Showing posts from January, 2012

Public Safety Writers Association Conference

This is the last day for the Early Bird Fee for the PSWA Conference--$200 for three days of great speaker, panels, wonderful lunches, and the awards ceremony. You can pay by Pay Pal or check (send the check right now with your registration form and you will be counted as early bird.)
For more information go to ACT NOW!

Want to include the FBI in your novel? Do it right, using the proper context, and understanding how the Bureau operates. John Wills and Herm Groman will discuss FBI practices and terminology in their presentation: FBI Fact and Fiction.

JOHN M. WILLS.  John writes both fiction and non-fiction.  He has had more than one hundred articles published in various law enforcement magazines and websites, relating to police training, fitness, officer survival, and ethics.  He is a monthly contributor to, the largest web portal for law enforcement, and is a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent.  His…

Thank You 1095-Take The Thank You Challenge

Thank You 1095-Take The Thank You Challenge

By Connie Ruth Christiansen, Inspirational Author, Teacher, Speaker
Connie Ruth Christiansen is a gifted public speaker and an excellent teacher who speaks and writes from the heart. Her stories will delight you! You will laugh, you will cry, you will believe that anything is possible! She offers her listeners thought provoking words of wisdom gained from her many years of knowing God and studying His Word; and from lessons learned by fighting life's battles.

In her new book Thank You 1095-Take The Thank You Challenge!, Connie offers readers the opportunity to experience one of those life-lessons; to experience the Power of a Thankful Heart!
Take The Challenge Today! It’s Easy!Every day for one year, read one page of inspiration It’s Fun!Every day record 3 things you are thankful for, in the space provided on each page It’s Life Changing!After 365 days, look back on 1,095 reasons to be grateful
To learn more about The Thank You Challenge, visi…

Tell Me, Is It Really Worth It?

Got the statement for my quarterly royalties from one of my publishers.

It's enough to go our for a nice dinner. Oh my. Surely I could make more money doing something else that required fro less time. In fact, there is one job I do that take less time and I make far more money.

For years, I've been helping people write program designs for facilities for residential care homes for the mentally ill, developmentally disable adults, and the elderly. The problem is, the requests are sporadic. Of course it's better for someone to create their own design, but not everyone is capable of it.

Each regional center has it's own requirement about what ought to be in the design and how it's laid you. It's a tedious and exacting task. No matter how carefully you work, the regional center will send it back for changes. I should say, all but one regional center and it is usually happy with what I've done for them. They may ask more from the provider, but it will be somethin…

Great Grandson Has First MMA Fight

Was I thrilled about this? Absolutely not.

Great-grandson, Brandon, is a great kid. Besides wanting to be an MMA fighter (cage fighting) he also is in training to be a preacher. Now that, he's already good at--he preaches once a month at our church and does a terrific job.

His fight was last night at the local Indian casino. He certainly had a huge cheering section, not only at the casino, but at home praying for him.

Got the word this a.m., it was a TKO after only 17 seconds! Brandon went down. I know he's really disappointed as he had high hopes of winning.

With all the prayers for him, some may wonder why they weren't answered--frankly mine were answered, that he wouldn't be injured. After all, God does know best and his answers aren't always the way what we want. He says "No" often and the one we get most is "Wait."

I don't think Brandon is discouraged. He probably learned a lot from this and will do more intensive training for the next…

The Zoe Mack Mystery Series by K. Dawn Byrd

The Secret of the Love Letters
Zoe's cousin Emma thinks she's the recipient of some sick joke when an old boyfriend she thought dead shows up on the internet. Can Zoe solve the mystery that's causing Emma so much pain when her attraction to the town bad boy is so distracting?

When Zoe Mack moves in with her grandparents to start college, she's thrown into more mystery than she bargained for. Her cousin, Emma, is terrorized by a stalker who breaks into her house and leaves a photo-shopped image of Emma hanging from a tree. Nothing is as it seems and Emma soon learns that even the man she thinks she can trust is suspect.

Zoe can't wait to reunite with Nate, the bad boy who doesn't talk about his feelings much, but the passionate kiss he gave her last summer had to have meant something. When she arrives back in town and discovers that he's in trouble with the law, she must take matters into her own hands in order to clear his name. She has her hands full with…

Frustrating Jobs

I'm reentering names and addresses into a new mailing program for a newsletter that I send out.

I used the same mailing program for years and something has gone wrong. It won't print out all the names and address--skipping a few here and there.

For several months, I've written in the missing ones and then decided that was a real waste of time.

I found I had a newer version of this program stashed away, so I downloaded on my computer. I have no idea if there's a way to transfer the names from one place to another--so now I'm doing this very boring task of retyping.

I'll break it up by looking at my email and peeking at Facebook, but it's taking up a lot of my time when I'd much rather be planning my next Tempe book.

Oh well, this is important and I'll keep repeating that to myself.

What about you? Have a frustrating job ahead of you?


You've Got a Contract for Your Book, Now What?

Do you just sit back on your laurels and wait for someone to tell you what to do? Or do nothing?

I just heard about someone who had a book published and did absolutely nothing to promote it. Guess what happened, no books sold.

With all the information out there about promotion, that's hard to believe. But I was just with a group of authors, a few published, some who are writing but haven't gotten there yet, and it was obvious they really didn't know what all was expected of them.

Many publishers today want to know what your marketing plan right along with your query letter.

What does that mean? They want to know if you are going to be able to promote your book. What are you going to do?

What are you willing to do in person? A book tour? Go to book fairs and festivals? Maybe some craft fairs? Have you looked into what bookstores are available to you? How far are you willing to travel? Will you give speeches to writers groups, social and service clubs? How much research have…

The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier, Review

An advanced copy of the Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier by Michael Orenduff was sent to me by the publisher at my request. Mike and I share the same publisher and we've met at several conferences, including the Public Safety Writers Association's Conference, and Epicon. I love this series, Mike is a terrific writer and I'd read anything he wrote. Here's what I thought about his latest.

The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier
J. Michael Orenduff
The Pot Thief books are known for making the reader hungry and this one is no exception. Herbert Schuze, better known as Hubie, is hired to design and make the prototype for chargers (better known as plates) for a brand new restaurant soon to open in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hitch is the Schnitzel restaurant is going to focus on Austrian cuisine.
From the beginning nothing seems quite right, from the owner to all the quirky people hired to cook and serve. Hubie gets to know these people better than he’d like because he must do his p…

My Thoughts on the Golden Globes

When I was a kid I was totally enamored with movie stars. I read all the movie magazines--nothing like the stuff that's put out today--and learned everything I could about the stars. Of course now I know that during that time period we were fed only the positive stuff and much of that wasn't true. The gossip came from people like Hedda Hopper in the newspapers, or one particular paper that feasted on the bad things the stars were caught doing. But to my young mind, they were a magical bunch.

My father worked for Paramount Studios and worked around the stars and had a totally different opinion. According to him--and he told me this a lot--the majority of the actors and actress had no morals and weren't nice people. There were a few exceptions, but mostly he told us about the horrible antics of the stars he saw on a daily basis.

Watching the Golden Globes made me think of my dad's judgment of the stars--and what he said applies to today. You could see the celebreties get…

Classic Christianity,

I’d like you to meet my good friend, Patti Ediger who, with her sister embarked on an amazing adventure:
Hi everyone! I'm Patti, the very slightly older sister (only 17 years). I'm a little nervous since this is my first blog encounter. My littlesis, Cara, is the techie and lives in the world of cyberspace so she will feel very comfortable in this wonderful invisible universe, whileI, on the other hand, would love to meet you face to face, give you a big hug, and chatter the day away about books.( Sorry, all youtechnophiles.)
 I started my love affair with writing in second grade with an assignment to write a story. It was typed by the teacher and placed into a red construction-paper cover along with all my other classmates' stories. Seeing my imaginings printed on paper for others to share opened doorsin my mind and heart that were never again to close.  Since then I've worked as an R.N., gone on more than twenty medical missions,married, raised a son and daughter, gain…

What Inspired Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery

I was fortunate enough to be a part of a wonderful critique group full of published authors, teachers, and women with vivid imaginations and vast experiences. I miss them terribly.

I had written three women’s fiction novels, three romances, and one western, and none were worth sending out. They had mostly viable plots and characterization and I was developing the skill of description and the senses, but none of them were really good. The first three didn’t have satisfying ending. The next two were very blah. The sixth one had a strong plot, but I just couldn’t make it interesting. The western ended up being more funny than adventurous. All seven of these books were historicals.
I’d finished the western and was due at the critique group but had nothing to share. So I sat in front of a blank screen and started with the what ifs. Being a big fan of mysteries and thrillers, I thought maybe I’d try something new. My what ifs landed on these questions: What if the bad guy was unique? Maybe ve…

Crazy Dreams and Cruise Ships

I've had wild and crazy dreams as long as I can remember. Some I can figure out what trigger them. If I'm going to be doing something that I'm worried about, I'll dream about the event and something will go wrong. People don't show up who are supposed to, I didn't bring the material I needed, and so on.

Last night I dreamed I was on a cruise ship. Not too hard to guess where that one came from--all the news about the cruise ship that ran into a rock and went over on it's side. Horrible. I can't imagine what those people went through. Recently, my husband and I were on a cruise and our cabin was one without a window/porthole. I figured when I was in my room I'd be sleeping not gazing out at the sea. The dining room had windows where you could see out, and there were many places you could sit inside and watch the ocean. And of course there were spots on deck where you could stand by the railing.

We were on the same cruise ship that caught on fire the …

So Busy I forgot My Own Blog

I've been so busy writing blog posts for my own blog tour for No Bells, I forgot all about my own blog.

Trying to write something new for this blog is challenging, but not nearly as challenging as trying to come up with something different for each of nearly 30 posts that will also at least tickle someone's curiosity to read No Bells.

Every authors writes their book with the expectation that someone is going to read it--and hopefully like it, and then tell someone about it. That's how books become popular.

Hopefully, after reading all the wonderful, imaginative posts I've written for my tour, people will rush to online bookstores and buy the book either in paper or as an e-book. Wishful thinking, but when I write any book, I'm not doing it for myself--I'm writing for a reader to enjoy.


My Sunday School Class

Besides writing, one of the other things I do is teach Sunday School. Yesterday I had three girls, some days I only have boys.

As you can tell, there is a variety of ages, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I've been teach Sunday School for years. I keep telling the church council they need to get someone younger than me. I like doing it, telling the stories from the Bible, talking about what they mean today with the kids, letting them come up with some great answers, praying with them about their concerns, and the reward at the end is playing hangman using words and phrases from the lesson.

Yesterday's lesson was from the Old Testament, the story of Barak and Deborah. Not one of those kids knew anyone else named Barak--until I gave them some hints.

It'a great story for girls. Deborah was a judge and God told her to tell Barak to take his Army to fight with the oppressing Army--of course it was much bigger and had iron chariots. Barak was afraid and would only go if she we…

The Book of Lost Fragrances, Review

M.J. Rose has written a most elegant book that the publisher classified as a suspense novel is so much more than that.

It is a spellbinding book that touches on so many themes: reincarnation, Ancient Egypt and Cleopatra, Greece, Paris, the catacombs, China, triads, Tibets, monks, romance, intrigue, adventure, and of course, perfume. The plot weaves in and out of all of this and more.

It is a tale of intrigue and the most marvelous description of scents and their importance to our memories.

The plot is far too multi-layered to even begin to explain, it's enough for me to say that once you've read one or two pages you'll be hooked and have to keep on to the end. Needless to say, I enjoyed The Book of Lost Fragrances.



What to do at Writers Conferences and Mystery Conventions

I've written about this topic before, but it won't hurt to repeat my advice since it's a new year and conferences and conventions are popping up all over the calendar.

If you're attending a writing conference, pick the topics that are most vital to you and your writing career. Take notes, collect cards, and pick up all the free material. And probably, most important, smile a lot and talk to everyone. You might end up with a critique partner--and a new friend.

For either con, wear comfortable shoes because you never know how far you have to walk. And, because meeting rooms always seem to be cold, be sure and take along a sweater or shawl. (It wouldn't hurt to have a few snacks to nibble on--hotel meals can be expensive.)

If you're a writer and going to a mystery con, there'll be many big-name authors around. Again, pick the panels and presentations that most interest you. If you have a book and are on a panel, you'll be expected to sit in the book room t…