Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch

Do you enjoy a well written escape into a sweet romance?  -- sweet meaning, clean romance. You will find it here in The Guise of a Gentleman by my friend, Donna Hatch. I remember when she read the first chapter to us at our American Night Writers Chapter meeting. It was fun to hear and a thrill to get to add thoughts to the questions she asked as she was in the polishing stages of the novel. Now, here I sit with the finished book in my hands, tickled pink for Donna.

Let's start with the cover. There is a skull and crossbones pirates flag in the top left corner. The top right has a handsome man and a lovely lady a half an inch from kissing. You see a close-up of the back of a lady standing on the shore looking out at one of those cool pirate ships with the sails furled.

A quote from a best selling author appears on the front which reads "A fine specimen of a pirate romance."  The quote is 100% correct. What a fun romp with pirates and a unique situation with a lovely and impossible romance with a pirate that is much more than he appears to be.

Donna weaves intrigue and romance with this great escape into a world of long ago. I 've heard Donna talk about all the research she did on pirates and how they lived and it shows. That's what makes this book such a great escape. Donna gets it right.

I give The Guise of a Gentleman TEN SMILES. Ten is the top of the rating system here on Writers Mirror.

To learn more about Donna Hatch and other books she has written go to:  www.donnahatch.blogspot.com

The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch is available at: Amazon.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

The State of the Economy and What You Can Do About It

The state of today’s economy is insecure, causing concern in many people and fear in many others.  It used to be that we relied on our retirement income to see us through our golden years, but we now have to face the reality that we must take action to ensure our well-being in the future.  How do we go about this?  What steps do we take, where do we go, how do we know we’re doing it right?
Financial advisor John Hauserman, CFP®, has created a no-cost website as a tool for you to use on your financial journey.  This site features the amazing Planning Map, designed to help you think like a financial planner.  You can begin by setting up an account at no charge, complete with your zip code which will enable you to save your progress, but your information will never be sold or given away to any outside party. Or, if you prefer, simply skip registration with a single click. As you chart out your financial situation, you will never be asked for account numbers or personal information.

As you go through and create your personal profile, you’ll feel in control of your future—a sense of freedom and independence that perhaps has been missing since the economy went downhill. You will get the tools you need to help:

1.       View the financial planning process from the eyes of a CFP®   professional in a user-friendly format that most find easy to understand
2.       Get the whole story on various investment products, not just “the good stuff” that financial (snake oil?) sales folks talk about
3.       Find useful links to government and other helpful websites
4.       Identify if a financial advisor has been thorough in their duties
5.       Identify and avoid fraudulent advisors
6.       Make better financial decisions

You’re invited to stop by the RetirementQuest® website and see for yourself if this is a tool you can use.  Again, it’s no cost, and all you have to lose is your financial stress. Those who take action now will find themselves in a much better place later—why delay your future security? Plan ahead and be prepared.

Securities and advisory services are offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC. A Registered Investment Advisor.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wednesday Writer ~ Deirdra Eden Coppel

Author & Illustrator Deirdra Eden Koppel

CRW: When did you begin to write?
Deirdra:  I wrote the lyrics to my first song when I was four. I was standing on top of a playground slide so I was high enough I could look over a fence and see the sunset. It was so beautiful I just started singing. I felt inspired to write the song down. Later in my life that song was recognized and published. When I was fourteen one of my songs, “The Song of Freedom” was used as the theme song for a musical.

CRW: How wonderful. Sunsets inspire you to write. What else?
Deirdra:  Everything … especially trials. When life’s disasters happen now I just think “This would make a great scene.” A lot of times I work though my real life problems as my characters are working through theirs.

CRW: Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?
Deirdra: I write when I can. On my “normal” schedule I have eight hours a day blocked out for writing or illustrating. I have to be flexible because “normal” days are hard to come by. Sometimes I have to start my day at 4:00 A.M. to get my eight hours in. I don’t set word goals, I find myself checking how many words I’ve written instead of just writing.

CRW: What gets in your way of writing?
Deridra: Life. When I start to get down on myself or stressed I can’t write properly.

CRW: How do you get past it?
Deridra:  I read my scriptures, workout, sing and take vitamin B12. My husband is good about taking care of our kid so I can have “thinking time” where I sit and do nothing but think.

CRW: What makes you CRAZY about writing? Crazy good and crazy bad?
Deirdra:  The creative fairies whisper into my ear and keep me going. Unfortunately because they are fairies they don’t understand that I have to eat, sleep and maintain relationships with other humans.

CRW: I have triplet fairies flying around me all the time right now, so I know what you mean. Where is the strangest place you have ever worked on your book?
Deirdra:  I’ve written in a tree house, bath tub, quiet roof top and a medieval theme park.

CRW: How long does it take you to complete a book?
Deirdra:  It takes me three months to write a book. The first month I just write the raw story. The second month I go through and add more detail, fix POV and expand scenes. The third month I focus on editing and add things as I feel inspired. It takes me another three months to illustrate a book.

CRW: How wonderful that you have the talent to illustrate as well as write. Please tell us more about where you get your ideas?
Deirdra:  They strike me like how some people get struck with seizures. I could be looking at a jar of peanut butter in the store then suddenly a scene flashes across my mind and I start hearing dialogue. I get some of my ideas from dreams and from ancient scriptures, especially the Old Testament and Book of Revelations.

CRW: Where do you get your character’s names?
Deirdra:  Usually the Bible. Sometimes I will Google names and meanings. I will match a character to a name based on the meaning. I like to use a lot of symbolism.

CRW: What is your favorite writing food?
Deirdra:  Chocolate truffles. LOL. I love this question. Only another writer would ask me that.

CRW: So true. Okay, here comes the big question. Why are you a writer?
Deirdra:  I have to be. I can’t stop. If I stop I will start to die a slow and miserable death. I also feel that it is my own personal mission.

CRW: Agreed. Writing and creating in one way or another are in the blood. What do you think would be the best complement you could receive from a reader?
Deirdra:  I just hope the books I write will inspire people to do great things and help them as they face “Real Life” challenges.


CRW:  I had the opportunity to read a draft of  your "Knight of Light." The unique cover was illustrated by you as well. Were there really women Knights?
Deridra: Yes, Scotlyn, the Knightess in "Knight of Light" is based on a real Lady Knight. Her story is fascinating.

CRW: What is the name of the next project you are currently working on?
Deirdra: I’m on my second re-write of “Battle of the Twelve Tribes”.

CRW: Please tell us more about it.
Deirdra: This book is an epic allegory about preparedness, patients, humility, courage and friendship. There is a dragon, pixie and army of other magical creatures that come to the aid of a young man who is destined to be a king.

CRW:  I know you are available to do illustrations for books and other artwork. What else do you do?
Deirdra:  I create the art for book covers.  I also create the artwork for children's coloring books that go along with authors books.

CRW:  What' are your website and blog addies?
Deirdra:  http://www.knightess.com/ and http://www.astorybookworld.blogspot.com/

CRW:  What a pleasure to visit with you and get to know you better. Good luck on your writing and your artwork.
Deirdra:  Thank you for this opportunity, Cindy.