Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

Rachel Harrie has this incredible platform-building campaign going on. This is her third one and it seems it's a great way to work together with other writers. If you are a writer/blogger it would behoove you to check it out. I'm excited to be a part of it. The campaign timing is perfect for me with the release of my latest novel, The Advocate's Conviction, just around the corner.

By the way, today is the last day to get on board. So if you're interested check it out now. I think this will be a lot of fun.

Okay, so I'm trying to put a link on the "shield" but I can't seem to get it to work. So if you're interested in joining the campaign, please go to Rachel Harrie's Blog Post. 


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Advocate's Conviction Cover

So here it is, the cover for The Advocate's Conviction. The cover art was designed by Daniel Pearson. I love his work. He has done all three of my books and I'm really happy with all of them. On top of that he is an extremely pleasant young man. So if you need any artwork done, he's your go-to guy. I would highly recommend him.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Release Date for The Advocate's Conviction!

So here we go, book number 3 in The Advocate Series, The Advocate's Conviction. It will be released on October 22, 2011. That is only 8 weeks and 2 days from today. In the next few days I will share the cover with you and let you know when and where we will have the launch party. We're still tying up a few loose ends.

Get ready for Sabre, Bob, & JP to get themselves in and out of another mess!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Advocate's Conviction

"The Advocate's Conviction" is the name of the third book in The Advocate Series. It is finished. The editing process is completed. The jacket cover has been designed. Keep an eye out here on my blog and I'll keep you posted each step of the way.

Yippee! Let's go to print...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Should the Public be Admitted to Court Hearings for Abused and Neglected Minors?

Presently in California, the public is excluded from the dependency courtroom unless the judge gives special permission for a non-party to be there. Dependency court is where child abuse and neglect proceedings take place. For approximately 50 years the courts have been closed to the public primarily to protect the minor's privacy. However, there is an argument that because of the "secrecy" of these courts children's rights aren't always protected.

Assembly Bill, AB 73, addresses this issue and suggests that California try a four-year pilot program in which the courtroom would be presumptively open to the public as opposed to being presumptively closed which means they are closed but can be opened at the discretion of the court. In the twelve years I spent in juvenile dependency court I never saw a case opened to the public. However, there was an occasional exception which allowed individual members of the public in the courtroom. With the courts open to the public, some cases would be closed at the discretion of the presiding judge most likely at the request of the child (or child's attorney).

According to the bill, "personally identifiable information" would not be disclosed in open court and the court would still have the discretion to have the child testify in chambers.

Nationally, only Pennsylvania and Oregon have open courts in dependency. Fifteen other states have presumptively open courts. Fifteen have presumptively closed dependency courts.
The concern for both sides is essentially the same--the potential harm to children. Opponents argue we need to keep the courts closed because the children have a right to privacy. Proponents argue that opening the courts will result in more public awareness and interest in child welfare services resulting in better services for the children.

What are your thoughts? Should California open the dependency courts to the public?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Barnes & Noble in Henderson, NV

Last weekend I had the pleasure of signing books at the Barnes and Noble in Henderson, NV. The booksellers were great to work with and the customers were fantastic. I spent three days there and signed a lot of books. One woman named Kelly came into the store early on Friday and bought "The Advocate's Betrayal." On Saturday morning she returned to tell me she couldn't put the book down and stayed up most of the night reading it. That's what keeps me writing!

I had a few other interesting experiences as well. There was the woman who nearly passed me up when I offered her a bookmark. She took it and scurried off. About ten minutes later she returned, apologized for being rude and explained she was embarrassed because she hadn't had her toes done. Of course, that drew me immediately to look at her feet. They looked fine to me, but apparently she never leaves the house without polish on her toes. She turned out to be a very sweet woman and she even purchased my book.

I really enjoy the face to face contact with readers. It's one of my favorite parts of this whole "author" experience. One thing I find interesting is some of the unusual names I see every week. Most unusual this past weekend was "Janina". Have you ever met a Janina?