Hello I’m Belinda (McGrath) Witzenhausen~in a nutshell; I am a Writer,Editor,Creativity Coach, Artist, Amateur Photographer,Online Radio Show Producer, Lover of Psychology/Neuroscience, Armchair Archaeologist, Coffee Connoisseur, Bibliophile & Hubby’s Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie. ;)
I have always enjoyed helping others, both my education and work history have revolved around social services and as a result, I have been blessed to cross paths with many interesting, inspiring and creative people. I love life and try to make sure that each of my days is touched by the creative process. I make it my mission to help others heal and ignite their creativity. I also am an advocate for children and adults with special needs, chronic illness, and learning challenges.
Currently, I am working on an Urban Fantasy novel to be released 2015, am a contributing writer for various mainstream websites, main writer/creator/coach at www.IgniteYourCreativity.net, www.WriterzBlox.net, partner at Professor Owl’s Book Corner and a producer for Blogtalk’s Radio show Conscious Choices (currently on hiatus). Also stay tuned for a new anti-bullying initiative to raise awareness and help victims of cyber-bullies.
You can also find me here:
Pleased to announce the launch of our publishing company…
McGrath Witzenhausen Publishing!
Check out another new release from a dear friend and familiar face on this blog,
#amazingauthor Sylvia Stein ( @sylvia_stein07 )
“What happens when you lose the person most important to you and are left to pick up the pieces?
Mia Gerard had always wanted to be a trained dancer yet she has just lost the love of her life in a tragic accident. Leo Dancy was her best friend and soul mate. As she tries to deal with losing him, she finds his absence unbearable and she feels lost without him.
But then a great opportunity arises for Mia that she just can’t turn down.
She is accepted into the New York Dance Academy of performing arts.
At first she is overwhelmed but once she gets there she begins to allow herself to heal.
This is when she comes across Henry Watson a painter with aspirations of acquiring his own exhibit one day. While she ponders her feelings for Henry, will she be too late? or will she find the clarity she needs and chase after him?”
About Sylvia Stein
Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked in 750 in 2012 and she also started to connect with other authors through the World Literary Café. She continued her journey by creating short stories, which were published, in the Giant tales Anthology series. While obtaining her Masters degree at Southern New Hampshire University online author Stein built a solid foundation with her colleagues who encouraged her to continue on her writing. That’s when Closure was born. With the help of her editor Closure grew from a short story to a full novella that Author Stein is excited to share. Her First Debut Novel came in July 31, 2014 entitled, Closure and now she has just released her first YA called Chasing Clarity out October 8th 2015 . “ This is the first of many to come.”
If you would like to know more about Author Sylvia Stein or her books~check here:
Chasing Clarity book trailer
Lovin’ the autumn weather and large pots of #coffee (of course)! Busy week ahead #amwriting #reasearching #studying #amreading & #volunteering. No matter where you are in your day or evening, I hope you’re finding possibilities, not problems!
Live, laugh & love! ❤
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” ~Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
#amwriting #urbanfantasy #NA #archaeological #mystery #studying #forensicanthropology #egyptology #volunteering #transcribing
Looking forward to another amazing and productive week, #amwriting #reasearching #studying & #volunteering.
No matter where you are in your day or evening, I hope you’re living with passion & purpose.
Live, laugh & love! ❤
“Follow your passions, believe in karma, and you won’t have to chase your dreams, they will come to you.” ~ Randy Pausch
Sarah Elle Emm
About the Book:
After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.
Hooray, it is finally release day for Nacreous! Thanks for stopping by the fabulous Release Day Blitz, organized by b00k r3vi3w Tours. To kick off the blitz, here are a couple of “Fun Facts” about my writing process… I hope you enjoy!
So…Music. Some authors swear by it. They have their playlist set in the background while they pen their latest manuscript. Me? Not exactly. Music is very important to me. I believe in dance parties, and by dance parties I mean cranking up my I-pod to the music fitting my mood, be this salsa, classic rock, blues, country, classical, whatever, and dancing alone in my room or kitchen. (Yes, I said classical and country in the same list). My kids may or may not be in attendance. They like to watch and laugh. Sometimes, they join in. But as far as my writing process goes, the music is sort of my warm up. So I might turn on some music that fits my mood for parts of the story and listen to it in my car or at my desk before I write, but not while I am actually writing. I need it to be quiet in the room, so I can tell the story…(Ahem, hear what my characters are trying to tell me). ;) While I wrote Nacreous, and the other books in the Harmony Run Series, my
favorite music warm-up to set the mood was Lorde. Specifically, the songs Team and A World Alone. In fact, if any of the books from my series could be made for film, I would beg producers to include one of those songs in the movies.
My Writing Process:
I can’t sit down and force myself to write everyday because it begins to feel too mechanical, but I am definitely one of those people who thinks about writing, story ideas, characters, scenarios all of the time, awake or asleep. I love using my dreams in my writing and have written a few of them into scenes in the Harmony Run Series. Back in college, the good ol’ stone ages, I had one of the most terrifying dreams of my life about a man with a triangular-shaped eye chasing me down a corridor, one door after the other, with this woman’s voice echoing all around us, telling him to kill me. When I got to the end of the corridor, I opened the last door, and he was standing there facing me. I woke up sobbing…About a year later, a psychology professor at my university asked some of us to share dreams with him so he could demonstrate dream analysis. I bravely raised my hand, (this was huge for me, since I am very shy in person), and shared my dream in vivid detail. After I finished talking, the entire class got eerily quiet and the professor told me I was dealing with issues beyond his realm of help, and went on to the next student’s dream. That student shared a dream about not being able to make a goal in a soccer match, and the professor dissected his dream in depth for fifteen minutes. Years later, I incorporated that dream, adding on some twists and turns of course, into book one from the Harmony Run Series, Prismatic.
I also come up with ideas when I’m looking out of the kitchen window, when I’m walking, driving, cooking, gardening, taking my kids to martial arts, helping with their homework, basically, every waking moment. I take heaps of notes. I jot notes down for days. And when I’m ready, I sit down and type everything I can. I woke up the other night, and grabbed the notebook and pen beside my bed and wrote down an idea for another story. So my writing process is sort of a twenty-four hour thing. Oh, and probably the most important part of the process…How could I forget? My dog, Shorty, has to harass me to sit in my lap throughout the day. She eventually gives up and sleeps at my feet or nearby. She spares me the occasional glance or sighs every so often when I talk too much. Yes, I like to talk aloud to myself more often than not. If that dog could talk…Well, thankfully that’s not an issue. Here’s a photo of my writing pal…
Isn’t she cute? I hope you stick around to read about Nacreous. I’m going to look up that old psychology professor to see if he wants to read my latest book… ;)
Previous Books in the Series:
(Click on the Cover to know more)
About the Author:
Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.
Stalk the Author:
Busy week ahead! #Amwriting #Researching #Transcribing Wherever you may be in your day/eve I hope your making each moment matter. Live, laugh & love! #WonderfulWeek #FollowYourDreams #MakeDreamsAReality #DreamsDon’tWorkUnlessYouDo
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman
I recently had an opportunity to catch up with a familiar face on this blog, Author MaryAnn Kempher! MaryAnn is extremely busy but was kind enough to take a few moments to answer some questions for us. Welcome Back MaryAnn!
I understand you’ve got a new book out…Play Dead: A Detective Jack Harney Murder Mystery (Under the Moonlight, Book Four) tell us a bit about it.
Jack Harney is a former police detective turned Private Detective. Jack was introduced in my first book, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder, but became the main character in my second book—Forever Doomed—a murder mystery set aboard a cruise ship where two people have been murdered. In my third book, Sweet Mystery, he and an old Army buddy open up their own agency in Reno NV and investigate the murder of Jack’s ex-girlfriend. In Play Dead, business is slow and money is tight. Jack reluctantly agrees to find the missing dog of a very wealthy woman—and to investigate, unofficially, the murder of an elderly man, whose body was found at a local park and who also was friends with the elderly man who lives above the detective agency. Nene and Gaga Albright, two sisters who first appeared in book two, Forever Doomed, are back to provide comic relief. This book is another murder mystery and like the others, has an ending you won’t see coming.
Every great writer has critics. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received about your writing? What was the best compliment? What did you learn from each?
I always feel a bit stabbed in the heart when they call my writing boring. Thankfully, that is rare. The best compliment I can ever get is when they say they did not see the ending coming and that they were totally taken by surprise. Also, one reader compared me to Agatha Christie. Now, that’s not me, I didn’t say this—she did—and I’ll take that compliment and relish it forever. I greatly admire Agatha Christie.
Which character do you most enjoy writing about?
I’m happiest when I’m writing from Jack’s perspective. When I’m writing the mystery, the twists and turns, that is a lot of fun for me. On the other hand, Nene and Gaga Albright are funny ladies, and fun to write too.
Your characters are very well developed; where do you start when creating your characters? Are they based on people you know or even yourself?
Thank you. I appreciate that compliment. Nene and Gaga Albright are loosely based on my mother and aunt; my mother’s nickname was Nene and my aunt’s nickname was Gaga—pronounced Guga. My personality comes through most in the character of Katherine. She’s the “star” of my first book, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder. The characters of Jack and Curt are my idea of perfect men; handsome, strong, sexy, flirtatious—but always gentlemen, never vulgar.
What if you were to meet Jack and Curt in the “real world”, what would they think? Would they be friends with you, their creator or fear you (insert evil laugh)?
Let’s assume that they don’t know I’m their creator. Curt would be reserved, but courteous. Jack would flirt and charm me. I’d giggle, blush, and then we’d make mad passionate love. I don’t look at Jack as one of my children, trust me. ;) He’s way too hot for that.
When writing a story, do you stop to consider how readers will react to certain plot twists and changes to characters?
Yes. Twice, a main character has died in my books—but the reader never knew—because I reconsidered and that character got to live.
You have a military background, how do you feel that lends to your writing and/or writing process?
I’d like to think that my background has made me very detail oriented. This is a good thing when writing mystery; sometimes it’s the little things that turn out to be the most important.
As far as your process, now that you have four books under your belt what changes (if any) have you made to the way you work? Any advice you could offer other writers just starting out?
I’m more organized and have more self-discipline. Some writers are called Plotters, they create a very detailed outline—they plot the book—from start to finish and all that’s left to do is actually write it. Other writers are called, Pantsers. They just sit down at the computer start writing. I am a little of both. I have a hard time writing a detailed outline. When I write, things just come to me. On the other hand, I brainstorm a lot before I start, and take a lot notes once I have started. It’s also important to set a daily word count goal. If you’re just starting, start low. For instance, say to yourself—today I’ll write 500 words. Gradually increase that number. I have a friend who can write 10,000 words a day. I’m lucky if I can do that in five days. The important thing to remember is that it takes dedication, determination, and self-discipline. It’s up to you to get it done, the book won’t write itself.
Are there any authors you would recommend to fans of your books, possibly that you love yourself?
I’m a big fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. I’ve read them all, twice.
Are you working on your next book?
Yes. I’ve started brainstorming book five, another Jack Harney/Curt Noble murder mystery.
Thank you Belinda!
Under the Moonlight series #4
Play dead. It might just save your life.
When Jack Harney and Curt Noble opened their detective agency, they expected to investigate the occasional cheating husband or minor theft. Instead, they’ve somehow found themselves, once again, investigating not one, but two grisly murders.
Nene and Gaga Albright; one sweet, one sour, both suspicious of the new tenants above. Strange things are happening in the apartment across the hall. Are the new tenants eccentric, or just plain crazy?
Can Jack and Curt find the killer before he kills again? Will Nene find out what’s going on behind door number two, or die trying?
Purchase Link: Link to Amazon Page
MaryAnn Kempher writes mystery novels with a dash of humor.
She is the author of three other books in the Under the Moonlight series: Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder; a romantic mystery set in Reno NV. Forever Doomed, a mystery set aboard a cruise ship, and Sweet Mystery—another “I did not see that ending coming.” mystery. All three will make you giggle, and keep you guessing until the very end.
Her influences include Janet Evanovich and Agatha Christie.
If you’d like to connect with MaryAnn Kempher, that will be easy:
Before We Say I Do
About the Book:
Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.
Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?
Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.
Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.
Turning from my thoughts of being human again, I watched Chase closely. He fiddled with his
own tie, straightening it when it didn’t need straightening. Something was on his mind, and little did he
know there would be a lot more on his mind later.
“Is everything alright?” I asked.
“Is Mads okay?”
“Of course. Why do you ask? Are you worried about her?”
“Well, it’s just that you’re here . . .”
I tried to put on my best smile. “Madison is perfectly fine. Honest.”
Chase sighed audibly. “I cannot tell you how happy I am to know that Mads is okay.” His lips
tugged into a half-smile, and I wondered if he was still a bit concerned.
“Chase, as long as she has you, she’ll be fine,” I assured him.
He laughed nervously. “I hope you’re right, Zach.”
“Trust me. I am.”
Chase sat down across from me. “Have you seen her?”
I felt my lips curl into a smile. “Yes, and she’s absolutely beautiful.”
Chase bit his bottom lip, and I knew he was probably thinking about their marriage. I would
never know such a union, but I rejoiced that these beautiful humans were about to embark on a new
phase of their journey together with God.
“You know. Andy’s right,” Chase said, “I want you by our side when we get married. Do you
think you could be my secondary best man?”
“It would be my great pleasure and honor, Chase.” I had never been honored in such a way
before, and it brought tears to my eyes. I just hoped he still felt that way after he learned the real reason I
Chase grinned. “You don’t know how much that means to me. To us. I know Mads would love to
have you up there, too.”
I smiled, hoping it didn’t waver. “I look forward to it.”
INTERVIEW with Emerald Barnes via Vox Dei:
What was your inspiration behind the story?
My inspiration for Before We Say I Do was my readers. That may sound cliché, but everyone who read it fell in love with Chase and Mads, and I, honestly, so did I. I wasn’t ready for their story to end, so I decided to continue and show them getting married. But I, also, knew there was an unanswered question from Entertaining Angels. What happened with Chase’s dad? Keeping with my themeof angels helping humans, I decided to answer that question and bring back a favorite character, Zach.
Tell us a bit about your book.
Before We Say I Do is about Chase and Madison on their wedding day, but Chase has to face his past in a huge way. His dad is seeking forgiveness, but Chase doesn’t know if he can forgive him for what he did to him years ago. Chase has to learn that forgiveness may not be easy, but it’s also necessary.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee as a hot drink, but I’m a Southern girl. I like my cold sweet tea. I take my coffee with a lot of creamer and sugar! I don’t only need the caffeine, I need the sugar rush! Plus, I’m not a big fan of the bitter taste of coffee without it.
What kind of reader are you?
Multi-tasker, must finisher, multiple books at one time I’m a “must finisher.” I have to finish a book before I can start another one. I don’t like trying to focus so much on two or more different stories.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m usually spending time with my nieces and nephews – five of them. I can’t imagine a day without them. When I’m not with them, I’m usually reading, watching TV, blogging or studying the Word.
Who is your role model/inspiration?
My role model has always been my mom. She’s always talked to me about my life, questions I’ve had about God, and she’s always given me the moral support I need. She’s never let me doubt my dreams, and she’s always been my biggest prayer warrior. My mom and dad as a unit have been my biggest cheerleaders. They have given me everything I needed to support my dreams, and they have prayed for me relentlessly.
Vox Dei’s motto is “Christian Books for a messy world.” Do you find this is true with your books?
Oh yes. I definitely find that it is true regarding Before We Say I Do. We all get caught up in not wanting to forgive someone for how they treated us, what they said, or how they acted around us. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but God said that we had to forgive for us to be forgiven. That is my theme in this short story, learning to forgive when it’s one of the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but I also want people to know that when you forgive, the bitterness and resent building up in your heart will disappear, and you’ll be free.
When did you come to know Jesus?
I was in fourth grade. It was September of 1996, and my mom and dad had just gotten a phone call about how one of my best friends had acceptedJesus into her life. I was lying in bed that night and called my dad (my youth pastor also) back to talk to me. I asked him what it would take to get to know Jesus, and he told me. That night, I asked Jesus into my life, and I haven’t regretted that decision. I’d always been in church, and I’d known about God. So, it felt like the best decision was to go ahead and ask Him into my heart as well.
How has your faith changed over time? That’s a huge question for me because it’s changed considerably. I was raised Free Will Baptist. My dad was the pastor at almost every church I’ve ever attended. One day, as we all know, it’s time for pastors to move on, and it was time for us. We took a few Sundays off to pray about where we needed to go next. My brother-in-law came from a non-denominational background, so we gave his old church a try. We haven’t looked back since, and I’ve had a considerable change in the way that I’ve seen God and the Bible. It wasn’t that I wasn’t learning it in the FWB, but I have had a deeper connection with God this go-around. I pay more attention to the Bible, and I spend more time in prayer now. It was a huge change for me, but it’sopened my eyes up to what I thought was impossible, but it’s not impossible. I feel like where I’m at now is where I was always meant to be, and that makes a huge difference in my spiritual life. It deepens it. And it’s where I need to be spiritually to write the books I am writing.
I’ve heard that the characters in Entertaining Angels series are your favorites. Why is that?
They are. For some reason, Madison, Chase and Zach have wound their way into my brain, and they won’t let go! I love them so much, that I’ve continued writing about them. Before We Say I Do continues their story, and I found a way to work them into book two when they originally weren’t going to be in it at all. I fell in love with Madison because I saw her grow from a timid, shy young woman to a confident one. And Chase, well, I’m going to be completely honest, he’s my ideal type of man (if he was older)! But, they’re so wonderful. I can’t help but love them!
What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?
I hope that the legacy I leave behind with my writing is that teens and women will learn to love themselves and overcome whatever obstacle is holding them back. My Entertaining Angels series is just about that. It’s stories to help heal, and I hope that I’ve accomplished that in some way.
ABOUT Emerald Barnes:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews. She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a familyoriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor
Connect with Emerald:
Help our friend, author L.L. Hunter celebrate her newest release!
The Aqua Lie
The Aqua Saga book 2
by L.L. Hunter
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
Release Date: July 31st
Ever since being told he had to work for General Maddox in order to see Pym, Rush has had more than enough time to contemplate how to get out of this deal.
When he is invited to play a high stakes poker game with the General and his father, he is a little suspicious of the General’s motives.
When he discovers just what he is playing for, it has Rush seeing red.
The prize: Pym’s heart.
But if he loses, he will have to watch his friend Troy take Pym to the annual General’s Masquerade Ball while he sits on the sidelines.
And the hardest part of it all – trying to keep his secret from Pym.
In the much anticipated sequel to The Aqua Secret,
Will Rush be able to keep up the facade, or will it all be unraveled by midnight?
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17790612-the-aqua-lie
Purchase The Aqua Lie
Purchase The Aqua Secret
Follow L.L. Hunter
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LL-Hunter/11010412913286
Google +: google.com/+LLHunter
Incredibly busy week ahead #amwriting #studying #creating #volunteering
Wherever you may be in your day/eve, I hope you’re living with passion & purpose!
Live, laugh & love! xo
“I write because I must. It’s not a choice or a pastime, it’s an unyielding calling and my passion.” ~Elizabeth Reyes