Wednesday, October 27, 2010

VHP Author: Janet L. Walters

Good Thursday morning, reading world! Today, I have Janet Walters as my guest. She's a fellow VHP author, and an amazingly interesting woman!

Please welcome her here and enjoy our very interesting conversation! :)

1) You worked as a registered nurse for a number of years. Have you used your experiences in the medical field in any of your writing?

Definitely. When I first began writing nurse romances were my thing and I've published a number of them from sweet to spicy. Obsessions is a medical suspense with a twist. The nurses and doctors are being killed. My cozy mysteries feature a recently retired nurse Katherine Miller who doesn't want a third career but ends up having one. Even in the fantasies there are healers who know about medicines. In Mistress of the Moons one of the three heroines is a Healer. In the Warrior of Bast though Tira the heroine isn't in the medical profession she uses something she read in a book on the history of medicine that is useful in helping one of the minor characters.

2) You've written over 39 books, both fiction and non-fiction alike. Do you prefer one genre over another? If so, why?

As to preferring one genre over another, I can't be held to one. Sometimes I seem to be on a role in one genre and lately it's been fantasy but since I read most everything I write most everything. Though I've done some non-fiction, I doubt I will ever do another one. Some of the ones I've written were when I worked as a ghost writer for several doctors. Though those books earned me some money, I doubt I would ever go back to that kind of work. Now if you want to know what I would never write, horror tops that list. I don't like horror and never read that kind of book. I don't think I could do a police procedural or a military fiction. That is totally out of my experience.

3) Your current release, The Warrior of Bast,

and your next release, Mistress of the Moons

both have a Wiccan feel to them. Do you consider yourself someone of an alternative belief system?

A Wiccan feel. I'm not sure what that is. The Warrior of Bast is all about my fascination with ancient Egypt and the gods and goddesses. Cats and hawks play a major role in the story. And camels. Since there were no camels in Egypt during the time I wanted to set these stories I had to devise an alternate Egypt and thus the gods and goddesses are different. Mistress of the Moons was begun way back when women's lib was so militant and I believed both men and women should work together. No alternate religions for me, though I do have a fascination with learning about the other religions of the world and those that no longer exist. Mithranisn plays a part in the Mistress of the Moons with a bit of other religions. I guess I'm just fascinated with so many things and wind them together.

4) I love the fact that The Warrior of Bast has elements of suspense, romance and time travel. What inspired you to write such an intricate story line for The Warrior of Bast?

The Warrior of Bast is actually the first of a trilogy with two books to follow. The Ruler of Horu and the Priest of Toth. Titles may change. I didn't realize it was complicated but I love plots in books. Many times I get so involved in creating the plots that I forget to develop the characters fully until my critique group slaps me down. They're always yelling Emotions, emotions. I'm not sure time travel is really what we have here since it's an alternate world. I also love to read about alternate worlds. One of my readers, thought there wasn't enough romance in the book but she understood the reason for the holding back.

5) In Mistress of the Moons, it says that Ashiera, Dian and Egeria learn that they must act with their male partners in order to defeat the priests of the Lord of Shadows. As one who believes in the balance of masculinity and feminity, that's a point I greatly enjoyed. Was there anything specific that sparked you to create three strong heroines who also need their heroes in order to be victorious? Was that planned, or did it just happen as you wrote the story?

This is one of those strange stories. The dolls came to me when I was in Santa Fe and saw the various Kachina dolls there. I was also into the balance between men and women. Also I had been reading much mythology about the three women, maiden, mother and crone. The heroines evolved from them and to put a strange touch to the story, I had the spirits of three dying women sent into the bodies of three damaged women. Then they needed strong heroes and the three were born. This story was written years before it was published and put away after having been rejected since few publishers were publishing fantasy at that time. At least that's what my rejections said. I also think part of it was because of the romances in the books.

6) You seem to have very strong and courageous heroines. What are the positive and negative points to having strong female characters?

Strong heroines need strong heroes. Creating heroes who match the heroines is the only negative thing I can see. I read few books were the heroines are weak and the few I have I haven't liked. I think my heroes generally match my heroines in strength of character. I think most readers like to read about strong heroines who face life head on. Weak heroines don't make an interesting story.

7) What do you think is one thing people would be surprised to learn about your writing/writing process?

I'm not sure this would surprise anyone who knows me but maybe some writers and readers might find it strange. I write the first few drafts by hand rather on the typewriter. I write and think faster than I type. I'm also a draft writer and my books are re-written and revised from five to seven times during the process.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VHP Author: Vila Spiderhawk

Good Tuesday morning, fellow lovers of the written word. Today, I have fellow VHP author and all around good gal, Vila Spiderhawk! Come get to know this VERY nice lady & wonderful writer! You won't regret it! :)

Vila SpiderHawk and her husband share a log home of their design in the woods of Pennsylvania where they live with their five cats and enjoy frequent visits with their many woodland friends.

After all the gremlins leave this Halloween, curl up with a SpiderHawk book or two!

Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones
Forest Song: Finding Home
Forest Song: Little Mother
Forest Song: Letting Go
Forest Song Cookbook


“Where’s your papa?” I switched Karl to my other aching breast. “His last class was two hours ago! Even if a student held him up with a meeting, he should have been home by now! Come on liebchen. Eat for Mama. Or are you worried too?” He spat up. I wiped his mouth then threw a towel over my shoulder. “Do you have gas?” I willed the door to open to my husband and absently burped my son. “It’s not like Papa to be late. Our whole dinner will be wrecked,” I fretted rubbing circles on his back. “Oh that’s a good one. Good boy!” I put him back to my breast but, however much I coaxed, he would not suck. “Well, how about a nice nap until your papa gets home? Then we can play.” I rose and took him to the bedroom. I put him down on his belly and covered him up with the afghan I had knitted for him. Sitting down on the old rocker, I sang to the child.

Sleep, baby, sleep
Your father tends the sheep.
Your mother shakes the branches small.
Lovely dreams in showers fall.
Sleep, baby, sleep.

Sleep, baby, sleep.
Across the heavens move the sheep.
The little stars are the lambs, I guess
And the moon is their shepherdess.
Sleep, baby, sleep.

Sleep, baby, sleep.
I shall give you a sheep.
And it shall have a bell of gold
For you to play with and to hold.
Sleep, baby, sleep.*

Karl grunted as I sang. I smiled and looked around the room, as I often did when I was alone. The floor was bare; the paper peeling; the curtains, Mama’s hand-me-downs. The bed was saggy in the middle, but I liked our little trough. It forced my Gustav and me to sleep like spoons. By any standards, our apartment was shabby and small, but to me it was a gold and crystal castle. “Imagine me, Dagmar Weiner, Dagmar ­Rosenfeld now, with my own home and with a husband and a son! How did I come to be so blessed?” I shook my head in disbelief.

Don’t be so recklessly complacent, the old-cellar brown voice of caution resonated from my girlhood. The things you treasure lavishly can disappear in the next breath. Be watchful. I went over to the window.
The street was five o’clock busy, people rushing home from work in street cars, and on bikes and on foot. Frau Schmidt locked up her bookstore and nodded to the door. She patted her yellow tiara of braids and pulled her collar up against the wind. She had no one to go home to, and I always felt sad that her husband had died before his time. I’d often thought to invite her to dinner or for tea but had somehow never managed to do it. I thought to open the window and to call out a hello, but the worry over Gustav stayed my hand.

Going into the kitchen, I turned off the stove. I’d made a pot of linsensuppe, since it was Gustav’s favorite dish. But it had simmered too long. The carrots were soft, and the lentils had turned to mush. At least the brötchen were all right, though they were no longer warm. Yeast rolls last. They would be fine for several days. But I feared that the bienenstitch was going to be soggy by the time we got around to dessert.

Like a thief, the sun had crept behind our neighbors’ tiled roofs. I sat down. My stomach growled. I had to eat. I felt sorry for Frau Schmidt as I ladled soup for one and dipped a chunk of roll into the bowl. “Gustav, come home right now!” I demanded of the door. Knowing that anything that kept him out so late was certain to be bad for our marriage, I laid my head down and wept until my heart was wrung dry, as I would do every night for many months.

*Old German lullaby, no attribution possible.
© Vila SpiderHawk 2009
All rights reserved

To learn why Gustav was so late, pick up Forest Song: Little Mother.
Available in paperback or Kindle from
and from my website,

Friday, October 15, 2010

VBT Author Spotlight: Julie Wise

Happy Friday, internet world! :)

Today, I am featuring Julie Wise from the VBT tour. I think it's suiting that her surname is Wise. ;) Here's why:

Julie Wise is a professional life and relationship coach who works with people around the world to manifest their dreams. As a motivational speaker and freelance writer, she draws on her innate wisdom and personal life experiences to inspire others. Wise currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Where has the spark gone in your relationship?
Where are you on your priority list?
What's missing in your life right now?
You do have choices.

In fact, I believe the possibilities are limitless. If you have the desire for things to improve, you're already on the road to a better future.


When life's challenges get you down, and you feel like giving up on your heartfelt desires, it's not time to quit. It's time to dream even bigger! This book is filled with inspiring true stories, simple tools and exercises, and plenty of motivation. Learn how to re-chart your course and bring more joy and ease into your life as you pursue your dreams.

"When life's challenges get you down, and you feel like giving up on your heartfelt desires, it's not time to quit. It's time to dream even bigger! This book is filled with inspiring true stories, simple tools and exercises, and plenty of motivation. Learn how to re-chart your course and bring more joy and ease into your life as you pursue your dreams."

"Take a moment to remember daydreaming as a child. Recall the joy, freedom, and sense of possibility you felt. Imagine being able to experience that every day. You can with Dream BIGGER, Julie Wise’s heartfelt and inspiring guide to realizing your deepest desires. Using her experience as a life and relationship coach, Wise provides personal anecdotes and numerous client examples to create a living, breathing roadmap for those seeking insight and wisdom on their daily path.
The workbook format deftly illustrates Wise’s motivational message, giving you the chance to work through past doubts, disappointments and fears using simple yet effective techniques. She shows you how to stay focused and achieve your dreams by creating a workable action plan. Divided into easy-to-read chapters, Wise offers inspiring stories from those successfully living their dreams and covers topics such as revealing the dream; befriending the gremlins; reawakening your potential; seeing the signs; and much, much more!
Your dream is within reach. Let Dream BIGGER show you how to make it a reality!"

Happy weekend reading, everyone! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

VBT Author Spotlight: Betty Collier

Today, we have author Betty Collier with us.

Unique and sweet, I have really enjoyed getting to know her and her book, Living Inside the Testimony.

Here's what she has to say about her book:

An editor for a magazine in which I ran an ad to promote my book, Living Inside The Testimony, asked me to come up with “A HOOK” that she could use as the headline for the ad. She said it needed to be something “catchy” that would peak the curiosity of radio and TV producers. This is what I came up with:

• I Became an Author Overnight, and I Remember the Exact Night it Happened
• How to Become a Best Selling Author Overnight
• When You Live Inside a Testimony, You Can’t See It
• Why Read a Book Written by Someone Who Never Wanted to Write One?
• Is it Luck or is it all Part of THE MASTER’S Plan?
• Is Your Life Part of a Master Plan?

She considered all these suggestions, but after she read the book for herself, this is the headline she created and used for the ad:
Marrying Your High School Sweetheart is Great: Until Your Kids are in High School
Don’t Miss this Woman’s Fun Advice About Life

Having said all this, my point is simply that the book takes on so many different faces. It was written to be inspirational and encouraging, but it offers much more than that. It’s hard to categorize it only in the inspirational genre because it has so many other facets that are neatly tied together to flow very smoothly. The editor said she was definitely inspired, but felt the main thing I had been missing in my promotions was to stress the humorous side of the book also. She thought it was very funny, but also full of life, love, and faith. It has enough variety to appeal to the general population, whether you share my faith or not.

I never considered myself an author, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been "absolutely not!" Perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading, but I can assure you...I am an author. I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book. I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will understand perfectly, but only if you have the faith to believe. I wrote this book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith. If you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and alot of love. As one reader told me, "It's like being on a roller coaster. I didn't know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next...This book is a masterpiece!"

For more information about my book, please visit

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Imperfect is Important

We've all heard/seen/watched the news latetly. There is a SICK epidemic of harrassment of GLBT students that is resulting in their suicides. It's horrific. Absolutely horrific. That these KIDS are being so tormented that they feel the only relief is death is just horrifying.

This needs to stop. We are all human beings. Did you know that the differences between you and I are minimal? Seriously. Our DNA is about 99% THE SAME!!!!! I don't care where you come from, what color you are, your orientation: we are ALL human beings!

This weekend, a light vigil is being held at Washington Square Park in New York City for these college students. Though I cannot attend, I am doing my part.

How so?

My books.

Imperfect is the kind of book that NEEDS to be out right now. Especially in light of these tragedies. Imperfect FIGHTS prejudice. No matter what your school of thought, this book teaches you about equality, humanity and compassion. Imperfect does not back down from discussing discrimination, sexism, prejudice, hate crimes, etc. Like me, it is blunt. But it gets the point across. The point of love, tolerance, acceptance.

There's Impeccable, the sequel to Imperfect. Though not out yet, it too tackles these issues. Even more beautifully than Imperfect, if you ask me. Together, these two books will transform minds and help to eradicate hate!

Loving Her, my first work of fiction in fifteen years is an old, reliable source as well. Loving Her shows that no matter what walk of life you come from, we are all people. We all share the same hopes and dreams. Whether you're a mechanic or a ballerina, we're all in this together. Loving Her may be short stories, but they're still incredibly powerful.

PLEASE, help to end the hate. Help to make a difference. Teach love. Teach acceptance. Teach equality. Attend a service for these students if you can.