Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Welcome Wednesday. First, a huge thank you to everyone that attended our birthday party, whether you just visited or left a comment. The kids and I hope you enjoyed your cake and ice cream. Also the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I must share the funny thing that happened so you'll understand why we sometimes just gotta laugh. Life is funny, and we need to accept the fact that often we are not in control. Yes, I'm talking about the Rafflecopter. I tried and tried to get it to show up. It wasn't about to, until Wednesday, the last day. And suddenly, there it was. I laughed. Well, better late than never, right? And that's enough about that.

One day last week, I looked out the window of my writing room, and this is what I saw.

Seven white-tailed deer were grazing in the pasture.
I watched them for awhile, and they slowly moseyed along toward the mesquite trees and vanished.
Haven't seen them since. I guess they were just passing through. I was happy to see that some of them survived hunting season. There are a lot of hunters in the area.
Happy Reading and Writing.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Author Maria Santomasso-Hyde is visiting today as part of her HE GAVE ME BARN CATS Blog Tour with MC Book Tours. Her book was released March 14 by Dancing Lemur Press.

If you’re looking for a story that will touch your heart, you’ve found it in this tender story of love, loss, and inspiration. You could win your own copy, just check out the giveaway details.

◊ He Gave Me BARN CATS
◊ by Maria Santomass0-Hyde

◊ Published by Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

◊ Available March 14, 2017

◊ $10.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 134 pages

◊ Genres: Christian Fiction / Christian Life-Death, Grief, Bereavement

◊ Print ISBN 978-1-939844-21-7 eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-22-4

◊ Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or from the publisher

◊ $3.99 eBook available in all formats

Inspired by true events...

        Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness.  When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.

          Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard:  God: 9, Maria: 0.  Her questions turn into anger at God.  She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.

          How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available for order in print format at following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Everything Cats, Foyles, and Chapters-Indigo.

HE GAVE ME BARN CATS is available for order in eBook format at the following sites: Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon.

Be sure to add HE GAVE ME BARN CATS to your shelf on Goodreads.

Formerly a newspaper reporter, Maria Santomasso-Hyde now owns Alta Vista Fine Art Gallery.

She lives in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, with her husband, Lee, and The Queen of the Universe (Roma, their Black Cat) … and other Black Cats who decide to move in.

Come join the blog tour and learn more about Maria and HE GAVE ME BARN CATS by visiting the following blog:

March 8 - Rockin' Book Reviews - Guest Post

March 10 - Defending The Pen - Excerpt

March 13 - Reviews by Crystal - Q&A

Alex J. Cavanaugh - Guest Post

March 14 - Thoughts in Progress - Review

March 15 - Open

March 16 - A Bluestocking's Place - Excerpt

March 17 - Juneta @ Writer's Gambit - Q&A

March 20 - Reviews From the Heart - Review

CBY Book Club - Excerpt

March 21 - bookworm1102 - Excerpt

Giveaway Details:

This is a tour-wide giveaway for two (2) print copies (U.S only) and two (2) eBooks (international). To enter just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Gulp, one-year-old. How can that be? It seems like just yesterday that you were born. I remember thinking the same thing when each of my boys were born. The years are short. Time passes. Today, my YA contemporary novel, UNDER A PURPLE MOON, is one year old. Let's celebrate.
Birthday parties must have cake. I hope you like this one.
It's Red Velvet.

What's cake without ice cream?
Choose your favorite flavor.
"Wait! Wait! Wait, Beverly."
"Eden? What's wrong?'
"Where's the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
"Yeah, we have to have peanut butter and jelly."
Murphy, Toby, and Josh nod at each other.
"We do? Why?"
"Yes, Ms. McClure. Would we lie to you?"
The boys and Eden look so innocent, though I know otherwise, how can I refuse?
"OK. Let me see what I can do."
How about these?
Four teens gobble them down. Then eat the cake and ice cream for dessert. And to think, I created these characters. Maybe I should have worked on manners a bit more.
The party isn't over yet. What's a birthday without gifts?
We're doing this a different way than usual. The birthday kids are giving you, the visitors, the gifts. 
So what do we have?
First is a deck of UNDER A PURPLE MOON playing cards.
These are really neat and would make great gifts for friends and family, as well as for yourself.
Next,  we  have a signed paperback copy of UNDER A PURPLE MOON (US only).
Third is a $10.00 gift card from Amazon.
I had planned to try Rafflecopter, but my eyes are still giving me trouble and I don't have the patience to read the instructions and put the thing together. So, we're doing a much easier giveaway. If you want to enter for a prize, just leave a comment. Next week, March 22,
 Random. org, will choose the winners. I'll announce them on the blog and to you, and your gifts will soon be on their way as soon as I have where to send them.
Happy 1st Birthday to UNDER A PURPLE MOON May there be many more to celebrate.
 Silver Award Winner of the 2016 Children's Literary Classics Award.
 Thank you to L. Diane and Staff for making this book possible.
Happy Reading!
 Good news! Thanks to the kindness of Alex J. Cavanaugh, who made one for me, Rafflecopter is coming tomorrow. What a wonderful friend. Thank you, Alex.
If you comment before the Rafflecopter is live, (midnight) come back and check off that part, and you are entered. I'm so excited.

The link to the Rafflecopter is below. I did it wrong, of course, and the thing doesn't show up, but you can enter following the link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 13, 2017


Quote for the week.
I hope you've recovered from the time change.
No post today. My eyes still insist on seeing two of everything, and it's very tiring covering one eye when I read or type or whatever which, lets me see only one image. Don't even ask me about driving, just get out of my way. They're putting a prism in one lens of my glasses. It's supposed to make everything normal. Normal? What's that?
Anyhow, be sure and stop by on Wednesday. We're having a party. Refreshments (cyber) and prizes.
See you then.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Welcome Wednesday. I'm late posting this, but you know the saying: better late than never. March 5-11 is Read an E-Book Week.
artwork © Brad Fraunfelter
Twilight Times Books, the publisher of my  Award-Winning YA historical fiction novel CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES has several books for free. You can see them here. My book is not a freebie. Sorry. It is available at AMAZON for $2.99, and most other places where books are sold.
I also have some exciting news coming next week. On March 15, 2017, we're celebrating a first birthday. I'm not saying who. You'll have to come to the party to find out. We'll have cake and gifts. Be sure to stop by for a chance to win some awesome prizes. 
See you on March 15th.
Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, March 6, 2017


Quote for the week: Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. Yehuda Berg

Well, #InkRipples for March has another new word for me. Tropes. Are you familiar with the word, or am I just illiterate? So, if I planned to write about tropes, I had to find out what in the world they were. Thanks to the fabulous Internet, I now have an idea.

Here's what I found from Wikipedia. A literary trope is the use of figurative language. It can be a word, phrase, or even an image. The word can be used to describe commonly recurring literary and rhetoric devices, motifs, or clich├ęs in creative works. (Now you know, if you didn't.)


  • Allegory – A sustained metaphor continued through whole sentences or even through a whole discourse. For example: "The ship of state has sailed through rougher storms than the tempest of these lobbyists."
  • Antanaclasis – is the stylistic trope of repeating a single word, but with a different meaning each time. Antanaclasis is a common type of pun, and like other kinds of pun, it is often found in slogans.
  • Irony – creating a trope through implying the opposite of the standard meaning, such as describing a bad situation as "good times".
  • Metaphor – an explanation of an object or idea through juxtaposition of disparate things with a similar characteristic, such as describing a courageous person as having a "heart of a lion".
  • Metonymy – a trope through proximity or correspondence. For example, referring to actions of the U.S. President as "actions of the White House".
  • Synecdoche – related to metonymy and metaphor, creates a play on words by referring to something with a related concept: for example, referring to the whole with the name of a part, such as "hired hands" for workers; a part with the name of the whole, such as "the law" for police officers; the general with the specific, such as "bread" for food; the specific with the general, such as "cat" for a lion; or an object with the material it is made from, such as "bricks and mortar" for a building.
  • Kenneth Burke has called metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony the "four master tropes".[


  • hyperbole
  • irony
  • litotes
  • metaphor
  • metonymy
  • oxymoron
  • synecdoche
  • For a longer list, see Figure of speech: Tropes


    In screen writing: The "ticking clock."

    In music: The chord progression known as the  "12-Bar" is a trope of Blues, Rock, and Country Music.

    In literature: The trope of atonement or redemption is common.

    There are many, many more, but I think I've got the general idea. I wonder how many tropes I've written without even knowing it.

    Do you have any tropes in your writing?

    #InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule, just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai, and Mary.

    The topic for April is Revision. I'm quite familiar with that word. So why not join and have fun?
    I also have some news coming soon. Stay tuned.

    Happy Reading and Writing.

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017


    February sure went by in a hurry. Can't believe it's the 1st day of March, and we 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. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

    Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder if IWSG!
    Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

    Our Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

    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!!!
    March 1st question:  Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
     The awesome co-hosts for the March 1 posting of the IWSG will be Tamara   

    Now for the question.
    Funny you should ask. I'm doing just that. My WIP was first written in 1998. Yes, that's a long time ago. And, I actually submitted it to a few publishers then Oh, my. I shouldn't have, but I was new in the writing world, and I thought it looked good. I know better now. So why am I working on the story after all these years?
    Good question.

    One day I was cleaning my writing room, throwing away a lot of old stuff, manuscripts, notebooks, and folders when I ran across this story. Now, I already had two or three other manuscripts in different stages, enough to keep me busy for years, but the boy and dog in the story kept calling to me. I listened  and remembered how much I loved these characters, so we're trying again, with many changes.

    Will it work this time? I don't know, but in a week or so, I hope to find out. The boy and dog are almost ready to face the world. So, at the moment I'm a bit insecure.
    Happy Reading and Writing.