Saturday, June 28, 2008


My entire blogroll disappeared. I think I accidentally deleted it. Now I'm trying to recreate--a real challenge.
I used my blogroll like a telephone directory so I'm lost without my list of addresses to visit.
Sometimes I miss the old typewriters.
I never lost a thing.

Louisiana Saturday Night -

As you can see, Louisiana Saturday Night is in a slump. My fault. I trusted authors to get their interviews to me on time and didn't assign specific deadlines. I wanted to accomodate their busy schedules by allowing them to choose their own deadline. I should have known better. Can you imagine what the publishing industry would experience if each editor told their authors, "Just get it to me when you can." A funny thought, huh? I've regrouped. I'm starting fresh. I have my calendar in front of me and I'm assigning deadlines. I have some interesting interviews coming up in the weeks ahead--so stay tuned.

By the way, how do you feel about deadlines? Are you loosey-goosey or do you appreciate guidelines and structure? Talk to me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CFBA Presents Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing Calico Canyon Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)
by Mary Connealy

MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation. Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.

Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutches of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process? Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.As if being a wanted woman isn't bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormentors who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn't get any worse. Or could they? Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife's death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.When God throws Grace and Daniel together─two people who couldn't detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

Blogger's Note:
Many of you know my pet peeve is slow, humdrum beginnings. I've certainly complained enough about books that meander from the first word until the last. Not so with Calico Canyon. I just received my review copy, so I haven't had a chance to delve into Connealy's book, but looking at the first line, then the next and the next, I'm snagged. Mary Connealy knows how to grab a reader.
Read the first chapter HERE.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Steele Really Cute

Remember the old Remington Steele series from the 80s? I never watched it back then. Pierce Brosnan was a little too scrawny for my taste. While my husband was in Scotland, I bought the first season thinking it might motivate me to... well, who knows what...write? I like quick, witty dialogue and thought I'd give old Remington a try. I watched the first two episodes before I grabbed a Bonanaze DVD. What can I say?

My daughter discovered Remington tucked away on a shelf and she was hooked after the first episode. I guess watching tv is more fun in the company of others because I became totally hooked too. During the past couple of months we've watched the five seasons of Remington Steele. Needless to say, he and the beautiful Laura Holt played by Stephanie Zimbalist won my heart. Slapstick, yes. Totally illogical? Without a doubt. But fun. And sometimes the mysteries weren't half bad.

According to Wikepedia:
In the first episode, Laura Holt encounters a Humphrey Bogart-loving thief, played by Pierce Brosnan, who overhears someone calling for "Remington Steele" and, in order to escape a pair of murderous thugs, impulsively assumes Remington Steele's identity. By the end of the episode, he chooses to make the alias permanent and assumes the role of Laura's "boss". The real name of Brosnan's character was never revealed, although Daniel Chalmers who was Steele's mentor and surrogate father always called him Harry. In later episodes, it was revealed that Steele did not know his own real birth name, and his attempts to discover it became a running theme.

One running joke throughout the series was "Remington's" penchant for quoting lines from famous movies as bits of pseudo-philosophy, and occasionally using techniques from cinematic mysteries to attempt to solve crimes, with variable degrees of success. A number of plotlines were openly inspired by famous film noir thrillers, such as the first-season episode "Steele Flying High" that takes its lead from the Bogart classic The Maltese Falcon.

Yesterday we watched the last episode, fully expecting to be teary-eyed by the ending. We weren't. We got a little misty when Remington finally learned the identity of his dad. Unfortunately I'd already guessed him.

We invested hours of TV watching in those five seasons, hoping and praying Laura Holt and Remington Steele would get together and become Mr. and Mrs. They did. Sorta.

Season five ended in Ireland. We were disappointed because we liked their home base better.

Remington stood against the wall in the bedroom of his castle. Laura leaned into him. They stare into each other's eyes. The pause is too long. We waited.

They kiss. Yes, they kiss but they never, never, never in five seasons--or at the end--say they love each other.

Those three words would have created a satisfying ending. Those three words were what we waited for. They didn't happen and I can't help but wonder why.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Lost Another Lela

Lela Black Kohler
Lela Black Kohler, 92, passed away Saturday, June 14, 2008, peacefully in her sleep, in the comfort of her daughter's home in Katy, TX.

Back in late November, I lost a good writer friend/critique partner. Her name was Lela. Last week, I lost a dear reader friend/soul mate. Her name was Lela too. What made this Lela so dear to me was that we connected on several levels. Here are five things I loved about Lela Kohler:

1) She never said a mean thing about anyone. When my husband worked in Houston, Lela would ride with us, meet up with her daughter and they'd spend a week or two together. On our return trip, we'd usually stop at Cracker Barrel to eat. Lela would order some sweet concoction--Apple Dumplings, I believe. We'd talk about everything under the sun but especially the church we attend. Lela was a member for more than 50 years and I enjoyed hearing stories about friends we had in common. Lela never said a mean thing to me about anyone. Some people are just naturally nice. She was one of them.

2) Lela was a social butterfly. She'd go anywhere at the drop of a hat. I loved her spontaneity. I'd call and ask if she wanted to go to the book store and she'd say "Give me fifteen minutes to get ready." The older I get, the more spontaneity I lose. The fact that Lela loved to go to socials and parties and meetings and shopping irritated some. They felt a woman in her late 80s should stay home. Lela was a good example--for all of us. We grow old faster if we aren't social.

3) Lela was a reader. When we went to the book store, she browsed with pleasure. She walked the aisles, reading the titles of various books, caressing their spines. And when it was time to go, she'd take out a snip of paper with the title of a book she wanted. I liked that she actually bought something. I've never enjoyed 'window' shopping. If I can't buy a book, I don't want to be in the book store. I loved the way Lela appreciated and treasured books and writers.

4) Lela loved chocolate. When we'd go out to eat, I'd ask her if she wanted dessert. "Do you think I could get a chocolate bar to take home with me?" She explained how she liked to savor it in the privacy of her own home. I like that. I like that she was honest enough to say it.

5) Lela was a pack rat. My true soul sister. We had many serious discussions about saving things from newspapers and magazines. I was thrilled to know someone who understood exactly why I have trouble discarding things. Lela's house looked like mine. :)

And so I sit here today thinking about my friend Lela and visualizing her family going through her belongings and wondering why their mother kept such strange useless items. I wish they understood.

This scripture reminds me of Lela.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Lela Black Kohler
Born May 18, 1916 -- Died June 14, 2008

Lela went to sleep one night and woke up with Jesus. A fitting way for my sweet friend to leave this earth. God blessed her and I was blessed to be a part of her life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CFBA Introduces The Hunted by Mike Dellosso

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Hunted (Realms - June 3, 2008) by Mike Dellosso

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Mike now lives in Hanover, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Jen, and their three daughters. He writes a monthly column for Writer . . .Interrupted. He was a newspaper correspondent/columnist for over three years and has published several articles for The Candle of Prayer inspirational booklets. Mike also has edited and contributed to numerous Christian-themed Web sites and e-newsletters.

Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer's Network, and International Thriller Writers. He received his BA degree in sports exercise and medicine from Messiah College and his MBS degree in theology from Master's Graduate School of Divinity.

You can read a great interview with Mike on TitleTrakk.


A town's deadly secret will drive one man to the edge of his faith...

After learning of the disappearance of his nephew, Joe Saunders returns to his childhood home of Dark Hills to aid in the search effort. When Caleb is found, badly mauled and clinging to life, Joe embarks on a mission to find the beast responsible. But the more Joe delves into the fabric of his old hometown, the more he realizes Dark Hills has a dark secret, shrouded for three generations in a deadly code of silence.

As Joe unravels the truth behind a series of unexplained animal attacks, murder, and corruption at the highest level of law enforcement, he is led to a final showdown where he must entrust his very life into God's hands. Will his young faith be strong ehough to battle the demonic forces of The Hunted.

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.

Mike Dellosso could very well be the next Frank Peretti-if you liked The Oath and Monster, you are going to love The Hunted.
--C.J. Darlington, Cofounder and book editor,

A spine-tingling tale of hidden secrets, buried hopes, and second chances. A story best read with all the lights on and an extra flashlight--just in case!
--Amy Wallace, author of Ransomed Dreams

Mike Dellosso's pins-and-needles thriller hurtles the reader down a dark and twisted path. I dare you to take this one home!
--Jill Elizabeth Nelson, author of the To Catch a Thief suspense series

With hints of Frank Peretti and Stephen King, The Hunted is a chilling debut."
--Creston Mapes, author of Nobody

A vicious enemy, a family secret, a thirst for revenge, and a need for reconciliation all drive The Hunted from intriguing beginning to thrilling conclusion."
--Kathryn Mackel, author of Vanished

Read this someplace safe as you experience the incredibly descriptive world of The Hunted. And sleep with the lights on.
--Austin Boyd, author of Mars Hill Classified trilogy


Now it's my turn to read The Hunted, a book I've been looking forward to for a long time. As soon as it came in the mail, my daughter confiscated it and I never saw it again. Here's what she had to say to my questions:

Me: Why did you tear open my package and confiscate The Hunted before I could get my hands on it.

Daughter: I needed something good to read and I needed it immediately.

Me: What grabbed you about this particular book?

Daughter: All the characters--even the mean ones--were so intriguing.

Me: Even from the first page? I've never seen a book grab hold of you like The Hunted did.

Daughter: I know. Even from the beginning it was very suspenseful --grabbed me and kept me. His characters knew a secret and I wanted to know it too. :)
Mike Dellosso never gave me enough info to satisfy me so I had to keep reading. He's really good at teasing us into turning pages.

Me: Did anything in particular impress you about this new author?

Daughter: Yeah, he sure knows how to write from the woman's perspective. Maggie was very real. I liked her a lot.

Me: Okay, where's The Hunted? It's my turn to be intrigued by new author Mike Dellosso.

It's in my book case because it's a keeper. So when's his next book coming out? I need something really good to read.

Mike, keep us updated!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Speaking and Blogging in the Golden Triangle

Last Tuesday I spoke to the Golden Triangle Writers Guild about Blogging: the who, what, when, where, how and why of it. There were about 27 members there. That means 54 eyes were glaring--I mean staring--back at me.
Scary. Especially when I noticed some blank faces. I asked one woman if she had any questions and she answered, "I have no idea what you're talking about." Talk about creating fear in the heart of a speaker! But that woman went on to create her own blog that very night. :) I understand two other members created blogs too. For me there's nothing more fun and satisfying than teaching and encouraging new writers. My husband says I want to be too many things. He's right.

I want to be:
A writer
A speaker
A professional blogger
An agent
An editor
A publisher
A writing teacher
A writing coach
A publicist

I love it, I love it! How can I do it all?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night with John Mayeux

His name is John Mayeux aka John Sitting Bear. Nita Bininnili is his name in his language. Mingko chito means principal leader and Avogel is the name of his Tribe. Read more about the Avogel Tribe HERE. John Mayeux is the author of THE AVOGEL TRIBE OF LOUISIANA, a book that discusses the myth, history, and the future of the Avogel people.

PhD. Rebecca Saunders, Curator of Anthropology Museum of Natural Science and Rob Mann, Regional Archaeology Program, Southeast Louisiana, Museum of Natural Science, LSU wrote the Foreward for John's book.

1. Tell us about your book and why you decided to write it.
I decided to write the book since many people were interested in the information it contains. No one else has ever written about my Tribe before now. It also contains information from sources that could not be found in other books.

2. What is your background?I have a BA+. I am a foreign language teacher. I teach at Scott Middle School in Lafayette Parish. I have been a teacher since 1970. I am also the leader of my people, the Avogel Tribe.

3. How much research did you have to do and did you consider it challenging? It took me 10 years of work and research to develop the book. I found the work challenging and rewarding. Especially working with a tribal member who was 114 years old and who had information that could be found no where else. Needless to say I videotaped and got affadivits on many things she said.

4. What was your writing process in pulling together The Avogel Tribe of Louisiana? No one else had ever considered doing this. in fact, many said we no longer existed. We, the Tribe, wanted people to know that we still exist.

5. What is your favorite self-marketing idea? Word-of-mouth has sold more of my books than any other method of marketing.

6. What was the biggest challenge in writing and publishing your book? Any tips for other self-published writers of history? I had a difficult time finding a publisher that I could afford. I highly recommend my publisher, AuthorHouse, to anyone on a limited budget. I want to say that they were very professional.

7. What are the biggest surprises you've encountered as a writer? My students at school who told me how much they enjoyed my book. Any author feels that all the work was worth it when they get that kind of feedback from readers.

8. How do you inspire yourself? What are your sources of creativity? My people and the stories told by the tribal elders have helped me very much. In fact I've started work on volume 2 with additional information provided by the elders

9. What is your proudest writer moment?
Getting my book published and making money to help my people. All royalties for the book go to the Tribe.

10. What's the best advice you were given about writing?. "Make sure that anything you write is TRUE."

11. How much time do you devote to writing?
Every spare moment I can find.

12. Who do you like to read? I like to read works by other "Indian" writers.

13. What are you currently working on? Volume 2. It will contain information that somehow was omitted or that I've just encountered and many more stories for the children.

Anything exciting happening in your publishing world? And tell us how we can order your book. Copies of my book can be ordered from Barnes & Noble or from the publisher: AuthorHouse. All funds earned will be put into the Tribal funds; we don't have a casino!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm One Hero Less

Tim Russert
May 7, 1950 - June 13, 2008

My favorite interviewer died today. I enjoyed watching the different expressions on his face. There was joy, honesty, joy, kindness, joy, integrity, joy, goodness, joy, love and joy. And there was respect--no matter who he interviewed.

Barbara Walters has never spoken truer words: "Tim represented the best in journalism..."

I agree and I'll miss him. To me, Tim Russert was a lesson in joy. I feel blessed to have known him--even though it was only through the tube.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Critiques, Retreats and Radio Interviews

My crit partners are heading to San Antonio this weekend for their annual crit retreat. Last year I was blessed to take part, but too much is happening in my life at the moment to disappear for a weekend. I'm sad about missing out. It's truly my loss.

Today I listened to the radio interviews Lisa and Sandra gave last week. What fun! Listen to them and be blessed.

Sandra Robbins is the author of Pedigreed Bloodlines. Click on Sandra Robbins and enjoy her southern accent. Scroll to Business Talk Radio Interview.

For Lisa's sweet testimony, click on Elizabeth Ludwig. Scroll down to radio interview. Lisa coauthored Where The Truth Lies with Janelle Mowery.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blogging - Something to Think About

I'm speaking to a writer's group in Texas next week. My topic? Blogging. What fun!

~ The first thing you need to decide when you build your blog is what you want to accomplish with it, and what it can do if successful. ~Ron Dawson

~Link to your enemies. Link to your competitors. Link to everyone. Instead of being sticky, be linky." ~coble, Israel, Naked Conversations

~And remember, links = love ~Miss Rogue

~ The ease and appeal of blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world. ~ Unknown

~ The casual conversational tone of a blog is what makes it particularly dangerous. ~Daniel B. Beaulieu

~ Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself, and putting what you have into it. ~Unknown

~ Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant. ~

~ Your blog is what you say when there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to do. ~lorelle

~ Blogging is Totally Weird ~Nat

I sincerely believe blogging can save America. ~John Jay Hooker