Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013

Hoping for a banner year for everyone!

We chat with Trooper Jamison Maddox from 'Not a Whisper'

Today is the first in a series of interviews with some of the main characters featured in The Klondike Mystery series. The first book is "Not a Whisper" which is due out at Amazon and Smashwords soon.

Nice to meet you, Trooper Maddox. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.

No problem, ask away.

Can you tell us what it was like growing up in Warren, Pennsylvania?

Well, since it's the only place I spent any time while growing I'm not sure what to say. Typical small town, like many in the area it was originally settled by the Seneca Indians. Oil and timber were the main industries for many years. My dad was a teacher at the high school and my mom worked as a substitute elementary school teacher. Pretty much the standard.

I understand you have a younger brother? Is that your only sibling?

Yes, Ryland. He's five years younger than me and a Sergeant with the Warren City Police Department, hoping to make Detective one day.

Were you close growing up?

Unfortunately not. The age difference made it difficult, especially for me. Now that we're both adults and working in the same career we've become much closer.

Tell us about your job. I understand that it encompasses both fire and police duties?

Yes it can. I specialize in the area of fire investigation but am also called into cases in areas where there is no assigned police force.

Like Klondike and Lewis Run? They're both small towns in your coverage area, right?

Exactly. They're too small to have their own police force so we get called in to help.

So what do you like to do in your off time?

In warmer weather it's fishing, swimming and boating first, hiking second. In winter I love snowmobiling and cross country skiing.

No hunting?

Not for me, just not my thing.

Do you get a lot of snow?

Most years, yes. We get lake effect snow from Lake Erie. I've seen winters where the ground was covered until the end of March.

Have you ever considered moving out of Pennsylvania, maybe to someplace warmer? Like say, Arizona?

Not going to happen. I love my four seasons and I love the small towns. You can't beat the people that live up here, at least to my way of thinking. I'd have no problem raising kids here.

Speaking of that, we understand you have a new love interest?

Guess you'll have to read the book to get the answer to that one. [wink]

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this little chat with Trooper Jamison Maddox. Keep a watch our for our next character interview with Cherie Marshall.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays & a Freebie Gift

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. One more week and it'll be 2013. Where did the year go?

Today and tomorrow I'm offering my short story, Lost and Found, for FREE (Amazon only). I hope you'll give it a try and if you like it, check out my full length novel, Home Again, which continues the story of Sarah, Brian and Carl. [Home Again is also available on Smashwords]

Please pass this blog link on to all your family and friends that might have gotten e-readers for the holidays. Thank you and enjoy the season....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Still editing away....

Now that Home Again is live at Amazon and Smashwords, I'm spending every spare minute editing my first mystery novel, Not a Whisper. For some reason it's progressing slowly and I'm not sure why. My thoughts are:
  1. I've spent the last 5 months writing/editing at a frenetic pace. I'm tired.
  2. It's the holiday season.
  3. Mysteries are tougher to edit than romance novels.
  4. No idea why - what are your thoughts?

I have to admit that I'm looking forward to finishing the edit and slowing things down. Of course, even after the new book is done, I still have on my to do list:
  • Publish all my short story compilations on Smashwords.
  • Publish Home Again at AllRomance.
  • Work on publishing both novels in a print version.

Then don't forget all the blogs I write and the general marketing and promotion for my books. Never a dull moment. Of course I still have a "real" life - time with hubby, cleaning house, going on cruises, doing laundry, visiting with friends. Oh, and watching TV and reading.

So, how do you handle it?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What a life....

If you have read a little about me, you know that my husband and I live and travel in a 41' 5th wheel trailer (RV). We are full-time RVers, traveling the USA - seeing the sights, visiting family and hopefully avoiding cold weather.

But don't think we are on permanent vacation. We still have to do the everyday things like housecleaning, laundry, maintenance on our rigs/vehicles (2 motorcycles, a diesel pickup truck, our trailer and a medium duty Freightliner). The maintenance and repairs on the trailer are pretty constant. Imagine your house going through a 60 mph windstorm during an earthquake. That's the type of stress our rig experiences as we tow it down the road.

While my husband is extremely mechanically handy, there are some things he can't or won't do. Other things are covered under our extended warranty. And that is what we are doing now - waiting for approval for some extended warranty repairs. Toss in the Christmas holiday and everything is moving slowly. We arrived on Sunday, checked in on Monday and are still waiting to hear what has been submitted to the warranty folks and what, if anything, has been approved.

We cancelled our campground reservation for a spot until the 31st. Fortunately, the repair facility has water and electric hookups so we are nestled in, safe and cozy, for the duration. Maybe we'll get an update tomorrow.

Back to "living on vacation", which we don't. That means we like to take them and in early January we're taking a 7 day cruise to the western Caribbean. I'll get in a lot of writing and reading while hubby does a lot of scuba diving (his passion). Needless to say, I won't be blogging that week. LOL!

Enough rambling, hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season, no matter what your season is!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

#Instagram: Sorry for the confusion, but we are not selling your photos

Here is the latest update on the Instagram photo debacle. Users spoke loud and clear...Instagram backs down.

#KindleTouch Refurb Deal

You can't buy a new Kindle Touch but for a limited time, you can get a great buy on a refurbished one. I love mine and we just bought one for Stu ($129).

Yes, we could have bought the new Kindle Paperwhite ($119) with Wi-Fi only, or the Kindle Paperwhite ($179) with 3G, but when weighing the advantage of storing up to 3000 books, 3G in addition to Wi-Fi against having to use a light to read at night, the Kindle Touch won out. Having the 3G access has been really great and keeping the special offers hasn't been intrusive. In fact some folks have found some good deals.

Anyway, check it out: Kindle Touch Refurbished 3G/Wi-Fi with one year warranty for only $119.

Do you use #Instagram? Better read this....

UPDATE: Instagram takes a step back

Effective January 16th, Instagram via its new owners, Facebook, will have the rights to sell your photos without compensating you in any way. Read the full article: Instagram says it now has the rights to sell your photos
Other links of interest:

So what are your thoughts? Is this right or wrong? It seems to be legal but it sure ticks me off. I've already had several Facebook friends delete their account. I'm considering it but will wait till closer to the deadline. I'll post any updates that I see.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 Holiday Blog Hop - and the winners are....

What a great contest, so many prizes, so many winners. I wish I could send something to everyone who entered but I am able to award my prizes.

The first prize, the Home Again Key Hanger goes to Sharon D.

The second prize, the "Bee" necklace goes to Crystal C.

The third prize, $10 Amazon Gift Card, goes to Dan M.

The fourth prize, an ebook copy of Home Again, goes to Linda K.

The fifth prizes, one of seven ebooks, go to :
  • Kimberly H.
  • Alisa A.
  • Brittany C.
  • Gaele H.
  • Rebecca
  • Kelly L.
  • Marcia J.

If you see your name on the above list and have NOT received an email from me, please check your SPAM folder. If it still isn't there, please let me know so I can get your prize to you.

Thank you to everyone who played along. I hope those who didn't win on my page are lucky enough to win on one of the other 60+ author pages or even on the grand prize page.

Don't forget, you can get my new novel, Home Again, at both Amazon and Smashwords!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

35 years ago....

Thirty-five years ago my youngest daughter was born. We didn't have much money, times were tough. I lined the used dresser we bought, cheap, with the wrapping paper from my baby shower gifts. I bought some inexpensive material and hand sewed curtains for her room. I had two splurges - a maple rocker and a hand-made quilt (throw size) made by a friend at work.

Fast forward and the rocker that was passed to my daughter to use when her first daughter was born, is now back in my possession. It's been through three grand-babies and two puppies so it shows a little wear and a lot of love. The quilt throw is still in my daughter's house and used daily. It too has seen a lot of wear.

I was browsing Etsy a couple of weeks ago and saw a pillow that almost exactly matches my old quilt. I had to have it - so I bought it. It arrived in the mail today and it's even nicer than I expected. It truly looks as though it could have been made by the same gal that made the quilt.

Ahhh, memories.....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Book and Last Day to Enter the Giveaway

Yes, today is your last day to enter all the giveaways...MINE and the others HERE. Many of these allow for multiple entries so make your final run-through if you entered earlier. And for those of you that have patiently waited, it's here. Home Again, the follow up full-length romance novel to the short story, Lost and Found, is now live at both Amazon (Kindle version) and Smashwords (Epub version).

Only $2.99

When Chicago's city life takes its toll on single mom Sarah Davidson, she jumps at the chance to move back home, all the way to the boondocks of Kansas. Little did she know, the local Sheriff, handsome Carl Pierce, was making the same move from Tulsa. A tornado of events conspire against them, tamping the rising fire of passion. Can they beat the odds or will Sarah regret moving home again?

On Monday, the 17th I will be announcing the winners. I will be emailing the winners. Good luck...and I hope you'll give my new book a try!

My Apologies - Free Book Snafu

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog posts for this important announcement:

I had originally intended Lost and Found to be free for the duration of the Holiday Blog Hop. Due to a scheduling snafu at Amazon, the book is NOT free today. It will be free again tomorrow and I extended the free days to include Saturday. So please keep spreading the word!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Music - Headphones - Earbuds

I've always used earbuds, disliking headsets as they took me back to my long distance operator days. Yes, I was a long distance telephone operator way back in the dark ages - 1965 - when I lived in Miami, FL for about six months. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the job, it was the fact that they messed up my hair. I admit it. [giggle]

Then came Walkman, portable disc players, MP3 players and now smartphones and tablets. I want to listen to music more often but find that traditional earbuds 1) hurt my ears fairly quickly and 2) fall out a lot. I know there are sport/workout earbuds that will help with #2 but no matter how many brands and styles I've tried over the years, I can't get rid of #1.

Thus I am moving back to a headset or headphones, whichever term you prefer. They seem to be more comfortable and I no longer care if my hair is's less than 2 inches all over, it's always flat. I don't want to spend a lot of money, my hears aren't that sophisticated. I'd prefer something under $50. I did buy this set only to discover that they sit on my ears and I quickly return to reason #2 for not liking them.

I've looked over headsets in stores and they are all in blister packs, no tryouts allowed. By reading closely I now know I need an set over the ear headphones. Okay, looking at photos I'm not sure if they will really go fully around my ear, cupping it inside. I think that's what I need. Of course they might still press my glasses against my head and hurt....sigh.

Does this all seem too difficult to you? Sure does to me. Am I on a "Mission Impossible"? Jeesh! So here is my wish list:
  • Comfortable (guess that means covers the ear for me)
  • Adjustable (makes no sense otherwise, I have a small head)
  • Portable (would really like ones that fold up to a smaller size)
  • Good sound (not an audiophile but do like my bass)
  • Compact (I know, picky, but dislike bulky)
  • Noise reduction (not a must but a definite plus)
  • Relatively inexpensive (like I said, I'd prefer under $50)
  • Colorful (I'm so not a black kind of girl)

If you have any recommendations or comments, I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

** IWU Holiday Blog Giveaway **

It's here, finally, the Indie Writers Unite (IWU) Holiday Blog Giveaway that I know you've all been waiting for.

My short story "Lost and Found" is free during the contest - it's the prequel to my soon to be released first novel, "Home Again".

Amazing grand prizes ranging from TWO Kindle Fire HDs, a $25 Amazon gift card, paper and electronic books. The over 60 authors each have their own prizes.

You can find all the details about MY giveaways and get the links to the main contest page with the grand prizes HERE.

I'm participating in honor of my upcoming first novel "Home Again", due out at Amazon before this contest ends on the 14th.

[visit and Sweepstakes Plus for other giveaways and contests]

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cute Stocking Stuffer for Anyone

This funky scotch tape dispenser is on sale today for $7.99, not sure how long that will last.

Product Features

Colors: Black, Pink, Red, Bling and Zebra
  • Fun desktop tape dispenser includes 1 roll of 3/4x350 Inches Scotch Magic tape
  • Refillable dispenser designed for 2-handed dispensing
  • 1-Inch core; for all of your home and office taping needs

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Next Big Thing

During NaNoWriMo I was nominated to blog about The Next Big Thing by Sydney Aaliyah. I have to answer a set of questions about a work in progress. I chose my NaNoWriMo novel, "Home Again". Hope you enjoy it.

What is the title of your Work in Progress?
Home Again

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Over ten years ago I wrote a short story in hopes of submitting it to women's magazines. When I got back into fiction writing in early 2012, I found this on my computer. I updated the story and self-published it on Amazon. The title was 'Lost and Found'. My readers kept telling me that I needed to expand the story. So I did!

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmm, good question. Here are my picks.
The female lead, Sarah, would be Amanda Seyfried
The male lead, Carl, would be Channing Tatum or Chris Pine
The supporting female, Nancy, would be Kelly Clarkson or Brooke Elliott
The supporting male, Dale, would be Chace Crawford

What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
Unemployment, an ex-husband, old friends and a tornado stir things up as Sarah tries to go home again.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Definitely self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
This is was NaNoWriMo project and I spent twelve actual days on the first draft. Phew! Not a long book with the draft being just over 50k words.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Going to have to pass on this one, it's been too long since I've had time to read.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Definitely the readers of my short story, Lost and Found. Once I started, the story grew in scope quickly, taking on a life of its own.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Single mom, leaves the big city to return to life in the country. What does she find? Good friends, strong relationships, family values and some romance along the way.

Here are my five author nominations, all NaNoWriMo participants:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#IWSG - What makes a writer an author?

Where did November go? I'm so glad I put a Google calendar reminder in for my Insecure Writers Support Group post or I'd miss it completely. Phew!

I have now completed a first draft of two novels, one during Camp NaNoWriMo and one during last months' NaNoWriMo. I'm editing my NaNo novel first, then I'll tackle the editing for my Camp NaNo book. Why in this order? My NaNo novel is a light read, a contemporary romance of just over 50k words. My Camp NaNo novel is a cozy mystery, while still a light read, it's much more involved and is over 72k words. I already have several ebooks on Amazon consisting of flash fiction compilations and one short story. No full-length books yet....

So why do I feel strange claiming the title of AUTHOR as opposed to WRITER? I've always been a writer and once I was published (non-fiction) I should have been able to say I was an author, right? Somehow it doesn't feel right. I wonder if I will feel like an author once I have self-published a full-length book?

What about you? Do you feel qualified to call yourself an author or do you stick with writer?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

GUEST POST: Here’s Why Your Writing Isn’t Selling

Here’s Why Your Writing Isn’t Selling (ezine) (via Fab Freelance Writing Blog)
Heads-Up: there are just a couple of spots left in Team Up, our final coaching program for 2012. If you aren’t selling everything you write… I work with writers every day, and by the time they come to me, they’re … Continue reading ?

After you read the article, hope you'll drop some comments here with your thoughts.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's next?

Let's see. I have three novels in the works - one is in editing, one is waiting to be edited and one is still being written. I managed to move my blog from Blogger to Word Press on my own domain. I've been able to get out almost weekly for a nice motorcycle ride as well as a good movie or two. That pretty much wraps up November.

December will be busy with edits, a blog hop contest in mid-month, visiting Pigeon Forge and Dollywood for a couple of days before moving our RV location to Florida for the winter where we will get some repairs done before heading to our campground and trying to keep up with five or six blogs. Oh yeah, and there's a holiday near the end of the month. Yup, I'll be busy..

I won't be posting daily but I do hope to get some flash fiction written. I have really missed that and I know that was one thing my readers wanted me to continue (during my last poll).

I hope all my followers find their way to this blog and check out the various ways you can follow it - scroll through the sidebar on the right. Well, it's late (or early depending on your time zone), so I'm keeping this short.

Friday, November 30, 2012

#NaNoWriMo Update....a new month, a new location....

For those who have followed my blog for a while, you know I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in August. Slow and steady was my mantra as shown by the stats below.

[click for larger image]
Here are my stats for November and NaNoWriMo, you can see I met my goal by the middle of the month. I'm not sure if it was because this story needed less research, I had less interruptions (ie; more days spent at McDonald's) or I'm getting faster through practice.
[click for larger image]
But once again, I am a NaNo winner. Will I do it again? Not sure, right now I'd say no but when June rolls around and it's Camp NaNo time again, who knows? For now I will be busy editing both projects, "Not a Whisper", my Camp NaNo mystery, and "Home Again", my NaNo contemporary romance. This is more commonly known as EDIT HELL. LOL!

The other news is that this will be the last blog entry on this blog location. My new blog (where you will still find all the old posts) will be located on my website, HERE. Be sure to change your BOOKMARK, use the FOLLOW ME links and/or use the SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL link for the new blog. I'd hate to  so you don't miss any posts!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

#NaNWriMo Interview: Racquel Kechagias

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?

How many times have you done it and have you won?
This is my second year doing Nanowrimo. I did not win last year as I had started a job about the same time and it was difficult to manage doing both.

What is the best tip you can give to a first-time NaNo'er?
The best tip that I can give to a first-time Nano'er is re-read if you are struggling and to never stop asking questions. Whether on a facebook page/group or on the Nano-forums, there are always people willing to help you with your story no matter at what point your stuck at!

Got anything you'd like to tell us about this years project?
I was going to go with my second novel in a three-part series for this years Nano however since I didn't have time to plan it, I'm pulling out two very old short stories of mine 'The Fairy Games' and 'Miss Underworlds Journey'.

Got anything else you'd like to share?
If you're not struggling my best tip is just keep writing and don't stop!

I've been an amateur writer for several years now, my pursuit in this career dating back to 2006. However, it's only been recently that I've really poured myself into my writing. I've been a member of several booksites such as Bookrix, Booksie, Wattpad and so forth. I've also been involved in several writing competitions. This year I will be releasing my first ebook on all the major ebook markets in Late November, early December. I've been able to complete it due to August's Camp Nano! So keep your eyes out for 'The Fire Within' by Racquel Kechagias.

Book Site:


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

#NaNoWriMo Interview: Stephanie Parry Coleman

Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo?
Yes. I have heard of it, read about it, and wondered in the past if I could do it but never officially participated before.

If yes, why did you decide this was the year?
I participated in the August Camp Nanowrimo and it was a great warm-up practice. It is a lot of work but I figured that if I really want to be a serious author, I need to put some major effort and time into my writing. Nanowrimo provides a great opportunity to kick my writing into high gear.

I did get 50,000 words doing Camp Nanowrimo. It increased my confidence in participating this November. I want to do it again.

If yes, what is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is writing a piece of crap. Obviously many writers worry about producing excellent writing that gets noticed. My concern about trying to do 50,000 words in 30 days was that I would rush and hurry my novel and produce something that is mediocre. I am hoping to combat that by outlining, preparing, and getting my novel's big plot and scenes and characters all mapped out beforehand.

How much preparation do you plan to do before November 1st?
I am currently working on outlining my novel, plotting the storyline and developing all my major characters right now. I don't want to have to wonder or worry about those details while trying to come up with something to write. I want to focus on the story at hand, creating stellar dialogue and description. I want to lead into the next chapters and be able to foreshadow the future as well as keep the reader hooked with cliffhangers.

Got anything you'd like to tell us about this years project?
I'm working on a fiction novel about a teenage girl with Aspergers who is catapulted into instant fame when her savant musical skills are discovered by a bully at her local high school. As she is thrust into the limelight with all of her worst fears before her, she is befriended by a high school boy also with Aspergers who is suspected of stalking and trying to kill her.

As an English Lit College student and homeschooling mother of 6 kids, I lead a very busy, full life.

I love a good story so I am also a movie buff. Past loves include swing and ballroom dancing and I love jazz and Big Band Music. I was definitely born in the wrong era! I really enjoy reading with my kids and of course my passion is to write any chance that I can.

My writer's blog is