Monday, December 23, 2013

New finds, old treasures, and a new start

   Since Katrina blew us off the map, Christmas has been snowy and cold and lonesome. I was used to friends dropping in and weekend bar-b-ques that ended in bon fires and cookies swaps and there was none of that. I can talk to anyone, I credit the military child syndrome for that...the looks I got for saying hello and asking how their day was in Hillman and Alpena...well...cold would be an apt description. This year is a bit of a change for the hubs- he's from Michigan, but even he is having fun texting a friend to give him a weather update.
   Our granddaughters helped unload the truck and had a grand old time making fun of all the boxes that said "Christmas" and yeah, that stack was pretty high. As I went through the boxes I found decorations from when I was in student housing a few years ago-I found a bin with old decorations the kids had made at school, some I hadn't seen in years.
    We've discovered a few things that got left, like the cow bell that hangs on the door- the dogs go and ring them when they need out...they are all confused as all get out and we keep forgetting to get more, its now on a list for Monday. I discovered something out back that next year will help to resurrect a childhood tradition, Ed said I looked like a kid in a candy store.
   The new house is coming along, there's projects as with anything- the goal is to just be in it for a few months before we make any changes and see how it really works for us. I did gain an office- which right now my cats have decided the desk makes a grand nap spot- go figure. The little town we left 10 yrs ago has grown in leaps and bounds and I spent a great deal of time asking " where did that come from?"
   This year we'll have grandchildren in the house for the holiday, we're making up for lost time- passing on traditions and beginning a new chapter. Through all of this I came up with an idea for a new story...after the new year. So to all of y'all, in the cold and yuk- I wish you a Merry Holiday and much writing- as I sit on the porch and write and look at my Spanish moss draped trees in the sunshine of my yard, I'll be thinking of y'all.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"The Christmas Grab Bag Game!"

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m Lisa Orchard the author of the bestselling Super Spies series and it’s my turn to be a guest at the GGRWG Blog today. I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. Shopping for presents for my family, making Christmas cookies, and decorating the tree are some of the highlights that come to my mind. The fact that my kids still believe in Santa is a bonus too!

On my mom’s side of the family, we get together at Christmas and it’s great to see my relatives especially the ones I don’t get to see any other time of year. We have yummy food, wine, and awesome conversation. One thing we do after everyone’s stuffed is a gift exchange. We call it The Grab Bag.

We separate the gifts into two categories, male and female. Then we draw numbers and when your number is up, you can select a gift from one of the categories. Where this gets interesting is when it’s your turn, you can select an unwrapped gift or steal a gift from someone who has already opened one. J

Over the years, we’ve had to set some rules. For example, a gift can only be stolen three times. Once it’s with its third owner, that’s it. No more stealing. I’m sure you can understand why this rule developed. We had one party that went into the wee hours of the morning because; well I’m sure you get the picture.

Anyway, this year I was having a hard time trying to come up with a gift for this party. I ended up shopping at the last minute because I ran out of time. I couldn’t come up with an original gift. We’ve been doing this for years and I wanted to get something that hasn’t been given before. Anyway, I settled on a very pretty picture frame that when you filled it turned into a collage of different photos. I loved it, but I wasn’t sure anyone else would.

The person who got the frame loved it, but I felt it wasn’t very personal. After the party, I got a great idea for next year. I’m going to give either a bunch of books, everyone in my family loves to read, or a gift card to either Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I think it’ll be a gift card so whoever gets it can pick out the books they want to read. I love giving books at Christmas time! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that before the party. My bad!

I love finding unique gems to read. I’m sure you do too, a book that touches you in some way. I’ve found such gems at this website.

The website is Clean Indie Reads and the books featured there are clean fiction. They’re not filled with bad language or questionable content. There’s something there for everyone. I have my own page too, featuring my Super Spies series. So if you’re struggling with finding the perfect Christmas Gift, think about giving some books and check out Clean Indie Reads I’m sure you’ll find something there for even the most hard to buy person on your list!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I hope you enjoy your Christmas Holiday and if you have any ideas for a unique Christmas gift please leave a comment I’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Better Writing With a Harder Job?

By W.S. Gager
I started a new job on July 1 and must admit that it is kicking my butt energy-wise but is fulfilling and I love it. It doesn’t really have anything to do with writing so I get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for about an hour and then head to work.

I have been fortunate to be able to take large chunks of time off in the last ten years with only a part-time job. Did I write more? Was my writing better? The answer is a surprising no. What I have learned is that I need to be around people in order to write. It helps me make them better characters. People help to feed my imagination.

Maybe that is why some writers go to coffee shops and write. It gives them that feeling of being around people but not the time spent interacting with them. While my new job is demanding, my writing has never been better. I have two projects going simultaneously, which I’ve never done before. I may not be writing faster, but I’m writing on a schedule and happy with the way both projects are going. They are very different and challenging. One is a non-fiction project that is collaboration. Another thing I’ve never done before. The other is a new series of books that have been in me for several years, I just couldn’t get them to come out until now. 

Why do you care what works for me? You don’t. The key is to find out what works for you and get your butt in the chair on a regular basis. That is what the big time authors say when interviewed. They have a time for writing and do it every day. I’m living that. It is only an hour and in the pre-dawn but I can get a lot done. I’m also not allowed internet during that time which helps as well. Find out what works for you and then work your system. If you can take a minute from your writing, tell us about your system, so it might work for someone else. Gotta go, my hour is ticking!

W.S. Gager Bio

Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS is the latest in the Mitch series.
This post sponsored by: A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS
Mitch finally scores a weekend dinner with a cute receptionist, but true to his reporter instincts an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive.  When he investigates, he learns his date is the only casualty in a botched robbery at a real estate office. When femme fatale Patrenka Petersen returns, Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date and her work aren’t what they seem. His world continues to twist when the police captain asks for his help and a city hall informant is found floating in the river. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.  
Buy it here...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Things I have discovered...

Over the last few weeks, packing has taken up a huge part of my life...I found out packing paper- is 20.00 a box, end rolls of newsprint are 3.00 and have as much if not more.
   *Calendars make a great way to keep track of stuff from the year-I found some old ones in the bottom of a box. How old? Gas was 1.98 for mid-grade. There's also a record of what I paid for the moving truck for that move, what costume I made for which grand darlin and some odds and ends.
   *Recipes pulled from the coat hangers.
   * Re-discovering Joe's old toys led to an internet search and an investment in some that are still in the package for the oldest two grands. I see pog tournaments with Uncle Joe in their future.
   *Stepping on a Lego hurts more when you're older.
   *This house is more of a dust magnet than I thought it was.
   * Do not leave old pictures sitting around unless you want to explain the shenanigans going on to your kid.
   *The best dialogue always comes when I am in a dark deer blind...always.
   *Query letters for Bus 47 have become the bane of my existence- I am now on number 73, however the wadded up attempts keep the cats busy and make for good fire starters.
   *After the computer ate a good portion of my current wip-I'm finding it hard to be as enthusiastic about it as I was before.
    * I found my certificates from when I carried the Olympic Torch (yes still have the torch- Coke bought it for me.)
    * The holidays are better when Ed (aka- the hubs) is not deployed and most of the kids are near.
    * I'll need a bucket loader to pick up the box of cookbooks.
    * It doesn't matter what is in my hands- if I'm coming out of the kitchen, at least one dog will try to trip me.
    * It does me no good to do an outline for a story- by the end of the first chapter-I've run off in another direction.
    * My grandma used her hand to measure everything in her recipes, with her 12 kids, and all that they created- only my cousin Kelli Jo, me and my youngest son can use the same method and have the recipes turn out right.
    * Venison left overs can be used on a pizza and it is good.

The gov't shut down delayed us in closing, we should be able to do this the last week of this month, so for now I'm cussing the weather men, and coddling the pooch- thanks to all who sent our fur baby well wishes, we appreciated it. Emergency surgery is no fun for man or beast.

**Update on 11/24ish**
We have the final approval on the loan & a closing date- Dec. 3rd.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Holiday Dessert!

Hello everyone, I'm Lisa Orchard, the best selling author of The Super Spies Mystery/Thriller Series and I'm back today sharing one of my most favorite recipes. If you're a chocolate lover like me, you'll love this dish. The recipe is below and it's a great one for the holidays! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Lorna Doone Dessert

1 package Lorna Doone cookies crushed
Add melted butter to cookies (this is the crust so add as much butter as you prefer; about ¼ to ½ of a stick)

1 7 oz Chocolate chips

2T Sugar

2-1/2 T water

4 egg yolks

1 teas. Vanilla

4 egg whites

Crush Lorna Doone cookies and add melted butter for the crust. Put crust in 10” baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until crust starts to brown. Combine chocolate chips, sugar, and water in double boiler until blended. Remove from fire and add egg yolks, beat after each one. Add vanilla. Chill for a short time maybe 10 to 15 minutes or until the pan is cool to the touch on the bottom.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into chocolate mixture. Spread over cooled cookie crust and top with whipped cream.

**I usually double this and put it in a 9x13 dish.

Since I’m a chocolate lover (more of a chocolate addict!) this dessert is now a tradition at our family holidays. The combination of the chocolate with the whipped cream is “to die for.” I love taking it to functions because it’s always a hit, and people think you’re an awesome baker. Little do they know this is the only dessert I can make! Well, at least the only one I want to make. Some people have raised concerns about the raw eggs in this, but when you add the yolk to the hot chocolate, it actually cooks them. So, no worries! I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as my family and friends have. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I'll respond.

Also, if you're looking for the perfect gift for your tweens/teens, why not a book? Check out the Super Spies series. All three books are available in paperback. They make great stocking stuffers! The covers and blurbs are below.

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…


This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when their missing parents’ cell phone is traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah finds out he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can the Super Spies stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

GRRWG's Members-Only Writer's Retreat

by Andrea Dickinson

This weekend was GRRWG's Members-Only Writer's Retreat weekend at the Gerber Guest House in Fremont, MI. It's been a number of years since the group has been up there, and the nine of us who stayed through the weekend all remarked it was so good to be back there. One first time retreater remarked, "When I heard you were planning to go sit in a guest house and write, I just thought I could do that at home. But this has been waaaay better than that!"

Yes! The writer's retreat IS way better than sitting at home writing in solitude. Some writers are introverts and can spend days and weeks in front of their computers without in-person interactions. Then there are other writers, like myself, who are extroverts. We gather energy and inspiration by surrounding ourselves with other like-minded individuals...and good food.

So, let's talk food first! Friday is traditionally pizza night from Spanky's. The crowd agreed that it was as good as they all remembered. Saturday is Chinese night with an extra dish of Thai ordered. The lesson learned this year is that the mild is actually quite spicy!
Of course, along with eating, there was plenty of time for socializing. In fact, the socializing often went into the wee hours of the morning. Remember that extra hour of sleep we all got Saturday night from turning back our clocks? Well, some of us talked through that extra hour of sleep. Silly, writers! But, boy! We looked great in our pajamas!

Okay, okay, I know what you are wondering...did any work get done? And the answer is a resounding YES! Several writers reported fabulous word counts, and one writer broke through her writer's block, finally getting to the revisions she had been putting off for over 6 months...ahem, but I won't mention myself by name here.

Caution: Writers at Work

So the next time you hear there's going to be a GRRWG members-only Writer's Retreat, make sure you are a member and come join us at the Guest House!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas Wishes

by Patricia Kiyono
No, I'm not trying to rush the holiday. But it is Christmas book release time, and my brand new holiday novel, Christmas Wishes, is due to release any day, so I thought I'd use my GRRWG Blog Day to tell you about it.  Don't you love the beautiful cover? The talented Elaina Lee (many of us met her at last year's GRRWG Writer's Conference) outdid herself once again.
In my previous life as an elementary music teacher, I had plenty of experiences directing children in programs. And then when I had my own kids, I put in time at their Sunday School by directing the Christmas program as well as a spring musical. So writing about Sophie Gardner's experiences in Christmas Wishes was no problem at all!
Here's the blurb for Christmas Wishes:

Mitch Carson is tired of the big city. In his former life, he'd been a news photographer in Chicago, where the dangers are endless. But now, he just wants to settle down in this quiet town with his daughter, Angie. Here, his only fear is losing his daughter to his scheming mother-in-law.
Sophie Gardner wants to be a screenwriter. She's ready to leave small town Zutphen, Michigan and go to Hollywood. With a theater degree under her belt, she's busy writing scripts while helping out her sister Joanie, who's bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Unfortunately, Joanie has somehow coerced Sophie into directing the Christmas pageant at Zutphen Community Church.
When Sophie and Mitch meet, the attraction is instant and mutual. But each wants what the other is trying to get away from. Can they deny their feelings and pursue their dreams? Or will the holiday prove to them that their true wishes might not be what they'd thought?

Look for Christmas Wishes beginning November 5 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other ebook outlets!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

21 Ways

This came up on BookBaby, so I thought I'd share, maybe it can help some of our newer members or even some of us older ones.
"21 Ways Readers Will Discover Your Author Website1. Search on Google, Bing, etc. Someone types in your name, pen-name, book title, or a keyword phrase into a search engine and your website shows up in the search results. Click! Bam.
2. You announce your website’s URL at readings, signings, panel discussions, etc. And it’s a memorable URL, right? (Preferably “”)
3. Real-world conversations. At the library at a bookstore, on an airplane, you tell someone you’re a writer. They ask where they can read your books. You say “check out my website at… ”
4. Business cards — simple, simple.
5. Your URL is included on your printed book (jacket or interior) — simple, simple.
6. Your URL is listed on posters and other printed material announcing a reading or other event — simple, simple.
7. Your website content gets shared on Twitter, Facebook, other blogs, etc.
8. You link to your website from your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.)
9. The signature of your email has a link to your website.
10. The footer of your email newsletter (and lots of the content within the email) leads to your website.
11. Link exchanges, blogs swaps, oh my! Do a guest-post for another author’s blog or literary-interest site. Link back to your site in the article. Voila!
12. Your URL is displayed on all your promo materials: press release, one-sheet, and press kit.
13. Your website URL is written right at the top of your YouTube video descriptions. (What kind of author videos? Well, book trailers, taped readings and interviews, behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries, video poems, etc.)
14. Annotations in your YouTube videos mention your website.
15. The YouTube video itself displays your URL.
16. Your URL is mentioned in TV or radio advertising.
17. You or the show’s host mention your website in a radio or podcast interview.
18. Your website gets mentioned by a book reviewer/literary critic. This could include magazines, journals, newspapers, blogs, etc.
19. Your URL is listed on the website or catalog for a publisher, writers group, professional association, or author collective. 
20. Paid online advertising (Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.) links back to your website.
21. Sky writing, Telepathy, Hypnotism, Prophecy — because you’ve got to cover every angle, right?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hmmm. Peter Pan I presume?

      It happened again....the coffee cup hit the table as I asked the computer, "Are you outta your pea-pickin mind? You can't do've gone nuts!" Followed by muttering and then, "Oh don't you start with me...I said no." Shadieux, one of my dog herd, looked at me with eyebrow Olympic warm-ups in gear- you know, first one goes up until her head is mired in wrinkles, and then the other one. My husband wandered out and looked all around trying to decide who I was speaking to and looking as confused as the dog. The son strolled through, sized up the situation and removed the cup, it reappeared- freshly filled as he commented,
"You brought them in, you can erase them too?" Now the hubs looked really confused, he's figured out the kid is in the loop when he followed with "which one is it?"  And knew which story it was by the name of the character given. He had to explain it to his dad.
     I always say I'm not going to argue with my characters, I mean, it's just arguing with myself...right?? Yeah, I don't care if no one else can see or hear them, I can. Which is why I write their stories. I know them...I like them. Sometimes I like them more than real people. There are people who look at me funny when they ask where the stories come from and I answer, from the characters. They tell me who they are and where they've been and then its up to me to guide them on a journey someone else would want to read about.
   Over a lunch with my friend Holly, we were having a discussion over the current series when she lamented that she couldn't even manage a decent email some days and then repeated a section from Rebel Child and followed it with, "I could close me eyes and see it, smell it, it was like I was there too." She shook her head and said she couldn't do that. So it became an exercise.
     "Close your eyes, do not snore, and see a tray of cookies coming out of the oven...what do you smell?"
      "What else?"
      We went on like this for maybe five minutes until she got to the nuances of flavors in said cookies, the tell-tale smell of gas from the oven, the warm on the oven mitt releasing a bit of the odor from a scorched spot. I stopped to scribble a couple words on an envelope and she asked if it was characters
leaving me love notes. (Yeah, she's catching on.) Then she asked a question that stumped me.
"This is like being a kid and having an imaginary friend...talking to them, having tea parties and then...poof, they're gone. How do you keep that part alive?"
    In truth, she's pretty close. In reality...I have no clue- maybe writers are just part Peter Pan? We're shows when we create a character or a place in a new work, we're nosy- we want to know, what happens why not?
   I asked the current crop of characters what they thought...they're arguing over it still...I need to go ground them- it worked with the kids when they argued.

I'm Carissa Marks, mom, grandma, wife,sister,friend, pain in the neck, author of The Realm of Night Trilogy, Confessions of a Rebel Child, Beastly Beauty, and under my alter ego-Cici Adams, I wrote Samaria Blair and The Secret in the Abbey.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My writing quilt

I found this diagram in Writer's Digest. It's a witty take on the writing process. Also, it fits me since I spend more time procrastinating than writing. I showed it to my friend at work. She's an avid quilter and I joked that she should make a quilt of the diagram. To my surprise, she was eager to try it and now it's the newest addition to my office. (She got permission from the author). Whenever I get discouraged, I glance at it and I can't help but chuckle.

Here's a sample of one of the procrastination/distraction branches:

         -Water-----Here's hoping your prose is more interesting than your vices

          -Alcohol----Read biography of Hunter S. Thompson-----Proceed with caution; avoid Vegas

          -Coffee---Just know that your readers can tell when you've had more than 3 cups

Follow the green circles in the next two pics.

Follow the blue circles in the next two pics.

Quotes were intertwined for an added touch.

To read more about a writer's journey feel free to visit my blog at Lynn Doezema.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Introducing the Emblazoners!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m Lisa Orchard the bestselling author of the Super Spies series, and I’d like to introduce you to a coalition of authors who have banded together to “Emblazon Stories on the Hearts of Children.” We call ourselves the “Emblazoners” and we write for that Upper Middle Grade/ Lower Young Adult Market or succinctly put the “Tween” Market. To check out the Emblazoner Website, click this link:

I love writing for this age group and I know the other Emblazoner authors feel the same way. It’s such an exciting time full of new experiences and emotions. There’s also a lot of angst associated with these years. To alleviate some of that angst we strive to keep our stories entertaining, while at the same time teaching with them. Whether it’s a life lesson weaved through out a suspenseful mystery, or a history lesson with a time travel thread.
Many of the Emblazoner authors use humor to tell their story and this age group loves that, especially the physical humor found in many of our comedy movies today.  So if you’re looking for some great books to give to the tweens in your life. Check out the Emblazon Website, I’m sure there’s something there for even the most reluctant reader. Here’s the link:

Below is a sample of some of the books found on the site and there are many more! So check out the site, you’ll be glad you did!

 This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…


When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

amazon Cycles-cover-ebook with kindle book review

When Renee discovers that her neighbor, Dr. Dawson, has bags of his dead daughter’s frozen blood stored in his basement, she decides it’s up to her to uncover the doctor’s mysterious past. What she learns, however, is not what she expects. Now she and her friend Sam Miller are on the run, hiding from scientists who want to use what the two teenagers know to change human life forever.

The Candle Star

After a moment of high spirits—a tantrum, her mother called it—Emily is sent from the plantation to her inn-keeping uncle in Detroit. There she meets Malachi, the son of freed slaves, who challenges everything she’s grown up believing. With plenty of bumps and humor, their abrasive relationship develops into respect, then friendship. But when Emily stumbles upon two runaways hidden in her uncle’s barn, she finds that old ways die hard. And Mr. Burrows, the charming Southern slave catcher, is lodged in the hotel.

Over the sound of the snapping fire, she heard Vontu whispering, “But why do they hate her? Why did he call her ‘Death’?”
Marki held her breath and picked at the scrapes on her arms, listening to how Isbi would answer. The reply came carefully.
“She has been unfortunate throughout her life in that death seems to follow her bursts of temper. She blames herself—says she made the people die, but she’s never hurt anyone. She only throws words.”
“She made them die?”
“That’s what she believes…and so do others in The Village.”
What Marki doesn’t know is that she is one of the legendary lost Ancients, and she is the Governor of Death–and that she will take part in saving her whole world.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. There are more books available over at the Emblazon site. I'm sure you'll find something that will appeal to your tween. If you'd like to check out the books just click this link:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How do you know when it's done?

That's a question I hear a lot when teaching people to bake for the first time. Lately I've been asking myself that question.  Every time I think I have the absolute last recipe for my cookbook, I get stressed out by yet one more thing and end up coming up with some new recipe that I just "have" to included.

My alpha tester all along has been my husband. He's honest when something isn't working and doesn't oversell a recipe that is tasty but not truly outstanding. My beta testers are the crew at a local diner (Red Geranium) and they've been awesome as well.

I've got beta testers to proof out the recipes all lined up and I'm planning on getting them the recipes before the end of the month. I've refined my oldest  recipes, making sure I have the steps and methods outlined correctly. Section titles have been determine, a book title has been selected, and formatting has begun.

So, how do you know when your book is really done? I'm not sure. I'm still new to this self-publishing business. My best guess is to set an absolute, drop dead date for getting the book formatted and ready to be proofed by an editor. Or perhaps it's the fact that I just had another cover shoot for the book - which involves a flurry of baking for models. Either way, I need to wrap up this book soon. Which means I need to quite baking for awhile and find another form of stress relief.