Saturday 29 September 2012

The Mancode: Exposed by Rachel Thompson

  FREE from 28th September to 30th September 
I completely recommend it to any married woman who's had the "who's doing the dishes" discussion. I'll be posting my review and an interview with this fascinating writer a littler later but so far it's had me and hubs in stitches. 
Genre – Humor / NonFiction
Rating – PG13
Connect with Rachel Thompson on Twitter & Facebook
About the book
***You will either LOVE this controversial book or you will HATE it. If you have no sense of humor, DO NOT BUY IT.***
  • ‘I’m over forty. I don’t have a blankie. I have vodka.’
  • Note: this is not a book of advice, how-to, or self-help. The author deconstructs stereotypes with satire. Totally different concept.
  • ‘I write about men, women, sex, & chocolate. My experiences, my truth, my martinis.’
  • *Note: Thompson employs hashtags (i.e., the # sign) in her collection. Google it. These are not typos, people #deargod.
  • Looking for a humorous take on family relationships or love and romance? Look no further.
  • Praise for The Mancode: Exposed – already a #1 bestseller in Marriage, Parenting & Families AND Parenting & Relationships!
–As a long time warrior in the Battle of the Sexes, I would’ve won a lot more skirmishes had I had a copy of Mancode in my saddle. Reaching back toward my shotgun, I would’ve found this collection. Instead of shooting the man, I could’ve said, “Stop acting like a man!” Buy Mancodeand stop wasting bullets. ~ Beth Wareham, author Power of No
–Finally! A woman who gets what I’m going through every day, from that whole spitting thing to my deep abiding love for chocolate. Well done! ~ Amber Scott, author of #1 Kindle bestsellers IRISH MOON, FIERCE DAWN, WANTED
–Mancode: Exposed is a scathingly funny, rapid fire and heartfelt look at men. Author Rachel Thompson delivers a satirical piece that invokes strong shades of Penny Marshall and Seth McFarlane. ~ Casey Ryan, Host & Creator, Cutting Room Floor radio program

Thursday 27 September 2012

Banned Books Week H0P

My giveaway is 5 copies of  Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, first published in 1928. The first edition was printed privately in Florence, Italy, with assistance from Pino Orioli; an unexpurgated edition could not be published openly in the United Kingdom until 1960. (A private edition was issued by Inky Stephensen's Mandrake Press in 1929.) The book soon became notorious for its story of the physical relationship between a working-class man and an upper-class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.

Follow me on my Blog, Twitter or GoodReads

Leave me a comment so I'll know who you are.

*Random winner will be picked and emailed on 10th October 2012

*This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books

#Orangeberry Book Review - Superheroes Wear Faded Denim by Law Reigns



Bingham Wade lives a solitary life. He leaves his mountain cabin rarely, mostly to do private contract work finding lost children. Cynical and lonely, bound by regret to the past, a photo of a lost girl with curly red hair forces him to his porch in the middle of the night, where he searches the internet for a woman he lost twenty years ago.

Claire Caviness is married and owns an art gallery in Savannah. When she returns to NC for a funeral, things begin to happen: she inherits money, buys a big handsome horse, reconnects with her father, and suddenly, things she lost in the past return to her.

#Orangeberry Book Review - Signs That Might Be Omens by Billie Hinton

Moving On
Must Read

Bingham Wade lives a solitary life. He leaves his mountain cabin rarely, mostly to do private contract work finding lost children. Cynical and lonely, bound by regret to the past, a photo of a lost girl with curly red hair forces him to his porch in the middle of the night, where he searches the internet for a woman he lost twenty years ago.

Claire Caviness is married and owns an art gallery in Savannah. When she returns to NC for a funeral, things begin to happen: she inherits money, buys a big handsome horse, reconnects with her father, and suddenly, things she lost in the past return to her.

#PUYB Book Review - Autumn Winds by Charlotte Hubbard

Thought Provoking
Moving On

Winds of change are blowing through Willow Ridge, and they're bringing a stranger to the Sweet Seasons Bakery. At first, widowed Miriam Lantz has misgivings about Ben Hooley, a handsome but rootless traveling blacksmith. But as she gets to know the kind-hearted newcomer, she wonders if his arrival was providential. Perhaps she could find love again--if only there weren't so many obstacles in the way. 

With Bishop Knepp relentlessly pursuing her hand in marriage and the fate of her beloved cafĂ© at stake, Miriam must listen to God and her heart to find the happiness she longs for and the love she deserves. 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

#Orangeberry Book Feature - Dana White: King of MMA

One cannot deny the immense popularity of Dana White in the MMA community and business world. Dana has millions of fans around the world; he has been invited to speak at Oxford University in England, Harvard University and at Bill Gates yearly conference of the world’s 200 most noteworthy individuals. Dana has made himself a multimillionaire before the age of forty, and has received many awards since taking over as President of the UFC, but who is this individual.

Who is Dana White? What is known about Dana White outside of what he tells the media about himself?

This is a biography of Dana White, no myths, no lies, no tales, nothing but the truth about the boy, the man, the king, the dictator.
Author’s Note
I have written a book about my son, Dana White who is owner of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). As many of you know, my son has created a fan base of millions in the United States and around the world. Under my son’s leadership, the very sport of mixed martial arts has emerged into an international billion dollar enterprise in a very short period of time.
I could really use some help picking a new title for my book. It is an unauthorized biography that speaks of many aspects of my son’s life. The book chronicles who Dana used to be, where he came from and the person he has ultimately become. Please submit your entriesHERE. 
Buy Now @ Amazon 
Genre – Biographies & Memoir
Rating – PG13
More details about the book
 Connect with June White on Twitter

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Author Interview - Billie Hinton

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Literary Fiction / Romance
Rating – R
More details about the book
 Connect with Billie Hinton on Twitter & November Hill
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. I think it tells a good story.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?  Claire-obscure is another book in the Claire Quartet, and it is already published. I have another adult novel and a middle grade novel published as well. Readers can already find these on Amazon. In the works: book three in the Claire Quartet, book two in the middle grade series, two nonfiction books, one on writing, the other on living with horses, and another adult novel.
What inspired you to want to become a writer? I am not sure, except that I have been an avid reader since age 3. I wanted to write before I knew how to make the letters of the alphabet. I don’t know where that came from – but it was there early and has persisted mightily.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. I’ve gotten emails from readers who “get” the books. I think having someone I don’t know read my books and truly get the characters is my favorite result of publication.
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be? Hmmm… that is a difficult choice. Today it would be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I guess I’d like to jump in for the first book and go all the way through the series!
What is your dream cast for your book? I lived and worked in Hollywood for a time, so I know there is no way anyone ever really gets to pick a dream cast – I would hope the film would be cast well. I’d rather see new, unknown actors in the roles of Claire, Bingham, and Raoul than known ones, but you know, if Hollywood wants to pay me enough money, they can do what they want with the film.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? I loved the James Herriott series.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? Each of my books has its own playlist of songs that I listen to for inspiration. The one I’m hooked on right now that speaks to many of my female main characters is a song called Last of the Happy by Eva Trout.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Enjoy the process. Publication is wonderful, but if you don’t love the hours in the chair, writing and editing and editing some more, find something else to do.
What is your favorite Quote? I have about a million favorite quotes, but today, this one: The Word is still spoken in sparrowsong, windsigh, and leaffall. An electron is a single letter, an atom a complex word, a molecule a sentence, and an indigo bunting an entire epistle of the sacred. The ocean whispers its mystery within the chambered sea shell. Listen quietly to the longing in your heart for love and justice and you may hear an echo of the holy word that addresses you. Hush for a while. Be still and know.
How did you know you should become an author? I think I was born wanting to write. It never occurred to me not to.
Who are your favorite authors of all time? Ellen Gilchrist, Jean Rhys, Charles Frazier, Michael Ondaatje.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Sure. Oddly enough I see more of myself in the male characters than the female ones.
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? I’m thinking of taking my middle grade magical pony school novels, adding some nonfiction content aimed at women, and calling it the Fairy Tale For Horse Women series.
How do you react to a bad review? I appreciate every review. No book is for everyone, and thank goodness there are so many out there for readers to find the ones that move them. When I get a bad review, it sometimes stings a bit, but I realize that even the bad reviews mean one thing: the book is out there, it’s flying. That’s what it’s about.
If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why? I used to care a lot about signed copies of novels, but I’ve lost that attachment lately. I would like something signed by Paul Bowles though – he and I corresponded for years but it never occurred to me to get him to sign a book!
Which authors have influenced you most and how? Lawrence Durrell. His Alexandria Quartet blew me away when I was in my late teens. I loved his use of differing perspectives to tell the same story, and that is what I am doing with the Claire Quartet. (claire-obscure and Signs That Might Be Omens are the first two books of this group)
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again. Oh my. I have coffee and read email, then head to the barn. I often don’t make it back in the house until the afternoon. On good days I get to ride and write. On the less than good days I act as chauffeur and errand runner. I spend time with my husband when he gets home from work, and we try to cook good meals even though everyone takes their plate the heads to their own space these days. I read as long as I can before sleep takes me over. I’m a night owl who can no longer stay up into the wee hours of the night!
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? I don’t remember! Usually I’m on into the next book so don’t think much about celebrating those that are already out of the nest.
Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is…. Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. It is stunningly beautiful.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? Raul Correa. He’s a friend and I love his work. His novel I Don’t Know But I’ve Been Told could be considered a companion piece to my first novel Claire-obscure.I’d love to write something with him. He is a master.

Author Interview - Valarie Lovelight

Please tell us in one sentence only why we should read your book. If you believe yourself to be a good person, it will make you question your actions toward others and open your heart and mind to seeing people differently.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Yes, I have a few books I’m working on and looking forward to publishing another by December. I’m also teaching on the importance of love, and will at some point do a training session on the various types of grief.
What inspired you to become a writer? I always loved to read different types of books when I was a child, as well as to journal. I would mostly write poems and short stories. I always wished I could write but never thought about writing until 2002. I actually wrote a nonfiction book but never published it. I didn’t decide to follow through with my desire until 2009.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? My books were Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries and Harlequin.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? Perri Sisters “No Place to Go” or Michael Jackson’s “In Our Small Way.”
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Being that I’m one of those aspiring authors, I can only say: do your research and connect with other authors and writing groups. First, find out what not to do. It will save you a lot of headaches, time, and money in the end.
How did you know you should become an author? I had something I wanted to share with others.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Yes, I see a little of myself in all of them.
How do you react to a bad review? I don’t take it personally. I understand not everyone is going to like what I write. But I do read every review to see why they may not like it to make sure it’s not something other than taste and/or preference.
If someone wrote a book about your life, what would it title be? Hmm, hopefully “Love in Action” or “Learning to Love on Another Level because that’s what I’m always trying to be and do.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to coauthor a book with?There are so many great authors, but for right now with my writing I’d say Hill Harper. His desire for people to develop open and honest communication in relationships is needful in building stronger families and children.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Christian Fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the book
 Connect with Valarie Lovelight on Facebook & Twitter

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim by Law Reigns

Blissany Cherry is tired of sleeping around. Her neurologists’ sleep solutions have failed her. Now that her bizarre sleeping habits have begun to include week long dreams she has resorted to her own methods for a cure.
METHOD ONE: CONTROL DREAMS. All attempts to morph dreams about a gorgeous warrior into romantic fantasies are thwarted. He keeps on insisting she is destined to marry a great king and lead their armies into war. At the end of every dream he asks her: will you fight the war and save mankind? She laughs in his face.
METHOD TWO: RESIST! Blissany has plans for her life. None include fighting an intergalactic war. When her dreams begin spilling over into reality, she is forced to make a decision that will forever redefine her life. Standing between destiny and desire, she is left with only one option.
Buy Now @ Amazon  and Barnes & Noble
Genre – Fantasy Romance
Rating – PG13
Connect with Law Reigns on Facebook  & GoodReads

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Stuck in a Good Book G!veaway

My giveaway is 3 sets of Two Moons of Sera (Vol. 1 to 3)

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Leave me a comment so I'll know who you are.

*Random winner will be picked and emailed on 30th September 2012

*This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Stuck in Books

#OBSummer Book Review - Reality Bites, Tales of A Half-Vampire by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger

Science Fiction
Middle Grade
Coming of Age

Growing up in a family of vampires, witches, werewolves, and other assorted embarrassments can be tough on a girl who is just trying to be normal and fit in, especially if the family has other ideas. When the school plans a Halloween ball, dressing up proves to be a lot harder than it should. MacKenzie has high hopes to at least talk with the boy she likes, but first she has to make it out of the house ALIVE, or at least looking like she's not Half-Dead.

What is a "good" girl to do? When reality bites, she may need more than a little bit of family MAGIC to see her through.

#Orangeberry Book Review - More Water, Less Meat by Bruno McGrath

Carbon Footprint

“If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water.” Ismail Serageldin (1995)

On average, 1 person drinks between 2 to 4 litres of water per day but providing for their solid foods can take up to 5,000 litres of water per day. To produce 1kg of beef, it takes 40,000 litres of water. The process of growing 1 bale of Alfalfa, which is used as feed for Kobe beef, takes approximately 70,588 litres of water.

1 kg of wheat uses only 200 litres of water and 1 kg of rice uses 1,000 to 3,000 litres. With this in mind, the average vegetarian diet uses 1,135 litres per day compared to a meat eater who uses 15,141 litres of water per day. United Nations - Water (2012)

Many people do not see these facts as a tangible reason for the ongoing global water shortage. Most cannot seem to make the connection between meat production and water.

This ebook will focus on the feasibility of maintaining a vegetarian diet and decreasing meat consumption to preserve the global water supply, while pointing out the key problem areas as to how this situation came about in the first place. It will also take a close look at the causes of the reducing water supply which include man made causes, financial gain and problems created by natural disasters or circumstances.

#Orangeberry Book Review - The Art of Change by Kelly Andria

New York

When gallery owner Nellie, a giving yet neurotic New Yorker, brings together the mismatched cast of characters in the opening of Ryan Whittaker’s debut, a phallic show, little does she know that she is setting the scene for odd and unpredictable relationships, much like Shakespeare in Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The frenzied, magical mix-up is an outrageous farce with a deep moral message: there is a RIGHT place for everyone in this world and love and friendship cement us in it.

The Art of Change is a funny, smooth reading romance, which deals with bridging differences in gender, education, social milieu, in an insane but pragmatic, modern fairytale, set in New York City.
The twists of the plot are written without an ounce of cynicism but simply acknowledging that life is neither here nor there, neither black or white and all can be dealt with in real friendship and love.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

#AuthorSandbox - Author Interview - Ann Pearlman & Terri Giuliano Long

From the 19th to 21st of September, award-winning bestseller Terri Giuliano Long and Pulitzer prize nominee Ann Pearlman will be joining together to share their experiences of different publishing journeys.
In celebration of this great event, Ann and Terri are also giving away paperback copies of their novels, plus a Kindle Fire!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. A Gift for My Sister is a riveting novel exploring the depth of the heart as two sisters embark on a journey in each other’s shoes and on that long road remake themselves and their family.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. The publicity from theChristmas Cookie Club  reunited one of my friends with her sister! (want to read more about this:
What is your dream cast for your book?
Michelle Williams for Sky because she reveals huge amounts of emotion in small gestures.  She can portray a cautious, yet internally anxious and angry, character.
Katherine McPhee for Tara because she can sing, act, and has an edge.  She can do impetuous, loving and self-sacrificing.
T.I. for Aaron/Special Intent because he looks and raps a bit as I imagine Aaron.  And he has experience in front of a camera.
Cathy Bates for Allie , the friend who helps them on their journey across the country, because she can be wise, loving, yet tough, bridging those characteristics effortlessly.
Alfre Woodward for Sissy (Aaron’s mom) because of her welcoming warmth.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Write, write, write! But only if you have to.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? A movie was made from my memoir, Infidelity.   Kim Delaney played me, but the plot was turned around 180 degrees so she was exactly opposite me. Strange.
How did you know you should become an author? I knew I loved writing by the time I was in high school.  If “author” means writer who is sort of professional…I guess that was when  my second book was published and I went on a book tour.
Who are your favorite authors of all time? Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, David Mitchell, Toni Morrison, Julian Barnes, Jodi Picoult
Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Like people one dreams about, I think all characters are pieces or parts of the writer’s personality.  So I see parts of myself—fears, hopes, desires, — in all of my characters.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year? The movie of Cloud Atlas.   I loved the book.
How do you react to a bad review? First, I’m hurt and want to argue with the negatives.  Then I reread  and try to decide if there’s something I can learn from the criticism or if is it simply a matter of taste.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again. Write from 8-12. Work out  Paint, clean house, read Cook dinner, Hang out with friends or family/watch tv/ read, talk on the phone. Go to sleep at about 11:30, reading in bed.

What is one book everyone should read?
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. This powerful novel transports us to a harsh post-apocalyptic world, where humans have been reduced to animal instinct—for the inhabitants of this world, murder and cannibalism are a means of survival.
In this unforgiving environment, McCarthy gives us a tender, elegantly rendered father and son. In their travels, the man and his son meet horrific challenges and hardships, yet they face each challenge with dignity and grace. Near death, the man says to his son: “You have my whole heart. You always did.” Years after reading the novel, the love of this father and son—their amazing bond—awes and inspires me.
This stunning work ends unexpectedly, with a promise of rebirth and renewal.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Jesus. Growing up Catholic, I don’t think I fully appreciated the historical Jesus. A few years ago, considering a PhD in theology, I took two grad courses. The critical analyses fascinated me—literary, historical, archeological, feminist, etc.—and I realized how relevant the readings continue to be. From a humanist perspective, Jesus was a brilliant man with a tremendous capacity for love and forgiveness. He loved, trusted and forgave even those who didn’t deserve love, trust or forgiveness, and he forgave out of strength, not weakness. I’d love the chance to learn from him.
Pet Peeves?
Selfishness and entitlement bother me. We share one world with limited resources. Circumstances sometimes require privileging certain people – for instance, in a health emergency medical personnel must be first to receive medical attention so they can care for the rest of us. In everyday life, there is no excuse for pushing and shoving. We’re all in a hurry. We all want what we want. That doesn’t give us the right to cut the line or demand special treatment. In a piece called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum writes that he learned, among other things, to: “share everything; play fair; don’t hit people; put things back where you found them; clean up your own mess; don’t take things that aren’t yours; say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.” There is a lot of wisdom in those lessons.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
In Leah’s Wake, about a family in transition, tells a topical story that people relate to, but it’s also about the need for community and connection and, although sometimes sad, offers hope and redemption.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 
I’m currently at work on a psychological thriller with a historical twist. Nowhere to Run takes place in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire.
After the brutal unsolved murder of her six-year-old daughter, award-winning writer Abby Minot had put her laptop away. A year later, emerging from a deep depression, she accepts her first assignment, a human-interest story on the wealthy and powerful Chase clan, the immediate family of Matthias Chase—a wildly popular congressman from northern New Hampshire.
Congressman Chase—a self-described “new Republican,” fiscally conservative, socially just—has built his platform on unsubstantiated claims that his ancestors were abolitionists. When a subterranean chamber is discovered under a barn on the family property, the Chase estate is declared an official stop on the Underground Railroad. Soon after, Chase launches a campaign for the presidency.
After accepting the assignment, Abby and her two surviving children travel to the Chase estate in the White Mountains for a month-long stay. In her initial research, she glimpses darkness under the shiny veneer. Digging deeper, she uncovers a shocking web of lies and betrayal, dating back to the nineteenth century. Abby soon finds herself trapped-between an editor obsessed with uncovering the truth and the town and family who will stop at nothing to ensure it stays hidden.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
When I published In Leah’s Wake, I had no clue as to what I was doing. Stupidly, too embarrassed to self-promote, I posted the book on Amazon and left it at that. I mean really left it at that– not even my parents knew I’d published the book!
I sold two copies in October, four in November, and thirty-four in December. By March, with sales lagging, I realized that if I didn’t do something my book would die. In early March, I began blogging and activated my Twitter account.
Once I got used to the idea that marketing didn’t have to mean shameless self-promotion, 24/7, I began to have fun and I actually enjoyed it. I’ve now sold close to 100,000 books. Getting there took a lot of hard work and dedication, and I’m proud of that accomplishment. Publishing In Leah’s Wake forced me out of my comfort zone. I had to learn to respect and value my work and share it with other people. It was hard and it took time to figure it all out. But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve also had the great good fortune of meeting many wonderful people!
What is your dream cast for your book?
Will Tyler – Matt Damon. Mr. Damon exudes fatherly love and protectiveness and he’s very intense. If his daughter were in trouble, I can picture him going into overdrive, like Will, and doing whatever it takes to pull her back.
Zoe Tyler – Sandra Bullock. I see her as loving, driven and ditzy, a less strident version of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mom she played in The Blind Side.
Leah Tyler – For the role of Leah, I’d search for new talent. Caroline Wakefield, as played by Erika Christensen in the film Traffic, reminded me of Leah, in her all-American beauty and stunning transformation from preppy to drug-addicted prostitute. Ms. Christensen is too old for this role, but she’d be the prototype.
Justine Tyler – Abigail Breslin. Like Justine, she’s sweet and dorky and cute. She’s also precocious and strong.
Jerry Johnson – Vince Vaughn. He’s not the guy who walks into a room and gets the girl, but he’s centered and responsible, the rock for the others to lean on.
Todd Corbett (Leah’s boyfriend) – Jordan Masek. Jordan plays the role of Todd in my trailer. In real life, Jordan is actually a very sweet guy. But he knows how to channel his inner bad boy. I can’t imagine a more appropriately cast Todd.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself. To deal with rejection, boot your computer, day after day, when it seems as if no one cares and you wonder if maybe the stars are misaligned, you have to believe in yourself.
Writing is a lonely profession. Most of the time, we’re alone with our work. That loneliness can wear on you and cause you to question yourself.  Cherish your friendships. A community of supportive writer friends can encourage and sustain you when your confidence flags.
Keep the faith. Don’t ever give up. You can make your dreams happen!
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Whenever we travel at some point in the trip I think, wouldn’t it be great to live here. But there really is no place like home. Dave and I have four daughters. Right now, our children are spread across the country—in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California—fulfilling their own journeys. When everyone is settled or finished with school, I hope to live near or within a reasonable drive of all our children. That’s my dream home.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Be grateful and appreciate others. At the end of the day, the people in our life are all we have. No one ever dies wishing she’d worked longer hours or made more money or sold more books. It’s tough, because our culture values things over people and rewards monetary success. It’s important to remember that, in fact, we’ve got it backward. People – our friends, our family, our community – are our most valuable and precious assets. It’s far easier to recognize this and appreciate others if we’re grateful for what we have and all we’ve been given.
What do you do in your free time? 
Hands down, my favorite activity is spending time with my family. I also enjoy walking and hiking, and I’m a passionate traveller and foodie. Dave and I have had the good fortune of visiting many interesting places over the years. For most of my life, I dreamed of travelling to China. It’s hard to describe the wonder of the Great Wall. From the towers, you see the wall continuing into the horizon. It’s positively breathtaking. I was awed by the power of humankind. I’ve felt this way in many places, inspired by the perseverance, creativity and ingenuity of people, awed by the beauty of the mountains, the valleys, the sun setting over the water.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
When I was a child, my mom read to us every day. Her reading instilled and nurtured a love of reading and stories. As a young child, I entertained myself by making up stories and plays. In high school, I worked as a stringer for the town paper – my first paid writing job – and I loved every minute. They paid me ten cents a word. Soon I was offered a column, called “High School News.” I wrote about anything that occurred to me or that I considered interesting, really. People actually read the column. That was exciting – and it launched my writing career.
When my children were young, I wrote news and feature articles for a local and regional paper, edited technical articles for trade magazines, and wrote marketing and web copy. In the nineties, I turned my attention to writing fiction. Early on, I published several short stories in lit magazines. In Leah’s Wake is my first novel. Nowhere to Run will be my second full-length work of fiction.
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