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Under the Liberty Oak by Paige M. Cummings--A Review

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A taut fast-paced mystery which adroitly shifts between the tumultuous events of the summer of 1964 and the present life of concert pianist Brittan Lee Hayworth as new discoveries unleash old and painful memories.

Returning to Liberty, Georgia to confront old demons, Brittan Lee is thrust into the center of an FBI investigation and the realization that someone wants her dead before she helps unlock secrets buried deep for four decades.
About the Author





Paige Mercer Cummings grew up in coastal Georgia. Now retired from the Navy, she lives in Athens, Georgia with her husband and three cats, and spends her time writing.

Paperback: 317 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (June 20, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419668013
ISBN-13: 978-1419668012





***



Under the Liberty Oak held me spellbound. Brittain Lee, the main character, appears distant at the start of the book, but you come to see her as a warm woman with a great deal of strength. Paige Cummings has crafted a book that alternates between the South of 1964 and today. A mysterious disappearance in 1964 has been bought back to life and those involved want to keep it hidden. Brittain Lee puts her life in jeopardy to see that justice is served.

The language and descriptions carry you into the South of long-ago, allowing you to feel the tension that was so much a part of that time. As you get deeper into this book, you feel as though you were there. The people are as familiar as your own neighbors. You feel their pain, anger and fear. You will find tears clouding your eyes many times during your journey.

Emotionally, this book is not easy to read--but the satisfaction of having read a book that lives up to the highest expectation you can have is well worth it. Anyone loving a mystery with well-crafted characters, high emotion and a feeling of having been there will soon find this book on their favorites list.

I give Under the Liberty Oak seven colors!




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Winner Announced-and LJ Sellers Committed a Crime

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Mary Moss...will you please contact me with your mailing addy? The reason??? You are the lucky winner of the autographed copy of Abiding Hope & Love by Connie Arnold!!! Congratulations, Mary!!!!





***



Now, onto LJ Sellers and the crime she committed. First some background:




The lady at your left is LJ Sellers, mystery writer. Her website can be found here:



http://ljsellers.com/


The whole thing started when she sent me a copy of this book:




The Sex Club. No, this isn't erotica or anything of that sort-it's a mystery. Briefly, there is a Planned Parenthood clinic, a nurse who is dealing with her own inner demons and a bomber who feels God has given the directive to bomb first the clinic and then the nurse personally. Ms. Sellers then adds in Bible study group of junior high students who are learning a bit more than the Bible. To top it off, she includes two murdered girls and a detective who is doing his best to raise his young daughter on his own. LJ Seller's then stirs these ingredients thoroughly and makes them conect in a way that deliciously appealing.

The characters in The Sex Club are so realistic you will look at your pre-teen and early teen kids and wonder if these are kids they go to school with. The subject matter is intense and brings to light a subject that is wrought with controversy. Ms. Sellers uses her words to weave a masterpiece that keeps readers glued to her book. It is one of those "just one more chapter" books that find you on page one one minute and and by the time you reach the end, you realize you have not even taken the time to eat, but have been immersed for hours.



That is where the crime comes in. I found myself so involved in this book that I did something I almost never do-I forgot to fix dinner for my guys. My son informed me that it was "a crime to write a book that was so good it prevented a mother from cooking for her "starving" child!"

There you have it folks--LJ Sellers has committed the horrendous crime of writing a book that is so engrossing the outside world disappears until you reach the end. Hmm...I wonder if that is a felony or a simple misdemeanor?











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Dan Fogelberg--His Legacy Brings Others Hope

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"You've got to just follow your heart and do your best work," he said. "For better or worse, I have followed my heart. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that everything I've done is exactly what I intended to do."

The above words were said by Dan Fogelberg. As many fans know, Dan was more than a mere singer--he was a true performer, putting heart and soul into his music. The pure poetry of his lyrics can be seen in such words as these, from his song Face the Fire:

Face the fire
You can't turn away
The risk grows greater
With each passing day
The waiting's over
The moment has come
To kill the fire
And turn to the sun.

Dan's poetic lyrics, as well as his insightful rhetoric describing the story behind many of his songs can now be found in the Dan Fogelberg Retrospective CD which was created from an interview that Fred Migliore of FM Odyssey did with Dan Fogelberg.

For more information about this CD and to order your copy, visit http://fmodyssey.com/Store.html.

To read reviews for the CD - visit http://danfogelbergcd.blogspot.com/2009/03/reviews-for-dan-fogelberg-retrospective.html

To visit various audio and video clips for Dan Fogelberg -- visit http://danfogelbergcd.blogspot.com

Three dollars from each 2-disk set sold goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation in Dan's name. When Dan discovered he was in the advanced stages of prostate cancer, he made an effort to see that the word got out to men everywhere the importance of regular prostate testing. Hopefully, the legacy left behind by Dan Fogelberg will provide hope for those who heed his message.


If you leave a comment on ANY of these blog posts during this Virtual Blog Tour, then your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a "Lost Session" Interview CD, never-to-be-released; over 45 minutes long of Dan with Fred!!! You CANNOT purchase this ANYWHERE else!



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Talking With Connie Arnold

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I want to thank Connie Arnold for taking the time to stop by and visit with us. I have come to know Connie and she is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Her poetry is a true reflection of the love and kindness that shine from deep within her. In case you missed yesterday's post, please scroll down after this post for purchasing information on Abiding Hope & Love. And don't forget to leave a comment on either that post or this one for an autographed copy of the book. That said, sit back and enjoy the interview.

Interview questions – Joyce Anthony

1. Could you please tell our readers a bit about who Connie Arnold the person is?
Starting with a tough one, are you? I can easily tell you about my writing, but I’m a rather shy, quiet person. I care very much about other people, try to be encouraging and helpful, and generally am optimistic and cheerful.

2. Your poetry is so uplifting; do you ever find yourself in a mood that prevents you from writing?
I only write when there is inspiration. Sometimes it just comes to me, and that’s when the writing is easiest. Other times I have to actively seek inspiration and much prayer is needed. If I can’t write something that will be meaningful, uplifting and helpful to those reading it, I put it away and come back later to try again.

3. Have you considered venturing into other areas of writing, Connie, or is poetry where you feel your greatest message resides?
Poetry is definitely the gift I’ve been given and what I feel God uses to touch people’s hearts. I also write for children. I have three young grandsons, and I enjoy writing for them and other small children.

4. Would you be willing to share with us one of your most favorite poems (one that you have written that is)?
The poem that I’ve heard from so many people that it has touched their hearts and souls is “A Still, Small Voice”:

There’s a quiet spot in the depths of my being
where God in silence dwells,
The holy, infinite presence of God
where awareness slowly wells,
Away from the noisy outer world,
enclosed where it’s calm and still,
Breathing in deep tranquility
as mind and spirit fill.
It’s a silence that speaks without words,
and doesn’t sound to the ear,
But listening to it with my heart
can calm every doubt and fear.
The unconditional love I feel
makes each anxiety cease,
As the overwhelming essence of God
fills my soul with the sweetest peace.



5. Why do you write?
It is the easiest way for me to communicate what I want to share. There are thoughts and feelings welling up in me that need to be expressed and writing is a wonderful outlet. When I’m inspired with something, it seems to flow out into words on paper while I would probably stutter and stammer trying to express it aloud!

6. Poetry often needs to come "on its own". Do you have a regular routine to help get the inspiration flowing? If so, what is it?
Sometimes the poetry does come “on its own” as you say, and I will write anytime that happens. Other than that, as funny as it may sound, eating a banana gets my inspiration flowing! No, really it’s not the banana, but my routine is to go to the dining room table when I first get up in the morning with my Bible and a devotional book, pray, then read while I eat a banana. I also have a pencil and pad of paper handy and at least start on a poem during that time when the inspiration gets flowing.

7. Do you believe writing poetry such as yours can be taught or does it have to come from within?
The different forms of poetry can be taught and some of the basics, but the meaning has to come from within. Something has to inspire you enough to write with a passion that touches others for poetry to be effective.

8. Do you ever do poetry readings?
Yes, I’ve done readings for church groups, senior groups and retirement communities and plan to do more.

9. What author has influenced you the most, both personally and professionally?
That’s a good question! There have been quite a few authors who have influenced me in different ways personally. Professionally it would have to be someone who influenced my poetry writing, since that’s what has been published. I would say Helen Steiner Rice had an early influence on me long before I started writing poetry because my mother loved her poems so much and always had her books around. She wrote in a similar encouraging and uplifting, lyrical style that I usually do.

10. Is there anything you would like to share with us today about you, your writing or anything else?
I’d like to thank you, Joyce, for letting me share about my writing and books, and to invite those visiting to come by my website, www.freewebs.com/conniearnold to learn more about Abiding Hope and Love and read some poems. Each week I post a new poem on an Inspirational Poetry Blog and love to hear from readers!

***
For those who would like to follow Connie on the rest of this tour, I have posted the schedule below :-)

April 20-21 Books and Authors, Joyce Anthony - includes free book drawing!

April 22 Virtual Book Tour de 'Net, Karina Fabian - interview

April 23 Book Reviewer and Author, Amber Stults - with book giveaway!

April 24 Stories by JB, JoAnne Bennett

April 27 Free Spirit, Marvin Wilson - interview with husband, Tom

April 28 Kat Logic, Katrina Wampler

April 29 The Surrendered Scribe, Julie Arduini

April 30 Heading Home, Lynn Mosher

Each day, April 20-30 Simply 4 God, Valerie Murray - excerpts

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Meet Connie Arnold and get A Chance to Win

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Abiding Hope and Love
When troubles and trials of life
Like winds are howling around,
A place that is quiet and sheltered
Is what needs to be found.

As in the hurricane’s eye
The destructive winds cease,
So also within the soul
Is a haven of calm and peace.

When the winds of fear and hatred
Rage and roar along their course,
Through prayer their strength is weakened,
As faith subdues their force.

There’s a safe, secure retreat,
A place down deep inside,
The center of life’s storms,
Where hope and love abide.






Beautiful words, aren't they? The above poem was written by Connie Arnold and is the title poem of her book, Abiding Hope & Love.





You will find words within this book even more beautiful than the cover. This poetry collection is filled with optimism, revealing hope and love that may be found throughout life. Included are poems about hope, love, children, music, the Bible and nature. Life is filled with difficulties and trials, and finding hope and love can help you to overcome these problems and find peace in your life.






Those are the words written on the back cover of Abiding Hope & Love. I would like to add that the words within this book will help you find a moment of calm in the chaos we know as life. You will find yourself in a place of beauty and serenity.






Let's hear what Connie has to say about who she is:

I was born in Texarkana, TX, and moved with my parents, Wesley and Lois Clark, and my sister, Kathy, to Anthony, TX when I was two. I grew up there until going away to college, where I met Tom (who is from Louisville, KY), stationed at Ft. Hood, TX. We were married the following year, and moved to New Orleans.

Our first house was in Slidell, LA, where our two children, Tom, Jr. and Lori, were born. From there we moved to Omaha, NE where our children finished middle and high school. After that, Tom & I moved to Winston-Salem, NC, where we still live. Both children are now married. Tom, Jr. & Kim live in Chicago. Lori & Josh are in Omaha and have three sons, Luke, 3 1/2, Noah, 2, and Jesse, born in June 2007. I have discovered the great joy of being a grandmother!

Music has always played a big part in my life. I was the organist/choir director at Christ Church in Slidell, then at St. Andrew's in Omaha was a substitute organist, choir member and children's choir director. I began writing music there, which was sung by both adult and children's choirs. That was how I began writing poetry, as text for music. Upon moving to Winston-Salem in 1996, I became inspired to write more poetry. Some of it has been shared at St. Paul's Church, and the young people recently sang an anthem I wrote. Another song I wrote was sung at Tom & Kim's wedding. Although most of what I have written is not set to music, all of my poetry has a musical, rhythmic quality.



In 1987 I was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic illness which forced a change in my life. The good that has come from it has been in being more open to God and being inspired, and in a greater understanding of the suffering of others. Many of my poems are influenced by that and express how important it is to rely on God and how God's love can sustain through the hardships of life. Having a book of my poetry published is a way to reach out to others in hopes of inspiring as I have been inspired, offering moments of beauty, as well as joy and peace.


Tomorrow, I will be sharing with you an interview I had with Connie. I know you will find her as pleasant as I do! I will also share her blog tour schedule with you tomorrow--so please watch for that. In the meantime, please leave a comment for Connie. I have an autographed copy of Abiding Hope & Love to give to one lucky winner. Not only does this make a wonderful book for yourself, but Mother's Day is just around the corner-and I can't think of a better present to give!


To order Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace or Abiding Hope and Love at a special discounted price using PayPal, with no added shipping, please visit the Web Store. Be sure to contact me with mailing address and how to personalize.





To order by mail, see below.



Order Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace from PublishAmerica



Order Abiding Hope and Love from PublishAmerica



Click here to order either book from Barnes & Noble.



Order from Amazon



To make a donation to the Lupus Foundation of America and receive a signed copy of either book, e-mail Connie or send a check for $14 for a signed copy of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, $15 for a signed copy of Abiding Hope and Love or $26 for a copy of each, made payable to LFA, Winston-Triad Chapter and mail to 4280 Mashie Drive, Pfafftown, NC 27040. Please be sure to include the name with which to personalize each book.



Request at your local bookstore:



Abiding Hope and Love by Connie Arnold, PublishAmerica ISBN 1604742321



Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace by Connie Arnold, PublishAmerica ISBN 1424168589



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Magic, Mensa and Mayhem--A Review

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What do you get when you send magical creatures to a Mensa convention? Add together an odd assortment of both magical and non-magical creatures and Mensa members having a convention, send in Vern, a dragon who makes his living as a Private Investigator, to keep an eye on things--and let him relate the event in his own words, and you have a hilarious tale full of Magic, Mensa and Mayhem.

Karina Fabian writes in a style that is fresh and full of laughter. I fell in love with Vern's somewhat sarcastic sense of humor before I was ten pages into the book. The characters came alive for me--making me actually believe in the possibility of such an event. Ms. Fabian has written the ultimate adult fairy tale-one that can also be shared with your kids. This book will take you back to times long past, when a bedtime story had you begging for "just one more chapter". The only thing I found disappointing about Magic, Mensa & Mayhem was that I had to close the cover when the book came to an end.

I give this book seven colors on the Rainbow Scale-A Perfect Rainbow!

***
To purchase this book, please visit:


http://tinyurl.com/mmmamazon - for Amazon
http://tinyurl.com/mmmkindle - for Kindle
http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/mensa.html - to order direct from the publisher (note: the publisher can beat Amazon on International shipping.)

If you purchase and want an autographed bookplate, you can contact Karina through her website, http://www.fabianspace.com/

Don't forget the contest:

I am having a trivia contest for people who have read Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. On April 30, I'll post 10 questions whose answers can be found in the book. I'll accept answers until May 15. The winner gets a free copy of Live and Let Fly, the next DragonEye, PI, novel. Folks can find the details on http://www.dragoneyepi.net/.

Here is a fun video for you:



To make it easy to visit Karina on her other tour stops (or return to previous stops) I have included her tour schedule below:

APRIL Magic, Mensa and Mayhem Virtual Book Tour



1: TWEET TOUR: www.twitter.com/karinafabian
(note: Mention Michelle Falsetta as the model from Brunhilde)

2: tour announced on www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com, www.fabianspace.com, www.dragoneyepi.net
--Interview with Jane Lebak: http://philangelus.wordpress.com
--Interview: www.thecomingevil.blogspot.com
--Live interview on Snark Infested Waters with Taylor Kent, 9-10 PM EDT at http://thesnarkyavenger.com

3: Interview with Vern on Larion Will's website: http://www.larriane.com
--Guest blog on character creation on www.kidsbooksuk.blogspot.com

4: Interview about Florida and Gater Louie scenes: http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com
--Information about Magic, Mensa and Mayhem at New Book News, http://doylebooks.blogspot.com

5: Information and interview of Vern; http://blog.frankcreed.com/

6: Quotes from the characters of MM&M: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com

7: Interview at snoringscholar.blogspot.com
--Worldbuilding post and interview on http://www.amberstults.com.

10-11 EST Second Life: Meet & Greet
To get to the meeting: http://slurl.com/secondlife/North%20Bound%20Marina/227/24/25. They can then click on the link that says teleport now and that will open their software and after logging and they land in my living room. We will also have the surf boards out so that after the meeting we can surf around the marina. Also just on the other side of the marina is a Christian "night club" called Grizzlies where they can dance and mingle. Or they can just hang around and chat at my place.

8: TWEET TOUR: www.twitter.com/karinafabian
--Review at www.splashdownreviews.blogspot.com

9: Interview with the content editor: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com

10: Interview http://unwriter1.wordpress.com/
--Talking about blog tours at http://www.sallymurphy.blogspot.com/

11: Review: www.shoutlife.com/cindysbooks

12: Plotting MM&M on Writer Wow: http://writewow.blogspot.com/
--Interview on Imperfect Clarity http://www.imperfectclarity.net/

13: Interview with Nancy Famolari: http://sites.google.com/site/nancyfamolari/

14: Book review; http://www.freewebs.com/brynnacurry The Fairy Ring'
--Book Review: http://bibliophilesretreat.com
--Interview on Mommyblog, Mama Bear Knows Best http://www.imperfectclarity.net/mamabear/.

8 PM EST: Live chat at Author! Author! http://xat.com/WordBox

15: Book Signing at Minot AFB BX 10-2
--Interview at http://joyceanthony.tripod.com
--TWEET TOUR: www.twitter.com/karinafabian -- Look for #mm&m

16: Interview with the copy editor: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com

17: Guest post about writing funny on Ascroft, eh? www.dianneascroft.wordpress.com
--Talking about worldbuilding: Speculative Friction http://francespauli.blogspot.com

18: Book Signing at Minot AFB BX 10-2
--Review by CF Vici: http://cfvici.blogspot.com
--On blog with Karen http://karenandrobyn.blogspot.com

19: Interview and Review (Up through 26th)
--ChrisChatReviews:http://www.freewebs.com/chrischatreviews/
--ChrisChatTalksBooks: http://chrischatreviews.blogspot.com/
--Tweet Tour: reviews and mentions
@nasharpe
@JaneLebak
@Frederation
@gracebridges
@terrimain
@josephcabadas

20: interview and review http://www.frederation.wordpress.com
--Review: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

21: Guest column on worldbuilding: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/
--Interview with Deb: http://debsbookreviews.blogspot.com

22: TWEET TOUR: www.twitter.com/karinafabian
--Interview: www.jennifersbookreviews.com

23: Excerpt: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com

24: Review with Cathi Hassan: http://cathischatter.blogspot.com

25: Interview with Cathi Hassan: http://cathischatter.blogspot.com

26: Review and interview on Wayfarer's Journal Blog Review: http://www.wayfarersjournal.com/blog.htm

27: Vern interview on "Scribblings": http://tree-lady.livejournal.com/

28: Review snoringscholar.blogspot.com

29: TWEET TOUR: www.twitter.com/karinafabian
--Vern interviewed on snoringscholar.blogspot.com

30: MM&M Trivia contest: www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com: Note: you'll need to have read the book.


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Meet the Characters

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As promised yesterday, today I will be sharing with you several interviews I had a chance to do with some of the characters in Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. Remember, you can go here http://tinyurl.com/mmmamazon to buy a copy. Anyway, in case you missed a few of the interviews I did before, here are the links:

Coyote
Sister Grace
Vern
and
Vern For President



Now for today's interviews-we have three!!!

Garn:


Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

(Muttering to himself: I can't believe Kent talked me into this...) I'm Garn, and I'm a dwarf and one of the conspirators in the DragonEye, PI, novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem.

Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

I think I'll pass actually. Vern has told me about your Mundane concept of "spoilers" and has told me what he'll do to me if I provide any.

How did you convince your author to put you in this book? For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

I don't really know what you mean by that. I didn't ask to be put in this book. I'd rather have not been mentioned at all, but I do have a key role in the whole case, so she couldn't have left me out, I suppose.

Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

I guess that would be Kent, my traveling companion for the convention. We'd actually just met before the trip. Don’t tell him, but at first, I was kind of excited to have him for a roommate. I'd heard a lot about his performance as Graf Goldhacker in The Day the Mine Ran Dry. Dwarf Entertainer gave it three diamonds. Anyway, he turned out to be quite shale--er, Mundanes would say, "a flake"? Thought he could dress like that Gimli character and roam the streets of BillyBeaver's Fantasyland spouting off lines get himself "discovered."

Still, got a heart of gold, he does. And he did eventually break into Mundane television. He was supposed to get a role on Atlantis until they canceled the show. Now he's got a role as the assassin in the movie Live and Let Fly.

Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

I think I'm done with adventuring, intrigue and getting on Vern's bad side. I've got my Faeriemet mine here in Faerie Australia and I'm happy.

What would you like our readers to know about you?

Only that I'm sorry the Mundane world got involved in what should have been Faerie scheming. It was a cultural misunderstanding, really.

Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

(Growling) My ancestors were right: never trust an Elf.

Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

As in fear-for-my-life exciting? Probably the trip to Florida. On that abomination of a transport. Airships! Dwarves were meant to be underground, not in the air!

Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

I should have been more casual about my pickax. I realize now my possessiveness drew attention to it.


What was your main motivation?

What every dwarf's motivation should be: a mine to call his own.

Introduce us to your main adversary?

Galendor. Uppity, politicizing, better-than-Elvish High Elf. If he hadn't set those--sorry. Spoilers.

Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

I don't understand the question. She wasn't there. She just wrote down the story as Vern told it. Now what I would have liked to have done, but Vern stopped me, was take my pickax to Galendor's family jewels.

Here’s your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?

If yer looking for the best Faeriemet in two universes, you'll find it at Garn's of the Outback. High quality, reasonable rates.

Oh, and I don't have any hard feelings toward Vern or Grace. They were just doing their jobs--and they made Gozon fulfill his part of the agreement and give me the mine he promised. Spent two days of talking him into it, too. That's actually pretty fast for a High Elf, amazingly fast considering it was Gozon.

***

Kent Strongforge


Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

Well, Milady, I prefer to be known by my stage name, Kent Strongforge, and I have a small but important role in Karina Fabian's Magic, Mensa and Mayhem and a bit part in Live and Let Fly.

Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

I play an idealistic dwarf with visions of escaping of his stifling Dwarvish heritage by pursuing an acting career in the Mundane movies. He joins Mensa and attends their World Gathering in Southern Florida, hoping to get his big break at Billy Beaver's Fantasyland; instead, he's becomes an unwitting player in an Interdimensional conspiracy.

How did you convince your author to put you in this book? For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

I was a natural for the role.

Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

On the contrary; I had complete freedom to pursue my character. Of course, I could have hoped for more lines, but there are no small parts; just small actors.

Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Ah, Burnhilde! Wonderful woman--such stage presence! And a joy to work with. She's occasionally come down to my little theater in Australia to take a part in a play or two. I'm sorry we don't share any scenes in Live and Let Fly.

Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

Well, as I said, I have a small part in Live and Let Fly. A couple of lines--forshadowing for the lovely Brunhilde, as a matter of fact. As for what the future holds? We'lljust have to see. My Mundane agent is working on some things in Hollywood, maybe Vancouver. I'd love a part in Sanctuary--I'm a great fan of Amanda Tapping.


What would you like our readers to know about you?

I'm a strong proponent for equal opportunity for all races--Fearie and Mundane--particularly those whose physical stature doesn't match the current Mundane standards of attractiveness. This is especially important in the entertainment industry.We hear a lot about the actresses who starve themselves, sure, but what about the actors who never get a chance at roles of substance because because they don't "measure up"--and I do mean physically
?

I'm hoping in my career to break those barriers. I want roles of substance, sure, but I'd like to do something unexpected to--a lead in a heartwarming romantic comedy, one that doesn't poke fun at my height.

Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

Vern has a temper. Coors gives a terrible hangover. Brunhilde is--well, perhaps I shouldn't share that!

Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

(Blushing) Nae. I couldn't really share that. It's all behind-the-scenes, anyway.

Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

Obviously, I should have learned more about how the acting world really works in the Mundane, rather than just relying on the They Were Discovered Complete Acting Course for the Hopeful Thespian.

What was your main motivation?

My dear! I wanted to be discovered!

Introduce us to your main adversary?

I've no adversaries--unless you count that horrible manager at Billy Beaver's! He said I wasn’t convincing. I wasn’t convincing as a dwarf! Crushed me, he did.

Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

I would have liked to have had a director rush to the bus in the end, declare that he saw my performance at Billy Beaver's Fantasyland, and want to sign me up for his next film. Alas. Can't have it all.

Here’s your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?

Short men are sexy.

***

Galinda


Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

I'm Princess Galinda Tavendor, and I'm in the novel, Magic, Mensa and Mayhem: From the Case Files of DragonEye, PI, by Karina L. Fabian.

Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

My husband, the High Elf Galendor, and I attended a Mensa World Gathering along with several other Faerie beings. Of course, we were there for other business as well. What I didn't realize, however, was that my dear Galendor was harboring a terrible secret from me. If it hadn't been for Vern and Sister Grace...I, I just don't know... excuse me. Sniffle.

Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Well, of course, my favorite friend in all my life is my beloved Galendor! He's so handsome and brave and attentive. He saved my life, you know. That story is in Firestorm of Dragons. However, my second favorite in this tale is Vern. He's a dragon detective, sent to chaperone the Faerie at the convention. He can be very gruff and grumpy, but inside he has a heart of gold. When he saw me crying in the hotel lounge, he came to see what was wrong and he's such a good listener. And when realized what had happened to my dear Galendor! Oh, Vern is just so smart and strong and--well, he's a dragon. He's magnificent.


Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

Vern always seems to get me out of some kind of trouble, so if I have to be in a story, I'm just glad he's there to save me.

What would you like our readers to know about you?

Oh, what's there to know? I’m just your typical Faerie princess, classically trained: beautiful, wealthy, talented in the arts. A fair statesman, and I have great screen presence--Oprah's people told me that.

Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

Yes. The importance of good communication and trusting one's instincts.

Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

Well, it was only mentioned in passing, but we were on Oprah! We'd been invited to a special about "cultural differences and the modern couple."

Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

Oh, I got a bit flustered when Gozon and Galendor and that awful dwarf got into a fight. I said some very unprincessy things. Quite embarrassing really.

What was your main motivation?

What is it for any Faerie Princess? True Love.

Introduce us to your main adversary?

Oh, that wouldn't be very diplomatic of me. They've been dealt with.

Here’s your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?

If you are purposefully or inadvertently addicted in any way, please, please seek help. Don't wait until it affects your relationships with the ones you love. And Faerie folk: stay away from products containing Scanatine. We still don't understand the full effects on non-human metabolisms. It's just not worth it.

***
Please come back tomorrow for more fun with Karina Fabian and Magic, Mensa and Mayhem!


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Mahem in the Air

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The next few days, I have a real treat for you, Karina Fabian is on tour with her book, Magic, Mensa & Mayhem, and it is a wondrous tour indeed. I'll post the entire schedule in a bit, but let me tell you what is in store over the next couple of days.


You will get to meet Karina Fabian and learn about Magic, Mensa & Mayhem. Three characters from this book will stop in and talk with us-and I'll pass on information for other interviews you may have missed-did you know, Vern the PI Dragon was running (er...not running) for President? I'm hoping Karina will stop in and tell us a bit about what a "Twitter tour" is. I can't promise that, but if she doesn't have a chance (When you see her schedule, you'll see what I mean!) I'll try and find out and let everyone know. You will also get to hear about a course Karina is conducting on blog touring and finally, I will be giving my review of Magic, Mensa & Mayhem :-) Oh, and Karina is running a contest! Please don't forget to check in each day to see what is new-I think you will enjoy the next few days :-)




The lady to your left is Karina Fabian. Karina is a prime example of the cliche "more than just a pretty face". Mother, author, editor, instructor-and smart to boot! This woman is constantly involved in one project or another--yet, I have never known her to be too busy to stop and answer a question or help out someone in need.


After being a straight-A student, Karina now cultivates Fs: Family, Faith, Fiction and Fun. Winner of an EPPIE award for best sci-fi (Infinite Space, Infinite God) and a Mensa Owl for best fiction (World Gathering), Karina’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her--and her fans--amused. From and order of nuns working in space to a down-and-out faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, she juggles the stories from at least three different universes. Mrs. Fabian is President of the Catholic Writer’s Guild and also teaches writing and book marketing seminars online. Visit her website at http://www.fabianspace.com/.



10 Things About Karina Fabian

1. Born in Glennwood Springs, CO; grew up in Pueblo, CO.

2. Former Air Force officer (active and reserves)

3. Mother of four--former homeschooler.

4. Former freelance writer specializing in pregnancy and home births, home education, and people features.

5. Never intended to write fiction that incorporated religion so extensively, but those are the stories that ask to be written.

6. A seat-of-the-pants writer, she usually knows the beginning of a story and the end of a story, and a few events in the middle. Her characters lead her through the rest.

7. A notorious punster, she and her husband fell in love while trading puns while out to dinner with a friend.

8. As an editor, her pet peeves are logical disconnects and characters that act outside their characterizations.

9. Has lived in Japan and Italy as well as in five different states.

10. Loves hats--wears a Santa cap to December book signings and a fedora when writing DragonEye, PI. (No space helmet for sci-fi, however.)


***


Magic, Mensa and Mayhem: (Swimming Kangaroo Press, March 2009): Vern is a cynical dragon living on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap and working off a geas by St. George as a professional problem solver and agent of the Faerie Catholic Church. In this case, he and his partner, Sister Grace, a High Mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, have been asked by the Church to chaperone a few dozen Faerie citizens at a Mensa convention. Should be a cushy job, right? Not when pixies start pranking, Valkyries start vamping and a dwarf goes to the equivalent of Disneyworld hoping to be "discovered." Environmentalists protest Vern's "disrupting the ecosystem," while clueless tourists think he's animatronic. When the elves get high on artificial flavorings and declare war on Florida, it turns into the toughest case they'd not get paid for. Based loosely on the award-winning serial "mystery" in the North Dakota Prairie Dawg.



Look what Publisher's Weekly had to say about this book:

Publisher's Weekly: Religion and humor suffuse this well-imagined and densely plotted comedic mystery, based on a short story of the same title. Cursed by St. George to serve the Faerie Catholic Church, dragon detective Vern now sleuths in the mundane world. His latest (unpaid) assignment is to babysit a group of faeries attending a Mensa meeting. Vern quickly has his claws full juggling crises, from invisible brownies to two elves whose rivalry threatens to become interdimensional war. Distinctly memorable and occasionally silly supporting characters, from Brunhilde the Valkyrie to Native American trickster Coyote, steer the action. While the conclusion sticks perilously close to genre formula and the narrative is jumpy throughout, most readers will forgive the clich├ęs (and Vern’s groan-worthy puns) and chuckle all the way through. (Mar.) http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6631453.html?industryid=47159

***
Here are a couple of websites where you can read more on Karina and her writing:

http://www.dragoneyepi.net/: The home of DragonEye, PI, website. If folks register on the website, they get a free story ("Amateurs," an Honorable Mention in Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 2008), and subscription to "A Dragon's Eye View," with special offers on stories and products.

http://www.fabianspace.com/: Where you can learn more about Karina and her other books. I also have a lot of resources for writers including free e-books, and classes and programs on Marketing.

http://www.northdakota.us.mensa.org/karina.htm To read the serial story. Be warned--the book is quite different!

If you are ready to get your own copy of this book, please visit one of these places:

http://tinyurl.com/mmmamazon - for Amazon

http://tinyurl.com/mmmkindle - for Kindle

http://www.swimmingkangaroo.com/mensa.html - to order direct from the publisher (note: the publisher can beat Amazon on International shipping.)

If you buy a copy and would like an autographed book plate, contact Karina through her website, http://www.fabianspace.com/

Contest info from Karina:

I am having a trivia contest for people who have read Magic, Mensa and Mayhem. On April 30, I'll post 10 questions whose answers can be found in the book. I'll accept answers until May 15. The winner gets a free copy of Live and Let Fly, the next DragonEye, PI, novel. Folks can find the details on http://www.dragoneyepi.net/.

***
That's it for today, folks! Please stop by tomorrow for a visit with Vern, Sister Grace and some of their associates!

The Bible - A Review

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Today, it occurred to me that, of all the books I have reviewed, or seen reviews of, I have never done a review of the Bible. A complete synopsis of this book is impossible in this short of space, but most people know the contents, so I will skip that part and go straight to the review.

The Bible can't be put into a specific genre. Part history, part self-help, part-inspiration, part fantasy-with an element of poetry and reference thrown in--this book stands by itself in that respect. Like life itself, no artificial box can hold this book.

The first half of the Bible contains a great deal of history. As with all history books, it is subject to flaws. Having been written years after the events taken place, memories can become dim and the author or author does his best to fill in the empty spaces. In all, however, we get a pretty good picture of what life was like in that long-ago time period. Some of the details have been verified to date, but more still remain a mystery yet to be solved.

The second half of the book contains wonderful poetry, fable and self-help lessons. I found numerous cases where quotes can be used as positive affirmations to help keep one on a true, enlightened spiritual journey. The language is often difficult to read and I find some of it a bit "flowery" in the manner of Shakespeare. I was, however, entranced in many instances and had quite a few "ah-ha" moments.

The authors obviously did not take the time to collaborate on the various sections, and there is discrepancy in the plot line in more than one place. The message of love, peace and do unto others is evident throughout, however, and remains the major theme pulling the various threads together.

Characters range from pure light to pure dark. Many appear only briefly, while others reappear throughout the entire book. The main character, God, does not appear at all physically, but He makes his will known in many ways that can't be ignored. You get the impression from reading this book that the main character is vengeful, accepts only His viewpoint and has a nasty temper. His son, however, speaks of peace and love and reminds us that, regardless of first impressions, his Father, is also forgiving and compassionate.

This book contains elements of so many genres that there is something for everyone. It is not a book to sit down and read in one sitting, but is quite suitable for a daily reading of a section or two. The Bible will make you think. It will provide you with as many questions to ponder as it does answers. The style is more matter-of-fact than emotional, it is even somewhat preachy at times, but all in all, it is a book I would recommend without hesitation.



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Dan Fogelberg and Prostate Cancer

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My last post mentioned the fact that Dan Fogelberg died from prostate cancer. In his final years, he became a strong advocate of early testing for what is the second most common type of cancer found in men. This is also the reason that every sale of this special Dan Fogelberg Retrospective Interview, 2 CD Set will see a portion donated to help find a cure for prostate cancer.

The earlier prostate cancer is detected, the easier it is to cure. Unfortunately, symptoms are rarely present until the disease has progressed to the point where it has moved into other areas of the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, there were more than 186,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008; of them, 29,000 died because they had received a diagnosis only when the cancer had progressed to a late stage. This number could have been greatly reduced if more men had gotten yearly screenings and the cancer caught earlier.

Two screening tests can be gotten yearly to help catch this disease at its earliest stage. A digital rectal exam (DRE), in which a doctor feels the prostate through the rectum to find hard or lumpy areas, and a blood test that detects a substance made by the prostate called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Together, these tests can detect many “silent” prostate cancers that have not caused symptoms. Due to the widespread use of PSA testing in the United States, approximately 90 percent of all prostate cancers are currently diagnosed at an early stage, and, consequently, men are surviving longer after diagnosis.

Until a cure is found, early detection and treatment is a man's best defense against a disease that has taken far too many good men early. Dan Fogelberg was only 56 years old.

***
Fred Migliore, host of FM Odyssey, the long-running nationally syndicated radio show, has released a two CD interview retrospective of his interview with Dan Fogelberg.

During that interview, Fred engaged Dan in a wonderful, animated conversation about Dan’s first 25 years in the music business. You will hear 13 full-length songs, including "Same Old Lang Syne," "Nether Lands," "The Last Nail," and "Mountains to the Sea," as well as Dan's thoughts on many of those songs.

Dan Fogelberg Retrospective Interview, 2 CD Set is yet another legacy given to us by Dan Fogelberg. Not only will fans get to once again hear the smooth singing voice of one of this talented man, but three dollars of every set purchased is going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

You can purchase the Dan Fogelberg Retrospective Interview, 2 CD Set at http://www.fmodyssey.com/

***
There are about 45 minutes of "lost segments" from the CD which have never been & WILL likely never be released to the public! Each person that posts a comment during this tour will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of this one-of-a-kind CD with the remainder of the interview!!! The most unique, insightful, special comment will be chosen to win a copy, in addition to the random drawing winners!

Success comes from knowing when to take chances and when not to. Take a chance and leave a comment; don't take a chance with your life--get yearly screenings of your prostate. Your life could become a living legacy to Dan Fogelberg.

Dan Fogelberg--The Legend Lives On

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Beautiful, isn't it? I may be dating myself, but I can remember listening to Dan Fogelberg while growing up. When he left us in 2007, I felt as though I'd lost an old friend. Like all artists, however, Dan lives on in his art-in this case the wonderful music.

For the first time in five years, a new CD is being released for Dan Fogelberg fans! Fred Migliore, host of FM Odyssey, the long-running nationally syndicated radio show, has released a two CD interview retrospective with Dan Fogelberg. During that interview, Fred engaged Dan in a wonderful, animated conversation about Dan’s first 25 years in the music business.

You will hear 13 full-length songs, including "Same Old Lang Syne," "Nether Lands," "The Last Nail," and "Mountains To The Sea," as well as Dan's thoughts on many of those songs.

This 2 CD Collector’s Edition is available for $29.95 at http://www.fmodyssey.com/

Three dollars from each CD sold will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation in Dan’s name.

If you would like to read a complete biography of Dan Fogelberg, please visit:

http://www.danfogelberg.com/biography.html

and if you go here:

http://danfogelbergcd.blogspot.com/

there are numerous audio and video pieces of Dan performing.

This is a must-have collection for any Dan Fogelberg fan-and it makes a gift that will long be remembered!

There is something very special I have to tell you about! A Special Bonus CD will be won by one or more commenter on blog postings of the Dan Fogelberg tour!

There are about 45 minutes of "lost segments" from the CD which have never been & WILL likely never be released to the public! Each person that posts a comment during this tour will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of this one-of-a-kind CD with the remainder of the interview!!! The most unique, insightful, special comment will be chosen to win a copy, in addition to the random drawing winners!

Comment people--you don't want o miss a chance at this one!

To increase your chances, here are the rest of the stops on this tour for you to visit:

Wednesday April 8- Dyan http://blog.voiceoftheangels.com/ Review of CD

Thursday, April 9- Joyce Anthony http://joyceanthony.tripod.com/

Friday, April 10- Linda Merlino http://www.gooddaysnodays.blogspot.com/ CD Review and Shelia Goss- http://sheliagoss.com/blog/ mp3’s clips & review

Wednesday, April 15- Marta Hoelscher http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/ & http://inhishug.blogspot.com/ CD Review

Thursday, April 16- Susie Kleiner http://www.soul-to-soul.com/ & http://www.bucksguitarmodifications.com/ - mp3’s review & a “Sketch”

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Truth is so often more horrifying than fiction, and this can be found in the multitude of true crime books available. So often, we are drawn to these books because we try so hard to make sense of what appears to be senseless. We want to know what the murderer was thinking, how he/she could so recklessly take another's life.





My guest today is one of the foremost writers of true-crime books. He has gone where many would like to in order to get inside the criminal's mind and let us know the answers to how those minds think, what motivates them. I am extremely honored to bring you an interview with Gary C. King, who took the time out of his busy schedule preparing for a new book release tomorrow (more on that in a minute) to share some thoughts with us.





Gary C. King, a freelance author and lecturer, is regarded by readers and critics alike as one of the world's foremost crime writers, a reputation he has earned over the last 28 years with the publication of more than 400 articles in true crime magazines in the United States, Canada, and England.





King’s stories regularly appeared in True Detective, Official Detective, Inside Detective, Front Page Detective, and Master Detective magazines, until those magazines’ demise in the mid-1990s. More recently he has found alternate venues for his stories, including Crime Library.





He is also the author of several true crime books including: Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer, Driven to Kill, Web of Deceit, Blind Rage, Savage Vengeance (with Don Lasseter), An Early Grave, The Texas 7, Murder in Hollywood, Angels of Death, Stolen in the Night, Love, Lies, and Murder, and An Almost Perfect Murder. Butcher will be published in April 2009.





Driven to Kill, the story of serial child killer Westley Allan Dodd's killing spree, was published in April 1993 by Pinnacle Books and was nominated for an Anthony Award in the Best True Crime Book category at Bouchercon 25.





Blood Lust: Portrait of a Serial Sex Killer, details the bizarre case of Dayton Leroy Rogers, Oregon's worst serial killer to date. Blood Lust was published in December 1992 under NAL/Dutton's Onyx imprint as an original paperback and is now in its twelfth U.S. printing. A German language edition of Blood Lust was published later, in 1995. Both Blood Lust and Driven to Kill were chosen as featured selections of Doubleday's now defunct True Crime Book Club.





King has also written articles on several celebrated cases that include: "Son of Sam" David Berkowitz; the Hillside Stranglers; Jim Jones and the Guyana Massacre; D.B. Cooper; Gary Gilmore; John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman; and Seattle's bizarre Chinatown Massacre in the 1980s. He has also contributed to several true crime compilations books with various publishers.





The subject of King's other books include: Blind Rage, about suspected serial murderer Darren Dee O'Neall, was published by Dutton-Signet under their Onyx imprint in August 1995, and was reprinted in 2001 by the Mystery Writers of America/iUniverse. Savage Vengeance was published in 1996. More recently King published An Early Grave, a book about the mysterious death of Las Vegas casino scion Ted Binion; The Texas 7: A True Story of Murder and a Daring Escape, about the infamous Texas prison break in which a dedicated cop with a family was brutally murdered; Murder in Hollywood, about the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, actor Robert Blake's wife; Angels of Death, a story detailing the murder of Terry King in Florida, purportedly committed by King's 12- and 13-year-old sons, Derek and Alex King; and Stolen in the Night, about the horrific Joseph Edward Duncan III case out of Idaho. His latest, Love, Lies, and Murder, is about the riveting Perry March case, the shady Nashville lawyer who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Janet, and for plotting the murders of Janet’s parents, from Pinnacle Books. He is currently at work on two additional books for Pinnacle.





King also writes the Bizarre Crime of the Week blog for Investigation Discovery.King’s television appearances have included Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, Inside Edition, Court TV, MSNBC’s Headliners and Legends, E!, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Extra TV, and several other programs. He also frequently provides radio interviews.King is an active member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, American Crime Writers League, The Crime Writers' Association, National Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) and the International Association of Crime Writers.





Gary C. King is represented by agent Peter Miller, President, PMA Literary and Film Management, 45 West 21st Street, Suite 4SW, New York, NY 10010. Phone: 212-929-1222; Fax: 212-206-0238. You can find out more about Gary at his personal website at: http://www.garycking.com/index.htm





***





Now, let's take a listen to the interview:





1. First, can you please tell our readers about yourself. Who is Gary King, the person?





I am a person who enjoys solitude, but I am not averse to being sociable. I am a caring person who gives a lot of thought to the victims and their families in the stories and books that I write about. I try very hard to "humanize" the victims that the killers I write about have "objectified." I am family oriented, and am considered a workaholic by my family despite my best efforts to spend as much time with everyone as possible. My typical workday is 8-10 hours when I'm on a book project. In my off time I like to travel, read, and watch movies. I have been referred to as a cantankerous old fart, but I work hard to keep that label from taking hold!

2. What drew you to the genre of true crime writing originally?






A case in Oregon about a child killer, Manuel Cortez, first drew me to true crime. It was a tough, emotional case, and one that I felt I could write. That case launched my writing career back in 1980 with the publication of "Tortured by the Sadist in the Press Box," which can be soon be read again on the Investigation Discovery site where approximately 50 of my earlier stories will be seen in the very near future (they may call that portion of their site "Classic Crime," but not sure yet). Readers will likely be able to navigate to the classic stories from my blog, Bizarre Crimes of the Week (http://discovery.blogs.com/bizarre ). After writing the Cortez story, I became hooked on researching and writing about crime and have been doing it ever since.

3. How much time do you put in, on average, researching each of your books?






The amount of time spent on researching a case for a book varies substantially. Some cases are easier than others, particularly when people are eager to talk. On average, however, I'd have to say approximately three months go into research and outlining, and another three to four months in writing. I have, however, written a couple of "quickie" books (which I will never do again), that required completion of the projects from start to finish in 35 days.

4. What draws you to a particular case?






Simply put, a case must interest me greatly before I will decide to write about it. The cases that interest me usually have many of the elements of a traditional mystery, a whodunit, and I typically have to "feel" some emotional involvement despite the fact that I am so detatched. The cases I like best are those that take me inside the mind of the killer.

5. Do you find interviewing those involved in your cases an easy task or do you run into a great deal of opposition?






Again, it varies greatly from case to case. Sometimes people are very eager to talk, other times they are very reluctant. I never know who will talk to me until I begin the research and tracking down the participants, whether they be the victim's family members or the cops. Sometimes I get to talk to the killers themselves.

6. Would you please tell us a bit about Butcher, which will be released tomorrow?






Butcher is the story of Canadian pig farmer Robert Pickton who, at some point in his life, decided that he wanted to beging killing and butchering women. It is a sordid case with gruesome aspects, but I tried to tone down the violence and the gore to some extent. Pickton is a fascinating case study of a serial killer, purportedly the worst in Canadian history. We originally had plans to release the book in Canada as The Pig Farm Murders, but the Canadian government informed my publisher that we cannot because of the publication ban still in effect regarding the case. Pickton's appeals have apparently begun, and the government is doing what it deems necessary to protect Pickton's rights.

7. What advice can you offer writers wanting to delve into writing true crime?






Be prepared for a lot of competition, as well as putting in lots of long, difficult hours for very little payment. The genre does not pay well unless one hits the bestseller lists, which is rare in true crime. Ann Rule has been one of the few to be able to accomplish that, along with Vincent Bugliosi and a handful of others. An aspiring true crime writer should be prepared to sit down and write a 10-15 page proposal about the crime that interests him/her, and do it quickly before someone else beats you to the publisher. While writing the proposal, find an agent for representation by sending out a short 1 or 2 page letter of interest, or query. Be prepared to send out the proposal as soon as the agent says okay.

8. Of all your books, which one holds you in its grip the most, and why?






Probably Driven to Kill, because it is about child serial murderer Westley Allan Dodd. Why? Because he did horrible, unspeakable things to little children, and I got to interview him for several hours and heard him tell me about his crimes in vivid detail as he relived them in a near-fantasy state of mind.

9. Do you have any other books in the works at the moment that we can look forward to reading?






I am currently working on a book that has been tentatively titled, Rage, which is about millionaire Reno businessman Darren Mack. Mack, true crime fans will recall, murdered his wife, Charla, because he was unhappy with the divorce settlement. He then went downtown and shot their divorce judge from a parking garage, through the judge's chambers window (the judge survived). There is a lot more to the case, of course, but that should give readers an idea. I have two additional true crime books to complete after that, but my editor and I have not settled on which cases those will be about just yet.

10. Is there anything else you would like to say--about yourself, your work or writing in general?






Writing for publication can be a very satisfying career, but aspiring writers should be prepared to face the difficult times (particularly economic) that go along with it.



Thank you so much for your wonderful answers, Gary. If you readers have any questions, please feel fre to put them in the comments section and I will see about getting them answered :-)





***


Now, for tomorrow's book release of Butcher (By the way, you can pre-order this book at http://tinyurl.com/ck6hqw ). I think the back copy will tell you better about this book.



From the back cover:

HIS GOAL: TO KILL AN "EVEN FIFTY"They called him "Uncle Willie." At night, Robert "Willie" Pickton visited the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. The women he picked up never came back...

HIS METHODS: RAPE AND TORTURE For years, police built a long list of missing prostitutes, women at the edge of society. Some people claimed there was a serial killer. One detective lost his job for saying so. But investigators didn't have a single body...until someone found a skull sawed in half...

THE PIG FARM MURDERS On land that had made his family millions, on a squalid pig farm near a school, a condo development and a Starbucks, Robert Pickton ran a house of horrors for decades. Friends, neighbors and community leaders came and went, while Pickton committed debauchery, torture, and bloodletting rivaling the worst on record. What he did to his victims was unspeakable. What he did to the bodies was unimaginable. How he got away with it is the most shocking crime of all...

INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF DISTURBING PHOTOS

BUTCHER will be released on April 7, 2009 to bookstores everywhere.
***

All true crime readers will be familiar with Gary C. King. For those who are unfamiliar with his work, this is your chance to get to know him. Again, please stop by http://www.garycking.com/index.htm to learn more about Gary and his writing. You won't regret this one!




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VS Grenier, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of SFC

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Today's guest at Books and Authors is a woman with a great deal of talent and drive. VS Grenier, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of SFC, was voted one of the Top Ten Editors in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2007 & 2008. She started writing for children’s magazines a year after the birth of her daughter when she quit working to stay home and raise a family. She loves writing books, articles, and short stories for children and teens, finding that it keeps her young. Grenier even dresses up for Halloween and still believes in Santa Claus. Grenier is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and is a member of SCBWI and Musing Our Children. A California girl at heart, VS Grenier currently lives in Utah with her husband, their two kids, and the family’s big fat cat, Speed Bump.

Her works include the Best of Stories for Children Magazine Volume 1 anthology and over 30 short stories, articles, and crafts for children along with newsletter articles for writers. She also won second place for her article, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus” in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2007 for Best Nonfiction of 2007 and won 7th place for her article, “Dinosaurs Tracks in My Backyard” in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll 2008 for Best Nonfiction of 2008.



When asked how she became a children's writer, Virgina's answer was:





"I started writing for children at the end of 2005 when I decided to apply to The Institute of Children’s Literature. I never dreamed about becoming a children’s writer, or an editor for that matter, I just kinda fell into it. My daughter was just barely under a year old and I was looking for something to do. I thought I would write here and there for children’s magazines in my spare time while I stayed home and raised my two kids. I was so use to working full time as a buyer I just didn’t know what to do staying home all day long. I wasn’t use to it. I found as I continued through the course at the ICL how much I really enjoyed writing for children. I wasn’t a straight A student by any means in English class, so my family thought it was quite funny when they heard what I was doing with my spare time. However, I stuck to it and my instructor really encouraged me. It wasn’t until after I published my very first short story at Fandangle Magazine in 2006 while I was only on the third assignment with the ICL that I realized I could really do this. Since then I have published over 30 short stories or articles, crafts, and started Stories for Children Magazine. The rest as they say is history. "



While, Virginia writes on her own, her biggest passion at the moment is Stories for Children magazine, from which the anthology pictured at the right was eventually born. You can feel her passion in the following:

Come take an adventure in the World of Ink with Stories for Children Magazine, a monthly Ezine for children ages 3 to 12 years old.

Did you know that the love of reading is often times triggered by an adult reading good children’s stories to very young children? Some expectant parents read to their babies while they're still in the womb and continue every day after they're born. Stories for Children Magazine was designed to unlock your children’s imagination and take them on an exciting adventure into the World of Ink with Stanley Bookman from Storyville as their guide on the magical monthly trips.

Each monthly issue is loaded with fun stories and articles based on age-appropriate reading levels. There are also puzzles, games, children’s book reviews, crafts, and poems to inspire the imagination. Children's authors or illustrators are also known to stop by, hoping to make new friends along their journey into the World of Ink.

Stories for Children Magazine is not just for adult writers. One thing that sets Stories for Children Magazine apart is that we also publish stories written and illustrated by children and teens. While submitting stories to children’s magazines, editor VS Grenier was shocked to discover that few magazines allowed underage writers. She vowed to change this and has done so with Stories for Children Magazine. SFC magazine encourages readers who are our future writers and illustrators to submit to all areas of the magazine so that our readers can become a real part of the adventure that’s found in the World of Ink. There has always been an enchantment about reading a good children’s story. Children take pleasure in having a story read to them anytime or anywhere – whether it be around a campfire, under a starry night, in their beds wrapped up tight in snuggly blankets, beneath a shady tree on a hot summer’s day, or in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold winter’s day. Children love to listen to a story being read and this can go as far as adolescence. So sit back and let the authors and illustrators at Stories for Children Magazine take you and your child along with Stanley on a magical journey into the World of Ink!

When asked what she found to be the hardest part of compiling this anthology, Ms. Grenier replied, "Getting all the paperwork, contracts, and illustrations in by the deadline so we could start editing and formatting. There is so much that goes into printing a book it isn’t funny. I spent many days with a very stiff neck making sure everything was in the margin, illustrations were in the right place, we had enough white areas in the right places, etc. I think between me, my copyediting staff, and art director we passed the anthology between at least have a dozen times before we even started the pre-publishing process. After that, I looked at least four mock-up copies before I sent copies to our copyeditor and art director. When they gave me the thumbs up . . . it was off to the presses. That was the easy part. LOL."

So what's in the future for VS Grenier and Stories for Children? Ms. Grenier says, " I just opened Stories for Children Publishing, LLC which is now the parent company to Stories for Children Magazine and SFC Newsletter for Writers. That was a very big step and I’m working on getting the Stories for Children Publishing website completely up and running. Reader can visit http://StoriesForChildrenPublishing.com to see what we have up so far and what plans we have for the future. Make sure to come back often because we’re updating all the time.

We also just launched our blog SFC: Families Matter at http://FamiliesMatter2Us.blogspot.com this month. Sandie Lee is our blog editor and one of our Stories for Children Magazine editors as well. This is a great site for families not just for cool tips on helping their children, but to also find out about vacations to fit their budget to interviews with those who work with and around children like doctors, authors, teachers, etc. Every week we touch a different theme.

We are also working on getting the next volume of our anthology together. We are currently contacting the SFC Contributors who made it in. So be on the look out for the ‘Best of’ Stories for Children Magazine Volume 2 due out in Fall 2009.

Many may not know, but we just announced our 2008 SFC Granny Award Winners at http://StoriesForChildrenMagazine.org. This yearly award is an editors pick of our favorite titles and artwork from the pervious year. All SFC Granny Award Winners received an engraved trophy. It’s our way of saying “Thank You” for being a part of SFC.

As for myself, I’m working on two picture books and a YA novel. One of my picture books is under contract with Halo Publishing. I’m currently working on some revision and then it’ll be off Kevin Scott Collier who is the illustrator. The planned release date is Fall of 2009."


With Virginia's writing and Kevin's illustration, I can't help but think this book will be a success! Thank you for being our guest today Virginia! Folks, how about leaving a quick comment for Virginia?







































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