Tag Archives: Real Virtue

Shameless Plug for your Vote! by Katy Lee

Hello Scribes’ Fans! Great news! Two Scribes have been nominated for a RONE Award through InD’Tale Magazine! That means, both PJ Sharon and I have novels that need your vote to push us into the next round of judging.

Voting is simple. You get one vote for each category. Mine is Real Virtue in the Inspirational Category.RealVirtue3_850


PJ Sharon’s novel, Savage Cinderella, is nominated in the Young Adult Category. (And deserves to be there, for sure!)Savage Cinderella FINAL 200x300


To cast your vote, click here: http://indtale.com/rone-awards/2012/week-6

The magazine does require you to register, so voting stays legit and people can’t vote repeatedly. Let’s keep things fair. The other option, if you don’t want to register, is to mail your vote in. But all votes must be in by June 1st.

Winners will be announced in August, so here’s hoping!

And whether you vote or not, know the Scribes appreciate your dedication to us and this blog and our work. Without you, we would just be talking to ourselves.

If you want a little more detail on our nominated stories, below are the back cover blurbs. We encourage you to read them if you haven’t had the chance yet.


In a virtual reality game where she can fly, someone is aiming to take her down. Mel Mesini is a New York City restaurateur and an avid virtual reality world traveler. She’s risen above her misfit life and now bears a striking resemblance to her glamorous gaming avatar. But her successful life-both online and in reality-takes a swerve the night her father is seriously injured in a hit-and-run. Mel is careened back to her judgmental hometown, where being the daughter of the town’s crazy lady had made her the outcast she was. To make matters worse, Officer Jeremy Stiles, the man whose harsh, rejecting words had cut her the deepest, is heading the investigation. Jeremy knows he hurt Mel and attempts to make amends by finding her father’s assailant. When he realizes she’s the actual target, his plan for reconciliation turns to one of protection-whether she wants his help or not. What he wants are answers, especially about this online game she plays. Is it a harmless pastime as she says? Or is she using it to cover something up? As a faceless predator destroys the things that matter to her, Jeremy knows he’s running out of time before she loses the one thing that matters most-her real life.


Eighteen year-old Brinn Hathaway has survived alone in an abandoned cabin in the High Country of North Georgia since she was a child. If her life is lonely and less than complete, at least she is safe from the man who kidnapped her, held her captive, and left her for dead in a shallow grave in the mountains. She believes that her parents are dead, the police are her enemy, and that if she returns to the world, her tormentor will find her. With the help of some unlikely friends, she has what she needs to survive, but is surviving enough? Life takes a turn when a young nature photographer, Justin Spencer—in pursuit of the fabled Wild Child—captures her on film. While chasing the story of a lifetime, Justin is injured and Brinn comes to his rescue. The two build a tentative friendship, but with his own violent past, an abusive alcoholic father, and a mother he couldn’t protect, he must decide if proving himself is worth betraying the trust of the girl he has vowed to help. Trust is a commodity that Brinn has been unable to afford. Can the kindness and gentle touch of a stranger break through the wall she has built around her heart? After half a lifetime of living in isolation and fear, Brinn must decide if leaving the safety of her remote cabin is worth the hope—and danger—that may await her.
(See? What did I tell ya? Well Deserved! Congratulations, PJ!)
For fans who are up for Tweeting or Sharing, we appreciate it, and to make it easy for you, here’s a Tweet:


2 RONE Award nominees need your vote. http://tinyurl.com/ppfshf3 @KatyLeeBooks & @PJSharon thank you for voting 4 REAL VIRTUE/SAVAGE CINDERELLA

Whether or not the Weather Plays a role in Your Stories by Katy Lee

Let’s face it, in real life it rains, and our lives go on with no underline motive because of it. But what about the lives of our characters in our stories? Can we just have a rainy day that means it’s raining and nothing else? Perhaps, but I think there’s something raw about rain that brings out the worst in us, which usually isn’t too far from the truth. So the rain can actually be a good tool to use to make your character, and reader, see the truth.

RealVirtue3_850I think of my novel Real Virtue and how the rainy scene takes place in the book where everything becomes clear for my heroine and I don’t mean sparkly, but rather Mel’s eyes are opened to the truth. Truth about her mother. Truth about the hero. And the truth about herself. And even though the rain is coming down in buckets outside, her mind’s eye is now seeing nothing but sunny skies ahead.

Now it’s not only books I see this in but also the movies. Take the movie The NotebookThe-Notebook-movie-poster-McAdams-Gosling where Noah and Allie get stuck in the rain and it cues their frustration and pain with their lost years. At first the scene is cute and funny, but it’s not long before it gets down and gritty, and once again the truth is coming out. And who doesn’t like a good kiss in the rain? (Go ahead take a look…it’s pretty swoon worthy.)

the-thomas-crown-affair.180xautoAnother of my favorite movies is The Thomas Crown Affair. Now with this one, it’s not the rain that exposes the truth, but rather the fire sprinklers spraying down on the art work. As Nina Simone sings her appropriate song, Sinnerman, it’s the water that makes everything clear, once again, exposing the truth. (You can watch, but warning—spoiler alert! It gives away ending and there is some swearing in background.)

There’s just something about water and its cleansing capabilities that makes great fodder for literature and entertainment. If only a good rainstorm had the potential to clean up our lives and our world so well, but alas, that only happens in the movies. Ooh, perhaps my rainy scene will make my book movie material. Hey, a girl can dream, right? But seriously, my stories are inspirationals, and a big part of Christian fiction is the moment of truth. The washing away of sins or uncovering of lies, so the chains that bind can be broken and our characters can heal and move on. However, in truth, a good rainstorm is not going to take care of those things. That cleansing comes only from Christ, but the rain sure does make for a dramatic punch in our fiction worlds.

The Unlocked Secret: So I say go ahead and give motive to your downpours. Strategically place them to add turmoil and angst for your characters. If nothing else, it’s fun to torture them. But more importantly, I think a good downpour is a symbolic way to say from here on in, things are changing. Out with the old, in with the new.

Goodreads Giveaway by Katy Lee

I have to be honest. Since I joined Goodreads this past year, I had my doubts if it was worth my time. I just didn’t see the benefits of investing the little extra time I had in it. I wondered if people really hung out there enough to read updates and reviews from their friends, or if those updates scrolled down the page, never to be heard or seen again.

But before I made my final judgement call on this social media, I decided to hold a one-week giveaway of Real Virtue. (Click here to enter if you would like.) And so far, I have to say, my opinion is being swayed toward the positive.

First of all, readers are adding my book to their libraries constantly. (So people are hanging out there) Whether they will buy it is another study, but more people are seeing the ad and having to respond in some way to it versus other (PAYING) ads where they glance over it and move onto the next thing. And notice I said PAYING ads. The Giveaway is free, minus the book, of course.

And second? It was easy. I like easy. Plus, once I sign up, Goodreads takes the campaign from there and gives me the tools to get the word out on my end…as I’m sure all my Facebook and Twitter friends can attest to. But honestly, I would LOVE it if one of my followers won the free copy.

When you are reading this on 12/16/12, I will still have another two days left of the giveaway, and won’t be able to give concrete numbers, but at the rate I have seen action, I’m pretty positive it’s not going to let up. I’m thinking as it crunches down to the final seconds, more and more people will see it and make the decision to enter and add it to their lists.

The Unlocked Secret: In the end, it’s not about numbers of sales for me, but rather the chance to bless someone with the message of Real Virtue. But if no one knows about the book, that will be hard to do. I know God gave me a story to tell, and He’s not going to leave it on the shelf. It’s nice to know there are sites like Goodreads that want to help me get it out there.

Question: Have you done a book giveaway? How did it help you spread the word? Or did it?



Real Virtue

Hidey-Ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  I want to take a few minutes to review a book I read recently, Real Virtue by our very own Katy Lee. 

In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably tell you that (of course) I know Katy personally and count her a friend.  Unfortunately for her (and my other writing friends) I’m a particularly tough critic when it comes to their writing. I’m not really sure why that is.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m enough of a newbie for the mystique of the author to linger in my mind.  I’m having a hard time imagining that all these people I know who are getting published these days (go CTRWA!) are real authors.  Maybe I just haven’t met enough of my author idols to realize that they are real people, although it’s beginning to dawn on me.  Clearly, this is a maturity issue for me. 

Maybe like so many other folks out there, I hurt the ones I love the most.  Or maybe I’m afraid that they might not like my review and since I know them I don’t want to hurt their feelings.  With that in mind, let me say, friends, if I haven’t reviewed your book please don’t read anything into it one way or the other.  Seriously!

So, now that that’s out of the way, let me get to the heart of today’s post.  I really, really liked Real Virtue.  Now this is an Inspirational Romantic Thriller.  Yes, that’s a stew of genres, but in this book, it works.  The main characters are nicely conflicted, complex folks full of angst.  The plot is twisty and unpredictable.  And the text is informative about schizophrenia, addiction and woodworking, all without being preachy.  And the writing is very good.

I like romances and I like thrillers (the genre, not necessarily the song.  Click the link and watch the video – I haven’t seen it all the way through in several decades and the beginning is really weird!  What is he, some kind of were-zombie?  I didn’t have MTV as a kid, sorry.  OK, I’m 4 minutes in now…maybe I’ve never seen the whole thing…) but I honestly don’t read Inspirational romance.  Other people’s religions make me a little uncomfortable.  I mentioned my immaturity, right?  My hubby and I happen to both be lapsed Episcopalians and we plan to raise our kids in that faith just as soon as I manage to get up early enough on a Sunday morning to get to an as-yet-to-be-selected church.  We once went to a Lutheran church to see Hubby’s friend play in a touring Lutheran rock band.  I swear I was just waiting for them to roll a golden idol down the aisle, to guarantee our eternity burning in hell.  In case you don’t know, Episcopal and Lutheran are about as close as two religions can be and still warrant separate buildings.  Anyway, I have my beliefs and I’m perfectly happy with you having very different beliefs, just don’t try to convert me. 

So I don’t read Inspirational Romances.  But I must say, I really liked Real Virtue.  Katy did a fabulous job of instilling some of her characters with deeply held, Christian beliefs at their core, but she still made them completely accessible to crazy folks like me.  I honestly can’t wait to read her next book.

Today’s secret: This one should be shouted from the rooftops – READ Real Virtue by Katy Lee!

Today’s question: Have you ever read anything that changed your perspective on an aspect of your life?

REAL VIRTUE Chosen for a Book Club Read

Hello Scribers, Katy Lee here. For the month of May, my latest release, Real Virtue, has been chosen for a book club read. The International Book Club of Clean Reads asked me to join their group, and I did, but not without weighing the costs of being a part of something like this. The biggest one being … it will cut into my writing time. (sigh) But in the end, I figured that the benefits of joining a book club far outweigh the costs, and here are a few of those benefits I reap:

1. I am exposed to reading material that I might otherwise pass over, or never hear of—and that includes people hearing about my books. But if I keep my mind open, I can learn about others’ experiences and how they have opted to look at the world as a result of them.

2. A book club keeps me in touch with the world. That doesn’t solely mean reaching readers, but also reading different genres and literature that expose me to different viewpoints I may not have encountered otherwise. It can only better my writing.

3. It’s a safe place to exchange and challenge ideas. Many times I just don’t like a book, but in the discussions I am able to listen to others share what they did like, and it may help me understand my own thoughts.

4. Readers are bright, knowledgeable and articulate people, and they make great friends. Who doesn’t need friends?

5. It’s an opportunity to make lifetime connections with people that go beyond following you on Twitter or liking your Facebook Fan Page.

The Unlocked Secret: Book clubs can open a lot of doors for writers. And with so many to choose from, you’re bound to find one that will fit your writing style and genre. And perhaps your book will be chosen, too! I know I am blessed for Real Virtue to have been chosen as the next read.

Readers: If you would like to get in on the read, please contact me for the details. The more the merrier!

Question: Do you belong to a book club? What is your biggest benefit? Your cost?

And here is a blurb about Real Virtue:

In a virtual reality game where she can fly, there’s someone aiming to take her down.

 Mel Mesini is a New York City restauranteur and an avid virtual reality world traveler. She’s risen above her misfit life and now bears a striking resemblance to her glamorous gaming avatar. But her successful life—both online and in reality—takes a swerve the night her father is seriously injured in a hit-and-run. Mel is careened back to her judgmental hometown, where being the daughter of the town’s crazy lady had made her the outcast she was. To make matters worse, Officer Jeremy Stiles, the man whose harsh, rejecting words had cut her the deepest, is heading the investigation.

Jeremy knows he hurt Mel and attempts to make amends by finding her father’s assailant. When he realizes she’s the actual target, his plan for reconciliation turns to one of protection—whether she wants his help or not. What he wants are answers, especially about this online game she plays. Is it a harmless pastime as she says? Or is she using it to cover something up? As a faceless predator destroys the things that matter to her, Jeremy knows he’s running out of time before she loses the one thing that matters most—her real life.


Top Ten Secrets from a Writer’s Kid

Hi there! Number One Kid here! I’ve hijacked Mom’s blog while she is in Chicago selling her book, Real Virtue, at the RT Booklovers Convention. While the big cat’s away, this little cat is here to play!

So, what does a girl talk about when she has carte blanche on her mom’s blog? (Without getting grounded, of course.) She talks about what it’s like to live with a writer, that’s what.

For the past two years, I’ve watched my mom go from dreamer to success, and I’ve learned a few secrets along the way. Perhaps some of you will relate.

Here are my top ten observations:

10. Practice makes perfect! When following your dreams, never give up practicing. (Thanks, Mom, for this one. I won’t forget it no matter what I am striving for!)

9. Thinking about writing is NOT doing it. (I hear this one a lot—usually when she is driving me to all of my sport activities which is then keeping her from her writing. Once again, thanks, Mom!)

8. I love this one! The road to success has to include little mini-parties along the way. I especially love the parties with cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles on top…and kitties! Meow!



7. Being an artist, I’ve learned from watching my mom that writing and drawing are related. While Mom is describing the human anatomy, I enjoy drawing it. (Get your minds out of the gutter! I mean people! I enjoy drawing people. Check out my latest drawing. What d’ya think?)

6. This one I’m still a little bummed about. I’ve learned just because you’re in the family, doesn’t mean you’ll make it in the book. In Momma’s new release, her character, Mel is a gamer. I made myself her “go-to” person on everything virtual. The character Cassie was based on me! I was so excited! Until Cassie had a run-in with the delete button.

5. Another thing I’ve learned is that typing cute messages into her manuscript is not as funny to her as it is to me. (I don’t understand why though, because it is pretty funny.)

4. I’ve learned that it is normal for her to carry-on full conversations with absolutely no one. If you have a writer in the family, don’t admit them to the hospital just yet.

3. This one goes along with number four. Remember! Their characters are real to them. Just nod and go along with them when they are telling you what so-and-so is doing today. And still, don’t admit them to the hospital!

2. I can’t stress this one enough. An “Enter at Your Own Risk” sign should not be taken lightly. Even if you’re bleeding, DO NOT DISTURB! (First Aid classes will help with this situation. You will need to learn how to stitch your own wounds.)

And for my number one observation of living with a writer…drum roll please!…..

1. “Get out of here!” means I love you. “Get the heck out of here!” means I really love you.

I love you Mom! I wish you the best success in selling your book.

And PLEASE, do not ground me…

Number One Kid

This is no April Fool’s Joke…Real Virtue will be released April 4th!

Happy April Fool’s Day, Scribe fans! This is Katy Lee, and like the title of this blog says, it is no joke that Real Virtue will be released this week on the 4th!

I can’t believe that the date has arrived. I’ll be honest though, it may not be a joke, but it doesn’t feel real either. I have to keep reminding myself that next week people will be able to read my story. There’s no more hiding my writing in the closet for my eyes only. It will be out there for everyone to see. (And if I keep going with this line of thought I will make myself ill just thinking about it.)

So, instead, I will move on to the whirlwind month I have ahead of me. I have been invited by some wonderful authors to hang out with them at their sites.

Here is a short list for the month of April. The full calendar can be found at my website: www.KatyLeeBooks.com  

I do hope I will see some of you Scribe Fans at some of them!

(Going on right now, TODAY! Stop in and say Hi! – at www.Everythingwriterly.blogspot.com  

April 4 – I’ll be talking about my kitties at the All Things Great and Small Blog, www.roxannerustand.com  

April 6 – I’ll be telling how the idea for Real Virtue was sparked at www.smpauthors.wordpress.com  

April 12 – RT Convention- This is not a blog, but I will be signing at the Book Expo! Come and see me in Chicago! What Fun!

April 16 – I’ll be sharing about a special character in RV that is near and dear to my heart…and why at www.sandraorchard.blogspot.com  

April 17 – Anne asked some pretty tough questions. Come see how I answered them at www.annekalbert.com  

April 20 – I’ll be sharing my research on Internet/Gaming addiction (A topic in RV) at www.sandraardoin.wordpress.com  

April 24 – I love this one! I’m talking about busy women following their dreams at www.conniemann.com  

April 25 – A chat with this sweet Love-Inspired author at www.jessicanelson7590.blogspot.com  

I am blessed to have so many invites, from these authors and so many more, to spend the day with them in their virtual homes! Thank you to you all!

The Unlocked Secret: I can’t deny the truth any longer. My book will be real in just a few days. There’s nothing left to do now, but enjoy the ride. And Scribe Fans, I hope I see some of your familiar faces along the way!

Question: For those of you who have embarked on a Blog Tour, what was the most exciting stop along your route?