Brainy Quote = Inspiration

Years ago my hubby gave me a copy of Bartlett’s Quotations, which I can lose myself in for hours because there are so many wise and thoughtful things said throughout the ages.  It’s tucked onto the “most important” reference shelf on my desk along with my Flip Dictionary. But, the other day, I read a quote on-line about “doing.” I loved what it had to say and instead of reaching for Bartlett’s I stayed on the computer. Using Google, I ended up at and found out it was attributed to Leonardo daVinci, who definitely had quite a bit of experience in doing.

So, of course I read everything that Leonardo had to say about life, the universe, and everything. Although we can’t meet this genius doesn’t mean we can’t glean something from him in our time. And then I wondered, “What did Michelangelo have to say? Anything quotable?”

Two guys who said a lot of very smart things.

Two guys who said a lot of very smart things.

Because Michelangelo is mentioned and admired by Grace in Winging It! And he’s going to make an appearance in book two and I was mulling over what would happen in that scene. What did the artist think about? Would there be quotes to help me to bring him to life on the page?

So guess what quote popped up first on the site.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”


At any rate, he said many other wise and wonderful things, and then I started to wonder if he might say one of these to Grace.

You know what? I think he just might.


February 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

How cool is this? Pretty cool, I think.

Sometimes research is one of the best parts of being a writer, because you get to stumble upon all sorts of amazing things.

This morning I was working on a scene for the second book of the Angel in Training series.  The scene is set in NYC’s Grand Central Station and I was looking at some very cool images and ran across this article in The Telegraph. Sweet serendipity!  Grand Central is turning 100 this weekend. So there were all kinds of interesting facts, and really I recommend going to the article if only to see the main picture, because doo,doo,doo,doo — it reminds me of the scene I wrote a couple days ago.

And then, there was this video. If you read the first book in the series you know all about freeze time and will definitely want to check this out! One question for you:  is my muse playing practical jokes again?

February 1, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

An Interview with me

Hi Everyone!

So this seems a little kooky, but Grace the main character of my novel Winging It!, wants to interview me.  If you’ve been following along with the series you know she can be a real PIA, but I’ve agreed to go along, because…well…she probably won’t leave me alone if I don’t.

Before we get started, here’s a little description of the book:

Ever decided to do something that seemed like a good idea and in the second before there’s no turning back think, I musta been totally mental when I came up with this? And, then, Oh, well, here goes.

That’s how Angel-In-Training Grace Lightbourne felt right before she asked the Big Kahuna to go straight to Earth on a mission as a Guardian Angel. The problem? She never was a great student and now she won’t even finish her last three years of school. To make matters worse, Archangel Michael isn’t happy about her special assignment, but Grace is convinced she’s on a fast track to her wings. How hard can it be? She’s working with humans, after all.

Winging It!, the first book in the Angel-in-Training series, is an irreverent, light hearted take on Angels, Heaven and everything else that’s divine.

Ready, Grace?

Hey! That’s a picture of me on the cover.


I was having a good hair day dontcha think?


Okay, right, so I guess we ought to start.

Probably a good idea.

So Shel, you have two books—one starring moi—which means your Muse is hard at work.  What is she helping you on at the moment?

I’m finishing up a book which isn’t titled yet, but might be called My Wishful Thinking about two best friends who end up sharing a geeky genie. After that’s done, I’ll be jumping back into the second book about you and working through some of the gnarly pieces.

Don’t you think it would be better to work on the book about me now? 

 I really don’t, because the genie book is so close to complete and after it’s done you can have my full attention.

 If you say so.  I’m curious, especially since I’m one of your characters, which one are you most like? *whispers behind cupped hand*and please don’t say that whiny artist in Dolphin Girl.

 I heard that, and Jane is not that whiny.  But, to answer your question, there’s a little bit of me in all the characters. Even you, I’m afraid.

  But who are you most like?

 Hmm…probably Aisha. She was your GA, after all.

 Really? She makes me crazy, but, I guess I like her all right. 

 That’s good because she’s going to be your roomie in the next book.

 Oh, God!!  Nooooooo!

 Yep.  What’s your next question?

 Can we talk about changing the Aisha thing?


 Fine. You came up with this next question, so don’t act like you didn’t. What’s your favorite book of all time.

 I love lots of books, but my absolute favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read and re-read and re-read and only love it more each time.

You know that was one of Sibel Hodge’s favorites.  Now let’s talk swoony-worthy guys.  What in your opinion makes a guy swoon-worthy? And specifically how did you come up with Victor for me?

Well emotionally, I love a little verbal banter and a sense of humor is great. Physically, I have to get a picture of the character in mind and for you I used this picture of William Levy.  This was a couple years before his Dancing with the Stars fame, but I knew I had the right look when one of my critique partners said, “Now that’s a Victor I can get on board with.”

That does look a lot like Victor. Thanks for that!

Haha! No problem.

*Ahem* Maybe we should get back to the interview.  If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?

I wouldn’t want to miss any concerts because I love music, especially rock, but if I had to pick one it’d be George Harrison. It’d be something to see Give Me Love in Heaven.

Wow, I really expected you to pick something with a harder sound.

 Well, Jimi would be awesome, too.

Gonna change topics on you.  It’s *drum roll* Confession Time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I think you’ve already told everyone it’s procrastination, remember? We’ve got the support group going and I’m working on it.  But today, for example, I’m doing this interview with you instead of working the genie story.

*huffs* Don’t blame me. We’re almost done, and then you can get back to that other book.

 Next question: Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

Rebel with a cause.


I’m okay with bending or breaking any rules as long as there’s an excellent reason for doing it.

 Hmmm…so is that one of the ways you’re like me?


 So, what inspires you to bend or break rules?



 I can’t think of any situation or rule that isn’t trumped by love. And I hope that’s what inspires my writing, too.

 Aww….that’s so true. I hope it inspires you, too. So, what message do you want readers to take from your books?

 This is really the hardest question you’ve asked me!  I’ll try to explain using my *other* book, Dolphin Girl, okay?

 *huffs* Fine.

 Dolphin Girl is about being true to yourself and being happy with that. It’s about losing any expectations of perfection. It’s about empathy and forgiveness. That’s a lot of themes flying around.  Whenever I think about my readers, I don’t think I want them to “get” this.  Instead, I think I hope this book makes it to readers who can find something useful in it.

Oh. Makes sense to me.   

 Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

I know you do!  Please let her know how grateful I am for everything. And…um…if she could help me figure out the housekeeping thing, that’d be great!

 Will do and—ssh—you have to promise not to tell, but I heard there’s some help on that coming soon.

 Hey there!  Shel’s book Winging It! features me and that Victor guy up above. So, you should probably check it out here:


 And follow her on the web:  



 Or sign up for her mailing list, which will only go out once or twice a year, because she does procrastinate.  She’ll let you know what’s going on with her books, like the new one with me. 

Mailing list:

 Thanks, Grace.  Especially for the mailing list plug.

Have a great weekend, all!  See you soon.

May 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . author interviews. 9 comments.

An interview with Joelle McClure

Hi Everyone,


Grace was supposed to come back on Monday to finish up the author interviews. She didn’t.  Then, she was supposed to come back on Tuesday.

My calendar says it Wednesday and thank heaven she’s back.

Today we have Joelle McClure, author of the newly released YA novel, Puck Bunny.  Here’s a little about Joelle’s novel before Grace gets back to her interviews.

After her mother’s death, Sammi will do anything to get her father’s affections, including quitting figure skating to take up hockey. Dad’s the head coach of the Devils, an AHL hockey team. But when a brutal hit during a high school playoff game puts Sammi’s goalie career on ice, she embarks on a reckless plan to regain her father’s attention. One that will either destroy or piece back together her tattered family.

Get rid of Dad’s new fiancee? Check. Lose weight and become a stylish fashionista? Check. Make friends with the daughter of Dad’s boss? Check. But Sammi’s new frenemy sucks her into the world of puck bunnies, while Sammi’s own world spins out of control.

After Dad skips Sammi’s first art show at a local gallery, Sammi decides to up the stakes to get her dad’s attention. She hatches a plot to seduce the team’s star forward. But can she go through with it? Sammi isn’t so sure she’s fighting for Dad’s affections anymore. It’s starting to feel like she’s struggling to save herself.

That sounds incredibly original, Joelle! I haven’t seen very many books with hiockey at the center of them and I’m a fan of the sport.  Okay I’m handing you off to Grace. Sorry.

Hey, Joelle. Like Shel said Puck Bunny sounds very original.  Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you.  What are you working on now? 

I will actually be doing a revision of a novel I completed awhile ago. It is YA historical fiction. I got a banging idea on how to revise and set it apart from the pack of other novels set during that time period. I’m excited to get back to it!

Wow!  That’s very different from this one, which makes me wonder are you more like a character from your first book or your second?

I am definitely most like Sammi, the protagonist of PUCK BUNNY.

You’re not a goalie, though, right?  You’re a writer, which means you must like books at least as much as hockey.  So, what is your favorite book of all time?

My favorite book is Charlotte’s Web.

Oh! I don’t even read and I loved the part where she puts words into the web.  It’s so sweet.

Okay we’re gonna do a 180 degree topic change. Lets get back to those hockey players.  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony.

Big muscles, long flowing locks, a smoldering gaze. You get the picture!

I definitely get the picture. And you know who else likes smolder—Dalya Moon, the author who kicked off this series.   

Okay, now other than getting all dreamy about smolder guy, what’s your biggest writing sin?

I procrastinate. A lot. Then a little more. 

Psst…if you promise not to tell—hold on, my author is saying I already missed two days for this interview. Sheesh, she’s a pain.

I guess we should just stop procrastinating and move along.  Would you say you’re more of a rebel or rule follower?

Total rebel. I gotta be me!

Excellent!  Now what kinds of rebel things inspire you?  

People and their life experiences and how it affects them.

That’s a pretty big category—lots of inspiration there. And, how about themes?  Any special ones?

I write about forgiveness in probably every book.

Aww…that’s very, very, very important. And I hope that means you’ll forgive me for procrastinating on this interview.

Last question.  Can I pass something along to your Guardian Angel?

Yes, tell her I said thank you!

I sure will. GAs love to hear that.

Okay everyone, if you like hockey, forgiveness and smolder check out Joelle’s book, Puck Bunny here:


And, here’s Shel again with housekeeping stuff.

Hey there, we have one more author interview in the series and I hope to be able to bring that to you next week.  In the meantime, Grace suggested she interview me, and I *reluctantly* agreed. It should go up on Friday, because to be completely honest about this she hasn’t even given me the questions yet. See you then.

May 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Rachel Donnelly

Hey everyone my author is super busy today, so she said, “just go with it, Grace.”

So…here we go. Today we have Rachel Donnelly and she’s written a pirate story, which is cool since I’m a fan of those Johnny Depp movies.  But before I ask her questions, you should read this description of her novel. 

Evelina Crimm just wants to be normal. She has her life planned, until she spends summer vacation with two crazy Aunts and discovers she’s a Water Witch. Soon things get a little freaky and she’s living a double life, slinging hash during the week and dodging black magic spells every weekend. Not to mention a certain mysterious warlock she can’t seem to stay away from.

Frankie Holler is on a mission to catch a Time Pirate and he isn’t above bending a few rules to do it, but teaming up with a Novice Witch isn’t part of the plan. Time Keepers work alone. At least, that’s what he’s been told, and he agrees, until he meets Evelina. He’s not much of a talker, but it sure is hard to keep secrets with her around.

Rachel!  Witches and Time Keepers. It sounds like you have a great imagination and   your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

I’m busy working on the next Evelina novel.

Awesome.  So are you more like Eveline? Or Frankie? Or another character from the book?

Wow! Tough question.  But probably Evelina, though with different magic. Ha!

You know on my first Mission, this little kid thought that I was magic when I did something nice. I hope your magic is good magic. Evelina’s, too.

Don’t get upset about this next question. *whispers behind a cupped hand* My author came up with it.  Ready? What’s your favorite book of all time?

The complete works of William Shakespeare. Yeah, I was the weird kid in English class.

Yeah, but it’s okay to be weird.  I only know a little Shakespeare:  Romeo, Romeo, where’s the art Romeo? 

I never got it. Why was she looking for art when she had this swoony guy? Did you think Romeo was swoony?

I like alpha males with a great sense of humor.

Hmmm…Romeo wasn’t very funny. 

Okay, now for this question we’re going to use your fantastic imagination.  If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Another tough one.  Geez.  It’s a toss up, between Janis Joplin and Freddy Mercury– two amazing voices.

Awesome choices!!  Both Emily Ward and Jack Blaine want to see Freddy, so maybe you could go together…like later on—much later on—when you all get to Paradise.

Rachel I hope you’re ready to for confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

Obsessive editing when I should be just spewing out the rough copy.

Yep. You sound a little like my roomie, Mercy.  Here’s my best angelic advice: spew, baby, spew.

I’m gonna guess that you’re a rule follower with all that obsessive editing. But I’m required to ask this question–are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

I’m a rebel I guess. 

Really?  I got that wrong.

Are you sure? Why would you say that?

I’m a follow your heart kinda girl. 

Oh, I get it and yeah, sometimes following your heart means breaking the rules. Good for you!

Other than your heart, what inspires you?

Wow these questions just keep getting harder don’t they.

I’m glad it’s you having to answer them instead of me.


I think there’s beauty and magic everywhere.  You can’t buy the good things in life.  People with the courage to stand up for what is right inspire me.   

All of those things are very inspirational to me, too. So, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books.

Friendship and courage.  I believe standing up for what is right despite how it affects you is true courage.  We all have magic within us, and it’s important to support each other on our journeys toward our dreams.  

I love that! And, it’s so truly true.

Before we go, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

Cool.  I could totally use some contacts.


I’d just like to thank my Guardian Angels for getting me this far. And, to thank you so much for having me here today.

Aww…Rachel, that’s really sweet. It’s been great getting to know you and thank you for the interview.  I’ll be sure to pass along the message to your GA, too.

If you’re into beauty and magic and friendship and courage (and if you aren’t you should be.) check out Rachel’s book here:


And you can find her at her blog or Facebook, too:



May 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Brina Courtney


Today I’m excited to have YA author Brina Courtney on the blog.  Her Cryptid Tales are a blend of sci-fi, paranormal and a little romance, too. Before I turn her over to Grace, here’s a little bit about the first book in the series, Reveal.

Shay Tafford’s childhood has been fatherless, filled instead with memories of speaking to those who have passed on. She does this while hiding her unique ability from those living around her. She can’t tell her best friend, or her brother, and she definitely can’t confide in her psychologist mother for fear of her mom locking her up.That’s why it’s been comforting to have Jeremy, a seventy year old child ghost, as her confidante. But recently he’s been absent, perhaps lost as her father is.  When Shay meets Hugh, the boy she’s had a crush on for weeks, and finds he can speak to ghosts too she’s just starting to find a normalcy in her life. But as Hugh reveals the truth to Shay, about who she really is and about what it is she can do, he erases all chances she had at a normal existence.  Turns out talking to ghosts is just scratching the surface of her genetically engineered gifts. Shay learns she may be part of an age old prophecy that could save an entire race of beings. But can she?

Now there is the threat of an attack from a dark force with unlimited power and she must decide if she accepts her fate as a part of the prophecy.  Can Shay and Hugh defeat this evil and save the people they love, before they too are lost forever?

Okay, Grace, take it away.

Wow, Brina! That sounds pretty scary and the cover is spooky, too. Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Well my Muse being Adele I feel like it should be some angsty break up novel, but instead it’s a short story collection all about horrible dating, and kids throwing stuff. Like poop. Yep it’s a book about poop.

Adele the singer?  My author ❤ her. And how cool that you’re writing short stories. They’re perfect for take it anywhere Kindle reading. 

So are you like one of your new poop throwing characters or one of the characters from your Cryptid Tales?

I would like to pretend Shay is the kick butt version of myself, but I’d be lying. However there is definitely a little bit of me in her.

Sssh.  Never admit that you’re not kick butt.  Let it be your mantra: I, Brina Courtney am kickbutt.  Like that, okay?

Now don’t kick my butt over this next question, because nobody likes it. What’s your favorite book of all time?

Harry Potter. I am such a potterhead.

Excellent! And it didn’t even throw you for a sec. Now, in your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy? (in HP for me it was Cedric Diggory)

He respects a woman, for her beauty both in and out. And I was a beauty queen so I feel like I get to say that. And if he has an accent or uniform, major brownie points.

Yep, especially a British accent – like Cedric. Or better yet Prince Harry (not Potter).

Now if you could go to a concert with the uniformed, accented one who respects your inside and outside beauty—yes, we’re talking Heaven—who would you see?

Hmmmm… tough. How about not a rock concert?

Sure, okay.

I think seeing Beethoven play would be pretty epic and life changing. Do I get to come back after?

Back to Earth? Well, no. But it can still be life changing—roll over Beethoven.

Can you imagine that twitpic? “Hey it’s just me with B, we’re bffs now.”

Ha! That would be cool. Hey, anything is possible in Paradise. So, gonna change topics on you.  It’s *drum roll* Confession Time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I eat, a lot. A lot of chocolate, actually. I need to stop writing, and start walking a bit more. And stop eating. I can tell you right now two of those things won’t happen.

Haha! Great confession. My author does these high-stepping marching things to try to combat writer’s butt and I can’t even tell if it’s working or not.

So, chocoholic isn’t a horribly sinful. Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?

Rule follower.


I’m a teacher so I have to enforce the rules and I realize how important they are. Especially for kids, we make rules to keep them safe. They’re important. I am also a goodie goodie.

Hmmm…I’ve never had much success with teachers, or rules for that matter, but I’m a goodie goodie, too.  Now, I’m curious about how you get inspired.  Adele…yes. Chocolate…probably. Exercise…not so much.  What else?

Other books, teenagers, the weather, flowers, my dogs, friends, family, chocolate… cheerleading. A lot of stuff, oh syfy channel, movies, TV shows, music, art.

Ah, so chocolate is a definite.  And, I love your list Brina! Especially that teenagers inspire you, since you’re writing for them.  Ideally, what would you like them to take from your books?

The author’s note in my next novel, Capture, is all about how it’s ok to be different. I’m different and I turned out just fine.

I’m different too and, you’re right, it is 100 percent fine. .

Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

Dude, sweet!

Ummm… yeah, let’s get to work on that whole pony thing. I’ve been asking the big man upstairs about that for a while. He’s related to Santa right? I mean they have to have each other on speed dial by now. K? Thanks!

Sssh…don’t tell, but I recently learned it’s actually the same guy, like the Clark Kent/Superman secret identity thing.  But, anyway, yeah—one pony comin’ up.

Hey there!  Brina’s Cryptid Tales have great reviews on Amazon. Here’s where you can go to check them out.


And follow her on the web, especially on Twitter in case she gets that pic of Beethoven.!/BrinaCourtney

Thanks Brina and thanks Grace.  We’ve only got a few handful of interviews left, so stop back tomorrow for Rachel Donnelly.

May 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Dee Ernst

If you’re just joining the blog, Grace Lightbourne, the teen angel main character from my novel Winging It! Has been interviewing authors since April 12th.  Today I’m excited to have popular chick-lit author Dee Ernst. Before she becomes the latest of Grace’s victims, here’s a little about her novel Better Off Without Him.

Mona Berman is an expert at Happily Ever After – after all, she’s a best-selling Romance writer and happy endings are what she does best. So when her husband of twenty years leaves her for somebody 15 years younger, 20 pounds lighter, and French, she’s got a lot of adjusting to do, both personally and professionally. Lucky for her she’s got three savvy teen daughters, a few good friends, and Ben, the world’s sexiest plumber, to help her along the way.

First she decides that her next book will be the anti-romance – her heroine finds the best part of her life AFTER getting dumped. Next her daughters tell her she needs to start practice dating, and summer at the Jersey shore is the perfect place for that. She’s also juggling her soon-to-be-ex, a loony aunt, and a match-making neighbor, while Ben is sending her romance-driven imagination into overdrive. Can Mona’s life imitate art? Can she write her own happy ending?

This sounds great Dee!  And fair warning:  I’m turning you over to Grace now.

Hi Dee! I love your cover. It’s pink like mine and very fashionable.  So, your muse must be doing a great job inspiring you.  What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

My next project is a YA – two sisters and the supernatural (of course).  But I’m also playing around with another comedy – this time about a  woman whose adult children all move back in with her.

Does supernatural mean super powers? ‘Cause I have those and that gives us even more in common than just pink covers. Do you think I’m like any of your characters? Maybe? Hmmm…that makes me wonder…which of your characters are you most like?

I am a lot like Mona in Better Off Without Him.  Except that I’m not nearly as rich or successful.  On the plus side, I’m still happily married and she’s not.

Bummer on the rich thing. It seems to be important to a lot of Humans. 

Don’t shoot me on this next question, okay?  What’s your favorite book of all time?

Favorite book?  OF ALL TIME??? Impossible.

Put down the gun, Dee.

In the top ten are – To Kill A Mockingbird, The Moonspinners, and Random Harvest.

Great answer! Thank you and, whew, I’m glad we made it through that one. Okay, now I know Mona has a thing for Ben, so in your opinion what a guy swoony-worthy?

For a guy to be swoon-worthy, even a fictional one, he has to be smarter than I am.  He also better have a sense of humor.

Aww…I really love that.  Now if you could go to a concert in Heaven with the smart, funny guy, who would you go see?

I’d love to see John Denver.  He was a favorite of mine for a long time, and I still miss him.

Yeah, he’s great and I can see how you’d miss him, me too, but I think of it this way–he has sunshine on his shoulders all the time now. 🙂 

 Let’s switch gears here.  Confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

My biggest writing sin?

 Yep.  Think big. Gigantic even.

  I can’t type.  Seriously.  I still have to look at the keys, and even then I make tons of mistakes.  I’m waiting for the affordable voice/type whatever so I can just tell the computer what I mean and it types it for me.

That’s really not a very big sin, Dee, and you know what? My author wants one of those pens so you can handwrite and it becomes a typed manuscript. I’m thinking since your writing sin is so small, you must be follow the rules, right? Or are you a rebel?

I’m probably more of a rebel because I really don’t care what people think of me.  I believe in rules.  I think they are necessary for a civilized society.  But I don’t follow them because I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I don’t.

Yeah, I totally get this! Like even though all the other Angels look down on Guardians—so what. I gotta be me and all that junk. You go, Dee!

 What inspires you to stay true to yourself in your writing (and life)?  

I am blessed with great friends – wise and funny women who lead interesting lives.  It’s amazing what I can get from them.

Friends are definitely a blessing!  You sound like a fortunate woman.

 What do you want readers to take away from your books?

Better Off Without Him was about re-inventing yourself.  Women do that all the time, I think.  It’s possible, no matter what happens to you, to build something bigger and better, as long as you keep trying.  Having friends and family behind you is a huge plus, of course.

Last question, Dee. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

You can mention to my Guardian Angel that Florida property values are still low, and if she works fast and gets me on the Bestsellers List, I can still get a great beach house for a steal!

The “stealing” thing is kinda a no-no for Guardians, but I’ll let her know about the Bestseller list! 😀

 If you’d like to help Dee buy (not steal) a beach house in Florida, you can find her book here:

Amazon –

In Paperback –

And she’s also on the web, like here:

My Blog –

And here:

Twitter – @Dernst1

And I’ll be back tomorrow with *flips through papers* YA author Brina Courtney. So come back then! 

May 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . author interviews. Leave a comment.

An Interview with Christiana Miller

Hi everyone!

Grace has been MIA this morning, so we’re getting a bit of a late start with her interview of Christiana Miller.  So, quickly, here’s the description of Christiana’s Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, a paranormal chick-lit novel for adults.

A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life!

Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.

Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death.

When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body!

Now, without further delay, here’s Grace and Christiana.

Hey there!  Your novel sounds like so much fun, but it’s probably off-limits for teens. And Angels. And especially teen angels.  Still, your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you.  What’s the next project she’s helping you out on?

My muse and I are currently arguing over the next book. She wants me to work on the Tillie sequel, I want her to help me finish the Gospel of Ruth. So, she’s been dragging her twinkle-toed shoes. I may need to bribe her with a trip to Disneyland.

That’d probably work!  Muses are so finicky sometimes. And sometimes they just need new ideas for the characters.   Which of your characters are you most like?

I’m most like Mara. I’m always leaping headfirst into new situations and figuring things out as I go along.  

Hmmm…*whispers behind a cupped hand* Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a little like that.

Let’s move along to the next question if that’s all right with you. What’s your favorite book of all time?

Wow. Just one?

*sighs* Yes. Just one. Everyone keeps asking me that. Will you pick one?

That kinda changes by the day. I’m always finding new favorites. And I love to re-read old favorites. But my most favorite YA series is The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. The books rock. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for them.

 That is very, very, very nice that you want to share with your daughter.  When she gets older she’ll probably start dating, too.  If you could pick a swoony-worthy guy for her, what would he be like?

If he’s fun to be with, he has a great sense of humor, he’s smart and he’s romantic. And loyal. Nothing beats a guy who’s intelligent, who makes you laugh, who always has your back and who has a streak of romance in his soul.

Oooh…you’d pick a good one for her!! 

 Next question.  If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?

Only one? That’s a tough one.

 No….you can create something all your own.

There’s Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elvis… Actually, I’d want a ticket to a Dead Rockstars Review, featuring all the dead rock stars. Kind of like an otherworldly Oz-fest. And I’d definitely throw in some jazz and blues. But if I could only go to one concert, of any genre, I’d pick Billie Holiday.

You picked a lot of the same people as Marie Symeou and there are a bunch who want to see Elvis. The Dead Rockstars Review is an excellent idea. I’m gonna put that in the Paradise Suggestion Box.   

Okay, but before I do that.  Confession time.  What’s your biggest writing sin?

Procrastination. It’s too easy to get your time sucked away by everything else that comes up — whether it’s writing-related (like marketing or research) or life-related. There just never seems to be enough time to get everything done.

You’re in good company. We’ve already decided to form a support group for this. 

 As an Angel, I’m required to ask:  Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?  Why?

LOL! Well, I’m an indie author, so I’m going to go for rebel. I’ve learned that mindlessly following the rules and limiting your path to how things are supposed to be done, or how they’ve always been done in the past, can literally eat up years of your life and give you nothing to show for it. Figure out what you want and forge your own path.

Awesomesauce, Christiana!  It’s great to meet a fellow rebel and fellow procrastinator!  Now, other than picking your own path, inspires you?  

My daughters — my grown-up girl and my baby girl. When I grow up, I want to be just like them.

Aww…that is incredibly sweet and really you shouldn’t ever grow up.  Being childlike is such a nice quality to have. Truly.

Do you have any special themes you want readers to take from your books.

I’m a big fan of escapist entertainment. So, if readers get to forget about their own lives for a few hours and get caught up in the lives of the characters, then I think the book is a success. If they learn something they didn’t know to begin with, it’s a bonus. And if they leave feeling empowered to take charge of their own lives… that would be awesome.

Sounds like we have a lot in common. I’m a big fan of escaping, since I escaped to earth and a big fan of empowering, since I have so many powers. 

 Thanks for being so patient with my delay (procrastination?) this morning!  And, one last thing. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel?  ‘Cause I totally have contacts.

Hmmm. Let me think… Tell her I said great job so far, but she may want to hire help. I’ve gained some weight, so I think I weigh about two angels-worth right now.

 Aww, Christiana...I’m sure one Angel is enough. And I’m going to pass along compliment, because she’ll love to hear that!

Hey, All!  Isn’t Christiana great?  If you’re old enough check out her book on Amazon.


Or look for her on the web: 


Twitter: @writechristiana


And now I get to go on break!  See you Monday!   😀

May 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . author interviews. 2 comments.

Music Monday — Charlie Brown

There are a couple Christmas songs that evoke clear memories from my childhood.  Wayne Newton’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”  and Burl Ives “Holly Jolly Christmas” — you know the version from Rudolph.  But none are as palpable as this one.

My parents loved this TV special.  They made sure to sit down and watch it with us, and I did the same with my children so we’re in the third generation of love for this music.  In fact, to make sure we can do the dance on any given day, I purchased The Vince Guaraldi’s Trio Charlie Brown Christmas on CD.  That way, I don’t have to wait for the special to come on TV.  Or buy the DVD and wait for this scene to play.  I can listen, and bake cookies, and dance like the twin girls whenever I want. 🙂  I might even do a little of that today.

It’ll make me feel like a child again, which is nice when you write for them.  So, what reminds you of Christmas as a child? Is it music?  Or a decoration? A tradition?  Or a scent?  Let me know.


December 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Music Monday with Author Shana Norris

I’m thrilled to have Shana Norris, author of  Something to Blog About, Troy High, The Boyfriend Thief and the soon-to-be- released Surfacing here for Music Monday.  Like me, Shana links her writing with music and I’m curious to see what song she’s going to pick for our listening pleasure. Take it away, Shana:

I’m one of those writers who can’t actually listen to music while writing. I need quiet so I can focus, yet music is still an important part of my writing. When I’m working on a new idea, one of the first things I do is create a playlist for the book that I use during brainstorming. The playlist may change over time as I get to know the characters better, but I always have a group of songs that help me get into the mood of the story.

My newest ebook release Surfacing, a YA paranormal which will be available on November 15, takes place on an isolated island along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The book has a very quiet, lonely feel and I wanted that to be reflected in the playlist. Most of the songs are soft and quiet, except one: “Santa Monica” by Everclear. It was the first song I added to the playlist and I knew it had to be there. It was one of the original inspirations for Surfacing, the song that helped put images in my head before I ever started writing the story. I can still see my main character Mara whenever I listen to it. It may seem a bit odd next to the quiet songs in the rest of the playlist, but “Santa Monica” is the perfect depiction of Mara’s feelings in the book.

The video for this song looks like it would make an awesome story!  Here, everyone, check it out:

Yep, that definitely makes me want to read the book!  If you’d like more info about Shana or her books, here ya go:

Shana Norris lives in North Carolina and likes to imagine all the secret things living in the ocean. You can visit her online at

October 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . guest post, music, YouTube stuff. 1 comment.

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