Sunday, August 26, 2012

Making Plans

I have been rather remiss in keeping up my blog these last few days. My "excuse", if you want to call it that, is pretty feeble, but what I was doing is also a necessity. You see, I have been contemplating. That is, I have been thinking about my next novel, what it will be and how it will connect to the last one.

For me this  is a new step in my process of writing. Normally, I awake from a dream, or half-dream, and begin to write what I just dreamed. Then the book continues and the series continues and the books seem to write themselves. This book is different, however. This book started as a single book, something that I considered a "stand alone" novel, something that was finished when it was published. I had left the ending so that it could be turned into a series, but I had never really thought that it would be one. Now I am rethinking that idea.

The book that I am speaking about is "Deakin Inheritance", which is currently being given away at It is a fast-paced science fiction novel with a female lead character who is strong, yet vulnerable. She allows the men she is thrown together with to make decisions for her until she becomes rather fed up with that situation. Then she takes over and tells them all what will be done. They are a bit shocked at her sudden attitude, but one is also pleased. “I wondered how long she’d wait to finally take back control of her life,” he said gleefully. He turned to Calida. “Good for you girl!

I have had one person review that book. That person mentioned that he/she "def. want to read the further adventures of Calida" and so the idea of a series was brought forth. At first I had to decide if I want to write another series, then I began to think about possibilities for that series. There are many directions these books could go. As that reviewer said "there's folks we find out about as the book grows that decidely need to be seen." So I've taken some time to think about it and begin to make plans, although I'm still uncertain which direction the series will take.

Thank you to "Leslie", whoever you might be, for pushing me into this new direction and giving me a new challenge. I enjoyed Calida, and I'm going to enjoy having her mature and grow as the series goes on. I hope the rest of you do as well.

If you haven't had the opportunity to download a copy of "Deakin Inheritance", it is being offered FREE until August 31. After that date, I will be removing that book from my Smashwords list and putting it exclusively onto Amazon for 90 days. There it will cost $3.99.

I wanted to give away 1,000 books by the end of August, but it seems that people are hesitant to download it for some reason. However, giving away 500 books wouldn't be so bad either.  This morning I had reached just over 300, which means that 500 is doable. So, if you haven't got your free copy, click on the name of the book to download it. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I wonder how many people will help me accomplish something that is very important to me. I would love to give away, absolutely free and with not even one little string attached, 1,000 copies of my eBook "Deakin Inheritance" by August 31. Will YOU help me do this?

All you have to do is pass the information to your friends and other contacts, by email, Facebook, in person, or any other means, and allow this post to be carried forward from there. You can copy and paste this message or make one up of your own, or just tell people... but please help me get it out there. I started this a few days ago and have been able to give my book to 183 people so far. But that's not "close enough" to 1,000. So, help me if you can.

Send your friends, relatives, work mates, or anyone you want to tell about this phenomenal offer, to The link to the free book is right on the front page, so it's not hard to find.

After August 31 I have to raise the price of this book to it's regular retail $3.99. Until then, it is free. Thanks for helping me make 1,000 people happy by giving them something good for free. :)

BOOK DESCRIPTION: "Inheriting several million credits might be everyone's dream, but when the only other heir decides to hunt her down, Calida wonders if it's worth risking her life. How does one give back an inheritance?"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deakin Inheritance

I'm very excited because I have just finished publishing "Deakin Inheritance" on

That's my fourth book published in about a month. Not bad for an old girl.

I am struggling a bit these days with my keyboard, so can't type quite as fast as I usually do. You see, my "shift" keycap on the right is missing. That slows me down when I need to make a capital from that side, but doesn't stop me entirely. Anyway, today's blog isn't about that. I just thought I'd toss it in so you know that I am one of those "starving artist" types. LOL

Deakin Inheritance has been a long time getting to this point. It started out in 1996 as a romance set in Thunder Bay, Canada. My sister Patti helped me with setting scenes right in my mind and we had a lot of laughs over playing with ideas. I had the whole romance novel finished and set it aside to work on other thngs. But I'm not a romance novelist and I was never really happy with the book. I'm a sci-fi/fantasy kinda girl. So after a few years, this book got a complete makeover. New character names, new location, and new slant to the story. I truly like how it's turned out and I hope you do as well.

"How does one give back an inheritance if keeping it means losing your life? Ever since she inherits several million credits, Calida has been on the run. She has no idea who is chasing her or why, but with the help of some new friends, she finds herself able to keep one step ahead of her pursuers. But when they finally do catch up, Calida discovers that no one she knows is who she thought they were. Her world is turned completely upside down until she forces a confrontation and finally uncovers the truth. "

I've decided to make this a free book for a very limited time (until August 31, 2012). If you follow the link it will take you to Smashwords and you can download the book in any format you like. Remember... it's only FREE for a very short time! After August 31 it will go to $3.99. Tell your friends and family about it as well so they can enjoy a free novel. And please leave me a review back at Smashwords so I know what YOU think of my story.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Constructively Reviewing A Fiction Author's Work

You've just read a fiction book and the author has asked for reviews, but you have no idea what to put down, so you either don't bother reviewing or you say something like "enjoyed the book" or "what a lot of trash", neither of which is helpful.

There are two main reasons for an author wanting a review:
  1. good reviews tend to get more buyers of the book; poor ones tend to send buyers away
  2. generally an author wants to improve his/her writing and constructive reviews can help promote the author's growth as a writer
Your review IS helpful, if it is done constructively. If it isn't, then it doesn't actually do anything. So here are some points to consider when you are reviewing an author's work. Calling the author or their book names or over-praising isn't helping the author one iota, so consider giving a good, constructive review if you decide to give one.


Characters are probably the most important thing in a story. Readers want to feel something about them. There are generally two main characters or groups of characters in fiction - good and bad. Readers want to love the good characters and hate the bad ones. As a reviewer, it is important to let the author know if that was accomplished. Characters also need to be believable, even if they have super powers or wings or some other trait that isn't normal in humans. By believable, I mean that what they do fits their personality and traits. Good characters also tend to have something that they are attempting to overcome within themselves. If this doesn't "fit" into the story or their personality then let the author know so they can improve characterization.


Surprisingly enough, the story is not the most important part of the book. Most ideas for stories are pretty good. It is in the way the story is told that succeeds or fails the story. Stories must be told in an interesting manner and it must have something in it to hold the reader's attention. If you're reading something and you are bored before you get passed page three, you should tell the author. Usually the problem isn't with the actual story itself, it is with the way the story is being told. Many authors use a lot of passive sentences instead of active ones. This can make a story very boring. As a reviewer, you need to let the author know this so that he/she can improve this aspect of their storytelling. On the other hand, if an author succeeds in holding your attention to the end of the book, that should also be conveyed so that the author knows that, at least in this area, he/she has succeeded.

Sentences and Description

Each sentence should be moving the story forward. Sometimes this is subtle, other times it is direct and obvious. Sentences shouldn't, however, be only descriptive. In other words, a well done story should have a variety of sentence types but should mostly be active. If the author is telling you how someone feels, for instance, it is better if he/she uses active language ( Her stomach lurched and she gagged) than to use something descriptive (She felt sick to her stomach). One evokes feeling, the other doesn't. So if the author drones on and on through the book, without utilizing active sentences, you should let him/her know. This is important, because the author won't improve if you don't help.

Spelling and Grammar

I'm not sure why so many authors, particularly new ones, believe that their spelling and grammar do not count in a story. It does. An odd typo or missed error is one thing. A whole book of spelling and grammar errors is quite another. They are distracting, to say the least, and downright foolish on the author's part. So if you read something that is full of these sorts of errors, let the author know. If enough reviews tell the author to smarten up, then perhaps the author will take the hint and learn to use a spell-checker as well as where his/her various grammatical problems lie.

Those are the four main areas that your review should concentrate on. How you put your review together is up to you, but this should give you an idea of what it should contain. Please DO review books. It helps the author, which in turn helps the readers.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Presenting... Deakin Inheritance

I haven't been feeling very good the past few days, so I've been laying around a lot, not doing much of anything, except watching Facebook and playing a game on there. Today I'm still a bit shaky but I also need to get some work done, so I'll stay at my computer and work on "Deakin Inheritance" today and for the next few days until it's ready to publish. The cover is designed, as you can see. All I have to do is the last edit. It's already been formatted to Smashwords requirements, so it's ready to go once that's done. Anyway, that's my plans for the next couple or three days.

"Deakin Inheritance" is the next book that I will be publishing. It is a step away from the fantasy I usually write and into science fiction. Calida Tomson is a young woman who must travel from her home town on the Moon to Mars to collect an inheritance. She believes that her inheritance won't be much more than a souvenir from her aunt, but it turns out that her aunt was quite wealthy and Calida ends up being very rich. Her cousin, her aunt and uncle's only child, is furious that he has to share his inheritance with anyone. Wealthy in his own right, his greed shines through, and after the reading of the will, Calida begins to be followed. Fortunately she has met a few people who help her. A trip through the galaxy proves dangerous and enlightening at the same time and the surprise ending will, no doubt, shock the readers.

"Deakin Inheritance" will be a free book once I publish it and I hope you will watch for it and download it to enjoy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Getting Started Writing a Story

The other day I had a friend tell me she wants to write a book. She asked where she should go to learn how. I said just write it.

That might sound too simple, but it is the truth. If you have an idea for a story, then write the story. As it happens, my friend is good at spelling and grammar. Some people aren't. So then, turn on spell-check and have someone check your grammar... AFTER you write your story. Writing the story gets you going. Thinking about learning how to write that story puts it off indefinitely. So write, even if you don't do a good job with the spelling and grammar.

The thing is, there are two important parts to a good story - characters and how you use them. Characters need to evoke feelings in the reader. They need to either love them or dislike them (I don't like the term 'hate'). If you want to capture your reader, you have to bring them into the story with you. Using conversation helps with that. When you're describing something, use conversation to help you. And use action instead of passive acts. Yes, there are moments when you have to just out and out describe something, but for the most part you can use character action to show what you want your reader to see.
If you can write a story with believable and emotion-evoking characters who actually DO things and are not just described as doing them, then you will end up with a good story. So, turn on spell-check and get writing!

One other word to the wise... take constructive criticism. Don't be afraid of it. It is not about YOU, it is about your story. If you want to end up with the best story you can write, constructive criticism will let you get there. But ask someone who knows what that is. And don't take it personally. As I've said, it isn't about you. It's about you getting the best story possible out of your imagination. Sometimes that mans you need to let someone suggest ways to improve your work. We all need improvement, after all. Not one of us is perfect... whether we talk about ourselves or our work. If you can't take criticism, you don't belong in the writing field because you won't allow yourself to improve.

 So, get writing, take criticism, and develop the best story you possibly can.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Smashwords Premium Catalogue

I have finished having two of my books reviewed by Smashwords and have had them both accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalogue. It's a great day for me!

What makes this so exciting? Well… if you are an 'indie' (independent, self-published author) on Smashwords, then you WANT to be included in the Premium Catalogue. Being there gets your books distributed to many more places: Apple's iBookstore (32 countries), Barnes & Noble, Kobo (multiple countries), the Diesel eBook Store, and Baker & Taylor ( store and Axis360 service for public libraries). As they add more retail agreements to their repertoire, your books get out to more potential customers. More potential customers means more people get to see your books means more potential sales. So, being accepted into the Premium Catalogue is a very good thing for me.

How does one get into the Premium Catalogue? It isn't all that difficult, really. The thing you need to do, after writing a terrific story with fabulous characters and making certain that your grammar and spelling seen to, is to get the formatting done right. To do that, you download the free "Smashwords Style Guide", written by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords and follow it implicitly. If you do this, you will get into the Premium Catalogue. If not, you probably won't.

There is a good article and information about the Premium Catalogue at You can also download the Smashwords Style Guide from there.

Good Luck! And may you gather many, many fans. :)