Saturday, July 21, 2012

Short Story Contest Cancelled

Due to the lack of response this year (only 4 entries) I've decided to postpone it until next year. Those of you who submitted short stories, thank you! But it's hardly a fair contest when there are so few entries. So next May I will announce the contest and hype it a little better and hopefully we'll get a better response.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Short Story Contest

May is National Short Story month. In honor of this, I am holding my second annual Short Story Contest! The theme this year is “Dare to Be.”
1. 1500 words or less (title not included)
2. No horror or sensual/errotica
3. All entries must be emailed to me by midnight May 31, 2012
4. Email entries to
5. In the subject line put “Short Story Contest” and the title.
6. Cut and paste your story into the body of your email. (No attachments)
7. Include your name and contact information at the end of your email (Snail mail, daytime phone number, etc). The winner will receive a copy of a novel of their choice:
The top three winners will be published on this site sometime in June.
I’d also like some volunteers to judge the contest. If you are interested, and would like to help, please contact me at the same email.
Have fun! Get your creative brains going and write a killer short story.
As a quick side note, my fantasy trilogy began as a contest for a short story. You never know where this will lead you! If you have any questions please ask in the comment section below. Happy Writing!
You can also visit my author website

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SOULFIRE-A Book of Mormon Novel

Dear Followers,
I am taking a break from regularly scheduled poetry to offer a sneak preview of this amazing picture of the cover of my newest book, Soulfire. Amy Orton of Walnut Springs Press did an amazing job, don't you think?
Look for the release date coming soon!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

National Poetry Month Day #3

This is what I HOPE my garden will look like in a couple more months.

My Garden
My little seeds have poked their heads
Out from under their soil beds.
Proof to me that God still commands
Even though my impatience demands
That these minuscule tiny plants of mine
Provide a meal on which to dine.

I never thought they'd show their leaves,
Even after watering forever it seems.
And now it looks as if waiting won't end
But in Gods time fruits He will rend.
"Patience little one." His voice is still.
"You too, will grow, for it is my will."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Poem #2--Waiting

I never said I was a poet, only that I'd make an attempt at it. So here's today's stab at poetry. I've been working with my publisher Walnut Springs Press for the last two weeks to perfect my book Soulfire. Any second/minute/hour I should get to see what the cover is going to look like. But waiting for that to happen is like waiting for your baby to be born! So while it's not GREAT poetry, it's what I'm feeling right this minute. And this poem is to distract me from checking my email every 30 seconds.

Waiting For My Book Cover
Here I sit totally excited
Once everything gets righted
Fonts, and revisions and grammar galore
"Hurry, hurry," I implore!

Maybe they could work faster
But then it'd be disaster
So here I'll wait like a wee little one
Anticipating my Christmas to come.

Will the cover have flames
After all Soulfire's the name.
Or will there be a maiden fair
Standing next to Alma, so debonair.

Either way, I'm bound to this computer.
Not I today will I be the commuter
So hurry up Amy send the cover to me
Then I'll be as happy as can be.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month

It's April and National Poetry Month. I've blogged about this already, so if you'd like to participate go to my journaling blog: Sweet Betsy Love and leave your comments and a poem. One a day for the next 30 days.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Interview with Robison Wells

Me: Hi, Robison, welcome to my blog. It’s a pleasure to get to know you a little better. I just finished your book and I have to tell you I loved it. It was like watching a scary movie with your hands over your eyes peeking through, trying to decide if it’s safe to watch—it reads a lot like Hunger Games, which I loved.
Robison: Thanks! So glad you liked it!
Me: I could ask you the typical questions here, like how long have you been writing, who’s your favorite author, etc. But what I like to do is ask snarky questions that are totally off the wall. I hope you’re up for that. So here’s my first question. If you could be one place right now, where would it be? Why? And what would you do there?
Robison: Right now, I’d probably say Italy. My agent is there right now at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and she keeps tweeting about how fantastic it is. And really, what could be better than authentic food, gelato, sight-seeing, and YA novels?
Me: All authors like to either eat snacks or listen to music while they eat. You can tell us about your writing preferences, but what I’d like to know is when you’re in your daydreaming/planning mode what do you do? I play spider solitaire. It looks like “goofing off,” but really, the thoughts are just flying through my head. What about you?
Robison: I do my best big-picture planning while I drive. I like to take long drives out to places in the state I’ve never been. (I recently had a job where I commuted 90 minutes a day, so that was great for planning.) I’ve often joked that I don’t know what I used to think about before I wrote books, because, really, it’s always in my head.
Me: In my young adult writing I love to take things that have happened to me, or to people I know and incorporate them into my story. How about you? If so, what’s the funnest or silliest or maybe even the darkest real life thing you’ve ever put in your book?
Robison: In my first book, ON SECOND THOUGHT, (which was published by a regional publisher and isn’t YA) almost the entire thing is autobiographical. I based it in a little town I used to live in, and all of the side characters were based on real people I knew there. It was fun, but I’ve actually made a conscious decision not to do that anymore. After a while it felt like I was shoehorning “funny” things into the books—whether or not they fit the story—just because they were funny in real life.
Me: Some people collect things, I collect rubber stamps—not that I ever use them anymore. Do you have a collection? Tell us about it.
Robison: When I was a kid I collected postage stamps, but I don’t think I even have those albums anymore. Probably my biggest collecting fetish is wargames: not boardgames, but the kind where you buy little soldiers and paint them and build scenery and spend too much money. (I did this when I was in my early twenties and then put it all in a closet when I had kids—the models are often pointy and made of lead. But, in the last year I’ve renewed the hobby. I almost never play the games—I’m in it entirely for the modeling.)
Me: All right one more question. I always love to find out someone’s deepest darkest secret. Would you care to share an embarrassing moment with us? I’ll share mine if you’ll share yours. It doesn’t have to be your most embarrassing one…just one you would feel comfortable with.
Robison: I have the most embarrassing moment of all embarrassing moments: In seventh grade I was in student government, and we had an overnight retreat at one of the kids’ cabins. Being dumb thirteen year olds, several of the guys thought it was hilariously funny to hide somewhere and then jump out and scare people—the coolest, most popular guy was doing it, so we all had to do it. My first attempt went extremely well: I hid in a hall closet with one of those slatted doors (I don’t know what those are called) so I could see out. It was perfect: a girl walked by, I leapt out, she screamed, high fives all around.
But the second attempt did not go nearly so well. I heard some girls coming, so I ducked into the nearest dark room. It was a bedroom, and I thought (in my stupid, 13-year-old brain) that it would be hilarious if I hid under the bed and then grabbed one of their ankles when they walked in the room in the dark.
Well, they were closer than I thought, because I’d barely gotten under the bed when they came in—I was facing the wrong direction to grab their ankles! I scooted around, but I was too late. It was obvious (from their conversation, not from me being able to see anything) that they’d closed the door and started changing into their pajamas. And then they got into bed.
And there I was, trapped under the bed, suddenly horrified beyond all horror. I think I lay there, petrified, for more than an hour; I just couldn’t think of any way to get out of there without appearing to be a peeping Tom. And the longer I stayed, the worse it got. I hoped they’d fall asleep, but they just kept right on talking, with no end in sight.
The ending is anti-climactic: I eventually said something, tried to play it off as a joke, and ran embarrassed out of the room. And then spent the rest of seventh and eighth grade labeled as a pervert.
So, if any of you think you have embarrassing stories, BEAT THAT.
Me: That’s pretty bad! But then 7th grade seems to be the worst time in everyone’s life. I promised my embarrassing moment—Okay, it’s not my MOST embarrassing one, because honestly mine way beats yours. It's so embarrassing I’m not willing to put it out there for the world. Maybe I’ll write about it in one of my books and then everyone will just have to keep wondering if that was it or not. So here is something that happened to me in 7th grade. I had this major, huge, ginormous crush on this boy named Danny. He had dark hair and blue eyes. (I always fell for those kind of guys—even married one like that). Anyway, my mother finally let me start shaving my legs about this time, and I was excited to tell a couple of my girlfriends. One mean girl told Danny that I started shaving my legs just for him. I got a note from  him that said, “Shaving your legs and unbuttoning your blouse will not make me like you.” Unbuttoning my blouse? What was he talking about? That’s when I looked down and saw that two of the buttons on my shirt had indeed come unbuttoned. I did not do that, and certainly not to attract him! Needless to say, I was more than thrilled when his family moved out of state.

Thank you, Robison Wells for joining me today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know a little more about you. I hope you’re going to the Storymakers conference in May. I’d love to meet you in person.
Robison: It’s a deal.
Me: I'm looking forward to it!

And now, here’s what I thought of Variant:

What would you do if you were friendless and familyless? (It’s a word I just made up). That’s the story of Benson’s life. The first line of the opening paragraph gives you the warning that this is going to be one of those “scare you death” tales. Benson gets a scholarship to attend a boarding school where he hopes to better his life. What he finds is that there are no adults, video cameras watching his every move, and the kids attending Maxfield Academy? Definitely something wrong. They’ve divided into factions. What Benson hoped was a way to progress into his adult years turns into a deadly game of survival and escape is impossible. Oh, and about detention here at Maxfield—no one ever returns.
I haven’t read a book like this in a long time! I simply could not put it down until I got to the very last sentence, and then I had to go back and read it twice. Really? Robison—leave me hanging like that? All I can say is hurry up and finish the sequel, because I’m going to be waiting anxiously to download it on Kindle.
Variant is a tightly written story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. For days afterward I couldn’t get the story out of my head. Well, done, Robison. I’m wish you all the best in the Whitneys!
You can purchase Robison's book here. You will love it, too!
Check out Robison's website.
His sequel Feedback will be released Oct 2021. I can hardly wait!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

ANWA Conference Report on Linda Mullineaux’s class:

The Critical Skill of Self Editing-Focusing on what agents and editors really care about

I consider myself one of the luckiest authors at the conference. Not only was it fabulous—from amazing classes and presenters to the food, but I got to “hang out” with my editor, Linda Mullineaux from Walnut Springs Press. 
Linda says we look like sisters except she's the short one. LOL

Even though I’m published, I have so much to learn, and attending Linda’s class was informative and fun. Here is what her class was all about:

First of all, Linda says, “Take time writing your book; make it as perfect as you can.” She says it’s important to know your target audience, know your word count, and know what your publisher/agent accepts.
Walnut Springs Press

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, you hit the send key on your email with your manuscript attached. Now what? First of all, breathe a sigh of relief and go work on something else. If after a few days you haven’t heard from them, it’s okay to ask if the manuscript was received. Then be patient. After some time has passed, it’s okay to “bother” the agent or editor By “bother” Linda means, a quick email saying, “I hate to bother you, but have you had a chance to look at my manuscript?” But DON’T bother the editor every day! Agents and editors want to know that you are not going to be a high maintenance author. Be patient, the process takes time.

Linda says that often the plot is not the problem, but it’s often the mechanics of the story. Editors have so many books to make decisions on that to have a great story and poor writing makes an editor reject the book. An editor wants to know “How much work will it take to get it in publishable form?” If it’s going to take too much time, then the editor will pass it over for one that is going to take less editing. If there are too many mistakes it’s likely to be rejected.

When contacting a publisher make sure to include a cover letter and synopsis, not a chapter by chapter, but tell the story. If an editor or agent sends you back suggestions to fix it, take this as a very good sign that your story is publishable, but that you will need to look at it again for syntax, grammar, punctuation, etc. This is where a critique group is crucial, but make sure they are going to be honest and helpful.

Here are some other tips on being the best writer and creating the best book you can:

·         Take your time writing. Make it as perfect as you can.
·         Let others read it and give you feedback—no not your mom, she thinks everything is brilliant.
·         The best way to be a great writer is to read—especially the classics.
·         Let it sit for at least a month. Write something else, think about something else.
·         Phillip Cosby “When in doubt, delete.”
·         As a writer you are not being fair if you’re not being honest.
·         In dialogue, less is more.
·         On setting—Don’t make it sound like a travel brochure.
·         Make sure your characters want something on every page.
·         Have a strong voice.

Some of the types of errors that Linda sees a lot of are as follows:

·         Punctuation and minor grammar issues
·         Overwriting
·         Syntax or logistical errors
·         Unvaried sentence structures
·         Dangling modifiers

The last thing you should have when contacting an editor or agent is a marketing plan. This is the nuts and bolts of what you are going to do to promote your book. Have a blog that is content driven, not just an advertisement for your book. Have a social presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Find other ways to be creative in promoting your book.
Just me, chillin' between classes

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rachael Harrie's Challenge/Flash Fiction

This week’s challenge is to write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, include a poem. We are to begin the story with the words, “shadows crept across the wall.” These five words will be included in the word count.
As an additional (optional) challenge, we can do one or more of the following:
  •  End the story with the words “everything faded.” (Included in the word count)
  • Include the word orange in the story
  • Write in the same genre I normally write
  •  Make the story 200 words exactly
I did all 4. Tell me what you think.

Dung it!

Shadows creep across the wall—my own. I follow my image around the barn and run smack into Travis.

“Going somewhere?” Travis grabs the collar of my orange uniform. Behind him stands the rest of my team. I swallow and don’t answer.
Across the dairy yard Brendan leans against the gate. Our eyes meet and I wonder why he doesn’t do anything, say something try to stop their stupidity. Sheesh, and I thought he was my best friend.

“Well, where you going?” Travis still has a hold of me and the neck chokes me.

With a quick movement I bring my hand up and knock Travis’s hand away, a sharp tear pulls the collar away from the shirt. “Great.” I mumble, thinking my mom’s gonna be pissed when she has to sew it back on. Or worse when coach has to replace it if Mom can’t fix it.

In a second several, of the guys grab my arms and legs. They drag me to the largest pile of manure I’ve ever seen. “Time for the honor system to take its toll.” With a heave they toss me. I am falling face first into cow dung and then everything fades.

You can "LIKE" here. I'm number 118.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Review-Retirement Quest by John Hauserman

What can I say? I'm screwed! This book was not written for me. However:

If you are out of college and ready to take on the world, this is a great book to help you plan well ahead for your retirement (and believe me it creeps up faster than you can imagine). If you are almost ready to retire and have a sufficient amount with which to retire, then this book is for you. However, if you're like the millions of Americans who are barely surviving and have not managed to tuck away enough for your golden years, then I'd suggest you better find another way to keep working until you die. Or in my case I'm hoping to sell a million copies of a best seller!

John's book was an easy read and gave valuable insights. I wish I had read it say 20 to 30 years ago.

So here is what John's book is all about:

RetirementQuest: Make Better Decisions was written by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner who has been counseling clients since 1992. Drawing from his twenty years of experience, John Hauserman has developed a unique ability to communicate complex financial subject matter in easy to understand terms. Readers are guided through the basics of financial planning, while threads of politics, history and psychology are woven together to create a tapestry of deeper understanding into the financial planning world. 
Complete with hard hitting insight into the practices and sometimes abuses of the financial services industry, John has created a masterpiece designed to help those responsible-minded investors who are seeking to avoid common planning mistakes.

You can purchase a copy HERE
To visit his website click HERE and discover classes, planning and other resources to help with your future.

I've Been Tagged By Diane Gillette

1.  Where is your favorite writing spot and why? 
I have this fabulous roll top desk in my bedroom. My laptop occupies the place of prestige there. But if I could, and I lived by the beach or a stream in the mountains that's where I'd write. There is just something about the sound of water that is soooooo inspiring.
2.  What author/book first made you want to write?  
I've always loved to write--ever since I was a preschooler and saw my mother's handwriting, that's what I wanted to do. When I started school and discovered that my mother's handwriting was actually words I knew I wanted to create words as well. But the first actual book that made me want to write was probably Paddington the Bear. I wanted to create my own stories.
3.  If you could no longer write, what would your creative outlet be?
Paint or draw. There are so many artists in my family. It's something I've never explored. But some day!!!! 
4.  Music or silence when you write?  
Music inspires me...but when I'm actually in the throes of drafting...silence.
5.  What is your writing goal for 2012?  
To finish drafting at least three of the novels I'm 3/4 of the way through.
6.  What pushes you out of your writing comfort zone?  
Revising. I hate going back and looking at what I thought was pure brilliance to discover that it's...well, not brilliant.
7.  Where do you go when you need to escape for a while?  
I love to take a drive up to the mountains for the day or even a couple of days, but if I can only get away for a short while, I love to go to Jamba Juice and get a Chocolate Moo'd (And if you've never had one or heard of it, it's a chocolate smoothie! DELISH!
8.  Which series are you eagerly anticipating the newest release for? (If you aren't addicted to any series right now, then what new book by a favorite author are you waiting for?)  
I loved the Fablehaven series by Branden Mull so I'm waiting for him to finish his Beyonders series. I haven't read the first one for good reason--it's a cliff hanger and I hate not being able to pick up the next book. I don't like waiting...I'm very impatient.
9.  What's your favorite online resource for writers?  
Blogs! I love checking out what other writers have to say about writing. That's why this campaign is going to be such a blessing.
10.  Do you read any literary magazines? If so, which ones? 
No, mostly I read what I write and maybe a book or two on writing.
11.  What's something that made you smile today?   
Finding that I have been tagged!

Here are my questions:

1. What is your first memory of writing or reading?
2. If you could be a character in a book, which one and why?
3. An unexpected package has just arrived for you. What do you hope is inside?
4. Which would you rather lose your hearing or your vision? Why?
5. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? What would you do?
6. If you could be a bug, which one would you choose?
7. When you're in your writing "zone" do you like to snack? If so what's your favorite?
8. Where is your favorite place to write?
9. What is one thing you would change about yesterday. 
10. You've been given a million dollars. What is the first thing you would do with it? (You can't put it in the bank)
11. If you were give three wishes what you wish for? (No wishing for more wishes. One other warning, be careful what you wish for. It didn't turn out so well for the fisherman's wife.)

And now for my tags--
Theresa Sneed (She's not on this list, but she's my bffaeae)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blog Campaign with Rachael Harrie

I'm new at this so let me tell you a little bit about what I'm doing. 
Rachael Harrie has put together this amazing blog campaign to boost readership, followers and networking with other like-minded people.

This adorable Australian writer is heading up this fantastic event. Click here to go to her blog. 
I can hardly wait to connect with writers like me from all over the world. 

I'll keep you posted about what I'm doing, who I'm meeting, and the cool people I'm connecting with.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review of ON LITTLE WINGS and Author Interview of Regina Sirois

Me: Hi Regina, 
Welcome to my blog. Have a seat there on my most comfy rocker—oh, wait, let me move that pile of clothes. I’ll fold them later. I’m sure that our readers would love to get to know you better. I’ll skip the boring stuff…like how long have you been writing and who’s your favorite author….blah…blah…blah…

Let’s get down to some juicy tidbits, shall we?  

Regina: Ooh, this sounds interesting. We shall!

Me: I love inspirational stories. What’s the most inspirational thing that’s ever happened to you?

Regina: I think my husband is the most inspirational thing that ever happened to me. We didn’t know each other at all and one day in the middle of our Senior year of High School he walked up to me while I was talking to four or five girlfriends. He broke right through our huddle and asked me out. With an audience. Not with bravado. Not like a cocky jerk. Just quietly, like a shy guy who thought, “Why the heck not?”  And for that moment of courage, I will thank him forever! When I think I can’t do something I think of where my life would be if he made excuses and copped out.

Me: What’s the juiciest conversation you’ve ever overheard? Did you put it in your writing anywhere?

Regina: I really want to answer this. I want to tell you something that would make you salivate. But nothing juicy ever happens to me. Ever! I kill gossip. People look like they are engrossed in a great story and when I get too close they stop and turn the conversation to weather and politics and knitting baby blankets. I don’t know why I have that effect! If I joined the FBI the entire agency would suddenly be very concerned with the Farmer’s Almanac and the country would go under. So out of my sense of patriotism, I will not pursue my secret spy career.

Me: I'm sure the FBI thanks you. *wink
Privately you told me you have a favorite bug. Would you believe me if I told you mine is actually a praying mantis or a tarantula? So what’s yours and why is it your fav?

Regina:  I’d say we would get along smashingly because I think a bright green mantis is breathtaking. I saw a three inch specimen one day and stared it for longer than I am willing to admit.  I’m always a sucker for a butterfly, but I get giddy with excitement when I see a walking stick. They are so hard to spot and so darn fascinating!

Me: Me, too!
Are you a morning writer or a night writer? And why is that your favorite time of day?

Regina: I am an afternoon writer. I can’t concentrate in the morning. My brain is saying, you need to do the laundry and call that person and cancel that appointment and I just can’t give my story my attention. I gather my thoughts throughout the day and when I crash in the afternoon and don’t have the energy to fold, clean, call or cancel, I just click and tap on my keyboard.

Me: Great planning strategy! 
If you could meet one character from a book, who would it be? What would be the first words out of your mouth? 

Regina: I’d like to meet Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle and I’d say, “Will you please show me around your house?” I mean, she lived in a dilapidated castle, for goodness sake.

Me: Dilapidated? Is that another way of saying drafty? I'll let you keep the castle. 
What project do you have in mind next? More amazing young adult cadences?  

Regina: I am working on a YA story with a very different feel. The narrator is a boy so the voice is more compact and fast, but I think he is lyrical in a different way. It is a more staccato and fast-paced song then Jennifer sings in On Little Wings.

Me: I love lyrical writing! 
I found your book through someone touting how wonderfully you write, and the beauty of your words. With kudos like that I had to download the book. I dragged my Kindle with me everywhere so I could keep reading. I did not want to put the book down. I know when I hear someone say great things about my writing, I want to say “Pishaw!” But secretly I hope they’ll keep saying nice things. How do you feel when someone says such wonderful things about your work?

Regina: I try to take a breath and take it in and accept the kindness. I try to say thank you without arguing. But in the back of my mind my insecurities are heckling me, trying to shout the praise down. But thank you. So much. I think it takes a good ten to twenty words of encouragement to cushion the blow of one person who hates your book. And there are people who hate my book, or any book for that matter!

Me: I know what you mean. You can't please everyone so you just brush the "haters" aside and focus on the positive.
By the way, I absolutely love the way you paint pictures with your words—it reads like poetry—perfect word choices, using all the senses. I was so caught up in your story not just because of the tale itself, but because of the way you wrote it. They say that to some poetry comes easy, and to others not so much (I’m in the latter category). How have you developed such a wonderful writing style?

Regina: I started writing poetry (really, really bad poetry) when I was in second grade. I’ve tried to move up from there. (Up is the only direction I could go, to be honest).  I think cadence and rhythm comes naturally to me, but that can be a weakness, too. I am painfully aware that I overdo it sometimes. I’m working on balance and restraint and hope my next book is better.

Me: I wish I had your lyrical sense of writing. I'm working on it. Someday, whe I "grow up" maybe I'll write as beautifully as you. 
So, in the book your character “do lines” in the evenings. Is this based on something you actually do, or wished you could do?

Regina: I’ve never done this, but I am fascinated by the idea. When I cannot find the right words I just want to borrow the words of people more talented and wise than I. I understand my characters yearnings to express themselves through the literature they discover.

Me: I love great literature, too. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our audience, maybe something you’ve been dying to tell the world about you or about your book?

Regina: I’d like to say that I will try to improve with each story I write. I’d like to say that the prospect of publishing, book signing, interviews, or money are nothing compared to the kindness of people who are glad I wrote the book. It is the most incredible feeling to know that I am connecting with people I cannot even see. I would trade everything else to be able to thank them individually. Money is not the best way to support a writer you like. Telling them that you are glad they persevered to the story’s end is invaluable!

Me: Amen, there! Authors find the greatest reward in knowing that others are reading their words. Regina, thanks so much for sharing a little of yourself with us. Congratulations on your book selling so well, and for landing an agent (hard to do in this business).

And now my review:

Sirois "dares to make us believe" her characters are real. Her delightful tale of a young woman's discovery of the family Jessica never knew takes us into the heart of her characters. Each of them have their own distinct personalities, ways of speaking, and clearly defined attitudes. Even her support characters were well rounded. I could tell Sirois spent a great deal of time getting to know her characters before she even began to draft the story. 

Because of her incredible command of poetic elements her words are a delight to read. I found myself engrossed as much in the actual writing style as I did in the story. I couldn't put the book down-or in my case, my Kindle. Well, done Regina. 

Synopsis from Amazon:
Jennifer must do the impossible – bring her mother home. When a family is torn apart by death, two sisters take violently divergent paths and the story of their family appears to end terribly and abruptly. Two decades later Jennifer never dreams that the photo she finds stuck between the pages of a neglected book will tear open a gaping wound to her mother’s secret past. Abandoning her comfortable life with her parents and best friend in the wheat fields of Nebraska, Jennifer’s quest for a hidden aunt leads her to the untamed coast of Maine where she struggles to understand why her mother lied to her for sixteen years.
Across the grey, rocky cove she meets Nathan Moore, the young, reluctant genius surrounded by women who need him to be brother, father, friend, provider, protector and now, first love. The stories, varied, hilarious, and heartbreaking, unfold to paint a striking mural of the shattered past. As Jennifer seeks to piece together her mother’s story, she inadvertently writes one for herself.

You can purchase a copy of On Little Wings here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Andrea Pearson has done it again!

Before you get to read my review, I've asked Andrea to tell us a little about herself.

Me: Hi, Andrea, I just finished The Ember Gods in your Key of Kilenya series.
A thoroughly enjoyable book. It was a lot of fun to see what has happened
to Jacob since leaving Eklaron. It seems that Jacob is having a tough time
fitting into either world-earth or Eklaron. But in spite of his misfit
feelings and frustrations, Jacob lands on top. So Andrea, where does the
idea of this series come from?

Andrea:We used to live in an old house – when I was a kid. I found a skeleton
key, and used to pretend it was magical. I built on that idea over several
years, eventually adding Jacob and Dmitri to the story. For book two, The
Ember Gods, I just continued what I'd started. I knew my ideas would end
up becoming several books in a series – I would need time to explain where
Jacob's abilities came from.

Me: Is the character of Jacob modeled after anyone real?

Andrea: Partially. He’s a mixture of a couple of my brothers plus a friend.

Me: When is your muse most likely to find you at work? Mornings? Nights?

Andrea: Yes and yes. :-) Usually, I get in my best work in the mornings, but
occasionally the afternoons are productive, along with the evenings. I do
this all day and work everything else around my writing.

Me: When you’re writing do you like silence or is there some kind of music or
din that fills your background for inspiration?

Andrea: Music all the way! :-) It has to be something I’ve heard before, otherwise
I get distracted and listen instead of write.

Me: I know for me I like to have someone cheering me on. My husband loves to
ask me “What have you written today?” And then he loves for me to read it
to him. Who is your greatest fan and/or supporter?

Andrea: My husband—he always checks up on me, then helps me get over rough parts.
Also, my immediate family: Dad, Mom, and a couple of my brothers. They’re
very involved in my writing.

Me: You’ve had lots of great response to your series thus far. Have readers
suggested what they’d like to see happen with your story line? Does that
influence what goes into the story?

Andrea: They give me their theories about what will happen, but the series is
pretty much set in stone so those theories don’t sway me. They usually
make me smile, however. :-) I do enjoy it when people guess what’s going
to happen next, and occasionally I’m surprised when they figure out the
truth. It’s great! They don’t usually tell me how they think it should
go—thank goodness. :-)

Me: How do you handle rejection? I know I cry shamelessly in public while
dining with my husband. He entreats me not to since people might think
we’re getting a divorce (which, of course, we are NOT).

Andrea: Rejection, as in a bad review, or someone deciding not to publish me? I don’t have to deal with that last part—thankfully—but when I get a
negative review, I read it to my husband and let him do the ranting and
raving. :-) He’s great that way—my fierce defender. :-) He’ll go on for
hours and hours about the review, picking it apart and explaining why the
person didn’t really think through what they said. (Unless they support
their argument with really good points, then he’ll say, “I’ll give them
that,” or “Fair enough.” In which case, there’s no point in being upset,
and he reminds me of that with his response.) (And congrats on NOT getting
a divorce. Ha ha!)

Me: When I get a great review or a contract for a book I love to celebrate
with chocolate or ice cream (or both). Sometimes my wonderful husband
takes me out to dinner where people think we are madly in love because I’m
smiling so much. (We are madly in love by the way.) How do you celebrate
your victories?

Andrea: Ice cream! We go to Sub Zero with my family every time another book comes out. Sometimes I celebrate by writing more—those little victories really
give me energy! They spur me to continue. (And I love being madly in love.
Isn’t it fun? :-))

Me: I see that you have a completed romance based in Kilenya and another one in the works. Do you have other ideas on the back burners? A different
series? Or do you see Kilenya as sandbox full of possibilities?

Andrea: I plan to write probably five Kilenya Romances. And there are six books in the Kilenya Series. After that, though, I’m moving on (aside from possibly writing Dmitri’s story). I’ve got a gazillion ideas that need to be
written! :-)

Me: Tell us a little bit about yourself that perhaps others might not know
about you?

Andrea: I used to have pet black widows. And I was homeschooled my entire life. The black widows were a learning/scientific/fascinating project my brother
and I did together. We fed them flies, mainly. Mine, Mahana, lived for
four years. Pretty cool! Also, I’m really shy when I first meet people.
I’ve been pegged as stuck up a few times—which isn’t the case. It just
takes me time to feel comfortable opening up. Once I’m comfortable, I’m
okay with being in front of large crowds, though, and teachers used to
struggle with getting me to be quiet. :-)

Me: What’s your greatest passion?
Andrea: Music, movies, and books. I knew my husband was the one when I learned these were also his passions. We watch a lot of movies, read, and listen to music together.

Me: What’s your biggest dislike?

Andrea: Arrogant authors! Arrogant anyone, really. :-)

Me: If you could meet anyone who would that be? Why? What would be the first thing you’d ask him/her?

Andrea: I’d have to say my grandpa (and I know, I know—I’ve met him already. :-)).
He passed away when I was 17—long before I knew I wanted to be a writer.
He’d written (and published) over 50 books—most of them as a ghost writer.
I’d ask him how he kept up with everything, and what the biggest thing is
he’d want to have me tell his posterity. I’d also like to know what he
thinks of me being a writer, though I’ve got the feeling he’d say he was
proud. :-) He was a great man.

Me: When you dream big, you’re often not disappointed. What is your biggest
Andrea: That all of my good ideas will become books. :-) Sometimes I worry that someone will come along and tell me I can’t write anymore. That would be
very depressing!

Me: Andrea, thank you so much for letting us get to know you.

Andrea: No problem! And thanks for interviewing me. :-)

And now, here's what I think about The Ember Gods:
If you haven't read The Key of Kilenya, then go back and start with that one. Then you HAVE to read number 2, The Ember Gods. This delightful book, while geared for middle grade readers, is a fun read for teens and adults as well. 

Set in two worlds, The Ember Gods follows the struggles of Jacob Clark, a not so typical teenage boy, whose biggest challenges are learning how to control his developing powers, saving the girl he had to leave behind, and making the basketball team.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the characters, the epicness of the story, and craving to find out what happens next. Pearson weaves a fun tale that's hard to put down. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series.

You, too, will love this second book in The Key of Kilenya series. To purchase it in paperback click here or on Kindle click here.