Friday, December 9, 2011

"The Visionary" by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

It is my great honor to focus this blog post about my friend, Pamela S. Thibodeaux and her new release "The Visionary," released by Five Star.
Redemption is the arching theme of "The Visionary." Love rides a roller coaster of doubt, insecurity, fear, and eventual release and acceptance toward a new life.

Taylor Forrestier and her twin brother Trevor have managed to build a popular and successful architectural and design firm in Lake Charles, Louisiana despite a childhood of horror. They are survivors, only trusting one another until Alex Broussard strolls into the business.

The characters are beautifully fleshed out. Every emotion in the realm of humanity is explored. Pam writes eloquently about the horror of child abuse which many authors are hesitant to address. She is able to show readers that healing is possible with faith and belief in God. I believe that God is truly the main character of "The Visionary."

I believe I've read everything Pam has written. She glorifies God, her characters are Christians with normal human struggles and battles. Pam has been tagged has "inspirational with an edge" and that moniker fits perfectly.

Readers will not regret adding"The Visionary" to their bookshelf.
*Please note: This post is part of a month long blog tour where 4 lucky winners will receive an autographed copy of The Visionary! Simply leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. Follow all the tour stops listed on Pam's blog (see below) and leave comments along the way - because the more comments you leave the more chances you have to win!
Award winning Author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder & Lifetime Member of Bayou Writers’ Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction and creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as
“steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Trip of a Lifetime

My brother gifted me with a trip to visit him in Idaho in October. Seeing that part of the country has always been a dream of mine because the westward expansion is one of my favorite times in history. The novel of my heart, "Rebecca's Journey," takes place in 1845 on the Oregon Trail.

The first day we visited Bonneville Point (see photo above). It was here that several emigrants stopped on a rocky and dry outcropping that overlooked a valley that must have reminded them of the Garden of Eden. It surely took my breath away. I could see homes. Roads curved around the area and looked like ribbons from my vantage point. A stream wound through the valley, its banks studded with trees. A herd of horses grazed. Everything looked like toys from on high. What must the emigrants have thought when they saw this valley knowing they had to continue working their way around and through hills and mountains? Did any of them stop and settle here? I think so. At this point the travelers were about two thirds complete with their harrowing journey.

And, day two . . . I visited THE Oregon Trail in Baker City. I can't begin to tell you how that made me feel. Tearful. Rapid heart rate. Giddy. The Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is jam-packed with information and exhibits. It is realistic. I saw and touched many tools, wagons, clothing specimens, photos, and diaries. The emigrants packed their entire lives into a wagon bed measuring 10 feet by 4 feet. They set out in faith. They walked, and they walked, and they walked. . . I stood in real wagon ruts remaining from the treks west (see photos above).

Actually visited Register Rock (see photo above). The signatures scratched on with knives and rocks reflect names and dates.The signatures make the emigrants seem brave for lack of a better word. Several large signature rocks mark the Oregon Trail. The most famous is Independence Rock, named because the emigrants had to reach this place on the trail by July 4th in order to avoid the winter storms and snows in the mountains.

To me the entire area was beautiful. Mountains on four sides. Valleys. Horses everywhere. History everywhere. I can tell you this--seeing the terrain and the hazards gave me a new appreciation of the difficulties the emigrants faced. I must change several scenes. I must add and delete much. I've heard of authors visiting the sites of their novels and how much it helps with the writing process. I know why it is so special and so important.

The nearly two week trip took me to other parts of Idaho. It took me to Oregon. It took me to Wyoming and Yellowstone. It took me to South Dakota and Mount Rushmore. Even now, my words bring back my memory pictures of the trip. Like I said, a gift. I'm a writer and this trip left me speechless more often than not.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Think about this for a moment. Have you ever stolen anything? Are you willing to 'fess up? How did you feel? What made you do it? Any lessons learned? How do you feel about theft? Write about this . . . This writing exercise will help you focus on some of your feelings.

I can't remember how old I was the one time I stole something. I was in elementary school at West Elementary in Levelland, Texas. I must have been about eight. On that walk to and from school I had to pass a little store. Several of us from the neighborhood walked together. I surely don't remember why I walked into that store, I do know it wasn't a normal part of the routine.

Just inside the door of that store I saw an alluring display of lemons. Piled high. Shiny. Smelling like sunshine. My mouth watered and my jaws clenched at the thought of how a lemon would taste. Next to the lemons a stack of miniature boxes of salt made the coupling complete. The tiny blue box of Morton's salt with the little girl holding her umbrella looked like the larger one at home. After all, what's a lemon without salt?

I must have grabbed that lemon and box of salt and stuffed them under my shirt. I don't remember.

I do know I didn't get caught. I do know that when I bit into that lemon it didn't taste like sunshine. It was really sour. It was even bitter. It was awful. I threw it in a garbage bin somewhere along the route home. Guilt overpowered me. I felt ill. I knew stealing was bad. I feared that the Hand of the Lord was going to come right from the Heaven's and punish me.

I never stole anything again.

Care to share in the comments about your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview With Author Pamela S. Thibodeaux

I am excited to introduce you to my friend, Pamela S. Thibodeaux. Over the years I've had the privilege to watch her grow as a writer. She is becoming a force to be reckoned with in our industry. I invite you to enjoy the interview. But to start with let me tell you a little more about her . . .
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”Her books are available in Ebook, Print (get your autographed copy here!) They are also available on Kindle and Nook! Find out more about Pam by visiting her Website or blog

1. You're an expert with short stories. How do you manage to fully develop your characters and add cliff-hanging conflict to each story? Which is your favorite short story?

PST: Wow what a first question, Nona! Thank you for having me on your blog today. As for fully developing my characters/conflict - I have to give God all the glory because without HIM I wouldn't have written the first word much less be considered by my peers as an 'expert' at anything, especially short stories since I thrive on details LOL! As for technique in developing the characters/plot - these are the same as a full length novel - every story must have the major elements: CGM as well as believable characters and reasonable resolution to conflict. I must say out of the stories I've written, A Hero for Jessica and In His Sight run hand-in-hand as my favorite.

2. What inspired you to start writing? Did you have a favorite author that inspired you?

PST: Actually no favorite author inspired me as I've always read numerous authors voraciously. I've been an avid reader all of my life and hooked on sweet romances as a young teen. By the time I hit high school age, I'd discovered historical romances. Writing actually came much later - at around age 22. After reading one-too-many disappointing stories, I thought I could do much better. A bit arrogant as it turns out, LOL, but that was the catalyst to my writing career. Although no favorite author inspired me to start writing, Nora Roberts and Francine Rivers have inspired me to keep writing.

3. Tell readers about some of the struggles you've faced in the writing business?

PST: Challenges have been numerous, Nona but no more than many other writers face. I've had contracts expire without the book(s) published; publishing companies fall apart before they ever got off the ground, etc. And, since I write 'outside the box' I have been unable to crack the door of traditional CBA houses. However, God is faithful to this vision He has given me and I'm happy to be published with the small press companies and have my novels & stories out there - after all, for me - it's all about the message and I trust Him to get the message out to whomever needs it most.

4. “Inspirational with an Edge” is your tag line. What does that mean to you? What does that mean for your readers? “Steamier and Grittier” is also associated with your writing. What does that mean to you?

PST: When I first began writing I wrote romance as I'd read for so many years....steamy, sensual, explicit - however when I recommitted my life and committed my writing to Christ my focus changed. Although the faith element came in to each characters life, I still wrote fully developed (steamy, sensual, explicit) love scenes - that is until I started submitting and realized those were TABOO in the "Christian" market. Once I found out about the guidelines, I revised & rewrote, edited, and toned down until I didn't even recognize my own story! Finally in pure frustration I cried out to God and simply decided to write as He indicated I should, and trust Him to get the stories published - which He did.

Simply put - 'steamier, grittier, and edgier' mean the characters sensual feelings are not glossed over or ignored but developed and shown while maintaining biblical principles, though not necessarily ultra-conservative guidelines.

5. The Tempered series is very popular. Did you know when you began with “Tempered Hearts” that a family saga was being born?

PST: No. Initially I had plans for 2 stories - Tempered Hearts (book 1) and Tempered Fire (book 3). Tempered Dreams (book 2) developed out of another idea - I'd written scene of an automobile accident involving a battered woman and her abusive husband having no idea when or where it would develop. When Dr. Scott Hensley came on the scene in Tempered Hearts, I just knew he would be the perfect hero for the battered woman in that scene and Tempered Dreams was born at that point.

Tempered Joy (book 4) evolved when Ace appeared in Tempered Fire and Tempered Dreams as an eight-yr-old boy, so much like his father Craig (charming, roguish) that I couldn't resist finding the perfect heroine for him. Of course she would have to be a lot like the women in his life (his mother and sister) ...strong, beautiful, and passionate. My initial thoughts were Scott & Trina's daughter but with the question of whether Scott and Craig were actually blood relatives still unknown at the time, and the fact Ace would be at least eight (or possibly more) yrs older than Scott and Trina's child (should they even have a daughter) I decided they would need to adopt a daughter - and Lexie showed up. I've indicated here the order of the series but to recap they are: Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, Tempered Fire & Tempered Joy.

6. You've been a widow for almost two years. How has the grief process affected your writing?

PST: For a long time after my husband's death I couldn't even function properly much less consider writing and when I did, romance was the last thing I cared about. I mean, how can you write about love and romance when you buried your heart?

I did finish one short story which I started writing while my husband was still alive but that was out of determination fueled by the fear if I didn't at least finish that one story, I may never write again. In His Sight was published in July 2010 by White Rose Publishing.

I did continue working in the industry however, editing and promoting and wrote several non-fiction articles and essays - so I never really quit altogether. Also, my debut women's fiction novel, The Visionary which was pitched prior to my husband's death was contracted in that first year afterward, which gave me something else to look forward to. This book is due for release in November by Five Star Expressions.

I haven't completely gotten back to writing full-time and still get overwhelmed and question whether I can/should/want to - but I have started a few stories, tinkered with a couple more, and am currently editing a women's fiction novel that I wrote years ago and haven't had time to deal with.

7. Love has recently and unexpectedly come your way again. How has this affected your writing?

PST: It has given me hope and helped me believe in the power of love to heal and in happy-ever-after—in God's promises and in the desire of my heart to share those promises through my writing.

8. Your writing is primarily Christian and Inspirational. White Rose Publishing formerly an imprint of The Wild Rose Press proudly claims you as one of their authors. Have you considered or do you plan to write for a secular reading audience?

PST: I've toyed with the idea of writing a traditional romance, even have a few scenes written for one, but have yet to sit down and flesh out that story.

9. How has the advent of electronic publishing affected your career? To who or what do you accredit your success?

PST: Wonderfully! I love the idea of having my books offered in more than one format and the fact that all of my short stories are electronically published gives me more options on what I want to write.

As beauty is to the eyes of the beholder so is success—it is, in and of itself: SUCCESS.

For me personally writing is not about the money, it's about the message and I accredit God for whatever success I have attained. That's not to say I don't do my part—I write, I promote, I affirm (believe in my heart and confess with my mouth) that I am an anointed and successful writer—and like many authors I get frustrated in what seems like a lack of 'success' as the world defines it. In fact, about a year ago I was so frustrated that I said this prayer: "Lord, I've said all along that my writing is not about the money, it's about the message but I don't know the message is getting out, if there are no sales."

I am happy to say since praying that way and continuing with my affirmations and leaving the results in HIS hands, my overall sales have increased every quarter—Praise HIM the message is getting out!

10. Besides being an author you're also an editor. Tell us about that aspect of your profession.

PST: I enjoy every aspect of the publishing industry and editing gives me the opportunity to not only share my knowledge and experience with others, but to help them achieve their dreams of publication.

11. You co-founded the Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, LA in 2002. It's a successful group with an annual conference. Why do you think writers need a writing group?

PST: I think writers need encouragement, education, and inspiration and being involved in a writers group (whether online or one that meets in person) provides those things.

12. Last, but not least, what is your dream regarding your writing career? Where would you like to be in five years? If you couldn't write what would you do?

PST: My dream is to continue to grow as a writer, improve my craft and know God's message of hope and healing is reaching a hurting world. As for where I'd like to be five years from now--I've never really been able to think or plan that far ahead. Of course, in five years I hope to still be writing but I'd also like to be in the position to help other writers through speaking, teaching, editing, and ministering to the creative spirit within them.

If I couldn't write - I think I'd enjoy being a life coach.

Monday, May 16, 2011

An eye-opening challenge

Try this, Friends--
At a workshop the facilitator had the participants write free style for three minutes. She gave us one word to use. The word was motorcycle. Those of us who read our thoughts aloud differed so much it was amazing. I wrote of being a nurse and working in an ER when a motorcycle accident comes through the double doors. Another wrote of the freedom one feels on a motorcycle. Another wrote of a youthful memory and first love. Another wrote of the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

The exercise was about finding our personal voice in our writing.

I challenge each of you to sit down with a pencil and notebook. Write for three minutes using the word PROM. If you wish post your words. Let me hear at least about your voice.

Friday, May 13, 2011

an addendum to previous post about OWFI

I apologize but it is not confirmed that William Bernhardt will be presenting a three hour intensive workshop at the 2012 conference.

I hope it happens and will let readers know if and when it is confirmed. Thanks,


OWFI Conference and sharing new knowledge

The weekend of May 5 through 8, 2011 I was loving being around 400 fellow writers. The Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. (OWFI) in Oklahoma City. I have hand-written three different versions of what I want to share with you, dear Readers. Realizing there was simply more than I could relate in a short space I chose to give you the bare bones about the conference. It is annual, always in Oklahoma City and is the "go to" conference in the Heartland. And, it is reasonably priced.

The keynote speaker, Steve Berry, presented a very inspiring and down to earth message about "hanging in there." Before he became a New York Times bestseller many times over he wrote for a few hours every morning before going to his office. He wrote and wrote. Finally, about 80 rejections, several years, and eight completed manuscripts, he received the news that "Amber Room" would be published. He has since sold all of his manuscripts. I love his work because he does so much obvious historical research and puts the reader right smack dab in the middle of a thriller. Berry and his wife, Elizabeth, are very accepting and approachable. I hear he'll be back in 2013. . .

William Bernhardt, another New York Times bestseller, offered two workshops. Wow! This guy knows how to teach and make writing our own works of any genre better. He is the author of the Ben Kincaid series. He writes primarily political thrillers. He'll be presenting a three hour intensive workshop at the 2012 conference . . .

Never did I imagine I would be in the same room at the same time with Steve Berry and William Bernhardt. Just, WOW!

OWFI offered 48 workshops to choose from. The first day began with three panels: an agents panel, a magazine editors panel, and a book editors panel. Several attendees set up appointments with the panel members. Next year I will save up some courage and make an appointment.

I can only list the workshops I chose because of space. However, if any readers wish to know more and receive the address links for any of the speakers let me know in your comments and I will get them to you.

My workshop choices:
"Breaking In: The Basics of Writing for Magazines"--Kelly James-Enger
"Fundamentals of Story"--William Bernhardt
"Flattering Your Authentic Voice"--Wendy Lyn Watson
"Build Life into Your Characters"--Charles "Chuck" Sasser
"Romance Writing Today"--Gretchen Craig
"Sin, Suffer, Cash the Checks"--Michael Bracken
"Emotional Suspense"--Lenora Worth
"Buzzing Your Book"--Elizabeth Berry
"The Hero's Journey"--Max McCoy
"The Character Driven Novel"--William Bernhardt
"How to Lose an Editor in 10 Days"--Rhonda Penders

Check out OWFI. The dues are $25/year. There are no meetings except for the conference. A glossy newsletter arrives in your own mail box at regular intervals.

Go out and write! Be productive. I love hearing from everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Judie Brunson, one of my writerly friends has posted a challenge to those of us in a creative writer's group. The challenge is to write 250 words per day on your work in progress. And . . . to write 250 words per day in a genre you normally wouldn't consider. For a week. Only a week.

I'm beginning this challenge late because of unforeseen circumstances. I know which work in progress I'll choose. But, the unfamiliar territory. Could it be poetry? Could it be a nonfiction article? Could it be sy-fy? Could it be horror? Could it be how-to?

No need to be accountable to anyone but yourself. I encourage you to just do it.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

What Are You Reading?

Well, I've been away from the blog for awhile. My apologies. I've been thinking a great deal about my reading habits and choices. I wonder about yours. Let me share . . .

As President of the Red River Romance Writers group in Wichita Falls, TX I recently received a book to read and share from Kimberly Chocolaad the Senior Marketing Associate for Harper Collins Publishers. The fantastic and memorable book she sent is "If Wishes Were Horses" by Robert Barclay. I loved, loved, loved this book of love, hope, second chances, and forgiveness. Both the hero and heroine have been living with unimaginable tragedy for five years. Amazing characters, amazing setting, and amazing story. Check it out at You will be glad you did. I will be posting a full review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Good Reads soon.

For many years one of my very favorite books has been and will continue to be "The Memories We Keep" by Walter Zacharius. This World War II novel blends past and present in a seamless way. It is based on truth, a truth Mr. Zacharius experienced as a young soldier during the war. His book is open and honest about the lives people were forced to live in order to survive. It is mostly about a love that transcends time, war, tragedy, and other circumstances. Mr. Zacharius is now deceased but he will live on in the world of writers as a long time publisher at Kensington. Learn more at

I imagine everyone has heard of Sara Gruen by now. I discovered her when her debut novel "Riding Lessons" was released. I'm a sucker for anything with an equestrian theme. It was her third novel "Water for Elephants" that awakened the world. Set in a traveling circus in the early 1930's this novel is one of hardship, love, and self-renewal. You may know there is a movie about this book opening tomorrow. Read more about Sara Gruen at

And, now for some of my favorite authors that I know personally. The names I'm sharing are all excellent authors. And, away we go . . .

Maria Rachel Hooley is amazing and prolific. She is primarily self-published. You can find all of her titles at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. She is successful. Her writing covers several genres but all have the theme of redemptiom. My favorites among her many titles include "When Angels Cry," "The River," "October Breezes," and The Sojourner Series. Learn more about the beautiful Maria at

My dear friend, Pamela S. Thibodeaux has been tagged as "Inspirational with an Edge." That is true. Her characters are all Christians but human as well. With human desires, emotions, trials, and joys. She is a master at short stories. I really enjoy her Tempered Series beginning with "Tempered Hearts." Read "The Visionary" and "The Inheritance." Reach Pam at Find her at White Rose Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Karen Kelley will have you laughing and falling in love with her characters. She writes sexy romance. Her covers are downright sensual. "Jaguar Prince" is one of my favorites. Visit her at

Paula Bruno has become a close friend since I first met her in May 2010 at the OWFI Conference. I bought her debut novel "Come Hell or High Water" simply because of the cover. Just WOW! Her series The Kirkland Family Saga includes "Come Hell or High Water," "The Hell About Stallions," and number three is on its way. I can't wait. If you like ranches, the 50's, and dilemmas you'll love Bruno's writing. Find her at and at Amazon.

And, of course, one of my absolute favorites--Sharon Sala. Sharon is an Oklahoma author. A very successful writer. She has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for a long time. Her romantic suspense novels will introduce you to the kind of characters we as readers can all relate to and fall in love with. The latest novel "Blood Stains" is the first in a trilogy. She has almost 90 titles, some written as Dinah McCall. And, drum roll please! Sharon Sala will be receiving the greatest honor romance authors can receive at the annual Romance Writers Associate Conference in New York City, the Nora Robers Lifetime Achievement Award.

I hope I have given you some ideas for new reads or brought back memories of books you've read. Happy reading and writing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Writing Challenge

Everyone, especially writers it seems, needs a challenge once in a while. Something to stir the creative juices so to speak. The weekly challenges I vow to post are meant to do just that. I hope the challenges will not only lead to inspired writing but to joyful writing.

Let's take a trip to your favorite writing space. Stand back, look at your space with a critical eye. Is it conducive to productivity? Is it comfortable? Are there things that help open your heart and mind? Are there things that put a screeching halt to your creativity? What defines the space as yours?

My desk faces a half wall. I can see over the ledge down the hall and into the den. My writing space sits in what is supposed to be the living area of what is meant to be a formal living/dining area. To the left of my chair is my printer and bulletin board. Favorite quotes, short articles from writing journals, a couple of poems, and a small oil painting of a young woman looking over a hill to the west are on the bulletin board . This girl represents my main character, Rebecca, from my work in progress. A palm sized labryinth hangs at eye level over my desk. It is my spiritual reminder.

I have a comfortable sofa to retreat to when I need to think or review research. It sits in front of a bay window. The window coverings are sheers so I can see the squirrels, watch the neighborhood, and daydream.

I don't do most of my true writing at my desk. It is done in my recliner with my laptop. When I need to simply answer e-mails, use the printer, or organize notebooks I sit at my desk. It is my space. It is, sometimes, my refuge.

This first promised challenge is to look at your own writing space. Remove distractions. If necessary organize your bulletin board. Make your space your space. Then, write.

Tell me about your writing space. What inspires you? What distracts you?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday's Promise

As implicitly promised in my previous blog post I'm sending my Wednesday post. It isn't difficult to come up with topics or interesting subjects for blog posts. Not at all. The difficult part is choosing what to write.

Today, I want to tell you about an astounding author I've met through the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Her name is Kerri Nelson. She juggles being a wife and mother with publishing up to 15 romantic suspense novels a year, serving as an officer in CHRW, preparing and facilitating several workshops a year, and supporting authors at every stage in the writing game.

Kerri is an outstanding woman. An example of what can be done with discipline and organization.

I'm currently enrolled in "The Book Factory." What a course! It focuses on being an organized and prolific writer. The course is only half completed and I am writing more in these few weeks than I've written in months. Maybe even years. I feel the glow of promise. I feel the swell of burgeoning confidence. I just feel capable. It's all good.

Get to know Kerri at

Make promises. Keep them. Learn to love your words.

Look for a writing challenge on Friday. Now, go write my author friends . . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

Talking with a Friend

I just finished a phone call with a fellow writer. She and I are both history lovers. We're both working on novels taking place along the Oregon Trail. Hers takes place in 1843, mine in 1845. Maybe I'll figure out a way for her Kate to meet my Rebecca at the end of the trail.

Christi Corbett's blog is a must see. A must read. The link is When her book is published I think I'll fly from Oklahoma to Oregon just to have her autograph a copy for me in person.

Twice today I read the term "beta reader" in posts on an online class I'm taking. You might think everyone should know the term. I didn't. Actually, I stressed out over the fact that I might have to get some new sort of computerized, robotic machine. According to the posts I read a Beta Reader is a must have.

Dollar signs and dunce caps flashed through my mind.

I asked Christi about a Beta Reader!!!

Come to find out it's an invaluable PERSON who reads our work. Someone who proofreads and critiques and comments . . .

No heart attacks for me today. But, I must find a Beta Reader. Any takers?

Look for regular posts every Wednesday. And, a writing challenge every Friday . . .