Thursday, August 31, 2006

Helping New Orleans

While researching online, I came across a press release regarding the rebuilding of the New Orleans Public Library system. Many of their branches were flooded last year after Katrina. They are rebuilding and asking for donations. I inquired about sending my series and was delighted to receive an eager yes!

While my books are now en route to New Orleans, they are still needing financial assistance. Here is their website:

Anyone who can help, please do so!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Never Know Until You Ask!

For Book V, I needed to do some research into Clemson's women's basketball program.
I explored the website, but needed more information.
So I took a chance and emailed the head coach. And guess what?
She answered!
Ms. Christy McKinney was more than happy to answer my questions, and I had a lot! She expressed interest in reading Book V and offered tickets to come see the girls play next time I was in the area. I was delighted that she took the time to assist with my book!
You never know unti you ask!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Recent Activity

A five day tour through Ohio set me back a bit, but I'm finally caught up!

Working on media for my upcoming Fall Southern Tour. Look out Florida, here I come! Seven signings and over a dozen stores to stop at during my travels. Even had to turn down an invitation to do a signing at a Barnes & Noble, but it just didn't work with my schedule. Hate it when that happens!

I do have several new signings towards the end of the year, with possibly two more to set. Then I can concentrate on completing Book V.

So if there's any Clemson fans out there, let me know!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Options and Another Special Fan

Options for the future continue to expand! Can't go into details, but many doors are opening and new opportunities are coming into play. None of this would be possible without the support of my fans, though!

Speaking of fans, I have another special young lady who recently discovered my series and has attacked it with relish. Her enthusiasm earned her the honor ofbeing the first to read an advanced copy of Book IV, MIKE. As soon as she has completed her task, I will post her comments here.

Thanks for helping, Emily!

Emily, on the left, with friend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Special Person

Quick update - the publishing house reviewing the manuscript for Book IV is still reviewing it and I'm getting back with a potential agent on Thursday. Little bit every day!

Want to add another special friend!

A young lady whose family was also visiting Myrtle Beach (great vacation spot, huh?) purchased the first two books last summer when I was there doing a signing. I took a picture of her, but unfortunately forgot her name and did not get an email.

Her family's vacation this year fell just short of my return to Myrtle Beach, so they decided to attend my Charleston signing instead - 100 miles away!!!!! I was so stunned! This time, I got her name and email address, and took several pictures. She's such a sweet young lady, with truly awesome parents who went to a lot of trouble to make sure their daughter met up with me again to get an autographed copy of Book III.

Fans like that are priceless! So I'd like everyone to meet Brittany from Pennsylvania:

Thanks for believing, Brittany! Never stop dreaming!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Special People

Back from my Northern Tour through Ohio and delighted with the wonderful reception I recieved!

The next few blogs I would like to dedicate to some of my most devoted & special fans. They are special people!

A year ago, I met a delightful woman in Myrtle Beach, SC. She mentioned wanting to write herself someday and picked up a copy of LORI. I eventually received an email from her, stating how much meting me had meant to her and how she enjoyed Book I. We corresponded several times and I continued to encourage her to write. If she felt the inspiration, then she needed to write, because it could change someone's life!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure to see her again. She drove over an hour to reach one of my signings, with distractions & sick children trying to prevent her from reaching me! I was so touched & delighted she would make the effort and would like to share with everyone else one of my most devoted fans and a special new friend, Stephanie:

Now everyone can help me encourage Stephanie to begin writing her story!!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hitting the highway!

Time for some traveling ... hope to make many new friends while I'm gone!

Book IV is currently being test read even as you read this!!!

And for those pursuing a dream ... never ever give up!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just a quote

"The things that count most in life are the things that can't be counted."
- Zig Ziglar

Monday, August 14, 2006

Take A Little Time

In the world of writing, I am still working on Book V and preparing a new press release.

Otherwise, it's on the road and hitting the book stores!

Last Saturday I was gone for 18 hours on a road trip. That can make for a very long day! I am still trying to recover, although I do not begrudge the miles. This is my dream and I want to get out there and meet my fans & make new friends. I couldn't do what I do without them!

But sometimes, one needs a little down time. I don't do it often (the Sanguine in me can't hold still) but I did pursue another passion of mine on Sunday - photography. It was refreshing and relaxing and I really needed a couple hours focusing on something else.

As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop once in a while, you could miss it!"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Dream and More

I am always asked where the inspiration for my series began. It started with a dream.

I dreamed about Lori & Jason. It was just a whisp of a dream, but enough that I began to form a story around the two characters. I started writing and the story simply came alive. Before I had completed half of Book I, the remaining four stories were outlined as well. I could clearly see how each character had something to overcome, something that people would relate to and possibly learn from as well.

So the beginning of The Circle of Friends was truly a dream inspired!

And for a little inspiration on successfully dealing with people ...

"Recognize and applaud achievement.
Center on strengths rather than weaknesses.
Create an environment where failure is not fatal.
Motivation is not manipulation."

- Alan Loy McGinnis, Bringing Out The Best In People

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Step Of Faith & Brief News

Still workinig hard on Book V! Heather is proving to be an interesting character and is making me stretch a little. Her "co-star" is unique as well. Specualtions are flying as to who that will be, although I've had two fans guess correctly. Let's just say this relationship will not go as smoothly as the first four!

And a step of faith refers to going outside one's comfort zone, reaching out to others, and just believing and expecting the best! I always try to step out on faith - usually more of a leap than a step - and the results lately have been incredible. And while most times there is a reward, occasionally it's the steps benefitting others that matter most.

You might be the only person to reach out to someone that day - and it might be all they need to step out on faith for themselves!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Advanced Reading!

Hello to The Circle of Friends!

With Book IV completed & edited, I am having one lucky fan enjoy an advanced reading of MIKE. Emily will let everyone know what she thinks when she has completed the book. (Which won't take long -she's a fast reader!)

MIKE also features a first! Promotional day for Book III included a chance to suggest a character's name for Book V. However, the first character to be officially named after a fan will be Stephany in Book IV. Stephany is an awesome young lady with a very promising future - and a very rabid fan!!

So without my fans, the continuation of The Circle of Friends would not be possible! Thanks to all!

"Decide what you want out of life; look on the positive side; and never give up until you achieve it."
- Bill Porter

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Book Cover & Momentum

The cover for Book IV will soon commence and there will be some differences in this one. Do not want to deviate too far from the first three books, but I want to make sure people don't think they're getting a book about the Sims! (Does no one watch computer animated movies?) So I'll keep everyone updated on the progress of MIKE's jacket cover.

At this point, my schedule is so packed, I think for Christmas I'll ask Santa for sleep!
No complaints though! It's what I wanted.

And last, some musing about momentum.
It's hard to get going, but most people don't realize the benefits.
When you're pushing the ball uphill, distractions & stumbling blocks are more pronounced. Hit & misses are further apart, which creates an emotional roller coaster. The hits send you on a high, but the misses drag you down for a long time. It becomes easy to forget the progress forward when you only feel like you're going backwards.
However, for those who have resiliency, once the ball picks up speed, those bumps become less noticeable. It becomes the difference between shooting multiple targets with a hand gun or a machine gun. The hits & misses come so fast, you hardly even notice. Plus, there ware enough high moments that you forget the low ones quickly.

So if you're struggling - don't get discouraged, get excited! Do more. Move faster.
And no matter what, DO NOT GIVE UP!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Friends & Passion

The greatest reward of my venture as an author has been the friends I have made during my travels. It's so neat to meet new people and make friendships. This past weekend, I had a friend I hadn't seen in many years come out to speak with me and get my latest book. And a former manager of a defunct store in the Charlotte area now lives in Raleigh, as her husband manages one of the stores I visited this weekend. So it was a delight to see them both!!

One thing I've noticed - most people don't have a set dream or goal! When signing books, I always ask the person's passion in life, and half the time they really don't know. And you have to know where yu're going or you might not like where you end up!

Find your passion and pursue it with all your heart!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Every day can be a winner!!!!

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you, as by the way your mind looks at what happened."
- John Homer Miller

Friday, August 04, 2006


Tomorrow's Saturday - another book store appearance! I'm making preparations even as we speak, getting everything in order. Every signing is special because someone new will be there who's never met me. Or someone who's come a long way to see me! I don't want to let anyone down.

And if I'm in the right place at the right time, maybe I'll make a new friend!

Think I made one today without even leaving the house. Someone on an art website that just needed a word of encouragement. I hope I helped! I know I need a boost now and then. I've got a couple friends without whom I would've never survived the first year as an author. I am "Words of Affirmation" and I need to hear I'm going to be okay now and then.

And that would be a fitting encouragement for the day-
Say something encouraging to another person today!
It just might encourage you, too!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Young Adult

Just an observation ...

In speaking with libraries & doing research online, I realize how tough it is to find suitable titles for today's young adults.

When I was a teen, there wasn't the amount of YA titles available as there are today. I went straight for books like "Misty of Chincoteague" to adult fiction. Fortunately, I stayed within the realm of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, so there was little sexual content. With the exception of reading "Flowers in the Attic", I avoided the raunchier, more questionable titles.

Today, that's very difficult for teenagers, especially when their own category is full of immorality.

In book notes, MIKE is edited and ready ... but you'll have to wait! I hope that my second venture into a male main character will prove as interesting as Book III. If Mike were a real person, I think girls would be very drawn to his easy going, sensitive nature - not to mention his looks! (Think Heath Ledger.)

And for those who are struggling:

"When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath - or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, with God's help!"
- Robert H. Schuller

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hint of Book V

Deep into writing Book V, I thought I'd throw out a little tidbit about the story.

The fifth in the series follows Heather and begins right after she has graduated from Duke with a Master's Degree. She has landed a position as an assistant basketball coach at a prominent college. Still single, Heather has decided to focus on her career instead. Of course, as you well know, it's when you're not looking for that certain someone that they suddenly appear!!!

At first I thought Book V would be a challenge, as Heather is the polar opposite of my own personality. But I am really having fun with it now!

Quote for the day-

"The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it."
- Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

First Taste

Welcome to The Circle of Friends!

Here you will find encouragement for those pursuing a dream, a little insight into the life of the characters and their creator, and updates as the series continues to move forward.

Just tantalize you with a little of Book IV, due out next year:

Mike Taylor is the epitome of stability. His family is proud of his academic and athletic achievements at Georgia Tech. Despite the temptations of college life, he has maintained his moral standards. His best friends and roommates appreciate his generous and affable nature. Yet beneath the peaceful surface, Mike is consumed with guilt, fearing condemnation and rejection. A former girlfriend’s abortion and the intense love he feels for his roommate’s wife constantly remind Mike of his sinful nature. Unable to forget the past and full of shame, he refuses to forgive himself. Will Danielle be able to reach him in time or is Mike past the point of redemption?

Book IV is days away from final edits!

For those of you enjoying Book III, you may be intrigued by a character you never knew fully, James. While his actions in Book I were perceived as questionable, you can now see that he is indeed a multi-faceted person, driven to accomplishment by the need to feel accepted. His struggles may even mirror some of your own. James was able to overcome, and I would love to hear how other survivors overcame as well!

And for today’s words to live by:

“In any situation, ask yourself: What strengths do I possess that can contribute towards accomplishing something in this situation? Then follow through.”
- Scot Knight