Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who's a Spunky Senior and other updates

Me, that's who! Check it out HERE. Not much else is new. I did get a nice 4 star review at Amazon for my romance novel, Home Again. I'm finally over my cold, the cough is gone but I haven't made much progress on my mystery novel editing. With my current schedule it will be next week before I get back to it. Still trying to get it published before the end of the month. Phew!!

So as I said, not much new but wanted to drop a few notes to my readers!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Our pets and their health/safety

Our motorcycle riding pup
Miss Sadie

Dropping in a personal post today and if it helps save just one pet, it's worth it. Hopefully most of you have already read about the illnesses and deaths being attributed to chicken treats manufactured in China. They have been killing our cats and dogs for close to two years now.

In November the FDA finally released a warning but said they wouldn't issue a recall until they could identify a contaminant. More recently over 500 animals have been identified as victims of poisoning by these treats. Here is the FDA warning page.

Yesterday I was telling hubby about a friend with a cat that had gotten sick from chicken jerky treats and I was surprised that these were still available since deaths have been on-going for a while now. When he was out running errands, he stopped in one of the dollar type stores to pick up a few things. He decided to check out the pet treats and found that 95% of what was on the shelves was from China. One brand mentioned the AKC and it was from the USA.

Today as I researched this problem, I found a page that listed three major brand namesat the top of the FDA warning list:
  • Waggin’ Train Jerky Treats or Tenders (Nestle Purina)
  • Canyon Creek Ranch Jerky Treats or Tenders (Nestle Purina)
  • Milo’s Kitchen Home-Style Dog Treats (Del Monte Corp)

One of those names sounded very familiar to me so I check out our duck and yam treats that we get at PetSmart. Yup, made in China and distributed by Canyon Creek Ranch. Into the trash they went....shows you can't trust a nice looking label and a ranch fresh sounding name.

There are many alternatives for dog treats including veggies and most fruits. Even cooking up a boneless, skinless chicken breast and using some as a treat works.

Please be careful - read labels. Your pets are worth it!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Two more Indie authors: Traci Rothery & Shirley Bourget

Today I'm featuring two more terrific independent authors.

First is Traci Rothery, author of the popular Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries. She is introducing her science fiction novel, Gone, the first novel in The Tangle Saga series.

One woman, heir to a throne back on Earth, found life on a remote space station a comfortable way to avoid responsibilities waiting back on her home planet.

But when her rebellious teenaged brother and sister disappear her responsibilities catch up with her.

Thousands of lives hang in the balance--including her own--as she digs into the darkest corners in space. Can she find the missing kids before their rebellion sets off a chain of violence no one can stop?
Contact Traci at and @TraciTyneHilton

The next featured author is Shirley Bourget, author of 'Blood', the first volume in the Ancestral Skin Saga, and lays the foundational tale of Native American Skin Walkers with mystical creatures, and thrilling suspense. This Paranormal novel is laced with humor, romance, murder, and deceit. (This book contains material that some may find offensive. It is intended for mature audiences.)
When Tate entered a vision quest hoping to learn something that his Grandfather insists is vitally important, he never expected a nightmare! He had heard about Skin Walkers, but he never believed they were real...

When Morningstar left her village, her dreams were to please her Ancestral God, and return as a potential bride and future mother to her people. However, motherhood always comes with a price...

Three hundred years ago Yellow Bird Mountain didn't exist. Now it marks the location of the Makoce Indian Reservation, containing some of the riches oil deposits in the region. Russell Blanding wants that oil, and will stop at nothing to get it...

You can find Shirley here: Twitter ~ Website ~ Facebook

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A day of sundry items....and WINNERS

I'm back from my cruise but fighting a nasty chest cold so taking it slow. All spare time, when I feel up to it, will be spent on editing my upcoming mystery novel, Not a Whisper, the first book in the Klondike Mystery series.

More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered (Marder and Mayhem) has been nominated for the Edgar Award in the BEST FACT CRIME category.

Watch for my upcoming author interviews at Small Town Authors and Spunky Seniors [scheduled for Jan 24th] - two fun blogs, I hope you'll give them a whirl.

Last but certainly not least, here are the winners in my Blogversary Scavenger Hunt contest.
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Copy of any of my eBooks
Marcia J.

Copy of A to Z in 10 by 10 eBook
ALL Participants in the Scavenger Hunt

$10 Amazon Gift Card (consolation prize)

Watch for your email notifications and thank you to EVERYONE who participated!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Carbonite offer extended!!

In the past I've posted about backing up your computer. It's a known fact, you will experience some type of data loss if you use a computer. How much you lose is up to you.

I spent over 30 years in the IT industry and yes, I was negligent in backing up my computer more than once. I lost data and it wasn't pleasant. We all know, if it's not simple and automated, it won't happen. I use two backup methods. First is an automatic backup to an external hard drive. If the computer is on, any changes will be backed up.

Second is the online backup service offered by Carbonite. For Less then $60 a year, I have my laptop backed up automatically - unlimited data. The only requirement is having an Internet connection. There are other plans but this one works well for me.

I just got an email letting me know that the promotion they had last year has been extended. If you sign up using my link we BOTH get a $20 Amazon gift card. How's that for a win-win...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Talking about Brandon Hale and Brian Dockins

Time to introduce a couple more new author favorites of mine. First is Brandon Hale, author of the Day Soldiers series. Day Soldiers is book one of a trilogy that has received great reviews. With a strong female lead and a cinematic style of story-telling, Brandon's books appeal to a wide range of readers. Lily Baxter joins the Day Soldiers to fight against an apocalypse of vampires and werewolves. These monsters don't twinkle! Appropriate for YA and up. If it were a movie, it'd likely be rated PG-13.
Day Soldiers

Book One in the Day Soldiers Trilogy.

A legion of vampires and werewolves has declared war on the human race.

For ten years now, humanity has been at war with the creatures of darkness. The war has changed the world. The day now belongs to humanity and the night belongs to things once thought to exist only in myths and legends... but there is hope. This new enemy has united humanity and an army has stepped forward to protect the light from the darkness. An army of heroes.

The Day Soldiers.

Eighteen year old Lily Baxter always knew the Day Soldiers would be a major part of her life. She had been preparing for it since she was eight. She was ready to go to war. The one thing she wasn't prepared for was the day the war came to her.

Part horror, part comedy, part adventure, Day Soldiers will take you on an exciting ride through a world where monsters are monsters and the only thing they fall in love with is the taste of human blood.

Contact the Author: Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

Brian Dockins has published more than a dozen books. Today's book is Betrayal of Magic (DOMA: Department of Magic Book 1)

Cadan Johnson lived a seemingly ordinary life. He was on the soccer and cross country teams and had a loving family. But one thing about the Johnsons made them very unordinary- they could perform magic.

When a mysterious spell on his school counselor backfires, Cadan is faced with the realization that everything he thought he knew about his family has been a lie. He leaves his home to search out the identities of his real parents, but before he can discover the truth, he is tracked down by another group of magic-wielders, this time sent by the government.

The top-secret Department of Magic was set up in the 1930s when the U.S. government became aware of the existence of mages and fantastical creatures. For the last eighty years, the agency has been commissioned with searching out and detaining these magical beings, and making sure everyone else believes they are no more than myth.

Now a detainee within the Department, Cadan quickly realizes the truth - that not everything in this world is quite as it seems. The Femme Fatales, a world famous all-female pop group is actually a troupe of fairies. And Tyler Knox, the teen heartthrob, is secretly an elf who has had to alter his ears before appearing in movies.

Now a rookie agent, Cadan begins to train with his new team of misfit operatives, among them one boy with four arms who is afraid of the dark, another with black wings, and an elf with anger management issues. The group fights constantly, their training sessions are disasters, and to top it off, the leader of the team hates him. But when one of the leaders initiates a plan to destroy the Department, the only thing that stands in his way is Cadan and his ragtag band. With the fate of the Department at stake, will they be able to stop the rogue agent and his forces?

The DOMA book series includes:
Book 1: Betrayal of Magic
Book 2: Shrouded Island
Book 3: Rise of the Witch
Book 4: Magic of Heroes
Book 5: Hounds of the Himalayas
Book 6: Second Exodus (Forthcoming)

The companion short stories in the DOMA Origins series include:
Winged Demon: Natalie & Darius
Circus Freak: Bryce
Brujeria: Rafe
Deviant Behavior: Jude & Madison
Secrets in Stone: Gabe (Forthcoming)

Contact the Author: Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Thursday, January 10, 2013

GUEST POST: Lisa M. Owens, author of "If Only"

My name is Lisa M. Owens and my first novel, If Only, has just been released by Liquid Silver Books. I was invited to tell you about my book, so here goes.

What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?

Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancĂ© and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.

She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancĂ© she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?

Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have changed? Would she have had children by now? Would her and Scott still be together, after all this time?

She had these thoughts and more weighing heavily on her mind as she headed out the door of the bar. It had begun to snow and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn't help herself, she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse that she couldn't ignore. She laughed out loud in spite of herself.

She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she carefully made her way across, her high heels clicking as she stepped onto the pavement.

Bree was walking slowly across the street when one of her high heels caught on a slippery patch of ice. One shoe flew off as she landed onto the pavement, her head striking against the curb. The last thing she saw was Scott's face swimming before her eyes, then her world went black.

Bree awoke at the feeling of a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves of her inner ear. His hot breath blowing into her ear, giving her shivers up and down her spine. She closed her eyes as a man's hand stroked her upper thigh. She sighed happily, Ooh, I must be dreaming, she thought to herself. And it was such a delicious dream, too.

The man's hand traveled up her thigh, then encircled her flat stomach. Bryan had never made her feel like this and she hadn't even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?

Bree arched her body in anxious response to his touch. She longed to examine his face but she feared that one look would make his magical touch disappear. She was aching all over, she wanted his hands to caress her everywhere and she longed to touch him desperately.

His morning stubble stung her delicate skin but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone. His voice whispered huskily, “Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me.”

That voice jerked Bree back to the present. The voice that had haunted her dreams since she had gotten married. The voice of the man that she just couldn't seem to get over. “Scott,” she whispered.

If your book was made into a TV series or movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
I could see either Rachel McAdams or Sarah Michelle Gellar as Bree. For the wicked character of Bryan, I would have to say either Matthew McConaughey, Sean Patrick Flannery or Cam Gigandet. For my hero, Scott, perhaps either Patrick Dempsey, Eric Bana or Luke Wilson.

What is your date of birth?
January 31

Do you ever write in your pajamas?
Are you kidding? That’s one of the best things about being able to work from home!

What projects are you working on now?
I am currently working on two manuscripts; one is the second novel in my If Only series.

Can you tell us where we can find you and your books?
If Only is now available on both  and

Readers can contact me at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, by e-mail,, or on my website, I can also be contacted through my Facebook author page and on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flashbacks....of the writing kind

Felicia Wetzig is celebrating the anniversary of her blog with a flashback blogfest. What fun! I can't remember much about January of last year but my various blogs let me go back in time and check it ou.

I picked one of my favorite flash fiction stories written last January - The Dance. My blog was new and my foray into flash fiction was scary at times.

This piece never fails to give me chills. It was also accepted for publication in The 'I Am Woman' Anthology - Volume 1 (The 'I Am Woman' Anthologies).
Please visit Felicia's blog and check out some of the other Flashback entries. Some interesting blog posts for sure!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My First Blog-versary and a Contest

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by since I started this blog. So much has happened since then. Here are a few highlights.
  • I discovered flash fiction. I did a lot of that in the first six months and found it improved my writing.
  • In April I participated in the April A to Z Challenge and after writing the required 26 entries, I combined them all into a book for sale on Amazon.
  • I also published several other flash fiction compilations on Amazon.
  • I dug out a short story, “Lost and Found”, I had written ten years earlier, updated it and published it on Amazon.
  • One piece of flash fiction, "The Dance", accepted for inclusion in a printed book anthology, benefiting several women's charities. .
  • I started working on my first novel, "A Montana Chance", a contemporary romance set in Montana.
  • In August I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo and got 80% through the first draft of a cozy mystery set in north-central Pennsylvania, “Not a Whisper”.
  • In September and October I finished the first draft of “Not a Whisper”.
  • In November I participated in my first NaNoWriMo and finished the first draft of a new romance, “Home Again”, which used my short story “Lost and Found”” as the prequel.
  • In December I published my first ever full-length novel, “Home Again”, on both Amazon and Smashwords.

Yup, it’s been quite a year! To celebrate I’m hosting my own Scavenger Hunt. Here are the rules and specifics.

In the photo below, I’ve identified forty (40) different items. To enter you must email me,, with your list of items. Do not count multiples of the same thing (for example, if you see a pen you can’t list four different pens as four items). Your email MUST have “Scavenger Hunt” as the subject or your entry will not count. Duplicate entries are not allowed, your first email is the only one that will count.

When does the contest end? Well, you lucked out. I am on a cruise right now so you get a week to enter. The last date for entries is January 13th. I will announce the winners on January 16th, after my return.

What can you win? The person with the most correct answers will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of any one of my books at Amazon. If there is a tie, I will use to chose the winner. The others that are tied will receive one of my e-books, their choice. Everyone who enters will get a free PDF copy of my Kindle ebook, A to Z in 10 by 10.

Here is the photo for the Scavenger Hunt….have fun! Oh, and keep reading for a special chance to win a consolation prize.

Looking for chances to win a consolation prize? Subscribe to my newsletter and you'll get a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card! The subscription link is HERE.

We chat with the Klondike Breakfast Club from 'Not a Whisper'

Today is the another 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.

Guys, hey there. Can you hold it down? Hello [whistles]. Thank you. Let's make some introductions. Pansy, would you introduce everyone please?

PANSY: Sure. To my left is Edy Wiggins and her husband, Tom. They moved to Klondike from Pittsburgh where Tom worked retired from Pittsburgh Power.

Hi Edy, Tom. Nice to meet you. What did you do before you moved here and how do you stay busy now?

TOM: I putter around our log cabin doing maintenance on things, keeping it up. I spend a lot of time walking with our dog, Mags. In my spare time I volunteer for the local wildlife group.

EDY: I work part-time for the Ranger Station during the busy season. I've done that for several years and really enjoy it. I used to do a lot more craft work, now I do it mostly during the winter. I quilt, sew, paint and make some unique Mountain Men to sell.

PANSY: Next to them is Merry Jenkins, one of my best friends.

Nice to meet you, Merry. Is that your real name or a nickname?

MERRY: My real name is Meribel but I've been called Merry since I was a kid. I've lived in this area or close to it all of my life. I've buried two husbands here and sometimes wonder if working as a hospice nurse jinxed me.

PANSY: Beside Merry are the Duncans, Jeff and Sarah. Jeff is an ER Tech at the Bradford Hospital and Sarah is a special ed teacher. They've been working on finishing their house since they moved in, let's see, six years ago?

JEFF: Okay, okay. So I'm a little slow but work gets in the way.

SARAH: Yeah, work on his pole barn for his toys.

Um, moving on, who's next, Pansy?

PANSY: Bob Rounder is our oldest member, aren't you, Bob. But you'd never know it if you saw how active he is.

BOB: You need to come by around Labor Day and check out my yard sale. I work all year to get ready for it. Everyone is welcome.

Thank you, Bob. I'll have to see if I can come by. Pansy?

PANSY: Next to him are our newest members, Mike and Marie Hilliard. They're new to Klondike. You guys want to introduce yourselves?

MIKE: Sure, we're both still working. I'm a telecommunications project manager and work on out of town projects so I tend to travel a lot.

MARIE: I work for the same company as Mike but I work online, from home, tracking the projects. I dabble in writing in my spare time. We really love it up here, the quiet natural beauty was a big draw for us.

I have to agree bout the beauty of this area, of course I haven't been here in the winter. Next?

PANSY: Here are our two single guys, Corey Tanner and Kevin Sullivan. I'll let them tell you about themselves.

COREY: Hey there, nice to meet you. I'm actually widowed, not single. I lost the love of my life, Fiona, to breast cancer. Really took me down for a few years but I'm doing better now.

KEVIN: Morning. I mostly come up to Klondike on the weekends, enjoying the quiet in my little cabin. Love coming up for hunting season. I live down in Bradford during the week.

Thanks everyone. Is there anyone from the Klondike Breakfast Club that's missing?

PANSY: We're missing our two geezers, Gary Patchett and Ed Williams. They have a cabin down the road a bit where they come to get away from their wives.

Course we still haven't mentioned our hostess, Kat Daily, the owner of the Kat's Klondike Kafe and her part-time waitress, Janie Crocker. I'd call them over but they're both busy taking care of other customers.

They're both raising families. Kat has a seventeen year old son who graduated this year. Janie has twelve year old twin boys, a sixteen year old daughter and an eighteen year old boy. Kat's husband is a long distance truck driver and Janie's husband is currently out on disability from a logging accident.

This is quite an eclectic group. How did the breakfast club start?

PANSY: It really just sort of happened. A couple of us would stop in for breakfast several times a week. We'd end up sitting at the same table, chatting and enjoying the company. We always had a good time, lots of laughs. That encouraged others to join us, we'd just move chairs and add a table if we had to.

Sounds like everyone comes from different areas and you sure cover a range of ages. Do you do other things together?

Sure. We're all active in the local volunteer fire department auxiliary. We work various volunteer activities like Stinkfest-


Yeah, the local leek festival. We help out every year. Same with the town wide yard sale in Bradford. It's always a good time.

What will become of the KBs as you inevitably age?

Who? Not us. We're not every going to grow up, are we? [group laughter]

Thanks again for taking time to talk to me. One last question, how does it feel to become part of a series of mystery books?

EVERYONE: Amazing!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Introducing Nick Russell and Anna J. McIntyre

I thought I'd take time to introduce two of my favorite new authors. Nick Russell is a full-time RVer who publishes an RVing newspaper as well as RVing related books. Last year he took the plunge into fiction writing with his Big Lake mystery series. I hope you will stop by and try the first in the series, Big Lake. You may find yourself as hooked as my husband and I are.

When an armored car hijacking leaves two men dead, Arizona Sheriff Jim Weber takes the crime personally, because one of the dead men is his brother-in-law. His hunt for the killers leads him into a world of sordid sex, deceit, and violence, with a suspect list that includes jilted women, a family of anti-government survivalists, and the beautiful wife of the richest man in town.

With a plot that has more twists and turns than an Arizona mountain road, a cast of characters you won’t soon forget, and a shocking ending that shakes the town of Big Lake to its very foundation, this first book in the Big Lake series will keep you turning pages to the very end!

One reviewer has referred to the Big Lake mystery series as “Mayberry Meets Twin Peaks." It’s a combination of humor and intrigue that launched author Nick Russell’s first Big Lake book into Amazon’s 100 Top Paid Kindle books for over 78 days!

Where to the Author: Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog

The next author is Bobbi J. Holmes writing as Anna J. McIntyre. Her new series The Coulsons is high on the sizzle factor. The first book in the series is Lessons.

After losing her beloved husband in a car accident, Alexandra is left to raise her teenage son alone. Coming to terms with life as a single mother is difficult enough, yet now she must face the sins of her past when Garret Coulson returns to town.

Grandson of the town's founder, the wealthy and powerful Garret Coulson fell in love with another man's wife, resulting in a self-imposed exile. With that man dead, Garret can return to claim what should have been his.

For ten years, Alexandra has kept the secret of her infidelity. The fact she is now a widow does not make that secret any less painful to reveal. Some secrets have the power to shatter lives - yet sometimes they heal hearts.

An adult love story. Contains explicit mature content.

Return to Coulson for love and murder in Anna J. McIntyre's "The Senator's Secret."

Where to the Author: Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~ Personal Blog

We chat with Alan Baumann from 'Not a Whisper'

Today is the another 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.

Welcome Mr. Baumann. Thank you for stopping by for a chat.

Good morning,. I wanted to let you know that I don't get up this early for just anyone. And please, just call me Alan.

Why is that? I thought firefighters were used to working all hours?

They are and I did, but then I retired. [chuckle]

Ah, that explains it. So you were a firefighter with Bradford Fire Department?

That was my last assignment. Over the years I've worked for many different departments. I retired as Chief of the Bradford FD last winter. Then Trooper Maddox got me involved in this interesting case and I came back as a consultant. Sure has kept me hopping lately.

A little birdy told me you planned to take a dream vacation soon?

True, I've already booked it. Going fly fishing in Montana, up around Glacier National Park. Leave the first week in August and don't come back till the end of the month.

That's some trip. I take it fishing is your hobby?

That and eating. Oh, and admiring pretty women. Pretty much sums up my favorite things. [chuckle]

How long have you lived in Bradford, PA?

Hmm, let me think, must be almost twenty years now. Long enough to know there isn't a better place to live.

Oh? Why is that?

Just look around you, such a great area. Lots of wildlife, four pretty seasons, hunting, fishing, hiking and the best friends anyone could ever ask for. I've made lifetime friendships since I moved here. Close enough to Buffalo, NY for anything major if you can't find it locally. Course the Internet has changed that. Easy to order stuff online and get it shipped. This is the life!

Sounds like you're sold on the area. Seems like there's been a bit of a crime wave lately. Is that normal?

Let's just say that there is crime everywhere. Sometimes you're insulated from it. Me? I like to get immersed in it. Love chasing the bad guys and seeing them get what they deserve.

Any last thoughts for our readers?

Read the book. [chuckle] Say, you gonna eat that donut?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Amazing Laptop Buy - Perfect for Writers!

Some of you may remember when I bought my little Samsung Ultrabook last summer, intending to use it for writing. That worked out wonderfully and I don't regret the purchase at all.

In fact, I note only use it for writing but in the evenings on my lap while 'watching' TV. It's so compact and lightweight but with a full keyboard, it works out perfectly.

I bought the 11.6" model with 2GB of memory and 126GB SSD hard drive. I still have over 30GB free and have downloaded quite a bit of software.

I use Dropbox to keep certain files synched between the two computers and that has worked well. In addition, having a network between all our computers via our router means I have instant access to all my files when I'm home.

So why am I telling you this? Because Amazon has an amazing steal on the larger laptop. If I weren't broke, I'd be snagging one. I paid. $600 for mine, refurbished.  Amazon is offering the larger model with  a 13.3" screen and 4GB memory for....are you ready....$700.

I have no idea how long this deal will last but wanted to pass it along. I LOVE my little Ultrabook!!

We chat with Cherie Marshall 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.

Good morning, Cherie, thanks for stopping by to chat with us.

Hi, nice to meet you. I understand you interviewed my Aunt Pansy yesterday.

Yes we did. She's quite the character. Would you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I'm 32 and single although I was engaged once. I was born in Prescott, Arizona and went to college in Tucson. I'm an aspiring journalist but have to admit to doing more waitress work than writing.

Well that's pretty concise. So what brought you to Klondike?

My Aunt Pansy had a heart attack. My cousin Rose couldn't get enough leave to come home to stay with her and my cousin Donald was wrapped up in his growing antiques business. It was an easy decision for me. No real reason to stay in Tucson so I volunteered to come help.

That's so nice. How does Klondike compare with Tucson?

There is no comparison. Tucson is a good sized city, arid climate, quite warm in the summer. No matter what you need, you can find it there. Klondike is a tiny little town nestled in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest. It's at least fifteen miles to the closest gas station and closer to twenty for groceries or anything else. It's more humid here and my skin is loving that. The summer weather has been gorgeous but I can't say about the winters. I've heard they can be pretty severe.

So you don't plan to stay in Klondike?

No, as soon as Aunt Pansy is ready, I'll be heading back to Tucson.

Um, what about this new love interest we heard about?

[sigh] I really don't know what will happen after I leave the area.

What do you do in your spare time, both here and in Tucson?

That's an easy one. I love the outdoors and hiking. Sedona is one of my favorite hiking areas in Arizona but I have grown to love hiking here in the National Forest. Of course I'm always looking for a good book to read.

What has been your favorite part of visiting the Klondike area?

The people, I love the people. So friendly and helpful, so kind and caring. Of course they all seem to have their own little quirks but I love that, too. As a writer I enjoy people watching. I am really going to miss all my new friends. The KBs, the Klondike Breakfast club folks, well, I wish I could bring them all with me. They give me hope that there is life after sixty. Like my Aunt Pansy. She refuses to yield to her age and I love it.

Our time has run out but thank you for answering out questions. I know our readers are growing to love the Klondike area as much as you have. Any last words?

Cherish your family. You never know how much time you will have with them. So tell those close to you how much you love them, tell them every chance you get.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

We chat with Pansy Tucker from 'Not a Whisper'

Today is the another 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.

Good afternoon, Mrs. Tucker. We appreciate your stopping in for a visit.

Oh please, it's just Pansy. I feel so old when I hear Mrs. Tucker. Makes me think of my ex-mother-in-law, the old...oops. Nevermind.

Okay, Pansy it is. That's not a common name. Any history behind it?

My mother's name was Rose, mine is Pansy and brother was Thorne and my baby sister is Lily. I think you see the theme there. I went with tradition for my daughter and named her  Rose. I gave my son a break, his name is Donald but his middle name is Thorne. Now my sister Lily, she went with conventional names like my niece, Cherie.

I see, that makes sense.So tell us a little about your children.

As I said, I have a daughter, Rose. She's a Lieutenant in the US Navy, working towards her twenty years. Then there is my son who lives with his partner in Jamestown, NY. They have the cutest little antique shop they named Past Times. Isn't that the cutest name?

Um, yes it is. I can see you're proud of your kids. Have you lived in Klondike all your life?

No, I lived in Pittsburgh until my divorce. I moved here to get away from him and his arm candy. Yup, married his secretary. Of course now I understand about dating younger folks. I've-

I think we'll stop right there. Thank you. It sounds like your son got his love of antiquing from you. You're the owner of Tucker's Treasures, right?

Yes I am although it's not really an antique shop as much as a mish-mash of used stuff. Sort of an eclectic mix of things, kind of like me!

I understand you've had some health issues?

Well, I've suffered from asthma since I was a child but I guess you're referring to my recent heart attack. I have no idea what all the fuss was about. You can see that I'm doing fine now. Doctor tried to tell me to stop eating the foods that I love and to quit drinking. Like that's going to happen. Which reminds me, I brought you a box of homemade candy.

Oh my, that looks good. Thank you. So you love to cook and bake?

That's probably my number one hobby followed by my Zippo lighter collection. I buy, sell and trade both in my shop and online. I love ebay.

Oops, I just noticed the time, I'm afraid we have to cut this short. Any last words for our readers?

Yeah, stay home. Don't come to Klondike. It's already too crowded. We like our quiet little town nestled in the Allegheny National Forest. [snicker] Just kidding, it is a great place to visit. Gorgeous woods, Kinzua Dam for boating, camping and hiking - yup, a great vacation spot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

#IWSG: My first year back as a fiction writer


I am closing in on my first year of fiction writing. I had set no goals for the year and wasn't sure how much actual writing I would do. Looking back, I consider it a fairly productive year.

I wrote and eventually published as compilations, sixty flash fictions. These ranged from micro-stories to contest entries to five sentence fictions and the A-Z Challenge in April. "A to Z in 10 by 10", "A Flash of Fantasy" and "Ten Tales of Five".

I had one piece of flash fiction published in a print book, an anthology. "I am Woman: Vol I"

I won second place in a fantasy blog hop with another piece of flash fiction.

I wrote and published two short stories, "Lost and Found" and "Tagged".

I participated in my first ever NaNoWriMo challenges - Camp NaNo in August and NaNo in November. I won both events and was fortunate to be able to complete the books and publish them at both Amazon and Smashwords. "Home Again": Amazon  Smashwords   and   "Not a Whisper": Amazon  Smashwords

What does this all have to do with my monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post? Well, now I wonder if I can continue at this pace or if I need to slow down. Since August I have had to slow down on all my social media sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Triberr, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook and more).That's not good since marketing is important to the success of my books. If people don't hear about them, they can't buy them.

I also have quit reading books. I've found that I can't read when I am writing and have a hard time devoting time to writing if I'm reading. Strange...

I do have plans for several more books. I have a romance trilogy that is barely started and two more mysteries for my Klondike series.

Then factor in the many (too many) blogs I maintain, travel time, vacation time (going on a 7 day cruise next week), motorcycle time (SUPER important), hubby time, etc.

I thought I was retired and would have so much free time. What happened?