Archive for June, 2015

Black and whiteGet along little…? Can you fill in the blank correctly?

Call it a pet peeve. Call it overly sensitive. Call it OCD. Call it anything you like, but twice in a week I’ve seen this quoted, or something similar, and both times the above line has been finished with “doggie.”


Most people quote it as yippee ki yi yay, get along little doggie, which is doubly incorrect.

The original lyrics were:

Whoppee ti yi yo, get along little dogie.

Now, I realize spell check probably doesn’t like this word, and it is from a different era, out on the range. But dogie is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

A doggie is a creature of the canine variety.

The lyrics to this cowboy ballad were first published in John Lomax’s  Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads. It has been performed by many different people and groups including: Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Charlie Daniel, The Kingston Trio, and Sons of the Pioneers.

So, unless you’re herding dogs, the word to use here is dogie.

I smell lunch cooking, so this little dogie is gonna go eat.

Get along little dogies! Talk to you later.

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Mel and Gambler's FollyAll right, out here in the country, with chickens and gardens, you can’t be lazy. Sometimes my mind is a little hazy, mainly from lack of sleep.  But it certainly is crazy around here!

With everything summer brings, it can be a little difficult to get the writing done on that next novel. But I have a new one in queue with my editor, so stay tuned!

So many people ask why I need an editor. It’s a good question. The idea was mine; the writing is mine; it’s my story.

And therein lies the problem.

It is my baby. I gave it life, but it has a few issues I can’t see because I’m too close to it. When I read through it, I know all the back story–those bits which came before the story. I gloss over mistakes because I see what should be on the page sometimes, instead of what is.

I don’t notice that I’m using the same descriptors repeatedly, or using a particular filler word in every paragraph.

My editor does.

When I get the manuscript back, dripping red ink, there are notes like, Where the heck did this come from? It is from that information I know about the characters and their backgrounds which hasn’t been passed along to you, dear reader.


Or if, in a phone conversation, she says, “If he chuckles one more time, I’m gonna hit something,” I’ll realize my character sounds more like a lunatic than a hero. (She says chuckling to herself…)

She’ll notice if my writing has become wooden in areas instead of lyric. Am I telling you too much instead of letting you see it for yourself?

They may sound like little things, but a good editor can take that diamond, which you’ve painstakingly cut from the surrounding stone, and shape its facets to bring out its true beauty.

She may let you do the final polish…

If you’re thinking of hiring an editor, talk to them first and find out what they charge for the different types of editing services they provide.

Will they give you an estimate if you send them a sample?

Do they give new clients a price break?

What other questions do you have about editing or the editing process?

What other services do they provide?

The lady who puts the final seal on my work is RuleBreaker Editing. She does a fantastic job. My books wouldn’t be what they are without her critical eye.

Once you’ve hired an editor, grow some thick skin. The first time you see one of your babies edited can be intimidating, even heart wrenching.

It’s all right. It isn’t personal. They want your manuscript to be the very best it can be. Think about labor pains. They are certainly not pleasant, but they are necessary if you want that baby to be born.

So if you’re writing a book, college paper, or even an important letter and want to make sure it is at its best before you send it on its way, consider hiring an editor.

You’ll love the result.

In the meantime, it’s time to gather eggs!

Jareth Cover art finalEsperance2_web








Cancer and War.Way



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Black and whiteYes, Jareth, First Lord is once again available for Kindle. With a little luck, Viviane, First Lady will also be available this month.

Of course, both are still available in print, also.

Fantasy Romance–A powerful psychic clan ruler and the fiery-tempered lady who has stolen his heart are at the heart of the Esperance Series.

Jareth bookmarkJareth First Lord–After losing his wife and firstborn, Jareth feels he will never love again. But it is love at first sight when he meets Viviane. Can he win her heart before their clans go to war?


Amazon… http://amzn.com/0989678644

Viviane BookmarkViviane First Lady–Struggling with new psychic talents which have suddenly emerged, Viviane and Jareth will still be required at her brother’s trial for treason. Though her days are frustrating, her nights are filled with pleasure as she and Jareth explore intimacies possible only to those with talents.


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Black and whiteWhy must we be judgmental?

Every day on one social media site or the other, someone has posted something against eBooks, as if eBooks aren’t as good as print books, or that people who read eBooks aren’t really readers.

But what is the importance of a book? Is it how many of them you have on the shelf, or that you love to turn the pages and  smell the fresh ink or the decades of old dust?

Or is the importance the information or the story?

I am old-fashioned, I know. I love the feel of a book in my hands, as I turn the pages to reveal the unfolding plot of a good mystery. I seldom buy a print book that I don’t keep. Some of the books on my shelves I’ve had for 20+ years.

But when I travel, my e-Reader goes with me.

Why? So I can take my collection of favorites or new books I might want to read. How many books can I afford to take on a plane these days? And how long will one or two books last on a month-long trip to Europe or the Middle East?

To me, the importance of books and reading is the information or entertainment contained within, not what form it takes. As a writer, I’m more interested in whether people buy what I write, not which version they buy.

Who knows? Maybe they bought the eBook because they’ve never read my work before. The eBook is cheaper, so they won’t feel cheated if they decide my writing is not for them. And that’s fine. I would rather they buy the eBook and at least sample what I have to offer. Maybe next time they’ll buy the print version.

Don’t knock eBooks simply because you will never read one. Don’t belittle people who choose to buy them. You have no idea why they’ve made the choice.

As long as someone is reading, it’s all good. Scrolls, print, eBooks, they have all been used to impart information or entertain us with good stories. Let’s not quibble over form.

Happy reading everyone!




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CommercialWhich do you prefer?

I love the feel of a good book, the hard cover, crisp new pages, that fresh smell of ink on paper. Or in the case of older books, there is the subtle yellowing of the pages, the musty, dusty smell from years of accumulated dust and wear.

There is something about a print book that beckons to you from the shelf as your eyes move across the rows and rows of titles, searching for that one book you must have for your evening’s entertainment.

Sometimes you’re looking for an old friend, something comfortable with no surprises. You’ve been here before and enjoyed the journey.

Other times you hope for excitement, romance, a little mystery. Maybe there’s a new world out there to visit, or a hidden corner on this one with a delectable little tale to tell.

But what about eBooks?

They have their advantages. If you travel for a living, or if your headed out for a couple of weeks, it can be difficult to carry the books you hope to read. In some places, it can be difficult to find books written in your language. If you don’t read the language of the region, you may be short of reading material.

My husband travels for work and is a voracious reader. He would need at least one extra checked bag just for books–which would get expensive.

His e-Reader is a lifesaver! He can take a whole library with him and pick and choose what he wants to read, from old favorites to new acquaintances. He isn’t destined to reread those same three books he’s been reading for the past month.

All of his favorite authors are represented, in all their genres.

When I travel with him, we each have our favorites and our to-reads with us, so we’re never without something to read. I can read at the airport while waiting to depart, read on the plane, and have something new to read around the pool when I arrive at the hotel.

Do I like eBooks? The stories are the same, no matter the format. I love being able to bring a wide assortment of books with me when I travel.

Do I prefer eBooks? No. They like the intimacy of the print books for me. There are no book covers begging to be caressed as I read. There is no scent adding to the experience of text on paper. There are no little identifying marks from where someone dripped coffee on the page while reading at the breakfast table.

Nowhere are there bite marks from the cat seeking attention, or wisps of fur between the pages from a friend who passed long ago.

Are print books a thing of the past? I hope not.

Do I offer my books in e-Format?


There are too many reasons why people use eBooks in this day and age not to do so. Limiting your readers to a choice of either one or the other cuts you out of a good portion of the market.

Jareth, First Lord is now available for Kindle at Amazon. Watch for Viviane, First Lady for Kindle later this week.

Both are currently available in paperback as well.

What’s next? Keep your eyes open for Mistaken Identity, a romantic intrigue set in a distant star system on the verge of war.

After Mistaken Identity watch for Master of the Fleet, an alternate timeline of America, where elemental magic rules the world.


Viviane BookmarkJareth bookmark

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