My Books!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Minotaur Revisited

Welcome to David Gelber's blog tour.  David's going to talk to us about the making of a page turner. David, thanks so much for including me in your tour. is giving away  a $100 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at the conclusion of his two tours.  You can find his schedule at

                               The Making of a Page Turner


It was suggested to me that an interesting topic for a blog article would be what ingredients are necessary for “making a page turner.” First I had to ponder the meaning of this request. The phrase “page turner” has different connotations. It could mean “a mechanical device which turns pages.” Such a useful device would free a reader’s hands for more important tasks, such as reaching for a cold drink. It would also eliminate the need for said reader to lick his fingers to facilitate the page turning process, thus saving saliva and preventing soiling of the printed page.


But, the “page turner” need not be mechanical. A servant could render the same task. Picture the page turning servant. He stands above the reader, fanning him with a large palm frond, when, suddenly the master/reader makes a subtle gesture. The skilled page turner deftly reaches around his employer’s shoulder and turns the page, all without missing a beat with his fan.


However, I do believe that the request referred to the written word, specifically stories which grab a reader’s attention and hold it tight, while forcing the enthralled booklover to stay glued to the book, turning page after page to find out what happens.


What, then, is the recipe for baking the perfect page turner? Start with a story, something that people care about. Lost puppies, families torn apart by war, lovers who are doomed by a terminal illness, the end of the world; you get the idea. Perhaps a family of puppies suffering from a terminal illness which threatens to cause the end of the world. Maybe, but that sounds a bit too complex.


Now, add in the proper characters. Ordinary people forced by circumstances to act in an extraordinary manner is one tool, a favorite of mine. Or, a mysterious character with a secret past who may just be a spy or the lost king, anything that keeps the reader guessing. Add a touch, or a heavy helping of romance and stir well. Create a roller coaster of highs and lows and juxtapose them so that the now thoroughly immersed bookworm just has to find out how our protagonist is going to get out of this mess or triumph over the evil villain.


To spice up the story, add a villain, one who hates our hero or heroine, perhaps with good reason. Maybe our hero has his flaws; is trying to live down a shady past. All the better. Purely good or evil characters can become a bore; multidimensional characters are far more interesting.


Finally, add a dash of comic relief. A dog or parrot or supposedly simple child who has the wisdom of the ages. Mix everything together, bake at 350 degrees for one hour and, voila, a page turner is created, we hope. Or else it may be a soufflé.


An example from my body of work: Minotaur Revisited follows the Minotaur of Greek mythology on a journey over thousands of years. He is trapped in the Labyrinth, which immediately makes him a sympathetic creature, even though he is of monstrous appearance. He is thrust into situation after situation which threaten to destroy our hero. He meets people who only want to use this sensitive monster for their own evil purpose, he suffers over and over, but in the end finally finds true happiness. Along the way he has numerous and varied sidekicks and companions to keep the reader interested and turning the page. These secondary characters are either sympathetic or villainous, thus making the reader care.


Making a page turnerhas one essential ingredient. It’s all about making people care.
David Gelber
Legend states that the Minotaur was confined to the Labyrinth, slain by Theseus and then laid to rest by thousands of years of Greek mythology. But, the truth is far different. Read the Minotaur’s own words as he recounts his full life as god, king, warrior, matchmaker, midwife, monk, sage, father, mother, husband and, most of all, witness. The fierce Minotaur lived to see and be a part of the best and worst of humanity during a life spanning thousands of years. Part bull, part human, the Minotaur struggled to find his place in this world and, in the end, left his unique mark on history.
David Gelber, a New York native, is the seventh of nine sons and one of three to pursue medicine. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and went on to graduate medical school in 1984 from the University of Rochester.
He completed his residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, followed by three years as attending surgeon at Nassau County Medical Center in Long Island, N.Y. Gelber has since joined Coastal Surgical Group in Houston, Texas.
Gelber has been a surgeon for more than 20 years, but over the last few years he began to pursue his passion for writing, initially with his debut novel, "Future Hope" (Emerald Book Company, January 2010). The novel speculates about future Earth and what the world might have been like if man had not succumbed to temptation in the Garden of Eden. "Joshua and Aaron" is a sequel to "Future Hope" and follows the battle of wills that transpires between unsung hero Joshua Smith and satanic Aaron Diblonski.
Dr. Gelber has added two books about surgery, "Behind the Mask" and "Under the Drapes", both of which provide the reader with a view of the world of surgery rarely seen by those outside the medical professions.
"Last Light" is an apocalyptic short story which starts off asking the question: "What would happen if nobody ever was sick or injured?"
"Minotaur Revisited" is an entertaining romp through history seen through the eyes of Quint, the famed half bull half man monster of Greek Mythology. It was in October 2012.
Gelber was raised in reformed Judaism, but joined the Presbyterian Church 15 years ago. He is married with three teenage children, four dogs and 24 birds of various species. His interests include horse racing, mechanical Swiss watches and, of course, writing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beyond the Book: Jenna's New Kitchen

'Open Kitchen' photo (c) 2007, Nancy Hugo, CKD - license:
How do you like my new kitchen?  I'm totally in love with it!  My name if Jenna West, and I was Elaine's heroine in Purple Heart.  Last week I showed you my new living room, but to tell the truth, I like my kitchen best of all.  Here's a short excerpt from Purple Heart that's set in my old kitchen.  Jo is my daughter, Mike is my tennant, and Ethan is my husband who died of pancreatic cancer.
Jo kept the conversation moving along. “Do you like our duck?” she asked as she gestured toward the center of the kitchen table.
Mike looked at the white ceramic duck. It had a big blue bow around its neck and a slot on its back that held napkins. Two small ducklings that he thought were salt and peppershakers snuggled into the duck’s wings. His mother liked cutesy things like this duck. “It’s a great duck, Jo.”
“We got it at a yard sale, and I picked it out. Mama and I love yard sales.”
“You did a good job, sweet pea,” Jenna praised.
Mike had to admit that Jenna seemed like a good mother. Jo was bright, happy, well behaved, and smart, too. He felt sorry for Ethan West who had missed out on so much, but he also felt sorry for Jenna. She had made a life for herself and Jo, but she probably didn’t have an easy time of it raising a child all by herself.
If you like the sound of Purple Heart you can get it at and most other retail outlets.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Writing Warriors: Purple Heart

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors.  My excerpt today comes from Purple Heart which is published by The Wild Rose Press.  In this excerpt my heroine Jenna is thinking about how she had to raise her daughter alone after her husband died.

For about the millionth time, Jenna vowed to be a good mother to Jo. Ethan couldn’t help her raise their child, but she’d do a bang up job for him. Angrily, she swiped hot tears from her cheek. She knew better than to think about the past. No power on earth could bring Ethan back to her.

The image of Mike Hightower broke into her thoughts. Having him around had underscored how lonely she sometimes felt. What woman didn’t want to feel loved and cherished and have a man to help her raise her family?
Purple Heart is available at and most other retail outlets.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample: Purple Heart

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample.  Today's excerpt comes from Purple Heart which is available at and most other retail outlets.  In this excerpt Jenna, my heroine, is having a hard time paying attention to her friend.

“Do you think you can go shopping with me on Saturday afternoon?” Crystal asked. “I need some new shoes.”

Jenna didn’t answer. She couldn’t take her eyes off Mike Hightower who had just entered the Taylor-Lord cafeteria and seated himself beside Carol Burch. He wore a blue shirt today, and it made his blue eyes absolutely glow. She had immediately noticed it when Mike spoke to her this morning.

She hadn’t stopped thinking about him since the day of the picnic. Who could help it? A girl would have to be blind not to notice Mike Hightower. The man had a great body. His shoulders and chest looked absolutely fabulous.

Crystal sighed. “Stop staring at him.”


“Jenna, pay attention! You haven’t heard a word I said.”
If you're interested in decorating, check my blog on Tuesday.  I'm showing how Mike and Jenna remodeled and decorated their house after they got married.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fashionista Friday: Do You Do Yellow?

To me, yellow says spring.  It must say spring to a lot of shoe designers as well.  What about you?  Would you wear these shoes?  My personal favorites are the polka dot flats

Spring Yellow Shoes

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fairy May

Fairy May


Written and illustrated by Jo Linsdell
 Fairy May dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy but she struggles at school and always seems to get things wrong. With hard work and determination she
prepares for her test. Will she realise her dream and become a tooth fairy?

Release Date: 1st February 2013


Product details:


Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1481951424

ISBN-13: 978-1481951425

Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.1 inches



Purchasing links:


About the author:

Jo Linsdell is a best selling author and illustrator, award winning blogger and freelance writer. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Rome, Italy with her husband and their two young sons.

Jo Linsdell


Author website:

Contact details:

Social Media Links:



1) Please tell us a bit about Fairy May.   

Fairy May is a rhyming children's picture story book about a fairy called May that dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy. She struggles at school and always seems to get things wrong but with hard work and determination she prepares for her tooth fairy exam.


2) What lessons does this book carry for the reader?


The story carries two main lessons for the reader;


A. To follow your dreams. Just because it isn't easy doesn't mean it can't be achieved.


" But Fairy May tried and tried for she had a special dream;

one day she'd be a tooth fairy, the best you've ever seen."


B. The importance of dental hygiene. The text subtly introduces the reader to how to take care of their teeth correctly.


"She learnt how to brush and keep teeth clean

and how to floss right in between."


3) What was your inspiration for this book?

This book is dedicated to my niece who, after seeing that my last book Out and About at the Zoo was dedicated to my two sons, asked if I'd write a book for her too.

It needed to have fairies in it and so I brainstormed on ideas and came up with Fairy May. I wanted her to be a little girl fairy and to show that it's OK to not be perfect. I wanted young children to be able to relate to her and to encourage them to go after their dreams.

The tooth fairy part came about because several of my 5 year old's friends have recently lost their first tooth and he has been full of questions on the subject. My 17 month old is also teething at the moment and so the topic of dental hygiene comes up a lot in our house at the moment.

4) What did you learn while writing Fairy May?

The importance of having the right direction for my story not just a good text. In the original version the text worked fine as a story and rhymed nicely but the overall message wasn't as strong. After rewriting the last part I was much happier with the focus of the story. Simple changes can make a big difference.

5) What projects are you working on now?

I'm busy with several projects at the moment. "The Bedtime Book" which is another rhyming children's picture book. "The Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media" and "Virtual Book Tours" which are two non-fiction books. 2013 is going to be a busy year for me as I have lots of other ideas too

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beyond the Book: Remodeling Our Home

Hello, readers, welcome to Beyond the Book.  My name is Jenna West.  I was Elaine's heroine in Purple Heart.  I met Mike Hightower when I rented him one side of my duplex.  A lot of things happened to us before we found our way together, but I can't imagine my life without him now. 

As soon as we got married, Mike wanted to convert the duplex into a single family home.  I liked having the extra income, but we did need more space, so we took down the wall between the two units and started to redecorate.  Here's a description of my living room before Mike and I got married.  Afterward, I'll show you a picture of the new living room.


The old, worn carpet looked tired and dingy, and dark paneled walls absorbed all the light. The woman could use some new furniture too. Several spots on the sofa looked like red Kool-Aid, and one of the two chairs was threadbare.

“Mama, it’s cold,” the child complained. “I thought it was supposed to be spring time.”

“It is spring time, but it takes awhile for things to warm up. Give me a minute and I’ll light the heater.”
The little girl ran over to a kerosene heater under the window. “Hurry, Mama.”
In case you were wondering, Jo is the daughter from my first marriage to Ethan West.
Okay, here's how it looks now.
This is the first time I ever really had the chance to buy everything new at one time.  My parents weren't rich and Ethan and I didn't have a penny to our names.  If you'll come back next week, I'll show you my new dining room.
Purple Heart is published by The Wild Rose Press.  You can get it at and most other retail outlets.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Drawn to You

Hello and welcome to Janel Rodriguez Ferrer's blog tour.  Janel, thank you so much for coming.  

How do you think writing for the YA audience is different from writing for an adult audience?

I don’t think writing for a YA audience is that much different than writing for an adult audience. Actually, the "audience" I write for is not defined so much by age as by the type of fiction they like. (Plus, I always include myself as a member of the audience I write for.) The question for me is, who is the audience for The Arts-Angels Track 1: Drawn to You? I believe that it is one that likes fun, fast-paced stories, as well as stories about music and the arts, stories that take place in schools, stories that are about family relationships and friendships, among other things. Do I write for tweens? Yes, but not just tweens who are tweens at this very moment. I write for the tweens who are yet to be and the tween that still lives inside me and the inner tweens of other adult readers of the series! There are, after all, plenty of adults who enjoy juvenile and YA fiction.

What elements must be included for a book to be successful?

I think that depends on what you mean by “successful.” When you say “successful” do you mean “bestseller”? Or do you mean a book that receives critical acclaim? Or one that may have a small audience but has been greatly enjoyed by the majority of its readers?

The Arts-Angels Track 1 is not a bestseller (yet . . . :-) ) but a number of young people who have already read it have let me how much they enjoyed it. I love getting fan mail from real tween readers who tell me how much they love the book, how they finished it in two or three days, how they’ve reread it a few times, what their favorite parts were, etc. I also love visiting a site like Amazon and reading a really positive, five-star review from someone I did not ask to review the book! That feels like success to me.

So what is it about the book that is prompting this sort of “successful” reaction? Well, since the ideal readership is tweens and teens, and the situations in the book deal with issues that young people in those age groups really contend with (self-identity, self-image, self-expression, empowerment, competition, friendships, romance), I believe that readers finding they can identify with the situations and characters in the story is a contributing factor to its reception. As a writer, I had to actively remember what it was like to be that age to be able to write about it with any kind of authenticity. I think it helped that I wrote the first draft of Drawn to You when I was in college, because my junior high and high school experiences were still fresh memories for me.

I feel proper packaging is another helpful element, too. The book cover, for instance, should accurately convey the feel of the book. When I unveiled my cover to my fellow writer friends, they all said the cover "popped” and that it was fun and had energy. Some people even commented that it looked like it could be an ad for a tweens’ TV show on a kids' cable network. This is because it's clear by the cover that it's the first book in a series, that rock music and the arts are involved, and that the main character is a guitar-playing Latina teenager. So if you are a potential reader of the book, you should get what you expect: a fun, arts-centered, escapist romp.

In most cases, too, I think that in order for a book to be successful, its author should be able to write at a professional level (or at the very least have a very talented editor). I also think for a book to achieve commercial success it needs to get into the hands of that one reader who can get the word out to a large number of the most receptive readers (for the sort of book it is) in a short amount of time. Finally, for a book to be truly successful, I think a reader should be able to tell as they read it that the author enjoyed or even loved writing it!

Thank you for asking me these questions. I hope you enjoy the reading of Drawn to You the first book in the new series for tweens, The Arts-Angels.
I'm sure I'll love it.  Readers, we need a blurb and excerpt, so here goes.
Rock Your Destiny!  
Gina Santiago is a thirteen-year-old "Nuyorican" with rock star dreams, so when she's accepted into the prestigious New York Academy of Arts and Talents for art instead of music, she's crushed. To make matters worse, the student body at the Upper East Side school is divided into "schollies" (students on scholarship, like her) and "dollies" (rich kids with "dollars"). But Gina discovers that there is one thing that brings schollies and dollies-and dancers, singers, actors, artists, and musicians-together: music! Maybe she can make her dreams come true after all....
“You know what’s weird?” I asked, turning to Michiko. “That girl with the short hair reminds me of a girl I used to be friends with back in the third grade.”
Michiko shuddered. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
I snorted a laugh. “But it couldn’t be—”
“I sure hope you don’t mean—” Michiko said.
And together we ended, “—Willa Burch.”
Michiko gasped in horror. “No way!  You were friends with—with Willa?”
“We were just little kids….  It was the third grade.  She was an artist, too.”  
Michiko didn’t change her expression. She still looked like was standing upwind of a garbage truck.
“Maybe I should go over and say ‘hi,’” I told Michiko.  “See if she remembers me.”
Michiko actually put out her arm to stop me from going back down the stairs.  “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.  I doubt she’d give you the time of day.  People call her ‘Willa the Witch’ these days.  Let’s just continue with the tour.”
“Are you serious? She can’t be that bad.”
But just as I asked the question, I caught Willa’s reflection in the mirror.
She seemed to be looking straight at me.  Did she…recognize me?  I smiled at her.
Willa didn’t smile back.  Instead, her face darkened and her eyes narrowed into slits.  She tilted her head as if to get a better look at me.
“Come on. I’ll show you where your locker is.” Michiko was already halfway up the stairs.   “You can catch up with Willa later. She might be in some of your classes. She’s an art major, too, you know.”
“All right,” I said.  But as I followed Michiko, I couldn’t help but think that Willa had seen me—recognized me, even.  And, the part I didn’t get?  She hadn’t seemed happy about it.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Like her main character, Gina Santiago, Janel is a Nuyorican who attended  a Manhattan high school of the arts as an art major.
Unlike Gina, she isn’t very good at guitar and doesn’t have a rock band to call her own.
Truth be told, she never dreamed of becoming a guitarist.  Instead, from the time she was a tween she dreamed of becoming a published author of a book series.  And since you're reading this, you can see that her dream has come true!
Her first hint of an idea for the Arts-Angels series began way back when she received a pendant of St. Michael the Archangel for her sixteenth birthday. 
She lives with her twin sister, Jennifer (who got a pendant of St. Joan of Arc that same birthday but hasn’t written any books about it), in New York City.
E-mail: janelrodriguezferrer (at) theartsangels (dot) com.
Amazon UK:
Barnes and Noble: