Sunday, October 31, 2010

Virtual Blog Book Tour - Stephen Tremp

Action suspense author Stephen Tremp is going on a Virtual Blog Book Tour for his book BREAKTHROUGH.

Nov. 1 - The Old Silly's Free Spirit Blog



Nov. 5 - A Shift in Dimensions

Nov. 6 - Jane's Ride


Nov. 9 - tossing it out


Nov. 11 - Straight From Hel


Nov. 15 - Just Jemi

Nov. 16 - The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment


Nov. 18 - Spunk on a Stick

Nov. 19 - Coming Down the Mountain: From Reclusive Writer to Published Author

After you've had a chance to follow Stephen on his Virtual Blog Book Tour, be sure to stop by Stephen's blog, Breakthrough Blogs ( ), to learn more about the author and his book.

**Blog tour list has been changed to reflect any changes to the tour schedule**

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ten Questions with Molly Roe

My guest today is Molly Roe, author of the YA historical fiction Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires.  This is the first book in a trilogy of historical novels.  These novels are loosely based on the lives of the strong women who came before her.

Molly Roe is the pen name of Mary Garrity Slaby.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, John.  They have two grown children.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm a juinor high teacher and serial hobbyist.  I enjoy reading and writing, of course, but also gardening, crafts, genealogy research, traveling, and decorating.  My husband and I are empty nesters, but we spend a lot of time visiting our two grown kids.  My son lives in Philadelphia, and my daughter lives in State College, PA.  We're all Penn State fans and go to many games during the football season.

2. Describe your desk/workspace.

I work in the sunroom of my house, a small room off the kitchen.  It's a bit cramped, but I love being in touch with the outside world without the inconveniences of wind and rain.  There's a bird feeder in the window and lots of animal activity in the yard.  With all the windows, it gets chilly in the winter so I huddle up with a blanket and small heater.

3. What are you currently reading?

I'm reading Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy.  I've anxiously awaited it's arrival since pre-ordering it in April.  Unfortunately it was delivered during the busiest week of the year; the first week of school and the day before my daughter's bridal shower.  I loved The Hunger Games so I'm dying to find out what's in store for Katniss, Gale, and Peeta.

4. Do you have a favorite quote?

I'm a passionate advocate of lifelong learning, so I've adopted Richard Henry Dana's quote: "He who dares to teach must never cease to learn" as my e-mail signature.

5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I don't know if it's that quirky, but I generaly write at night.  I begin writing around 10 - 11 pm.  I got in the habit years ago, when my kids were young, and I knew I'd have uninterrupted time once they were in bed.

6. Do you write full time or part time?

My full time job is teaching, and that keeps me extremely busy during the school year.  I get more writing and research accomplished during the summer.  This past summer was not good writing time though; my daughter is getting married and we were planning the wedding and shower.

7. What marketing strategies do you have for Call me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires?

My approach to marketing is keeping the book in the public eye through book signings and appearances at local history/literature festivals.  I'll be reading for the second year at the Scranton Book Festival at Courthouse Square this month.  Also, since the book has an Irish connection, I also check in with Irish import shops to see if they are interested in carrying the book.

8. Could you share a little about any current writing projects?

My WIP is Sarah's Story: The Curse on the Molly Maguires.  It's a follow-up to my first novel.  In it, Kate McCafferty's sister finishes school and goes to the town of Centralia to work as the nanny for the mine superintendent's children.  The Molly Maguires are supposedly involved in area crimes, and Sarah lands in the middle of the controversy.  Centralia is the town that has been virtually erased as the result of a devastating mine fire that started in 1962.  I'm connected to the town through my paternal grandparents who were Centralia natives and are buried in St. Ignatius cemetary there.  It's very eerie to visit a cemetary where smoke wisps out of the ground amidst the headstones!

9. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?

I love to hear from readers!  My e-mail address is  Readers can also check out my publisher's website for any appearances I'll be making in the future:

10. Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I'd like to tell aspiring authors that it's never too late to start writing; just don't put it off too long.  I wish I'd started sooner!

Molly, I look forward to reading your second book in the trilogy.  It sounds very interesting.  I'd like to thank you for stopping by and answering some questions.  I hope that everyone who stops by finds the interview as interesting as I did.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Review of Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires

Author: Molly Roe
Illustrator: John Garrett Slaby

Tribute Books

YA Historical Fiction
168 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9814619-3-9 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-9814619-5-3 (hardcover)
                                                         Also available in Ebook, Kindle, iPad, and Nook

Coming of age amidst the seething unrest of the Civil War era, feisty fourteen-year-old Katie McCafferty infiltrates the Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization, to rescue a lifelong friend.  Under the guise of Dominick, a draft resister, Katie volunteers for a dangerous mission in hopes of preventing bloodshed.  Katie risks job, family, and ultimately her very life to intervene.  A series of tragedies challenges Katie's strength and ingenuity, and she faces a crisis of conscience.  Can she balance her sense of justice with the law?

Through 14-year-old Catharine (Katie) Agnes McCafferty, we learn about the everyday life and struggles of Irish immigrant families living in a Pennsylvania coalmine town called "The Patch."  This is at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.  We learn how dangerous it was to be a coalminer and about the unsafe work practices that went on in the mines.  We learn that boys, as young as 7 or 8, took jobs as nippers, butties, or breaker boys to work in or around the coalmines.  We also learn about the early drafts of the Civil War and how the slogan "rich man's war, poor man's fight" became popular.

When Katie's dad is injured in a cave-in, she leaves school to work as a domestic to help her family pay the rent and other household expenses.  Eventually she takes another job working for Mr. Pardee, the wealthy owner of the mine in "The Patch."  When she learns how a lifelong friend is mixed up with the Molly Maguires, she decides she must do whatever she can to make sure he is safe. 

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires took me back in time to learn what life was like in a coalmine town during the Civil War.  The author did a wonderful job of drawing me into the story and the lives of Katie, her family, friends and neighbors.  I wanted to learn more about them and their everyday struggles to survive.  This book is not only for YA readers, but also for adults of any age who want to learn more about this time in American history. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Special Birthday Wishes

Lenny Lee!

Lenny is a special blogger friend who is celebrating his 11th birthday today.  Happy Birthday Lenny!  I hope your day is as special as you are.

Monday, October 18, 2010

You Need To Put This 2011 Conference On Your Calendars!


October 10 - 16, 2011

If you missed the 2010 Muse Online Writers Conference, you missed a lot!  Here is just a sampling of some of the things that went on:
  • One day workshops 
  • Week-long workshops
  • Chats
  • Pitch sessions
  • Publishers were available to answer questions
  • Authors were available to answer questions
  • And so much more!!!
If you are not registered for the 2011 Muse Online Writers Conference, go right now and get registered.  Bookmark the Muse Online Writers Conference site and check it often, because there will be great things happening throughout the year that you won't want to miss! 

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Muse Online Writers Conference

Good morning!  I won't be blogging this week because I'll be at The Muse Online Writers Conference.  I'll be soaking up all of the wonderful writing knowledge that the presenters will be sharing.  There will be LOTS to do and learn.

If you missed signing up for this years conference, don't fret.  There will be another conference next year and I'll be sure to blog about it.

Hope everyone has a great week!  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Do You Like Contests?

Here are some blogs that run or post about contests from time to time.  You'll also find they do book reviews. 

Where The Best Books Are! -

Carol's Prints - 

Thoughts in Progress -

Brimful Curiosities -

YA Book Queen -

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ten Questions with Stephanie Burkhart

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie Burkhart.   She is the author of The Giving Meadow, which was published by 4RV Publishing.

1. Stephanie, could you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Adam Sandler and I went to the same high school, but he was in the class of 1984.  -grin-  I graduated in 1986 and joined the Army.  I became an MP.  I spent seven years in Germany and met my husband while we were both attending an Army Leadership School.  We married in 1991.  I earned a B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University in 1995 and left the Army in 1997, settling in California.  I currently work for LAPD as a 911 operator.  I have two sons ages eight and four.

Writing has always been something I've felt passionately about.  One of my fondest memories is writing Spiderman comics when I was six.  They were inspired by the skits on the Electric Company shows in the 1970's.  My first novel was published in 2001.  It was a military romance suspense called Destination: Berlin.  I enjoy writing romance and my latest romantic release was The Hungarian, a paranormal romance with Desert Breeze Publishing.   

The Giving Meadow is my first book with 4RV Publishing and my first children's book.  It's about a caterpillar who hatches out of an egg and makes friends as he travels through the meadow.  Caterpillar and his friends learn how to share and care for each other.

The story was originally written as an Easter play for the Sunday Preschool I teach.  I showed it to Vivian (Gilbert Zabel) on (we're fellow moderators) and she offered it a contract.  It was a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

2. What was your favorite book as a child and why?

I almost hate to admit I don't have a favorite per se.  One book I enjoyed was Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret, but I was in the 5th or 6th grade when I read it.

I always enjoyed stories out of my children's Bible and I also liked looking at encyclopedias for information on dinosaurs and the planet.  I loved learning about the Earth and space so I gravitated towards those types of books.

3. What is your favorite quote?

It was in my high school year book and it is: "It must be lucky weather when you find the kind of wind that you need."  It comes from a Duran Duran song called "Lonely in Your Nightmare" off the Rio album.  I've always been an optimistic person despite the hardships I've faced and that quote speaks to me of making your own happiness and finding your own optimism.

4. If you could have coffee with anyone living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?

Just one person?  I have a whole platoon of picks.  -grin-  At this moment I would have to say Phillipa Gregory.  I adore her historicals on the Tudors and her Cousin's War series.  I just read The Red Queen and devoured it.  I find her research is well done and she fills in the blanks with well thought out speculation that makes sense.

5. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write mostly longhand.  It's not very interesting is it?  The only time I have to really write is at work on my downtime and we can't have our personal computers, so it's paper to pen.  I try to write at home, but it's challenging.  The boys have to be engaged with the Wii for me to sit down for a minute or two.

6. You did a blog tour in August for your book, The Giving Meadow.  What were your experiences on the tour?

They were wonderful, but the tour was a lot of work.  The Giving Meadow was my most extensive tour to date with 15 blog stops.  In July, I did an 11 blog stop tour.  Prior to that, I did mini blog tours with 6 stops.  I had to have a chart of the month with my stops and a brief summary of the material requested.  I also had to plan out what I was going to give out for promotion.  It was time consuming to plan dates and material, but once the tour started it was very rewarding to see readers and authors responding to the blogs.  I would definitely do another just as extensive because the exposure it gives you as an author is good for marketing.

7. What other marketing strategies do you have for The Giving Meadow?

Well, I've tried calling the local Borders and Barnes and Noble.  They told me to send them an email.  One email bounced, the other wasn't returned.  Now I have to follow up, tactfully, of course, but finding the time between all my other demands is challenging.  What I wouldn't do for a publicist!  There are a couple more local bookstores and I'm hoping to get more reviews. 

I also think word of mouth is important and I think doing the blog tours and offering giveaways is a good thing to get exposure. 

Marketing doesn't come easy to me.  I'd rather write, but I realize marketing is important.  I'm still learning.  I'm on Facebook, Twitter, several Yahoo Groups as well as

Any ideas and tips on marketing would be much appreciated.

8. Could you share a little about any current writing projects?


I have a Christmas short story I'll be submitting to Victory Tales Press called Christmas in Bayeau.  It's a contemporary romance that takes place in France on the beaches of Normandie.

Shadows and Light is a sci-fi/speculative romantic short story in the Borealis Anthology due out from Desert Breeze Publishing in December 2010.  It's a game of cat and mouse between Elijah Kess and Persephone Talon as they try to out fox each other for information on the Uudon trade.

The King's White Rose is a historical fiction about Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville that I'm editing now and it's with my Beta Reader.  Edward IV and Elizabeth were a love match - rare for the nobility at the time.

The Count's Lair is a full length novel.  It's a paranormal romance between Anton (a werewolf) and a beautiful pianist, Amelia Andrassy.  It's set in Budapest in 1901.

The First Flag of New Hampshire is due out with 4RV Publishing next year and it's a young teen mystery with High School Juniors Miguel and Alyssa.

9. What would be the best way for readers to contact you?






10. Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I love cooking in a crock pot.  -grin-  Thank you so much for having me today, Susanne.

Stephanie, thank you for stopping by to answer some questions.   


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