Friday, June 28, 2013

Catching UP!

News Flash: 


the first in the Nick Schaevers Mystery Series
Please do your fellow-author a favor, and share this message!

When Nick Schaevers takes the case, his client is already in prison, convicted of murdering a business partner. If ever there was a need for St. Jude--the Patron Saint of desperate situations--to intercede, this was it.
Print books that went to press this week: None

This is poet Bobbi Sinha-Morey at her best. In THE GLASS SWAN she demonstrates her wide range for mainstream poetry. In here the reader will be taken on a journey of loss, love, happiness found in daily lives, and separate lives. One will even find a little bit of dark verse in here, featuring her haunting, hard-hitting style.

E-books that went to press this week:

The Glass Swan by Bobbi Sinha-Morey

Artist Stefanie Durant never expected trouble on her return to Windsong Lake after her Uncle Hank was killed in a storm. When she arrives clues indicate that Hank had feared for his life. Was it an accident, or murder?

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

DABBLERS: Windsong Lake Series, Vol. 1.

THE MINISTER'S SHOES, by Celine Rose Mariotti

THE TIGER'S CUB, by Debi Emmons

WIFE: LOST AND FOUND, by Ludima Gus Burton

By listening and answering God's call to serve...consider being a lifeboat and keeping people afloat. Hold out a ladder to raise people up. We are all God has to serve Him on our planet. Do you believe that? Or are you thinking God can do everything Himself?

Work began or continued on the following this week:

LIVING THE CALL, by Barbara Garro

SOLID OIL, by Russell Hunter

SEER, TYRO, FIEND, by Kathryn Flatt

POWERS IN BALANCE: Red Knight Series, Vol. 6, by Ray Morand

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Bobbie Grant has no idea of how the world turns when she is hired as a waitress at Mama Trucker’s, a truckstop just off the interstate. Newly separated from her fickle musician husband, Bobbie vows to make better choices in her life.

Question from the e-mail: I had some readers complain that I had problems with point of view.  I always write in first person (saw your tip last week) so isn't that just the difference between I and She? My character, Shirley, always writes as if she is the one talking to the reader, not me.

Answer: Well, not always.  Basically, your viewpoint character is the one the reader lives inside. When writing fiction, it is the writer’s job to create a dream experience for the reader. To do that the writer must put the reader inside the main character.

The reader should be able to see, touch, taste, and feel whatever your character does (as long as it’s important to the story). And NEVER know what any other character thinks and feels except through Shirley's observation. That is viewpoint.  It is easy  to slip up and say, "John thought Shirley was nuts!" instead of "John looked at me as if he thought I was nuts!"

To speak of what John thinks, puts the reader INSIDE John's body, as only John knows what he is thinking.

Whether in first person (I) or third person (she) in your story, the reader should become Shirley for the time they are reading. The reader should live inside Shirley’s body, think with Shirley’s mind, and feel with Shirley’s heart.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grilled trout with Spicy Tomato Relish

As many know, before tuberculosis was conquered,
Saranak Lake was a health spa of world renoun. Many
well-known people went there for health care, including
Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 
and Mark Twain.

In the Depression Era tale above,  Gabriel Levine punches out a guy who is being rude to a dancer, then learns the next day the guy's name is Dutch Schultz, retreat seems in order. To avoid a gang war Lucky Luciano sends Gabe to Saranac Lake to recuperate from tuberculosis.

Grilled Lake Trout


1 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4-6 trout fillets, 6-8 ounces each


In a small saucepan over high heat, reduce the vinegar to 1/4 cup. In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar syrup with the mustard, honey, and ancho chile powder and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest 30 minutes.

Preheat grill. Brush the salmon with the glaze and grill 3 minutes on each side for medium. Serve with the spicy tomato relish.

Spicy Tomato Relish

2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons finely diced Spanish onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Spicy Tomato Relish: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

writing mistakes -- tip

A tip for a book whose author is almost
as much of a sticker for grammar as I am.
by Ann Nolder Heinz

****First Place Winner Dragonfly Awards Competition, Historical Fiction Category****

A desperate flight from brutal oppression—and everything to lose if it fails...

Two women, one white, the other black, find themselves trapped in bondage on a South Carolina plantation in 1850s America. Their unique friendship gives each the strength to endure until circumstances threaten not only to rip them apart but to place their very lives in jeopardy.

Question from the e-mail:  I asked a friend to read one of my manuscripts and she says there are too many grammar mistakes.  We went to the same college and I thought we both knew grammar....

Answer:  Well the stylebook used by American publishers varies greatly from what most of us are taught in English 101, where the most commonly used reference is Stunk & White, who were British. We are taught in class to write exposition, and fiction (even articles if they include quotes) are punctuated vastly different from what is recommended there.

We will say that many of the manuscripts we receive contain quite a number of mistakes, despite the efforts put forth in our submission guidelines to make things easier at both ends.  Here's some info on the most common ones we see.

Tips on How to Avoid Common Writing Problems
from the Publishers at

1.    Check homonyms and be sure they are used correctly. Problems often happen with words that sound alike, but are spelled differently, because spell check will not pick up on them. Watch out for words like hear and here, then and than, to (toward), too (more or also), and two (the number), there, their, and they’re, peak (the top of a mountain), peek (to sneak a look), and pique (a fit of anger), zinc and sink, and check them carefully.

2.    Double check your transitions to be sure the reader is oriented. A transition is when you move the reader from one place to another, or one scene to another, or one time to another–usually the opening sentence in a block of copy or scene. A good transition, like the lead in a newspaper or magazine article, should answer the questions, Who? Where? and When?

3.    Re dialogue and dialogue punctuation: Make sure characters don’t waste time on small talk. Punctuate dialogue correctly. Never let two characters talk in the same paragraph. Commas and other punctuation go inside the quotes. And everything a person says at one time (even if they change the subject) goes in the same paragraph.

4.    Indicate the speech tags as part of the whole sentences in dialogue.  When a quote is followed by a “speechtag” as in, ‘David explained.’– the tag is still part of the SAME sentence and so the end of the dialogue speech is connected with a comma (NOT a period), and then a close quote. The comma is there to show that the “said” is part of the same sentence. Dialogue quotes should not end in period when there is a speechtag. Tags like “Responds David”, or “Explains Mary” should never be capitalized as they are not a new sentence. On the other hand, if David MOVES, instead of speaks, the action tag will make the reader assume he is the speaker, but it requires a whole new sentence...

5.    Keep speechtags simple. Use “said” most of the time. Never use animal sounds such as ‘he barked’ unless your character is a dog or a drill sergeant. Here's a neat little technique–if you show a character in action within the same paragraph as their speech, the reader will assume the character who moved was also the one who spoke. This little trick can get rid of a lot of repetitive language (the saids), and it forces you to insert an image. If you want to show another character's reaction to the speech, change paragraphs. Treat the movement as if it were a dialogue reply. Showing reactions is a good way to break up long, long, speeches, even if the other character doesn't say anything...

6.     Write in scenes or structured parts and be sure each part makes a point. In fiction, the turning point is the place where something important changes forever. In non-fiction, it’s where you draw a conclusion. In either case, scenes or parts should always have a point.

     Narrate scenes or parts  with no point. They always tell us in the beginning to write in scenes and  "show don't tell" and narration is "telling." But you can't show everything. So narrate the mundane, or the action in scenes that don’t have a point. Most writing texts don't get into how to do narration – in fact they warn against it. But narration has an important place in any work.
7.     Be aware of scene structure and hooks.  Every scene has the same structure.  Here it is:
    1. Transition, preferably with hook. (Who? When? Where?)
    2. Rising action and dialogue
    3. Turning point of the scene (the place where something important CHANGES FOREVER)
        (if there's no point, the scene goes, no matter how well written)
     4. End/resolution of the scene, preferably with another hook. Usually when we come to the end of a scene,

    * * *

     we indicate it with the double line break, at least two extra lines of "white space"  and the three stars.

8.     Watch capitalization. Proper nouns get capitals, pronouns do not. But that can be confusing sometimes. For instance, Mom or Dad gets a cap when used as a proper noun, but no cap when used as a pronoun. As in, “My mom said Dad was late coming home.” My before mom, makes it a pronoun, but Dad is used as a proper noun. Goes against all those “be consistent” rules we know.

9.     There are usually some problems too, with punctuation, especially with apostrophes and possessives. Apostrophes are used in contractions, that is a shortened version of two words, but never in abbreviations. Can’t instead of can not, it’s for it is (the possessive form of “it” never takes an apostrophe), and didn’t instead of did not. But CDs or 1860s wouldn’t take an apostrophe. 

Apostrophes (usually apostrophe followed by an s) are used, for possessive clauses. Mandy’s house. Tammy’s CDs. Do you see what I mean? Possessive forms of proper names take an apostrophe s even if they already end in s, such as Silas’s car. But here in the US, plural nouns and pronouns get the apostrophe without the s in the plural form. I visited Mandy’s parents’ house. Plural form of proper names get an “es” rather than a plain s, and no apostrophe. It's different in Brittain, but in the US, both the following are correct: “The Williams’ car,” for possessive, and “The Williamses came to dinner,” for plural. I know, confusing isn’t it?

10.     You should never quote from any copyrighted material directly without permission in writing from the publisher. And most of them will want to be paid. It’s okay to quote from Shakespeare or older editions of the Bible, because that material is in the Public Domain. But if the copyright is still active, as it is on The New Living Bible, or instance, that’s not okay to quote from. It’s okay to paraphrase song lyrics, to quote song titles, or book titles, to mention celebrities by name, but not to copy directly from any work. So you can name your character Sherlock Holmes or Scarlett O’Hara, if you want. Or you can have Kris Kristofferson singing“Bobby McGee,” or singing “about being broke and hitching rides in Baton Rouge.” But you canNOT have Kris sing, “Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headed for the train...”

11.     Be careful of  pronouns. The rule is a pronoun always refers to the preceding noun. But the important thing is not to confuse the reader. So if two people are present, a man and a woman and the name Mary is followed by “he” — that’s clear. But if the scene has two women and the “her” after Mary refers to the other woman, then the proper name should be used to avoid confusion.

12.     Always vary the language as much as you can. Guard against using the same word or phrase too close together. We all get "stuck" on a phrase from time to time, and this kind of problem crops up for every writer. Keep an eye, too, on how often required repetitive language such as pronouns and "said"s crop up. If you ever work in first person, look out for the "I"s. Try to keep the language as fresh as possible by paring those things down during your "self-editing" process.

We think words should be like soldiers doing drill. Each is necessary, each must march in line, in order for the formation to be complete. None should be out of step, or draw undue attention to itself, lest the formation (and the concentration of the reader) be broken. Try always to find just the right word. Avoid $40 words or thesaurus choices unless you look them up and are sure the actual definitions apply.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cheese Balls from Outter Space

Teddy finds himself a suspect in a triple homicide and the second time he uses his invention he receives the greatest shock of his life: A chance to make it or break it on another planet, in another galaxy, with other humans, and the Omniscients.

Cheese Balls from Outer Space


2 (8 ounce) bricks Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup chunky bleu cheese salad dressing
1 1/2-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons onion salt
1 clove mashed fresh garlic (or more for garlic lovers)
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce  
1 tablespoon crumbled crisp cooked bacon


2/3 cup chopped walnuts

WHIP all of the BASIC RECIPE ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.

DIVIDE cheese mixture in half; DUMP each cheese portion individually onto a sheet waxed paper; WRAP cheese balls completely using the waxed paper, twisting the tops to seal. 

FORM cheese mixture in waxed paper into ball shapes. 

PLACE into freezer until firm yet not frozen. 
Unwrap and roll firm, but unfrozen ball in walnut garnish.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Catching UP!

Divorced civil engineer Hannah McPherson is making a new life for herself in a small Illinois town where she has been appointed as village engineer. She manages to stay aloof from local politics until a sinister cabal begins to meddle in the decision to bring a controversial entertainment complex to the village. As dissension mounts, murder and mayhem stalk the little town with Hannah at the center of it all. She must use her unique knowledge and skills to thwart a conspiracy that imperils not only her own life but everything and everyone she holds dear.

News Flash

Just a reminder that EPIC, , is sponsoring it's annual E-book contest and Entries are due right now.  If you had a book published in e-book format between  June 1, 2012 and May 30, 2012, it is eligible to enter. The entry period is June 1 through July 15.

They also have the Ariana Cover Award competition going on.  Original art work for eBooks published between June 1 and May 31 are eligible. Entry period is the same. 

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

EXTREME INFLUENCE: Fox River Valley Series, Book 4, by Ann  Nolder Heinz

A collection of short stories that addresses the
times of a woman's life.

Galleys that went out, or went out again, this week:
TIME, by Gianni DeVincent Hayes

WIFE LOST AND FOUND, by Ludima Burton

Work began or continued on the following this week:

THE TIGER'S  CUB: Sequel to Night of the Tiger, by Debi Emmons

LIVING THE CALL, by Barbara Garro

SOLID OIL, by Russell Hunter

SEER, TYRO, FIEND, by Kathryn Flatt

Sorry to be a day late with this, but have been  busy, busy, busy....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Difference between tension and suspense -- writing tip

Survey Team Leader Nora Falconi's closest friend, anthropologist Marcus Cranshaw, has disappeared on Class M Planet No. 8055. Nora must find and rescue him before a long-awaited treaty takes effect, and 8055 becomes part of Ast territory.

Question from my e-mail:  What is the difference between Tension and Suspense in writing? Is there any? I've heard the terms used interchangably and nobody can give me much of a definition of either of them.

Answer:  Tension is how much the reader care's about your characters. If the reader doesn't like your characters, enjoy spending time with them, or care what happens to them, that's what editors call, "Lacks Tension."  Believe me. I've had enough return letters to prove it.

Suspense: is how much readers care what will happen next?  If you keep them guessing, that's suspense.

Having defined both terms let me give you an exaggerated example: 

Your detective, Sam Shovel, a hard-drinking, insensitive, biggoted lout, is being held at gunpoint by an equally nefarious antagonist. Whether he gets shot or not is a plot turning point. We are in suspense about whether that will happen. AND, Whatever happens, everything will be different afterwards. Remember, a turning-point is a place in your story where something changes forever.

Whether the reader cares if he gets shot? That's tension....

Now suppose Sam is working for Tess Trueheart, and (for an exorbitant fee) is trying to find evidence that will prove her innocent of killing the man who sold her an unsafe used car, raped her sister, and kicked her dog. Tess is a teacher in a school for the blind, takes care of her invalid mother, and helps little old ladies across the street. If Sam is shot, Tess will be found guilty for we care now whether Sam gets killed?

Do you see how a reader's involvement with the character can affect tension?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Katy’s investment in a rental property pays an unexpected dividend when she catches the eye of the artist upstairs. They have little in common, but are they different like oil and water. Or maybe like match and gunpowder?

Firebird Chicken and Pasta

1/3 cup chile rub (ancho chile powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, sugar and salt)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

Roux (Whisk 2 Tbsp flour with 1/2 cup of chicken stock to make a paste)

1 1/2 cups asiago cheese, grated

3 tbsp basil, roughly chopped

2 lbs penne pasta

4 chicken breasts, grilled

4 slices apple wood-smoked bacon, cooked

3 cups chile asiago cream sauce (see recipe)

3 tbsp green onions, chopped

1 large fresh tomato, diced


Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook
about 5-7 minutes.  Add the chili rub.  Mix well. 
Add the wine and cook on medium / high until reduced by half.  Add the chicken stock
(the half cup that is left after you made the roux) and bring to a simmer. 
Add the heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the roux ,  asiago cheese and basil. 
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. ( I seasoned my chicken with a little bit of the chili rub).
Cook on medium high. Set aside .  Cook the bacon, set aside.
Cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking dice the green onion and tomato, chop the cooked bacon, and slice the chicken.
Drain the pasta.  Place it back in a big pot.  Add the cream sauce over the pasta and stir well.  Add in the green onions, bacon, tomato and stir.   Serve with a little parsley or basil on top.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Arbiter Series, Vol. 1 By Matthew L. Schoonover 
First in the Arbiter Series
Agustus Pilot, a detective assigned to Special Services, is not a new kid on the block. 
In fact, he’s an Arbiter, a supernatural being assigned to solve any paradox 
between God and Satan for the disposition of contested souls.

Question from the e-mail:  A bunch of us beginner writers meet at the library once a week to read and critique each other's work.  Someone commented that I need to "liven up" my writing and said I use too many gerunds. Any idea what she means?

Answer: A gerund is, ususally, a word ending in "ing."  Many writers make it a rule to avoid gerunds and past participles just as they do adverbs. Adverbs have been called "lasy" writing, but it is the tone gerunds give to a work that makes them objectionable.

Too many "ing" words can give your prose a whiny sound that can become wearing to the reader on a subconscious level. Using verb participles, such as "was going" instead of "went" can keep your verbs in a passive voice. Verbs are action words and the more action, the better for "livlier prose."  

Another thing that produces boredom in a reader on a subconscious level, is the use of too many prepositional phrases.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nuts, Screws, Washers and Bolts -- recipe

The fast-moving story story tells how a child, becomes a man in a world of lies, deceit and betrayal, and is still able to preserve his soul.

Nuts, Screws, Washers and Bolts -- recipe


Serves: 36




Units: US | Metric

1 (16 ounce) can mixed nuts (or larger)
1 (14 ounce) box Cheerios toasted oat cereal
1 (14 ounce) box shredded wheat cereal
1 box pretzel (any size)
1 (14 ounce) box cheese nips
2 cups raisins, boiled
1 lb unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Angostura low-sodium worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon celery salt


1 Melt the butter and add the Worcestershire sauce and spices.

2 Pour over the other ingredients in a large roasting pan.

3 Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

4 After 1 hour, turn the oven off and leave the roasting pan in the oven for 2 more hours.

5 Store in airtight containers (tool chests DO NOT qualify!).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Catching UP!

Young Attorney Brooke Wheeler searches for a truth 
buried under the surface and suppressed 
by long held secrets.

Print books that went to press, or back to press this week:

E-books that went to press, or back to press this week:

BURIED TRUTH, by Gunder Kaesdorf

A DESIRE PATH, by Jan Shapin

There is a bloody war being waged between the mageruled
Kingdom of Ludnikan led by the dark elf armies of
the Nameless King against the elven Kingdom

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

POWERS IN BALANCE: Red Knight Chronices, Vol. 6, by Ray Morand


DABBLERS: Windsong Lake Series, Vol. 1, by Kathryn Flatt

WIFE LOST AND FOUND, by Ludima Burton

A collection of short stories that addresses the
times of a woman's life.

Work began or continued on the following this week:

TIME by Gianni DeVincenti Hayes

THE TIGER'S  CUB, by Debi Emmons

LIVING THE CALL, by Barbara Garro

SEER, TYRO, FIEND, by Kathryn Flatt

MINISTER'S SHOES, by Celine Rose Mariotti

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Person: Writing tip

    Living in a small California town in the mid-1960s, Rebecca Gallagher and Riley Parker are two young playmates, neighbors, and best friends when they first see a mysterious light glowing from a dark grove within their neighborhood. More than a decade later, nearly every other factor in their lives has changed, and it seems the only things that have remained true are their unfaltering trust in each other and the existence of that same hidden light.

Question from the E-mail: Someone said my manuscript had mistakes in "person."  Any idea what that means?

Answer:  Person is a grammar term defining how the character is addressed.    There are three kinds of “person” as far as writing is concerned.

    First Person, I narrator. We are INSIDE the “I” character and see and hear (and taste and feel) whatever the “I” character does.
    Second Person, writing a letter, or addressing the reader directly as “you.” Second person is usually regarded as a mistake unless it IS a letter.

    Third Person, the viewpoint character is “he” or “she”, or the given name, never “I” unless they are speaking, but the reader is still inside that character’s body, thinks with that character’s mind, and feels with that character’s heart.

Once you have established person, you should not switch from one to the other within the same story.  Many times an author will decide to change from a third person to an "I" narrator in hopes of finding more reader involvement. When this happens, any he, or she that refers to the main character and still remains, can be a mistake in person.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Songbird Cake -- recipe

Alex Masters has given up prostitution, lives on the "right" side of town, 
has a respectable job and is about to launch a singing career on the side. 
While making a deposit for her employer at Bay City Central, 
 her past catches up with her in the time it takes 
a bank robber's bullet to pierce her arm.

 Songbird Cake Recipe


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 3 large eggs, beaten $
  • 1 cup vegetable oil $
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans 
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • Cream Cheese Frosting 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
  2. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Denial -- writing tip

Who could resist an antebellum mansion by such a name? 
Not Ariel. She's there to write the family history for her great-aunt. 
Elderly Aunt Belle still runs the place without electricity, 
determined to keep it exactly as it was before 
"The War of Northern Aggression."

Question from the e-Mail:  I am writing some short stories based on memories of my childhood, and my sister  just argues with me, then says, "That's not the way it happened!"  Some of my childhood was quite painful and there are not words enough to say how badly her actions hurt, even now.

Answer: No two people ever remember anything the same way.  If your memories differ, go with your own instinct and write what you want.  Writing can be one way to work through past pain, as most of us know. Either don't let your sister read them, or if she mentions the ones she read before, just tell her to go and write her own version.

I remember talking with my mother as I cared for her during her last illness. She remembered several incidents from my  childhood and listening to them from her perspective I could (at last) understand what drove some of her decisions. But my own perception of those past events was very different from hers. 

Things that “weren’t important” to her, were deeply painful to me. I allowed the bitterness and pain to leave me, but not the understanding of her motivation. That wasn’t always easy to do. 

There’s no use reliving the pain or arguing with other family members about events that can’t be changed now. I am sure, looking back, if she had seen more clearly, she might have acted differently. I know she did the best she could.

Whatever you choose to write, you have to write your own story, you own way. No one can tell your truth, but you.

I'll mention one other thing--a writer's technique--called "denial" because it is based on a universal truth that stems from human nature.  When you want your reader to believe in something impossible -- ghosts, aliens, grumpkins -- have another character deny it. The more they deny  it, the more they scoff, the more your reader will secretly believe in your premise. Since that is a universal truth, it could be possible that your sister's denials are her own subconscious path to acceptance.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Maple Syrup Pudding -- recipe

First in the Series: Canadian doctor and amateur genealogist Anne McPhail
finds a murdered woman on the floor of the library in Culver's Mill's,
a small town in Vermont. 

 And Congratulations to Virginia Winters, whose  short story, "The Drawing," placed third in the Gulf Coast Writers Association "Let's Write" contest. The contest has been going for 25 years! 

Maple Syrup Pudding

Original recipe makes 1 - 8 inch square pan  
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Vermont maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer until soft and creamy, at least 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the butter mixture a little at a time, alternating with the maple syrup and milk. Just mix enough to moisten. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. The maple syrup will sink to the bottom, and the top should be lightly browned. Serve warm.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Catching UP!


Since March Shelley has concentrated all her time on finding new sales outlets for all of us. She's entering all our titles for redistribution through SmashWords. She started with the newer ones, as we will have to reformat the older e-book files so they will be acceptible at SW.  Some of you will see your books for sale there already. Others will be added, so don't despair if you're not there yet. .

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

WITHOUT MOM, by David Ravenwood

EXTREME INFLUENCE: Fox River Valley series, Vol. 4

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

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

PARADOX, by Terry L. White

BURIED TRUTH, by Gunter Kaesdorf



I, THE SPARROW, by Marjorie Doughty

CHANGELING KILL: Jack Watson Series, Vol. 2, by Kathryn Flatt

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

MINISTER'S SHOES, by Celine Rose Mariotti

Work continued or began on the following:

THE TIGER'S CUB: Sequel to Night of the Tiger, by Debi Emmons
   Teresanna's son is all grown up, and stepping out on his own.

SOLID OIL by Russell Hunter
   Intrigue and Lithium mining go hand in hand in this Australian thriller.

WIFE, LOST AND FOUND, by Ludima Gus Burton
   How do you find a missing wife?

   Anna Mae is back in this prequel to A DESIRE PATH.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tyger Prawns -- recipe

Brenda Finnegan and her animal-trainer boyfriend Bob Zebrinski
witness a kidnapping. Brenda decides she must do what she can to find 
the people behind the crime while her boyfriend
and his "cat" decide to help.

Tyger Prawns

Number of Servings: 2


    Garlic, 5 cloves crushed
    Red Chilli Pepper, 1 pepper deseeded and finely chopped
    Raw Tiger Prawns, 200 gram(s)
    Sherry, dry, 1 tbsp
    Lime Juice, 1 lime
    Beans, french, 75 grams chopped into 1cm lengths
    Sea Salt, 1 pinch
    Dried Chilli flakes, pinch
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1.5 tbsp


Heat wok on high heat, add the oil. Add the garlic and chopped chilli and stir fry for a few seconds, then add the prawns, sherry, lime juice and stir fry until the prawns start to turn pink.

Add the french beans and mix together. When the prawns have all turned pink, season with the sea salt and chilli flakes and serve immediately.

Number of Servings: 2

This recipe works well with
peeled and de-veined Jumbo Shrimp, too.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Trouble with story moving too slow--writing tip

Finlay was the recognized heir to the throne of eleventh century
 Alba, then the king began a plot to install his grandson, Duncan. 

Question: A friend keeps saying my books "move too slow."  I have to tell the story, don't I? So how can I make things move quicker? 

Answer:  Technically this is known as the "pace" of the story.  When a story moves too slowly, the reader can become impatient. Problems with pace usually come if there are too many plot elements (more than three major obstacles), if the dialogue strays from the point, or if there is too much explanation of action.

When I first started to write I had a lot of problems trusting the reader to understand what I had meant. I would explain what I meant time and again.  It took a long time, before I learned to leave those explanations out. But I did learn to search my ms. for words like "and" and "because" and "to" and "So" and to eliminate the clause they opened (the explanations) unless they offered some New information.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

South Seas Skillet Recipe

Grab your compass and come along with the crew of the motor ketch the Lady Dance. Be with them as they unravel the mystery of the lost continent of MU for a great adventure.

 South Seas Skillet Recipe


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Fresh orange slices
  • Hot cooked rice


  • In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, broth, raisins, soy sauce and ginger; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with almonds and orange slices. Serve over rice. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Monday, June 3, 2013

POD and Printing Costs

The stories in this book will introduce you to a side of police work you’ve never seen,
and a group of heroes you’ve never met.

QUESTION: How many free copies of my book do I get? My friends are all asking for freebies and the book isn't even published yet. What do I tell them?

ANSWER: It may vary from publisher to publisher, but if you are a Write Words Inc. author, you will get one free proof copy.  And I have to pay for printing that. No publisher who chooses POD (Print on Demand), where no book is printed until after it is sold, can afford to give away any copies.

Print on Demand vs. Mass Printing

People do believe (because for mass market publishers, it's true) that authors get some free copies to pass out to their friends. Or they can buy them very cheaply. If you publish with a POD publisher, you might want to begin letting friends know right away that you will have to personally pay for every copy and that if they want an autographed copy, you will get one for them, but it cannot be a gift.

Mass market publishers print 6 to 60 thousand copies, on the cheapest paper they can find,  and sit them in a warehouse.  Because it is cheaper to print in high number they can print copies for as little as 50 cents and sell them for $9.99.  With POD publishers, the books are printed One At a Time and the average cost of printing ONE copy is around $5. On the other hand, every copy is the same as a hardcover book in size and paper quality, except for the soft cover.  They are not printed on pulp paper. These books are known as "trade paperbacks." People in the business expect them to be priced higher, and many mass market publishers are using POD technology to keep popular series books in print. This works well, because there is no inventory to be taxed as no book is created until after it is sold.

With the mass-market system, a bookstore is used to ordering 20 books if they think they might sell 10, getting them all on credit, and not paying anyone a cent, unless the books are actually sold. With mass market books, if they are not sold when inventory time comes around, they are "returned" to avoid paying any inventory tax.  But nobody actually pays freight to send all those returns back to the publishers. They just rip the covers off and send the books to the landfill.

The change that is going on in the book industry right now is akin to the one when Guttenburg came along with movable type.  None of us really knows what's going to happen, but I'll share my best guesses with you.

Technology and Economics both play into this as well, because of the changing marketplace. Deep inroads have been made by the e-book markets, but some people will never settle for less than paper. To them it is holy.  The whole book industry as we have known it, operated by printing many books cheaply and selling them on credit to stores and if the store doesn't sell it it goes in the trash. That is a wasteful system, it's not worth cutting the trees down for, and I believe it is on the way out. It operates on credit, prints tens of thousands of books that go unsold, and fill up landfills every year.  Few titles get selected for publication every year, fewer still sell well.

Ten years ago nobody knew what an e-book was.  Every publisher had an A list -- authors they advertized and promoted and what they referred to as "Mid-list" books that weren't expected to do as well and so were not widely promoted.  Today there ARE no mid-list books unless they are POD.

Today in some larger stores, you can request your book at the "printing station." the store will  buy the file from the publishers, pay us by electronic transfer, print the book on a machine that looks like an over-sized copier, while you have a cappucino, and you can take it home with you when you leave. I know this, because some of my authors are already selling their books that way. Yet today Most People have no idea this technology exists.

Today, most of us don't know the difference between a POD book and a mass market paperback.  But most of us DO at least know what an e-book is, that there are many brands and many of us older folks can't decide whether we'd like reading on a machine. Kids who grew up with Nintendo will not worry about being distanced by the electronics. An e-book is to them a "natural" book.

Over the next 15 to 20 years, everything we know about the book industry will change. Mass market printing will become less and less frequent. In the past 10 years the number of big publishers in this country have gone form more than 30 to 6 and the number of mass-market publishers will continue to shrink. This will affect the people who warehouse the books, the book distributors and salesmen, the freight carriers, and so on. They tell everyone, "POD will never catch on. Ridiculous to print one book at a time!"

Yet more and more small publishers are going this route simply to save on inventory taxes.  The advantage to authors is that your book doesn't drop out of print on day 364. There's no inventory util the book is actually printed.

It's my best guess that over the next few years, large chain bookstores that are widely stocked with Ready to Sell titles will become a thing of the past. Walk in, look at the thousands of books on display, buy maybe one. Barnes & Noble already has their store chain for sale. Others have gone out of business.

Instead there will be a "printing station" in every mall. It just doesn't make sense to print hundreds of thousands of books that will be thrown away if they go unsold for 364 days (the day before a 15% inventory tax kicks in). Fifteen percent is the usual margin for profit in a publishing company. It is cheaper for a big publisher just to throw away what's there and print more.

In that next 20 to 30 years, I believe that Paper Books will almost become a thing of the past, and they will become very expensive to own. People will become choosier about the titles they actually buy. Bus some folks will always want paper. And those who buy paperback books will get a product that will hold up well over the years. Acid-free paper does not deteriorate like pulp.

Collectors, too, should be aware. Hold on to those first editions.

Best, Arline Chase,
Publisher Write Words, Inc.