Lazy Days of Summer
$250 Cash Giveaway
July 6th to 26thHopefully, you are having a fabulous summer and enjoying some time in the sun with a good book. To celebrate lazy summer days we are giving away $250 to one lucky winner! A HUGE thank you to this fabulous group of sponsors who made this giveaway possible. Be sure to stop by and show them some love! Sponsor List I Am A Reader Clean Wholesome Romance Lori's Reading Corner Donna K. Weaver All the Ups and Downs Dawn Malone, Author Our Book Confessions Bookish Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager author Kimber's Life Win Book Money Tinthia Clemant Simple Wyrdings Bound 4 Escape Rockin' Book Reviews Glistering: B's Blog Rebecca Talley YA Author Tia Souders Helen Smith JeanBookNerd M.A. George Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows Claudia Burgoa B. Kristin McMichael Every Free Chance Books Tica House Publishing Mylissa Demeyere, Author Jody's Free Books Laurisa White Reyes, Author Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 7/26/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm very excited to have author Kadee Carder on the blog today talking about her teenage crush!
Posters overlapped each other, the corners stapled up in a collage on my yellow-painted walls. I spent a lot of hours on my bed in there, dreaming about “what was to come,” and who I’d do those great big things with. I wanted to see the world, stand on strange new landscapes, overlook bridges and towers, by the side of someone who adored them as much as I did and who gripped my hand just as heartily in return. The posters were filled mainly with one face—a steely grin, perfect pearly teeth, blue eyes that guaranteed reckless quests, and, as the magazines described, “a mop of floppy blond hair.” Devon Sawa. I’ve always had a weakness for blond hair and blue eyes. I am still not sure why my parents allowed me to cover my entire wall, waist to ceiling, with pictures of him. The obsession began. The movies he starred in made me giggle and thrummed my heartstrings. He tackled the odds in The Little Giants. A renegade, friendly resident of his family’s unfortunate mansion, he haunted the likes of Christina Ricci in Casper. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the last ten minutes of that movie in order to watch them twirl around the dance floor and lock lips. Under wraps I followed his performance in Now and Then, the irksome love interest of one of the four girls in that memoir, and gripped my fists, white-knuckling through many performances in Night of the Twisters. Never before had I so wanted to be in a tornado with a certain someone. Ah, youth.
But you know what I think now, some twenty years later? During all those hours I spent ogling someone else doing things that seemed incredible to me…who would I be today if I had wandered out on my own bicycle and made some dreams come alive for myself? If instead of looking outward for someone else to fulfill my longing and cravings, what if I had followed Michael Jackson’s advice and looked in the mirror? If I could go back and tell my teenage self something, I’d tell her three things:
One: Be the hero. Instead of waiting for someone to ask, instead of watching everyone else from the sidelines, instead of wishing and hoping, go take action and do the things your heart longs to do. Go stand on those landscapes and bridges and towers and take in the scenery. Go build the life you crave, because your life depends on it.
Two: Do your best and have fun. Don’t be afraid of the people watching or the people saying things are impossible. Put in your best efforts, dig in, and try, try, try again and again and again. And throw a smile on those lips. Everything’s better when it’s done with joy.
Three: I’m going to quote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson here: “Always be kind, always be humble, and always be the hardest worker in the room.” Persevere. Use grit. Be the rock in the storm, the one capable and confident, even when the thunderstorms roll in. Dig in and glory in it.
Devon Sawa’s career took some interesting turns and honestly after my early teenage years I didn’t watch most of his films because they were *dark* and I don’t dig the dark. I love sunshine. What I loved about the characters he played in those earlier films, especially Junior from The Little Giants and Casper and Dan from Night of the Twisters, were that he was something of an underdog, carrying his team toward the win. He was the helper. He was the steady hand. He was the ready smile. In reality, I was crushing on the idea of a ghost, but a ghost I wanted to be. Do our crushes lead us to who we want to be? Maybe so. Maybe that’s one great element of admiration and passion—they give us heroes and shape us into the voyagers we want to be. Floppy blond hair and all.
Bio: Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
The Nameless Soldier is book 4 in the Annals of Alasia young adult fantasy series. Haven't read all (or any) of the others? That's okay! The books can be read in any order, and each one can stand on its own.
What do you do when youâre the only survivor?
Nineteen-year-old Tarvic bears the name of a mighty hero from Alasiaâs past. However, the young soldier feels anything but heroic when he regains consciousness to find himself the lone survivor of a brutal attack by invaders from the neighboring kingdom.
Forced to leave his identity behind, Tarvic is thrust into civilian life in the role of protector to three war orphans. When the four of them encounter a mysterious stranger, he must choose between keeping the young girls safe and taking on a mission that could help free his kingdom. Can Tarvic live up to his noble name and find a way to balance his duty and his dreams?
Where to Get a Copy:
Click here to buy the ebook or paperback from Amazon. (The ebook is
Not sure if you'll like the story or not? Take a look at the first chapter and see!
The Nameless Soldier
Tarvic woke to the sound of a distant yell, abruptly silenced. He pushed his blankets aside and sat up, puzzled, but heard only the light patter of rain on the canvas. âWhat was that?â
Drevel, his roommate in the barracks and tentmate out on campaigns like this, stirred and rolled over. âWhat?â
âI heard something. Someone shouting.â
âItâs probably just another drill.â But Drevel sat up too, shoving his own blankets away, as Tarvic crawled over and untied the tent flap.
A blast of wintry air and raindrops greeted him as he leaned out, peering across the tent-studded hillside. Clouds hid the moon and stars, and on every side the thick dark of the forest leaned in from the edges of the large clearing. But the telltale flickering light of distant torches sent shadows leaping over tents and across the open spaces between them. Why would someone be using torches out here? Any soldier in camp had easy access to lanterns among the supplies.
Something was wrong. Very wrong. Tarvic pulled back into the tent and yanked on his breeches and jacket.
They both heard the next yell, closer this time, and then the unmistakable clash of swords. Both men snatched up their own swords, jamming their feet into their boots and fumbling for shields. From all around them, shouts of alarm erupted as men in their company woke up.
And then the enemy was upon them. Horses exploded through the camp, trampling tents and the soldiers just crawling out of them. Riders leaned low off their mountsâ backs, swinging swords and waving torches.
Halfway out of his tent, Tarvic threw himself flat on his face to avoid a slash that would probably have decapitated him. He scrambled to his feet, only to be knocked off them again by a blow that he barely caught on his shield.
Light, shadows, horses, blades, rain. Chaos raged through the clearing to the sound of crashing metal, pounding hooves, shouts of challenge and desperation. Tarvic regained his feet and fought as best he could from the ground while enemy riders thundered around him. Dodging and ducking, he aimed for the menâs legs and tried to keep out from under their horsesâ hooves. With no idea who he was fighting or why, his only goal to stay alive for the next heartbeat, he dodged and darted through the tumult looking for spots where horses and enemy swords werenât. All around him, men fought and ran and crumpled to lie as limply as the trampled tents.
Slipping and stumbling in the mud, Tarvic felt a surge of satisfaction as his sword met flesh and an enemy yelled in pain. And then the man wheeled his horse and charged back toward him, and Tarvic turned to flee.
He tripped on something soft that groaned. Pain shot through Tarvicâs wrist as he caught his fall, and only a quick roll saved him from being trampled as the manâs horse cantered over him.
Its rider wheeled again, and Tarvic rose to his knees, barely raising his shield in time to protect his face. The force of the blow threw him backward, jarring his already sore wrist.
Another horse leaped over him, and Tarvic cried out in pain as a hoof struck him on the shoulder. He stumbled to his feet, ducking low to present as small a target as possible, and ran through the melee.
He saw fewer people on foot now, more obstacles in the mud. Was it cowardly to flee from a battle you couldnât win? Nothing in Tarvicâs eight months in the military had prepared him for this. Not counting occasional minor border skirmishes, the kingdom of Alasia hadnât seen an actual war in six generations. Besides routine patrols, city peacekeeping, and the frequent drills and training, the militaryâs primary duties involved escorting merchant wagons through robber-frequented stretches of rural highway and keeping an eye on the sections of coastline where seafaring raiders were known to attack. Tarvic had never fought in a battle that involved more than a handful of opponents at a time, and none of those opponents had been anywhere near this organized â or this deadly.
If we escape, we can regroup somewhere safer and â A hard blow to the back knocked him to the ground again as another horse pounded over him. Giving up all pretense of courage, Tarvic scrambled to his feet once more and fled for the edge of the clearing and the relative safety of the trees beyond. I canât do anything here. Theyâre going to slaughter us all!
He was practically there when another rider appeared in front of him, leaning low with sword outstretched. Tarvic almost impaled himself on the blade, raising his shield just in time. He fought back frantically as the man slashed, swinging his weapon again and again. I need my horse! Military training had included nothing about how to fight a mounted enemy from the ground. But Lightning was tethered in the row of makeshift stalls on the far side of the camp, probably prancing restlessly under his blanket and wondering why his rider didnât come to spur him into battle.
Tarvic didnât even see the blow that almost killed him. His ears barely registered the thudding of more galloping hooves from behind, nearly drowned out by the rain and the sounds of battle. But the world exploded in light and pain as something struck the back of his head harder than anything had ever hit him before.
He lurched forward, feeling his sword drop from limp fingers. Managing two steps before his legs buckled, he was just conscious enough to recognize the urgent need to crawl. Donât stop. Donât stop. Donât stop. Or theyâll kill you out here. That was the only thought left in his mind as he pulled himself toward the concealing shadows behind the line of tree trunks. And then even that faded, giving way to darkness.
Want to know what happens to Tarvic? Click here to purchase the book and find out!
About the Author:
Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published seventeen books (four YA action and adventure novels, five fantasies, a puppet script, six anthologies of her studentsâ poetry, and a Bible verse coloring and activity book). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.
Amazon Author Page:
When I was visiting my family, my mom gave me some old pictures she found. This is a picture from my desk bookshelf when I was a teen. Note the Elvis card, the Grant Hill mini basketball hoop, the General Hospital book, and what appears to be a small shrine to Troy Aikman....what is that about? Did I really like him that much or was I just a football fan? I do remember my dad buying me the small Troy near the bottom left.
The clown doll was something I won for the first writing contest I ever entered. It was a schoolwide (1st-8th grade) essay contest on name the teddy bear they were giving away in a raffle. I remember my first line was, "I think the bear should be named Taffy because he's sweet like candy." Just take a moment and let that brillance wash over you. How could they NOT know I'd go on to become a writer with that genius brewing??
The aqua fridge is actually filled with food shaped school supplies because I have loved cute office supplies forever, you can also see a few of my trophies from dance (ballet, tap, jazz, and baton twirling), and the pig in the far left corner was my grandma's cookie jar. I have that cookie jar in my house today.
This picture is such a time capsule and explains so much from the writing award clown to the picture of me modeling in a back to school fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue and now I write about a teen model named Landry. When writing young adult books I always get asked if it's weird, embarrassing, and awkward to revisit those teen years...actually, if I'm being truthful, the most common question I'm asked is from people I went to middle school and high school with and that's, "Am I in the books???" I think if you're going to write, you have to be able to be authentic and real and show the truth...even if it means admitting you once had an Aikman shrine in your bedroom.
I was on Book Notes today reading an excerpt from my YA book, Dating the It Guy.
You can find the book in ebook format, paperback, or audio book here on Amazon:
Splash into Summer
$250 Cash Giveaway
June 1st to 20th
Enter to win $250 in PayPal Cash or a $250 Amazon Gift CodeThanks to this fabulous group of authors you have the chance to win $250! Sponsor List I Am A Reader Lori's Reading Corner Bound 4 Escape Julie Coulter Bellon Rockin' Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager author Laurisa White Reyes, Author J.E. Grace B. Kristin McMichael Helen Smith S.A. Larsen Simple Wyrdings Auggie @ auggietalk Author Kim Cresswell JeanBookNerd Glistering: B's Blog Author Erin Richards Jennifer Faye, sweet romance author Coupons and Freebies Mom My Life. One Story at a Time. Author D.E. Haggerty Wishful Endings Kimber Shook Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 6/20/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers, and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
CSB Study Bible for Women Review
This is definitely the most in-depth study Bible I’ve used. Right away I liked the, “Written on My Heart,” sections that give you things to think about that relate to what you’re reading. I also appreciated the, “Hard question,” section which addresses things like, “Does God’s wrath contradict his love?” as well as, “How can I trust a God who has allowed such terrible things to happen to people?” as well as examples such as “Can I actually depend on God to bless my life, if I remain obedient to Him?” and other topics that many people wonder about. These are good to bring up in Bible study discussions.
Here are some of the features it’s listed as coming with:
Extensive study notes
Over 500 word studies
25 full-color maps and reconstructions and charts
Intros to each book of the Bible
Concordance including all the woman in the Bible
Biblical Womanhood articles like “A Woman who fears the Lord,” “Inner Beauty,” and “A Paradigm.”
Answers to “Hard Questions”
Character profiles of different women in the Bible along with a great in-depth chart of the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31.
Doctrine info: Ex. The trinity, Revelation, salvation, etc.
There are tons of charts with info throughout the books of the Bible like Women ministering to Jesus, different theological terms, types to psalms, etc. This helps put things into context as you read. The chart with the Bible’s books on the issues of life contains the questions of life along with the world’s perspective and then God’s perspective. This was one of the features I appreciated the most of all the charts. It would be good to focus on in a class or personal Bible study.
There is so much here to help you with studying and reading the Bible. It’s so thorough and with examples of scripture to back up everything listed. This would be a great edition to your home library.
*I received this Bible from BH Publishing and Lifeway in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
Today author Brette Petway is here to share why she wrote her new book, Prayer is Good: A Path from Grief to Peace.
Q. Can you share with us why you wrote the book?
A. I started journaling at twenty-eight years old. My writing began on a wilderness trip – I had decided I needed to spend a month in the Canyonlands in Utah. The trip became a therapeutic journey that changed my life and how I handled my feelings and emotions.
Earlier that same year my younger sister, Mandi, passed away. She was only 25. I remember my sister being sweet, sensitive, and spiritual. She had brown hair, green eyes, and a slender build. Over time, her appearance on the outside changed because of her cancer treatments, but her outlook remained positive and strong. She was a junior in high school when she was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Hodgkin’s disease.
I was frozen with grief, pain, sadness, anger, abandon, and depression. My family never really talked about what her illness meant to each of us, or to us as a family unit. We had to deal with the emotions surrounding her illness or death on our own. If my family talked about issues, we didn’t really communicate any feelings. Our feelings stayed bottled up inside. The message was feel it, but keep it to yourself (mostly because no one knew how to process the grief). My family was like a lot of others; sharing love, life, and all that we endure with it, including grief, the best we could.
Q. How did journaling and painting help you deal with your grief?
A. After the untimely loss of my sister, I found myself expressing the pain by writing in my journal and drawing my feelings. One day, I realized that all of these were really prayers on paper and helped me overcome my emotional pain. Using the senses to express emotion can be a powerful way to work through anguish on a path toward peace. In our digital driven society --- journaling, writing and tactile arts are more important than ever. Studies show that writing with a pen and paper activates regions of the brain that are associated with processing and remembering, two important elements to the grieving process. Writing electronically simply doesn’t fire up these same regions of the brain.
As a spiritual artist I have experienced the benefits of a full body approach to learning, grieving, and life in general. In fact, I moved to Boulder, Colorado so my children could attend a Waldorf School, which supports an art-based curriculum that fosters a head, heART, hands education that focuses on creating a connection throughout the body. The emotions passed through me and manifested in my paintings and art creations.
I’ve written a bit about my own grief journey. How do you feel your grief journey has changed you?
Through my loss, I learned that life is full of many opportunities to love, learn, grow and really show gratitude for the path the God has shown me. Initially my grief journey was about losing my sister, however, since that revelation, the journey became more about nurturing self-awareness and creating a closer relationship to God. Day in and day out I had God, my journal, and art. My creative approach to prayer is what I call “Active Prayer.”
What thoughts would you like to share with readers who are going through their own grieving period?
While we all process sadness in different ways, journaling, art and prayer can be healing tools to rid the body of the grief that weighs you down. Start with an “Active Prayer” by writing a journal entry. If you feel inspired you can also color a graphic image of words in your prayer. Be inspired and encouraged to tune into your own stories, experiences, and inspirations during this time. Do not be attached to what you write or how you color the words. This prayerful journey is about you processing your feelings and expressing your personal prayer and conversation with God.
Creating a quiet and dedicated journaling space is helpful so that you can express your innermost feelings and connect to God. The dedicated space in the corner of your bedroom or living room where you there is a cozy pillow, a pen and paper, a candle, some relaxing tea, incense, or aromatherapy. Using the senses to express emotion can be a powerful way to work through anguish on a path toward peace.
Here’s 4 simple ways that Prayer is Good is interactive – Read Bible Scripture, journal your prayer, color inspirational words and tips for creating a dedicated prayer space.
Q. Brette, Your team-mates refer to you as a Prayer-Pioneer. What does this mean to you?
A. That I inspire people to make prayer a part of every moment and “prayer it forward”. I am asking folks to take an interactive prayer journey, ----color, draw and journal in my brand new book and bring your prayers to life and life to your prayers.
More About Brette Petway
Brette Petway is a spiritual artist and author, as well as the founder and creator of Prayer is Good, LLC. Prayer is Good creates products which bring prayers to life and life to prayers through art, coloring and journaling.
For further information, visit www.prayerisgood.com. You can also follow Prayer is Good on Facebook/Prayerisgood.co and on Instagram at @PrayerisGood_.
Prayer is Good: A Path from Grief to Peace can be purchased in paperback from Amazon.com or prayerisgood.com.
New Duet Back by Cindy Ervin Huff
Isabella Melinda Wilson has been squeezed into the music ministry model of her controlling husband’s making. Before she can leave him, he leaves her a guilt-ridden widow. Her mother-in-law is no comfort and presses the guilt button at every turn. Isabella flees to her sister’s home in search of her own identity and a new beginning.
Dan Sweeney has one goal. Be as normal as possible. After losing a leg, some fingers and his self-worth, he needs his service dog Brutus to help keep his PTSD at bay. Career-less and clueless about the future, he struggles to put his life back together.
Isabella isn’t looking for a new relationship and Dan feels unworthy of one. Can these two broken people heal into one whole love?
About Cindy Ervin Huff
Cindy Ervin Huff received the Editor’s Choice Award for her debut novel Secrets and Charades, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Secrets & Charades placed third in the Maxwell Awards.
Over the past forty years her by-line has appeared in numerous publications. Her latest release a Contemporary Romance New Duet is set in Aurora, Illinois. Healing Hearts, part of The Cowboys novella collection is slated for release in August 2019.
Cindy is the founding member of the Aurora Illinois chapter of Word Weavers and a member of ACFW. Her blog Jubilee Writer offers writing encouragement to all newbies, especially those starting later in life. www.jubileewriter.wordpress.com
Visit Cindy on her Facebook www.facebook.com/cindyehuff or follow her on twitter @CindyErvinHuff.
Author Josephine Rascoe Keenan joins us today to share about her YA book series. We met last year at the Ohioana Book Festival and became fast friends, so I asked her if she wanted to share a table at this year's festival. Check out her interview below. I know you'll love her books!
How did the idea for your series come about?
The Days of Elvis series, YA historical fiction, began as a stand-alone book entitled, IN THOSE FIRST BRIGHT DAYS OF ELVIS. After submitting to the “big five” and some not so big, I read a blog that suggested trying a small press. Pen-L Publishing was the first small press to receive the manuscript. To my great joy, it was accepted, but on the condition that I write two more books within the next two years and turn the original into a series. A three-book contract! How lucky can you get? My publisher asked if I could do it, and I said, “Piece of cake.” The truth was I didn’t have a clue how to write a series. However, I got busy and studied everything I could lay my hands on about series writing, and soon book two, IN THOSE DAZZLING DAYS OF ELVIS was underway. It just so happened that book one lent itself nicely to the idea that came to me for the two follow-up books. I did extensive research and found the story falling into place as if it had been intended all along.
Tell us about how the cover came to be.
The covers for all three of my books are my own art work. The medium was oil on canvas. I chose the cover scenes to reflect aspects of the story line. I typically paint only for relaxation, but I was passionately inspired to paint the cover for IN THOSE FIRST BRIGHT DAYS OF ELVIS before I knew it was going to be part of a series. One of the key scenes in the book takes place in the oil fields outside the town where the book is set. I wanted to depict that scene and the leading male character’s car. It was not easy for me to paint a car, but I searched the Internet for the make and model I wanted for the character and followed the picture of it to create the painting. The covers for IN THOSE DAZZLING DAYS OF ELVIS and IN THOSE GLORY DAYS OF ELVIS (coming soon) are a Dairyette and a Drive-In, respectively, symbolic hangouts for kids all over the country in the mid-fifties. The leading man’s car is featured in both of those paintings as well, and the pink and white Cadillac Elvis Presley was driving at that time is on the cover of book two.
Talk about the character, Julie. Was she based on your own experiences or completely fictional?
I don’t know how anyone can write and not rely on their life experiences. Although the character of Julie is a creation of my imagination, and my life story is not her story, I did call on feelings I’d had growing up with regard to acceptance or rejection by other kids, interaction with parental figures and teachers, and those first stirrings of love we all feel as we stand on the brink of adulthood. To create the character of Julie, I began with a biography of her life—when she was born, her hair and eye color, and most important, major conflicts I needed to make the book(s) compelling. When I set out to write IN THOSE FIRST BRIGHT DAYS OF ELVIS, I wanted to bring to life for kids today a story of historical importance set in the time when the world seemed brighter and more innocent than it does today. I wanted to bring kids of today into a world of fun and good times such as existed when Rock ‘n’ Roll came on the scene. I soon discovered, however, that no one would be interested in just the good times. To create a powerful plot, I had to conjure up trouble and more trouble for the leading character. The biography of Julie expanded into biographies of her fictional mother and father, and many of her relatives and friends. Since kids from small towns in those days cruised around in glitzy American cars, Julie and each of her friends had to have access to a car that would suit the characters. Very few kids in small southern towns owned their own cars, so parents and their economic situation had to be also considered when choosing an automobile for each kid to drive. Selecting the car models was one of the most fun things about writing the series. The character of Bubba John Younger stepped into Book two completely unplanned for and demanded a red and white convertible. Needless to say, I accommodated him. This may be the place to add that almost everyone I know thinks they are in my books, and the ironic thing is, Elvis Presley is the only actual person I allowed into this imaginary world.
How did Elvis influence your writing?
Elvis Presley came on the scene when rock ‘n’ roll was in its infancy and he went on to become known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I love his music and decided to use him as an iconic figure that would help illustrate to kids today how their music got its start. Although all concerts, recordings, movies and television appearances have been researched for accuracy as to when they occurred, the dialogue of the Elvis character in the books is completely fictional.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you pick?
This is a difficult question for me to answer, having spent most of my adult life playing other characters in theatre and film. I came to value being myself more than being someone else and acting various roles during those years, and when the time came for me to retire and write, (which I had always intended to do), I had fulfilled the need for recognition through creating a character in performance. However, fictional characters I admire fall primarily under the heading of historical fiction. I got interested in writing historical fiction by reading it. If you haven’t read Anya Seton’s Katherine, set in 14th century England, you have a treat coming, for this was a real person who went from obscurity to become the Duchess of Lancaster, and whose offspring became British royalty. Another of my favorite historical characters is Bernadine Eugenie Desiree Clary, who was the first love of Napoleon Bonaparte and who became Queen of Sweden. I might add that her progeny still sits on the Swedish throne. The book is called Desiree, by Annemarie Selinko. Classroom history books were typically dry and served as a sleep aid more often than not, but by reading novels about historical characters, I developed an interest in history and followed up the fictional accounts in novels with accurate historical information about the individuals’ lives.
What is your favorite book?
I love so many books it is hard to narrow it down to one favorite. I find Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books to be a great comfort in my life, and whenever I am sick or feeling out of sorts, or looking for comfort, reading one of hers can soothe my spirits and restore me to a happy state. Of course, Gone with the Wind is an all-time favorite of mine, and believe it or not, I read that book over fifty times hoping each read would unveil some miniscule detail I’d missed that would reveal to me whether Scarlett got Rhett back. In fact, I became a writer because of Gone with the Wind.
The same is true of singers. I adore so many that it is hard to pick just one. Included in my list are: the Bee Gees, the Beatles, Arlo Guthrie, the Moody Blues, Procol Harum, the Carpenters, Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, among many, but of course Elvis Presley is at the top of the list.
Find her books here:
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Star Series, Dating the It Guy, & Can Dreams Come True