Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Writer's Clock--by Linda P. Kozar







































Honestly, I thought this clock was funny when I bought it--funny and improbable. That's what tickled my funny bone. But that was years ago and a lot of words have passed through my head since then. Now I see the truth in it.

Procrastinate--How many times have I done that? Usually when I'm having trouble with a plot. Like right now. Is Concrastinate a word? If there's a pro, shouldn't there be a con? And what would it mean? Taking care of things right away. Like NOW!
Wait--Waiting to get an agent, waiting to get a contract. For your publisher to send a limo driver to whisk you to the airport (first class seat, of course) to New York, where there's another limo driver waiting to ferry you to all the talk shows and events because you're the toast of the town! That bestselling author everyone is talking about. 
Idle--The place we find ourselves stuck sometimes. In between contracts. In between story ideas. Idle.
Stall--The engine was at least on during the idle phase. Now the contracts or the ideas have totally dried up and you're stalled!
Dilly--Mind is totally off of writing. Usually spring does this to me. I'd rather walk barefoot through the green grass, follow the flight paths of butterflies or watch clouds.
Dally--Still doing all the above, but getting tired of it. Not tired enough to stop yet though.
Lollygag--When my friends tempt me to meet them for lunch or go antiquing when I should be writing. Or, when I'm sitting around, leg hanging over a chair, thinking about absolutely nothing.
Hesitate--This is what I do when I over think things. Like when I read another writer's work and wonder what I'm doing trying to write. These are the times I feel like a chimpanzee pecking away at a typewriter.
Putter--No, not puttering! Anything but puttering! Save me from cleaning my closet or tackling that junk drawer! I'd rather be writing. 
Delay--When life interferes. I'm right in the middle of a great dialogue or plot and get derailed by some urgent task or somebody who needs a ride somewhere or my dog suddenly gets sick or I burn dinner because I'm not paying attention...
Late--I'm never late on a deadline. 
Suspend--A story idea that's waaaay too crazy or far-fetched--for today at least. I set it aside. Suspend!


Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/eBook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/eBook, Creative Woman Mysteries), and her nonfiction title Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild.

In addition to writing Linda is Lead Host of the Gate Beautiful Radio Show, part of the Red River Network on Blog Talk Radio—interviewing Christian authors from Debut to Bestselling, airing the 3rd Thursday of every month. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Special Guest Naty Matos

By Nancy Jill Thames
Author of the Jillian Bradley Mystery series
Nancy Jill


Author Naty Matos

From Naty:


The Turning Point

If we look at life as a journey we will see that along the path we encounter many crossroads. Depending on the side we decide to walk when we encounter those forks on the road will determine how our journey will continue.
Making the right decision at those times can be quite challenging. We may feel external or internal pressures to pursue either side of the path. We have to always remember that at the end of the day it is us and only us who will either suffer the consequences or reap the benefits of our final decision.
I know that at the same time sometimes we sit at that fork, thinking that no decision is better than the wrong one. This cannot be further from the truth. Staying stagnant will always make us more miserable that any pain that we can encounter.
I once heard Joyce Meyers say, “You have to make the best decision with the information you have at the moment. Even if it’s the incorrect one God will give you Grace because he knew you were trying to do the best with what you knew”  Those words have stayed with me for a long time and when I know that I need to make a decision, that may constitute a risk I remember these words. Obviously I research, seek counsel because I need that portion of the best information possible to assess the elements of my decision, but at the end of the day I have decisions to make to further my growth and to fulfill my purpose.
In my new book, “A Brother’s Vow” Randall has made a promise that he never thought he would need to fulfill. Then he’s face with having to make a life changing decision in order to fulfill it. Join my journey and find out if he did and if so how it turned out.

What inspired you to write this book?
am always inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son and that’s part of what inspired this story. There were times where decisions areclouded by condemnation or rebellion; so I decided to write a story from that standpoint.

How did you come up with the title?
To be honest my first title was “My promise to keep” Because the story centers around a promise that Randall, the main character, makes to his twin brother Brian and the events that follow him trying to fulfill that promise. I found that there were too many books with that title already so I changed it to “A Brother’s Vow” as it is more fitting to theme in the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That no matter how far gone or deep in trouble we think we are, God always welcomes us with open arms and there’s always the chance for new beginnings.

How much of the book is realistic?
Nothing, this is a pure work of fiction.
 
What book are you reading now?
I just finished “Waking up Married” by Mira Lynn Kelly a few weeks ago which I truly enjoyed. I’m about to start “Until Forever” by Darlene Shortridge

What are your current projects?
I have a powerful book on the subject of domestic violence titled, “Breaking Free” that is at the second draft revision and a Christmas romance novella, “Lost Love on Christmas Day” which is also at the second draft revision level. I’m hoping to be able to release those next year.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up and keep on writing. Be open to correction and feedback.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Open yourselves to the opportunity of supporting indie authors. You will find that some traditionally published books are great and some are not; the same is true for the indie books. I have recently been watching some indie movies and found some great ones. It is time to open our minds to the concept that quality doesn’t always come behind a corporate label. Happy reading!

Thank you for joining us this weekend, Naty. We wish you blessed success in all your endeavors!

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. EDT, September 24, 2013
The Rising muse office
Norcross, GA June 11, 2012:  On Tuesday, October 1st 2013 Christian Author Naty Matos launches her fourth book, “A Brother’s Vow.” This drama filled novel deals with struggles of addiction, religiosity, grief, the power of family support and faith. This Contemporary Novel expresses the reality of spiritual warfare and sends a message of hope to even those in the direst situations.

This e-book is being launched on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords. (Links attached)
(Print copies will be available within the next few weeks)
Book Description
A crazy promise made during a night out with his twin brother will change Randall’s life forever. Will he be able to keep the promise he made or will his past cause him to go against everything he’s worked hard to
achieve?
Book Blurb
Randall Benson didn't think life could be any better. His job with the family business allowed him to travel and meet new people. His relationship with his girlfriend the model, gave his access to all the red carpet events and parties, yet there was no requirement for him to be faithful. Although his family doesn't approve of his careless lifestyle, they love him and do whatever they can to keep him from self-destructing. Yet Randall’s only concern is Randall.

Randall’s world begins to come undone after a series of unexpected events. As Randall tries to settle down and become more dependable, his twin brother Brian seems to be headed down a path that Randall is way too familiar. Brian makes an unusual request that nonchalantly he agrees to keep. He never thought that he would have to keep his word, but he does. As Randall struggles to fulfill his promise to his brother, he is confronted with challenges from his past. Will he succumb to his past and risk losing everything he’s worked so hard to accomplish?


About Naty Matos
Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.

She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at
www.therisingmuse.com

Media Requests:
Naty Matos
Business 404-829-4798




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interview With A Graphic Artist - Jesse Ruiz

Hi Everyone. Since I’m planning on revealing the cover of Chasing Lady Midnight next week I thought I would post an interview with the creator Jesse Ruiz. Although writing the book is important, the cover is just as important because it is what will get the reader’s attention to begin with. So I wanted you guy’s to get to know the artist who did such a fantastic job for me. It really is a great cover, and Jesse says the idea all came from a conversation with me. Although what I said to come up with this fantastic cover I do not know. You’ll see his handiwork next week, but for now let’s get to know Jesse just a little better.

Q) Hi Jesse. Great to have you on the blog. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 


A) First, I would like to thank my family and friends. They have been supporting me since I started. I wanted to give up so many times they encouraged me to keep trying my best. This road is not easy there’s so many challenges and I’m still in school learning more and more each day.

Q) Did you always want to be an artist?


A) When I was a kid I used to color and draw a lot. I lived in the city of Los Angeles. This is what I would do to keep me entertained. I also loved using computers even though I didn’t have one I loved electronics. This is why I chose to be a graphic designer because I can create art on a computer.

Q) Did anyone or anything influence you or play a big part or role in you becoming the artist you are today and how?

A) I like many artist one of my favorite artist is Jerome Brown. I purchased one of his paintings. The picture is of two of my favorite rap artist Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. Creating art comes hand in hand with music. Listening to musicians like Tupac encouraged me a great deal. I listen to his music when I’m creating designs.

Q) Is there one particular area of graphic or website design that you enjoy the most and why?

A) I love creating all kinds of art. I’m not picky at all. The specific thing I do like a lot and that’s using a lot of bright colors. I think using many colors makes a picture come out so nice.

Q) Is Chasing Lady Midnight your first E-book cover and what did you think of the experience?


A) This is my first E-book and I loved the challenges and I loved creating it. The experience was pretty cool and I enjoyed every min creating this design.

Q) What are the challenges of lining up your vision with your clients and how do you make the two compatible? 

A) First, I like to see what the client likes and see what they’re looking for. I like to see what colors they like. Once the client gives me all there info. Then I like to give the client some details and advice.  I know from that point what the client looking for.

Q) What do you find most fulfilling and the most challenging about being a graphic designer?
A) The fulfilling thing is that I love creating art. The most challenges is when something does not come out good and only I know it. I try over and over until it does come out good. My work is me and I make sure it looks good.

Q) What do you feel a designer needs to be successful in this market today?

A) This business is very challenging and sometimes hard. Sometimes you feel like you’re not getting nowhere. Until someone hire you to do some work and gives you a chance. If you have a dream; don’t give up on your dream or your dream will give up on you. It may be a while to get where you want to go but you’ll get there.

Q) Where do you see your career going?

A) I could see my career going pretty good and far. It all in time and believing in myself and believing in the lord. My feel prayers are coming true!

Thank you for the great interview Jesse. In case you all are wondering yes Jesse and I will be collaborating again. He’s mine! I saw him first!

Just kidding.

Seriously, if you need a graphic guy Jesse is your man. His company name is Graphix and you can reach him by phone at 805-710-2302 or his e-mail address at jpr312@gmail.com.

Remember, next week is THE COVER REVEAL!

See you then.


Mystery writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. Although that is where she got her idea for The Secretary, she is not an evil mastermind. Although some of her former employers might disagree. These days she contents herself with knitting while contemplating her next diabolical plot. Story plot that is.

Current E-Books
THE REBOOT FILES:  The Mystery of Hurtleberry House, The Island of Living Trees, The Harbinger of Retribution, and The Wrong Ghost.
www.shortmysteriesandtalltales.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/CL-Ragsdale219184744858421

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 Reasons to Cruise: Bahamas via Carnival Pride

A break. Everyone needs one. We often choose a cruise because it allows us the opportunity to create our own little world in which to relax. There are plenty of little out-of-the-way spots to settle down in solitude to read, play games, savor a cup of coffee and delicious dessert, or simply stare at the sea.

Our room was lovely too. We enjoyed the balcony--a first--very much! Not that we were surprised by that, but we quickly discovered that the downside to a balcony room is the slamming doors. Our neighbors weren't very careful, and those doors are heavy--rightfully so--but I really didn't want to hear them slamming open and shut late into the night or early in the morning.

The food was delicious, the chocolate buffet was sublime, and the Pirate Pizza was wonderful place to indulge in "homemade" pizza, even to this pizza-not-my-fav-food person. We took the plunge and also enjoyed a night in David's Steakhouse, Carnival's specialty restaurant. Very nice atmosphere and the food was delicious--hey, I like french onion soup almost anyway I can get it!

Now, without further chatter, a sweep through some vacation shots of our cruise to Bahamas on Carnival Pride:
Nassau, Bahamas

Evening "turn-down" and a towel animal!

The Pride in Nassau

Nassau City Hall


Nassau

Night in Nassau

Arriving in Freeport, Bahamas

Straw Market in Freeport

Overview of Freeport


Back home to Baltimore Harbor

For the sake of those who might be curious, all photos are unaltered and were shot with my iPhone 4S.

Born and raised in Manassas, Virginia, S. Dionne Moore moved to Greencastle, PA in 1993, then to Mercersburg in 2008. Moore enjoys life in the historically rich Cumberland Valley where traffic jams are a thing of the past and there are only two stoplights in the whole town.
Moore is author of the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series as well as new historical romance release "A Heartbeat Away."


Monday, September 23, 2013

Aunt Helen and Uncle Bill's Barn

I'm just too tired to write anything tonight so I'm going to share a couple of my favorite pictures I took of my late Aunt Helen and Uncle Bill's barn. Their home place burned down several years ago and a new house has been built, but there old barn still stands. The last time I visited my childhood memories came flooding back of playing with my cousins. I miss those days! Okay couldn't get but one to load so I hope you enjoy it.













Pumpkin Bread! by Linda Kozar

Yum yum! It's that time of year, Crisp air, apple cider and the scent of freshly-baked pumpkin bread. Enjoy.


Pumpkin Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts
* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Can easily double the recipe.
Yield: Makes one loaf.



Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/eBook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/eBook, Creative Woman Mysteries), and her nonfiction title Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild.

In addition to writing Linda is Lead Host of the Gate Beautiful Radio Show, part of the Red River Network on Blog Talk Radio—interviewing Christian authors from Debut to Bestselling, airing the 3rd Thursday of every month. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.