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Sunday, December 16, 2007
Awakening the Dragon--Book One of the Dragon Clan Trilogy originally was called Dragon's New Home. A financial issue with an unethical publisher was the deciding factor in my rewriting and renaming it. Looking back, I am grateful to the publisher. Although it was a good book in the beginning, Awakening the Dragon is a stronger and better crafted book. Not only did I add a ghostly presence, but also I established a storyline that would be woven through the sequels--Dragon Domain, which is already available and Return of the Dragon Tribe, which will be released spring 2008. I write about the magic of this world and others. However, the setting doesn’t matter as much as the spiritual and emotional challenges that the characters must grow through.

Most of my work is inspired by life and my ability to not only question, but to listen to the answers. The what-ifs of life are the basis of the best stories every told. Growing up I would create my own characters for my favorite TV shows and fantasize about the how I would make the story different. When it was time to return to reality, the characters and plots were radically different than when I started. One of my English professors once said there hasn't been in a new plot in over two thousand years, but it is the way the writer perceives the plot and creates the characters that make the story unique. There is nothing new about bigotry, romance or betrayal, until you see it through fresh eyes or you lift the mirror and see it in your own. The characters that I have brought through me are magical, but not because they create magic. Instead, they represent the commonness that we all share that in itself makes us unique. We are all capable of making miracles happen if we chose to have the courage to believe and have faith. Each of us contains the Divine spark that makes us exceptional. If we could just remember to look for it in other, most of the pain we cause ourselves and others would be avoided, but so would most of the good stories.

Awakening the Dragon Clan Trilogy is available at Amazon.

To read an excerpt go here: http://www.geocities.com/tirgana/excerptatdebook.pdf
posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 9:33 PM   7 comments
Friday, December 7, 2007
If you had asked me 3 years ago whether I would write a novel, I most likely would have laughed and said no. You see, I never meant to write a novel. As a matter of fact, when I wrote Rue the Day: The Undercover Heir Book 1, I only meant to write a short story.

Here’s what happened. I live in the Ozarks, and we have a lot of misty mornings. So one day I was getting a breath of fresh morning air and talking to the birds. Fog shrouded the trees and put me in mind of Celtic stories about passing through the mists into other realms. The book The Mists of Avalon is one example of a book that taps into these stories.

So a character came to me who had lived as a human but was truly Faerie (old spelling of what we now see most often, fairy). Her mother Neala wandered into the mists that rise at times to allow passage between the worlds while pregnant with her. When she was a tot, Aislinn and her mother Neala became separated on a misty morning. Someone found the child and she lived in one foster home after another. She knew nothing of her Faerie heritage. All this was the “back story” which in a good novel you do not discover right away.

The book begins on a misty morning in the Ozarks, and Aislinn is drawn into the mists by her cat Bree. She then has a peculiar encounter with a man who says he is her kinsman. He attempts to take her “home,” but after a rough life in a skeptical world, she has no intention of wandering off with a strange man, no matter how friendly he appears to be.

I intended to write a short story about Aislinn returning to her homeland. But a Muse stopped by and I offered her a drink, and since humans do not typically notice Muses, much less offer them chocolate liqueur, she must have decided that I should not write a short story, but a novel.
So that is why I say that I accidentally wrote a novel. Some might say that I was aiming for a short story and overshot by 85,000 words, but in truth, situations and characters came to me and would not let me go until they found expression. The whole plot for Rue came to me quickly, and it took me 14 weeks to catch up and write everything down. It never occurred to me at the time that writing an entire novel from first word to final draft in less than four months was remarkable, but over two dozen writers have expressed a stunning degree of awe that I could do such a thing.

My answer? I never told myself I could not write quickly, so I had no bad programming to overcome.

While I wrote Rue, naturally after all that time developing Faerie, the fantastic Celtic knotwork castle, and the nice twisty plot, I had an idea for a couple more novels. I also came to understand first hand why fantasy authors so often do series, aside from commercial considerations. It would take far too much work to invent a new world for each book!

So there you have the story behind the book Rue the Day, The Undercover Heir, Book 1. I encourage you to read excerpts at http://catmuldoon.com/. I will let you in on a special offer…you want to register to receive excerpts of the book and other stories, because I am giving away prizes. You could win a set of 3 music CDs like what I listened to while writing Rue. They have beautiful Celtic music. I am also giving away another prize which I will announce December 14.

I love meeting authors and finding out what inspires you.

Virtual Book Tour: I am SO excited to be on tour this month, thanks to Dorothy Thompson and her crew at Pump Up Your Book Promotions. My tour page can be found here. Comment on the tour page or one of my stops and you could win a copy of Rue the Day.

Ask Me A Question and I'll (probably) Answer: I have a blog post on Communati where you may ask me a question about writing, my book, or whatever and I will most likely answer. Check out http://communati.com/main/ask-author-cat-muldoon-would-you-let-your-book-be-turned-movie

Thank you for your interest, and please drop me a note!

Cat Muldoon http://catmuldoon.com/

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 12:00 AM   3 comments
Monday, December 3, 2007
DEVIL'S ORCHESTRA by Sydney Molare
It’s funny how I get ideas for books. I’m a veterinarian by profession and I’d participated in interviews for potential students into the states veterinary medical program. On the way home, one of my students, who happened to be interviewing for a slot, and I began talking about the ridiculous things going on in the world. Now this was just after Janet Jackson showed the world what she was working with and Brittney Spears and Madonna thought lip-locking in front of millions of children was a great idea.

I realized how greedy our society was for the vulgar, the uncouth, the over-the-top dramatical (thanks Flava Flav) actions people were doing. And the worse part was people were actually defending this vulgarity as if were defensible. We’ve white-washed some sins to the point of having a generation believe some things aren’t sins in the first place.

During the four hour ride, the radio was on, and one of my unfavorite radio personalities, Rush Limbaugh, was on spewing his skewed opinions. I have to take him in small sessions since there is his right and the rest of you. Of course, that tune changed when it was his hinny in the sling.

Seeds for the book began sprouting as I had this one thought: What would these same celebrities say if the devil showed up and had them review their lives? Mind you, they had been on the radio, television and magazines defending their positions/actions down to the nth degree, would they have the same viewpoint if they were placed in the ultimate judgment situation?

Of course, the devil couldn’t show up horned, cloven-hooved and smelling of brimstone. I wanted to make him human. Scripture tells us he was beautiful and I wanted people to realize the devil just might show up looking like you and me.

In the end, Devil’s Orchestra is my wake-up call to our society. I use the category title quasi-Christian fiction. That’s because the message is spicy but the undertones are spiritual in nature. I’m hoping that every reader will reassess their lives, see how they are living, and figure out whit’s truly important.

Glad you had me over!

Sydney Molare is the author of DEVIL'S ORCHESTRA. You can visit her website at http://www.sydneymolare.com/.

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 12:00 AM   8 comments
Thursday, November 29, 2007
CULOTTA by Dennis N. Griffin
I began writing as a hobby in 1994, after moving to Las Vegas following a 20-year career in investigations and law enforcement in upstate New York. My first book – The Morgue – was self-published through 1stBooks (now Author House) in 1996. I was spending the summer back in New York when the book was released and did some signings at local independent book stores. I also appeared as a guest speaker at a library in a nearby town. Through these events I developed a small fan base and was able to generate enough sales to recover the publishing expenses and make a few dollars profit. This limited success encouraged me and I wrote another fiction, and then four more. These were all self/POD published and just above break even financially.

In November 2001, I attended a writers’ conference in Florida that turned out to be a career-altering experience for me. I was chatting with another attendee over coffee and we shared our backgrounds. As luck would have it, she had retired as a civilian employee of the Indiana State Police. As we warmed up to each other, I lamented the fact that my books just weren’t catching on the way I’d like. I told the lady that I enjoyed writing, but felt that after six books and seven years I should be doing better.

She asked me if I’d ever considered writing non-fiction. With my law-enforcement experience she thought I’d be a natural for writing police history or true crime. My new friend said she had written the history of the Indiana State Police and it was selling quite well in the Hoosier State as a local interest story. I purchased a copy of her book that day and read it on the flight back to Las Vegas. I was hooked on trying my hand at non-fiction. Within a short time I decided that my first project would be writing the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (Metro).

I knew that in order to produce a quality product I’d need to have Metro’s assistance. I put together a proposal and presented it to them. The sheriff endorsed my plan the same day. Armed with that promise of cooperation, I prepared a book proposal and submitted it to Las Vegas publisher Huntington Press. HP is a small traditional publisher of non-fiction books about gaming and Nevada history. In late January 2002, the proposal was accepted and I immediately began researching Las Vegas’ police history back to its establishment in 1905.

It was quite a project to say the least. Thankfully, Metro more than lived up to its agreement. I was assigned a lieutenant from the Public Information Office as my contact person and given a letter of introduction signed by the sheriff. I had tremendous access to old records, photos and personnel. But even with all that help, gathering the necessary information was a slow process. It was two years before the manuscript was finished.

It is often said that timing is everything. In my case that was certainly true. Although it had been unplanned in the beginning, Policing Las Vegas was released in 2005 — just in time for Vegas’ 100-year birthday bash. The free publicity regarding anything Las Vegas was overwhelming. That book marked a turning point in my writing career in several ways. But most importantly, it gave me name recognition and established my credentials as a credible researcher.

When writing Policing I knew that any book about Sin City police history would have to include something about organized crime. A veteran Metro detective I had become friends with suggested I write about the Tony Spilotro era. He said that Spilotro was the basis for the character that actor Joe Pesci played in the 1995 movie Casino. I followed his advice and put in a section called The Mob’s Man. The piece was relatively short and I knew I had only scratched the surface of what had actually transpired during Spilotro’s reign. I wondered if I did enough digging, if I could come up with sufficient material for a book about the Spilotro days.

Again, my timing was impeccable. I contacted several of the cops and FBI agents who had investigated Spilotro in the 1970s and ‘80s. They were now retired and many of them were willing to share their experiences with me. Convinced that I could put together an informative and entertaining book, I went back to HP with another proposal. The Battle for Las Vegas – The Law vs. the Mob, was released in July 2006. I was very pleased with the book and it was well-received. My only regret was that with most of the Spilotro gang either dead, in prison, or their whereabouts unknown, the story was told almost exclusively from the law’s perspective. I would have preferred to have included some personal insights from the criminal side.

One day while Battle was in the final stages of production, I was chatting with one of my sources, retired FBI agent Dennis Arnoldy. He had been the Las Vegas case agent for the Spilotro investigations. When Spilotro’s chief lieutenant Frank Cullotta had flipped and become a government witness, Dennis had been his handler. I knew that Dennis and Cullotta had become friends and remained in contact over the years. On a whim, I asked Dennis if Cullotta had ever thought about writing his biography. I said that if the former mobster was willing to be candid, he’d probably have quite a story to tell.

About two weeks later Dennis called me. He said Frank Cullotta wanted to meet with me and discuss a book. Under tight security, I met Cullotta in a Las Vegas hotel room in March 2006. It happened that he had been thinking about writing a book and had hundreds of pages of notes already prepared. We talked for a couple of hours and reached an agreement to co-author his biography. He’d supply the details and I’d put them on paper. He committed to being completely open and to provide details never before made public. And he did just that.

CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness, was released through Huntington Press in July 2007. Writing this book was a fascinating experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Dennis N. Griffin is the author of CULOTTA: THE LIFE OF A CHICAGO CRIMINAL, LAS VEGAS MOBSTER, AND GOVERNMENT WITNESS. You can visit his website at www.authorsden.com/dennisngriffin/.
posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 12:00 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving!
posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 11:06 AM   2 comments
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It’s that time of day again. Your stomach howls, growls, and grumbles and your mind begins cooking up a tantalizing array of possibilities of what to eat. Many people consider cooking to be a chore or something messy and time consuming, so out of the ethers appear the microwavable dinners and moveable feasts. It doesn’t matter much what’s really in the box or bag as long as it serves the purpose of being fast and easy. This doesn’t necessarily translate into something that’s going to be truly nourishing to your body, mind or spirit.

We live in a time when cooking shows are hugely popular, chefs are big TV stars and yet less and less people really cook. Everyone wants top of the line kitchen appliances in their homes, yet do they really use them or are they just for display, like ghost place settings at a table in a model home?

I’m Greek. We feed people. I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb knowing how to cook. It was a prerequisite for birth. And certainly I needed those skills to be able to work in the family business which was restaurants of course.

I’ve fed a lot of people in my lifetime both with real food and with spiritual food. During the course of this “feeding,” I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “How do you do that?” I reply, “I talk to it.” And I do. Literally. I’m a spiritual teacher, clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient. I’m a psychic. I talk to a lot of people that others may say aren’t even there. But of course they are. My body of work has to do with what is called vibrational attunement. This is simply a balancing of mind, body and spirit.

My goal with “Voice of the Angels Cookbook – Talk To Your Food! – Intuitive Cooking” is to give people easy and healthy alternatives to mystery food loaded with chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients. I also stirred in a little of the spiritual realm into the basic cookie dough because, while cooking and eating is something very “root chakra,” we just can’t ignore all of our other energy centers. Let’s lift up this experience a little bit and bring it through our whole body instead of just through our mouths.

We live in a time when balance seems ever elusive, no matter how hard we strive for it. How can we change this? Take something very basic, such as cooking and eating, and instead of doing it mindlessly and without joy, do it in a way in which we are fully present. This begins to open a pathway for transformation on both physical and spiritual levels. With a little mixing, stirring and gently folding in, we can achieve balance of mind, body, and spirit.

Dyan Garris the author of VOICE OF THE ANGELS COOKBOOK - TALK TO YOUR FOOD: INTUITIVE COOKING. You can visit her website at www.voiceoftheangels.com. If you would like to purchase Dyan's book at Amazon, click here.

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 9:27 PM   4 comments
Friday, November 9, 2007
I think the best book ideas come from a real life experiences, and some of the most irritating experiences can provide the best material. If I hadn't been irritated with my husband, I never would have come up with the idea for my new book "On Strike for Christmas" about a group of friends who go on strike for more appreciation over the holidays with near disastrous results.

My husband was grumbling about having to spend yet another holiday with my big, loud, fabulous family and I had just had it.
What was his problem, anyway? He'd been doing this for years? Now that I think about it, maybe that was his problem. The poor man spends more time with his in-laws than his own family. But when I made my threat I wasn't thinking so rationally. "I'm going to put you in a book," I threatened.
He just laughed.
Until I actually did it. And once I got rolling I'd give him regular reports. "Your nickname is now Bob Humbug."
"Ha! I like it."
He wasn't that wild about being the prototype for a naughty husband once he had a chance to actually read the book. We got an advanced reader copy and he started hauling it back and forth from work, and one day he came home looking like the personification of Elvis's "Blue Christmas". "Am I really that bad?" he asked.
Part of me wanted to say, "Yes! That's why you're in a book." But he had obviously learned his lesson, so I assured him that fiction often requires some over the top writing. (And there is
plenty of that in this story.)
Still, he took the underlying message to heart, and now, like Scrooge, he's a changed man. And he's given the story an enthusiastic thumbs up. So there'll be no Christmas strike at our house this year.
Just a lot of fun as we celebrate both the holidays (with my family, of course!) and the release of my first novel with St. Martin's Press.

Sheila Roberts is the author of ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS (St. Martin's Press, Nov. '07). You can visit her website at http://www.sheilasplace.com/.

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 12:00 AM   8 comments
About Me

Name: Dorothy Thompson
About Me: Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion and social media marketing for authors.  Visit her website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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