Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Today, I'm shining the final spotlight of 2018 on Fran Thomas

Let's get to know Fran:

Fran Thomas was born in Pittsburgh. She never intended to live in Florida, but Fate had other plans for her. She resides with her husband on an island in the Gulf of Mexico and spends her time observing its quirky denizens and their antics.

Thank you for joining me today in The Writers’ Studio. Let’s get started!

Here's My Five:

I’ always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?

For a time, I was the editor of the local newspaper. That job was an excellent source of ideas. Some of the events in my Calusa Town Tales actually did happen. I just twist them ever so slightly for dramatic or comic effect.

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
In this case, the setting. The books are set on an island strangely similar to where I live, but the names of landmarks, of course, are changed.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
Geneva, the Mayor of Calusa, is most like me. As the title indicates, she is ladylike; however, she also likes to be in charge.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
The most important part for me is finally finishing a book. I had seven or eight stories that I started and never figured out how to finish.

What’s the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
The most romantic thing to me is being listened to. I go off on tangents sometimes about music or some idea I’ve come up with, and my husband, bless him, acts as if what I’m telling him is interesting, whether it is or not.

Here are the THREE additional Fran chose:

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?

I actually started writing when I was in fourth grade. Getting published took a lot longer. The first time I earned money from writing was in 1995.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to travel?
I have always wanted to eat and mostly drink my way across Italy. Oh, I guess I’d take in some art and architecture while I was there.

City Girl or Country Girl
In spite of the fact that I have lived on a rural island in Florida for 20 years, at heart I am still a city girl. When I moved here from Pennsylvania, I spent the next year applying to jobs all over the country. None of them panned out, so I’m still here.

Let's talk about your book - THE LADY IS A MAYOR

Economy versus ecology
When the mayor of Calusa takes off in the middle of the night after emptying the bank account, Geneva Porter is left with the job of keeping the small, Florida town afloat. All she has to do is convince its quirky citizens to play nice. And keep her distance from the swoon-worthy hotel mogul.

Northern property developer Seth Connor thinks he’s found the perfect town for his new hotel. The gorgeous lady mayor is an added bonus. Half of the citizens are thrilled by his project, but the other half is determined the hotel isn’t going to happen. He is not about to take no for an answer from the town or from Geneva.


A puff of air shuffled the financial statements. Both women turned as the outer door opened and a tall, athletic man walked in. He wore gray, pinstriped pants, a crisp white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal forearms dusted with blond hair, and a red power tie.

“Good morning, ladies,” he said, flashing a smile worthy of any dentist commercial.

The women greeted him in unison.

“Maybe you can help me out,” the blond man continued, his hazel eyes fixed on 
Geneva’s face. “My name is Seth Connor. I know I don’t have an appointment, but do you think your boss could possibly see me for a few minutes?”

“Our boss?” Geneva echoed. Her cheeks pinked at Seth’s stare, but she held his gaze.

“You mean the mayor?” Patsy asked. “You’re looking at her.”

“You’re the mayor of Calusa?” Seth asked, glancing from Patsy to the remains of the Crunchy-Creamy pastry still on her desk.

“No, sir, I’m not. She is. Meet Geneva Price.”

Geneva stood and extended her hand. Her slender fingers were enveloped in his. She took a steadying breath to regain her composure.

“Acting mayor. And as it happens, I can spare you some time,” she said. 

Fran is giving away a FREE copy of a short story, GIRLS OF THE MONTH to everyone who signs up for her newsletter. You can do that by going HERE a POP-UP should appear for you to fill out. (Note: If you have a pop-up blocker in place, then email Fran - address on her sidebar - and ask to sign up)

You can purchase your copy of THE LADY IS A MAYOR at: 

You will find Fran Thomas at these Social Media locations:

Monday, November 19, 2018


I know I'm way behind on getting this up. The conference was over a month ago. I came home and spent the first week just not doing much of anything. Then the second week a sinus infection moved in and I've been pretty much inactive since. Thankfully, as we move closer to the holidays I'm finally feeling like prepping for celebrations.

I shared a table with Tierney James. My half was ready for Christmas. Along with my books, I had a crystal dish of mini Hershey Chocolates wrapped in bands of Christmas scrapbook paper - the cut offs from the booklets I made to give away. Those are in the cherry-wood box on the far right. I made a booklet similar to THESE found on Frances Thomas' blog.

The booklets were approx. 3" x 4" when closed. I had copies of my the front and back covers of the book printed on gloss business card cardstock at Office Depot. I placed the cover on the front, the back on the inside front then my social media links mat on the back. The inside right formed a diagonal pocket to hold a tea bag.

The folks at Bigelow Tea were kind enough to work with me in creating my promo piece. I purchased three of their Seasonal Gift Boxes, giving me a wide variety of holiday tea flavors to tuck inside.

Bigelow Seasonal Tea Gift Box

I also offered the chance to win a tea pot/ cup/ saucer set when people signed up for my newsletter. 

I had the honor of speaking this year. I presented a workshop on Social Media - Choosing Your Top 3. I still want to put that into a workbook to have available some time after the first of the year.  I received great comments on the workshop though I felt rushed. 

Ozark Creative Writers board bring in top of the list speakers. 

Our keynote was the extremely talented Tess Gerritsen. Tess is as down-to-earth as you will ever find on the New York Times Bestselling list of authors. 
We were also enriched to have NY agent Doug Grad (Doug Grad Literary Agency

For entertainment, there is Open Mic on Thursday night, performer on Friday night then the Awards Banquet on Saturday. 

This year's Friday entertainment was Tessa Kate (2014 American Idol contestant).

The highlight of the conference, for me was the opportunity to remember a dear friend, and OCW board member, Dusty Richards:

Courtesy of Encyclopediaofarkansas.net

After dinner on Friday night, several of us sat in a circle and shared memories. Here is Casey Cowan proudly wearing one of Dusty's Stetson hats. Dusty thought of Casey as a son.

My last visit with Dusty and his wife Pat was during the premiere of PAINTED WOMAN - inspired by his 150th novel, The Mustanger and the Lady. We met up in Poteau OK. I felt honored sitting with this couple as we watched the adaptation of his book come to life. You can see my write-up about that weekend HERE on my CountryAngel blog

Afterwards, we gathered at the local Western Sizzlin to celebrate his 85th birthday - the last he would see. Though I have photos very similar to these, I can't locate them. These pictures were taken by the movie photographer, Priscilla Tran. 

Dusty's dual celebration cake

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.24.51 PM
Dusty with Painted Woman writers
Amber Lindley and James Cotten 

No conference is complete without food. Years of experience at OCW have shown the best food is a buffet. The plated stuff tends to become rubbery by the time you sit down to eat and who wants 'rubber chicken'?  The buffet provided by the catering at Inn of the Ozarks has something for everyone.

Saturday also offers a carving station of ham and beef roast. 

Finally, here's a few shots of people I look forward to meeting up with every year. Some I only see at OCW:

I hope you'll plan now to join us at the 53rd Annual Ozark Creative Writers Conference next year. 
Jodi Thomas is our keynote! I adore Jodi. She is a talented author and a pleasure to visit with. 

Tomorrow, I shine the spotlight on Fran Thomas. Come by and say hello!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


My first book in print and I couldn't even get excited yesterday. After the company left on Monday I got a few things done but just chilled with Bob for the most part. Then yesterday I was sick. Just didn't care. How sad is that?!  I tried working through the morning then finally just crawled into my recliner with the afghan and slept for a solid 4 hours. Hubby fixed supper and did the dishes. Yep, he is my true-life hero.

First off, when I placed the order for the books, Amazon did grant me my 2-day free shipping (thank Goddess!) but gave me a delivery date of October 11... the day I need to leave for the Ozarks Creative Writers conference! So yeah, that had me nervous. So I was puzzled when UPS brought the box yesterday. Nothing on the outside gave any indication the package was from Amazon, just multiple strips of tape that said HEAVY on all the sides of the box. 

First thing I did was get out the box cutter to uncover the mystery and was quite surprised at the contents. I opened one to make sure the corrections I'd made were in place then left the box on the deck for Bob to carry into the office when he came home.

And there it sits. Nothing really to do with the books at the moment. I do need to take an autographed copy to my proofreader and a donated copy to the local library. I have 4 copies sold at the bank. Just need to take them in. 

Now that company is out of the way - for a few days - and I'm feeling better, my first goal is to get marketing sheets off to local newspapers. I know they should have been done sooner but I was afraid to jinx something. 

Now my next few days are all about getting the giveaways done for the conference. Are you coming? There's still time to register for the Ozarks Creative Writers conference (see link on sidebar). I do know that the block of rooms at Inn of the Ozarks are sold out but there may be rooms elsewhere available. There are also several hotels within a 2 mile driving distance as well as many cottages and B & B's if you want to treat yourself. We'd love to have you!

Friday, September 28, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Good Neighbor Day!

 Do you like your neighbors up close and personal? Or maybe you like a bit more privacy.

While I find row houses pretty, especially in this colorful collection, I am more of a Mayberry Front Porch kind of girl.

One thing I miss about living in the country is having a front porch to sit on and call to neighbors as they walk past in the evening.  

While I have a covered front deck now, and I try to make the space warm and inviting, there is just something about this front porch that makes me sigh with longing:

Are you a Mayberry front porch person, or prefer the row house where you can sit on the stoop and visit? Whichever you are, make time today to show kindness to a neighbor.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


I am so proud of this cover. Jaycee from Sweet 'N Spicy Designs did an amazing job! If you are looking for a cover artist, I highly recommend her. She is Affordable, Fast, Detailed.

I also can't say enough about my mentor, Sharon Holmes of Paperback-Press. She helped me get through my first upload to Kindle and KOPD. Okay, she did more than help last Friday. I was so hung over from lack of sleep trying to make sure everything was ready when I got to her place. She is NOT a small publisher.  She is a 'service provider'. That means she will help you with whatever stages of publication you might need for a fee. I know several authors working with her on both new and back-list projects. She is the most patient woman.  LOL

As some of you may know, AN OZARKS CHRISTMAS began as Ozark Angel, eons ago. Inspired by the Garth Brooks song, That Ol Wind, I knew there was a story. Here's a cover of the song by Richard Monaei:

I won't give all the details here because I want to save some secrets for the blogs I'll be visiting over the next two months. Here is the original mock of the back cover:

Note: the print is much more clear on the actual copy. 
I am just waiting on the results of my proof reader then I'm ready to hit the 'Publish' button. When I do, I hope to set Pre-Orders for October 1 then full launch on October 12th.

If you have any questions, have a blog and you'd like to host me, or just want to say hello, please leave your comment below or use the contact form on my side bar.

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 17, 2018


Okay, that might seem strange coming from someone who loves/ lives/ breathes traditional country/ bluegrass music, but like Donny and Marie - I'm a little bit Country and a little bit Rock n Roll.
I'm not sure why but I've always liked this tune from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. I became a fan after seeing her on Happy Days. LOL

On Friday, with help (LOTS of help) from Sharon Holmes from Paperback-Press, I got AN OZARKS CHRISTMAS uploaded to Kindle and KPD. I just need to get the proof copy back from a reader then I can hit publish!  I am so excited - and exhausted. This has been a really long few weeks ... and while the end is in sight, I still have tons of work to do. 

I will be doing the cover reveal TOMORROW! I hope you'll come back for that. I'll also have the cover across the board on several Social Media platforms. Links will be below on tomorrow's post.

My projects for this week are
A) detail the house for company and get fall decor up. I am SOOOO READY for fall.
B) get the notes compiled and the beginnings of the workbook pages completed. 

I am speaking at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs AR October 13th (conference runs the 11-13)The workbook is a companion book that I'll have available for sale.

Company will begin arriving on the 28th. Some will leave on October 1 and the rest on October 7th or 8th.  A long stretch of when I will get very little accomplished. There are still the giveaways for the book to put together. I have all of the components, just lots of cutting and gluing in my future.

Today, I'm detailing the kitchen and doing laundry. Going to be a long day! 

How do you fit your writing time in amongst LIFE duties? Have tips to share? I'd love to hear them!
Creative Blessings

Friday, September 14, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Cream Filled Donut!

Okay.. who doesn't like donuts. I love Bavarian Cream Filled. Chocolate just makes them even yummier!

What's your favorite donut?

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Here is my sage advice to all writers:
To become a better writer you must WRITE!

Over 8 years ago, I was in a miserable job wherein I drove an hour each way in Houston traffic and worked 4-10 hour days.  When I got to my 3 day weekend, I was a zombie and it took at least a day to recover and even find the place in the current story where I had left off the previous weekend. My solution was to try to write a mere 100 words when I got home after work, just to try and stay in the story. The result is that I am now on day 3,113 of daily writing. My goal for the past few years has been to write at least 1,000 words per day. If you want to be a writer, you must write. 


Here is your opportunity to win your very own copy of Do Or Die Cowboy!
Over the next 3 days, you have the opportunity to win just by leaving a comment below. You MUST leave a comment to be entered. 

June is giving not one but THREE copies away. So I'm going give you the chance to win EVERY day. On Friday I will draw a name from Today, one from Tomorrow and one from Thursday. So make sure you come back every day and leave a comment. You can only win once, so if you your name is drawn for Today, then I'll draw another name for Wednesday/ Thursday.


If you are in the United States, you win a PRINT COPY!  International comments will be eligible for an eBook copy. So EVERYONE has the opportunity to WIN!
Once you've read Do Or Die Cowboy, you can keep up with June Faver on the following Social Media sights:


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Do Or Die Cowboy + Giveaway

Okay, normally I would post a review of the book by our Spotlight Author but today I have something a bit different. A Character Interview.

DO OR DIE COWBOY hero, Tyler Garrett, has been kind enough to answer a few questions. Feel free to drool a bit when you look into his eyes. He's getting used to the attention.

Thank you for joining me today, Tyler.  Let’s get started.

Regarding the simple pleasures of life, what are some of the little things that make your day better? Spending time with the woman I love, and her daughter. Singing and playing my guitar for them and just making them smile. We like to go for a ride around the ranch. Seeing everything through Gracie’s eyes  is like seeing it for the first time. 

Who was your biggest supporter growing up?
My mom was the one who encouraged me to sing. We sang gospel songs in church, and she entered me in talent contests. My dad thought I had talent, but he just never saw me doing anything except ranching.

What are some of the events in your life that have made you who you are?
Growing up on the ranch was always positive. My brothers and I learned the value of hard work and to respect the land. Music has always been in my heart, so when my mom encouraged me to enter talent contests, I did my best to make her proud of me.

What risks are worth taking?
There are risks you can back away from and risks you have to take. If someone I love is at risk, I would always step up. No matter what.

What’s the first thing you noticed about Leah when you saw her?
First of all, I noticed how beautiful she was, and also how scared she looked. Her big brown eyes reminded me of a frightened fawn.

You and Big Jim had problems but home is home. What is special about the place you grew up?
My dad was a lot easier to get along with when mom was alive. After she passed, it was as though he realized how fragile life is, and he wanted to squeeze the most out of every day. I know it was his intention to gather as much land as possible because he has three sons to leave it to. He wants to ensure that each of us has a good life, and for him, that means life on the Garrett ranch.

They say children and animals have an innate ability to recognize the good in a person. What do you think Gracie saw in you that made her feel safe?
After everything Gracie and Leah had been through, I’m so glad Gracie was able to accept me as a positive person in her life and that she had nothing to fear from me. She knows I would lay down my life for her.

What is it about music that speaks to you?
Everything. I’ve always heard music in my head. It surprised me that no one else could hear it.

Leah had a rough patch in her life. What drew you to wanting to protect her?
She looked so frightened. Of course, she’s  beautiful but something just reached right into my heart. She was wound so tight I had to do whatever I could to keep her and Gracie safe.

What would be a perfect first date?
In our town, going to the Eagle’s Hall on a Friday night, is a lot of fun. They have a live band on weekends, so a lot of townspeople turn out to have a beer and take a turn around the dance floor.

Life seems to be on its own time table. Do you believe in fate?
Of course. Too many things in my life have just fallen into place. It had to be fate, that I met Leah when I was on my way to Dallas. We could so easily have missed each other.

What was the most influential turning point in your life?
Meeting Leah and Gracie. I thought my singing career was the most important thing in my life, but I was wrong.

What is the one thing you want to do differently from your parents?
For my mom and dad, the whole world was right on our ranch and in the nearby small town of Langston, Texas.  I’ve been on tour and I want to see more of the world, and take Leah with me.

What is your favorite season or holiday? And do the two coincide?
My favorite season is the fall. I love when it cools off and the leaves turn colors. I love all the holidays that bring my family together. The Garretts are a tight clan, but the holidays are a celebration of family.

Describe yourself in 3 words
Luckiest man alive.

If you could do one thing to surprise Leah, what do you think it would be?
I think she deserves a real honeymoon. I’d love to surprise her with a cruise or vacation to some tropical island where we can just relax and be with each other.

Author, June Faver, has introduced us to an incredible family in the Garretts. I look forward to introducing you to his brothers in the future. In the mean time, you can pick up your copy on 


Here is your opportunity to win your very own copy of Do Or Die Cowboy!
Over the next 3 days, you have the opportunity to win just by leaving a comment below. You MUST leave a comment to be entered. 

June is giving not one but THREE copies away. So I'm going give you the chance to win EVERY day. On Friday I will draw a name from Today, one from Tomorrow and one from Thursday. So make sure you come back every day and leave a comment. You can only win once, so if you your name is drawn for Today, then I'll draw another name for Wednesday/ Thursday.


If you are in the United States, you win a PRINT COPY!  International comments will be eligible for an eBook copy. So EVERYONE has the opportunity to WIN!
Once you've read Do Or Die Cowboy, you can keep up with June Faver on the following Social Media sights:


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - June Faver + Giveaway!

I first 'met' June Faver on line almost twelve years ago through Candace Havens' yahoo group. We were in a sprint group together. Since then we have become good friends. She was kind enough to offer me a place to sleep during one of my trips to Texas.

June is a superb writer, having Indie-published multiple books before signing with Source Books. Her Dark Horse series is an amazing collection. You'll want them all, trust me! Be sure to read all the way through to learn more about the goodies June is offering today.

So let me introduce you to June Faver

June/J.D. Faver loves Texas, from the Gulf coast to the panhandle. Her novels embrace the heart and soul of the state and the larger-than-life Texans who romp across her pages. A former teacher and healthcare professional, she lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country.

Thank you for joining me today in The Writers’ Studio. Let’s get started!

Here are my Top 5:

I’ve always asked ‘where do you get your ideas’. So, where do you get yours?
I have no idea where the seed of a story idea comes from, but once I become obsessed with it, I sometimes even dream the story. I’ve had to jump out of bed to make notes before. Generally, the current book is always working in my brain. As I get to know the characters better, they reveal their personalities, strengths and weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. 

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
I wish I could tell you that I have some kind of formula for writing, but that’s not the case.  I’m never at a loss for story ideas. I do have a bulging file of WIPs (Works in Progress). Some will never be finished, while burst forth into fruition. Once I got a story idea from a news story about border immigration and another time someone said the phrase, “throw-away babies” and I totally freaked out, but it sparked a story.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the ‘you’ you’d like to be? Why?
I think I’m most like Chloe Solis in my South Padre Island series> Bad Medicine is the first. She always leads with her heart. She is fiercely loyal and shares many of my human frailties.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
I love to write and would be writing even if my words never got published, but the most thrilling part of writing is when someone reads and ‘gets it’. It’s the ultimate validation.

Self-care seems to be a trend these days. What do you do to pamper yourself?
My days start with a simple ritual of greeting the new day. I have Minx, a precious small rescue dog (Rat Terrier/Chihuahua) and we go out early to perform our ritual. Hers involves patrolling her domain to make sure there are no squirrels or deer around. Yes, she will fiercely chase deer from our part of the woods. After she ensures that we are safe, she comes to lie beside me on the porch, her ears perked up and alert for danger. My part of the ritual involves sitting in my big wicker chair, breathing, admiring the colors of the sky and listening to the incredible bird songs, and most of all...finding my center. Just being thankful. I water the growing things and make sure both bird baths are filled. Yes, it’s a year round thing. Love to sit out in the rain. Minx, not so much... 

June's Top 3:

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
My second grade teacher, Sister Anastasia, let me write, cast, direct, and act in the 3-Act Plays I wrote. She gave me a box of colored chalk so I could draw the sets on the 3 blackboards. She was my patron saint and gave a portal for those stories to come tumbling out. Yes, I was 7 years old. 

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
LOTS!!! It just creeps in. I find myself writing in things that have happened to me or someone I know...and I sometimes write a character with mannerisms I’ve observed in others. No one is exempt.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to travel?
Anywhere with a white sand beach, gentle offshore breezes and lots of seafood and fresh produce. Oh, and a sail boat. Heavenly.

Thanks for letting us get to know you a bit. Now let's talk about the book! I have been in love with this series from the beginning

Putting it all on the line for love...
Cowboy musician Tyler Garrett has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside his rough-and-tumble rancher's lifestyle and realize his dream. He's on the road to Dallas to record a demo when that dream gets kicked sideways by a beautiful woman on the run.
Leah Benson will do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe. But when her dangerous past catches up with her, she needs a hero—and luckily for her, Tyler Garrett was born and bred for the role.
Dark Horse Cowboys Series:
Do or Die Cowboy (Book 1)


The dog began to lap noisily. Leah knelt down beside him to run her hand over the silky fur. “Good boy” she whispered and rose from her crouch. When she turned, she ran smack into a brick wall. A warm muscled brick wall with arms. She stifled a scream as she pushed off the wall and was gathered into a rough embrace.

“Easy, Leah.”

“Oh, Ty! You scared me.” Swallowing hard, she braced her hands against his powerful bare chest. The sensation sent her heart into a flutter. Longing surged through her. Longing for what, she wasn’t quite certain, but longing nonetheless.

“Sorry,” he murmured, his voice deep and raspy. “I thought Lucky was getting into something.” He held her firmly against his warm torso.

She swallowed again. “N—No, I’m sorry I woke you.” Gazing up, she couldn’t read his expression in the darkness.

He expelled a breath, staring down at her moon-washed face. “You are just too pretty for my own good.” 

Released August 28th, you will find your copy of DO OR DIE COWBOY on Amazon

Want to find out more about forthcoming books in the Dark Horse series? Check out June's Project Page


Here is your opportunity to win your very own copy of Do Or Die Cowboy!
Over the next 3 days, you have the opportunity to win just by leaving a comment below. You MUST leave a comment to be entered. 

June is giving not one but THREE copies away. So I'm going give you the chance to win EVERY day. On Friday I will draw a name from Today, one from Tomorrow and one from Thursday. So make sure you come back every day and leave a comment. You can only win once, so if you your name is drawn for Today, then I'll draw another name for Wednesday/ Thursday.


If you are in the United States, you win a PRINT COPY!  International comments will be eligible for an eBook copy. So EVERYONE has the opportunity to WIN!
Once you've read Do Or Die Cowboy, you can keep up with June Faver on the following Social Media sights:

Friday, September 7, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Buy A Book Day!

Books open up doors to anywhere you want to go.

Two questions today:

1) What book have you read that has taken you to a place you will always remember as if you were there? Share with us so we can visit, too!

2) Where would you most like to visit in real life?

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 3, 2018

MONDAY MUSINGS - The End is in Sight!

Happy Labor Day, everyone!
I hope you had a safe and blessed holiday weekend. Today 's the last day to kick up your heels. Please remember EVERYONE that makes your day a little better because of their job.

I am almost there!

Every chapter of An Ozarks Christmas has been polished to the best of my ability. I was amazed after doing revisions the second time, how many little things I found this past week in a 'final' read-through. Will be interesting to see what my beta readers catch.

I found the missing 13th Chapter and discovered that with the changes I've made, I'll need to do some alterations and fleshing out. So that's what I spent all of yesterday working on. Hopefully, by the time you read this I will be a day away from sending to betas.

I took some time on Saturday to go shopping for Scrapbook paper. I've found the cutest little booklets that I can make to hold my giveaway as well as provide the book info and my social media links. While I don't need them just yet, the book has to come first, I did want to take advantage of the 50% off The Paper Studio paper line at Hobby Lobby. They have some great papers and I'm going to need A LOT just to have gifts for my beta readers as well as the conference in October. Some are a Christmas themed while others are just a drool-worthy vintage background. I will show you those as we get closer to release.

Tomorrow I'm ordering book marks as well as the components for those giveaways. Later this week, I'll get my new business cards printed and continue the process of getting the workbook pages configured for my talk about Choosing Your Top 3 Social Media Platforms. I need to start promoting that so that maybe we'll get some last minute signups for the conference. We always have room for more!

Happy Reading!

Friday, August 31, 2018


Today is We Love Memoirs Day.

From Dictionary.com, the definition of a memoir is:

  1. record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personalobservation.
  2. Usually memoirs.
    1. an account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography.
    2. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
  3. biography or biographical sketch.

Memoirs are written scrapbooks. While a photo may be worth a thousand words, no one can tell your story better than you. What would you tell generations to come?

Friday, August 24, 2018


There are all kinds of knives. Each serves a specific purpose. But there's one thing all knives will do..
according to Doug Marcadai...

There are different methods of construction for the various types of knives. Want to know some of the techniques? Binge watch seasons of Forged In Fire on The History Channel or YouTube

Friday, August 17, 2018

PHOTO FRIDAY - Black Cat Appreciation

I so got this!

Meet my Spirit kitty. He is a 7th generation panther. He adopted me almost 13 years ago.

When Bob is home, he has to curl up in the crook of Bob's arm during coffee in the morning for a nap. We've never allowed animals on the table/ counters. But Bob started this when Spirit was only 8 weeks old.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


One of my favorite tips is how to increase the emotional aspect of a story. Instead of adding words that tell us how a character feels, layer aspects of emotion into the setting. Readers will pick up on the emotion created by the setting and assume what the character feels. For example, in the opening of my book Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, it's obvious how he feels, based on his perception of the setting.

Would this incessant nightmare of darkness never end? The steaming, lightless rainforest stank of alien spores and enough flowers to choke the dead. Let the rescue party inhale, but this cloying scent left a sickening taste in his mouth. 

WOW!  Going back through my manuscript again :-) Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Kayelle Allen + Freebie!

Today we are shining the spotlight on Kayelle Allen.

Let's get to know Kayelle. Thanks for joining me today!

Kayelle Allen did a tour in the US Navy, where she climbed around airplanes (on the ground, thankfully) fixing black boxes that helped pilots find their way home.
She wrote her first science fiction novel at 18 and to this day, it's hidden under the bed, where she vows it will remain. Gems from it, however, launched several series in her galaxy-wide universe of stories.

From childhood, Kayelle was the victim of an overactive imagination and inherited the Irish gift of gab from her mother. From her father, she got a healthy respect for mechanical things.
No wonder she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy peopled with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She's been married so long she's tenured.

Here's my FIVE:

I' always asked 'where do you get your ideas'. So, where do you get yours?
I can't keep them from coming. I have a vivid imagination. My problem is limiting them!

Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
I can get everything all at once, but usually it's the characters. Once I know their names, they bloom fully born. It's weird, but that's how I write.

Which of your heroines most represent you, or the 'you' you'd like to be? Why?
Mehfawni Ruh from For Women Only. She's wise, intelligent, loving, sweet, and compassionate. She's also a kick-ass warrior who doesn't deal well with fools.

What is the single most important part of writing for you?
Evoking a response in the reader. If I can make the reader feel an emotion that the character feels, I have done my job. I tell that character's story as faithfully as possible.

What's the most romantic thing a guy can do (or has done) for you?
My husband spent months looking for a teddy bear that resembled one I'd had as a child. The bear had been lost in a fire when I was fifteen. For him to go to so much trouble -- literally scouring the city -- to find that bear, meant the world to me. It brought back so many wonderful memories. Is it any wonder I call my hubby Bear?

Here's the THREE additional Kayelle chose:

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
Always. Since I could hold a crayon. My first written word was cat, and I told my mother that now I could write a story about cats. Is it any wonder one of my scifi creatures is a race of catlike humanoids? I think not.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
Pick up At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. It's a sweet romance with adult concepts. It introduces the Tarthian Empire and all its important citizens. Besides, it's a fun read and will make you laugh out loud. It also pulls your heart-strings and makes you sad. At the Mercy has a very wonderful happy ending with a huge twist. One reviewer said she recommended reading it twice because going back, you find hints throughout the story that you missed on the first read. I'm very proud of this book.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I write early in the morning. Now and then, a particular scene keeps me up at night. For the most part, though, I'm an early riser. I am at my best right after I roll out of bed. It's not unusual to find me up at four in the morning when I'm on a roll with a story. I submit chapters to my critique group, edit based on their feedback.

For the Bringer of Chaos series, I've used a story editor as well. Although she thinks of herself as more of a "story shaper" -- Patricia Cook is fabulous at helping me keep on track with the plot and make sure all my ducks are in a row. She will catch inconsistencies and places where I can tighten the plot and layer in emotion or action. I've come to depend on her advice and am very happy she is part of my critique group.

When I've finished the first draft, I send it to a few beta readers. My friends Jean P and Barbara B have been reading for me for many years now. Once I get their feedback, I make other changes and send it off to my final editor, Barb Caffrey. It takes me about four months to complete a book from start to finish. I then allow two months for edits. It's important to let a story sit and settle before deciding it's final. There are all sorts of things you forget to do or add or say. That settle time allows me to go back and make changes if needed.

Let's talk about your book, FORGED IN FIRE


When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem. He's not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.
It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.
Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...


In this scene from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, the immortal king must accept yet another delay in reaching his destination, one he's tried to find for months. His lover, the telepath and warrior, Joss, hasn't been much help.

Giving in to her request for time, Pietas indicated the route Joss wanted to take. "Let's go your way."
"Thank you for listening to me." She took Pietas by the hand, reached up, and dragged a fingertip down the cleft in his chin. "This world is stunning. I hate that so much of it will be spoiled by our being here."
"Why? Has my mother released environmental impact studies?"
"No, she--" The look Joss sent his way resembled pity. "You'll see. Not far now."
"You've been saying 'not far' for hours. Did I not teach you to mark trails?"
"I'm sorry, Pietas. It won't happen again."
Oh, but it would. She wouldn't mean for it to happen, but it would. He'd tried for centuries to teach her how to find her way, to no avail. He kissed her cheek and drew her into his arms, savoring her warmth.
"Joss." He placed his mouth near her ear. "You couldn't find your way out of a round room with one door."
She jerked up her head and looked at him, eyes wide.
"And I adore you for it."

I've only recently begun reading more Sci-Fi - I'm looking forward to adding this to my list. 

Kayelle has brought a surprise for everyone today. You receive a FREE download of an Adult Coloring Book - Original art based on the characters in Kayelle Allen's books! Click Below:

You can purchase your copy of FORGED IN FIRE through the following links:

You will find Kayelle Allen at the Social Media sites listed below: