Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CHECK THIS OUT...

So now we all know I have a time management problem, at least in the evenings. Part of that problem is internet time. I counted how many yahoo groups/writing groups I belong to now and you'll never guess how many---c'mon, take a wild guess---there are so many I'm almost embarrassed.

Hmm, maybe I'd better keep it to myself. But I DO want to tell you about a group called Just Write It that I joined this week, led by Shirley Jump. The files section alone is worth joining for--a wealth of useful info. IMO this one is too good to keep to myself! So click here, just in case you haven't joined enough groups, LOL.

And if you haven't read Kaye's blog this week you're totally missing out! She's doing a great series on "voice" and has several interviews to go along with it. You must visit!

In other news, I've hit the 20 pound mark!!! Woo-hoo! Definitely one of the hardest things I've done in my life, but totally worth it. Tonight I tried on clothes I hadn't been able to squeeze into for over 3 years. (So they're not in fashion anymore--I'm not complaining!) Of course, tomorrow morning that 20 pounds will probably turn back into 18, but who's counting?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TIME WASTERS...things I do when I should be writing

5. Doing more laundry

4. Checking e-mail

3. Blogging--but you already knew that!

2. Watching re-runs of Reba (never thought I'd like this show but now I'm hooked--move over Little People, Big World!)

1. Reading!!!

Jeepers! Some days I just can't get motivated--too many other things creep into my writing time. Everything on my list is fun, except for laundry which does more creeping than anything else. (C'mon people--10 loads per week!) Because the tots keep me running during the day I should be writing at night like I did when I first started. However, all of the above is WAY more appealing when my brain is fizzy after a day full of diapers, scrubbing, gymnastics, voice lessons, cooking, blah blah blah. I still try to write during the day while the tots are otherwise occupied, but I'm not cruising along as fast as I should/could. So something has GOT to go.

HELP ME CHOOSE!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

TREAT YOU BIBLE LIKE YOUR CELL PHONE

I saw this on an e-loop today and I had to share. The person who posted didn't attribute it, so I haven't a clue who wrote this little nudge. Kind of wish it had been me! But at least I can pass it on and hopefully it will spark something in you the way it did me.

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

This is something to make you go "hmmm . . . where is my Bible?"Oh, and one more thing. Unlike your cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill. And no dropped calls!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


INSPIRATION


What is it that sparks the imagination and generates a good story idea? My ideas have come from all kinds of sources--crossing the parking lot on Valentine's Day, the Bible, and afternoon talk radio. Part of my most recent story idea came from this building.


What you're looking at is the back side of a business complex. The front of this building looks like a large cottage and is filled with financial offices and a real estate office. I think there's even a nail boutique. The back is a total contrast to the front because it looks more like an apartment. I see this building every day on the way to my daughter's school, and I've always wondered what's up there.


So one thought led to another. What would be on the back side of an office building, upstairs? What if it is a small apartment? Who on earth would live up there? Maybe it's someone whose mother owns the building, and she gets to rent it dirt cheap. But not free. And my story idea took off. Of course these ideas were in conjuction with other things bouncing around in my head, like what it would be like to be a professional housewife.

There you have the seeds of my current novel. From where do you get your good story ideas?


Monday, February 19, 2007

FAST TEST

I'm a total sucker for fun personality tests. (Not that I believe in them much--kind of like being excited when a fortune cookie hits them mark, which is almost never.) I found a really quick one that actually hit the mark for me ALMOST to a T. It's called the color test. Keep in mind it's not 100% accurate, but the first line surprised me. Here's what it had to say:




ColorQuiz.comGeorgiana took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Wants interesting and exciting things to happen. A..."


Click here to read the rest of the results.



Like I said, it's a quick one, so when you take it let me know. Then I can have a peek inside the REAL YOU.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR BETSY ANN ST. AMANT!!!

Today I have the honor of interviewing Betsy, author of Midnight Angel. But first let's talk about the book.


MIDNIGHT ANGEL
From the back cover:
Madison Lawrence fell in love while vacationing in Germany--and Carsten Erlichman nicknames her his "angel." One kiss and twelve gongs from the clock tower later, Madison is forced to leave the man who stole her heart and return to the United States with her family. She starts an angel collection as a means of feeding her favorite memory. Little does she know that her collection will eventually tangle her in a web of lies, danger, and love. Madison must discover the truth about her father, her faith, and Carsten--before the clock strikes midnight!


My take:
Betsy's first novel does her proud! In Midnight Angel, the reader is whisked away from Germany to New York to the wilderness of Montana. Heroine Madison Lawrence makes an online purchase that thrusts her into a tangle of lies and deceit, and she must learn to trust a man she barely knows. From the first kiss to the final heart-pounding moments when truths are revealed, Midnight Angel is one romantic suspense you won't want to put down!


And now it's time to meet the woman behind the book.

1. Midnight Angel is an awesome debut novel. Where did you draw your inspiration?

Thank you for the compliment! I drew inspiration for Midnight Angel basically just from the desire to try my hand at a love story. The suspense aspect came in a little unexpected. I was actually in the tanning bed the day the full plot donned on me! I got so excited I banged my head on the top of the bed when I sat up. LOL, sounds like a Newton/gravity thing. Good idea=pain!

2. In Midnight Angel you take the reader on an adventure from Germany to New York to Montana. How do you research your locations, and do research in general?

It's really not that hard, though somewhat time consuming. I pulled up pictures of each location and just tried to get a feel for the environment. (maybe one day I'll be able to afford trips to my future book settings! haha) The reason the scenes in Germany aren't more specific (i.e. city name, location, etc. ) is because I wanted those scenes to have more of a dreamy, surreal quality. I didn't want to portray an actual city in Germany because it took the fantasy out of it. So yes, poor Madison was drug around the world, although I don't think she minded too much. =)

3. If you were casting Midnight Angel for a movie, who would play Madison, Carsten, and Shan?

What a fun question! Let's see. Madison would be Rachel McAdams, definitely. Carsten would be a German version of Scott Patterson (he plays Luke on Gilmore Girls!) and Shan would be Gabrielle Union. Rachel McAdams is perfect for Madison!

4. Share with us what you hope the reader will takeaway from Midnight Angel.

I hope the reader takes away the fact that God is very real and very involved in our lives, regardless of how distant He sometimes might feel. I've heard it said before that God never moves, we do! And that's what happened for Madison. She confused her knowledge of God and His personality with that of her earthly father's, which is never accurate.

5. You juggle writing, school, family, marketing, and oh yeah, a full-time job. (I'm sure I left some things out too!) How do you do it?

Easy - I wear the Multi-tasking Queen crown! And yes, it is pink AND sparkly. =) Seriously, though, I'm blessed to have a job that offers some free time throughout the day, and I take advantage of that as much as I can. Though I will graduate this upcoming May, with a B.A. in Christian Communications! Hopefully that'll open up some more time! Also, my hubby is super supportive and is used to me running around like a headless chicken getting things done. He either helps me or stays out of my way, and always understands when I need to spend an hour in the home office rather than hanging out with him. But it's hard for me to stay away for long - have you SEEN my hubby? He's hot. haha

5. If you were stranded in outer space, and could only choose between Diet Coke or chocolate as your treat forever and ever, which would you choose?

Are there two #5 questions for a reason? =) (Just making sure you're paying attention Betsy!) And oh wow - this is hard. I live off both. A part of me would wither away, regardless of which I choose! I'm going to pick ::closing eyes:: Diet Coke. A girl needs her caffeine. And that way, I wouldn't gain weight while floating around in space. hehheh You are a smart cookie! I'd choose the same.

6. Anything else you would like to share with us?

Just a huge THANKS for doing this interview, Georgiana, and I want to let everyone in the world know that I will be the first in line to buy one of your chick lit novels when they hit the shelves one day - because I know it will happen! So back off, everyone! I get her first copy!!


Thank YOU Betsy for stopping by for a visit!


You can visit Betsy here, and please click here to get a copy of Midnight Angel!

CHRISTIAN WRITERS' MARKET GUIDE


I got mine! Woo-hoo! What is it about this market guide that makes me want to break out my highlighter and Post Its? The book is thick with possibilities; every page holds the hope that someone out there, somewhere, might want to read my stories. Or represent them.


The book--630 pages--lists magazines, book publishers, e-zines, agents, contests, specialty markets (greeting cards, gifts, etc.), and resources for writers. Good grief--a writer's paradise!!! Also, for those of you who prefer the computer to the printed page there is a CD with all the listings. THANK YOU SALLY STUART!


WARNING: you may spend scads of time delving into all the goodies found in this book. My advice? Lock the door so you can do your market research in peace. It's time to break out your favorite highlighter and click here to order Sally Stuart's Christian Writers' Market Guide.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BIRTH OF A STORY


It was a year ago today (OK, maybe not precisely, but it was during Valentine's season) that I came up with the perfect beginning for my last book, Table for One. It's about a successful stockbroker who is determined to wait on God for the perfect mate--as long as it's the hot new youth pastor at church. Anyway, the book opens on Valentine's Day as she is accutely aware of how others view her loneliness. (Gee, maybe I remember those feelings...)


That is the only time I've incorporated a holiday in my writing. But I love getting swept away by romance--perhaps even a bit of vicarious living through good characters. Then I wonder how other characters throughout history would celebrate Valentine's Day. Can you imagine Elizabeth and Darcy? What about Romeo and Juliet, you know, had they lived? Not sure I want to imagine Scarlett and Rhett, LOL.


My hubby surprised me this morning with a dozen roses. That's about all the celebrating we'll have since he works 14-15 hours a day to support us. I think that's the real gift--his willingness to go all-out to earn a living so I can be with the kids. I suppose I'll do something extra-nice for him...clean out his car. He loves a clean car, and ours so rarely is. (I can clean a house, but the car is a whole 'nother thing!)


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Monday, February 12, 2007

OUCH!

Most of you know I've been on a big-time (no pun intended) weight-loss journey. Fifteen pounds is a good start, or so I thought. But as we all know, on every journey there are bumps in the road. This weekend I had a big one--bump, that is.

We were visiting with someone we see once a year, or every other year. This person has an issue with weight--other people's weight. I already knew this from previous visits and so I told her up front how much I'd lost and the efforts I'd been making. Throughout the 24 hour visit she proceeded to make 3 or 4 hurtful comments:

*You'd better not eat any more than that or you'll be on the exercise bike all day tomorrow.
*I was going to bring you a gift too, but I didn't know your size. Do you wear the same size as your husband? (My husband is a MAN, and larger than me.)
*I want to send you a gift so I asked your daughter what size you are. She guessed a 10 (snickers) so I thought I'd better ask you.

At this last comment I was so flabbergasted I actually (OK, BRACE YOURSELF!) answered her! I couldn't believe a woman would ask that question of another woman and I was so stunned I didn't know what else to say! EEK!

Prior to this incident, I always thought I was the type of person who would stand up for herself. But I said nothing. NOTHING. At least it's good material for a character sometime in the future. Question for you: am I a weenie? What would you have done?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Drumroll Please.......

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for Julie Carobini's Chocolate Beach! It's an awesome book. And the winner is...........




.....BETSY!!!!!!!!!


Congratulations Betsy! I'll forward your addy to Julie.

So I put the names on Post-Its (I'm totally addicted to Post-Its) and put them in my hand for my hubby to draw. He's such a jokester, he's like, "No, now crumple them, now shake them up..." Then he draws, and instead of reading me the name he makes me UNcrumple what's left in my hand to figure out the winner. Stinker!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Oh, BTW, for those of you who didn't win you can get a copy of the book here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

IT'S A BEACH PARTY!


Today I have the awesome privilege of spending a few minutes with Julie Carobini, author of the brand new beach-lit book, Chocolate Beach. What’s even more awesome is that you can enter a drawing for a free copy by commenting at the end of the interview.

But first, let’s get acquainted with the book.



From the back cover:

Even a laid-back beach girl has her doubts…
Bri Stone has it all: the man of her dreams and their surf-ridin’ teenage son, a chocolate-loving best pal, and adorable beach bungalow, and a kicky job as a Southern California tour bus host.

She also has a few things she didn’t ask for: a know-it-all friend, a snobby mother-in-law, and a Fabio-meets-Dilbert boss. All three of them seem eager to share their strong opinions and suspicions about Bri’s relationship with her husband, Douglas.

When Bri’s rose-colored sunglasses crack after she finds evidence that Douglas has grown tired of her carefree ways, she resolves to win him back. Can Bri reinvent herself—and recapture his heart?

My Take:

What an incredible debut novel! Because of the contemporary voice in Chocolate Beach, I felt like I was spending time with a friend rather than reading. This is the first book I’ve lost myself in that’s both fast-paced and laid-back at the same time. I found myself cheering for Bri, enjoying the time she spent eating chocolate with her best friend, and boy was I annoyed with people who were being hoity-toity with her.

And here’s a drumroll moment: I LOVED THE SETTING. I’m not a setting type of reader—I’m usually all about what’s going on. But the beach in this book is so real it made me want to risk getting sand in my shorts just to spend a few minutes under the rays. No joke.

If you want to be swept away for a few hours, READ THIS BOOK. If you want to learn the latest West Coast lingo, READ THIS BOOK. Leave a comment at the end of this post for a chance to win. The drawing will be on FRIDAY.

Without further ado, heeeere’s Julie!



Hi Julie! Thank you so much for spending time with us today. I have to say that Chocolate Beach is such a FUN book! What was the seedling that gave birth to your story?

Hi Georgiana! The seedling? Hm. Well, I think it’s a kick that so many people marry their opposite. I wanted to delve a little into that phenomena and figure out what keeps these couples together. Heroine, Bri, finds solace in chocolate and the beach, but when life gets confusing, she finds she needs more than that. Hard to believe, I know—lol.

If you were casting Chocolate Beach as a movie, who would play Bri, Douglas, Nathan, and Gaby? (I'm assuming Fabio would play Ty? LOL!)

Yeah, a younger Fabio would be perfect for Ty! For the rest, how about:
Bri—Maggie Gyllenhaal; Douglas—Patrick Dempsey; Nathan—Had to ask Pre-Teen daughter about this one. She suggested Jason Dolley; and Gaby—America Ferrera! (without all her Ugly Betty makeup ;-)

Cool! Maggie Gyllenhaal is perfect for Bri! (Now I have to ask my teen daughter about Jason Dolley, LOL!

Bri's spiritual life was woven seamlessly into the story. Is that something you did consciously, or did it happen naturally?


Because Bri is a Christian, it was natural for her to consciously consider her faith when faced with conflict. However, the second draft went deeper. I received my editing notes just prior to attending a writer’s conference. While at the conference, God specifically inspired a stronger faith line for Bri, going so far as to give me actual lines to drop into the manuscript when I got home. I never felt CB was truly complete until that second draft, and both of my editors told me how much stronger the new script had become. So I guess the answer is both—consciously and naturally.

The setting in your book hooked me! Chocolate Beach made me long for a beach life. Do you live a beach life complete with surf boards and sandy toes?

Yeah, I’m a beach lover! I don’t surf, but I’ve been known to plop into the sand and watch for awhile. I also love to walk the beach, go tidepooling, and kayak on warm days. My favorite day would have to include a toes-in-the-sand moment :)

OK Julie, now I know that life is not fair when some people can WALK to the beach, and some of us haven’t seen sand in years. (Sniff) A-hem, back to the questions. Is Chocolate Beach the first book you wrote? If not, how many books did you write before getting THE CALL?

I wrote two previous books, and one of them just broke my heart. I really thought that one would sell, but it didn’t. I gave up novel writing for awhile, and focused on writing articles—I’ve published more than 100 of them. But then I got the idea for Chocolate Beach and decided to give it another go. Phew—I’m glad I did.

I’m glad you did too! Tying in with the previous question, can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

Like I mentioned, I’ve been writing articles for years. I started writing personal experience stories, then moved into essays and features for all kinds of magazines. (I submitted work both over the transom, and via contacts made at conferences.) I do love writing articles because you get a finished product fairly quickly, and you reach many, many people, as compared to books which generally reach a smaller number of individuals.

But novels have always been the dream—even when I was told years ago that Christian fiction would never really happen. Yeah, an editor told me that at a conference in the late 80s. In my heart, I knew that wasn’t really accurate because I wanted to read books written from a redemptive worldview. And if I wanted to read them, then I figured others must also. So I kept writing my articles, and meanwhile, had three children and kept trying to write the novels on the side (you know, in all that spare time ;-)

Eventually I discovered chick-lit style books and fell in love with the genre. When I put aside all my previous ideas, and developed an idea in my new favorite genre, well, I found my voice! I submitted the proposal for Chocolate Beach to Charlene Patterson at Bethany House, because although she’d turned down a previous book, she’d invited me to submit something in the future. Thankfully, she liked my new idea, and got behind the project.

LOL, 3 kids and spare time? WOW!

Now that Chocolate Beach is hitting the shelves, what's in the works for you now?

While spreading the word about Chocolate Beach, I’m also in the middle of writing a sequel, tentatively titled A Curious Thing about Seashells. It’ll hit shelves in 2008. It’s really tough because I have to do lots of research at the beach—LOL

Thanks so much Georgiana for sharing your beach blanket with me today! Your questions were a kick, and I wish you and your readers the very best. Feel free to check out my beach pad on the web at www.juliecarobini.com


Thank you, Julie, for stopping by! And I can't wait to read your next book :) Keep 'um coming!


Leave a comment with your email addy to enter Friday's drawing!

Monday, February 05, 2007


MY DEAR HUBBY


Behind every good man there is a woman, or so the saying goes. Today I'd like to say that behind every dedicated writer is a good support person (spouse, friend, family member, fellow writer.) Actually, I'm sure we could all name several people who have supported us in our endeavors along the way.


Today I want to honor my husband. This weekend we went to his annual company meeting, and he scooped up tons of awards--all well-deserved. He walked away with 5 plaques, a crystal swan, various other awards, and 2 sapphire rings--one for each of us. My hubby reached the President's Club in his FIRST YEAR of selling. Hooray!

You see, he works a minimum of 14 hours a day, sometimes 6 days a week. He puts out maximum effort every single day in order to support us so that I can stay home and be a mom. Of course, after momming comes writing. If not for my husband's willingness to work outside in the cold, in the heat, when he's tired, etc., I would have to work outside our home, and that would leave little time care for our children and pursue my dream.

If you'd like to share, I'd love to know about your biggest support person.

PS. The picture is obviously NOT from the award's banquet, but from the 4th of July. We mostly still look the same.

Friday, February 02, 2007

GERM




From the back cover:



YOU BREATHE, IT WILL FIND YOU


The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen--but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.



The germ--an advanced form of the Ebola virus--has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Those whose DNA is not a match simply catch a cold. But those who are a match experience a far worse fate. Within days, their internal organs liquify.



DEATH IS THE ONLY ESCAPE


The release of the virus will usher in a new era of power where countries are left without defense. Where a single person--or millions--could be killed with perfect accuracy and zero collateral damage. Where your own DNA works against you.



THE TIME ISN'T COMING. IT IS NOW. PRAY THE ASSASSINS GET YOU FIRST.

My take:

I am so bad! I haven't finished it yet--totally not the fault of the book. If anything I'm frustrated by a serious lack of reading time!

So far this book freaks me out because it's totally plausible. If you're a hypochondriac like me, and you like a good scare, THIS IS YOUR BOOK! I'm totally germphobic, too. Double whammy for me. I can't wait to finish!!!

Visit authorRobert Liparulo's site, and click here to order. YOU MUST ORDER.

Now, please...if you've read the whole book don't tell me what happens! Shhh.............



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