Friday, May 28, 2010

Interview on Friday Five

Please stop by Daniel Darlings' blog today to read his "Friday Five" interview with me about my new Extreme Devotion series--and leave a comment, will you? Thanks so much, dear readers!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CODE BLUE: Prescription for Trouble

Dr. Richard Mabry has put his medical knowledge and experience to good use in his new "Prescription for Trouble" series from Abingdon Press. Code Blue, the first book in the series, spins a captivating tale about Dr. Cathy Sewell, who returns to her small Texas town after a relationship breakup to try to start fresh and allow her heart to heal. But rather than a quiet, healing time, Cathy quickly discovers that not everyone in her hometown is happy to see her. It becomes evident early on that someone is out to kill her, even as two other "someones" vie for her affections and attention. The plot will keep you engaged and guessing, boding well for the remaining books in the series. Check out Dr. Mabry and his books at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Greater Love up on She Reads!

Be sure to check out the interview about No Greater Love on She Reads (, will you? And please leave a comment. Thank you!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book!

Robin, thanks so much for joining us here at the “Easy Writer” blog.
Hi Kathi…this is my first visit with you and I am totally honored. Thank you for hosting me.
Before you tell us about your wonderful new book, Ruby Red, I know there are a lot of exciting things going on in the writing arena of your life. Can you give us a brief rundown on your writing journey so far?
My writing is a schizophrenic journey. Years ago I began writing articles that were quickly snatched up, followed by selling every short story I wrote. I then co-authored my first fiction mystery series with someone you know quite well, Susan Wales. (Congrats on Valeria’s Cross, the book you co-authored with her, releasing this fall!) From there I jumped into the romance genre and debuted writing solo with The Turtle Creek Edition series. We all need more romance, right? The first book of the series, The Christmas Edition, is in post production and will be released this 2010 holiday season as a movie, Journey to Paradise by Salty Earth Pictures. Next year, 2011, is the major release. Be sure to watch for the special edition re-release of the book The Christmas Edition this holiday season. Although filmed this past winter in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, I was able to watch it via FaceBook here in Texas. The next two books in the series are The Valentine Edition and The Easter Edition. They too, hopefully, will become movies.
And now Ruby Red. As a writer I know that whatever book we’re working on at the moment is usually our “favorite,” but Ruby Red is especially meaningful to you, isn’t it? Would you give us a summary of the story with a lead-in of how and why you came to write this particular story?
Ruby Red is close to my heart and years in the making to get it right.
Homeless children roamed the streets of New York City from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Death and disease were heaped upon poverty and overcrowding, causing thousands of children to be abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Adding to the malaise, boatloads of European immigrants flooded our shores and soon succumbed to the same adversities, leaving thousands of their children parentless. Accounts have been written of the Orphan Train that carried white-skinned children out into the heartland of America to find new families, but history is totally silent of what became of the dark-skinned children.
Ruby Red is a fictionalized tale of a true event. It's the end of the Orphan Train run in the mid-1920s. The story is told through Ruby Red’s eleven-year old eyes. After Ruby is taken in as a maid, she finds she has little hope of being anything more and makes a risky move by faking insanity. After being expelled from the household, she sneaks onto a train heading west where she finds adventure, danger, and renewed hope.
Every book has a story behind it and so it is with the debut of my first young adult novel Ruby Red. When I was in middle school, I read a book that changed my life. It was about a remarkable family that adopted ten children, one at a time. I was so moved that I read the book time and again. And then I somehow knew that I would never have biological children but would instead find my children through adoption. Although I would have loved to have raised at least a half-dozen children, God saw fit to bless me with two, first Kimberly and then Matthew.
Kim was in third grade when Good Housekeeping and IBM teamed up for a national writing contest. Kim entered and won national in her division. The story was about her adoption and what it meant to her being part of a family; it was published in A Bear Named Song (a mother's assertion that “when something valuable goes out of your life, something more precious enters”), later published by Standard Publishing. Although the book is now out of print, it can still be found on the secondary market and through places like Amazon and eBay.
Around this same time I became aware of the Orphan Train. Ruby Red became a speck of an idea that quickly grew and changed over the next several years. This young adult novel is a fictionalized tale of a true event.
Ruby embodies Kimberly's indomitable spirit, an impish brown-skinned girl who walks into your heart and takes over your life in beautiful ways. Matthew is my son, who is the same shade of white that I am. He is gentle and filled with joy and imagination like Andy. Andy? Who is Andy? You will meet him and others in Ruby Red.
Now that the story is done, do you mind telling us how the telling of it challenged and changed you?
It was challenging to write about a young African American girl in the 1920s. Getting the time period right is the easy part with research, but how does one research the feelings of a little girl from a nationality different from mine? I quickly came to realize there are elements that are universal to us all, such as the need for love and family—a place to belong, a place to call home.
I know there’s a lot more to you than writing. Tell us a little about your personal life—family, hobbies, interests?
I am the Special Education Coordinator for JJAEP (Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Plan) in Denton, Texas. I work with teens who have been expelled from school or court ordered to attend. My days are filled with crises and reward. At night, in the still of my quiet house, I am a writer. It is what centers and calms me. On weekends you will find me at garage sales, and I am also a seller on eBay. My total obsession is cupcakes. At this time of year I get homesick for my hometown of Delavan, Wisconsin, where I grew up on a lake, frittering away my summer vacation boating.
So what’s next? Ruby Red will be a hard act to follow because it’s no light, fluffy read. The message is poignant and hard-hitting. Can we anticipate more of the same in the near future?
The sequel to Ruby Red will be out in time for the holidays. Writing about Ruby has become a precious journey. Once this series is laid to rest, I have another young adult series in mind.
Robin, thank you so much for joining us on “Easy Writer” today. How can our readers contact you and/or order Ruby Red and your other books?
The pleasure is all mine, Kathi. Readers can find me on Facebook and also on my blogs:
My books can be found on Amazon:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kindle download to get your writing going!


Okay, here's the resource you need to get you started. My popular workbook for beginning writers, the Train-of-Thought Writing Method, is available on Kindle for $4.99! Don't have a Kindle? You can get the FREE Kindle for your computer at and then make my workbook your first download for it. Why put it off? If you've had the desire to write and/or that book or article idea rolling around inside you for a while now, why not get it out and into readable form? This workbook is designed to walk you through the steps to get that done. So get it now, get that masterpiece written, and then please drop me a note and let me know about it, will you? Here's the link to order (you might need to do a cut-and-paste into your browser or just do a search at Amazon):

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book-signer's lament

Tomorrow I will do something I always swear I will never do again: a book-signing! Oh, the dreaded experience of sitting at a table in the middle of a bookstore while people do their best to avert their eyes and pretend they don't see you! For those who have yet to endure such an event, I thought you might enjoy this music video--and for those who are old pros at it like me, you'll REALLY relate! (Prayers appreciated for a good turnout at the Bible bookstore in Hemet, CA, tomorrow afternoon--come if you live nearby! I'll have lots of free chocolate!!!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Life without Facebook...a Reality Check!

Ever heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans”? I don’t know if there’s any truth to that, but if there is, He had a great laugh on me this week! And I deserved it.
I’d been flying pretty high—teaching at great conferences and meeting wonderful people; new books released and garnering great reviews (and hopefully some sales as well); lots of media interviews, and even some new books/series contracts in the works. Life was good!
Until this last weekend when I decided to check my Facebook account. I’d been away from it for a couple of days, and who knew how many messages and friend requests awaited me? I tried to log on from my Blackberry, but for some reason it refused to allow me entry. Strange. Oh well, I’d just have to wait until I got home and log on there.
Wrong again. After zooming through my thousands of emails (all quite important, of course—things like “We can get you a Scooter chair for free” and “Take your next trip to Lawrence Welk Village on us”)—I zipped on over to Facebook, typed in my email address and extremely complicated password, and… Wait a minute. I was in but couldn’t get to my page. Instead I saw a message informing me that someone had tried to access my account. I looked at the date and time and realized it was when I tried to get in via my Blackberry. Whew! That was a relief. No one was trying to hack my account after all. It was just a misunderstanding. All I had to do to clear it up—according to the Facebook Team who assured me they were there to help—was to identify some of my Facebook friends.
Uh oh. That could be a problem. I have about 2500 of them, plus an additional 500-plus fans. What if they sent me pictures of those I didn’t know, which was about 98 percent of them? But it seemed to be the only game in town, so I decided to play it.
Sure enough, they sent me pictures of three people I didn’t recognize, along with two dogs and a picture of scenery. I’d forgotten that not everyone uploads their photos on Facebook, so now I was stuck trying to identify people I didn’t know, along with their pets and views of their backyard. This was becoming more complicated by the moment.
Wait a minute. Hadn’t the Facebook Team assured me they were there to help? If I could just figure out how to contact them….
No easy task, I’m afraid. I eventually tracked down a list of emails specifically assigned to Facebook-related problems, but none were about what to do when you can’t identify pictures of your Facebook friends. Still, I tried the closest thing—verifying identity from your cell phone, since that’s what seemed to initiate the problem—and lo and behold, I got a reply from my helpful Facebook Team. The problem was that it didn’t address my specific question and gave me absolutely no recourse beyond continuing to try to identify random Facebook photos—which, by the way, you are restricted to trying only once every hour.
By the second day, as emails piled up in my inbox, informing me that at least a gazillion of these people whose pictures I could not identify were leaving me messages and/or wanted to be added to my unidentifiable friends list, I was nearly in tears. And then I remembered that my Twitter posts are set up to feed into Facebook. Aha! Maybe I could get in through the back door.
Sure enough I was able to post messages on my Facebook site via Twitter, but it didn’t help me get into my account. And no matter how many loops I posted my question on, no one seemed able to come up with a way to circumvent this ridiculous security system.
On day three, after trying to identify someone’s pet gerbil and a cartoon character that vaguely resembled Groucho Marx, I threw up my hands in despair and thought, Fine! There was life before Facebook; there can be life after it! But I decided to give it one last try. This time Facebook let me in and, instead of showing me pictures to identify, asked me to answer a few NORMAL security questions: such as, what was my father’s middle name; what is my birth date; what is my mother’s maiden name, etc. Voila! I answered them in seconds and was allowed back in. I was home!
Ah, Facebook heaven! I was reconnected with my 2500 beloved friends whom I wouldn’t recognize if I passed them on the street. I quickly posted explanations of where I’d been and what I’d been doing the last few days. Out of 2500 friends, I soon discovered that only about a dozen noticed I was gone and welcomed me back.
Hmm… Food for thought, don’t you think? And fodder for prayer as well. I’ve been doing a lot of both lately, and realizing how easily I get caught up in things that seem important but actually may not be. I can’t help but wonder if this was a reality check from God about just how wisely (or not) I’m “redeeming the time,” as we’re advised to do in Colossians 4:5.
What about you? Am I the only one who needs an occasional reality check from God about priorities? Somehow I don’t think so. And if I’m right about that, let me assure you that there really is life without many of the time-consuming activities that fill our lives these days. Perhaps getting locked out of Facebook for awhile isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another offering from one of the best...

There are a lot of good writers around these days, and even quite a few great ones. But seldom does one appear who is so exceptional as Mary DeMuth.

From the first time I read one of Mary's books, I was a fan--and I don't say that easily! I'm actually rather picky about where I hang my "fan" hat, and Mary is one of only a handful who qualify. Each time she writes a new novel, I am reminded why she is at the top of that limited list.

Life in Defiance, book three in her Defiance Texas Trilogy, continues to set the bar high for the rest of us writers, even as it grips us in its heart-wrenching story and woos us with its lovely words. If you haven't read the first two books in this excellent trilogy (Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn), buy all three and get to reading! You won't regret it! And I wouldn't be surprised to find your "fan" hat hanging right next to mine on Mary's author pole.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

JOY-Spirations for Caregivers

If ever there was a group that needed splashes of joy in its otherwise difficult life it's that dedicated group known as "caregivers"! I know because I'm a member. My almost 89-year-old mom lives with us, and it's a 24-7 job. Sometimes tedious, sometimes stressful, sometimes exhausting, this job calls for mini-breaks on a regular basis. Authors Annetta Dellinger and Karen Boerger have graciously provided those breaks in the form of their new book, JOY-spirations for Caregivers. Complete with easy-to-read segments, encouragement for busy caregivers, and inspiration for daily care-giving challenges, this excellent resource is a literal Godsend for people like me. I highly recommend it! Check it out at or

Monday, May 17, 2010

Facebook problems

I tried to log into my Facebook account on my Blackberry over the weekend and was denied access. Now I can't get there from my home computer either. We haven't fixed the problem yet, but I'm pasting in an article to explain what happened. Their "remedy" to identify the true FB user is awful! I have nearly 2500 friends on FB and can't possibly identify them all by sight, particularly when some people use cartoon pics or scenery or no photo for their picture. Please pray this gets resolved and that they come up with a better formula for this before you too find yourself locked out of your account!

In the past few weeks, spammers and hackers have feasted on Facebook like King Curtis on bacon. Now, however, it looks as if Facebook has finally decided to take some action. Yesterday, the social network announced on its blog that users will soon benefit from a host of new security features specially designed to "keep the bad guys out." From now on, you can choose to be automatically notified whenever your account has been accessed from a computer or phone that you normally don't use. To activate the feature, simply go to the Account Settings page, and click on the 'Account Security' link at the bottom of the page, where you'll be prompted to register the devices from which you normally log on to Facebook. If your account is accessed from a non-approved device, you'll be immediately notified via text or e-mail, and will have the opportunity to change your password, or flag the specific gadget in question.

In the event that someone tries to log in to your account from a suspicious location, Facebook will automatically ask the person several questions to prove his or her identity. Unlike most security questions, which are often designed to distinguish humans from robots, Facebook's questions are decidedly more personal, sometimes requiring a suspicious user to identify a friend tagged in a photo, for example. If it's really you, you'll gain access after answering, and then have the chance to review recent log-ins on your account -- including the exact locations from which your account was accessed. If you see something bizarre, you'll once again have the opportunity to immediately change your password.

As Facebook points out, you probably won't have to jump through these hoops each time you log on -- only when the site's security system smells something fishy. While these new measures still won't do much to abate lingering user concern over Facebook's invasive Instant Personalization service, it's reassuring to see that the social network has acknowledged that it has a security problem and is taking measurable action to remedy it. It should be noted, however, that the site has chosen to make its security features 'opt-in,' while making most of its personalization services 'opt-out.' So, assuming the new features actually work, it would mean that the only person we'd have to worry about compromising our privacy is... Facebook.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Great devotions for grandmas!

Rebecca Barlow Jordan has done a great job in crafting her daily devotions to speak to those of us who are blessed to be called grandmas. I highly recommend these daily readings, and if you're not a grandma yet, consider buying a copy of this lovely hardbound book for someone who is. Learn more about Rebecca and her other resources at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No Greater Love featured in Lifeway catalog

No Greater Love is featured in the new Lifeway catalog right alongside new novels from bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury and Melody Carlson. Check it out!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The other side of the "sandwich generation"

As one who not only read but contributed to Allison Bottke's book on setting boundaries with our adult children, I'm pleased now to recommend her book on the "other side" of this difficult "sandwich generation"--a sandwich I've been in the middle of for many years! My children are grown now, with lives of their own, and Allison's book was so helpful to me during that long letting-go process. Now I'm dealing more with the aging parent portion of the equation, as my nearly 89-year-old mother lives with me and requires more and more of my time and energy with each passing day.

Thank the Lord for Allison's commitment to help the rest of us learn how to set healthy boundaries, whatever our situation! Setting Boundaries with Your Aging Parents, whether your parents live with you or not, is a must-have resource for anyone in our situation. I strongly recommend it and plan to dog-ear it as much as I did the previous book. To find out more about this dynamic lady and her books/ministry go to Blessings, dear readers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Great new book at ridiculously low price!

Got a Kindle? NO??? Seriously, you really need to get one! I finally broke down and ordered mine (my hubby's birthday gift to me), and I'm blown away at how cheaply you can acquire great books for it.

And here's the perfect example of why you need a Kindle: Michelle Sutton's new book, Never Without Hope, is currently available as a Kindle download for $2.99! That's about as close to free as it gets, folks, so go to Amazon and download it before the offer ends.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Liberty's Promise will keep you reading for many wonderful hours!

I don't often have the luxury of reading three books in a row, but when someone as talented as author Amber Miller Stockton compiles a three-story series into one handy book, you just have to go for it!

After meeting a daunting deadline at the end of last month, I rewarded myself with some quiet time to read through Amber's stories, beginning with that of Raelene Strattford, and then moving on Elanna Hanssen and, finally Margret Scott. Though each woman's life and loves are unique, a common thread of faith ties them all together in this well written saga of a brand new country called America. If you like early American history and compelling stories, don't miss Liberty's Promise!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seattle is talking about my new book!

Please take a moment to check out the interview in the Seattle PI newspaper about one of my new novels, More than Conquerors:

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A question to consider...seriously

It isn't often that I come across such a humble man as author John Meacham--and such a powerful book as Is Your Church Heavenly? I am now privileged to have encountered both, and I want to share that privilege with you.

Is Your Church Heavenly? is an excellent study of Christ's seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. Complete with scripture, in-depth teaching, and applicable questions, this timely book--along with its study guide, which can be purchased separately or together with the book--will challenge you to a deeper, more passionate relationship with the One who calls to the churches from a heart of unequaled and unconditional love.

Find out more about John Meacham and his work at

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blog tours continue!

As the Pump Up Your Book Promotion blog tour winds down for No Greater Love and prepares to start for More than Conquerors, the brief but intense combined tour for both books begins with ACFW today. Please watch for it, and Tweet, Facebook, blog about it, will you? Blessings!