Tuesday, May 31, 2011



Happy Wednesday! I'm going to start a new series on my blog about cleaning up and polishing your manuscript so that it's 150% ready to submit. I know, I know. I hear you all groaning about how this has been done to death. But I see books on a weekly basis that are in need of more work before the author even thinks of publishing. This includes formatting.

I have yet to see a publishing house that isn't very specific about how they want the manuscript set up. Please take the time to read the requirements and follow the outline requested. This workshop is a basic guide for your document using Word '03, but it gives you an overview of how you want your manuscript to look when you submit it.

STEP 1: Set your font to TIMES NEW ROMAN and your font size to 12. This is an easy to read font and size and it is generally the style that most houses prefer. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO USE YOUR "SIGNATURE" FONT OR YOUR FAVORITE FONT. This is not about what you like or think looks best. It's what the publisher wants.

STEP 2: Generally, you need to set your margins to 1" TOP-BOTTOM-LEFT-RIGHT. Remember, this is for submissions, not for printing. Your publisher will make the formatting adjustments necessary for that. It's much easier to read and edit your manuscript if it's set up with a 1" margin and nothing fancy. So under the FILE tab, click on PAGE SETUP and then MARGINS and choose 1".

STEP 3: PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Whatever you do, DON'T space over or tab to indent paragraphs. This is a nightmare to fix when formatting a manuscript for print. Word has several features that will set your first line indent for you. So go to the FORMAT tab and then click on PARAGRAPH.

Once on this screen, you can set up a couple of things. The first is under the INDENT/SPACING Heading. In the section marked INDENTATION go to SPECIAL and change to FIRST LINE. This automatically indents the first line of all new paragraphs when you hit return. Simple and no more formatting issues.The second thing you'll setup here is under the section marked SPACING. Set BEFORE and AFTER to 0 and set your LINE SPACING to DOUBLE. Once your options look like the ones on the left, press the OKAY button.

STEP 4: Depending on where you're planning to submit your book, you  may have to add a HEADER. This is easily done as well. Just go to VIEW and click on HEADER AND FOOTER. Pick the option that best fits what the house is asking you to use. Generally, they want you to include your name, the book title, and page number.

WALLA! You are now ready to type that masterpiece! Please follow these steps or the instructions set out by the house you want to submit your book to. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

I hope this helped! Now, hop on over to read what my friend Kay Springsteen has to say about crit partners. Click HERE.


Thursday, May 26, 2011


The comma is, in my opinion, the chameleon of the punctuation family. And I don’t mean that in a good way, but rather that it reminds me of the chameleon Randall from the Disney movie Monster’s Inc. Why? Because despite the many grammatical rules about using the comma, they’re always changing or including exceptions that basically say, “This is the rule, but you can do it this way, or you can do it that way, or you can follow what this person does, or what that person does”. Sort of like a chameleon changes colors. It’s enough to drive you batty.
There’s no way in this blog post I can cover all the rules there are associated with the comma. But I’m going to do my best to cover two instances that create problems for authors.
INDEPENDENT CLAUSES: This is more commonly known as a sentence. So basically what this means is if you have two sentences that are joined by a conjunction (and, but, or, so, yet – just to name a few), you need a comma before the conjunction. You wouldn’t believe how many people omit a comma in this instance. I’m going to show you a couple examples to help illustrate how I remember this rule.
Example 1
She abused this privilege by taking the information and using it to prevent her charge from dying.
Example 2
Her feelings for Owen might have clouded her judgment but she would never stoop to sacrificing others for her own selfish desires.
Which one of the above examples needs a comma? If you guessed the second one, you’re right. In the first example, the first phrase can’t stand alone. It doesn’t make sense to say She abused this privilege by taking the information. The second clause is no better. Using it to prevent her charge from dying doesn’t make a sentence either. But in Example 2, Her feelings for Owen might have clouded her judgment is a complete sentence. As is She would never stoop to sacrificing others for her own selfish desires.
The way I remember when to insert a comma and when not to is: INDEPENDENT CLAUSES are IN NEED of a comma. DEPENDENT CLAUSES DEPEND on the contraction so NO COMMA!
INTRODUCTORY WORDS AND PHRASES: This is one of the toughest comma rules (and I use the word rules loosely when it comes to commas) because it doesn’t really give you a clear answer. The rule says that generally an introductory word or phrase is followed by a comma, but to use your best judgment. HELLOOOOO! If we didn’t want someone to come out and tell us what to do, we wouldn’t be reading the rules!
To be honest, this one stumps me the most. With this rule, there’s really no rhyme or reason that goes into an individual’s decision to use a comma or to omit it. I do have a little secret I’ll share that will make it easier. It’s a sure-fire formula you can use to determine if a comma is truly needed. It’s simple and it hasn’t failed me yet.
  1. Ask yourself if the sentence can stand on its own without the phrase.
  2. Is the phrase being used to insert a pause in the sentence?
  3. Place the phrase at the end of the sentence to see if you would need to insert a comma for clarity.
  4. Is the phrase essential to the sentence or is it added information?
  5. Turn the sentence into a question and see if it makes sense with the phrase.
I know, I know. I hear you all groaning about having to do so much work. And YES you have to do it. If you’re serious about being an author, then you have to do everything possible to make your manuscript the best it can be. Now for a training exercise.
To be fair it hadn’t taken much convincing.
Step 1: take the introductory phrase away and see if the rest of the clause is a sentence. It hadn’t taken much convincing. Yes, it’s a sentence and it can stand on its own.
Step 2: Read the sentence aloud and see if you automatically insert a pause after the phrase. Yes, you should have inserted a pause.
Step 3: Place the phrase at the end of the sentence and see if a comma is needed for clarity. It hadn’t taken much convincing to be fair. Yes, in this instance a comma is definitely needed for understanding.
Step 4: Is the phrase essential to the sentence? This is a little trickier to answer, but we know it’s not essential to make the clause a sentence and we know it’s not needed to help clarify what’s being discussed, so it might make the sentence better but it’s not essential. So the answer is NO.
Step 5: Turn the sentence into a question and see if it’s awkward with the phrase. To be fair had it taken much convincing? Had it taken much convincing? It’s not hard to see that the sentence with the phrase is very awkward when turned into a question if you don’t have a comma.
In a nutshell, if you find that you answer yes to steps 1, 2, & 3 and that you answer no to step 4 and that when you complete step 5 it’s awkward, you need the comma. You might be thinking, “But I know that since steps 1 & 2 are yes that I need a comma so I don’t need to complete the other steps”. Wrong. Most people do steps 1 & 2 and still don’t get it right. Until you practice going through all these steps and truly have a grasp of using commas with introductory phrases and words, complete all five steps!
 Now, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. You can start with the few examples I’ve provided. Which ones need a comma? Do you have a sentence you’d like to discuss?
Practice Sentences:
With open arms she ran to him.
Before he could shoot the woman whipped the fire extinguisher around and sprayed the animal.
Slowly Kell stood.
Hope this helps! Still have a question, post it in the comment section and I'll see if I can help you muddle through it:)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trivia Tuesday with Joselyn Vaughn


Welcome my special guest Joselyn Vaughn. She’s letting me pick her brain about the most important issues a writer faces. Okay, maybe not the most important, but certainly the most fun! Here we go…

1. What’s your favorite Disney Movie? I love Beauty and the Beast. I love how they both need to see beneath the surface to find the true person.  I think Disney created a really good version of this fairy tale.

2. Who’s your favorite villain either from a book or a movie? Favorite villain?  Ooo, this is hard. So far, I’m not coming up with a personal favorite, but definitely with some that are very well done. Heath Ledger as the Joker. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa. Oh and Miss Hilly in The Help by Kathryn Stockett. She had me sick to my stomach every time someone mentioned her.

3. Where’s the one place you’d love to visit? I would love to go to Italy.  I’m not sure which part though. I studied ancient Rome and Greece in college and loved it.  It would be so cool to see all the places I saw in my textbooks and talked about in class.

4. Name one thing on your bucket list that would surprise people. Why? People are always surprised to hear that I run.  I prefer running long distances.  I just don’t have the speed for anything short, but I can run for a long time.  I think it would be really cool to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Just have to figure out how to get the time for more miles in my day.

Girl, have you met my son? I run the Boston Marathon every day.

6. What book do you read over and over again? I’ve read Pride and Prejudice several times. Mr. Bennet cracks me up. I wish I had more time to read right now so I could reread some old favorites.

This has been so much fun! Thank you for coming by and answering the questions that inquiring minds want to know! You also need to check out her book Sucker for a Hotrod. Here’s the blurb:

Bryce Halloway only dates a woman once. No exceptions.

It gives him the reputation of a heart-breaker, but he can handle that as long as it keeps his mother, Dinah, from trying to marry him off. Judi Montgomery and her tempting ponytail finagle their way around official dates with car problems and driving lessons. She worms her way into his heart and entices him to want more from his life.

When health issues causes his father to retire, Bryce inherits the family-owned tractor repair shop. Can Judi’s love and encouragement give him the courage to break tradition and pursue his dreams of owning a custom hot rod shop?


Also, Joselyn would love to hear from you. You can visit her at

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Trip to Paradise Blog Hop Winners


CONGRATULATIONS! What an awesome Trip around the world. I wanted to say thank you to all of you for your support and participation in our blog hop. We certainly hope you’ll all come back and visit for our next one! You guys were all so awesome so I upped the ante on my giveaway and instead of three winners we have five – One first place, two second place, and two third place. Here’s a breakdown of the prizes (in case you forgot).

1st place: $10 coupon to use on the Astraea Press website plus a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks

2nd place: a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks

2nd place: a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks

3rd place: a PDF copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus I'll mail you 2 awesome bookmarks

3rd place: a PDF copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus I'll mail you 2 awesome bookmarks

Without further ado, here are the winners. I used randomizer.org to determine the number and then counted down to that comment.

1st place: @Lindsey Hutchinson

2nd place: @shadowestr

2nd place: @darkangel

3rd place: @mmbourassa

3rd place: @Chrisbails

Congrats, peeps. I do have your emails so be watching for something from me:) This was a wild ride and I hope you come back next month to see what we have in store!


Wedding Anthology Winners



I’m very sorry for the lateness of this post. We all want to thank you very much for participating in our hop. It was awesome and fun. Congratulations to the five posters who visited all our blogs and left comments. Here is the list of posters. We used randomizer.org to pick the winners. Since there were only five people, we decided to have two fourth place winners. Here’s the list of prizes:

1st place be the Princess Diana beanie baby bear and an Astraea Press coupon code to use toward the purchase of any titles on the Astraea Press website, plus an ecopy of a book currently available by one of the six of us (winner's choice)

2nd place is a beautiful necklace and a paperback of my book Wayward Soul, plus an ecopy of a book currently available by one of the six of us (winner's choice)

3rd place is choice of 2 copies of ebooks currently offered by the six of us (winner's choice)

4th place is choice of 1 copy of ebook currently offered by the six of us (winner's choice)

EBOOKS you can choose from. You can click on the title to read more about the book:

WAYWARD SOUL by Kim Bowman

HEARTSIGHT by Kay Springsteen

LIFELINE ECHOES by Kay Springsteen


A NEW DREAM by Elaine Cantrell



And the winners are:

First place – Renee Silvana

Second place – Sheila

Third place – Jennifer Comeaux

Fourth place – Kathleen Ball and Liz

Again, congratulations. Please email me at kimbowman2008@yahoo.com so we can get your prizes to you. Thank you again and it would be really great if you could pass the word on about Matrimonial Mayhem.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Happy Sunday! It's that time of week again and I'm so glad you all stopped by to see what happened after my parents' said, "I do". I'm promoting my contribution to a very special book that I, along with five other Astraea Press authors wrote. The book, Matrimonial Mayhem, was penned as a way to help the victims of the April 2011 tornadoes in the south. Our hearts go out to the families that suffered. For $5, you can get a great book and help your fellow Americans. Just click HERE to go to the buy link. Now, to find out what happens next in my short story about my parents' wedding. The Ballad of Brenda and Willard:

“I’m going to see you rot in jail; I’ll have the marriage annulled and you’ll never see Kaybird again.” L. T.’s voice shook as he spoke.
“Well, you can try to do that, but I’ve already lived with her for a week as man and wife and you can’t undo that.” Willard prayed L. T. believed him.
The yelling and cursing from the other end of the phone told him he could relax. “Get up here right now; I want to see the marriage license with my own eyes.”
Yep, pretty safe bet that my grandfather wasn't happy! Thank you so much for stopping by. Don't forget to check out all the other awesome posts on Six Sentence Sunday and don't forget to check out Matrimonial Mayhem.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trip Around the World Mega Author Blog Hop: Ticket to Paradise

Welcome, everyone. YIPPEEE! I'm so glad you're stopping to vacation with me in the Grand Canyon. Fasten your seatbelts and don't look down if you're afraid of heights. First, we need to cover a few rules. Also, if you'll look to the right of the screen. I've added the list of authors on our tour so you can make sure you visit them all for some great getaways!


1)  HAVE FUN!!!


3)  THIS TOUR STARTS:  Monday, May 16, at Midnight (Arizona Time)
     THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, May 23, at Midnight (Arizona Time)



I never truly understood the expression "A picture is worth a thousand words" until my husband and I visited the Grand Canyon in June of 2008. I want to share the experience with you. I had such a feeling of euphoria from the momment we turned onto the road heading to the tour office, and it steadily grew until I thought my heart would burst with the emotion. I'm so glad you're here to share my voyage with me. Now, if I can just get my donkey off his keester so we can hit the trail... 
We visited the West rim of the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, due to errosion and deterioration you are no longer permitted to drive there but have to take a tour bus. Once there, you can't walk past the rope barrier that's up. This is due to the loss of rock and dirt along the side. This is the home of the Hualapai Indians. They were a wonderful people who very openly shared their heritage and love of the canyon with us. Including this beautiful site. Eagle Rock (located at Eagle Point) on the west rim, aptly named for its shape, is considered sacred by the Hualapai Indians. I can't describe how moving it was to view this up close and personal. I felt like the eagle was soaring toward me. There's a lot of myth and legend behind this rock about how it helped the Hualapai's find their home. An amazing site to be sure. My eyes watered.

This is also where the skywalk is, but it was expensive and hung waaaaaaayyy too far over the canyon for my liking. On the West rim is also Guano Point.

This is a weak visual to express to you the beauty and the amazement you feel when you stand and look out across the canyon. I just stood staring, mouth agape. Words escaped me. I hope my picture at least expresses a small amount of the emotion I was feeling. WOW!

The thing that amazed me the most was that the physical location was like looking at a painting. It was that gorgeous and majestic. The colors were so vivid and bright. The detail so perfect. It is truly a splash of God's perfection. The interesting thing about this spot is what goldmine it is in terms of money. Not just tourism either (okay, maybe now it's tourism). Guano means the excrement of cave dwelling critters - specifically bats! Although the pictures don't show it, there are caves that you can see in the sides of the canyon. The feces of bats is used for fertilizer and gunpowder. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the pulley system that still stands there. It was used to take the workers down to the caves so they could gather the guano and send it back up. Pretty cool fun fact!

I hope you've enjoyed your vacation with me. My donkey is plum worn our from out treck across the Grand Canyon. If you ever get the chance, this place is a must see. I can't wait to go back.
Thanks for stopping by:)  Don't forget to visit the other blogs in our blog hop. Plenty of chances to win some awesome prizes.

Speaking of prizes!! Here's the awesome gifts I'm offering! You have three changes to win on my blog. Here are the awesome prizes:

1st place: $10 coupon to use on the Astraea Press website plus a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks

2nd place: a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks

3rd place: a PDF copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus I'll mail you 2 awesome bookmarks

UPDATE: After the wonderful response and support, I've decided to up my prizes. As of right now, we'll have the above prizes, PLUS, I'm adding a 2nd winner of the PDF copy of Wayward Soul and 2 bookmarks!! If I get to 75 commenters, I'll add a 2nd winner of the paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks! And if I get to 100 commenters, I'll add a 2nd winner of the  $10 coupon to use on the Astraea Press website plus a paperback copy of my novella Wayward Soul plus 2 awesome bookmarks! So send people this way!!

YEEHAW! Hope you packed your bags because we're just getting started. We still have a lot of travelin' to do! So click on the next button below to go to the next blog, or you can click the previous button to go the the prior blog. Happy Trails and have fun:)


PREVIOUS                                        NEXT
Also, you can hop to the first blog on the hop and go from start to finish by clicking HERE

Six Sentence Sunday

Happy Six Sentence Sunday all!! Time to see snippets from the wonderful stories of some amazing authors.

Also time to see what happened at my parents' wedding. Last week they dealt with a train going by while my father said "What?"

Let's see what happens next in The Ballad of Brenda and Willard, based on a true urban legend - my parents' wedding. 

“And do you, Brenda, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband.To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death you do part?”
“I-I-I do.”
“By the powers vested in me, I know pronounce you man and wife; you may kiss the bride.”
Willard placed a light kiss on her lips, but she barely noticed, still too stunned by the fact that she’d just gotten married. Hadn’t she?

He he. I never get tired of this story. No matter how many times I hear it. And trust me, over the years, that's been a lot:) Hope you enjoyed it, and don't forget that all proceeds from the sell of Matrimonial Mahem goes to benefit the victims of the deadly tornadoes in the south. So click on the title and for $5 get six great stories and help a worthy cause.

Now, go see what everyone else cooked up for Six Sentence Sunday.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Wedding Anthology Blog Hop CONTEST!

I have the honor and privledge to be involved in a very special project with five of my fellow Astraea Press authors. We've collaborated to create a Wedding Anthology titled Matrimonial Mahem to help the Alabama families who suffered at the hands of the deadly tornadoes.

Elaine Cantrell, "It All Started with Cinders Malone's Dress," based upon A New Dream. From the wrong dress to a canine disaster with the wedding cake, can anything go right for Matt and Violet on their wedding day?

Therese Gilardi, "Marriage on Sunset," based upon Matching Wits with Venus.  Before Colin and Amelia, came Amelia's parents Stella Sweetwater and Gerard Coillard. Maybe not a match made in Heaven, but certainly one arranged by Venus...on Sunset Boulevard.

J.F. Jenkins, "Legend of the Aero Dragon," based upon The Legend of the Oceina Dragon. When a young dragon falls in love, best not to be standing between him and his chosen mate...especially if his choice doesn't exactly match the choice of his father.

Kim Bowman, "The Ballad of Brenda and Willard," based on a true urban legend  Third time was the charm in the wedding tale of this author's parents, but exactly what date their anniversary should be celebrated on is anybody's guess.

J. Gunnar Grey, "The Lilies at Laura's Wedding," based upon Deal with the Devil. No happy hitching to be found here, but sometimes the better course to take is to say "I don't."

Kay Springsteen, "Camp Wedding," based upon Heartsight. A blind Marine, a nervous bride, and an adorable child who loves them both is an equation for another tug on the heartstrings in the story behind Dan and Trish's wedding.

All proceeds will be going to benefit the Governor of Alabama's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for the hardest storm-hit areas of the state. So don't forget to go click HERE and buy your copy for $5. It's a book of great stories for a great cause!

The six of us have decided to throw a bash in honor of our wonderful book and the amazing cause it's going to help. And with a party comes PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES!!! So here's the scoop of prizes. We're running this hop until Saturday at midnight EST. We'll have 4 winners. Prizes will be as follows

1st place be the Princess Diana beanie baby bear and an Astraea Press coupon code to use toward the purchase of any titles on the Astraea Press website, plus an ecopy of a book currently available by one of the six of us (winner's choice)
2nd place is a beautiful neclace and a paperback of my book Wayward Soul, plus an ecopy of a book currently available by one of the six of us (winner's choice)
3rd place is choice of 2 copies of ebooks currently offered by the six of us (winner's choice)
4th place is choice of 1 copy of ebook currently offered by the six of us (winner's choice)
Rules would be as follows:
Contestant must comment on all seven blogs to be eligible to win. This includes the Astraea Press Blog as well as the blogs of all six authors of the anthology. You can click HERE to go to the AP Blog if you need to:) Otherwise, the link to the next blog is at the bottom of this post.
For every person you send to our blog hop (the person has to note your name in their post) you get another entry for prizes, same if you tweet and facebook (be sure to tell us you did). Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have questions:) 

To promote Matrimonial Mahem, the six of us are blogging about weddings! I get to post beautiful pictures of brides on their special day. Yep, that's me on my wedding day. It's hard for me to believe we've been married twelve years this August. I paid $10 for the dress and $50 dollars for the boots. I was pretty happy. I loved my wedding day. It was perfect in every way.

This book also provided me the opportunity to honor my parents, Brenda and Willard Lawson, in a very special way. My contribution to our anthology, The Ballad of Brenda and Willard, is based on a true urban legend.  Third time was the charm in the wedding tale of my parents' wedding, but exactly what date their anniversary should be celebrated on is anybody's guess. Unfortunately, there were no pictures taken on that day, so their photo isn't exactly a wedding picture, but it's the first one taken of them together so it's the closest I have. You'll have to buy the book to find out why no pictures were taken and why their wedding is a running joke in our family:)

I also wanted to add a picture of my beautiful sister and her gorgeous wedding dress. She's been so supportive of me and my writing so I wanted to honor as well. Thank you, sis:)

Now, for some of the lovely ladies from Astraea Press. First up is Elaine Cantrell. How elegant and beautiful from her dress to her veil and flowers. I also LOVE the expression on her face.

If you've read any of Jean Joachim's hilarious blog posts, this picture is her to a "T". Gorgeous and fun. The ruffles are amazing and add to the dress.

Felicia Rogers shared a special picture with us. She had a beautiful dress and a gorgeous day for her wedding.

Besides the beautiful wedding dress, I love Kay Springsteen's mom in this picture. I adore her dress and she looks like she's the most fun person in the world. although she fits under Kay's arm, she's definitely larger than life.

Of all the pictures people were willing to share, this is my favorite. I love the the look on Cheryl Grey's face, the emotion. The clothes are amazing and the background is wonderful.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you've enjoyed my parade of pictures. I know I have. I never get tired of looking at brides on their special day.
Now, for more Matrimonial Mahem, hop on over to the next blog with Cheryl Grey by clicking HERE.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday for my MOM

WELCOME to Six Sentence Sunday! I'm very happy to not only honor my mother this Sunday but to also promote an anthology to help the victims of the deadly tornadoes in Alabama. My six sentences are from the tribute I wrote to my parents about their wedding day. The Ballad of Brenda and Willard is my contribution to a very special Wedding Anthology titled Matrimonial Mahem.  The book is slated to be released Tuesday, May 10th, and all proceeds from sales go to the Alabama relief effort.

Also, Astraea Press is offering 15% off as a Mother's Day Special so click HERE to go check out all the awesome titles available. Enter code CELEBRATEMOM for your discount. Without further ado, here's my six. Like I said, it's about my parents' wedding. They eloped but it was a little more detailed than that. Here's one of my favorite parts of the story:) Hope you enjoy it. Much love, Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

“Willard, take Brenda’s hands in yours.”
He took her hands and her nerves calmed instantly; he always had that effect on her.
Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife—”
A train came around the bend and drowned out the rest of what the preacher said. Willard cocked his head toward the man to hear better, but the obnoxious train seemed to become louder, then the whistle blew.
“—do part?”
“What?” came Willard’s answer.
Brenda’s eyes darted from Frank to Willard thinking Frank would repeat the vows he’d said now that the train had pasted; instead, he turned to her.

Don't forget to check out all the other great blogs on Six Sentence Sunday

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Happy Friday! Help me give a big shout out the Elaine Cantrell. She’s answering my Fab Five questions today. Welcome, Elaine. Let’s get right to it. What’s your favorite Disney Movie? Definitely Beauty and the Beast.  It’s such a beautiful love story.  It’s filled with conflict and obstacles for the hero and heroine to overcome which they do in spectacular fashion.  The music’s great too.

Loved Beauty and the Beast. Just watched it with my son last weekend. Who’s your favorite villain either from a book or a movie?  My favorite villain is my own Travis Abercrombie who’s the brother of my hero in my Wings novel The Welcome Inn.  Travis blackmailed the mayor and ended up the town pariah but was redeemed and grew into a really nice guy.  He almost took over the novel, but I managed to keep him in check.  I wish I’d written a separate book about him, but by the time I realized how good a subject he’d be, I’d already redeemed him.  No conflict, no book.

Oh rats! Well, maybe you could have him “fall back into his old ways”… Just a thought. Where’s the one place you’d love to visit?  I’d like to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in California and continue until I reached Canada.  I’ve seen a small part of this area, and it’s beautiful.

Where’s the one place you’d love to live?  Banner Elk, North Carolina is pretty close to paradise as far as I’m concerned.  We go there every year in June to enjoy the weather and the mountains.  We’ve often seen wild bears there.  Once from our balcony we saw a mama bear and three cubs.  Of course, it does get cold in the winter…

Who’s the one person you’d love to meet?  I’d like to meet Stephenie Myers and talk about the Twilight series.  I want her to finish writing Midnight Sun.

Shhh…don’t tell my daughter, but I’ve never read the Twilight series. I did, however, read her book The Host and I loved the concept but more so how she said she came up with it in the car while driving. I’m so glad you came by to see my again, Elaine. This has been fun and I hope everyone will hop over to the Astraea Press website and grab a copy of your book A New Dream. Hurry up! From now until Monday you can use the code CELEBRATEMOM on the Astraea Press Website  for an additional 15% off.

Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
I was born and raised in South Carolina where I obtained a master's degree in personnel services from Clemson University. I am a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators, Romance Writers of America, and EPIC authors. My first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When I'm not writing or teaching, I enjoy gardening, quilting, reading, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments. You can learn more about me at my web site or at my blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trivia Tuesday with Chynna Laird

Chynna Laird is my guest for the day and she has graciously offered one lucky poster a PDF copy of her new release Blackbird Flies. Here's the book blurb: Fifteen year-old Payton MacGregor is a musical prodigy. To him, though, his music is merely a way for him to escape from the chaos that surrounds him. All of his life, he’s had to care for his mother, who copes with her bipolar disorder with booze instead of turning to her own musical talents. He refuses to become a statistic. Then he’s thrown a curve ball.  His mother suddenly dies, leaving him to be cared for by his aging grandparents.  As much as they love him, they decide to send him halfway across Canada to live with his father, Liam—the man Payton always believed abandoned him and his mother. Payton isn’t making the relocation easy on anyone until he finds out he's going to attend the prestigious School of the Arts for musically gifted youth. Any second thoughts he has about his new life are erased when he meets Lily Joplin. Their connection is instantaneous.
Lily is a talented singer, but her struggles with drugs and bipolar disorder hit too close to home for Payton’s comfort. And when her issues become all-consuming, he wonders if his music will be enough to carry him through.
This one is definitely on my TBR pile. Now, thought we'd have some fun and get to know a little bit about her so check out what I learned. Welcome, Chynna.

What’s your favorite Disney Movie? The Tigger Movie

Who’s your favorite villain either from a book or a movie? I'm going to say Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins). Villains need to have depth, be interesting, have a bit of mystery surrounding them, tug on our empathy a bit (or try to) and also be a bit scary. What I loved about Hannibal is that he was terrifying but SO intelligent, you know? *shudder*

Where’s the one place you’d love to visit? Scotland. I'd love to learn about my family history.

What genre do you love to read but would never write? Hm. 'Stephen King' type horror. I enjoy nail-biting stuff...I've written a novella like that but the super scary stuff is not only takes alot out of you to write it also takes alot to shake it after writing it. I've tried.  

Name one thing on your bucket list that would surprise people. Why? WOW! I don't really have much of a bucket list left, actually!

Where’s the one place you’d love to live? Australia. I have had a lifelong love for Australia. We almost moved there when I was very young.

Who’s the one person you’d love to meet? Maya Angelou. I'd love to just sit and chat with her over tea. Or just listen to her. (Okay, I'd also love to meet Paul McCartney but that doesn't sound as wise. LOL!!)

What book do you read over and over again? Letters To My Daughter by Maya Angelou. I love her. She is so insighful and wise. And she's gone through so much in her life yet is brave enough to learn from each life's lesson--whether good or bad--then passes those lessons along to others. That book is funny, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and beautiful. Every woman out there should read it.

Do you prefer to read a book written in first person or third person? You know, it depends on the story. I've read fabulous stories written in each view and awful ones. It's all in how the author uses his or her words, gradually unfolding the story. My writing mentor once told me that she's only read works by a precious few authors who write in 1st person successfully. I've written in both. In the end all that matters is that the author tells the tale in the best way possible that suits the plot, the characters and the storyline.

Do you prefer to read stand alone books or a series? Again, it depends. I don't usually get into series. I read every Nancy Drew book when I was little and I totally admire authors who can come up with a great series idea! But I think I prefer stand alone books.

Thank you so much Chynna! Awesome interview. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a PDF of Blackbird Flies and then check back to see if you were the lucky winner on Friday:)  You can learn more about Chynna at www.lilywolfwords.ca, as well as her blogs at www.the-gift-blog.com and www.seethewhiteelephants.com, to get a feel for her work and what inspires her. Also, don't forget to check out her amazing book Blackbird Flies. You can purckase it at:
CHYNNA TAMARA LAIRD – is a psychology student, freelance writer and multi award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her partner, Steve, and their three daughters [Jaimie (eight), Jordhan (six), and baby Sophie (two)] and baby boy, Xander (four). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.
You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored an award-winning children’s book (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novel (Blackbird Flies) and an adults Suspense/Thriller (The Gift to be released late 2011).