Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 30- Thought For The Day and a little history

It's Saturday March 30, how are your brackets holding up.

Here's our thought for the day

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all,
in which case, you fail by default.”
~ J.K. Rowling

And a little history courtesy of Wikipedia.
598 – Balkan Campaign: The Avars lift the siege at the Byzantine stronghold of Tomis. Their leader Bayan I retreats north of the Danube River after the Avaro-Slavic hordes are decimated by the plague.
1282 – The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers.
1296 – Edward I sacks Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England.
1814 – Joachim Murat issues the Rimini Declaration which would later inspire Italian Unification.
1822 – The Florida Territory is created in the United States.
 1842 – Ether anesthesia is used for the first time, in an operation by the American surgeon Dr.Crawford Long.
1844 – One of the most important battles of the Dominican War of Independence from Haiti takes place near the city of Santiago de los Caballeros.
1855 – Origins of the American Civil WarBleeding Kansas – "Border Ruffians" from Missouriinvade Kansas and force election of a pro-slavery legislature.
1856 – The Treaty of Paris is signed, ending the Crimean War.
 1863 – Danish prince Wilhelm Georg is chosen as King George of Greece.
1867 – Alaska is purchased from Russia for $7.2 million, about 2 cent/acre ($4.19/km²), by United States Secretary of StateWilliam H. Seward.
1870 – Texas is readmitted to the Union following Reconstruction.
1909 – The Queensboro Bridge opens, linking Manhattan and Queens.
1944 – Allied bombing raid on Nuremberg. Along the English eastern coast 795 aircraft are despatched, including 572Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and 9 Mosquitos. The bombers meet resistance at the coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands from German fighters. In total, 95 bombers are lost, making it the largest Bomber Command loss of World War II.
1945 – World War II: Soviet Union forces invade Austria and take ViennaPolish and Soviet forces liberate Gdańsk.
1949 – A riot breaks out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joins NATO.
1954 – The Yonge Street subway line opens in Toronto. It is the first subway in Canada.
 1965 – Vietnam War: A car bomb explodes in front of the US Embassy, Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.
1972 – Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive begins after North Vietnamese forces cross into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) ofSouth Vietnam.
1979 – Airey Neave, a British Member of Parliament, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.
1981 – President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr. Another 2 people were wounded at the same time.
1982 – Space Shuttle programSTS-3 Mission is completed with the landing of Columbia at White Sands Missile RangeNew Mexico.
 2006 – The United Kingdom Terrorism Act 2006 becomes a law.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

April Calendar For The Reading Frenzy

April Showers may bring May Flowers, April on The Reading Frenzy will bring a slew of great authors, new novels and super interviews and of course on those between days always look for my thought for the day, a little history and some fun stuff.

Here’s the April lineup;

4-2 The Black Stiletto- interview with Raymond Benson-

4-4 Marriage Matters interview with Cynthia Ellingsen-

4-8 Next Step by Glen Finland ( to celebrate National Autism month)-

4-9 The Ashford Affair interview with Lauren Willig -

4-10 And Then I Found You interview with Patti Callahan Henry -

4-16 Above All Things interview with Tanis Rideout-

4-18 A Little Folly interview with Jude Morgan-

4-23 The Mystery Woman interview with Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz-

4-30 A Spear Of Summer Grass interview with Deanna Raybourn-

Here’s some things that I’m planning to add to the April lineup

Interview with Audrey Goodson- editor RT Reviews Magazine -

Interview with Kristen Callihan-author of Winterblaze and double RITA nominee-

I’m planning a special giveaway when my blog followers gets to 100 so don’t be uncool follow my blog 

Stay tuned for some big news in May

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today welcome Sherri Wood Emmons who talks about her new release The Weight of Small Things, and why she says; "There is something about approaching 50 that is kind of freeing." plus a giveaway

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Interview with Sherri Wood Emmons plus one commenter will get a copy of her new novel courtesy of her publisher Kensington Publishing Corporation.

First let's hear what her fellow authors are saying about her work;

With haunting prose, Sherri Wood Emmons captures childhood in a small southern town. Bethany and Reana Mae, no longer children but not yet women, are tied together by bonds of friendship and kinship that help them survive challenges they don't understand. 'Prayers and Lies' is a rich story of th...e triumph of love and decency.
-- Sandra Dallas, author of 'Prayers for Sale'
Prepare to stay up all night reading! Sherri Wood Emmons perfectly captures the devastating impact of family secrets in her beautifully written--and ultimately hopeful--debut novel. With its evocative setting and realistically crafted characters, Prayers and Lies is a must-read for fans of rich family drama.
-- Diane Chamberlain
 ... the voice was so genuine, so sincere, I felt like Bethany was standing right before me, barefoot, earnestly telling me her story. ... I was on the edge of my seat, listening, every scene coming in to full, bright, Technicolor detail as one prayer was heard, one lie was shattered, one family’s raw, haunting life laid bare.
-- Cathy Lamb, author of Such A Pretty Face
 Prayer and Lies is the story of a family that knows how to love and forgive and get on with life.
-- Drusilla Campbell, author of The Good Sister
 Prayer and Lies is a touching examination of all the different kinds of love: between friends, between sisters, and above all, for one’s family.
-- T. Greenswood, author of The Hungry Season

Sherri welcome! Tell us a little about your new release The Weight of Small Things.
The Weight of Small Things is a story about friendship, love, and the small decisions we make each day that form who we are and who we are becoming.

You were also a finalist for the 2012 Emerging Indiana author award, where you spoke about “Emerging at 51”. Can you tell us your journey to becoming an author?
I took the long road to writing. I worked as an editor in two publishing houses and then as a freelance editor for 25 years. I always wanted to write. I thought about it, read about it, talked about it. But I never actually wrote anything except letters.
When I was in my early 40s, I finally got brave enough to try. Prayers and Lies, my first novel, took almost seven years to write, because I kept giving up and putting it away. But I kept coming back to it, and it found a wonderful home at Kensington Books. That book was released just after my 50th birthday. My second book, The Sometimes Daughter, was released when I was 51, and my new one is coming out when I’m 52. So I’m emerging kind of late, but I’m having a ball!

You have a lot of accolades from fellow authors for all three of your novels. What does that mean to you?
When I first started getting the quotes from authors about Prayers and Lies, I was really just stunned. I cried at every one, because so many were from authors I had read and admired so much, people like Cathy Lamb and Drusilla Campbell. It was kind of surreal, and it still is.

Does your personal history make it into your novels?
 Sometimes, yes. In fact, Prayers and Lies didn’t start out as a novel. My family is from West Virginia and we spent summers there when I was a child. I started out just writing down memories, and then the story took over. So the place and time are real, but the story is fiction.
The Sometimes Daughter is set entirely in the Irvington neighborhood of Indianapolis, where I grew up. The restaurants and park and schools I write about are very real. Some of my childhood friends have been having fun trying to figure out which houses I used in the story.

Can you tell us what you did before you started your writing career?
 I worked in-house at two publishing companies, first as a production editor and then as an editor. I freelanced from home in the years when my children were at home, which really was the best of both worlds.
Then for eight years I was the managing editor of a magazine called DisciplesWorld. That was when I actually learned that I could write. That job also gave me amazing opportunities to travel all over the United States and even to Jordan and China.

How do you think beginning your writing career at “middle age” benefits your readers?
There is something about approaching 50 that is kind of freeing. I guess I stopped worrying so much about what other people thought and decided to just do what seemed right to me. Hitting middle age also is a great reminder that our time on this planet is limited, and we ought not waste that time doing things we don’t love.
Especially in my first two books, I think having a bit of distance from childhood made it easier to write about. That sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But when you are too close to something, it’s hard to see it clearly. A little bit of distance helps.

What is the ultimate goal you want your readers to experience from your novels?
 I hope they have a good time reading them! And I hope they find themselves empathizing with the characters. My characters are pretty flawed. They make bad choices and find themselves in hard situations, but they keep going. I hope that even the “villains” in my books are somewhat sympathetic, even if their actions aren’t.
The other thing I find in my writing is that there is an element of faith in each of the books. I didn’t set out to write about faith, but it’s an important part of my life. And that translates to my characters. They are asking the big questions we all face. And although they find different paths, they are all searching.

What are you working on now?
 I’m trying something new! It’s a story with two narrators. Jenny is 11 years old and travels around the country with her father, Brannon as he moves from seasonal job to job. Emma meets and falls for Brannon, and soon joins the little family in their travels. But both Emma and Brannon are keeping some dark secrets that can’t stay hidden forever.

Do you have any events or signings planned for this release?
 On the afternoon of March 30, I will be reading and signing books at Bookmamas, on the east side of Indianapolis.
On Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m., I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Carmel, Indiana.

Sherri, thank you for chatting with me today. Good luck with your new novel!
 Thank you so much! 

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri author of The Witch of Little Italy

I'm thrilled to introduce Suzanne Palmieri who's debut The Witch of Little Italy released just yesterday.

Here's what's being said about her debut

Editorial Reviews:
Kirkus-“In her debut novel, Palmieri has combined romance and mystery, folklore and psychology to create a jigsaw puzzle of family secrets and tragedies, losses and loves, guilt and forgiveness. Entertaining"
Romantic Times Magazine- "Suzanne Palmieri's enthralling debut will make adult readers nostalgic for beloved books from their childhoods. Abundant with secrets, hidden passageways, magic and several enchanting mysteries, it'll keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. The magic and witchcraft elements are subtle, enhancing the over-all effect of this clever, beautiful novel." 

Suzanne, welcome to my blog.
Thank you so much for having me!

Tell us about your new novel The Witch of Little Italy.
Eleanor Amore is pregnant and alone. At 22, she’s completely lost. A senior at Yale, an artist… still, she can’t seem to find her way. When she asks her mother for help, she’s turned away. Her only hope? To return to her estranged, magical family in the Bronx. She doesn’t know them well. And there aren’t many of them left. There are her two great aunts, Itsy and Fee, her Grandmother Mimi… and the bonus? A young man named Anthony (who remembers her quite well….)
Itsy doesn’t want Eleanor to come to the Bronx. She loves her, but she’s scared. All the Amore siblings have “The Sight” and Itsy’s seen something she does NOT like.
Told from two perspectives, (3rd person Eleanor chapters and 1st person Itsy chapters) the two women, one young—one old, slowly reveal family secrets, long hidden and shrouded in magic. But what will happen when the secrets are revealed? Can the family, can Eleanor, survive?
It’s a story about love, loss, nostalgia, magic, family and mystery. It was a delight to write.

This is your debut novel. Can you enlighten us about your path to being a novelist?
I was always going to be a writer. Until I wasn’t. I started losing my own way in my late teens and by the time I was 23 I had a baby and no education. Not to mention… I was a single mother. (I know, this sounds like the book. Only, it isn’t the same thing. How I WISH I’d had a lovely magical family to go to who would take me in and teach me all sorts of wonderful things!) I had to go on welfare. It allowed me to finish school and then go on to graduate school. (I attended Fordham, and lived in the Bronx, that part of the narrative comes right from my time spent there)
10 years slipped by. I got married, I had more babies. And sometime in 2008 I had a tantrum. Yes. A tantrum. I was at a job I didn’t like and I sat down at my computer and wrote. Before I knew it, there was a novel there.
I wrote two more before I wrote THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY. Those are my “under the bed” novels.
For two years I queried those novels and I even got an agent for one of them. But I didn’t like the book… and the agent felt ….(let’s just say I listened to my instinct) so I terminated my contract and went back to the drawing board. That’s when I wrote The Witch of Little Italy. I got a GREAT agent, and she sold the book! Dreams… they do come true.

You also have a novel coming out in late May which you co-wrote as Suzanne Hayes with Loretta Nyhan.
Tell us about that writing experience.
Did you each write a part of the novel or was this a true writing partnership?
This is a story that is stranger than fiction. Loretta and I (as of this moment) have never met. Never even skyped! She was a trusted writer friend I’d met through blogging. We both had separate projects (both witchy) out on submission with our agents and it was SO stressful we decided to do something fun for ourselves.
Writers, what strange creatures. We decided to write (email) letters back and forth to each other in character.
I sent the first one.
Then? She sent one back! And before we knew it we were completely caught up in the lives of those people! Our agents took notice and we turned the project into a novel. But the process was completely organic. Email by email. Letter by Letter. She’s Rita. I’m Glory (but I wrote Toby’s Poems….)
It was, and still is, magical when we write together.

It’s very impressive to have your debut novel already sold to an International audience.
Have your feet touched the floor?
I don’t think they left the floor! I’ve been a scrappy sort of fighter since my baby was born. (She’s 19 now!) I plow ahead. I want to give myself time to revel and celebrate. But I’m writing so much. And I love writing novels! So my mind is always on the next project. Also, I work full time as a teacher and still have two small daughters at home. There isn’t a lot of time to scream and shout and celebrate. But no worries, I celebrate every day in my MIND.

The reviews for The Witch of Little Italy editorial and reader so far have been very good.
Do you read your reviews, bad and good?
How much do they effect you?
I have a curious way of looking at reviews. If it’s a good review? Great! So happy. If it’s a bad review? (many of my author friends have told me these occur… J) my take on it is this: In order for me to get a bad review, someone has to have read my book. My published book. Which is wonderful! That was the dream. To put my stories out into the world. So, if you think about it that way…. A bad review is STILL a dream come true. Right?
I’ve been told, though, that sometimes reviews get mean and personal. I think I’ll skip reading those.

I love the cover. How much were you involved in the choosing?
Thank you!
I was sent an email request from the art department asking what Eleanor looked like. I took a second to really answer, and then answered with my gut. “She looks like Sea Glass” is what I wrote. And I waited for another email to come back telling me I was CRAZY. But that email never came. What came was a beautiful cover, which if you look closely… even though it’s a city scene, looks like sea glass.
I was sent the cover. I loved it. My editor said, “Take 24 hours and then tell me…” I emailed her every 20 minutes telling her I LOVE IT. So, there was no choosing or anything like that. I was simply, pleased.

You write a blog, you’re on Facebook and Twitter too.
In your opinion what roll does social media play in author marketing?
I think it varies from author to author. I love social media. LOVE IT. But you have to be careful. There’s a fine line between being excited to share your work and your news, and overdoing self promotion. For me? It’s been so, so helpful. But if you are an author who doesn’t particularly love social media? I’m sure it’s not so much fun. And I think that’s why sometimes we see those lines blurred.  I also love pinterest, goodreads, library thing, google +, and whatever else happens between my answering these questions and the date this interview goes up!

Do you belong to a writer’s group?
That’s an interesting question. I don’t. Formally. Like, a group I meet with. BUT I do have a core group of virtual writer friends (and readers too) who I trust and work with when I’m writing.

Do you have events planned where fans can meet you in person?
So many! Too many to list here. People’s eyes would glaze over! And more are being added everyday. Here is the link to the Macmillan page that will be updated as more dates emerge.
I’ll be in Sarasota Florida at the Barnes and Noble there on July 27th. And I’ll be in Rockport MA at some point this summer as well. So, keep checking!
Also, though… I’d like to use google + hangouts for virtual book clubs. I’m excited about that.  I have a public community dedicated to THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY. I invite everyone to join!

Suzanne, thanks for stopping by and letting us in on a few of your spells. Good luck with both new novels.
This was FUN! Thank you. So much. Really.
Make sure and visit Suzanne's website here

Photo used under Creative Commons from 'Playingwithbrushes'

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