Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spring Fling Giveaway

It's spring and I'm feel frisky because hey . . . who isn't? One can't help but frolic when the sun is shining and the grass is green. Except those who are sneezing their heads off from allergies, I suppose. But never fear, even for allergy sufferers, here's a reason to kick up your heels with my SPRING FLING GIVEAWAY.

Here's your chance to enter to win a signed copy of The Captive Heart. Just click on the Rafflecopter drawing below to toss your name in the hat. Easy peasy! And feel free to share the love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

5 Types of Rough Drafts ~ An Infographic

As always, this is yours for the taking. Copy and paste wherever and whenever because it's all yours.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Being an Artist is Scary

I'm starting a new book. See the picture? Yeah, that's a blank plot board. You would think by book number thirteen it would get a little easier, right? Hah! Wrong. It's not. In fact sitting down to write another manuscript after a dozen is just as scary as writing the first.

Newsflash: It doesn't get easier. Ever. Why? Because being an artist is always going to be scary. I don't have any scientific evidence to back that statement up, but I do have a few thoughts as to why that is . . .

Art is subjective. 
Not everyone is going to get your art. You can know that and even believe it, but when a critic comes along and barfs nasty-venom juice all over your work, it still stings. That's a frightening risk you take every time you go public with something you create.

Not all art is equal.
Your new piece of work might be suckier than previous creations. You're afraid people won't like this project as much as ones you did before. But here's the deal . . . odds are what you create won't be 100% awesome all of the time. You can always hope to do better, but the niggling fear that this time whatever you made might be a flop is always in the back of your mind.

The magnitude of the project is terrifying.
Writing a book is a HUGE undertaking. So is painting a picture, designing an ad promo, photographing a wedding . . . whatever art it is that you're attempting to do is always going scare the bejeebers out of you if you care about your work.

Anytime you set out on an artistic endeavor, you're going to be afraid. It's the nature of the beast. The question is will you let that fear paralyze you or empower you to beat it back with a stick?


Friday, April 21, 2017

Thoughts on a Few Non-Fictions

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An engaging read. I can't say I learned a lot about the craft that I didn't already know, but King did a great job with his no-nonsense presentation. Here are a few of my favorite quotes . . .

"What made me think I had anything worth saying?"
I love that even one of the most prolific and successful writers I know has doubts about his abilities.

"Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do--not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad."
Whew. I can finally stop looking for a magic formula because apparently there isn't one.

"The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better."
Amen.

My biggest takeaway value from this book is that it validated my sometimes angst over writing a story, that I'm not the only one who carries around a basket of doubts.

The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant LifeThe Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blown away.

Yep, once again Voskamp's amazing writing style kills me with a thousand different phrases. I totally mutilated this book with highlights and dog ears and tears. Here are just a very few of the awesome things Ann had to say . . .

"Who doesn't know what it's like to smile thinly and say you're fine when your'e not, when you're almost faint with pain?"

"There are graves coming, there is dark coming, there is heartbreak coming. We are not in control, and we never were."

"Great grief isn't made to fit inside your body. It's why your heart breaks."

"Maybe our hearts are made to be broken. Broken open. Broken free. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest in wisdom."

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."

I could go on and on but what's the point? Go buy the book already!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mid-Week Inspiration

Anyone need a mid-week writerly kick in the pants? I sure do. So today just sit back, grab a cup o' joe, and be inspired. Oh yeah, and feel free to steal these and spread the inspiration around.







Monday, April 17, 2017

Free Book!

Yeah, you read that right. My publisher is running a hot spring sale today and tomorrow -- hot as in el freebo. You can get the ebook version of OUT OF THE FRYING PAN right now, right HERE.
And just in case you don't have one of them there fancy newfangled ebook reading gadgets, no worries. You can always download it to your computer and read it from there -- or if you're super lazy, install text reading software and have your computer read it back to you. Easy peasy.

Here's what RT Book Reviews has to say about it:

"A laugh out loud mystery with quirky, lovable characters who find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The storyline is believable and comes with descriptions of mouth-watering food, which makes for a delicious plot! A cohesive and fast-moving novel." 4-Stars! RT Book Reviews

And here's a blurb:

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.


If you haven't read this one, give it a whirl. You've seriously got nothing to lose. And if you have read it, thank you and spread the word.

Friday, April 14, 2017

National Library Week

Pull out your wing-twingler horns, bang on your whoopdedoodle drums, and let's have a big round of applause for National Library Week!

I grew up going to the library several times a week . . . which is quite a statement on my social life. But nowadays not even book nerds are hanging at the library. Information is accessible online. Amazon is just a click away. As a result, local libraries are visited less and less. 

So besides stuffing your face full of Peeps this weekend,  let's do our part to celebrate libraries. Pay yours a visit.

Another fun way to celebrate is to pop over to Out of Print Clothing. Besides snatching up yourself a sweet book-related tee-shirt, this company is responsible for donating 2.5 million books to communities in need and literary programs. And in honor of National Library Week, they've launched some fun collections.

Out of Print’s mission is to celebrate literature through fashion while spreading the joy of reading - - especially to those without access to books. By unearthing and licensing iconic book cover art to tell a story on fashion and lifestyle merchandise, Out of Print has developed a passionate following online and in stores across 80 countries.

 
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