing book one are different than the top five books I would list as I write book five. So, keeping that in mind:

The Writer’s Journey by Vogel

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King

Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Dixon

Scene & Structure by Bickham

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Swain

See Ya In The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers. I’m serious. I love his writings. They give you so much to think about.

See Ya On The Net: What resources do you use on the net?

I use everyday and I frequently query the American Christian Fiction Writers loop. But most of my resources are developed to fit the book I’m writing. I usually e-mail to the “Contact Us” address given on a website that I think might have helpful information. I say I’m an author and I need some information about such and such. Then I ask if they can help me, or direct me to someone who can. I have had amazing luck with this. For The Fragrance of Roses it led me to a research scientist in Europe who is at the top of his field in the very thing that I was writing about. He worked with me for ten months on that book. My second book I needed a public defender to help me. I connected to one through the Internet and she read all my paragraphs pertaining to that. Over and over, God has provided just who I needed, just when I needed them.

See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I’d love to hear from your readers. Or visit my website:

Tuesday, August 29, 2006




Margaret Daley


Mary E. DeMuth

Taylor Field

Nikki Arana


Jill Nelson

Gail Martin

Trish Perry

Deborah Kinnard




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  • Monday, August 28, 2006

    Author Intro: Jill Nelson

    See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

    Jill Nelson:
    I wrote my first novel in the sixth grade—never published, and the world is grateful. But I never stopped writing after that. My publishing credits range from newspaper and magazine articles to poetry to essays and short stories. Reluctant Burglar is my debut novel, book one in a romantic suspense series for Multnomah Publishers.

    My husband and I reached our 25th wedding anniversary on August 15. I can’t say “celebrated” yet, because we didn’t do much, but the kids have something in the works, and Doug (my husband) keeps making noises about Hawaii this winter. I sure wouldn’t mind ducking out of a Minnesota winter for warm, sandy beaches. We have four children—two boys, two girls—and all but our youngest, a senior this year, are out of the nest.

    See Ya On The Net: Tell us about your current book.

    I like to think Reluctant Burglar is a gourmet blend of intrigue, humor, romance, and pathos. The main female protagonist is smart and sassy Desiree Jacobs, a museum and private art collection security expert—also a first class cat burglar. You’ll have to read the book to find out why that’s a good thing. Tony Lucano is the lead FBI agent investigating a ruthless art theft ring operating out of Boston, Desiree’s home stomping grounds. She’s a suspect, oh, yeah! But is she guilty? He can’t decide, and his job would be a whole lot easier if he wasn’t attracted to her.

    You can read more about the series, including an excerpt from Burglar, at my web site: Go to my To Catch a Thief Books page. I’m also running a contest for a signed copy on my Stealth and Wealth page.

    See Ya On The Net: What would you like readers to take away from your book?

    No matter how tough the situation, God always provides a way out—but usually not the way you expect. Also, be God-reliant, not self-reliant.

    See Ya On The Net: What led you to the idea of writing this book, and then to the actual writing of it?

    One night I woke up, my whole body tense, after dreaming that a woman had sneaked into a home in the middle of the night to return a genuine painting that had been stolen and replaced by a clever forgery. I knew little about her except that she was an expert at what she did, and if she were caught, disaster would follow. My imagination began to play with that nugget. I love stories where people risk much to do the right thing, and I feel sick whenever I hear of art or antiquities desecrated or stolen. Putting these elements together into a tale of intrigue—with a sassy heroine and an intense hero—came easily. I believe that capturing the imagination with a gripping story makes a most effective vehicle to convey thought-provoking realities.

    See Ya On The Net: What makes your writing style unique?

    I write characters you’d love to meet and put them in pulse-pounding situations you’d hate to be in. No angst-ridden anti-heros for me. I’m not that literary. Readers tell me Desi’s off-beat voice is one of the most engaging things about the book. Tony’s no-nonsense style, tempered with a big heart, also steals the show at times. God is also a character who subtly permeates the story. I like to think I write suspense with more meat on its bones than just a slick plot.

    See Ya On The Net: What is the hardest part about writing for you?

    Writing. Just kidding. Research is a breeze, but sometimes squeezing those words onto the page just the way you want them can be a challenge. I’m always learning and growing. Plot can be a bear to tame, too, when you’ve got multiple threads going, and you need to tie them together.

    See Ya On The Net: How did you stay motivated to finish the book?

    Great question. Finishing a manuscript is absolutely key to moving from wannabe to real writer. Sounds elementary, but there are probably a gazillion half-written novels out there, rotting in desk drawers.

    Reluctant Burglar was the third manuscript I finished in a four-year span of time. The thing that grabbed me about that story and kept me going was my love of the characters. They were in such deliciously awful situations, I had to keep writing until I got them out—or not.

    See Ya On The Net: What do you do to make time for yourself?

    What’s that? There isn’t any when I’m nearing deadline, but usually I’m able to juggle family, day job, and writing. Not without occasional sacrifice, mind you, (sorry, mom/wife can’t watch a movie with you tonight, etc.) but my family is very supportive. I’m blessed!

    See Ya On The Net: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

    Kaleidescope Eyes by Karen Ball—a great blend of suspense and romance. The main characters sizzle together, and they have unique jobs that are integral to the story. Throw in a daring dog and a cute kid, how can you lose?

    See Ya On The Net: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, web site)

    I love reader mail! E-mail me at My wetBsite is Be sure to enter the contest on my Stealth and Wealth page. And from my Contact page, you can e-mail me or sign up for my newsletter. I’m putting together a loot bag that one newsletter subscriber will win as soon as my subscription base doubles from where it is now. We’re talking cool loot like art prints, books, DVDs, and edible treats.