Monday, December 29, 2008

Wiped Out

I think the holidays did me in. I'm resorting to a simple Q&A post. Join me and answer the following Questions.

What was your most unexpected gift?
A vial of Fairy Dust in honor of my series.
Did you get your heart’s desire?
Published in print? Not yet.
Did you get any books? Care to share?
Lovely little book by Dean Koontz and his Trixie, all about Bliss
Did you give any books this year?
My grown son wanted all of the Artemis Fowl series. Gave my grand daughter "Girl of the Limberlost" lovely old book published at the turn of the century.
Favorite part of your holiday meal?
Fresh Turkey and home made cranberry sauce.
Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet?
Working on that.
What are most looking forward to in 2009?
Finishing Fairy Dust:Wizard.
Did you catch a cold, too?
Not yet. (*Crosses fingers and toes. Making hex signs. Difficult with crossed fingers and toes.*)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year coming

Guess what? I got to go out and dance at a party. That's a rare occasion for me any more. It was so fun. I don't think I'm ever happier than when I can get out and dance with friends and have a good time. Guess what else? I paid for the fun for a week. Apparently the universe has a rule about 67 year-old arthritic women getting out and having fun. The rule says: You play, you pay. I used to clog dance three hours at a time, and that was only practice, just a few years ago. So, needless to say, I'm a little pissed at the universe right now.

I want to find music and dancing for New Year's Eve and I hope I don't have to pay for it again because pain is not my friend.

On a total other note, "Museum's are Murder" a short Tali Cates mystery, is being Released Jan. 7. You can check out the cover at In the mean time, for a Tali fix, read "Privy to Murder" or "Bloody Murder." Both available at

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tis the Season

I'm rushing in and out to wish everyone a wonderful holiday full or warm and wonderful Christmas and Yule wishes. Hope your life is full of family, fun and holiday goodies of all kinds, including holiday magic.

I'm behind on baking and still need to get Christmas Bread, Pinolis and rosettes made. Don't have a tight writing deadline at the moment, but remember, "Museums are Murder" will be out Jan. 7.

Tali and Aiden tangle with a demon and a werewolf. It will be fun with a little romance thrown in the mix.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Truth or Consequences

I just read a blog that asks:

If you could break one law without consequences, what would you do?

One answer I saw was: "Break into a high-end jewelry store and make off with some really good diamonds."

Another only wanted to break the law of gravity and fly.

What would yours be? Remember, no consequences.

Share right here, we'll never tell.

All right, in the Christmas Spirit I'll draw from the names of anyone who answers and send one person a copy of "Fairy Dust."

What happens on Inkspot, stays on Inkspot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Old, Older, Oldest

I had another birthday. I've had way too many. They keep coming whether I want them or not. Well of course I want them, the alternative isn't too cool. I just have issues with the things that come along with them like:
1. Crepy eyelids, no I did not say creepy but that too.
2. Being old enough to remember when really old songs were #1, on vinyl 45rpm records.
3. Thinking how good someone looks for their age and finding out they are older than I am, but they look younger.
4. Knowing I'm old enough to be a great grandmother and just waiting for that shoe to drop.
5. Realizing that most agents and editors are younger than I am and would see me as way too old to write.
6. And I'm sure any fans of Fairy Dust or even Tali Cates, would be horrified to know someone old as their grandmother would write those love scenes

But, how much fun is it to be the person writing those things and enjoying it? Could I have written the books at an earlier age? I'm doing what I was meant to do and it's fun, so time to buckle down, finish Fairy Dust:Wizard and keep pushing forward. Father Time, who is he?

Speaking of him, time to look at last years goals, see what I did or didn't do and what to plan. That would include blogging more often, I've gotten slack this holiday season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hind Sight isn't always 20-20

I finished the galleys for "Museums are Murder." Read every word. Did you ever read something you wrote and go "Whoa, that's pretty good. Did I really write that?" Or worse, "Geez, what was I thinking? You mean I sent it to the editor like that."

Frequently, writers have problems editing themselves and sometimes go to one extreme or another. Either we are our own worst critics and totally hate everything we write, convincing ourselves that nothing we put out is good enough. That can lead to total inertia and nothing will ever be submitted.

Or, we believe anything we place on paper is golden, should never be changed and can't understand why no editor agrees with us.

I have to find that middle ground. I know my words are not golden, at least not all of them, but I don't believe they are total excrement (crap) either. So, I edit the best I can and then let go and send it out. I also have critique partners who help with the process so I don't get to fall in love with my work to the point I ignore what should be changed. They help me cut out that imagery I thought was a gem, that in reality was...well, you know.

As a writer, how do you keep your work grounded so you can see it realistically? As a reader, what do you see writers do that drives you nuts?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Decorating and etc.

Got lights up on the house. Feel better. Got galleys and must get those done. Trying to figure out where to put all the indoor decorations. I seem to have had more flat spaces to clutter up with my santas last year.

Writing time is the hardest right now with all the shopping and etc. I hit a spot in Wizard where Ande has to deal with a demon and the news she is half fae, so I'm itching to work on it and finish decorating and shopping ad infinitum.

How do you fit it on in around the holidays? That's my burning question. Do you get organized or give up until after Christmas? What about deadlines? Inquiring minds.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Blues

A little blue today, but no, I do not want to listen to Elvis and Blue Christma. But, I do miss having the same excitement about Christmas that I had as a kid and still had when my own children were little. I hate the excitement seems to have disappeared. Actually, I think it was after my husband died that I noticed the empty spot more.

Not nearly as much anticipation of Christma morning, or lights or trees. Not that I don't enjoy the lights, but the level of enthusiasm is a little off. Maybe because Karl's not here to share it, or because I'm older, or the economy or just because.

So maybe I need to work at getting some of that back. How do you put excitement and anticipation into your holiday?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Cover Art

I have cover art for Museums are Murder, how fun is that. Tali Cates and Aiden Courtland encounter murder, were wolves and a cheeky demon who only wants to make a slave out of Tali. What else would you expect in Love, Texas.

"Museums are Murder" will be released January 7, 2009.


“This…this Azo can simply show up from some other dimension and haul me off to hell to be his slave forever and there’s nothing I can do?”

Okay, that came out more high pitched and panicky than I’d planned.

“It’s why I’m here, Tali. To protect you, show you how to find and tap into power you can use to protect yourself.”

“Well, shit. It was bad enough when I realized everything from vampires to werewolves were real. And now you’re telling me I have to learn to use the essence of magic power to protect myself from the unseen things I thought were superstition? That’s got to be the biggest pile of crap I’ve ever heard.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Museums are Murder

This week I'm the spotlight author at Authorisland. Come and see.

In "Museums are Murder,Tali Cates is now dealing with the fact that Aiden the vampire has returned, a demon is after Tali for her special abilities and, oh yeah, there's the minor issues of murder at the museum and the were wolf. Another day in Love, Texas. Museums is due for release on January 7.


When Aiden landed and set me down, my knees buckled under me. I took several deep breaths to steady myself.

“Who needs carnival rides when you’re around? Did I forget to tell you how I feel about heights?”

“Oh yeah, I seem to remember some concern when we rode that Ferris wheel together last fall. Sorry.” He grinned, making my heart pound more as his beautiful eyes crinkled at the corners and his irises turned golden.

“Well, you might keep that in mind when you take off without warning like that. What are we going to do here, in the middle of nowhere? And don’t get any ideas of repeating what happened last time we were at the lake.”

His gaze turned to steel. “Are you telling me you didn’t enjoy that as much as I did, even though you had a major guilt trip afterwards?”

I refused to meet his gaze. “I hardly remember it at all, so it couldn’t have been all that much.”

Aiden’s pupils darkened. He reached for me and pulled me to him in spite of my resistance. His unyielding arms allowed for no discussion as he brought his mouth to mine and began exploring my tongue with his. I stopped breathing as jolts of lightning jittered along every nerve in my body, culminating with sensations in the core of my being that would have buckled my knees if he hadn’t been holding me up.

He let go and I sat, hard. “Now that we’ve established you still have feelings for me, let’s get on with it. I know your mother told you about ley lines. The power lines running through this county are important to the paranormal community, as you know.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rat's Races

Wasn't it just Halloween and now Thanksgiving and Christmas are here and I haven't begun shopping? Some of the kids will be here for Thanksgiving and we'll exchange gifts then. I STILL HAVEN'T BEGUN SHOPPING. The train is going too fast again, still. Are we rushing too much as usual?

I wanted to enjoy Autumn, do a painting with fall colors. I missed it, almost. I need to hurry, as usual. I plan to sit outside today, if it's not too cold, and enjoy the falling leaves before they're gone. How do you slow down the world, make the rat race stop and savor life as it is at that moment? Remember, as Lily Tomlin said, "Even if you win the rat race, you're still just a rat."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great Wasteland

I'm talking about the amount of writing I wanted to have done now and the amount actually done on my WIP. Driving me nuts. Holidays are coming. Work crazy, home-not wonderful and writing, trouble fitting it in around all the have-to stuff. Then there is the too tired syndrome by the time I've been gone for 12-13 hours.

What interrupts your writing the most, or if you're a reader and trying to finish reading that really good story and everything around you interferes how do you solve it?

I mean apart from locking the children in the dungeon downstairs or shooting both your husband and the television.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Song or Lyrics

What do you listen to, the song or the lyrics? Do you hum along to the tune and never notice what the lyrics are saying. I think we've all done that. And yet there are some funny, smart, interesting lyrics out there.

Now I'm as guilty as anyone else of listening to the sound more than the meaning. And it can work both ways, I might tune out someones rap because of the over-all sound and then if I take the time to listen, I realize the words really spoke to me. After all, those who write music and lyrics are writers, doing the same thing all writers do, communicating their feelings, telling stories.

Some of the best writers realize that all writing has a rhythm, just like music and poetry. When we write a story, we are writing a song, about our lives, feelings, our view of the world. Even when we write about fantastic happenings and creatures like I do, it's still all about the relationships, how the characters speak to each other, deal with the world, make choices.

What do you want your music to say about you and the rhythm of your life?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voting and other interesting things.

If you haven't, get out there and vote. Even I can do it, and did.

Went to Houston to see the kids and grand kids, got to stroll by Galveston Bay and watch waves. Some boats are still stranded in strange places. Went to a Wild Life Refuge and most of the hiking trails are still closed due to downed trees, but the weather and being out of doors was wonderful.

Now I have to get back to writing but family stuff has slammed me the past couple of weeks. I am so behind. Good thing I didn't decide to do NANO this year.

Now for the commercial break since selling books is what all this is about. Oh, you mean you didn't know that's what this site is about? You thought I just loved to talk? You're right, I do, but I also want to sell books, so, "Bloody Murder" "Fairy Dust" and "Privy to Murder" are all on sale at and will be in print on Amazon by January. Yay!!! Go. Buy. Buy. Read. Read. Buy more!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Never too Old

Guess who has a blog? Danielle Steel at See, we're never too old to write, blog, myspace or anything else we want, in spite of the reactions of some pundits in publishing, reactions of friends or of anyone else who want's to stop us in our tracks. I can say that because I battle my own reaction to reaching senior status. I catch myself thinking I'm way too old to do the things I want to do.

Then I hit myself up the side of the head, come to my senses and march on to work full time at the day job, write full time. paint when I can, take care of my daughter and generally have a busy life. Now if I'd just meet that partner to share the load and tell me I'm beautiful anyway...
Never mind, don't have the time to train-up a new man. Took me forty years to get the old one right. No man in his right mind would hook up with a self-centered author anyway, wouldn't want to deal with that many words flying at him.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I went to see Ballet Oklahoma last night, actually their new name is "Oklahoma City Ballet." It was a gala, with free champagne, all kinds of souvenirs for sale, the philharmonic playing live and guest performers from all over the country. My understanding is that this is the first time in a couple of decades that guests have danced with the company. Bravo to the new guy. They even did some of the classics like parts of Swan Lake, with Blanchine choreography, another one with Petipa choreography, Le Corsair, Sleeping Beauty, Fire Bird, just glorious. Plus new numbers done with grace and humor by the new director, who is quite young to my old eyes, cute young man.

I found it interesting watching his choreography in several of the new numbers, and picking up on some signature moves of his. It's the same way you can spot Fosse moves or Tharp. My only question would be: should I be able to spot signature moves that quickly? Then again, in writing, good writers have a voice and you can recognize their style as soon as you read it. King has it, Koontz, Charlaine Harris in the Sookie Stackhouse books. If the style and voice speak to you, you read more.

Even though, classical ballet speaks louder to me than modern, I will be interested in seeing this young man's work develop. Also, a little girl a taught in Sunday school, is an apprentice for the company and had a solo. Okay, now I'm old.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Excerpts for Tabitha's Trivia Contest.

Tabitha Shay is having a trivia contest. Go to her website, to find the questions from each author. Go to the loop for excerpts containing answers. My excerpts will also be on my blog, with answers in the excerpts posted there. Several authors will have sets of questions on the site and excerpts on the loop. Answer the questions, email the answers to the authors by October 30, win many prizes, to be announced on October 31.

Excerpt 1-Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust
By Carol Shenold

I hovered three feet from the ceiling in the Herb and Fairy Gardens Shop, praying no customers came in while I calmed down my fairy dust emissions and my temper.
“Bouddicca Andraste Ryan, get your fairy ass off the ceiling and come help me. I’m dying here,.”
Seirye, a six-foot elf with white hair, and half owner of the shop, yelled at me.
I went up higher. She had no patience with my iffy hold on magicmagick, especially since we had an order from a coven for twelve flower wreaths, for a moon dance. They were due to pick up the wreaths by four, and it was already after two. It’s not my fault that I’m only half Fae and not in total control.
I was named for a great warrior queen and a godessgoddess. I felt like neither as I grabbed for my flying waist- length hair with both hands, avoiding the ceiling fan.
“You hold your skinny little horses there. I’m doing the best I can. What did you expect? Tell me a team of Darklings (Turned Fairies) from the Under is on it’s way to snatch the Titania Amulet from me— and expect me to hold my temper? Not going to happen. It’s the only thing my father left me, my one tie to the Fae World. And it’s the focus that lets me use earth magicmagick so well.”
Seirye’s laugh, a short bark, held no humor. “He didn’t leave it to you, he left it because he was in a hurry to avoid responsibility.”
I plummeted to the ground. “Ow. You don’t have to get nasty about it or diss my father.”
She turned on her heel, talking over her shoulder. “It was the best way I knew to get you down before you were caught. We have work to do.”
Elves can be so pissy. I stomped after her, making certain the front door wards were in place as I passed by. They would let people in but any magical creatures would have to leave their powers behind.
Rampaging Darklings (turned fairies) were the last thing I needed. I had an assignment this afternoon with the Paranormal Investigative Unit (PIU), to pick up an errant pixie and a date that night, my first in forever.
“Come on Fairy, get the lead out. We have wreaths to make, and I have to leave for Bonham tomorrow.”
“Bite me, Elf!” I retorted.

Excerpt 2 Fairy Dust

The thing coming at me barreled out of the trees, leaping from shadow to shadow. Its rotten-meat smell driving me back. It didn’t hesitate before it threw itself at the circle shield. Sparks flew off, crackling in the air and weakening the shield. It kept coming, like the crazy it was, slamming itself into the circle, weakening it more and more until one of the impacts threw me back, into my own circle and through it Okay, out of protection here. I threw myself over to land on my knees and came up in a crouch.
The ghoul looked around as if it couldn’t figure out where I went. When it saw me, it let out a snarl and flew toward me. I sent a stream of earth fire at his sorry ass but missed because I levitated at the precise moment I let the stream of fire loose. Ahhhhh. It always happens at the wrong time. If I ever get control of the flying thing, it would be so great. Now the darkling was truly confused and I sent another tiny but forceful fire stream toward him. This time I didn’t miss, and he burst into flame, at least his arm did. He screamed with frustration because he couldn’t see where I was, floundered around a bit, and ran back into the trees.
“Damn it.” I needed down before the hell dog came back so I could get rid of it. What if some kid came along. Not one child but several, in a group, with a leader came skipping toward the bridge.
“Go back,” I yelled loud as I could. “Hurry. Run.” The kids were chattering at the top of their lungs. The leader tried to push them faster, wanting out of the park before the sun set altogether I guessed. They didn’t hear a word I said.
Shadows crept toward them, and one shadow moved away from the others. It was back and heading straight toward the kids.
“Up here, idiot. Leave the kids alone. I’m your prey. Come on, use that one cell you have for a brain.”
“Ooph.” I dropped like a dead fairy, directly in front of the thing. I was toast.

Excerpt 1-Bloody Murder
In this excerpt, Tali Cates has gone to the county fair with Aiden Courtland, a new man in town that she met at a blood drive event earlier. The blood drive had, of course, a vampire theme, what else. She may have bitten off more than she can chew( pun intended) LOL

Excerpt 1-Bloody Murder-Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series

I peeked at Aiden out of the corners of my eyes. He was a little pale, vampire looking. His lips were rather rosy in comparison to his pale cheeks and dark hair, smoldering eyes. I imagined myself kissing those lips, looking into the eyes, stroking his pale skin.
“Whoa.” Something ran across the road and I swerved to avoid it, throwing Aiden against the door. “Sorry.” I’d better get my mind off him and onto the road.
The clank of metal and sound of tinny carnival music announced the fair before we parked and got out of the Cruiser. Teen screams proclaimed the rides appropriately thrilling. Cotton candy, funnel cakes, food fair scents tugged at us for attention. The intense noise level reached out to pull us into the frenetic activity, become part of the chaos.
“Let’s ride.” Aiden’s eyes took on a feverish glow as he pulled me to the faster, higher rides.
The wilder the ride, the more dangerous, the more his excitement grew. He laughed with pure joy, as if he’d never had fun in the past.
Before long, I saw the same intensity reflected in my eyes when I caught a glimpse of my reflection. I was a chicken, hated the speed and out-of-control feeling when strapped into metal machines flinging me around. And yet, with Aiden, no fear, the desire for more speed, higher altitudes, greater risk. I was immortal, unbreakable. The excitement wasn’t about the rides. It was about being near the man, touching him, clutching him for safety. Emotions, sensations coursed through me that would have left me a melting puddle if it weren’t for the desire to hang on to Aiden, to continue as my senses sharpened and heightened.
Never had I felt so alive. Not ever in my life that I could remember. Was this what drove climbers to climb mountains when they could die from the effort? On the Ferris wheel, when we stopped at the top he looked into my eyes, paralyzing me with a simple glance. He touched my cheek with his hand. Desire flooded my entire body—intense, shattering desire. I could have, would have let him do anything he wanted, in public, in the air.
“Mom! What are you doing? Come down from there. You hate heights. What are you thinking?”
My eighteen-year-old daughter, Cass, very effectively threw ice water on our fun and desire. I came to my senses, realizing my shirt had gotten pushed up so far that skin showed. I rearranged it, aware that Cass’s yell drew attention to our seat above all. Thank God, the wheel began to move and we slowly made our way toward the ground.
Cass had to learn that screaming at her mother in front of people wasn’t the best choice if she wanted to stay alive any longer.
Aiden smiled faintly and patted my hand, thinking what I’d never know. I’d certainly never see him again after this. Time had spun by in a whirl of colored lights and speed. We’d hardly talked at all, and I still knew nothing about him except that he had the power to make me do anything he wanted.
This excerpt has poor Tali dealing with her ten-year-old son’s imagination, or is it reality? In Love, Texas, you never know. Don’t forget, Bloody Murder comes out in two weeks, just time enough to read “Privy to Murder,” meet Tali, Mumsie and the boys before they have to deal with “Bloody Murder.”

Excerpt 2 Bloody Murder
“Mom. Guess what? Love used to have a vampire. It lived right here.” He plopped a musty book with a moldy-looking cover on the table, sending up a cloud of something that smelled like old books and forgotten secrets.
“What do you mean, right here? This was always our house, Sean.”
He gave me the look, the one that said, why do I put up with this idiot? “No, not here, here, I mean here in our town. We had a vampire living here a hundred years ago. The guy next door could be the same one. Maybe he’s just now come out of hiding and is trying to get back into society again so he can feed on innocents.”
“Sean, I want every comic you have, and no more movie classics for you, at least, nothing else with monsters in it. I can’t believe you. I thought we already talked about this nonsense and agreed there was no such thing. And what’s that book? If it’s what filled your head with garbage, I’ll have a talk with the librarian.”
“We talked and you said there was no such thing. I didn’t agree, I just didn’t argue. If we go over there today, in the daylight, we could find out where his coffin or plot is and stop him from moving around at night.”
“How do you propose to do that?”
“The usual way. A stake through the heart or cut off his head. Either one will work on the bloodsucking undead.” The cold look in Sean’s eyes made me sick. Who was this bloodthirsty child?
“Sean. I swear, if I thought you were serious, I’d wash your mouth out with soap before I put bars on the windows and grounded you for life. You are talking about one of our neighbors. Let’s put aside the whole vampire-coffin-bloodsucker idea. You really think you could just walk into Aiden’s house, find out where he sleeps, and cut off his head?”
“But Mom, he’s not human.”
“I don’t believe it for a minute. And what if you put a stake in his heart or cut off his head, and he doesn’t explode into a bunch of dust or slime or whatever they are supposed to do? Then tell me what you are going to do? Call JT and confess?”
“Oh, sorry, JT. I thought he was a vampire so I walked in and stabbed him just in case. It was a little mistake. I won’t do it again, I promise.”
I looked at my son’s innocent face. “Honey, you are talking about playing with people’s lives here. We do not live in a movie. You cannot assume things about people because they are a little different. For all we know, Aiden’s a writer who keeps odd hours. If you jump to dangerous conclusions and spread rumors, it’s like what that preacher did in the newspaper article when he called me and Mumsie witches. And you know how you felt when the vandals wrote things on our house. You and Rusty have to put a stop to this obsession of yours.”
Sean hung his head but I wasn’t sure I’d convinced him of anything. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll invite Aiden for dinner tonight between the Duchess and Queen contests, and you can see he’s a regular person. In the meantime, I don’t want to hear any more about this stuff, or hear that you and Rusty have been gossiping.”
“Okay. I see what you mean. But look at this book. It’s old and it was written by some professor, and he really believes in vampires. He has proof and everything.”
Sean opened the book and sneezed at the dust that flew up when he turned more pages. “See this paragraph, where he describes the beast and this map? This field he talks about is right next door. He knew what he was talking about. And he talks about how they got rid of it by pouring holy water all over the place and concentrating the ground and everything.”
“The word is ‘consecrating,’ and to be holy ground, I’m pretty sure a church has to exist on the land. Sprinkling a little water won’t quite do it, but I’m not an expert. Let me see the book.”
He handed it over and sure enough the book looked old, and there was a county map that could have indicated our property. But I couldn’t find a publication date or the name of a publishing company. The author could have published it himself for all I knew. The flowery language sounded like something out of the eighteen hundreds, similar to the style Bram Stoker used in Dracula. Maybe the author had thought he was a vampire hunter.
All I could think about was that a witch-hunt could begin if rumors started. I’d like to think that in this day and age, no one would take it seriously, but stranger things had happened.
“Sean, I don’t want you to be the one starting rumors. Take this book back to the library. And you’ll see when Aiden comes over tonight, he’s no monster, has no missing reflection, he’s just our next-door neighbor.”
Now, Tali Cates and her best friend, Cherilyn have gone to the old Rayburn house and been driven inside because of storm. The storm isn’t the only scary thing in the old house. Remember to read Privy to Murder then the wait to snap up Bloody Murder on the 7th won’t seem nearly so long.

Excerpt 3 Bloody Murder Book 2 in the Tali Cates mystery series.

“Shit, shit, shit. We’re going to have a tornado, and it’s not much after noon. They’re not supposed to hit until afternoon or evening.”
“Tell that to those clouds overhead.”
I scanned the kitchen and saw a door on the opposite side from the one outside. “Quick, in here.”
“If it’s a cellar, I’m not going to be trapped inside a death trap.”
“Oh, don’t be a baby. It’s just a pantry but it should protect us.”
She pulled back. “But it’s dark and old and there’s no telling how many critters are in there. Besides, how do you know it’s a pantry?”
I shrugged and pulled open the door, then looked around for light. In the middle of the pentagram on the floor stood a large candle. Plucking that from its resting place might not be good but it was better than being in the dark. I grabbed it, attempting to ignore the energy washing through me.
We barreled through the pantry door and closed it. Now we were in the pitch dark with an unlit candle.
“It’s noon in October, not late afternoon in May,” I shouted. “We shouldn’t be having this strong a thunderstorm.”
“Did you tell that to the weather gods? I don’t think they’re playing by the rules,” Cherilyn yelled back. “How about some light?”
“Do you have a lighter or something?” An abrupt flare of light blinded me as the wick of the candle I held burst into flame. I barely managed to hold onto the wax when I jumped. Thank God I’d dropped the sack of grass at the last thunderclap or I’d have a bag of flame.
“Okay. That was just plain weird. I know you have some gifts, but lighting things with your mind?”
“It wasn’t me. Not on purpose.”
Shelves held the usual things for an abandoned house—dust, cobwebs, more dust, spiders, a discarded, dented can of corn. The hail, wind, and rain had stopped, or else we simply couldn’t hear them, which made no sense. Was this the eye of the storm? I didn’t remember that tornados had an eye; they came and went so fast.
The pantry was enormous, as were Cherilyn’s eyes. She wasn’t looking at me, but above my head somewhere.
“What? What’s wrong?”
She pointed to the wall behind me. “Look.”
I turned. Symbols covered the wall. Most pantries had shelves on at least three walls but this one was as large as a living room, and one wall was covered with hundreds of drawings crammed together, one on top of each other. They glowed with a light of their own—or took the light from the candle. I moved closer to try to identify the drawings but an immediate chill shot through me.
My hands shook, my entire body trembled, sending the candle flame jumping like a demented firefly, throwing shadows in odd shapes all over the wall. I swore the shadows moved on their own. More than anything in the world, I didn’t want to see the things that made those shadows. Fear also moved on its own, pushed into me, froze my blood, stopping all movement, including my heart. Unreasonable fear that made me want to claw my way out of the room took over.

Is it too late or too early?

I've heard people say a writer is just too old to write. Funny how that is usually applied to women writers rather than men, that would be a Hmmmm. I've also heard someone referred to as too young and lacking in life experience to write effectively. Will a sixteen-year-old produce Pulitzer prize material based on their life experiences, depends upon what their life has been like. In today's world, uncertain times, they could know more than the rest of us.

The older I get, the more I realize my tendency to sabotage myself because of my age. Okay, 66 isn't end of world, but in my head, I'm thirty. 66 would be my mother's age, my grandmother for God's sake. Let's get real. I can't be that old. I have too much left to do. The grim reaper is hanging around outside, waiting for me to drop tomorrow.

Well, guess what? Ain't happening. My heroes are women in their 60's and 90's, still going strong. Look at Gloria Steinem, Shirley McClaine, Cher. All right, all ready, I can't afford to have the work that they do. But I can look as good as I can, better yet, do things as if I was 30 or 40 and not worry so much about time. We really never know how much time we have, even when we are 21. There's always that freak possibility of something unexpected happening. So, all you writers out there, start writing that book you were always going to write. It really, truly, honestly isn't too late. If you think you should give up trying, think again. The persistent writers get published.

I do not intend to go peacefully into the night, but rather kick and scream and hang on with my fingernails. No dignified exit for this chick. I'll be sitting up in my coffin, trying to get my word count done before the end of the funeral.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wise Fiction

I read an interesting discussion yesterday about Fictionwise, the Amazon of the E-book, and why it's better to steer all your readers to your publisher's website to buy the books. I get it. Fictionwise takes a huge chunk of the money, as does the publisher, leaving the writer with only a little. People want to know why I don't just put the books on Amazon,? Because, Amazon also takes a chunk of money and wants to control your Print on Demand choice for printers. What's a writer to do?

If, like me, your publisher is not a household word, it makes it more difficult to get people there to browse your books. Then there is marketing and showing up for chats and guest blogs and all that stuff that keeps you from getting writing done. Oh. You mean you thought you just had to write them, not sell them too. Nope. We get it all.

So, from a marketing angle, come to and buy my books. Also, I have another guest blog at That old marketing thing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life and Art

Is it art? I love writing but I get distracted by life. My daughter is interested in shock therapy due to depression. Remember the old Snake Pit theory? If you put a psych patient in a pit of snakes, the shock will cure the depression/psychosis. Now it's done with an electrical impulse, but is it better and does it work?

Now, do we need shock therapy when we get depressed about our writing? How would we do that? Maybe by blending genre? How do we shock our work into exciting us. How do we keep going and interest ourselves and our readers? I don't have all the answers. For me, writing what excites me works. What excites you and keeps your writing fresh so you want to continue?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To Blog or not to Blog

Publisher's like you to have a blog if you're a writer. But, do they really sell books.?If you don't have a fan club yet, who will read the blog? I have visiters but many times no one comments so I don't know who these 3000 visitors might be.

I agreed to guest blog at Yankee Romance Reviews on Monday and next Wednesday is my twice a month blog at romance readers and writers. Will this translate into visitors her? Who knows, but I like to run my mouth and express my opinion so I'll have fun and maybe someone will fall in love with the characters in Bloody Murder. See you there.

Maybe links would help. Monday October 20, I'll be at And on Wednesday the 22nd I'll be at Come on down, comment for prizes or fun or both.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting the Story

First, I got words done. Yay.

Next, I read a couple of blogs by friends. One talked about settings and how to write about places you've never been. All the wisdom talks about write what you know. I do that a lot, set stories in Texas or Oklahoma. I did set one in New Orleans, but I lived there for a few months, years ago, so it did work. But my travel has been limited, Europe would be difficult, as would the tropics.

The other relived a cold, wet football game and how she used her feelings of being miserable to make a scene more believable in her book.

How do you do it? Do you go on the internet to research that exotic locale, hop on a train, interview friends.

Also, go to Tabitha so you know how to do her contest, then to the next couple of weeks and read excerpts so you can answer trivia questions and win prizes.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wrong Clicks

Word count is going slow and now I have Museum's are Murder edits to do. This is a short Tali Cates scheduled for January. So, after this post, must get busy. But I do love, on Sunday to sit on the patio, listen to birds, journal and read the paper. Very self indulgent but I only get to do it once or twice a week. Plus, yesterday,lunch with "the girls" lots of good talk about books, TV, kids, movies, more books, more writing, browsing in a book store, eating Mexican food. Ahhhh, the joy.

It's amazing how one wrong click on the computer makes so much difference. I wondered why no one has been commenting on the blog. I evidently, when trying to prevent spam, clicked something that required membership for anyone to comments. Oooops. Not what I planned. Now that's reversed.

It's so easy with The Net to end up on sites you don't want, order what you don't want etc. Last year a friend had ordered perfume for her daughters and daughters-in-law. She ordered three, got thirty. They just kept coming, and coming, and coming, like the energizer bunny. She began dreading to even look for the mail.

What was your worst accidental click, most embarrassing or frustrating? Or are you someone who never makes mistakes or forgets to pay attention to what you are doing? Come on, spill. We won't tell.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How Safe is Safe?

As writer's we are all urged to market, market, market. But, when that little piggy goes to market will it be slaughtered. Okay, that's a little blood thirsty. But in our quest to connect with readers, do we give out too much information about ourselves and families? On blogs, chats, my space and list serves we might want to be more careful what we share in our quest for accessibility. I have a writer friend who was threatened by a "fan" when she stopped writing one mystery series to concentrate on Urban Fantasy. How scary is that?

Granted, I'm not a Stephen King, or Patricia Cornwell, being stalked by paparazzi. But you never know who will stumble upon your blog, your website or My Space page and decide they want to scare you or be your best friend or even a long lost cousin. Predators lurk on the web and they might just fall in love with that cute grand baby picture on your website.

The advice I've read says, use generic nick-names when talking about kids and grand kids, if you have a pen name, use that instead of your real name, be careful with full names, cities, locations, addresses etc. Have an email address for contact, especially if you don't have an agent or publisher who can screen mail.

I doubt that I'll be stalked, after all I'm old, fat and poor. Not a prime target. But I don't want to be the reason someone targets my kids or grand kids just because I posted a priceless Halloween picture. Now, I might be safe with pics of my furry kids, Punky and Poppi. If someone went after them, they are fast cats.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quick Note

Come on over to: where I have a guest blog and leave a comment so I'm not lonesome.

Also, my new release, Bloody Murder is the spotlight book on Author Island and they have cool contests, so come on down to

Laughter and other perils

The information below is totally silly and has little to do with writing, it's just fun and we all need a little fun.

Kids Are Quick
TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables. __________________________________________
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I Love this kid)

TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago. WINNIE: Me!
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are. _______________________________________
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.' ________________________________
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand. ______________________________________
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook. ______________________________
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher

As for writing, family interference, have not met goals this week so far. Work is busy also. I'm in that cheese with that whine mode so tonight, seriously need to drink wine and work, maybe not in that order, but then again, maybe so. Bloody Murder was released yesterday. Working on the info sheet for Museums are Murder, a Tali short. Hope to be back on track by the end of the week or sooner.

Also, I saw a cool writing promt in Writer's Digest. ( You wake up in what looks like an igloo. You have nothing with you but a shirt and pants,toothbrush, a rock and a dollar bill. Someone is staring at you.) Write that scene. Share if you are willing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Come on down to Launch Day

Join us at for Eternal Press Launch day and the launch of BLOODY MURDER. Thats right, it's out now. Also, we have contests galore, excerpt that make you want to read everything. Join in on the fun and go to to see all the fantastic new releases.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I came close to my goal yesterday. Not as close as I'd like because I really want 1500 words, but I'll take what I can get. Some words are better than none. I put up the new meter to keep myself honest and because I'm a visual person who likes to see progress.

Also, since I can't help myself, remember "Bloody Murder" is out next Tuesday. If you haven't read "Privy to Murder" then hurry up, you'll love it and then enjoy "Bloody Murder" even more. Also, "Cry Wolf" by Patricia Briggs and "Any Doomsday" by Lori Handeland, think that's right. Both good ones.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tagged and Time

First, I've been tagged by my friend Ginger to tell you all six things you don't know about me.
1. I worked in a cafeteria as a kid, in Dallas, folding silverware into linen napkins.
2. When I began nursing school, hospitals still used metal bed pans, glass syringes and metal needles, all of which were cleaned, sterilized and re-used. We wrapped sterile packages in cloth and nothing much was disposable.
3. I wanted to be a ballerina up until I went to nursing school.
4. I've spoken nationally on subjects like resistant organisms, disaster management and bioterrorism.
5. I paint pastel portraits.
6. Watching the underwater scene in Aliens makes me short of breath.

Be sure and go see Ginger at and you can find out all her secrets too.

I'm starting the fast draft of FDWizard so my goal will be at least 1000 words a day, preferably 1500 so my graph will go up tomorrow. The plotting has a good start and I still need to fit in a synopsis.

I will announce the September "Bloody Murder" winner tomorrow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Boxed In

When I moved into my new house, I put my silverware in the wrong drawer. I know it didn't really matter, but I kept reaching for a drawer on the other side when I wanted a spoon. I finally moved stuff. It's funny but I think when grow up, we continue to do things the way we did them as a child, the way our mothers did. We've always done it that way.

Then a second person comes into our lives and tries to show us the way they always did it, because that's how their mother or dad folded the towels, put the paper on the bathroom roll, mowed the lawn. Unless, of course, we hated the way our parent did things, then we totally rebel. Sometime, along the way we find a brand new way, it becomes ours and we pass it along.

Writing may be the same way. We stay in our comfort zone, writing what we always write. We're comfortable that way, but is our career going where we want? When we read, are we reading only the writers we always snap up, or do we try new authors, who may have new takes on a genre? Taking risks, submitting to print publishers and agents when epubs like the work you do, trying a new genre or stretching the one you write now. I think we need to write what we enjoy, but if we are no longer happy with what's happening then it's time to stretch, find the new way, step out of that comfortable box.

Have you stepped out of your box lately, stretched and reached for something new?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Counting Down

I'm counting down. The release date for "Bloody Murder" is only 12 days away. I'm excited and scared. What if it doesn't sell, nobody out there buys it? Sometimes writing a book is more fun than seeing it get out there and sit, waiting on the shelf to be asked to the dance.

Are my characters engaging enough, are the mystery elements compelling? Is the suspense suspenseful? Too late. It's done. Go on to the next, but enjoy it anyway. I have hopes for Bloody Murder, as every author does for their babies. And she's dressed just right, she should be noticed with that dress(book cover) on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Is anyone truly fearless. You may be fearless when it comes to yourself but fear for your children, family, career or the serial killer down the street.

I've always loved scary books and movies, lots of suspense, scary situations, murderers, natural disasters, ghosts, goblins and witches. But, I want a plot with everything tied up at the end, including the bad guy. I do understand the need to keep the villain alive for the next book in the series, but make him suffer in the mean time. Multiple killings for the sake of killing and finding exotic ways to do it, not so much of a thrill. How many time can you watch the couple making love get skewered in the middle of the act? Can we say overdone?

I like writing scary, still working on building tension and suspense. Personally, my fear would be anything happening to my kids. Also, drowning is a big one, I get short of breath watching movies where the monster is chasing someone under the water and they can't get up to get air. That's hard to watch.

What scares you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let's Be Real

Gas, housing, gas, the stock market, loan entities, war, starvation! Plus security issues everywhere.

Why do you think I read and write fiction? I'd rather deal with the impossible like were wolves and vampires and murders that actually get solved. Good guys that win. Lovers that get back together. I want that perfect world with all the tied up ends. I don't want to know that good guys really aren't. I want happy endings, or at least hopeful ones.

Reality has always been the reason I read fiction. Not that my reality has ever been bad, I've been so blessed, no trauma, a happy childhood, no serious illnesses, injuries, disastrous love affairs. My marriage was good. Family not any more dysfunctional than most. Leaves me very little material for writing about so I had to resort to fantasy.

In my own created world, the worst I have to worry about are demons who get defeated, vampires and were wolves who are either good or dead, angsty(I know, not proper grammer) teen-age fairies, wizards who may or may not be evil. So, all in all, reality is highly over-rated because reality bites.

When I ponder the choices for writers, what genre is best, most publishable, should I be writing sweet romance (now there's a fantasy world), literary fiction, erotica, I know that what I write is what I'm happy writing, whatever the market pundits advise. Writing is one of my arts and I refuse to turn it into drudgery, even for money. That's why I stopped writing medical nonfiction for the moment. Burn-out. Had to write what I loved.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Storm

No, not the kind with thunder and lightening, at least, not that anyone else sees. I met with my CP and we brainstormed about plotting for FDChronicles-Wizard on Fairy Dust characters and world, but Ande is younger, I had to change settings some. Came up with some good ideas and then this morning the rest fell into place about structuring so it could work.

We'll see. Somehow I have to keep Buffy from sneaking on campus and messing things up. I'll be glad when I can get the plotting together and start writing.

Also, I FINISHED UNPACKING THE GARAGE, finally I'm here to stay. Feels very good to be finished with that part. Now, it's those pesky decorating ideas that keep sneaking in on me, pulling me to do things, buy them or make them. I want to write, work and do all the extra stuff too. What calls you away from writing, besides food and family, since they are always there?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sounding Off

First, I got some strange comments yesterday, must be spam and I must put up better security. Weird. The obvious advertisements won't be up for drawings.

Now to sound. I read an interesting blog and decided to bring the discussion here too. When you are writing, what do you listen to, I mean besides the washing machine, kids, pets etc? Do you listen to music? Is it heavy metal or rock or county or classical.

I have a problem with music unless it's really generic because I want to bounce around, sing-along, dance and generally do anything but write. Can't do it. I have friends with eclectic tastes who listen to everything from soothing to alternative.

So, what's your music story? Come on, we won't tell.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My kids made it back to Houston. They will need a new roof but have electricity. Water is contaminated so must be boiled in order to use. Don't know how much damage there was to their belongings in the house yet but at least they're safe and the house is standing.

I'm trying to get galley proofs finished and off to the editor for Bloody Murder. Then I'll finish Museums are Murder and send it off. Hope to start a fast draft for FD-Wizard by October 1. Glad to see fall, one of my favorite seasons.

Miss living in the country, picking up pecans, smelling the burning leaves, watching the beginnings of football practice. The local school's football field was literally in my back yard and you could watch the Friday night games from our back deck, except the scoreboard had it's back to you. Didn't really matter, we frequently lost but we had fun.

What do you like about fall? Does it inspire you to write? Don't forget, people who comment go into the pool for a book to be drawn. And, since I never heard from Tigger9, I'll be drawing for two books at the end of September, Bloody Murder and one TBA.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Funnies

Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners:

Cracked me up, like an egg falling off a building and cracking up all over the sidewalk, if the building had a sidewalk.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with wisdom that only comes from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of e. coli, and he was room temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work. 21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Evacution on a sunny day.

My daughter just called to let me know she's received evacuation orders, mandatory. So she and the kids will be on the road today, heading toward far north Texas. Her partner will leave by this evening. Right now it's calm, sunny, perfect beach day in Clear Lake, but they are a scant 10-15 minutes from the ship's channel and from Galveston. I can't imagine having to leave everything behind while you, two kids, three cats, get into cars and drive. Especially with the knowledge you could come back to a mess, or nothing or everything will be fine and you're pissed you had to leave as well as grateful for the safety.

Ike is certainly causing a lot of trouble. I think I'll stick to outrunning tornados here in OKC, thanks. I can deal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fast Writing

My friend, Rinda, has a fast first draft going for September and she's whipping out 3000 words a day. I do some of my best stuff when I push and write a first draft that way. So, my goal now is to finish the galley proofs for Bloody Murder and then attack plotting on Fairy Dust:Wizard. That way I can do an Oct./Nov. fast draft. To watch Rinda's progress, go to

You saw it right. I'm giving myself two months instead of Rinda's one because I know, realistically, I have to push it to get in more than 1000 words a day. 1500 a day is really ambitious but achievable. Now, on to the plotting train. For a totally funny take on handy men and real life, go to

Don't forget, to win a book, make a comment some time this month. Tigger, I haven't heard from you. You have until noon on the 12th before I draw another name for the copy of "Bloody Murder."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Which way to go.

My daughter and her partner live in Houston, rather south of Houston proper in Clear Lake, near NASA. If Ike makes the wrong turn, they could have to evacuate, especially if it builds to a Cat 3 over the gulf. I read a blog where someone from Texas liked the fact that you get so much warning with a hurricane, but to me, you have to worry for a week or two as the storm inches toward you. You have to decide how to get out, what route to take, then just as you think you're in the clear, it turns at the last minute and its too late to leave.

I don't want all the angst. Let the storm pop-up, hit and leave, don't make me watch the monster come and anticipate being eaten up for days before the attack. I prefer tornadoes. They come and go in minutes, hit a small area, as compared to Hurricanes and then you just clean up the mess they left behind.

When it's my time, I want to go quickly, without warning, so I don't have to worry about leaving things unfinished, or people bereft. Yes, I'm selfish and I want the easy way out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


First-Tigger9, I need your email address so I can send you your book. If I don't hear from you by Sept 5th, I'll draw another winner. Remember, send it to cshenoldATcoxDOTnetl. Don't forget to comment this month to be entered into the next drawing.

Now. How do you re-charge when you've been working hard at your writing or working hard in general? Some people go out for a latte, or a walk in the park, commune with nature, meditate, read something to recharge the batteries, take a writing class, do something creative that isn't writing if you're a writer, like paint, sculpt, crafts. What's your favorite way to get the juices going so you can jump right back into your project?

One thing I enjoy is reading good quotes.

"Don't give up. Don't lose hope. Don't sell out." -Christopher Reeve-

"If you're going through hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill-

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." -Thomas Jefferson-

"If you want rainbows, you have to put up with the rain." -Dolly Parton-

And remember that Louis L'Amour was rejected 349 times.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Winner and Birthday Bash

And the winner is:
Tigger9. Please send me your email address and October 7 I'll send you a copy of my new release, "Bloody Murder." Send the address to cshenoldATcoxDOTnet.

Remember, a new contest for a free book begins today. All you have to do is post a comment. This contest will end September 30. The book is TBA, but it will be good.

Now, Eternal Press is having a birthday bash this week with contests and prizes. So hurry up and get on over to, go to the blog and enter the Trivia contest. There will be more contests and prizes the entire week.

New Orleans is still there and not in terrible shape, prayers answered.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Over and over

How do you feel when you make the same mistake more than once, like get stopped by cops in the same school zone, twice in a week? I'm going to have to change the route I use to go to work. Seriously. Don't know about you but I feel stupid.

Same thing with edits. When my editor finds the same mistake several times, like cement instead of concrete, OK instead of okay. You know what I'm talking about. What are the mistakes you make over and over? Come on, confess, it's good for the soul.

And don't forget, only five more days to make a September comment for a chance to win a copy of Bloody Murder. Come on down.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Contest and Plots

First, I want to start a new contest. Once a month I'll draw a name to win a free book, it might be one of mine or an ebook from one of my fellow writers or a print book I particularly enjoyed. I might even throw in a book on writing once in a while. How to win, you ask? Just post a comment on the blog that month. The first monthly contest will begin September first, for a copy of my October release, "Bloody Murder." The name will be drawn October first and you should receive your copy after the seventh of October.

Now, if you're really anxious for a free book, comment in August and I'll have a grab-bag surprise book to draw for on September 1. Shhhh, the title is a secret.

Next is a question for readers and writers. What comes first for you, plot or character. As a writer, do you have the character all thought out first or the plot? For me, the character comes first because the way the plot unfolds depends so much on the character and the choices that character makes. In a series, once I have that character, then I can throw bizarre plots at her and see what kind of choices she makes.

As a reader, especially of a series, do you fall in love with a character first or a plot? What makes you stick with a series? Remember, to win prizes you have to comment!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Winners by Fractions

We are a nation of fractions. We win gold medals by 1/10 of a point. How can you do that? That should be impossible. We post gas prices by fractions. The price is $3.33 and 9/10. Okay, that's $3.34. Can't fool me. Is the same thing happening with our books? Do agents decide they like one book 99 and9/10% but the other one is 100% so that's the one they will represent or publish?

What if that author could fix that thing that would bring it up to 100%. Publishing is confusing and so based on personal preference. Editors and agents have specific pet peeves and they are all different. What one will like, six others say is a red flag and can't be done.

So I say, write the way you enjoy, send it out until you find someone who likes it, change what they don't like and go for it because you can only please one agent or editor at a time. The main thing, keep writing and enjoying the process 100% of the time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cover-Bloody Murder

The cover for "Bloody Murder" is now ready to share. It's soo cool, and scary looking. I absolutely love it. Can't wait for everyone to see and I think it captures the book. As much as I liked the Privy cover, I think this one gives a better sense of the story. Remember, The monster under the bed or in the closet, might be real.
BLOODY MURDER-October 7, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Proof Positive

Here's proof that I worked in Colorado on vacation. The railing you see behind me was where the bear was busily eating birdseed in that bear picture below. You can see the mountain and trees behind me. Had so much fun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a Winner-Journaling

Seriously-I won a book of Vampire Romance from Rachel Vincent. You can go to her blog and frequently find contests for cool books. She's at be sure to check out her new release.

Now, does anyone out there like journals? I have journals, blank books. I'm hooked. I may have more than I can ever use. I like unusual ones, with pretty or unusual covers, like a wooden cover, or one with cats, or one that looks 3-D. The problem with the really pretty and unusual journals is that I'm afraid to write in it. What if what I write isn't important enough to merit the fancy cover and I mess up the pages. Even though I have all these fancy journals, when I finish a blue journal, I go buy another instead of writing in one of the "special" ones. I realised how many I have when I moved a couple of weeks ago.

Now I'm making a concerted effort to write in the pretty ones. Who cares if it's not in chronological order. No one else will read it unless I'm dead and then I won't care and they will deserve what they get for reading private, boring stuff.

Anyone else out there save pretty journals? Come on, I know you're out there. What does it look like and why don't you just treat yourself and use it anyway?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris Hilton, Print Books-Olympics

How's that for a myriad of unrelated topics?

OK, first and most important.

I don't have a firm date yet, but Privy to Murder is scheduled to come out in print. Yay, finally. Can't wait to hold it in my hands, schedule book signings and put it in a couple of places to sell. Fun stuff. Stay tuned for dates.

On a different note, did you see Paris Hilton's video? She actually sounds intelligent. I may have to stop making fun of the kid after all. She had a sense of humor and made sense. Maybe I will vote for her after all. Madame President Hilton. Has a ring about it.

I'm a dork. Can't wait to watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics on Friday. I know China sucks on human rights issues but the show will be spectacular to watch.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bear Necessities

This little darlin' decided to visit our deck in the rain and the the bird seed that was left on the railing. That table you can see the edge of is where we ate dinner every evening and had coffee in the mornings. He left our place to try and raid the hummingbird feeder next door and then went across the street to visit the other neighbors. The yellow tag in his ear means he's already been identified as someone who is too friendly with humans.
The one on the right was back of the cabin and garage one day when Amy went for a walk.


Guess what? I'm never moving again. Hear that? NEVER MOVING AGAIN! Just in case you didn't hear me. A pain, literally every bone in my body. But, will enjoy the new roomier place.

It's too hot here. Sorry, 105 is too hot to live. The mountain is calling me, where it's nice and cool and the squirrels are waiting for me.

Tonight, back to unpacking boxes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Back from Colorado

I went, I saw, it conquered me as usual. I love Colorado and the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. I learned things too.

  • Bear cubs love humming bird feeders and will climb trees, ignoring yelling humans and loud air horns when on a nectar hunt.
  • Racoons are scared of bears, even when the bear is ignoring it in favor of the birdseed on the rail of the deck.
  • A high-pitched, loud "Oh Shit" will scare off a bear determined to join you for dinner on the deck.
  • A determined chipmunk can intimidate a bird twice its size.
  • Hearing is a challenge on a picnic next to a cold, roaring river.
  • A full-size adult bear can balance on the rail of a deck to eat sunflower seeds.
  • Bears move silently when approaching a cabin, you look up, he's there, in your face.
  • Humming Birds don't care how big you are, they will attack anyone as well as each other.

I did get writing done in spite of all the visitors. Glad to be back and will get back to the writing end of things after I move into my house. May be talking about the fun of moving everything you own when half of it is books.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is where I'm going on vacation. No, silly, not the zoo, Colorado, where bears live, and hummers, chipmonks, squirrels, chickadees, deer, writers, artists and other critters.

I have good intentions of writing at least a couple of thousand words a day. I want to get the majority of words done on the first draft of my short WIP, which I'll talk about more once I get back. When I get back, I'll have pictures, maybe even some I can post. In the mean time, keep reading and keep writing. I'll be leaving this Sat. and coming back next.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kindle Give-away at Author Island

Run on over to for a very cool couple of contests (See below) and go visit my page. Carol

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday AuthorIsland, happy birthday to us!!!
We're having a party - and if there's anything we here at know how to do, it̓s celebrate! We have celebrated fantastic authors, wonderful books and great new releases every day for two years now, so we have lots of practice! So, what's the best way to celebrate a very special birthday??? A very special giveaway!!!!
We're turning TWO in July so, we're giving away TWO, are you ready for this, TWO AMAZON KINDLES this month!!! TWO!
Also this month, TWO very lucky readers are going to win A BOOK A WEEK FOR A YEAR!!! - That's right! One book will be mailed to the winners every single week for one year!!!! How fun is that???
Bet you're wondering about how to enter.... well all the details you need are on the Contests page, come on over and check out all the fun going on over at the Island - we have books and authors galore in just about every genre of fiction there is, we have excerpts and trailers and interviews and chats, we have a free stuff page with details on how you can get a fabulous box of goodies for only the cost of postage, we have two full pages of fun contests and, on top of all that, we give away a book a day, everyday right on the front page! What's not to love?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When it's not there.

I've learned something. Now that I'm not in the middle of rushing to finish a first draft or meet a deadline, it feels like I'm lost, unfocused. I have begun a short WIP, but as I'm packing the house to move and packing to leave for Colorado on Friday, I can't work on it right this second. But, when it's not there, I miss that adrenalin rush of a scene that won't let you stop writing.

I think it will be good and I'm having fun with it. I hope, in Colorado, to get a couple of thousand words done a day, at least that's my goal. I do love the feeling of pushing through the book, even if it feels disjointed since I write for an hour at lunch and another hour or so in the evening. What happens when you have a day job. But then it all pulls together at the end and you're pleasantly surprised by the end of the story because it actually makes sense. Love it when something works.

Monday, July 14, 2008


First, Fairy Dust is #4 on the Fictionwise bestseller list for Eternal Press authors. So exciting.
Now, speaking of writing weird, how do you feel about rules. For one thing, I find I enjoy writing more now that I've given myself permission to break genre rules. Now I realise that means that mainstream print pubs may ignore me since my mysteries have evolved into Cozy Paranormal Mystery Romance. Is there such a genre? Don't think so. Don't really care. I do try to have the murder in the first chapter, if not the first scene. Can't always introduce the murderer or love interest in the first chapter.

Cozy mysteries probably shouldn't also have a vampire, witch, were and spirit guides running around, but it's fun. I enjoy writing it. I finished Bloody Murder, which I think is funnier than Privy to Murder and has creepier moments. I'm working on a short work which might end up even better than the others, we'll see. Then the other project will be even more fun and darker than the others.

So my advise is, write what you enjoy and have fun with, then sell it. My current publisher doesn't mind stretching genre, bending the rules. How do you feel about rules, like them, follow them, do your own thing? We want to know.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fairy Dust #6

Fairy Dust is number six on the Fictionwise bestseller list. Run over there and get one before they're all gone. Okay, okay, they won't run out, they're electronic. I know. But go get your very own copy and see what they're all talking about. You'll be sorry if you don't. Better yet, go to

Boudicca Andraste Ryan, AKA Ande, has fairy dust issues, as in controlling it. The human half of her makes her magic difficult to handle, and especially the ability to use fairy dust for flying since she has no wings. She will unexpectedly levitate at inconvenient moments. For example, levitating during a fight with a ghoul, might keep you alive, unless you can't control the time and place you come down.

When Darklings steal the amulet her father left her and a dark wizard threatens to wipe out mortals, Ande feels as if she must do something, anything to stop him and retrieve the necklace. A were wolf named Cal, her best friend/Guardian, Sierya and a three-foot pixie named Ajax join her in her fight against the dark creatures from the Under.


The thing coming at me barreled out of the trees, leaping from shadow to shadow. Its rotten-meat smell driving me back. It didn’t hesitate before it threw itself at the circle shield. Sparks flew off, crackling in the air and weakening the shield. It kept coming, like the crazy it was, slamming itself into the circle, weakening it more and more until one of the impacts threw me back, into my own circle and through it Okay, out of protection here. I threw myself over to land on my knees and came up in a crouch.
The ghoul looked around as if it couldn’t figure out where I went. When it saw me, it let out a snarl and flew toward me. I sent a stream of earth fire at his sorry ass but missed because I levitated at the precise moment I let the stream of fire loose. Ahhhhh. It always happens at the wrong time. If I ever get control of the flying thing, it would be so great. Now the darkling was truly confused and I sent another tiny but forceful fire stream toward him. This time I didn’t miss, and he burst into flame, at least his arm did. He screamed with frustration because he couldn’t see where I was, floundered around a bit, and ran back into the trees.
“Damn it.” I needed down before the hell dog came back so I could get rid of it. What if some kid came along. Not one child but several, in a group, with a leader came skipping toward the bridge.
“Go back,” I yelled loud as I could. “Hurry. Run.” The kids were chattering at the top of their lungs. The leader tried to push them faster, wanting out of the park before the sun set altogether I guessed. They didn’t hear a word I said.
Shadows crept toward them, and one shadow moved away from the others. It was back and heading straight toward the kids.
“Up here, idiot. Leave the kids alone. I’m your prey. Come on, use that one cell you have for a brain.”
“Ooph.” I dropped like a dead fairy, directly in front of the thing. I was toast.

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