Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Single Dream Can Launch the Journey

Today, I liked to welcome to my blog, fellow Prism Book Group author, Jewell Tweedt.
She was born and raised in Omaha, the setting for her Nebraska Brides series. She divides her time between writing, teaching American History, and grading papers. Lots of papers.

I've invited Jewell to share with us her writerly inspiration, humor and camaraderie as well as sharing her news of her new release A Bride for the Sheriff.

Tell us, what inspires you, Jewell.

Thank you Suzanne for hosting me today. As a new Prism Book Group author I am excited to announce my book A Bride for the Sheriff released  November 5th. 

I'd like to say I can't believe this is happening so fast but it's not. Actually, I wrote 
the first draft of this story 20 years ago. It sat under my bed through a serious illness, four job changes, a new house, post-graduate work, and  a hectic job as a middle school teacher. 
From time to time I'd pull it out, dust it off and read through it. Finally, four summers ago I decided life was passing too quickly not to go after my dream and I began to submit it to publishers. 

Three rewrites (okay maybe more like 9) later, it is finally available for readers to  enjoy. 
My inspiration through it all has been strong faith, and the following quote. . . 
"A single dream can launch the journey of a lifetime."

I love this quote, and most of my blog posts here deal with the crazy, and sometimes lonely journey following a writerly path.  Share with us some of the writerly camaraderie you've experienced along the way. 

Being a writer is a solitary endeavor so whenever I can connect with other writers I do. I belong to The Romance Authors of the Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska and we meet once a month to share encouragement and a few laughs. From this group, I've learned that failure is only when you give up

I also learned to celebrate rejection letters. Those letters mean I am practicing my craft. The camaraderie is so important that even when I can't make a meeting I'll still keep in touch with the other members.

And for a touch of Jewell's humor here's an excerpt from A Bride for the Sheriff

    “Now it’s beginning to make sense. Why, you’re just a little sharpshooter,” Tom said.
    Claire sidled up to him and hugged him close. “What better qualifications for the wife of a sheriff to have. We’ll be a terrific team.” 

Here'a a bit about Jewell's new release A Bride for the Sheriff

Claire Secord is a prim school teacher whose life changes when she moves to the wild town of  Omaha. Her secret- she's a sharpshooter. But will her skills with a pistol be enough to save her when she is kidnapped to become a thug's 'mail-order' bride? 

Sounds intriguing. Thanks so much for sharing a little of your writerly humor, camaraderie, and inspiration. Good luck with your new release.

You can learn more and where to buy at Jewel's blog:

As always, feel free to comment or ask Jewell a question.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Forgotten Princess

Today, I'd like to welcome Rachel James to my blog. She's been coerced, I mean, invited to share her writerly thoughts on inspiration, camaraderie, and humor.  Take it away, Rachel.

When I first made the decision to write The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia, I knew I would need some kind of target to ensure I finished writing it. I opted to enter the Operation First Novel Contest to give me a deadline, as well as an opportunity to receive professional feedback. The night before I submitted, I asked my eldest daughter, Abigail, who at the time was just 7, to pray for me. 
She looked at me with an excited face. “A competition? Do you get a prize?”
“Yes,” I said, “The winner gets published.”
She drew a blanked expression. “What does that mean?”
“Er, well, they would take the story I’ve written, and put it in a book, so that people can buy it.”
Abigail pulled a face. “The prize is… you get to buy your own book?” she flung her arms in the air. “You don’t even get a trophy?”
Whilst attempting to contain my laughter, I tried to explain to her that getting published is better than any trophy, however, she is yet to be convinced.  
Living in the UK, there are not that many opportunities to link and network with other Christian romance writers, so I decided early on this year to take a trip over to Colorado to attend the Christian Writers Guild conference. The experience was amazing, to be able to meet like-minded people who ‘get you’. I just love the ‘buzz’ of mixing with fellow writers who encourage and inspire each other to continue to fulfil their calling as authors. 

Since coming back to the UK, and becoming a Prism author, I can honestly say the camaraderie I find with fellow Prism writers to be totally unique, and I thank God for them. I find it so amazing that through the wonders of technology I can connect with authors across the other side of the world.
As I write medieval romance, I love visiting historical sites to glean inspiration. I’ve been doing this since I was a child, and now at every opportunity I do the same with my own children. 

The Forgotten Princess of Elmetia 

It is 616AD, and one fatal night the ancient Kingdom of Elmetia falls. Saxons kill the Elmetian King, and capture Princess Teagen. Teagen poses as a slave girl and works for the Saxons in the Kingdom of Deira, until she discovers her brother is alive. She finds a way to escape, and her path crosses with Ryce the Warrior.
Struggling with his past, and angry against the tyrant Saxon king, Ryce helps the princess in pursuit of her brother. But just as the connection between them intensifies, obstacles get in their way. The Saxon king now wants vengeance, and will stop at nothing to get it. 

Book Trailer

Buy on  Amazon
Connect with Rachel through her Website or on Facebook

More about Rachel:

Rachel grew fascinated with the medieval time period as a child. Dubbed a bookworm from a young age, Rachel found herself surrounded by places steeped in history and adventure. She enjoyed trips with her family to visit nearby derelict castles and Roman ruins, and that coupled with a zealous imagination and love for stories, sparked her interest in knights, fortresses and ancient kingdoms.  

Born and bred in England, Rachel writes adventure driven historical romance, she is also a pastor’s wife, and has three beautiful little princesses. She minored in creative writing at university and strives to entertain, inspire and encourage others in their own spiritual journey. She’s also captivated by romantic tales… combine it with a little history and a hot cup of tea, and she’s smitten! 

Thanks so much, Rachel for being here on my blog, and good luck with your new release.

As always feel free to comment or ask a question.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 Books or Authors That Have Stuck

Maybe you’ve seen the posts around Facebook, or Brian Klems post on Writer's Digest, or around read on other blogs about the list of 10 books that never left you. Michelle Garrett of Utah Children's Writers blog couldn’t nail down her books so she chose 10 authorsI like the idea of choosing authors because it frees me up to include more books. :)

Here is my list of ten authors that have stuck with me (Suzanne Purvis.)  A literary soup across the genres from picture books to adult literary fiction. Some classics, some contemporaries, some serious, some hilarious. 

Dr. Seuss - Horton Hears a Who - plus every other one of his fantastical rhyming tales. I loved them growing up, I loved reading them to my kids and I still love them now, including Oh the Places You’ll Go, and You're Only Old Once.

Louisa May Alcott - Little Women - the first book that I cried while reading

Margaret Mitchell - Gone With the Wind - maybe the reason I ended up in the South :)

William Shakespeare - for his love stories - Romeo and Juliet, comedies - Taming of the Shrew, and tragedies, Hamlet and Macbeth - hard to read, but the stories and plots have stuck

Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights - because as a teen I fell in love with Heathcliff (who didn’t?)

Margaret Atwood - Edible Woman is my favorite, but Surfacing is a close second

John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meaney, The Hotel New Hampshire, The World According to Garp

Jennifer Crusie - Faking It, Bet Me, Agnes and the Hitman

John Green - this summer I binge-read all his books, but Abundance of Katherines is my favorite, probably because I’m a bit of a math-geek 

Kate DiCamillo - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is wonderful, and her newest Flora and Ulysses is sensational, and who can forget Because of Winn-Dixie

How about you? Which books or authors have had an impact on you?  

Feel free to share and comment. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Macchiato Mix Up Featured Short Story

For the month of September my short story "Macchiato Mix Up" 

photo courtesy of wikipedia

plus my list of Top Ten Inspirational Writer's Quotes is featured on the Bethlehem Writer's Roundtable Newsletter.

                                                  You can find it here

                       So maybe you'd like to grab your favorite beverage of choice and check it out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Does Your Spouse Read Your Writing?

I'd like to welcome author, Vicki Crum to my blog today. She has been coerced agreed to share a little about her writing journey, her new release, some writerly camaraderie, inspiration, and (with much arm-twisting) some husbandly humor.

Suzanne -- Tell us, Vicki, what INSPIRES your writing creativity?

Vicki -- the oddest things will inspire a storyline from seemingly out of nowhere. 
Loving Luc is my first published novel, and the idea for it came as I was taking out the trash one day and saw a string of crows eyeing me from atop the electrical wires. 

There was an odd stillness in the air, an eerie feeling of déjà vu that I couldn’t quite explain. I saw my heroine clearly in my mind, along with the first few lines of the story, and I knew I had to write it. 

Suzanne -- how interesting. It's so true that you can find inspiration in the simplest of tasks. I don't think I'll take back the trash chore from my teenage son, just yet. :) 

You've been writing for a while, Vicki. Where did your first inspiration come from and how do you keep it going over the years?

Vicki --  my writing journey actually began in my late teens when a friend loaned me her copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. 

I became a voracious reader of romance novels from that day forward. It was several years later, when I was married with young children, that I found myself mentally rewriting various scenes I had just finished reading. This usually happened when I was out jogging, and my thought process went something like this: I wish (insert hero) would have said this, and (insert heroine) would have done that… Oh yeah, I would have liked that much better! 

Eventually I decided that instead of mentally rewriting other people’s scenes to suit myself, maybe I should try writing some of my own. I quickly learned it is much, much harder to create interesting characters and put together a cohesive plot that will keep the reader tuning pages late into the night than it is to write a few random scenes here and there! 

As for where I find the inspiration to keep writing year after year, I attribute that to my wonderful critique group and their constant encouragement, as well as that of my family, whose advice has always been ‘do what you love’. 

Suzanne -- you know I love famous author quotes, are there any that inspire you?

Vicki -- I have lots of favorite writing quotes. Here are two. 

        “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” 
                                                                Richard Bach 

        “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; 
                                it’s who’s going to stop me.” Ayn Rand 

And I read a terrific quote a few years back that has stayed with me, though sadly I can’t remember to whom it is attributable. It goes something like this, 

“I can’t imagine how many truly great writers the world will never know because they simply gave up and went away.” 

This has been a great reminder to me to never, never give up!

Suzanne -- thanks so much for those wonderful quotes. Let's move on to where you find your writerly camaraderie?

Vicki -- Belonging to an excellent organization like Romance Writers of America has also helped tremendously. It is an organization filled with professional writers, some published, some not, who are always eager to help and support fellow writers. I've been a member of the Orange County Chapter (OCC) of RWA since 1997 and have served on the board of OCC as Programs Director, co-chaired the Ways and Mean Committee, and worked as a co-oordinator for the special OCC author receptions.

Suzanne -- that sounds like a wonderful way to support and share the writing journey. Now, tell us your hilarious humor story.

My husband has always been supportive of my writing, but he has never read any of my manuscripts. He’s not a big reader, unless it’s sports-related. My husband’s best friend, Dave, who is a voracious reader across all genres, wanted to be the first to buy and read Loving Luc. My husband and Dave went to our river house to take care of some repairs, and one afternoon, sitting out on the dock, Dave was relaxing by reading Loving Luc on his Kindle. He decided to read a passage from a particularly intimate scene to my husband. Now, I feel that my sex scenes are fairly mild, certainly not what I would call overly-explicit. But apparently upon hearing what I had written, my husband’s face turned beet red and after a paragraph or two, he said, “Whoa—my wife wrote that?” His discomfort brought a quick end to the oral recitation. I guess that’ll teach him to pay more attention to what I’m writing!

Suzanne -- thanks so much for sharing that bit of husbandly humor. And now here's how we can all read Loving Luc by Vicki Crum --A contemporary romance with futuristic elements

Available on Smashwords, Create Space, and 

Maggie McAllister’s short, troubled marriage ended in tragedy the night her husband splintered his sailboat on a submerged reef. Remnants of David’s bloody clothing were found in the wreck, but his body was never recovered. Now, six months later, Maggie has come to terms with her shock and grief, but guilt over the contentious state her marriage was in at the end still haunts her. 
When a beguiling stranger from David’s past shows up on her doorstep and then manages to insinuate himself into her life, Maggie is forced to deal with an intense, unwanted attraction to the man, and worse, she can’t shake the feeling that Luc is hiding something, that he knows a lot more about David’s fate than he’s willing to admit. Despite Maggie’s best effort to remain indifferent to Luc, she finds herself falling in love with him. Little does she know that the very act of loving Luc sets Maggie up as a pawn in a battle between good and evil---a battle being waged by entities from another world---with Maggie as the ultimate prize.

Thanks again, Vicki for being so willing to share with us your writing journey. Good luck with your release.

As always, feel free to comment. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Visit Anne Lange's Blog for My Favorite, Easy, Yummy Recipe

Come visit Anne Lange's Blog where I share a little about my writing, my newest release, and my favorite Football Party recipe--an easy, delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip.

A couple photos from my summer travels.

Along the Douro River in Portugal

Hope you'll hop on over to Anne's and feel free to comment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Paula Mowery graciously invited me to be a part of the World Blog Tour.
She is a fellow author, and an acquisitions editor at Prism Book Group.  
You can find her here at her blog

I'm supposed to tell you a little about me, but first, if you haven't seen the movie 
Authors Anonymous and you're a writer run, leap, dash over to the closest Redbox and pay the buck. It shows and pokes fun at all the trials and tribulations of being a writer today.

Okay, a little about me. . .

I  traded my “eh” (being Canadian) for “y’all" (moved to the South) and by day I'm a wife and mother to two, almost grown children, and underling to three dogs. By night, I'm a blogger, and published author of fiction for both adults and children.  I'm a huge football fan but won’t declare a favorite team, vowing it’s safer for my health being that I live surrounded by Alabama, Auburn, Seminole and Gator Fans.  I love the beach in winter. My favorite holiday is April Fool’s Day, and serendipitously my son was born on April 1st. I'm adding yoga to my life, and probably another dog or two. And I still love to hang out at the library, sitting on the floor with a stack of books, often in the children’s section. 

As part of the tour, I’ve been asked to answer four questions on my writing.
Okay, here goes. . .

      What am I working on? Revisions, revisions, revisions. I am the Revision Queen.

Right now I’m revising a contemporary middle grade novel that I wrote during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2012. 

And I usually have some flash fiction or short stories in various stages of disarray on my big screen desktop too.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure it does, other than it has my own unique writer’s voice, which I hope shines through and which tends to have some laugh-out-loud humor attached, I hope. 

                                                          Why do I write what I do?

To be honest, I love a shorter form of fiction. I’ve been published in flash fiction, short stories, and novellas. I’m currently working shorter children’s novels. I’m very much a see-the-big-picture type of person. I need to hold the whole piece in my head, and longer novels --80,000 words plus--strain my poor, puny brain.

How does my writing process work?

Not very well at times. But at other times I surprise myself. :)
I’ve been all over the map with my process, experimenting, learning as I go. 
With my current project and others, I’ve fast drafted. Which means I sit down and vomit, spew, hurl words on the page, thus necessitating the need for revision, revision, revision. 
But I’m also a life-long learner and I take oodles of online classes, gleaning sparks of inspiration, creativity, and knowledge from each one. Then I get to apply these to my vomit-on-the-page (thank goodness). 

Thanks, Paula for inviting me to share in this World Blog Tour and as part of the tour be sure to hop over to these three fabulous writer's on July 15th (or before) and find out more, and be sure to follow their blogs.

Connie Peck at

Sia Marion at  Open Window Blog

Karen Cogan at

As always, feel free to comment.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summertime Writing: Inspiration, Humor, and Camaraderie

It's hard to find writerly inspiration with all the distractions of swimming, hiking, biking, water skiing, vacationing, or just lazing in the sunshine. Try to persevere and remember. . .

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."  Thomas A. Edison

          "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett

And my personal favorite to give me solace through the submission process.

"Opportunity does not knock,
 it presents itself 
when you beat down the door."
Kyle Chandler

All the writing rules getting you down? Take heart and enjoy this humorous passage from Anne R. Allen's December 22nd, 2013 Blog Post. Anne writes. . ."Here is a little verse I stole from Dorothy Parker wrote about those rules, based on Dorothy Parker's hilarious poem, "The Lady's Reward"."

Rules for the Beginning Novelist
…with apologies to Dorothy Parker

Newbie author, never pen
Background story till page ten.
Use no flashbacks—no, nor prologue.
Never start your book with di’logue.
Set the hero’s hair on fire.
Keep the situation dire.
Write in genres tried and true
From a single point of view.
Tell your tale in linear time.
Avoid a plot that strains the mind.
No dead kids, bad priests, abuse
Or politics in your debuts.
Copy last year's biggest hit.
No one wants to read new @#%*
Make it light but never funny.
(Humor’s too subjective, honey.)

And if that gets you published kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.

Because summer is the perfect time to read on good book, at the beach, by the lake, on the river...
I'm enjoying John Green's works: An Abundance of Katherines, Alaska, and The Fault in the Stars (recently released as a movie)

                             For some shared writerly camaraderie with this hugely successful author, 

                                           here are a couple of John Green quotes on writing.

"I know that books seem like the ultimate thing that’s made by one person, but that’s not true. Every reading of a book is a collaboration between the reader and the writer who are making the story up together."

"Read a lot. Read broadly. . .Tell stories to your friends, and pay attention to when they get bored. . . Write a lot."

So try to carve out some writing time in your summer schedule or barring that listen to John Green and read a lot. Preferably by a beach, a lake or river. Enjoy your summer.

As always feel free to comment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Top 10 List. . .

Inspiring Quotes by Famous Writers

As winner of an Honorable Mention in Bethlehem Writer's 2014 Short Fiction Contest I was asked to submit, along with a short bio, my top ten list. After banging my head fingers on the keyboard I finally came up with a list I find helpful on the long, and sometimes lonely journey that is my writing life. I find solace, inspiration, humor and camaraderie when I read the words of these famous writers.

photo courtesy of Wanna Commons Jenny Kaczorowski 

1.  These words by Ernest Hemingway have appeared on my blog before, but they remind me writing is no easy task and not to take it too seriously. 

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.”

2.  When I’m experiencing writer’s block Barbara Sher’s words often help. 

“You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating.”                                                

3.  When I’m facing a big project like an 80,000 word novel Mark Twain’s words fill me with hope. 

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and ten starting on the first one.”                                                                                                                                        

4.  My first drafts are often a messy pile of dog poop and C. J. Cherryh words give me permission to keep going. 

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
5.  I love writing short stories, but they are not easy as Henry David Thoreau reminds me. 
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
6.  I am not a big planner, outliner, or plotter and usually write by the seat of my pants.     E. L. Doctorow’s words remind me I don’t have to know everything about the plot before I sit down to write. 
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  
7.  Edgar Rice Burroughs words remind me to just keep writing, every day, lots of stories. 
“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”
8.  Revising can be my best friend or my worst enemy, but Oscar Wilde’s words remind me I’m not alone. 
“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back again.”                
9.  There are many, many, many rules for writing well, but I like Robert Silverberg’s best. 
“Three Rules for Literary Success: 1. Read a lot. 2. Write a lot. 3. Read a lot more, write a lot more.”                                                                                                                
10.  And because I love Ernest Hemingway and a his hits of humor. . . 
“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”    

As always feel free to comment or add inspiring words of wisdom, your own or another author's.