Wednesday, February 27, 2013

GHOSTLY CLUES...Can you handle the case?

I am thrilled to present...
 For a FREE copy of GHOSTLY CLUES to review, just answer the question at the end of this post...
The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom. 
Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.
Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.
Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul. 
Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead.
Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead.  The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.

Great Blurb Kay...
Your novel has recently been released through Museitup Publishing. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “Ghostly Clues”. The title suggests a scary story… should we be afraid?

Well the idea for this story has been haunting me for years. It started way back when I was about Sarah Kay’s age and my grandmother passed away. 

One night, shortly after my grandma passed away, I saw a ghost hand creep up on my bed and take a doll. The next morning, I found the doll way under my bed. 

I believe it was my grandma’s way of telling me I was too old to sleep with dolls. Now I’m not saying my grandma was a ghost like Sarah Kay’s grandma, but it gave me the idea for Ghostly Clues.

 Through the years, I always wanted to add that memory to a story. So I did. The title does suggest a scary story. If you are afraid of ghosts, there might be some scary parts in the story. But over all it is not too scary.
Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?

When I start a story, I don’t plot it out first. I start with an idea and go with it letting my characters take on a life of their own. They tell me their story and I write it down. Ghostly Clues went through a lot of revisions before I got it right. 

Through those revisions the story changed but never strayed to far from the original idea. Usually my characters keep me in check, demanding me to tell the story the way they want it told.

Writing the story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it. Becoming published is not always easy. Even with self publishing as an option. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face, along the road to publication?

Never give up. It doesn’t matter what your dream is, never give up on it. If you believe in your writing, someday it will find home and get in the hands of readers who will enjoy reading your characters’ stories.

What was the hardest hurdle for you in getting your novel published?

Finding the right publisher for my story, I think is the hardest hurdle on the road to publication. When you write a story, you think it is the best and sometimes it is hard to get those rejection letters/emails. 

You don’t understand how the publisher could reject your baby, a story you have worked so hard on. Then there is the feeling of wanting to give up because you don’t believe you’ll ever get published. 

Then one day it happens. Then you are faced with marketing your book, getting your book into the hands of your readers.

Have you always been a writer?

Yes. I haven’t always been a published writer, but I have always enjoyed writing. Writing has been my passion since I was about Sarah Kay’s age.

book can be found on Amazon, goodreads, bookstrand, and smashwords.
 Now, we are looking forward to an 
excerpt from Ghostly Clues
The house was blanketed in a quiet slumber. I snuggled under the sleeping bag with Allison, trying not to think about ghosts, as I drifted to sleep.
Random pictures floated in my mind like ghostly images.
I tiptoed among tombstones and my heart ached as if I had lost something or someone. He had to be here, somewhere. The gravestones rose like stone walls. No names engraved on them. No dates. No R.I.P. Nothing. Just smooth, flat stones. Ghosts—grayish, smoky forms with black eyes—floated over the tombstones.  I shivered, suddenly cold, freezing. My breath visible like a little ghost. I didn’t want to look at the ghost anymore so I looked down at my feet. A tombstone with Grandma’s name appeared out of nowhere. The earth moved. The dirt around the headstone broke away and gnarled fingers clawed their way into the air, searching, grasping. Shriveled fingers clutched my leg.  
Something grabbed at my leg—the hand, I screamed and frantically wiggled out of my sleeping bag, bumping MJ as I tried to get away from the hand I thought I felt grab at my leg.

 I’m Kay LaLone author of Ghostly Clues. I live in Michigan with my husband and fourteen year old son (two older sons live near by) and two dogs and a cat. My best time to write is in the morning after I had at least one cup of coffee. My favorite things to write about are ghosts and supernatural creatures. I’m an avid reader and do reviews on the books I read.

For a FREE copy of Ghostly Clues, to review, just answer this simple question...
Who is the ghost who contacts Sarah Kay from the grave?
Email your answer to the author.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Introducing PAM KELT

It is my great pleasure to have PAM KELT share a little about what inspires her writing. As a Museitup editor I have been privileged to work with Pam on her upcoming YA Fantasy novel ICE TREKKER. Mark your calendar to watch out of her release date. Pam creates a wonderful world full of incredible creatures, characters and adventure. 

 Pam KELT......
With a background in languages, editing and journalism, Pam now has five ebooks coming out: 
Ice Trekker, Half Life and Dark Interlude (all with Muse); 
The Lost Orchid (Bluewood Publishing) and Tomorrow’s Anecdote (Crooked Cat).
 She lives in Kenilworth, with her husband Rob, a professor of inorganic chemistry, keen pilot and WW2 aviation enthusiast with whom she co-wrote Half Life.

 Her daughter Lauren is doing History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. Pam loves murder mysteries in any form, Victoriana, art galleries, botany, bird-watching and blockbusters. And, of course, walking the dogs.

Scenes to be believed

Chester and Lottie enjoying the January
 snow in our local spinney
I walk the dogs every day. They need the exercise. I need a screen break. But dog walks make great locations. I can hear the theme tunes of Murder She Wrote or Midsomer Murders every time I pass by an overgrown ditch.

There’s a particular one, near Henry V’s folly a few minutes’ walk from Kenilworth Castle that is begging for a corpse.

My favourite location is a genuine Gothic ruin by the river. Built in 1751 and abandoned in the 1950s (long, long story), its empty windows look out over a picturesque bend of the Avon.

Guy’s Cliffe House in true Gothic mood, 
on 14 February, the day after the snow melted. 
The river has flooded the lower meadows

Guy’s Cliffe House is a hidden gem, not open to the public. To add to its mystique, it’s haunted, so they say. It even sports a hermit’s cave and a medieval love story with a tragic ending.

There’s a path on the other side of the river. You start at the Saxon Mill pub, the site of the original watermill, next to a weir filled with oozing, treacly water. I love the place and its ancient atmosphere.

One day in early summer a few years ago, I was trundling down the path with my two daft hounds. Ahead lay the manor with its glowering façades, overgrown rhododendrons and noisy jackdaws nesting in the chimney pots. I wondered if anyone had ever written a story about the place. It seemed more than likely.

But no. The nearest I found was that Granada TV had filmed a  Sherlock Holmes mystery with Jeremy Brett there in 1992 and managed to set fire to the ruin, causing even more damage. Eerily, the story was called The Last Vampyre. You can still see the scorch marks.
My desk on a rare tidy day when I was
making notes for Dark Interlude.
 Reverting to a fountain pen is
a miracle cure for plotitis.

I mused on what story I would set there, if I had the time to write it. Before I knew it, I’d snowballed all manner of personal interests into a plot. A retired plant collector. Orchids. A spooky mansion with a dark past and a sinister purpose.

Many writers burn to tell a particular story. In my case, the setting came before the story … and seems to be my MO. I stuck to Kenilworth for the book, called The Lost Orchid, set in the 1880s when Britain was orchid-crazy. It was fun creating a historical mystery NOT set in London.

Locations have inspired everything else I’ve written. I’m not sure why: perhaps there are so many stories to write, I needed to narrow down the choices.

Apart from my two dogs, these orchids are my
constant companions.
 The pink one on the left has been flowering
constantly since October 2011 (yes, 2011).
The next book sprang to life after a visit to Tromsö at the very top of Norway. Solid mountains, jetty, weatherboard houses, tundra, islands and lakes … I took hundreds of photographs, especially of its botanical garden, thinking I might do a sequel to the orchid story, but out popped Ice Trekker, a teen fantasy filled with monsters and mayhem. (I’m convinced Phillip Pullman visited a harbourside museum Tromsö before writing Northern Lights. It’s filled with quaint dusty cases full of 19th-century exhibits telling stories of fur-clad explorers in hot-air balloons.)

Exhibit from Tromsö museum 
The Arctic setting also sowed the seed for Half Life, a film noir thriller set in Norway before the Nazi invasion. I roped my husband into that one for his scientific expertise.

A half-term break to Loch Lomond kickstarted Dark Interlude, a romantic adventure set in post-WW1 Scotland.

Tomorrow’s Anecdote is set in the West Country, where I used to work in provincial journalism. Every pub, restaurant, house, flat, bus stop, doctor surgery and office is authentic – this time from memory, topped up by online research.

I can’t wait to finish Machiavelli’s Acolyte, a murderous tale in Bohemia in the 17th century, based in Cesky Krumlov, a dramatic Czech castle with a gruesome past.

It looks like I’ll be visiting Porvoo, a medieval city near Helsinki this summer. I wonder what story will come of that?

Click on the link to follow PAM's website and blog

Thanks for sharing some of your world, Pam, your website and blog are lovely. Well worth a visit and to follow.
Congratulations on the many releases you have this year... 2013 the year of Pam Kelt :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Accidently Inspired... CRUMPLE ZONE...

It is my pleasure to have Edith Parzefall tell us more about her new release. 
It is time to break open the champagne and celebrate the birth of her latest novel from Museitup, CRUMPLE ZONE.

For free review copies contact the author via

Hi, I'm Edith. Often people forget the 'h' when they address me via email. Edit, that's what I do a lot.

My last name is Parzefall, the name of a famous fictional character since at least the middle ages.

Chrétien de Troyes called him Perceval, Wolfram von Eschenbach Parzival, and Richard Wagner Parsifal. In English he's commonly known as Percival.

Storyline: A simpleton becomes King of the Holy Grail. Sounds quite promising, doesn't it? :-)

Find out more about me at: EDITH PARZEFALL flickr pics and EDITH PARZEFALL's blog

When my partner and I visited Chile in 2008, we actually made the front page in a local newspaper, only they gave my name a new twist: Parceball. Well, the real star of this adventure was my knight, the rented X-Trail.

On a wonderful road trip, we explored this long, narrow country, squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, mostly the Atacama Desert. 

If I'd seen our trip in a movie, I'd have commented a few times on the symbols and foreshadowing along the road, as in the face as a blood-red moon rising over a forest where a bunch of college kids just got lost...


It started on the return trip from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago. Symbols of death and danger everywhere. A deserted mining village with a looted cemetery. 

The police stopped us to check our papers, told us to switch on the light and drive safely. 

When we crossed from Region II to III, a giant sandstone hand rising from the desert warned us to go no further. Not to mention the little altars along the road commemorating accident victims.

Next, a huge truck transporting mining equipment needed both lines of the highway and forced us onto the dirt shoulder quite unexpectedly at a crest. We saw it just in time to get out of harm's way.  Not for long though...

Unfazed, we drove on toward La Serena, where the most amazing thing happened. We were squashed between a tomato truck and a liquid gas truck. Battered but uninjured, we stepped from the wreck into the open arms of caring Chilenos. 

At the hospital, exams and x-rays confirmed that we really were uninjured. Unbelievable. Since we didn't get a replacement car, we found ourselves stranded, but the Carabineros gave us a ride searching for accommodation.

So we stayed the last few days, nurtured our seat belt bruises, lurched about town, picked up a newspaper featuring the accident, and booked a flight straight to Santiago de Chile, arriving just before we had to fly back home. Of course I had to turn these experiences into a novel.

Part of Crumple Zone follows pretty much in our tire tracks, except I needed more interesting characters than me (bookworm) and my partner (math nerd) and I had to invent the trucker causing the accident as well as motivate his lapse in attention. 

The beautifully symbolic model name of the X-Trail made it clear that my main protagonists needed to be at a crossroads in life, taking either the right or wrong turn, but no more going straight ahead and ignoring the important things in life. Okay, no spoilers... the result turned into psychological suspense.

Here's a teaser:

When Chilean trucker Enrique bumps into jobless workaholic Lara, he thwarts her flight from life and his escape from reality.

Back Cover:
Lara, a workaholic from Seattle, loses her job, drowns her frustrations in scotch, and books a trip to Chile. Instead of facing her messed up life, she escapes to South America and hooks up with a backpacker, whose bag of tricks conveniently distracts her.

Hauling freight along the same route, trucker Enrique battles the loneliness of the Atacama Desert, imagining his wife by his side. If only she'd stop urging him to come home. 

With growing unease, he sets off on the return trip. When his path crosses Lara's, the impact knocks them both off their errant tracks to face unpleasant realities.

If you like, check out the book and read an excerpt at MuseItUp Publishing: CRUMPLE ZONE

For a short time you can get 20% off this new release. Be quick the special won't last long.

For free review copies

 contact the author via

So raise your glasses and join us in celebrating the release of Crumple Zone. Congratulations Edith!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

One life changing moment...

DRAFT of an exercise in writing, done for a Workshop on Writing Memoirs.

A Life Changing Moment.

My world existed within the area defined by the delivery room doors. For now life ceased to exist beyond the sterile air, the beeping monitors, the rustle of hospital linen, the laboured breathing of my daughter, her partner's attentive focus and the efficient care of the hovering nurse .

Tension, already so thick it cushioned us against collapse after days without sleep, increased as my daughter's pain returned. Hope echoed in the faint fetal heartbeat, monitored for stress. Fear lurked in the scrubbed corners; in the white knuckled grip as my daughter clutched her partner’s hand; and in the ache twisting around our hearts as contractions continued.

“It’s time.” The nurse leaned forward, rested her hand on my daughter’s tight belly and addressed the unborn babe. “Cailyn, tuck your chin in. Little angel, keep your chin tucked in tight.” The nurse raised her head and explained, “She’s breech. If her chin gets caught…”she hesitated as though searching for the right euphemism, “things could get complicated.”


Complications began at twenty three weeks gestation when my daughter’s waters broke. Since that moment we counted every week, every day, every hour, knowing each moment in utero added to Cailyn’s chance of survival.

 Now the time for her birth arrived. The doctor worked with efficient calm while a team of specialists and nurses prepared the heated neonatal trolley.

Cailyn arrived with her chin tucked in, a handful of hope and love. Once delivered she was whisked away to vanish into the care of the waiting experts.

Time stood still. Between each ticking second a lifetime extended. My daughter, her partner, and I watched as fear strangled our desperate hope.  We didn’t breath. We didn’t move. Even our doctor and nurse stood statue still, willing the baby to grasp life.

Then, only moments after her arrival at 4:38am on Monday September 10th 2007 Cailyn gasped. A tiny almost inaudible breath exploded the silence, shattered the tension. Beyond the wall of specialists’ green gowns, hats, masks and backs she took on the ultimate challenge and began to fight for her life.

Our doctor and nurse turned as one. Above their surgical masks their eyes smiled. The doctor lifted her gloved hands, still stained with placental fluid, and gave us two thumbs up.

Born at twenty five weeks and five days, weighing 808gms (1lb 11oz) my granddaughter Cailyn’s arrival changed my life.

Now I know miracles happen.

Post Script...
Cailyn is now five years old and started school this year. :)
I am still the proudest grandmother and, yes, I still see her as a miracle, every day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Let's ask the author of 'Better than a Rabbit's Foot'... 
To get a FREE copy of Better Than a Rabbit's Foot, to review,
answer the simple question at the end of this post.
Hi Stan,
Your short story has recently been released through MuseItUp Publishing. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “Better Than A Rabbit’s Foot”?

I was deployed in 2006-2007 with a security force, SECFOR, battalion. We were based at a camp a mile south of the Iraqi border from which Soldiers escorted convoys into Iraq every day. 

We had casualties from Improvised Explosive Devices. And lot of Soldiers had lucky charms that they took with them on missions. 

So I thought of a story about a Soldier preparing to go north, and upon learning of the death of a fellow Soldier he becomes painfully aware that he does not have a lucky charm. 

And the story took off from there. 

By the way, because I was an HR NCO I only went north on three short missions, and nothing happened. Not that I believe in lucky charms, but throughout my deployment I always wore a Celtic cross with my “dog tags.”

Who knows what would have happened if you didn't wear them. I am glad you did. 
Military fiction. Is your story based on your own experiences?

No. I was not lucky enough to have such a lucky charm mailed to me. The overall military background of course, is due to my military career and deployment experience.

What made you choose a short story formula rather than a novel?

I find short stories easier to write because they are—short. And for me the editing process takes a long time. It can take hours to edit a 3,000-5,000 word short story. Writing and editing an 85,000+ word novel is, well, not terrifying, but—anyway. I have made the move into writing novellas, though.

LOL My first series began as one book around 250k long. I don't understand short stories, so I find your choice interesting.
Writing the story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it.

Oh yeah. As I said, editing takes a long time. I have a tendency to write the way I speak and that isn’t always suitable for a literary effort. 

So after writing and letting the story sit for awhile, I return with fresh eyes and make one “editing sweep.” 

After a little while a second sweep, and finally a third. Sometimes a fourth. Then I will finally submit the story—the entire process can take several months for a short story, let alone a much larger novella or novel.

 I only restrict the number of my editings because I can edit forever, agonizing over a word, a phrase, commas, etc. 

On a more pleasurable level, research is another part of the writing process. Quality research can help get around the “write what you know” mantra, and it assists in creating a believable world, whether a world orbiting a distant star or the world of a law office. 

And on a business level, be sure to develop your own marketing plan in addition to whatever your publisher has in mind. There are a lot of publishers and a lot of books out there—be patient and be persistent because unless you are extremely lucky, it can take time to find an audience so that your literary career can take off. 

As you noted, writing is only part of the entire exercise.

What was the hardest hurdle for you in getting your short story published?

The hardest hurdle is matching the story with the publisher. There’s a lot of publishers out there, and the story may not fit many of them. 

For this particular story, it went to five different publishers in a three year period, and it evolved from 1,000 words to its current incarnation. 

Fortunately, MIU liked it and saw sales potential.

What do you mean by “evolved”?

I mention above the story evolving from 1,000 words to its current almost 5,000 words. I believe in what I write and I know how to tell a story, but after several rejections, and letting the story sit for awhile, I will go back and read it carefully. I often see where something can be expanded or where something can be deleted, all to improve the story. 

Perhaps what I see is why the story was not being accepted for publication. I do not do this after every rejection, but when there are several in a row, it may be that I am missing something, hence the careful re-read.

Have you always been a writer?

I have wanted to be a writer since I was 15 years old, but there were many years when I did not write. My military career and ordinary civilian jobs, combined with family responsibilities, took precedent.

I am glad you have time to write now Stan. It has been great to have you as a guest. Now for more information about

Sergeant Jerry Stanton is a young soldier serving in the War in Iraq. He is a gunner on a gun truck nicknamed “Lucky Bear,” one of those tireless workhorses that escort supply convoys from camps in Kuwait to destinations scattered throughout the war-torn country.

 In the early morning hours before a scheduled mission, a dust storm howls across his camp and threatens to bring convoy operations to a halt. Worse, the camp receives word that a gunner from his company was killed by an IED while on a convoy mission. 

Unlike most soldiers, Jerry doesn’t carry a lucky charm, but upon receiving news of the death of the gunner, he begins to mull over/ponder the merit/virtue of a good luck charm—only, what would work for him? Perhaps mail call will provide the answer.

 “People like a happy ending.”

Sergeant Jerry Stanton, an M4 Carbine slung across his chest, glanced at the dark form that trudged alongside him in the hot, early morning darkness. It was all the darker for the dust storm howling across the small camp, a dusty and sandy convoy support center, CSC, a mile south of the Iraqi border. He placed his hand over the tall styrofoam coffee cup from the messhall that was open at all hours to serve those about to head out on a mission. He felt the itchy dust filtering down his back, along his arms, and coating his fingers.

In spite of his short time deployed to Kuwait, he had learned that dust storms were worse than sand storms; they were hot and itchy while the sand storms stung exposed skin and chilled the air. Breakfast was good but tasted flat, more due to the question of whether their mission would be a go or no-go because of the storm that roared out of the midnight darkness hours before.


“People like a happy ending,” the soldier repeated. He was a gunner from another gun truck as the squat, venerable M1114 HMMWVs, which were never meant to be combat vehicles, were called. He held up a rabbit foot that spun frantically in the wind and added, “I like a happy ending.  Especially now.” 

They rounded the corner of a small building, actually a renovated mobile home trailer with a covered wooden porch lit by a bare electric bulb. The gunner pointed to a small black flag, suspended from a log overhang, flapping furiously in the wind.

“Oh shit.” Jerry sighed as a cold chill raced through him.

“It’s been there for an hour or so,” the soldier said as he enclosed the rabbit’s foot within both hands and brought it up to his lips as if to kiss it. He glanced at Jerry. “I’m not superstitious, but still, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a lucky charm. You know?”

“Yeah.” Jerry nodded as he watched the twisting flag. “I know.”

The soldier looked once more at the black flag and then walked toward the shower and restroom trailers beyond which were the air-conditioned sleeping tents they called home…

BETTER THAN A RABBIT'S FOOT from Museitup Publishing.


SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 grandchildren, and a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007).

 He has served in the Army National Guard since October 2004, and holds the rank of staff sergeant. He is a published photographer and photojournalist, an aspiring painter, and is studying for a degree in photography and anthropology—hopefully to someday work in underwater archaeology. 

His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories, and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, Ruthie’s Club, Lucrezia Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

As of December 2011, he became the latest homeless Iraq war veteran in Las Vegas, Nevada.

" In June 2007 we were one month away from returning home and in several months my original enlistment in the Guard would be over. I wanted more time to decide whether to stay in. So, what better place for a writer to sign a 1-year extension than at the Great Ziggurat of Ur, Sumeria (Tallil AFB, Iraq), where writing was invented?"
It has been great to learn more about you and your writing.  I love your bios image. What an incredible place and photo. 

To get a FREE copy of 
BETTER THAN A RABBIT'S FOOT, to review, just answer this simple question...
What did SS HAMPTON SR carry while deployed?
and email your answer to the author.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beth Overmyer talks about IN A PICKLE

Introducing Beth Overmyer, ...

Hi there, Beth.
Your novel has recently been released through Museitup Publishing. 

Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “In a Pickle”

The title suggests a humorous adventure story… is that correct?
 Hi, Rosalie. “In a Pickle” came to me almost out of the blue. I was babysitting this wonderfully grouchy cat and I thought “I’d like to write a story about a cat that time-travels” (that’s how random my mind is.) 

Well, I sat down at my computer and a boy named Charlie appeared to me, so I ended up scratching the cat from the story. “What’s the boy’s last name?” Pickle was the answer, and his quirky moniker-hating self brought the story to life. 

“In a Pickle” is an adventure surrounding a ten-year-old orphan who gets into a scrape during one of his accidental trips to the past. While the story itself has some serious elements, there are nuggets of humor. 

My favorite line had me roaring as I typed it: “Don’t shoot! I’ve got a cookie.” Ahem. Context is important, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?

 My characters have minds of their own. Someday, sick of my attempts at manipulation, they’re going to jump through the computer screen and do me in. 

To be serious for a moment, I let my subconscious take over when it wants, and my characters tend to surprise me. Sometimes the results are good, other times I’ve written myself into a corner.

Writing the story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it. Becoming published is not always easy. Even with self publishing as an option. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face, along the road to publication?
 I could say rejection, it keeps you humble, but that’s a given (almost everyone gets rejected.) You’ve got to face your fears. 

I’m terrified. 

I’m in a limbo right now, typing out my responses: I’m half high on adrenaline, and half-petrified that I’m going to say something that’ll expose the stupid side of me to hundreds (maybe thousands—egads!) of readers. 

But as fearful as I am of doing interviews and promoting myself, I sent out two press releases (one two hours ago) and did a verbal pitch to a librarian.

 You’ve got to face your fears. It makes you a better writer. And if you have no writing-related fears, then good for you. Now, go sky-diving and write us a book on it, there’s a good girl.

Sent out press releases... you go girl!!!

What was the hardest hurdle for you in getting your novel published?

 Besides finishing the book? The hardest hurdle was taking criticism. Yes, that sound vain and stupid, but it was hard listening to my editors. 

I believed enough in my work, so it was hard to be told that I had misused the ellipses or abused some adverbs. But I took their advice and the book is much stronger for it.

Have you always been a writer?

 I’ve been writing for over sixteen years now, and that’s more than half my life. I’ve always had a vivid imagination. Like, when I would lie in bed for hours on end, daydreaming stories up. 

In high school, I thought I was a poet—I soon found out that I was not. My science teacher, Dr. Cynthia Seng (AKA my cheerleader) really encouraged me to write fiction. 

She is now bragging that one of her “girls” is a published author. Imagine that!

Wonderful, to have her bragging about your work. It must be very satisfying. :)

What drew you to the MG genre?

What drew me to MG? Mr. Riordan, but of course. I loved Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The voice, the humor, the—not exactly innocence. Lack of complete world-weariness are better words. 

I’ve always had a younger sense of humor, and I feel I can relate to younger audiences. 

Kids are awesome.

Oh, also: I’m a new aunt, and I’m hoping my niece will grow up to be an avid reader. Her tenth birthday present is going to be a copy of—you guessed it—“In a Pickle.” And maybe a pony…

Congratulations!! A new aunt. Wonderful news.

YOU CAN GRAB A COPY OF  'In A Pickle'... here and visit Beth's Blog  here.

Charlie Pickle can't stay put in the year 1920, due to an annoying habit of time-traveling. On a trip back to 1910, he meets a man with a secret. Murder makes the headlines that day, and Charlie's new friend knows who the guilty party is. Now, not only does Charlie have bullies and murderers to contend with, he's got some history to fix.


The screeching of gulls woke Charlie up several hours later. He sat up with a yawn, and the first thing he saw was Henry lying still, his eyes wide open. 

“Oh no,” Charlie whispered. Had Henry died too?

“Shut up, kid. I’m trying to listen.” It wasn’t the politest way to be greeted in the morning, but at least Charlie’s homeless buddy hadn’t gone to his eternal resting place.

“Pretty sloppy job, if you ask me,” said an official-sounding voice outside the shack. “The water here’s not five feet deep. Pretty easy to dredge up a body.”

Another voice spoke, even more official-sounding than the first. “And this Smith character you told me about had a hunch there’d be a corpse to dredge up?”

A corpse? What had happened this morning while he’d slept? Charlie had a strong urge to peek out and see if he could catch a glimpse of the body. A reproving look from Henry, however, stopped him.

“Smith sounds like an alias to me,” the second voice continued. “I recognize the deceased’s ugly mug. He had many enemies, Duke. I say we round up the usual suspects, see if we can’t find someone who’ll sing.”

“Sounds good, Inspector.” 

“All right, let’s pack it up.”

Charlie’s stomach roared like a jet engine. He hadn’t eaten since lunch the previous day. 

“Henry,” he said, after he could no longer hear the policemen. “I’m starving.”
Henry seemed to think it was safe, too, because he got to his feet, not bothering to muffle his footsteps as he crossed to the glassless window. “How can you think about food after someone was stabbed with a…? No, you aren’t starving.”

Charlie narrowed his eyes at Henry. How could he know the person had been stabbed to death? Had he seen something while Charlie was sleeping? Maybe Henry had seen the killer. Charlie was about to blurt out an accusation, but his stomach rumbled again. 

“Yes, I am starving. I haven’t eaten since yesterday.”

“Yeah, well, I haven’t eaten since two days ago. Try beating that, kid.”

Charlie shook his head. “You’re cranky. And why did we have to be so quiet? Shouldn’t the police know we are here?”

“No,” Henry said, as he pulled himself through the window.

“But why not? We didn’t do nothin’ wrong.” Balancing on the window sill, Charlie lifted both legs through the opening and joined Henry outside. “It’s not a crime being homeless.” The words were somewhat of an afterthought, and he didn’t anticipate Henry’s response.

“Of course it is,” he spat. “The police…bah! They wouldn’t take my word for anything. I tried reporting a mugging before. A homeless man’s testimony means nothing. They’d think we’d done the man in ourselves.”

“I see. So, you’re afraid.”

Henry shot Charlie a look. “Charlie—”

“No, it’s okay. Even I get afraid sometimes. Like when President Wilson had a stroke. I thought I might have a stroke one day too, and it got me to thinking that I could actually die. So I was scared at first, but then I remembered my parents had died, and…What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Henry had stopped walking, and put his hand on Charlie’s shoulder. “President who?”

“President Wilson.”

“You mean Taft, don’t you? William Howard Taft?”

“Um…” This wasn’t the first time Charlie had almost blown his cover. One time, in 1902, he told a girl she should have a zipper put on her clutch. Charlie had gotten the strangest look and couldn’t figure out why until four days later, when he’d time-traveled back to 1913, and he realized zippers were a new invention.

“President Taft? Oh, right. I get him and that other guy mixed up sometimes.”

“But Taft hasn’t had a stroke. What president are you talking about?”

“I’m just a kid, all right? I can’t remember who’s secretary of state most days.” 

That earned him an even stranger look. “What?”

“You are one bizarre kid, aren’t you?”

Charlie looked at Henry with a grimace. “You have no idea.”

Thanks again for sharing a little about your novel, Beth. It's a great excerpt. You have me intrigued and I love time travel adventures. I can't wait to read...

IN A PICKLE... from Museitup Publishing

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