Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I submitted my first story to the Genesis contest. I wasn’t going to at first. My mother changed my mind. She reminded me that I was writing, but no one was reading my books. What’s the use of writing them if no one is reading them. I had the same words from another friend.
Do you think God was talking to me? LOL

I spent Saturday reading over the 15 pages and getting them ready. This one story I hadn’t looked at in a few months. Oh boy it was in need of some work.

Last week I had a teleseminar with Best selling author, Victoria Christopher Murray on editing your manuscript. She gave her tips on how she edits her manuscripts. It was an excellent workshop. I’m not going to give away all the tips, but I will give away one that will help me. She said you know you’re finish with the manuscript when you can pick a page and not be able to change anything on it.

I took this advice to heart when it came to the 15 pages. I worked on them all Saturday until I felt there was nothing else I could do to them. I pray the judges feel the same way.

I would love to win, but I’m really hoping for some excellent feedback to help me be a better writer and hopefully be able to get my manuscript in front of an agent or editor. All the craziness will be worth it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

BLOG TOUR: If Tomorrow Never Comes

Childhood sweethearts Kinna and Jimmy Henley had simple dreams—marriage, children, a house by the sea… Everything they needed for happily ever after. What they didn’t plan on was years of infertility, stealing those dreams, crushing their hopes.

Now, all that’s left is the memory of young love, and the desperate need for a child to erase the pain. Until…

When Kinna rescues an elderly woman from the sea, the threads of the past, present, and future weave together to reveal the wonder of one final hope. One final chance to follow not their dreams, but God’s plan.

Can they embrace the redemptive power of love before it’s too late? Or will their love be washed away like the castles they once built upon the sand?

Author Bio:

Marlo Schalesky is the author of several books, including Beyond the Night and Empty Womb, Aching Heart. A graduate of Stanford University , Marlo also has a masters of theology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Married over twenty years, she lives with her husband, Bryan, and their five children in California .

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Build it and they will come


I’ve learned when it comes to events, people will attend if they want to.

Let’s talk about the hot topic of the week the Christian Book Expo. They set up this wonderful expo and the readers didn’t come.


This is the question every event planner wants to know. We can debate about it for months, but the real deal is, they didn’t want to come. If they knew about it and it sounded interesting enough, they came. If they knew and didn’t want to pay the fee or if didn’t offer what they wanted, they didn’t come. If they didn’t know about it, they couldn’t come.

Why didn’t I attend?

When I look at events for the year, I look at the cost for me to leave St. Louis and get there and the cost for hotels and what is it I want from the event. This event sounded fantastic on paper, but only a few of the authors I read were in attendance. None of the African American authors I read were going. None of my reader friends were going, which meant I would be bunking alone if I attended.

To me it sounded like a book fair you had to pay to get in. I love book fairs because it usually means that I’m going to get books and meet authors. However this year I knew I couldn’t justify a book fair that wasn’t in St. Louis. Flying to Dallas for one didn’t make financial sense.

I’m sure others had the same conversation with themselves. Is this the event for me?

There are many events each year and trying to decide which one to attend is hard. For those planning events, always take this into consideration. Who do you want to attend? Will your event make the list of events these people will attend? Or will you be wondering what happen to the attendees?

This year I’m hosting another online conference. Each time I try to feature workshops I hope people will attend. It’s a hard job organizing an event. However you learn from your mistakes and hopefully the next one will be even better. Hopefully next year, the Christian Book Expo will be the expo that draws all the readers. Maybe I’ll be able to attend.

How do you decide which literary event to attend?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Connecting with old friends

Sometimes I love the internet. In high school I had a best friend. I could talk to him about anything. We’ve lost touch over the years and I’ve always wondered how he and his family have been.

Everyone is always talking about how they’re connecting with high school friends, so I decided to look him up, but I never could find him. Last week I decided to try again. I found a person, but he didn’t have a picture. So I looked through his pictures hoping to see someone I recognized. I came across a picture of who I thought was his son. I clicked on the pictures and it was my friend as a teenager, only it was his son. So I sent him a request to be friends.

I didn’t hear back, so I figured ah man he doesn’t want to keep in touch.

Today I got a friendship request approved. Yeah!

I was able to check out his page with his pictures. He has a beautiful family. I sent him a message and hopefully will start our friendship up again.

Who have you reconnected with over the internet?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

When Do You Stop Chasing Dreams?

One item that has been on my list for a long time, is getting published. As you know that's not an easy task. This year marks ten years in trying to scratch that off the list. I had to look over the years to see if I've been wasting my time. Am I one of those who goes to the American Idol knowing I can't sing, but trying anyway. When I first started writing at sixteen, I can say I was one of those contestants. I didn't have a clue and I knew my writing was the bomb. NOT.

Ten years is a long time to be chasing a dream, but I learned from a writer who took 15 years to get published, you can't give up. She told me to write the books and throw them in the closet. When it's your time, you won't be a one book wonder. Six books later, I'm happy to say that I don't feel like a failure because I'm not published. I made time to write six books while publishing SORMAG, being a caregiver for my mother, three children and a wife to a husband who sometimes is ready to turn me in. It wasn't easy, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

If those books never get published, I know that I've learned a lot writing them, and this magazine has taught me a lot about the writing business. So I think my 10 years were worth it and I guess I'll give it another ten years. As an encourager of dreams, how can I tell you to continue chasing your dreams and give up on mine.

When do you stop chasing dreams?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

BLOG TOUR: Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and Day with a Perfect Stranger

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger

By David Gregory

You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of Nazareth

The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched.

The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.


"You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe." He leaned back off the table. "And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work."

As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.

Day with a Perfect Stranger:

What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself?

When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.

On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.

As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?