Saturday, March 28, 2015

Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Mary Morgan

My guest today is Mary Morgan, author of stories that take readers into the world of Dragons and Knights. When I read this excerpt from Mary's website, I knew she was a kindred soul.

"I am a constant daydreamer and have been told quite often to remove my head from the clouds. Yet, this is where I find the magic to write my stories."


(Lynda) Welcome Mary.

(Mary) Thank you, Lynda, for allowing me to share a “wee” bit about myself to your readers on your blog. It’s my way of stepping out from my writer’s den to chitchat with everyone for a few hours. I even baked scones for my visit today. 

(Lynda) And they smell so good. I've tried making authentic scones several time. I think I'm getting better with each batch

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like? (Photo would be good here)

(Mary)
I have this cozy corner in my bedroom with a huge window that looks out into my garden.
There are times when my focus wanders, and I find myself watching all the little birds. I use two writing desks—one is almost 400 years old, and the other desk belonged to my father. Since I write medieval stories, I have a collection of swords nearby and period paintings, which helps to inspire the spark of creativity.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I do when taking a break from writing?

(Mary) I love to be in my kitchen! Cooking is one of the best ways to unwind after a long day of writing. It’s so relaxing, and I find my energy soars after I prepare a meal. Of course, I talk non-stop to my husband on any new ideas and/or plots that pop-up during my writing day.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time?

(Mary) Absolutely! I get giddy like a kid at Christmas. I will hold my breath as the email is downloading and then I usually burst into tears. I’ve been so blessed with two fabulous covers and getting excited for the next one.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

(Mary) Love doing book signings! It’s my chance to get out there and talk to readers. I worked as a bookseller for Borders Books, and I miss the interaction with people and talking about my favorite subject—books! I’ve done two signings at the Scottish Highland Games here in California and had a fantastic time, so more are definitely planned for this year.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also read a lot, if so, how do I fit that into my schedule and why is it important to me?

(Mary) Reading is my quiet time to escape from my own world of characters chatting non-stop in my head. On most days, you’ll find my nose in a book an hour or so before bedtime. I read so many different genres depending on my mood, too. At the moment, I’m reading “The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen” by Syrie James.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I tell a beginning writer to never do/always do?

(Mary) I would tell a beginning writer to never give up and always believe in your dream.


Find Mary Here:

Website:  http://www.marymorganauthor.com

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mary.morgan.564

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/m_morganauthor

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/marymorgan50




Friday, March 27, 2015

Recipes and Prompts: What a combination!


Using different categories and lists for inspiration, I'm going to be doing a series of blogs that I hope my readers will enjoy. I'll share some of my favorite recipes and devise some original writing prompts. Why not try some of both. Get creative, have some fun, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. You're also invited to post a short example of how you used the writing prompt in the comment area. My first round of posts will use the Alphabet for inspiration. Grab a friend, tell your classmates, inform your writing class, whatever, GET CREATIVE!

(B) Day is about Bok Choy. Originally grown in China, this vegetable has found its way around the world. Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, and it resembles stalks of celery.

Foxy Fresh Produce

Vibrant Bok Choy Salad

Serves 4

1 Large stalk of Bok choy
1 cup diced apple
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Dressing:
2 tablspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
                                                2 teaspoons brown sugar
                                                1 teaspoon diced garlic
                                                Salt and pepper to taste

Wash Bok choy and let dry before cutting in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise in 1/4 - inch pieces. Toss with other ingredients. Just before serving drizzle with dressing.
Writing Prompt: Construct a scene including one or more of the following elements.
  • Dorian Sanders has just two options, die immediately, or die later.
  • His only thread of hope, an assignment to smuggle a woman and her infant twin boys off the prison island ironically named, 'Not-A-Prayer'.
  • He takes the job and allows himself to be consigned to the island. He quickly evaluates his options and devises a plan that doesn't include the added baggage of a woman and two children. 
  • But he soon learns that the best laid plans can be changed by the plea in a woman's eyes, eyes as vibrant green as the Bok choy stalk in his hand.
Coming Soon: (C) Day - Croutons and Spelunking




Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble

Thursday, March 26, 2015

THURSDAYS ARE TAGLINE DAY 
plus some FREE /.99 cent Book Offers, plus Giveaways.


Add your book's tagline  in the comment section
 (1-3 sentences only with family friendly wording - 
 include a link of your choice.)
(One Tagline per week, thank you.)
PLUS: If you have a Giveaway, free or $ .99 book, 
you may leave an additional link for that as well.


Help us extend your reach by sharing your own,
 or one of the pre-written updates below.
 (Easy share buttons at the bottom of post.)

Twitter

Great book TAGLINES with FREE/.99cent offers and Giveaways
 #Romance @promocave #AuthorsRT @eBooksWeLove http://bit.ly/1Dv5rrp

Facebook

Discover great TAGLINES plus FREE/.99cent books and Giveaways. http://bit.ly/1Dv5rrp



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recipes and Prompts: Let's Play!


JOIN ME FOR RECIPES AND PROMPTS:

#Asparagus #WritingPrompts #Alphabet #Murder

Using different categories and lists for inspiration, I'm going to be doing a series of blogs that I hope my readers will enjoy. I'll share some of my favorite recipes and devise some original writing prompts. Why not try some of both. Get creative, have some fun, and share your thoughts by leaving a comment. You're also invited to post a short example of how you used the writing prompt in the comment area. My first round of posts will use the Alphabet for inspiration.

(A) Day is about Asparagus, a wonderful vegetable that I especially enjoy grilled. To get us started, let me give you an easy recipe for preparing and grilling this little green jewel.

   Photo by Petr Kratochvil

Grilled Asparagus with a KICK!

Serves 4

1 bunch asparagus
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Wasabi Sauce




  • Preheat the grill
  • Wash the asparagus and snap the woody ends off and place them in a large bowl.
  • Toss the asparagus with all the other ingredients until well-coated.
  • Adjust grill flame to medium and place asparagus spears crosswise on the grill. Cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Turn occasionally to prevent burning.
Writing Prompt: Construct a murder scene including the following elements.
  • A previously healthy middle-aged man lies dead in his backyard, next to the outdoor grill. 
  • A scruffy cat sits atop the dead man's chest. The cat acts weirdly as it gently paws at the half eaten asparagus spear protruding from the dead man's mouth.
  • The cat sneezes constantly as the police officer nudges him off the corpse with his foot. 

Coming Soon: (B) Day - Bok Choy and Smuggling




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Barbara Bettis

#Medieval #England #Scotland #Romance
My guest author today is Barbara Bettis. Barbara writes stories set in medieval times, one of my favorites. She is also a former health insurance claims adjuster, a former journalist, and a former journalism teacher. Barbara Bettis plans never to be a “former” author. Currently, she supports her writing habit as an adjunct English instructor at a community college near her home in Missouri.

(Barbara) Hi Lynda. Thanks for hosting me today. I’m in the midst of a Birthday Month Celebration that features my latest medieval THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX for only 99 cents!! You know, I got so wrapped up in the writing prompt below, that I think I’ve gotten an idea for my next medieval, Macsen’s story. Thanks for that!:

(Lynda) You're so welcome. My first published story, Payback in Wayback, was a result of a writing prompt given in a writing group I was attending at the time. I think writers often overlook the power of these spontaneous exercises. Enough about me, let's jump into your interview...

(Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be doing lots of research?

(Barbara) You absolutely would be doing research! But it’s difficult to find much really specific information about 12th Century England. There is a good deal written based on historical events, but personalities are more difficult to pin down. And day-to-day activities, while seeming to be easy to ascertain, are not so simple because of the lack of actual
facts. There are wonderful research books on general things, but putting all that information together can be touchy. So much can change within a century, so what might be true for the 13th Century might not be true for the 12th. Plus, various practices differed in different parts of the country and among different social levels. Not all knights and barons were fabulously wealthy with huge demesnes.

(Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What character was the most difficult to write, and why?

(Barbara) The most difficult character in this last book was the villain. He was a mean, vicious murderer who hid behind a fa├žade of urbanity and lordly graciousness. I’ve heard speakers say that everyone is a hero in his or her own ‘story.’ Allowing the villain such a layered, subtle existence is difficult.

(Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I love doing book signings, personal appearances, etc.?

(Barbara) I love doing signings and meeting readers. I do enjoy talking with people about their reading, what they like, about books in general. In the ‘old’ days when authors did publicity tours, stopping at various bookstores for appearances. Now only very well-known authors get that kind of exposure. But how fun that must have been. Occasionally we still have big-name authors at the local Barnes and Noble, signings that bring fans to wait in lines for hours. But that isn’t often, and it’s usually non-fiction authors.

(Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also have other hobbies, if so, what kind?

(Barbara) I used to have hobbies. What happened? Now I don’t seem to find time to do anything except write, read, and attend to my job duties (grading essays.) I can’t sew a straight line. I knot my embroidery thread. My mind wanders into plotting and I drop knitting stitches. I have a black thumb.

So it’s a good thing my hobbies are travel, reading, spending time with friends, taking in an occasional movie and theatrical performance. But best of all, my grandchildren. I love spending time with them, even as they slip into teen-dom where it’s not always as fun to hang out with Grandmother as it once was. Speaking of travel, several years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Scotland and England. One of the places we visited in Scotland was Newbattle Abbey, a beautiful structure built on the site of a medieval Cistercian abbey. It’s just south of Edinburgh.

(Lynda Asks) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Using one of the following prompts, how would the first 2-4 paragraphs read?

(Barbara) Oh, this was such a fun challenge, Lynda. As I said, I think this has triggered the idea for another story. Many readers who wrote me about The Heart of the Phoenix have said they’d love to see Macsen’s story. So here goes. The sentence prompt, one of the options you presented:

"I'd roll in mud before I'd let you kiss me.”



“I’d roll in mud before I’d let you kiss me.” Lady Aveline backed away from the intractable figure looming from the back of a huge grey gelding. The knight looked grim as he leaned forward to brace his arms on the saddle’s pommel.

She’d heard Rively Castle’s new captain of the guard, this Sir Macsen, was a fearsome warrior. She hadn’t imagined he’d also be a compelling giant of a man. A man whose eyes she could undoubtedly meet without bending her head. It was the one thing she’d ever received from her wandering father—her inches. Curse him.

“Did I offer to kiss you?” he rumbled.

No, he hadn’t. The blasted words had slipped out as if from someone else’s mouth. She had not been thinking of his finely formed lips.

“If you don’t come along right now, you’ll get your wish for a bout in the mud. There’s a storm blowing up right enough. Lady Evie sent me to fetch you. It’s a far walk back to her solar, so give me your hand and sit up behind me.” He extended his sword-callused fingers as imperiously as any lord.

The miserable man needn’t sound as good as he looked, blast it. Aveline drew up to her considerable height and crossed her arms over her chest. A mistake, judging by the way Sir Macsen’s glance followed the movement.

As if he’d signaled the sky, thunder broke overhead. So much for a solitary walk on a summer day. Infusing her sigh with all the disdain she could muster, she held out her hand, placed her foot on his, and swung up.

When she’d settled in place, he glanced over his shoulder. “And when I do kiss you, sweet lady,” he murmured in that disturbing voice, “it won’t be mud you’ll want to roll in.”

Visit Barbara at:

http://barbarabettis.com

www.barbarbbettis.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis

Find THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX at: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vSZgLF




Sunday, March 22, 2015

Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Deborah C. Wilding

My guest author today is Deborah C. Wilding. Let's give her our attention as she answers some interview questions.

Thank you Lynda for giving first-time fiction authors like myself a chance to introduce ourselves. I've authored two non-fiction books, and worked in corporate communications--all I can say is that writing historical romance is a very different experience. There's extensive research in both, yes. But my characters sometimes surprise the heck out of me! On March 6th, "Then I Met You," my WWII novel that takes place in Hawaii was released by The Wild Rose Press.


(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Where would I live?
(Deborah): I live in a Hawaiian rainforest, about three miles from the most active volcano in the world. My home is uphill from the eruption, no worries there. I am partially off the grid, so I catch rainwater off my roof for my water supply--it rains most evenings, and the sunny days are glorious, so solar panels provide electricity. I've also lived and worked in Malaysia and India, but the Aloha State has always been home.

(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: What would I do to take a break from writing?

(Deborah): I make a point of getting outdoors. Most mornings I take a hike with my dogs or go horseback riding. Then, I feel focused and centered when I sit down at the keyboard. If I need a midday break I do some gardening--maybe prune some hydrangea bushes to feel a sense of accomplishment, before heading back to the computer.

(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I do much research?

(Deborah): Research should be my middle name. I've got a master's degree in library science--there's probably something about books and libraries that is hardwired into my psyche. I've been an historic
photograph editor on several book projects, when I spent days searching through museum collections wearing cute white cotton gloves to prevent damage to priceless images. I've always enjoyed learning about other eras, so doing historic research seems to come naturally, and weaving actual events into the lives of my fictional characters has been the most fun of all.

(Lynda Asks): If I were you and wrote books: Would I have a website?

(Deborah):  My website took a few days to complete, plus a couple of phone calls for technical assistance, but it is up and running at www.deborahwildingauthor.com. One of the most interesting features on the site is a slideshow of photographs from my personal collection, showing Honolulu as it looked between the late 1800s and V-J Day, in 1945. Not that I was around then!

(Lynda Asks):  If I were you and wrote books: Would I be a pantser or plotter?

(Deborah): Plotter to the max. And very low tech. To begin with, I taped on my wall a gigantic home-made calendar with the dates from mid-November to mid-December 1941 while I wrote "Then I Met You." Penned on each day in ink were things like, events in Hawaii, ships in port, newspaper headlines--even moon phases. Then on post-its, I wrote the activities and emotional reactions of each character. The post-its had to be shuffled around from date to date like crazy during the planning and plotting phase before I got them settled into a comfortable pattern as the book took shape. I thought I might get bored or stifled, writing from such a structured format, but the strangest thing happened--when I didn't have to worry about what happened next, I could concentrate on my first loves: dialog and setting. Then, too, the characters didn't always behave the way I expected! So I had to make some adjustments along the way.

#WWII #Hawaii #Research #V-JDay #Rainforest

Visit Deborah at the following links:
Website:
Goodreads:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS BY Chrys Fey


My guest today is Chrys Fey. Welcome to Between The Pages, Chrys. Please introduce yourself and then I'll ask you some questions that will help us get to know you a little better.


Hi everyone! I’m Chrys Fey, the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. I am a lover of rock music, fairy tales, and cats. I started writing when I was twelve-tears-old and haven’t stopped since. I am thrilled to be here on Lynda’s blog. Her interview sounded so unique and fun that I couldn’t pass up on it. Let’s get started. Shall we?




(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like?

(Chrys) Your desk would have a witch’s cauldron (or what I refer to as a writer’s cauldron) full of pens, highlighters, and scrap paper. You’d also have a green Power Ranger action figure sitting on your desk, which was a gift from your nephew to battle writer’s block.

(Lynda) I must admit, I've never considered an action figure as a weapon against writer's block. Very original. :)

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What things would inspire me?

(Chrys) Anything and everything. A screw you unearthed from the roots of grass when you were a child would inspire a whole series that would spark your passion for writing. A safety pin you see sitting on your nightstand will inspire a scene in a story, and every dream you have a night will have the potential to become a book.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I do when taking a break from writing?

(Chrys) You’d read every chance you get, indulge in Thursday night TV (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder), draw fashion designs, pen song lyrics, and make jewelry.


(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep me company while writing?

(Chrys) Absolutely! You’d have four cats that you rescued from your backyard from an unknown fate involving rowdy twin boys. These kitties will stretch out on your desk, leaving very little room for your keyboard.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I write for myself or my readers?

(Chrys) You’d write for yourself AND for your readers. The first draft is always more for yourself, but as you edit it, you’re perfecting it with your readers in mind.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I get excited over seeing my book cover for the first time?

(Chrys) You’d never get over that excitement. Seeing your book cover for the first time is the most amazing feeling. It lets you know your story is really going to be published and it’s also a thrill to see your story come to life with colors and pictures.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I have a website or blog? If so, where can they be found? Do I offer promo features for other writers on my blog?

(Chrys) You would have both. Your blog will be the most important tool, though. This is where you’ll offer writing tips on Mondays, fun posts for readers on Wednesdays, and author guests on Fridays for interviews and scene spotlights. You’d call your blog Write with Fey.

(Lynda) And Chrys has a new READER'S INTERVIEW feature on her blog that is very fun and interesting. I really enjoy reading those.

(Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, And I was stuck in solitary confinement, what five items would I most want with me?

(Chrys) An infinite supply of notebooks and pens, Internet access so you could blog and email your editor, and lots tea and chocolate for that mid-afternoon craving!


Books: www.amazon.com/author/chrysfey

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChrysFey

Blog: www.writewithfey.blogspot.com

Website: www.ChrysFey.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ChrysFey




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tagline Thursdays Plus Free/.99 cent Book Deals

THURSDAYS ARE TAGLINE DAY 
plus some FREE /.99 cent Book Offers, plus Giveaways.


Add your book's tagline  in the comment section
 (1-3 sentences only with family friendly wording - 
 include a buy link or website link with that tagline.)
(One Tagline per week, thank you.)
PLUS: If you have a Giveaway, free or $ .99 book, you can leave an additional link for that in your comment as well.


Help us extend your reach by sharing your own,
 or one of the pre-written updates below.
 (Easy share buttons at the bottom of post.)

Twitter

Great book TAGLINES with FREE/.99cent offers and Giveaways
 #Romance @promocave #AuthorsRT @eBooksWeLove http://bit.ly/1Dv5rrp

Facebook

Discover great TAGLINES plus FREE/.99cent books and Giveaways. http://bit.ly/1Dv5rrp



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Spotlight: Squishy Face and the Moon by Jennifer Oneal Gunn

Squishy Face and the Moon
SYNOPSIS
Squishy face is a little girl in a big world, which often frightens her. Luckily, she has Big Mama to guide her and show her the way. In this book, Big Mama teaches little Squishy Face about the moon.


PURCHASE

The Author

Jennifer’s  Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

Jennifer Oneal Gunn Was Born January 2, 1979 In Carthage, Missouri, To Parents Who Would End Up The Parents Of Three Children. At An Early Age, She Started Learning And Knowing Her Imagination. It Was Evident, There Was Always Something Inside Her, Waiting To Get Out. Today, A Single Mother Of Two, Jennifer Writes In A Plethora Of Different Genres; From Nightmare-Inducing Horror To Feminine Poetry. She's Studied The Art Of Writing Since She Was Fourteen. She Also Uses Her Passion For Reading In Her Career As A Freelance Editor, Formatter, And Cover Art Designer. Recently, Jennifer Has Also Given Way To Her Artistic Side. She Illustrates Children’s Books Sometimes, Too.

Her Titles Include Mystik LegendsDevil's In The Details- RebootFire, Ice & Blood-The Story Of Jake And Holly Book 1(Revenging The Evil Series)The Heart Of A Woman(Poetry), Squishy Face And The Moon (Children’s) And Some Free Reads On Her Website.

Follow the entire Squishy Face Tour!
Brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours


Lynda's Review: 



Being able to teach and entertain at the same time is primary for a children's book in my opinion. While fiction has its place, books that are based on life experiences of children, the world they inhabit, and their family environments are most appreciated by parents and grandparents. In this story, author Jennifer Oneal Gunn incorporates all three elements. The truth is always the best antidote for fear and is well used in the story plot. I appreciated that the parent in this story chose to use facts and truth to teach and console her child, leaving the child with an awe inspiring look at the science that makes up her world. The illustrations are basic, but from the viewpoint of a child, I think they will work quite well. After all, a child doesn't appreciate the difference between stick people and fine art, they just like what they can understand and relate to. I'd recommend this to any parent who likes to teach while spending some quality time reading to their child. Homeschooling parents would also find this book useful.