Showing posts from November, 2011

Getting ready for the Holiday Bazaar

Stuff spreads. I've got boxes, books and papers all over the spare bed, bookmarks waiting to be sliced and diced on the desk, stray books and calendars waiting to be packed on the shelves... and my Mum's arriving next Tuesday! Luckily the bazaar's on Friday and Saturday, so that gives me plenty of time to tidy her bedroom doesn't it??? I'm glad I'm only doing one bazaar this year; Oak Hills usually run a good one. Oh, and there are tons of leaves outside waiting to be raked. Leaves spread too.

Reading with coffee

Someone asked how many books I read in a week . I think it's about six--less if they're long (think Stephen King), more if they're short (like my own Flower Child). Do I speed-read, my friend asked next. But I'm not sure what speed-reading means. I skip bits sometimes, then check back and work out what parts to cut from my novel.Some books grab me so I know I can't miss a word (think Stephen King again). Those are the ones I put on the outside of my bookshelves (two deep, two high... you get the picture), but they're not always the ones that take longest to read. Short books can grab me just the same. Do I read ebooks? Yes, definitely. And what have I read this week? Read books. Drink coffee. (At six books a week, I need a lot of coffee!) The Depressed Guy's Book of Wisdom, by Doug Westberg , might seem a strange choice for me, but I really enjoyed it. A book full of humor, written about depression, laugh out loud funny and deeply touching and intri

Win a Free Copy of Chill Run!

Russell Brook's Chill Run comes out on Thursday. It's the story of a publicity stunt gone seriously wrong, and here I am, coming off my first ever blog tour--the closest I've ever come to a publicity stunt. With classic action, carchases, likeably inept hero, scary enemies, great dialog, zany twists and turns... what more could you want? Click here for my review of Chill Run , and click here for Russell Brook's Chill Run contest . All you have to do is leave your email address by the end of November 30th. Good luck! And enjoy!

A book in hand...

I love my kindle, but all the same, a book in hand is surely worth two or three on the kindle. It's visible. I notice the cover (kindle books always open at the first page so I keep missing those good pictures). It inspires my family to ask what I'm reading this time (all the more so when one of the covers looks like a favorite board game.) But... thinking of covers... I have to show you the latest cover image for Divide by Zero, my novel coming next summer from Stonegarden. I love it (look, there's even a garnet in her collar!). It makes all the editing feel worthwhile. Meanwhile, here are the real books, with real book covers, that I've read recently, plus coffee recommendations, of course. The Settlers of Catan, by Rebecca Gable , is a huge historical novel of Viking village life, set on the mythical island of Catan and filled with real world research that brings history instantly to life. Based on the board game, this novel stands perfectly well on its own and

Shadows from the Past: Guest Post with Ashley Dawn

It's Thanksgiving! Thank you to all my blog readers, my book readers, and the many people who've encouraged me in writing. Thank you to my editors at Gypsy Shadow and Stonegarden for their endless patience and the wonderful lessons they've taught me. Thank you to my online friends on Gather, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Lunch, Google, Blogger, etc. And thank you to my family and real-world friends in England, the US and beyond. Above all, thanks be to God for His wonderful gifts. Today I'm privileged to welcome Ashley Dawn, author of Shadows from the Past , to my blog. You can find my review of Shadows from the Past here --one of the first books I reviewed online! It's lovely to read Ashley's post and learn some more about her. I wish you all the best with your Shadows books Ashley. And thank you for visiting my blog today. Good morning!  I thought since today is Thanksgiving, I thought a post about things I’m thankful for would be appropria

Reading on my Kindle, editing on my computer

Lessons learned from editing my novel... Write a timeline. Print a timeline. Post the timeline next to my computer. Check the timeline. Double-check the timeline. Print it out again whenever it changes. My editor wasn't sure how the timeline worked in my novel, so I've been checking and fixing it. Events that took two years in the original draft clearly happen in one year now, which means the girl driving to the Christmas dance is only 15, which means I have to move her birthday back from January to November... Arhghghgh! So many mistakes! But it's coming together and I hope to meet my deadline--the end of this week. If I meet it by Thursday I'll have something extra to be thankful for. But I'm certainly thankful for a good editor who spotted the problem and gave me the confidence to believe I can fix it. Lessons learned from reading on my kindle... pdfs can be a pain when the fonts keep changing size. New reading glasses help. Here are the ebooks I&

Guest Post--creativity and CEOs

I read a fascinating little book called Creatively Ever After a little while ago (click here for my review of Creatively Ever After ). I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but if you look at the cover you'll see why it intrigued me. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, and by how relevant well-remembered nursery rhymes becamse as I got involved in reading. Today I'm delighted to welcome the author, Alicia Arnold, to my blog to tell you all about Jack and Jill, CEOs and more. Thank you for joining us Alicia... For all the CEO talk about creativity being the number one leadership competency for the future there’s a decline of creativity in America. But, there’s a well kept secret. What is that secret you ask? The secret is creativity can be taught. Not only can you learn to be more creative, but techniques like creative problem solving have been tested and retested over the past 50 years and proven to be effective. With the goal of helping to sol

Gratitude blog hop Nov 16th

Yes! It's the Gratitude Blog Hop, courtesy of WoMen's Literary Cafe. I'm thanking Melissa Foster for sharing this wondering post. And for offering a free book--read on to find out more (and leave a comment with your email address). In fact, lots of authors are offering free gifts today, so just follow the links, enjoy some wonderful posts, and add these gifts of Gratitude to your reading list. Gratitude, by Melissa Foster If you are following our blog hop, then you are reading many blogs about gratitude. I’m going to present this one from a little different slant. Enjoy! G – Giving without expecting something in return is the best gift of all. R – Receiving is a sign that you are appreciated. Share it with someone else. Pay—it-forward A – Appreciation can be shown in many forms; a smile, a thank you, a gift, or even just a wave. It’s easy to do. Reach out, show your appreciation for others. T – Thanking someone is one way to show you appreci

One more stop on the Flower Child Blog Tour

Yes, Flower Child's still out there--ghost or angel--ereader or computer... And here's a bonus stop on the Flower Child blog tour, with an interview brought to you by Jeanz at JeansBookReadNReview: . Many thanks Jeanz, and I wish I knew how you do those neat scrolling buttons! Hope to see you on on Jeanz' site. I'll check in during the day to answer any questions you leave for me. Meanwhile don't forget to check out some more of Jeanz" great reviews and interviews on the rest of her site. For those who asked, yes I will write a post on how the blog tour went, but I'm editing Divide by Zero on a deadline until Thanksgiving. I'll get there eventually...


An ocean of leaves is lapping at my door and the cupboards are growing suspiciously bare of cheese, but I got the manuscript back from my editor yesterday, so I've other games to play. Here, for anyone interested in editing their own writing, are some of the things I've found I have to work on. Who knows, they might apply to you too. Commas . Hey, this is a big improvement for me. I used to be told I used way too many semi-colons, but now we're down to something much less iniquitous. I try to be grammatically correct in using commas but readers, it seems, will view them as intrusive in print, so instead I must use them only when necessary. Overly profuse similes and metaphors . They may be vivid and valuable, but I might want to save a few for later books. Comic relief . The story's kind of heavy and a little light music might play well. Since there are three kids and a cat amongst the main characters, plus two dogs and other assorted children, that shouldn't

Everything for Froggy Boots

I'm delighted to welcome author Jill Martin to my blog today. I reviewed her delightful board book Froggy Boots go with Everything yesterday, and today she's here to answer some questions. So, where did the book Froggy Boots come from, and who is it written for? To me, Froggy Boots Go With Everything is for children as much as for their grown-ups.   Froggy Boots is a celebration of the wonderfully imaginative spirit that drives young children in everything they do.   Children bring new meaning and new life to the world around them in all the games they play.    Just like other parents, I loved watching my young children invent and explore as they played.   In the house, in the yard, everywhere they went, ingenuity was at work.   It was fascinating and inspiring to catch those glimpses into their world.   Every leaf, stick and rock; toy, stuffed animal and measuring cup; cushion, blanket and hamper – all provided endless fun.   Clothing was no exceptio

An eclectic mix of books reviewed this week

I'm still not sure how it got to be November. Doesn't that mean it's Christmas next month? Not to mention Thanksgiving coming soon? Help! I set myself a target to finish reading my backlog before the end of the year, but I don't know if I'll meet it. Still, here goes with a fairly random selection of books, ideally suited to my (and the weather's) rapidly changing moods. Enjoy reading. Enjoy coffee! I'll start with a nice little board book: Froggy Boots goes with Everything, by Jill Zabkar Martin . Froggy boots are perfect for splashing in puddles, and this is definitely the time of year to get this for your young one--enjoy reading, enjoy pictures, and the odd drip of coffee will easily wipe off--enjoy a 1-star light crisp cup. Plus... author Jill Zabkar Martin will visit my blog tomorrow to tell you more! Don't miss it! The intriguing and scary teen adventure, The Hour of Tiamat, by Lisa M Taylor , is a novel that mixes Christian concepts and Mayan

Why I love my editors

Denise Bartlett was my editor for each of my Gypsy Shadow books. Shirley Anne Howard is reading my novel Divide by Zero at the moment, as my editor for Stonegarden. And I couldn't be happier. Why do I love my editors? I love seeing the words I wrote turn into words worth writing--that diet I put my book on leaves me with something smoother flowing, richer, like tasting cream instead of milk in the coffee. I love seeing my word-pictures through new eyes and getting the chance to remove those distortions and specks I hadn't noticed--like filtering out the grounds before serving the cup. I love the comfort of knowing if I missed something obvious (me English, reader American), it will be found before it's released--the coffee blend can still turn out right, neither too bitter nor too mild. And I love knowing a second pair of eyes has spotted the unfilled holes in time-line or plot that I, being over-familiar with the tale, leapt over unseeing. Soon that precious drink o

I've just updated my blog

It felt like it was time... I've finally learned what badges are there for and how to get them, so I've added a few... And I've learned about pages... And I've tried to gather together related blogposts into pages... And... There's a page of interviews, but if you've interviewed me and I forgot to put it there, I'd really appreciate a reminder. If I missed you from my guest posts page I'd love a reminder there too... I've written way more posts than I'd realized. Sorting by labels helped me find them, but it would work work much better if I a) spelled the labels correctly (or at least consistently--book review, boo review...), b) didn't keep changing the words (blog tour, book tour, blog tours, tour...), and c) remembered to use them. Anyway, if you've time to wander, I'd really appreciate any comments on the new stuff. Meanwhile, it's time to write...

A little romantic reading for Guy Fawkes night?

I'm still trying to work out how to post my blogtalkradio interview on my blog--I probably need to read  more how-to-do-it articles, but instead I've been reading novels and story-books, trying to catch up on my reviewing backlog. If you want to listen to me talk about Flower Child (and many other things), just follow this link Then, while it plays, you can come back here and see what I've been reading. (Don't forget the coffee too--coffee ratings for content, not quality, since every tale requires a different brew.) Starting with a wonderful literary tale, The Twoweeks, by Larry Duberstein reflects the many faces of love in the relationship of two people taking a two-week break from their lives. Happily married, but not to each other, the poet and the actor play roles that neither intended, but fate's a kinder playwright than it seems in this intriguing tale. Drink a 4-star complex-flav

BLOG TOUR: Blogtalkradio interview TODAY !

HELP! I'm on internet radio today, talking on a telephone (never my favorite thing) about Flower Child and whatever else comes up. I'd love to hear from you. Anjuelle Floyd interviews Sheila Deeth on her show Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters airing live at 12 Noon PT, 1pm MT, 2pm CT, and 3pm ET Call in on (347) 215-7740  

Come Back to Me! 99 cents

No, I'm not asking you to pay for my blog tour, but there's a lovely book called Come Back to Me being released today with a great 99 cent deal. Head on over to The Women's Literary Cafe and you'll find that's not the only deal--a fantastic launch party and really good read. Melissa Foster, is the award-winning author of Chasing Amanda and Megan's Way, and you can tell I enjoy her writing since I've already read all three books. Click the links for... my review of Megan's Way my review of Chasing Amanda and my review of Come Back to Me . Then go on over and enjoy the party! for the 99 cent book event, and for more about the author, plus a really neat video trailer! Come Back to Me tells the tale of a photographer in Iraq and a wife back home, separated by reports of the photographer's death. Tess determines not to believe the reports while everyone else says move