Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I noticed the numbers climbed by over fifty for the launch.  Was wondering...did you try to contact me via the contact tab?  If so I did not get it. I've had a few people email me through regular channels about having issues.Or did you have problems with the passphrase? Leave me a comment.

If so try this...send an email to

Let's PARTY!!!!

Is Everyone ready????

Today is the e-launch of "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption."

Wow, I hit 1,300 views!!!
Toot the horns, throw the confetti, break out the champagne, and yell "hip, hip, hurray!" I'm celebrating the e-launch of my new novel and YOU get the free gift for stopping by my blog today to help me celebrate.

See the tab up top marked "contact?" Click it.  Fill it out and first thing  tomorrow I will be emailing you a code for a free downloadable copy of the complete novel. The code does not expire for a year so whenever you are ready go to here ( and pick up your copy. When it asks for payment type in the coupon code I'm sending you.

Is this a sweet deal or what? This is my way of thanking my readers for their support in my self-publishing effort.  If you like it leave a review so others will also find the book.  Amazon has the paperback for all you people who like to hold a book in your hand...unfortunately this free deal does not apply to the paperback.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading.

And as always, keep writing and loving the Lord.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Publishing Smashwords Style

When I first thought about e-publishing I went to people whose opinion I compuserve buddies. Over the years I had watched other author publish with Lulu, e-universe, and a host of other self publishing companies.  To say the least, I was overwhelmed by options. Yes, I've thought about self-publishing for almost five years. Not because I couldn't find an agent or publisher willing to publish my novels, but due to personal reasons.  Then I started hearing the rumblings about They offered me something other self-publishing houses didn't offer.  Control and the experience I lacked in self-publishing.

What I liked most was all the information I needed was at my fingertips in the Smashwords guides everything from style to marketing. The fact that all the information is free was an added perk.  Mark Coker's baby has grown to a huge market. Instead of just offering books to Kindle or Nook e-readers, he offers all formats for all people whether they have a Nook, Kindle, or simply a computer. A link for a downloadable e-reader for the computer is also free for those like me who do not have an e-reader, but want to break into the e-version marketplace. It's not that I'm against paying for services, but as an author who still maintains a day job, free is great.

The Style Guide to publishing on Smashwords is simply no style. No format- no margins, a simple font, basic indents and centers. I actually have my word processing program formatted this way now. It saves a lot of headaches later when uploading my novels.  The concept of no styling is foreign to standard word processing users.  It looks strange to see all the words at the top of the page and all the text as far left as the paper allows.  Printing out and proofreading in this style is eyestrain, but it appears proper on e-readers. Yes, I check after uploading onto their site. Never forget this last step because first impressions are lasting ones.

I can remember waiting overnight in a queue to upload my novel.  Smashwords has fixed this issue. Now, I can go from manuscript to e-version in as little as fifteen minutes.  Talk about almost instant gratification! With so many traditionally published, like me, or the novice author jumping on the bandwagon of self-publishing and e-publishing, Mark is doing something right. With close to three BILLION words available and almost 60,000 titles available it puts a serious chink in Amazon Kindle's library as a strong contender.  I've noticed a bunch of copycats out there over the past six is the ultimate form of flattery. Mark has taken the guess work out of self-publishing/e-publishing.  The market guide has step by step guides for  successful marketing campaigns. This too makes the process simple.  This is not to say self-publishing is for everyone.  If your sales are in the toilet then you haven't done something right.  It is all about YOU, the author.

Now, for what my readers have been waiting for...2 days and counting until the release of "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption."  It will be a sweet e-launch deal for lucky readers of horror! On the 31st for everyone stopping by this blog to celebrate the launch, I will forward a coupon for a FREE downloadable e-copy of the novel via!!!! I know a lot of you have been waiting on pins and needles because of the fifty plus e-mails per day for the past three weeks!

I will publish one more blog on the day of the release with directions on how you can have our very own, free e-copy so stay tuned.

As always keep writing and loving the Lord.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jane! Get Me Off This Thing!
This week has been like that opening scene from the Jetsons cartoon where George is walking the dog and it sees a cat. Yep, that's me old George running at top speed and really not physically going anywhere.

That's kind of like what self-publishing is like. At least to me. I did something different this time. I've got a good drool going about "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption." I've built the anticipation factor over the social media sites to where I'm getting on average of four messages a day about when it will be released.  By the same token I'm getting buzzed about the release. I've sent out copies to reviewers and have been asked to do several interviews.    This is like my older standard publishing days, but from concept to publication has only been four months instead of eighteen months. I do miss the old days at times.

It has been formatted for paperback, Kindle and Smashwords to the point where all I have to do is push a button to release it onto the world.  The cover details are final and in place.  The lettering is now white on blood red.  Oooohhhh! Ahhhhh! I learned how to create my own covers instead of using an already formatted one.  The basic picture is still the same. I worked hard on the drawing and painting, and didn't want to give it up.  So remember to mark your calendar for the release...August 31st here on my blog.

You may have noticed the little word count counter on the right. This is for "Zombie Apocalypse:Travelers" the second book in this series of horror. The video promo of this book has outnumbered the previous two which is exciting.

Another big deal which has been done quietly is the release of my children's series of books.  A few months back I posted the drawing I had done.  I had to redraw them and raise the DPI higher so they would pop in black and white for the coloring portion of the book.  Nope this isn't available in e-format only print because it is really hard to color on an e-reader.  It is available now at Createspace . The Amazon version is due out next week.  It takes them a few days to put it on their site. 

I am busy working on a couple of that's anything new for me.  The second book in this children's series is, "mr. Goodbar Goes to the Hospital."  The illustrations and cover are complete.  The story is three quarters away from the end of the first draft.  I should have it finished by October and ready to go to press. I'm very excited about this children's series of books.  I keep making up new stories for my grandchildren and now writing them down for others. I have one new granddaughter, Savannah, who is actually a step granddaughter but I don't love her any less.  I also have a new grandson being born in December for a total of EIGHT!  WTG Grandma JAM!

I read a post by an agent who said pick a genre and stick to it.  The idea of marketing to three market segements is daunting, but doable.  It's just a lot of work which is something I've always done.  For me, it's like choosing a career.  It sounds easier than done for me...I started out as a ladies professional golfer and a nurse, and then I was a nurse and a teacher, and then an international marketing consultant and chef, and then a professor, chef, and minister...but I've always also been a writer for almost 45 years! I guess now, I'm a minster and an author. Life is a smorgasbord and like with any buffet you pick and choose the tastiest morsels from everything given.

Keep Writng and Loving the Lord!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

America's Unsung Hero

Can you guess who it is? She/he usually brings good news and bad, smiles and frowns, laughter and pain...and most of us don't even know their names. 

Still no guess? How about..."Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."  Now, I know you all know this's the postman.  Mine is named Chuck.  Yes, I asked.

Today Chuck knocked on my door with his usual smile on his face inspite of the 100+ temperature and handed me a package along with my mail. I told him thank you and have a blessed day.  It's still pretty painful crossing the seventy or so feet to my mailbox by the road because of my toes.

I know you all are about to bust finding out what was in the package.  It was my ARC/Proof of "Who Stole Baby Ruth." For authors is there anything more exciting than holding a copy of your book in print? Nope. I caressed the cover and then slowly opened the first page. I read every word, looked with a discerning eye at the black and white illustrations, and then decided what I wanted to change before I agree to sell it on CreateSpace/Amazon. 

The pictures could be clearer, raise the font to a 14 point instead of twelve. Children get enough eyestrain from school books (today was the first day back  here). I corrected the spacing issues although they were slight.  I will upload this and let the sales begin next week. It takes a few days to dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's."

CreateSpace is doing something different.  Now instead of having to send for proof after proof when you make changes, they now offer straight to print/sale.  This is a double edged sword. If the copy is wrong and you go straight to print, you reinforce the thought that all self-published books are trash.  On the other hand, if you make changes, order another proof, make more changes, order another get the picture.  For me, I want to see the first copy coming off the presses. I want to read it from cover to cover and edit it if necessary.  After the first proof then it seems like a waste to order another proof if you've done your job properly. So after I edit this childrens book and upload the changes- I will release it to the public.

Now, getting back to my unsung hero.  Have you had the same mailperson for many years and have no idea who he/she is...go introduce yourself.  Sometimes it makes all the difference in the world.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I've spent a few days reviewing some groups on GoodReads.  It is actually a terrific site. I've learned quite a bit in just a few days. I've also been promoting "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption." I've think I've created a gnat sized buzz for the new novel.

I spent yesterday in formatting the novel for Smashwords, paperback, and Kindle. I also generated the giveaway coupon for the e-launch. That was after doing my sermon in a church fifty miles away. 

I've written 3,200 words to the sequel of "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" with a working title of "Zombie Apocalypse: Travelers."  It's a little bit different this time because the storyline is coming to me in bits and pieces instead of Boom like for the first one. It just means I'll have to actually be a writer with this one and pull the pieces together. Also in reading several zombie sites I've read where authors have failed  and succeeded in their zombies stories.

This concerns me a bit. I really don't want to really tick off the fans of zombies and horror with my writing. I mean yes, the story has undead, flesh-eating zombies in an almost post apocalyptic world.  I say almost because the story starts before the major event and ends just after. I do use a zombie point of view citing the progression into becoming a zombie. One commenter said I did have a story similar to "Quarantine." But they said that after reading the synopsis I posted. I haven't seen that movie so I wouldn't know. My doubts stem from that old adage...a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I've had a fairly productive weekend. How was yours?
As always keep writing and loving the Lord.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Release Date Set

Well since I can't go to San Jose like I mentioned yesterday, I decided to do a e-launch of "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" here on my blog.  What a novel idea for an e-publication. So set your calendars...

August 31, 2011 8AM-8PM EST

I will be launching my new suspense/horror novel.  For everyone who clicks Contact <look up> (simply type in the message section "I want it!")with an email address, I will forward a Smashwords coupon for a free copy. Now how's that for a promotion? This is a one time deal. After this launch period the price will go back to $1.99 for the e-version with the paperback available in September through CreateSpace and Amazon.

I am currently working on a sequel to this novel tenatively titled, "Zombie Apocalyse: Travelers." This is subject to change. The good Lord willing and life not getting in the way I should finish the rough draft by November. I wrote the first 1,000 words today while I had my leg propped up...only 30-40k to go. <grin>

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A New Day

As I sit in front of my computer today ideas for storylines for a new zombie book run through my head.  I had one beta reader tell me last night that zombies are the new vampire. Actually, this is not a new thought, the zombie cult has been around for fifty years, but currently on an upswing.With the new Resident Evil, Fido, and other movies hitting the big screen and gaming systems

I got an email from fellow author, Thomas Wilson, about the zombie-o-rama in San Jose, CA at the end of the month. I want to go so bad I can taste it. Not that I'm head over heels for zombies, but as an author of a new zombie horror novel, think about the possibility of selling up to 4,000 copies of a cult oriented novel in one day. It ranks right up there with WorldCon for science fiction authors or RWA for romance writers. Talk about your target audience all in one place at the same time!

<Sigh> This will have to wait until next year. My calendar is almost full for the month with my husband's family reunion, weddings, doctor appointments, and my family reunion in Nebraska the first weekend in September (still trying to come up with plane fare on this one). No time or money to splurge at this point for a trip across the country.

With my toes and foot in a half cast hobbling around is not my idea of fun. My renovations and furniture moving has come to a screeching halt with orders to stay off my foot as much as possible for the next two- four weeks.  So I sit at my computer with my left foot propped up and wonder about the possibilities of the next installment of a zombie series of books.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lessons Learned & Progress

This past week I learned a valuable lesson...when fighting with furniture toes lose.  When I went to the hospital, at my oldest daughter's insistence, they asked me what brought me to the emergency room.  I looked the nurse squarely in the eyes and answered stupidity! She asked me what my pain level was.  It was a two out of ten so long as I didn't stand, and then it jumped to a seven.  I also told her if she touched  anywhere near the toes, I'd smack her. I had experienced the ten out of ten pain level when my daughter pushed her flip-flop into them. (I don't own flip-flops)  I know, I know.  A very unChristian like attitude to express. Ten Our Fathers and fifty Hail Marys for me...and I'm not Catholic.

I learned I was the sixth person that day to have the fight of toes versus furniture so I didn't feel lonely.  The lady in the queue before me had not only fractured her toe, but dislocated it as well.  The doctor came in and told me the results of the x-ray which I already knew.  My last two toes on my left foot were the size of my big toe with bruising up to my ankle.  An oblique fracture of my last two toes.

The doctor said I was lucky the ends had not broken through the skin, but this type of fracture took a long time to heal (12 weeks!) because of the surface area that needed mending. So what is the treatment of fractures of this type?  Tape the toes to an unbroken toe and a shoe.  I was in tears. I have an appointment with my podiatrist tomorrow.  I figured it was easier than trying to break in a new doctor, no pun intended. Then came my drug allergies...what do you prescribe for a patient who is allergic to so many medicines and the only pain med which didn't cause an allergic reaction was pulled from the market?  They gave me Ativan.  While the Ativan helped mellow me out, it did nothing for the pain.  So I grin and bear it.

The good news is I've finished the second draft of "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption."  I've sent it off to a few Beta readers to catch any stumbling points and nitpicks my bleary eyes missed. A couple of the readers are not horror buffs so I get a view of what regular readers think of the story.  So far the response is great.  I have heard things like, "I don't read horror, but I couldn't put it down,"  "I couldn't stop reading until I finished it," and my favorite so far was, "Oh no! You didn't! You ripped my heart out."

I am busy working on the book trailer for this novel and looking at a late August release date.  While orginally I thought to upload this novel as a Smashwords exclusive, I am now having second thoughts.  I've heard from too many readers who do not like reading on a screen or own a reader. 

Two of my readers asked if I was writing a sequel to "Zombie" and honestly at this point I haven't decided.  Ideas for a sequel have formed in that hazy way all writers have.  I can take the sequel(s) into so many different directions.  I guess the deciding factor will be the reading public.  If sales do well and the reader response is good, I will.  My mama used to say, "Never say never."  I had forgotten this while writing.

Meanwhile, the sales on both of my other novels, "Escape from Second Eden" and "The Sacrificial Lamb" have stalled for the past two month.  I am no longer upset by this.  I chock it up to a exposure, advertising, and a self-publishing thing.  While dream of being traditionally published again is still on hold because of my husband's illness, I continue writing.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.