Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ten Dollar Words lead to Healing Words

I received a series of texts from a writer friend of mine a short while back that contained what my family calls "Ten Dollar Words" -- you know, those big words that we all pretend to know and then quickly look up on Google. Except for my writer friend. He's an awesome bestselling author who writes thrillers that are deep and make your brain work if you want it to. I'm guessing Ten Dollar Words are a common part of his vocabulary although I would definitely recommend his books to ANYONE, whether you're into ten dollar words or not. Be warned, though, you'll be hooked from the get go.

Anyway, back to the words ... The texts came in just about the time I was to come up with a Clever Fiction Writing Challenge so I decided to use them for the prompt. And much to my relief, managed to squeeze in a story of my own. Whew!

Thanks, Andrew E. Kaufman for your Ten Dollar Words that inspired my Healing Words. Take a look and enjoy!

Read these awesome books by Andrew E. Kaufman.
You'll find the links on his website by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Donning My Tiara

Today, I'm taking off my author hat and putting on my designer tiara -- book cover designer, that is :-) Karen S. Elliott asked me to write a guest post for her The Word Shark blog's Halloween Fright Week. Karen's blog is filled with great information for writers that I hope I have added to by discussing how I go about creating great book covers -- information that's useful whether you plan to design your own cover or enlist the help of a professional.
I hope you'll join me as I share the steps I use to put together a great cover:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Reading List...

Since I received my Kindle Fire for Christmas last year, I've read so many books I'm starting to lose track. So, I've decided to list some of my recent favorites here. It's an eclectic list, so there's bound to be something of interest to just about everyone.

I'm please to say I helped format some of these books, others I designed their covers. A few I won and a few the authors simply gave to me to read. Others I grabbed because I liked their covers or their blurbs or found I truly enjoy reading that particular author. :-)

Chalk Valley by D.L. Johnstone
Old Acquaintances by Ursula Gorman
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
A Summer Down Under by Adrianna Blakeley
Million Dollar Bra by Jennifer Loy
Heartless by Jaimey Grant
The Grey Tier by Michele Scott
Tudor Rose by Jamie Salisbury
Divorced, Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig
False Pretense ~ Short Story by Jenny Hilborne
The Wedding Wager by Rachel Astor
Gamble on Engagement by Rachel Astor
Bridesmaid Lotto by Rachel Astor
Out of Left Field by Morgan Kearns
Faking Mr. Right by Kerry Connor
Love Me by Bella Andre
Daddy's Home by A.K. Alexander
In It to Win It by Morgan Kearns
Fade to Black by Morgan Kearns
Dead in the Water ~ Short Story by Judity Yates Borger
Almost a Family by Donna Alward
Off the Clock by Donna Alward
Desolation Road ~ Short Story by Andrew E. Kaufman
Proud Rancher~Precious Bundle by Donna Alward
Breathe by Donna Alward
The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted by Andrew E. Kaufman
Hired by the Cowboy by Donna Alward
Sold to the Highest Bidder by Donna Alward
Home for Christmas by Kate Davies
Undying Love ~ Short Story by Michael J. Evans
While The Savage Sleeps by Andrew E. Kaufman

Please note if I should decide to actually review these books, the majority would receive a 5 star rating. I don't automatically give 5 stars, it's just that most of what I read I really enjoy. From time to time I will add a technical rating if I've seen things that need work (sorry, it's the formatter in me), and a few of the books on this list will receive a 5+ rating from me because I believe those books are not just good but beyond exceptional.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

That's What I LOVE!

(Download Coupon at the end along with story links)

I recently set about updating my author website and had to practically redo the Works In Progress section. The book I had listed as Next in Line for Publishing ended up moving down 2 notches. Does that mean that will not be the next book? Not necessarily. What it does mean is I finally realized something about myself that the rest of the world probably already knows: I'm an inspired writer - my preference is to write about particular characters when they are knocking on the door of my imagination, whispering in my ear for me to help them live for the enjoyment of others instead of just for myself. That's when their stories flow and I love what I've written. Those are the times when it feels as if someone else is writing and I'm just the tool. THAT'S WHAT I LOVE!

And that's why I started my own publishing company. When Terry and Mark from A Marriage of Necessity (which may or may not be getting another cover change along with a Title change) wanted to take a rest while Tahruk and Elenya from Dance With The Enemy took center stage, I was able to let them do that. And I wrote two new short stories that I've been able to work into chapters of the book: Dance With The Enemy. That book, in fact, started as a short story that reader request prompted me to continue. It now sits at just over 20,000 words. I recently published the short on both Amazon and Smashwords and in a minute I will give you the opportunity to download it free (until Oct. 13, 2012) from Smashwords.

But first, if you'd like to read the two shorts that preclude The Chase, you may find them here:

1) The Stars Still Shine (Meet Elenya)
2) To Be Sure (Meet Tahruk)

Then feel free to download the ebook short story Dance With The Enemy~The Chase in the format of your choice from Smashwords using the following coupon code at checkout: FX25N

Here's the link to get over there: Enemy Story on Smashwords


Saturday, August 25, 2012

UnderCOVER Operation

One of my all time favorite covert operations isn't exactly hidden. It's something I love to do that you can't see until I'm done. Are you finding yourself asking what in the world is she talking about? :-) Book Covers! While the majority of what goes into each cover is done behind the scenes, the finished products are definitely front and center.

Book covers are a vital part of selling a potential reader on the idea of picking up your book. When talking to readers as well as doing a little internet surfing, three items continuously topped the lists for helping a reader choose a book: Cover, Recommendation, and Author. If you've been in the Kindle stores lately you know just how many books they have in there. It's overwhelming, to say the least. As an author, what can you do to make your book(s) stand out? Well, what's the first thing about your book that anyone is going to see? Right! Your book's cover. So, if you give your book a fantastic cover, you're giving your baby a first step to a fighting chance.

And that's where designers, like me, come in. There are some fantastic designers out there and I am in absolute awe of so many of the covers I see. They're simply amazing.

If you're interested in seeing some of my cover designs please take a moment to visit my personal design site over at Tell~Tale Book Covers & Interior Layouts. If we end up working together on a design for your book and you let me know you've jumped over from this blog post I'll take off 10% on one book cover or package deal (includes everything from the extremely affordable pre-made covers to The Works package that covers everything!).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reunions are made for...

My friend Chris Janzen and I were talking about reunions and it reminded me of a story I started once upon a time about a couple of old friend with unexplored feelings remaining between them. I shared a kiss here on the blog between them that I'll share it again. It makes me smile:

David and Elizabeth from Everything Old Is New Again:

“I can’t do this,” she whispered. He stood behind her. She could feel his body pressing ever closer to hers. His hands, those same hands that had pulled her close, helped to warm her on the bus with the broken window, now caressed her upper arms. Only now they weren't the hands of a young schoolboy. They were hands of experience, hands that knew…

His fingers tracked across her back, enticing as they moved up to pull the hair away from her neck. She closed her eyes as he kissed her bare shoulder, cursing herself for having chosen this dress for the night’s event. It had been chosen for a purpose, this purpose. His lips, so warm, traced a sensual line up to her slender neck where his tongue drew tantalizing circles along her jaw line.

“Oh please, David.” Her voice was breathless, testifying to the war that raged within. His other hand slipped down, curving around her waist to quickly turn her to face him.

“Yes you can,” he said as their eyes locked. She blinked slowly, intoxicated by the moment. Had she truly thought that if she fanned the embers of those long-suppressed flames, they would not engulf her? She moistened her lips, her eyes trailed down to his; full, sensual lips slightly smiling, waiting, knowing. She smiled as she looked back at his eyes that danced with a mixture of mischief and desire. How many years she had waited for this moment; wondered, dreamed.

“You want to. It’s why you came,” he said as his head began to lower toward hers.

As if on cue, her cell phone rang. She looked toward it. The photo of her smiling children stared back from the phone’s face. She laughed, moving away from him.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Afraid ... A new short story to be featured in an upcoming Clever Fiction Anthology

“I love you.”

That’s what I want to say as I look up at you, but I don’t.

I am struck by your beauty, your face softened by the yellow glow of the new spring moon. That same light enhances the fullness of your black hair, casts shadows over eyes already as dark as the night sky above us. Yes, I see beauty in a man! My heart thumps. Butterflies soar within me as they would among the flowers in the day; a gentle, fluttering-tingle in the silence. No, not completely silent – lying beneath you, cloaked by the night, I hear our hearts beating.

Wait! I turn my head, straining to hear more; whispering, among the trees, the hum of a peaceful breeze. I love you. How I long to say those words to you. I sigh instead and gaze, unseeing, into the darkness. My arms drop to my sides as concern gives way to fear. I’m afraid of offering you my heart and you refusing to take it.

Your hand, soft against my face, urges me to look back. I am lost again in your dark eyes glowing with the light of new desire. Your hair against your forehead, dampened by earlier exertion, bids my fingers to push it out of the way, to simply touch you. I reach up and you grab my hand, kiss my wrist, a soft press of love-swollen lips to the tender flesh there.

Now, I can’t remember why I raised my hand. Your mouth curls upward at the corners – you know what you have done...

Read the rest of this romantic short story over at Clever Fiction: Short Stories for the Real World  and look for the tiny twist...

This story, along with several others from the amazing authors over at Clever Fiction, will be included in a Romantic/Relationship themed anthology of short stories using the prompt New/Whisper/Spring. The name of the book is Whispered Beginnings. I'm Afraid is loosely tied to my upcoming novel To Dance With The Enemy. If you'd like to read the short that started that ball rolling, you'll find it on the Clever Fiction site as well: and the original cover for that book may be found here on my blog: That cover is being replaced by one using the couple above as Elenya and Tahruk have evolved. Hard to believe she started with jet black hair and he was a blond! Thanks to cover model Jimmy Thomas and his vast array of lovely female companions over at Romance Novel Covers for providing the visual that became my characters.

I'd like to say THANK YOU to my friend, Psychological Thriller Writer, Andrew E. Kaufman for offering editorial services on I'm Afraid. I know it wasn't an easy task, but when I asked him to read it and he wanted to know if I wanted a simple "it's okay" or for him to be brutally honest and I accepted the later, he really helped me clean it up and pull the story together. Greatly appreciated, my friend. And, if you want an amazing story that is well written, even though it isn't a romance, I'd highly recommend Drew's latest release: The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted, available on Amazon.

Happy reading! Keep a lookout for Whispered Beginnings. I'll be posting more about it here in the near future.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Helping to Fulfill the Dreams of Other Writers...

It's official! In my quest to take a step back from full Traditional Publishing in order to pursue my own writing dreams, I have found I still MUST fulfill that other dream of mine - to help other writers recognize their dreams. Through the Book Services section of TreasureLine Publishing and through my own Tell~Tale Cover Design site, I am still offering extremely reasonable services to help authors with Cover Design, Internal Format of Paperbacks, eBook Formatting for Kindle, Smashwords, Nook. I'll also do all that I can to help others in their quest to get their books into the hands of readers. Whether you need someone to actually do the work or you want to learn to do it yourself, I hope you'll consider giving me a shout. One thing I always say is Talk Is Free! There's no obligation for asking questions and you just might find the answers you've been looking for.

What one author had to say about the cover of her book:

A great endorsement for my formatting services:

Take a look at Tell~Tale Cover Designs and/or TreasureLine Publishing Book Services and let me know if you have any questions or comments. There are contact forms on both sites or you may email me directly at I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Check out these Pre-Made Covers and more on the Tell~Tale site:


Friday, January 20, 2012

YOUR books are MY business!

Saturday, January 21st will find me wearing my publisher hat as a guest over at the Mormon Mommy Writers  blog. In connection with TreasureLine Publishing, where I drive the ship, we'll be giving away 3 amazing Author's Treasure Packages to 3 lucky winners chosen at random.

The pacakges are: 1 ePub Book Publishing Package, 1 Paperback Book Internal Format, and 1 Custom Book Cover and we'd like to invite you to find out more about the prizes and how you can enter for a chance to win. Just join us any time Saturday at the Mormon Mommy Writers blog.

One question I was asked as part of the interview that went along with our giveaway was "what words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring authors?" I'd like to share part of that answer with you here:

I almost always give new authors the same advice because I think it is outrageously important, especially in this day and age where so many books are available. That advice is KEEP WRITING. No matter what you’re doing, make sure you are working on your next piece. When readers finish one of your books, if they like it, they will immediately want more. If they can’t get that from you, guess what? They are going to jump to another author. Then, when you get your next book done, you get to go out and find readers all over again! Oh, you’ll have those who wait for your work, but mostly you’ll be reinventing yourself every time. One bestselling author recently mentioned that she has to put out at least four books this year to maintain her foothold. FOUR BOOKS! That’s one every three months just to keep herself on the bestseller list.

At the same time, though, you shouldn’t rush it. Seems impossible to do both, huh? No matter what, even if you have to work harder at your marketing, you don’t want to put out bad stuff. A book that is poorly written, edited, formatted … those can all turn away future readers or even those who might have picked up your great story because of word of mouth.

So, bottom line, my advice is to write constantly because that will help you hone your skills while pushing you toward completion of that next book and don’t skimp on polishing your beloved story. Remember none of those things: formatting, cover designing, etc, none of it has to cost you a fortune to get it done right. There are places out there like my TreasureLine Publishing BookServices that can help you without a huge cash outlay that you may or may not ever make back. It’s a tough business, this business of writing, so use sound judgment, not your heart, when making decisions.

Make sure to join me at the Mormon Mommy Writers blog to learn a little more and make sure you enter for a chance to win one of those great prizes!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Forgot

I forgot.

I forgot that loving you is a bad idea for me. I forgot that when you touch me, it’s as if a fog rolls in, enshrouding us in a curtain that blocks the rest of the world from my thoughts, my memory. I forgot that when you take my hands in yours, slowly bringing them to your lips to press sweet kisses on my fingertips that all regret begins to quickly fade away. I see only you, my secret visitor, with your brown eyes dancing over me. You look at me and I know exactly what you want … because it’s the same thing I want.

There’s urgency within me that you never seem to show. I can’t wait. I want to feel you, see you, inhale your scent as I lay next to you, my head resting against your bare chest, both of us sated, the longing quenched. But you always take your time. Teasing. Torturing. The corners of your mouth turned upward. You’re in control. Making me wait. Making me crazy. How can you exhibit such restraint when I want to …

This is the beginning of my new super short, emotion-packed piece over at Clever Fiction~Short Stories for the Real World. If you'd like to read the rest, click HERE, jump on over, and enjoy!