Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Do you remember your prom?

I do. I never got to attend. My dad was about READING WRITING 'RITHMATIC... nothing else mattered.

My best friend (and still is today) got to go and I was blessed with my class key from our Jr./ Sr. prom. Everyone should have a friend like Karen.

Writing Challenge for today -

1 - have a character reminisce about their prom. Maybe your Hero/ Heroine knew each other 'way back when'. This could create some great tension between your characters

2 - Chic Lit time... have your character and her high school bestie come togther - maybe to help one or the other overcome something they never reconciled with 'back then'.  

Remember, when you share these stories I'd love to hear them! Either leave me a link in the comments below or on my FB page. 

Happy Writing!

Monday, March 30, 2020


I remember writing my stories by hand. I still do. I haven't used a pencil in a very long time for writing my stories but a pen is always handy.

In honor of NATIONAL PENCIL DAY, I challenge you to do one of two things... or both!

1 -  Write an entire scene with PENCIL and paper. How does it affect your process?

2 - Have a pencil be part of one of your character's tools. Does the heroine always have a pencil stuck in her 'messy hair - don't care' persona? Maybe your hero is a construction worker or carpenter. They usually always have a 'carpenter's pencil' somewhere at hand. 

UNPLUG and pull out your pencil...

Happy Writing!

Friday, March 27, 2020


Welcome to a brand new series. The Writer's Nest term was inspired by Jodi Thomas when I heard her speak last fall at the Ozark Creative Writers. I've been wanting to showcase writer's in their natural habitat, if you will, but hadn't come up with a name.

Thank you, Jodi!

Let's check out Jodi's Writer's Nest:

My personal note before we begin. This is proof you don't need a fancy set-up to be a successful author. Don't have a folding table, head to a big box store just as soon as this quarantine is lifted. I do recommend the comfy chair.

Jodi, thank you for joining me today and for kicking off the series. Please tell us about your Writing Nest

 Over the years I’ve developed a pattern of writing that works very well. I started out at the kitchen table, moved to a room so small I could stand in the middle and almost touch all four walls. After a dozen books I moved to a house where I had a study with three walls of windows and room for my grandmother’s trunk that she brought west in a covered wagon.

I also have a tiny office out back. That’s where I plot. The walls are covered with white boards. In the summer I often write out there.

Then, I have a hidden office in a little condo where my team works a few mornings a week. We plan trips, do blogs, proofread, handle the internet.  I love this time because we work as a team.

What is it about this space that inspires you?

My backyard office had pictures on the wall and lots of boards.  My storied flow in my little space.

Upstairs in my study I feel like I’m in the trees.  I write late into the night there.

I think my real talent is being able to step into fiction no matter where I am.

Has finding your space been an evolving journey? How so?

Yes.  It has to be a quiet place.  I have to be alone.  Then the characters float into my mind and begin to tell their story.

Anything you would change?

Not a thing.  I love what I do.  I don’t write for a living. I am a writer.  It’s on my mind all the time.

What advice would you give to someone looking to build their own nest?

Whether on the kitchen table or in a second floor with views of trees, the place I go to write is in my head.

Here's a flash video tour:

Another video from Jodi Thomas:

Next up, here's a sneak peek at her upcoming release, BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE.

A small town scandal is ripe for gossip in this quintessential Texan romance

Piper Kate McKenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart, or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she calls for reinforcements to find the source of corruption in the sheriff’s office—two men recommended by her Texas Ranger brothers . . .

Piper... suddenly finds herself drawn to two very different men. And if she can keep her town—and her heart—from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store .

You can catch up with Jodi Thomas by following any of the links below:

BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE releases May 26, 2020 but you can Pre-order now. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020


I've known two people with epilepsy. One was a young girl in my high school. Against recommenations she had 2 beautiful children. She left this world too soon as the result of a seizure. There was no one at home to help her. This was before we knew about sensitivity dogs who could be trained to warn of on-coming seizures. Had she known early enough, she could have called someone. 

Fast-forward thirty-four years and I now have a young 'great nephew' who struggles nearly every day. Some days are better than others. The coolest thing is that he has the most amazing support system. We pray every day he will get to stay where he is in his current 'family' situration.

For information on Epilepsy, check out purpleday.org

So today's question is this....

Do you incorporate disabilities into your stories? If so, are there any that call to you? Do you include them to bring awareness? 

Share your thoughts here or on FB and tag me.

Rememner, author Jodi Thomas joins us tomorrow to kick off the new Writer's Nest series! I hope you'll stop by. 

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CONFERENCE UPDATE - Between the Pages

While this is the first major conference put on by this team, they have done a superb job of smaller, 1-day events in the past. The experience showed they needed more than one day and a larger facility. 

Check out the line-up of speakers, as well as the other offerings at the conference and you will want to attend. Book your hotel and pay your registration.

Oh, but wait.. I hear a question:
What about the Covid-19? 

Rest assured, if the conference has to be canceled due to this crazy junk, you will receive a refund of the conference, table space and any other fees associated WITH THE CONFERENCE. You will have to check with the hotel about your reservation cancellation details. I suggest you do that and ask for an email confirmation WHEN you make the reservation.

Make this a family weekend. By June we should all be ready for seeing something besides the inside of our own homes.

Springfield has many attractions including the AMAZING Wonders of Wildlife Museumm & Aquarium at Bass Pro.  Check out 417magazine for 31 things to do while you're in town. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


I had the opportunity to meet Kit several years ago. We met up in Dallas at the now-defunct Romantic Times Convention. First off, I'm so glad I got to at least one before RT disbanded. 

Kit Morgan writes amazing romantic westerns that puts you in the stage or on the horse. The ride doesn't end until you're breathless and wanting more. Like the heroine in all of us, you'll fall for the hero every single time.

The first three books of this are now in print and available on AMAZON

Follow her on FB under Kit Morgan

If you like a little variety in your reading, Kit Morgan also writesSci-Fi Fantasy Romance under Geralyn Beauchamp   I think you'll enjoy her Time Masters series:

All are available on AMAZON Including Book 4 - First Assignment

You'll find her on FB under Geralyn Beauchamp

Monday, March 23, 2020


Seriously, who can resist a cute puppy face and those sweet puppy kisses? I know I can't. This sweet boy is a perfect example:

Taken through the screen door, this is the day he showed up on our door step with that 'Can I come in?' look too cute to resist.

HoneyB was approximately six months old when he bounded onto my porch showing his cuteness. He is part Beagle ( a breed I swore I'd never own), part Spaniel and part Basset.

We discovered the Basset after  about the 1 year old mark when he began putting weight on. The Beagle in him is definitely the predominent gene. He scared himself the first time he found his howl. LOL Come August, he will be with us almost six years.

While this is Puppy Day, I thought this a good time to show the Hero's dog in AN OZARK SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING

I can't tell you when this sweet shepherd will make his appearance in the story but I promise you're going to love him!

Have pictures to share of your precious pooch? Share them on Instagram and tag me AngelaDrakeA .

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Nationa UnPlug Day!

Today is National Unplug Day! 

Unplug and do something that doesn't require being glued to your electronics.
My sister and I will be crafting all day - making Junk Journals. 

Today is also K9 Veteran's Day. Honor our 4-legged Heroes!

Please Visit Officer Down to view K9s Memorial page

Thursday, March 12, 2020


Today is National Girl Scout Day. Girl Scouts were founded in the US by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912, focusing on inclusiveness, the outdoors, self-reliance and service.  While the platform has changed with the times, those cores are still a part of Girl Scouting today

I was a Brownie and a Junior Girl Scout growing up. I later became a Troop leader(18 years), helped facilitate a non-violence program through GSUSA and spent a week at the Edith Macy Center in New York. I also trained other leaders how to share the program with their troops.

I loved Girl Scouting on many levels. However, I believe to this day I was passed over for an office position because I write romance. How sad is that? Girl Scouts helped me find my voice and I will continue to use my voice to advocate for writers everywhere.

See National Day calendar page for their info:  https://nationaltoday.com/national-girl-scout-day/

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Until I began researching how to portray the subject of bringing home Lt. Daniel Sterlings remains home from the Korean War in A OZARKS SOLDIER'S HOMECOMING I didn't know anything about Mortuary Affairs.

I knew our service men and women came home but I didn't know anything about the process - what steps were taken to honor our fallen heroes and brin ghtme home with the dignity they deserve.

Today, we reconize Funeral Directors and Morticians around the globe. I've dated a couple of morticians, one from Mortuary Affairs (though I did not know that at the time. I think he still serves in that capacity - feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Darrold)

Death is something we all have to deal with at some/ multiple points in our our life. Take time today to thank your local mortician today. They do so much to preserve the precious memories we have of our loved ones.

Thank you, David Lenz, Joe Gross and Darrold Davies

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

NATIONAL DAY - Women & Girls HIV/Aids Awareness Day

Did you know that 25% of people with HIV is women?

My question for today is:

Do you deal with social situations, such as HIV, with your characters? 
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Monday, March 9, 2020


Today is National Barbie Day. 
How many of you ladies reading this played with Barbie dolls? How many of you wanted to be Barbie - or at the very least look like her? Be pretty? Be popular? Have cool friends?

I know I did. I am happy to see Mattel stepping up their game over the past few years and bringing Barbie into the 21st cenutry. 

So tell me, share your favorite Barbie memory.

My current project is slow going. I've been really focused on trying to find the studio. Then last night I managed to flood the basement. Adding that to my schedule today, writing time tonight may be only a thought in passing. 

I'm still finding out things about my heroine. During a writing session over the weekend she experienced a devastating blow. .. the dark moment in the story. I just need the part leading up to that so I can bring you along for the battle. 

I'm currently reading The Little Teashop On Main by  Jodi Thomas. Great read!
Jodi will be kicking off our Writer's Nest series on March 27th. I hope you'll come back and say hello for that!

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 6, 2020


I LOVE Oreos. I'm more of a double-stuff traditionalist myself but there literally is an oreo for everyone. Special flavors and colors during the holidays, thins, single packs ( you know, because some of us need a little help in the serving control department)

I truly don't believe any single snack over the years has been able to compete with an oreo (or 6) and a cold glass of milk. This cookie has stood the test of time and deserves it's special day.

About fourteen years ago I took part in an Oreo stacking contest at our local county fair. I won in my division - twice. I'm just competitive that way :-D

Tell me, what's your favorite Oreo.. and your favorite way to eat them? do you break them apart and lick out the creamy center? Eat them as they are? 

Have you tried Oreo blizzards from Dairy Queen, Oreo milkshakes, or cheese cake?

Share your love for this cookie with the rest of us and on social media.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


As writers, I think we sometimes feel as if we have multiple personalities. We hear the voices telling us what we should be writing. We spend time talking out loud to the other person, working out dialogue.

I also believe that sometimes we can get so involved in our stories we tend to take on some of the traits of our characters. Like actors, we immerse ourselves so much into the character in able to really bring them to life.. to make them more real rather than the cardboard figure on the page.

I'm not saying we have a multiple personality disorder but who hasn't had multiple people talking in their head?

I'll never forget a story someone close to me told me once. She'd gone to a mental health professional. He asked if she heard voices. She replied (paraphrasing here) that she was a writer, of course she heard voices. We do.. that's just part of our creative process.

According to the Urban Health website, this day is also set aside for us to get better connected with ourself... go deep into ourself and learn about who we really are, what we truly want or need.

Take some time today to find a quiet place and think about your path. Are there things you've not thought about in a long time? Is there something you wish you'd done.. or not done? Reconcile your inner bank statement... then move ahead. Tomorrow is Oreo Cookie Day!

Now, I need to listen to my characters.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Currently Reading

I'm currently reading, The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas. The book is Book 2 of the Laurel Springs series. I guess I should have read Book 1 first. I have the book. I have all of her books.

I've read Jodi's books for years but I really got pulled in to her Harmony series. Now, saying I have all of her books (and they've all be lovingly autographed) doesn't mean I've read them all... but I'm working on that.

Her contemporaries are fun to read with great characters. They stories give you that 'arrived in Mayberry' feel. You get to know the people as if they were your neighbors.

Fix your favorite beverage and settle in to get lost in The Little Teashop on Main. You'll find the book at Barnes & Noble both on line and in store as well as Amazon.

I'll be posting a full review the week Jodi stops in for a visit.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

CURRENT PROJECT - Returning Characters

The thing about writing a series is you often have characters that at least make an appearance in subsequent books.

Stephanie Douglas Keane was the heroine in An Ozarks Christmas. She and her business, Planned to Perfection, play key rolls in each of the three remaining books in the series. While we won't see much of her dashing musical husband (Brendan) her oldest daughter, Kimberly, is a solid character. 

In An Ozark Soldier's Homecoming, Kim is fourteen. That makes her old enough to work as a bus person at Myrtie May's. She also has an interest in baking, helping Katie in the kitchen on occasion. Could we see her in Katie's bakery in a future book as a full employee? Maybe. We'll see how she does.

I've also been researching death benefits to see what Miss Edna would have received when the Army declared him deceased. The amount wasn't much. From what I've read, she would have received a one-time death benefit of around $700 and roughly $18.80 per month from social security. Using the Inflation Calculator, that comes out to about $192.68 today.  Not a lot for someone to live on, let alone raise a child. You'll learn more about Miss Edna and how she managed her finances over the years...

... just as soon as I finish the book ;-)

Do you know what your parents would have made in 1950? How does that compare to today and could you raise your family on that amount?  I'd love to hear.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 2, 2020


In honor of  National Read Across America Day I thought I'd share some of my favorite authors in a variet of genre's.  They are listed in no particular order but look forward to having some of these authors on the blog in the coming months.

        June Faver 
June is one of my besties. She's indie published as well s currently published through Sourcebooks
You can see her books at JuneFaver.com  She will be guesting with us in August and showing off her new Cowboy Christmas book for 2020.

Speaking of cowboys:

is one of my favorite authors to read when Ia good contemporary cowboy read. Her most recent book came out in February:

Jodi Thomas always inspires me.
I have every one of her books
She will be kicking off our Writer's Nest series
(since the phrase came from her!)

her most recent e-Book
The Valentine's Curse 
is .99 
through TODAY (March 2nd) Only!

Okay, let's step away from cowbooys and take a space shuttle with a couple other besties:

Linnie (as I've called her for over 25 years) writes Sci-Fi Fantasy. 

She has the first two books in a trilogy out -
Bound By Honor, Bound By Earth
as well as a novella - The Acqeli
You'll fine them all on Amazon

The other is :

She has released two SciFi book so far:
A Trial By Error and Man On the Fringe
Her youngest son, Matt Eschbach is also published in SciFi

For Young Adult Fantasy I recommend:

Prix has created the most amazing animal world for YA readers to get lost in.
You'll want
Season of the Crows & Season of Madness

Miss Barbara was the first person to critique (and do deep edits on) An Ozarks Christmas when the working title was still Ozark Angel - over 25 years ago!
She is an excellent editor, critique partner and friend.
From what I can find, her most recent book released 2017.
She is the corner stone of the Mid-south Writers Group of Cassville MO.
Rose Sartin, Susan Eschbach, Matt Eschbach and Prix Gautney are also a part of that group.

There are so many more I could list but I want you to have time to actually read the books by my favorite authors as well as yours.

Speaking of...

Who are your favorite authors to read? I'd love to know. 

Also, who's writing nest would you love to see featured here? Ever wanted to see where your favorite author works at their craft? Please drop your suggestions in the comments.

Happy Reading!