Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Mill River Recluse: A Review

The Mill River RecluseThe Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I originally bought this book to read because the author used to live near my area. I know where the house on the cover of the book is located. When I started reading the book, the first chapter interested me in that it gave a little information about all of the main characters. Chapter two was a flashback, chapter three back to present day and so on. I really didn't think I was going to like the flashbacks so often, but as I kept reading, I found that I really liked it.

Ms. Chan's development of the characters drew me in and personalized it for me even more. By the end of the book, I cried tears of joy for the townspeople.

Fantastic book that started slow, but hooked me right in. I highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 26, 2011

Guest Blogging Today

I'm guest blogging today about writing conferences and specifically about the Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival on Marian Allen's blog. Please take a moment to stop by.

The photo on the left is from the 2010 Magna cum Murder. From left -right, me, T. Lee Harris, and Marian Allen.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cravings Club

If you enjoy reading romance, consider joining the Cravings Club with Secret Cravings Publishing for some great reads. To learn more, check out the Cravings Club page on the Secret Cravings web site.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anniversary Blog Hop - Prizes

Welcome to my day on the Secret Cravings Publishing One Year Anniversary Blog Hop. What does that mean, you ask? Well, Secret Cravings Publishing (SCP) is my publisher for "Saved by the Sheriff" and they are celebrating their one year anniversary with each of their authors posting on their own blogs each day from December 16, 2011 through January 19, 2012. The best thing is that SCP is giving away some really great prizes: First Prize is a Kindle Fire, Second Prize is a $50 gift certificate, and third Prize is a SCP gift Certificate.

What's even better is that each author is also holding their own contest to give away a prize, too. To enter for the SCP prizes, you must post a comment on each blog in the blog hop on their designated day. There's no purchase required, but you do need to leave your email address in the comment. To read the rules and find links to all the blogs, please visit the Secret Cravings Blog.

To be entered in my giveaway, please leave a comment before midnight eastern standard time and the randomly drawn winner will receive a PDF copy of my e-book, "Saved by the Sheriff."

New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

Saved by the Sheriff can be purchased at

Thanks and good luck in the giveaway,


Monday, December 19, 2011

Release Day

Today is Release Day for my romantic suspense, Saved by the Sheriff. Originally scheduled for a January release, my publisher moved up the date. It's been a hectic time getting ready for today. I've been doing a lot of promoting of the book all weekend and you'll see many interviews popping up with me online.

Saved by the Sheriff is currently released as an e-book with the print version coming out in a couple months. You can purchase Saved by the Sheriff at Secret Cravings Publishing.

Saved by the Sheriff is about
New York City writer, Jaime Wilson who wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My book release, win a Kindle Fire, and lots of other prizes

First, my personal good news. The release date for my romantic suspense, Saved by the Sheriff has been moved up. How much? If all goes according to schedule, the e-book will be released on Monday with the print version to follow later. Check back here on Monday for more details on the release.

Next, my publisher, Secret Cravings Publishing is celebrating their one year anniversary with an Anniversary Blog Hop. Starting today, visit the Secret Cravings blog and see what you need to do to enter to win a Kindle Fire. There will also be gift certificates and discounts on books from the Secret Cravings web site. The Blog Hop will last through January 19 and each day a different author will have their own giveaway on their blog. I will be holding a giveaway on December 22, so check back here on that day.

Don't forget to check back here on Monday for information on the Saved by the Sheriff release.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last year's goals

I decided to take a look at the goals that I made last December and found that I completed some and didn't even get close to others. Here they are and how I did:

1. Lose weight (again) I succeeded with this goal and lost ten pounds, but I've gained five back.

2. Complete at least one new book and maybe two Big fail here, I finished the book I was working on and signed a contract for it. It will be out next month in both print and e-book. I started a new book, but am only on chapter 5.

3. Find a new day job (this one is leaving me no extra time) I'm happy to report that I did find a new day job. It's actually the job I was transferred from. They wanted me back.

4. Clean off our bookshelves and donate our old books to the local book swap We made several trips to the book swap, both taking and bringing home new books for us. But, our shelves are still overloaded.

5. Fill up said bookshelf with new books See answer for #4.

6. Go somewhere on vacation instead of just staying home for a week We did go somewhere camping on our vacation, and even in the rain, we had a great time.

7. Attend one or two writers' conferences I made it to one convention and that's where I met my new publisher.

8. Try my hand at writing a couple short stories Another success, I wrote a couple short stories for my monthly writing exercises with my local writers group and also wrote one that I submitted to an anthology. It's still under consideration, but I'm not holding my breath.

I haven't some up with any goals for 2012 yet. After writing non-stop during nanowrimo in November and then edits on my novel earlier this month, I'm considering myself on vacation from writing for a few weeks. Check back later for an update.

I hope all of you have a great holiday season. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Facebook and Twitter

I have a new author Facebook page, On there you will be able to receive updates on my writing and book releases. I'd love to have you and a fan. All you need is a Facebook account and to click 'like' on my page.

I am also on Twitter and post on there often,



Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back to the Writing Business

Thanksgiving is over and it's time to get back to business, the writing business. The thrill of receiving the official cover for my next book has faded, well just a little. I'm still pretty stoked about it. But, it's time to move on.

The night before Thanksgiving, I opened my email to find my editor had sent me the edits to do on my book. What! The night before Thanksgiving, you've got to be kidding. I know that my editor didn't expect me to sit down right then and start.

So, now that the holiday is over, I'm ready to start my edits. I purposely didn't open the file because I didn't want to see how bad they were going to be. Of course, it could have been good, too. Maybe I won't have many edits to do and maybe the editor and I will have agreed on many of the things I put in the book. I don't know, because I haven't opened the file yet, but I will today.

Preparation includes getting chocolate and soda or tea next to the computer. Thank goodness we're having leftover for dinner tonight, so there's no planning involved in that. And, if I know my local TV station, they won't broadcast the Colts games since they're losing, so I can edit right through the game.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My next release

Saved by the Sheriff is still tentative scheduled for a January 2012 release in both e-book and print. Below is the cover and a blurb about the book. I'm very please with how it came out and am looking forward to the release. Let me know what you think of the cover. Thanks.

New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. Finally, when she finishes her story, she has to make her choice whether to stay with Ben or go back to New York.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Must-See Movies

As I was driving home from work yesterday, the DJ on the radio station I was listening to wanted listeners to call in with suggestions for pop-culture movies that his kids should see before age 20. He was talking about movies that people might make reference to by reciting a line from the movie and everyone knows what he's talking about.

I think he ended up with a list of about 30 movies in the short segment. I checked to see if he might have put them online, but he didn't. Some of the movies I agreed with, some I didn't. Now his kids are ages 6 and 9, I believe, so he said they would have to wait until older to see some movies, such as The Godfather.

A few of the movies I remember his callers suggesting were Grease, the first Indiana Jones movie, Star Wars (he didn't say which one), Steel Magnolias, Goonies, Gremlins, and Forrest Gump. The one movie I thought of that no one called in with was Gone With The Wind. Who doesn't know the line, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." I also think Hoosiers is a great movie to watch, especially for basketball fans.

So my question is what movies do you think are must-see movies that kids to see before the age of 20? Leave your answers in the comments section. Thanks.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November - National Novel Writing Month

I've gone and done it again. Yes, I am participating again in National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. The concept is to write a 50,000 word draft of a novel in 30 days. Most participates stress themselves crazy during the month. Others just breeze through those 50,000 words. I'm sort of in between. I know from the start that I probably won't make it to the 50,000 words before the end of November. I've taken part in NaNoWriMo since 2002 and I have never made it to the 50,000 words. However, I have some made some great starts to books by doing this.

So, how am I doing this year? Today is November 16 and it's the first day this month that I have not written anything on my novel. But, the night is still young and I might get a few words in before going to bed, just so I won't have a wordless day. I'm at 11,709 words. Where I should be, if I had remained on schedule, is at 26,672 words.

Why am I so far behind? Well, I have a full time day job and, other than writing for about 45 minutes over my lunch hour, I don't sit down to write at night until about 7:00 pm. Today, I had to work over my lunch hour and got home from work late since I had to work in a field office today. I was exhausted by the time I got home. So, tonight's writing may only consist of this blog post.

Good luck to my NaNo buddies. I'll be watching those word counts on your pages.


Friday, November 4, 2011

"Love, Lies & Deceit" on sale

Are you interested in buying my first e-book, Love, Lies & Deceit? My publisher is having a limited time 10% off sale, use code RedRose10 at the checkout for your discount at Red Rose Publishing.

I'm busy this month working on my National Novel Writing Month project and may be a little scarce on here until December.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The life of a author is not all $$$$$

This weekend finds me a little sad. I had hoped to attend the Magna cum Murder Crime Writing Festival in Muncie, Indiana. I attended for the first time last year and had hoped to be able to go again this year.

There's a myth out there among some non-writers that think if you publish a book, you'll get rich. That's not necessarily so. My first book was released in December 2009 and since that time, I've received one royalty check, one royalty check in almost two years. I'm going to attribute that to a couple of things, I was a brand new published writer, so no one knew me and the ebook explosion had not happened yet. My second book is due out in January and I'm hoping that will help increase sales in my first book. It usually does. Saved by the Sheriff will not only be in ebook format, but should also be out in print as well. However, I still won't be able to quit the day job.

On thing I didn't know much about when my first book came out was how to market the book. Unless you are with one of the big New York publishers, you will be doing ALL of your own marketing for your book. At the time my book came out, I was ignorant as to how to do that. Since then, I have been all over the place with marketing. I have Amazon author pages in both North America and Great Britain. I've been interviewed on at least twelve blogs, with more still on the schedule and I have passed out bookmarks and post cards all over the place.

But, attending conventions can be a real boost for a writer. I attended Fright Night/Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky this past summer and met my new publisher there. The Magna cum Murder conference has both writers and readers, so attending it could have helped with sales, not to mention networking with other authors. Why didn't I go? Well, the registration alone for the conference was $250.00. While that sounds like a lot, it included lunch and dinner each day, attendance of the panels, and the banquet. The price really isn't that bad, but when you put that with a hotel bill for two nights, and gasoline for me to drive to and from Muncie, it would have ended up being close to $500. That's a lot for a struggling writer in this economy.

The best I can hope for is a lot of book sales in the coming year to help finance a trip to the conference next year.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Arrested and Handcuffed

No, no, not me. But, if the law enforcement authorities ever look in my laptop, they would probably be doing a lot of questioning. As a writer of mystery and suspense, I do a lot of research on the crimes in my books.

I'm getting ready to start book #4 in the mystery series that I hope to get published someday and so far, there's been a murder, a serial killer, several thefts, and this one will be about arson. You should see all of the web sites I have bookmarked from doing research. Scarey stuff.

As I've mentioned before, National Novel Writing Month starts on November 1. One of my writer friends asked on Facebook the other day what our books would be about. I had a book somewhat plotted and posted a blurb about it, but warned that I would probably end up changing it and well, I did. I came up with a new plot last night and will get that new blurb written soon.

My plans for this weekend are to edit the manuscript that I just signed a contract for. The publisher has asked all the authors to re-edit their books one more time before they assign and editor so to help speed the editing process along and not delay our releases. So, this will be an editing weekend. Until then, let's hope I don't get raided by the FBI or some other agency.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not a Bucket List

Yesterday, I posted about our camping trip to Brown County, Indiana and said that my husband and I had a reason other than vacation for our trip. I wouldn't exactly call it a bucket list, but we have decided to try to do at least one thing each year that we have never done. The first thing we chose to do was pan for gold.

I know what you're thinking, gold in Indiana? Why yes, there is gold in them there hills, but not the kind of gold found in California in the Gold Rush Days. Millions of years ago, glaciers from Canada slowly moved south as far as Indiana and those glaciers moved a lot of the earth, including gold, along with them. This is why it's so flat in northern Indiana. The glaciers stopped at what is now Brown County and why there is gold in some of the streams there and a few other places in Indiana.

We made our decision to pan for gold at a bad time of the year. It's the end of the season for a few reasons, one it's getting cold and it's no fun getting wet in the creeks in the cold. I can attest to that from having wet feet due to the rain on our trip. Another is lack of rain. Yeah, I know it poured on us, but that was the first rain we've had in two weeks. Spring rains wash the sediment around in the creek beds and brings more of it from the hills, hence bringing more gold down, too.

In Indiana, to pan for gold requires a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. These permits are free, good for one year, and are renewable.

Just so you know, you probably aren't going to get rich by panning for gold in Indiana. It's more of a hobby, although there are organizations that meet in Indiana. Other than gold, if you're lucky, you might be able to find some gems brought down by the glaciers. My husband knows of a gentleman that found enough garnets to make a ring.

As for our trip, we didn't find any gold, but it was such wet weather that we really didn't pan very much. The only thing we did come up with was a small geode. However, we're already planning a trip back next spring. I might just have to figure out how to work this into one of my books.

Now, we need to come up with our next new thing to try.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wet Week of Camping

Slosh-slosh-slosh-slosh. That is the sounds of my and my husband's shoes on Thursday. We went camping and after two-weeks of no rain and the best weather, it rained during our camping trip. Not just rain, but a few times, a downpour. We, of course, knew it was going to rain, so we had prepared for it. Unfortunately, we did not realized that both of our shoes leaked and spent all day and most of the evening on Thursday with wet feet, socks, and shoes. Luckily, we did take extra shoes and socks, but didn't want to change into them until Friday morning, so not to get them soaked, too.

Even with the wet weather, we had a great time. We went to Nashville, Indiana, camping at Brown County State Park. For those that aren't familiar, Brown County is one of the prime places to go to view the fall leaf color. The photo to the left does not do the view justice at all. The leaves were gorgeous to look at, once the weather cleared. My favorite store to visit while in Nashville is the For Bare Feet store. It's a store full of socks. I love novelty socks and on this trip I bought some Indianapolis Colts socks. Believe me, those socks felt great to put on when I went to sleep that night after having wet feet all day.

The only bad thing that happened on the trip was my clumsiness. First, after we set the tent up, I tripped stepping out of the door and fell on my knees. But, the worst came about an hour later when I was helping my husband put a tarp up over the picnic table. I tripped backwards over our pile of firewood. That tumble left me mad, embarrassed, and with a huge red, purple, and red bruise that covers the whole left side of my left leg below my knee. I also have two smaller bruises on my right leg, above and below my knee. The photo above is AS (after storm). Look at that great sunshine we for the drive home on Friday.

Out trip was not without seeing wildlife. We saw deer, squirrels, and this little guy that my husband wanted to shoot. Of course, in an Indiana State Park that isn't allowed, so he had to be satisfied with just shooting a picture of the turkey.

Our trip was not totally just a vacation. We had a purpose for the trip, other than just getting away from the office. Check back later this weekend to see what the real purpose of our trip was.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - 10/9/11

Six Sentence Sunday is something that many authors do by posting six sentences from one of their books. My sentences below are from a police procedural mystery that I am working on. Last night, I finished writing Chapter six. I was hoping to have it ready for release this fall, now I'm pushing it back to later this winter.

The scene below is a part of a phone conversation between the main character and his old girlfriend.

Six Sentence Sunday:

"Actually, I'm working on a case where someone is stealing antique signs from businesses in town," he said.

"Any suspects?" she asked.

"That's the problem, everyone's a suspect because no one's a suspect."

"Maybe you're looking too hard, or maybe the theft was just a diversion for another crime," she suggested.

"Katherine, you're beautiful. If you were here, I'd kiss you," he said.

Friday, October 7, 2011


If you're a writer, or if you've followed my blog for a while, you know what NaNoWriMo means. If not, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and is held every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. If you're a glutton for punishment, you participate every year. Yep, that's me. I've participated in NaNo every year since 2002. Have I ever won by making it to the 50,000 words. No, I haven't. Do I feel like I have failed every year by not meeting the goal? No, I don't. Why? Because I still accomplished something.

My book, Love, Lies & Deceit was my NaNo project for 2004 and was published in 2009. My next book, Saved by the Sheriff will be released in January 2012 and it was my NaNo book in 2006. Both were started from scratch for NaNo and both times, I completed about six chapters in a month. I consider that a huge beginning. I have a couple more books in the wings that I'm working hard to complete that were past NaNo projects and have high hopes of getting them published, too.

I considered skipping NaNo this year, but realized that so many of my past Novembers have been consumed by NaNo that there is no way I could not take part this year. I have a idea sketched out for a plot and have been doing a little research on the setting and location. I'm going to give it another shot this year and if I don't make it again, that's okay because I know sooner or later, I'll get it finished.

Good luck, fellow NaNoers. I'll be watching your progress.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beautiful Fall Weekend

We've had beautiful weather for the past couple days. It's cool at night, was actually 34 degrees early this morning, but the days have been wonderful. I thought I would share some photos that my husband and I have taken in the past few days.

These are the petunias in a hanging basket on our porch. I have to give credit to my husband for keeping them looking so well. He watered them practically everyday when he put water out for our dog this summer. Purple is my favorite color and these were just beautiful. I checked on them today and I think our cool temps last night didn't set too well with them. They're a little wilted today.

Yesterday, I walked down to our persimmon tree to see how far along in the ripening process they were. The persimmons are turning orange and getting a little soft, but no where near close to being ripened yet.

As I went on my walk yesterday, I had a couple companions. Our dog, Dexter and our cat, Kitty. Dex is blind, but gets around better than most dogs that can see. I think sometimes he forgets that he's blind when he gets a excited and wants to run up to us. If a tree is in the way, he bumps right into it before we can stop him. We've
had Dex since he was a pup. I tried to get a better picture of Dex, but every time I called his name so he would look my way, he walked over to me.

Our cat with the original name of Kitty has been with us for about three years now. He's went thought a variety of names, regardless, we all call him Kitty. During the summer, due to the fleas and ticks, he's an outside cat. But, as the weather cools, he gets his reprieve and gradually becomes an indoor cat. He was an indoor cat for a little while last night and almost caught a mouse. I heard the mouse squeal and turned to see Kitty searching around our wood stove. I think he had the mouse and then lost it. Tried as he did, he couldn't find it and finally gave up.

I hope we have many more beautiful fall weekends left before winter sets in. Although, I do love winter, especially around here.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What a weekend!

This past weekend was probably the best weekend I've had in a long time. My husband and I spent the weekend camping with his family. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Although, I must admit, even though I prepared for it, I froze when trying to sleep Friday night. I'm a seasoned camper and normally rough it when camping, but this time I didn't want to be cold. I took my electric blanket and you know what? I was still cold. Dumb me, didn't put a blanket on top of the electric one to hold the heat in. Brrrrr

We had one whole camping area of the park reserved just for us. I think we had six tents of various shapes and sizes up. The campground was right next to a beautiful lake. My husband loves to fish and caught several, but he's a catch-and-release kind of fisherman, so he didn't keep them. I tried my hand at a little fishing, too. I bought a new rod and reel the last time we went camping, but never got to try it out. This time I did, but probably should have just left it home. I got a few bites, but didn't catch any fish.

It was just fun getting to visit with family that we don't get to see often and a few young nieces and nephews that I hadn't met. We all keep in touch via Facebook, but getting to spend so much time together in person was a treat. We stayed up until 2 am just talking around the campfire one night. Some family members that couldn't camp came to visit for a while and we even had some friends stop by to chat.

And, the food, oh - my - gosh the food we fixed was wonderful. Our first night for supper, we had beef kabobs, deer meat, and sweet potatoes, all fixed over the fire. The second night was more deer meat (the best I've ever tasted. Thank you, Josh), hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili. Breakfast on both days was bacon and eggs.

But, the best part of the whole weekend was my daughter and her husband surprising everyone by driving up from Mississippi. It's so great spending time with family and friends. We plan on making this an annual event for our family and I can't wait until next year.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe has always been my favorite author. For a couple years in college, I majored in English and whenever the topic of favorite authors came up, I said Poe was mine. You wouldn't believe the odd looks that I received. But, why not Poe? Even through his addiction to alcohol and possible mental illness, his short stories and poems were superb.

This past weekend I tried to write a Poe-like story to submit to an anthology. Finding it very difficult, I completed about a page and a half. I need no more than 10,000 words and have until the end of this month to finish it. Writing in first-person is not something I do very often. It's going to be a slow process of trying to get inside of Poe's head to write this story. After all, I'm not an alcoholic and I don't think I have a mental illness, although there may be some that think otherwise.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Publicity Photos

I'm getting some publicity photos taken this weekend and I'm a bit nervous about it. I'm usually the person on the back side of the camera, not the front. Alas, I can't put it off any longer. Most of the pictures you find of me on blogs or social network sites are years old. What I wouldn't do to look like Julia Roberts in my photos. Unfortunately, I won't have a hairdresser, makeup artist, or wardrobe person. It will be all me.

I'm have full faith in the photographer and she promised she has some great ideas for author photos. The weather has cooled so maybe my makeup won't be melting down my face. I'm hoping for no wind so I don't have to use hairspray. I hate hairspray. And, sunshine, I really need sunshine on Saturday.

My last worry is clothes. I need to pick out three outfits and I have no idea what to wear. Four days and counting. I better go rummage through my closet and see if I can pull out some magic. Wish me luck and I'll be posting the results when I get the finished product.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Big Annoucement

I'm excited to announce that I have signed a contract with Secret Cravings Publishing to release by second novel, Saved by the Sheriff. The tentative release date will be January 2012.

Saved by the Sheriff is a romantic suspense that takes place in southern Indiana. New York City writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story and what could be better than a 30-year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visit Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon finds that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved and she becomes a target. After an arrest for trespassing and then an attempt on her life, Sheriff Ben Hunter lets her stay at his place where he can keep an eye on her while she continues to work on her story.

She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe. When she finally finishes her story, she has to make her choice of staying with Ben or taking the new job in New York.

My first novel, Love, Lies & Deceit is still available on as a Kindle download or in other formats on the Red Rose Publishing web site.

It's still hard to believe that my dream of becoming a published author is coming true. With hard work and a little luck, dreams can come true.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Announcement tomorrow

(singing) Tomorrow ~ Tomorrow ~ Announcement Tomorrow ~ It's only a day away~~~~

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I have a Secret....

Shhhhh, I have a secret. Can't tell about it yet. Announcement coming soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Eel's Reverence" by Marian Allen

Eel's ReverenceEel's Reverence by Marian Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved Eel's Reverence by Marian Allen. She has a way with words and puts them to good use in this book. The characters were wonderful. My favorite thing about this book is the cover. Magnificent cover for a magnificent book. Good job, Marian. I highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Autograph or Kindlegraph

My book, Love, Lies & Deceit is an ebook and also available as a Kindle download. When anyone mentions a booksigning to me, I shutter at the thought of how am I going to sign an ebook. This is not an uncommon question among ebook authors and today, I found one solution. Have you ever heard of a Kindlegraph? It's a way for authors to autograph their Kindle books.

So, this morning I signed up for it. It's a pretty cool concept. A reader who wants to have their Kindle book signed can go to the web site and search for my book and request the Kindlegraph. I receive an email saying someone wants their ebook signed and I can then go to the Kindlegraph web site and "write" a personal message and sign it. Once I hit enter, it takes about 30 seconds for the reader to received a copy of my book cover with the personal message and my signature below it on their Kindle. Here is a copy of Tina Fey's newest book with a Kindlegraph.

Drawbacks? Oh yes, there are drawbacks. Right now, the signature that you receive isn't my real signature, but one that is as close to my handwriting as I could get. There are several samples of handwriting to chose from, or you can try and put your own signature on the site using the mouse as your pen. I tried that and oh my, it looked even worse than my own writing, which is pretty bad. So, until I can master better handwriting with the mouse, you'll get a signature that is pretty close to my own.

You also have to have a Twitter account to log into the site and have to register your Kindle in order to receive the signature on your device. You'll need to know the email address for your Kindle.

Another drawback is the size of the signature. When I signed up for the service, I went on there and requested my own Kindlegraph for my book. When it arrived, I found it to be very small. I would have liked for it to be a little larger so I could see it better.

Still, it's a pretty neat concept and at least one way of being able to sign my book. If you're interested, click on Kindlegraph and see what you think.

Until I can get some postcards made up for me to sign, this will have to do for anyone wanting my autograph.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fandom Fest weekend comes to a close

It was a very long, hot weekend, but also a very productive one. FandomFest ran in conjunction with the Fright Night Film Fest in Lousivlle, Kentucky. It's mostly a Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy show, but with the Literary track, many other genres were also included.

Lots of celebrities were on hand for photos and autographs. Unfortunately, I was too busy attending some of the panels and workshops. However, the panels and workshops were really good. I learned many new things about writing and met some fantastic authors, publishers, and editors. That's always a good thing.

Did I mention how hot it was? Oh my gosh, the convention hall was so hot. I'm sure the fact that we are having triple-digit temps had a lot to do with it, but I also understand that the air conditioning in some of the guest rooms at the hotel was not working either. Luckily, I stayed at the Holiday Inn across the street and didn't have that problem. Well, actually I did at first. When I checked in and went to my room, I couldn't get the air conditioner to come on. I was sure I was working the thermostat right, but with my luck, I was probably doing something wrong.

I called the front desk and the clerk told me he would bring me key cards for a new room. He arrived a few minutes later and I asked him to check to make sure I was setting the thermostat right. It wouldn't come on for him either. So, I moved six rooms down the hallway and viola, I had a cool room.

All in all, I had a pretty good weekend, My only regret was that I forgot to take pictures of some of the strange costumes that many of the attendees were wearing and there were some very strange costumes. Oh well, maybe I'll remember next year.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fandom Fest this weekend

This weekend I'll be attending Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. There will be tons of actors and celebrities that I'm looking forward to seeing. Have I mentioned I collect autographs. I'll make sure and report in if I can get any good ones. Mostly, I'm going for the Literary Track and will be going to lots of the panels and maybe a few workshops. It will be great fun connecting with some other authors and readers for the weekend. Check back next week for some photos. Keep cool everyone.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tired Woman

I made it home from my trip to Mississippi this morning. It was a very quick trip. I flew down Saturday afternoon and drove back with my daughter about two hours after my plane landed. She wanted to come home for a visit before her husband returned from his deployment. It's too long of a drive (12 hours) from there to Indiana for her to come alone, so I agreed to fly down and drive back with her. We both were very tired and probably switched off driving about every hour or two, especially after getting into Tennessee until we got to Indiana. In a couple weeks, I will do it again in reverse order. Hopefully, she and I will be a little more rested before we start off.

I head back to work tomorrow and hope that my co-workers don't find me looking like this during the work day. Oh yes, coffee will be a must in the morning.
Have a great week everyone. I'm heading to bed.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Getaway

I'll be making a quick trip to Mississippi this weekend and will try and post something when I get back. Everyone have a great weekend and stay cool in this hot weather.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


Below you will find a rough draft of the beginning of a new novel that I am working on that I hope will be come a mystery series. I'm working on it this month as my Camp NaNoWriMo project and hope to get published as a Kindle book by this fall. Remember, in NanoWriMo it's a rough draft, no editing until it's finished, so pardon the errors so far.


Mystic: The Beginning
A Nathan Perry novel

The lunch crowd had filled The Witch's Cauldron café on this cold January morning in Mystic, Massachusetts. Nathan Perry stood at the door looking for an empty table. Finally spotting one near the rear of the room, he started back.

"Nathan? Is that you?" a woman said from one of the tables.

He stopped at the table where a cute brown-haired, brown-eyed woman sat. She looked familiar and then it came to him. "Dana Tyler?"

She stood and they hugged.

"You look great, Nathan. What are you doing back in town?"

"I have a job interview," he said.

"Really? Why don't you sit down and tell me about it. We need to catch up."

Nathan slid into the booth on the opposite side. Dana had been his on-again, off-again girlfriend in high school. He glanced at her right hand looking for a wedding band and saw none. If he ended up moving back to Mystic, Massachusetts, it might be nice knowing a single girl in town.

"So, job interview, eh? Does this mean you're moving back home?" she asked.

"If the job pans out, I might."

A waitress came up to the table. "I thought you were eating alone today, Dana. Who's your friend?"

"This is Nathan Perry. We went to high school together and he just walked in. Nathan, this is Ginger Raines. She owns this place."

"How do you do, Ms. Raines?"

"Oh honey, please don't call me that. I'm Ginger to everyone."

He wasn't sure how to take the flamboyant woman with bright red spiked hair and a little overweight. She seemed to accept him without reservation. "It's nice to meet you, Ginger. Please call me Nathan."

"What can I get you from the menu, Nathan?"

He picked up the single sheet laminated menu. "I'll have a turkey club and some iced tea."

"Be right back," Ginger said, turning and heading to the kitchen.

"Tell me about this job interview," Dana asked.

"It's an interview for the detective job with the Mystic Police Department."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Camp NaNoWriMo

This month I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. If you have followed my blog for a while you know that during every November, I participate in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month and have done so for the last nine years. The goal is to write a 50,000 word rough draft novel in 30 days. I have never managed to make to the 50,000 words, but use it to give me a jump start into writing a new novel.

My novel, Love, Lies & Deceit was my NaNo novel for 2004, I believe. I was able to complete the novel later and it was published it in 2009.

Two years ago, I decided to give a shot at writing a contemporary mystery involving a police detective in a town in Massachusetts. I completed the first four chapters and then sat it aside to go back to work on a romance novel I was writing. For NaNo last year, I started writing a second mystery novel that was a sequel to the one I started the year before and completed five chapters. Again, after the end of November, I sat it aside to finish that same romance. So, when Camp NaNoWriMo came around in July, I wanted to participate in it. I had just started plotting out a short novel that I want to self-publish on Amazon Kindle that would actually be book number one in the mystery series. It will explain how and why the main character came back to his hometown to become the police department's first detective, while working to solve a rash of unusual thefts around town.

The timing was right to use that storyline for Camp NaNo. I started on July 1 and as of last night had completed 4403 words. I'm way behind the normal writing schedule to complete the 50,000 in 30 days, but I'm okay with that. I'm not sure the novel will be that long anyway. If I can just get it close to being finished so I can get it up on Kindle, I will be happy.

Keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck. Of course, I could do a whole lot more words had I not stopped to write the blog entry. ;-)


Review: The Maverick Experiment

The Maverick ExperimentThe Maverick Experiment by Drew Berquist

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love CIA novels. The author's details were great. The plot kept my interest, and the characters were believable, but there were a lot of typos in the book and that distracted me.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wasting Time

I hate wasting time, but this morning was a total waste. I had a business meeting that I needed to attend on July1 and my employer requires any trip over 124 miles round trip requires renting a car through their account. So far, my trips have been under the 124 mile limit, but not the one on Friday. This morning I spent from 8:30 to 11:30 trying to figure out how to fill out the request form to rent a car. Several emails with my boss later, I had the form filled out and a gas card on the way to me in the mail. I called and reserved my car. I was pretty happy with myself.

Then, it happened. I received an email about another meeting in another town on the same day. My reply was that I was scheduled in another city that day. No, they told me, "I double checked and you're here on Friday." I looked at my online schedule, which my Central Office sets up for me, and discovered that my schedule had been changed. I no longer had the 124+ mile trip now and I was indeed going to the meeting in the closer town.

I had wasted my whole morning trying to figure out how to rent a car that wasn't actually needed. I was mad because I had so much other work I could have been doing, but it was a learning experience. At least now, when I do need to rent a car for work, I will know how.


Saturday, June 25, 2011


My vacation is over and I'm already depressed that I have to go back to my day job on Monday. I did have a great time off, including a two-night camping trip with my husband to Lincoln State Park in southern Indiana.

Originally, they had predicted severe storms for the first day of camping. For those of you that know me, know how much I hate severe weather, but I was a trooper and went anyway. It turned out that we had wonderful weather. No severe storms, or even rain, for us at all. It even turned cold, which I was unprepared for by not taking any shirts with sleeves and no jacket.

Above is our home away from home for the two days. Oh my, we felt like we were the slums within the high-rent district at the campground. I could probably count the number of tents on one hand in the campground as opposed to the number of RV's. We were stuck in the middle of them. I couldn't believe how fancy some of the RV's were. All had air conditioners on top and most of them put up a canopy tent over the picnic table at their site, not to mention the satellite dishes. I have to admit, we did try to get one of those canopy tents that CVS had on sale in the weekly flyer. What I found was that CVS only sent one canopy to each store, if that many. I checked at or called five different CVS stores with no luck. But, back to the camping, I can only imagine what the owners of the RV's were thinking of us with our tent.

We had a few furry four-legged visitors at our campsite. Our first visitor was a raccoon. From our experiences camping, we had expected that visitor, but not before dark. That little guy showed up around 5 pm and quickly ran back into the woods when he saw us, but made a return trip about 2 am stealing the two sweet potatoes that were left in the fire pit.

Our next visitor was the little guy on the upper left, a young squirrel. We knew you aren't supposed to feed the animals, but my husband couldn't resist because this squirrel was so small. After wiping the salt off of a few nuts, my husband tossed them out onto the gravel for the squirrel to find. He got all of them, except one. He wasn't fast enough and a very friendly crow swooped down and picked it up.

We really didn't do anything while camping and that was the way I liked it. I had seen a chair in the K-Mark weekly ad for $19.99 and knew that would be the perfect chair for me on our trip. It had a foot rest. A few days before leaving on the trip, I bought the chair to the left, but not at K-Mart. I found one at Big Lots for $16.99. That chair is where I spent most of the time. I took my Kindle ebook reader and enjoyed a large selection of books to read that I had downloaded.

I had a good week and a half off for my vacation and as I said at the beginning of this post, I am not looking forward to going back. I wonder if the reason might be that I keep thinking of retirement. I can retire from my government job in approximately seven years, 8 months, and three days, if I can afford it. Maybe by then, I will be a best-selling author. (LOL, back to reality.)


Saturday, June 18, 2011


When the mail came today, the long awaited letter from a publisher I submitted to arrived. Yes, it was a rejection, but that's okay. As my mantra to the left says, "Rejection is not fatal."

The letter I received was not the usual form letter. Even though it had the same elements that a form rejection letter has, it was personalized. I was impressed. It was written directly to me, had my manuscript title on it and was actually signed by an Assistant Editor. What really fascinated me was that the editor took the time to explain to me why it was wrong for them and what needed to be worked on. She even apologized for not accepting it.

You might say I am the queen of rejection letters from prior manuscripts and I have to say that this one is the best rejection I have ever received.

So, what I will be doing is polishing that manuscript up a little more and send it off to another publisher. Then, the waiting game begins again, or maybe I should say it continues because I am still waiting to hear from a different publisher about a different manuscript.


Friday, June 17, 2011


I started my vacation today. Well, I guess you could say technically I started it yesterday, but I went to the dentist so that doesn't count. We don't have any specific plans to do anything, other than a quick camping trip next week.

Today, we went fishing. I forgot to take the camera with us so I can't show you the big fish we both caught, and if you believe that, I will be glad to sell you the land we fished on, which is federally owned. Our total catch was four small bluegill. We should have known it wasn't going to be a good trip when we got there. My husband likes to fish with a fly rod and as he was putting the rod together, he discovered that it was broken. His favorite and most expensive rod was now useless. I asked if he wanted to just go back home, or go home and get his other rod, but he said no.

The next three hours were spent with us taking turns using my rod and reel. I started out using nightcrawlers, but the fish only nibbled on them, never hitting the hook. Steve decided to try putting one of the artificial lures from my tackle box on the line. On his third cast, it got tangled on a rock and he had to break the line, losing my lure.

Next, he tried putting some of his various flies on the line and that's when we caught the fish. We knew there were big fish in the water because we could see them coming to the surface periodically. I guess they just weren't hungry. We're going to try again on Monday and see what we can do. This time, however, he will be bring two fly rods just in case something happens to one of his again and I may take some redworms instead of nightcrawlers.

Wish us luck,

Screenwriting Nomination

  I'm so excited to announce that my horror/thriller screenplay, Summer Darkness has been nominated as a finalist for Best Short Scree...