Saturday, March 31, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #31

There's still time to register... just sayin...

Kris Tualla will be there, and she's featured over at The Pop Culture Divas, today. Her book is on my wish list. I've read others, and look forward to reading this one, too.

Ooooo! Stephanie Burkhart's short story, A Polish Heart, is free at Amazon, today! Loved it! I'm so excited about adding A Blessing Basket to my Easter traditions.

Vijaya Schartz, who will also be at the conference, is having a contest for a copy of a PDF of her book Noah's Ark at her website or you can buy her book at Desert Breeze. Cool cover.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #30

It looks like it's going to be fun...

Linda McMaken shared this site that produces book trailers.
Yes, they've arranged it so you can copy their code to post in your blog.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #29

What? You need more reasons?

If you want to be a writer, or simply learn more about what it is to be a writer, here's an excellent opportunity. It's open to the public.

Dave Bond is interviewed over at June's Second Cup blog. He's offering a free copy of his book The Attache. He has a unique perspective.

Celia Yeary has an awesome post titled "Apostrophes Gone Wild!" I'm posting the link here, so I have easy access to it. :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #28

The place is a spa resort...

Interview with Lynette Endicott over at Romance Under the Moonlight:

Wow... a book in a week. I think I'd like to try it sometime.

Jude Urbanski interviews her nephew, Doug, and it's quite inspiring. I also love Max Lucado. The link will also take you to Doug's blog.

Desert Breeze Publishing interviews Susan Jaymes regarding her book Guilty Secrets. I love the theme "Secrets always come back to bite you. It's only a matter of time." So true.

Yesterday, Beth Trissel's post on "Inspiring Pinterest Pins" was uplifting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #27

Win a mentorship with a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author!*

Sign up for the Desert Dreams conference and enter to win a critique of your query letter and the first few pages of your manuscript from Kathryne Kennedy. She will also buy the winner of the drawing a drink (coffee or champagne, your choice :), to talk about your work and answer any questions you might have about the craft or industry. She will do her best to mentor you in any way you need. So if you have a friend who
writes paranormal, fantasy, historical or science fiction romance, and would like a multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author to mentor her, please spread the word to your writing groups or your blog to suggest they attend the Desert Dreams conference in Arizona this year.

Kathryne has helped a few other writers with their queries, and one landed the NY agent she wanted, and the other two sold their work to a publisher.

BIO: Kathryne Kennedy is currently published with Sourcebooks Casablanca, one of the fastest growing romance publishers in the industry. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, have won several awards including the Golden Quill, and have been given Top Picks, a KISS award, and nominations for Reviewers Choice awards by Romantic Times. One of her books received an editor's choice pick from Library Journal, and another was chosen as a Booklist Top Ten Romance of 2011. So far, her books have foreign editions in Germany, Thailand, and Turkey, and have made many top ten bestseller lists in America and the UK.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #26

Arizona is gorgeous in April. Not so much later than April, at least until you reach around October.

Found a new author to add to my Must-Read list: Anne Elizabeth. Her motto: "Passion is the breath of life. Live boldly!" Her advice: "Look inside, find the message that is yours to share, and give it to the world."

I've had better days. This is not one of them. The anxiety level is incredibly high, with no precise trigger, at least not one I can identify, yet. It could be worse. I know this, too. Today is going to be a take a deep breath, and take a step, and pray I don't fall into a hole. Okay, at least now I've laughed at myself. A good start.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #25

The Conference is Friday through Saturday, April 27-29, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Did you know it's possible to register for Saturday only? Yes, it's true.

If you like medieval romances, there's a website for you, and this particular post is with Kris Tualla, who has two books set then:

Over at JDP news, right now, she's posting a medieval word a day:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #24

Have I mentioned you'll have the opportunity to meet editors and agents and authors?

Yes, I have. So, why haven't you registered yet? An extra incentive: Kathryne Kennedy will critique one winner's query letter on April 1st. Of course, you have to be registered for the conference to be eligible. :-)

Enjoyable interview with Lynette Endicott at Maria Hammarblad's site:

Whoohoo!! The first spam made it through the Blogger filter. Congratulations Blogger! With Google changing everything, they didn't make it better! I find the best way to handle this nonsense is to laugh at those trying to muck up my day.

I was so confused. The commenter told me I could do better. Wait... What? I looked at the post they were commenting on, and it was yesterday's. Ummm... it was pitching the conference, like I have all month, so that wasn't new. I shared a blog I liked, which I do on a regular basis, so that wasn't new either. Then I shared a book I really enjoyed, and since it's my opinion, they don't have the right to discount it. I've also shared other books before, so it wasn't new either. Then I looked at the name. Oh. Should have looked there first. An ad. What do you know! They were right! I could have done better! Next time, I look at the name first, and then the spam goes *poof*

Friday, March 23, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #23

You'll have the opportunity to mingles with authors, lots of authors. You don't have to be an author to attend. If you're interested in pursuing writing, here's your opportunity to dive into the community for a weekend. If you enjoy writing, you'll have the opportunity to be bathed in the community for a weekend. Did I mention it's only one weekend?

Friday through Sunday, April 27-29, but registration closes after Saturday March 31, so there isn't much time left. There's also the option of attending only one day, if the whole weekend is too much.

Advice to aspiring writers: This is a timely post for the conference, by Stephania McGee: If you back track a day, you'll find her post on natural horsemanship. I've added her book Legacy of Lies to my wish list.

I finished Second Chance Match by Arlene James, a Chatam House series book, and loved it! I love the whole series. Arlene James is on my must read list.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #22

Bob Mayer is one of the bestselling indie authors in the US. Learn how he did it at Desert Dreams Writers Conference.

Yes, I've mentioned him before. He's worth repeating. :-)

Last day to register is Saturday, March 31.

Yesterday, Beth Trissel posted a heartwarming and yet circle of life story about her love of ducks.

I also read her short story The Lady and the Warrior, and my only complaint is that it was too short, which means I'll have to read some of her other books, which is the whole idea, I'm sure. :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #21

This is the direct link to the Schedule of Events:

It all starts on Friday, April 27, and goes through Sunday, April 29, 2012.

The last day to register is Saturday, March 31, 2012.

Finished Miss Fix-It by L.C. Monroe and Nicolette Derens. The link will take you directly to Lucy's page for the book. Lucy has written 2-3 books geared toward the inspirational genre, under L.C. Monroe. If you don't like anything steamer, then I'd suggest skipping the rest of Lucy's site. Her inspirational romances include Miss Fix-It, Meagan's Chance, and AnneBell's Courtship. Meagan's Chance is contemporary, while the other two are historical romances.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #20

Hurry! The registration deadline for the Desert Dreams Writer's Conference has changed to March 31st, so you still have time to join in the fun.

Stephanie Burkhart's A Polish Heart is a sweet romance was interesting, and held together from beginning to end. Darrin and Sofia are perfect for each other. I finished feeling satisfied and uplifted. I also decided I wanted to make my own Blessing Basket for Easter, this year.

I'm not Catholic or Slovak, but I enjoyed the Easter Basket as a child, and have missed it as an adult. It was something special to physically mark the significance of the day. I also wanted to be able to create something to help me create a deeper intentional celebration of the Fulfilling of Jesus Christ's mission on earth.

Yesterday, I decided I'd do my homework, to learn what I needed to start a new tradition. "Ask and ye shall receive." Tiffany Aller, Yahoo! Contributor Network, wrote and posted an article titled The Blessing of the Baskets: A Catholic (Slovak) Easter Tradition. I checked the links included, and they don't work, just so you know.

My own editing continues.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #19

Workshop Presenters:
Martha Alderson
Beth Andrews
Allison Brennan
Terri Brisbin
Laurie Schnebly Campbell - featured in a previous post
Brenda Chin
Winnie Griggs
Elizabeth Hoyt
Erin Kellison
Cindy Kirk
Gini Koch
Tom Leveen
Jess Macallan
Bob Mayer
Brenda Novak
Erin Quinn
Tara Taylor Quinn
Caris Roane
Vijaya Schobar
Amber Scott
Maggie Shayne
Linda Style
Kris Tualla
Alexis Walker
Tawny Weber
Cherry Weiner
Deni Dietz
Michelle Grajkowski

Click on this link, and you'll find the complete list. Better yet, if you click on the name, a little bio is available.

Here's the link again, if you prefer to copy and paste.

Today's plan is to continue editing Luck In Love. I'm also going to look into creating a Blessing Basket for Easter. I'm doing the research part, today. Since it's my first one, I have no idea what goes into it beyond what I'd read in A Polish Heart.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #18

Key Note Speakers: Sunday, April 29, Plot and the Transformational Power of the Universal Story with Martha Alderson, The Plot Whisperer

Conference link

It's only six weeks away.

God has blessed us with rain, today. Thanks, God.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #17

Bob Mayer is going to be one of the presenters at the conference.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Reva's Quest by Sue Perkins is a fun chapter-book read, perfect for sharing with young people.

Lynette Endicott is having a release party at her blog for new releases from Desert Breeze Publishing.

Jackie Leigh Allen is exploring the senses in writing over at her blog.

Continuing to work on Luck In Love. Sara's much happier with the story, so it's now much easier. What a blessing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #16

Key Note Speakers: Saturday, April 28, Through the Looking Glass with Allison Brennan, New York Times Best Selling Author

Conference link

Yesterday, I enjoyed Stephanie Burkhart's short story A Polish Heart.

I couldn't put it down once I started reading. This sweet romance takes place in Poland. It was fun learning about the traditional Easter celebration there, including the Blessing Basket. It was a timely read, with Easter less than a month away. A perfect addition to my preparation for the holiday.

The rest of the day will be spent working on Luck In Love, again. It's starting to come together a little more easily, which perhaps isn't saying much considering what a struggle it has been, but I'm not going to complain.

I'm neither Polish nor Catholic, but I've always loved the Easter Basket. It was something extra special for the day. This year, I think I'll create a new tradition for myself. It won't be quite the same, of course, but it will hopefully allow me to focus on the importance of the holiday by giving me the opportunity to ponder the meaning of the things I put in the basket for Easter.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #15

Key Note Speakers: Friday, April 27, Write It Forward with Bob Mayer, New York Times Best Selling Author

Conference link

Regina Andrews is featuring authors Nike Chillemi and Barbara Robinson at her blog:

Today, it is work on PTBW and back into Luck In Love, which is coming along more smoothly, now Sara is allowed to speak her mind. She's still pretty reserved overall, but the story certainly has a different feel to it than it did before.

Happy Birthday to Jimmy Thomas. :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #14

Editors and Agents:
Brenda Chin - Editor, Harlequin
Deni Dietz - Senior Editor, Five Star
Rose Hilliard - Editor, St. Martin's Press
Jill Corcoran - Agent, The Herman Agency
Michele Grajkowski - Agent, 3 Seas Literary
Holly Root - Agent, Waxman Literary
Jennifer Schober - Agent, Spencerhill Associates
Rebecca Strauss - Agent, McIntosh & Otis
Cherry Weiner - Agent, Cherry Weiner Literary

Yep, they'll be there. Will you?

April 27-29, 2012

Conference link

I needed Sharon Hamilton's post, yesterday. I think I'll join her.

Steph is celebrating Oreo's birthday at her blog. It's fun.

I'm posting early, and spending the rest of the day on Luck In Love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #13

Saturday evening dinner and brainstorming session ~ I'm looking forward to this. I'm looking forward to the whole weekend, but this has me intrigued. I've done a couple of other brainstorming sessions with my Desert Rose group and found them inspiring.

Conference link

Reminder: You only have until March 31st to register. Hotel discounts are only available through 15 March. After that, you'll be taking your chances with the hotel rates.

Tuesday Reads: I only wish I had more time to explore more thoroughly.

Maybe I need a vacation... the April conference is too far away... oh... I usually go to L.A., in March... this is the second year I'll have missed out... and I do miss it... Maybe I need to stop pretending it's okay, and allow myself to miss my friends and my time there. I always come back feeling so rejuvenated. God will always provide a way... turning it over to God, because I don't know what else to do.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #12

Participation in Saturday book signing.

Conference link

The edits are moving faster, now Sara is allowed to have her voice.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #11

Saturday luncheon


What a fun interview with Sue Perkin's character, Reva.

I had no idea how much Sara was holding back.

Did you spring forward an hour? Unless you live in Arizona, of course. In which case, you didn't change your clocks, but you have to remember you're no longer on the same time as the rest of the Mountain states. We're now on Pacific time. Breathe deep, and release. There are still the same number of hours in the day, and the same amount of time spent with sunlight.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #10

Laurie Schnebly Campbell has helped writers worldwide bring their characters to life.

Desert Dreams Writers Conference

I have been priviledged to attend a few of Laurie's presentations and taken one of her online classes. I've also caught a few of her blog tours. She's inspiring and knowledgeable.

What are you waiting for?

Sign up!

The deadline is March 31st.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #9

Editor/Agent panel


Not much time, as Sara has decided since she's in control of her story now, there isn't a moment to spare. It's going to be a busy weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #8

Dinner and keynote address on Friday

I'm back to editing, today. There's been a subtle shift in the characters, coming into their own, because I'm letting go of the need to control how the story goes. It isn't easy, particularly with this story. I've changed so much of it already, but each change has made it better.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #7

Friday evening mixer

Now, for me, that isn't necessarily a bonus. I'm reserved. I'm partially deaf in one ear. However, I'm also smart and recognize this is an opportunity to meet people I will be interacting with over the coming years. So, I'll shut up. Buck up. And do my best to make everyone I come in contact with comfortable. It will take my mind off my own nervousness.

No writing was done, today. PTBW was front and center. It was unexpected. It's okay. Life happens. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'll be back to my routine, tomorrow. Live and learn. Anymore cliches I can come up with? How about grammar errors? Today, it simply doesn't matter. I made it through what had to be done. That's good.

I finished reading Marianne Evans' Hearts Key, Book 4 of the Woodland Series. I enjoyed it, and have decided I want to read the other books as well.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #6

One-on-one appointment with editor/agent (based on time of registration and availability) If you want the opportunity, here it is. No excuses.

So many fun blogs to read, today! Contests and teasers! And a book trailer! I was so surprised to see my first book trailer. It was about a year ago, now. I didn't know there were such things. More fun than a written blurb. It not only gives you a taste of the story, but a feel for the author's personal style, even if they have someone else create it for them. They won't approve it if they aren't happy with it.

My sister sent me this quote: The road to hell is paved with adverbs. - Stephen King

I laughed, because mine has been, without a doubt, as I've endeavored to edit them out. It has, on occasion, required rewriting entire paragraphs. However, despite the misery and complaining, the writing has always been noticeably better. Yes, there is that pesky 'ly' word, but sometimes they do come in handy.

Somehow, after spending a few days working on Mark and Grace's story, Luck and Sara have decided I've ignored them long enough. Good to know. :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #5

Workshops Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and two hours on Sunday morning.

Registration closes March 31, 2012

I'm behind on catching up on blogs. Mark has pushed for his story to be started, and I've discovered how driven he is. I always thought he was laid back. Fooled me. Live and learn.

Characters have a way of surprising you. You think the story is going in one direction, and suddenly they push you in a new direction you never imagined, until you find yourself being dragged along, willy-nilly.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #4

The most interesting characters are the hardest to write. Beth Andrews will explore ways to create complex, layered characters who will jump off the page and into your reader’s heart. Don’t miss this workshop at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference.

Registration closes March 31, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason #3

This conference only comes around every other year, so if you miss it this year, you'll have to wait two years to attend the next conference.

I love visiting different blogs. It's like meeting new friends, without the stress of possible rejection. If their subject matter doesn't appeal to me, I don't have to stay or be polite; I am allowed to simply leave. Visits are made when I have time. If the day is particularly busy, then I visit fewer of the sites, but if I need inspiration, I invariably find it at one of the places I visit.

The writing is coming along again. I've stopped fighting with Mark and Grace. Grace may not be happy about the story being told, but Mark is a persistent soul. Then again, Mark is also unbelievably patient, and tenacious. Grace isn't sure she likes it, but she can't bring herself to send him away. She can't seem to help giving in to him. It helps knowing he is honorable and wants her to be happy. Good. Makes my life a little easier.

Sara and Luck are also more cooperative. Why the fact I'm dividing my attention between three stories pleases them, I do not know, though I'm suspicious they are hoping I'll stop delving so deeply into their private matters. Nice try.

So far, Fynn and Caitlin have been quiet. I suspect they're hoping if they draw no notice to themselves, I'll leave them alone. Not.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... reason...

...#2 to attend: It's in Scottsdale, Arizona April 27-29. The weather is still gorgeous. The heat will be showing up, but April is lovely. If it's too warm, Chaparral Suites has two outdoor pools and whirlpools. It also has a complimentary fitness center, which I plan on taking advantage of, and tennis court.

Donna Hatch is featuring Arizona Dreamin', a readers conference, at her blog, today: She's one of the featured authors. I'm looking forward to attending this event, too.

Yes, this year is the year I settling into my new life as an author. I've been writing all my life, off and on. Ten years ago, I was encouraged to take my writing more seriously. Eight years ago, I started writing romance with the idea of publication, tickling the back of my mind. Six years ago, a friend challenged me to write a specific story for publication. It will be published this August. How cool is that?

Truthfully? I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea I'm a writer. I know, it sounds silly. I have a contract. I work on my craft, every day, and yet I struggle with the realization I'm really going to be published. Not that my writing isn't good, it is, and I'm constantly working to improve it. It's doubts from the past, niggling at me, saying I'm really not good enough...

Hmmm... *pfft* to the old doubts. Back to work.

Thanks God, for people who believe in me, for guiding my way, for blessing me with the gift, and the will to push myself to use it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference 2012... is coming...

Will you be attending?

It will be my first conference. I'm looking forward to it. I've heard about writers' conferences and how wonderful they are. I'm going to see for myself.

All this month, I'll be sharing things to look forward to at this conference.

If you want to attend, you have until the end of this month to register.

Here's the blog for it: