Monday, April 29, 2013

Who’s Your Momma Contest!

In honor of Mother's Day, Sisterhood Publications is having a Who's Your Momma? contest for FB and Twitter. Just repost our tweet, "Sisterhood-Who's Your Mama?" with the hashtag #Sisterhoodlovesmomma, or create your own post with the hashtag #sisterhoodlovesmomma. You can also post your Facebook status as "Sisterhood Loves Mommas and so do I."

The winner will be chosen on Mother's Day. Multiple entries are accepted. And the prize is a copy of every book in our catalog, e-version, along with a $50 gift card from Amazon.

So let's celebrate our mothers. Who's YOUR Momma?

Coming June 1! 

“What a page turner! In breathless prose that's never less than highly entertaining, Kristin Alexandre takes her gypsy heroine on a dark journey from one rapacious benefactor to the next, until Neci Stans starts a rise to riches in the heart of the Midwest that no reader will ever forget.”~ Michael Shnayerson, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair

Colorful, vivid, and passionate, 19-year-old Neci Stans wants nothing more than to belong to Dayton, Ohio’s high society set and marry the man of her dreams, Ezra Crawford. But there's some big problems. his racist father, the Ku Klux Klan, a woman who claims Ezra as her own, and a vindictive but sexy Englishman who wants Neci for his own. And of course, the biggest problem of all is her gypsy heritage and her “little bit” of magic.

Gary Kent shares his stories about changing Hollywood, a journey—as it says—through a revolution. It began in 1960, with director John Cassavetes' work, and continued to evolve through the ages to the Hollywood we know today. And Kent was there for all of it. Kent is a writer/director, actor, stuntman, special effects guru, production manager and mostly, an officer in the revolution. Kent takes us there personally, in a book filled with memories, inside information, surprising facts and the real version of “indie film.” He was indie before indie knew it was cool.

Featuring stories of Jack Nicholson, William Shatner, Ann-Margret, Brian De Palma, Bruce Campbell, Ed Wood, Charles Manson, Frank Zappa, Duane Eddy, the Hells Angels, and more.

“Have you ever heard that expression: “You can’t MAKE this stuff up”? …That was the first thought in my mind when I finished Crazy Bitch, and I’m pretty sure you will have it too … I believe this book is a necessary addition to canine-learning libraries everywhere, and it is my sincere hope that it will be.” ~ Pet Daily Press 

Readers love it!

“Seriously great read … Touching, real, raw and a bit scary! If you love dogs, people, life … you will enjoy this book!"

Crazy Bitch is one book dog lovers won’t want to put down.”

Available at, Barnes & Noble
and wherever ebooks are sold

Peggy Tibbetts

Crazy Bitch ~ a dogoir
Letters to Juniper ~ 2012 Colorado Book Award Finalist
PFC Liberty Stryker ~ “a wild ride like no other”

Become a Facebook fan
Love dogs? Like Zeus and Pepé -- the odd couple

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quotes as Chapter Headings

You may have come across this before: the chapter starts with a quotation from a historical person, a song, or even an encyclopedia. The first time I remember coming across this technique was in the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, where the main sections began with a snippet from the Encyclopædia Galactica on either the character or event in the time period of the chapters.

This was new to me. I was familiar with simple chapter headings (Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc.) or occasionally a book would have a chapter title. I used that technique in my own books. The Crystal Throne had descriptive chapter titles (Chapter Two: Decision). In Talking To Trees, because I switched the point of view of the story back and forth between the chapters, each chapter had the name of the character whose POV it was for that section. I have a few friends who have names of songs as the chapter titles.

But when I first encountered the Foundation trilogy, I was fascinated. Those quotations made the world of that series believable because it had an encyclopedia! A Galactic encyclopedia! Okay, I was young, but still, those chapter headings caught my attention as a reader.

Quotations at the very beginning of the chapter are used in many different ways and for many different reasons.

Robert Asprin (and Jody Lynne Nye following his lead) in the MYTH series used funny fake quotations (mythquotes?) from historical and modern day people which were somewhat related to the events of the chapter. The MYTH series is humorous fantasy and the quotes just add to the humor. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller in the Liaden series quote historical characters from their series as well as snippets from their universe’s code of honor or ship rules. The quotations add to that universe and are a useful bit of world building.

Vivian Vande Velde in her new children’s book, Frogged, used as her chapter headings the chapter headings from a book her princess was supposed to be reading (The Art of Being A Princess) followed by her character’s often sarcastic response. That definitely gave you a window into Princess Imogene’s thoughts.

The excerpts don’t always have to be at the beginning of a chapter. David Lubar in Hidden Talents has in between each chapter something that reveals a different side to the characters - a snippet from a telephone conversation, a copy of a teacher’s list of things to remember, part of an interview with a student, or a discarded essay found in a trashcan. Sarah Prineas went a step further in her Magic Thief series: Each chapter was followed by a letter from her main wizard, ending with several sentences in runes. At the end of the book was a runic alphabet that the reader could use to go back to the letters and translate.

This technique with chapter headings has appeared across genres. I’ve seen it used in science fiction, fantasy and YA. It doesn’t seem to be a fad as such, because I’ve seen it used in books off and on since the sixties. There are those who use it in that way - just for the sake of doing so - and one can spot when that happens as the quotations don’t make any sense either in the chapter or the overall book.

This form of chapter heading can add to the reader’s enjoyment. It can help contribute to your world building without seeming like an infodump. It’s a chance for a bit of humor, a character’s voice, a snippet from the past, or the insertion of an otherwise dry factoid.

What books have you read with quotations as chapter headings? What do you think of them?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Other writers have talked about their favorite libraries, and I just have to tell you about mine. The Tom Burnett Memorial Library is located on the corner of Pacific and Alameda, Iowa Park, TX. The library is the community’s only historic landmark; the house, built in 1924, was the former home of Tom Burnett, founder of the Triangle Ranch. The property was donated to the City of Iowa Park by Mr. Burnett’s granddaughter, Mrs. Anne W. Phillips Marion. Funds from the Burnett foundation were used to restore the property. It is now a gorgeous library. I wish I’d seen it as a home. It must have been the talk of the town.


 Tom Burnett Memorial Library is quite active. Last Saturday they had a Hop Into Spring Craft Show. Wow!  I’ve never seen so much creative, lovely work from obviously talented men and women. The products, except for a few exceptions, had to be home made. I saw everything from jewelry to clothing, to creative lamps and lovely pictures made from broken glass. Yes, when I break something it goes in the trash. This artist created flowers from her scraps of glass. Bowls carved from wood, doll house furniture that I wanted so bad, and I could go on and on. Of course, I had a table to showcase and sell my books. I also renewed acquaintances with former students of mine as well as friends.

The library also has been having Pineterest Nights where they’ve made scarves and wreaths and I don’t know what all since I haven’t attended.

An After School Tutorial Program has been started, too, for students who need help. The creator of the program is a high school student, Samantha, a member of the National Honor Society, taking honors classes along with college courses through Vernon College. She’s also involved in many school activities and is offering her help for free, after school.
In addition, the library has a staff that’s always willing to help whatever your needs are. There’s no telling what they’ll come up with next. So you see why I love my local library.

Monday, April 22, 2013

What have I done? I'd love to tell you, but I can't.

I could have blogged about the our new dog (a Jack Russell Terrier that is adorable and lovely and named Elvis), or the two books I just self-published (which I did for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the person who I originally wrote them for never did anything with them and I wanted them to be available to my fans).  They've available here and here on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. You can read about them on my personal blog -- here and here. I encourage you to check them out, because they're great fun. Maybe I'll blog about that next month. Anyway...

Or I could have blogged about how I am still plunging ahead with the WIP even though the section I'm working on now stinks like feet and that I've finally started the last LoA book but that's going ok.

Instead, I will blog about the most recent development. I can't tell you exactly what it is yet, because I have to work out all the details and make everything official, but what I WILL tell you is that I have taken another step into the business side of publishing. (No, not a contract for the book) I know, like I really need something else on my plate. BUT this, I think is a step I needed to take. I felt it in my gut that it's the right choice, and so I followed through on it.

And I really can't wait to tell you all about it.  But you'll have to wait.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finding Inspiration Anywhere

This is going to be short and sweet today, we're in the middle of re-doing our living room and dining room and all my creative energy seems to be sapped away.

But I will leave you with this thought.

Yesterday, the day after the bombing in Boston, my daughter's high school was evacuated because of a bomb threat. The kids filled the football stadium, not sure what was going on. It was a nice day and they ended up being out there for two hours.

My daughter's take-away from this: It will give me good stuff to use in a story sometime.

And that's what makes a writer different from other people. We're always looking at our world through the lens of story.

So, what in your world, can you use in a story today?

Can I incorporate stripping wallpaper and pulling up rug into a story sometime? I bet I can.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Live For Food!

Been wracking my brains to come up with a blog post this week. Life has been so insane lately. But, as story/blog ideas normally do, I was going about some chores and updating my phones OS when I glanced at a few pics I'd taken in the last few weeks, when *ding* the lightbulb went off. Why I could share some of my pics and talk about one of my favorite things - FOOD!

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, my palate already had what most people would think of as an exotic palate. Moving about the states introduced me to all sorts of fare as well. Between the two, I'm pretty open to almost anything. And just because we need to watch the calories, doesn't mean we can't go be adventurous every once in awhile and discover something completely different and awesome.

Anyway, here's some of the awesome yumminess I've run across here in Texas.

Tostones! They're made of fried plantains. PR's super comfort food. 

Arroz con Salchichas, red beans, avocado, and mofongo - more awesome PR food! (Cooked by my bro!)

This bread is to die for! Especially if still warm - White Chocolate Orange Royal. Drooling just thinking about it.

Eel and Avocado over rice. Unagi (eel) wasn't something I thought I'd like, but I love it. The hardy sauce they use on it in most Japanese dishes is sublime. 

A taste of Cuban and Puerto Rican here - Ropa Vieja (old Rope) I think this one is called. Ground beef, potatoes in a tomato sauce over rice. And fried mature plantain - yummmm.

Hubby likes Bistec Encebollado (Beef steak and onions). The rice here is in the mixed Cuban style. I prefer to mix it myself. Changes the flavor, in my opinion.

Lovely pasta, chicken, tomatoes and graded parmesan. 

Tottaly yummy cupcakes Roll2Play was using at the owners birthday bash. 

I do like oriental food - here's a unagi roll from Sushi Envy. Delish!

Gloria's Super Sampler at Gloria's Restaurant - they serve Mexican and El Salvadoran foods. (Hey, it's got my name. So it's got to be good, right?) :P 

Egg Sushi - it's super awesome, especially when they make the egg slightly sweet.

While I will admit this Japanese salad looks funky and possibly off putting, it is the YUM. All sorts of funky flavors.

Thai Box had a super cute thing going for around Valentine's. Hubby is totally in love with Teriyaki Chicken.

I'm more partial to Pad Thai.

Best breadsticks EVER!  Used to get them at Fazoli's till the franchise near us died. But found them again at Souper Salads

This was an amazing surprise of awesome! Bruschetta on toast. OH MY TASTE BUDS! I'm a total fan now.

Local Italian restaurant Roma's has Chicken Marsala. Mmmm

El Fenix's Cheese Enchilada's with Fajita Steak meat on top. But we really only go there for their marvelous chips of Mmmmmm. :P

My brother gave me this as a gift - from South Africa - Olive Jam. Made from green and black olives and sugar. I rather liked it! (But I am also an olive fiend.)

New Sushi place we discovered recently - Sushi Yaa. Their tempura sauce at the Arlington location is to die for! And plenty of non-sushi foods so hubby enjoyed it too! 

By happy accident, we stopped at Chopstix Chinese Restaurant by the Stonebriar Mall and what we found ended up being even better - they had soup noodles! Lots and lots! (Some with a touch of Thai too!) Hadn't had a good bowl in a while. Great for those chilly days.

My boss gave me this for a present this year. Chocolate dipped goodness! (We'd already grabbed a few by the time I thought to take a picture. Doh!) Bananas, strawberries, and pears - oh my!

What awesome food have you guys run across?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Cholera Cross

One of the things I like the best about writing is doing research for my current book. The book I'm working on right now includes the subject of cholera in Illinois, and this has turned out to be more fascinating than I could ever have expected.

Illinois suffered three devastating waves of this disease, in 1830, 1840, and again in 1888. Cholera is waterborne and highly contagious, and it traveled north on the Mississippi and west via the Great Lakes, thus catching my home state in its cross-hairs. Small towns were decimated. Even Chicago ran out of isolation shelters, and that is how Mercy Hospital came into existence. 

But the most touching story I uncovered was that of the Cholera Cross in Breese, Illinois. In 1832, a farmer named Joseph Altepeter prayed to God to save his large family from the epidemic. He promised that if God would spare his loved ones, that he would place a large cross at the edge of his property, close to the main road, as a sign of gratitude and devotion. The entire Altepeter family was spared, and Joseph accordingly built the cross right beside the main road. The first cross was made of wood and needed to be replaced from time to time. At some point, the wood was replaced by concrete, and if you drive out U.S. 50 and then turn south on County Highway 7, you can see this concrete cross on the edge of a farm, right beside the road.

My husband, who is always up for a road trip, agreed to drive from Glen Ellyn to Breese last February,  to see the cross. I don't know what I was expecting, but when I got there I couldn't believe how choked up I got at the sight of it. Now, 181 years after the first cross was placed, there still stands a monument of one man's hope and belief that he and his family could be spared from the terrible nightmare that besieged his homeland. I touched the cross with a gloved hand and felt, for just a moment, the turmoil of this man's desperation and hope. I don't know how to explain all that I felt, but if I can find a way to share even just a part of it, accurately, in the book I'm writing, the work will hopefully have the power, the juice, the vibe, to put the reader in touch, just for a few minutes, with a part of history that is nearly forgotten but that still calls out across time.

I have several pictures of the cross and of Farmer Altepeter's pledge to God, written on a plaque and mounted on stone at the foot of the cross, and if I were really technologically clever, I'd know how to share them with you. As it is, I hope that you will google "Cholera Cross" and see what pops up. I never knew the cross existed before I started writing this book, and now I know I will never forget it.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Endings, good or bad by Janet Lane Walters

Before I start about endings, I'm wondering if anyone can help me get covers of books no longer with the same publisher off blogs. I used to know but I've forgotten how this is done.

Now about Endings. Writing the end of a story is as important as the beginning, The ending must do many things. The ending needs to satisfy the reader. The ending should tie up all loose ends. The ending may lead to other stories in a series. To look at each of these three elements can make an ending good or bad.

What does satisfy mean? Not necessarily a happy ending. The story can end tragically and still satisfy the reader. To satisfy the ending should have the reader thinking, Yes, that's how it had to be. When starting a story, writers struggle and try to entice the reader into the story. The ending can also entice. The ending if satisfactory can pull the reader to want to read other stories by the same writer. This has happened to me as a reader. I've reached the end of someone's book and thought how I wanted to read other books by that author. And I have. I've also read books where the ending left me cold and I've never read that author again.

The second point is tying up loose ends.  Granny tells the young person. "I used to wear those boy's clothes." The character asks why. "I'll tell you later." But she never does. The reader has been intrigued by that bit of the story. But the answer hasn't been told. The reader may go back and search for the reason and not finding why may never read that writer's stories again. When writing those interesting bits, make a note to give the answer somewhere in the story.

Series writing means the writer wants readers to read the next book and the next book. That means ending the story on a tease, on something that draws the reader to book two, three and however many stories are in the series. When writing what used to be Flight, but is now titled Escape, the four characters have left the town and are fleeing through the snow. They mentally reach the one they had to leave behind and hear him say that he has to die. They have also touched the villain's thoughts and know he is searching for them and trying to trap one of their group. The ending hopefully will make the reader go to the next book to find the answers and that book will end on another question to send them forward.

Monday, April 1, 2013

What's new in the Sisterhood?

Sisterhood Publications is an independent publisher specializing in edgy fiction and nonfiction from the ‘hood. Their unique authors bring you riveting stories in both fiction and nonfiction. Their editors and production assistants offer ebooks and high-quality paperbacks to satisfy all readers’ expectations. Their titles have received nominations and awards from the Colorado Book Awards, North Texas Book Festival Awards, Louzelle Rose Barclay Awards, Deep South Writers Conference, and more, and many are among Amazon and indie bookstore bestsellers.

There’s a lot going on in the ‘hood!

In February, Suzanne Barr’s bestseller true crime story Fatal Kiss was featured on ID Channel’s Deadly Sins.

Joe O’Connell, author of award-winning Evacuation Plan: A Novel from the Hospice, is currently filming Love & Other Stunts, a documentary about Gary Kent (author of Shadows and Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood). Kent has worked on more than 100 films as a stuntman, actor, director, and writer.

Bestselling author Natalie R. Collins’ new Lost Innocent series follows FBI Agent Eden Rein on the search for a missing baby. Look for her upcoming young adult novel, Blood Run.

Coming soon! In Gem City Gypsy, Kristin Alexandre tells a fascinating story about her home town of Dayton, Ohio.

New in nonfiction for dog lovers!

Crazy Bitch: Living with Canine Compulsive Disorder by Peggy Tibbetts is the story of Venus and Zeus, two dogs whose lives were torn apart by mental illness.

Crazy Bitch tells the story of the deep love that can exist between humans and dogs, as well as the intense - and sometimes very complicated - love that can exist between two dogs.”

Crazy Bitch is one book dog lovers won't want to put down.”

Available at, Barnes & Noble and wherever ebooks are sold

Find more books you can’t put down at Sisterhood Publications.