Monday, October 29, 2012


This past week-end I was searching for a teenage picture of myself. I didn't realize how hard that would be. I thought I could put my finger on the box, but instead I found the box with my sister's pictures in it. There were no pictures of me as a teenager.

What I did find were treasures. One set of my great-grandparents lived in Southwest Virginia and Southeast Kentucky. I found old, I mean old, pictures from their my grandmother's growing up there. They are fading and I am trying to preserve them in case my children want them when I'm gone. It is a part of our families history.

My maternal grandmother's family must have loved to have their pictures made. I found a wonderful picture of my great-grandparents with their five oldest children. There were two or three more after the picture was taken. What I found interesting was the clothes. I've researched for pictures of clothes in the early 1900's and I had them in my hands all the time.

One picture of friends of my grandfathers are standing on a porch of a newly constructed house in Virginia. I'd say the town was Stonega and the house was a mining house. Today we would call a duplex, Two families lived side by side in the same structure. I remember a railing dividing my aunt's front porch from my great-grandfathers.

In this picture, there are five people on the porch of this house. The thing that struck me different from most pictures is the fact this is a post card. One man has written on the back in pencil that there is work there painting houses and my grandfather should come. The clothes are dark pants and skirts and white blouses and shirts. One woman has a big black bow at her collar. The women wore belts with shinny buckles. These are probably their Sunday best. The postmark on the card is 1912. That picture is 100 years old and I'm holding it in my hands.

That is the time period I am interested in, so this was a great find. I had not thought about my family having the information I need. You never know where a writer can be inspired.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I am amazed at the number of people who received a free Kindle copy of Callie's Mountain. The reviews are beginning to trickle in and so far they have all been good and positive. Thanks to everyone who received a free copy and please post a comment on Amazon.

Yesterday I read that my printing company, Mantle Rock Publishing, is a boutique press. That's a new word  related to printing. I've been aware of vanity press where you pay to have your book published. I've never liked the idea of vanity press and in conferences we've been told to steer clear of them.

A boutique press is something different. I offer a very good commission, support, and knowledge of printing. I bring all those to the table. There are a few things the writer has to bring. The first thing is a good clean manuscript.

A clean manuscript has been critiques and edited. Critiquing is so important to any manuscript. Not only does your critique partner find mistakes, but it is different eyes reading it. Even before you send it to be critiqued, edit it yourself to make sure it sounds good. I use Auto Critique. You can use it for free with less than 400 words to be critiqued, or you can purchase it for as little as $47. Each person has their own needs, so it is priced at different versions. The largest can critique a whole 100,000 word book.

Auto Critique tells you how many times you duplicated the same word, and how many to cut out. It has made me see my writing mistakes and skills better. It's very easy to use, and I love working with it. I feel like I am better prepared when I send it to my critique partner.

Several people are anxious for the next book. I'm so excited that people want to read more. I'm anxious to get it finished so I can start working on the third in the series.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Yes, today's the day you can receive a free Kindle download of Callie's Mountain. I'm offering this for today and tomorrow.

In our writer's group meeting Saturday, we discussed whether it was good to give away books or not. One author said she would rather not give them away. Most of us listened. For me, as a new author, it helps me to build my platform of readers. I've always found it hard to take a chance on a new author. With free downloads, I can do it with no expense.

Most authors give away books, especially when they first start publishing. I know I've received my fair share of free books from new authors, and it's helped me to find authors I like. There are several author friends who send me their books before they come on the market. They give them to readers to encourage others to buy their books.

Marketing is the hardest thing for any author to do. We can usually do word of mouth, but when it comes to writing a news release, or putting our new release on a loop, it's difficult. Then we pray that someone reads it and asks us to be on their blog, or give us a nice review. The marketing part is hard.

I've been in sales most of my life, but selling myself is the hardest thing to do. After hearing good comments about my book this week-end, I feel more confident than ever. Several authors and writers have encouraged me to tell this story. I'm glad I did. I love the story of a people forgotten. I want to bring it to more people's attention.

I've learned a lot in the last week and a half. I pray I can fulfill my obligations to my readers.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I have a couple of announcements to make today. You'll probably be able to guess they're about Callie's Mountain. You may want to take advantage of them.

The first is to announce my very first interview was yesterday with my very good friend, Brooke Cox. Brooke and I became friends when we lived in Tennessee. She is an aspiring writer and a wacky person. Her wackiness makes me chuckle when I read her posts. She's great. Go to and read all about my journey. Thanks Broke for helping me in my process. Love you girl.

The other important message is Callie's Mountain will be a FREE download for Kindle on October 22 and 23. If you don't have a Kindle right now, download PC Kindle at Amazon. You can either read it on the computer or download it later into a Kindle. I did that for a couple of years before I got my Kindle.

I am calming down now. It's funny how something like this has impacted my life. I don't consider myself a celebrity, as my cousin called me yesterday. I am still plain me with dishes to wash and laundry to do. Nothing brings you back to the ground than laundry and a few dirty dishes.

This is going to be a rush week-end. So many things going on. I hope your week-end will be filled with peace and love.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Yesterday I finished A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman. This is the second book in her Winds of Change Series. I have the third book, A Love Surrendered, and I'm anxious to start it.

If you have read any of Julie Lessman's books, you know she is one of the Queens of the Kiss. Her books do get very emotional. The other Queen of the Kiss is Mary Connealy. Both of these ladies know how to write about a kiss. I will place Sandi Rog as an upcoming Princess of the Kiss. These are the three most emotional writers I know. No one else can describe a kiss like they can and still write a Christian novel.

Away from the kiss, the story was very good. I was held captive until the very last. I was surprised by the ending and that makes an excellent book for me. Emma was so perfect, and Charity was so demonstrative. The antics of the family made for very good reading.

I give this book five stars. Very good and I recommend it highly.

Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity's handsome and charming brother, Sean O'Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she's ever known?

Filled with intense passion and longing, deception and revelation, A Heart Revealed will hold readers in its grip until the very last page.

Monday, October 15, 2012


This has been the wildest week-end I have ever experienced. First, I didn't expect my book to be on Amazon until today. When I checked my email Saturday morning, I was surprised to see it up. Then I had to tell 5,000 of my closest friends. All of Facebook, my groups, ACFW, and everyone I knew. It came to about 5,000 give or take a few.

This has been overwhelming. At times I had given up on every seeing Callie's Mountain in print. It all sort of snowballed last week. My feet finally hit the ground today. I guess when you see all the laundry that needs to be done, you get real. It has been a wonderful week-end.

Today I will be putting Callie in paperback. That is exciting to think about. I can hold her in my hand. I never thought it would be like this. I never thought I would be so excited about anything. My baby turned out beautiful.

What's next? Susannah's Hope. It is almost finished. I'm a lot like Judith Miller in this respect, I hate to write the last chapter of this book. That's where I am, the last chapter. Of course, there is editing to do and all that involves the publishing side of it. My plans are to have it ready by January, 2013.

The next book is Emily's Faith. I'm working with Emily in my head right now. She is sweet, pretty, and a good natured young woman. I think she will be the sweetest and most caring of all three women. I'm anxious to start working on her story.

I would like to thank all of you for your kind words. I've read the comments on Facebook, ACFW loop, and personal emails. Thanks for all the encouragement. I've received invitations to visit several blogs in the next weeks and months. I will keep you posted on all of them. Now, I have work to do.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Today my book, Callie's Mountain, is for sale on Amazon. It is in ebook form ,as of right now. I plan to put it in paperback next week. I have simply run out of time. There are only 24 hours in the day and mine have been full.
I am so excited to see my book in print. Please celebrate with me. You guys are the best.

I'm scheduling blog tours and interviews. You can contact me at

Friday, October 12, 2012


Almost two years ago, my friend Sandi Rog was diagnosed with cancer. Not the easy kind to cure, but T-Cell Lymphoma. Sandi has battled this cancer with chemo, radiation, and natural treatments. Her life has been torn apart by cancer. It has been a roller coaster ride for her. The cancer would be gone in one place and pop up in another. This has been a long, devastating battle. Her family has suffered financially and mentally.

Last December, she was told she had no cancer, then a tumor popped up in her pelvis. Radiation took care of it, but then three were found in her lymph nodes and one on her rib. The doctor wanted to do a biopsy to find out "what kind " of cancer it was. She refused and started taking Vitamin B17, plus supplements.

Yesterday she had a PET scan and all tumors were gone except one and it was so small the doctor was not worried about it. Remember, she had no surgery, just B17, B15 and other supplements. What a blessing. Words do not come easy to express how blessed I feel to have her in good health.

Sandi and I roomed together in Denver in 2009 at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. We became very close. She's like a daughter to me, and I love her dearly. I was devastated by  the news of her cancer in November, 2010. I have been on this roller coaster ride with her and her family.

During the summer, she started talking to me about B17. I have severe diverticulitis. It has plagued me off an on for the last eleven years. It becomes so severe that I can not function. My health was so bad that I was taking Lortab constantly. My colon had become infected. I was a mess.

September 10, 2012, I took my first B17. My son-in-law was having serious surgery, and I was in pain. I took a Lortab before I went to the hospital and a B17. When the Lortab wore off, I was in less pain. I could get out of the chair better. I could tell a difference.

Today, I am without pain. The raw feeling is gone. I can walk, exercise, vacuum, mop my floors, and still have energy to go. I believe in B17. I know it helps and I wish more doctors believed in it. I wish it would be approved to sell in the US. It's a wonderful medicine to cure cancer and other illnesses.

I'm so thankful to God for Sandi's health, and for mine. It's a wonderful feeling.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Each year on Columbus Day we make apple butter. Not the crock pot kind, but the way our forefathers did it centuries ago. We have modernized it a little along the way.

This year there were only three couples, including my husband and myself, who came to enjoy the beautiful fall day. It was a lovely day, crisp air in the morning and a beautiful blue sky. No rain darkened our day. Everyone helps in preparing the meal and this year we had fried fish, white beans, coleslaw, french fries, hush puppies, and coconut pie. It was so good.

In the old days, the apples were not peeled until the morning of the stirring. As you peeled and sliced the apples, you put them in the kettle and they cooked. It took so much longer to cook than the way we do it. We get our apples early and peel, slice, and cook them. This year we didn't get them until the week before we made the butter. We have an apple peeler which speeds the preparation.

Usually we freeze the cooked apples, but this year we refrigerated them. Apple butter makes more quickly when the apples are already cooked. Still, it is an all day job.

You need a brass kettle with stand. Ours is small, but we don't want to make a lot of apple butter. A stirrer. Ours has been in the family for over 100 years. It has a long handle and then the stirrer part reaches to the bottom of the kettle. You have to stir constantly to keep the apples from sticking. My grandmother used to put a silver dollar in the bottom of the kettle. I guess it kept the apples on the bottom moving with the stirrer. We don't do that anymore.

We used 2 bushel of apples this year. Couldn't get Granny Smith's which are the best. Instead we had to get a sweeter apple, thus less sugar. We use Cinnamon Oil. It incorporates into the apple butter better. You do have to stir it well to get it mixed in good. Cinnamon Oil also becomes stronger with age. Start with a little.

This is our friend, Tommy Hobgood, taking his turn stirring. You can see the stirrer. It is long and hard to stir.  The apple butter is wonderful. I think the best we've made. We started before 8:00 a.m.and  finished a little after 3:00 p.m. It is an all day job, but worth it.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Do you hear the cadence? The drum roll is getting louder and louder. HERE IS THE OFFICIAL PICTURE OF THE BOOK COVER! I am so excited. Before I show it to you, let me tell you a little about the process.

Most of you know I struggled with a book cover that I didn't like. Then, a friend told me about Delia Latham, and I contacted her. She is a joy to work with. None of my idiotic questions bothered her. She was patient and kind to me, a novice. I had no idea what I was doing. We changed a few things, but the mountains are beautiful.

I asked for Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the Smokey Mountain pictures were not exactly what I wanted. There is a difference. All mountains are not alike. I wish Callie and Jacob had more period clothes, but that is so hard to find. I love the expression on Callie's face. She's not about to marry Jacob. Okay, I've strung you along enough, so here it is. TA-DA!!!

So, what do you think? Personally I love it. I made it a little bigger so you could see her expression. Look at the mountain sunrise. Beautiful.

I have ideas for the next cover and I may try it myself. Don't know, but I have some good ideas. I love writing. Now, to have everything finished by October 15. I posted the cover and the blurb on Mantle Rock Publishing. Go take a look.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


To Love and Cherish is the second book in the Bridal Veil Island Series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. The characters are different, but the setting is the same. There are more historical elements than I remember in the first book. The hurricane made some tense moments and moved Melinda to travel to the island of Bridal Veil. I could feel her struggle and her pain of not knowing whether Evan was alive or not.

There was a lot of friction between Melinda and Evan. She needed to grow up, and he needed to confide his feelings with her. Melinda's brother threw a few wild punches in the story. And the horse. The horse intrigued me through the book until I found out the real answer. Her brother was sneaky and a gambler. You had to have one guy who was not all good.

This is such a good book. The portrayal of the President McKinley's visit was a wisp of genius.

Okay, Tracie and Judy, when's the next one coming out? Can't wait to read it.

When Melinda Colson's employer announces they'll be leaving Bridal Veil Island to return to their home in Cleveland, Melinda hopes her beau, Evan, will propose. But Evan isn't prepared to make an offer of marriage until he knows he can support a wife and family. Evan works as the assistant gamekeeper on Bridal Veil but hopes to be promoted soon.

Letters strengthen their love, but Melinda remains frustrated at being apart from the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Then she learns of a devastating hurricane in Bridal Veil and knows she must give up her position as a lady's maid and make her way back to Evan.

The destruction on Bridal Veil is extensive, meaning every available person is needed to help with cleanup and repairs. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but Evan seems even busier than before, meaning she still never gets to see him. Has she given her heart to the wrong man?

Monday, October 1, 2012


This was one of the first things I saw this morning when I opened my email. It was from My Book Therapy Voices. This is so true. What would you do if you didn't write?

My house would be a lot cleaner and there would be more food cooked. My laundry would be done on time,  folded, hung, and I wouldn't have the basket of clothes to iron and mend. Since money would not be spent on books, conferences, and other writing related things, I would have more money. I would not be as happy.

Don't get me wrong, I do get unhappy when there's a lot of things to do around the house, but I am so happy when I write. The mundane housework would bore me to death. My daughter and I used to have a craft business. She made a magnet that said, "Dull housewives have immaculate houses." 

Imagination is something everyone needs to have. You can let it go to extremes, but a good dose of imagination is good for the soul. My children can tell you their mama had plenty imagination when they were young. I loved to tell them stories, and we played a lot of crazy games. It was never dull around our house, and it isn't today.

My advice to you is to write, if you feel you need to. Even if no one ever sees it, write. I have stories that will never see the light of day, but they helped me get through a tough time. Let your emotions fly. Put everything you have in what you write. Most of all, enjoy it.