Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lee Wins and I Have Souvenirs!

The DH and I were over at Mt Prospect Village Green for the American Idol finale. We were hoping and it happened - the local guy, Lee DeWyze won!

When I get involved with anything, I like to get little souvenirs and stuff to stoke my enthusiasm and also as keepsakes, like when I bought the keychain saying I Brake For Garage Sales, or when I bought all the Bingo paraphernalia - the carrying case, the dabbers, at one time electronic chips and a special magnet wand to scoop them up, not to mention the little trinkets to arrange near the cards for good luck.

So, it was no exception at the celebration. Beforehand, I had my friend, Deb, pick up a Vote 4 Lee tee shirt, which I wore to the occasion. I came home with another tee shirt saying Mt Prospect's own American Idol, Lee DeWyze, plus a wristband that says I voted for Lee, plus a balloon that says BE LEE VE. I took lots of photos also. It was a really fun night.

What about you? Are you into getting all the little extras to remember an occasion or to reinforce your enjoyment of a hobby?

At Acme Wednesday - Are you in a Routine or Rut

Come on over to where the discusssion is about routines and ruts.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Build Your Brand by Blythe Gifford

Come on over to for excellent advice from my guest, Blythe Gifford, about the First Steps to Build Your Author Brand.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trying to get it all together

Still trying to get it all together. After I decided to spend more time on my WIP, wouldn't you know it, I caught the cold from hell. It appears to be getting better, fingers and toes crossed. Anyway, I'll be here when I can, on Facebook also, doing my group blog days, and generally playing catchup while trying to whip out my WIP.

We'll see how it all goes.
PS - Here's my Facebook address -

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tour Turn - Make Up a Story About - Pop Goes Your Powerline

On the way in to work on the train, being the nosy person I am, I happened to notice a headline in the paper of someone seated in front of me. It was called Pop Goes the Powerline.  It made me think of a fun writing exercise. If you accept the challenge, do a blurb or paragraph using this story as a spinoff. For added incentive to participate, if you wish you may include your website and/or blogspot and a buy link for one of your books. If you don't have a book out, you can still have fun with this one.,0,4109178.story

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lee DeWyze - American Idol Finalist Celebrates the American Dream

Not often do I hear a feel good story in the news. That's why it was so heartwarming when a Mt Prospect guy who worked in a paint store by the name of Lee DeWyze got into the final three of American Idol. Because of that,  he got to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs game, was in a parade, was on radio stations, spoke at schools and topped it all off with a concert attended by 41,000 fans at Arlington Park.

Anyone following American Idol knows about him already, but just in case, here's the link to the story in the Daily Herald. So, I was happy that Friday was a day of celebration for a change. It beats hearing all the crummy news lately.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Please Welcome My Guest, Blythe Gifford, Historical Romance Author

I'm so happy to host my good friend and twice-a-month dinner companion, the multi-published, talented historical romance author, Blythe Gifford.

BLYTHE GIFFORD is the author of five medieval romances from Harlequin Historical. She specializes in characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. With HIS BORDER BRIDE, she crosses the border and sets a story in Scotland for the first time, where the rules of chivalry don’t always apply.

Here’s a brief description:

Royal Rogue: He is the bastard son of an English prince and a Scotswoman. A rebel without a country, he has darkness in his soul.

Innocent Lady: Daughter of a Scottish border lord, she can recite the laws of chivalry, and knows this man has broken every one. But she’s gripped by desire for him—could he be the one to unleash the dangerous urges she’s hidden until now?

Her 2009 release, IN THE MASTER’S BED, has just finaled in the Readers Crown contest. Blythe loves to have visitors at or

Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ®and T are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license. Copyright 2010 ■ Author photo by Jennifer Girard

And Now For Blythe's Post -

Will the real Gavin Fitzjohn please stand up?

Nearly every author will say their characters “come alive” to them. So when I saw an email in my inbox from “Gavin Fitzjohn,” hero of my May release, HIS BORDER BRIDE, my first thought was: “When did he learn to use a computer?”

A logical question, since the internet didn’t exist in the 14th century, when my story is set and where he “lives” within the pages of my book.

I took another sip of coffee. The subject line was “Your Book.”

My second thought was: “What’s wrong with the way I wrote his story?”

(We shall not psychoanalyze why I didn’t expect a fan letter from him. It’s a writer thing.)

My third thought was: “What the ---?!”

With trepidation, I double clicked.

Alas, not an email from my hero, but from someone with the same name, who obviously makes good use of Google Alerts. He wrote: “Uncannily, this is my name and I have never met or even heard of anyone with the same name. I’m actually from Wales in the UK. How did you come up with this name?”

Thoroughly awake now, I did what, perhaps, I should have done months before: I Googled “Gavin Fitzjohn.” Turns out he is a modest fellow, because he’s not just “from Wales.” He plays trumpet and other “blowy things” with Paolo Nutini, a Scottish singer-songwriter, best known to me for “New Shoes,” a song I really like.

I had a squee moment and emailed my dear writing friend, Pat White, who is a HUGE Paolo Nutini fan. We exchanged visions of being invited backstage at his next U.S. concert.

So I wrote Gavin and explained that his name, or the character’s name, was a combination of “Fitzjohn,” which was medieval for the bastard son of a man named John, and “Gavin,” my tribute to Gawain, the perfect knight. The name is ironic in context since the character’s armor is more tarnished than shiny as the story opens.

The really strange part was that my original name for the character wasn’t Gavin at all. It was Kenneth, which apparently doesn’t sound nearly as dashing in the British Isles as it does in my imagination. The name “Kenneth” was the one thing in the proposal that my editor wanted me to change.

Gavin, I mean, well, Gavin, responded graciously with the history of his name and background. It was not a family name, but his parents wanted something Celtic. He was writing from the airport where he was waiting to board a plane to visit, alas again, his girlfriend.

I trust her name is NOT Clare Carr.

So Gavin, if your Google alert is on, please know I have joined The Gavin Fitzjohn Appreciation Society on Facebook. And if you read the book, I hope it makes you happy.

And if you ever need a romance writer groupie backstage, send me an email.

If you feel the urge, here's a handy link to order Blythe's book.

Remember, Blythe loves to have visitors at or

I'm sure Blythe would appreciate your comments, so please be sure to leave one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Vacation in May?

You may wonder if I uploaded the correct photos from my computer here, but I assure you, these photos were taken today on the last day of our vacation in Wisconsin! For a few more, come on over to

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

At Acme Wednesday - What Dates Your Book?

Wednesday I'll give some examples of norms which may date your book. Come on over and offer some of your own at


Monday, May 03, 2010

Ask the Editor Free For All on Tuesday

Ask the Editor Free for All Tuesday - May 4 - at

If you have a question, get on over there and ask an Editor in the comment section, and you'll get an answer.

Hint for Authors who want promo - The Blood-Red Pencil has 771 followers!