49 Following

November News 2014

What happened?

I’ve been somewhat absent from my newsletter/blog for a month. Writing a new novel takes a lot of butt-in-chair time.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the "timeline" on the cork board.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the “timeline” on the cork board.

I’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month for as long as it’s been around. I never thought I would actually do it. I did this time. NaNoWriMo was the impetus I needed to finally write a solid first draft of Token, that YA (Young Adult) work-in-progress that I’ve been telling you about for the last year. I went into the month with four chapters that were not good. I spent some time improving those. I had close to seven thousand words to start. I needed 50,000 words to win (or complete) NaNoWriMo. You see, it’s a national challenge. I probably should point out that now NaNoWriMo is an international challenge. Many people win. I’m not the only one. I have 53,000 words today. There will be more by December 1. I’m officially going to the big TGIF (thank God it’s finished) party at River Oaks Book Store. Yay!!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!


Now, the News:

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

November 8 was the Houston Writer’s Guild’s first mini-conference under the new leadership team. The team consists of Denise, Fern, and myself. Denise and Fern are the new owners of the Guild. I am honored they picked me to help them steer the course. Our mini-conference was a rocking success with a good showing of members and new folks anxious to learn the craft of writing. Sarah Cortez an esteemed speaker and winner of many writing awards for her poetry books, was our speaker. People said that the day went by so fast they couldn’t believe it. There was also lots of food with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.

Now for the News You Can Use:

SAM_1233_edited-1March 28 of 2015 we will hold a one day pitch practice conference to help members of HWG get their pitches and presentations ready for the BIG CONFERENCE. At the pre-conference we will have actual agents for members to pitch their novels, and screenplays to. More details to come.

The next big thing is the Amazing 2015 HWG conference. There will be several agents from NYC there. We will have some Texas agents and editors and publishers there. Friends, this is Big Time! There will be agents looking for folks they want to represent to the big six publishers in NYC. There will also be a lot of break-out sessions about how to self-publish, the art of craft, the business of doing it, the “how to” market it. More details to come.

Down on The Farm

One of the things I did do this month besides have some amazing books signings around town was that I took Cora to visit my brother on his farm. We picked vegetables, Jon took us to visit the menagerie, we petted his AKC Siberians, and Jon gave us some eggs (nicer than any from the store). I want to show you some pictures from that day.SAM_1240

And I wanted to show you some artwork that my amazing sis-in-law did. She drew this from composite photos of her trips to Egypt. She painted it with coffee. Okay, you can say “wow” too.SAM_1243

Happy Thanksgiving!

SAM_1264It’s the end of the month and I want to thank you for sticking with me in reading my blog, especially when there are weeks between offerings. I appreciate every one of you. May God richly bless you in this holiday season.

I thank the Lord for His loving kindness, and mercy in keeping our family safe and well.

Don’t eat too much and watch out for the crazy drivers.

Currently reading

Life Application Study Bible NASB
Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Tyndale
Book of Lamentations - Enhanced E-Book Edition (Illustrated. Includes 5 Different Versions, Matthew Henry Commentary, Stunning Image Gallery + Audio Links)
Prayer Books, Theology Books, Eschatology, The Book of Laments, Book of Laments, Matthew Henry, Anonymous
Peek A Boo I See You (Emma Frost #5)
Willow Rose

The Maharani's Pearls (Bess Crawford Mysteries)

The Maharani's Pearls (Bess Crawford Mysteries) - Charles Todd Sadly this story is much too short. I love Charles Todd and would read anything by that team of authors. This is a prequel for the Bess Crawford stories. It's a tale from her childhood when she lived in India. There's good action and the story is well-told.

I love the title because of the way they tell a "round-about" tale.

Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten - Terri Reid This is one of those series that once begun IS hard to stop getting and reading the next. I love that the two main detectives are flawed enough to love and laugh with. This one had Bradley near death. There were lots of ghosts that needed help. Mary had a serious problem and may have acquired another sidekick.

Good Tidings

Good Tidings - Terri Reid Not normally a reader of paranormal thrillers but this series sounded too good to pass up. Actually I was correct for once. This was superb. I really love Mary O'Reilly and her family and all the other characters that Ms. Reid let's us get to know more about with each book. This one was about child kidnapping and it was a page turner. Highly recommended.


Rushed - Brian Harmon Eric must follow his dream. Literally! But the dream was full of horrifying things and when he finds himself in the same horrific scenario, he must rely on his instincts and his cell phone to survive. What I loved most about this story is the amazingly funny and brilliant dialogue.

Soho Slasher: Jack Is Back: A Harbinger Crossover Novel to International Hunters, Inc.

Soho Slasher: Jack Is Back: A Harbinger Crossover Novel to International Hunters, Inc. - Ben Hopkin This book started out fast and furious with a woman and her band of mercenary-types trying to take down a drug cartel in Italy when a helicopter swoops in to interrupt. The action hardly slows from there. The female mercenary is Kyra a girl who believes she is a sociopath, but throughout the novel proves she is not without empathy or feelings. Kent is the profiler who saved her life when she was a child, but who is now happily married to another police detective. They all find themselves in London investigating a Jack-the-Ripper copycat. This is a fun unusual take on the investigation and solving of that unsolved case. I found the author has created an action packed page turner that is well worth reading.

Weddings Can Be Murder

Weddings Can Be Murder - Christie Craig I love that this book is so hilarious. I don't care so much that it is clearly a step beyond r-rated. It's a great story that kept me turning pages with not only the looming killer but the looming disaster of loving someone so unlikely.


Everblue - Brenda Pandos The tale is well-written. I'm not a fan of mermaid stories but this story caught my interest and held it. I got the book because of the lovely cover and the premise sounded good. Good writing so I would read something else by this author if it isn't about mermaids.

Book Inspired Ornaments For Your Christmas Tree - This is so inspiring.

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:

I love Christmas! I love the winter songs, the smell of Christmas tree, staying busy in the kitchen and I love all kind of ornaments for a tree, my house and myself ;-) Here are the inspirations for my Christmas tree this year. 











Gran-sdur:The Games

Gran-sdur:The Games - Jan Raymond The author really knows how to write a sequel. This book could be a stand alone and that's important to note. Not a lot of authors know how to write a second book in a series that doesn't feel like it's a continuation of a single story line. This book has a true beginning middle and end, yet leaves room at the end for the story to continue. I felt that this book had more detail and description that the first book had and I appreciate that. For instance, I didn't know that Cassie had red hair (Or I missed it the first book). I love the action scenes. It kept me turning pages swiftly.

The names were a bit hard to pronounce in my head so I skipped over many. The dictionary in the back should be in the front.

Maternal Harbor

Maternal Harbor - Marie F. Martin The craft of the story is well-done but it became predictable about half-way through. She's a good writer so I would read something else by this author.

Loose Ends

Loose Ends - Terri Reid This is the first in a series I've fallen for. Mary O'Reilly has come back from the dead, and is now a private investigator. She had been a Chicago police officer and when she put herself between a bullet and her brother, the bullet won and she died. But then she came back, with the ability to communicate with the spirits of people who died unnaturally and need resolution. She now lives in Freeport, Illinois. The book is written well enough to suspend one's disbelief about the paranormal. Throughout the series there is mention, in a well-done way, of God and His Plan. This made for points in my "book". In this story an Illinois state senator's wife sees a ghost and calls Mary. Mary discovers what happened to the ghost but not before she meets the very good-looking new chief of police. There is something wrong in this town and Mary may be the only one who can help keep everyone alive.

Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind - Alice LaPlante This was a frightening and unforgettable story about an orthopedic surgeon whose best friend is found murdered with the fingers of one hand surgically removed. The surgeon is "retired" because she has dementia and is slowly losing all of her memories. The story sounds exactly like what a person with failing memory sounds like down to the fighting to keep what little dignity there is left, and clinging to every memory that remains. The ending reminded me of Gone Girl. I was shaken.

This is well-written, engrossing, and I was unable to put it down.
""My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places." Winnie-the-Pooh"

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy - Gary D. Schmidt There are layers in this story. One layer is that it is historical fiction. The island off the coast of Maine where the black inhabitants were chased away to make room for a hotel does exist and the story did happen. The author added more layers with a story about a minister's son and his friendship with one of the island's inhabitants, a little black girl. It's told in the first person with a voice that resonates. The things that happen in the town, with the folks who make up the inhabitants who are both fearful and greedy. The one fine old lady who I thought wasn't very nice but who turns out to be wonderful, the bad guy who took up an entire room with his presence, the grandpa who loved clam chowder, all these people were drawn so well, I felt I knew them through and through by the end of the story. And I loved that the boy looked into the eye of the whale.

Imaginary Girls

Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma I enjoyed the journey I took reading this book. You know what they say: the fun is in the journey, not the destination. Because in the end I think I know what the book was about but I can't be sure.

The story is about two sisters. One who seems to hold the world in the palm of her hand, the other is her chronicler. Yet, in the end. I wonder that the book is really about a girl who is completely insane and this is her story about her alone and she is both girls. On the one hand she has it all together and on the other hand, she has blown a gasket and simply believes she is telling a story about the other girl. Because at the end of the day there is one girl sitting on the edge of the water waiting for death to claim her.

An Evil Shadow - A Val Bosanquet Mystery (The Val Bosanquet Mysteries)

An Evil Shadow - A Val Bosanquet Mystery (The Val Bosanquet Mysteries) - AJ Davidson A girl who supposedly killed her voodoo witch mother and spent time in J jail is out and wants to attend college. The Haiti mafia seem at once to be fascinated with her and want to kill her. The detective who testified against her is up against it trying to decide to keep her safe, and now has doubts about her role in the slaying.