Monday, April 29, 2013

An Exercise - Write Your Novel in Less Than 60 Days

Good Monday morning. You know what Monday means? Hit the ground running! Be present in your life, be productive in your endeavors and be proud of your accomplishments.

Today, I want to share an exercise I've been working on. It started out as something I did to post above my desk. My own personal reminder to get to it and get it done. A friend asked for a copy and suggested I share it on my blog. I'm nothing if not accomodating so I agreed. *smile*

If we make writing part of our routine, it gets easier with time. There will always be things that crop up in our daily lives that take us away from our writing. Even so, it is important that we stick to a routine if we are to finish what we start.


If you attempt this exercise and cannot make the word count on some days, don't stress about it. Rather, add a few extra words on the 500 word days. Many of you will take the weekends off. If you don't follow the weekend word count in this exercise, you'll be 8000 words shy of the goal. These words can be made up throughout the week at any rate you're comfortable writing them or by simply adding a few days to the 60 day exercise. Again, the goal is to make writing a habit - part of the daily routine.

This exercise is one I try to follow. I have failed and even gone a month without writing a single word. Having this printed and hanging on the wall above my desk reminds me that I should be writing when I'm slacking off. I hope it helps you do the same. Even if you cut the word count in half to meet your busy lifestyle, you'll still be writing and that is the goal.


For an in-depth look at writing a novel in 30, 60 or 90 days, there are several books available by authors who share their expertise in books with titles similar to, 'Write a Novel/Book in Less Than X Days'. A quick search on Amazon will turn up an extended list to choose from.

Remember, the goal is to make writing part of your daily routine. If you want to finish your novel before your great-grandchildren are visiting for Sunday dinners, writing will have to be a habit and not a hobby.
A new month starts on Wednesday. May would be a good month to start something new.
Don't you think?
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you all enjoy a productive week.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Visit with Brenda Perlin

I'm excited to have Brenda Perlin visit with us here at the desk today. Brenda is highly energetic, motivated and friendly - so much so that it tends to flood out onto those around her - in the best of ways, of course. *smile* I know you'll enjoy getting to know her and learning more about her book, Home Wrecker.  She has exciting news to share with us concerning her book release, too. Let's get straight to the interview. 


The Interview:

1.) What inspired you to write your first book?

My inspiration came while I was planning my wedding. I was approaching 30 and going through what you might call a mini life crisis. I picked the story back up while I was going through a divorce some 15 years later and possibly going through a real life crisis!!!

2.) What was your favorite part of the book to write and why?

I think I enjoyed talking about my new found love. Even though I was over forty I felt like a silly teenager. I was so giddy in love.

3.) Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

That would be a big fat YES!!!! I have learned quite a bit along the way. I am still learning. Most of the time I feel as green as Kermit the frog. More than anything I learned not to let criticism stop me from what I am doing. People are entitled to their opinion. Not everyone is going to appreciate my story.

4.) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Let’s start with the best compliment. It feels so good when someone reads your book and wants to talk to you about it and share something personal. It makes me feel that they connected to my story in some way.

As far as criticism I have been pretty lucky. I can’t really remember any except for a few rejection letters I received initially. Honestly people have been pretty kind to me even though my book is titled Home Wrecker.  People have definitely been more understanding than I would have expected.

5.) Was there a particular person who stood out in their support of your writing in the beginning?

Yes, I had a relative that believed in me from the first time she read my writing. She told me early on that I had a special gift. She really believed in me.

6.) What has been the biggest challenge in your writing/publishing life so far?

My biggest challenge was when I signed up with my first publisher. They were a very deceitful company that was only interested in the money. Before my book came out I was so excited. That was until I saw that they were charging $27.95 for my paperback. It was extremely embarrassing. How can you ask people to spend so much money? I tried to get them to understand but they would not budge. I felt it really hurt my sales and put off a lot of people.

7.) How did you feel when your first novel was accepted by a publisher?

When I received my first acceptance letter I was over the moon excited! It felt so good to get that kind of gratification. Even though it didn’t work out, it has been such a great learning experience. I feel so fortunately to have had this experience.

8.) Any recent or upcoming appearances/events that you would like to share with us?

I sure do. I am having a Home Wrecker book release party on April 29th on Facebook at 4:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. Please join in on the fun! The more the merrier!!!!!

9.) Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Well, first of all I want to thank anyone who takes the time to read my book. That is such a good feeling. I really appreciate the support. Also I would like to ask if you do read my book and you like it I would be so grateful if you could leave a review on or both. That is the highest compliment you can give a writer!

10.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I would be happy to. This is from my second book Home Wrecker: The Brooklyn Chronicles. I can’t wait for it’s release as well! It is all so exciting!!!

“I never planned on being an adulteress, or a cheater, or even a liar. I have told plenty of little white lies in my lifetime but it wasn’t really in my makeup to do something so unethical, as I did. Cheating wasn’t something I ever considered doing. It certainly was not in my nature or had anything to do with my upbringing. I was raised to be a “good girl” whatever went along with that. I was taught to treat people as you wanted to be treated. My parents were respectful individuals and if I were to bet, they never did anything against the law. Well, that is not exactly 100% honest. They both had their departures from innocence. My mom had a bad habit of eating candy from the bulk bins in the grocery store as if they were free samples. She thought she could eat at her leisure while she strolled around with her grocery cart in one hand and her ill gotten goods in the other. My dad also had a few digressions that I witnessed on numerous occasions. Once I caught him changing a price tag to his advantage at Costco and another time I caught him while we were vacationing in France unscrewing the shower head from the hotels shower. He said he liked the water pressure so much that he actually got out tools that he brought from home, climbed up on a chair from the bedroom and went to work to remove the entire shower head. It was not as easy of a job as he thought and all his efforts were wasted. He realized after he removed the piece that the wiring would not work on his shower at home. The question I have is, who brings large amounts of tools with them on a plane traveling across the ocean? That would be my dad in a nut shell. He appreciated good equipment and he definitely liked a deal.”


The Book:

Brenda Perlin’s Home Wrecker
The Home Wrecker book cover was created
by cover artist JD Robinson at Rabbit Run Films.
He did an outstanding job.

Home Wrecker is the first book in a three part series that follows the main character, Brooklyn throughout her childhood, adult life and then what seems like an “endless” journey towards redemption for her and her new love interest, Bo.
Brooklyn and Bo, each unhappily married to someone else, have to decide whether to stay with their spouses or give up everything for each other. What would Brooklyn's husband and Bo's soon-to-be ex-wife do to break them up?

Brenda Perlin was born in Los Angeles, California in the Sixties. She studied acting and photography after high school. Later, her true passion was ignited when she became interested in health and fitness and became a fitness instructor. At twenty-nine she started writing Home Wrecker during the time she was getting married. She put her story down shortly after the wedding and didn’t pick it back up until she was forty-six and going through a divorce.
She now resides in Orange County, California.

Connect with Brenda Perlin:







8 Slices of cake


Now that we've come to the end of our visit, I'd like to remind out readers again about the book release party for Home Wrecker at 4:00 pm PST on 29th April. It's just a few short days away and promises to be fun for all!  Please join in on all the fun at the link below.


It's been a pleasure having you visit with us today, Brenda.
Thank you for sharing and best of luck with the book. 
Please join me in thanking Brenda for visiting with us
here at Nadia's desk by commenting below.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Birthday Mother

While many people celebrate 22 April as Earth Day. The day has different meaning for me. 
Today is the day my grandmother was blessed with the birth of my mother, Nora.

~ Happy Birthday, Mama ~

Like most, I didn't recognize the strength and depth of love my mother had until I had children of my own. Isn't it a shame that we don't see these qualities in the ones closest to us until later in life? I that I blessed to have realized how special a mother, a woman, that she is while she is still here on this earth. I'm able to tell her every day how much I appreciate and love her and I'm thankful for that.
I'm thankful to God for choosing Nora Louise to be my mother.

This is mom as a child. To update: Mom was 12 or 13 years old in this photo.
That's dad with my sisters and I in the lower part of this frame.
In the photo above, she was 20 years old and holding me.

My dad was in the military which meant we traveled a lot. Some homes were more temporary than others making it difficult to connect with other people in the communities we moved through. I think my mother dealt with these short stays by having a book with her all the time. She use to tell my sisters and I that we could go anywhere in the world or escape from the place we were in simply by opening a book. She would also say that as long as we had a book or a library nearby, there was never any cause to be bored. She also wrote stories that she never, to my knowledge, attempted to publish.
She would often tell us to research the things we did not know rather than give us the answers to our questions immediately upon request. She taught us to engage our brains and not look for the quick or easy answer - no shortcuts in my home growing up. At least, not when it related to learning.

Here is mom with my sisters and I at
Buffalo Bill Cody's gravesite in the 60s.

Like so many other families we knew, we had a set of encyclopedias in our home complete with yearly updated volumes and the classics. And poetry. The first 'grown up' poetry I remember reading as a child was from a volume which included the works of Byron, Keats and Shelley. I fell in love with poetry, with words, while reading that book. I still have it here, tattered and  yellowing. It's one of my prize possessions.

Here she is at the daylily farm in Taylor, Alabama a few years ago.

I remember and appreciate my mother's encouraging words when I was growing up. She told me more times than I can count that I could and should write stories. Short stories and novels. She insisted, at a time when girls were just beginning to step out of their long-held stereotypical roles, that I could be anything I wanted to be and if my dream was to write, I should not let anything or anyone stand in the way of that dream. 

These are my parents, Don and Nora, walking the trail between their
home and mine. It is one of my favorite photos of them.
Peaceful, happy, content and together.



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spotlight on "Take 2" by Linda Bolton

Good morning everyone! I am excited today to bring you a couple of excerpts from a great contemporary romance book I have just recently read titled Take 2 from author Linda Bolton. But before the excerpts I just want to say Linda, you are a super writer and thank you for allowing me to highlight your work. I’ve read your reviews and your fans are right when they say “it’s a wonderful story.”

I hope you enjoy these excerpts as much as I did!

Excerpt One:

Derek was feeling like a fool, following Alex and Tristen through the hotel. Guests, fans, stared as they realized it was Derek. He stopped into a shop and bought a baseball cap and sunglasses. He looked like a fool, but he hoped not a ‘famous’ fool. He tried to blend in as he followed the couple.                       

Shouldn’t I trust Alex? he thought as guilt at his behavior seeped in. Then he saw Tristen put his arm around Alex as they arrived at the restaurant. Derek gritted his teeth. As long as it took him to realize he was in love with her he didn’t want to lose her now. He stood in the shadows of the breezeway and watched the couple have dinner. Alex was smiling and laughing. Damn, he can be charming! She better not fall for him. Derek was getting angrier by the minute.

Excerpt Two:

Derek tried to avoid Lyla off set, but he just couldn’t seem to shake her. On screen, during the love scenes, she was all over him. They had to reshoot dozens of times. Lyla was trying so hard to smother Derek she wasn’t listening to the director’s instructions. The plan had been to spend two days with Derek and Lyla’s scenes, then off to the action. Lyla saw to it her scenes dragged on for an extra day. Then, while Derek shot the action scenes; gun fights on board the yacht, driving a jet ski while being chased by a racing boat, and many dives into the Persian Gulf, Lyla waited on the beach for his return. Derek couldn’t wait until the war scenes on the Highway of Death; he’d finally escape Lyla’s grasp!                       

Derek knew all the gossip of his and Lyla’s relationship was already hitting the States. Alex knew his reputation and he was sure, if Alex saw the news, she’d believe it. What chance would he have with her now?

Didn’t I tell you it’s a great story? You can get it this week for just 99 cents while it’s on sale on Amazon:

Linda Bolton is currently working on her second book to be released late summer/early fall 2013. When she’s not writing, Linda is a GiGi, playing with her new granddaughter Z, and working full-time.


If you'd like to find out more about Linda Bolton and her work, you can connect with this great author at:


Friday, April 5, 2013

Nadia Welcomes Author Brad Fleming to the Desk

I am delighted to welcome Brad Fleming to the desk today.
Brad is the author of an action-packed thriller set in some of Ireland's darkest days.
His novel, Role of Dishonour is a page-turner that will keep you engrossed from start to finish.

What will you find between the covers of Role of Dishonour?

A whole lot of intrigue:

“The reason you’re here is because each one of you has a certain talent, a particular expertise which, properly directed and, properly co-ordinated, could have a decisive effect on the situation existing in Ireland at the present time. I must also tell you that, while the prize is great, the risks to each one of us are considerable. I am speaking of physical risks gentlemen. Failure could result in imprisonment for all of us–or even death!”

“People who live for their country serve it better than those who die for it. The doctrine of an eye for an eye ultimately leaves everybody blind.”

A little romance:

“He saw her then–sitting alone on a high stool at the left end of the bar counter. Quite simply, she was the most striking woman he’d seen in a long time. She appeared totally oblivious of his arrival and he found himself stopping involuntarily in order to study her more closely. Dexter was not normally so rude, or so easily impressed, but here was a woman well worthy of a second look.”

A little history:

“The events of the last 24 hours had put Northern Ireland back on the front pages and on TV screens worldwide. Politicians from all sides were parading in front of the cameras and microphones. Every hotel in Belfast was packed with journalists and TV crews representing, it seemed, just about every country in the world.”
Who is Brad Fleming?
Before becoming an author Brad Fleming was in journalism, broadcasting and public relations all of his working life. Born in the small fishing village of Kilkeel, Co Down, in the shadow of where the famous Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, he worked in local newspapers before moving on to a national daily paper in Belfast. Later he broadcast on news and sport for the BBC. In his thirties he made a career switch to join the British Government Information Service, a job which took him to many corners of the world.
A little more about Role of Dishonour:
For generations Northern Ireland has withstood a vicious campaign of terrorist violence that has left thousands dead and countless more horribly injured. The British and Irish Governments seem powerless and to have settled for what one leading politician calls an acceptable level of violence.

There appears to be no solution to the conflict. But, when a Provisional IRA bomb kills two grandparents and a four-month-old baby on a lonely border road, four men from widely different backgrounds – a politician, a policeman, a soldier and a journalist – decide enough is enough. They embark on a daring plan to exact vengeance – and to end the Ulster Troubles once and for all.

Role of Dishonour is about violence and vengeance, treachery and treason, retribution and reward. Men die – women and children too. It’s a world where one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. For generations the troubles in Ireland have pitted Protestant against Catholic, Unionist against Nationalist and Loyalist against Republican. There seems no end to the mindless spiral of death and destruction.

Yet the book is also a poignant love story, set against the background of one of the most beautiful pieces of earth God ever made. It’s the story of a man and a woman from different backgrounds and different worlds who find one another and tentatively begin to forge a relationship amid the chaos and despair. Are they to be star-crossed lovers or will true love triumph in the end?
I'm also excited to hear that Brad’s newest release, Deadline to Danger is due out later this month. You'll want to connect with Brad on Facebook to stay up to date on all things related to Brad Fleming. 
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that you might meet Bertha over there on Brad's facbebook page. I hear she has quite the crush on Inky Black, who you may see over there as well. Just between you and me, I think that Irish accent has her swooning. She tried to say it had something to do with his years of experience in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and the Government Information Service and his firsthand experience of the violence in Northern Ireland but really, she as much as admitted it was his charming accent.
I enjoyed getting to know Brad and I would encourage you to give Role of Dishonour a try today. You can’t go wrong at just 99 cents and it's as easy to find as clicking right here or on the book cover below.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Meet Children's Author, Dvora Swickle

I'd like to introduce you to Dvora Swickle. Dvora is the author of several children's books. Her stories are upbeat, rhyming and easy to read. The fun and colorful artwork in her books provide a pleasing and playful backdrop to her stories. The characters are always on a mission of one sort or another but Dvora makes it fun for children to follow along. Today, we'll have a look at "The Old Washing Machine" a Mother's Day story and "First, but Last" A snail who wants to be arrive first.

The Old Washing Machine

In this story, Norman finds a gift in a most unlikely place. He learns that when you set your mind to do something for those you love, there is always a way to accomplish your goal.

Reader Rebecca Ford had this to say about The Old Washing Machine:

"My two nephews LOVE this book. They are both under 5. It's a perfect pick for bedtime."

You can purchase The Old Washing Machine here.

First, but Last

Generally, being a snail might slow you down a bit. In this story, you'll follow along with a snail who dreams of getting ahead of the crowd and be the first to arrive. The snail's journey will intrigue the little ones in your life.

Here is what readers are saying about First, but Last:

"The rhyme and repetition is wonderful for emergent readers! They will be able to "read" along and participate in the story..." ~Anne M. Slanina

"My children enjoyed this book about friendship with a snail, rabbit, snake, frog and an owl..." ~Taylor Lakke

You can purchase First, but Last here.


Below are three additional titles by Dvora Swickle that are available at She has many more children's stories listed at Amazon.
Bug In A Bottle
Paperback & Kindle Editions

Find out what happens when this little bug does not go home where he would be safe and sound.

Thomas J Marshall had this to say about Bug in a Bottle: "...It gives a good message of the importance of home, and the illustrations, also done by Ms Swickle, are entertaining...."

Kittywampus (A children's poetry book)
Kindle Edition
Fun quirky poems that are sure to make you smile.

Eggs Four Tea (A children's picture book)
Kindle Edition

Ellie the elephant always has troubles remember names; she meets a new friend who teaches her a trick for remembering names.

Hear what readers Mellisa and Chris Cianciulli had to say about Eggs Four Tea:

"My mom read this to my daughters ages 1 and 4 last night. They loved it. Dvora is a great writer..." ~Mellisa
"...colorful story with a positive message for kids..." ~Chris Cianciulli

Biography provided by Dvora Swickle

Dvora Swickle lives in the quaint fishing village of Gig Harbor, Washington. There the grass is green, the trees are tall, and the animals roam freely. Dvora believes that all children should live bully free and learn confidence in their own special ways. My stories are like a box of cracker jacks, a lovely reading experience with a message inside just for them to grow on. In this day we are all going in so many directions it's hard to stop and give advice, sometimes advice is not wanted. Kids like to think they know it all but we know that is impossible, for experience is the gift of learning. Come and join Dvora as she tells her many tales. Her words will follow you all through your life!

Dvora Swickle (AKA D.A. Johnson) has been entertaining and writing for children (and her two kids) for over 20 years. Dvora drove school bus for 10 years enjoys reading in school classrooms. She has a captivating voice. Dvora now works with special needs children and is devoted to helping students 18 to 21 transition from high school into the work community and living independently.

Stories can help students understand problems without feeling it is directed towards them personally. Dvora enjoys reading and putting fun voices to her characters, inviting children to take part. Every time she reads "sweet green grass" kids are encouraged to raise there hands. Dvora loves seeing all the fingers in the air, makes her feel so appreciated and lov'd.

She has written over 40 stories and is the author of two poetry collections. The first poetry collection "Dress Up" is available in paperback. The second collection "Kittywampus" is available in eBook format. Dvora encourages young children to develop a life-long love for language and reading. She believes that poetry can play a big role in motivating children to read. "Poetry helps young readers understand language, words and feelings through rhythm and rhyme. Children feel comfortable with poems because it's like playtime with words."

Dvora's motto is:
"Time To Read Another Book"