Take My Advice. Or Not.


Posted by M. K. (Kathy) Waller


If you read the October 15th post on my personal blog, you know my husband’s video “Invisible Men Invade Earth” won 1st place ~ Judges’ Pick at the What the Fest (hosted by Weresquirrel and Pocket Sandwich Theatre) in Dallas Saturday night. What only my husband and I know is that I had a panic attack, or maybe just a little panic, when I realized I’d missed my October 14th post deadline for Writing Wranglers and Warriors.

I had it all worked out that the 14th was the next Tuesday, but it was really yesterday, Saturday, and I’d missed it completely, and blah blah blah. How would I ever make it up because the October 15th person had already posted, and I couldn’t post after that one, and more blah blah blah.

1st place certificate. The white stuff is popcorn thrown at Mr. Hyde in the play that took place minutes before What the Fest started.

At some point, a little spark of sanity flew by: to make certain of the date, I could look on the schedule I always save to my hard drive. But no, I had my Chromebook with me, and I’m lax about moving documents from my laptop to the Google Drive. So I couldn’t look there.

But it would be on Facebook. Somewhere.

I don’t know how I found it–I’m not great at finding things on Facebook–but I did, and lo and behold, my day to post was Tuesday. The 17th. Not the 14th. Well, sometime in the past I posted on the 14th of something. Anyway, peace of mind ensued.

Then, this afternoon, I said to my husband, “Oh, dear, I have a blog post due tomorrow [October 17, not October 14]. I must get on that.”

Map, Interstate 35 in red. Released by Nick Nolte (Own Work) to the public domain. Via Wikipedia.

A minute ago, 9:03 p.m., when my sensible and no doubt tired–those festivals take a lot out of you–husband started up the stairs to bed, I said, “Remember that post I mentioned this afternoon? The one due tomorrow? Well…” I said I wouldn’t write too many more words, but I always write too many words, because it takes me a while to get past the introduction.

A student once remarked, “It seems like the trick to writing an essay is to start with a paragraph about something you’re not going to write about.” I agreed with him. I’d always thought it but had never mentioned it to students because I was afraid they would tell another English teacher I’d said it. It’s not something you find in the textbooks.

Much of what you need to know isn’t found in textbooks, but I didn’t say that either.

(Many of the things you do need to know are in the literature, math, biology, and foreign language texts. You need history, but most history texts are soporific, and I wouldn’t wish one on anybody. And forget about geography. I worked hard stuffing it into my head, and did fine on tests, and even took a class as an elective in college because I was feeling especially Victorian that day and decided it would be good for me, but I still don’t know where or in what direction anything is. Forget about home ec.)

Okay. Thus endeth my introduction, about what I’m not going to write about.

I still don’t know what I’m going to write about. I’ll just give some advice.

  • Don’t go to the Cheesecake Factory at 6:00 p.m., after the only things you’ve eaten all day are a bowl of Rice Krispies and a Coke, because you’ll eat half of your Fettuccine Alfredo and not want anything more, but will order cheesecake anyway, because after all, you’re in the Cheesecake Factory, and you don’t run across cheesecake every day, and the piece will be about three times as large as the normal serving of cheesecake, and even though you don’t want it, you’ll eat it anyway, because it’s cheesecake.
  • English: Several cheesecakes in a display case...

    English: Several cheesecakes in a display case at The Cheesecake Factory in Naples, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Released by Zchangu to the public domain.

  • And don’t go to a film festival that begins at 11:15 at night, when, not long before that, you dined at the Cheesecake Factory, and you didn’t take a nap between, and possibly if you did take a nap, when you’re scheduled to depart for the theatre at 10:00 p.m., you’ll be muy miserable, and your spouse will say something like, We don’t have to go to the festival, we can just spend the night and go home tomorrow, and you’ll say, Nonononono, and then, something like, I didn’t drive all the way from Austin to Dallas [the most boring drive in the world] just to turn around and go back home we are going to that festival.
  • English: Salsa

    English: Salsa (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Released by Miansari66 to the public domain.

  • And then don’t sit down at a table in the (sort of dinner) theatre, because your spouse will say, “I’m going to order pizza. Do you want some?” and you’ll hold your tongue and say, simply, “No, thank you,” and allow him to order you chips and salsa, and you’ll eat little, tiny pieces of chips, slowly, and you’ll want to just want to lie down and be left alone, but, because your days and nights are mixed up already due to your always staying up till the wee hours, you will suddenly come alive and feel ever so good, and will have a grand old time. And eat several great big chips.
  • And when you get back to the hotel, ecstatic your spouse’s video won first place and got all kinds of compliments from the judges [has a purity, comes from a place of love, we watched it over and over, I showed it to the women in my office…] you’ll start a blog post right then and there, and that will take some time, and putting in the pictures will take forever, because your spouse will have to get them off his camera (you forgot to bring yours) and send them to you, and then you’ll have to be polite while he shows you how to get them from your email to the Google Drive because you did put them on the Google Drive but now can’t find them, and you’ll want to slam the Chromebook to the floor, and the mouse will decide it wants to work only half of the time, and the touch pad will quit working entirely, and your spouse will say the Chromebook is old, and, also, one time he had to stick the back back on, and you’ll say you don’t remember that, and he’ll say he doesn’t remember when or how came off either, but he

    The dragon in the foyer of Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas.

    remembers seeing a lot of circuit boards, or something, and you’ll struggle with getting the photos into the blog, as usual, and the best one will be a picture of the head of the dragon carved out of wood in the theatre foyer, which is the pits, and you won’t get to bed till 5:00 a.m., but you’ll have to get up and out of the room by noon, and somehow when you wake up, the cheesecake feeling will be back, and you’ll have to make that boring drive to Austin with all the UT-Austin fans who are either sad or mad that Oklahoma won, and you couldn’t care less, but you’ll be almost as sad and mad as they are.

Texas longhorn cow

Texas longhorn cow (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Released by Steve Parrett to the public domain.


So there’s my advice. If you take it, you’ll have a good time.

If you don’t take it, you’ll have a better one.


The Longhorn in the picture above is a cow. The mascot of the University of Texas – Austin is a steer. For the purposes of this post, a cow is close enough. That’s blasphemy to some, but they’ll get over it.


My stories appear in two anthologies, Day of the Dark and Murder on Wheels, and on Mysterical-E. Another story will appear in Austin Mystery Writers’ second anthology, Longhorn Lawless, to be published by Wildside Press. I blog at Telling the Truth, Mainly. I’ve begun writing under the name M. K. Waller lest I be confused with the CFO of Coca~Cola.

Posted in awards, Creativity, Humor, Uncategorized, unique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘Singletree’ brings Old West to life

Mike Staton

Mike Staton wrote this post.

I’ve been reading a western novel, Singletree, for the last few weeks. The more chapters I read, the more I find myself thinking about some of the bloggers on the Wild Wranglers And Warriors, the ones who call Wyoming and Colorado home.

This book by author Jack Ravage, a retired college professor, brings this land to life. The tale takes place in the old west after the Civil War. It’s based on a historical incident. In 1868, a black cowboy rode into Medicine Bow in the Wyoming Territory looking to buy land for a ranch. He was murdered by a mob shrieking: “No nigger’ll ever own land in Wyoming.”


I’m thoroughly enjoying this tale of the Old West set in Wyoming. It explores racism.

Singletree tells the story of two men, one red, one black in a blue uniform, who forge an uncommon alliance, bonded by a desire to search for justice in the death of a black man who just wanted a chance to make a life for himself.

As I dig into this book, the more I think my fellow bloggers with a love of the Old West will enjoy reading this novel. It feels authentic.

I met Ravage back in September at a book signing at a used bookstore in Henderson. He gifted the book to me, signing it. I’m glad he did. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.

# # #

I’m an author with three published fantasy novels – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The books make up a trilogy titled Larenia’s Shadow. A fourth novel, this one a historical romance set during the Civil War, went live earlier this month. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Posted in unique | 9 Comments

Happy Friday the 13th

IMGP6507By S. J. Brown

Friday the 13th is touted to be the unluckiest day of the year. 2017 has two Friday the 13th’s, does that make it an unlucky year? Does Friday the 13th scare you? Since Halloween is just few weeks away is today the start of a spooky season? Are you superstitious?

1 SJ Brown Vulture

This ominous date has been used in movies and games for decades. The legends that surround this date go back centuries. However if you aren’t the superstitious type you can get a great rate on an airline flight, save thousands on your Wedding, or get a tattoo for a special price, so it’s not all bad.

2 SJ Brown OwlCrows, Snakes, Magpies, Owls and many other animals have been considered bad luck by a number of cultures. But animals are not the only things connected to bad luck. If you break a mirror you may be in for 7 years of bad luck. If you hang a horseshoe upside down the luck will run out. I haven’t had a black cat cross my path lately, but this black duck posed for my camera.

3 SJ Brown Duck

Like I have stated in a previous blog I am on the fence, a middle of the road type of person. If you missed that blog here is the link. ofhttps://writingwranglersandwarriors.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/the-middle-of-the-road/

4 SJ Brown CrowI am not sure if it is luck that allows me to find and photograph the critters I do. It could be research and timing along with a bit of practice.

5 SJ Brown SnakeIn closing I urge you to not open any umbrellas in the house, walk under any ladders, put your shoes on the table, step on a crack or put your hat on the bed.

Thanks for stopping by.


S. J. Brown

Connect with me on Facebook and be one of the first to see what I have been up and view my Sunday Shares.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sj.brown.3367

My coloring books feature sketches based on my photographs.

My children’s picture books are perfect for 3-5 year olds

Available at http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com

Cover 3-26-23

Close up and Close Encounters is available on Amazon at


Or get your autographed copy at S. J. Brown website http://www.sjbrown.50megs.com



Sign up for my E mail list to get updates

Place Add ME on the subject line

Posted in adventure, Animals, author, birds, Blog, books, Close Ups & Close Encounters, critters, Ducks, environment, photographer, photographs, photography, S J Brown, s. j. brown, Superstition, unique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Have you ever rode the rails?

0Barb 028

Have you ever rode a long journey on a train? It’s a blast.


My love for the train goes way back to my grandpa who had been an engineer for the Milwaukee Road and drove the Hiawatha from Minneapolis to Chicago and points beyond. My dad loved the train. He brought me twice to Chicago over the Thanksgiving long weekend when I was fifteen and sixteen years old.


Dad with my boys. 1978

Looking out across the plains and watching the world go by will always be in my memory. I remember riding in the dome car and eating in the dining car as well as having a soda in the lounge.  Both trips, we spent two nights in Chicago. Dad knew his way around Chicago. We traveled all over the city via the L-train. It was so much fun to be alone with my dad.


The old depot in Duluth, MN, also has train rides. One year for our anniversary, we rode the pizza train! It brought us to and from Two Harbors, traveling along the coast of Lake Superior. It came so close to the water, that I swear I saw fish swim.

When my husband and I went to Norway and Sweden, we took the train to northern Norway, transferred to a ferry and then enjoyed the fjords. The trip was marvelous.

Currently, my husband and I are planning a train trip across the Canadian Rockies in 2018 onboard a train. I’m excited.


My next book is an historical mystery which is set on a Zephyr train during the fall of 1943.  A body is found in the Chicago rail yard. Come and ride along with the passengers and enjoy the dining car and lounge while my two characters, Brita and Ron, search for the killer.  It is titled, BODY ON THE TRACKS. It’s scheduled for publication by the end of the year. Please sign up for my newsletter on my website.



Barb’s Books 







I’m saying ‘thank you’ to all who post images online.




Posted in activities, adventure, author, author exposure to potential readers, bucket list, historical novels, historical romance, Mystery Fiction, Railroads, unique | 14 Comments

False or Healthy Pride?

IMG_1659aby Neva Bodin

When my precocious daughter was four, she decided she could ride my old bike which was designed for a seven or eight year old. Tall for her age, people meeting her for the first time thought she was six, so while it was certainly unwieldy for her, she could steer and pedal by standing, if she could figure out how to balance it. She fell, she hurt, she cried, over and over.

“Stop!” I commanded, seeing and feeling her anguish.

“No, I have to ride it!” she cried as sobs hoarsened her voice and Wyoming dust outlined tears on her cheeks. Eventually she triumphed, in spite of my begging her to stop trying as I couldn’t stand the tears I saw, and pain I knew she felt.

Recently I watched a small beetle attempt to cross over a large twig in its path. It fell, tried again, fell, tried again and….you get the picture. Eventually it made the trip. It didn’t stop to look embarrassed (can bugs look embarrassed?), or appear discouraged, it just kept trying. And I think if it had not made it over the obstacle, it would have eventually tried to go around it.Black Bug Macro Photography

A story has been written and irritatingly begging me to edit it. I believe there are women out there (somewhere, everywhere) who could strengthen their faith and understanding of some of their struggles by reading my story. It is an inspirational, historical romance in which the hero and heroine must work through misconceptions, emotional and physical pain, and get to know themselves in order to find love and rediscover their faith in God. If I can write it well enough. There is the rub. Fear and pride are making me tremble.

Unlike my beautifully determined daughter, and the tenacious beetle, I must also deal with lack of perseverance and the habit of procrastination. I now realize I have learned important concepts from my daughter and the shiny insect—false pride and healthy pride.

Tears and pain sometimes accompany our learning something that will eventually give us a healthy pride in ourselves, thereby increasing our self-esteem. That is if we don’t listen to our fearful self-talk and nay-sayers who tell us those are reasons to stop working toward a worthwhile goal.

False pride doesn’t allow for failure and embarrassment when pursuing our goals. However, no one cares as much as me whether I embarrass myself or fail at something, unless of course, it concerns them in some personal way. I am not under anyone’s microscope on earth. Who do I think I am?

Many successful and now famous authors have been rejected multiple times. Among them are George Orwell, J K Rowling, Dr. Seuss, and Stephen King. The stories rejected went on to become best sellers. While I am no one special, I am in good company if my manuscript is rejected! Rejection is part of becoming a published writer or author. It can strengthen our skill, our determination, and encourage me to examine that false pride. And maybe eventually acquire some healthy pride!
Part of my procrastination, I believe, is me feeding the wrong kind of pride. This has given me new insight and inspiration to finish, polish and begin submitting my novel.

No, my tendency to procrastinate and delay work on my novel with the excuse that the flowers need watering, the dishes need washing, etc. has not gone away. But, I now face the real reason I fight myself on this issue, and remember the lessons a little girl and a beetle have taught me. We are meant to try, and keep on trying, any worthwhile passion until we get it right. Not only might we accomplish it, but we will be an inspiration to others on the journey.

Montana Free by Neva Bodin (Start of Prologue) 


July, 1878 Montana Territory

Morgan’s heart pounded so loudly against her rib cage, she wondered the birds didn’t take flight at the sound. She moved silently in spite of shaking legs, her feet automatically seeking soft earth without twigs that snap. I have to hide. They can’t find me…

Posted in Business of Writing, Creative writing, fear of writing, fiction writing, unique, Writing, writing inspirations | 11 Comments

Some Thoughts on History

Post by Doris McCraw


I’m in the midst of writing a novel due to be released in January. I’m also writing a paper for the library districts history symposium. Additionally, I’m thinking of taking the nanowrimo challenge this November. 

So you may wonder why I chose ‘Some Thoughts on History’ as the subject of this post with the other projects on tap. Quite simply, I’m constantly in awe of what I find as I research and write. What history has to share with those who look is priceless. 

I’ve chosen to share the thoughts of thinkers who also have their own ideas on the subject. While we may not always agree, to know history is to know ourselves.

9-10-2011 end of season trip 136

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston S. Churchill

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” Michael Crichton

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell

“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” James Fenimore Cooper 

“Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” Marcus Tullius Circero

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Rudyard Kipling

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Winston S Churchill

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”  Elie Wiesel

2-19-2013 023

Some quotes are funny, some were thoughtful and others somewhat controversial. All are important, for history is who we are, and to delve into that well of knowledge is something that is precious to ourselves and those who will follow after. 

Happy reading, and enjoy your own form of creativity for you are sharing your history with the world.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


Posted in fiction writing, historical interpretation, historical novels, historical romance, Historical Romantic Western, History, History Symposium, quotations, unique, writing | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

How I Coped with Summer

I’m Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I wrote this post.



Now that fall has come, I reflect back to “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” and as the song says, I wish we could just stay in that season. Like most, this past summer went by way too fast. It wasn’t as long or hot as other summers. Of course, like everyone else, I complained about the heat, but I had my ways of dealing with it.

The window air conditioning unit in the spare room was my best friend. With the help of ceiling fans scattered throughout the house, it kept things pretty cool. I drank plenty of water, as I always do. With a few pieces of ice, it also kept me cool. Then of course, there was my old pal, Dr. Pepper. It was just what the doctor ordered, although it took away some of the water I drank, but that was okay because I could always drink more water.

On summer evenings when the weather cooled, I sat in my back yard and did email or read a book, slapping mosquitos when necessary and eventually moving indoors to avoid being bitten. I sometimes went with friends to concerts in the park, where we bought ice cream at a nearby stand.

In the early mornings before it got hot, I took long walks by the creek, feeling the cool breeze caress my bare legs and arms. It was a great way to start a hot summer day.

When I was growing up, my family often took trips to the mountains to cool off during the summer, but now, my family is either dead or scattered across the country, and I don’t have many opportunities to visit the highlands, especially since I don’t drive.

In my younger adult years, I attended a camp for the visually impaired on Casper Mountain, approximately 200 miles south, then west of Sheridan, Wyoming, where I now live. Here, I made friends and learned computer and other skills and had plenty of opportunities to walk in the woods and enjoy nature. Although the camp is still there today, there’s no adult program anymore due to an unwillingness by the state and other entities to pay for it.

Now, summer is gone, and fall is upon us. I already miss those days of relaxing in my back yard with a Dr. Pepper and a good book, the sounds of band music floating through the air at the park, the salted caramel ice cream I enjoyed during such a concert. Oh well, there’s always next year, isn’t there?

How did you cope with summer heat? Are you glad fall is here? Why or why not?


I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.



Posted in Fun, Memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments


774x1228This post is by Nancy Jardine.

Authors are often quoted as having the most amazing imagination but I’m not always sure that’s an instinctive attribute for all writers. Personally speaking, I need a little bit of help to kick start my imagination when I’m writing. Once I get that little extra push, I’m right into the scene and then my characters can take over in their imagined setting.

When I write my contemporary mysteries my imagination is helped by my memories of a place where I want to scene set. In my contemporary mystery Topaz Eyes, I used a number of locations in cities that I’ve visited. When I decided to have one of the ‘cousins’ in the story live in Vienna, Austria, I just had to turn on my memories of central Vienna and the wide open old streets popped up.


Vienna 2002

But I also know that my memories can be fickle and a bit selective so in the interests of accuracy I turned to the internet to give me current photos of where  I was thinking of. That little research on the internet was useful when I was writing Topaz Eyes because the trams I was seeing in my head were red during my visit in 2002. The current ones in the area I was writing about have been the bright yellow tourist designed ‘Ring Trams’ for some years now. (c. 2010?)

There are still red trams operating on the original tram lines in Vienna but they’re not where my scenes are. After my research on the internet, as I wrote the scene where my main female character Keira was being pursued by her unknown stalker, I was ‘seeing’ her escaping from a bright yellow tram.

In my historical writing it’s not so easy to create visual images for my locations.  I want authenticity and credibility in my stories but I can’t look back at photographs of my places to see what that landscape was like 2000 years ago. The contours may be largely the same but the vegetation is unlikely to be similar since recent centuries of farming (since the 18th century) and forestry methods in north east Scotland have altered the original picture. That means I need to seek help from other places.

Nancy & Crannog

Scottish Crannog Centre, Loch Tay

I can add things that were already very ancient like standing stone circles of the stone and bronze ages, or stone hillforts, or stone brochs but my imagination definitely has to work a lot harder on things that were made of wood- like Celtic roundhouses and crannogs which have mostly deteriorated to nothing over the millennia.

What helps sometimes with my ‘scene imagining’ for 2000 years ago Scotland is looking at the artwork of some relevant artists  like the famous Angus McBride, or from illustrated children’s non-fiction history books of which I still have a large selection! Celts wranglers But I need to remember it’s that particular artist’s interpretation. Other artists,  archaeologists and historians may interpret things differently. And so do I!

In Book 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series, when writing about my character General Agricola thinking about the Emperor Domitian and the Senate being back in Ancient Rome, I find it a little helpful to look at ancient sculptures. The friezes, and the carved fascias of ancient buildings also give me clues as to what the environment was like. Things my character Agricola is remembering as they were almost 2000 years ago. My visit to Rome last year helps me a bit but of course, what I saw last year is only what has survived and not the Rome of Agricola’s era  in all it’s colourful glory.

SONY DSCVirtual imagining processes of ancient places are fabulous and I love to see any that are shared with me on Social Media. Looking at Pompeii, or Portus (the artificial harbour of ancient Rome), or Athens or Ancient Egypt is fascinating.

So, last week, when I saw a FutureLearn course entitled ‘Rome: A Virtual Tour of the Ancient City being advertised I just could not resist enrolling. Click the link above, scroll down to the little video window and see what’s on offer. You might like it, too but there’s not much time to enrol since it starts next week, 9th October! (I loved my last year’s FutureLearn course on Hadrian’s Wall’.)

I’m hoping this Rome course will give me some ideas for polishing my character named Agricola a little better, or that it’ll be useful for the next book in the series BUT—most of all I hope that it’ll be fun!

Guess I have to get my head down now and finish my current writing!

What are your thoughts on Virtual imaging? Do you like seeing the way gifted visual imaging creators present these ancient places?

Nancy Jardine writes: Contemporary romantic mysteries; time travel historical for early teens and historical fiction for adults. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Federation of Writers Scotland.

multiple new TEYou can find her at these places:

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk  Website: http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G

email: nan_jar@btinternet.com  Twitter @nansjar

Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere







Posted in historical interpretation, images, Imagination, unique, Virtual imaging | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Hoping for good sales for my Civil War novel…

Mike Staton

Post is written by Michael Staton.

It’s been one day since Blessed Shadows Dark And Deep went live.

For potential readers I provided links to websites selling the Civil War novel. Did I get any sales over the last 24 hours?

I know there’s lots of interest in my historical romance, but will people actually click on a link and buy the book?

I intend to buy an ad in the Duplin Times newspaper, the hometown newspaper for the folks in Duplin County, North Carolina. The settings at the beginning and ending of Blessed Shadows Dark And Deep take place in Duplin County and in nearby Wilmington. I was a reporter at the Duplin Times, and figure there’s a readership base there to be exploited if I can get the information out to the people. Maybe I’ll do an ad in the Wilmington Star-News. I might get a few sales in Wilmington.

Blessed Shadows Marketing Oct 1

Here’s my launch day artwork.

I’ve joined Facebook groups for Civil War history as well as romance novels. I’ll probably post one of my novel illustrations on some of the groups and see if I draw any interest. Also under consideration: A Facebook ad to increase the novel’s exposure.

My fellow authors on Writing Wranglers and Warriors have been extremely supportive over the last few months. I plan to read and review one of Cherley’s novels, and in return she’s going to read and review Blessed Shadows Dark And Deep. I’d love to see more reviews for the novel. Interested in purchasing? Here’s my Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Staton/e/B007ZSSNRM

Anyone willing to mention me and the novel in their blog? Or even let me guest blog?

So are there other kinds of inexpensive marketing that I should be considering?

I need to end this and find out what’s happening on the Vegas Strip. There’s been reports of a mass shooting or terrorist incident at a country music festival across Las Vegas Boulevard from Mandalay Bay. Apparently shooters were opening with automatic weapons from an upper floor room in Mandalay Bay. I’m hoping to see that some friends who were down on the Strip for a NHL hockey game are safe.

# # #

I’m an author with three published fantasy novels – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The books make up a trilogy titled Larenia’s Shadow. A fourth novel, this one a historical romance set during the Civil War, went live on Sunday. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Posted in unique | 19 Comments

Fellowship, Family, & Friends

Gayle_BozemanFamilyChristian_smallThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

This is my last post (for now, at least!) with this wonderful group of writers… and people. Since this is the week my parents are visiting, and also when I’ve spent time with wonderful friends, I thought I’d write a little reflection on fellowship, friends and family (which, of course, includes pets!).

I have been writing on this blog for several years, introduced to it by another Wyoming writer (remember Alethea Williams?) I’ve enjoyed my tenure with Writing Wranglers & Warriors, getting to know you, my fellow writers, who live in various states and even different countries. You’ve opened my eyes to new sights and ideas, and taught me many things about history, romance writing, and various ventures and adventures. I’ve learned from you, traveled with you, and celebrated with you… and I’ve enjoyed our virtual association (and been blessed to meet a few of you in person!)

gayle-and-mom-and-dadRelationships are important. My parents (ages 81 and 78) arrived at our house Sunday afternoon; they are staying all week. I’m giving a talk on Saturday morning to a ladies’ group regarding the devotion of dogs and the importance of pet adoption; my mother will be in attendance. This is the first non-school, non-library speaking engagement she has been present for. I’m very excited that she will be in the audience. My mother is not just my mom, but she is also one of my very best friends! I’m extremely thankful for our relationship! I’m also grateful for my dad and his dedication to his only child; he and I have different viewpoints on many things, but we have a good relationship and he’s been a devoted father all of my life. Since they are getting up there in years, each moment I’m able to spend with my parents is precious, and I’m thankful for those times.

Gayle and Cindy

Gayle and Cindy

One of my good friends (someone I’ve known since high school) spent part of Wednesday evening with us. Mom and I made a Thanksgiving-style dinner, with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and lettuce salad; my friend, Cindy, brought dessert (carrot cake!). We shared memories of younger years, her family (who passed away several years ago), as well as activities we’re currently involved in and future endeavors we are about to embark upon (Cindy owns and manages a business plus has commercial real estate investments). She plans to take us (Greg, Mom, Dad, and me) out for dinner tonight – she is SO GENEROUS, especially when my parents visit (which is now only once a year). A thanksgiving dinner was very appropriate this week, and I thank Cindy in advance for inviting us out to dinner this evening. I treasure our 30+ years of friendship!

On Monday, several of my female friends in town (including WWW’s Neva Bodin) came to the house for lunch; also part of the entourage was my neighbor, Marian, who helps care for the dogs when Greg is out of town and I’m at my day-job. We enjoyed a fall fare of soup and salad with brownies for dessert. We laughed, visited, talked a bit about writing, and doted on my new doggie, Jeremiah. We had a great time!

And, just a few weeks ago, I hosted a small gathering of writers (again, including Neva) at my home. Generally, we have a mini-retreat at the cabin on the mountain, but the weather was uncooperative this September; we couldn’t even sit in the backyard. So, with a fire in the woodstove, we shared, visited, and wrote, and shared some more, as well as encouraged each other. Being among other writers is motivating and joyous for me!

Fellowshipping with people I care about, whether other writers, friends, or family, is deeply important to me. Oh, I love my alone time, and I look forward to a few days in October when Greg is out of town, all my article-writing is done for the year, and I can simply take a deep breath and then plunge full-steam ahead with my works in progress…. And hang out with my pets!

Jeremiah and Mary_futonThey, too, carry a special place in my heart. Jeremiah is settling in very well with our household after less than three weeks (although one of the cats is still holding out/hiding out in the basement).  He is learning his new name, responding to a few obedience commands, and snuggling with me on the couch while I read or watch TV. I’m so thankful he’s come into our lives – he needed us, and we (at least me) needed him (Greg’s gotten pretty attached to the little fella, too). And, Jeremiah and Mary have become great friends! Both of my dogs play a big part in my talk on Saturday – where I hope to inspire the women gathered to do something (adopt, volunteer, donate) with animal rescues and shelters.

So, as I leave you, my Writing Wranglers and Warriors friends, I do so with prayers of blessings and a heart overflowing with gratitude. As I look for pet blogs on which to guest post and podcasts on which to speak, as well as develop additional products to sell, I will never forget the friends and fellowshipping, the lessons and information, I experienced through this wonderful group of people. May each of you be fulfilled and successful in what you do and may you always have colleagues, friends, and family (and a pet or two!) with whom to fellowship, share and celebrate!


Gayle_signing photoGayle M. Irwin writes inspirational pet stories for children and adults. In addition to her own books, she is a contributing writer to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books, including the latest dog book “The Dog Really Did That?” released in August. She also writes for magazines and newspapers as a freelancer, plus she continues working on more books about dogs and pet adoption and scheduling speaking engagements and book signings. Visit her website to learn more: www.gaylemirwin.com.



Posted in Creative writing, Dogs, family, Freelance writing, Friends, Friendship, future plans, unique, Writing, writing plans | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments