Archive for August, 2015

Black and whiteOK, fellow authors, give me some feedback.

You’ve finished your final draft and submitted it to your publisher. Now come the edits. Once you get to the final proof, you read through it, scrutinize it to make sure everything is good, and sign off on the final.

When your print books are released, you grab one and read through it. What? Son of a gun! You spot a mistake. How did that happen?

Does this fault lie with the editor? Or is it on your shoulders, since you signed off and accepted it as finished and complete?

My first novel, Gambler’s Folly, published through Bookstrand,  went through the process. I signed on the dotted line, and when my print books came out, I grabbed one to read.

And about two chapters in I found a mistake. It was where we had changed the wording in a particular sentence. After we’d both gone through it several times, nobody noticed that the final had the original word and the correction in the sentence.

Do I blame the editor who worked with me on the book? No. I signed off on the final proof. I admit I have trouble proofreading on the computer screen. Things always look a little different on the printed page to me.

But I was the last person to go over the proofs. I accepted what I received from the editor and called it done.

Would I work with this editor again? Absolutely! He did a fantastic job. I loved his feedback on my work.

Will I go over the finals a little more carefully next time?

I’ll do my best, but I’m as human as my editor. Every now and again, something is going to slip through the cracks.

So, what is your opinion? Do you take responsibility for the oops, or do you rant and rave at the editor who let it slide past?

I decided to own up and say, yeah, I missed that one.

What about you?

Haven’t read Gambler’s Folly?







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CommercialThis novel is the first one I ever wrote, and to tell the truth, it needed a lot of work. Which is why it has taken so long to get it ready for you, gentle readers, to see it. But I love the story, so I’ve been willing to put in the extra time to bring it to you.

A fantasy intrigue, with a little romance elbowing its way into the story, meet Krista Carlisle and Michael Romanoff, who would be perfectly suited for each other if she weren’t his prisoner…

Ready for a peek? Here’s the blurb.

Mistaken Identity

The beautiful spring day, on the world called Felicity, suddenly turn into a nightmare as Krista’s combat abilities lead her to be mistaken for something she isn’t. Now captured, transported and imprisoned on their sister world, her only thought is to escape.

Adding to his problems, Commander Michael Romanoff has to deal with this stubborn female prisoner. Worthless for bargaining, his only choice is to give her slave status, find out what abilities she has, and get her placed and out of his life.

But after three escape attempts, several guards in the infirmary with injuries, and two more in the morgue, he finds there’s more to to her than those beautiful big green eyes. With her hand-to-hand training and her upper-crust university background, she might hold the key to his other major problem.

Can he convince her to work with him, for the greater good of both their worlds, before full scale war breaks out, given their hostile relationship?



In a comfortable study on Novaya Kemlya, two men sat in serious discussion.

“Yes, Old Earth truly made a find in this system,” one man said admiringly. “Not one, but two viable worlds for the taking.”

“It wasn’t easy,” the other man answered. “Felicity had a few lower life forms, so eco-building was tricky. Here on Novaya Kemlya, we had no hindrance. It had water and the beginnings of an atmosphere, but the land was barren. With nothing to work around, our job was easier.”

“The costs must have been enormous. No wonder Earth was disinclined to grant independence to these places. How are our plans progressing here?”

“Tensions are high and have been increasing between the two worlds. I expect to hear news of a military strike against Felicity soon.”

”Here’s to the New Order,” said the first man, raising his glass.

“To the New Order. May it soon rise.”

                                                                                                                                                                          Chapter 1  

Krista’s Account

Under the pleasant warm sun, the sweet, spicy scent of spring flowers swirled through the air on gentle breezes. Krista loved this time of year. Summer would come soon, with sizzling heat to parch everyone and everything.

Finished teaching for the day, her eyes took in the history  around her: the brick streets, stone buildings with wrought iron railings, and the magnificent arches where the old gates had hung. Tall buildings laid out in gentle arcs hugged the street, lending the feeling of comfort and safety. The creamy white stone shone in the bright sunlight as if lit by an inner light. The only blight on this paradise were rumors concerning their sister world, Novaya Kemlya. Whenever tensions began to ease and trade between the two flowed well, something would come along to ruin it all. Tempers would flare over some trivial incident and once again tensions would build toward the bursting point.

Most recently, Novaya Kemlya had accused Felicity, Krista’s world, of substituting counterfeit items for sorely needed goods. Of course this was officially denied. It was only a mistake. Why would Felicity invite the repercussions an action of this kind would surely bring?

Considering the tall, sturdy gates from the past, Krista sighed and thought it was too bad there were no gates to close against enemies from across the heavens.

Though the colonists were similar when the worlds were founded, their paths had diverged through the centuries. New differences aggravated old grievances between two worlds who’d never had an easy relationship. And the further apart they grew, the greater the tensions. Felicity was considered soft, ineffectual and idealistic by its sister world, while they considered Novaya Kemlya militaristic, uncultured dirt farmers. And so the rift grew wider.

As far back as Krista could remember, there had been rumors of conflict. So many in fact that nobody took them seriously anymore. They were just rumors, again. During her entire life, nothing had ever come of any of those rumors. Well, nothing much, anyway.

Both worlds required military service for all their citizens. Krista had taken her training and done her service between secondary school and university. After graduation, she had finished her primary reserve duty and was currently on secondary reserve. This required only a three week refresher course each year.

 Few took it seriously. Felicity wasn’t a warring world. During her years in service, she’d seen a few minor skirmishes, but no major battles or campaigns. She’d received her promotions when due and would have a little retirement money when the time came.

With a degree in music education, Krista had set out to make her mark on the world. During her days at the university, she’d met Thomas. They’d married right after her graduation and had a home in the old quarter here, near the university, where she taught music. Thomas was an architectural engineer with a major firm, also here in the old quarter.

Along the way, Krista had taken a self-defense course for fun. Discovering a new love in life, she’d thrown herself into the training and eventually earned a third degree belt and teaching certificate. Besides being a great way to stay in shape, the training helped ease day to day frustrations and stress.

So what went wrong? What happened on this wonderful spring afternoon? Most likely nobody would ever know the answer, but as she crossed an intersection two blocks from her home, she heard gunfire just ahead. A riot here? Surely not!  But it was coming from the direction of her home.

Running around a bend in the street, she collided with people in a panic rushing to escape soldiers in battle gear. Hemmed in by the houses on either side, there was no place to go as they were pushed aside like so much rubbish by the troops. A few attempted resistance, but small arms fire had little effect on battle armor. They were simply neutralized and left where they fell.

Surrounded by the invaders, Krista’s only thought was to get home to Thomas. She had to make sure he was safe, but couldn’t force her way through the streets. Suddenly, a switch flipped in her mind as she brought all her training to bear against the intruders. Later, she would remember hand-to-hand fighting, the sound of joints dislocating, and bones breaking as she applied techniques learned in the safety of the training hall.

Her last view of Felicity was of the sun shining on the balcony of her home. So very close. And then the nightmare began.

I’ll post updates as they become available. In the meantime, check out my other works.




Ciao, amici miei!

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CommercialThought you’d never ask. Since I joined the Reading is Retro Summer Challenge, I’ve read 11 books, so far, not including some old favorites. You know. Those “go-to” books when you want to read, but nothing new. No surprises.

And I did promise to share in my last post.

So here goes! See something interesting? Follow the link.

  1. Skin Deep (http://amzn.com/0373470509),
  2. Snowed In (http://amzn.com/B007C1WHHO)
  3. Darkness Before the Dawn (http://amzn.com/0989678636)
  4. Suite Dreams (http://amzn.com/0061688061)
  5. Purple Death (http://amzn.com/1499131801)
  6. The Blessing Way—Tony hillerman– http://amzn.com/0061808350
  7. Beautiful, Broken Me– http://amzn.com/1514659875
  8. Book of Night With Moon– http://amzn.com/0446673021
  9. A Cat on a Winning Streak– http://amzn.com/0451180828
  10. Sanctioned Kill—CR Hiatt– http://amzn.com/0976142384
  11. Deadrise by Robert Blake Whitehill– http://amzn.com/1938701399

And of course, there are always the books in the Esperance Series: Jareth, First Lord and Viviane, First Lady.



Not to mention, Gambler’s Folly.


So, what are you reading this summer? You can comment below, or join me on Facebook!


Talk to you again soon.


Jareth Cover art finalmem-gamblersfolly1

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Black and whiteFreedomInk Publishing is once again hosting the Annual Reading is Retro Summer Challenge. What is the challenge? To read ten books during the thirteen weeks of summer.


Now, I know summer is half gone, but there is still time to get in on the challenge. There are a lot of books out there, in every genre you can think of.

Perhaps you’d like to peruse what FreedomInk has to offer.

Darkness Before the Dawn, by Dawn  Miller. One woman’s true story of abuse, neglect and rebirth.

Woman on Fire, by Trinette Collier. Life’s challenges can either refine or destroy. Read this woman’s story of rising above the trials with God’s help.

Angel Eyes, by Katandra Shanel Jackson–A collective memoir of child sexual abuse.

Jareth, First Lord, by Mellie Miller– Esperance Book 1. Fantasy romance on a distant highland world.

Viviane, First Lady, by Mellie Miller–Esperance Book 2. The story continues.

For a look at all they have to offer:


So come on in and join the fun. Reading is Retro. And reading is fun. Who say’s you have to leave the house to go on vacation? Dive into a good book and let the party begin.

What have I been reading? I’ll share that in another post.

Ciao for now!

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