December is a very busy month.  There’s food to be bought, baking to be done, lights to put up and…a book to promote?

Yep, in the middle of all the fixings and trimmings, the strands of tangled Christmas lights, ensuring the dragon is well-fed, seven YA authors (myself included) are preparing for a whirlwind internet tour of the new anthology by J. Taylor Publishing, ONE MORE DAY.  There will be virtual parties, giveaways, games, virtual cakes and good eats throughout the month of December, and everyone is invited to travel with us and join in the celebrations.

Not sure what ONE MORE DAY is about?  From the back cover…

OneMoreDay-cover-pb-spine What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could,maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?


Sounds great, doesn’t it?  The book releases December 2, 2013, and to kick off the blog tour, I asked each of the authors a simple question:  If there was one moment in time you could freeze for eternity, a moment you’d love for everyone to see, what would that moment be?  From December 1 – 7th, you will find each of the authors’ answers right here, so I hope you drop by to experience those moments.  Sprinkled throughout the month, you will also find various guest posts and/or interviews by some of the authors so you’ll have more than one opportunity to get up close and personal with them.

In the middle of all the ONE MORE DAY posts here, I will also bring you a few interviews and blog posts for other authors who have their own books they’re proud of and want to show off.  After all, the spirit of the holidays and Christmas is not about tooting our own horns.  It’s about helping others and giving them boosts, applause and accolades whenever we can.

J. Taylor Publishing has a list of many of the blog stops and the dates which you can find here.  There is a virtual Facebook party on December 6, 2013, beginning at 7 PM CST.  There will be giveaways, fun contests, and a lot of fun to be had, so sign up and I hope to see you there.   I am also in the process of setting up a Goodreads giveaway, so stay tuned for more details.

Whatever you do, please make sure you visit each one of the ONE MORE DAY authors’ websites, take a look around and leave a message or several messages throughout the month.  Don’t forget to like their Facebook and Twitter pages.  We would all love to hear from you because without you, our words, our stories would be homeless.  We bow to our readers’ stupendousness.  You guys completely rock my world.  On behalf of Linda, Erika, Anna, Marissa, Danielle, Kimberly and myself, thank you for your support, and have a wonderful holiday season.  Hope to see you around the internet and don’t forget to bring your friends!  The more the merrier!

Author Websites:

L.S. Murphy

Marissa Halvorson

Kimberly Kay

Erika Beebe

Danielle Shipley

Anna Simpson

J. Keller Ford



Bullying Under Attack

How many of us have been bullied during our lifetime?  I know I was to a certain extent.  Always slightly overweight with glasses, I was called many, many  names because of my ‘appearance’.  Even my own brother made horrible, disparaging comments about me to his friends, his schoolmates…even to me.  These words are not easy to cast off.  In fact, I think they have contributed to a lot of my self-esteem issues over the years.  I can’t tell you how many times I was told I was ugly, would never amount to anything, that I was so fat I could tilt a plane on its side if I sat on its wing, and these were the “gentle” comments.  My mom would always repeat the old phrase, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, but no matter how many times I repeated the mantra, the words did hurt…and they stuck like glue to the very fabric of my soul.

That’s why my heart breaks for our young people now.  The bullying is so much worse than anything I ever had to deal with. The nastiness, the brutality, the fights are publicized on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  There is no place sacred and safe.  And so many of our young people are committing suicide at an alarming rate because of it.

Not too long ago I stumbled upon a book that recently came out called, “Bullying” “Under Attack”, and I think it is a must read for all young people and their parents.  Read it alone.  Read it separately, it doesn’t matter to me, but when done, talk about it with each other.  The horrible, bitter words have to end, and our young people and teens need to know that we as parents are not only aware of the problem, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to stop it.  There is no reason why any more of our youth should be hurt or die from bullying.  It’s time to take a stand, and to do so, we must educate ourselves.  “Bullying” “Under Attack” is a great place to start.   If you’re a teacher, parent, or anyone under the age of 18, please, I beg you, read this book.  Librarians, doctors, pastors – please keep several copies on hand.  Together, we can stop this epidemic.

And if you’re a young person/teen who is being bullied, find someone you can confide in and get the help you need.   Words may hurt, but they don’t have to break your bones or worse still…kill you.  Always remember how beautiful and unique you are.  You are special.  People do love you.

 From the back cover:  WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.

“Bullying” “Under Attack “is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the bullied, the bully, and the bystander provide insight and inspiration for change. Rather than offer a cumbersome psychological breakdown, this graceful and hard-hitting book places the reader firmly in the shoes of all involved.

The stories written by The Bullied explain the subtleties and agony of harassment, helping readers understand that there is more to unkind words and behavior than “just joking around.” Although many of these teens have suffered through harassment by their peers, their essays are both empowering and inspiring. By exploring the essays by The Bullies, readers will discover that the bullies are often times incorrectly labeled as bad kids, but many are simply trying to fit in, despite their own insecurities and fears. While these bullies may still have their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles at home, they share their experiences and insights hoping to manage and reforming other bullies. The section voiced by The Bystander shares tales of those who have regrettably watched and those who have stepped up to help others. Here, readers will find the inspiration to speak out rather than just standing by while others are emotionally harmed.

Whether due to race, weight, or jealousy, there are a myriad of reasons “WHY.” Included in this startling compendium of personal stories that convey the complexity and nuances of what it means to be bullied, are stories of regret, promises, and encouragement that will help readers find solace during their teen years and show them how as adults their words and actions can provide strength and reassurance to others experiencing all aspects of bullying. Ultimately, they will learn to find their voices in order to break the cycle for good.

Tangibility of the written word


J. Taylor Publishing’s ONE MORE DAY young adult anthology debuts December 2, 2013, which means my short story, Dragon Flight, will be available to millions of people to read.

Millions of people.  What a mind-blowing concept. As a writer, that’s all that really matters – having my work out there for others to read and share.  Sure, I’d like to top the best-seller lists.  I mean, who wouldn’t like to be spoken of in hallowed greatness among YA fans of Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Suzanne Collins?  And while I’d like to have a theme park named after my novel, I think J.K. Rowling already cornered the market on that one.  I do envision movies, however.  Epic movies, with an all-star cast, maybe even directed by the great Peter Jackson himself, but I digress.

For now, I am thrilled knowing two of my short stories are out there and someone, somewhere is or will soon be reading them.  The Amulet of Ormisez is available in e-book and in one week, Dragon Flight will be available in paperback and e-book, which just makes me jump up and down and squeal and do the little Snoopy happy dance.  The idea of being able to hold and sign a book featuring a story of mine just blows me away.  It is the ultimate high for this author.  I’ll actually be able to give something tangible to my friends and relatives as presents this holiday season.  It’s personal.  I can write a note inside.  I can hand it to them.  There is nothing virtual about that.

I don’t know how I can explain what this means to me.  I guess the only way is like this.  We all know how great it is to Skype with our friends and loved ones.  We get to see them, talk to them, laugh and cry with them…but it will never replace actually holding each other, touching each other, laughing and crying in the same room with each other.  To give the gift of a virtual book conjures the same meaning for me.  I’m not sure I’m ready to move into a virtual world, where everything we experience is on a reader, online, and someday, in a hologram.  We’re losing our personal touch with people.  We’re losing how to interact with people face-to-face.  I think we’re becoming too tech savvy, so much so that we’re losing what’s ‘real’.  And in our eagerness to progress, move on and be ‘up-to-date’, we’re losing valuable lessons, skills and a tangible form of art.

While I see the importance of e-books and I understand all the arguments for them, they can’t replace the authenticity, the sensation of holding a real book. There is something magical in turning the pages, experiencing the freshness or age of a book.  Hiding under the covers with a flashlight as a child, so you can stay up to turn the last page of the chapter.  To pass on and share a book without needing permission.  I am in love with reading, but I’m also in love with books.  Tangible books.  Pages that will yellow with age, bindings that will crease and tear and perhaps even unbind from all the times it’s been opened and read.  That’s what I want to happen to the books containing my writings.  I want them to be well-read, loved, cherished, seen by many – not sitting in a dark reader to never be stroked, loved, needed and perhaps read only once before being cast into cyberspace.  What a heartbreaking fate for some of life’s most beautiful words.   

Words of Confusion Wednesday

Today’s confusing words are “affect” and “effect”.  I see this one interchanged a lot when I edit or beta read.  Even though they are spelled correctly in the manuscript, spellchecker may or may not pick up on the discrepancy because they are very close in  meaning but yet they’re not.  I hope to help clear up a bit of confusion.

Affect is most commonly used as a verb, and it means to cause change in some way.

Example sentences:

The cold weather affected the crops.

The music affected her dreams.

Affect can also be used as a noun, though it is not very common.  It means ‘to show little emotion’

Example sentence:  

She showed little affect when she won the award.


Effect is usually used as a noun and it means “the result or outcome of a cause; a person’s immediate personal belongings.

Example sentences:

His speech had a profound effect on me.

The girl collected her effects before leaving work.

Effect can also be used less commonly as a verb, meaning “to bring about”

Example sentence:

“His words effected a riot.”


I try to remember a sentence like the following when remembering which one to use:
The words affected the author deeply; however, they had no effect on the agent.


Okay…that’s it.  I hope I helped to clear up a little confusion.  Happy writing.  See you next Wednesday with more words of confusion.

Dragon Flight is almost here!

Oh my gosh, I can’t control the squeals of delight!  First, I get an e-mail from my publisher that the print books of the ONE MORE DAY anthology have been approved by the distributor and the paperbacks will start showing up soon.  While I had another short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, published last year, it was only available in e-book format only (Kindle / Nook).  This year, ONE MORE DAY, and my short story, Dragon Flight, will be available in print and e-book!  I am soooo happy I can’t stand it!

Secondly, I saw the purchase link for the paperback on Amazon!

OneMoreDay-cover-pb-spine I just can’t believe it.  I’ll actually have something to sign.  Something I can touch and give to others who don’t have e-readers.  This is such a glorious thing to me.

I’m also very excited to promote this anthology because there are several authors debuting in this work and I’m so happy for them.  It is an incredible feeling knowing a publisher thought highly enough of your work to take a chance on it and publish it.  There are no words that can express how thrilled I am for these new authors. They all have intriguing stories to tell in ONE MORE DAY, and I’m honored to be appearing along with each of them.  (Psst…just to let you know, there is one author who is still in her teen years.  How awesome is that!).

I will be posting a blog tour schedule soon so you can keep up with all the shenanigans we’re all doing.  I’ve also got a great line-up starting December 1 and running through Jan. 2, 2014 of author guest posts and interviews, etc.  You’ll also find other authors I’m promoting during the month of December and I’m über excited to help them out as well.

I hope you stay tuned for all the fun, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways of ONE MORE DAY.  Share the word.  Spread the joy.  And thank you for your loyalty and friendship.  I, we, couldn’t do any of this without our readers, fans and loyal following.  You guys are the best. Thank you for everything.



Unusual Word Sunday

As an author, I always love stumbling upon new words that are either unusual or have fallen out of usage.  I’m always game for increasing my vocabulary and as I tend to write fantasy, old, Middle English words tend to offer a touch of authenticity to the stories.

Today’s word is melichrous.  

Pronunciation: “mel-LEE-krooss”, or “mel-LEE-kruss”

It derives from the old Greek word melichroos and it means:  the color of honey yellow

“The big cat licked his chops as he pressed closer, his large melichrous eyes set on me as if I were his next meal.”

I love the word as I believe describing something as the ‘color of wheat’ or ‘amber’ or ‘honey’ is a little clichéd and old.  We hear it all the time.  Melichrous is fresh, dynamic…different.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and can find ways to incorporate it in your vocabulary.

Have a lovely Sunday.





“Ghosts in the Mirror” by Joyce Mangola

My “Must Read of the Day”.  Enjoy!  This book is waaaay awesome!!!

 Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Riggs has lived his life in and out of the hospital. While the doctors are clueless as to why he lapses into comas, he is well aware of his unique ability to merge with a wandering spirit. With his own soul too weak to sustain life, it’s the only thing keeping him alive.

Waking up from a coma a year after being found at the county dump—next to the remains of the last spirit to inhabit him—Jeremy finds the newest spirit is nothing like the previous ones. It’s bent on revenge and has the will to take control over his body. With the police lining him up as a murder suspect and an ancient evil pursuing him, Jeremy must help the ghost hitching a ride in his body find eternal rest without seeing his own soul snuffed out.


He wiped his hands on his jeans to rid himself of the slimy essence from touching the symbol. The voice that crept inside his head remained silent. He stared into the shadows expecting the inky tendrils to attack at any minute, but nothing happened. Not wanting to wait until whatever spirit occupied the house changed its mind about having a Jerry snack, he clambered out between the boards of the front door.

Jeremy froze as he saw Detective McLouth standing at the bottom of the porch steps with his hands in his pockets.

“Want to tell me why you were in there, Jeremy?”

“I, uh, dropped my flashlight through the boards and went to get it. You know, a stroll on my weekend of freedom.” A weak chuckle bubbled from his lips as his pulled the hood of his sweatshirt firmly over his ears to hide tale-tell sign he was lying.


“Yeah. Weird, right? I just was curious about what the inside was like.”

“At midnight?”

Jeremy nodded enthusiastically but slowed when McLouth shook his head.

“Come on, Jeremy. Why don’t we go back to the station where it’s warmer to discuss what really happened.”

“Well, uh… holy crap!” Jeremy jumped as someone hit McLouth in the back with a shovel, sending the detective to the ground out cold. “He’s a cop! You hit a c…crap!” Jeremy saw a large woman in the light of the streetlamp, and he turned to run back into the house. She over powered him as he screamed like a girl.


Purchase Links:

Words of Confusion Wednesday

Today’s words:  Picture and Pitcher.  It amazes me how many people speak and write these words incorrectly.  While they are spelled differently and mean two completely different things, they do sound similar.  Being from the south, I can understand how people can speak the words incorrectly, being the southern accent accentuates letters while dropping others.  I suppose many accents do the same.  However, as a writer and a beta reader, I do see these two words written incorrectly and thought I’d help those along who may be a bit confused by the two.

Picture:  a visual representation of a person, object or thing as found in such mediums as photographs, painting, or film.



A container meant to hold and pour liquids.

Someone who pitches, i.e. the player that throws a ball to an opposing player, or an author that tosses his/her story out to an agent or publisher.

The number seven iron club in golf


Hope this unconfused those who were confused.  I’m going now to take pictures of a pitcher throwing a ball while drinking a pitcher of orange juice.  Until next time.


Happy writing.