Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome Wednesday
Happy 2015
May the New Year bring you good health, happiness and your dreams come true.

New Year Graphics
Facebook Graphics, New Year Graphics at

Monday, December 29, 2014


Monday Musings.
Today I'm sharing a newsletter from Karen Cioffi with you that you may find interesting. Enjoy.
2014 Coming to a Close – 2015 Just Before Us, Bright and Shiny

This week is a New Year that brings amazing things: opportunity for a fresh start, renewed hope, possibilities, and even new beginnings.

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Make 2015 a year of action rather than procrastination.

To start the New Year, I tried to find quotes I haven’t shared before, or at least ones I haven’t shared recently. Below are 10 I find inspirational. Hope you do to.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
~ Lyndon B. Johnson

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." ~ Dale Carnegie

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
~ Will Rogers

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Christopher Columbus

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
~ Stephen Covey

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffet

“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

To add to these motivational quotes for the New Year, I have a powerful goal setting and achieving ebook for you. It's free and you can (and should) share it. It’s absolutely worth reading. Here's the link:

A Simple System to Achieve Your Goals

And, here's another gift the members of Writers on the Move created for you:
Writers on the Move: Winter 2014 Writing and Marketing Tips and Strategies:

Be sure to open next week's newsletter, they’ll be a gift to help you get started on the  right track in 2015!



Get Website Traffic with Inbound Marketing is just what you need.

It's a 4-week e-class through WOW! Women on Writing and covers: optimizing your website, blogging smart, email marketing, and social media marketing.

It's interactive, in-depth, priced right, and starts January 5th. Check it out today. Just click on the link above for the details.


You may reprint this article from "The Writing World” in its entirety in your own blog or print/electronic newsletter. But, please include the following paragraph:

Article reprinted from “The Writing World.” Join us today at and receive “Get Traffic to Your Website.”

Karen Cioffi, Freelance Writer
For Businesses and Individuals

karencioffi [at] ymail [dot] com

I'm an affiliate for some of the products I recommend. I only tell you about products I've checked out.


Send me an email with your question and I'll do my best to give you an answer.

Monday, December 22, 2014


Have a lovely holiday, whatever you celebrate.
See you next week.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Friday Fun
One of the funnest (is that a word) things I like to do is read. This wasn't always true. When I was a kid, I hated to read. Thank heavens I learned what I was missing.
Books I read recently:
THE STAG LORD by Darby Kaye (You saw the review here.)
QUEST OF THE HART by Mary Waibel (Also reviewed.)
THE LUMPY DUCKLING by Kai Strand (Reviewed)
NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Patsy Collins (Reviewed on Amazon)
POWDER MONKEY by Donna M. McDine (Reviewed)
THE HOUND AT THE GATE by Darby Karchut (ARC Reviewed on Good Reads - Due out in Jan.)
THE ONLY GAME by Mike Lupica (ARC due out in Feb. Working on Review)
I would recommend them all for great Christmas gifts or just because you like someone and want to make them happy.
There may be others I can't remember. But as you can see, I'm now a reader.
I still have a mountain of books to read, but have slowed down a bit to finish my latest.
A reminder that MuseItUp Publishing is having a big sale.
Also, enter here to win a copy of I LIVE IN A DOGHOUSE. Deadline is Jan. 1, 2015. 
And last, though this isn't a book, see what visited my house on Thursday.
Have a great weekend.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Welcome Wednesday!
Normally, I leave my Christmas tree up until New Year's Day. I just enjoy looking at it. This year, however, the tree had other ideas. This is what happened. So the tree is now in the garage.

Tiger looks guilty, but he's innocent. He and Patches were in the den with me when we heard it fall. The stand broke. It was old. Goodbye, dear tree. You were a good one.

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 15, 2014


Monday Musings
This week I'm going to finish the story I've been working on for at least two years. I am. I am. I think I'm on the right track now. It's gone through a lot of changes, and I really like the characters now.
Addressing Christmas cards is also on my to do list.
Send cards to family in California and South Carolina.
Some of the cards I'm mailing have Cardinals on them. Well, I have my own Cardinals. Take a look. This one was on the fence outside the back door.
The crest isn't noticeable on this one. I don't know why.
Maybe he's having a bad hair day.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Friday Fun.
And today I have a fun offer for you.
MuseItUp Publishing is giving away 5 e-copies of my middle grade fiction
Sometimes a boy just needs a safe place to hide, like in a doghouse.
Deadline to enter is January 1st, 2015.
Just fill out the form here:
Have a great weekend.
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Welcome Wednesday
Today, I have the pleasure of spotlighting my dear friend and fantastic Author Janet K. Brown's latest novel.
This is a lovely cover. Such a sweet smile.
Back Cover Blurb:
How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?
     LACEY CHANDLER helps her mother, her sister, her friend, and then she binges on food and wonders is there really a God?
     BETTY CHANDLER hates being handicapped and useless, so she lashes out at the daughter that helps, and the God who doesn’t seem to care.
     TOBY WHEELER loves being police chief in Wharton Rock, but when the devil invades the small town, he can’t release control.
Is God enough in Wharton Rock?
Excerpt from Worth Her Weight
By six, Lacey arrived home, ready to flop. Her mother sat on a chair in the kitchen, her cane propped against her.
Lacey carried in the pizza boxes and set them on the table.
Rachel clapped her hands and climbed into a chair beside her grandma.
Without a word, Mom held out a letter to Lacey.
A cold shiver shook her—the same foreboding she had sensed in the morning. “What’s this?”
Her mother shrugged. “Came in today’s mail.”
Lacey opened it, her Mom watching as she read.
She threw the paper across the room. It bounced halfway back to her. “Well, if that doesn’t take the cake.” She paced, her heels clicking on the scratched and scarred kitchen tiles. The noise level grew louder when she snatched plates from the cabinet and dropped them to the table.
“Save the dishes.” Mom’s tone was dry, with no humor.
Something like a growl escaped Lacey’s lips. “Katie makes the messes. Lacey cleans them up. Isn’t that right, Mom?” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at her mother. “Did you know about this?” Her fingers began drumming on her opposite forearm. Her jaw got so tight, it hurt.
Her mother shook her head. She glanced at Rachel.
The anger was difficult for Lacey to swallow, but she tried. “Sweetie, go wash your hands before we eat.”
The child scooted a chair toward the sink.
Lacey halted her. “Go to the bathroom and use the stool there.” Her voice shook from her effort at control.
Rachel looked at the pizza with longing, but she obeyed.
The pepperoni and mozzarella aroma permeated the house. Nausea churned in Lacey’s stomach despite how good it smelled.
“Has Katie gone?” Mom asked with a soft tone.
In contrast, Lacey nearly yelled. “Of course, she has!”
The lines in Mom’s face seemed to deepen. Her skin paled. Lacey was sure the cane was the only thing that kept Mom from falling as she coped with the pain inflicted by her favorite daughter.
The fight had gone out of Lacey. Her knees wobbled. She eased into a chair and nodded. “She wants me to have custody of Rachel. She doesn’t even want her own daughter, Mom. What kind of woman walks away from her flesh and blood?”
Both women turned when a whimper came from the living room.
Heat rushed up Lacey’s neck. She jumped up and ran, wishing she could erase her careless words.
Rachel curled into a ball on the sofa, her right thumb inserted firmly in her mouth.
“Aunt Lacey’s sorry. I didn’t mean what I said.”
Rachel sucked harder, pulling it out momentarily to speak. “Is my mama coming to get me today?”
“No, sweetheart, not today. Maybe another day.” She patted her niece’s bare legs.
There was no sound except the sucking. Lacey sat on the floor patting and wondering what to say or do. A clap of thunder reminded her of the unsettled clouds. “I need to go close my car windows. I’ll be right back.”
She ran outside, started the car, and raised her driver’s side window. Just as she got back inside, the downpour began.
Mom still sat at the kitchen table, her head in her hands. She rose, grabbing her cane. Red puffy eyes alerted Lacey to her mother’s tears, something that seldom happened.
Compassion knocked at Lacey’s heart, but she locked it out, when she realized the tears were all for Katie.
Lacey sat on the floor beside Rachel. “You ready for some pizza?” Lacey wanted kids one day, but she wanted her own with a husband by her side. She couldn’t attract a man, but now she had a child.
Mom plopped into her recliner. “Do you think food will fix everything?”
“Works for me.” Lacey tried a teasing note. “Whenever things go wrong, food makes it better.” She huffed at Mom and grimaced. “Didn’t you know that?” Good thing she hadn’t planned on the cruise. She crunched up the pamphlet and threw it in the trash along with a few other dreams. She’d stay fat and lonely.
What was she going to do with a four-year-old?
This inspirational women’s fiction is available now for pre-order at
Pen-L is offering a 10% discount if pre-ordered before Christmas. Since it will release on Dec. 16, in most cases, it can still be shipped and received in time for Christmas delivery.
Author Bio:

Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retirement from medical coding.
     Worth Her Weight will be the author’s debut inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her recently released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.
Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.
     Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren, and work in their church. Find her at http:/ / on Twitter, @janetkbrowntx , on Facebook @!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707 
Happy Reading!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Monday Musings
As  I look at the calendar I wonder where 2014 has gone. What have I accomplished this year? What will the new year bring? My house is beginning to look festive. Here are a couple of examples.

Now, I must start shopping.
If you're still looking for the perfect gift for the young ones in your family, don't forget books. I'm having a special on my print books. $10.00 a copy, signed, and I pay the shipping. The titles are all listed in the links above. I have most of them, except for Star of the Team. Have ordered more copies, but have no idea when they'll arrive. I can also send ebook copies in all formats of A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, as well as I Life in a Doghouse. The ebooks are only $1.00. If you're interested, email me Beverlysmcclure (at) aol (dot) com.
Here comes Santa Clause.
Happy Reading.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Friday Fun!
Here's more great reading for you.
First, from my publisher at MuseItUp
Join our newsletter and be up-to-date with our newest and upcoming releases, special BUZZ deals, discount codes just for our subscribers, exclusive author interviews, sneak chapter peeks of soon-to-be-released books, and more.
When you sign up for our newsletter, you’ll save time searching for your next read, discover MuseitUp authors you’ll love…and save!
Second, it's out, yay, the book we've all been waiting for.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is available for downloading. Thanks to everyone who contributed – it is packed with information! Please help us spread the word about this awesome book.
Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool. Compiled into three key areas of writing, publishing, and marketing, this valuable resource offers inspirational articles, helpful anecdotes, and excellent advice on dos and don'ts that we all wish we knew when we first started out on this writing journey.

ISBN 9781939844088 235 pages, FREE Find it at Amazon, (please tell Amazon you found it for a lower price elsewhere) Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


It's the first Wednesday in December, and you know what that means.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
Awesome Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG. His awesome co-hosts for the December 3 posting of the IWSG are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins!
To see other places to visit on the Blog Hop click here.
When Do You Stop?
My post today is about revising, revising and revising. When is the story the best I can make it? My current WIP has been revised so many times I've lost count. I've sent it to an editor. Her suggestions and comments called for more revisions. My crit partners, bless their precious hearts, have read the story over and over and offered their thoughts. More revisions. I'm reading through the revision, revision, revisions and still making changes. 
Other stories are floating around in my head, wanting to be told. So, this week, I've decided no more. After this final crit and revisions, I'm sending my baby into the world. I hope she's treated kindly and finds a home. If not, we'll see. But for now, I've done all I can do. So I'll write that query and synopsis and say "Goodbye" at least for a while.
How about you? How many times do you revise a story?
Happy Writing!
Today is also WRITER'S REBEL CREED day.
This is S. A. Larsen's baby.
How am I doing?
I still write at least five days a week, sometime on the weekend too.
I believe in my abilities. I just have to work on them.
I hope to write something new one day if I ever finish my WIP.
Surprisingly, I am enjoying the revisions of my story. The characters are becoming more real to me, with more distinct personalities. I think that was part of the earlier problem.
Marketing: still working on that.
I've read a lot of books this year and reviewed most of them, for I know how important reviews are to a book. I enjoy hosting authors on my blog too.
And I do dream big.
What about your dreams?
Thanks for visiting with me today. Come back anytime and let me know what you're up to.


Monday, December 1, 2014


A Year in the Secret Garden - cover

Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.


Great News!

You can purchase your very own copy of this gorgeous book for only $15 (a savings of $5) directly from Audrey Press between Dec. 1 and 7, 2014.  PLUS, if you miss these dates, you can still purchase the book between December 8 and 31, 2014 for $15 using the code word "SECRETGARDEN". 

Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads

Blog Tour Excerpts

The Blog Tour for A Year in the Secret Garden took place Nov. 1 to 30, 2014.  Below you will find review excerpts from some of the participating blogs as well as links to a guest post by the author and an interview with the illustrator.  Click HERE for the full Tour Schedule and the full list of participating blogs.
"A Year in the Secret Garden is a treasure trove of activities, crafts, games, recipes and information all related to the classic children's book, The Secret Garden, bringing to life this wonderful book to a new generation of readers. I cannot recommend this beautifully illustrated and detailed, information-packed book highly enough to parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and librarians." ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"The authors love of the Secret Garden book comes through SO clearly and I am a student of literature so I loved it for the explanations and history of what was happening." ~ WS Momma Readers Nook

Guest Post by Author Valarie Budayr: "A brief article on A Year in The Secret Garden" ~ Coffee, Books & Art

"A perfect book not only for the summer activities but all through the year.  Truly it shows the way into the SECRET GARDEN." ~ Eloquent Articulation

"These ladies have created a fabulous book that can stand alone or be used as companion to the classic either in a classroom setting, or homeschool setting or for anyone that loves to share great literature and activities with their children."  ~ Adalinc to Life

"While the children enjoyed the activities associated with this book, I was entranced by the beautiful water color illustrations and the scrumptious looking images of foods to make.  I am certain that any person who grew up hoping to find that secret key to let them into an enchanting garden will fall in love with the magic inside this book to share with their children." ~ Books, Babies and Bows

Interview with Illustrator, Marilyn Scott-Waters: "A Year in the Secret Garden Interview" ~ Pragmatic Mom

"This would make such a nice Christmas gift for a young one to grow up with.  Why not add a copy of the reading book and maybe even the DVD and some supplies to do an activity or two. " ~ The Blended Blog

"It is a wonderful, hands on, practical way to take kids on a journey back in time and see how children and families lived in another era." ~ Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking

Month by Month Guide


  • Indian Style Chicken Curry
  • Rangoli
  • Magic Carpets
  • Misselthwaite Manor
  • Character Study: Mary Lennox
  • Ploughman’s Lunch


  • Cutouts of the Secret Garden Characters
  • Planting Bulbs
  • The English Garden
  • Character Study: Mrs. Medlock


  • Hot Oatcakes
  • Jump Rope
  • Plastic Bag Jump Rope
  • Jump Rope Rhymes
  • Shovel, Shovel, Spade
  • Character Study: Ben Weatherstaff

A Year in the Secret Garden - Inside Pages 26 27


  • Bringing in the Evergreen
  • Yorkshire Pudding Toad-in-a-Hole
  • The Oak King vs. The Holly King
  • The Story of Mistletoe
  • Character Study: Martha Sowerby


  • Parkin Cake
  • Wutherin' Wind Flags
  • Ice Disks
  • Yorkshire Phrasebook
  • Character Study: Dickon Sowerby
  • Perfectly Good Porridge with Treacle


  • Oaten Pipe
  • Garden in a Jar
  • Death in Victorian England
  • Character Study: Archibald Craven

A Year in the Secret Garden - February


  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Nest Building
  • Seed Paper & Packets
  • Grow-Me Seed Paper
  • Seed Packets
  • Class of Hunger
  • Character Study: Colin Craven


  • Robin Cake
  • Dickon’s Felt Creatures
  • The World of Mason Bees
  • Making of a Mason Bee House
  • British Money
  • Old British Money
  • Character Study: Dr. Craven


  • Freezer Strawberry Jam
  • Planting a Rose Bush
  • Wheelbarrow Race
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Spot-Sitting
  • Character Study: Lilias Craven

A Year in the Secret Garden - Inside Pages 84 85


  • A Midsummer Garden Tea Party
  • Ladybug Sandwiches
  • Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
  • Simply Divine Lemon Cookies
  • Daisy Chain Crowns
  • Midsummer Dancing Ribbon Wreaths
  • Flower Pressing
  • Character Study: Victorian/Edwardian Family Life


  • The Secret Meal
  • Tin Foil Breakfast
  • The Cooking Campfire
  • Creating a Garden Journal
  • Colin’s Exercises
  • Blindfolded Garden Walk
  • Colin’s Magic Chant and Affirmations
  • Affirmation Stones
  • Character Study: Susan Sowerby


  • Scones and Ginger Tea
  • A Taste of Summer
  • Paper Garden Model
  • Garden Games for Family and Friends
  • Blind Man’s Bluff
  • Red Rover
  • Character Study: Frances Hodgson Burnett

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website,, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure.

She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.

Book Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads

About the Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters

Marilyn Scott-WatersMarilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website,, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.

She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).

Website | Facebook | Google+

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: December 31, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services