Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mix Up the Genres?

The question for the Thursday Author Blog Hop this week is: Genres- What two do you think mix together best?

I'm not sure if the question refers to what genres I like to write or prefer to read. My book, Sunshine Boulevard, is a mix of mystery and light horror.

To read for fun, I would pick the combination of my favorite genres--romance and mystery. The great thing about these two is the setting can be in a Western with cowboys, contemporary with high profile business men and women, or space ships filled with interplanetary travellers just to mention a few ideas. There is no limit to love and mystery.

A Who-Dun-It with a hot PI and a curvy, savvy female police lieutenant makes for a fabulous read for me. Say, that would be a fun novel to write too....Hmmm....

Read more answers to the question by the Bloggers participating today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What's In a Name?

As an author, I always wonder if the Gloria you know would be the same kind of person as the Glorias I know. Surely the Victorias you and I know can't all be classy, elegant women. But somehow certain names evoke the same personality universally. Why is Chad always a handsome, muscular guy?

I chose Jim for my main character's name in Sunshine Boulevard. Jim is a solid, respectable name which exemplifies my character. Jim is also a name popular for men over 60.
The setting and the time the action takes place help to determine the names in a novel. Ryan and Tyler somehow don't seem to fit in a Victorian novel, but they could be the names in a contemporary romance.

Names are very important to quickly get a time, place, and personality established, but they can also jar the reader out of the story if the name doesn't fit. Name your characters with as much thought as you name your children....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Love Reading Excerpts?

Visit the Muse It Up Bookstore

If you love to read excerpts before you buy a book, then you are in for a treat at Muse It Up Publishing! Go to the MIU blog where many Muse authors are sharing excerpts and book covers. It's a plethora of diverse genres. I bet you will find something you will like. And there are books on special--20% off!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Announcing the Winner of the Sunshine Boulevard Contest

Congratulations Holli Castillo! You are the winner of the drawing for a FREE
copy of my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard! And FREE shipping too!!! <hee hee>

I hope it scares you and makes you chuckle too.
Thanks to all who left comments on the blogs.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

50% OFF E-books and Win a FREE Book!

Go to Muse It Up Publishing bookstore to pick out your e-books now!
TODAY SUNDAY MARCH 20TH--Help us celebrate the one year anniversary of
Muse It Up Publishing. Get 50% off all e-books. Happy 1st Birthday Muse!!

Leave a comment on this blog to be eligible to win the drawing for a FREE copy of
Sunshine Boulevard. Contest ends 11:59 pm March 21.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Joselyn Vaughn Hosts Me on Her Blog Today--Win a FREE Book!

Today I will be visiting with romance author Joselyn Vaughn. She is a very curious person with all kinds of interesting questions. They made me think! Leave a comment on Joselyn's blog to win the FREE e-book, Sunshine Boulevard.

You can also comment on this blog or check out my interview last Monday with W S Gager and leave a comment there.

PLEASE NOTE:  My publisher, Muse It Up Publishing is celebrating the first anniversary of flinging open the doors to their new publishing house. Lea Schizas, publisher, is knocking 50% OFF all the MIU e-books for ONE DAY ONLY--Sunday, March 20. Now is your chance to load up on great reading!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day! FREE Book Drawing This Week

Top o' the mornin' to ya'. Happy St Patrick's Day!! I hope you are wearin' your green today otherwise you may get pinched! (That was the custom when I was in grade school anyway...)

Today I am going to be singing a LOT of Irish songs. I am part of a singing group that sings at a nursing home every month. It is a lot of fun, first because I love to sing, second because it is a wonderful group of people, and lastly, but most importantly, I am so thrilled when the oldsters smile, clap, and join in on the songs. I feel like we have brightened their day, and their smiles and appreciation warms our hearts.

FREE book give away continues this week. Just leave a comment on this blog, at my interview with mystery author, W S Gager this past Monday, or at the upcoming Friday visit to romance author, Joselyn Vaughn's site. All commenters will be entered in the drawing to win a free copy of my mystery/suspense novella, Sunshine Boulevard. May the luck o' the Irish be with ya'.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do You Want a Faster Computer?

We learned how to speed up our four-year-old laptop computer this week. What a difference! When our daughter was hospitalized 1200 miles away from us, I planned to make the trip to help her out when she returned home from the hospital. Because my husband and I share one laptop, it would mean one of us would have to do without access to a computer. No e-mail? No Internet? No way!

We dragged out our old laptop, plugged it in, and waited for it to boot up. Oh my goodness, but it was sooooooo slow. Even after defragging, cleaning the disc, emptying recycle bin and cookies, etc, the machine took forever to load. Did we need to bite the bullet and buy a new one just for that week or two weeks we would be apart?

We started shopping for an inexpensive laptop. We asked the salesman about our old one. He suggested we check online at to have them examine the old one and see what was in it. Bumping up the RAM (Random Access Memory) would speed it up.

Sure enough, we discovered our old laptop only had 256 mb of memory. These days most laptops are sold with 2 gigs-4gigs (gigabytes) of memory.  We paid about $50.00 including shipping for one gb. When it arrived in the mail, my husband simply used a small screw driver to open up the compartment and plugged the memory in. That was it! He started up the laptop and it hummed to life. It performed much faster.

I am happy to report the laptop is speedier and my daughter has recovered and returned to work.

Don't forget the contest to win a FREE copy of Sunshine Boulevard. It's easy to enter. Just leave a comment on this blog.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mystery Author W.S.Gager Hosts Me Today

by W. S. Gager
Please come protect me from the grilling I will receive from investigative reporter, Mitch Malone, the main character in W.S.Gager's mystery series. He is a sharp guy and will try to make me squeal on the answer to the mystery in Sunshine Boulevard...who is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard?

Please leave a comment on this blog or W S Gager blog to be eligible to win a FREE copy of Sunshine Boulevard. Thanks!

Check out W S Gager books at Oak Tree Press or at

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Contests, Cash, Free Reads, Oh My!

Heads up for a couple of contests to win a copy of Sunshine Boulevard and $25.00 cash!

First--Win a FREE copy of my mystery/light horror e-book, Sunshine Boulevard. It's easy to enter. Comment on this blog or at my blog stops this week on

Monday, March 14 with mystery writer W S Gager
Friday, March 18 with romance author Joselyn Vaughn.

You may also comment on posts at Janet Glaser's writing blog this week.

Remember, you have to comment to be eligible to win the FREE book.

The Muse It Up Publishing St. Patrick's Day contest awards the winner $25.00 in cash. Click HERE for details.

Can it get any better? Why yes! While you are visiting the bookstore, check out the FREE reads from the MIU authors.

Have fun this week and Good Luck...perhaps you'll have the luck of the Irish!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Flamingo or Flamingoes

In Florida consider the flamingo,
Its color passion but its neck a question

Robert Penn Warren
A graceful pair of flamingoes grace the cover of my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard. Cover goddess, Delilah Stephans, chose them because they are immediately identified as a Florida bird. My mystery takes place in a Florida retirement community with snowbirds Jim and Gloria Hart as the main characters. Notice how the flamingoes together make a heart shape. Clever Delilah.

I am forever writing the word flamingoes when talking about the cover, but I am stumped on the correct plural of flamingo. Should it follow the rule of tomato to tomatos or potato to potatoes? According to the either flamingoes or flamingos is acceptable. That relieves my mind a bit, so I can't be wrong either way. What do you think?

This pair is a member of the gorgeous flamingo colony at Homosassa Springs State Park near Homosassa, FL. The gentle manatees are an attraction there too. The park cares for injured gentle giants and returns them to the wild when well.  They always have some near the springs for visitors to see. The ranger presents a very informative talk about manatees.

If you get a chance to come to Florida, be sure to take in the many beautiful state parks here. You will be able to enjoy the wildlife, the scenery, and Old Florida. Check out my Inside Florida travel site to discover more about Florida and its parks and camping.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Contest at Muse It Up Publishing

St. Patrick's Day Contest


Happy St. Patrick’s Day Contest

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we’re hosting a contest.

Scattered throughout the bookstore:

you’ll find 25 four-leaf clovers. HINT: Found in books already released.

Find all 25 four-leaf clovers, and you win $25.00

Contest begins March 8 and ends March 14.
The names of those who find all 25 titles will go into a draw for the $25.00 prize to be announced March 18, 2011.

You must have Paypal to exception. Winnings will be sent via Paypal.

Send the titles to:

publisher AT museituppublishing DOT com

Within the body of the email, give me your name to post  on our website if you are the winner. Don’t forget to name all 25 titles in your email to qualify. On the subject heading place: St. Patrick's Day Contest

In the event no one finds all 25 four-leaf clovers, the person who discovers the most will win a dollar per four-leaf clover.

Now stop reading...go find the clovers.

Anyone associated with MuseItUp Publishing (authors and staff) is prohibited from entering.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Reviews for Sunshine Boulevard

I am doing a happy dance. I have received favorable reviews for mystery/light horror novella,  Sunshine Boulevard. In fact, author Roseanne Dowell gave the e-book four stars. She said,
"What a page turner and full of surprises! I couldn't put this book down."

Sue Perkins of Sue's Book Reviews wrote, "This story blends humor with mystery and death very cleverly, making it a book I had to keep reading."   Sue Perkins,  Sue’s Book Reviews, Feb 25, 2011 

I received a call from a gal in my exercise class. She just began reading the story, but had to call me to tell me she thought it was "adorable." Now that is a different way to describe a mystery and light horror story. I am anxious to hear how she describes it AFTER she turns the last page.

Let me know what you think of Sunshine Boulevard AFTER you read the entire story.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 2--Join Me at Lisa Haselton's Blog

Available now at and
One cool thing I have discovered on this journey through publishing is the camaraderie and generosity of my fellow authors/writers/editors. It seems that each one is a cheerleader for each other. As a result, these professionals invite authors to be guests on their blogs. Today I will be at Lisa Haselton's blog, Interviews and Reviews. Please join me to find out more about this writing life and my debut novel, Sunshine Boulevard. Ask a question in the comment section, and I promise to answer it.

Thank you, Lisa!!

Sound the Trumpets! Sunshine Boulevard Releases Today!!

Sound the trumpets! Sunshine Boulevard marches onto the world-wide stage of e-books today! Muse It Up Publishing releases this mystery/horror with humor e-book March 1, 2011, along with a great line-up of books full of interesting stories sure to intrigue and tantalize all readers.

I want to thank so many people who have helped me along this journey to reach the title of "published author." From my grandmother, Ma, to my sister-in-law, Sandy, who encouraged me to write as far back as when I was in high school. After selling our retail floral and greenhouse business, I screwed up my courage to ask our regional newspaper editor, Rich, if he would be interested in some ideas I had for articles for the paper.  When I turned in my first one, he actually ran it in the paper with my byline. Thanks, Rich, and the staff at the Times-Indicator

Through the years editors, my writing group who meets at the library, and writers online such as Audrey Shaffer and the gang at The Writers Chatroom and Lea Schizas' free Muse Online Writers Conference have provided valuable information and encouragement. The welcoming, warm authors and editors at Muse It Up Publishing have shepherded me through the process of editing and answered so many questions from this newbie novelist with patience and humor. I am blessed to have my daughters and husband walking this new path with me. Thank you Sara, Lee Ann, and Ted.

It is my pleasure and great honor to offer you, my readers, this entertaining, quick read for you to enjoy. Thank you!

Sunshine Boulevard is available at Muse It Up Publishing bookstore,,, and e-book retailers online.

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...