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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Interview with Author Deouan Wilson




The L.O.V.E. blog is pleased to host an interview with Urban fiction author and playwright Deouan Wilson. In addition to being an author, Deouan is also the owner of Crown Heist Publishing, LLC. located in Ossining, NY. Join in our chat as he discusses how he prepares to write and shares some information about his Crime Drama novel "For the Love of the Trigger" in anticipation of its e-book release in January 2012.


Deouan, how did you choose the genre that you want to write?
I usually don’t choose the genre. My ideas do. I may have a concept in my head that I will expand into a storyline and whatever genre fits the story is the genre that I’ll go with.

Is there a particular author who inspires your style of writing?
I started off as screenwriter, so I’m more inspired by movie directors than other authors. Because of that, I try to be very visual when I write. When I write about a flower, I don’t want you to know just the kind of flower it is or the color, but how it reacts when there’s a gentle breeze or how it stands amongst the other flowers that surround it.

How do your friends and family feel about your writing career?
My family and friends are excited about it. They know how passionate I am about the craft and are happy that I’m making a career of it.

What do you do to prepare for starting a new book?
I prepare by first asking myself, “What do I want to say in this book?” and then, “How do I want it to end?” From there I will create an outline, but I start with the end and write backwards to the beginning. I find by doing that, the beginning justifies the end and the story doesn’t come off as contrived.

What do you want readers to remember most about your work?
I want my readers to remember my characters and their plight because if they do, that means that they’ve made a connection with them.


What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a crime drama titled "For The Love Of The Trigger" and it’s actually a testimony. It’s the story of Rucker, a man who was set up by his best friends and spent nearly a decade in prison. During that time, all he thought about was seeking revenge against them. But when he got out, he realized that the only thing more powerful than vengenence was love - love in the form of a daughter who he’s never met and love from a woman who never left his side.

This book doesn’t promote violence and crime, though it is set in the gritty streets of Brooklyn, but shows the other side of crime. It focuses on how our decisions affect our loved ones, it shows how hard society makes it for someone to turn their lives around and most importantly, it shows how love frees us from our past mistakes.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR DEOUAN WILSON
Website: http://www.crownheistpublishing.com
Twitter: @crownheist
Facebook: Crown Heist Publishing Page





Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Author Monique Domovitch

Announcing the Scorpio Rising Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Scorpio Rising eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including 2 Kindle Fires, Amazon gift cards up to $100 in amount, 5 autographed copies of the book, and 5 autographed copies of its recently released sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 23rd, so you don’t miss out.

 

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Scorpio Rising for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

 

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Blogaganza on Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We’ll ask the writer 5 fun and random questions to get everyone talking. Leave a comment or question in response to the post, and you may win an autographed copy of Scorpio Rising or its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a read that's full of love, drama, and betrayal? Scorpio Rising has been reduced to 99 cents! http://ow.ly/7zA2s #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Scorpio Rising book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Scorpio Rising book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of Scorpio Rising and its sequel, The Sting of The Scorpio, are also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a Kindle Fire! Two are up for grabs! Visit Monique’s website to leave a comment on any of her posts and sign-up for her author newsletter. One person will win for each method, so be sure to do both.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Scorpio Rising: Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio Rising takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes. Alex Ivanov is the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves. Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser. Monique Domovitch’s debut novel, Scorpio Rising, is a compelling tale filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio Rising promises to resonate with all who once had a dream. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About The Sting of The Scorpio: In Scorpio Rising, Monique Domovitch presented a compelling tale filled with colorful characters and the manipulation of power, ambition, and greed. Now she gives us its spellbinding sequel, The Sting of the Scorpio, where Alexander Ivanov returns to New York with his new bride, Brigitte. The real estate industry is ripe with opportunity. Blessed with irresistible charm, ambition, and the single-minded obsession to succeed, Alex plots and manipulates his way to almost mystical success. Everything he touches turns to gold, but it’s never enough. When a hostile takeover bid leaves him struggling to save his beloved company, he suspects those closest to him of plotting his downfall. Brigitte, the beautiful redhead who abandoned her country and her career to become his wife, feels alone. In return, Alex has betrayed her time and again, each indiscretion cutting deeper into her soul. Brigitte’s son, David yearns to be an artist, but Alex’s plans leave no room for such frivolous goals. He grooms a reluctant David to become the heir apparent until a devastating tragedy attracts the attention of another young man. The Sting of the Scorpio is a rich tale of a man at the mercy of his own greed and a woman bound by her need for love. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Monique Domovitch began writing at the age of fifty-five. Two years later, she has two self-published novels—her Scorpio Series—and a three-book deal with Penguin, for books she has written under the name of Carol Ann Martin. Never seen without her laptop, Monique and her husband travel the world and divide the rest of their time between their homes in British Columbia and California. Monique loves to hear from readers! Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

 

Let's get to know the author a bit better through this rousing Q&A...

 

You’ve had varied careers, the first of which was modeling. Looking back, what did you learn from your careers?

From modeling, I learned that by pretending a person can become. I was the shyest, gawkiest girl, but walking the runway taught me to hold my head high and smile in spite of my fear, and with time, the confidence I tried to project became real. From my years as a financial planner, I learned that I, and only I, am responsible for my financial security. This is a lesson I tried to teach women during my four years as a television financial coach. And from becoming an author during the last third of my life, I’ve learned that it’s never too late to follow one’s dream. Like the old Nike commercial says, “just do it.”

 

You married again late in life. Is marriage easier the second time around?

Maybe not the second time, because I was divorced twice. But the third time is the charm. Mind you, I was on my own for twenty years before meeting my new husband. I came to a point where I decided I’d rather be alone than in an unsatisfying relationship. And I was very happy with my family, friends, career and dogs. My life was full. I believe that when a woman is happy by herself, she’s less likely to make a wrong choice.

 

Do you believe in love?

Totally and passionately. But, and this is a big but, I think that it can be very easy to mistake passion for love, and although they are not mutually exclusive, they are not always both present at the onset. I believe that love is friendship on fire. For that reason, unless one person really likes another— and I’m talking, ‘Like,’ with a capital L here— real love is not possible.

 

Who has provided you with the most inspiration for your writing?

It wasn’t so much a ‘who,’ as a ‘when,’ that really pushed me to follow my dream of becoming a writer. I was fifty-five years old, had just retired after a lifetime of being a career person while denying my real dream, writing. That’s when I decided that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. You know how people are supposed to ask themselves, ‘when facing death, what they would regret not doing?’ For me the answer was writing. Writing is what I had always wanted to do.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m almost finished writing the first of a three-book mystery-series for Penguin, which I write under the pen-name, Carol Ann Martin. I’m having a great time developing the main character—a career woman suffering from a burnout, and who escapes from her life to a tiny community, only to stumble upon a murder. Next, I have a stand-alone book that is about half done. I want to go back and finish that one. And then, I have the rest of my astrological-sign series, the next in line being Taurus, set in the investment world. More greed, deception and betrayals. And then the second of my Penguin books, and then...Sometimes I think I’ll never have the time to write everything I want to write.



Do you have a writing schedule?

Yes, all day every day :-P Just kidding. I try to write eight full hours a day, or a minimum of one thousand words. But try as I might, I find that the first half of a novel just about writes itself. The words fly onto the page, but when I get to the fifty percent mark, the going slows to a crawl—especially in a murder mystery. I have to keep going back and forth making sure all the clues and details are there, but not so obvious they give everything away.

 

Where do you write?

I made myself a private space in my home and that’s where I go for privacy. But my best writing is often while I’m doing the dishes, or during long drives. That’s when my mind wanders and I dream up my next scenes, or come up with some snappy dialogue. I often stop and just down a few lines to remind myself for later.



What advice do you have for wannabe authors?

I don’t want to give anybody the same old advice about practicing your skill, getting an editor. My advice is, treat writing like a business, especially if you plan on self-publishing. Remember, your novel will be competing with millions of other novels out there. You have to come up with a plan to make yours stand out and get noticed. Of course the story and the style counts, but everything else counts too. Will you write for women? For young adults? For children? What publishing format should you choose? E-book? Soft cover? Hard cover? How much will it cost and how many copies must you sell to break even? How will you distribute your novels? What can you do to make them stand out from the millions of others? A new author should research what the best-selling authors have done to become successful, and then create plans of their own.

 

What do you do when you're not writing?

People are always surprised to find out that I’m also a hobby beekeeper. I have one hive from which I harvested over forty pounds of honey last season. And I love to boast that my honey is absolutely wonderful. It has a floral quality, because of the area where we live. Victoria is the most floral city in North America.

 

If you had one wish, what would it be?

That one is easy. I wish for a long and healthy life, so I can keep writing for the next fifty years. Okay, fifty might be pushing it. Make it at least forty years.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interview with Mystery Book Launch Author Russell Blake

The L.O.V.E. blog is thrilled to welcome author Russell Blake, a featured author in the Mystery Book Launch at the Women's Literary Cafe from December 13 - December 15. Russell is the author of several intrigue and mystery novels and is featuring his 5 STAR rated title "The Geronimo Breach" in the book launch for only $0.99. (Kindle) I had an opportunity to ask Russell a few questions regarding his writing career so let's take a look at what he had to say!


So Russell, what led you to choose to write in the Mystery genre?
I always enjoy books that have an element of conspiracy to them (like Robert Ludlum's work) and I also like the suspense of "whodunnits" from authors like Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. That and too many Hardy Boy adventures growing up. So, it was natural that my books would have elements of both.

Is there a particular author that inspires your writing?
Beyond a doubt, Robert Ludlum. He was literate, wrote smart books for smart people, and incorporated a world-weary sense of fatalism. The conspiracies always rang true. I shoot for that as well, although he set the bar pretty high. You generally don't know all the elements of the story or what the clincher is until the end of the book in his writing, which is tough to do, book after book. Ludlum combined mystery, suspense, intrigue, thriller and conspiracy theory into a potent blend that's never been matched, in my opinion. The other is Trevanian. If you haven't read "Shibumi", you missed an incredible book.

How do your friends and family feel about your writing career?
When I'm not borrowing money? Seriously, they've all been very supportive for which I'm grateful

What do you do to prepare for starting a new book?
First I add the tequila, then some Cointreau, and then the lime. Adding the lime last is key. Some Grand Marnier never hurts, but it's best to be judicious with it. 

Do you prefer e-books or paperbacks?
Used to be paperbacks, but now that I have my Kindle, I can never go back. Too much convenience and the reading experience isn't diminished at all.



What do you want readers to remember most about your work?
I'd hope that they take away a sense of wonder about the underlying conspiracies that I use to frame the scenarios. There's so much veracity to them, I hope they wonder where the truth ends and the fiction begins. If you can achieve that as a writer, I think you've mastered the toughest part of the craft. For me, good fiction involves scratching my head at the end going, "Wow, could that actually be how it really is?"

What are you currently working on?
I finished "King of Swords" in November, which should be coming out shortly. It's a roller coaster of an assassination-scheme book that uses the backdrop of the Mexican drug wars as its canvas. And I've been editing the hell out of "The Delphi Chronicles", which will be a serial trilogy a la "Zero Sum", but revolving around a literary agent who's sent a manuscript exposing a secret about the U.S. government that could collapse the world order. It's set in NY, Las Vegas, Mexico, and Cuba.

I'm currently knee deep writing "The Messiah Cipher", the next installment in the adventures of Dr. Steven Cross (he changes his name halfway through "Zero Sum" from Archer to Cross), involving a Da Vinci Code sort of treasure hunt, and then have a couple more ideas for 2012 - one based on the Saudi oil situation, and another on the China/Africa oil situation.

It's been an extraordinarily productive year for me, as that will make eleven books released in 2011, counting the two non-fiction works. Next year, I'll release "The Messiah Cipher" and maybe two more. I'm never going to have another year like 2011 - all I did for most of the year was write, 12 hours a day. Everyone should try that once. Now I can say I did. Maybe I'll get a t-shirt saying "I survived 11 books in 12 months!"




For more information about author Russell Blake, please visit his website:
http://russellblake.com/

Follow Russell on Twitter @blakebooks and on Facebook.

View author Russell Blake's other books on Amazon.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Teaser Train - Author Alle Wells & her "Lame Excuses"

I am so pleased to welcome author Alle Wells to the L.O.V.E. blog today to share an excerpt from her debut novel "Lame Excuses". Alle presents a new twist on Southern Fiction in her novel and bases it on "down-home" inspiration. "Lame Excuses" illustrates the parody in life found only in the rural South and promises to be an intelligent and entertaining read with vivid characters who capture readers in the first few pages. For more information on this author, please visit her website at http://www.allewells.com/. Follow Alle on Twitter @allewells and on Facebook.




Available for $0.99 for a limited time!



EXCERPT FROM "LAME EXCUSES"
I hid the birth control pills from Jim. I hid my increased laziness and my food intake. I tried to put on a good front for him and Tonya and pretended that everything was okay. I watched soap operas and became a talk show addict. I craved salty foods that made me thirsty for another pick-me-up. My waist disappeared until my shoes were no longer visible. I hired the tailor that made Ma Halley’s clothes to make some loose moo-moos for me.

Two years went by and my skin began to change. I developed dry skin rashes that became sore and blistered between my toes and fingers. The skin chafed under my large breasts and in my private areas. I excused the symptoms by telling myself that I was thirty-five and overweight.
I looked forward to my weekly pastry deliveries to the Dairy. Maggie noticed the blisters on my fingers as I spooned a banana split into my mouth.

“I have just the thing for those blisters,” she said, giving me a bottle of extra moisturizer that she used for tanning.

I applied the cream which made the sores burn. Maggie poured baking soda on my hands to stop the burning, making the situation even worse. I ran to the backroom and dipped my hands in cool water. I laughed and Maggie apologized until I was out the door. I didn’t care if my hands burned. Visiting Maggie and the Dairy put a bright spot in my increasingly depressing life. Maggie remained my friend; even now when life was hitting me in the face, as Becky once said.
Becky called occasionally to ask how we were doing. She had stuck to her diet and joined a Weight Watchers group. She always made a point to invite me. We hardly ever joked around anymore. She had found new friends and we lost the shared passion for food that bonded us. I ate alone.

During this time, I rarely visited the fields Jim and I loved so much. Tonya took my place in the fields and, I thought, in Jim’s heart too. He bought a pony named Copper for her. She, Bozo and Copper hit the farm trails as soon as she jumped off the school bus. She could go everywhere except the millpond dirt road that Jim had blocked with a fence and a No Trespassing sign. I sat alone, felt disconnected and became more reclusive.

One evening, Jim stared at the stars through the skylight above our bed and said, “I’m worried about you, Emmy. I think something might be wrong with you that we aren’t aware of.”
“I’m fine. I’m just fat, that’s all.”
“What about the blisters on your feet and hands?”
“Just dry skin, maybe it will get better in the summer.”

I rolled away from him. I worried about him too, about how he felt about me as a woman. Jim had hardly changed over the years while my weight had soared to 240 pounds. I broke the heavy silence between us and said, “I’ll make an appointment with Dr. Sonny.”

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Author Kenneth G. Bennett

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Gaia Wars eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including a Kindle Fire, Amazon gift cards up to $100 in amount, 5 autographed copies of the book, and 5 autographed copies of its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 9th, so you don’t miss out.

 

To Win the Prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Gaia Wars for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
 

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

 

The Featured Events include:

Monday, Blogaganza on Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We’ll ask the writer 5 fun and random questions to get everyone talking. Leave a comment or question in response to the post, and you may win an autographed copy of The Gaia Wars or its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a YA read that's full of adventure & intrigue? Check out The Gaia Wars. Reduced to just 99 cents http://ow.ly/7ywpZ #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs. Three chances to win! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see The Gaia Wars book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Win a Kindle Fire or a $100 Amazon gift card, simply by leaving a comment on Kenneth’s most recent blog post. How easy is that? Autographed copies of The Gaia Wars and its recently released sequel, Battle for Cascadia, are also up for grabs.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

About The Gaia Wars: DEADLY SECRETS have been buried in the Cascade mountain wilderness for centuries. Hidden. Out of sight and out of mind. Until today… Warren Wilkes, age 13, doesn’t like what a greedy housing developer has done to his peaceful mountain community, so he vandalizes the developer’s property, flees into the wild, and stumbles upon an ancient human skeleton revealed by torrential rain. More than old bones have been exposed, however, and the curious artifact Warren finds makes him question his own identity, and his connection to an ancient terror. A terror destined to rise again and annihilate all that Warren loves. He must fight or see his whole world destroyed. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About Battle for Cascadia: When Warren Wilkes, age 13, stumbles upon a mysterious relic deep in the Cascade Mountains, wonder reigns. Brimming with secrets and sentient energy, the relic leads Warren to a fantastic chamber, and to shocking revelations about his identity. Now wonder has turned to dread. A forgotten terror—a demon that knows Warren better than he knows himself—has risen again and is assembling an army; gathering power with a singularly evil goal in mind: to capture and enslave the wild spirit of the Earth itself. As war erupts and the planet slips into chaos, Warren embraces his destiny and finds help where he least expects it. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Kenneth G. Bennett is the author of the Young Adult novels The Gaia Wars and Battle for Cascadia (the second book of The Gaia Wars), as well as the forthcoming Exodus 2018, a paranormal thriller set in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son. Visit him on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

 

Let's get to know Kenneth better through a rousing Q&A...

 
Where did you find the inspiration for this novel?

The idea began with an article I read about The Gaia Hypothesis. This hypothesis, proposed by NASA scientist James Lovelock, says, in brief: “all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth make up a single, self-regulating entity.” In other words, the Earth itself is a living thing. A vast, “super-organism.”

I love this idea! And when I first read about it I wondered how it might be woven into a novel. In my imagination, and in conversations with friends, I took the Gaia Hypothesis one step further. “What if Gaia (the Earth) is not simply alive,” I asked, “but also sentient?” It occurred to me that a lot of so-called primitive cultures believed this very thing. Understood it in their bones.

Then I was backpacking with my son Eli (age 9 at the time). After a few days in the wilderness, feeling more connected to the land, perhaps, I started to tell Eli the story of The Gaia Wars. He loved it. It took me about a year to write the book and refine it.

Warren Wilkes is quite the unexpected hero. Tell us about him. Is he someone you’ve met before, or is he completely fictional?

My son and his friends are all pretty outdoorsy kids. They’ve backpacked and skied and kayaked and climbed since they were really little, so Warren (a sort of feral, wilderness boy) is probably a composite of the kids I see every day.

This story’s setting is incredibly vivid. How did the Cascade Mountains influence your writing? Do you believe you could have told the same story in a different setting, or would it have been missing something otherwise?

North Cascades National Park is one of my favorite places on the planet, and I go there often. It’s easy to find inspiration in the ancient forests and high-alpine meadows of that region. I’ve also been heavily influenced by Olympic National Park, and by wild areas in Alaska, where I spent much of my childhood. The landscapes in the book contain elements of all of those places.

The Mendari aliens and their organic droids, the Fabrinels, mix-up the story in a way nothing else could have (not even the irksome Mr. Finley). How did you go about creating these other races and defining their culture and behavior?

The Mendari are fantastically advanced, technologically, but suffer from a civilization-wide melancholy. They have every device and contraption imaginable, but in the process of acquiring all this stuff, they’ve nearly destroyed their lovely planet and suffocated their own wild souls. They venture to Earth out of desperation, and with newfound humility, hoping to regain the wisdom they lost millennia ago. The Mendari race is basically the Human race in a few hundred years—if we don’t get our act together in terms of taking care of our planet.

Gaia, or Onatah, is the living embodiment of the Earth Mother. Without giving anything away, tell the readers how she fits into the story.

Gaia, the Earth Mother, represents the wild soul of the planet. She’s the wellspring of all life; the source of the DNA that animates everything from bacteria to redwood trees to homo sapiens. But we humans have reached the point where we think maybe we don’t need to be connected to this wild soul any longer. We see ourselves as separate from the natural world. I think this kind of hubris is a huge mistake, and that’s reflected in the story.

How much research did you have to do in order to learn about the Denelai people’s folklore and nature rituals? How did you find this information?

I love to learn about Native American culture, modern and ancient, and have read a lot about what North America was like prior to European contact. I’m steeped in that history, but the Denelai culture is entirely a product of my imagination—not based on any one people or tribe.

Your cast of characters has very interesting names—ones I suspect were not chosen arbitrarily. Please tell us how you came up with the names for Ina, Mirra, Uhlgoth, and the others.

I greatly admire the name-inventing abilities of authors such as Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Ursula K. LeGuin and (of course) J.R.R. Tolkien. I worked really hard to come up with names that fit the various characters in The Gaia Wars.

You leave The Gaia Wars off on a very big cliff-hanger. What made you decide to take this gutsy literary move—channeling Warren, are you?

The Gaia Wars ends at what felt to me like a natural stopping point (or at least a “pausing” point)--A slight break in the action before all hell breaks loose in Battle for Cascadia.

Battle for Cascadia picks up where the first book leaves off. What can we expect from the sequel? Are there any major ways in which the style or plot line is different than The Gaia Wars?

Battle for Cascadia is a direct and immediate continuation of The Gaia Wars. Many of the storylines begun in Gaia draw to a conclusion in Battle—but not all of them! There are a lot of mysteries left to unravel in those rugged North Cascade canyons.

You’re going to give us more Warren Wilkes, right?! Please tell us you’re planning a third book in the series, and if you can, give us some clues about what happens next.

Absolutely! Warren and company find themselves in a very dangerous place and in very perilous circumstances at the conclusion of Battle. There’s a whole lot of story left to tell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Author Lauren Clark

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Stay Tuned eBook edition has dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 2nd, so you don’t miss out.


To Win the Prizes:

1. Purchase your copy of Stay Tuned for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble (You’ll need it for the big contest on Friday)

2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes

3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!


...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.


The Featured Events include:

Monday, Radio Interview with Novel Publicity! We’re kicking-off on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog. We interviewed Lauren on our radio show Sunday night and have embedded the full podcast and blogged about its highlights. Give it a listen and then leave a comment on the blog post. This is a great chance to get to know more about this fun and bubbly author. One commenter will win an autographed copy of Stay Tuned. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Take a break from the holiday frenzy, and read Stay Tuned. It's fast, fun, and reduced to just 99 cents! http://ow.ly/7zA1e #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Stay Tuned book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Stay Tuned either in paperback or on an eReading device, tag Lauren Clark’s Facebook page, and you can enter to win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the most creative photo, $50 to the best BFF photo, and $50 to the photo with the most people in it. An autographed copy of Stay Tuned is also up for grabs. If you need help learning how to tag a photo, you can visit Lauren’s Facebook page for detailed instructions.


Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Stay Tuned: What happens when a #1 news team becomes the top story instead of reporting it? For TV producer Melissa Moore, crisis management comes with the job. From employee disputes to her high-maintenance boss, there’s not much she hasn’t seen or can’t handle. But no one—including Melissa—expects a fistfight during the ten o’clock news. When sexy-but-crazy Alyssa Andrews lands a punch on her co-anchor’s face, Melissa jumps on set to help. She’s determined that WSGA’s reputation won’t be destroyed on her watch. Both anchors are fired and Melissa agrees to fill in—but not before polishing her look from haircut to heels. While the new Melissa wows WSGA viewers, her personal life starts fraying at the edges. Melissa’s husband is away more than he’s home, leaving cryptic Post-it notes in his wake. Her mother’s antics spiral out of control at the nursing home and a stalker decides Melissa is her next target. What happens next? Stay Tuned to find out… Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Lauren Clark has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. She lives near the Florida Gulf Coast. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


Let's get to know Lauren better through a rousing Q&A...



Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes. For as long as I can remember. Of course, my parents always remind that I also wanted to be an Indian princess named Tiger Lily, but that dream was more short-lived. On a serious note, I do have fond memories of spending my summer days toting stacks of books back and forth from my house to our town’s library. It always seemed like a magical place, with endless stories to get lost in.

You worked as both an anchor and producer after graduate school. How did that influence the writing of Stay Tuned?

So much! It was an accident, really, getting into broadcast journalism. I always thought of myself as a behind the scenes kind of girl, but after my first day on the job, I loved it and stuck with it for the next 6 years. Working in television is never boring. There’s always a story, always the next show. The camaraderie in the newsroom is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It’s like living in a big, loud, mostly happy, very dysfunctional family every day.

What gave you the idea for Stay Tuned?

True story: A few months before I took my first television job as a part-time health reporter, the two main anchors at one of the local television stations (who were romantically involved) got into a fistfight. They were outside the building, in the station parking lot. Shortly thereafter, they were both fired. In the months that followed, the two of them bantered back and forth in newspaper editorials, threatened lawsuits, and fueled all sorts of crazy retaliation stories. I never forgot about that incident and always thought about what might happen if such a fistfight happened on air, during a newscast. What would happen? How would it be handled? Who would fix this kind of mess?

What did you learn from being on air?

It’s very humbling, really. As a producer, especially, you are in charge of what’s being put out there—the news stories people watch and talk about each day. It’s a big responsibility to get it right. Not just sometimes, but all of the time. There were many sobering days—car accidents, house fires, school shootings—and those stories should be told with sensitivity and care. It’s someone’s son or daughter or parent. Everyone matters.

What was your most memorable experience as an anchor or reporter?

I was on set during 9-11. I remember sitting there with our weatherman and waiting to be cued to go back on air after the commercial. CBS cut in and showed footage from a plane crashing into the Twin Towers. It was surreal and awful. We were all in shock. It didn’t seem possible. All I wanted to do was go home and hug my son.

Was it a difficult decision to leave television?

Yes and no. I loved so many parts of broadcasting. I was able to meet fascinating people – Vice Presidential Candidate Geraldine Ferraro, then-New York Attorney General Eliott Spitzer among many others. I adored the people I worked with, especially the folks behind the scenes. I was also fortunate enough to win several AP awards for anchoring and reporting.

On the flip side, I worked crazy hours (2 am – 10 am) and, as is typical in the industry, I received very little vacation time. I anchored every holiday (Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, you name it) and wasn’t able to spend much time with my young son. After more than six years, I “retired” from TV news. It was then that I really started to get serious about writing fiction.

How long did it take to write Stay Tuned?

About five years, all said and done. I wrote several other novels before that—and those manuscripts will never see the light of day! When I began Stay Tuned, I had just given birth to my second son, so my writing time was very limited. After putting it away for several years, I picked it back up about 12 months ago, brushed it off, and had an editor-friend look it over. We made some changes, tweaked the story, and fine-tuned the plot. A few months back, I was offered a contract with a small publishing company. Another friend introduced me to the talented and fabulous Emlyn Chand at Novel Publicity, who helped guide me through the entire publishing process. It’s been a wonderful journey!

What’s next? A sequel or a stand-alone novel?

Dancing Naked in Dixie is next (stand alone title) and I’m so excited to share that it’s been selected as a finalist for the 2011 Chick Lit Writers “Get Your Stiletto in the Door” Contest (Winner will be announced December 20, 2011).

Dancing Naked follows the story of a talented but scattered travel magazine writer who returns from overseas only to find out she’s on the verge of getting fired. To save her job, she reluctantly accepts an assignment in the Deep South. She’ll be writing an article about Eufaula, Alabama's annual Pilgrimage event, which is a long-standing spring tour of antebellum mansions (the location is featured in the Reese Witherspoon’s movie, Sweet Home Alabama). Upon arriving in Eufaula, Julia falls in love with the area, its cast of charming characters, and her handsome tour guide. When she discovers that a developer has big plans to buy up many of the historic homes and turn the area into a tourist site, it’s up to Julia to save the day.

What is your writing schedule like?

With two growing, active boys and a busy husband, finding time to write is like looking for a missing Lego piece in a houseful of toys (Moms should appreciate that!) I often get up very early and write while everyone else is asleep or go to the lovely campus of our local university and shut myself in a study room. I love it there because I have to shut off my phone and I don’t have the password for an internet connection! No distractions! Of course, I do frequent two or three local coffee shops and draw inspiration from my daily dose of caffeine and good friends!

Who are your favorite writers? Favorite books?

Gosh, there are so many! My all-time favorites include Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, Jennifer Weiner, Chris Bohjalian, John Grisham, Amanda Eyre Ward, and Lisa See. I also love Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, and James Patterson. Favorite books include: Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (this is a children’s book that I’ve read over and over to my two boys).

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read. A lot. Write. A lot. Revise. A lot. I’m not joking.

Anyone can write. Writing well is different. It takes focus and tenacity and determination. I've heard Stephen King quoted as saying, "The first million words are practice. Malcolm Gladwell, in Outliers, says, "It takes 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to become expert at anything." Just to be clear, at 4 hours a day (28 hours a week), that’s 7 years. I’m not quoting the experts to scare anyone or be a harbinger of doom. It’s the truth.

Pick up a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. It’s brilliant and so true and funny in so many sections. If you’re serious about becoming an author, learn as much as you can. Read blogs and books about the craft, network with other writers, or go to a writer’s conference. Above all, write!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Interview with Author Mahalia Levey


Today I welcome Author Mahalia Levey to the L.O.V.E. blog. Mahalia is a best-selling author of red hot romance, but she also delves into paranormal and fantasy writing. With 20 novels already under her belt, Mahalia continues to write and shares some useful advice to writers looking for a career as an author. Here's what she had to say:

When did you first start writing?
My first story was about a pencil in first grade. I wrote some poetry and teenage angst in Junior High and High School and some fanfic where I was the heroine in the local shows back then. I fell out of writing and picked it back up in 2007 on a few forums. In 2009, I submitted to Phaze and got a rejection but revised and resubmitted and entered into the Publishing industry.

Since 2009, I’ve published 20 works. I write in many genres. Contemporary, Interracial, African American, Military, Paranormal Shifters, Paranormal Demons and romance based on cosmic laws of nature…not sure where that falls! I enjoy paranormal because I love to build worlds and realms.

How did you get inspired to write?
I sat down one day and the words began flowing. I created characters and bios and from there, I formulated how I’d do my premise, blurb and titles. Music and art inspire me a lot. So do street signs, billboards and any other observation I can make.

Who is your favorite author to read?
Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite author to read. I love the way she built the Dark Hunter series and her other works co-written.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t know what free time is! I do make time to read though. I find it relaxing to sit back and relax. At home on game nights, we do nothing but board games. Balderdash is this month’s game. The teens, my fiancĂ© and I will play for hours - no cell phones, computers, or any other electronic is allowed.

E-books or paperbacks?
Both! I love e-books and can’t wait for my Kindle Fire! I also love print books but only have one bookshelf. I plan on keeping it that way and just buying the rest of the series I have and love in print.

What advice would you give someone considering a career as an author?
Research. Do tons of research. Piers Anthony has a Q&A site on the web that encompasses many e-book and print houses. He has quarterly reports on there. P and E also has some great feedback. Ask around when shopping. Check royalty rates and ask other authors if they’re willing to share their personal experiences. Find out how the publishers pay - direct deposit, paypal, check, visa pay card. It’s important to know what works best for you going in.

If you’re new to writing, it’s very important to get into a great critique group or to find one. The net has a lot of low or free classes available to brush up on technique. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Authors love to pay it forward so make sure you ask away. Learn your audience and figure out what your brand is going to be before you begin. Promoting is time consuming. Find out where you can promote and look for great deals. Find out if your publishers help promote or if it all falls on you. Some smaller publishers don’t help promote.

Finally, coffee or tea? Which flavor(s)?
Neither. Both have stimulant properties in them and I have SVT aka a racy heart so no stimulants for me. I do go to Panera Bread Co and Starbucks for their decaf latte’s that taste the same. Last month was Pumpkin Spice!

**GIVEAWAY**
 As a thank you to her readers, Mahalia is giving away a free e-book! To enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment below with your VALID e-mail address. The winner will be randomly drawn on November 30 and notified by e-mail. Here are the e-books up for grabs:
E-book Choice #1






E-book Choice #2
E-book Choice #3

CONNECT WITH MAHALIA:
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is the Future “Indie” or is it a Fad?

Before I even get started, let me make a disclaimer. I am an Indie-loving Indie writer who loves Indie books, bands, films… you name it. That being the case, perhaps I am a bit partial toward one side of the question that is the topic for this post. I won’t argue with anyone over that point. However, I do believe that even the most impartial reader, writer, or reviewer can agree that the works of independent artists and creators are here to stay, particularly in the world of self-published authors.

Anyone currently involved in the self-publishing world could make a long list of the benefits of opting for the “do-it-yourself” method. In fact, the long list of benefits has everything to do with why self-pub is growing in popularity and is quickly becoming the publishing path of choice for unknown and well-known authors alike. I believe, though, that if one was to group those benefits into categories, there would be three main ones: control, profitability, and flexibility.

Control, in relation to Indie authors, means having the ultimate “say so” on every aspect of the writing and publishing process. From subject matter to font size to book cover, it is the author who makes the choices and declares them as final decisions. This freedom fosters a perfect environment for creativity to form a boundless union with entrepreneurship, which ultimately leads to the next category: profitability.

It is very easy to understand how cutting out the “middle man” (in this case, a third party publishing house) leaves more money on the table for an author and with retail outlets such as Amazon offering up to 80% royalty pay outs, it’s no surprise that authors are choosing to be the only ones at the publishing table. Even taking into consideration fees for professional services such as editing and promotions, large sales numbers could very easily and most likely equal large pay outs.

Finally, there is flexibility in Indie branding. An author is free to, and is almost expected to explore writing in different genres, in different mediums, through different outlets, etc.. It is very common to find an Indie author who has published books, an active blog, and perhaps a cause that they support that have nothing in common with each other but the author themselves! At the heart of all these things, though, is what I believe to be the desire of all creative people: the need to express freely with no boundaries, no limitations, and no need for approval. This is what being Indie means and why it has never been, and will never be, a fad.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When It's Real

**Kind of in a random, unstructured mood tonight so I'm going to just type that way, m'kay? Thanks for understanding. :-)**

When it's real...
It really doesn't have to be spoken because it's felt.
It lifts you up instead of tearing you down.
It makes you feel light on your feet and not like you're carrying the weight of the world.
It nurtures your growth instead of demanding your change.
It flows like a river instead of a rain-starved creek.
It feels warm like the sun and is never frigid like the poles.
It is patiently accepting and not harshly judgmental.
It travels the distance instead of leaving the path at every obstacle.
It fights to exist by any means necessary instead of extinguishing itself with fear & doubt.
It comes through the fire refined and brilliant instead of disintegrating in the heat.
It applauds your success instead of celebrating your failure.
It encourages your healing instead of attending your pity party.
It is rooted in truth instead of deception.
It speaks words that you need to hear instead of words you want to hear.

As I go on, I could probably think of a million of these. My aim is to invoke thought and introspection. I hate settling and I don't want anyone else to settle, either. Think it over and if change is necessary, make it. Peace & Love.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

3 Stars from Europe

This week I had the pleasure of chatting back and forth with the lovely Kelly, the very first reviewer from the United Kingdom to read and review my fiction novella "Love & Wrath: The Beginning". Insert indie writer scream here --> ________ Okay, in my defense I don't always go straight away to the groupie response, but this first book of the series has only been out for about 2 and 1/2 months and God has seen fit to accelerate the progress of this book at lightning speed. AMEN... for real. So, I suppose I should not have been overly surprised when Kelly turned out to be a sweetheart and very considerate of how I felt about her review before she posted it for the world to see. Tender, kind, and giving people seem to be on overflow these days in my life. Again, AMEN.

NEVERTHELESS, I had a few "raised eyebrow" moments when reading the review. Is it against protocol to review the reviewer? I don't know, but I mean absolutely no harm in my commentary. So, I get the e-mail with the proposed review and I start reading immediately so that I can digest the write-up that's going to make all of Europe want to buy my book. Welll... let's just say I have a few "issues" right away. "Story of Lily... middle-aged woman..." WHOA! Really, Kelly? My characters are all in their EARLY thirty's. I'm not one to quibble over minor details, but if you feel that thirty-something is "middle-aged", you may be an American after all. Seriously, I thought we were the only ones who believe that life is a steady decline after twenty-five.

Moving on... I'm loving that her summary is so detailed. She really did read the book! Awesome. Then I get to the section on why the book doesn't get a full five star rating. I still have no worries because I already know that the five star review from anyone other than loved ones and friends is a RARE species indeed, although I have been blessed with a few from readers that I truly did not know. So, reading on, I discover that one reason I'm short of a full five is because of "minor spelling errors". Aww, come on, Kelly! Cut me a break! I edited this book myself and clearly MS Word's spellchecker was off duty that day. Besides, I didn't say anything about the "independAnt" that I saw used in your review. Irony!

Then, apparently my dear Kelly, as a reader, does not enjoy third person. Fair enough, but I have been experimenting with writing in first person and let me tell you, it's not easy! Well, for me anyway... Finally, my "prose could have done with a little more polish." I'll take that. I'm a beginner and I fully expect to make rookie mistakes for a while. Overall, though, the book got 4 out of 5 stars and a "would try the author again" because "it shows great potential." Excellent. A second look is a wonderful gift to a writer. So, if Kelly from the UK gave the book four stars, why the title of this blog?

Well, let's let Kelly explain herself: "Typically a 4 star review here translates to 3 stars on goodreads, amazon and smashwords..." YIKES! So does that mean when you go to those sites to enter your review, I should expect to see three stars instead of four!?! Ok, Kelly... have it your way, but I'm only going along with this because you were the first and because of that, I hold you dear to my author heart. Seriously though, as a writer, I would be more than happy to send any book I have written to her for review. She was prompt, fair, honest, and extremely considerate. I give her a sincere THANK YOU and a "Cheers" from across the pond. Oh and by the way, when I checked Amazon UK, I saw four stars. "Cheers" indeed!

WRITERS: To contact Kelly for a UK review, go here: http://indieebooks.co.uk/ or here: http://indieebooks.wordpress.com/
UK READERS: Give me a try! I'm cheap... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Wrath-The-Beginning-ebook/dp/B005F4FNE4

Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's Nothing Like An Original...

Since I published my first novella two months ago, I have been constantly making the book promotion rounds on the internet and I am amazed at the love that I see for paranormal romance novels. Maybe it's the result of the awe-inspiring popularity of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series or the seemingly endless lust for everything vampire that has taken over modern civilization. Either way, it's an amazing phenomenon that no one can or even wants to ignore.

I am reminded, though, that the idea of a torrid love affair with the human undead is not a concept that should be new to any of us. In fact, it is an idea that has been around for decades in movies, books, and in oral fiction well before Edward or Bella were even a twinkle in their parents' eyes. I blame this current resurgence on the youth and their need for some good old-fashioned romance in the midst of all the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" debauchery of mainstream media.

The book that introduced me to amorous ghosts was an AMAZING book titled "The Hand I Fan With" by Tina McElroy Ansa. I read it in 1996, a decade and a half before this current wave of spirit infatuation. I fell in love with the books' heroine and, inevitably, I fell in love with her ghostly suitor. The book was both lyrically poetic and classically romantic, while maintaining the action and rhythm of an excellent fiction manuscript. If you have not read "The Hand I Fan With", you have missed out on a Classic Paranormal Romance novel and I suggest you remedy that by buying a copy today. It's priced steep in comparison to today's ebook prices, but it is worth EVERY PENNY.





Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sow a Seed, Reap a Harvest

I have been contemplating a first post for this blog for several days, wondering what in the world I could talk about. What hasn't already been said? What topic hasn't already been written about, rewritten, edited, and rewritten about again? Then it hit me. Just like with all of my writing, I must write about the things that move me. It is always easy to share the things that stir us up and ignite the passion stored away in our spirits. 

Today, I was so touched when a seed that I had planted erupted into a lovely crop for a friend. Her hard work, talent, and creativity paved the road for sure, but I cannot express the joy that I felt when she thanked me for sharing something that seemed to be insignificant to me at the time, yet proved to possibly be the catalyst for the eruption. A seed had been planted. She reaped and so did I.

Strangely enough, this news came at a time when I was not physically feeling well. My fingers were aching from all of the typing that I had done during the day. My stomach was growling and I was wrapped deeply in my flannel robe from the chill in my apartment. I was all smiles anyway and in the simplicity of my joy, these words came to mind:

It is at my lowest that I must rise to the highest point.
It is at my weakest that I must be the strongest.
It is when my heart is breaking that I must love the most.
It is in the midst of tears that I must dry another's eyes.
It is when I am tired that I must run the fastest.

How can this be? These are the times when we are expected, and even entitled, to focus on self and no one would blame us or even think twice about it. However, it is the nature of God within us that pushes us to carry on, realizing that we always have access to His everlasting supply of all that we need, even when we are depleted or empty. Simply put, rely on God and your cup will never cease to run over.