#SaturdaySeven Blogging

I had an all day workshop to attend today, so here I am… after serving Little Caesar’s to the family for dinner, sitting down to post my Saturday Seven.

When attending training [of any kind], SEVEN thing you’ll learn:

  1. You might have a low tolerance for extra talking.

  2. You’ve become cynical in your old age!

  3. Laughing makes the time go by more quickly.

  4. Coffee [or caffeine] is a must…

  5. But go easy on the liquids because bathroom breaks only come occasionally.

  6. Sharing experiences and life makes a group grow fonder.


If you’ve ever been to a conference or workshop, you know what I’m talking about, right? If you stop in to visit, let me know something you’ve learned while attending a workshop.

My kids start school this week, and I’m excited to get back into a routine. The Christmas break went too fast, but the kids are ready and quite bored! It’s a beautiful thing.

I’m looking forward to getting some writing done this week.


With Love,


When a book makes you Mad:

I usually refrain from leaving negative reviews. Believe me. I know how it feels to get those. Not nice! And sometimes, they are completely crazy off the wall, like "did you even read the book?" So, I didn't leave a review. I internalized what I'd read...over and over for several hours. The book made me roll my eyes, groan, get defensive, and then--eventually--made me mad. 

But after running through the emotions of dislike, I got to a point where I'd processed enough to see a bigger picture...and I wondered, How does a fiction novel influence our decisions? 

My own conscience feels a responsibility to the reader. 

1. not to be too biased or one-sided: double-edged sword here in today's world.

2. do my research

The book I stopped reading yesterday had some immature moments, some moments of disbelief. I can take all of that, but then the author stepped up onto a platform for mental health. The move surprised me and made me hesitate. I tepidly kept reading, wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then I got mad. Because the author presented the use of drugs as a good, normal way to fix a problem, when all the reading and research I've done...the talking to other people...has left me feeling completely uncertain [please note, I didn't say 'left me feeling like it was wrong for everyone']. The side effects can be harsh and far-reaching: from headaches to suicide.  

And then--the icing on the cake--the author compared the use of these drugs with a Type I Diabetic using insulin. And it didn't matter that I was a breath away from finishing the book. I didn't finish. 

T1D is NOT a mental disorder, to be determined based on talking about things. It's a disease. A person with T1D is BROKEN. Without insulin, a T1D will DIE. So, tell me how that's the same as this hero having a temper he can't control and taking mind-altering drugs? 

I couldn't relate at all. I felt the author glossed over the reality of using SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors], and it made me sad for people who won't do the research on the drugs or who are being pressured to use it, who might actually be influenced by--yes--a romance novel. 

I think I could have taken the presentation of the SSRI in the story, if there had been more... conflict, less of a stance or platform in how it was shown in the story. And definitely, it would have been key to not have the use of SSRI compared to the use of insulin. 

Writing books is a hard business. It's often that we--authors--will offend someone or write a point of view that differs from a readers beliefs. There's nothing wrong with differing beliefs--usually. And maybe that means there is nothing wrong with the book I didn't finish. Maybe for some it offered hope! And they left the story filled with a good feeling. 

I felt sad. And I felt convicted to be more careful... but also, to be truer to my values in my own books. :) So, I'm ending this thought process with acceptance toward this author's mistakes. It didn't make me happy. It ticked me off. I think she should have done more research and made a better show of....life.

But, I'm not mad anymore--processing things will do that! And I feel better because I've had my say, which is what blogging is for, right? 

Who do you want to be the Winner?

Not a Political Campaign Blogpost

There are a few big epublishers who have been around longer than most. They blazed a trail for so many other small epublishers, some who survived, some who never made it beyond their own magnificent launch.

This past week came an announcement from Samhain that in light of their declining sales and marketability, they would be closed to submissions, launching current projects, and then closing their own doors. They were one of the firsts.

According to the owner, Amazon is negotiating out the little guys. And with self-publishing so prominent, the publishers are finding it harder and harder to make money using retail sites like Amazon. 

As a self-publisher, I can see how that's happening. There are other companies, like iTunes and Apple, who are working their own systems to create an alternative to Amazon. But, let's face it, I make a steady income [albeit small] from having my book on Kindle Unlimited, getting paid every time a page is read...enough that using the other retail outlets doesn't seem worth it. If I can focus all my energies in one direction--in sales and promotions--then maybe in the end, I'll make more money. 

That's the hope anyway, I guess.

But more than that, I want more people to read my books. As much as I want to make money (so I can give money), I want my stories to be read and enjoyed. That's the art part, I think, and where the love really comes from. My stories are good, they are fun, they are heartfelt... and when I read a book that makes me feel good, I want to share it. Same goes for the books I write.

So, I'm sad that Samhain is closing its doors. Not because I'm an author with them [although I guess this ends my Revise and Resubmit for my Paranormal Romance!] but because if they can't do it...who can? What does this mean?

Are the self-publishers/authors the only ones who can truly take a risk in this industry? Or, Is this a sign of the pendulum swinging back towards traditional publishing? 

I don't like to call the Sky Falling, so I think I'll just sit back and see how things go. Samhain is one publisher. This isn't an easy business to be a part of... it's a business where money goes out with the risk of nothing coming back in--every day. Will the stories be good enough? Will the covers entice? Will the authors do enough to promote? Will the retailers give the books top billing?

Who wins?

I'd like to see the reader be the winner. And sometimes that's hit or miss. 



When romance mirrors real life, how high are the expectations for the hero? Does the author set the bar too high? Are the men we read too romantic? too loving? too sensitive? Where is the line between real life and a good book, and how blurry can the line be?

This is on my mind...mostly because in RL, something happened to me that made me go, "Ugh! Really?!" And it involved something I wanted to do...something we thought wasn't going to be able to happen, but then the turn of events that would allow it to happen, but apparently what I wanted to do was no longer in the forefront of anyone's mind. [sorry to be so vague, but you get the idea] Let's just say, life has its disappointments.

Sooo, that got me thinking about the books I read and how good the heroes are... but, I have to admit, the mark of a great book--for me--is when the characters reveal some of those real life tendencies. The hero who doesn't ask before planning something. The hero who forgot about the so important event. And yes, those books are out there. I read them in the romance genre. And I always smile when the hero messes up. Because it reminds me that we can love imperfection.

Of course, we have to...if we want to love anyone human, that is. hahaha.

And I think the way we romance the reader--as authors--is by revealing the hero's deep down. Deep down, they want to make the heroine happy [and most good men do in RL, too]. Deep down, that oversight or mistake is as innocent as their personality. Men think differently than women, but they want the same things--love, respect, passion. Authors can bring those feelings to the surface.

Romance the reader with Real Life. Just do it.
With Love,

The author's Platform...

I think a platform is great...if you have one.
But mostly, I think people selling platforms are the ones who want to help you build it.

I know that's very cynical of me. I'm a pretty cynical person in general...
The truth is, as a reader, I don't give a flying leap what the author's platform is. I don't care if she wants to save the whales or ban all guns or whatever... I just don't care.

If she writes a good story and makes me love her characters...that's all that matters. I think readers want good books. To hell with what the author wants....

That is all... :D :D
Have a great day!!
With Love,