Tuesday, October 8, 2019


Hello everyone!

I'm pained to deliver news today that while the blog was back up and running, I have to step back for a few weeks.

1 - I'm headed off to the OzarkCreativeWriters conference. I so need this weekend more than ever.
2 - I received word this morning my oldest sister has passed. Her death was unexpected. Thankfully, I have Bob's help today as I try to organize and pack for the conference
3 - Bob is home until the 22nd. He leaves back out on his birthday.
I am reminded yet again just how precious time is with our loved ones and I'm going to spend every minute smothering him with love while he's home... you know, like I always do. He is my hero, afterall.

I hope you'll excuse me and allow me this time to grieve and regroup.


Monday, October 7, 2019


I know I've been referring to these 'National Day's a lot but they make for great blog posts as well as writing prompts. Once things settle down around here, I'll only use them a couple of days a week. But for now, I just want to keep the 'oxygen tank' filled in here while I regroup. Thank you for your patience.

Now.. about today!  If you check out the National Frappe Day page you'll see that this isn't just about coffee, but about cold, slushy drinks in general.

I'm sharing their Caramel Frappe for two recipe.

So the question (s) of the day?

Do you drink coffee and if so, what's your pleasure?
Are any of your characters 'don't talk to me before coffee' drinkers?

Please share!
Also, please share this and any of my posts on Twitter and tag me @AngelaDrake@

Happy Writing!

Friday, October 4, 2019


When it comes to most of my food preferences, I'm a traditionalist. Okay, so I'm a traditionalist pretty much all the way around. LOL There's a lot to be said for 'tradition'.

Especially when we are talking comfort food. I put tacos in that category. My youngest granddaughter, Abby, can eat tacos several times a week. Ask her where she wants to eat, Taco Bell is first on her suggestion list. When they are here we also try to do tacos at home once every couple of weeks.

Everyone has their own version of what a taco should contain. But again, traditionalist here.

I prefer meat, tomato, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and maybe some guacamole.
When we go to Applebees, I'm a huge fan of their min pork wanton tacos with cilantro and lime.

Then there's fish tacos, shrimp tacos, and taco salads like this one:

I like taco salads because they are easy for me to eat while watching my Broncos lose.. I mean play. 

So here's the question of the week:

Fish/ Shrimp tacos
Taco salad
Traditional meat taco

Let's hear from you
Then send your characters off to find a taco food truck!

Happy Writing

Thursday, October 3, 2019


I use a lot of pictures from Pixabay.com

Out of curiosity I did a search for 'boyfriend'. wow! Adult content aside, there are some really great pictures depicting girls and their boyfriends.

For today's post, let this picture inspire your warm-up writing exercise:

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019


I have fond memories of carving jack-o-lanterns. Digging my hands into the gooey 'brains' of the squash and pulling everything out.. in hopes of grossing out my younger sister. 

My daughter used to carve pumpkins and until they  moved to Washington state, carving pumpkins with our granddaughters became a tradition. Was neat to see how they'd grown from year to year. Adrian dug into her first pumpkin at 23 months sitting next to the pumpkin in the middle of the dining room table. 

Her little sister, Abby, not so much. She hates goo and getting her hands nasty. lol  I miss that tradition. While they've moved closer this year, Bob will be back on the boat when carving time rolls around and I won't be making a trip south to see them.

But.. back to pumpkins.

Is your story set in the fall? Have you thought about having a pumpkin carving scene. Perhaps the hero has never carved a pumpkin and it's up to the heroine's young daughter to give instruction. After she's tucked into bed, the hero and heroine can have a little grown-up time... talking and eating fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.

Here's a Roasted Pumpkin Seed (aka Repitos) recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond

Happy Munching!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019


I'm coming in way late with this post... .not to mention totally skipping yesterday. My sister and her husband left yesterday and I just spent majority of the day decompressing and setting up my editorial calendar for the month.

Today is National Hair Day so here's a little video for you.

Now... describe your heroine's hair... from the hero's point of view.

Happy Writing!

Monday, September 30, 2019



Love week is the entire week leading up to today. There's been a whole week to show LOVE!

When I was little, probably six or so, my Dad and I would go to the park in Boulder CO while we waited for time to pick up my sister from the girls' ranch where she was spending some 'learning' time. 

Keep in mind, this was in 1967. The generation of PEACE  & LOVE  My plan was to grow up to be a flower child. I wanted to be one of those girls in the park all smiles and serene making hair adornments from flowers and sharing with people who walked by. 

Spread love today. Doing one small thing for someone could change their whole day... or even perspective on human nature.

Hold a door
Pay for coffee/ soda/
Put together a 'treat' bag for that panhandler you try not to look at every day

What will you do to make a difference? 

Friday, September 27, 2019

PHOTO FRIDAY - Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

I remember having the discussions in school about HIV/ AIDS. That was a pretty scary topic. Sadly, while we embrace people, we still don't talk about the struggles they go through to love someone.. regardless of gender.

If  you know someone who is gay, please ask if they've been tested lately. Be a friend. Be the friend you would want them to be for you.

Then go find a really good M/M romance to read.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Today is National Pancake Day. Since it's also my birthday, I'll have a short stack of pancakes and maybe some bacon for my  breakfast before my sister and brother-in-law arrive for a 4-day fun packed weekend of crafting (well, at least for my sister. Steve is in charge of the remote and a recliner)

My daughter, Sue, also celebrates a birthday today.

When she was pre-teen, her bedroom was across the hall from the sun room where I had my office. She told me once she found the tapping of the keys on the IBM Selectra soothing to fall asleep to.

There are days I miss that electric typerwriter. I have a manual I still use for typing up words/ phrases for my junk journals but nothing beats that soft touch of the IBM Selectra.

What do you use when you write?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Today is national Research Administrator Day

If you spend hours researching your own projects or for someone else, take a coffee break! However, if someone does research for you, treat them today to a few minutes off. Though I have to say, I think most people in this job love research and they are very good at what they do. 

I love research, though I have to admit having Alice In Wonderland syndrome. One nugget leads to another and I just keep going.

The thing we have to remember is while we won't use all of those uncovered nuggets, their essence can still add to our story. 

Do you enjoy research? What's the most interesting fact you've uncovered?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Are you registered to vote? To day is Voter Registration Day. 

Until last week I'd never registered to vote. I didn't know anything about the process. There's still a lot I don't know but I'm willing to learn.  What I do know is that I can no longer take the position of my late father. He believed that it didn't matter. They were going to put into office who they wanted anyway.

I have decided I can not stand by and let the rest of the country decide what is best for me... for my family... for future generations.

Of course, I'm not standing on a soapbox here. I also have a great read for you.  This book came out a couple of years ago... in time for the Presidential election. If  you like humor, you'll love...

W. T. Fallon has an interesting sense of humor. Quirky? Snarky? Hmmm yeah.. that about covers it.
You'll find Fail to the Chief on Amazon and through her publisher, Oghma Creative

You can follow W.T. Fallon on the following social media avenues:

Monday, September 23, 2019


I fell off the earth in April. I came to a realization. As an indie author I don't have to stick to a plan. While that would be the perfect world I want to live in, reality has other plans.

First, I figured out last minute that there was no way Book 2 - An Ozark Soldier's Homecoming just was NOT going to happen. I wanted that book released either for Memorial Day or for July 4th. With the  upcoming summer-long visit from our grandgirls, that wasn't going to work.

My next thought was to make that Book 3 and start Book 2. But again, writing with the girls here wasn't going to happen. They weren't coming from three states for grandma to spend her time at the computer. I'm a strong believer in Family First and why my books are sporadic both in creation and release.

With that in mind, I put both books aside ...

... until now.

I am so ready to tell the Korean veteran's story.  I've connected with a family member of my inspiration soldier, Cpl. Donald Matney. Tom has provided me with documents and is great about answering questions regarding what he and his wife (Donald's aunt) have gone through in bringing their young service man home.

There are all types of romance. You don't have to agree with me... that's what makes our country so great. That said, I am a strong believer in 'we can't help who we love'.  I don't believe it's about being gay, lesbian, bi, what ever. Each of us has a heart that connects to someone on a deeper level than friendship. 

There are some great (and some not-so-great) romances written. Do you have a favorite author you think does this sub-genre of romance well? Maybe it's you? I'd love to hear from you. 

In the mean time, I have a M/F love story needing my attention.


Monday, April 8, 2019



You'd think I fell off the face of the earth! Honestly, I can tell you what happened.

I'd love to say I was buried in the book, but I wasn't. I fell down a completely different rabbit hole but one I think I really needed right now.

When I'm not writing, I am a paper artists. I love playing with paper. Whether I'm scrapbooking, making cards or in my most recent adventure... junk journals. I am in love with the creative process. I am also a Stampin' UP! demonstrator trying to at least make enough from my business to support my habit. ;-)

I took an Art Journal Plotting workshop through the FF&P RWA chapter. Wow! Was that ever fun... and opened up the floodgates to the story I want to tell. I've been piecing the story together through art journaling! Who knew plotting could be so creative?

Apparently, author Shea MacLeod does and she happily shared her process through the workshop. I'll be having Shea as a guest very soon. We're just needing to set a date.

In the mean time, I have the art journal open. I've been adding street maps and pictures of Eureka Springs, a town I know so very well (I've even written an award-winning travel article), yet when I start writing the story some of the important details get lost.

I'm taking part in Camp Nano. I'm a few days behind.. what's new? LOL But ast least I feel as if I can move forward.

I have some other guests in the planning stages and I want to start a new series.. The Writers Nook. Through this series we'll get to see where writers create and what inspires them to put butt in chair/ hands on keyboard (BIC HOK) to get their stories told.

Off to get stuff off the table and start writing!

Monday, February 25, 2019


I hate decisions. Who doesn't. Going through the process of making them can have serious repercussions. Then there's the whole final decision that can still leave you with questions.

As you know, I've been fighting with trying to get to know my characters. I can SEE them in my mind, but they just were not telling me anything about themselves... until about a week ago. Since then, I've been piecing their history together and I'll be sharing their backgrounds in future posts.

For instance, did you know that Italians are typically blonde and blue-eyed. NOT the dark hair'd folks portrayed in television?  The coloring comes from immigration of Central European descent. Why is that important?

I KNEW my heroine, Katie, had blonde hair and blue eyes. That she always wears her hair in a high pony tail (think Sandy from Grease). From that, I had to look at the immigration of ethnicity into the NW Arkansas area in the late 1800's- early 1900's. Mostly Central European.

See, even when writing contemporary fiction, we have to know WHERE our characters came from. Even if we don't tell the reader everything, knowing their background is important in knowing their strengths, weaknesses, basic characteristics as well as things from their heritage that might influence their inner conflicts.

Through research and a long chat with my friend (author) Tara Manderino, I got a handle on Katie. I found out why she has this sense of people walking out on her. I'll explain more of that to you tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a clip from Dharma and Greg. Dharma's dad is a good portrayal physically of Katie's dad.

Monday, February 18, 2019


As readers we think (or at least I've heard) that writing a book is easy. For those authors who are pumping out 4-6 books a year I just can't imagine. Do they not do anything but write? No other interests?

I have to be honest with you, dear readers. I am really struggling with Book 2. I have always had some experience, feeling, something to draw from and to add a dimension to my stories. With Book 2, I am starting with a clean slate. The closest I have to experience with this book is 1) my passion for all things Eureka Springs and 2) my desire to in some way, pay my respects to Corporal Donald Matney, the Korean War Veteran who inspired the secondary story line.

For those of you who are authors, you'll understand what I'm about to say next. The Hero, Marc, informed me last night that his last name can NOT be the same as the Veteran, because his mother (the daughter of the late Cpl. Sterling) married. Marc's name would be that of his parents... not his mother's maiden name.

So here I sit... twenty-two days from my self-imposed deadline to have the rough draft finished and I'm needing to fix this. I'm just glad Marc caught it and not one of you after the fact.

My strongest desires for Book 2 are to do justice to Cpl, Matney and his family and to put out the very best book I can.

I'm looking ahead now at two potential new release dates. Either around Memorial Day (buying me 2 extra weeks) or around the time that Cpl. Matney would have shipped out,being mid-June

To add to the timeline, we will have our granddaughters the last full week of March while they're on spring break then again from the end of May to mid-August for the summer. Their mom works from home and is pretty sure she won't be able to work with them home, so grandma gets to multi-task. Granted, my job does not have the stress level or the importance of hers. Besides, after missing out so much of their growing up in the past five years, I wouldn't miss this time with them for anything.

Summer will be a bit easier as Bob will be home for part of their visit, giving me a break to hide in the evenings and write. However, the way his schedule is in motion right now, he's probably going to be going back out about the time I drive down to pick them up

In the mean time, I'm still trying to line up guests. There doesn't seem to be a lot of releasing but tons of writing.

So tell me, are you are writer? a reader? both?

Monday, February 4, 2019


I have to tell you, after so much time off finding that groove hasn't been easy. But as I sit at the table this morning with the laptop and cup of coffee, various planners surrounding the perimeter, I feel as if I might accomplish something.

Korean War Monument

I dug into the research on a now titled Book 2 last week as I'd planned. One night I hit a speed bump so sent a text to my sister. She's a good writer and amazing when it comes to research. No matter how hard I tried (okay with the exception of the one avenue she used) I could not find out any information about the high school situation in Eureka Springs in the 1940s-50s. I needed to know if Daniel had gone to high school in Eureka Springs? Were they going all the way to Berryville?

Details are important in ANY writing. Even if you do not use everything from your research in the story (and you never do), you just know something is going to come up in conversation between a couple of your characters and you'll need that gem to bring realism to the scene.

This story is as much about Cpl. Daniel L. Sterling as it is about Katie and Marc. Things they learn about the past will help them repair and rebuild the love they once knew.

I'm still contacting authors about spotlights. Hope to have those rolling by the first Tuesday in March.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Hot Target Cowboy

HOT TARGET COWBOY is Book 2 in the Dark Horse Cowboys series by June Faver.  If there is one thing June knows, it's cowboys. She is from Texas, after all.

His loyalty is to his family.
But his heart belongs to her.
Eldest son Colt Garrett is the biggest, strongest and steadiest of the Garrett brothers. Colt accepts his responsibilities, knowing his future is tied to the land. Colt has stayed centered-but when he falls in love, he falls hard. He is mesmerized by Misty Dalton, the younger sister of one of his brother's friends.
Misty Dalton has held together a family plagued with problems since her mother passed away. But when the threats to her family turn deadly, Misty turns to Colt. If anybody wants to hurt Misty, they're going to have to go through the toughest of the Garrett boys first.

June Faver is one of my 'favorite' authors. Not only has she been a good friend and mentor for over thirteen years, but the woman can write! Proven through her multi-book contract with Sourcebooks in the Casablanca line as well as through the many workshops she has held at SavvyAuthors.  She is always up on trends in the industry and shares her finds with others so we are right up there with her.

But you're here about the book, HOT TARGET COWBOY.

I have to be honest, when she first told me the title, I was skeptical. I'm still not sure the title fits but once you get beyond that and into the story, you are once again carried away to Texas and the Garret compound. A ranch grown from grief and from love, forming a tight bond between the brothers as well as Big Jim, the father they love and respect. The Garrets are all about family... their own and others who might need a little help.

With that in mind, I was not surprised to see Colt, the oldest of the three Garrets, jump in to rescue Misty Dalton. He began by connecting with her younger brother, Mark. As soon as he made friends with the boy, I knew here was a hero I would want in my corner. He knew from the get-go Misty and Mark were part of a package... one he wanted to cherish. 

Through the twists and turns of the usual murders and suspense found in June's books, I found myself in love with Colt, just like I fell for Tyler in book one. 

Returning characters from Book 1 (Do Or Die Cowboy) include Leah. Leah married Tyler in Book 1 and is still showing her spitfire gumption when she stands up for Misty against Big Jim. You'll find not many stand up to that man without a bit of backfire. 

While you don't have to read the books in order, I recommend picking them both up. While you're at it, follow June Faver on the social media sights listed below so you will know when Book 3 - Full Throttle Cowboy - releases. 

I'm giving this book 5 quills not because June is a dear friend but because I LOVED the book... and I think you will too. 

Please visit/ follow June Faver on the links below

WEBSITE         FB          TWITTER          PINTEREST          GOODREADS          AMAZON

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


I will be bringing the author spotlight back, probably in a couple of weeks. The return will be based on when I can get Q & A back from authors. I didn't want to interrupt anyone's holiday season with office stuff. I'm contacting a couple of people today and will get the ball rolling.

In the mean time, I hope you'll come back tomorrow to check out my review of HOT TARGET COWBOY by June Faver. This is the second in her Garret family series.

Monday, January 28, 2019


I love the holidays. I really need that time to just chill. Let my brain filter through the clutter and be prepared to start a new year fresh.

I've been working in the background on several things. Sadly, very little on Book 2 of the Planned to Perfection series. While I know I have a self-imposed deadline for writing/ edits/ betas/ polish/ publishing I just can't seem to drag myself to the computer when Bob is home. He is my real life HERO and he ALWAYS comes first in my life. Not by his choice, but by mine.

Beginning today, I'm pulling out the yet untitled Book 2, set a new word count plan into action and get back to the book. I still need to research meetings with a couple of people.

I don't think I've told any of you yet, but Book 2 is centered around a young couple brought back together (there's that 2nd chance thing) through the events surrounding bringing home the remains of a Korean War Vet. I got the idea two years ago as I stood by the side of the road in solemn respect of a procession carrying Crpl. Donald Matney home to Seymour MO. Something about this young man spoke to me. While I've never believed in visiting someone at a cemetery, I find myself stopping by his resting place almost every time I travel through on my way to Springfield.

They say 'write what you know'. Many of my stories are influenced by my own personal experiences. I'm struggling with Book 2 because I really don't have anything to pull from. The other challenge I have is making sure I get all of the military information correct. I do not want to dishonor our service men and women by misrepresenting something. 

Now that Bob is back on the boat, I can dig deep into the research without being pulled away to fix dinner or go somewhere. Bob is planning to stay on the boat as long as they will let him so I know I have at least three solid weeks (okay probably only two since he will have been gone a week tomorrow). As much as I love having him home, I'm hoping he'll be gone 4-5 weeks this time out. I'll get caught up, maybe even a little ahead of the game and on a schedule again so I can be productive in short bursts when he is home.

 I'm off to research. 
Creative Blessings!