A funny thing happened on the way to being published

Submitting a manuscript to a publisher pushes the rejection button from every grade school essay, red penned, D I ever feared.

What kind of punishment will I get if I don’t get an A in English? Funny thing, my Georgetown roommate was an English major. My side of the room was filled with fruit flies and slides, his side had books, Monarch notes, and a typewriter, which we shared.

My first publication was co authored with my professor.

Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence has a road paved with luck.

I sent out 15 manuscripts to various publishers, sought the advice of writers at a conference in Connecticut.

I supported the paper recycling program of Newington with very nicely worded letters of rejection.

It was luck that I heard about Xlibris and the print on demand concept.

Since this fictional tale carries an important message about the path of good vs evil and the ethical question of who lives and who dies it is very relevant to our current healthcare crisis. Since Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence takes place in parts of Haiti, the reader can see how a medical thriller can bring up sensitive issues.

The getting published lament: read-edit-reread-edit-why didn’t spell checker pick this up? Rewrite-reorganize-relax. Done……  No, there is a typo on page 55.

I just found out it costs x dollars to re-print the book with the correction. Oh well, it will be published soon.

All the work is worth it to give readers a chance to explore ethics, life, and the human spirit in the form of a medical thriller.

Let the reader, whether a medical student, a book club member, or anyone who enjoys a “couldn’t put it down” novel, decide who should live, and who should die. Let the reader decide at what length should researchers go to find a cure, or could the cure for diseases have been found centuries ago, if not for the alterier motives of educated man?

Is  turning a deaf ear or keeping quiet about a human travesty a vote for man’s inhumanity to man to continue????  Explore these questions for yourself.

Enjoy your copy of Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence. You can visit Dr. Saranchak’s web site HERE.


Dr. Harry J. Saranchak earned a B.A. degree cum laude from Georgetown and followed it with an M.D. from University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

For 30 years he was a vascular and general surgeon in three Connecticut hospitals, and for 25 of those he was also educator and mentor to medical students, residents and colleagues—while receiving eight Golden Scalpel awards for teaching excellence. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Saranchak co-authored seven medical journal articles from 1974 to 1984.

After retiring from his private practice at Grove Hill Medical Center in New Britain, CT, he wrote Betrayals of Hippocrates: Crimes Against Innocence.


Back to School without leaving home!

Long ago and far away when all my little dumplings were still home, the only way for me to have started or return to college would have been to pay for daycare, drive an hour in one direction, back again, and hope to be able to repeat the performance. Even now, though they’re all on their own, I have a full time job and couldn’t maintain sanity to attend a university for additional degrees.

So, what a difference the American Public University System can make. American Public University (APU) offers Moms a reason to get excited again about our education. Through their diverse, entirely online curriculum, Moms can participate in more than 100 degree programs tailored to their own schedules, whether that means after the kids’ bedtime or even during a dance class.

By providing class starts on a monthly rather than semester basis, APU offers greater flexibility than most universities. Plus, APU makes it easier to achieve your educational goals with some of the lowest tuition rates in the country: undergraduate classes cost just $750 per 3-credit course.

In addition to undergraduate degree offerings, APU also offers a wide variety of graduate programs for those looking to advance their careers. Over a lifetime, the typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn $800,000 more than a high school graduate,  while a graduate who earns a higher degree can expect to make over $1,000,000 more. Additionally, a 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement survey found that 97% of seniors enrolled at APU had an extremely favorable view of the university and would choose APU again.

They also offer LIVE CHATS so you can talk with other moms, and share your own back-to-school experiences.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of American Public University. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Meet MARYBETH WHALEN and her debut novel THE MAILBOX

Even at my age (over 50, less than 75), I still anticipate the arrival of the mail…the mail the post office delivers, not Google. It’s archaic and perhaps even silly because I’m old enough to know that, in addition to the useless and often shiny junk mail, I’ll find bills. Even so, there’s just something about the promise of the unexpected that intrigues me as I trot out to the end of the driveway after the mail lady has lowered our little red flag.

Naturally, before I even met her, the title of Marybeth Whalen’s book was enough for me to want to read it; the cover art made it even more appealing. It was a happy coincidence that I came to know Marybeth after I’d known her first novel was soon to be released. She and Ariel Allison, author of eye of the god, contacted me with the jaw-dropping news that Walking on Broken Glass was the April selection for She Reads. From that time until July, the three of us yammered it up on g-chat and email until I had the opportunity to meet them and experience the She Speaks Conference.

Marybeth’s debut novel uses the Kindred Spirit mailbox, a real landmark on the coast of North Carolina, almost as its own character in the novel. Of course, considering my own affection for mailboxes, I appreciated how she used this Kindred Spirit mailbox to draw both characters and the twenty years span of time together in the novel.

As a divorced and now remarried mother, I related to Lindsey’s struggles, her pain, and even her willingness to open herself to the possibility of greater pain.  Clearly, after twelve years of marriage, a divorce was not what Lindsey had envisioned for her marriage to Grant or for their two children. Her husband, however, broke their vows with his unfaithfulness, initiated the divorce, and later, transformed into a more manipulative and deceitful version of himself.

When Lindsey and her children return to Sunset Beach, to vacation in a place both familiar and memorable, the story carries us through a love story that began twenty years before and a faith that endures through disappointments and loss. Lindsey and Campbell, discover through their journeys, that the God of second chances never abandons His children.

1. Okay, spill it sister. Admit you’re a clone. A husband, six precious children (ages 18 to 5), a speaker, a writer of nonfiction and fiction…What ‘s a “typical” day in the life of Marybeth?

Typical seems to be a moving target. Every day is different and just when I get a routine down, something changes to mess it up. Take for instance school just getting out. I had a routine but then the kids got out of school and that routine is out the window! Instead I will tell you that a good day includes writing 1000 words (have found that that’s my sweet spot), going on a run, doing something fun with my kids, talking to my husband beyond just passing each other in the doorway, taming the laundry and dishes, and making dinner. Now, understand that said good day might happen once a quarter. The rest is just me surviving the chaos.

2. How/When did your involvement in Proverbs 31 begin? Your speaking ministry?

My involvement began in 1993 when the ministry was just a little home-done newsletter that we folded in a woman’s living room and sent out to people we knew. It’s certainly grown since then! When my third child was born with a severe birth defect that required a trach and g-tube in 1996, I resigned from the ministry and truly thought I’d never come back. God led me back 7 years ago and when I returned, I got involved with speaking– something else I never intended to do. I love how God surprises us with His plans!

3. What was your first nonfiction title? How many since then? What led you in this genre direction before fiction?

I have done two titles for Proverbs 31 as takeaway pieces for our She Speaks writers and speakers conference: For The Write Reason (for writers) and The Reason We Speak (for speakers). My husband and I did a book that came out last year called Learning To Live Financially Free. I started out in nonfiction because fiction felt too risky. I was afraid I wasn’t good enough and was too scared to put myself out there. I had to get over that.

6. What would most surprise the Marybeth of 20 years ago about the Marybeth of today?Goodness, a lot! That I actually did write a whole novel from beginning to end… and that it got published. That I have been married for 19 years and that we have 6 beautiful children together. That I speak regularly to groups and do not pass out– and actually enjoy it. That my love for writing wasn’t just a passing phase. Turns out it was the way God wired me and His plan for how I would uniquely impact other people for Him.

7. What is the “takeaway value” of The Mailbox for readers?

For one it’s just a good love story for those who love to lose themselves in a good love story. But beyond that it’s for any woman who has ever resisted God’s relentless love for her. She will recognize herself in Lindsey, the main character.

8. What can you share about your second novel? Release date?

I will have a new novel coming out in June of 11. It might be the sequel to The Mailbox or it might be the novel I just turned in. We shall see…

9. How is marketing fiction different from or is it the same as marketing your nonfiction?

Marketing fiction’s a little harder. With nonfiction there’s something to discuss– a specific topic about the book that you can be interviewed about via radio, tv, print articles, etc. With fiction there’s just the great love of story that has to come through and resonate with those who encounter you. I have tried to focus on the regional aspect of the book being set on the NC coast, and also to discuss some of the elements of the story— a father’s love for his daughter, teens struggling with anorexia, divorce, etc. That has helped. One thing I would say that is the same is the relationships I have formed are helpful in getting the book into people’s hands because they know me… and getting the buzz going that way.

10. What do you believe separates Christian fiction from “general” fiction? Do you think Christian fiction needs its own section in the bookstore?

I have found that people want to be warned if the book is spiritual in nature so yes, I do think it needs its own section. However, I think that if done correctly a non-Christian can enjoy a Christian fiction book just as much as a Christian. I had a Jewish woman who read The Mailbox and loved it so much she told me she was going to write to Oprah about it. 🙂 So that was such a boost to me to know that the story can touch the heart of any woman who has ever wanted to be known intimately and loved anyway. I don’t want to just write to Christians and my prayer is that non-Christians will discover God’s love for them through this book.

11. If you could write only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The Mailbox— it’s the book I was meant to write and if I never do another one, I will always be humbled and amazed by the experience.

12. What dream(s) do you have for yourself/your family/your writing?

Just to get published was a dream come true so I am still reveling in that! I would be really happy to see Mailbox as a movie, I must admit. As for my family, just to raise all 6 of these kids to be God-chasing adults would be the best achievement I could ever aspire to.

13. What is your idea of a “Marybeth” day?

Spent on the beach with my family, followed by a nice dinner out and a good chick flick before sleeping at least 8 hours, preferably ten.

14. Anything else???

I can be found at www.marybethwhalen.com where I blog regularly, or at www.shereads.org, where we talk about the best Christian fiction books being published. Would love to see you there!

What’s Hot and What’s Not About Being a Romance Novelist

What’s Hot

Getting up at 5 a.m. to get an early jump on writing that perfect, romantic scene. I can focus better early in the mornings.

Writing 15 pages in one day. I actually did this. I went to the park and sat on a blanket and wrote page after page. It was so peaceful.

Getting lost in my own novel. How sweet is that? I’m so involved in my work that I actually feel like I’m in the book. For example, my novel, Secrets On Lake Drive takes place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, near the beautiful Lake Michigan, and while I was writing, I could picture the beautiful houses on Lake Drive, the trees…I could even picture Sean, his stunning good looks and powerful charisma.

Always having an excuse why I can’t cook dinner. This is really awesome. I love using the excuse, I have to finish this chapter or honey, the book won’t write itself. Works like a charm! (Don’t tell my husband I said that.)

What’s Not

Getting up at 5 a.m. to write. I could really use the sleep, especially since I have a day job.

Getting take-out for dinner. I would love having a home cooked meal, if I wasn’t the one who had to cook it.

Spending money for editing and marketing. These are essentials for being a successful writer. Nobody wants to read a novel full of misspelled words. But serious writers need to be aware of the going rates for editing, marketing, book tours, hiring a publicist – it can really be hard on your bank account!

Revising manuscripts. I can’t tell you how many drafts I went through before Secrets On Lake Drive was finally sent to my editor. It was really draining to go over the same manuscript time and time again, but I’m proud that it’s finished and available for order!

Thank you, Fictionary, for having me as a guest blogger. I enjoyed it!


Tina Martin was born in Ahoskie, North Carolina and developed a love for writing in high school. She pursued creative writing courses in college and in 2007, self-published her first poetry book, Love Like Yours. She now uses her prolific style of writing to pen fiction novels, the latest being, Secrets On Lake Drive (Xpress Yourself Publishing) available now online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.


Monica and Sean clash at a parent-teacher conference when Monica accuses Sean of being too occupied with making money and chasing women to take a real interest in his son’s life. But Sean is no pushover. He knows how to hold his own and deal with Monica, but after the incident at school, he’s also come to realize that he can use Monica’s devotion to his advantage. He propositions her to move into his home to babysit five-year old Roman for the three months of summer break, offering her a substantial amount of money, hoping that she’ll accept. But is babysitting the only reason he’s so anxious to get her into his mansion?

Monica accepts his offer against her better judgment, knowing the rumors of Sean and his womanizing ways.  She tells herself that she’s doing this for Roman – that she can avoid her new, sexy, summer boss – his chiseled chest, pretty green eyes and charm that just won’t quit. But after only a few weeks, Monica finds it a struggle to keep her eyes off of Sean. Can she handle staying focused on her babysitting gig for three months without being swept off of her feet by Milwaukee’s finest? Or is Sean’s game too much for the young, conservative teacher to handle?

Having been heartbroken in the past, Monica is reluctant to play this dangerous game with a confirmed heartbreaker. But it’s what she doesn’t know about Sean that she should be concerned about. Sean knows her well – too well, and it’s those secrets that have the potential to make her love him or hate him.

Secrets On Lake Drive is an emotional story about a woman looking to correct wrongs in her life that could easily be solved by the secrets Sean quietly carries with him. The question is, will he ever care enough to tell her?

You can read more about Tina at her website: www.tinamartinbooks.com.

Never give up when it comes to getting published: Soren Paul Petrek

Never give up.  These are simple words that best describe the long road that lies ahead for any new author wanting their books published.  My experience is no different.

I wrote my first novel, The Patience County War five years ago when I turned 40.  I had just experienced a significant business set back that impacted me on all levels, not the least of which was a blow to my self esteem.  I had been writing since I was a teenager but had never put enough emphasis on it for it to be meaningful.  I had a great deal of time on my hands as I returned to the practice of law after leaving it to open a restaurant and pursue other business opportunities.  I turned to writing to help relieve stress, to occupy myself and to do something that I felt I had some talent for.  It was an important decision.  Not only did I build momentum as my novel unfolded, it helped to center me as I rebuilt my practice.  I was able to release some of my frustrations through my writing. I felt that if I worked hard at it I could eventually get published and then write more books.  Little did I know that writing the book is the easy part.

Once I’d completed, The Patience County War, It was professionally edited.  After I’d completed  the rewrite, I felt I was ready to begin the process of finding an agent.  I must have sent out more than 200 paper query letters to agents I’d found on the internet.  I sent out countless other e-mail queries.  I got piles of rejections, even after a few were willing to review a few sample chapters.  I tried to rationalize all of the various reasons why I couldn’t find an agent.  I was and am very confident in the entertainment value of my writing, but I just couldn’t seem to get a break.  I’d read that many authors, Stephen King included, wrote several novels before they found a publisher.  I wasn’t sure I could stick with it and write several, but I figured that my ego could take one more.  I took my favorite character from Patience, Madeleine Toche and decided to write about her exploits as a young woman fighting the Nazis in occupied France during World War Two.  I knew it was a saturated genre, but her story was so compelling that I had to write it.  I’m glad that I did, not just because I eventually got it published, but I discovered many other characters that I now will get to write about in the future when I tell their stories.

Writing is not a privilege, it is a right.  Regardless of whether or not I have any degree of commercial success as I go along, I know that readers enjoy what I write.  That means that I have a talent for it.  Modesty is fine, but not when you believe in your work to the degree that any writer pursuing publishing must have.

My published novel, Cold Lonely Courage tells Madeleine’s story of trial and anguish as a lone assassin fighting the Nazis in occupied France.  Perhaps some of her fortitude helped me to carry on and continue to try to find an agent or publisher.

When I finally found an agent, I thought I’d now cleared the hardest hurdle.  The agent offered Courage to several publishers without success.  Unfortunately my agent withdrew her representation due to a medical emergency.  I was on my own again.  I decided to try a direct approach and pursue small independent publishers on my own.  Several expressed an interest and requested manuscripts as I included the fact that I had previously been represented.  I am confident that was a factor that initially got me out of the slush pile.  The fact that my work had been ‘vetted’ to a degree got Cold Lonely Courage some additional consideration.  When Black Rose Writing offered a standard publishing contract, I took it.

Black Rose Writing has been professional, responsive and helpful on many fronts and I can’t thank them enough for providing me the opportunity to present my work to the world.

As with any new author, self-promotion is integral to future success.  I worked both with my publisher and on my own in that regard and am currently engaged in a two month virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  The market place is changing daily.  Soon most all media will be distributed on-line.  I wanted to get the word out as far and wide as possible.

Ironically, after Black Rose Writing agreed to publish Courage, I ran an internet search to check on my copyright and found out that I had won first place in a national fiction competition that I’d entered, the 15th Annual Writers Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition.  I had moved my office and failed to inform the competition coordinators of my new address and e-mail.  I couldn’t believe it and wondered that if I’d have known sooner perhaps that might have helped me find another agent or publisher sooner.  Life is funny that way.

I’m sure my story is similar to thousands of others.  The only advice that I have is to never give up.  I don’t intend to.

Soren Petrek is a practicing trial attorney with a passion for studying World War Two.  He lived in England and France listening to people’s stories of struggle and sacrifice during the darkest periods of the war.  Soren’s debut novel, Cold Lonely Courage was inspired by the true story of a young Belgian woman who helped countless Jewish children escape from the terrors of the Nazi regime.  Soren lives with his wife, Renee and sons, Max and Riley, in central Minnesota. You can visit Soren’s blog at http://coldlonelycourage.blogspot.com. Cold Lonely Courage is Soren’s debut novel.

Nature Made can fuel your greatness…try SAM-e Complete for your emotional health

When Mom Central offered this blog tour, I hoped I’d have an opportunity to participate. And I did! How could I resist a chance to try a supplement that has been clinically proven to benefit body functions including mood support and joint comfort.

Between the problems with my cranky knees from sitting so much to write and the opening of school on the horizon, Nature Made SAM-e Complete seemed just the answer.

Emotional imbalance, I learned, can be associated with low levels of SAM-e, S-adenosylmethionine, a naturally occurring molecule produced by the body.

SAM-e helps to promote a healthy mood by ensuring a balance of overall healthy brain cell functions. If taken regularly, SAM-e can begin to help in as little as 7 – 14 days. For people with low levels of SAM-e, the most commonly discussed benefit of a SAM-e supplement is a revitalized mood.

This is possible because SAM-e occurs naturally in the body, and SAM-e supplements help people whose SAM-e levels are not as high as they should be. This video explains more.

For people with low levels of SAM-e, the most commonly discussed benefit of a SAM-e supplement is a revitalized mood. You have brighter days and a restore a healthy balance in as few as 7 – 14 days. If you need a checkup on your mood, take this quiz for an update!

I noticed a difference after two weeks when I went away for the weekend and forgot to pack the SAM-e. At first I couldn’t figure out the cause of the shift in my mood; basically, I just felt bleary. Like I needed another hour of sleep. That’s when I remembered skipping a step in my morning routine.

For those people who don’t experience a change after two weeks, Nature Made suggests increasing the number of tablets,  up to four per day maximum.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

And here’s some really cool news!!!


Nature Made SAM-e Complete recently launched called “Give a smile.” They are working with Dream Factory, the second largest children’s wish-granting organization in the U.S., to grant the wishes of three children suffering from a critical or chronic illness. Through this campaign SAM-e will donate to a child’s wish for every social action you or your readers complete (like uploading an image to their mosaic). The more actions, the more SAM-e will donate. You can find out more about the program using the link above and learn how your actions lead to SAM-e donations!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Nature Made and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.”

BREYERS Smooth & Dreamy: Don’t leave summer without it!

I live in Louisiana. We have two seasons. Wet and hot. Factoring in the humidity, we’ve had heat indexes in excess of three digits for weeks. Ice cream saves our sanity.

As tempeBreyers®ratures rise and summer approaches, my family starts to crave frozen treats even more than usual, and clamor for ice cream at the ready in the freezer. Whether enjoying dessert on the back porch while watching the setting sun or grabbing a frozen treat out of the cooler at a picnic, it doesn’t really feel like summer without ice cream in hand. Some days, it might even be lunch!

Between hanging by the pool, running around all day hopping in and out of the car doing errands, or coming in after working in the garden, the new Breyers Smooth & Dreamy ice cream bars and sandwiches prove an excellent treat for me at the end of a long day.

With six rich and creamy flavors, including Chocolate Caramel Brownie, Vanilla Caramel Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Vanilla Fudge Brownie, and Triple Chocolate Chip, Breyers Smooth & Dreamy bars and sandwiches offer something for everyone. And with no artificial flavors or colors, 160 calories or less and 4-6g of fat per serving, and delicious mix-ins and swirls, these bars and sandwiches make for refreshing snacks and desserts. Hello summer!

The Chocolate Covered Strawberry bars are truly yummy. Even more so because they’re only 120 calories a bar.


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Breyers and received products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”