Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Writers' Congregation - #WritersLife Survey 10

This month's #WritersLife Survey is about how writers communicate. Long ago (ten years or so), we were once told to start a blog or website - is this still a rule? I've cut way back on blogging, but I will keep at it as long as I can. It's awesome to talk about our woes and accomplishments with other writers. And this community always has positive, encouraging words to share.

I also wanted to thank fellow substitute warrior, Victoria Marie for the Liebster Award! I haven't done an award in quite a while, so this should be fun. Thanks, Victoria!

Liebster Award Rules and Nominees:
Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
Rule 2: Answer the 11 questions the person asked you.
Rule 3: Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
Rule 4: Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions (My questions are at the bottom of this post.)

Here are my answers to Victoria's questions:
1.     You are thrown into a favorite story. [Not your own.] Which story and who would you be?
I always wanted to live in the world of Xanth by Piers Anthony - then I'd get a magic power!
2.     What is the hardest part of writing for you? Why?
Marketing & Promotion, bragging and being pushy like a salesperson isn't what I signed up for!
3.     When and where do you write? How did you discover that was best for you?
Mornings are best, at my desk or on my treadmill!
4.     If you could be anybody or anything, who or what would you be and why?
I would be a dragon. Do I really need a reason?
5.     How do you push forward when the inner critic won’t shut up?
I read or watch movie trailers which make me think, if this person is famous, I could be too!
6.     Do you need to write inside a bubble or library [like me] or do like to listen to music or other inspiring background sounds or “white” noise to write?
QUIET! Before the herd wakes up.
7.     How do you keep the wolves…ahem…I mean convince your children or other people to leave you alone to write? Does it work? Provide tips—please!
I write while they're sleeping or out of the house - sorry, no tips. Kick them out for a while?
8.     Who was your favorite author as a child? Who is your favorite author now?
From Piers Anthony and Michael Crichton to Janet Evanovich and Harlan Coben - and Christine Rains!
9.     If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why that?
Flying - I hate traffic
10.  How do you find inspiration?
It's everywhere, on a walk, shopping, walking my dog, traveling, reading, even watching TV
11.  What book or movie or writing workshop or blog post has affected your work the most? Why?
Can't think of a specific one, but I do love to read and watch lots of media to keep up with it and be inspired.

Now, here are my nominees (participation is optional, but I recommend you all visit these fabulous people!) My questions are in my survey above, open to all... (yes, I took the easy way out with that one!)
Doctor Faerie Godmother - Rena Rocford writes witty scifi and fantasy, and blogs about it
Tyrean Martinson - Christian writer and blogger and friend
The Faux Fountain Pen - Sarah Foster shares her struggles as a writer, giving us a good relatable laugh!
Defending the Pen - Yolanda Renee isn't just another pen blog, she encourages other writers and helps host a regular writing prompt - WEP
Positive Letters...inspirational stories... - Hilary Melton-Butcher is one of the most interesting people I virtually know. Her stories are rich with history and fascinating facts!
Kidbits - Tonja Drecker is an amazing mom and her video book reviews are stupendous!!
S.A. Larsen - talking about teen and tween tales

And new friends from Twitter...
Christa Conklin - she discusses writing issues, supporting writers, and the path of her book
M.B. Tosi - A fellow Ohioan, but originally from South Dakota, she writes about Lakota life in the Old West
Amy Eyrie - her blog is full of enlightening sci fi and stranger worlds posts
J.A. Allen - hosts guest posters with great stories, as well as her own

Thanks again, Victoria!
And thank you all for playing!! Results of the survey will be posted Sept 6 for IWSG day - and I get to be a host next month!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hot Answers to #WritersLife survey

It's been four months since my last book event and I'm feeling down for not selling or promoting my books.

Meets 1st Wed of MonthHi, everyone. This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for this month.

I think I'm in book event withdrawal! I usually do at least an event every other month, but had to cut back this summer, and even this fall with one baseball graduate leaving and now a football senior, losing two in a row. I love supporting them, but I feel very unproductive on the marketing/selling front. Like my books are collecting dust and I should sell them before I write more...

But that's how life goes. I'm cherishing the time I have with my boys, and my time to sell will come to keep me busy when they're on their own. In the meantime, I really appreciate the help several of you have offered, and I will get onto promoting online, now that life is returning to normal after vacation. We had fun on the lake, btw. Here are a few pics -

I always appreciate the support - you all keep me going - in blogging and writing!

Now, for the survey results...

I guess YA is still on top, but the regulars are always around - a good story is always hot!

What is your favorite genre to read?

What is a hot topic to write about?

  • Not sure
  • no idea. life's been too busy to pay attention
  • Supernatural (haunting/ possession)

What have you heard Agents are looking for?

  • Agents seem to be talking about historical novels here - Hilary Mantel and 'down'!

What would YOU like to read a story about?

  • I want more fantasy
  • I still love reading paranormal romance.
  • I just want a story that moves me to feel something. Genre doesn't really matter.
  • I would love to read some dark fiction with strong characterization.
  • I'd love to read more Asian historical fiction.
  • I'd like to read about today's family struggles

Do you write what's hot? Or write what you feel?

What temperature keeps you writing?

Where is/would be your writing getaway?
I loved these answers - very insightful and inspirational!
This month, I'll be asking about Newsletters and Blogs - what do writers do? and does it work? Come back and help fill in the blanks!

PS - If you tripped and I said, "Way to go, Grace." Would you all know what that meant? Or am I dating myself? I guess that's my other insecurity as my young editor doesn't get some of my characters' sarcasm!

Monday, July 17, 2017

New #WritersLife Survey! What's HOT?

Summer usually mean travel and vacations...

This year we let my oldest choose the place for our family vacation, since he's graduating and all. So we are going to a lake and renting a boat - fun stuff and plenty of down time to play games, read, and write! I hope. We are also bringing the girlfriends of my older boys. That will be interesting. But I do like having more girls around--the boys actually behave a little better =)

Summer also means HOT TEMPS! Here's this month's Writer's Life Survey about Hotness!

Did you take the survey? Look for the results at the beginning of next month. 

Where in the world are you this summer? Going far or near? Or taking a Stay-cation?

PS Section...
Thanks for the offers to promote TWO PRINCESSES! (ebook) I'm still coordinating a Facebook Party with a local Signing Party for August or Sept.

Also thanks for the offers to read and review DISPOSAL! If you're interested, let me know! Release Blog Tour form coming soon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#Writerslife lightning round results

*** Happy Independence Day! ***
4th of July selfie
with my son's American Flag sunglasses!
Well, we're smack dab in the middle of summer here in the Midwest. I must be enjoying it, because it's flying by. But I'm excited to share that I'm getting loads of writing done! (Big News at the end of the post)

Meets 1st Wed of MonthFor this month's IWSG post, I've been trying not to worry about my lowly writer status in the big writing world picture. Fortunately, I've had a few breadcrumbs of hope from strangers that's boosted me since I've taken the summer off from book events, painful as that's been. So, I keep pushing myself to write more and venture into more media... The only thing that will stop me from succeeding is if I give up. And I hope you all are making positive progress, no matter which phase of writing you're in.

Good luck and keep writing!

I also continue to be encouraged by more people taking my Writer's Life surveys each month - and I love the results! Here's the latest---

The red and blue seem appropriate for July. And this month, I will give my amateur statistical analysis...
  • With the majority, I consider myself a multi-tasker, though I'm not sure that's a good thing. Spreading ourselves thinner over a bunch of separate projects means the projects get done at a slower rate. Hmm.
  • I like the 50/50 splits - plotter v. panster, slow v. fast reader, morning v. not! - we writers can't be pigeon-holed!
  • I'm one of the few who likes to write my outline/first draft in a notebook - I love scribbling and doodling and using multiple colors - and especially making maps. I feel it's easier to look back and forth... plus, I can do it anywhere. Recently, I typed a first draft on my ipad for WINDY HOLLOW. I liked knowing my word count, but I still used a notebook for the rough draft.
  • Not surprised by these majorities - pen over pencil, college-ruled over wide-ruled, more righties than lefties, and coffee is awesome!
  • Was surprised by paper book over ebook - I thought everyone was going digital. Nice to see we're not!
  • Lastly, the social media. I will have to do a separate survey just for that. I didn't have blogging on my original form, but a friend pointed out it's a widely used social media, especially by us writers. I guess my intent was to see which other social medias float a writer's boat? And in that field, by my small survey, Twitter beat out Facebook. So is less more? Or is Twitter more of a meeting strangers in a night club and therefore more exciting, while Facebook is more of a family and friends barbecue where you go to catch up? Yes, definitely a whole set of questions needs to be asked!
And so, I hope you will look for my next survey toward the middle of the month.

Finally, I self-published the second novella in my Unconventional Princesses series...


Deja was a happy, trouble-making troll, until she was exiled from her home under the mountains for her perilous pranks. Now she must serve a frilly human, Princess Calleah who's locked in a tall tower to keep suitors away. The Two Princesses from opposite sides of the Valley become unlikely friends in their seclusion, but when the time comes for Calleah to fulfill her duty, their bond is put to the test by propriety, princes, and parents. Deja doesn't take any gruff and will give it right back to protect Calleah, no matter the cost.

JOLISSA - An Anti-Princess Story is UnPrincess #1

I'm planning a release party at a local children's consignment shop in August. Should be cute! Plus a Facebook party... never done one, so we'll see how that goes - you're all invited!
I'll send a free e-copy of either novella to anyone who asks in the comments. Reviews are gold coins to authors!

The self-pub process continues to evolve and I continue to learn. And Amazon continues to grow, extending it's tentacles into every aspect of life! They're making movies and shows for goodness sake! I hope to take advantage of their new ventures...

Happy July!

PS - my quarterly newsletter for the summer is out!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#WritersLife #survey - Lightning Round!

Thunderstormy today! Perfect for unleashing my latest Lightning Round #WritersLife Survey 8!

I can't believe how fast summer is already flying by - baseball, travel, appointments, and eating out (too much!) plus some extra writing - I'm a morning person for sure, and I love the quiet when all my boys sleep in (or go to work or football! so busy!)

 Hope you are enjoying June and writing up a storm!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#Writers Gone Wild!

It's summer!
As a teacher, I have more time to write and blog in the summer - yay me! At least I think I will, then my days seem to get filled by appointments, summer events, running kids around, and the chores I've been putting off because I'll have more time to do them this summer... Anyone else feel this?
But at least I've had my quiet mornings =)
So my Insecure Writers Support Group post this month is about having so much on my plate I want to get done! Here's my
Summer Writing To Do List:
  • Finish typing up WINDY HOLLOW, so close I can smell the edit gnomes! they're stinky buggers - and unlike shoe elves who do the work for you while you sleep, edit gnomes nag you to get the job done, very motivating
  • Polishing DISPOSAL (Pop Travel #3) - comes out in NOVEMBER! Woohoo!
  • Publish Unconventional Princesses novella #2, TWO PRINCESSES - been waiting ages on the cover. So long that I am about ready to...
  • Publish Unconventional Princesses novella #3, PRINCESS B - have to beef it up and get some illustrations...
  • Then there's my latest obsession lurking and stalking me, very eager to be fleshed out - MAGIC STORM - Twins in London find ancient talisman and race against evil descendant to bring magic back to earth - debating to make it into a graphic novel, or submit to a publication as a monthly series... so many possibilities!
  • I also would like to write the Christmas short story - A Harried Holiday, where Cooper takes Geri home to meet the family and solves a local mystery - gotta write this stuff months before the season for submission!
  • And finally, I have not one, but two new novels to outline - the next Pop Travel #4 CONDUCTION and a new Christian YA novel FARTHER ALONG
Sorry for the rambling, but writing this all out really helped me organize my madness! 

Now, for the results of the latest Writer's Life Survey #7 - Time Mgmt - I so enjoy collecting this data and reading the answers!

Do you write every day?
Do you have a day job?

How do you make time to write?
  • I just make the decision, block off a couple hours, and do it.
  • I just sneak it in whenever I get a few minutes. Extended writing time is rare for me.
  • I just ignore my to-do list.
  • I try to force myself when I have the time. Doesn't happen very well.
  • I have a lot of "down time" in my life, so whenever I'm inspired, it's easy to find time to write.
  • I take a journal with my everywhere. If I can, I take my laptop, too.
  • I gave up on sleep.
  • Getting up early on my days off & making sure I don't turn on the TV :P
  • I have a house to myself during the day, so I just have to be smart and not waste time. 
  • Shut down everything and go somewhere quiet.
  • while the kid is at school
  • I've set a word goal of at least 650 a day. 500 is almost assured, so I upped it a little to challenge me, but not overwhelm myself.
  • I stay at my desk during lunch and write instead of enjoying my meal elsewhere.
  • I have a set time every night.
  • Setting aside a certain time each day works, as well as going to a library or other place without distractions.
  • I literally have to wrench it free.
Do you meet your daily writing goals?
Do you have any creative ways to save time you could pass along?
  • Blog from work! Then it's like you're getting paid for blogging.
  • Be ready to write at all times, so when that ten minute slot of free time opens up, you can take advantage of it.
  • Write while the microwave is heating something up for lunch, write in the car (not while driving), and write before/after appointments in a waiting area. Saving time: um, cutting out commercials or anything commercial-like in my life. Use this time to socialize, do chores, or exercise.
  • Set a timer for social media and just walk away when time is up. 
  • Clump your chores into a block of time. Do email all at one time and not throughout the day, for example
  • Hire a nanny?
  • Making a list and checking things off.
  • Shut off WiFi while writing, while keeping open any windows you need for research.
  • Several came up with wishful ways…
    • Hire a virtual assistant.
    • Clone myself... ;)
    • Don't do housework?
Great responses! I can totally relate to these. I was surprised at 50% with the jobs - I need to delve into that one! What about you? Can you relate?

This month, I'll be asking "lightning round" style questions for quick responses. Look for it mid June!

Lastly, I wanted to share about my school presentation... It went very well! I had it filmed so I could critique myself and I'll share a snippet of it with you... 

The kids did a great job! And I made notes on how to improve for next time - looking forward to it!

So what have you all got going on??? And I love to give you a shout out, just let me know what you need. HAPPY SUMMER KICK OFF!

**Also wanted to express my condolences and concern with all the hate spreading through the world lately - praying for solutions, safety, and peace.**

Monday, May 15, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 7 - How do writers make TIME?

I guess it was time I made a badge for my surveys, eh? This is my desk - it says, "Have fun, but get your work done!"

Well, over in my neck of the galaxy, we only have a couple weeks left of school. This past week, I really enjoyed my temporary classes, and I was able to do my own lesson for some new kids. It was a refreshing change of pace. I love seeing students light up with discovery and letting their own abilities shine through, connecting learning to life.

My regular kids come back Monday. Over this long journey, we've had some good days, some bad days, and some really bad days where I didn't know if I wanted to go back. But I always do. I won't let them get the better of me. Instead, I take these tough times and figure out how to make the next day better. I ask myself, What can I do to help a child who has a rough home life behave better? How can I inspire them to feel good about themselves? And I always PRAY! Sometimes it's not about the schoolwork. Kids won't listen or learn if they need attention or affection. They need to feel safe and important first. They need to know teachers care about them.

Moving on! Though it's been a worthwhile experience and given me many ideas, working so much has really taken a bite out of my writing time. Only two more weeks and I get to ramp it up in the summer! Woo hoo!

Which brings me to this month's survey. How do writers make TIME?

PS - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! My boys took me to see GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for Mother's Day - I'm a happy Momma!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 6 Results & Trying new things

Meets 1st Wed of Month

Teens are clueless, reckless, and thoughtless. I ought to know, I'm an 8th grade teacher and I live with 3 teens myself! But they can't help it. Their brains don't get enough exercise because their bodies are going through so much change. So I try to cut them some slack.

Teens are also great to write about because of all the turmoil - they're dramatic, unpredictable, and funny!

But teens aren't the best audience. They're very judgy, relentless teasers, and hard to impress. And most of them don't like to read. So it's going to be tough doing a presentation for them next week... Wish me luck!

Well, that's my IWSG post for this month. I'm facing a daunting group of traumatizing teens. It's going to be worth it as it should lead to more presentations and more books sold!

I hope you are trying new things too!
Thanks to Alex and his Crew for giving us insecure writers this supportive venue.

And now for the results from Writer's Life Survey #6 - Inside a Writer's Head

Which of these describes you?

Do you keep a journal?

How do you deal with writer's block?

With which character do you identify most?

  • Specifically, can't think of one, but any that suffer great loss, are feel isolated or alone can hit triggers. Loved Harry Dresden, Harry Potter, Dallas J.D. Robb.
  • Pippin from LOTR
  • Anyone who's bookish and quiet
  • Alanna the Lioness (from a quartet of books by Tamora Pierce)
  • geeky heroes
  • Hmm. I never thought about that. I tend to write characters who can be what I'm not.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don't know that I thought it I have just always done it. I did think maybe I want to be a professional writer and began the journey to learn what it takes in 2011--was already deep into learning and taking writing craft courses and reading about since the in high school, writing since age 9 stories.

Didn't ... it happened late in life

It's my earliest childhood desire

When I picked up a new book called The White Dragon, it hit me - I want to be an author.

I've been doing it since age four. It's just something I've always done.

I wanted to be the one making the magical things on the shelves that I loved.

I've been writing stories since before I was five! I didn't want to be a writer, I have always been one.

I like writing stories...

Just always have.

Awesome responses! I enjoyed hearing what makes my author friends tick. I hope you did too! Join me in a couple of weeks when I put out the next Writer's Life Survey - Dealing with TIME!

Can't believe it's May!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 6 - Inside a Writer's Head

Hoppy Easter!
Hope your spring is in full swing. Here in the Midwest, we are enjoying flowers and baseball and warmer temps!

I also got to go to Ohioana again, my fourth time, with my book event buddy, Julie Flanders! We didn't get to sit together, but we still found time to chat. I know we'll do another event together soon.

And now, here's the latest Writer's Life Survey #6

I wondered how that "character" question might come across.
Here's my answer: I associate most with Monica Gellar (Courtney Cox) fiesty and loud, thinks she's right and a total geek, and rubs some people the wrong way... but I definitely don't cook!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#writerslife Links and Survey Results - What are you looking for?

No fools on April 1 this year. It came and went without any teasing or jests. I was a little disappointed. But that's okay, I'm on spring break and enjoying my extra time off! Yippee!

I don't have any complaints this month for IWSG, so I thought I'd share some Useful Links & Advice for Writers in whatever stage of writing you might be in...

Stage One - Writing
**Believe it or not, this is the easiest stage! Here are some helpful links to get you through...
  • Beta readers/CPs - I have some regulars, but I usually ask someone new with each book to get a fresh perspective
  • Writer's Digest - awesome site for writing advice and writer chat rooms to ask writerly questions. It also takes you through all the next phases, with new agent articles and book event info
  • Absolute Write - a total site for writers to communicate, bounce ideas off each other, and play writerly games - I had to give it up because I was having too much fun playing the games and not writing!
  • The A to Z Blog Challenge - I made so many contacts through this challenge, going on right now! It's changed format to keep up with the times, but if you can get involved, it'll open your horizons!
  • And of course, there's the IWSG! Beyond the monthly blog postings, the website offers many great articles full of writerly advice.
Stage Two - Finding an agent/publisher
  • Query Shark - Janet Reid is the queen of queries and she tears them to shreds to help you get to the core of your query. Read and Learn!
  • MS Wishlist - a continuous feed of agents and what they are seeking, right now!
  • #PITMAD and more - twitter pitch contests held throughout the year with agents reading your blurbs! Hosted by Brenda Drake 
  • Writing Contests - google and enter! smaller publications on your resume is a great start 
  • Writing Conferences - google and GO! You can usually set up appointments to pitch to an agent which  is worth the experience even if you don't get a bite.
Stage Three - Marketing your book
  • L. Diane Wolfe - this woman has tons of experience and great advice for marketing your book and more - check her out!
  • Jane Friedman - I've been following Ms. Friedman since I started writing. She's got links, advice, news, and all the latest trends in the industry. Highly recommend checking her out.
  • Book Events - google and GO! Get out there and sell. You have to start somewhere! (I've got lots of advice on book events)

Now for my #writerslife survey results

What's a good/constructive/funny comment you've received from a CP/Beta Reader or Editor?
It was tough to remember some, but here are a few that stuck out!

"n,lxdjfjgkzmgxdfbbbbbxkbzx... Oh! Sorry. Baby butt." - love this one!
It's a rough draft. Don't worry. You'll make it better. 
You're just sick! Meant in a nice way, I'm sure!
You just made me cry! two people said this =)

And here's one of mine - Hahahaha I always enjoy his brand of insanity in these books!

Lastly, I posted my quarterly newsletter this week with details about upcoming publications, my event schedule - where I've been, where I'm going (besides crazy) - and what I'm working on!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

#WritersLife Survey 5 - Critical Feedback

We all need feedback to improve our writing. So, this month's Writer's Life Survey Question #5 is all about our writerly friends and helpers.

Hey, I haven't heard much about the A to Z challenge - are you doing it this year? I considered it, but they've changed the procedure - NO LIST this year. 

I understand it's a huge undertaking to maintain the LIST, so I get why they want to try something new. Especially since it grows every year. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to get my post links on the website in a timely manner, since I can't go visit until after work or the weekends. This could be a good thing, though. Only serious participants will play. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How to reach your audience & #WritersLife Survey Results

Hey Guys. It's March. In like a lion, right?

Welcome to my Insecure Writers Support Group post...
Thanks to Alex and his team of hosts this month and every month.

Can you tell I'm in a ho hum mood? It could be the winter blahs. Or it could be I'm in a rut. I guess that's what happens when you don't seem to be making any leaps and bounds progress. With the slow, tedious, time-consuming, snail's pace of the writing process, I often wonder how I ever became a writer! I'm more of a make-it-happen-right-now! person. I've never been one to wait for things to happen to me. If I want something, I have to go for it - and that's' not the greatest trait for some things. So maybe that's why I'm here - to grow my patience, even though I'm a pretty old dog.

So for IWSG this month, I'm going to share some tips on How to Wrangle Up Your Readers! Because sitting on your duff waiting for fans to come to you isn't how it works anymore. You must wave your arms, whisper sweet nothings, or tackle them - and all by using your words!

How to Reach Your Audience:

Step 1: Identify your audience - What age group or type of reader will enjoy your book? - and don't kid yourself by saying EVERYONE! Narrow it down, sweetie.

Step 2: Understand your audience - Now that you're being realistic, what else does your audience like to do? What are the interests of your target age group? What's their latest fad? Do a little research about these prospective readers.

Step 3: Find your audience - Where do they hang out? THIS IS IMPORTANT!
  • Bookfairs are the best.
  • Schools are great too, if you can get in.
  • Conferences are hit or miss, depending on the genre and location and many other considerations.
  • Bookstores are also hit or miss depending on the traffic, genre-again, and advertising.
  • Niche stores are questionable, I've only heard one or two success stories...
Step 4: Perform for your audience - Now, you should have enough material to put together a presentation and go share it! Easier said than done, I know. I will elaborate on Step 4 next month with a whole post on Presentations. It's not as bad as it sounds and it gets easier the more you do them.

Step 5: Appreciate your audience - Don't break the bank, but do bring something that you won't mind if they throw away, because that's usually what happens to bookmarks, book cards, and other small swag - it genuinely is the thought that counts

And now, here are the results from my Writers Life Survey #4 - Getting Creative!

What Writers are Working On...

Here are a few choice words about their WIPs!

Four in Darkness... the Vampire, the Alien, the Lycan, and the Shark

Alex O’Hara is up to her ears in mysteries, investigating potential boyfriends, and following philandering spouses - what a job!

Eszter, Marie, and Caterina feel very lucky they escaped, as they return to the world of the living, traveling and relearning how to do basic things, but there are holes in their hearts for those who didn’t escape with them.

Paranormal murder mystery set in alternate 1959

When Farmer Brown and his family neglect their chores, chickens take matters into their own wings.

How Writers Improve Their Craft

Do you have a Daily Word Count Goal?

And here are a few teasers... It was a dark and stormy night...

“Ah, you’re awake.” The voice came from a white-haired bearded man who stepped within her line of vision, but he didn’t look old.
“Who are you?”
“Ezra Merlin at your service.” I thought you might sleep through it, but you are just in time to see Atlantis rise.”

The man threw his head back and cried out, his back arching off the bed. He collapsed. His chest heaved with each breath. Waves of white energy rippled off his body.

“A little help here,” I called out from the dressing room while holding up the front of the most beautiful dress I’d ever tried on.
“Here, let me—” Ellie burst into the dressing room. “Oh. My. God. Alex, you are gorgeous.”
I wasn’t so sure about gorgeous, but I looked pretty darn good in the emerald satin strapless gown with a side slit that showed way too much of my thigh. Thank God for all the running I did almost every day.

Days like this, Kinley had no strength left to hold herself together.

Mme. Druillet could only give her back material items, and Officer Sauveterre could only promise to try to regain more material items. They were unable to give back any live people, any meaningful links to the past. As the train sped back to Paris the next afternoon, Marie cradled the fur coat in her arms, feeling her last spark of hope going out.

"But they won’t do any good, he’s dead already. I know. I killed him."

November thought she just might be happy for the first time ever.

Pulling off normal was harder than it looked.

They shook their heads and said, "Lazy chickens!"

I really enjoyed these lines and blurbs! I hope you did too. Next month I'll be asking "Where do writers LIVE?" Hope you'll join in!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

#Writer's Life Survey 4 - WIP

Is it Spring yet? Is February the longest shortest month of the year or what?

Hope you had a fantastic Valentine's Day - it's great for chocolate anyway, right?

Before we get to the survey, wanted to give a shout out to Patricia Lynne and congratulate her on the release of

by Patricia Josephine

Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace. When she reappears a year later––alone––she’s a shell of her former self. Robbed of her popularity and her boyfriend, she has no memory of what happened to her. Savannah struggles to move forward as strange, new abilities manifest.

Evan Sullivan never gave extra-terrestrials much thought until the night he and Savannah were abducted. While Savannah’s memory was wiped clean, he remembers every horrific detail. Constantly reminded of the experiments that made him less than human, Evan hides in the shadows and watches Savannah rebuild her life without him. But neither can let the other go.

When their paths cross, Savannah and Evan finally see a glimmer of their old lives return. As they face what happened to them, they soon discover they aren’t safe. There’s more to fear than what’s hiding in the stars.

Available for 99cents at Amazon
Add to Goodreads

And now, for February's Writer's Life Survey!

Thanks for playing - looking forward to your responses! Results will be posted March 1!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Writerly #News and Starving for #Reviews

Wow, this is going to be BIG! When I only post twice a month, the news piles up! But first...

A HUGE THANK YOU!! I thoroughly enjoyed my Cradle Rock Release Party because it really got me back out to visit my friends and make new ones!

Thanks for the tremendous response and supportive comments, everyone!
I'll be tweeting my thanks with links to the posts all month!
M.J. Fifield!
She will receive a $25 GC! 
Plus a free taco and my love! (name that movie)

My reconnection with blog and writer friends leads me to my monthly Insecure Writers Support Group check in. Releases are few and far between, so the IWSG seems to be the biggest reason I keep blogging. And communicating with my writer friends is the main reason I keep writing (that and the stories crammed in my head needing to be told!) I worry all the time that my books aren't selling and I can't seem to build my base - and I worry more that it might be because I'm only a so-so writer, which is very believable.

Last month, I shared my big plans. I wasn't working full time then, so I was very ambitious! Today, I started my long-term assignment that goes thru the rest of the year - great for sending first son to college, terrible for writing and marketing... Especially when I'm not encouraged to keep writing at home. That's why I keep participating in IWSG - you guys keep me going! Thanks!

Enough feeling sorry for myself, many others have much bigger problems than me. On to the NEWS!

>>>If you haven't seen this cover - you're in for a TREAT! LOOK!

by Cathrina Constantine
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Genre: YA/Coming of Age

During the Vietnam War-torn Sixties, a time of peace demonstrations, sit-ins, flag-burnings, and flower power, sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe has to choose between staying an innocent good girl or letting herself enter the exciting world of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. She plunges into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, and meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer. She’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Drifting from party to party, underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he's the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

Add to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Cathrina is also looking for volunteers to help with her Book Blitz!

>>>I'm also excited to introduce...

by Theresa Milstein
Release Date: March 21, 2017
by Vine Leaves Press

This is Theresa's moving poetry and prose collection, and some of it is autobiographical. It's been a long journey, and she's finally made it! Congratulations, Theresa!

Theresa's Blog

>>>And here's a GIVEAWAY offer!
There's one big thing we can do to help each other is post reviews (I'm reading three books I plan to review soon!) And with second books needing more love, I want to give out some copies for review!

Here's my free offer - if you've read POP TRAVEL or BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, I would love to give you a free ecopy of either sequel for review. Just mention in the comments if you're interested.

>>>Here are the results of January's Writerly Survey about Creativity!

I should've added an "All of the above" choice - that's what the purple really represents!

Here are some interesting characters from the respondants... plus some traits.
  • Corten - mixed race, friendly but elusive about past
  • Angela Mercy - editor of the fictional Persons Magazine.
  • Raz - A drinking bad ass kangaroo. His name came off the top of my head.
  • Gawain, Callan, Darrion
  • Kálmán Ferdinánd Rein (later Shimron Amichai) - left angry, cynical, bitter, ranting, trigger-happy, wounded after surviving four concentration-camps. Plus his fiancée Klaudia and his best friend Móric
  • Arthur Finley - mousey demeanor, high IQ, brown hair, pale skin with freckles; glasses work in accounting but is really a spy, not the action hero kind, but a numbers/information spy.
  • D’Anar Gillin - He feels much, which often translates into action. He has a tendency to often make decisions for those he cares about or feels responsible, sometimes without asking permission. The irritating thing about him is that he is usually right.  He possesses a keen intuition and instincts, and he knows it. high intelligence, but has a blind spot for himself and those closest to him.  Honor is a natural - sometimes at high personal cost.
  • Clarence - likes the water because he's a shark
  • Hutch McQueen - The good guy in bad guy clothing. 
Only a few writers surveyed, have written in mixed genres...
  • Contemporary verse
  • Crime thriller/Romance
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy
I hope you enjoyed this extra long post! More questions coming up on 2/13! This time I'll be asking about "one-liners"

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Sweetheart Month!