Virtual Book Tours

Anyone who visits the blog regularly knows that once a month I have another author for my guest. We get to learn about them and at least one of the books they have written. I started a year ago to participate with a group that formed after attending the Museonline Writers Conference 2008. This free conference is one of the best conferences you could ever attend. It lasts a week and Lea Shivas and those who work with her to make this conference a success offer workshops and discussions with awesome, knowledgable presenters.

One of the workshops I participated in last year was concerned with promotions online. A few of us exchanged emails about starting a group that could do virtual book tours together on a rotation. The result was the VBT – Writers on the Move group.

Virtual book tours are a growing promotional tool and a great way to help other writers get the word out. It’s fun and can help bring people you might not otherwise get as random visitors to your blog.  You can put on your calendar that the 1st and 3rd of each month you’ll find another guest author here.

Everybody’s talking about… Family Relationships

Today I’m participating in a mass blogging! WOW! Women On Writing has gathered a group of blogging buddies to write about family relationships. Why family relationships? We’re celebrating the release of Therese Walsh’s debut novel today. The Last Will of Moira Leahy, (Random House, October 13, 2009) is about a mysterious journey that helps a woman learn more about herself and her twin, whom she lost when they were teenagers. Visit The Muffin ( to read what Therese has to say about family relationships and view the list of all my blogging buddies. And make sure you visit Therese’s website ( to find out more about the author.”

Goodie Giveaways: Besides link-love, we have several goodies to give away (gift certificates, t-shirts, tote bags, books, subscriptions). We will hold random drawings for all bloggers who participate by putting all of your names in a hat. Good luck!  Go to , The Muffin

Blending Families

I have a blended family, like many other women. It has its challenges, but we have had some great times with all of the kids. When my husband Greg and I got married eleven years ago, he had three adult children from a previous marriage and I had three children – two teenagers nearing 18 and a 12 year old daughter. My two oldest left home before the wedding so that left my 12 year-old in a home with two parents. She wasn’t particularly happy about the changes at first. I had been a single mother for almost 10 years. She had always thought it would be just the two of us during her high school years. It was rough that first year or so, but we came out on the other side as a close knit family unit. Our daughter became more “ours” than just mine.

The peak of great times involving all six of our children was at a family wedding. Everyone came from around the country and we spent three days together. It was the first time we had all been in one place at the same time. We really enjoyed the time and watching our adult children interact as siblings.

I know that everyone hears the worst stories about blended families. Ours has been spiced with trials, tragedies, and heart wrenching times, but the good times have been like climbing to the top of the mountain and seeing the whole view. I wanted those of you with blended families who are in the trenches trying to build a family that there are good things that happen.

Now for my guest:

About the author, Therese Walsh:

Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of genre fiction. Before turning to fiction, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She’s had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.

She has a master’s degree in psychology.

Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell.

Therese’s website:
Therese’s blog:
Writer Unboxed:

About the book:

The Last Will of Moira Leahy

By Therese Walsh


Moira Leahy struggled growing up in her prodigious twin’s shadow; Maeve was always more talented, more daring, more fun. In the autumn of the girls’ sixteenth year, a secret love tempted Moira, allowing her to have her own taste of adventure, but it also damaged the intimate, intuitive relationship she’d always shared with her sister. Though Moira’s adolescent struggles came to a tragic end nearly a decade ago, her brief flirtation with independence will haunt her sister for years to come.

When Maeve Leahy lost her twin, she left home and buried her fun-loving spirit to become a workaholic professor of languages at a small college in upstate New York. She lives a solitary life now, controlling what she can and ignoring the rest–the recurring nightmares, hallucinations about a child with red hair, the unquiet sounds in her mind, her reflection in the mirror. It doesn’t help that her mother avoids her, her best friend questions her sanity, and her not-quite boyfriend has left the country. But at least her life is ordered. Exactly how she wants it.

Until one night at an auction when Maeve wins a keris, a Javanese dagger that reminds her of her lost youth, and happier days playing pirates with Moira in their father’s boat. Days later, a book on weaponry is nailed to her office door, followed by anonymous notes, including one that invites her to Rome to learn more about the blade and its legendary properties. Opening her heart and mind to possibility, Maeve accepts the invitation, and with it, a window into her past. Ultimately she will revisit the tragic November night that shaped her and Moira’s destinies, and learn that nothing can be taken at face value, as one sister emerges whole and the other’s score is finally settled.

Note: To read reviews about The Last Will of Moira Leahy, please visit Therese’s website:

Sunday and What Happened to Fall?

I admit that my efforts for every day blogging for a month now has a couple of missed posts. However, I am going to keep going. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I usually spend the moring involved with choir, Sunday school, and services and than have a quiet afternoon with family or friends. Sometimes, I read or take a nap. By evening, I start putting things together for the week.

This weekend we went from a few days of Fall weather, most of the leaves haven’t even turned yet – Winter arrived yesterday with a major cold front and we had our first freeze. Wow!

Tomorrow … more about ghostwriting.

October is Awareness Month

October is probably best recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. When I went to the market today there were pink balloon, pink reusable shopping bags, pint flowers, and even a chance to win a pink scooter. With gas prices bouncing up and down, a scooter might not be a bad alternative to a car. We see people with pink ribbons and many companies put out special packaging with pink or pink ribbons during October. It is a very worthy cause. I am totally in favor of and support efforts to end all types of cancer.

However, it is also awareness month for some other causes as well. It is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a problem in our society and world wide that persists. If we all worked together, then it could be stopped. I’m a survivor of domestic violence. We need to help each other and not ignore when we hear something or see someone abusing another person. No one deserves to be treated that way. The National Hotline is 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
Anonymous & Confidential Help 24/7

Others are:  Niemann-Picks Disease Awareness (a disease that affect metabolism and that are caused by genetic mutations) find out more at Niemann-Picks

Head Start Awareness Month – find out more at Help Children

Energy Awareness Month – learn about it Energy

Disability Awareness Month

You can find all the other things that October is at What Health?

Just wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all the things I know I wasn’t aware of besides Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness.

Poetry by our guest Harry Gilleland

I’m very excited to share an example of Harry Gilleland’s poetry. Enjoy!


Rhyming Storoem:

Let Her Be A Weed

A husband and wife stood together

looking out at their fenced backyard. “Our

daughter picked one rose after another…

one day she’ll be a delicate flower.”

So spoke her father. The wife then said,

“I hope she is more weed than flower,

since flowers are frail and too soon dead.

They need constant care, lacking power.

“But a weed…weeds are tough and sturdy.

They meet all life’s challenges head-on.

Sidewalk cracks for weeds offer worthy

places to grow, as well as a mown lawn.

“First to burst forth in Spring, last to die

before Winter, persistent year ‘round,

weeds thrive when flowers won’t even try.

Weeds have the strongest will-to-live found.

“I want her to be self-sufficient,

able to deal with life on her own.”

The father agreed, “A competent

woman our daughter must be when grown.

“Let her be less flower and more weed,

tough and strong-willed — but still with brightly-

colored, pretty blossoms — to succeed

in life, with her roots grounded tightly.”

Free Verse Poem:

My Yesterdays

My yesterdays

stretch out behind me

in a winding path that

disappears over the horizon

beyond my memory.

Some yesterdays were

red-letter days of triumph

and personal joy, days of

some momentous occasion

in my life. Others were black

days of pain and suffering.

Most were merely plain,

unremarkable days

of no particular note.

All have melded together

forming the memories

marking the passage

of my existence on Earth.

I treasure all my yesterdays

since each day was a brick

that contributed to building

the mosaic of my life.

My yesterdays carried me

up the long hill to today,

where I stand looking wistfully

back at them, my yesterdays…

knowing now my yesterdays

outnumber my tomorrows.

I’ve learned I should endeavor

to make each today become

a shining, glorious yesterday,

for my yesterdays are

how my life was spent.

I admire poets. I can write fiction and nonfiction, but poetry is something I’ve never been able to do very well. I enjoy reading it and am glad that people like you, Harry, can write it for the rest of us.

The following links will give our readers and friends a place to purchase this great collection and your other work. Thank you for being my guest.

Lulu Publishing

Barnes & Nobel

Welcome this week my guest Harry Gilleland

I have such a good time with my guests each month and this month I want you to meet Harry Gilleland.

Harry  is a southerner by birth and by inclination. Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, he now resides in Shreveport, Louisiana with his wonderful wife, Linda. Harry, who retired after a career as a Professor of Microbiology at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, now devotes himself full-time to his writing. He is a writer of both poetry and prose. He has published a fantasy novella, Bob the Dragon Slayer, and a contemporary romance novel, White Lightning Road. He has now authored three books of poetry.

Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man is the third published collection of poetry written by poet Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. This new collection of 81 storoems and poems will engage its readers by making them think about life and leaving them pondering their emotions and beliefs. It will also bring smiles and maybe a tear or two. Contained within this collection are forty-seven rhyming poems and “storoems”, a format coined by Gilleland. A storoem is a hybrid between a story and a poem, i.e. a story told with poetic techniques. The collection also contains twenty-eight free-verse poems, four acrostic poems, and two limericks. These writings are poetry for the thinking person, be he/she someone who is a poetry lover or someone who normally does not read poetry. This poetry is easily readable and accessible to all — poetry for the poet and the common man alike. A wide variety of subjects are addressed, including everyday life events, observations of nature, tales of fantasy, expressions of love, and much more. This wonderful collection will surprise and delight all readers.

Gilleland book cove

I hope you all will come back and visit on October 3rd. harry is a versatile writer able to write both prose and poetry and has developed this great cross between the two.

What a fun guest you are to have with me. Thanks for coming Harry.

You can contact Harry and learn more about him at