Tuesday, July 31, 2012


We all need a Play Day, and I had one yesterday. My youngest granddaughter, Josie, spent the night Sunday night, and we made doll clothes yesterday. I decided no computer. Nothing, but time with Josie.

We picked out our material Sunday night, and the pattern. Granddaddy got donuts at this wonderful little donut shop on Monday morning. They make the biggest donuts ever. Then we started cutting and sewing. I thought it was a good way to teach her to sew.

Josie did a lot of the cutting, and I started sewing. Those doll clothes are as hard to sew as an adult dress, and take about as long. I'm going to make a pillowcase dress for her doll today, if I feel like it after grocery shopping. It's so easy to make. I have several colors of ribbons I can run through the top and make pretty bows on the shoulders.

We need groceries. Our cupboards are bare.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Finally, we had rain. It has rained all around us, but never at our house. We have heard the thunder up and down the Tennessee River, but it never came across to our house. It rained within 2 or 3 miles of our house, but we didn't get a drop. Last night we got a fairly good rain. I'm not complaining because the ground was wet and the temperature dropped.

One of our next door neighbors is an avid fisherman. He had said he wasn't going to fish until it rained. This morning at 4:30 our phone rang. When my husband said, "I guess I can," the hairs on the back of my neck pricked. I knew someone in the family was sick or dead. No so. Our neighbor wanted to go fishing. Hubby is on the Ohio River now fishing. I took a leisurely nap until 7:30.

Wednesday I received Mary Connealy's latest book, Over the Edge. It's the last in the Kincaid Brides Series. It is wonderful, so far. My husband and I are reading it at the same time. I think I'm ahead, but I'm not sure. I went to bed earlier than he did last night, so he may be ahead of me. I'm getting ready to get ahead of him. That's what he gets for going fishing.

Have a good week-end.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Yes, finally I can write on my blog. I hate it when Google decides I may want a new blog, or they want to improve my blog. I have the hardest time getting back on and writing again. This time they messed me up royally. Now, I'm finally on.

This week has been working on my new web site. It looks very good, but is not completely finished. I still have a few more things to do. I am pleased with what I have done. Next week will be the beginning of formatting my ebook. I hope to have it formatted soon so I can send it out to some authors to review. This is beginning to become exciting.

This blog is short. I wanted you to know I am still in this world. I'm taking the rest of the day off and do some house work. Dust bunnies seem to be taking control of the house. I need to take care of them. I'll have more news for you soon. Hopefully, I'll have my web address for you to visit.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Yesterday I lacked thirty pages and Callie's Mountain would be finished. Yeah! My part of the edit would be done! Chapter 23 loomed before me, but it wasn't what it should be. There were three chapter missing. Where were they? I usually keep deleted parts of the book, but these were no place to be found. I had to rewrite those chapters because I thought they were important. Apparently someone else thought they were not.

Last week we had taken my husband's computer to the shop. He had been getting a blue screen with white writing when he turned it on. When you see that, hurry to the computer shop. It is trouble. Well, his computer was dead, real dead, rotten dead. We purchased a 'new to you' computer. He became stuck putting his things back on his computer, so I spent part of the afternoon helping him (doing it myself). Finally I got to the point where he could take over.

Back to my computer and writing. At 9 o'clock I was almost finished with adding the chapters and my eyes were crossing on the screen. I had to give it up and go to bed. Oh, the life of a writer.

My plans were to finish editing last night and get it to Sandi Rog to edit. It will probably be today before I get it to her. Now that my brain is calm, I remembered where my lost chapter may be. Got to see if I can find them. Pray for rain for us. Our grass is crinkly when we walk on it, but it's stopped the moles from digging up our yard, an it's too hot for flies. Some advantages for hot dry weather.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


When I started this blog several years ago, I was dedicated to write as often as I could. During the way, things came up, and I was unable to write. Now I am trying to be more diligent. It's a little hard today, because I really have nothing new to write.

I am half way through editing Callie's Mountain. Callie will be the first book I will publish. She's been a part of my life for so long, and I'm anxious to see her in print. Do you read ebooks or paperbacks? Leave a comment. I'd like to know. I know my cousin, who reads my blog daily, reads paperbacks. Thanks Carolyn for being my faithful reader. (I know this will surprise her.)

This is short, bit I'm still excited about Mantle Rock Publishing. I pray for good things.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Today I announce the impending birth of Mantle Rock Publishing. This is something I have prayed and thought about for a week. Today, I began the process. The opening day is September 1, 2012.

This is my thinking, or did I tell you this Friday? Anyway, I'm telling you again. It is hard for a new writer/author to get an agent. It's even harder to be accepted by a publisher who will accept a writer who does not have an agent.

I've had a publisher tell me, "Oh, we only take three new writers a year, and those slots are already taken." What do you do? Wait another year? You know, deep down inside, that defeats a writer. I know it does me, even with the anti-depression pills I take.

Then, there are the agents.  My best story is one agent, who will remain nameless, was going to send me a contract. After thirty days and no contract, I called her. "Oh, I forgot. I'll get it right out." Another thirty days. Another phone call. "Oh, I'm going with a new agency. Let me call him and see if he will let me accept you." What? You had already accepted me! She calls back. "I'm sorry, he doesn't want me to take any new clients until I'm used to the way he does things." Okay, I was accepted and rejected by the same person. Would I ever go with her? No way!!! If I could put my hands around her pretty little made-up neck, I would squeeze.

Another agent wrote me. "This is not MY book." Haven't yet figured it out, but though it was sorta flippant. She is not MY agent and never will be.

Now you see my reasoning. I'm tired of being turned down and rejected. I'm tired of having my heart broken. I want to see my book in print or on Kindle. I can do both. I'm also sorry to see my friends rejected, so I can do the same for them. I can put their book on Kindle and paperback and pay them a nice percentage.

Marketing, we can talk about it. Nothing but good things are ahead.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Today almost everyone has an ereader of some kind. I have a Kindle. My daughter has a Nook, but she gets Kindle downloads on her iPhone. If you have an iPad, you can do the same. Digital reading is everywhere. We still have hardback and paperback books, but if you get used to a ereader, it's hard to read a real book.

One of my author friends wrote me the other day and told me about Amazon ebooks. She kept saying, "We have to do this." We talked for over an hour on Skype. I've talked to another author who is doing this and making money! She is doing very little marketing because she has cancer and is not able to do much, but she is selling books.

I've been told by publishing houses, "We're only taking three new authors this year/" Where does that put you and me? So, I've been thinking, if I have a minimum chance of being published, why bother? I can start my own company, do my own marketing, print ebooks and paperbacks, sell in bookstores and online, sell in the US and Europe, and still make money. If I can do all that, why bother? I can also write the length I want, and I can put what I want in it. It will be Christian, no erotica.

So, I've got it all mapped out. If you are interested, send me your email and I'll talk to you more.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Central Park Rendezvous by Kim Vogel Sawyer, Ronie Kendig, Dineen Miller, and Mary Lou Tyndall will hit the shelves of book stores on August 1, 2012. These are some of my favorite authors, so it wasn't hard for me to sit down and read it. Barbour Publishing is the publisher of the book.

This book passes through 150 years and several wars. The main character is a gold coin that is passed from the Civil War to the Afghan War. The coin was a coin of true love, and it did bring true love to the one who held it. Such a good love story.

The book starts in modern day and involves letters that take you back to the Civil War and then back to modern day. That was a little different than most books that are written by multiple authors, It did keep me interested in the book. Very good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's the cover and the blurb.

Welcome to the Big Apple where four generations of heroes find a love that never ends. Home from Afghanistan, Sean Wolfe is avoiding his dreams. Will Jamie Russo and an old coin give him new hope? Once betrayed by love, Alan James is embittered. Will a sweet reunion in Central Park heal his broken heart? Helen Wolfe is struggling to provide for herself and her family. Is Bernie O’Day her answer to prayer? Damaged in body and soul by war, William Wolfe’s fiancée has rejected him. Will he ever risk his heart again? Will love persevere despite unimaginable odds?

Monday, July 9, 2012


Yes, that's right, six books to read this month. I've finished one, and I'm almost finished with the second. Plus, I've read bits and pieces of two of more of them. They are non-fiction, but are good. The heat makes a good time to read. It's too hot to do anything else but read or write.

Finally I am over my writer's block. I could shout "HALLELUJAH!!!" I am so glad to be moving along with my story. My characters were looking like paper dolls, but they are beginning to have a little life blown into them now. They are moving and doing funny things. 

I want this to be a funny book. Not serious, but fun. The black moment has me a little blocked. I don't know how I'm going to get there, but I think it will come to me before too long. It has to be real. I've tried one thing, but it didn't work. Now, I'm on to another idea. 

There is a murder. Don't you just love killing off the bad guy? He was too mean to live. Now I'm sounding like God. He was really too bad to live. 

That's enough about me. How are you handling the heat? Please drink a lot. We're staying in during the afternoon. I hope you all are too. The mornings are usually nice, but around noon it starts getting hot. We need rain, as I'm sure most of you do also.

Keep cool. Hopefully the weather will be cooler before long.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Recently I finished River's End by Melody Carlson. First of all I knew it was going to be about a river, and that was about all I knew. As I read the book, and learned how the river entwined with the lives of the people, I loved it more. The book comes out August 1, 2012

River's End is not a strong romance, but there is so much love with the people involved. Love of a family, and love of the river. Also love of the ancestors who came to the river before them. There are trials as with any family, but the trials are solved by the end of the book. I think I would call it a peaceful book. I was hurrying to get through my writing one day so I could find out what was going to happen next.

Anna is the strong main character of the book. She holds the family together. She is a peacemaker and a thinker. She longs for peace in her family. Clark is her husband and is kind and gentle, and longs to give her a surprise. They live in Shining Waters, an inn on the river. It's very charming and the description is wonderful. Anna's daughter, Lauren, manages the inn until her daughter, Sarah, comes home from a commune. There is friction between them, and Sarah runs away again.

This book is a story of forgiveness. How we can't dwell on hurt, but the hurt has to flow out of our lives like the river. A very good book. Well written. I enjoyed it so much. I give it five stars. Here's the picture of the cover and the blurb.

In the final story of The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna Larson's granddaughter Sarah is beginning to find her independence. But her relationship with her parents suffers as a result and she travels away from all that is familiar.

While the solace of the river calls Sarah back, surprises await upon her return. Three generations of family heartbreak and disappointments converge at Shining Waters as Sarah finds God right in the center of it all.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I'd like to welcome a long-time friend and fellow writer, AJ Hawke, to my blog. 

Born in Spur, Texas into a multi-generational Texas family, A J Hawke has traveled throughout the American West as well as other parts of the world and enjoys reading, writing, friends, family, and being a Christian.

AJ's recent release isMOUNTAIN JOURNEY HOME. I haven't had the privilege of reading it yet, but if you like western romances, this sounds like the book for you! AJ does a wonderful job on her research, and that's one of my favorite things about her books. Not to mention the exciting story-lines!

So . . . what's MOUNTAIN JOURNEY HOME about? Let's find out by reading the book jacket cover: 

A man’s word is a man’s life. Rock Corner, Texas. 1877. Life couldn’t get much better for Dave Kimbrough. He has a beautiful wife in Jenny, a fine young son in Jonathan, and a small ranch with which to build their future. But when Jenny suddenly dies, the heartache is more than Dave can bear, so he leaves his son with his wife’s family and rides off into the rugged Texas country alone. After several years Dave is wrongly accused of murder, and when he sets out to find the man who can clear his name, he runs instead into a posse that has set out to kill him. Wounded, he holes up for the winter in a cave. It is not time wasted, however, as he is given time to contemplate the mistake he made in abandoning his son. Once spring arrives, Dave returns to make things in his life right. Things rarely go as planned, however, and Dave’s plans are no different. Beset by a trip to jail, Jenny’s spirited sister Rachel, and the heartache of taking away the only life and family his son really knows, Kimbrough makes a promise he thinks is the right thing to do. But a fateful winter followed by a deadly spring storm changes the course of their lives in ways that no one—least of all Dave—could have ever imagined.

AJ, welcome!

Every reader likes to learn more about characters as they get further into the story. How do the secrets of your characters come to life?

 I give glimpses of the early life of my characters through dialogue and internal thoughts. Dave in MOUNTAIN JOURNEY HOME has a lot of back story that influences his decisions as he makes his way back home, but the reader only sees bits and pieces along the way.

Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?

I am a flow with the story type of writer. I don't do much outlining and just start a scene and write, which may be good or bad depending on the day. Basically, I am a storyteller rather than a writer. Some days the time is there to spend on writing and the creative juices are flowing and I can write the 5-10 thousand words. Other days I look at the words already written and wonder what in the world should come next.

What led you to the career choice of becoming a writer?

Career? I have a career as a writer? Well, maybe someday, but for now I write inbetween my day job.

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

 Forgiveness of self and finding peace with God are two major themes that I have written about. No one is perfect but we can be made perfect by the one who gives full forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ.

We’d love to hear a little about yourself and your writing journey.

I started writing seriously July of 2008. I was trapped in my house by the Texas heat and bored with TV and trying to find a good book to read. So I wrote CABIN ON PINTO CREEK, with lots of mistakes and needing major editing. I didn't know anything about a craft of writing. But when I learned that there was a learnable craft of writing fiction I marched myself down to my local library and started reading how-to books. I've read about a hundred now. No, really, at least a hundred and now I am starting to go back and read them again. Evidently, I learn craft very slowly. I then started my next novel as if I had good sense and was published. I just kept writing.

What were some of the steps you took along the publication road?

I tried the conventional, traditional get-an-agent and then publish. I went to writer's conferences, joined ACFW, joined a critique group, and gave it two years. I know, I'm impatient. Always have been. I completed a doctoral dissertation in four months when most people take years. Any way March 2011 I published my first novel, CABIN ON PINTO CREEK, the second one in June 2011, CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO WORLDS  , and now MOUNTAIN JOURNEY HOME in June 2012.

What is the hardest part after the book is published?

The marketing of course and this is true whether you go the traditional route or self-publish. You have to find a way to let people know that your book is available. It takes time and mental energy. The days when a publisher will publish your book, and then market it fully for you are gone, if they ever existed. I studied the craft of writing and then I studied the craft of marketing. Unfortunately, I know more about both than I actually use.

Why historical and particularly, Western Historical Romance?

I love the history, land, and the mythical world of the western romance. It is fun to write and you can make your characters bigger than life.

What are you working on right now?

Editing two Western Historical Romances that follow some of     the characters from CABIN ON PINTO CREEK. Hope to publish both by Christmas which will my present for myself.
I want to finish a Western Historical Romance that has about 70,000 words. Should be able to complete that by fall and then the editing process begins.
Two other stories are started with about 20,000 words so far. I would like to get all of these finished and published by the end of 2013. That would make a total of eight novels published.

What three things do you know now about the publishing world that you wish you knew when you first started?

1. Major in creative writing in college with a minor in marketing.
2. Start twenty years earlier.
3. Don't listen to the gremlins.

Has being an author been everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you the most?

I thought authors were really smart and that by becoming an author I would get smarter. But, nope, I'm still just average.

Where do you get your inspiration for your stories and characters?

They show up from everywhere. I see an old house in a field and suddenly I'm writing a story in my mind. I see a good-looking man at the mall and I wonder how he would have looked in a cowboy hat and spurs. Ideas and characters are all over the place. Doesn't everyone write stories as they drive down the street? Or, have characters talking to each other in their head while they are in the shower?

What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?

The best is just to write. The worst is listen to non-writers' rules of writing.

What do you write besides books?

I teach women's Bible studies and often spend time writing material to teach.

What three things are you most thankful for in your life that others might think silly?

Not really silly but important to me. Air conditioning (I live in the Dallas area so summer is HOT); washing machine and dryer ( I lived overseas where I had to wash my clothes, sheets, and towels by hand and hang them in a small bathroom); and my microwave (otherwise I'm not sure I would get enough to eat).

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

Joseph. He had terrible problems in his life and was never a free man after his brothers sold him, and yet, he stayed a good man with God as his guide.

Thank you so much for coming by, AJ! I wish you the best on your writing and publishing journey. It was great to have you join us. 

Monday, July 2, 2012


It seems Saturday was all day birthday parties. Our oldest granddaughter, Savannah, and our youngest grandson, Grayson, celebrated their birthdays Saturday. Savannah will be 16 on the 4th, and Grayson will be 8 on the 8th. Time passes so quickly.  They have grown too quickly for me. We did combine their parties and have one instead of two.

Savannah used to think the parades and fireworks were just for her. Then she found out they weren't. She still enjoys the 4th, and she's still a firecracker.

Grayson is the youngest of the family, and he is growing up too fast. He kept me alive eight years ago when I was so sick. I wanted to live to see him. I didn't want him to be without a grandmother he never knew. I made it, and I'm glad I did.

Our partying wasn't over with their party. We went to a surprise party for a friend of ours at 6:00 that evening. It was a pure surprise. We had a little too much cake, but we had a fun week-end. Now we need to settle down and get to work.