, pub-4807045201008872, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 meta name=", pub-4807045201008872, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Ginger High- Books R Us: love


Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts

Friday, January 7, 2011


Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

In preparation for that LOVE-ly day in February, we are giving one of our followers a chance to win some great prizes

I love Photos. So I am giving away a lovely 3D 4x6 Photo Album.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
How to enter-

Open to US and Canada

Giveaway Starts January 3 at 12:01 Am Eastern and runs until January 27 at 11:59 pm Eastern. There will be One Winner. Winner will be picked by

Mandatory, to enter you must follow each sponsor on Twitter and Tweet the giveaway.  If you click on each picture below, it will take you to their twitter account. 

Please tweet the below phrase- 
I entered the Valentine Giveaway. 12 Prizes, One Winner1/3-1/27 just follow all sponsors on Twitter and Tweet.

Place all comments below where it says Click Here To Enter
Once you click to enter you will see

Contest Entry:   This is where you put I followed all sponsors and tweeted  @your twitter account.

Link:   Put the link of your Twitter Tweet here.

Email Address:  I will need your email if you win.
For extra entries you can tweet one time each day.  Leave the tweet link in a comment.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year. AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


There’s No Place Like….
by Melody Carlson

I grew up spending Christmases at my grandparents’ quaint Victorian home, surrounded by lots of relatives, laughter and love and really good food. For a little girl growing up in a single parent home, harried working mother, no church family, and TV dinners, these extended family holidays spent at my grandparents were like a real gift from God. But as a young adult, my grandfather passed on, the old house was sold, I grew up and eventually had a small family of my own.

Still I longed for those familiar kinds of “big” Christmases—I wanted that house full of relatives and fun times to go home to—I think the “child” in me thought I deserved it somehow. But my grandmother had gotten older and lived in a tiny apartment, and my mother and my husband’s parents were not comfortable hosting Christmas in their homes. For a while we went to my cousin’s, but I soon had to come to grips with reality. The days of going to Grandma’s for the perfect Christmas were a thing of the past.

In other words, it was time for me to grow up—time for me to start hosting our own Christmas celebrations. So biting the holiday bullet, I decided to just do it. With two very small children underfoot, I cooked my first turkey, made my first stuffing, invited some family, neighbors, and friends over, and we all crammed ourselves into our little house, balanced our plates on our knees, and had a very good time. Oh, I’m sure the turkey was dry and the gravy lumpy, but what I remember most is that everyone seemed truly happy to be there. And I realized that I wasn’t the only one longing for that sense of warmth and community—that longing to “go home again”—and I finally grasped that I could (with God’s grace) help to provide that for my family and others.

So for the next three decades we continued to host Christmas in our home. I got better at decorating, cooking, gifting…the works. Some years the place would be packed and crazy. A few years were thinner and quieter. But family, friends and neighbors could always count on the fact that the Carlson’s would be “doing something for Christmas.” It was a no-brainer.

Until this year. This year, for the first time in more than thirty years, my husband and I decided we’re going to take a pass on hosting Christmas—we are going to the beach. At first I felt terribly guilty, and even right now I’m a bit unsure—and wonder if I’ll end up changing my mind at the last minute. And yet, I believe it’s the right thing for us to do—for a lot of reasons. One being that my husband’s birthday is Christmas and he never gets to do what he wants on his birthday—this year will be different. But more than that, I hope that our stepping aside will encourage the younger members of our family to find and embrace some of their own traditions—to grow up and look for opportunities to stretch themselves a bit. Because, similar to how and oyster creates a pearl—or how a young mom learns to be a hostess—with some discomfort and distress a burnt turkeys, the end results are truly valuable.


About Melody: Melody Carlson lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Labrador Retriever. She’s the author of around 200 books including this year’s Christmas novella, Christmas at Harrington’s.Visit her website for more information,


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. One entry per person, per day. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog ( on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit

Disclaimer- I was not compensated for this post.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as each post shares heartfelt stories of how God has touched a life during this most wonderful time of the year. AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS!  Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


The Joy of Unexpected Circumstances
by Lori Kasbeer

The Christmas season is upon us again. Starbucks is selling their Christmas blend; stores are posting their holiday hours; and moms everywhere are making a list and checking it twice, planning for a special Christmas day. It has been our family’s tradition to spend Christmas with relatives.  Last year money was tight and we were unable to travel, this is not how we had planned to spend Christmas day but circumstances were beyond our control. Realizing my three boys--who are now teenagers--will not be under our roof for much longer, I wanted to have a special Christmas with just the five of us.  

Leading up to Christmas morning we all made mouth-watering, cinnamon cut-out cookies, spent time together sticking tape everywhere while trying to wrap presents, and enjoyed spending time together.  We did not have much money, but were having fun making memories.  When Christmas morning arrived and we sat around to open gifts my eyes welled up with overwhelming joy.  This mother was trying to absorb all the activity that was going on all around her: the smiles from each of my teenage boys, the sounds of laughter, and the smell of cinnamon rolls cooking in the oven.  If I could freeze a moment in time, this would be it.  I don’t know what the future holds for each of my boys, but that Christmas morning I wanted to soak it all in so I could recall this special day for years to come.  Despite struggling financially, unexpected circumstances turned into immense joy and a lifetime of memories.

Mothers treasuring special moments is not something new.  Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, was one who tried to soak in everything that first Christmas morning.  Even after Christ’s birth she was still trying to absorb what the angel had said to her when he delivered the news that she was going to be the mother of the coming Savior.  She reflected on the time she had with her cousin Elizabeth while they were both pregnant.  Along with comprehending the unusual way her son came into this world. 

While very pregnant with child, Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register Mary for the census.  Never did she image she would deliver her baby in a barn with a manger being the only thing to lay him down in.  These were not the circumstances she had envisioned.  Before she had time to catch her breath, suddenly all around her there was excitement when shepherds showed up reporting what they had seen and heard.  There were angels—a multitude of angels—who were singing and declaring the Savior was born and a bright star led them to her and Joseph.    So much has happened in a short amount of time and Mary did not want to forget any of it.  Instead she stepped back and “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Mary did not exactly know what the plans were for her son, but she knew it was going to change the lives of everyone on earth.  She was preparing her heart to obey God concerning her son Jesus, without the full knowledge of what was going to come while at the same time quietly reflecting and capturing this one special moment in time.

May this Christmas be filled with joy and a lifetime of memories, even if you find yourself in unexpected circumstances.  Merry Christmas!


About Lori: Lori Kasbeer lives with her husband Tadd and three teenage sons in Florida. She's a contributor for Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace and a Christian book reviewer. Please visit Lori’s Book Reviews for more info. You can also find Lori on Facebook and Twitter.


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. One entry per person, per day. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog ( on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my post.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Welcome to the 12 Pearls of Christmas! Enjoy these Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along through Christmas day as Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling, Rachel Hauck, Tricia Goyer, Maureen Lang, and more share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their life during this most wonderful time of the year.

AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS! You may enter once a day. The winner will be announced on New Year's Day at the Pearl Girls Blog! Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


Wear Joy

Thanksgiving day in central Florida broke warm and sunny under a blue sky. The thin fall breeze beckoned me. Taking my bike out, I rode the neighborhood feeling so grateful for all my blessings.

Joy bubbled up in my spirit. I’d been feeling it for a day, these waves of joy, but as I rode my bike and talked to God, the waves strengthened and splashed my heart the entire ride.

I’d laugh. Then tear up. And laugh again. As one who’s battled and won the war on anxiety and fear attacks, the onslaught of joy was welcomed, and actually sparked a new prayer in my heart. I’ve endured attacks of panic, time for attacks of joy.

The journey of joy began earlier in the year while writing a book coincidentally named, “Dining with Joy.”

Sitting at my table one day, revelation hit me. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. The more I meditated on it, the more I wanted His joy. I don’t want my strength. I want His.

Not long after, I went to Nashville for a girl’s weekend. One of my friends handed me a coffee cup inscribed with “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

Ever just know? God is calling.

During the holiday season, I turn 50. Yep, the big 5-0. Can’t stop it, I might as well embrace it.

Fifty is often associated with jubilee, a time of restoration, and healing, even release from debt and slavery. It’s a time of returning to property, and inheritance.

A time of rest.

A time of JOY!

This past week, a friend gifted me with a beautiful Christmas ornament. Inscribed on it? You guessed it.


To me, the world doesn’t look very joyful. There are social and economic woas. But God is speaking and offering joy.

As you go into this holiday season, ask God for a pearl of joy. Like pearls, crafted through abrasion, God’s true joy is often formed in us during difficult seasons.

Here’s the thing, His strength isn’t doled out based on our goodness, our success or failure, or the fact the holiday season is hard or sad for you. He is ready, willing and able to overcome all your weaknesses, fears and anxiety, sadness with the power of His very own joy.

His joy. Your strength.

I’ve been walking into rooms, houses, outdoors, raising my arms and shouting, “Joy!” People look at me funny, but I want to spread the joy of the Lord. To spread the very essence of His strength.

How about you? Can you find the pearl of joy in your life, in the essence of God’s heart toward you?

Wear joy this season.


About Rachel: RITA-finalist Rachel Hauck lives in Florida with her husband, Tony. She is the author of Dining with Joy; Sweet Caroline; Love Starts with Elle; and The Sweet By and By, co-authored with Sara Evans. For more information please visit

Oh, and be sure to enter Rachel's Dining With Joy NOOK eReader giveaway!


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog ( on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.

Monday, December 13, 2010



Hello - I'm thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual 12 Pearls of Christmas! We've lined up several authors to share their Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along beginning today (Monday the 13th) through Christmas day as Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling,  Rachel Hauck, Tricia Goyer, Maureen Lang, and more share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their life during this most wonderful time of the year.

We are also providing this series as free content for your own blogs (as 12 html posts) - if you'd like to share the 12 Pearls of Christmas with your blog readers email ( and she'll send you the content.

AND BEST OF ALL ... there's also a giveaway!!!! Fill out the quick form at the link located at the bottom of this post or any of the following 12 Pearls of Christmas posts (on any of the participating posts) to be entered to win a PEARL NECKLACE, BRACELET AND EARRINGS! You may enter once a day. The winner will be announced on New Year's Day! Pearls - a tangible reminder of God's grace to us all.


Pearls of Patience

As I write by the light of my Christmas tree on a late winter’s night, I reflect upon the poignancy and purpose of this season.  The tiny white lights look like strands of pearls draped gracefully (perhaps haphazardly is a more honest description) across the evergreen boughs.  Tomorrow I will hang the ornaments and at last place the angel atop the tree

Angels carry a special meaning this Christmas.  My brother, Randy passed away on December 2nd from a heart attack at age 53.  He was feeding a stray cat on his side porch.  Randy was always like St. Francis of Asissi – animals would find him, sensing a kind soul.  And my brother was a gentle and patient soul.  He loved to fish.  He tried to teach me, but I immediately lost interest when I realized worms were involved. And I could never sit still on the banks of a river and just wait.  However, Randy could do that.  He could wait, and waiting is a true gift.  He put into practice the Scriptures.  “Wait upon the Lord.”  “Be still and know that He is God.”  Patience doesn’t have to be passive.  Wait is still an action verb.  Part of the waiting process for fishing is seeking.  Elaine (Randy’s wife of 31 years) told me that Randy said he could see the fish deep beneath the waters.  He actively waited for the right time to catch them.

During Randy’s last fishing trip on earth – just a week before his death, he felt an urgency to take a picture of the clouds with his cell phone.  When he returned home, he showed the picture to Elaine.  They realized that a face of an angel was looking at Randy from the sky – perhaps waiting for God’s timing to bring Randy home to heaven.  In my heart I like to think that this “angel in the sky” was part of the heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds over two thousand years ago.  A Christmas Angel.

The Christmas Angels brought tidings of great joy that Jesus, our Lord and Savior was born.  And because of that incredible gift from God that these angels announced, we all have the promise of eternity. Let us actively wait for His return by sharing our faith, offering hope and acting with love in everything we do.

May each of you be blessed this Christmas as you celebrate the purposeful promises of the Season: Faith, hope and love.   And may the 12 Pearls of Christmas be a blessing to you, too.


About Margaret: Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband, David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs. After earning a master's degree in international business from the University of South Carolina, Margaret moved to New York City to work at a large bank where she met David. Charity and community involvement are very important to Margaret. She is the founder and director of Pearl Girls. For more information please visit Margaret is fast at work on several fiction manuscripts and her book Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace was written to help fund the Pearl Girl Charities. Connect with Margaret on Facebook or Twitter.


A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is {FILL OUT THIS QUICK ENTRY FORM}. The winner will be announced on the Pearl Girls Blog ( on New Years Day!

12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



I want to welcome Melanie Nowak to Books R Us. Melanie is the author of Almost Human ~ The First Trilogy . Thanks For stopping by.

Almost Human ~ The First Trilogy ~ 3-in-1 Bundle

What is Almost Human about?

Melanie: ALMOST HUMAN puts a venomous new twist on the classical vampire, and blends elements of many genres. It has drama, humor, romance, some action, and a pinch of horror and even a touch of science fiction in the 2nd trilogy.

The story begins with a vampire who found that in losing his life, he gained his faith and a purpose. He now spends eternity trying to teach younger vampires to exist without hurting humans – working the will of God among the undead. Enter a young college girl in danger, the beginnings of an ill-advised love affair, and a few vampires who aren’t eager to follow the advice of an elder, and you have the opening of the ALMOST HUMAN series. At the start, it may seem like a familiar story, but as readers become involved, it reveals itself to be an original new experience, immersing readers in fresh insight. The books can be read as fun and light, to a certain degree, but they also lend themselves to deeper contemplation.

For me, the driving force behind the series is the emotional connections of the characters. I do not have black and white villains and heroes in my books, although different characters fit those roles from time to time. I have a core group of realistically evolving characters with different motivations, making choices throughout the story. Each reader will connect with the characters differently; some they’ll love, and some they’ll love to hate. Some readers will agree with the character’s decisions, and some won’t, but hopefully all can understand the characters on an empathetic level. The story prompts the reader to ponder what they would do in similar circumstances.

I am not in the habit of quoting from reviews and things, but I recently received a fan letter from a reader who described what I was striving for beautifully:

“I fell in love with the characters and your wonderfully descriptive use of language. There was something different about your books, some element that put me right into the storyline, giving a fantastic dramatization of what was unfolding before me. Almost as if while reading, I was inserted into a vivid dream-like representation of not only the plot, but the characters feelings and emotions as well. Your books are so much more than just vampire novels. You are writing about real people, who have real emotions.” Alison Irvine.

(I hope she doesn’t mind my quoting her, but I so greatly appreciate her letter, and want to give her credit for her own words!)

It is so rewarding to know that what I feel in my heart as I write, actually does get transcribed to the paper in a way that strongly resonates with readers. I don’t think I can describe the books better than that. It is a story of vampires and humans, interacting in circumstances that can be fun, exciting, romantic and scary at times, but most of all, hopefully they will stimulate your mind and touch your heart.  

Can you tell me who or what was the inspiration for the book?

Melanie: A few things came together to bring ALMOST HUMAN to life. I’ve always been interested in bats. Vampire bats have a anticoagulant in their saliva called “draculin” (named after Count Dracula!) that keeps blood from clotting. I had the idea that such a thing would be useful for vampires as well. It would also be useful if they had something to keep the victim calm, like a drug.

I always wondered about a vampire’s ability to put victims in thrall. In old movies, vampires are always able to hypnotize people, and it’s never really explained. People are just ‘under their power’. I always wondered – why? How does it work? I put those questions together with the anticoagulant/drug idea, and took it further. What if vampires could inject their victims with venom – like a snake? Only the venom would not be deadly poison, but a combination of drugs that kept blood from clotting, kept the victim calm and even willing, and also could mark territory for the vampire – leaving a mark that other vampires could see. The vampire could then use the existence of this ‘drug’ in their victim’s system, to put them in thrall as well. 

The idea of venomous vampires seemed so logical to me, that I assumed for sure that someone else had done it already. I began searching my library for a book like that, so I could read it! This was probably in the early 90’s and there weren’t very many vampire books around at that time. I never found what I was looking for, and I filed the idea away. It never occurred to me to write it myself, LOL.

In the late 80’s, I had discovered Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles and absolutely loved them. That was the first time I read something from the vampire’s point of view. The way that she captured emotions and described surroundings was mesmerizing to me, and I really connected with her story. I’m also a huge fan of the T.V. series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. Joss Whedon is a genius! That said - towards the end of the show, I started disliking some decisions the writers made. I understood their vision, but I also saw missed opportunities. I would have done things differently.

That started me thinking of my own storylines and my own characters, incorporating my venomous vampire idea. None of this was written down, just daydreamed during housework. Then one day I realized that a lot of the ideas I had were really good, and it depressed me to think that it would all just be forgotten. So, I sat down one night at the computer, to write out a few things so I wouldn’t forget, and could look back at them one day. The scenes just came pouring out and before I knew it, I’d been up writing almost the whole night! That’s when I realized that I had a real story to tell, and wanted to write it all out from beginning to end. That is how my ALMOST HUMAN vampires were born.

How long did it take to write the book, and how long did it take to get the book released?

Melanie: That’s not an easy question for me to answer, because I did not start out writing a book that I planned to publish. Bored with housework and lacking a creative outlet, I began making up a story one day, using my venom idea, just for my own entertainment. I had no aspirations of relating it to anyone, I just didn’t want to forget it. So one night, I sat at the computer and decided to just write it down for myself, so I could look at it again one day.

Before I knew it, I'd been writing for hours! It just came pouring out! I never planned to publish it, I just had fun writing it. The story was very long but I knew just where I wanted it to go, and what I wanted to happen. I knew it was too long, so I decided to break the story into 3 parts and make it a trilogy. I still wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but it was nice to feel the accomplishment of finishing the books. I wrote all 3 books in 2 years (I was completely obsessed, I wrote every free moment, staying up until 2 am most nights). Then I spent the next year polishing them up, editing and such. I let a few people read it; family and friends insisted my books were better than many others they'd read, and should be published, so I decided to try.

I first tried publish my series back in 2004, and as it is for most authors, it was a long and difficult endeavor. I spent a few years trying to get published by traditional methods. I researched the whole process and jumped through every hoop. Unfortunately, most publishers and agents are swamped with inquiries these days, and are unable to give each submission the attention it may deserve. I got numerous rejection postcards without a single request to actually read my manuscript.

As a busy wife and mom, I wasn’t able to attend conventions or camp out on door-steps to be read. I was earning my Masters Degree to be a school librarian, when a professor mentioned that Amazon would accept previously unpublished books for the Kindle. I knew that once you self-publish, most traditional publishers will not consider your work, but no one was considering my work anyway. After some research and deliberation, I decided to publish on Kindle in 2008, because it was an effective way to share my stories with the public. I could have closure, feeling like I'd done something with the books, and be able to move on. I wanted to begin writing the 2nd trilogy for the series, which had already been playing out in my head, no matter how I tried to focus on other things.

After my series began to gain Kindle readers, I got many requests for print copies of the books. To try and make that happen, I shopped around again for agents & publishers in January ’09. This time I had verifiable sales to show them – but it didn’t help. There is still a stigma against ‘self-published authors’ (although I believe that is slowly changing). They didn’t like the fact that my books were already out in e-book format, even though they had never been printed. Again I was constantly rejected without even being read first. I finally decided to publish in print independently, because I was more interested in sharing the stories with readers, than waiting for a publishing house to back me.

There are quick and almost instant methods to publish, but I wanted to be very thorough in doing everything myself, and owning all rights and my own ISBN numbers. I handled every aspect from editing & formatting, to cover photos (that's me on book 1). It took a lot of time, research, learning what needed to be done, and finding the most cost effective way to carry it out. I chose a printing company that allows me complete control, and I learned what was involved to become Independently published in print. In April of 2009, WoodWitchDame Publications was born. Word-of-mouth through readers has helped spread the addiction of my venomous vampires, and I’ve been blessed with many devoted readers. I am very happy with the success of my series being Indie published.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

Melanie: Being asked to choose a favorite character, is like trying to pick a favorite child. I can’t choose one among the others. Honestly, I really am all of the characters in this book! It may sound strange because my characters are pretty diverse, but it’s true. Each of these characters has been taken from the seed of something within myself. I have been lucky enough in my life never to have been sexually abused or addicted to drugs - but everything that goes into making up the personalities for my characters, how they feel and react to things, has come from some little grain of dealing with something in my own life - magnified. At some point in my life I have totally identified with and "been" these people. Even if it didn't outwardly show - this is how I felt and wanted to react.

I wondered a little at first, whether I would be able to write a believable ‘guy’, but when you come down to it, we are all just people. I take care to really examine his motives throughout each scene, and to try and observe and notice things the way I think a man would. It’s actually rather fun writing for my guys Cain and Ben, and stepping into the male perspective.

Outwardly I’m sure my friends and family would say I am most like Felicity. Physically, I have modeled her after myself; intellectually and emotionally she is very much the girl that I was at that age. I was usually pretty quiet and shy, constantly reading my fantasies rather than trying to live them out. Because of that, I identify very closely with Felicity, but I have to admit that it’s often more fun to write for my other ladies, Allie and Sindy. Allie is much more sassy and daring than I have ever been in life, and Sindy… well let’s just say it; She can be an evil bitch – and who wouldn’t think that was fun to write?

Do you have any tips for a young writer starting out?

Decide why you are writing. Is your ultimate goal to be on a bookstore shelf, or to tell an amazing story? If you just want to see your name on something, that is an entirely different path from someone who wants to truly express & share feelings and ideas. If you are passionate about your writing & want to share your story with readers, here’s my advice: 

1st - If you have a story inside of you yearning to be told, then be unafraid to really give in to it and write your true thoughts and feelings. The passion will come through! You cannot write while worrying about who might read it or what they will think. First, be true to that inner voice and write the story that you want to write. 

2nd – Edit – a lot. You’ve poured your heart out onto the page and it’s a moving and wonderful work. Now you need to look at it with a critical eye for grammar, story structure, continuity, and make decisions about what you’re comfortable sharing with the public. If you’ve bared your soul (writing can be wonderfully cathartic) you have to decide if anything should be kept strictly in the “author’s edition” rather than shown to the public. I made the decision to keep everything I’ve written in the original story – but that isn’t right for everyone. Do not write “down” to your readers – it is important to be sure they can follow the plot and understand the story, but don’t be afraid to write something that will make people stop and think. Proper grammar, spelling and punctuation is so important I have to say it again. If you’re unsure about something – look it up! EDIT!

3rd – Believe in yourself and be strong. Getting published is HARD. Even if you have the best book ever, getting the right people to read it will be even harder than writing it – you have been warned. I was rejected over 200 times without anyone even being willing to read my manuscript! Do not give up!

4th – If you want to share your story, you will find a way. Traditional publishing isn’t for everyone – neither is Independent publishing. You have to figure out what is right for you. Large publishing companies will be hard to reach without connections. It’s not impossible (but close). Be aware - larger publishers often want you to edit your work to fit their image. There are many small presses that are more open to accepting new work without many changes, you just have to find the right one for you. Otherwise, Independent publishing is also a good option to keep your story true to your own vision – but be prepared to put in the effort.

5th - Decide how you will define your success. If to you, success = money, quit now, LOL. To me success is the feeling of accomplishment and the swell of excitement I feel when someone tells me they read my book and it really resonated with them. In my experience, take care of the emotional success and the physical success will follow. I concerned myself with telling a good story, putting in tons of work to research certain elements, refine and edit it to the best of my ability, and learned what was needed to publish and promote it. I make myself accessible to readers and view it all as a labor of love. Through that sincere effort with no help from paid promotion, I have earned approx. 7,000 readers in 2 years. That number may seem small by traditional publishing standards, but for an Indie, it’s more than I ever expected! Now writing is my full time job and I can pay my bills with it!

What was some of your favorite books when growing up?

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony
Split Infinity by Piers Anthony
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope
WitchDame by Kathleen Sky
The Secret Country by Pamela C. Dean
Ariel by Steven R. Boyett
Wolfwalker by Tara K. Harper

Those were (and still are) some old favorites.

I would sincerely like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce everyone to my venomous vamps. The ALMOST HUMAN series is available in ebook and paperback, online and in your local bookstore – if it’s not on the shelf – ask for it!
Also available through the authors website, where you can read free sample chapters:

And on Amazon:

Happy reading!
~ Melanie Nowak
 Check out my review of  Volume 1- Fatal Infatuation and check back for my review of Volume 2- Lost Reflections coming soon.

And Now for the contest-

Enter to win a signed set of Almost Human- The First Trilogy (All three books)

To Enter-

Please put all entries into one comment.  Thank You.

1. Please leave a comment with your email. +1
2. Become a follower via Google connect +2
3. Follow me via twitter (@ginger_high)  and Tweet about the contest. +2
4. Like Books R Us on Facebook +2
5. Blog about contest (post link)+2

Contest ends 12/18/10 at 11:59pm EST

Saturday, November 27, 2010



What a Difference a Dog Makes: Big Lessons on Life, Love and Healing from a Small PoochWhat a Difference a Dog Makes: Big Lessons on Life, Love and Healing from a Small Pooch is A must-read for every dog lover—a short, tender, and uplifting tale of a cancer survivor and the life lessons shared with him by his beloved family dog.

Our dogs come into our lives as “just the family pet,” but before we know it they become drinking buddies and fuzzy shrinks, playmates and Cheerios-munching vacuum cleaners, alarm clocks and sleeping partners. And, in their mys­terious and muttish ways, our dogs become our teachers.

When Dana Jennings and his son were both seriously ill—Dana with prostate cancer and his son with liver failure—their twelve-year-old miniature poodle Bijou became even more than a pet and teacher. She became a healing presence in their lives. After all, when you’re recovering from radical surgery and your life is uncertain, there’s no better medicine than a  twenty-three-pound pooch who lives by the motto that it’s always best to play, even when you’re old and creaky, even when you’re sick and frightened.

In telling Bijou’s tale in all of its funny, touching, and neurotic glory, Jennings is telling the story of every dog that has ever blessed our lives. The perfect gift for animal lovers, What a Difference a Dog Makes is a narrative ode to our canine guardian angels.

My Thoughts-

This is a touching and wonderful memoir full of humor as well as sadness. Mr. Jennings has written a wonderful book about Man's Best Friend and other lovable creatures such as cats, lizards and Guinea pigs. I especially liked the chapter on the Ten Dog Commandments and my favorite was "You shall not bear false witness against your D_g. A dog has never actually your homework." Boy is that so true. I tried that once in school and that did not work. The book was easy to read and I finished the book rather quickly. You can learn a lot from animals. I have a cat and a couple of fish. I wonder what my cat is saying when he looks at me with those green eyes. I guess I will never know. There were many things in the book I could relate to since I have had a dog, fish, guinea pigs and a cat. So would you like to win a copy of this great little book? It is easy enter my contest.

Thanks to Knopf-Doubleday, I am able to give away two copies of this book.

No PO Boxes.
Prizes will be sent by the publisher.
To Enter-
Please put all entries into one comment. Thank You!

1. Please leave a comment with your email. +1
2. Become a follower via Google connect +2
3. Follow me via twitter (@ginger_high)  and Tweet about the contest. +2
4. Like Books R Us on Facebook +2
5. Blogging about contest (post link)+3
6. Follow via Networked Blogs +2

Contest ends 12/11 at 12mn EST.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book for my honest review and I was not compensated for my review.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Join Jon Katz, author of the dramatic dog adventure novel, Rose in a Storm (Villard Books) as he virtually tours the blogosphere  on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.

Rose in a Storm: A Novel
About the Book-

Rose a Border Collie is determined and focused, keeping the sheep out of danger and protecting the other creatures on the farm she calls home. But of all those she’s looked after since coming to the farm as a puppy, it is Sam, the farmer, whom she watches most carefully.
Awoken one cold midwinter night during lambing season, Rose and Sam struggle into the snowy dark to do their work. The ever observant Rose has seen a change in her master of late, ever since Sam’s wife disappeared one day. She senses something else in the air as well: A storm is coming, but not like any of the ones she’s seen over the years. This storm feels different, bigger, more foreboding.
When an epic blizzard hits the region, it will take all of Rose’s resolve, resourcefulness, and courage to help Sam save the farm and the creatures who live there.

Jon Katz consulted with animal behavior scientists to create his unique and convincing vision of the world as seen through the eyes of a dog. Poignant, thrilling, and beautifully wrought, Rose in a Storm is a wonderfully original and powerful tale from a gifted storyteller.

To enlarge reader click it.

Visit the Author's site and view the wonderful video about the Farm and the dogs.

My Thoughts-

What a moving and fantastic book. Rose acted like a person protecting and caring for her "children" on the farm. Even through the toughest times, Rose pulled through. I felt that I was standing right next to Rose watching her work and hearing her thoughts. The way the author described the storm and how the animals interacted was very unique and I have never read a book like this one before. This is the first book that I have read by the author and it certainly will not be the last. Bravo, Mr. Katz for writing an inspirational, emotional, and well written novel. I highly recommend the book to everyone.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book for my honest review and I was not compensated for my review.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


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In Almost Heaven, Billy Allman is a genius but he was short on social skills. He decides to build a radio station with spare parts that he has collected. The people in the town laughed at him but that does not bother Billy. Billy has a secret that has been haunting him for many years and things have always gone wrong for him. He has a passion for playing the mandolin and plays bluegrass music on his radio station. Through out Billy's life he is being watch by an angel Malachi. Although this was not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and sees how Billy lives and the problems that he faces. When Billy's secret is revealed his life and the people close to him are changed. Malachi wants to protect him but he was only sent as an observer. What happens to Billy and Malachi? I guess you have to read the book to find out.

About the Author-

Chris Fabry

 Chris Fabry is the host of Chris Fabry Live!, an hour of spiritual encouragement from his backyard radio fence. The program challenges listeners to think biblically about their spiritual journeys. Chris is also the author of the Christy Award-winning novel Dogwood, and his latest fiction release, June Bug. He and his family live near Tucson, Arizona. You can learn more about Chris at

My Thoughts-

I loved this book and I could not put it down. There were twists and turns throughout the book that kept me hooked. I loved Billy, Callie and all of the other characters in the town. Billy has be plagued with problems all his life and the book shows that God can intervene in our lives to make us stronger to face our problems. I have never read any of the author's books before and I can not wait to find out what he is planning for the future. I even downloaded his podcasts on my I touch and it was very entertaining and informative. There were some very interesting guests on his show. So if you want some inspiration in your life read Almost Heaven and listen to the podcasts you will be glad you did.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from Glass Road Public Relations for my honest review and I was nit compensated for my review.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter's Last Goodbye (MEDICAL HUMANITIES SERIES)
Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter's Last Goodbye is a wonderful memoir about the author's mother, father and his identical twin. The story takes the reader through the journey of the end of life: selling the family home, re-location at a retirement community, doctor’s visits, ER visits, specialists, hospitalizations, ICU, nursing homes, and Hospice. The memoir included humor,sorrow, joy and terror and unfortunately death. While the author was revising the book her husband was dying of cancer and he passed away before she could finish the book. When the book was completed, it was three months after he passed away.

My Thoughts-

My grandmother passed away when I was twelve years old ( I am sixteen now) and I had many fond memories of her. My grandfather is still alive and is eighty years old. When I had the chance to read the book, I was a little reluctant and my mother said that it was good for me to read it. I enjoyed the book and my favorite twin was Henry. Boy, was he a character and he made me laugh. I read the book on vacation and I had difficulty putting it down. I volunteer weekly in a local nursing home and I can see how hard it can be to care for the elderly and all the emotions that go along with caring for them. The author is an excellent writer and she gave me a different insight into life. I have learned that even the most independent person may need some assistance in their lives when they grow older and may have to rely on a nursing home to care for them. I recommend the book to everyone not to make them depressed but to learn a little about aging.

About the author-

 Ann Putnam  teaches creative writing and women’s studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She has published short fiction, personal essays, literary criticism, and book reviews in various anthologies such as Hemingway and Women:  Female Critics and the Female Voice and in journals, including the Hemingway Review, Western American Literature, and the South Dakota Review.  Her recent release is Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye.  You can visit her website at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the author and I was not compensated for my review.