Monthly Archives: January 2013

Lay vs. Lie

Am I the only one who can’t ever get this right? 

Now here’s one of the best explanations I have found and I’m posting it here so that I can find it again. Courtesy of

Lay 1  and lie 2  are often confused. Lay  is most commonly a transitive verb and takes an object. Its forms are regular.  If “place” or “put” can be substituted in a sentence, a form of lay  is called for: Lay the folders on the desk. The mason is laying brick. She laid the baby in the crib. Lay  also has many intransitive senses, among them “to lay eggs” ( The hens have stopped laying ), and it forms many phrasal verbs, such as lay off  “to dismiss (from employment)” or “to stop annoying or teasing” and lay over  “to make a stop.”
Lie,  with the overall senses “to be in a horizontal position, recline” and “to rest, remain, be situated, etc.,” is intransitive and takes no object. Its forms are irregular; its past tense form is identical with the present tense or infinitive form of lay : Lie down, children. Abandoned cars were lying along the road. The dog lay in the shade and watched the kittens play. The folders have lain on the desk since yesterday.
 In all but the most careful, formal speech, forms of lay  are commonly heard in senses normally associated with lie.  In edited written English such uses of lay  are rare and are usually considered nonstandard: Lay down, children. The dog laid in the shade. Abandoned cars were laying along the road. The folders have laid on the desk since yesterday.

Meet Author Troy Jackson

The Elementals by Troy Jackson

We continue our series of author interviews today with Troy Jackson. Born in 1974 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Troy moved to the great state of Georgia with his family at the age of three where he as lived ever since. Currently he resides outside the city of Atlanta with his loving wife and daughter. His passion for history, fantasy, and science fiction began at an early age with a little nudge from his older brother. Attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Teaching. In his spare time he enjoys being with his family, watching and partaking in sports. Although new to the profession, he intends on writing about subjects that have always fascinated him, including fantasy, adventure, science fiction and history.

Here’s here to talk about his new novel, The Elementals:

1) Tell us about yourself – what do you like to write?  How long have you written?  What prompted you to start writing?

I am a lover of all-things fantasy, historical, and science fiction, both reading and writing.  I have written for many years, but “professionally” I would say only the last few years.  I have always enjoyed writing, and used to always “gaze at the stars” and wonder what it would be like to finally write something and have it published.  A few years ago I decided to finally put the wheels in motion and actually do it.
2) What types of books do you like to read?

Again, anything fantasy, historical, or science fiction.

3) Do you have another author that you model yourself after?

I like a number of authors, especially Robert Jordan (and now Brandon Sanderson), who wrote the Wheel of Time series.  David Eddings.  C.S. Lewis.  J.R.R. Tolkein.  More recent ones I’d say Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, or James Patterson.
4) What inspires you to write one?

An idea pops in my head and I have to jot it down at least and hope that one day I’ll get around to it.  I’d recommend this to anyone thinking of writing.  You don’t want to forget!
5) When a story idea pops into your head, how long does it typically take to write it (from start to finish)?

Well, I have written one novel, and I’d say from start to finish it took over 2 years.  It’s an arduous project, but when it’s complete, it’s a fantastic feeling!
6) What did you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?  Easiest?

Most difficult is definitely editing.  I can only read something so many times before I start to cringe.  It’s why I then had a few others look it over with fresh eyes.  Easiest I would say is the original writing of it, although it took a long time.
7) Tell us about your book?  Where can readers find it?  Do you have a website?  Blog?
The Elementals is a novel that can fit into many genres and sub-genres including fantasy, supernatural, historical fiction, historical fantasy, and action.  It takes place some 2200 years ago during the reign of the First Emperor of China.  He was the first to unify the country after hundreds of years of warfare.  Some say he was a savior, others called him a tyrant.  The book picks up actual events that occurred back then, but I add my own supernatural twist to it as we follow an insurgent organization called the Dragon’s Spite who wish to supplant the Emperor.  But first they must seek out three young teenagers that unknowingly hold vast elemental powers that could bring balance back to the region.  Will they locate the girls before the Emperor, who wishes to bend them to his will?
My website, which includes my blog, is at:
My press release is at:
The Elementals can be found at a number of locations including:
It is also in ebook format, so check your app store (for Kindle, Nook, i-Books, etc.)


Poetry Thursday

Write A Poem
by L. M. Steel


Reach up and touch the sky and run delicate fingers through the stars
Watch as the world around you disappears
Look back and see through eyes from afar.

See busy streets and towns run around
The lives moving like insect drones in motion
Look and see you among the chaos
Lost in amongst the commotion

Try and find the place you lost your way
Where you walked in someone else’s shoes
When you were first infected with society,
and at what point you became confused.

You moved in step with the rest of life,
You followed in their shadows and footprints
You have become slow and automated; there are no moments, no incidents!

You just watched landscapes fly by instead of looking and seeing the beauty divine
You think about targets for tomorrow instead of just floating away in your own mind.

Think back and remember when a tree told a story
When a field of rolling heather was a legend
When you saw magic and mystery in everything
When you could just close your eyes and pretend.

Step back and find your lost dream
Reach out and grasp your imagination
Step out of the ordinary clear light of day and back into the haze of your own destination

For you have become lost on the direct path
Succumbed to the world, weary weak and tired.
So reach up and touch the stars and dream
Look and See and once again be Inspired!

L.M. Steel

All of my links are here:
Twitter: @LMSteel1

My first novel Judged by Your Peers is available here

Everyone Has Their Secrets

Shay Works on the deli counter of a super market and lately there seems to be tensions between the counter girls that no-one wants to explain. Shay is pre-occupied with her own troubles though, you see Shay has a secret… She’s gay!
It’s 2009… what Shay thinks is the worst secret in the world, it turns out no-body’s really bothered about …except for the fact she’s married.
But Shay is then faced with something she was not prepared for…her friends have their own secrets, and one by one they all begin to learn about each other, with some shocking consequences…
An Alcoholic, An Adulterer, A Thief, A Racial Extremist and … A Paedophile???

Meet Author Sylvie Nickels

Today’s Guest Blogger: Sylvie Nickels is here with us today to discuss her writing, her life and her fifth novel, Courage to Change.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Sylvie Nickels and I’m rather old as indicated by the fact that I have been writing since I was ten years old and that is over 70 years ago.
2. What project-in progress would you like to discuss today?
The current one is nearly finished but has been at the back of my mind for a long time.  So far my books have been aimed for the general adult reader and a common theme has been the effect of war on the children and grandchildren of participants.  My current project, Courage to Change, is aimed at teenagers/young adults and the theme is addiction.
Brief synopsis.  Nicola (Nikki) Wood’s father James is an alcoholic.  The book opens on her twelfth birthday party which, as usual, he ruins.  Eventually he leaves home and, because her mother Ann is short of money, she takes a job and Nikki goes to live with her grandparents (the Grampies) who pay for her to go to a private school.  Determined to keep control of her life, Nikki has ambitious plans for her studies and exams.  
Nikki meets Baz on the internet and eventually his parents.  She takes her first alcoholic drink by mistake, likes the effect, is sure it’s OK as long as you keep it in control.  Over the coming years, through exams and relationships, she becomes more dependent on it.  She also meets her now-sober father.  Eventually her drinking brings her to a life style quite alien to her aspirations.  A friend of her father drives her to the village where her father lives and dumps her outside the village hall.  A man helps her in and she finds herself at a meeting of a self-help group.  Her father is speaking, stops when he sees her and holds out his arms.  All it needs, he says, is ‘the courage to change’ (which is the title of the book.)
The book is written in the first person by Nikki herself, now in rehab and on the eve of her 20th birthday.
  1. What inspired you take on a project like this?
The fact that I was once addicted myself – indeed I would say that I am in recovery rather than cured though I have not indulged in the addiction for 35 years.
  1. How do you find the time to write?
With difficulty at the moment, as I am a full time carer.  On the other hand, writing is an absolute marvel as an escape route.  So I manage it!
  1. During your travels, what country impressed you the most and why?
Finland is the country to which I return the most often.  I like its huge horizons, its clearly defined seasons, and its people who are slow to get to know but friends for life once established.  My last book, ‘The Other Side of Silence’ was largely based in Finland.
A country I have not visited and would very much like to is China.
  1. If you could time travel, what period would you want to live in?
The dawn of history in Europe – to see if I’d have the initiative to enter history, and to see if I really could have walked from England to continental Europe.
  1. Write me a story in three sentences, 100 words or less.
“For the tenth time in ten minutes he asked what was for supper.  ‘Do you remember,’ I asked, ‘those big rivers we canoed down – in Europe and North America?’  For an hour, while I chopped veg, chopped fruit in preparation for supper, and set the table, he gave me a vivid account of adventuring 30 or 40 years ago, before asking again ‘what are we having for supper?'”
  1. When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
Reading, yoga, bird watching, travel (not currently practical).
  1. Where can we find out more about you and your books?
This gives a bit of info about me, and more about the books I have currently available.  I’m working on a new blog, but it’s not live yet.
  1. What advice would you give to a budding writer?
Don’t wait for inspiration.  Write.  Write every day – even if it’s rubbish and only for a few minutes.  If you can’t do it, perhaps you should question whether you have the stamina to be a writer…

Meet Author Zrinka Jelic

Zrinka C. Jelic
Romantic fantasies powered by history

Bonded by Crimson ~ A paranormal romance  
Treasured Chest ~ A pirate’s romance

Hi Zrinka! Who are you and what do you do? 

I am a mom of two boys by day and writer by night, or whenever I grab a moment.
What project-in-progress would you like to discuss today? 
I’m trying to complete my third novel, a paranormal romance under the working title “Love Remains”. It’s a story dedicated to al working women, but especially those who have forgone the option of having a family for their own for career. It’s a story of what if…?
What inspired you to take on a project like this? 
In my work as a temporary office clerk, I’ve seen many women who dedicated themselves to the company and got nothing to show for it. The stay at work after hours, they come in on weekends, they take projects home to work on them. And worse of all, they despise of women who run out at 5 o’clock sharp to pick up the kids from daycare.
How do you find the time to write?  
Good question, I wonder myself. But I squeeze a few hours each day.Usually in the evening after dinner and when kitchen’s all cleaned up.  
How did you get from Croatia to Canada?  
Something that doesn’t exist any more, JAT or Jugosavenski (Yugoslav) Air Transport. My sister was here by then and a few relatives. It smelled of war back home and sure enough there was one. So I escaped it by a couple of years.
If you could time-travel, where would you want to live?  
Not sure I’d go back into history. Life back then was harsh and brutal and no one had it good. I think I’d go into the future, but I’d be too afraid to find out what’s waiting there.
Write me a story in three sentences, 100 words or less. 
I can tell you a joke in three sentences. A man comes to hospital and doctor tells him “Congrats, It’s a boy.” He steps to his wife’s bed and says, “Oh a boy. So who does a little guy resemble?” His wife says, “What can I tell you, honey. You don’t know the man.”
When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do? 
Read, work out at the gym or at home, go for walks, travel.
Where can we find out more about you and your books?
You can go to my blog 
My Facebook author page Zrinka Jelic Author 

What advice would you give to a budding writer?  

Never to give up. They don’t know if they have that next bestseller until it’s written and published, but if they don’t get it out there, they’ll never know. And yes, it may not be the best book ever, but someone will like it and someone won’t. Don’t be afraid to put your heart out there, I know it can be frightening. But take good along with the bad.
Find me on: Facebook   Twitter
Visit my  Blog    

Meet Author A. L. Jambor

Author Amy Jambor is here today to discuss her series Pello Island

Why A.L?
My first name is Amy.  When I started writing, I wrote a science fiction novel and I wanted it to be more accessible to both sexes.  I often feel that men won’t read a book by a woman, although I may be wrong so please don’t shoot me.

Who are you and what do you do? 
I am a full-time writer with a lovely supportive husband.

What project-in-progress would you like to discuss today?
The last book in my series “Pello Island” is in proof and I am hoping to get it published soon.  There are four books in the series starting with Pello Island Cassia, followed by Darius Pello Island 2 and Antonia Pello Island 3.  I’ve been getting positive feedback and reviews, and I’m expanding distribution through Smashwords and Kobo, but that takes time.  The blurb I use on the product pages for the books is:

Pello Island is a prison colony just south of Sicily.  Two thousand years ago, Darius, a Roman nobleman, is sent there for a crime he didn’t commit.  The girl he loves, Cassia, vows to join him there in six months.  What happens on Pello Island – a catastrophic event – will cause the rebirth of certain Pello Island residents over and over for two thousand years.  This book is a blend of past and present, and the characters are flawed and growing through each lifetime until Jupiter, the king of the gods, gives the Parcae, the sisters goddesses responsible for finding new bodies for our travelers through time so that they can fulfill their original destinies, an ultimatum – they must have the Pello Islanders settled in two years, or they will be sealed in Hades forever.
 What inspired you to take on a project like this?

Honestly, being large all my life, including early childhood.  I always wondered what it would be like to live in a thin body.  As a kid, I had no idea that when you take on someone else’s body, you take on all their troubles, too.  Now, although I find the idea of walking in the shoes of a thin woman interesting, I wouldn’t want to do it permanently, unless I had a health certificate and a bank statement!

How do you find the time to write?
I have the luxury of not having to work an outside job or raise children, so I have a lot of time to write.  It’s a good thing, too, because social network marketing is like a full-time job!

What are your ‘popular novel’ pet-peeves?
Books that rise to the top even though they aren’t well-written, but simply have a publisher’s pedigree, like fifty shades of them.  Independent writers are often more concerned about their reader base, understand the importance of good editing, put a lot of thought into their covers, and know their readers well.  Self-publishing is finally getting some respect as more legitimate sources are reviewing them and spreading the word that even though there are some bad self-published books, there are twice as many good one.  In fact, I’ve read some great self-published books lately, and I’m doing my best to support those authors by reviewing and twittering, etc.

If you could time-travel, where would you want to live?  
Years ago, I would have said during Victorian times because I loved their houses.  HA!  I was young, wasn’t I?  Now that I am older, I’m glad I’m where I am because the opportunities available to women and older people in general are here and now.  I guess my romantic side has collided with my pragmatic side, and the pragmatist won.

Write me a story in three sentences, 100 words or less.  
The cat keeps looking at me; why do I suspect his intentions?  His eyes watch as I rise from my chair, and his tails twitches back and forth like a pendulum of doom.  He is waiting for me to cross his path so he can weave his body through my legs, this evil denizen from hell, this sweet looking feline with a warm fluffy body; no, he’s wicked, he’s not cuddly and cute with a coochy face, oh you sweet thing, OUCH, you bit me!

When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do?
I love watching movies and being with my husband.  I’m more a home gal who loves comfort.  My husband is disabled so we have to find activities he can enjoy.

Where can we find out more about you and your books? 
All of my books are currently listed on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.


What advice would you give to a budding writer?
Just start writing.  Don’t care what anyone thinks of your writing because like any other talent, it needs to grow.  The old joke about “How to you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice,” is true.  My fourth book is better than my first book because I learned a lot in the past two years.  Don’t let anyone tell you you’ll never make a living at it either.  Bruce Springsteen’s father told his son the same thing, and thank God Bruce didn’t listen to him.  And read criticism with a grain of salt.  It is necessary and some of it will help you see some things you’ve missed, but ignore the hurtful ones because they are usually not constructive.

Twitter: ALJambor

Meet Author Jack Durish

Jack Durish:  a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war, a sailor, a fisherman, and a grandfather; all the makings of a great storyteller. He’s here today to tell us about his new novel, Rebels on the Mountain.


What is the one book you want us to read.
Rebels on the Mountain: Historical Fiction available in all ebook formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.
Give us a one sentence synopsis.
Nick Andrews, a U.S. Army spy assigned to unwrap the mystery of diplomatic failures in Cuba, avoids being entrapped in Castro’s Revolution until he is forced to bury his friends and fight.
Who are the main characters and who would you like to see portray them in a movie?
Nick Andrews: A U.S. Army Ranger and Korean War Veteran who has made a career of reconnaissance patrols behind the Iron Curtain – possibly portrayed by Stephen Amell
Lucia Comas: An American-educated, island-born mulata, daughter of the second wife of don Carlos Comas, a Cuba sugar plantation owner, and love interest of Nick Andrews – possibly portrayed by Christina Milian
Emma Regan: An American socialite whose husband, a retired pediatrician operates a free clinic on the sugar plantation she inherited, and sister to the don Carlos Comas’ second wife Sigourney Weaver
Fidel Castro: The charismatic leader of the revolution that overthrew the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista – possibly portrayed by Jsu Garcia
Che Guevara: The Argentinian doctor who became one of Castro’s most notorious lieutenants and his executioner following Fidel’s rise to power – possibly portrayed by Guillermo Diaz
Ernest Hemingway: Nobel Prize winning author and Havana resident who mingled freely in the halls of power in Havana and purportedly supported Castro’s revolution – possibly portrayed by William Hurt
Tell us about the story, but please don’t reveal too much.
Nick Andrews uses the cover of a pleasure trip with friends, the Regans – a retired doctor and his socialite wife who own an estate in Cuba – to infiltrate the island from its halls of power in Havana to the rebel camp in the mountains at the eastern end of the island. Unexpectedly, he rekindles a childhood crush with the island-born niece of the Regans, and makes friends with a loyal Fidelista rebel. Romance, rum, rumba, and revolution layer themselves into a thrilling tale of intrigue, action, and suspense.
What inspired you to write this book and how long did it take?
I was slated to pilot a vessel from Galveston Bay to the Chesapeake, with a stop in Havana, when I was a young sailor, but the trip was canceled due to several factors including the fall of the Batista government in Cuba. I suppose that I never let go of the disappointment of missing that adventure. Thus, I followed events in Cuba closely and studied the history of the island and its people during the intervening fifty years. I spent another two years cataloging and studying my research, and another year and a half to write and edit the manuscript.
What other books have you written?
Dream Pirates – Fiction for young readers with impaired reading skills and new English speakers
WordPerfect: Creative Applications – Technical manual
Infantry School: A Soldier’s Journal – Personal memoir
Vietnam: A Soldier’s Journal – Personal memoir
Trifles: Literary Dessert – A collection of short stories to be published soon
Which authors inspired you, your style?
Many including…
Ernest Hemingway: Voice
Mark Twain: Irony
Charles Dickens: Memorable characters
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Http:// contains my personal blog as well as my biography, a synopsis of all my books and links to them, and recommended websites for anyone interested in reading
How can we follow you? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I am currently working on my second novel featuring Nick Andrews as a young soldier in the Korean War. Also, I have been posting to my blog a series of articles built from my research into Cuba with special emphasis on the love-hate relationship between the island and the United States. Most expect a change in US-Cuban relations when Fidel Castro dies, and Americans will begin looking forward to visiting this Caribbean paradise which has been off limits for so many years.