Friday, November 30, 2012

What Does It Take To Write A Thriller?

An excerpt from TELEVENGE ...

The rain fell in torrents the last time I saw them. I was a grown man. A beautiful man, made in God’s perfect image. It was a hot July day. I remember because it was my birthday. Approaching their peeling porch steps, I flung my suit jacket over my shoulder, undid my tie, and rolled up my sleeves. While one aunt shook with a palsy and the other chewed a cud of something between her gums, I sat on a step and read from the book of Leviticus. “A woman that hath a familiar spirit, a wizard, shall surely be put to death, they shall stone her with stones; her blood shall be upon her. I’m going to preach,” I said.

They stared through me, like a couple of deaf mutes.

I’d come to pick a bone with two old women; to rid myself of an infected snakebite, a poison that had infiltrated even the most anointed parts of my life.

“Can you understand? I’m an overcomer! Quench not the Spirit, saith the Lord! Don’t you see? The audible voice of God speaks to me and through me daily. I once was lost, but now I’m found. You chastised me, but He chose me. I crossed over into the Land of Milk and Honey and I found it. I found the sweet honey in the rock. Sucked out the sweetness and emptied the cone, tasted and seen that the Lord is good. He found no guile in my mouth, no He did not. I spend my days speaking in tongues, yes, true, the tongues of angels, and fall asleep easily every night with God’s words inside me, His anointing upon me.”

A violent storm erupted. Lightning cracked amid a fast and furious rain. I grabbed them up, two rail-thin old women, dragged them inside and kicked the door closed with my heel.
 ... a novel not for the faint of heart ...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Can Two Walk Together Unless They Agree?

Unequally yoked? Not at this Thanksgiving table.

Can two walk together unless they agree? It’s a Biblical question. A scripture quoted many times in my past. Usually to me. Or rather, at me. A question that got me to thinking.

Can a woman and a man be married and not agree on important issues?

I think it depends on the couple, their tolerance levels, and certainly what matters most. But I sat at a Thanksgiving table this year and watched my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in a very tender moment, express thanks for each other.

You see, I was there when they said their vows; nearly thirty years ago, and I wondered then if this unequally yoked couple would make it. At that time I was a member of a church that taught unless you and your spouse believed the same, walked the same path—your marriage would never last.

And yet, all these years later, I have to laugh because it was me who didn’t last in my marriage. Me. Married to a ministry team member. Thirty years ago, I was “equally yoked” to my Christian husband. Believed, submitted, and followed every edict of a church that said it was the only way to Heaven. The only way to stay married. The only way to be a true Christian.

Funny how I no longer believe that.

You see if there were ever two unequally yoked in matters of religion and politics, it’s my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. She’s a liberal. A Democrat. Where he is a far right conservative. A Republican. They laugh about it, knowing their votes cancel each other out during any election. He was a Fundamentalist who married a Catholic. The day they married, their beliefs could not have been farther apart. But love and respect was the glue that held them together. They raised two beautiful children, taught them tolerance, and love, and to respect the decisions of others. Not to judge. Not to throw the first stone.

Many years ago, they found a church they both enjoy. A church where they raised their children to love God. A church where they participate in matters of music and reaching out to those who have lost loved ones. A church where I’d be willing to bet, few know how different they are in their beliefs. Because it just doesn’t matter. Nobody is watching them. Nobody is counting how many times they miss church. After decades of being members there, nobody cares about their differences. What they care about is that they’re pillars of a community. A couple the young folks look up to. A couple who prospered in every area of life despite the fact the church we attended thirty years before, condemned their marriage. A couple who love God, together.

Can two walk together unless they agree? You bet they can. Because there’s nothing more important than love. Even God agrees with that.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What?! Tired? Me?

These last few stops on this leg of the book tour have been spectacular. After an amazing couple of days in Atlanta, interviews on Fox Radio News New York, and then CBS Atlanta, we went to the mountains of North Carolina. To Sylva and the most amazing bookstore, City Lights.

Heading east to the Outer Banks (500 miles across the state of North Carolina) I gave a speech to the members of the Duckwoods Country Club. Signing books at the back of the room afterward, I have to say ... other than writing the book, it's my favorite thing to do as an author. A real shot in the arm. A good dose of confidence.

Then south again, back through Atlanta and on to Mobile, Alabama and the Junior League Christmas Jubilee! I spent eight hours signing books, one after the other, both Southern Fried Women and Televenge ... hundreds of people stopped at my little table for a book.

Meeting so many, talking about my work, I'm falling into bed in the hotel tonight, exhausted. Tomorrow morning we're heading home for the Thanksgiving holiday, and then it's back to work!

My breath catches in my throat as I look back on the past month since Televenge was released. It's been an unbelievable ride ...

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Soldier's Mother Tells Her Story

I met Janie Reinart this past summer in Bedford, Ohio at the Pooka Arts Festival. She sat at the book table next to me and her smile and sweet spirit drew me to her instantly. When I discovered what her book was about, we had an immediate bond. We shared our stories about our sons in the military and I decided I wanted to keep in contact with her. This blog today, Veteran's Day, is from her. It's an amazing story from the mother of a soldier. I look at the picture below, the face of a young man, so very young, and my heart crys for all mothers of soldiers today. Enjoy today's guest post and then go enjoy Janie's book.

Blessings to you and yours.

Out of the Darkness by Janie Reinart

I was numb. In December 2003, my thoughts wandered to the first line of the
song, “Night of Silence” by Daniel Kantor. Cold are the people, winter of life, we
tremble in shadows this cold endless night … My father, a WWII veteran, had just
passed away and my son was being deployed to Iraq. I was in darkness.

Not knowing what else to do, I started to write about my deepest fears and my
greatest hopes. Words came pouring out. I wrote until 4 a.m. in the morning. I
wrote until there were no words left to write. After realizing how therapeutic it was
to get my thoughts down on paper, the idea for a book was born. I asked other
mothers of soldiers to share their stories.

The title of the book came from a letter my son sent me. He was in Iraq for six
months and had six more to go. His letter asked questions: Will I make it back?
Will I be the same? Will I be happy? He said, "All I know that is certain is you,
and I rely on that fact alone to get me through the sweltering reality I live in." He
signed his letter; I love you deeply, more than you know. Your son, Joe.

When Love You More Than You Know: Mothers’ Stories About Sending
Their Sons and Daughters to War (Gray & Company, 2009, eBook 2012) was
published, one mother confided that to this day, she carries her story in her purse
everywhere she goes so that it is always with her. The book holds 45 powerful
tales of love, faith, and courage, reminding our readers that our children stand in
front of our flag, risking their lives so that we can live ours.

Click here to enter free giveaways of Love You More than You Know eBooks in honor of our Veterans and their families.

About Janie Reinart

As an author, teacher consultant, National Writing Project Fellow, storyteller, and poet, words are my tools. Janie seeks ways to give people a voice to tell their own stories through prose and poetry. She and her husband, Ed, are grateful for their five children and 10 grandchildren. Most weekends, you will find Janie praying and singing with the choir at Holy Angels Catholic Church.

Janie's chapter, “Boots to Ground “ in Love You More Than You Know, won second place in the National Federation of Press Women's 2010 Communications Contest in the category of a chapter/essay in a nonfiction book. Her chapter won first place in the Ohio Professional Writer's Communications Contest.

Janie's blog Love You More Than You Know is a finalist for the 2012 Milbloggies (6th Annual) Best U.S. Military Parent Blog Award.


In these stories, 45 mothers of U.S. service men and women open their hearts and share what it feels like when your son or daughter leaves home to fight a war.

Some were stunned when they learned that their “baby” had enlisted. Others had long been familiar with military life. But all of these mothers knew their world had just changed the day their child called home and said, “Mom, I’m being deployed . . .”

They discovered the strange mix of pride and fear. The anxiety of not knowing exactly where in Iraq or Afghanistan your son is, whether your daughter is facing mortar fire or enduring heat and boredom. Elation at the arrival of the briefest postcard or email message. The daily dread, when returning home from work or a trip to the grocery store, of seeing a government car in the driveway and two soldiers at the door . . .

Anyone who reads their stories will admire their faith and courage–and better understand the sacrifices made by our U.S. service men and women and their families.



Saturday, November 10, 2012

God Loves Independent Book Stores

Besides waking up this morning and discovering Televenge is on the front page of Fox I have also been asked to give a book reading, judge a literary magazine contest, and attend the awards ceremony at Wilson Community College near Raleigh, NC in February and April of 2013. I'm honored.
There's more good news, but I can't talk about it right now. So instead of letting anything slip out, here are a few little pictures of our current book tour. We're done in the mountains, and now we head to the beach. More later.
And in case you missed this blog post, take a look: - Why Public Speaking Is a Writer's Best Friend
The mountains around Sylva and Cherokee, NC welcomed us!

Looking over our hotel balcony to the mountain above us and the river below.

Ian and Chris ~ they run the show at City Lights Bookstore!

Some wonderful ladies who came to hear about Televenge

The Watch Cat
Robin and me ~ a great new friend!
Sylva Courthouse, high in the mountains

A coal tipple in Sylva

Me - One happy camper


Friday, November 09, 2012

What Can A Writer Expect On A Book Tour?

So I'm watching Ellen DeGeneres interview Kirstie Alley about her new memoir, and I'm wondering why can't somebody pick up where Oprah left off? Why are only celebrities getting interviews on Ellen or The View? Why do we have to sell millions of books to get an interview like that? Why, why, why?

I'm just askin'.

Anyway, this leg of the book tour started with a stop in NC for the night before heading to Atlanta on Tuesday. (The outlets in Gaffney, SC were a side trip, but that's another blog.) What started out as a whirlwind day, has ended up as one continuous tornado!

Wednesday began with an interview in my pajamas on the phone with WYRQ FM in Little Falls, MN and a deejay by the name of Al. Good ol' Al. I almost heard the chickens in the background. A real sweet guy, he asked a few direct questions about televangelism and Televenge, mentioned his Catholic background, chatted about the weather and just that quickly, the interview was done.

After an hour and half through pouring rain and stop-and-go Atlanta traffic, I found myself sitting in the CBS studios, ready to be interviewed by a young, good-looking anchor, Brandon Rudat, who is also an Emmy, award-winning journalist. Plenty of pancake makeup covered his pretty face, but he sported a crisp blue suit on the top and flip-flops on his feet. A real cutie. (Probably my son's age, so I can say that.) I watched as he first interviewed two guests on the topic of sexual abuse. My part, of course, was about spiritual abuse. They slipped a microphone on me, and before I knew it, the six-minute interview as over. I can't even remember what I said at this writing, but it's supposed to air either this Sunday or next, and then post on You Tube. I'll post the link as soon as I have it.

An hour and a half back through pouring rain and more stop-and-go Atlanta traffic, I sat in my dad's office with the door closed and prepared for the Fox News Radio interview with Vipp Jaswal. What an experience! The best interview by far with a seasoned veteran of the news. Here's the link. By all means, tune in and listen to this interview! It's like being interviewed by James Bond! Working with a professional like Vipp was simply an experience I'll never forget.

Back to Atlanta, in more rain and traffic, we first treated ourselves to a great dinner at Front Page News in the Little Five Points area, then I signed about fifteen books at Charis Books, my first feminist bookstore. I have to say that Elizabeth Anderson, an employee at Charis for fifteen years, was one of the nicest independent bookstore employees I've ever met, and I've met quite a few. Her kind heart and love for books was evident from the moment I walked in. She showed a genuine interest in my work, my life as a writer, and in all literature in general. I simply love it when God puts certain people in my path. People different from me. I'll never forget Elizabeth, and I hope to get back down to her store in the future. An independent bookstore that's been around for over 30 years!

Yesterday, we traveled to Sylva, NC, as I'm speaking and signing tonight at City Light Books at 6:30 pm. The town (Indian Reservation) of Cherokee is 10 minutes down the road, and that's where I wanted to stay. More later on this event.

We as writers will as some point have to hit the road and meet our readers up close and personal. There is no getting around it. And it doesn't matter if we're interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres or not, writers have to become proactive in selling their work. I can't sit still and let somebody else do it. It takes time, money, commitment, and a thick skin. There's no other way. There never was.

Stay tuned ... and enjoy the pictures below.

Blessings to you and yours.



Sunday, November 04, 2012

When Your Candle Burns At Both Ends

“My candle burns at both ends it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

How many times have I quoted this poem, but never have I felt the force of it until now.

It’s November! So much has been happening … here’s the latest update, in case you haven’t seen it! (And be sure to see the pictures at the end of this post!)

A very nice review from Publishers Weekly!

“Cable's unflinching fictional exposé of the dark side of televangelism has a human victim in the person of Andie Oliver. … Cable, a former member of a megachurch, places Andie's desperate struggle against the oppression of (Reverend) Artury's church, its brutal inner circle, murderous practices, financial fraud, and (husband) Joe's abuse. This powerful story, skillfully written and with well-drawn characters, reveals the classic entrapment of vulnerable people in the name of a vengeful god …” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

The hurricane is over in most parts of the US, but I think mine is just beginning. I’m leaving again tomorrow for two weeks of book signings and interviews throughout the south … Atlanta, Georgia, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Outer Banks, and Mobile, Alabama.

Please pray for me next Wednesday, Nov. 7th. In one day I’ll have a live interview with WYRQ FM in Little Falls, MN at 8:00 am EST, a blog post on, an interview on CBS Atlanta TV (which will air on Sunday, Nov. 11th  at 10:30 am)  an interview with Vipp Jaswall on Fox News Radio (to be announced as to air date) and a book signing at Charis Books in Atlanta at 7:30 pm Nov. 7th.

You would think I was twenty-five again, and running after my career! My twenties are gone by the wayside, by I’m still chasing that dream.

My appearances, past and future, as well as radio interview links, book trailers, and book excerpts can be found on my web site. The blog tours are also online with links to some really great book bloggers.

What has been a thrill are the reviews. My status on Amazon and my Alexa rating climbs higher every day. The book has gone national and international in a month. I'm humbled. Grateful. And now there are rumblings from the movie industry. So who knows where this road will take me. I'm grateful for my family, a great publisher, and readers I hear from each and every day along the way.

I’m consumed by it all. Actually, I work even harder on the road. Moving in and out of one hotel after another, setting up a desk area, working on my laptop instead of my home pc, trying to get enough sleep, eating food I'd rather not. Who said it was going to be easy? It wasn’t easy for Southern Fried Women, and it’s even tougher now. The schedule is heavier, with bigger venues, and more media interviews. But Televenge is moving at a steady pace. The climb is daunting at times. We’re always praying the weather cooperates. And all the while, I’m still writing. I’m still editing the finished second novel, and writing the first draft of the third.

Still, I can’t imagine doing anything else. After the holidays, we head west. All the way to California and back. Speaking and signing books. Below are priceless memories along the way …

And it's only just begun ...

Blessings to you and yours.