Monday, October 24, 2011

Name Origins of Months


I was looking through some of my old short stories and I came across one about an octagon house. It made me think, if octo is Latin for eight, why is October the 10th month. December should be the tenth month. Was there originally only 10 months?
I researched it and sure enough, the earliest Latin calendar was 10 months, beginning with March. September (septem=7) was the 7th month, October was the eighth, November (novem=9) was the 9th month and December was the tenth and last month. July was called Quintilis, meaning 5th and August was Sextilis, meaning 6th.
So now I have some more questions. Why and when was it decided 12 months would be better? How many days were in the 10 month year and how many days were in each month?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Interview with Angela from Sheila Deeth's Flower Child

Today I'm interviewing Angela from Sheila Deeth's Flower Child while she interviews Flickertail the Llama from my book, Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths on her blog. Click the link.
About Flower Child: 
When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.


  1. What in your past had the most profound effect on you?
I think… maybe the birth of my brother. It kind of brought me and my mother together for a while. Just for a while, but I guess it made me realize she might be there for me later.
  1. What in your past would you like to forget?
I dunno. Eric maybe. I mean, it just felt wrong… felt weird…
  1. What in your past would you like others to forget?
I’d like my Mom to forget what happened and treat me like I’m real.
  1. Have you ever had an adventure?
Maybe life’s an adventure. You tell me. You’re alive.
  1. What is the most important thing that ever happened to you? Why?
The most important… would kissing a boy count?
  1. Was there a major turning point in your life?
Okay, kissing a boy definitely counts. That’s when I started to grow up.
  1. Was there ever a defining moment of your life?
Besides meeting boys? There was that time when Mom really talked to me, when we got my brother’s books out on the bed…
  1. Is there anything else about your background you’d like to discuss?
You’re asking about me not being alive aren’t you?
  1. What is your most closely guarded secret?
The fact that I think I am alive.
  1. What is your most prized possession? Why?
Ouch. I’m never sure which things are possessions and which are dreams. I’d say shoes, but just ’cause people wear them, does that make them real? Do they make me real?
  1. Any additional questions you would like to answer?
Not really. Can I go hang out with Elisha now before the angels come to get us?

About the author: 
Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.
Find her on her website: http://www.sheiladeeth.com
or find her books at: http://sheiladeeth.weebly.com

Thank you so much for allowing me to interview Angela, Sheila. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know her as much as I did.
Where to find Flower Child:



Interview with Sheila Deeth, Author of Flower Child

Sheila is interviewing Elizabeth, a character from my book Rudolph, a Child's Love Story on her blog today.So please stop by her blog to meet Elizabeth.

Meet the Girl Who Loved Rudolph.

Today I am interviewing author, Sheila Deeth.

Sheila, I am so excited about your new book FLOWER CHILD. I was wondering what genre you write in.

When people ask “What genre do you write in?” there’s kind of an expectation you’ll give one answer. Authors who explore several different genres often use pen names. But somehow I never got around to that, so now I’m published, or soon to be published, in children’s, speculative, Christian and contemporary genres, all under one name.
Do I worry about people reading my three-minute Sunday-school stories and finding the same author’s written about Queen Boudicca’s sister and the Holy Grail (in Black Widow)? Do I mind if the readers of Refracted’s time-travel mystery find I’ve written a set of illustrated Bible tales for Easter? What if someone reads my picture book to her grandchild then learns I’ve written a tale of contemporary torment when my novel’s released?
But I’m me and I’m kind of attached to my name. I wouldn’t put the same events in Refracted and Black Widow, or create a character tortured by the same questions as Megan in Flower Child, if I weren’t also a reader of the Bible, student of history and science, and dreamer of dreams.
I’m a Catholic Protestant, so my faith has always involved knowing there’s much more that I don’t know—hence speculative fiction. I’m a mathematician writer, so my stories always include a search for logic and pattern and meaning. I’m an English American, so I realize how much the rulesI take for granted of are just what my culture believes. And I’m me.
What genres do I write in? Whatever comes to mind. The characters dictate their tales in my head and I drip them on the page. Then I attach my name to them because my characters, my beliefs, my dreams, my hopes and my fears are all part of me.
Maybe a Sunday school teacher will read Flower Child one day and find some comfort there. I know I did.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog Mary. I’m delighted to have shared this journey to publication with you and I’m grateful for all I’ve learned from you on the way.

About Flower Child:When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.
Where to find Flower Child:
About the author:Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.
Find her on her website: http://www.sheiladeeth.com
or find her books at: http://sheiladeeth.weebly.com

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today, Sheila and for taking the time to answer my question with such a great answer.

I hope my readers will stop by again tomorrow when I will be interviewing Angela, one of your characters from FLOWER CHILD.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Book Review of The Crossing by Serita Jakes

From the Back Cover:
Imprisoned by memories, Claudia Campbell lives each day in the shadow of a ten-year-old murder. Who can set her free?

On the way home from a football game, a decade earlier, a masked gunman opened fire on a Texas school bus. Cheerleading coach B.J. Remington was killed, but her murderer was never found. Claudia, who had a close friendship with the young, spirited teacher, constantly relives the anguish of that day, caught in one moment in time. When her husband, the assistant district attorney, becomes determined to uncover the mystery of that tragedy, the secrets buried over the years threaten to tear their family apart.

Officer Casio Hightower will never forget the day his dreams were destroyed. A star quarterback with a promising future, Casio was on top of the world--until one bullet changed everything. He is eager to help Victor Campbell find B.J.'s killer, the man who shot him. Maybe solving the case will help silence the demons driving Casio to hurt the woman he loves.

As the Campbells and Casio teeter on the brink of losing everything, will they be able to discover that what begins at the crossing ends at the cross?
My Review
Seeing a crime through the eyes, words, and thoughts, of a dying victim is an unusual way of telling a story. At first, I found it a bit confusing until I figured out what Serita Jakes, the author was doing and then I found myself looking forward to learning what B.J. was thinking as the story unfolded.
Ten years later we meet the characters who are still alive and they each have their own stories to tell about what happened then and how it is still affecting their lives now. Ms. Jakes builds their characters so well that I felt like I was inside their minds and emotions. Although I strongly liked and disliked several of the characters, I felt myself routing for them all to find happiness or at least salvation. Unfortunately, life isn’t always so tidy and neither is the ending to this story. Many of the characters surprised me, some pleasantly, some not. The ending certainly came as a surprise and, like the characters, it was both good and bad.
This is one of those books that you want to read in one sitting or it will haunt you until you have reached the end. I recommend this intense and often dark book unless you are looking for a light read.
I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Ruthi Reads!: Rudolph, A Child's Love Story is a Magical Gift

Ruthi Reads!: Rudolph, A Child's Love Story is a Magical Gift

Thank you Ruthi for your great review of Rudolph, a Child's Love Story

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is Self Publishing for you?

Before you spend any money or sign any contracts, be sure to research any publishing company you are considering. There are many scam artists taking advantage of wannabe authors.
 
Although companies like Lulu.com and Createspace.com aren’t technically self publishing publishers, they refer to themselves that way so they will be included in this article.

Advantages of Self Publishing
You set your own price and release date.
You keep 100 per cent of the royalties and rights. Most traditional publishers only pay around 6 per cent. My publisher doesn’t send a royalty check until the royalties reach $50. I optimistically believed it wouldn’t take long to get a check. So far, I have sold more books myself than my publisher has, but that requires an inventory investment.

Disadvantages
You have to do all of your own marketing, promotion, and distribution. Be very careful how much money you spend. It can take a lot of book sales before you start making a profit.
You will need to do your own book binding, illustrations (if needed), proofreading, editing, layout, typesetting, and cover design or get someone else to help you. Legitimate subsidy publishers exist for the purpose of helping you with those services.

Some Self Publishing/Subsidy Companies I am personally familiar with
Lulu.com and Createspace.com (CS owned by Amazon) are print on demand (POD) subsidy publishers. Books are printed only when someone orders a copy. Both createspace and lulu are subsidy publishers. Since subsidy publishers are the ‘publisher of record’ and they provide you with an ISBN number, they aren’t technically self publishers, although they usually refer to themselves as self publishers. The name of the subsidy publisher appears on your back cover. If you want your own publishing company’s name, you need to buy your ISBN number. I think that usually costs around $90. Subsidy publishers often offer templates to help you with binding, layout and cover design. You pay them per book printed and price your book accordingly. If you want to purchase books to have on hand for book signings, autographed books to sell directly, or books to give as gifts, you can usually get a break in price if you buy a certain amount of books at once. Lulu also offers an ebook option and will provide a page for you to sell your books on their site.
Caveat: Do NOT do business with any subsidy press that requires you to give up your publishing rights.

True Self Publishing
If you want to be truly self published you will need to set up your own publishing company. You will also need to be good at book binding, editing, proofreading, typesetting, layout and design, or know someone who is. You can use a POD printer like Lightning Source, owned by Lulu.com for professional quality printing services. Lightening Source is used by many small independent publishing houses.
Some people will tell you that if you want a really good quality looking book that few people will be able to tell from a professionally published book, you shouldn’t use Word for typesetting your book. Adobe InDesign is one of the most recommended tools for designing and typesetting quality looking books. However, it is pricey. I found it on line for anywhere from $670 to $1500. There is also a steep learning curve. 

Summary
If you are like me and need help with cover art, book binding, page layout, etc. the subsidy presses will probably work better for you. You can get into print quickly without having to learn anything about the printing business. If you can follow directions, your book will be a good quality book through Lulu or Createspace. You can spend as much or as little as you like depending on what additional services you choose to purchase beyond the free setup for Lulu and Createspace.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My live author chat is tonight

www.gather.com
Gather is the place where millions of people come for fresh perspective on what's happening now. Gather Members can join in the conversation.

My Live Author chat is tonight October 7 at 8 pm Central.
Here is a link to tonight's chat Hope to see everybody there at 8 CT. We always have a lot of fun and Connie is a wonderful host. http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474980508249

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Book Review of A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

History fascinates me and the history in A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner, regarding the Civil War is intriguingly developed through the plot and several letters. The characters are believable and the dialogue realistic in this haunting tale of a new wife who moves into Holly Oak, an antebellum mansion that seems to “bear a grudge toward its tragic past,” as described on the back cover. A cannonball embedded into the side of Holly Oak seems to want to tell its own story.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the letters written by Susannah between 1860 and 1863. They revealed many answers to the behavior of the current generation of ladies involved with Holly Oak.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading the rich history of the South, with a hint of ghosts, haunted houses, and the study of human behavior.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream

I received Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizing Cream free as part of a BzzAgent campaign in exchange for my honest review.

After only two days I am already loving how smooth and soft it makes my 63 year old skin feel. Most facial products make my skin break out. This doesn't.

I appreciate that it is fragrance free. Many times, I have had to wash off moisturizers because I can't stand the scent.

The container dispenses just the right amount of product. When I saw the small amount dispensed the first time I used it, I thought, this is never going to be enough, but I was wrong. A little goes a long way, and with this economy, that's a good thing for the budget and the face.

WANT AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY?

For autographed copies of Flickertail & Paint, Barnyard Sleuths you can buy directly from my website.








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