Archive | May 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

JFK

Hi all! We wanted to share with you some little known facts about John F. Kennedy to help commemorate his birthday, which was May 29th of this year. Not long ago, we did a piece on Marilyn Monroe and her singing the very famous “Happy Birthday Mr. President” song. Everyone across the globe is familiar with that beautiful blonde and her breathy, sing-song voice serenading a sitting JFK. Not to mention, the skin-tight dress showing off her gorgeous figure! So, today, let’s take a look at the man himself that Marilyn serenaded. The man who literally captured a nation and a world with his youth, his charisma, and his smarts.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917, and died while in office on November 22, 1963. He spent a good portion of his life as a public figure, from one of the wealthiest, most well-connected families in New England. JFK was the richest president ever, based on the estimated value of his family’s fortune. After his tragic death, most of his life has been written about in great detail.

From among the wealth of knowledge about President Kennedy, here are some interesting facts about the 35th president of the United States of America that you may have not known.

~~His father, Joseph P Kennedy, was near a terror attack just after JFK was born.

His father escaped the infamous 1920 Wall Street bombing. An unknown group of anarchists planted a bomb in a wagon full of lead weights on the street; that explosion killed 38 bystanders on Wall Street. JFK’s father was thrown to the ground by the blast, but was unharmed.

Young JFK school days

~~JFK grew up partly in the Bronx (isn’t he cute!!)

He spent the first ten years of his life in Brookline, until his family moved to the Bronx. He then spent his middle-school years in the Bronx area until his family sent him to private school in Connecticut.

~~President Kennedy played the role of movie producer.

Warren Beatty almost played Kennedy in the movie PT-109, which was based on the sinking of Kennedy’s boat in the Solomon Islands. JFK wanted Cliff Robertson to play a young Lieutenant Kennedy in the war movie, but the first lady wanted Beatty. JFK won out and he also helped pick the movie’s director.

Young JFK

~~He was the only president to win a Purple Heart.

Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II. Two recent presidential candidates, John Kerry and John McCain, were Purple Heart recipients.

~~JFK wasn’t the youngest president ever.

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt was a little more than nine months younger than Kennedy, at the age of 42 years, 10 months, when he succeeded William McKinley as president. However, JFK was the youngest elected president, at the age of 43 years, seven months, when he became president in 1961. Bill Clinton was the third youngest president, at 46 years of age.

~~JFK’s popular vote win over Richard Nixon was very, very narrow.

JFK defeated Nixon in the 1960 election when votes were counted in the Electoral College, by a margin of 303 to 219. But in the popular vote, Kennedy won by 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast. Also, arguments persist to this day about vote-counting in two states: Illinois and Texas. If Nixon had won those two states, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.

~~JFK recorded conversations in the White House.

We mention this in our book, Fateful Night. Actually, JFK wasn’t the first president to record private conversations in the White House. That honor goes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. There have been many theories, but the most accepted one is that JFK had already written two books and wanted the tapes for when he wrote his memoirs after leaving office. Many of the tapes have been declassified over the past years and have helped us with our research for the What She Knew Trilogy.

Well, we hope you have enjoyed our tidbits on JFK!!

Blessings,
K.R. and T.L.

Website: http://www.kandtproductions.com
Amazon: http://dld.bz/c6FmS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatSheKnewBook

New Cover 2013 02

Please Help Us Welcome – Author Arlene O’Neil!!

Arlene and puppy

Hi everyone! We want you to help us welcome Arlene O’Neil!  She is not only an amazing lady and author, she is also a dear friend of ours.   This woman is unstoppable! She is busy more than there are hours in a day, lol!  She is one of the kindest people we know, a champion of the under’dog’ and a friend to everyone she meets. She has a way of making you feel welcome and understood. And that, is a rare gift indeed!

Arlene, we are so honored to be able to interview you!  We both just love this picture of you and Little Bit and know how much you miss him.  Shall we get started?

Sure! I’m so glad to be here too!!

~~Alright, here is one of our favorites – is your glass half full or half empty?

If I have dropped it, it is half full. If I am holding it, it is half empty. I think Freud would love this answer.

~~Yes, we think he would!  Alright, tell us this, if you could have a dinner party with five people (living or dead) who would be invited?

Walt Whitman to inspire me, Chevy Chase to make me laugh, my son Tanner to keep me humble, my mom because she was a great cook, and Garth Brooks to play music.

 ~~ Love it! Now, we know you are an excellent editor (she did Fateful Night for us) so, do you have any advice for the editing process?

Absolutely. Edit, edit, and then edit again. Then hire a professional. You need eyes that are not related in any way to your story – objective, fresh eyes that will spot the error you missed the first three times.

~~We have to agree. It was astounding what we missed, each of the first 3 times in our book!!  Let’s see, if you could do everything over (writing your book, or publishing, etc.) would you change anything?

I would devote more time to the end of my book. When I read it now, I feel I rushed the last few chapters. There are gaps in time that I should fill in and things I forgot completely. I am happy with the book as it stands, but did miss a few key events that should have been included.

~~We can understand what you mean. Our writing, our books especially, are living and therefore are never quite done.  Describe yourself in one word – 

Kind.

~~Okay, we can second that folks! We know this woman personally.  Oh, K.R. loves this next question.  What super power would you like to have –

The ability to heal animals would make me feel complete. I am such an animal lover that it kills me to see something in pain. I am the one who patrols for frogs instead of running them over with the mower, who would hit a pole to avoid a cat, and the one who rescues Luna moths from drive – through windows. I’ll twist an ankle to avoid the cricket, stop traffic to pick up a turtle, and slam on the brakes to avoid a squirrel. Children have many organizations to fight for them. Animals have few.

~~Awe, what a sweet and yet awesome super power.  We want you to have this!!  Arlene, we know you read a lot and some for your work as an editor. But, when you get a chance to choose for yourself, what is your favorite genre?

I enjoy murder/mystery mostly and books that deal with how our court system and laws work. Memoirs are another genre I love.

~~Oh, T.L. loves murder/mystery too.  Are there any tips you could give that you learned along your path of picking up the pen to having a published novel?

I won’t use the cliché’ of “Don’t give up,” but if writing is your passion, you won’t quit whether you are published or not. I write first for myself. If I am fortunate enough to have my words touch someone, then I consider myself a success. Since being published, my royalty checks may look like I have failed. However, when a reader emails me or leaves a review that my book had an impact in their life, there is no money that can equal that feeling.

~~Excellent words of wisdom.  Please give a one sentence synopsis of your novel:

Written from the heart, “Broken Spokes is an inspirational true story of a young girl’s conquest over her tragic childhood and her journey to a compassionate adult.

~~And folks, we can say it’s a wonderful book.  It will lift you up and help you heal.  Arlene, tell us who your favorite character is from your book and why? 

Little Bit, my blind black Labrador, is probably the most interesting character in “Broken Spokes.” His amazing intuition and the daily challenges he overcame are such an inspiration to me as well as others.

~~Oh, thank you Arlene, for being such a wonderful guest! Please share your bio and links where others can connect with you and find your book!

Biography of Arlene R. O’Neil

“Writing is what lights   me up,” states Arlene R. O’Neil. “Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears.” Her current book, “Broken Spokes,” refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of   inspiration.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O’Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on   active duty. O’Neil says, “My son, SGT Tanner O’Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears.” SGT O’Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour.

Currently Arlene lives   with her two Labrador’s, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. “These amazing characters have helped me   through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly.”  

Aside from writing,   supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on   3 ½ acres of land that her and her beloved animals   enjoy.

An author, editor and   proofreader, Arlene R. O’Neil may be contacted at arleneoneil@aol.com

Broken Spokes

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Spokes-ebook/dp/B00507FRGU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1315320072&sr=1-1

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Spokes-Arlene-R-ONeil/dp/1897512163/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354381348&sr=1-1&keywords=Broken+Spokes

Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arlene-R-Gallo-ONeil/271244249572408

Litflix   Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDvhUkQjnsk&feature=youtu.be

~~Make sure you take the time to connect with Arlene, you will be so glad you did!!  Oh, and get her book “Broken Spokes” right now!  It’s only 99 cents, but for a limited time!!

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

Website: http://www.kandtproductions.com

Amazon: http://dld.bz/c6FmS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatSheKnewBook

Check us out on AUTHORSdB!

authors db

~~Hi everyone! T.L. Burns is in the TOP 100 of 2150+ authors on the quickly growing AUTHORS DATABASE!!

~~This is the ‘Official’ Authors Database.  You can get listed today! FREE!!  You’ll find them on the web at http://www.authorsdb.com/

~~On right now is the 2013 BOOK COVER CONTEST.  Tons of awesome book covers to choose from within the different genres.

davidp

~~Also, a fellow author from Master Koda, David P Perlmutter, is being featured this week on AUTHORSdB.  He is the winner of the VIP BLOGGER award!!  Are you an author? Then here’s what AUTHORSdB has to say about how easy it is to get your name on the banner:

“Are you a blogging author?  Do you love to spread the word, helping other authors?  At AUTHORSdB each Friday we draw for a FREE BANNER for the week’s VIP BLOGGER for members with listings on AUTHORSdB.com.  eMail a link to your blog post about AUTHORSdB.com to

awards@authorsdb.com  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

and we will post a link to your blog on this page.  We make the draw using the online tool http://www.randompicker.com .  The winner will have a VIP BLOGGER banner for a week on the header of AUTHORSdB.COM  Didn’t win?  It’s okay!  As long as your blog post remains live, you will get entered into the next draw.”

~~How cool is this????  We are so excited to be a part of this up and coming, and fast we might add, authors tool.  Here’s why:

“At AUTHORSdB we’ve formed the only database of authors, including social media, book listings and much more, for today’s mind-field of thousands of aspiring and established writers.  We are a dedicated website that helps authors for free.  Why free? We have a few Angels who simply want to see authors flourish.  Readers no longer have to google from several different websites to find out more about a particular author – it’s all here.”

~~They run many awards that are presented weekly in order for authors to be spotlighted, they are tweeting fools and they are absolutely FREE.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by joining!!

~~Oh, and since T.L. Burns is being highlighted this week, you can find her here:  http://dld.bz/c9kXr Go there and show her some love by clicking on the heart!!  K.R. is also listed on AUTHORSdB under her other pen name of Kymber Lee, show her some love to please: http://dld.bz/c9mbu

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

Website: http://www.kandtproductions.com

Amazon: http://dld.bz/c6FmS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatSheKnewBook

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Please Welcome Author Vickie Johnstone!!

Vickie Johnstone

Hi everyone! We have another treat today! Vickie Johnstone is with us. Woot!!  Vickie lives in London, UK. We are so jealous -road trip!!  She works as a freelance layout sub-editor on magazines and as an editor on indie books. She also has a thing about fluffy cats and loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling!  Whew, we’re tired just listing it all, lol!!  Vickie says that if sleeping was an Olympic sport, she’d be a contender.

Vickie has self-published twelve books. Wow is right!!  They are: Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow.

Vickie is currently working on a fantasy with a female central character called The Sea Inside.  Now that you know what we know about her, let’s get to the good stuff!!

~~Vickie, tell us something are you grateful for.

For the air that I breathe.

~~So simple, and yet most of us take it for granted.  Okay, here’s one of our favorites to ask our guests.  If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?

I’d remove people’s ability to feel aggression or desire for power over another. I think if that was gone we wouldn’t have wars. People would still disagree, but you wouldn’t have so much crime or violence. The world is too violent.

~~Here’s another favorite of ours.  If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?

Blimey, it would depend upon the date. If it was far in the future, say when I was in my 60s, I wouldn’t act differently as I’ve still got twenty-odd years. I’d be panicking and changing stuff in my 60s then, a few years before. I’d probably go mad and get a toyboy and leg it off to some far-off place. Well, I hope I’d still have the spark to do it then!

Last year I had to leave my full-time job because it was causing problems (long story) and I’ve been working from home and writing a lot. A friend said I was ‘following the dream’, which I hadn’t thought about before he said it. That made me smile.

However, if you said I was going to be kicking the bucket in the next couple of weeks, I probably wouldn’t look – I’d keep following my dream. I’d also have some great nights out with friends, visit family and then buy a ticket to a place I’d always wanted to go, but never been. And I’d want everyone to dress up in bright colours for the funeral. Oops, and I’d also find someone nice to adopt my cat. Little precious baby that she is!

~~You are so like us. Job one is to find a good person to adopt our pets!!  Vickie, if you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?

Ah, interesting! I was never a confident youngster and very shy, so I’d be giving myself some boosters in that direction and also tell myself not to worry so much. Yeah, I’d be working on the confidence thing. I’d also ask my grandparents more questions about themselves because they died so young – within a year of one another when I was 11. There are a few mistakes I made in my twenties that I would try to undo, and there are some things I would do differently if given the chance. We moved a lot when I was growing up, and I lost friends every time. Looking back, I would try to keep in contact. As a kid, I had no idea how to do that over big distances. Having the internet back then would have been magic. I would also tell myself to demand that my parents take me to a dermatologist as a teenager – it would have saved me two years of bullying at school and probably would have made me a more confident youngster!! It’s funny what you know in hindsight. Simple changes…

~~We so agree, hindsight comes a little too late, lol! After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? Does it work?

Depends what I’m in the mood for and how bad the day has been. The other week I took some books to a bookstore and the owner, who was expecting me, was not very kind once I said I was self-published. It was a bad experience and an hour’s journey back home. I headed to the shop and bought a New York style cheesecake and ate it at home with a cup of tea. It was damn good!

Other times I’ll chill out by watching a DVD or something, eat chocolate, cook something nice or cuddle up with my cat. She’s so funny that she cheers me up. If it has been a really bad day it might be time for cider or a glass of wine! It’s great if you’ve got something planned on that day though, so you can go out, have fun and think about something completely different and your friends can joke you out of the mood.

~~Oh, cheesecake, yum! We should have had some for all of us today!  Alright, moving on.  What is one of the most unusual things you have done in your life? 

I travelled around Canada, Alaska and Australia on my own; I got my nose pierced (but it fell out when I was hung over!); three times I almost did a parachute jump (I think someone is telling me something); I rode on a horse on the beach; flew down into the Grand Canyon in a helicopter; I did a 12-hour write-athon for charity. They’re not that unusual so I thought I had to put a few to make up for it!

~~That is fantastic.  Traveling to all those places must have been awesome.  Let’s see, here’s an easy one. What is or are the genres of your book or books?

They are mainly for middle-grade readers. There is the six-book Kiwi Series, starring a magic cat who takes her human friends to animal-inhabited worlds, and the two-book Smarts & Dewdrop Mystery Series. The latter are titled ‘Day of…’ something, in tribute to the Day of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, which inspired my silly comedy Day of the Living Pizza (book one in the S&D series). Apart from these I have written a comedy romance with a touch of fantasy as one character is a dog who swears a lot. That one is called 3 Heads & a Tail and I wrote it for NaNoWriMo 2011. I have also written two books of poetry and a book of haiku. At the moment I am working on a fantasy novel that I started in 2009. I’ve written about 25,000 words. Did I mention that I never used to finish things?

~~Well, it seems to us you are finishing things right and left now.  What made you decide to write in your particular genre?

I never set out to write for children. It sort of happened. I’ve written stories since I was so high (pointing to my knee – I was always small), but I never really finished things. Then in 2002, I was made redundant and, finding myself bored at home, somehow, kaboom, I wrote and finished a book. It was short, about 28k, and it began with a poem about my cat called Kiwi. I didn’t know where the book would go when I started, but gradually all of these cats made appearances and said things. They needed to live somewhere, and a place emerged. Then other questions followed, which demanded answers. What would they eat? Where would they sleep? What did they look like? Would they wear clothes? How would they walk? Would they always stay on four legs? How did they think? What adventures would they have?

Kiwi in Cat City turned into one big adventure for me… into the world of children’s books. As a kid, I loved books. Give me one starring a talking animal and I was in Heaven. Make it a fluffy, cute animal with a sense of humour on a big adventure, and I wouldn’t have noticed if my bedroom ceiling caved in. I would be lost in a world that was unlike my own, dreaming, imagining, and almost being who I was reading about. So sometimes I was a rabbit. All the while, I would have this big sense of wide-eyed wonder.

Then I grew up. I stopped reading children’s stories, except for my favourite book of all time, Fantastic Mr Fox. Now and then I’d dip back into that one, but that was it. So, how come at the age of 30-ish (not giving that away), I wrote a book about magical cats for an audience aged nine to twelve? I’ve no idea. A huge gap of years followed this until I finally self-published the book via kindle and wrote a second at the big old age of 40-(la la). The second one only came about because some readers liked the first one – to my utter shock. I think fear, self-doubt and self-criticism – those big slimy monsters that prevent us doing many things – had got in the way. But, hey, that’s a different story.

~~Vickie, it’s been so awesome having you with us!!  You are a wonderful guest!   Here’s how you can connect with Vickie yourself:

~~Links:

Blog: http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.com
Twitter: @vickiejohnstone
Kiwi Series website: Kiwiincatcity.com
FB author page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVickieJohnstone
FB Kiwi page: http://www.facebook.com/KiwiinCatCity
FB poetry page: http://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopePoetry
FB editing page: http://www.facebook.com/VickieJohnstoneEditing

Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4788773.Vickie_Johnstone

Amazon US author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1348850263&sr=1-2-ent

Amazon UK author page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vickie-Johnstone/e/B004SZ9TGE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Smashwords author page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/vixie

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/vickie-johnstone

~~We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Vickie Johnstone as much as we have!  Here’s one of her books, Kiwi in Cat City. You can find it on Amazon.

Kiwi

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

Website: http://www.kandtproductions.com

Amazon: http://dld.bz/c6FmS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WhatSheKnewBook

 

Fateful Night is Published!

UPDATE: As of last night, we are #35 Kindle Sales for our Hot New Release! Fateful Night Book One – What She Knew Trilogy!!  Get yours today! And remember, always free for Prime Members.   http://dld.bz/c6FmS

WSNHeadshot kim tamy small

T.L. ~~ Marilyn ~~ K.R.

Hi everyone! K.R. and I are so excited. Book one,Fateful Night, of the What She Knew Trilogy is published!!  A HUGE thank you to our publishing house, Master Koda Select Publishing, for making sure our book was pristine! We are so thankful for you and your staff!!

Also, we want to thank all of our fans for showing us your support and encouragement throughout the entire process.  We could not have done it without you!  And, what’s more, we never want to have to either!!

We also want to thank so many of you who gave us feedback on the cover itself.   Here is the final version!  Woot!!  Our graphic designer is Kenneth R. Burns (Yes, he is T.L.’s son) and he did a fantastic job!!

New Cover 2013 02

Isn’t is great?!?

Now, as a way of thanking all of you, we are going to have a book launch celebration on Facebook tomorrow evening from 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST.  It’s easy to participate, we will have lots of great prizes to give away, and it gives K.R. and I a chance to ‘mingle’ with you!!

Here’s the link to the party:  https://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/150979355081650/

We hope to ‘see’ you all there!  Virtual food and drinks are on the house, lol.  Remember, we will have some awesome prizes to give away. So even if you can only come for a bit, please do so!!

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

http://www.kandtproductions.com

https://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew.krhughestlburns?ref=tn_tnmn

https://twitter.com/i/connect

Please Welcome Author Dianne Gardner!!

Dianne Gardner 1-me painting2

~~Hi everyone! We have a special treat today.  We have Author Dianne Gardner with us.  Her book, Deception Peak, is available on Amazon for .99 cents for a short time!  Cool, right?  Here’s the link:  http://dld.bz/c47Ws 

~~Here is one of the many great reviews this book is getting:

~~~I received this book as a Complementary Copy from the Author. From page one I was HOOKED!  The first few hours upon receiving my copy I read 100 pages without batting an eye!  If you are into Fantasy stories of any sort, then you MUST read THIS!!!  Its got great characters, amazing landscapes, dragons!, swords! And some really awesome twists!

The only thing I disliked about the book was page 254…Because Once I read that page it was over! I now have to wait for the next in the series to come out to continue being immersed in this awesome literary world! It’s a great story that sucks you in and leaves you wanting MORE! But hey that’s not a bad thing!!

If you want a great read then hesitate no more… READ THIS!~~~

~~Book Blurb:

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life.

But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It’s then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.
The next installment The Dragon Shield will be available early 2013.

Dianne Gardner just cover (1)

~~Dianne does all her own artwork.  Here are some of the beautiful pictures you will find in her book.

Dianne Gardner art 1

Dianne Gardner art 2

Dianne Gardner art 3

Dianne Gardner art 4

Dianne Gardner art 5

Dianne Gardner art 6

Dianne Gardner art 7

~~Aren’t they beautiful! Wow, Dianne you are so very talented!!  Now, let’s settle back and get to know this wonderful author/artist a little better.  Dianne, what is one of the most unusual things you have done in your life? 

Living in a Hogan, herding sheep and cows. Going on a wagon ride along the Interstate just for the sake of roughing it for a few days.

~~Wow, that is unusual! But, how fun and what an experience.  Ok, tell us, what do you write? Specific genres, ages groups, etc.

Teen 9 to 90 fantasy.

~~It really is wonderful how you are able to write so that literally any age can enjoy the story.  Next question, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Study!!! Hone your craft. Join a critique group. Get beta readers. Learn and don’t think you are the best author in the world.

~~Yes, very good advice.  We never stop learning do we?  Are there any tips you could give that you learned along your path of picking up the pen to having a published novel?

All of the above. Go to conferences, workshops, find people who write that you admire and learn from them. Read. Read books on writing too.

~~When you have time for yourself, what do you like to read?

YA, stuff that makes me laugh and cry!

~~We love that too.  Nothing better than to be reading along laughing, and then suddenly crying.  Okay, next one.  Are the characters in your story based on people you know?

Some of them, yes.

~~It’s funny how that is so true. Even when we aren’t thinking about it when we are writing, when have found that when we go back and read it we can see bits (sometimes large bits) of people we know!! Here is one we get asked a lot.  Is there any part in writing you don’t like?

I’m getting pretty tired of trying  to market.

~~Yes, it’s a different world out there for all authors. Marketing is a big deal, and we can understand why your tired of it.  Dianne, here’s a fun one to us, give a one sentence synopsis of your novel:

Teen stumbles into a mysterious world filled with deception and magic and discovers who he is.

~~Excellent.  Based on that statement alone we would want to read this story.  Oh, do you have a favorite character from your book and why? 

Ian. I love watching him grow and sometimes I just want to hug him because things get so tough for him.

~~Awe, how sweet.  We always seem to grow attached to at least one of our characters too. They become so real to an author don’t they?  Ok, moving on, describe yourself in one word –

Crazy!

~~LOL!! Then this is why we get along so well!!  Here’s another fun one, what super power would you like to have?

Great wisdom. Like Galadrial.

~~Nice one. Most people think of super strength or flying.  Let’s see, what is the title of your newest release?

Rubies and Robbers

~~What compelled you to write this book?

It’s the third and final installment to the Ian’s Realm Trilogy inspired by the nine foot dragon, some walks in the park, a sailing trip on a tall ship, walking a mile down a lava tube, and NaNoWriMo.

~~Here is the video book trailer for Dragon Shield~~

http://youtu.be/_c2rm6mGBrM

~~Absolutely stunning artwork and your video trailer is terrific.  We cannot wait to read this series ourselves. Thank you so much, Dianne, for being such a fun guest! Would you mind sharing your bio and some links where others can connect with you?

BIO

She’s been a painter all her life having started at the age of 12 under her mother’s supervision. Her first private art lesson was with a sculptress in California. Excelling in art in school and on to college, her portfolio includes portraits, inspirational works, and plein air landscapes. She was the portrait painter for the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Fair for several years painting 20 minute oil paintings during the fair. She has just recently started illustrating books, beginning this endeavor with a 9′ triptych of Stenhjaert the Dragon, the antagonist in Ian’s Realm

Dianne is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. Besides the Ian’s Realm Saga (Deception Peak, The Dragon Shield, and Rubies and Robbers which will be released in 2013) she boasts authorship to four short stories titled A Tale of the Four Wizards Series which interweaves with the Saga. She writes for middle grade and young adults targeting boys and adventure loving girls, but adults are some of her most zealous fans of all her writing definitely falls under the ‘family friendly’ category!

Dianne Gardner 1-1-square

Ian’s Realm Trilogy
Deception Peak
The Dragon Shield
Rubies and Robbers
 coming soon

Sequels
Cassandra’s Castle To be released
The Diary of a Conjurer To be released

Short Stories

A tale of the Four Wizards
Silvio
Meneka
Kaempie
Reuben

Connect with Dianne:

Publisher’s website: http://www.hydrapublications.com/shop/deception-peak/

Official book blog: http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/

Dragon Shield Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c2rm6mGBrM

website http://gardnersart.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/TheIansRealmSaga?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter https://twitter.com/DianneGardner

Author Central on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Dianne-Lynn-Gardner/e/B0090LIYEO

The Dragon Shield on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Shield-Dianne-Lynn-Gardner/dp/0615760457

Deception Peak http://amzn.com/B0090888WU

Silvio http://amzn.com/B00A3WAA9G

Kaempie http://amzn.com/B00AYZKIDK

Meneka http://amzn.com/B00AHG460C

Reuben http://amzn.com/B00B7RG72U

Smashwords dp http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260744

goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473931.Dianne_Lynn_Gardner

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17304505-dragon-shield

Lot’s of ways to connect with Dianne and read her great books!!  Here’s the Amazon link one more time so you can take advantage of the .99 cent special!!   http://dld.bz/c47Ws

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.

Please Welcome Author DeEtte Beckstead!

DeEtte Beckstead author image

Hello everyone and welcome! We have a treat today. Author DeEtte Beckstead is here with us!  She is the author of Victory, a wonderful book about faith and courage.

~~~~”Victory, a town where the people love their country and their neighbors, but what happens when two visitors come to town? One comes with fear and control, slowly taking away the freedoms the people love. The other comes with faith. When darkness overtakes the town who will have Victory?”~~~~

Victory cover DeEtte Beckstead

DeEtte has only high praise for her book.  Here’s what some are saying about Victory:

“ Once you begin to read this book you won’t be able to put it down until you read the last page.”

“ It was a humble tale about how God helps good people prevail in uncertain times.”

“Very interesting characters and plot.”

Many five-star reviews echo the same as above.  And guess what?  For a limited time you can own this wonderful book for only .99 cents!! Here’s the link: http://dld.bz/c47Nm

Now, we thought it would be great to get to know DeEtte a little bit better.  It’s one thing to read her writings, and chat with her over Facebook; but we really wanted to get to know the real her.  Let’s jump in.

~~DeEtte, thanks so much for being with us.  Can you tell us what are you grateful for?

First of all, I am grateful that my Father in Heaven loves me, completely and unconditionally. I am His princess, no matter what anyone else or even I think of me. I am grateful to have my family. There have been many tough times, but we are still family. And I am grateful for my friends. I appreciate their support and concern.

~~Wonderful. We are thankful for the very same things.  Now, if you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?

This sounds like a question for Miss America contestants, of which I am definitely NOT one! Anyway, if I could change one thing about our world, I think it would be that people would be slower to jump to conclusions about others and would look at things from the other person’s point of view, looking more with their hearts and less with their eyes. Perhaps then people who be kinder and gentler toward one another.

~~We couldn’t agree with you more.  Much less judgement and a lot more grace.  Okay, next question. If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?

Since no one is guaranteed even the next breath, I try to live each moment to its fullest, with the best I have at the time. Sometimes that isn’t much, but there are many opportunities to give to others and brighten their loads. Even a smile to someone at the bus stop helps.

I would carefully and thoughtfully think about all the people I have known and forgive those I haven’t, tell those I love how much they mean to me, and remind them God loves them unconditionally, even if they don’t believe in Him. Their unbelief doesn’t change the truth.

~~Beautiful words to live by, for all of us.  We love it that your faith is so strong.  If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?

I would repeat my grandmother’s saying of “do your best, and angels can do no more.”  My best would be acceptable, no matter where it falls on any scale. If I got a C, and that was my best, it was fine. But, if I were capable of getting an A and got a C, I would be in trouble! And that doing one’s best should be a joyful thing, not something to be dreaded.

Don’t be afraid to be the unique person God created you to be. Remember the word of Benjamin Franklin: “Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?”

~~Okay, we can tell that we would LOVE your grandmother!!!  And, what a great quote.  We’ll remember these wise words.  Okay, next one.  After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? Does it work?

I like it quiet, perhaps with low lights. I like to watch old movies from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, or listen to either classical or contemporary Christian music. I also like to crochet. If one of my little grandkidlets is around, snuggling with him or her is a wonderful way to recuperate! It works for me!

~~Sweet! We love old show and movies too.  And music, especially Christian, is really a mood lifter.  Alright, let’s see. Oh, how about this for our next question. When was the last time you helped someone who was desperately in need? What did you do? Was this person grateful?

I try to make helping others a daily practice. I guess it was my strong Girl Scout background of “do a good deed daily” that makes it easy for me to help others. Recently I offered to help a friend who was way behind on a project and it was causing her a great deal of stress because of a rapidly approaching deadline. She allowed me to help her. It was a simple job, but she didn’t have the time to do it right then. And yes, she was grateful.

~~Sweet! That is one thing that we both are so passionate about, helping other in need.  How awesome that you were able to be there for this friend and that the friend allowed you to help. Sometimes, that’s the hard part. Getting the person who has a need to accept what is offered.  Ok, something a little lighter.  What is or are the genres of your book or books?

Both are Christian fiction, paranormal. There are no ghosts, werewolves, or zombies, but there are demons and angels.

~~Great.  What made you decide to write in your particular genre?

It just sort of happened that way. Once I started writing, the story wrote itself. I am a Christian with strong faith, and it came from that.

~~Thank you for being a great guest today, DeEtte! Please share your bio with us, and links where readers can connect with you and your books.

           Author and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.

            DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a  variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.

Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full-time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.  

Blog: http://deetteanderton.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DeEtteBecksteadAuthor        

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/DeEtte-Beckstead/e/B00ADDW94Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

AuthorsdB page: http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/66-deette-beckstead

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DBAnderton  

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2207218-deette-beckstead

Again, thank you so much for being with us today!  We are so excited that anyone can purchase your book for only .99 cents!  Wow, what a deal!  Here’s the link again:  http://dld.bz/c47Nm  And, DeEtte also has another book, The Christmas Visitors, and it is .99 cents too!  Crazy good deals going on here!  Here’s the link for it:  http://dld.bz/c47Qz   They are both on Amazon.

The Christmas Visitors cover DeEtte Beckstead

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.