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Lady Wynwood #7 early release Kickstarter

I worked on my first Kickstarter and it got approved! It’s for the Special Edition Hardcover of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer and the release of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7: Spinster. I contacted my graphic designer about the Special Edition Hardcover of vol. 1: Archer—it’s going to be SO beautiful! The Kickstarter focuses on the Special Edition Hardcover, but it’ll also include vol. 7: Spinster so that it’ll sort of be like a launch day for vol. 7, too. A third special thing that’ll be in the Kickstarter is Special Edition Paperbacks of all the books in the series. They won’t be available in stores, just in the Kickstarter (and later, from my website, and also in my Patreon book box tiers if I decide to do them). The Kickstarter is not live yet, but you can follow it to be alerted when it has launched. (You may need to create a free Kickstarter account.) Follow Camy’s Kickstarter

Book excerpt - TRION RISING by Robert Elmer

Today's Wild Card author is:



and his book:


Trion Rising

Zondervan (May 1, 2008)


What would it be like if Jesus had come to another planet?
Oriannon is living the good life on the bright side of Corista, a small planet circling three suns. But things get crazy for the teen when a new music teacher arrives at her school with strange songs and even stranger ideas. Soon Oriannon is pressured to spy on her teacher, Jesmet, by using her powers to record everything she sees and hears.

Could Jesmet really be a faithbreaker, like Oriannon's friend Margus says? She's not so sure, but her life is turned upside-down when she loses her way on the dark side of the planet and is taken in by an odd, cliff-dwelling people. And when her new friends face a deadly threat, can the once self-centered Oriannon follow her heart. . . and save half the planet?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Meet Robert

For as long as I can remember I've always loved writing. When I was in grade school, I created a family newspaper, wrote essays for fun. In high school, I took every writing class available. My parents, both from Denmark, passed along to me a love of language and books. Writing naturally came from that kind of environment.

I graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord, California, then received my BA in Communications from Simpson College, San Francisco. I completed journalism classes from U.C. Berkeley extension, and a post-graduate program in Elementary Education at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Then what? Right out of college I was a freelance writer, a public relations/admissions director and an assistant pastor. I also worked as a reporter and an editor for community newspapers, then as a copy writer for Baron & Company, a full-service marketing communications firm in Bellingham, Washington.

I now work full time writing and speaking, and my wife Ronda works as a receptionist at a pediatric dental center. We live and attend church in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and are the parents of three terrific young adults (one married).

I'm on the editorial board of the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, and also serve as a mentor for young writers. Find out more about the Guild and their great mentoring programs for all ages by clicking here.

When I'm not writing I enjoy sailing, working on vintage boats, traveling and spending time with my family.

Click on the Interviews link here (or above) for more Q&A information.

For a list of my published books, start here.

Visit him at his website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310714214
ISBN-13: 978-0310714217

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chapter One

I thought you said you knew how to fly this thing!”
       
 “I did. I do. Trust me.”

Easy for him to say. Oriannon could only grip her stiff bucket seat with both hands and count down the final seconds of her young life. She cringed at the buzz of a high-pitched warning.

“On present course, nine seconds to impact,” came the metallic warning voice. “Eight seconds . . .”

Ori wondered how she had let Margus Leek talk her into sneaking aboard the little two-seat interplanetary pod. It was fast, but built for speed and certainly not comfort. If she stretched her arms even a little she would elbow the pilot.

“Relax, Orion.” Margus Leek yanked the joystick to starboard, and their pod brushed by the antenna of a rather large telecommunications satellite. “I grew up flying these little things.”

“Tell me why I don’t feel any better.” Oriannon tried not to scream as they buzzed by another piece of space debris — an old fuel tank — leaving it spinning in their wake. “And my name isn’t — ”

“I know, I know. Sorry. You don’t have to tell me. It’s Or-i-ANN-on.” When he smiled, she could almost see his eyes twinkling through his scratched sun visor. “Oriannon, Oriannon. Don’t know how I can forget a VIP passenger like the esteemed and honorable Oriannon Hightower of the Nyssa clan.”

“It’s just Oriannon, okay?” she told him. “Forget all the other names.”

He laughed as they dipped below an orbiting solar collector, close enough to read the warning label on the underside. She closed her eyes and wondered what it would be like to grow up without all the baggage that came with being an elder’s daughter. If her father wasn’t an elite member of Corista’s ruling Assembly — 

But the impact buzzer sounded again, and she snapped her eyes back open.

“Whatever you say, Just Oriannon.” Margus smiled again. “And don’t worry. I’m watching where we’re going.”

Could have fooled me, Ori thought.

Now Margus readjusted his nav-system by passing his index finger across a colored grid screen and tapping in several coordinates from memory. The move doubled their speed and set them on a direct course to Regev, the largest of their world’s three suns. Anything not strapped down, including Ori’s lunch sack, crashed into the back of the small cargo area behind their seats.

“So how about a tour of the Trion?” asked Margus, sounding like a tour guide.

As they picked up even more speed, Ori frowned and twisted the family ring on her finger — the ring with the tiny, brilliant blue corundum stone set in the distinct diamond shape of Saius. As the second largest but most intense of their suns, the real Saius now filled her eyesight even more than it had back on the planet’s surface.

Unfortunately, she could also smell overheating deflectors, like burning rubber. Did he really have to jerk them around so much? This time the impact alarm insisted they veer away from a restricted zone.

“Immediately!” screeched the buzzer voice.

“What’s that all about?” asked Oriannon. Margus silenced it with a tap to the flashing amber screen.

“No problem, Your Highness,” he told her just before they flew straight into a blinding white light and every alarm in the pod went off at once.

“Margus!” Oriannon held a forearm to her face, but that did not help her as they tumbled out of control in a maelstrom of warning lights and screeching alarms. So this was how her life would end? She broke out in a sweat and gagged at the nose-burning smell of fried electronics.

“Do something!” Oriannon cried. She coughed and held on as the inside of the pod warmed to sizzling. In the blinding light she couldn’t even make out Margus sitting next to her.

“Just a sec,” mumbled Margus. And as quickly as the light had overpowered them, it suddenly blinked out, leaving them spinning slowly, silently, and in the dark. A lone alarm buzzed once then died to a pitiful whimper.

“Are you going to tell me what just happened?” Ori slowly lowered her arm and blinked her eyes, but the horrible flash of light and heat still echoed in her eyesight. It would take several moments to get used to normal space light once more. Margus shook his head and tapped at the control panel in front of him, as if he were trying to wake it back up. A few of the dials flickered, but not all.

“Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.” He looked around and behind them. “I think we got caught between two of those big solar reflectors, and — ”

“And what?”

“And, uh, it’s probably a good thing we didn’t stay back there.” He jerked his thumb and tapped the instrument panel once more. “Looks like it cooked us a little.”

A little? Ori swallowed hard, wishing she could just stop this ride and get out right there.

“Look, Margus,” she finally whispered, choking back the bitterness that curled her tongue. “I don’t know what we’re doing here, and my dad’s really going to be upset with us when we land. If we land. We’ve got to turn around right now.”

“That’s the one thing we can’t do.” Margus was sweating under his silver flight helmet visor too. “We can’t go back that way. Better just enjoy the view. There’s the Trion, see?”

The Trion — which meant “three lights” in the ancient Coristan tongue — was made up of three suns. Regev, a red giant, never blinked as it cast a perpetual rosy glow over the brightside of Corista. This rosy glow was offset by the white-blue of Saius, a much brighter and more intense flame. Between the two suns, the Brightside of Corista never saw darkness. Heliaan — the smallest, distant yellow sun some -people missed — stayed in the background. Together the three suns joined to create the flickering violet hue of the pretty Coristan sky, though it had turned darker the higher they climbed.

But right now Oriannon wasn’t impressed. She peered up through the clear plexi bubble over their heads, the only barrier between them and the cold vacuum of space and the searing light of one of those space mirrors.

“You sure we can’t just go back?” she asked, shaking off her jitters.

“I’ll get us back, Your Highness.” By this time he’d removed a panel and was yanking out circuits. “Just have to override a -couple systems, and we’ll be good to go. My dad showed me how to do this once.”

“While you were up here?”

He paused a moment before answering.

“Uh, no. Back in his shop. But it should work.”

So he wrestled with the controls as they bounced from one space mirror to the next, ducking behind them to avoid being fried all over again. Margus touched one wire to another, showering sparks in his lap but firing the ship’s thrusters as they glided — the long way — between the orbits of their home world and eleven other distant moons, all circling the big planet.

“I never knew there were this many of these mirror things up here.” Ori braced for the next deflector bump.

“Must be hundreds of them,” Margus said as he nodded. “I just don’t get what they’re for. There’s something strange about all this.”

Strange wasn’t quite the right word. But all Oriannon could do was look out the window as they dodged the curved mirrors, each one many times bigger than their little pod. She couldn’t pretend to care about the stunning view Margus had promised before they took off on this horrible ride. But if she cared to look, Oriannon would have seen the lush green landscape of Corista below, bathed in the trebly bright light of their three suns.

In fact, if she had cared to, she could recite every detail of the landscape. Sometimes her eidich’s memory came in handy, if she could just put aside all the mental baggage that crowded her brain with bits and details, faces and names, trivia and conversations that would never go away.

The Plains of Izula reminded her of a quilt her grandmother Merta had once showed her, decorated by patchwork fields of grain and orchards of every colored fruit a person could imagine: trees loaded with golden aplon, deep purple pluq, and her favorite, the lip-puckering orange simquats. And when she finally looked down, she couldn’t help catching her breath at the forest green, myrtle green, emerald green, fern and sea green, lime green, moss green, deep cobalt green, viridian-that-matched-her-eyes green, olive, and everything-in-between green. Here it stretched all the way to the horizon, which wasn’t far in this tiny, well-watered garden planet, Corista.

And there! In the Highlands, not far from the boundary between light and dark, was Seramine, perched like a jewel in the jade crown. Seramine, the capital city, her city. Were they finally getting closer? Even at this height she could imagine how the bright windows of grand whitewashed palaces and halls seemed to catch blue and red rays of sun, winking back at her. Did they know she was up here watching?

Once more, they bumped off the back side of another orbiting mirror, sending them spinning into the clear. Oriannon instinctively gripped the handle next to her seat, ready for anything.

“Sorry.” Margus pointed ahead. “But see? I think we’re all clear now.”

“Wonderful.” Maybe she didn’t sound as enthused as he would have liked. “I’m still thinking about what my dad’s going to say.”

“I thought you said he was always too worried about Assembly stuff to pay much attention to you. Is he really going to worry about one little borrowed pod?”

“You don’t know my dad. And the pod — are you sure you can land this thing now?”

She adjusted the headset of her comm and went back to peering out through the hard-shell bubble — just before a new screech of warning alarms pierced the tiny cockpit.

“So it needs a little maintenance.” Margus shrugged and replaced a circuit panel, bringing back the lights while spewing a plume of smoke at her feet. Oriannon could only hold her hands over her head and close her eyes. She hoped it would all just go away, and soon.

But once more the pod jolted and lurched to the side. And as Margus grappled with the controls, they once more spun out of control, falling like a delicate cerulean flower petal through the edge of the atmosphere. Even without looking she could feel the heat radiating from the bubble above their heads, but this time the fabric of her silver coveralls kicked in with coolant that flowed through its built-in blue tubing. If they were going to die in this little pod, at least they would die comfortably.

“I think,” she moaned, trying to ignore the butterflies in her stomach. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“You might want to hold off on that a few minutes, Your Highness.” Besides that infuriating grin of his, he could also sound infuriatingly cocky. Maybe that’s why she liked him, though she’d never admit it. After a few minutes the shuttle spun a final time, then rocked from side to side like a hammock, before the scream of wind around the cockpit told Oriannon they’d dropped back down into Corista’s violet atmosphere.

“Forty-eight thousand klicks,” announced Margus, as they swooped ever lower, leaning dangerously to the side. And now he could have almost passed for a Coristan shuttle pilot, instead of a fifteen-year-old impostor who had hijacked the little pod for a silly joyride. “Forty . . . no, wait.”

He tapped on a dial with the palm of his hand. That dial wasn’t working, either.

“Margus — ”

“No worries.” Didn’t he ever worry about anything? “We don’t really need that thing. It’s just for show.”

“I don’t believe you, but listen — ”

He looked over at her with his eyebrows arched, waiting for her to finish.

“Thanks.” She finally got the word out.

“What, for getting you into trouble or for almost killing you?”

“No.” She shook her head. “For not giving up.”

He shrugged. “No wor — ”

“Don’t say it.” She interrupted him. But it didn’t matter now as they finally slipped into a landing pattern, a lineup of incoming shuttles and pods — each separated by only a few meters and held in place by point-to-point tractor beams. Oriannon wished she could slump just a little lower in her seat so the pilot in the larger shuttle behind them wouldn’t recognize her. But she could hear every word that now crackled over the comm line, which seemed to work.

“You’re out of order, Bravo One-Nine,” came the voice over the comm. That would be the guy in the shuttle. And it sounded just like someone complaining that Margus cut into the lunch line at school.

“Sorry,” Margus responded through his own headset. “We’ve got mechanical problems. Need to touch down right away.”

“Stand by,” came the voice again, and a moment later the shadow of the much-larger ship hovered over them, and they felt the lurch of a grappling pad pulling them up.

“Hey, ah . . .” Margus got back on the comm line. “We don’t really need a tow.”

We could have used one a long time ago, thought Oriannon.

“Relax,” the voice told them. “We’ll have you back to port in just a minute.”

Or ten. Either way, Oriannon held her breath until landing thrusters screamed and she felt a comforting thump as they finally landed, upside-down, in the midst of Spaceport Corista. While the engines wound down, a beehive of workers in blue coveralls bustled around the ships, attaching power cables and fluid exchangers, rolling up with floating lev-carts full of tools.

“So how do we get out of here without anybody seeing us?” she wondered aloud, raising her voice to be heard over the scream of still more engines.

“Too late for that.” Margus hit the canopy control so it lifted clear with a whoosh of air. “Follow my lead.”

“That’s what got us into trouble in the first place,” Ori mumbled, but she climbed out after Margus, and they hopped down to the tarmac. Her knees buckled for a moment as she readjusted to the planet’s light gravity.

“Coming?” Margus already had a step or two on her as they hustled past dozens of parked shuttles, pods, and cargo ships. They nearly made it to the hangar exit when one of the workers caught up with them.

“You! We didn’t get your flight plan download.” A tall Coristan with typical olive-colored skin and typical sunshades tapped his clipboard. “In fact, looks like you were flying through a restricted area, and I don’t even have an original flight plan for your unit. It’s still in the maintenance pool.”

“I know.” Margus had to crane his neck to look up at the worker. He inched toward the exit as they spoke. “We just had it out to test the systems.”

“You know that’s not how we do things. But, hey — ” The worker crossed his arms and looked them over a little more closely. “Aren’t you Supervisor Leek’s kid?”

By this time Oriannon was ready to melt through a crack in the concrete floor.

“Uh . . .” Margus had to be looking for a way out too. “We were on assignment from the Assembly.”

Oh, Margus, she thought, anything but that.

And sure enough, the worker threw his head back and laughed, long and hard.

“Nice try.” He finally stopped laughing long enough to notice Oriannon, and it probably didn’t do any good that she tried to look away. “You’ll come with me to the office, and we’ll . . .”

His voice trailed off, and he stared at Oriannon’s hand. Her ring, actually.

“Like I was saying . . .” Margus tried to explain once more, but this time the wide-eyed worker waved him off.

“I didn’t realize,” he muttered, backing up a step. “Sorry to bother you. You know the way out?”

Margus looked at the guy with an expression that said Huh? But Oriannon knew exactly what had just happened. She answered for the both of them.

“We know the way. Thanks.” And she didn’t waste any more time chatting. But a quick glance up at the corner of the huge hangar area told her what she was afraid of: A small, grapefruit-sized security probe hovered like an eye in the sky, its red light telling her that it had not missed a thing. In fact, the small silver sphere had probably recorded every word of their conversation with the maintenance guy.

“That was cool!” whispered Margus as the double doors slid open for them. “What did you do, some kind of mind control?”

She fingered the ring. “Something like that.”

Only problem was, she knew that what had spooked the hangar worker wasn’t going to impress her father.

And the trouble, she told herself, hasn’t even begun.







INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:

Q: Why fantasy? How does Christianity fit into this genre?
A: I've always thought fantasy is the perfect vehicle for grand,
sweeping ideas -- a way to clothe those ideas in wonderful stories
and break out the boundaries of the here and now into places where
truth and our imaginations can fly away. Well, that sounds a little
airy-fairy, but the truth is, I've always loved fantasy and sci-fi,
but have never been into the dark, jagged side of those kinds of
stories. So it only seemed natural to tell stories of faith using
fantasy as the launch pad, and staying on the positive side.

Q: Why did you choose a young adult audience?
A: I've written a lot of books for middle readers (8 to 12) and then
some for grown-ups. And, whoops, looks like I skipped an age group!
But really, I like the kinds of stories we can bring to these
readers. I'm still a kid myself.

Q: Do you consider writing more of a career or a ministry?
A: I guess I've never understood the difference between the two. I've
always wanted a career that's a ministry, or a ministry that's a
career. That's what writing is to me, and that's a big reason why I
enjoy my work so much.

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up? How did you go
from there to becoming a writer?
A: Let's see... a forest ranger (liked the outdoors), a veterinarian
(liked animals), a Coast Guard boat driver (liked boats)... Those
were the big ones I can remember. At the same time, I was always
writing as a kid, and it always came back to that. Oh, also, when got
older I wanted to be a teacher, too. So if I can write stories about
all the things I'm interested in, and visit schools to talk about
writing (which I do), what's missing?

Q: What advice do you have for anyone who would like to be a writer?
A: Pursue the interests and passions God gives you first, and things
will fall into place. Learn as much as you can in school about the
mechanics of writing, and always practice your craft. Forget about
money and fame--because if you pursue those things for their own sake
you'll only fail (even if you find them). Be patient, and don't be
afraid of taking different kinds of writing jobs--like ad writing or
news writing--in order to build your skills and pay your dues. Don't
expect to write the Great American Novel right out of the gate. Keep
your eyes open, observe people. Love what you do, or find something
else.

Q: Do you have any future plans to retire from writing to do
something else? What?
A: As a freelance writer I've learned to hold on to my plans very
loosely, since I never know what could happen beyond the next
contract. Or tomorrow, for that matter. That's a bonus and a burden,
since it allows flexibility and forces me to always look to God for
my next paycheck. Worry lurks just behind trust, though, so that's a
challenge for every writer. But no--I have no plans to retire from
writing. They can pry my cold fingers from the keyboard.

Q: Do you have plans for future writing projects that you would like
to share with us?
A: Right now I'm working on a couple of books for the Guideposts book
club, a series called "Home to Heather Creek." Beyond that, I have
youth and YA ideas that are still in the oven, tba. (To be
announced.) I love writing kids and teen books!

Q: Which of your characters would you most like to be?
A: Definitely Oriannon from TRION RISING, because of her "eidich"
photographic memory. I'm nothing like that, as I forget just about
anything you can imagine: names, dates, phone numbers... What was the
question, again?

Q: With which character do you most closely identify?
A: Margus from TRION RISING, for sure. He's just enough of a tekkie
to get them in trouble. I'm a little bit like that, though not quite.
I used to take apart radios and electronic things when I was a kid,
but couldn't always get them back together.

Q: What Biblical truth are you trying to convey to your audience in
this book?
A: This book is sort of an allegory, maybe "allegory lite." In other
words, many of the events are inspired by what happened in the life
and ministry of Jesus, as recorded in the gospels (Matthew, Mark,
Luke, and John). I hope that readers will enjoy the story for the
story, but that by the end, some of the issues and events will cause
them to think, and maybe to check back with the Bible to see what
really happened.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your book.
A: Trion Rising is the story of a 15-year-old girl, Oriannon, who
seems very normal in most ways. Oh, except she lives on another
planet, where it's always dark on one side, and always light on the
other.
She is also an eidich, which means she cannot forget anything she
sees or hears. That gets her into trouble when a very strange music
teacher arrives at her school, and Oriannon and her friends find
themselves in the middle of a conflict that threatens to tear their
planet apart. As she journeys to the Shadowside, Oriannon finds that
her teacher's life--and the lives of a people she didn't even know
about--all seem to depend on her.

Q: Do you have any quirky habits or rituals that you observe while
you are working on a writing project?
A: Hmm... I'll have to think about that one. I'm the king of post-it
notes--they're plastered all over my workspace with notes about
characters, to-dos, reminders. But that's not exactly quirky. Sorry!
I'm not much on rituals.

Q: When we've finished this interview, what would you like your
audience to remember about you?
A: That I'm just a regular guy with an over-active imagination who
loves God and his family.

Q: How did you choose the names for your different characters?
A: It's a fairly random process. I want something exotic-sounding,
not too long so the reader stumbles over it every time. Often I start
with a standard American name, then shorten it and start adding
different letters. Often I'll fill a page with scribbled variations
before coming up with one that seems to work. Then if the character
has a last name I'll either do the same thing, or choose the name of
a random inanimate object and alter it.

Q: Do they have any special meaning or significance?
A: Not usually. One exception will be coming in the third book of the
trilogy, where I've reversed the letters of my son's name and my son-
in-law's last name to create a character name. It worked out pretty
well, and I'll bet you won't be able to locate the name! :-)

Q: How do you choose what a character looks like? Is it like an image
your brain made up about the character and you decided it'd be just
right for that character?
A: Often I'll start out with a general idea, and then deepen the
description as I go. If I need to, I'll take added description
and "backfill" into earlier chapters. Sometimes I'll even find a
magazine picture of a character, and work from that. I prefer to keep
character description minimal, however, since readers will fill in
their own mental pictures, anyway. But for Oriannon and other
Coristans, for example, I wanted them to look somewhat Mediterranean,
since they live on the sunny side of the planet. I gave her features
that might remind you of a Greek or Italian person.

Q: How do you come up with their different quirks? Do some of the
other characters complain about others quirks and that's where they
sometimes come from?
A: I like to have each character own a couple of distinctives--ways
of thinking, speech patterns, or other habits. Sometimes I don't
figure out what they'll be until a couple of chapters into the book,
as they work into the story and I get to know them better. But it's a
lot of fun to make each character unique.

Q: Do you make the basis for the book title and series name and the
publisher then helps polish those ideas or how are the titles made up?
A: There's no one answer. I knew I wanted "Shadowside" as a title,
but at first we couldn't decide if that was a better book title or
series title. I came up with a few ideas, and the editors added a
few. We agreed on TRION RISING after it became clear that the Trion
sun/star system would play a very symbolic role in the first book.
For the second book, I knew it would be THE OWLING right from the
start, since it's all about the fate of the Owling people. Book three
we're still working on. So sometimes the title is plain from the
start, other times it take a bit of noodling.






It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

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Captain’s Log, Stardate 03.29.2006 I had a wonderfully funny blog post planned for today, but I got sidetracked by some news yesterday! Zondervan has offered me a three-book contract on my Asian chick-lit series ! I’m still stunned by everything that’s happened. The series is actually a 4-book projected Asian chick-lit series about four cousins who fall under the infamous family title "Oldest Single Female Cousin," and their ruthless, wealthy grandma applies pressure on each of them to improve their lack of love interests. I think the first book is tentatively scheduled to be released in August 2007. The blurb on the series is on my website here . Brandilyn Collins posted to the ACFW loop about my writing journey, and Tamara Cooper asked that I share it. And since you all know how much I like to talk , here it is. My writing journey: Like most writers, I have wanted to write since I was very young. (In high school, I wrote a fantasy novel that will never see the light of day

I’M ON AMAZON!!!

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. She’s Out of Control by Kristin Billerbeck Two books in the Black Or White series by John Aubrey Anderson Available for pre-order! Deborah found out I’m on Amazon.com ! This whole being-an-author thing is finally seeming more real to me now. I’m such a dork, I’m thinking about printing out the webpage and framing it. LOL Also today... I'm on Kaye Dacus's blog , talking to writers about voice.

Z Sales Meeting

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. Paper Moon by Linda Windsor The Reliance (Legacy of the King’s Pirates book 2) by M.L. Tyndall Bonus giveaway: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs My trip to Grand Rapids: My trip went so great! I’m hoping I remembered people’s names correctly. I arrived in Grand Rapids around 3 in the afternoon, and Joyce Ondersma (Author Relations) picked me up at the airport. I’d met Joyce last year at ICRS and she’s a wonderful person. She has glorious red hair that I totally envy. We had dinner with Sue Brower (Senior Editor) and Sherry Guzy (Marketing Director). I also met Marla Bliss and Karwyn Bursma (Marketing Director for Fiction Inspiration) and Joe Questel, who’s part of the Sales department. We had these Bang-Bang shrimp appetizers that were a blast! (heheh) They were really spicy but really good. I fought Joe for them. The day at Zondervan was fabulous. First I was

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by Feminitz.com . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou

Brainstorm - character occupation

Captain's Log, Stardate 03.23.2009 Hey guys, I could use some help. In my current manuscript, The Year of the Dog , which is a humorous contemporary romance, I have a minor character, Eddie. He’s my heroine’s ex-boyfriend, and they’re on good terms with each other. He’s a bit irresponsible, but not so much so that he’s a complete loser. He’s got a very easy going attitude, he forgets to pay his bills sometimes, he’s friendly and charming. He’s adventurous and fun to be around, but he’s a little forgetful sometimes, and he tends to spend a little outside his income. I need an occupation for him. What would a charming, easy going, slightly irresponsible guy do for a living? He’s not too irresponsible, because otherwise readers will wonder what in the world my heroine saw in him to date him in the first place. She was attracted to his charm, his easy going attitude (her family’s uptight, and he was a nice contrast), and his adventurousness. But his forgetfulness and irresponsibility

Off to the Z Sales Meeting

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Blog book giveaway: To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there. The Witness by Dee Henderson Paper Moon by Linda Windsor Bonus giveaway: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs Off to the lion’s den… No, not really. I have the honor of being invited to the Sales Team Meeting at Zondervan—leaving in a few hours, actually—but I’m scared spitless. Why? Dunno. Maybe because it’s a bunch of sales team members and not friendly fuzzy writers. I can face 400 people at the ACFW Conference but not 50 at the Sales Team meeting. I’m such a basketcase. Anyway, I’m off to be videotaped ( now do you understand my terror?) and introduced to people who will hopefully like me enough to want to sell my book to places like Walmart and Costco, as well as indy Christian book stores and B&N and Borders. Oh, and I don’t fly well. Doping up with Dramamine now. Please pray! P.S.--> I probably won’t blog tomorrow since I’ll be returning late Tuesda

「戌年」連載小説 第11章

キャミー・タング著「戌年」連載小説 プロのドッグトレーナーであるマリ・ムトウは、厄年を迎えている。 犬小屋と訓練所の改築をしながら、いつも不服そうにしている家族と同居することになった。母と姉に言わせれば、犬の毛とよだれかけにまみれる仕事は、家族にとって恥ずべきものだという。彼女は元カレを説得し、数ヶ月間犬を預かってもらうことにした。しかし、彼の兄は、数週間前に彼女が誤って車に追突した、怒り狂ったセキュリティ専門家であることが判明する。 アシュウィン・ケイトウは十分な問題を抱えている。叔母が玄関先に現れ、同居を希望している。彼は彼女にすべてを借りているので、断ることができません。母親が家を出て行った後、ネルおばさんはアシュウィンと弟を引き取り、愛のあるキリスト教の家庭で育てた。しかも、弟のダスティもアパートを追い出され、居場所を求めている。しかし、彼は犬を飼っている。そして、その犬の飼い主は誰だと思いますか? しかし、旧友でオアフ島のノースショアでデイスパを経営する私立探偵のエディサ・ゲレロから依頼を受ける。マリの施設で奇妙な破壊行為があり、3年前に失踪したエディサの妹の財布を発見する。エディサはマリが危険な目に遭っているのではと心配する。警備の専門家であるアシュウィンがすでにマリを知っていることを知ったエディサは、忙しい若い女性を密かに監視することを彼に依頼する。 アシュウィンは、活発でのんびりとしたドッグトレーナーに不本意ながら惹かれていく。彼女は、幸せそうな母親を思い出させる。その母親の裏切りによって、彼は人と距離を置くようになったのだ。マリは、アシュウィンの冷たい外見を見抜き、彼が家族に忠実な男であることを認める。彼は、彼女のキャリア選択を批判するだけの母親や姉とは違う。 マリのバラバラな家庭とアシュウィンのバラバラな家庭の中で、過去を隠そうとする人たちから、彼らの周りに危険が迫ってくるようになる。彼らは、影で動く秘密に光を当てることができるのか? 過去に発表されたパートへのリンクはこちら。 *** 第11章 - タビー猫、黒猫、灰色と茶色の縞猫 彼女の母親は何かを摂取したに違いない。何を摂取したかはわからないが、代謝が急激に上がり、まるで神経質なリスのようになった。マリには、過去数日間に母親が家全体を掃除させた理由