Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The awards for the Golden Quill are lovely...

I just got my 2012 award...some snafu with the contest coordinator, I guess. But it was worth waiting for, they are real green marble cause they weigh a ton, and I had to buy metal stands for them. Just gorgeous!

My Magical Best,

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Remember When Writing Was Pure Enjoyment

Remember when you wrote just for the pure enjoyment of it?  Then came deadlines - self-imposed and not. Worrying over craft-  gotta get it perfect. Promo - she with the most Facebook friends wins. The voices in your head - "I have to write every day." "You need to get as many books out there as possible." If you're not careful, writing becomes work and the pleasure slips away.

Yesterday I rewrote the first scene in my next manuscript and fell back in love with writing. It was pure enjoyment. Just as good as savoring every bite of a sundae. My goal was to get into my character's head, while keeping in mind how I wanted my reader to feel. No matter how many deadlines we have, its important to keep the joy alive any way we can. It will show through in our novels.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, August 23, 2013

Author Sportlight on Glynna Kaye

A Canyon Springs Courtship

A Love Reunited

Councilman Jake Talford is determined to protect his small Arizona town. Even if that means keeping a close eye on former sweetheart Macy Colston. Macy has come to Canyon Springs to get the scoop for her popular blog Hometowns with Heart. The rest of the town council hopes it will bring in the tourists. But Jake's worried she'll turn local gossip into public scandal. He and Macy once shared dreams of a future together. Now it's up to Jake to make her see what's most important in life—love, faith and truth.

  • Sep 2013
  • Category: Inspirational Romance
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9780373878390 

Glynna's Bio

Although Glynna Kaye now lives in Arizona, some of her favorite memories are of growing up in small Midwestern states—Iowa, Missouri, Illinois—and vacations spent in another rural town with the Texan side of the family. She can trace her love of storytelling to the many times a houseful of great aunts and uncles gathered with her Iowa grandma to share hours of what they called "windjammers"—candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood.

Before she could read, Glynna pecked out stories on her grandparents' old manual Remington typewriter and her mom circled any words she'd accidentally created! By third grade she received her first byline for a poem in a church newsletter and, along with her equally imaginative sister and cousins, was soon writing short stories as well as plays to be performed in Grandma's basement "theater."

On down the road, her unpublished manuscripts garnered contest recognition, including first place wins in American Christian Fiction Writers' "Genesis" and RWA Faith, Hope & Love's "Touched by Love."

In December 2008 Glynna was notified that her entry in another contest had been selected for first place by the finals judge, an editor from Steeple Hill Books who requested to see the full manuscript. She shipped it off in January 2009 and a week after it arrived on the publisher's New York doorstep, she got "The Call" that Dreaming of Home would be an October 2009 Steeple Hill Love Inspired release!

Glynna's delighted to share her stories with readers and hopes they enjoying reading them as much as she enjoys writing them!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

i-Mary – Boomer on the Web

Hi Dreamers and Lovers,

I'm all-comfy in the Much Cheaper Than Therapy blog-room, ready for my session. Reveal: I've been writing lo these many years, currently 14 books online and a few still on bookshelves, including 2 nonfiction. My main focus, besides learning to play golf so my husband doesn't have ALL the fun and traveling to FABulous places, are my eBooks. I guess that's more than one focus. I must admit that writing is great therapy and a way to channel those voices I hear when my characters take over. Ahhh, I feel better already.

To be a Boomer on the Web means transformation from Mild Mannered Wife and Mother Writing Romance Novels to World-wide Domination… uh, oh no. I mean that it has shown me the vast, beautiful world and given the world a path to my books! How exciting is that? Admittedly, it has taken a tremendous amount of determination while tackling a huge thinking/learning curve. I'm not slick at it, but I have lots of helpers and assistants – that's what I raised those brilliant children for, right? I'm all for meeting those challenges, trying something different, and going for the gusto. The rewards will be surprising beyond your imagination!

I'll be sharing some things I've learned over the years like:
  • Boomer on the Web – frustration or freedom?
  • The Power of Three!!!
  • Delights, Discoveries, and Dreams (& Determination)
  • The F-Words That Make IT Happen – (not what you think!)
  • and oh yeah, Writing Naked (the bold & the beautiful!)

In our fast-paced life today, we're all overwhelmed with To-Do lists – and a mad scramble to get it all done. I suggest a little summer escape, or fictional fantasy, to spark our lives. In A MAN TO REMEMBER, you can travel safely to the beautiful beaches of Mexico for a beach read. Alyse has a fling with a mysterious man. Can she believe him? Should she risk her life for him? Would you? Let me know what you would do. Here's my link to buy-

Thanks for sharing this session, which was Much Cheaper (and way more fun) Than Therapy. I hope it was good for you, too. See you next time, 3rd Tuesday from the sun.
Voilà (practicing for my journey to France this fall).

Mary Tate
Chasing Dreams, Finding Love

Friday, August 16, 2013

Introducing Kayce Lassiter

It is my pleasure to introduce my friend, Kayce Lassiter. Katie's Rock is a great read! I hope you enjoy her story.

Katie’s Rock

Katie Schaffer is a single mother who slings drinks for a living.  Her parents are gone, leaving her alone to care for her four year old son and a cocker spaniel with more energy than brains.  When she meets Arizona ranchers Jake and David McAllister, the two handsome brothers both go into a full-court-press to win Katie’s affections.  She quickly chooses Jake, but soon finds the road to love is a whole lot rockier than she expected.  Jake is still raw from his divorce and is struggling with the pain of having his family torn apart.  If she loses Jake, Katie stands to lose the entire McAllister family.  Not only has she come to love them very much, but this would be the second family Katie has lost. 

Will Jake commit to Katie?
Did Katie choose the wrong McAllister brother?
If she loses Jake, can Katie survive losing her second family in three years?



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop Going on Now until the 18th!

Like to read? Like a little variety? Like to win prizes and discover new authors? This is the hop for you!

Over 60 authors and bloggers from the 15th to the 18th have joined the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop and are giving away tons of prizes, included books, gift cards and book swag. The grand prize is a $71 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner's choice) as of this writing.

Caris Roane, myself and Bella Media Management are sponsoring the hop. To see the list of participating blogs, you can visit my author site at www.hdthomson.com. Hop to see you there!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


On our vacation travels this summer, my kids and I discovered this really interesting Starbucks. Looking for some way to cool off from the unseasonably hot temperatures of Pennsylvania, (of course it wasn't too bad since we're from Phoenix but for the locals....) we wandered into the store. Okay, so nothing unusual there. What made me stand up and take notice was the place was built in 1758. That's right. It's older than our country. We just had to take a look inside.

As we sat at our table admiring the fireplaces, the floor, and just about every other detail, my writer's mind started percolating. I thought about the similarities between the centuries. William Doyle (the founder of Doylestown) built it as a tavern back in 1758. In 2013 we were sitting enjoying another kind of beverage. Of course, the clothing, the speech patterns, and topics of discussion, were different, but the tavern was built as a gathering place for locals and travelers alike.

Imagine the what it was like back then. What did the people see when they looked out the same window we did? What did they hear? What did they think about? Did William Doyle ever think his building would still be standing and remain a gathering place?

Now imagine 250 years from now. Hard, isn't it? Especially when I have trouble keeping dates straight on the calendar, but still.....What does the future hold?

As a writer, I can control the outcome and future in my books. But as people, we play a key in controlling what we do to our planet for our future generations. I don't know about you, but in 2263, I think it would be really neat for another writer to sit inside the old tavern, staring at the hovercrafts driving by, thinking about the past and the future as they create their next story.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Last night, my husband and I watched Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. It is aimed at a teen/preteen audience, but I thought the premise of a camp filled with teens who are half bloods, the siblings of Greek gods and mortals interesting.

What I found most interesting was the device the writer used to reflect the main character's feelings. Although Percy saved the world, he is afraid he isn't a hero and couldn't do it again. His feeling is reflected in the actions of Mr. D, the Stanley Tucci character, who never remembers anyone's name except for Clarisse, who wins every camp challenge. At first, it was funny when Mr. D called everyone by a different name, but when he called Percy by another name, we knew he didn't think of Percy as a hero either. In his mind, the only demigod worthy of remembering was Clarisse. He further demonstrates this belief when he sends her and not Percy on a quest to find the fleece that is needed to save the camp.

The next time you read or write, check to see if there is another character who reflects the hero/heroine's fears of unworthiness.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing,
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spotlighting: Romance Writer Mary Tate Engels

by Connie Flynn

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR of more than 33 books, Mary Tate Engels is a novelist, editor, and teacher with roots in the South and a passion for chasing dreams and finding love!  A romantic at heart, she is published in fiction and non-fiction with Navajo traders' history and an authentic Mexican cookbook. Meet her at www.marytateengels.com    

Look for Mary every third Tuesday on Much Cheaper Than Therapy, when she becomes a permanent contributor, starting this August 20th.  

The rest of us at MCTT welcome Mary with open arms and are eager to see her participation. Here's what she has to say about joining us. 

Hi There,
I'm a Boomer on the Web and after many years of writing books, I dream in digital, as in eBooks. I'll be here on Much Cheaper Than Therapy sharing my experiences on Writing Naked and other tales of Chasing Dreams and Finding Love! Hope you'll tune in and leave a comment. I love feedback. I'm on Facebook – wherever my muse takes me: www.facebook.com/marytateengels Occasionally Twitter about the value of stories in our lives and free books: www.twitter@mtengels.com 
Come visit my home away from home, my website: www.marytateengels.com . And while you're there, sign up for my quarterly newsletter to see what I'm up to, along with a little kick-ass about chasing your dreams and finding happiness.
Chasing Dreams, Finding Love

Click Here to Buy
Claire's Embrace
Love Lottery
An Irish father's loving desperation…   
A spirited daughter's rebellion…
A wealthy American willing to pay for her love…  
And the power of that amazing lace… 
Embraceable You
LL Bean Loves Victoria's Secret

A Maine harbor town needing a change…  

Siena, a take-charge woman who has lost everything . . .

Zach, a man seeking retribution…

An immature mother going cross-country on a Hog …

And Claire's amazing lace goes viral even before the topless style show.

Click Here to Buy

Secret Embrace

 Love, Betrayal, Secrets and An Heirloom Irish Fiddle

Brianna risks everything for happiness in beautiful Ireland

Mitch has nothing more to lose except her love,

Can she love two brothers when one is dangerous and the other is controlling?

Even with the right choice, she could be the big loser.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Author's Bookshelf

This month's book isn't about one particular topic but about an author's career. You can't have been considering a job as a writer without hearing about how the publishing industry is in flux.

There's no denying that this is an exciting and scary time for everyone involved. But the correct career path for you is unlikely to be the trails I'll walk.  And while many of us are already on the writer's road, there's always time to reflect on what you want.

I first heard Bob Mayer talk at the 2012 Desert Dreams conference. Bob is both traditionally published and self-published. Ditto for Jen. They had information and experience and were willing to share it. And while the industry is changing, one thing isn't:

Knowledge is power.

No one can afford to cocoon themselves in the way things used to be, not if you expect to be relevant in the next five years.

So I bought the book:

And didn't read it for a year. DOH! Okay really, it wasn't bad. I went to Bob's talk and most of what he said is 1) common sense for those who've been paying attention and 2)was a very condensed version of the book's highlights.

For those who haven't had the privilege of hearing Bob talk, pick up the book and read it (faster than me, please). Some of the information is outdated (ie Kobo and Nook Press) but the information should be firmly tucked inside your brain before hiring an agent, signing a contract, or publishing your own books. It's basic stuff, written in plain language—things like branding, outsourcing for those self-pubbing, and social media (for everyone).

There were very small chapters on topics that I would like to have known more about—metadata, twitter, etc. I would have liked to have embedded links to other sites both Jen and Bob found useful, like they had in other places. But their Write it Forward blog dovetails the information in the book and is updated regularly, so it's all good.

The Shelfless book is about a writer's career, not about one single book. It's the big picture.  The one authors need to focus on, not so much the single titled book.

It's a cheap investment for the price.  And I think Bob would agree that before you  lead or follow, you should at least have an idea of what you're getting into.

What an author doesn't know can hurt her career and her pocketbook.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writer's Block Got You Down?

by Connie Flynn    
•    You mean to write but somehow you never get yourself into that chair. You plan it, you think about it, but you never managed to write that day . . . or the next, or the next. Before you know it, a week has passed, maybe a couple of months, and each day it gets harder to face that chair.

•    You sit down to write but nothing comes to mind. You write a sentence, back up, fix it, write another one, but the ideas and the words don't even meet you halfway. You stare at the blank screen and, in disgust, finally shut the computer down.
•    You sit down and start writing but everything that shows up on the page is terrible. You hate it, you know it's rotten, if it's a contracted book you know you're in for massive revisions and may never make another sale. If you're not yet  published, you're now certain you never will be. Discouraged, you quit writing for the day.

You have writer's block and it's killing you. You've heard a variety of homilies meant to get you over the hump, most of them of the tough love variety, a route you definitely don't want to take. Besides, the one-step approach doesn't work on something as complex as writer's block. Let's take a moment to examine the root causes of writer's block, then go into how to overcome it.

Block #1 – Failure to Write. This is probably the most difficult block to get around because the  momentum against writing is already in play. It also can have multiple causes.

Scenario #1 – You've lost interest in the story you're writing. In other words you've fallen out of love with what inspired you to start it.

Solution #1 – Get Re-Inspired. Before you give up writing altogether, take some time out to explore your reasons for beginning this particular story and identify what prompted you to write it in the first place. Reignite that inspiration and your enthusiasm will return.

Scenario #2 – You're writing a book because it's in a hot genre even though you don't particularly like that genre.

Solution #2 – Writing to the Market. The only way around this kind of block is to view it as a business venture and soldier on through. If you dislike it so much you can barely sit to write, it's time for re-evaluation

Scenario #3 -- You haven't established or you stopped maintaining a writing schedule.

Solution #3 – Schedule Your Writing Time. Yes, writing at a certain time of day takes extra discipline at first, but once the habit is in place it becomes easier to maintain. As a plus, when you establish a predictable time to write, other people will begin to respect it and even encourage you to continue this particular habit.

Scenario #4 — Your schedule is so overloaded you can't find a spare moment to yourself. You have a job, kids, sick parents, a demanding spouse. Or an illness that robs your energy.

Solution #4 – Change Your Approach. You might have to resign yourself to not writing at this time. But if you're still determined, your only solution is to write a little less. Instead of aiming for, say 5 pages a day, aim for one, or even half a page. What's important here is that you keep the work at hand every day, even if it means simply scrawling a few words in a notepad.

Block #2 – Seat in the Chair, Nothing Comes Out. This is sooo discouraging and also the easiest block to overcome.

Solution #1 -- You aren't writing even when you're in front of the computer because you haven't chosen what to write (don't hit me for that one). The fastest way to get through this block is to do scene outlines that let you know what you're going to write about. If you hate outlining, don't do the whole book at once – just the scenes you plan to write that day or even that week. Another way to handle this block is to end your writing day in the middle of writing a scene. This gives you something to return to the next morning.

Block #3 – Crappy Writing. It's so discouraging. You put in the time and the crime is not working out.

Solution #1 -- The solution for this one isn't to quit for the day – at least not routinely – it's to write on through. A long-ago friend of mine, Pat Warren, said "We aren't writers, we are re-writers."  So true. Try not to judge your first draft too harshly. It doesn't do your book any good and it certainly isn't good for your writer's soul.
The Uber-Solution – Block Free
In most case, just taking a look at how your inner critic beats up on you is enough to get out from under. There must be something in the air or in the society that dislikes the creative process. It's too messy, too unreliable, too . . . weird. You don't really believe you can succeed, do you? Grow up they say.

Maybe you're the lucky person who isn't plagued by those kinds of messages, whether from others or in your own head, but most people in the creative fields are. For those who are, I recommend you build an arsenal of positive reinforcement – slogans you might call them -- but they are really affirmative reminders that you can persist, you can succeed,  you do have something of great value to offer. Write them down when you're feeling optimistic. If you are by nature a cynic, you might want to write down double the amount until they're full of saccharin joy and you can't help but smile. On bad days, when you're sure that your every word choice is wrong, pull out that list and read it until your crappy viewpoint passes. Better yet, tape the list above your monitor.

That, along with the following uber-solution can break through most writer's blocks. This amazing solution will soon sound very familiar, because it is: .
The way through writer's block is to sit down at your keyboard and write at least one sentence. Once that sentence is out, write a second one. 
Now here's the secret and what makes it uber. Don't intend to write your story, write about anything else. What you're going to fix for dinner. What the dog in your book is going to wear. Write a whole chapter about the setting. Don't worry about it being good. In fact, if you feel like it, take special care to make it crappy. In ninety percent plus cases, this burst right through the block.

If not, there is one more solution that every writer is forced to consider sometime during their career. If you're a new writer, chances are your frustrations are merely growing pains. If you've been writing for a while, you've probably experienced the  downs of writing. Sometimes they get to be so many that you forget the highs. This is what I call the period of re-commitment. You do that by asking this question: "Do I really want to be a career novelist?"

Don't answer it lightly and don't turn away from it. Let the other questions emerge. Bigger questions, like 'what do I want from my whole life?' Why did I choose to become a writer?' Small questions like 'is the feedback I'm getting discouraging me?' 'Am I being prevented from doing the work I really want to do?' 'Is my family supporting me?' Look at the pressures coming to bear on you and see what you can change and what you can't. Then decide if you want to be a career novelist.

Not so long ago, I re-committed. I had attended a consciousness-raising seminar that made me question the value of fiction writing. I gotta tell you it was painful but I found a gut level conviction that what I do has value that spurred me to move away from traditional publishing and become an Indie writer.

This isn't an online support group, it's just a little blog about overcoming writer's block but I'd love to hear about your experiences. Do you have a tried and true technique for chasing away writer's block? Do you have your own story about re-commitment? If so, let me know. We might possibly cross-blog about it.

In the meantime, I've just sent my first new Indie novel, KNOW WHEN TO RUN, a romantic suspense, to my Beta readers and hope to have the eBook version published by the end of August. I'll also be blogging a four-week series on Making Characters Pop Off the Page at Savvy Authors beginning this Friday August 9. 

And to end on an up note, my writing friend Pat Warren had another saying: "Anyone ever heard of plumbers' block?" Of course, the creative fiction writing process is much more nuanced than plumbing, but still . . . 

Till later

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Filling The Well

As writers we sometimes need to fill the well. The expression simply means we need to do something other than work and write. Eventually, you run out of topics to write about if you don't have anything else to draw upon in your conscious or subconscious mind.

One great way to fill the well is to experience life. Take a vacation. One of these days I'm going to go on a cruise; hopefully one that won't need to be rescued, but then I would have a story there.

Spending time with friends can fill the well whether its the discussions you take part in or just the positive energy promoting an energized mood.

I usually fill the well by watching movies. I think of it as brainstorming. The movie might begin with the heroine stepping onto a boat and I'll suddenly have a plot for entirely different book. This also happens when I watch television shows or read novels. One moment in time can be the seed for your next story.

I didn't realize just how powerful television could be until I shared shows I had watched with my friend Bev, who is part of the writing team of Tia Dani. Over our Starbucks, I shared an episode of Paranormal Witness about the gruesome Manson murders, which led to Googling the relevant information of the time. I had read the book about Charles Manson in my teens, but had forgotten most of the details. The trial, which took place in the 70's, was a circus of unsettling events. It is said that Charlie scripted testimonies and his followers sat cross-legged near the courthouse with X's carved into their foreheads. When the prosecution's lead witness testified, Charlie motioned that he was going to slit her neck. He had his women followers so brainwashed they were ready to lie for him and say he had nothing to do with the murders, but their own defense attorney wouldn't let them testify. The lawyer disappeared. I'm not sure if his body was ever found. The whole scenario was so horrifying, Charlie has been denied parole 12 times. I believe he isn't eligible for another parole hearing until he is 90.

 From reading the few articles on the Internet, my writer's brain sparked several plots. You could take any person involved with the murders, the trial, or Charlie's "family" and ask "What if?" I would change the scenario in my story so no one would know where the original idea came from.

In the time Bev and I spent sipping our Frappacinos and discussing shows I had watched and Googled, I mentally gathered the seeds for at least half a dozen books.

The news is also a great place to form ideas for new stories. A simple report about an elderly man lost without his medication can lead to a book about a middle-aged woman with amnesia, or a teen kidnapped without her meds, or a respectful businessman found drugged up on the beach in his suit.

Writers do need to fill the well, and although it would be wonderful to take a trip to Ireland to do so, it isn't necessary. Watch a movie or a little TV, read a book, and get out and experience life.

Until next week,
happy reading and writing.
Tina Swayzee McCright

Friday, August 2, 2013

8/2 Author Spotlight - Amanda J. Greene, by Caris Roane

Hi, Everyone!  I'll be attending the Indie Romance Convention in Lebanon, Tennessee October 4th and 5th.  So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to spotlight one of my fellow authors, Amanda J. Greene! 

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Amanda J. Greene is an erotic paranormal romance author. When she is not writing, she can be found playing the role of a full time university student, who works part time.She lives in Southern California with her very supportive, military husband and their sweet cocker spaniel. Doing all the above and being a military wife is not easy, but rewarding! Of course, she accomplishes everything with a strong cup of coffee in her hand.

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Amanda created a special paranormal world, featuring vampires, called:  Rulers of Darkness.  Here is Book #1, CARESSED BY MOONLIGHT!

Dorian Vlakhos is no ordinary aristocrat. He is a vampire king, who will do anything to save his clan from complete annihilation, before an ancient curse can claim his immortal life.

After meeting the beautifully innocent Miss Kingston, Dorian had to have her. He would do absolutely anything to make Victoria his. One sweet stolen kiss would bring them together while a force, more powerful than any vampire, would bind them for all eternity, but treachery, war, and death rule Dorian’s dark world and Victoria would be fortunate to survive.

Penniless and orphaned, Victoria Kingston has nothing to bring to a marriage, yet she must shackle an unsuspecting gentleman into marriage by the end of the month or forfeit her rights as guardian of her younger sister. With the help of her dearest friend, Victoria begins her hunt, and vows to stay far away from the dark, mysterious, Dorian Vlakhos.

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To learn more about Amanda J. Greene, visit her website:  CLICK HERE!!!

And join us in Tennessee in October at the Indie Romance Convention:  CLICK HERE!!!



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 Caris Roane is the author of six paranormal novels for St. Martin’s Press and several indie pubbed novellas.  A SEDUCTIVE PROPOSITION is her first Contemporary Romance.  Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and Novellas in Regency Romance.  Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, really doesn’t like scorpions, and has two cats, Gizzy and Sebastien.

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