Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG: December 2019

Welcome to the last post for IWSG for 2019. I hope you're joining this amazing group of writers led by Alex J. Cavanaugh and his team of hardworking administrators. Find the entire list of participants at the IWSG site.

This month's optional question:

How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

I think we all change our dream a little bit or maybe a lot as we learn the true nature and difficulty of this business. I've achieved my dream of being multi-published (23 romance novels and 4 fantasy novels) but it didn't make me rich or famous. All my published books are with a small press but I do still dream of TOR taking on my next fantasy series. My feelings are up and down about if I'm living my dream or not. I feel like I could work harder, do more, but I'm also happy and content with my life. 

"A contented mind is a continual feast."  Old Farmer's Almanac

Hope your Thanksgiving was great. I did more traveling than I intended and took up too much of time. But the entire family got together. They all get along so well, it's a joy to have that time. I have more than most to be thankful for and it's wonderful to witness how thankful my children are.

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." Aesop

My granddaughter is done with the stitches. Still a little mark but hopefully over time it will fade. She's become very verbal and tells entire stories over and over again. She's so happy and cooperative all the time. We're doing Christmas decorating today. We cleaned yesterday and she helped with everything.

"Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they ever find?" 
Dr. Samuel Johnson

Later this week, V-Wars is coming to Netflix.  I'm so excited for this. Jonathan Maberry, the author of the books V-Wars is based on, is someone I know personally. He is a member of
Pennwriters, the Pennsylvania writers group I belong to and which I serve on the board. And best of all, he's going to be our keynote speaker at our conference in May, 2020. He's such a nice guy and very supportive of other writers. I wish I had his work ethic. He writes 5,000 words per day!

Then The Expanse returns to Amazon next week. The Witcher come to Netflix the week before Christmas. Christmas Eve will have the second season of Lost In Space on Netflix. I really enjoyed the first season of that remake though lots of critics didn't like it.

Are you living your dream? Are you excited about anything coming to Netflix or Amazon in this last month of 2019? Was Thanksgiving good for you? Are you ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: November 2019 Edition

Oops! Where did October go? Time again, already, for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blog hop. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting and leading the group along with his wonderful cast of administrators. Find the entire list of those participating in the blog hop here.

This month's optional question: What is the strangest thing you've ever googled when researching for your writing?

Nothing really strange for me. One of the more recent things I googled was how marrow samples are taken. For my fantasy writing, I've googled mythology and for my science fiction, I've looked up information on Rare Earth Elements. I am very interested in reading the answer to this question from my fellow IWSGers.

I'm enjoying a few new and old things as TV shows kick off their new seasons. Supernatural has been very dark and a bit heartbreaking. Bracing for more of that before it's over. Poldark, as usual, has some many intertwining threads that I wonder how they'll wrap it all up before the series finale. I'll really miss that show. Three new shows have caught my interest: Evil, Prodigal Son, and Emergence. Evil manages the right blend of doubt between explainable events and possible supernatural things. And it's very suspenseful.  I reserving judgment on HBO's Watchmen. I never read the comics so maybe that's why it's so confusing so far.

Writing is going okay, but I'd still writing slower than my usual pace. I know why, but I can't fix it at this time.

My granddaughter received her first stitches this past weekend. A little scary because she hit her head on a bench corner and it bled a lot. But it only required two stitches and some skin glue right above her left eye. I'm only glad it happened when she was with her father and not me. It did occur at our beloved library but I'm sure she'll still want to go there a few times per week. The emergency room doctors gave her two coloring books and said she was their best toddler patient ever. They expected they would have to knock her out, but she sat on her dad's lap and held her mom's hand and let them stitch her without moving.

A couple of hard frosts mean I'm finally done mowing the grass for the year. I have one more day of raking and cleaning out flowerbeds. Just in time for possible snow flurries by this weekend. Long sigh.  That means that shortly I can start my annual whining about winter.

Do you google weird things? Enjoying any new TV? Have you ever had stitches? Any snow in your forecast?

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Not Guilty by C. Lee McKenzie

A warm welcome to C. Lee McKenzie. What makes her protagonist in her latest release, Not Guilty, so special? 

Your question about what qualities my protagonist has that allow him to survive and thrive is an excellent one.  I had a chance to go back into the story and look at what my kid was all about.

Let me give you a quick profile sketch of Devon Carlyle. His name should be a dead give away. I hope so anyway because I really worked to find the right one. He’s a white middle class kid, his dad owns a small business, and his mom works at a non-profit. He has an irritating nerdy sister and one splendid golden retriever. He’s never missed a meal, he has nice, not designer, clothes, and his big goal is a basketball scholarship to a major university. He’s talented on the court, he’s popular at school, and he has a girlfriend who’s perfect. His one character flaw is that he’s quick to anger, and this will  cause him trouble—serious trouble.

When he’s accused of a crime, all of what Devon once took for granted vanishes. He’s shocked when his network of friends, some he’s known since childhood, shun him. This would be difficult for anyone, but for a teen still struggling with all of those adolescent “growing pains”  it’s devastating. Devon’s response is fear and, unfortunately, anger. While he has a fundamental code of conduct to guide him, even that isn’t going to get him through the ordeal of juvenile hall, and it most certainly isn’t going to help him prove his innocence because he doesn’t have a clue about where to start.

Enter Tats, Chewy, and Ice. While the main theme of this story is justice, friendship is one also. And these three characters helped me develop this second theme. They enhance Devon’s code of conduct, and at the same time, give Devon what he doesn’t have to survive and thrive in his new and totally strange environment—some street smarts and the true meaning of friendship.

When Devon sets out to rebuild his life, he finds out that he doesn’t want that old life with the so-called friends back. He’s discovered a lot about managing his anger, sticking by people when times are rotten, and developing compassion for kids very different from himself.

Thanks so much Susan for this chance to “talk” about my MC and Not Guilty. I’ve enjoyed being here.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on Facebook 

The author’s other young adult books include: 

NOT GUILTY is available at:

Do you know young people Devon's age? How do you think they would react in a similar situation? Have you ever been thrown into a completely strange environment like Devon?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Wielder's Prize: Debut Novel by Elle Cardy

Warm welcome today to Elle Cardy.

Thanks, Susan, for letting me take over your blog for the day.

While Wielder’s Prize is my debut novel, it’s not the first novel I wrote. In my teens and early twenties I wrote two massively-epic length fantasies. I didn’t finish them. After a long break from writing fiction, I wanted to dive in again with something new. It takes time to build a world from scratch, so I decided to base Wielder’s Prize in my pre-made world, set a thousand years later. Place names on a detail map and the world’s history were already done. I have a deep love of the eighteenth century tall ships, so I decided to build the story from there. At the time, I didn’t write any outlines so the adventure was as much a surprise for me as it was for Jasmine, my main character.

Confession time: Getting no further than its first draft state, I set the story aside. I foolishly thought it wasn’t good enough. Years later—yes, years—I read through it. Even though it had missing sections, mainly descriptions, it was good. Way better than I had thought. I felt like such a goose because of all that wasted time. I quickly polished it into a little gem. And I learned an important lesson: Don’t let doubts hold you back. If there is something you want to do, stop comparing yourself to others, stop listening to your fears. Get off your proverbial and get it done! If you hit roadblocks, then find a way around. Time is short. Don’t waste it.
Wielder’s Prize by Elle Cardy
A young adult fantasy adventure
To survive the outside forces, she must first control the inside forces.
Snatched from the only home she’s ever known aboard the Wielder’s Prize, Jasmine is forced to work as a crew member of a different ship. To survive, Jasmine must dodge her captor who has a personal vendetta against her, outsmart a fearsome magic wielder who has taken a dangerous interest in her, and get back to her ship. Somehow.
Just when she thinks things couldn’t get worse, she learns she too is a wielder—an untrained wielder who is a threat to everyone on board if she can’t control her magic. And she’s not the only out-of-control wielder on the high seas. The secret of that wielder could shatter everything Jasmine thought she knew.
Time and hope is running out. At any cost, she must get back to her ship and discover the truth behind all the secrets before everything is lost.

The ebook and paperback are now available on Amazon

A tense adventure that will keep you guessing with all of its wicked twists and turns. – Alex J. Cavanaugh, best-selling author

Jasmine is one of the most fully realized fantasy characters I've read in a long, long time.—Tyrean Martinson, author of Champion in the Darkness

About the author:
Elle Cardy is the pen name of Lynda R Young. She is an author, editor, game developer, 3D artist, graphic designer, photographer, gamer and so much more. Wielder’s Prize is her debut novel, a YA fantasy adventure. She also has a number of speculative short stories published in print and online. Having lived in Sydney most of her life, she is now living in Brisbane with her sweetheart of a husband.

 Have you ever taken out a manuscript that you've set aside and found a gem that only needed some polish? Don't you love those tall ships and adventure on the high seas? Add some magic and you have an epic tale.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Happy Columbus Day and Thanksgiving in Canada

Columbus Day to me means a day off from babysitting which I can always use. And Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in Canada.

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." Anne of Green Gables by Lucky Maud Montgomery (Canadian writer)

Last week, I bought a bagful of books from my local library's annual book sale. I'm very happy to support the library. As I've said many times, I love the library. Our local branch is located right beside the railroad and sometimes 2 or 3 trains will go by when I'm there with my granddaughter. It's cool because all the little kids run to windows to watch. Since there's a crossing right there, the train always whistles. The children's special reading lounge and play are has a train theme and it's perfect. My granddaughter loves it.

I realized a few weeks ago that I forgot about my blog anniversary in August. Susan Says has been around since 2008! Time flies.

I'm still cleaning house since my last adult child moved out. I'm not a collector of things but my children apparently are. I have a roomful of large Rubbermaid containers with their stuff still here. I told them they can leave it until I downsize which is happening soon. We've seen huge savings in our electric costs since the kiddies moved out. Fewer showers, laundry, computers, and TV time have made a big difference.

The house is very quiet, but I really like it. I'm busy with my writing, the outside fall work, great books to read, and taking care of my granddaughter.

"Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for!" Immanuel Kant

What traditional foods do Canadians have for Thanksgiving? Anything special about your local library? How long have you been part of the blogging scene?

Monday, October 7, 2019

Good Fall Things

Some exciting things happen in October. The leaves change and depending on where you live, it may have already started. My backyard is already getting colorful. My granddaughter had discovered the fun of jumping in piles of leaves. So now it takes even longer to rake with her assistance. But it's worth it.

The Draconid Meteor Shower will hopefully give us some delightful viewing tomorrow night. Unlike some of the meteor showers, the Draconid can be viewed after sunset instead of after midnight. I hope the rain goes away by then. Read more about them here.

I threw out almost 20K words on my WIP because it wasn't any good. LOL. That's a totally unbiased opinion. I hated it and what I'm replacing it with is better. So far.

"Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick." Spanish proverb

I haven't shared wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac recently. So here it is. When buying pumpkins to use as your fall or Halloween decorations, only pick ones with stems on them. The stem slows decay.

Our family has a lot of birthdays in the all. Both of my stepsons, my birthday, and my oldest sister. Not that any of us want to celebrate getting older. Getting older does encourage one to appreciate the small things. Cool fall nights. Fall scents like hot cider, burning leaves, and apple pie. I love to watch the geese fly south. Living in the country, sometimes there are half of a dozen flocks in the sky at one time.

"Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart." Erma Bombeck

That new show, Evil, is very scary. I'm enjoying it immensely. So many unanswered questions and the characters are complex and interesting. Stumptown and Prodigal Son have caught my interest but I don't know if they'll keep it. I'm going to give Watchmen a try on HBO. Supernatural is back this week. Yippee.

I'm always excited to find a new author and a new book series to read. The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter is one that has me excited. The world Winter created is unique and the protagonist is complex. The question of who the good guys are will keep you turning the pages. I loved this book and can't wait for the next one.

Will you try to see the meteor showers? What do you like best about fall? Have you discovered any new fantasy series you could recommend to me?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG: October 2019

It seems like it was September IWSG day just last week. Obviously not. Welcome to this amazing blog hop and the IWSG group started by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Join us in supporting and helping each other in what can be a lonely business. Find the other participants here.

This month's optional question: How can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

I can't imagine not enjoying reading. I could read every spare minute I have. There are so many great books out there, including ones written by members of this group. If a person doesn't enjoy reading, I don't believe they can be a writer. 

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.” 
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Book News
New Concepts Publishing has released my latest space opera romance, Starship Refugees IV: The Alien and the Slave. A ship of Earth's refugees lands on a planet and find themselves forced into slavery along with the native humans. A great escape is planned but only if the two races of humans learn to trust each other.

Personal News
For the first time since I married, I have an empty nest. My husband had two wonderful sons when we met, and then we had three boys and one girl together. This past weekend, the last child, now an adult, moved out. My husband thinks the house is too quiet, but I love it. My children are wonderful, but it was time for them and us to be on our own. And the bathroom is so much cleaner. Except for my daughter, the kids all live close enough that we're not alone for long.

TV Time
I watched the first episode of the new CBS thriller, Evil. It was so scary! I loved it. I also enjoyed the first episode of Poldark's last season on Masterpiece Theater. Really good, as usual. Killjoys ended on a good note. Fun and hopeful. No bittersweet stuff there. Only one more week to wait for Supernatural to return. Too many final seasons for my favorite shows this year.

Do you read a lot? Should writers be readers? Do you enjoy a quiet house or the chaos of family? Did you watch Evil or another new show you could recommend?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Special Risk by Sandy Nork

It's my pleasure to introduce a fellow Pennwriter, Sandy Nork, and her first in a series novel, Special Risk. She weaves facts in with her fiction as she introduces a fascinating new investigator

For Readers:

Special Risk is Book 1 of 3 planned for the Risk Series starring protagonist Valerie Sloan, a Japanese-American insurance investigator from Philadelphia. The book is a mystery centered around the search for a missing guitar and the involvement of an Asian crime family.

Special Risk took form when I read Tokyo Vice by journalist Jake Adelstein about his life in Japan as a reporter working among the Yakuza. I was intrigued by the idea that Yakuza members were able to come and go in the United States without much interference.

In addition, my husband is a musician who can play pretty much anything with strings. He knows a lot about guitars. He took me to the Great American Guitar Show, which I mention in Special Risk. At one of those shows, he took photos of the Gibson Les Paul guitar that I use as the missing guitar in the book. The “real” one was for sale and the asking price was $250,000.

You might also want to know that “special risk” refers to an insurance clause that covers a musician’s instruments when they take them out of their home to play at a gig.

For Writers:

I’m a plotter, not a pantser.  At one point during the writing of this book, I tore it apart and restructured it completely. That was a terrible mistake and cost me a lot of time and momentum to discover that my initial plan of how the book should flow was correct. From that frustrating experience I’d like to think that I learned the lesson of listening to my own instincts when it comes to building a book.


In the mystery Special Risk, Japanese-American insurance investigator Valerie Sloan searches for a missing guitar in Philadelphia. During her investigation, she confronts an Asian crime family and discovers a connection to her past.

Amazon link:


Sandy Nork is a writer, librarian, and musical tourist who lives in New Cumberland, PA, with her musician husband and his collection of guitars. Recently she vacationed in Nashville, the home of country music. While there, she researched at the Nashville Public Library, several museums, and – of course – the local restaurants. She plans to include anecdotal souvenirs from that trip in her next book, Flood Risk.

You can find Sandy’s website at She is also on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter as @novelgal.

Did you know musical instruments could be worth so much money? Have you ever heard of 'special risk' insurance? Are you a plotter like Sandy or a pantser?

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

IWSG: September 2019

It's the month when fall will sneak up on us and it's the first Wednesday so it's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his awesome comrades in arms, this group blogs once a month and shares wisdom and support. Find the entire group participating in this blog hop on this list.

This month's optional question:
If you could pick one place in the world to sit and right your next story, where would it be and why?

That is a tough question. First of all, I have an awesome office at home and I have it all to myself on evenings and weekends. It's pretty much perfect and I shouldn't be greedy and wish for something better. That being said, I would love to spend a week at a dude ranch in Montana where I could horseback ride in the morning and evening, walk for miles and enjoy the big sky and write in between being outdoors.

My daughter moved to Boston this past weekend to begin her PhD program. I'm not a city person but I appreciate the history of Boston and its many lovely spots to have a seat in a coffee shop and write. Harvard Square is one of my favorite. Yes, I could spend a week writing there.

The question for me, could I stay on task in those beautiful places? I'd like to find out.

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Labor speech, 1903, Theodore Roosevelt

Work on my next book is going slow as I dealt with knee replacement and helping my daughter move. This time her move isn't simply going back to college. It's a real move that will last 5-7 years. Those are my excuses for writing only about 15K words the past two months.

I'm back to watching my granddaughter five days per week as her teacher parents go back to school. Such a little bundle of joy. She's speaking in full sentences and knows all her letters. (Her dad taught her the alphabet by watching Wheel of Fortune) She's only 2 and a half as of today. On our agenda, more library programs and swimming once per week to start. She loves learning and trying new things. Play doh last week.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."  Chinese proverb

I'm also back to exercising 5 or more days per week. Since I have my knee fixed, I can actually do downhills again and use the elliptical more than one day in a row. I feel younger with my bionic parts. LOL

I have a writers' meeting tonight, so I'll try to visit as many blogs as I can before and after. I seem to keep volunteering for things I don't have time for.

"Experience is what enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again." Earl Wilson

I'm enjoying the last season of Killjoys. Only a few episodes left. I'll really miss those characters. The last season of Poldark starts later this month. I'm looking forward to the last season of Supernatural starting up in October. There's a new show this fall called Evil that looks interesting. Not sure anything else will catch my interest. Seems I'm depending more and more on Netflix and Amazon when I have the urge for a little screen time.

Do you have an ideal writing spot in all the world? Do you get yourself in trouble by too much volunteering? Do you like the coming of fall?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: August 2019 Version

The first Wednesday of the month means it's time for the IWSG monthly blog hop. Kudos to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this amazing group and to all the administrators who keep it running and moving forward constantly. Join us in supporting each other and find all the participants here.

I'm skipping this month's question. The only thing that ever surprised me about my writing was when one of my publishers closed and even that has happened so often I'm no longer shocked when it happens.

A writing issue I am addressing today is writers' groups. Do you know now much it costs to be a member of IWSG? Zero dollars. The runners of this group spend countless hours behind the scene, all voluntarily. I'm on the board of the state-wide, multi-genre group, Pennwriters. Again, everyone on the board volunteers all their hours and there have been many, many hours of work. Members of Pennwriters pay the low price of $45 per year and receive lots and lots of benefits including a discount to the annual conference that amounts to more than the price of membership. That brings me to my point.

I am a long time member of RWA, Romance Writers of America. For over twenty years, I've paid to be a member of this organization and then an additional fee to belong to my local chapter of RWA. Each year as my career moves forward, I feel like I get less for my money. I won't to into the details of that list, but to pay $99 for RWA membership and then $28 to belong to my local group, I want it to be worth it. And I no longer feel that it is. When my membership expires later this month, I'm finished paying out that money.

I'm sure there are other RWA members on this loop, and I would welcome your thoughts.

On a more personal note, this is a dangerous time of year to shop. All those back to school supplies are on sale. So many clever and cute journals, pen, paper clips, and sticky notes. How is a writer to resist even though I need none of it? I managed to buy only one notebook and two post-it notes.

My knee rehab is complete. My orthopedic surgeon called me his best patient ever. Back to walking an hour a day or doing a day on my elliptical.  Full range of motion and all the good stuff. Not quite back to writing 1,000 words per day but I'm getting there. Also, received another contract for the book I submitted in June.

I'm enjoying the last season of Killjoys on SyFy. My favorite show, The 100, ended its season last night and announced next season will be their last. Sorry to see it go, but I also like when a series knows when to end. I was very excited to learn that Amazon has renewed The Expanse for a 5th season before the 4th even airs. Endgame made me cry as much when I watched it at home as it did in the theater. Football season starts soon so I won't have much to say about TV except to complain how much football my dear husband watches.

Do you pay to be in any writing or other creative groups? Think RWA is too expensive? Do office supplies tempt you? See any good TV lately?

Monday, July 8, 2019

Connie C. Scharon: Protector of the Highlands

A warm welcome to Connie Scharon, a very good writing friend and someone who works hard on her career. Her books are exciting and her characters heroic while still being realistic. If your looking for strong heroines and men smart enough to appreciate them, her Scottish Historical books are for you. Take it away, Connie:

 For Readers

Ever since I was a child I have had a little of what people call second sight, weird dreams that later come true and some non-explainable premonitions. This made me fascinated by the power of the mind, so I decided to make my latest heroine learn how to hypnotize people in order to save herself. I interviewed a hypnotist to make her powers realistic, and I think this gave my latest Scottish Historical Romance, Protector of the Highlands, an interesting twist.

For writers

I self-published my first book in June of 2013 and was lucky enough to have it and my subsequent releases hit Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ List. I have published nine books since then. Eight in my Highland Legends series, and one crazy Time Travel Murder Mystery, which I loved, but no one bought. Bottom line is I still haven’t figured out what can make one a magical moneymaker and another have lack luster sales. Every time I do a release, I try to create interest in the book on my social media platforms, do paid advertising, and book signings. Recently, advertising my back list on Amazon has created increased sales across the series. You can do this if your book is Amazon exclusive.


A medieval romance and a murder mystery rolled into one twisted tale of love and betrayal!


A fan of dark and dangerous medieval Scotland, Connie C. Scharon writes Highland Legends, a Scottish Historical Romance series set in the fourteenth century. Multiple trips to the British Isles have continued to fuel her imagination and produce more stories, but that is not her only interest.
After spending thirty-four years in the medical field, she is weaving some of her hospital experience, visits to the morgue, and crime lab into some new mystery novels with a medical twist. No release date yet.

Have you ever been hypnotized or witnessed someone being hypnotized? Have you visited anywhere in the British Isles? Do you have any marketing advice to add to what Connie shared? Don't you love that book cover?

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: July 2019

Slow down, 2019! It's the first Wednesday of the seventh month meaning the year is more than halfway gone and it's IWSG blog hop day. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the online writing community of Insecure Writers Support Group is going stronger than ever. Find the entire list of participants here.

First of note, thank you to the IWSG administrators for spotlighting me in the most recent newsletter. You really brightened my day.

Second of note, thank you to the administrators for all they do. I was once among their numbers and there is a massive amount of work that goes on behind the scenes of IWSG to make sure the group remains dynamic and offers so many FREE services to writers. I'm on the board of another writing group and I'm currently buried under responsibilities to help run that group. Anyone who volunteers in such a way, sacrifices a lot of their own writing time to give to other writers.

Third of note is the monthly optional question:
What personal traits have you written into your characters?
Are we supposed to do that? LOL I do write my characters to have qualities that I hope I have. Loyalty, honesty, and love of family. Add an burdening sense of responsibility and you have a too perfect character. (Not that I'm perfect or even close) So, always add a helping of traits I hope I don't have. Mistrust, wariness of relationships, and of course, the damage that caused all that.

Fourth note for today, I apologize for not haunting the blogs I usually do. About twelve days ago, I had knee replacement surgery so I've had trouble sitting at my computer for any extended period of time. No worries, I feel great. My top-notch surgeon used high tech robotic surgery. I was in pretty good shape going in. Surgery at 10 am. Woke up at noon. Got out of bed at 2 pm with the nurses' help. Went home the next day at noon. Six days later and I was walking without any assistant devices like a cane or walker. 30 staples are coming out today and then it's just a matter of finishing physical therapy. Unfortunately, my new knee is not bionic and I can't run 60 mph.

Is the year flying by for you? Have any fellow writers or bloggers you really appreciate? Does your personal character show up in your fiction writing? Would you be comfortable with a robot wielding the knife in the operating room?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Windy Hollow by Tara Tyler

Tara had a long journey to get this book published!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks

newsletter: tara tyler news

Check out the WINDY HOLLOW Release Blog Tour schedule:

6/20 - Heather Holden - How does she Create such Awesome Art?
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Interview
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building
6/30 - SA Larsen - Special Newsletter & a Vlog?!
7/1 - Tara's IWSG post with updates and a Special Guest!
7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Kids in Books
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV
7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - Hiking!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends

And of course, there's a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

IWSG: June 2019

It's the time of month again when this awesome group of writers join in the IWSG blog hop. Alex J. Cavanaugh started this group where everyone gets to share issues with their writing careers, good, bad, and just fun. Fine all the participants on this list.

This month's optional question: Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

I write in two genres, science fiction romance and epic fantasy. I love both. Science fiction gives me a chance to include my science background and the space to make up some science. Almost all my science fiction is space opera though I have one dystopian series. I love epic fantasy with the chance to build a word and invent a magic system. I also love the idea of heroes and heroines that go on a journey to grow into the people who will defeat evil so good can triumph. I really like the tales where the protagonist starts out as a nobody who becomes the most important person in the world.

When the chess game is over, the pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, kings, and queens all go back in the same box.  Italian proverb

Hope your summer, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, offers you some time to relax. I also hope you're not getting wet every day like we have been in the northeast USA. We had nearly twice the average amount of rainfall for the month of May. I have one more week of watching my granddaughter before summer vacation is here for her parents who are both teachers. I love her, but I'll enjoy some time without my adorable little shadow on my heels.

The new season of Luther is here and next month we have Stranger Things season 3, so something to look forward to. In the meantime, I'm doing some re-watches of my favorite shows like Haven. Poldark's most recent season is on Amazon Prime, so I'll take that in also. Anything you're binge watching or catching up on during the summer months.

Do you write in more than one genre, and if you do, do you prefer one over the other? Have any vacations planned for the near future? Are you in a part of the country that has been inundated recently?

Monday, June 3, 2019

Vickie Fisher: Tulips of Love

I attend one writing conference every year. It's great to meet new people and reconnect with friends from previous conferences. Once in a while, I meet someone who is instantly a friend. Let me introduce you to one such person. Vickie Fisher is the most amazingly upbeat person I've ever met. She meets life head-on and with a deep well of humor and understanding. It's dangerous to have dinner with her as she'll have you laughing so much, you might choke on your food. Her books are on my shelves forever. Here's Vicki:

For Readers

It’s common to hear stories about women leaving their jobs to become caregivers for their loved ones. But I wanted to tell a different story. A story of how a man loves his wife so much, that the thought of anyone else taking care of her is unthinkable. I truly believe that love is God’s greatest miracle, so I wrote Tulips of Love, a story filled with love, hope, and miracles.

For Writers

Recently, a friend threw my own words back at me, “not writing your book is you just being selfish.” It was like a slap to the back of my head. I am being selfish. What! How can you say that? Think about your favorite book, how it made you feel, how happy you were to be reading. What if that author had decided not to write? What if they were afraid and never put the words to paper? Instead of sharing it with you, they were selfish and hoarded it inside their head. You would have been deprived of their wonderful book. Being told I am selfish is the motivation I need to push me to write, to get my book onto paper, and to become another wonderful sharing author on the book shelf. How about you, will you share your story with me?


He was never so happy as the day they met, now he’s never been so scared to lose her.
Jeff and Michelle’s lives had felt as perfect as their love for one another. A successful family business, wonderful children, and the hope of a long life together… until an inoperable brain tumor threatens to destroy the happily ever after they thought was guaranteed. 
Will faith and sacrifice be enough to save the woman he can’t imagine life without?


Vickie Fisher writes inspirational fiction and devotionals. She also works for Amtrak as a Chief Entitlement clerk. She has three awesome children and adorable grandkids. After her husband died, she inherited nineteen beautiful acres and a whole lot of work in Carroll County, Maryland. She is waiting for her “Sam Elliot” to come riding in on his white horse. In the meantime, you can find her chasing goats from her flowers.

Have you ever had someone say something as motivating as Vickie's friend who told her she was being selfish? Have you known a relationship where the man was the one to give up his career and stay home to care for an ailing loved one? Have you read a book that gave you hope and inspiration?