Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes when life looks the darkest God shines a light to remind us we are not alone. He recently showed me that He's still around. As I was driving down the highway a couple days ago, I saw them ... bluebonnets. There aren't very many. We've had no rain. We're something like 8 inches below normal for this time of year. The grass and fields are dry. Usually bluebonnets are thick along the roadways by now. But these few, scattered amongst the still brown grass, were a reminder that God is in control. From the soil he brings flowers to brighten our world. I was so excited to see the flowers, God's way of telling me He's watching over us.

Now, I'm watching for the Indian paintbrush that turn our fields into a carpet of red and yellow. There may be only a few, but those few will be beautiful.

Today I'm thankful for our beautiful world.

  These flowers are from another year.

Happy reading and writing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interview with Dellani Oakes

Quote of the week:  Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So ... get on your way. Dr. Seuss



It is my pleasure to interview Dellani Oakes today. She is a writer, teacher, Mary Kay consultant, mother of four and grandmother. She lives south of the Mason-Dixon line and loves to read good books. She also writes science fiction, historical fiction, contemporary romance and assorted articles. Dellani reveals even more in the interview. Thanks so much for answering my questions, Dellani. Here's what this talented lady and author has to say:




Bev: How and when did you decide to become a writer?


Dellani: I think writing selected me. I've told stories since I was little. I started by telling my mother about going to Rainbow School when I was 3 and my sister started school. I went from there to poems, eventually moving on to short stories and plays, finally to novels.

Bev: Where did you get the idea for your book INDIAN SUMMER?

Dellani: I was on a field trip with my eldest son when he was in 4th grade. Shepherding 15 fourth graders around St. Augustine in the rain might not seem very inspirational, but it got me thinking of all the stories that city had to tell.

Bev: You also have a Blog Talk Radio Show, Dellani’s Tea Time. How did you get started with this?

Dellani: Well, I have two shows, Dellani's Tea Time, which features children's authors & illustrators. My other show is What's Write for Me which is for authors of adult fiction & non-fiction. I was asked by April Robins and Jan Holiday to help Jan with her show as a co-host. When she had to step aside, April asked if I'd be willing to take over for her, I agreed. A second host also bowed out, so I got the second show by default. I haven't regretted a minute of it.

Bev: Tell us about your process. Do you outline or just let the story flow?

Dellani: I'm very much an organic author. I don't really outline anything, though I do keep careful notes. I've learned over time that my memory is not infallible. I'm always looking for new ways to keep myself organized. I generally begin with a starting sentence that gets stuck in my brain. The story flows from there.

Bev: What are you working on now?

Dellani: Wow, I'm working on so many projects, I don't really know where to begin. I woke about a week ago with an idea burning in my brain. I wrote frantically for 5 days & at the end of it, I had a fantastic story. I think it's one of the best things I've ever written. I'm in the after story slump at the moment, tapping away at various projects, hoping to find the inspiration to finish one.

Bev: Now for some fun questions: What were your favorite books when you were a kid? What do you read now?

Dellani: I had so many well loved books as a child. Outstanding would be AA Milne's Pooh books. "Where the Wild Things Are', 'Little Women' and the others by Louisa May Alcott, as well as all the 'Anne of Green Gables' books. I fell in love with those. As a teenager, I moved on to 'Wuthering Heights', 'Jane Eyre' and (my absolute favorite) 'Rebecca. I also devoured the Tolkien books and CS Lewis' 'Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe' series.

For years, I read mysteries and sci-f/ fantasy. Eventually, I added plays to that mix, since I was a theatre major in college. I read just about anything if it interests me. Admittedly, I'm not one for biographies or anything considered serious literature. I like my reading to take me away from the mundane here and now. Probably why I write predominantly romance.

Bev: What are your favorite movies/TV shows?

Dellani: Where do I start? I don't watch a lot of TV, though I do watch TV shows online. 'Bones', 'Burn Notice', 'Doctor Who' & 'Torchwood', 'Fringe', 'Dollhouse', 'Farscape' & 'Firefly' to name only a very few. Movies? Can't even begin to pick a favorite. I'm a movie junkie. I tend to prefer action movies with lots of martial arts & gunfire--'Matrix', 'Lord of the Rings', 'Die Hard', 'Serenity'.... I do like the occasional romantic comedy, but give me a buff hero with a big gun any day of the week.

Bev: What kind of music do you listen to?

Dellani: I listen to all kinds of music. I'm not a fan of rap, nor do I like twangy country music. I'll listen to just about anything else, with a strong preference for hard rock/ heavy metal.

Bev: If you could live in another time or place, when or where would you choose? Why?

Dellani: I don't think I'd like to go back in time. I like indoor plumbing and electricity. If I could go into the future, live in outer space, that would be cool.

Bev: How may your fans contact you: Blogs? Websites?

Dellani: My fans can contact me through Facebook. I also have two blogs that I post on regularly: http://www.facebook.com/l/19910AiJF2HYe0w6W5RUqZJJOsQ;dellanioakes.wordpress.com/
 and http://www.facebook.com/l/19910O1Ik8dLtpywY_Zkwkh8Bjw;writersanctuary.blogspot.com/
 I also post twice a month on the publisher's website http://www.facebook.com/l/19910MgRe2UB4RTh434KpvOzITw;secondwindpub.wordpress.com/

Bev: Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Dellani: My book, "Indian Summer" is available through the publisher: http://www.facebook.com/l/19910_mS6lD2Gr1n_fkUMSM2UfA;www.secondwindpublishing.com

as well as http://www.facebook.com/l/19910FTFUyi2W4AqDG0nEIkDC0Q;Amazon.com
 where it can be downloaded to Kindle. The publisher also has it in e-book form.

My second book, the first in my sci-fi adventure series, "The Lone Wolf" is due out soon from Second Wind.

Bev: Wow, you are a busy lady. Thanks again for stopping by to visit with us.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Back

What? You didn't know I was gone? Oh, okay. Scratching head. Anyway, life sometimes throws us a curve. You know what I mean. DH was in the hospital. They changed his medications, including the insulin. But no one called in a new prescription, and we were told not to use the other one. So you see, it goes on and on and on. Thankfully, we now have Home Health Care and our nurse gets things done. She straightened people out right away. With only a minor glitch or two the past few days, we're returning to what, for us, is normal. The pharmacist just smiles now when I come in and listens to me ramble about what I need. Smiles do wonders, friends. You know, there comes a time when you gotta stand up for yourself, instead of being a wimp like I am. Hey, it's working for that little Wimpy Guy who's in the books and movies.

So, next week, God willing, I'll be posting what's happening in my world, again. I have a great interview you'll want to see, and a book review or two.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

May the Luck of the Irish be With You

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics, St. Patrick's Day Graphics at WishAFriend.com

Sorry I've been absent this week, but I'm up to my eyeballs in edits for my forthcoming YA novel, Life on Hold. You'll be hearing more about this story soon. I know you can't wait. Hahahaha.

Also, if you haven't checked out the free eBooks and discounted eBooks at Amazon. What are you waiting for? March 17 is the end. Prices go back up. I've already bought some and am headed that way in a few minutes for the freebies. Here's the link. Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines for the Kindle is only $2.99.

OK. Enough self-promotion.

Have a splendid St. Patricks Day whether you're Irish or not. We have Irish on both sides of our family, among other nationalities. How about you? Any fellow Irishmen/women out there?

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Good Deal

More books for Read an EBook week and beyond.
48 popular Twilight Times Books titles are available at 50% discount via Amazon Kindle until midnight EST March 17th. So if you're looking for something to read these spring days, you may find just want you want here. I'm on my way to order a few now.

Also, back to editing my forthcoming novel.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Darkness Becomes Her

Quote of the Week:  The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. Dr. Seuss

Here is my review of DARKNESS BECOMES HER, my latest read for the 2011 Debut Authors challenge.



Author: Kelly Keaton
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 144240924X
ISBN-13: 978-1442409248


 
 
 
 
 
DARKNESS BECOMES HER (Review)


Kelly Keaton

Take an ancient curse, a girl with secret powers who wants to know more about her mother’s death (suicide) and who her father was, add a boy with secrets of his own, other children who are not what they seem, gods and goddesses, and you have the recipe for a story that will keep you awake until the wee hours of the morning.

In Author Kelly Keaton’s debut novel, DARKNESS BECOMES HER, Ari Selkirk was given to the state of Louisiana after her mother’s suicide when Ari was four years old. Ari grew up in foster care, and now seventeen, she sets out to discover the truth about her heritage and why her mother left her only one message: Run. To unravel the puzzles of her life, Ari returns to the place of her birth, New 2, formally New Orleans before the hurricanes devastated the city. Is she ready, however, to face the truth about who she really is? Once she starts her quest there is no turning back, no matter the dangers she and her new found friends, who have their own troubles, encounter.

The characters in DARKNESS BECOMES HER, each with his or her on special abilities, are fascinating. The author keeps the plot moving with unexpected twists and turns, along with descriptions of the characters in their various forms that place the reader in the story, as if witnessing the events as they occur. If you enjoy lots of action, witches, vampires, and other unusual creatures, you’ll find them here. I would not recommend this book for young teens, however, because of the language. To me, cursing does not add to the story. It actually distracts me. Otherwise, a good read. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.


ARC courtesy of Simon & Schuster and Galley Grab

Have a nice week. Happy Reading and Writin.

Friday, March 4, 2011

LIVE CHAT TONIGHT

You are invited to my Live Chat tonight, March 4, at Gather. I'll be talking about my books and anything else that comes to mind. You can ask questions and I'll try to answer them. You must be a member of Gather to comment, but you can read what's happening even if you don't belong.

Time: 9 PM ET, 8 PM CT, 7 PM MT, 6 PM CT
Bring: Questions, comments, advice, your thoughts, anything your heart desires. We're a friendly bunch.

Hope to see you all there tonight, March 4, 2011. Just follow the link.

A special thanks to Kimberly Blackadar for telling me about these chats. They are a lot of fun.

Oh, I almost forgot. I'm giving away a signed copy of my YA historical, Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines.

Have a nice weekend. Happy reading and writing.