Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writer Wednesday: Interview with Jane Wells, author of Glitter in the Sun

Today is my second Writer Wednesday, during which I be feature an author you may or may not have heard of. Once again, my goal is to introduce you to some books and authors that you may not have read before.

Today, I'm interviewing debut author, Jane Wells, author of the book, Glitter in the Sun--which releases on November 14, 2011.

A wife, mother and writer, Jane Wells has written and taught Bible studies, and served for four years in youth ministry. Currently, however, keeping up with two Golden Retrievers and two very active boys seems to be a full time job on its own. Her book, Glitter in the Sun, will be released November 14 by Read the Spirit/David Crumm Media, LLC. It can be purchased through or through my website, A brief description of the book: Her book explores how readers can glimpse truths of faith through the Twilight saga. Glitter in the Sun invites individual readers and Bible-study groups to consider that there may be links between the love stories of Twilight and the One who can truly satisfy their longing hearts.

MERRIE: If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would it be?
JANE: Someplace warm and sandy with crystal clear blue water… and almost completely deserted. I don’t know where that is because I haven’t been there yet!
MERRIE: I haven’t been there either, but when you find it, let me know!

MERRIE: What’s your favorite TV show?
JANE: Bones. I am fascinated by the science of it all and love how the characters are written and interact.

MERRIE: What is the one book that everyone should read?
JANE: Oooooh, that’s really hard… other than the Bible – because it doesn’t matter what genre you’re looking for, it’s in there – I don’t have any single recommendation.

MERRIE: What movie or book are you looking forward to this year?
JANE: Breaking Dawn, of course! After that, the upcoming Avengers movie.

MERRIE: If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you eat?
JANE: There are a bunch of writers I know only through Facebook and their books whom I would love to spend real time with (ahem, Merrie Destefano). Even if we weren’t talking about writing the conversation would still be fascinating because writers are information omnivores. As for what I would eat? As long as there was coffee and cheesecake I would be content!
MERRIE: Coffee and cheesecake? I am SO there. Seriously, it would be so much fun to hang out with you for lunch. We must do that someday.

MERRIE: What is your favorite place to write?
JANE: There is a coffee shop here in Monroe, MI called Agua Dulce. It is my office away from home! When I hit a writer’s block I sit back for a few minutes to sip the bottomless coffee and watch people.

MERRIE: Tell us about your current book.
JANE: Glitter in the Sun is a Bible study that explores just why the Twilight Saga has become such a phenomenon. Even if you don’t care for the story, writing or concept, you’ve got to admit that holding all top four positions of the New York Times bestseller list and grossing more than $1.8 billion (yes, with a “b”) with the first three movies alone, makes the Twilight Saga a force to be considered at least.

I believe the Twilight Saga is so popular because it strikes at a universal chord. The themes of eternal love and unconditional acceptance are at the core needs of every person. We are born that way, to be hungry for the love of an eternally and unconditionally loving God.

MERRIE: How long did it take you to write your current book?
JANE: I wrote Glitter in the Sun one week per chapter, so it took about four months.

MERRIE: What was the hardest part about writing this book?
JANE: Making sure that what I thought was in fact what the Bible said about the topic. It was a huge growth experience for me to seek out what God has to say about all these “modern” questions and problems.

MERRIE: What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
JANE: Just do it. If within yourself you deeply wish you were a writer, then I’d say you probably already are. You just need to put fingers to keyboard and hammer it out!

And now, answer the first thing that comes to your mind:

MERRIE: Dog or cat?

MERRIE: Hot tea or cold tea?
MERRIE: Yay, hot tea wins!

MERRIE: Flying monkeys or munchkins?
JANE: Munchkins (Flying monkeys - *shudder*)
MERRIE: Yikes. I always thought the munchkins were WAY scarier than the flying monkeys.

MERRIE: Supernatural or magical?
JANE: Supernatural

MERRIE: Brownie or cake?
JANE: Brownie
MERRIE: Now, we’re talking.

MERRIE: High heels or tennis shoes?
JANE: Ummmmm… well… will I be playing with my boys or playing at being a grown-up?
MERRIE: Trick question. And…a trick answer. How about tennis shoes with high heels?

MERRIE: Read a book or watch TV?
JANE: Book!

MERRIE: Hawaii or Rio de Janeiro?
JANE: Hawaii

MERRIE: Rich or famous?
JANE: Famous. (My husband would say rich. That’s why we’re a team!)

MERRIE: The beach or the forest?
JANE: Can the beach be at the edge of the forest?
MERRIE: Cheating. Ahem, I mean, you stole my answer.

MERRIE: Now or later?
JANE: Now.
MERRIE: Absolutely. Why wait? Unless we’re talking about cleaning the house.

Thank you, Jane, for stopping by today and I wish you much success with Glitter in the Sun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday:

It's Teaser Tuesday (wild round of applause for books, books, and more books) and my selection today is THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS by Alden Bell [Joshua Gaylord].

And now, the rules of Teaser Tuesday:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

And my Teaser Tuesday snippet, paragraph two, page 54, from THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS by Alden Bell:

"Here among these pretty homes, on a four-lane road with a wide grassy island in the middle where banyan trees are planted at equal intervals, she finds an accumulation of meatskins, a trail of maybe twenty, all loping awkwardly in the same direction. She pulls the car up past them to the front of the line where there is a large man trying to outpace the congregation behind. In his arms is the body of an ancient woman no larger than a child."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cool Blog Alert: Cinder author Marissa Meyer's NaNoWriMo Countdown

If you’re looking for some NaNo encouragement AND you want to learn more about a debut author, check out Marissa Meyer’s Live Journal. Author of the upcoming Cinder (a book I can’t WAIT to read), Marissa’s doing a day-by-day countdown of author tips during the month of November. Covering items like ARCS, blog tours, conferences, and downloads, her blog posts make great reads for aspiring writers. Interspersed among these tips are updates on her soon-to-be released novel. In her own words: CINDER, in which Cinderella is re-envisioned as a teenage cyborg, is due out 3 January 2012.

(Isn't that cover fabulous?)

Here’s a quote from a recent article by USA today about Cinder:
“Meyer sets this Cinderella story in futuristic New Beijing, where humans and androids coexist in a dystopian society ravaged by plague. Being a teenage cyborg, Linh Cinder is looked down by society on the whole, and especially by her stepmother. She does have one talent working in her favor, however: Her computer brain interface makes her the best mechanic around, which is fortuitous when Prince Kaito comes calling to her market booth and asks her to fix his broken android before the annual royal ball.

Cinder and the prince's lives become intertwined, while an antagonistic force lies in wait in outer space waiting for the right moment to strike Earth.

The next three books in the series will also take a futuristic sci-fi twist on classic tales: Scarlet is inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is a take on Rapunzel and Winter is Meyer's version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”

And, this is what always sells me on a book. An excerpt. Here's a link to the first chapter.

Also, up tomorrow: An interview with debut author, Jane Wells.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Do tigers like catnip?

This video makes me smile. I think these cats need a couple of big stuffed mice to play with.

I am totes surviving the apocalypse and these books are why

Everything I know about surviving the coming apocalypse I learned from these books.

1. World War Z by Max Books
I will not purchase any black market organs infected with a zombie pandemic and then have said organs transplanted.

2. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
I’m not opening the door for any of my dead relatives.

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I will stay the heck away from fast zombies, especially when I'm in the forest.

4. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
I’m not climbing over the fence and going to a ghost amusement park at night, no matter how cute the boys are.

5. Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
The minute my neighbors are possessed by an evil force, I’m getting out of town.

6. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I’m not making friends with some strange girl who can walk in the sunlight. Not even if I was the last man on earth and everyone else was a vampire.

7. The Stand by Stephen King
I will not catch the flu. Cough. Cough.

8. Xombies: Apocalypse Blues by Walter Greatshell
If blue Xombies come, I’m having a hysterectomy. (Sorry for being so blunt)

9. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I am disguising myself as a guy and hiding from cannibals.

10. The Children of Men by P.D. James
I will do everything possible to make sure the last baby survives. Everything. Possible.

Above artwork by Mike Butkus, from How To Draw Zombies, published by Walter Foster

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The original odd couple

They may be an odd couple, but they're definitely beautiful. Heartwarming tale of two rescued big cats.

Playing around with a text cloud

I was playing around on the Internet the other day and discovered this way cool site ( where you can transform your writing into a text cloud. So I did a little experiment, using the beginning of a book I was working on, a few years ago.

The title of the book was The Other Side of the Needle and, unfortunately, I haven't gotten very far with it. But I thought I'd share a page or so of the story, plus the text cloud. One of the things I've learned, over the years, is that writing prompts and little things like this can actually recapture you're love of writing and make you fall in love with a "broken story" all over again. This particular was broken and I didn't spend the time trying to fix it. But now, as I look at the beginning again and listen to words of this character, I find that I'm still slightly enchanted by both her and her dilemma.

So, here's the text cloud, created on


And here's the snippet that I used to make the text cloud.

I stand in front of the mirror and look for the difference. I know it’s there somewhere, beneath the makeup, under the smile, buried somewhere below bone and flesh, a monster breeds. In silence I speak its name, but otherwise I try to pretend it doesn’t exist. Don’t want It to know that I’ve found out.

A tumor. Growing. In my brain.

Wish this was happening to someone else. Wish I was someone else. Right now I’d switch places with my cat if that were an option.

It isn’t.

The sun shines outside the window, forcing cherry blossoms to glow with a supernatural light. I hate the implication that the rest of the universe is moving along in some ordered fashion. If I’m headed toward death, then shouldn’t everything else come to an end? Shouldn’t all the oxygen get sucked away by some environmental tragedy, shouldn’t the war that’s been hanging over our heads finally start?

Shouldn’t my husband end his affair, the one I’m not supposed to know about, and tell me how much he truly, madly, desperately needs me?

Apparently not. Apparently this tumor with my name on it doesn’t affect anyone but me. Well, me and my doctor, I guess. He stands to make a sizeable increase in salary over the next several months. I glance down at my arms, still bronzed by summer sun, wonder how pale I’ll be when all this is over. My gaze lingers too long on the ID bracelet that hangs loose on my wrist. Like I was going to get lost in this exclusive clinic that feels more like a spa. Like anybody was going to forget my name when I have it tatooed across my left forearm, tangled in a gothic swirl of red and black, as if I myself was going to forget who I was back when I was 19.

Kathryn. Delicate lines. Cursive script.


Will I write more about Kathryn and her mysterious illness? Maybe. I haven't decided yet.

How about you? What do you do with your broken stories and how do you fix them?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Doing NaNoWriMo Light

Me: I’m doing NaNo Light.

Imaginary Friend: What’s that?

Me: I’m drafting off all the real NaNoWriMos, following in the slipstream of the writers who are in front of me.

Imaginary Friend: ???

Me: I’m trying to write many pages per day. Many. Pages. Per. Day.

Imaginary Friend: Do you have an actual goal?

Me: Um.

Imaginary Friend: Isn’t that part of NaNoWriMo? Write 50,000 words in one month?

Me: Well, yeah. But I just want to write many pages in one month.

Imaginary Friend: Slacker.

Me: Am not.

Imaginary Friend: Are too.

Me: You’ll see. I’ll get a lot written. I will.

Imaginary Friend: Snort.

Me: Hey, are my Imaginary Friend or my Inner Editor?

Imaginary Friend: Sorry. Yay for you!! *imaginary hands clapping*

Me: Now we’re talking.

Imaginary Friend: So, how many pages do you have written?

Me: Today, right now, 120.

Imaginary Friend: How many pages do you want to finish by the end of the month? *returning to the original topic of goals and not tricking me one bit*

Me: I’d love, love, love it if I could get 200 pages done by the end of November.

Imaginary Friend: Go for it. Seriously. Write. More. Now.

Me: I will. Thanks! *typing furiously, allowing my characters to tell me where the story is going, wishing someone would bring me a brownie so I would have lots more energy and ideas cuz I seriously need ideas when I'm writing this fast*

Writer Wednesday: Featured book: In Plain Sight

I'm launching a new series today called, Writer Wednesday, during which I'll be featuring an author you may or may not have heard of. I'm hoping to introduce you to some books and authors that you may not have read before.

Today's author is Marlayne Giron and her book is IN PLAIN SIGHT.

AUTHOR BIO: Marlayne Giron is a Messianic Jew, wife and mother living in Orange County, California. She has been married to her husband Michael since 1986 and is the mom of a lovely daughter. In 1982 she was inspired to write The Victor from a verse in an Amy Grant song called: “Fairytale” (from her Father's Eyes album): “…two princes wage the battle for eternity but the victor has been known from the start”. It took nearly 30 years before for The Victor was published in 2009. Since she first began to write it in the early 1980s, Marlayne endured a four-year bout with intestinal disease that resulted in major surgery, then infertility followed by the adoption of her daughter in 1997. Because of the demands of having to work full-time and lack of interest from family and friends in the book, she gave up on her dream of ever seeing The Victor in print until April of 2008 when Tate Publishing called to offer her a contract.

IN PLAIN SIGHT synopsis:
It started with the crop circles followed by the disappearance of cattle. Then he appeared. He was obviously Old Order Amish. He did and said everything right but no one knew what family or farm he belonged to. He worked in the fields and barn raising's like everyone else and was in every respect just like one of them except for his silver eyes. Despite his quiet and respectful demeanor the community of Bird-in-Hand was leery of him. Every-one avoided him; except for Rebecca Esh...two star-crossed lovers whose romance not only endangers the Amish family who takes him in but puts the world he and his brother come from in great peril.

IN PLAIN SITE Book Trailer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The dog story that broke my heart

Crossroads Pet Resort--located in Stanton, California--is where my 2 German shepherds board when we go out of town. I always hate boarding my dogs because I miss them so much. When I'm gone, I think about them all the time and can't wait to get back, so I can take them home.

Home. My home. Their home.

That isn't what happened to Midnight, the 11-month-old husky mix in the photo above.

His owners took him to Crossroads Pet Resort and left him there. They never came back for him.

I almost burst into tears when I got the e-mail last night from Crossroads. The folks at the resort are hoping to find a forever home for this furry guy, because his original owners never bothered to come back and take him home. Midnight had a home. He had people who loved him. And then they just changed their mind. That kind of animal-ownership really bothers me. But I won't get on a rant.

Although I really want to.

The reason I'm posting this is because, maybe, you live in Southern California and, maybe, you would love to give an abandoned dog another chance.

Here is the contact information for the pet resort:
Crossroads Pet Resort
10832 Knott Avenue
Stanton, CA 90680

I hope Midnight finds a forever home really soon. And I hope his new parents never do what his old parents did.

In praise of the independents

Major bookstore chains are great. They really are. But I have to admit that I truly love independent bookstores and always have. I appreciate the fact that the customer service is fantastic, that the folks who work there not only know their products--they actually love the books they sell and have read almost all of them.

One of my all-time favorite bookstores, Mysterious Galaxy, is now actually two bookstores. (Yay and double yay!)

This incredible store, originally located in San Diego and now with a second store in Redondo Beach, boldly touts its theme:

Books of martians, murder, magic, mayhem and more.

Now, you can probably see another reason why I love them so much. They carry my kind of book. I can wander through their store and find exactly what I'm looking for, stuff that some other stores don't carry. This particular independent bookstore has been open for more than eighteen years and this makes me really happy. I love to see independent businesses, not only surviving, but succeeding in today's climate.

So, in honor of the independent bookstore, I encourage you to purchase your next book from your local independent store. Or consider ordering a book online from Mysterious Galaxy. The authors and the bookstore owners will be delighted that you did.

Teaser Tuesday and Happy Release Day to Dark Inside author, Jeyn Roberts

First, Happy Release Day to Jeyn Roberts!! *confetti flying, people dancing, loud music playing* I picked up an ARC of this book at Comic Con and, once I started reading (which wasn't until I got home and my head stopped spinning from all crazy costumes and a convention hall filled with 130,000 people), anyway, once I started reading this book I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. Seriously. It is that good. I can't talk loud enough or tell enough people about how much I loved, loved, loved this book. I plan to do a proper review of this in the future, but for now let's just call it a 5-star book filled YA apocalyptic awesome. This is one of my new favorite books and favorite authors. I can't WAIT to read the next book in the series.

And now, the rules of Teaser Tuesday:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

And my Teaser Tuesday choice:

The boy--Michael couldn't remember his name--hadn't opened his eyes in a long time. Shallow gasps escaped bluish lips, his chest rising against his shirt. His face was deathly white, eyes sunken deep into the recesses of his skull. The poor kid probably weighed as much as a small animal.

From page 114, DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts