Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Hi, All...

Happy Wednesday!

Thanks for all the great comments about How I Found the Write Path, blog hop. The letters to our pre-writing selves were truly amazing! Thanks again Carrie for pulling it all together. SO many writers will benefit from it. I know it.

Today I'd like to talk about stumbling along in our writing progress. I must admit I'm in slight funk trying to reorganize my thoughts and get to writing again. For the past six months I've been in HEAVY revisions with my second novel and I am very secure in my belief that it is ready. I started to send out queries, but not as many as I should. I've been hesitating. BAD MICHAEL. I guess deep down I feel afraid of rejection, although I know it's part of our everyday lives. I haven't queried in so long, so I guess it's only natural.

So I am PUSHING myself. I can use a "NUDGE" guys. LOL.

I actually TRIED to dive back into my film noir novella I had started a while ago. For some reason I lost my edge on it. BUT.... At last I have been motivated. It's exactly what I needed! God always provides for us. Last night, on Turner Classic Movies, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE 1940's Noir films was broadcasted. LAURA. With Gene Tierney. Have any of you seen it? It is so fine. The acting amazing. The detective, played by Dana Andrews, is flawless. THE PERFECT noir detective. Dark, muscular, handsome. Just like my detective in the noir I'm writing. Gene Tierney, who plays Laura is one of THE MOST GORGEOUS actresses of that time. Stunningly beautiful in her mystique. And of course, I CANNOT forget to mentions the amazing B&W visuals... Talk about atmosphere. SO uplifting. I STUDIED EVERY detail from the sets, clothing, stances, gestures, and speech and the forever lighting of cigarettes... SO NOIR!  Now to only capture that in my novella.

The cast is amazing in this film. Clifton Webb plays the elitist. A super young Vincent Price, Laura's fiancé' who is so unworthy of her. Who could ask for more, especially in Noir. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's great!
Here's the movie poster from 1944. Photos courtesy of listal.

SO I just want to tell all you writers out there that are in a funk, stuck in a mini writer's block, or just plain out of sorts. It only takes on little thing to set you back on the right path. SO LOOK for those small signs. You just might find them in your TV guide. LOL. I did!

HAPPY WRITING everyone and I hope this little bit of advice gets you over your HUMP....

How about you? Have any of you had any amazing stimulation this week? I'd like to hear about it!

Monday, May 19, 2014


Happy Monday, everyone...

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Yesterday we finally warmed up a bit in Chicago and I actually spent most of the day out. It was great not having to a winter coat...IN MAY. Lol.

Today I am part of the "HOW I FOUND THE WRITE PATH," bloghop hosted by the amazing Carrie Butler and co-hosted by PK Hrezo...
It's Carrie's third year blogging... HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!!!! So she has decided to create a book to help newbe writers.... Here's the skinny by Carrie...

"I want to compile a free e-book for writers who are just starting on their road to publication, using advice from the most brilliant, up-and-coming voices in the industry: you guys! Here’s what it would involve:


Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:

   - A lesson you learned the hard way
   - Something you didn’t expect about the industry        (positive/negative)
   - A writing-related resource you could never do without now
   - One thing you’d change about your journey
   - One thing you’re glad you did
   - Your number one tip for pursuing publication
   - Anything else you feel is worth passing on"

Doesn't this sound awesome?! So if you want to hop along you have all week! Drop over to Carrie's to add you name to the linky... Here

So here's my letter to my pre-writer self...

May 19, 2014

Dear Michael,

This is your future self writing to you on behalf of the incredible journey you are about to embark upon into the publishing industry.

First and foremost never give up your dream. At times, frustration will haunt you. Countless hours on the computer will seem never-ending. Keep an open mind and always listen to more experienced writers.

I have a few suggestions to make things MUCH easier for you, tips I have learned through trial and mostly error.

Economize your words. Simply write clear, concise, and to the point sentences. Avoid adverbs at all costs by choosing a stronger verb. Use search to find all LY words and common words, such as LOOK, TOWARD, JUST, REALLY, LIKE, etc. This way you can cut them down without to much difficulty. ALWAYS use your Thesaurus… it will be INVALUABLE to you. Keep it in your bookmarks for easy access.

LEARN your grammar and punctuation. It is ESSENTIAL. Take the time to do so.

LISTEN to your TRUSTED Critique Partners and Betas. You are a beginner, you know very little, and you mustn’t be sensitive to their suggestions. It will hurt, but listen to them anyway and make the necessary changes.

BLOGGING WILL be an essential part of your life. Embrace it. Forge as many friendships as you can because they WILL become your extended family and will ALWAYS be there for you.

This industry is BRUTAL. Don’t expect to be a best selling author right away. You have SOOOO much to learn before you will be anywhere near ready for publication. You are NOT JK Rowling. Even though you believe you are. 

When writing your first m/g, y/a novel don’t allow it to exceed 60,000 words. You will write and write and write and create a novel that is WAY too long and you’ll spend way too many years cutting it down. Once again… ECONOMIZE your words.

Don’t expect of find an agent any time soon. You are not ready. LEARN your craft before wasting precious hours writing queries and sending them to top agents which will reject you, BECAUSE you are NOT READY. POLISH your ms until it’s blinding, then query. This can take years. BE PATIENT.

Your journey will be a very difficult one, but you will forge friendships with amazing people who will be supportive of you and will help you hone your writing skills. This will also give you the ability to pay it back. You will be there for others and the skills you learn will help you achieve this. You will fall many, many times before this, but you will learn. Trust me.

The best thing I did for you was to join the blogging community. I can’t stress this enough…every new writer needs to involve themselves quickly to be a part of something that is beyond rewarding, beyond special.

And always remember, no matter what, never give up the dream you have. You will realize this is your calling. You WILL get frustrated by rejection, but remember you have a gift, never forget this, because you will be tested again and again. 

Don’t let minor achievements seem worthless. Even the smallest works published are a major achievement and will be a closer step to something much greater. Persevere. This is the best advice I can give you.

You’ll get where you need to be…In Time…

ALL the best.

Your future self,

Michael of In Time... Freelance copy/creative writer/illustrator/cover designer

Well there you have it... A few things I've learned along my journey. 

I'd be honored to be part of the Collection, Carrie, so feel free to use it. 

Don't forget to drop in on Carrie and wish her a HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!!!

Have a great day everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Hi, Everyone,

Are most of you all back to normal after last month's A-Z challenge? I'm still seeing posts here and there keeping the momentum going and I think that is awesome. I hope to get around a bit more too and visit new blogs that I didn't have time for last month.

It seems this Spring is a busy one for a lot of us. Each day I see a new book cover reveal or a release. Kudos to all of you! I wish you ONLY THE BEST!

Today I'd like to focus on something we as writers rely on more and more. And although I've discussed this topic on a few occasions and so have other bloggers, I believe it needs to be brought back into the light again.

I am dedicating this post to all my AMAZING BETAS and CP's! You guys know who you are.

These wonderful people take so much time and care to review our novels, picking out what doesn't work in plot, character development, world building, flow, pace, structure, grammar, spelling, and a myriad of other things. 

They also support us when we are frustrated, tired, and completely OVER our stories. They suggest fresh, new ideas to polish our works to brilliance. And they do this for us even with their extremely busy lives. Imagine fitting in the time between family, daytime jobs, and their own writing projects.

I had previously worked in a world of glamor, beauty, and self indulgence for fifteen years and believe me nothing was real. This surface beauty doesn't hold a spark next to the glow and warmth of the caring people I have had the privilege to trudge along with in our journeys into the publishing world.

What amazes me more than anything else is how busy, published authors will still take the time to help out others. To "pay if forward" as we call it. 

I see this every day.

As most of you know I have been working on the final edits of my second novel. 

I thought I was done especially after working with an editor for over five months. But she suggested I send it out to betas that had never read the original. This was not easy. I had written the first draft of this story three years ago and it has been through many CP's and Betas hands. 

I chose a few trusted authors who I respect completely and asked if they had the time to read through just for fun. Not expecting anything but their general opinion.

What I received back was surprising to me. The first, caught over two dozen typos and pointed out a couple of areas to build upon to make the story even better. She even suggested I flesh out one of the smaller scenes I just glossed over. And to have my MC respond more sensitively in a few other scenes. I did and sent it to her.  We both agreed to keep it in. Although it was only about a half a page, it added a bit more comedy which was needed. This story is extremely intense and adding more comedy certainly relieves some of the tension. 

Thank you, VR Barowsky.

After tweaking it all, the second Beta sent his. I was anxious for his comments because he was the first male to read my story. All my other CP'S and Betas are woman. I was excited to see a perspective from a male POV since my story is written in first person present from the POV of a seventeen year old boy.

Once again I was floored. He found even more typos. Do they breed? LOL. Not only that he pointed out I had too many LY words and another word that one would NEVER think to look for... TOWARD. I had an astonishing amount of them. He also felt the ending was flat. Too vague. This I had heard before from two other Betas, but kept it on the back burner until all the reviews came in.

He was specific. Pointed out what he wanted to see. I listened. I completely fleshed out the ending and added much more closure, leaving just a few unanswered questions. Always leave the reader wanting more...

Thank you, Mark Koopmans.

Yesterday I finally got to rewrite my query. Not my strongest point. I had received an email from a close blogger friend who had read my intro for my book during the A-Z and wanted to read it. Of course I was more than thrilled, especially since this is not her favorite type of story.  I had also asked her to take a look at my query.

An hour later, she sent it back to me, adding her magic. With only a few tweaks, it took a barely passable query and turned it into a force to be reckoned with! I can't WAIT to send it out. I never get excited about querying, but now, with this one, I am.

Later the evening, she contacted me and had already read over forty pages. She had to write me and tell me she can't put it down. Whoa... She made my evening.

Thank you, Morgan Shamy.

SO, as you see, I am very blessed with AMAZING CP'S and Betas. These three are only a few who have helped me with my current novel. There are at least a dozen others, who I am so thankful to for their input!

I'd like to speak to those writers who are too scared to have others read their work. DON'T BE... A CP can only help you. At times they will point out things that sting a little or ask you to cut out a particular scene which you LOVE. But sometimes it is necessary. Keep an open mind. WE ALL need to have fresh eyes read our works. Especially after the first draft. Remember it takes MANY drafts to complete a strong novel. Even when you think you are done, someone will point out something else to improve it more. 

One word of caution though. Make sure you trust the person you are sending it to, I've had a few bad experiences. NOT MANY at all, but once you find your CP/BETA family, you will be blessed beyond anything you could ever expect.

HERE'S to YOU my wonderful CP/BETA FAMILY! I couldn't have gotten this far without your love and support!

I hope you all have a magical Wednesday...

Monday, May 12, 2014


Happy Monday, Everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend... Today is a special day because one of my favorite blogger buddies novel debuts today!

SO in her honor I'd like to repeat the intro for her book. You may have missed it during the challenge, so here it is. If you had, well please bear with me today. 

This is for your Melissa. ON your very special DAY!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Images of the perfect marriage and home in the new west dance through Rebecca’s mind.

Imagine. California. No more harsh winters. No more struggling. A dream come true.

She finishes packing her meager belongings and races to the covered wagon, placing them inside, excited and scared all at the same time. She pulls back an escaped lock of golden hair and sighs.

I’m ready.

*     *     *     *     *      *      *      *

Days turn into weeks as she and her family caravan through the vast, unsettled lands of America. With only dreams of wedlock sustaining her through this perilous journey, Rebecca longs for the day when she meets her betrothed.

As they enter New Mexico a fight breaks out. 

In all the commotion, Rebecca is left behind. 

Alone. Stripped of all civilization, she frantically searches for food, shelter, and water in a barren, sandy wasteland.

With the sun beating down upon her, she wanders helplessly, her mind unfocused and delirious, playing tricks on her. For two days and nights she manages to survive. 

At daybreak her mind plays another cruel trick and she imagines a dusty figure on horseback fading in and out on the horizon. Blinking her eyes, Rebecca forces them to focus.

She shakes her head and whispers, “It can’t be.”

A tear escapes, trailing down a crease in her cheek. 

It can’t be real.

I’m alone. My life is over.

Dropping onto a rock, salty tears flow into her chapped hands, stinging them. She raises her head and watches the mysterious image move closer. 

Life is so cruel and unjust.

A dizziness whirls through Rebecca’s head. She hears a deep, raspy voice call out, “Maam. Are you alright?” 

As she fades into darkness, her last thought drifts through her semiconscious mind…

Now I’m hearing things.

*     *     *     *     *      *      *      *

Cool water soaks her parched lips. Rebecca’s crusted eyes blink open and locks them on the stranger. Tiny lines crinkle the corners of his golden eyes as he smiles.

“Ma’am. I thought I lost you there for a minute.” He smiles again. “What are you doing out here in this God forsaken place all alone?”

Rebecca gulps down water from his leather canteen, licks her lips, and stares at the stranger. 

“I wish I knew. But here I am and here I’ll stay.”

His smile fades and his heavy brows furrow. “Ma’am. You can’t mean that. If you don’t die of dehydration or starvation, a rattler will get you for sure.”

“I can take care of myself.”

He laughs. “I can see that.”

“Don’t mock me, Sir.”

“Sir? I’m no Sir…I’m Seth. And your name, Ma’am?”

“What difference does it make now? But, if you must know, it’s Rebecca.”

He beams. “Well it does if we’ll be traveling together.”

Rebecca glares at him. “What on earth makes you think that?”

Seth brushes the sweat off his brow. “Because i’m not leaving you here for vulture food.”

What will happen to Seth and Rebecca on their risky journey westward?

Will they give into their growing attraction, each healing the other’s love-starved soul along the way? 

Or will Rebecca honor her commitment to her betrothed in California?

Come Back


Melissa Maygrove

Hmmmm. This certainly sounds like an intriguing romance, the old west, a rugged stranger and a stubborn woman. Nothing like turbulent chemistry. LOL.

Congrats Melissa and all the best with your novel!

Come Back
New Adult / Adult
Western Historical Romance
Available  Now!

Amazon: Link

Thanks for dropping by everyone and have a great day!

Friday, May 9, 2014


Hi, Everyone...

Welcome to my reflections post. This year was the second year I created original intros for new books, featuring all of you.

I must say the talent in our community is frightening! Not to mention the diversity. This year I tried to feature a full range of books from m/g to adult as well as interesting pics like cookbooks and writer's tool books. I had a challenging month. Keeping up with all of you. 

Quality of writing is so important to me. SO featuring any of your books is something I take very seriously. What I love most about this theme is that for a brief moment I get to write in genres and about topics I would never dream of writing about. How cool is that... Imagine taking the day off and writing something completely foreign to your style or subject...I did if for 26 days! And loved every minute.

It was also a bit of struggle though. As many of you know I had some issues with my sight and just before the challenge I had to have surgery. It was a frightening time for me. But you were all there for me with you prayers, positive thoughts, and reassurances that all would be well and that I would get through the challenge. 

I worried that I wouldn't. But that was fine with all of you, too! That alone kept me plugging along. Your faith in me helped me complete the challenge. Thank you.

The highlight for me was when I posted the only non published book. My own. Your comments were mind-blowing. ALL of you wanting to read more and telling me to get moving and get that publisher. It meant the world to me. It's sometimes frustrating for me to see my blogger friends moving forward with agents, publishers, successful books, and NO ONE is happier for you than me. It thrills me to see you succeed. And after four long years of writing, I hope to join you. I just finished what I hope to be the final edit on my novel. Now the querying begins. 

I had intended to submit to the publisher that had some interest, but decided my novel is not right for them. For this particular novel I'd like an agent. So if any of you can recommend a good agent who is looking for EDGY Y/A please drop me a line. I have a list compiled already, but you may know just the right agent for this property.

Many of you may not know that since last year my theme carried me into a new business venture for writing blurbs, intros, and creative editing. It also led me to designing book covers, too. So it's amazing where the A-Z can take us. So many of you are publishing your themes from this challenge. FANTASTIC. Congratulations. I know I've done some of my best work in this challenge and so have you!

Thank you LEE... Without him, this never would have happened.

So to sum it up... This challenge has so much to both Poster and Reader! And a thumbs up to the wonderful bloggers who spent so much time to make this year such a success! To the hosts and their minions... WELL DONE.... YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME...

And now, in the spirit of the A-Z, I will proceed to Dazzle you.. 

Entrance you...

or shall I dare say Seduce you...

With the glints of ruby, the curling of a swirl of smoke, or the flick of a lacy wing.

Nothing is more beautiful than the sparkle and power of these magnificent creatures. Forever blinding, like opals on fire.

Creatures so content to rest on the smoldering ashes of a once great kingdom...

Creatures as old as time...

But, there is one.

A single soul with the intent to rebuild a lost empire...



River Fairchild

Congratulations RIVER!!!!


ALL the best with you newest novel... IT certainly looks like a winner to me.

What a great weekend read!

Have a FANTASTIC weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Hi everyone...

I hope you have all recovered from the A-Z challenge. I read some amazing posts over the past month as well as wonderful reflections post. Mine will be up in the next day or so. 

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, and most of us in the blogosphere know what that means. It's time for another segment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group or the IWSG...

My positive attitude is being tested today. A dear blogger friend of mine, Melissa Bradley of Melissa's Imaginarium, is currently in the hospital. She was admitted for hip pain. But sadly a huge mass was found in or around her lymph node. The biopsy is today. We can only hope an pray for the best.

SO please, take a moment and send a prayer, wish, or positive vibe toward Melissa in Trinity Hospital in the south side of Chicago.

You were all so wonderful and supportive of me when I was having eye issues a few months ago, so I know the power of prayer and good energy. We are a VERY POSITIVE FORCE to be reckoned with, and I know it will surely help Melissa.

So this is weighing heavily on my mind today. I have other insecurities about writing, but nothing that I can't handle. As we all know time can be a gifted friend. All good things happen in time and so this will happen for me.

The most important thing to remember EVERYONE is NEVER and I mean this VERY STRONGLY.... NEVER take your health for granted. Eat right, leave your computer screen and exercise at least a half an hour a day. Keep sugary drinks, additives, and processed foods at bay. Take care of YOU. Nothing is more important because If YOU DON'T, you can't be there for the ones you love! Never forget this. DO it for them...

On that note, please visit the other members of the group here. We are growing. We are strong. And thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh we are together....

Have a wonderful day everyone and give a hug to the ones you love...

Update... I spoke with Melissa today. She is doing fine for the most part, but no news on the mass. Hopefully I'll have some news later today to share with you...


Here is the Link to my A-Z reflections post... Enjoy the rest of the day everyone...

Monday, May 5, 2014


HAVE you ever dreamed of creatures just steps away living in your nearby forest?  

One can only guess what or who is lurking within the trees, ravines, brooks, or under foot.

Are they friend, or foe?

Are they zombies, ready to eat your brains?

Or fairies to delight and entertain you with their grace and charm?

Perhaps mischievous elves, wanting to place you under their spell?

What about frolicking water nymphs, to serenade and calm you with a  tranquil dance.

Or maybe, just maybe, something more...



Release Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Curiosity Quills

Gabe is an average fifteen-year-old goblin. He’s in the marching band, breezes through calculus, and gets picked on daily by the other kids at school, especially the ogres. Gabe’s closest friends are goblins like him, but Gabe is tired of being a goblin – he’d like to try other things. And he has his eye on the new ogress at school. It’s against all beastly rules, but there’s just something about her.

When a prank goes wrong, Gabe is forced to join the football team as punishment – but finds a way to make it work. Soon the whole school is getting in on the fad of mingling with other species. Too bad the adults have to step in and ruin things by threatening to destroy the school and split up Broken Branch Falls. And Gabe is their scapegoat. With help from friends, old and new, Gabe sets out on a quest for the Book of Ages, which holds the laws of all beastkind and hopefully the key to saving Broken Branch Falls. After all that trouble, it better work.

Add it to your GOODREADS list!

Twitter ~~~ Facebook ~~~ Blog

Also by Tara Tyler, techno-thriller detective series,
The Cooper Chronicles, Book One: POP TRAVEL

Tara Tyler started out as a math teacher. After having a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering and living up and down the Eastern US, she now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently, she has two series, The Cooper Chronicles (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (MG fantasy) She's an adventure writer who believes every good story should have action, a moral, and a few laughs!

AND you can get up to five entries in this fun raffle just for commenting on five of the many cover reveal posts (see below) - This week only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please make sure to drop by Tara's blog to congratulate her and also the other hosts....

Thanks everyone and HAPPY MONDAY! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

I played catch up with the A-Z....

What about you?