Across the Threshold Book Tour: Character Interviews

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So today’s stop on the tour for the anthology, Across the Threshold, is an effort made by all of us involved. We devised a standard interview form with questions that all of our main characters were to answer. This should prove to be most interesting!

You can visit my website for the full story HERE!

Then, pay the other authors a visit and see how their characters answered all the same questions!

RETURN TO CARDAMOM BOOK TOUR!

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I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in a book tour for the new release, Return to Cardamom by Julie Anne Grasso.

You can read my thoughts on the book in the post on my website, one of the stops of their tour! Help spread the word…this was a cute little story for middle grade children!

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Life is sweet for Caramel and things are finally getting back to normal. Well, as normal as it can be for a telepathic elf who can train trees and control computers, but she soon finds life on Cardamom is not all cupcakes and apple cider. A saboteur is hiding in the rainforest canopy, and the elves’ precious cardamom export has been wiped out. Caramel is certain it’s another trick of Alexander222 and her Aunt Isabel, but no one will believe her, and the clock is ticking. She must expose the saboteur in time to save the crop or the Elves of Cardamom will lose their livelihood. Caramel won’t rest until her theory is proven. While she is on the hunt, she makes a shocking discovery, one that will change everything.

Interview With Cheryl Alleway on Of Blade of Valor!

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The life of a writer can be mysterious. They all have a method to their madness and here is a peek at the lovely Cheryl Alleway’s process. You can see her expressions, the wheels spinning as she reveals some small secrets. It isn’t every day that you can pick an author’s brain.

I feel that the vast majority of readers only see the finished product and not the amount of time spent in creating the book they hold in their hands. Books seem to just magically appear on shelves. This video is to show you the passion of the author, the drive, and the thought process. One simply does not sit down and write a 500 page book overnight.

The next time you hold a book and thumb through the pages, keep in mind that each new book is a struggle for someone just to bring it to you. Countless hours spent in thought, writing and editing so you have a piece of entertainment.

Every author is different. They think different, they write different, they choose different genres. In my mind, there are no rules when writing fiction. It is a free area to put down on paper the story that invades your mind. Just because one writer doesn’t write according to how you think they should, doesn’t make them inadequate…it makes them an individual. I know of some out there perfectly happy to demean another writer for not adhering to an invisible set of rules and I strongly criticize this with all my being.

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Cheryl’s book defies many traditional ideals and that is what I find so endearing about it. For me, when someone can spin a tale around actual events and pull you into the story, that is a great read. Technicalities do not appeal to me and I applaud those who are willing to step out of the cookie-cutter mold and do something so intriguing and interesting you can’t help but fall in love with it.

Enjoy this video!

Tomorrow’s post is by the very sweet, quite humble author Cheryl Alleway. Please feel free to share your thoughts with her! 😀

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OF BLADE AND VALOR Book Tour!

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Welcome to my nightmare! lol
I had my post finished, I only needed to add the blog tour buttons and I was set! At about 8pm my time, I found out that my website was running blank. That’s right…all these people trying to visit my site can’t see a darned thing. Trying to get my IT guru on the line has proven to be impossible. Therefore, I am beginning again. Please, bear with me.

It can be difficult for me to really get into a book. I have my favorites and find it a challenge to open my heart to other authors sometimes. Funny isn’t it, that I felt compelled to start my own publishing house? I am very tolerant of other writers, I just don’t always get sucked in.

Most people read for entertainment. They read to escape the harsh realities of their own world. This was how I started out when agreeing to read Cheryl Alleway’s book, Of Blade and Valor. However, as I went along and became lost in the hills of Scotland, I learned a lot about myself.

How can a book teach you about yourself? Well, if you read and your face fills in on the body of the heroine, you begin to think about possible plot twists or reactions that you might have to certain circumstances. What would you really do? I did this all the way through and came to the conclusion that I am not as strong as Deb Douglas. We are the same in many ways, but she is much stronger than I.

Within the pages of this book, I saw a fierce love for family. The relationship between Deb and her father is to be cherished. Not everyone can say that their father showed so much emotion for his daughter. Not many would teach their child to fight with foreign technique knowing it would save her life. But fathers do teach us the fundamentals it takes to survive once we fly the nest. Even if you don’t feel that you can go to them as an adult, they still took it upon themselves to prepare you for your life ahead.

It also showed me that it is okay to love again. There is room in your heart for more than one soul. When one relationship ends, you mourn and grieve…but another will come and fill that void once the tears dry on your pillow. It is most difficult to let go and start a new chapter. It is scary. But it can be worth it.

I found that my dearest character, Henry, plucked the strings of my heart with his bent body and huge heart. It isn’t often that you read a book that includes the disabled and casts them as a hero. I loved that Henry the Hen found a suitable place within Cheryl’s heart and he rests within mine. You see, I know a man who has a tumor in his brain. There isn’t anything anyone can do about it, but he gets on like there is nothing wrong. His body shuffles him around and his stories can become more like ramblings at times, but he is quite the extraordinary man and I love him for who he is. I find that most are not as tolerant of him as I am and it makes me sad…there are few people on this planet who would give you his own shirt if you needed it. Henry is this man to me. I found that I smiled in spite of him and my eyes filled with tears as I saw this man I know being a hero.

I learned that you are a leader whether you think you are or not. There is always someone looking at what you are doing. Are they actions worth emulating? Would you be proud if your best friend took up your worst habit? You have the power to change people’s lives even if you think you are a nobody. I have the power to change people’s lives. I do change people’s lives and whether for the good or the bad is only up to me.

Standing up for the little guy sometimes means that you fight the giants of our day, just as Deb faces her own giants. There are times that you have to be the thorn in the side of those who deal unethically or mistreat those below them. This goes for the working environment as well as recreational moments like eating out. I was told once that I must not be very smart because I worked in a gas station. He told me that since I was a manager, I must be smarter than most, but I wasn’t intelligent. I have never forgotten that. Be the one to stand up for those hard workers whether close to you or not. I once worked for a man who was a terrible manager of people and I told him: “A team is only as strong as its leader.” He responded: “I disagree, but thank you for your feedback.” Think about it.

There are many more points and since I am nearing a hefty 1,000 words, I should come to a close. There are many books that transport you places but there are few who make you think about yourself in ways you normally don’t. It offers you the chance to hope for love and be grateful for all you have.

If none of the posts have convinced you to grab this book, I hope this one will do it. You are missing out on such an adventure and such love and hope. Loyalty. Latch on and crave more. I did.

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In the midst of war torn Scotland, a baby girl is born to Jacob
Douglas and his young wife. The conflict between the English and the
Scots breeds trials of loyalty that tarnish the landscape, while Jacob
teaches his strong-willed child the skills she will need to face her
uncertain future. Behind the veil of war, villains pillage their land,
pilfer what is not theirs and do not fear retribution for their deeds.
There is none strong enough to make a stand; no one, until Deb
Douglas. Keeping her father close to her always, he radiates a courage
that motivates her fight for freedom, for love, and for her land. Deb
rallies those she meets to join her cause, which frees the secrets
from her past that have been buried for many years. While destiny is
all-knowing, Deb never backs down and faces it all with the courage of
a man and the heart of a Scot!

Get your copy today!

Amazon.com (Kindle Version) .99! ASIN# B00DR1TCYE

Paperback or Hardback Version (Not Autographed) $24USD and up ISBN# 9781304121820 (PB) 9781304193735 (HB)

Paperback or Hardback Versions (Autographed) $24USD and up

Tomorrow’s Tour Stop! Visit R. Rose and check out her work!

**GIVEAWAY**
For every time you get involved and comment on tour posts, the more times you will be entered into a drawing for one of two necklaces inspired by this book or one of two calendars featuring photos that were also inspired by this work! Get involved with our participating bloggers and win! To thank our hosts, please take a moment to look at their work as well!

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TOUR STOP #4! Of Blade and Valor!

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Tour stop #4 for Of Blade and Valor by Cheryl Alleway is with author Neil Newton, who features the book One Time on Earth. We are so thankful to have his participation on this tour and he wrote a beautiful sort of review that exposes his emotions on the subject of historical fiction and bringing to life successfully. Cheryl does this in her new release, Of Blade and Valor and Neil will tell you as well.

When you visit, please comment so we know you were there! 😀 We want to enter you in the drawing for some great prizes!

So here is the link to Neil’s post: http://neilnewton.co.uk/novelist-cheryl-allway/
Please take a moment to check out his work as well!

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Of Blade and Valor Book Tour!!

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So I must call upon all me fellow bloggers and readers…even authors.

Today is a really special day for a great gal that I have really come to admire. It is her day…the day her book is brought to life. She has walked carefully out on the plank and stared down into the waters swimming with the sharks of the literary world, but seeing her dreams on the ocean floor, jumped right in. This girl has put in countless hours preparing, learning, and writing for all of you.

The problem we face, as writers, the the lack of support from the very people who read books.

So I am asking you all to get involved today. Visit the post that will kick off Cheryl’s tour and participate. Download your copy and be entered to win prizes! We were able to pull a bunch of bloggers together to make this tour a lot of fun for you as readers. Click here for the schedule of stops!

We beg you, yes this is me begging, to share this among your audiences and help to propel this young woman to great heights.

When it is your turn to sit in the spotlight, you know we will be behind you as well! We appreciate your support! Feel free to reblog the Twisted Willow Press post today!

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Renewing Faith In Humanity… (Blog Hop Post)

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On this day, I am so thankful for those heroes out there that protect my freedom…your freedom…Many of them have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Peace. It doesn’t end there either because their families spend a lifetime grieving for the loss of that loved one who perished while looking out for me and my own family. My step-son, well, I think of him as my son…He is in the Army and serves in Alaska. He has done two tours overseas in the last few years. While he is away, his wife tries to keep busy as she lives almost a lifetime away from her closest relative and works at not worrying over his safety. I could not imagine her frame of mind. My hat tips to them both.

So what has happened in our society to make people want to wage war? Why do people abuse those who work awful everyday jobs so that they can eat out, get gasoline, use a clean bathroom, or even teach our children? Why do we as a civilization, with so much history to learn from, not live the lessons that have been taught? I will be the first to admit that as I have worked in the retail field, I have grown to be impatient with those who think they can be rude or judgmental with me. I have sported a real chip on my shoulder for a long time…perhaps longer than I ever have known…

And then again, there are these moments…these glimmers of decency that will renew my faith in humanity.

You know, when I was only about 21, maybe 22, I was married and had a little boy. We moved into a new apartment and it was very close to Christmas. For weeks I had been shopping the dollar stores for little gifts to give my husband and son. We knew we had nothing to shop in the large department stores with. I had carefully hidden away some blocks, a sippy cup, coloring books, playdough, and small cars. I bought a few outfits at a second hand store as well for my little D. (He had just turned one years old a few months before.) Well, one day about a week before Christmas, I came home to find a large manilla envelope taped to my door. I don’t remember what the 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper even said, but it was along the lines of do something great with this for Christmas. I looked inside the envelope and there was $500 in there in gift certificates to Toys R Us. My eyes burned with tears and my heart was pounding. I remember looking up and down the street for the person who left it, but there was no one. Years and years later, I found out that gift had been from my dad, a man I didn’t have a good relationship with. Yet, he held enough compassion for my family to extend his hand of help to us. It wasn’t the money making that holiday so special for us, it was the love he showed. It was the moment of selflessness he displayed that I hadn’t seen very often in my lifetime. At one time, I was daddy’s little girl. By the time I left home, we were not close at all. It has taken many years for us to repair our relationship, but I believe it started that day.

The years went by and I divorced my husband of nine years. It was a very difficult time for all of us. I believe people do things hoping they are making the right decisions. They may not always be the right ones after all. Again, Christmas came and I literally had nothing. Not even for dollar store gifts. We were surprised one evening with carolers that left us gifts on our doorstep. I did not know these people, but they were from my church. Various members of the congregation had “adopted” my kids and bought them presents. I hadn’t stayed religious for all of my adult life. In fact, even my spirituality had left me and I felt just a shell…a zombie, if you will, walking and working to survive for my children. The fact that people I had never met would gift my children with anything was a miracle to me.

A couple of years later, I was able to return the favor for a dear friend who was in much the same position as I was. She had two small children and nothing for Christmas. I had the time of my life finding gifts for them all, wrapping them up, stuffing them all into a huge Santa bag and delivering them in the middle of the night. I left them as close to their door as I dared to creep. She called me Christmas morning and told me about the excitement. I was beaming ear to ear knowing I had done that for them. It was an amazing feeling to help another out the way others had helped me. Her tears were my tears…her laughter was mine also…her uplifted heart was shared.

I could go on, but I will simply show you one more act of kindness that has been bestowed upon me and my family.

Last year, I worked as a blogger. I would go into the office, work for a man who didn’t even register I was there. He never tried to make me any better than I was. I merely existed…a drone among drones…punch in, put the head down, punch out. I knew I could not take much more and I approached the owner of said company with a proposition. We shook on a plan where I would work from home and continue to blog in an effort to relieve some pressure down the lines. On my last day in the office, the owner told me he was not able to continue with our agreement. I was crushed. I was angry. My dreams of going back to school were no more. More than that, my heart felt more hate than I have ever felt in my life. Not toward the owner, mind you, no it was the man I worked under that forced his hand to retract what we had shook on. It occurred to me that a man’s word is no longer his honor. Business owners don’t run them, they sit back and collect what all the others do for them. If life were that easy for everyone!
So, I tried and I tried to work hard in my home to prove to my family that they really needed me to stay there with them. Needless to say, bills became too much and we got behind. I was forced to go back to work.
I opened my local Craigslist and started looking for a job. Again, the hate and anger surfaced because I was supposed to be doing what I loved and taking care of my family. My husband assured me that he just wanted me to work part time. After a few resumes went out, I found a listing for a place just up the road working at a second hand consignment store. I would have little gas expenses and the hours were perfect. They hired me.
There were some feelings of doubt that I harbored. I knew I had skills and didn’t want to sit in a warehouse perusing other people’s belongings forever. But I had to pay the bills.
These people were the last ones I had ever expected to meet. They were very to the point. They really reached out to me. They made me feel a part of their family. They prayed each day before lunch.
Being so behind placed an extra side of stress to my plate and we were struggling to feed our family of six. I had nothing left for groceries. Knowing we would be catching up, I did apply for assistance so I could get some food. It was a temporary fix to a bleak situation. The verdict came back that we made too much to qualify. I was devastated once again and the anger reared its ugly head.
We were talking at work the following day, discussing the public school system, the housing issues, and other rants that came up. I relayed my experience with the State from the day before and the rant grew heated.
As I was leaving the store that day, the owner and his wife asked me to stay late. When we were alone, I was handed an envelope. M.E. told me that they are Christian people, that they don’t go to church but they save a little in a fund that would go toward a tithing type of fund. She told me to go get my family some food to make it through that really tough place in my life. I was overwhelmed with emotion and the tears fell from my eyes in gratitude.
That has not been my only blessing since I started working there. Besides gaining my spirituality back that had been absent for many years, I get to make friends with some of the most special folks. A lot of my customers will come in to shop and will hug me hello. Their positive way has helped to dispel the anger that has been pent up in me. It has helped me to become a semblance of my former self. It has been the best therapy a person could ask for and get paid for showing up. (Perhaps even more than writing books!) But the times my boss tells me she appreciates all that I do for her heals my broken heart one crack at a time.

God meant for me to find these people…my angels…and they have truly saved me. Going from feeling like dirt to knowing I am important and I matter where I have landed does indeed renew my faith in humanity. I now pray before I go to bed each night. Through that example, we have been blessed in countless ways. But it all started with one couple who saw the potential in me and gave me that chance.

I will tell you, I am the Queen of the Hard Times. When you have it bad, email me. I may not be able to fix your problems, but I can be that ray of light to help show you the way. I have been hurt. I have known hate. I have known defeat. But I have picked myself up and dusted off, storming in on life again. You can as well.

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