Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Families Matter Show with Kecia Burham VS Grenier 05/23 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Blog Talk Radio

BTR’s World of Ink Network show: Families Matter with hosts VS Grenier, Kecia Burcham and Irene Roth.
The Families Matter show airs live once a month on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 6pm EST - 5pm CST - 4pm MST - 3pm PST
We have a special guest joining us this month!

Nicky VanValkenburgh is the author of "Train Your Brain, Transform Your Life: Conquer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in 60 Days, Without Ritalin." This book was voted “Best Self Improvement Book of 2011” by the Mom’s Choice Awards and “Best Motivational Book” by Reader’s Favorites Awards. She was also a Grand Finalist in the USA Today Book Awards, in the Health: Alternative Medicine category. Nicky is a motivational writer with 20 years experience writing for newspapers and  magazines. She has a Master's in Journalism, and a Bachelor's in Psychology. She is also a contributing writer for Upstate Parent, Low Country Parent and Palmetto Parent magazines, which are published in South Carolina, with a circulation of a quarter million people. Nicky is also the Director of www.Train Your Brain Transform Your which spotlights her book and 60-day brain training program for ADHD.
Our show topic this month: Is there a NATURAL CURE for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
ADHD affects six out of every ten people. Most doctors prescribe ADHD drugs, but there’s also “brain training for ADHD” that is safe, reliable and effective.

We invite our listeners to call-in or share through the chatroom questions or their stories.
Learn more at the Families Matter blog

You can find out more about us at

Listen to the show at the link below
The Families Matter Show with Kecia Burham VS Grenier 05/23 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Blog Talk Radio

Guest Post Wed: Write What You Know!

Write What You Know! 

with Mary Cunningham

The dream takes place in a mysterious attic. At times the attic is exciting and mysterious, but many times it is dark and foreboding.

I'd just finished telling my best friend, Diana, about the recurring dream I'd had for almost 20 years, when I had a "light-bulb" moment. It occurred to me that the dream took place in the attic of my childhood friend, Cynthia. "Hmmm…" Diana pondered, "Cynthia's Attic. What a great title!" That's when the dreams stopped and the writing began.

I sat in my New Jersey home wanting desperately to write about the dream and to recall the fond memories of playing in Cynthia's attic as a child. I should write a memoir! No…a picture book…maybe a song! (That didn't work!) Nothing seemed to strike me, so I let go and just started writing. A four-page memoir eventually turned into a 33,000-word young reader novel, and took more than three years to write. Another two years would pass before the book was published, and the final edit submitted.

I believe the greatest obstacle I had to overcome was reminding myself that it was permissible, even preferable, to write "outside the box." The only limits would be my imagination (or lack thereof). Whenever I felt myself getting stale, I'd open Harry Potter. If there's one thing I learned from J.K. Rowling's writing, it's that anything can happen in fantasy fiction. If you can write it…it can happen.

So many authors force themselves to write a specific number of hours a day. Write! Write! Write! Even if it's no good, or doesn't make sense. Eventually, I'll write something that's good and makes sense to somebody…somewhere. This method may work for them, but it's useless to me. If I sit for more than ten minutes struggling with word after word, I get up and do something more constructive.

The best advice, however, is write what you know. I picked up this little tidbit early on and have never forgotten it; evidenced by my 5-book series, Cynthia's Attic, set in my hometown using ancestors as story characters. I get great feedback from elementary school students and teachers after my Power Point "Ideas" presentation that highlights family pictures and settings.

My wish is to inspire the young and old to write! And, if you need further inspiration, keep in mind that I didn't write my first book until I was 50!

Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5) 

Cynthia and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously wrong and things are beginning to unravel. Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And now they are wondering if Blackie is still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie. This time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in search of answers. From Aunt Belle's cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.

Mary Cunningham Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s house. In my attempt to grow up, I joined The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club. When giving my fingers a day away from the keyboard, I enjoy golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where I live with my husband and adopted furry, four-legged daughter, Lucy.

Together we’ve raised three creative children and are thrilled with our 2 granddaughters. At last count, I’ve moved 9 times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside from the packing and unpacking, it’s been a great experience, having made some very dear and lasting friendships. My non-writing time is spent showing power point presentations on gathering ideas and the writing process to schools and libraries.

Mary Cunningham Books 
Smashwords Ebooks
B & N Book Nook OmniLit

video: Cynthia’s Attic Series for 'Tweens

Want to follow Mary Cunningham's virtual tour. Here is the schedule

Sunday, May 20, 2012

SFC Blog: Families Matter: May '12 Book Lovers Blog Hop & Giveaway

Book Lovers May '12 Blog Hop:
Make friends, share the love of reading and be entered to win a FREE book!
All you have to do is post the Book Lovers Blog Hop and World of Ink Tour Banner below to your blog. You are free to copy any of the content here on this blog hop page to help promote the Book Lovers Hop and World of Ink Tours on any social network. 
Tweet it once to twice a day, share on Facebook, LinkedIn, SumbledUpon, Pinerest, etc and then follow others back that leave you a comment. 
By joining the Book Lovers Blog Hop, you are automatically entered in our Book Giveaway! There will be two (2) winners for this Book Giveaway. The first place winner will win an eBook copy of Gaia's Gift by Fran Orenstein. The second place winner will receive a copy of Against the Tide by Hope Irvin Marston. Note: One book per winner.
Click the link below to enter and join the hop

SFC Blog: Families Matter: May '12 Book Lovers Blog Hop & Giveaway

Friday, May 18, 2012

What is Success Show with VS Grenier Marsha Casper Cook 05/18 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Blog Talk Radio

Join hosts VS Grenier, Marsha Casper Cook and co-host Bennet Pomerantz on May 18th at 1PM EST – 12PM CT – 11AM MT – 10AM PST.

This is a discussion based show.  Call in number: 714-242-5259

This Week's Topic: Have really done everything the right way but cannot get published? Time to take a hard look and stay positive.

Call in, post your questions in our chat room during the show or email your questions to us at htt:// or here at BTR.

Click the link below to listen to the show:
What is Success Show with VS Grenier Marsha Casper Cook 05/18 by WorldOfInkNetwork | Blog Talk Radio

Interview Friday: Award-winning Author Fran Orenstein

Fran Orenstein, Ed.D., award-winning author and poet, wrote her first poem at age eight and submitted a short story to a magazine at age twelve. Her published credits include a ‘tween mystery series, The Mystery Under Third Base and The Mystery of the Green Goblin, a fantasy series for ‘tweens, The Wizard of Balalac and The Gargoyles of Blackthorne, a ‘tween fiction novel dealing with childhood obesity, self-image, puberty, and bullying, Fat Girls From Outer Space, (Sleepytown Press), and two young adult historical romances, The Spice Merchant’s Daughter (Whiskey Creek Press), set in France and Prussia between 1685 and 1703 and The Calling of the Flute (Sleepytown Press) set in Lithuania in 1897.

Moving into literature for adults, prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in various anthologies. A book of poetry for adults is currently in the works for publication in spring 2012.

VS: I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today and was wondering how long have you been writing?

Fran: I have been writing since I was a young child. I wrote my first poem at eight and submitted a short story to a national magazine at 12.

VS: What inspired you to write?

Fran: My mother was a storyteller, and rather than reading books to me, she would change the stories or make up stories. I grew up in the library because my mother was an avid reader who would rather read than do anything else. You could say I was raised on the written and spoken word.

VS: Is your family supportive of your writing?

Fran: My family is very supportive. My teenage granddaughter and oldest grandson are my best fans. My younger son has been helpful with marketing ideas and interviewing techniques, and both my daughter-in-law and daughter, both experienced proof-readers have proofed and edited my books.

VS: What was the first thing you ever had published?

Fran: I worked on the high school newspaper and articles I wrote were the first thing published. Later I worked for a national career education magazine publishing company as an editor/writer, and wrote a number of articles on different careers, including an article, Careers in Economics, published in a textbook by The University of Michigan. My first novel was published in 2008, a ‘tween mystery, The Ghost Under Third Base, (out of print), now republished as The Mystery Under Third Base from Sleepytown Press

VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book, Gaia's Gift?

Fran: Gaia’s Gift is a contemporary novel for women about Rachel Wells who loses everything she loves in a boating accident off the southwest Florida coast. Filled with survivor’s guilt and despair she lives “a year of insanity” as she describes it and then retreats from the world with her cat. One stormy night Gaia sends her a gift from the sea, a child who gives her hope. Rachel keeps the child and lives the next twelve joyous years ignoring what she has done. That is, until the outside world intrudes and the love of a man she never thought she could have again threatens to destroy her world. Rachel learns that a gift from the gods is never free, for they exact payment.

VS: What do you enjoy most about writing?

Fran: I enjoy the creation of characters, the development of a plot, and an outlet to express myself. It is also the knowledge that somebody, somewhere will read the book or poem and get enjoyment from something I created.

VS: What is the most difficult part of writing?

Fran: Keeping up the momentum, because so many things intrude, like living your life, outside obligations, marketing current books, the telephone and email.

VS: What tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?

Fran: Be patient and kind to yourself. Your children are temporarily in your lives until they grow up and leave the nest, so they are the first priority; don’t miss a minute. Write when they nap, if they are very young and write when they are in school, if they are older. You have to be willing to let things slide and not worry about an immaculate home, but you also need to cultivate the support of your significant other to accomplish this. Some parents get up at the crack of dawn before everyone else and get in an hour or two of writing, others are night people and work after everyone has gone to bed. Carry some method to record ideas and write, whether it’s a pad and pencil, a voice activated recorder, or an electronic device. There are many times you wait for appointments or wait to pick kids up from school or sports or band practice, and these are times you can be writing.

VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?

Fran: I love character driven books. You need a strong plot, but there are just so many variations on a theme, while people have so many different sides to them. Think of your favorite books, especially series written about the same character. The plot varies, but the character is really what brings you back book after book after book.

People are not flat silhouettes or portraits on canvas, they are multi-dimensional. They have personalities that differ with their circumstances; they are happy, sad, angry, loving, and so on. Characters have families, they live somewhere, they have friends, jobs, school, activities, hobbies; all this makes up a character. Set up your character(s) before you begin to write and write it all down on paper or a white board. It’s not chiseled in stone, so you can change things.
VS: Can you share a bit about the awards you have received for your writing?

Fran: I have won awards for poetry from the Florida AAUW and The Florida State Poets Association, as well as an award from the Florida AAUW for a short story.

Please visit me at Fran World, to learn more about me and my writing. 

The World of Ink Network has been touring award-winning author Fran Orenstein’s contemporary woman’s novel with paranormal overtones, Gaia’s Gift published by Word Castle throughout the month of May 2012. You can find out more about Fran Orenstein’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at 

Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: The Writing Mama on May 14, 2012 had Fran Orenstein as their guest. The special Writing Mama show with host VS Grenier and producer Irene Roth chatted with Orenstein about her recently released contemporary woman’s novel Gaia’s Gift and her writing. Orenstein also read from her book live on the air. To listen to the live interview and ready by Orenstein visit

To learn more about the World of Ink Network visit