Monday, December 31, 2012

Waving Goodbye to 2012

Okay, that auld lang syne bit over with, how are ya doing otherwise?

I'm still all over the place.  I would like to finish up the Drive The Cold Winter Away photo essay thing by tomorrow but it's turning out to be more complicated because I have to build each page in Photoshop.  Word isn't cooperating at all.  And PLUS you can't use interesting fonts  so if I make an image of the page, then I can use whatever font I like.

Here's what I worked on earlier today.  Now that I think about it there's another way I could have done it.  I should try that.  Or there's always just leave it because it will be so small in a kindle that it'll be hard to see anyway.

With the Buttercup book someone complained that she spent 99 whole cents and couldn't even extract the images from the book!  Oh bummer!  Can you extract parts of a novel from a Kindle or Nook?  No, you can't.  Yes I see why it would be good to download recipes from a cookbook on your Kindle but that's not how it works now.

I decided to put a note in the back of this book that if anyone would like an image to use as a desktop or whatever, they can email me and I'll send them a copy.  That's a pretty good deal.

I could make it a gif file!  Go from the icicles to an ad like "Eat at Joe's"!
See how I get distracted?

Happy New Year all you lovely people who are so patient with me and so supportive.  I promise Parked will be on your readers in 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New/Old Cover for By Force of Will

My ADHD has been kicking me hard all month so I get nothing finished--or so it seems.

I was doing something and then it seemed imperative to fix the cover for By Force of Will.
Then I couldn't find the file--I'm not very organized!--so decided the original cover was gorgeous and I could just tweak that a bit so that's what I did.

Barnes & Noble readers (big hi to you!) have been lovely this holiday season.  Kobo readers seem to be finding my work.  The big Zon?  I am definitely not complaining.  About anything.

Does anyone want to vote about returning to the original title?  That was Blue Raja.  It wouldn't take much to get me to go back but someone convinced me that somewhere someplace in a graphic novel the two words Blue and Raja appeared together.

Angela?  Ceallaigh?


Decided to go back.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Black Cat Farm

I wanted to think of something else to write about besides books but since I'm a writer and this is my book blog, that's a bit difficult.  But I will give it a whirl and leave the book part until the end.

I'm not a cat person.  I know that's heresy in some quarters.  I am first a horse person and second a dog person but cats not so much although they generally like me too much for my comfort level.  Racing to me and jumping as high as possible to reach me is not a good way to say hi.

Mrs. Awiggins was the first cat who showed up here.  Obviously someone either left her by the side of the road or she walked here on her own.  She was black and white.  Charm Boy showed up sometime later.  He was black, very charming and a ladies man.  Last I heard he was up at the neighbor's house (another soft touch).  There have been a couple other strays/feral cats who showed up and then didn't show up anymore.  Many generations later because cats breed fast, there are 2 colors of cats here--black or black and white.

You can always tell a Mrs. Awiggins descendant because they have 6 toes like she did.
Charm Boy had 5.

At any time there are about a dozen cats hanging around not catching mice.  When the front door opens they run to me even though they are wild and don't give a hang about me personally (except for what must be Charm Boy's great great great great grandson) but I dole out the food with pleas to catch the freaking mice before they get in the house which they ignore.  They are slacker cats.

I decided to attempt to put together a photo essay of winter images and I enlisted a Mrs. Awiggins descendent to be on the potential cover.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Flash a Freebie

That sounds like putting on a raincoat and going to the nearest park.
Considering we're under a blizzard warning, I'll skip the raincoat and stick with survival clothing.

Flash is indeed free today and for the next 2 days after this so if you don't already have it now is a good time to introduce yourself to Kip Chanin and Alex Milne.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Miller Sisters Anthology

Yes, that's live at Amazon now.  The Miller Sisters.
No, it won't be available elsewhere.  Partially because Bel is on Select right now but just sheer obstinacy on my part.  I can't upload the new cover for In Under My Head to BN and writing to their support "team" hasn't helped.  I don't need the hassle with them.  I wind up spending all my time on computer issues instead of writing.

At some point soon most of us will be using tablets and able to access books from all sites.
Another one of my obvious predictions.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Presents are nice.  We all like them, probably too much, but still what can top a great surprise present?  I'm looking forward to the Bittersweet Farm Christmas where I will go full-bore festive.  What should Talia give Lockie?  Don't imagine there's going to be a sleigh ride! 

Amazon Montlake gave me the gift of moving Love In The Air up the schedule to next month if I would compromise with them on the changes I requested.  So I said yes.
Sometimes you make the best decision you can at the time, then later circumstances change and you do your best with what's become a bit of a mess.  That's what happened.
It's solved now.

We're having snow, not as much as some parts of the country, but we'll definitely have a white Christmas.  It's iconic.  That's what most people hope for, dream of.  So I rushed out with a candy cane and the Nikon followed by the feral cats who have a tendency to get in every shot where the ground is visible.  Ha!  Skunked you guys this time!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bad Apple 4 Poll

We have winners!

I can tell you with all confidence that "Other" is indeed what happens to Neal and Tru in Parked.  However, I will confess at one point that I did consider having Jan admit he is in love with Neal and playing that.  I changed my mind although that is in fact true, Jankin does love Neal.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Christmas Movie

My not favorite list would be long if I watched Christmas movies like The Kranks and the one about the lights competition between neighbors, and Jingle All the Way is it?  Still the one I don't watch is probably most people's  favorite It's a Wonderful Life.  Definitely once was enough.  And anything based on Dickens with the durn ghosts.  I think Mr. Magoo's Christmas did that the best.

My favorite by a nose is probably White Christmas but the editing does have a couple bad cuts and the outdoor sets are so pathetically fake it's not understandable.  There's that one huge production number with Vera Allen called Mandy.  That was a really old song of Irving Berlin's from 1919.  I can't imagine most people even know what a minstrel show is anymore.  I find myself looking at her legs through the entire scene because she looks like a Barbie doll.  She's so thin, she makes Rosemary Clooney, who was normal size at the time, look enormous.  I often wonder where Vera Allen got the energy to dance like that eating what must have been 1 piece of lettuce a day.  I don't like the choreography number.  I don't like the liverwurst and buttermilk scene.  Yet it's one of my favorite movies.  Go figure.

I'm working on another boxed set.  This one Not Low Maintenance, Unspeakably Desirable and Fly Away With Me.  Happily I figured out how to get all the Table of Contentses to coexist peacefully.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Flash Anthology

Because boxed sets appear to readers like a good deal, I'm putting some of the books into sets, or anthologies.  The first to be finished are the Flashes and I added The Missed Wish which I think is a cute novella but everyone seems to miss.

I hope it won't confuse people but I suppose that can't be avoided.  Someone will always be confused and it will probably be me!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Flash Reviews

I'm putting Flash on freebie sometime soon.   If you've read it and haven't left a review,
I encourage you to do so.  More good reviews will make it look worthwhile.

The more people who download Flash, the more people will become aware of the other books and possibly purchase them.  So anything we can do to help Flash will theoretically help Bad Apple.

I put Flash and Flash of Light together in a boxed set/anthology and included The Missed Wish for added value.  It's said anthologies are attractive.  Okay.  It did take a massive amount of time.

The Flashes

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Murder and Murderers

For those of your going on the journey of Bad Apple with me know how complicated life can be.  I became an archeologist into the lives of the murderer and the victim in the incident in my life.  I can tell you that even today I'm not sure which is which.

It's not so easily explainable. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Cover For Flash

I was good with the last one but every once in a while you need to change things up and I have plans for Flash and Flash of Light so a new cover was appropriate.

Like a Yoyo

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,081 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

This is Bad Apple 1 right now.  If you get a couple sales, and I mean a couple, close together then you zoom right up.  But it's a fake because it'll happen to someone else and you drop back down.  You need steady sales.

One of these days it will happen.  I believe it!

I finally have all the computer issues seemingly cured.  Took a new video card.  Now I'm trying to put links in the back of all the books to point to the others.

And Kelly, I think I'm going to use your name in Bittersweet 2.  I'll call the character Keli, though.  I think she'll be like a Victoria's Secret model.  This is true.  If you can think of a spelling--anyone--that makes the name Kelly look unpronounceable leave a message somewhere for me.  The more bizarre the better.

Has this been a weird week for you?  It's been weird for me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Love In The Air

Once upon a time, I wrote a book about a flying circus and it was published by Avalon.
Then years later Amazon bought Avalon.
By that point I was indie publishing and going under my name, not Robin O'Neill.
So I asked if they would change that and that small change turned out to be a big one
and pushed my book into 2013 after Amazon/Montlake took care of all the easy books that didn't need special treatment.

That was fine.

Today I was notified that the book will be published on Dec. 18 2012.
So fingers crossed that it's under my name!

Update:  Yeah, no.  If I insist on the changes, it's still next year.  They were working from another list.  That's fine, too.

Brownie Camera

Sunday, December 9, 2012


It's a wonderful time of year. I'll have to find my DVD of White Christmas and watch that at least once. I need to cut some pine boughs and make a wreath. 

My computer is experiencing some issues so I haven't been writing (collective groan). Parts are arriving tomorrow so hopefully that will solve the problem. Here's a quite nice cover from Puck Magazine 1914.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Chanukah

These are days to celebrate the Miracle of the Lights, when 1 portion of oil for the lamp of the Maccabees lasted 8 days.

This is the prayer said during candlelighting

"We light these lights for the miracles and the wonders, for the redemption and the battles that you made for our forefathers, in those days at this season, through your holy priests. During all eight days of Hanukkah these lights are sacred, and we are not permitted to make ordinary use of them except for to look at them in order to express thanks and praise to Your great Name for Your miracles, Your wonders and Your salvations."

Among the traditions maintained and celebrated during this holiday, there is a dreidel, a top, the children spin.  It has four sides with four Hebrew letters which can be translated to/I understand it as "Great Miracles Happen Here".

No matter what travails we may be experiencing, it can all change unexpectedly for the good in an instant.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dew Lines

Not Dew's lines, although she had some pretty good ones.  (You have to read the Flashes to get that.)

I'm trying a promo effort for Bad Apple starting Dec. 1 so we'll see if that intrigues our potential audience.

Who wants to confess to wanting to see Joe make peace with Neal?

Update:  Did you change your vote on Joe?!  I voted for Neal to leave the band, if I can do that, you can vote for Joe to turn into a creampuff.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bad Apple Author Interview & Giveaway

Very good questions and nicely done!  By Pretty In Fiction who are extremely, way over the top generous and I highly recommend the site.

Pretty In Fiction

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bad Apple Review

We have another convert to Maisie and The Boys' Night Out!

By Aka
Format:Kindle Edition
Its hard to put into words the feeling you get when you come across a real treasure. This book is sensational, believable, unique and the writing is beautiful. This is work of a true talent. Be prepared to be surprised. I love this book and recommend it for everyone who is looking for something unique and captivating. 
Thank you, Aka.  We all thank you.  Tell your friends!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bad Apple On The Slow Rise

And I mean slow but it's going in the right direction.  So thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in it.
Tell your friends if you like it.  Leave a review if you enjoyed Neal and Truly.

Hopefully over the next few weeks more readers will become aware of it.

Yes, Bittersweet 2 is still in progress. Then BA 4, I promise.  Then perhaps HHH.  No, I'm not telling you the title other than that.  No, it's not Hazy Hot and Humid but that actually could be the weather during the span of the story.  Not it's not about Hubert H. Humphrey the politician who if I barely remember, most of you certainly don't know.

How about that Lindsay Lohan trying to look like Liz Taylor?  Is that miscasting or what.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Why, though?
But it is.
It is a bit strange to see people fighting over cell phones and huge TVs.   That's a new definition of  "the Christmas Spirit".  Seems more like they've been DRINKING spirits and lost their inhibitions.

Since I can't seem to make youtube videos work here, click on over to the Robin O'Neill blog
Christmas in Connecticut
and see the trailer to one of my favorite movies.  I think they should have had a dinner scene, all of them at a big table, candles, Christmasy decorations.  Maybe they did and it was cut. 

I have a couple of promo events coming up in the next few weeks so that will be fun.  It's much easier to answer a good question than a not so good one--I learned that so far.

It snowed earlier today.  It's that time of year, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pass or Fail

I don't believe I mentioned this Mature YA.  I'll explain why.  It contains some very difficult situations and I didn't want someone to be excited by Dream Horse and say (like an adult did not long ago) "I'm going to buy everything by Barbara!" and then find out there's sex, drugs and rock and roll in this, very unlike pony club.  So I published it under another pen name but then this Mature YA label started to surface and I thought, okay, if I can put that label on it, maybe the wrong audience won't be so easily exposed to this material.

I'm sure kids see far worse at 7:30 on their televisions.  But that's not my problem.  I have to do what I think is right.

That's why you haven't heard of this book.

Pass or Fail is based on some rumors I once heard and that's as far as I'll go with that for the moment.

It's a story about desires so deep and so demanding that all sense of what's right and good and appropriate is swept away in order to fulfill those needs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jingles Lamb Author Interview

I'm pleased to introduce you to Jingles Lamb, author of the quite marvelous short book, Jingles All the Way.

Portrait of Author, Jingles Lamb by evarin20

Me:  Welcome, Jingles.

Jingles: Thank you for the invitation.  Is there a snack afterwards?

Me: Lunch will be provided with a fried egg.

Jingles: Don't overcook it, I like when the yolk is runny.

Me: Can we stick to the book?

Jingles: Of course.

Me: What inspired you to write Jingles All the Way?

Jingles: ME!

Me: Could you expand on that a little for our audience?

Jingles: I had an adventure, both amusing and frightening, that I wanted to share.

Me: Please, don't make me drag this out of you.

Jingles: I was living with people who only got a dog because all their friends on the Upper West Side had dogs.  Little did I know they had another purpose in mind entirely.

Me:  What was the purpose?

Jingles: People should read the book to find out, but I will say my former people worked with numbers, really worked them, in the Financial District downtown and made me complicit in their dirty dealings.

Me: Who is your current person?

Jingles: (Sigh) Sassy Collins.  She's beautiful.  She has brown eyes just like mine and hair the color of my ears.

Me:  What is your favorite movie?

Jingles: Mastiffs of the Universe.

Me:  I think that's titled Masters of the Universe.

Jingles: It shouldn't be.

Me:  What movie star do you most identify with?

Jingles: Jet Li.

Me: What's your favorite Christmas Song?

Jingles:  Jingles All the Way.

Me:  I think that's called Jingle Bells.

Jingles:  It shouldn't be.

Me: Is there anything else you'd like to say before lunch?

Jingles:  My book is available as an ebook and as a paper version which makes it an excellent stocking stuffer.  I don't wear stockings or the ridiculous booties either.

Everyone who leaves a comment will receive a free ebook.  Merry Christmas.
If you're having trouble leaving a comment, just use the contact email and tell me if you prefer epub or mobi.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Treasure Hunt

Readers do seek out books.  It's remarkable, really, the energy they must expend.

They could read through the top 100 and buy from there
yet they are searching for something else.  Some hidden gem.
I do it, too.
You want something specific.
Amazon's search engine is quite good--not perfect.
When you search for Bad Apple, the Apple computer is at the top of the list.
You need to be specific about what you want. 
Sometimes I feel so unspecific.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making a Reader Case of a Hardcover

This seems one of the easier methods but still looks fairly time consuming.  It requires a trip to Jo-Ann's or a craft shop for some supplies.  Having an Exacto knife in the house is always a good idea.

Sorry I can't get the vid to embed but click on the link

How to Make a Cover for a Kindle

The problemish with it is most hardcovers have a thicker spine than a reader.  If you used some batting underneath, that would compensate for the height differential.  You can still just glue it together.  I'm not sure I'd use Elmer's Glue--sorry.  I'd probably use a dedicated heavy use craft glue.  The benefit, of course, to using some batting (it's what is used in quilts and comes in long rolls, from which you can buy what you need.  Buy 12" or something like that in the thinnest weight they stock.) is that it offers padding and protection for your reader.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Flash Blog Tour

I'm a complete beginner to blog tours, but a very nice woman, Megan McDade, set up one for me in England.
Here is the first review Flash received and you can't ask for a better reception than this.  If 5 stars is Shakespeare....

My Thoughts:

Flash by Barbara Morgenroth is a book that hooked my from page one and didn't let me go until I had finished the very last page. And even then, it played on my mind for so long after I finished reading it!!!
Kip Chanin dreams of being a news photographer. Graced with talent and artistic intuition when it comes to her craft, but to support herself and her mother she puts those dreams aside and reluctantly joins the ranks of the paparazzi. She takes a photo of actor Alex Milne and from taking one single image both of their lives will be changed.
Kip is such a strong female lead. She's pretty much had to grow up incredibly quickly to be able to get by, but she has this underlying layer of vulnerability. Having been independent for so long it was nice to see the relationships that she formed and see her allow someone to get close enough to offer her some support. As for the relationship that she has with Alex... It was very much a will they or won't they, are they or aren't they scenario for a lot of the book, but there is no doubt the impact that they each had on the other!! There is definitely an intensity to their feelings for each other.
The author had this ability to end a chapter leaving me with so much anticipation as to what was going to happen next that there was no way that I could stop reading. I don't know how many times I said to myself "Just one more chapter" and before I knew it, I had completely finished the book.
I'm not usually a fan of huge cliffhangers, and let me tell you that the end of this book was a doozy that completely blew me away. It was definitely an "OH. MY. GOD. ending!!! But thank heavens that the sequel is out and ready for me to purchase and read.
Never having read anything by Barb Morgenroth before, Flash turned out to be a real gem of a book and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read it. A fantastic book full of gritty and real characters!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Wanted To Be A Photojournalist

Yup, that's what I went to college for.  Then when I graduated (I'll bet there are people who've read my books and left 2 star reviews--if I'm that lucky--who doubt I even went to high school!) I taught riding.  Yes, that undoubtedly surprises those who say Charlie is full of equestrian errors.


I did quite a bit of equestrian photography and wound up doing the covers for my first two published books, so it's not so outlandish to think I'm doing the covers for my books now.  I started out that way even if it was traditional publishing.

I'm getting back into photography but that doesn't mean the writing part changes.  Joyful Spirit is chugging along with CB's little swish.  There's so much to fit in I'm not sure what's going to wind up in book 3.  I think book 4 (I'm optimistic!) will be titled Available.  All the middle books will be named after horses.  First one Mounted, last one Dismounted.  So I think now.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nothing Serious

Most of us who enjoy old movies love screwball comedies.  My Man Godfrey, Bringing Up Baby, and Palm Beach Story come to mind.  Ridiculous situations with perfect scripts and wonderful actors who made it all work.  I don't think we have the knack for it anymore.

My novel, Nothing Serious, is a tip of the hat to those movies.  It's a ridiculous situation--a young woman lives her life through the internet (that's not so unbelievable!) and one day after being the victim of identity theft, Paige rips the connections out of the wall and leaves the city for a rural town.  They're nuttier than she is.  She's almost thrown in Zoning Board Jail for painting her store, Nothing Serious, colors that are too bright.

Avalon probably would have bought it but it was just when I was getting into indie publishing and I wanted to do it myself.  It's had a couple of titles and several different covers.  I like this one.  The argument would be "This illustration is from 1920!"  Yes, it is.  And there's a party in the book where everyone dresses up in Jazz Age style.  So maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.  Maybe Montlake will publish it and give it a different cover.  Otherwise in 6 months or a year, I'll give it a new cover!

For anyone interested in the process, I tried to content aware fill out the young man standing underneath her.  I can't make that function work in Photoshop so I clone stamp tooled him out, then eventually also removed the background/hills.  In Adobe Bridge Camera Raw, I improved the colors, employed clarity, brighten, saturation, sharpen, bumped the black.
In Photoshop I added a luminance because the image is deteriorating with age and I wanted to soften or smooth it out a little.  I used the dodge tool to lighten up some sections.  The title is a font called Gatsby and my name is in Minion Pro.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Not Low Maintenance

It's all maintenance, so I decided I was not very happy with the last cover.  I liked the international nullification symbol cover but I suspect people didn't understand it.

New cover.

We dodged the Sandy bullet and I was well prepared for it.  After Irene when the power was out for four days, I told my pal I needed a laptop so I could keep working.  He found a four year old business Dell coming off lease that was practically worthless to everyone else but very valuable to me.  That was ready, a thumbdrive with current files plugged into it.  All batteries were charged, I had flashlights everywhere, jugs and jugs of water, clean clothes, dog laundry done.  I was so ready and it was just some rain.  I'm very grateful and very sorry for those not as fortunate.

The unfortunate reality of life is that most of us have very little control over what happens to us.  We are exhorted to be powerful, but we waste more time on addressing things we have no control over and little time on addressing what we can control.

Don't do that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We Love Being Agreed With

Don't we?

Bad Apple received a very nice review from tHe crooKed WorD.  So we're happy about that, aren't we, and hope it leads to greater visibility and interest.
This is a very realistic story, which in some ways will break your heart. In others, you'll love it.

There's a lot going on in this book, but I don't want to go into it. Too many spoilers. It reads quickly, and you'll want to push through to learn what happens.
If  I could say one thing in reply, if it's read too fast, you'll miss important elements.  I know that those who have said they've read these books multiple times, find bits they didn't see the first go-round.  Read it once for plot, go back and read it for meaning.  YMMV.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flower in the Round

Jingles All the Way is now available as a paperback book on Amazon so even though it was a lot of work for me, Jingles is happy because dogs like nice things.

Yes I started work on Bittersweet 2.  No shortage of things to cover!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jingles All the Way

Jingles will be available as a print version by the end of the month.  It's a good, inexpensive Christmas gift at $5.99, for adults and children.  It's cute and has quite a lot of kissing in it, if you count licking someone's face until your tongue goes dry.

Every once in a while it's possible to look back at your life and see how you made a good choice.  Learning Photoshop was an excellent choice for me.  My knowledge of it is still minute, though.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I've Got My Fingers Crossed

I know I haven't been around a lot lately.  I've been revamping covers and trying to get Jingles formatted for CreateSpace.

You probably saw the new cover for Bad Apple 1.  I was saving it for something else but I'm not sure that will ever happen.  I think the schedule is ---wait for it!!!--Bittersweet Farm 2, then Bad Apple 4.  Okay?

Teasing stats at Amazon.  Today there was an ever so minute spike in sales of Bad Apple 1.  Must be the cover, so let's all cross our fingers, think happy thoughts, sprinkle the magic dust around and hope this is the time it catches on.  Thank you for sticking with Tru, Neal and me.

(Can't get this embedded. Is that something else we're not allowed to do anymore?)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fly Away With Me

My friend convinced me that while I loved the photo of the pilot sitting on the wing of his biplane on Fly Away, it wasn't sexy enough to catch anyone's eye as they were scrolling past at speed.

What do you think?  Does this do anything for you?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not Low Maintenance

Yes, I decided to give it a facelift.  I quite liked the original cover.  It was a faked coversheet of the lawsuit David launched against Viva.  I don't think anyone noticed it but I knew before I started writing the novel that I wanted the international nullification symbol on the cover.  So I had that.

I would like to get all my adult books looking a little more alike. 

Hope you like it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unspeakably Desirable new cover

This is either the final version or close.  It's Helene Deroubaix's image and I made it fit/work (I hope) for ebook use.

I think she's incredibly talented and inspirational.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Almost Breathing

I can hardly list all the titles of this book.  Jemima and Jay.  We've made a journey together.  Maybe this is the place we settle.  Formerly Inhibitions and Fling, now

Friday, October 5, 2012

In Under My Head

Michal Towber, the terrifically talented musician and human, introduced me to the stunningly talented artist who did the cover for her new CD.  I was so inspired, I tried to learn from Helene Deroubaix while we work on a cover she's doing for me.  I recommend her whole heartedly.  You'll see the marvelous photo for the book TBA (To Be Announced since I really haven't made up my mind yet).

I had nearly given up on my poor Ariel Robbins.  The title for her book was originally TBA, then Sweeps and that wasn't it.  Then it was Love In The Afternoon.  That wasn't right.  Tryst.  No.  I settled on Ari and the Doctor because it was that or unpublish it.

Helene has been so inspiring I came up with a new title-- In Under My Head and a new cover.

I feel that I have finally reached a place that expresses something about the soul, spirit and intention of this book and my other adult novels.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn And The Year Is Winding Down

But not the work schedule.

I finished a short story and since it's not for this group, seriously not you wouldn't like it at all Angela, I won't even mention the title here.  It's not under my name, it was just another off the wall experiment.  But it was very funny and I laughed all of the way through it so it was like a short vacation.

Tru is invading my thoughts to a greater degree lately.  I suspect that for all I would like BA to be 1 more and done, it will be 2.  I'm not seeing how to finish it that quickly.  I'm sure that makes no one reading this dismayed!

Big Triumph--I think I have Facebook figured out to some small degree.  Wow.  Really confusing!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Not Dew Chanin but I think Loy would have said this was very like her.
Who am I talking about?   Ya gotta read the Flashes.

Nikon D600

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Camera, Nikon D600

Over at the other blog I wind up talking about photography quite a lot and try to keep this one just for books.  I don't know if that was the right decision because I'm not a monkey at the keyboard, I can only write so fast so there are lulls in the activity-hence boredom for you.

I started out as a photographer.  That's why Kip Chanin in the Flashes was so much fun for me.  I did do news photography for a while and sports photography.  And no, I'm not a stranger to doing my own book covers.  I did the first 2 covers published by Atheneum a million years ago.  Those books are not in digital form nor will they ever be. 

Now that I have another great new camera, and it really is great, Nikon got it right but I've been shooting with Nikons since college so I am biased, I can finish formatting Jingles All The Way for Createspace.  It's a cute book, you'll like it, go get it!

So here's a photo I took late yesterday afternoon.  It's not that I'm wild about bugs, quite the contrary, but it's to demonstrate the camera's ability to catch details.  It's remarkable really.  Probably seen best on my monitor but look close you can see the bee's fur or whatever it's called.

D600 40mm Nikkor Macro

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jingles All The Way: A Christmas Tail

Yes, I completed the short book and it's available at your favorite sites unless you are Canadian and your favorite site is Kobo.  Sorry.  There seems to be some slowness with their system but sometime this week it should be live.

Jingles is a dog on the lam. He’s met the perfect person, and wants to stay with her forever but his former owners have millions of reasons why that’s impossible.

After escaping from uncaring owners, Jingles discovers canine paradise with Sassy Collins and her Eat Dog Eat Gourmet Take-Out Dog Dinner Shop. Sassy is easy to love and Jingles falls hard for her. So does the town police officer, Ethan Monroe. But Jingles is carrying a secret that could destroy their happy family before it even begins.

A holiday story in his own words, it's appropriate for tweens-adult.

Such a deal--99 cents.

Jingles All The Way--Amazon

Jingles All The Way--Barnes & Noble

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Small, Brief Break

I swear.  No, I'm writing but it's a Christmas novella.  It will be short.  And different.  I hope to be done soon.  Then I promise I will attend to Bittersweet or BA.

Bittersweet Farm 1: Mounted  is doing quite well at Barnes & Noble so thank you fellow Nook people.  It's a bit surprising as it's being found more speedily than I expected.  It hasn't been found at all at Kobo.

I leave you with a photo I took this afternoon and a reminder: If you like a book, any writer's book, leave a review.  It will help.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bittersweet Farm 2--Joyful Spirit (?)

No, I don't want to get your hopes up.  Book 2 doesn't exist yet but it will.  And I think it will be titled after Tali's new horse.

What I wanted to do was quote from Julian of Norwich "All will be well."

I had someone read Mounted and being a bit sleep deprived, she overreacted to the end of Book 1.  If you feel the same way, go back and reread it until you pick up the clues I've left like little Hansel and Gretel left crumbs.

Other than that everyone needs patience because thinking and writing is hard and has its own timeline.  I've never worked harder in my life at writing and that includes the years I was writing for television.

And Keanse19, you are a sweetheart to rush to review Mounted.

I'm having a terrible time trying to figure out how to turn 3 proposed books into BA4.  It's never far from my mind.  We must must trust me on this.  It'll happen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's A Tractor In My Yard

It's my new model since the woodchipper is gone.

Rain on a Tractor

I have a new idea for a photo essay.  I did two of them earlier this year of flowers and put them on Select so they could be free.  It was just a break from all the writing because I started out as a photographer and sometimes I think switching was a mistake!  Of course nothing is perma-free on Amazon, but it can be on Kobo which is terrific so maybe I'll just put them there and remove them from Amazon where they seem to confuse people.

Hi to all you wonderfully supportive Canadians who are finding me at Kobo.  It's so exciting to be able to reach an international audience and know it.  Someone from Singapore bought one of my books.  That still makes me smile.  I hope my books make you smile, too.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bittersweet Farm 1--Mounted

My new YA has been uploaded.  Since it's about horses and equestrian sports (and love) we'll call it a competition and see which site has it live first.  I'll put my quatloos on Kobo but it's sure to be tomorrow for Amazon, BN and Kobo.

Here's the blurb:

When a handsome new trainer arrives at Bittersweet Farm, the competition between half-sisters is no longer limited to the show ring.

Talia Margolin doesn’t want to compete against her half-sister Greer Swope on horseback or off.  The arrival of the attractive and talented new trainer makes that decision impossible to keep.  Greer always gets what she wants.  She had the last coach and what she wants now is Lockie Malone.  Tali is willing to fight for Lockie but when sex is the weapon Greer uses, is she going to place second like always?

Mature YA

Updated 9/4/12--Kobo turned out to be the last site for the book to go live.  Maybe it was because I changed the file so many times in the first couple hours, the system got confused.  I lost all my quatloos.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Summer Horse

When I saw the artistry of the illustrator of the cupcakes, I had to have more.  That I already had more with another image was inconsequential.  I tracked her down (she's in Italy) and asked if she had anything with a horse.  No, but she would.

Here's the result.

I may have to go into the book and rename the pig from Arnold to Arnoldina or something but it's cute, bright, eye-catching and changing things around to keep them fresh really appeals to some people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Unspeakably Desirable

I finally have a new cover for Unspeakably Desirable which expresses the spirit of the romantic comedy/love story.  The gingerbread village scene Bel created with the fiddler on the roof would be perfect but since I can't draw, cupcakes will do.

I promise you I'm writing, working, and thinking.  There's a lot going on here and I'm quite ADHD so once everything calms down I probably will think no faster than I already do.  Sorry ;-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cross Everything!

This is not based on huge sales, but Amazon works in very unpredictable ways.  Last year for no reason at all, Not Low Maintenance caught a wave and started to do really well, so well a movie producer contacted me (the sweet spot also evaporated just as quickly and no movie).  The rule I learned then is the more visible you are the more you sell and the more you sell the more visible you are so the more you sell.  I know people were buying NLM only because it was so visible.

Cross everything, fingers, toes, our hair.  Bad Apple made a huge leap overnight.
As I said this is based on a miniscule number of books sold (under 10) but that's not even the point.  The point is the ranking.  People will see you at 19 when they won't see you at 83 and they sure won't see you if you're not in the top 100.  Trust me, this is all about how Amazon works.  It might be about how fast the books sold (yes, they do calculate that).

We can just hope it stays that way for a while which will put BA in front of a larger number of people and then we might all be really excited.  And I promise I will share every tidbit with you because I know it's as important to you as it is to me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Question About Length

I've been thinking today about the length of books so I'm going to ask you.  Angela, Kelly, Heather and whoever else strolls by.

All of Charles Dickens' books were written as installments and serialized in the newspapers of the day.  Only later were they put together in a book.  Book length has fluctuated over the years.  Books weren't as long 50 years ago.  Then artificially, dictated by the financial needs of the publishers as well as the cost of shipping a box of books around the country, publishers realized they made more money on longer books.  Writers were forced to pad stories and readers became accustomed to really long books that could prop a door open.

But that's old technology.  We don't have to be bound to follow rules that don't apply to digital publishing.

What I'm asking is: would a shorter length be acceptable if you knew you would get the first piece more quickly and there was more to follow?

Post a comment or email me so I know how you feel.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Just Kate Cover

I think this will work better than the original yellow one with the coversheet to a script I wrote during my time in daytime television.  Those small details don't show up very well, sad but true.  There was an involved explanation for it---good reasons---but everyone is scrolling by so fast, none of it matters.