Tuesday, July 31, 2007

She Got Another Good Review Today



To see the wonderful review from the lovely EM Sky (who delivers a really strong hug, by the way), visit http://www.mindunbound.com/newsletters/2007_august.html#fantasy. That link will take you directly to the review of the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods.


If you scroll up the page, you'll see that the entry is an entire online newsletter pertaining to books and features a contest where readers can win one of the novels featured in this month's issue. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, recommends everyone enter the contest because it allows you to receive the free monthly newsletter, which allows you to stay on top of what's new in the realm of speculative fiction literature.


Enjoy the piece!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

She's in Marketing Mode


My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, gave me permission to talk about my bride's story today. And that pleases me just fine.

Amanda Chariss is the incredible heroine of the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, which I encourage everyone to read. If you don't already have a copy, you can pick one up at any local book store. If it's not on the shelf, they can order it for you. Easily. If you don't feel like dealing with unruly book store employees, you can get it at http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/1595071652/ref=s9_asin_image_1-1966_g1/105-8001163-2859664?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=10TVDGS539SGZYCWCBRW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=288448601&pf_rd_i=507846 or the publisher's site at http://www.archebooks.com/BookIDX/Indexes/Fantasy/CMG/CMGDesc.htm.

While you're waiting for it to arrive, let me tell you a little about it. You see, you can read the synopsis at Sandy's site at http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/ or at the publisher's site at the link above, or at any number of the sites that hosted her during the two-month online book tour/virtual tour she just managed and completed, but I can give you the real synopsis.

All the marketing materials will tell you Choices Meant for Gods is an epic fantasy novel. All the propaganda and promotional pieces will tell you that Chariss is an orphan who's been on the run from an evil sorcerer all her life and she's finally found the will to stand and fight; and with that will has come the truth about her destiny and her purpose and her place in prophecy's evil plan to put her in charge of protecting a god who is not even worthy of her notice. But I can tell you that Amanda Chariss isn't just the protector of the gods of Onweald. She is the stunning and amazing woman who will change the course of my life. Now, Sandy has warned me not to make more of the romance between Mandy and me than the book portrays because we don't want people coming to the novel expecting a romance novel; you won't get one.



It's a fantasy novel. High fantasy with a new world that Sandy has created. High fantasy with new creatures and monsters that no other fantasy author has dreamt up before. High fantasy with gods and goddesses who walk among the mortals, influencing and affecting our lives—and not always for the better. High fantasy with prophecy and history and legends and family lineages that all interweave with current events to create an atmosphere that spells danger and intrigue for my bride.

It sets my nerves on edge, believe me. I'd rather it was a romance novel. For a variety of reasons. But for those who prefer a heavy hand at romance, you can pick out that thread under the rest of the plots in Choices Meant for Gods and be delighted with it…as I am.

For a spate of five-star reviews of Choices Meant for Gods, visit Sandy's page on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/1595071652/ref=s9_asin_image_1-1966_g1/105-8001163-2859664?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=10TVDGS539SGZYCWCBRW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=288448601&pf_rd_i=507846. And stay tuned this week for a new review from a valuable source…Sandy will be announcing that over at her site at Today the Dragon Wins (http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/) shortly. She's downright giddy about it.

All my best to you,
Nigel Taiman



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Sunday, July 29, 2007

She's Giving Away Cool Stuff


My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is giving away free stuff. It's all intriguing merchandise, as well, I might add, so I recommend getting in on these easy contests.

The Book Trailer Contest
If you haven't yet read the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods—never fear. This contest is perfect for you. It involves no outlay of cash on your part.
1. Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFg0kW_T-3g
2. Watch the trailer for Choices Meant for Gods
3. Rank it with a five-star rating AND leave an uplifting comment for its creator, Jamieson Wolf by Saturday, August 4

Just like that! You'll be entered in a contest to win a dragon-knife necklace that fantasy author Sandy Lender will send to you with some autographed piece of CMFG memorabilia.
Your deadline to enter The Book Trailer contest is this Saturday, August 4, so don't put it off!

The Photo Contest
If you have (or haven't) finished reading the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods (it's a 418-page book—you really get your money's worth), this contest is for you merely because you already own it.
1. Have a friend take a picture of you reading the book
2. E-mail the jpeg to KoraTaiman@yahoo.com with your physical address (so we know where to mail your winnings) by Saturday, August 18

Presto! You'll be entered in a contest to win a package of spa products from Arcana's bathing rooms. (Wait a minute…how come I don't get any of this stuff you're giving away?) Fine. The grand prize for the most creative photo gets the large package of spa goodies. The second-place prize for the person who just gets their name pulled from a hat (and, of course, true to form, it's a Duran Duran cap) is a slew of CMFG memorabilia—signed by the author.
Your deadline to enter The Photo Contest is Saturday, August 18, so get creative and get your picture taken!

The Scavenger Hunt Contest
This is actually not as complex as it sounds. If you've already read the epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods, you can answer these three questions easily. If you haven't read the story of Amanda Chariss, go get it at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-8001163-2859664?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1185119987&sr=1-1, but the questions can be answered by following the links in the hints offered in the questions.
1. Got to http://choicesmeantforgods.wordpress.com/2007/07/21/scavenger-hunt-contest-with-cmfg/
2. Answer the three questions in an e-mail to KoraTaiman@yahoo.com by Saturday, August 4
3. Be sure to mention The Scavenger Hunt Contest in your subject line

Easy as that…You're entered in the Scavenger Hunt Contest for a chance to win a mini-spa package of lavender goodies from Arcana's bathing rooms. (Do I really have to keep calling them "goodies"? What exactly are "goodies"? There's got to be a more masculine way I can refer to this…)
Your deadline to enter The Scavenger Hunt Contest is Saturday, August 4, so don't delay getting over to Kora's blog at http://choicesmeantforgods.wordpress.com/2007/07/21/scavenger-hunt-contest-with-cmfg/.

The Author Island Contest
How about winning an autographed copy of Choices Meant for Gods itself? The exquisite DeNita Tuttle is running a contest at http://www.authorisland.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=6&Itemid=511.
1. Go to http://www.authorisland.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=6&Itemid=511 and scroll down to the fabulous purple and orange fantasy cover with my bride's reflection shining off her sword
2. Click on the "email me your answers" link with the answers to the administrator's two simple questions by the September 30 deadline
3. DeNita will let you know after September 30 if you've won

Another easy one, don't you think?

So you have four simple opportunities to win good prizes from the Choices Meant for Gods marketing machine known as Sandy Lender. I recommend taking advantage of them all.

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She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #3

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life

When my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was in high school, she didn't date much (I understand that dating in your society is somewhat similar to courting in my society) because her parents flipped out on her and kept her basically "locked in the tower" and didn’t let her out except to go to school. This isn't to say that she had no interest in dating. You can't repress all that social conditioning. Turns out that during her junior year of high school, in fact, there was a lad by the name of Allen (or however he spelled it) who caught her eye.

(At this point I'm supposed to tell you that his name in no way influenced the character Godric Alan Taiman in the novel Choices Meant for Gods as the young man she knew was an intelligent, handsome gentleman and Godric…well…we all know my opinion of that fool.)

Here's the non-repressed memory that she's actually letting me share with you, if you can believe it. She rode in this huge yellow vehicle (bus?)… She rode the bus to get from her parents' house to her school each day and Allen sat next to her to discuss the gods only know what. So when she got to school and visited with her best friend, Christine (whom you've seen pictured on this blog, by the way), the conversation, of course, turned to the trip. As Sandy announced to her friend, "oh, guess who I got to sit next to on the bus," Christine's eyes bulged and she tried to stop Sandy from continuing. Yes, you know where this is going, don't you? The next thing Sandy knows, someone's chin has come to rest on her shoulder, Christine turns an amazing shade of red, and what equals a teenage girl's most embarrassing moment ensues. The lad said something to her to the effect of "who did you get to sit with?" to tease her, which I find very clever. I think I like this fellow very much.

I'm actually laughing as I type this. She tells the story better than I do because she's dramatic about it, you know. The sad ending to the story is that Allen's parents were divorcing and he moved to California (I don't know what that is…oh…oh, by the gods! That's half-way across the continent from you!)…

Well, I'm not laughing anymore. He moved to California with one of his parents about two or three weeks after that event and she never saw him again.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

She Needs to Stop Abby

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has taken the day off of work to get some personal items taken care of. So I have been given free access to the computer.

I feel almost giddy.

I wonder if this means she trusts me...

Hopefully this post won't result in her rescinding that trust. There's something I could use some help with (besides how to get the iTunes on this computer to stop looping a constant stream of Duran Duran songs). I'm sure you're all aware by now that the misguided Abigail Farrier has her own blog where she posts entries from her diary. This diary is a sampling of her ramblings from nearly a decade prior to the happenings of the story in Choices Meant for Gods. They are...well...embarrassing for the poor lady at best. I've asked Sandy to make Abby stop posting these things. Sandy seems to think they're merely good marketing ploys; will help build sympathy for the woman. I disagree.

Could those of you who are familiar with Abby or her blog at (and please don't hold this name against me) http://AbigailLovesNigel.blogspot.com please reply and let me (thus Sandy, who reads this) know that Abby's blog should be radically changed. I could use your support in this campaign.

Thank you for your help.

All my best,
Nigel
(And if you aren't familiar with the character Abigail Farrier, you can read all about her by ordering your own copy of Choices Meant for Gods at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=cm_cd_t_h_dp_i/104-9089752-5140754.)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

She Accosted This Woman in the Grocery Store

My fantasy author avoids the grocery store as much as humanly possible. She hates going there. Always has. Sandy Lender believes her mother used to "trick" her into going to the grocery store with her when she was a teen by cajoling her into going to some other store...and then stopping by the grocery store on the way home. "Oh, let's stop by the grocery," or, "Oh, I need to pick something up at the grocery store," were words Sandy grew to distrust. She tells me that she actually started questioning her mother before they would leave the house with "we're not stopping by the grocery store, are we?"

Anyway, Sandy was literally down to spaghetti noodles, canned green beans, and wilting lettuce that she wouldn't even feed to the tortoises today so she had no choice but to stop at this dreaded store on her way home from work. She rewarded herself for getting through the ordeal without killing anyone by picking up a little carton of this ice cream stuff made by a company called Turtle Mountain. (She's got a post about them at her site at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com where she discusses their policy on helping the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.) So when she got to the frozen foods case (and do you realize that your society is able to freeze food to the point that it is solid? and it stays that way?), there was this lovely older lady standing there staring at the ice cream. Obviously indecisive. So...never one to be shy where sea turtle preservation is concerned, Sandy said, "I always buy the Turtle Mountain products because they're great and their proceeds help protect sea turtles." I watched with interest as the conversation just rocketed out of control from there. Insane, I tell you. What are the chances that someone would respond to that? So she stood there talking about mint chocolate chip ice cream and sea turtles with a total stranger.

Writers can be bizarre.

The most bizarre part? The lady bought a carton of the Turtle Mountain ice cream. Sandy should be in marketing for this company...

Monday, July 23, 2007

She's Decided Men are Obsolete

This does not bode well for me, but she said I can be an exception because Chariss likes me so well. Nice. This "announcement" of hers came about because she used one of those round, flat, rubber things to open a jar. Seemed uneventful to me. But she was preoccupied with the jar and not listening to the things I was telling her to include in Book III of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy, so I was paying attention to what she was doing. Anyway, she popped the lid open, tossed the rubber pad thing onto the counter, and looked at me as if she had some earth-shattering idea. I assumed we were on our way into the writing den. (That's usually what those looks mean.) No. She announces, in this matter-of-fact tone, "Men are obsolete."

"What?" I replied.

So she's decided that women no longer need men for anything, including, it appears, the opening of jars. I understand that your society has ways of making children without men's assistance as well, which boggles my mind; something about needles and clones, if you can believe that. She says that as soon as she buys stock in Duracell, she can just start running men down in traffic. (I don't get it.) I anticipate she'll be in jail by the end of the day.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

She Wants to Celebrate my Hundredth Post with a Thank You to Her Hosts


Welcome to Post #100.

My fantasy author is brimming with joy about this for some reason. She's got over 400 at her site, so I'm not sure why this is so momentous...

But the focus of this post is not to highlight my inadequacy but to (what? I only have 100 posts and I've been at this since, what, February?)... Sandy is very kind. She can be supportive when she wants to. She's brought me cake. Oooh, and wine. We're drinking early, she says. You see, we're celebrating the culmination of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour. Today, a plethora of writers and promoters have given of their time and web space to help Sandy in her online promotion, and she'd like to give them some notice here (oh, she's going to do the same over at Today the Dragon Wins, as well, so you can see a more dignified post at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com in a few minutes...unless she drinks too much of that wine before she gets to posting... ).

The whole point of the tour is to promote Choices Meant for Gods, an epic fantasy novel that tells the story of my bride, the amazing and incredible Amanda Chariss. You can pick up your copy of the book at Barnes & Noble, Border, Hastings, and anywhere fine books are sold. But, because you're already online, you could just hop over to Amazon and order it with free shipping at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=cm_cd_t_h_dp_i/104-9089752-5140754. They got their new shipment and now they're down to only four copies (with another shipment on the way again), so I advise hurrying so you don't have to wait.

Now! We encourage you to visit the following sites to support the wonderful folks who have supported my fantasy author.

http://myspace.com/catmuldoon (nice interview today!)

www.letusplaylovestory.blogspot.com (Karen has a nice set-up here for marketing her own novel, Let Us Play)

http://tweenyouandme.blogspot.com (ooh, this is that author Henry's so nervous with, isn't it? Henry Bakerson is interviewing Astra from Sam Cheever's Tween Heaven and Hell novel over at http://friendsofdragons.wordpress.com and, ahh, he's just a little worked up about it; serves him right)

www.jamiesonwolf.blogspot.com (well, what more can we say about Jamieson Wolf? he's not Drake, thank the gods, but a real friend in this marketing and promotional effort)

www.thebookpedler.wordpress.com

www.authoralley.blogspot.com (I was interviewed here during the tour; you can see my interview in the archives on May 29)

http://aspiringauthor.blogspot.com (nice setup on this site)

http://writeurthoughts.blogspot.com (this was the thought-provoking interview, wasn't it? you can still see it from June 8 or 9)

http://janverhoeff.blogspot.com

http://lamarwritersgroup.blogspot.com

http://womenofpower.blogspot.com (I'm not touching this subject)

http://cyber-chocolated.blogspot.com (it's uncanny how excited Sandy got over this one)

http://www.freewebs.com/mary-andrews/macrocosm.htm (the Frank Herbert post here is good, too)

http://blog.myspace.com/raven_bower

http://ravens-hollow.blogspot.com (the bunny connection is just a little odd)

http://greetingsfromthepolebarn.blogspot.com (great intro; Laura really deserves flowers for this)

http://www.authorisland.com/index/php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=6&Itemid=511 (a contest announcement)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFg0kw_T-3g (the new trailer for CMFG from Jamieson Wolf, but you should check out the contest directions at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com)

I think that's everybody. I'd post the publisher's blog but he forgot to post the article, so...you know...no point.

Thank you to everyone! I need to collect a wine bottle from someone...
All my best and good night,
Nigel Taiman

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Sandy Lender Doesn't Recommend Quitting Your Day Job

My Fantasy Author, Sandy Lender, stops in today to share her thoughts about writing and promoting as she celebrates the culmination of an incredibly successful virtual tour. The Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour has been a non-stop whirlwind of events since May 21, and now that we're at the final day, Sandy is appearing on 17 blogs (not counting the six she manages with my assistance) with an interview at http://myspace.com/catmuldoon and the following guest article everywhere else.

The joy and insanity of being a writer

By Sandy Lender, fantasy author

Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman University, prides itself on offering a liberal arts education to graduates. I got out in four years with a degree in English and a liberal arts education that has garnered me a 15-year career in magazine publishing and public relations/marketing, but my true passion, the "career" I've nurtured since I was about six years old, is writing. And I don't mean journalism. Yes, journalism and editing are what have paid the bills the past 15 years (and will continue to do so), but fiction writing...oh...fiction writing is what has kept me alive.

It's probably going to be the death of me.

Let me explain. If you're visiting this site, you've probably been drawn here by an interest in books or authors or a writer's lifestyle or something along those lines. Let me give it to you straight. All writers have a touch of insanity about us (this is normal). We usually carry a muse around with us, but this is not always by choice. We complain about characters fighting for their rights, refusing to conform to our wishes in a scene. We go on writing binges that keep us up until 3 a.m. before collapsing next to our computers just to get up and start typing again when the sun blazes in to wake us around 7, skipping meals, showers, potty breaks and phone calls until some aspect of reality forces us out of the writing cocoon. We will tear a room to shreds looking for a pen if an idea has just struck us. And woe to the fool who gets between us and a piece of paper when we get hold of that pen...

Because I've experienced the insanity described above, I've been lifted up by hearing stories of people who have enjoyed my first published novel, Choices Meant for Gods. Now I get to read comments on my Amazon.com page of people claiming Nigel Taiman is "by far" their favorite character, or "I want to be just like Chariss when I grow up," and I feel this lump of pride in my darlings rise in my throat.

That's the joy and insanity of being a writer. You pour your heart and soul into the work; and pray that someone out there likes it, too. Now here's the hard part. People have to read it to like it. They have to know it exists to read it. So you have to get it to them.

Enter the marketing and promoting aspect of the new author's job. I attended the ArcheBooks Publishing's Professional Novelist Workshop about two weeks before receiving my contract for Choices Meant for Gods, and had attended the Naples Press Club Writers Workshop the week before that, so I thought I had a pretty good idea of the marketing nightmare new authors faced. I was ready. Lay it on me, I thought.

Now I'm on the last day of a two-month online book tour I organized myself, contemplating repeating a moderately successful instore book signing at the local Barnes & Noble that I organized myself, and managing six blogs (including www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com) for the promotion of my fantasy novel that I've organized myself, preparing a spate of press releases I've written myself that I'll spew forth like water from an erupting sprinkler next week, etc. Do you see a trend there? New authors are on their own. Unless you have the few thousand dollars it takes to hire a publicity firm/PR agency to send out press releases for you, you're on your own. I don't have a few thousand stray dollars and I don't trust people who charge less than professional rates to do a professional job.

I take hope in the fact that even J.K. Rowling was once in the same boat I'm in now. She was down to her last food stamp as the story goes when that fateful call came: Her little story about a boy named Harry Potter had been picked up. I've already had my call. Choices Meant for Gods is published and out there. Now I need my lottery winning event to propel me into J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter status, but, for right now, I'm going to just keep writing deep into the night and reading those fabulous e-mails that praise Nigel and Chariss. Because making a living at this would be nice, but, truly, the writing binges that result in someone singing Chariss's praises are the real joy and insanity of being a writer.


I'd like to thank Nigel for posting this guest blog article. And I'd like to thank everyone who made the CMFG Online Book Tour the raging success it's been. You know that paragraph above where I said new authors are on their own? I'd like to correct that. We actually have each other. Without each of you, the name Sandy Lender wouldn't be all over the internet right now, and readers wouldn't be one click away from http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=dp_return_1/104-9089752-5140754?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1175821346&sr=8-1 to pick up my epic fantasy novel. And new author Sandy Lender is grateful to every one of you.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."

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She Came Home Singing "Who is Johnny?"

I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep manifesting itself in lunacy or if she's just loopy because she's excited about the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour activities today (which I'll get to in the posts to come), but she returned from her errands this morning singing this bizarre little tune.

Of course I asked why.

Turns out she stopped by Wal-mart (a large store...oh...you are all familiar with this place?) after her sea turtle patrol this morning. At this store, she pilfered through the bargain bin of movies they sell and found something called Short Circuit, which, I guess has this robot (which is a moving machine) called Johnny 5 and a song called "Who is Johnny?" which Sandy is now regaling me with. She's trying to find it on her iPod so I can listen to it. I get the impression it might not really be necessary...

I asked why she felt the need to spend $5 on a movie she'll never actually take the time to sit down and watch. She has several unopened movies on the shelf that she intends to watch, but I don't like to see her waste her time that way. She has books to complete, you know.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

She's Stopping by Jane's Place


But that's not all.
As part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender appears at http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/ today for a thought-provoking interview. I encourage you to check it out, not just because Jane did a great job with the interview questions, but because this is a relatively new blog for Jane and you should check out the way she has it set up. I would like to request that you give her some feedback. It would be very kind of you all.
Also today, Sandy has received a wonderful surprise from her friend and fellow author Jamieson Wolf. He is on his own tour for his YA novel The Ghost Mirror, and has mentioned Choices Meant for Gods in his interview at http://meandmybigmouth.typepad.com/scottpack/2007/07/the-ghost-mirro.html. Sandy's pretty excited about that.
So enjoy the day and get ready to be bombarded tomorrow. If J.K. Rowling is taking over the book stores, Sandy Lender is taking over the internet. Get ready for it.

She Has Less Patience Than I

It's almost humorous to watch, actually. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has been without internet access at her home since mid-June due to an issue with her modem and the "morons" at Juno suddenly believing quite firmly that she'd connected a digital phone to her line.

She hadn't.

So she ordered a new online service through the phone company Embarq (and please note that I just barely grasp all of this--I've not participated in the technical support end of accessing the internet since visiting this society), connected the new modem, and used a naughty word when nothing worked as it was supposed to the other night. Rather than call the customer service people then (she feared being rude--she didn't want to "be fussy" with anyone while she was in a bad mood over the situation), she waited until a better time. That turned out to be last night when she got home from work. The point of this post is to tell the world that she loves and adores the customer service rep named Sheryl and she's writing a letter to Embarq to tell them how "cool" this woman is. Sheryl deserves a raise. And a company car. (What's a company car?)

Ah. Anyway, Sandy is pleased to announce that she's back online and much happier. Just in time for the whirlwind that will be the final day of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour tomorrow. You will gasp when you see this list of sites she's going to be hosted on tomorrow. It's nigh unto insane. (What? They'll understand that...)

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

She's Telling Stories

You can catch my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, at http://storyation.liber.us/2007/07/19/sandy-lenders-writers-life-choices-meant-for-gods/ today. The lovely Ronda del Boccio posted an interview that talks not just about the creation of the Choices Meant for Gods story, but stories in general. It's a must for all writers.

Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

She's Just Going to Have to Keep a Flashlight in all Interior Rooms

The woman can write in the dark.

My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, can write in the dark. (She says having white paper and dark ink is the secret. Very funny.) She's rather determined these days, and, as she puts it, something as ridiculous as a power outage (have I mentioned she lives in a swamp?) isn't going to keep her from working on her manuscripts and blog entries.

See Exhibit A at http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/.

And if you'd like to support the continuation of the manuscripts, you can pick up the first book of the Choices Meant for Gods epic fantasy trilogy at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=dp_return_2/002-3163519-8684042?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books. Enjoy the story! And see if you can tell which parts were written by hand...in the dark.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

She had a Successful Chat

I didn't get to participate because I was babysitting Henry Bakerson as he interviewed Mother for today's event on the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour. He's a good man (sometimes) and cares very much for Mother, so I didn't have much to worry about, but, just to be safe…

So my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, chatted away at Marcus Williford's chat room last night about villains and snakes and how Jamieson Drake got his name. Several of the folks in attendance were Duran Duran fans. (Funny how that keeps happening…) A couple of the folks were fellow writers. One gal sought information on the theme, "What makes the perfect villain?" And, lastly, but most importantly, Sandy reports that the winner of the contest from the chat was the quick and attentive Paige Roberts from Texas. Paige will be receiving an autographed copy of Choices Meant for Gods and one of the cloth bags Sandy ordered with the book's cover on it.

Now, if you'd like your opportunity to chat with my author and try to win a copy of my bride's story, the next online chat is scheduled for Wednesday, tomorrow, at 8 p.m. eastern, at http://www.authorisland.com/. The theme is "What makes the perfect heroine?" and you can bet I'll be present for that one. I must know what everyone is saying about Amanda, because, as you know, she is the perfect heroine. (How would that offend anyone? She is perfect.) I look forward to chatting with everyone.

In the meantime, you can see Kora Taiman's excellent interview at http://friendsofdragons.wordpress.com/ all day today. Feel free to leave questions or comments for her or Henry. They'll both check in throughout the day. And you can order the book at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9883296-3024969?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182722132&sr=8-1.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

She's Doing a Live Author Chat Tonight

Go to http://willifordblog.com/ and log in at 9 p.m. EST (I think that means if you live on the east coast, you log in at 9; if you live in the central part of the country, you log in at 8; if you live in California, you log in at 6) to chat live with the fantasy author, Sandy Lender. The theme of the chat is "What makes the perfect villain?", but the question you'll be asked for the contest during the chat is different (and easy). The prize is an autographed copy of the epic fantasy novel, and you can get the answer by going to the publisher's site at http://www.archebooks.com/BookIDX/Indexes/Fantasy/CMG/CMGDesc.htm and reading the synopsis for the book there. Just in case you've been living under a rock or something since March 20…

I'll see you in the chat room tonight.

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She Found the Baby Bunnies

…not alive. This was a remarkably calm moment for my fantasy author. She was raking the front yard Sunday and had disturbed one of the bunnies (there's got to be another word for these creatures because I feel like little Kaylin calling them…rabbits?). She had disturbed one of the young rabbits when she gathered up a pile of grass clippings it was hiding under. The things truly are cute, I have to admit. It hopped over to hide next to her foot since she'd just removed its cover. How much intelligence can these things have?

She was thrilled to see it out frolicking, no longer confined to its nest, and she wondered where its sibling was. Well…that's where our story turns quite sad. I won't give details, but I'm wondering at her level of sanity. I mean, when something as cute and pathetic as a baby bunny (two of them, actually) is lying dead next to its nest, you would expect Sandy to crumble. I figured the day was shot at that point. Let's take her back in the house and deal with this emotional turmoil. For some reason neither of us has figured out yet, she just went around back, told the black snake that lives back there to slither aside because she needed the shovel, and buried the poor little things down by the driveway.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there is now a dish of water and mound of vegetarian fare by a make-shift, baby-bunny-sized lean-to in the bushes by the front porch. The remaining rabbit will live like a king until the banks kick Sandy out of this place. But she's got a plan to wean the creature toward this wildlife mecca on the property next door. It shouldn't be difficult. (And, yes, she informed the snake out back that he is to leave the rabbit alone or there'll be a manic-depressive woman with a shovel in his future. I'm pretty sure I understand all of that.)

I guess that's something you have to deal with when you live in a swamp in Southwest Florida. Life and death. There are many species out here that Sandy Lender enjoys watching. Some shiny blue-and-black skink visits the back porch to sun itself in the late afternoons. Egrets and herons visit her pond in the back yard (and vultures have been known to watch her back there as well, which she finds disturbing on a variety of levels). A juvenile alligator lived in the culvert down at the end of the driveway last summer, but he left when that dried up. I understand completely why she wanted to live here, why she wanted this to be the home where she finally found stability. What a shame that the idiot she supported through school wasn't interested in helping her keep it…

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She's Still Alive

…but I've no idea why.

Back on July 4th, several writers on one of the online groups she participates in listed out all their activities for the day. I believe the point was to illustrate just what all a writer can accomplish in a single day when one puts one's mind to it. I asked why she didn't do the same and got some odd excuse about no one caring what she does in a day.

I beg to differ. It's stunning. And so, while she's distracted, let me either prove her wrong or right. You can vote with the comment field.

This weekend, in the life of one particular writer (my fantasy author, Sandy Lender), the following tasks were accomplished. It proves that writers do more than just sit around writing all day (even if unemployed, by the way, which she's not anymore).

SATURDAY
12:01 a.m., she was still at work trying to earn money to pay the bills someone left her with
3 a.m. she got home and collapsed into bed (after removing her shoes)
5:30 a.m. she turned off the alarm because she had already requested a substitute for her sea turtle patrol because of the rest of the day's tasks
7:30 a.m. showered
made breakfast
cleaned the bird cage
did a load of laundry
did the dishes from Friday morning
wrote down the sites where she's appearing on her online book tour this week on the backs of business cards because she has no printer because the stellar-example-of-a-husband took it when he abandoned her and the house
drove up to the bank to deposit her check from the day job (her employer doesn't have direct-deposit, whatever that means)
put gas in her car
drove to Bonita to attend an FWA meeting (about an hour up the road from the house, and, yes, she jotted down notes in the car, which made other drivers steer out of her lane—she completely ignores them when they honk)
read mail from her inbasket at the office so it won't be stressing her out Monday morning
used the computer at the office to blog/take care of e-mail
read a Stargate fanfic piece by her friend Linda
hit the grocery store
put groceries away
talked to the baby bunny by the front porch
installed the modem from the phone company
typed a 2,588-word synopsis with 1,234-word character description list for Choices Made By Gods (working title) for her publisher
put away laundry from morning
collapsed into bed at 1:30 a.m.

SUNDAY
7 a.m. Blissfully well-rested! Played with pet bird
cooked eggs for this week's breakfasts
baked brownies for neighbors
raked remaining two-thirds of front yard
buried two dead baby bunnies that she found, set out food and water for the live baby bunny she scared (story above)
put salt in water system on side of house
worked out a truce with black snake on back porch
showered, cleaned bathroom (including putting liquid plumber down the drains, which I don't understand and she said I won't understand until stress causes all my hair to fall out of my head)
ate breakfast and started laundry
sat down in the living room floor with stamps, the check book, envelopes, a calculator, a pad of paper, and a stack of bills to figure out who gets paid this week
figured out that one of those bills was not the invoice she was expecting from BlueCross/BlueDeath but a note informing her that they'd received her "wish to withdraw her application" and had closed her file (imagine how pissed off she is), which prompted a remarkably calm and professional-sounding call to her insurance agent so she could get a call back from him Monday morning
wrote a letter of inquiry to the homeowner's insurance agency about the status of that policy in light of the foreclosure situation
wrote a letter to the credit card company disputing a service she had canceled
wrote a letter to Simon LeBon to go with the book his PR gal said she could send, which stressed her out for some reason
threw an idea of mine into Book II of the Choices trilogy
took the brownies over to the neighbors
scrounged around for a late lunch
took a nap but woke herself up when a demon started strangling her (yes, she's still having horrible dreams)
wrote all the blog posts for http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/ to promote the CMFG Online Book Tour this week
wrote all the Word of the Day posts for http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/ for this week
wrote tomorrow's Grammar Guide for http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/
refilled the bucket she takes Petri's food from each morning, picking out the white pellets because he doesn't like them (I swear, that bird is so spoiled)
cooked dinner
washed dishes from the weekend
put away laundry from the day
collapsed into bed at 1 a.m.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

She Met Another Duranie


Once a month, my fantasy author takes time out to attend the Florida Writers Association's regional group's meeting. Today, a lovely young woman who does gorgeous illustrations was in attendance. This woman, named Aluska Bissaro (whose website Sandy couldn't find or she'd force me to provide it to you all) sat down next to Sandy and the mayhem began. I swear, Sandy attracts fellow Duran Duran fans like honey attracts honeybees. It's insane, I tell you. Turns out this gal not only is intrigued about possibly illustrating something for the Choices Meant for Gods marketing spree Sandy Lender is on, she's going to read the book, probably starting tonight (yes, Sandy warned her about the "people don't sleep once they start reading this" problem). In fact, it was when Sandy warned her that people disrupt their sleep patterns once they start reading the epic (emphasis on epic) fantasy tale that Aluska said she doesn't sleep well anyway. She typically lies awake staring at the ceiling listening to Duran Duran. I decided to just leave the restaurant at that point. I've heard enough of the conversations that ensue after a statement like that made in front of my author...


Needless to say, they'll become friends in short order, if they haven't already.


So it's a stormy, moody day in Naples, Florida, and I'm just itching to convince Sandy to get this gal to paint a portrait of my bride (preferably with me or Malachi), no matter what the cost. I know, I should consider that she's losing her house, but, hey, that just means she's not spending money on mortgage payments, right? So why not spend it on fabulous marketing and promotional materials. She wants to make t-shirts with "Nigel and Chariss" on them. Here's her golden opportunity. I think she made the plea that she wanted artwork for a t-shirt and God put this artist in her path. She should grasp the situation while she can.


What do you all think? I'll likely need help convincing her because you know how she is. At least, if you've been reading this blog or hers at http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/, you know how she is. (A touch on the "touched" side...) And if you're wondering how I'm getting away with all these naughty comments without censorship, it's because she's still at her writers' meeting (it takes her an hour to drive up there, you know; because I'm not of your world, I have no such constraints).


In other strange news of a writer's life, she sold a copy of her book at her once-in-a-blue-moon part-time job last night. I think she's going to post about that over at The Dragon so I'll not regale you with the story here. Suffice it to say, she was tickled to think that carrying a book published in English into a non-English-speaking-bar would result in a sale: three times. I told her she should take a crate of them in the next time she's there. Now, if you don't happen to be in a non-English-speaking-bar where Choices Meant for Gods is being sold, you can pick it up at a Barnes & Noble or Borders near you. You'll probably have to ask them to order it. Or, to make your life very easy, you can order it online from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-9221383-5820111?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183135911&sr=8-1 or directly from ArcheBooks, the publisher, at http://www.archebooks.com/BookIDX/Indexes/Fantasy/CMG/CMGDesc.htm. And I really do encourage you to get a copy. People are raving about it.

All my best to you,
Nigel


Friday, July 13, 2007

She Encourages You to Read this Scary Novel

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender has this propensity for reading when she should be writing. This irritates me, but, there's not much I can do besides lob guilt trips at her. One of the books she's read recently is Apparitions by Raven Bower. Now, if you go to http://www.amazon.com/ and type in "Apparitions," you'll become frustrated. So Sandy says I should tell you to go to http://www.amazon.com/ and type in Raven Bower. Pow. Up comes Raven's book. You can also go to http://www.archebooks.com/ where Raven's book is featured on the front page of the site.

It's a paranormal thriller, and, while I have no idea what that means, Sandy assures me it's "cool" and "fabulous." Now, by visiting the Amazon page, you can see the review Sandy posted about it. But, remember, you have to type in Raven Bower, the suspense/thriller author's name to get what you want.

The whole point: you should buy Apparitions by Raven Bower and read it (during daylight hours, preferably, and when you'll have someone to protect you from your overactive imagination when you turn out the lights that night).

And if you want to pick up a dragon story while you're at it, Sandy Lender's epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods is still available in hard cover…

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She Was Reading

It's not enough that I find her typing away at some foreign manuscript that has nothing to do with the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. Oh, no. I showed up with a marvelous idea for the ending of Book III (and this was a fantastic idea, I'm telling you), and Fantasy Author Sandy Lender was reading a book. Reading.

She claims it was so she could post a review online for the book she was reading. Supposedly a book's sales increase by 38% whenever a five-star review is posted on Amazon.com so she wants to read the book to be sure she can offer a five-star review. I think that's real nice and noble and all, but, ah, she has a book to finish writing.

I've got to find a way to keep her on task here.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

She's Got Rodents in Her Yard -- And She's Happy About It

See, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, is a sucker for any small, helpless creature.

Now picture that creature as a baby bunny. Oh, yes, I hear all the ladies oooohing and awwwwing and making sweet, lovey sounds now.

Okay, double the cuteness factor because the nest Sandy uncovered in her front yard has two baby bunnies and they shivered and quivered and squealed in utter, trembling fear over the big human staring at them. They had their tiny pale ears plastered back against their heads and they huddled together in their burrow just waiting for certain death.

She's hoping Mommy Bunny moves them to a more secure location. "If I could find them, an owl or a hawk can find them," she said.

I half expected her to stand guard overnight.

Well, she'll have a fit if I don't mention that she's got rodents in the second and third books of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. You may have heard that she's completed the second book and is just editing it now to turn it over to her publisher. She's almost completed the third book, which is why I'm so keen on keeping her happy and writing nice things about my bride. (I'm making a pretty big assumption there because she's not actually letting me read what she's writing...) If you'd like to get your hands on a copy of the first book in the trilogy, or see what everyone's making such a nice fuss over, visit http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Meant-Gods-Sandy-Lender/dp/1595071652/ref=dp_return_2/002-3163519-8684042?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books. There are currently only two copies left, but Amazon has put in an order to get more.


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She Can Write in Her Sleep

Now don't jump to any naughty conclusions out there. I just happen to show up at odd hours - day or night - with ideas for my fantasy author, Sandy Lender. If she's asleep...well...I've learned to leave her alone because she really doesn't get enough sleep as it is. She does alot of work after her day job promoting Choices Meant for Gods. But I've noticed that she does bizarre things when she sleeps. She can wake herself up from laughing out loud. She can wake herself up sobbing. (That's one that distresses me greatly. Maniacal laughter at 3 a.m. I can work around. Weeping - not so much.) I've seen her typing at the computer with her eyes closed and real words appearing on the screen. But last night, she was scribbling away in a notebook - fast asleep. I don't know what disturbed her, but she jolted awake, looked down at the notebook, and sarted giggling. "This last paragraph makes no sense at all," she told me. "I guess I should stop and go to bed."

Here's the paragraph:

Oh, so that's why you won't go out with her. "Sorry, Honey, but I can't be seen in public without someone like Cheryl Tiegues."

I asked her who Cheryl Tiegs is, and she said, "someone whose name I misspell when I'm asleep, and someone who shouldn't be showing up in Onweald."

I'm going to suggest she get to sleep early tonight.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

She Owns Weapons


In the state of Florida, you're allowed to defend yourself with deadly force. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, finds great comfort in that fact because she's not sure that she can control her anger these days. So she was sitting in her den typing away at Book III of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy the other night when a bizarre sound on the back porch ripped her concentration in two. This aggravated her. She went for the medieval dagger before going to the porch to investigate.

Now, I have to ponder this for just a moment. She lives alone in a swamp. There aren't too many neighbors awake or alert or listening for her to shriek for help at 1 a.m. (Okay, so it wasn't quite 1 a.m., but I think everyone knows by now that you go on these writing binges until 2 and 3 a.m. when no one else in the neighborhood is awake.) My point is she scared off whatever was out there, and returned to writing with the dagger beside the keyboard without really thinking about getting assistance from anyone. I asked why she didn't take one of the swords, seeing as how they're longer than the dagger, and received one of those wan smiles that means "don't bother me while I'm typing."

She told me later that she had been mildly disappointed in the lack of foes to stab. Luckily, they won't let her take weapons into court…or I'd be visiting her with all my ideas in jail… I've decided that, while it's wonderful to see her inspired by the wildlife and wilderness of the great open spaces out here in the swamp, I'll feel better when the banks take this place and she's forced to move into an apartment where there are other people around.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

She's at a Virtual Site

I told her that was redundant...

But you can find information about Fantasy Author Sandy Lender's epic fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods as part of the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour today at www.virtualbooktourdenet.blogspot.com. I encourage you to check it out and let the lovely Karina Fabian, the host of the site, know you stopped by! Leave a comment for the ladies in the comment field telling them how much you enjoy the ease of information exchange, because this tour won't last forever...

All my best,
Nigel Taiman

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She Got Caught

This is the journal of a writer's life, so let me give it to you straight.

Just because a person has a book published doesn't mean he or she is suddenly on Easy Street (I have no idea what that means, but my fantasy author said it five or six times at a pretty high volume, and it was one of the few phrases I understood through her slurred speech last night) and suddenly flush with lottery-winning wagonloads of cash (that analogy I understood). She's amazed, in fact, that the idiot who abandoned her to foreclosure and bankruptcy is seeking half her future royalties off the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy because she currently has no royalties and she'll be seeking assistance for half the cost of marketing and promotion if he'd like to see any of the benefits of that marketing and promotion. It's highly unlikely the fool will want to pay the sum that would require at this point...

What it comes down to is this: published authors don't suddenly buy mansions and BMW Alanas (I am familiar with that because she thinks those vehicles are pretty cool) just because they're published authors. In fact, when Fantasy Author Sandy Lender got to her home last night, she stopped at the end of her driveway to check her mail. While standing there, a car pulled up, the window rolled down, and a man asked, "Are you Mrs. Lender?" Sandy informed him that she prefers not to be referred to that way. He served her 20-day foreclosure notice papers anyway.

And there you go.

Just because you have a book contract, a published book, and the next two books in the trilogy under consideration, it doesn't mean you're on Easy Street. You can't afford to pay someone thousands of dollars to send out press releases to the New York Times for possible inclusion in their Sunday edition. You can't afford to take out an ad in the daily paper announcing your book signing at the local Barnes and Noble so people remember to show up. You can't afford to fly up to some convention where you've been assigned to speak on a couple of panels to promote...what?...oh...she's doing that anyway because she feels that she has no choice. (And she'll just send the bill to the idiot who wants half the benefit in the future anyway.) But I think I've made my point with a pretty dramatic example. If she'd let me put a sword through a couple people, I'd not hesitate to do it right now. For some reason, though, she fears judicial repercussions.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #2

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
I still think she's messed up, but she gave me another article to use in this series about the past life of the Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. She said I could share this because it makes the case for how writers are influenced by little things that happen in their lives. (that and I think she's mocking me for talking about her spider fear all the time)

In the summer of 1976, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender was six years old and living in Sterling, Ill. A "common area" of grass and weeds grew between the apartment complex where she and her parents lived and a row of homes behind the apartments. One hot, sunny day, she and her friend Debbie (she thinks it was Debbie) were playing in that common area when Sandy developed her insane fear of spiders.

The girls happened upon a brilliant red plastic fireman's hat in the field. It was a toy, something one of the neighborhood boys had probably dropped while playing. But he must have dropped it very recently prior to the girls finding it because the sun had had no time to bleach out the vibrant color. Inside the hat was a large black and yellow plastic spider, glistening in the sun, its long spindly legs reflecting light as if the legs were wet with spittle from some demon's mouth. Sandy was instantly attracted to the contrast in colors before her. "How neat!" she thought. The startling black and yellow of the plastic spider practically filling the mouth of the red toy hat must have made her eyes sparkle with the same dewiness of the spider's abdomen. And as she reached down to grab the hat…the spider moved.

I can hear her shriek even now…

She learned later that it was a banana spider (not poisonous) and they can get pretty large (leg span). I asked Sandy if she planned to include any spiders in my bride's story, the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy.

"I would never do that to Chariss," Sandy said vehemently. "I may have an evil sorcerer teaming up with an ancient, evil goddess to track her down and kill her, but I would never make her deal with spiders."

If you'd like to read the story of Amanda Chariss, you can pick up the epic fantasy novel at www.amazon.com or www.archebooks.com. There's also information about the novel at Sandy Lender's main blog at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com and my mother's blog http://choicesmeantforgods.wordpress.com.

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She's Touring Today

You can read an interview with, and post questions for, Fantasy Author Sandy Lender today at
http://writeurthoughts.blogspot.com.

I recommend it.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman

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Friday, July 6, 2007

She has Different Screams for Different Sizes of Spiders

I didn't realize this until Tuesday night when she got home from work (late, by the way) and set a bag on the kitchen counter. She claims she saw the hairy thick leg of the beast under the edge of the counter and that's what set off the first scream. I was in her writing den and knew we had a big one.

I swear, she chased it all over the living room with the Raid can, coating it until it was snowy white…

The good news is she won. The wolf spider did not. What gets me is she won't touch the things for at least 24 hours after they've stopped twitching. She just fears them leaping up and skittering up her arm or something as she goes to collect their carcasses. (What's this? Well if you didn't read over my shoulder you wouldn't get "the heebie jeebies" over what I'm writing, now would you?)

Here's my question to all you visitors out there, whether you have authors or not: do all women do this? Leave the carcass for a day? It's kind of disgusting… But she insists it must lay there until she's absolutely sure it's dead. She used to make the moron that lived here show her the dead carcass if he killed one of these things. If he couldn't produce a body, she didn't believe he'd killed the spider and, oh, didn't we have a nightmare then? She can't tolerate one of those things alive in the house. They really can get quite large…and the larger the spider, the more piercing the scream. The faster the spider is moving, the more clipped and rapid the succession of screams. I'm not kidding. It's insane. She can fire off a series of four or five of these piercing shrieks (What? Well you won't let me write about anything else…)

Woah. Next…I'm going to post a blog about the author's childhood. (Wait a minute…I thought you repressed your childhood.)

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She Hasn't Repressed This One, Careless Memory #1

A Glimpse into a Writer's Life
I think she's seriously messed up, but here we go. She said I could share this because it makes the case for how writers are typically depressed people. There was a question posed in one of her online groups earlier in the week asking whether people become writers because they're depressed or whether depressed people just naturally become writers. I don't know that I want to dwell on it.

When Fantasy Author Sandy Lender was a child, probably in fourth grade (as best she can remember it), she was already creative. She liked to write, which she'd been doing for her great grandmother for a few years already, and she liked to draw and color, etc. She wasn't really into painting because she was no good at it.

One of her more vivid and bizarre memories, and one of the reasons she thinks she was destined to be an Emily-Dickinson-type of writer (whatever that means), is from a day when she was sitting in the basement of her parents' house staring at a coloring book. She wasn't coloring, though. She felt a little too old for that by the fourth grade and, instead, stared at the picture of a fairy tale princess, watching the bold, black, empty lines blur in her vision. There wasn't any particular reason for melancholy that she could put her finger on, but she felt a great sadness staring at that picture. And she started to cry. Just a few tears escaped at first, but the crying wouldn't stop. The tears couldn't be stopped. She couldn't figure it out, and, to this day, has no idea why she had that "meltdown moment."

"It was very odd," she told me. "It wasn't the last time, but it's why I believe depressed people, or people with a tendency toward depression, become writers. My response to the theory is based on personal experience."

I asked her if that's why Amanda Chariss starts out so despondent in the fantasy novel Choices Meant for Gods…maybe Sandy has put that characteristic into 'Manda.

"I don't think so," Sandy told me. "Chariss is vibrant and youthful. She's a warrior and a fighter. Yes, she has her moments of melancholy, particularly early on, but, if you'd had an evil sorcerer chasing you with the intent to kill for sixteen years, you'd experience despondency once in a while, too. Overall, though, Chariss is a survivor and a trooper. She'll do whatever's necessary to fulfill her duty."

If you'd like to read the story of Amanda Chariss, you can pick up the epic fantasy novel at www.amazon.com or www.archebooks.com. There's also information about the novel at Sandy Lender's main blog at www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

She Says It's Not About the Beer

You'll have to forgive me for the tongue-in-cheek title to this article, but I wanted to get your attention. My fantasy author, Sandy Lender, has told me much about the United States of America where she's lived almost all of her life. (If you've followed any of the tour stops during her Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour, you'll see that she lived in Mallorca, Spain, for a year when her father served in the Air Force.)

The tale of how your ancestors rallied and sacrificed to gain their freedom from a then-oppressive monarchy to create a government of their own is inspiring. What I find incredible, what moves me as you prepare to celebrate the birth of your nation July 4, is this: The spirit of that rally and sacrifice remains strong in a great number of this nation's citizens today. In fact, a great number of those citizens voluntarily join your country's military and risk life and limb to uphold your hard-won freedom for you and your allies.

Your nation comes together July 4 to host parades down city streets and to barbeque copious amounts of food with neighbors and family and to watch fireworks displays reminiscent of the battles fought to win your independence and to, as I so callously stated in the headline, drink an ale or two. I'd like to suggest that while celebrating and enjoying the day off from work, take a moment to pray for the men and women who are answering the call of the rally and the sacrifice that is inherent in an American's spirit.

Have a safe and peaceful Independence Day.
Nigel Taiman

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She Got Carded

My fantasy author had to explain to me what this meant, but, considering how elated she was over it, I thought it had to be something grand.

Not so much.

Turns out that while buying bottles of wine over her lunch break today, Sandy Lender got carded. This means... (Oh, they already know what that means? Then why am I posting a blog about it?)

By the gods. She just wanted you all to know that a lady at the check-out stand stared at her and thought she wasn't 21 yet. Considering Sandy just celebrated her 37th birthday in New York a couple weekends ago, this has her pretty happy. I don't really understand why you women get so excited over such trivial things. You don't catch Mandy fussing over such things.

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Monday, July 2, 2007

She Was Called Mandy The Other Day

My fantasy author has been a bit down as of late because life "sucks," as she says it. As strange as these colloquialisms are in your society, I understand that one after watching the bizarre crap she goes through each day. It's a wonder she gets out of bed with what new horror will greet her with the rising of the suns. (Hmm? Oh, yes, you all only have one sun in your world. Sorry about that.)

Anyway, she was delighted one day last week when she answered the phone at work and the person calling in misunderstood her and called her "Mandy" instead of "Sandy." It's a small office—each of the few employees there performs a number of tasks at any given moment (I've seen it…it borders on insanity at times…especially when workers have come in to install hurricane shutters). So answering the phone falls to whoever is able to grab it when it rings. She was quite pleased with the way that turned out. I find it humorous. I also find it "good" that she didn't start singing any Barry Manilow songs at the person. (I wouldn't put it past you…)

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

She's Traveling About the Web


Just to summarize what all is happening on the Choices Meant for Gods Online Book Tour:

Today, Sunday, July 1, Sandy Lender is the featured author in the July issue of Write On! Newsletter, published and distributed by the lovely Michelle True. You can access the newsletter if you're a member of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writeonnewsletter. (It's free and very easy to join, and you get information on writing and publishing every month; you also get alerts about contests and publishing industry updates, etc.)

Also, today, Sunday, July 1, Sandy Lender's epic fantasy novel, Choices Meant for Gods is reviewed in the Boca Raton News at http://www.bocanews.com/clientuploads/pdf/BocaSociety07-01-07.pdf.

Monday, July 2, the stunning and fabulous Raven Bower, author of Apparitions, now available from www.archebooks.com, hosts Sandy Lender at http://ravens-hollow.blogspot.com. If anyone remembers the day Sandy stopped by Raven's MySpace page a couple weeks ago, you'll know this should be a great conversation with plenty of interaction after the interview.

Tuesday, July 3, the incredible hostess Brenda Williamson hosts Sandy Lender for Author Day at BrendaWilliamsonRomanceParty@yahoogroups.com. This is another one you have to be a member of to access, but, again, it's a free group to join. Ahhhh, you might want to join early so you can get used to it. They're…ummm…well…there are a lot of people in this group who are wonderfully supportive of one another's writing and reading habits, and they tend to chat in spurts. If you get in on a day when they're in a spurt…well…ahhh…you could be reading a lot. The Author Day events turn into multiple-day events, and that's why Sandy's kept three days open for this event.

Friday, July 5, is a surprise. She won't even tell me what she's doing. And that rankles.

At some point this week, she'll announce when she's going live with www.conversationswithfamouswriters.blogspot.com and www.leicesterreviewofbooks.wordpress.com and its affiliates, and I'll let you all know. That promises to be a lovely interview. (Long…)

We encourage you to stop by these spots and visit for a while.

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