Showing posts from 2017

Top Ten Tips for traveling Paris like a Pro

Week 1 Paris! I highly recommend visiting Paris in the Spring. But to make sure you have the best time, I’ve compiled a set of lists. Here is the first one with longer explanations below. Top ten Tips for visiting Paris: 1.Weekly Metro passes start on Mondays and only Mondays 2. Bring a passport picture if you want a weekly bus pass 3. Order carbonated water 4. Don’t go on a jour de féirié (holiday) if you plan on shopping. 5. Don’t drink tap water 6. Learn at least how to say, “I don’t speak French.” 7. Don’t leave a tip 8. When eating out, clearly signal the waiter, they won’t interrupt you. 9. Bring good walking shoes but not tennis shoes and practice walking up stairs 10. Don’t talk loud in English anywhere 1. Weekly metro/bus passes is the cheapest way to get around. Unless you're afraid of being underground, use the metro or the buses to get around. There is Uber, but I always think that if you are in Paris, act as the Parisians. Also if you get there b

French Holidays that are horrible for shopping

List of French holidays to avoid if you want to shop: New Years Day Good Friday Easter and Easter Monday 1 May 8 May Ascension Day (40 days after Easter) Pentecost Monday 14 July Assumption Day 1 Nov 11 Nov Christmas Day Boxing Day (Day after Christmas) Americans must be opposite of the French on this one thing: Shopping. While Paris shopping, I think, is some of the best in the world, you have to be careful and not go on Holidays. In the US, we shop on holidays, but in France, they close the shops and enjoy a day of vacation with their families walking around the parks or eating with friends.

Top Ten LDS Authors You Need to Read

 Top Ten LDS Authors You Need to Read Small press! LDS! These girls are rocking it! Click their name to view their website. 1. Deb Graham Check out her latest book Peril in paradise: a cruise novel on Amazon! 2. Laura Walker Check out her latest book Pacific Coast Wedding on Amazon! 3. Emily Hall Bates Check out her latest book Demon’s Heart on Amazon! 4. DeAnna Browne   Check out her latest book, Demon Rising on Amazon! 5. Cassie Shiels Check out her latest book, Lady A (A Princess Tale Book 2) on Amazon! 6. Valerie Giberson Ipson   Check out her latest book Ideal High on Amazon! 7. Amy Martinsen   Check out her latest book , The Secret Obituary Writer: What if obituaries told the truth? on Amazon! 8. Heidi Cederlof Tucker Check out her latest book , Finding Hope in the Journey: Recognize His Message on Amazon! 9. Donna Hatch   Check out her latest book, Christmas Secrets on Amazon! 10. Didi Lawson Check out her latest book Hoh

Paperback writer

 I cannot tell you about how special this moment is. This is my grandma holding my book. She's 101 years old! I lived with her for a semester in college, and she introduced me to Shrunk and White. She edited some of my early work. She's encouraged me to keep writing. I can't believe she lived long enough to see my book published. "I'm pleased and proud," she said. If you want to hold your own copy of my book and breathe in the ink, it's now for sale at my publishers . Or if you would like a break on shipping, leave a comment below and I'll see if we can get a copy to you.

Author signing Marissa Meyer

I love going to author signing events. My daughter checked the Lunar Chronicles out from the library and -loved- them. Then my husband read them and loved them too. I sadly didn't read them before they were requested back at the library. But now I own my own copy. Marissa Meyer was a fun and engaging speaker. She talked about her new book Renegades and how she had to draft it five times. The lesson learned, she said, was to write the story that you want to write.  For more on Marissa Meyer She told stories in real life as well as her writing. All of us together with her new book Renegades. Signing our book.

Cover Reveal!!

And here it is! Thanks to Debbie Taylor for cover design What do you think? I love that it has the St. Louis skyline and Andy's red bag. Hugh looks like he's ready for a fight. Backcover blurb: Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis. When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she’s out of her depth. Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He’ll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy’s suspicions. Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh’s charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case. As clues dis

Perseverance AKA Bum Glue

When I first started writing, I read a book that said your millionth word will be the one that gets published. Or your third novel. Or if you write for ten years. I am here to say that was the truth at least for me. Back then, I thought to myself, wow! That's going to take some serious bum glue! Bum Glue : (v) The ability to be able to sit for long periods of time and produce something that doesn’t seem to be of immediate value, without seeing immediate results. I thought to myself, well, ten years are going to pass whether I wrote or not, why not write? It was a cheap hobby and healthy at least mentally, not so much physically as I feel like a sloth with a laptop and a bazillion stories competing for screen time. But what makes people successful? Is it their brilliance? Or is it that they just kept at it long enough to be good? Is talent more important than skill? In ten years could I learn the skills to write well? If I put in the time and learned my craft would I acc

The Verdict Is In!

I've often mused about what I write on this blog, and I finally got the official word: I write adventurous cozy mysteries. Sound soft and warm? One you could wrap up in? Well, it is. What exactly is a cozy mystery? I'm glad you asked. And how is that different than, say, a police procedure? Good question. I will give you a definition. Police procedure : Think of all the gore, sex and drama of a show like CSI with hardened criminals and jaded investigators supported by a team of experts. Cozy mystery : All the suspense and drama of a mystery leaving out the sex and gore. Sleuths are often amateurs relying on instinct, intelligence and intuition rather than formal training. But most of the cozies I know are in small towns, but I write cozy mysteries/adventure because my protagonists must go to great lengths and distances to solve the case,. And then there's romance. And humor. I really can't write anything that doesn't have these elements because it is

Vote for your favorite excerpt

I need your help! I need to know which excerpt is the best for my book. Vote in the comments section. Thank you!! #1 He stepped closer, lowering his chin, giving her a deep stare. His eyes had a depth Andy had never seen before. Knowledge and understanding and something else in those pupils. “Your black belt won’t always save you, you know.” Andy turned away. He continued to follow her. For some reason, that irked her. She thrust a hand to his chest. Rock solid. “Don’t. I could take you down if I had to.” “I’m sure you could.” He had a cocky grin starting at one side of his mouth, then spreading to the other. “Goodnight, then.” With a salute to her, he marched backwards. When he rounded the corner, Andy found her phone and dialed Carla. “So what was that all about?” Carla asked. “Some guy wants karate lessons.” “Are you sure? I think he was into you. I think this is just a way to get to know you.” Andy changed the subject. “What did your mom want?” Right at that

So what's next?

I have so many people ask me what's next in the publishing process that I thought I'd communicate the next few steps. Manuscript I have to go through at least three rounds of edits. I just got my first back today! yay! Time to roll up my sleeves and get to work, even though I went boating this last week and burned the tops of my thighs. Needless to say, I can't set my laptop on top of them without a pillow! Yow! Painful lesson learned! Cover Art This is the fun part! I filled out a form for the art team talking all about my story. Darn, right? The cover artists need to know the tone and feel of my book, what the characters are like, what symbols are important and setting.  We scrolled through a lot of great work and picked a few covers that had the feel I like. I'm excited to have the cover reveal. If you want to be one of the firsts on the cover reveal, sign up for my newsletter to the right! => Back Cover I have to write a blurb, a dedication and figure ou

At what point do you call yourself a writer?

When I was nine years old, I took a piece of blue construction paper and stapled it around some blank computer paper. I titled the book, Young Author. I didn't know what I was going to write in there, but I knew it was going to be good! I wanted to write mysteries. I read a whole lot of Nancy Drew at the time, everything in the local library and bought a few dozen more with my own money. (My daughter has them on her bookshelf as I write this--no way was I getting rid of those.) I attended a few workshops, dreamed, scribbled in notebooks, started a dozen stories, wrote a play (in fourth grade) and a scene I took to drama competition, took some Creative Writing classes in college. But it wasn't until nine years ago that I decided I was going to do it. I had read a book that contradicted the thought that I had to be wildly talented to get published (a popular belief that I held or held me back), I only had to work hard, gain experience, and learn skills. In roughly ten years,

Author Spotlight: Nanette O'Neal

 Last day! Author spotlight! #sharethelove for these authors! Check out their book links! Inspiration Behind the Doorway Never underestimate the power of the story! Think back to when you were a child—what was your favorite story? It may have been a timeless tale of good triumphing over evil, or a  happily-ever-after story that brought the prince and princess home.  Whatever it was, I’m sure it spoke directly to your heart and made a lasting impression to this day. This is not a coincidence. I believe the power of story is a gift from God—a gift that speaks directly from His spirit to ours reminding us of eternal truths that span all generations and cultures, touching hearts to remind us of eternal truths. Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? A timeless story doesn’t simply entertain. It inspires us to be better than we were yesterday. We need more good stories! And so, my series, A Doorway Back to Forever, was born. It is a fantasy story with symbols of faith

Author Spotlight: Deb Graham

Day four of #shareth elove for my fellow authors! C hec k out this one! Deb Graham   is the indie-published author of eleven non-fiction books, including two best-seller cruise books and others on how to write one’s personal story, how to complain effectively, and several cookbooks, science and craft books for her six and a half beloved grandchildren. Deb believes firmly in the power of Story, and enjoys presenting local workshops on finding one’s own voice, as well as self-publishing.  Leery of writing fiction for many years, Deb recently published her first novel, Peril In Paradise , a cozy mystery set on (where else?) a cruise ship in Hawaii. She enjoyed the process so much she’s working on another cozy mystery, set on a cruise in Alaska, to be followed by a multi-generational novel told from the perspective of an antique cookie cutter collection.   Deb’s superpowers include being able to spell-check and grammar-check with her brain, and a talent for swiftly im

Author Spotlight: Wendy C. Jorgensen

Day three of #sharethelove for my fellow writers! Book Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Eve Hunter reluctantly returns to Ridgway, Colorado, where her mother drowned ten years earlier. As tensions mount, Eve must unravel the town's mysteries including her grandfather's secretive colony and the strange behavior of an intriguing young colonist before more of the town's inhabitants disappear.  About the Author: Wendy C. Jorgensen lives in Reno, Nevada, at least most of the time, with a wonderful husband who's a financial guru--thank goodness--and a golden retriever who's often mistaken for a sloth. She recently moved to Nevada from Colorado, where pieces of her heart are scattered all over the state. Her two brainy and creative sons make her want to be smarter. She hopes someday to journey to the stars.  Why I Wrote Scattering Stars  and What's to Come When I began writing my first novel in 2011, there was never any doubt as to what I would write abou

Author Spotlight: Didi Lawson

Day two! Showing my love for my fellow writers! Check out her book links below! Anything but a typical aristocrat, young Baroness Marie-Louise is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work, especially when it comes to saving her ancestral estate. Determined to shake loose the shackles of propriety and gain the warm family life her upbringing denied her, she has vowed to marry a man of lower rank. Blue-bloods need not apply. But when she is forced to turn to a childhood friend for assistance, the handsome, debonair count may prove a temptation impossible to resist. Marie-Louise soon finds herself caught between the comfort of a middle-class doctor and the passion of a nobleman, with the future of her childhood home at stake. What inspired me to write HOHENSTEIN: Growing up in Germany where you can find a castle on every hill, I always dreamed about life in these castles. I could even see one castle up on the hill, peeking above the trees, when I looked out my bed

Author Spotlight: CR Simper

  To sho w my love and support for my writing community, every day this week I will be sharing a n author spotlight! About the book: Sixteen-year-old Onnie, newly minted adult, isn’t sure what she wants in life, but she is sure what she doesn’t want, and going off to the Interplanetary Alliance’s Academy is at the top of that list. When she purposely flunks the entrance exam, she’s certain that’s why her father commanded her and her brother Jayesh to return to Rift Watcher Station. As Onnie settles into her new life on Rift Watcher, will she find a place of her own? Chief Medical Officer Darragh Conally has issues. And secrets. As Onnie determinedly worms her way into his life and forges a friendship he doesn’t want, those secrets come dangerously close to being exposed. But how do you tell the Captain’s daughter to back off without risking your job?   Author Bio: C R Simper was raised seven miles north of a small town, with two sisters, thirteen d

Febuary is the month for love

I am thinking this month I'll dedicate my blog to things I love: #sharethelove.  I love supporting my other writers in my writing organization. I've asked if I can promote books for them this month. It's kind of like paying it forward, but not expecting anything in return. So for the next few weeks, I'll be posting their stories for you to read.

Review for Wood Fairies of Estraelia

When Elias of Elderberry introduces his best friend Jaron Finley to his magical world of fairies and castles, wizards and yōkai shape-shifters, will Jaron ever want to go back to his dull world of school and homework, especially after meeting Elieli, the fairy princess of Estraelia? It’s doubtful, but he must—the mortal that he is. Will Elias have to alter his memory and erase all that his friend has seen, or will Jaron be able to keep the secret that Elias Rey—a sophomore at PVHS, is a wizard and the youngest heir of Elderberry? Held captive by evil wraiths in the dungeons of Sirusas, Elias’s older brother Saulen struggles with remembering who he is. How will the sons of Elderberry battle the dark forces of sorcery and rescue him? And finally, when Adalee trips and falls by a nest abandoned from a Swypht Dragon of Ural, she takes an egg, knowing it has little chance to survive on its own. How will she keep it hidden in t