Friday, November 21, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 45


Attend An Opening

Schramm's Cottage 
Last Saturday the local historical society opened their doors to the residents of Doncaster and Templestowe for a unique family reunion. They commemorated the 150th wedding anniversary of early settlers Max von Schramm and his young bride, Kate Pickering, with a re-enactment of their nuptials in front of 60 of their descendants, and a few hundred extra sticky beaks from the community. 

Me included. I'm a sucker for weddings. Even pretend ones. 

For this week’s author challenge I’ve been waiting to take up just the right invitation. And the open doors to the local historical society, wedding celebration and olde worlde wedding dress exhibition fit the writing, historical and romance bill. 

Wedding Re-enactment
For the history nerd in me, there were speeches to honour the vision of this bride and groom who made their new home in 1868 among the apple orchards of the suburb I grew up in, Templestowe. Hymn singing and stories told of the newly weds who committed themselves to each other and to teaching local children in one of only 70 Melbourne schools at that time. They also dedicated their lives to ministering to the community as pastor and pastor’s wife in the Lutheran church. 

After the ‘wedding’ we were invited to sit for a generous afternoon tea or wander through one of the historic buildings on site. An exhibition of wedding dresses drew me to the old stone homestead where 150 years of bridal fashions dotted the rooms once occupied by those who lived and worked beside our honored bride and groom. For me, this delivered the perfect afternoon of pottering around a location dedicated to the preservation of history. An invitation to step into ribbons and lace of yesteryear and soak it all up. You don’t have to ask me twice to peer at dresses from the 1800s. 


Attending this opening was designed to remind me as an author, it’s my duty to comfortably invite my reader to a unique world. One created by me, where my characters should find themselves in some of the most uncomfortable scenes of their lives. Much like many of my characters finding themselves ‘out of place’ in the newly settled colonies of 19th century Australia. 

Wedding Flowers
And while the lesson of this challenge sounded as clear as a Victoria era wedding bell, what I came home with was renewed inspiration for the apple and pear orchard stories I plan to write someday, set in my own backyard. 

Or perhaps that should be Max and Kate von Schramm’s backyard.  

Does your neigbourhood hold any book-worthy stories or settings?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend, 

Friday, November 14, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 44




Peach tree splendour ~ Crabapple House
Attend A Concert 

The soundscape of a novel can be manmade or the sounds of nature. Or a unique blend of both. This week’s author challenge sent me to the best seat in the house when I attended a concert geared towards capturing what is heard when one is still enough to listen. 

I had plans to attend an orchestral concert, but time ran away from me and instead I took my writng outside to keep company with the birds in my backyard, perched between the nectarine and peach trees.

Above me, a riot of birdsong as orchestrated and melodic as any concert, took off with no conductor other than the One who’s created these birds to sing as they do. 

Nectarine Goodness.... if the birds don't beat us to it.
Many contributed their short tweets, often and short, one after the other as if in chirpy reply. Other birds screeched long and high. The background hum of a street sweeper and distant ride-on-mower reminded me I sat in the tail-end flourish of spring. Ubiquitous bees and other bugs hovered, searching nectar with the soft buzz that comes to a garden when fruit blossoms have given way to fruit buds. And I wondered if the musical celebration was in honour of the summer fruit we all anticipate and will ultimately fight for. (The birds always win. I won’t kid myself) 

From the Crabapple House rooftop, one sassy bird jumped in for a solo performance. Puk, puk, puk-puk. Another kindred of his joined with her own far off echo. Puk, puk, puk-puk. A duet against the soft cooings of distant pigeons. 

Beyond warm up, we were now in full birdsong symphony. The soundtrack of my writing afternoon, the last songs of spring. 

Gilbert, my writing companion ~ Crabapple House
Not to be left out, a latecomer I imagined owned the piccolo, added his high pitched pick-pick-pick. He dominated the music until the approaching street sweeper turned the corner and came our way. Piccolo-bird swooped off with the smooth woosh of his feathers bringing the concert to an end... and only the tss tss tss of crickets remained, perhaps the natural applause for the outdoor performance. 

Recording the soundscape of my backyard in words was a fun exercise. It reminded me of the many times I’ve listened to the sounds of the beach at Phillip Island and taken notes for my story-telling. 

Each season offers something unique to the story. Its own melody and lyrics.

What’s the soundscape from your window? What do you hear today? Or are you more inclined to ignore the sounds and nap under the wisteria like my writing companion? 

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,

Friday, November 07, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 43


Climb A Ferris Wheel

Melbourne Star
The last time I hopped on a ferris wheel with my Beloved, I wore a brand new diamond ring on my finger, a dozen of his kisses on my lips, and held a thousand bride-to-be hopes for our future.

Fast forward 25 years and we got to do it all again on my author date last week when we braved our very own Melbourne Star. 

Here’s some touristy stats we learned about Melbourne’s newest ferris wheel:

*It’s as tall as a 40 storey building
*Rotates very slowly ~ one revolution takes 25 minutes
*It’s one of 3 giant observation wheels in the world (After London and Singapore)
*All cabins are fully enclosed and air-conditioned 

Although each cabin fits 20 people, we had one to ourselves thanks to our quiet mid week date.  

Charged to consider how easy it is to stay in one fairly descriptive mode throughout my novels, this sky high challenge could only be about one thing. Perspective. The zooming in and out and focusing on something off centre from what’s happening in my immediate scene. The journey I need to take as a writer in and around my world. 

Melbourne Skyline

Well, there was a lot happening in the real world on this cosy coach ride that morning. Our focus went from inspecting the giant metal structure keeping us aloft and alive, to peering into the distance over 60 kms across the city, the bay and as far as the mountainous edges of our view.

Below us, shoppers gathered to hunt a find at the Harbour Town shopping outlets. But street life faded from view and a bigger picture emerged when the city sprawled before us. I pointed out looming buildings and sports fields that shrank by the minute and my Beloved turned me to see the bay beyond, hiding behind low cloud cover. Together we spotted the distant Mount Macedon to the west and Mount Dandenong in the east. Bookends for the city we call home, but never from this angle. 

By the time we’d reached the very top of the world, everything looked like one broad yet tiny landscape. More open than city-grid. More sky and sea. More of everything, except up there, in our cloud bubble, for a few rotating minutes the most in focus part of our world only held the two of us. The rest had become the fascinating, far off background. 

Unashamed Ferris Wheel Selfie

Zooming in and out of scenes encourages me as a writer to see details I may have missed. A stain on a character’s blouse she’s trying to hide, a poster on a railway station wall, the absent lace of a child’s boot. 

Zooming out might show me there’s a burglary taking place in the house next door, the street lamps might be lit, bar one, and someone might be stealing a kiss from his girl at the garden gate. Or from the top of a ferris wheel. 

When did you last ride a ferris wheel? 
What did you see?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend, 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Narelle Atkins ~ Her Tycoon Hero


It’s my pleasure to welcome dear friend and Aussie author Narelle Atkins to Ink Dots this week. We’re celebrating the release of her fourth Heatsong Presents book, Her Tycoon Hero.  

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle’s contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia. She sold her debut novel, Falling for the Farmer, to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line in a 6-book contract. Her Tycoon Hero is her fourth release and the first book in her Sydney series.

She blogs regularly with Australasian Christian Writers, International Christian Fiction Writers and Inspy Romance.

Narelle is also a co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA).

Twitter: @NarelleAtkins https://twitter.com/NarelleAtkins

Her Tycoon Hero ~ Set on proving to everyone that she's no longer a party girl, Cassie is focused on her career as an event planner. But her dad's top executive, Ryan Mitchell, proves to be a handsome distraction. Especially when someone from Cassie's wild past tries to get her tangled in the life she's worked hard to escape. 

Ryan is taken with his boss's beautiful daughter. But having been fooled by a brother who ran in her same circles, he is slow to trust. When Cassie's newfound faith works its way into his heart, Ryan soon finds he wants to claim both her faith and Cassie as his own.  

Narelle Says... 

One thing I miss about childhood is... having a lot more time to read. I was a voracious reader from a young age and I loved escaping into a great story. I wish I had more time to read for pleasure. Same. I can so relate to childhood reading bliss. 

The weirdest place I've ever slept is... on the shag pile carpet at my friend’s house when I was a teen. I’d gather a few cushions and sleep quite well on the floor. Now I’m older, I like to sleep in a nice, comfortable bed. 

My favourite thing to do in the summer is... go to the beach. I grew up on the northern beaches in Sydney, Australia, and loved visiting the beach in summer. It’s a two hour drive from Canberra to Batemans Bay on the South Coast, our closest beach. Not long before summer days hit us, Narelle. Can't wait for beach days!

My ideal breakfast consists of... eggs benedict with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce on Turkish bread. It tastes wonderful but it’s not low in calories. My usual breakfast is the healthier option of Weetbix and yoghurt. Oh, that eggs breakfast would be my first pick, each and every day... without the bread of course. 

What I love the most about my hometown of Sydney is... the harbour. Sydney Harbour is beautiful and it’s so relaxing to be out on the water, either sailing or sitting on a ferry. Yes, I've enjoyed lovely days on Sydney Harbour, too. A beautiful place to lap up our stunning country and it's beaches. Thanks so much for being my guest this week, Narelle. I wish you every success with Her Tycoon Hero. 

*****

For your chance to win a copy of Her Tycoon Hero, tell us about the weirdest place you've ever slept. 

I think for me it was beside my poor sick mum in a Greek health clinic. She was discharged in the early hours of the morning and I was never happier to get into a bed to the sound of village roosters crowing a fresh lullaby beneath my window. 

How about you?

I'll announce the winner in the comment thread next Monday. 


Good luck and happy reading, 

Friday, October 31, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 42


Gatecrash

No guessing why I kept this challenge for almost last on the list. 

By nature, I’m not a gatecrasher and the introverted author in me has enough issues attending events where I’m on the guest list. 

Forget the ones where I’m not expected

Photo Source ~ Pinterest 
So I cheated a little on this one. I snuck in unannounced for the tail end of the Melbourne Christian Writers' Conference last weekend. Like a rude guest, I appeared at the door during the final mouthfuls of lunch, hoping that would end this difficult challenge once and for all. (And make up for not being able to attend in full, with my Beloved too absent on his overseas work trips this year.) 

Did I feel nervous driving onto the dirt driveway of the conference venue? A little. I stopped to catch my racing breath at the gate. The one I was meant to storm. But not for long. 

Soon enough, the Sunday drive to collect conference presenter and NZ editor/reviewer, Iola Goulton, delivered me right to the dining room doors. With all present busy at their plates, I had no choice but to enter alone and face the hungry crowd.  

Yikes. I had hoped to slip into a back row somewhere. Unseen. Isn’t that how gatecrashers operate? Blend in and take their place as if they’d always been there? 

Alas, I had no choice but to face my audience.

But what a wonderful reception! Good friends leapt to welcome me with warm hugs and bright eyes. Dear ones I’d not seen for a year fell into step with me, picking up conversations we’d left hanging since our last heart to heart. 

Friends I only knew online stopped to say a real life hello and the gatecrasher in me clattered to an early stop. I was done. I was amongst friends who cared little about my absent rsvp and more about my presence. In the writing world we call this coming home. And I was home. 

This week, I learned if you want to experience the true essence of gatecrashing, it really only works if you’re not known to the crowd. Because if they’re sweet-souled writers like the ones in my life, there’s a bear hug and chorus of welcome waiting for you the minute the gate swings shut. 

Have you ever gatecrashed an event? How were you received?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend, 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Jennifer Davids ~ Buckeye Dreams


It's a great pleasure to welcome Jennifer Davids to Ink Dots this week. Jennifer has been writing down stories since she got an A++ on her ninth grade creative writing assignment. She resides in the U.S. in Central Ohio with her husband, two children and one terribly fussy cat. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a graduate of The Ohio State University, she makes room to write in between being a busy wife and mom.

Online Links

Buckeye Dreams  ~ Visit Ohio in the latter half of the 1800s, when rebuilding the country also involves rebuilding lives stripped of hope. Katherine has lost her home, Adele has lost her husband, and Anne has lost her dreams. Can each have their joy restored in romances with men who are also deeply wounded by their own pasts? Find out in this inspiring three-book collection by author Jennifer A. Davids.

Jennifer Says…

If I could explore anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be... First, thanks for having me Dotti! The answer to that would be Great Britain. I’ve been over there twice now and I so want to see more! The first time I went over I got to see Highclere Castle where they film Downton Abbey and just this past summer my kids and I got to go to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. I got to stand next to David Tennant’s TARDIS! J I may write historical fiction but I love scifi too! You're very welcome, Jen. So great to have you visit. :) 

The best thing I did today is... Well, I do all my writing during the day and four nights a week I work as an evening page at my local library. So writing books by day and taking care of them by night = best day ever! Oh wow... what's a library evening page? I've never heard of one... 

A secret pleasure of mine is... There’s an ice cream shop near one of the libraries I frequent. Sometimes when I’m by myself dropping off a book or picking one up, I get an ice cream cone. And I don’t tell my husband or kids I got ice cream without them. So SHHHH don’t tell anyone! ;) I'm not telling. I promise. 

I wish I could relive the day when I... Oh you’re going to make me choose just one? I don’t know if I can – there are a lot to choose from. God has richly blessed me. I would have to choose the moment I got baptized. Yeah. That one is right at the top.

When I was a child I dreamed I would... Be an actress. However when I got a little older, that changed to being an author so I guess I am living my childhood dream. 

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I didn’t like to read when I was little. My teachers told my mom I needed to read more so, wise woman that she is, my mom took me to the library and we found a book that made me fall in love with reading: Eddie and Gardenia by Carolyn Haywood. What a cute story. Love it, Jen. Thanks so much for being my guest and I wish you every success with Buckeye Dreams. 

*****

For a chance to win a copy of Buckeye Dreams, tell us about the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading. (Great question, Jen ~ thanks so much for suggesting it.) Leave your answer in the comments below and I'll announce the winner next Monday. 

Good luck and happy reading, 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 40 & 41

Immerse Yourself In Another Language ..... AND Go Star Gazing

Asian Groceries
Yes, two challenges in one week, because I'm behind and need to piggyback these posts or we will get to New Year's Eve... and I'll still be behind. 

But I'm a lucky girl. Turns out both challenges this week were designed to make me think about key words and key themes in my writing. 

Oh, the fortuitous connectedness! 

Spending time immersed in another language gave me the opportunity to listen to the cadence of words. My Beloved and I snuck away for a coffee date to a local shopping centre well known for its Asian groceries and speciality shops. Most shoppers went about their business, sniffing fruit for freshness, loading up on greens and adding seafood items to their cart I could never identify. 

One man who couldn't find his wife rang her on his mobile phone. I tried not to stare but the Chinese chatter from them both rang over the shop and above anything else. I didn't understand their words, but I did understand their frustration. More than the shake of his head, his loud, clipped words told me he was not impressed with her taking off. Through the phone, her replies sounded even less patient. Theirs was a long tirade, easily interpreted as anger and perhaps the heated replies of a couple dealing with more than a lost spouse at the shops.

Within seconds their animated discussion ended in abrupt silence. The husband shoved his phone in his pocket and walked off down an exit ramp. Behind him, a woman holding a pink phone struggled to catch up and eventually let the crowd separate them. She followed in the frosty silence I guess would accompany them all the way home. 

But the words rang in my ears. Chinese words I don't know. 

But I could translate the sentiment. 

The snap-snap of accusation. The higher pitched jabs in reply. And the stone cold pause which screamed the universal false peace at the end of a public argument. 

Do my characters argue like this? With the right voice inflection and frustrated body language? Do they use words which convey the deeper struggles they battle? 
Warrandyte Mechanic's Institute

I went home with more than the image of a solid falling out. In my mind, I evaluated some of the best bust ups I've written so far, in light of the indecipherable argument I watched. 

But the watching didn't end there. 

Once the sun had gone down my Beloved and I headed for a quiet spot beside the river in Warrandyte. We journeyed in search of stars and other celestial bodies. To contemplate the grandeur of nature, the mysteries of creation and to take in the symbols of the universe.

With street lights to a minimum we were able to spot a few low hung stars behind sillouetted trees. I was reminded of how the Star of Bethlehem is a symbol in the Christmas Story ~ a heavenly revelation of something larger than what the innkeeper, wise men and shepherds could ever contemplate. 

Right above us, in the shadow of the 1880's Warrandyte Mechanics Institute, constellations as old as the heavens marked our place in the hemispheres. 

Can you see the stars? 

Through Warrandyte's dim lit apple orchards and all the way home, I mulled over my Phillip Island stories. Where ocean tides and the coming and going of seabirds echo my themes.

Abandonment. Return. Restoration. 

And I hoped our Asian couple had unpacked their groceries and their troubles together, and maybe... just maybe, were sipping a camomile tea under the stars on their back porch. 

Where are you most likely to find yourself immersed in another language? 

Where's your favourite spot for stargazing? 

Thanks for reading two challenges in one post, 
Blessings for a wonderful weekend,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Myra Johnson ~ Every Tear A Memory


It's my pleasure to welcome award winning author Myra Johnson to Ink Dots this week. Myra writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. She is a two-time finalist for the ACFW Carol Award and winner of the 2005 RWA Golden Heart. Her novel When the Clouds Roll By won the historical fiction category of the 2014 Christian Retailing’s Best Awards. Married since 1972, Myra and her husband have two beautiful daughters and seven grandchildren ranging in age from 19 down to 8 months. Although Myra is a native Texan, she and her husband now reside in North Carolina, sharing their home with two spoiled lapdogs who are always getting into mischief.

Every Tear a Memory  ~ The Great War may be over, but Joanna Trapp still fights a battle within.

Joanna Trapp found adventure serving in France as a telephone operator for the Army Signal Corps, but she still mourns her doughboy sweetheart killed in battle. After her mother’s death, she returns home to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and takes a job as a hotel switchboard operator, but after her experiences overseas, civilian life proves dull. 

She is surprised by the attention from successful hotel manager Thomas Ballard, whose practical nature starkly contrasts her own spontaneous spirit. Spending time with the affectionate and compassionate Thomas helps her broken heart begin to mend, yet Joanna wonders if she can learn to love someone so different from herself. Will their growing friendship lead to romance . . . or will Joanna’s future be forever clouded by grief?

Myra Says... 

If I could explore anywhere in the world tomorrow, it would be...The British Isles. I’ve always wanted to see England, Ireland, and Scotland, and maybe do a bit of genealogical research along the way. I’ve been told that many of my ancestors came from England and Ireland. It would be fun to discover there’s a drop or two of royal blood flowing through my veins, but that’s probably pure blarney! But it would be so much fun to find out, right? 

The best thing I did today is... Enjoy a leisurely lunch on the screen porch with my husband. While the weather’s nice, we like to watch the birds and wildlife in our woodsy backyard. I’m already dreading the approach of winter here, but first we have to contend with the onslaught of fallen leaves! Autumn is my favourite season, Myra. I'd love to sit on your porch with you and watch the leaves fall. Enjoy for me...  

A secret pleasure of mine is...If I tell you, it won’t be so secret anymore! But I’d have to say it’s crawling under the covers at the end of the day and picking up where I left off in the novel that’s currently on my nightstand. The time I can devote to pleasure reading has dwindled over the years, so I enjoy every moment I can.

I wish I could relive the day when I...Wow, tough question! I wish I could relive certain special days in a state of more alertness so I’d remember them better, like my wedding or my daughters’ births or the day I received my first book contract offer. Other days, though, I’d like a do-over so maybe I could get it right this time, like being there for a friend in need. Or when someone offended me and it was hours or days later that I finally came up with the perfect comeback line. (Why does it always seem to happen that way?) Ah yes... that perfect comeback! We can always save them for another day. :)

When I was a child I dreamed I would...Be the next Peggy Fleming. Unfortunately, there were no ice rinks in South Texas at the time, so I had to pretend with roller skates. Even so, it was pretty hopeless, since I’ve never been a fan of falling on my you-know-what. When I gave up on ice skating, I dreamed of either becoming a famous actress or writing books. Writing books stuck, and here I am today!

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but...I secretly wish I could be a contestant on Dancing With the Stars. True, I’d probably get voted off the first week--or, at my age and fitness level, die of exhaustion! But what fun it would be to learn some of those dance routines! If I could choose my pro dance partner, it would be Derek Hough or Tony Dovolani. Thanks so much for visiting with us this week, Myra. I wish you every success with Every Tear A Memory. 


*****

If you'd like the chance to win Myra's Every Tear A Memory, tell us if you had ice skates or roller skates as a child. I had neither, but LOVED borrowing a pair from a friend when I visited. Skating was... and is... so cool. (But not the way I did it.) 

Leave a comment in the thread below and I'll announce the winner next Monday. 

Good luck and happy reading, 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Judith Miller ~ The Brickmaker's Bride


It's my pleasure to welcome Judith Miller to Ink Dots this week. Although born and reared in a small suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Judy moved to Kansas at the age of seventeen and has considered the sunflower state ‘home’ ever since. Judy writes historical romantic fiction and enjoys finding unique settings for her stories.

Writing Christian fiction is Judy’s second career. For many years she worked as a legal assistant in law firms and later worked in government law offices. She has retired from legal work in order to write fulltime —a vocation she considers both a ministry and a blessing.

She currently lives in Topeka, Kansas, and, in addition to her writing, enjoys reading, traveling, researching history, and Bible study.

The Brickmaker’s Bride ~ Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the brickmaking business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases an operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, Laura, who helps Ewan re-establish business connections. Ewan quickly develops feelings for Laura, but she is being courted by a wealthy lawyer, so Ewan pours his energy into the new job so that he can become a partner in the business and bring his sisters from Ireland. But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks and will Ewan finally win her heart? 

Find Judy online at 

Judith Says... 

If I could explore anywhere in the world tomorrow... I would choose Pullman, Illinois during the early 1890’s. I set a series of books in that location and although I’ve visited there many times while researching my series and for other events, I truly would have liked to have been a “fly on the wall” from the time the community was constructed until the railroad strike that brought this country to its knees and required presidential intervention. And for readers here in the U.S., the first book in that series, In the Company of Secrets, is currently a free e-book at most sites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please know that it is a continuing series of three books so there are still questions to be answered at the end of book one, but the series contains some truly fascinating history, a great love story, and a touch of mystery. However, if I told you a current locale I’d like to explore it would be a return to Europe on a River Cruise. I think it would be great fun to explore numerous cities and not have to change hotels and unpack at every new locale. Oh, that's one of my holiday dreams too! :)

The best thing I did today is... Kiss my baby granddaughter. I’m sure all the other grandmothers know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s nothing more delightful than a slobbery kiss from a grandchild. Nawww... what a sweet answer. :) 

A secret pleasure of mine is... Long weekends with a few author friends where we can brainstorm stories, enjoy good food, share our difficulties, pray for one another, and enjoy lots of laughter. I always come away refreshed and ready to get back to work.

I wish I could relive the day when I... It was really more than a day, but I’d like to relive a road trip that my husband and I made to Florida for the Christian Booksellers Association annual meeting years ago. Along the way, we stopped so I could complete research in Mississippi and Louisiana. We had such fun as we explored unexpected sites along the way, and met some truly interesting people.

When I was a child I dreamed I would... Become a ballerina, which causes me to laugh out loud as I type those words. However, to my mother’s credit, she paid for ballet classes where I soon learned it wasn’t going to be my life’s calling. I participated in one recital where the dancing teacher made certain I was at the back of the stage and my lacking efforts wouldn’t be seen by all.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but... I’m an introvert who has had to work VERY HARD to overcome shaking like a leaf when I get in front of groups to make presentations. After years of speaking to various groups about my writing, the fear has diminished, but speaking still isn’t my favorite thing. I much prefer sitting at the computer making up stories. Thanks for visiting Ink Dots this week, Judith. I wish you every success with The Brickmaker's Bride. 

***** 

Judith has generously offered two copies of The Brickmaker’s Bride for 2 lucky Ink Dots winners. To be in the draw, tell us who you'd like to take with you on for a long weekend away. Judith loved her brainstorming weekend with other authors and I also know how much fun those trips can be. 

How about you? Who's your choice for a long weekend holiday? 

I'll announce the winner next Monday. 
Good luck and happy reading,