Monday, September 5, 2016

A Pair of Aces

It's Labor Day here in the U.S. I hope you're all having a great holiday!

The summer sales of my books are now history. Thanks to those of you who helped give each of them a social media boost. I appreciate it very much.

So now it's my turn to help a couple of writing buddies, Mark Noce and Lynda R. Young. You'll read about each of their books below. But first, think about their two titles.

Mark's: Between Two Fires
Lynda's: Cling to God

Now put those titles together:
Between Two Fires, Cling to God
Between Two Fires? Cling to God
Cling to God Between Two Fires

I love the things that happen while playing with words.

I'm still editing, so read about these two books below and enjoy!

My friend Mark Noce has a new book out called BETWEEN TWO FIRES. I'm reading it now - about 100 pages to go. I love it! The story is great and the writing wonderful. I wish Mark all the best with his debut novel!

Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.

But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – 
Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter

“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin

Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.

His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.

Next up is Lynda R. Young. CLING TO GOD is a daily devotional. Think about how perfect this is for a gift. Birthday, Christmas, graduation. It's multi-functional. Better yet, it will never go out of date. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Release Date: October 18th, 2016
Published by Freedom Fox Press

Cling to God in the chaos of life…

Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still be able to spend time with the Lord each day. It will appeal to a wide Christian audience, to those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

Lynda R. Young, a Christian first, writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband.

You can find her here:  BlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Links in full:

I will be back here on Monday, October 3. See you then!

Monday, August 1, 2016

2 Texas Chicks and Their Books

I can barely believe August is here already. 2016 has a rocket strapped to its back.

Last month, I told you about my books being on sale for 99 cents. Last week, it was IN NAME ONLY.

This week:

August 1-8
Next week:

August 8-15

Each sale runs Monday-Sunday, and is for the Kindle edition only. The paperback editions remain at regular price.

If you haven't read any of these yet, you're invited to take advantage of the summer sales and give one or more of them a try.


This month, I'm also participating in the cover real for Bish Denham's new book, THE BOWL AND THE STONE. So without further ado - except to say I love how intriguing this cover is is and how well this cover works with her previous two books - here is Bish's awesome new cover:

Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.

It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240 year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.

But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.

They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them? 

Their carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, and Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.

Pre-order today and enter the ghostly tale as soon as it releases.

Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands*. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.

She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”

The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at

To learn more about Bish, visit her blog, Random Thoughts
She can also be found on Facebook
Twitter @BishDenham
And Goodreads

*Although Bish was raised in the Virgin Islands, she's a Texas Chick now. Like me. That makes her a  Smart Chickie, too :)

I will be back here on Monday, September 5, with not one but TWO special guests. This will be Labor Day in the U.S., but the Tiki Hut will be open for business!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Of Books and Blogs and Summer Sales

Some of you may remember that I've shared a little something about the trilogy I'm working on. So, I'm still doing that - although I now have solid drafts of all three books. Yay!

But I'm f-a-r from done. I'm revising and editing like a mad woman. The main character is Grace Elizabeth Hofner. Otherwise known as Gracie.

I have Gracie brain. That means she and her friends and family and problems and chocolate are just about all I think about 24/7. Plus our dogs and Live-In Handyman, of course - they all combine to make sure I move and don't forget them.

As if :)

Oh! Did you notice I've begun the process of cleaning up my blog? I hope it loads faster for you. The blog rolls are NOTICEABLY shorter. If you don't find yours listed here, it means I got cross-eyed in the process and clicked in error. Just let me know, and I'll add you back in. No worries.

I'll be making some more changes here, but not until fall or winter.

One last bit of news to share with you:
Kindle editions of  each of my books will be on sale for 99 cents during the end of July through mid-August. Here are the dates for each book:

July 25-August 1

August 1-8

August 8-15

Each sale runs Monday-Sunday, and is for the Kindle edition only. The paperback editions will remain at regular price.

If you haven't read any of these yet, you're invited to take advantage of the summer sales and give one or more of them a try.

I'll be back here on Monday, August 1. Hope to see you then!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Where the Real Work Gets Done

Last month, I took you with me on my treacherous commute to work. This month, I'm giving you a peek of the inner sanctum :)

I'm a slow writer, and I'm within 10,000 words of completing a trilogy. Not completing as in ready to publish, but completing the first draft. Total word count for all three books: approximately 210,000 words.

Much subject to change, of course, once the editing begins. The word count will most likely climb.

Where have I spent countless hours? My desk.

It's six feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide. There have been days I've needed every square inch. But during the writing of this final book, it's looked much like this. But first the chair.

This is the most comfortable chair in our house! I'm serious. In addition, it doesn't get hot or collect dust and dog hair. Perfect. So when I'm sitting here, I can look left and right. When I look straight ahead, I see the monitor.

Left - my favorite windows. Followed by Flynn and Flo.

Left - actually on my desk - my Kindle in its black cover sitting on top of a couple of things I don't know what to do with yet. And some note cards about the trilogy. The little white box? If I told you what was inside, I'd have to, you know . . .

Right - the dining room you can see from last month's commute. On my desk, my calendar, goals book, glasses cases, my timer, the corner of my Coast Guard mousepad, and the great black space reserved for Live-In Handyman's occasional clutter.

Center - work area with my Book #3 notebook open. See the green tabs on the right? Those represent, by character, the plotlines I'm tying up in this last trilogy book. There's at least one page devoted to each.

The Notebooks. One for each book.

And finally, The Brain. This is what keeps everything in order and me functioning without losing my mind.

This handy-dandy Costco credenza houses everything. One book per basket. Plus the fourth one on the top row contains everything I'll need for taxes. The bottom row of baskets contain reference books, paperbacks of my beach books, extra supplies - like note cards - and knit scarves for those few cloudy winter days when I actually get cold.

Oh, see that little round orange box on top? That's where I put all the note cards after I've completed whatever's on them. When I finish the draft, all the cards will either be in the box or in the trash (if I didn't use them). Then I empty the box, put the cards in an envelope, and put them in the basket with the rest of the book information.

That's it. I hope you've enjoyed this romp through my office space.

Since the first Monday of July is July 4 - Independence Day -
I'll be back here on Wednesday, July 6.