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Monday, 5 November 2007
Dreamsbane of Tamalor--A Review

Dreamsbane of Tamalor

A Review


 For more information on Bradley and his writing, please visit:

Every once in awhile a fantasy book comes along that hooks you from the first page. Bradley James Simpson's ‘Dreamsbane of Tamalor' is one such book. Leaving the ship anchored offshore, Sunray uses a rune carved stick and a mystic phrase to transport her husband Mirin and herself, to Wildgrove. It is here that all the fun and action takes place.

One would expect the rest of the crew to travel in a similar fashion, but instead they arrive via wagons. The opening pages describe everyone wearing armor and full battledress with weapons. Yet one does not find page after page of fighting. We learn of the dark riders and of the many dimensions.

Linda rides off, finds and banishes the demons. A spy is found out as a magic rose appears. Within this land of lore, dreams and dream travel weave a secondary thread. The reader is held fast and prepares for the worse. While there is trouble and occasional battles, the where and how is left to the readers imagination.

Romance is in the air. Food and fun liven up the town. Overshadowing the festivities are black clouds of impending doom and destruction. Do the black riders prevail? Do Mirin and Sunray along with the newlyweds throw rays of brightness to dispel the bearers of trouble? Read ‘Dreamsbane of Tamalor' and follow Mirin and his friends through their exciting adventure.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007 2:18 AM EST
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Sunday, 4 November 2007
A Lifetime of Words -by Robin Gorley -- A Review
Topic: Book Review

For More information on Robin Gorley and her writing, please visit her website at


There are a lot of prayer books on the market. Many of them are quite well written. However, A Lifetime of Words is written in freeform verse. Robin Gorley has used her penchant for poetry to enlighten us spiritually. No poem is longer than two pages thus making this an easy to read book. Although these are spiritual poems, they are non denominational.

As you read through these, you can find a poem to cover almost any event in your life. As your life seems to be heading downhill, check out Ms Gorley's advice. There are many uplifting words that can transform your life. Looking to make a change but are a bit nervous? A Lifetime of Words has a poem to help guide you. There are poems that can be used for special occasions such as dinner parties or even as invocations for meetings.

Buy the book, get a drink and sit down to enjoy a well-written set of poems. Keep the book handy, either on a nightstand or use it as the centerpiece of the coffee table because you'll want to refer back to it often.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 4 November 2007 1:03 PM EDT
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Saturday, 3 November 2007
Ladies: A Conjecture of Personalities--A Review
Topic: Book Review

Ladies:  A Conjecture of Personalities  -- A Review

I had the pleasure of reading Ladies: A Conjecture of Personalities by Feather Schwartz Foster recently, and would love to share my thoughts on this book.

Starting with the Introduction by Lucy Hayes, you know this is no ordinary book.  Ms. Foster allows each First Lady between Martha Washington and Mamie Eisenhower a chapter to tell us their story-in their own words. These ladies are charming to listen to.  Not allowing themselves to be ignored, the more recent First Ladies pop in and out, giving us their comments.

As I read, I totally forgot at times that these were not actual diary entries by these women.  Feather Schwartz Foster has researched enough to be able to bring these women to life.  She weaves actual historical events throughout the narratives and has done enough research on each personality to make one think these could very well be the words each First lady would use.

You feel as though you have landed in a parlor large enough to hold these women.  The style is down-to-earth and chatty (okay, and catty at times!).  I found myself laughing, crying and cheering with these women.  You will close this book feeling as though you traveled to time and truly had a chance to get to know the women who stood beside our nation's Presidents.

For more information on Ms. Foster and her writings please visit her website at:


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 3 November 2007 12:34 AM EDT
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Friday, 2 November 2007
Owen Fiddler--A Review
Topic: Book Review

Owen Fiddler

A Review

Owen Fiddler is the summation of every loser there is. For him, Murphy's Law is good news. At least he'd have someone to blame. Life treated Owen bad from day one. Even good fortune frowned on him.

His first unlucky break was the bicycle that was ‘waiting' for him. Owen should have seen this as an omen of his future. He didn't. To accept this incident as a portent of his future meant accepting blame, but Owen Fiddler never accepted blame.

Marvin Wilson has again done an excellent job. His book, Owen Fiddler, grabs your attention right away. It does not take long before the reader feels pity for the main character. However, it isn't likely anyone will feel sorry for him because he does cause his own problems. In his opinion, the world owes him. Owen Fiddler is the grasshopper in Aesop's tale about the grasshopper and the ant.

Owen does change. He learned how to put on a good front. He holds this pose long enough to get married; even in that he fails, but not before becoming a father. The good news is that she does not go in her fathers footsteps.

Owen continues through life, making one bad choice after another. In the end, is redemption truly possible? Can one really offer forgiveness to someone like Owen Fiddler? Pick up your copy of Owen Fiddler today and discover Marvin Wilson's surprising answer.

For more information on Owen Fiddler and Marvin Wilson, please visit:


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007 12:31 AM EDT
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Thursday, 1 November 2007
The Knowing--First Chapter --Larriane Wills, Author
Topic: First Chapter

All ordering information and links are easily found on my site:

Also available at

The Knowing by Larriane Wills

Swimming Kangaroo Books, September 2006

Swimming Kangaroo Books

Arlington, Texas


ISBN: MS Reader 1-934041-11-4

[Other formats available: Mobi, PDF, HTML (no ISBN's are assigned)

Paperback: 1-934041-12-2]


The Knowing © 2006 Larriane Wills

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.


This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or events is purely coincidental. They are productions of the author's imagination and used fictitiously.




Chapter 1

The rider was in dark clothes on a dark horse on a dark and rainy night. Not one condition was an accidental circumstance, but each well planned to fit with the other.  Even still, he knew a chance of fate could undo him and on seeing the struggling figure ahead he slowed his hasty travel to covertly watch. He was curious but not alarmed until, between flashes of lightning, the figure disappeared. He knew death could come in small packages as well as large, and though he believed the one ahead to be no more than a child who was not aware of him, he proceeded with caution. He dismounted and drew his sword. Crouching to lessen his own bulky size he moved slowly, stopping between each step to peer hard ahead and listen while he waited for the next flash of light before moving again. Rain fell and splattered around him and dripped from the leaves of trees beside the track to distort sound, but he thought he heard a rustling of leaves and drew his knife as well. Nothing came at him. Knowing it may well be a lengthy pursuit he returned to his horse to lead it from the muddy track. He had no desire to be caught by surprise. With a bandana around the mount's nose to prevent it from answering or calling to any horse that might pass by, he returned to remove all signs of his horse leaving the track. Unlike his quarry he also erased the evidence of the trail going into the woods. The rider took the time to do so to prevent any other from following him, not the quarry.

The hunted, for the rider was not sure then that only he followed the slight figure, had collapsed and crawled into the forest. The rider found him under a log, buried in wet leaves, most likely waiting for death to find him. Fever raged through the frail body, and the boy did not stir when examined by match light. His feet were raw from walking without shoes; his hands and knees were scraped, cut, and held both scabs and fresh bleeding from falls and from crawling for an extended time. The worst of the injuries was a large, ugly burn, putrefied and oozing, high on the back over the left shoulder blade.

He was a puzzle, this boy. Long for his age it appeared, for his size suggested an age of thirteen or fourteen years, yet there were no signs of a boy changing to a man. More puzzling, he wore a cassock, and the garment was torn to rags. The man knew what the cassock and the wound on his shoulder meant for the man was of Ives and knew of the Priests of Oldspushner, but it made no sense on one so young. In addition to everything else, the boy looked starved.

While the rider pondered this puzzle, he lifted his head to listen. He could hear the sound of horses being driven hard for the conditions of the night. Now he was being hunted. With a muttered curse he rose to leave. By his personal code any kindness was weakness. To help a dying child would be an act of kindness, and he would not permit himself such weakness. Then a self-serving reason occurred to him. He returned to heft the child to his shoulder.

Who would suspect a man traveling with a sick child to be an assassin? Not the troops he met on the road later.

"I am Lockmer. This be my son Garran," he stated in a voice that sounded like a rake being dragged over gravel. In the saddle in front of him he held the unconscious child, wrapped tightly in a blanket. "I go to the nearest village in search of a healer."

The night was miserable, wet and cold. The small force of Ives troopers had sought shelter under a canopy of trees. The leader did not wish to leave the partial dryness to ask questions, to the assassin's benefit.

"A fever," the assassin continued. He knew even the bravest and strongest of men feared the deadliness of unknown fever. "Came upon him sudden last eve."

As expected, the trooper backed away. "We search for a boy of twelve, with dark hair and eyes. Have you seen such?"

Surprised that it was the boy the troopers searched for, not him, the assassin did well to hide it. "I have seen many boys in my travel with dark hair and eyes. This be Ives. Otherwise would be not common."

"He has a burn on his back shoulder."

 "I've seen none without a shirt to know this."

 "In cassock and alone?" the trooper retorted angrily.

 "Nay, none alone and none in skirt. Why do you search for him?"

 "For murder."

 "A child?" the assassin asked with his disbelief in his voice.

The trooper did not answer, saying, "If you see such a child, report it to the nearest trooper. A reward is offered. Now pass and stay wide."

It was a night of surprises for the man. The next he did not care for. The boy stirred, having given no indication till then he was awake and aware. He had fooled him, which annoyed the assassin.

"Why did you not give me over?" the boy asked weakly.

The assassin grunted and then said gruffly, "It benefits me at current time for me to be a father with a son. When the time comes it does not, make no mistake, I will leave you quickly behind."




Before the boy was strong enough to sit without assistance, he crawled from the camp into the forest to find plants and herbs to treat himself. Though amazed, the assassin did not show it. The knowledge of plants and herbs was not consistent with the tattered cassock of the priests the boy wore, for the priests scorned the healing teachings of the Sisters of Treach, yet the man made use of the child's knowledge. While the child healed, the assassin taught the boy the arts of disguise, more for his benefit than the boy's. He taught the boy how to lighten his hair, how to darken it by degrees from white to brown, to red, and back to dark till his hair was again as black as it had been the night the man had found him. The man altered his own hair in length and style as well as his beard and mustache. At times he fashioned false hair from a horse's tail or mane and tree gum. Never did a description that may have been given of the two in one village match their appearance when they arrived in the next.

As well as the art of disguise the man taught the boy to avoid  detection, the skills of stealth, and how to use a sword and knife. From the boy, the man learned to recognize leaves that relieved pain, plants to heal, herbs that stimulated, flowers to help one sleep, and even plants to bring death.

For two years they held together, the boy often left alone while the man went off in secret. Not one kind word was ever given to the boy by the man, and any gifts he gave to the boy, just as the lessons he taught, were given more to benefit the man than the boy, until the last. The man tossed a small purse to the boy after setting him on the ground at a crossroads.

"We've been together too long," the man grumbled. "You've size enough to pass for ten and six. Go lose yourself by enlisting as apprentice in the army of Amor. Sign yourself as orphan of Ives. They'll not be able to verify even if they've a mind to with all those fleeing from Ives. The killing there will serve well as reason for the hate in your eyes that you care not to disguise."

The man pulled his horse around and trotted off; leading the horse the boy had ridden.  No good-bye came from him and no thank you from the boy who was quickly growing into a man. The dark eyes the man had spoken of held no tears, only the anger and hatred that never left them. The boy watched the man until he was out of sight. While he watched, he took two coins from the purse for his pocket. The purse he hid in his boot; then he took up his pack and began to walk.

Because two names were required for enlisting, he became Garran of Lockmer.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:17 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 23 October 2007
My long, strange road to becoming a published novelist (Part III) by Mark Chapman
Topic: Author Interview


(This entry is a continuation of one on author David Boultbee's blog. Click here to return to Part II.)

By 1995, the size of the online books I was writing had grown to more than 600 pages in total, a large percentage of them about OS/2. I counted and found that I had accumulated nearly 800 OS/2-related Q&As. By then, I'd noticed that a number of IBMers had written books about IBM products, including OS/2. So I checked and found that as long as I didn't reveal any confidential information I was free to write a book about OS/2 myself. And because I'd written all those Q&As myself, there was no reason I couldn't use them in a book.

So I wrote to the two biggest publishers of books on operating system software at the time, Sam's and McGraw-Hill. Sam's wrote back and said that they had all the OS/2 books they needed just then. McGraw-Hill replied that they were interested. They asked for an outline of the book and some sample chapters.

I didn't have any finished chapters written, so I organized a bunch of Q&As from the online book into chapters of related information (installation questions, printing questions, and so on). I wrote back that it was a concept document, rather than a finished manuscript and submitted it.

Within two weeks, they offered me a contract for the book, but I had to have it finished in 2 ½ months. I agreed and returned the contract. Then it dawned on me that I had just agreed to write an entire book in 10 weeks. True, I had 800 Q&As ready to go, but they all needed to be edited and formatted for the book so that everything hung together.

While doing all this, I quickly realized that while I had a ton of Q&As already written, they'd been written individually, haphazardly, rather than as part of an organized whole, and there were many gaps in the content. There were plenty of questions a reader might ask that either hadn't come up in support phone calls, or were so basic the support person didn't need to consult the database for an answer. So I found myself having to write more than 200 new Q&As to fill in the gaps, even as I edited and formatted the existing ones. Plus, to make the book less dry, I tried to find computer jokes and humorous true stories about computers with which to start off each chapter. This turned out well, but took a considerable amount of additional time to find and edit.

My wife graciously offered to help with the typing and formatting, which freed me up to do the new writing. Before I knew it, I was almost done. I still had two weeks in my deadline, and only a week or so of work left to finish the first draft. So, naturally, that's when everything blew up in my face.

This was back in the days when most people backed up their work to floppies (tape drives and Zip drives were expensive and rewritable CDs didn't exist yet). One day I decided to delete the backup files from my floppy so I could copy all the individual chapter files onto it in numerical order, to make it easier to find things. Through a comedy of errors, I managed to delete not only the backup files, but also most of the originals off the hard drive! (So much for me being the computer expert....)

I had two weeks left until my deadline and it looked like I'd have to start from scratch. In those days, there was no automatic backup of files on the hard drive, and no Undelete command. Something like a dozen chapters of my book were simply gone.

Gulp! So now what? Find out if I saved my book and made my deadline here in the next segment of the story, on author Suzanne Kamata's blog.

Posted by joyceanthony at 7:16 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Interview with Marsha Jordan
Topic: Author Interview
1.  First, Marsha, can you give us a brief idea of what Hugs and Hopes
is all about and how you started this project?
  Hugs and Hope is an Internet based group of caring people who, through the web site, are able to connect with suffering children and help spread some love and cheer.  It began as my hobby of sending cheery mail to critically ill children.    After my grandson was badly burned, I felt frustrated because he was suffering and I couldn't stop his pain.  This caused me to fall into a deep depression.  I battled my depression by focusing on hurting children and trying to make their lives a little brighter -- to take their minds off their pain for a while.    My hobby of sending what I called "happy mail" soon became a full time job of cheering hundreds of kids across the country.  Now it's a national non-profit charity serving hundreds of children and boasting over 3,000 volunteer "hug givers and hope builders."    It began with just sending cards; but now we have several programs, such as providing birthday parties, Christmas gifts, Easter baskets, balloon bouquets after surgery, and even granting wishes.  We support parents too with a 24 hour chat group and what we call a Parent Pal program (volunteers "adopt" a parent and provide one-on-one support).
2.  Your book, Hugs, Hopes and Peanut Butter, has gotten some wonderful
reviews.  Tell us a bit about it.
  I did not set out to write a book!  I send a weekly newsletter of encouragement to parents of sick children.  In it, I often include funny stories from my life and bits of wisdom or lessons I've learned.  Readers begged me to publish the stories so they could keep them.  I thought it would be great to have the sick kids illustrate the book, so I collected 40 drawings from HUGS and HOPE kids and included them with my sometimes serious, sometimes humorous essays.  The book has been a big hit.  People say it's very inspirational for anyone who is discouraged, disappointed with life, or just in need of a good laugh and a little lift.  That's ALL of us!
3.  How can someone purchase a copy of Hugs, Hopes and Peanut Butter?
  The book can be ordered through any book store; but when purchased from our web site, we earn more and don't have to pay the middle man! 
4.  You have several things listed on your site that others can do to help.  Two that particularly caught my attention were "Be an Elf" and  "Parent Pals" .  Can you tell us a little more about these programs?
    The Elf Program matches up a volunteer with a sick child whose family cannot afford Christmas gifts.  Volunteer "elves" love receiving their child's wish list and then shopping for, wrapping, and sending their surprises.  The Parent Pals program was instituted because parents of critically ill children are often very isolated.  When children are stuck at home due to compromised immune systems (not able to be around people who may have germs), the parents are stuck at home alone too.  Also, when a child is seriously ill, family and friends tend to pull away rather than pulling together to provide moral support and physical help.  Moms and dads feel very alone and need someone to care and just to listen and let them vent.  That's what parent pals do.  They provide that rare commodity called friendship.  What makes HUGS and HOPE a unique organization is that personal touch.  Volunteers become involved in the lives of these families in crisis. 
5.  What other things can people do to help? There seems to be a variety of programs.  One to fit everyone's schedule/finances.
  A volunteer may invest as much or as little time as they desire.  One may want to deliver balloons to a hospital.  Another may want to shop for birthday party supplies.  Some make blankets, tote bags, or pillow cases the kids can take with them to the hospital. Some volunteers help to grant wishes for items such as new bikes or swing sets.  Others help behind the scenes, working on our web site, helping to sell raffle tickets, coordinating programs, contributing to newsletters, and dozens of other jobs.
6.  What would you like to share with our readers that I haven't asked?
  Sending a cheery card is a very small thing that takes only a moment and costs very little.  Anyone of any age or ability can do it.  But it's a big deal to a sick child.  One card can make a kid's day.  I wish everyone would make the effort to send some happy mail.  It's satisfying to know you're making a difference.  Creating a little more joy and sharing a little love is not a small thing.  It means the world to these children.  I encourage young families with small children, retired grandmothers, handicapped people in wheel chairs -- EVERYONE to get involved.  One of the smiles they create may just be their own!    Love and joy are like peanut butter.  Spread them around and you can't help but get some on yourself!
Thanks, Marsha!!

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:04 PM EDT
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Thursday, 2 August 2007
Infinite Space, Infinite God--Interview with Karina Fabian
Topic: Author Interview

I had the fortune of having Karina Fabian, one of the editors of Infinite Space, Infinite God stop by to answer some interview questions.  This is the first of 43 stops Karina will make this month.  Check out her schedule after the interview and plan on stopping by a few other places this month!!!

The synopsis of Infinite Space, Infinite God states:

Is that religion in my science fiction or science fiction in my religion?  The writers of the Catholic SF anthology Infinite Space, Infinite God (available at have so seamlessly combined the two that it's hard to tell.

Infinite Space, Infinite God features fifteen stories about the future Catholic Church:  its struggles evangelize aliens and lost human colonies and to determine the soul-status of genetically modified humans, genetically-designed chimeras, and clones made from the Martian sand; the adventures of religious orders devoted to protecting interstellar travelers or inner-city priests; and how technical advances allow monks to live in solitude on the Moon and help one criminal learn the true meaning of Confession. 

But it's more than just a great read.  With introductions exploring the issues at hand and current Church thinking, Infinite Space, Infinite God is bound to spark discussion and make people think--just as good science fiction should.


If you think that's interesting--and you do, don't you?? -- you'll find Karina even more so :-)

 Q: I've noticed the common theme through out this selection seems to be a struggle with holding onto and strengthening one's faith. Am I reading this correctly?

Karina: Depends on what you mean by "struggle." Are the characters in these stories losing their faith? I don't think so. In fact, in several of the stories--"Far Traveler" "Cruel and Unusual Punishment," and "These Three" come to mind--the characters regain a lost faith as a result of the incredible events they live through.

Many are, however, challenged to apply their faith to stressful and tricky situations. In "Stabat Mater," Teresa feels torn between what she's always believed God has wanted from her and the desperate-seeming demands of the current Pope as the world falls to ruin in nuclear war.

Q: What is the story behind this collection? Was there a seed that set off the wish to compile such a thought-provoking collection of stories?

Karina: Infinite Space, Infinite God definitely began as a mustard seed!

We'd always enjoyed writing together, so when Rob was involved in Artemis society (manned colonization of the Moon) and I was writing a series on religious orders, we created a near-future universe where humans were living in the solar system, and religion (particularly the Catholic Church) was active there, too. The stories didn't sell.

Thus, when Kathryn Lively started FrancisIsidore Press, an e-publishing company, we offered her a story collection. After discussing sales potential, we broadened the scope to an anthology with other writers and to include any Christian faith. Leaps of Faith was born.

When FrancisIsidore went out of business, we started looking for a print home. We had a Catholic publisher who loved the idea but wanted all Catholic stories, so we decided to make another leap--only this time with Infinite Space, Infinite God, an anthology of Catholic SF. We approached the Leaps writers and put out the call for new ones and came up with some terrific and very different stuff. ISIG, for example, was more directed toward applying morals. Then to make it even more interesting (and, I'd hoped, more palatable to our publisher who did a lot of nonfiction, educational, "high literary" stuff) I added introductions that discussed the Catholic Church past, present and future.

And it got rejected. After much consideration, they decided Catholic SF was too different for their company right now. (shrug) That's the publishing world. If it hadn't been for that editor, we would never have taken on the project, so we're grateful for their encouragement.
It took about a year, but we found Twilight Times Books and we're very happy. Lida is a terrific publisher who's worked with us to nurture this book into something special.
Incidentally, Rob and I wanted stories that were thought-provoking as well as fun to read. Glad we hit the mark.

Q: Do you ever feel that science fiction in any way conflicts with religion -- or more specifically, spirituality?

Karina: Oh, sure. The "rational, intelligent heroic scientist vs. the emotion-over-common-sense religious" isn't a cliche for nothing. Or the future world that has "outgrown our primitive need for a god." A lot of SF also simply ignores faith altogether. By the same token, there's a growing market out there of Christian fiction that ignores science or portrays the scientist as the Godless villain.

We don't necessarily have a problem with either. This is fiction, after all. Even the most believable story is still pretend.

Still, how believable is a world without faith, without spirituality? Whether you believe that we are created in God's image, that we have some kind of genetic predisposition toward faith, or even that we just need to believe in something bigger than ourselves, faith is a part of the human condition.

What annoys us more is when the story is not believable and the book is more a lecture in disguise than a tale. It's also bothersome when the lack of religion is more about sloppy worldbuilding. And, of course, the reverse goes for "Christian SF" that only nods to science without any real research. Go ahead and conflict--but be credible. Life is not black-and-white--neither is good fiction.

That's one reason why Rob and I were interested in compiling these anthologies. We wanted to find believable science fiction that nonetheless depicted characters with real faith.

Q: Catholic science fiction is what your writing has been dubbed. Do you agree with this title or do you find it limited? It seems to me, what you write has a much broader audience than that title implies.

Karina: You're not alone. Every review we've received emphasized that Infinite Space, Infinite God is a great read for people of any faith. It's also a finalist for the 2007 EPPIE awards for best science fiction, with a competition that included secular works and mostly novels. However, "Catholic science fiction" does tell you what to expect from it, so we're comfortable with the label.

Q: Do you plan on doing a follow-up collection along these same lines? What works do you have in the near future?

Karina: We have our earlier anthology of Christian SF shopping for a print publisher right now. Leaps of Faith was e-published by FrancisIsidore Press and was an EPPIE and Dream Realms finalist. As far as an ISIG II, we'll have to see what the sales on ISIG look like. We'd love to do another. (So far, the e-book sales are looking pretty good.)

In the meantime, I am working on a new Catholic SF novel. Discovery comes from the "Rescue Sisters" universe featured in our ISIG stories "These Three" and "Our Daily Bread," and concerns Sr. Rita, a relatively new member of Our Lady of the Rescue who is unsure about her Calling to be a nun. When her team is hired to oversee the safety of a mission to excavate the first-ever discovered alien ship, she's confronted with all the temptations of secular life, including her former love interest. Can the discovery of an alien artifact help her discover the truth of her calling?

I'm also working to find a publisher for my secular fantasy trilogy The Miscria, finish the last book in that trilogy, write a novel in my Dragon Eye, PI (<>) universe and perhaps start a time travel/paranormal romance during NaNoWriMo. (<>) Plus, I've been having a lot of fun playing around with websites.
Rob, of course, is busy with the Air Force. He's attending Joint and Combined Warfighting School, and (we hope) getting ready to take a squadron command this autumn. Nonetheless, he's my tech advisor for Discovery. (I love how his mind works!)

Q: If you could state in one sentence what message your writing conveys to the world, what would that message be?

Karina: For ISIG: The Catholic faith will continue to play an important role in the future.
For my writing in general: Life is full of challenges, but with faith, love and a generous dab of humor, they can be overcome.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share??

I'm pleased to announce my first issue of Faith-Filled Fiction, a newsletter about understanding and writing religions in our stories, is out. If you'd like to subscribe, please e-mail me.In addition to writing tips and resources, I plan to have informational articles written by the followers of the religions themselves. This newsletter is focused on learning rather than evangelizing, so many religions will be explored. I'm also looking for websites, resources, blogs and books to list, so if you have anything you'd like promoted (even if you're not a subscriber) let me know. Please put FFF in your subject line.

Thank you for joining us today, Karina. May this be a wonderful and successful year!!!* 


Infinite Space, Infinite God can be ordered directly from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, or the publisher, Twilight Times Books, PO Box 3340, Kingsport, TN 37664; or via the Internet at

 Below is a copy of this month's tour schedule for Karina--please stoip by and say hello!!!


1: (summary), Day 1 (summary)


2:, Day 2 (interview) (guest blogger)


3: (interview)


4: (interview)


5: (interview)


6: (interview) (interview)


7:  (interview) (interview)


8: (interview)


9: (interview)


10: (review)


11: (interview)


12: (interview)

      7:00-9:00 PM: (Live Chat)


13: (review) (interview)


14: (review)


15: (interview) (trailer)


16: (review) (interview) (summary)


17: (interview)


18: 12 Noon: Live Chat: (review)


19: karen Syed (interview and summary) (review)


20: (interview)


21: (review)


22: (review and interview) (review and interview)


23: (interview)


24: (interview) (interview) (interview)


25: (interview) (interview)


26: (interview)


27: (guest blogger)  (interview) (interview)


28: (guest blogger) (review) (review)


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Posted by joyceanthony at 1:03 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 1 August 2007
Stop the Slaughter, Hartz!!!!!

Returning home from a routine trip to the library on Friday, July 13, 2007. I found one of my beloved cats lying on the floor in a pool of blood, her tiny body wracked with convulsions.  Checking on the others, I found two more unable to stand, their legs too shaky to hold their bodies, their bodies trembling fiercely.


Wrapping these three in towels, we headed for the Pet Emergency Hospital, where one of the first questions was whether I had recently given the cats a flea treatment—I had, that very afternoon.  The next question: “Was it Hartz?”  Again, my answer was yes.  This was my first year using this particular brand.


When I left the hospital that night, it was without my three cats.  They were too far gone to make it through.  I left with instructions to bathe the remaining four and watch them closely.  I followed this.  They were quiet and nervous that night.  By the next morning, another cat was in full-blown seizures and the other three were blinking rapidly and jerking, their muscles starting to be affected.  Another trip to the Pet Hospital.  When I left this time, one more of my babies was gone and the other three had been admitted.  I was scared they would not make it.  These three did come home.  They survived physically, but my heart goes out to them as they wander through the house crying for those who are gone.


The look on the vet’s face got me thinking and I started to research.  This was not the first tragedy caused by Hartz flea treatment.  Cats have been dying from this product for years---yet the product remains on store shelves.  Unsuspecting consumers, wanting to protect their pets and trusting the Hartz name buy and use it—sometimes it is fine, all too often it ends in tragedy.


I am asking you today to take a stand with me and demand that Hartz remove their flea treatment for cats from the shelves. Hartz knows the danger, they are aware of the record, yet they continue—this slaughter must stop!! 


The warning on the box states simply the product should not be used on cats under five pound, pregnant or ill.  None of my seven fell into any of those categories—all were over five pounds, five over ten pounds.  None were pregnant.  All were healthy.  The youngest was just over two years old and the oldest six—not kittens.  Yet EVERY SINGLE ONE had a reaction!!!


How can you take a stand?  The first step is to make a copy of this letter and post it anywhere and everywhere you can.  Let people know the danger of this product.  Next, contact Hartz at:

Consumer Relations Department
The Hartz Mountain Corporation
400 Plaza Drive
Secaucus , NJ 07094 USA

Consumer Hotline
Monday – Friday | 9 am – 5 pm EST


And insist they remove their product from the shelves.  If you see the cat flea treatment on a store shelf, talk to the store manager, let him or her know the danger and ask that it be removed.


Hartz, how many more lives must be lost before you stop this needless slaughter?  Is it going to take you seeing the pain and horror in your child’s eyes when they watch a beloved friend die?  Is it going to take looking into a pair of golden eyes that are begging for help as you hold the convulsing body that just hours before ran and played?  If there is any compassion at all within you, you will see the need to remove this product immediately.


I panic every time one of my remaining three moves quickly.  Hundreds of others out there do the same.  It is too late to save so many—it isn’t too late to save the rest!!! I ask each and every employee at Hartz to stop by the pet shop on your way home tonight—or maybe you have a cat at home –really look into that cat’s eyes and ask yourself this:  Doesn’t that cat’s life mean anything?  Is the money worth the pain and suffering?


If that doesn’t change your mind, look into your child’s eyes.  What would you do if you gave this precious child medicine to help him or her and instead of helping, the medicine attacked every muscle, caused convulsions – and death?


My cats were my children—just as so many others are to those who love them.  Find your conscious, search your hearts---and stop this senseless slaughter!!!


                                                              Joyce A. Anthony



Posted by joyceanthony at 12:10 AM EDT
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Monday, 9 July 2007
The Haunting by Ayn Hunt
Topic: First Chapter

The Haunting (ISBN 1-59088-748-4)


Also available on &


Formats: Paperback &

E-Book (ISBN 1-59088-306-3)


            I ran down the long, dark, narrow hall in the old haunted Harding mansion with ghosts chasing me, quickly gaining ground. Frantic, I reached out and tried each door I passed, but they were all locked. Then suddenly, I was backed up against the window overlooking the gardens far below, and one of the larger ghosts started touching me. Terrified of his icy embrace, I turned and hurled myself out of the plate glass window, sending crackling shards of shattering glass into the air as I plunged to my death.

            Abruptly, I bolted upright in my bed and realized where I was – in Aunt Alice’s spacious home. My heart was beating out of control, my breath ragged as I struggled to take air into my lungs.

            With shaking hands, I pushed back my short unruly hair as I nervously glanced around. My dark purple quilted bedspread was a jumbled, twisted mess, entwined with my pristine white cotton sheets. The short, mauve curtains at the windows billowed gently in the damp, early morning breeze. Outside, I saw the tips of Alice’s prize-winning roses under a stormy predawn sky. And there, beside my bed, was the large armchair with the clothes I’d chosen to wear today…to go to the monstrously huge, reputedly haunted Harding mansion for clues, God help me, to the murderer of the wealthy late owner.

            Had I just had a realistic dream? Or was it a portent of things to come?  

            “Jessica?” whispered the sweet familiar voice of Emily as she knocked on my door then, slowly opening it, quietly eased inside. “Are you awake, dear? You wanted me to make sure you got up at five-thirty, remember?”

            “Thanks, Em.” I felt exhausted, but forced a smile as I slipped on my old, navy blue, baggy sweatshirt. “But I’m already up. I didn’t sleep well. I know it’s foolish at my age to have nightmares, but I did. And it was so realistic! I could’ve sworn I witnessed my own death at the Harding mansion just before I woke up.”

God, that sounded strange. “I was being chased by ghosts over there.”

            To any other person, I’d never have admitted such a thing. But Emily wasn’t just another person. She was like my second mother, taking me under her wing after my parents died. “But it wasn’t like a dream I’ve ever had before. I felt myself running. I felt the floor shudder as I ran. I smelled the decay and dust of the old house. I even felt one of the ghosts touch me. His fingers were like icicles, and blowing around him was a strong, continuous icy gust of wind.  And I felt his anger too. And his rage!” Nervously I swallowed. “I don’t think it was a dream, Emily. It was more of a portent, a warning, of things to come.”

             Raising her white neatly plucked eyebrows, Emily solemnly nodded as she perched on the edge of my bed, then sympathetically smiled. “It’s no wonder you’re having forebodings, dear, what with that house’s terrible reputation and all the murders and things that have taken place there. Mrs. Smythe, who lives across the street from there, told me herself she’s seen strange lights going on and off in there at all hours. And Mr. Evans claims he always hears strange, loud, pitiful moans

coming from there when he walks by, going to the store. Even the mere thought of going near that house, let alone actually going in, is enough to give anyone strange, um, let’s just call them dreams. Your reaction is perfectly understandable.”

            “You think so? Really?”

            “Absolutely. Anyone in your position would feel the same way.”

            I relaxed a little. “I’m so glad you understand! I knew you would though. I just hope I can find something we need over there, for Alice’s sake. It’s been such a long time since her fiancée’s murder. And there’ve been a lot of people traipsing in and out since the old housekeeper died and the county seized it and sold it at auction. I hope no one’s disturbed anything I can use to lead us to the identity of the horrible person who murdered him. Alice’s sure the housekeeper kept a journal describing that terrible night, including the name of the murderer. She claims that if anyone knew who murdered him, it was Mrs. Johnson.”

            “Oh, absolutely. I agree. Mrs. Johnson knew everything that went on over there. I seriously doubt if anyone has bothered her stuff, dear. Don’t forget, she lived down in the basement despite her mysteriously inheriting the house years ago from Mr. Harding. From what I’ve heard, it’s a dreary gray cement area. Chances are, not many people would go down there for more than a cursory look. And that inheritance of hers was so strange! Why he left her the entire house and the furnishings is anyone’s guess. But people do all sorts of things that others don’t understand. Mrs. Johnson herself was an enigma too. Most people around here thought she was just plain insane, and insanity carries its own stigma, which kept

people away. I’m sure her things are all there and still intact, just the way she left them.

            Stuffing my cold feet into the warmest, thickest pair of athletic socks I owned, I slipped on my tennis shoes and absently tied them, listening to the rumble

of thunder of an impending storm. “I hope you’re right. I want to solve this thing so badly I can taste it. Alice deserves to find out who killed Mr. Harding.  It would mean closure for her and the chance to bring a murderer to justice.

            “Yes, well, it might take some time to find those things so just be patient when you search. Very few people saw any of them, and Lord knew, as reclusive as she was, she never confided anything to anyone about them.

Personally though, I never did like the brash Mr. Harding, and I told Alice how I felt years ago, trying to dissuade her from going through with the marriage. I still remember him coming over to her house, all smiles, bringing her expensive gifts all the time, courting her – that’s the expression we used back them. She was only seventeen, and I always thought there was something odd about a man nearly forty wanting such a young girl for his wife. But he was wealthy, well educated, and Alice’s parents, God rest their souls, were as pleased at such a match as Alice. Everyone, with the exception of me, was very impressed with him.”

I nodded. Alice had told me basically the same thing. But I was mystified why she’d disregarded her friend’s advice. Emily was a renowned psychic and very astute about human nature. She always had been, and her wise counsel had safely guided me through what could’ve been turbulent relationships if I’d relied only on my own instincts. It’d gotten to the point where I’d refuse to even date anyone until Emily had met the man first and gave me her opinion.

            Sudden lightening flashed brightly, illuminating my dim room like a neon bulb, spurring me to hurry. “I hope I don’t get caught in the storm,” I said as I quickly got my bright pink umbrella from its hook on the back of my closet door. “And hopefully, I won’t have to use this”, I continued, stuffing my pink-handled, custom-made derringer from the drawer of the bed stand table into my large canvas bag. Although I was trying hard to be blasé, inwardly I was puzzled by Emily’s neutral face. I’d expected her to be surprised…to be agitated…to warn me against taking my gun – but she wasn’t. Meaning what? That she expects me to have trouble over there?

            Emily glanced at her diamond watch. “I wonder why Mrs. Tremble’s not her yet? I told her six on the dot, and usually she’s early.”

            “Mrs. Tremble? Why’s she coming over? Are you going someplace too?”

            “Didn’t I tell you? I guess it slipped my mind, what with writing down the directions of what pill to give Alice at what time and all.” She smiled innocently as she carefully smoothed her newly permed curls. “I’m going with you.”

            Grabbing my large white canvas bag stuffed with everything I needed to do a thorough search in a dark old house without power, I froze. “Excuse me?”

            Emily glanced out the window, her face void of expression. “I’m sorry I forgot to tell you, dear,” she said, turning around to face me. “I guess it just slipped my mind.”

            “Have you forgotten about your arthritis? Your rheumatism? Your own pills you need to take? You know how your joints are aggravated by dampness and low-pressure systems. The way it’s starting to storm, you’ll be in so much pain you’ll barely be able to walk, let alone traipse up and down the stairs of that high porch and the one leading down to the basement.”

            A dreamy, far-away look lit her green eyes. “Don’t worry! None of that will bother me. I’ve heard so much about that grand old house all of my life. But I never got to see the inside. It used to be known as a real showplace.  The marble of all eight fireplaces was rumored to match the décor of each room, and the hand-painted exotic mural on the dining room wall won several prizes. This is my golden opportunity. I’m not going to let it pass me by.”

            I was sure that was the truth as far as it went. But I also knew how she still worried about me, seeing me as the orphaned twelve-year-old when I first came to live with Alice, instead of the thirty-one-year-old woman I’d become. “The house now though is old and decayed. It’s very run down, looking nothing like it once did. It’s much too dangerous for you to go. I don’t know what I’ll find, and neither do you. There could be a tramp camped in there and God alone knows what kind of bugs and snakes will be lurking around. Besides, you’ve got to stay here and take care of Alice. I don’t trust Mrs. Temble, and that new medicine the doctor prescribed for Alice isn’t doing her any good. Someone has to call and get him to change it again.”

            “I’ve already talked to Mrs. Tremble about it. Besides, there are ghosts

reputed to be in that house, and I know how to deal with them. If that house is as haunted as everyone now claims, I can be of help to you.”

            I sighed, studying her. I didn’t believe in ghosts despite my strange foreboding and she knew it. But she was nothing if not stubborn, and didn’t realize the physical hazards an decaying house like that could harbor. Not only could there by structural damage, there could be problems with one of the many homeless people that wandered on and off the trains. One of them could’ve decided the house was the perfect home and set up housekeeping.  While I’d never personally encountered danger of any kind, I’d heard plenty from my late husband, a homicide detective of Houston p.d. Crime was rampant all over and that included small towns. Thanks to the bustling tourist trade, Galveston had more than its share.   

            Sitting down beside her, I patted her little jean clad knees. “Be reasonable, Emily. I’m licensed to carry a gun. Rob made sure I knew how to protect myself. I’m not about to expose you to the possibility of danger.”

            Emily tossed her head, her white curls bobbing. “Very nice speech, dear, very well done. But I’m not impressed. It just so happens I can protect myself just fine. I too, have a gun. I’ve started carrying a specially ordered Glock 9 millimeter, semi-automatic which shoots off nine rounds without having to stop and reload. It fits perfectly into my purse.” She smiled proudly. “So you see? I’m as prepared as you are. Maybe even more so.”

            All prepared? A near-sighted, eighty-four-year-old carrying a gun which could blow an entire army contingent away with just one blast was being all prepared?

            “Where did you get a gun like that? I’m sure you don’t have a license for it. That’s a powerful weapon! Only cops should carry them, and even then, only when they’re on duty.”

            “I never said I was licensed. Only that I have it. I got it out of a gun catalogue at one of those mail order places. I bought it when Alice told me what she wanted you to do. I know better than you how dangerous that house is.” She leaned forward. “Oh, come on, Jessica. Let me come with you. I think I can shoot fairly straight with my glasses on. That’ll take care of any human intruders we encounter. Unfortunately though,” she lowered her voice, “I’m pretty sure we’ll be dialing mostly with the non-human kind over there, and that’s what worries me. If you’ll stop overreacting and calm down, you’ll realize I can be of help.”

            I studied her dear old wrinkled face. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. But I had to stop her somehow. She was just too tiny, too frail to go through with the kind of search I was sure I’d have to conduct and I loved her too much to put her through it. “As much as I’d love the company, I can’t let you come, Emily! Think about it. It might be necessary to defend ourselves at a moment’s notice. And there might be holes in the stairs or floor or something. Don’t forget the power there’s been turned off. It’s going to be awfully hard to see anything with just my little flashlight. Not only that, there’s no running water to help you swallow your pills. And with this storm, it’s bound to be damp and chilly over there too.”

            Getting up, I shook my head. “So the answer is no. I love you too much to subject you to all the possible danger and discomfort.”

            Crossing her arms, Emily theatrically sighed. “Very well then. I’ll follow you in my own car. That way, technically, we won’t be going together and you  won’t be exposing me to danger. I’ll be doing it to myself.

            Shaking my head, I smiled ruefully, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Not only was Emily not licensed to carry a gun, she wasn’t licensed to drive either.  Her driving permit had expired years ago when she’d failed her eye test. Why couldn’t she realize I was trying to protect her? Bless her heart, her intentions were good. But I had bad feelings about this. Not concerning any ghosts, of course, but about the house itself. A lot of murders and unexplained accidents had taken place there. The building had an evil history, and there was an evil atmosphere around it. That’s why it was going to be torn down.

            But Emily was not about to be dissuaded. “I’ll wait outside in my own car, Jessica. That way I’ll be close by, just in case.”

            Staring into her mesmerizing large green eyes, I felt chilled to the bone. Emily had the eyes of an old soul, with so much knowledge revealed there, it was often painful to look at them, and I felt myself weakening. Am I being too practical, too overly protective? Will it hurt to have her come and wait outside? Surely, she’ll be safe in the broad daylight.

            “Oh, all right,” I sighed, quickly turning away, running my brush through my hair. “You can come but we’ll both go in my car. And you have to promise me you’ll stay in it.” I smiled at her. “Okay? Promise?”

            With her eyes shining with her eager enthusiasm, Emily made an X over her heart. “I promise.”

            I studied her, hoping I was doing the right thing. But a rumble of thunder shook the entire house, interrupting my thoughts. Quickly I checked the canvas bag I was taking. I had my old, sturdy red flashlight and two white candles and matches in case my flashlight didn’t work. And my new cell phone, which I’d charged the night before was in there, as well as tissues for the runny nose I’d be sure to have in an empty house loaded with dust. I had my two bottles of expensive, imported water, and also a credit card with my driver’s license, along with two twenty-dollar bills. And last but not least, I had the pack of metal lock tools my late husband had given me years ago in case I ever got locked out of my house or car.

            I sighed, thinking of what I was about to do. This time I wasn’t going to use the tools because I’d forgotten my key. This time, I was going to use them, God help me, for breaking and entering and which would have Rob spinning in his grave.

            Looks like we’re all set,” I said. “As soon as we get some coffee, we’ll hit the road. There’s no time breakfast, I’m afraid. I’d like to get this over with and be back here before the storm breaks much more if we can.”

            Emily glanced at her watch as we left my room, gently closing the door behind us. “Maybe we will. I’m sure Mrs. Tremble will be along shortly. At least I hope so. I told her six on the dot.”

            I nodded as I softly padded across the vase house to the kitchen in the back. As long as Emily stays in the car, she’ll be safe. She gave me her word she’d stay there.

But why, I wondered, wouldn’t the feeling of dread go away? It was so palpable, like

energy waves crashing over me again and again. Did its strength mean something bad was going to happen? But what? I’ve prepared for every eventuality.

            Helping myself to the ever-present pot of coffee Emily always kept at the ready, I sat down at the small wooden table. Maybe Mrs. Tremble won’t show up. What a godsend that’d be. It’d keep Emily, at least, out of the path of danger. She’s have to stay home if Mrs. Tremble didn’t come. She’d have to choice. No way would we leave my sick aunt all alone. Despite Emily’s promise she’d stay in the car, I had an uneasy feeling she wouldn’t. Sitting idly by while someone else was busily engaged in something she considered interesting wasn’t Emily’s style.

            Filling her large mug with coffee, she sat down beside me. “Before we go, I want you to promise me something,” she said. “I want you to trust your instincts. You have good hunches about things. Don’t ignore them.  But don’t get carried away either. Sometimes your imagination goes hog-wild. You can’t afford that right now. You must relax as much as you can, and think logically. Our thinking has ways of creating whatever we fear, so you mustn’t give into it.”

            My heart skipped a beat. “Meaning what? Exactly?”

            “I know you sense danger. I sense it too. That’s way I’m going with you. I sense a very powerful, intelligent force in that house. I know you and Alice don’t believe in ghosts. But I firmly believe that vision you had last night was a warning. It wasn’t a dream. And while you should take heed of it, don’t let the fear you felt while having it have power over you. If you believe the worst, Jessica, it will happen. But if you think pragmatically, if you calmly consider all your options today, you

have the ability to change your future.” She stared hard at me. “Use your innate ability. Promise me you will!”

            Shivering, I nodded, quickly taking a large swallow of my steaming coffee to ward off the chill of terror. She’d just unwittingly confirmed my worst fear. If she sensed danger, then it was real.

            Very gently, she took hold of my ice-cold hand with her freckled, bony one and squeezed it hard, staring me in the eye. “You’ve got strength in you, kiddo. You just don’t know it yet.” With a faraway look in her eyes, she turned and stared out the window in the direction of the Harding mansion. “I have the strongest feeling you’re going to be tested for all you’re worth today.”

            Getting up, she patted my shoulder. Then she quickly opened the back door for Mrs. Tremble who was loudly thumping up the stair

Posted by joyceanthony at 9:32 PM EDT
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