Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welcome, Beth Caudill

Welcome to From the Pages, Beth. It's so nice to have you here today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so I hope you don't mind if we just dive into the interview.

Where do you write?

Have laptop will travel. Most of the time, I’m found sitting on the sofa or lounging on the bed. However during the summer, I can be outside watching the kids and continue to work.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?

I write paranormal and fantasy stories. Usually I base my stories in an alternate reality of our own universe, with this wip (work in progress) I wanted to create a brand new world. So I’ve set my story on a planet in a far away galaxy populated by typical paranormal or fantasy creatures. No humans allowed. I wanted something I could build into a series but I have a hard time sticking with one breed of paranormal. The first story in there series stars the werewolves and will be set in the forests. I plan for the second to be about elves and located in the city. After that, we’ll see how it goes.

Sounds very interesting!

Do you need silence to write or can you write through anything?o

I have to some type of background noise. I can get lost in the story better. However, new tv shows can be an unwanted distraction when working at night.

Do you listen to music while you write?

Yes! I’ve found New Age, Classical, and Soundtrack music work the best. I don’t create playlists for individual stories. Pick a CD off the pile and away I go.

What do you love most about being an author?

The freedom to create. Science and math are good but they follow precise steps and very rigid lines. I cannot draw and music is fun to play but I don’t have the ability to create in that medium. But making up places and characters that only I can see that is fun.

Do you have a recipe you would care to share with us today?

I use this recipe all the time for holiday parties and baby showers. It’s quick and the kids can help. I put this into a glass trifle bowl but have seen it in a rectangular pan as well.

Éclair Cake


3 ½ cups milk
1 8oz container Cool Whip
1 Box Graham Crackers
1 ½ Containers of Chocolate Cake Icing

Mix 3 ½ cups milk with the pudding and stir as directed on package.

Add Cool Whip and stir again.

Layer as follows in a glass bowl:

Graham Crackers
½ of the Pudding Mixture
Graham Crackers
½ of the Chocolate Icing
Repeat the above layering sequence and refrigerate

Now that sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. I'm definitely going to try it.

What are your hobbies?

There are so many – reading, growing roses, and cross stitch are the ones I do regularly. I have a bunch of quilting stuff but I haven’t found the time to make a quilt yet.

You’ve just won a million dollars. What would you do with it?

First create accounts/trusts for my kid’s education and pay bills. After that go to RWA National Conference which I can’t afford to do this year. Maybe look at a bigger house or give more to the charity’s we usually support.

If you had to choose another profession, what would it be?

Out of college, I took the first job I could get: Technical Support. I moved to Quality Assurance testing after a few years and then I became a Stay-At-Home-Mom. Now if I had my choice of careers, I’d be a librarian. I love books and reading and being surrounded by them day after day would be cool.

Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?

Yes. An infinite universe and tons of worlds, I believe there has to be other places intelligent life evolved.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

You can read more about my short stories at my website.I belong to a paranormal romance group blog and have my own.I’m also on Facebook and MySpace.

I’ll be giving away a copy of my first short story, Garden Magic, to a lucky commenter.

Thanks for visiting, Beth. I've enjoyed this opportunity to chat with you.

Readers, check back to see if your name is the lucky one chosen to win Garden Magic!

A bit of Beth's newest release, Informally Yours--

Informally Yours

Buy Link:


Everyday Melinda Jenson goes to work at Formally Yours, a high-end formal wear store, unaware the customers and owner are members of the local supernatural community. On Halloween night, Melinda's boss asks her to make a simple delivery. Unwilling to disappoint her niece and nephew, she arrives late and has an unexpected encounter with a wolf. Now she’s chasing cute, furry forest creatures, and mated to a man she barely knows. “May you live in interesting times,” just took on a whole new meaning.


When she regained consciousness, Melinda opened her eyes and looked around in wonderment. The world had changed. The woods emitted a dark green glow that pulsed as if it were alive. She could hear insects burrowing and small animals scurrying away. The cry of an owl sounded as close as if it were next to her, yet she could see it circling high above the trees. Unfamiliar with her new body, her movements were slow as she gained her feet—all four of them! Stunned, she fell back on her haunches and examined her paws. They were covered in a cream-colored fur, and if she concentrated, she could force claws to extend. Suddenly a nudge from another animal almost knocked her over. Looking around, she nipped at the large gray wolf next to her. It nuzzled her face as if in apology. The wolf ran off a few feet, stopped, and looked back at her. She ignored him. She wanted to sit and examine her new senses. Smell and hearing were the most affected, while sight was crisper but essentially the same. The other wolf returned growling, then nipping at her behind until she got up and followed. She gave a half-hearted growl. She would go for a run if it would get him to leave her alone.

Her limbs seemed to know what to do, carrying her faster than she could imagine. Although she had been following the gray wolf, the fresh scent of a rabbit scurrying across the trail snared her attention. Yipping to let the other wolf know she stopped, her wolf senses filtered out the smell of moss and pine forest. All that remained was a fresh rabbit trail to follow on the right. With stealth, she picked her steps with care where moments before she'd been bounding through the forest.

Eventually she came upon rocks where the rabbit sat licking its paws. Melinda crawled into position ready to pounce.

An image came into her mind of her attacking the helpless animal, sinking her teeth into tender skin, breaking bones, and eating the tasty morsel. Acting on instinct, her body lunged for the rabbit but a tiny voice in the back of her head cried "NO!" The thought of eating Thumper was too disturbing.

Melinda lost her concentration and ended up falling short of the rabbit. She crashed onto the rocks. As she watched, the rabbit dashed into the safety of its burrow. She picked herself up and worked her way to the forest floor before issuing a frustrated growl.

It would take a bit to adjust to this new body. She enjoyed running through the forest, but devouring cute little forest creatures would take a little more time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Joshua's Hope Winner!

I apologize for taking so long to announce the winner of Carol Ann Erhardt's novel, Joshua's Hope. Thank you all for being so patient. Carol Ann has been incredibly gracious about my delay, and I sincerely appreciate her understanding. I loved having her visit on the blog, and I hope she will come back again sometime soon. I'd enjoy hearing more about what this talented lady has up her writing sleeve!

I just put the names of all the commenters in my favorite Yankees cap, shook the slips of paper around for good luck, then asked my wonderful husband to pull one name out of the hat.

The lucky winner of Joshua's Hope is...

*Drum roll, please!*


Congratulations, Mary! The book will be on its way to you shortly.

Thanks to all who stopped by to visit. Special thanks to Carol Ann!

Joshua's Hope

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Welcome, Annette Snyder

Good morning, Annette. It's always fun to have you visit here at From the Pages. I know you've got some special news to share with us today.

Thank you Sarita for having me today. It’s always a treat to blog with you and especially this month as I have a release from a mutual publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.

Summertime is my favorite time to read a fun love story. The weather is warm and the water is cool. There’s just no place to be but lounging by the side of a pool or at the park under a shade tree with a book.

For anyone who wants a tender summer romance, my newest release and first contemporary read, Intimate Flames, is out in e-book and print. On top of being my first present day novel, it’s my first holiday story centered around the Fourth of July. Intimate Flames is based on a young woman struggling to find herself after the sudden death of her boyfriend. This novel chronicles changes in Bradie Carpenter’s life after a tramatic event,dealing with single parenthood and finally meeting of a wonderful man and learning to trust again. Happy endings? Of course! I wouldn’t write anything else.

Just to give everyone a little peek into what I’m up to, I host an online book club blog. It’s called Lost in a Good Book at Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction. One week each month, we discuss a few novels. It’s a standard book club without the hassle of driving to meetings.

I also have several releases this year besides the two I’ve got right now. Travis Pass MegaBooks I and II will release shortly and Eureka Springs, the second novel in line with Viveka’s War, releases soon. You can find all this information on my website.

As a great big thank you to Sarita Leone for having me today, I’m offering a fantastic summer prize package to participants of Sarita’s blog just perfect for your trips to the pool, picnics at the park or lounging in your backyard garden. An oversize book tote, roomy enough for storing all your summer cargo, sunscreen to protect from those harmful summer rays and an autographed copy of Intimate Flames should cover all your hot weather needs. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

What a nice way to add interest to the summer, Annette. Intimate Flames sounds like a great read!

Readers, every comment gives you a chance to win Annette's lovely prize package, so comment away and check back in a day or so to see if your name has been randomly chosen.

For more information about Annette Snyder's work, check out her website,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome, Carol Ann Erhardt

Joshua's Hope

Welcome to From the Pages! I'm so glad you could stop by and visit with us today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so if you don't mind I'll get started.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do?

Since I have a full-time job and weekend chores, I don't have a lot of spare time. What I really like to do is watch sappy movies and read whenever I can squeeze in the time. In the warm weather, I schedule vacation days around long weekends so hubby and I can take our camper to local state parks. There's nothing more inspiring that walking on a warm sunny day and then sitting in the shade with a good book. I love camping. There are no phone calls, no internet, no nagging responsibilities…nothing but relaxing and enjoying nature. And most times, hubby does the cooking! It doesn't get better than that.

It sure sounds like you're a busy woman! And I agree with you; anytime hubby cooks is all right with me.

Can you tell us anything about what you're working on now?

My current manuscript deals with the sensitive issue of life support and forgiveness. It's a story about a man and woman who are driven apart by guilt and blame until God brings them together through another tragedy. Forced to work together, they learn the true meaning of unconditional love before finding their happily ever after.

Tell us a little bit about your book, please.

The book I'm promoting today is JOSHUA'S HOPE. Having known how hard some people have fought to gain custody of their own children, I wondered what would happen if two people divorced and the one who wasn't the biological parent wanted custody. I created the heroine, Hope, who loves her stepson with all her heart and soul and only divorces her husband to save her life. But, she can't turn her back on her stepson, Joshua. She begins a battle to remove him from his father, a dangerous criminal, but can find no attorney who will help her. In desperation, she kidnaps Joshua to save him and finds herself a prime suspect when her ex-husband is killed. She turns to the only person she knows who can help her, a small-town sheriff who is dealing with issues of forgiveness in his wife's death. This is the story of an incredible journey of hope in the midst of darkness, and how God's love can work miracles when we let Him into our lives.

Joshua's Hope sounds wonderful! Where did you get the idea for this story?

My daughter went through a horrible year of legal battles to regain custody of her daughter after her ex-husband stole her. We lived through the pain, the fear and the anger. Another daughter had two legal battles against her ex-husband to keep custody of their son. I wanted to show the pain that is involved in losing a child and how hope can be lost and faith challenged. And I wanted to show the journey to faith involved when we have nothing left but to turn it over to God. From the reviews I've received on this story, I believe I met my goal.

If you had the choice of being stranded on a desert island or lost in a huge city, which would you prefer and why?

Oh, I hate big cities! They frighten me. I was raised in a very small, rural community. I love the peace of being in a less populated area. Being stranded on a desert island would be full of adventure and quiet solitude. Hmmm. But I would want to be rescued by a handsome hero with a heart of gold.

The question most readers want to know but never get the chance to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

All right. I confess. I do write in an oversized t-shirt and underwear (which is my pajamas) on many mornings. I hop from bed to my laptop to write as much as I can before I have to shower and head to work. And, it's wonderful to not have to worry about having your hair combed or makeup on when you write. That's one of the perks of being a writer. I am dreaming of the day when I can give up the day job and dress comfortably every single day.

How do you juggle all of life's other demands with your writing career?

I don't juggle well, that's for sure. I believe the balls are dropped more than they stay in the air. I must confess that writing takes a backseat a lot of the time to family, church, and other commitments. I try to get up early enough to do a little writing before I have to go to my day job. Sometimes, I can squeeze in a little writing on my lunch hour, but usually I spend it with my nose in a book. After work, there's dinner to prepare, clean-up and spending time with my family. And, I have a few favorite television shows as well. I never get to write at night. Saturdays are for cleaning, but I try to find time to write a bit, too. Sundays are for church, family, and relaxation. The hardest part about being a published writer is keeping up with edits, marketing and promotion. It's very time consuming. That's usually an hour spent before bed every night. So, juggling? Not so good, I guess.

Goodness! You certainly know how to fill the days, Carol Ann. I am amazed by all you do!

In the house--shoes or bare feet?

Bare feet. I take off my shoes when I get in the door. In fact, I'm barefoot now. In the winter, I will wear socks to keep my feet from freezing.

Do you have a pet?

Boy, do I! I have three indoor cats named Wilbur, Templeton, and Charlotte. Wilbur is a Maine Coon. He's beautiful with long hair and tufts in his ears and between his toes. Templeton is a black and gray tabby, built like a mountain lion, and not afraid of a thing. In fact, he's the official greeter of every visitor. If you come to my house and ignore him, he'll get your attention by leaping from the floor to your shoulder. Trust me, that's sixteen pounds of muscle you won't ignore. And Charlotte is the little girl with the loud voice. She's very DIVA. In my backyard there are thirteen semi-feral cats which we care for. It's a story too long to tell here, but your readers can read about it on the bio page of my website.

Do you need silence to write or can you write through anything?

I really need silence and no distractions. I do have a two CD-set which I play to help me focus. It's the Creative Mind System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Thank you for this opportunity to let your readers know a little more about me and what I write. I'd love to offer an e-book version of JOSHUA'S HOPE to one of your readers. Also, I have two blogs. One is Inside the Writers Mind at This is where I share little pieces of information about the every day life of this writer. On my other blog, Keeping Hope Alive , I share more inspirational things, daily devotions, and stories of God working in our world today. My website is

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Carol Ann. I am a fan of your work, and have enjoyed getting to know the author behind the stories!

Readers, Carol Ann has generously offered to give away a copy of Joshua's Hope to one lucky commenter. So comment away, and check back to see whether your name has been drawn to receive Joshua's Hope.

Buy Link: White Rose Publishing


Hope Courtland escaped her marriage to save her life. Her only regret is leaving her four-year-old stepson, Joshua, behind. Though she wants custody, no attorney is willing to tackle her ex-husband in a custody battle. Hope's faith begins to falter. She learns that Joshua is paying the consequences for her freedom, and in an act of desperation, she kidnaps him. Suddenly, she becomes a suspect in her ex-husband's murder.

Zack Stone is content to be sheriff of Pine Cove, Tennessee, where the worst conflict he deals with is handing out speeding tickets. Though his faith is strong, he struggles with issues of forgiveness surrounding his wife's death. When he rescues Hope in a rainstorm, the last thing he expects is to find a woman who stirs his heart. Being a small town sheriff shouldn't involve kidnapping and murder, but Zack can't turn his back on Hope and the little boy she loves.


Loud voices drifted up the stairwell. Hope opened Joshua's door and slipped inside. His eyes were open. He stared at her, silent tears carving paths down his cheeks. She put a finger on her lips, urging him not to say anything. She lifted him and he wrapped himself around her like a small monkey.

“Mommy,” he whispered.

“It's all right. Mommy is going to take you home with her now. But you have to be very quiet. Can you do that?”

He nodded against her neck. “I need white doggie.”

Hope reached for the stuffed animal she'd given him on his first birthday. The neck fur had been rubbed off in two places from Joshua's fingers. “Mommy will carry white doggie for you. Don't be scared and don't look up. Just hold on tight.”

He nodded again, his arms squeezing tighter.

She kept one arm firmly around him and eased the door open. So far, so good. She only needed to get downstairs without being seen.

She closed Joshua's door and began a slow descent.

The hairs prickled on the back of her neck, alerting Hope someone was watching. Swiveling her head, her gaze locked with Anna's. For endless moments, Hope's heart stopped.

Then Peter's study door crashed open and she feared she'd been caught.

Joshua's small body jerked and he began to tremble. His fingers dug deeply into her skin.

The nanny rushed down the stairs, and as she passed, she whispered, “Run.” Her hand waved Hope toward the front door.

“You're not the one calling the shots on this, Courtland. The kid knows too much.”

Hope froze. A man wearing a security uniform focused dark angry eyes on them. He and Hope stared at each other, recognition dawning in his eyes. She'd seen him before. Many times. One of Peter's henchmen who visited during the late hours of the night.

Peter stepped into view and looked up at Hope, astonishment showing on his face.

The other man's gaze moved off Hope's.

“You dare to threaten me, Courtland?”

The man raised his hand and Hope saw the flash of metal before Anna blocked her view.

“Run, get out of here now!” the nanny cried.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome, Elaine Cantrell

Welcome, Elaine. I'm so glad you could visit From the Pages today. I've got lots of questions to ask, so I hope it's all right if we just dive right in.

How do you juggle all of life’s other demands with your writing career?

Oh, that’s so hard! I work full time as a social studies teacher, so I have a busy agenda. I also have a family that expects dinner and clean clothes. For some time I felt almost overwhelmed, but then I realized that no one could do it all. I was killing myself tying to be superwoman. I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to eat out instead of cook on nights when I needed time to write. Sandwiches and canned soup won’t kill anyone either. I also realized that other people could do the laundry and help me with the household chores. Everyone should learn the power of delegating.

Where do you write?

I have a great little office upstairs. It used to be my son’s bedroom until he got married and moved out. It’s only a tiny room, but I love it so! I have my computer desk in there as well as a bookcase, TV and single bed. If I need a nap I can leave my computer and fall onto the bed for a snooze. I told you; the room is very small. I intended it to be my little getaway, but my husband noticed my absence downstairs and came to see what I was doing. He liked the room too. So much so that he squeezed a little desk and chair for himself into the room. It really isn’t big enough for two people, but if my feet get cold he doesn’t mind holding them to warm them up, and if he’s really in a good mood he’ll go downstairs and get me a snack when I need it.

How long does it typically take you to finish a writing project?

Forever! I write a scene and go back the next day and make corrections. Then when I finish the book I go back and edit it again. Then if it gets accepted for publication I have to do more edits. Until it’s actually in print I’m not through.

Tell us a little bit about your book please.

I’d love to! Since I’m not sure exactly when this will be on the blog I’ll tell you about my Lachesis release. I don’t have a release date yet, but it’ll be sometime in 2009. Here’s a little blurb and a short excerpt.


If Kara had it to do over she’d never go into the attic. She’d run away from that trunk screaming and shrieking because nothing-not even losing the love of her life-was as bad as what she found. Oh, and what will Ross say when he finds out? He’s been her lifeline the past few months.

Handsome dairy farmer Ross Williams has waited for Kara Cochrane since they were in the second grade, but Kara only had eyes for Brandon. Brandon’s out of the picture now, and Ross is ready to make his move. Will the contents of that trunk change his mind, or will he continue in his quest to win Kara’s heart?


Kara removed the suit and opened her closet to find a hanger, but she saw her wedding dress before she could find a hanger. Impulsively, she unzipped the plastic bag which covered the dress and ran her fingers across the heavy satin in a caress. She had so loved this dress!

She fingered the small pearls sewn into the bodice, and stuck her arm into one long, sheer, embroidered sleeve. How sad that such a beautiful dress would sit in a closet forever.

Without warning anger flooded Kara. If not for her horrible sister, she would have worn this dress only hours earlier when she married Brandon, the love of her life. How could Kelly have done it? How could she have betrayed her own flesh and blood!

With a cry of pure rage Kara grabbed the sleeve of her beautiful dress and jerked as hard as she could. The gossamer fabric parted with a ripping sound that sent Kara’s temper sky high. She started to tear at the dress, ripping off buttons and pearls and shredding those wonderful, sheer sleeves. She threw the dress to the floor and stepped on the hem to hold it down while she tried to rip the bodice from the skirt. The expensive, well sewn gown gave way so abruptly that Kara staggered and fell to the floor among the debris.

What had she done! Sanity returned with a rush, and sickening shame soon followed. Frantically she bundled the destroyed dress into the plastic bag which had covered it and dropped to the floor to search for pearls and buttons.

Finally, she zipped the bag with trembling hands. What could she do with it? She’d die before she’d let anyone see what she had done. Think! They’ll be home soon.

The attic. Good idea. She’d hide the dress in the attic. Only last month her father had installed a disappearing staircase so they could have easy access to the attic. She’d hide the dress there because staircase or no staircase nobody ever went up there.

She dragged the heavy bundle into the hallway and pulled the staircase down. Thank goodness her father had installed a light up there because it was pitch black in the attic. She had a hard time climbing the stairs while pulling the heavy dress behind her, but desperation lent strength, and she got that dress into the attic.

Any advice for an author just starting out on the writer’s journey?

Absolutely. Be true to your own vision of your story. I’ve had two different critique groups take a look at the same material and tell me totally conflicting things. I submitted a manuscript to a contest where it was critiqued by three different judges. It scored from a 98 to a 70. What I learned is that you can’t please everybody, and if you try you’ll end up with a story without heart or soul. That being said, I don’t think you should be a prima donna and think you’re too good a writer to listen to an editor. They can be very helpful.

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us today?

I sure do. Try this and see if you don’t get so many compliments you don’t know what to do with them.

Chocolate Delight

1 cup flour
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped nuts

Soften the butter and mix all ingredients. Bake at 300 for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.

1 8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip

Mix together and set aside.

2 small instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups milk


Crumble the baked crust and layer the ingredients in a trifle bowl.

The question most readers want to know but never get to ask, do you ever write in your pajamas?

When I’m not working I always write in my pajamas. I seldom get dressed before lunch time. That’s the good part of being an author. Nobody can see how you look.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading the Twilight series. Some of my students in school were so intrigued by it that I went out and bought a copy to see what was so thrilling. I loved it. I found myself rooting for the underdog, Jacob, even though I think he’ll probably never win Bella’s heart.

What brings you the most joy?

My grandchildren of course. I also love a winter’s night when the moon is bright, and the tree branches are stark against the moon. It brings me joy to hear the insects chirping on a hot summer’s night. I always feel a surge of pleasure when I first see my husband too. Yes, even after 34 years.

Do you have a pet?

Yes, I do. I have one sweet brown dog and two mean cats. Our older cat adopted us. We had a family of strays who lived on the hill above our house, and softies that we are we fed them everyday. They wouldn’t let us touch them, but one day one of the kittens followed my husband back home. He tried to pet it, and it let him-probably because it was so sick. Anyway, he fell in love with it and made me take it to the vet and get it some medicine. She and the dog are jealous of each other. If my husband pets the dog, the cat comes running and gets in his lap between him and the dog. The dog is the same way.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today?

Yes, there is. I blog every Friday at I’d love for you to check it out. I have excerpts, guest bloggers and guest interviews, my own take on things, and lately I’ve done a series on Victorian life. Also, if you would like to be eligible for my monthly contest you can subscribe to my newsletter which goes out once a month. Don’t worry; I won’t flood your inbox with spam. To subscribe, go to my web page at and scroll down the homepage until you come to the yahoo button. Click it to subscribe.

Elaine, thanks so much for visiting! I've enjoyed getting to know you.