Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is the last day of our journey.

We've been through a lot. 
I can't believe we've walked all over 
and haven't seen a jaguar.

Wait a minute. Speak of the devil and up he pops.

He doesn't look very frightening, does he?

Tag (the main character in my book)
comes face to face 
with a couple of jaguars 
at different times in 
The Stone Traveler.

You'll have to read the book to see what happens.

In the meantime
take a look at this 
and you'll see how very scary 
this big cat can become.

Pretty awesome!

One more review to check out 
and our journey will be over. 
Click here, leave a comment 
and your work is done.

Remember to be eligible for the Kindle
you have to leave a comment on
each site on the blog tour. 
(For other sites on the journey check out the sidebar under 
The Stone Traveler's Blog Tour. Come join the journey.)
All comments must be posted by
midnight (September 30th).

Thank you for making this a 
very fun blog tour!!!
I've enjoyed your comments
not only on my blog,
but on all the other blogs as well.

I have a bit of news. 
My publisher told me they are 
re-releasing my Christmas book,  
An Angel on Main Street.

So I'm thinking of doing another contest.
Something easy 
that will get us in the Christmas spirit. 
So stay tuned for more details coming in November.

Before you go,
don't forget to check back here on Monday 
when I announce the grand prize winner of
The Stone Traveler's 
Blog Tour Contest!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day Twenty of the Journey

Do you believe we've been traveling on this journey for 20 days!!!

You guys are awesome!!!

I'll bet you're tired.

Look at this guy. He seems tired, too.

The jungles in South America have lots of howler monkeys. In fact, Tag heard them as he camped for the night on the last leg of his journey.

Have you every wondered if monkeys talk to one another? 

I found out that they do.

Isn't that awesome?

While we're resting, you might find 
the next review interesting. 
I know I did. :)

(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day Nineteen of the Journey

Day 19 of the Journey!
This jungle has so many cool animals.
Look at that bird over there.
Do you see it?

And look over here.

I thought it was fascinating how the monkeys drank from the leaves.

Speaking of water...let's take a break, drink a little, and visit the next review site.

(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day Eighteen of the Journey

The winner of the very last weekly drawing is...

Laura Marcella!!!

Congratulations, Laura!

Okay before we start on the journey
please, please, please 
double check that you have 
left comments on each 
and every site on the blog tour. 
(blog sites on the tour are listed 
in the left sidebar under 
"The Stone Traveler's Blog Tour. 
Come and follow the journey!") 

I've been keeping track and 
some who are participating 
have missed one or two sites. 
I don't want to leave you behind 
and have you miss the chance 
to win a Kindle.
Only four more days.
Remember the cut off is midnight on 

I'll announce the winner 
of the Kindle on 
Monday October 4th
That will give me time to check 
and double check
to make certain 
I've marked everyone properly.

So, this week we're back in the jungle. 
Let's form a line and follow the llama. 
I know, you're tired of the jungle, 
but after Jacobugath was destroyed Tag, 
the hero in The Stone Traveler
and Sabirah, 
the daughter of Samuel the Lamanite
--a warrior woman in her own right--
had to travel through the jungle 
once again to find their way 
to the Land Bountiful.

The picture below is a very good likeness
of how I imagined Sabirah. 
Now wouldn't you follow her 
into the jungle again?
She looks very capable 
with a sword in each hand. 
I really don't think we'll have any trouble.

But maybe we'd better check our packs 
and make sure we have pest repellent 
and our virtual swords handy. 
While we check let's 
leave our comments for today on this
this site.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day Seventeen of the Journey

It's been fun roaming around the ruins, 
but today we are heading back into the jungle.

Looks a bit intimidating, doesn't it? 
You never know what you'll 
find hiding in a tree 
or slithering on the ground.
Let's stay together. 
The journey is nearly over. 
Only four more sites to check next week
and then...
well then the grand prize will be drawn.

Does everyone have their backpacks loaded and ready to go?

Where's the stone I gave you? 
You're going to need it. 
Why don't you take a minute and visit
the next site before you check your pack.

(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.) 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day Sixteen of the Journey

I hope we have fair weather 
for the rest of the tour.
I don't think I could handle too 
many storms like yesterday's.

So onward and upward.

Wow, look at this beautiful scene, 
tucked up here in the mountains. 
It's amazing!

As we work our way through the ruins
take a minute and check out this site.

(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.) 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day Fifteen of the Journey

Not only did I sleep in today,
but it's been lightning 
and thundering 
and raining.

Thank heavens for umbrellas.

Since the storm has finally gone by, 
let's mosey out and take a look at the city.

Would you look at that? 
I can't believe we're standing
at the base of 
the Temple of the Jaguar. 
This is almost like the temple in 
The Stone Traveler
And up at the top is where Tag, 
my protagonist, was almost killed.

Shall we try walking up those stairs? 
It could get dicey. 
They're slick from the rain and
there's no handrail.

Why don't we think about it a while
and check out this site.

Well, after reading that, 
I understand why it's raining.

Writers know that a storm in a book 
foreshadows bad things to come.
But I'm a big girl.
I can take the good with the bad.
Maybe ... wait a minute.
Yes, I can.

Meanwhile, I'm going to look for


(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.) 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day Fourteen of the Journey

Day 14 of the journey. 
WOW!!! Do you believe it? 

As we walk nearer to the ruins 
of an actual ancient city in South America, 
it doesn't look at all like the 
artist's drawing we saw yesterday. 

Of course, it's been several thousand years
since it was a robust city,
so it does look different.

I wonder what's on top of that 
big pyramid in the middle.
I don't know, 
but I have a bad feeling
about this. 
I'm hoping King Jacob's
minions are long gone by now.

Just in case...
maybe we'd better stop here before we
go much farther.  

(If you're new to this blog and wonder what's going on click here to see where the journey begins.) 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Third Weekly Winner and Thirteenth Day of the Journey

Drum roll please....

The third weekly winner is...

Michelle Teacress!!!

Now just in case you're new to this site
please click here to find out 
what in the world's going on. 
We'd love to have you join the journey!!!

After leaving the oasis last Friday 
we can now see the wicked city of Jacobugath.

This, of course, is an artist's opinion of what a city might have looked like during ancient times in South America. But it closely matches how I pictured Jacobugath for  
The Stone Traveler.

While you're here, please stop 
and check out the next review here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day Twelve of the Journey and a Book Review - COLD AS ICE by Stephanie Black

Look who I found!
Yesterday's lost reviewer.

Please click here to find out what she wrote.

I don't know about you, but
I have sand in my hair, eyes,  and
between my toes.

Oooh, what's that up ahead?

A mirage . . . or an oasis?

It's an oasis! And beyond that

Before we venture closer to King Jacob's wicked city
let's check out another review by clicking here.

While we're resting in the shade of these lovely palm trees
sit back, relax, and read this book review.

Book Review - COLD AS ICE by Stephanie Black

As I worked on the edits I received from my critique group last Friday on my new manuscript, I came to a comment where someone wanted me to use a rope to tie up the hero instead of duct tape. I thought I was clever having the bad guy use duct tape, but this comment made me curious. When my husband came home from work I had him duct tape my wrists together. I wanted to see just how difficult it would be to get out of such a situation.

Oh my stars! I worked on getting free for quite some time. My wrists were turning red, and I hate to admit it, but I felt a little panicky. I finally had him cut me free. Then the fun part started: I had to peel the tape from my arms. Ouch!!! Of course, my husband just want to ripe the tape off, claiming the pain would be over with quickly, but instead I slowly worked until the tape came off (though my arm is still sticky in spots.) So what does this have to do with Stephanie Black’s new novel, COLD AS ICE?

After escaping the tape, I’m reading along totally enjoying this romantic suspense when I came to a scene where the heroine was bound with duct tape!!! Justification! If Ms. Black can use duct tape, so can I, but I also want her to know that I’d already written my scene before reading her novel. Phew!

With all this talk about being tied up, aren’t you curious about COLD AS ICE? Here’s the description on the back of the book.

After five patient years, Abigail Wyatt’s sisterly care is finally paying off; her younger brother, Derek, is abandoning his self-destructive lifestyle and seeking his parents’ forgiveness, thus ending the painful estrangement that wounded the whole family. But just as the pieces are falling into place for the prodigal’s return, a woman is murdered in a local park—and police name Derek as the prime suspect. Rather than standing firm and cementing the positive changes in his life, Derek succumbs to his cynical fears and runs from the law, leaving Abigail with her hands tied. Literally.

Derek’s raw panic convinces everyone that he’s the killer—everyone except Abigail, who doggedly maintains her brother’s innocence. With the help of Kyle, a friend she might be falling for, Abigail digs deep into the murdered woman’s troubled past in hopes of clearing Derek’s name. But as she uncovers a sinister plot of greed, envy and vengeance, this loyal sister must face the painful truth that things—and people—are not always as they seem.

My review:
First let me say, I’ve read a ton of romantic suspense novels by such authors as Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Norah Roberts, Tami Hoag, and on and on, so I pretty much know what I like and what I don’t. Black’s novel is not your typical romantic suspense and that may be why I loved this book.

Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, Black would throw in something that made me want to read on and find out what would happen next. That’s the sign of a great writer.

Abigail is a heroine you'd want in your corner. Her undying devotion to her brother is inspiring. Even facing incredible odds and all sorts of reasons why she should just walk away, she doesn't. How refreshing is that in this day and age?

Her brother, Derek, is a guy who has made mistakes in his life and has a troubled past shadowing him. Will he revert to his old ways? Or will he remain committed to cleaning up his life? He's very vulnerable as the book opens and especially as you follow him through the nightmare he finds himself in.

Both Abigail and Derek grow as the plot unfolds.

I always like to try and guess who the bad guy is early on in a book. This time I really didn’t settle on who I thought it was until I’d read half of the book. And then as the plot progressed I grew concerned that maybe I was wrong, and I didn’t want to be wrong because than I’d be so disappointed. Do you do that, too? So I kept reading until I finished the novel. I’m not going to tell you if I was right or wrong. You’re going to have to read the book and see if you can figure it out. But let me just say I wasn’t disappointed. And that's not to say I was right or wrong. 

Was there anything that bothered me about the book? I would have liked a little more tension at the beginning. The reader is introduced to all the players, but tension doesn’t ramp up until you’re a little ways into the novel. But that’s good because by then you can’t put it down!!!

COLD AS ICE is a nail-biting, heart-pounding suspense you’ll enjoy reading.

(I received a free copy of this novel. I reviewed it because I liked it.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day Eleven of the Journey

Today we were supposed to have
two rest stops on our trek across
the Land of Desolation. 

But one reviewer is straggling far behind for some reason.

So let's move along,
get away from this desert coyote,

and see what the next reviewer 
has to say about The Stone Traveler
 by clicking here.

If the other reviewer catches up
I'll let you know.

For those wondering what is going on with this blog check out the beginning of this journey here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day Ten of the Journey - Writing Question

If you've just stumbled upon this blog, 
you're probably wondering what's going on. 
To find out click here.
(If that doesn't work scroll down to the blog history and click on The Journey Begins.)

Now on to today's adventure.

Let's sit down and take a break. 
We've been walking across the 
Land of Desolation for quite some time.
I can hardly believe it's 
the tenth day of our journey. 
I hope you've been taking good 
care of the stone I gave you. 
You never know when you're going to need it.

Did you see that?

There behind Glynis.

There it goes again.

Now it's behind you. 
Turn around very slowly.

And what ever you do, don't run.

This little guy looks like quite the character.
After taking a rest here
 come on back and we'll start the journey 
with another writing question.

A friend asked: What is a "character" driven story?

Good question. The answer: a story centered on the main character's growth is a character driven story. Three key areas need to be addressed: emotions, inner conflict, and self-discovery.

Emotions: a character driven story's pulse beats on what the main character wants, needs and desires. Does she have a hair-trigger temper? Does he need to be with other people? What is his/her dream? What makes up a character is much more than the color of eyes or hair, it's what is deep inside that makes him/her live and breath for your readers.

Inner Conflict: What is your main character's fatal flaw and how does he/she deal with it? You need to pace your story around plot points that help your character deal with his inner conflict. It needs to build with each new discovery until you reach the climax... the character arc. This arc is where your character faces his inner demon head on, and when it's over she will never be the same.

Self-discovery: This happens immediately after the arc and is the point when everything clicks together for the character. Your character becomes a whole person. She knows who she is and what she wants out of life.

For me that's what a character driven story is about. But I personally think great stories are driven by a mix of plot and character. 
I'm just saying...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day Nine of the Journey

For those who are just joining us, 
my blog is on a review journey of my new book, 
The Stone Traveler. 
Last week we floated down the Sidon River.
This week we're crossing the Land of Desolation, 
which is a desert. 
Please come join us on our journey 
because there's cool weekly prizes 
and a grand prize that will knock your socks off. 
Check out the contest/journey rules here. 

So did I mention you might need sunscreen 
and sunglasses to cross the Land of Desolation?

You never know what the weather will be like 
or what you'll come across in the desert.

Look what I found!

While you enjoy the pretty cactus flowers and
  rub SPF on your face and arms, 
why don't you check out another review here.  

And watch your step.
Not all the plants are as beautiful as the flowers.

Some are down right prickly. ;)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Second Weekly Winner and Day Eight of the Journey!!!

The second weekly winner on our journey is...

Christina Dymock!!!

Only two more weekly prizes are left. 
There's still time to catch up with the others.
On the sidebar under
"The Stone Traveler's Blog Tour.
Come and follow the journey"
click on the links and
make sure to leave a comment
on each stop of the tour
and you, too, might win
a toy jaguar,
stone necklace,
and chocolate with the flavor of
South America. 

(Please double check. There are some who are faithfully following, but have missed commenting on one site. I'd hate not to include your names for the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the month.)

Whether you win a weekly prize or not
all the names of those who have commented
 on every site
will go into the pot for the
of a
(check out the sidebar where the prizes are posted)


This week we're crossing the Land of Desolation. 

 Looks pretty bleak!
I hope you filled your water gourds at the river.

You might get a little thirsty crossing the desert.

Before we start over the sand, take a break
and leave a comment on the next
site by clicking here.

Okay, let's get started.
Stay together. 
You can easily get lost, especially if the wind kicks up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day Seven of the Journey and a Book Review of The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage

(Oh crumb! I thought I'd scheduled this to post
at 9:00 AM but just now realized
it said PM. Sheesh! So sorry.)

Well, we can pull our canoes on shore 
and load our packs on our backs. 
From here on 
the journey will be on foot. 
It's been quite the trip 
sailing down the Sidon. 
Say goodbye to the river.

While we take a little breather, 
check out the next review site 
by clicking here.

And also please enjoy my book review of
The Fourth Nephite
Jeffrey S. Savage

 In case you haven't guessed by now after reading a couple of my books (you have read my books, right?) I love young adult time-travel. So when I heard that Jeff Savage had written a new book title The Fourth Nephite I quickly volunteered to read it for a review.

Here's the back liner of the book.
Busted. Football star Kaleo Steele gets caught under the high school bleachers with the wrong group of friends. Even worse, he's caught by his seminary teacher, Brother Mortensen. If Kaleo gets turned in, he'll be in jeopardy of missing the regional championship game.

It doesn't help that Kaleo has been cutting seminary class. What's the point? Mumbo jumbo stories about gold plates and Joseph Smith? Brother Mortensen decides Kaleo is ready for an extraordinary "field trip"--one that could alter the course of his life and heart.

Reluctantly, Kaleo begins a journey that sends him to meet a mysterious old blind man and travel an underground maze before pushing through a battered wooden door only to find himself in Palmyra, New York, in the fall of 1827. 

Soon, Kaleo and a nineteenth-century friend named Jennie are caught up in a battle between treasure seekers--led by Alistair Blackburn, a necromancer, hired to steal the gold plates--and the young Joseph Smith, who has sworn to keep them safe.

In his quest to find a key that will send him back to his own time, Kaleo will have to decide for himself what to believe and who to trust. Before it's too late.

This book is such a fun read. A small blurb is placed before each chapter. It is written as though Kaleo is talking to the reader and gives just a hint of what the following pages hold in store. What a wonderful writing device to pull you into the story! 

As you read about Kaleo you find he is a guy you want to succeed. You're there hoping he won't go with his friends to a party where you know something bad will happen. You listen as Kaleo reasons his doubts away and convinces himself it will be all right. You feel Kaleo's horror as he is caught by his seminary teacher. And you also feel his panic as he worries that all the years he has trained in football to play for college football scouts may never happen because of that one split second he let down his guard and accepted a drink.

I couldn't help but think of young adults today and the temptations they face. As I followed Kaleo on his trip to visit Ladan--and he became lost in the tunnels, then found himself in Palmyra, New York in 1827--I couldn't help but wish seminary teachers could actually give troubled teens a card that would give them a similar experience. 

But then I realized...all our youth need to do is read this wonderful book that shows the prophet Joseph as a person they would probably like if they had a chance to met him. I strongly recommend The Fourth Nephite. It's a wonderful, fanciful novel that not only entertains, but teaches.

(I was given a free copy of this book to read. I reviewed it because I liked it.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day Six of the Journey--Caimans

You're doing a great job 
paddling in your canoes.

Have I warned you not to trust a floating log?

Well, if I haven't, I am now.

A floating log could very well turn out to be...

a caiman.

What are caimans?

In The Stone Traveler when Tag 
was told to watch out for sleeping logs 
that they could be caimans, 
he thought the natives were teasing him, 
like the scouts do with rookies 
when they send them out snipe hunting. 
After the rookie searches and searches 
it finally dawns on him 
that he's been duped 
and there's no such critter as a snipe.

Unfortunately for Tag, 
he learned the hard way 
that caimans were real 
when he was almost eaten by one. 
We call caimans crocodiles.

Speaking of floating logs.

Look out! 

An entire herd is floating our way!
We best stop here, rest for a spell,
and let the caimans float downstream a ways. 

But be careful. 

A caiman on land is still very dangerous.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day Five of the Journey and a Writing Question

Do you hear a rumbling noise?

It's getting closer.

Look! Up ahead! WOW!

Is that awesome or what?

I can feel the mist on my face, 
smell the scent of earth and woods.

Let's take a break, 
enjoy the beauty,
and click here 
to leave today's comment.

Writing Question...

A friend emailed and asked me :
Could you describe what a story arc and a character arc are? These words are being used all the time and I'm not sure I know what they are. Is it another way of saying plot and character?

I guess you could strip it down and say story arc and character arc are plot and character. But then the question is...what makes up a plot? And what makes up a character? 

A story arc should build within your plot. From page one your plot starts at the beginning plot point and moves from one plot point to another always building toward the climax. Yes, you can have a few red-herrings, but even the red-herrings should push the plot towards the arc of your story--the climatic scene where the feathers hit the fan. This is the top of the story arc. What follows after should wrap up the story. Don't take too long, but make it satisfying.

A character arc should follow the inner conflict of your protagonist. At the beginning of your story your character should have some inner demon he wrestles with. As your character travels through the story so should his inner conflict build as he assesses his situation and the demons that haunt him. The character's arc reaches a climax when he faces that demon riding his shoulder and changes.

Now the best way to handle story arcs and character arcs are to have them both come to a head during the climax. AND what captures your reader is when the character's "choice to change" helps him with the climax of the story. Donald Maass says this about the subject, "People do not change without, in some way, acting out." And what better way to show this than to have the character arc happen at the same time as the story arc.  Another quote from Maass, "...make sure when the dust settles, your hero will never be the same again."

I hope that answers the question.

If you have a question about fiction writing please feel free to email me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day Four of the Journey

Oh my stars!

Look at that!

Keep him out of the boat and away from me.

I don't know about you,
but I'm paddling further downstream 
to the next stop.

Click here if you want to join me 
and please leave a comment.

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Winner and Day Three of the Journey

This is fun!

The winner of the first weekly drawing is...

Ben Spendlove!!!

The toy jaguar, stone necklace and chocolates with the flavor of South America will soon be on their way to you.


A new week is starting. 
If you want to join us on the journey
you can still catch up. 
On the sidebar under 
"The Stone Traveler's Blog Tour.
Come and follow the journey"
Click on the links and
make sure to leave a comment 
on each stop of the journey 
and you, too, might win 
a toy jaguar, 
stone necklace,
and chocolate with the flavor of 
South America. 

Not only that but your name 
will go into the pot for the
of a 
(check out the sidebar where the prizes are posted)


So this is day three of the journey, 
though it should be day four, 
but we had to search 
for a lost sheep
on day three
so now day four is day three. 
Did I lose anyone?

Today we're stepping into these nifty canoes 
and starting our trip down
the River Sidon.

Yes, the same river Tag, 
the protagonist in  
The Stone Traveler
--a troubled  teen with a lot of baggage,
who is trying to understand his role in life--
paddled down with Sabirah, 
the beautiful daughter of 
Samuel the Lamanite.

Make certain to keep your arms and legs inside the canoe.
The water looks calm, 
but believe me danger lurks.
Click here
to take a rest 
and leave today's comment 
for the blog tour.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lost Sheep (reviewer) Found

The lost sheep (reviewer) has been found.

Seems she wandered off the path,
became absorbed in a project,
and time got away from her.

I told her to take a rest
and perhaps we'll have her join us later on.

this means that this week's journey is short.

Good news for those who commented
on the first two blogs because 
there will be less competition
for the weekly prize.

Check back on Monday to see 
who the lucky winner is.

Have a great weekend!
Get plenty of rest 
next week the journey gets 
exciting and ...

Journey Delay!!!

(Thanks to photobucket for the pictures on this posting.)

Oh my stars!!!
I can't believe it's happened already,
but I have a lost reviewer. 

I've sent up flares, 

formed a search party, 
and sent out the dogs, 

but so far no one can find her.

Please don't worry or become discouraged. 
Keep your chin up and your energy high.
As soon as I track her down 
(she can't be far away), 
I'll post a link to her site,
and we'll be good to go once again. 

Thank you for your patience.

Have a piece of virtual chocolate on me. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day Two of the Journey--The Stone

I thought I might give you this stone to help you on The Stone Traveler's blog tour. It's very much like the one Tag, the sixteen-year-old protagonist in my story, was given that send him back through time. 

Might I suggest that you take good care of it. 

If the stone starts to glow and becomes warm in your hand you might find yourself in a different place and time. You never know where the stone might take you.

For today's adventure click here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Journey BEGINS!!!

Okay pull out your maps.

We're going on a journey with The Stone Traveler that will last from today until September 30th (though we will not travel on Saturdays or Sundays).

We'll have rivers to cross, mountains to climb, and yes, comments to leave, but there will be prizes along the way. Each week I'll gather the names of those who have commented on the journey's sites, and they will go into the hat for the weekly drawing. Each Monday I will announce the winner of the previous week. (Take a look at the sidebar...over there to the left. See the little jaguar, the chocolates and the stone necklace. All of those make up a weekly prize. Cool, huh?)

But that's not all.

ALL the names go into the pot (different from the hat so they won't get confused) for the grand prize drawing of a KINDLE. Even if you've won a weekly prize your name will still go in the grand prize pot.

The only thing you need to do is leave a comment on each site on the journey. Easy!!!

Today is the beginning of this awesome journey with The Stone Traveler.

If you become separated from the rest of us or if you join us late, please look at the blog tour listing (over there above the cute weekly prizes). There are links where you can go to comment and catch up with us.

So our journey begins by clicking here.

Make sure to stay on the path and leave a comment.

Good luck!


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