Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Perfect Gift

When's the last time you went to a bookstore?

I'm sad to say it's been several months for me... I love walking around and seeing the covers and smelling the fresh paper... checking out new titles from favorite authors, looking for new reads. I miss it. I need to go!

I wish a book was the perfect give for the people in my life. My parents still love to read, and I'm glad I get to buy them books for gifts. But so many of my friends and relatives don't. Makes me sad.

I'm not much better. I have enough books to last me a century of reading... Harder than picking out gifts for others, I hate coming up with gift ideas for myself! At my age, I just see what I want and buy it. I was glad my boys came up with great lists this year. Sometimes they just ask for gift cards. Maybe it's a sign of maturity? haha

So what's the perfect gift for you? You might give me some ideas!

Hope your holiday season is off to a great start and you have safe travels wherever you may go this month. 

Enjoy your family and friends.

And can you believe 2022 is right around the corner??


2021 has been a tornado of a year! I'm trepidatious of what will happen next.
Good Luck and Cheers! See you next year!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Tempting Friendship - Scavenger Hunt

She's been writing for 10 years today!

And to celebrate, she's set up a Scavenger Hunt. Find the word in the blurb and head over to her blog for the list of other participants. When you've collected at least five, go back to her blog and comment on the post "Happy Birthday AND Anniversary" to be entered in the GIVEAWAY.

TEMPTING FRIENDSHIP by Patricia Josephine

No human can resist Keane, so why can Quinn?

Keane is an incubus coasting through life without a care. It’s actually pretty boring. Then he meets Quinn, a human who can resist the allure of an incubus. That shouldn’t be possible. He’s going to have to use all of his wiles if he’s going to seduce her.

Quinn is less than impressed by Keane. He’s too cocky and has sex on the brain. A typical male, and her complete opposite. Despite their differences, they can’t deny the attraction between them. Can a human and an incubus make a relationship work?

But something sinister is lurking in Keane’s world. Incubi are vanishing, and when Quinn is kidnapped, Keane realizes someone is after him. He races to uncover who is behind the abductions and find Quinn. Will he get to her before it’s too late? Or is their tempting romance doomed?

Tempting Friendship is a friends to lovers urban fantasy.
Steam rating: Warm (Moderately explicit sensuality.)

Add to Goodreads

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Don't Skip Over November!

November is my month!
It pains me how some folks rush right into Christmas Season the day after Halloween. I don't fault them for it though--I look forward to Christmas, too. I just hold back until after Thanksgiving. I cherish my bday month!

So for today's IWSG post, I'm going to lay a super cute & super short November story on you...

November Wind

Scowling, gray clouds covered the crisp afternoon sky. Heather tugged her burnt-orange scarf tighter against the brisk Fall breeze, chilling her through her plaid coat. She was glad she wore her stylish high boots over her leggings as she walked down the sidewalk helping protect her from the dropping temps. Shivering, she looked forward to meeting her friends for happy hour after a long week of meetings and crunching numbers and quickened her pace.

But the wind was just getting started.

As Heather turned a corner, a gust blew up her skirt and coat, lifting them a little too high, just as a group of guys approached. Heather rolled her eyes and quickly smoothed her ruffled clothes as the wind chuckled a few more spurts of air at her, mussing her hair. The guys chuckled too as they walked  on by. But one of them stopped.

"Need a hand? Sure is windy today."

"Understatement," Heather said under her breath and blushed. "No. I'm fine thanks."

"Okay. Try to keep warm." He grinned at her and left to catch up with his friends.

How embarrassing. Heather kept her head down and arms wrapped tightly around her as she sped to the pub. She sure needed a drink.

Unfortunately, the wind taunted her one last time. It swirled ahead of her, causing a whirlwind of fallen leaves to dance around her feet and more to descend on her from a tree above. As she waved at the  cyclone of leaves, her scarf loosened, and the wind took it. It was whisked away, up into the tree and caught in its branches.

"Screw it." Shaking her head, she huffed and went inside the bar to find her friends.

After a couple of drinks and a warm pretzel and cheese appetizer, Heather warmed up and forgot all about the November Wind teasing her.

Until the door burst open. The wind stole inside, chilling everyone and blowing out candles on the tables. The patrons gasped and shouted in surprise. Heather just laughed. Now, everyone else had a taste of what she'd been through.

Before the doors were shut, in blew Mr. Helpful. As he looked around, he spotted Heather. Their eyes met, and he strode toward her. He was holding her burnt-orange scarf.

She owed a wisp of thanks to the mischievous November Wind.

Hope you enjoyed that! And now, down to business.
I have two shout outs to share. First is...

NEXUS by Tyrean Martinson

Amaya is supposed to bring peace to the galaxy. Which is tough when she’s being held for crimes against the Neutral Zone. Her imprisonment is on her own ship with her own crew. But close quarters create tension.

Honestly, her role as Rayatana is a mess.

She may never get to use her powers for anything good. Not if her teacher continues to keep secrets, and not if her powers keep harming others. Putting her mother in a coma should put her in prison, but she has a mission. She wants to bring peace to her people. She needs to become the Rayatana.

Book Links:

I've read the first book, LIFTOFF and it was fantastic! Now, I'm getting into NEXUS. Great characters and a fun, unique story. Yay! I also told her I'd post my favorite sci-fi beverage -- while writing. It's usually water, which is too boring. So I'd have to make up a fun, spaced-out cocktail. Something blue and glowing!


SHATTERED by C. Lee McKenzie

Courage put Libby Brown into the final selection for the Olympics, but betrayal crushed her spine and her chance at the Gold. Now she has two choices, use her courage to put her life back together, or remain shattered forever.

Links:   Amazon ~ Goodreads

I love Lee's writing style. She masterfully captures teenage hardships, relationships, and how they deal with life.

And a last shout out to anyone braving the undertaking of 

Good luck. And May Your Words Flow Freely!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Feed Me!

Feedback makes us grow - and sometimes cringe. But it's imperative to writers. We need to know what readers (and other writers) think.

So welcome to my October IWSG post promoting FEEDBACK! I appreciate my critique partners and readers so much! Especially when I start to doubt myself...

And that's why we need feedback. When it's negative or "constructive" we can improve. When it's positive we feel encouraged that we aren't completely wasting our time. So give feedback when you can, it's very important to a writer. BTW, silence can also be read as negative feedback. I have been guilty of that. 

So let's try to step up the feedback! I have a couple of friends counting on me right now, so I need to get to it!

Can you tell I've been at school for a while with all the memes? Not getting much writing/editing done, but I'm trying. Haven't given up yet... You hang in there too!

PS - Stop by the IWSG Anthologies page and check out images of our stories and how we see them... Good luck if you entered the latest contest!

Happy October, my spooky friends!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Ripple Effect

Ever feel hopeless and helpless and there's nothing you can do about it?
Me too.

The world is so crazy right now. Lately, I've been crying more, cursing more, and praying more. I wish I could DO more for those who are suffering and help change the direction of the world somehow. But it's depressing and defeating because I feel like it's just me, and I can't change the world by myself.

Then we had our back to school "yeah-rah" professional development meeting. *Eye Roll*
But it was actually pretty great this year. The speakers really got to me. They shared moving stories and emphasized that we need to keep being a positive light, be the ripple in the pond, because our actions are seen by others and can influence them to keep the ripple going wider and wider. What might seem like a little thing can have a big, long-lasting, out-reaching effect. 

The IWSG is for sharing and caring. And unloading. I still feel very small in the universe. But thinking about the ripple effect, I am inspired to keep trying to be positive and find ways to help more people see there is goodness and light in the world. And if we ban together, the light will spread to banish the darkness.

On the writing front, I have some good news and some bad news.

First, the bad news: I had two book events last month and one of them was awful. It's disheartening to set up, sit around for hours, and only sell one book to my friend...

Now, the good news: the first book event went very well. You never know how they're going to go. So I based my second event on previous experience at the venue and on the success of my first event, so the lameness of the second event was magnified.

The better news: I got 2 glowing reviews from a reader about CONDUCTION and for my latest un-princess novella: GERTRUDE, the Nerdy Princess. This gave me the push I needed to get the ebook version of GERTRUDE out there and I finally republished DISPOSAL, Pop Travel #3!

I keep chugging. And I hope you do to. 

If you have any advice 
on how to keep a positive outlook
 when things are bleak, 
please share!


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

We'll have fun, fun, fun?

It's August IWSG Day!

I have to hurry up and enjoy my last couple weeks of freedom! Since my summer vacay is winding down, I'm getting the most out of it by meeting friends for lunch, shopping, and writing/editing my boo-tay off! -- all the things I never have time for during the school year. And with the aspirations I'm hoping to undertake, I may not get a summer off again... I'll elucidate more if it comes to fruition. (Don't you just love big words?? 😆)

A big THANK YOU to my reading volunteers. I just sent off CONDUCTION to them and can't wait to gobble up their feedback. I also have two events coming up that I'm super excited to do. It's about darn time!

Not much more to add, just plugging away to get ready for what's ahead and hope I'm prepared for any sudden surprises. But I do have one last special announcement...

The Writers Chat is up and running! After getting some feedback, we are chatting again. We need connections and a safe place to share ideas, speak our minds, and get encouragement. Here are the deets:

TUESDAYS, 7:30 pm (EST)
on a private Discord Channel (very easy to join and use w/o worries)

Next Tues (8/10) our topic is: Planning - Plotting vs Pantsing
but we usually get side-tracked, so anything is on the table...

We'd love for you to join us. Let me know if you want to be on my reminder list or if you have any questions about it.

I hope your August is fruitful and things aren't too crazy in your part of the world.
Don't let it get you down -- Write it out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Anyone else HOT?!

Well, it's full-on summer, and you know what that means...

Hot fun in the sun! And we get to go back out and enjoy it. At least I hope you can where you are. I'm going to ignore all the nastiness in the world because I don't like to get into that here. This is a place for  encouraging each other, spreading good news, and ranting about writing ONLY. So Happy July IWSG Day!

Summer is my time to WRITE. I don't get to devote much time to writing while I'm teaching, planning, and grading papers during the school year, so I go nuts in the summer. I'm very happy that I got to finish a couple of rounds of edits on CONDUCTION, Pop Travel #4 with a super devious cliff hanger at the end. I've sent it to my go-to CP, but I could use a couple more sets of eyes, so if you're interested in BETA READING it, let me know. So excited! 

I also hope to work on the next BEAST WORLD book 4. To keep it MG, Gabe's little sister is starring in the next three books. What do you think of the title: TWINKLE STINKLE?? hahaha. Plus, I'd like to go back to my Christian YA novel - inspiration comes in spurts for that one and I really have to feel it to get back into it...

What are you working on? 
Are you staying MOTIVATED in this HEAT??

I also get to READ more in the summer -- YAY! Here are two stories I was able to finish and review lickety split when summer hit:

by M.J. Fifield

For too long, Lavinia Kelly has been going through the motions. Her family knows why, but it’s nothing she wants to discuss.

Then in strolls Llewellyn Weiss who has a few secrets of his own. Though she can’t deny the attraction, she’s determined to do just that, and it’ll take a lot more than witty banter and a flawless set of abs to change her mind.

But when the secrets are inevitably exposed, Lavinia is forced to deal with the catastrophe that ensues, including her own devastating past. Nothing will ever be the same again...

My Review:
This is not your typical romance novel. It delves deeper into all the complex relationships involved when two people connect--and though things start with hot attraction, there's always history to deal with. It's full of emotion and exciting twists!

by Tyrean Martinson

A spaceship in disguise,
an Earth girl searching for a sense of home,
and a Thousand Years’ War between alien races
all collide on a summer afternoon.

My Review: This was a great teenage space adventure with vivid world building and tons of action. Logical Amaya Is thrust into a conflict between antagonistic aliens who have to find a way to work together if they all want to survive. And Amaya is the key to it all.

Lastly, I have some good news to share...

I had the opportunity to offer my take on RESEARCH for Gail Baugniet's blog (Mon 7/5) -- and offered to review POP TRAVEL for me (Wed 7/7). Always great to share advice and get a solid review! Yay!

And another fun project I had time for... To spread the word about DARK MATTER's exciting stories, we put together a book trailer. Check it out!

Personally, I love how each author has such a different take on Dark Matter. And you can see some of their styles shine through in their video/audio contributions.

(WHAT A DEAL: If anyone would like me to crank out a book trailer for you, we might be able to work out a trade!)

DARK MATTER Purchase info:

Looking to reboot a regular WRITERS CHAT - Fill out this FORM to let me know if you're interested.

I miss you guys!

AND DON'T FORGET - If you can whip up a fun first romance story for the next IWSG Anthology Contest, you should give it a go!

Stay Cool!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Let's Get Crazy!

School's Out for Summer!

And.... I'm already bored. JK! I've reorganized my office, tackled a mountain of neglected laundry, and gotten a bunch of editing done on my next Pop Travel--CONDUCTION. I'm still woefully several thousand words short of my goal, but it's getting there... It's only been a week!

So it's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group. I almost forgot! I went from Memorial Day weekend where I enjoyed a surprise visit from my Army Son and his sweet new fiancée! To all of a sudden June. How often does Memorial Day fall on May 31? Anyway, here we are.

And my question to you this month - As the world has morphed and we are free to roam about again... 

What has changed for you? 

Back when things were normal, we went out to eat, went to ball games, movies, shopping, traveled -- all of which were severely cut back. In my neck of the world, we gradually started back last summer and praise be, we had in-person school the entire year--the kids were awesome about all the limitations and precautions. Now that we can do more, I feel like a prairie dog poking its head out to see if it's safe. It looks clear to me, and I've been scampering all over, without my mask! I'm superwoman, you know--vaccinated AND had the stupid virus. 

what I think I look like to the public...
(love Avril Lavine!)
And I can't stop smiling at all the wonderful strangers who probably think I'm CRAZY. More like everyone has been Stir-Crazy and ready to get out of the house. I just want to hug Everyone!

It's recovery time. We need to let the crazy loose and get it out of our system, then we can return to a semblance of normal. It's a period of catharsis. And I can't wait to get out there and see and do more. Especially my in-person event this month!

What will you be doing this summer? 
What have you been doing in your down time?
Any benefits or reflections from the past year?

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Afraid to Say Anything?

Welcome to Insecure Writers Support Group Day. I hope you are having a great Cinco de Mayo and will enjoy Mother's Day on Sunday. Baseball is in full swing here and that's a great thing!

Now, I'll get right to my topic for this month... These days, we live in a hyper-sensitive world. I'm afraid there might be things in my books that could be taken the wrong way or offend people--even though it's all made up fiction based on flawed characters... I never used to worry about it until recently. Does anyone else feel this way?

I know we can't please everyone. But lately there's an increasing number of people who seem to be looking for things to complain about or nit pick... 
Though I have to say, this problem is not unfamiliar to me as I've been offending people my whole life. I have a sarcastic sense of humor and tend to say things I think are harmless, usually joking, but others might get their feelings hurt. A couple of times, I've just been minding my own business and someone said I was a snob or worse. I never mean to offend people, but I find out later that my words or actions came across the opposite of what I intended.

When I was an innocent, nerdy high schooler, I met a cute guy at a football game. We talked, and I liked him, and he seemed to like me. But he didn't go to our school. He mentioned where he lived and I found his address in the phone book, so I wrote him a letter (YES, I'M THAT OLD!) I meant everything to be funny and cute and cool in a teasing way, trying to sound casual, and I had no idea if he'd even get it.

Well, a few days later, a girl in my class confirmed he got the letter, but he was totally ticked over what I said: something about him being a dropout--which he said he was--and another about being a beach bum--which he also said he was, as we lived in Florida. I thought I was making light of what he'd told me and admired him for the way he was living, but he must've had some insecurities about it that I never dreamed of--he was a cute "bad boy" to me. But this girl berated me for my letter, really let me have it. Maybe she was jealous. I never liked her anyway... Needless to say, nothing more came of it.

When these things have happened over the years, I'm reminded to try to be more aware of others' feelings. Then again, I say: You can't please everyone. Some people just won't like you no matter how nice you try to be. And I believe the majority of people get the jokes and are fine.

Either way, if you ever notice me say something stupid or offensive -- please tell me! And I'm curious if you've ever had a similar experience.



Dark Matter: Artificial

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology


Discover dark matter’s secrets…

From an AI’s true role to bumbling siblings lost in deep space. 

Or dark matter could be sentient, judging if we're worthy of existence. 

Or even transport you to another reality!

Join ten fabulous authors as they explore dark matter: 

Artificial - Stephanie Espinoza Villamor 

Space Folds and Broomsticks - C.D. Gallant-King

Rift – Kim Mannix          The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans

Sentient – Tara Tyler         One to Another – Deniz Bevan

Resident Alien - Charles Kowalski          Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim

Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller          Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert



Amazon     iTunes      Kobo      Barnes & Noble      Goodreads

Published by Dancing Lemur Press

And we're having a PARTY of BLOG VISITS to celebrate!

May 4 – Laura Billings

Interview question


May 4 - Jemi Fraser

Interview question


May 5 - Ellen Jacobson

Interview with Stephanie


May 6 – Mason Canyon

Short guest posts from Charles, CD, and Tara


May 7? - Louise Barbour



May 10 - Nick Wilford

Guest post from CD


May 12 - Cathrina Constantine

Short pitch from all authors

Stop by and let us know what you think.

Have a great MAY!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Way Less Sad!

Things are looking up!

As up as they can for now anyway. Here's my favorite song for the moment - Way Less Sad by AJR

I hope things are looking up for you as well. I just need to stay away from the news and petty people. Harder than it sounds these days...

But I'm not going to go there. I'm going to stay as positive as I can. Happy Insecure Writers Support Group Day! Spring is here! And here are a few things I'm happy about:
  • Spring Break - I took the opportunity to write a short story for a weekly contest I've been wanting to try. Yay!
  • Baseball - my son finally got to play baseball with his high school team - he hasn't been able to for 2 years. (First year he had surgery, then there was the pandemic) So excited to see him on the field!
  • Sunny Days - the weather has definitely improved, which adds to the pleasant atmosphere.
  • LIVE EVENT! - I just opened a hopeful email for a local, in-person, and affordable shopping event! Wish me luck!
Lastly, I'm looking forward to the IWSG anthology DARK MATTER to release in MAY. Anyone who'd like to wrap their brain around some awesome sci-fi nuggets, let me know. Happy to send ARCs!

I have to keep reminding myself that the Lows will be balanced out by the Highs. Don't you forget it either!

What are some things making you happy this month?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

One of those days... for a month

February was crap. And I don't think it was just me. Fair warning - it's going to be a bumpy Insecure Writers Support Group.

There were a few bright spots (snow days, wrote a song), and I've been trying to stay positive and hopeful as I dodge the darts hurled at me and hurdle the obstacles tossed in my way... Seriously, I'm in a crazy adventure game and fate is kicking me when I'm down.

First, the whole country had to deal with snow and freezing rain - like we needed more reasons to stay secluded inside. And many states were not prepared for such fierce weather. Oh, but Florida was nice - my men all traveled there, then got stuck a couple of extra days... poor them. That's okay, it gave me time to write and readjust my teaching plans from the snow days.

Then when they got back, someone was sick and refused to get tested or take precautions. So now I have it. Ugh. At least the symptoms are minor - could be much worse. But now I'm working overtime with sub planning and teaching remotely. Plus, being sick makes for high tension at home, everyone's been extra sensitive and on edge. I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE! 

But I can't. I'm stuck watching re-runs, tired of sitting at my desk, getting zero exercise, and alone. Wah wah wah. I keep telling myself it will get better soon, right?

This is usually where I try to find the light at the end of the tunnel, but at this point, I can't. I'm not done wallowing. Just one more things keep piling onto my heap!

Sorry for all the bad vibes this month.
My April report should be better right?
Send me your goodness and happy thoughts!

I'm ready to start appreciating...
Hope things are better in your part of the world!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021


Crickets are what you will hear from my writing progress...

Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Group - Feb 2021
I sadly don't feel like much of a writer lately. And I'm taking a break from my Newsletter until I have news--seemed like an appropriate thing to do. It's been a big bummer not being able to do any events. The whole world seems to be hibernating, waiting for the never-ending storm to pass. 

And it's not for lack of ideas. I get plenty of nudges from my muse, but my job is so nuts because of all the extra work we have to do for the remote kids I barely get all the necessities done. I'm really looking forward to the days off we have coming up--I just hope I'm in the mood to write! #writerslife

But we carry on. The year is chugging along, and I shan't complain too much -- I found time while I was locked down last summer to crank out a short story and won a spot in the DARK MATTER IWSG anthology - Yippee!

Be sure to check out all the authors at the Anthology Website and look at this awesome cover:

Looking for Reviewers if you want a first look at the awesome sci-fi goodness! Just let me know.

Tell me what you're up to!
What are you reading? What are you watching?
Share your good news!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Harpy New Year and Best Witches!

Welcome 2021!

And thanks for stopping by the Insecure Writers Support Group

I'm usually pretty optimistic as each new year begins... but we all know how last year tore us up, so this year I'm CAUTIOUSLY optimistic. I'm always hopeful things will get better, and I'm up for the challenges. Though I'm not one to cower from change, I don't enjoy it, especially so much at once. In 2020, my writing waned, but I can't complain--I've been doing pretty well dealing with the rest of life.

As we start a fresh new year, I hope you are healthy, happy, and hopeful!

Besides re-publishing most of my books in 2020, I was determined to publish something new... and I did it, barely. (My post title goes with my latest Un-Princess novella.)


GERTRUDE, the nerdy princess
Un-Princess Novella #4
by Tara Tyler

High school can be tough for teenagers, but it’s nothing compared to Princess School. Especially for an awkward, overweight, nerdy princess who likes to read.

Princess Gertrude wants to be a great Queen someday, so she endures the daily torments of the frilly princesses. Until they go too far. With her emotions and clothes in tatters, she runs away into the haunted dark forest—not that she believes in such things. But what she finds there will teach her more about courage and leadership than that ridiculous Princess School ever could.

paperback on Lulu $4.99

Would love to send you a FREE copy for a review
(pdf or signed paper--let me know!)

After discovering some new "improvements" at Amazon, I have to do some fancy dancing to get the e-book done, as if the normal hoops and hurdles of self-publishing weren't exasperating enough. Plus all the joys of adding it to Goodreads--another fun-filled, hair-pulling-out experience. It's a good thing I love to write--I'm used to overcoming obstacles, and I can apply it to my characters!

This year, I'm not going to be specific on goals, considering last year's list was a waste of time! I just have a bunch of hopes: 
  • I hope to finish CONDUCTION Pop Travel #4. I'm half-way through the first draft and decided one of the events needs a major rewrite--I was taking the easy way, and easy = boring, so...
  • I really hope to get out and do some live book events this year
  • I hope to find time to read more and write more
The end. Keeping it simple. I'll post updates here, which helps remind me to keep at it!

How did you do for writing in 2020?
Have you made any goals or have hopes for this year?

Getting it done in

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