Category Archives: TCC

TCC Excerpt – Chapter One


Here is a small excerpt of Chapter One – Enjoy!

Chapter One

I could only eat nineteen peas for dinner – nothing else. The nineteenth pea almost came back up. Christmas was only one week away and I was sure things couldn’t get any worse. Today I had flunked my spelling test, found out that Alex Lemmon liked Judy Young, I discovered two new freckles, got my school pictures back (yuck) and I stopped believing in Santa Claus. Green pea puke at the dinner table would have pushed me right over the edge.
“How’d you do on your test today?” my older brother asked as he got a second helping of beef stew.
Thanks a lot Ben! I wished Ben would zip it. Why did he always have to stick his nose in my business anyway? We both have our grandfather’s famous hazel eyes, but our resemblance ends there. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to tell anyone about the test. Mom might have forgotten if Ben had kept his big mouth shut.
“Not so good.” I mumbled.
“Oh, Rebecca.” Mom said, “What’re we going to do about your grades?”
I guess I was wrong before because things could get worse. Mom only called me Rebecca when I really screwed up.
“I’ll try harder next time.” I said.
She didn’t look like she believed me, but I couldn’t tell her the real reason I flunked.
After dinner, Mom, Dad, and Ben left the table. It was my night to clean up. I looked at the stack of dirty dishes in the sink and groaned. I was going to have plenty of time to think about my miserable day.
There was a good reason why I flunked my spelling test and the reason was Michael O’Donnell, the meanest boy in fifth grade. Michael O’Donnell was not a boy you want in your grade, let alone in your class. I think even the teachers were afraid of him. In second grade, he pushed me into the mud in front of the whole school on Field Day. My heart was too bad to do much running, but I was allowed to be in the long jump. He ruined the only event I could even participate in. He swore to the principal it was an accident, but he flashed me a sly grin as I got back on my feet.
Today, right before our spelling test, I was minding my own business and reviewing my letter to Santa Claus. Michael saw me and grabbed the letter out of my hands. I knew better than to tell on him; I just wanted him to leave me alone.
“What’s this, Shepherd?”
“Santa Claus. You’re kidding me. You still believe in Santa? Hey everybody, listen up.”
I tried to get the letter back, but Michael pushed me down into my chair. Mrs. Herron had to leave the classroom to get Mandy Ray to the nurse before the test because Mandy had stapled her thumb and was about to faint. As soon as they were out the door, Michael walked to the front of the room with my letter.
“Dear Santa…” he said in a baby-like voice.
He read the whole thing in front of the class. All I could do was sit and watch. When he was finished reading, he cackled like a hyena and pointed at me. I thought I’d die when the rest of the class laughed too! I tried so hard not to cry.
“Here’s your letter, Baby Becca,” he said as he crumpled up my letter and threw it at my face.
The letter hit me right between the eyes and everyone laughed harder. I bolted for the door the second the bell rang. I left my supplies all over my desk; I even forgot my coat. I didn’t care. I wanted to be as far away from everyone’s laughter as possible.
Before dinner, I sat in my room and pretended to study, but Santa Claus was heavy on my mind. Could push-me-in-the-mud Michael O’Donnell be telling the truth? I don’t even know how many times the school has held him back, but maybe he knew something I didn’t because he was older. I realized that I probably was the only ten-year-old who still believed in Santa, but I really wanted him to be real.

*Copyright © 2009 by Mary Elizabeth Robinson
All rights reserved.
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.

TCC Excerpt – Prologue



The Ancients waited patiently in a tight circle around Santa’s black leather boots as he signed the letter. His fingers shook and he could hardly grip the pen. The Frozen Forest was silent in anticipation. Santa’s breath escaped his pursed lips like little clouds in the icy air. He rolled up the scroll of parchment that was addressed to The Christmas Child. Then he tied the scroll with a red satin ribbon.

Santa took a deep breath and knelt down in the center of the circle to see The Ancients clearer in the dim forest light. “I’m ready,” he said. The Ancients nodded in unison. Santa gasped as a wave of electricity rolled through his body and out his arm. A brilliant silver light shot out of Santa’s fingertips. The ray of light encircled the scroll in his hand.

One by one, The Ancients lifted their hands and piercing rays of colored lights surged out of their fingers toward Santa. Burnt orange, poppy red, sky blue and deep moss green light intertwined with Santa’s and wove into a beautiful braid around the scroll.

As the light rays fused, the scroll flew out of Santa’s hand and soared into the air like it was caught in a breeze, even though the air in the Frozen Forest was completely still. With a flash, the scroll disappeared. The soul pact was cast.

“It’s done?” asked Santa.

The Ancients nodded again and handed him a small snow globe before they vanished. Tiny bits of white danced inside. The snow swirled fierce like a blizzard inside the glass and Santa felt that strange electricity flow through him once again. He closed his eyes as a deep peace settled into his heart. He knew that somewhere, far away, a very special baby had just entered the world. A brave girl, whose belief could keep him from harm.

*Copyright © 2009 by Mary Elizabeth Robinson
All rights reserved.
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise – without prior written permission of the publisher.

Book Launch


I haven’t written in forever…substitute teaching and early morning hours have wrecked havoc on my blogging. I think after two weeks of extreme exhaustion, I’m finally getting accustomed to my new life as a traveling teacher!

I am, however, sorry that I have abandoned this blog!

My book launch is only a couple of weeks away and I still have a zillion things to accomplish. The binding press is finished. I’ll post pictures and a video of how it works soon! All the materials have been purchased and this week I have to get them off to the printer. Then I have to bind as many books as possible for the launch. I’m going to be one busy girl!!

I love the cover and the illustrations. The layout looks good. I can’t believe it’s almost here…

Babies and Comfy Shoes


Today has been a weird day. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster. I was thinking about my emotional theatrics today right before I started blogging and I realized why I’m extra emotional, but it sucks nonetheless.

I yelled at my brother for no reason. Well there was a reason, but that wasn’t what I originally yelled at him about. I didn’t apologize either. But we don’t always have to apologize when we have emotional breakdowns and the other sibling always seems to understand. I will apologize eventually, but it might get me crying again and it’s best to keep to myself at the moment.

On a happier note, I played with a wonderful one-year-old little girl this morning who smiles and my insides melt a bit. There is just something about babies. The way they hold onto your knees as they steady themselves. I’ve always loved little kids, but that love seems to get deeper as I age. I’m sure this sounds like a clock ticking and maybe it is. I just have some other things to focus on first.

I wrote a couple prologues for TCC this weekend and I am really pleased with one of them. I will run it by my trusted readers this coming week.

I also spent my wad on new comfy shoes for teaching. I wanted to get some Dansco’s, but I can’t afford any right now. These will do in the meantime.

And…I will be working on editing TCC the rest of the day. I also promise that I will sit down and write at least 500 words of The Lost. There it’s out in the universe and now I have to do it!

Books Stuff


Yesterday, I had the day off.  It didn’t really feel like a day off because I was running just about every minute. That said, I got a ton done for the book, which feels really good.

I now have a business bank account, merchant paypal account and I signed off on the brilliant cover that Sharon designed for me. I also paid a bunch of bills and bought the materials for the binding press. I’m having a hard time finding Plexiglass that is thick enough. I thought some local art stores might have some, but no luck.

Late last night, I saw Julie and Julia with my mom and dad. Is there anything that Meryl Streep cannot do? I mean seriously. And Stanley Tucci was divine. I laughed and cried with them. What a wonderful love they shared. It would be interesting to read the letters that Julie mentions in the film – I will have to find them and do that.

I have really been slacking on The Lost. I’m not stuck, but I’m in that spot just over half way through the first draft where I am being courted by another manuscript. The middle is a hard spot. And The Christmas Child is so close to release and I have so much to do…it’s just been too easy to ignore The Lost.

I have to commit to it again, even if I’m only writing 500 words a day. I just have to buckle down and do it. I can’t use my wonderfully chaotic life as an excuse. Note to self – writers must sit down to write…remember?

It’s strange and bittersweet to think about leaving the book store. I know I’ll be in and out, working part-time, but it won’t be the same as being here and having my hands in it everyday. I feel that it’s the right time to move on, but it’s always hard to leave.

I’m finally reading The Celestine Prophecy. I really like it so far. I believe that books pick us when it is the exact right time for us to read them. I’m excited to learn why this book picked me…more on that later!

Binding Press


I am making a binding press with my dad this weekend. He is an engineer and loves these kind of projects. I’m excited to get it together and try it out next week. Every day this week has been filled with self publishing adventures.

I’m holding off on a web site for the time being. Since I’m footing the bill for everything, I would rather spend the money on books. This handy blog can do most of the web site tricks any way.

I feel this urgency running through my veins. I know it’s because of multiple factors, but it’s cool to have so much to do!

I will be starting a new thread of posts this week entitled, “Self Pub Adventures”. These post’s will feature the handy knowledge I have acquired through this process. I want to be as helpful as I can to other DIY folks out there.

Once the binding press is ready to go, I’ll vlog about it and post it here as well.

Jazz Hands and Miracles


Last night Monkey Beth Media purchased it’s first ISBN number and Bar code!!!!!!

I am now performing the self-publishing ISBN dance complete with jazz hands. Someday I will have to vlog this so you can see how silly I really am. I also designed my logo and will be posting it this weekend.

Every day, it feels like the Universe sets another miracle in my lap with this book. I have been open to guidance and I certainly can see where angels have swooped down and taken care of me and my new publishing venture. Whether it be guidance, research, design, copy-editing – you name it. I am so grateful for all of the help I have received. It makes this process feel so satisfying!

October will be here before I know it and everyday my excitement grows!

I received my first piece of mail at my snazzy PO Box today. It was a note from myself, but what does that matter 🙂

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting images and excerpts from the story. Also, I will be posting articles on my adventures in self publishing at my other blog

Friday Afternoon


It’s a slow Friday at work and I’m counting down the hours. I will work tomorrow, but Friday’s still feel like the end to the normal work week.

So many things are happening in my life right now, it feels wonderful and chaotic all at once. I’ve never been very good with change. Change is usually accompanied by nightmares, sweaty palms and upset stomachs. This time around, however, I’m actually enjoying it because I know only good things are coming around the bend.

I’m not a control freak, per say, but I like to get my hands dirty. I think that’s why all this book stuff has me more excited than petrified. I’m making something and that feels very satisfying. I am placing part of my heart and soul into a tangible object.

A few years ago, that would have scared me to no end, but now I am so committed to it – I can’t help being overwhelmed with wonder and joy.

I first got the idea and starting writing this story when I was ten years old. That baffles me. I recently found the opening to the story that I received a critique on, before I went to a writing conference in New York. I was shocked at the writing (yuck) and how different the story felt. It was from January 2008. I can’t believe how much can change in a couple of years.

I’ve gone through many lessons as I wrote this book. I’m a much better writer and I hope to keep getting better with every word. I learned how to edit myself and others through a wonderful critique group/friendship. I learned that first drafts are really awful and there is deep fulfilment in revision.

I have less fiery hoops to jump through with my current novel and hopefully the next one will be even easier. But I learned how to own my own creative voice with this book and that makes all this change worthwhile.

Moving Right Along


So many exciting things to share. Well, I think there exciting, but I’m a self-publishing nerd at the moment!

The copy-edits are happening as we speak and I am super jazzed to get going on the final edit sometime next week.

I got a PO Box and filed my “Doing Business As” Trade name with the secretary of state. My book launch is scheduled for October 11, 2009 at an amazing venue called The Mercury Cafe.

I should be able to start making the binding press with my dad next week!

Copy Edit


My personal edits are finally done and this morning I printed the entire manuscript. I will send it off to the copy-editor on Monday. It’s so cool to hold it. A lot of work went into those pages!

I’m excited to get her feedback and work on the final touch-ups before printing it. I’m glad that it will be out of my hands for a couple of weeks so I can focus on some technical stuff.

This week I will have a P.O. Box and I’ll be registering my “Doing Business As” name with the secretary of state. I will also we opening my new business bank account! All so exciting, to me at least.

I wrote a list today of all the stuff that needs to be done for this project. It feels a bit overwhelming, but I’m enjoying the process so much.

I’ll check in soon with more self-publishing info.