Friday, December 31, 2010

Aspiring Author- Michael Anthony Hines

Today my guest is an aspiring author who just completed his first work. Welcome my guest-
Michael Anthony Hines from Mrs. Roberts first grade class.

Welcome Mikey. Can I call you Mikey?

Yes, Auntie Jaye-Jaye. Thank you for having me as your guest.

So, Mikey, what inspired to write your work My First Stories?

My teacher, Mrs. Roberts, told me that this was a Christmas present for my family. I wanted my family to always have a gift from my heart. I wanted for my Mom and Dad to cherish my written words forever.

That's sweet. Have you always liked to write?

YES! I always love to read and love to illustrate. Some of favorites books include A Fish Out of Water, Afternoon on the Amazon, and Ready Freddy. My favorite series are Dr. Seuss and Magic Tree House Books.

I have noticed you have done a great job with your illustrations. You must like to draw.

I do. I like to draw and paint. I love to do crafts and create things with my hands.

You have done such a great job with your book, Mikey. Who do you credit with your success?

My mom was a teacher before she stayed home with me and my brothers. She takes care of me, feeds me and gets me up to school. My dad makes a lot of money so we can have a home. My teacher teaches me lots of things so that I can read.

So, Mikey, what do you do besides write and draw?

I ice skate, color, soccer, and Wii and DSI. I play with my brothers, Eddie, whose older and in third grade, and Little Billy who is in preschool. I play with my friends at school, Corrin, Ryan, Molly, Shay, and Will.

Thank you so much Mikey for joining me today. How about a little sample of your work?

My First Stories

I dedicate this book to my Uncle Bobby because he always makes me laugh.

A Gift

If I had a lot of money I would buy many gifts. I would buy Mom a tropical island with her own fairy boat. She would get coconut milk and she would have a log cabin. I would buy Dad a stadium with the Patriots. He would be on TV. I would buy Eddie and Billy a private train that had a bathroom and food so they could have a good trip. I would buy my grandparents a new cellar because their old one had a flood so it's ugly and gross. I would buy my friend a dog house for her puppy because she needs one. I would buy my teacher a painting of Molly so she can look at it. I like to give gifts.

My Wish

There are many things I wish for this holiday. I wish there were no dams so water can go freely. I wish the Devil didn't exist so there wouldn't be crooks. I wish everyone would go to church so there would be more kindness in the world. I wish roads would go around the woods so animals' houses won't get destroyed. I wish no guns were made so people wouldn't die. I wish you a Merry Christmas.


Sometimes its nice to sit back and remember the simpler times and why we write. How important it is to put down how we feel and why. So at the end of this year I do like to thank Mikey for letting me see through the eyes of child.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Power of Facebook

     The power of facebook! You know we have all heard it. One story after another. Well, let me add to the tale! Combining my two facebook pages and Novel Works, I have well over 6000 connections. And I want to add I love Facebook, being able to reach out and connect to people with similar interest. But...
     I saw this blog that wanted another author, a Rose so to speak. I have always loved flowers and thought Hey, this would be great. Not that I would stop this blog, but it would add to my connections. I really like their lay out and did I mention you get to be a rose! Always wanted to be thought of as a rose. Now being the mature person that I am, I do realize this is not life or death. I won't turn into a pumpkin if I don't become the next rose. I know this, but when the voting started it was like I was back on the basketball court and my competitive juices started flowing. I should be competitive in the voting. Right? I do have my Facebook friends, my fans on Novel Works. Not only that, but my friends in my chat groups. Right? So what if everyone is on vacation this week. I should manage to pull out a VICTORY!
      Not so fast. Today's the last day of voting. And I'm losing. Not that its a big deal, but the count- I'm losing 28 to 24. 28 to 24! (And most of those votes have come from me begging my family to vote!)
     Humbling no doubt! Out of over 6000 connections, I have managed a staggering 24 votes. Obviously I won't be running for political office anytime soon. Here I was thinking how easy it is to vote by clicking on the connection...
      Ah, but... it is also irritating. All the other time I'm offering something like a funny video, a funny antedote, a status of what I'm doing...on Novel Works I'm offering books for every one to consider reading. The bottom line I'm giving, entertaining so to speak. So how will I finish- a straight burst of energy or stagger across the finish line?
       I'm leaving the link below if anyone feels the need to vote. If not don't worry! I do have my own blog and I have control of it! Right! If I really want to be a rose, all I have to do is...

http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Reflection in Tears

I have always loved Christmas. I love the lights, the decorations, the Christmas trees, the music... I miss when my children were small and the way their eyes lit up coming down the stairs in the wee hours of the morning to see what Santa brought. I love being with family, talking with family. This year though I haven’t found the Christmas spirit I usually have. I have to admit that this last year has been stressful. But over the last few days I have read a few articles and have a few thoughts I wanted to share.

I find it enduring to read of others during this time. This year my reflection on Christmas began when I watched a clip on the Today Show of a young girl who wanted a Christmas wish. Her father had died in Afghanistan. She wanted to decorate her house in red, white, and blue. In the midst of the telecast while the mother was talking with Meredith, the girl’s younger brother saw his reflection in the camera and began dancing, watching himself. Despite the solemn subject matter, one had to smile at the young boy. Watching the scene, I thought to myself that isn’t this what his father would have wanted to be remembered, yet seeing his children happy and normal, dancing in their reflection. Then I cried.

I’m the type of person that can cry at the drop of a hat. I cry when I’m happy, sad, even when I get mad. This time I cried for the loss of another. Feeling empathy for other people is important I believe. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives focusing on what we don’t have and not what we have. Watching this video, I felt for the mother who lost her husband and having to raise two children on her own. I felt for the daughter who even at her young age was trying desperately to hold on to her father’s remembrance. I felt for the little boy who never got to know his father. His father would never be there for his first tee ball game, ride his bike or see what a great dancer he has become.

Every time I turned around I saw or read another touching story. I cried reading a story of a football player, sixteen years old, Dylan Rebeor from Columbia Central High, who died of cancer. The story followed the connection between Dylan, his school, and football team. The article recounted the touching story of support both from his classmates and school officials to Dylan himself and his belief in his team from ‘Livestrong’ bracelets, benefit dances to Dylan’s Number 25 decals. How his team adopted a motto- ‘Fight Like Dylan’ and won their first state championship the day Dylan died. In his brief period on earth Dylan showed more courage and strength than most men ever could no matter how long they lived.

Another young football player from Texas, Jared Williams, suffered a paralyzing injury playing football. Raised by a single mother, the home they lived in wasn’t suitable for the wheelchair bound boy. The community gave back to him by building him a handicap house. Actions say so much than words. Pinkston High and Dallas ISD raised even money to pay for the entire house. When an accident happens everyone seems to respond immediately. Then in our daily lives we tend to forget and go about with our busy lives. But that didn’t happen here. It took over a year to raise the funds. Not only that but the story continued with Jared and his mother giving back supporting another young football player who sustained a similar injury.

I think back to the stories my grandmother on my father's side told me of her father and I marvel at his faith he held to all his life. His name was James Womack. A simple man, a widower left with six small children to raise when his beloved wife died. My grandmother never knew the reason why her mother died. She was only a baby. It was thought she died of another pregnancy complication. She had five siblings, two brothers, Troy and Freddy, her older sisters, Sybil and Willard and her fraternal twin, Ruth. The norm back in those days would have been to marry again. It would have been unheard of trying to raise six children by himself, but he did. And he never remarried, but life wasn't easy. Shortly after losing his wife, he was in the middle of harvesting his cotton crop. Little Freddy disappeared from his Grandmother watching him late one afternoon. It was thought he had gone looking for his father. They searched every where for little Freddy. The whole neighborhood searched. The search ended when little Freddy's body was found in the midst of the cotton waiting to be packed. He had fallen within the soft picked cotton and suffocated. He was only three, another devastating loss. Growing up my grandmother didn’t come from one of the wealthiest of families in the community, but she did come from one of the most respected. Her father had all his children at church on Sunday morning, at school on time, always clean and well groomed, manners were a must, and above all they all were giving and caring. In this time my grandmother was growing up, she noted the close bond between her father and her oldest brother, Troy. In her youth she idolized her brother. Tall, handsome, athletic in her eyes, he could do no wrong. She told me a story of the time when a tornado swept through her home in Marietta wiping out most of the small town. Her sisters and she were at school at the time it struck. She was separated from the others scared to death until Troy found her and he took her to safety. He was her hero. But this hero would fall young. In any community there is always a bully who seeks to make himself feel bigger by threatening others. Here in this tale I will call him Taylor. When Troy began courting a young woman named Shelia, Taylor decided to make it his mission to bring Troy down. Taylor wanted Shelia himself, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Taylor told Troy to back off, but Troy was seventeen and in love. Troy refused, angering Taylor to no end. Troy turned and walked away from him. Then in front of numerous witnesses, Taylor grabbed a baseball bat and smashed it in the back of Troy's head. Troy never knew what hit him. He is buried next to his little brother. This murderer was convicted and sent to prison, but as in all cases such as this the act can never give back what had been taken. Yet, my great-grandfather did not cry for justice when Taylor was released years later. And my great- grandfather did nothing to his brother who swindled him out of his life savings. No, he maintained his faith, not his anger. He lived out his life in the house he raised his four beautiful girls. I have heard many tales that there was never a better man.

Then on my Grandfather’s side his grandmother, Anne Bolton, grew up in the middle of the Civil War. Her father was killed in the battle of Shiloh. Her mother died a few years later leaving Anne, desolate and poor, to care for her siblings. Her beau had left to start over in the foothills of Mississippi. He set up a small farm and came back for her. How easy it would have been for her to have left with him, but she couldn’t leave her siblings and he couldn’t wait and wouldn’t take her siblings. He left her and married some one else. She stayed until her youngest was settled and over time paid back all the debts her family incurred over that span of time. A little over seven years later, her beau’s wife died in childbirth leaving him with five small sons. He came back and married Anne. She not only took care of her stepchildren, her own children, she took in by her own account around 16 children over the years that needed a home. She left a small autobiography of her days for us to cherish. And in her writing were only words of faith and love, never anger or despair.

I wish I was that kind of person, giving without thought of gain or caring while enduring your own pain. I’m not. I’m afraid I’m far from that person. I’m selfish. I don’t want to endure the pain of life at times, the losses, the disappointments, the stress…

When I was a child, I believed in God without question. There was no doubt, no uncertainty that he existed. Within my heart I knew and found comfort with the thought of his existence. As I have grown older, questions arose, so many questions. Even taking from the stories above, if God really does exist why does he allow such misery? How could he allow the death of a young boy who fought so hard to survive? How could he allow a young soldier to leave his family behind? How could God allow...? The questions are endless, but maybe within the questions lay the answer. Maybe the proof of his existence doesn't lie always in the miracles before us, but also in our pain. For in that pain we survive with hope. Hope that God has given us- the hope that there is another world beyond our own where there will be no tears.

I was watching a segment on Elizabeth Edwards after she died. In the video she said "I had to reconcile the God I thought I had to the facts I knew. If I was going to have a God anymore, it couldn't be an intervening God...instead the God I came to accept is a God who offers salvation and enlightenment. It's the God I live with now, not entirely the God I want, but is the God I believe I have..."

The year behind me wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst it could have been either.

And it is with that thought I am holding to this Christmas. To celebrate Christ's birth with the remembrance of the hope that his birth brought. And with that promise I place my faith.

A couple of saying I’ll leave you with that I have taken from some of my Facebook friends-

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

Winston Churchill- Never, never, never, never give up.

Links to a few of the articles I mentioned above
http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/elizabeth-edwards-on-life-and-loss-23382093

http://rivals.yahoo.com/highschool/blog/prep_rally/post/Paralyzed-athlete-given-handicap-house-just-in-t?urn=highschool-292389

The article on Dylan Rebeor can be found on Rivals High. The article was written by Tom Bergeron
Rivals High Senior Editor.

Friday, December 17, 2010

CHRISTMAS WITH COLBIE

        All my daughter wanted for Christmas was a dog. So I went on line and found her one, an adorable Austrian Shepard mix puppy. She's from a shelter in Tennessee (not that far really from where I'm from). The poor little thing was found in a bag around two weeks old with her litter mates. She was bottle feed from that time on by her great foster mom who sent me up the most adorable videos of Colbie (Dallas). I loved it. Colbie was in a barn with other dogs, even at one time sitting on a hay bale. CPR, Companion Pet Rescue and Transport, was the organization that we got Colbie from. Well, her name was originally Dallas, but Becca had already had a name picked out. Really, Becca had in mind exactly what she wanted. She had decided on an Austrian Shepard for some reason. We have never had one before. We have had labs and Boston Terriers. She wanted a girl. She wanted it for Christmas.
       I have always heard never give an animal for Christmas, but I made an execption. I went online and researched. Could have brought a full breed dog. I like full breed because usually they kept to their characteristics, but I my search pulled up Dallas on Petfinder. From the moment I saw her she looked perfect to me, but it was Becca who had in mind what she wanted. One look and Becca fell in love with her. Who wouldn't? She is absolutely adorable.
      I have to commend CPR. What a great organization! We picked out Colbie (Dallas) and we got her last Wednesday. Of course we had to go through an application process, but they have to make sure the doggie is finding a good home. Colbie is under my feet at the moment. Both her and Dexter. Max just sits back and watches the two go at it. It's non -stop and then they collapse. I think Dexter thinks we got him a Christmas present.
     Boy, they are so different. Colbie makes Dexter look like an awkward teenager. Colbie is athletic and agile. They romp around the house. (I'm hoping since I finally got the Christmas tree up they don't knock it down.)
     My other daughter said while Bailey(the little dog we lost last summer) was like a princess, Colbie is like a diva. You know, I think she's right. You should see Colbie prance (not walk) around the house. And if she isn't like Becca! Oh, my. Becca has always liked to get her way. In the short time I've been around Colbie, think she's the same. The two just seem to go together well. Colbie bonded with Becca immediately like she knew she was meant for Becca.
     So I know everyone will think I'm crazy having three dogs in the house. I probably am, but you know, I love it!
      Just a little side note. If anyone is interested in getting a dog I would highly recommend CPR. I'm leaving the link below.

www.cprdogs.com/

Monday, December 6, 2010

Whatever Am I to do for a Christmas Tree and Dexter?

      Help! Usually by this time I have my Christmas tree up and decorated along with the house. What have I done so far this year? I have only a couple of boxes down. I'm afraid- very afraid- of what could occur when the tree goes up. Why you might ask? His name is Dexter- my son's adorable 32 pound puppy, absolutely the most adorable, cutest little terror you could ever set your eyes on. But...he can find the darnest things to get hold of. Yes, he's going to obedience school. It's not like he's bad. He's beginning to mind fairly well for his age. It's just he get into the biggest messes. It's like they call to him.
      We have the house set now for him, obviously, but if you leave anything within his reach and when I say his reach I mean anywhere he can get to it whether he has to climb or leap, he has it- even things you would never think he would want to play with. The other day I was watering my plants in my bay window. Dexter helps me you know especially anything that has to do with water. This morning I met my husband after work and dropped off one of our cars to get some work done to it, probably gone no more than twenty minutes from the house. Now adays, Dexter doesn't go into his crate when we leave for a short time now, but when I walked in- somehow the little darling had gotten hold of one of my plants. He had it strewn all over the family room. My husband couldn't even tell what he had gotten into because it was like someone had raked out loom for a yard readied to seed there was so much dirt lining my floor, rug and all! I knew immediately.
       So my question is how in the world am I going to have a Christmas tree! Do I put up a tree with out ornaments? I know well when the lights go on it will be as a beacon calling him. He will respond. I have dreams he is going to lunge at the tree. Everything is a play toy to him. One of my friends suggested treat him as a small child and put the ornaments high out of his reach.
       Well- the problem with that is his reach. He jumps and leaps. Although I've never seen him do this, he had to have to have gotten my plant down out of the window. Tying it up is a must without question. I suggested to my kids to put the tree in the living room. Didn't go over well. It's not where it usually is. And then the Christmas decorations I put up all over the house! I could get a headache!
       But I won't. Like most things, I'll deal with it. Dexter is a challenge. You have to out think him. He keeps me on my toes. I'll figure it out. If I don't, well it will make an interesting blog.
    

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MY CHRISTMAS LIST (for Novel Works)

Ready for Christmas. Making your list out of everything to have to rush around to grab? Maybe I have an gift idea for you. It's so easy and quick. All you need is your friend or family member's email address. Give an ebook. Worried that your friend or family member doesn't have a Kindle, Ipad, or a Nook. Doesn't matter. Check out Amazon Kindle- they have an easy (and free) application to download to your PC. The link will take you to my book, but you can see what I'm taking about- how easy it is!

http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Secrets-Winds-Betrayal-ebook/dp/B0049B2DN8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290939084&sr=8-1

All Romance Ebooks you are also able to send the ebook as a gift. I've never sent one from All Romance Ebooks but I've heard good things about it. Again, I'm including a link to All Romance Ebooks

 http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-patriotsecrets-477512-152.html

Haven't seen the same thing at Barnes & Nobles, Borders or Fictionwise, but it doesn't mean they don't have some method of sending ebooks as gifts.

The gift giving ebook is nice because it comes with a little card saying whose it too and a personal message if you choose. Check it out!

What I'm doing to help you is posting a whole host of great books to choose from this week! I will be bombarding you with great ideas! Whether its an ebook or hardcopy, books are great gifts! Join me this week on Novel Works. Should be a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Christmas Present to Everyone

      Merry Christmas. I hope the holiday season holds joy and happiness for everyone. As everyone else I'm trying to get my act together for Christmas. My first obstacle is my tree. I usually put up my tree today- the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I'm holding off this year for one reason and one reason only- Dexter. Got to figure out how to keep the tree safe. Somehow in my mind I see him tackling it. Should be able to figure out something to protect the tree. I did raise three children with other animals. But Dexter...well, we'll see.
      I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will add to our little family before Christmas. Been talking to a shelter about another dog. I know you'll probably say two dogs are plenty. You're right, two is plenty, but Dexter is here only half the time. And Max needs another dog (I want another dog). Its all Becca wants for Christmas. So we'll see.
     Now I have an idea that I'm going to present on Novel Works tomorrow. It's give a friend a book for Christmas. It's so easy. I have done it a few times already. It's easy. I got the idea after having lunch with Lyndsay Beth's mother, Judy (lovely lady by the way). I wanted to say a small thank you to her for lunch. I saw Amazon advertising sending ebooks. So I gave it a whirl. It was so so easy! And with Amazon they let you download a kindle to your PC for free if you don't have a kindle. I have seen other places offer it as well such as All Romance Ebooks. I'm certain Barnes and Nobles probably has one along with Borders.
      What I offered to my friends in my chat rooms was an opportunity to promote their books on Novel Works. I'm so excited because I have a wide range of great books! I'm also going to include my recommended authors in on this because they were so nice in letting me spotlight them during the year. I hope everyone can join me this week. Should be fun!
    I have left links below to different websites to show how easy it is to give (funny how its linked to my books, isn't it), but it is easy. Now everyone can find something to enjoy this holiday season!

http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Secrets-Winds-Betrayal-ebook/dp/B0049B2DN8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290884049&sr=8-1


http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-patriotsecrets-477512-152.html

NOVEL WORKS ON FACEBOOK
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Novel-Works-by-Jerri-Hines/112059205487095

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tell me no! Ranting at Thanksgiving?

Dexter, Max, and I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving week! I have felt bad because I haven't included Max in most of my discussion. I have focused on Dexter since he came into the house. Max, though, is thirteen years old and no matter if he is the smartest dog I've ever had, he likes to lay around the house these days. So he doesn't do a lot I could write about, although honestly I think he understands exactly what I tell him. Max is mine (and the rest of the family). Dexter is like my grandchild. Dexter is getting so big now. Max is a lap dog and can jump up and lie in our laps. Dexter thinks he's a lap dog. This could become a problem. Dexter loves to cuddle, but then again he loves everything. He's going to obedience school now. He's learning how to sit and come. He has no problem coming, if only he would wait for the command. And he's learning to stop chewing on things he's not suppose to or at least that's what I'm telling my husband when he noticed the entrance rug shredding at the edges. Did I already tell everyone about the telephone and Dexter bringing me the telephone wire to my bedroom? I wondered why I was writing without interruption. I wish I had a picture of him come wagging in like he did something special. I really wish I could live my life that happy.

I have to apologize for deleting my last blog. I panicked. Really. I thought I might get on the wrong side of reviewers with my opinion. Then a friend of mine told me it was the best blog she had read of mine. It was the truth. I guess that makes for a good read, but in the publishing business we aren't suppose to step on another's toes. The nerve to expect to get a review when a reviewer promised they would do one! Or to expect that when they gave a time table it was on the same time table that most people use. And heaven forbid you ask if its coming. I chatted yesterday with a group. One of the group flat out told me don't go back to them (I haven't unless you count the one that told me she didn't do self-published books. And I argued back in forth that my book wasn't self-published.) But back to the chat group- she said she had known of reviews coming back two years after they were requested.

I have worked endlessly since April to try to network. I have had the absolutely the best time highlighting authors and posting new reviews for authors. I have met the nicest people. And its fun, but the bottom line is that I wanted to establish a foot hold to promote Patriot Secrets. I have the memory of an elephant, truly. I will never forget the kindness of some of the authors I highlighted such as Lindsay Townsend. She in turn let me guest blog. Teresa Mederios said she liked my cover (little things mean alot at times). Cate Masters returned the favor and had me guest blog. Bertena Varney wrote a couple of extremely nice articles on my books. I have had a few other authors offer me guest blogs. Su Halfwerk offered not only a guest blog, but to help with a trailer for me. I shouldn't act like I'm desolate, but I do have a couple of issues that I want to rant about just to make me feel better I suppose.

And it’s not just getting a review! I had business cards made up -very pretty I might add. I gave them out to everyone at work. Gave them to my husband. Excited. I went to check my stats on my website. Now I know how many people usually visit a day. After I gave out my cards which had my website on them besides my blog and email, I had absolutely no hits! None! No one even went to my website. Even my usual number of hits I get disappeared. Did I tell you -NONE? Now its gone back to normal, but can you imagine handing out all these cards, only to discover your hits have gone down!

If it wasn't for the readers' reviews at a couple of places I would be losing it totally. And you can rest assured it isn't my family giving them. I don't think anyone has read it. My sister bought the book. That I know and being the good soul printed it out for everyone so they wouldn't have to bother with the computer. Why would I want everyone to buy a copy when she can print it out??? And I won’t go into my husband’s family which I love dearly too. But the only thing I can reason is that everyone in my family looks upon my writing as a hobby…a whim.

Do other writers have trouble getting their family to read their books? Do they? I don't think so. But in truth, it isn't my biggest concern. This year hasn't been the best. Literally, we have dealt with one thing after another. But it could have been worse. And in that I thank the Good Lord and pray he looks over us in the coming year.

My husband understands. He lives with me. My kids might not have read my book, but they bought it or I bought it for their computers. (they asked and I wasn't going to say no). My doggies know what it means to me. But in reality it’s not what puts food on the table for us. My husband and I work extremely hard at our regular jobs.

I work at a hospital. I have to say I believe I make a decent salary, but in my profession we are under stringent rules we have to follow. First and foremost is patient care. To be professional is a must. To be respectful is without question. So that's my mind set when it comes to being told that a reviewer is going to do a review.

I expect that reviewer to do what they said and do it under the time restrictions they laid out, not me. But once they tell me it will be within a certain time span I do expect it. Being told that reviewer is backed up and it could take two years is unacceptable to my way of thinking when they told me a month. And to be told not to bother them because it will cause me to get a bad name bothers me to no end. Its okay to tell me a lie because...because...why? Because they consider me a nobody. I don't buy it. I don't do my regular job that way. And if they're professional they shouldn't either.

It's called respect. I worked extremely hard on my book. If you don't want to do it, fine. But don't tell me you are and then don't. Don't make me wait around thinking I'm going to have a few reviews coming in. I could have been sending out more requests for goodness sakes.

Do I think I'm going to get anything changed in the publishing field? Of course not. They have survived without my influence for a long time. Now I'm done with the ranting. Made me feel a tad better I suppose. Won't mention reviews again. Too much more to talk about!

So I was talking about Thanksgiving. I am thankful. I'm thankful for my husband and children that I love more than life itself. I'm thankful for my doggies. I'm thankful for meeting Lyndsay Beth this year. I'm thankful I have a roof over my head. I'm thankful for my family in Mississippi who I had such a great week with for my birthday. I'm thankful for my Massachusetts family. I'm thankful that I have to the opportunity to write.

I told my husband not long ago I was going to give it up. He said no you're not. He's right. I can't, not yet at least.

So if anyone is interested in a historical fiction book filled with intrigue and suspense set during the American Revolution- do I have the book for you!

Oh, by the way, hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT! Application for book reviewers!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

Application for Book Reviewer on small blog- mine!

Qualifications-

                     Read Books- lots of them

                    Love to talk about what you read

Have decided to add to my blog. I will give a space for a book review from said applicant to give reviews. I will have no dealings with said review as long as it follows under my guide lines and the turn around time is minimum.


Application-

               Could care less about race, age or gender of applicant.

               Could care less about where the applicant lives as long as you have a computer.

               Has to read ebooks.

               Has to show ability to give reviews.

This is the fun part!!!

To show your ability to review give me a short review of either of my books. PATRIOT SECRETS or DREAM WALKER.

Show me you ability to give concise summary of the content.
When I say short review- one to two lines- be creative!
You can leave a comment here on my blog, a message to me on Facebook, harder to do on Novel Works (but if you can fit it in-great!), or email me at jhines340@aol.com.

What you get if you win

1) First- to name your review on my blog

2) Second- to write your own little column

3) Third- did I mention there is no pay.

Winner (s)


There can be more than one winner here. If someone is qualified and wants the opportunity- this is what I’m offering.

There doesn’t have to be a winner either. If no one applies or shows the ability to review, there will be no reviews on my blog.

This has no connections to my highlighting and recommending books on Novel Works. Novel Works is mine! But I will post your reviews are up on Novel Works.

Also if you haven’t read Patriot Secrets or Dream Walker and don’t think you will be in the foreseeable future you doing so, I will accept other reviews on other books, but they have to be books I’ve read so I’ll be able to judge your ability to review. There is no pay because I don’t get paid for my opinions. But if you have a business sense about you I don’t have, we can discuss ways of obtaining advertising and other means I’ve seen on other blogs. I just don’t have a clue about those things.
I’m sure I’m missed something here, but at the moment I’m going with it. Let’s have some fun!

http://www.jerrihines.com/

jhines340@aol.com

To find my books

http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Patriot-Secrets-Winds-Betrayal-ebook/dp/B0049B2DN8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1289655875&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Walker-ebook/dp/B003VYBRUE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1289655917&sr=1-1

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-patriotsecrets-477512-152.html

http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b78912/?si=0

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Really-How Long is a Month?

Really- for you how long is a month?

For me it depends. Time seems to fly by for most things. Life in general. Moreso as I get older. I remember so well when I was little and Christmas never came around. Now it seems like I blink and its Christmas again. Bills. I pay them and then they're due again. Little Dexter is bigger than Max now. A puppy still, but not quite so little. He's 12 week old! I can't even go to my children. How can I remember so clearly their tiny little faces when they were born as if it was yesterday, yet now they tower over me, ask me for gas money, and say hi as they pass me on their way out the door.

Then why is it that I think the publishing world goes on a different calendar than I do? Ok, some go on a faster schedule. I love the submissions by email that get rejected before my finger leaves the send button. (Note to self- didn't like my user name-change it). But what's worse is the ones that don't get back to you-ever. Of course they cover themselves by saying if you don't hear from us than it didn't suit our needs (like we couldn't figure that one out by ourselves).

I blogged earlier this year about one that kept my submissions forever. I stalked them. I did. The publishing house taught me how to stalk on the internet by twitter, the web, Facebook. I hung on every word. Most submissions are rejected by 4 weeks. The tweet would say. If it goes longer than it means we are giving it considerable consideration. (I'm paraphrasing so shoot me) Acceptance calls should go out today. Rejections by email. I waited- nothing. A few more weeks would go by. For 12 weeks. By that time my book, Patriot Secrets, had been accepted by Wild Child. Being the responsible person that I am, I emailed and tweeted them withdrawing my submission. And that was that, except the next day I got a rejection from them. A rejection after my withdrawal was bad enough, but even after all that time- it came as a dear author letter! (DEAR AUTHOR) - (note to self- don't just change user name- change name- be easier to become Dear Author, won't have to worry with anyone forgetting my name).

Now I'm sitting and waiting for reviews. It's been a month, a little over a month. They promised, so they have to be coming, right? And these are only a small portion of the ones I requested. (I figured out the ones I didn't hear back from aren't going to review my book- all by little self, I might add.)  With my publisher she gave me three weeks notice of release. Not unusual for an ebook. I realize that reviewers have so many request. So- a month. Reasonable. A couple more backed up probably between 2-3 months. Not a problem- better to be able to scatter the reviews, not having them all come out at once. Another said they would let me know when one of there reviewers picked it out of the waiting list.

Did I tell you I'm not patient? A month is a month- right? I want the reviews (I think). Oh, now I'm talking myself out of getting them. I do have a couple of reader reviews. Happy- truly. Feedback was excellent. I love my book. I love writing. Should be okay, except I want to know what the reviewers think. I'm like a kid asking his parents are we there yet. Or watching water boil. As a mature adult I quite understand it takes time and nothing I say or do will cause this process to go any faster.

But as a writer, I would like to get feedback on my work. At times I feel like it will be well after I'm gone before someone discovers one of my old manuscripts and it becomes a International Best Seller worth millions. At least my family can reap the benefits.

Note to Mom- Love ya. Know I do. But reading over this, maybe just maybe you might want to reconsider working toward your best seller before anything happens to you. You do realize that its not manuscripts that are worth millions after a writer dies. It is an artist, Mom. Paintings go up in value after an artist's death, not manuscripts of dead writers.  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

EPIC Finalists

EPIC, Electronically Published Internet CoalitionTM, was established in 1998 to provide a strong voice for electronic publishing. They are an ebook organization. In essence they promote ebooks. They have announce their finalists this year for the EPIC awards- excellence in ebooks. I believe they have several great books to choose from. So this week I will be highlighting some of the finalists on Novel Works. I believe these books show the quality of writing of what ebooks hold.

Authors range from a list of different publishers- Samhain, Ellora's Cave, Whiskey Creek, Wild Child Publishing, Freya's Bower, The Wild Rose, Amber Quill, Cobblestone Press, MLR Press, Cerridwen Press, self-publish authors, and a list of more publishers. My purpose is to show the wide range of excellence. 

As the publishing world changes, ebooks are only going to expand. I can relate to why some people only want to read a book they can hold in their hands. I used to have to write in a notebook and transfer it to my typewriter, then computer. Now, I can't live without my computer. The same with reading a book. I used to have it in my hand, but I have to say I love the convenience of my kindle. I could list off my reasons, but it would be another blog. But being an ebook has nothing to do with the quality of the book. Check out the finalists this year and see what I mean!

Join me this week when I highlight the EPIC finalists on Novel Works. I believe you will see a few familiar books in the mix of finalists. Congratulations to all the finalists! Should be a fun week!

Novel Works
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Novel-Works-by-Jerri-Hines/112059205487095

Friday, November 5, 2010

Readers' Reviews

PATRIOT SECRETS has been out for over a week. Although I expect to start receiving reviews shortly, I haven't gotten any professional reviews back yet. Reviews take time and I was only able to send out my book two weeks before its release. So I have to wait. I found professional reviews can be frustrating when your book is only out as a ebook at the moment. Some places refuse to review ebooks or charge you to do so. Ah the bias at some places!

Does it mean that my book can't be as good as a book in print? Really? That in the scheme of life the larger publishers would never pass on a good book? Well, that may be the case. I tend to doubt it, but the larger publishers didn't pass on my book because they never saw my book. I take that back two did. Both were interested. One I went back and forth for over a month until they decided it needed more revisions. The other publishers never looked at it because I don't have an agent. I don't have an agent because I haven't sold to the larger publishers. A little circle of irony. In truth, Patriot Secrets did need revising. When I came to Marci (publisher at Wild Child/Freya's Bower) she said the same thing. Talk about frustrating- I had already revised it numerous times. But what Marci saw was a simple fix which made the book flow better.

I am proud of Patriot Secrets. It is the book I've always wanted to write. Now, I wait for reviews except...I already have a couple of reader's reviews. They are on Amazon Kindle.

'I was surprised, really happily surprised as I read it. I couldn't put it down. The book was exciting, filled with twist and turns. The author seemed to know her history extremely well. I was able to connect to the characters...' Ruby W.

'I found this book to be very entertaining. It is suspenseful and the characters are likable. I did find it surprising because I wasn't expecting it from an author I've never heard of. It is why I wrote this review. I have never taken the time before, but I would recommend it'...Charlie G.

And it got a 5 rating at All Romance Books. I'm excited because someone enjoys my book! Writing in itself can be frustrating. When you pour your heart and soul into a book, it is nice to get positive feedback. I don't expect everyone to think my book shakes the ground, but it is nice to know that someone appreciates the effort.

In my fantasy world, readers fall in love with my book and make it a best seller. In reality, I know I have to get my book out there for readers to read. It's a formidable job. Advertising takes money. I have an uphill battle to climb. I want to shout just read it! Don't look at it as only an ebook! Pick it up start to read it. It's my job as a writer to keep your attention once you open the book. I ask only to open the book...the rest is mine to own.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Patriot Secrets' Release Contest Winner

Congratulations to Kim Hanks! He won the $25 Amazon gift certificate for my Patriot Secrets' Release Contest. Thanks to everyone who participated entered. Had a great week!

Also check out a nice little article by Bertena Varney about my book, Dream Walker (appropiate for Halloween!) The links at below

http://www.examiner.com/paranormal-literature-in-national/dream-walker-by-jerri-hines

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5954094/dream_walker_by_jerri_hines.html?cat=37

And next Saturday, November 6th,  I'm going to be a guest blogger at Cate Master's blog (2011 EPIC finalist in four catergories). Busy. Busy. Busy. Love it!

http://catemasters.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Patriot Secret's Release

      I've had a great week. Thanks to everyone for their wonderful wishes with my release. I've been busy. I was a guest at a couple of different blogs. I would like to thank both Lindsay Townsend (http://lindsaysromantics.blogspot.com/ ) and Marci Baun (http://fourstrongwomen.blogspot.com/2010/10/guest-blogger-jerri-hines.html) for the opportunity of blogging at their different blogs. As thanks for the Dear Author Blog for allowing Patriot Secrets to be posted under Open Thread for Authors Promotions! I'm also due to appear on a few more blogs in the coming weeks. Hopefully get back a few reviews.
       I'm working dilgently on the Winds of Betrayal revision. I'm going to devote my total attention to the manuscript this month!
       Don't forget today's the last day of my Celebrating Patriot Secret's Release Contest. Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate just by leaving a comment on my blog or Novel Works. Good Luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dexter the Terror

        I missed Dexter while I was gone on vacation. Not that I didn't miss my dog, Max. It's just Dexter's a puppy and changed so much in a week. He grew. He's almost as tall as Max now. Before I left, he just learned how to crawl down the stairs. It was the morning before I left. Having taken Dexter upstairs to do some writing, Max followed. I left the door to my computer room open so Max could escape if Dexter became too annoying for him. It didn't take long for Max to jump up and run down stairs to safety. Moments later I heard a muffled cry. I got up to find Dexter sprawled on the top of the stairs stuck with his front feet spread down a step and his back feet caught on the top step. He had tried to follow Max down stairs. I rescued him, but of course I told Gary where I had found him when he got home from class. Gary didn't say much. He took his dog and headed out the room. The next thing I heard was Gary calling to Dexter over and over. By the time I got out there, Dexter had made it down the last step with Gary's encouragement. No longer was the little one trapped by his fear or contained in an area by his size. He was freed to bound around and unleash his will! And he has no problem unleashing his will!
       Not everything is Dexter's fault I will have to say. The mishap in the car going to the airport was mine. Gary tried to tell me that taking Dexter in the car wasn't a good idea. Oh, he's fine if there is someone else in the car to give him attention, but Gary loves his Momma and he took Dexter with us to drop us off at the airport. The trip to the airport was fine, but the trip can be a little long for a puppy when all he got to do was drop us off and leave again. After we went through security, Bob's phone rang. Gary. I thought it was a little odd. Gary hadn't had time to get home and he wasn't. He called to tell us to have a good trip and oh, by the way, Dexter had...well, let's say the pup probably should have been walked before going returning home. Gary was riding with the windows down. I heard him end the call with "tell Mom Happy Birthday!" Okay, so I owe my son.
        Coming home, I found Dexter's still the same loving and adorable dog, but he's bigger, more confident. He bounds and leaps around the house now. He loves to go on walks and you can't leave Max behind. He annoys Max constantly. Yet Max won't leave him. He may leave for the moment, but a minute later he's back and Dexter is at him again running around him, barking. I have to admit, though, I think Max is jealous. The two are like little kids. If Dexter has a toy or a chewing bone and you take your eyes off of him a minute, Max will steal it. And then the chase is on.
        Dexter loves water. No, I mean, loves water. Water seems to be an adventure to him. At the moment its his water bowl. He can't leave any water in the bowl. He digs into it, literally. After he drinks, first you see one paw go in; then its two; then its both going ninety to nothing trying to get the water out of the bowl. It's a routine now. He eventually drags the bowl around and turns it over. At that point the game is over until he needs to drink again. He wallows in the spilled water.
       He also loves books. While he's with me while I'm writing, I'm constantly having to snatch books away from him. I let him have one that he had already destroyed. I think he's spent longer on the pages of that book than my son has on any book he's read! But Dexter loves to sneak the books off the bottom shelf of the bookshelf, a little game he plays for my attention.
       His antics makes me laugh. I love to see his little face glued to the door when I get home with Max by his side. He keeps me on my toes. He's so loving. His whole ambition in life is to have eat, sleep, and have fun. He loves life. So the little terror has rubbed off on me, but its not just me. It's all of us.
      
      

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PATRIOT SECRETS is release today!

Join me today. I'm guest blogging on Lindsay's Romantics for PATRIOT SECRETS' release.
http://www.lindsaysromantics.blogspot.com/


Don't forget about my contests! Comment on Novel Works or my blog to enter! To celebrate the release I am giving away a copy of Patriot Secrets on October 26th and give a $25 gift certificate to Amazon at the end of release week on October 30th at midnight. The giveaway for the book will a random give away to anyone that is a Novel Works fan. Won't have to do a thing is you are a fan!

The $25 dollar gift certificate- need to participate in this week and next. A comment on the subject I'm discussing on Novel Works (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Novel-Works-by-Jerri-Hines/112059205487095?v=app_2373072738&ref=mf#!/pages/Novel-Works-by-Jerri-Hines/112059205487095) will enter you into the contest or a comment here on my blog.

Good luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

PATRIOT SECRETS EXCERPT

It’s a dangerous game you set to play, Miss Corbett. One that can have far worse than deadly consequences!


In the midst of the struggle for America’s bid for Independence, Hannah Corbett makes a fateful decision, descending into a world of deceit. Spurred by revenge, she heads to New York, setting in motion a dangerous game for which there is no return. Searching desperately for the man who betrayed her family, she faces the cold and brutal reality of the life of a spy. Caught in a web of lies, living with betrayal, she is trapped. She has nowhere to turn except to a man it would be treasonous to love, setting duty and desire at war . Her heart is ripped apart when she must choose between the man who risks his career and life to protect her and the only thing that has remained constant in her life…her belief in her cause.

Excerpt:
 
       Within the early November morning air, Hannah had set to plant tulip bulbs outside her grandmother’s window. She wanted to surprise her grandmother in the spring with the emergence of flowers that had bloomed beautifully around her home in Williamsburg. She wondered how her home looked now. Her heart pained and with her manner in dealing with that pain, she pushed all it back within her. No, she told herself, she had a mission and had no time to grieve or her heart would rip apart.

       “Hannah.”
        Sitting upon the ground, she looked up. In front of her Marcus stood, dressed in clothing similar to when she had first met him. Was he going out again to deceive others into betraying their cause?
       He smiled at her, a charming, disarming smile. He extended his hand to her. She pulled her gloves off, accepting his assistance. With ease, he pulled her up to him, much too close. She wanted to back away, but he held firm. His eyes lay intent upon her.
       “I was looking for you. I didn’t mean to catch you off guard, but wanted a minute of your time.”
       She dusted her skirt off and pushed back her unruly hair. “Of course not, but I’m sorry about my appearance, Marcus. I wasn’t expecting anyone this morning."
       He didn’t reply. His fingers wiped her cheek where a streak of dirt lay. His hand lingered on her arm. She glanced up at him. He stared into her eyes. She wanted desperately to turn from his gaze, but wouldn’t show a sign of weakness. Her heart beat rapidly, but he said nothing.
       “You’ve a purpose to this visit, Marcus,” she asked. “Or do you want to see Grandfather? I’m sure he’s within his study.”
       “No, it’s you I wanted to see,” he answered under his breath. Suddenly, his hands went securely around her waist.
        “Marcus,” she protested her hands against his chest. “Pray, what do you think you’re doing?”
        “I find that I must once more depart. And I have only one question for you Hannah. Are you going to be here upon my return?” He drew her closer. His hand touched her cheek, easing behind her neck. “I wonder. I wonder if you will remember what it is like to have my arms around you as they are now. I wonder if you will dream of me while I’m gone.”
        “Please release me, you arrogant man!” she pleaded. “Someone will see.”
        “That’s no answer,” he whispered. She wanted to be able to jerk away and run, run far away from him, but she found she couldn’t move. His hand caressed her cheek, running down her neck. “You’re a strange one, Hannah Corbett. Why are you really here?”
        “I have told you, my grandmother,” she murmured, finding it difficult to find her words.
        He gently held her, but firmly. “I know what you told me, Hannah. How you wanted to leave before the invasion and would do so now if you could. It’s just…I imagine if you really wanted to leave, you would do so. I find it hard to leave you. I can imagine all sorts of trouble you could find yourself in.”
        “I don’t believe it’s your concern, Marcus. I wish you well in your journey.” Her tone emotionless, she twisted, but his gripped only tightened. He pulled her to him. Her protests drowned as his lips came down hard upon hers. His mouth settled upon hers. She could feel a fire within him as his mouth claimed hers. And to her horror she found herself responding to him.

         Her hands, which once pushed against him, trying to resist, opened freely and she pulled him to her. Her body betrayed her mind, melting into his, his touch, his kiss. His mouth kissed her cheeks, her neck, and back up to her lips again.
        She couldn’t breathe. Her chest heaving, she finally broke away. Ashamed she responded so; she found she had no words. Oh what was she going to say that her body had so willfully denied with his touch. He caressed her cheek again.
       “You make it hard to leave, Hannah Corbett,” he said softly. He gave her no opportunity to utter a response. He quickly kissed her lips once more. Then without another word, he departed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mississippi Air

       I sitting in the middle of Barnes and Noble in Tupelo, Mississippi. I'm in heaven at the moment with a latte in hand and free access to the Internet! I wanted only one thing for my birthday- to go home. Home is in the middle of nowhere, a small community called Marietta. That's my home. Where I was born and it never leaves me. No matter if my mother doesn't have Internet connection.
       I've had the most wonderful of birthdays because I was surrounded by those I love, except for two of my children. Tracy is in the middle of preparing for her hockey season at college and taking mid-terms. Gary and Lyndsay are caring for Dexter and Max back in Massachusetts.  
       My Mississippi family has been gone out of their way for me. They always do, but this time maybe for some reason I appreciated it more. Mom has changed alot since I last saw her, looking frail, but by golly she still has her stubborn spirit. Hubby reminds me constantly of where I get it.
       Wait until I download my pictures of Mississippi and hopefully a little clip at my sister's. You have to see this. Really! It was the neatest thing. My sister loves animals. Always has. She has at the moment around twelve dogs and six horses. She was anxious to show me her latest, an adorable five month old colt. We walked out to the pasture gate which isn't far from her front door. She opened the gate wide and all the horses came out- they all came out of the pasture and hung around her carport like her dogs! No kidding. They wander around her house, the front yard, the side, like the dogs do and in the middle of the dogs! One even went on the carport and stuck her head into the utility room looking for her food. It was the funniest thing!
       My youngest is going out with her Uncle Greg at the moment. He's going to take her hunting while I'm in Tupelo. Scares me a tad. She doesn't know the first thing about guns, but I know he will be careful. It's different in Massachusetts. Hunting is second nature here in Mississippi. I was surprised though that I caught  sight of a beutiful scene -a group of deer drinking from our lake. I saw three, but my niece told me there had been eleven before I got there. Didn't think it was like my brothers to let deer roam freely around our land. Not that Becca is hunting deer. It's only bow season. I can imagine that Greg is only going to teach her how to shoot today. Hope.
       My oldest brother, Gary, lives up the road a tad in Corinth. He's a minister and runs the Lighthouse Foundation there. My brother also coaches an AAU basketball team and helps gives opportunities to some kids they might not have otherwise. In admiration I watch him and his family work with the underprivileged and give back to the community. Becca got to help tutor some of the second graders after school. It feels so good to give back. I envy him and his wife. His son, Adam, was my guest blogger. And in truth, I know of no one that knows history like Adam. He is the sweetest, kindest soul.
       So here I am where time passes differently. There is no hurry. It just is.
       The weather has been absolutely gorgeous,warm with an encompassing feeling of  Autumn. I should panic because I haven't done half of what I wanted to do preparing for my release. I haven't had free access to the internet, but I've enjoyed visiting with my family. It isn't easy to write and visit. So I visited. I watched my daughter with her cousins play basketball, laugh, giggle, and have fun. A couple of my nephews aren't home, one's in St.Louis getting his graduate degree; the other at the Navy Academy in Annapolis.
       Although I love promoting other on Novel Works, I hate pushing my own work. I ask myself do I believe in Patriot Secrets? The answer is yes. But I'm nervous. I have poured my heart and soul into this projection. I'm finding it hard to believe it's about to be release. Moreover I have found it hard to keep up with everything with the release, but maybe I should place my faith that all will work out like it should.
          PATRIOT SECRETS releases next Tuesday. This has been my baby for a long time. I love this book. Sitting here in the middle of Barnes and Noble I'm dreaming. I want nothing more than to see my book on their shelves. Is it too much to hope that the story can sell itself? At the moment, I'm caught up in the Mississippi air and have faith it will.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Culper Spy Ring

         When I first wrote Patriot Secrets well over ten years ago, the book was longer. When I revised the book, I decided to break the book into two halves. There was no way to finish the story in one book. During my research for Patriot Secrets, I discovered the Culper Spy Ring. The more I read, the more fascinated I became. Inspired, you could say. Within Patriot Secrets, more so in the sequel Winds of Betrayal, I have a spy ring loosely based on the Culper Spy Ring. The whole of the story holds everything one could wish to write a thriller- action, intrigue, danger, love...
          When the British occupied New York in August 1776 after the devastating lost of the Battle of Long Island, New York became a British stronghold and a major naval base for the duration of the Revolutionary War. Information on British troop movements and other plans was critical to General George Washington. Any intelligence that had been set in New York was extinguished with the British occupation. Then all changed in 1778 when Major Benjamin Tallmadge established a small group of trustworthy men and women from his hometown of Setauket, Long Island. This group became known as the Culper Spy Ring, Tallmadge's homegrown network would become the most effective of any intelligence-gathering operation on either side during the Revolutionary War.   
         The danger of living the life of a spy was enormous. They lived with the constant fear of discovery. And if discovered they faced the hangman's noose as was seen with the death of Nathan Hale. During occupation of New York, Nathan Hale was caught by the British authorities and was hanged without trial in New York City. In mid-1778, General George Washington appointed Tallmadge the head of the Continental Army's secret service. With that, Tallmadge established the Culper Spy Ring. Secrecy was of the utmost importance. If I researched the information right, I don't think that Washington even knew the names of those in the ring. He knew them only by numbers or an alias.
       Tallmadge recruited childhood acquaintances starting with Abraham Woodhull. He asked only those he could absolutely trust. One of the most colorful and daring was Caleb Brewster. He commanded a fleet of whaleboats against British and Tory shipping on Long Island Sound. Brewster. one of the most daring of the group, was also the only member whom the British had definitely identified as a spy. Tallmadge went by the code name John Bolton, while Woodhull went by the name of Samuel Culper. The ring was well organized with each knowing their task. Robert Townsend was set in New York, posing as a Loyalist. Austin Roe and  Anna Smith Strong rounded out the ring.
          Over the next few days I'm going to talk about the Culper Spy Ring and their importance. I will also look over the heroes of the American Revolution up to the Battle of Saratoga. I hold these people who willingly placed their lives in danger for a cause in high esteem. Inspiring.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Historical consultant!

I am home in Mississppi this week waiting patiently my new release. A full update on Dexter will come right after my release (although I do have some cute stories- learning how to go down stairs and my son dropping us off at the airport). I will keep close notes on everything as not to forget. But the next few days are dedicated to Patriot Secrets!

I am fortunate to have a nephew who is a big a history bluff as I am. Things that took me a long and tedious time to learn, he can rattle off without a thought. Adam is also an aspiring writer. He himself has completed a historical fiction book that he's in the process of revising, City of Steel. His story revolves around the battle of Stalingard during World War II. He amazes me with his knowledge of history rattling off details about battles I've never even heard of, the generals involved, treaties, the interaction of countries-I believe you can get the picture. He knows history. So I asked him. Write me a blog on your quick accessment of the American Revolution.  So I have my first guest blogger- I call him my Historical Consultant- Adam Caveness.

Commentary by Adam Gerald Caveness

         "The American Revolution was born out of a conflict between a few struggling colonies and powerful empire which in turned emerged a nation that is now called the land of the free and home of the brave. In this modern world we sometimes forget what this titanic struggle really meant and even belittle its importance. The reality that surrounds this revolution was far grimmer and darker than the school testbooks would describe to you. Looking into the details of this war not only enlightens but inspires as well. Here are some details that most people might not know..."

  • Washington's army could have been destroyed after the crushing defeat at the Battle of Long Island yet skillfully escapes to fight another day in 1776 thanks to the nautical skills of John Glover.
  • The British Army employed German mercenaries called Hessians against their own subjects and killed American soldiers surrendering during the Battle of Long Island.
  • The freedoms that our Founding Fathers sought had inspiration from British laws such as the English Bills of Rights that were denied to them by the Crown. 
  • Thomas Jefferson raged against slavery in an earlier draft of the Declaration of Independence and it was edited out in order to keep the planters' support in Congress.
  • The country of Holland was to the first foreign country to respect the American flag when a patriot ship sailed into a Dutch colony in the Caribbean in 1775.
  • In the winter of '75, an American force among them Benedict Arnold invaded Canada and was beaten at the Battle of Quebec.
  • Washington had to deal with mutinies in the ranks.
  • Within the colonies there were many who still held loyalty to the British crown even after the war ended. Many of these people whose lands and homes were confiscated than moved either Canada or England after the war.
  • Many Indian tribes fought along side of the British, but a few joined the Americans such as the Chickasaw.
  • There was an unique spy ring, the notorious Cupler Spy Ring, occupied New York City feeding information to the Continental Army.
  • By 1777 Britian was fighting not only American rebels but the nations of Spain, France, and Holland.
  • Many of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence lost their forutne and homes not to mention loved ones. Five were even captured and harshly abused even executed. A few died in poverty even after victory. 
  • Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured. Nine fought and died from wounds during of the Revolutionary War.
  • Both the American Patriots and the British Army promised freedom to male slaves if they would fight in theier armies. Both sides rarely kept that promise.
  • There were the horrible conditions of captured Americans on British prisoner ships.
  • George Washington proved his great leadership by staying and helping the soldiers during Valley Forge as other officers were taking leave.
  • The American dream was once threaten by coup plot from bitter American officers months after victory at Yorktown, Virginia. How General Washington saved the new nation from it reminding and rebuking his angry comrades in his Newburgh Address in Newburgh, New York in late 1783.
A short poem

                                                       It was a Revolution

          King decreed, taxes enforced, protests advocated, futile they were, and tyranny reigns.

                 Colonists outraged, liberation sought, passion boils and defiance tall.

         Odds long, souls, tired, loyalties vary, setbacks legion, and betrayal bitter.

                   Victories few, Patriots endure, causes cherished, courage boundless, and sacrifice saves.

         Struggle ends, country won, freedom unfinished, journey continued.

                                                   It was a Revolution!

Patriot Secrets Contest!

9 DAYS and counting to Patriot Secrets release! To celebrate the release have to have a release party. Deciding to do a giveaway of Patriot Secrets on October 26th and give a $25 gift certificate to Amazon at the end of release week on October 30th at midnight.

The giveaway for the book will be a random give away to anyone that is a Novel Works fan. Won't have to do a thing is you are a fan!  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Novel-Works-by-Jerri-Hines/112059205487095?ref=ts

The $25 dollar gift certificate- need to participate in this week and next. A comment on the subject I'm discussing on Novel Works will enter you into the contest or a comment on my blog www.jerrihines.blog.spot.com. I'm planning on different subjects on my blog during this week and next on what inspired my book. What kind of danger lurched for notorious spies during the American Revolution? What fears did they live under? You'll find I'm a big history bluff. I find the American Revolution filled with intrigue, mystery, and danger.

Entering is easy- BUT make sure if you leave a comment if you are picked I can get in touch with you if you win (which means on Novel Works I can leave you a message on Facebook and on my blog I'll have your email)

Join me in celebrating Patriot Secrets!

If you have any questions on my contest please let me know and I'll be happy to clarify

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Patriot Secrets!

     Excited! I have anticipated this release for a long time! I love this book. It was my first fiction book I wrote over ten years ago. I know what you're going to say- first book! Yes, it was pretty badly written, but the concept- the premise- I couldn't let go. Writing for me has been a long learning process. I totally admire someone who can have immediate success with writing. For me it has taken time and patience.       
      When I went to college, I studied science. I graduated with a degree in Medical Technology. Did my year of internship in New Orleans. Yet, my love was literature. My favorite classes were my electives.
      I wanted to write since I was a child. I read others bios and they are filled with how they began writing at an early age, encouraged to do so. Well, I wrote at an early age, but I can't say I was encouraged to do so. My first 'review' was from my mother when I was ten. I couldn't describe it as encouraging. Now in my mother's defense, I don't think she had a clue how deeply I took her words "not that good" too heart. My mother has to be one of the sweetest women on the earth, but she has always told me her 'honest' opinion. It's better to hear it from someone who loves you, I suppose, was her reasoning. But my parents wanted me to be a doctor, but it wasn't what I wanted.
      Eventually, I fell headlong in love with my husband, married and had three children, but within me was always a story. In my head, stories ran rampant. My husband has always been encouraging. My favorite gift he has ever given me was a typewriter for my first Mother's Day twenty-two years ago. But between raising three children, working to make ends meet, I never sat down to write. Not until my husband finally told me- just do it. If you are ever going to write, write. That was over ten years ago.
      I wrote my father's bio (he was a fabulous high school basketball coach). I wrote it for my family, but self-published it because I had so many people wanting it from that area. I wish I had time to revise that book. It needs it terribly. I really didn't have a clue what I was doing.
      Self-taught. If you knew my personality you would be surprise to find how humble I am when it comes to criticisms on my writing. Over the years, I took ever word to heart on what I needed to do. Surprising because in my job at the hospital, humble isn't the word I would use to describe me and neither would anyone else I work with. I guess because I know my job. I was trained for it.
       Writing I do because I want to. But its more. I have to now. It has become an obsession. It makes me happy. During the past year, I have met some wonderful people, writers. Last March I attended a writer's conference that changed my approach to my writing. As much as I hate it, promoting is part of writing. I began a Facebook fan page and began asking well-known authors (some New York Times Best Selling Authors) to let me highlight them for a week. And most to their credit have allowed little ole me to run with them. Writers on the whole are the nicest people. The way I figure it- it's because they enjoy what they do. You couldn't write otherwise.
       I will ever be grateful to Wild Child Publishing for taking my first book, Dream Walker. Dream Walker is a paranormal. You can imagine what my mother thought. God love her! She was worried that our friends and family would think I wrote about our family because I used her name for the heroine! She was (is) worried that everyone would think the Ramona in the book (the demon fighting, dream walking woman) is her. I don't think it ever occurred to her that I used the name because I loved the name like I love her. I don't think my family did an awful lot of promoting to anyone about Dream Walker (don't think they even told anyone I wrote a paranormal book).
       On the other hand, I don't think they consider an ebook a real book. But then again I don't think they have read the statistics coming out on ebooks either. I'm going home on Saturday. My mom isn't feeling well and I'm turning the big 5-0. My husband wanted to give me a big party. I'm not a partier. I wanted to go home. So my husband, my youngest and myself are going leaving Dexter and my son (he's so cute-can you say cute about a 22 year old- he's taking off of work to make sure Dexter isn't left alone too much).
      So this time I have a historical fiction book- Patriot Secrets! Like I said before I love this book. I have revised it a million times to get it where it is now. This one- I'm anxious to see what my mother thinks. I don't think any reviewer would be harder than my mother! I will let everyone know.
      Truthfully, I am so excited about this release. What I want most of all is to get Patriot Secrets to print. I have so many things rattling in my head about what to do about the release. I had the whole month planned at Novel Works with all paranormal. I'm doing ghost this week. Love ghosts. Nothing better than a good ghost story. But I'm rethinking everything.
      A contest- a must for sure! Discussion on what inspired the book. You will find I love history even more so on this book because we won the war. The American Revolution is full of intensely interesting stories. I love George Washington. The whole of Benedict Arnold's betrayal is fascinating. One has to have a deep understanding of what Benedict Arnold meant to the Colonies before he turned coat to understand the depth of the wound of his betrayal. Heroes-Daniel Morgan, John Glover, General Nathanael Greene. And then the spies! Ah! I could spend the entire day talking about spies which I will be blogging about over the next two weeks. I will say this. One of the reasons that I wrote about a woman spy is because I feel it could have really happened. Back during Colonial Times neither side would have thought a woman capable of that kind of deception (know that's hard to believe). Perfect storyline!
       Anxious for sure, but thrilled with the release. Join me in the next coming weeks in preparation for the release of PATRIOT SECRETS!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Release Date! October 26th- PATRIOT SECRETS

Okay! It's here my release date! I'm so excited. Don't you love the cover. October 26th. Mark the date! Will be doing something exciting for the release of Patriot Secrets! Love it!

Dexter's Week in Review

       What a beautiful day! The sun's out. All my children are home at least at some point during the day. Tracy came home last night from college. Poor thing. She hurt her shin, a huge hematoma from a slap shot between her shin guard and skate. She's downstairs with Dexter at the moment. Hopefully she won't have to get up and chase him. Dexter keeps you on your toes. The spoilt doggie.
        I decided his name should have been Trouble. You can see it in his little eyes. Already he's grown so he can leap up stairs. He has no desire to take one step at a time. When I say leap, its what he does. He takes a step back and...jumps. I came home the other morning to my husband putting up a baby gate to try to keep the little youngster contained. After painstakingly watching Bob connect the gate, Dexter calmly walked through the end of the gate where for some reason there was a hole big enough for Dexter to fit through and greeted my husband who had his back to him on the other side of where Bob was trying to keep Dexter out. Dexter looked up at my husband with a look on his face like "Do you need help?"
       I laughed so hard. I tried to capture a picture of it. Most of its a blur. I need a faster lens or my daughter told me to set the camera different. I haven't a clue but all his pictures lately seem to be blurs. Because of all our different schedules Dexter is rarely alone. He has become a fixture in my computer room. I have to say I have made progress on my revisions of Whisperings of a Southern Heart for the first time. Don't ask me how. Every other minute is 'Don't!' 'No!" "Dexter!" The floor of my room is a mess with his stuff. I say stuff because he creates his own toys. He grabbed one of my books off one of my bookshelves. Eventually I let him have an old book. I don't know if he thinks he can read or not, but I swear he has spent more time on that book than my son has on any book he has ever read!
        And my laundry! Oh, my! I can't leave it lying around even in the laundry basket. The little bugger knocked it over spilling my laundry all over the place. I just let him have the basket. I put up my laundry and now the laundry basket is one of Dexter's toys. It reminds me of boxes when the kids were little. Remember when they were little and they liked the box better than the toy. Or one of those play tents. Gary loved tents, climbing in and out of them as toddler. Dexter likes that too. I have found Dexter likes lots of things.
        I have come to lots of conclusions on what Dexter likes. Dexter likes football (Pats, of course). While the game was last Monday night, Dexter sat at the end of the couch with my son, sitting at attention while the Pats had the ball. Quite observant. And after much discussion, Dex and I have come to the conclusion that Randy Moss' trade will all work out. Brady will go back to the game he played when they were winning Super Bowls. Now, the defense is another story, but we have faith!
       One of  Dexter's favorite activities at the moment is annoying Max, our Boston. Dexter will pounce on Max while he's sleeping or hid behind something and leap out. Dexter follows Max around like a shadow. Now Max is thirteen years old. Lately, Max is constantly growling at our little terror. Funny thing is that Max won't leave him. You would think that if the little one was annoying you- you would just leave. Max has full reign of the house. He could go anywhere, but he may run off for a second, but back he comes. I'm hoping that Max will rub off on the Dexter. Max has been the smartest dog I've ever had (and one of the best). I do have a question though. While playing with Dexter whose a lab, you throw him a ball and he sits there and looks at you like you have four heads. The only time he runs after it is if Max does. Now, he's a Labrador retriever. Isn't it suppose to be breed into him to retrieve? Just wondering.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dexter's First Week

      Do I have to say how absolutely adorable Dexter is? In a week's time he has us all under his spell. He is so good, given the fact that he's a puppy and loves to chew on everything. He runs around like there's no tomorrow and then he just crashes and sleeps. He finds his own toys of choice, like the pine cone he brought in from outside or Gary's socks he just took off.
       Yesterday Lyndsay Beth and Becca went up to see Tracy at her college with Dexter of course. Before Lyndsay left she went out and bought Dexter a little car seat so to speak. Gary just rolled his eyes. He's scared she's going to turn him into a girly dog (LOL). Like Dexter knows. Myself I like the ideal that the little one is secured in the car he's driving in. Lyndsay gave Dexter a bath and he is so nice and clean. She must have kissed his little forehead because it had lip stick on it. Gary immediately started wiping it off. Heaven forbid his dog be found with lip stick on his fur!
      And Max, our Boston, loves Dexter. He fends Dexter off when Dexter is trying to play with him, but never goes too far away. Max comes back and Dexter goes after him again. A little cycle until Dexter gets tired and falls asleep. Surprisely, Chloe our cat likes Dexter. Dexter doesn't try to play with her like he does Max. Not nearly as rough. He even lets Chloe rub up against him.
      On the whole Dexter has had a busy week. He helped me pick the winner of my contest, Paula Shene, who I found out loves dogs also. Sadly she lost one of her dogs last week. So, I'm glad she won. It is so hard to lose something you love. Bob and I finished up the Breast Cancer Walk in Boston this morning. I can't even move now. Should I admit it? It was only a walk. They said 5 miles- in truth 6- and we walked a mile from our car. I really have to get in better shape! It was nice though. I enjoyed it.
      I have download the picture of Dexter preparing to go on his first college roadtrip!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Contest Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Paula Shene the winner of my September Blog Contest winner of a $25 dollar gift certificate to an online bookstore. Thanks to everyone who participated in my contest. Look forward to the next one. I think that Dexter did a good job of drawing out of a hat. I would have more pictures of him but they tended to be blurred. Rest assured he had a great time with the entries.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

End of September Winding Down

LAST REMINDER ABOUT NOVEL WORKS SEPTEMBER CONTEST !

GRAND PRIZE: $25 Gift Certificate to the on-line bookseller of your choice. (Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble or Wild Child Publishing)

Celebrating the upcoming release of PATRIOT SECRETS. And all you have to be a follower of my blog. You're here anyway! You can follow hitting the follow test in the upper corner.

OFFICIAL RULES
1) If not already a follower, click on the follow link above.
2) One lucky winner will be chosen from Jerri's followers on midnight September 30th, 2010

Good Luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dexter!

        Okay, I may have gone overboard on the little doggie, but he's so cute. I have decided though that Dexter is our good luck charm, a little ray of sunshine. And everybody needs a little sunshine. Our poor Bailey, God Bless her little soul, has been gone for almost three months. Since my children were small, we have had animals and all the kids claimed certain ones. The first one, Buddy, was from my mother. My father passed when my oldest was two; my middle one was just an infant. In my life I have never met a person who could train a dog better than my Dad. He always had a dog by his side. My husband was ecstatic when my mother offered one of her puppies because it was his first real dog, a big dog, a manly dog! My mother sent up a black lab pup to Gary when he was five. Gary named him after his best friend at the time.
       To say Buddy was a tad hyper would have been a gross understatement. I chased that dog all over our neighborhood. He was Houdini reincarnated. Never once when I left him on his runner outside was he ever there when I would go retrieve him. At least I got to know my neighbors. Once Buddy ran through a screen door of a neighbor to play with her young daughter. Oh, I didn't mention that Buddy could have been mistaken for a horse. Full grown he maxed out at 120 pounds. Can you imagine what my poor neighbor thought when Buddy came pounding in her family room and made himself at home? I had been searching for him during that time. When I saw a police car in front of her house I knew exactly where to go. I walked up to her driveway and there was Buddy sitting in the back of the cruiser happy as could be. His tag wagging ninety to nothing; his mouth salivating all over the backseat. The police officer was nice enough to release him in my custody without me having to go bail him out. Funny, that neighbor became a good friend.
        The police and I also became good friends in Franklin. Every time I couldn't find Buddy all I would have to do was call down to the police station. I could rest assured that there had been a call somewhere he had gotten off to. (Don't worry. I paid the police officers back their kindness. I helped capture a burglar ring that was wanted in seven states that made them look really good, but that's another story.) Getting off track here, back to Buddy. I often wonder if Buddy didn't run off just to get the hot dog that I used to bribe him. It didn't take long to convince my husband we needed a fence.
        The kids loved him. That dog would let them do anything to him, climb on him, pull on his ears...well, after he stopped chewing on everything himself, kids included, although my youngest did have a habit of biting him too when she was teething. Oh, I almost forgot when he got so sick when he was only eight months old. He was so, so, sick. We kept taking him back to the vets and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. Xrays showed nothing. Neither did the blood work. Finally, they ended up doing exploratory surgery. The stinker had chewed the head off of one of my daughter's stuffed animals. Cost us a fortune!
       Even back then my son had grand ideas of training his dog. I remember so well him standing in the back yard trying to give Buddy commands. Of course, Buddy completely ignored the orders, but he had a good time teasing Gary into thinking he could be trained. Here Gary tried to get Buddy to sit and then call him to his side. He couldn't have been more than six at the time. Buddy moved everytime. Gary's voice would raise higher everytime he moved. Then it happened. Buddy sat for a second. Gary moved back a little and then a little more. Gary's face broke into a smile until...until Buddy took off right at him, going as fast as he could. Buddy didn't stop. He flipped Gary in the air ( a 360). Gary landed on his butt with Buddy licking his face. Needless to say that was the end of the training sessions.
       Reminded me kinda of sorta of my brother when he was younger trying to trian his dog. He called us all out to see his old red bone hound, Syd. If my brother said sit, Syd would lay down. If he said come, he would sit. My brother began talking out of the side of his mouth, saying "Si...lay down. See! Told ya I could train 'im."
       Buddy was what you would call a good ole dog. Never demanding, but always there for you. And he was intimidating because he was so big, but he was a teddy bear. If someone had ever attempted to break in our house, he would have probably licked them to death. He had to be the least aggressive dog I have ever been around. I grew up in the foothills of Mississippi. The dogs I grew up with would tear into a snake if it ever came around the house. Instinct I suppose because of the poisonous snakes, water moccasins and rattlers. But Buddy. No. I remember a long black snake on the path in the woods my kids used. I raced to get Buddy to at least scare the snake. What did Buddy do? Ignored the thing. Walked right over him, twice! Of course, it was a completely harmless racer, but to me at the time all snakes were predators. And my dog ignored him. I bet if I turned my back on him he would have laid down and let the thing crawl over him!
       I could go on and on, but I guess this is why Gary wanted another lab. I myself prefer my Boston's, but this one- Dexter is all his and his girlfriend's, Lyndsay. When we lost Bailey, we all were devastated. She was so much apart of our lives. But she loved Gary. She made no bones about that Gary was her favorite. Even when he went off to college and played ball, when he returned, she was under his foot all the time. Max, our Boston, is claimed by my youngest. All my kids are good with animals. Becca though has a way about her with them. My poor middle daughter, never has had a dog to call her own. She got our cats. Not that she isn't attached to our dogs any less than the other two, she is, but as luck would have it we took turns on who would claim the animals when we got them and she always fell with the cats. Now because she's gone to college, it would be hard to play hockey, go to school and watch over a dog, I have promised her a dog for her college graduation.
       But Dexter... I have been so impressed with Gary and Lyndsay in picking out the dog. First on the breed, the color, name...(I should have mentioned that Lyndsay decided to get Gary the dog because Bailey died. I have to admit that my husband and myself love her to death. She is the sweetest thing.) Then they came to the conclusion to buy it together. They picked it out all on their own. Lyndsay wanted to get a bulldog, but decided against it when she researched the health issues associated with bulldogs. Gary wanted a lab. He got a lab. Lyndsay wanted a yellow lab. Gary wanted a chocolate. She got the yellow.  Gary wanted to name it a manly name- General, Major, oh, I can't remember the other one. Lyndsay wanted Colby. They compromised with the name Dexter. (and yes Dexter is one of their favorite series to follow on TV together.) Gary would have probably picked out the alpha male in the litter; Lyndsay probably would have picked out the runt because she would have felt sorry for it, but together they picked Dexter. And he's perfect. He's a lovebug at the moment. 
       For the first weekend, it has been fun to watch. My son getting up to take his dog for a walk in the early morning hours. Lyndsay gave up going out with her friends to come and stay with Dexter. I don't know how she is going to survive going to work today.
       For someone who hasn't had an animal, it's hard to describe, but for those of us that do, we know they become a part of our lives. I'm hoping to keep everyone updated on Dexter's progress. Should be interesting. I know one thing for sure. It won't be boring.