Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Easter, Happy Spring, This Week,

Happy Easter!

By Grant Cochrane from free digital
Wishing you a joyous and blessed Easter and a beautiful Spring!

The Seeds of Inspiration Event will continue on April 24 with author Conda Douglas.
Check out my guest authors for this spring event and join us every Thursday to discover what inspires them.
Prizes awarded every week! 

24 Conda Douglas
1 Helena Fairfax
8 Katie Carroll
15 Susan Bernhardt

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event: Multi-Genre Author Gail Roughton and Giveaway

Welcome my friend and Southern author Gail Roughton to the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event.  Please be sure to leave a comment to enter your name in the drawing for Gail's mystery/romance, Vanished. Winner will be drawn  after 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

Gail has spent almost forty years in a law office as a legal secretary/paralegal. During those years, she's raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She kept herself sane by writing books, tossing each completed novel in her closet. She's been cleaning out the closet for the last few years, as well as producing new works never stored there. A multi-genre writer, her books span the spectrum from humor to paranormal to romance to horror. Sometimes even in the same book. None of that's planned, it's just what happens when the characters start talking. Even she doesn't know what to expect next! Come chat at 

Turning Memory into Story by Gail Roughton
As a reader, have you ever read a novel that seemed so real you could smell baking bread, feel the heat of the sun beating down on your head, hear the roars of a crowd? If you’re a confirmed reader, one who always has a book going (usually one in each room), you almost certainly have.  Because it’s those moments, those scenes, those books, that make reading so much more than a pleasant diversion and turn a casual reader into a book addict.  Those moments, those scenes, those books—they take readers to another world, another place, another time and introduce them to characters they feel they know, folks they’d like to sit down with over coffee.  Or beer.  Depends on the time of the day, I guess.
So here’s the Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar question.  How does a writer write such scenes, such books?  Not that I’m saying I do, mind you.  I’d like to think so, at least occasionally, and I know that while I’m writing, I myself am in another place and time. But not because I’m using my imagination to create them.  Because I’m tapping my memory to reproduce them.  Not exactly, of course.  Not the actual moment, the actual event.  I want the feel, the flavor, the taste, of that memory.  And I want it to come through to the reader.  But even more than that, I want to put that memory into words that I can take out and visit with whenever I so choose. Bet you didn’t know that, huh?  That basically, writers are selfish people who in the final analysis, write for themselves and not for others.  Which isn’t selfish at all, really, because by doing so, they create those scenes that turn readers into book addicts.
In other words, there’s always a story behind the story.  Always.  My “darkest” work came from a real-life ordinary moment.  In a law office.  In my early twenties, I worked for a lovely, lovely gentleman, an older attorney known to all in Macon as “the Judge”.  One day the phone rang, I answered like a good little secretary and explained that the Judge was currently out of the office, might I take a message?
“This is Jim Smith (not really, I don’t remember the real name, it was a long time ago) at Riverside Cemetery.  Please ask him to call me at xxx-xxxx.”
Okay, I was in my early twenties but I was possessed by the devil on occasion even then.  I wrote up the call and under “About” added:  “Has a vampire in one of the mausoleums and would like him evicted.” 
The Judge came back, read his message, went “What?” and we all had a good laugh.  But the idea never left me, the idea that this would be an hysterical short satire, a “Night Court” sort of satire, wherein the poor vampire had to defend his right to live in the family mausoleum.  I mean, his family paid for it, after all, for the use of dead family members.  By what legal remedy would you evict a vampire?  He’s family.  And he’s dead.  Sort of.
Somewhere along the line, the story line ceased to be humorous and it dang sure ceased to be short.  Final product:  The Dark Series – The Color of Seven and The Color of Dusk.

Now, while I was writing that “darkest” of my works, I took a break at a point where I knew I had to do something I most emphatically didn’t want to do.  (Yes, eventually I did it anyway.) Enough dark.  I needed light.  I thought it’d be fun to write an historical romance but I didn’t want to do the research

. BUT—if I sent my heroine through the Bermuda Triangle, I wouldn’t have to research a thing. My world, I could do what I wanted with it.  Where did that idea actually come from? Well, I traced it back. It all started with The Three Stooges, I kid you not.  I was five, and Daddy took me on a Daddy-Daughter date to the drive-in movies. (Yeah, drive-in, I’m that old.)  It was a Three Stooges movies, and while I have no actual memory of the movie and don’t, in fact, even recall if it had a “space-travel” theme, ‘cause I guess it could have been a preview of a coming attraction – five was a long time ago.  Anyway, I remember looking up at the stars out of the car window on the way home and thinking that somewhere out there, there was another world.  And that I had a double on it.  Yes, I was really five.  Final result:  Vanished.

The story behind Country Justice?  Where did Turkey Creek, Rockland County, Georgia come from?  What inspired the characters? I know the places of Country Justice because I live there.  I know the characters of Country Justice because I’m part of them and they are part of me.  Every small town, southern or not, are microcosms of society, a miniature little world wherein everybody knows everybody else’s business, heritage, secrets, what they had for supper, their usual bedtime.  It’s a patchwork quilt, sewn together into a sturdy fabric, stitched by the sturdy thread of familiarity.  In many ways Country Justice holds my heart. It always will. How could it not, when so much of my real world went into it?

My most popular books, much to my surprise, have been the four books in the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, a rollicking series of short novels revolving around the adventures of a private investigator/bounty hunter who just happens to be a warlock and his wife. Of course she’s a  witch, but did she have a clue until she met her warlock? No, she did not.  Talk about a game changer. With this series, one thing just keeps leading to another. And another.  And though I say with the completion of each one that it’s the last of the series, another one just keeps raising its head up over the horizon.  But where did they come from?  I am honored to say that one of my work-friend’s mother became an avid fan, back in the days when nobody read my books other than a few work-friends because (a) I didn’t tell too many folks I wrote; and (b) what I wrote for sure hadn’t been published. Or mostly submitted, even.  And she sent me a message via that friend.  “Tell Gail to write something funny on purpose. Because she’s so frequently funny even when she doesn’t intend to be.”  Enter War-N-Wit, Inc. and all the whacky characters that live there.

So, gentle reader, the next time you read that disclaimer, the one writers throw in the front of their books stating “this book is entirely a work of fiction”—you might want to take that with a grain of salt.  Just sayin’.

For a list of Gail's books and where to find them, please visit Gail Roughton's Amazon Author Page.
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If you're a writer, do you use memories to help write your stories? If you're a reader, what genre do you prefer reading? Gail can spin a fascinating tale in so many. (I'm sure all the authors are readers, so you can answer this too!) Remember to leave a comment to enter the drawing for Gail's book Vanished.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Reflection on Rejection, This Week, Giveaway

This weekend my DH and I traveled to Central Michigan University where our 13 year old grandson and his Destination Imagination team competed in the State Finals. The team won the regionals last month and continued to work hard perfecting their presentation for the state judging. When I talked to him last Tuesday, I asked how the practices were going and he said, confidently, "We're ready!" He was sure they would "knock it out of the park."

Saturday night at the awards presentation, he and his team discovered they did not win the tournament or even place in the top three. Their time and work was not enough for thejudge to awad them the trophy. Talk about being rejected. Their enthusiasm and excitement was gone like a deflated balloon. Now they have to process what happened and move on.

Do you remember your first rejection? Was it from that cute boy in your class? an art/music contest?
The one I remember the most is when our high school junior class built a fantastic float for the homecoming parade. Three of us designed it and were in charge of the construction. We were so sure we'd win, but no, I believe the freshmen won that year. Now that really is the pits to have those freshmen win. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. 

I hope your first rejection wasn't from an editor, agent, publisher when you submitted your story for publication. I think all the rejections we receive as we grow up prepares us to have our writing rejected. It's not easy to take, but hopefully we have developed some tools to allow us to take it and move on. 

I told my grandson that winning first place is not the most important thing. As time goes by, he'll discover he won a lot by participating on the team and competing. Of course at 13, that's not what you want to hear. In fact, at any age, rejection is hard to take. 

As a writer, my work was rejected. But instead of burying my head and wallowing in self pity, I decided to work harder and write a better story or article. 

If your work has not been accepted, please don't give up. Keep writing. We learn something with every experience. Just like my grandson, process it and move on. You're a winner when you sit down and write words on the page. 

Tell us about the first rejection in your life. Did you learn from it? How do you accept a rejection of your work and move on? Leave a comment below. It may inspire someone to keep writing and working on their WIP. Thanks.
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This Week

Thursday, April 10--Paranormal and humorist author Gail Roughton takes a turn at the Seeds of Inspiration Spring Event. She tells us what inspires her stories, and there are many entertaining ones in her collection. Come back on Thursday, leave a comment to enter the drawing for her latest e-book, Vanished.

Romance, mystery, humor

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break, FREE Mystery/Sweet Romance, Coda to Murder

Image courtesy of Chaiwat /
Folks in the North Country may not be seeing tulips yet, but according to the calendar, spring has sprung. Tulips are so hardy. Every year the bulbs stay warm and safe in the ground just waiting for the weather to change to sunshine and blue skies. I think there's a lesson in the tulips for us. Patience? What do you think?

This week I'll be taking a break from the blogging, but I'll be back next Monday with news and events for April.

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock 
that includes a pig, a kangaroo, 
and a murderer.
Enjoy a FREE read during spring break. Pick up your FREE copy of Coda to Murder, my mystery/sweet romance at my publisher. Through April 4, go to my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing  to get your copy. Add the book to your shopping cart, type in capitals CODA, save, then finalize the order at
MuseItUp Publishing 
FREE through April 4. All formats are available for your reading devices. 
Back of the book:
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 
Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.
Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Also available at 
and major online booksellers.

Wishing you a fantastic spring whether your tulips are in a vase or flourishing in your yard.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: Author Miss Mae, Spring Sale--Coda to Murder

Welcome talented mystery and humor author Miss Mae to the Seeds of Inspiration Event!
Miss Mae is all about romantic mysteries.
“Said the Spider to the Fly”, “When the Bough Breaks”, “Dove Island”, “It’s Elementary, My Dear Winifred” and “See No Evil, My Pretty Lady” are award winning best sellers. Her latest, “Catch Me If You Can”, and the novellas “Miss Penelope’s Letters”, and “Through a Glass Darkly” have already received top rated five-star reviews. Tantalizing trailers, and more information, is readily available at Miss Mae's website

Connect Online with Miss Mae:

Her alter ego, M.M. also has her first children’s/humor book, “Ahoy Gum Drop!” In this slightly cracked tale, readers are introduced to I.B. Nosey, the ‘official unofficial’ reporter. To learn more about cyberspace’s only Pukelitzer Award winning interviewer, visit Feeling Nosey?  or watch I.B.Nosey's Video.

Connect Online with I.B. Nosey:

After reading Miss Mae's fun story of what inspired her to become an author, please enter  to win MM's e-book, It's Elementary, My Dear Winfred, by leaving a comment. Drawing ends at 12:01 a.m EST Sunday.

Seeds of Inspiration by Miss Mae

As a young girl growing up in the 1960’s books were my hobby and passion. I loved flipping through the pages of a Nancy Drew, Donna Parker, or Trixie Belden mystery. Ooh, I dreamed of having adventures just like these glamorous heroines! Their exciting stories whisked me away from the boredom and loneliness of being the baby sibling of an older brother and sister (and rarely welcomed inside their ‘mature’ circle of friends).

One night when the teen-agers visited, with their usual array of TV, records, and games enjoyed and exhausted, I heard the question, “What are we going to do now?” I spoke up, “Why don’t we act out a play?” (You’ll note I added ‘we’. Ha!)

There were some grimaces from the boys but interest was piqued enough to ask, “Like what?”

And so, with my limited knowledge of how exactly to go about it, but equipped with boundless imagination, I enthused, “We’ll make something up!”

I, a mere fifth-grader, inspired with eagerness to become a part of the high school ‘crowd’ even for one night, grabbed a pencil and some paper and conceived my first story, Midnight Horror. It was all of ten pages long, and entertained us for maybe half an hour. Before you ask - no, no one was good enough at reading the lines for them to later grow up and become a famous actor. But the thrill of writing that little story ignited a spark within me and set me on fire to pen my own books and to create my own mystery solving heroines.

Hopefully, none of them have been a horror!

Miss Mae
Feb. 2, 2014

 Do bizarre mysteries only occur in imaginary tales? Winifred Merryweather, and dashing newspaper hound Remington Hawthorne, find themselves in the throes of a real life mystery. A dark and ancient castle, complete with disappearing floors, sliding panels, and spider-webbed shadowy corridors threaten to steal Winifred's very breath. Or is that the annoying allure of Remington's flirtatious charms?

BUY LINK for It's Elementary, My Dear Winifred 

Thanks so much, Miss Mae, for participating in the Seeds of Inspiration Event.
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock 
that includes a pig, a kangaroo, 
and a murderer.

Please note: Readers, Coda to Murder, my mystery e-book, is FREE. Add the book to your shopping cart, type in capitals CODA, save, then finalize the order. 
Go to my publisher to pick up a copy:
FREE March 28 through April 4. All formats are available for your reading device. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Writing: My Work in Progress, This Week,Book Maven's Second Anniversary Celebration, and Giveaway

Yes, I'm pounding the keys on my laptop. I made a vow I would finish my work-in-progress (WIP) by the time we are ready to head back to the North Country. It's getting down to the wire. I have about 8 more chapters to write before I can wrap up the story in my first rough draft. And it is a very rough draft. 

A book is never done after one draft. Revising is called for in the next draft, and the next and the next. So instead of finishing, this is just the beginning of this long process of creating a novel for readers, and for me, to enjoy. 

I'm having so much fun with this one. The story includes everything I like to write about--mystery, murder, paranormal, and romance. Is that enough genres for ya'?? 

Who'd think a sweet gal like me would write about murder and paranormal events? Is this my true self running wild? I wonder. The best thing about writing is to let your imagination loose to consider all the possibilities and fantasy bottled up inside you. Have fun with it!

If you are an author, how many times do you revise your work before you submit it for publication? If you haven't submitted your stories for publication, why not? Please, leave a comment after you find out what's up for this week and this month. 

This Week:

March 27--Seeds of Inspiration Event--Miss Mae comes to visit and giveaway a book too!

March 23-April 5


Devoted reader and reviewer, Jackie of the Book Maven, is celebrating the second anniversary of her book review blog, The Book Maven. Join in the party.
Below you will see the list of authors and/or bloggers who have donated presents to win.  All you have to do is enter the RAFFLECOPTER at the Book Maven usilng this link and BAM!  you could be a winner.  Here are your possible prizes:
  • Georgie Tyler-ecopy of Doctors Beyond Borders
  • Linn B Halton-3 copies of Falling, Angels Among Us and a signed paperback of Never Alone.
  • Katie O’Sullivan-ecopy of Son of a Mermaid
  • Stephanie Keyes-Signed copy of The Star Catcher
  • JQ Rose-ecopy of Coda to Murder
  • AJ Nuest-Ecopy of entire Golden Key Chronicles
  • Theresa Rizzo-Ecopy’s of Just Destiny and He Belongs to Me
  • Stacey Jay-Signed Copy of Of Beast and Beauty
  • Melissa Snark-Signed copy of Hunger Moon
  • Lindsey Loucks-Ecopy of The Grave Winner
  • Jerrie Alexander-Ecopy of Hell or High Water and Cold Day in Hell
  • Darlene Jones-Ecopy of all 4 of her books
  • Bette Lee Crosby- Ecopy of The Twelfth Child
  • Gena Showalter-signed book
  • Kacey Vanderkarr-paper copy of Antithesis and Reflection Pond.
  • Andrea R. Cooper-E copy The Garnet Dagger
  • Bella Andre-Autographed copy of The Look of Love
  • Panty dropping Book Blog- 2.99 ebook
  • Coffee and a Good Book Blog- 2 I <3 books stickers
  • Pepper Winters- Ecopy of Destroyed
  • Butterflies, Books & Dreams Blog- BBD Bookmark
  • Alyson Raynes-$5 Amazon Gift Card and Kindle Copy of Deception
  • Kandi Steiner-E copy of Tag Chaser and signed bookmark.
  • Forever Me Romance-Ebook up to $5
  • Joan Swan-Print copy of Shatter and Ecopies of Intimate Enemies, First Temptation and First Deception.
  • Melanie Codina-Ebook of Love Realized
  • Lisa Suzanne-How He Really Feels (He Feels, Book 1)
  • Halos and Horns Book Blog-$5 amazon gift card and swag pack.
  • Clarissa Wild-2 ebook copies of Fierce and Fury.
  • Jade C. Jamison-Ebooks got the Life and Quickies
  • Ella James-Ebook Trapped
  • Marie Wathren – Ebook All This Time
  • Jaden Wilkes-Ebooks Dirty Little Freaks and The Beast
  • Cassandra Giovanni-E books Flawed Perfection, Love Exactly and Walking in the Shadows
  • Jody Kessler- Ecopy of Death Lies Between Us
  • Sibelle Stone-1 Ecopy and 1 Print copy of Prudence and the Professor
  • Nancy Jardine-Ecopy of Beltane Choice
  • LJ Kentowski-1 Ecopy of Guardian of Fate and 1 Ecopy of Seeker of Fate
  • Michaela Dubelius-Ecopy of Decoy
  • Heather McCullom-Signed copies of Prophecy, Tangled Hearts and Siren Song
  • Lyndi Alexander- Ecopy Conviction of the heart by Alana Lorens
  • Lisa Renee Jones- Ecopy of If I Were You
  • Carlene Love Flores-1 Ecopy of Sidewalk Flower and Sin’s Flower.
  • Regina Morris-1 Ecopy of Enduring Service
  • Zack Love-1 Ecopy of Sex in the Title
  • Janice Horton-1 Signed copy of Bagpipes and Bullshot and 1 Kindle copy of How To Party Online

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Seeds of Inspiration: Author Roseanne Dowell with No Regrets and Giveaway

Welcome multi-genre author Roseanne Dowell to the Seeds of Inspiration Event. Remember to enter to win a copy of Roseanne's e-book, Trouble Comes in Twos, by leaving a comment below. Winner will be chosen after 12:01 Sunday morning.

Now let me tell you a little bit about Roseanne Dowell. She is an avid reader. Roseanne writes various types of romance - paranormal, contemporary, and mystery. She has several books available at Amazon as well as over 40 articles and short stories published in magazines such as Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer as well as several online publications. Besides teaching writing courses for Long Story School of Writingshe also taught two writing courses for the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.

Roseanne lives in Northeast Ohio where she enjoys life as a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great grandmother of two.  When she’s not writing or enjoying her family, Roseanne spends her time with embroidery and quilting, especially combining the two. She also enjoys blogging, tweeting, facebooking and posting on various writers groups. 

Visit Roseanne Dowell at 
her author website  
her blog 
No Regrets by Roseanne Dowell
Like most authors, I always loved to read. From my first book, Dick and Jane to the Golden books, I read every chance I had. I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and soon moved on to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I was a big fan of Agatha Christie –still love her books, actually.
Ever since I can remember I’ve been writing, even as a teen. I often made up stories and wrote poetry. Of course, I kept a diary/journal. The stationary department of stores always drew me. My favorite places to shop to this day are Office Max and Staples. I have a love affair with paper and pens. I still can’t resist notebooks, especially if they’re on sale. It’s nothing for me to come home with three or four various types of notebooks, file folders, and pens during the school supply sales.

While working as a school secretary, and encouraged by my coworkers, I took a correspondence course -writing for children. It didn’t take long to realize, that even though I had six children, it took someone special to write for them. I also tried my hand at nonfiction, but at the time, didn’t care for it. That’s when I moved on to romance novels and mysteries. Two of my favorite genres. Not that I did anything with those stories. At least not then. They sat in the attic with my poems and journals. Back then we didn’t have computers, let alone the internet. Finding time to write with six children wasn’t easy either and I never submitted anything.

It wasn’t until 2002 while I was at a Book Club meeting, the conversation turned to what we most regretted in our lives. I confessed I hadn’t pursued a career in writing. That’s all it took. My friends convinced me it wasn’t too late. There was only one way to find out, I decided to give it a shot and took another writing course. Part of the course was writing nonfiction, my least favorite genre. Within a couple of months I published my first article in Good Old Days Magazine. I framed a copy of that check. Since then, I’ve had several nonfiction articles published. My first published book in 2006, Satin Sheets, sold over 35,000 copies. Not too bad for a first novel. It’s out of print now and available as an ebook, It’s Only Make Believe

As I said previously, I love mystery and romance and often combine the two. I also love the paranormal (ghosts) and incorporate them in a couple of my books, Time to Love Again and Shadows in the Attic. Entangled Minds is a paranormal about ESP.  A firm believer in love at any age, some of my heroines are older women. Time to Love Again, Geriatric Rebels, and Another Day all feature older heroines. I try to insert a bit of humor in most of my stories also.

My latest book, Trouble Comes in Twos, released with Books We Love Publishing was intended as the third book in a Trilogy.  Circumstances beyond my control made me change it into a single book. My inspiration and idea for the book came from a visit to Locust Grove Cemetery in Twinsburg, Ohio. I have a thing for cemeteries, especially old ones, and visit them every opportunity I get. Fortunately my husband indulges my strange habit.

While we were walking around, reading the headstones –something else that intrigues me-- the story idea began forming. The cemetery is located off a main street and set way back from the street. It’s a very small cemetery, and if you didn’t know it was there, you’d drive right past it. We almost missed it the first time we went there. It’s surrounded by stores two sides and a retirement home on another and slopes down a hill. My imagination immediately reacted. What if someone got killed here? How long would it be before someone found the body? The graves in this cemetery are very old, so I doubt too many people visit them anymore.

By the time we got home, my mind was whirling with ideas for the book and before long the first draft was born. Several months later, I was ready to submit.

Trouble Comes in Twos Back of the Book:
After a five year absence, Kate Wesley returns to Twinsburg Ohio to open a florist shop. She’s content with life until Mark Westfield enters the picture. To make matters worse her ex fiancé is back in town, looking to pick up where they left off, and she’s attracted to both men. As if her life isn’t complicated enough, she finds a dead body in the cemetery, the twin sister of the victim shows up and another body is discovered. Can Kate sort through the confusion her life has become or will she become the next victim?

You can find this book as well as all of Roseanne Dowell's books at Amazon

Please leave a comment to enter the drawing to win Trouble Comes in Twos. We love a wave, a hug, high five, or even a giggle. Thank you.