Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Interview with Eppie Finalists

I've been interviewed!

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has interviewed their authors who finaled in the Eppies.

Check it out here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 25, 2008

5 AM??? Ack!!!!

Yep, ack!! I set a goal for myself to rise at 5am this year. Then I got sick. Nasty cold and couldn't quite get up when that alarm went off. But I didn't give up. I decided that I could do it if I put my mind to it. Sooooo, I began going to bed earlier and actually have been able to get up at that "dark" time of the morning. Originally, the early rise was to write during that extra hour. Now, I've been spending it exercising. I've been running out of work at my "day job" which gives me time to write. Best of both worlds right now!

But, I'm dreading the time change to daylight savings time. Yuck. I'll have to readjust all over again.


How are you doing with your goals for this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Want to Be #1

Current Bestsellers
1. No Second Chance
2. Foxfire
3. Ring Shy
4. Brownies, Bodies, and Breaking The...
5. Coiled Revenge
6. Danger In Her Arms
7. Escaping The Past
8. Farragut Square
9. Free Falling
10. House Of Lies

This is the current ranking on my publisher's website for full length suspense novels. As you can see, Foxfire is at the #2 spot. I'm dying to reach #1.

Sooo, I'm asking you to spread the word to your friends who may not have yet read FOXFIRE. It's a really good book based on what the reviewers have said, and the feedback from readers who have given me their input. The first chapter can be read on my website as well as the reviews.

The book can be purchased in either ebook or print direct from my publisher. Only those purchased from my publisher are counted in the "bestseller" list.

It's a beautiful day today. The sky is blue with white puffy clouds and the sun is shining!!! What a wonderful break from the rain, snow and sleet we've been pounded with over the past week. I can see the water dripping from the gutters...yay! The ice is melting.

Hope you are having a wonderful day where ever you are! Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Author Interview with Carol Ann Erhardt

A camera pans over the Blog Studio audience as fans clap in tune to the lively music of the Blog Studio Band. Smiling faces appear on the monitor. The band concludes and the curtain rises. The audience applauds as...someone unknown walks onstage. The audience quiets, curious and uncertain what to expect. The woman taking center stage has long, dark curly hair, and eyes that appear aqua. She is petite. She smiles warmly at the audience.

"Hello. My name is Hope Courtland. I'm the heroine in JOSHUA'S HOPE, a novel by Carol Ann Erhardt. I'm so happy to be here today and to have the opportunity to interview a very special author. I'm sure you'll forgive me for taking over the show today when you meet our guest. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and welcome...Carol Ann Erhardt!"

The audience stands and applauds as Carol Ann walks onstage and joins Hope in the two chairs arranged to face the audience.

Hope holds up a book cover.

HOPE: This is Carol Ann's novel, FOXFIRE, which is a finalist for a 2008 Eppie Award. Carol Ann, please tell us a little about the Eppie.

CAROL ANN: EPIC stands for Electronically Published Internet Connection. It’s a group of authors and publishers who publish “e-books.” My novel, FOXFIRE, is published in both e-book and in print, as are many of the publications today. In March, EPIC hosts a conference, with several days of workshops preceding the Gala Awards Banquet, which this year is on March 8. Winners of the Eppie 2008 awards will be announced at this event. You can learn more at www.epicauthors.com

HOPE: That sounds so exciting. How many authors entered the event?

CAROL ANN: I have no idea! There were twenty-three different categories of books. Mine was entered as a romantic suspense, and there are seven finalists, including me. I’m up against some stiff competition, and I’m just honored and thrilled that my book made it this far.

HOPE: FOXFIRE was set in Tennessee, and I know the book I’m in was also set in Tennessee. Is there a reason for this?

CAROL ANN: Absolutely! I’ve always enjoyed vacationing in the Great Smoky Mountain area. The mountains, to me, are fascinating. I love hiking trails to beautiful waterfalls, driving through the National Park…it is relaxing and exciting at the same time. While I’m there, my creativity comes alive. Setting my books in this area brings back some of the wonderful moments I’ve spent there. I set my books in fictional towns close to the larger cities like Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

HOPE: What are you working on currently?

CAROL ANN: I would rather not talk about it. I’m learning it’s in my best interests. But I can tell you that it is another romantic suspense set in a fictional town in Tennessee. **grin**

HOPE: How long does it take you to write a book.

CAROL ANN: Great question! All total, with many edits, about six months. I’m working this year on shortening that time frame. However, I only plan to finish two novels this year, allowing for edits and galley-proofing, and keeping up with marketing.

HOPE: Tell us one thing about you that we might not know.

CAROL ANN: While I’m very organized in most aspects of my life, I tend to let my writing space get very cluttered. I can’t tell you why it happens, but it does. When things pile up, then I have to take a day and “de-clutter” before I can become productive again. I’m taking a course now by Margie Lawson called “Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors.” One of the things in the very first lecture was to clean off the writing area, even if you had to pile things on the floor. I didn’t have to put them on the floor, but I did follow the instructions. It’s a good feeling to have a big open desk again on which to work.

HOPE: If you won the lottery, what would you do?

CAROL ANN: Ah, the ultimate dream. I’d take it in a lump sum. Then, after taxes, I’d give one-tenth to my church, and an equal amount to each of our children. I’d sell our house and build a new ranch house on several acres of land, surrounded with lots of trees. I’d put another ranch house behind us and move my mother into it, so she wouldn’t be alone. I’d quit my job, put the rest in the bank, and spend more time with my family and traveling with my husband and writing.

HOPE: One question you ask a lot of your guests is if they collect anything. Do you have any collections…besides books.

CAROL ANN: Yes. I have a large collection of music boxes given to me over the years by friends and family. It started when my grandmother gave me a music box before she passed. My hubby then purchased me several on different occasions, as did my mother-in-law. It wasn’t long before my collection grew so large I haven’t enough space to display them. I also tend to collect dust webs on my ceilings. **grin**

HOPE: It’s been fun sitting here and being the one in control.

CAROL ANN: You’re joking, right? I remember well that you were in control during the entire writing process of JOSHUA’S HOPE.

HOPE: **grin** I wanted to make sure you told my story the way it should be written. You do tend to get off track sometimes.

CAROL ANN: **clears throat** Touche!

HOPE: Is that man motioning that our time is up?

CAROL ANN: Yes. It seems he does that every time an interview is just becoming interesting.

HOPE: Carol Ann, thank you for being a guest in the Blog Studio today! And thanks for allowing me to be the host.

CAROL ANN: Thank you. It’s been a blast!

HOPE: Where can our readers learn more about you and your books?

CAROL ANN: The best place is my website. You can reach it at www.carolannerhardt.com There are links to book reviews, some sample chapters, my newsletter, and even a link to this blog. I'd love to chat with any readers. Please leave a comment on this blog and I'll be checking in and interfacing with you. You can also email me from the link on my website.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stand By for a Little Fun

I haven't heard from the author I planned to interview on Thursday, though I've sent several emails. So...if I don't hear from her, I have something else fun in mind. Be sure to stop by!

Guess what!! I actually cleaned off my desk. I stripped it down to the very minimum. Nothing on top besides monitor, keyboard and mouse AND phone, Thesauras, modem, tissues. It seems sooooooo big. Actually, it is one of the first things I put into action from Lecture one of Margie Lawson's "Defeat Self-Defeating Behavior" workshop for writers.

I'm going to be making a lot of changes, I'm sure, as I go through the next few weeks of the course.

Now, back to my manuscript.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Saddened Heart, The Check, and Gazelle Edge

I have a dear friend, a wonderful writing coach and editor, who is one of the strongest women I know. She's a great writer, but in the past years, she's spent the majority of the time caring for her husband, who was wheelchair bound after suffering a severe stroke. Two weeks ago he was in the hospital suffering from bleeding ulcers. She brought him home again and just a couple days later her sister was hospitalized and died on Monday. A very sad time, and while she was making arrangements for the funeral, her husband became sick again. I just learned that he died this morning. What a terrible tragedy. I'm just heartsick. I ask for any who feel called to pray for Lee.

I contacted the company who sent me check erroneously. They asked if I would mail it back to them. I did some research on the internet and I think I found the name of the person who should have been paid. The articles appeared in a June issue of Memory Makers Magazine, which is a scrapbooking magazine. I feel so much better now that I can send it back!

And for the Gazelle Edge we bought a few weeks ago. Wow! I love it. I can already tell the difference in my body. It's toning my legs, back, arms and abs. I'm up to doing 30 minutes now, which equates to a little over 2 miles. By moving my hands at different levels on the handles I can increase the workout on my upper body. This is the best piece of exercise equipment we've ever purchased!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DVD Mania

So I had to purchase a new CD burner because mine wouldn't even recognize a blank CD let alone read any of mine. The new one is a DVD/CD burner and it came with a version of Nero. I played around with it trying to put something together with music for my Mom for Christmas, but it wouldn't work. Finally, I purchased Nero Photo Show. It was really easy to put together a DVD with a bunch of pictures and music. She loved it!

Now I'm hooked. It's the best thing I can send her. I put together another one for her birthday which is Friday. The problem? I have run out of pictures!! My digital camera is really a piece of junk. Half the time I can't even get it to turn on. **sigh**

I guess when I get my tax refund I'll have to buy a new digital camera. And, I really want to buy some of those cool light scribe DVDs where you can burn your pictures and words on the front of the DVD!

Yes, I have created a new outlet for when I just can't think of the next sentence for my newest novel. I can't help it. I love this stuff.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Surprise Check in the Mail

...but I cannot keep it.

Today in the mail I received a check for $150 from a publisher for what appears to be three articles published in a June 2007 release. While I have written for one of their publications and received payment in 2007, I doubt they published it three more times without a notice.

I'm sure there are some people in this world who would cash the check and figure it was the publisher's problem...being a good Christian, and having integrity, I cannot do that! This money belongs to another author who worked hard and deserves to be paid for their work.

So, I contacted the publisher and left a voice mail. I'm waiting to hear back.

What about you? What would you do?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Author Interview with Annette Irby

The Blog Studio band finishes warming up the audience and the curtain rises. The audience applauds as the camera pans over their smiling faces.

Carol Ann walks onstage.

"Good morning, Blog Studio audience!"


"I'm so happy to be here again to introduce you to another wonderful author. Our guest today is fellow author, Annette Irby, who also is published with The Wild Rose Press. Annette enjoys writing novels, articles and songs. Her work has appeared in several journals and newsletters, as well as devotional books. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Northwest Christian Writer’s Association and ACFW Northwest. Married 16 years, she lives with her husband and three children near Seattle, Washington. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and give a warm welcome to Annette Irby!!!"


CAROL ANN: Annette, thank you for coming into the studio today. I'm so pleased to meet you face to face.

ANNETTE: I'm thrilled to be here, Carol Ann.

CAROL ANN: I'm holding your new book, "Love Letters", and the cover is beautiful.


CAROL ANN: Please share a bit about the book.

ANNETTE: “Love Letters” began as a Christmas-themed story which then became a Valentine’s Day story. I had been reading Christmas-themed anthologies and a plot began to form in my mind. But, I didn’t see the usual unwed couple romance, instead I envisioned an awakened romance in the lives of a couple who’d been married a long time. I drew a bit from my own 16+ year marriage and then threw in all manner of fictional elements:

Randy and Jordan Ambrose have been married almost ten years. There is very little romance in their lives. Randy is hard at work building his career and his wife is busy working, raising their twins and volunteering to teach the three-year-olds in Sunday school. Randy has had a habit during their entire marriage of writing love letters to his wife. But he’s never shown them to Jordan. He would have to risk his heart and her reaction by doing so. Distance is safer, he’s learned, in life. Meanwhile, Jordan is struggling to believe he even loves her. One day, she finds a box of love letters in Randy’s home office closet. She reads them. They’re addressed to J from R, so she assumes they were written by Randy. The “R” of these letters is very passionate and open. How could Randy be keeping these a secret? She’s going to bring them to him, demand an explanation, push him to respond rather than cover all emotions so fiercely. Randy knows God is asking him to share his heart. What will happen when these two finally crack open the letters together on their tenth anniversary?

I wanted to portray romance in marriage, which I love writing about as I feel there isn’t much out there like it and it’s non-formulaic in the romance genre. If you’re looking for something different, fiery even (though wholesome), check it out. http://annetteirby.com/Fiction.html

CAROL ANN: Sounds great. Right, audience?


CAROL ANN: When you write, do you listen to music, or have any other special thing that inspires you to write?

ANNETTE: I enjoy listening to worship music when I’m writing. Oftentimes, the words are flowing so quickly, I can sing along and write the story simultaneously. Candles, if I know I’m going to have a block of uninterrupted time, are fun. If I’m editing, I listen to piano music, because of the concentration required. Sometimes, though, silence is best.

CAROL ANN: What does your writing space look like?

ANNETTE: I feel so blessed to have my own writing office at home. Granted, I get to share the space with my toddler’s toys as she plays in here when she’s not napping or playing with her older siblings or daddy. There are windows on two walls and my L-shaped desk rests against the walls with those windows. I have full-grown cedar trees for a few. At this exact second, there’s clutter on the desk as I’ve been working toward a deadline.

CAROL ANN: It sounds like a perfect place to write. I have a lot of people in the audience who are pursuing a writing career. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

ANNETTE: This is a humbling question, honestly, because I’m not yet well-published. On my website: http://www.annetteirby.com/Writer’s page.html there is a page specifically geared toward aspiring authors. Overall, I believe a Christian writer’s work will flow from his/her relationship with Jesus, so He has to be first. Then, any hindrances have to be dealt with. (What a motivation for getting free, huh? So often writers are desperate enough to get published, they’ll jump the hurdles necessary to get there. We can’t carry baggage and effectively minister to others. It’s a win-win for us getting free.) Then, remain humble. Like when God gave David a promise that a King would reign from his line forever (see 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17), He reminded him “I took you from the sheepfold.” Indeed. Remember where God has brought you from and be willing to support other writers. Our God is generous. If He has called you, He will bless you as you move forward. There’s always room for more authors in His kingdom work.

CAROL ANN: Very well said. So, what is next for you?

ANNETTE: I have so many projects in the works. I’m waiting for word back on a trilogy, a standalone and a novella which may be part of a Christmas compilation. After I finish editing a current project, I may just get to working on a separate trilogy I’ve carried in my heart for ten years. Or I might just take up late-winter gardening

CAROL ANN: A woman of many talents! When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

ANNETTE: In ninth grade, a student teacher visited our English class and gave us some great tips for characterization. She sent us all home with the same character names, but told us to describe them from our own imaginations and write a story around them. We all came up with something different. Such a fun and educational project. I was hooked. I began writing during my free time, clicking away on an old-fashioned typewriter for hours at a time. Those stories are long-lost. But as an adult, after my second daughter was born, I took up writing again, in my spare time. Only for the last few years have I been specifically pursuing publication. “Love Letters” is my first book, following the publication of several articles and devotionals.

CAROL ANN: Why have you chosen to write inspirational novels?

ANNETTE: What a great question. I believe my stories flow from the Lord. I love portraying hope in difficult situations. Sometimes hope’s the hardest thing to see. I also love writing inspirational romance because believers are living and will live the biggest romance of all---that with Jesus Christ.

CAROL ANN: Let's pretend that you are on national television. What would you like to share about yourself?

ANNETTE: My testimony—what Jesus Christ has meant in my life. How I was hopeless and fearful, and He interrupted the program of my life to bring a glimpse of hope by His Holy Spirit. How He has continued to bring me through my life, filling me up with His Spirit, guiding my steps, even when I was willful and rebellious. He never let me go. He never let me down. He’s why I’m here, and I owe Him everything.

CAROL ANN: You are an inspiration to all. I'm sorry that our time is drawing to an end. Quickly, tell how readers learn more about you and your books?

ANNETTE: Please visit my website for more info about Love Letters: http://www.annetteirby.com/Fiction.html

There are pictures of the devotional books (as well as others) I’ve contributed to on my blog: http://www.annetteirby.blogspot.com

I’ll be updating my blog on further news, so check back often. I also have interviews with other authors of Christian fiction featured there.

You can email me via the contact page on my website: www.annetteirby.com (annette [@] annetteirby [dot] com)

CAROL ANN: Annette, it has been my pleasure to have you here in the Blog Studio today. I wish you well with your book and with your future endeavors.

ANNETTE: Thanks for having me, Carol Ann. Best wishes on your Eppie status! God bless.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

And the Winner is...

In my January newsletter, I posted that I would send a Love Inspired Romantic Suspense to one person who signed my blog during the month. The names were put in a cup and one was drawn. The winner is Cole.

Cole, please email me using the link on my website at www.carolannerhardt.com and give me your snail mail address. I'll send your book out right away!

Be sure to check out my February newsletter for another chance to win in February.