Brand New!
Moon Shadow Series:

Ghost Shadow

Dragons of Wendal Series:

DragonKin

Now Available:

Soul of the Desert

Staying Rich – A Football and Money Book

savingStaying Rich I came across this rather fascinating book a few days ago. I’ve always thought that many an NFL player probably ended up broke. They flash money and can appear quite wasteful. These guys make a lot, but they have a lot of people taking a cut of the pie and most of them have a limited number of years to earn their money because they might get hurt, get cut from the team and so on. Even if they have a “long” career, that is only going to be a few years. They start out young and you know they aren’t thinking about managing money. So when I saw this book, I found the premise very interesting.


In addition, here’s a little quote from the book that I saw from a review at Foxsports:

After Phillip Buchanon was taken by the Raiders with the 17th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, one of the first people he heard from was his mom, which makes sense because she’s his mom.

What didn’t make sense to Buchanon though was what his mom wanted. The woman who raised him said he owed her $1 million for the child rearing.

Buchanon, who played for five different teams during his 10 seasons in the NFL, recently wrote a book where he recounted that exact story.

Here’s an excerpt Buchanon’s book, New Money: Staying Rich (via FoxSports.com)

According to Buchanon, his mom had joked about the $1 million payment before, but she never sounded serious about it until after the Raiders drafted him out of the University of Miami.

My mother had said my debt to her was a million dollars before, but this time she was more serious than ever. If you do the math, one million dollars divided by 18 years of raising me was approximately $55,555.55 a year in restitution. Except, at age 17 I decided to move out of my mom’s house, choosing to live with a close friend and his father because I no longer felt secure in my own home. Why, you ask? Because my mother let people come in and out of our house and take what they wanted. So technically, even if we went by her logic, I only owed her $944,444.44 for her services over 17 years.

Is it petty that I’m knocking a year off her calculation? The fact that I have written this paragraph enrages me, merely because I’m entertaining the thought that her argument had any logic at all.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

“Disrespect your money and you’ll end up broke.”

Most pro football players are terrible money managers. Sure, we earn plenty, but, generally speaking, we don’t know how to keep it. I almost went broke and became a negative statistic. Life after football is not easy. I had to re-invent myself as I navigated the playbook of life beyond sports.

New money is like a newborn baby: it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You better learn how to deal with it, fast! Although they have a fiduciary duty, financial advisors should not care more about your money than you care about your money. And yes, your “fun friends” and family will view you as an endless ATM. Trust me, they will plead poverty and expect you to bail them out of their self-imposed financial emergencies. This book helps you understand the difference between “I truly need it” and “I’d really like it” when dealing with those closest to you. New Money will help you understand when you’re being an enabler or administering appropriate tough love.

New Money: Staying Rich dispenses valuable advice, told through first-hand experiences, to aspiring professional athletes, entrepreneurs and anyone fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of rapid wealth. Learn from my errors; don’t make the same mistakes I did. Have fun reading the entertaining and enlightening stories in the book, and learn how to live a sustainable life as a New Money Millionaire!

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 16, 2015

Book Bargains for the Day

savingIvan Ramen: Love, Obsession and Recipes from Japan’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint – When I was in Japan, I occasionally ate ramen noodles–and not the kind in the little plastic bags we get here. They serve the real thing with real noodles and varied ingredients in noodle restaurants all over Japan. I never really understood why they put an egg on the top in some recipes. Not that it was bad, but it didn’t seem to go with the noodles. If I had a choice, I’d usually eat udon, which has a thicker noodle. Tempura udon (shrimp, sweet potato, onion, sometimes eggplant or squash) was my favorite Japanese soup. I still make udon, especially in the winter. Wonderful to have a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold out! Anyway, I found this book the other day. It’s hard to find good recipe books. I hope this is a good one!

For fiction lovers of steampunk I found The Diabolical Miss Hyde on sale today. Doesn’t go with ramen noodles, but if you like steampunk, it might well be just what you need! Also at Kobobooks.

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 16, 2015

Name that Puppy in the Window

dogprintsI know y’all think writing research is all glory, spending time in fancy restaurants sipping lattes and spying on how the wealthy live, or perhaps strolling along waterfronts hoping to glimpse human nature spilling forth from the yachts lining the banks. Or maybe it’s all about interviewing handsome, but tortured FBI agents and…Well, in my version of research, I wrote a scene and decided to ask my biker friend to ask his biker gang erm, biker friends to help me name the dog in the scene. There were some interesting results. Some not printable here because this is a cozy forum and while I do realize that some might have found that one name subtle, well, never mind.

I will put some of the possible winning names in the comments. BUT, I still want to hear from you. Here is the snippet I sent to the bikers. After you read it, tell me: What shall we name the dog in this scene???

(For those of you unfamiliar with the series, the main character is Sedona. The story is told from her point of view. The books, in order, are Executive Lunch, Executive Retention, Executive Sick Days and this one, Executive…)

Okay, here we go. Quiet on the set! Action!

I waited outside for as long as I could possibly delay, but LeAnn was a no show. The funeral home was a sedate little building, shaped to resemble a chapel with steps leading up to large double doors. The guy posted at the door was the size of a tank, decked out in a leather vest and motorcycle chaps. Tats circled one arm, crooked teeth poked out his top lip, and he either forgot to comb his hair or it had recently been on fire making it impossible to force the stray knotted bits down over the various bald patches. Maybe he’d been in a fight and someone had pulled clumps out. The gold hoop earring in his right ear looked as though it had been yanked on a number of times because his earlobe was long and distorted, almost double the size of his left ear. He had not shaved in at least two days and the speckled stubble was mottled gray and black. If he were competing for the world’s ugliest dog title, he’d lose, but only because at his feet was a bulldog mix of some sort that had obviously won the title.

When I reached the top step he put his hand on the doorknob. “You here for Joe or his ma?” he growled out.

“What?” I stuttered, backing down a step.

Like an instant tornado, LeAnn appeared behind me and grabbed my arm, panting. “Yes.”

His beady gaze drifted to her. She met his stare with a bravery that had to come from having survived childbirth and the raising of children. Or insanity.

My feet shuffled, but LeAnn held steady, albeit breathing hard.

“Joe’s side on the left. His ma on the right,” Tank declared.

What, this funeral was divided like a wedding?

LeAnn cocked her head sideways and gave him a respectful nod. It was easy to be respectful when the guy towered over us by two feet and had us by a yard on either side. He was either carrying a retractable whip or a baton on his hip, and he kept his hand near it, hooked in a pocket.

“Your dog is adorable,” LeAnn said. “Is it okay if I pat her on the head?”

Tank’s eyes lit up, and he showed more crooked teeth than an aging dinosaur. “She’s more’n happy to say hello.”

LeAnn matched his smile, if not his teeth, and crouched down to greet the dog.

Okay–What is the name of the dog in this scene??? Suggestions in the comments. If you see one you like, second that name!

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 14, 2015

Noodling Covers and Themes

When I start writing a book, I’m pretty unorganized about it. Every single story I write starts with a random scene that is rarely the first scene. The first scene I sketch out usually defines something important about the character, such as her magic abilities, perhaps her fighting ability (or lackthereof) or maybe even her interaction with the main guy. The mystery plot shows up in bits and pieces. I write random scenes for at least a quarter of the book before I start stringing them together into a cohesive whole. I tend to have random scenes sitting on my hard drive for quite a while.

For the Sedona series, I was done writing that series with book three (Executive Sick Days). I never planned to write more than three books because as a reader, that’s usually about as long as I last in a series. As a reader, I never had fan mail and requests. I never had sales numbers to juggle and sway me either. In fact, I never had to worry about things like covers, formats, cozy versus paranormal…

At any rate, when I buy art, I usually buy from DepositPhotos. Art can be very expensive so I usually get a one month subscription and download a LOT of art for around seventy dollars. But that means I have to download artwork for books that aren’t even a glimmer. Back when I downloaded art last year for Ghost Shadow, (At Kobobooks) I wasn’t even certain I’d write another Sedona book. I had considered reworking the old covers though, so I downloaded several cozy themes. Being unsure what a new Sedona book might be about, I downloaded cooking themes (I could always use them to redo the cover for Executive Lunch), tea scenes, indoor scenes, outdoor scenes, etc. I also downloaded art for some of the projects I edit because sometimes I am asked to do bookmarks or perhaps add something to an existing cover. Now and then I am hired to do a short story cover because professional artists are expensive and short stories never sell enough copies to cover such a cost. If I have the art, I can put together an inexpensive short story cover for myself or for one of my clients.

At any rate, looking at artwork, even bits and pieces can be inspirational. Sometimes when I have writer’s block, I work on the covers rather than force the writing. I fiddled with some exceedingly awful concept covers for the fourth Sedona book. That’s pretty normal. I run the covers by a few people and after they get over the shock, they say something like, “I don’t even know where to begin.” That’s when I start over. Maybe I”ll show you some of the rejects. :) We all need a good laugh now and then.

But today, I’ll show you a couple of concepts that have to do with where the story outline is leaning. I had a “finished” cover with the gardening concept, but recently I saw someone publish a book with my main feature–they were using the exact same piece of artwork! And their cover was better than mine! The nerve! Well, back to the drawing board.

Later in the week, I’m going to need help naming a dog that might make an appearance in the book. So if art isn’t your thing, but dogs are, tune back in. It could get interesting.

Click More for the art.

(more…)

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 13, 2015

Hints about Possible WIP

Should I hint about possible works in progress (WIP) or is that an annoying writerly thing to do? I’ve been flirting with a couple of covers and an outline. You have to realize that at this early stage, these ideas may never jell or come to fruition. Anything can happen. Or nothing. For example, one of the cover ideas I was flirting with used a particular piece of stock art. I thought my genius idea was almost finished being roughed out–when I saw a new release come out using that same piece of fabulous stock art…in nearly the same way only better than mine. Sigh. Back to the drawing board, curse the luck. But I’m still noodling and fussing around. You never know what might turn up. What say you? Do you want to hear bits and pieces and see early artwork? Or would you rather just read quietly in a corner? I think I’d pick read!

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 12, 2015

Three Cozies on Sale

ADDED on April 13: Two day sale on Kindle Paperwhite

Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrette

Homicide in Hardcover by Katie Carlisle

It Takes a Witch by Heather Webber aka Heather Blake

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 11, 2015

Discount at Kobobooks

For new people signing up at Kobo, get 40 percent off your first ebook. (It will say “not available” if you are already registered.)

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 11, 2015

Book of the Day

savingThis book intrigued me when April the Dragon mentioned it. Word play and fun. There’s never enough fun in the world.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.


Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 10, 2015

Free Winston Churchill Books For History Buffs

Limited time offer– the Hillsdale College and RosettaBooks are generously offering complimentary Kindle eBook downloads of all eight volumes of the Official Biography of Winston S. Churchill, by Randolph Churchill and Martin Gilbert. These normally sell for $80 and may be downloaded for free during the period of April 9, 10, and 11.

Web Hosting
Completely unrelated — if you need web hosting, the one I use, LunarPages is offering 25 dollars off this month for their one-year plans. We’ve been happy with them (for years and years now) and I’m an affiliate as a result. Limited Time! Expires 05/31 Coupon Code: “25OffHosting”

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 9, 2015

Is it Monday?

Because this morning is starting out in a suspicious manner. My glasses broke first thing. Just the little plastic nose pad thingie, but they are still unwearable. There was a chance of rain, but the sun was out so I went out to water. There was Leo playing with a snake. OH FOR THE LOVE OF…I had to inspect it to make sure it wasn’t dangerous. Naturally The Convict sat on it. When I finally managed to move him, he leaped back, grabbed the snake and trotted off. Well, I guess if it’s dangerous, it’s too late to worry about it now. FOOZLE.

I left The Convict on his own and turned the water on. I have some sprayers and a lot of drip hoses. The sprayers have to be readjusted nearly every time because they get knocked over. There I was, dutifully trying to adjust one because it was spraying all over, getting me all wet, when I realized it was raining! The sun was out so NATURALLY I thought I was being sprayed by a cockeyed sprayer…oh, just forget it.

I’m just going to make myself a cup of chocolate milk and sit here until Monday gets over itself.

Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+
Posted: April 9, 2015
Next Page »