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Welcome 2009!

January 6, 2009 by in category Pets, Romance & Lots of Suspense by Linda O. Johnston

It’s a new year! Where did the old one go? Did you accomplish everything you set out to do last January? I didn’t, and yet I did accomplish a lot.

One of my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries was published in June 2008: DOUBLE DOG DARE. I also wrote the next one, NEVER SAY STY, which will be an April 2009 release, and I’ve been working on the next–the eighth in the series.

I also worked on several Silhouette Nocturnes. The first, ALPHA WOLF, is out right now, a January 2009 release. Plus, I also have a Nocturne Bites available starting this month: CLAWS OF THE LYNX. They both feature members of Alpha Force, a super-secret military unit composed mostly of shapeshifters. In addition, BACK TO LIFE, another Nocturne, will be a June 2009 release. Its heroine has Valkyrie powers and can bring the dying back to life… including the hero.

I additionally held a part-time “temporary” law job in 2008, but it finally ended after two years. I enjoy practicing law, so despite all my looming writing deadlines I’m looking for more law work.

The year 2008 also held other memories for me, both good and bad. We had a death in the family late in the year. But on a much, much happier note, my older son married a really sweet and beautiful young lady. And we also acquired Mystie, another Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so Lexie could form a mini-pack once more.

So what else do I anticipate in 2009 besides–delightfully–having a bunch of books coming out? Who knows? I just hope it’s happy and healthy for everyone in my family… and also for you and yours.

Linda O. Johnston is the author of 14 romance novels as well as the Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime–and has 3 Silhouette Nocturnes and a Nocturne Bites upcoming!

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The Artist’s Way

December 29, 2008 by in category The Artist Way by Gillian Doyle tagged as ,

AW is a very easy read, in a way. In another way, it is a challenge to the reader to make a serious commitment to creative recovery, a commitment that involves carving out time to read a chapter each week and to spend at least an hour every week on a “date” with yourself and no one else, going somewhere such as a park or museum or anything that is simply a pleasure to do.

Most people who have heard of AW usually know of the daily commitment to writing three pages of free-flowing thoughts called the “Morning Pages.” Many balk at the assignment. Often they do not understand the purpose. To do it is to understand. No one can teach or explain the change that will occur to the writer. Only the writer will “get it” after doing it. This may take three weeks or three months before realizing the benefits of daily Morning Pages.

Trust that the MP will work wonders. Leave the doubts at the door. Set the alarm 30 minutes early. Have a spiral notebook and pen ready and waiting. Then release all the mind-chatter onto the page. Unload the swirling miasma of thoughts, some good, some bad. Don’t judge them. Just write them.

The dumping of any negativity is meant to unburden you. However, if you feel as if it causes you to focus more on the difficulties and challenges in your life without working through answers or at least feeling more peaceful, try another ending. In the final 5-10 minutes, write down things that you are grateful for. Write positive statements to affirm your goals and aspirations.

After three pages, put down the pen and go on with your day, knowing any worries you put on the paper no longer need to be repeated in your head throughout the day. Consider it freeing up the hard drive in your brain so there is more room to fill with thoughts of your book or whatever creative project you have in mind.

Happy New Year!

– Gillian Doyle

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A Fantasy Life

December 27, 2008 by in category A Fantasy Life by Janet Cornelow tagged as ,

By Janet Quinn Cornelow

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. I am so far, being on vacation from my two day jobs. My sister made the wreath for me for Christmas. I started it five years ago and set it aside to make a Christmas stocking for my daughter-in-law. I stuck the wreath away and forgot I even had it. My sister reminded me before Thanksgiving and offered to finish it for me. She thought I’d gotten a bit more of it done – it was only about a quarter finished. I didn’t expect to see it until next year, but she brought it over yesterday. She had been working really hard on it and I was thrilled.

This is the time of year to look back and take stock of what was accomplished last year and then make goals for the coming year. Last Saturday, Debra Young, my critique partner, and I went to lunch and went over the goals we had set for last year, marking off those that we had accomplished. I was surprised at how much I actually had accomplished. Some of the items on the list were things that came up as the year went by. Writing can be that way sometimes. Some on the list will move forward to next year, though there are a couple I’m not sure I will accomplish, but if I take them off the list they may disappear forever and I do want to do them some day.

Goals are not so much about getting them all done, but framing your mindset for the next year so that you do your best to be successful at whatever you try. Sometimes what seems important in January is not as important come July. I like to have extra goals just in case I get in the middle of a story and have no idea where it is going or I get tired of it. Then I have other goals I can switch to. But the first goal for the coming year is to finish Sam’s story. I am sure he’ll appreciate that.

So I am wishing everyone a wonderful New Year filled with lots of energy to attack those goals. And may the muse never abandon us.

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Writer on the Verge

December 18, 2008 by in category Writer on the Verge by Kate Carlisle tagged as ,
By Kate

I’m so worried about the economy!! Because, you know, who will buy my book if nobody has any money??? And I’m really nervous about all the bookstores closing! And what about Christmas? Should I spend any money?? How can I find the right present for my smart nephew? I’m not that smart!! And what about my mom? She’s such a pain in the—


AHEM! We interrupt this angsty blog …

and those economic woes …

and all those scary headlines …

and the deadline frenzy …

and the annoying hangover left over from the boring office party you were forced to attend …

and the soul-sucking insanity of scouring the earth for every last good place to promote your book …

and the perfectly reasonable fear of never selling another book, never, ever again in your entire life …

and the head-scratching confusion of finding the perfect gift for that way-too-intelligent fourteen-year-old on your list …

and the irrational need to spend more, more, more, just in case it’s not enough, because let’s face it, it will never be enough …

and the absolute knowledge that time will run out at the precise moment you remember something essential you forgot to buy …

We interrupt all that stuff …

… in order to take a deep breath … and wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a delightful Kwanzaa, and a wonderful New Year!

And may 2009 bring you all the joy and happiness and health and book sales and promotional opportunities you can handle—and a soupcon more!

Kate Carlisle’s first mystery, Homicide in Hardcover, debuts February 3, 2009.

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The Write Way……….

December 17, 2008 by in category The Write Way by Maureen Child tagged as ,

So it’s Christmas time again–and where did the year go??
I’ve spent most of this year, head down, eyes on the screen, fingers tapping wildly. But now that Christmas is here, I’m slowing down, despite the deadline looming.
You know what? It’s important to step back. To give yourself time and permission to simply BE. To enjoy the holidays, no matter which one you’re celebrating.
To hug your family, to bake cookies, to play with your kids, to snuggle on the couch.
Yes, work is important and that’s why we’re all here, members of this chapter, because we love books. And writing. And I do believe I have the best job in the world.
But at the end of the day……..LIFE comes first. Don’t forget to enjoy yours!
Merry Christmas! And to those of you celebrating other, just as special holidays this year, I wish you joy, love and most of all, I wish us all peace.

Maureen Child is the award winning author of more than 100 romance novels…….And today, she’s baking Christmas cookies……..
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