Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not Interested in a FREE marketing book?

Yesterday was a fine day for FREE books.

Four of you took me up on my offer and will be receiving Marketing Your Book on a Budget the next few days.

For those of you who didn't enter, I actually have 6 books left!

After that, the 2013 version of Marketing Your Book on a Budget will be gone! I am preparing for the 2014 version even as I type this blog post.

And yes, there will be new ideas in the updated book, but many ideas in the 2013 version of Marketing Your Book on a Budget are still being used by me, so you might just want to get a head start!


And yes, I pay for the shipping!

Can't beat that.

So shoot me a comment after this post telling me why you need my book; include your email address, and I'll get the book right out to you!

That's it!


This special deal is only for today; whatever I have left will be given to writers coming to the 5 & Dime Boutique in December. So don't miss out!

Friday, November 29, 2013


As promised, today is not Black Friday here, it's green!

What does that mean for you?

Following this post, share with everyone your best kept writer's secret. Maybe you write in an out-of-the-way place. Perhaps you don't work at a computer. Or maybe you have no idea what to call your genre of writing because it's so new. Maybe you don't have any writing secrets to share and just want a free copy of my book! That's okay, too. Just say so and you'll be included!

My first 10 responses will receive, free of charge, Marketing Your Book on a Budget.

Please include your email address so I can contact you and get further details for shipping your book.

That's it!

Happy Green Friday!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preparing the Turkey?

Cleaning the house?

If so, you're probably not reading this post. But for those of you who are,
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Price will be back to $3.99 later today...

Get them while you can!

Purchase an eBook of :


and get your choice(s) for


By the end of the day, each of these books will be back to their regular eBook price!

Here are the links!!

A River of Stones
Conquering Your Goliaths
The Feast

Monday, November 25, 2013


Need some great ideas to help you with book marketing? Pat has them. Struggling within an abusive relationship? You just might want to read her book.

Learn more below:

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Over twenty years ago, I kept seeing a scene running through my head.  In an attempt to free myself of this persistent image, I decided to try out that newfangled type-writer my husband had brought home from work.  I worked for several hours and ended up with one-half of a page.  I found myself drawn back to the computer daily where the story seemed to channel itself to me.  At the end of a year, I had finished Stained Glass Memories.   As the years passed, I wrote five more novels. 

During those five years I began teaching at a junior college and had the opportunity to teach beginner writing courses, which helped me to develop the technical side of writing – commas, sentence structure, flow, and editing. 

In 2003 with my three children mostly grown, I divorced my husband of 32 years.  Several years later, I decided I was ready to consider an intimate relationship.  After dating a number of men, I got serious about one man who I married after knowing him for two years.  Three months later, he announced his love for someone else. 

Since writing has been my therapy, I decided to write a book lambasting him.  It did not take long to realize that writing a book about what a jerk he is would do me no good what so ever – that concept was well established by his behavior.  Instead I decided to focus on how I could turn this experience into something positive.  My goal became a mission to understand why I had attracted this man into my life and how I could ensure that I would never find myself in this situation again.   At the same time, I decided to benefit others, particularly women’s shelters because I felt the residents there were going through something similar to what I had experience but exponentially worse. 

I released Too Much Gold to Flush, The Gift of Infidelity in the fall of 2012.  In January I plan to release Too Much Gold to Flush in an e-book format.  Recently, I have been re-working one of my original novels.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

For me getting away from my normal routine is the secret to moving forward with a writing project.  When I got down to the actually writing of Too Much Gold to Flush, I took a housesitting gig in Washington State for six weeks.  While there, I wrote the rough draft.  After that, I had my momentum going and was able to keep moving forward with it.  I take lots of notes and outline by hand, but the actual writing I do on the computer.  

What's your favorite part about writing?  Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is the creative process of figuring out how to say what I want to convey in the most interesting way.  My least favorite part is that struggle to know when I have finished.  For me there is no obvious end.  I could always go through it one more time and find something else to improve.
How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them? 

My primary characters evolve with the story.  They naturally grow out of what the story needs in order to tell it.  My characters are real and usually a composite of several different people I have known.  They are human (flawed) and they are each involved in their own struggle – the usual human dilemma.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Website – (reviews, blogs, buy button, information)

Facebook – Too Much Gold to Flush

Twitter – @patgrissom1

LinkedIn groups:


Networking for Potential Book Authors


Reader’s Club

Spiritual Writers

Women Giving Back

Women Centric

Women Entrepreneurs

Your Book Is Your Hook

Two Blogs a week-

      -one featuring various women’s shelters

      -one a 50-week series on Affirming a New Vision – making positive choices

Speak to groups like Friends of the Library, sororities (speaking at the state meeting for Epsilon Sigma Alpha in May), church groups

Pay It Forward Book Club – groups can get my book for ½ price if they buy at least 6 and do a project for a women’s shelter.  I have a group in Australia that is currently reading my book, and I am scheduled to Skype with them, so they can ask me questions.  They are doing a project for a shelter there in Perth.

 Amazon – reviews (I have asked people who have read my book to post a review on Amazon.)

Newsletter – every week to two weeks I send out a newsletter via Constant Contact to let people know what I am doing.  I have a sign up option on my blog page.  I always have links to my blogs on my newsletter.

Teaching at a local shelter – In January of 2014, I am starting a 4 week class (one night a week) with the residents there on recognizing negative core beliefs, making positive choices, and setting goals for the future. 

Magazine articles -  I have gotten three articles in a local community magazine called Change.  Here is the link:

You can view the past articles in the Oct 2013 issue:

March 2013 issues: 

Another one is due out in Jan 2014.

Internet Connections:

Mind Movies – I was featured on a Mind Movie, an Internet site that features inspirational stories.  Here is the link:

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

As I mentioned earlier, I like to get away from my regular routine to start a writing project.  Once it is well underway, I am motivated to work on it to completion.  Trying to start it with everything else going on can be a huge challenge for me.  I have done a number of housesitting gigs in recently years, especially since I retired from teaching at a junior college.  This has given me that much needed booster start while letting me experience other parts of the world – East Texas & NW Washington State.   At the same time, I have met new friends and had interesting experiences (volunteered at an organic farm that grows vegetables for the local food pantry.) 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?  

I am currently working on a novel  Call It Quits that I started over 20 years ago.  It is about a 30-year-old woman who is in an abusive marriage.  She dreams of getting out on her own, but she is hampered by her location (conservative Panhandle of Texas and the times – 1973.)  The book starts the first day of her going to college – a dream she has long held and a major accomplishment she negotiated during a “honeymoon phase” – a period of generosity and kindness that follows most abusive episodes in a marriage like hers.  The book shows her growing independence and her determination to make a new life. 

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have five more books that I would eventually like to publish (besides the one I am working on and the one that I have already published.)  Eventually I would like to sponsor other authors in publishing their work and doing the same thing I am doing – benefiting women’s shelters with ½ of the sales price of the book.  My dream is to form a non-profit organization that will outlive me and will go on to support women’s shelters for many years in the future. 

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Write. Write. And write some more.  Like anything the more you do it, the better you get.  The wisest thing I’ve ever heard in reference to this is the concept of writing one million words before you call yourself a writer.  

Read books about writing.  Take classes.  Attend conferences.  Enter contests.  I’ve done all of that and all of it helped me to build my confidence and hone my skills.
Thanks Pat!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Turkey Feasts Take More Than Gravy

Yes, I'm thinking of Thanksgiving again and preparing myself.

Let's see, I can just imagine the yams, coated with sticky, white marshmallows.

Photo by: chrisjbarker, courtesy of Flickr
And the stuffing...can't you smell it? It wafts though my daughter's house like spring, only it isn't spring...but you get my drift.

The turkey? I remember the first time I cooked one upside down. But it was still good.

Do you have rolls, just shining with real butter?

My husband makes a layered Jello salad with cranberries. I can taste them already.

Photo by: Andrea_R, courtesy of Flickr
And the potatoes, like short mounds of snow just waiting for the butter to be dabbed and the gravy to be poured.

Okay, I'm done.

If you're wondering why I shared this this morning, you may want to consider your own writing. How often do you use the five senses? How many can you pick out in what I have written above?

If you feel like the strength of your five senses is weak, try your own Thanksgiving list, and see what you remember through your five senses.

And enjoy!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snow? It's about time...

I don't know about you, but I was ready for snow.

Don't get me wrong. I don't ski, snowmobile, or do any other of those outdoor sports. What I do like is looking out my window and watching the white fluffs come down.

No, I don't like to shovel.

I don't like to drive in snowy weather.

But I do like the looks of it.

And you know, it's kind of like putting out that first book. You slave over the thing; probably go over it a hundred times still finding real or imagined "mistakes." You may wonder if a publisher will ever pick it up. You may even wonder, like I did, if it just wouldn't save some headache if you did it yourself.

The weather when your writing, metaphorically speaking, may be a difficult shovel. You may even have difficult times driving in it, but in the long run, you'll more than likely be pleased with the results.

Kind of like sitting in your office watching the fluff come down.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I met up with Vivian at the Simple Treasures gift show recently and we got talking about books.

No surprise there.

What may surprise you is why Vivian began to write and how long it actually took her to put pen to paper. Find out how Deep Space Nine and her mother's stories helped Vivian find her writing muse.

Vivian Varlowe
Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I was a sick kid.  I was born with almost no immune system.  I was virtually allergic to life, and my allergies caused asthma, hay fever, and awful rashes.  I spent hours and hours, days, sometimes weeks in my bed.  I was in and out of the hospital many, many times for oxygen treatments. 

My Mama would read to me for hours.  There wasn't much on daytime television.  (I am NOT old as the dinosaurs.  It wasn't that long since we started having TVs.  OK, maybe I am just a little old!...wink) 

Mama told me about Robert Louis Stevenson.  She explained that like me he had terrible asthma.  He wrote lots of wonderful books in his bed.  Mama then read some of his poetry to me, and I was inspired.

The Swing...

Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing? (I loved it then and still do) Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
(Especially a child that can't breathe very well, but can still swing)
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide, 
(Much better view than from my bed) Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

His was a creative description of swinging that I still love. 

When I was too sick to do what I preferred (running, dancing, singing, anything involving movement), I would spin stories in my head.  Unfortunately it took me over 50 years to believe enough in my own abilities to take a leap of faith, and become an actual writer.  The happy news is that I had all those years of stories saved up just waiting to jump onto the page! 
(Did you know that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Treasure Island” before he ever was able to see a tropical island)?

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

I enjoy both types of writing at different times.  Computers make life much easier. In many ways.  Anyone who has had to mail a manuscript for a novel to a publishing company the old fashioned way involving printing four hundred pages, finding a mailer big enough to send it,  then trying to find the correct address to snail mail the manuscript to, and then paid postage for the large bulky manuscript will understand.  Now I send the entire manuscript, all four hundred pages by a click of the mouse.  Anyone who has had that experience knows the benefits of technology. 

On the other hand, I watched a Star Trek Episode years ago (Deep Space Nine was my guilty pleasure) where Jordie, who is a writer, is encouraged to write with a pen against paper.  The explanation is that it's similar to an artist feeling the tactile pleasure of oil to brush to canvas, or special types of knives for carving, or sculpting.  So sometimes I cherish the gift of outdoor beauty while I write and I don't want the newness of technology to distract me from the ideas I wish to share. 

I do love the 19th century in the Western United States and I'm pretty sure they had no laptops to use.  I have a journal in my purse everywhere that I go.  I never know when I great idea will pop into my head.  I LOVE the old fashioned joy of writing in a really lovely cursive.  It is sad to me that lovely handwriting is a rapidly dying art.

I do have a Smart Phone but I refuse to type anything longer than 10 letters with one finger.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is the magical time that you manage to catch the poetry in life, whether you are recording it in poetry format or prose format.  In a line or page you capture something that is rhythmic, musical.  Two days later you read it back to yourself and think, “Wow, did I write that?”

My least favorite part of writing is having to cut sections out of your novel, because to read the entire novel you would need to live longer than Methuselah in the Bible (he lived to be over 900 years old).  The good news is that you can always post things from the extracted parts of your novels on your blogs as “teasers,” to get people interested in your writing!

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

I use snippets from my own life, family history, family, friends, and then there is always my imagination.  I have a terrific imagination!

My characters are always a work in progress.  Readers can relate to their weaknesses, and learn from their strengths.  As my dear Mama likes to say, “There is so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst of us that it behooves none of us to talk about the rest of us.”

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I'm just learning about marketing.  So far I have two blogs, one about the series that I'm writing, that has snippets from some of the novels. Currently Celeste's Journal is giving a heads up on her character before you start reading her novel, “Celeste, Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch.”  There are also recipes from the 1800s, as well as sewing, knitting, and
crocheting patterns that were used in the 1800s.

Find it at Amazon
My other blog is  It is in reference to one of the books that will be coming out around the new year, “Thrive Don't Just Survive.”  It will be a compilation of thoughts and stories about ways to find joy in life even during the hardest times.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Wait, I'm supposed to schedule my writing time?  (hee hee)  I used to write around my two children's schedules.  Waiting for them after school, equaled two sentences.  Waiting while they played soccer, equaled three paragraphs.  While they were watching a movie at home, an entire chapter.  Now I write, whenever I want to.  Often the dishes just pile up in the sink, there will always be dishes to wash, but stories don't always stick around waiting for you to catch them in print.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

I plan on having two books from my series “Celeste, Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch,” and “Angela, Women of the Drifting Anchor Ranch,” and another book “Thrive Don't Just Survive,” published somewhere around the new year.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I ALWAYS have a project on the back burner.  Remember that whole lifetime I have spent writing books in my head?  One that I am really looking forward to writing is “Haunted Love.”  I dreamed all of this novel in one night.  When I woke up and related the dream to my husband he said, “It sounds like a good book to me.”  Ghosts, romance, spies, and adorable children.  It will be a real page turner!

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

My wonderful husband once said, “How will  you know if you are a writer if you never try?  Finish a book.  Publish a book!  How many people can say I've written a novel?”

Thank you, Vivian!
To contact Vivian you can find her at:,  (there are links on this blog to take you to  You can purchase the novel or electronic Nook format on  For Kindle format you can purchase my books at Barnes & Noble also has an online site where you can purchase her books.

If you live in the Farmington area of Davis County (in Utah) you can buy her books ($3.00 cheaper and no shipping charges), at Aunt Addy's Country Cottage on Main Street.  It's a lovely gift shop with beautiful gifts, many of them handmade, and they are sold at extremely reasonable prices.  (Christmas is coming)!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Giving Thanks for Your Writing

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and before you think that I'm all ready for Christmas (you may have seen a few of my posts promoting my book signings) allow me to clarify.

I LOVE Christmas!

But I also LOVE Thanksgiving.

Photo by: basykes, courtesy of Flickr
When did you begin writing?

From a class assignment that you loved and writing has been with you ever since?

When you began your journal as a teenager?

As a child? Can you still see yourself sharing stories with your friends, maybe even getting them to believe they really happened?

When you first fell in love with ink on paper?

When you fell in love with reading and said to yourself, "I could write like this!"

Whatever sparked in you the desire to write, think about it now...

Photo by: PhotoGraham, courtesy of Flickr

For me, it wasn't until after I married that I developed a real interest in writing, though I'd been a journal writer and reader for years. And I suppose the idea to write struck me at that time because I was pregnant with my first child and feeling pretty sick.

Suffice it to say I didn't just get morning sickness.

I remember that day because, as I sat on my couch with my legs propped up to take down the swelling, I thought about the real meaning of being pregnant; with all of the aches and pains there were also many joys and I just had to get my feelings down on paper.

The story, when finished, was titled, "Weebles Wabble."

I don't know what I think about that title today, (okay, it's pretty strange) but then, it was like a spark of light had entered the room. I was on my way.

What about you?

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Like boutiques?

For the entire month of December my books will be at the Murray, Utah

5 and Dime Boutique!
Photo by:, courtesy of Flickr

But that's not all!

I will be signing my books every Saturday until Christmas.

If you missed the signing at my home or the signing I did in Farmington (maybe you live too far away or the days didn't work for you) come and see me at the 5 and Dime on:

December 7, 14 or 21 and get your favorite book signed.

And PLEASE spread the word. This is a new boutique that opened its doors in November and they need your help. You will find many and varied handcrafted and quality discounted items such as toys, games, clothing and jewelry.

If you can't make it on one of the Saturday's in December (I know how busy we all get especially on the weekends) my books will be available for sale during the week (Sundays excepted).

Here's the address:

1260 E. Vine Street
Murray, Utah

If you find the Millcreek Pharmacy, we're right next door!

Two of the five books I will be signing!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Seasonal Settings: Making the Most of the Weather (and other things)

I was talking to a client yesterday and reaffirming what I've probably said before.

A writer needs setting in their books; they also need to use the five senses. If not, the characters are living in some sort of void.

Photo of clouds by:, courtesy of Flicker
I love the seasons. And it's always a good idea to write about them when you are experiencing them. Try tucking these seasonal experiences away until you need them.

If you're writing about summer and the true season (at least in the life you're currently living) is winter, try bringing to the surface your past experiences. They will help you in creating a real setting for your book.

One thing that some writers struggle with is something I call "talking heads." What this means is that the writer gets so caught up in the conversation they forget to reveal where the characters are standing (sitting), what time of day it is, and what the weather is like.

Photo by: blmiers2, courtesy of Flickr
I may be able to see the main character pondering about her life, but I don't see where she is sitting and what is happening around her. I don't "feel" her thoughts. And if I don't "feel" anything (and much of this "feeling" can be found in properly placed senses) I don't care about the character's life.

Real life always has something going on, whether that thing is a slow blowing wind, children playing on the playground, a water tap dripping, or just the sound of the sheets as the main character repositions herself on the bed.

Photo by: Tom Raftery, courtesy of Flickr
None of us live in a void.

When we read any worthwhile book we are not only learning from the dialogue we are learning from the setting and the five senses. A great book makes the most of the weather, whether the weather happens to be brisk, warm, or somewhere in-between; this same writers gets a real clue into the main character's heart by using the five senses.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Green Friday? You Bet

You've probably heard of Black Friday, unless you've been living underneath a rock. But, have you heard of Green Friday?

Photo by: Kumaravel, courtesy of Flickr

Now, green is typically the color of grass in the summer (if you water it, of course) and trees in full foliage, and spinach and green beans. BUT it is also the color of money.

Photo by: Dave Barger, courtesy of Flickr

So this is what I'm going to do on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Offering my marketing book for FREE. That's right.

But there's a catch. There's always a catch for free stuff. And here it is:

On Black Friday, read my post for that day, make a comment and include your email address. That's it. I will choose the first 10 responses to receive Marketing Your Book on a Budget, for FREE!

Why am I doing this?

First, I want to thank you for reading me. Life is busy and reading even one blog a day may just be reaching for the moon. Second, authors are typically in need of a bit of cash and there's nothing like getting something you need for free; third, I will be coming out with the updated version of my marketing book in January of 2014.

This updated version of Marketing Your Book on a Budget; is just that. It's updated, meaning you will find even more ideas on how to market your book.

Why not get a head-start with the 2013 version?

So, keep my blog in mind on November 29, and post your comment.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

GUEST POST: Rock and Roll: Putting Your Writing Priorities in Order

I must apologize. I scheduled this post from Vicki Lucas, and then promptly forgot that it was today! (Kind of reminds me of the post below!)

So today you are getting two posts. The first about how much I need aspiring authors, and this one here entitled:

  Rock and Roll: Putting Your Writing Priorities in Order
Vicki V. Lucas

Do you ever feel like all you’re doing is spinning your wheels in the mud some days? I often feel like I’m getting nowhere and making a mess. Nothing important is getting done as the dishes pile up. I’d like to say it’s because I’m busy, but I know that many times it’s due to my priorities being out of line.

You want to write a book, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. Maybe you’ve written the book, but now you don’t have time to market it. You know that every second marketing takes you away from writing the next book, just as every second writing takes away from selling the book you have published. How do you make time for work, writing, family, and other responsibilities?

Photo by: sgrace, courtesy of Flickr
To answer that question, I want you to picture a jar, some rocks that are about two inches big, some pebbles, and a lot of sand.

If I put some of the big rocks in the jar, I can fit about three or four in until the jar looks full, and I can’t put any more rocks in without breaking the jar. Although no more rocks fit, I can still pour pebbles into the glass. When I shake it, the pebbles will slip between the bigger rocks and fill in the smaller spaces. Although the glass is starting to look very full, it’s not. The sand goes in next. It fills up all the empty areas. Now the jar is full.

What’s the point?

The jar is your life. The rocks, pebbles, and sand we put in signify what we do in our day. In other words:

·         The rocks are the big important things. Perhaps that’s completing a project at work, spending time with your family, or doing your laundry. Whatever it is, your life is going to be bad if you don’t get it done today.
·         The pebbles are of lesser concern. For me today, it’s doing the dishes. I want to get them done, but if I don’t, I have clean plates in the cupboard. Maybe you have an assignment due at the end of the week. If you finished it today, that would be great, but you won’t have problems if it doesn’t get done. It’s important but not as urgent.
·         Finally, the sand represents the smaller priorities. These are the things that you would like to do someday. This is the closet that needs sorting, the photos that need labeling.
What you need to remember is that if you put the sand in the glass first, all the rocks and pebbles won’t fit. Your time and energy will be wasted. You will never get to the truly important things. To make everything fit, you must figure out what your big rocks are, do them first, and then there is room for everything else.

What are your big rocks today?



Contact Vicki!
Amazon Author Page -

Books –

Rancid (the new release)