Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hill Country Book Festival

I usually attend book festivals of this nature with no expectations of whether I will sell books or not. In fact, if I sell none at all, I'm okay with that because I do a lot of PR. I pass out bookmarks and explain excitedly that books and samples are available for the Kindle and Nook, etc. I figure is most buyers are like me, they want to go home and test out the book first before buying. But yesterday was great. I sold a few books and that's always a great feeling. I shared a table with wonderful author, Linda LaRoque and I met four other romance authors as well. Tiffany Green, Fleeta Cunningham, and Golden Keyes Parsons. Photos aren't the best but I was using my phone. Check out Linda and I. We make a cure pair, don't we?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Penny Ehrenkranz stops by!

Hi Jami, thank you for hosting me today and giving me an opportunity to talk about my new release, Love Delivery. 

1.      When did you first realize you were a writer?
When I was in grade school, I entertained myself by crafting books. I’d write them by hand, illustrate them, and bind them with cardboard and ribbon.  By the time I got to high school, I was convinced I would be a writer when I “grew up.” I guess I always thought of myself as a writer, although I didn’t become a published writer until I was in my 40’s.  Life and ignorance of the process got in the way.  When I was younger I tried submitting some of my stories, but of course, I aimed too high. When I was rejected, I was crushed and put aside my dreams.  Later, when the Internet became part of my daily life, I learned so much about the publishing world and it didn’t take me long to become a published author.

2.      Can you describe your "cave?" (your writing area)
I’m lucky to have my own space.  It’s a small office, but it’s got everything I need, including a door to keep my animals out if I want to work without the dogs wanting to be petted, or the cat walking across my keyboard.

I have both a desktop and a laptop.  I tend to write more on my desktop and edit on my laptop.  My desktop is in my office.  I have a wraparound desk on three sides of the room and a window which looks through my greenhouse out to my garden and wooded area.  I have shelves on three of the walls filled with reference books, my published work, and various pieces of art which my daughter and friends have crafted.

I tend to work in quiet and don’t like to have the distraction of music.

3.      What comfort food sees you through the rough spots of writing?
My favorite foods are ethnic foods…Thai, Chinese, Mexican, and Indian.  But when I’m working, I tend to snack on cheese and crackers, nuts, fruits, and raw veggies.  I guess I don’t turn to comfort foods when I’m stumped. Instead, I get up and go for a walk or do something else creative like a crochet or sewing project.

4.      What advice would you give first time writers looking to be published?

I believe you need to have faith in yourself.  When I was younger, the support systems available to young writers weren’t available to me.  I didn’t realize that even the very best authors get rejected…even after they’ve been published numerous times. 

Study other books written in the genre you want to write in.  Take classes, either online or at your community college.  Interact with other writers either in person or through forums. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I’ve found over the years that it’s often a case of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right story.

Above all else, persevere.  If one editor doesn’t love your story, another one might.
5.      You have a new release coming out soon, what makes Love Delivery stand out above other sweet romances?

I think what makes Love Delivery stand out is the fact the main characters are just ordinary people, doing ordinary jobs. 

Ann works as a waitress in a donut shop.  She’s happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, but she finds herself interested in the handsome man, Tom, who makes deliveries to the shop.  Tom is also attracted to Ann, but unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage including five cats, Maria, his vicious ex-wife, and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten. 
When Maria, a newly hired waitress in the donut shop, learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart.  Ann starts to have doubts about her budding romance, but Tom is determined to make it work, despite Maria’s interference. 

6.      Can you share for our readers a short excerpt?


Ann pushed open the door, and the bell jingled like an added alarm to wake her up. Sometimes she wondered how she could function this early in the morning, but a job was a job. At least waitressing in a donut shop was honest. Maybe someday she’d go back to finish college and do something rewarding with her life. Then again, maybe the man of her dreams would walk through the door this morning and sweep her off her feet. The closest thing to a dream man in her life was Tom, the delivery guy, looking like God’s gift to women. She sighed. It didn’t seem fair. He would never find her appealing with the figure she inherited from her mother. The only attractive thing she could find when she looked in a mirror was her startling green eyes.

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published hundreds of articles and short stories in print magazines and on-line. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications and non‑fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She edits for three small independent publishers.  Visit her web site at  Her writing blog is located at

Love Delivery , Lady-in-Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror are coming in 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing. Her YA chapbook, Dragon Sight and her anthology A Past and A Future are available at Sam’s Dot Publishing.  Funny Dog, Boo’s Bad Day, and Many Colored Coats, all picture books, and Ghost for Lunch, a sequel, are schedule for publication with 4RV. Her MG novel, Ghost for Rent, is currently in transition from previous publisher to a new publisher.

A Past and A Future, a short story collection

Dragon Sight, a YA illustrated chapbook

Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011

Lady in Waiting, historical romance, coming November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, time travel romance, coming December 2011

Funny Dog, picture book, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, MG novel, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, picture book, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, picture book, coming June, 2015

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blogging today at Texas Druids

I found a group of lovely ladies on a Kindle forum and one of them suggested a special blog series to revamp interest in historical western romance. Today's my day so come join me at the Texas Druid's blog.

In fact, scroll back and look at some of the other great blogs on the subject. My topic was researching to add that rare piece of artifact that makes the reading more interesting. With that in mind, I'm going to post a bit more here on my Oklahoma trip -- oh, and if anyone follows the link from Texas Druids to here, be sure to read the previous two posts.

When I saw this interesting item, I thought at first is was a washing machine, but not, it's an ice box. Ice was stored on top and food in the bottom. Ice blocks were imported from up north via ships and packed in salt and saw dust to keep from melting. Folks would go to ice houses to get their smaller blocks of ice and would use an ice chipper to break off small bits for use in drinks.

After our time at Kingfisher, we traveled on to Fort Reno. There wasn't much there except good information.  All that remains of the fort is one main building, but it was still interesting.

Our true find would be the next day when we found Fort Gibson.  But that one will require several blog entries as I took a million pictures. (Not really, but I did take a lot of photos)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fort Supply was closed the day we went

But we saw other fabulous things along the way.

On route, I decided to follow the Chisolm Trail and we ended up in Kingfisher for lunch. They had a wonderful museum with all sorts of fun relics. Check out the washing machine.

They had 2 log cabins, one with a wooden floor and one without. I can't imagine living directly on the dirt floor.

Another fascinating display was the jail. Just nothing but an iron cage set out in the middle of town. No privacy at all. But I bet it curtailed a lot of mischief. I know I wouldn't want to be locked up in that jail.

I took tons of pictures for reference, but mostly I enjoyed spending time with my mother.