Friday, May 29, 2009

Sex Education Manual?

In a recent interview with PEOPLE magazine, Bristol Palin said, "If girls realized the consequences of sex, nobody would be having sex. Trust me. Nobody."

Bristol, honey, even my son knew what had caused his mommy to have his little sister when he was four years old. He even explained it succinctly to the little girl next door by saying, "Mommies have eggs, daddies have berm" while they were watching an episode of "Lassie" in which she had puppies. (Okay, he may not have been able to pronounce "sperm," but he knew what it meant!)

My point is that I don't think ignorance of the consequences is the underlying problem with teenage pregnancy. And while I would agree that abstinence is the only 100% safe method of birth control (unless your name is Mary), it simply isn't realistic to expect all teenagers to be strong enough to resist the hormonal bombardment their bodies are going through. Sure, it's best not to put yourself in situations that make the temptation too easy to give in to, but even teens with the best intentions sometimes get caught off guard. And it doesn't make them bad nor stupid.

As for a realistic look at the consequences of pre-marital sex, my novel TRUE BLUE FOREVER offers a good one without being preachy, condescending, or judgmental. And you'll get a darn good love story to boot, along with a lot of laughs and more than a few tears.

Buy Your Copy Here

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meet my buddy Lynn!

How appropriate that I would have a guest who wrote a book titled SUMMERTIME on Memorial Day, which is, as far as I'm concerned, the official kickoff of summer! Everyone grab a burger or a hotdog or a rib and a glass of iced tea and enjoy this interview with author Lynn McMonigal!

Where did you get the idea for this book?

Oh, now that’s an easy one! I’ve been a fan of New Kids on the Block for years! In 2008, they released a new album with a new song called “Summertime”. It’s about a summer romance. I used that song and one by Joey McIntyre (“I Cried”, about a man missing the one woman he loved) as inspiration. The first draft of this novel was just a joke. I wrote it for my best friend Lori, who was a huge New Kids on the Block fan. She was always crazy about Joey McIntyre. (I keep saying he is the reason she married a man named Joe, but Lori denies that!) Lori liked the story so well that she convinced me to rework it, to take New Kids out of it and make it all completely fictional. The end result? This novel!

Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite character?

Hmm . . . That is almost like asking me which of my kids I like the best! Honestly, I think that Crystal was probably the most fun to write. She is not at ALL like me. It’s a lot of fun to pretend to be someone else for a while.

Are there some specific lessons or messages you hope readers will take away with them after reading your book?

I don’t think I really had a message in mind with this one. I was just having a lot of fun with it! My hope is that those who read SUMMERTIME enjoy a brief escape from reality.

What's your writing schedule like, and do you outline or wing it?

Well, I have three sons, ages 8, 5, and 2. Most of my writing is during the day, while the older two are at school and the youngest is napping. I also go out to the local library one or two evenings a week to write while the boys and my husband have some GUY TIME.

As far as outlining, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. SUMMERTIME was done without an outline. Normally, though, I use an outline. I find that I am more likely to stay on track and actually finish something if I have some sort of outline of where I want the story to end and an idea of how to get there.

Who was the first person who encouraged you to write?

Mrs. Sue Niedzielski. She was my teacher in 5th and 6th grade. I always liked to tell stories, and she was the first one who suggested that I write them down. She was one of the first people to get a copy of my first novel.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

I LOVE scrapbooking! I’ve got tons of pictures of my boys, more than they want me to have I am sure. Lots of fun shots to show my daughters-in-law and grandkids someday! I also read a lot. My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury. I read mostly novels, though I do pick up non-fiction every now and again.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

From the time I was 12, I wanted to be a mommy and a writer. In high school, I thought I’d be a teacher. That is what I actually studied for when I first went to college. Later, I changed schools and switched my major to marketing. I never felt right about either career choice. Now, with my husband, three sons, writing career, and faith in God, I feel like my life is complete.

What do you like to read for pleasure?

Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author to read. Her books touch me in a way no others have. But I will pretty much read anything. I may not like it, but the only way to grow is by trying new things.

What was your favorite book in grade school? In high school? Now?

My favorite book since I was about 11 has been ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I would love to write one character that is remembered as fondly and loved as deeply as Anne Shirley! I also really like the book PROPHET by Frank Peretti. That is one that really made me think. I love it! My favorite author, though, is Karen Kingsbury (did I mention that?) I can’t choose a favorite of her books, though. The 9-11 Series and the Lost Love Series are the ones I like the best.

Do you have a website where our readers can go to find more information about your work?

I have two websites. One is I am working on changing that over, though. The other is This one has my blog and website information on it. Every day, it seems, I add a little more to that one.

Note from Author:

On Tuesday, May 26, I will be having a day-long launch party on Facebook to celebrate the release of SUMMERTIME. You can join us here: I will be giving away a lot of prizes, from scrapbooking supplies to chocolates to makeup. It is going to be so much fun!

Preorders of SUMMERTIME placed before May 26 are eligible for free shipping! Check it out at

Thanks for stopping by, Lynn!

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Meet Jo Linsdell

Today, I'm excited to be hosting my friend and fellow author Jo Linsdell as part of her blog tour promoting the release of her new book.

Italian For Tourists: Pocket Edition
By Jo Linsdell
ISBN: 978-1-4092-7826-9
Available at:

Jo, tell us why you wrote this book.
I came to Italy with the plan of staying for 3 days and figured I could get by for such a short stay using English. With this in mind, I hadn’t prepared for the fact that Italians might not speak English. In fact, a lot of them don’t, or if they do, it’s very limited. I felt rude not being able to thank or greet people in Italian, after all I was in Italy. If an Italian came to England not being able to speak English, how far would he get? I got myself a phrasebook to help me, but a lot of the information was irrelevant, and it took ages to find what I needed. I wrote this book bearing all this in mind. A tourist doesn’t need to know everything about Italian grammar and the ins and outs of renting an apartment. They want to have an easy-to-use reference book of the language they will need to use and understand during their stay.

Who is your intended readership?

I created this book for tourists. There are a lot of phrasebooks out there, but they all seem to want to give as much information as possible—a lot of it irrelevant to a tourist who just wants to get by for the couple of days or weeks that he's in Italy. This book is designed to be a basic guide to the Italian language, covering phrases and words most needed by tourists.

How did you research your book?
I’ve been living here for 7 years now and, from my own experience, I know the sorts of things that are useful to know when you first come here. I also worked in hostels and as a tour guide and know what information people used to ask me for.

What’s your personal background?
I came to Rome, Italy from the UK in June 2001. I originally came for 3 days but fell in love with the city and decided to stay. After all these years, I’m still here, married to an Italian (with whom I have a son) and have no plans to leave anytime soon.

Who was the first person who encouraged you to write?
Probably an English teacher I had at school, called Mrs Stevens. She always liked my creative writing and would often tell me that I should write out of class too.

Tell us about the first time you believed you could be published.
When I sent off my first article and they published it straight away as it was. It was the first draft and I sent it off as a query to The Florentine (an English language newspaper in Florence). It was the first time I'd ever done anything like it before and was surprised by the results. It made me realise I could do it.

Do you have a cure for writer’s block?
Taking a short break and doing something non-writing related. Life inspires :)

Do you complete a work before editing? What takes longer – writing the first draft or editing?
This is probably the biggest problem I have when writing. I always have the urge to edit even as I'm writing. I need to stop. This is number one on my list of reasons why it takes me so long to write. I really need to get better at getting a first draft completed before I start editing.

What do you like to read for pleasure?
I love Dean Koontz books. The guy is a genius! I like Sophie Kinsella but also enjoy reading classics like Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde. I'll give pretty much anything a go.

What was your favorite book in grade school? In high school? Now?
In school we studied Anne Frank's Diary and it had me hooked. So tragic yet so inspiring. When I was in college, I read Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and it's been one of my favourites ever since. I even bought a copy of the film afterward, but the book is far better.

Do you have a website where our readers can go to find more information about your work?

Give us some details on your upcoming author appearances.
I'll be featured at the following sites this month:
5th (interview)
7th (review by Karen Cioffi)
8th and
9th and

I will also be featured at all month.

Saturday, 9th May, is PROMO DAY, an online event I organise dedicated to promoting, networking and learning. It takes place at and is FREE to attend. I'll be in the PROMO chatroom through out the day answering questions and giving information about my books and other services. I'm also going to be moderating some of the workshops.

Note from Author:

Thank you very much for having me. I'd just like to take this opportunity to let people know that everyone who buys a copy of Italian for Tourists Pocket Edition on Saturday, 9th May can get a free copy of an ebook of their choice, from my collection. All they have to do is e-mail proof of purchase to and let me know which ebook they would like.

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true!