Monday, November 1, 2010

Phyllis Johnson's "Hot And Bothered By It!"


We're happy to have Phyllis Johnson with us today talking about her book, Hot And Bothered By It! To learn more about Phyllis and her book, read on!

Publisher: Community Press

Cover blurb: Do you suffer from Oreo-porosis? Is there an instant Mess-age at your house when you go away? Is a period just punctuation found in your romance novels while you fan yourself? If you can relate to any of these circumstances, you may be going through a midlife chrysalis. If you find yourself with a group of women playing such games as the "Millionaire Purse Game," wearing red and purple together and eating chocolate until you pass out, then this book is for you. HOT AND BOTHERED BY IT contains fifty poems celebrating the midlife experience for women. This book is the perfect companion for entertaining you and your friends at your next night out. This book is also GREAT for your reading group! (And it’s perfect for milestone birthday gifts for girlfriends.)

1) How did this story come to you?
 I wrote a poem about a senior discount because my husband was teasing me before we hit fifty that he couldn’t wait until he got one. I kept writing midlife poems and before I knew it, I had fifty poems and a book was created.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
First I contacted the Red Hat Society but when they wouldn’t endorse it, I started sending it out to publishers.
A friend in my local writing group told me about Community Press and the publisher, who is also an illustrator, did the illustrations too. I’ve had a great time reading the poems at book signings. My last adventure with that was at an art gallery event. As the artists painted, they laughed and wound up buying lots of my books. One night I had a reading at a wine tasting. The women laughed, sipped wine and bought books too.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’ve acted for The Discovery Channel in FBI Files, New Detectives, Diagnosis Unknown and Psychic Investigator. That was all a blast. Meeting new people on the film set is always exciting. As a teenager, I dreamed of modeling. It actually came true for me when I turned 50 and I modeled for hotel ads. Another thing people wouldn’t know about me is that I twirled fire batons when I was a high school majorette. Boy, that last part is really scary to me now.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m marketing a YA suspense novel, titled Inkblot, co-written with Nancy Naigle. I’m also writing a collection of funny high school stories. My day job is in a high school library and funny stuff happens in a high school. A lot of it just screams to be written about and so one of my latest projects, School of Rock, got started.

5) Parting comments?
 I love the contact with readers through these blogs. It’s a great way to promote and network. My advice to other writers is to never give up and follow your dreams. That applies to readers too, no matter what your dream might be.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.phyllisjohnson.net/ I’m on Twitter and FB too.
My email is pjwriter7@aol.com

Michelle Buckman's "Rachel's Contrition"


We're happy to have Michelle Buckman with us today talking about her book, Rachel's Contrition. To learn more about Michelle and her book, read on!

Publisher: Sophia Institute Press

Cover blurb: After the death of her daughter, grief-spawned delusions cause Rachel to lose her husband, her home, and custody of her son. Help arrives from two unlikely sources: a young teen, Lilly, battling her own demons, and a tattered holy card depicting Saint Therese of Lisieux. As Rachel grows closer to Lilly and comes to know Saint Therese, unbidden memories from her edgy past reveal fearful mysteries of seduction, madness, and murder… and a truth that will haunt her forever.

1) How did this story come to you?
I was sick at heart several years ago when I heard a ten-second news-blip about parents finding their child dead in a car. I couldn’t quit thinking of how such a tragedy must have affected them. How could they face one another with such a death yawning between them? I wrote some scenes, but didn’t work on the story in earnest until I saw several friends suffer the accidental death of their children. I empathized with their pain and ached over how it tore at the fabric of their lives and relationships. From that anguish, I wrote Rachel’s story—a tale of soul-wrenching loss and the harrowing struggle to heal.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Years ago, when my agent presented Rachel’s Contrition to publishers, several editors reported that they loved the story and that the writing was excellent, but they were afraid to publish a book with Catholic elements for fear of offending non-Catholic readers, which was very frustrating. However, I refused to change the setting because it is integral to the plot. Instead, I set the manuscript aside until last year when I heard that Sophia Institute Press, a Catholic publisher, had started publishing contemporary fiction. Their acquisitions editor read the manuscript in two days and bought it right away. I’m so glad I waited because Rachel’s Contrition ended up exactly where it needed to be. Sophia Institute Press is a fantastic publisher—fully communicative and supportive every step of the way.
The week it released, Rachel’s Contrition hit #1 on Amazon’s Women’s Fiction list, and remained there for five days; it’s still in the top ten!
The entire adventure has reaffirmed “All in God’s time.”

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Some readers assume I have a very dark past because of what I write. Fortunately, that is not the case. I have a wonderfully boring, totally happy existence. I write in response the world around me.
When I’m in the throes of creativity, I write from 2am till 5am so I won’t be disturbed, then I go back to bed until my youngest wakes up at 7 or 8.
I live in a 160-year-old house in the middle of nowhere, but I’m a city girl at heart.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have several new contracts and projects underway, but I’m not at liberty to announce any of them yet.

5) Parting comments?
Rachel’s Contrition is an edgy story, full of strong emotions and woven around a dark events. As reviewer Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur put it, “[Rachel’s Contrition] is a novel that will twist your heart and leave you breathless. You will not want to put it down until you reach the final word at which point you will once again be able to exhale.”

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.michellebuckman.com/
http://www.rachelscontrition.com/
Facebook (under Michelle@MichelleBuckman.com)
Twitter (under AuthorMBuckman)

Cynthia Reeg's "Gifts from God"

We're happy to have Cynthia Reeg with us today talking about her book, Gifts from God.  To learn more about Cynthia and her book, read on!

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing

Cover blurb: Gifts from God celebrates God’s loving gifts. Each double-page spread has an easy reader sentence on the right and a scripture quotation on the left, making this an enjoyable and uplifting book for both children and adults.

1) How did this story come to you?
 I wanted to offer children an easy concept book for discovering God all about them in their lives and in nature. I had seen similar books for adults but none for children.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
 I submitted my manuscript to Lynda Burch at Guardian Angel Publishing. She liked the idea, and when she found the glorious photo art of MarySue Roberts to illustrate the book, it was a perfect match. I was excited to have the book available in both print and ebook versions.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’ve gone fishing on the Amazon and caught a piranha.
I’ve trekked along the gold rush trail in the Yukon.
I’ve explored the ancient ruins at Pompeii.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
 I have a variety of projects in the works. I’m looking for an agent for a middle grade fantasy series I’ve created. I’m researching and plotting a middle grade historical fiction story set in Kansas during The Great Depression. And I have numerous short stories and picture book ideas in the works as well. I’m preparing for a presentation next month at the annual Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Conference in St. Charles.

5) Parting comments?
I’m looking forward to giving away a copy of Gifts from God. I love to hear reader’s reactions—like one mother who said the book “exploded with color and happiness.”

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
 My website (http://www.cynthiareeg.com/) offers lots of fun activities for kids, as well as many ideas for parents and teachers.

And be sure to check out the Gifts from God book trailer : http://www.cynthiareeg.com/books/gifts_from_god.html

Diane Craver's "A Christmas Gift"

We're happy to have Diane Craver with us today talking about her book, A Christmas Gift. To learn more about Diane and her book, read on!


Publisher: Whimsical Publications

Cover blurb:  Justin Reeves is a man who has it all: a good job, a loving wife and children who are the center of his universe - or so it seems. Justin also has a secret he's hidden from everyone his entire life or so he thought. Quite innocently his small daughter, Debby, stumbles upon his secret and is shocked by what she finds. She confronts her father with the awful truth, and together they embark upon a journey which takes her father from the darkness of shame into the light of victory.

Drawing from true events in her own childhood, Diane Craver captivates the reader from page one to a stunning climax which will touch your heart and impact your life forever in this must-read story of love’s triumph over adversity.

1) How did this story come to you?
I had thought of writing a story about my father for a long time. His life was hard with his mother’s rejection and being raised by various relatives. Even though both parents deserted him, he had a deep faith in God, and was able to be a good father to me and my siblings.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
A Christmas Gift was formerly published under the title, The Christmas of 1957. When I decided to make it longer and to change the title, I submitted it to a new publisher. The story has also been revised throughout the book. By the way, the main character, Debby, is a 60 year-old woman in the prologue and epilogue. Debby is a child in the rest of the story.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I was a carhop at a root beer stand for 3 years during high school. I’d love to learn how to play drums and be in a band. I met my husband while both of us were teaching at an orphanage.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m working on a story about a father and daughter, both teach at the same college in Virginia. The father is anxious for his daughter, Lexi, to get married and give him a grandchild. Lexi thinks her father needs to move on with his life. Her mother died three years ago on the way to the bridal shop to pick up Lexi’s wedding dress. I have two releases on November 15, A Christmas Gift and a sweet story, “The Proposal”, which is in A Christmas Collection. Both will be available in print and ebook format.

5) Parting comments?
Thank you so much for having me on your fantastic blog. Readers, if you haven’t read any of my books, I hope you do! I’m published through a variety of houses, including Desert Breeze, Whimsical Publications, Samhain, Victory Tales Press, and Booklocker.com. I write inspiring stories filled with memorable characters. I’m giving a signed print copy of A Christmas Gift to one lucky winner! If the winner should live outside of U.S., I’ll substitute the ebook format instead.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website: http://www.dianecraver.com Blog: http://www.dianecraver.com/blog  and my wonderful Jewels of the Quill group: http://www.angelfire.com/stars4/kswiesner/jewelsofthequill.html
I’m also on Facebook! A Christmas Gift can be purchased at http://www.whimsicalpublications.com/ or other online places.