What a Bunny Has to do with It….

In our over climate controlled modern world, where we can be warm when it’s freezing outside and cool when it’s roasting, we may not appreciate what seasons meant to them. Sure, we love to talk about ‘fall colors’ (and admittedly after decades in Florida and six years in the desert I’m no expert) but unless we live in Maine or Iceland, we probably don’t have jubilation at the sight of the first blade of grass popping up in spring time.

Spring was even more important in the ancient world as the time when the earth awoke from a long slumber, back into the cycle of life that would lead up to the season of harvest which sustained villages, towns, and cities. In this traditions rich environment – not of Good Friday or Easter morning — the first Christians found themselves trying to separate from the practices of other religions.

But what’s a startup religious group to do? The first rule of guerrilla marketing: incorporate the popular symbols of the day into your own celebrations. In order to compete with these other older, pagan traditions, the early church adopted many of the symbols of the festivals around spring.Enter the rabbit, a symbol of fertility, often used in the worship of a goddess of fertility, Eastre. Enter eggs, the classic symbol of birth and new life.

Commercialization has stripped Christmas of the joy of giving gifts and Valentine’s Day of the romance associated with a candle light dinner. But for me, I resist the pressure to succumb to Easter as an explosion of pastels and eggs. I welcome the reminder of sacrifice and the call to live again. And like the early church, I am a part of the society in which I live.

This is why I’m delighted to welcome you to the Hoppy Easter Eggstavaganza Giveaway Hop! There are over 250 blogs participating and lots of cool prizes.

This hop is sponsored by Once Upon A Twlight and I’m A Reader Not A Writer. This giveaway is from Friday, April 6 through Thursday, April 12 and winners will be announced the next day. Make sure you enter at each blog. I’m gifting a copy of my first novel, an e-book Saving Peace(no Kindle required) to one lucky winner. This is the story of three friends, separated by time, who are forced to decide if the memories they share will unite or divide them. We are talking about women here so it’s a book full of the dilemmas and dramas of being female!

Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina
Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To enter for a chance to win, fill out the form below.

More about Saving Peace:

ebooks, Peace College
A novel about the power of women's friendships

Thirty years intervene in the friendships begun at the all female Peace College.  Sib, the local news anchor with dreams of going national. Mary Beth, the capable, restless mother of three. Kim, the college president who admits male students. Saving Peace is the story of promises made and broken, love found then lost, and redemption sought for the past.Three women. Two choices. One campus.



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The One Where I Self-Publish an Ebook


I’m a writer. It took me nearly ten years from my first creative writing course during my Masters program at North Carolina State University to say this with any degree of confidence or understanding what being a writer meant. It doesn’t mean that I make a living from writing (though one day in the not too distant future I hope it will). What it does mean is that I write every day, something: an article for a journal or magazine, edit an academic piece, fiddle with parts of a story, or pitch up to this blog to say something. Anything.

The truth is that publishing is undergoing a seismic shift and has been feeling the reverberations of technology in the ten years since I finished my first short story collection. Perhaps they became as the rumbles of blogs turned into books; here were people with a demonstrated audience of a few thousand. With help of a major publishing house to catapult their small audience onto the national or international stage and perhaps become bestsellers or even movies like the Julie and Julia cooking blog. These Cinderella like stories about bloggers turned writers may have been the logical step to another intervention that rocked publishing: the e-book.

Self publishing has existed for a long time; but these ‘vanity’ presses as they were known would charge a writer to provide several hundred copies of a book that likely languished in a garage — for those lucky enough to have space — or found themselves spilled on in the family den. Often this type of book didn’t work because it didn’t have the heft of the big publishers to market, distribute, and reach a wider audience. Nonetheless a few intrepid storytellers went the self published route as the budgets of major houses tightened and fewer marketing departments were willing to take a risk on new writers. These soldiers were the tail wagging the dog and one of the most famous examples is The Lace Reader which eventually went to an auction (where multiple publishers bid on a book) and then onto the bestsellers list.

The e-book is challenging the step-child nature of self publishing in relation to the commercial market. Because now readers can find new authors and new authors are often much cheaper than the established ones. As the John Locke — not of the LOST t.v. series fame — the first writer to sell a million copies on Amazon.com is (in)famous for saying: “When famous authors sell at $9.95 and my books are at 99c, I no longer have to prove my books are as good as theirs. They have to prove their books are ten times better than mine!” Royalties are also much better for authors in digital sales than on print books, mainly because digital books are significantly less expensive to produce.

After hearing about this for years, this summer I decided to think about all the content I’ve had piling up since that very first class in 2002. Many of the pieces have been placed in literary magazines around the United States but were turned away by agents for one reason or another. The collection seemed the perfect place to start an experiment on whether or not the e-book hype was something to get excited about.

Download a copy of Coloured and Other Stories and see for yourself. Do I deserve to be in print?

What are your thoughts on the self publishing industry? Have you read other self published authors or are you considering either print or digital self publishing?