Saturday, January 30, 2010

Closing Shop

Dear Readers and Participants in Virtual Book Tour de 'Net:

I started this blog in 2007 after the MuseOnline conference because I was inspired by the power of the Internet and viral marketing to make people's work known. I envisioned VBTdN as part of a great cooperative, where I would tour people's books and they in turn would tour mine and others on the VBTdN website. When that idea didn't blossom, I contented myself with touring books just as a service.

After two years, however, I find that the hits on this blog are still low, and most of the comments are coming from people that author directed toward the site--i.e., people who already know their books. It's just not as effective as I'd hoped. At the same time, book blogs have sprung up everywhere, along with many social groups dedicated to just books. What I'm doing isn't unique anymore.

Meanwhile, my home life has gotten even busier, and as two of my children entered high school, I found their need for me increased as we ready them for adulthood. I need not only to cut time but things that draw my attention away from a few core items.

Therefore, I'm closing down this blog, at least for the time being.

I plan on restarting, and may on occasion comment on books I'm reading, but they'll be books I've chosen to read, not books I've promised to review. I'll also be talking about writing my own books and about my favorite things--sci-fi, fantasy, and faith.

It's been a fun run, and I'm glad to have been a part of the Internet marketing move. I enjoyed learning about each of your books and your goals as writers. I wish all of you the best of luck. Please look for me at one of these social sites and keep in touch. (if you like dragons and satire, register on the site)


Karina L. Fabian

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS by Mary Nickum

Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn’t quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy’s older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.

An Interview with Mary Nickum

Why did you write this book?
I wrote the book to help demystify some of the fearsome events a child might experience when a parent begins to have symptoms of MS. They can be frightening—parent falling, dropping things, slurred speech and many others.

What was the hardest part? The hardest part of writing this book was reducing the technical explanations of this disease to a vocabulary that children 8-11 would understand. In this effort I was careful not to mislead or make an out-and-out error in fact. To be sure about this, I asked my neurologist to read and review it for accuracy, which he did.

What was easiest or most fun?
The most fun was developing the characters, especially Tony. I have two sons, and at 11 going on 12, thinking back, I could “hear” Tony.

What do you hope people get from your book? I hope people will find information and solace in the book. Being diagnosed with MS is a life-changing event. Information is the key to allaying fear in adults and children.

How do you want to be remembered as an author? As an author, I want to be remembered for the accuracy and forthright telling of my stories.

What's next for you? I now have three picture books awaiting publishers’ decisions. I also have an e-zine article under publisher review. I’m considering writing books on the immune system for ages 8-11.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Yearly Harvest: A True Story of Christmas by Ryan Callaway

Note: Despite the title, this is definitely fiction.

Jin Duyen, who often writes articles for prominent magazines, is assigned to do a story on the origins of Christmas' many traditions. After some research, she traces them back to Selah, a remote town in the Midwest. Jin travels there in hopes of finding something interesting for her article, and finds so much more. Amy Carson, a private investigator from a nearby town, decides to look into several cases of missing children which have gone unsolved. The authorities have ceased their own searches, so with little else to do during the holiday season, she heads to Selah as well. Oddly, the residents of Selah aren't caught up in the festivities that the rest of the world is taking part in. Jin and Amy soon discover that Christmas holds a much darker meaning here... one that pitches them into the same terror that had held Selah captive for years.
Interview with Ryan:

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Yearly Harvest because I wanted people to seriously consider the traditions that they follow, including those of Christmas. I'm in no way against the holiday, but I believe a lot of Christians blindly engage in certain practices without stopping to consider why. There was a huge controversy over the holiday around the time I started writing, with a lot of folks in the non-religious community pressing to remove Christ and any semblance of Christianity from Christmas. Yearly Harvest explores the idea that, in a way, Christ has already been at least diminished in Christmas festivities. More people probably think of Santa, presents, and bright lights when they hear the word, and not the one it's named for. The book can be enjoyed as a mere suspense/mystery story. But it's also a frightening eye opener revealing what Christmas could be WITHOUT Christ.

What was the hardest part?

The spiritual warfare that I endured from the day I realized the good purposes that Yearly Harvest could accomplish. The attacks were constant, and I almost gave up at one point when my computer unexpectedly crashed. I lost 20 pages of writing and it took me about a month to get back into it, but I did. I figured if the enemy found it worth fighting over, then it was a fight worth staying in.

What was easiest or most fun?

I really enjoyed the characters, particularly protagonists Jin and Amy. Jin and Amy were, and still are, the most unique characters I've written. They really came to life in their own way, and it was fun to sit back and see how they reacted to the situations I threw at them. They practically wrote themselves in that way, and it was cool to experience that.

What do you hope people get from your book?

There's three things I hope readers get from Yearly Harvest. First is a good, suspenseful read that'll keep them up at night - either because they don't want to put it down, or because they're creeped out. My editor told me that the publisher said she was going to have someone else read the suspense submissions from then on so she could sleep well at night. I took that as an extreme compliment. Second, is an emotional ride, because it's a very dramatic and character driven book. I think the lessons that the characters learn will be beneficial for readers as well. Jin, for instance, starts off as very unappreciative of her family, but by the end of the story she realizes how much they really mean to her. Third, I want people to reconsider the way they think about Christmas. While the other aspects of it may be fun, Christ should be at the center for Christians.

How do you want to be remembered as an author?

I want to be remembered as someone who is creative and writes real characters that readers fall in love with. An author who is able to scare readers, but make them think at the same time. I would also be honored to one day be mentioned in the same breath as authors like Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, as my works have drawn comparisons from readers thus far.

What's next for you?

I'm currently working on producing a film version of another novel titled "Avenger of Blood". I am also writing a suspense/romance novel called Leviathan which takes places in a quiet southern town. And I hope to revisit Jin and Amy in the near future as well. I've been throwing around ideas for a Yearly Harvest sequel for almost a year now.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Please Help a Friend and Get Some Great Books!

Hi, All,

Regina Doman is a fantastic writer of YA fantasy--fairy tales given a modern twist. I have loved every one I've read, as has my 14-year-old daughter. Regina sent me this message and plea.

My sister has diabetes, which she discovered in her college years. I remember the struggles she has. I can hardly imagine a 6-year-old going through it. Please help Regina as best you can. It's win/win, really--you'll adore her books! You Do Not Have To Be Catholic To Enjoy These!



My dear devoted friends,

I am making a special appeal to you today.

Last night we took my 6-year-old son, Thomas, to the emergency room because of symptoms he was displaying that indicated he may have developed diabetes. The hospital doctors confirmed that he had.

Our current financial and insurance situation leaves little if any room to cover the projected on-going costs of managing this illness.

What we are asking of you is this:

In addition to your prayers, please forward this email (Modify as necessary. There is a link at the bottom of this email.) to as many people, bookstores, libraries, youth groups, schools, and book clubs you can, asking them to consider buying Regina Doman's Fairy Tale Novels.

Regina's Fairy Tale Novels are not only available on and Barnes & Noble, but also from these websites and others as well:

And in the United Kingdom:

There are also order forms on the Fairy Tale Novels website for regular retail purchases and wholesale purchases

THANK YOU! Thank you for your prayers for our family and especially for Thomas.

Peace and good, and blessings on your New Year.

Regina Doman

The Shadow of the Bear

During a howling snowstorm, a young homeless man with dreadlocks appears on the doorstep of two teen girls with their widowed mother. Mother and Rose are glad to help him, but Blanche is suspicious...
Once upon a time...
in New York City...
Dwarves. Dragons. Fighting. Fire. Princes. Peasants. Maidens. Mysteries.
But real life isn't a fairy tale. Or is it?
In my fairy tale novels, you'll find...

Knights. Nuns. Ninjas. Minstrels. Miracles.
Princesses. Priests. Chases. Escapes. Rescues. Revenge. Torture. True love.
...for those who have the courage to see life as a fairy tale.

Black as Night

Seven friars wake up to find a runaway girl in their homeless shelter: she has black hair and white skin. And she's terrified that someone is trying to kill her...

Waking Rose

A mysterious accident leaves a vibrant young girl comatose. The only one who can reach her is a young man struggling through a hedge of thorns within himself...

From Waking Rose:

"Bravo," Fish said, striding towards them. The two figures froze, and looked at him. Rose remained still, gazing at the girl with the knife.
What are YA readers saying?
Here's some excerpts from the many emails and letters I've received over the years:

The Shadow of the Bear is one of my favorite books ever. It's one of those books that I can't stop reading until it's finished. ... Thanks for writing such an awesome book! -- Joe N.
I LOVED your book! ... But it really should have a "WARNING: READING THIS BOOK IS ADDICTIVE" on it.
-- Brigid

I have to say Black as Night is the BEST book I have ever read. Thanks and please continue to write such great novels!!!
-- Bradley

I started Waking Rose about 9:00 PM or so, and couldn't put it down until I'd finished it at around 2:00 AM in the morning.
--Andrew H., 18 years.
i finished The Midnight Dancers at 1:22 am, ...and it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- Dominique, 18
The Midnight Dancers

Twelve sisters from a strict family find a secret way out of their home at night, and their midnight adventures and deception lead them into a dangerous dance...

How do you convince someone who's bored with goodness to learn to love it?

That's the tough job med student cum-ninja, Paul Fester, has in The Midnight Dancers, a retelling of the classic fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" set on Maryland's bay shore.

"Regina Doman reinvents myths with a clever, engaging, and fiercely Catholic imagination." - National Catholic Register
Want to read chapter one of any of the books?
Visit my website

Monday, January 18, 2010

Embracing Your Freedom by Susie Larson

Many women feel stuck in their faith. They are bored living in a Christian bubble and long for the greater adventure of significance God designed for them! But just how do we move past our fears and the lies that keep us bound to our past? And are we really called to change the world? Embracing Your Freedom will give you a deeper understanding of your freedom in Christ and a bigger view of God's heart for the world. Walk with Susie Larson as she helps you to:

* Prevent fear from bullying your dreams.
* Know increased boldness in the face of insecurities.
* Experience fulfilling adventures through compassionate service

Interview with Susie Larson:

Why did you write this book?

I wrote “Embracing Your Freedom” out of a burning desire to see Christians set free from fears, past mistakes, insecurities, personal hang ups, and other’s opinions. God has made it possible for us to be free from everything that binds us, and for a specific reason. We are called to be world-changers. We have it written in our spiritual DNA to minister that same freedom to others. Since we live in a wealthy nation, it’s easy to medicate our pain and prop ourselves up with things that keep us comfortable in our captivity. But as a result, we end up living small, insignificant lives.

“Embracing Your Freedom” calls Believers out of ‘ Self-preserving-Western-Suburban Christianity’ into a powerful life of risk-taking, freedom, significance and influence.

What was the most fun part to write?

I’ll be honest. This was the most difficult book I have ever written. I encountered a lot of spiritual opposition while working on this project.

I think I’ve hit a nerve with the devil. He wants to keep us living captive insignificant lives. He wants us comfortable in our captivity so we never want to leave. He hates the message of freedom.

Even so, I most enjoyed writing the last two sections of the book:
*Trusting God to be Big in Us
*Following His Lead, Changing the World

What was the hardest?

I can’t point to any one chapter as being the most difficult to write. For me, it was the daily grind of pounding out the words after sleepless nights, terrible dreams, and perpetual computer problems. Nothing about this project was easy. It tested my faith, my perspective, and my perseverance in every way. But, because I believe so strongly in this book’s message, I’d do it all again if God asked it of me.

What do you hope readers get from the book?

In the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 10 we read Jesus’ words: “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I come that you might have life, and life abundantly.” When the enemy steals from us through pain, betrayal, rejection, neglect, or some other traumatic experience, we change. We live differently as a result of those experiences. Often times we live from a smaller plot of land (so to speak) than God intended for us. It’s time to get our land back.

My prayer is for my readers to be moved deeply in their souls to contend for their freedom; to walk with God to their next places of promise; to awaken to their God-sized call in such a way that they begin to change the world. It’s easier to stay safe and make all kinds of rules around our insecurities. It takes much more grit to step out in faith and face down our fears.

I want to see a whole generation of Christians contend for their paid-for freedom; and then I want to see them mobilized to change the world.

How do you want to be remembered as an author?

If I’m known for anything, I want to be known for knowing Christ. I want to be remembered as someone whose passions revolved around my relationship with Him. My heart for the hurting, the broken, and the slave all come from Him. My heart for attempting the impossible and believing for the inconceivable, come from Him. My refusal to be defined by painful memories and experiences that I might become the person God intended me to be, comes from Him.

As an author, speaker, occasional radio host, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend (and so on), I want to be remembered as someone who inspired countless others to live out this same God-given call.

What's next for you?

Thanks for asking! This March (2010) my next book releases and is titled, “Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places.” We live in a day when kids ooze selfishness, entitlement, and disrespect. This book encourages moms (and grand-moms) to instill gratitude, honor, and humility into our children. And even though it’s critical that we do so, it’s not difficult. I am very excited about this book and I’m looking forward to my speaking tour this spring.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Cat That Made Nothing Something Again by James Maxon

A nameless cat lives in a town of dry, unhappy people devoid of moisture, joy and creativity. How did the townspeople get this way? Who stole the moisture? And how can one crafty cat return moisture -- and life -- to his town? "The Cat That Made Nothing Something Again" tells the tale of how a feline hero discovers these answers. On his journey he overcomes obstacles with wit and determination, finds new friends in unexpected places and learns the simple joy -- and transcendent power -- of helping others.

Interview with James:

Why did you write this book?

The house I grew up in was full of cats, and I had an idea to write a fairytale about one in particular named Sam, who was my mother’s favorite cat. I wanted to write a story about him mainly for her, but after receiving such positive feedback from people I decided to put the story into book format.

What was the hardest part?

Speed and time . . . or rather, lack of speed and lack of time. I’m such a perfectionist that I found myself constantly going back to rework the writing rather than just moving ahead and worrying about fixing the issues later.

What was easiest or most fun?

Writing dialog has always come easily to me. I enjoyed creating the speech of my characters and was constantly delighted to see where they [the characters] took me next.

What do you hope people get from your book?

In the book, I have a character called “the seed”. The nameless cat finds the seed -- which a farmer dropped by accident in the middle of the path -- and tries to help him to no avail. The cat decides that the best course of action is to eat the seed and put him out of his misery. Later in the story we find that the seed becomes the main tool in defeating the dreaded sponges (who have taken the moisture from the world).

I think it’s important for children to learn what it means to be someone of worth, and it is my hope that this book can reach children who are struggling like I did. I try to write in a way that can reach all ages, providing stories that children can understand, yet still giving enough depth and symbolism for adults to relate to.

How do you want to be remembered as an author?

It is said that an author often does not become famous until they die. Where this is not always an appealing prospect, it does have a strong sense of longevity. When I am long gone, my hope is that my words will remain in the world, showing the truths that I have learned, and changing others for the better.

What's next for you?

I'm currently working on a story about a 15-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a wizard. Even though his father is known throughout the land as a powerful wizard, both him and his mother have forbidden Traphis from learning magic. A year after the death of his father, Traphis finds new doors opening and the world of magic more than he bargained for.

It starts out like a typical fantasy story with a young boy living on a farm, but that’s where the stereotypical fantasy ends. My intention is to introduce many new and exciting elements into this genre in hopes of drawing in more readers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Witch's Lament by Catherine Anne Collins

When Skye Temple buys a historic house in Salem, Massachusetts, the witch capital of the world, she ignites events that began centuries ago during the witch trials. Salem's bloody history unfolds with her discovery of ancestral diaries, the murders of local girls, and her attraction to Jerome Phips.

A local police officer, Jerome has returned to Salem vowing to uncover the truth of his mother's disappearance during a ritual gone wrong 30 years ago. His suspicion of Skye and her family's history keeps tension between them high.

Burdened with the birth-task of the Goods to keep an ancient knife protected, Skye gains a new understanding of her powers, while the need to avenge his mother's death drives Jerome. Past and present collide in a final ritual between evil, love and honor.

Interview with Cathy Walker:

Why did you write this book?
I have an interest in the Salem witch trials and thought it might be interesting to write a book about them and have an excuse to do some research. Of course, this included a trip to Salem to do my research first-hand.

What was the hardest part? Even though A Witch's Lament is fiction, I wanted to imbue a true sense of the chilling events that occured in Salem, Ma. during the witch trials. It was difficult to be in Salem and imagine historical events without feeling overwhelmed and somewhat sad.

What was easiest or most fun? Oh, that's easy. In Salem there is this amazing candy store called Ye Olde Pepper Companie. It's the oldest candy store in America and well worth a visit. :-)

What do you hope people get from your book? Enjoyment. A brief look into a grievous yet fascinating historical event.

How do you want to be remembered as an author? As someone who wrote books that made people think, and maybe question life just a little.

What's next for you? A sequel called A Witch's Legacy and then more books, of course.