Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CONTEST CLOSED - winner announced September 6th








Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest post by Linda Weaver Clarke, author of Anasazi Intrigue and Mayan Intrigue

Romance VS Mystery!

I have written five historical romance novels but have changed to mystery. The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. It’s so different from telling a love story. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. Do you know the difference between a mystery and a mystery suspense novel? In a mystery, when a knock is heard at the door, the reader doesn't know who's behind it. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who's behind the door and yells to the heroine, "Don't open the door!"
Anasazi Intrigue is the first book in a mystery adventure series called “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” It’s about a devastating flood that takes out several homes in a small town, the importance of preserving ancient artifacts, and a few puzzling and mysterious events. Julia is a reporter, and when she finds out about a possible poison spill that kills some fish and neighbor's pets, she has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Before she realizes what is happening, Julia finds out that this incident is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. With dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants chasing John and Julia, they have their hands full.

Artifact theft is a very intriguing subject. That’s why I call it the Intrigue series. In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Did you know that looting is only second to selling illegal drugs? While researching the second book in this series, Mayan Intrigue, my eyes were opened to the problems they have in southern Mexico. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to take it apart. The reason why is because the Mayas used astrological alignments when planning their city. Looters have learned the layout of the Mayan cities so they know where to dig. With this knowledge, they can loot a sacred temple in a few days. I also found that artifact theft in Mexico has been taken over by drug dealers from Columbia. In other words, since organized crime has taken over, there is also an increase of violence.

Mayan Intrigue will be released on August 30th and I’m having a week long celebration with a book give-away at my Blog at http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com. Mayan Intrigue is about the discovery of a priceless artifact that puts Julia’s life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins, but when Julia accidentally comes upon a couple suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it’s too late. Before John and Julia realize what's going on, they find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan. To read an excerpt from each of my books, you can visit www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interview with Susan Daley, author of REDEMPTION

Susan Dayley is the author of Redemption, the story about Jonah. She has loved stories and the magic of words since childhood. Many nights she would tell adventure stories to her sisters. Often she would escape to a grassy meadow or climb a backyard willow tree to read a beloved book. As a child, her favorites included Joe's Boys, Call of the Wild, and Heidi.

For several years, after her children were grown she taught at private schools where she had the best classes and students a teacher could hope for. Susan has two children who are expanding themselves into families and this June she became a first time grandmamma.

Susan loves her husband, books, hiking, her garden, starry nights, jazz music, lilacs, email, dried apples, BYU football, deep snowy mornings, time with her family, road trips and grandbabies.

Redemption is the story of Jonah as it has never been told before. With historically accurate details, rabbinic traditions, and endearing characters it tells the story from the humble home of Jonah's mother, to the belly of a fish, to the vast, wicked city of Nineveh. Jonah lived during the time of the brutal Assyrian Empire. It was a time of Kings and prophets, pagan gods, and marauding armies. When Jonah is called to go to the fearsome city of Nineveh deep into the Assyrian Empire to cry repentance, he chooses to flee in the opposite direction. Redemption is about second chances and forgiveness.

From the back of the book:

It is the eight century B.C. No Hebrew will purposely venture into the Assyrian Empire, whose practice of barbarous slaughter casts a shadow of fear over all of Israel. But God calls Jonah, and Israelite prophet, to cry repentance to the evil empire's capital: the great and terrible city of Ninevah.

Fearing the Assyrians and doubting the wisdom of the divine call, Jonah flees in the opposite direction. But in a series of miracles, God gives Jonah a second chance to obey. And while Jonah does eventually preach in the great city, the prophet still has some lessons to learn.

With historically accurate details, Redemption is a story of repentance, trust, and God's Love for all his children.

Susan's book has received strong praise and glowing reviews. If you haven't had a chance to read her book, pick it up today!

Here is my interview with Susan:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Susan: Junior High, when a paper I wrote on a patriotic theme was chosen to be read at a school assembly. Thankfully the flood-lights were so bright I couldn’t see the audience. I’ve wondered since if I could get some for the next time I’m asked to speak in church? Anyway, that was the moment.

M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?

Susan: I’m a Novice at writing regularly. Besides the school classes and encouragement from teachers to publish, it wasn’t until last year that I actually gave it the time it needed and entered the world of submissions.

M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?

Susan: Words grip me—not just the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, but others like the more contemporary words of Chaim Potok: “All around us everything was changing in the order of things we had fashioned for ourselves.” It is this ability to touch minds and hearts that I find fascinating and challenging.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Susan: Like most authors—there were several “After careful consideration. . .” responses, and one that gave hope: “if you could. . .” However that one bit of light was enough and I seized the opportunity. I rewrote for three months non-stop. I think first-time writers can cross deserts on even a glimmer of approbation.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Susan: I didn’t give myself time to be discouraged then. Promoting is a whole different beast.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Susan: I wake up most mornings around 6am and write for a couple of hours before I slink down to my basement and the treadmill. Then I try to get a few more hours in throughout the day. When I have deadlines, I write, and the house gets by with bare necessities: laundry, clean bathrooms and simple meals. That’s when the dust accumulates and my plants start to wilt.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Susan: I write about people from history who inspire me. I write what I love, and if someone else enjoys it also, that’s a bonus.

M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?

Susan: I was teaching at American Heritage School and among the literature curriculum, I was to teach Jonah (from the scriptures.) I needed to research background, setting, and themes besides the other literary elements. That was when I realized there was so much more to Jonah than just another “big fish story.”

M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?

Susan: We all make mistakes, and many have moments where we’re afraid to be the person God has called us to be. But he extends to all his forgiveness, love, and a second chance. Plus, I found the world of 700+ BC rather fascinating.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Susan: With Jonah and Hezekiah (the manuscript I am currently polishing) I had the scripture story to tell me what happened next, but still I just wrote without thinking ahead. Now, I am learning to outline and I am excited about how this will affect my next story.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Susan: Not while writing yet, but yes, in deciding what my next project will be. So since I have three possibilities, I’ve just started to outline one and gather research for another. I was going to take time off, but found that my need to write was greater than a need for a break. I’ll settle on one book when Hezekiah gets a home.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Susan: I need quiet. Music distracts me because I listen to lyrics.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Susan: Sometimes personal experience. For example when Jonah is crossing the pass to Damascus, I remembered a time when I was canoeing in Yellowstone and I didn’t think I’d ever get to the shore. After a long day of paddling across one lake, and up a river, we were still about three hours from shore on a second lake. My arms were in pain to the point of collapse, but I had no choice but to keep rowing. I began making bargains with myself such as counting strokes before I allowed myself to switch the paddle to the other side.
Also people I’ve known. My granddad’s picture sits on my desk and occasionally he makes his way into my stories.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Susan: Dickens. There are others of course, but Dickens taught me not to worry about being overly explicit, but to give the reader some credit for understanding metaphors and innuendos. Now if I could only write them with a fraction of his skill. . .

M.B.: What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?

Susan: I try to remember that there is selfishness, kindness, anger, hope, despair, love, fear, and joy in most of us. We all make mistakes, but whether we give into those mistakes or regroup and make the right changes determines if we are heroes or villains.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Susan: The one I haven’t written yet because the characters are already visiting me in the falling asleep hours.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Susan: I’m not afraid of ghosts. I grew up the 2nd of nine children and our favorite summer activity was night games in the cemetery. Sometimes we paused to jump up and scare groups who had dared themselves to walk through. I still have a bit of mischief in me.

M.B.: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?

Susan: Almonds, sometimes chocolate, sometimes chocolate covered almonds.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Susan: Connect with people every way you can. Good things follow.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Susan: After the story about King Hezekiah, probably one based around the pilgrims. But that keeps changing.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Susan: Fridays, on my new blog, I am doing book review swaps for anyone interested. Contact me at my email below.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Susan: http://susandayley.com has links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book etc.



book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0uc9Nva9fQ


Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview with Erin Klinger, author of "Between the Lines"

Erin Klingler grew up in northern California where the warm, sunny climate fit her love of athletics perfectly. In addition to her love of sports, though, Erin has always loved to write. In elementary school, she was one of the winners in a district-wide short story contest, and got to meet the actor who played the Star Wars villain Darth Vader as a prize. She's been completely hooked on writing ever since. In addition to writing, Erin loves reading, playing tennis, and puttering around in her classic 1979 Volkswagen Beetle yellow convertible, affectionately named "Tweety."

This is a fast-paced, exciting, heart-pounding book that suspense lovers will devour. Erin's book is well-written and her characters are unforgettable. You may want to start this one early in the morning because you won't be putting it down until the last page!

From the back of Erin's book:

Sydney Hallam, hard-line journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, is poised for action after receiving a tip from a mysterious source that criminally implicates several influential power brokers-but her source is gunned down before he can disclose any details. Days later, Salt Lake Tribune reporter Justin Mickelsen receives a letter from a childhood friend-the murder victim-written just prior to his death, leading the two reporters to team up in San Francisco to expose the scandal. In the intensity of the investigation, the pair's attraction quickly grows, along with proof of money laundering, drug trafficking, and grand theft. But as the evidence builds, so do the tempers of certain billionaires and heavy-hitting politicians-soon it seems the dangerous career path chosen by the two ace reporters can only lead to a very dead end.

Here is my interview with Erin:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Erin: When I was about eight years old, actually. I wrote a silly little story (though I probably thought it was groundbreaking when I wrote it) about a dog who wanted a dog house for Christmas. I still have it saved in a scrapbook somewhere. My love of reading prior to that and ever since only strengthened my desire to become a writer.

M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?

Erin: I took writing classes in high school, but most of my writing education has come from reading and online information. My college degree is in Preschool Education, which really has nothing to do with writing other than learning a great deal about patience. :)

M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?

Erin: It has become something very special to me over the years. I have always felt a special connection to the characters I've brought to life. By the time a story is well under way, they feel like more than just characters on a page; they become real people with real problems and challenges. I suppose I can say I learn much from them, and understand problem solving in a different way since I have to get my characters out of the scrapes I put them in. Being able to bring a story and characters to life makes writing a passion for me, one that helps me fulfill a creative part of myself. If I don't write, my life feels a little bland.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Erin: It certainly wasn't easy. I have enough rejection notices to wall paper my house! But I kept persisting, and the things I have learned and the experiences I have had along the way have been invaluable. Without that struggle, I wouldn't know what I know today about the pros and cons of the publishing world, and I wouldn't have made so many friends who share my passion for writing!

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Erin: Oh, I was continually discouraged. Every time I would get a rejection notice, I felt like I wanted to give up and never write again. It felt like somebody was telling me I was worthless and couldn't write worth a darn. But I persisted, and the more I learned and honed my craft, the better I got. I could see myself growing as a writer, and the feedback I got from the people who read my stuff got more and more positive. I think that was the key--the be proactive and keep learning something new that made my writing better, which made ME feel more confident. That confidence is what helped me ultimately get my books published.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Erin: With five kids, it's certainly never easy. I used to write late at night and into the early hours of the morning when my kids were all asleep, but as I've gotten older, I just don't have the kind of "umph" left in me. :) Now I try to write for a few hours a day while the kids are at school (and when I'm not juggling my part-time jog), and I try to eek out whatever half hour or so I can here and there during summer vacation. Writing a book takes me much longer than it used to, but at least I feel like I'm doing *something* by taking a few minutes here and a half hour then. (And it helps to take my laptop in the car with me while I'm waiting to pick kids up from school, etc.)

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?

Erin: Ideas often come to me while I'm reading or watching TV or movies. I often find myself fascinated with some obscure secondary character in a TV show, and I think, "What if that person was working in such-and-such a field and was faced with such-and-such a problem?" And then a book slowly starts to form around that idea in my mind. I find the "what if?" questions that come into my head when I'm doing things like reading or watching something on TV jump start my muse and get me writing.

M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?

Erin: I have always loved investigative type shows on TV, and writing about two reporters stumbling across something huge just seemed to grab me. Then the idea of two reporters for papers in different states coming together with a common goal seemed to present interesting challenges, so I ran with it.

M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?

Erin: I'd like to think people will be able to escape into an interesting story and feel a connection to these characters. Maybe they will even see a little bit of themselves in them--a desire to connect and be a part of a family; the hope of meeting somebody who loves you for all of you, not just for the pieces they choose to love; or that growth and learning can come from both the little and big experiences you have.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Erin: I used to think outlining was a waste of time. Now I can't write a story without a good outline! It's a road map to me, telling me where I've been and where I'm going. And the more I look over that outline, the more ideas pop into my head to help fill in the blanks. Before long, I have an entire story there just waiting to be detailed!

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Erin: All the time! Writer's block will kill me dead with a story every time. But I have often found that some exercise (a brisk walk around the block or pounding some balls on the tennis court) will "unstick" my mind. I've also found that watching TV or a good movie and letting my mind drift into somebody else's "world" will take my mind off my own story long enough that when I go back, whatever I was stuck on becomes much clearer and easier to write.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Erin: Sometimes I listen to music that fits the mood of the section I'm writing--when I'm writing a romantic scene, I might put on my slow songs playlist. An action sequence might make me play my fast songs. If I'm stressing over a scene, though, I turn off everything and just force myself to concentrate with no distractions.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Erin: Music, TV, and movies inspire me to want to write. The "what ifs" that I talked about earlier really start flooding my mind.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Erin: I was part of an online writing group back when I first started writing seriously, and they made such an impact in my life. We would share our stories with each other and critique what we read. Writing techniques were shared and discussed, and the feedback we got from others on our stories really helped us to tighten up our work and make us better writers. I doubt I would be where I am today with two published novels without that jump start!

M.B.: What’s your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?

Erin: I always do a character spread sheet on them before I start on new book. I list things like appearance, habits, quirks, clothing preferences, personality traits, etc. By the time that list is compiled, it's easy for me to see them in my mind walking, talking, and interacting with people. They become real to me, which makes it easier to have them seem real on a page for a reader.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Erin: I have a few dear friends read what I write, and their thoughts and opinions are invaluable! What I might think works may come across as a hideous mistake. Unless they point it out, I don't know! So I rely on them completely. There's no way I would attempt to write a book without a handful of readers whose honest (and sometimes blunt!) opinions I value.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Erin: It seems like whichever book I'm currently writing is my favorite. :) I just get hooked on the characters and storyline, and it becomes fun and exciting.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Erin: Oh, let's see. I'm practically addicted to M&M McFlurries. Should I be ashamed of that? :)

M.B.: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?

Erin: Peanut M&Ms! (And for those of you who have already read Between the Lines, you'll notice my favorite writing snack makes an ongoing appearance in the story. ;))

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Erin: The most important things I always suggest to upcoming writers are to learn and network! Read everything you can (online and in print) about the writing process--pacing, characterization, grammar and punctuation, etc. Then network! Become part of a writing and/or critique group. Go to writing conferences. Make writing and learning about writing part of your daily process. It's usually a very long road to getting published, and is frequently painful and discouraging. But if you have a good network of writing friends and a great support system, you'll get there!

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Erin: I am currently working on two books. One is a possible sequel to Between the Lines, and the other is a completely different romantic suspense novel tentatively titled Deceit. I'm very excited about both of them!

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Erin: I just have to laugh at the misunderstanding so many people have about writers. People seem to think that if you're a writer, you must be rich! I always laugh about that. Unless you're Stephen King or Stephenie Meyer, you're not likely to be making a ton of money off your books. Most of us writers make very little. We simply write because we love it, and it fulfills part of ourselves. So if you're only in it to make money, find another profession! But if you want to be a writer because you love it, and you want to touch somebody's life in that way, you're on the right track!

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Erin: Seagull Book and Deseret Book have Between the Lines, and it can also be found online in various locations.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Hi fans and friends! I'm so excited to announce my month-long blog tour for my new release HOMETOWN GIRL. Enter to win a $50.00 gift card!

All blog tour participants are listed on the sidebar. My thanks to them for helping me spread the word of my book.

To enter:
Leave a comment telling me who sent you 1 entry
Follow my blog 1 entry
Tweet about this 1 entry daily
Follow me on Twitter here 1 entry
Add my button to your blog 1 entry

Follow me on Facebook here 3 entries

Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link 5 entries (please leave a comment for each entry)

Giveaway ends on Tues. Aug. 31st, 2010!

*I personally will be providing the $50 Visa Gift Card*


August 7th, Saturday - Fashion Place Seagull Book, 11:00 - 1:00
- Taylorsville Seagull Book, 1:30 - 3:00

August 17th, Tuesday - BYU Education Week, 12:00 - 2:00

August 21st, Saturday - American Fork Seagull Book, 1:00 - 2:30