Friday, December 7, 2012

Books Make a Difference

A new biweekly online magazine, Books Make a Difference, celebrates the written word. If you want to be "in the know" about the world of reading, writing and illustrating take a look at Books Make a Difference.
I had the pleasure of  interviewing the senior writer, Meagan Franks. Thanks so much for joining me on my blog.

How did books make a difference come to life?

Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito, the publisher of Books Make a Difference magazine has had the idea in her head for several years. She is a book publishing executive who was an editor of magazines for nearly 15 years.  She knows firsthand the difference books make in people’s lives, and she has been inspired to celebrate and share the stories behind the stories.

What inspired you to start the magazine?

I became involved with the magazine initially writing some of the articles about authors and illustrators who have interesting stories. What we thought would be a place to showcase the ways books have made a difference in creators’ lives has evolved into an all-encompassing book conversation.  We realized that there are some awesome non-profit groups doing great things to promote books and literacy.  We wanted to tell their stories. There are a million ways books are shared and, in the sharing of the books, lives are changed. We wanted to tell those stories too. Plus, there is a vibrant on-line community expanding every single day where writers, illustrators, cover designers, formatters, publishers, agents, publicists, and readers are engaging at a level that has never before existed.  We are thrilled to be a part of that blossoming conversation.

Where do you find your stories?

We get our stories in a number of places. We each have some pretty great connections through our own experiences, and then I do a lot of research too. We meet for our editorial calendar planning, and we map out ideas for compelling stories.  I track down people who we think would be interesting to cover. Sometimes I write the articles myself, and sometimes I assign them to a freelance writer who is a part of our team. I go to book fairs, networking meetings, and I float around in online chatrooms regularly. We are establishing a presence on both Twitter (@booksmake) and Facebook and through both of those outlets we have found some great stories.

What is something you would like your readers to know about you and your magazine?

Being a part of this magazine feels like a great celebratory adventure. We are inspired by the power of books...the stories of those who create them, read them, and share them. We know we’ll never be able to read everything...nor cover everyone, so instead of quantity we aim for quality of coverage. We want to provide a more in-depth and intimate look at the inner workings of the book world and the people who populate it.  There is a lot of chatter available to folks who are interested in books, we want to offer a slower pace to the book conversation.  Instead of the fast-food drive-through coffee...we want to sit by the fire with readers and slowly sip from a steaming mug. That’s how we want our magazine to feel. It is truly awe-inspiring to be a part of it.

What does your Readers Write email offer subscribers?

Those people who subscribe to our free Readers Write email receive content from us monthly.  The magazine is published bi-monthly, but only subscribers to the email receive the content that we publish every month.  Subscribers have a chance to engage in conversation that is a part of the Readers Write column published in the magazine.  Subscribers have access to exclusive content that is not published on the magazine and there are occasional opportunities to win prizes.

Where can readers find your magazine and how do they subscribe?

The magazine is found at and they can subscribe to the Readers Write email here:

If anyone has advertising/sponsorship questions they can contact Karen:
I can be reached at

Thanks so much for joining us. Books Makes a Difference will be making a wonderful difference in the literary world.

Monday, November 19, 2012

THE CHILD OF THE LOCH by Elizabeth Delana Rose

Twenty-three year accountant, J.J. McDonnell, has spent her life trying to be normal and hide her gifts, but all dreams of normalcy are dashed on her twenty-fourth birthday. A handsome man shows up on her porch with a marriage edict and news that the grandfather she has never met, has died. Her world is about to change forever. J.J. must make the perilous journey to the Loch and take her place on its throne. With no idea what is expected of her and dark forces closing in at every turn, will J.J. be able to accept her destiny or will she be stopped before she can.
Watch the BOOK TRAILER !

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Higher Court by John Betcher

An attorney is called to jury duty. This trial will be one of  unusual and supernatural circumstances. The existence of God is on trial. The Defense and the Prosecution present their cases and each juror must decide whether or not God exist.

My name is William Kensey. I have a wife and two great kids. Until very recently, I was a well-respected and financially successful trial attorney. I was also a man who was comfortable with his religion. I preferred it served at arm's length from the pulpit on Sunday morning. And would rather not discuss it the rest of the week. The circumstances that led me to write A HIGHER COURT changed all that. The entire experience was both bizarre and unavoidable. You see, I was summoned to serve as a juror in an improbable trial -- a trial to determine whether God exists. I know. You think that sounds ludicrous. I did, too . . . until the trial began. Witnesses buried me under mountains of scientific evidence. My own eyes forced me to confront the reality of extreme human suffering. God seemed less and less relevant -- even absent -- as the trial progressed. At the close of the trial, I had to render my verdict -- "God" or "No God." Affirm a new and deeper faith in a Creator, or confess the triumph of science. A HIGHER COURT is the story of how I discovered my ultimate truth. If your mind is open, you can join me in this journey of self-discovery. Come along. You won't be sorry.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Betcher makes you feel as if you are in the court room. This read is a definite page turner.

I had the pleasure of interviewing this gifted author.

How long have you been writing?

As a lawyer for the past twenty-five years, daily writing was a part of my job. My first foray into publication was in 2007, when I authored a feature article for COACHING VOLLEYBALL: The Journal of the American Volleyball Coaches Association. I was coaching girls high school and club volleyball at the time. COACHING VOLLEYBALL published two more of my feature articles culminating with a cover story in the April/May, 2009 Issue. Here's a link to the online version of that issue:

A small book on coaching philosophy, entitled The Little Black Book of Volleyball Coaching, soon followed.

By this time, my law practice was winding down and our daughters had departed for college. Since I was no longer coaching their sports teams, attending their concerts, academic activities and awards banquets, I had extra time on my hands. That's when I began writing novels.
How did you come up with the idea for A Higher Court?

While I was writing my first two suspense/thrillers, I had this idea floating around in my head. It would be a book that offered a counterpoint to recent publications by "popular atheists," such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. But rather than attempting a scholarly dissertation which, I believed, would be unappealing reading for a mass audience, I decided to research the major arguments for and against God's existence myself, then present the core of those arguments in a format real people could identify with.

Eventually, that "floating" idea gained urgency. I began to feel that God wanted me to write this book. In fact, although it would have made much greater worldly sense to write Book Three in the suspense series, I felt so "called" to write A HIGHER COURT, that I couldn't focus on another thriller until I had God's project out of the way.

Unlike my experience with writing the other novels, I actually started writing A HIGHER COURT with no idea how I would end it. I had decided that the book should make use of my legal expertise. So a trial of some sort seemed appropriate.

Once the research into the various "God arguments" was done, I just started writing.   

What other books have you written?

I've already mentioned my volleyball coaching book. In addition to that one and A HIGHER COURT, I've now written and self-published four suspense/thrillers. I refer to them as the Becker Suspense/Thriller Series, after the name of the main character. Their titles, in chronological order, are: THE 19TH ELEMENT, THE MISSING ELEMENT, THE COVERT ELEMENT and THE EXILED ELEMENT.  They're not Christian literature, per se; but they are quite "clean" books, considering the genre. There is a minimum of violence, cursing and vulgarities. And there is no explicit sex at all.

What do you do when you aren't writing?

When I'm not either writing or researching a book, I spend a good deal of time online, building my author platform on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. I also attend church where I play guitar and sing as a member of our worship team. And my wife, Lynn, and I like to spend time together.

Are all of your books self-published?

Yes. When I began my publishing journey in 2009, traditional publishing was the only respected route for publication. So I sent a lot of query letters to literary agents hoping to find a representative to pitch my work to mainstream publishers. Despite a couple hundred letters (emails, actually), I had no luck finding an agent. Author friends warned me against self-publishing, saying doing so would ruin my reputation. But times were changing, even then, and I found self-publishing to be a viable option for me and my books.
What do you like about being self-published and what do you dislike about being self-published?

There are lots of things I like about self-publishing. I have complete creative control over the books and their content. I can bring new books to market much more quickly than a traditional publisher could dream of. And I can reap the financial rewards of my work.

Of course, traditional publishing has its benefits, too. Agents and big name publishers have access to marketing and distribution options I could only dream of. They've got great editors and artistic designers on staff, and have the financial professional ability to produce books of the highest quality.

The biggest drawback to self-publishing, for me, is also its greatest strength -- in every aspect of publication, the buck stops with me. Sometimes I make rookie mistakes. But then I learn from them and move on.

Do you have any books planned for future release?

At present, I've been researching what I hope will become Becker Book Five. The plot is not yet fully formed. My consultants so far have included a NASA scientist/engineer and a world class geneticist. I have confidence that, if this is a book I am supposed to write, God will show me the way to an appropriate plot.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The most valuable quality for a writer is patience.

Where can readers find you book(s)?

All my books are available at in Kindle and print editions. Readers can also order them from any book store. And my local sales outlet in my hometown is the Red Wing Arts Association, where enthusiast can purchase signed editions. Of course, I entertain special requests for signed books and quantity discounts via email, which can be found at my website:

Thanks very much interviewing me today, Kim. I had a blast.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C Maze

Little Roni Publishers is proud to announce that Beth Rider is back. She's written the novel of her life and if Rakum gets a hold of her, her book may cost her life. Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider brings you the world of vampires unlike any vampire book you've ever read. Beth Rider, the main character, is being hunted by Rakum, the vampire underworld, but she risks everything to save the souls of the undead. Ellen C Maze writes with style and suspense.

What if your novel attracts the wrong kind of attention?

Author Beth Rider's vampire novel has hit number one, but her fictitious plot puts her in the crosshairs of an ancient race of vampiric beings known as the Rakum. Spreading evil among mankind for thousands of years, the leadership of this bloodthirsty race now has a singular focus: catch Beth Rider—her very life in mortal jeopardy as she goes on the run, a rabbit desperate to escape the worst of predators.

Facing the most terrifying trial of her life against creatures known only in fables, one simple woman will unintentionally threaten the very existence of a powerful and accursed people. In the climactic mêlée, it is a race to the death—or if Beth has her way, a race to the life—of every Rakum who makes the choice

Available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Reader's Opinion is All That Matters

Writing is a very personal experience. Getting published can sometimes seem to be the only thing a writer is concerned about. But when you get down to the truth, the reader's opinion about a book is the only thing that matters.  Reading is very personal. One person may love a book while another can't find the taste buds to savor the flavor the author has concocted.

As a writer, I know that I am always learning and appreciate input from publishers, editors, other writers but most of all from readers. I have just finished the first of The Dirt TrilogyDirt is a young adult fantasy romance where The Lord of the Rings meets Romeo and Juliet.Faeries are real and some of them are deadly. Ashe discovers the secrets of her past and in a mythical world of strange beings she learns she is not human...but that's not the worst of it. Faeries want her blood and she's falling for one of them.
Advanced unproofed copies will soon be available for those interested in reading this upcoming release from Little Roni Publishers. Be on the lookout for announcements!

In the meantime, I invite you to go to
 Createspace  to preview the first few chapters of Dirt and provide feedback. Your opinion is very much appreciated.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When Is It Time To Call It Quits?

When do you know it's time to call it quits?

 A writer pours his/her heart and soul into every word that touches the pages of creativity. You commit yourself to complete what you have started, burning the midnight oil to capture the imagination that bursts through your mind. Your family and friends wonder sometimes if you’re crazy. And sometimes you wonder the same. You ask yourself “why am I doing this” and there are times when you want to give up. You consider calling it “quits.”

How do you know if it is time to give up? 

You’ve sent your query to so many publishers and literary agents that you start collecting rejection letters as a hobby. You become discouraged that no one in the professional world of literature has recognized your work. You start to think you have no talent. “Maybe I’m only kidding myself.” 

 None of the above is a reason to quit writing.  Remember a time when a story invaded your mind and you couldn’t wait to get it on paper. Think of the quiet moments of creativity you enjoy when you write. Experience the words you put on paper.

Is being published all that matters?

Don’t get me wrong being published is great. It does hold a certain amount of validation that most writers strive for. And yes, most writers spend more of their time trying to get published than they do actually writing a novel. The query letter seems to get the majority their time.

It is important to take your writing seriously. If you want to be published attending conferences, polishing your craft and learning as much as you can about the business is essential. But in the midst of all this don’t forget to write. Don’t put your craft down while you try to get that one book published. Continue to write. Continue to write. Continue to write.

So, the answer to the question “when do you know it’s time to call it quits” is NEVER. Write because you love it. Write because you can. And write because you never know what the future holds.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Living Soul by S B Niccum

The first book of this series is Veiled and Niccum does it again in Living Soul. A wonderful story that will make you see angels in a completely different LIGHT. This is a series you are going to get hooked on.  Niccum's style is enchanting, engaging and emotionally riveting.

Veiled from her previous existence as a gifted Angel, Tess is now a mere mortal growing up in foster care with her autistic foster brother, Dorian, and a twisted foster sister, Agatha—whose main goal in life is to torture them both.

Tess’ life has been dull and average at best; but all that changes with one look. When she inadvertently gazes into the eyes of the most popular guy in school—Alex Preston—Tess sees a glimpse of her previous existence.

Uncomprehending, Tess, wonders what those memories are and why she now feels like she knows Alex better than anyone in this world. More importantly, why is he haunting her dreams? Dreams so vivid, that they blur the lines of reality, awakening a slew of inexplicable paranormal abilities she didn’t know she possessed.

Frustrated and confused, Tess lives a double life… one where Alex has a girlfriend and Tess is a normal high school girl. And another, where spirits, visions, and dreams are true.

Is she going crazy or is she secretly dating Alex in her dreams?

Available on Kindle and Nook

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The dirt on DIRT Thursday

Dirt is almost here. I know I've been promising that it would be out "soon" about 8 months ago.  My how time flies. Thanks so much for being patient. These things take time. And by these things....I mean writing a novel. Just to get things started and to help ease the anticipation each Thursday I will post "The dirt on DIRT", just a smudge. Here's the first scoop.....

KF Ridley 

 "None of this is making sense." I shake my head to clear away the cobwebs that clutter my mind. Trying to absorb every word and think clearly. He stands with his broad back facing me, shaped like a perfect ‘V’ sculpted into a human body. Oh yeah. I remind myself. He isn't human.
KF Ridley 

 His face is full of passion and his eyes draw me in. He moves closer, his face just a fragment of air away from mine. "You are why I was born. Why I even exist. I was chosen at a very young age out of many to be your protector. An honor I don't take lightly." His face is so close to mine now. His lips are just a breath away. I want to know how his mouth would feel pressing against mine. Each curve. Each crease. The moment stands still. I’ve never known the tenderness of another’s lips. His right hand moves down my shoulder rubbing my upper right arm. I linger in the moment.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A is for Apple: A Horsey Alphabet by Ellen C Maze

I know I don't blog much, but when I saw this alphabet book I had to talk about it. It may say "A is for Apple"....but it should say "A is for Awesome." I homeschooled 3 kids and would have loved to have had this book for them growing up. The illustrations are beautiful and if you are a horse lover you will love this book.

Kindle and Paperback available

Forming letters with incredible flexibility, 26 distinct horse friends teach not only the alphabet, but also alliteration and a few fun new adjectives along the way! From the golden Palomino on page one: "Adorable Annie ate all of the apples with abandon." To the frisky sorrel Clydesdale towards the end: "Victorious Vinnie vamoosed with all of Velma's visible vegetables." All children, young and old, will be charmed by the artwork and prose in the adorable new book from Bestselling Christian Thriller novelist Ellen C. Maze. Written with the help of her seven-year-old daughter (now nineteen-year-old novelist/artist) Elizabeth E. Little.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Curse of Yama Kindle Version giveaway

In celebration of my upcoming release, I am giving away Kindle version of The Curse of Yama. Only 18 copies remain. Just send me your email address send you a copy of this middle grade action adventure novel.


Hurry while supplies last.