Thursday, October 29, 2009

Authorsday- CJ Lyons

Welcome medical thriller writers CJ Lyons to my blog today.

Title: The face of evil.

Thanks, Chris for having me here today!

Have you ever come face to face with evil? I have.

I'm CJ Lyons and I practiced pediatric emergency medicine and community pediatrics for seventeen years. During that time, I faced rapists, child abusers, gang-bangers who would kill over a pair of shoes, sociopaths, psychotics, narcissists, and even one killer our prosecutor classified as a serial killer.

You know the scary thing about evil? It looks just like you and me.

When I left medicine to fulfill my life-long dream of becoming an author, I knew that I wanted to explore the various faces of evil. Because I've faced it in real-life, I knew how different it was from most of the "bad-guys" portrayed in fiction.

Evil doesn't spend its days plotting dastardly deeds of cunning or intricate, diabolical plots involving red herrings and webs of intrigue.

Rather, the evil I've seen is driven by one simple desire: they know what they want, they want it now, and they don't care what they have to do to get it.

The boy-friend baby-sitting while mom's at work who brutally beat and raped a three year old because she wouldn't go to bed when he told her the first time. He's currently on death row.

The woman who shook her baby so hard the baby hemorrhaged into his brain….because the baby wouldn't stop crying during her favorite TV show.

The gangbanger who shot a kid because he said "hi" to the wrong girl on the wrong street corner while wearing the wrong color of hat.

These are just a few of the faces of evil I've seen.

Is it any wonder that in my medical suspense novels I focus on what makes evil so compelling to so many readers: the fact that it hides among us, so very hard to see, hiding in plain sight.

We all have something in common with evil. No matter who we are, we are all driven by the same universal needs and wants: love, security, recognition.

In real life, there was frustratingly little I could do when faced with evil. I could care for the victims, help the police and prosecutors to the best of my ability, but it always felt as if there should be a way to stop the senseless deaths and violence.

As rewarding as my medical career has been, I'm finding that my new career as an author has its own rewards. Especially when it gives me the chance to not only put a face to evil but to give its victims the justice they deserve.

That's why writing my latest in the Angels of Mercy series, URGENT CARE, has been so fulfilling. Not only does Nora, the ER charge nurse, come face to face with her greatest fear—a fear every woman can understand and share—but she finds the courage to defeat both her fear and the man behind it.

How? By making a stand and refusing to allow it to control her life.

I think this is the best way to fight evil--bring it into the light where everyone can see it for what it truly is.

So you tell me—have you ever come face to face with evil? I'll bet you have.

The boyfriend who came close to stalking you, the sociopath next door who lies about everything—for no reason than the sheer joy of getting away with it, the school kid setting fires and torturing animals…..they're all out there, closer than you think.

Thanks for reading!

About CJ:
As a pediatric ER doctor, CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge suspense novels. Her debut, LIFELINES (Berkley, March 2008), became a National Bestseller and Publishers Weekly proclaimed it a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." The second in the series, WARNING SIGNS, was released January, 2009 and the third, URGENT CARE, is due out October 27, 2009. Contact her at

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ExcerpTuesday - Pat Brown

Pat Brown is sharing a part of her latest release Lynx Woods. Please read below and I'm sure you'll have found a new author to read.

Blurb:Lynx Woods is the story of Tyler McKay, a Canadian ecological engineer, who is hired to restore a ravaged piece of land back to its natural state. During the commission of his project he meets Charlie Reid, famous wildlife artist who has been hired to produce 4 paintings commemorating that transformation. McKay is instantly drawn to the dark, enigmatic Charlie, who is half-Cherokee. But Charlie is in deep denial about his sexuality. Tyler wants to break through the barriers that Charlie has thrown up, but what cost is there when you fall in love with a man who hates himself?Excerpt:Only then did I notice the other man in the room.He stood with his back to the desk, looking out at the view through the polarized glass. His hands were held behind his back, and I noted their size and obvious roughness. This guy was no desk jockey, not with calluses like that. I couldn't see his face, only the pitch black hair that had been drawn into a ponytail and hung past his shoulder blades. He had broad shoulders and a tight ass not quite covered by a black leather bomber jacket."Ah, yes," Thurlow said. "I'm actually glad you did come up, Tyler. I'd like you meet someone. He's going to be working on the site, too, but in a different capacity."The figure by the window turned, and I found myself holding my breath. Would this stranger measure up to what I had already seen of his impressive back?I wouldn't have described the man as drop-dead gorgeous. His face was too unusual for that. It was obvious he had First Nation's blood running through his veins. His high cheekbones looked sculptured in his tight, dark face, and his eyes were two black orbs staring into mine as Thurlow introduced us."Tyler, I'd like you to meet Charlie Reid. Charlie, this is Tyler McKay, our ecological engineer."
Thank you for stopping by Pat Brown

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Authorsday - Anna Kathryn Lanier

Historical author Anna Kathyn Lanier visits my blog today. Please give her a warm welcome.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing in high school. Then in my twenties I wrote my first category romances, but the only one I sent in (not knowing anything of a query letter or synopsis) was rejected, what a surprise there! LOL By then I was married and a mother, so I put my writing on hold for fifteen or so years.

Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I'm much more of a panster than a plotter. Honestly, I can't understand how someone can plot a book for six months before writing it. That would drive me crazy. Though, I am learning I do need some plotting before I start. You do need to know the story line a bit and who the characters are. I think it out in my head, but I hardly every write it down.

What drew you to the subject of SALVATION BRIDE?
SALVATION BRIDE is set in 1873 Texas. The heroine is a mail-order bride, the hero a Civil War vet. I think the idea of a mail-order bride story came up in a brainstorming session with some critique partners. The idea of traveling across the country to marry someone you didn't know is intriguing. I also put a twist in the story by making the heroine a trained doctor. A lot of people don't know that there were female doctors in the 1800's, especially the latter half of the century.

Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it?
Not really. The internet is a wonderful research tool. One thing I wanted to know about was Texas land grants, and very helpful curator at The San Jacinto Battleground Museum helped me a great deal, via e-mails. I also needed to research medicine and female doctors in the 1800's. I found a great book for both of those “Bleed, Blister and Purge” by Dr. Volney Steele I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to know about medicine in the Old West.

How many rejections have you received?
Well, I'm really bad about sending stuff in to be considered. Really, I'm very lazy. There was my first one back in the mid-80's, though it wasn't a true rejection. It was a 'we don't consider unsolicited manuscripts' letter. When I got back into writing in 2001 and finally submitted works.....well, I probably only submitted ten times to agents and editors before I was published. So, I guess, I've been rejected nine times.....

Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?
I submitted to my current publisher because a friend, Skhye Moncrief, had submitted to them and was on their loops. There was an announcement that they needed more Western Christmas stories. So, Skhye told me about it. We did a little brainstorming for a historical story I had on the back burner. Then I went to the site and saw that the line looking for Christmas stories was their Contemporary Western line. Well, I had to start brainstorming again. I actually hatched the story over a weekend and wrote it in four days. Basically, the first draft was submitted to the publisher. Within a week, I was offered a contract. I should add that this is a short story, not a novel-length book. I now have three stories published with The Wild Rose Press, including the historical SALVATION BRIDE, though it is not the one Skhye and I brainstormed.

Describe your book.
Here's the blurb.
The hot dusty town of Salvation, Texas has more than its share of secrets in 1873 when Laura Ashton's stage rolls into town. Sheriff David Slade has no idea what baggage his mail-order bride is bringing into his life. Throw in the nightmares from his Civil War days and he's got more than courting to contend with. Laura's a woman ahead of her time, a woman trained in medicine. And she's got a will that could move mountains. Unfortunately, the only mountains in Salvation are in Sheriff Slade's memory. Can the determined doctor heal his pain, or will the dark secret in her past turn up to steal his Salvation Bride?

What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
Hmm, well, for me that's a hard question to answer. But I do think I write very emotional people, with deep seeded problems. They all want to do what is right, but they don't want to expose their own vulnerability. There's a lot of tension in my stories, sexual and emotional.

What do you consider your weaknesses?
I have not been good about writing for the last year. Something I need to buckle down and do. However, my life has gotten in the way of my writing. My characters are emotional, but then so is my, which you would think would make the writing easier, but it doesn't. So, I'd say not making myself sit and write is a weakness.

What’s your favorite quote?
I have two:
When you speak your words echo only across the room or down the hall.
But, when you write, your words echo down the ages. --Bud Gardner

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. --William Wordsworth

Author Bio:

Anna Kathryn lives in Texas with her husband and three cats. She wrote her first stories in high school, and a few romances in her early twenties, but then put the writing bug to bed while as she raised her two daughters. In 2001 she got bit by the bug again and started writing once more. She now has seven short stories and one novella published.
Learn more about Anna Kathryn at her website, She also hosts other authors, posts recipes and gives a history lesson each week on her blog,.
Thanks for stopping by Anna.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Overcomer's Tour

Today The Overcomers stop by my blog on their virtual tour.

Mission Statement Overcomers, Inc: True stories of hope, courage, and inspiration will give readers the knowledge and emotional resilience to face the most difficult times of life by sharing inspiring stories of triumph and fortitude

I've picked one of the authors to be interviewed.

Rev. Rita MeKila Herring is an ordained minister and clinical hypnotherapist. She has been leading meditation groups for over twenty years and has helped countless individuals in remembering the power they have within. Visit if you would like more information or need help remembering your power.

1. How did you get started writing?
I’ve always dabbled in writing as I find it an excellent means of expressing myself. I enjoy the ability to choose the exact words to portray what I’m intending to communicate. I remember when my parents came home from Parent Teacher Conferences when I was in the 8th grade, they told me that my Science teacher, Mrs. Howie, had leaned in real close to them after they’d introduced themselves whispering, "Your daughter is a letter writer." As I recall, I wanted to share with her my feelings about something she was going to cut from the curriculum. At the time, aside from Band, Science was my favorite subject. Guess she enjoyed my letter as the topic of discussion remained in the lineup.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m living ... I’d say, very close to my dream life. I’m incredibly appreciative of my day-to-day journey. I embrace the stretching of my comfort zone that propels me into ever growing understandings of the nature of walking the face of the earth at this precise time in our evolution of consciousness. I’m learning the sheer power of choosing to be joyful, happy, at peace ... no matter the seemingly outside circumstances. That whatever presents itself is only a snapshot of something I’ve previously created - and if I don’t like the way it feels in any way, I need only create what I want and move toward it. Eventually, and quite often quickly I’m in the newly created space and I’ve enjoyed the path to get there. It is a definite learning experience as there was a time when historically I’d been immensely tyrannical with myself. I wasn’t even aware of this behavior of self depravation, I only knew I never allowed myself to truly look at my creations with appreciation and marvel in their blessings ... I’d see something that wasn’t quite right and harangue myself and unknowingly set myself up for drawing more experiences of the same. It’s been a glorious jaunt from the day I actually realized that I was listening to the whole self-imposed utterly-ridiculous impossibly-perfectionistic demands I placed on myself ... to being a person that’s now more and more gentle with myself (infinitely gentle with myself is my intention ... I’m not there yet). I’ve also created a magical and delightful life so I’m very much experiencing what I consciously intended for myself, both in the distant and more recent past. With a sizable majority of my time spent in smiles.
3. What would readers like to know about you?
That I’m a consummate student. I love learning. I love finding the answers to my questions and quite frankly, I don’t stop till I find those answers. I believe that if there’s a question - there’s an answer ... and once we’ve posed the question, the answer isn’t far behind ... we just have to keep ourselves open to receive it. I believe we’re all out there, sometimes stumbling around, trying to do the best we can. I like to find ways of living more of what I want and less of what I don’t want. Mostly I love it when I can help someone become reacquainted with the power and peace of their own inner guidance.
4. What inspired you to be a contributing author in Overcomers, Inc.,
To be honest, I was drawn to the energy of the project. I knew next to nothing about it but a powerful feeling compelled me to looking into it further and upon doing so, the energy intensified. I’ve done well in the past when I’ve heeded my inner feelings. I jumped in and thought I’d go with the flow and see where it took me. There have been wonderful

indications of compatible energies each time I encounter the remarkable group that assembled.
5. Why is the topic of Overcoming important to you?
I think the topic of Overcoming is important to us all. We’ve been bombarded by media that is obsessed with dark and negative stories. We’ve all been conditioned and desensitized from being conscious of the atrocities that are put into the focus of our choices each day. How often do you indulge yourself in reading a horrible news story or watching it on t.v.? If we hadn’t been desensitized, would we really choose to watch and place our precious creative energy paying attention to and sending out the request for more of THAT? I sincerely don’t think so. Is it any wonder there is still the concept of war on this planet? With so many people literally sitting in a meditative state staring at the t.v. and contributing their precious creative energy toward the manifestation of such things, how could there not be?
Overcoming is an aspect of self discovery that we all need to participate in if we truly want to live in a different world than we do today. We have to overcome the habits or beliefs that we’ve taken on somewhere along our journey that simply do not match our picture of what we want. We have to wake up and put both hands on the helm with the confidence of the ship’s captain as we traverse the waters of life. No longer willing to absorb what’s thrown our way and deciding once and for all that we are in charge of us - that we will knowingly place our creative energy in expenditures that will bring about what we truly want. We each have varying amounts of overcoming involved in getting from where we are now to where we want to be. I like finding the shortest most enjoyable (and lately gentle) path to do that.
6. Why are you specially qualified to write about this topic?
Well, for one thing, I am a tropical being that was born into the not so tropical state of Michigan and I now live on my beloved and magnificent Kauai in the middle of the Pacific. There’s a certain degree of overcoming involved in that 5,000 mile trek.
It’s also kind of been my life’s work when you get right down to it. Since 1986, I’ve been an ordained minister and since 1992, a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Each of those activities has placed me countless times in the position of successfully assisting others in overcoming some aspect of their experience that they found less than enjoyable.
7. How many books have you written?
In my head? Or in actuality? In my head, I’ve written 15 that I can think of right this second. In the material sense of actuality, this is my first in tangible form. I thought it would be fun to get my feet wet with a bunch of others. See what that’s like first. So far it’s been an incredible ride.
8. What are the titles of your books and what genres are they?
The titles of the books I’ve written in my head continuously morph as I continue to advance in my direct experiences of the topics covered. The genre is always the same - A stronger connection with The Source of All That Is - God - or any other name attributed to our Creator. Coupled with the soul level recognition of our own individual Divine Sovereignty.
9. How do you manage to keep yourself focused and on track when you’re writing a book?
Well, that is yet to be seen. My intent is that once I’ve determined that a book is to be written, it will be created with the joy and happiness that will reflect what it feels like to have the understandings being shared.

10. Do you write to make money, for the love of writing or both?
Haven’t yet experienced the money making part, although I’m certainly open to it. I do love writing. Writing gives you the potential of reaching anyone, anywhere, anytime. It takes one-on-one to an exciting new level of possibility. It creates a marvelous tool that can travel countless diverse paths to unite writer with reader - it’s not limited to face-to-face exchanges. That in and of itself is attractive to me since I live at least 2400 miles from most people making face-to-face highly unlikely.
11. What makes you proud about your involvement with Overcomers, Inc.?
I’m proud to be affiliated with such a dynamic and remarkable group of people. All sharing with you their unique forms of courage. It’s been an honor to be amongst them.
12. Will you write more books?
Given the verboseness of my answers, what do you think? Kidding aside, I most definitely will. I have a yearning inside to live in a more pleasant world and I know I must do my part. Although I believe a large portion of doing my part is through the manner in which I live my life (which I believe is true for each of us), I also believe that sharing what has worked for me has the potential to help others ease their journeys. If that is at all possible, then I want to do everything I can to participate. Books, I believe, will hold keys for others who have locked themselves out of their own power. I envision a world radiating with the glow of everyone living their dreams and realizing who they really are.
13. What do you have in the works now?
I am working on so many wonderful projects that I can hardly contain my exuberance. I am doing all the things I love and am experiencing joyous synchronicity upon joyous synchronicity. It’s such fun!
Let’s see, I’ve compiled a decent sized collection of the photos that I’ve taken since moving to this beautiful island. If you’ve ever been here, I’m sure you will find a shot or two that will instantly take you back on a virtual mini-vacation. I try to capture Kauai’s beauty in all her splendor. I’ve been told Kauai’s nurturing essence radiates from my photos. That makes me happy because I want to do her (Kauai) justice. You can see how this project is coming along by visiting - if you visit, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Another project that is ongoing is my study of color and the gifts and blessings from God that come along with them. Each color or Ray has its own specialty, its own essence, its own frequency. I’m speaking specifically of the 7 Earthly Rays - what we know as the spectrum, or rainbow, ROYGBIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet) - as well as the 6 Divine Rays. Having studied color my whole life, I became interested in the nature of the human aura in the late 70s. Since that time I have conducted innumerable experiments to test my color theories both with individuals and with groups. My findings have been empowering, energizing and enlightening. Utilizing color is one of my favorite means of manifesting the energies that I intend. I will be sharing information about this and other projects on as they approach completion.
I’ve also recently become quite fascinated by twitter and enjoy the array of people that I’m meeting there from all walks of life. It has been a delightful experience and I’ve met some amazing people that I might never have met otherwise. My twitter name is RevMeKila.

14. What does the future hold for you and your books?
Boy, if it’s anything like my dreams - hold onto your hats! Individually we are amazingly powerful creatures. Collectively we are unbeatable. I thoroughly endorse the nature of synergy and look forward to the marvels that we can create together.
15. What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?
The Overcomers book is a book that other people MUST read because we can all learn from each other. Each of us is unique for a reason. In sharing that uniqueness we are able to grow in ways we couldn’t possibly by ourselves.
Also, this book will show other people that they are not alone. That there are others that have tough things to deal with too. In this book the authors share a portion of their walk on this precious planet. In each of their stories there is something you can take to encourage you on your own path. An idea or approach to a challenge that you might not have thought of. Or one that you already thought of but dismissed because you decided it couldn’t possibly work. You can gain courage in facing the things you need to face through the stories of others having activated their courage.
16. What people NEED to read this book and WHY?
Anyone who is currently in a situation where they feel hopeless or helpless. Anyone who has a curiosity about the diverse ways we as humans pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and continue on. Anyone who enjoys happy endings. Those are the people who will enjoy and be inspired by the stories in this book.
17. What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?
What sparks my creativity? Waking up in the morning. We are all creators whether intentional or not. It’s in our DNA. We can’t get away from it. By the very nature of where we spend the blessing of energy that we’re given each day, we determine where our creations stem from. I’m fortunate enough to have known or learned that early on and have been able to do some amazing things as a result. I’m inspired by every little thing. I find wonder in each unique expression of our Creators "creativity."
As far as tips to help others spark their own creativity? Follow what you love. Feed your soul with things that nurture you. Think about what you enjoyed as a child and bring more of those things into your life. Children when left to their own devices (not stimulated by artificial means like incessant t.v. watching or video games) are fabulously creative. Be more like you were when you were a child - you were most expressing your true self then. Tap back into the dreams you had as a child and consider living them out. Or look at your surroundings and your life as if you are a child again and explore the wonders you find.
18. What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?
I’m not sure what motivates other people to become authors. What motivated me to once again dabble in this form of self expression is my desire to help people smile more. I’m hoping that by sharing my thoughts and experiences others will be easier on themselves and will regain the joyousness of life they thought they’d lost.

19. If a potential reader thinks that your book wouldn't interest them, what would you say to convince them to buy? I'm thinking something better than "Its the greatest book ever." Give me something more specific :)
Well, this might not be a popular answer but I wouldn’t say anything. I believe in the Law of Attraction as well as a sort of Divine Choreography. I truly believe with all of my heart that people will be drawn to the book by the essence of the book itself. If someone thinks the book wouldn’t interest them, who am I to try to convince them otherwise? If anyone started reading this interview with the feeling that they weren’t interested in this book, hopefully they have been inspired to take action and to eagerly look forward to discovering all of the beautiful stories contained within.
20. What is your final message to our readers?
My final message to your readers is this: Learn to be the most gentle, nurturing and supportive person to yourself that you have ever experienced. Stop being hard on yourself. Stop being mean to yourself. Stop saying horrible things about yourself or things that you really really don’t want to experience. When you lighten up on the self talk it’s as if you’ve been plucked out of quicksand and plopped down on smooth and solid ground. A delicious side effect is that as you learn to be kinder to yourself, you will begin to magnetize into your experience people that are also kinder to you. If we all took a little time to really master this, there’d be no more need for the mirroring of unkind, harsh, critical people in our experiences. If we all learned to stop attacking ourselves, we’d experience a world with no need to attack others. We could all experience this planet as a safe and loving playground. To get your own copy of Overcomers, Inc.,True Stories of Hope, Courage and Inspiring AND enjoy dozens of wonderful gifts with your purchase go to

Rev. Rita MeKila Herring is an ordained minister and clinical hypnotherapist. She has been leading meditation groups for over twenty years and has helped countless individuals in remembering the power they have within. Visit if you would like more information or need help remembering your power.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Authorsday - Mary Ann Miller

Mary Ann Miller lets me grill her for Authorsday today. A writer of fiction and non-fiction I think you'll find this interview compelling

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing all my life, but didn’t get published until I was in my 30s and had a family. I wrote a weekly humor column for a suburban newspaper and was known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano. It was a lot of fun and led to other freelance jobs that evolved over time to a career writing for regional and national publications. But my first love has always been fiction, so I continued to write short stories and then moved on to novels and screenplays.

How did you pick the genre you write in? I don’t write in one genre or medium. My novels range from young adult to romance to mystery and suspense. When it comes to the stories, it’s not a matter of choice for me. Often the story picks me, if that makes any sense. Then after I get going with the writing I can figure out in which genre it belongs.

What drew you to the subject of One Small Victory? I started writing One Small Victory after I read an item in a Dallas newspaper about a woman in Michigan who worked undercover on a drug task force and helped bring down a main illegal drug distributor in her rural town. She had no background in law enforcement. She was just a mom and did this while grieving the loss of her son who was killed in a car accident. I found this woman and her story amazing, and even though there were few details in the short news story, the character was very real to me and ideas started coming to me like gangbusters.

What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? The first novel I wrote was a young adult novel, Friends Forever. I wrote it when my oldest daughter was experiencing the awkwardness of social changes in middle school when suddenly it matters who you are friends with and who you shouldn’t be friends with -- that typical nonsense that is still so prevalent in school. As with many other first novels this one was better off in a drawer until I got better at the craft. Then I dusted it off and rewrote it and it was published as an e-book by New Concepts Publishing. Some years later, I got the rights back to it and recently put it up on Kindle.

What’s your favorite quote? One of my favorite writing quotes is from Cicero “A room without a book is like a body without a soul.” I think I would shrivel up and die if I did not have a book to read.

What is your favorite word? Lately, my favorite word has been tenacity. In some recent radio interviews I was asked what advice I would give to beginning writers and I realized that tenacity is as important to succeeding as talent when it comes to writing. I know so many good writers who simply stopped because of the challenges to getting published. In many cases those who succeed are those who didn’t give up.

What other time period besides your own would you like to experience? I would love to live in the mid-1800s in the west. I have always been a frustrated rancher and I used to fantasize about being one of those tough women in the west who ran their own place and worked circles around the men. When I was young and used to go horseback riding a lot, I would do a lot of pretending while racing across a field.

What’s your favorite thing about your book? My favorite thing about One Small Victory has been the response from so many readers who, like me, have really related to the central character, Jenny. Not that we have done what she did, but something about her resonates with us. Maybe it’s the “mom” thing. Jenny gets proactive about the drug issue as a way to find vindication for the loss of her son, but it is also an effort to protect her children. I think that instinct to protect our children is what we can relate to. Plus, Jenny is not a superhero. She is a woman with flaws and challenges, doubts and fears like all the rest of us. We just don’t like to admit it.

What do you do when you are not writing? When I am not writing, I work outside on my little acreage where I have a horse and some goats. It’s as close to my fantasy as I can get. J I also enjoy acting and directing and am active in a local art center. For quieter fun, I do all kinds of puzzles and some knitting and quilting. I’ve just recently started trying to be creative with a camera, and I do some sketching and painting when I get a chance. All of these creative things feed each other and I think I am a better writer because of them.

Who is your biggest cheerleader? My husband has always been my biggest cheerleader. He is the one who encouraged me to keep at it in those early years before I was finally published, and even today he will bolster my spirits when I get discouraged. He is also quick to help me celebrate the good things that come my way, like the recent sale of One Small Victory to Books in Motion, who will bring it out in audio formats.

Author Bio: A diverse writer of columns, feature stores, short fiction, novels, screenplays and stage plays, Maryann Miller’s work has appeared in many regional and national publications. The Rosen Publishing Group published her non-fiction books for teens, including the award-winning Coping with Weapons and Violence In School and On Your Streets. One Small Victory was released by Five Star Cengage/Gale. Play It Again, Sam was released by Uncial Press as an e-book. She is Managing Editor of, an online community magazine. She has been writing all her life and plans to die at her computer. Web site:

Book Blurb: Life can change in just an instant. That's the harsh reality that Jenny Jasik faces when her son is killed in an automobile accident, but never in her wildest dreams did she ever expect to be working undercover as a member of a drug task force. She is, after all, just a mom. But don’t discount what a mom can do when the safety of her children is at stake.

Monday, October 12, 2009

ExcerpTuesday - Elizabeth Zelvin

Elizabeth Zelvin shares an excerpt from her latest, Death Will Help You Leave Him.
I scootched into the back of my best friend Jimmy’s Toyota. His girlfriend Barbara’s dripping umbrella almost impaled me as I fell onto the seat. I shook myself like a dog.
“Who’s the corpse?”
“Her pigeon’s boyfriend,” Jimmy said. The car skidded on the slick wet surface of Third Avenue.
“Watch the road, Jimmy,” Barbara ordered. “And Bruce, don’t say ‘corpse.’
“Pigeons have boyfriends?”
“My Al-Anon sponsee,” she elaborated. “She found her boyfriend dead on the floor when she came home. The cops are there.”
I had a guy of my own that I called when I thought I might not make it through the night without a drink.
“So when do Al-Anons call their sponsors?” I asked.
“When somebody else’s life starts flashing before their eyes,” Jimmy said. “When they can’t stop saying, ‘I’m sorry.’”
“If the cops think it’s murder,” I said, “‘I’m sorry’ would be the wrong thing to say.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Authorsday - Caridad Pineiro

Today is special because I get to give my blog over to an old friend. We've worked together on many projects and I find Caridad to one of the hardest working writers I know. And she's a fantastic writer.

So here's Caridad, under the microscope.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? In the fifth grade, my English teacher assigned a project – to write a book to be placed in a class lending library. I went home and started writing and haven’t stopped.

How did you pick the genre you write in? I started off writing contemporary romances, but even then I was always trying to work in something dark or suspenseful. When the line for which I was writing folded, I decided to explore those darker elements and found that the book just flew off my fingers and into the computer. I knew then that I had to start working in genres like paranormals and suspense to allow me to explore the deeper aspects of my characters.

Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? I was a pantser, but now that I’m published, I always have to have the synopsis ready first for my proposals. I’ve found that having that basic outline really helps to keep the story from straying into unknown areas.

What drew you to the subject of SINS OF THE FLESH? I was always a science geek and for many years have been following what’s happening with genetic engineering. As I noticed the possibilities that were being created with new gene therapies, it made me wonder what would happen if scientists forgot their duty to society and decided to experiment with genetic engineering for their own personal gain. That’s how SINS OF THE FLESH was born.

Did you encounter any obstacles in researching it? The main obstacle was blending real science into the fiction. The funny thing is that most people will assume that certain things portrayed as fact – like Caterina’s glowing skin – are fiction when in reality, scientists use fluorescent protein tags all the time to track gene expression, thereby creating organisms that glow.

What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? The name of my first novel was LONG WAY HOME and no, I never did publish it although I am thinking about pulling it out from under the bed and rewriting it. The original story is about a Cuban rebel who falls in love with a Main Line physician who is visiting Cuba during the Castro rebellion.

What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew? I wish I knew how much more work was involved in the post-publication process so that I could better plan my time for things like promotion, revisions, galley proofs, etc. There’s a lot of work after your book is sold, possibly more work than that involved with writing the novel.

How many rejections have you received? At least 30 to 40. I think that for every 3 proposals that I write, I’m lucky to have one that sells.

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be? What makes a book a keeper for you?

Describe your book. SINS OF THE FLESH is the story of a woman – Caterina Shaw -- who has been genetically engineered against her will. When one of the scientists conducting the experimentation has a change of conscience and decides to blow the whistle on the illegal experiments, he is murdered by his partners. Caterina escapes during the murder and the partners decide to frame her to protect themselves. They also hire a mercenary – Mick Carrera -- to track down Caterina and return her to the lab. Their hope is that Mick will kill Caterina, but when Mick finds his prey, he discovers all that he has been told is suspect. Soon, Mick and Caterina will find themselves trapped in the scientist’s game and trying to survive both their attraction to one another and a madman sent to kill them.

What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing? I think my greatest strength is writing emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after the book is done.
What do you consider your weaknesses? Description. I really struggle with not having just a bunch of talking heads.

What’s your writing schedule? I write every day on the train to and from work and then put in several hours on the weekend.

Who is your greatest cheerleader? My family and my friends at the Liberty States Fiction Writers. (

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Caridad Pineiro wrote her first novel in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a book for a class lending library. Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school. In 1999, Caridad’s first novel was released and a decade later, When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista. For more information on Caridad, please visit or
For more information on Caridad, please visit or

Book Blurb:

Caterina Shaw’s days are numbered. Her only chance for survival is a highly experimental gene treatment – a risk she willingly takes. But now Caterina barely recognizes herself. She has new, terrifying powers, an exotic, arresting body — and she’s been accused of a savage murder, sending her on the run.
Mick Carrera is a mercenary and an expert at capturing elusive, clever prey. Yet the woman he’s hunting down is far from the vicious killer he’s been told to expect: Caterina is wounded, vulnerable, and a startling mystery of medical science. Even more, she’s a beautiful woman whose innocent sensuality tempts Mick to show her exactly how thrilling pleasure can be. The heat that builds between them is irresistible, but surrendering to it could kill them both . . . for a dangerous group is plotting its next move using Caterina as its deadly pawn.
Thank you Caridad for stoppin by today.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ExcerpTuesday - Krista Davis

Agatha-nominated author Krista Davis shares a slice of her latest mystery novel, The Diva Takes the Cake. Welcome Krista.

EXCERPT from The Diva Takes the Cake
. . . one of us knew exactly where the scream originated. Daisy galloped to the kitchen door. Trusting her instincts, I raced behind her. Inside, she bounded up the stairs, didn’t pause at the landing, and ran up to the third floor. She lost me at the second floor but I heard her growling. Forcing my leaden legs and gasping for breath, I clambered up the last flight.
Phoebe stood at the top of the stairs, her hands shaking. “He . . . he’s in the closet.”
Warily, I peeked into the bedroom. Daisy snarled at the closet door, her upper lip lifted into scary wrinkles, baring her teeth.
I could hear people churning up the stairs. Moving slowly, I entered the little bedroom, afraid I might find blood. She’d said he. Craig’s father? Uncle Stan? Kevin?
Phoebe had jammed a chair under the doorknob of the closet. Good thinking for a panicked person. Dreading what I would find, I slid the chair away.
Mars, Joel, and Dad pressed into the bedroom with me. I reached for the doorknob but before I touched it, it turned by itself.

BLURB of The Diva Takes the Cake
Sophie Winston’s sister, Hannah, is getting married -- again! And if you ask Sophie, her future brother-in-law is no prince. But is he a killer? That’s the question on everyone’s mind when his ex-wife is found hanging from a pergola. This is one event Sophie and her sister hadn’t planned on.
As hidden family secrets begin to come to light, Sophie finds the list of suspects is almost as long as the list of wedding guests. Will the real killer be seated on the groom’s side or the bride’s? Or will he be standing at the altar? Either way, Sophie must solve the murder in time to stop her sister from making the biggest -- and possibly last -- mistake of her life.

You can learn more about Krista Davis at:

Thanks Krista for stopping by.