Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Contest for Medical Error

Book Contest: Just a reminder that we are featuring Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry, MD this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the book review is posted,  through Friday of the following week. A new book review is posted each Saturday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Each post gives you one chance to win the book Medical Error.

I am sorry, but posts on facebook are easily lost so they do not count toward the contest.

Would you enjoy reading a book by Doc Mabry?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Christian Author Richard Mabry

Sharon: Please welcome Richard L. Mabry, MD to our Meet The Author Day. (Wait for applause to die down.)

May I get you a cup of coffee Richard?

Richard: I’d love some coffee—one Sweet N Low. Thanks.

Sharon: Here you go.

Tell our audience, Richard, when and how did you get interested in writing?

RichardFor the thirty-six years I practiced medicine, the only writing I did involved professional papers (over a hundred published) and textbooks (wrote or edited eight). But never in my wildest dreams did I consider writing outside of medicine.

Then my wife of forty years died, and in the grieving process I began to journal. A friend read what I had written and urged me to consider putting it into a book to help others who had suffered a similar loss. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book, so I signed up for a writer’s conference. That’s where I not only started on the road to writing my non-fiction book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, but was encouraged by several Christian authors to try my hand at fiction. That was the beginning of what’s been an ongoing education in the craft and the business of writing.

Sharon: What makes your writing different than other writers? What is your brand? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Richard:  I refer to my writing as “Medical suspense with heart.” While some of my writing colleagues produce books that keep readers awake because they’re afraid to turn off the light, I want my readers to stay awake because they can’t stop turning pages—and you’d be amazed at the number of comments just like that I’ve received.

My books have a protagonist who practices medicine, because that’s what I know after thirty-five years as a private practitioner and medical school professor. The “heart” comes from two things: an element of romance (although not so much that a male reader will put down the book) and the fact that God’s love for us is portrayed within the story.

Sharon: Well, I have certainly enjoyed the two I have read.

What gave you the inspiration for Medical Error? How was this story placed on your heart?

Richard: The theme of Medical Error is medical identity theft. We all fear having our identities stolen, but I began to wonder what might happen if someone stole a person’s medical identity—that is, their health history and insurance coverage. From there, it was just a matter of watching as problem upon problem kept cropping up.

Sharon: During the writing of Medical Error, did your characters teach you anything special?

Richard: One of the principal characters is an attorney, a recovering alcoholic struggling to stay sober and rebuild his life. As I tried to put myself in his place and write about his daily struggles, it dawned on me that each of us has our own imperfections we’re trying to overcome. They may not be as obvious as alcoholism, but they’re there. I resolved to be more patient with other people, just as I hope they’ll be patient with me.

Sharon: I liked Ross, too. I was rooting for him.

Is there anything you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?

Richard: The biggest error the neophyte writer makes is hurrying to get his/her material submitted before someone else gets the last publishing slot. I know that my first couple of books weren’t as polished as they should be when I submitted them, and I have the rejections to prove it.

Writing is like golf. We may, in a sense, be competing with others, but we’re also competing with ourselves to do our best.

Sharon: Do you feel publishing a novel has changed your life?

Richard: Well, no one has stopped me on the street and asked for my autograph, although sometimes there’ll be someone at church who mentions how much they liked my book.

Otherwise, the biggest change is that I seem to have less time than I once did. Whereas I previously could concentrate on writing, I now have to divide my time between writing and marketing. And anyone who doesn’t think the burden of marketing a book lies mainly with the author is in for a rude awakening when they’re published.

Sharon: Are you planning another novel? If so, what is the story?

Richard: I have a couple of novels due out this year. The next, to be released April 1, is Diagnosis Death. It deals with a female doctor who is accused of the mercy killing of three patients, one of whom was her husband.

In September of this year, Abingdon will publish the fourth (and presumably final) book in my Prescription For Trouble series, Lethal Remedy. In it, a doctor discovers that the wonder drug her ex-husband has discovered has some hidden side effects that could be catastrophic.

Sharon: That’s fascinating.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Richard: To learn more about me, they can go to my website: If they’d like to follow my thoughts on writing and life in general, my blog is here. And, like most authors, I’m on Facebook and Twitter.
Sharon: Thanks for joining us today, Richard. Do you have any parting words?

Richard: For the writers among your readership, remember that in writing, as in so many other things in life, the journey is as important as the destination. Never stop learning, never stop writing.
Sharon, thanks for having me.

Sharon: Thank you, Richard. The pleasure was all mine.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quinter Trip~~Verse 2

On the way to Quinter, we made a side trip in Victoria, to see the Cathedral Of The Plains.
If you are ever traveling in Kansas, this is a beautiful site.
We parked the van and entered.
I wish we had taken more pictures. 
To show the beauty.
Time to get back on the bus.
And travel to our destination.
And visit the site of our simple meeting house by the side of the road in Quinter, Kansas.

Do you visit Churches when you travel?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Prescription for Trouble Series, # Two.

by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

About the author:
LIFE takes funny twists, and we can't always know where the road will lead.  Not too many years ago, I retired from medicine after a quarter of a century as a private practitioner and a decade as a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

AFTER the death of my first wife in 1999, I began writing about my journey through grief.  This evolved into a book, The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse, which was released in March, 2006 by Kregel Publishers.  After The Tender Scar I wrote a number of short pieces, many of which have been published, but my passion became fiction.  Like most authors, I served a long apprenticeship, honing my craft, and now my efforts have been rewarded.

YES, I thought I was retiring.  Instead, I've just shifted gears and I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for me in the future.

The Blurb:
Dr. Anna McIntyre's life was going just fine until someone else started living it.

Because of an identity mix-up, her patient dies.

Her medical career is in jeopardy because of forged prescriptions and her credit is in ruins.

She thought things couldn't get worse, but that was before she opened the envelope and saw a positive HIV test with her name on it.

What Others Say:
 By L. Wagner "newdesertrose" (MN) -  
This review is from: Medical Error (Prescription for Trouble Series #2) (Paperback)
Medical Error is written in an action-packed, medical perspective that will keep readers thoroughly intrigued, as it all intertwines around identity theft .

"Eric Hatley's last day started out normal for a UPS driver. However, he ended up in the crossfire of gang warfare and wound up in Parkland Hospital OR. Life for Dr. Anna McIntyre changed that day due to a medical records mix-up on the patient.

Shortly thereafter, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) was knocking on her door for over-prescribing Vicodin through excessive prescriptions, with high numbers of pills and refills, which she states are forged prescriptions. A day later, the Dallas Police, Investigators Green and Dowling, show up to prove she was behind the excessive number of prescriptions floating throughout the neighborhood-a criminal trying to make a bust in the market.

Then Anna finds someone has maxed-out her credit cards and were getting into her banking account. On top all that off, she gets a medical report stating she is HIV positive, as her insurance information was being used by someone else, like Eric Hatley's case. Mix all these circumstances with romance, muggings, and attempted murders, and you are hooked!

My first thoughts about Medical Error had to do with identity theft that we hear so much about these days. How to be careful to secure our identity, and then what to do once it is breached. Anna found out the hard way that she was way more careless than she realized, and way too impulsive to solve the problem.

I'm not sure which was more intriguing though, the medical issues or the identity theft. Both kept me riveted as circumstances changed almost daily, as new information was forthcoming. Only problem was, they didn't know the source of the issues.

I love medical reads, and Dr. Mabry was definitely on top of the medical school/hospital issues at hand, from medial malpractice, lawsuits, suspensions, etc. Had me checking up some new terms so I knew what he was referring to, but that made it all that much more interesting for me-learned new information.

My only minor complaint is the continuous clichés, i.e, `like fish to water, air to a bird, like a dog with a bone,' etc., yet some of the clichés turned out to be some great word pictures!

If you love medicine and a great mystery, Dr. Mabry's book, Medical Error, is one you need to read! You won't be disappointed with the twists and turns in the plot up to the very last chapter. Was it a co-worker, prior patient, the DEA personnel, the police, or even possibly Nick that was perpetrating all this? You'll have to read it to find out! My lips are sealed."

My Take:
This is a Book With Take Home Value.

I purchased Medical Error, Sept 2010, at the ACFW conference in Indianapolis. I do love books and still have quite a few on my TBR (to be read) pile.

I prefer to read paper books at home, but I take my kindle when I travel so save the weight of a suitcase of books.

I was getting ready to take a trip, and to my delight, Medical Error was offered free on Kindle. . So it worked out great for me. I can give away the paperback book on my blog and keep the Kindle version. How great is that?

I found this book to be very gripping. I have not admitted to husband yet that I almost missed my plane because of being engrossed in the story. I didn't miss the flight, so it's okay not to tell on myself, isn't it?

The book has a timely message about identity theft. We somehow think it can't happen to us. I like a book that makes me think and is relevant to my own life.

If you enjoy the medical and hospital setting you will enjoy this book.

Purchase The Book At:

Barnes and Noble:
Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:
I purchased a copy of Medical Error and I'll offer to pass it on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

We will send one special person a copy of Medical Error.

Do you enjoy reading novels with a medical theme?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Smart Phone part 3

I forgot one step in the saga. I have two email accounts. I know my gmail information. Jason set that account up the day I bought the phone and I was good to go. He knew I had another email and offered to set that one up also, but I did not have the information. Although the second email uses gmail it is a corporate email with Americian Christian Fiction Writers. I am one of the officers on the board this year and I need to monitor those emails as well.

So I looked up my information and loaded that email as well.

But I had no book, no way to look at these You Tube vidios. At least I didn't know how to access them because as you remember, the internet to my desktop was down. Because of the storm.

So, I stumbled around on my own and got the acfwmembership email on my phone.

I was very happy.

Then something happened. My gmail was no longer updating on my Droid 2 Global. I went on two week-end trips and the latest gmail message was two days old.

I learned my corporate email was my primary email. So that one was always current.

We trotted off to Verizon. Jason was not in. The salesman who did help us said my phone was fine.

It was not fine. The following week we went back to Verizon. Jason, that dear boy was working.  Have me his card and his email. So now I can make sure he is working before I go back for anything.

Jason was amazed by the amount of emails I had kept. According to my Droid, I had over 20,000 emails. Husband looked at me in shock. How can you have so many emails?

Well, it's just like snail mail. Some people keep letters. Some don't. And gmail lets you keep lots of mail. I in fact had kept over 50,000 emails and had only used a little over half of my allowable storage.

But if it was keeping me from getting my updates on my smart phone, well I consented to delte some. And to archive what I really felt I needed to keep.

I had to go through years of email's page by page. It took days. But finally we were down to a few months worth of emails and under 5,000 messages. I was so pleased.

To be continued . . .

Do you think I am just too old to have a smart phone?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Love Me Tender Blog Interview

Note from Janice Hanna Thompson, author of LOVE ME TENDER:
Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to share in the excitement of LOVE ME TENDER, my latest inspirational romance. When I heard about the new “When I Fall in Love” line at Summerside, I flipped! Why? Because I love the ‘50s, and I love music! (The line is based on song titles from the 1930s to the 1970s.) I happen to be a playwright with a really fun musical comedy titled JOHNNY BE GOOD, a story that’s near and dear to my heart. I decided to put a twist on that stage play and turn it into a rockin’ romantic novel! With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this “Hollywood Heartthrob” interview with four of the main characters from the novel.

Hollywood Heartthrob, “Man About Town” Column
Welcome, readers! This is Sunset Sam, columnist for Hollywood Heartthrob magazine, here to interview several characters from LOVE ME TENDER, a new book by author Janice Hanna Thompson. I read the book in preparation for this interview and had a hip-hip hoppin’, be-be-boppin’ time reading about the characters down at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach. I’ve been to Sweet Sal’s many times, of course. Everyone in Hollywood knows it’s all the rage. Where else can you get a big, thick cheeseburger, hot, salty fries and the thickest chocolate malts in the country? Now that I’ve enticed you with the food, let’s have a little chat with some of the key players in our story. We’ll start with Debbie Carmichael, daughter of the owners of Sweet Sal’s.

Debbie, could you tell us a little about what your day-to-day life is like?
Most of the girls my age are in college, but I decided to stay in Laguna Beach and help my parents out at our family run soda shop. I have the best life ever! I live across the street from the Pacific Ocean, and love spending time at the cliffs, watching the waves lap the shore. When I’m at the soda shop, the jukebox is always playing. I’m gaga over Elvis’s new song, “Love Me Tender.” It’s all the rage with teen girls right now. Of course, I’m also head over heels for Bobby Conrad, but don’t tell my friends, okay? They think I’m more mature than most of the other teen girls who hang out Sweet Sal’s. Of course, I’m a little distracted by that new guy, Johnny Hartman. He’s so sweet and handsome, and I hear he’s a great singer, too!

Johnny, I read in another article that you came all the way from Topeka Kansas to Hollywood to make it big. How does Hollywood compare to Topeka?
There’s really no way to compare Topeka to Los Angeles. People out here (in California) are more up on current styles, the hottest tunes and the hippest actors and actresses. Back home, folks are so grounded. That isn’t always the case here in L.A. I hope I don’t sound too stuck up when I say that back in Topeka, I was a big fish in a small pond. And because my dad’s a pastor, I had plenty of opportunities to sing in church. But out here in L.A. no one even knows who I am. My agent, Jim Jangles, is working hard to get me a gig on television. I’m auditioning for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts soon. Say a little prayer for me!

Bobby, I understand you were slotted to sing at the fundraiser at Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe, but had to cancel. Could you explain your sudden departure?
Yes, I was scheduled to sing at the fundraiser, but just got word that I’ll be filming my new movie that same weekend. I was really disappointed to have to tell the Carmichaels the news, but hopefully they understand. I think it’s going to be okay, because my agent, Jim Jangles, is sending his latest prodigy—a kid from Topeka named Johnny Hartman—in my place. I hear he’s quite a singer.

Sal, could you tell our readers about some of the Hollywood stars you’ve met over the years?
First of all, thanks for including me in this interview! It’s been decades since I was a teen, but I still secretly read Hollywood Heartthrob magazine. (Shh! Don’t tell my husband, Frankie, or my daughter, Debbie!) I’m blessed to be the co-owner of Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe in Laguna Beach, and I’ve met a lot of stars who’ve come through on their way to places like Dana Point and San Diego. Here’s a list of some of my favorites: Doris Day, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Ozzie and Harriet. There are dozens more, of course. I want to personally invite all of your readers to stop by Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe so that they can see the photos on our walls! And while you’re here, why not enjoy a creamy chocolate malt?

Debbie, a little birdie told me that you and the other girls in Laguna Beach are gaga over Elvis, Pat Boone and Bobby Conrad. Now that you’ve gotten to know (and love) Johnny Hartman, what would you say sets him apart from the other great singers you’ve known?
Oh, no doubt about it. . .Johnny isn’t just a great singer, he’s got a heart of gold. I especially love his strong faith. Unlike so many of the other singers in town, he doesn’t put himself first. With Johnny, it’s God first. . .all the way! And when he sings. . .man! That voice! It’s a smooth as velvet. (And it doesn’t hurt that he’s so dreamy! Talk about handsome!)

Johnny, you’ve been asked to fill in for Bobby Conrad at the Laguna Beach fundraiser. Can you tell us how you’re feeling as you look forward to the big day?
I don’t mind admitting I’m a little nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Thousands of girls from Orange County and beyond are looking forward to seeing Bobby Conrad in person. Now I’ve been asked to fill in for him. I’ll be lucky if they don’t boo me off the stage or toss rotten tomatoes at me! Hopefully my new love song—the one I wrote for the gorgeous Debbie Carmichael—will win them over. I hope so, anyway!

Bobby, many Christians have a hard time hanging onto their faith once they achieve stardom. You seem so grounded. What’s your secret?
I always try to honor God in everything I do—whether it’s movies or songs for the radio. There’s a verse that I love, and it’s one I try to live by: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The way I look at it, if I make a choice to put God first, He’s going to bless me above and beyond anything I could ever ask for, anyway. Even if He didn’t bless me, though, I would still serve Him. It’s really the only way to live a fulfilling life. (And trust me when I say that people out here in L.A. are looking for ways to live a fulfilling life!)

Sal, we were sorry to hear about your husband’s health problems. How is he doing now?
Praise the Lord, Frankie seems to be doing a little better. His heart attack several months ago really shook us up. And we got behind on the mortgage, which has made me a little nervous. Still, I choose to trust God. And now that everyone in town is banding together to put on the fundraiser to save the soda shop, I’m feeling more hopeful than ever!

Debbie, is there anything you’d like Hollywood Heartthrob readers to know as we end this interview?
Yes, I would like people to know that it is possible to live in Hollywood—to be a big star, even—and still be a person of faith. I’ve witnessed it in Bobby Conrad’s life, and in Johnny’s, too. I’d also like to share that putting your trust in God is really the only way to go. Some problems are just too big for us to handle on our own. When my dad got really sick, I made up my mind to try to “fix” the situation. What I’ve learned is this—only God can truly “fix” anything. And trust me when I say that His “fix” is far greater than anything we could ever dream up!
Thanks so much, folks! It’s been a great interview.
Well, there you have it, Hollywood Heartthrob fans. This is Sunset Sam, signing off for this week. See you next time!

Readers: How do you like interviews with characters from books? Would you like to see more of them?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Traveling To Quinter, Kansas

Many people have never heard of Quinter, Kansas, but I have family there. And many of my childhood memories revolve around this tiny spot in the road. So when we heard a bus load from Ohio were going to worship with our tiny congregation, Husband and I signed up.
It was cold and icy. In fact we left an hour later than we first planned. (But that's another story.)
We got loaded up.
And our licensed driver headed out.
We stopped often. Sometimes to eat.
And two days later we arrived.
We were in Quinter for 23 hours of fellowship and worship.
How far would you travel to lift the spirits of those you love?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Love Me Tender

by Janice Hanna

About the author:
Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. In addition, she enjoys editing, ghost-writing, public speaking, and mentoring young writers.

Janice currently serves as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers).  She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year, with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing. Her online course, “Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer”

has been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.

Book Trailer  
The Blurb:
As "Love Me Tender" play in the background, Debbie Carmichael determines to salvage her family’s restaurant, Sweet Sal’s Soda Shoppe, when her father’s health fails. Teen heartthrob Bobby Conrad, agrees to perform at a fundraiser concert. But just two weeks before the highly publicized event, Bobby backs out of the benefit. Enter...Johnny Hartman...a young, unknown singer to take Conrad’s place.

Debbie soon realizes the twists and turns leading up to the concert are divinely orchestrated. And it isn’t dreamy Bobby Conrad who has stolen her heart—but the tender love of Johnny Hartman.

What Others Say:
By Pirate2240 "Kat" (Victorville, CA)
This review is from: Love Me Tender (When I Fall in Love) (Paperback)

What teenage girl hasn't had a crush on her favorite male singing sensation? Especially if you live in the heart of Hollywood, say in Laguna Beach, where it's likely you'll see someone famous on a weekly basis sunning themselves at the beach, just cruising Pacific Coast Highway or taking in a stroll along the many quaint shops along the beachside community. While you're there, you may even step into Sweet Sal's Soda Shop, a favorite diner of the locals that is famous for it's cheeseburgers, onion rings and out of this world chocolate malts!

Let's take this story all the way back to when teen crushes were all the rage and rock and roll music was taking over the lives of teens everywhere. Enter the 1950's. A throw back to more casual times, where walls of girls bedrooms were adorned with posters of Elvis Presley, Cary Grant or even Dick Clark! This is where the story of Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna takes place! We are introduced to the Carmichael family who owns Sweet Sal's Soda Shop and the entire family works there, serving up food until the wee hours of the night while listening to the latest music from the jukebox. Back to the time where you are served by red and white striped uniformed waitresses with their hair in pony tails and singing the latest songs!

We meet Debbie Carmichael who is just turning 20 and is trying very hard to let those childhood crushes of Bobby Conrad become a think of the past, yet she can't help it. He is after all single, around 20 himself and the possibilities of meeting him in her dreams is enough to make her weak in the knees! When she learns that her father's diner is behind in the mortgage payments and could possibly lose it due to his recent heart attack, Debbie plans a benefit concert at her families diner may just be the one thing to save her father and quite possibly meet Bobby Conrad.

Johnny Hartman arrives from Topeka, Kansas with all the boyish good lucks he needs to make it in Hollywood along with his ability to write his own original songs. Once he hooks up with the local agent Jim Jangles, Hollywood is about to discover it's next rising star on Billboards music charts. Things take a turn when Jim arranges for Johnny to come along to Sweet Sal's to negotiate a benefit for Bobby Conrad his latest rising star and it's there that Johnny finds his inspirations to his songs from a blond hair girl named Debbie.

To read more about this amazing book, you'll want to pick up a copy of Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna. It's a perfect musical 5 out of 5 stars! I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and was transported back in time to the rock-a-billy times of the 50's! This is such a fun book with a message about how even God can use Hollywood stardom to get His message across the airwaves!

My Take:
A Walk Down Memory Lane

I remember poodle skirts and saddle shoes, pony tails and bobby socks. So this book took me back a few years. And I enjoyed the trip. I am happy with this new line from Summerside press with stories from the 50's 60's and even the 70's. For me that is the good old days.
I was impressed with Debbie Carmichael's spunk and determination to save the family business., Sweet Sal's Soda Shop. When her first plan fell through she found plan B.

Purchase The Book At:
Barnes and Noble:

Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest:
Janice sent me a reviewers copy of Love Me Tender and I'm offering  to pass it on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

We will send one special person a copy of Love Me Tender.

What are you reading now?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Motorola DROID-Must have Apps And Programs

My salesman, Jason, showed me how to load apps, how to know if they were free, of if they were going to cost me a monthly fee.

So. . . with no internet . . . I went a little crazy with the apps. Only free ones of course. I am a writer and wow is there ever a lot of writers tools out there. And you never know when you might need them, you know?

But suddenly my battery was bleeding. Did I need a bigger battery? Well that nice Jason also showed me the charger and recommended I buy the one for the car. Great salesman. I needed to have the cell plugged in almost all the time.

But wait, were all the apps draining my battery?

I quickly deleted almost everything. Including, I think some that Jason had made sure were pre-loaded on the phone. One's he knew I might need.

Do you have a smart phone? Do you wish everyone did?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Contest for Save The Date

Book Contest: Just a reminder that we are featuring Jenny B. Jones Save The Date this week.

(Book Contest weeks are from Saturday through Friday of the following week. A new book review is posted each Saturday which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week, those posted 3-12-2011 through 2-18- 2011 along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Each post gives you one chance to win.

I am sorry, but posts on facebook are easily lost so they do not count toward the contest.

Would you enjoy reading a book by Jenny B. Jones?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smart Phones and my Learning Curve part 1

I was due for an upgrade on my cellular phone. Long overdue actually. Husband has a Blackberry Storm. Which is kinda nice, but has a few issues. But of course I am sure all phones have issues.

With all the smart phones available. What would I choose?

A few weeks ago we had a winter storm. I know, you probably did too.

Our internet went down. What did we do before internet? Well that was then and this is now.

Husband took me to our Verizon store and I asked the salesman for his most email friendly phone.

Jason Westendorf is an amazing salesman. The age of my grandchildren. But he didn't talk down to me. If you live near Huber Heights, OH look him up at the Troy Pike store.

He showed me both the Blackberry and the Droid. When I saw the keyboard on the Droid Global 2 I was hooked.

Using the Droid for my email and my desktop without internet I was able to keep up--sort of--with my work load. Husbands email was locked on our server which was down. But since I had gmail. (more about that later) we had emails sent to me and he could also keep up. Sort of.

Do you have a smart phone? How smart is it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meet Christian Author Jenny B. Jones

Today we have with us on our blog the one and only Jenny B. Jones. Please make her welcome.

Sharon: May I get you a cup of coffee Jenny? 

Jenny: I'm gonna be one of "those" guests and ask for something else--ice tea, no sugar. One day maybe I'll be mature enough to drink coffee, but so far...not yet. I love the smell of it, but I don't see how y'all drink it. I'd also like some Oreo cookies please, as long as I'm making imaginary demands.

Sharon: I'll see what I can do. Good thing I have Mother-in-Love living with me now and she keeps cookies on hand.

Jenny, you are a well known and multi-published author. Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?

Jenny: Pretty much every day. I guess we'd have to wonder about people who never did. Just last week, as I was talking to someone about her second book, I realized that "they're going to wake up and realize it's all been a fluke, and I've been skating by" feeling has left. That feeling is really strong for book two. You expect it to go away for books three...four...five...and it kind of doesn't. But at some point, now that I've just released book 8, apparently I have overcome that one. But that probably only makes room for 100 more insecurities to take its place. ha.

Sharon: As a reader I think you have proved yourself. It's not a fluke.

In Save the Date, what was your favorite scene to write?

Jenny: There were quite a few scenes that were fun for me. This is a book about a couple who are brought together via a fake engagement. It's a twist on the old historical novel's "arranged marriage turns into crazy, fiery love" trope. As medieval as it sounds, it's one of my favorite plot gimmicks. In the book, I got a lot of opportunities to throw these two different characters together and show their oil and vinegar sides. It was a lot of fun. They dislike each other initially, but there's still that spark within it.

In Save the Date, social worker Lucy and ex-quarterback Alex are total opposites, share a mutual dislike, and find themselves in this fake engagement. Here’s a scene from their first date to the local arts center.

“The Russian Ballet is a big deal,” Lucy said.
Alex laughed. “It’s people in tutus. Men in tights twirling around.”
“Oh, yeah, because football is so much better.”
“Don’t make me pull this car over. . .Do you know anything about football?”
“You toss around a ball and throw people to the ground. What else is there to know?”
“Okay, then, what’s a birdcage?”
“The name of the bar where you met your last girlfriend?”
“A cut?”
“A fantasy I have involving your throat.”
His tan hands tightened on the steering wheel. “A hot receiver?”
“Um. . .a mistake you made in college?”

 Sharon: Of your own experiences, what influenced the writing of Lucy Wiltshire the most?

Jenny: In Save the Date, Lucy runs a girls home called Saving Grace for young women who have aged out of the foster care system and have nowhere to go. This is a very big problem in our country and one that gets little attention. Saving Grace is actually a real place in Arkansas. 

Prior to writing about it, I got involved in the ministry of Saving Grace. I was a mentor to one of the young ladies there, so I got to be in the home, be with the girls, see them do life, and see them do life with their old challenges and new opportunities.

A really cool thing about the home is that it's a former convent, just like in Save the Date, that's been totally renovated. But the sisters lived there for decades. And in the Saving Grace office, there's the original hardwood floor, and there are indentions in the floor from the knees of the nuns--this is where they prayed for years. It's just such a kiss from God on this house and ministry.

I got to know the woman who started the real Saving Grace, Becky Shaffer. She was one of these girls many years ago--aged out of the system and nowhere to go, no one to care for her, look out for her, and few life skills. She turned her life around and decades later, has started this ministry to change the lives and family trees of these young ladies. I'm so proud to know her. I wanted to capture that heart in Lucy Wiltshire, someone who understands the plight of her girls and will do anything to save them.
Sharon: I can see that. What impact do you hope this book has upon the reader?

Jenny: I hope they enjoy the book, priority one. I hope when they finish reading it, it was a good time, a break from reality, and it made them feel a little happier for a few hours and hopefully provided a smile or two.I also hope readers also connect with Lucy and her struggles because we all have lies we buy into, lies that look exactly like truth and run interference for our real potential in God’s plan. (John 10:10)
Sharon: Well, I will have to say that I enjoyed it and I finished the book. And I recommend it to others.

What can you tell us about your next book? What is the story?

Jenny: In Save the Date, Alex Sinclair has a much younger teenage sister, Finley. Finley will get her own book, There You'll Find Me, in September. I'm excited about this book for a lot of reasons, but for one, it's the best YA cover I've ever had, and I still just smile when I look at it.

 In There You’ll Find Me, Finley is a senior and spending the year in Ireland in a foreign exchange program. She is trying to come back from a devastating loss, but pretty much failing. While she stays with her host family, who own a B&B, she meets Beckett Rush, the hottest teen actor in Hollywood and star of a series of popular vampire films. While Finley tours the countryside, determined to walk in the same steps her brother did when he was there years ago, she finds her stay in Ireland not nearly as inspiring. Between an assignment that has her babysitting a cranky old woman with troubles of her own and working as Beckett’s personal assistant against her wishes and her good judgment, Finley is finding little time to do the healing God is calling her to do. And little time to deal with the secrets from her own past that threaten to pull her under.
Sharon: I agree it is a great book cover. Thank you for sharing it.

Is there anyone in particular who inspires you?

Jenny: Oh, gosh. Lots of people. I'm inspired by the comedy of Carol Burnett, my hero. I'm inspired by fellow teachers, my own past teachers. My mom, my family, who are so giving and full of love and encouragement.  I'm definitely inspired by the underdogs in the Bible--a young David, a hurting and penniless Ruth, a childless and depressed Hannah, who dared to pray big prayers. I love how God uses the unlikely. I was at a concert last week and the singer-songwriter said, "Moses was such a long shot." And I thought, yeah. He was. Then I thought, "God, I want to be your long shot, too."  I am greatly encouraged by how God doesn't pick the coolest cats to do big things for him.
Sharon: Thank you so much for sharing with us today Jenny. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Jenny: Readers can find me at my website.  From there they can easily find me on Twitter (my second home) and Facebook.

Sharon: Any parting words?

Jenny: I've always wanted to clear this up. I am the queen of dork moments. I have a really bad habit of introducing myself, um, repeatedly, to people. I'm one of those people who often remembers meeting someone...but they typically do not. So I've introduced myself to Sharon here at least 3 times. Every time I knew who she was, but I just didn't think she'd remember me. ha. The last  time, she finally said something like, "I KNOW! We've MET!!"  I'm through introducing myself now. ; )  And I'm also grateful for all Sharon does for writers and Christian fiction. You are one cool lady, Sharon!

Sharon: Thank you Jenny. And now I have the picture to prove that we have indeed met. 

Jenny: Thanks so much for letting me stop by. Always a joy to talk to you. To drink your tea and eat your Oreos.

Sharon: The pleasure was all mine. And our guests of course.

A question for our readers:

When you pick up a book, what do you look at first? What are you hoping to find?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Save The Date

by Jenny B. Jones

About the author:
I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series, A Charmed Life series, and my first contemporary romance, Just Between You and Me.  I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie.

When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.

My students are constantly telling me how my teaching changes their lives and turned them away from drugs, gangs, and C-SPAN.

Okay, that’s not exactly true.

Some facts that are true include:

A. I got my camera confiscated by big boys with guns at the American  Embassy in Europe this past summer. O la la!

B. I once worked in a seed mill office and cleaned out mice on a regular basis. Ew.

C. I’m a former drama teacher.

D. I didn’t pass my drivers test the first time. Or the second…
E. I attract stray animals like a magnet.
F. I used to assemble and test paint ball guns for a local factory.

Since my current job leaves me with very little free time, I believe in spending my spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits such as:

watching E!
updating my status on Facebook
catching Will Ferrell on YouTube and
writing my name in the dust on my furniture
I’d love to hear about you, so drop me a note.
Or check me out on Facebook.

The Blurb:
Desperate times call for desperate proposals…but Lucy Wiltshire is engaged in one big disaster.

When the funding for Lucy’s girls’ home is pulled, she’s determined to save it. Enter Alex Sinclair, former NFL star and heir to Sinclair Enterprises–the primary donor to Lucy’s Saving Grace organization. Alex has it all…except for the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress.

Both Alex and Lucy have something the other wants.

Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancee in return for the money she desperately needs.

Bound to a man who isn’t quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line–and maybe even her life.

When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, “I do”?

What Others Say:
"At first I wasn't sure what to think of this pairing of opposites, but I could see where it would make for some fun times that are totally Jenny B. Jones signature humor. This story started to grow on me, and while their relationship was based on a lie, the "fake" relationship humor was hilarious and I ended up hooked. As is typical with Ms. Jones, there is always a much deeper emotional level that she delves into beyond the light-hearted humor. Some powerful issues were brought up and resolved over time in a fully convincing manner. And those kisses were amazing!

I loved how the author used their "fake" engagement to bring out their issues and their insecurities. In some ways this novel reminded me of "A Walk to Remember" because neither them expected to develop feelings for the other. This story is a great example of how to take a potentially unlikeable hero (womanizer history, arrogant, stuck on himself, etc) and make him into a dashing and wonderful example of manliness coupled with godliness. I was thoroughly impressed.

Save the Date one of those books that I was almost willing to skip church to finish reading. Sad, but true. I was fully invested in the outcome of this story. It wasn't even remotely sappy. But I never expected it to be, either. As usual, I know the characters will stick with me a long time. Another great read by Jenny and a fun ride on a very romantic roller coaster. The spiritual thread was deeper than I'd expected, too, but that just made the book even better in my opinion. This is a keeper. ~~Michelle Sutton

My Take:
Read it and be blessed.
I love Jenny's characters and Lucy quickly wormed her way into my heart. I have a niece that gets her designer clothes at Good Will and always looks like a model. Just like Lucy. I loved Lucy's heart for her girls at "Saving Grace". I loved the way she would go to bat for them, even at her own expense and the expense of her reputation. 

I love the family dynamics. Love does not bloom in a vacuum.

Purchase The Book At:

Or Ask Your Local Library To Order The Book In For You!

Book Contest: 
Jenny sent me a reviewers copy of Save The Date and I'm happy to pass it on to one blessed reader this week.

Book Contest weeks are from Saturday, when the review is posted through Friday. A new book review is posted each week which may or may not have a contest connected with it. See the Book contest information on the side bar.

Leave a comment on any of my blog my posts this week along with information how to get hold of you if you are the winner. Posts on facebook do not count. We only check the messages on the blog to pick a winner.

Have you read any Jenny B. Jones books? 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet Christian Author Robin Caroll

Sharon: Please welcome Robin Caroll to our Meet The Author Day. (Wait for applause to die down.)

May I get you a cup of coffee Robin?

Robin: Hi, Sharon! Thanks for having me. No thanks on the coffee...I brought my own Starbucks. :)

Sharon: Oh, I see. Well I'll just sit here and sip my special brew of sweet white coffee and let you enjoy your Starbucks!

Let's talk about your writing. Who has been one of your best encouragers on your writing journey?

Robin: Aside from my immediate family and close friends, in the industry, it would have to be Colleen Coble. She's encouraged me...given me advice, and prayed for me. I love her!

Sharon: And you know what? She loves you too. Colleen told me that you are the person she looks to for brainstorming her books.

Surrounded by published authors the way you are, do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work?

Robin: I think every author has self-doubts. Every time I turn in a manuscript, I have the "it's the worst thing I've ever written" syndrome!

Luckily, my husband's gotten used to the cycle and cooks me one of my fav meals, puts in one of my fav movies, and lets me unwind.

Sharon: I'm with you there. Even though my novels are still pre-published my husband is an awesome supporter.

What keeps you writing in those times when self-doubts hit?

Robin: Before I got published, I prayed a lot, and told God that if He hadn't called me to write, I'd quit, but He'd have to remove the desire to write from my heart. But if He did want me to write, and opened the doors where He wanted me to be, I'd follow through. Even when uncertain, I know what I'm supposed to be doing.

Sharon: I've heard other authors say that same thing. They realize it's all in God's timing.

Now, besides Colleen, is there anyone else who inspires you?

Robin: I get inspiration from television, papers, people-watching. But my husband, children and grandchildren inspire me personally. :)

Sharon: Okay, then what makes your writing different that other writers? What is your brand? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Robin: My brand is Southern romantic suspense that takes current-day issues and works them into the plot. A reader can expect suspense, mystery and true Southernisms from my books. :)

Sharon: What gave you the inspiration for Fear No Evil?  How was this story placed on your heart?

Robin: The plight of former gang members was placed on my heart after watching segments of GANGLAND on television. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with a couple of former gang members who were so candid and shared their stories with literally broke my heart to hear some of what these men went through as tweens.

Sharon: What’s something you wish you’d known earlier that might have saved you some time and frustration in the publishing business?

Robin:  I wish I'd started learning to write for publication a whole lot earlier than I did!

Sharon: How can readers find you on the Internet?

Robin: On my website. And readers can find me on social medias twitter and facebook under Robin Caroll

Sharon: Any parting words?

Robin: Thanks so much for having me drop in to visit, Sharon. It's been a blessing to talk with you.

Sharon: Thank you for joining us Robin.

To our readers:

Because of his father's illness, Lincoln Vaile chose to move closer to his family.

Have you ever made a decision to change your life to be closer to your family? What was your experience?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ACFW Board Meeting In St. Louis

The  Spring Operating Board American Christian Fiction Writers Board Meeting is always held where the conference will be in September of that same year. So this year we met in St. Louis.
Along with the ACFW Advisory Board and the Conference Team
Margaret Daley, Madam president, sits on the left of our CEO, Coleen Coble.

Secretary Danica, AB member Randy, Publicity Officer Kristin.
Volunteer Officer Kim, Doc Mabry, VP and Eileen Zone Officer

Is that a dance floor? Rachel tries it out.
Membership Officer Sharon, Kim, Eileen and Kristin.
President Margaret, Treasurer Vickie, Sharon
Attractive Food Display
It was a pleasure checking out the conference rooms for ACFW. 
Will I see you in St. Louis in September?