Monday, November 26, 2012


This is the time of the year we all get busy, but his week will probably be busier for us than any we have had in a while. We did have a good Thanksgiving with our family. Everyone got together Saturday and we had a good time.

Wednesday my book, Callie's Mountain, will be featured on please stop by. This is a good way to advertise my book, and I'm excited to be accepted. Also, on Wednesday, I will be having a booksigning at U-Save Drug Store in Rogersville, TN, from 11-1:00. This is my hometown, and there are tidbits of historic Rogersville in the book. I'm excited to be going there and introducing my book to the town.

Also, this week, Mantle Rock Publishing is launching an ebook and a print book by Cheri Swalwell. It is a devotional called, A 40 Day Habit Between Friends Taking It To The Next Level. The ebook has been out for a couple of weeks, but we have made a few changes in the book. The print book should be out Wednesday or Thursday.

This will be busy, but relaxing. It will be good to see friends we haven't seen in a while, and also a few days of rest and relaxation.

Friday, November 23, 2012


No, I do not do Black Friday! I did it once and I'll never do it again. I was pushed and shoved, twisted and turned, and came close to a nervous breakdown. I will not put myself in the company of so many rude people over a few dollars.

I wanted to make that statement first. I'll pay extra for what I want instead of losing my sanity. Now Black Friday is starting on Thursday evening. What will they do next? Black Friday will begin the 4th of July! Not for me. I'll do my shopping the old fashioned way.

With that off my chest, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Our children went elsewhere, so we were by ourselves. It was a good morning for cleaning up the house and getting ready for our Thanksgiving on Saturday. Today I have to cook. Not much. Everyone is helping out.

We decided since we did not have to cook, we'd eat out. Never in our almost 50 years of marriage had we done that. One of the restaurants here had a Thanksgiving Day Buffet. We made reservations and trotted down the road to the Majestic Restaurant.

The food was delicious, and we  had everything we wanted, even Green Bean Casserole. The Pecan Pie was homemade and delicious. Hubby complained the pie did not have many pecans, but I told him with the cost of pecans these days, be thankful he got one.

I had a piece of wonderful white cake with orange marmalade between the layers and on top. Whipped cream decorated the edge and it was delicious, but I had already eaten so much and I couldn't finish it. Let's be honest. I ate so much I hurt.

Tomorrow, I will not eat that much. I don't think my body can take another day of over-indulgence.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


A day we can be thankful for all our blessings.
A new client at Mantle Rock Publishing.
A healthy body and mind.
A loving family.
A lot of wonderful friends.
A God who sent His Son to die for my sins.
A free country to live in.
A good house that doesn't leak and is warm.
A little money in my checking account.
An ability to write and enjoy writing.
A good friend like you!


Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm a little off the writing/publishing subject today. Mostly, because music is so important in our lives. My family is very musical. We all have decent voices and like to sing. My grandfather could pick up any instrument and play it. I don't think he had a music in his life. My cousin teaches piano and flute at Oakland City University in Oakland City, IN.

That is an introduction to what I'm writing about. Last night, our granddaughter, Josie, sang with the First
District Fifth and Sixth Grade and Seventh and Eighth Grade Festival Choir
at Murray State University in Murray, KY. There were about 300 fifth through eight graders singing. The last song they all did together. Josie said they would be hanging off the stage, and they were.

I always look at the directors. The two who directed this group were wonderful children choir directors. One was from Norman, Oklahoma, and the other was the Director of Choral Activities at Murray State. They both worked wonders with the children.

The fifth and sixth grade director, Sandy Knudson, made a statement at the end of the program. It has stuck with me all night. This is what she said. "People say children make beautiful music. Really, music makes children beautiful." What a wonderful statement.

I've watched children who sing come out of their shells when music is involved. Josie is in a choir here in our county. It is directed by the Director of Choral Activities at Murray State, Dr. Bradley Almquist. When they gave their concert last spring, Josie went to the front and sang a solo. I was so surprised. She had always been a shy child, but music made her come our of her shell. She has a beautiful voice and loves music.

Help your child to become beautiful with music.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Most of you know my friend, Sandi Rog. Yesterday, she put an interview with me up on her blog., Please stop by and leave a comment to be in the drawing for my book, Callie's Mountain. Sandi is doing so well now, and is beginning to write again.

Today, my day did not start right. First I overslept. I don't usually do that, but I worked late last night, and I had a busy day yesterday. I'm sure my body was so tired, and I needed the extra sleep. I do have so much more energy now, but my body needed to catch up.

The second thing that happened was I spelled coffee on my computer. I use a laptop and a keyboard. The laptop is fine, I grabbed it fast. The keyboard is having a few problems.When I type a "u", a "4" pops up. I'm sure it will be fine when it dries out.

Yesterday we visited Adsmore House in Princeton, KY. It was built in the 1860's and remodeled in 1900. It was decorated for Christmas, but not overpowering. Our guide was wonderful. She told us so many little tidbits of the time. I've been in several grand houses before, but this is by far the nicest. All of the furnishings but two belonged to the family. That made it very personal.

Before we visited Adsmore, we ate lunch at Breezy Hill Farms, about two miles from Princeton on Hwy. 139. My husband and I had been there before, but it was our friends first time. Breeze Hill has a beautiful rustic design, very well decorated, and very good food. Last time I had their Chicken Salad. It has grapes and pecans in it or on it. Delicious! This time I had a Cranberry Club Sandwich. It had mayo and cranberries and was extremely good. The homemade ice cream was delicious. I had White Chocolate Cherry. Yum, yum! Everyone enjoyed their sandwiches and made plans what to eat next time they are there.

I had a wonderful day and soaked up lots of information for books I'm writing. Be sure to stop by Sandi's blog and leave a comment for the drawing.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Everyone of us want our book published yesterday. It can't be done. We all need to slow down and do things correctly. One editor with a large publishing house told me, "Have you book in pristine shape, then send it to me." How many times are we in a hurry to get that book to the publisher? We forget the basic rules for any author. Here are a few.

Have a critique partner, or critique group. If you are writing a fiction, I recommend it as one of the most important things you can do. Find someone who has your interest, knows something about writing, and is willing to put the time in helping you publish your book. You will be helping that person by critiquing their book in exchange. Even non-fiction needs to go by these rules.

When you are sure you have your book in good shape, take the next step and invest in a paid edit by a professional. There are so many out there, and some charge hefty prices. Find one you can afford and work with. To accomplish anything, you have to invest. As my mama said, "Nothing in life is free." A paid editor will find those mistakes you overlooked.

One thing I encourage authors I am publishing with is to invest in AutoCrit. I highly recommend it. It is time consuming  but it will help your writing. If you only purchase the $47 a year package, it's worth it. It will show you what words you use that don't need to be there. I overuse "that" and "it". AutoCrit will show you how many to take them out, and that's a big help to me. I don't work for the company, this is just my experience.

Realize when your book goes to the publisher, it takes time for publication. If your manuscript is in good shape, it can be handled quicker. Your publisher knows how long it will take to get a book in print and in ebook. Remember you are not the only fish in the pond. Even a small company, like mine, has other things in the mill. It may be working on their own book or critiquing their partner's book, but they have other things to do.

Work hand in hand with the publisher. Try not to cause any problems. It's not easy for both of you and you are both anxious to see your baby see the light of day. Be patient. It will happen, but it won't be yesterday.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Mantle Rock Publishing has signed with Cheri Swalwell to print two devotional books. We are excited to have her on board with us. The books should be out on ebook and paperback by Thanksgiving.

The first book is 40-day Habit: Friend to Friend, Taking It To The Next Level. It is a collection of 40 daily devotionals. They are very enjoyable and have helped me as I edit them. I even cooked my husband's favorite meal last night, minus dessert.

The other book is 40-Day Habit: Friend to Friend, Because They Need You. This is a collection of 40 devotionals for parenting.

I am so excited to have Cheri as member of our family of writers. She is very easy to work with, and I hope you will enjoy her books.

As soon as I have covers made, I will be advertising more about the books. I have really enjoyed reading what she has written.

Things are getting a little hectic around here. I have a day reserved next week to do some research. We will go to Adsmore in Princeton, KY. I've been by this house, built in the early 1900's, but never had an opportunity to tour it. I'm very excited to be able to do that. This is for the book I'm writing about Georgia. I need to look at the furnishings of the time period. It's a lot closer than Georgia.

I love it when things get busy like this. I get a lot more accomplished than when I am not pressed to work. I have much to do today, so I'll get busy. Have a good week-end.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Olivia Aberdeen, destitute widow of a man shot as a traitor to the South, is shunned by proper society and gratefully accepts an invitation from "Aunt" Elizabeth Harding, mistress of Belle Meade Plantation. Expecting to be the Harding's head housekeeper, Olivia is disillusioned when she learns the real reason Elizabeth's husband, Confederate General William Giles Harding, agreed to her coming. Not finding the safe haven she expects, Olivia is caught off guard by her feelings for Ridley Adam Cooper, a Southern man who seems anything but a Southern gentleman.
Branded a traitor by some, Ridley Cooper, a Southern son who chose to fight for the Union, is a man desperate to end the war still raging inside him. Determined to learn "the gift" that Belle Meade's head horse trainer and former slave, Bob Green, possesses, Ridley harbors secrets that threaten both their lives. 
As Ridley seeks to make peace within himself for "betraying" the South he loved, Olivia is determined to never be betrayed again.

This is a book to get lost in. The best I have read by Tamera Alexander. It was hard for Union sympathizers after the Civil War, and even harder if your husband was one of them. The brutality of the killing of Olivia's husband is probably true. I'm sure it happened, and that was probably a mild reaction of the people.

Tammy handled the whole subject of prejudice with poise and understanding. The insight into the training of  thoroughbred race horses was amazing. We are all informed of the runnings of a mansion the  size of Belle Meade. Every character was enchanting and endearing. 

I recommend this book highly. Also, you can tour Belle Meade Mansion in Nashville, TN and learn for yourself about the beginnings of horse racing in America. This book is definitely a 5 star.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Tomorrow Kathleen Maher will have me as her guest on her blog, I'm excited to be her guest. I've known Kathy for a while and that makes the interview more special. Please visit her blog, leave a comment, and be in the drawing for a free copy of Callie's Mountain. That's not a ebook, but a real book.

Last week was a busy week. Book sales have surprised me. Much more than I ever anticipated. I spent most of the last part of the week with family of one of our church members who passed away on Wednesday. With the visitation, funeral, and visiting with the family, it was a hard week. This gracious gentleman will be missed.

This week is not going to be much better. The only good thing is I will be home, but busy. I'm trying to finish editing the rough draft of Susannah's Hope and marketing. I will be having a book signing in Tennessee the last of the month.

Tonight is our annual Senior Banquet at church. I always look forward to that. I hear my grandson is going to be one of the entertainers. I'm anxiously anticipating his performance. This morning two author friends, Susan Page Davis and Vicky McDonough, came for donuts and coffee. I think Vicky wants all of my antiques. We had so much fun.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Please vote, and pray before you vote. Pray that the right candidate will win the election and that God's Will will be done. Then, pray for the one who wins, whether you like him or not.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Everyone has heard on the news of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation of several New England states. My prayers are with those who suffered during the storm. I'm thankful it was not any worse than it was. I'm also thankful I live away from the coast.

I've always thought it would be so neat to live on the coast and walk on the beach each morning. I'd hut for shells and let the water lap on my ankles. I would watch the sunset and the sunrise and be thankful for this beautiful world God has blessed us with.

My bubble bursts when something like this happens. I'm glad the only thing I have to deal with is tornadoes, ice storms, and wind. I'm not a big fan of wind after living through tornadoes. It was windy in Tennessee, but here we are in the flat part of Kentucky.There are no mountains to knock the wind around. We do get more wind, but the closeness to family out weighs the wind.

I've used "Life is an adventure, enjoy it" for several years as my statement. I try to look at each event in my life as an adventure and try to make the best of it. So far, I'm enjoying the ride. Each day should be an adventure for us. Like an adventure, we never know what will happen at the end of the day. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it isn't. I wish you to live the adventure.