Monday, December 17, 2018

How to Enjoy the Holiday Season by Christine Rains

Please welcome one of my long time blogging friends and chase away those shopping and entertaining blues.


Thanks so much to Susan for having me on her blog today. It’s that exciting time of year with lots of holiday events with family and friends. Even more exciting for me because I finished my shopping last month and don’t have to deal with the insanity of crowded stores!

For some people, they don’t get a chance to do their shopping until the last minute. My sympathies to you. All that noise, the rude people, crazy parking lots, the stress of finding what you need. The best way to deal with getting ready for the fun part of the holidays is to have a book with you all the time. As a voracious reader, I carry my Kindle with me everywhere. Waiting in line, I read. Waiting for a parking spot to open up, I read. There are also audiobooks if you want your hands free. Wrapping, cleaning, baking. You can get through a lot of books this month!

As an author, I lose writing time with the running around and visiting. While some writers love their little notebooks, I have an app on my cell phone where I can jot down ideas, or, if you’re really quick at typing, you can compose a poem or work on your current story. (It’s a free app called Writer Plus!) I usually retire early in the evenings when we have visitors, so I squeeze in a bit of writing time as I’m sitting in bed. If you’re an early bird, getting up before everyone else and putting on the coffee works as you’re sneaking in some words.

Enjoy yourself this holiday season. Savor the time spent with good friends and family, and give yourself the gift of not missing out on writing or a good book. You’ll be happier and that joy will carry through to everything else.

Of Gods and Sorrow (Of Blood and Sorrow, Book #2)
Stopping the undead will seem like child's play when the Cult of Ammut comes calling.

Even after losing most of her adopted family, Erin Driscol continues to console clients at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home. Keeping the funeral business working smoothly is no longer the walk in the graveyard it used to be. Grieving demons are fighting in the halls. Eyeballs are showing up in teapots. And a so-called psychic and member of the Cult of Ammut claims Erin's boss Cort is a god. All Erin wants is a friend to lean on and a sense of normalcy. But as the cult kills people and repeatedly attacks the funeral home, she must stand strong or lose Cort to the Lake of Fire.

Author bio: Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She decorated for the holidays way too early this year, but it did make everyone smile. She’s a jolly member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has two novels and several novellas and short stories published.

Did you get your shopping done early like Christine? Do you always carry a book with you? How do you squeeze in come writing time over the busy season?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG: December 2018 Edition

I can't believe it's the last IWSG blog hop of the year. Major thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and all the IWSG administrators who keep the group so progressive and brilliant. Find the entire list of blog participants here.

The optional question for this month:

What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

I love this question. I'm not counting my laptop as one. 
1.Next to it is always my Old Farmer's Almanac Planner. I already purchased the 2019 version a few weeks ago.
2. A drink. Usually ice coffee, water, or tea. Occasionally, a glass of wine.
3. Reading glasses. Who am I kidding. There may be a many as six pairs. I have more than a dozen and they tend to all end up in the same place. The kitchen, my writing desk, or my reading chair.
4. A big, huge, cup, more like a flower pot, full of pens, pencils, a ruler, book marks, scissors, highlighters.
5. My remote to my smart TV that sits across the room. I watch Netflix while I'm blogging. (Not when I'm writing)

I'm really looking forward to the holidays. Almost done with shopping, but the joy of the season for our family is not in the gifts but in the time we spend together. 

"Where there is great love, there are always miracles." Willa Cather

I have been really busy with writing. Last Saturday, I wrote over 12,000 words to finish the first draft of my third novel in Starship Refugees space opera series. That's a record for me. The second book in the series, The Alien and the Amazon, is now available on Amazon.

Speaking of space opera, I'm going to try watching Nightflyers on SyFy. Has anyone seen it yet? I heard it's really dark. I've watched some Christmas movies, all sweet and predictable, but I can take it this time of year. If you haven't watched Christmas Chronicles on Netflix, you should check it out. Kurt Russell is my new favorite Santa.

"The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed" Sebastien-Roch Nicolas

Did you laugh today? Is your desk sacred space? What was your biggest writing day? Done shopping?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Misty Simon: Deceased and Desist

I'm so pleased to have Misty Simon, a long-time writing friend and successful, prolific writer. There's no one quite like Misty to lift your mood when the business of writing is getting you down.

Hi there and thanks so much to Sue for having me on this great blog!

I’ve been a writer for quite some time, published since 2004 or so when I won a contest with Harlequin when they used to run Writing Round Robins. I loved writing for years but reading even longer. Getting lost in a story is one of the greatest joys of life. I’d get in trouble for getting a little too lost in a story when I was supposed to be reading a textbook and instead had a romance between the pages of the book. Funny enough, one of the classes I read the most in was English. I met my English teacher years later in an airport, totally random, and we laughed about the memory, though she did read my book and then critique and grade me shortly after. I got a 94%, not perfect, but in her class that was about the most you could get so I took it and laughed and laughed.

But it’s not always all laughter with writing. Recently I was really struggling with a book concept. I’ve been trying to come up with a new series and wanted it to be different from the other two mystery series I have written. I kept running up against walls and being turned around by a tornado of doubt. I doubted my process, my ability, my smarts when it came to writing in general and especially when writing mysteries. But I was determined and nothing gets in my way when I dig in my claws. So I kept working with it and after many twists and turns, going back to the writing books I’d read when I wrote my first mystery in 2004, and pacing so much the dogs were tired from following me, I did it! And a new series was born. I wrote the partial and it’s ready to be sent to my agent. And while I wait for that, I’m writing the next Tallie Graver Mystery with glee and with the absolutely knowledge that no matter how far down the rabbit hole of doubt I get, I can always find my way out.

In anticipation of that book coming out, here’s the current one that just had its debut on 11/27!

Window of opportunity . . .
Most house cleaners don’t do windows, but Tallie Graver loves leaving a pane of glass streak-free and sparkling. After a dirty divorce from a filthy-rich jerk, she's started her own cleaning business to make ends meet. On her latest job, prepping a renovated bed and breakfast for a grand re-opening, she's standing outside on a ladder, wiping off a grimy pane, when she spies a man on a bed through the glass. But the B&B isn't open for business yet—and the man's not sleeping. Her family owns the Graver Funeral Home, so Tallie knows a corpse when she sees one.

The victim is a shady building inspector with a reputation for handing out passing grades for a greased palm. With the local police resistant, Tallie launches her own investigation, before she gets a rep as a town crank. But it's going to take more than a squirt bottle and a squeegee to clean up this mess. With the help of her gal pal Gina, Tallie searches for a killer's motive. But she'd better be careful, or it'll be curtains for this window cleaner . . .

Available now from your favorite retailer!


Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She knows how to hula, was classically trained to sing opera, co-wrote her high school Alma Mater, and can’t touch raw wood. Never hand her a Dixie cup with that wooden spoon/paddle thing. It’s not pretty.
Touching people’s hearts and funny bones are two of her favorite things, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at
Connect with Misty:

It's the time of year for a nice mystery to curl up with under your favorite blanket. Have any of your former teachers read your writing? Did you sneak-read books in school? Ever think about being an investigator yourself? Do you find B&B places to be a little spooky?

Thanks, Misty. 

I'll be back next Wednesday for IWSG. Read and stay warm until then, fans.