Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September Recipe: Lime Edit Chicken

This dish is simple to make and the sauce is wonderful


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¾ Apple Flavored Libby’s Juicy Juice
  • 2 tps cornstarch
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube


1. Spray a large skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Heat over medium heat.
2. Add chicken breasts. Cook 8-10 minutes or until tender, turning to brown evenly.
3. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
4. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, apple juice, cornstarch and bouillon cube. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, until thick. Spoon over chicken to serve.

This recipe and many more can be found in the Dinner on a Deadline Cookbook.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Creativity Corner - Mind Mapping

Fiction Writer’s Method One

  • Draw a circle in middle of paper
  • Put characters name or the problem in the circle
  • Draw six lines from the circle
  • Label the lines: Who,When, Where, What (i.e. What does character want),Why (i.e. why does the character want it), How (i.e. how will the character get it)
  • Branch from each leg, answering the question.

Fiction Writer’s Method Two

  • Gather a selection of colored pens (always use at least three colors)
  • Make a circle on your paper and put your idea or problem in the center.
  • Make branches from the circle, labeling with ideas and thoughts on the subject (anything that comes to mind no matter how off-topic or silly it may seem). All lines must be in some way connected to the original circle.
  • Use one color for the first level of branches, another for the next level and another for the next and so on.
    Use colors as your own special code to signify different items such as people, subjects, plot, dialogue, backstory, etc.
  • Use images or drawings whenever it strikes you. Images, symbols and codes are very useful in mindmaps and often spur more thoughts.
  • Finish, Organize and Get to Work!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fundraisers and Promo

Every month, this day will be dedicated to either fundraising or promo. This month, I’m going to share some info on promotions. This is an article I had published on another blog in April.

The Secret Handshake

It’s ironic that promotion is the topic for the week. I just had a long discussion with a friend this past Friday about promoting yourself as an author. It’s a must. I know people who half-heartedly do it (or don’t do it at all) and I know people who are promo machines. I’m in the middle, and I think I do well.

First, off: YOU MUST SPEND MONEY TO PROPERLY PROMOTE YOURSELF. Yes, I capped that sentence on purpose. You don’t have to spend a fortune but you will have to invest some cash. In order to help you, I’ll list what I spend (on most things) and where I get my promo items. Trust me, I am a cheapskate promoter so I look for the best deals on everything.

So here goes:

1. Website. Investment: $200-400. You must have a website. There are a bazillion places available. For zero investment you can go to Freewebs. You will have more flexibility and be easier to find if you invest in a site from a pay site. I have my site hosted through GoDaddy. They also provide domain name service. If you are paying for a site, you will need both a domain and a host. For a three-year investment, I spent less than $300.

Some of you might need a webmaster/mistress to create or update your site as well. That is an additional fee.

2. Blogs, guest blogs, access sites. Investment: Time. This is FREE promo. Guest blog wherever you can. Create a blog for yourself and update it. You should blog at least four times a week. Don’t look to me as an example. This is one thing I’m terrible about, but I do know the rules. Make sure that your releases and appearances stay up-to-date on your blog. I have three reader access sites: Blogger, MySpace and Facebook. Many people are into Twitter but I’ve yet to venture there.

3. Chats. Investment: Time. This is another FREE promotional tool. Join reader loops and get out there to interact with your readers. This is one of your strongest tools.

4. Author mail loop/list serves. Investment: Time. This one is the same as chats. Interact. Be accessible.

5. Newsletter. Investment: Time and $10. Create a monthly newsletter to keep your readers up-to-date with your writing career. Let them know about works in progress, up-coming releases and contests. A little writing-related info about what’s going on with you is nice, too. It’s best to put your newsletter in pdf format. I purchased PDF Creator software for $10.

5. Business cards. Investment: usually $25 - $150. With the way Vistaprint offers free stuff, there’s no reason not to have business cards. I just ordered 250 premium, custom-designed glossy cards for all of $9 plus shipping. They would have been completely free plus shipping if I wasn’t one to insist on glossies. So what do you do with business cards? Do you only need them if you’re going to a conference? I give out cards all the time. I give them away at the bookstore, I slip them into bills, I leave one for my waitress, I give them to people when we discuss what I do for a living, I give one to the lady who prints my book covers at the store… The opportunities to promote yourself are endless. If someone seems interested, be sure to have a card.

6. Cover flats. Investment: varies. Some publishers print cover flats for their authors. Some do not. It’s incredibly easy to make your own cover material. Again, you can go to Vistaprint and take advantage of their sales. I ordered both extra-large and regular-sized postcards with my covers and information on them. How much? Free plus shipping. The regular-sized postcards fit nicely in a coupon carrier and can be signed and given out to readers. I usually carry around a few in my purse to give away.

7. Display covers. Investment: $2 print, $2 frame. Print out your covers and put them in acrylic display frames. I’ve had 5x7 copies made of most of my covers. It’s nice to be able to show them when you make a public appearance. Covers draw people and a cover can sell a book.

8. Bookmarks. Investment: $25-$500. These are a staple. When I first started writing, I thought I’d eschew this promotional tool. Everyone does bookmarks, I thought. I’ll get lost in the shuffle. But everyone loves bookmarks. Not doing them is a mistake. I design and print mine through Next Day Flyers. They have incredible quality, service and price. I was able to get 500 bookmarks for $32 plus shipping.

9. Pencils/pens. Investment: $.09 -$5 each. These can add up, but they get your name in front of readers. I have pens in my purse from authors I met two years ago. Their names are definitely well known to me. Again, outside the conference circuit how does this apply to you? Let me ask…how often do you sign credit card slips or forms? You have the opportunity to leave behind a pen every time you do this. Most service places that need people to sign papers/receipts will use whatever pen they can get their hands on.

10. Author/book specific promo. Investment: up to you. I spend the entire year scouring online sites for promotional items. I don’t want to spend a fortune, but I don’t want something really cheesy, and I don’t want something everyone else has, too. This year, I went with thumbcuffs (I am a bdsm writer, after all) and small acrylic picture key chains. The two-sided picture frame will hold a copy of my book cover and info about me. I found an awesome deal and I’d encourage you to search for your own deal, too.

Does promo help? Yes. Do you have to be careful about what you do? Yes. Your promotional materials should speak about you as a writer. Don’t make it steamy if you’re a sweet writer. Don’t make it all flowery if you’re a steamy writer. You’re materials should match you as a writer or it should match your books. Personally, I try to make my materials author specific rather than book specific. They’ll last me longer that way. I can use them to promote any book from any of my three publishers.

So looking at the “Secret Handshake” promotional package, what have I, as a writer, invested this year?

Website: $0 (once every 3 years--I'll have this next year)
Blogs: $0
Chats/mail loop: $0
Newsletter: $10
Business Cards/Postcards: $23
Bookmarks (500): $43
Covers/Frames: $28
Pens: $110
Author Specific Promo: $73
Total: $287 - An invaluable investment of less than a dollar a day. Perfect.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September Writing Tip

At the first writing conference I ever attended, I heard the most important writing tip. READ!

In order to find my place within my genre, I need to know who else is out there and what they are writing. There is a lot to learn by studying the work of other writers – how they handle descriptions, inner thoughts, love scenes, conflict, the final words on the final page, and so much more.

As I write my current WIP, a contemporary romance, I keep several books within that same genre on my desk. When I get stuck, I flip through one of the books and see what the author before me has done. Like how many pages should this kiss last? And what vocabulary is appropriate for this imprint line?

I heard at that first conference that if I didn’t have time to read, then I didn’t have time to be a writer. I make time for both, and I watch a whole lot less TV!

By Andrea Dickinson

Monday, September 21, 2009

Let Me Hear You Roar!

Every year GRRWG runs a special contest for its members called Roar Into Writing. But maybe I shouldn’t call it a contest. Perhaps I should call it an incentive program. The concept is simple. Pay a small fee to enter, name the manuscript you will complete by November 30th, and then WRITE. And if you complete your manuscript, you get entered into a drawing for a cash prize. In December, the month when we all could use a little cash.

This year we have sixteen authors entered for thirty-seven manuscripts. Awesome! I’m so happy we have so many entries. And guess what! Seven of those manuscripts are already complete. Well done.

So…that means there are still thirty manuscripts pending and full of opportunity. Good luck and don’t forget, that last page needs to be turned in by November 30th.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GRRWG News - September

So who’s ready for the fall retreat October 23-25? I hear it’s the place to be. GRRWG members, if you haven’t made your reservations, please do so now. There will be lots of yummy food and fun and maybe some writing.

Congrats to Cindy Arends for getting to the finals of the Molly Contest. Good luck in the last round!!

Congrats to our new VP, Mary Timmer! It’s a tough job she’s taking on but we know she’ll be great it.

Congrats to Brynn Paulin on her feature at All Romance eBooks.

Tanya Eby has been working hard on radio plays she's writing and producing. They are parodies of old-fashioned melodramas. This first one was inspired by picnic and the classic drifter comes to town. She also has a sci-fi in post-production and a medical drama. Please listen if you have time. Here's the direct link to the first one. It's entirely free.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September Challenge

Okay, here’s the challenge. Write a short piece starting with:

“It would be best if you put that back where you found it, sir.”

Submissions should be sent to chelery1 @ yahoo . com (remove spaces). Entries will be shared on the October blog. Have fun! If you’re unpublished, here’s a chance to get out there. If you’re published, here’s a chance to just have some fun.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: A DRY SPELL by Susie Moloney

Goodlands, North Dakota isn't experiencing the Good times it once had, not for the past four years of unprecedented drought. Crops are failing and the bank is calling in loans. Folks are losing their farms and the town of Goodlands, itself, is dying. A sense of doom permeates every cranny of every existence. To make matters worse, strange things are happening, unexplained fires singe the parched land, mysterious crimes have risen, a sense of doom has fallen over all. Only rain can fix Goodlands.

Into this maelstrom, walks Tom Keatly, a Rainmaker, a man of myth and hope. In his quiet way he touches the lives of the community, especially Karen Grange, the bank manager who loves Goodlands, but must foreclose on her neighbors.

To say A DRY SPELL is a powerful love story would reduce it to one level of the art of living. It is so much more with a multitude of characters that bring their troubles and fears to the reader in such a poignant way that one can't help but wish the best for them Even as rain falls on the ravaged land, other elements are at work, powerful elements of the paranormal that deal with murder and vengeance. Karen Grange is a strong, fearless heroine who, despite her own fears, dares to take steps that could end the careful life she's carved for herself.

Ms. Moloney's work has been likened to Stephen King and I agree, but I found it a little more unsettling, because her plot is so deeply seated in reality. She builds her characters with the same conscientious detail of King or Dean Kootz. For something a little out of the norm, I'd definitely recommend A DRY SPELL.

Reviewed by Peggy Hanchar

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two GRRWG Authors Give

Lara Anne Punches
10/4/1989 to 2/12/2009
You touched the hearts of more people in your short nineteen years on earth than you could have ever imagined possible.

When GRRWG authors Cindy Spencer Pape and Brynn Paulin learned about a tragedy that had befallen the daughter of an Ellora’s Cave staff member, there was no question in their minds. They wanted to help in whatever way they could.

On January 23, 2009, the apartment complex where Lara Punches roomed with two other girls caught fire. The girls were trapped in their apartment with no way to escape. All three passed away due to smoke inhalation, Lara a little over two weeks later than the others.

In memory of Lara, and in hope of doing something to help her family, several Ellora’s Cave authors banded together. They each wrote books that are dedicated to the memory of Lara Punches. Proceeds will go to the Punches family.

Cindy Spencer Pape penned a short historical called Marry Me, Marietta. It was released on September 8.

Brynn Paulin penned a short contemporary entitled Tuesday Afternoons. It’s release date in 2009 is to be determined.

Information regarding the two books:

Marry Me, Marietta Blurb: Marietta James is a proper Victorian widow—until the night fate throws her together with handsome doctor Adam Hamilton. Adam has tried to ignore his desire for his voluptuous neighbor, but when the two of them are alone together, the passion burns out of their control. Now Adam is determined that their relationship continue while Marietta wants to forget their night of passion ever happened. It will take all his powers of seduction and persuasion to get her back in his bed—and into his life for good.

Tuesday Afternoons Blurb: For months, Casey Billings has had fantasies about the man she walks home beside on Tuesday Afternoons. When on one such afternoon, he proposes something more, Casey indulges her inner bad girl and agrees to a no-holds-barred night with this stranger.

For more information about this project and Lara: http://sextalkforwickedwomen.blogspot.com/2009/06/honoring-lara.html

Friday, September 11, 2009

Book Review - Handcuffs and Lies

Handcuffs and Lies
By: Bronwyn Green
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Rating (of 5): 5 Plums

Sometimes promises to friends are the hardest to keep. Undercover police officer, Michael Tanner, promised his dying partner that he'd take care of the man's little sister. Trouble is, after her brother's death, Doctor Tori Spinelli wants nothing to do with Michael-or any other cop for that matter.

Tori has always fought against overprotective men and deception. Forced into protective custody with Michael, she's now faced with both in the same package. Despite their differences, Tori falls in love with him, but how can she trust a man who lies for a living?

Can I say wow? Bronwyn Green has penned a steamy read that’s destined for my keeper shelf. I was reeled in by the opening and captivated for the rest of the book. Tori and Michael’s ‘reunion’ was spectacular…and hot. The scenes were well played out and everything followed logically—but not predictably. Bronwyn Green is a true story teller and I’m certainly anxious to read her next offering.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September Writing Quote

"Writing, like life itself,
is a voyage of discovery.

The adventure is a metaphysical one;
it is a way of approaching life indirectly,
of acquiring a total
rather than a partial view of the universe.

The writer lives
between the upper and lower worlds:
he takes the path
in order eventually to become that path himself."

Henry Miller

Monday, September 7, 2009

Article: The Things We Fear

As writers, we know fear can be paralyzing. The trick is getting around those fears and moving forward with our writing careers. I’d like to take a look at the things we fear and explore ways of disabling them.

Disheartening voices chip away at our confidence. Anxieties hold us back and keep us from achieving our goals. According to personal coach, Thomas Leonard, there are five universal human fears.

Paralyzing Fear # 1: There isn’t enough. There isn’t enough time, money, opportunity, love, etc. Scarcity terrifies us. We’re distracted by our sense of lack. It’s human nature to find it difficult to accept when someone else has something we want for ourselves, be it a multi-book contract, a Rita award, or her name on the New York Times Bestseller List. There is an insidious voice inside many of us that whispers, “Her success infringes on mine. If she succeeds, I won’t – there’s not enough room for both of us.”

This is untrue. There is room for everyone in the writing industry. Instead of obsessing about who’s getting the piece of pie we wanted, we need to focus on how to make sure there’s enough pie for everyone. When we make a concerted effort to be kind and giving to others, good things will come to us in return. Even if you don’t buy into the mentality of abundance and promoting good karma, most of us can agree that negativity cripples us. It’s impossible to do our best work – the work that will allow us to make our mark on the publishing world – when we’re consumed with envy and negativity. Let it go.

Paralyzing Fear # 2: If I succeed, they won't like me anymore. ‘They’ might refer to our writing friends, our coworkers, even our family. This fear starts whispering when we think about submitting our manuscripts to editors or querying agents. But what happens when we actually have some success? Because of that little voice, we play down our accomplishments. We insist that it’s no big deal that we finaled in that contest. The fact that we got a request for a full manuscript from our dream publishing house means nothing.

Discounting our achievements diminishes not only our own dreams and goals, it also lessens the value of what we’re trying to accomplish as writers. This anxiety is rooted in rejection. We fear that those we care about most will reject us based on our success. Jealousy is a part of human nature, and it’s possible – even likely – that from time to time, some of our colleagues will resent our triumphs. That doesn’t mean that we should hide our light under a bushel basket. Giving in to these self-depreciating tendencies may keep us from achieving what we desire most.

Paralyzing Fear # 3: It's too good to last. In our society, we’ve become conditioned to look for the catch in the contract or the anvil that’s sure to drop on our head. We live with the certainty that “the other shoe is going to drop.” For some reason, we refuse to believe that happiness is anything but fleeting. The problem is that when you continue to behave as if something horrible is around the next corner, it usually is. We find it because we’re searching for it.

Challenge yourself. Live in the moment. Enjoy your current happiness. Refuse to anticipate problems. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t borrow trouble.” This is good advice. Waiting for that next catastrophe leeches the joy from the present. We all deserve to be happy, and it’s not a crime to enjoy that happiness.

Paralyzing Fear # 4: I’m a fraud, and sooner or later everyone will figure it out. Most writers have deep-seated insecurities that were no good at what we do. We’re convinced that any success we’ve had is nothing more than a fluke. We think it’s sheer dumb luck that we’ve gotten as far as we have.

What about the people who have complimented your writing? Bought your book? Written good reviews about your book? Do you think they’re all idiots? I didn’t think so. The next time someone compliments your work, write it down, save the critique or the email and read it the next time you start having those horrible, debilitating thoughts about yourself. We all need positive reinforcement. There’s nothing wrong with reminding yourself that you are a good writer with valuable skills.

Paralyzing Fear # 5: Nothing I do matters. We become so mired in the everyday insanity of trying to combine our writing with the day job, the laundry, the dishes, the carpools, etc. that we feel like our prose isn’t important enough to spend time on – that we’re not important enough to spend time on.

We need to remind ourselves that our writing has significant value. If we refuse to recognize this truth, we’re going to have a horrible time getting other people to recognize it, too.
Take a step back and look at your writing life. Look at the big picture. Does writing make you happy? If the answer is yes, then give it the attention it deserves. Make time for it. Make time for yourself.

The things we do and say and think matter. They matter a lot. Focus on banishing these fears and give your writing the best you have to offer. By doing this, you’ll find you’ll have the satisfying writing life you’ve always wanted.

By: Bronwyn Green

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September Author - Simone Anderson

I'd like to thank Simone Anderson for joining us for the author spotlight today.

Where are you from?
I live in West Michigan and even grew up here, but I came back via the Air Force. I’m a wanderer by nature.

Tell us your latest news?
My second book, Knight of Pleasure is the first in a new series – Smuggler’s Cove and will be released from Total-e-Bound on March 15th

When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. I write because the characters refuse to leave me alone until I tell their story. And as soon as one group leaves, more take their place. Eh, what else can you do?

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, it’s always been there. Though it occasionally took a back seat to more exciting occupations like spy, pilot, and figure skater.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always been a writer, but I think I seriously took it heart when I went looking for a critique group while I stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first ever book – I don’t remember – characters that wouldn’t shut up probably. My first erotic romance – I’d read a few and I wanted to see if I could do it, try and improve the sex scenes in a fantasy romance novel I was working on.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, it’s the Simone Anderson method of writing that will most likely cause your writing and composition teachers to curl up in a fetal position and cover their heads or at the very least run screaming from the room. But hey, it works for me. Most of the time. Bloody muse and her fairy harem.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Making sure the right balance of everything is achieved between the characters themselves, but also between the characters and the reader. Finding the right amount of backstory and information to add to the book, generally I know more than what I tell, so I have find the right balance of information and then keep track of all of the rest just in case I use it again.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Escapism. Oh, and that love is always possible. But that’s it. I write in order for entertainment, for people to escape into a world where good always wins in the end.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Specifically, that’s a hard one because everything influences me either good or bad.
I read The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott for grounding,

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Brynn Paulin. But really every writer and story teller that came before me both influences me and has made it possible for me to tell the stories that I do.

What book are you reading now?
I usually have two or three books going at any given time – right now I’m reading Ask The Man That Owns Him by david stein and David Schachter, Hidden Battles On Unseen Fronts by Patricia Driscoll and Celia Straus, Big Medicine From Six Nations by Ted Williams, and The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Favorite? As is in one? Seriously? So not happening. I have a lot of favourite authors – Christine Feehan, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Carol Lynne, JRR Tolkein, Shakespeare, JK Rowling – generally what dictates who becomes a favourite author is – can and do I get lost in their story? Have they created an unbelievably realistic world? Are the heroines kick-ass and mistresses of their fate or do they simply wait to be rescued by some hot hunk? In the case of m/m – are both/all the men in the relationship strong and true to their beliefs while falling in love.

What is your current project?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on Knight of Pleasure, the first Smuggler’s Cove Book

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Knight of Pleasure introduces us to Smuggler’s Cove a microbrewery and restaurant. Ethan is one of the owners of Smuggler’s Cove and is involved in sword fighting and renaissance faires on his off time. It is at one of these faires that he meets Dean, an injured Marine, who at first scoffs at the men playing at being a knight. What follows is an emotionally charged story of trust and learning that love means taking the good with the bad.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Which one? Generally the hardest part of writing a book is making sure it’s believable and consistent throughout the story or series. Other than those details, digging into the soul of a character as they reveal their story which will tug at your heart strings.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot. Write every day. Be consistent with your backstory.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. I love hearing from readers. I hope you enjoy reading my books as I have writing them and that they provide a measure of escape and hope for you.

Thanks Simone!

Friday, September 4, 2009


GRRWG Members: Don't forget that we'll be having a special election for vice president at our September meeting. If you need an absentee ballot, please contact Patty. Paper ballots will be available at the meeting.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September Meeting

Join us on September 12 when we'll have USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Armintrout speaking to us regarding Character Arcs. The meeting will be held at the Grandvilla Restaurant in Grandville, MI at 11:30 AM.

Jennifer Armintrout was born in 1980. Her debut novel, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning made the USA Today Bestsellers list in 2006. She lives in a small, rural community in Michigan with her husband and children.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Releases from GRRWG Members


Simone Anderson will have Finding Love released on September 7. This book will be available at Total-e-bound Books. Congrats to Simone on her very first book!

BLURB: When Chicago special response team member, Nick Jackson learns that his submissive ex-boyfriend is missing, fear sends him racing home, and re-ignites feelings for the man he never got out of his heart. Trying to save the life of the man he loves, Tristan McTavish leaves Harbour Springs, only to wake up in a hospital with Nick standing guard and no memory of how he got there. As the pair race to find out who is terrorizing Tristan and why, they are forced to confront their fears and feelings and learn that they have found love with each other.


Cindy Spencer Pape will have Marry Me, Marietta released on September 8. This book will be available at Ellora's Cave. This is a very special book dedicated to the memory of Lara Punches, a young woman who lost her life in a tragic fire last February. Proceeds are being donated to the Punches family.

BLURB: Marietta James is a proper Victorian widow—until the night fate throws her together with handsome doctor Adam Hamilton. Adam has tried to ignore his desire for his voluptuous neighbor, but when the two of them are alone together, the passion burns out of their control. Now Adam is determined that their relationship continue while Marietta wants to forget their night of passion ever happened. It will take all his powers of seduction and persuasion to get her back in his bed—and into his life for good.


Brynn Paulin will have Single White Knight released on September 14. This book will be available at Total-e-bound Books. This book is a time travel taking place in Grand Rapids, MI.

BLURB: Vilified, disgraced and disowned, Sir Alwyn the Black, flees his village and certain death, vowing to make a new life. He’ll forget his lover Tobias and forget his sexual desires as he makes a new life far away from his ancestral home. Little does he know, fate has destined it will be far different than he’s ever imagined.

Adjunct Professor Toby Woods never suspected his study of medieval history would come to life, but he can’t overlook the very medieval knight who appears before him, claiming to be his long lost lover. Firmly in the closet and in danger of losing his position if his conservative university discovers his leanings, he’s horrified by his instant attraction.

Fate has reunited them, but it will take love to bind them together while they face the opposition that hasn’t changed in eight hundred years.


Cindy Spencer Pape will have a book signing Saturday, September 19 from 12-2 pm at Lizz's Books, located at 14280 N. Fenton Rd., Fenton, MI 48430 (Phone: 810-629-0050)


On September 29th, Jennifer Armintrout's long-awaited book, Queene of Light, the first in the Lightworld/Darkworld series will be available. This book can be found at a book store near you and on Amazon!

BLURB: In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder creatures of myth and fairytale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.

But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.

Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin....

Ayla, a half-faery, half-human assassin is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.


Tanya Eby, author of "Easy Does It", and Sound Post Studios is producing 12 radio plays, which are broadcast on publicrealityradio.com 1680 AM. These are fully produced recordings with a full cast of actors, lush sound effects, and music. The radio plays include "Hot Summer Cool Breeze" (in the tradition of "Picnic" and "Splendor in the Grass"), "The Adventures of Rex Alter: Space Explorer and Ladies' Man" (sci-fi), "Pierced Hearts" (a medical melodrama), and "Boy Models: I want the Dream!" (a comedy in which two young men move to the Big City to become models). You can also find the plays on her website www.heyblunderwoman.com or on iTunes podcasts.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spotlight Blog Posts of the Month - August

Having trouble with your creativity being squelched? Check Out Cheryl Sterling's Post on Killing Creativity Killers.

Do you ever wonder if there are inside jokes in books? Check out Cindy Spencer Pape's blog on In-Jokes.

And my favorite for the month, Creative Hodgepodge's post about her dad and his collection. Please read it here if you haven't already.

And for a laugh... Six Degrees of Separation, Bronwyn Green Style.

Keep blogging!!! Your post might be here next month! And, please, stop by these blogs and leave a friendly comment.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Recipe: Constructive Criticism Carrot Cake


  • 1 pkg pudding type carrot cake dry mix
  • 1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping such as Cool Whip
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 box fat free sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix, 4 serving size


1. Mix cake mix with pumpkin and 2 egg whites. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
2. Bake per pkg directions. Cool completely.
3. Mix container of whipped topping with dry pudding mix. Frost cake and eat!

This recipe and many more available in the original Dinner on a Deadline Cookbook.

Combating the Chapter Four to Six Slump

The four to six slump is not the sagging middle – unless you count your sagging spirits. You’ve started your novel great guns and now you’re wondering if you’ll ever finish. Maybe you’re even muttering, “This is a dumb book. I should stop writing it now.”

After speaking to many other writers, I’ve discovered that this phenomenon happens to most authors between chapter four to six. It’s the place where many new writers quit. Right around there, the glow of discovery of a new idea starts to wear off a bit. The author starts to think, “What on earth am I doing? Will anyone even want to read this? This isn’t any good. I have no idea where to go from here.”

Are these familiar questions/statements? Are you nodding?

Let me assure you and answer the subconscious questions you might have.

1. What are you doing? You are writing a book. A story.
2. Will anyone want to read it? People will certainly want to read it, but for now, write the story for yourself.
3. What if it isn’t any good? It doesn’t matter if it’s any good right now. This is the first draft, often called the rough draft. It’s called rough for a reason. In the first draft, the point is to get out the story. It is not important to achieve writing perfection.
4. Where do I go from here? Keep writing, even if it’s a struggle, and you will discover where to go. Plot will happen, but only if you write.

It all seems so simple. Perhaps, I should end the article here. But how do you combat “The Slump?”

1. Knowledge. I have found that just knowing that the slump might occur about chapter four helps me to get through it. As they say, knowledge is power. If you know this is coming, you can expect it and work through it. For my first manuscripts, I struggled past this point, and I hope if the same happens to you, that you are like me and you refuse to give up.

2. Support. Surround yourself with other writers. It helps to know you’re not the only one experiencing this. Sometimes just surrounding yourself with similar creative energy will reignite the flame.

3. Plan. Some of you might cringe at this, but having some sort of an outline or plot will help to carry you through this point.

4. Guts it out. Chris Beaty says in his book, No Plot, No Problem, to just keep writing. The plot will happen. It’s true. Eventually, your characters will tire of twirling in circles and they’ll actually do something – usually something completely unexpected and then you will be off writing great guns again.

5. Give yourself permission to write badly. This is the most powerful defense you can enact. Merely, telling yourself you can write badly will get you going again. And keep you going. Write now, fix later.

6. If all else fails, give yourself a break. One day. One day only. Take time and explore other creative activities. Give yourself twenty-four hours and then after that get back to work.

Don’t let the four to six defeat you. Finishing your story will give you a sense of empowerment that you cannot replace. Once you have finished a novel, you will feel that you can do anything...including completing book two.

Happy writing – don’t give up!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 2009 Meeting

July's GRRWG meeting will be held on Saturday the 11th.

On tap: A round table discussion on what makes your life easier as a writer. Please limit your comments on children and duct tape. Instead, spill your secrets on what keeps you on track. Is it a personal blend of music? A hot bubble bath? Chocolate? (that's a given) Do you keep a spreadsheet on what manuscript is at what agent? (I do) What reference book or website is invaluable? Now is the time to share and learn.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book Review-Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes by Dixie Cash

Since we’re always looking for new authors to read, here’s a humorous change of pace.

This year for Christmas, my dear daughter got me a box of books. Nestled in it was “Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes” by Dixie Cash. Chel said she couldn’t resist the title since it was so me (wonder what she meant by that?). Anyway, I started reading it over the weekend and couldn’t put it down. I have to say, if any of you can find it – or any of the Dixie
Cash books check them out. I used part of my Christmas gift card from Barnes and Noble to order the rest of them.

The stories are about two best friends in Salt Lick, TX. Former rodeo barrel champion Debbie-Sue Overstreet and her best friend Edwina Perkins-Martin are co-owners of the Styling Station Beauty Salon AND the Domestic Equalizers Detective Agency. Can you just imagine that combination? The situations they get into are hysterical. The stories and language are as
pure South as Charlaine Harris’ Sookie stories, but there’s no vampires involved. Just lots of crazy humor, zany antics, some hunky cops and Texas Rangers, and a dollop of murder and

Dixie Cash is actual a writing team of Pam Cumby and her sister, Jeffery McClanahan, who both were born and raised in Texas and now live in the Fort Worth/Dallas area.

Pam has this to say about their background: “We were both born and raised in West Texas. I’ve never lived anywhere but Texas and I don’t want to live anywhere else. I love it to the point of being corny. In reality, it’s no better than anyone else’s place of birth, but it’s just mine.

Jeff was born in Texas, but spent years of her adult life living in foreign countries like California and Oregon and Idaho. But do I need to point out that after all that tomfoolery, she’s back in

The sisters are a hoot. I think you might enjoy getting to know them, too. The titles of their other books sound like Country Western song titles (no offense intended, I’m a CW music fan). Here they are:

I Gave You My Heart, But You Sold It Online
My Heart May Be Broken, But My Hair Still Looks Great
(and my favorite)
Since You’re Leaving Anyway, Take Out the Trash -

- Reviewed by Marti Ocilka

Friday, February 6, 2009

Meeting - Feb. 14, 2009

Join us for a little death by chocolate at our February GRRWG meeting on Saturday, Feb. 14th at the GrandVilla restaurant.

Dr. Stephen Cohle will be our guest speaker. He is the chief medical examiner for Kent County and will chill us with stories from the morgue. Coincidentally, that's the name of one of his books -
Skeletons in the Closet, Stories from the County Morgue, ISBN 1591026032, as well as Cause of Death:Forensic Files of a Medical Examiner, ISBN 1591024471.

After Dr. Cohle's presentation, we'll open the floor for questions before proceeding to our business meeting. Dr. Cohle will be happy to sign your books, but will not have any for

As usual, we'll meet at 3594 Chicago Dr, Grandville, MI 49418 (616-538-1360) at 11:30. Chocolates will be provided for all attendees, including guests.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Note from the Newsletter Editor

The January/February issue of the Ink and Quill, the official newsletter for GRRWG, contains articles on dealing with rejection, naming traditions, ROAR Into Writing, a review of the last writer’s retreat and a chance to meet the board. Look for a new feature in up coming issues. The Ink and Quill mixes regular features with a mixture of additions. If you have an article you’d like to submit or advertise with us, drop us a line. ~~Juli

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hey, welcome to our new blog. There will be information here soon about the Grand Rapids Region Writing Group. I Promise! In the meanwhile, check out our side bars and visit some of our blogs or websites.