Book Beat Babes

Book Beat Babes

Friday, March 28, 2014

New column from PW Select tracks author’s adventures in self-publishing

It wasn’t that long ago when attending writer’s conferences and other networking events that if anyone said they were self-published they were treated with at least an air of disdain.  For those of you who’ve been around the writing/publishing business for awhile you know what I’m talking about.

            But now it is more acceptable to claim the title of Self-Published Author, or the more popular and endearing term “Indie” for independently published.  In fact there is a new monthly column in PW Select that tracks an author’s adventures in self-publishing.  Paige Crutcher is the indie author who is sharing her experience.  Here’s the link:

            Of course, many of the same rules apply regardless of your publishing path in that the quality of the writing is important, the cover of the book, and more.  Many of the tasks that the staffs of traditional publishing houses usually see to are now in the hands of those indies, or the people they hire to do the work.

            Not surprisingly, many small businesses have sprung up to take care of those tasks such as editing, book cover design, promotion and more.  Some authors prefer to do all these tasks themselves, especially when they first start out as an indie and mostly due to a lack of money to spend on these tasks, which in some cases can cost hundreds of dollars or more.

            Social media tools have been critical to the success of many indies or self-published authors, but again, maintaining a social media presence takes time and in some cases money.

            Back to the column.  I was struck by several details in Paige Crutcher’s column on March 24, 2014 and one in particular stood out.  She states that the purpose of writing for her has always been to have a career and I think this is an important distinction that renders some authors more successful than others.  In my experience, once you’ve decided to have a career at writing, or whatever else tickles your fancy, you are more invested in making that happen and you do the things necessary to improve and grow in your career. 

            This commitment and, yes, passion comes through in one’s writing and we can all tell the difference in the voice of the writer as she grows in her career.  More importantly, readers can tell the difference.

            So, it will be interesting to follow Paige Crutcher’s journey as an indie and see how familiar her experiences are to the rest of us.  At least we’ll have a place to go to connect so we don’t feel alone in our own journey.  Kind of like therapy for writers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Balancing Time to Help Others and Time to Write! by DL Larson

I've done it again. I've over-extended my capabilities to complete my tasks in a timely fashion. Below is my commitments for several areas. I call it my To Do List.

1. edit a nonfiction book - a paying gig - deadline mid April
2. read and judge 3 romance genre competition entries - deadline mid April
3. read and judge 2 books in a romance genre competition - deadline end of April
4. edit my completed manuscript as my editor's suggests - deadline mid April
5. re-arrange/refurbish my office - no deadline - must install new printer before I go bonkers!
6. Take down my Christmas village in our entry - before I'm blamed for our extended winter in Illinois!
7. Get ready for Easter at my house - clean, decorate, prepare food, prepare an egg hunt, - deadline mid April
8. I'm in charge of the altar duties in my church - I need to turn the Lenten season into the Easter season - deadline mid April. I don't want to think about the commitment for Holy Week (the 3rd week in April)or the church-wide Easter Egg Hunt or that I'm in charge of Sunday School Choir preparing to sing on Easter morning.
9. I can't bare to add another item to this list ...

Now, in my defense, the paying gig was supposed to have started in January. I edited a few pages for free as I usually do, and then the author takes that info and applies it to the rest of his work. Once that is completed, then I will take on the rest of the manuscript. So January turned into late March, which would have been fine, except then the judging commitments that I agreed to a long time ago, came up.

Then my editor ran into a time issue and my manuscript was delayed until now. It should have been finished by now and on to a publisher. So I'm months behind on that target and don't want to slow up now.

As for refurbishing my office ... long story short ... my husband has a new office outside of our home and we are now going to re-arrange/refurnish my office so he can have a corner of it too when he needs office space. My office is big enough to do this, it's just the time factor of getting it done sooner rather than later so his 'stuff' doesn't end up all over the house. As for my printer - it has had a wonderful, long life and it is time to say good-bye. The new printer sits in my basement waiting for installment.

The Christmas village decorating my entry was beautiful a few months ago. Now it depresses me. It takes f o r e v e r to take it down and pack it away. I have to stand on a 8 foot ladder to reach the items, climb down with object(s) and repeat the process at least 20 times. It goes much faster to have a helper ... wonder who I can sweet talk into helping me ...

Church will take care of itself. Many hands will make the work light. It's just that somebody needs to start the ball rolling and that somebody is me. The ironic thing is, I could do it myself much faster and easier, but that doesn't make it right that I should do so. So calls and texts will be made and arrangements set to prepare our church for Easter. Many will help and I am blessed in knowing this!

Everyone has the same amount of time given to them each day. We can make plans, but that doesn't mean we will carry them out. Things come up, priorities change. I guess the important thing is to be flexible, keep a good attitude and keep moving forward, no matter how slow and cumbersome the road becomes.

My challenge, as always, is to chisel out time to work on my next writing project. I'll steal the time from somewhere. I always do.

Til next time ~

DL Larson
find my historical family sagas on

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Groups to Join

For those who enjoy reading or writing books, here are some free groups you may wish to join:

The newest is Mystery Buffs, a Yahoo group at

Make Mine Mystery is a Facebook group at

Books Gone Viral, a Facebook group, which has over 10,000 members, is at

Book Place, another Facebook group with over 10,000 members is at

Those are just a start. There are many more I could mention, but I don't want to overwhelm you.
If you wish to add more in the comment section, please do.

Morgan Mandel
Find all of Morgan Mandel's romances
and mysteries at

as well as at

Twitter: @MorganMandel

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Adrift at Sea

No, this doesn't refer to the progress I'm making on a new project.

And actually, hopefully the adrift part isn't true, but the at sea part certainly is. Right now the hubby and I are cruisin' the Gulf of Mexico aboard Carnival Liberty on our way to Cozumel, Mexico. And after the long, long, long, long, (did I mention long?), long winter we've had in the Midwest, balmy breezes, sunshine, and sand are a welcome relief.

Cozumel will be the first stop of four we'll have on this trip. We'll also be visiting Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; and Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Cozumel and Grand Cayman aren't new to us, we visited there sixteen years ago on our honeymoon, but we'll be enjoying different excursions this time around. We'll be learning about the history of Mexico in Cozumel and we'll be taking an island tour in Grand Cayman, which will showcase Pedro St. James, the city of Hell, and the world famous Seven Mile Beach. I plan on taking oodles of photographs anyway, but I especially want to snap some of particular places in Cozumel and Grand Cayman, as these are places Abby and Noah visit in Wild Wedding Weekend, and I want some photos for my web-site.

In Belize City we'll take a coach tour of the city and then head to Altun Ha, an ancient Mayan site. Mahogany Bay will allow us to experience a bit of the landscape, water, and native culture.

Hopefully all will go well (Last year one of our ports of call was canceled.) and we'll return home with lots of memories, stories, and pictures to share.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

E-books by Margot Justes Redux

I wrote this blog in 2010, it would seem that as much as e-books have revolutionized the publishing world, some things are still largely a work in progress.

It would seem that even the Wall Street Journal is paying attention to the explosion of the digital books and the resourceful authors that navigate the complex and timely world of e-book publication.

A recent article in the Journal, 'Vanity' Press Goes Digital mentioned authors who either can't get published, as in an example of  author Karen McQuestion, who was rejected, self published, sold well and even has a film option with a Hollywood director. Not bad a way to start your career.

The Journal went on to mention authors like Joe Konrath. Joe is already a very well established (check out his Jackie Daniels series) author who took his work directly to the reader via Amazon and is succeeding admirably. Joe is selling like the proverbial hotcakes, he is also a master of marketing and a personality with a goofy, funny sense of humor, his books are a scary, spooky good read. He is in fact the complete package to sell well.

For mid-list authors, the e-book avenue or any avenue for that matter, is not an easy one to manage. You have to let your readers know you're out there. But first, you have to figure out if you even have any readers. If you're lucky enough to have established a following, albeit a small one, you now need to grow that readership, and  somehow let them know you're out there.

The social networks are always a good idea, in fact a great idea, but how to tell all your friends out in the nebulous land of the internet that you're out there, without hitting them over the head and becoming a nuisance. That is my question? Does anyone have a few answers?

I regained my rights to two short stories, and this weekend I plan to go to the Amazon site and learn how to download and sell them. Amazon, it would appear actually helps the author promote the work, and they have vast resources at their fingertips. We'll see how it all works out.

On that note, I’m delighted, and exceedingly happy to report that A Hotel in Bath was nominated for the In'Dtale Magazine "RONE" Award.

Margot  Justes

A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
A Fire Within
Blood Art
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks

Friday, March 21, 2014

Oh, this is so cool!

Even if you don’t like to read Henry David Thoreau, or heaven forbid you don’t even know who he is – and every writer should know who he is – you will want to watch this video:

So, Mr. Thoreau wrote a marvel of a work simply titled, Walden.  It is a classic and taught in most schools somewhere along a student’s journey, or at least it used to be.  Just in case you aren’t familiar with the book Walden, Mr. Thoreau wrote the book in the mid 1800’s after he had spent some time living on land that his friend and mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, owned.  Mr. Emerson was a leading American essayist at the time and is also (or should be) well-read in schools throughout the world.

So, Mr. Thoreau apparently lived in a cabin on the property for two years, two months, and two days and from that experience and the observations he made during that time he produced the book Walden, a book which is a kind of cult classic among naturalists.

But the book itself is not what I’m so excited about.  What I’m excited about is a digital reformatting project put together by the State University of New York at Geneseo.  A brilliant and highly motivated team of professors, students and librarians at SUNY Geneseo have made not only the book but the author himself – or at least part of his writing process – available digitally in all its complexities.

The project, Digital Thoreau allows us to see the process of how Mr. Thoreau wrote over seven different manuscript versions of his book and how he was changing the book and how he wrote between 1846 and 1854. 

At writer's conferences a familiar topic and question for writers is, “What is your writing process?”  Well, through this amazing effort of digitizing Thoreau, we can get at least a glimpse into this important writer’s process.  Do note that there are many, many different versions of illustrated and annotated copies of Walden on the market today because it has been required reading for so many years and for so many students, but if you want to connect with Mr. Thoreau’s many versions and his processes along the way, then the SUNY Geneseo’s project is the place to start.  Here’s the link:

But do take a moment to watch this video at the site:

Who knows – you just might get inspired to write your own marvel that someday scholars will want to study in a way that this work is being studied.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

'Soon To Be Famous Illinois Authors: Top Three Pick!'

The top three authors selected for the 'Soon To Be Famous Illinois Authors' project has been announced. Sadly, I am not one of them. But I do want to cheer on the final three. No, I do not know any of them, but once I start a project, I like to see it through. Below is a bit about each author chosen and their self-pubbed book. I have not read any of the books yet, but they all sound intriguing.

In no particular order:

Rick Polad, author of 'Change of Address.' Mr. Polad was nominated by the Phillips Library, Aurora University.
Mr. Polad is a teacher of Earth Science. 'Change of Address' is a Private Investigator mystery/murder with a Chicago setting.

Mary Hutchins Reed, author of 'Warming Up.' Ms. Reed was nominated by Mr. Prospect Library. Ms. Reed practices law in Chicago. 'Warming Up' is story about a depressed musical actress who enters therapy to unravel her problems. Then a runaway teen enters her life and changes everything.

Joanne Zienty, author of 'The Things We Save.' Ms. Zienty was nominated by CCDS62 Forest School, Des Plaines, IL
Ms. Zienty is a Library Director for an elementary school in the Chicago land area. 'The Things We Save,' is a woman's journey into her past and childhood in Chicago.

The winners will be announced sometime in early April. In the meantime, check these books out at your local library or on All are available in e-book format.

Best of luck to all entries!

Til next time ~

DL Larson
Promises My Love also available on

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dropbox is My Friend

Some of you may already know that Google is my friend. I've also found another one, and that's called Dropbox.

I absolutely love Dropbox, because it's so easy and handy to use. After I got my new Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, I was dithering around deciding what to use to get my pictures on my computer. I kind of liked their Kies program, which I'd connect with my usb cord and download stuff onto my computer.

Then, I discovered Dropbox. Not only could I install the program on my desktop and laptop and share stuff in my folder, but also I could install the app on my phone. Then, get this, if I took a photo on my phone, it automatically appeared in the Dropbox folder on my computers. Then, I could decide if I wanted it to remain on a computer and where to put it, or just delete the photo.

How cool is that! No more spending time plugging in. The photos are already on the computer!

And, as long as I occasionally check the Dropbox and move the photos or delete them, I can use this program for free! Free is good!

There are other ways to use the program for sharing emails, Facebook, and with friends, but so far I haven't delved into them. When the need arises, I have a feeling, I'll become even more adventuresome!

And, for every person I refer to Dropbox, I get 500 more MB of space free. There are other ways to get extra space as well, such as doing tweets and following Dropbox on Twitter, to name some.

If you decide to use Dropbox, tell them that Morgan Mandel sent you (
Here's the special link:  for

Then, go ahead and tell a family member or friend, and get extra space as well!

Morgan Mandel
Twitter: @MorganMandel

Coming Soon:  A Perfect Angel 
The sequel to Her Handyman

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Fitting fiction...

For a change of pace, I thought I'd share a reprint of a little St. Patrick's story I wrote a while back...

What's better than wishin' someone "The Luck O' The Irish?"....

I reprinted the story (originally published in Mysterical-e) on my website blog...

Here's the beginning:

  The Luck O' The Irish
By Christine Verstraete

The car lurched into another pothole, prompting Robert O'Flannery to check the address his wife Margie had written down and tossed wordlessly at him earlier that morning. 

He hadn't turned wrong. Three twenty-was that a zero, a six? Anyway it was Sycamore. He was going the right way. The house numbers were getting smaller, just as the houses themselves and the lots they sat on were getting larger the nearer he came to the lake.... Finish reading... 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Galleys and a Cover

The process for Family Secrets is moving along nicely. Rather quickly, too. I queried in January and we're already at the galley and cover stage.

I started galley proofing last night. With galleys I don't do a straight-through read-through from beginning to end. I actually start at the end and read the story backwards. This helps to take me out of the flow of the plot and concentrate on finding errors. This isn't the time to be changing phrasing or story elements, just looking for mistakes. Unfortunately, I've only made it through about twenty pages and have found several errors already. Mostly missing words. Maybe the editing part of this process moved a little too quickly in the first and second rounds. I'll do a little bit of this each day, and plan to get the galley back to my editor by the end of the week. We're heading out of town on Friday for Spring Break, so luckily this arrived with enough time for me to do the read-through before we head off.

What type of tricks do you use for edits at this stage?

Last week I also got the cover for Family Secrets. The cover itself is well-done. A beautiful image of the lake and skyline as the backdrop, kind of out of focus, with the hero and heroine in the front on the sand. Wild Rose always does a good job. However, this time around I felt the image didn't fit with the story. The hero looked too young. The nationalities didn't match with my descriptions. I was afraid the cover would not brand the story correctly and would result in disappointed readers. Either ones picking up the book based on the cover and not getting what they expected, or readers passing on the book because they through it was a particular type of story and missing out on a good read. :)

So, I did something I've never done before. I didn't approve the cover. Now this is a new thing at TWRP. In the past, the cover you got was the final cover unless there was a misspelling of your name or the title. Only recently has there been more of an approval type system. I was a bit nervous to do this, but I stated my concerns about the branding and got a very nice e-mail in reply saying if the cover didn't represent the story, they wouldn't want to use it, so they'd look for another couple. (The timing on this was good as well. The e-mail said I had three days to approve or comment on the cover. If no comment was received, it would be taken as an approval. I was just glad this arrived last week and not next when I'm gone for a week away from e-mail.)

Have you ever received a cover that didn't quite 'do it' for you and wasn't right for the story? What did you do about it?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chasing the Trends by Margot Justes

When I first started writing, I was told by everyone not to chase the current ‘genre du jour’, because by the time the story was written, there was a new flavor in town.

That made sense then, because by the time the story was sold, the editing process finished, and the time it took the publisher to get the book out, there was indeed a new favorite genre.

Does that still apply today? We have e-books, they are fast and easy to get out. We have print on demand that makes it easier and far more cost effective to publish. From the technical aspect it has become easier to reach the readers via e-books. I don’t have the background, nor the inclination to format my own books, so I use a formatter.  

Just to reinforce the editing process, it must be done professionally-no matter how good you think you are-you need a good editor. There should be no exception to the rule.

All my books have been professionally edited, sometimes more than once. With my latest release A Fire Within, I found someone that I will go back to, because she did an outstanding job. Finding a good editor through research and recommendations is a good start.

I’m an indie author, and let’s face it, being an unknown and indie is not the best combination to move ahead and develop a fast readership. It is a painstaking slow process, but it is one I have chosen to go with.

I’m not a fast writer, and that would certainly not allow me to chase the current genre. There is also the fact, that I don’t understand some of the hot trends, and the learning curve would take too long. And I love what I write. I’m happy in my ‘writing’ world. And hopefully new readers will find me, and like what I have to say, they will like my family of characters and will want more.

The publishing world has changed drastically, it is practically a revolution, and it is easier to get the books out faster, and if you happen to write quickly, and are familiar with the latest trends, maybe the old adage, ‘write what you know’ no longer applies.

You can chase the trends and be a part of them. In that respect it is easier for the indie author to do so, because traditional publishing still seems to be stuck in the same old world process.

On that note, I’m happy to report that A Hotel in Bath was nominated for the In'Dtale Magazine "RONE" Award.

Margot  Justes

A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks
Blood Art
A Fire Within

Friday, March 14, 2014

The History of eBooks from the 1930's

Yes, you read that correctly.  Apparently eBooks are not such a new invention as is commonly believed.  To develop a full appreciation for this there’s a must read article at the Government Printing Office (GPO).  Here’s the link:

Apparently in 1930 a writer and “impresario” Bob Brown wrote an entire book on a device and called it “The Readies” playing off the name of the talkie which was what movies were called when they first emerged from silent films to ones where you could actually hear the actors speak.

This article is a wealth of information on not only the history of electronic reading and digital publications but also many of the processes behind and in front of the scenes of making an eBook and distributing it to readers.

It’s also an opportunity to explore the GPO’s catalog for all kinds of research information.  The GPO’s collection of eBooks and e-Magazines in many ways is unrivaled and any writer who has not yet explored this site is missing out on some of the most valuable research materials and resources available.  Here’s how the GPO describes the eBooks and e-Magazines services provided at the site:

"GPO’s Digital Products and eBooks cover a variety of important topics including business and government, exporting, navigation, finance, statistics, investment fraud, military history, challenges of warfare, U.S. citizenship and more. Federal Government e-journals and digital magazines are available for sale online through  ePub electronic books may be viewed on your on PC, Mac, iPad, Android tablet, Android Phone, iPhone, Barnes and Noble Nook, SONY Readers, PDA Blackberries, and other devices."

Here’s the link:

Do take the time to explore this government site that can open so many research doors for you as a writer and as a citizen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Visit to Nicaragua! by DL Larson

I always thought Nicaragua as a third world country and nothing much more than that. I was overwhelmed with surprise and frustration on my trip there. The poverty is evident, but so is the beautiful landscape. Water is plentiful, so is vegetation, thus my frustration at the filth. But the next corner is breathtaking and I wonder how I could be in the same country. The following are just a few wonderful things my husband and I saw.

Nicaragua has many resources, one of them clean water! They are in the midst of selling water to Mexico and possibly California. We visited many beautiful lakes like the one above that has dozens and dozens of islands that are inhabited by the wealthy. We put-putted around the islands and took in the tranquil beauty of the place. Then shortly after, we climbed in our tour bus and drove through the debris-filled streets of filth. If I was an official in Nicaragua, I would ban plastic. We drove by a beautiful lake on the edge of a town where a city park nestled around the lake. I would never walk its beach for the garbage strew around. From the street to the lake there was not a clear path to walk. It was disheartening to see. I will spare you those pictures and move on to more of the wonder of the country.

This is an old world hotel where we had a delightful and tasty lunch. Where I'm standing is in the middle of the building. The fountain and foliage were as tranquil as a spa. Outside, street urchins tossed us figurines made from palm leaves through the open windows. The waiter shooed them away a few times.

After lunch we visited an active volcano. We were outside the city of Granada. Nicaragua has many volcanoes and the one we visited is considered active. There is a sign to park vehicles facing the exit in case the wind changes. The sulfur can overpower a person within in seconds. But from the viewpoint where we were, the wind is constantly blowing and we could not smell the odor, but we felt the heat rising up from below.

The last picture I will show you is a volcano lake. At night lights from the city on the far side of the lake shines through the night sky and from beyond that the active volcano we had visited.

Our guide was very proud of his country and I hope the pictures I have shared give you a glimpse of the beauty of Nicaragua. Despite the hordes of street children and litter everywhere, there is great hope this country will emerge into a thriving and flourishing country one day soon.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Multi-published Romance Author, Celia Yeary, Says Get a Theme

It's my pleasure to welcome multi-published romance author, Celia Yeary, to Book Beat Babes,  Who Offers Vital Advice We Should All Remember. CHECK OUT HER GIVEAWAY, ALSO. Morgan Mandel
Celia Yeary, a native Texan, former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, is mother of two, grandmother of three boys, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan.
She has published nine novels, seven novellas, short stories in anthologies, and articles for a Texas Magazine, Texas Co-op Power. She is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT); a local writing group called The Write Girls; and co-owns a group blog titled Sweethearts of the West.
Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university. Central Texas has been her home for forty years.

Do Your Books Have a Definite Theme? 

What makes a good book? There are myriad reasons, but the over-riding one is Trouble, spelled with a Capital T. Your characters must be in some kind of Trouble, a conflict that leads to... Trouble.

Trouble and conflict make us care enough about a story to keep turning the pages. Trouble and conflict always have something to do with one or more of the following Dramatic Themes:
Healing (wounded hero or heroine)
Redemption (righting past wrongs)
Second Chance
Transformation (change)

There are many themes—these are only a few of the major ones to set up conflict.
We don't want to be hit over the head with Theme. A good author will write so that it emerges from the story. We don't need to be told.

Most book club discussions revolve around the discussions of Theme. This might be a good way for an author to self-review her book. "What is the underlying theme?"
In my book club this week, we had read To Kill a Mockingbird, a classic we chose to fulfill our commitment to read one classic out of the eight books we would read per year.
The members gave numerous ideas of theme for this famous novel, but the one that stood out was Morality and Judgment. Another one mentioned was Good vs. Evil.  

As an author, do you (a) invent a story, which has a predetermined theme, or (b) do you create and write, and in doing so, a theme emerges?
Do you ever think about the Theme?

~*~My newest release is TEXAS DREAMER, the fourth "Texas" novel. In this story, Lee King realizes he has hurt his family by running away at age fourteen, and during his adult years, decides to re-connect and ask forgiveness. The theme: Redemption and Second Chance.

~*~Note: I'd love to give away an ebook copy of TEXAS DREAMER to one person who comments. Please remember to leave an email address to be eligible. I'll gift the winner with a copy for your Kindle or your Nook.

More About Texas Dreamer
Lee King is a dreamer. When he realizes he was born under a lucky star, he went for the jackpot and won. But winning a big prize isn't the same as keeping it safe from interlopers and greedy fortune hunters--including women. When oilman Tex McDougal crosses his path, Lee believes he has found the perfect man to help him. His daughter, Emilie McDougal, while not a buxom beauty, impresses him with her intelligence, her courage, and her selflessness. Could he strike a financial bargain with her? One that would suit them both?
Emilie McDougal has no family except her father, and she has followed in his footsteps from age one. When Lee King enters their lives, she begins to dream--for the first time in her life. She only wants one thing from Lee, one tiny thing that would make her life complete.
Would he agree to her counter-bargain?

~*~Other books, other themes:
ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS: Theme: for the hero, Ricardo, is Transformation.
TEXAS BLUE: Theme: for the hero, Buck, is Rescue and Protector.
TEXAS PROMISE: Theme: for the hero, Dalton, a wounded soul, is Healing and Transformation.
TEXAS TRUE: Theme: for the hero, Sam Deleon, is Redemption, righting past wrongs.

These themes, Transformation, Protector, Healing, and Redemption are recurring themes in my novels.

What about yours? Do you write with a recurring theme? Or does each novel revolve around a different one? Can you identify them in your novels?

Thank you for visiting.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas

Celia's website:

Celia's blog:    

Remember, if you wish to be entered in the drawing for a copy of Texas Dreamer, leave a comment which includes your email address. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

TWRP Spotlight - Death Stretch by Ashantay Peters

My publisher started a great new promotion for featuring authors and their stories at The Wild Rose Press while giving readers a chance to win a gift certificate to TWRP. It's pretty simple: Feature any book from our catalog on your blog, post the raffle copter widget, and wa la...promotion and a prize. What more could we ask for, right?

So this week I decided to give it a try. I'm featuring Ashantay Peter's Death Stretch. She combines mystery with romance, my favorite kind of read!

She's leery of overprotective men--he's sworn to protect and serve.

When Katie Sheridan's best friend is blackmailed over an affair with a yoga instructor, Katie stuffs herself into workout togs to help identify suspects. Instead of getting fit, she learns yoga can be a killer when the instructor winds up dead. Worse, Katie is a suspect, and finds herself tangling with the sexy, commanding cop investigating the case.

Detective Dirk Johnson knows getting involved with a material witness--especially one as reckless as Katie--means trouble, but his heart and protective instincts aren't logical. More than once, she rescues herself just before he arrives to save the day. Dirk's not sure he can keep up with her, but he'll go down trying.

Blackmail, murder, and adultery teach Katie and Dirk that love obeys its own laws. With passion as the final reward, they find fighting temptation is highly overrated.

I watched Detective Johnson inhale, like he held in a rant. Shame on me, but pissing off the man held a certain appeal.

He took a breath through his nose, his gaze lifted for divine inspiration, or perhaps patience. “Break-ins are common these days, so maybe you should use the dead bolt.”

“How do you know I don't?”

“The lock didn't tumble before you opened your door.”

“Oh.” It's hard to be sarcastic to a guy whose job is to “protect and serve.” Speaking of serve, those lips could offer… no, I wouldn’t go there.

“So, Detective Johnson, what does bring you by?”

“I have a few more questions. Mind if I come in?”

My brain stopped at the word come. Silly, but have I mentioned it's been awhile since I’ve dated?

He grabbed my arm. “Ms. Sheridan? Katie?”

The sizzle of his touch jolted me back to life. “Um, sure. Sorry, I haven't cleaned yet today.” Or last week, but who's keeping count? And why apologize?

I closed the woman's magazine I'd left open to an article on Giving Good Head and shoved it under a pile of papers, hoping Detective Johnson hadn't noticed my reading preference. His smirk suggested he probably had.

My attention shifted into hostess mode. I might be a slut wanna-be, but my Mama raised me right.

“Something to drink? I have iced tea, bottled water, Pepsi.” I stopped before adding “wine and beer.”

The smirk disappeared, and his jaw tightened. “All I want are answers.”

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Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Writing Process by Margot Justes

I can’t say I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always been a reader.  The need for a challenge allowed me to become a writer. When faced with mundane tasks, I’d hear voices in my head, and they were becoming more frequent when at work. My characters would hold some lively conversations, until one day I said enough, you’ll be heard.

It was that easy, at least that is what I thought. I was wrong. Musings are lovely, but to make coherent observations, learn whose point of view (POV) you’re in, and all the other lovely writing essentials are hard to come by-osmosis notwithstanding.

It’s a continuous learning experience, one that keeps me challenged, that was after all what the process was all about. The challenge of putting a coherent product out, keep the voices in your head happy, and  get better with every word, while at the same time make it  fun. Writing for me has to be joyful, it cannot be a drudge, because then it becomes laborious in the worst sense possible.

I don’t plot out my stories, I have an idea and go with it. The most fun I have is when characters interact with each other, and take me on their journey. More often than not they surprise me. I started out with a full-fledged mystery and wound up with a romantic mystery. It keeps the process fresh and enjoyable, except when the evil writing block hits, and the voices are silenced. So far they have always returned.

I didn’t want my writing to become homework, an obligation. I wanted to have fun with it and learn by reading others, doing research, which I love doing anyway, and just seeing where it would lead.

The best advice I can offer, is write what you know and what makes you happy. The same can be said for the process itself,  you can plot or not-the choice should always be yours.

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Margot  Justes
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