July blog winner….




And our July blog winner is…Sheila Hall! Congratulations Sheila, and thank you for all the great comments!

Famous boats…can you add to the list? It’s prize weekend!




It’s the big finish! I’ve been so pleased with the lovely reviews for Sailing In Style and this release month has churned right by. So let’s end with a splash, shall we? Let’s make a list of all the famous boats that have chugged their way into books and film. I’ll start.

The Titanic: Who hasn’t heard about the famous British passenger liner that was lost to an iceberg in 1912? The Titanic lives on via books and films and I’ve even heard that there are plans afoot to build another Titanic! 

Your turn! Add to the list via a blog comment and you’re entered to win a signed book and a ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. Winner announced this weekend! All aboard!




What’s your idea of a vacation?



Summer vacation! That phrase sparks wild enthusiasm in the education community. As a third grade teacher I can tell you it does in my world. Extra time to read? Write? Hang out with my highschoolers who are temporarily freed from piles of homework? Sweet! Vacation isn’t really vacation, of course, for those who are familiar with the teaching biz. There are conferences, planning times, classrooms to be overhauled, etc, but still, it’s a nice break from the frantic pace of schooling.

People often ask if I get vacations from writing. Well…I’m not totally sure that is possible. Yes, I enjoy trips (Yosemite and Tahoe this summer) but do I really ever stop writing? Physically yes. I leave my laptop home, but since my brain comes along, there’s never reimageally a down time. I’m a passionate imaginer, and I don’t really want to take a vacation from that. I’m not sure I could. At times, I’ve felt guilty about it. Why can’t you put your imagination on vacation, Dana? I don’t know why, but I just can’t do it.

So what is a vacation to you? A special trip? A day off from work to focus on home matters? I would love to hear your thoughts. This week is the last chance to comment on the blog to win the signed book and ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. Winner announced this weekend!




Glam quiz time dahling! Which iconic actress are you?



Because I am a hoity toity writer (no, let me change that to novelist) I lead an extremely glamorous life. There are the multi city book signings, the TV and radio interviews, five-star hotels and chocolates on the pillow each morning. At least, that’s what it’s like in my imagination.

Stepping out of my fantasy life, is not so glam. I drive a Toyota, clean up after the dog and spend a lot of time hunting for lost socks and car keys. You know what? I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but it’s fun to pretend once in a while.

So take this quiz, and tell me which iconic actress you are! Post your results to the blog and you’re entered to win an OH SO GLAMOROUS book and ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. 






Three no-nos for writers! Do you agree, readers?


It’s just as important to know what NOT to do in this wacky world of fiction writing as it is to keep abreast of the to-do list. Here are my top three ultimate no-nos for writers. Do you agree readers/writers out there in cyberland?

1. Don’t bore your reader. The easiest way to break this rule is to wax eloquent with description. I know it’s painful for writers who have an arsenal of lovely phrases at their fingertips to describe that glorious sunrise, but really, one or two sentences will do. Similarly, readers appreciate a little description of your character’s cornflower blue eyes, etc, but they just need a hint and their imaginations fill in the rest.

2. Don’t trick your reader. This is especially true for a mystery/suspense/thriller book. Writers have to sprinkle in enough clues that the reader has a shot at figuring out who the villian is, or the solution to the mystery. It’s truly bad form to drop in a villain towards the end of the book that the reader hasn’t seen before. Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater! Readers like to put their detective skills to work, so don’t cheat them out of the chance to do that.

3. Don’t disrespect your reader. If someone writes to you, write back if at all possible. Emails should be aswered and blog comments replied to. The readers are your clients and without them, you are out of business. These are people like you, who love books, words, ideas and they spent some of their hard earned money and time on YOUR book, when there were many other choices they could have made. Honor that, and honor them.

So what do you think, writers and readers? What else should be on my list? Comments get you entered in the July drawing for a book and a ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace. :) 



Review: Sailing in Style by Dana Mentink

dana mentink:

How very kind! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! :)

Originally posted on Britt Reads Fiction:

Sailing in Style It was such a pleasure to return to the town of Tumbledown, California. Sailing in Style is book two in the Love by Design series. If you haven’t read book one, don’t worry, this one can stand on its own. But, if you have read Return to Pelican Inn, you will enjoy revisiting characters from the first book.

Sailing in Style contains a touching love story and explores some deep fears and hurts. The main characters, Cy and Piper, have a prior broken relationship together. Both are heartsick about what happened in the past and are now forced to work together on the River King. These two must traverse a rough road, filled with many painful memories from the past. I thought the author did a great job with their relationship.

There is a bit of light mystery flowing through the story that will keep the reader on their toes, some…

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Why my writing is going to the dogs…..



Sometimes is seems as though my writing life revolves around themes. Currently, it’s dogs. That’s all right with me because I love dogs, I think of them as angels in furry coats! I’ve embarked (no pun intended) on a lighthearted dog themed series for Harvest House while also writing a K9 cop story for Love Inspired Suspense which features a big old slobbery bloodhound named Hawk. So there you go! I’m adding some dogs to the fictional pantheon! Let’s have some fun making a list of famous fictional dogs. I’ll start us off with the obvious….LASSIE!

Your turn! Can you think of any famous fictional dogs? Post your reply and you’re entered to win a signed book and a neato ‘boat in a bottle’ necklace at the end of the month. 




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