Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Andrea Buginsky has some great tips for 2012!

It’s almost New Year’s which makes it the perfect time to set some goals for yourself. What would you like to accomplish in 2012 that you didn’t get done in 2011? What new goals do you have set for yourself? Now’s the perfect time to figure it out!
Start by giving yourself some time to yourself. Sit in a quiet room by yourself with nothing but your thoughts, a notebook, and a pen. Start thinking about everything you wanted to accomplish in 2011 but didn’t get around to doing. Jot these down in your notebook to get your goal list started.
Next, think about all of the new things you’d like to accomplish. Perhaps you finished a project you’ve been working on for a while and are ready to start another. Or, you finished one step of an on-going project and are ready to begin the next. Add these to your list of goals.
Your goals  don’t have to be huge goals, such as lose 50 pounds or write a book. You can set little goals that you can work on throughout the year, such as redecorate a room in your house, read a book you’ve been interested in checking out for a while, or even try that new seafood restaurant in your neighborhood. The point is to set up some realistic goals you can work toward achieving in 2012.
Once you have your list, keep it handy. Take a look at it throughout the year to see how far you’ve come. And don’t be afraid to add new goals as they come to you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t accomplish them all in the upcoming year. What matters is that you know what you wish to accomplish in your life.
Andrea Buginsky is the author of “The Chosen,” a Young Adult fantasy about a young dwarf who learns her true calling in life and sets off on a quest with a group of warriors to save their home world, Phantasma.

Halli is a shy, young dwarf who has no idea of her true calling.  When the evil Prince Gastle sets out to detroy the world of Phantasma, Queen Laurali of the Elves comes to tell Halli she’s a Holy Paladin with the power to heal, and will join The Chosen, a group of brave warriors being sent to defeat the evil beast and save Phantasma.  Will Halli be accepted by her group, and be able to keep them alive through their adventures?  Will the evil Prince Gastle be defeated, freeing Phantasma from his destruction?  Only time will tell.
Available from Solstice Publishing and for the Amazon Kindle

You can find Andrea:
On her website, Andi’s Realm
On Twitter: @andreabuginsky

Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

John Rosenman visits and teases with a taste of Dax Rigby, War Correspondent

Hey John, welcome to Penny's Tales.  Thanks for visiting with me.  Yikes!  Dax Rigby sounds like a thriller!  Tell everybody about your story.

As WWIII rages on Earth, War Correspondent Dax Rigby travels to the savage planet Arcadia to investigate and report on the Western Alliance’s mission there.  Soon, he fights not only to save two intelligent alien species from extinction, but also to rescue a dying human outpost threatened by a mysterious disease.

Facing assassination attempts, seduction from a passionate pilot, and his own mysterious powers of resurrection, Dax struggles to maintain his loyalties and complete his mission. The fate of two worlds hangs in the balance. Will he find a way to redefine both his identity and his destiny in time?

How about giving us a taste, John!

Chapter One
Welcome To Paradise

Dax left the ship and stepped into madness.

First there were the cheers and then the blinding tropical sun as he moved out onto the ramp. Fumbling in his pocket, he hurriedly donned his sunglasses and looked out at Base Camp, humanity’s only foothold on the planet Arcadia. In front of him, other passengers froze in their descent, stunned by the heat and their reception.

At least two dozen in the camp had turned out to welcome them, shielding themselves with umbrellas against the sun. Dax saw men and women in ragged shirts and shorts shouting up at them. They all looked shrunken and withered, yet riveted by the ship’s arrival.

Why were they out in this terrible heat? Dax figured they must be damn happy to see their replacements. The ship’s arrival was proof they were finally going home. Otherwise, why risk death by heatstroke?

Feeling someone press against him from behind, he moved forward with his gear and descended the stairs. When he reached the ground, he adjusted his hat and scanned the area.
Base Camp consisted of thirty sorry units. According to accounts, they’d been here only three years. They looked faded and worn, bludgeoned by the planet’s heat. In just minutes, Dax was drenched with sweat and a bit woozy, too. He took a step and swayed on his feet.

“Easy, son, this heat’ll do it to you.”

He turned. Merriwether, the vice-captain of their ship. The man’s ancient eyes widened, as if to impart some secret.

Dax blinked, realizing the cheers had died. “We just got here, and you go back tomorrow?”

“Yes, and most of them do, too.  Including the toughest ones who signed up for three years instead of one or two.” Merriwether rubbed his gray beard and gazed at the camp’s population, who mingled enthusiastically with the passengers. Dax heard laughter, and someone brayed, “Man, are we all glad to see you!”

“I hope you’re successful investigating the Hopper and Flyer war,” Merriwether said. “Even if you find out why they hate each other so much, how can it possibly help us beat the Eastern Alliance?”

Good question. He reached for his handkerchief and mopped his face. “I don’t know.” He didn’t say his major task was to discover why the WA—the Western Alliance—was so interested in the creatures in the first place. “By the way, I’m supposed to report to Major Campbell. Do you know where her quarters are?”

“I’m afraid not,” Merriwether said. “You might ask one of the camp members.”

After Merriwether left, Dax approached an emaciated, unshaven man with a parasol and asked him.

The other pointed theatrically. “Behold.”

Dax turned, seeing a faded plastic silver shack fifteen meters away. While the archaic word implied a stately sight, this battered prefab with its droopy awning looked indistinguishable from its fellows. Dax swung back to see if the man referred to another structure. The stranger, though, still pointed at the silver shack to emphasize his pronouncement.

“The major awaits your pleasure,” his informant said and limped away.

Left behind, Dax felt lost and abandoned. He’d studied Arcadia’s harsh conditions in advance, but it hadn’t fully prepared him for being here. Dax was convinced he’d been picked up and dropped in the most godforsaken backwater of the universe. This feeling intensified as the meeting of the incoming and outgoing crews rapidly became a boisterous party totally oblivious to him. Unless he was mistaken, it would soon disintegrate into an orgy.

Dax heard coarse laughter and witnessed the pouring of libations. And those funny-looking sticks going around—he’d smoked a few of them himself. A man and woman embraced, the woman a scrawny, beef-jerky greeter of her plump guest. She clutched the pudgy man, seeming to drain the life from his body. Glancing around, Dax realized most of the outgoing crew looked more than exhausted and physically depleted. Judging from their expressions, they were desperate as well.

What could have done this to them? And perhaps equally important, why didn’t any of the reports he’d read mention this?

Though only twenty-three, Dax knew how to size up places quickly. Water, food, and the climate were reportedly safe on Arcadia. However, something seemed wrong. He was tough, having brought himself up by sheer guts and determination after his mother, his only parent, had died when he was ten. But he already felt—or imagined he felt—this world creeping into his bones, draining his spirit.

He raised his eyes and gazed out past the camp. Though the land had been cleared for a dozen meters beyond, the rain forest crouched on all sides, waiting to pounce. The lush fertility, the towering green trees, and glorious, multicolored flowers seemed ominously excessive. Dax wondered if they drew their vitality from the withered souls they surrounded.

The thought was a little dramatic for him. Yet he shivered in the heat and wondered about the fatality rate.

Shouts. He turned to see a bottle being passed around. Why didn’t Major Campbell stop this behavior, or at least control it? The question made him remember his mission here, and he lowered his bag to the ground. Reaching in, past the plastic holo of his girlfriend, Lexis, he took out one of his minicams and thumbed a button.

“This is Dax Rigby reporting for TransWorld,” he said, sighting around at the camp. “Today, July Nine Standard, we landed at Base Camp on Arcadia after a journey of thirty-one days. My initial impressions of the place are—”

An especially loud outburst of laughter made him press the Stop button. He watched as several groups dispersed for the privacy of shacks. When things settled down, he pressed the Record button and opened his mouth.

No words came out.

He knew he should discuss Arcadia’s oppressively hot beauty and the unusual reception they’d received. He should speculate as to why the Flyers and Hoppers fought, and even more, why it mattered. Why, in short, had the WA bankrolled an extended mission to this remote sweltering outpost, and what in hell did they hope to accomplish here? For some reason, though, Dax didn’t say anything. Instead he squirmed, pulling at his clothes. His shirt stuck to his skin with sweat, and his underwear had wedged up tight in the crack of his buttocks.

He remembered how Jarret, his bureau chief, teased him concerning this assignment. “Sorry there’s no high tech there. Boy, I know you love your comforts. Take my advice and look on it as a challenge.”

Dax stopped adjusting his clothes. There were no vids and foam mattresses here, and worse, perhaps no AC either. Jarret was right. Dax did enjoy his comforts. Still, he could take it, heat and sweat and all. He could take anything this place threw at him because it represented his golden opportunity.

Golden opportunity? Those had been Jarret’s words. Sweating in the sun, Dax  realized how his employer had manipulated him, playing on his poverty and curiosity, his hunger to succeed. “Son, be our War Correspondent on Arcadia. If you can find out why we’re there, it’ll make your fortune. You can write your own ticket!”

And the reward included marrying his daughter Lexis, whom Jarret, a snob, did not want Dax to marry. Oh yes, Dax saw now how skillfully Jarret had pushed his buttons, waving the banner of fame and fortune. Young and hungry, confident in his abilities, and fascinated by the opportunity to further his study of this mysterious planet, Dax had been unable to resist the challenge and had let Jarret send him nine hundred light-years from Earth.

A bittersweet memory struck: Lexis with her beautiful, almond-colored face, begging him not to go, flashing eyes fixed on him, and her slender, voluptuous form tense with fear. “It’s my father’s way of getting rid of you.” She’d sobbed. “You’ll never come back, and I’ll never see you again!”

“I have to go, Lexis,” he’d said. “It’s for our future. I have no choice!”

“I don’t need you to be rich, Dax. I need you!”

He’d shaken his head. “I’ve been poor all my life, Lexis. Believe me, it’s worth anything to have money. Besides, I feel I’ll be successful.”

“And I feel you’ll die on Arcadia, Dax. Please—stay on Earth!”

Glancing at the hot, miserable camp, Dax felt his illusion crumble. This place didn’t belong on the beautiful green and blue globe he’d seen on the ship’s display screen. God in Space, why had he come here?

A full month already gone… By now, Lexis could have found someone else. Men were attracted to her as ants to sugar. Even if he survived Arcadia, his assignment here lasted for a full year. And even with hyper-jumps, by the time he returned, at least fourteen months would have passed.

Don’t think of home. Dax swatted away one of the pesky drill flies and pocketed his cam. There’d be time later to record his first impressions of this place. He’d better wait until after he reported to the CO.

Wiping his face with his handkerchief, he picked up his bag and headed toward Major Campbell’s office.

Suddenly he heard an unearthly roar, a weird, piercing bellow. He whirled, searching without success for the source. Those who were still in the open froze in horror. The sound must have been a Hopper. He recognized its distinctive sound from a vid he’d seen.

The roar came again. This time it was louder, filling the sky and the world. Dax, with his reporter’s instincts, yanked out his cam and held it up to capture the sound.

The roar rose and fell, reminding him of…a crazed hippo. The roar’s dark modulations, the way it ululated and made the air vibrate…

In the camp, most ran for cover. A lone pair of new arrivals clutched each other. Dax watched them break for the nearest hut.

Where was Major Campbell? Why didn’t she get off her ass and do something?

Before Dax headed for cover himself, the roar faded and died. Trembling, he put the cam back in his bag. What luck! Ten minutes after he got here, he’d already recorded one of the warring monsters. For some reason, though, he didn’t feel much elation. The creature had sounded so creepy, so bone-chillingly eerie. Its cry continued to resonate inside him.

Dax shook it off. Come on, get a grip. More important, get a story.

Inhaling the hot air, he headed toward Major Campbell’s shack. He stopped at the door, reading the two signs on it.

The first was a steel plate. It read: Major Shade Campbell, Base Commander.

Below it, the other sign made him blink. It was done in what appeared to be red paint. The block letters were uneven and had dripped down the door, the color of fresh blood.

Welcome To Paradise.

Dax swallowed, raised his hand, and knocked.

“Come in.”

The voice sounded muffled. Dax wiped his face and lifted the latch.

A few tidbits about John Rosenman.

John recently retired as an English professor at Norfolk State University where he 
designed and taught a course in how to write Science fiction and Fantasy.  He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Horror Writers Association and has published approximately 350 stories in places such as Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber's Aliens, Fangoria, Galaxy, The Age of Wonders, and the Hot Blood anthology series. John has published twenty books, including SF action/romantic adventure novels such as Beyond Those Distant Stars and Speaker of the Shakk (Mundania Press), A Senseless Act of Beauty (Crossroad Press), and Alien Dreams (Drollerie Press and Crossroad Press).  Shorter books include A Mingling of Souls and Music Man (XoXo Publishing), Here Be Dragons (Eternal Press), The Voice of Many Waters (Blue Leaf Publications), Green in Our Souls (Damnation Books), and Bagonoun’s Wonderful Songbird and Childhood’s Day (Gypsy Shadow Publishing). Recent developments: MuseItUp Publishing published two novels, Dark Wizard and Dax Rigby, War Correspondent.  Another SF novel, Inspector of the Cross, will appear in February.  MuseItUp Publishing also published More Stately Mansions and The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes, and it will release Steam Heat, a tale of erotic horror in December. 
Readers can visit John at his website,, and other sites:\!/Writerman1!/profile.php?id=1164323809 and . . .  
One of his interviews is at 

Where can we find your book, John?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Key by Felicia Rogers

Hi everybody! 

I got the opportunity to read The Key by Felicia Rogers.  What a story!  Not sure what I can and cannot say in a review, so as not to give anything away, but here goes. 

This story is about a high school senior which, due to tragic circumstances, lives with her grandmother.  She is alone and friendless.  Two new boys come to her school, both wanting her attention, but for two very different reasons.  One dark and foreboding, the other, determined to be her protector.  One wants her life, the other wants to keep her alive! 

Ms. Rogers has a way of making her characters come alive.  Her plot has twists and turns that kept me guessing through the entire story, and wanting more.

This is a great story for any age. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Authors - Promote your books! Readers - Find some great stories!

Check out the websites below.  Authors, this is a great way to get your stories out there and for readers to find some fabulous books!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Win a Kindle AND some books to fill it!

Go to 
Follow the directions and you could be the lucky winner of a kindle and free eBooks!

What have you got to lose?  Check it out - you'll be glad you did!!!!!

Get your kids reading, plus get your name in a drawing to win a Kindle!

Buy my book, and you could win an E-reader!

If you buy any Solstice Publishing book from their site between now and December 24th, 2011, your email address will be entered into a draw to win a Kindle E-reader! If you purchase a Solstice Book from another site, you can still be eligible by emailing the receipt to
The winner’s name will be drawn on December 25, 2011, and they will have two weeks to claim their prize.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a handy promotional code for 10% of any e-book purchase: IZISQD37H

Hike Up Devil's Mountain would be a great book for your kids!  Books are the perfect gift for any occassion! Christmas is coming!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Will the REAL Gary Peterson please stand up!

Who is Gary Peterson?
While he was still in high school in the early sixties his family moved in an old house out in the country. The walls creaked and dark shadows abounded. This was the inspiration for his novel.
He currently lives near the small community of Yakima, Washington with his wife and dog. He has a B. A. Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. He acquired much of his knowledge about court procedures while working as a child protective services worker for many years. His hobbies include hiking, bowling, and reading a good mystery novel.

His books?
Gary has three books, The Old Miller Place, Return to Painters Island, and The Kidnapping of Olivia Hammond.
Old Miller Place
In 1961 George Peabody struggles for months to find employment. When he is about ready to give up he lands a job with a small newspaper. He likes the area and talks his wife, Elizabeth; into buying an old rundown house. Objects start moving by themselves and an icy presence permeates the entire house. Is he and his family safe? He researches the old house’s history and learns of grizzly murders that had taken place there. An attorney is bludgeoned to death and a woman turns up dead in the back of his truck. He is accused of both murders and is on trial for his life. Has he been framed for their murders by a crooked cop, Detective Strausser, or is it someone else? Are the murders of the past somehow connected to what is currently going on? Suddenly he is abducted by the real killer. It becomes a race against time as a retired police detective, Gary Wise, and his ex-partner, Detective Thayer, search for clues to find him.
Buy ebook on Solstice  Amazon
Buy paperback from Createspace , Amazon

Return to Painters Island
"It is in the 1950's and Jim, who is almost nine years old, helps his mom support the family because his dad is too sick to work. He sometimes is allowed to escape to "Painter's Island", a magical place where he can be a kid again. Follow him as he jumps off sawdust piles, digs up buried treasure, has sword fights with his friends, and tries to fly."
Buy Return to painters island e-book on solstice Amazon
The Kidnapping of Olivia Hammond
With Blood trickling down her face and chained to a basement wall, Olivia Hammond tries to figure out why she was kidnapped. It couldn't be for ransom because she has no money or rich family. Revenge is not a motive either because she is at peace with everyone and always tried to be a good neighbor. Her only hope is that her brother will discover the truth, but with no food or water, will he find her in time?
Buy The Kidnapping of Olivia Hammond e-book Solstice Amazon
Where can you find Gary?
Facebook page-

Friday, October 28, 2011

Get your kids reading, plus get your name in a drawing to win a Kindle!

Buy my book, and you could win an E-reader!

If you buy any Solstice Publishing book from their site between now and December 24th, 2011, your email address will be entered into a draw to win a Kindle E-reader! If you purchase a Solstice Book from another site, you can still be eligible by emailing the receipt to
The winner’s name will be drawn on December 25, 2011, and they will have two weeks to claim their prize.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a handy promotional code for 10% of any e-book purchase: IZISQD37H

Hike Up Devil's Mountain would be a great book for your kids!  Books are the perfect gift for any occassion!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chris Eboch - Author, Teacher, Critiquer and brutally honest

1.                  Your resume is very impressive:  author (both children and adult), teacher, editor, blogger, only to mention a few.  I know that writing is not for wimps and I would like to ask if you ever thought of just hanging it all up due to rejections? 

Yes I have, Penny. I had a lot of lean years in between the successes, and even now I struggle to make a living as an author/critiquer/teacher. It takes a lot of time and hard work to learn to write well, but even if you do everything you can, there’s still a lot of luck involved.

I got lucky with my first novel, The Well of Sacrifice, a middle grade adventure set in ninth-century Mayan times. Lucky because it tapped into an unexpected (to me) market of schools who use the book as supplemental classroom material when they teach about the Maya, and lucky because I didn’t make a lot of beginner’s mistakes. If I hadn’t had that first sale, I don’t know if I would have had the stamina to keep working through the next five unpublished manuscripts.

And even today, I have times when things seem to be going so badly that I’m tempted to chuck it all – except I don’t know what else I’d do! Plus, I’m happiest when I’m writing.

One thing I often suggest to students – keep in mind that you are trying to switch careers, and if you wanted to become a nurse or accountant or lawyer, you would expect to go back to school and spend several years studying, and then have to work your way up from the bottom. Writing well is just as hard as other jobs, so don’t expect to be successful overnight.

Most of us start writing because we think it’s fun, but focusing on publication can suck the fun out of it. Give yourself a break and focus on your craft for the first few years. Don’t waste your time and emotional energy (and editors’ time) by trying to rush into publication right away.

2.                  You write for both kids and adults.  Do you find it harder marketing your children’s books?

Actually, I started with children’s books and have built up something of a reputation, at least among other children’s book writers and some teachers. And 12 of my books were traditionally published. I’m not saying the publishers did a lot of marketing, but at least the books were in their catalog and got reviewed in standard journals such as Kirkus and School Library Journal.

I decided to self-publish The Eyes of Pharaoh, so I’m publicizing that on my own. One thing I’ve done is e-mail teachers who’ve contacted me because they’re using The Well of Sacrifice in the classroom, to let them know I have another historical fiction out.

When I started writing for adults, I chose a different name, so as not to confuse readers. But because I am not known at all as “Kris Bock, romantic suspense writer,” I have to start my marketing efforts from scratch.

Add to that the fact that I decided to test the Indie publishing waters with my first romantic suspense novel, Rattled, so I don’t have a publisher’s marketing department behind me. It’s been a challenge to get attention, but at least I have time to let things built slowly, without the pressure of a publisher looking at sales numbers.

3.          What do you think YOUR best method of marketing is?

I’ve been dabbling here and there – GoodReads and LinkedIn groups, for example – but I’m not convinced that a lot of these social networking efforts pay off for the amount of time you have to put into them. I do post good news on Facebook. I haven’t tried to Friend hundreds of strangers, but I figure people who know me – including those from my past, who wouldn’t otherwise have any idea what I’m doing – are most likely to try my books anyway. You have to hope for a ripple effect – someone tells a friend, who tells a friend, who....

It’s hard to track results, but one thing I think could help is a service called Book Rooster I used to increase my number of Amazon reviews for Rattled. You pay $50 and the electronic version of your book, along with your blurb, is made available to hundreds of Kindle reviewers. They make it available until 10 people have posted reviews. The reviewers don’t get paid, and they are expected to be honest, so it’s not like you’re really paying for a review, but rather for the service that helps you find reviewers.

In the two months after I signed up, I got another 10 reviews, all three, four, or five stars. I know as a buyer I’m much more likely to take a chance on an unknown author if I see multiple reviews and a high average rating. Rattled now has 17 reviews and an average rating of over four stars, which would attract my attention as a reader of romantic suspense.

Of my self-published books, my most successful so far has been my writing craft book, Advanced Plotting. I’ve been able to draw on my reputation as a writing teacher and to promote it when I give workshops. Plus, my blog, Write Like a Pro!, is a natural spot to promote the book, with excerpts from the essays.

Thanks for your questions, Penny!

Learn more about Chris and read excerpts of her work at (for children’s books) or (for adult romantic suspense written under the name Kris Bock) or see her Amazon page. You can also read excerpts from Advanced Plotting, get other writing craft advice, and check out her critique rates and recommendations on her blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bob Stewart comes a calling

Hi Bob and thank you for visiting with me today.  First, congratulations on your book, Alias Thomas A Katt, through Solstice Publishing!  Give us the lowdown!

The cat in the picture is Schyler, our family pet, and one night while watching the Maltese Falcon I begin to wonder what Schyler would be like if he switched bodies with Humphrey Bogart in the movie, a "noir" classic. So, I decided to write the book.

Chapter One
I hate water, holy or not. So much that sleep last night was a series of fitful catnaps interrupted by nightmares of a barbaric yearly ritual performed in the name of all that‘s holy.

Mustering all the pathos I could, I looked up into Mallory‘s deep-set emerald eyes as we shuffled along the queue for the Blessing of the Pets. The line stretched outside The Mortuary Chapel and across the street into the cemetery.

She stroked my fur, and then gave me a big grin. "What are you thinking?"  She bent over to hug me closer, whispering in my ear. The scent of magnolia blossoms drifted from her hair as I raised my face to be nuzzled. "Sometimes I think you understand more than people realize."

I do understand. I just wished she understood that I did.

"You pay more attention to that damn cat than you do me." The jerk she calls her current boyfriend has a way of ruining the finest moments. His voice was proof that even in near tropical New Orleans a chill can penetrate the normally temperate October air.

"Don‘t be silly, Tom. I‘m just loving my cat."
"Next thing I know you‘ll put one of those medals around my neck. Maybe you should, then I‘ll get to sleep with you, too."

Mallory‘s hand secretly sought out the Saint Expedite medal on my collar. She bought it for me the first time we came here, put it around my neck, and it never came off. She wears a matching one that drops below the neckline. She used to wear it over her blouse, until she met Current Jerk.

Saint Expedite could teach Current Jerk some manners. I visualized ol‘ Expedite, standing tall in his niche just inside the front entrance of the church, a young Roman soldier dressed in an historic battle tunic, brown hair tossed in the wind. Instead of the short sword used by grizzled legions to conquer the ancient world for the likes of Julius Caesar, he grasps a cross raised high above his head, ready to cold-cock modern-day heathens right and left.
Like all great historic warriors, Saint Expedite is swift to take action when petitioned. He is even more of a patron saint of lost causes than that wimpy Saint Jude, or that sissy Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of 8 animals, who is about to cause water to be dumped all over my head. These guys run around in dresses, for heaven‘s sake.

As we neared the entrance, every sinew in my body went taut; I‘ve heard it said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I know a third to add to that list.
Only Mallory‘s sweet touch and Saint Expedite‘s courage could get me through this, barely, because Expedite‘s one tough cookie. I‘ll tell you how tough he is. He‘s a saint without portfolio because his arrival in New Orleans was sparked by a quirk of tragedy, according to a tour guide I heard on the Travel Channel.

A special chapel was built to speed the funerals through St. Anthony of Padua during the 1826 Yellow Fever epidemic. That piece of grim history earned it the nickname of The Mortuary Chapel. Grieving relatives would scribble the name of a saint on a casket before leaving it at the door of the chapel. The priests would swiftly perform a funeral mass in the name written on it, and shove the contaminated container out the door to a final resting place in the cemetery across the street.

One smelly casket had the word expedite scrawled across it. The priests glanced at the word, and chanted a funeral mass to Saint Expedite. When they  discovered the error, it was decided to create a Saint Expedite medal in a good-humored effort to acknowledge the mistake. No one took ol‘ Expedite seriously. After all, he‘s just the figment of a priest‘s fertile imagination. But I always took him seriously. Besides being a good yarn, it just seems to prove the old saying that people are only human or to err is human or whatever cliché fits best. Of all the saints, he‘s my favorite, even if he isn‘t real.

But, Mallory is real. So is her love. I snuggled into her arms in smug satisfaction. In spite of the pending water torture, there‘s no way life could get any better.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

ALIAS THOMAS A KATT can be purchased at

By THOMAS A. KATT ....... 
So, Penny asked Bob Stewart to be a guest author on her excellent website. He eagerly agreed, but after several horrible attempts, I decided it was time for me to take over. After all, I did write a book about my adventures, ALIAS THOMAS A. KATT, and it did get a five-star review on Amazon.
People often ask me: “What’s a nice cat like you doing in a human body?”
That’s a tale mixed up with a fake saint, the mob, a unique serial killer, my own true love and an adventure based on one of literature’s top themes – a stranger in a strange land. And, believe me, there’s nothing stranger than humans. They kill for fun instead of food. They steal for profit, instead of food. Seldom do they love for the pure unadulterated joy of putting another creature first.
As a counter-point, I offer animals and children as illustrations. To my knowledge they are the only creatures that offer unfettered love.
 So, I ended up on the horns of a dilemma the faithful day my fondest dream became a reality and my worst nightmare.
            My fondest dream? To have human interaction with Mallory, not limited to purring and mewing.
            My worst nightmare? To discover that her cop boyfriend – Tom A. Katt – is a mob enforcer/serial killer for money and Mallory is now on his hit list. I may be in the body of a murderer, but I’m no serial killer.
The dilemma: To save her by learning to successfully masquerade as a human. My knowledge of the human world is limited to television, movies and the books Mallory read to me on rainy New Orleans afternoons. And, how do you use those pesky opposable digits, anyway?
            The horns of the dilemma: Mallory is momentarily safe since Tom is in a cage in my cat body at the vet’s office. There’s always a chance we switch back, leaving Mallory in the arms of a killer. In case we don’t, I must rehabilitate Tom’s reputation. I don’t plan to go to prison or be strapped on a gurney for something a human did.
So, you ask, again: How does a nice cat like you come to be in a human’s body?
My adventure starts with the annual Blessing of the Pets when a faux saint named Expedite tumbles from his church pedestal to knock me into another dimension.
Also, Bob Stewart needs to take his share of the blame. After having four nonfiction books published, one a Literary Guild alternate selection, and another book named a True Crime Book of the Month selection, he started writing fiction. He’s a retired journalist who has worked for several major newspapers, reported freelance for Time and Life, and was on staff at People magazine. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the fiery Branch Davidian standoff, and three of the school shootings, including Columbine, along with celebrity assignments.
You have to watch him, though.
He claims he wrote this 72,249-word tale, but we know better, don’t we? Check out whose byline is on this piece.
And yes, that’s my picture on the cover.

Bob's latest release is HIDDEN EVIL, a journey into the mind control that makes occults so sinister. There is nothing that goes bump in the night in this novel. There is only the evil that comes when a master manipulator desires the daughter of a deputy sheriff after a teen-ager turns the Battle of Flowers Parade into a blood bath. Deputy Sheriff Nancy Neff turns to minister Luke Oeding for help in a battle against evil as ancient as as the ages, yet  as revelant as today's news report. Easter Sunday finds Luke locked in a bloody crypt in a battle both physical and spiritual. HIDDEN EVIL can be purchased at Novel Concept Publishing.

You can also check out Bob's website at or visit him on facebook at writerbobstewart.

-----Original Message-----

Friday, October 14, 2011

Get your kids reading AND enter a chance to win a Kindle!

Buy my book, and you could win an E-reader!

If you buy any Solstice Publishing book from their site between now and December 24th, 2011, your email address will be entered into a draw to win a Kindle E-reader! If you purchase a Solstice Book from another site, you can still be eligible by emailing the receipt to
The winner’s name will be drawn on December 25, 2011, and they will have two weeks to claim their prize.
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a handy promotional code for 10% of any e-book purchase: IZISQD37H

Hike Up Devil's Mountain would be a great Halloween book for your kids!  Books are the perfect gift for any occassion!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jeanne Bannon stops by with her take on writing groups and teases with a bit of her new novel, Invisible!

I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, mostly as a freelance editor. I started my career as a freelance journalist but quickly learned I could not earn a decent living in that line of work. I turned to editing and worked for a large Canadian publisher for five years. Today, I still work as an editor, but only do freelance work. This gives me the flexibility to do what makes my heart sing...write!

My first novel has just been released by Solstice Publishing. It’s a YA novel entitled Invisible. Just to give you a little taste, here is the blurb:

Lola’s not pretty. Lola’s not popular. Lola wishes she could disappear … and then one day she does just that...

For seventeen-year-old Lola Savullo, life is a struggle. Born to funky parents who are more in than she could ever be, Lola’s dream of becoming a writer makes her an outsider even in her own home. Bullied and despised, Lola still has the support of her best pal Charlie and Grandma Rose.

Not only is she freakishly tall, Lola’s a big girl and when forced to wear a bathing suit at her summer job as a camp counselor, Lola’s only escape from deep embarrassment seems to be to literally vanish. Soon after, she discovers the roots of her new “ability”.

Slowly, with Charlie’s help, Lola learns to control the new super power. The possibilities are endless. Yet power can be abused, too…

Then, when tragedy strikes, Lola must summon her inner strength, both at home and at school. She has to stand up for herself, despite the temptations and possibilities of her newfound super power.

A coming-of-age story that will warm the heart.

I’m currently finishing up work on a paranormal thriller tentatively titled Dark Angel. I actually started this novel two and a half years ago and wrote Invisible because I needed a break from writing DA. It only took four months for Invisible to pop from my head onto the page. If only all books were that easy!

Purchase links for Invisible:

My links:

Facebook author page:


Twitter: @JeanneBannon

Book trailer:

The value of a good writing group

As far back as I can recall, I’ve written. My life long dream has always been to be a published novelist and that dream has finally come true now, in mid-life. I’ve often wondered why I didn’t write that elusive novel earlier. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’ve lost count of how many novels I’d started and gave up on. But writing was hard work. It was solitary. It was boring. What was it that made the difference? The answer is simple. I found an online writing group.

Writing is a much easier process when you have like-minded individuals ready and willing to provide feedback. At first, when my writing wasn’t up to par, the criticism stung, but I never got angry with reviewers. In my heart I knew they were right and that the criticism was given out of a genuine attempt to help me become a better writer. I learned an awful lot from my writing group and credit those fine fellow authors with much of my success in not just completing my novels, but in making them the best they could be.

As well, knowing I had “fans” waiting for my next chapter made me to want to write. I had a purpose and reason to sit down and pen that next chapter. Someone out in cyberspace was waiting for it! Belonging to an online writing group has also provided me unexpected rewards. I’ve made friends with so many fabulous people. Friendships that will undoubtedly be lifelong.

Over the years I became a senior member of the group and was then in the position of doling out advice; becoming a teacher of sorts. I know I’ve helped others become better writers and that too was rewarding. Although these days with time at a premium, I’m not as active in my group as I’d like to be. However, I will continue to belong and participate when I can. They are my lifeline to advice, to friendship, to encouragement and to anything else I need to keep motivated.

If asked for writing advice, I would say the best thing for an aspiring novelist is to look around for a writing group. It doesn’t have to be an online group like mine. There are plenty of face to face groups out there, but the feedback and encouragement is invaluable…better than any workshop or course I’ve ever taken.