Sandi Shilhanek | Anthology – Book Counts
Sundays with Sandi / May 31, 2009

As I contemplated this week’s blog I was really struggling for a good topic, and decided to read instead of worrying over the blog…either an idea would come to me or it wouldn’t! The book I chose to read is titled Believe by Sharon Sala, but what it is really an anthology collection of three of her earlier releases; Miracle Man, When You Call My Name, and Shades of a Desperado. Now this poses an interesting set of questions…when you read a book that has three complete stories in it, do you count that as one book or as three separate stories? Do you like when the book is stories by just one author, or do you prefer two or more authors to have a story in one volume? Do you want each book to be a full length story, or when you buy an anthology do you prefer short stories that you can read here, there, and everywhere? Here my indecision comes shining through. I like to have more than one author in the book because it’s a great way to experiment with new authors, but I will only buy the anthology if an author I either love already…

Sara Reyes | New Mexico Aventures…
Uncategorized / May 30, 2009

I’m on vacation in New Mexico, visiting a place I’ve only flown over before because it’s fun to see what’s actually on the ground. The United States is so big and diverse it’s an adventure to see different corners and crannies. This time we choose New Mexico. It’s within driving distance, has cool old places and it’s affordable. Our base of operations is the historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico. You’ll recognize it if you watched No Country for Old Men. It’s where Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) gets shot up and Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson) dies. Yup, we’re doing a reenactment with our travel buddy Peaches. We’ve also visited several forts, one very sad, Fort Sumner with the Bosque Redondo Monument. Two claims to fame: killing of Billy the Kid and the internment of thousands of Navajo and Mescalero Apache peoples during the Civil War. The fort is gone but digs have uncovered some of its sad history. The second, Fort Union was the service and logistics headquarters for the New Mexico territory and served as an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail until the railroad put it out of business. It’s a beautiful if desolate place…

Marie Bostwick | There is nothing I would not do for my children.
Uncategorized / May 29, 2009

Unfortunately, my children know this and have no compunction about exploiting my weakness. Over the last 26 years, that exploitation has been demonstrated in countless ways. Allow me to list a few. By my count to date I have … * Read “Goodnight Moon” 1,630 times.* Cut the crusts off 4,274 peanut butter sandwiches.* Delivered forgotten items to school (including books, homework, gym clothes, and lunch boxes of crustless peanut butter sandwiches) 712 times. * Spent half a year’s wages on overpriced tennis shoes that were outgrown in four months or less.* Spent another half year of wages buying fundraising items I didn’t want or need, including but not limited to magazines, wrapping paper, calendars, Christmas wreaths, Easter lilies, popcorn, candy, pizzas, and pies.* Washed 368 industrial sized dumpsters full of dirty laundry.* Edited 39 term papers, generally between midnight and two a.m. on the day they were due.* Driven the equivalent of 48 busloads of teenagers to the movies. If you’re a mother, you know this list is far from comprehensive, but you get the idea. And if you’re a mother, chances are you’re just like me. You’d do anything for your kids. Curious to read the rest? click…

Colleen Thompson | The Goose Bump Award
Uncategorized / May 28, 2009

Some people fear spiders. For others, it takes rats or scorpions or snakes to really rev up the old goose bumps. For me, it’s alligators. American alligators, in particular those big brutes lurking the lakes and bayous near the Texas-Louisiana border. I’m fascinated by the creatures, which seem like something left over from the pre-human prehistoric past (which indeed, they are). While researching my latest romantic thriller, Beneath Bone Lake, I learned some fascinating facts about alligators. For one thing, their eyeballs always orient themselves so the slit-like pupil is vertical, even when the animal is rolling to drown its intended prey. Creepy, huh? In Texas, some are up to 16 feet long, and they more and more frequently wander into the human realm, from golf course ponds to backyard pools (yikes!) But in spite of their reptilian indifference to our charms and their nasty eating habits, I learned that at least in this state (I’m still talking Texas), there has never been a recorded case of human predation by an alligator. (There have been some injuries, many provoked by human idiocy, but basically, if you keep a respectful distance and use your head, you’re off the menu.) Click to…

Karin Tabke | Bouncing Off the Walls!
Romance / May 27, 2009

If someone doesn’t glue me down soon I’m going to hurt myself. Why all the extra energy? Lot’s of reasons. Despite this economic downturn and the lull in publishing, romance has not only survived, it’s thriving! Take that, literary snobs! Okay, that isn’t nice, but it’s how I feel. Would someone please tell me what is so bad about losing yourself in a passionate love story? One that ends with a Happily Ever After? Hot heroes to die for, heroines we’d like to befriend and that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we read The End. How can anyone have issues with that? Not me, and I don’t defend romance either. I blow off the snarky comments with a shrug of my shoulders and a suggestion to the naysayer that perhaps they might want professional help to deal with that cynical chip on their shoulder. Okay, maybe that is a wee bit defensive, but it’s true! Click here to read the rest of Karin’s blog and to leave a comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Joy Nash | Birth Order and Writing
Romance / May 26, 2009

Oldest? Middle? Youngest? Only? Does your position in your birth family determine aspects of your personality? May psychologists believe that it does. A glance around my own birth family (6 siblings), as well as the family I gave birth to (3 kids), tells me there’s a nugget of truth in birth-order/personality theories. An added bonus: yet another character-creation aid for writers. When I dreamed up the various members of the Santangelo family in A Little Light Magic (Leisure Books, May 26), I kept birth order personality traits in mind. Here’s a quick rundown: Nick Santangelo (hero of A Little Light Magic): The classic oldest child. Conservative, responsible, workaholic, protector, doesn’t like to take risks. Nick’s a business owner, which is not unusual for an oldest child. He’s used to making decisions and giving orders (having practiced in childhood on his younger brothers). He doesn’t often let loose and just have fun – everything’s tied up in work and responsibility for Nick. Click here to read the rest of Joy’s blog and to comment. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Carolyn Jewel | Vampire Reproduction
Uncategorized / May 25, 2009

The other day over at my writing blog, I mused about something that’s often puzzled me; that is, the subject of Vampire Reproduction. With vampires, I wondered, why are they so often infertile, when by the rules, they ought to be more than capable of reproduction? I won’t rehash everything I said over there, but do take a look if you’re curious or would like to weigh in on the subject. I find my mind often wonders into these strange little alleys and then gets stuck there sometimes, leaving me no choice but to slowly work my way out. Today’s little alley concerns werewolves. Werewolves aren’t infertile, but with them, I wonder, since they can change forms without damage to their internal organs, how come t werewolf lore so often includes the caveat that they have to mate as humans? Or, alternatively, that they can’t mate as wolves and have the pregnancy last? Let’s set aside one of the really obvious answers (the squick factor). Click here to read the rest of Carolyn’s blog, comment and to enter her contest. Visit FreshFiction.com to learn more about books and authors.

Sandi Shilhanek | Are you Impulsive?
Sundays with Sandi / May 24, 2009

For the last two weeks or so I’ve been listening to the radio station I listen to at work advertise Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol. I’ve been sitting at my desk wishing I had a ticket for what has to be a fantastic show. Today I decided that there was really no harm in getting online and checking out prices. Called Mike, my husband and said would you like to go? I’d really like to go. He of course can’t go because of work commitments, but he said I could go. Okay, how fast can I get online and buy a ticket? Should I be really cheap and buy any ticket, or do I deserve a great seat and maybe even valet parking? Debating this makes me think of trips to the bookstore. How often do I go thinking I need a book such as The Warrior by Sharon Sala (who also happened to have been the phone in guest for this week’s DFWTEA READERS dinner), but end up bringing home a huge stack! This week’s question is are you impulsive like I was on Wednesday, or do you plan precisely and stick to the plan. If you are…

Sara Reyes | Making My List…Checking it ?
Saturdays with Sara / May 23, 2009

Big confession time, shocker isn’t it? But I don’t make reading lists. Gasp! Yup, reading a book is a time of relaxation and to “get away from it all” not something associated with “work” and for me, lists are WORK. BIG CAPTIALS, WORK. What I MUST do, what I should have DONE, what I WILL DO. Get the point? Work. Yuck. Reading now is something entirely different. It’s where I leave everything and go into a different world, with its own set of rules, problems, solutions, characters. It’s definitely not work. So, here’s the problem, I said this weekend’s theme should be “reading lists or books for the summer.” All well and good, after all I can set the tone or theme for a weekend or week or month, but then it means I have to follow it too. SIGH. And I spent Friday thinking about “what am I going to read this summer?” It was dreary and depressing. It was planning it was, omg, WORK!!! So I figured it out, I’d just confess. I don’t do lists. Now, not to say I’m not ‘aware’ of book releases dates, oh dearie me, no! I am very aware because like airline…

Jill Marie Landis | The Tale of THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN or The Book with the Big Headed Hero.
Uncategorized / May 22, 2009

Last year Steeple Hill released HOMECOMING, my first western historical with an inspirational theme. The story is set in a fictional Texas frontier town named Glory and I found myself so involved in the characters and the setting that I wrote a second book, THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN, set in the same town. The hero and heroine from HOMECOMING make cameo appearances, so readers who missed that book might want to order it as well when shopping for THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN. (Okay, enough of the shameless self promotion–for now.) Though I’m known for the emotion and characterization in my books, there is always a touch of humor that sneaks in, too. In THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN, humor comes to play in the opening scene, an accident that propels an unassuming writer with the dream of publishing his own newspaper into the unlikely position of the first sheriff of Glory. Hank Larson has moved to Texas to escape his old life, one that continually reminds him of his late wife. He’s spent his entire savings on a printing press to enable his dream and is all set to launch “The Glory Gazette.” He’ll be editor, writer, and publisher. The problem? There is no…