Monday, January 21, 2008

Black History Month

Well, the CRMs at our local Barnes and Noble (who I met from the booksigning and from something being planned for february) said they were pretty free to add whatever books they wanted to their black history month display. I suggested they have a table dedicated to black spec fic writers..and suggested
Wind Follower an inspirational fantasy novel written by Carole McDonnell and published by Juno Books a traditional publisher.

So, if you are friends with any managers at Barnes and Noble or Daltons or Borders, hey, I'd really appreciate it if you put a word in for me. It doesn't hurt to ask so, why not ask? The worst they can do is reject the idea.

Anyways, wish me luck.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wind follower banner

Wind Follower

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When the Nile Runs Red

When the Nile Runs Red

Two men, one woman.

War-torn, disease-ridden Sudan.

One powerful God.

Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.

DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer's Book of the Year Awards 2003 - 2006. She is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader's Choice award for 2005 in the long contemporary and novella categories.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Chi Libris, Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkin's Christian Writer's Guild.

Her new book, When the Nile Runs Red, is about the genocide and starvation in Sudan. There's romance and faith. Her website:

The Promo Video Clip is HERE

Monday, January 14, 2008

How to tell you're reading a Carole McDonnell story

First person with strange narrative or third person with strange narrativeI tend to always write in the first person. Frankly, I'm scared of the third person narration. When I do it it feels flat and banal. I simply cannot write it straight. Plus...when I write in the third person, the characters seem distance. Unless I make the story a fairy-tale or very stylized.

Estranged Brothers/Family Outcast/In-law problems/Isolated from society, clan or casteYes, although I have no brothers. Brothers separated through ideology or family circumstances seem to abound. Seems something external to my own life has so affected my brain that this idea has become a part of my subconscious. I wonder if it was because I read King Lear and loved it so much. This occurred in my short story, Homecoming at the Borderlands Cafe (published in Jigsaw Nation) and in Wind Follower.

Very kind people/Moral TreacheryI suspect that like Blance Dubois, I live trusting in the kindness of people. I love kindness. But I also love moral treachery. Betraying friends. I can only think I was influenced by Tristan and Isolde, and by Wings of a Dove. Manners and societal issues are very important, especially etiquette. As Talking Heads sang, "I hate people when they're not polite."

An ill main character.Whether it's mental illness, physical illness, developmental delay...all my stories have at least one character with a life that has been thwarted by some grievous emotional or physical wound. My story Black is the color of my true love's hair, published in Fantastical Visions III has an Irish knight who is riding home from the Crusades who has been wounded by a sword...and the wound is incurable. My characters also cannot sleep.

Sexual issuesAh me! I think sex is so dang complicated. Sex used as a sleeping pill. Sex used as a means of comfort. Sex used to manipulate. I don't know if any of my characters have ever had any kind of sane sex. Relationships between older women and young men. Loic in Wind Follower had mother issues. In addition, most of my characters truly don't believe they are loved. Often, the love that another person has for them is all they really have.

Morbid introspection/Religion/Existentialism/WorldwearinessMy books always have some religious issue. Sometimes there are political issues fighting against it. Accompanying this religious atmosphere is often a heavy dose of morbid introspection. My characters are too honest with themselves about their temptation and sin.

Married protagonistsInterracial/intercultural marriage, odd combinations, or May-July relationshipsRomance is about finding the right and perfect person. Often one of my characters falls in love at first sight. In my story characters are always thinking of marriage. Marriage is the most romantic of journeys. Then there is life versus love. Can the love survive?

Hubby is white and I'm black so I guess that explains why I do interracial relationships. My characters don't fall into the typical physical ideal.

A challenge to my readersI can't help it. I don't like to think of myself as argumentative but I always have to get some political point into my books, and I totally don't care who it offends. Some sections in my books can make a reader angry or uncomfortable.

A poetic normalcyI love normal life. I like sincerity in stories about normal folks. I read a lot of memoirs and nonfiction and my narration feels like a normal person is narrating it. Yet the narration has to be lyrical and beautiful and poetic.

Religion, The Supernatural and GodThe supernatural is such an important part of my life. For some religion is all about dogma and doctrine but Biblical Christianity has a lot of supernatural stuff in it. Plus I'm Jamaican. The Jamaican and the Pentecostal mentality in me always has to make religion supernatural. My characters often need some supernatural event to help them out of their fix. They are also very aware of sin. Redemption and the love of God is very important. Even if religion isn't Christianity, I'd like to think that something in the book shows my relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Time Masters by Geralynn Beauchamp

I had intended to do a review of Time Masters in time for the blog tour being given by the Christian Fiction Blog folks but okay, I'm not a master of my time and I fell way behind in my reading. So I'll have to do a review later...which I'll post at in a week or so.

Here's the video book trailer

At present, there are reviews up at:

Time Masters Website: ,
Geralyn Beauchamp's MySpace: and
Time Masters Fan Club MySpace: ,
Geralyn's Blog: ,
Prologue: and
Chapter 1: of Time Masters,
Cold Tree Press: .

To Purchase your own copy of Time Masters:
Order direct from Cold Tree: ,
order through Barnes and Noble in
Hardcover: ,
or on Amazon in Paperback: and

It can also be purchased at Barnes and Noble stores.

Other Posted Reviews We Know of:
Coffee Time Romance : ,
Cathi's Chatter: ,
A Peek at My Bookshelf by Deena: ,
Queen of Convolution by Caprice: ,
Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa:

The Legend of the Firefish

There's a new review of The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka over at Fantasy Debut. Sounds like a great book. Here's the blurb:

In this timeless tale of the pursuit of faith and honor, Packer Throme longs to bring prosperity back to his decaying fishing village by discovering the trade secrets of a notorious pirate who hunts the legendary Firefish for its rare meat. Armed with the love of a priest's daughter, Packer stows away on the great ship, Trophy Chase. But events quickly spin out of control, leading Packer and Panna into enormous dangers, failures, and triumphs, and their kingdom to the brink of war.

nonfiction book recommendation

American Furies: Crime, Punishment and vengeance in the age of mass imprisonment by Sasha Abramsky.

Let's just say it certainly terrifies those of us who ponders the prison industrial complex and how it works with a vengeance seeking, racist, and a capitalist society.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

a challenge? Can you help?

You're just a few steps away from making a huge difference. By doing what you do every day -- emailing friends and family or chatting online with your social network -- you could get $50,000 for Autism Solution Center, Inc. Are you up to the Challenge?

How it works:

There are two ways to get involved:

1) Champion a Cause and have the chance to get $50,000 for the charity of your choice. The eight individuals whose charity badges attract the most unique donors through the America's Giving Challenge will get $50,000 for their cause.

2) Give to a Cause and help the charity you care about get $1,000. The 100 nonprofits with the greatest number of unique donations made to them through America's Giving Challenge will each get $1,000.

The Challenge begins December 13 at 3pm EST and will close January 31 at 3pm EST.

A quick note about unique donations:

To succeed at the Challenge, the objective is to get as many people as you can to donate to your cause. Duplicate donations from the same individual will only be counted once. 500 - $1 donations in this contest are better than 3 - $200 donations, as they are looking at the number of unique givers.

Please donate (even just $1.00 !!) at the link below TODAY to help ASC win the $50,000 Parade Magazine Giving Challenge! It's not the amount, it's the number of unique donors that will win this for us! PLEASE HELP and pass this along to everyone you know!
Thank you for your support!


Laura Corby, Founder/CEO
Autism Solution Center, Inc.
9282 Cordova Park Road
Cordova, TN 38018
(901) 758-8288

It's a pleasure just to be nominated

Chris, over at Stuff as Dreams are made on has nominated me over at critters. Nice!!! So if you have no one else in mind, could you vote for me if you think Wind Follower was good?
There are also other types of books to vote for.

You can also write in a nomination. I don't know if an author can nominate herself. I didn't nominate myself. So if you read a book you loved and the book isn't listed in any of these sections, write them in. They should appear by the end of the day. And if you yourself have written a book, maybe ask a friend to nominate you.

Anyways, good luck....and wish me luck.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

CFS: Latino mystery antho and Native American antho


An anthology of original noir short stories set in Indian Country will be released next year. The editors are seeking stories that take place in Indian Country, which includes Canadian reserves, U.S. reservations, Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexican Indian land, and/or stories that revolve around Native characters. Stories may be historical, literary and/or crime fiction, as long as they are previously unpublished, and stories that take place in the Eastern or Southern United States are particularly needed. Writers of First Nation ancestry are especially invited to submit. Emerging writers, as well as established authors, are encouraged to send their work. Stories should be 3,000 - 6,000 words, and the deadline is May 15, 2008. Pay will be approximately $200, and rights revert back to the author. Direct any questions or send stories via e-mail to


Deadline is Feb. 15, 2008; established and emerging Hispanic authors encouraged to send mystery short stories for ground-breaking anthology to be published next year by Arte Público Press

Showcase your talents as a Hispanic/Latino author of short fiction by writing a mystery story for a ground-breaking anthology, The Latino Mystery Reader, to be published next year by Arte Público Press. The anthology will include short mystery stories by Latino writers thrilling readers with previously unpublished work. There's no anthology like this on the market, and this book will fill the void. Many of the acclaimed Latino writers in the United States are already committed to this project. Our vision is to bring together a unique melding of the successful and prominent authors in this genre with new talent and exciting new voices.

This anthology will include works from established and emerging Hispanic/Latino authors who write in English (no translations), who are U.S.-based or U.S.-born, and whose heritage stems from a Spanish-speaking country or area, including Spain and the Americas. (This anthology will not include works from authors whose heritage is from Portugal or Brazil.)

Send your unpublished short fiction of approximately 4,000-7,000 words to The Latino Mystery Reader, c/o Liz Martínez, 47-01 Greenpoint Ave., #114, Sunnyside, NY 11104-1709, or e-mail as a MS Word or WordPerfect document to (E-mail submissions are preferred, but snail-mail submissions will be cheerfully accepted). The deadline for submission is February 15, 2008.

Editors of The Latino Mystery Reader are Liz Martínez (New York City) and Sarah Cortez (Houston, Texas). Both are experienced, award-winning authors and editors coupling their criminal justice experience with a love of mystery and short fiction. Liz Martínez is the author of the highly respected non-fiction book The Retail Manager's Guide to Crime and Loss Prevention (Looseleaf Law Publications, 2004) and has recently published short stories in the anthologies Manhattan Noir, edited by Lawrence Block, and Queens Noir, edited by Robert Knightly (both published by Akashic Books). Sarah Cortez's debut volume of poetry How To Undress A Cop (Arte Público Press, 2000) introduced street policing to the world of literary poetry. Her most recent project has been the editing of a highly acclaimed collection of memoir essays from around the United States titled Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives (Arte Público Press, 2007).

Email with any questions.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Aiming High, Finding Self

I'm going to sound awfully vain right now but hey....

I expected Wind Follower to be on a lot of best of lists. Now, part of this is normal writer expectation. When writing, most honest writers truly believe they have written the best book in the world. (Hey, you have to be conceited enough to survive in this publishing world.) The other part is that, well, I was a literature major in college. That's all I did. In fact I never took any writing classes. So reading all those wonderful literary works, one gets this idea in one's head that one day one will do a great work also.

Well, Wind Follower was on a few best of lists. A few. Several reviewers placed it in their top ten favorite books of all time. Some included it in their best of the year list. Some liked certain aspects of it.

But the resounding universal praise for it just isn't there. (Okay, I'm whining...and I know it.) One reason for this is that many people still haven't heard of it. Another reason is that the book, like all books, isn't to everyone's taste. Very few books, great or not, are liked by everyone. If one considers all the lists out there -- in this case, all the speculative fiction lists-- very few books are on ALL those lists.

At first I was feeling a bit forgotten, rejected and alone. But then I got sane. Or as sane as a writer can be. I'm a debut author, after all. I have to aim high. And herein lies the big decisions: Lord knows what aiming high actually entails. Many reviewers loved the originality of my setting. Question: should I aim for another original setting? Many reviewers loved the beauty of the language. Again, the same question: should I try to repeat that in my next work?

The search for the perfect reader, I'm beginning to realize, can be a self-denying self-thwarting search...especially for people-pleasers with rejection issues. What if I don't want to write another story like Wind Follower? At least not now? What if something grittier, less lovely, less fantastical calls me? What if something within me wants to write a book about sexual healing in contemporary time? Would those who love my original setting follow me into contemporary realms? Would those who love beautiful language want to hear harsh urban sounds? Would those who like its Christian elements turn against me if I write a book that is frankly very political and racial?

I've asked my hubby and friends who they believe my perfect readers might be. They tell me that all my stories are very heart-felt, barebones emotions, aching. They say that my core readers will be people who like to be taken on a devastating, but truthful, heart ride. There will be concentric circles and tangential circles filled with other kinds of fans: those who like Carole McDonnell stories when she writes about black issues, those who like Carole McDonnell stories when she writes high fantasy, those who like Carole McDonnell stories when she writes about religion, those who like Carole McDonnell stories even when she has a miserable noble failure. Etc, Etc. And there will be circles completely far from these circles: those who do not like Carole McDonnell stories at all.

The thing for me to do, however, is to write...and to see clear...and to create only those stories that God and my soul need me to write.

So...come what may, come new story -- whatever you are-- Onward. And welcome to those of you who will be my core fans. -C

Blog Archive