Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Hi, All,

Time for another session of the IWSG... What a great way to vent our insecurities the first Wednesday of the month...

THANK YOU, ALEX! If you'd like to join our illustrious group sign up here.

Life is far from flat after the holidays for me. One challenge after the next. Now it's trying to train THE MOST STUBBORN puppy in the world! 

I have been a pet parent several times and I have always managed to gain the love and respect of my fur kids practically in the first week.... But this little guy has managed to push every one of my buttons. Two months now and still he doesn't listen. I have read a few training books, even one specifically for his breed. I even ordered an intense web training system by a world famous dog trainer. UGH. Still he manages to misbehave. The funny thing is "CUJO" appears every other day. So I have like a Dr. Jeckyl and Mister Hyde, type deal going on here. Can animals be bipolar? I wonder. 

Don't get me wrong, he can be very sweet and affectionate, but at times he lunges at me with spiked teeth that tear. From what I've read and heard, he will adjust once he hits later puppyhood... in the meantime I have eight plus months until his first birthday... YIKES! Will I make it? 

Stay tuned... 

On a writer's note, I am thrilled to say one of my short stories will be part of Randi Lee's, THAT THING THAT TURNED ME anthology. I am extremely fortunate to be teamed with many amazing writers. It should be quite the read! SO MUCH TALENT in one Anthology!

As you can see by the author's listed, it will be an amazing collection and a wide variety of writing styles. This Anthology is also the first full story of mine to be published and I am thrilled. I'll  keep you posted on the launch date, which should be sometime in the late Spring.

Having been in writing SIBERIA for almost two years, I am hoping this will be the kick in the pants I needed to start writing again on a daily basis... One can hope!

Please drop by and say hi to Alex, the cohosts, and the IWSG site! 

Have an amazing day, everyone!

Monday, February 1, 2016



Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Although Chicago is warmer than usual, there was still a damp chill in the air. More like March than January... Gray skies prevail though, so it still feels like winter. UGH....

BUT at least lots of good things happen in the winter months! Mostly, lots of new releases from our talented blogger pals!

Today I'd like to reveal my very good friend, Yolanda Renee's newest novel MURDER AND OBSESSION... Release date March-2016! So lets all get our ready for a intrigue... Yolanda Renee is the Queen of Intrigue! So don't forget to pic up your copy.... of....

As wedding bells echo like the ring of toasting champagne glasses in the ice carved mountains of Anchorage Alaska, detective Steven Quaid rehabs his grandfather’s cabin into a honeymoon cottage for his new bride.

When he returns from a hunting trip, Steven’s faced with five police officers, who “Want to talk.” Plagued by two unsolved murders, the Department is searching for answers.

The conversation comes to a deafening halt as the team finds a bloody crime scene in the bridal suite. "Where's her body?" is a question Steven cannot fathom. 

Steven’s jaw clenches and his heart races. Images of Sarah streak through his mind.

The silence breaks as an explosion of accusations vibrate through every fiber of his being.
Steven bolts…

Although running is never the smart thing to do, Steven’s not thinking clearly and his escape into the wilderness of the Brooks Range proves almost fatal.

This Steven Quaid mystery is both personal and heartbreaking.


BUT...until then... why not curl up with the first two books in the series.




Here are the links...

~Yolanda Renèe ~

  Author:     Murder, Madness & Love & Memories of Murder & When Zombies Attack
      Blogger:    Defending the Pen & Murderous Imaginings & WEP-Write...Edit...Publish
      Links:         Facebook Twitter / Pinterest / Wattpad / GoodReads


See you all on Wednesday or IWSG...

Friday, January 29, 2016


Voices shrill... 

Blood gushing from heads torn off litter the flashing widescreen.

"Cool... Hey Jewel, isn't this cool?"

"Typical. Don't Zombies do anything else but rip people's heads off and eat their brains?"

"Of course they do! Zombies are complicated just don't understand them," Jeremy says, shaking his head."

"Ha... like you do."

A door bursts open, and Jeremy's and Jewel's parents rush into the house, slamming the door behind them.

"What gives?" Jeremy asks.

"Into the kitchen. Now," snaps his mother.

Jeremy and Jewel glance at each other. Jeremy shrugs his shoulders and heads toward the kitchen with Jewel at his heels.

"Okay you two, as soon as we finish eating, I want you to gather up your things. We're leaving."

"Leaving? Where?" Jeremy exclaims.

"Colorado. Ask no more questions. We're all in great danger. Zombies are not a figment of your imagination. They are real! It's time you know the truth..."

Jeremy and Jewel remained speechless. 

Could it be possible?

Are Zombies truly real?

Will they survive the long cross country road trip?

Or, will their journey be stopped dead in their tracks?

Summer vacation was NEVER like this!

GREETINGS ALL! I hope you all enjoyed my playful interpretation of David Powers King's newest book! What an intriguing concept. Imagine, a zombie apocalypse and you have to travel through the country to safety... Imagine what you'd see... Imagine what you'd have to do to survive.

WELL... you DON'T have to imagine... You CAN FIND OUT! 

David has created a fun and entertaining new series. I hope you will all pick up a copy and join Jeremy and Jewel on their adventure. 

Who knows what will happen...

David has given us a juicy detail...

The parents go off to find a cure, NEVER to return. What happens next we can only guess....

I can't wait to find out!!! Can you?!

Let's all SHOW DAVID our support and pick up a copy today. Here are the links...


Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Berretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

I am privileged to be the last stop on David's blog book tour. I wish him ALL THE BEST and look forward to the reading this and the whole series.... I hope you will be, too!

David is also having a contest...

Contest Details:

Visit and leave and comment and/or tweet about The Undead Road (at least once) for a chance to win a free ebook. One out of every 10 comments and tweets is a winner! Use the Twitter Button below to ensure the author will see your tweet. Thank you!


Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Hi, Everyone!

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL holiday season. I know I haven't been around to wish you all a HAPPY and especially HEALTHY new year! Today is the perfect day for an IWSG post because it is also the EPIPHANY... for those of us who are Catholic or Christian, you will know what this is... it is the day the Three Kings arrived to adore the baby Jesus. 

SO, I am thrilled to be able to post pics of my new loft, fully decorated for Christmas. I may be late, but better late than never. 

On this special day, many millennia ago, gifts were presented to our savior. But the greatest gift of all was LOVE... I sort of forgot that for the past several months when I nearly lost my mind with taking on such a monumental project. My life wasn't my own. Insecure doesn't even come near to what I was experiencing emotionally. I hit BRICK walls everywhere I had turned. It was a very tough few months, culminating into another stressful move. The thing I dreaded the most happened. My place wasn't finished and my lease was up. 

As many of you know, living in a construction site is not fun, AT ALL... I had been through it once when I remodeled the kitchen in my last condo. But this wasn't just a kitchen it was a complete apartment. EVERYTHING had to be done. From the brick walls to the plumbing, electrical, and inside walls. This is an 1880's brick building... a former children's book publishing/printing company.

My stress levels were beyond anything I had ever experienced. Contractor's quotes were twice what I had expected. I had to be super creative and find individuals to do each job. And that took time. Lots of time. Yes, I had saved a lot, BUT, it ruled my life for almost four months. I had no life. That is why I was so scarce. 

I am sure many of you have had these high stress levels in your personal life and in your writing. Stress is stress. But there is nothing worse than feeling at the end of your rope. But I survived. AND, so will you! LOVE is always there... whether from family, friends, or your faith. You will get through the rough times in your life.

I was also sad that I had missed out on so many writing events... I so wanted to submit something into the IWSG anthology. I have been a member since it's beginning and it holds such a special place in my heart. Thank you, Alex... It has grown to such an amazing and helpful source in so many of our lives. So please drop by and visit other IWSGers and be inspired and offer help to those who are STRESSED... And thanks to Alex's cohosts L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose,  Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace!  

I moved into my Loft. Walls still rough and unpainted. Baseboards, doors, glass, and the kitchen backsplash uninstalled. Furniture, clothes, and construction debris all over the place... The first two weeks was a living nightmare. But, after three fifteen hour days, the place was livable. Then I burnt out...

I hated where I was. I dreaded this place. I had made a HUGE mistake. I stepped back and had a minor meltdown. Then Christmas was just around the corner. I had my lovely 9ft artificial tree littered in three different sections. I dug them out and put my tree together. Then it hit me. Ignore the walls, lack of baseboards, etc. and just DECORATE. Hang pics on the unpainted walls, drape the tables with Christmas and festive cheer. And so I did.

As Christmas approached, each day I did one or two things. Hung the bathroom mirror. Had the closets installed. Organized ALL the clothes piled all over the place. And before I knew it, by Christmas, my place looked shockingly nice. 

I was nervous about how much money I put into this place. I decided to invite my realtor over for a holiday drink. He warned me not to invest more than 35k in the rehab. HA! At this point, I was at 50K with at least another 5K to finish.

He stepped through the newly positioned front door and he stopped. A grin crossed his lips. "Ah, this looks like more than 35k, Michael." 

I cringed.

He walked up the steps peeked into the bedroom and then turned down the long hall to the bathroom. Still grinning.

"Well," I said.

He cleared his throat. "When I told you not to put in more than 35k, I had no idea the degree of designer you are. This is one of the most stunning rehabs I have ever seen." He smiled, brilliantly. "And if I was to put this on the market tomorrow I'd put it up for 300K!"

I nearly freaked. For what I had paid and what I put into this rehab, I made back the money I had lost in my last condo. So I calmed for the first time in four months. You just never know. Not only that, he is hiring me for a multi million dollar listing he wants me to stage next month. YAY! 

And even though I told him the place wasn't finished. He actually LOVED the unfinished walls and FLAWS... because the architecture and upgrades balanced out these flaws and created a very unique living space.

SO remember this whenever you feel your manuscript isn't as perfect as you think it should be... it may have just the right balance of roughness and polish! Again, you just never know.

Now... add a new puppy to this foray...... LOL A few weeks after I moved it, I decided I needed a fury friend to keep me company... Here's Hamlet... the Holy Terrier...

DON'T let that sweet, innocent face fool you. LOL

AND NOW FOR THE PICS! Many of you will remember I had posted pics of the loft when I had first bought it and as I started the rehab... It's pretty amazing what a creative mind can accomplish whether in design, art, music, or writing!

Thank you all for dropping by. I know this is a bit longer than it should be, but I just wanted to share my experience with all of you.

I would also like to express my affection for all of you. I have been blogging for five years now, and I truly believe that we are blessed to know one another. We all share a passion for writing, art, music, and all forms of creativity... this is what makes all of us special.

May this year bring you all the love, health, and happiness we all deserve. HUGS to you all!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2015


Hi, All,

Today gives me GREAT pleasure to FEATURE, my BLOGGER pal,  MARK Koopmans and his newly published memoir, REVIVAL- The Donald Braswell Story

Mark is here today to talk about a very important subject...something all authors need as much as their computers... 

Take it away, Mark~~~~~


Today is one of my favorite stops on the REVIVAL – The Donald Braswell story Tour because I can publicly say “thank you” to Michael, who helped fix a long-standing issue with REVIVAL.

Michael, thanks also for having me here today—and I very much appreciate all your advice and help when I needed a Critique Partner.

And, that’s today’s topic: The importance of a great CP.

When I put out the call for assistance, I’d just finished what felt like the 1,583rd draft, but something was still “missing.”

Several people were kind enough to read and crit the sample chapters, but Michael rolled up his sleeves and asked for the full ms.

Several weeks went by, and then Michael sent an email that literally changed the direction of the book, which was at the time written third person, past tense.

“Change it to first person, present tense,” Michael said. “Makes it much more personal and allows readers to follow Donald through each struggle and success.”

To emphasize his point, Michael spent even more time and sent me his suggested changes. As the emails came in, it was obvious he’d figured what the missing something was, and REVIVAL began to flow the way I’d always hoped.

Though I now had the daunting task of essentially rewriting the entire ms, I knew the Point of View change was exactly what the Di Gesu ordered!

My point is great CPs are few and far between. When you find one, hold on tight, listen to the constructive criticism and, at the very least, consider acting on the offered suggestions.
Thanks again, Michael, for today, and the many, many days prior to this one.

Tomorrow, it’s Annalisa Crawford, who wants to know how and where in time do you start a memoir?

Mark, it was my GREAT pleasure to host you today and especially to help you on your amazing memoir! And, I couldn't agree more about how VALUABLE a good CP is... I am honored and humbled by your gratitude. Sometimes it just takes an extra set of keen eyes to figure out what is missing. We've all BEEN there... Banging our heads against our desks trying to figure out what's missing... I adore my CP's and would be completely lost without them.

Here is more about REVIVAL...and THE TOUR...

Five years removed from his 1990 Juilliard graduation, Donald Braswell is set to be “the next Pavarotti.” Braswell’s successful career ends, however, not with a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, but alone, lying in a dirty ditch.

Following the hit-and-run accident that steals his voice and future, the “Texas Tenor” struggles with depression and despairuntil the night his daughter, Aria, is born. Understanding this new and immediate life change, Braswell fights to relearn how to speak, singand share this gift of second chances with others.
Working as a plasterer, a car salesman, and many jobs in-between, it takes thirteen yearsand a musical miraclefor Braswell to battle back and sing on a professional stage. His dreams and ambitions collide with a tired and angry crowd when he auditions for America’s Got Talent. For his family, his faith and his entire future, can the Rocky Balboa of the operatic world find the courage and strength to win just one more fight?
CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE CHAPTER. ───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 
PURCHASE LINKS: (Paperbacks)
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Tour Information

Mark's Tour Page

Mark's Newsletter


Mark is also hosting a giveaway! So please Jump on board, now!

  • ●  GRAND PRIZE (2 winners): Donald Braswell to sing (Happy Birthday/Anniversary) via Skype or phone call. (A unique gift idea!)
  • ●  1ST PLACE PRIZE: Signed Donald Braswell CD/REVIVAL book combo
  • ●  2nd, 3rd and 4th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of REVIVAL (by Donald and Mark)
  • ●  5th, 6th and 7th PLACE PRIZES: Signed copies of Donald Braswell CDs
  • ●  8th, 9th, and 10th PLACE PRIZES: Signed Donald Braswell 8x10 picture 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THANKS for stopping by today, Mark! ALL the best with you MEMOIR and TOUR

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. A cool whisper through the trees are shaking autumn's colorful leaves to the bare bones... 

Doesn't it sound like the perfect time to put on your jammies, stoke the fire, and curl up under an afghan with a good book?

Well, Stephen Tremp has written a ghoulish tale perfect for the occasion. 
Salem's Daughters

Today I am happy to host Stephen on his blog tour~

He is sharing some of his insights and not so fun facts...

TV and Movie Paranormal Shows There is no shortage of people who investigate the paranormal and supernatural disturbances, usually in houses or abandoned buildings that were once a psychiatric ward or built over an Indian burial ground. The audience for such shows is huge.
I had to incorporate this element into Salem’s Daughters. Running a bed and breakfast is expensive, and cancellations due to people dying violent deaths drive Bob and Debbie’s meddling grandparents, who co-signed on the three and a half millions dollar loan to resort to extreme measures. They allow a paranormal TV show called American Ghost Stories to film a live episode at Murcat Manor.
What happens next is one of the best scenes in the book as the crew discover the thirteen cats are indeed at the heart of the problem and want to expose them live on national TV. But the witches are a step ahead of them and all kinds of craziness erupts. Throw in an Indian shaman as the wild card and this may be the highlight of the story.
Not So Fun Facts When cats leave their poop uncovered, it is a sign of aggression to let you know they don’t fear you.
Did You Know Cats have a lower social IQ than dogs but can solve more difficult cognitive problems when they feel like it.
Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast.
Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.
Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.
Next Stop: Wednesday November 18th Bench With A View for my favorite topic: Science Meets The Supernatural.
Here is a list of links to paranormal movies and TV shows:
One of my favorite paranormal shows is 1408 with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson (based on a Stephen King novel) is one of my favorites. If you haven’t rented the movie, do so in the near future.
Question do you have a favorite Paranormal movie or TV show?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hi All,

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and we ALL know what that means... It's time for another IWSG post!

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh we get to vent our insecurities once a month. I must agree it's a great idea and it has helped me and SO many other bloggers get through their "stressful" time.

So please drop by and lend a "helping hand" with a soothing comment to your fellow blogger who are feeing a bit "OVERWHELMED" this month....

My title "hints" at my anxiety this mont. As most of you know, I am currently rehabbing an 1880's timber loft. WELL, I am down to the wire, guys, I move in less than two weeks and I am starting to FREAK.... there is still so much to do, and it seems that the guys working are moving at a snail's pace. I had hired this AMAZING tile person. I let my guard down for a second and found out that HE was not doing the actual work. ANOTHER CONTRACTOR.... NOOOOOO.... contractors in this city are out for blood. They charge THREE times what the union scale is and they pay their workers a fraction of that. So the guys doing my work are moving sooooooo slowly. The bathroom was supposed to be finished today, and they only installed the floor.... and it's not even grouted yet. Which, is holding up the installation of my hot water heater and washer/dryer. They are also holding up the finishing of the painted walls, which can't be done while they are still working in the space.

UGH! And, sadly, my amazing carpenter can't work the rest of this week. So I had to hire another drywall person to finish up at TWICE the cost of my guy. UGH, again!

At this point I have everything second planned, so if even one minute is off, it throws all the other work off.

For those of you that have had remodeling or rehabbing done, you know the nightmare of this situation. you know I do like to see the positive in most things, I still have a bit of wiggle room. I may not have all the work done when I move in on the 16th,  but the bath, kitchen, and floors should should be all done. I can do the FINE TUNING after I move in. It is not the best case scenario, especially with Christmas just around the corner, but it what it IS....

So, friends, please send me all the positive vibes you can... I'd really appreciate it!

Have a GREAT day, and I am OFF for another INSANE DAY of letting worker into the loft and baby sitting the tile guys.... FUN....

I hope to say HI to you guys when I get a free moment....