Books, Fiction, My Books, Reading, Writing

Two Bucks or a Penny Less

Everyone loves a sale, right? And a fabulous sale is when you can buy a book for two bucks or a penny less. My ebook publisher, Kindle Press, cycles their titles through a promotion schedule. This month, both my Kindle Scout winners are on month-long sales in the US Amazon store. High Tea & Flip-Flops will be priced at $2 and Forever will be priced at $1.99 for the whole month of September.


Read the full preview of High Tea & Flip-Flops.

Chelsea can’t stop thinking about her handsome upstairs neighbor. Jeremy, a suave and secretive, man with a British accent, is the opposite of her usual California surfer type. When drawn together by fate and a pizza, they make a pair that’s hilarious, sexy, and worth cheering for.



Read the full preview of Forever.

Tom doesn’t usually keep secrets from his wife, Julie, but he keeps one when Annie is thrust into his life and he sees flashes of a past life with her. And that secret endangers their lives because a dark entity, who’s waited two centuries to exact revenge, has made them pawns in a demented game.


So what are you waiting for? Go book shopping!


Books, Family, Reading, Real Life, Social Media

I’m Back and Wishing You and Me a Happy New Year

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to start a new year. If you’re subscribed to this blog or follow me on Facebook or other social media, you may have noticed I disappeared about five weeks ago. Though I hadn’t planned such a break, it came as a relief. Let’s just say 2013 was not my most successful year and I’d had enough of it.


Please, accept my apology if I missed saying Congratulations or Happy Birthday on Facebook. And I’m sorry I wasn’t around to wish you a Merry Christmas. Today, I’m still under the influence of a beastly cold, but otherwise I’m mostly re-energized. And, since I also took a five-week break from writing, I’m anxious to get back to work, and I entered the WFWA Write-A-Thin Challenge to give me a boost.

What did I do while I wasn’t writing or blogging or socializing on Facebook? I read, of course. During the second week of December, I read two novels and a short story collection! Maybe that’s no big deal to you, but I think the last time I read books that quickly I was in third grade. I’d forgotten how fast the pages add up when you have few distractions. In all, I read five books, abandoned a couple of others after a chapter or two, and then started the one I’m still reading.

Then it was time to put normal life aside to prepare for family Christmas visits. Our out-of-state sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren came to town. We had our usual Christmas Eve Syrian feast and though one granddaughter came late due to work, as you can see from the image above, she made it into our annual family photo by magic. (Otherwise known as Photoshop.) We had a lovely holiday. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful family.

I have many hopes for this year, but my main goal is to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in my life. What’s your main goal for 2014?

Books, Reading

Clinging to an Old Love

oldloveI confess; I’ve been spending a lot of time with an old love. This month alone, we’ve traveled from Afghanistan to Paris, sailed along the Carolina coast, danced in Philadelphia, and searched my soul. Now, we’ve begun to study a kind of architecture as we head to the Cascade Mountains. My old love is exciting, don’t you think?

In other words, I’ve been reading more than usual. If you click here, you’ll see how much time I’ve spent with that old love already this month. And I’ll increase that before August is over. Some of you may read that much every month—or in a week—but it’s a rarity for me because I’m usually too busy with some fiction writing or related activity to read more than one book a month.

Obviously, I’m writing far less at the moment. I completed one full paragraph the other day. But that’s beside the point of this post. I’m talking about other writers’ books.

Not every book I open makes it to a section on my I Read page. Descriptions can be more exciting than the book, I’ve found, so if I start a book and it doesn’t interest me, I stop reading. Since I don’t waste precious reading time, if I read a book to the end that means I’d give it at least a 3-star rating. Most, or maybe all, of the books listed on my page I’d rate four or five stars.

Often, I read with my editor’s hat on—sometimes on purpose. This time I’m just enjoying the experience. I don’t know how long my Word files may gather dust. I have a wealth of books waiting in the wings. But you can’t write if you don’t read, so at least I have one half of that equation covered.

Where has your love taken you recently?



My Books, Reading, Real Life, Writing

Big news week!

My author activity this past week was about as opposite of my usual as possible. First I announced the publication of my new novel An Illusion of Trust in ebook and then in print. I also announced a two-day giveaway of The Brevity of Roses ebook. So my first full week of not writing still had a lot of writing-related activity.

I also made the pair of earrings pictured, went to a concert, brushed up on my knitting skill, and read two books that have been on my Kindle forever. Maybe this week I’ll get to some of that much-needed blue_earhousework. And I need to weed the flower beds. I’ll definitely continue my reading spurt. And if I could get some drawing done this month, it would be a perfect hiatus.

Speaking of reading, if you’re a member of Goodreads, I’m sure you received notice that it’s “joined the Amazon family.” The social media world went crazy with that news. I’ve read a lot of pros and cons on this now, but I don’t understand the merger implications enough to take sides. Though, since my books are sold at Amazon and I own a Kindle, I think whatever changes might occur at Goodreads will be in my favor.

Since I’m not writing, but can’t help thinking about writing, I’ve been asking myself why I want to write and then why I want to write specific stories and ultimately why I want to publish what I write. I know the simple answers to those questions, but I’m hoping to reach a deeper level of understanding. If I succeed, I’ll share my reasons in a future post.


Books, Reader, Reading

How do you use your reading device?

The topic of this post came to me as a question while responding to a comment on my last post. I confess, I rarely learn all the functions of my electronic devices, and sometimes, even when I know about them, I forget to use them. It doesn’t help that most of these devices no longer come with print manuals. Having to access an online manual annoys me.

Anyway, the electronic device in question today is the e-reader. I have a Kindle, a Kindle 3 to be exact, the one with the old-fashioned button keyboard. I’ve used it for almost two years, but I’ve not used it fully. I know how to open and page through a book, of course. I’ve tried the read-to-me feature, but the robotic voice drives me nuts.  I even know how to send documents to my Kindle by email.  But there are other features I’ve never used.

I’ve used the Menu button mainly to access the Wireless function and the “Go to” function, but only to go to the beginning or end of the book. I have never used: Search This Document, Add Bookmark, Add Note or Highlight, etc. Until two days ago, I didn’t even realize the progress bar that appears at the bottom of the screen as you read shows tick marks indicating chapter beginnings. And then I found out you can skip forward and backward through these chapters by clicking.

Yeah, I’m an electronic doofus.

The thing is, I read e-books differently than I do print books. I prefer the print version of reference books and books I will likely read more than once—like those of my favorite authors. Those are the books I add bookmarks or notes and highlights to. I use my e-reader mostly for easy, quickly read fiction. I don’t believe publishers will cease printing books in my lifetime, though I do expect to see a steady increase in books published in digital format only.

Now, here’s my question—rather, series of questions—for e-reader users. How do you use your e-reader? Do you use all its features? Do you add notes and highlights the way you do in print books? Of the books you’ve read in the last year, what percentage were digital? Do you read all types of books on your reader or do you prefer to read certain books in print? If you’d like to answer an e-reader question I didn’t ask, have at it.