Monday, October 30, 2017


Happy Halloween, a day early. 

I have a couple of things to talk about today.

First a book review of a wonderful, fun story I read recently.



By Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nail, and Dee Romito

Remember those good old days of Middle School or Junior High? How could you forget them, right? It was a time of change, a time of parties, and a time of lots of “firsts.” First crushes, along with disappointments, broken hearts, and also some humor. Yes, humor, if not so much for the middle grade students as for the readers of BEST. NIGHT. EVER by Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nail, and Dee Romito.

This novel is such a fun story, even though the students, at times, did not think what happened to them was fun. Some of the incidents sure reminded me of emotions running wild and feelings easily hurt back in my middle school days. In BEST. NIGHT. EVER, we meet Carmen, Genevieve, Ellie, Ashlyn, Ryan, Jade, and Tess, each with a story to tell. The authors do a splendid job of catching the emotions and voices of middle school kids.

We see the big night with its expectations and all that happens through the eyes and hearts of each character. Middle school students and even older teens, not to mention older folks like me, should enjoy reading this book. Recommended for school libraries, classrooms, and your own personal library.

Available at Amazon and other places where great books are found.

Now, let's talk about


#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, ad Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday (or sometimes other Mondays) of every month with a new topic. You're invited to post your own Ripples. Just be sure and link to Kai, Mary, and Katie.

October's Topic is CAREER VS. HOBBY

(Yes, I know this is the last Monday, not the first. Be nice.)

So, what is my writing? I think, in the beginning, it was a hobby. I was still teaching and had little time for another career, really did not want one because I enjoyed teaching. Then one day, I was reading a children's magazine. I don't recall which magazine, but that little light bulb above my head turned on. My students loved the magazines. They had neat stories in them and interesting articles. Mmm. We did a lot of fun things in science and art. Would these magazines be interested in our work? Well, I'd never know until I tried, right? 

So, I wrote a couple of articles, sent them off and forgot about them. Then one day I came home from school, glanced at my mail and guess what? Yep, HAPPINESS, a TV Guide type of magazine, had published the article I sent them and a check was enclosed. My first earnings as a writer. It was about having fire drills in the home, like we had at school.

From there I decided to try fiction. By the time I retired from teaching, my writing had switched from a hobby to a career. And that's what it is today. My career.

And, if you're in the mood for a spooky read to celebrate Halloween, check these out from Dancing Lemur Press.

Parallels: Felix Was Here
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life
Matowak: Woman Who Cries
Maski: Broken but not Dead

Look out for flying ghosts and clanking skeletons, or maybe a sweet kitty on a broomstick.

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 23, 2017


What a neat way to start the week. First, here's my review for FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY by Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson and a reminder of the  "Boo-K" Bash at Jessica's blog. I was supposed to post the review next week, but decided today would be more fun. So have a great time. I'm going over in a few minutes to join the party.

Lovely Cover. Just the Right Amount of Spookiness.


By Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

Illustrations by David Sanangelo

Have you ever met a bookworm that eats words in a book? If not, now is your chance. Pick up a copy of FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY by Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson and help Fairday and friends solve the mystery of Begonia House.

From the very beginning we are on an adventure with Fairday, Lizzie, and Marcus, the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) to discover the meaning of notes written in riddles about words being lost and a bookworm and something about shoes that Fairday keeps receiving. Will the DMS solve the mystery in time to save the books, or will the bookworm win and destroy all the books. How horrible to not have books to read.

FAIRDAY MORROW AND THE TALKING LIBRARY is such a fun read. And I was right there with the DMS, trying to solve the mystery. I bet you will be too.  The authors have just the right amount of spookiness in the story. The idea of books being eaten by a bookworm has given me a new definition for the word “bookworm.” I always thought it meant a person who read a lot, but in this story we meet a new sort of bookworm.

And, how about a Halloween party with guests dressed as … I’m not telling. This novel is perfect for school classrooms and libraries, as well as your own library. Recommended.

I received an ARC for my honest review.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Welcome! Thank you for joining S. A. Larsen's tour for her latest book, MARKED BEAUTY. I'm so happy to see you here and think you will enjoy your visit. So let's get started.

This cover is gorgeous. Love the butterfly.

Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017


Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.

Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.




S.A. Larsen

The seatbelt jolted Ana back into her seat as the car plunged into the water, the hood crinkling like a weak soda can. Glass shards peppered her skin. The first sensation of cool water sprayed over her.
Ana moaned. She rolled her head to the side. Katee’s hair lay in strings across her crumpled seat; she wasn’t moving. God, why wasn’t she moving?

Pain screeched up Ana’s thigh as she yanked on her leg to move closer to Katee; it wouldn’t budge, wedged between two sheets of metal. It stung so badly that her stomach rumbled. She felt faint.
“Katee,” Ana rasped, the seatbelt pressing against her throat. “I’ll get you out of here.”
She didn’t respond. Blood trickled from her forehead, and her arm flared out in a direction it shouldn’t; it was definitely broken.

Ana fumbled to reach the clasp of her seatbelt, but the mangled console was in the way. Her fingers wouldn’t fit in the space.

Tears threatened to leak from her eyes, but she held them back, hiccupping instead. She always hiccupped when things went wrong. And that was as wrong as it had ever been.

The car shifted. Metal creaked and grunted. The lake poured into their glass and steel coffin. Ana wrenched her seatbelt, trying to loosen it and loop it over her head, hoping to shimmy free. There was too much tension. It wouldn’t let go. And like the rest of her pathetic life, she had no control.

Stupidly, Ana screeched for help and gulped a mouthful of lake. Why should she bother? No one would hear her. She rested her head back to float in the water, waiting for the inevitable. She thought of her father. She could never leave him like her mother had.

She spit water from her mouth and gasped for air. Her chest burned. The strain of expanding her ribcage was too much. Her vision blurred. Dizziness taunted her head. A soft buzz was all she could hear. She thought about praying, like Mem said.


How's that for a teaser? Thank you, S. A. Larsen, for a beautiful story.

About the Author:

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at

If you'd like to follow the tour, here's the link:

Link to Tour Schedule:

Wait! We're not finished yet. The author has some giveaways. Check these out. No promises the Rafflecopter will work. It doesn't like me, but there's a link too.

Giveaway Details:
Blog Tour Giveaway:
·         One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)


Giveaway Link:

Release Party Giveaway:
What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you'll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7"! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.

*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you'll need is in the form below.
BUT there's more...

Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!


Now hasn't this been fun? 

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 16, 2017


Quote for the week:

I hope you're enjoying autumn. Today (Sunday) has been really cool and breezy. The cool is good, the wind not so much. But I'm not complaining. I'm just pausing like the picture says and being happy.

I'd like to share another book I read recently. Enjoy.


By William Michael Davidson

Have you ever read a novel that made you wonder if the events in the story could happen in real life? If so, did it give you the chills? As I read THE REMNANT by Author William Michael Davidson it sure made me think. What if? I know this is a novel. I know it’s science fiction. But there is that question.

In the novel, when someone breaks the law they are sent to the island, which is a death sentence. The story opens with a man named Josh Mosley confessing his sin. What is the sin that sends him to death? Praying. Yes, praying. He tried to run away, but the people have a neurochip in their skull which makes it impossible for them to escape. Found guilty of his crime, he knew his fate.

Colton Pierce is the number one extractor for the Center for Theological Control (CTC), which deals with those who break the law. He’s in line for promotion to the top man. Sometimes life does not go as one plans, however. And Pierce’s life soon takes a dramatic turn. He has to make a choice: save his twelve-year-old son’s life from capture and death by the CTC or cling to his job he’s really good at and help the CTC capture him.

William Michael Davidson has written a novel that will make you think, at least it did me. Is it possible that such a thing could happen? Look at our world today and answer that question. The author did a nice job of keeping me guessing how things would turn out. Let’s just hope that this story does not come true. Recommended.

AMAZON     DANCING LEMUR PRESS And other places where books are sold.


I'd also like to remind you of the Audio Book Special.

October Special

Buy one audio book, get one free. What a deal, right?

Buy any of the eleven Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. audio books in October  2017 from either iTunes, Amazon, or Audible.

Send a copy of your receipt (less any payment info) along with your 1st and 2nd choice of free audio book to

You will receive a code for a free audio book download.

Choose your free book from these ten titles:

He Gave Me Barn Cats by Maria Santomasso-Hyde
The Remnant by William Michael Davidson
Tornado Warning by Tamara Hart Heiner
CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh
CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain
Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler
Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure
Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Ten books are available as a free book. CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh qualifies as a purchase but the boxed set is not available as a free book.

Happy Listening.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017



The next case in the DMS files is open! Follow along with Fairday and friends as the mystery unwinds in the Talking Library. Anything’s possible!

Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library
Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson
Illustrations by David SanAngelo
Publish Date: October 23, 2017
Publisher: Willow Press
ISBN# 978-0-9993449-0-3

I See Dead Quotes
By Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

Run! Lol— dead quotes are scary when they suddenly jump out at you. Not once, but again and again, and in random places. You don’t know what you did to conjure them into your manuscript, but there they are; flat quotations hanging around with their curly cousins.

When we were working on editing the manuscript for The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, a reviewer told us we were using, what they called, “dead” quotes. At first, we had no clue what the person was talking about, until we saw one. And then another, and another. They were everywhere, randomly scattered throughout the ms. Neither of us could figure out how we'd made them or knew that they even existed until they were pointed out to us. Cleaning them up was a lesson learned, and now we check to make sure our quotation marks look lively when writing dialogue.

Dead quotes aren’t actually dead, they’re just flat. Their real name is straight quotes. So, yes, there are curly quotes and straight quotes, and they live amidst many other mysteries that pop up in writing.

The first thing to know about a story is that it’s already written inside your head. It’s born in your imagination, and only after that can it be transposed onto a page. Words are carefully finagled in line, and the scene comes into focus in the reader's mind’s eye— this is storymagic.

But the eyes on the page string the words together. If this step isn’t properly done, the story may be lost to poor appeal, even if it’s a brilliant idea. To create scenes in another’s imagination, you need to face down the edits and not run from the dead quotes. Give them back their curl, even if it takes time and patience. In the end, you want to enchant readers with a book that is beautiful inside and out, and it’s important to pay attention to the details.

When we take a deeper look into the craft of building a story, it’s clear words take on a life of their own. In Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library, the DMS finds out punctuation can be scary, and Lizzy will tell you there’s a big difference between flat and curly. Our advice to writers editing their ms— keep a keen eye and remember, truth lies betwixt the lines.

Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson, co-authors of the Fairday Morrow Series.
Visit us on the web at:
Stephanie and Jess met freshman year of high school. It was in English class where they first discovered they liked the same books. Their friendship grew, and over the years they went on to work as servers together, go to the same college for a short time, and they even became roommates for a while. Many books were discussed, but none were ever written. Now, after the release of their first middle grade novel, The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow, Stephanie and Jess are excited to keep building the mystery in Fairday Morrow and the Talking Library. Anything’s possible!

Monday, October 9, 2017


Another Monday. I hope you had a fantastic weekend, or at least a restful one. My subject today is butterflies. It's no secret how much I like them. Twice a year, spring and fall, we get to enjoy the Monarchs as they travel from the US to Mexico and back again. Of course I have to take pictures. This year I tried, but the mosquitoes tried to dine on me so I stayed inside mostly. Also, either the Monarchs are late or the flowers they like are early, but our pasture of flowers is almost all wilted. There were a few butterflies, but I'm showing pictures from last year, because I got only one or two new ones.

Our local newspaper also ran an article this week about how we know where the butterflies go.

In 1916 a 5-year-old boy named Fred Urquhart liked to chase the butterflies. He got to wondering what happened to them in the winter. He read books but found no answer. He grew up to be an expert on insects and earned a PhD in entomology. He got married and he and his wife came up with a plan to track the butterflies. They put tags on the butterflies. And that's how they discovered the monarchs go  to Mexico.
Credit to Lynn Seman - Texas Master Naturalist

We're kind of a rest stop for them as they pass through. The trees are filled with the colorful butterflies for a couple of days. And then they're gone.

Happy Reading. Have a great week.

I have a treat for you on Wednesday, so stop by.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Welcome October, which means it's INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP DAY.

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. Be sure to link to this page and display your badge in your post.

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of the IWSG. 

His awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional.

October 4 question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I've been racking my brain to come up with an answer. (That's not a pretty sight, trust me.) I've looked through my books and don't really find anything personal in my characters. Except maybe for a couple of them.

In REBEL IN BLUE JEANS, Rebel loves horses. Maybe I wrote her that way because I love horses too. The difference is she had horses when she was a teen. My horses came later in life, after I was married. I fed the horses, rode the horses and loved them, the way Rebel does. I guess that counts, right? It wasn't a conscious thing.

This was my mare, Heavenly Sunrise, and her foal, many years ago. Rebel has a mare and foal. I don't think I consciously based this story on my love of horses.

And in A FAMILY FOR LEONA, the major characters are based on personal information, of what I know of the main character and supporting characters.

The girls were real people, but the story, at least partly, is from my imagination. No accident. I told their story, such as I knew it.

What about the rest of you? Good question.

Happy Reading.

Monday, October 2, 2017


It looks like October is going to be a busy month. September ended with rain, four days of it, a nice gentle rain that we always need. The first day, Tiger and I were outside, so we stood in the garage and watched the rain pour down.

Tiger had a great view from top of the van.

Patches decided to stay inside and nap.
Friday we were happy to see the sunshine.


Now for the Blitz

SECRETS WE KEEP by Kelly Hashway is available now! Grab it today! 

→ iBooks:


Madison Kramer’s life is finally coming together. With her boyfriend and publicist, Trevor, by her side, her career as a best-selling author is sure to really take off.

But one thing hasn’t changed. Death follows Maddie wherever she goes, and a night that should have been nothing but celebrating the New Year in the arms of the man she loves, turns into the scene of another murder.

The bodies are piling up, and the murder suspect wants Maddie’s help in freeing his name. Her secret past continues to come to the surface, putting her life at risk in a deadly game where Maddie doesn’t know whom she can trust.


Kelly Hashway fully admits to being one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, but that didn’t stop her from jumping out of an airplane at ten thousand feet one Halloween. Maybe it was growing up reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books that instilled a love of all things scary and a desire to live in a world filled with supernatural creatures, but she spends her days writing speculative fiction. Kelly’s also a sucker for first love, which is why she writes romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she’s not writing, Kelly works as an editor, and also as Mom, which she believes is a job title that deserves to be capitalized.



How about an awesome giveaway?

Audio book special!

Buy one audio book, get one free. This special runs October 1-31, 2017

Buy any of the eleven Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. audio books in October  2017 from either iTunes, Amazon, or Audible.

Ten books are available as a free book. CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh qualifies as a purchase but the boxed set is not available as a free book.

Send a copy of your receipt (less any payment info) along with your 1st and 2nd choice of free audio book to

You will receive a code for a free audio book download.

Choose your free book from these ten titles:

He Gave Me Barn Cats by Maria Santomasso-Hyde

The Remnant by William Michael Davidson

Tornado Warning by Tamara Hart Heiner

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain

Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler

Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure

Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Sounds good to me.  Happy Reading!