Monday, November 23, 2020

Publishing News

 As my nanowrimo writing was taken off, I found an old pamphlet I had written about Advent. Given that I have a writer's mind, I became obsessed with this pamphlet. IT needed some work though.

Fast forward. I worked on the devotional book last week, updating and adding to it.

So now, it is available on Amazon in print and digital. You can access them from my Amazon Author Page.

In Paperback: Advent a Journey of Preparation As eBook: Advent a Journey of Preparation

Needless to say, my nano writing project stalled. Plus I am taking part in an anthology group that will be published shortly as well. I do believe that my writer's block has been broken. For this I am thankful.

The anthology story I am writing brings back a character of mine that has wanted to be written about for a long time and I just didn't have what I needed to get it written.

I can not wait to share more publishing news!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

NaNoWriMo 2020

Desk with calendar and coffee mug
 National Novel Writers Month. I remember the first time I heard about it. I thought it was a joke. Who could possibly think they could write a novel in 30 days? Needless to say, the next year (2000) I decided I would try.

Off and on through the years, I have attempted to write a novel in 30 days. 5 or 6 times I have met the 50,000-word goal. I have not published and in 2012 I was devastated when I lost 2 of the novels I wrote because I failed to maintain a backup.

ALWAYS back up your work in more than one place.

I believe this is the 18th year I am participating. I am excited about it because I found my original notes to one of the novels I lost and I am hoping to rewrite it. Going into this I am FULLY aware that it will not be the same as it was last time I wrote it. In fact, there have already been some serious changes and I am just 2000 words into it.

I encourage you if you enjoy writing to check out It's free. 

For me, the challenge of writing consistently and daily helps with what is typically a chaotic time of year. It helps me keep order and stay grounded. For me that is important. I also tend to focus on my proper priorities more so. After all, in order to average 1676 words a day, there has to be some semblance of a schedule.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If you want to connect I am WriterFTJ

If you are on the fence about it, I suggest that you check it out. Look into it. It won't hurt anything. Writers use it for Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoirs, and more.

As I am writing I get excited to get to know my characters and meet new ones. I enjoy exploring their world and learning how things work. The whole process brings joy. Plus 90% of the time when I focus on one writing project, several more will pop up or flesh out. Enjoy the process!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Review: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 Have you ever picked up a book and not be prepared for where it would take you?

Being an individual that feels we can always learn from other's perspectives, I wanted to find a book that calmly shared life experience that is different than my own. (In reality I believe EVERYONE experiences life differently, but I digress.)


In Between the World and Me, the reader is transported into the vision of Coates. He is responding to questions that his adolescent son has asked, and the responses take you through a journey. A journey that everyone can benefit from by seeing his perspective if only for a moment. Personally I am Southern Italian and Native American with other ethnicities sprinkled. I have experienced prejudice and bullying. I was that teen driving the car in the "wrong" area of town (mind you I lived not far from where I was and a block from where I worked.) I have been called discriminatory names. BUT what I have experienced pales in what Mr. Coates shares.

I appreciate the biographical nature of the book, being that it is what the author has experienced and witnessed. It's matter of fact, yet not cynical. The crafting of the book as a letter has the intimacy of a personal journey which allows what is shared to have a humanization. This view extends beyond Coates and shines on the victims and survivors of racism. With Coates, you are forced to reflect on the singularity, the potential and preciousness of every life impacted by the Middle Passage, Bloody Sunday or killer cops.

Through this weaving of words, Coates issues a call out to those that have benefited by the systemic issues in America to make a change. We are to do better. Our darker skinned brothers and sisters will survive, they are survivors, it however is up to all of us to improve.

I could not agree more with the quote on the cover by Toni Morrison - "This is required reading."

P.S. This book to me harkens to the first time I watched "Boyz in the Hood." It opens your eyes and, if you allow it, it will open your mind.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Still here...

Just hoping on real quick.

See the source imageI am still here. I've had internet issues and life.
- No the Tennessee tornadoes did not get us. We are west of Nashville.
- No, we haven't had the flu or COVID-19 but unfortunately, my best friend lost her mom to flu.
- Yes, my adjunct professor life got crazy for a hot minute.
- Yes, my library director life is ongoing in the crazy, but we are good and working.
- Mom and family life is adjusting. Teen boys don't like not seeing friends/girlfriends and we hear about it.
- Yes, I will continue my book reviews as soon as possible. I have several that were due in March and I need to get them typed up and posted.

Right now, today, we are doing good. All 5 of us at home are healthy. Hubby and I are both essential employees so we can still pay the bills.

Outright, we are praising God for the blessings we have.

Psalm 91
 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Reviews: Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher & The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Two Steps Forward (The Deacon's Family, #3)

FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

When I received the book I had not realized that it was the final book in a series. (The Deacon’s Family) That did not keep the enjoyment away. Suzanne is a good author and is able to weave her tales in a way to draw you in. Well written.

Jimmy has just returned home to Lancaster County and Sylvie is a young widow with a son. These two are brought together by necessity and you can’t help but rout for them.

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #3)
FTC Disclosure: Revell Reads gave me complimentary copies of this book. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts.

This book is also third in the series. (Sunrise at Normandy) It is a historical romance that is based in the WWII era following Rangers that are in the U.S. Army. Being the third in the series this book is focused on one of the brothers as the other stories have already been told.

Clay and Leah become friends and after a brutal attack on Leah, Clay does the honorable thing and marries her. He is still in the Army though and they are separated. Can they keep what they have by writing letters?

The historical accuracy is well researched. The writing has highs and lows that gives a wonderful balance while keeping you waiting until the end. And you will want to read all the way to the end.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: A Single Light by Tosca Lee

Last year the first of this series came out, The Line Between, and I thoroughly was enraptured by it. I am a fan of Tosca Lee and this series is not a disappointment.

A Single Light: A Thriller (The Line Between Book 2)A Single Light picks up right where The Line Between leaves off.

The writing is detailed and researched out. There is detail that one may not of realized needed to be there but after reading, you couldn't imagine it any other way. This Thriller, keeps you on your toes. There is suspense that builds and sometimes it surprises you. The kicker? Since this series has been published, there have been science based articles concerning similar events.


Wynter Roth once again finds herself struggling to survive.

There are spoilers after this line, please keep that in mind. I am not trying to spoil this series at all, but frankly if you have not read the first book stop reading now.

The group of 63 people are in the silo. As one can imagine after living together for any matter of time, tension can mount and boy does it. 

Is Wynter in danger with these strangers?

Will she make it to "opening day"?

How many will they lose while locked in?

What will they find once they get out?

These are all important questions that Wynter and the others ask themselves.

Is the virus gone? Are there people? What happened to ____?

This sequel is equally as captivating and a complete thrill in following Wynter's further journey in trying to save humanity. There is loss and there is reunion. This book will make you cry. I honestly do not know how to give a better review without giving away the ending. 

Review: Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

I received this book as an Advanced Reviewers Copy from Revell Reads for an honest review. This is my honest review.

A Saturday breakfast disrupted by what appeared to be a domestic disturbance between a husband and wife pulled Detective Amara Alvarez into the middle of a mystery. 

Three years ago there was a horrific bus accident where 17 kids and 3 adults were killed, or were they? This story is a captivating and suspenseful story that is paced well with good writing, great character development, and a truly gripping story.

I usually don’t read mysteries, especially not ones that feel like they could actually happen. Heh... I really enjoy books that are in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. This book though, it grabbed me. Once I started reading, I could not stop. The pacing in the storytelling was great. It did slowdown towards the climax, or it felt like it did. I believe this is because the way everything started tying in that the story needed to take a breath.

I enjoyed that it was a good book all around. There are themes included concerning family and humor, there is also some sexual tension between characters. This is appreciated so that the characters seem real. The book is from a Christian Publisher, but it does not fall into a “preaching” category. Clean language, maybe allusion to an intimate relationship, solid writing.

Rated 5/5

Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kicking the new year off with a new set of books to read, I started with The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy. This book was chosen because I wanted a one shot, simple read that was interesting. (Rachel at Reading Rock Books recommended it.)

The writing style of this book is simple. I appreciated it. I was most definitely not in the mood to read a dissertation. The genre is YA or Young Adult, I would agree with that because of the content. The actual writing I would place in between YA and Juvenile. Again, it was welcomed.

The character development was interesting but not heavy. There could have been more, but I believe that would have made the book an introduction to a series rather than a one-shot. There could be more world building, more explanation of how we got to where we were in that time, but again... it is a one-shot.

As a one shot, it is handled well.

The relationship building is slow and methodical. There is no foul language. There is no sex. The focus of the books seems to be the value of life and most importantly the value of memories. The theme that runs solid is forgiveness.

Story-wise. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Etta. Her story is captivating. Etta finds herself in a position he does not like but is obliged to because of her actions in the not so distant past. Because of this, Madame, the ruler of Craewick that is power obsessed, tries to control Etta. It isn't until later on into the story that we understand the real reason why.

In this world, the currency is memories, ability determines class, and the Gifted are the haves while the rest are the have nots.

Because of Etta's actions, Madame decides to put her mother on the auction block. This is reserved for criminals and the torturous removal of memories is done for the highest bidder. Etta refuses to accept this fate for her mother and finds herself facing her past. Does she rejoin the Shadows? Can she save her mother?

This book is not perfect. It is exactly what I was looking for in a one shot though. 4/5

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2020 ... A New Chapter

This is not your "oh hey! It's a new year so I am going to make all kinds of promises" post.

This is a reality post.

This past year has involved a lot of changes. Most I am embracing. A couple I wish didn't have to happen.

I have discovered a few things about myself. Mainly that I can stand up for myself and I don't have to just go with the flow. There is absolutely nothing wrong with following dreams.

a dream is a wish your heart makes

Perhaps the romantic in me, I believe that a dream is a wish your heart makes. I also believe that "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)"

I am not partnering up scripture and Disney. Just seeing a pattern and embracing it.

My dream for most of my life is to write books. Ultimately that was my motivation behind going to college. (That got confusing for a few years.)

I was shifted off track because like most starving artists, I felt that I needed to be bringing money into the home and not leaving everything on my husband.

But now.


I am the Library Director at the rural library in my town servicing a population of roughly 3600. It is part time at the moment. I am also teaching a couple courses online for my alma mater.  As I am getting things organized and proficient, I will have room to pursue my dream.

I am not promising myself that I will write. I am not promising you that I will write. I AM being deliberate in my actions.

The main thing most writers will tell you is that in order to write well, you have to read. So, I have upped my reading challenge to 50 books this year. That is double of what was last year.

I am also hoping to get some writing workshops going at my library. It may just be me, but it is deliberate thinking.

As for the other stuff going on? Eh... it doesn't really belong on the internet. Plus, I might use it to spice up a novel and I wouldn't want to be accused of just writing about myself. :D

Expect to see book reviews.

Expect to see some landscape photography.