Saturday, January 31, 2009

Author Pamela J.Devor

My Guest Author This Week Is: Pamela Devor

Pamela J. Devor is a freelance writer and author of children’s novels who gets much of the material for her books from her childhood. For instance, many of the experiences in her first book, “The Troll Door, The Trunk & The Compass”, originated from visits to her cousins’ farm as a child. Pamela has a great imagination and likes to add fun and magic to her books. She also likes to fill her stories with good family values.

Pamela is currently finishing her second novel, which is a sequel to “The Troll Door, The Trunk & The Compass.” Pamela is a wife, mother of four children, and grandmother to ten grandchildren. She lives in Southern Illinois with her family.

Her first book is available at her website:

“The Troll Door, The Trunk & The Compass” may also be purchased from:

Barnes & Noble:

Also,be sure to check out Pamela Devor’s blog:

“The Troll Door, The Trunk, and the Compass” is about five siblings who spend the summer with their aunt on the farm. There are lots of fun farm experiences for the kids, who are thrilled to be there. Their aunt has had a hard time for about six months because her fiancĂ© disappeared (literally). She needs the children to distract her from her problem.
Alexander explores in the attic and finds an old trunk. Inside the trunk is a diary from a scientist who lived in the house over twenty years before. In addition to the diary is a compass the scientist invented. The compass has dials for different years and different worlds. Alexander tries it, travels back in time and meets the scientist. Then together they set off to try to rescue his aunt’s fiancĂ© from another world, if it is not too late.

Now let’s get to know Pamela Devor better with a bit of Q & A.

Q: How long have you been writing? How did you get started?

Pamela: I’ve only been writing for three years. I started writing a story just for fun using my grandchildren’s personalities for the characters in my story. The story just kept getting longer. I kept coming up with more ideas. So I started calling it a book. I did not intend to get it published. But I met a published author and his wife. They encouraged me to submit my book. It has been a lot of fun. I am nearly finished writing the sequel. I plan to write at least four books in this series.

Q: How does your life experience help you in your writing?

Pamela: My mom always read to my brothers and me when we were kids. I learned to love reading at an early age. She also allowed me to use my imagination. In the summer she washed out tin cans that still had the labels on such as green beans or corn. She let us set up a little store outside. We used the leaves from the ‘money’ tree to buy things. She also made up a ‘stove’ for me out of a cardboard box. She threw a blanket over a card table to make a tent and sheets over the two clotheslines to make tunnels.
I have four children and ten grandchildren of my own now. There are a lot of experiences that I use from my children and grandchildren in my books. When I am writing, I tap into my imagination and just let it go.

Q: What has been the greatest challenge for you as a writer? The greatest reward?

Pamela: The greatest challenge is mainly finding the time to write. I work full time as a network administrator, live on a working livestock farm, and teach Sunday school. We have two boys still at home, two grown children, and ten grandchildren.
My greatest reward is when my friends, family, and strangers tell me how much they loved the book and ask me when the sequel is going to be out.

Q: If you could give an aspiring writer any tips for success, what would they be?

Pamela: Write for fun and let your imagination go wild.

Cheers for now,


Friday, January 30, 2009

Goodbye, Rusty. You were much beloved.

My wife and I did one of the hardest things we have ever had to do this afternoon. We took our beloved Corgi Rusty to the vet's to be put to sleep. He was 15+ years old and had grown infirm. He had arthritic neuropathy of the hind quarters, causing him to stagger and fall, first one way then the other. It was difficult for him to stand once he fell over. Plus he had become urine incontinent. We hated to end his life because he was still alert and still had his hearing and sight -- he just couldn't walk any more.

Rusty was much beloved and was a truly great dog. A Corgi is an intelligent and affectionate breed. We had 15 wonderful years with him. Those of you who read my poetry know that he was the subject of many of my poems, especially our late night walks together. Rusty will be sorely missed.

Goodbye, Rusty, old fellow, you were a fantastic dog. We grieve for you...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Karina L. Fabian & “Leaps of Faith”

It is my pleasure to have as a guest author this week Karina L. Fabian. First, a little about Karina:

After being a straight-A student, Karina now cultivates Fs: Family, Faith, Fiction and Fun. From Nuns in Space to a down-and out Faerie dragon working off a geas by St. George, her work takes quirky twists that keep her amused--and others, too. Winner of the EPPIE award for best sci-fi and the Mensa Owl for best fiction. In addition to juggling the stories from at least three different universes, Karina is President of the Catholic Writers' Guild and teaches writing seminars on-line.

Karina Fabian’s Book, “Leaps of Faith”:

In both Christian and mainstream science fiction, either religion or science always seems to take a back seat. In mainstream SF, religion may be portrayed as something mankind has “outgrown” or that has become as alien as the worlds visited; or only one faith is represented, as if the great tapestry of Judeo-Christian faiths has been bleached into a colorless whole. By the same token, in Christian fiction, accurate, plausible science may be downplayed to the point of device rather than vital story element.
Yet, in reality, faith and science have always nurtured each other. Mendel, the father of genetics, was a monk, and some physicists have said the more they delve into quantum mechanics, the more they are convinced in a higher power as Creator. Where is the SF to reflect the truer relationship between faith and science?

The 14 stories in "Leaps of Faith" cover the entire spectrum of the SF genre, showing the positive relationship between science and religion.

Space Exploration: In “High Hopes for The Dead,” we see Christian evangelism though faithful example of Luke “High Hopes” Kittery, a member of a band of space explorers for whom every trip is potential suicide. “Quantum Express” examines the status of one’s soul when the body is destroyed and reassembled through teleportation. In “God’s Gift,” faith is the key to preventing insanity brought on by a new method of interstellar travel. “Leaps of Faith” highlights the new industry of space search and rescue though the intrepid nuns of Our Lady of the Rescue. In “Confirmation,” harvesters of an exotic space fuel suspect they’re harvesting intelligent life--or perhaps the angels themselves.

Encountering Alien Life: “Lost in the Translation” chronicles the trials of a monk trying to evangelize to an alien species for which death results in corporeal rebirth. In “Lost Rythar,” evangelists seek to bring the Word of God to long-forgotten human colonies. In “Sometimes We Lie,” evangelism takes a bizarre turn when a native born being tries to spread an ancient human faith. Fr. Wren wonders if a sentient tree-creature can marry into the Catholic Faith in “The Convert,” while Fr. Travener faces persecution by ministering to sentient androids in “Comprehending It Not.”

Hard SF: An astrophysicist find the face of God in the stars of the universe in “The Smile.” God is a proven fact in “The Faith Equation,” leaving the question of the role of belief. “The Relics of Venice” combines genetic engineering and love to create a miracle.

Time travel: In “Tampering with God’s Time,” time travelers find they cannot change the timeline, but are themselves change as they encounter Christ personally, while in “Moses Disposes,” King Solomon deliberately uses time travelers to bring the Bible to future generations in an idiom they can understand.

Leaps of Faith Website:


Amazon link:

Check out Karina Fabian’s book for yourself!

Cheers for now!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

“Angeline Jellybean” by Crystalee Calderwood

Angeline Jellybean is a delightful story for children illustrated with colorful, delightful illustrations by Stephen Macquignon. Angeline is sure to win over hearts of young picky eaters everywhere.

Angeline liked jellybeans. She loved jellybeans. Angeline wants to eat nothing but jellybeans. Year round, for Easter, for Halloween, for Christmas, for her birthday, she asks for her favorite treat. But a strange event teaches Angeline that there's such thing as too much of a good thing!

Angeline Jellybean Description:
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC (November 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979751381
ISBN-13: 978-0979751387
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.3 x 0.2 inches

Angeline Jellybean may be purchased at:


Barnes & Noble

4RV Publishing

Review by Rena J. Jones:

A wonderful picture book written by Crystalee Calderwood, illustrated by Stephen Macquignon and published by 4RV Publishing. A delightful story about a little girl who loves jellybeans. Angeline loves jellybeans so much that she wants to eat them all the time. When people try to convince her to try new foods, she replies, "Blah!" My boys laughed every time Angeline said that. For her birthday, Angeline gets a big bag of jellybeans and eats them until she feels sick. Boy, can I relate to that! This is a cute book for younger children that will hopefully encourage them to try new foods without being preachy. The story is full of charming rhymes, color references and vivid illustrations of favorite holidays and special events that kids love so much.

Review by Vivian Zabel:

Angeline liked to eat jellybeans, especially jellybeans, only jellybeans. The one thing she wanted for a gift or a treat -- jellybeans. She wouldn't take anyone's advice to add to her menu. She knew what she liked, jellybeans.

Crystalee Calderwood wrote a story that delights children, and Stephen Macquignon provided colorful illustrations to bring it all alive. The lesson found in the book, too much of a good thing is much too much, is one that children can understand yet not feel overwhelmed with moralizing.

Now, let’s talk with Crystalee about Angeline Jellybean:

Where did you get the inspiration for Angeline Jellybean?

I don’t even remember how I came up with the story. I was taking a picture book writing class back in 2007. Our assignment was to write a picture book under 500 words, and that’s what I did. I wrote it in rhyme because I wanted to see if I could write a rhyming picture book. I didn’t even really expect to like it. That’s how Angeline was born. A few rounds of revisions and a submission later, here it is!

Is Angeline anything like you?

Oh yes. *laughs* Angeline loves jellybeans almost as much as I love chocolate. Of course, I have learned to limit my chocolate intake, and I didn’t have to go through the nasty side effects that Angeline did! Angeline is also very strong-willed and has a bit of a temper, which reminds me of a certain little redheaded girl I once knew.

There you have it! Do yourself a favor and check out this book at one of the bookseller links above.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Meet Crystalee Calderwood

This week’s guest is Crystalee Calderwood, a young author with a lot of talent.

Crystalee Calderwood is a born poet turned children's
writer, small town girl turned big city dweller. Crystalee moved from Altoona, Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when she was twenty-two years old to attend the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chatham University. It was there she took her very first class in writing for children and adolescents, and she's never looked back.

As a member of Literacy AmeriCorps Pittsburgh,
Crystalee has had the pleasure of interacting with children in the community through the non-profit organization Beginning with Books. She introduced children to great books in hopes that they would fall in love with them the way she has. She is currently teaching computer skills to adults.

To get to know Crystalee better, please check out her website: ,

as well as her blog:

Now, let’s ask Crystalee a few questions:

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I used to write short stories way back in first grade. I’ve been reading even longer, since before I started school, so I only felt it was natural for me to write. I wrote poetry for many years. It wasn’t until I went to grad school to get my MFA in Creative Writing that I discovered writing for children. That was in 2006. I ended up with a dual emphasis in poetry and writing for children and adolescents. I am amazed at how far I have come along with my writing since then.

How do you get the ideas for your picture books?

Well, I live and experience life, first of all. I get most of my ideas from things I’ve seen, experienced or heard. I also try to interact with children. I spent a year as a volunteer reading to children in daycares across Pittsburgh. In that year, I learned more about what children like than I had learned in my entire life. I also love to read children’s books. I’m always asking myself if I can write something better than or different than the kinds of books that are out there. I’m not interested in writing books that copy a current trend, unless I can put my own spin on that trend.

Do you experiment with other genres as well?

Yes, I do. I started out writing poetry. I have also experimented with flash fiction. But nothing makes me happier than writing for children. I’m really a big kid at heart, and I write the kinds of books I would have liked to read when I was younger. I have also recently completed a young adult novel in verse, and I’m very excited to break into the YA market was well.

Check back in a few days and learn about Crystalee Calderwood’s new book,
“Angeline Jellybean”.

Cheers for now!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Recognize a Stroke

I received an email that I think is worth sharing:

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)(i.e. It is sunny out today)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other,that is also an indication of a stroke.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick is getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough.

Remember these four simple tests to give a suspected stroke victim and you may just save a life!!



Friday, January 9, 2009

Harry Now Has TWO Secrets to Keep!

Greetings, Y'all ~

I just found out ANOTHER secret that must be kept until after mid-February. Good thing I'm not a female, or I'd swell up and burst having to keep two secrets that long! LOL



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reviews of Storm, Joyce Anthony's Book

A. What a breath of fresh air this book is! In an age when “God” has become a four letter word, and in a contemporary society that by and large considers all things Biblical to be babble, author Joyce Anthony brings us home to all things spiritual and meaningful with this charming and insightful story. Her boldness of faith is evident throughout and admirable. Also impressive as I read “Storm” was her depth of understanding of human nature, psychology and spiritual condition.

As a literary work “Storm” is well crafted; Anthony is definitely a gifted writer who can capture you and transport you into the sights, sounds, smells, feelings and aura of a different world and make you feel as if you really know the characters involved. I don’t want to spoil the fun for potential readers, so I will not divulge the plot. However, I will tease you with this: it is the greatest true story ever re-told before it comes true.

Plan on a few hours of uninterrupted trance-like reading, you won’t want to do anything else except keep turning the pages once you’ve started. Get ready to examine yourself, our society, and our world as it relates to its’ creator. There are many sad truths in this book. But in the end, the truth will set you free.

Review written by: Marvin D. Wilson, author of “I Romanced the Stone”


B. The title belies the depth of this book. From the opening sequence to the final lightning bolt flash finish, Joyce Anthony keeps you riveted to your seat. Storm will permeate your very soul to a depth you never knew you had. Do not underestimate this book by its size. Ms Anthony unleashes more energy than any supernova. Storm will flood your emotions in biblical proportion. God lives through the hands of the angel that wrote this. You do not read Storm so much as you feel it. It is a book written in reverse. The thunderous opening builds and envelopes the reader until the stark brilliance of lightning burns the meaning into your every pore.
Review by Ron Berry, author of Journey into the Surreal


C. Once in a while a book crosses a reader's path that changes their life. For me, that book was Norman Vincent Peale's Power of Positive Thinking. Inspirational non-fiction books often are credited with doing that.

But now, a new book is on the horizon. It is the debut novel by Joyce Anthony, entitled simply Storm. Storm is a mysterious person who comes into the life of Sam, an old bachelor who raises him. When Sam dies, he leaves Storm with the message that there is a great job for him to do, but he doesn't fill in any of the blanks.

As Storm seeks the purpose of his life on earth, he crosses paths with many troubled people, and Storm deals with each one in a most unique way. He is soon joined by a strange dog, Maggie, whose amethyst eyes are as piercing as Storm's.

This book will not leave you alone. It will fill you with passion, compassion, faith and a zest for life unequal to anything you have ever imagined. And the end? I don't want to spoil it for you, but you will never look at anything the same way again.

This is a must read for readers of all ages. To miss it is to ignore the best book you will probably ever read.

Review by Janet Elaine Smith, author


D. It is one awesome book for sure! After reading and evaluating the manuscript for possible acceptance at Star Publish LLC, I couldn't get it off my mind. I even dreamed about it. It won't let go of me.

Kristie Leigh Maguire, owner Star Publish LLC


E. Storms are bringers of many things; Winds that rip the sea apart, dark skies that foretell danger, limbs ripped from trees and rain that pummels down all around us. But what if a storm brought something else all together? What if a storm brought something that would change your life?
This is what happens to Sam. A lighthouse keeper, he takes his job seriously. He is the last thing between a ship and the rocks of the coast. Playing solitaire as a fierce storm rages outside his lighthouse, he is thankful that he is safe inside. What he does not know, however, is that his life is about to change forever.

Going outside the next morning to survey the damage, Sam comes upon a wicker basket. Inside is a baby that stares at Sam with eyes that are wise beyond their years. Sam wonders how anyone could have gotten the child onto the island; they are surrounded by nothing but water, clam now that the storm had passed.

Deciding to take care of the baby, he calls the child Storm, naming him after what brought him to the island in the first place. Thirty three years later, Storm rests by Sam’s side as he lies dying. No matter what Storm does, Sam is not comfortable. A chill has invaded his bones and he knows he is not long for the world.

Knowing this, Sam tells Storm that he is meant for great things. “Follow the railway tracks and seek the whirling rainbow. There you will find what you are meant to be.”

After Sam’s death, Storm finds himself in a small town where he hears a voice in a dream telling him that he must find his destiny. He finds the railway tracks that Sam spoke of and soon meets a pure white dog with amethyst eyes. When the dog leads Storm to a battered woman by the train tracks, Storm has no idea that he has found his destiny.

The dog with the amethyst eyes leads him down a path that will change his life forever and will challenge everything he knows. And Storm must rely on all of his strength if he is to help others and to survive…

This was one incredible read. From the first words, I knew I was in for a literary treat. After reading the first chapter, I knew I was in for a life changing experience. Rarely does a book come along that speaks to me so clearly, so beautifully and I was blown away by the beauty of Storm.

Part parable, part fantasy, party mystery, part spiritual quest, Storm is unlike anything you have read or will read. Ever. I can’t even come close to describing the beauty and depth of this novel, the sheer gorgeousness of it. I am still haunted by this novel, thinking of it, dreaming of it. You will find yourself thinking of this book well after you have turned the last page.

What I love most about this book is the story. It’s so simple yet it manages to touch on every emotion you can name. I laughed and cried while reading this novel. It’s written with such a depth that it’s hard to believe this is Anthony’s first novel; she writes with a maturity of a seasoned writer and the beauty of her words is breathtaking.

Even though there is a spiritual message in this book, it doesn’t hit you over the head. Storm makes you think and it makes you feel and that is the true power of a book. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so affected by a novel, so moved by words I’ve read.

This is one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read. I can’t get Storm or those amethyst eyes out of my head and I don’t think I’ll ever want to. Storm helps reshape how you look at the world, how you look at others and, perhaps most importantly, how you look at yourself.

Storm is an enchanting work that I will read again and again for years to come.

The Book Pedler


F. As both an author and reader of fiction, I was impressed with "Storm". Maybe it is because I have always enjoyed a book that could hold my attention and make me think at the same time. In a nutshell, the characters are believable and yet a little out of the ordinary and the story line unique. Give this book a try.
Tommy Taylor
Author, Second Virgin Birth


G. Do you know who you are, what makes you tick? Do you recall what it was like when you came face-to-face with the real you? Does your life have a purpose? Why do you exist? What—or who—lives within you?

Joyce A. Anthony has striven to present a story that she hopes will inspire you to ask questions, to dig deep into your soul and understand who you are, why you are, and what your existence can and does contribute to the human story. While it does fall under the Christian fantasy genre, there are various ways to interpret the story, if indeed you need to interpret it or if you are satisfied just with a good read. It is both.

Storm, published POD (print on demand) by Star Publish, is Anthony’s first novel with a prologue so intense that you won’t want to put the book down. The questions come at you and remain with you long after you reach the intense conclusion and close the back cover. Who is Storm? How did a baby in a basket end up near the lighthouse on the beach of a lonely island? Who was this child? A better question is WHAT was this child? And what can be the impact of one life on a whole world?

It is not every day that a first novel is published. Anthony struggled over the writing of the book for well over a year to write the story the way it needed to be written. Though she said she never could figure out specifically who the audience is for Storm there are messages or effects for everyone, young or old and any age in between. Even if it causes the reader only to pause and question, it has accomplished what she set out to do.

The novel is not preachy. It is, however, thought-provoking. It doesn’t always go where you expect it to go. Even if you’re sitting and thinking that there must be more to the story on the one hand, on the other you may end up thinking about your own life path and where you have been, where you are going. If you read only one book this month, Storm may just be the one you will want to read, the one that will push you to accept who you are and the destiny that waits for you.
Cathy Brownfield, Senior Living Editor


H. If this one doesn't move your heart, nothing will, April 14, 2007
By Nina M. Osier (Augusta, ME USA)

Sam the lighthouse keeper names the baby Storm, because he finds the child cast up on the rocks in a great ocean storm's aftermath. Storm lives on the island, alone with his foster father, until Sam's death. Then, at 33, Storm takes the supply boat to the mainland for the first time. He knows in his heart, as well as from Sam's last words, that he has a destiny to fulfill. But he has no idea what that destiny may be, what he needs to do, or where he needs to go, in order to fulfill it.

I can best describe Joyce Anthony's first book as a modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, although this allegory takes the form of a page-turning contemporary novel. Storm, the innocent in a world he doesn't know - the stranger in a strange land - struggles with questions and feelings familiar to all humans. His story ends as it inevitably must, but until its final scene the reader can't be sure about what will happen despite Anthony's foreshadowing.

The Vietnam veteran's chapter left me blinking back tears. If this book doesn't move your heart, I don't know what possibly could.

I. Storm, By Joyce Anthony
Reviewed by Billie A Williams

I don't know what I can say about Storm and Joyce Anthony that hasn't already been said. Anthony's characters are rich with detail, living breathing normal folks in every day situations laced with the problems of life, rescued by faith in themselves and a higher power they come to know, as the reader is led from page through page.

With a Moses-like beginning Storm and then Maggie, Anthony's characters, address each situation they encounter with wisdom and empathy. You may not like all the people you meet in Storm, but you are almost certain to know at least one of them.

There are no guaranties in life, but in reading Anthony's Storm you are guaranteed food for thought and reason to hope. Is Anthony a seer, a prophet or does she just have a knack for finding the deepest meanings and bringing that to you via her story telling? You be your own judge. Read Storm, you won't be left without an opinion about its message.


Why not check out "Storm" by Joyce Anthony for yourself?



Sunday, January 4, 2009

About Joyce Anthony's Book "Storm"

Joyce Anthony’s “Storm”:

Who he is and why he's here is a mystery, even to Storm...a mystery that can only be solved within the whirling rainbow. As he searches for answers, he touches the lives of society's forgotten people, and he changes their lives and heals their souls. When he finds the answer to his identity, nobody is left untouched and the world is changed forever. Upon closing the covers of this book, you will see the world around you in a far different light and find yourself wondering: Is it really fiction? Is it only a fantasy--or is it real?

Book Details:
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: Star Publish (March 3, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1932993746
ISBN-13: 978-1932993745
Book Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.8 x 0.7 inches
Amazon Link:

View “Storm” Trailer on YouTube:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Author Joyce Anthony Is My Guest All Week

Meet Author Joyce A. Anthony

Joyce A. Anthony is a Pennsylvania-born writer who shares her PA home with her teenaged son, good friend, and mini-zoo. Home-schooling mother, photographer, genealogist, animal advocate, and psychologist are all roles that she fills, in addition to freelance writer and editor.

Joyce has a Psychology background which she uses to answer questions as an "expert" on bipolar disorder at In addition, she is currently working on two additional blogs--one for bipolar disorder and one for Asperger's Syndrome. She has written numerous articles on parenting and mental health issues.

Joyce is the author of "Storm", a spiritual fantasy, and of two books to be released in 2009: "Spirit of the Stallion" and "Shattered Rainbow". I will post details about her book "Storm" later this week. Be sure to return to read all about this exciting book.

In the meanwhile, why don't you check out these links:

Joyce Anthony’s Website:

Joyce Anthony’s Blog:

Cheers for now!