Friday, December 30, 2011

Currently Reading

Tick Tock (Michael Bennett, #4)Tick Tock by James Patterson

I'm not quite halfway through the book. It seems a bit disjointed, and I'm not sure I like Bennett's involvement with his young nanny. More later when I've finished.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's a beautiful day in the Saddleback Valley in southern California where I live. Sunny days inspire me to accomplish things, and I'm diligently trying to finish my second novel NO GOOD DEED. I hope the new year will bring an abundance of discipline to keep me on track. I also wish for all of you a year of good health, good writing, and especially publishing and sales. As always, your tips on writing, publishing, and promotion are always welcome. We can expect even more changes in the book selling world in the coming year. Let's be ready for them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kindle Competition

When Kindle was first launched it was innovative and grew in popularity to the extent that others soon followed. Now Kindle is getting competition from the Nook and other e-readers. Seeing their lead disappearing, they've come up with Kindle Select. Read all about it on the Amazon Kindle site. It sounds good to Kindle authors until you read the fine print. If you sign up for it, your book is loaned via Kindle, and the author receives royalties based on the number of loans per month. In order to sign on, you must agree to NOT sell your book in any other digital format!!! Your book may never be loaned, so no royalties. But, it also can't be bought on the Nook, Sony reader, or in my case, as an e-book from my website. Why lose potential sales for an opportunity that may never come. The only one benefitting is Amazon by keeping your book available only on their reader.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review

One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)One Shot by Lee Child

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first Lee Child book and it had me up late at night turning pages. "One Shot" was full of suspense, intrigue, and interesting characters. The plotting was great, and kept me guessing until the final pages. I really enjoyed it. However, I found Jack Reacher to be a strange person. He doesn't really live anywhere, wears the same clothes and shoes over and over, doesn't seem to be employed, yet has money to travel and live wherever he wants. I plan to read more of Child's books. There was one phrase he used constantly when dialogue was occurring - "Reacher said nothing." Sometimes this phrase appeared at least three or four times on the same page. It will be interesting to see if he does this in other books.

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Facebook, Twitter, OMG

I think it must have been easier to be a writer in Hemingway’s or Faulkner’s time. Not that inspiration came more easily. I’m sure they sat and stared at the same blank page the same as we do today, waiting for the right words to flow. No, I think it was easier because they didn’t have the internet and all the social networking that came with it.

It’s not enough today for a writer to just write. Now we have to write about writing. Before we do that we have to set up a website, or a blog (maybe both), sign on to Facebook, then find friends, go on to Twitter, or….. well, you know the rest. Let me assure you that I’m not down on social networking. I’ve met some wonderful people, and have garnered book reviews and interviews using the internet. Authors are generous in helping each other and I’ve returned the favor whenever I could. Unfortunately there are still only 24 hours in a day. Blogging, tweeting, and whatever else you’re into, take up time, time you could use to actually be writing that book or article you’re telling everyone about.

The social network sites we choose to be on (and as writers we’re obligated to choose something) are like little pets that have to be cared for and fed. So, instead of writing a few pages for my current novel, I’m trying to think of something profound to blog about, or tweet. As I’ve gathered followers, I’ve also chosen people to follow, so I feel it necessary to check their blogs, etc. as well, and make comments. When someone comments on one of my blog posts, I think it’s courteous to respond to them. More writing, more time spent. If you don’t post on a regular basis, your followers will lose interest in what you have to say. It’s a never-ending cycle. How does everyone do it?

I work best with a plan so I’m trying to come up with one which maximizes my time spent tending to my various sites and still allows the necessary hours to actually write. So far I haven’t been successful. It's still a work in progress.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome to my Blog

Hello new followers, and current ones too, and welcome!  The Blog Hop was fun and now I have many new names added to my blog. When I first established it I had envisioned a forum to discuss writing, publishing, marketing, and really anything to do with books. So your comments are always welcome and I will answer them all. As I hopped to various blogs I was impressed by the talent I saw. Many of you have written several books. I'm on my second, although in between I write short stories and essays, and in the past year I have been published in two anthologies. I look forward to your words of wisdom, what works for you in marketing, how you were published, anything that is new or different. We can learn from each other. (Yes, that's me and my husband, on the Amalfi Coast last year.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Blog Hop

Welcome to the September Blog Hop! Celebrate the beginning of fall with me and my blogger friends by hopping around, visiting our sites, and entering our contests! There are no limits - you can enter the contest on every blog. With over 40 blogs participating, that's over 40 prizes you could win. Just click on the links below to move on to the next blog. On my blog, you can win … A copy of "Our Daily Bran", a book of humorous and inspirational poems. Would you like to win this prize? You just need to do two things. 1. Become a follower of this blog. 2. Leave me a comment in the trail and tell me why you'd like to win this prize. That's it! You are now entered. The contest ends on Saturday night, September 24th, at midnight MST, and the winner will be contacted shortly thereafter. Please either leave your e-mail address in the comment trail or make sure it's visible through your profile so I can contact you to tell you that you're the lucky winner. Now go visit my other friends ...
September Blog Hop Participants
1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author 2. Joyce DiPastena 3. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer 4. Mandi Slack 5. Michael D. Young 6. Six Mixed Reviews 7. Pam Williams 8. Laurie Lewis 9. Kristy Tate 10. Marilyn Yarbrough 11. Stacy Coles 12. Kristie Ballard 13. Lynn Parsons 14. Pushing Past the Pounds 15. Sheila Staley 16. cindy Hogan17. Jamie Thompson 18. Jaclyn Weist 19. Cathy Witbeck 20. Secret Sisters Mysteries 21. Tamera Westhoff 22. Tina Scott 23. Lynnea Mortensen 24. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan 25. Jeanette A. Fratto 26. Bonnie Harris 27. Melissa Lemon 28. Mary Ann Dennis 29. Stephanie Black 30. Jane Still 31. Janice 32. Laura Bastian33. Tamara Bordon 34. Betsy Love 35. Maria Hoagland 36. Amber Robertson 37. Debbie Davis 38. 39. Christy Monson 40. Carolyn Frank 41. Rebecca Birkin 42. Melissa Cunningham 43. Emily L. Moir 44. Ronda Hinrichsen 45. Lisa Asanuma 46. Joan Sowards 47. Jordan McCollum 48. Diane Stringam Tolley

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"That" or "Who" - THAT is the question!

I read a lot!  When I read poor grammar it stops me.  Sometimes it will be a certain word that I think is misused, but when I begin to see this same usage over and over, I start to wonder, is it wrong, or is it me?  Such a word is "that" when used after a person.  For example, "the woman that sat next to me...."  This seems improper to me.  I believe it should be "the woman who sat next to me...."  The rule for me is "who" after humans, "that" after objects.  However, in all the writing I've read over the past months, at least 75% of the writers seem to prefer "that".  It has become so commonplace I'm questioning my thinking about this. If this resonates with you, please comment.  I still think the majority has it wrong, but I'd love to hear other points of view.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catherine Kitcho's New Book Available Now

I'm happy to let you know about my friend Catherine Kitcho's newest venture.  She is an author, publisher, and business consultant, but her latest effort is a departure from her usual writings. She, and her co-authors, combined tongue-in-cheek family observations with a drink to go with them.  The stories are fun and the drinks easy to make for even the novice mixologist.  Read more -

The Dysfunctional Family Drink Book is a cocktail book and a humor book that celebrates dysfunctional families with wit and charm. Prompted by a disastrous family get-together, the three related authors vowed to turn family dysfunction into entertainment by creating 76 delicious cocktails and a funny story to go with each one, believing that other families might just have a bit of dysfunction also. The readers are invited to laugh with them or at them as they relate stories about relationships, siblings, childhood, family feuds, kin, difficult parents, holidays, family get-togethers, and vacations. The book is beautifully packaged as a hardcover, with a lie-flat binding inside to facilitate using the cocktail recipes. Each drink has a unique name (such as Banana Split and So Did He, Unrelenting Guilt, Sibling Rivalry, Family Feud Fizz), a gorgeous color photo, easy to follow recipe, and a little story to make you think and laugh.

The book is available for purchase through the book’s website (currently $20.00): (Secure PayPal ordering system that accepts credit cards)

It’s also available from for $24.95 (search by ISBN)

Book info:

Title: The Dysfunctional Family Drink Book

Authors: Marcia Skinner, Amber Skinner, and Catherine Kitcho

Publisher: Pele Publications

Publication date: July 2011

Page Count: 195 (hardcover)

ISBN: 978-192993612-0

The holidays are not that far off.  This book would be a great gift for that hard-to-buy person who also likes to have an occasional drink, and a good laugh to go with it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog

I know that writers have "writer's block" but do we also have "blogger's block"?  I haven't blogged for a month, although in my defense I've been out of town for two weeks and then came back with a horrible head cold that left me unmotivated to do anything.  Now I'm back and staring at a blank screen, wanting to say something profound, but nothing great seems to be forthcoming.  I am working on my second book, NO GOOD DEED.  My goal is to finish it by the end of this year but I'm having some plot problems.  I hope those of you who read this are having a better time with your writing. 

I'm still busy promoting my first book NO STONE UNTURNED and will be doing a book talk and signing today in Huntington Beach at a senior community.  If you have a book to promote, consider these places, as they are always looking for activities for their residents.  If any of you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  Please leave a comment and I'll be sure to answer you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

COMPLETELY WHOLE by Paulette Harper is Launched Today

Oftentimes, many people try to seek fulfillment from money, relationships, accomplishments, or material things. Others choose to cope with difficult problems by using drugs or alcohol, but they often come up short and soon have to realize that such things do not bring true happiness and fulfillment in life. How then can we successfully solve the problems that we face and find true happiness and peace in our lives? Well, author, Paulette Harper, in her latest book, Completely Whole, shows readers how to overcome suffering caused by alcoholism, substance abuse, poverty, and other obstacles blocking the path to a life of wholeness in spirit, soul, and body.

In her well-written, resource-filled guide, Harper provides readers with practical and biblically-based solutions to overcome everyday problems. Completely Whole features prayers, meditations, and powerful scripture passages to allow readers to interact with the text and to apply it to their own lives. Harper uses personal experiences and biblical principles to place readers on a path to be in connection with God. This life-changing book will help readers to transform their spirit, soul, and body through Jesus Christ, so they can live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. Special Today Only! May 9. Buy a copy of Completely Whole by Paulette Harper and get immediate access to amazing Free Bonus Gifts and contest giveaway

For complete details, visit:


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

My daughter Linda and I enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day dinner along with her husband Guy, and son Evan.  My husband Bernie was with us also.  For all of you who still have your mothers, you are very fortunate.  My mother passed away four years ago, just a few days before Mother's Day.  I have a son also, who lives out of state.  Our family is a blessing to us and we enjoy every moment we are with them.  I hope your day was a special one, however you spent it..

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Check Out My Guest Blog

Some time back I posted a promotional suggestion.  I expanded on that topic and today I had the privilege to have it posted on Tristi Pinkston's blog.  It is:  Check it out and consider the suggestions I've made.  I've found that audiences are fascinated by authors, even those of us who are unknown.  There's something about writing a book that makes people think you're "awesome."  Sorry, I don't use that word often, but it does describe how I've been treated.  Good luck and I'd love to hear how this worked for you.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome New Followers

I have many new followers, as well as people I'm following, since I joined the John3:16 Network.  I hope we can share great insights into the writing and publishing world.  I look forward to your posts, as well as comments on my posts.  I'll be blogging more soon!

Friday, March 4, 2011


For those of you who have a Kindle, and there are more each day, I've recently lowered the price of the Kindle version of NO STONE UNTURNED to $3.99.  If you're a mystery reader, and enjoy a little romance along with the mystery, try my book. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview on the Lit-Chick Show

Sylvia Massara of the Lit-Chick Show, based in Sydney, Australia, did a nice audio-cast promoting my novel, NO STONE UNTURNED.  Watch and listen to it here:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Self-Published Authors - Take Note

There is a website:  which is willing to give exposure to books by self-published authors.  More and more writers are self-publishing these days, with less stigma attached than in the past.  Often, though, it is still difficult to promote your book because of old notions that only traditionally published books can be good.  Check this site out.  They will be doing a launch in March of self-published books.  Make sure yours is on there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Promotional Tip

I managed to rant a while back about perseverance, and when, or if, it is too much.  Well, I do have a promotional tip which works pretty well in selling your book.  Check out the over-55 communities in your area.  These are the places where active seniors live independently but like to be in an atmosphere that offers activities.  These complexes usually have an activities director who is always looking for events for their residents.  I have found that they love to have authors come and speak about their book, the writing process, and how it was published.  Many are writing memoirs so really appreciate the opportunity to hear a writer talk about their experiences.  I've spoken to many such groups in my area and I always sell and sign books at the end.  I've also invested in book-size colorful gift bags and tissue and offer free gift wrapping if anyone wishes to buy a signed book for a gift.  This has gone over well too.   So, readers, look for those senior complexes in your area, contact the activities director, and sell yourself.  You should have a good reception.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"She Writes" Anthology

Readers, look for the "She Writes" anthology, to be published in February by Windflower Press.  My essay submission "The Rain in Spain Did Not Stay on the Plain" will be in it.  I was thrilled to be included in this anthology of female writers and look forward to seeing the finished book.

Total Pageviews