Monday, December 17, 2012

A Wonderful SUCCESS!!!

By Tina Glasneck

Thanks to everyone that showed up on the 15th. The "Celebrate with a Book" Author Book Fair was a success!

It was a complete pleasure for me to not only meet these amazing people, but to also have an opportunity to work with them. Our spirits were high and merry!

Below are some of the wonderful pictures featuring the authors at their tables.

Did you stop by the fair?

I hope you have enjoyed this adventure as much as I have, and that you've been able to discover many new authors and the wonderful tales that they weave.  Thank you for taking the time out to "Celebrate a Book" with us and may your holiday season be merry and bright.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Ten Second Commute

 The Ten Second Commute.
Jennifer Anne Gregory

As a freelance writer it’s a given I work from home, or, if I hitch a plane to England, my mother’s. Mostly my day goes a bit like this and I hope my publisher has suddenly lost the ability to read.
Plan to write.
Get dragged down the road by the Mastiff and Anatolian (dogs).
Respond to e-mails.
Plan to write.
Get dragged again.
Do laundry ‘coz being at home I see it pile up.
Eat lunch.
Plan some writing time.
Text, skype or call my mother to apologize for not texting, skyping or calling since the last time a full moon fell on the third Wednesday of the month.
Plan dinner.
Plan to write the next day.
Plan to convince those nearest and dearest that I do, in fact, have a job.

At some point a friend informs me via e-mail that I have it easy. Being a writer I must have lots of time on my hands.  She wishes she could just take ‘time off.’ Really?
Make that both of us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012



Today is the magical date of 121212! There are sure to be tons of mass weddings, and a lot of LUCK!

I love numbers and am very partial to one in general. I've always had a thing for numbers divisible by 3. Maybe I fall into the category of the superstitious, but today I want to pass on some of the amazing luck to you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Woman Named Charles

June Pair Kilpatrick

When we experience some degree of success, large or small, our minds frequently turn back to a person, perhaps a teacher, who helped steer us in the right direction. The grads of old John Marshall High School in Richmond can hardly get together without Miss Charles Anthony's name coming up. Among us, particularly the writers, she is still a legend although she's been gone for fifty years.

In my senior year there, I was assigned to the journalism class, presided over by this legend, a no-nonsense teacher who held a master's degree in English from Columbia and, with her class, put out a newspaper called The Monocle. The Monoclewas so good that it is the one high school paper included in the Library of Virginia's Newspaper Project.

Monday, December 10, 2012


*MY DEAR ROSA JEAN* is about a woman's survival and eventual recovery from child abuse that had led to domestic violence in her adult life. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Rosa Jean, this serious issue is shared with her aunt. Coming from a different perspective, her Aunt Grace supports and influences her to further recovery and spiritual growth.

Friday, December 7, 2012

What is the Process of Writing a Novel - Part 2

"One of the things I have learned over the years as I have grown in my writing is just how important it is to also grow as a reader.  As such, I have become more involved with the reading and writing communities that are available to me (and you)."

This is the continuation of Chris revealing his twelve steps to writing. To view part one. which includes steps 1-6, please check out his prior post.

A 12 Step Novel Writing Process
Part 2: Steps 7-12

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The False Tree

By Wendy Custer

My family has made a special tradition each Christmas season of cutting our own tree.  Every year there is a disagreement between my husband, Jerry, and our oldest son, Carter.  Carter grew up having a White Pine Christmas tree and Jerry despises White Pines.  When we got married and joined our families five years ago, the dispute began!  Some years Jerry wins and others he gives in to Carter's wishes.  This year, since our regular farm was no longer in business, we found a new tree farm.  On the way to find the perfect Christmas tree, the old discussion made its way into the conversation.  

"What kind of trees do they have?" Carter quizzed.

Jerry quickly returned, "Real Christmas trees!"

"White pines are Christmas trees!"

"No," Jerry teased, "White Pines are false trees!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 Days and counting...


"Celebrate with a Book" Author Book Fair

Come one, come all to the first annual Regency Square Mall Book Fair, where twenty Virginian authors will sign their books. 

Signed books make GREAT gifts! Find the perfect gift for the book lover on your list. There will be something for everyone, ranging from children's books to romance. 

When: Saturday, DECEMBER 15, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Where: Regency Square Mall - right outside of the J.C. Penney on the first floor.
1420 North Parham Road  Richmond, VA 23229

The voices in my head

Mechele Armstrong

My husband once said to me to be careful who I talked about characters to because some people might think I'm crazy. LOL I'm not crazy, I'm a writer!

When I was little, I had lots of imaginary friends. I also played elaborate games with my stuffed animals and even the crayons in my crayon box. The crayon box was a kingdom and each color had a part to play in the story.

All of this translated into having characters in my head. I think it's why I love to read so much, because I can live with those characters throughout the story and if it's written well enough, the characters do seem like they live with me. I almost hate to finish because I don't want the characters to leave me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Daddy's Christmas Angel

by Mary Montague Sikes

Descriptive Blurb: In Daddy’s Christmas Angel, seven-year-old Kathleen Ryan connives to have her father meet her second grade teacher. However, the only commitment David Ryan wants is to his daughter, and Angie McAllister wants no commitment other than to her own independence. Will Kathleen’s schemes change both of their minds and lead to romance? Can she manage to change all three of their lives forever? Think “Sleepless in Seattle” meets “Love Story”.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Embedded in the Past – U.S. Civil War Correspondents

By Donna Dalton

The idea for my historical romance THE REBEL WIFE evolved from our current-day journalists chronicling the Iraq War.  I wondered about the “embeds” of the past and decided to research the newsmen of the American Civil War. 

I credit Brayton Harris’ BLUE & GRAY IN BLACK & WHITE with much of what I will talk about today. The information he provided regarding the newspapers in the Civil War was invaluable.

Many of the correspondents who covered the War at the beginning were already considered experienced newsmen.  As months turned into years, those veteran journalist were joined by novices and by war’s end some five hundred had served as “special correspondents”.  Only a handful of the original newsmen were still in the field in 1865. Along the way, some died, victims of a combat in which they were unlucky spectators . Nearly fifty were held as prisoners of war. A few were promoted to editor and pulled back to the home office. Some were fired for incompetence; others banished from the Army for breaching the rules. Most were just plain worn out.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What’s the first thing you notice about a book?

April Michelle Davis

What’s the first thing you notice about a book?

Now imagine yourself in a bookstore. You are looking for a good book. What about a book is going to pique your interest to make you pick it up? Possibly the cover art, the title, or the author? What’s the next thing you might look at?  The opening lines?  You open the book to the first page, and guess what? The opening lines are boring; they don’t grab your attention and make you want to read the book. So you toss the book aside and look for a new one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finding Bailey

On guard...Mastiff Bailey (left) and Anatolian Shepherd, Mouse (lying down,right) with the author and pet parent outside the ‘dog paddock’.  Mastiffs enjoy plenty of space to roam freely.  The shelter in the background is filled with straw, making an ideal retreat on chilly mornings.

Although I consider myself primarily an author of paranormal fiction, this Thanksgiving weekend, I was drawn to think of the many animals with whom I have had the privilege to share my home and my life with.  From ducks, terrapins, cats, dogs, ponies, hamsters and rabbits, all of whom have given so generously of themselves..leaving trails of vet bills, dog hair, puppy pee and endless paw prints across my wood floor and onto my heart.  For the blessings, the smiles and the borrowed time spent among my non-human angels, i thank you all.

Finding Bailey.

I was thirteen when I acquired my first English Mastiff.  His name was Chuckles and he lived quite happily for a number of years inside my head along with an assortment of other animals I was permitted to own; including three horses, several goats, a duck named Cactus Jack, and a couple of cows.  Cheap to keep, they required no feeding, no grande mansion and no offshore bank account. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Cup of Encouragement: An Excerpt

An Excerpt from A Cup of Encouragement - Inspiring Stories to Fill Your Cup
by Wendy Custer

Over the past few years when I have been discouraged, I find myself heading to visit my friend, Heather.  We always sit at the kitchen table and chat, and amidst the normal chaos of her life – small children, a million projects, meal preparations, phone ringing, etc. – I always find encouragement.  There is a peace, a calm that prevails over and above the mayhem.  Without fail when I am low, Heather always makes a cup of her tea and I sip on it while I share my sorrows. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Value of Thanksgiving

The Value of Thanksgiving by Tina Glasneck

When I was younger, Thanksgiving was always about people being dressed as turkeys and my mother standing in the kitchen for hours preparing what would be our delicious meal. Thanksgiving was a time when family and friends would come together; it was the starting point for the holiday season filled with well-wishes and thanks. As we grow older, sometimes the idea of getting together with family isn't as simple as a piece of sweet potato pie.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Plethora of Ideas

Carin Casey

Readers have asked me where I get the ideas for my stories. Most story lines initially come from personal memories about people, places and/or events that I've either experienced myself or knew about during my lifetime.

For example, If I would think about the first time a friend disappointed me, I'd have to go back to grade school.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Writing is Therapy, and So Is a Book!

As an author of fiction and nonfiction, plus writing under my own name and a pseudonym too, people wonder if it can all be done. I’m here to tell you, YES! It’s all about what you want to write, and what I write I enjoy reading. As a child, I never thought I couldn’t write a story, I went ahead and did it. Been doing this since age 8. I loved reading books, but I wanted to make up my own adventures. So, that’s what I did. I wrote science fiction, scary, and animal stories. Like another author, June Pair Kilpatrick posted here back on November 13th, it’s all about the ingredients and how you cook them to make that story.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What is the Process of Writing a Novel? Part 1

Chris Sorensen
One of my readers asked me last week, "How do you get from having a simple story idea to the completed manuscript?"

I talk to people all the time who have a wonderful book idea.  Unfortunately, they don't ever see it come to fruition because they don't know where to start.  The thought of going from a small ten word sentence to 150-300 page book is daunting...for all of us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Interview with David Corbin from Out of the Ashes

Today, Lori Dillion interviews David Corbin from Out of the Ashes

Who are you?
David Corbin
Past Life: slave gladiator
Current Life: WWII American spy

What was the scariest moment of your life?
Which life? Death by volcano was no picnic, let me tell ya. But watching Sabina (Sera) die in my arms and there was nothing I could do to save her, that was the worst. Of all the times I faced death in the arena, I was never so scared, or felt so helpless, as I did in that moment.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letting the Stew Simmer

June Pair Kilpatrick

Writing a memoir is like making Brunswick stew. You throw in a little of everything, but you must let it simmer until the flavors blend. Perhaps that's why it took me nearly a decade to finish my book about growing up in and around Richmond during the Depression and World War II--I was just letting the stew simmer. Sometimes words flew to the page as fast as peeling and dicing potatoes; sometimes they came slowly, like skinning and cleaning the squirrel before throwing it in the pot. (No, I never did that, but my grandfather used to.) Then you turn the fire down low and step aside for a while.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Cynthia Ann Baldini

Readers ask me, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Everyone has probably heard the saying, “write what you know.” If you’re an expert in a particular field you can probably attract others who want to develop that skill, but hat sounds like advice for non-fiction writers. What if you write fiction, and you aren’t an expert in any field?

You can focus on what you know even when you write fiction. In Immortal Venus my protagonist has many of my own characteristics: we both hail from Richmond, Virginia, both got our degrees in art from VCU, and both traveled to Italy. I use my familiarity with the locations and with art to give a foundation of realism to what becomes an adventure into my imagination.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A moment can change everything

Mechele Armstrong

Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to write. She wrote poetry and short stories, and when she wasn’t writing, she was making adventures with her stuffed animal collection, the soap in the tub, and even the crayons in her crayon box. In college, though she had another major, she started working on a novel. She entered a couple of contests and even went to a writing seminar for a week. Then, she hit a wall where she didn’t write anything, not even poetry for a long, long time.

She was miserable.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Learn more about Donna Dalton

Donna Dalton

 1.      What is your writing routine?

Sometimes I start with a plot idea and other times, I have specific characters in mind. It’s been different with each story. But generally, I create a basic list of “what needs to happen” for the story and for the romance. Then I spec out a basic plot that includes external and internal GMC’s (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict) for the main characters.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Excited About the Book Fair!

I'm very excited to be a part of the Regency Square Mall Book Fair Event on December 15th. Both me and my sister, Regina Webster, will be sharing space as first time authors!  It's going to be a great gathering and there will be something there for kids and adults alike. This will be a great time to promote reading for your children, an educational must for children to prepare to be competitive in today's employment market.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Today is the last day of October and with the holiday season almost upon us, I’d like to wish all of our ghouls and goblins a happy and safe Halloween.

Happy Halloween by Tina Glasneck

Were you a princess,
Or a superhero in disguise?
Did you twirl in your tutu,
Or attempt with your cape to fly?
Did you carve your pumpkin
And roast the seeds?
Did you watch scary movies
Or bob for apples with glee?
Did you wait for such moments  and oh what a sight,
Have you been waiting for Halloween night?

Trick or Treat, treat or trick
When ghouls, goblins and princesses abound,
May you be greeted with delightful sounds.
May your Halloween be filled with bliss
And may your tummy not ache from the sugary blitz.
Instead, when it’s over, and Three Six Five you must wait,
Know that it only a year until the next Halloween adventure awaits. 

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

An Interview with Mary Montague Sikes: What It's Like to Be Both an Artist and an Author

Artist and Author, Mary Montague Sikes

For as long as she remembers, Mary Montague Sikes has been both an artist and an author. As a child, she usually had a scrap of paper and a pencil nearby so she could draw and write a little note about her picture. As an author, she's been most satisfied when she could create the art that appears on her covers. For many of Sikes' books, her publisher has used one of her paintings as the basis for the cover. For Jungle Jeopardy, since she no longer owns the painting on the cover, Sikes created two new paintings, one of a jungle parrot and one of a black jaguar from the story. She takes these paintings with her to book signings. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Why Paranormal Romance?

Often I’m asked how I got started writing paranormal romance. I don’t think it’s so much the ‘how’ as to the ‘why.’ When I first started reading romance, it was always historicals. I gobbled up books by Amanda Quick, Johanna Lindsey, and Laura Kinsale. I figured, hey, if I was going to lose myself in a fictional word, I didn’t want it to be like the one I currently live in (apologies to all the contemporary writers out there). I wanted to be swept away to a time long ago, when honor meant everything and a hero would lay down his life to protect those he loved. A time when the world was as rugged as the men who lived in it and things were not so PC. I wanted my knight in shining armor to come riding in on his white horse and rescue me in the nick of time, darn it.

But after a while, the books all started sounding the same. I was getting bored. I knew something was missing. So one day, as I stood in my local book store staring aimlessly at the multitude of books before me, the sales lady came up to me and asked if she could help. I told her my dilemma – that I loved historicals but I wanted something different. Something more. Something with magic. She smiled and pointed me to Jill Barnett’s BEWITCHING. Not only did this incredible author introduce me to paranormal romance, but it opened up the world of humorous historical paranormal romance to me. A major milestone. I had found what I didn’t know I’d been searching for! A book with history, romance, humor and a touch of magic. I didn’t know there could be such a thing.

So years later, when I decided to try my hand at writing, did I write what I loved? Nope. I sat down and tried to write one of those epic historical romances. It had a Highland laird, a warrior heroine, an evil father, revenge, coerced sex, illegitimate pregnancy, angst, deception, drama, and even a case of amnesia thrown in. Everything but the kitchen sink. Did it sell? Nope. And now that I know what I know, I’m not surprised. But at the time I was heartbroken. Why didn’t anyone love my great masterpiece? Then I heard those prolific words that gave me that ‘ah ha’ moment every author has. Not ‘write what you know,’ because unless you’re a history scholar or time traveler, no one really ‘knows’ what it was truly like to live in a time not our own. No, the prolific words that got me started writing in the paranormal genre were ‘write what you love to read.’ 

And so I did. And you know what? That book practically wrote itself. It flew from my fingertips with all the pieces falling magically into place. It was a book with bumbling guardian angels and reincarnated soul mates set in WWII Pompeii. By the time I finished it, I had what I thought was a pretty darn good book. Someone else thought so too, because it landed me an agent. Did it sell? Nope, mainly because of the time period (evidently NY publishing thinks the WWII time period has the cooties). But it came very close with one NY publisher, climbing up the editorial ladder to the top before it was rejected because I refused to rewrite it as a contemporary. Was I heartbroken? Yes. Did I give up on it? No. I self-published it and it’s slowly finding its way into reader’s hearts. Apparently I’m not the only one out there who loves humor, history and paranormal in their romance.

OUT OF THE ASHES – Pompeii, reincarnation and romance

"Lori Dillon brings a fresh new voice for paranormal historical romance readers to enjoy. OUT OF THE ASHES shows the author is a born storyteller, with emotion on every page. I cried at the end."   
                     — Rosemary Stevens,
                              Agatha Award winning author

To find out more about Lori Dillon and her writings, please visit her website at

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What it Means to be an Editor: An Interview with April Michelle Davis

Editing. Indexing. Proofreading.
 From the first word to well beyond the end.

Founded in 2001 by April Michelle Davis, Editorial Inspirations provides exceptional editing, indexing, and proofreading services to both publishers and authors. Each task is approached with a greater understanding of the

various aspects of the publishing process. The intent of the author and the publisher is always kept in mind—from the first word to well beyond the end.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Strive to Read!

good books never go out of style
I love being able to curl up with a good book. There is something about being swept away in a story and rooting for the characters to either solve the mystery, catch the bad guy or even wait for the snarky response from a hero or villain. If I could, I think I'd love to transport myself into a book. But, with my busy schedule, finding time to read used to be difficult until I created my To-Be-Read (TBR) list. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meet the Authors

With twenty authors from all over the Commonwealth participating in the Celebrate With A Book Author Book Fair on December 15, 2012 at Regency Square Mall in Richmond, Virginia, there are a lot of great books and authors coming your way.Please click on their respective names to learn more about these great writers.

Chris Sorensen
Pamela K. Kinney

Shara Lanal

April Michelle Davis

Sandy Raven
Cynthia Ann Baldini

Donna Dalton

Rose Barnett

June Pair Kilpatrick

Leah St. James

James Henry Harris

Lori Dillon
Mary Montague Sikes
Mary Moore
Regina Webster
Wendy Custer 

Carin Casey