Friday, June 29, 2012

Catching UP!

Books that went to press, or back to press this week:



CONSORTIUM, by Steven Clark Bradley

LAST STOP FREEDOM, by Ann Nolder Heinz

Galleys that went out, or went out again this week:

NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER, by Virginia Winters

A CUP OF JOY, by Anna Dynowski

A DESIRE PATH, by Jan Shapin

Work began or continued on the following:


Galleys still with the authors:

NIGHT SHIFT, by Lisa Marie Brennan

DEATH SHADOWS, by Sharon Jordan

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Thanks to a tip from Eleanor Cross, I foudn out that More spam is going out in my name. Please be warned. This one is a "no subject" message with a single link inside and no message.


I even got one from myself.  It appears to have gone to everyone who was in an addressbook I had about three years ago. Several people on it are now deceased and others have changed e-mail addresses, so I know the information they used was not current.  I got those messages as "returns".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lisa Marie Brennan’s Peanut Butter Cookies

1         cup flour
½         teaspoon baking soda
½         cup butter
1/4     cup light brown sugar
1         egg
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
1         cup peanut butter
        pinch of salt

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. In another bowl, mix the egg and vanilla extract, then slowly beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the peanut butter and blend thoroughly.  Stir in the dry
ingredients.  Chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350-F or 177-C  degrees  Grease two baking sheets. Spoon out rounded teaspoons of the dough and roll into balls. Place the balls on the baking sheets and press flat with a fork into circles and 2 ½ inches in diameter, making a criss-cross pattern.  Bake
for 12-15 minutes until lightly colored.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

Contributed by Lisa Marie Brennan, author of Night Shift...a book that will be republished in August.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

HOT HERO CONTEST! Here's your chance....


Seeking Nominations from YOU for...

It's going to be the battle of all battles this summer as 32 of 2012's hottest heroes suit up in their armor, fangs, fur, camouflage, fire -fighting gear, etc., and square off. There will be five rounds of elimination with prizes for voters along the way and prizes for the top 3 authors at the end. 

We realize what's "HOT" is completely subjective - alpha shifters, highlander warriors, loyal soldiers, the neighbor across the street - so many possibilities. We can't possibly be aware of all worthy contenders. We need your help!


You have until July 4th, 11:59 PM US Centra l time to nominate your favorites. To qualify for nomination a book must meet the following criteria:

The book must have been published between September 1, 2011 and June 1, 2012.
The eligible book must be longer than 10,000 words. 
The book is available for sale at or

Monday, June 25, 2012

Choosing detail -- writing tip

Question: How do I know what details to put in? I want to enrich my story, but not to bury it in a lot of extraneous detail.

Answer: If you haven't read John Gardiner's THE ART OF FICTION, you might want to try it one day. He talks a lot about using specific detail, which means you don't have to invent everything. You can choose details that you already know. I gave a character my son's '66 Austin-Healy the other day and used some real action that took place when some of his friends from college picked up his car and moved it to a different parking lot. When asked why, they said they were looking for a place to stick the key so they could wind it up and just got tired of carrying it around. But the character wasn't my son. She was...well, that's another story. The important thing is that because I could see that little red car clearly, my reader will see it too. I didn't have to "make up" anything.

To this character, movement was essential. She was breezy, bright, and always on a mission. So the car fit for her and for what she was like. If she had been older and a more-serious type, I might have given her a Buick sedan; a soccer mom would get a tan SUV and so on. You choose the details that will add to your character, but you only need one or two and they should tell the reader something about her.

It's important, too, what kind of detail you choose. In a story about a mother's love, a vehicle would be a last choice. Something that she does to show her love for her children would be more appropriate.  Also it's important to choose carefully. Beware of choosing a detail with too much portent. 

There's an old writing teacher's story about the Russian writer, Anton Checkov, who allegedly told his students when offering advice about creating detail, "If you hang a gun on the wall in the dining room, the story won't be over until someone fires that gun." What this means, essentially, is that a writer must choose small detail carefully. A gun is a heavy portent, it foreshadows action, not family dinner-talk.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Catching UP!

Books that went to press, or back to press this week:

LAST STOP FREEDOM, by Ann Nolder Heinz.

Galleys  that went out, or went out again this week:

NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER: Dangerous Journeys, Vol. 3, by Virginia Winters

WHEN DEAD CATS BOUNCE: Nick Schaevers Mysteries, Vol. 2, By Newton Love

THE COMFORT OF THE SHEPHERD: Parable Prayer and Meditation, Vol. 2, By Barbara Garro

CONSORTIUM: Patriot Acts, Vol. 3, by Steven Clark Bradley

A CUP OF JOY, Harmony Village Series, Vol. 6 by Anna Dynowski

Work began or continued on the following:

DEATH SHADOWS, by Sharon Jordan

A DESIRE PATH, by Jan Shapin

Galleys still not returned from their authors:


NIGHT SHIFT, by Lisa Marie Brennan

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Query Letter -- writing tip

Question:  When I was your student, you gave me a  handout on how to write query letters. If you still have it, I'd like to see it again. Fara.

Answer: Sure, Fara, here 'tis.


One page, tops!  Be brief.  Be concise.  Be truthful, but creative.  What you say in that letter can make the difference of whether your manuscript goes right to the top, or ends up in the "slush" pile.

If the manuscript has been requested, say so in the first line.  "I am sending along the manuscript  or Sample you asked to see when we talked at the IWWG Conference  last week." And mark the outside of the box or the e-mail with attachment "Requested Material."  A "requested" manuscript goes straight to the person to whom it is addressed.  Unrequested manuscripts usually go to a "first reader" for screening.

If the manuscript has not been requested, the FIRST PARAGRAPH should tell what it is you're trying to sell.

AS AN EXAMPLE: DON'T:  I've just completed the most wonderful book (or story/article) in the world and I just know you're going to love it.  The characters are wonderful, and the plot is a good one too. I'm just sure it will be a best seller and make a lot of money for us both.

DO:  Enclosed is a synopsis and the first few chapters of my contemporary thriller, TUTANKHAMEN LIVES!   It is aimed for an audience that enjoys paranormal and horror, and offers a new slant on the curse of the tomb legend.  Set on an archeological dig in the Valley of the Kings, it centers on the relationship between Egyptian archeologist Aldar Namid, and American exchange student, Delilah Hutton, who becomes his assistant.

The SECOND PARAGRAPH (or more if necessary) tells briefly what happens in the book.  It does not explain anything in detail, but does give some idea of the problems that the characters will have to solve.   This section should read like cover copy on a book jacket.  The function of this part of the letter is to make someone want to read the book.

AS AN EXAMPLE: Aldar and Lilah, engaged in the excavation the tomb of a minor Pharaoh, are puzzled when they find antiquities from the wrong era, artifacts that Lilah believes may have come from Tutankhamen's tomb. Who could have hidden them there?  Papyrus scrolls warn of a curse and a series of accidents increases tension on the dig - among the workers and between the hero and heroine as well.  A mysterious figure with the head of a dog, an ancient artifact boobytrapped with a modern poison, and the freshly slain body of their foreman, lead Lilah and Aldar further and further into a web of suspense.  When Aldar disappears, Lilah investigates on her own, following clues that lead her to a confrontation with an entity more fearsome and powerful than anything she has ever experienced.

The FINAL PARAGRAPH tells who you are, lists your major credits if any, and tells briefly of any special qualifications you have for writing that particular book.

AS AN EXAMPLE: This is my first novel, but short fiction has appeared in PANDORA, CREEPSHOW, and TALES OF THE UNEXPLAINED.  Several paranormal  novellas appeared in 2004 with a now-defunct e-publisher, and some early works appeared in CAMEO, a collection of gothic tales that ceased publication last year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pico de Gallo -- recipe

Matthew L. Schoonover’s Pico de Gallo

2     large tomatoes (do not use Romano tomatoes), diced
1     twined bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1     large onion (yellow or white, your choice), finely diced, not minced
2 to 4     Serrano peppers (with or without seeds, per your own tastebuds), finely chopped
    mix everything together
    Juice of half a lime or lemon, squeezed over concoction - er, I mean ingredients

Serve with corn tortilla chips, or over assorted foods of your liking.
(Personally, I enjoy it with Spanish rice.)

Contributed by Matthew L. Schoonover, author of the Arbiter Series featuring Incubus Detective Augustus Pilot, and A Sense of Endless Woes...Former FBI agent Jack Monosmith survived being sucked into a tornado and  thrust into fame. Now  in A Sense of Endless Woes, Jack works for Griselda the Great, astrologer to the stars, and finds himself the major suspect in the murder of her billionaire client.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Resonance -- writing tip

Question: Hi, Arline. Thanks for the "foreshadowing" tip.  You were right about that and my writers' group experience has been much improved, except for one member (a librarian) who says, "It just doesn't resonate for me." Resonate? Am I pounding a drum, here?

Answer:  As with sub-text in dialogue, how a piece of writing resonates is a personal thing for the reader. It often depends on the experiences the reader brings to the work. If a writer describes a church, every reader will imagine a different one, often one they have known and attended. But each reader brings his own imagination into play to create the images of the described church.This is why reading is so much more fun that watching a film. Watching is passive. Reading is participatory.

Unlike images, "resonance" is the feeling readers brings to the words you give them, and the insights they  glean from it. Usually, resonance comes from the reader's reaction to the words, not from anything the writer plans to build in. Each reader will perceive it in a different way.

Take a look at the following:

Good writing can always be read at two levels and sometimes at more than than. Take the old Robert Frost poem for instance:

    “...The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
          but I have promises to keep,
              and miles to go before I sleep.”

On the surface it’s about someone who stopped to admire the scenery and then went on about his business. But when we take a second look, it says a lot about how we often deny ourselves the things we long for and enjoy in order to keep promises to others, or because we have duties to fulfill. This is an age-old problem for any writer.

For many years I wanted to write, but I didn’t start until my children were almost grown, because I would have been torn between my need to write and my need to mother. I think that’s what Frost was saying, too.

Yet different readers would react differently. A veteran would think one thing; an escaped felon, another; the lawman who tracked the felon would find a different way to experience the words.

You might want to ask in your group: "What does it say, finally?" to see if their perceptions match what you want them to understand from what you wrote.

If it is only the ONE person who feels your work doesn't "resonate," it's possible that she just isn't getting your message and the other participants are. I wouldn't worry too much unless they all agree.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Carlene Rae Dater’s Wild Rice Casserole

1     cup wild rice
½     lb. fresh or 2 cans mushrooms
¾     cup butter
3     Tbsp. grated onion
3     cups chicken broth

Soak and wash rice 3 or 4 times in boiling water till rice opens up. Slice fresh mushrooms. Brown rice in butter; add remaining ingredients except broth. Put into buttered 2 ½ quart casserole. Add broth. Cover and bake at 350-F or 177-C for about 1 ½ or 2 hours. Takes a while, but well worth it.

Contributed by Carlene Rae Dater, author CALL SIGN LOVE

Like a heat-seeking missile, his gaze burns her from across the room. Tall, blond and muscular, he's perfect. They meet and start to fall in love when Cyndia Simmons discovers the awful truth. Todd Whitlow is a Sheriff's Deputy and she doesn't date men in law enforcement, ever.

Please share with your friends.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Catching UP!

Books that went to press, or back to press this week:

TERROR REIGNS, by Eleanor Cross


Galleys that went out, or went out again, this week:

CONSORTIUM, by Steven Clark Bradley


Galley corrections returned by authors this week:

DEATH SHADOWS, by Sharon Jordan

NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER, by Virginia Winters

Galleys still out with authors:


NIGHT SHIFT, by Lisa Marie Brennan

Work began or continued on the following:

A DESiRE PATH, by Jan Shapin

A CUP OF JOY: Harmony Village, Vol. 6 by Anna Dynowski

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writing Tip from Nikki Leigh

1. If you write every day, you get better at writing every day.

2. If it's boring to you, it's boring to your reader.

3. Get a writing routine and stick with it.

4. Poetry does not have to rhyme. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme. Poetry does not have to RHYME!

5. Resist stereotypes in your writing and in your life.

6.Writers read. Writers read a LOT. Writers read ALL THE TIME.

7. Make lists of your favorite words, and characters, and books.

8. Always carry a notebook. ALWAYS carry a pen.

9. There doesn't have to be a moral to a story, but there does have to be a theme.

10. Go for walks. Dance. Do the dishes. Think about things. And write about them.

11. Don't settle on just one style. Try everything.

12. Learn to tell all sides of the story.

NOW THEN, why are you reading this??? GO WRITE SOMETHING!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Adirondack Apples:

3         Empire Apples
1/2     cup of  New York State Maple syrup
3         cinnamon sticks
1         tsp.of  genuine vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400-F or 204-C degrees. In a bowl, mix well the syrup and the vanilla extract. While oven is preheating, wash, core, but do not peel the apples. Place apples in a baking brick or other high-walled oven dish. Insert a cinnamon stick into each apple, and fill in the remain core space with the syrup/vanilla extract mix, drizzling remaining mix over the apples. Cook for fifty minutes.

Terry L. White is the author of more than 18 books, including her popular Chesapeake Series.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Catching UP!

Books that went to press, or went to press again this week:

Galleys that went out, or went out again, this week:

NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER, by Virginia Winters
CONSORTIUM, by Steven Clark Bradley

Work began or continued on the following:

A CUP OF JOY, by Anna Dynowski
A DESIRE PATH, by Jan Shapin

Galleys still out with the authors:
DEATH SHADOWS, by Sharon Jordan
NIGHT SHIFT, by Lisa Marie Brennan

Current Best Sellers and Reader Rated Books for OUR COMPANY at Fictionwise:

Kindly remember that this means you sold one more copy than anyone else's title did sell. Don't expect high numbers as this is for our company, NOT for the whole site. It does, however, give you a "best selling author" to put behind your name.

The reader ratings are basted on what readers have responded to works that we sell, AFTER they have read them. Such responses require a bit of enthusiasm to begin with, as they mean the readers have taken the trouble to let the store know they like you.

Best Sellers for
Based on data gathered within the last 20 days.    Icon explanations
1. Mid-Length [45109 words]A Medic in Iraq: A Novel of the Iraq War by Cole Bolchoz [Mainstream]
2. Long [80691 words]Counting on You by Kris Condi [Romance/Mainstream]
3. Long [76594 words]Changeling Kill by Kathryn Flatt [Suspense/Thriller/Mainstream]
4. Long [78195 words]The Bounty of Palmetto Key by Shirley B. Ring [Romance/Suspense/Thriller]
5. Long [52663 words]StarWolf by Warren Graffeo [Science Fiction/Suspense/Thriller]
6. Long [78390 words]Lady Slippers for My Lady: A Coverton Mills Romance by Lynette Hall Hampton [Romance/Suspense/Thriller]
7. Short [4832 words]Take Your Daughter to Work Day by Marie Prato [Children's Nonfiction/Family/Relationships]
8. Very Short [2061 words]Calamity Jane by Martha Jane Cannary [History]
9. Long [63411 words]Greyfriar's Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson [Classic Literature]
10. Long [82178 words]Memoirs of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs [People]

(Any titles you already own will not be added.)
Highest Rated for
Based on highest average ratings by at least 5 readers.    Icon explanations
1. Long [66889 words]A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett [Classic Literature/Children's Fiction]
2. Long [121796 words]Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen [Classic Literature]
3. Long [61049 words]Minder's Oath [High Places Series: Book 2] by Nina M. Osier [Science Fiction/Mainstream]
4. Long [113180 words]Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini [Suspense/Thriller/Classic Literature]
5. Long [98906 words]Ghost Dancer by Arline Chase [Historical Fiction]
6. Long [57142 words]The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie [Mystery/Crime/Classic Literature]
7. Long [75310 words]The Secret Adversary [Tommy and Tuppence Book 1] by Agatha Christie [Classic Literature]
8. Long [68911 words]Dark Elf: [Book 2 of the Red Knight Chronicles] by Ray Morand [Science Fiction/Mainstream]
9. Long [70408 words]Slow Dancing with the Angel of Death [Hollis Ball and Sam Westcott Series Book 1] by Helen Chappel [Mystery/Crime/Humor]
10. Long [76981 words]Tortured Souls [Arbiter Series Book 2] by Matthew L. Schoonover [Horror]

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hush puppies -- recipe

Tonya Ramagos's Hush Puppies

2     cups yellow cornmeal
2     tbsp. Flour
1     tbsp. Salt
½     tsp. Baking powder
2     tbsp. Chopped or grated onion
2 ½     cups boiling water

Mix all ingredients, except boiling water. Slowly pour ingredients into rapidly boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until mush-like. Remove from heat.  Shape, while warm, into 2-inch balls or patties and place on waxed paper to cool. Brown in deep hot fat. May be made ahead and kept in refrigerator several hours before frying.

Contributed by Tonya Ramagos, author of the Stockland Firefighters Series.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Milk the Action -- Writing Tip

Question: About half my test readers "got" a piece of action, and half skimmed right over it. Short of saying, "Pay attention, this will be on the quiz!" how do I get their attention? I not only want them to notice, I want them to gloat about it. How can I make sure that skimmers don't miss this important bit of action?

Answer: It never hurts to "milk the action." That's a tip I picked up from Alice Orr who has written many books, worked as an editor at Walker Books, and had her own agency, and now is a well-known national speaker and teacher. Alice talks in her workshop about how Charlie Chaplin, as the little tramp, was going to have a fistfight with a very large bully. Now we know they are going to fight, and we're pretty certain who's going to win, so the temptation to skim on to the next scene might be almost irresistable. Now in the film we HAVE to watch, and they certainly make it worth our while--and the trick is to slow the action down. First Charlie takes off his hat and hangs it on the peg. The bully charges at him and Charlie holds up one hand, then he takes off his coat and hangs it up very carefully. The bully charges at him again and Charlie again signals for time and proceeds to very precisely roll up the sleeves of his shirt, displaying very skinny arms. It never hurts to keep the reader (or the filmgoer) sitting on the edge of the seat, wanting more. By the time the fight begins we are ALL ready for it!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Green Beans with Potatoes or Okra -- recipe

Mary Bible’s Green Beans with Potatoes or Okra.

   *Mary always believed in parboiling all green vegetables.  She said if you didn't you could get sick from botulism.

4    cups of green beans broke or cut into small pieces about one inch.  Parboiled for three minutes and rinsed in cold water.
3/4     teaspoon salt. 
3    strips of bacon or a small piece of ham.

Put beans and meat into a large pot and cover with hot water.  Stir salt in the beans and add bacon.  While beans and meat are cooking, peel and quarter two medium size potatoes.

Cook the beans until water is almost gone.  The last twenty minutes place the potatoes on top of beans and cook until the potatoes are done.  You can cook okra on top of beans the same way.  Good with cornbread.

Contributed by Dorothy Bible Kawaguchi, author of Her Name Was Mary...the story of a mountain woman’s struggle to raise her children alone, during the Great Depression.

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Books for June at Write Words, Inc.

New Books for June


by Tom Glaviano

When a hurricane rages on the coast, wreaking havoc on the lives of the people who live there, the most dangerous threat in the winds and crashing waves may not come from nature. Clayton Ackerman has made a life chasing the hurricanes, storms and blizzards that at times ravage virtually every part of the nation. While covering a tropical storm that was battering the Gulf Coast, Ackerman has an altercation with a young woman that turns deadly and opens his eyes to the potential he’d overlooked for years. People disappear during natural disasters, with little or no criminal investigation. He develops a plan to mine each storm for the young women he takes, venting the rage on them that has been building in him for years. When he takes Ashley Keen, the roommate of Kristen Martin, his intended target, during a hurricane on the North Carolina coast, he sets off a process that could mean the end for Kristen and her young deputy friend Tate Brooks.

978-1-61386-120-2 Suspense/thriller


by David Ravenwood

Ever since his mother died, David Sinclair, a tenth grader, can’t seem to finish anything he starts. After his alcoholic father gripes about all the money he’s blown on Karate lessons, tennis lessons, and several other things for his son that came to nothing, David decides to try out for the Heather Heights High School football team as a placekicker. Their star player, Glenn Samson, believes nothing matters but football. David has always admired Glenn and starts thinking the same way. Although he’s never kicked a football in his life, he sticks with it—lifting an old abandoned telephone pole lying on the ground on the huge lot behind his house over and over to gain strength, and practicing until his foot can boot the ball fifty yards. But being a football hero costs a precious price, threatening to ruin his football career before it even gets started. Can David recover from that cost? And will the lessons learned eventually carry him to a much sweeter victory that takes him beyond football?

978-1-61386-121-9 Young Adult

TERROR REIGNS (paperback)

by Eleanor Cross

Tabitha Black does not believe in the supernatural even though for decades past her ancestors were gifted with clairvoyancy. She does not believe in legends either, because she would rather deal with facts. When her parents give her and her five best friends the graduation gift of a lifetime, her beliefs begins to change. On the way home from her boyfriend’s party on the eve of departure for her family’s tropical private island, she has her first glimpse of terrifying events that are about to unfold when she has her first vision. She should have heeded the warning. Upon arrival on the island, she and her friends meet a sole inhabitant of the island, Anthony Baker, who isn’t as fortunate to have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. While camping on the island, Anthony tells a legend that the locals around the connecting islands tell their children about zombies who have roamed the islands in search for human flesh. No one believes the story however until a few of Tabitha’s friends disappear without a trace. Driven to find her friends, and desperate to find answers, Tabitha is in a race against time. What she wasn’t prepared to discover is who is behind this heinous crime, what started it all, and how deep the lies and deception run and from whom.

ISBN 978-1-61386-057-1 Paranormal, Thriller

A beautiful volume of New Age Poetry

by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

Like the sound of a steady rain on your roof, like the fresh smell of a new washed world, Bobbi Sinha-Morey's poems will lull you into dreaminess and awaken your soul.


ISBN978-1-61386-066-3 Poetry, New Age

Sample Poems


Memories of rain

stay with me long

after the graffiti has

dried on the fence

and faces of sidewalks.

My thoughts are

rekindled by a word

while I am inside the

coffee shop with my

scone gazing out at

the fence, and the

block comes alive

with skateboards and

bicyclists. Every now

and then one of them

stops with chalk or a

paintbrush. More art

and lingo are added.

A kid who is halfway

to being a hippy posts

himself outside the

coffee shop to begin

a mural, and no one

chases him away.

Like an artist he makes

the first strokes in red

while he sits there

patiently on his stool.


Words in invisible ink

appear when the paper

is held to the fire, but

the handwriting is so

tiny I wonder if the

sender likes me. I hold

a magnifying glass up

to the letter, exposing

the wavy lines, the

loops of calligraphy.

Analysis finds such

crooked lines and

inside every

indecipherable word

are secret thoughts.

I imagine it must

have been written in

haste with the late

shine of a red sun

streaming in.

Long, tapered fingers

must’ve held the pen

and, on the wall, the

shadow of a nimble