Wednesday, February 24, 2016

CONFERENCES & CONTESTS - NorthWest Arkansas Writers Workshop

The first annual conference of this fledgling group takes place Saturday March 19, 2016 in Fayetteville AR.

However, do NOT let the fact this is their first year deter you from attending what promises to be a fabulous conference.

If you check out their WEBSITE you will find a star-studded list of authors coming together for an educational and entertaining weekend.

Dusty Richards (founder)
Velda Brotherton (co-founder)
Mark Landon Smith
Lori Ericson
John T. Biggs

Dusty Richards is the author of over 100 Western novels, inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame, and is President of Western Writers of America. He has also served in various positions on the board of the Ozark Creative Writers conference (celebrating its golden anniversary this year) for many years.

Velda Brotherton has enjoyed a long career as both a romance, historical fiction and non-fiction author. She has published over 25 books since 1994 and shows no signs of slowing down.

The list of talented people involved with this organization is a testament to the quality you will find. I hope to be there on March 19th and look forward to seeing many of you there as well.

Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR - Stephanie Collins

When I first saw the tweets for Stephanie Collins' powerful book, 'With Angel's Wings', I was captivation by her strength and the love she has for her children. 

Laura’s world spins as pediatricians throw words at her like heart failure, seizures, and g-tube feeds...when all she wants is to hold her baby tightly and be the mom she’d always dreamed of being. Join Laura on her emotional journey as she strives to rise to the unexpected challenge of motherhood to two special needs daughters. Witness her dance along the edge of sanity through a whirlwind of mind-numbing diagnoses, from a rare chromosomal disorder to autism. Experience heart-wrenching medical drama, from IV cut-downs to code blues. And…just as Laura begins to lose all hope…share in the joy of true love discovered. With Angel's Wings - an honest and raw, 100% true story.

From her Amazon page:
With Angel's Wings is my story. I wrote therapeutically as I was introduced to/initiated into life as a special needs mother. 

If there is anything you want to know about the book, or have questions after you've finished reading and dried your eyes, Stephanie has a link available on the With Angel's Wings Webstie.

You can find the book on AMAZON and Barnes and Noble 

Here is a heartwarming video:

I encourage you to check out this amazing story.
Creative Blessings!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CONFERENCE AND CONTESTS - Ozarks Writer's League

This week I'm featuring the Ozarks Writers League workshop. This is their first one of 2016.  While I have yet to attend an OWL event, I've always heard good things about the content.

Branson is always a great place to spend a weekend. The OWL workshop takes place at The Honeysuckle Inn and Convention Center. 

On Friday night, Linda Apple will be speaking on Public Speaking. An open mic for members will also be a part of the evening.

Saturday breaks into a long day of valuable information. A catered, box lunch is included. $8 gets you choice from one of three options. These need to be ordered in advance. Please see the WEBSITE for placing your order.  Dinner is on your own on Friday night but from what I understand by the website, Breakfast is included as well as a 'what I've learned' session before closing. 

If you attend this workshop, I'd love it if you would leave a comment below.As with any critique, please balance your comments with plus'& minus' if necessary. 

While in Branson, take time to catch a show. There are some great ones. 
Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


This week I am featuring a dear friend, Lori Soard.  Lori and I go way back to my first days on the internet with AOL and writing workshops. I had been attending her weekly workshop for several months when she approached me about having my own workshop... and The Writer's Zone was born.

If I remember correctly, Lori's workshop met on Tuesday nights. Mine ran on Wednesdays. When AOL decided our services were no long needed, so to speak, all of us AOL leaders in the writing community went our separate ways. Lori and I teamed up again in Yahoo Groups with World_Romance_Readers and World_Romance_Writers. After several years, Lori passed those groups on to me so she could focus on family and other things at the time. I have since passed those groups onto other capable hands for the same reason.

When she first became published, I was one of her street team members. 

Through all of this, two things have been constant. 1) our connection  and 2) our individual writing endeavors. 

I was delighted to go to FB this morning (you know, that place I really try to avoid) to find Lori has released a new book. 

You can read the blurb HERE

Prime and Kindle Unlimited members can read this for FREE over the next 3 months. I clicked the BUY button before I realized that but regardless, I know that was money well-spent because Lori always provides a clean, heart-warming read and Cupid's Quest is sure to be a new favorite. 

As part of the release, Lori has been featured on Writing Between Sundays blog. Just click on the blog link to read the interview and leave a comment. 

If you would like to know more about Lori and her writing, please visit the following locations:

Monday, February 15, 2016

THE WEEK AHEAD - And a Found Item

While working hard over the weekend to the studio in order, I found my missing flash drive!  I am so thankful.

I've heard over the years that often times if we have to rewrite something, the new version is usually better than the first. I did not find that the case with this JANO story.

While I did not like the direction HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? was going in NaNo, there were a couple of scenes that I absolutely loved. No matter how hard I tried - and that might have been the culprit - those two scenes just did not turn out as well in the second pass. I am looking forward to diving back into the story and meshing those bits and pieces together.

We held the JANO Party on February 5th. There were sixteen of us in attendance for a wonderful meal, good conversation and fabulous prizes.

Here's a picture of the basket I contributed to the raffle table:


The finished basket also had a Merlot colored belly band around the box and the neck of the bottle. There is a romantic suspense book tucked in the back, the bottle of Merlot, two wine glasses filled with Hershey Kisses, the bar of dark chocolate and two party horns.

My title, HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? tied for First Place in the Best Title category. I was proud to share the award with my friend Tiereny James

Here's a shot of our fabulous group. Thanks to VJ Schultz's husband John as our SI official photographer and his patience.

I wound up finishing JANO2016 with 29,284. There is still a lot to be written. One of the things I'm delving into with this book is how things are handled when a soldier's remains are brought home. I found a book a couple of weeks ago by Meredtih Leyva.  Married to the Military - A Survival Guide for Military Wives, Girlfriends and Women in Uniform. 

Even if what I need immediately is not in there, she is the founder of CinCHouse - the internet's largest community for military wives and women in uniform (This has now fallen under - part of

I have also put feelers out on Twitter and FB looking for anyone who has knowledge of the protocol or of Ft. Campbell KY. If you have any information, I'd love to hear from you. 

I probably will not be writing much fiction in the next couple of weeks. I have two freelance projects due before March 1 and Bob comes home on Wednesday. We have some changes coming to our household, which requires multiple errands so I will be dividing my time between that and the day job.

However, I am getting things back on schedule with my blogs and will be adding posts on a more regular basis.

Happy Reading!