Guest Post and Giveaway: Hearing Fictional Voices

My special guest today, Joan Steinau Lester, recently published her second novel, Mama’s Child. She describes writing as “totally involving, pleasurable, existing only for itself, not the end product.… [W]writing is an activity that fully absorbs me. When I finish, I’m flushed with pleasure.”

Mama’s Child traces the journey of an idealistic young white woman who traveled to the American South as a civil rights worker, fell in love with an African American man, and started a family in San Francisco, a liberal city sure to embrace such a couple — except when it didn’t. Tensions tore their marriage apart when their son and daughter were still young. For Ruby, their biracial daughter, her parents’ divorce further destabilized her already challenged sense of self —- “Am I black or white?” she must ask herself. “Where do I belong?” Is she her father’s daughter alone? As the years pass, the chasm between them widens, even as the mother attempts to hold on to the emotional chord that binds them. It isn’t until Ruby becomes a wife and mother that she begins to
develop compassion and understanding for the many ways that her own mother’s love transcended race and questions of identity.

Hearing Fictional Voices

by
Joan Steinau Lester

Creating fictional characters is one of the most mysterious aspects of the enigmatic activity we call creative writing. Here I sit, the author of a novel, imagining beings who have never really lived. Often they are composites of many people I’ve known, fused with bits of my own experience or personality; but ultimately they become their own people, whose voices I hear.

[Read more…]

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Good Use Of Celebrity and The Celebrity of Good

Gloria Loring is no stranger to daytime television fans or music lovers. However, she is also well-known for her work on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, serving as its Celebrity Spokesperson and appearing in public service announcements and commercials, as well as hosting telethons and fundraisers.

In her new book, Coincidence Is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous: Reflections on Daytime Dramas and Divine Intervention, Gloria reveals that while she was starring in Days of Our Lives, she was also dealing her young son’s diabetes diagnosis and the disintegration of her marriage. The book is her “spiritual exploration of how coincidence helped her make sense of life’s challenges and uncertainties.”

It is my honor to welcome Gloria to Colloquium today!

The Good Use Of Celebrity and The Celebrity of Good

by
Gloria Loring

When I was a little girl, I wanted to either be a teacher or a singer. (I think I mostly wanted to be at the front of the room.) Life has led me to be both. As a spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), I have played the teacher by informing people of the damage diabetes can do, and tried to inspire them to support research. My son’s diabetes led me to that role. His diabetes also led me to use my being famous as a singer and actress for good.

[Read more…]

Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop 2012


Welcome to the third annual Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop!

Thanksgiving is just one week away and once again a wonderful group of bloggers are saying “thank you” to their loyal readers by offering book-related prizes. Inspired Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer is, as always, our host.

From now through November 25, 2010, at 9:00 p.m. Pacific time, you are invited to enter to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate that will enable you to splurge on something for yourself or perhaps do a little holiday shopping for a loved one.

To enter, post a comment in which you answer this question: What one thing are you most grateful for this are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

You can also earn one bonus entry by following Colloquium on Facebook Networked Blogs and entering the name by which you do so.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit all the participating blogs:

[Read more…]

Book Review and Giveaway: Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know


Welcome to Virtual Author Book Tours’ Blog Tour for Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know

Imagine your dog penning a diary or journal in which he/she not only recounts the developments in his/her life, but also reveals his/her thought processes. Consider how much easier the life of a dog lover would be if the answers to some of life’s most perplexing questions were finally revealed. For instance, if you understood why your dog ate your new sofa, you would be able to prevent such calamities in the future. And if dog owners really understood why their dog wagged his/her tail, the seven basic rules of food, why dogs chase cars or, perhaps most importantly, “The Bed Rules,” life would be infinitely less complicated.

Things Your Dog Doesn’t Want You to Know is a must-read for dog lovers who desire the answers to those and other burning questions. Or just want to get acquainted with the book’s eleven opinionated canine narrators. Axelrod (yellow lab), Bandana (border collie), Dimples (boxwer), Tinkerbell (chihuahua, of course), Orson (bulldog), Sophie (cocker spaniel), Sarge (German shepherd), Moonbeam (mixed breed), Gabby (long-haired dachshund), and Rufus T. (bloodhound) reveal their inner-most thoughts in a series of frequently hilarious entries and vignettes.

[Read more…]

Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop


The days are already growing shorter and the neighborhood children have been back in school for a couple of weeks. Hard to believe that summer is rapidly drawing to a close already! Of course, in California’s beautiful San Joaquin Valley, there will still be plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Here in Lodi, the grapes are ripening on the vines and the harvest will begin soon, meaning that fresh, sweet grapes will be plentiful. Most evenings, the breezes from the San Joaquin Delta rustle softly through my oak trees and I delight in relaxing on my patio with a good book and a bowl of fresh, juicy grapes with my beloved Sophie by my side.

Visiting a black sand beach along the Hana Highway, Maui

I’ve had a wonderful summer. The highlight was my first trip, with three of my best girlfriends, to Maui! We had so much fun in that topical paradise! We snorkeled, traversed the entire Hana Highway, shopped in the local stores, and, naturally, relaxed on the beach and by the pool with a few good books. I can’t wait to go back for another blissful vacation on the beautiful shore.

In honor of all the blessings that we celebrate this time of year, I am participating in the Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop, hosted by Inspired Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Jess at The Elliott Review.

Until August 23, 2012, at 12:01 a.m., you are invited to enter to win a $15 Amazon gift certificate!

[Read more…]