Monday, December 31, 2012


2012 has been a good year for my family. I can't say it has been a bad year, much has happened to keep us busy and happy.

The year started with our son-in-law having surgery that was not successful. He did have the same surgery later, and it was successful. Most of the year, he suffered from results of the surgery. In August, another surgery was performed that seems to have taken care of most of his heart problems. We are so thankful to have good doctors who are willing to correct others mistakes.

The grandchildren have grown older. It doesn't seem like we should have a teenage granddaughter who is driving. Our oldest grandson entered middle school this year. It's sad not to have one that will crawl up in our laps, but that is the way we want it. We wouldn't want them to stay the same as they were. We want them to grow and learn to live in this world.

My husband has enjoyed fishing. This year he caught a 40 pound catfish. That was one big fish! Then a couple of days later, our oldest grandson caught a catfish weighing over nine pounds. I don't know whether Granddaddy or Chet was the happiest. That made both of their summers.

This year I published my first book. It has surprised me with the sales. Our publishing company, Mantle Rock Publishing has published three books this year. One fiction and two non-fiction were published. I can say I'm glad the first publishing is over. It was a learning experience.

2012 has been good. My health has improved because of a little pill called Vitamin B17. Thanks to Sandi Rog for encouraging me to take it. It has been a big help for my diverticulitis.

What does 2013 look like? Hopefully more books! Right now I am working on two. The next in the Melungeon Series should release this winter. I'm also working on one about the Georgia coast. I'm going to be doing a non-fiction about the church we attend. It will be a history of the church for the last 125 years. We will celebrate the church's anniversary in September. I'm anxious to start working on it. I've been doing research for the last in the Melungeon Series, and I'm anxious to start it.

We are also searching for authors who will be willing to take a leap of faith with us and our publishing company. Right now we are interested in Christian fiction. I'm willing to look any book that has a Christian element.

My prayer for you is a safe and happy New Year. 2013 can rock if we want it to.

Friday, December 28, 2012


My newest favorite book by DiAnn Mills is The Chase. This is the first in a series of FBI books, and the suspense is riveting. Most of you know I am a big fan of DiAnn's. I've read most of her books, and I'm so glad she is writing suspense.

This book is a little different. There is not a strong romantic element. There is a feeling of maybe a romance, but not a happy ever after. There seems to be more books with the main characters solving crimes. I had a hard time putting this book down, and I didn't want it to end.

The two genres I love are historical and suspense. The suspense in this book made me want to keep reading and helping to solve the problems of Houston. Here is the blurb on Amazon and a picture. I highly recommend this book.

To the FBI it's a cold case. To Kariss Walker it's a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it's a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget. Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened. But the search for the dead girl's missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch's brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss's pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


What makes up Christian Fiction? This is a question I have been dealing with for the last few days. I have read several books recently that I feel err from the word "Christian." Where do we are readers and writers draw the line?

For me, the manuscript should be Christ centered. To be Christ centered, it should be devoid of curse words or cussing as we call it in the South. The language should be something you would not be embarrassed for Christ to read it. God's name would not be used in vain in any slang or direct words.

The scenes should be decent without detail for sexual scenes, or anything that would discredit God. Explicit scenes of sex or nudity should be avoided. Oh, yes, I've been told this is life, and I'm a little too strict and straight-laced. Maybe I am, but that is the way I was taught from childhood.

Does using God's name in vain, sex, nudity, or cursing do anything for your book? Does it make it more interesting? I don't think so. The same thing can be said without using these words or scenes. To me it is degrading for the author to write something that borders on trash.

When I pick up a book, I want to be entertained, informed, and enlightened. I don't want to be shocked by the language and scenes. I see enough of this on television, even the evening news. I want to read something that will make me a better person. Not make me feel dirty for reading something so sordid.

Writers, think about the people you are writing for. Are you writing to encourage others? Are your writing to glorify God? I pray we all write clean books that will please God.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Our family Christmas will be tomorrow. It doesn't bother me to have it early. The children love it. They get their presents early. I can even start taking the tree down earlier. The most important part is family. Our family will be together tomorrow. That is the most important part.

As usual, we will be having our traditional breakfast. We started this several years ago and everyone seems to enjoy it. We have country ham, biscuits, gravy, eggs, and all the trimmings. It seems we enjoy the breakfast more than we enjoy a lunch or dinner.

I will not be back on the blog until after Christmas. I wish you and your family the best Holiday ever!

Monday, December 17, 2012


No, I'm not going to sing, or tell you what I am getting for Christmas. Honestly, I want to be with my family, and I don't need anything else but that. I want a healthy and happy Christmas. No frills, no gimmicks, just a good day with family.

I was surfing Amazon Friday and found a new book by Christine Lynxwiler. It is only on ebook, and the cost was cheap, so I clicked and brought it to my Kindle. I've known Christine for a long time and love her writing. She has a witty style, and this book was no exception.

I laughed and I cried when I read the book. Yes, I shed tears, and you will too if you are very emotional. It seems Penny is a "in control woman." Her Christmas is planned, and she doesn't want anyone to upset it, but her husband does when he tells her they are taking a road trip in a RV. Get the picture? She and their two materialistic children are so upset that their plans have been changed, but what happens on the trip is a change in all their lives. It's such a good feeling book. I'm so glad Christine wrote it. Here's what the Amazon blurb says.
My True Love Gave To Me. . .

2005 American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year - Novella Category --- Skipping Christmas meets RV in this funny, heartwarming novella. Penny Lassiter has a comfortable holiday routine with her family and friends--until her husband gets laid off from work and seemingly undergoes a personality transplant. When he comes home with a travel atlas and the keys to a borrowed RV, he turns her cookie-cutter Christmas plans into perfect chaos. She has no choice but to buckle herself and the kids in for a crazy cross-country ride that defies all of her expectations and redefines her priorities in a way she has never imagined. 

SHORT EXCERPT: "I gritted my teeth and shifted the cardboard box against the spindly pull-down attic ladder. Whoever invented these contraptions obviously hadn’t considered that people would be going up and down the narrow steps with their arms full. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Wanted to let you know that Susan Page Davis' book is the giveaway today on Spy Glass Lane Mysteries. Be sure to enter.

 Have a great week-end.

Friday, December 14, 2012


On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me--a Spyglass cozy mystery!

Hello, from Susan Page Davis.
Spyglass Lane is giving away 12 cozy mysteries in their Christian mystery e-book line, including one of the Mainely Mysteries series I wrote with my daughter Megan.
I’ve loved cozy mysteries since I was a child, and one of my favorite series then was Trixie Belden. Trixie’s adventures wowed me then, and I read them all. Later, I rediscovered them in reprints—and several new titles that had been added by the publisher—and read them to my children. There are 39 books total. Of course, some stand out in my memory. I love horses, so ones where Trixie and her friend Honey do a lot of riding were among my favorites.
The first Trixie book that was set at Christmas time was Mystery in Arizona, the sixth in the series. Trixie and her friend Honey, along with their brothers and their friend Diana, got to spend the holidays at Diana’s uncle’s ranch in Arizona. Wow! Growing up in Maine, it was hard for me to imagine either taking a trip like that or having an uncle rich enough and generous enough to finance it!
Poor Trixie, that sandy-haired kid from Sleepyside, N.Y., had to study hard during vacation, as her grades had slipped. But she still managed to help out with chores on the ranch, learn about a new-to-her culture, and solve a mystery.
I loved learning with the kids in the book about the Mexican Christmas customs. I had never been outside Maine the first time I read this book, and to me, Arizona might as well have been on another planet. As an adult, I’ve visited that gorgeous state a couple of times, and finally was able to see the beauty that Trixie saw.
If you’d like to enter the contest to win a free e-book cozy mystery, follow the instructions below. You can also enter my drawing for traditional printed books and e-books on my website at: At the end of each month, I draw several winners who can choose their prize from among all my book titles. Use the painless contest form on the left side of my home page for that drawing.
For the 12-day Spyglass Lane contest:

12 Cozy Mysteries of Christmas Ebook Giveaway!

’Tis the season for a great whodunnit!

If you love cozies as much as we do, then you’re in for a holiday treat! From December 12 – 23, we’re giving away one cozy mystery EVERY DAY!
So light the fireplace and grab a cup of hot cocoa, because you just may have a free cozy mystery coming your way!
There are two ways to enter:
  1. Create a Pinboard entitled My 12 Cozies of Christmas. Fill it with 12 Spyglass Lane titles that either you want to read, or have already read and love! Be sure to use the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag in the description of each pinned book cover. Leave a comment and link to your board at: One pinboard will automatically enter you in each daily drawing!
2.       Tweet about Spyglass Lane mysteries. Simply Tweet about the giveaway or one of your favorite Spyglass Lane Mysteries or authors and include the #12CoziesofChristmas hashtag along with link. You may Tweet as many times as you want each day! Only Tweets sent out the day of the giveaway will be considered for that day’s drawing.
Follow us on the Spyglass Lane blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook for the latest info on the 12 Cozies of Christmas giveaway! Each day, we’ll reveal which Spyglass Lane cozy mystery we’ll be giving away.
1.       Each day, we will reveal which Spyglass Lane mystery will be given away that day
2.       A “giveaway day” runs from 12AM EST to 11:59PM EST.
3.       There will be one winner per day
4.       Winners will be announced the following morning
5.       A Pinboard (see rules above) counts as one entry each day of the giveaway. Tweets (see rules above) only apply to the day in which they were originally Tweeted. For example, if you send 10 Tweets on Thursday the 13th, you will be entered 10 times in that day’s drawing. But those Tweets will not apply to the next day’s drawing.
6.       Winners will be chosen via, with Tweets and Pinboards each assigned a unique number
7.       Winners will be announced via our blog, Twitter @SpyglassMystery or Facebook. Winners will be contacted via email or social media. If a winner does not hear from Spyglass Lane, they may contact us at SpyglassLaneMysteries (at) gmail (dot) com.
8.       Winners will receive their prize in the form of a Smashwords coupon that they can redeem at Smashwords accommodates all ereader devices, though it may require the device to be directly connected to a computer for proper download.
9.       The same person may win more than once!
10.    There is no entry limit
11.    Participants are expected to play nice! Inappropriate behavior (including but not limited to foul language, bullying, trolling, arguing) will not be tolerated and Spyglass Lane reserves the right to exclude such people from these and future giveaways

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I thought this might grab some of you. We all like FREE don't we? is giving away 12 books free. Each day one author will be interviewed on blogs and their book be given away. You have to Tweet #12coziesofChristmas to be entered in the drawing. I will have Susan Page Davis on my blog tomorrow. Her book will be drawn Saturday.

Most of you know, if you are old to this blog, Susan is a neighbor of mine, lives in a couple of towns over. We have a wonderful relationship, and she has been an inspiration to me. She's a good author. In fact, she is one of my husband's favorite. She's also one of my favorite. I'm reading one of her books now on Kindle. I will be so happy for you to learn more about her tomorrow.

So, how is Christmas going? Mine is slow. Shopping is finished, hubby is sick, and I finished the last publication for Mantle Rock Publishing for this year. I'm ready to relax, put up the tree and start cooking. Our family will gather on the 22nd for our Christmas. Everyone has family in other places, so we have to give and take. I'm looking forward to having the family here together for a day.
Ther latest additions to our family arrived yesterday. Two precious twin girls. Marlin and Marin Meadows. They live in Texas, and we won't be able to see them for a while, but there will be some quality holding when we do, They are granddaughters of my husband's niece, Lisa. We visited her in the spring and fell in love with her lovely family.

The most wonderful thing about these babies is that I feel I've know them for months. Their mother, Diana, has kept us all up to date via Facebook. We watched these precious little girls grow and develop their own personalities. Thanks, Diana and Thad for letting us be a part of your families development. We have to say a big thanks to big sister, Bert, and big brother, Jack. We fell in love with this family in the spring.

Got to get busy. Much to do today. Have a wonderful day and enjoy God's blessings.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Independent Publishing

Yesterday I was not able to make it to church. I was in a lot of pain and on pain medication, really no one needs to see me in that state of mind. Anyway, I was surfing the tv channels when I happened on some Sunday Morning Show where they were talking about self-publishing. That perked me right up.

The interviewer was telling about some famous authors who had self-published. Some of them I read myself, like John Grisham. I had no idea he has self-published. Then they interviewed a NY editor with one of the large printing houses. I don't remember which one, but she had some timely advice.

This editor said more people were self-publishing. One of her reasons was because they had a book that other publishing houses would not publish. (I can identify with that.) Another reason was time. A self-published author can get their book out in a fraction of the time that a published author would have. In 24 hours, your book can be on Amazon in a ebook edition. In 48-72 hours, it can be in a printed edition. That's fast.

If you publish with a publishing house, it can take months, if not years. That's a long time. From the time an author signs with a company until their book is published can be years. Now we are finding so many publishing houses have signed too many authors and they are having difficulty publishing the books.

With a small publishing company, or publishing your own book, you do not have that problem. You have money coming in faster, and your book is out to the public quicker. Even when your self-publish, your book can be sold at the major book stores. Be sure to sign up for that program when you publish your book.

One disclaimer I would like to mention is that not everyone who writes a book should have it published. I have found several self-published authors who either do not have a good story, or have not had the story edited. This is not good for the author. Each author should make sure they have a good book. One that has good content and is enjoyable to read. Ask friends to read it and give you an honest opinion. A real friend will tell you whether they like the book or not.

The downside about self-publishing is marketing. I find it is harder for me to market my book myself. I've heard about platform for years, and now I understand it. You have to have a following. Not someone who signs up for your blog, but only comes on a few times a year. You need someone who is reading your blog all the time. Someone who likes what they read and tells others. Someone who will be a reliable friend to help you market your book with blogs, interviews, and talking about your book.

I feel self-publishing and ebooks are the future. I may be wrong and I've heard others say ebooks will fall by the wayside. They won't. It's so easy to take 100 books with you on your Kindle or Nook. When I travel, I take my Kindle. I have my Bible downloaded plus fiction and non-fiction books that I want to read. I don't have to fill my suitcase with several copies of books and hope I don't read them before I get home.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Mantle Rock Publishing is proud to announce another devotional book by Cheri Swalwell. A 40 Day Habit Between Friends Because They Need Us will be released Monday on Amazon. The print book will be released later next week.

Cheri does a wonderful job with her devotionals. I have been impressed with the ease of her writing. This old woman has learned a lot from her. Her devotionals leave you with something to think about. Not all devotionals do that.

Cheri lives in Michigan and is married with three children. She has her plate full with family and writing. Besides that, she has two part-time at home jobs. I'm impressed with her organizational skills. One job is enough for me, and she juggles two plus writing.

Cheri's first devotional, A 40 Day Habit Between Friends Taking It To The Next Level, has been out for a couple of weeks now. After reading her devotionals, I have made some changes in my life. I no longer juggle studying the scripture whenever I can find time. I now get up earlier than usual and take thirty to fort-five minutes to have a time with God. This helps me to get my day started.

I've always said we can learn from others, if we try. Sometimes we don't try. Cheri has been a blessing to me in that way.

Go to Amazon to purchase her first book. The second should be on there by Monday. Thanks Cheri for working with me. I pray your books are a big success.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Yes, what do you do when you are in so much pain that you can barely stand it? That's what's happened to me lately. Let me tell you my story.

Last week I had a good booksigning at U-Save Drug Store in Rogersville, TN. Saw some old friends and made new one. Wonderful day! U-Save was our local drug store when we lived in Rogersville. Family owned and friendly. Not only can you get your prescriptions, you can buy gifts. They have a large collection of Precious Moments figurines and other collectibles. I was so thrilled when they let me come and sell my book. It was a wonderful experience.

After the booksigning, we went to Cumberland Falls State Park and Resort for a little rest and relaxation. We have been there several times and always enjoy the falls and the woods. When we arrived, my hip was hurting me so much, I had to rest for the rest of the evening. Thursday we went for a hike at the falls and I felt good walking. Sitting and laying were my problems. How much rest can you get standing and walking? Not much.

We left Friday morning and it was torture riding home. About halfway, we spotted South Union Shaker Village. I had always wanted to go, and I needed to walk, so we toured the Village for about two hours. If you are around Russellville, KY, please stop by and visit the site. The history and the furniture is worth it.

Yesterday I did go to the doctor. I hope to hear from the x-rays soon. I did receive a steroid shot, which I hate to take, but it has relieved the pain some. I am also on pain medication,which is not helping that much. The pain is still there. I have found I can stand at my island in the kitchen and write on the computer. At least that is less pain.

This week I am on Drop by. I'll be giving away an ebook copy of Callie's Mountain. I didn't get on much yesterday, but I'm headed that way now. The owner of the site is talking about independent publishing. Should be interesting. Have a wonderful day.