Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post of teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book. Here's a teaser from At Day's Close: Night in Times Past:

Accidental fatalities at night were a common hazard. Any strange noise or unfamiliar light put households on edge. In a Cumberland village, the son of a blacksmith was shot for a burglar after he whistled outside a home to signal a servant maid.

From At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, by A. Roger Ekirch, p 95

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading, too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Remember What Christmas Is All About!

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, here's a fun scripture reading idea I ran across a couple of years ago to help us remember what Christmas is really all about. If you read one chapter from the Gospel of Luke every day for the month of December, you will finish the gospel on Christmas Eve. Isn't that cool? 24 chapters, 24 days till Christmas. What a great way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, by beginning the month reading about the birth of Christ, following him through his mortal ministry, and reading about the miracle of his glorious resurrection on Christmas Eve.

A little personal twist I enjoy adding is to buy one of those chocolate advent calendars and eating that day's chocolate along with that day's chapter from Luke. Just a fun little add-on, if you like. :-)

Whatever your personal holiday and/or traditions are, I hope you all have a wonderful December!

Gratitude Giveaway Winner!

Jennifer Mathis has been selected by Random.org as the winner of my Gratitude Giveaway! Congratulations, Jennifer! Jennifer has won the following:


An autographed copy of Illuminations of the Heart
A Loyalty's Web tote bag
An Illuminations of the Heart mug
A Loyalty's Heart notebook
A 14.5 oz Holly Wreath scented candle
Assorted Christmas candy (because Thanksgiving is over!)


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Gratitude Giveaway Blog Hop! If you didn't win this time, come back on December 21 to see what I'm giving away for the Midwinter's Eve Hop.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Author Interview with Anne Bradshaw


I feel privileged today to share an author interview with Anne Bradshaw. Anne is a multi-talented author, as you will see below. Anne is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes called the Mormon Church. (I, too, am a member.) To better understand the context of Anne's new book, True Miracles with Genealogy--Help from Beyond the Veil, you might first like to read this short summary of the importance of Temples and Family History in the LDS Church.

JDP: What is your current book and how would you describe it?

Anne: I actually have two new books out, but the one I'm concentrating on right now is True Miracles with Genealogy~Help from Beyond the Veil. Compiling it was an amazing experience.

True Miracles is a collection of inspiring research stories, spiritual moments as help comes from beyond the veil. It is unique, comforting, and powerful. Each account can't help but touch hearts as readers come to the heady realization that there really is a world of spirits.

JDP: How and when did you gather stories for this book?

Anne: I put out requests for stories on many social websites, including Facebook. Genealogists from all over the USA and from other countries responded. It amazed me to read so many unusual experiences—to learn of the many different ways researchers received the help they needed.

I'm sure my book contains only a tiny portion of the vast number of stories that go unrecorded every year—even every day—throughout the world. As someone says in the book, "Heaven is only a whisper away." It really is that close, but most times in the busy hours of our life, we're not in tune, or not ready to listen and act.

I began compiling seriously at the beginning of 2010. The more stories I received the more fascinating, and compelling it was to keep going. Once the initial call for stories went out, friends began telling others about the project and story gathering took on its own momentum.

There was a lot of work involved in the initial story editing to make each one fit the book's style. I thought about putting different accounts into categories within the book, but as stories kept arriving, I they simply didn't fit neatly into any particular groups because each experience was unique, and as such, each one needed its own classification, which defeated any effort to make them match others.

JDP: Is there a website for True Miracles with Genealogy?

Anne: Yes, I created a website at http://www.truemiracleswithgenealogy.com to further the book's purpose of sharing research stories. I hope many readers will send in their experiences. I realize it's unusual for most people to have more than one or two genealogy miracles in a lifetime—and many have none—but treasuring and sharing these events is so worthwhile.

The website is also home to the book's reviews. These are under the Book Review tab, top of the page.

JDP: Where can readers purchase this book?

Anne: It's available in both paperback and electronic form. I deliberately kept the price low so more can afford to enjoy it. The Kindle and Nook eBook versions are only $2.99. I hope local bookstores will soon make it available. The book is on many Internet sites. Below are sample links. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free software for your computer, phone, iTouch, iPad, and more on Amazon at http://amzn.to/4nck80 .

Amazon's CreateSpace $8.99, shipping $3.61 https://www.createspace.com/3477323
Amazon $8.99, shipping $3.99 http://amzn.to/9IenR5
Kindle eBook $2.99 http://amzn.to/cqZX9P

JDP: What other genres do you write?

Anne: I’ve tried my hand at several—YA mystery suspense (my other new book is titled Dingo), adult fiction, poetry, non-Fiction, and screenwriting.

JDP: What type of writing schedule do you have?

Anne: Now the children are grown and flown, I can write any time I choose, which is most of the day on one thing or another. I get up at 5.30 a.m. and fit speed walking, chores and meal making between writing.

JDP: How do you handle life interruptions?

Anne: Interruptions are good breaks for me. If I type too long, I get neck and shoulder pain, so I welcome a change of pace—unless I’m in the middle of something that’s going particularly well, or coming to an end—then I grit my teeth and hit “save.” And I usually scribble down whatever thought was passing through my mind at the time, because I'm sure to forget it later.

JDP: Where did you go to college and master in writing?

Anne: I studied writing through an online college course in England. The rest was practice, practice and more practice. And reading, reading and more reading – especially books about writing.

JDP: How much time does writing take?

Anne: Many long hours. For me, getting it right is not a fast process. Re-writes take forever. Marketing takes even longer.

JDP: What else do you do besides writing?

Anne: My hobbies include vegetable and herb gardening, photography, and getting lost in great books. I’m a lousy cook, but we have to eat. Years ago in England, we reared goats, chickens, and bees, and I really enjoyed those times. As for travel, if it weren’t for children and grandchildren spread around the country, I’d be perfectly happy staying home. Travel seems such a huge, uncomfortable thing these days, but, like eating, it has to be done.

JDP: Are you ever nervous when writing? Ever have self-doubts as to your skills?

Anne: Oh yes, all the time. If I dwelt on doubts, I would never get anything written. But they do serve a purpose. My doubts make me continue to read about the art of writing. There is much to learn and relearn. I attend writing conferences, also. They are great for rekindling enthusiasm, and an excellent resource.

JDP: What have been some of your most successful work habits as a writer?

Anne: Probably my most successful habit is the ability to stay focused. And I'm happy to change a manuscript if it means a better story. Growing a thick skin against rejection was a tough one for me, because rejection feeds self-doubt. It never gets any easier to read, "Thanks for your manuscript, but . . .” However, these days I'm doing better at shrugging it off and battling on.

JDP: Do you believe there is any "magic" formula to being published?

Anne: I’d love to know it if there is one. Sometimes, it seems more like good luck, striking the market at the right time, and combining that with huge marketing efforts.

JDP: Thank you so much for joining us today, Anne. I always love hearing about how other authors work and play, it's kind of like comparing notes. Best of luck with all of your writing endeavors!

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Am I Reading for My 2010 New/Old Reading Challenge?

I finished reading The Door In the Wall a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I'd forgotten much about the story except for one exchange, which has lingered with me from the first time I read it several years ago:

"How can you tell when it has been an hour?" asked Robin.


"By the feel of it," said John.

I wondered then, and still wonder, if people in the Middle Ages and other eras before the invention of clocks really did learn to "feel" the length of time spans, such as hours? Anyway, I've always liked that idea. :-)

With my memory of The Door in the Wall refreshed, this little book will be remaining on my keeper shelf.

Now for my next "new read". It's been awhile since I've selected a non-fiction book, but I discovered this author and book on a Halloween program on the History Channel and was so intrigued that I ordered the book. I don't remember the name of the History Channel program...something about "the dark". And that's what this book is about. It's called At Day's Close: Night In Times Past, by A. Roger Ekirch. Here's the back cover blurb:

In the centuries before electric lighting, nighttime was thought to be a separate "season", an "alternate reign" that defied established habits and values. In this strikingly original work, A. Roger Ekirch resurrects a vivid world with its own rules and rituals, scents, sights, and sounds--a universe of torchlight travels and moonlit travails, of satanic spirits, night kings, and bandogs, of sewing circles and blanket fairs. Panoramic in scope, At Day's Close is fashioned on an intimate scale, enriched by personal stories and twenty years of research.

I will share a Tuesday Teaser from At Day's Close on Tuesday.

If you would like to join my 2010 New/Old Reading Challenge, it's not too late (if you're a fast reader)! Click here and here for more information. And remember, there are prizes involved if you join us!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving



What are YOU thankful for?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Drawing winners!

Congratulations to the winners of my giveaway with Western author Marsha Ward!

Mary Walling won an e-copy of The Man from Shenandoah

Aimee Brown won an e-copy of Ride to Raton

Thank you to everyone who read the interview and entered! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop



This is the season of Gratitude, and the wonderful Kathy Habel has dreamed up a spectacular way for some of us to thank our loyal blog followers. She has put together another giveaway blog hop, only this time over 175 blogs will be participating! Yes, you heard me right...over 175 participating blogs, each giving away a book or book-themed prize! You'll have a little over one full week to visit each of the blogs and enter their giveaways, but remember...the goal of each blogger is to express thanks to their followers, sooo you will have to be a follower of each blog to enter the giveaway. Not to worry, though. If you're not a follower now, you can sign up at the time of entry!

So what is JDP NEWS giving away? Just the following. If it looks similar to what I gave away for the Spooktacular Giveaway Blog, you would be wrong. I've reversed many of the giveaways, so that, for example, instead of giving away a copy of my medieval romance, Loyalty's Web, this time I'll be giving away a copy of Illuminations of the Heart. Instead of an Illuminations of the Heart tote bag, I'll be giving away a Loyalty's Web tote bag. Etc.

Okay, so here's my giveaway list:

An autographed copy of Illuminations of the Heart
A Loyalty's Web tote bag
An Illuminations of the Heart mug
A Loyalty's Web notebook
A 14.5 oz Holly Wreath scented candle
And assorted Christmas candy 
(because although this is a Thanksgiving giveaway, 
Thanksgiving will be over by the time you receive your prize!)

Again, this is all included in one giveaway!

How can you enter to win the above? Simple. Become a follower of JDP NEWS via the Google Friend Connect feature in the sidebar. If you're already a follower, you are automatically entered in the contest, but you MUST LEAVE A COMMENT LETTING ME KNOW YOU ARE/HAVE BECOME A FOLLOWER AND INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.

You can win bonus entries by doing any or all of the following:

+1 Bonus: Join my email list via the "subscribe by email" box below the "followers" box. Leave a comment letting me know that you have become a subscriber. If you are already subscribed (via the Feedburner box), leave a comment letting me know and it will count towards a bonus entry.

+1 Bonus: "Like" my Joyce DiPastena book page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joyce-DiPastena/34871759128?ref=ts, then leave me a comment letting me know 

+1 Bonus: Follow JDP NEWS via Networked Blogs in my sidebar, then leave me a comment letting me know

Note: The above entry is for USA entries only. I'll include international entries in a future giveaway.

Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM EST/8:59 PM EST on November 28th.

See below for links to the other 175+ blogs participating in the Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop!



Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post of teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book. Here's a teaser from The Door in the Wall:

The two heads bent over the parchment together, Brother Luke's tonsured, Robin's dark and thickly thatched.

"Oh," said Robin, "you have made it look like poetry with red capitals!"

"Yes," agreed Brother Luke, "but when it is read to thee, 'twill not sound like poetry, I'll vow. Thou hast not minced words in thy letter."

From The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli, p 31

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading, too.