...about Operation eBook Drop.

I recently learned about a wonderful opportunity to do something for some our overseas military personnel...for those who have ebook readers available to them. And so I signed up to participate.

It took about a week to format my three novels and upload them to Smashwords so that I could make them available free to members of the military. I thank Smashwords and the creator of Operation eBook Drop, Edward Patterson, for this opportunity. I'm in the process of emailing coupon codes for the free downloads to military personnel who have requested to participate in the program.

And, by the way, for those of you who are not in the military but would like to check out digital versions of my novels, they are available on Smashwords for $1.99 (and you can read a sample for free on Smashwords). Here's a link to my Smashwords site.

Operation eBook Drop logo:
From the Imagination and Graphic Artistry of K.A. M'Lady & P.M. Dittman.
...about visits.

I'm excited to announce today's visit from author K.M. Weiland!

K.M. Weiland writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in the sandhills of western Nebraska. She is the author of A Man Called Outlaw and the recently released Behold the Dawn. She blogs at Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors and AuthorCulture.

I can hardly wait to read Behold the Dawn, especially since she's whetted my appetite by providing us an exquisite morsel from it for our blog. And be sure to check out the awesome book video for Behold the Dawn. Without further ado, here's an excerpt from Behold the Dawn:

The infidels struck, screaming their wordless battle cry. Everything around them turned to pain and death. Annan didn’t wait to check for the guards. He clamped one hand round the lady’s arm and lunged forward. The sounds of the slaughter surged after them with an intensity and a speed that bespoke all too well of the attackers’ vigor.

He kept low, not daring to look behind him, knowing the Moslems were much closer than he wanted them to be.

He and the lady crossed the corpse of a guard, and Annan paused long enough to lift the infidel saber from the still-warm hand. It was a masterful stroke that had felled the warrior—silently, deftly, instantly. His nostrils flared in a momentary flash of admiration. Whatever else he was or had been, the Baptist was a man of many skills.

The courser, a muscled gray, snorted through distended nostrils, but he could not veer fast enough to escape Annan’s hand on the tie-line.

“Master Knight!”

At her cry, he spun to see the approach of the horsemen, dark against the ruddy sky. With one stroke of the saber, he severed the tie line and vaulted into the saddle, narrowly clearing the high cantle.

The Moslems swept through the camp, shouting their curses of vengeance, and Mairead turned to look up at Annan, eyes dark with the sudden horror that he was abandoning her already.

He shifted sword and reins all into one hand, fighting to keep the snorting courser from charging away. He reached out with his left hand and caught the countess’s outstretched arm. His wounded shoulder burned, and the tightness of the bandage nearly forestalled the necessary strength to swing her onto the pillion behind him.

She landed with a soft thump and let go of his wrist. Her arms came around his waist, her face against his shoulders. “Go.”

He laid his heels to the gray courser’s sides, and the horse lunged forward, dark mane unfurling against his rein hand. But this was a Western horse, bred for muscle and endurance. He had not the dexterity and fleetness of the Mohammedan war mares.

Behind them, the tattoo of hoofbeats grew louder yet, and Annan dared a look over his shoulder, past Mairead’s blowing hair. Only paces separated them from two infidel pursuers.
He spurred the courser again. The horse was fresh and responded with another lengthening of stride. But Annan knew they would never outpace their followers. He could only be thankful that these infidels were not that brand of Moslem archer famed for their accuracy on horseback, else the countess’s exposed back would already have become an easy target.

Not that it mattered. Once they drew near enough, the infidels would cut them apart at their leisure anyway.

He could not run. So he must fight.
WOW!! I can't wait to get my copy! Behold the Dawn is available from Amazon.com.

...about lightning.

Hmmm. Writers are cautioned to stay away from clichés...they are tired, stale, trite and overused. But you know what? Sometimes, there's no way around it -- a cliché will pop up and demand to be used. That's what happened to me in my last blog post (I'm sure you've heard the old saying about silence being golden?).

Another cliché has popped up on my blog, just one day later...something about lightning striking twice...I'm sure you've heard it before. Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place? Well, guess what...it just did. And what is that "lightning," you ask? A visit from a fantastic author!

Yep! We've got company comin' again!

This week, another exciting author will be visiting my blog...be sure to watch for her!

Image: Stanislaw Rombel via stock.xchng

...about silence.

It’s supposed to be golden, isn’t it? At least, that’s what I’ve always heard. But sometimes, I fear it’s not valued as gold is. Particularly when the silence is on a blog where the blog host maintains silence (not on purpose, but because other activities crowded out her blog responsibilities).

I am hereby breaking my recent silence, with a word about the other activities which overshadowed my intentions to keep up with my blog.

Fi rst, I turned my back on my computer a few times and got to spend some wonderful golden moments with dear friends...

Second, I’ve spent some time working on a project which means a lot to me...the anthology my writer’s group is producing...

Third, I’ve done a lot of reading/research for the third book in my historical series...and learned a whole slew of things I hope will enrich the story I hope to write during NaNo next month.

So, there ya have it. But be forewarned: I don’t stay silent forever.

Image: Moi Cody via stock.xchng
...about reviews.

When a writer pens a novel (or any book, actually), a haunting thought may occur once the manuscript is finished: will anyone like this story? Will anyone even want to read it?

And if the novel garners a positive review, it’s as welcome as a compliment on a child is to a proud grandparent. Grandma can’t help wanting to tell friends, “Hey, you know what little Jimmy’s teacher said about him today? That he’s one smart kid!” And she trots out her Grandma’s Brag Book of pictures at every opportunity.

I’ve been very thankful for reviews of my novels, and want to share them with others…rather like dragging out that Brag Book. So…here are the latest items in my “Novel Brag Book,” a review of …and night falls and a review of Scribbles, both featured on ICE (Intense Christian Entertainment) ezine.

Thanks so much, Patrick and The Alpha Jan for these great reviews!

...about the winner.

I love to be the bearer of good tidings.

And today, I get to make an announcement that will make someone happy. I was just informed that the winner of the drawing for the e-copy of Rocky Mountain Oasis is. . . . (drum roll please, I like to make things dramatic when I can) . . . Myra Shofner!

Myra, you’re in for a treat!

My husband snagged my copy of Rocky Mountain Oasis from my desk last week and read it before I had a chance to…and he loved it! He’s waiting anxiously for the sequel. For those who didn’t win, be sure to get yourself a copy!

Image: Billy Alexander via stock.xchng – visit his page at: http://www.stockxpert.com/browse_image/profile/BillyRuth3

...about the visit.

In my last post, I told you we had “company comin’”—and our company has arrived. Please welcome Lynnette Bonner, author of “Rocky Mountain Oasis,” newly released by OakTara.

And, as I promised, Lynnette has brought a free gift for everyone who reads this post…she is graciously allowing us to read the first three chapters of her novel: Click Here.

And, as if that isn’t enough, Lynnette is also giving away a free e-copy of “Rocky Mountain Oasis” to one lucky commenter on today’s blog post. So be sure to leave your comment!

Rocky Mountain Oasis is available at:



...about company comin'.

There’s an old song that just went wafting through my brain. It’s by Porter Wagoner, titled “Company Comin’.”

And it reminded me…we’ve got company comin’ to “Tommie Lyn Writes” on Friday, August 21st. I thought I’d give y’all a “heads up” so you could mark it on your calendar (that’s day after tomorrow, by the way).

Our company will be bringing a free gift for one of you lucky readers, so be sure to check the blog on Friday to learn the details (and be in the running to win that free gift). So I’m dustin’ my blog, sweepin’ down the cobwebs, rollin’ out the red carpet, for our guest.

I’ll send out a reminder email Friday, just in case any of y’all are like me and have trouble remembering….

And don’t forget…y’all come see us!

photograph: Stock.xchng

...about growth.

Everything grows: children, puppies, vegetables, piles of dirty laundry…

One thing I’ve been dimly aware of, hoping it’s been growing, too, is my writing ability. And, yes, it has. Somewhat. It may not seem obvious to some (since my writing abilities may not compare favorably with those of other writers), but my expertise with using the language—with stringing words together into a vehicle that will carry the images in my mind to the minds of others—has grown.

I wasn’t aware of the extent of the improvement, the growth, until I re-read part of my first novel (the one I have to edit “one more time”) last night. And things I’d never seen before jumped out at me: awkward phrasing, redundancy, poor choice of words…you name it, the poor writing was there. I’d known it needed more work. I just wasn’t aware how much more work it needed.

Even so, I’m not devastated at seeing the lack of stellar writing, only a bit more pressured by the “mountain” of work that lies ahead (hey, I just made a pun…cool!).

Let me ask…how is your writing growing?

photograph: Bev Lloyd-Roberts via stock.xchg

...about writing plays.

Have you ever thought about writing a play? I wouldn’t know where to start.

Back during the first ScriptFrenzy, I did write a screenplay (Crawdads and Co-Colas), and that was quite an experience. But I’ve never been tempted to try writing a play.

Until now.

My mentor, Myra Shofner, will be teaching a free (get that? FREE!) online seminar for local writers soon, “Write the One-Act Play.” Since I have so many on-going projects competing for my time and attention, I was going to let the opportunity slide by. But you know what? I can’t (…as I’ve said before, I’m a pushover when it comes to challenges…hence my participation in NaNoWriMo every year). Yesterday, I broke down and signed up.

So, for those local writers who’ve harbored a secret desire to write a play (and for those who haven’t), here’s your golden opportunity.

The Panhandle Community Theatre is planning the 2010 Summer Theatre Festival which will only feature plays by area playwrights. And only writers who’ve completed the online seminar may submit their plays for consideration.

Go to http://writersgalleryms.com/ for more information about the seminar. And to sign up, send an email to: writersgalleryms (at) aol.com (email address purposely mistyped with (at) instead of @ to foil bots).

The deadline for signing up is August 18th. Don’t miss it.

Image: Stock.xchng

...about requests.

When a friend asks me to do something, I try to honor it, if I can. But when two friends (Liberty Speidel: Word Wanderings, and Tamera Kraft: Word Sharpeners) make the same request, I no longer merely try…it becomes imperative to make an effort to follow through. These two friends bestowed on me the “Honest Scrap” award on their blogs…which means ~sigh~ I have to share eight things about myself. (And the fact that the second invitation came today…my birthday…65th birthday at that…well, I don’t believe in omens, you understand…but….) So here goes:

1. As I said in the preceding paragraph, today is my 65th birthday. I’m now officially older than dirt.

2. I was born in Dalton, Georgia, south of Chattanooga, north of Atlanta.

3. I met my hubby at church when I was 14, experienced a classic case of “love at first sight,” and never got over it. We married four years later, when I was 18. And now, I've been married almost 46 years to my best friend and love of my life. God has blessed me.

4. One of the more interesting places where I’ve lived is Okinawa, Japan. Interestingly, before we got orders to Okinawa, I studied Japanese for two years.

5. I took traditional doll making classes while we lived on Okinawa and became a licensed doll maker, and I enjoy other crafts and activities of all kinds: knitting, crocheting, tatting, macrame, pattern drafting, sewing (I even sewed hubby’s Navy uniforms from patterns I drafted myself…and they passed inspection!), drawing, painting, do-it-yourself black-and-white film photography, complete with my own darkroom. I was in a singing group for several years…the Joymakers. I like collecting and polishing gemstones, panning for gold, gardening, landscaping…um…I’ll stop there…I’m getting tired just thinking about all the stuff I’ve done.

6. Hubby and I were a presenting “team couple” in Marriage Encounter for several years.

7. I owned and operated my own computer graphics/animation company, and later co-owned (with hubby) a small printing company.

8. I was valedictorian of my high school class…something I don’t like to talk about.

Whew! I did it! There ya go…the “honest scrap” about me…stuff I’m proud of as well as stuff I’m not.

Now. To drop the other shoe, so to speak…one of the requirements of the Honest Scrap Award is that you are required to pass it on to others. So, here’s the list of my unfortunate victims…er, friends:

Myra Shofner – Myraswritersgallery Blog

Sylvia Melvin – Sylvia’s Scribbles

Shellie Tomlinson - Abiding

Ginny Cruz – Pioneer Poet

Katharine Richardson – Wise Dogs

Nona King – Word Obsession

John Long – Peace Be the Journey

Ray Shoop – Ray Ray’s Blog