And the October winner is….

 

 

prize

Tiffany! I just sent along an email, Tiffany! Congrats! Thank you to all who participated. I really enjoyed reading all your comments! New blog contest starts next week. Do you have any advice on what type of gift card to give away next?

Uncommon phobias…or are they?

 

halloween treats

I spend a lot of time scaring myself. In an effort to write authentic fear into my scenes, I try to write in a way that makes my own heart go pitter patter. Turns out, there are some fears which are a little more unusual than others. Here are three uncommon phobias.

1. Pogonophobia (fear of beards.) I have seen this in children. A man with a full on face full of hair can strike fear into a kiddo’s heart.

2. Turophobia (fear of cheese.) Well, cheese can be a strange, stinky squishy substance for sure, but the article indicates the phobia (and many others) is linked to a traumatic association.

3.  Omphalophobia (fear of belly buttons.) My mother used to tell me that if I pressed my belly button, my bottom would fall off. By the time I was brave enough to test the theory, I was disappointed when the promised result didn’t occur.

Even though these phobias are unusual and seem a bit comical, I empathize with people who struggle with these conditions. Fear can be strong enough to strip away reason and paralyze the mind and body. Defeating a phobia takes an enormous amount of courage. Kudos to those who have tackled theirs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10289366/13-of-the-most-unusual-phobias.html

What phobias are you familiar with? Last chance to enter the October drawing. Winner of the triple prize  (signed book, Amazon gift card, fall surprise) will be announced tomorrow! 

 

 

Is YOUR fear on America’s top ten list? Tell, if you dare!

mysterious eyes

As a suspense writer, I am constantly drafting scenes where people are terrified. There is a lot of material to pull from, because everyone has something that scares the beejeebers out of them. Personally, I’m afraid of the dark. There, I’ve admitted it. When Papa Bear is out of town, I leave the lights on. Ridiculous, really, but there you are. According to a Gallup poll, I’m not alone. There are certain common fears that many Americans experience. Here are the top ten:

1. snakes

2. public speaking

3. heights

4. being trapped in a closed space

5. spiders and insects

6. needles/getting shots

7. mice

8. flying on an airplane

9. dogs

10. thunder and lightning

*then crowds, going to the doctor and fear of the dark.

 

This month is zooming by! How’s that for scary? Giving away a triple prize (signed book, amazon gift card, fall surprise) on October 31st! All comments get you entered in the drawing. :)  

 

Which Pooh character are you? Quiz time!

 

image

 

People who read my books get the idea that I’m a pretty serious person.  I mean, I write about murder, mayhem, spiritual battles and such and sundry. We’re talking deadly serious, here. Yet my inner circle will tell you that I’m a bit of a bumbler, a cornball and wildly entertained by the wackiest jokes or anecdotes. I guess that makes me more of a Tigger than an Eeyore. Witness the video below wherein, you’ll see Dana Mentink at her most deadly serious (wink, wink.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T5gEteOUweA

 

You see what I mean? A cornball, through and through. Tigger in human form. So now it’s your turn! Take this quick Pooh Bear Personality Quiz and tell us about your results! Giving away a triple prize next week!
http://quizmeme.com/poohpersonality/quiz.php

 

 

Throwback Thursday…the hazards of marrying an arson investigator

 

Flashover, cover

Cast your mind back to 2008. Do you remember it? Yep, it’s foggy for me, too. It was my second book for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and I was a rookie, for sure. I tackled a book with a theme familiar in the Mentink world…firefighting.  Here’s the blurb below.
Why is a kind-hearted savant setting fire to an ordinary book? Recuperating firefighter Ivy Beria is determined to find out. But then the young man, Moe, goes missing–and his only friend turns up dead. Ivy is sure the double mystery is linked to the string of numbers Moe chanted before he vanished. She asks her best friend, computer expert Tim Carnelli, to uncover a pattern. They make two shocking discoveries: they have unexpected romantic feelings for one another and Moe is in serious danger. They’d better find him fast. Or the truth–and their dreams–will go up in smoke.
Since Papa Bear worked for the fire service for more than 30 years, I figured writing those blazing inferno scenes would be easy peasy. Wrong! Papa Bear has the annoying tendency to want to edit my glorious fire scenes for scientific correctness. No, there really wouldn’t be an explosion. Actually, the smoke would be so thick they wouldn’t be able to see that villain lurking under the stairs. No, you can’t really start an arson fire that way. Maddening! In spite of (and largely thanks to) Papa Bear’s comments, I managed to finish the book. If any technical errors slipped through, they are mine, not his.

Do you have an expert in your life to offers advice? What are they an expert on? Do share! :) 

Do you have a special spot? Why I must start building a shed immediately.

image

 

I just perused an amazing series of photos showing some workspaces of famous writers. From Dylan Thomas to Roald Dahl, Virginia Woolf to Phillip Pullman, they have one thing in common, they create their magic in run down little sheds. No fancy computer desks or large screen televisions to be seen. We’re talking boathouses, bike sheds and everything in between.

It sounds rustic, doesn’t it? But to a gal who generally writes in the living room or at a desk squashed in the corner between a treadmill and a rocking chair, it’s an attractive notion. I have the urge to start construction on my own personal writing shed. I head for the hammer until I consider an important fact. I am also a mother, wife and the caretaker of an elderly dog and box turtle who will not appreciate my disappearance into my shed cave. Hmmm. I suppose my rustic writing  oasis will have to wait.

So what about you? Do you have a little spot that you call your own where you tend to your hobbies or work? Do share. And here’s a link to photos of some famous writer’s sheds. Would any of them appeal to you? Giving away a book, an amazon gift card and a fall surprise this month.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/gallery/2014/oct/17/five-best-writers-sheds-in-pictures

 

 

Throwback Thursday: the perils of writing about a planecrash.

 

 

It’s Throwback Thursday! Indulge me while I travel down memory lane for a moment. I wrote Turbulence in 2011. I know…ancient history!  Here is the blurb and the most unique problem I ran into while writing it.

Turbulence, blurb.
Someone wants to ensure that the flight bringing Maddie Lambert and a transplant organ to her father never reaches its destination. Someone who’s desperate enough to sabotage the plane. In the aftermath of the crash, Maddie finds herself stranded on an isolated mountain with the last man she’d ever trust again—her ex-fiancé, Dr. Paul Ford. He’s the man she blames for her family’s tragic loss, but now he’s the only one who can get her to her father in time. Yet what neither of them knows is that the danger has just begun.

The writer’s problem: The pilot I interviewed was very reluctant to tell me how to crash a plane. He was eager to share all about the safety mechanisms built into modern aircraft, and how they are extremely reliable in the hands of an experienced pilot. But Jim, I’d plead. I want to know how to CRASH the plane, not keep it in the air! Poor Jim. Went against his grain, don’t you know! In addition, my frequent flyer readers told me they  the subject matter kind of creeped them out.

Do you have a fear of flying? Or are there other modes of transportation that make you nervous? Giving away a triple prize this month. :)

Turbulence, cover

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