"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, January 13, 2019


1) The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is on January 15. Hundreds of agents and publishers will be checking the hashtag that day. For rules and a list of genre hashtags, visit the #IWSGPit page.

2) Here are the prompts for January over at the IWSG Instagram:

3) Congratulations again to the IWSG Anthology winners! I believe this publication will hit shelves in April 2019. Here are the stories and authors selected for the fourth anthology:

Oddly Suited by LG Keltner
Sea of Sorrows by AV Brown
Behind the Catcher’s Mask by Jennifer Lane
A Diver’s Ball by Angela Brown
Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
The Dark Charade by CD Gallant-King
The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
Remedy by Chelsea Ballard
Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian 

What news do you have to share this month? Have you heard any good news lately?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Take What You Need

Last semester my high school students spent quite a bit of time discussing and writing about social issues and controversies. We debated the type of problems that influence a considerable number of individuals in a society in a potentially negative manner - anxiety, depression, suicide, cheating, equality, gender/race/ethnicity identity, substance abuse, education, etc. Their solution? A wall of positivity where students can grab uplifting quotes. This is ready for students who return tomorrow and can be refilled as needed.

The most common positive concepts the classes decided to address: love, faith, hope, peace, patience, kindness, confidence, happiness, self-control, and humility.

Which ones do you find yourself in need of addressing? What about the characters in your story? What are some of your go-to quotes when struggling?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

IWSG: Questions

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

JANUARY QUESTION: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

I loved your story, when can I expect the sequel?
What would your character do if...?
How did you become such a talented author?
Would you be willing to come read/speak with our group?

Have you published anything new this week? 
Why haven't you ever published a full length book? 
If I give you my idea, can you write my book for me? 
Aren't writers just professional liars?

What questions are your favorite and least favorite? What do you wish you knew about some of your favorite authors?

Happy New Year everyone, and congratulations to the IWSG anthology contest winners!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy New Year!

This year I hope to continue to be braver, stronger, kinder, and happier. 

I wish you the best year ever as well. 

May we all realize our fondest dreams and take time to recognize and enjoy each and every blessing. I pray we all have love, hope, and a fierce determination for accomplishing good.

I'll be back on January 2nd for the next IWSG post. Until then...


Thursday, December 27, 2018

December Reads

We enjoyed a wonderfully loving and relaxing holiday, and I hope you were able to do the same. I always take some extra time during the holidays to enjoy some reading. I wanted to suggest a few I just enjoyed.

Over a year ago, I enjoyed Devoted: A Girl’s 31-Day Guide to Good Living with a Great God which was written by a then nineteen year-old. You can read my review of it here. I recently received a copy of her The Devoted Life: a creative devotional journal. This might very well be the BEST creative journal I have enjoyed in years. It's a combination of devotions, prayers, free thought and response sections, as well as creative coloring pages. While it's target audience is teen girls, I found it quite enjoyable and would gift it to almost anyone.

Come Experience It for Yourself. . . Life Is Good with a God Who Is Great!

This topically guided creative journal offers inspiration and encouragement for those who desire to live their lives fully devoted to Christ. Amidst the loud, confusing voices of the world, trying to tell them which way is the right way to go, we need to stop, rest, refuel, and reflect in the presence of our truest Friend and most loyal heavenly Father. Whether it’s through creativity, meditating on scripture, prayer, or writing, readers will join young author and artist, Marjorie Jackson, for a time of life-giving fun, faith-strengthening encouragement, and God-glorifying growth. As we connect with our first love, Jesus, we will begin to understand that life is truly good with a God who is absolutely great! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

As a reviewer for Barbour Publishing, I've had the blessing of discovering some truly amazing authors. One I have fallen in love with has been Michelle Griep. I have reviewed several of her books over the past year and she only improves with each tale. As such, I couldn't wait to purchase my copy of this year's Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. This is a sequel to last year's first (you can read my review of it here.), but revolves around all new characters, and a third installment is already planned for next Christmas. 

Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees... then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost. Can two hearts survive such deception?

What about you? Did you have a great Christmas? Have you ready any great books lately?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Merry Christmas!

We actually had snow last year (this picture was taken in my front yard). However, it's been too warm for it so far this season. 

I'll be taking some time away to enjoy with my family. Wherever you are, whatever your situation, I pray you all enjoy a beautiful holiday season.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018


The next post date for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is January 2. The administrators will be announcing the winners of the 2018 IWSG Anthology Contest on that day!

The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is Tuesday, January15.

The IWSG Goodreads Group is currently reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert 
The discussion will start January 23, 2019 and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able.

Sorry I've been incognito so much lately. Semesters at the high school and college are both wrapping up this week. If I don't make it around to visit your site again this year, I hope you have the Merriest of Christmases and a beautiful New Year!