Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Becoming an authority

I can be an authority on about anything, just ask my kids.

Hey mom, what's the tallest building in the world. Where's my shoes?  What is my grade-point average (we homeschool). Where'd I put my keys that you just gave me and told me not to lose?  You get the picture. Even other mom's would ask me questions about how I homeschool, I was quick to answer with an amazing response of which books we used or how we scheduled our day.

But, when it came to writing, I often felt that others knew so much more than I... They wrote awesome books, created amazing blogs, had the biggest twitter following in the universe, while I only wrote a book, all be it a great book. I felt I hadn't gained the expertise or know-how to be an authority.


Seems I hadn't found my author's voice yet.  Just like our characters need to find their voice, we need to find our own. I set my mind on it, as we writers do, pondering what I wanted to say.  After a few days it turned out I  did know a thing or two.  I'd after all, written a book from start to finish.  It was my book, who else could be an authority on it except me?

So how can you be an authority? You will have to find your own way of course, we all do, but I can give you some pointers.


  • Work from what you know. Find your footing - what vast knowledge do you have? Start there.

  • Be real, be transparent. I once went to an intimate in home concert with a musical group I'd idolized most of my adult life. Only around thirty people were in attendance and what struck me was that these guys were real, they were honest, they were transparent. Immediately, I knew  this is how you connect with your audience.  They didn't hide behind their name, they shared raw details of their life. 

  • Treat others with professionalism. Courtesy goes a long way in anything. We've all watched someone get too big for their britches, and a fall from grace soon follows.

  • If you don't know the answer, look it up?  Almost every question can be answered among the internet's invisible walls. (I speak from experience.) BUT remember not everything on the internet is TRUE.  (I speak from experience.)
  • Never talk down to your audience.  

  • Make your opinion count for something. But remember, your opinion is just that, your opinion.

  • Be humble. (No one, repeat, no one likes a know it all!)
Now, I'm sure this list can be added too. I know I will add to it as I become more proficient. But in the mean time, I'm an authority on my own book, and my own life! 



And on a side note... My book will be available on Januray 6th.  I've got a gnawing in my belly cause I'm so nervous. Be sure to check it out if you would! And be sure to read my Character Interview with Laura at Hidden Corner of the Interwebz.  I talk all about my main gal Amber Megan Peel of THE LAST STORED. 









Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Revenge Blog Tour


Revenge Blog Tour


I am so excited to be hosting Paula Rose for a character interview. First up you might remember her blurb:

As a job coach, it’s up to Olivia Foster to ensure her clients work in a safe environment, understand their positions, and serve their employer’s mission. The death of her brother drives her career choice, and she loves her job. It remains her only focus until one of her autistic clients goes missing. Then Olivia’s employer ends her position and adds her to the suspect list, but she makes plans to bring the missing young man home.

Meanwhile, Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is deep into second-guessing his career choice, but his well-honed instincts see major flaws inside this missing person’s case. Surprising contacts, mysterious happenings, and threats can turn deadly. Can he keep Olivia safe, protect his heart, remove the job coach from someone’s target list, and adopt a faith he never knew all while adjusting to the new lives of his old family?


Then her book cover: 

So here is a character interview with Paula Rose herself:


Hi, Sonia! I thank you for hosting me today.  

  1. Who are you and what makes you special? I am Olivia Foster from Revenge by Paula Rose, and my specialty is to wrestle myself away from the author’s vision to show the real me.

  1. What is your current state of mind? Confident that I can bring my missing client home.

  1. Are you currently in love or do you have your eye on someone special? Well . . . Detective Lt. Phillip Landon is kind of cute.

  1. What is the quality you like most in a woman/man? Honesty.

  1. When and where were you happiest? When my brother was still alive, and we would spend time just before dinner looking at his pics of the day

  1. Which talent would you most like to have? Painting.

  1. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My feet are too big.

  1. What is your most treasured possession? Bible.

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be and why? There are so many that it would be difficult to pick only one from people like Michelangelo, George Washington, Mother Teresa, Beethoven, Beatles, etc.

  1. What is your personal motto? 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Awesome Paula, thanks for sharing your character Olivia Foster with us! The book sounds amazing!


Release Date: December 16, 2014


Author Bio:
Paula Rose provides inspiration through Christian romantic suspense stories where "average" families come into extraordinary situations, brushed with life-size strokes of reality and a touch of humor. Born in Philadelphia, she lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband and rescue kitty but often plays amateur photographer in both states.



Author Links:


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

God has perfect timing!

Memories -

Last week we moved from our home of fourteen years.  It was both exciting and a tad bit sad.  In 2000 we built that house. It was in a cookie-cutter neighborhood, you know the type, all the houses look alike, but still all the same, we enjoyed it.  Our kids were little at the time, Sarah was in the second grade, Caleb went to kindergarten at Bethesda, and little Hannah had just turned three.  We couldn't wait to move in and fill it.  Only I didn't realize we would be filling it with memories and not things.



This time of the year and the move has made me sentimental. I mopped the kitchen floor in preparation for the new owners. Memories lingered in almost every room. I touched a nick in the door frame caused by a baby gate to keep the dogs out of the laundry room. A vision of Caleb swells in my mind, of him bouncing down the stairs on a large exercise ball. A feat he couldn't recreate if he tried. Over in the corner of the family room was where we always put our live Christmas tree. Upstairs the kids all crammed into one bedroom on Christmas eve so we could keep a better eye on them, and because it was super cute to hear them giggle. In the kitchen, I could almost smell the turkey cooking.  All of the memories crowded the now empty house. I wandered into our oldest daughters bedroom and peeked in her closet. On one of the walls I found these words:

A lump formed in my throat, when she wrote that so many years ago, did she know that it would impact me so? A stray tear fell down my cheek. God does indeed have perfect timing. He knew it all.

Our new-old home was built in 1926, and I can only imagine what this house has seen through its 88 years, families shared laughter and tears.  We are just now settling in, putting up family pictures on the wall, or cherished keepsakes on a shelf.  Each room whispers a past, and I can't wait to be a part of it and fill it with even more memories, and look forward to finding God's perfect timing!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grit of Berth and Stone, cover reveal -

I'm excited to be part of this thrilling debut for Lisa Dunn. Her book will be out March of 2015. The book's cover looks phenomenal. It captivates my imagination, I certainly want to know more about this Grit and her world.  

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa, since we both worked with the same fantastic editor. Lisa is both witty and sarcastic. A perfect match for me!  So take a look and see for yourself! 

Grit of Berth and Stone by Lisa Dunn

Surge, Anaiah Press



Blurb:
Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her
home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things. But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pull Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.


Release Date: March 17, 2015

Book Links:Anaiah Press
Author Bio:

As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlisadunn
Twitter: @ScouterWife
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/21086727-lisa-dunn

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Last Stored Trailer

Wow, I can't believe my trailer day is finally here!

First, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Anaiah Press for making this all happen.  I couldn't work with a finer publisher. This video really captures the look and feel of my story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!




After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber Megan Peel. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne. She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy flies through her kitchen window to tell her she’s the Last Stored, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.

Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death, and that’s not an option for Cree – especially since he’s falling in love with her.

The Returning has begun. Now all Amber and Cree have to do is enter Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

The Last Stored will be available January 6th, 2015

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22606747-the-last-stored?ac=1
Anaiah Press: www.anaiahpress.com

You can also find me here:

Friday, October 31, 2014

THE LAST STORED cover reveal!

TODAY'S the day!

I am so excited to share with you the wonderful cover for my debut novel, THE LAST STORED. The team at Anaiah Press did a fantastic job! So without further adieu here is the Cover! Let loose the confetti cannons!



 Blurb for The Last Stored - 

After the sudden death of her parents, making it through the day is a struggle for Amber Megan Peel. In the midst of her grief, an exquisite bird perches on her garden fence and shows her visions of a vivid landscape and a dark lord slouching upon a throne.  She thinks the visions are tied to her sorrow. But when a boy flies through her kitchen window to tell her she’s the Last Stored, she wonders if she’s just lost her mind.


Cree of Din is tasked with one job: Bring Amber home. For seven years, Cree has trained as her protector and it is the ultimate responsibility. Failure means Amber’s certain death, and that’s not an option for Cree – especially since he’s falling in love with her.

The Returning has begun. Now all Amber and Cree have to do is enter Tali, a world of unimaginable splendor and equally unimaginable horror, and defeat Lorthis. If they can’t, not only will Tali plunge into darkness, but so will Earth.

My Bio - 


I'm a homeschooling teacher, an active youth volunteer, and a writer.  I grew up traipsing through the thick woods of Kentucky often getting lost in the magic of the forest. The woods inspired my heart and my father and mother, a Kentucky Colonel, cultivated my love for storytelling. For me every day is an adventure, providing me with an endless parade of eccentric characters and vivid worlds. Currently, I live in the sleepy community of Pittsboro, Indiana, with the love of my life, and God has blessed us both with three amazing kids. 


THE LAST STORED will be available January 2015 and is published by  Anaiah Press

You can also find me on:
Twitter - @SoniaPoy

So how cool is that? Amber and Cree have their own cover.  A few years ago when I started my journey with them, I never would have believed it, but yet here they are. Thanks again to the fabulous people at Anaiah Press, who are an absolute dream to work with!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tali - The Last Stored!

Since there’s only five days until my cover reveal, I thought I would talk a little bit about the world Tali from my book, THE LAST STORED. Plus, I'm chomping at the bit to share this land with readers!


Tali - 


Long ago Earth and Tali were united. The people traveled between worlds. The lands came together sharing their vast knowledge. They created things of beauty, and the people of both worlds lived in peace, but obscurity overtook Earth, what we named the Dark Ages, and for whatever reason Earth slammed the doors to Tali shut.

But the Keeper of the Light left three doors open, hidden from the inhabitants of Earth. Soon Earth lost all knowledge of Tali, but Tali never forgot of Earth. They still sing of it. Some even train to one day return to Earth.

So what is Tali like-


The taste of honey permeates the air. Emerald green birds soar through a cotton candy sky. The lowlands of Din are a vast plain of orange wheat. Flowers pop with colors we haven’t a name for. The Severhed Mountain range spires high in the north, and to the south the forest of Outerrat. This land used to abound with life, but Tali is dying.
 
Now the people of the Din have been forever changed, only one remains. The Severhed has become the very seat of evil, and the Outerrat the last stronghold of good is losing its grip.

Tali is waiting for THE LAST STORED to return…




Make sure you join me here on October 31st for my Cover Reaveal!  

THE LAST STORED will be available January 2015 with Anaiah Press and http://www.anaiahpress.com/



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Family Reunion and A Chivaree


Reunion - 


Our family holds a huge reunion every Memorial day down in Somerset, Kentucky, and when I say huge I do mean huge.  About two hundred are in attendance of those two hundred I know probably thirty. But it does give me lots of character to write about, which for a writer is absolute heaven.

Two wagons are brought in with food spread out, of various casseroles and fried chicken. An open mike is set up for all the real bluegrass music. Lawn chairs are opened; people reconnect, life events are shared.

Now, I haven't been to this family reunion for about twenty years, I stayed away, I couldn't for the life of me remember why until...

Chivaree...

I'm sitting there with my best southern accent, I only pull out for these occasions, or the occasional speeding ticket.  No kidding, it works, but that's another story. Out comes two bags of ice and a washtub.  Oh great...

"It's Chivaree time," my cousin Dana said.  

Chivaree - A tradition that our family took and slightly changed. It used to happen on the honeymoon night.  All the relatives would surround the newlywed's home, banging pots, and cheering. The crowd would persuade the couple to come out. Once they did, the husband would  ride an oiled knotty pine log hosted high in the air by the men, while the wife was placed in a wash bucket with ice water. They crowd would run them around the house three times. Only then would the relatives leave.


Of course our family put away the tradition on the honeymoon. They changed it; the event now occurs when you attend the family reunion, no matter how long the time has passed you are required to be chivareed.  I had forgotten all about it.

One of the women I don't know stood up and produces a list. I slink into the shadows. Surely they wouldn't remember I haven't been there since I got married twenty-five years ago.  Two couples are brought forward, people I didn't recognize.  Good they still haven't seen me.

I see my husband, Jeff, talking to my aunt. He's never met a stranger, and he can never tell a lie.  It's loud, but somehow I can hear him.

"What are they doing?" he asked Aunt Joyce.
No, please no... I can't get to him fast enough.
"Chivaree."
I raced forward.
"What's that?" Jeff watched as a log is produced.
I swooped in. "Hi honey, I need something from the car."
"Can it wait, I want to watch this," he said.
Cousin Dana, who had followed me over asked, "Wait, you haven't been Chivareed yet have you?"
Jeff began to speak, but, I interrupted him with a wave of my hands, "I really need my purse can you go get it."
"Sure," he said.  God love that man!
Dana turned to me, "Were you Chivareed?"
Okay, Sonia, dive in deep to that southern charm. "Oh yes, we were.  The water was so cold, and Jeff 'bout hit his head on the rafters," I smiled, reflecting on the fake event.
"Really? I don't remember it."
"I don't think you were here that year. It was so long ago." I said.
"Hmm, must have been one of the years I missed." She watched as a woman in jean shorts sat in the tub of ice.
At the same time six big strapping men lifted up the log with the 'groom' on it and ran through the shelter bouncing him all over the place. My husband returned after the log was put away and the ice was emptied. The relatives had moved on to the open mike as my brother sang some Johnny Cash.

We never did get Chivareed that year. Hopefully none of my relatives will read this, if they do, I might be in trouble the next year I attend.












Monday, October 20, 2014

Trailer Reveal for Hunter

With only 11 days until my cover reveal for The Last Stored. I'm so excited to be part of the trailer reveal for Hunter.  Check it out!!!

HUNTER
by Renee Donne 




Blurb:
Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby.

Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him.

As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.

Trailer:


Release Date: June 9, 2015

Author photo: 


Author Bio:
Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she's a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she's a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.



Links:
Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cover reveal for Bricks by John Davidson

I'm pleased to share with you the Cover Reveal for a fellow Anaiah Press Author, John Davidson. It completely captures the story and I can't wait to read it!!



Bricks by John Davidson
Surge, Anaiah Press


Blurb:

Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns learns that not all tornadoes take you to magical places. Some take your house, your school, and life as you knew it. Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, Cori learns to rebuild what the storm destroyed by trusting a family she didn't know she had and by helping friends she never appreciated.



Release Date: February 3, 2015

Book Links





Author Bio: Married to my bride for twenty-four years, I have an amazing son and a wonderful daughter.
Born and raised in central Oklahoma, I work in education, first as a teacher now in technology curriculum. I write. I read. And in the summer I make snow cones.

Twitter: @jdavidsonwrites

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

T-minus 16 days and counting

October 31st is my Cover Reveal Day!





In 16 days my cover will be revealed for my young adult fantasy called THE LAST STORED! I have pinched myself so many times I'm bruised, but who cares.

So watch your clocks and be sure to check out my cover reveal October 31st.  I always knew loved Halloween this just makes it extra cool!

I can't wait to show the world Amber Peel and Cree.

Oh, and if you're interested in helping with my reveal you can do so, just click here.


Monday, October 6, 2014

The Freight Car of Life

When did life happen?


I can't hardly believe it.  Life is hurtling ever forward at a break neck speed and nothing I do can slow it down.

Why is it when you are in high school you just can't wait to be out on your own.  You lick your lips in anticipation, you study the clock as it ticks, anxious to be done with your day until you can start living your life. When your plans will be yours and yours alone. But a funny thing happens as you wait - Life happens: graduation, marriage, birth, death, trials, happiness, sadness.

All those moments slam together forming a freight train of your life. 

Each car a minute, a year, an event until they form a long chain that make up who you are.  The train struggles to make it up the mountain of life, but suddenly you're on the crest of a hill. The engine balances over the

precipice for just a second, then it gains strength and barrels down. You realize that your train has no breaks. Nothing you can do can stop it.

I can't put a finger on when I started to descend; I just know I have.  I'm past the climb, and life is speeding by.

But something pretty cool has happened. 


The wind is in my hair, I don't care so much what people think of me, I've honed out my goals in life and have focused them. My hands are over my head and I'm letting life happen. Are bad things going to happen, um yeah, but now I know bad things are mixed with the good.

My husband asked me this weekend, if you could go back in time to the happiest time of your life when was it.  Honestly, I couldn't pinpoint a moment in time, but had a group of moments where life was just about perfect.

I think'll look back on this moment as a perfect moment, and say God has blessed me more than I know.  

Psalms 90:10  As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. 





Monday, September 22, 2014

Organizing your writing - Backwards outlining

How I organize my WIP...

Today I thought we could talk about one of my favorite subjects... Organizing.  A long, long time ago, I used to own my own cleaning/organizing business. I would get a tad giddy when my customers asked me to organize their storage areas. I know, weird right, but I loved it! 


It seemed only natural to carry it over into my writing.  

I discovered that my brain is a lot like a messy storage area. When I first started writing, I feverishly flew by the seat of my pants and wrote what every sprang from my thick skull, throwing away half of what I wrote in revisions or plotting errors. Once I finished, I outlined my book into chapters/scenes until I had a tidy spreadsheet. But I still thought there has to be a better way.

Epiphany--- Why didn't I organize my writing like I organized a room. I knew where I wanted everything to go, I knew the last scene. I knew what each character thought. *Head Slap - Why didn't I think of this sooner. Backwards Outline. I did a google search, and of course I wasn't the first one to think of this. Here K.M. Weiland talks about just this thing! Why couldn't I be the first, darn it. But I sure would apply it!

So I set out on my quest, Okay, it wasn't much of a quest but it sure was fun. 



  1. Know your ending -  Get a general idea of how your story will end.  For me this was easy. I already saw it in my head. Don't worry too much about getting it perfect, because in step 4 you'll be writing it out.
  2. Ask yourself questions -  How did they get to this point? Which characters were involved? Who did what, to whom? What happened and why did it happen? 
  3. Know your key players - For me, I had already written a few chapters, so I knew which characters I was going to use. But in the midst of it all, other characters emerged to help me get to the ending point. 
  4. Write the last scene - Roughly write it out. Don't obsess about the detail at this point, just get the idea on paper. 
  5. Next, OUTLINE.  Start from the last scene and work your way backwards until you get to the very beginning of the story. For me that meant a post it note for each chapter.
  6. Switch it around, organize your outline from beginning to end, until it flows. Surprisingly, even my sub-plots supported the end.
  7. Now the exciting part... Write, Write, Write. 
Will things stay the same as your original outline, probably not, but it does give you a broad-stroke plan to achieve your goal, a finished book. 

Good luck and go forth and Write!





Friday, September 12, 2014

Cover reveal for Renee Donne's HUNTER


I am so thrilled to be part of the Surge Team at Anaiah Press, AND to reveal Renee Donne's cover for her new book, HUNTER!  I can't wait to read it!  Everyone check it out!


Blurb:

Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby.
Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him.


As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.

Release Date: November 4, 2014



Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she's a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she's a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.




You can find Renee Donne at:



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Nasty Habits!

Now that I'm finishing up my content edits, for The Last Stored. Wow wee, does it rock! I can't wait to get it out there!

Currently, I am dusting off my work-in-progress, I'm calling it The Swinging Tree. It is 4/5's of the way done. I still need to close up some plot holes, and add a few scenes here and there.

Since I've been editing for the past few months. I've learned an astounding amount of information. At times I thumped my head against my desk, or drooled on my page. BUT, I'm going to apply what I've learned.  Or at least I'll try!


All of us authors have bad habits, if you say you don't then you're probably lying.  So in an effort to be transparent I'll lay out mine!



  1. Eliminate Overused words! We all have them.  I even have  a list: Did, wells up, crisp, remains, surrounds me, reveals (plus many more I've probably forgotten). And I'm pretty sure I'll dig up some new words for my WIP.  
  2. Passive Voice- Sometimes a passive voice is okay because it just fits, but it is more exciting to the reader to live in the moment!  So what are some things to look for to clue you in that you're stuck in passive voice?  Words like, be, am, is, are, was... Reword the sentence, or even cut. Keep it clear, keep it safe... wait that's talking about something else, but you get the idea.
  3. I've been known to use 'as' wrong, oh and I really like the phrase as if when I really should be using like.  Check out Clifford Garstang's tips for writers! Excellent. 
  4. And lastly, have your characters interact with their environment.  Ground them in the scene, give them something to do. Keep it lively, I'm not going to lie, I've been known to act out the scenes. I've fought many a Moriavis, or fallen from a tower.  
It's time for me to get busy, and get to work. Someone once said, "if we never made a mistake, we'd never learn."  So I'm keeping a running list of my stumbling blocks handy. 

Do you have any issues?  What are they?