Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year. New Look.

I know I just redid this blog in the summer, but I had to redesign it again. I stepped back, looked at the design, and frankly found it embarrassing. :P It was actually the result of my first attempt with design programs. I didn’t even know how to add shadowing and my library of elements was very limited.
So, here’s my latest attempt. What do you think?
At the very least, it suits the blog’s content. ;)

Just a quick thanks: Most of the elements I used to create this came from Summer Time Designs and Veronica Spriggs Designs.
If you’d like to spruce up your blog for the new year, check out the dozens of free designs I’ve got up on Blogcarog.com.

Happy New Year everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Christmas Card

I had to find a way to send a Christmas card to my friends on here.
Have a great Christmas everyone. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Serious Questions. Funny Questions.

Fellow writer and blogger, Diane Estrella, asked me a few weeks ago if I would do an interview for her blog and then sent along a series of very interesting questions.
Some were serious questions about life, writing, and how God works through both and some were very quirky questions that were just plain fun to answer. (You can now know which board game my family takes very seriously. ;)
You can read the full interview at: dianeestrella.com
Thanks Diane!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Best Books Of My Year

This is sort of a correction of a previous post. In the summer I put up a list of books that I wanted to read and in response a friend said she thought they all sounded like good reads. The problem is several turned out to be really bad. So I thought I’d put up a list of the book I truly did find worth reading. After all, if you find that perfect moment to curl up with a book, you don’t want it to be a total, frustrating waste of time. (Yes, this is a serious subject for me ;)
If you’ve read some great books this year, leave me a comment. Or, if you have a blog, post your own list and let me know. :)

Christmas
Halo: Kristen Heitzmann
The Christmas Sweater: Glen Beck
Recommendations from my mom:
All Through The Night: Mary Higgans Clark
The Christmas Thief: Mary and Carol Higgans Clark.

Mystery
Edge of Recall: Kristen Heitzmann
Midnight Sea: Coleen Coble
Let Me Call You Sweetheart: Mary Higgans Clark
The Orient Express: Agatha Christie
Recommendation from my mom:
Whispers of the Bayou: Mindy Starns Clark

Historical
A Bride Most Begrudging: Deeanne Gist (American Colonial)
Fancy Pants: Cathy Marie Hake (American Western)
Benoni: Joanna Marie (American Western)

Classic Novel Fan Fiction
Darcy’s Story: Janet Aylmer
Sherlock Holmes and the Kings’s Evil: Donald Thomas

General Fiction
The Book Of Hours: Davis Bunn

Fantasy
Facets of Fantasy: Sarah Scheele

Adventure
The Mysterious Benedict Society: Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey: Trenton Lee Stewart
Recommendation from my sister:
The Black Arrow: Robert Louis Stevenson

Non-Fiction
Get Out Of That Pit: Beth Moore
To Live Is Christ: Beth Moore
Never Give Up: Joyce Meyer
21 Ways to Peace and Happiness: Joyce Meyer
How To Succeed At Being Yourself: Joyce Meyer
(Yes, I know, JM books sound so self-help. Lol. She’s known for doing that on purpose because so many people don’t understand religious sounding titles :P)
John Adams: David McCullough (I’m actually in the still working on this one, but so far it’s good.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just had fun. (Book signing #4)

Yes, this weekend’s book signing just turned out to be a lot of fun. There were some very interesting moments involved, but overall, I really enjoyed this one and I think my family did as well.
A lot of people I know actually showed up. :) Everyone from a man who works at the pharmacy we go to, a client of our drafting business, a long time co-worker of my dad’s, even two girls I met at Career Day, came down. Just by coincidence one of the authors I had my last book signing with (who is also one of my art teachers from many years ago) happened to be in the store. Everyone was able to stop and visit with my family. Even the family at the wrapping paper table came over.
Of course, some of the most interesting moments included a woman who wanted me to give my testimony, another who wanted to know about my marital status, and a man who started an argument with me because I said Merry Christmas to him. (Just for the record. I have a Christmas tree in my house. I do not worship it.)
Well, life would be boring if the unexpected didn’t show up on a regular basis. ;)

Btw, thanks to everyone who commented on my last blog. I really appreciate it. :)

I have a collection of Christmas angels and this seemed like the perfect moment to let one shine.

When I first showed up there was only one very small table out. The manager quickly realized that the stack of books and I could not fit there together. So I got my own little table.

Tom, a friend of my brother, was able to come down and spend the day with us. Then we all went to diner at one of our favorite little Mexican restaurant and the day ended happily-ever-after. ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

My First Interview (Would you like to see?)

I found out the local TV station that gave me an interview put the video on their website, so I thought I’d put it up on here. :)
It turned out to be a lot of fun. First I was led to the “green room”…I’d say it was sort of a minty green.
Then we were led to an open newsroom/set. My brother, dad, and I all sat there, trying not to cough or talk too loud.
Then at last I was sitting at the news table with a microphone woven into my jacket. I just told myself “Don’t look at the camera. Just look at the people.” About six minutes later it was over. The funny thing is I didn’t start shaking until it was all over and I was walking back to the car.
The show was actually on air about an hour before I came on, so I was watching it as I got ready to go. The anchor had a copy of my book and every time they would go to a commercial break she would say “I’m going back to reading this great book!” and open it up. :)
At one point someone on the set yelled out, “Are there any vampires?” Lol. Happily, the anchor had read enough that she could say no and tell them what the book was about.
Have a look. By the grace of God I didn’t go blank or cough or anything like that. ;) It still feels a bit surreal.
(sorry, you will have to sit through a short commercial)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm Scared and other Announcements

Gasp! You are never going to believe this. It hasn’t completely sunk into my brain yet.
Right out of the blue I got an e-mail from a television station, asking me if I would be available to do an interview on their local morning show. Yes, me…on live TV! Gasp!
At this point I’m actually trying not to think too much about it because I’m pretty sure I would panic if I did.

This week has actually turned out to be completely insane, but in a very good way.
-I just got back from a local Jr./Highschool where I had my own table at their Career Day event. It turned out to be a lot of fun. The love of books and writing is a universal language whether you are 12 or 26.
-Then on Friday I’ll be at the local Fox station at 8:40AM. (Amazing :)
-And finally I will have my very first Christmas Book signing on Saturday. Which reminds me, if you are going to be in the Fresno area, or know someone who will be, please come on over to the Borders Books in the River Park shopping center. I’d love to meet you. See my EVENTS page for all the details.
-Oh, don’t forget, you have just one more month to enter my contest. Check out my Contest Blog.

I have to say, to all my friends with whom I correspond, please forgive me if I don’t get back to you until next week. I hate doing that, but you probably don’t want me this week. I’m a little scattered. ;)
At the moment, I’ve got to go find something to wear on Friday. I was told I cannot wear red, patterns, stripes, or too much white or black. I think that eliminates the majority of my wardrobe. Lol.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check This Out

Another good thing has reached the blogosphere.

My blogger friend, Diane Estrella, has moved her world over to Wordpress and in the process created an awesome new blog.
To celebrate her move, she is setting up several giveaways over the next few weeks. Anyone who signs up as a follower is automatically entered to win.
She already has a lot of content up, so if you get a chance, check out her new site and become a follower. :)
dianeestrella.com

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Somebody Please Say Merry Christmas!

I know I posted this one last year, but I figured it was the sort of thing that could be said every year.

We’ve become quite accustomed to the outcry against saying Merry Christmas by now. Such words might offend someone.
A few years ago I worked for a major department store in our area during the Christmas season. While we were not told to avoid saying Merry Christmas, it was pretty clear that a traditional Christmas was not on the marketing agenda. The slogan for the season was “Give” (aka, buy). Christmas trees were confined to the corner that sold ornaments. Other than that, decorations consisted only of snowflakes and fake presents.
Still, I just decided to say Merry Christmas to every person that came by my register. I am here to tell you that nobody was offended. Most people smiled and returned the greeting. Multiple people stopped, sighed, and said, “THANK YOU FOR NOT SAYING HAPPY HOLIDAYS.”
It is a sad, sad day indeed when the majority of the population fears offending the approximately one percent of people who get offended by everyone anyway.
So please, this Christmas season, do everyone a favor and say MERRY CHRISTMAS to as many people as you can.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shopping Along

Yes, the Christmas shopping season has begun! I know that makes some people happy and others terrified. Come now, it must be done. No getting around it. ;)
Well, personally, my family likes it. We are already gearing up for Black Friday. What? Doesn’t shopping at 5AM sound fun? Before I lose any gentlemen readers or sleepy friends I have, let me remind you that if you know where to go, there is a lot of free food involved with this. You have to admit that is a very important factor. ;)

Well, anyway, if you’d like any signed copies of Only Angels Are Bulletproof for someone on your shopping list, please let me know. SOON! Shipping costs are lower the sooner you order.
Just e-mail me at: emilyannbenedict@gmail.com

And good luck with the rest of your shopping! I’m actually at a lost right now as to what I’m going to get people for Christmas… :P

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember?

Did you remember I have a book signing on December 5th? I didn’t until a few days ago. :O
Yes, that memory lapse could have been very bad, especially since I have to spend prior weeks notifying everyone. (Thank you God)
You see, this is why I call myself the Queen of the sticky note. It seems the best way to overcome short-term memory problems is a plethora of post-it notes. (sigh) Though, as of late, I have been informed by a certain member of my family that I am not allowed to stick my reminders to decorator items any more. Apparently that defeats the purpose of decorator items….LOL.
Well, anyway, I have a book signing on December 5th!
I’ll be at the Borders Books in Fresno California, starting at 2PM. I’d love to see you there. And don’t forget to bring your Christmas shopping list. Can you believe it’s already that time of year? Visit the EVENTS page of my website for more details.
Don’t worry, I’ll put up another reminder as we get a little closer…I wouldn’t be opposed, however, to you reminding me. ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

Today begins the national collection week for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. I urge you to get involved with this ministry. It is one of the most enjoyable, worthy, and personal ministry you can become involved with.
First, a little explanation in case you haven’t heard of Operation Christmas Child before. All you need to do is grab a shoe box or a plastic box around the same size, go to a Walmart, or Dollar Store, or any shop that provides the same products, and then proceed to fill that box with as many things as can possibly fit. Remarkably everything from socks, soap, toothbrushes, pencils, paper, rulers, hard candies, and of course toys (lots and lots of toys) can fit into these boxes. And the boxes will end up in the hands of children all over the world, from Asia to Africa to Russia, who have never experienced even a small fraction of the Christmases we know here.
It is an incredible ministry for so many reasons, but one being it makes us step outside ourselves. Financial donations to world missions are undoubtedly important, but sometimes just writing a check can in a way disconnect us from the people we are trying to help. This event, however, forces us to think specifically about the children we are trying to reach, about what would make boys and girls of different ages happy, what they would need…and in doing so understand the basic necessities they lack.
You can visit the official website,www.samaritanspurse.org for suggestions, guidelines, and locations to drop the boxes off. Drop off locations are being set up in churches, local businesses, and national chains around the country. The final date for drop offs is November 23rd.
It might take a little more effort, but it is so worth it.
Come on, don’t make me say something corny like “ ‘Tis the season.” (Yes, I am tossing you a challenging smile ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stuffy...

Okay, I planned on writing about the finish of a writing project, but for some strange reason I’ve been struck by a stupid allergy attack that has clouded my head so badly I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ve got the feeling that I’m not getting as much oxygen as I need.
I’d really like to find a box of tissue and curl up beneath a heavy blanket, but the dishes need to be done and letters need to be answered and…Achoo!...the world is starting to tilt….

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feel free to laugh at me about this one...

Okay, so I’ve been drawing a blank on what to blog about for days now, probably because I’ve been trying to finish editing my current manuscript. Then as I was waiting for my printer to catch up with my pace on Monday I stumbled upon a poem I wrote a long time ago for a class and since it is about Autumn I decided to put it up. Yes, that’s right, I wrote a poem. Do I seem any more rational if I tell you I had to do it? The funny thing is I really don’t hold many poets in high regard. I often feel the need to say, “What are you talking about?” ;)
However, I was taking a course that included a study of the great Miss Emily Dickinson and one assignment compelled me to write a poem mimicking her tempo and style.
So, here is what I came up with…
(Oh, the mentioning of New Jersey is a reference to the fact that my teacher was from New Jersey. She liked it. ;)

I saw leaves of gold and red—
Spread upon the Floor—
I saw people walking over them—
Willing to Ignore!
I see—

I saw the leaves—of orange and brown—
Gathered in my arms—
Shinning like flames—on the branches!
Promising God—I would—not ignore!

The seasons chase each one of us, one and all the autumn finds us.
It catches me in California and you in New Jersey.
Leaves cascade down in front of me, in front of you.
I can see them, can you?

If you understand Emily Dickinson, you’ll understand the poem. ;)
Hmmm, I think I’m going to stick with mystery writing. LOL

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crossing The Crazy Writer Line

Yes, I might have crossed the crazy writer line.
Have you ever noticed that “writer characters” in books and movies are often eccentric and sometimes borderline crazy? Well, circumstances drove me to pick up that persona.
The story I am currently working on seemed to be hopelessly bad, I was really tired of sitting at a desk all day, and I really needed peace and quiet to think. (My desk is located in the middle of the house where peace and quiet are not likely to occur.)
So what did I do? I took down the pictures from one of the walls in my bedroom, picked up my note pad (which is 1ft x 2ft), and nailed it directly to the drywall.
And you know what? It worked! I could see the entire story in one glance.
It took me most of the day, several different colored pencils, and periods of bouncing ideas off the nearest person, but in the end I’d totally rewritten the whole story. I’ve left the pad there and go back to it at least once a day to look over my notes.
So, am I crazy?
A friend once told me that the ancient Greeks did not look highly upon the idea of externalizing the thought process. The ancient Greeks might have had a small point in their favor. I have wrecked havoc on my room and punctured holes in my freshly painted walls. But I still don’t think those scholarly Grecians could understand how desperate modern day mystery writers get when they are faced with a limp plotline. ;)
By the way, if you ever wish to descend into my madness by using the same tactics, let me give you a word of advice. Pens don’t work at that angle.

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barnes and Noble and iTunes gift cards.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'd So Appreciate It :)

This is just a quick reminder for my contest! I’d so appreciate it if you’d join in. Every little bit helps. All you need to do is send the link to my first chapter out to your friends and family.
http://www.emilyannbenedict.com/Read_The_First_Chapter.html
Encouragement them to tell me, either by e-mail or by leaving a comment on my blog, who sent them to the link.
Every referral you get counts as a point towards Barnes and Noble and iTunes gift cards.
Check out my contest blog for all the details: http://emilyannbenedictcontest.blogspot.com/
Don’t delay. The contest ends on December 31st.

By the way…It’s November 2nd. :)

I love my neighborhood.....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blog Cargo

A week ago I asked anyone who had used a background from my website www.blogcargo.com to send me a note. Well, below are a few that sent me samples of their blogs. Designing blog backgrounds has become a bit of a hobby for me. I’ve fallen in love with Photoshop. :)
If you use one of our backgrounds, please let me know. I might put a sample of your blog up.

Meanwhile, check out these blogs. Each is well worth following.
------------------------------------Teen Harvest Ministries
---------------------------------Journey To The Heart Of God
--------------------------------------Extraordinary Life
------------------------------------My Little Old Thoughts

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Worth It

A card from a little old lady, whom I probably won’t ever get a chance to meet, telling me how much she liked my book and how excited she was to see it was an autographed copy is more important than the words of any professional reviewer.
~Enough said.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How I Write

I had to squeeze out of the chair very quietly to get this shot. Meet Margaret Thatcher and Eleanor Roosevelt, my writing buddies.
I love Dalmatians. :)


Btw, I’m looking for bloggers who have used designs from my family’s website: http://www.blogcargo.com/. We’ve got nearly 50 designs up now, all for free. Check it out if you get a chance. I’m going to put up a list of blogs using our designs. So if you’ve used one, let me know.

Monday, October 19, 2009

How Agatha Christie Saved History

I propose to you that Agatha Christie is as important to us as text books in today’s context.
She is of course remembered most for her quaint English cozies with elderly sleuths sipping tea and little Belgian men tracking killers down cottage lanes, but these are not my favorites or in my opinion her most important.
I will confess, I do not read fiction analytically. I allow myself to go where the author wishes. Therefore, my favorites are her Middle Eastern and African based novels.
By way of her pen we are allowed to discover the beauty and dangers of South Africa in The Man In The Brown Suit, the clash of European and Native North African cultures in Destination Unknown, the intrigue of an archeological dig in Murder In Mesopotamia, a pleasure cruise down the Nile in Death On The Nile, and an incredible street view of Baghdad in the 1950s in They Came To Baghdad. But what makes these works so much more fun for me is that Agatha Christie was not a research based author. She wrote about what she saw with her own eyes.
Agatha had experienced some exotic travel in her earlier years, but had long since settled into English country life. Then in 1930 her life changed dramatically when, at the age of 40, she hopped aboard the Orient Express and headed east. At that point she was a relatively successful novelist with a disappointing personal life. By the time she returned to England she was fascinated by the ancient cultures of the east….and she was engaged to an up and coming archeologist.
Consequently, over the next 30 years she spent a considerable portion of her life in the Middle East and North Africa, often living on the dig sites with her beloved Max, during the time when the Valley of the Kings was a new concept. Of course her portable typewriter was always close at hand.
I would LOVE to see the world she wrote about, but tragically much of it is lost to us. Lebanon has been stripped of her beauty, Baghdad’s tourist industry is no more, and most of Egypt’s mysteries are locked up in museums. So, we are often only left with text books full of dates and facts, perhaps a few pictures. Unless you read Agatha Christie.
We may never get lost in North Africa, stumble upon Victoria Falls, ride along the Nile, watch the excavation of the Ur of Chaldees, or sleep in a hotel on the Euphrates river, but at least Agatha give us a little glimpse of what it was like.

If you’d like to read more about one incredible life, I highly recommend The Life And Crimes Of Agatha Christie by Charles Osborne. As for me, I am currently joining Hercule Poirot on a trip on the Orient Express from Syria to London. (Murder On The Orient Express, 1934)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Word On Writing

A short article I wrote on writing has been posted today by The Young Ladies Christian Fellowship. If you get a chance, check it out. I’d really appreciate it if you would also leave a comment on their site.

http://ylcf.org/2009/10/start/

And when I say short article, I mean short. I had to stay within a 400 word limit. Trust me, that was hard! In person I am not the most talkative individual in the room, but when it comes to writing it is hard for me to shut up. ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

How Book Signing #3 Turned Into The Most Amazing Of All.

Last Saturday was my third official book signing. I have to say, this will probably be the one I remember the most for two major reasons.
I showed up around 1:30 to find a table already set up and a large stack of my books in front of it. Much to my surprise, the manager had order more than twice the number of books than stores usually do. That seemed like a very good sign.
….But two hours later, as the signing drew to a close, that stack of books was practically the same size. I’d only sold 5 books. And I knew unsold books were always returned to the distributor, which looks very bad when the end of year tally happens.
The funny thing is the first thought that came to my mind when I woke-up that morning was, “What if I don’t sell very many books?” I know there is only one answer to that question. “I will still praise God.”
So, as 4:00 neared half my brain was screaming, “This is bad! This is very, very bad!” and the other half was calmly saying, “This just happens sometimes. Everyone has bad days. God is still good and it will all work out.” Frankly, the smile I was had on was a trial.
Then all of a sudden the manager walked over, looked at the stacks of my books and the other authors' and without hesitation said, “Go ahead and sign them all. I’ll put up a local author display,” and then walked away.
Sign them all? That means he can’t return them. Which means the distributor counts them as already sold! HOW GOOD IS OUR GOD?! Somebody smile wildly with me!
As we walked back to the car my mom said, “I’m sorry you didn’t sell very much.” I had to say, I was glad it worked out the way it did. I got to see God show up and politely tell me He is much better at selling books than I am. Agreed!
That was the first part of this amazing day. The second part was the people I was surrounded by. Sitting next to me at that table was Denise Dieser and Terry O’Leary, authors of Prayer Chain Ministry. Terry was my Sunday school teacher when I was ten years old. I kid you not. :) A few feet down was Doug Hansen, author of Mother Goose in California. Doug was my art teacher when I was twelve years old. Does anyone hear, “It’s a small world after all,” playing in the back ground?
And then out of the blue, two of my dearest friends, Karen and Katherine Meinicke, who live way down in Southern California, walked in. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped a bit. They stayed the whole day and even helped me pass out some of my cards. (One of the more amusing moments occurred when a woman carrying Richard Dawkins’ latest book refused the card.)
You know, I sold very well during my last signing, but I came home exhausted. This time I came home on the top of my energy scale. :)

Me, Denise Dieser, Terry O’Leary, Doug Hansen, and Kim Gruenenfelder.

Terry and I at the “official author table.”



Terry’s Book (We had a good laugh over the fact that I kept introducing her as “Mrs. O’Leary".)


Doug Hansen’s book. This is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I’ve ever seen.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Rubber Band Simile

I have the tendency to get struck by the weirdest comparisons. ;)
My “other job” is submitting blueprints to the City Building Department for my family’s drafting business.
If you spend any time regularly in the City Building department you will notice two things. Everyone has to wait and rubber bands are very important.
Yes, they hold our plans together, but they also provide another important function. Amusement.
As the minutes drag on we begin by flicking and rolling them along the plans. Before long we’ll have one in our hands, twisting and bouncing between our fingers.
Then at last one of our names is called from the waiting list. We gather up our plans and papers and charge the counter like we will lose our position if we wait for more than thirty seconds.
What we usually fail to notice in the rush to the counter is that we’ve woven the rubber band around one of our fingers like a ring. I usually don’t realize it until my fingers start to feel cramped.
After years of going through this routine I’ve become rather magnetic with rubber bands. If there is one within my range it usually ends up in my hands without much thought and then I’ll find it twisted around one my fingers sometime later.
I found one completely twisted around my pinky-finger yesterday. As odd as this may sound, the first thought that struck me was, “I wonder how many people are walking around absentmindedly attached to bad habits and bad attitudes.” Strange, I know, but that’s how this post started.
God does call us to have an “excellent spirit.” (Daniel 6:3).
Yes, we may not lie, steal, or cheat, but we have a tendency to think we have the right to be a little bit short with people because we’re having a bad day, or leave a mess for others to clean up, or ignore other people’s rules because we don’t like them.
As one of my favorite teachers is fond of saying, “When a store says, ‘Please leave your cart here,’ that means, ‘Please leave your cart here,’ not, ‘Leave your cart wherever and make the employees run all over the parking in the dead of winter or height of summer.’”
You think that’s too small to make much of a difference? Winding rubber bands around your fingers might be a small thing, but it is not particularly safe. Circulation does eventually get cut off.
What seems small and unimportant now can eventually add up to be the difference between average lives and excellent lives.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Change Of Plans

I was alerted to a little change in plans for this Saturday’s book signing at Barns and Noble. This is both good and a little scary.
The store decided to bring in multiple authors and change the time to 2:00-4:00PM. Bringing in more authors is always a good thing. That tends to naturally bring in more traffic.
So, what’s the scary part? Well, another author I know recently ended up in this exact same situation in the Barns and Noble in her town...and it turned into an event that included the authors reading from their books. (gasp)
I know, that probably doesn’t seem so bad, but it’s bad for me. I have been informed in the past that my “reading voice” is not very good. Let’s put it this way. It’s great when I babysit because the kids fall asleep real fast. (I’m not sure if I should laugh or sigh. ;)
But I have also been informed that this is what God has called me to do so I’d better find a way to get better. :P
Well, once again, if you are going to be in the Central Valley area of California on Saturday, I’ll be at the Barns and Noble in Fresno from 2:00-4:00PM along with other authors whose names I do not yet know. (complete details on my EVENTS page)
And just in case I do have to read I promise I will do a little practicing this week.
(Open to page 1 and clear throat) “I would not have answered my cell that day , if habit hadn't forced me to check the caller I.D. the minute I heard it ring……..Are you still awake?”
Perhaps you’d better start praying for me now…..

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One Reminder. One Announcement.

Okay, let’s do the reminder first. :)
Don’t forget, I have a book signing coming up! October 10th at the Barns and Nobles in Fresno California. Just ten more days. (flutter of nerves) You can find all the details on the EVENTS page of my website.

Now for the announcement.
I got a Christmas book signing! (woohoo!) Yes, I know, you guys are going to get tired of me getting excited about every book signing I announce. Let’s just say that I have to get up a lot of nerve to call bookstores and ask, so I celebrate these moments as a victory. ;)
Anyway, I’m going to be at the Borders Books in Fresno California on December 5th. More details will be posted later, but I’m still just happy to get one during the Christmas season. God is good.
So, if you’re going to be the Central Valley area of CA during either of these events, please come see me or send anybody you know in the area over. I’d love to meet you.

If you would like a signed book, but can’t get to signing, just send me a message at emilyannbenedict@gmail.com.

Have a great week. :)

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barns and Nobles and iTunes gift cards.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you heard of it?

I found a new book I’d really like to read. I know, you’re probably wondering why I’m bothering to tell you. Well, I’d like to know if you’ve heard of it.
I hate buying books that turn out to be a waste of my time and brain cells, or worse, a great story, but totally ruined by inappropriate language, etc.
To avoid this waste I’m driven to do drastic things, like check copies out of the library. It’s not that I have anything against libraries….it just that, well, I worked for our particular branch for a while and I have certain “cleanliness” issues with it. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. :P
Anyway, the book is called The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde. It’s advertised as a great book for lovers of British literatures, (raise hand) particularly Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (raise hand high and wave).
So, if you have heard of it, or if you just want to tell me how much you understand joy at the prospect of a new book, leave a comment.
I do so love sympathizers. ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shock and Awe

I watched a Joyce Meyer Ministry program yesterday on their current outreach goals around the world and was struck by a rather odd moment. Instead of just showing pictures of the different areas they work in, they chose to show in bold lettering as many statistics as they could find. The staggering number of people who are starving. The staggering number of people who go without shelter. The staggering number of people who don’t have basic medical treatment.
As strange as it sounds, the first thought that struck me was, “My dog has a better life.” Seriously.
Though she might try to convince me otherwise with her big, soppy brown eyes, she never goes hungry. When she is sick or injured I take her right to the vet. At night she sleeps on my bed with her pillows and blankets, air conditioning and heating. I might like to think of her as my little girl, but the fact of the matter is she’s just a dog…whose life is about a 100 times better than half of the world’s population. Does that not just make you want to scream in frustration sometimes?!
Trust me, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have pets or pamper them. Anybody who knows my family knows we will be taking in “last chance” dogs until the final trumpet sounds.
The point of the program was simply DO SOMETHING! Find a way to help, even if your contribution is small. It is still valuable.
And if you are hesitating right now or continually putting it off, just ask yourself this question: Can you really justify treating a dog better than a human being?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Twitter and Beyond!

My agent called last week and began spouting the benefits of Twitter. I began to protest. That was one thing I was sure I’d never do. But as I protested my brain replied, “Oh, shut up. You know you are going to do it.” ;) So, yes, I am now on Twitter.

By: Twitter Buttons
Honestly, I’m serious considering applying “I’ll never do that” to something I really want to do and see if that makes it come true. Well, that’s how things have worked so far.
Hm…that’s it, I am never going to England! Now I’m going to go sit back and wait for the tickets to arrive. :)
I did declare I’d never blog. Now I not only blog, I design them.
And I was sure I’d never end up on Face Book.
Emily Ann Benedict

Create Your Badge
Perhaps I should just mourn my apparent lack of resolve. ;)
In the meantime, if you find me interesting follow me on Twitter and if you’d like to chat send me a friends request on Face Book.
(In case you’re wondering, I use a picture of my dog for my profile because a lot of people recognize me by that picture. I probably should be disturbed by that.)

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barns and Nobles and iTunes gift cards.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do monocles and magnifying glasses go with cowboy hats?

This is a follow up to my confession that, after years of disliking westerns novels and movies, I now find myself inclined to write one. Startling, yes, but the reaction of my family has been nothing short of…amusing. ;)
When I told my sister, who always reads my manuscripts first, she sighed dramatically and moaned, “Fine, but you know I wouldn’t read it in real life.” She will watch western motives, but won’t read novels of the genre. Of course, I don’t think she’s ever read a western…
Nothing could beat my mother’s reaction. She scrunched up her nose and began to beg me not to! I’m serious! She started listing all the other time periods that I could write about. That’s when I remembered that, while my previous opinion of westerns was general dislike, hers borders on abhorrence. Why? She grew up in a family that loved westerns in all forms and somewhere along the way she went into western sensory overload, declaring that it was impossible for her to like one.
I asked her if she would approach my manuscript begrudgingly because of the genre. Ever honest, she said yes, then sighed and added, “But knowing you I’ll probably end up liking it.”
Oh, the horror of possibly liking a western! Anything, anything but that! LOL
Well, we will just have to see if I can write a western that my critics can like. I am noticing, as my notes spill out before me, that I am being heavily influenced by some of my favorite British authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers in particular. Perhaps a bit of P.G. Wodehouse as well. (We all need a valet, right?)
Sherlock and Lord Peter are particular favorites of mine (I love eccentrics), and their fingerprints are getting all over my storyline, but then I don’t think I’ve ever written a novel without a British author floating around in my head.
Hm, I do think I will end up doing my mother a service by reintroducing her to the western. During our conversation on why she doesn’t like westerns we discovered she can’t pronounce the word Bonanza. ;)

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barns and Nobles and iTunes gift cards.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

You Mean Me? Never.

I have said on this blog that the words, “I’ll never do that,” are unwise to say. Yet, I did not listen to my warning and consequently found myself leaning over my notebook yesterday, writing words I never thought possible.
It all started with a decision to expand my sphere of reading. I’m a life-long mystery reader, but with the wide variety of Christian fiction at my finger tips I began picking up novels from all genres: romances, historical novels, comedies, even dramas. But there was one genre I was sure I’d never try. The western.
My joke about westerns has long been, whether movie or novel, I find myself enjoying it until they reach the prairie. ;) I’m just not much of a roughing it, dust and dirt sort of girl. Though a life-long horse lover, my style and saddle has always been English. (Honestly, I can’t really lift a western saddle over the horse.)
My certainty on that matter wavered a bit recently when I happened upon a book by Cathy Marie Hake. I knew it was a western, but it sounded interesting…so I brought it home. Still, as I flipped open the cover, I kept the price sticker on the front. Something told me I would get bored within a few chapters and regret the purchase.
Imagine my surprise when I read the whole thing in three days and thoroughly enjoyed it. (gasp) Then shockingly I picked up another novel by the same author and now find myself reveling in it, even in all its westerness. (gasp again)
I am faced with only two options. Either there really are good western stories out there or I’ve suddenly developed a liking for cowboy boots. (momentary though) Nope, I still prefer Cinderella’s slippers. I now acknowledge the existence of good westerns. (gasp loudly)
But what has left me outright shocked is that as I flipped through the pages my brain suddenly said, “How would I write a western?” That’s how all of my stories start! :O I wrote Only Angels Are Bulletproof after watching an FBI show and suddenly found myself wondering how I would handle a bank robbery story.
Me? Write a western? Not more than a week or two ago I swore I’d never write an historical novel and that particular discussion had nothing to with westerns.
Yet, there I sat yesterday, sketching an outline for a story that sprung to my head.
Does anyone else hear The Twilight Zone music?

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barns and Nobles and iTunes gift cards.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Two Good Things

I just wanted to give you a heads up on two good things going on in the blogosphere.

1.) Fellow blogger Christian Banks is celebrating her one year blogging anniversary but giving out a signed copy of Mark’s Story by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. So head on over to her blog, http://christinabanks.blogspot.com/, to see her newly designed site and find out how you can enter to win.

2.) If you like digital scrapbooking you need to run on over to http://elisasbits.blogspot.com/ because she has three of her beautiful scrapbooking kits on sale for $2.00. It doesn’t get much better than that.
(And if you don’t know what digital scrapbooking is you need to go to her site to see how much fun you are missing.)

So there you go. Two good things. ;)
Have a great day!

Visit my Contest Blog to learn how to win Barnes and Noble and iTunes give cards.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I told you so...at least I thought so.

You know, if I really wanted to appear to be a very dignified lady I probably wouldn’t be admitting to this particular episode, but I’m still laughing about it…besides, I’m hoping someone out there with siblings understands.
You see, my sister and I have a really wonderful relationship, but we do seem to like saying, “I told you so,” to each other. We can’t seem to help it.
Well, recently, as we were leaving one of our favorite stores we somehow began discussing d├ęcor.
I said something to the effect of, “I really don’t like it when stores stick that fake tile board on the wall. Nobody thinks it look like real tile.”
My sister replied, “That’s wasn’t fake. That was real tile on the walls.”
I’m sure you can imagine how quickly that conversation descended into an argument. And, though we were laughing about it the whole time, in a matter of moments we were also betting Frappuccinos on who was right.
So, the next time we went to that store we ran directly to the spot in question, still very sure of our opinions.
This would probably be a good point to stop and say that I am approximately five inches taller than my sister. Have you gotten the idea? Yep, at my eye level it was fake tile and at her eye level it was real tile.
We literally did laugh out loud. We also got free Frappuccinos because my mom thought it was so funny she treated us both.
If you are ever told to look at the world from someone else’s perspective, I recommend you at least give it a shot.

Visit my contest blog to learn how to win Barnes and Nobles and iTunes gift cards.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My First Contest

Yes, this is the first contest I am running through my blog! So, join up, especially if you like gift cards.
I’m calling this the Read The First Chapter Contest. Anyone can join, whether or not you’ve gotten a chance to read my book yet.

How does it work?

1.) Send everyone you know to www.emilyannbenedict.com/Read_The_First_Chapter.html so they can read the first chapter of ONLY ANGELS ARE BULLETPROOF.
Contact your friends, family, blog readers, Face Book connections, and anyone else you can think of.

2.) Once they read the first chapter, ask them to tell me who referred them to my site, either by leaving a comment on my blog or sending me an e-mail: emilyannbenedict@gmail.com.
That’s it!

The first person to get ten referrals wins a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble.
The person with the most referrals by December 31st 2009 wins a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble and a $20 gift card to iTunes.

If you know someone who’d like to join in, send them to my official contest blog:emilyannbenedictcontest.blogspot.com.(Or you can just go there to see the newest background I’ve designed. I have way too much fun.)

*NOTE: I do have an analytics program on my website that allows me to know if I’m receiving new visitors. So, if I get lots of e-mails, but no new hits on my website, or just a second long visit I’m going think something fishy is going on. I.E. Don’t cheat. (Feel my reproachful gaze.)
**Barnes and Noble gift cards can be used through their website.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chapter Titles?

I have to ask, what do you think of chapter titles? As a reader? As a writer?
As a reader I like them, though I don’t always pay much attention. Recently I’ve notice that the vast majority of books I read don’t have chapter titles. 1, 2, 3…seems to be enough. As a writer, though, I do have fun with them.
Because one plotline in my book is about the possibility of miracles and angels I decided to have all of my titles be plays on religious or Biblical terms. It was easy and fun when I started out, but I must say I didn’t think about how hard it would be for some chapters. :)
Revelation was an obvious one to use (mysteries always have a “revelation” chapter anyway). My personal favorite is “To Die Is Gain” because it’s just such a fun play on what happens in the chapter, though my editor didn’t seem to get it. :P
Then there were some that I had to rely on more obscure terms with a religious history, like “The Inquisition.” I’m not sure everyone will get ones like “Wrestling The Angel”(reference to the story of Jacob and the Angel of the Lord). It just fit so well.
There were chapters that went untitled up until the last minute because I couldn’t think of anything good. I’m not exactly satisfied with them, but I am happy that they are titled. :P
The funny thing is I’ve actually had people tell me how much they liked the chapter titles. I never expected that. It really just started as a fun little project and ended up making the book feel more complete for me.
But what do you think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Good Day

I would really love to thank Abi, reviewer and writer of MyHeartBelongs2Books.blogspot.com , for posting a review of my book. You have officially made today a good day!
Reviewers, bloggers, and everyone who passes the word on are so valuable to me and thank God for you.

Check out Abi’s Review and remember to read her blog often. She highlights a lot of great authors.

Oh, and someone actually reviewed my book on Amazon.com! At long last! Check it out..
Okay, so I’m a little excited today. ;)

Check it out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Off-Kilter

Have you ever had something end up just a little bit off in a glaring way? I had that moment when I opened the last box of books my publisher sent me.
I always keep a small stock of books on hand because a lot of people like to buy directly from me. So I regularly receive 30 book shipments from my publisher. When I opened the last box they sent me I immediately realized something was wrong with the cover. It somehow looked different…greener.
I grabbed a copy from the previous shipment and put it next to the new books. Sure enough then new ones had been tinted green, almost as if there was a green neon light somewhere in the distance, casting it’s eerie glow on my angel.
I held it up in front of my family and suggested that my angel has been abducted by aliens. (Hm, I don’t think Only Aliens Are Bulletproof would sound as good.) Then my sister did something I hadn’t thought of yet.
She turned the book over, pointed to the picture of me (which I was never particularly pleased with), and declared, “You look like you’re going to be sick.” Sure enough, I too had been tinted green. I looked positively ill. :P
There really wasn’t anything I could do except hope nobody noticed and if they did try to convince them they were getting a rare edition. (Can’t you just see “Off-Color Edition of Only Angels Are Bulletproof” showing up on eBay one of these days?)
Ah well, I happy to say I just received a new box and my angel has returned a lovely stone complexion and I once again have color in my cheeks…okay, so I’m actually a little pale, but at least I’m not green!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Giveaway!

Do you like free? Yeah, me too. ;) How would you like a free signed copy of my book?

As I’ve said before, when it comes to having a book on the market sometimes it seems like you’re in a desert and sometimes it pours.
So here’s a new announcement for you!

Flannelgraph.org, a great resource for lovers of Christian fiction, has put Only Angels Are Bulletproof up in their monthly giveaway. Yes, by just signing up to follow the site you will automatically be entered into the giveaway!

If you’re not quite sure if you’d like a copy of my book (free or not), why not read the Backmatter, or better yet, the First Chapter. :)
As always, for more information on places and formats Only Angels Are Bulletproof is available in check out my website. Yes, Amazon.com has it on sale.
Yeah, I love sales too. :)

Thanks and have a great week!
Oh, and thanks every so much to Flannelgraph.org

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Say Yay With Me!

Why? At loooong last my book is available on Audible.com and through iTunes. Please join me in jumping for joy. My publisher and I have been trying for months and months and then for a few months to accomplish this.

The Audio book process was probably the hardest part of the entire publishing experience for me. The voice actor was a very nice man, but I kept thinking, “He doesn’t sound like Scott.” Of course I had to come to terms with the fact that the voice I have in my head for my character probably doesn’t really exist. (Ooo, did I just admit to hearing voices in my head ;)
The voice actor was from the Midwest, though, so I did have to explained to him how a character who grew up in California would pronounce certain things…like Los Angeles. :)

Ah, well. For the lovers of audio books, check out your iTunes or Audible.com . Scott would love to tell you all about the most startling thing he ever saw.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Book Signing!

I just wanted to let you know that I have a new book signing scheduled for October (Praise God).
The date I have right now is October 10th at the Barnes and Noble in Fresno, California. We’ve been trying to get a book signing here since last December, so today is officially a good day! :)
I know it’s a bit early to announce this, but I thought I might as well start. I’ll post a reminder with more details closer to the actually date.
So, if you’re going to be in the Central Valley area of California in October, please stop by. I’d love to meet you!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Spark Some Discussion

My family and I had a very interesting movie experience this weekend. We saw a commercial for a science fiction, doomsday film and on a whim decided to rent it.

No, I’m not going to recommend it or even tell you the title. I know I have younger readers and this was frankly one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I had trouble falling asleep because I kept envisioning waking up to find a tall, thin, blonde man standing over my bed with his abnormally long, boney fingers reaching out for me (okay, so I’m impressionable).

Then why bring it up? The movie had an interesting effect on my family. As soon as the credits began to roll everyone in the room burst into discussion about all the ideas presented and questions left. It was not a Christian movie, but the themes were oddly strong.

The ones saved from the fires were those who “heard the call” and “followed the path.” The elements sparked a lot of questions…Those creatures were certainly aliens…but allegorically could they also be angels, coming to earth to take the chosen before the finally destruction? Is that supposed to be the tree of life? The new heaven and earth? Adam and Eve? Noah’s ark? Personally, I found the end to be extremely strange for a big budget Hollywood film.
The main character, a scientist who declares throughout the film that life is nothing more than a purposeless accident, finishes the story by clinging to his father, a Christian pastor, and declaring he now knows death is not the end of life.

Before long we were discussing what we believed, what other’s believed, how each idea appeared to different viewers, what could have influenced the writers, and then we were on the internet looking up different reviews, movie facts, and quotes, trying to see if we could understand the writer’s perspective.

Interestingly, one of the reviewers said he did not like the movie because he walked away with more questions than answers. I’m all for stories that have nice, neat endings, but is there not also value in a film that encourages people to talk about deep issues and search out more answers?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mispellngs an other TypOs

I suppose this post should start with, “It was a dark and stormy knight…I mean night.” ;)
In a way, this is an official apology to all those who have read my posts and stumbled upon my typos and spelling errors. I’ve found them in the past, so I’m sure you have.
I do try (spell check, grammar check, and several readings), but it seems I just can’t avoid the mistakes.
There usually is a pattern. OFF is usually OF. AND comes out AN. AN is probably going to be A. And sentences with words like, “give her,” come out, “giver.”
That of course is a result of a brain that moves a little faster than my fingers. And then there are those times when my spelling is so unique it even stumps spell-check. It’s never good when spell-check says, No Spelling Suggestions. (lol)
Oh, come on, I know there are people out there who can understand. For the rest of you, grant me mercy and center your critique on my content. I beg you. :P
(Btw, does anyone else think grammar check is just a little bit over opinionated?)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Please Make Contact

I have not brought up politics on this blog as of yet. Though I often discuss the topic, frankly, I never really wanted to do so here. But every once and a while something comes up that I think really should be mentioned.

I am asking you to contact both your congressmen and senators, be they Republican or Democrat, and request they vote no on the “public option” health care bill that is being floated around the congress right now. It has already passed through several committees…in the middle of the night (that should say something).

I’d really rather not seem my country turn into Britain, where twice as many people die of treatable conditions because they are stuck on waiting lists. Or Canada, were people cross over boarders and pay cash just to get treatment that is plentiful in our country.
And as to the line, “You’ll be able to keep your own insurance if you want,” page 16 of the current draft does away with that.

I know there are many out there who feel our country is already doomed to follow this path and there’s no point in trying. Personally, I’d still like to try.

You can find the names of your representatives and ways to contact them at: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

Thanks for trying with me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Look To The Right

Yes, scroll down just a bit and look to the right. Did you look? Good. Then you probably saw the poll I have there titled WHICH DO YOU PREFER? So, if you haven’t, VOTE. :)
Come now, I know I have visitors out there who haven’t voted yet. (Feel my reproachful gaze.)
And I’m certain you have an opinion. (Don’t deny it.)
This is actually a growing debate in the publishing word, especial in the wake of the popularity of the Kindle and iTunes.

For the record:
-I am a TRADITIONAL PRINT BOOK vote.
-Personally, I am not fond of audio books. One reason being I can read a book faster than I can listen to it. But I do know of people, particular those who have long commutes, who love them.
-I have not yet read an eBook, but I do intend to in the near future. A book I want to read has only been released in eBook. However, I can never see myself being won over by them entirely. Among other reasons, I love collecting books almost as much as reading them. I don’t think an eBook reader would make my house look as nice as a full bookcase would. ;)

So, what do you think?
(In reference to the person who voted WHAT’S A BOOK?…I know who that was and in a way he was being honest. :P)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Isn’t that a great title? Okay, so maybe I’m a little bit prejudiced. ;)
Still, how could I not own a book with that title? My mom and I decided that it would look very good on our bookshelves.
But even before we got it home I realized I could not avoid reading the book…even though it is classified as a children’s novel best suited for 5th grade readers. :)
Perhaps I was egged on a bit by the fact that the “adult” novel I was reading at the moment was boring me into annoyance. I was coming up with ways to avoid reading it.
However, 485 pages later I was very happy that I’d pealed back the cover of The Mysterious Benedict Society. It is, in essence, what a good book ought to be. Exceptionally clever at times. Fanciful at others. Plenty of suspense to keep the pages turning. A great deal of adventurous escapades. Wit applied when needed.
I am willing to admit that on occasion I do read children’s novels, because I know good writing and storytelling is not confined to the realm of adulthood. I thoroughly enjoyed Holes (yes, I have a copy in my library). And I am a little tempted to try out A Series of Unfortunate Events someday (yes, the movie was dark and a bit strange, but somehow uniquely enjoyable).
Honestly, what true lover of books doesn’t search out good stories wherever they may be founds?
So, I say, if you ever long to be lost for a moment in the world of good old fashioned story-telling, why not follow Mr. Benedict and his team of exceptional children as they attempt to save the world from the very grip of evil?
NOTE: The description of Mr. Benedict given in the book does not match my father or my grandfather, so he must be a member of the east-coast branch of the family. ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Does No Ever Really Mean No?


I am not much of a swimmer. It’s just not something I’m all that fond of. I told my family that very clearly this weekend when they were trying to coax me into our pool.
After much pleading failed, my sister finally said, “Why don’t you just put your feet in?”
To be a good sport, I rolled up my jeans and sat down on the pool decking, without any idea how fast such an action could snow ball into disaster…or should I say sink.
First my Dalmatian mix, Margaret, took it as a signal she could now jump into the pool and swim to her heart’s content. The show she put on was enjoyable enough that I really didn’t mind the splash I got ever time she came over to make sure solid ground still existed. After all, I was just getting a little wet.
Then out of the blue, my brother’s mini beagle decided that she too wanted to go for a swim. That lasted for about three minutes, at which point she took a wrong turn, swam into a wall, and began to panic.
So what did I have to do? (Ah, come on people, you should have seen this coming.) I had to jump in and pull her out.
Why bother searching for a modest bathing suit? Blue jeans and a T-shirt work just fine. (lol)
Of course, I’m now afraid to see what will happen the next time I decide not to go swimming. :P

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blackout

Yes, it is officially summer in California. How do I know? We’ve had our first electrical blackout. ;)
Over the past few weeks we’ve been experiencing blackout “blinks,” but on Tuesday, just as I was about to put dinner into the oven, the lights went off, the air conditioner hummed to a stop, and a choirs of beeping surge protectors all sounded at once. A few minutes later one of our neighbors came over to inform us that, while outside washing his car, he heard an explosion like sound coming out of the PG&E electrical vault in our front yard.

So, just in case you experience the same issue, we’ve come up with a list of things to do while waiting for electricity to be restored.
-Trade out that great dinner you were planning for cold cut sandwiches.
-Watch smoke float out of the vault when the PG&E worker opens it. (I kid you not.)
-Try to find something by the light of a decorative votive candle.
-Think about blogging about a power outage and hope you’ll remember it when the internet comes back up.
-Listen to the automated PG&E voice during status calls.
-Watch the temperature on the thermostat rise and then calculate the difference between the outside and inside temperature.
-And of course, stay as still as possible in hopes that you won’t overheat. (Hard to do when it’s 102 degrees just beyond the walls.)

:) All and all, this one wasn’t too bad. Three hours later the power came back on. Frankly, it’s a little amusing these days. Ah, beloved California. ;)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tada!

Like the new background? :)

Whew, that only took me…most of the day. :P I’m not sure how smart it is to teach an eternal book worm the ends and outs of code and website design programs, but that is what my brother is attempting to do.

Last night he said to me, “You are where I was five years ago.” Considering that he is now a professional web designer that statement is a little scary. (lol) But he went ahead an installed a program on my computer that allows me to do design work and I read up on some code, downloaded a bunch of images, sized and layered them, uploaded…and all that stuff. (Yeah, I did a lot of, “Oh, God, please just let it work.”) I did end up needing Alex’s genius in the end.

If you’d like to see some of his amazing web designs, check out: http://www.interceptwebdesign.com/
Oh, and thanks very much to Summertime Designs for the free image downloads:
http://www.summertimedesigns.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 29, 2009

:?

Yes, I know, the background is all messed up. It may take me a bit to fixt that. :P
Just a touch of a problem.

Something told me you need to laugh today.

I am happy to help.

Just in case you are wondering, this is my mother’s poodle mix, Madeline, in one of her Halloween costumes. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is in a POV?

I’m noticing a really amusing pattern among people who knew me for a considerable amount of time prior to finding out that I am a writer. They were of course surprised to hear that I’d published a novel, but according to person after person that is not the most surprising thing. It seems they picked the book up, expecting to read a story from my point of view, and instead found that the whole story is written from the point of view of a 35 year old male FBI agent. Many times now I have had friends say, “It works, but why did you do that?”

The answer: IT WORKS! (lol)

I had a story to tell and found that the best way to tell it was through the eyes of a 13 year veteran FBI agent named Scott Malkin (who is entirely fictional, just in case you are wondering). Hey, as long as my narrator works I will always be amused by the reactions I sometimes get. ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Simpatico

I’ve know that my dog, Margaret, was the world’s greatest dog almost from the first day she ended up at our house nine years ago. But yesterday I discovered yet another reason believe she was always indeed intended to be my dog.
Everyone who really knows me knows that I’m a diligent cappuccino drinker. Usually two cups a day (unless it’s a ‘long’ day, in which case I can negotiate it higher). Well, yesterday, my first cup turned into a catastrophe. I’m not really sure what happened. One moment my cup was perched nicely on the side table and the next its contents were all over the table, the chair, the floor, and a stack of books.
I jumped up and ran to the kitchen to get towel, but when I returned I found Margaret had wrapped herself around the table in a very strange way. It didn’t take me long to realize that she was attempting to lick up as much cappuccino as she possibly could. Frankly, I’ve never seen her that excited about a spill before. LOL.
When my mother’s poodle came over to investigate, Margaret told her in no uncertain doggy terms, “Go away, this is mine.” A few hours later I discovered that she’d practically rolled in the puddle.
Of course, later that evening when I poured myself a new cup I looked down to find her staring quite intently at me with eyes that said, “So, are you going to finish that?” That’s my girl!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Reading List

Okay, I’m putting up my ‘hope to read this summer’ list, partly because I’m excited about the new stack of books on my bookcase and partly because I’m trying to be committed. Last summer I was a bit haphazard…but then I my list of books this summer is more interesting. ;)

-Get Out Of That Pit by Beth Moore (Just finished yesterday…Exceptional)
-Sherlock Holmes and The Kings Evil and Other New Tales Featuring the World’s Great Detective by Donald Thomas (In the middle of and loving it.)
-Why Shoot the Butler? by Georgette Heyer (The cover and the backmatter looked interesting.)
-Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer
-Midnight in Madrid by Noel Hynd (Purely a backmatter buy.)
-To Live is Christ by Beth Moore
…I also have the two newest mysteries by Mindy Starns Clark. She is always very good, but I overdosed on her books a bit the summer before last (eight of her books in a row) so those are at the bottom of the list. :P

Well, there’s what I’m hoping for. No guarantees I'll make it…there are also no guarantees I’m not going to stumble upon something else that sounds interesting. I found two very interesting sounding books yesterday, but I decided they sounded a bit more like my mother’s taste. So she’s going to read them first and tell me if I’d like them. I’ll do the same for her with the books I just listed. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sigh of Contentment

Oh, what joy there is in a book that makes me wish I could keep my eyelids open just a few minutes longer, just enough to read one more chapter, one more page, one more sentence. A book that makes me wish I was reading it when I am doing other things throughout the day. A book that encourages me to read a considerable number of pages in one sitting, yet the point is not to finish it quickly, but to revel in the story as it progresses.
It has been so long since I’ve found such a book that having one now is quite wonderful.
Hm…this could have the makings of a sonnet. But I will put no more time into this post. I was seated by the fire in the cozy sitting room of a London flat, listening happily to characters discuss the more amusing side of crime in Britain. Surely you can understand if I want to return as soon as possible. ;)

Monday, June 8, 2009

16 to 26


Yep, in a few more hours I’ll be 26 years old. :)
For some reason a couple months ago I started thinking not only about how much life has changed in the past ten years (naturally), but how much I’ve changed.

At 16: I wanted to be an artist.
At 26: I am a published mystery writer.

At 16: I drank tea, spent most of my day in front of a drawing board, and walked around with pencil smudges on my fingers.
At 26: I drink cappuccino, spend most of my day in front of a laptop, and walk around with my reading glasses on. (I have trouble remembering to take them off when I get up from my desk.)

At 16: I was sure I’d never dye my hair, never get my ears pierced, and make-up was something rarely applied.
At 26: My hair is a bit blonder than nature intended, I love dangly earrings, and as for make-up…well, of course. ;)

At 16: I read classical literature and my taste in music generally followed along.
At 26: While I still love the classics, I’m a hound for non-fiction, contemporary Christian fiction, and Christian pop-rock.

At 16: I’d been a Christian for less than 2 years.
At 26: I’ve been in some very dark valleys and on some very tall mountains with God and I’m ready for the next journey.

Sometime in the middle of the past ten years I also declared I would never join a social networking site and I definitely would not blog. Never. (lol)
It’s almost scary to think about where I’ll be in another ten years. ;)
Just in case anyone is wondering: Tomorrow I intend to go on an iTunes shopping spree, indulge in mocha Frapuccino, and spend a considerable amount of time in Barns&Noble. Chocolate cake will make an entrance at some point. :D

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Backmatter

For those of you out there who do not think that is a word, it is! Backmatter: The words on the back of a book. For some reason I find them extremely important and entertaining. I am a self-confessed backmatter lover. Yes, I will buy books solely on the basis of the backmatter. There are times when I go into the bookstore without any idea of what I’m going to buy. I just want to walk around and read backmatters. (We all have our own ways of being adventurous.)
But the love of backmatters does not merely center on buying books. I just like reading them for the fun of it. Even if it’s a book I know I’m never going to read, I like to see what’s out there, what authors are coming up with, what sells and doesn’t sell. Ask any member of my family and they’ll tell you that if we walk by a shelf of books in any store they are probably going to lose me.
I don’t know why, but it’s sort of recreational for me. I don’t care if that sounds weird. ;)
But having said that, I’m sure you’ll at least understand what I mean when I said I agonized over what went on the back of my book. It took me weeks of writing and then going back and forth with my editor before I had one that I was satisfied with. At one point she sent me her ideas to which I had to reply, “Um, you just gave the whole mystery away…” lol
Ah, well. You’ll just have read my backmatter and decide for yourself whether it sounds interesting.
http://www.emilyannbenedict.com/books.html
As for me, I know I’m going to Sam’s Club later this week and I know there’s a large shelf of books waiting for me to turn them over and read. :D

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Say the name of Jesus.

A newly released album sparked a very interesting conversation this weekend.
Over the past few months my brother, sister, and I have become fans of a Christian band called The Newsboys. We were talking about several new songs they just released when my brother said, “I just really like how much they use the name of Jesus.”
He went on to tell me how rarely he heard the name of Jesus when he listened to contemporary Christian radio. Usually the lyrics only talked of God, or Christ, or referred to “Him” when describing divinity.
Of course there is nothing wrong with this. When I write I usually reference God, but I do know that if I avoid the name of Jesus I’m missing the point of everything I believe.
Why are we so afraid to say the name of Jesus? I’ve seen some people in Christian media avoid that name in strange ways, even when directly talking about Jesus. I have felt pressured before to say or write “God” instead of “Jesus” because God is supposedly less offensive than Jesus. Do we really need to be reminded that Jesus is God?
When my brother ended by saying, “They are so comfortable with the name of Jesus it just makes their songs more powerful,” I think he completed the argument.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Congrats!


Okay, time for a momentary switch away from book talk. :) Today I want to send out a congratulations to my dad.
After 15 years of rebuilding a 1937 Ford Sedan, piece by piece, bolt by bolt, he decided to take it out to its first car show. It’s not finished yet, but since it’s now running he thought it would be fun just to take it over to a local even. And what do you know? It won a prize! Yep, first time out and the car we affectionately refer to as the ’37 has been official named a winner by one of the sponsors of the event. And they had stiff competition. There were gleaming cars worth thousands of dollars in the stalls nearby. Someone appreciated all the hard work my dad put it to it. :)
The funny thing was he wasn't by the car when the prize was awared. He and my brother walked over to the stand selling hotdogs and returned to find the award propped up on the fender.

My dad and my little brother posing in their official mechanics jackets. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

How it went...

Whew, Saturday’s book signing was certainly an interesting one. For the first hour or so only a few books were sold. Frankly, my family and I were starting to get a little nervous. It was SO hot and icky we were beginning to think that maybe people just weren’t going to show up in large numbers…but then God showed up. :D By the time my dad came over at 4:00pm to cautiously ask how many books I’d sold I was gratefully able to say, 34! Yep, grand total, 34 books!
Several friends were able to come and visit for a while. That was so sweet. Many of them bought books to hand out as gifts. An employee of a local school came in to buy supplies and ended up buying several copies for students and one for the library. A sister of a friend of mine even drove in from another city to have me sign a copy she already owned. :D All made for a really good day. Near the end one of the managers came over and said , “You are the only author we’ve ever had who stood the whole time.” (lol) All I can say is thank God for people who understand that shoes need to be cute and comfortable. ;)
…and now if any of you would like to see pictures…



This is when I start praying that I can remember how to spell my name. Don't laugh. I have messed that one up before. :P

Me in a dress. (Something that has not occured in nerely 10 years.)

Yes, that is a line in front of my table. A line!


My friend Candi signing my guestbook. :D Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Local Papers and Tomorrow's Book Signing

Trying to get the local papers to announce tomorrow’s book signing has been an interesting experience, but today my mom and I had a good laugh about how it turned out.
It took me a couple of days to get up the nerve to call the paper, but once I did finally get a hold of someone they promised to put an announcement in their “calendar” today. To be honest, I don’t read the paper so I didn’t have any idea what that meant.
Well, today my mom and I went out and bought a paper, then spent several minutes looking for my name. We found the section on events and scanned page after page of events in town this weekend, but could not find mine. Then just as I started searching another section I heard my mom say, “Here you are.”
It was just a basic, two sentence notice listing the time and place, which was what we expected. But what made us laugh was the section it was in. My book signing was listed under “Etc.” Yep, I’m officially an etcetera. Lol.
I was notified on Wednesday that I was mentioned in the Sunday paper as well, but that one went a little awry. For some reason they listed me as the “author and illustrator” of Only Angels Are Bulletproof. Uh…well, I helped pick out the cover shot. :P I guess we’ll see how many people show up expecting to see a children’s book author.
Ah, where would we be without the media. :)

Hope I get a chance to see you there! Check out the EVENTS page on my website for all the details. http://www.emilyannbenedict.com/

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Saturday!


Yep, this Saturday is my next book signing. If you’re going to be anywhere near the Borders Books in Fresno CA, please stop in and say hello. I’m so looking forward to meeting everyone. Happily, this one is a lot closer to home for me, so I’ll get to see more of my friends and family that weren’t able to make it to the last one.
I went into the store last weekend just to check-in with the manager and he directed me to a large display with all of the books he’d ordered out on the floor. It was so amazing to see my book stacked up on the shelves. We’ve got a lot of copies to sell, so if you’ve been thinking about buying one come on down. I’d love to meet you.
By the grace of God all will go well. He was so faithful last time, but as always please pray. Your prayers were so appreciated last time!
And thanks again to Borders for giving me this chance.

Borders Books at the River Part shopping center
7722 N. Blackstone Ave.
Fresno, CA 93720
(559) 435-5501
Saturday May 16th
1:00PM – 4:00PM

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blog Post


Yes, I know. I’ve shamefully neglected this blog over the past few weeks. I promised myself when I started it that I would post something at least once a week, but then I didn’t anticipate these past few weeks. ;)
In all honesty I haven’t been doing of anything of great interest…at least not to this blog. Just everyday sorts of things that have kept me away from the computer. As an all out computer addict it’s felt rather weird to have been away so much, but then long phone calls, extreme house cleaning, garage sale prep, card games with family, several visits from out of town guests, birthday dinners, and many other events needed to take precedence for a while. I actually spent practical all day yesterday with one of our guests at the airport because he missed his check-in time by two minutes and continued to be bumped off of subsequent flights until six o’clock this morning. :O Life happens and it often turns out quite nice. Hey, I learned a new card game while sitting in that airport yesterday. (lol)
I’m sure a lot of my friends think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, but hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to catch up on e-mails and messaging and anything else I’ve neglected.
But first I need to go to another birthday party tonight. ;)
What’s the quote? Live, Laugh, Love…and eventually answer you e-mails. LOL.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Day

Don’t forget to check out http://www.writer-to-reader.com/ tomorrow! Again, I’d like to thank them for posting the first chapter of my book and information on my book signing.
If you’re searching for some books, you should definitely check in with them regularly. It’s a great resource for finding up and coming Christian fiction.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beyond Weird

Lol, so, what do I do when a major, bestselling author sort of inadvertently copies my book cover?
For a moment I was afraid that mine might be a copy, because his book was originally released in the late '80s. Then we suddenly remembered that we have a copy of this book and it had a different cover. After I recovered from the surprise, I looked it up online and discovered that he just rereleased it, with a new cover, last month…three months after mine came out.
I’m sure this wasn’t done on purpose. He probably doesn’t even know I exist. And I know that image was part of a collection that a stock photo company sells. But still, who could have ever seen this coming?
I don’t really know if I’m going to mention it to anyone yet. Currently I’m somewhere between amused and stunned. Half of my family and friends are upset and the other half thinks it might be a good thing.
I’ve got one interesting scenario in mind. A week before I have my next book signing, the store is going to put up posters of my book cover at all of their entrances. Max Lucado’s book will probably be somewhere near the new release table…so, do you think anyone is going take a quick glance and think Max Lucado is coming into town for a book signing? LOL ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Help from the blogs...


Having a book on the market is at times an up and down experience. One month I see activity, and the next every message I send out goes unanswered or is outright rejected. It has been a great lesson on leaning on God and waiting for His timing.
But April has been a blessing month and was further made so by a blog titled Writer-to-Reader. They graciously post the first chapters of books and accept posts from writers across the country to help them connect with readers.
On April 22 the first chapter of Only Angels Are Bulletproof will be posted. Thank you!
Check out http://www.writer-to-reader.com/ to read the chapter and check out more information on other new releases.
If you have a blog, please consider putting up a review or an announcement of my book. Every notice helps. Actually, post announcements for any great book you read, especially if it’s a new release. You will never know how much we rely on word of mouth…or posts on blogs. This day and age it’s the same thing. ;)
And thank you to the bloggers who have posted my book! You are truly blessings. :)

Have a happy tax day…or is that an oxymoron. ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Book Signing and Kindle Release!

Praise God, we’ve gotten another book signing scheduled! :D This one will be at the Borders in Fresno CA, Saturday May 16th at 1:00pm. I’ll send out notices and put up another reminder when we get closer to the date, but I just wanted put it up now because this is a good day! We were getting a little discouraged because several bookstores had turned us down, but God has His timing and His ways.

And, as promised, Only Angels Are Bulletproof has been release on Kindle! So, if you’re an eBook lover I hope you enjoy!