Friday, June 29, 2007

Sneak Peak - Excerpt From HEATHER!

Many have read the first chapter of HEATHER - but this tidbit comes from Chapter Two:

Heather pulled into her apartment complex shortly after eight, thankful to be home from Augusta. She had been up since five-thirty that morning and was beginning to feel the effects of a long day. As promised, her new vehicle had been very comfortable. Heather wondered again why she had endured her old junker for so many years.

The basketball camp had been a one-day affair. Clemson’s head coach had not anticipated any great prospects at today’s event, but no opportunity for potential talent was to be missed. As the rookie on the coaching staff, Heather knew why she had been selected to attend. Today had been a training exercise. She would have to prove her ability to spot future college basketball players. While she understood the logic behind Stacey’s decision, it frustrated her to receive the lowest assignments. She was at the bottom of the ladder once again.

Gathering her paperwork, Heather stumbled out of her car. She staggered into her apartment and dropped everything on the empty coffee table. While her duties as an assistant coach were still daunting, the condition of her apartment no longer appeared so overwhelming. Heather had found suitable locations for all of her possessions and no longer felt stressed by the disarray. She had other things to concentrate on at the moment.

Heather had spent the past two days familiarizing herself with Clemson in general and her new position in detail. She shared an office with the other assistant coach, Josiah Parker, which promised to be a challenge in of itself. Jo, as he preferred to be called, hailed from Alabama and had lost none of his Southern style and attitude. His coaching abilities were certainly not an issue, but his thick accent grated on her nerves. It was only a matter of time before his Southern drawl elicited a snide comment from Heather. She hoped to curtail her response, as it would only create more friction, but she doubted that possibility. The intensity of postgraduate work at Duke had done little to curb her short temper.

Heather changed into jeans and a tank top and collapsed on the couch. Wearily she opened her notebook and stared at her scribbles and comments from the day. Despite the lack of serious contenders, a center and forward with potential had caught her eye. Heather had taken lengthy notes on both players, determined to prove her analytical abilities. She would have to organize her ramblings and type out a concise report to present to Stacey on Monday. Heather definitely had her work cut out for her this weekend.

“I’ve still got homework!” she mumbled to herself.

With a sigh, Heather dropped her notes onto the table. She slumped against the back of the couch and propped her feet up on the edge of the coffee table. Running fingers through her curly hair, Heather stared blankly at the ceiling, lost in thought. Between the drive and the tournament, she was far too tired to work on her report tonight.

Dropping her chin to her chest, Heather’s eyes fell on her wallet. Lying at the edge of the coffee table with her keys, the small billfold appeared in danger of falling to the floor. Wearily she leaned forward and retrieved her wallet. While absently thumbing through the contents, Heather came upon Mark’s business card tucked between her license and a credit card. Tossing aside her wallet, she stared at the front of the card for a moment before turning to the address scrawled on the back.

The last thing she wanted to do right now was get back into her vehicle. She had spent many hours behind the wheel already today. However, her prospects for the evening’s activities were slim. A long grocery list still sat on her counter, a testament to the lack of food in her home, and her beverage choices were soda and milk that had expired yesterday. There had not been time to make any friends in the area. Heather did not even have basic cable. At this point, she might as well go to bed.

She thought about Mark, his wry expression during their lunch last Wednesday coming to mind first. His features were so similar to Matt’s, and yet uniquely his own. Whereas his brother’s eyes were always bright with mischief, enhanced by Matt’s ever-present smile, Mark’s were more calculating and serious. Shorter than his brother, Mark’s frame was more stout and full, although he had not let himself go completely since high school. He had never shared his younger sibling’s sunny disposition, either, nor had verbal kindness been Mark’s strong suit.

Despite his gruff nature, though, there had been no hint of malice or insolence in his behavior. Mark had given her a great deal on the Corolla, with almost no hassle, and gone beyond the call of duty by paying for lunch, not to mention allowing Heather to drive his convertible. His friendly and amicable nature revealed itself in his actions rather than word, something she was not accustomed to in a man. Usually if a guy sounded like a jerk, he acted the part, too.

“What the hell,” Heather said to herself, rising from the couch. If she didn’t enjoy herself tonight, she would simply cross Mark off her list of potential friends.

*copyright 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Author Jerome Teel

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Howard Books June 5, 2007)
by Jerome Teel
Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University, where he received his JD, cum laude, from the Ole Miss School of Law. He is actively involved in his church, local charities, and youth sports.He has always loved legal-suspense novels and is a political junkie. He is also the author of The Election, another political thriller that we reviewed November of '06.Jerome and his wife, Jennifer, have three children...Brittney, Trey, and Matthew...and they reside in Tennessee where he practices law and is at work on a new novel.
"They aren't hiding just one something, but a bunch of somethings...
"Small town southern lawyer, Elijah Faulkner is a dying attorney that actually takes pleasure in fighting injustice by working hard for the little guy. But when he takes on a case to defend a philandering doctor with a pregnant wife in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial, Eli is not so sure he is on the 'right' side.Back in Washington D.C., supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson has died, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for conservative President Richard Wallace to impact the direction of the highest court in the land. He believes God put him in the presidency for just such a time as make a Divine Appointment. Not everyone is thrilled with the president's nominee, however. And some will stop at nothing, including murder, to prevent his confirmation by the Senate.A lobbyist with a vendetta, a small-time Mafioso, an investigative reporter with a Watergate complex, and a powerful Washington political machine combine to create a fast-paced suspense novel that explores the anatomy of a murder, and the ripple effect that it creates across the country.
"Jerome Teel has crafted an intriguing political thriller...nice twists and turns to keep you reading. he paints vivid mental pictures that bring characters and locales to life."--Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee's 7th District

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Virtual Assistants

In my endless research to continue improving both my publishing & promoting seminars and preparations for my own company, I have ventured into the world of virtual assistants. And the occupation is not a bad gig.
Virtual implies just that - an assistant that is not physically there. They are working online for you, probably from the safety & comfort of their own home. And much of what it takes to set up to become a virtual assistant applies to any business. The networking aspect certainly does!
And as I slog through all of the online research that must be done for my series, I certainly can appreciate the value of having an assistant! It's time consuming, tedious, sometimes boring and so unglamourous. And unfortunately, a necessary evil.
Can't wait to get me one of those virtual assistants!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Things You Will See In Charleston, SC

Charleston always provides a unique experience!

One of the oldest cities in America, it is a mix of old and new.

Our trip included an unexpected excursion across the bridge into Mt. Pleasant. (Wrong exit!) This did give me an opportunity for a closer look at the next bridge. This shot was taken out the sunroof as we zipped by at about 70mph!

Next was lunch and then the aquarium. We love aquariums and enjoyed this one. It was also my first chance to see a sea cucumber up close and personal. Funky!

After finding the hotel, we returned to downtown to wander the area. There are many shops and horse carriages appear everywhere. (Giving the streets of Charleston a unique aroma!) There's also bicycle carriages, too.

We took a ghost tour that evening, led by author Rebel Sinclair, and went into a graveyard. There is a big difference between night and day. (Mostly due to the fact the roaches come out in force at night!!)

Saturday I called Mike at Sunny 96.9 to request a song and then headed back downtown for my book signing. It was a great success and I met many wonderful people from all over the country! (And found out the manager, Jennifer, is a big science fiction fan, too!) So it was a very good day!
Most of my excursions are quick, one day trips - however, we got to make Charleston an adventure! And what trip south on I-95 isn't complete without passing South of the Border and the hundreds of billboards that precede it?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


As in, Charleston, SC!

Book signing, interview and a ghost tour - what could be better?

And as I hit the trail, I leave you with this image from last night in Raleigh, NC:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jill Elizabeth Nelson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Multnomah, March 2007)
by Jill Nelson
Jill Elizabeth Nelson is a member of the CFBA. Her blog, Artistic Blogger, addresses issues about art, art theft, antiquities preservation, and the art of fiction writing. She takes art seriously - when she's not having fun with it, that is. The To Catch a Thief Series combines her love of the written word with her love of other art forms.The first in the series was Reluctant Burglar , second is Reluctant Runaway. In January 2008, she will reveal the third book, Reluctant Smuggler. Jill is thrilled if the adventures that spill from her imagination can raise awareness about art theft - deemed "a looming criminal enterprise" by the FBI. Jill and her husband, Doug, have four children and live in Minnesota.
Stolen Indian artifacts...A murdered museum guard…
A missing woman…A baby in danger…Only Desiree can unearth the horrifying secret that links them all.Museum security expert Desiree Jacobs doesn’t mean to get in danger’s path. Really she doesn’t. But when a friend is in trouble you don’t just walk away. No matter what your overprotective FBI agent boyfriend says! So when Desi and Tony’s date at a presidential ball is interrupted by a frantic Maxine Webb, Desi doesn’t hesitate to jump in.Soon Desi is neck-deep in a confusing array of villains. Did Max’s niece run away or was she taken? Is she still alive or the victim of a perverse ritual? And who wants her infant son–and why?Then Tony’s organized crime case collides with Desi’s investigation, throwing them both into the path of something dark and sinister. Something that craves blood...From the streets of Desi’s beloved Boston to the mountain desert of New Mexico, Desi and Tony must rely on God to thwart unseen forces–and save a young woman and her baby from a villain more evil than any of them can imagine.

"A fresh voice, strong heroine, and unique plot make Reluctant Runaway a can't-put-down read. Jill Elizabeth Nelson is an author to watch in the realm of romantic suspense!"
----SUSAN MAY WARREN award-winning author of In Sheep's Clothing

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In The World of Blogs

In the blogger world today:

From the Publisher’s Desk talks about large print editions

Kim Robinson visits The Book Pedler

At Becky’s Book Reviews, she reviews “Zen and the Art of Faking It”

Little Willow has an interview with Christopher Golden

And at My Thoughts, Marcus talks about starting “Bloggers R Us”

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Prosecutor disbarred!

*guest blogger today

"The prosecutor in the Duke lacross rape case has been disbarred - about time!
"What a three-ring circus that became! Mike Nifong went after those three lacrosse players, trying to create a racial divide in Durham, just to get elected as District Attorney. He had no case and all but destroyed those three lives. Not to mention cancelling the entire season of lacrosse!
"Now, in addition to no longer being the District Attorny for Durham, he's been disbarred, with charges and civil suits to follow. I say more power to those families - take him for everything he's got!
"I'll be watching those trials for sure!"
- Heather Jennings, Duke Masters graduate and Clemson basketball coach

Friday, June 15, 2007

Love Connection!

Today I was at a little bit of a loss as to what to say on my blog - but inspiration has struck!

I just received good news from one of my biggest, most special fans in Ohio. We had met several years ago at one of my Myrtle Beach signings and she came to see me last year when I visited Columbus. She is also a writer and I have encouraged her to keep at it!
Stephanie's picture is featured on the Fans page of my website. Several months ago, someone emailed me about that picture and wanting to find her again. After checking with Stephanie first, I passed along her whereabouts.
Lo and behold, it was an old college friend - and they have since remet and fallen in love! She is so excited and he never would have found her without that picture on my website. Stephanie is a super sweet person and I am so happy for her!

Now I can add 'love connection' to my resume!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


“Many of us are afraid to follow our passions, to pursue what we want most because it means taking risks and even facing failures. But to pursue your passion with all your heart and soul is success in itself. The greatest failure is to have never really tried.”
- Robyn Allan

“We all face obstacles of one kind or another in life. But if you let your deepest passion serve as your fuel, you’ll be able to travel the road back and move on to make your dreams happen.”
- Dr. Francisco Bucio

“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”
- Leonardo da Vinci

Quotes from “Unstoppable” by Cynthia Kersey

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nikki Arana

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
As I Have Loved You
(Revell June 1, 2007)
by Nikki Arana
Nikki Arana is an award-winning author of highly-acclaimed inspirational women's fiction who weaves today's social, political, and spiritual issues into her novels. She has received numerous awards, including the Excellence in Media 2007 Silver Angel Award for The Winds of Sonoma.
The book was based on the true love story of how Nikki met her future husband Antonio as he was cleaning the stalls of her parents' Arabian horses. Nikki and Antonio have been married for over thirty years, have two grown sons, and live in Idaho.
Contemporary Struggles...
...A Single Mom and College-Ages Son.
Leigh Scott is a widowed, single mother who wants the best for her son Jeff. She would like him to graduate from college, land a secure job, and start a family. However, Jeff, who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at a young age, has a God-given compassion for people. And his non-judgemental acceptance of all has unintended consequences.
Jeff starts dating Jessica, a girl with a questionable past and seemingly non-existent future. Soon, Jeff's grades drop as quickly as his sober determination to achieve the goals he's worked toward all his life, and Leigh finds herself caught in a relational tornado

To complicate matters further, Leigh is an author with a looming book deadline, a father battling cancer, and her former boyfriend and first love, a strong Christian Native American, coming back in her life.
Arana weaves a multi-layered, emotional family saga that brings the peril of judgement, the need for forgiveness and the gift of love to light.

"Nikki Arana wrings the heart and exalts the soul."
---Romantic Times

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fall Schedule

My fall schedule is nearly full now! I have numerous Publishing & Promoting Seminars set, and one of my Overcoming Obstacles With Spunk! sessions in place. Plus the book signings are pretty much booked as well, save for the Ohio Tour. The Fall Southern Tour will be much shorter this year and I've only room for one more signing on that trip.

Two signings and an interview this weekend! Always exciting! And there was an article posted online for one of these signings, too:

Ready to conquer the world!

Monday, June 11, 2007


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Thomas Nelson May 8, 2007)
by Rachel Hauck

Rachel is the author of many books. Her current release, Viva NashVegas is the second in a series which began with Lost in NashVegas. She is also a Blogger and a CFBA member! She lives in Florida with her husband. Visit her great profile and learn more.
Even if you are not a lover of country music, you can enjoy this fun look at the Nashville entertainment industry.What do you do when the past you’ve been skirting shows up at your door with cameras rolling?Aubrey James ruled the charts as the queen of country for over a decade. She’d rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parents’ death-both of them pioneers in Gospel music. But while her public life, high profile romances, and fights with Music Row execs made for juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey has remained a media mystery.When a former band member betrays Aubrey’s trust and sells an "exclusive" to a tabloid, the star knows she must go public with her story. But Aubrey’s private world is rocked when the Inside NashVegas interviewer is someone from her past-someone she’d hoped to forget.All the moxie in the world won’t let this Diva run any longer.
"Hauck once again takes us into the country music world, this time through the experiences of mega-star Aubrey James. Aubrey's life journey is filled with flaws, as well as a great deal of joy, and real life locales makes this highly original story authentic. The extra tidbits - from Aubrey's liner notes to quotes from the "media" at the beginning of the chapters - add extra sparkle to the plot."- 4 Stars, Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Club

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Paris Hilton

*Guest blogger today

"Paris Hilton in tears because she had to go back to jail and serve out her entire sentence! Boo-hoo!
"Now there's an example of a spoiled little rich girl! What were her parents thinking? Drinking & driving, and then driving on a suspended license ... how dumb can one be? Add that to all of the other wonderfully moral things she's done and you've got a young woman totally out of control!
"I would never have thought of doing the stupid things she's done. Yes, I was a bit of a party girl myself as a teen, but I wasn't THAT stupid! I certainly did not live a life of depravation and deviant behavior.
"She got what she deserved. Welcome to the realities of consequences. We can only pray she learns from this mistake... "
- Sarah Gardner, wife of Denver Bronco's Matt Gardner

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Why Signings Are Special

Most authors do not do a lot of book signings for one reason or another. Perhaps they cannot travel extensively or they aren't the type who likes to be out in public. Maybe they're not good with people! (It happens often.)

However, I love doing the book signings! At one time I had set a goal of 100 in one year, but doing over sixty last year convinced me that was an unreasonable goal. (Just too exhausting!) And even though I have scaled back some this year, I continue to go out to the book stores.

Signings are special because I get to meet fans and new readers face to face. I get to find out what they love about the series. If they are buying their first book, I take the opportunity to encourage them to pick the right story for their needs. (One doesn't HAVE to start with Book I!) And I get to talk to a lot of people about their dreams and ambitions and watch the light return to their eyes! That is perhaps the biggest thrill.

The other night in Raleigh, I had a friend I'd not seen in years come to my signing. We got to chat for a while and she went home with a copy of Book IV. Another friend, one whom I'd really gotten to know many years ago while photographing her horse, came out to get the next book, too. She is a big fan and so excited about finally doing her own book!!

I also met Laura, a delightful lady with two daughters. She got them each a book and we talked at length about the positive aspect of my series. She even admitted to being a writer of poems and I encouraged her to pursue that dream! I failed to get her email, but hopefully she or one of her daughters will send me a message and we can correspond. I was very touched by her sweet and gentle nature!

Thank you, Laura, and everyone else who came out that night!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

CFBA Welcomes Melody Carlson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
These Boots Weren't Made for Walking
(WATERBROOK Press June 19, 2007)
by Melody Carlson
Melody Carlson has published over 100 books for adults, children, and teens, including On This Day, Finding Alice, the Notes from a Spinning Planet series, and Homeward, which won the Rita Award from Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, make their home near the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon. Melody is a full-time writer as well as an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.
Willing to make the necessary sacrifices–even skipping the occasional latte–to ensure career success, 31-year-old Cassidy Cantrell "invests" in a chic pair of boots, certain they’ll make a spectacular impression and help seal the deal on a long-anticipated promotion from her Seattle employer.But reality tromps all over her expectations. Cassie’s job is abruptly eliminated–and her love life obliterated, when her longtime boyfriend dumps her for a "friend." Her self-esteem in tatters, Cassie limps home to the resort town she once so eagerly fled–only to find her recently divorced mother transformed into a gorgeous fifty-something babe with a thriving social life. Cassie wrestles with envy and apathy as she considers the dismal shape of her own physique and romantic prospects. What will it take for her to jump back into life and regain her stride?This sassy and hilarious novel leads readers on a romp through the wilds of relationships, romance, career, and spirituality, revealing that, while God’s plans may look drastically different than our own, it’ll always be a perfect fit.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Book IV Review

I am delighted with the reviews so far for Book IV:Mike and am grateful his story has touched so many!
This review just came in and I have to post it here:

MIKE: A Friend In Transition - by Michael Douglas

Guilt is a hard master, and no one is more aware of that harsh truth than Mike Taylor, the protagonist of Book IV in L. Diane Wolfe's The Circle of Friends series. Tormented by lingering remorse over a past decision, haunted by his long-suppressed desire for his friend and former roommate Sarah, Mike's life is, in large part, a lonely and unhappy one.

After graduating from Georgia Tech, Mike finds himself transplanted from the familiar surroundings of Greensboro to a new life in Albuquerque, having secured a position there at Sandia Labs. Alone in a strange city, separated from his family and lifelong friends, he feels enclosed and overwhelmed by circumstances past and present. It is in this environment that Mike meets Danielle, a beautiful and effervescent coworker who befriends him one day in the break room. The two form an immediate bond, and are soon married. The union is a happy one at the onset, as Danielle's loving support helps Mike to overcome his guilt and insecurities, freeing him from the dark cloud that has shadowed him for the latter part of his young life. There eventually comes a point, however, where unexpected difficulties begin to arise.

Over the course of the first three books in The Circle Of Friends, author Wolfe has emphasized the accomplishment of goals through perseverance, mature decision making, and emotional reinforcement from family and friends. MIKE presents her with her biggest challenge to date. After all, the central character is separated from the circle by distance and culture, and even his deep-seated Christian faith threatens to slip away after a sequence of disastrous events shakes his marriage to its foundation. Danielle brings with her an unconditional love and a built-in support group, but will they be enough to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles?

I'll leave the answer to that question for you to discover. I'll tell you this, though: new readers and series veterans alike will find this book to be challenging, uplifting, and engaging in a very personal way. You'll be overjoyed at times, you'll experience frustration (I wanted to reach into the pages and shake my namesake by his shoulders more than once), you'll be encouraged ... you will become an integral part of the lives of these youthful friends, and they of yours as they enfold you into their ever-widening circle. This is the thread L. Diane Wolfe weaves through the fabric of her work; MIKE continues the tradition well, and I guarantee you that The Circle of Friends Book IV will grab you where you live, and will not leave you disappointed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sesame Street Personality Quiz

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
Not sure if that's quite me! I love people and have no mean streaks...

Saturday, June 02, 2007


A year ago, I wrote the first passage of HEATHER. It was a very pivotal scene about halfway through the story. Last night, I finally finished putting in my written words into the computer and bridged the gap! What an accomplishment.
Now, I simply cannot take another whole year to write half a book!

(I also completed all of my bookkeeping today. Shouldn't put that off for months, either!)