Monday, November 30, 2015


For those of you who missed my book signing at my home or the signing I did at the Simple Treasures Boutique, now's your chance!

I will be at the Kearns Senior Center on Thursday and Friday of this week for their CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The address: 4851 West 4715 South.

This is an intimate and fun boutique, you'll not want to miss IT!

Please come!


Check out my interview at Authors Talk About It:


Friday, November 27, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Bernard from Spring's Saboteurs

I usually do Friday Flicks today, but have decided on being a part of Andean White's blog tour.

So here goes!

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

I am Bernard Paxton, the second child of the exiled Saraton King. My younger brother, Argo, left me in the woods at a young age. I lived for three years on a clandestine food delivery. I was called to duty from my deathbed eleven months after the last provision.

When duty calls, I live near the person I am charged to assist. Otherwise the cave near the mountain border between Manshire and Saraton serves as my home. My writer describes it:

"The cave opening was partially covered with panels of log poles lashed together with bark strips—they looked like rafts standing on end. Kendrick felt his hat rub the ceiling occasionally. The solid rock cave was made from a light grey molten matter with black pepper like chips. Along a flat section of the floor was a bookshelf made of woven willow branches. It held six books, a large pine cone, some unusual rocks, a wolf carving, and a shiny metal helmet. The bed was a collection of grass and was contained by four logs forming a square—about three feet from the fire ring. On the other side of the fire was a basket for food. The room was ample, compact, practical, and efficient—it was the reflection of its resident."

My size surprises most of my charges—at five foot two inches most people think I am a teenage boy. But, it does not take a long time to convince anyone of my unusually simple but effective powers. I continue to enjoy the surprised look on my charge’s face when they first hear my deep voice.

The object of the latest mission is to protect Kendrick, Althea, and Madison. (I think my supervisor is convinced that we should protect Roslyn also). I served as Madison’s nanny, Bernyce, until the dragon Phyer was found. By the way, Madison is one interesting child.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
This answer might surprise you—I thoroughly enjoy cooking with food I have gardened with my hands. “What?” you say.

It is required that an angel taking a physical form, furnish the body with nourishment.Wellington stew, as it will come to be known, is a favorite. My variation is to use wild turkey meat.

What is your favorite color and why?

There are two colors that make me pause—dark and spring. Both represent a new beginning.
Dark is a unifying calming color. The moment of first light is when the struggle and desire feeds everything’s effort to survive—weeds choke out flowers, sunlight bathes the shadows, wildlife searches for food, and men invade.
Spring is the color of green, purple, blue, brown, and red splashed on every living thing—flowers, trees, vegetables, and the eyes of young people falling in love. I was the one that suggested a Spring Saboteur was anyone not enjoying the gift of the surrounding beauty.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Like Queen Althea I enjoy the only food better than Wellington Stew, venison pasties. They are difficult to make at the cave, so I have to find them when on a mission. The combination of meat and vegetables simmering inside a pie crust shelter creates a taste of its own. Plus, it is a food with handles.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

My writer thinks shortness is a quirk, but if you promise not to tell him, I will provide you with my thinking…Do I have the honor of your silence? Good.
Okay, my quirk is clothing. If I had survived my bother’s ego driven escapade, King Bernard was in my future. I could have had the largest closet, with enough clothes to wear something different everyday for a year. The style would be that of the common man, not those puffy sleeve - capri leg – long stocking - pointed shoe outfits.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Kendrick is a most impatient young man. Wanting to prove he is worthy of his elders’ respect; and, his self imposed expectations brought on by comparing himself to his multi-talented father, to Queen Althea’s sharp mind; or anyone that he admires. His concept of time is considerably different than mine, it might be unfair to say that Kendrick is in a hurry, but our second meeting went like this.

…I am so excited to have company,” Bernard said.

“I understand,” Kendrick replied…“What can you tell me about Argo that may help us rescue our queen?”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

One would think ‘my writer’, but we just reached an agreement—he promises not to  ‘knock me off’ and I will be available through the four novels of the Seasons Series.
Kendrick and I have storylines so intertwined that I cannot think of another pair of characters that need each other like we do. If I had more input—Althea is kind of cute…I know, I know—she is happily married, just saying…

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I am an angel assigned to keep Kendrick alive. Manshire is in need of a clever and skilled warrior to fulfill a large void when… Sorry, I cannot say any more. It could ruin the story for you, and void my agreement with the author.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I am a rare angel. Very few angels take human form to complete their mission. A vast majority plant ideas in their charge’s mind. Regardless, like all angels I have access to the full intelligence of God and my peers.
I want to advise Kendrick to think differently—Go down the unknown and scary paths. The challenge he faces demands a solitary solution, unique to our time.

Thank you, Bernard!

Learn more about Bernard and author, Andean White:

Twitter: @AndeanWhite


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Stephanie A. Collins

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

I never set out to write a book at all, but in what felt like the blink of an eye, I went from being a young woman wrestling with a temperamental marriage to a single mother of an asthmatic, autistic toddler and an epileptic infant in heart failure. There were suddenly an overabundance of [bad] moments, and "I can't even remotely believe this is happening" moments. I began writing therapeutically, and I found my recollections came in layers. 

I would first write what happened (like, the baby stopped breathing in my arms, but I didn't start CPR right away as I should have), and I would think, "Oh, I handled that horribly; I'm such a rotten mother!"  Then I'd remember, "Oh yeah; this was going on, too," (like, the fact that I was a young, sleep-deprived, postpartum mother who had just bore witness to hours of failed IV attempts, was reeling over a rare, potentially fatal diagnosis, holding onto hope for survival, but not having any idea what that survival would actually mean for me or my baby, while simultaneously preparing myself for the very real possibility of her passing...oh, and also "mourning the death” of the healthy child I thought I had before receiving her diagnosis). 

Then it would hit me that 3 other things were happening at the same time (for instance, a failing marriage, pathetic financial woes, and my other daughter's increasingly bizarre behaviors), and so...if that portion of my parenting career didn't exactly resemble June Cleaver, wonder! Those were some pretty extreme circumstances!

Then other people (specifically nurses and therapists) began to read what I had written, and said things like, "Wow, I'm working with another family right now, and I'm certain the mom is struggling with the feelings you wrote about here, but she doesn't seem comfortable sharing her thoughts. I think she's ashamed or afraid to open up, and I think reading something like this would really help her to know she's not alone...that the way she's responding to what life is throwing at her right now is only natural." After many similar comments, I decided to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and bear my exposed, bleeding heart to the world. I figured if sharing my tale would help just one family facing similar challenges, my fear of criticism from the rest of the reading world would all be well worth it.

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

Because I had no intention of publishing, I was in no rush with the writing. That part of the publishing journey lasted a good fifteen years or so. In the beginning, I wrote mainly at night, when I had to stay awake for the needs of my daughters. Later, I wrote when it was quiet at work (on the medical unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital on the 11 PM to 7 AM shift). Once the decision was made to publish, however, I took about two years to put the book together. That work was done whenever I had a spare few minutes between running any of the kids to doctors’ appointments, therapy sessions, and/or extra-curricular activities. Then I spent about a year working with my editor/publisher. That was more “structured”. Luckily, the kids were in school through much of that time, so I had block hours in which to work.

2.   How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I just wrote whatever way I could, whenever I could on whatever I could. Sometimes it was longhand, like when we were stuck at the hospital (before laptops were the norm). Once laptops became available, I worked that way, too. I did the bulk of my writing, however, on our home PC.

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

My biggest challenge in writing my story was digging through the layers of circumstance and emotion that made it necessary to write therapeutically in the first place. It was very important to me that I was completely honest in all I wrote (what good would it be, otherwise?). Sometimes, though, truth can be lost in excuse and/or confusion. Interestingly, clarity was a surprising side-effect of changing the names of all involved and re-writing the book in a third person perspective. Those alterations allowed me to set aside some of the raw emotion, which – oddly – helped the whole process. For instance, I found I had much more patience and understanding for “Laura” than I did for myself. It was fascinating to me that altering the writing in preparation for publication ended up becoming an even more therapeutic process than the original writing! So…I guess you could say that the most difficult aspect of writing – finding my therapeutic truth – was also my favorite part of writing – being set free by my therapeutic truth.

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

I mainly focus on social media. I started exclusively on Facebook, but soon began to see that I may be irritating/alienating my Facebook friends with a steady stream of posts about the book. From there I branched out…Goodreads, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest…and, finally, Twitter. I started off knowing nothing about Twitter, but now I practically live there. I’ve grown from approximately 20 followers to about 49,000 in the last 18 months or so. Aside from that, I run 2 promotional $0.99 sales per year, one in October, one in May, and I use various book promoting sites (People Reads, Fussy Librarian, EBooks Grow On Trees, etc. – along with Twitter, of course) to advertise those sales.

In addition to social media, I’ve reached out to many colleges and universities around the nation. Multiple nursing and special education programs have added my book to their “suggested reads” lists, and a few have even made it mandatory reading for their class!

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

I’ve been asked to write a sequel, but I don’t plan to write another book. As a compromise I’ve begun a monthly blog, which is something of a continuation of the epilogue on the book’s website. It’s been fun, therapeutic, and rewarding to receive so many responses from people around the world!

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

LOL…current projects on the back burner include the dishes, the laundry, raking the leaves in the back yard…

In all seriousness, though, the book is currently in the process of being translated to Spanish, and I have equipment to begin recording for an audio book. I’ll be getting to that as soon as I get caught up on those dishes, laundry, and leaves!

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

I say, if you want to write, write. Plain and simple. When you’re done writing, if you want to publish, find yourself a really good editor. Trust me. Money. Well. Spent.


Thank you, Stephanie!

Learn more about Stephanie:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Are you breathing yet?


It's only two days away.

Are you feeling the rush yet?

Wondering how you'll get through it

and then on to Christmas?


Right now.


Do you hear it? 

No, not your kids.

Not the ticking of the heater.

Your heart.

It's still beating.

And it's time for you to 


Do you hear it?

What is it telling you?

Monday, November 23, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Tahle'el from Journey to the Mercy Mines

Tahle'el  is from Robin Glassey's third novel in The Azetha Series -

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

You may call me Tahle’el. I had another name long ago when I lived in Xanti, however, Houseless Elves do not speak of their former names and Houses. I wear the black band of the Vaanarae on my arm and my black hair has grown long, as I no longer have the right to keep it cut short. I have no home anymore, although I was trapped in the Tower of Sorrows for centuries, waiting for Azetha to release me from the spell placed on me by Queen Lindra. I protect Azetha now and train her for the day when she will face the sorcerer Mortan. My hope is that Azetha will be able to do what I could not — kill him.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have a moment or two, I sharpen my blade and my knives. I must be ready at all times for Mortan’s servants. I cannot have Azetha be at risk because my blade was left dull.

What is your favorite color and why?

Such a question is best left for Elven philosophers — not for a warrior such as myself.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I eat for survival, not for pleasure. However, I will admit that in the years I spent trapped in the Tower, locked in a magical spell without food or water, I sometimes longed for the taste of whicca spice. Too many years without such a simple pleasure had me missing its flavor.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I stir my drinks with my finger. That is only because I worry Mortan could locate me in the reflection of the liquid. You might think it paranoia on my part, yet if you knew my brother Mortan as I do, you would perhaps do the same.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

My brother has a gift for hounding me. When I became ill with a fever, I could not tell whether I was dreaming of Mortan or actually hearing him speak to me. I felt him at my heels and whether it was my imagination or real — the effect was and is the same.  I cannot seem to shake him.

“We are brothers, Tuuovan. You must serve me, not Azetha. You will return to me,” Mortan said, more as a promise than as a demand. “We are connected forever, you and I. Come back to me, Tuuovan. Help me.”

“I will never come back to you. And it is Tahle’el now.”

Get the Book at Amazon!

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Other Elves would mock me for saying this, yet my honor means the most to me. This means keeping my promises. I vowed to Queen Lindra I would protect Azetha and I will do all in my power to keep my word (whether Azetha agrees with my methods or not).

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I followed my brother Mortan at first because I was young and na├»ve — I thought I could help him find a cure for Daliinu. I thought others just did not understand him. When I finally began to realize he was going too far in his methods to find a cure for her, my brother used magic to muddle my thoughts and keep me under his control. When I was freed from Mortan’s spell I tried to kill him, however, I failed. Not because I lacked physical strength — I was in fact Warrior Class until being declared Vaanarae. I failed because I could not drive my sword through my own brother’s heart.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

I am beginning to feel conflicted. If I am forced to choose between obeying the Queen and obeying Azetha, I do not know who I will choose.


Thank you, Tahle'el!

Learn more about Tahle'el:

Robin Glassey

For information about Robin's novels go to:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stand Alone Book or Series?

I've recently come upon a question that isn't always easy to answer. The question? Is it better to publish a stand alone book or a series?

For a few years I thought the series answer would win - hands down, but I met a woman at my last signing who was relieved that one of my books - was not. "I feel as if I'm being strung along to the next book," she said. We talked about series books that don't really end but keep you hanging until the next book and the simplicity of producing only one book with an entire story within.

It was refreshing. Sort of like meeting someone for the first time, spending key moments with them, and allowing them to go about their lives without you.

But there's an interesting thing about stand alone books - they are often a harder sell. The series, well, there are so many readers who don't want to leave the main character and the thought of continuing in their life is like having a great friend who is with them through thick and thin.

According to one survey, 82 percent of readers prefer books in a series to 18 percent who prefer stand alone's.

What does that mean for authors?

Book 1
Book 2

Book 3
As I look at my own published books I have only one stand alone book. The rest are in a series - my mystery series and my Parable series. Another book comes out every January - updated with the newest ideas for marketing, and another is matched with a workbook, so I guess I was following the trend without really knowing it.

There may be a time when people are literally tired of the series run and just want a good read without having to pick up another book to see what else happens with the main character, but for now, keep writing those series books. It's what folks like - and buy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Amanda Lockwood from the Lockwood Legacy series

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Amanda Lockwood. Everyone calls me Mandy. I’m the youngest of the three Lockwood girls. I’m also the shortest, the only blonde in the family, and the only one with blue eyes. My biggest goal in life is to build a strong, loving family.

Get the Set Here

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to cook, even though my sisters tease me because I like what we call “West Texas funeral food.” You know, casseroles that freeze well and salads suspended in Jello. But really, they’re just teasing me. My repertoire is a lot bigger than that. I’d really love to have my own cooking show.

What is your favorite color and why?

Yellow, because it’s cheerful, hopeful, and positive. I see something pretty and yellow and think about gorgeous, sunny days and all the potential they hold.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I love warm milk sweetened with honey because my big sister, Katie, used to make it for me when I was a little girl.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?
I always smell my food before I eat it. My sisters make fun of me for doing this all the time, but I just can’t stand food that doesn’t smell “right” to me even if it smells perfectly fine to everyone else.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

I really don’t have an antagonist. I mean, I don’t want to sound self-absorbed or anything, but everybody loves me and I love that they do! I can get really annoyed with Katie sometimes when she starts acting like Daddy, which is NOT a compliment. I do ask her all the time if she was raised in a barn and she says, “No, Baby Sister, but I was raised right next to one and so were you.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Well, if you don’t know our story, I don’t want to give stuff away, but first I’d have to say my sisters, and then, well . . . you’ll have to read to find out what his name is and how wonderful he is -- and just how far I’ll go to take care of the people I love even when it means doing scary things.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

A lot of times people mistake me for being a little bit of an airhead, but I’m not. You have to remember that down South “bless your heart” has multiple meanings. Just because I know how to be polite doesn’t mean I’m a pushover or that I don’t see everything that’s going on around me.

If you could tell your writers (creators) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

When I was living in Houston, I had a serious relationship with a U.S. Senator’s son and I broke it off because the Senator didn’t like my father and therefore didn’t like me.


Do you actually visit the places you make us go to or do you just make this stuff up for us and expect us to do the best we can?

Mandy, in my books, I've visited most of the places I write about. Sometimes I study the place I want to write about, but I've found that having some personal experience in an area in which I'm going to write about is invaluable. Of course, if the writer is writing a fantasy novel and the planet is made up, well, they've really got to convince the reader that they've been there.

Thank you, Mandy!

Learn more about Mandy and the Lockwood Legacy series here
and here

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


A BIG THANK YOU to all who stopped by my booth this past weekend! I had my BIGGEST show ever!

Top seller was "The Gift: A Parable of the Key"!


I had a great time meeting you and giving out FREE audio's to those who agreed to do a review for me. I'm looking forward to seeing these soon on Amazon.

As a head's up, I still have 8 audio slots left, and so if you'd like to review the audio of The Gift, please let me know and I'll send along the code via email.

I will also be offering the eBook of Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones on Black Friday. You can get it here then. That's the 27th of November.


Monday, November 16, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Patricia Pauletti

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

My first creative love, frankly, was music. My mother was a piano teacher, and I gravitated naturally toward the instrument. But then, I began to keep a journal and on a whim, entered a writing contest at school. I discovered, to my delight, that there are many ways to express a creative urge, and I’ve been writing ever since.

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

I’m an early riser, so the bulk of actual composition happens in the first part of the day. The stillness and the quiet, with the exception of bird songs, is meditative for me and perfect to get me in the place where the words will flow. Afternoons are more given over to plot and character creation in the outlining process I use with my writing partner.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I prefer to use my laptop. When I’m brainstorming, I typically open a word processor and just start typing with no thought to structure or grammar. This kind of free writing is wonderful to get ideas down without battering them to death with editing. I always work in my office. It may be because I’m an only child, but I love my space where no one bothers me.

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

I am more of a “pantser” with my writing. I like to go with the flow of a story and weave the plot as I’m working. It’s like driving somewhere without a destination in mind. I just enjoy the journey. My partner prefers to work with story “beats.” I see the value in both, and we’ve certainly made it work for us, but I don’t always love it when she reins me in and says we have to have an actual plan if we’re going to get something finished according to our own internal deadlines.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My head is filled with plot ideas. Our first book, Langston’s Daughters, came out of my ability to visually create a movie or a television series in my head. I don’t mean that I’m trying to get the books produced in that way (although no writer would really object to that), it’s just that the images are already there in my thoughts. I envisioned a story with three sisters trying to overcome a difficult family past with the tension generated by the father. I suggested that they be reunited by his death. When my partner wrote the initial scene with the bit about the hat at the end, all I could then see was the unraveling of why a man would kill himself with his hat on his head. That’s not something men down South do. They take their hats off before they commit suicide. Why did Langston break that pattern? The story
developed from there.

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

We’ve tried many things, from blog tours to our ongoing use of social media, which we love because it allows us to interact with our readers. But if I really had to point to what has worked for us in terms of the greatest sales impact, it would have to be feature posts in email list services like BookBub.

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

I’ve been a fan of cozy mysteries for years and have been eager for us to work in that genre. Our first foray into the field is the truly hilarious novel, You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet. That was so much fun (and there will be more books in that series) we were anxious to develop another character. We chose to work in the world of theater and build a bridge back to the world of classic films through some light paranormal powers for our protagonist. It’s going to be a fun book, and we’re looking forward to having it out in the next few weeks.

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

We actually have two projects on the back burner, mainly because there aren’t enough hours in the day to write everything we want to write. The first series to get to “sit still” for a bit is the Selby Jensen paranormal mysteries. We introduced the character in Descendants of the Rose and will have her tackling a real-life unsolved crime in book two that has required a lot of research. We also have our novella series Fermata on the back burner for now after putting out the first two installments. It’s a zombie post-apocalyptic series with a unique twist and book three is critical to the evolution of the story. We’re not happy with it yet. We’ve put it aside for now so we can come back at it fresh in a few months.

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

I have wanted to be a published author for as long as I can remember. I used to go into bookstores and buy Writer’s Market every year. I spent hours going through that massive book looking at the submission process and being discouraged by the hurdles traditional publishing put in front of writers in those days. The idea of doing this for a living was unthinkable. With the rise of Amazon and self-publishing, that “not everyone can get into the Olympics” thinking has evaporated. It’s not only possible to make a living writing, it’s completely attainable. Self-publishing is motivating wonderful, creative writers whose voices never would have been heard in the old world. To participate in this new world and to overcome the feeling of not being talented enough, jump in anyway. Get your work out there. You quickly begin to wear your “author’s clothes.” The more you take on that persona, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. It fuels both your self-confidence and your writing. The more you see your name “up in lights,” the more you want it, even if you start very, very small. If your reviews are terrible, there are plenty of writing groups, support forums, courses, and mentors to overcome any problems you might have. You can elevate your skills and you can learn from your reviews, not be crippled by them. Just keep writing. It’s the only way you will get better. One of the things I love most about the Indie writing community is the supportive climate. There’s room for all of us. I love that.

A question for the blog owner, Kathryn Jones:

Since I’m part of a writing duo, I find it invaluable to have someone to bounce ideas of. When you’re working alone, who fulfills that role for you, or is that something you don’t need?

Great question! I often bounce ideas off of my husband - and he gives me plenty of writing ideas, too! Conquering Your Goliaths came from a comment he made about the five stones that David gathered when he stood up to defeat Goliath. Why do you think he gathered five stones anyway when only one was needed to kill him?

I find that putting my manuscript aside - right now my third mystery, "Hard Boiled" is in the rafters until the new year. When the time for resting is done, my book will not have seen the light of day for two months. When I pull it out again I expect to make some changes before I get it to my beta readers. Sometimes the best ideas come from resting awhile.


Thank you, Patricia!

See Patricia's writing partner interview here.