Thursday, November 19, 2015


Hi, All,

Today gives me GREAT pleasure to FEATURE, my BLOGGER pal,  MARK Koopmans and his newly published memoir, REVIVAL- The Donald Braswell Story

Mark is here today to talk about a very important subject...something all authors need as much as their computers... 

Take it away, Mark~~~~~


Today is one of my favorite stops on the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell story Tour because I can publicly say “thank you” to Michael, who helped fix a long-standing issue with REVIVAL.

Michael, thanks also for having me here today—and I very much appreciate all your advice and help when I needed a Critique Partner.

And, that’s today’s topic: The importance of a great CP.

When I put out the call for assistance, I’d just finished what felt like the 1,583rd draft, but something was still “missing.”

Several people were kind enough to read and crit the sample chapters, but Michael rolled up his sleeves and asked for the full ms.

Several weeks went by, and then Michael sent an email that literally changed the direction of the book, which was at the time written third person, past tense.

“Change it to first person, present tense,” Michael said. “Makes it much more personal and allows readers to follow Donald through each struggle and success.”

To emphasize his point, Michael spent even more time and sent me his suggested changes. As the emails came in, it was obvious he’d figured what the missing something was, and REVIVAL began to flow the way I’d always hoped.

Though I now had the daunting task of essentially rewriting the entire ms, I knew the Point of View change was exactly what the Di Gesu ordered!

My point is great CPs are few and far between. When you find one, hold on tight, listen to the constructive criticism and, at the very least, consider acting on the offered suggestions.
Thanks again, Michael, for today, and the many, many days prior to this one.

Tomorrow, it’s Annalisa Crawford, who wants to know how and where in time do you start a memoir?

Mark, it was my GREAT pleasure to host you today and especially to help you on your amazing memoir! And, I couldn't agree more about how VALUABLE a good CP is... I am honored and humbled by your gratitude. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of keen eyes to figure out what is missing. We've all BEEN there... Banging our heads against our desks trying to figure out what's missing... I adore my CP's and would be completely lost without them.

Here is more about REVIVAL...and THE TOUR...

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be “the next Pavarotti.” Braswell’s successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch.

Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despairuntil the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, singand share this gift of second chances with others.
Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen yearsand a musical miraclefor Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?
CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE CHAPTER. ───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 
PURCHASE LINKS: (Paperbacks)
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Tour Information

Mark's Tour Page

Mark's Newsletter


Mark is also hosting a giveaway! So please Jump on board, now!

  • ●  GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
  • ●  1ST PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
  • ●  2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
  • ●  5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
  • ●  8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8x10 picture 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THANKS for stopping by today, Mark! ALL the best with you MEMOIR and TOUR

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. A cool whisper through the trees are shaking autumn's colorful leaves to the bare bones... 

Doesn't it sound like the perfect time to put on your jammies, stoke the fire, and curl up under an afghan with a good book?

Well, Stephen Tremp has written a ghoulish tale perfect for the occasion. 
Salem's Daughters

Today I am happy to host Stephen on his blog tour~

He is sharing some of his insights and not so fun facts...

TV and Movie Paranormal Shows There is no shortage of people who investigate the paranormal and supernatural disturbances, usually in houses or abandoned buildings that were once a psychiatric ward or built over an Indian burial ground. The audience for such shows is huge.
I had to incorporate this element into Salem’s Daughters. Running a bed and breakfast is expensive, and cancellations due to people dying violent deaths drive Bob and Debbie’s meddling grandparents, who co-signed on the three and a half millions dollar loan to resort to extreme measures. They allow a paranormal TV show called American Ghost Stories to film a live episode at Murcat Manor.
What happens next is one of the best scenes in the book as the crew discover the thirteen cats are indeed at the heart of the problem and want to expose them live on national TV. But the witches are a step ahead of them and all kinds of craziness erupts. Throw in an Indian shaman as the wild card and this may be the highlight of the story.
Not So Fun Facts When cats leave their poop uncovered, it is a sign of aggression to let you know they don’t fear you.
Did You Know Cats have a lower social IQ than dogs but can solve more difficult cognitive problems when they feel like it.
Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.
Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.
Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.
Next Stop: Wednesday November 18th Bench With A View for my favorite topic: Science Meets The Supernatural.
Here is a list of links to paranormal movies and TV shows:
One of my favorite paranormal shows is 1408 with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson (based on a Stephen King novel) is one of my favorites. If you haven’t rented the movie, do so in the near future.
Question do you have a favorite Paranormal movie or TV show?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hi All,

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and we ALL know what that means... It's time for another IWSG post!

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh we get to vent our insecurities once a month. I must agree it's a great idea and it has helped me and SO many other bloggers get through their "stressful" time.

So please drop by and lend a "helping hand" with a soothing comment to your fellow blogger who are feeing a bit "OVERWHELMED" this month....

My title "hints" at my anxiety this mont. As most of you know, I am currently rehabbing an 1880's timber loft. WELL, I am down to the wire, guys, I move in less than two weeks and I am starting to FREAK.... there is still so much to do, and it seems that the guys working are moving at a snail's pace. I had hired this AMAZING tile person. I let my guard down for a second and found out that HE was not doing the actual work. ANOTHER CONTRACTOR.... NOOOOOO.... contractors in this city are out for blood. They charge THREE times what the union scale is and they pay their workers a fraction of that. So the guys doing my work are moving sooooooo slowly. The bathroom was supposed to be finished today, and they only installed the floor.... and it's not even grouted yet. Which, is holding up the installation of my hot water heater and washer/dryer. They are also holding up the finishing of the painted walls, which can't be done while they are still working in the space.

UGH! And, sadly, my amazing carpenter can't work the rest of this week. So I had to hire another drywall person to finish up at TWICE the cost of my guy. UGH, again!

At this point I have everything second planned, so if even one minute is off, it throws all the other work off.

For those of you that have had remodeling or rehabbing done, you know the nightmare of this situation. you know I do like to see the positive in most things, I still have a bit of wiggle room. I may not have all the work done when I move in on the 16th,  but the bath, kitchen, and floors should should be all done. I can do the FINE TUNING after I move in. It is not the best case scenario, especially with Christmas just around the corner, but it what it IS....

So, friends, please send me all the positive vibes you can... I'd really appreciate it!

Have a GREAT day, and I am OFF for another INSANE DAY of letting worker into the loft and baby sitting the tile guys.... FUN....

I hope to say HI to you guys when I get a free moment....

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A silent swish of a cape. Then another. Two elongated shadows mirror one another as the liquid amber moon glows through a Tuscan forest. A single beam sets a stream of delicate ruby and ochre leaves ablaze, leaving the remaining, masked in velvety darkness.

The scent of a man and a woman mingle with the soft autumn breeze. Nostrils flair, igniting the creatures’ hunger. Their eyes shine with anticipation. 

It will not be long. Midnight approaches.
The couple coo like two turtledoves as the man unlaces the bodice of his beautiful new bride. Their faces shift into the moonlight…

A voice rumbles through the forest, “C-Ciassssia!”

The woman gasps.

The man jumps to his feet, brandishing a knife.

Black clouds roll over the moon as the first figure takes flight and hovers above the ground, his dark hair and cloak billowing behind him. He lands with a resounding thump. His companion soon after. 

The man attempts to stab his devilish twin, who laughs mirthlessly.

“Thou can not do me any harm, imposter.” The vampire slowly turns to look at the woman. “Hello my sweet bride.” He devours her with his eyes, then clears his throat and says, “From my grave I am forced to wander, seeking God’s long severed link. Still to love the bride I lost, and the lifeblood of her heart to drink.”

The woman shrieks.

He pulls her into his embrace. “Now that I found you again, I will never let you go!”

But will he?

What secret does Ciassia hold to save her life and the life of her husband?

Who is this mysterious vampire, longing for the love he once lost?

One can only find these answers UNDER THE TUSCAN MOON…

A debut novella by Denise Covey.

CIASSIA… the first in a collection of exquisitely written Gothic paranormal romances.

Can you not feel the passion? The longing? The desire…

I can.

Welcome all to this intriguing tale. I had the great pleasure of reading this amazing story. The lush details and mystery captivates the reader. If you love beautiful writing and intrigue, you will truly enjoy this story.

Wishing you all the best, Denise! 

Here is a bit more information to wet your appetites. 

Within the velvety Tuscan sky, a harvest moon glows like liquid amber. Mysterious shadows seep noxiously through the unsuspecting forest, preying on the vulnerable, whose blinded gaze mocks their senses. 

A man. A woman. Forever locked in a sensual embrace.

A werewolf howls…

A cloak swishes…


Alabaster flesh waits to be torn.

Timing is everything in the Danse Macabre.

On this night the nectar of revenge is at its sweetest.

Just ask Vipunin…

“Who is Vipunin?” you ask.

A tormented soul, longing to recapture the life stolen from him a century ago. His wait is finally over. His love, Ciassia, has returned and she will be by his side for eternity…

Or so he thinks. 

Through the sands of time, love, passion, and obsession is everlasting…even for the undead.

I hope you enjoyed the intro. Please drop by Denise's blog if you haven't already. Let's give her a great big CHEER! 

Congrats again, Denise.

Denise is online at her blog, Denise Covey, Café Writer, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest and Wattpad

Buy links:

Friday, October 23, 2015


Hi, All,

Thanks for all the positive comments and your support during this most stressful time in my life. For those of you who have lived through rehabbing your home know the trials, tribulations, and EXPENSE when updating an tired, old space.

With only three plus weeks left before I move into my loft there is still SOOOO much to accomplish in such a short period of time. As it is now, mostly all the rough work is complete (plumbing, electrical, framing.) Today my carpenter installed the new commercial steel door and began to drywall. It certainly is coming along. A far cry from Apollo Thirteen and the Egyptian tomb.

In the excavation of the "tomb" we unearthed and amazing structural find..... You will see in the preceding pics what I am talking about.

Pictures in many cases speak louder than words, so I will let them "do the talking..."

Shall we start with the new front door? Why not... WELCOME!


This is from the outside hall... still needs to be painted forest green to match the rest/ I personally love the galvanized steel. I may keep that on the inside. Still deciding. I may want to match the freight elevator iron door which I will be painting gun metal grey.

The space for the new kitchen on the left... the right, the new walk in closet. I wish I had five more of these!

The rough for the kitchen and walk in closet behind.

The new bedroom wall which will have glass side panels. The center will be for the fireplace and TV on the living room side and an antique armoire with the TV inside on the other. Next to the front wall, to the left will be a huge glass panel to give the bedroom a light and atrium feel but with some privacy from the living area. That corner will house a living 10ft. tree. One must have green space living in the city, since I will no longer be facing the park.

This is the living room side of the future fireplace wall and glass inlays ... you can see where the cross bar is located on the right of the center wall. That and the opposite will be glass.

Another view of the bedroom. It will have the feeling of several windows in the room with that glass panel. As you can see the bedroom will be sunken. (one step down.) The back hall to the bathrom/dressing area, formally The Egyptian tomb, is elevated up a few steps.

Here's the step up and entry to the 'TOMB" from the bedroom. LOL

And here is the "Tomb" revealed... LOOK at the stunning beam across the whole back area. It runs from the bedroom through the dressing area to the bathroom! Almost 30ft. So cool!

So here it is... another update on the remodel. As you can see, there is MUCH to do! Will it be done by my target Nov. 13th date?... it better be! My lease is up, and I can't afford to keep both anymore. So lots of positive vibes and prayers will be GREATLY appreciated.

For those of you who were a bit confused about the view, this breathtaking view is of my current rental apartment... Stunning as the leaves are turning even brighter...

This will be my NEW view... a charming vintage building which is currently used as a dorm for Columbia University.... Not even close to the view from above, but the 4'x7' windows definitely frame a cool urban view and charm. This building has some amazing details.

Well everyone, that is all for now. I hope you enjoyed this segment of my current project. It is QUITE the task as you can see. I won't post any more construction pics. You'll just have to wait for the BIG REVEAL sometime in late December. In the meantime, stay tuned for some wonderful new books coming out that I will be featuring in the next few weeks!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. With autumn definitely in the air, spend some remaining quality time outdoors before it gets wickedly cold... for us up north that is...

Happy Halloween everyone! 

I get to escape for a few, much needed days to Orlando next week. YAY! Yes.... still hoping to find my winter getaway...  If not, I will certainly get some much needed relaxation time before I have to come back to finish up the loft and MOVE... AGAIN.  And, I get to PAINT it after all the construction is done. FUN... I'll be working until Spring. LOL.

I'll be by to visit this weekend!  HUGS everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Hi, All~

As promised, I have pics of my 1880's loft. The Donohue was build in 1883 for the Donohue brothers. A children's book publisher. For almost a century this publishing house cranked out millions of editions. Then in 1979, loft space was sold as residential space and shorty after, Apollo thirteen landed and took up residence in the middle of my loft, along with an Egyptian tomb build in the back hall, leading to the bathroom...

No, I am not exaggerating. Wait until you see the pics... LOL... You will be AMAZED.

The wait is over... here they are...

The Introduction

Apollo 13... LOL 
You can see the front door just behind this thing.... and beside that a ceiling to floor mirror which was installed in two pieces, not exactly flush with one another....

ACKKK... Inside the module, 80's cabinets!!!

This is my favorite... the space BETWEEN the fridge and wall.. behind this is the entrance... could anyone tell me why?

This pic shows some of the COOL features and beauty... the exposed brick, AND that very cool iron door that was the original elevator shaft... PAINTED GOLD... again... WHY? What I really love are the oil stains on the vintage floor. Even after sanding and refinishing those stains will remain...YAY! Also notice the extra EXPOSED storage space on top of the kitchen... WHY? The ceiling height in there is only like 6.5 feet. UGH...

I particularly love how they added storage space INSIDE the metal beams... White laminate particle board... such a nice touch. Don't you think? But look past all the UGLY, and focus on the stunning lintel over the window and the SIZE of the widow.. 4'x7'... there are four of these windows within the space. This bedroom is also elevated... up three steps, which I originally loved, but...

In this pic you will see King Tut's tomb down the corridor. LOL. Again... WHY? l could easily touch that too.... but LOOK at the stunning beam with iron brace. SOOOO COOOL! What's under all this hideous carpeting? Stay tuned for more info later...

SO friends, this gives you a pretty good idea what the loft looked like when I first saw it. Granted, there was no "charming" furnishings to view when I did see it for the first time. Thankfully.

Now here are some pics of the first part of demoing that I had to do myself. My contractor had become very ill for a while and I needed to get things rolling, SO, I began to demo myself....

In this pic, you will see part of Apollo 13's destruction...Also look at the awful repair on the floor. Have to have all those floorboards pulled out and restaggered the correct way. But overall these floors are in AMAZING shape and they are ORIGINAL from 1883...  And, a terrific closeup of the iron door... Yup... still gold. I get the pleasure of painting that AFTER the remodel and tuck pointing of the bricks...

Another section of Apollo 13...GOODBYE....

As you can see another small set of steps by the window.. No more bedroom wall... bye-bye!

Here you can see three out of the four windows. I needed to open up this space for more light and to give it a softer look. All these massive structures takes away from the beauty of the space.

Here's another part of Apollo 13 before it's removal...

This was the first stage. I took these pics a few weeks ago. Since then my contractor is better and started working last Tuesday. As of now ALL the demoing is complete AND almost all the framing is done. YIPPEE! Only a month left to finish. All should be done by then... Let's keep our fingers crossed and the positive vibes flowing..... And a little prayer can't hurt.  Believe me, I've been praying a lot. Mostly that I don't run out of funds before this space is finished....

And just so you see what I'm leaving... sniff, sniff... It will be VERY DIFFICULT to tear myself away from this...but I goes on and another adventure awaits...

Sigh.... really love this view! I sit at that table for hours on end.

My living/dining/working space... has to be multifunctional when it comes to city living...

In a couple of weeks the colors will be breathtaking... And this is a cloudy day...

I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and I will most likely post more on Friday! See you then!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


 Hi, all...

I hope everyone had an amazing month and enjoyed the last month of Summer. Now we are well into October! A crisp, cool breeze is in the air and the first wisps of gold and red are tinting the edges of the maple trees. It should be quite the sight in a few weeks.

As you see from the badge, it is time for another SCBWI post. So don't forget to drop by Alex Cavanaugh's sight to sign up or to read the other posts...This month has been another crazy month. I managed to finish the rewrite of my first novel and did manage to send it off to Steven Mooser again (The president of the SCBWI). This time, his review wasn't as glorious as my second novel I had sent him, however he did say that my descriptive writing and the interesting, well written characters, were as good as the first novel I had sent him. Consistency of our voices, and styles is very important as a writer. We hone our craft for years, and if we can manage this, we are well on our way. My two styles are extremely different. My Y/A is edgy and real and my M/G is lyrical and poetic within my fairy world, so as we all say, good writing is good writing, no matter what the genre.

My anxieties this month really had nothing to do with writing... As most of you know I have bought a loft It needs a complete rehab. I had my contractor all lined up, and he became very ill and informed me he wouldn't be able to hand this big a job. For weeks I had quotes given from others and their outrageous quotes sent me into a frenzy. Now only five weeks until my lease is up, my contractor is well enough and started to demo yesterday. Even though I was beyond stressed, this six weeks ups and downs enabled me to create even a better design. I redesigned the kitchen, pulled out the second level to expose the original 1880's hardwood, saving myself like 6 grand on new flooring. Yes, you have read correctly, I pulled this out with a friend. I also managed to take out most of the kitchen. I couldn't let the time just fly by and do nothing.

My other anxiety this month was not acquiring my winter condo. Prices on Florida real estate has escalated to insane heights. I am almost priced out. But I am hopeful. I keep changing neighborhoods, hoping to find the right space in my price range...I had rushed down there last week, only to come back empty handed. As my blog name state... In Time...

I should have pics for you soon! Have a great week. Lots of you have been asking...

Well, maybe, I, can post a few pics on Friday .... It is going to be very cool....

Hope you all have a great day and don't forget to visit the others. I hope to see you all soon!