Archive | May, 2011

What Inspires You? Roberta Gately, Author of Lipstick in Afghanistan, Writes About Inspiration

17 May

I’m thrilled and honored to introduce today’s guest blogger. Roberta Gately is a modern heroine. She has put herself in some of the most demanding spots on the planet, serving as a nurse in third-world countries, including Darfur and Afghanistan.

While these credentials are impressive enough, Gately is an incredibly fluid and elegant writer who has completed her first novel, Lipstick in Afghanistan. The novel is based on her experiences as a nurse in Afghanistan after 9/11. I’ll give you more information about her book after we hear from her about Inspiration.

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins: A Your Shelf Life Review

12 May

Five stars! Highly recommended: A real life witch-hunt scarier than any vampire or zombie tale

In Over the Edge, Brandilyn Collins tackles the natural human tendency to attack those least able to defend themselves. This goes along with the propensity to blame innocent people for their disabilities. In the old days, this tendency expressed itself in witch-hunts. Now we see it with cries to balance public budgets by cutting support to mothers and children.

Collins points out a new form of persecution: The unwillingness of influential portions of the medical profession to acknowledge that Lyme disease can have long-term debilitating effects. The refusal has resulted in insurance companies cutting off payments for long-term treatment. Some doctors who have continued to treat chronic cases of Lyme have lost their licenses.

It’s such a crazy scenario to anyone who’s seen people suffering from chronic Lyme disease that it seems like something out of Kafka. Yet it’s true. Collins’ fights the insanity around Lyme disease with an imaginative, totally believable story that thrills as it imparts information. I could have read about the disease for days without understanding its impact on those who have it. When I see her main character, Janessa McNeil, struggling to get off the floor in her own kitchen or trying to remember a few words, I get it.

How to Win a Book Contest — Hot Tips as the Results of the 2011 Contests Are Announced

8 May

As of today, December 5th, 2011, my books have won twenty-one national book awards. In addition to the twelve awards my first two books garnered, my two new books won nine more this year. The awards are listed way, way down at the bottom of this article and on my web site.

Why am I telling you this? Winning is thrilling, for one thing. It’s worth letting people know about. Plus, all the articles say you should write about topics that you know.

I know how to win book contests. I’m going to share my “secrets” with you here.