Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"What's-Up-Wednesday Book Review and Other Things!"

While I was out visiting the blogs on my Bloglist, I came across the following blog (logo below) which is called Today's Flowers:

It is loaded with photos of gorgeous, breathtaking flowers that you really must see. Here is a photo that is comparable to the ones on that site:

After visiting that site, I visited another site and noticed that the site owner had posted a photo of a new reading lamp that she had just purchased for her bedroom. I bought one for myself and hadn't even thought of posting a photo. What a fantastic idea!'s the photo of our new reading lamp. It's nothing expensive or spectacular, but we really do love it because it has made such a big difference in our lives. Well...what do you think?

In case you're wondering what the story behind the horse with the spidery-looking thing on its head is, here goes: About ten years ago, when our son Jon was about seven and our other son Josh was around 11 years old, they gave me that stuffed horse (together) as a present. I stood it up behind the headboard of the queensize bed that my mother gave my husband and I for a wedding gift and I put my hairclip on it (that's the spidery-looking thing!)so my clip would always be handy. I love that little horse!

My husband and I bought a new (to us) car last week, and while it was definitely a thrill for me that we got it, I was mostly thrilled for Dion because he will be the one to get the most use out of it, by driving it back and forth to work, etc. In addition to that, it will save on gas money because the truck really "eats that gas", plus it will be easier for me to get in and out of. But the thing that tickled me the most was that when we were checking the car over, Dion found a brand new book hidden in the recess area where the back seat arm rests tuck in! It was "The Choice" by Nicholas Sparks. We asked the man that was selling us the car if I could read the book and then return it when I was done and he said that since I had been honest about it that he wanted me to have the book as a gift. How sweet of him. What a blessing that was to me! Here's my review of that awesome book:

This novel entitled "The Choice" by Nicholas Sparks, which is available from and Barnes & Noble, ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: "How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?"

Travis Parker had everything. He was successful; handsome; healthy; he had a great career; he had loyal friends; a loving family; a faithful dog; and a nice, water-front home in his small hometown in North Carolina. He lived an active life; he loved skiing; waterboarding; boating; swimming; and barbequeing with his friends. Sometimes he'd even try to include a woman in the fun, but none ever measured up to the wives of his friends, so he decided that he was fine without one in his life.

But that was until Gabby Holland moved into the house next door. He knew she had a long-time boyfriend and that meant she was "off limits", but there was something special about her that he couldn't resist. He tried to be a good neighbor, but she's not having it. He's very patient, and this intrigues her. Their back and forth "dance" is so captivating that you won't want to put the book down.

The characters are so "real" that you automatically identify with them. When the characters experience the range of feelings that they are going through—confusion; guilt; excitement; anger; happiness; exhilaration; sadness; peace and love—you feel as if you are experiencing them for yourself.

The entire story centers around the choices that are made during their lifetimes, and then, in answering the question that was asked at the beginning of this review. This is definitely a "must-read" book. If I were asked how many stars out of five I would like to give the book based on its readability, quality, content and plot, I would give it a five out of five. Nicholas Sparks never disappoints us!

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"GIVEAWAY: Robin Parrish's new book: OFFWORLD!"

May I Have Your Attention Please...

Two copies of Robin Parrish's new book, "Offworld" are being given away. It is a science fiction novel (Bethany House, 2009) and the following is a customer review posted by Mimi "Mimi" on

"Two years into a mission to Mars, and some 60-days before their scheduled return to Earth, the crew on Ares loses contact with Houston. After a near fatal landing, the four member team steps out of the shuttle to find there is no one on Earth. No one-including animals-have inhabited Earth since the very day Ares lost contact with ground control.

What should be a celebration turns into a pulse quickening adventure as they try to find the source of the disappearances. Chris, the Commander of the mission remains in charge as he leads Terry, the youngest and most dramatic astronaut, Owen, the smartest and most level-headed of the bunch, and Trisha, the only woman who is the fiesty mother hen on board. They encounter Mae-a homeless teenager-who appears to be the only one left on Earth. And what's up with the flash backs Chris keeps having related to a blackout he encountered during their mission on Mars? What of the hovering black hole the crew sees periodically that temporarily transports them to odd places? What about the fact that they all harbor secrets? The answers prove to be far more complex than the questions.

Don't be lulled when the pace slows for a page or two. That is when the action takes off like a rock catapulted from a sling shot and you will be back to chewing your nails and reading at break neck speed. I have never been a fan of Sci-Fi. The storylines are typically unbelievable-eye rolling drama at best. OffWorld has single handedly piqued my interest in Christian Sci-Fi as it could never fall into the same category as its predecessors. Believable action with a backdrop of non-stop suspense, you will understand why I state that OffWorld does for novels what The Fugitive did for the silver screen.

The biggest surprise being that I was spellbound and in tears as the pages dwindled down. There are no outright conversations about Christianity but the implied twist of circumstances leaves the reader knowing beyond a shadow of doubt what Parrish wants you to know. And what that is......will leave you contemplating long after you close the cover. A book like this doesn't cross your path often.

OffWorld is a journey for everyone. Spiritual insights can be subtle yet strong. And when you get it, you will be left with a sense that the pieces fit together in an almost poetic fashion. As for Parrish, well, I'll have to admit to really liking the guy. Between the tone of his acknowledgements, his unique writing style and imagination, he presents his work as a modern Steven Spielberg.

Cliché? No. OffWorld really does keep you on the edge of your seat and well worth your time. Although don't be surprised if once you've read the first page, life goes on hold until you close the back cover".


To win a chance for one of TWO FREE copies of Robin Parrish's novel entitled:


all that you need to do is:

go to ResAliens Blog

and follow the details on their site.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"What's-Up-Wednesday Guest Interview and Autographed-Book Giveaway Contest!"

First, I would like to say “Good Morning!” to everyone. Then, I would like to welcome everyone to another segment of the “What’s-Up-Wednesday Guest Interview". I am pleased to introduce to you our newest guest, the exciting fiction writer known as “Aylerion”. Please help me welcome "Aylerion", author of "Pulse of Time" and "Daughter of New York" (the first in the series of six) to my blog!

Welcome to my blog, Aylerion. I am so excited that you were finally able to visit. I know that my readers are so anxious to find more out about you, so why don’t we get right down to it. I will start right out with an easy question:

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, including how long you have been writing?

First, I wanted to say thank you for the interview—I’m honored.

A little bit about myself, hmmm…,well, I’m a lot like most other guys; uh, no, that’s a lie. I really stand out and usually have a hard time fitting in with people. Not because I have eight arms, but because I always had a unique way of looking at things. Even from a young age, my teachers used to call me a "dreamer" because I was not in class. I mean, I was there physically, but I was not "there". So around age 28—that’s when I started to write. I realized then, the unique perception I had, was something I owned.

What did you do before you became a writer?

For over ten years, I was a Web Designer, which entails being on the computer and designing corporate websites all day long, so I have tons of Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) Code in my head. When I started writing, I knew I would have to kick the Web Designer career to the curb, because by the time I came home at night, the last thing I wanted to see was a computer, much less the Internet, and I knew one or the other of them would have to go.

Since I knew I wanted to become a writer, this would have to change. So I started working in retail stores (I abhor retail!) in jobs that didn't use up my mind's resources—jobs that wouldn't stress me out—jobs that I could do in my sleep. At times, in these fly-by-night businesses, people would actually come up to me and ask, with confused expressions, "What are you doing here?" They would shake their heads, trying to figure it out. All I could say was, "I wish I had an answer for you, I really do." I would shrug my shoulders and this was while I was living on my own. Food can get expensive.

At one humiliating job, they actually thought I was a spy sent from the Corporate Office to find out what everybody was doing. Yes, about fifty-seventy people believed this notion, and I didn't find out until I was about to leave. I thought to myself, "No wonder".

Family, relatives, friends and everyone would tell me, “But you can still get a good job and write at night or on the side or something. What are you doing in those sweatshops?” I would turn to them and say, "Ha! You try doing that and see how far you get."

(By the way, they weren't too off base calling them sweatshops.)

Writing takes total and complete, utter focus. Any "real" jobs will just take that away. I could not risk getting comfortable. Now, I get emails and telephone calls, all telling me the same thing: "I couldn't put your book down." That shows me, it was worth all the sacrifices, ridicule, and the condescending looks that I suffered through.

Was there a light bulb moment that inspired you to become a writer?

Well, growing up, I always had hints. For example, I once wrote a ten-page love letter to a girlfriend of mine. I also remember when we didn’t have a phone, I would write to my friends. It just came naturally and a stamp was a lot cheaper than long distance. But when I started to write stories, although it was a skill, and I had to cultivate it and practice, and then practice some more, it always just flowed.

What genre is your favorite?

Uhm…I don’t think in genres usually, I think about the story, then after the fact, I have to find a genre to put it in. But what I have found is the fantasy genre is what I use all my brain fuel on. For example, with “Daughter of New York”, you are dealing with things that already exist: cars, trains, laws, etc. But with “Pulse of Time”, you have to come up with everything—a whole world. So, my imagination is running at its peak in the fantasy zone. In writing a series, like “Daughter of New York”, each installment might be in a different genre. So far, it looks like it falls into four of them.

What are you currently working on?

Thank you for asking. I’m working on Books II, III, and IV of the “Daughter of New York” series. Books II and III are already done. I’m halfway through Book IV. These three books will be released in the same year, a few months apart, starting at the beginning of the year sometime. There are six books in this series.

When you write, do you use outlines?

A couple of co-writers and I have developed a style called “The Timeline Style”, which we use exclusively. I can’t go into the detail about it because it’s, well, private and they themselves are not even allowed to share it either. So it remains with the three of us. But one day, I would like to share it. I’m just not ready to do that yet. I think everyone has to find their way—the way that works for them. It will give them uniqueness.

Do you or have you ever belonged to a critique group? If not, would you consider it, or are you against them?

I have actually never thought about it. I do have one or two colleagues that I confide in. But they already understand where I’m coming from. Any input they add is not only what they think might be cool, but they try to help paint the vision I already have or that I am reaching for. But usually, I have thought about a story and character so much, they’re pretty much the audience.

What are your favorite writing links and your favorite writing resources?

Okay, just by looking at this question, I can see I may not be the typical writer, but I’ll try to answer it. I don’t have any favorite links or resources that I know of. If I had to say a resource, I would mention For instance, I want “Pulse of Time” to have a certain type of word style. sends me a “word of the day”. If the new word I am sent on a daily basis is one that I like, and it fits with the style of the book, I would hide it in a folder. Then when it is time to write another installment for my book, I have a wealth of words that I already like readily available.

Who are your favorite authors?

Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, and I love Jane Austin’s rebel spirit. Haha.

Are there any heroes in your life?

Jesus Christ! No one else has shown love to the extent that He has displayed it.

I certainly agree with you there! He happens to be my hero, as well. What other interests/hobbies do you have?

Living life! I find enjoyment in making life as grand as it could be. A real incentive in doing that is “it’s my life, so I better be on that, or else you have a boring life.” For instance, the other night, a friend came into town, so we just went into New York and cruised, looking for cool places to take pictures. But the top three, I would say are: the beach, spending time with the kids in my family, and there are a few TV shows that I’m sorry to say, I got hooked on.

OK…you have to fill us in on that one! From a writer’s standpoint, what television shows are you "hooked on", and what is the main thing that you like about each one of them?

That’s a great question. One thing that I have noticed as a writer, is that with a book, the story is told in a linear way. Every chapter has a general focus, and pretty much sticks to characters or events. With TV (and /or movies), you can jump around from scene to scene, sometimes only spending a few seconds at a time, telling the story. Both mediums are quite amazing.

One of the shows that I must watch is: Burn Notice. I love the actors, the characters, and Miami Beach. It is also so well written and they really compress a lot into one hour. Did I say I love Miami Beach? (LOL!)

Another show I really like is CSI Miami, I love the visuals. I do find a lot of holes in their script, but I watch it a lot for its cinematography aspects because, for a TV show, they are very daring with their shots. Of course, Horatio's one-liners and ghost-like appearances are a must.

There are a few teen shows I like: One Tree Hill for starters. I got hooked on it because of my younger cousin. It's all her fault—I blame her totally! And sadly, The Hills. I'm so ashamed. The Hills is a show I could watch and wonder with an outstretched hand, "Are people really like that?" It's kind of an escape. From what? I don't know. I'm in denial. If you were to ask me to my face, I'd probably deny it. "Naw, I don't watch that."

Do you depend on your writing to support you entirely now or do you also have another profession, and if so, what is it?

My writing does not fully support me financially as of yet, but in the “fulfilling” department, it does, many times over. My family has been quite a support to me, although it's still been very hard. I know what poor is, but I look at the reactions people have to my stories and it's inconceivable that it doesn't just happen. So I keep going, hoping in time more people will find out about my work, and see what I see. In the meantime, I work odd jobs to supplement my income.

What is the one piece of advice that you would impart to a writer if you could share only one thing?

Oh my gosh, so much. This one answer can be a few pages by itself. Just one thing, huh? Okay, here it is. Get your stuff out there by whatever means necessary. If you make it available and people are enjoying it, it will find it’s own path—maybe one you never would have thought of, but you have to get your stuff out there. If you brought your project to the highest level it could be and still every agent and publisher slams the door in your face, but you’re still passionate about your project, then it’s quite possible they all could be wrong. Go straight to the people.

That sounds like good advice to me. I have one last question for you. What is your favorite saying?

“Whatever works!”

And there you have it, folks! That’s the conclusion of our first of many (I hope) interviews with fiction writer “Aylerion”. It’s been a real pleasure, "Aylerion", and we look forward to having you come back again when the first of your new books is released, so we can discuss what you plans are for the future and what you’re up to.

If anyone wants to learn more about "Aylerion", they can visit him at his blog, here, or at his websites, here and here. Please don’t forget to enter the contest to win a chance at one of the three FREE, autographed-copies of Aylerion’s exciting book entitled “Daughter of New York”. The contest details are all listed below.

Thanks for visiting my blog and please keep checking in to see what is in store next. We have many new and exciting things planned in the future. Don’t miss out on them!


To win a chance for one of THREE FREE copies of Aylerion's novel entitled:

"Daughter of New York"

all that you need to do is

answer the following question correctly:

"What kind of gun is mentioned in Chapter I, Sonata?"

(TO FIND THE ANSWER: visit Aylerion's website, here. Once there, you will see: Download Now in the upper, right-hand corner of the page. Click on it and a new window will pop up. On the bottom left-hand side of that window, look for: View in PDF (window expands for easier reading) Click on that. Then that window will turn into the PDF version of the novel, "Daughter of New York". The answer is right within the first few pages of Chapter 1--you won't want to stop reading!)

The contest ends at midnight on Sunday, 09 August 2009. The THREE winning names will be selected from all the correct entries received. (Please be sure to include your email address or the url for your blog with your entry, so that we can get in contact with you in the event that you are the winner.) Best Wishes to all of you!

Please submit your entries here

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Upcoming Events: Guest Author Interview and Contest for FREE, Autographed-Book GIVEAWAYS!"

Don't miss tomorrow's segment of the "What's-Up-Wednesday Guest Interview" where I will be interviewing the exciting fiction author known as "Aylerion".

We will be discussing things like: what he is currently working on, and even some of the television shows that he is "hooked on."

It's an entertaining interview that you won't want to miss!

Don't miss the CONTEST that is going to be announced at the conclusion of the interview tomorrow (22 July 2009). It will be for THREE chances to win a FREE, AUTOGRAPHED-COPY of Aylerion's book entitled, "Daughter of New York".


A Chance To Win



Copies Of:

"Daughter of

New York"

Stay tuned and watch for all the details TOMORROW!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Cynde's Saturday Evening Book Review!"

In this story we have eleven-year-old Charlie and his faithful companion, a beautiful golden retriever named "Taffy." Charlie's father, Frank, has a terrible drinking problem, and as a result, he is very mean to the boy and makes life so unbearable that Charlie feels that the only choice he has is to run away from home.

During Charlie's travels, he runs into at least two very rough characters, one whom his father had a run-in with a few days earlier when he was drunk, who also carried a grudge from their high school/college days because Frank was a local football legend and this creep could never measure up to Charlie's father, so he was always trying to get even. The other was a hired gun on assignment to obtain Charlie's extremely valuable coin collection from him, no matter what the cost.

Charlie was lucky enough to run across another man who had run away from home himself, years earlier, for completely different reasons, and was now in need of a friend himself because he was ill and making his way back home to mend fences before it was too late. When Charlie and his new friend, Quill, reach his home there are lots of unexpected surprises awaiting them and they have arrived just in the knick of time. Watch and see what happens as Quill and Charlie not only become closer to each other, but Charlie also helps Quill and his son, Cort, to repair their damaged relationship, and also to forgive each other.

Peter Rennebohm wrote this magnificent page-turner and I hope that none of you plans to miss it as it is filled with family conflict; mystery; adventure; greed; hatred; and love. Throughout this complex story, it is layered with conflict, seasoned with with loyalty, filled with adventure and it ends happily, just the way you would want it to.
In my opinion, it's an excellent story, and you won't want to miss this one!

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Book Sale Treasures!"

My husband, Dion, takes me to a huge book sale every year, right around my birthday. It's at the Auburn Mall and they have hundreds of books. This year, Jon went with us and we had a great time. After we picked out the books we wanted (I would have taken more if we had more money to spare!), we picked out some flowers to plant in our windows boxes. The house is going to look really pretty when I'm done. I can't wait! Here are the book sale treasures that I selected:

Meet the Bishop


women at the

crossroads of life.

On the outside, the Bishop girls appear as different as sisters can be. Mackenzie is a mahogany-haired beauty who has inherited the determined nature of her Army officer father. Her infectious sense of humor and rare gift of imagination are often hidden by a reserved manner. Radiant, blonde Delancey views the world through an artist's eyes, drawing what she sees with wide sweeps of emotion. Her charming personality easily wins friends and admirers, but also leaves her sensitive heart vulnerable to hurt.

As the girls grow, unexpected difficulties threaten their world. Will their life-changing experiences bring them together or tear them apart? Where will they find the love they seek?

A moving story of the tender bond of sisterhood and God's promise of redemption for all who seek Him.

"A marriage is always two intersecting stories."

This realization comes perhaps too late to the husband of Etna Bliss—a man whose obsession with his young wife begins at the moment of their first meeting, as he helps Etna and her companion escape from a fire in a hotel restaurant, and culminates in a marriage of secrets and betrayal.

Written with the intelligence and grace that are hallmarks of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, this gripping tale of desire, jealousy, and loss is peopled by unforgettable characters as real as the emotions that bring them together.


—Helen Falconer.Guardian

In a stark, troubling, yet ultimately triumphant celebration of self-determination, awarding-winning A. Manette Ansay recreates a stifling world of guilt and pain, and the tormented souls who inhabit it. It is 1972 when circumstance carries Ellen Grier and her family back to Holly's Field, Wisconsin. Dutifully accompanying her newly-unemployed husband, Ellen has brought her two children into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill—a loveless house suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and routine—where calculated cruelty is a way of life preserved and perpetuated in the service of a rigid, exacting and angry God. Behind a facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that could crush a vibrant young woman's passionate spirit. And here Ellen must find the strength to endure, change, and grow in the all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.



Washington Post Book World

In a few days, I will tell you what the rest of my "Book Sale Treasures" are. Some of them are very old books that I'll have to take photos of, so that you can see what they look like. One of them looks really neat—I can't wait for you to see it!

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"What's-Up-Wednesday Guest Interview!"

First, I would like to say “Good morning” to everyone! Then I would like to welcome you all to another segment of the “What’s-Up-Wednesday” Guest Interview. Our special guest for today is my friend and fellow writer, Leona G. Shankle, otherwise known as “Dellgirl”. Leona is the author of the book, "At The Starting Gate" (a collection of assorted poetry and short stories ranging from humorous to serious and inspirational) and the author of the blog by the same name, located here. Please help me to welcome Leona to my blog.

Welcome to my blog, Leona. I am so honored that you would be my guest today. Please make yourself comfortable and I’ll get right down to asking you some questions. I know that my readers are very anxious to learn all about you, so I’ll begin with something easy.

Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, including how long you have been writing?

I am the mother of three grown kids; two boys with a girl in the middle; I've been married to the same man for 40 years this past July 12th; I'm a retired teacher; and I'm a lover of life in “La-la-land” (which I only experienced for a very short time while the kids were young).

I have been writing since the first grade. However, I started my writing life as a plagiarist. Let me explain: after I learned to write, I copied everything I saw. I copied every single thing that Miss Hawkins, my teacher, wrote. I copied the stories straight from our first reading book and made tiny books of my own. Later, after I learned to read and to put words together into meaningful sentences, I made up my own stories and made books, complete with traced illustrations.

By fifth and sixth grade I became disillusioned with the inaccuracies of my tracings and ventured out into free-hand drawings. Writing took a back seat, and drawing was my new passion.

I didn’t get back to writing until after I was married and had two little ones. It was then that I started writing articles and short stories, only to put them in folders and store them away. When the kids reached junior high school, I braved the bold new world of submitting some of my articles, jokes, and short stories to magazines. But then, life took over the reins and it was football games; cheerleading practice; chaperoning this or that trip; proms; and PTA meetings. Writing was again put on hold.

In early December of 2007, my daughter, Jordyn, urged me to get started writing that book I always talked about. I started writing it in January 2008. The rest is history because I am now a published writer.

Was there a light bulb moment that inspired you into becoming a writer?

My “light bulb moment” happened on my first day of school, September 1953. I watched, mesmerized, as my teacher wrote on the cover of my “Big Chief Tablet”. The “moment”, still frozen in time, is the inspiration for the poem in my book, “At The Starting Gate”, that pays tribute to my first grade teacher.

Here is the excerpt from my poem:

“The Agony of Waiting”

Miss Hawkins calls us

one by one

to her desk with our things.

I watch

eager with excitement


On the front cover

of my tablet,

she neatly prints

my name, my grade,

her name —

Miss Mattie L. Hawkins.

Transfixed, I stare

as her hand flows


across the page,

letter by letter until

my information is complete.

From that moment on, I was hooked on writing.

What genre would you say is your favorite?

When it comes to my reading preferences, I have no favorite genre; I love them all. In earlier years, before computers and the Internet, I avidly read everything from historical novels to trade publications, all the way to the ingredients on the back of cereal boxes.

As a writer, I am not established in a particular genre – yet. My first and only published book, “At The Starting Gate”, is a collection of my poetry and short inspirational pieces. In the future, I plan to try my hand at fantasy, mystery, and romance novels; short stories; and maybe even a thriller.

When you write, do you use outlines?

Not an outline per se, but I will at some point. What I do use are bulleted lists, which consist of my title, main idea, and some supporting details.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, when life is not dictating the terms by dragging me in a direction other than the one I want to travel in, I am working on my second book. It is taking on a life of its own, in the form of another collection of poetry, inspirational pieces, and short stories. This is a far cry from the 900-page novel that I proclaimed I would write many, many years ago. But, it’s all good. At least now I am writing, instead of “talking about” writing.

I also have a Daily Devotional Book in the works. This will be a group project with the ladies of my Wednesday morning Bible class. I proposed the idea that we each share an inspirational story to include in the book. The ladies were receptive and really excited about having our very own devotional book. At the moment, it remains in the “idea” stage, and will remain there until September, when everyone returns from summer vacations and other summer obligations.

I really love the sound of your “Daily Devotional Book”. That sounds like a wonderful idea. What other hobbies/interests do you have?

I love to read, anything and everything. I enjoy word games and puzzles. Again, before computers and the Internet, my passions were sewing, crafts, as well as teaching and tutoring.

In addition to that, I love jewelry-making, quilting, antiquing, and upholstery.

Do you have someone special that you look up to or a hero in your life?

There are teachers and leaders I respect, admire, and view as an influential source of inspiration.

However, my number one hero is my daddy. When I look back at where my dad came from, at the challenges he faced on a daily basis, the obstacles he had to overcome, and the difficulties he must have encountered, teaching himself to function at a higher level, I am amazed.

It was not until I was grown, married and had children of my own that I realized he was “a man ahead of his time”. Who is my hero? My daddy —
Hermise Mason Wilkins (July 25, 1918 — September 3, 1988).

"Rest in peace, Daddy!"

What is the story behind the adorable name of “Dellgirl”?

I am the oldest of four children, with three younger brothers. I was “Daddy’s girl” and, although he is gone, I am still “Daddy’s girl”.

Daddy was an extraordinary man, a self-taught carpenter beyond compare, an uneducated man who had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Dell is part of my middle name, Glendell, and everyone else simply called me Dell. Daddy called me "DellGirl", but sometimes he shortened it to DG.

Who are your favorite authors?

Due to the fact that I love so many different types and styles of writing, it would be impossible to name them all. However, for starters, the following names come to mind: Edgar Allen Poe, Spencer Johnson, Maya Angelou, Alice walker, Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, and Ernest Hemingway.

What are your favorite writing links and your favorite writing resources?

A few of my favorite writing links and writing resources are:
Write Better at Writer’s Digest
A Book Inside — How to Write and Publish A Book
Sharing With Writers and Readers
Daily Writing Tips

If you could only share one thing, what is the best advice that you would want to share with a fellow writer?

The one piece of advice I would impart to a writer sounds naively simple. At first glance, one would think I am being condescending. I am not. The one thing a would-be-writer must do is …

Just WRITE! Whatever it is you think you want to write, write it. Write until you have a nice stack, then and only then, edit and revise.

Your first order of business is to — WRITE!

That advice is not condescending at all. It’s excellent advice. In fact, I make it a practice to wait until I’ve written several chapters before I even think about editing, so you are right on track.

I want to thank you so much for joining us here today, Leona. We have really enjoyed the interview and I'm sure that my readers will be visiting you at your blog here and your website here from now on. I hope you'll come back for a return visit when you publish your next book. God bless you and all the best to you, Leona!

I just received my own, personal copy of Leona's book and I'm in the process of reading it now. So far, I can tell you that I'm glad that I bought the book. It's filled with delightful little stories and poems that obviously bring back vivid memories to the writer and conjure up sweet pictures for the reader. I especially like "The Joys of Being A Mechanic's Wife", "The Last Cookie", "The Friday Afternoon Storyteller", "The Bench By The Back Door", and "It's Time To Fly." Actually, I have just hunted and pecked throughout the book because I don't want to finish it all at once. It's really a very cute little book.

If you would like to know more about Leona and her publishing company, or where you can purchase her book, please feel free to visit her website, here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I hope you enjoyed the interview and be sure to come back next Wednesday for my interview with the mysterious fiction writer, "Aylerion".

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

"Eyes Like Stars Giveaway!"

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has lived for as long as she can remember in the Theatre Illuminata – a magical place where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. She is not a player herself, and when management thinks she’s starting to upset the balance of the theatre, she’s tasked with making an invaluable contribution or leaving. So Beatrice decides to do what she knows best – stage a play. But it’s not going to be easy, and there are forces at work against her…

There will be one winner who will win the signed, hardcover copy of "Eyes Like Stars".

How to get entries:
+1 if you comment here
+2 if you follow this blog(via RSS Feed)
+2 if you blog about Traveling to Teens or this contest
+3 if you snag one of these buttons

Open to anyone! Ends July 31.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Announcing the Winner of the Contest for a FREE Book!"

"Announcing the

Contest Winner"

for a FREE copy of

Kathyrn Lilley's debut novel,

"Dying To Be Thin: A Fat City Mystery"

The Winner Is:

Elizabeth Mills

Congratulations, Elizabeth!


The Correct Answer Is:

"Makeovers Can Be Murder"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

" Upcoming Events You Don't Want To Miss!"

I've decided to extend the ending date for the contest for a chance to win a FREE copy of Kathryn Lilley's debut novel, "Dying To Be Thin: A Fat City Mystery". Please read my review of the book and the contest rules, on my blog, here.

DON'T FORGET: The contest ENDS will now end at midnight on Sunday, the 12th of get those entries in before it's too late!

The winner will be personally notified and the name will be announced on this blog on Monday, 13 July 2009. "Good Luck, everyone!"

The next item on the calendar is:

On Wednesday, 15 July 2009, for our What's-Up-Wednesday Guest Interview segment, we will be interviewing Leona G. Shankle, the author of "At The Starting Gate", which is a collection of assorted poetry and short stories ranging from humorous to serious and inspirational.

This is going to be a very interesting interview, so be sure that you don't miss it! Mrs. Shankle is a very down-to-earth and inspiring person, and it will be just like we've known each other for years when we do our interview. We had a great time!

One more thing: Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July weekend, everyone!

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may God bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!