Bloggers and friends,

Please check out my new blog and subscribe/follow:

I went from 84 followers to 8. It’s only been a few days but as most of you know, I have a Type A personality and want everything yesterday!

I will love you forever, promise!

Plus, once you follow, you’ll be in the running for a FREE book of your choice!

Happy writing & reading,




13: What Caught My Senses: Keep Calm and Read On, Peeps




* We moved into our house at the end of April and my writing room is finished 😉

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Love Minus Eighty














*Little Read Reviewer- Intriguing Review- Love Minus Eighty- Will McIntosh-

* Entertainment Weekly- The YA novel Divergent Is Becoming a Movie- (I really enjoyed Divergent & Insurgent is waiting patiently on my bookshelf for me to read 😉

* Huff Post- Best Summer Books & Their Corresponding Drinks- (One of which is Love Minus Eighty paired with a frozen margarita).

* Salon- Will Reading Make You Rich?

*Rebekah Wolveire- Seeking Beta Readers for book 1 of Vampire series-

* Kristen Lamb- Should Authors Write Bad Book Reviews?-

*Book Store Book Blogger Connection- (Fabulous idea!!!!)






*Win a Contract to Write a Dark Crystal Novel:










*Hunt County Writers Retreat- July 5 &6- Middlesburg, VA-

Author Interview Questions: 

* Jen Wylie’s Blog: (Jen’s post helped me think of author interview questions 😉


* Ky Grabowski- Would You Like to Be Featured on Ky’s Blog? –


* One of my favorite poems:

Self Pity- D.H. Lawrence:

I never saw a wild thing

sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough

without ever having felt sorry for itself.


* The Novel Reviewer- How to Keep Motivated When Writing-


* B-day gifts from my best friend Danielle which includes a purse hook that says Keep Calm and Have A Cupcake 😉








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* Florida Georgia Line- Crusie-  “Baby you a song You make me wannna roll my windows down and cruise.”

* Movie – The Place Beyond the Pines- Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper. I was looking forward to this one but was disappointed. I wouldn’t watch this again.

* Movie- Stoker- Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goodeman. Not my cup of tea, even though I appreciate artistic movies. I wouldn’t watch this again.

* Movie- The Call- Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin. This one was a pleasant surprise. I might watch this again.









* My Schmom’s Lasagna – I nicknamed my mom “Schmom” after the Sheetz breakfast sandwich. 😉








* A whole lot of goodness from Great Harvest Bakery


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* This weekend my parents visited from Pennsylvania. My dad made a campfire in my backyard and we made mountain pies (take 2 pieces of white bread and fill with anything you desire. We made pizza ones- sauce, cheese, pepperoni and apple pie ones – apple pie filling). And of course we made S’mores. 😉


* Bitten by a zillion mosquitoes 😦

Guest Author John W. Howell

Photo by Tim Burdick - Copy* Twenty-Five Questions with author John W. Howel

* Visit John’s blog, Fiction Favorites, at

  1. Do you consider yourself a logophile? If so, have you always been? I have been a logophile since I was in the third grade. I started looking up words without being told to.
  2. What is your favorite color? Has to be coral.
  3. Where were you born? Where did you grow up? I was born on the mean streets of Detroit and grew up there until my Freshman year in High School. We moved to the suburbs then.
  4. What is your favorite football team? Pittsburg Steelers
  5. Who is your favorite author? Kurt Vonnegut
  6. What is your favorite book? Has to be Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut followed by Catch 22 by joseph Heller.
  7. What do you do when you are not writing? I am restoring my 1978 Toyota FJ 40 Land Cruiser
  8. Do you have a day job as well? I do not have a day job. I am a full time writer, I do occasionally consult with big business types.
  9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? My advice would be to write every day even if it is only a few words. Do not worry about building a platform until you have at least one finished work ready to go. Then start the next and begin building a marketing plan.
  10. Is being a writer a curse or a gift? Writing is both. The gift is when others enjoy the work and understand exactly what you had intended to convey. It is a curse when the opposite occurs which it always does.
  11. Where do you write? I live by the Gulf of Mexico so I write at the dining room table which has a view of the water.
  12. Do you prefer silence or some noise while you write? I like 70’s rock when working on a novel and silence when composing poetry. I actually wrote my current novel listening to my iPod. I put it on shuffle and use noise reducing earplugs for a total wipeout.
  13. What do you typically drink while writing? I drink water. I have a pint Mason Jar that I fill with ice and drink away. On Friday night a similar jar is filled with Margarita and consumed after the writing is done.
  14. What challenges have you had in regards to your writing life? The only real challenge came after I decided to go the traditional publishing route. I did a lot of queries and finally landed a contract.
  15. When did you first start and when did you finish your book? I started my book on April 1 (no joke) and finished August 8th. It was a total of 89,000 words.
  16. If your book is made into a movie, which actors/actresses do you envision playing the parts? I would like Matthew McConaughey to play the role of my protagonist John J. Cannon. I have a nice part for Gwyneth Paltrow as well.
  17. What does your protagonist think of you? Would he/she want to hang out with you? John J. Cannon is a San Francisco lawyer who wants to take a leave of absence to become a charter captain. He comes to visit the town I live in and we have become fast friends. I sometimes have him over fro dinner or we meet for drinks at one of the local bars. He has a 65 foot Hatteras Coverable fisherman boat so he is a good friend to have.
  18. How do you market your book? What avenues work best? My book will be published later this year by Martin Sisters Publishing and I intend to do book signings, local interviews, special book events and a bunch of social media marketing.
  19. What has been the toughest criticism so far? Really haven’t had any however I believe there will be some.
  20. What has been the best compliment? My editor said the voice was strong and the story well paced
  21. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? I have some vignettes that are based on experience but the story line is totally made up.
  22. How did you come up with the title? The working title is My GRL which is the name of John’s boat
  23. Will there be a sequel? yes. The main evil doer gets away and we need to get him in the next book
  24. What project are you working on now? I am 60,000 words into the sequel and trying to master some poetry forms
  25. What question did I leave out that you’d like to answer? Do you do any other kind of writing? Well, I also write short stories and have done some copywriting
Please fill in the blank: Keep Calm and Kick Some Butt while Writing On

Sad, Happy, But NOT Sappy.


* This is a post I wrote awhile back on an old blog and figured I’d share.

            I prefer a heart wrenching and tragic ending to a saccharine fairy tale. If that makes me “emo” as the middle school students that I counsel would say- so be it. My favorite color is black. I love the rain. And I heart sad endings. Ambiguous endings work too.

“Legends of the Fall” is one of my all time favorite movies. For those of you that haven’t seen it- SPOILER ALERT- Three brothers fall in love with the same woman (Susannah, played by Julia Ormond) The first brother is her fiance but dies during World War I, the second (Brad Pitt who’s name is Tristan in the movie) pulverizes her heart, and she kills herself while married to the third brother. Tristan writes her a letter from the sea which says “All we had is dead. As I am dead. Marry another.” When he finally returns, Susannah is married to Tristan’s eldest brother Alfred. She says to him “Forever turned out to be too long.”


            One of my favorite poems is “Lady Lazarus” by Sylvia Plath. An excerpt:


Is an art, like everything else,

I do it exceptionally well.”


            Fortunately my musician husband is a fellow “emo” when it comes to music. We chose to dance to “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice on our wedding day. Patrick made sure to ask the DJ to cut off the last part of the song- “I can’t take my mind off of you…’til I find somebody new.”


           The other day I stumbled upon an online survey- “The Three Types of Novel Endings.” Out of the 1,740 participants, 41% preferred happy endings but only 2.2% enjoyed sad endings. I assume that the rest favored cliff hangers.

Yesterday I asked 19 co-workers if they preferred a happy or a sad ending. Nine of them said “happy,” six said “both happy and sad” and four said “sad.” Several also added that they enjoy “cliffhangers.”

Kelly, a friend and co-worker, mentioned that she “likes endings that are a step up (for the character) from where they were.”

Another friend and co-worker, Kevin, explained that he prefers “ambiguous endings and enjoys discovering what happens to the minor characters based on the actions or inactions of the main characters.”


            Do you prefer happy, sad or ambiguous?