Monday, May 20, 2019


Do you do newsletters? Do you think they are worth the effort?

Do you enjoy getting newsletters? Do you read them?

I just finished doing my newsletter for June.

I’ve only just started sending out newsletters. So far not many people have unsubscribed.  Hopefully that’s a good sign.
I did research newsletter but there are so many different kinds.  I decided to
start my newsletter with what I did (or didn’t) do last month. Then I tell the readers what I’m doing and where I’ll be this month and include the links.  

This month I included a few paragraphs from  my work in progress, the fourth book in a series.

And for the first time I’m giving away a copy of the first book in the series. To enter people have to give a short critique of the draft paragraphs.

I have a guest author each time and a simple recipe I hope people enjoy.

I try to use lots of photos.

If you’d like to get my newsletter, let me know.

And I’d love to hear your thoughts on newsletter and maybe what you do in your newsletter. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Purpose of Your Novel

I love our group blog and the questions Rhobin manages to come up with. This month it’s ‘what would you like to tell your readers to take from your novels and their purpose?’
It would be so easy to say the purpose is to entertain the reader, take them out of their world and into mine. And that is actually one of the things I do want to do.
I started writing because I have all the stories in my head and I wanted to share them. I wanted to tell stories people would want to read, but I also wanted readers to learn something from my writing. I hope my readers learn about life and death situations they might not otherwise think about. Or have them learn about people and things they might not otherwise consider, like what makes a serial killer. It would be nice if a reader learned something from each book. And if a reader, or maybe someone they know, is ever involved in one of those situations maybe they’ll consider how they might escape from that situation.

In The Foundation series women help to save other women. While you might not be trained in ways the heroines are, if you’re aware of some of the situations maybe you can help by telling someone your concerns or offering to help someone.  Women being physically or mentally abuse is a theme that often occurs in my stories. Here’s an excerpt from Gabe’s Story in the Hawkins Ranch series.
The front door closed.
Amy checked the clock. She had an hour, maybe more.
She perched motionless on the edge of the bed focused on the clock.
Don’t come back to check on me today, please.

The clocked ticked slowly. Amy continued to sit, not moving a muscle. 
An hour passed.
He hadn’t come back. With luck, she had a few hours at least until he checked on her.
Amy hurried away from the bed, pulled a bag from under a board at the back of the closet. She opened her bag to make sure she had what she needed, at least for a few days. In the kitchen she shoved the small bag through the medium-sized dog door. Her heart rate hit mega points. She kept listening for the front door to open.
He might suspect something and come back early.
She took a couple of deep breaths - still no sign of his return.
Amy scrunched down and started to wriggle through the pet door. Her hips stalled her process. Even with her weight loss she had to twist sideways and back wiggle back a little and change direction before she suddenly slipped through the door. Outside she stood up and took a deep breath.
This was what freedom smelled like.

Don’t waste time, Amy. Get moving. He’ll be after you in a few hours. This time he’ll kill you.

She grabbed her bag and started to run. She had four to five hours max before he checked on her and found her missing. She couldn’t go back. She’d rather die and probably would if he found her.

She ran, and kept running.

In Gabe’s Story an abused woman has finally escaped, but many abused wives return home or their husbands/partners find them and may even kill them. Readers may not be aware of this.

I look forwards to reading what the other authors have to say about their books and their purpose. Please check them out for their thoughts.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Check Out Iris Bloebel and her Latest - Journey to Her Dreams

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion.
Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two
daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.
Character Interview
Beverley: What’s your name?
Hollie: Hollie Anderson
Beverley: Where did you grow up? 
Hollie: On a farm about 20 kms from Launceston, Tasmania
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Hollie: Current time
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Hollie: I have those dreams about another woman who is being hurt and it hurts me at the same time. To figure out who this woman is and why on earth I’m dreaming about her, my friends give me a ticket to Ireland for my birthday. And so my journey begins …
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Hollie: To figure out who this woman is that I’m dreaming off and why I do dream of her.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Hollie: Not only do I travel to the other side of the world, but I’m supposed to find one woman in Dublin, a city with a population of a few million people.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Hollie: Yes, I’m desperate to get this sorted.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Hollie: Oh, yes. I’ve also just met this really nice guy. Jeremy is the perfect partner, however, he’s not without flaws.

Blurb for Journey to Her Dreams: 

There must be a reason for her dreams...
Hollie Anderson, a young woman living in Tasmania, is content with life, even more so since she has met
Jeremy. However, she has been having a recurrent dream that impacts her daily life, as well as her relationship, a dream that eventually takes her on a journey to Ireland.

Samantha Shaughnessy enjoys the success as Head of Advertising for a popular magazine in the Irish
capital Dublin. Married to Padraic, she thinks she loves her husband, but when she meets Hollie under unusual circumstances, she needs to face the truth--and not just about her marriage.

When both women meet and find they share an unexpected tie to the past, will they finally be able to move on into relationships with the men they love?

Excerpt for Journey to Her Dreams: 

Hollie stared at the sliding door but didn’t dare to move any closer. So, this was Dublin. She had been glued to the window since the plane started descending. It didn’t appear all that different from Tasmania. There were fields upon fields of green paddocks, divided by hedges and rocks, sometimes in even squares and sometimes, it seemed, just randomly. She even spotted a few double-decker buses from way above. Overwhelmed by the thought that she was about to set foot on Irish soil, she hesitated.
“Hollie. What are you waiting for?” Davo was already outside, but his movement set off the sensor and the door opened in front of her.

She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
He came back in, took her hand, and led her outside. “I’ll be there all the way. We’ll find whatever is worrying you. I promise.”

Grateful, she intertwined her fingers with his and slowly followed him outside — onto the streets of Dublin.

She had known Davo, or David Richard as his mother called him whenever he was in trouble. Though she’d never been as close to him as with Alex, he’d always been a part of her life. Whenever his circle of friends grew, hers grew as well. He had always been there for her, but she only realised as she walked through that door how much she had taken him for granted, how much he had always been there, and she never truly appreciated it. In a way she did, but more as a mate than an actual close friend. She turned to him and her lips twitched into a smile as he walked ahead in his old casual track pants and his worn-out T-shirt, which he must have bought at the same rock band concert as Ben.

Buy Link for Journey to Her Dreams

You can find Iris at:
My books on Amazon

Monday, May 13, 2019

Does Your Book Need Tightening?

When you’re editing your book and trying to make it tighter, you should be checking for “crutch words”, among many other things. These are words clutter up our book with stuff that doesn’t matter. They are the words and phrases that don’t add anything to your book. We all know about them.
Some common “crutch words” are; went, quite, is/was/were, very, actually, really, have/had, so anyway could/should/would, and almost. Often these words are also repeated throughout the book.Not sure if you’re using them?Do a word check, or when editing read your draft or read it out loud, you’ll notice those that keep showing up. You may find after reading them several times they become irritating to you, much like they would to your readers.
Once you become aware of the “crutch words” go through the book and look at each one. Are they adding anything to the meaning of the sentence? Do they enhance the story? Can you remove the word without changing the story? Can you replace it with an active verb?   In most cases, for me, I find I can delete it and nothing in the story changes. Or I may be able to replace it with a more descriptive word, something that might add to a description or an action.When you’re finished your book should be a few words shorter and a little tighter.
I’d love to hear if you use “crutch words”and how you handle them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Brenda G. Bradley and her book The Burning Heart

Brenda G. Bradley was born in Ayden, North Carolina to African American parents. Her family moved to Baltimore, Maryland in the 1950's. She attended public schools in Baltimore and later attended Morgan State University where she received a B.S. degree in Community Mental Services. She married her high school sweetheart and they’ve been together for more than forty years. They have two wonderful sons who were lucky enough to marry the women of their dreams. They’re a close knit multi-cultural family, and Brenda is looking forward to the future.

Character Interview
Beverley: What’s your name?
Silver: My name is Silver Adams
Beverley: Where did you grow up?
Silver: I grew up in London, England.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Silver: It is a contemporary (2018) story.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Silver: I was abandoned as a toddler in London. I have no idea who my biological parents are. Lucky for me, I was adopted into a  close-knit multi-cultural family. I have a story about finding love with an exciting fireman in Baltimore City who has issues with fire. Together we have to find a missing painting that the Nazis claimed was destroyed during World War Two.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Silver: My goal as a private investigator and security consultant is to find the painting and get paid. I have employees that are depending on me to keep my security business operating.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Silver: I’m attracted to a man who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and I live in England. I sometimes have to lie to get the information I need, and he hates anyone who lies. Besides, he wants me to find out who killed his half-brother. I find missing and stolen objects. I don’t find killers.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Silver: The man I’m falling for is going to help me find the painting and together we will search for his half-brother’s killer.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Silver: My family and friends are quirky and unique. It is interesting to see how a Baltimore City fireman adjusts to London and my crazy relatives.

Blurb for The Burning Heart
Wolfe, a Baltimore City firefighter, is crushed when his half brother, Larry, is found dead, floating in the Loch Raven Reservoir.  Larry had lost his way years ago and had earned his living by being a professional thief. Wolfe wants to know who killed his brother.
Silver is a private investigator from London. She's been hired to find the missing art treasure that Larry stole and secreted to the United States. Wolfe and Silver try to find the treasure and explore their growing attraction to each other.

Buy link for The Burning Heart

You can find more about Brenda at:

Monday, May 6, 2019

Lorelei Confer and Deadly Secrets

Lorelei Confer lives on a peninsula in the mid west coast of Florida with her high school sweetheart, now husband, and AJ, her longhaired Chihuahua.
In the fourth grade, she wrote her first story—something about getting a shot at the doctors—that was produced by the teacher for parents and students in an assembly. When she was older, she spilled her guts in a journal every night and wrote long newsy love letters to Viet Nam.
She is a multi published hybrid author of romantic suspense with two series: the Deadly series and the Saddle Creek series. She also has written numerous novellas and short stories.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Lorelei: I write primarily what I like to read which is Romantic Suspense. The research into different subjects i.e. money laundering or drug/human trafficking that is so intriguing to me I feel I have to share. But I always have to have a romance and a happy ever after.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Lorelei: In the fourth grade a writing assignment impressed my teacher, Ms. Spotts, so much she made it into a play and invited other classes and family and friends to attend the performance; something about going to the doctor and getting a shot. I was thrilled, of course but then I started journaling. I journaled every day and when my high school boyfriend left for Viet Nam (see how old I am) I wrote to him every day, as kind of a diary. We’ve been married 49 years May 10th and I’m still journaling. Some of my personal life experiences are included in my books. After all, whose aren’t?
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Lorelei: I’m a pantser so I don’t plot very much but when I get to the point of a major twist or turn my juices start going, trying to decide how much to say or how to say what and not give the ending away, even to the reader. I’m a big fan of Harlan Coben and he surprises me with every book. And that’s how I like to write.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Lorelei: Mighty Mouse, not Mickey but ‘back in the day’ Mighty Mouse. He was always there to ‘save the day.’
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Lorelei: Harlan Coben; he really knows how to put words on a page.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it? Lorelei: Whatever I wanted to, I guess. I try to write every day but sometimes I’m writing in my head just waiting to spill it all out when I sit down with my computer. I think I’m writing in my head all the time, especially at night when I want to fall asleep. Many nights I get out of bed and write what’s been accumulating up there, and then I can sleep. Since I pretty much do what I want every day, there’s nothing really special that comes to mind.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Lorelei: I’ve written two series, the Deadly series about Human Sex Trafficking and the Saddle Creek series, set in the shadows of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, about four young men and their loyalty to each other, through good and bad, as they each find their soul mates and grow old together. So I’m in different stages of three books right now, two for the Deadly series (they both need some layering) and the last book for the Saddle Creek series, which is the sheriff’s story. I hope to have them all available to purchase by the end of the year.

Blurb for Deadly Lessons
Lexi Morris, late to a Human Trafficking awareness seminar at her job and distracts Luke Miller, the presenter, an FBI Special Agent on the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force/Coalition in central Pennsylvania. Their eyes meet and an instant connection occurs.
After a long day, Lexi walks to her car in a dimly lit parking lot while texting plans for a fun weekend but her weekend comes to a crashing halt when she‘s abducted with the intentions of being sold into sex slavery.
Luke, at his cabin in the woods for the weekend, observes suspicious activity at his late uncle’s cabin. When he investigates, he finds Lexi held captive and rescues her but not before engaging in a shootout with traffickers. He sets off on foot in a snowstorm, Lexi in tow, seeking the safety of his own cabin with her kidnappers in hot pursuit.
But is it simply coincidence when Lexi finds money, lots of money, in his jacket pocket? Is Luke her buyer and not her liberator? What will it take for her to trust him? Can he really protect her from a life of sex slavery?

Excerpt from Deadly Lessons
        As she stepped outside her office building, Lexi pulled her coat tighter around her neck and chest against the cold night air as she stepped outside the university’s accounting office building. She settled her briefcase strap on her shoulder and stretched her back. In the crisp, fall mountain air the scent of the passing rain and of wood burning fireplaces filled the air. The long week’s work on next year’s budget left an ache in her neck. Her pulse thumped behind her eyes and she rubbed her fingers over her closed eyelids. No change.
The weekend loomed before her. She was free to do as she pleased and she would NOT think about work—that was for sure. She glanced at the time on her cell. It was later than usual. Where is the security guard, Gerald? He usually gives me a ride to my car when it’s this late.
Glancing at her pinging cell, she’d received more messages while working the last couple of hours. She tucked the earpiece in under her hair to listen to her calls while she forced one foot in front of the other toward the far corner of the dark, deserted parking lot. Lexi stopped to punch out a text reply to her friend Monica who had called to invite her to get together for drinks.
Know it’s Friday, but I’m exhausted. Rain check? Call you in thirty when I get home.
Starting toward her car again, she wished for a massage to work the kinks out of her upper back and shoulders. It wouldn’t make any difference if hot stones dotted her body, or aromatherapy tickled her nose, or an elbow dug into her knotted soft tissue. She snorted at her fantasy. She’d settle for a tall glass of chilled Chardonnay and a long soak in a bubble bath.
It began to drizzle again as she fumbled for her keys buried deep in her large satchel. Lexi cursed her habit of over-stuffing her purse with items she never needed and blamed it on her mother’s insistence to be prepared for anything. She smiled when her fingers closed around the key fob.  
Suddenly, there were footsteps behind her, someone walking slightly quicker than her, catching up to her. She glanced behind her and a man, his attention zeroed in on her, was closing in.  She broke into a run and the man behind her broke into a run. Her keys clutched in her hand, a footstep splashed in a puddle behind her.
 Grabbed from behind, the man covered her face with a cloth and held it over her nose and mouth. She twisted around toward him; a very big, strong smelly man stood a foot taller than her and twice as broad. She rammed her fingers in his eyes, kicked at his shins but missed. Clawing and scratching at his eyes and face didn’t seem to faze him. He groaned and stumbled backward. Then, with renewed energy he came after her again.

Buy Links for Deadly Lessons

Lorelei loves to hear from her readers so if you want to stay “in the know” visit her website, sign up for her newsletters and contact her.
You can also find her at:

Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Looking for Online Classes in May – Check These Out

Website Tips & Tricks and Enterprise in Prison May COFFIN Classes -

To register for one or both classes go to:


is the acronym for the online workshop program, College of Felony and Intrigue, through RWA Kiss of Death. The four-week classes are 100% online via an email loop and open to anyone.

Killer Instincts:
Website Tips and Tricks

What if I told you that managing your website – and having it work for you - is a task you can understand? In "Website Tips & Tricks" we are going to cover some straightforward topics that will make a difference in how your website works for you. Information will be handed out in straightforward lessons throughout May. Unlimited questions encouraged.
Instructor Bio:

Barb Drozdowich started teaching in 1986 and hasn't looked back. Since 2010 she has taught authors and bloggers technical subjects in an easy to understand, non-technical way. She delights in taking complex subjects and breaking them down so that the average person can understand.

She can be found on her author site (, her business site ( or her course site ( Her Amazon page can be found here:
MurderOne: Enterprise in Prison

With over two million people incarcerated in the United States, what do they do to fill their days? Michael Beedy will detail the legitimate ways some of the men and women participate in activities to get a high school diploma or learn a trade. And the illegitimate ways some earn power, respect, and a whole lot of money while incarcerated. So, when the antagonist in your next novel gets locked up, you'll know what they'll be facing, or participating in while they are locked away.

Instructor Bio:

Michael Beedy has worked in the law enforcement profession for more than 10 years and is a security lieutenant for the Department of Corrections.  Michael holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a minor in Sociology from Coker College as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.  In addition to his law enforcement training position, Michael is also an Adjunct Criminal Justice Instructor for Bryant and Stratton College Online out of Orchard Park (outside of Buffalo) New York.  He is working on completing this first mystery thriller novel.

Go Here To View More Upcoming COFFIN Workshops:

Make Your Own Book Trailer

Instructor: Tracee Garner
Dates: May 6-31, 2019
PRICE: $20 YRW members/$25 non-members


Lesson 1 - What are the most important parts of the story to convey in the time allowed. Storyboarding your trailer or author interview. Time management, how long should you strive for and when do you lose potential readers/fans. (Storyboard handout provided)

Lesson 2 - Finding, editing (if needed) and selecting the right photos, how to easily alter a photo you love but is not quite fitting just right, careful considerations for free photos, tips for taking your own and where to get appropriate music to suit your story, carry the right emotions you desire to evoke in viewers and ensuring music fits the text you've created

Lesson 3 - Arranging your photos in a way to test them out and tweak the flow before you explore best video tools and finalize your story segments/text

Lesson 4 - Choosing and working with the right video tool to suit your needs and your knowledge - will overview pros and cons of Ripl, Youtube Studio Creator and Animoto (students should set up free versions of one or more of these accounts)

Lesson 5 - Pulling it all together (resource handout)

Lesson 6 - Common issues with these audio / visual tools and how to avoid pitfalls. Where to place your videos and how to increase engagement and viewers and what else can you use your video for?

For more information or to register:

About Tracee Garner:

Tracee Lydia Garner is a best-selling and award-winning author. She is a dynamic speaker and engaging presenter with a wealth of knowledge and resources. She writes fiction and nonfiction hoping to uplift, inspire as well as educate readers through her tales of hope, love and overcoming adversity. A northern Virginia native, Tracee makes her home in a suburb just outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area and loves writing, reading and teaching all about marketing and publishing. As a person with a disability, Tracee has been an advocate for over twenty years and maintains a day job currently as a case manager in DC at a small nonprofit organization. Tracee Lydia Garner has done workshops for the RWA National conference on disability topics, diversity, as well for her local DC chapter of RWA where she is involved and has been the editor/agent coordinator for three years. Tracee also taught How to Write the Novel, Romance Novel Writing and the Self Publishing Boot Camp within her almamater's workforce development section of the college's offerings for almost 14 years.

HCRW Writing Conflict Hurts with Melinda Curtis

Writing Conflict Hurts -- not just because it makes your characters suffer, but also because it's painful to create and carry through on a page. However, conflict drives story and holds an editor's attention, which means it sells books. Conflict also entices readers to turn the page, which helps create a satisfying experience (plus repeat purchases). Bring a story idea to this interactive course and learn how to build, refine or edit your stories by creating compelling conflict and stronger plots, one element at a time.
May Workshop: Writing Conflict Hurts with Melinda Curtis
Instructor: Melinda Curtis
Cost: $40 non-members/$35 HCRW members

Description: Writing Conflict Hurts -- not just because it makes your characters suffer, but also because it's painful to create and carry through on a page. However, conflict drives story and holds an editor's attention, which means it sells books. Conflict also entices readers to turn the page, which helps create a satisfying experience (plus repeat purchases). Bring a story idea to this interactive course and learn how to build, refine or edit your stories by creating compelling conflict and stronger plots, one element at a time.

Takeaways include:
* Developing story goals that are hindered by conflict
* How to deepen character and create emotionally satisfying reads
* Better understanding of internal and external conflict

* The "bumpers" that keep your characters acting consistently
* Conflict that catches the attention of editors and agents
* Summarizing and presenting your finished or developing story

Instructor Bio: Melinda Curtis, an award-winning USA Today bestseller of over 35 romances, is a writing craft geek. Before turning to writing as a career, she worked with a cultural anthropologist and a marketing psychologist on how to create more compelling packaging at the shelf. One class short of a psychology minor, Melinda believes that "knowing more about what makes people tick can add depth to your writing."

Trouble Registering? Contact