Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sandy Lender Pops In On Boomer Chick!

I have a really special guest here today at Boomer Chick! Not only is she one of the members of several of my online writing groups, a dear, dear friend, and the funniest lady you've ever met, but she is also the author of a book called Choices Meant for Gods and that's why she's here today. Sandy is on a virtual book tour, touring blogs all over the world from the comfort of her home! What a way to promote!

Of course, yeah, I'm biased being as I run a virtual book touring company, but nothing is better than getting the word out about your book than virtual book tours.

Okay, Boomer Chick, we know, we know!

Well, Sandy decided she wanted to try her hand at setting a virtual book tour up herself, and she even made the Boomer Chick in awe! I found her very thorough and really knew what she was doing and I am so pleased to have her stop by in Virginia at the Boomer Chick's abode on the net as one of her stops on her CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR!

And, now, I give you, Ms. Sandy Lender...author extraordinaire....

Boomer Chick: Thank you for stopping by Boomer Chick on your virtual book tour, Sandy! Can you start off by telling us what your book is all about?

Sandy: Choices Meant for Gods is the story of a Geasa'n who's been on the run from a madman all her life. To make matters worse, this madman is an evil sorcerer (aren't they all?) who killed her family. When Amanda Chariss finally chooses to stand and fight, she discovers she's wrapped in centuries of prophecy that demand she protect the gods of her society--one god in particular. Lucky her: The god she's in charge of is this arrogant deity who thinks He's the greatest gift to mankind. What He doesn't realize is He's slowly been losing His followers over the years. And there's another prophecy about to come into play that's going to put Him in mortal danger. Yeah, Chariss's job sucks.

Boomer Chick: Your story is simply fascinating. What compelled you to write it?

Sandy: I was influenced by a lot of things over the years as I wrote down scenes and thoughts and little tidbits of ideas. I'm a huge fan of Old English and Anglo-Saxon literature, so there are themes and words from those influences in there. I'm also a huge Bronte fan, so there are themes and elements from the Bronte family's writings sneaking around the edges in Choices Meant for Gods. I'm also a huge Duran Duran fan, so you'll find images and snippits of song titles hiding between the lines. But I think the driving force that compelled me to write Choices Meant for Gods was Chariss herself. The bad guy showed her to me one day a long long time ago, and I fell in love with her as thoroughly as her dragon companion has fallen in love with her, and, well, you just can't fight that kind of compulsion!

Boomer Chick: LOL, I know what you mean! Is there some kind of message you are trying to get across with your book or is this purely entertainment?

Sandy: Good literature does two things: It educates and it entertains. When I first sat down at the computer to type in 2000, I think I intended to put together a story that was purely entertainment. I was building a fantasy world where Chariss's story could play out. But as I wrote, I realized I had things to get across to the reader, if the reader would pay attention. I have an English degree, so symbolism is sort of pounded deep into my brain, and the astute reader will find symbolism running rampant in Choices Meant for Gods. If you read my blog at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com, you'll discover that the Word of the Day column now features the fantasy words that I created for use in the novel. Many of those words have symbolic meaning, and the ones associated with the estate that Chariss flees to at the beginning of the novel involve protection and shelter and strength. That's not by accident. But beyond giving the reader something "educational" in the English major realm, I also wanted to give a good social message. I didn't want to hit people over the head with it, but I wanted it to be there...under the plot. You see, the Geasa'n are a race of people who possess a power that other people do not possess. You could equate it to "magic" to make it easier to understand. But the people in this world I've created often fear those who possess the geasa. In the past, Geasa'n were hunted and killed for their difference. In Choices Meant for Gods, those characters who embrace Geasa'n and who are accepting of people with "differences" or with "alternate lifestyles" are the characters that the reader roots for. They're usually the good guys. The point I want to get across is that acceptance and tolerance are traits of the positive, good characters--and shouldn't those be traits of positive, good people out here in our world, as well?

Boomer Chick: What a point! If only, huh? Can you tell us who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Sandy: Oh, this is such a difficult question. If I say Abigail Farrier, I'll get hate mail. I believe, this week, my favorite character is Chariss because she is the ultimate female hero. She is the woman who can turn into the light that saves the day, yet she's not perfect. She's not this obnoxious, buxom blonde beauty that you want to smack upside the head when she giggles about something mundane. In fact, I don't think I've heard her giggle... No, Chariss may have her light moments when she teases someone, such as her mentor, who is the most powerful wizard the gods created, but she can assess danger, whip out a sword, and solve the problem in the blink of an eye. You don't want to be on her bad side.

Boomer Chick: Well, I fell in love with all your characters. Nigel was really giving the Boomer Chick palpitations, but what would he do with an old boomer chick, you know? LOL...anyway...what’s next on the agenda? Do you have more books coming out?

Sandy: The second book in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy is complete and I'm editing it now, so that will be the next release. I am working on the third book as well. I have a paranormal romance novel that's complete and waiting for the dust to settle... As for what's next on the agenda, I'm just promoting like mad. I'll be speaking at Context 20 this September and doing as many book signings as I can line up to promote Choices Meant for Gods. But, of course, to get all those sequels and prequels and whatnot to become reality, the first book has to succeed. Folks can help with that by picking up their copy at their local book store or clickin here. So far, it's been a fabulous ride so I'm looking forward to everything in the future!

Boomer Chick: I have high hopes for you, kiddo, and I'm sure you'll be quite successful...mark my words. Well, I know you have to leave - sob, sob - but I want to thank you for stopping by and chatting with Boomer Chick while she waits for Vacation Hell Week Day # 3 to start (long story) and I wish you much success and hope you sell lots of books!

Sandy: Thank you for the chance to share information with viewers at your site. It's been fun talking with you this morning!

Wasn't she wonderful? You can check out Sandy's blog by clicking here and if you have any questions you'd like to ask Sandy, leave them in the comment section and she'll get to them right away! Meanwhile, click on the book cover above to take you over to Amazon to pick you up a copy...it makes for great beach reading!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Vacation Hell Week Day # 2

Well, it's Vacation Hell Week Day # 2 and BF is still alive. Darn the luck.

Before I start, I need to know something. What is it about men and weed poisoning? Is it just BF or is there an army of men out there who are chomping at the bit to don their gloves, face mask and destroy every living, growing thing that sprouts up on God's green earth?

Now, BF has strict instructions on what he can and can't spray, but what is it about men and women that there is no communication thingee going on? I talk, he listens, agrees, and still does the same damn thing he was ordered not to do.

So, I'm out there (still hobbling, but better) and I notice that my baby's breath hasn't come up this year. And...then...I happen to notice my beautiful patch of oregano isn't coming up either. Both sprout up year after year and, then...I remember....BF's obsession with the weed killer.
He thinks he has pretty good excuses, too.
"You want to cut the grass? I don't."
"But, I showed you where NOT to spray."
"But, I didn't spray there!"
"So why aren't they coming up?"
"I don't know. But, I didn't spray there!"
Yeah, right, like they decided to declare this year was the year they wanted to sleep a little longer.

Speaking of plants, I got a really nice gift in the mail today. It was from one of my authors who is going out on tour next month named Karen Magill. Now, Karen lives in Vancouver and I live in the States, so it's a wonder her little present to me today made it and I so want to find the camera to take a picture of it, but for now, I'll find one on the Internet. Hope I can anyway. Hold on, I'll be right back.
Okay, this is close, but mine is much prettier!




Isn't it the cutest thing? It's called a Bamboo Good Luck Plant. I've heard of bamboo but didn't realize you could actually have one in the house and Karen must have realized how much I love plants or I needed a bit of good luck!
Wasn't that so nice of her? Thank you, Karen!
Well, I'll let you know tomorrow if BF is still alive and, btw, I'll have a guest blogger tomorrow!
Her name is Sandy Lender and she's on a virtual book tour for her book, Choices Meant for Gods. Ought to be a great interview so y'all come back now, you hear? ;o)

It's Vacation Hell Week at the OK Corral

You haven't lived until your significant other takes vacation and because he's flat broke, he spends his vacation cooped up inside the same house as you. FOR A WHOLE WEEK.

Hi. Welcome to Vacation Hell Week at the OK Corral. It may get grisly and I suppose I should give these series of posts some kind of violence-related rating; but so far, it's not come down to swinging from chandeliers and calls to the cops yet.

Now, I guess I love my BF in a weird sort of way. Haven't quite pinpointed just why, but as he's been around for the last ten years and he hasn't been thrown out yet, something must be there, right?

I knew his vacation was this week, but I don't think I quite prepared for it enough.

Sunday was pretty calm. I came home from work and my house was clean and the dogs had had baths. I guess BF was gearing up for Vacation Hell Week and was trying to score a few brownie points before it hit.

But, Monday. Monday, Monday, Monday.

I woke up with my feet swollen for some ungodly reason and had to sit pretty much in front of the computer (dang the luck) all day long. Daughter comes out of the bedroom and I'm telling her about my feet and BF wakes up.

Being as this was the first day of Vacation Hell Week, I didn't think ahead of time to close his door so he wouldn't wake up. You can't have the festivities start too soon, now can you?

It starts out fine. He asks me about my feet, tells me I'm getting older, and goes out to cut the grass.

So far, not too bad.

But, dinnertime, I'm about had it with these freaking swollen feet and hobbling around, and I'm getting hungry.

"You want a sub?" he calls from the bedroom.

See, he lives in the bedroom (that's where the TV is) and I live in the living room (that's where the computer is) and never the 'twain shall meet.

So, I said sure and went to get some money to give him to get the dogs some food, other odds and ends, and THE SUB.

Now, I'm not sure how much the sub is, so I ask him, and he tells me $3 ought to cover it. I said, "Are you sure?" and he said, "Yes. If not, I have some quarters."

I'd like to see his quarter stash. Whenever he wants me to feel sorry for him and give him more money, he always says, "It's okay. I have quarters." I picture his trunk being filled to the brim with quarters upon quarters.

So, I said okay, and went back to working on a brand new website for Pump Up Your Book Promotion PR, and being as I have a new set of authors going out on tour next week, I was hurrying and not paying a bit of attention to BF when he got back.

I look up from the computer and yell to him in the bedroom, "Where's my sub?"

He says, and this is a direct quote, "It's in the fridge."

So, I go back to my website designing and notice there's a bag of marshmallow peanuts sitting in front of me that I gave him money to get me from the store. I'm in my marshmallow peanut craving stage.

Of course, I'm fully engrossed in this website designing and, not thinking, I open the bag and start munching down.

I look up about an hour later and BF has gone on to play poker, so I get up to get my sub.

Only, I can't find it.

I opened the fridge and the only thing closely resembling to my sub was this half-eaten sub full of mayo and some kind of hot peppers. Now, mayo sends my stomach to convulsing and I won't go near a hot pepper, so this obviously wasn't mine, or if it was, BF was going to have hell to pay because he knows damn well by now what I get on my sub.

I wanted to cry. I paid for dinner and dinner was nowhere to be found. I'm still hobbling around with these freaking swollen feet and, now, I have nothing to eat on top of that.

I fix myself a sandwich and sit down to have a good lengthy sorry-for-myself cry.

BF comes home a few hours later and, by that time, I'm ready for him.

"Where's my sub?????"

He smiles and says, "I didn't think you wanted one."

Heeeeelllllooooooo?????

"I specifically asked you how much they were and gave you money for it!"

"Oh. I thought that was for my sub. You're kidding, right?"

So, this is what the first day of Vacation Hell Day was like.

It didn't take too long before fire was coming out of my ears when BF dashed back to the sub shop and I could finally have my dinner.

So, this was Vacation Hell Week Day #1.

Stay tuned for Day #2 of Vacation Hell Week tomorrow. If BF lives long enough.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another Cool Blake Lewis Video

Just found this video thanks to Mark Mosher! This is American Idol contender Blake Lewis beatboxing live at Columbia City Theater last Halloween!

Finals are tonight!!!!



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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Obsession

Well, it was great...fantastic...stupendous! Tonight Blake Edwards and Jordin Sparks duked it out and I have to say it's going to be close. Super close.

But, don't tell that to my daughter who is still in the bedroom voting and voting and voting for Blake Lewis. Guess we won't know until tomorrow night.

But...

Tomorrow night, she and I are going to pah-ty with dip and chips and popcorn and we're going to camp out in her bedroom to watch the finale, and pray, pray, pray that those million and a half times she voted for him, Blake will come out the winner.

It's all her fault she hooked me on Blake because Jordin has been my favorite since the last few weeks. She is one of the most fantastic singers I've heard in a long time. But, Blake has pizzazz with his little beat boxing thing he has going on and he's such a little cutey-pie.

We ordered tickets last Saturday and she and I are going to the American Idol Live concert at the Hampton Coliseum in September. I. Cannot. Wait.

I get to see Sanjaya! And Phil! And all the others who kept me glued to the tube when I should have been on here setting up tour dates for my authors.

It's been fun, but my daughter brought up something interesting. What are we going to look forward to now that American Idol is just about over???

I have no idea.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, there's going to be a void! I need my American Idol fix!

Ah well. Guess I'll have to find something else to keep me entertained.

Well, my million and a half votes are going to Blake, so we shall see tomorrow night...PAAAAHHHH-TY!!!

Would you like to join us?

Anyway, I thought you might like to see Blake's first Seattle audition. That hair's gotta go!



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Monday, May 21, 2007

SPECIAL GUEST: Pamela S. Thibodeaux, Author of TEMPERED DREAMS

We have a special guest with us here today at Boomer Chick! Pamela S. Thibodeaux, author of Tempered Dreams, is touring the blogosphere on her first virtual book tour and we're so happy to have her as one of her stops!

Pamela is an award-winning author and the Co-Founder/President & Treasurer of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Instead of asking Pamela questions, I thought I'd do something different and post an excerpt of Tempered Dreams so that you can get a feel as to what Pamela's book is all about.

For your reading pleasure, I give you the first chapter of Tempered Dreams!

Chapter One

Katrina Simmons awoke with a jolt when the car she rode in slammed into the bridge, spun twice and came to a sliding halt against the concrete wall. She sat a moment, stunned, her heart banging against her ribs, her breath escaping in ragged pants.

Thank God there was no one around. Reaching over, she shook her husband. "Jack?" He mumbled, eyes rolling languidly, and passed out.

Rage unlike anything she’d ever known roared through her. Fumbling with the door handle, she managed to get it open and climbed shakily out of the vehicle. A groan, more anguish than pain, escaped her clenched teeth as she considered the damage to her car.

"Great, Jack! Just great," she raged at her husband, who reclined in a drunken stupor. "You've finally done it! You've ruined my car!" she accused, kicking the door.

~ ~

Dr. Scott Hensley settled in for the drive to New Orleans. It wasn't a long drive from Lafayette, but a trip he wasn't looking forward to. Mardi Gras in New Orleans was not the place to be.

Putting the top down on his car, he reveled in the brisk evening air. A nearly full moon gleamed its glory against a backdrop of black velvet in the star-studded sky. A cacophony of night birds and insects sang in harmony, rivaling the sound of tires slapping on pavement. Much to his surprise, Interstate traffic was light. At the sight of an automobile accident, he slowed his vehicle and pulled over. Using his mobile phone, he called the police and climbed out of his car to check on the victims.

"Are you all right?" he asked, hurrying toward the young woman pacing alongside the car.

She whirled around with a screech, lunged through the window, and shook the driver. "You drunken idiot!" she raged, punching him soundly on the jaw. She shook him again, winced, and shoved away to continue her tirade.

Being a wise man, Scott stepped back from the raging female as the sound of sirens pierced the air. Showing his Identification, he talked with one of the police officers arriving on the scene while the other officer spoke with the young woman.

"Did you see what happened?"

Scott shook his head. "No, I pulled up afterward. Looks like they hit the wall." He glanced toward the stretch of concrete median dividing one of the longest bridges in Louisiana and the United States. Most of its four lanes divided by water, the stretch of highway passed over the Achafalaya Basin between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, making it a tedious section to travel with few exits. Endless swamps and cypress trees were the only scenery.

They watched the young woman pace, answering in monosyllables. She turned in an angry whirl, gestured wildly, then cradled her arm against her.

"She seems to be favoring her wrist," the officer observed.

Scott chuckled. "I'm sure it needs tending. She hit him."

The cop’s eyes widened. "What? Who?"

Scott laughed softly and shook his head. "Her husband or boyfriend, whoever is driving. When I arrived, she was ranting and raving about him ruining her car. She lunged through the window, and punched him. I haven't had a chance to check on him. I doubt he's injured too badly. From what I can gather he's probably drunk."

"What did he do?"

Again Scott chuckled, feeling a tug in the region of his heart. The fiery little lady reminded him of someone he knew. Two someone’s actually, someone he loved and someone he’d lost.

"He just groaned and passed out," Scott answered, walking toward them. He presented his I. D. to the other officer, requesting permission to check her wrist.

Katrina balked at the offer. "I'm fine," she hissed, not caring about her wrist. All she wanted was for someone to drag her husband out of the car and let her loose on him!

Scott reached for her, turning her to face him. "Easy, Sweetheart," he said, his voice a soft drawl. "I won't hurt you."

She looked up at him, her eyes wide and angry, her cheeks flushed, and fainted. Scott caught her as she slumped in his arms. Picking up her small frame, he held her as the summoned ambulance arrived with sirens blaring. Carrying her to it, he waited as the EMT’s opened the back and retrieved a stretcher before gently laying her there to examine her. Her wrist, swollen and purple, showed signs of a break. The golden band on her ring finger implied that the driver was her husband. Other than restless stirrings, she seemed fine.

Covering her with a blanket from the ambulance, Scott watched the officers pull the driver out of the car. Gut-wrenching fury clawed through him when they hauled the huge bulk of a man from behind the wheel. A tad over his own six-foot height, the man was a giant compared to his tiny wife.

Where Scott's broad shoulders tapered down and narrowed to a slim waist and long, muscular legs, this guy was rock-hard. His chest was easily as broad and thick as his shoulders. He had a solid middle and bulky, muscular legs and hips, the build of a football player, wrestler or body builder. From his belligerent attitude, he obviously took advantage of it.

“You leave me in jail, and you'll pay for it, Katrina," he hissed, slurring the words, obviously unconcerned that his wife lay passed out on a stretcher. When the young woman began to moan and writhe, Scott turned toward her.

"My baby," she whimpered. Clutching her stomach, she curled into a tiny ball and wept.

Scott noticed a widening stain of blood on her jeans as it seeped from her body. Pulling her against his chest, he did his best to soothe the trembling female in his arms. In all of his years as a physician, nothing prepared him for the array of emotions slashing through him. After she had quieted, never fully conscious, he lay her back down.

Walking over to the police car, he hailed the officer. "Add murder to his charges. She just miscarried," he growled, glaring at the man in cuffs.

It took a moment for the words to register on Jack Simmons's booze fuddled brain. He grunted. "Don't need no brats anyway," he slurred. His head rolled languidly, and he slipped into a drunken stupor once more.

Scott’s hands clenched into fists and for one fleeting moment, he thanked God that he’d taken an oath to preserve life. He could easily kill the man, so obviously unconcerned with his wife and unborn child that he’d driven, drunk, with her in the car. Domestic violence and child abuse were the two most hated diagnoses in the Physicians Desk Reference and he’d seen enough to leave no doubt in his mind that she had little, if any, say about the situation she was in.

The police drove off with the husband cuffed securely into the back seat, and the ambulance took her away. He watched their departure and then decided to follow the ambulance to see how she was. Turning on his c. b. radio, he communicated with the drivers and found out what emergency room they were taking her to.

“Well, she’s from Lafayette, but we’re closer to Baton Rouge, so we’re taking her there,” the paramedic replied.

Using his mobile phone, Scott put in a call to the hospital he was traveling to and bought some time. Instead of the seven in the morning to seven in the evening shift he’d originally been scheduled, Scott had it switched to the opposite. He pulled in behind the ambulance and talked with the doctors and nurses on staff in the emergency room at Baton Rouge General. Then he waited.

Katrina swam up from the pain-induced fog to awareness. Tossing in discomfort, she opened her eyes. Surprise and shock widened them as she gazed into the soft brown eyes of a stranger.

Read more here!

###

For more information on Pamela, please visit http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com/. You can pick up your copy of Tempered Dreams at Amazon.

If you would like to visit her virtual book tour page at Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours, click here.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SPECIAL GUEST: Caridad Pineiro, Author of BLOOD CALLS

We have a very special guest today at Boomer Chick! Caridad Pineiro, author of the spine-tingling vampire romance, BlOOD CALLS, is stopping off on her virtual book tour!

Caridad is a multi-published author whose love of the written word developed when her fifth grade teacher assigned a project - to write a book that would be placed in a class lending library. She has been hooked on writing ever since.

Her fourteenth novel, DEVOTION CALLS, was released by Silhouette Nocturne in January 2007. THE CALLING vampire series, based on characters from Caridad's first vampire book in March 2004, DARKNESS CALLS, debuted with DANGER CALLS in June 2005 and TEMPTATION CALLS in October 2005. Due to overwhelming fan support and reviews, the fourth book in the series, DEATH CALLS, helped Silhouette launch its new Nocturne paranormal line and Caridad was one of the authors featured by Harlequin at this year’s BookExpo America in Washington, D.C.

THE CALLING vampire series will continue with BLOOD CALLS in May 2007. Additional books are planned for the series.

For more information on Caridad, please visit http://www.caridad.com/ or watch her interview at www.romancenovel.tv.

To meet Caridad, please check http://www.caridad.com/ for her appearance schedule and also, drop by the Harlequin booth at BookExpo on June 1.

###

Boomer Chick: I'd like to ask you the general question of what your book is about to start us off. Can you tell us what Blood Calls is all about?

Caridad: Blood Calls is book #6 in THE CALLING Vampire series, although each book in the series stands alone. It’s a sexy and dark paranormal romantic suspense and here’s a quick blurb about it: Diego Rivera became a vampire during the Spanish Inquisition and recently lost his vampire lover. The experience of so many years of life and loss has Diego thinking that becoming a vampire elder may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. Diego is currently the owner of an art gallery in Soho and Ramona Escobar is a young artist that he has been supporting. Ramona is beautiful and passionate, but she has a life filled with hardship and secrets. She recently made copies of some Old Masters and now finds that those copies are being passed off as the originals. Ramona is determined to find out who is behind the art fraud, but is challenged by two things – the millionaire behind the art fraud is out to stop her and her health is failing since Ramona is suffering from a rare form of anemia. When her life is threatened, Diego comes to her assistance and passion flares between them, but can their passion survive the secrets that both Diego and Ramona have hidden from each other?

Boomer Chick: Why prompted you to write about vampires?

Caridad: I’d always liked supernatural stories. When I was younger, my mom, sister and I would regularly watch horror movies together and the vampires were always the scariest to me, but also the most interesting. I think it’s the appeal of the immortality, but the fear of sharing something as intimate as blood. When I decided to try something dark and otherworldly, it was definitely the vampires that were first on my list.

Boomer Chick: What's the latest dish on vampires? I mean, is NY still buying them or is it starting to wane down?

Caridad: The dish is that there are too many vampire novels out on the market. Actually, the talk is that there are too many paranormals, but NY still seems to be buying them and the readers still seem to be eating them up. I think that if the market starts to cool, like it did with chick lit, it will be because in the rush to fill demand, there are too many bad paranormals published which will turn readers off to the genre and/or new authors.

Boomer Chick: Do you have more in the series planned?

Caridad: Yes, we do. In December there will be another novella in the series – FATE CALLS – in an anthology titled HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE. (There is a free novella – DESIRE CALLS – online at eharlequin right now!). Then in 2008, THE CALLING vampire series will continue with FURY CALLS, ARDOR CALLS and VENGEANCE CALLS. I’m really excited that I’m getting to continue this series of my heart.

Boomer Chick: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you like to tell us who she/he is and what it took to grab her/him? Acquiring an agent is like pulling teeth sometimes! If you do not have an agent, have you thought about acquiring one?

Caridad: My agent is Caren Johnson and she’s wonderful. It was very tough to find an agent – almost has hard as it was to get published. My first agent was awful and that old saying is true – A bad agent is worse than no agent at all. I actually sold ten books without an agent. My first agent sold none for me, but with Caren, we’ve been on a roll and I just sold my 25th book! Caren is a go-getter and is always keeping abreast of marketing trends. I’m hoping we’ll sell a lot more books together.

Boomer Chick: I understand you went to the Romantic Times convention recently. Can you tell us about that trip?

Caridad: I did recently attend the annual Romantic Times convention. This was my third time at the convention and there’s been a decided turn toward highlighting erotica and e-publishing at the convention. Then of course, there’s the parties and cover models. The parties are fun and the young men are handsome, but it’s a little disconcerting to see the reaction of many of the women toward these young men.

Boomer Chick: When you're not writing, what do you do?

Caridad: I still have my full-time job as an attorney and I’m a mom and wife. Combined with my writing, I do a lot of juggling to keep things going.

Boomer Chick: What is your most favorite place that you have visited?

Caridad: That’s a tough question! I’ve been blessed with a career that has let me travel to dozens of places in Latin America and Europe. Of all the cities, I’d have to say that Paris was the most amazing in terms of how much there was to see. London is in a dead heat, though. There are almost as many places to see and the people are absolutely charming.

Boomer Chick: Booksignings. Love'em or hate'em? Serious!

Caridad: Book signings are an iffy proposition. There are so many things that can keep readers away. Good weather, bad weather, a busy weekend. I love them when they work and I can get to meet new people or long time fans. I hate them when we all just sit there with no one to meet. In terms of selling books and saving time, stock signings are likely more effective. What’s stock signing? You go from store to store and just ask the manager to sign the stock that they have. Most managers will then place the autographed books up front since many people like to but autographed books.

Boomer Chick: What's next on your agenda? New book? Radio? TV?

Caridad: I just finished a few TV spots for a show on the public access channels in New York City. Nothing else like that planned right now, so for the moment, I’m working on books that are under contract and also researching a new single title romantic suspense that I’d like to write.

Boomer Chick: Thank you for coming, Caridad, and I wish you much luck on your virtual book tour!

Sandi's tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours! If you are an author and you would like us to set up a virtual book tour, click here for more information!

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

SPECIAL GUEST: Sandi Kahn Shelton, Author of A PIECE OF NORMAL

I have a real treat for everyone today at Boomer Chick. We have a guest author! Welcome Sandi Kahn Shelton, author of A Piece of Normal!

Sandi is one of my authors on her very first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours and it's been such a pleasure to know her, to work with her, and to follow her around the blogosphere as she visits blogs that are literally all over the world!


And who is Sandi Shelton?

Sandi has been writing fiction since she was six years old and figured out that she could make money selling stories to the neighbors so she could get money for the ice cream man. After she made her first sale--twenty cents for a story about a king who slept through his coronation--she bought banana popsicles and vowed that making up stories was going to bring her plenty of frozen goodies until the end of time. Unfortunately, life doesn't always give you what seems promised--and first she had to put herself through college by working at Taco Bell and Howard Johnson's, then she became a medical assistant and learned to give shots and say, "The doctor is busy just now, may I take a message?" while she waited for her degree in English to come through for her.

While she waited, she got married and had a couple of kids, and for a while the only creative writing she did was permission slips for field trips. And then she got a divorce and she got a job writing news for a local weekly newspaper--which would have been so much more fun, she thought, if she didn't have to tell the precise truth about everything. But people are quirky about their news: they want it to really have happened, not be the way a person would have thought it could have happened if life was more interesting. And so, bored out of her mind with Planning and Zoning meetings, she started writing a weekly column about her life as a single working mom, just to keep her mind of town politics and to keep herself from going insane. (Plus sending these little bulletins made her mother stop nagging her for letters.) She put the typewriter on the kitchen table (this was back in the days of typewriters) and started writing down all the things that happened in her family: the hamster loose in the living room, the last-minute elephant costumes being put together at 3 a.m., the lost car keys turning up in the garbage disposal, the bubble gum in the hair, the doll named Fixie that she had re-sewed the arms on 4,586 times...etc., etc.

People started calling it a "humor column," although that wasn't the way any of it struck her at the time. She planned to write it for exactly five weeks, or until she ran out of material, whichever came first--and somehow that led her through the next ten years, including into a new marriage, another baby, the older kids growing into teenagers and heading off to college. Working Mother magazine started printing some of these columns, and then a publisher ran across one of them, and offered to put them in a book, which was called You Might As Well Laugh: Surviving the Joys of Parenthood, which was released in 1997.

Then, because once these things start happening, they tend to keep on happening, she started writing a book about babies and how fascinating life can be when you haven't had any sleep for five straight months. St. Martin's published it in 1999, and called it Sleeping through the Night...and Other Lies, and it had the honor of being the only book about parenthood that offered virtually no advice whatsoever that could ever help a new parent, unless you count the sentence that says, "Just try to muddle through as best you can, and don't feel bad about crying in public." On a roll now, she started free-lancing for magazines (she's an expert in 77 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him Without Spending More than $10) and she went on to write Preschool Confidential, which came out in 2001, and again, merely commiserated with people who might have toddlers at home scribbling on their couches and walls. For a while it looked as though she might be stuck in a rut of writing about each and every age a child might eventually turn, all the way up to "Dealing with Your Thirty Year Old," but luckily fate intervened and she realized that what she'd really always wanted since she was six was to make up lies about fictitious people and put them in books and buy banana popsicles.

And as it happened she had been pursuing this little dream for nearly the whole time she'd been writing the other books. Whenever there wasn't a carpool to run, or a load of laundry to throw in, or some disgusting dog-substance to wipe up, or a magazine or newspaper column to do--she could be found tapping away on her laptop and muttering aloud about this woman Maz who was raised by Madame Lucille, a crazy fortune-teller who thought nothing of seducing Maz's boyfriends, and in 2005, a mere seventeen years from the date she'd started it--she got a phone call from her agent saying those words she'd always longed to hear: "They're buying your novel!"

What Comes After Crazy was published by Shaye Areheart, a division of Crown, which is a division of Random House, in 2005--with one little surprising line added there in the contract: another book of fiction was due just ten months later. This was great (though scary) news for her but bad news for the piles of laundry and the carpools, because now she actually had a reason to learn to say NO and to sit down and mutter nearly full-time at the laptop. She finished A Piece of Normal--the story of two mismatched sisters who have to learn to get along-- with minutes to spare for her deadline, and it came out in June 2006 in hardcover, and in March 2007 in paperback.

These days she's again muttering happily aloud at the laptop: she's at work on a new novel whose deadline is ticking ever closer, and a fourth novel is just beginning to nudge itself into her consciousness. Luckily the children have pretty much grown up and don't need her to made their peanut butter sandwiches anymore, and instead of writing her family life column for the newspaper, she now writes a blog.

You can find out more about Sandi and her books at http://www.sandishelton.com/ or her blog at www.sandishelton.com/blog/!

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Boomer Chick: Welcome to the Boomer Chick blog, Sandi! Can you tell us what your book is all about?

Sandi: Oh, I'm so happy to be here, Dorothy. I love this blog! Thank you for letting me come and visit and talk about my book.

A Piece of Normal is the story of two sisters--Lily, a single mom who is all settled down and buttoned up (she's so together, she's an advice columnist who loves to tell other people how to live) and Dana, a runaway punk rocker who left home at 18 and hasn't looked back. The story is about their reunion and how they both have to come to terms with their damaged childhoods and learn to forgive each other and their parents so they can move on in their lives. In the process, though, they go through a lot of weird stuff, such as Dana falling in love with Lily's ex-husband, and Lily getting in such trouble at her job that she has to figure out how to give herself some good advice. (And we all know how hard it is to advise ourselves!)

Boomer Chick: Do the two sisters in the book have any relevance to your own personal life? In other words, did you have a punk rock sister, lol?

Sandi: I didn't have a punk rock sister, actually--but I do think that the sister relationship is one of the most power-packed relationships in a woman's life. A sister is like a mirror, showing you the past you came from, and keeping you from ever being able to quite walk away with it without dealing with it. You know? So many times, I think, sisters become almost polar opposites: one being almost a mother figure and the other one being permitted to act outrageous and do whatever she wants. In Lily and Dana's case, the roots of their estrangement come from way back, when Dana unwittingly became the keeper of their mother's secrets...and this mom had some pretty powerful secrets, believe me! So while Lily is the one trying to hold everything together, she learns how to be spontaneous and take more risks by watching her sister--even though her sister is breaking her heart at the same time.

Boomer Chick: What message is your book trying to convey?

Sandi: You know, I didn't really have a message when I started writing it. I didn't know what it was about. I only knew that I was compelled to write about these two women, who seemed to have moved into my head and were telling me things about their lives all the time. They were constantly tattling on each other in such a sibling rivalry kind of way--while I was trying to fall asleep, or when I was driving the car, or when I was taking a shower. I finally stopped fighting them and started listening and making notes. It wasn't until the book was finished that I could step back and see what it may have meant, and here's what I think it's about--that sometimes we have to open our hearts in very unexpected ways to find our truths. This means not only forgiving the past, but embracing it.

Boomer Chick: Can you tell us about your agent and how you acquired her?

Sandi: My agent is Nancy Yost, of Lowenstein-Yost Associates, and she is wonderfully encouraging and supportive, and sometimes I think we could talk for hours on the phone just making each other laugh--except that we both have work to do, and have to finally hang up. She's got more energy than any four people on the planet put together--almost as much as you, Dorothy. LOL. I found her through my former editor at St. Martin's Press, where I published three non-fiction humor books about parenthood. But the whole time I was writing non-fiction, I had this secret novel in the drawer, and when I told my editor there about it, she suggested I find an agent who was devoted to fiction-writers. I sent a letter to Nancy, sent her a draft of the book, she liked it, made some handy suggestions, which I was happy to take (they were head-smackingly wonderful observations about things I needed to change)--and then she sent it out to editors she already knew, and within a very short time, we had an offer.

Boomer Chick: What would you tell someone who is dying to be published with a NY publisher and would give first rights to their first kid to have an agent like yours?

Sandi: Two pieces of advice, really, besides KEEP THE FIRST RIGHTS TO THE KID IF YOU CAN. The first is: don't give up. I know that sounds trite, and people probably think, "You kidding me? Why would I ever want to give up?" But the truth is that there can be so many obstacles along the way, and everybody always tells you how impossible it is to get a novel published and that you are insane even to try. It can be horrifying how long the whole process takes. My first novel, What Comes After Crazy, took 17 years from the day I sat down and wrote the first sentence until it came out--and during that time I finished it four separate times and then just knew, in my heart of hearts when I would re-read it, that it still wasn't "right." Ugh! I rewrote that thing so many times that I thought it was going to end up being buried with me in manuscript form. My family would just roll their eyes whenever I'd announce that I was back on page one again. (In fact, when it did get accepted and I called my son on the phone to tell him, after he congratulated me, he laughed and said, "So what do you estimate your hourly rate was for that book?" I had to tell him it was probably something like 4.5 cents.) But, hey, who cares about an hourly rate? If you've got a book in you, you're willing to work every available second just to get it the way you want it, right?

Anyway, my agent at the time (who had placed my non-fiction books) read it and liked it and was willing to shop it around, but it didn't sell. Which brings me to my second piece of advice: Get the agent who is right for what you are writing. Although my non-fiction agent was good at what she did, she didn't travel in the "fiction editor" circles. You need somebody who can be passionate about you and your work, and who really knows the market for what you're writing. I was lucky in that I found my agent through a recommendation from an editor, but if you're looking for one, there are books out there to help you. Writers' Digest publishes guides to agents, in which the agents tell what kind of clients they're looking for and what books they like to represent the best. Then write a ONE-PAGE cover letter, (editors get a lot of mail, and they get bored easily, so you have to grab 'em quick) describing your book and your other writing credits, if any, and ask if the agent would like to see a chapter. And then sit back and wait. Sometimes it takes a few tries--and it's hard to wait, especially when you've poured your heart and soul into your book. That's when you need to go back to my first piece of advice: Don't give up. Take it from me. Miracles can happen.

Boomer Chick: If you weren't an author and could be anything in the world, what would be your second choice?

Sandi: I have laughably few skills in the world, so it would be hard for me to do anything besides write, I'm afraid. I'm one of those people who looks at the Classified Ad section of the paper and can't imagine how they find people to fill all those jobs! Who can DO all those things? I work part-time as a feature reporter for a newspaper, where I've worked for 20 years, but other than stringing sentences together (and making the occasional pie crust), there's really not much else that's available for me. I love writing in all its forms (except on the days when I hate it.) But I think I would have loved to become a filmmaker, if I couldn't be a writer. Just the idea of trying to put across an idea using pictures instead of only having words intrigues me.

Boomer Chick: Thanks for coming, Sandi! Any last thoughts?

Sandi: Just that it's so wonderful that there are these online communities now where people can reach each other and talk about things they're interested in. In the six months that I've had a website and a blog, I've met so many interesting people. I could stay in the blogosphere pretty much all day and never mind a bit that I'm not getting any work done. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Dorothy. And I'd also like to say that I'm willing to answer readers' questions, and can be reached at my blog which is: www.sandishelton.com. Thank you!

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Sandi's tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours! If you are an author and you would like us to set up a virtual book tour, click here for more information!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Interviewed at Home Biz Notes!

I had forgotten all about this interview with my dear friend, Mary Emma Allen, one of the contributors in my soul mate anthology, Romancing the Soul, that was released in 2004 by Zumaya Publications.

Wow, Mary Emma and I go way back. Her story was called "It's Not in the Gift, But the Giving" which is in the companion soul mate section. I'm not even sure when Mary Emma and I met (an over the hill boomer chick memory deficiency), but I think we went back even further than that.
Isn't it wonderful how people can connect over the Internet?

But, what else is wonderful is that fact that the Internet has opened up so many options for us that we never dreamed possible.

We can write a book with other people (The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost) over the Internet, we can solicit for stories for our book (Romancing the Soul), and we can even start a home business over the Internet which my interview is all about.

Read it at Home Biz Notes!

Thank you, Mary Emma!

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Romantic Fanatic Reviews The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost

These interviews and reviews are coming so fast, I can't keep track of them!

We just got a fantastic review from Dame Vanessa Charles Presents Romantic Fanatic! She says, "This is the ultimate in ghostly paranormal romance Darlings! I have to give this book five out of five pearls! This book will go with everything: chocolate, wine, cashmere. This is such a good book Darlings! A book like this comes along only once a life time!"

This is a new reviewer I think, but she is the absolute bomb! Read the rest of the review here!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Say No to Crack

It's all Henri's fault.

See, Henri is a ghost. And it is because of Henri, I ended up playing on the Internet tonight.

Let me back up. Henri is the ghost of the new paranormal, The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost, that everyone in the universe who knows me or my co-authors Heide Kaminski and Pam Lawniczak have heard about for about a million or so times and will probably hear a lot more about in the next few centuries. It's actually quite normal for authors to bore the living daylights out of everyone when their book just comes out, so bear with us....we'll be back to normal soon I hope.

But, it is because of Henri that I was playing on the Internet because he insisted on having me find a picture of him in ghost form for me to show everyone what he looks like. Only, it's kind of hard since I've never actually seen Henri and have only what he has told me he looks like to go by.

And I gave up.

But what I did find is going to horrify you as it horrified me.

I have no idea why finding a ghost picture led to this but anyone who knows what it's like to play on the super information highway knows how one thing leads to the other.

Well, I ended up on crack.

Not the crack that sends people to jail crack, but the crack that is out there, hanging around, like it's a perfectly normal thing.

I'm talking about crack like this:


And this...

What I don't understand is how anyone can't know their butt crack is showing. Surely, you can feel the breeze. But, then I got to thinking more about this. It's a fashion statement and I don't know how I was left out of knowing this. I mean, I see it all the time and didn't even realize that it is sweeping the whole freaking country.

There's group butt crack....



Baby butt crack...


And my all favorite...
Monkey butt crack.
It's freaking everywhere! Where have I been??? I KNEW I was spending waaay too much time behind the computer screen.
So, the next time I go out in public, I don't want to look different. I don't want people to point and laugh and say, "Look at that woman not showing any butt crack!"
But, then, I'm not your ordinary woman; and frankly, I really don't think the world is quite that ready.
Well, it's back to finding a picture of Henri. I could send him one showing his butt crack, but then, I don't think the world is ready for that, either. Back to the drawing board....


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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Ghostie Bedtime Story

Come along little children....it's time for a bedtime story! Everyone tucked in?

Good, because I'm going to tell you a little story before you go to sleep. Are you ready???

Billy Bob, stop pulling the dog by the tail and get into this here bed, you hear me! And stop smacking your sister with your father's Playboy magazine...she has enough bruises after falling out the window yesterday!

Come on now...it's time Mama read a little story to you. That's it...now close your eyes...

Okay, here we go...here we go...

Once upon a time, there were three women who wrote a book together. Come on now, this is good, stop laughing and close your eyes or I'm going to close them for you! Billy Bob, get your foot out of your sister's butt; you know she doesn't like it when you do that! Now, settle down!

That's better...okay...once upon a time there were three women who wrote a book together. They each lived far, far away from one another, but there was a wonderful invention called the Internet, which they found out about and which they used to find one another.

Well, when they did find one another, it was really weird because they each found out that they all believed in one thing...ghosts!

And the reason for this was because one claimed she could talk to them, another claimed she had one living with her and the last one claimed that one came to her in the middle of the night and told her to write to put a book together and call it Romancing the Soul.

But, I digress....

What's that mean?

It means...uh...going off on another tangent...close your eyes and stop asking questions!

One day, they found out there was a man who didn't believe in ghosts. They laughed (over the Internet, it went...LOL) with one another because they thought it preposterous.

Of course, there's such thing as ghosts, they laughed and laughed and laughed. Even the ghost friend that was living with one of the women laughed...it was that funny.

Upon reading further, they found out that the man was going to give away big bucks...one million dollars in fact...to anyone who could find one for him.

Lots and lots of people in the land tried, but no one could prove without a shadow of a doubt that ghosts existed.

That's about when one of the women said, "You know what? I think we could do it, don't you?"

Of course, the other women and the ghostie friend (his name was Henri) said, "Hell yeah, we could do it!"

But, instead of actually proving it to the man, who by now wouldn't accept any piece of true ghostie material as being real, they had a better idea.

They decided to write a book.

The girls wrote and wrote until wee hours of the morning and even Henri decided to write a few words while the women were sleeping just to keep the book moving.

By the time they were done, they decided to call it The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost.

In all that time, my children, not once did either of the women think that they would ever find a publisher and be able to hold this book, this creation, this story of how far one man will go to find the spirit of the one he lost and would pay a million dollars to find her, in their hands, but the gods and goddesses must have been on their side because tonight, my friends, the book just went up at AMAZON.

The moral of the story is no matter how much you want to give up because the odds are stacked against you, never never give up because dreams can happen.

So, how did you like the story, Billy Bob?

Billy Bob?

Well, Billy Bob's had a rough day, but all the rest of you children out there...wherever you are...tell all your moms, dads, grandpas and grandmas, to hop over to Amazon and pick them up a copy. If they prefer their neighborhood Barnes & Noble, tell them to go in and order a copy because we all know that it's going to make three little women very, very happy.

Good night, everyone, and don't let the ghostie bugs bite...hahahahahahahahabwaaahahahahahaha....

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