Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Good Read and a writing tip

It has been theorized that humans use only about ten percent of the power of their minds. Meet Braden, an incredibly gifted young man who has learned to tap into the other ninety percent. Pursued by a powerful group of men, Braden finds that he must rely on his amazing skills in order to stay alive.

 Question: Recently you posted rules for writing from Steven King. Do you have such a list yourself?

Answer: Actually I do, though my list is for short fiction, not for books. Although most of them apply to books as well as stories.

 Rules for Short Fiction

     1. A short story should be short. The longer your story is the more difficult it will be to place.

     2. A short story should be fast-paced and never boring. A short story needs to move quickly and take place in a short length of time.

     3. A short story should be written in scenes and all scenes, if at all possible, should be from a single character’s  viewpoint.

     4. A story plot should contain an Objective (the main character’s goal), Obstacles that stand in the main character’s way, and a clearly defined Outcome, that results from the character's actions (not from coincidence).

     5. A short story is about a main character who wants something and whether they get it or not. If there’s no problem, there’s no story.  Some central problem should face the central character and how the main character solves that problem is what the story is about.

     6. A short story should have a theme, some universal truth that becomes the central theme of the short story.

     7. The Protagonist (main character) should be someone whose motives the reader will understand, whose mistakes the reader will forgive, and whom the reader will identify with and root for.

     8. Action and dialogue should rise as the story progresses. Scenes should build upon one another to increase the reader’s involvement. Action should be believable. Dialogue should stay on the point.

     9. A short story should have a bleak moment, just before the crisis, when it looks as if the main character will never get what he or she wants.

     10. The crisis should be realistic and the reader should be experiencing both tension and suspense as to the outcome.

     11. The resolution should explain everything, and tie up all the loose ends. It should be satisfying to the reader, even if it is not a “happy ending.”

     12. Dialogue in a short story should always move forward and be about the point of the scene. Small talk has no place in dialogue.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Free Book and a Recipe

Last Chance
Free this MONTH!
Go to 
and order as usual.
You will not be charged. 
by Arline Chase

In 1912 a woman plans to leave her husband for a charming neer-do-well, while her spinster sister and 12-year-old daughter conspire to frustrate her intentions. When she leaves to meet the Other Man on the steamboat, TALBOT, her whole family shows up as well, to take a hand in the action.

Steamboat Fish Stew


Original recipe makes 8 servings 


1. Over low heat, saute diced onion and pepper in butter in a skillet until they begin to cook. Do NOT brown.

2. Slice fish and run tomatoes through your blender on liquify, place in a stock pot. 

3. Add sauted onion, pepper, butter mixture to stock pot and mix. Add 1 bay leaf and water to cover.

4 Cook on medium heat for 15 -20 minutes. Add potatoes. Cook on medium heat until potatoes get soft. 

Taste and Add salt to soup mixture and stir. You will need some. How much depends on the kind of fish and whether it originates in salt water.

Fresh grind a dash of pepper over each bowl when served.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Good Read and a Namely writing tip

An escaped convict finds refuge as a hired hand on a small farm. But the farm belongs to a deputy sheriff.

In this dark tale everybody has an agenda, the fugitive, the sheriff, the sheriff’s wife and everybody else in the small town of Ashley.

Things in Ashley have to come to a head...and they do. In a terrible way!

Question from the e-mail: When I wrote my book, I used the names of real people I knew, just for fun. Everyone who has read it laughed a lot, but a couple complained that they might not find it funny after all, and someone else said, "Seriously, you can't name your hero after Chauncey! It's a twit name. Now I know him and I like him, but it's still a twit name." I'm pretty sure you'll tell me to change the names, but why does he think so poorly of Chauncey?

Answer: Naming characters can be tricky.  And, like your friend, I believe readers feel this subconsciously, as well. There have been a great many twits named Chauncey in other books, and when they come across it, readers have come to expect an element of twittiness.

Tom Sawyer's repulsive, tattletaling, younger brother was named Sidney. I named my younger son that, as Sidney is an old Chase family name. By third grade he was called Squid by everyone, inclujding teachers, who wanted his attention. It's changed by now, but if you want him to look around don't add the NEY to Sid.

Let's make up a character. Call her Christina. An old-fashioned name, or an ethnic name. If she's Christina Lawrence, her folks are old-fashioned (unless this is a period piece). If she's Christina DiNapoli, she's a far different person from Christina Lawrence. Okay, so far? So what do we do with Christina, whatever her last name is? Let's make her a high school student in New Jersey. Do her friends call her Chris? If so, she's probably something of a tomboy, may be interested in athletics or even cars. Whatever she does, she'll be competent and efficient. Chrissy, however is only interested in clothes and boys, though she's pretty niave about both. Christy may write poetry, or perhaps work on the school newspaper. Tina, well Tina likes to have a good time.

It's true. We tend to adapt names to the people we know and the names and nicknames we all choose can tell us a lot about people and characters. In our society today we do this all the time. I shuddered when an old highschool friend, Marge Percy, named her firstborn son "Percy." Now this being that bastion of Elizabethan English tradition called the Delmarva Peninsula, women often give their oldest sons their maiden names as first names. I went to school with both  James Goldsborough and Goldsborough James.

Marge's family had both old blood and old money, so it was expected of her. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of Sir Percy Blakeney (or perhaps because of him) "Percy" signifies "wimp" to many people today. But when he was learning to talk the kid couldn't say Percy. He said, "Berky" and that got construed to Bucky and later Buck. Buck graduated at the top of his class, went to the Naval Academy and flies jets for a living. I wonder what Percy would have done.

Never use the real names of people, even if they say you can. That can be touchy. Very touchy, if family members will be reading your stories. I've heard people say, "If my family doesn't like what I write about them, let them write their own stories." I've heard others -- John Irving among them -- deny their fiction has any basis in reality at all. After Irving wrote The World According to Garp, an interviewer pointed out to him that Garp's mother, like his own, was a nurse in a private school, a single parent, a women's rights advocate who was extremely politically active. He then asked if Garp's mother was based on Irving's own well-known, parent.

"Obviously not," Irving replied. "Garp's mother is dead. Mine's alive."

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Good Read and a Recipe

Ruth Duchamp leaves New York in order to find a way to come to terms with a future she fears. She and her husband Alex married not so much in haste as with too little self-knowledge. Attractive without being conventionally pretty, red-haired Ruth is a product of the rock-bound coast of Maine with all that implies and a reserved and practical upbringing.

Even with a winter like the one past.
Spring WILL come!
Oven-Roasted Asparagus


Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings

  • PREP
    10 mins
  • COOK
    15 mins
    25 mins


  1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss to coat the spears, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper. Arrange the asparagus onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Catching UP!

Books that went to press or went back to press this week:
LAINEE DELANEY: BATHING BEAUTIES: Lainey Delaney Series, Vol.2, by Frances Langley

   Lainee Delaney is back, off for the summer and lying about the pool, just taking it easy, then, as you might expect, if you read Langley's  first book...A Mystery Happens!!! 

THE BOY WHO COULD STOP TIME: Ancient Magic Book Series, Vol. 1, by Evelyn Franklin Moll.
   After strange feelings surround Josh Sparkins when he hears an old time adage, he figures out he has the ability to stop time. This exciting ability offers Josh opportunities for adventure,
fun, and even revenge. However, when he realizes he ages at an accelerated pace when he
stops time, he fears he may be heading for his final days...

THEN CAME HEAVEN, by Gilda Arruda

   Then Came Heaven is a source of inspiration and guidance; it serves as a loving example of what it means to live no matter where the truth may lead you or how difficult it may be. It is also a lesson on the patience of change. Each page is the embodiment of hope, trust, knowledge, and self-acceptance
to develop a sense of worth within ourselves.

LOST SPIRIT: A Hannah Griswold Mystery, Vol. 2, by Robert Kanehl.
   In her second adventure, Hannah Griswold begins to experience ghostly visitations once more. The ones she had back in 8th Grade had nearly destroyed her. Now it’s happening again.
   Worse, Nathan, her best friend’s boy friend, who had once teased Hannah unmercifully, is also experiencing the ghostly presence. As they study local Civil War History and learn more about a troop of Union Soldiers who had enlisted in their home town— more and more strange events begin to happen.

Galleys that went out, or went out again this week:
STATION 1260 -- 1270 SQUAD 1260, Volunteer Series, Vol. 3 by Tom Ward
   Volunteer firefighting paramedic Robert J. Doyle and his crew are back again. He is still struggling with his inner demons, the result of an incident in war-torn Lebanon, when he ordered the destruction of a complete village. As he walked through the carnage, Doyle vowed one day to pay for the loss of so many innocent lives.

WANTED: ROYAL PRINCESS OF CONVENIENCE, Royal Hearts of Mondoverde Series, Vol 2, by Anna Dynowski.
   Prince Cristiano, the “spare” prince, does not carry the firstborn’s pressure of the HSH title and legacy that goes with it, but he still works diligently in the Cabinet of the Prince as the Minister of Finance, Tourism and Sports while maintaining a tireless schedule of royal social appearances. Tall, dark, handsome, and a prince, he’s considered by the female population of Mondoverde to be quite the catch. But can he find a woman who doesn’t care about his title or position and who will appreciate the man underneath?

Work began or continued on the following books:

BOOTS and the BRANCH BOYS  by Marjorie K. Doughty   

   The Branch Boys served in WW II, then returned to maryland to renew their friendship with Boots, a young woman who finds them changed irretrievable.  The man she loved is no longer the same and she marries someone else but finds his lifestyle much different than she expected and less joyful than she had hoped.
IRIS DESTINY, Iris Series, vol. 1, by Daniel Carr
   Colin Craft is an average kid in the ninth grade. With his normal life, he has a somewhat normal love; a hidden love. Jessica Waters...
   Perfect was the only way to describe her. Colin is her math tutor, and that one hour each day of his life is the best. However one day, his one hour gets better when he is dared to kiss her. At the touch of their lips, something happens. Looking into her eyes, Colin realizes a unique design... His design!

 BLEEDING HEARTS: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 1
   Winner of the Stonewall Society's 2002 Pride in the Arts Literary Award in the Whodunit Category!

REAP THE WHIRLWIND: Killian Kendall Mystery Series, Vol. 2,  by Josh Aterovis.
   Suicide, or murder? That's the question in the second Killian Kendall mystery. Will Smith suspects murder when an old childhood pal drowns, and asks his friend Killian for help in solving the mystery.

TRUTH OF YESTERDAY,  by Josh Aterovis

ALL LOST THINGS, by Josh Aterovis

CHANGE  OF WORLDS, by Josh Aterovis
REVEREND CASTLE'S CRISIS, Rev. Castle series, Vol. 2 by Celine Rose Mariotti
   Rev. Castle is back in another cozy mystery.  

Jack's News!
  by your bookstore cat, 
and gossip columnist!


Bob Kanehl, got his brand new copies of LOST SPIRIT this week and wrote to say: 
  "The files look great - thanks. I'm off to a book signing already this one at the art gallery where an artist will be painting a picture to go with my words..."

Print gallies also went out to Frances Langley, C.M. Albrecht, and Tom Ward, so we've been pretty busy around  here...

I understand that Dave and Shelley's  the oldest "grand-puppy," Chrissy, has been pretty sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. She was in the same hospital I go to, so I know she got good care. But she is home now and playing with her Frisbee.  Chrissy and I are about the same age and we used to play together a lot until she got too big to be much fun anymore.  She was playing. I was fighting for my life!
Been a lot of tears going on here, too. Something about Dave's tumor not having the right T-cells for the trial. I don't know what that means, but I'm still saying my cat prayers. They go to the nursing home almost every day and come home saying how good he looks. His rehab has him walking like he always did and Roger keeps saying he's "his old self." Arline said he told her the wound from his infection is closing up and she seemed real glad about that.
Dave is all set to go home next Wednesday! So that's the Good news. He will be so happy to see Hudson Wharf Road again and his neighbors pitched in and cut the grass, so that's one chore off ihs list.
I know both his puppies will be glad to see him and some nurses from a place called Hospice will be coming to help take care of him there. 

Please don't forget to let me know 
what you are all up to! 

Just send me an e-mail with 

 "News for Jack" 

in the subject line, and 

I'll make sure it shows up right here. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

LAST Chance!!

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GEBA Masthead Ebook

Fifth Annual 2015 Ebook Awards Open for Submissions

Imagine . . .
Entering your ebook in this award program and:
• Putting an official Nominee “sticker” on your Ebook cover, website, Amazon page, and promotion materials.
• A free listing in Publishing Poynters Marketplace offering copies of your ebook for reviews in prestigious ebook dealers’ sites such as,, Barnes&, and others.
• Entering the Global Ebook Awards comes with a seven-step publicity program. Each week, we show you how to publicize your ebook.
• Media coverage for your ebook and you.
• Winners and finalists will be listed on the official Global Ebook Awards site.
• Winners and finalists may purchase Global Ebook Award certificates attesting to their honor.
• Winners will be announced to the media in news releases.
• Discounts on video trailers for YouTube, Amazon, and your website.
• Discounts on other services for authors and publishers.
• And much more…
To be successful, fiction has to get read.
To be successful, nonfiction has to be brought to the attention of its category audience.
Readers have to read your ebook, love it, and tell someone else.
Multiply Publicity for Your Ebooks
The greatest challenge for ebook authors, both fiction and nonfiction, is getting their ebook known. Known, read, loved, and recommended to others. This is the best publicity: “word of mouth.” The predicament is finding readers interested in your subject. Judges for the Global Ebook Awards select the categories of ebooks in which they have an expertise and want to read. They are avid readers who voluntarily come to your ebook.
See Judging
Enter now:
Being nominated for an ebook award multiplies your investment in more than one way.
Seven promotional opportunities.
Once your ebook is accepted into Nomination, you will receive a promotional opportunity each week for seven weeks. These opportunities will show you where to publicize your ebook’s nomination and how to track the results. You can use these publicity ideas and opportunities for this and all future ebooks.
Post & Promote your ebook
You will be able to post your ebook in the user publicity section of the website. This is another great publicity opportunity for you and your ebook.
More reviews for your ebook.
Many of the more than 250 judges need material for their (category) blogs and some may review your book at Amazon, B&, Midwest Book Review, etc.
Nominated “sticker.” Bring attention to your ebook by placing a Nominated sticker in your blog, website, emails, etc.
Being accepted into Nomination into the Global Ebook Awards is a stepping-stone to more publicity. Publicity projects multiply your investment and maximize publicity for your ebook.
Your ebook will benefit from this fabulous publicity system for just $79 per ebook, per category. Enter now.
The Global Ebook Awards are designed to help you achieve these publicity goals. The Awards are more than a “sticker” they come with a built-in publicity machine. Submitting your ebook for a Global Ebook Award is a publicity investment. Your ebook deserves this exposure. Unlike other award programs we do not charge for our sticker file upon winning an award.
Accepting entries:
Now, from ebook authors and publishers.
Nearly 100 categories:
Based on the number of entrants for each category last year, the categories have been expanded.
See Categories
More than 250 Judges.
We have “category experts” such as book bloggers, editors, reviewers, publishers, authors, book club/reading circle members, and others who love a particular category of book. More judges per category mean more evaluations of your ebook. Some judges review the books they read and some blog about them.
See Judging
Ebook released to the public anytime in 2013, 2014, or 2015
Application deadline:
April 30, 2015 (midnight, Pacific Time).
When ebooks are entered early, more judges will have more time to read and evaluate them.
Winners Announcement:
August 16, 2015
Ebook Resources. This web site is not just about the Global Ebook Awards. It is your resource for everything Ebook. See
Ebook Resources
Submitting your Ebook for a Global Ebook Award is a publicity investment.
Your book deserves this promotion opportunity.
Enter your book(s) now. Give the judges more time to read.