Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'll Be At The “Life Through Literature…Where Characters Come to Life” Event in Petersburg, Va. May 31st

I'll be at “Life Through Literature…Where Characters Come to Life” event in Petersburg, Virginia Saturday the 31st, talking about Haunted Richmond, Virginia at 2:30PM., at the Authors Pavilion. The address is Poplar Lawn Park, 351 S. Sycamore Street, Petersburg, Virginia.

For more information on the festival: 804-733-2387 ext. 21. The festival itself is Noon to 8PM on Saturday and on Sunday, June 1st, 1:00-6:00PM.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Kathleen Mix

I am interviewing romantic suspense Author Kathleen Mix today. Secret Stranger is perfect for that beach read, now with summer almost upon us. Enjoy the interview and do leave Kathleen comments.

Where to buy my book:
Secret Stranger is available for download at my publisher’s Web site
and all major online sites. The Wild Rose Press product page(above) includes a link to buy from Amazon in print or Kindle® versions.
The print version of Secret Stranger, ISBN #1-60154-137-6, is available at Barnes & Noble, Borders, and most other places books are sold.

Kathleen Mix began writing while living aboard a sailboat and roaming among the islands of the Caribbean, Bahamas, and South America. Her non-fiction sailing and travel articles have appeared in several regional and national magazines. One is included in the collection, The Best of SAIL: Commonsense Cruising published by Sheridan House.
A few years ago, while anchored in the Virgin Islands, she started her first novel. The entire manuscript of A Trade Wind Season was written aboard her sailboat. The book was published in 2002 by Avalon Books.

Kathleen’s latest book is Secret Stranger, a romantic suspense set on a remote island in the Bahamas. Her next book, Deadly Paradise, is set in the Bremuda Triangle and will be released in late 2008. Kathleen earned an engineering degree from the University of Connecticut and is a former Coast Guard licensed charter captain. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Virginia Writers Club, and President of Virginia Romance Writers.

1.)Please tell us about your latest book.
Secret Stranger is a romantic suspense set on an isolated Bahamian island.
The heroine, Kelly Salinger, has moved to tiny Half Moon Cay hoping to find a sanctuary where she can heal the scars of a violent past. When she finds an injured man unconscious on her beach, she takes him into her home to recover.
Clay McCarthy awakens with amnesia and is desperate to discover his identity. But every clue to his past indicates he's been pursuing a life of crime.
Kelly and Clay are as different as silk and stone. The only thing they have in common is that they are trapped on a small island with a gang of dangerous international jewel thieves. Opposites do attract, but Kelly and Clay must find a way to overcome their differences and work together if they’re to stay alive.

2.)What can we expect from you in the future?
My next romantic suspense, Deadly Paradise, will be released as an ebook later this year by The Wild Rose Press. It will be available in print early 2008.
Deadly Paradise is about a desperate mother’s search for an airplane missing in the Bermuda Triangle and the brash charter pilot who agrees to help her, not knowing he’s putting his life in danger.

3.)How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find information about me and my books on my website,
Kathleen Mix , or at my publisher’s website, Wild Rose Press .

4.)How may readers contact you?
My email is

5.)How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
Romantic Suspense. The Wild Rose Press classifies the romantic storyline as spicy.

6.)What motivated you to start writing this book?
Secret Stranger resulted from a scary experience while cruising in the Bahamas.
One afternoon while anchored near a deserted out-island in an area known for modern-day pirates, I began imagining the dark side of paradise and saw how vulnerable someone living on a remote island could be. Worry plucked at my nerves and marred a blazing tropical sunset
The next day, I wrote Kelly Salinger onto fictitious Half Moon Cay and let her believe isolation equated to safety. Then I added some devious guests who would force her to confront her worst fears in order to survive.

7.)What kind of research do you do?
I do some fact checking online, but I prefer to go to the library and bring home stacks of books about everything from guns, to private investigating techniques, to lock picking. True crime stories are wonderful sources. I read, read, read, anything and everything.

8.)Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
At a minimum, I write every morning from 9 to noon. I outline extensively before I begin a book, so I usually know what I want to write before I begin any scene. Of course, my outline isn’t cast in stone. I often modify it if the actual writing sparks a better idea.

9.)Where do your ideas come from?
A variety of places. A person, a snippet of conversation, and an item on the news have all sparked stories. Reading is a great catalyst for my imagination.

10.)Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
No one in particular. I read mystery, sci-fi, romance, non-fiction, you name it. I hope I’ve taken a little knowledge and inspiration from the great writers in every genre.

11.)How long have you been writing – have you always wanted to be a writer?
I always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t begin writing until I quit my job and moved aboard a sailboat. I began writing non-fiction articles for sailing and travel magazines as a way to support my wanderlust. When I became bored telling the truth, I turned to writing fiction.

12.)What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Nothing beats the thrill of holding your published book in your hand!

13.)Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Every book I write is my favorite book while I’m writing it. And every hero and heroine is my favorite for that time, too. I get deeply involved in each story, and I live my characters’ pain and fears. When the book is finished, I’m sorry to see them go.

14.)Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I’m an avid sailor and former Coast Guard licensed captain. My husband and I lived aboard a sailboat for over twelve years. During that time, we traveled the entire Eastern seaboard and followed the chain of Caribbean islands all the way to mainland South America. We backpacked through Venezuela before returning to the U.S. by way of Curacao and Bonaire. Our visits to the Bahamas and Virgin Islands inspired my latest books.
My education is in science and math. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Connecticut.

15.)Any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Never give up. Persistence is the key to getting published.

16.)Tell us about your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.
My website is
. There’s a little bit of everything there. By all means, please stop by to read excerpts from my books, browse some of my non-fiction sailing and travel articles, and see pictures of my sailboat.

17.)Now for something fun.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

Erotic or inspirational? Erotic

Favorite color? Green

All time favorite actor? Sean Connery

Actress? Julia Roberts

All time favorite book? Gone With the Wind

Favorite TV show? Jeopardy

Favorite movie? Star Wars

What makes you laugh out loud? Old I Love Lucy TV shows

If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be? St. John’s, U.S. Virgin Islands

A secret fetish? SorryI never reveal my secrets. I like to keep people in suspense. :D

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Review of Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I went and saw "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" alone on Friday, May 16th. After dropping my son off at work, I rsuhed over to the Commonwealth 20 Theater, now owned by Regal Cinemas. The theater was filled, but lucky for me, the seat I usually get waited for me, vacant.

I loved it. Darker and even better than the first one, with ferocious battle scenes, and may I say, Ben Barnes as Caspian made my heart beat. Caspian is the latest royal descended of Tumerians who came and conquered Narnia not long after the 'four kings and queens of old' return back to 1940s England. He had grown up on stories of the magic of Narnia at his tutor's knee. And not long after his father's death, his tutor helps him to escape as it became apparent that after the birth of his own son, Caspian's uncle has plans to kill him and take the throne. Caspian takes the horn that Susan left behind and blows on it to call them. The four children, Susan, Lucy, Edmund, and Peter return to find a Narnia a thousand years in the future. They help the Narnians who have been hiding all this time and Caspian to defeat bis uncle.

If you have younger children who may be frightened, then I would suggest the parents go and view it first to see if thior child can handle it. Like I said earlier, it is much darker and more older in tone. The battle scenes are intense and the visuals are spectacular. I can't wait for the third one.

I give this film 5 dragons.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two New Reviews for Haunted Richmond-Interview too

Two new reviews of Haunted Richmond. One is at:

Front Street Reviews is the other one. Click on the Nonfiction link at left side and then the Haunted Richmond link. Beneath the review is link to my interview too.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Virtual Tour Stop of Dyan Garris

For many years Dyan Garris has been counseling clients in order to help them move forward in their lives. She is clairvoyant, clairaudient, and clairsentient. In addition, Dyan is also what is known as a voice recognition psychic and trance channel. This means that she can help her clients via telephone, which is how she conducted her readings throughout her career.
Dyan is the author, developer and artist of
Voice of the Angels – A Healing Journey Spiritual Cards. This is a thirty card deck of angel cards based upon scenes from A Healing Journey Guided Fantasy. Each hand illustrated card has its own channeled message in rhythmic quatrain verse from the angels. Free angel card readings are available on her main website. A journal is available separately as an integrative tool for use with the cards and a meditation journal is available for use with the CDs.
Dyan writes the
Daily Channeled Message which posts on her website. Recently she authored The Book of Daily Channeled Messages which is a compilation of inspirational angelic messages to be used for daily guidance or as a bibliomancy tool.
Her book
Voice of the Angels Cookbook – Talk To Your Food! Intuitive Cooking is an adventure in opening one’s creative centers and communicating with your food so it can transform from raw ingredients into what truly nourishes you on every level.
In 2005 she created a
CD series of instrumental music and meditation for Automatic Chakra Balance™, self-healing, relaxation, and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit. Each CD is available separately, as well as together in a gift basket, and contains several tracks of relaxation music plus a guided meditation on the last track. The CDs have earned the National Health & Wellness Stamp of Approval.
Her new CD of instrumental relaxation music “Release” was released in late September 2007. Dyan’s music can be heard nationally and internationally on numerous radio stations. “Release” recently charted at #3 on Music Choice’s cable TV music channel Soundscapes and is currently nominated for New Age Reporter’s “Best Relaxation/Meditation Album of the Year” and “Best Cover Art.” “Illusions” recently charted at #1.
She is a frequent radio guest on the Jay Grayce show at
Tribeca Radio in New York City and has been interviewed by numerous other radio hosts. Recently, Mystic Pop Magazine interviewed her for their January/February issue. Living In Style TV featured her products in their 2007 holiday show.

Dyan Garris is the author of
Voice of the Angels Spiritual Cards, The Book of Daily Channeled Messages, Talk To Your Food! Intuitive Cooking, and Fish Tale of Woe – Lost at Sea. In 2005 she created a series of music and meditation CDs for healing, Automatic Chakra Balance,™ and vibrational attunement of mind, body, and spirit.
Media Inquiries: Margarita Miranda-Abate,

Do you believe in psychic ability?
As a clairvoyant counselor, yes I do believe in psychic ability. Everyone has intuitive ability. We weren’t just dropped off here without a way to communicate. However, psychic ability is different than intuitiveness. We’ve come to lump the term “psychic” in with empathic ability, intuitive ability, tarot card reading skills, mediumship, etc.

Can you tell us a little about what you found out about this subject?

I’ve been clairvoyant my entire life. Clairvoyance is the ability to see what is not here yet, rather than energy that is already here, such as what color car you have, what the name of your beloved is, how many children you have. These things you already know. It isn’t astounding for someone to be able to read energy that is here or has been here previously. Clairvoyance is ability that sees into the future. It is predictive rather than intuitive. However, if you understand the concept of time as multi-dimensional rather than linear, clairvoyance isn’t that mysterious.. Really, I’m just a bringer of information.

Is there ways one can develop their own psychic abilities?

Yes. One can learn to quiet the chatter of the conscious mind and tune in on something other than the physical. This is easily achieved through mindful meditation. One can pay attention and listen to that intuitive voice we all have instead of dismissing it as nonsense.

In channeling one’s own psychic self, do you feel this will soothe their soul, make them more at peace with themselves if they hadn’t been before?

Any time we can connect with that special something that is greater or beyond what we think we see here in this earthbound realm, we can achieve a sense of peace.

Can you give us your own psychic journey that led you to create your own tools, so that you could help others make changes in their own lives?

I’m laughing. My psychic journey is too long of a story for here. I grew up in a time when these things were not considered as acceptable as they are now. The tools I’ve created are a set of tools that I was asked to create for others. It all began with the guided meditation “A Healing Journey.” From that came the deck of angel cards, which I drew and developed in 1993/1994. The cards are all scenes from that journey. And there is a journal that goes with those. It’s integrative healing. Everything I’ve co-created came from those three things.

But you want the deeper, more interesting story, don’t you? I have more than one of those, but here is the story of how the creation of the spiritual “toolbox” came to be:

Years ago I designed and manufactured Austrian crystal jewelry for healing and chakra balance. And I also designed those big, bright, glitzy crystal earrings worn by beauty pageant contestants. I was doing a lot of stone on stone designs which required the use of glue. To get the glue off of my hands I used the solvent acetone.

After a few years of pouring acetone all over my skin, my body started reacting and I became very ill and had to close up shop. Actually, when I say very ill, I really was quite near death. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I was in complete and total physical agony. My whole immune system went down. The best way to describe it is "defenseless.

"One evening when the house was very, very quiet, the moon was shining brightly through the window, and everyone else was slumbering peacefully, I had a visitation by Spirit. I had been praying for death to come quickly and mercifully. I could take no more. I looked over near the chair and there I first sensed a presence. This was warm, pure light and emanating a sense of pure love and humor. Could this be the angel of death?

I remember being sort of irritated at the humor, because I didn't find anything even remotely funny about my physical condition. I was like a pathetic crumpled up little heap. Then to my utter amazement I saw this presence very clearly, rather than just sensing it. Light filled the entire room and outlined the figure. And then Spirit spoke to me.

"I have something for you to do. Do you want to do it?"

"Well, I can't really do anything like this, now can I?" I said a bit sarcastically.

"I have something for you to do. Do you want to do it?" Spirit repeated the question patiently and with mild amusement.`

"Yes. I want to do it."

"Are you willing to follow the directions and take everything that happens on faith?"

"Yes, I can do that." Yes.

Spirit smiled at me. And I felt the love and comfort of the entire universe. I weakly smiled back.

"You're going to get better now."

“What?” Doubt filled my every pore.

"You're going to get better now. I have something for you to do, and you said yes."

With that, Spirit left quietly and softly, leaving me with the light of the moon and a feeling of being loved more than I could have ever imagined. I sat in stunned silence and complete wonder. Was I so far gone that I was hallucinating?

The next day I did not get better. In fact, I was worse, which I didn’t think was even possible. Certainly I had imagined the whole thing. This went on for three days. On the third day, I felt something shift and change and I was able to eat a few small bites of food. Toward the end of the week I was able to walk a little bit. Something had definitely changed. And so began the healing process, little by little.

Over the past few years as Spirit and I have built and everything on it, I remember that evening every single day. Often in life we must take things on faith, even if they make no sense to us or anyone else at the time, and even if they look different than we expect them to look. Sometimes we just need to follow the directions.

And absolutely nothing can happen if we are not first willing to say "Yes."

Say "Yes" to your life because Spirit has something for you to do.

Give us a blurb about Voice of the Angels. is a co-creation and a reflection of pure Love. I hope that everyone that visits there feels it too.

Thank you, Dyan, for taking time to stop at my blog and doing this interview.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Interview With Author Deborah Painter and Her Book, The Dog Hero in Film Coming Out

Today, I am interviewing Deborah Painter, a nonfiction writer who has her first book, The Dog Hero in Film coming out from Midnight Marquee Press . It will be out sometime this month, but you can preorder it from the publisher. I've known Deborah for over eleven years and am excited and proud for her first book coming out. She has done numerous articles in magazines over the years.

Deborah Painter's Bio:
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, mother, Kay Sewell Painter, father, Floyd E. Painter, brother Floyd Sewell, sister Pamela Kay. Attended Norfolk public schools, won Spelling Bee for Suburban Park elementary in 1968; graduated Old Dominion University, 1980, taught earth and space science three years. Worked as proofreader for a law publishing company in Charlottesville, Virginia. Returned to Norfolk to begin new career. Have worked since 1988 managing environmental studies, including the completion of National Environmental Policy Act documents, Phase I environmental site asessments. Design wetland mitigation sites and acquire water quality and navigation permits from state and federal agencies for clients. I began professional writing career in 1979 with articles for Famous Monsters of Filmland; continue to write about science, animals, nature, film for approximately forty magazines, including Classic Images, Filmfax, Horse and Horseman, Big Reel, Prehistoric Times, Scary Monsters Magazine, Route 66 Magazine, Rock & Gem, Fossil News, Earth Science, Grit, Movie Collector's World, Horsepower Magazine for Young Horse Lovers.

1.) -Please tell us about your latest book.

“Hollywood’s Top Dogs: The Dog Hero in Film” is the result of four years of research and interviewing movie industry professionals, film preservationists and relatives of famous directors and other folks who made those wonderful dog hero action adventure films. I had a blast doing it and had a good excuse to sit down and watch some obscure and great movies!

2.) -What can we expect from you in the future?

I am finishing a book on horses in the movies and am planning one on eastern Virginia ghosts and spirits.

3.) –Where can your book be bought? Give links to where it can be bought.

Midnight Marquee Press 9721 Britinay LaneBaltimore, MD 21234410-665-1198 (8 am to 6 pm EST) or through their website:

4.) -How may readers contact you?

E-mail me at

5.) –What is your favorite movie dog from your book?

That’s a good question and it is probably Strongheart because he was so very smart, and was the dog that inspired author J. Allen Boone to write books on animal communication.

6.) What motivated you to start writing in this book?

I was curious about the dog hero in motion pictures and why no one had ever made a serious attempt to study this genre. It is a very popular one all over the world and yet the movies themselves seem to be neglected by most film scholars.

7.) -What kind of research do you do?

Library research, on line research, visiting places and interviewing people.
8.) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Wow, I wish I had a set schedule. I try to squeeze it in the evenings.
9.) -Where do your ideas come from?

I meet someone who tells a story of something out of the ordinary that interests me, or I see something in the paper that makes my imagination go to work.

10.) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

My father, Floyd Painter, was an archaeologist and publisher of an archaeological journal. He liked to sit and think while sitting in his folding chair in the yard, and voila! A great idea would pop into his head for some paper he could do. Then, he would type well into the night until the main idea had been expressed. He really influenced me a lot because he was always publishing his journal and I would help him get the issues packaged and mailed.

11.) -How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?

I was “writing” before I knew how to write. At the age of six I would dictate my stories to my mom, dad or sister and they would write them down. I would illustrate the stories. Later, when they taught me to write, I did it all myself and stapled little books together with construction paper covers. My first magnum opus was “Dog Town”, a 40 page story on lined notebook paper with crayon illustrations. I got my first article published in a national magazine at 24 years of age and have been doing it ever since.

12.) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Being able to talk with interesting people and go behind the scenes at movie studios, inside old houses and such where not everyone is able to go, all based upon my credentials and credibility.

13.) What was the most interesting fact you learned about any movie dog?

Some would risk their lives to please their trainers and masters. The original Rin-Tin-Tin risked his health and safety many times to do what Lee Duncan directed him to do. One time, he almost fell off a crest of a dam, but pulled himself up just in time. Had he fallen he would surely have been killed in the raging waters below. In those days, there was no American Humane Association monitoring the movie industry.

14.) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)

I am the youngest of a family of three and have lived all my life in Virginia. I have a Masters in Science Education and have been working as an environmental scientist for the past 16 years. I like photography, horseback riding, being outside, and I love a good old classic monster film.

15.) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Ray Bradbury once put it well when he said “you have to first get the bad words out, and then after that, the good ones will flow unceasingly.” By that, he meant that you need to write as much as you can and let all your feelings and thoughts go onto paper, and one day your writing will be something that will be professional and published!! You don’t know when that magic moment arrives and neither did I, so keep writing and keep aiming for publication!

16.) Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.

I don’t have a web site at this time.

17.) Now for something fun:

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.

Favorite genre to read? Ghost stories.

Favorite color? Green.

Favorite movie of all time for you? Eeek, I have too many favorite movies! And the list keeps getting bigger.

If could go anywhere in the world you never been to, where would it be? East Africa (Kilimanjaro)

All time favorite actor? Lon Chaney Sr.

Actress? Jean Harlow.

All time favorite book? The Making of King Kong.

Favorite TV show? My Favorite Martian.

What makes you laugh out loud? Cute animal antics.

We know this book and your next book, but what subject would you like to write about someday for a book?
The Making of some movie based on something I wrote

Thank you Deborah, for letting us interview you for my blog.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Haunted Richmond, Virginia Nominated for Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Haunted Richmond, Virginia has been nominated for Library of Virginia Literary Awards. You can find my book in the nonfiction nominations, along with others, including L. B. Taylor's newest Ghosts of Virginia XII book. You can view all the nominees at 08 Nominees. My book may be soon available for voting from readers too, People's Choice Awards. Below is from the website on that:
The awards will be closely tied to the
James River Writers' sixth conference, to be held October 10-11, 2008, at the Library. James River Writers, in partnership with the Library of Virginia, will present the Annual People’s Choice Award at the Celebration. The winners of this award are chosen from nominated works in non-fiction and fiction by readers voting at libraries, bookstores, and online. The 2007 winners were, in fiction, Adriana Trigiani for Home to Big Stone Gap, and, in non-fiction, William M. Kelso for Jamestown: The Buried Truth.
Last year, voting took place between may 14th and Augus. Keep eyes open at your branch of the library and vote for Haunted Richmond, Virginia as people's Choice. Also keep tabs at the link above for voting online too, or at your local bookstore.