18 significant life lessons I learned from my Mom

While working on my new book “Drama with Mama – 11 Inner Powers to Transform Your Relationship With Your Mom” (coming soon!) I decided to write down the 18 lessons I learned from my mom.

Warning! If you don’t have a sense of humor–or you’re my mom (hi Mom! how is everything?), you must leave this post now! I’m not kidding… or wait, maybe I am… definitely maybe/sort of,  who knows.

If you’re reading this, I assume you do have a sense of humor, so please enjoy.

me and my mom

Lesson Learned My mom’s words
There are some things I can’t understand “Can you open them now, and see if they’re crushable, but if they’re not, don’t open them.”
Always appreciate fine work well done “If you’re going kill each other, do it outside – I just finished cleaning the house!”
The power of a prayer “You better pray that this stain will come out of the carpet.”
The importance of good reasons “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you a reason to cry.”
The logic  of ad hoc and non sequitur arguments “Because I said so, that’s why.”
Cause and affect “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the shops with me.”
The need of foresight “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
How to avoid failures “If you don’t try, you can’t fail”
Thinking out of the box “Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!”
The need to have a flexible body “Will you “look” at the dirt on the back of your neck!”
Why I’m lonely “Going out? Who goes out on a Thursday night?”
How to find role models “Stop acting like your father!”
The future is predictable “I think one of those guys is going to win.”
How to stop world hunger “Finish your food, there are hungry people in the world.”
How to find the good in the bad “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do!”
How to enjoy the present “Just wait until your father gets home.”
How to stay young forever “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”
Why being single is a good choice
“One day you’ll have kids …and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Author of the Week: C.C.Cole, Gastar Series

This week author of the week is C.C.Cole author of The Gastar Series.

C.C.Cole is an independent writer and these are self-published novellas.  She’s also a book reviewer. Check out her blog at: http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet – https://joeyavniel.wordpress.com/category/author-of-the-week/ , and visit my new post about my coming book: Drama with Mama.

A review from Amazon: Act of Redemption – While reading this book, I found myself transported to the fantasy land of Gastar, with all its many exciting and mystical characters. The book has a Conan the Barbarian meets King Arthur vibe, with an old school, Saturday morning TV show type flavor; that I enjoyed so much as a child. The characters were totally engaging and lifelike. This is a must read for all my fellow Dungeon and Dragon fans, but be warned, once you start reading the book, you will not be able to put it down. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

About the series: Gastar Series is a series of four novellas when completed. The first, First Book of the Gastar Series was published in 2009, and the second Children of Discord was published in 2011. The third, “Point of Return” should be out by fall 2012. The novellas are medieval dark fantasy/action/adventure that follow teen assassin Shevata as she travels through the history of the city of Gastar to seek redemption for her past actions and to re-gain her soul.

I asked C.C.Cole (pen name) a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
I usually mention a strong female lead character in a dialogue-driven, action novella.

Is there anything you can tell me about your book that no one knows?
Some may know this, but the first edits of “Act of Redemption” had Shevata a much darker character than she is now.  That’s a statement to those who’ve read it.

What life experiences made you write your book?
I began writing fiction as a creative outlet following the death of my sister following a domestic violence incident.  None of the characters represent her or the situation.  I’ve done several blog and radio interviews about domestic violence, but I keep the details of her death private. I’ve written an article about it in my blog, “The Tragedy Behind the Gastar Series.”

How close are the events and characters in your story to real events and characters?
Shevata is a former child of war, so her creation is loosely based upon the many societies that use children for soldiers, as in WWII or the Khmer Rouge, just naming a couple of examples.  The antagonist charcter Zermon in “Act of Redemption” is based on my older brother’s personality, but not the evil part.  It’s now a family joke, when he gets obnoxious, we call him “Zermon.”

What was your happiest moment as an author?
When I got my first positive input from readers, through conversation and reviews.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
My audience is for people that like action, strong female leads, and less romance.  The novellas have numerous non-human characters, such as dragons, demons, and vampires, with a medieval backdrop (swords, daggers, castles, etc), so audiences with that preference tend to like the books.

When did you know you were going to be an author?
I thought I would become a writer someday when I was around 10 years old, decades ago.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them that I hope they like a fast-paced action story, because that’s what the novellas are.  These are not epics; the center of the story is the lead character.  I ask them to tell me if Shevata isn’t “bad” enough, but nobody’s said that yet.

Which author influenced you the most?
Michael Chrichton, with his style in “Timeline.”  The book is much better than the film.  He tended to break situations inside chapters, and as the chapters change, may/may not stay with the same group, thus creating a thrilling page-turning ride.

Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
I’m not sure what that would be, but I will say I write without expectation.  While I like success as much as any other author, I prefer to enjoy the journey and not use my energy to count how much money I make or make dreams of “Harry Potter-level” success.

What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
Shevata referred to blood-drinkers (vampires) as stupid.  Simon, the vampire, says, “We’re not stupid.”  She said, “Yes, you are.”  They may not seem funny written that way, but editors and readers mention that line often to me from “Children of Discord.”

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
I’d follow the example set by King Solomon and choose “Wisdom.”  Whether one is religious or not, wisdom gives the better chances of a favorable outcome regardless of the situation.  Shevata’s “super power” is telekinesis, so she can enhance weaponry with her mind, making her a nasty adversary.  Wisdom she definitely could use.

What’s next?
After the final two Gastar novellas are finished, I’m considering a medical thriller, which is more mainstream.   I hope I’ve developed enough maturity as an author to accomplish it.

Drama with Mama

Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m working on a new book. It’s called :

Drama with Mama

15 Inner Powers You Should Use to Find Your Peace and Skip Your Next Drama.

This book is a relatively short self-help book that is based on my relationships with my mom.
It’s an important lesson for anyone who has some drama in any of his current relationships.
For your eyes only, the Introduction chapter:

Is there a loved one in your life that you experience big difficulties with?
Maybe it’s your mom, your dad, your kid, or your spouse.
It doesn’t really matter who he or she is, if you have drama with a loved one, you could probably use some more inner peace. In this book I’m going to help you to tone down the drama and achieve a consistent inner peace.

My mom just hung up the phone on me, I thought. Again. My heart felt hollow and the memory of her weeping haunted me. It was a cloudy fall afternoon, about five years ago and we had just finished another fight over the phone. It seemed like we had more and more fights like that one, that autumn. Too many phone calls ended with tears. It felt like there was an angry giant sleeping in me. And she knew exactly how to wake him up. Then I’d shout and she’d cry. She wasn’t the only person that caused me to lose my temper, but she was for sure the most successful provocateur.

That fight was the biggest ever. I don’t even remember how it started, but it was big. It felt like we might never talk again, at least not in the near future. I was devastated. I love my mom. I didn’t want to fight her. I’d try to calm myself before calls with her, but with not much success. I can’t find the words to express how frustrating it was. I felt out of control, possessed by a dangerous inner monster.

Why do we hurt the people who we love the most? What can I do to stop it? I asked myself. At that time I had already had years of self-growth experience. I read books, took workshops and courses and I was definitely an improved version of my previous self. But there was one thing I couldn’t change. The volcano of anger in me, that blew off from time to time.

This volcano made me verbally attack my own mom. Say things I wish I’d never said. When the lava of anger started to climb up my chest it felt like driving a car downhill with no breaks. How can you have good relationships with people around you, when you can’t control your own anger?

On that afternoon I decided that something needed to change, and fast. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt that I was my worst enemy. It felt so helpless. How do I fight the enemy within? Can I beat it? Is there a better way than fighting it? I was very angry with myself.

I closed my eyes and desperately looked for a solution. When I opened my eyes, still with no solution, I saw the picture on the wall in front of me. It was a picture of a peaceful, sunny beach with palm trees and small huts. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I had to find a way to create inner peace; a peace that won’t be affected by other people and events. I knew I have the power in me to do that, and I was determined to uncover and then find out how to use this power.

Later on that evening I practiced the power of compassion. I talk about this power in one of the next chapters. It made me feel better. But I wasn’t looking to feel better. I was looking for a stable, persistent inner peace.

I decided to make a list of all the inner powers I have to create and maintain my inner peace. The idea was that if I have a list like this and I use it, then inner peace is guaranteed to stay with me.

A few years later, after working with my inner powers list, I’ve just finished another phone call with my mom. No, she didn’t hang up on me this time. I actually can’t remember when we last had a fight. She just got back good results from a medical test she took, and I was the first person she called, very excited to share the good news with me. We’re now best friends, and the only tears I cause her, are tears of happiness when I come to visit.

Creating peace with my mom is one of my biggest achievements on my path of spiritual growth. It’s funny how hard it is to have peace with the ones we love. Maybe it’s because we care about them so much. It felt like making a peace with myself, with my inner angry giant monster who terrorized my life.
I sometimes see people in the middle of a fight with a loved one and it reminds me how out of control I felt before I started to work with my inner power resources.
This personal peace list is one of the most powerful gifts in my life and I want to share it with you.

The first power is coming soon! Follow the blog get a notification. Don’t miss it!

Author of the Week: Tammie Clarke Gibbs, The Counterfeit

This week author of the week is Tammie Clarke Gibbs author of The Counterfeit.

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

Review from Amazon: Great read! The Counterfeit was filled with twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed every minute of it! I hope a sequel is in the works.

About the book: Historical Romantic Suspense from the author of the Kindle Bestselling Gothic and Time Travel Romance, ISLAND OF SECRETS
Sometimes the Road to Justice is filled with Compromise…
Jeremy Loud is good at what he does.
As a Secret Service Operative he’s quick on his feet and a master of his emotions.
Then, he wakes up naked, disoriented and in physical pain to find a mysterious woman busy at his stove. His first mistake is assuming she’s a barmaid. His biggest mistake is underestimating her ability to get into trouble. Soon he realizes his assignment to infiltrate and bring to justice the infamous Quincy Davenport and his band of counterfeiters might be easier than keeping one strong-willed and beautiful redhead out of trouble.
Magen MacGuire is determined to find the man responsible for her father’s death and make him pay.
Then, her plans go awry and a case of mistaken identity leads her to the last thing she expects; a mysterious stranger she could easily fall in love with. She makes a choice to right a wrong, but in her case doing the right thing isn’t viewed as proper and gets them both into even more trouble.
The odds are against them, but can they find the love of a lifetime before their secrets are exposed and if they do can they overcome the lies?
Check The Counterfeit on Amazon

Tammie Clarke Gibbs

Tammie Clarke Gibbs

I asked Tammie a few questions:
Q: What inspires you?
Real Love. Whether it be romantic love or the type of love really close families know intimately, love is a motivator and thus inspirational and dangerous all at the same time. Writing about the deep bonds created by love is something I can be passionate about.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
So far there have been two really special moments. The first was when a very prominent former book publisher for one of the big six, one with over 30 years experience in the publishing industry, read my novel and said she “looked forward to seeing me on bookstore shelves soon”. The second really special moment so far was on the 14th of Sept. when my debut novel, ISLAND OF SECRETS was the #1 Bestselling Gothic Romance on Amazon.com.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
All readers are ideal, but I realize that all readers aren’t going to like my books. Much in the same way that we don’t get along with everyone we meet, our books not speak to everyone. I have lots of folks who love my books, others who don’t like them at all. I’m no different, when I read I respond to certain authors and not to others. So, my idea reader will be one that my books speak to.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: One of the funniest is out of THE COUNTERFEIT… “I was NOT cooking your coat!”

About the author: Tammie Clarke Gibbs lives in a small South Georgia town where you can still see the occassional tractor on the road and pigs and cows occassionally break loose and run alongside the road. Tammie is married and has one son and a pampered puppy who doesn’t realize she’s a dog and tries to walk upright like the rest of her family. In Tammie’s home even the family pet has her own column in a regional magazine. Tammie’s debut novel, ISLAND OF SECRETS was the #1 Bestselling Gothic Romance on Sept. 14, 2011. THE COUNTERFEIT is her second published work of fiction.

Follow Tammie at:

Author of the Week: Collette Scott, If We Dare to Dream: The Evans Family, Book One

This week author of the week is Collette Scott author of If We Dare to Dream: The Evans Family, Book One.

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

“If We Dare to Dream is captivating! Collette Scott delivers an emotional roller coaster ride of love, anger, guilt and suspense…. Addictive to the very end!”

– KC Stone, author of Replaced by a Stranger.

“Wow! I have to say after reading Forever Sunshine I didn’t think I would read a book as well written as that again. Collette has done it again!… Collette writes so well that you can visualise what is happening in your head, as though seeing the action on TV or in a film, but better! I feel so privileged at being allowed to read this book before it has even officially been published.”

– Jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com

Meet the Evans family:

A family torn apart by war and misfortune meets a family held together by the bonds of love.

Two families entwine after one fateful night changes their lives forever. Andrew Sheehan, former elite soldier, returns home from war and is suddenly accused of murder. Only Jamie Evans can prove his innocence.

What would you do?

A single meeting, the memory of one night, holds the key to a murder. If Jamie is correct, she gives a hero back his life. If she is wrong, she risks freeing a murderer from prison. Trusting her instincts, Jamie puts her life on hold and strives to free Andrew despite her family’s misgivings. Determined to do what is right, she vows to help him get his life back on track.

Andrew, feeling betrayed by the country he nearly died protecting, fights the demons he carries in an effort to make things work with Jamie and repair the fractured relationship with his brother Adam, who bears his own battle scars.

Dare he dream?

With Jamie and her family’s help, Andrew begins to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. Realizing that there is more to life than bitterness and resentment, he starts over again determined to make the best of his experiences. But the killer is still out there, and Andrew soon finds that he is haunting him still.

About the Author
Always composing stories in her head, Collette began her first novel at the age of eight. Since then, she has obtained her bachelor’s degree in English literature and master’s degree in education while squeezing in her writing whenever she can. If We Dare to Dream is Collette’s third novel and the beginning of the highly anticipated Evans family series. The New England native now resides in Arizona with her husband, three children and multiple family pets.

Collette Scott

Collette Scott

I asked Collette a few questions:

Q: If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
A: How strange that you ask this. I had an incident just this past week that truly unsettled me, and having read this I feel I wouldn’t really want any superpowers at all. You see, I wrote If We Dare to Dream back in April of 2011 and set the story to end in November 2011. I predicted a winter storm to arrive following Halloween. Strangely enough, the weekend of November 4th, the Phoenix area did have a winter storm (which is not common, by the way). Just under three weeks later, a small plane crashed into the spot on Superstition Mountain where I placed my characters during the climax of the story. That tragedy shook me this Thanksgiving; it was a horror that was so unexpected, and the loss of life devastating. I decided then that if it was some sort of precognition, I would never write suspense again!

That being said, if there was a superpower that granted me the ability to heal people I would choose that. Even in my writing, I try to persuade people that all is not lost following tough times or tragedy. We do go on; we are survivors. There is always a tomorrow, and we should be thankful that we are given that!

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: With realistic characters & thematic stories much like Nicholas Sparks, you’ll get a blend of romance and emotional growth not to be missed.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A: Holding my first proof in my hands! While I love writing so very much, there was something so beautiful and special when I first saw it in book form I cried.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A: My ideal reader is anyone from teen years to retiree who loves to read realistic fiction with very human characters who face their difficulties and go on to find love and happiness.

Q: When did you know you are going to be an author?
A: I was born one. I’ve been storytelling and writing for as long as I can remember and finished my first novel at the age of eight.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: My characters are as human as you are. Take a look around you and you may see one of them! J

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: I can’t really say any single author has influenced me the most. I studied literature in college, and my favorites were the Victorian gothic writers such as the Bronte sisters.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: Well I couldn’t say for certain that I’m the only author that does this, but my characters are so real to me that long after I have told their tales and we have stopped speaking to one another I still look for them when driving down the street.

Q: What’s next?
A: I have been working on the Evans Family series nonstop since April. I have recently started book five, so I plan to finish the series up before moving on to my next project. I have had such fun working with this family, but I know the end is coming soon J. Book two will be out tentatively set for Valentine’s Day 2012.

For more information visit: http://www.collettescott.com

Collette’s blog: http://collettescott.blogspot.com

Facebook page: ColletteScott

Twitter: @collettescott

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Collette-Scott/e/B004X5YOJQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1319664321&sr=8-1

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ms-Collette-Scott/e/B004X5YOJQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ColletteScott

Author of the Week: Georgia Saunders, Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles

This week author of the week is Georgia Saunders author of Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.
Living in NY I see many homeless people in the streets. Sometimes I stop for a second to give them some change. Sometimes I feel sorry for them, especially when the weather is really bad. But until recently I didn’t know their story; until I read Home Street Home – The Virginia Beach Chronicles. In rich language, Saunders gives us the story of different people, that many times had normal lives, until unfortunate circumstances took them to live in the street.
One of my favorite things in the book was seeing reality from different point of views, while learning the sad history of each one of the many characters.
Another thing, was the writing. For example: “The rain music changed pitch, going an octave higher as water beat the window with
new intensity.”
Or this paragraph:”There was nothing Ella liked better than to start the day quietly with coffee and a good book. She reached over for the tome. A spider ran out from under it and scurried down the side of the mildewed basket. Ella stooped to have a closer look. It was about half an inch long with long legs and had a distinctive violin shaped marking on its cephalothoraxes. Was this the spider that Olivia had told her about? – the one whose bite was supposedly so dangerous?”
Once you read this story, you’ll never look at homeless the same way. I highly recommend it!

I asked Georgia a few questions:

Georgia Saunders How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
How would you fare if you suddenly became homeless?  Take a virtual journey into the parallel universe of life in the vicious streets and find out.

What life experiences made you write your book?
During my own three years of homelessness, I often despaired of finding a means of income that would allow me to become housed.  That’s when I thought of writing about homelessness.  I also found writing a way of blocking out much of the extreme unpleasantness of being cooped up with too many people in too small a space, like a commercial chicken in a wire cage full of birds. People tend to start pecking at each other when their personal space is too small – just like the poultry does.

How close are the events and characters in your story to real events and characters?
The characters in my book are fictional representations of the types of people I found in the homeless community.  Often I took the personality of one type and put it into the body of another – keeping all of the characters from being based on any real individual, and at the same time, reminding readers familiar with the community, of several different people my character represents.  I used the same technique with events.  A good example is the beating in the woods that opens the novel.  While similar beatings are a regular occurrence in the community, you would not find that particular beating on the police roster for that date.  However, my fictional beating scene was real enough for a homeless man with a web of scars across his face to tell me with emotion in his voice, that I was telling “his” story.  I felt really fulfilled as a writer when I heard that.

What was your happiest moment as an author?
Not one, but many instances such as the one above, where a homeless person who’d read or heard me read portions of the book thanked me for writing about the horrors they’d felt no one would ever hear or care about.  That is what makes the whole project worthwhile for me. 

What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
Really anyone who still has a heart is going to be my ideal reader.  I love when readers tell me the book has opened their eyes to what really goes on in the streets and they are energized to help end the horror of homelessness. 

When did you know you were going to be an author?
I kept telling myself that I knew I was a great author as soon as I started plans for the book.  It was part of my self-hypnosis schpiel that I modeled after books in the library by famous hypnotists.  In addition, I made a daily written conversation with my “supportive self” in my writer’s journal part of my writing routine and would continually tell myself I was a great author who insisted on the highest standards.  But I didn’t really know (“for real, for real”, as we say here in the streets) until I held that first beautiful proof in my hand. 

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
I don’t think I would want to talk to them while they were reading.  I think my characters say it all much better than I can. 

Which author influenced you the most?
If I must choose only one, I will say Charles Dickens.  But I studied the art and technique in many famous writers’ works as I wrote.

Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
Oh Gosh, that’s a hard one.  That I went to the Oceanfront boardwalk one winter day and King Neptune noticed me and allowed the ghosts of the past to come up from his realm and tell me the history of Chesapeake Bay?  The resulting illustrated poem The Oceanfront is Mine Today is HERE: http://homestreethome.yolasite.com/the-oceanfront-was-mine-today.php
Or that I would shamelessly plug my poem about Virginia Beach during an interview with a nice gentleman?  No,…Almost any one of us will do that.  Smile.

What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
I don’t have a funniest line.  But one of my favorite passages from volume I of Home Street Home occurs when Ella, my heroine from the middle class just learning to live on the streets, goes to the shelter to take a shower.  She’s describing the people in there, and New Jersey Louie is pretty funny (dry humor).  It got a big laugh when I read it to some homeless women one night in the winter shelter.  They said it was “spot on”.

The only one who didn’t laugh at Wilson’s joke was the
hard-eyed heavy white man sitting across from him; a
former hit man of fine professional prospects gone wrong
in life due to drink. Before his fall into debasement he’d
had a promising career as a leg-breaker. His face, set on a
big mutton head, was a cross between a Bowery bum and a
Mafia soldier. It had begun to sag in every point that
should have been firm and was topped off with thick wavy
hair gone to slate gray. He was a man running off
reputation. Where he’d once been a terror to some criminal
heavy weights, he was now reduced to pulling a few
desperate folks into hustles as worn out as the heels of his
fake alligator shoes. That’s what drink does to a man. His
street name was New Jersey; some added his Christian
name to it and called him New Jersey Louie.

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
Well, I used to play at being Super Girl, and at that time I rescued many Barbie Dolls and small plastic green soldiers from certain death at my brother’s hand; but then, she had so many super powers.  I guess I’ll choose the flying.  That was always so much fun – to run down the long hallway with my red cape flying behind me.  LOL   Yes, I’d like to be able to fly.  Think of the gas savings – and no more tickets!

What’s next?
My next project might actually be a non-fiction – the biography of a woman on the beach who has spent many years giving out clothes and food to the poor without asking for a thing in return.  I painted a portrait of her already. I admire truly unselfish people who do things for others without going around tooting their horns about it (as so many will do). Then I have a novel set in the Black Hills stewing, but that is still under wraps.

Nov 12, 2011 Saturday Half of the first chapter of Home Street Home
Nov 13, 2011 Sunday Pandora’s Reading Room
11/20/11 Sunday Review of Home Street Home and a Tell All interview
11/27/11 Sunday Review of Home Street Home and a Short Interview
CLOCKWORK Nancy Cudis’ Review of Home Street Home and Guest Post…My Secret? Talking to Myself.

Interviewed on DTTLA by James Wallace Birch. http://dttla.posterous.com/author-interview-georgia-saunders
Guest Post on SHILPA MUDRAGANTI’s Blog – Reality Can be Stranger Than Fiction http://smmirza.blogspot.com/2011/11/reality-can-be-stranger-than-fantasy.html

Follow Georgia Saunders at:
Website – http://homestreethome.yolasite.com
Facebook Fan Page – http://facebook.com/homestreethomebooks
Twitter – http://Twitter.com/HomeStreetHomeY
Blog – http://steepedinbooks.blogspot.com
Purchase Page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume I – https://www.createspace.com/3595544
Purchase Page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume II – https://www.createspace.com/3615068
Purchase page at Amazon Subsidiary Company for Volume III – https://www.createspace.com/3615115

Author of the Week: Shawn Lamb, THE HUGUENOT SWORD

This week author of the week is Shawn Lamb author of The Huguenot Sword.
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

I asked Shawn a few questions:

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: Think only Dumas has Musketeers? Think again for swashbuckling adventure.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A: A mother told me how her daughter waited a whole year to see if I would return to a home school convention. As soon as the daughter saw my name on the list, she circled it to be the first booth to visit and buy my other books.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A: I gear all my books towards those who want good, stories about memorial characters without all the sex, language and inappropriate material becoming so pervasive in books. There are more people – kids and adults – who want to read clean books than publishers are willing to acknowledge. That doesn’t mean I don’t tackle hard issues, because I do, I just don’t cross the line.

Q: When did you know you are going to be an author?
A: I’ve wanted to be an author for years. I began writing when I was a teenager. In fact, The Huguenot Sword is the first book I ever wrote when I was 16. I got my first professional break back in the 1980s when I wrote for the Filmation animated series BraveStarr. This was the same studio that produced He-Man and She-Ra. I learned a lot that translated well to my fiction writing style.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Enjoy.  Stories should be enjoyed and, if done well, leave a lasting impression.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Where The Huguenot Sword and historical fiction is concerned, Dumas, naturally, but also Taylor Caldwell, John Jakes and Mary Stewart. I love the style where the characters are so immersed and involved it is hard to tell them from the real people.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: I trained for the Olympics under Ralph Faulkner, the once Hollywood fencing/fight master for such stars at Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn. I was also considered as the fencing stunt double for Bo Derek in a pirate movie, which unfortunately got cancelled.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: Nigel was antsy.  It’s from the Allon series and seems to get a chuckle from those who read it.

Q: What’s next?
A: In 2012, I plan to release 2 more in the Allon YA fantasy series and another historical fiction for adults set during the English Civil War.

Thanks Shawn for your answers.
Learn more about her book here:


Author of the Week: John Zunski, Shangri-La Trailer Park

This week author of the week is John Zunski author of Shangri-La Trailer Park and Cemetery Street .
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

If an author falls in the woods, can he write a book about it?

John likes to hear comments from potential readers,  so he’s  going to give a free copy of Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park (your choice) for anyone who leaves a comment!

Let’s check the Blurb before we get some answers from John:
If an Indian falls in the woods, can you hear him scream? Dora Shear did, and her life was about to get interesting. After Maistoinna Standing Bear tackles a tree, Dog Shear Dora – as she’s known in the trailer park – is left to pick up the pieces. Only she’s up to no good.
Uncover the secrets of a Jewish love triangle, why the IGA checkout lady trashes a car, why a trip over the coffee table is better than Novocain, and more importantly, the difference between a Canadian Passport and a Kentucky Waterfall. Hop on board with Maistoinna for a crazy forty-eight hour ride through the world’s most dysfunctional trailer park.

WARNING! Don’t read if your are: A) easily offended B) politically correct C) like everything nice or D) believe in the Easter Bunny!

And now for some answers from John:
John Zunski

Q: If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
A: Instantaneous transformation of thought into perfect sentence structure. How cool would that be? You could think a story and it would be composed perfectly upon the page. Imagine, every thought for a story, character, being clear, concise, and aesthetically  pleasing.  Prolific doesn’t begin to describe the results or how I’d feel.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A:  Without a doubt, the moment I finished the first draft of Cemetery Street. The feeling was rapturous. At that moment I knew the story was trapped upon the page. It wasn’t going anywhere. I no longer worried about not completing the story. I even remember the date – 5/3/01 at 4:44 AM.  With each successive title the feeling is more a sense of relief.  Seeing Cemetery Street go life was up there, but not as high as getting good reviews, which, still don’t top that initial magical moment.

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: In my best Mobster voice: “You read-a my book or I –a  break – a your legs, capisce?
– oh wait, I can’t say that, they’ll find out I’m really in the witness protection program.    I’m only joking…  “Readers need to do the talking, otherwise I’ll sound like a used car salesman. I hope that readers connect and form relationships with my characters and their stories.”  Inside the quotes rest 137 characters.  I sweated that one out.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A:  Again, I’ll let the ideal reader speak for themselves.  This quote was taken from Publicbookshelf.com    “wow it’s so powerful and moving. I laughed out loud I cried silently. I prayed with james and became carefree with shannie. I saw what my life would be like in her eyes she encouraged me. I feel in love with Count and mourned his passing. I skydived with James. I felt his sorrow and rejoiced at the burning of the monument. I loved it, such a powerful touching novel. probably the best I have ever read thank you -Jennifer ” The characters and story resonated with this reader.  That’s what I wish for every time someone reads either Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Absolutely nothing. Talking would do the story a disservice. I’m already speaking to readers via the prose.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Can I copout and claim three?   1) Stephen King – because it’s about the story  2) John Irving – because I love his characterization    3) Carl Hiaasen  – because he makes the absurd seem plausible.   But, if you held my feet to the fire, I’d have to say Stephen King.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: My perspective of the world – be it my occasional, rampant cynicism, my insane optimism, my experience and my ability to take a metaphorical hiccup in my life and translate it into a heart attack upon the page.  I like to think that within the confines of my stories, no one lies as well to their readers – but, I know that is a pipe dream.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: That’s a pressure packed question… and it’s so flippin’ subjective.  I have many, put it depends on my mood.  Not to mention it’s a dangerous question, since I have such a cracked sense of humor.  I’ll share two and let the reader decide.
The first is from Shangri-La Trailer Park:  “Native American, Indian, it’s all the same to me,” she said.
“Indians wear turbans and ride flying carpets,” Maistoinna snapped. “Native American’s wear baseball caps and drive pick-up trucks.”
The second is from Dirty Bum for President:  (The Dirty Bum’s (Robert) running mate is Irving Richard Knightly. This is a slogan from the campaign.) “Vote for Robert and get Dick Knightly.”

Q: What’s next?
A: For someone who hasn’t read my work, I hope they find their new favorite Author. For those who’ve read Cemetery Street, I hope they read and enjoy Shangri-La Trailer Park.   For the eBook world I’ll be releasing Dirty Bum for President on July 4th 2012.  In early 2012, Cemetery Street will be released in paperback. In the realm of writing, I’m working on Cemetery Street’s sequel – Montana Rural.

Check out John’s books on Amazon:

We’ll finish this week with a Snippet:  
Eyes ablaze, a bear came at night. It lumbered into camp, earth shaking under claw. In the light of a crackling campfire its shadow flickered upon the trunks of conifers. Its breath swirled about its snout before rising into the night. Fast asleep, Maistoinna (My-stween-a) Standing Bear was oblivious of the ursine’s presence – or maybe he wasn’t. Either way, he turned his back on the bear.
Maistoinna wasn’t concerned about a bear invading his camp. He was experienced camping in bear country and took precautions. The Blackfoot Indian was fond of saying: “If a bear’s crazy enough to slash his way into my tent, I’m crazy enough to have a nasty surprise waiting for him.” This night, Maistoinna didn’t pitch a tent, choosing instead to sleep under the stars.
The cinnamon bear nosed closer, firelight betraying a deep gash upon its shoulder. Around the wound dried blood matted its fur. A normal bear might pause to paw at this rock or that, maybe uncovering a tasty treat. This bear seemed different; slowly, deliberately, he moved toward Maistoinna. Hovering over the sleeping Blackfoot, the bear paused, studying his quarry as its steamy breath belched skyward.
When Maistoinna rolled onto his back, the bear pounced. With a primordial grunt, it nudged Maistoinna with a giant paw, startling him from sleep. The echo of Maistoinna’s bellow rolled over the treetops.
The bear pinned Maistoinna and lowered its snout. “Shut up!” the bear growled, engulfing Maistoinna with putrid breath. “Sweeny, Shut up! It’s me,” the bear shook Maistoinna’s shoulders.
Terror filled Maistoinna’s eyes as he struggled to free his arms, his breath rapid and shallow under the bear’s weight.
“Calm down, calm down, it’s me.”
Maistoinna squinted, recognition settled over him.
“Sorry to scare you, cousin, but it’s the only way I can get your attention,” the bear said. “It’s happening again,” it warned. “Do something about it! This time, do something! Don’t let another eagle fall.”
Maistoinna awoke with a start, his heart pounding. Next to him, embers from the dying fire glimmered. “A dream, only a dream,” Maistoinna mumbled. Confused and weary, he sat motionless, scrutinizing the tree line. Far from his Browning, Montana, home, Maistoinna was camping along the Appalachian Trail in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the midst of a solo quest at conquering the two thousand-mile trail.
Shaken, Maistoinna snuggled into his sleeping bag. For the first time in his adult life, he didn’t feel at home in nature. He suddenly feared the dark and what lurked within; he wished to be in a motel room, in a comfortable bed under a warm blanket, watching this week’s million-dollar movie.
Somewhere in the night an owl hooted; Maistoinna jumped. He gave up his attempt at sleep and climbed out of his bag. Sitting before the campfire, he watched morning light chase darkness across the sky. His mind grappled with the bear. What was he saying? Did the eagle mean what he thought? What was with the bear’s wound?
These things once would have been intelligible to Maistoinna, but lately—ever since his nephew’s accident —many things seemed incomprehensible. Maistoinna was frustrated that he didn’t understand the bear. He related to bears better than women. He knew bears—women, well… he understood bears.
As a boy, his grandfather told him that their clan was directly descended from the great bear. Even then Maistoinna admired the bear’s arrogant swagger. “They’re always smiling,” a young Maistoinna told his grandfather. Unknown to Maistoinna, his own smile resembled that insolent smirk.
Real-life encounters with bears didn’t shake him the way this dream had— not even the time a black bear caught Maistoinna with his pants down. The sun shined brilliantly upon the jagged Mission Mountains as Maistoinna answered nature’s call. He was squatting behind a stand of brush when he heard the bear lumber nearby. It swaggered across an opening in the trees, busily foraging with its snout to the ground. Not until Maistoinna moved for his pepper spray – set upon a stump five feet away – did the bear notice him. With teeth clacking, the bear moved towards Maistoinna.
In his excitement, Maistoinna forgot to pull up his pants and fell over himself. He hit the ground with a thud—pepper spray out of reach. Snorting, the bear closed. It caught whiff of Maistoinna’s scat and lowered its snout. After a brief investigation, the bear scampered away.
Maistoinna never told a soul, he found zero humor in the story. That’s not to say that Maistoinna didn’t possess a blistering wit, he did, as long as others were the target.
As the sun rose above the Appalachian forest, Maistoinna dumped his remaining coffee on the fire and closed camp. He faced the long day ahead of him with a sigh. Hiking was an ordeal in the Mid-Atlantic summer time soup.

Author of the Week: Linda Hawley, The Prophecies book series

This week author of the week is Linda Hawley author of The Prophecies book series.

And this week we are going to have a 5 eBooks giveaway!!
Linda decided to give you 5 eBook copies of her book 1 in the series (Dreams Unleashed) for free!
All you have to do is to visit The Prophecies Series Facebook Fan Page, click the “like” button, then come back to my blog and leave a comment that you did it. 5 of you will get a free ebook!

Dreams Unleashed

Dreams Unleashed

I’m almost done reading the first book in the series, Dreams Unleashed, and I can’t wait to read the other 2 books in the series. The way this author combines past, present future and dreams pulls you into the story. You will not be able to put down this multilayer thriller. Sometimes because you must know what is going to happen next. And sometimes because you must know what happened before. Every time I thought the author can’t surprise me anymore, something new happened, adding to my joy of reading. I highly recommend reading it, and you have a chance to win a free ecopy.

Linda Hawley  was kind enough to answer a few questions:

Q:  Your book series takes on a future world in 2015 where the government controls the people.  Why write this dystopian topic?
A:  Look around at the unrest here in America, and around the world.  Things are falling apart.  Worldwide, we can’t trust politicians, lawmakers, and others in power.  I simply wrote about things that I see happening right now, and what they will become in 2015, if we don’t change our path.

Q:  As a follow up to this last question, tell us about the tracking technology in the series.  Is it real?
A:  Yes.  All the technology I’ve written about in book one is real.  I’m a very good researcher, and I dug in to write accurately about the technology that’s tracking humans in 2015.  Almost everything in the series is real, except the characters, and their actions.  I wanted to ground the series, so that my readers would learn about what’s really going on in the world, as they read this fictional story.

Q:  There is a lot of drama and discord between citizens around the world and the governments in The Prophecies series.  Do you believe in conspiracy theories?
A:  No.  But here is what I am…I’m a news junkie.  I read from five news sources every day–and not all of them are based in the USA.  I get a global perspective, and then write in my stories about what I learn.  There are many *buried* truths that not a lot of people know about.  I am proud of the fact that if you read The Prophecies, you’ll learn about how we got in the shape we’re in as a people.

Guardian Of Time

Guardian Of Time

Q:  There is drama in your series, but in the book reviews, your characterizations stand strong.  Tell us about writing & developing the characters of the protaganist of The Prophecies.
A:  Honestly, I think my gift as a writer is in my characterizations, not my plot and subplots.  My characters are so well known to me that I feel they are living in my house with me.  The heroine, Ann Torgeson, is who I created first, and by the time I had fully developed her, she came alive and I knew I was writing more than one book.  As I wrote Dreams Unleashed (book one in the series), I was about one third of the way through the manuscript when I realized that something just wasn’t quite right.  I then went back and changed the entire manuscript to first-person.  When I did that, the story came alive, and I knew I had things moving in the right direction.  Some book reviewers have said that they generally dislike books written in the first person, but in this series, it really works.  That made me happy.

Q:  Who’s the reader of The Prophecies?
A:  Age 40+, people who think about things, ponderers, news-watchers, adventurers. Although I will say that there are many young people who are really enjoying the series–even teens.

Q:  Tell us one message about The Prophecies series.
A:  It’s about hope.  If you need a little hope in your life, read it.

Q: Where can I buy your books?
A: BOOK 1 – Dreams Unleashed, 2nd Edition
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/vd0fjb
B&N:  http://bit.ly/uCECdo
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/uk1MGe

BOOK 2 – Guardian of Time
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/vZVAox
B&N:  http://bit.ly/tWV4WR
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/t1EDQu

Linda Hawley

Linda Hawley

The Prophecies book series synopsis:
It’s the near future, and society is government-controlled.  Technology tracks everyone, and personal privacy does not exist.  The hope for freedom lies in the operations of an underground organization, GOG, which fights against worldwide oppression.  Their most powerful weapon is Ann Torgeson, a paranormally-gifted operative.  It’s her powers that release the seal of The Prophecies, changing the world forever.
The Prophecies Book Trailer:  http://bit.ly/sUEkxM
Author’s Website:  http://www.lindahawley.com/
Author’s Fan Page:  http://www.facebook.com/ThePropheciesSeries
Author’s Twitter Page:  http://twitter.com/LindaHawley/

Margaret A. Millmore, Doppelganger Experiment

This week author of the week is Margaret A. Millmore author of Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment


Doppelganger Experiment

After more than four weeks in a coma, Jane woke up to find several things wrong; she didn’t remember the last three years, she was married to a man she didn’t know, and frightening dreams were infiltrating her sleep. But were they dreams or memories? As she struggles to recapture a life she doesn’t remember she discovers clues that lead to flashes of memories and the discovery of horrific experiments that end in murder… and something worse than murder.  A psychological thriller based in San Francisco.




I asked Margaret a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less? As an avid reader of thrillers, I am always looking for a fresh new voice and story. My goal in writing Doppelganger Experiment was to present a villain that was new and unusual and to surprise the reader with the twists and turns, and of course the ending. I want to keep the reader up late at night, unable to stop turning page after page. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I think I achieved that goal.

What was your happiest moment as an author? I’d have to say having a publisher offer a contract on the book.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader? Someone who enjoys thrillers and suspense filled novels.

When did you know you are going to be an author? I don’t think I ever did, I wanted to be writer when I was quite young, but things changed, life changed and I went in a different direction. Now that I am writing and I’m published, I’m still surprised it’s happening.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them? I couldn’t do it, I’d give the whole story away and that would just ruin it…

Which author influenced you the most? Stephen King and Ray Bradbury were certainly the most influential writers for me. But it’s more of  what than a who, books in general influence me and because I read so much, I feel each author brings something new to my perspective.

What’s next? I have a novel that I wrote three years ago, I’d put it away for a variety of reasons, but I’m hoping to revisit it soon and possibly have it ready for publication in the next few months. I’m also working on another manuscript, but I’m afraid it’s too new to really discuss at this point.


Margaret A. Millmore

I was born and raised in Southern California; I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and currently reside there with my husband.  Reading is an addiction for me, and one I’ll never give up.  I’ve had an active imagination since childhood and often made up stories that I only told to myself.  After ending a successful career, I found myself with the time to pursue those stories, and the floodgates opened.  I love just about every kind of story, but especially fiction, throw in some supernatural or paranormal overtones and I’m in heaven.  I am the grandniece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens.