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Monday, 25 August 2008


Isn't this a beautiful award?  Jamieson Wolf over at:

nominated me for it.  This is a pay-it-forward award and my instructions were to now choose some blogs I find worthy of this award.  The choice wasn't easy, but I have finally narrowed it down to the following.  These are in no particular order; that would be impossible to do. 

Lacresha Hayes - - Lacresha is an incredible woman who shares her heart and knowledge with all in need.  Of her many blogs, this is the one I believe special recognition, as it is here Lacresha pours out her heart and soul to help.  Writer, advocate and special friend, who could ask for more from a person?

Marvin Wilson - - I've known Marvin for several years now and he has never ceased to amaze me.  Author, friend, musician - Marvin's talents are limitless as far as I can see.  His blog will have you laughing, make you think, and definitely make you feel you spent your time well.

Billie A. Williams -   - You won't find Billie gallivanting all over the web.  This quiet woman prefers to spend her free time penning yet one more wonderful book.  Still, she will put it aside immediately to help a friend, give advice or teach a beginning writer a new skill.  I want to be Billie when I grow up!

Nikki Leigh - Nikki is so full of energy she puts the Energizer bunny to shame.  This incredible woman is everywhere.  Much of her efforts are spent helping other authors promote and become noticed.  I often wonder where she finds the time to write her own wonderful books.

Janet Elaine Smith -  Besides being one of the best friends a person can have, Janet is a fabulous writer, promotion guru, editor and talk-show hostess. She doesn't update her blog as often as most, but you can be sure that when she does it is well worth reading. Janet is the only person I know who can make a kidnapping funny and have a happy ending.  With seventeen books already out there and another one on the way, Janet shows no sign of stopping.

Ron Berry - -  Ron is fairly new on the writing scene.  His humor pieces and children's stories will have you laughing out loud.  His talents do not stop with writing, however; Ron also creates beautiful beaded jewelry, is a Toastmaster and a computer genius.  He never fails to put aside his own work to help someone in need.

The rules for the above recipients are as follow:

Rules for next recipients of the Brillante Weblog Premio are as follows:

1. The award may be displayed on a winner's blog.

2. Add a link to the person you received the award from.

3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.

4. Add their links to your blog.

5. Add a message to each person that you have passed the award on in the comments section of their blog.

There you have it, folks, my nominees for this wondrous peer-driven award.  Please stop by the above blogs and drop everyone a note of congratulations!!!

Posted by joyceanthony at 2:55 AM EDT
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Sunday, 24 August 2008
Neet Jaycee from Different Roads by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough
Topic: Character Interviews

1.  Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

My name is Jaycee Stanton, and Different Roads is the name of my story.

2.  Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

Hmm . . . shocking people every chance I get maybe? Seriously, the book is about the crazy journey my life has been, and my role is to show everyone how I finally made it to the place where I can feel safe at last.   

3.  How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

That's easy. I just talked to her in her head all the time until she wrote the book. I knew I had her when I told her the stories about when I was a kid. She's almost as sappy as my husband Bud! 

4.  Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

She's a pretty good kid. Kinda nerdy, but that makes her publisher happy. She actually LOVES editing and revising manuscripts! 

5.  Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Well, I didn't meet her until almost the end of the book, but my best friend's name is Jeana Royal. She's an incredible lady who inspires me not to make assumptions about anyone and not to judge.

6.  Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

I have a guest stint in an upcoming book called SYMMETRY where I meet a funny lady named Jess Cassady whose husband is almost as conceited as mine!

7.  What would you like our readers to know about you?

I'm no angel by any means, but I don't drink or do drugs because of the sorry drunk I grew up with. I also don't lie, and I'm not really as tough as I pretend to be.

8.  Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

I learned that everything happens for a reason. 

9.  Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

Well, don't tell him I said so (he's stuck on himself enough already!) but I think Bud is more exciting than anything-all the fights I've been in, the people I've outsmarted, even the times I almost died.

10.  Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

Oh, there are lots of things I wish I hadn't said. Everything I think eventually comes out of my mouth, and I don't always use language that's appropriate for mixed company.

11.  What was your main motivation?

To face all my fears and get past them.

12.  Introduce us to your main adversary?

Well, it was my father when I was young, then it was Bud's rich old man for a while, but mostly it was my own fears and self-doubts.

13.  Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

The last person who tried to stop me from doing anything is still recovering! Actually, she tried her best to keep me from throwing a particular item at Bud's head, but I told her it had to be done. I remember she wrote that part with tears streaming down her face. But I was right about it, of course.

14.  Here's your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?

The most important message I have is for children who are abused or neglected like I was. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something or let them make you feel as if you don't deserve to be loved. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything you want to do. And if you need to take yourself away from your misery while you're growing up, escape into a book like I did. They'll take you anywhere you want to go.

15.  Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

You can read about my childhood in the short story called "Hope Chest" that's published in the Spring 2008 edition of New Works Review literary e-zine at Different Roads (ISBN 0-9722385-3-0) is from or any of the online retailers, and it's also available direct from the publisher at 

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 August 2008 1:53 AM EDT
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Saturday, 23 August 2008
An Interview With Louis Seiffer--star of Owen Fiddler, the Movie
Topic: Character Interviews

An interview with Louis Seiffer

  The Inside the Actor’s Head Studio (with Thames Lipton) Host Thames Lipton gets up close and personal with the new smash sensation Hollywood movie star, Louis Seiffer.  

Lipton: Welcome to Inside the Actor’s Studio, Louis. I know our audience is thrilled that you would honor us with your appearance today. Thank you for being here.


Seiffer: Thanks. You’re welcome. And please, call me Lou.


Lipton: Very well, Lou. (pause) Lou, if you don’t mind me stating the obvious, you are an enormous man! Even bigger than you seem in your fantastically successful movie, Fiddler’s Follies. We even had to search the studio for a chair large enough to accommodate you. Just how tall are you? What is your weight?


Seiffer: (broad proud smile, a shift of weight from side to side, producing sounds of seating boards in pain) Seven foot six, three fifty, give or take, it depends.


Lipton: Depends? Depends on what?


Seiffer: It all depends on how much attention I am getting. I swell in stature the more people believe in me.


Lipton: (Looking surprised, eyes widened) Really? Such a curious quality! I’d like to get back to that in a moment, but I know everyone is just dying to know how you came from obscurity to movie superstar stature in such a short while. How did you get your big break?


Seiffer: Well, I’ve been flying under the radar for, hell, seems like thousands of years, you know, doing bit parts in any kind of nightmarish foul scripts I can get into. I’ve actually been written up in the Bible, but nobody reads that anymore. Just as well, the reviews weren’t that great. Anyway, my break into the big time came when Marvin Wilson sold the movie rights to his best-selling book, Owen Fiddler. Owen Fiddler bought the rights, you know, and produced the movie. He and I go back, he owed me one, so I got the part.


Lipton: I see, and of course we were all astonished to learn that Owen Fiddler was a real person.


Seiffer: Oh, he’s real, all right, the (bleep)ing (bleep)hole. (Lou bares his funky yellow fang-like teeth)


Lipton: What? So you don’t much care for the man who helped launch your Hollywood career?


Seiffer: Like I said, he owed me. Now he figures he has no need of me anymore. That hurts my ego. I’m barely three foot tall around him these days. (bleep)ing little (bleep)head.


Lipton: And again with the size and stature changes thing! How odd! Can you demonstrate that for us?


Seiffer: I have little control over it. It just happens. Takes a strong personality to make me change. I brought a clip from Fiddler’s Follies with me, though. It’s the scene where Owen Fiddler, myself and Frenda Fiddler meet in the never-world. Frenda is, as we all know, an outstanding phenomenon, a powerful force onstage or off. This scene was done in one take, and it demonstrates that quality in me that you and everyone else seem so (bleep)ing interested in.


Lipton: Very well, let’s let our audience view the clip. (motions to the stage hand)


(The screen lights up with the scene a dull gray ethereal room. Louis Seiffer is lying in a bed, appearing weak. Owen Fiddler stands next to the bed. A glow in the partially opened doorway begins to intensify. It simmers, then boils and pops. It bursts like a bomb going off into the room, slamming the door off its hinges. A display of blinding white lights revolve and spin around a sparkling core that dances about. Lou Seiffer looks impressed. Owen stares in awe. The light show begins shrinking and coalescing, settling into a human-like form. Frenda Fiddler now stands in the middle of the room in an alabaster translucence of divine spirit. She takes a firm stance, assumes a countenance of authority and begins to speak.)


“I need the both of you to remain quiet and listen intently to what I have to say. I do not have time to repeat myself. My words will be chosen carefully in order to convey accuracy and truth.”


(Lou Seiffer gets incensed and bursts out of the bed. He takes form as a horned indigo pig-devil wielding a five-pronged spear and levitates into a hover above her head. His breath is a visible puke yellow wind that stinks like the decomposing dead. He roars at her)


(Frenda looks firm into his eyes) “Sure, I know who you are. You are the representation of fear that resides in the hearts of humanity. You are really nothing at all, although you think yourself to be the greatest of the gods.”


(Lou starts to lose color, size and elevation as she continues)


“You’ve made an eternal career choice as the one who tempts mankind into mortal deception and fleshly pleasure. You lull the materially fortunate into a spiritual slumber as they recline in their luxurious castles built upon sand. You tantalize the “have-nots” with temporal elixirs of profane pleasures and deadly desire-fulfillments. You feel all puffed up with a false sense of power that is just an illusion. Humankind grants you that power through its ignorance and fear. You must just love it when someone commits a foolish deed and then says, ‘Oh, that wasn’t me, the Devil made me do it.’”


(Camera cuts to a close-up of Lou -  he’s back in the bed now, appearing shaken. Frenda stands over him)


“Humanity has built you up in their minds as the most powerful of evil spirits, some terrible demonized deity with the power to kill and damn the soul. For thousands of years the churches have falsely glorified your status as the mighty punisher of sins, holding spiritual freedom and enlightenment at bay out of fear. As if your power to rule over people’s will and destiny were in fact a reality. You and I both know that’s not the truth, don’t we now?”


(Lou is the size of a toddler now and lies still as Frenda concludes)


“We each hold the power of choice. We each decide with our thoughts, deeds and actions whether to create Hell for ourselves or to move toward Heaven. I choose to not listen anymore to your insipid prattle and lame threats. Frankly, I’m getting tired of all of this and quite bored with your presence. Oh, and by the way, did I tell you your breath stinks?”


(Frenda swells her aura into a bright red sphere and shouts)


(Louis Seiffer vanishes)


(The screen goes blank and lights come up to the sound of thunderous applause)


Lipton: Outstanding! Lou, thank you so much for … Lou? (looks around, incredulous) Where did Lou disappear to? (motions to the director to cut to a commercial)




Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
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Friday, 22 August 2008
Meet Patrick and Grace
Topic: Character Interviews

Rememer when I promised you a new feature here at Books and Authors?  Well, today we have the first of what I hope to be many character interviews.  Both writers and readersd spend hours with the characters that live between book covers--here is your chance to meet some of them!!!

Without further delay, I am pleased to bring the interview I ha with Patrick and Grace, who tell their stories time and again through Janet Elaine Smith!!

1.  Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

Grace: My name is Grace Johnson, and I live in all of the Patrick and Grace Mysteries by Janet Elaine Smith.

Patrick: Hey, don't forget me! MY name is Patrick O'Malley, and they are the PATRICK and Grace Mysteries. I get top billing-NOT!

2.  Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

Grace: I'm the one with all the brains when it comes to solving crimes. Patrick has that typical "cop's gut instinct," but it takes me to figure out how to put it to practical use. Oh, and to get us out of all the trouble he gets us into.

Patrick: Don't you believe a word of it! Over 35 years on the force of New York's finest, and that's all the credit I get? If we left it up to Gracie all the time, we'd both be 6' under by now!

3.  How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

Grace: Janet knew a lot about homeless people, since she and Ivan worked with Mission Socorro for a long time. So, when she saw me wandering around on the streets of New York City with no place to go, she figured I was a good candidate for explaining what homeless people really go through.

Patrick: Yeah, and shore an' b'gory, she had to drag me into it to come to Gracie's rescue. I mean, the poor little thing didn't even know the proper way to feed the birds in Central Park.

4.  Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

Grace: Ha! Now that's funny! She thought she could control us, but it didn't take more than the first few pages for us to let her know who was REALLY in charge!

Patrick: (patting Gracie's hand lovingly) I have to agree with you on that one, Gracie. She's just a patsy for what we want to say and what we want to do.

5.  Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Gracie: Well, for me it would have to be Mrs. D. (That's short for Mrs. Douglas.) Actually, both of the Douglas's are pretty special, even though we got off to a pretty bumpy start.

Patrick: Ya just gotta love the dear ol' priest from St. Patrick's Cathedral. God help us if he ever departs. That young one, he's okay, but he doesn't know the ropes like old Father O'Brien. I think he's got a direct line to heaven. Lord knows, he needs it, when it comes to keeping Gracie out of trouble. Like the rat poison in the rectory...oh, shucks, just read the book!

6.  Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

Patrick: We're already in three of them, but Janet's got plans for dragging us all over the country. I hear we're going to Disneyworld and Six Flags over Georgia next. If you look at our website (of course we have our own!) at I think she has a whole list of what she plans to do with us. Just wait till we get in there and spice it up a little. <vbg>

Gracie: I never flew in an airplane in my life until I met Patrick. Now I can't wait 

 For our next great adventure.

7.  What would you like our readers to know about you?

Gracie: Probably that we are just like them. Land a'Goshen, Janet gets letters and e-mails from people all the time, wanting to know why she patterned me after them.

Patrick: Yeah, and that's from people she doesn't even know! I just want them to know that life isn't over at retirement. That's when the fun begins!

8.  Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

Gracie: How to take orders.

Patrick: Ha! That'll be the day!

9.  Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

Gracie: I really like the way Janet made me into my own person. I'd been somebody's wife or somebody's mama for so long, I'd forgotten there was a real me underneath.

Patrick: I think for me it was probably that Father O'Brien was right when he said "Things aren't always what they seem to be." As a cop, I learned to make quick judgments on things, but sometimes that can lead to problems, especially when it comes to people. Like Vince Bellazoni-who'd a thunk one day I'd actually almost like the fellow?

10.  Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

Gracie: Kept in closer contact with my kids, even if they didn't understand or trust me to make my own decisions. There's nothing better than family. I'm sure glad they came around at the end of the first book though.

Patrick: No, but there's something I wish Gracie hadn't done. That's her infernal refusal to tie the knot with me. Just how long can a guy hold on when she keeps on saying, "No, but I'm thinking about it." Enough thinking already!

11.  What was your main motivation?

Gracie: To prove I could make it "on my own."

Patrick: To prove that I still had it when it came to solving a real mystery.

12.  Introduce us to your main adversary?

Gracie: Myself.

Patrick: Vince Bellazoni, no question about it.

13.  Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

Gracie: No. Like I said, we pretty much ran the show.

Patrick: That's right. If we want to do something, we dang well are gonna do it.

14.  Here's your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?

Gracie: For me, it's that when the chips are down, dig in with both feet and pull yourself up out of the mire. You never know what's on the other side of the mud puddle. And I sure hope people who read about us discover that things like being homeless could happen to anybody, but you can make the best of a bad situation if you set your mind to it.

Patrick: Simple. Just watch for our next book. Janet says the title will be "Ma Fia's Murder Mystery."

15.  Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

Patrick: (looking at Grace with pleading eyes) May I, Gracie?

Gracie: Go ahead.

Patrick: We're all over the place. You can find us at almost any online store and in scads of regular bookstores all over the country. If you want to get a taste of what it's all about, come on over for a peek at the first chapter at all three books at . Or if you want to do it a different way, you can find the same thing at or She even gave us our own page on that one. There is a link at all three places that will take you to a spot where you can order the books directly by just clicking on our covers. Ha! We're "undercover senior sleuths!"


Posted by joyceanthony at 2:20 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Different Roads by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough --A Review
Different Roads
By Joyce Sterling Scarbrough
Published by Lightning Source Inc, 2006
ISBN 0972238530, 9780972238533
408 pages
How many of us wonder what might have been? After her mother's death, six-year-old Jaycee is neglected by her alcoholic father and decides she would rather be beaten than ignored. She grows up a foul-mouthed hellion who takes flack off no one, and she lives in fear of anyone finding out she is also a love-starved little girl terrified of being abandoned in the dark. Her intrepid spirit carries her forward until she is tripped up in college by a poor little rich boy who turns out to be the male version of herself. Jaycee and Bud are an emotional paradox: drawn together because they're so much alike and constantly at war for the same reason. They fight as frequently and as physically as they make love, hurting each other even as they become two halves of a whole. Jaycee's rollercoaster life with Bud is gritty, touching and funny, and just when she thinks she's made it safely to the end of the ride, her childhood and her first love come back to derail her.
Rarely does a character in a book jump into my heart from the first page.  Jaycee, the main character in Different Roads, written by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough, was one of those rare characters.  She grabbed me from the first paragraph and hasn't let go since.
Ms. Scarbrough has a writing style that draws the reader in quickly and keeps the interest  until the very end.  Not one to read many romances, I was a bit skeptical at first.  This is no ordinary mushy romance novel, however; the relationship between the two main characters is passionate and fraught with more twists and turns than a Class Five hurricane. 
As I followed Jaycee and Bud through their relationship, I laughed loudly and cried hard.  At one point I was glad Joyce Scarbrough wasn't near because I wasn't sure if I'd hug her for writing such a powerful book or strangle her for causing such an emotional upheaval within me.  The characters are so real, the feelings so true-to-life, you will forget you are reading a book and actually feel you know the people involved.
This book deals with some heavy topics, but does so with skill and finesse.  Ms. Scarbrough understand completely the inner workings of her characters and helps the reader understand as well.  Her understanding of human nature is exceptional.
If you are looking for a mere quick read, this isn't a book for you.  If, however, you want a story that draws you deeply within the story and allows you to feel the emotions fully, this is a must-read.  You will not regret for one moment buying and reading Different Roads. I will caution readers--be prepared for an emotion journey unlike any you have experienced.

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:47 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 20 August 2008 3:55 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 August 2008
Give Your Characters a Voice
Topic: Author Interview

I am now ready to start a new feature on here--don't worry, this is in addition to the author interviews, blog tours, book reviews, etc.. you have all come to know and love :-) 

Writers all know how much their characters love to talk--so it is time to allow them a voice outside their book covers.  Pick a character from one of your books (okay--no limit to the number of character interviews, but they will be spread out to make it fair!) and have them answer the following questions--then send the completed questions to with the words Character Interview in the subject space.

Have fun everyone!!!!


  1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?
  2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.
  3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?
  4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?
  5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?
  6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?
  7. What would you like our readers to know about you?
  8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?
  9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?
  10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?
  11. What was your main motivation?
  12. Introduce us to your main adversary?
  13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?
  14. Here's your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?
  15. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:17 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 August 2008 12:18 AM EDT
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Sunday, 17 August 2008
The Name Game
Topic: Miscellaneous

Lacresha Hayes ( ) went and tagged me again!!!  Here is a fun name challenge--I hope everyone leaves me a comment with their "names" :-)

1. Your real name: Joyce

2. Your Gangsta name(first 3 letters of real name plus izzle): Joyizzle

3. Your Detective name:(fave color and fave animal) Yellow Tiger

4. Your Soap Opera name:(your middle name and street you live on) Ann East

5. Your Star Wars name:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name) Antjo

6. Your Superhero name:(your 2ND favorite color, and favorite drink) Black Nofear

7. Your Iraqi name:(2ND letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, 1st letter of your middle name, 2ND letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of your dads middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, and last letter of your moms middle name) Otaursn

8. Your Witness Protection name:(parents middle names) Ann Gerald

9. Your Goth name:(black, and the name of one of your pets) Hmmm...Black Sam/ Black Venus/ Black Spirit...the rest just sound strange :-)


Posted by joyceanthony at 4:22 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 August 2008 4:26 PM EDT
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Saturday, 16 August 2008
The Enemy Between My Legs by Stephanie L. Jones -- A Review
Topic: Book Review

In a perfect world, no child should have to suffer the pain of sexual abuse.  Unfortunately, our world is far from perfect; one of every three females and one of every five males has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse.  Often this abuse is at the hands of the very people responsible for a child's safety--parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. 

Stephanie L. Jones was herself a victim of childhood sexual abuse.  In her book, The Enemy Between My Legs, Ms. Jones relates her story.  She then continues on to share details of what occurs in the aftermath of such abuse.  In a no-nonsense language, Stephanie Jones details the varied reactions of those who were victimized.  She tells readers how they can help keep their own children safe. 

Finally, Ms.  Jones shares with readers how she overcame the pain of her early abuse, and was able to forgive those who violated her.  She shares how her love of God has enabled her to move past the pain and learn to love herself.

What struck me the most about this book is the no-nonsense way in which Stephanie L. Jones reveals some surprising reasons why some children don't tell when they are being abused.  Unlike many books that portray child molestors as the dirty old man down the street, Ms. Jones tells how some molestors are children themselves.  She points out the stark realities without malice or blame. 

When you finish The Enemy Between My Legs you will view those around you with a different outlook.  You will more easily recognize a child who needs help and, for those who have been victimized, you will feel a new hope within that your soul can be healed.  This is a must-read for anyone who has a child in their life.

For more information on The Enemy Between My Legs, or to purchase a copy, visit

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:03 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 August 2008 3:07 AM EDT
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Friday, 15 August 2008
Wai-Nani by Linda Ballou--A Review
Topic: Book Review

Wai-Nani is like no other book I have ever read.  Linda Ballou is a master of language, pulling the reader in and evoking emotions hidden deep within. Her imagery is breathtaking, allowing your senses to experience the entire story.

Passionate and primal, Wai-Nani transports you to the early days of Hawaii, where warriors ruled and women were expected to know their place.

Wai-Nani refuses to be bound by the shakles of society and follows her heart--finding a destiny beyond her wildest dreams. Follow her--no, join her--on this incredible journey.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 15 August 2008 5:41 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 August 2008
Meet Dottie and Author Donna Shepherd
Topic: Author Interview


Here's the blog for Dotty:
There's a cute coloring page for kids on the blog
Donna Shepherd the person:



1.      What three words do you think describe you as a human being?


Spiritual, Faithful, Honest. 



2.      How do you think others would describe you?


Well, I really didn’t know so I asked some friends! I liked this answer the best: Mega-creative, Musically-gifted, Super-funny. (I have sweet friends.)




3.      Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.


In the past few years, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and began speaking at conferences, churches, and meetings. If I’m speaking in a church setting, I begin by singing, which actually puts me more at ease. I’m loving this new venture!


4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.


Do we ever! We never have fewer than three dogs running around. We have Angel, a toy poodle (who thinks she’s boss even if she is the smallest!), Ariel, a Boston Terrier (who snores as loud as any 200 lb. man!) and Sadie, my gigantic Labradoodle who’s the sweetest of them all.


5.  What is your most precious memory?


My most precious memories are the births of my children. I have to smile every time I think of my tiny girl followed two years later by my big, red-headed boy. What fun times we had when they were toddlers, and we still delight in each other’s company to this day.


6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?


That’s a difficult one. I’ve had many. One that comes to mind is the time I wore two different shoes to church. Not just different colors, but different styles, too!


7.  If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?


When I was younger (much!), I thought I’d travel and sing gospel music. I ended up marrying someone who wanted to be a pastor. So now, I sing and play the piano at our church.


8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.


Hmm…not so sure I like answering this one! Let’s see. Donna was a vibrant, creative woman who’s now dancing on the streets of heaven, and singing around God’s throne.


Donna Shepherd the writer: 


9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?


I felt like the ‘real children’s writer’ when I received a note from a parent telling me that his two children had fought over my book, “Topsy Turvy Land,” and that the youngest one slept with it under his pillow.


10.  What is going on with your writing these days?


Many days I feel torn between two worlds – writing for grownups and writing for children. On the children’s front, I have another children’s book coming out soon, and one being illustrated now. Two others are ‘out there’ in the wide world of submissions, and I’m putting the finishing touches on another one now. In the grownup world, I am a columnist for The Dabbling Mum, NABBW, and write children’s devotionals for CWAHM. On top of all this, I’m teaching “Greater Harvest Workshops” for writers and speakers. Can you tell I like to stay busy?

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?


I’m compiling a collection of children’s poetry I’d like to see in print one day, and have several picture books in varying stages of completion. My dream is to see a book of devotionals on the bookshelves, either for grownups or children.


12.   Can you describe a typical writing day for you?


I work at home doing data input for a real estate appraisal company so I’m at the computer daily. It’s convenient because I can keep a file open and type ideas throughout the day. When I have a deadline, I shut my email down (I’m too obsessed with checking it!) so I can focus. I have a journal someone bought for me that I bought tabs for with labels for the different areas in which I write. When I’m away from the computer, I jot things down in my notebook. I’m afraid I’m on an endless and futile quest to get organized, so every day is different.

13.  Why do you write?


There are few times as joyful as when I complete a devotional, article, or poem, and then know that someone else receives encouragement, enjoyment, or instruction from my work. It’s during those times that I feel God, the Creator, is pleased that I’m taking after my Father, in being creative.


14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?


As a young girl, I read a biography about Joni, a girl who had become a quadriplegic after a diving accident. Today Joni Eareckson Tada is an best-selling author, speaker, radio host (with over a million listeners), and disability advocate. She has spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her highly detailed fine art paintings and prints are sought after and collected. When I think of all Joni has accomplished, I’m inspired.

15.  How do you define your writing?


When I asked people to describe me in three words, passionate and compassionate were used often. I write with enthusiasm and as a service, hoping that my words will serve a purpose, bringing joy and hope to readers.


16.  In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?


Like every other writer I know, I’d like it said that I made a difference in some way, that my writing encouraged, entertained and brought laughter to grownups and children.


Donna Shepherd the details: 


17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?


My website:

I have several blogs, but the ‘official’ blog for Topsy Tales is:


18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?


On my blog, I have a ‘contact me’ page. Feel free to write.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?


My three books for children in print are:

Topsy Turvy Land (Hidden Pictures Publishing)

No More Gunk & OUCH! Sunburn (Guardian Angel Publishing)

Dotty’s Topsy Tale (Living Waters Publishing)


No More Gunk! is available as an ebook by itself as is Ouch! Sunburn. Another one, The Lonely Lightning Bug, is available in ebook form as well – all through Guardian Angel Publishing’s website or


20.  For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

  In Topsy Turvy Land, you’ll visit a place of peace and whimsy where green monkeys and singing snakes live. Children have fun searching for the hidden hearts and exploring the "what ifs" of creation. What if colors were different? What if snakes could sing?

In No More Gunk & OUCH! Sunburn, you get a Double Doozie - two books in one! Short, playful rhymes and Kevin Scott Collier's humorous illustrations help children learn in a fun way the importance of proper dental hygiene. Tooth Tips encourage children to take care of their teeth. In the bonus book, Ouch! Sunburn!, snappy rhymes, along with the 15 colorful and fun illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier, help children see the need to protect their skin in the sun. Sun Safety Tips in the back of the book reinforce the book's theme. This book is the first for a new imprint of Guardian Angel Publishing. The Health & Hygiene line will feature books teaching children about taking care of their bodies.

In Dotty’s Topsy Tale, the main character, a hot pink hippo, deals with the issue of discrimination and the angst of feeling ‘different.’ This story encourages children to look beyond the color of a person's (or a hippo's!) skin. Kevin Scott Collier brings pure genius to the book with his vibrant illustrations, especially with the final one which sums up the message in a unique and wonderful way. 

In conclusion:



21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

As writers, we are blessed to be able to create. And as a children's writer, sometimes I'm really blessed, and the words I write are illustrated with pictures. It's so much fun to see my words come to life.

I thank God every day for the joy of writing, and for allowing me the pleasure of seeing my words in print.  If you are an aspiring children’s writer, visit your local library or bookstore and read a variety of books for your target age group. Ask the children's librarian for recommendations. They know children’s interests and current trends in children's books. 

And no matter which genre you’re interested in, write. Set your mind on a target audience, and then write for ezines or magazines. Write articles, poetry, or a novel. Just write. Then submit. It won’t get published as a file on your computer or a notepad tucked away in a drawer. Writing is fun, but hard work. But did I mention how I feel about it? It’s fun!

Posted by joyceanthony at 1:55 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 August 2008 4:18 PM EDT
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