Friday, December 18, 2009

Heartsong Presents blog announcement!

Exciting news! One of my publishers, Barbour's Heartsong Presents, has just announced a new blog, the Heartsong Connection, for readers and authors to connect! Learn about this line of delightful Christian romances—both contemporary and historical—and get a peek at what’s coming soon. To make it even sweeter, you’ll have an opportunity every Friday to win prizes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Life of a Left-Handed Person!

I’m left-handed, have been all my life, and I have no way of knowing anything different. However, I do know other people see me as an oddball. But why? Just because fewer than 10% of the people in the world are left-handed, am I really that different? Apparently so, according to some people.

My dad used to tease me and tell me I was turned inside-out. My first grade teacher threatened and cajoled me, trying to get me to use my “right” hand rather than the “wrong” one. My grandmother used to let me sit at the head of the table so the “righty” sitting next to me wouldn’t bump my elbow.

I’m perfectly fine being left-handed, but there are some things right-handed people need to understand about us. Well, maybe not—at least not if they don’t have a left-handed person in their lives to deal with. But if they do, I wrote an article that might help them better understand us left-handers. You'll find a long list of famous lefties. Isn't it interesting that so many of our recent presidents have been "south paws"?

For “righties” who have left-handed kids or the other way around, there’s another article that might help teach the other-handed child. I learned how to crochet from my right-handed grandmother because she instinctively used the mirror-image teaching technique.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Writing, Writing, and More Writing!

I finished my third West Virginia Heartsong Presents book, Portrait of Love, a couple of weeks ago. Then I took a week off before starting my Abingdon Press book, Sweet Baklava, which is set in the picturesque Greek town of Tarpon Springs.

Since I love baklava and all other things Greek, this book is a joy to write. My heroine, an Alabama transplant, establishes roots in a place where she sort of fits in—but not quite. The hero is a very hunky Greek guy who avoids following in his father’s and uncles’ footsteps in the sponging business, and he joins the Air Force. The conflict is obvious—she wants to settle down, and he wants to take off.

More on Sweet Baklava later.

I’ve also been working on some articles for Livestrong.com. After writing dozens of nutrition and fitness pieces, I’m thinking I might need to step up my own health regime. It’ll be hard while writing about baklava, avgolemono soup, and spanakopita. Maybe I’ll wait until after I finish the first draft of this book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good kind of busy!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I have plenty of good excuses. I’ll try to improve, but sometimes life jumps in the way of blog posts.

I’ve been working hard, finishing and polishing my book Portrait of Love to send JoAnne at Heartsong Presents before the November 1 deadline. I still had Long Ridge assignments to read and edit, the ACFW conference to attend, and a granddaughter to play with.

My copy editor for Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida, Connie Troyer, and her husband Tom are taking a Florida vacation. Last week, I took them to Tarpon Springs, where we walked around the Sponge Docks and absorbed some of the magnificent Greek culture. I was extra observant, since my next book, Sweet Baklava, is set there. They’re at Disney World this weekend, but they’re coming back to this area on Monday. Connie and I (and Tom if we can drag him off the beach) plan an excursion to Treasure Island so I can show her the real setting for the book she edited.

On top of all that, I’m writing articles for a couple of online publishers. I love having a variety of things to write because I think it keeps my mind sharp. The nonfiction feeds the fiction and vice versa.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Ever since I came back from the ACFW conference, I’ve been busy, busy, busy! I got 2 weeks of Long Ridge lessons, and fortunately, they were 2 very low volume weeks. I always want to make sure my students get everything they need from this course, so I’m making that one of my priorities at the moment.

I was also asked to write a couple of proposals for my agent to send in. What’s really cool about these is the fact that they are both books of my heart. I'm praying that the editor will love both of them!

I’m delighted that I finally met my former student, Debra Collins, who graduated from the Long Ridge course a few weeks ago. She brought her beautiful, sweet daughters, and I absolutely adored both of them.

I’ll be posting pictures soon—after I catch up on some of my work. I brought my camera, but unfortunately, I kept forgetting I had it, so I had to rely on other people sending me their pictures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACFW Conference!

I’m super excited about the ACFW conference this year. It’s always uplifting, fun, and educational, but this one will be the best ever.

The place will be packed with people I can’t wait to hug. I’ll be able to hang out with my Be Still...and Let Your Nail Polish Dry devo sisters Andrea Boeshaar, Sandra Bricker, and Loree Lough. I get to finally meet Debra Collins who writes such romantic stories I can’t help but smile when I see her name. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll be a published author some day, and I’ll have to stand in a very long line to buy her books.

My agent Tamela Hancock Murray will be there. She’s extremely popular with her authors and people who are interested in having her represent them, but I hope to get a hug and have a few minutes of her time.

Editors from three of my publishers, Barbour Publishing, Summerside Press, and Abingdon Press will be there. It’ll be fun to see old friends from Barbour and finally get to meet my Summerside and Abingdon editors face to face. After a ton of e-mails with them, I feel like I know them already.

I’ll also enjoy just hanging out with one of my local writing friends, Tara Spicer (writes as Tara Randel). We’ve been through a lot together over the years, and now we’re experiencing the joys of sticking it out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Beauty Tips from Your Favorite Authors

My friend Sandie Bricker was interviewed by Kate Van Druff for LifeLoveBeauty.com, and she included some beauty secrets from other writers. If you'd like to know our "secrets," go take a peek: Writers' Beauty Secrets.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ahh...It's Monday!

I love Monday mornings. I start out with a plan for the week, then I break it down by how much I can do each day. Being the organized person I am this is fun for me.

Today I’m excited to work on Portrait of Love, my third West Virginia Heartsong Presents. I’m at the point in the book where the heroine’s world is starting to spin out of control. This gives me the opportunity to remind her that she was never in control to begin with, and she needs to rely more heavily on her faith. What a blessing to be writing stories from a Christian worldview!

One of my Long Ridge students sent me a list of questions that I plan to research and answer. I want to make sure I give him accurate information, so I’ll need to go to a variety of sources. I love research because I always learn so much that helps me with my own writing—especially since my students bring up topics that I never thought about before.

With a couple of books coming out during the holidays, I need to book some signings. Be Still...and Let Your Nail Polish Dry will be out by November, and Christmas Homecoming should still be available.

After I finish all of the above, I’m grabbing my Borders coupon and treating myself to a new book. My to-be-read pile is still growing, but I can’t resist a good deal on my favorite pastime.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pollyanna on Be Still...blog!

This is my week to post on the Be Still...and Let Your Nail Polish Dry blog. Please stop by and leave a message: Be Still...blog.

As the time gets closer to our Fall 2009 release date, I get more excited! Our wonderful editor Connie Troyer has been working diligently to make sure it's as good as it can be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So blessed!

I’m finally able to announce something I’ve been holding back for a couple of weeks. Barbara Scott, Fiction Editor for Abingdon Press, has bought my book, Sweet Baklava, set in Tarpon Springs, Florida! It’s scheduled for a Spring 2011 release.

My agent Tamela Hancock Murray has been right there with me, selling my books and cheering me on. I’m thankful we’re on the same team!

Since my book has a strong Greek influence, I'll include some of my favorite recipes for spanakopita, avgolemono soup, and of course baklava. Yum!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mid-Summer Pick-Me-Up!

Here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer, the humidity high and the heat index even higher. It’s too hot and rainy to go outside and play, so I’ve been spending most of my days indoors, working and reading—not much to talk about on a blog. So I’ve let it slide, until I started getting e-mails from friends asking if I was okay.

I’m fine. Better than fine. Life is good. Dull but that’s good. I have some writing and teaching gigs that I enjoy, family to love, and everything I need close by. But still, I wanted something to perk me up yesterday.

So I went to a fashion jewelry sale. I love to accessorize with dangly earrings and fun necklaces, so I was in accessory heaven. I fondled at least a hundred different necklaces and held dozens of pairs of earrings next to my face to see how they looked in the mirror. After more than an hour of perusing, I narrowed down my selection to a few things that would enhance my wardrobe, although I'm not averse to finding clothes to go with my jewelry. But that's a blog for a different day.

I chose pieces that would accent some of my Carolyn Strauss and Antthony fashions.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Be Still...blog!

This is my week to post on the Be Still...and Let Your Nail Polish Dry blog. Since I've had to force myself to rest lately, I figured other people might benefit from the reminder. If you have time, please visit BeStillDevos and check it out.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Life and reconnecting!

As my presence on the Internet grows, I’m amazed at how all the different aspects of my life overlap. People I haven’t heard from in years have contacted me via my website e-mail address and Facebook. Pictures from my college years have appeared, and I find comfort in knowing that many of my friends are happy, settled, and enjoying their own lives.

Now that I’m 100% freelance (writing and teaching), I’m home most of the time, so these social networks are wonderful to keep me linked to the world. I’ve made new friends, reconnected with Kappa Delta sisters from the University of Southern Mississippi, and found some of the designers I enjoyed when I wrote copy for the Home Shopping Network.

My heart melts as I remember the happy days of college. I’ve loved pouring over the pictures posted by Cherrie, Peggy, Priscilla, Ann, Edie, Rea, Carol, Beth, Kathie, Robin, Karen, and Sharon. There’s no doubt in my mind that if I were to see any of these beautiful, intelligent, accomplished women, we’d instantly start gabbing and giggling like we did way back when.

I'm excited to have reconnected with some of the designers whose work I've admired since I first met them. If you haven’t seen some of the gorgeous designs from my friends Antthony Mark Hankins and Carolyn Strauss, you need to check them out. These two incredible people design clothes that work on all figure types. Take a peek at their collections on their websites as well as their latest HSN offerings!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My friend Ro!

Back when I worked as a product information writer for the Home Shopping Network, I met a delightful woman named Ro Martinez. She was an on-air model filling in as a fit model, and since I often went to fit sessions to see how the apparel I wrote looked on actual people, I had a chance to get to know her. When she found out I was a book author, she mentioned that she’d written a book on modeling and needed advice. I invited her to bring me her manuscript.

What I saw was a wonderful product with valuable information for anyone interested in pursuing a modeling career. I offered a few suggestions, and she eagerly embraced them. It’s my pleasure to announce that her book, Modeling at Any Age, will be available this fall. If you have the desire to model or act, you’ll want to pick this up. Here’s a link to her website: Ro Martinez.

She spoke at the East Lake Library this evening, and she did a fabulous job. I've never had the desire to model, but if I did, she'd be the first person I'd talk to!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Be Still... devo blog

I just posted on the Be Still... devo blog early this morning. Take a minute and read my thoughts about chocolate. I'd love to know your thoughts about the subject. If you know more interesting facts about chocolate, please share. Here's a link: BeStillDevos.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Be Still...

This is my week to post on the Be Still...and Let Your Nail Polish Dry blog. Pop on over and leave a comment or two!

I'm taking some time off to enjoy my granddaughter Emma. She's such an angel! My daughter and son-in-law are doing a marvelous job with her.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What is really important?

I’ve been blessed with quite a few publishing contracts over the past decade, and I’m thankful. My husband has worked hard, and we’ve been frugal. So with the exception of a couple of years when I worked as a writer for a TV retailer, I’ve been able to stay home and pursue my dream of being a full-time novelist and writing instructor. It’s all working out quite nicely. Last summer, I got 5 contracts for fiction, and shortly afterward, I was fortunate to be included in Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry, a devotional for busy women with some other wonderful authors, Andrea Boeshaar, Sandra Bricker, and Loree Lough.

All that is very good, and I’m happy about it. But even more important than this lovely career are two other aspects of my life: my relationship with God and my family. I spend time in His word, which keeps me focused on what’s really important. He’s blessed me with a loving family that keeps me grounded with equal doses of love and responsibility.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Romantic Times!

I got some great news this afternoon from my very good friend Cindi Myers. My Summerside Press book Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida is a Romantic Times July Top Pick with a 4-1/2 star review! Wahoo!

One thing I've learned in this business is that things change from day to day. I had no idea my book was even being reviewed, but thanks to publicist Jeane Wynn and the wonderful folks at Summerside, the reviewer got the book in time to read it.

Isn't life like that, though? We think we have everything all figured out, but the Lord has a much bigger plan, with little surprises along the way—some happy and others that leave us wondering why. I’ve suffered the pain of rejection many times, but this little reward made up for it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Signing at Lifeway Christian Store!

This Saturday I’ll be signing my book Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida at Lifeway Christian Store in the Citrus Park area of Tampa. If you’re close by, stop by and see me sometime between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ikea mania!

My daughter asked me to go with her to the new Ikea store in Tampa and help her pick out some decorations for her new apartment. I thought it was a furniture store with a home d├ęcor department.

Whoa! It’s more like a city! Not only do they have what seems like miles of furniture for everyone in the family, including the family gerbil, this place offers a restaurant and day care!

Since this was the first Saturday after their grand opening last week, the place was packed. I’m short, so people sometimes don’t see me. I came home with bruised ribs and sore feet…oh and a gizmo to hang my belts and a toy for my granddaughter who’ll be here sometime this summer.

I’d like to go back to Ikea, but I think I’ll wait for the newness to die down a bit. Perhaps mid-afternoon on a Tuesday would be good. Anyone want to meet me there for some serious furniture shopping and a plate of Swedish meatballs?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Go Tampa Bay Rays!

My husband got tickets to see the Tampa Bay Rays play the Boston Red Sox. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go, but I wound up agreeing that I needed to get out and have a little fun since I’ve been working so hard on a bunch of book contracts. I’m so glad I went. Not only did I enjoy the wonderful baseball game (we won—go Rays!), the whole atmosphere was carnival-like and gave me tons of ideas for scenes in future books. Can’t beat that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview with Lena!

Lena Nelson Dooley interviewed me for her author blog. She's a very good friend and extremely supportive of her writing buddies. Hop on over and leave a comment for an opportunity to win a free book. She's having a drawing soon for Peachtree Dreams. Click on this link: Lena's Blog.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Busy week!

So many wonderful things are happening, I’m about to bust! I stay super busy, but I love it all!

I had a great week with my Long Ridge Writers Group lessons! I have the best students who send me such fabulous stories and articles, I have to put down my blue pen and read them for myself before I go back and edit. Wow! That makes being an instructor so much fun!

On Friday, I finished the first draft of Special Mission, the second of my West Virginia Heartsong Presents books. It needs quite a bit of work, but it’s nice to have something to work with. I changed something midway through the book, and now I have to go back and pull out the entire thread without letting the whole story unravel. That’s always a challenge, but it’s part of the job.

All week I mailed influencer copies of my Summerside Press book Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida that should be available June 1. That was such a fun book to write, and I pray that other people enjoy it. It’s full of all kinds of relationships—hero-heroine, parents, siblings, friends, mature adult-small child, and every combination I could manage. And the setting gave me plenty to hang my story on! Who wouldn’t love such a beautiful place as Treasure Island, Florida? The beach is gorgeous! Check this out for a quick glimpse of the setting and story theme: Treasure Island book trailer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free book!

One of my favorite authors and friend Trish Perry interviewed me for her blog. She's going to do a drawing soon for a free copy of Peachtree Dreams, so go to her blog and leave a comment: Trish Perry.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida

Check out the book trailer for my June 1 release, LOVE FINDS YOU IN TREASURE ISLAND, FLORIDA!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blog, blog, blog!

The Avalon Authors blog is going strong! Check it out each day to see what we're all saying: Avalon Authors.

It's my turn to post on Friday, so don't forget to come on over there and leave a comment!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Postcard reminder!

I'll be sending postcard reminders for Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida next month. If you'd like to get one, please send your address to the following e-mail: debby@debbymayne.com.

Here's a link to the book trailer on YouTube: Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida by Debby Mayne.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Avalon authors' blog!

I've joined a group of Avalon authors for a new blog: AvalonAuthors.blogspot.com. We'll have new posts daily, with a different author each day. I'll continue with this blog, but it'll be fun to see what everyone else is doing. Make this one of your daily blog stops, starting April 1 for fun, the latest publishing news, and prizes!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Newsletter!

To make sure all my family, friends, and fans get the latest information on my book releases, workshops, and appearances, I'm starting a newsletter.

If you'd like to subscribe, click below:

Click to join debbymaynenewsletter

Click to join debbymaynenewsletter


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thoughts about writing

A couple of weeks ago, I started writing the first draft of Special Mission, the second book in the West Virginia set for Heartsong Presents. I can't help but think about my writing process and how much it's changed over the years.

When I first started out, my goal was to wow an editor. However, now I want to entertain my readers while making them worry about my characters. Sure, I want my editor to love my books, but I view her as my first reader. I see my writing now as a series of goals—mine, my characters' the editor's, the marketing department's, and most importantly, the readers'.

In my first West Virginia Heartsong Presents, Noah's Ark, my heroine's goal was to find herself and figure out what she wanted in life. The hero knew what he wanted, but he didn't know where work left off and his personal life began. As I set out to explore their internal conflicts, I had to dig deep to find what really made these people who they are in the story.

Characters in a book have to be well motivated in all of their actions, unlike real life where they can do things "just because." Each thought, scene, and conversation needs to have a purpose and give the reader one of several things: more insight about the people in the story, a way to relate to these characters, incentive to worry (especially close to the end where all hope appears to be lost), a logical progression to the conclusion, and a satisfying ending.

In Peachtree Dreams, my 3-in-1 Georgia set, my heroines all have conflicts that keep them from falling in love in the beginning of the stories. In Love's Image, Shannon is torn between living her mother's dream and doing what she knows deep in her heart is right for her. Jill in Double Blessing has emotional issues involving conditional love. In If the Dress Fits, bridal boutique owner Cindi's dream of happily-ever-after is shattered when her parents separate. In all three of these stories, my goal was to give my readers hope and provide entertainment while showing the power of faith in Jesus. Peachtree Dreams will be available next month.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Newsletter coming soon!

I have some book releases and events coming up soon, so I’ve decided to start a newsletter. If you’re interested in subscribing, please drop me an e-mail at debby@debbymayne.com. Please put NEWSLETTER in the subject line so I’ll know that’s what you want. I'll have a drawing each quarter from among the names on the list, with prizes of free books and other cool stuff.

Or you can just e-mail me with news of your own! That's fine, too! I'll still put your name in the drawing.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love Finds You!

Every time I find another store that carries Summerside Press’s books, I get all excited. And that happened today when I did my monthly stroll by the inspirational book section at Walmart. There on the shelf, face out, was Anita Higman’s book Love Finds You in Humble, Texas! What a wonderful surprise! I can't wait to read it!

Another place love will find me is with my precious little granddaughter Emma who was born January 13, 2009. I’m hundreds of miles away from her now, but she’s always in my heart. Here's one of the latest pictures I have of her. Isn't she a doll?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm back!

I just got back home from North Carolina. Emma is now home with her parents (my daughter and son-in-law), dog Cody, and cat Haley! She had a rough time of it when her jaundice spiked, but now everything is fine. Take a peek at Alison and Jason's blog where they post pictures and videos when time allows. Now it's time to return to my regularly scheduled life filled with writing books, writing devotions, and reading delightful papers from my Long Ridge students.

Something cool and unexpected happened yesterday. I learned that my book If the Dress Fits was voted one of the contemporary Heartsong Presents book club favorites for 2008! I also saw the names of several of my close friends on that list, so it was a great day to celebrate! If you click on the Heartsong Presents link above, check out the lists posted on January 23, 2009.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm a grandma!

What a way to start 2009! My daughter Alison and son-in-law Jason are now the proud parents of Emma Grace. She was born January 13 and weighed 8 lbs., almost 15 oz. Here's a link to their blog where Jason has posted some pictures: JasonandAli.blogspot.com.