Thursday, September 25, 2014


This blog was started years ago when I first started writing. As most things go with time, it needs a change. Since we started Mantle Rock Publishing, I've been writing a blog there also, and with this blog, a blog for teen girls from church and the MRP blog, I'm spending way too much time on blogging. Something has to go. It will be this blog.

I invite you to go to I have a blog there, mostly about writing and what is happening at MRP and the writing industry. I'm getting ready to do a face lift with this website in the next few days. I hope to have it completed by the week-end.

If you go to MRP, you'll find books you can order through us at a cheaper price. You'll also get to meet the authors we represent. You'll even be able to purchase books before they release. We're thinking about a book club where members can buy books at an even lower price.

I'm excited about the change. I'm trying to decide on a look right now. I really think my website is immature and boring, so I want to jazz it up and make it prettier and more user friendly.

There will be a RSS feed where you can sign up for the blog to be delivered to you. I know I have it with this blog, but I'd never gotten it for MRP. A lovely person at my web host was kind enough to tell me what I needed to know. Thanks Jamee V.

I appreciate those of you who have stuck with me through the years. I'm not leaving you, just moving to another place. I think I'll be able to spend more time having a better blog. I hope you will follow me.

Have a wonderful day and I hope to see you on

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Yes, today is a terrible Tuesday. I don't have many of these days, but this has hit me with a vengeance. My allergies have turned into something worse. My hubby has gone for another kind of medicine, something to help the congestion in my chest.

When you are self-employed, you don't have sick days. Man, I wish I could! Instead, I have to work with a tissue in one hand and my other on the computer keys. Not fun. It's been almost a week since I started sniffling. This should be over soon. Please!

Things are in limbo right now with Mantle Rock. I'm deep in an edit and waiting to hear from the Library of Congress with numbers for another book. I've ordered a proof, but so far it hasn't come. I'm anxious to get it because I think it is a beautiful book. It's always good to look over it before I approve it for publication.

I'm taking more email addresses for my newsletter. If you are not on the list, and haven't received one yet, please reply to this post. For safety reasons, put your email as ddd at ddd dot com. That way it can't be copied. If you want to send me a personal email, please email me at kattanderson4 at gmail dot com.

This is it for today. I'm still working on my blog and trying to get it all in one place. I'll let you know as soon as I do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


This is a little authory today, because I'm working on this platform thingy. Since I"m working on a platform for Mantle Rock Publishing, I thought it might be interesting to hear some of your views.

All authors hear the word "platform" from the day they start writing. Everyone tells them they need one, but no one hardly ever tells them how. The how part for me is the hardest thing to do. But here it goes.

1. If you want to be recognized by your peers, other authors, you have to get yourself out there. That includes social media, blogs, comments on other blogs and plain old word of mouth. It takes time, but if you are diligent and work on it every day, it pays off.

2. Do you do social media? Most of us have a Facebook page, but as an author, do you have an Author Page on Amazon? I'll admit that I haven't checked mine in a while, but you need to. One of my friends, a multi-published author, tells me she links every blog to her author page, Facebook and other social media pages. To be honest, I hadn't thought of linking my blog to my author page. I do link it to Facebook and Twitter.

3. Do you know how many friends you have on Facebook? I hadn't thought about that for a while, but I have a lot. Not all of them are regular followers, but I do get several comments from close friends. That's part of your platform. Try to post something on Facebook each day. You'll be surprised how many people will read what you write.

4. Talk to your friends. Word of mouth is the cheapest way to build up a platform. When you think about it, how much time do you spend with friends who have like interests? I find I talk a lot to friends about books. Several of them have become fans of the same authors I am. I've introduced them to a bunch of new authors and that has helped that author's fan base. One thing I tell authors when we sign the contract is to talk, blog and go on loops about their book. Start early. As soon as I send them a cover, I want them to start showing it and being proud of what they have done. No one can talk about your book like you can. You are excited and your voice and use of words show it.

5. Are you a member of writing loops? I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writer's. We are a dedicated bunch of authors, both published and unpublished, who want to write Christian fiction. We have a loop, zones, teaching programs, conference and just about anything else you can think of that pertains to writing. This is one of the best ways to get noticed in the writing industry. Write on loops and have your signature line with your future and past books on it. 

6. Write a blog. I've been reading Michael Hyatt's blog recently about platform. He has some very good things that should help all of us with our writing. When you write your own blog, link it to your Facebook, Twitter and Author Page on Amazon. Let people know what you are doing. 

There is so much information out there about platform, and I encourage every writer to build a good platform, a good fan base. Find something you are interesting in doing and work that into your blogs. We all have our specialties.  There are things we all do that can help us build a fan base. What do you do and how do you feel about platform? I may be all wrong about this, but I believe if people know who we are and what we do, we'll sell more books.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Labor Day threw me off this year. We didn't do anything, but I was getting ready for my newsletter and time went by so quickly. I hope I'm back on track.

I'm also hoping for some cooler weather and rain. My allergies are giving me fits. Our neighbors on both sides mowed their yards yesterday, and I went to the mailbox in the middle of their mowing. That was not a good idea when you're allergic to dust. I'm also allergic to perfumes and last night was not a good night at church. I don't know why so many women, and men, want to put on a bunch of smelly stuff. It really gives me fits. I'm all stuffed up now, but I will be better by Sunday and ready to go again.

Mantle Rock is booming. We're received two contracts and another one is on the way.

 Amy C. Blake signed with us for her Young Adult book, Whitewashed. I loved the book about a college freshman and the events in her life. Really, it is a good book for anyone, but I'm sure late teens and early twenties will enjoy it and can identify with it. It will be published February 15, 2015.

Hope Toler Dougherty signed with her book, Irish Encounter. I've always enjoyed books about older people. We have too many about pretty young  things. This is a book about a mature, fortyish widow. It's still a very young forty and it's a romance. Yes, there is still romance after forty. Hope's book will release May 1, 2015.

I'm so excited to be receiving a contract from Pam Harris. Pam is in my writing group, KenTen Writers, and I've known her for a couple of years or more. She's a teacher and former principal. Her book is Ghosts of Graceland. Yes, it is Elvis' Graceland. I've wanted to publish this book since I read it last year. It's a tween book and the pace will keep you and your child wanting to read more. Ghosts of Graceland will release March 15, 2015.

Editing is the most tiring thing for me to do, but it has to be done. I'm editing a large novel by Dr. Patrick Johnston, Eva's Sacrifice. Eva will be released January 2, 2015. This is a very exciting. It's a suspense and well written. I met Patrick at American Christian Writers Conference and talked to him last year. He's a very energetic doctor with nine children, which he and his wife homeschool. I don't know when he writes, but he is a talented writer.

I'm making cookies today for our college granddaughter. She and her roommate are probably starving. These are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made. The recipe is in the back of Heartsong by Nicola Furlong. It's worth the price of the book to get the cookies. We make them with white chocolate and butterscotch chips. Delicious!

Right now we cannot take anymore children's books until 2016 and I'll only be taking one that year. We have three to print in 2015 at this writing. Although children's books are easier to print, they are also harder to sell. I'm really looking for more general fiction, romance and suspense. We have three Biblical historical books with a children's edition for each book contracted for 2015. It's already a busy year.

Sorry I missed writing Tuesday. I'll try to do better next week.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I'm usually a fan of summer. I like living in the South where a cool breeze helps me think it's cooler than it really is. This summer, I've seen 102 degrees twice on the thermometer. Now, that's hot. I know we have to have hot days so we will enjoy the cold ones in the winter. At least, that's my opinion.

When it gets warm in the South, the ladies put on more cologne and perfume. I'm allergic to both, so I have a very bad time when this happens. Last Sunday was bad. I've battled runny eyes and noses since that day. The dust from these days without rain can also make my allergies flare up. Then when it rains, my allergies get worse because of the mold I'm allergic to. I guess I can say I'm a mess. At least I am right now.

We have to have summer in order to have winter. The country folks say to count the fogs in August. We are supposed to have a snow for each fog. We had a good fog the other day and we've had a fog almost each day of this month, but they've been around our pond, so I don't think I can count them. If that theory holds true, we should have a couple of good sized snow.

After Labor Day week-end, we usually start thinking about fall. I can say I'm ready for fall. It's been a busy summer, and fall will be even busier. We have three more books to publish this year. One will be out about the middle to the last of October and the other two will come out in November. After that, I'm taking a month to recuperate. I'll probably work on some of edits, but no major work will be done.

My husband is now doing the formatting of the books. He decided he wanted to learn to use InDesign yesterday. One look at it and he gave up. I know how he feels. It is very intimidating when you first look at it. If he ever gets used to it, he will love it.

The edit I'm doing now is calling me. I need to get it finished today and sent off to the author. I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Week-end.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Usually I don't go into the details of Mantle Rock Publishing, but today I thought I'd let you know in more detail what's going on.

This year is filled up. No more contracts to be filled in 2014. October brings the release of A Shadow of Fear by Janet Ann Collins. Janet contacted me several months ago about a children's book she had written. I thought it was a wonderful idea for children. We all have to learn how to master our fears and this is a cute book to share with your children.

November will bring two releases. One is an adult book and one a companion book for children. Star Song, Book 1, Souls Who Knew Jesus is a series of eight books each. Each adult book will have a book written for children. Katheryn Haddad is the author. The first book is about the birth of Jesus and His growing up. Katheryn has done a ton of research for these books and references will be printed in the back of the book. She has footnoted each reference, which we will put in the back of the book for easier reading.

Here is the list of the books for 2015.

January - Eva's Sacrifice by Dr. Patrick Johnston
February - Whitewashed by Amy C. Blake
March - Book 2, Souls Who Knew Jesus,by Katheryn Haddad
April - TBA
May - TBA
June - Book 3, Souls Who Knew Jesus, by Katheryn Haddad
July - TBA
August - TBA
September - Book 4, Souls Who Knew Jesus, by Katheryn Haddad
October - TBA
November - Book 5, Souls Who Knew Jesus by Katheryn Haddad
December - Office closed

Three of the months have contracts out on them, April, May and July. I haven't heard back from the authors yet. I know I'll probably take another one to be put in August. If all of the slots are taken, that only leaves one more month opened. And March, June, September and November have two books coming out.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd have almost all of 2015 filled by now. There are also books scheduled in 2016. I can't thank Hartline Literary Agency enough for being so kind to trust me with their clients. I don't have any historical novels except the ones Katheryn Haddad has written. I would like to see more women's fiction, romance or otherwise. Romance seems to sell better.

Well, I have to get busy. Lots to do today and many more manuscripts to read. Have a super day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Each morning I close my eyes and for five minutes think of all the blessings I have. There are so many and sometimes it takes longer than five minutes. When we take that short time to think about what we have, especially while others don't have as much, we realize how rich we are.

Here are some of my thank you's or blessings I have received. First and foremost is Christ. I would be no place with out Him. I'm blessed to have the church that He died for, and for the remission of my sins. My family is my biggest blessing, my husband, Jerry, my daughter, her husband, her daughter, my son, his wife, their three children are a big blessing in my life. I feel so blessed to live in a free country and I pray that it will always be free. When I think about the advantages I have compared to what others can't have, I'm truly blessed beyond measure. I live in a nice house, not fancy, but comfortable. I have more house than I need, but it meets my functions. My family includes a sister, her husband, and her four children, plus spouses and their children and grandchildren. My husbands family is also a blessing to know. His oldest brother turns 85 next week and we have been so blessed by him and his family. His sister is also a blessing and we've had wonderful times with her and her family.

There are so many more blessings and you can see if you list them all it could take hours. We have made wonderful friends since moving to Kentucky. It's hard to believe we've been here five years. Those have been wonderful five years. Our neighbors here have blessed us, and I appreciate all of them and their kindness to us.

One of the things I've been most thankful for is the doctors I've found here. My general practitioner is a great doctor and a great person. The nursing staff in her office are remarkable. The surgeons I have met are the best anywhere. We cannot say enough good things about my orthopedic surgeon. He is the best! My general surgeon has brought me through three surgeries, and finally we have success. I'm so thankful for him.

This list only skims the bucket. There are so many more, but it would take all day to list them. Try this exercise each day. You'll be surprised how much it will help your mental and physical being.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock's novel, A Most Precious Gift, released about ten days ago. This is a great book by a great author. She has been so much fun to work with. I knew you'd enjoy learning more about her, so I asked her to be my guest today.

1. Readers love to know about writers, so tell us a little about yourself, family, dogs, cats etc. 

I am the youngest of five girls. Because my three older sisters were basically adults when I was born, I like to say I grew up with four mothers. I was born an aunt and have several nieces very close to my age, so it made those years very loving and very special for me. 

I’ve always been very family oriented. After four and a half decades of marriage, my husband and I were blessed with a granddaughter last year. I thought I knew what love was, but oh my!

2. What are some of your favorite activities? 

I’ve always had a love affair with music, doing solos for as long as I can remember. Also, I love crossword puzzles, games such as Scrabble, and an occasional season of crocheting. But when it comes down to my all time favorite, there’s nothing I enjoy more consistently than reading a good story. 

3. What made you want to be a writer?

I am a country girl from fifteen miles inland off the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so much of what I learned about the world early on came from books. Discovering the joy of entering other lives and cultures via the few books to which I was exposed whetted my appetite for more. When I became an English major, I discovered just how little I had read. Since part of my job was to teach literature, I knew right away that what I was teaching I eventually wanted to do myself.

4. If you could do anything that you are not doing now, what would it be? 

I would play the piano inside the comfort of my home and sing along to the top of my voice.

5. If you could live anyplace besides where you live now, where would it be? 

I would make my home near one of God’s oceans.

6. Are you a morning or evening person? 

I am definitely not a morning person, though I wish I were. But being in the work place over a span of forty years forced me to become acquainted with the early eastern sun for many days.

7. What do you like best about writing? 

I love getting to know the characters and having them tell the story to me. I love laughing at what they say and choking up when life gets tough for them.

8. What do you dread most about writing? 

I can’t say I dread anything per se about the writing process, but I don’t look forward to cutting and editing.

9. What is your worse fear? 

My worse fear about writing is that I’ll read something I’ve written and dislike it intensely. My worse fear generally is that I’ll see a snake in my yard and be chased into the house.

10. How many times have you been known to re-write a scene? 

Countless times would be the only honest answer. Each time I look at a scene, I’m tempted to tamper with it. Finally, I just have to walk away and flatly refuse to look at it again.

11. Do you read your manuscript out loud?

Very rarely do I actually read it aloud, but sections of it play in my head almost audibly.

12. If I met you for the first time, what would I like best about you? 

I don’t know, but I’m told I have a pleasant personality. 

13. If you could pick a time to live, when would it be and why? 

I would pick now because now is as good a time as any as long as the Lord is in my life. In my estimation, all times in history have their advantages and disadvantages.

14. What is your favorite vacation place? 

I loved the Bay area of California the few times I visited there; I loved my trip to England and Scotland, but I can’t say I have a favorite place except somewhere near the ocean.

15. Do you have a bucket list? 

Not really. I’ve had things which I’ve prayed for long and hard—such as the grandbaby born last year—that has made me feel a sense of joy and accomplishment, but I’ve always known that these things would only happen if God willed. If, however, I’d ever had a list, I think now with the publication of this book it would be pretty well filled.

16. Do you see a story in people you meet? 

Absolutely I do. I see stories in people every day. The anecdotes they offer at the supermarket, the things they are passionate about o a lunch date, a turn of phrase, the way they smile—all these things find a place in my head which I’m liable to retrieve at some point and use in a story.

Thank you Jacqueline. I'm not a snake person myself. I'm in the house right behind you, or maybe I'll push you out of the way and get there first.

A Most Precious Gift is for sale on Amazon in ebook and print book. You won't regret buying it. A wonderful story.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


The one part of being an author that I dearly hate is marketing. I don't like to go out of my comfort zone. It's much more fun to sit at the computer and write or read manuscripts or edit manuscripts or play games. Marketing is an essential part of an author.

Years ago, when there were not a whole lot of Christian authors, you could write a book and the publisher would do most of the work. That's before the digital and print on demand age. Back then, people were searching for clean Christian literature and there was very little around.

The first books I read that were considered "Christian" were by Yvonne Lehman and JoAnn A. Grote. I have a bunch of their books. There are other pioneers, like Deb Raney, but for some reason, I never read her books until later.

The market grew through the years and it became harder for publishers to do what they used to do for their authors. Only very big publishing houses send their authors on tours with their books. As the market has changed, so have we as authors and publishers. Now we have to work to sell a book.

From experience, you have to do a lot more to be noticed. Book signings are a great way to meet people and grow a fan base. That's where you have to put on your big girl shoes and go to the book stores. No one is going to come to you. The more people that know who you are, the more books they'll buy. If you are not making yourself visible on writer's loops or conferences, you're missing out on sales. One agent told me that we all buy each other's books. That is so true.

Last week I attended a webinar where the speaker said to be able to write full-time, you needed a fan base of 1,000. That's 1,000 people who will buy your print book, not ebook. That's a lot of books. Wouldn't it be nice to know when you have a book published there will be a minimum of 1,000 books sold. If you have a good print book fan base, think of what the ebook fan base will be!

How can I get that fan base? Have a website. Put a book store on your website. It's all right to sell the books yourself. I'm sure you can order some from your publisher. As a publisher, I want my authors to order books from me. Every author should be writing a blog. Why? Think about this. When you go to the doctor's office and sit down in the waiting room, what magazine do you pick up? Nine times out of ten it will be "People." Why? Because you want to know what those Hollywood stars are doing. Write about yourself and your family on your blog. Let people know what you like, dislike, what you do, what's going on in your family. We're nosy people. We want to know what others are doing.

If your book is a Print on Demand, get extra copies and put them on consignment in a store. There's a store here where we live called, Shop-O-Rama. They boast of having 50,004 items in their inventory. I have my books there and they sell everything from nuts and bolts to clothing and decor items. Tour buses stop there. I'm selling books there. Everyone in the area knows about Shop-O-Rama. Go to some out of the way place and put your books there.

These are some of my experiences. You have to take chances to sell books. You have to work at marketing to sell books.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Today, I'd thought about writing something different until I read a blog by my friend Edie Melson. I've known Edie since my first ACFW conference. She and I were both waiting for an interview with an agent and we were both nervous. We chatted until we were told to be quiet. They don't like for you to talk while you're waiting because you might disturb someone. After that, Edie and I see each other at a conference and she feels like home.

Edie talked about whether God wants us to skydive or parachute. So many people are afraid to take chances, thus they use a parachute. Then others are ready to soar. Personally, I like to soar. In 2011 we started Mantle Rock Publishing, but I was wearing a parachute. I was afraid to ask anyone to send me their manuscript. One year ago, that changed. I can't tell you how many manuscripts I've received, but a bunch. I can tell you how many I've accepted, fourteen. That's in only one year. I've shrugged off the parachute and I'm skydiving.

We have so many opportunities in life, if we'll only take them. We have to have our eyes open and acknowledge those opportunities. It's with everything in life, not just business. We meet people, and we may not like them at first, but if we spend a little time with them, we'll find they are wonderful people. I've met a lot I've spent time with and then found out they were not what I thought they were, but that's experience. I don't regret the time I spent with them, I only wish they had a different outlook on life.

I have a daily schedule. Each day I know what I'm working on and work with all my heart to get it accomplished. I don't stick by the schedule 100%, but I try. Things in life happen and we have to change our plans. Like tonight I would read proposals, but my oldest grandson is playing football and I'll go to the game. One of my authors told me over the week-end that I needed to take Saturdays and Sundays off. I take a little time off during the week and feel I have to works some on Saturdays. I don't work on Sundays unless I'm really pushed or I get a thought that feels like a lightening bolt.

Think about your life and your writing. Are you skydiving or using a parachute? Are you taking the lead with your life? Do you take chances and they pay off? Or, are you too afraid to take a chance?

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Yesterday A Most Precious Gift was released on Amazon in both ebook and print book. This book is by Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock and I highly recommend it. I recommend it because it is a good book, not because my company published it. Jacqueline is a wonderful writer. I've laughed and cried when I read it, and I've read it probably about six times. It's always new to me. It can also be bought at I don't have my copies yet, but they should be here in a week or a little more.

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on the Natchez town estate of Riverwood. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields as was her mother before her. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she's attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary.
A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield's heart is set on finally becoming a respected businessman by outfitting a bedroom at the palatial Riverwood—until a beautiful new slave destroys his proof of freedom and his fragile confidence along with it.

When the mistress of Riverwood orders Dinah to work alongside the sullen Mr. Mayfield, sparks fly setting the two on a collision course. Is their mutual love for God strong enough to overcome deep-seated insecurities and set the couple on a path toward self-acceptance and love for each other? 

Thursday, July 31, 2014


If this was August 1, some of us would be counting the fogs. Old folks say to count the fogs in August and you'd know how many snows we'd have during the winter. If this was August 1 instead of July 31, we'd have one. I remember July 31, 1967.

I was very pregnant with our second child and our VBS started that night. I could barely waddle caring a 9 lb. 3 oz. baby boy. He was born at 1:10 a.m. the next day. I remember the surge of energy you have as you go into labor. While my husband and almost three year old daughter were at VBS, I mopped the kitchen, baked a cake and went into labor. I have no idea why I remember that labor and I can't remember the other two. It's crazy, but tomorrow, my boy will be 47. Happy Birthday Larry! I love you so much! I had a less than three hour labor. Not my shortest labor. It was also the only one the doctor came in with a guitar and serenaded me during my labor.

This week has been busy. Proposals are still coming in and I'm about to stop asking the Lord to send more. Today I'll get A Most Precious Gift ready to send to the company that prints and distributes my books. The book will probably be on sale by the middle of next week on Amazon.

There's always a book waiting to be published. I want to format A Shadow of Fear to be ready to publish the last of September or the first of October. This is a children's chapter book and I love it because it tells how a little boy addressed his fears.

The next book will come out in November/December. It's a Biblical Historical. Can't wait to get started on it in the next few days. The cover isn't made yet, but my cover designer is working on it. This is a busy time for her and I hope she waits until her daughter gets settled in college. Then, she'll have more time.

It won't be long until we'll be through with this year. It's been a good year for me, but we've had some heartbreaks. That's life, isn't it? Not everything can be like we want it. It's also been a busy year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Sometimes we look at the calendar and say, "Where did that month go?" That's what I did this morning. Where did July go? Where did the last seven months go? Before we know it, it will be Christmas and I'm not through with summer yet.

July has been a busy month. We always raise a large garden and usually in June and July we are canning and freezing. Yes, I'm old fashioned. I love my veggies either canned or frozen. My husband put out more corn than he usually does, so we have a lot of corn. We've frozen it and given it away. There's till more in the garden.

Besides the garden, we've been busy at Mantle Rock Publishing with submissions. We received ten signed contracts this month. That's more than I ever dreamed of. One is a suspense, one a children's chapter book and a series of eight Biblical historical fiction books. The Biblical books are scattered through the next two years.

On top of the submissions, we will publish a book in a few days. I first planned to publish it in September, but I'm thinking it will come out in August. A Most Precious Gift .is a historical romance and I love it. I plan to format it today and tomorrow. I can't wait to see it in print.

Book publishing is time consuming. Everyone stays out of my office when I'm working. I've already told my husband to "Get Out!" I have to concentrate on what I'm doing. As I do more, it's easier. Now that I have several books coming out, it will be much easier to remember what I'm doing.

In a few days it will be August. It's beginning to feel like fall here in Kentucky. Today is cooler than normal, but it's a welcomed change. I love fall of the year and it looks like it will be early this year. Summer has been great. So much has happened in our family this summer, so much to look forward to in the fall.

God is so good and He knows what we need. I'm so thankful for all He does for me and for my family and friends. No one could be better to me than He is.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Last week-end I went to visit my daughter in Nashville, TN. One reason was because my granddaughter will be going off to college in a couple of weeks. Although she's going to college in Nashville, she'll be living in a dorm. I knew when I saw her later in the fall, she would have changed. It's amazing how much parents learn in the first couple of months your child is in college. We experienced it twice. The other reason was to try to find shoes.

Now, how do we connect writing and feet? It's really easy to do.
Product Details
I have a narrow foot and no department stores carry narrow shoes. After a couple of hours being told the stores wished they carried narrow shoes, but the they were never sent any, we decided to go to a "shoe store." The shoe store we chose, and I'll do a commercial for them, was Jensen's on White Bridge Road. This is an orthopedic store with very expensive shoes. Those $300 and $250 shoes felt wonderful. The first thing the clerk did was to look at my feet. He told me all my problems, then he measured my foot. I had to have been a teen since I'd had my feet measured, but it felt good to know what size I wore, and I'd been wearing shoes too short. It feels good to wear shoes that are the correct size. I could only afford one pair, but they are so comfortable. The picture is a little dress flat I ordered for $21.00, and it fits!

It's also a wonderful feeling when what we write fits us. So many times do people try to fit their writing into the wrong genre, the wrong size. Their writing hurts like my feet hurt. They are not fulfilling what they can do. They come up short and they feel cramped.

I have a friend who started out writing historical fiction. After about four books, she started writing suspense. that's her niche. She's a wonderful suspense writer and an all right historical writer. She's selling books right and left now, but she had to try on historical fiction before she found the right genre.

Our life is like that. We don't always fit in a place. We have to find our friends who encourage and support us. I thought I wanted to write, but now I know I'm meant to publish books for other people. I enjoy it so much more, except getting it together to print. I'm a nervous wreck on that day, so everyone stays far away from me. I know where I belong and the shoe fits.

If you're a writer, try other genres. Try to find the right fitting shoe. When you do, you'll have no pain, but hours of enjoyment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Nicola Furlong is one of my favorite authors. She wrote for the Christian market years ago in a Guidepost series. Now she is trying her hand with Christian contemporary novels. I wouldn't call Heartsong a real chic-lit, but it's a good Christian contemporary.

Everyone likes to know about the authors, and I'm no exception. One reason why People Magazine and others are so popular is because they let us go inside the celebrities. Personally, I  want to know what makes someone tick. As they would say on tv, "I sat down with Nicola and we chatted about things you might be interested in." Here goes. I think you'll enjoy knowing more about her.

1) Readers love to know about writers, so tell us a little about yourself, family, dogs, cats etc.

Some say life’s a competition. I say, Yeah, maybe, but since we all cross the same finish line, why not buzz along with family, sports, blossoms, suspense and chocolate? You see, I’m the sixth of eight Furlongs. In horse-racing parlance, that drops me just round the last bend. Where the thoroughbreds break for the finish line. An exciting spot. Fits me like a lucky horseshoe. My siblings around me, my goals large and looming, and my hands on the reins. Anything can happen. In my fiction, it does. Game to find out?

2) What are some of your favorite activities?

I’m kind of a summer / winter gal, activity wise. During the sunny season, I’m on my bike wheeling round the rural roads of my seaside town or digging about the gardens, tending my favorites, like poppies, bamboo and succulents. When the days shrink, I duck inside an arena thrice weekly, streaking along a sheet of ice after a flat little disc, stick handling past a bunch of old-timers. I love scoring against the guys!

3) What made you want to be a writer?

I’ve always loved reading and stories, encouraged by both parents from an early age. Happily dove into the battered green Penguin mysteries handed down from my father, via my older siblings. After my dad died in the mid eighties, I yearned for a creative outlet and thought he would be proud if I scribbled a whodunit.

Now, after having written a number of mysteries, I’m embracing the challenge and opportunities offered by writing the Sisterhood of Shepherds, a family saga with quirky characters, inspired by members of my family.

4) If you could do anything that you are not doing now, what would it be?

A 2D mixed media artist. My university degree is in Fine Art and I’m often hankering for another chance to create life with more than words. I’m now fiddling with landscapes, crafted from a combination of ceramics, nutshells, bamboo and poppy pods, and calling them ‘growing scenes’. 

5) If you could live anyplace besides where you live now, where would it be?

Nowhere else on earth is better than southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be born or brought up on the isle considered by most as the Canadian Mediterranean, but now that I’m planted, nobody’s ever gonna ever dig me up.

6) Are you a morning or evening person?

Depends on what I’m about. For creativity, morning is dandy; for blowing off steam and calories, afternoons are peachy; and for indulging in chocolate fudge, nothing beats the evening. Any evening. Dare I say, every evening?

7) What do you like best about writing?

Having total control of a distinct world, of giving life to anyone you wish, and jamming them into tricky situations and watching what erupts.

8) What do you dread most about writing?

Marketing. Trying to flog your own work is a disagreeable task. Makes me feel like a slimy mix of Uriah Heep and Vincent Crummles, two of Dickens’ most unctuous characters.

9) How many times have you been known to re-write a scene?

Not that often. I usually have a plan in mind for the beginning, middle and button-end of a scene, so find extensive re-writing thorny. I will admit to some self-inflicted fine-tuning, and if forced by a prickly editor or publisher, will sigh start over.

10) Do you read your manuscript out loud?

Often, especially the dialogue. It’s shocking how dreadful poorly-written sentences sound and how grueling they are to read. When the words sing, though, you hear a heavenly choir.

11) If I met you for the first time, what would I like best about you?

This’s tough to answer. If pressed, I hope it would be for my ‘go for it’ attitude, though it’s hard not to immediately cotton on to someone who hands out chocolate fudge.

12) If you could pick a time to live, when would it be and why?

I’m blessed to live right here, right now. Though past epochs, like the early nineteenth century in Great Britain, are alluring, I couldn’t brook the shackles society adopted to hobble and diminish women.

I am free to work, compete and play alongside men and women, and though roadblocks and discrimination persist, I know I am more privileged than my female forerunners.

13) What is your favorite vacation place?

As you may already guess, Vancouver Island is truly super natural with a plethora of vacation outings within easy reach, but a smidgen of my heart will always beat on my mother’s birth place of Prince Edward Island, unfortunately located on the opposite side of Canada.

14) Do you have a bucket list? Can you tell us a few things in the bucket?

I have an ad hoc list of stuff to see and do, though I accomplished much in my youth. I backpacked round Europe and Great Britain reveling in many travel icons, like gaping at the spectacular beauty of the statue of David in Florence, unsuccessfully tracking down 221B Baker Street in London, sprinting along the beach at Biarritz, and dropping a peck on the Blarney Stone in Ireland. Other check-marked activities include growing Himalayan Blue Poppies, writing published mystery novels, and mushing with sled dogs in the Canadian Arctic.

Still lounging in the bucket are tramping through the Grand Canyon, spotting a cougar in the wild, piloting a long boat through English waterways, and playing with the Canadian Women’s Hockey team in the Olympics. Yeah, I know. Some are more reasonable than others. 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Nicola. You can purchase her book at Amazon, most book stores and Thanks Nicola for a great interview.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Covers, Covers

One of the first things a reader sees is the cover. A lot of sales depend on that cover, so covers are important. Yes, we could use stick figures, but what would that tell us about the book. A cover should tell you a little about the book, not just the title and author.

I love the cover for Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock's book, A Most Precious Gift. I know it's about the South. I can see the girl is probably a slave and works for the house behind her. The box on the bottom should tell us there's something involved with the box. I won't tell the secret, but when you read the book, you'll know. Roseanna White did the cover and she's a great cover designer.

This book will release middle to late August. This is a picture of the actual house the story is written about. I think the girl, Dinah, is beautiful. The cover is not too busy and tells a story.

This is a new cover for Callie's Mountain. I had always envisioned Callie young and pretty with long blond hair. The mountains represent the mountains where she moved to and found "her own true love." I like this cover much better than the one on the right of my page. I always thought that Callie had a smirk and I didn't like it. This shows a much kinder Callie, one I want to be friends with.

This cover was made by my daughter, Diane Turpin. She is an award winning scrapbooker and graphic artist. With her one and only daughter leaving for college, she needed something else to do. That's a joke. She has a successful Etsy shop and is very busy from now until Christmas with orders for Christmas stockings, tablecloths and a number of other things Christmasy. She is also an artist, painting in oils and acrylics.

 I cannot tell a lot of difference in the two book covers. I do feel I have a better book cover with Callie than I did before. Give me your opinion. Leave a comment. I'm interested in knowing how you feel about covers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


There's nothing I like better than homemade ice cream, especially the good kind. By that I mean no eggs. I'm not a fan of raw eggs in ice cream. Because of my dislike of eggs, I came up with a recipe without eggs and it's delicious. But let me tell you some homemade ice cream stories.

I believe making homemade ice cream is a lost art. We got our ingredients Sunday afternoon for "Butterfinger Ice Cream." My hubby said on the way home it would have been cheaper to buy a couple of gallons than what we paid for all the stuff to go into it. That's all right, we only do it a few times a year, so why not splurge.

Years ago I found a recipe for Peach Ice Cream. It was very easy and no cooking. You stirred up peaches, milk, half and half, evaporated milk, sugar, salt and vanilla. Now what can be easier? It was very easy until my friend, Betty Craft, told me she had eaten 3 Musketeer Ice Cream and we ought to try it. We didn't "try" it with just our families, but invited the whole church to eat it with us. How stupid can you get?

Betty had no idea how they made it, so I was on my own. Instead of putting the candy through a blender, before the time of food processors, I just stuck 3 large bars in the ice cream canister. Yes, they froze and froze hard, but the chocolate made them okay. We all had a good laugh and my face was red, but not so red to retell the story. I did learn to put them through the blender.

We decided to make Butterfinger Ice Cream Sunday. Again my brain went on a trip. I broke up the candy and put it in the food processor, but I added too much milk and my processor was too full. Into the candy and milk, I added the sugar. Okay, so I'm not very smart, but I wanted it to mix up well. It did. All over my kitchen counter. I think my husband became upset with me and he drug out the hand processor that I use for smoothies. I wanted a little larger chunks than he did, but it turned out all right.

It only takes about thirty minutes for the ice cream to make. We covered it up and took it to church for our annual Ice Cream Supper. We brought home three teaspoon spoonfuls. The canister was almost licked clean. This ice cream has such a smooth texture and I love it. I'll share the recipe if you want it. Email me at kathycret at yahoo dot com.

I'll have to make another freezing. Granddaughter Josie loved it, so we'll have chicken and dumplings and Butterfinger Ice Cream. Yum-yum.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Mantle Rock Publishing received a signed contract from Dr. Patrick Johnston for his book Eva's Sacrifice. This is Patrick's first book with us and I'm excited about it. The publish date is January 2015. If you like suspense, Amish/Old Mennonite and a little medicine mixed in, you'll love this book.

September 1 brings the publication of A Most Precious Gift by Jacqueline Wheelock. I'll put a picture of the book cover and a blurb soon. This is a story about slavery at the brink of the Civil War. A historical romance with lots of thrills and suspense.

So things are moving at Mantle Rock. I'm busy writing on my novel, plus reading submissions. It looks like 2015 will be an exciting year. This year our goal was to publish four books, and when September is over we'll have met that goal. Next year the goal is for six books, but I'd like to do more. I'm also learning more about marketing and publishing. It's a fun experience.

We've been honored to have three of our grandchildren spend time with us for the last couple of weeks. It's always fun to have them around. Our garden is coming in with beans and corn. I've canned beans and will freeze corn today. That's life on our small farm.

Each day I'm so thankful for what God has done for me. So many people don't appreciate what they have. Take time each day to look at your blessings. You will be a happier person and learn something about yourself.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Today I sent my second newsletter out.If you would like to receive one, please leave a comment and I'll be glad to put you on next month's list.

Last week, Nicola Furlong's' book, Heartsong, was placed on Nook. I know everyone does not own a Kindle, so this is something Nook customers can use. I'll be putting more on Nook in the future.

Today and tomorrow Heartsong is on sale for .99 on Amazon and Good time to get a book to read on vacation. Maybe I'm the only one who reads on vacation, but it's a good relaxing book.

Last week, I also signed up to put our books with This is a place where you can buy ebooks. Heartsong is listed now and I hope to have Susannah's Hope listed there soon.

Right now I'm going through Callie's Mountain and making some corrections and a new cover. My daughter has agreed to make the cover for me and the mock-up is beautiful. I hope to get this completed by the end of next week.

The 4th of July will be here before we know it. We're having a cookout with family. Our oldest granddaughter turns 18 on the 4th. Where did the time go? She grew up much too fast. If you get the newsletter, you'll see an all grown up picture of her at her graduation.

I'll be attending Blue Ridge Mountain Novel Retreat outside of Asheville, NC in the fall. I haven't been in a while and I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new. It's a great time for writers to learn new things and write. This is one of my favorite conferences.

We're all busy right now, so this is short. I'll have more to come later in the week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Beginning Monday, June 30 at 8:00 a.m. PST until July 3 at 8:00 a.m PST, Heartsong by Nicola Furlong will be on sale at Amazon for .99. This is only at Amazon and only for those days. If you haven't read this book yet, now is the time to get it for less than a dollar. I recommend this book, not because I published it, but because it is a very good book. After you have read it, please leave a comment on Amazon. I don't think you will regret paying this small ammount.


Some families have hope. Others have faith. The Shepherds of rural Oregon have Faith, Hope and Charly, three quirky sisters whose lives change forever when they reluctantly answer a personal calling to help other make amends. 

Thirty-something single parent Charly Shepherd is satisfied with her life raising two children and thousands of plants in her family owned Sweet Shepherd Nursery. Then tragedy strikes. As she and her siblings struggle to keep the nursery going, Charly begins to believe her family’s destiny is greater than raising flowers. When the three sisters reluctantly delve into family secrets to help their ailing father fulfill a promise, their lives change forever as they pursue a new inspirational path of discovery, heartache, humor and redemption. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I've become acquainted with a little girl about three years old whose name is Georgia. This girl has big eyes and a ready smile. She also encourages me more than I can ever say. Let me tell you what I know about Georgia.

Last year, Georgia was diagnosed with kidney cancer. At age two, she had one kidney removed and began chemo. A lot of things happened and she was in the hospital much longer than she should have been. You know how when you meet someone with difficulties you tell them, "You're in my prayers." Then a lot of times you forget about it. Well, Georgia steals your heart. You remember her and all the problems she is going through for one so young.

Kids have a way of bounding back, and Georgia has. She is growing and smiling. She doesn't talk much to us, but I'm sure she will in time, and it may take several trips to McDonald's for her to do that. Her family has been through a lot, but they have not blamed God. They have remained strong in their faith.

As Georgia ate her second bag of french fries, I thought of what a wonderful little girl she is. Her hair is beginning to come back in and it looks to be curly. She won't be wearing the scarf much longer. She's trying to play with the other kids and laughing. It's such a wonderful thing to hear a child laugh and much better when that child has been through so many trials.

God has certainly blessed Georgia and her family. He's also blessed me by getting to know her. I see optimism in her little face. I see a future. I see love of her family and love of God. I have been blessed to know this little girl with the big eyes and bright smile. I also got a hug and a kiss.

I can't wait to see her again Wednesday. I want to see another smile.  

Friday, June 13, 2014


That's right, Mantle Rock Publishing is having a big sale on two books. The sale begins today, June 13, 2014 and goes through Sunday, June 15, 2014. I will close the sale at 10:00 p.m. Sunday night.

Susannah's Hope and Heartsong are on sale for $10.99 each. That's a great price. You can order them through Mantle Rock Publishing. Go to and click on the "more" button, then on the "store" button. Proceed with the ordering and I'll get them out to you asap.

These are two very good books and you can't buy them anyplace else at this price. So, scoot on over and get some great books at a discount.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


This past month seems like a blur. So much has happened in our family and with our publishing company. I really don't know where to begin.

First, Mantle Rock Publishing now has a store. Yes, a store where you can order the books we publish. I think I may have written this before, but I'm not sure. You can go to and click on the "more" button. Under it, you will find "store." Three books are listed so far, but I will be putting another one on later this month. It's a good way to help our authors get their books out.

On May 3, I had a wonderful booksigning at one of our local stores, Shop-A-Rama. It's located about three miles from where I live in the community of Draffenville. Shop-A-Rama advertises to have 50,001 items in their store. They now have 50,004 because three of my books are sold there. It was a fun day and I met a lot of nice people.

Heartsong by Nicola Furlong was released May 16. This is such a good book. My husband's words when he read it were, "I like that book. It wasn't full of gushy romance." It is a good contemporary lighthearted book. I liked it a lot! Good job, Nicola.

May 17, our oldest granddaughter, Savannah, graduated from Goodpasture Christian School. She will enter David Lipscomb University in the fall on a music scholarship. She is very talented, but she wants to use her talent to help others. She wants to be a musical therapist. This is a fairly new field, but very rewarding.

We came home on the 18th after enjoying a "Senior Lunch" at the church she attends. Northside church of Christ did a wonderful job honoring their seniors. It was so much fun to see the pictures.

As soon as we got home, I began getting ready for surgery on the 19th. This was the tenth abdominal surgery for me and I pray it is the last. I'm tired of belly pain and surgery. I'm so thankful I found a doctor who has been willing to help me through all of this ordeal. Really check up on doctors who you do not know. I wish I had checked more ten years ago. I wouldn't be having all these problems now if I had.

Surgery has been good, but I'm still low on strength and stamina. I'm having good days and bad days, and gradually beginning to work again. Not much, but a little. I think I've worked too hard on feeling better. Sadly I've overworked myself. We all become impatient.

I'm beginning to work on a novel. It's a mystery and I've had a hard time getting it started. I don't want it to be too sad, but I can't have it too lighthearted. I'll let some friends look at it in the next few days.

The next book will be released June 28. It's a picture book, Babbs is Back, by Sandi Rog and Arielle DeMarco. The price will be $8.99, but it is on Amazon in ebook form now for $2.99/

After this. . .I think I'll leave that for later. Can't dump too much information on people. Anyway the next book is wonderful. I love it. Until later.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Today our store opened on You can purchase books we have printed directly from our store and shipping will be much easier. I've wanted to do this for some time, but hadn't figured out how to do it. It's an exciting day here at the office. More books will be published as we print them. Also, keep in touch for sale items. I put an ad on Facebook that will start tomorrow. It's a trial to see how it goes. Please "Like" it.

Plenty of things are keeping us busy. Our oldest granddaughter graduates from high school May 17. Where did the time go? I remember the first time I saw her. She was a long, scrawny little thing. She's still long. Very tall and looks like a model. Of course, that's Grandma's observation. I am so proud of her. She'll enter David Lipscomb University in Nashville in the fall and will major in music. I'll try to put pictures on next Sunday night.

Why Sunday night instead of Tuesday or Thursday? Monday morning, May 19, I will be having another abdominal surgery. My ninth. Not many more places that don't have scars. This one is not as bad as the last one in October. I have a small hernia, which a friend has named Henrietta. Henrietta has been causing me a lot of pain. It's hard to sit and walk up steps. My surgeon says he can "fix it." I pray he can. I've had ten years of torture.

My hospital stay should be short, but I'll have about six weeks recovery. When I have surgery, my eyes go haywire. I have a hard time adjusting to words. Everyone has told me I'll have time to write, but when you can't see what you've written, it's hard. I will regain my vision in about two weeks. Thankfully, I can adjust my fonts on both my Kindle and my tablet. I have downloaded a bunch of books to read.

The booksigning went well at Shop-O-Rama. That is such a fascinating store. You can buy anything from clothes, decor, tools, hardware and even a galvanized bathtub. I appreciate all the nice people who visited me there. I hope to get a picture up soon.

Hoping all mothers have a wonderful Mother's Day. We're having a breakfast at church on Saturday morning. It should be enjoyable. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Everyone has bad days, but they don't always come in bunches. Mine do it seems.

For some time I've been plagued with diverticulitis. Not fun, but when I had the last surgery the doctor said it looked good. We had been given a tree of pecans and my husband gladly picked them up and shelled them. I gladly made pecan pies. You did see the "s". That's plural meaning more than one. Maybe five or six or more. We had pecan pancakes, pecans in salads, pecans everywhere. I love them. That is until my belly begins to hurt.

For the past three or four weeks, I've had bad spasms when I get up from a chair and going up the two steps in my family room. It became much worse and I could not touch my belly. My doctor thought as I did that it was diviticuli. Guess what? It wasn't. It was another hernia.

When I had the last surgery in October, my doctor assured me I should not every have another hernia. I was hurting in the same place after surgery, but thought it was the mesh. It wasn't. It is a hernia.To say I was discouraged, is putting it mildly. I was down right mad!

Today I have an appointment with my surgeon. He won't be glad to see me. I think I'll ask for galvanized pipe. He'll wish now he'd put that zipper in when I asked him. Oh, well, this is life.

So much is going on right now. Besides reading a book to see if I want to make a contract for it, my oldest granddaughter is graduating from high school the middle of May. I want to be there to see her and encourage her for her accomplishments. She received a good music scholarship from David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. We are so proud of her.

I'm working on my newsletter, and yes, Maxie, I have you down. I hope to ship your book out today. The newsletter will be a little about me and some things you aren't looking for. I hope you'll enjoy it.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The winner of Susannah's Hope is Maxie. I"ll email you for your address. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the book.

Nicola Furlong's book, Heartsong, will be released in May. It is up on Amazon in ebook for sale now. The cover and blurb follows.

Some families have hope. Others have faith. The Shepherds of rural Oregon have Faith, Hope and Charly, three quirky sisters whose lives change forever when they reluctantly answer a personal calling to help other make amends. 

Thirty-something single parent Charly Shepherd is satisfied with her life raising two children and thousands of plants in her family owned Sweet Shepherd Nursery. The tragedy strikes. As she and her siblings struggle to keep the nursery going, Charly begins to believe her family’s destiny is greater than raising flowers. When the three sisters reluctantly delve into family secrets to help their ailing father fulfill a promise, their lives change forever as they pursue a new inspirational path of discovery, heartache, humor and redemption. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Yesterday I had lunch with a wonderful, dedicated lady by the name of Roberta Edwards. Roberta lives in Haiti and does mission work there. She is one of the most hard-working women I know. I pray each day that I will have her zeal for the Lord.

Roberts takes children, mostly babies, who are dying. Their mothers give them to her. I can't imagine giving up my child, but they do. Most of the women are prostitutes and most of the babies they give her are boys. Girl babies make money for them, so they try to take care of them. Can you imagine sending your daughter out as a prostitute? I look at my granddaughters and say, "No way!" But in a country with little resources, that's what they do.

Roberta said most children will have a glass of sugar water for breakfast. Now, it isn't theirs alone, they have to share it with mostly five others, maybe three times a week. The glass is not even full, maybe half of a twelve ounce glass.

When Roberta gets a child, it is usually starving. Not only for food, but for love. She takes them in and loves them. She said every child is hugged and talked to every day. I don't think we think about hugging our children or talking to them. It's natural for us to do that. Even today, I tell my children and grandchildren, "I love you," when I talk to them.

Roberta has started a nutrition center. She has twenty-one children in her home and feeds about 165 daily. Can you imagine how much food it takes for her to feed that many children? They get good food, not sugar cane or sugar water.

Another thing Roberta has started is teaching women to have a business. So many times a man will marry a woman, have several children with her, then leave her for another woman. The women are not educated, have not business skills, but she teaches then to sew, crochet and do other things. With $50 they can start their business. I bought a couple of purses yesterday. They are well made and beautiful.

When a woman gets her business started, she is able to care for her family and invest in more product to increase her business. Roberta also teaches them to put back some money to help someone else. Aren't we greedy here in America? We have so much and are not eager to help others.

So, I'm sitting her in my office with two computers, a printer and all the gadgets on the computer I need to run my business. My house is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I have plenty of clothes to wear and food to eat. The Lord has blessed me greatly. I am so thankful for what I have. I pray I can be as giving as Roberta and the seventy-two ladies she's help to get a business started. I'd admit, I'm selfish. I'm content to see what I have and not give back. This is not what we Christians are supposed to do. If anyone would want to help Roberta and her children, please let me know. I'll be glad to give you addresses where you can help them, or I'll be glad to see the money get to the right place.

Oh, did I tell you she home schools her children as long as she can? I have no idea where this lady gets her energy. I'm thinking it comes from God.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


The first thing I do in the mornings is make coffee. This morning I put coffee and water in the coffee pot, turned it on and went to read my Bible. When I finished, there was no coffee. It is not a happy day at our house. We are so addicted to coffee. No matter, I'll buy a new one when I go to the hospital for my mammogram.

All morning, I have tried to drink coffee. Isn't it crazy the habits we get into. I looked for the coffee cup on my desk and even went to the kitchen once to pour a cup. Our habits rule our lives.

I have several habits that my husband kids me about. I always check the doors two or three times in the  evenings. One door we don't use that much has stayed unlocked for almost a week. I'm trying to rid myself of this habit. The door is locked now.

Sometimes our lives are directed by our habits, like making sure the doors are locked. That comes from my childhood. My mother was so scared of everything. As she grew older, it grew worst. I don't want to live my life like that, so I'm trying to change. I'm not as scared or worried about things as I used to be. So, I may be improving a little.

I'm still taking names and email addresses for a news letter to begin in May. If you haven't commented on this blog for a while, please do. I want to draw for a free book of Susannah's Hope tomorrow. I'll let you know Saturday who the winner is

What is your special habit? I've told you mine, so let me hear what crazy thing you do.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Writer's Retreat

Good Tuesday Morning!

The last of March our writer's group had our annual retreat. Of course, this is the second year we've done it, but it is so much fun. Last year we went to Ken Lake State Park and rented two cabins. We all thought it would be nice if we could stay in one cabin or house. The three bedroom cabin at Ken Lake was hard to get and it still didn't have enough room.

After looking on VRBO for a couple of days, we decided on a house in Camden, TN. It had four bedrooms and seven beds. That was perfect for our small group. No one would have to sleep with anyone. We all had our own beds and a couple their own bedroom.

The trick was getting to the house. It was very secluded and we do not read directions right. In fact, I can get lost going to my own house. I have no sense of direction. The owner of the house called me and she led me to the property.

It was beautiful and looked over Birdsong Creek. Only one person came directly to the property. Two finally found it and one got really lost. In finding her, I took the wrong road and ended up on a logging road in the back of nowhere. I thought I was in the movie, Deliverance.

After everyone arrived, we had a wonderful time. What do authors do when they get together. Talk. Learn from each other. Eat. Learn some more. Play games. Have fun.

What did we learn? We had a discussion on plotting. Man, did I need that! We also talked about selecting a name for your book. We played word games and writing games. It was very nice and I learned a lot. Lately, I've felt my learning curve has been very shallow. A retreat will wake you up and get you going.

I'm looking for pictures for my story characters. I've seen a nice looking young man on a Nissan commercial. His beard is a little scruffy, but he's cute as a button. I don't think I want someone with a beard, they will go out of style. I have in mind the man I want to find. One way to keep me focused on my story is to have a storyboard with pictures I can look at.

I"m still looking for people interested in receiving a newsletter from me. I will draw the name for a free Susannah's Hope to be given away. Send the comments in.

Friday, April 4, 2014


April 1, 2014 was the release date for my latest book, Susannah's Hope. I thought you might like a little information about Susannah and Val.

You met them both in Callie's Mountain. Susannah was very selfish, attracted to herself and a gossip. Val, ,on the other hand, was kind, considerate and a handsome man. Val was the child of a mixed race race couple. When I started developing the characters, I thought I needed someone who was not a Melungeon, but was accepted by them. Let's ask them a few questions.

Susannah, what made to change to be the person you are now? "Mercy me, it was spending time with Mary Gibson and her husband, Aaron. They were so kind, and not like my father and grandfather had told me. They were clean, helpful and certainly not thieves."

Val, were you happy to see Susannah's change? "I certainly was. She was and still is a beautiful woman. I was drawn to her by her beauty, but she was not someone I wanted to be around. She was arrogant, self-centered and an all over brat. I didn't think I could ever fall in love with her."

Susannah, did you really believe the lies your father and grandfather told you about the Melungeons and people of color including Indians? "Yes I did. You know you are taught to respect your parents, and that's what I did. I thought Papa and Grandfather knew what they were talking about. They would have been much happier if they'd discovered how wonderful the Melungeon people are.

Val, exactly where is Maple Hill, Tennessee? The real name would be Newman's Ridge. It's in Hancock County, Tennessee. When white men came to the ridge, they found the Melungeons. They were there before the white man set foot on the ridge. Some people think they may had been Spanish solders who became lost. There are many theories to how they got to the ridge. They were isolated from the rest of the world."

Thanks for telling us a little about your and your lives.

I am giving away a copy of Susannah's Hope. The name will be drawn on April 18.

 If you would like to receive a monthly newsletter by email, please reply to kattanderson4 at I will start the newsletter in May. I'd love to send you one. It will be filled with lots of what's going on in my life, recipes we like and lots of other information. The first one to sign up will receive a free copy of Susannah's Hope. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I am very proud to announce the almost birth of my new baby, Susannah's Hope. She's had a tough time entering the world, but if you'll go on, you can see a picture of the cover and read the blurb.

As with each baby, Susannah is my favorite so far. The naming of Susannah had special meaning for me. When my husband and I were going to cemeteries to look for the graves of his long lost relatives, we found the grave of Susannah Cole. That name stuck with me for years and when I began Callie's Mountain, I knew Susannah was a name I wanted to use.

I know very little about the real Susannah Cole except she is buried in the Cole Family Cemetery in a cow pasture in Shady Valley, Tennessee. I do know she and her husband came to Shady Valley from North Carolina.

My Susannah was a spoiled brat. Not someone I would want as my best friend. Callie had a lot of patience to like her, but they remain friends through both books. Susannah does change into a wonderful woman, someone I would want for my friend.

What's next? I'll try to bring you up to date next week. I'm becoming more organized with my writing time, so I should have more time to devote to my blogs. I thought you would want to see the beautiful cover by Roseanna White. I'm so happy with all the covers she has designed for me.

Here's the cover and blurb for Susannah's Hope. The Kindle edition is the only one I could find on Amazon. The book will be released April 1,  2014.

Susannah Cole had been taught prejudice since she was born. But when she is almost drowned with her father, she is taken to a Melungeon home to heal and recuperate.  A mixed race doctor, Dr. Val Minor, encourages her to accept the Melungeons and other races.

Susannah and her mother decide to make the store her grandfather established a success and to consider all people equal, as God intended. It’s a struggle, but with the help of Rachel Gibson, a Melungeon, and Lincoln Amis, a suitor, they all work hard together.

A smallpox epidemic strikes the small mountain community of Maple Hill, Tennessee. Val doesn’t have time to treat all the people. He asks Susannah and others to help him. He finds Susannah has changed and is a caring person. She enjoys helping those in need, not like her father had taught her.

Through the course of the epidemic, Val finds he has fallen in love with Susannah. Marriage is out of the question for a mixed race man and a white woman. Is their love stronger than the law of the land?
The only place for them is in the North, but would they still be accepted in the South?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Tuesday I mentioned I'd been reading some of Tim Downs' books. My friends, Susan Page Davis and Sandra Robbins, talked about them so much that I had to read them. I didn't read them in the order they were written, but I was able to keep up with what had and was going on.

The first book featuring Dr. Nick Polchak is Shoofly Pie. It introduced Nick to us and all his crazy ways. If you can read about bugs, dead bodies and maggots, you'll love these. After that is Chop Shop, First The Dead, Less Than Dead, Ends of The Earth and Nick Of Time. Some of the characters are in all of the series. I like keeping up with each character.

If you like to laugh and enjoy a good book, I highly recommend these. Mr. Downs is not writing anymore in this series. I wish he would. I've enjoyed Nick so much.

What ever happened to Global Warming? We're sitting in the South in 16 degree temperature. Snow and ice are covering the ground. One good thing is that there should be less bugs this summer. The stomach virus that has been rampant recently is slowing down. If you can't get out to give it to someone, the virus is eliminated.

I'm not complaining about the weather. This is all of God's Plan.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


This has not been the easiest surgery to recover from. As you get older, you don't pop back as quickly. Everything did go well. I'm feeling better than I have in ten years. Ten years ago a doctor botched a simple surgery and I almost died. It's taken ten years for me to get the courage to have everything corrected. I was fortunate to find a wonderful doctor who could help me.

Today I'm slimmer with a smaller stomach. He did a sort-of tummy tuck. I'm able to move around much better and there is not much pain in my abdomen. My body is still adjusting to the mesh. My energy level is returning and I'm able to get more accomplished by the end of the day.

Also, during this time, I've been preparing books to be published. My second book, Susannah's Hope, should hit the shelves late March or early April. Right now I'm waiting on the cover, then I can zap it to the printers. I'm also redoing Callie's Mountain. I've thought about it for a while and the designer for the cover, Roseanna White, suggested we make them consistent. Good idea! I need to do a better job with Callie.

On top of that, we have three more books coming out with Mantle Rock Publishing. One will be out in May. It's called Hearatsong, A Sisterhood of Shepherds. I'm very excited about this book. The author is Nicola Furlong. This is a women's contemporary and about a family with the last name of Shepherd. Three sisters, Faith, Hope and Charly are the main characters. I loved the book the first time I read it, and I still love it after reading it for the second time. Nicola is a good author and I'm eager to see more of her writings.

Sandi Rog has written a children's book, Bab's Is Back. The art work is being finished now, but the book is so cute. I've seen some of the pages and I love the book and the story it tells. We don't have a definite date for it yet, but it should be late spring or early summer.

The third book we're working on is A Most Precious Gift. The author is Jacqueline Wheelock and the setting is Mississippi before the Civil War. It's about a slave and a freed slave. I've laughed all the way through it. You'll laugh at Dinah's antics. It is so well written and the story informed me a lot about slavery in America. This books will publish in September.

That about brings me up to date. I haven't read much, been too busy with reading what's coming in to the publishing company. I am going to read a proposal today. The only printed books I've read are the Bug Man Books. If you have never read any of Tim Downs books, please do, if you have the stomach to do it. They are hilarious!