Archive | February, 2012

G.M. Barlean, author of Casting Stones

8 Feb

Today is a very special day for me! A dear friend of mine, G.M. Barlean, author of Casting Stones, has graciously agreed to drop in for a visit and share her journey to publication. As fearless in her writing as she is in real life, G.M. paints her world with words so rich in texture and meaning that as you read you feel as though you have slipped inside the pages and become one with her story.

G.M. Barlean: Donna, thank you so much for having me as your guest. Your support is truly appreciated.

Although I have written for years, my concentrated effort to write fiction began in 2009. I completed my first novel, Dead Blow, (with Donna’s help if I remember correctly!) in the summer of 2010. I became a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild, participated in National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo), and joined the Prairieland Romance Writers of Nebraska that fall. When participating in NaNoWriMo, I began writing the novel, Casting Stones, which I just published. I reached the goal of writing 50,000 words of this novel during NaNoWriMo, and then went on to finish the book by February of 2011.

I spent the remainder of 2011 working to fine-tune the book, and I also took two different online writing courses. The process of finishing my book included many friends reading and helping me make it the best product it could be. In the spring of 2011, I attended an event called, Write Across Nebraska. At this event I met C. K. Volnek. Later that year, C. K. (Charlie) invited me to join the Seward Writer’s Group. C.K., I, and three other writers (Victorine Lieske, Kathy Gillmore, and Sabrina Sumsion) have also created another writing support group we call, The Local Muse. This support has turned out to be the most important link in my chain to publishing. By November of 2011, the book was ready for professional editing, and then it was off to be published and printed.

It should be noted, as said above, I could never have written this book without the help of many friends, one of which was you, Donna. Another friend of note, Victorine Lieske, created the book cover for Casting Stones. She also guided me along the way and answered so many questions regarding how to publish. I also firmly believe that God has led me to all of the people who have helped me along the way, from my first reader, Donna Sturgeon (author of Millie’s Rose) to my most recent relationship with my new editor, Carol Weber of Of course, my husband, family, and friends played an essential role as well (specifically the hubs!).

Casting Stones is a dramatic fiction, set in Missouri and Nebraska during the years 1926 through 1945. It is a story about struggle and survival, retribution and redemption. If you wish to meet the characters, please visit my blog Moments of Clarity. Want a little free reading? I’ve written a short story prelude to the novel. The prelude gives a glimpse into the main characters and sets the stage for the trouble that will come. You can get a free copy of this short story either from my website:, or from Do you like movies? I have created a book trailer and posted it on I think you will really enjoy watching this. A friend of mine, Rae Welch, created the original music for this short film, and it is perfect. The e-book for Casting Stones is available on Amazon, and Barnes and Nobel. Both of these sites offer a sample of the novel.

Thank you so much for allowing me to let your readers learn about my book. I hope some of you will consider buying, Casting Stones. In the mean time, I would like to give away a free E-book to a randomly selected person who comments on this blog! Comment away from now thru Saturday, and at the end I’ll let you all know who won!

From the cover: 1926 – A simple error in judgment leaves James Raven a broken man – his wife dead, and his infant son, motherless. He goes back home seeking solace, only to find more sorrow – and Esther Barton, his father’s hired girl – a woman he holds in contempt.

Missteps seal James’s fate. The penance? His child, now in the care of the one he had scorned, suffers abuse and neglect. The woman James judged unacceptable, now judges him. Trapped and helpless, he can only watch in horror.

Who will save the Ravens when they cannot save themselves…and at what cost?

Their salvation ends with blood on their hands, and they must bury their sins, deep in the Loess Hills of Missouri.