Posts Tagged ‘books’

Don’t tell my students about my favorite thing…



No, not writing, not learning….my favorite thing is candy. That makes me sound so shallow, doesn’t it? I’m a hopeless sweettooth, so much so that my latest protagonist in Paws for Love is a chocolate maker. This, of course, required lots of sweet research! All these thoughts of chocolate put me in mind of a great YouTube mini series entitled Cross Country Candy Adventure! Check out the video for a chance to win some sweet prizes!


Some fun spring news…and a giveaway!

Books, growing


Here’s a link to my newest Spring newsletter! Lots of goodies, sneak peeks and book news! Take a look!


A new season with new chances to win!

Last day to enter the January contest! How many books did you read in January?

In honor of this last day of January, here’s a review of Dangerous Tidings, my holiday release. I was greatly blessed by the plethora of kind reviews and extremely honored by all those who took the time to post one.

So how many books would you estimate you read in this past month? Post your number and you’re entered into the January contest for a book and gift card. Winner announced tomorrow! 

Five Star Review of Dangerous Tidings





Buy Link, Dangerous Tidings


Hobby quiz…which one is right for you?



Dog with suitcases

The more you know about a fiction character, the more real they will seem to the reader. What do they like to eat? Where do they spend their free time? When I create characters, I also spend time thinking about what sort of hobby they might enjoy. A hobby can tell a lot about a person. A current character I’ve created for a suspense novel enjoys fly fishing. How about you? Got hobbies? Just for fun let’s take a quiz and see what hobbies are recommended for our personality type! You share yours and I’ll share mine!

Those scene stealing animal sidekicks.

Dog with suitcases

Harry has his Hedwig. Dorothy has Toto and there would be no Lone Ranger exploits without the faithful Silver. Animal sidekicks can sometimes emerge to be the unsung heroes of books or movies.

It’s funny how a character that can’t even speak can take over an entire novel. This happened in my latest book for Harlequin Heartwarming. The culprit? Baggy the dog. Sure his real life inspiration won an ugliest dog contest, but I get plenty of emails and messages from Baggy’s fans. Here’s a little snippet in which I explain where Baggy came from.

Hey! Let’s see if we can make a list of animal sidekicks from books or movies. Add a comment and you’re entered to win the drawing this month. Giving away an Amazon gift card and signed book! Hi-yo, Silver!

Show me the money…a writer’s expenses .

moneyIt’s cheap to write books, it really is. All you need is a keyboard or a notepad and pen. Selling them, on the other hand, is the pricey part. I am fortunate to write for Harlequin who does an incredible job marketing my books. Still, I need to do my share to help in that endeavor, so here are a few things I feel are worth the money.

1.  A professional author photo. Yes, you need one. That selfie you took in Disneyland is not going to send the message that you are a serious author.  Trust me.

2. A website and someone to design it. Yes, there are people so amazingly talented that they can design a professional website without paying someone else to do it. I am not one of those people. My website guru designed my site and updates it for me. If I have any more children, I am going to name them after him. This will be awkward for baby Jason, if she is a girl. but that can’t be helped.

3. Conferences. Yes, they can cost thousands included travel expenses. Yes, they are worth the money for the learning and more importantly, the networking. Be sure to pick a well respected conference that’s been around awhile.

4. Memberships. I belong to Romance Writer’s of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. I get neato magazines and internet access to all kinds of people and information. Well worth the money.

5. Giveaways. The jury is out on how cost effective these are, because mailing fees are a killer, but I like to send out books and goodies to people. I really am incredibly honored that folks read what I write, so sponsoring giveaways on blogs, Goodreads and my own FB and blog makes me happy. And there’s no price on happy, is there?

Outside of basic living expenses, what is something you spend a significant amount on? Do you recoup the value in dollars or in some other way?

The power of ‘STET’…use it wisely!

So you’ve written that heart wrenching, lyrical tome and packed it off to your editor. Whew! What a relief…until you get it back, covered with notes and editorial comments. Sigh. Now we’ve got some choices to make. Do we accept the changes to our exquisite manuscript? Or do we scribble STET, a word which literally means ‘let it stand’? In other words, STET is a way of saying to the editor, “No. I don’t accept your suggestions. Leave the silly thing the way I typed it!” Naturally, we writers feel as though our writing was fine the way we typed it, no? The temptation is to scribble STET all over the place, so our genius will not be diluted in any way. In reality, good editors will suggest changes not to alter the author’s message or vision, but to make that message and vision more impactful. Yes, I grumble all the way through my editing phase, but you know what? Most of the time, the editors comments are right. I eat humble pie, and I incorporate their changes. Infrequently, I disagree with an edit that alters my voice or changes an important aspect of what I wanted to say. Then I employ the powerful STET, but only in special cases. So respect the mighty power of the STET and use it wisely, young grasshopper! Heroes

Do you have a job or hobby where folks offer helpful criticism? How do you handle that? Giving away an Amazon gift card this month. All comments are welcome!