• Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers?

My name is Joseph I’m a widower with a five-year-old. Billie Daddario is quite imaginative and has really put me through the wringer as a character in her story. She introduces me to the person I want to grow old with. The person I want to raise my child with, but of course, she can’t let me realize that right off the bat.

Billie writes it so that I do something rash and go drinking with the least stable person in the county. The result is that when I come to my senses and reject her. She doesn’t take it well and she ends up doing horrible things to the woman I love.

Billie is a good person though; she gave me the happiest ending.

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.

My latest novel is The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart. It goes live on September 6th. It’s a beautiful story about redemption and how important it is to be redeemed. Our hero is redeemed and our antagonist has never had redemption.

The book is also a romance so eventually, the Hero and Heroine fall in love after they earn it. Their lives are complicated so they overcome they rise to the occasion.

  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

The main character in this book is Joseph and seeing the love unfold from the making perspective is wonderful. He has a steadfastness that takes a minute to develop but once it does it’s beautiful.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?
Dania Voss

You need to know about Heather. Heather is our Antagonist. She is a very disturbed individual who may have gotten away with murder in the past and maybe plotting it again.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

My stories more or less just fall onto the page one word after the other. I do a character sketch and decide what I want to happen generally and then I just start to write and it comes to me the words just fall onto the laptop. Usually, the bool I am working on now does not work like that. sexy santa claus guy on black background
  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

My writing plan for this book was to put my butt in the chair and write. I had very few distractions It was my third book and I loved writing so there was no drudgery in it. It took me about a month to get the first draft done. I don’t plot ahead of time. I just write.

  • How do you handle writers’ block?

I didn’t suffer from writer’s block while writing The Cowboy’s Secondhand Heart, but I did suffer from writers’ block while writing my next book. I got out of the habit of writing every day and I just struggle with it now. But the answer is to sit down and start writing and what you need will come to you.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

I believe in rituals to get you ready to do things that are special and I believe that writing is incredibly special. So, you think I would have rituals that are mystical or special. But No. I don’t have a particularly special ritual I wake up take the dog out, watch the local news,  drink a cup of coffee, and then I turn on some bosa nova jazz and become a writer.

I take care of writer business and then I write.

secrets, scandals, and seduction
  • What is your writing snack?

I like M&Ms

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I watch TV I watch a broad spectrum of weird stuff. I’m hooked on Time Team and the Murdoch Mysteries and I am a sucker for old movies.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

I love summer and late spring when it’s warm and the flowers in the garden are all in bloom before it gets too hot.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

I like romance novels but I’m a snob I like the classic old romance novels I love Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility. But I hated Wuthering Heights I thought Heath Cliff should have been pushed down the stairs. He had no redeemable qualities.

  • Do you have a writer’s mission statement? What is it?

My mission statement is to take my readers somewhere they haven’t been before and make them care about the characters and give them a happy ending eventually.

  • What do listen to when you write? How does it help to put you in the mood?

I listen to Bosa Nova Jazz with no words. I don’t know that it puts me in the mood for writing a specific book but like Pavlov’s dog, I hear the music and know it’s time to write. I do have Spotify music lists for each couple giving me something to listen to when I edit.


What is your favorite vacation and why?

As a child we took family vacations to California to visit relatives we drove cross country from Colorado to California. I loved those trips to see my cousins and my aunt and uncle. Sometimes we would drive straight through I remember staying up all night talking with my father coming over the hill and seeing Las Vegas at night all the lights and the heat even at night. I remember one year we had three flat tires. Coming from Green River to Bakers Field. Then when we would get to my aunt and uncle’s house it would be loud and there would be so many hugs. I remember the hugs and the conversation going in every direction. My Aunt would hold conversations with four people at the same time and not skip a beat and not ignore anyone she made everyone feel special. I would give anything for one more road trip with my dad to see my aunt.



  • Have the main character of your last novel introduce you to our readers.

“Hi everyone. My name’s Alice and I’m so excited to see you here today. I’m going to introduce you to our main speaker today, but first, let me tell you something about her. Ms. Alber, or Kay as I call her, well—we’ve known each other for a long time. She’s been in my head a few times and I know at night I’m sure in hers. She writes Romantic Suspense, which means she’ll be loading guns, driving fast cars, and maybe even have a someone stolen in this book of hers. Anyway—she’s really laid back and a great listener. So here she is—Miss Kay herself, ready to meet y’all in person. Ta-da.”

  • Without giving us spoilers introduce your latest and greatest novel or work in progress and let us know which it is and if it’s a WIP let us know when it goes live.?
  • My stories are about women and their troubles and misfortunes combined with romance. “A Deadly Promise” is no exception. It is at my editor’s right now getting the last read and then it will be published May 1st. Next month. Yay!
  • What do you like best about your main character in your latest and greatest or WIP from above?

I modeled my main character Alice, in this next book, after someone I knew in real life. I love her character in this book and especially love the defiance she portrays that will get her into trouble. She has a special willpower to try and make things better, but sometimes women need to stand their ground, and sometimes—they just don’t know how to do that. That could be Alice.

  • Tell us a little about one of your side characters from your latest and greatest or WIP?

There’s Anne who grows up from a teenager, as the series progresses. She is Cassie’s sister, from book #1, but has a part in every book thereafter. She’s a tall beauty with a sassy personality. She knows every answer about any question whether she’s asked or not.

  • How did you come up with your idea for the above story?

Anne’s character came about from my own sister’s antics and even though Anne’s a secondary character in books #1 and #2, she makes an impression on everyone she meets.

  • What was your writing plan for this book or WIP?

My original plan was to have this book out before Covid hit. But unfortunately, everything in my life must be good when I write and during Covid, my daughter who has recurring cancer, had to have a couple of stage four surgeries, so I stopped writing until she got better.

  • How do you handle writers block?

I can’t write if everything is not fantastic in my life. I don’t handle writer’s block well, but I know when it happens, that things WILL get better, and so the stopping period doesn’t last long.

  • Do you have a secret writing ritual and what is it?

Writing comes to me in the middle of the night. I absolutely love the quiet at that time, along with a cup of espresso plus milk. I am a middle of the night person, but I also love to chat in the mornings—especially about what I just wrote.

  • What is your writing snack?

I love dark chocolate or just anything chocolate when I write.

  • What do you do when you’re not writing?

As an avid traveler, I take off either abroad or across country to visit family and friends. I am also a dedicated animal lover. So, I belong to a couple of rescue groups, who rescue seniors and save dogs from puppy mills. In fact, I love animals so much—I always have an animal or two in my stories.

  • What is your favorite season and why?

Autumn is my favorite season. Fall foliage, the crunching of falling leaves, and the nippy weather.

  • What is your favorite genre to read and what do you like about it?

Mysteries are my favorite genre to read. Anything that keeps me dangling until the last page and especially when I can’t guess how the ending will turn out.

  • Do you have a writer mission statement? What is it?

Keep writing—writer’s block or not. If writing is a passion, follow through with it. I started writing late in life, after years of teaching abroad—and to this day, I swear I will continue writing until I tell every character’s story.

  • What do you spend your music so you listen to when you write? How does it help to put y ou in the mood?

I don’t use music while I write, but if I did—it would be operatic songs. Especially Andrea Bocelli. Now when I exercise, I listen to Heavy Metal and the heavier the better.


What is your favorite silver lining moment? ie bad situation that turned out great.

Rushing to get things done, used to be my way of life. Since my daughter has had recurring cancer, I have learned from her, to take each day as a blessing. To enjoy what’s around me. To have happy conversations with people, and to be a good listener.





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What’s Next

Photo By Jill Wellington

It’s the end of August and pumpkin everything is out I can’t wait for cooler weather, and Christmas will be here before you know it. So, the question is what did I do in August and What Am I going to do in September.

The month of August has been busy for me. On a personal note, I am taking some adult education classes to help me in my writing and publishing career. These classes are online and offered through my Library they’re wonderful remedial, but good. I am specifically taking Romance Writing, Self Publishing, and Speed Reading. All three classes are great.

In August, I discovered that there has been another romance novel with the same nameas “Lucy’s Choice” published recently. So, I have decided to change the name of my novel and will keep it a secret till I do the cover reveal. I had been working on a stand-alone novel about a Jewel thief, and a cop who falls in love with her. That project is about finished, and you can read it for free if you sign up for my newsletter. I’ve started a seven-book Cowboy Romance Series. The series is called the Thomson Family Ranch. It’s about a large family that lives in Colorado and each book tells the story of one of the children falling in love.

The first story is about Lisa who is new in town, and the kindergarten teacher to Chloe Joseph Thomson’s daughter. Joseph (a widower) and Lisa meet under not-so-friendly terms, but grow to respect each other’s strengths and then fall in love overcoming obstacles some of their own makings. Joseph drinks with the town crazy woman, and turns her down for sex hurts her feelings the woman scorned vows revenge.

Also, in August I completed the developmental edits on the novel that shall for a little while longer remain nameless. And sent it off to be copy-edited It will be back tomorrow for me to work on.

September is a busy month I need to finish the book I’m working on. I need to write about 23, 668 words minimum before I can say finished. Then I can go back and do edits on the nameless novel, so in October it can be proofread. For all the novels I work on I have great Spotify playlists. I want to learn how to share those files. I want to hire someone to design the inside of my book and format it and get it ready for publication on Amazon, IngrahmSparks, and Smash Words. I need to come with a marketing plan for my novels. Something that is not going to make me feel slimy. Like I said September is going to be a busy thinking month.

Some general things that I know are coming down the pike. I will be doing a redesign of the website in January that’ll be fun. Who knows it could mean that the blog will look different also I’m not sure yet. Maybe more visual. In the middle of September I add four more adult ed classes Keys to Effective Editing, Write Fiction Like a Pro, Grammar Refresher, and Writing Essentials. My other three classes aren’t over until October so It’ll be scary for a couple of weeks.

There is also the Wine Country Writers Festival that I will be attending virtually it’s a free writers conference and I am excited about it. September 24th and 25th. I encourage you to check it out invest in your writing selves.

That’s everything for now. That’s enough I think. I’ll be busy writing keeping myself out of harm’s way.

What did you accomplish in August and what are your plans for September? Share them in the comment box below. If you haven’t gotten the chance to get your hands on that short story, sign up for my newsletter.

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I Have a Grammar Secret Sin

I am here to admit my sins to the world in case you haven’t noticed. I have to admit it and the first step to making a change is admitting you have a problem. I am a rule breaker. I don’t know how to properly use commas. It’s not that I never knew. I did know exactly how to use a comma, but then I got sloppy and relied more and more on grammar check I just forgot the basic rules.

So as a refresher, here are the basics from the Purdue OWL web site.

  1. Use commas to separate independent clauses when they are joined by any of the seven conjunctions: and, yet, but, for, or, nor, so, yet. (Remember Conjunction Junction what’s your function?)
  2. Use commas after introductory a) clauses b) phrases c) words that come before the main clause. Common starter words although, as, because, if, since, when, while. However, don’t put a comma after the main clause when a subordinate clause follows it.
  3. Use a pair of commas in the middle of a sentence to set off clauses, phrases, and words that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Use one comma before to indicate the beginning of the pause  and one at the end to indicate the end of the pause.
  4. DO NOT  use commas  to set off essential elements of the sentence, such as clauses beginning with (relative clauses). That clauses after nouns are always essential. That clauses following a verb expressing mental action are always essential.
  5. Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases or clauses written in a series.
  6. Use commas to separate two or more coordinating adjectives that describe the same noun. Be careful never to add an extra comma between final adjective and the noun itself or to use commas with non-coordinating adjectives.
  7. Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinated elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.
  8. Use commas to set off phrases at the end of the sentence that refer to the beginning or middle of the sentence. Such phrases are free modifiers that can be placed anywhere in the sentence without causing confusion. (If the placement of the modifier causes confusion, then it is not “Free” and must remain bound to the word it modifies.)
  9. Use a comma to set off geographical names, items in dates, (except Month and day), addresses, (except street number and name.) and titles in a name.
  10. Use a comma to shift between the main discourse and a quotation.
  11. Use commas whenever necessary to prevent possible confusion or misreading.
  12. Don’t use a comma to separate the subject and the verb.
  13. Don’t put a comma between the two verbs or verb phrases in a compound predicate.
  14. Don’t put a comma between two nouns, noun phrases or noun clauses in a compound subject or compound object.
  15. Don’t put a comma after the main clause when a dependent (subordinate) clause follows it (except for cases of extreme contrast.)

Whew, what a lot of rules to remember as you’re typing away at 70 words per minute or as fast as the characters in your head are talking to you. I remembered some of the rules without needing to look them up and used them regularly, but others I need to work on for sure. What is your Grammar sin? Confess it in the comment box below. What is your grammar secret sin?

I enjoyed spending this time with you. Till next time, I love you. Keep writing.

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Another Sneak Peek From the Novel

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

When she got to the front of the church there was the man from the parking lot. Lucy was taken back that this was for family members and he was not a family member. Lucy remembered the man’s unshaven face and broad chest, narrow blue eyes with nice laugh lines, and a receding hairline. Lucy definitely knew exactly who he was. But not his name.

Dave Winston is a stranger who becomes Lucy’s nemesis over a stolen parking space and the fact that he has her number from the beginning. That’s because he worked for Lucy’s father for nine years and learned all about Lucy from her father. Now the two stand a chance of becoming something besides frenimies.

Dave is a family man who’s heart had been broken by a cheating ex wife now he has found a way to love again the passion between Lucy and Dave is red hot and will take your breath away. He has fallen in Love with Lucy Bingham his employer, but she isn’t going to do anything to put the farm in danger. He’ll have to come up with a plan to have it all with out endangering the farm or Lucy who doubts that love really exists at all.

Dave is the handsome farm manager that steals Lucy’s heart.

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July Check-In

I thought I’d bring you up to date on things in my world. In March, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  My mother’s way of coping with such devastating news is to throw herself into a project she can’t possibly finish on her own. Her project for this crisis might have been to turn the house completely around, instead, she settled on digging up the large backyard that was full of beautiful grass and put it into flowers. In this project, she physically could do almost no physical work herself and could not afford to hire someone to do the work, so my sister and I worked the entire month of June and the first part of July to make my mother’s dream of a backyard flower garden a reality.

The result for my mother is a garden of delight. The result for me has been a need to let some things go to be with my family, and am now having a hard time getting things back on track. You may have noticed or maybe not you missed a couple of weeks of blog posts and then sometimes you got blog posts on the wrong days it was and unfortunately remains a little disarrayed. But I am now blogging three times a week. My YouTube channel hasn’t been as lucky. It’s been a month or more since they have heard from me. My whole 5 subscribers, deserve the same diligence that I give you, but it takes more out of me to do a YouTube post.

On Monday, I will get my first novel back from the editor. I discovered this week that there is another book published recently with the same title that I had chosen for my book, so I will be looking for a new book title. If you have any ideas, I’m open to suggestions. I am trying to finish my second novel “Catch Me” I need to write another 40000 words, but I’m afraid to screw up the story arc. I have started a new novel called “When He Didn’t Love Me” That I am excited about but don’t know when I’ll get back to. I’m concerned about marketing costs for my book. Not to mention while I’m doing marketing I’ll be having production costs for another book, the finances of being an indie author is a scary thing.

So, that’s what’s I’ve been up to. This is what I hope will be happening. I hope my father’s medicine continues to work. I hope my father is around for a long, long time to come in a healthy capacity. I hope my mother does not need another big project for a while.

I hope to have “Lucy’s Choice” edited, and a cover selected by the end of September I hope to have further editing done by the end of November and then book design done in November with Advance Reader Copies ready in January.

For Catch Me, the second novel, I hope to have that to the editor in October. I hope to be finishing when he didn’t Love Me in November. My goal for the year was to finish four novels, and I’m on track to do that writing-wise. We’ll have to see about the publishing because of the costs involved.

So, that’s kind of a wrap-up of what’s been going on and where things are. I forgot to tell you about NaNoWriMo I did not win NaNoWriMo, but I made some good friends and that was my goal, so I won NaNoWriMo.

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It’s NaNoWriMo

Photo by Stocksnap

It’s Camp NaNoWriMo, aI’ve got to be honest I’m having a blast just like I would have had at summer camp as a kid. I’ve made new friends. I’ve worked on my second novel, Catch Me, which I love. I still wrote short, which drives me crazy. I won’t win NaNoWriMo, but I’ve gained some friendships that are invaluable to me, and that’s worth all the winning in the world.

Writing is a very solitary job, the work is by its nature done inside one’s head. For me, the work is even more isolating because I’ve been a shut-in for the past 10 years not able to go anywhere or do anything I have lost contact with all my friends. The editors and others that I work with are not friends but busy professionals that want a business relationship. I can’t pack up and go to Starbucks to write I have to lie down to work. The women I’ve met are amazing, talented, and kind. I’m proud to call them friends.

Camp NaNoWriMo celebrates writing and its purpose is to provide thirty days of writing priority. Thirty days with a life that is filled with writing as your priority. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a gift that every writer should give themselves and the people who thought of NaNoWriMo are absolute geniuses. I am so thankful for them. I am a full-time writer, but NaNoWriMo gives me that extra excitement and push to write a little faster and work a little harder. I love NaNoWriMo.

I love you guys and I hope you all get a chance to do a NaNoWriMo. It’s worth the sacrifice. In the meantime. Tell me about your NaNoWriMo experience in the comment box below. If you like this blog post, give it a like, and don’t forget to subscribe to both the blog and my monthly newsletter.

Keep writing till next time,


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Lucy’s Choice My First Novel Sneak Peek

Photo by Vlad Bitte

I’d like to introduce you to Lucy, the main character in my first novel Lucy’s Choice. The following excerpt is directly from the unedited version of my novel. I expect the novel out at the end of spring 2022. Watch for more excerpts of this novel.


Lucy’s Choice

Lucy was walking down the street with dry-cleaning in one hand and a hot cup of coffee in the other. With her hands full, she tried to open the heavy glass door of her office with her foot and one finger. Luckily, a man was coming out of the office and held the door for her. She ran across the marble floor, almost slipping to catch the elevator to the third-floor office. Stepping off the elevator, Lucy stumbled her way down the hall to the office.

“You’re late did you pick up my dress for the realtor awards dinner tonight?” Colleen barked. “Did you pick up my coffee? Did you put creamer in it? Vanilla creamer?”

“Yes, yes, and yes,” Lucy said, rolling her brown eyes and making her voice sound extra cheerful.


Lucy’s Choice comes back from the editor on August 1st: I can hardly wait. Then we need to have cover art selected and then well, just so, many things when you are doing it all yourself, I feel excited and a little overwhelmed. There are more edits, line edits, and copyediting. Then off to the printer and then proofreading. And that’s just to get the book ready for you guys. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Watch for more glimpses of this story. Next time we’ll meet Dave, Lucy’s love interest?

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Are They Rules or Just Suggestions

I am a natural-born rule breaker. I never met a rule I wouldn’t at least consider breaking or ignoring altogether, but in writing, there are conventions that you just have to follow to be understood. The Grammarly app hates my word choice and finds it too wordy, but I stout worthy keep it just the way it is. I’m a writing rebel. I broke my hand last week and here I sit at my keyboard pecking away, thumb in a cast not supposed to move it. It hurts like hell, hell, which plays with my brain. I break rules. There are some rules you can’t break a question mark at the end of a question unless it’s a demand then a period is in order. You see, even the rules have exceptions. Here are ten rules writers should break on occasion just for fun and the need to write freely.

  1. Don’t give away the ending.

Give away the ending and make it work by experimenting with non-linear writing.

2. Create a likable main character.

Instead, create a complex anti-hero doesn’t that sound exciting.

3. Show don’t tell, you can break this one for;

Exposition back story (in short amounts)

Scenes and passage of time (transition)

Parts of (first person character narrative)

Stories (with a unique or distinctive voice)

4. Write for your audience, not yourself.

The thing is you should love what you write. You are going to spend a lot of time with your writing. You should love it before anyone else does.Write every day.

5. Writing every day is fine if you can do that, but if you can’t, or don’t want to, be a rebel. Write when you can.

6. Write what you know.

No. You miss the point of being a writer. Investigate, learn, and write what you don’t know. Write what will intrigue you. Write about what you are passionate about. Write what you love or what you hate.

7. Avoid pop culture references.

They say this because it will date your novel or short story and then no one in the far off future will want to read it. I’m not sure, that’s a true statement. So, follow it or break it. I can’t imagine not reading a well-written novel or short story because they mention or use pop culture.

8. Don’t leave a character alone on the page.

Hamlet would not be Hamlet if he had an entourage. First, the character has the author with him, and second, he has the reader with him the character is never alone on the page.

9. Avoid jokes.

If you can pull a joke off in your writing more power to you. I have no sense of humor whatsoever. It is not something I would I do have a limit to my rebel behavior. If you have a sense of humor and are funny if you can make it work for you I say make em laugh. Readers should enjoy your book and taking them on an emotional journey is a success and getting them to laugh with you is a win.

So, those are the ten rules writers can break. I hope you are a rebel and are breaking some rules. Let me know which of these rules you like to break. In the comment box below, I love you guys. Give me a thumbs up if you like this content and find it helpful. Please subscribe and share this with your friends on social media. Keep Writing and breaking those rules.