Love Looks Back – FREE COPY!

Meet Dolly, oldest girl of the seven Larue siblings. Dol was the mother hen over her younger sisters and brothers. She had to be after Mama died.

Love Looks Back – FREE Oct. 24-28 ONLY


Her heart beating out of control, Dolly awoke in the strange white room with the stab of her own sharp pains. Disoriented, she didn’t know where she was.

A sharp cry escaped her lips as she turned in bed. Reaching down to put pressure on the pain in her groin, Dol was horrified. A wet stickiness soaked her gown. She pulled at the call light and slowly raised the covers, terrified. Sobs violently shook her body as her nightmare turned into reality. Bright red blood was everywhere – her gown, her sheets, her blankets. Dol’s agonized scream alerted the nurses as another excruciating pain robbed her of breath. Her scream ended as she passed out into darkness.

__LLB-Book front cover

Love Looks Back  is a cozy murder mystery. The seven Larue siblings have been separated for ten years after a rainy October night when their Pa abandoned them. Forced to separate to survive, each went their own way.

Determined to find answers and hopefully his brothers and sisters, Frank Larue travels back to his hometown. Instead of answers, he finds more questions and clues to a murder in their old rundown barn. His father’s crude grave behind the barn point to his oldest brother…. Frank struggles to prove his brother’s innocence while dealing with painful past issues and stumbles across amazing surprises.

Get your copy today at!


Follow up with Love’s Amazing Grace and learn about Frank’s adventures and coming of age in Love’s Journey Home.

What Do Readers Want?


How do book readers decide to read your book? They don’t decide. You do. Awesome responsiblity? Amazing power?

Then, how do you get readers to want to read your book? You convince your readers to want to through marketing strategies. Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, you must continue to market your own book(s). Traditional publishers may say they will market your book – but it’s much the same as Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers. They’ll put it on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel, provide the title to libraries, academic institutions, and booksellers. It is still mainly up to YOU, the author, to get your book out before the public. YOU must let them know it’s available, valuable, and worth the read, whether educational or entertaining.

They Must Want What You Have

In order to want something, someone must know it exists. One way to look at marketing is convincing people to want what you have. How readers discover new books has changed massively with the growth of technology. In this computer age with all the technology tools available, authors no longer have to rely on a single-minded source (like a book publisher) to tell readers about books. The self-published author, in particular, must know how to find avenues to market their book and get it before their readers.bookart

Sell Your Dream

Marketing for an author is selling your reader on a dream. You have the power of words. As a wordsmith, you must craft the logline (a single-sentence summary of your book) into a hook that will draw that reader in. Make them crave more of what’s tucked between its covers. “Marketing isn’t optional for the self-publishing author–it’s absolutely vital,” says Kelly Schuknecht, marketing advisor with How else will new readers know your book exists? How else will they know where to track it down and buy it? You can’t sell readers on a dream if they don’t know it exists.


Marketing Pointers

Here are a few ways to help sell that dream and market your book.

  1. Pitch it to the right audience. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes new authors make is believing everyone in the world will love their book. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Truth is, people who love the genre you write will love your book. Fantasy/paranormal lovers may not pick up a nonfiction biography. Romance readers may not like horror. That’s okay. Each group has a particular niche. Search for groups in your genre and pitch to those readers.
  2. Find different avenues to market your book. Schedule book signings at libraries or craft fairs, read aloud at libraries or schools, set up a free giveaway of the e-book to draw attention to the next, print banners, bookmarks as giveaways, business cards; do a press release; have a launch party either in person or online. Do an online book tour.
  3. Set up an online presence. Do you have a website for your author page? Amazon, Create Space, Goodreads, Smashwords, and others offer a free page. You can also set up a Facebook author page. Do interviews with yourself or your characters. Make it fun and appealing. Sink the hook.
  4. Advertise online. Get your book into all the various websites that will take your book for no cost. Here are a few: Bookfinder, Goodreads; GalleyCat Facebook Page;;;;
  5. Be engaged. Respond to readers on platforms they love and in your genre. Send out the occasional tweet; engage in Facebook or LinkedIn conversational groups. Guest blog on other authors’ sites if permitted. Get your name out there.
  6. Give back. There are a lot of fun ways to do this. Consider giveaways, donations, free webinars or live chats, speak at other writers’ groups. There are many ways in which you as an author can interact with your readers. If you offer your book for free, put it on Twitter with a #freebook hashtag to get a lot more action.

Happy Marketing!

Are you a Coddiwompler?

I half-expected to see Big Foot or at least some giant bug appear behind one of the ancient, giant trees. Everything was so huge. I felt so small.


Coddiwompler. “One who travels in a purposeful manner toward a vague destination.”   Love that word. It made me think of my recent trip to California and the stroll along Walker Road near the Jedidiah Smith State Park.

The scenery is breath-taking. The Redwoods are enormous along with everything else.  The plan was to go around the path which looped back to the car. We had a purposeful manner – but I had never been on this path before. As we walked and talked, we went deeper and deeper into the forest, amazed by all the beautiful foliage. After close to an hour of walking, we began to see sights that we’d seen before.

“Haven’t we seen that tree before?” I asked her. 20160816_100820


We walked a few minutes farther. “Yep. Seen that one too.”

We were lost.


Well now, we weren’t really lost. The loop had to go back to the parking area eventually; there were just too many turnoffs and side paths.

Which way was back? We had a vague destination in mind, and we were definitely coddiwompling to get there. Eventually (two hours later?) we saw a parked truck which made me think of a Jurassic Park scene. At least we were headed the right way.

ferns (1)I would guess there’s a bit of coddiwompler in all of us.We think we have a destination in mind, but it may be a little vague and unsure.  Life is like that too, isn’t it?  

I guess I’d rather be purposeful with my steps toward a definite destination in mind. Wouldn’t you? 

Silk Stockings and WWII

painted-on stockings

Did you know the government banned silk stockings during WWII? That explains why my grandparents buried dozens of them in their back yard.

When I was age 10, we moved down to my grandparents’ old place where my father grew up. He told me there was ‘treasure’ buried in the backyard, but the town rumor, ‘The Woodland’s were wealthy’ was not true. As a curious child who wanted to find the treasure, I dug holes everywhere! Once I was lucky enough to dig up a slew of old silk stockings. Some were still in their packages and good as new. Who would have thought?  Another place on the property, I found dozens of eyeglasses and frames and discovered that one of my relatives had been an optometrist. But why did he bury the glasses?  Hmmmm … sounds like a story.

Several weeks ago I helped my friend format her cookbook and get it ready for publication. Ozarks Recipes: Momma’s Mine and Others is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at Somewhere in Time on the square in Fair Grove, Missouri. It’s more than a cookbook. Not only does it have recipes, it is full of stories, old sayings, and funny little tidbits. I found it quite intriguing – just like all Marilyn Smith’s stories.

Marilyn was kind enough to mention me in a recent article in her weekly newspaper column. Read more of her interesting story on nylon hose during World War II at SMITH: Cookbooks and nylon hose.

Read the story of the Treasure Hunter -(about digging holes all over the Woodland property).

Two-Minute Stories in Every Genre

Lovers kissRomantic. Fun. Scary. Comical. Creepy. Every genre from science fiction to romance, mystery and horror to cute animal tales, you will find a story to your liking. READ FOR FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited, or get your digital or print copy to read anytime, anywhere.

Last year, a challenge was given. Over forty talented authors worldwide responded in writing a 26-sentence story from A-Z or Z-A. The result – 58 flash fiction stories in every genre compiled into one book, A Quick Read.  Read excerpts from a few wonderful  stories…

* * *

Gently I took her in my arms and pulled her close. “For now, at this moment, it’s just you and me.”Exquisitely her delectable lips parted with invitation. “Don’t speak.” Carrying my prize to a nearby grassy knoll beside a gurgling river, we sat together as one. Before I knew what was happening we’d been caught up in our passion. From “First Love”  – (Indianapolis, IN)

Gravity took hold and before she knew it she was tumbling further down the cliffside. Had she known what this night would bring, she would have stayed home in the comfort of life. It was her own driven actions that brought her to this time, this place. Just as all her actions before this carried her down the path of life in a clumsy manner of which she acted first. From “The Cliff” – (Binghamton, NY)



Opening the door into the hall, the rush of air fanned the flames behind him. Pulling the door shut with great difficulty and coughing wildly, he forced himself up the stairs. Quickly, he found the boy’s bedroom door and flung it open. Reaching down for the child’s bed in the gloom, to his dismay, he found it empty. From “Rescue” – (Gloucester, UK)

Continue reading Two-Minute Stories in Every Genre

Writing and Art -The Bliss of Creation!

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