Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Blog Site

I had to change my hosting package for my website, so I moved everything to Perilous Fiction at

Check out my published books there, as well as well as at my Amazon Store.

What if your husband tried to kill you...after he was already dead?

Jack Clayton dies suddenly, leaving his wife, Natalie Clayton, with grief, funeral expenses, and a nasty mother-in-law. Now, someone wants Natalie dead—and all the evidence points to Jack. Fleeing to the rugged California coast, Natalie assumes a new identity. But life isn't safe, especially in Perilous Cove.

There's nothing quite as peaceful as a mountain lake resort town, unless it contains your ex-husband...and a killer. 

For singer Rayne Evans, Storm Lake is the perfect hiding place. But the picturesque lake community holds Rayne's deepest secret. If not careful, she could lose her band, her career, and her life.

Monday, April 30, 2012

1 Way to Use Up Incredible Amounts of Time


     Most of us don't plan to waste just happens. Time slips by without some significant accomplishment, except for figuring out what to eat for the next meal. A day, a week, a month--suddenly a quarter of the year is gone and we can't figure out where it went. More importantly, we can't figure out what we did that mattered.

     These days, I get up earlier than I have in years and, before I know it, it's going on noon, or two o'clock. 

     But at least most days the time isn't wasted. I've used it up learning something brand new. That's what building a new website - Perilous Fiction - will do. I'm learning Word Press one click at a time, and I haven't found it to be particularly easy. I wanted more than a blog site, so I'm diving into web design and a site that will incorporate a new blog. We'll see if I live to regret it.

     There aren't too many resources for using Word Press to build a website, though all tout it as a capability--even a strength. Most people assume you'll use Word Press to create a new blog, so stepping off the trodden path into whole site design goes against the norm. Every hint, tip, and training video must be sifted to find the ones that apply to me. I wish my brain functioned and absorbed knowledge as well as it did twenty years ago! Ahh, those were the days.

     Thrown into the mix is graphic design software, book cover design for my forthcoming Perilous Cove novel, editing said novel into final format, and learning all aspects of social media. Much to process, but I'm getting there. 

     Watch for Perilous Cove, Book One in the Perilous Safety Series, to be available sometime in May. Book cover coming soon.

     And check out the new website and blog at It's functioning, just not all I want it to be yet.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2 Secrets of Blogging and Websites

From our Internet Marketing session at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference with Thomas Umstattd, we learned he recommends

  • Domain hosting and domain name registration should be with separate companies. He said it gives more flexibility and security.
  • He also said that your blog should be incorporated into your website. Blogs typically get more traffic than websites so, by combining the two, you drive more traffic (and consolidate all traffic) to your site and improve its ranking in Google. Makes sense, but it's something I didn't do and now have to change.

Thomas is a huge fan of WordPress. He said WordPress is capable of anything, and if anyone tells you different, they don't know what they're talking about. There is a WordPress for Dummies book--I might have to pick that up!

More later. Today's session is beginning and it's on blogging. 


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mount Hermon Update #1

Great to be back at the writers conference after missing last year. Lots of old friends (or at least familiar faces!). Deb Raney brought her husband, Ken, who is a graphic artist and is teaching a workshop on ebook covers. Deb is teaching the main fiction track.

Attendance is down from the room-busting highs of 4-5 years ago--maybe 275-300? Actually, it's a lot easier to connect with faculty.

Enlightening session this afternoon re: Alternative Publishing. The barrier-to-entry for self-publishing is nearly zero now (just throw it up on Amazon), but being findable and discoverable is difficult for the novice. Some authors are retrieving rights for their out of print books and reissuing them as ebooks and POD (Print on Demand). And Allen Arnold, fiction publisher from Thomas Nelson told me it's nearly the same per copy cost to print one book or 5,000, so they don't warehouse as many anymore.

Liz Curtis Higgs is our keynote and is keeping us in stitches each evening.

Well, since I'm writing this on my iPhone, my hands are cramping. I'll post more from my laptop later from a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Contests and Conferences

     I spent hours preparing my entry for the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest. It comes around every year at the same time, but it's always a struggle to get that tricky synopsis done. The entire story on one page. And you can't fudge the ending, because a synopsis isn't for readers, it's for agents, editors and, in this case, judges. They want to know how the story ends. But I made it 3 whole hours under the deadline. This is the last year we can enter the contest without having the entire manuscript completed. I'm already thinking about the next book (number 4), but have to complete my 3rd first (this year's entry), so I may not make it for 2013. Because this post might be read by one of the judges, I can't give the details of my story until summer. But I can say it's my most challenging in character feelings and emotions. 

     Then I revised everything again for proposals to two acquisition editors at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, which begins this Thursday in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The proposal guidelines for Mount Hermon are different than the contest, and have to be hard-copied and mailed. Of course there are always glitches. Like our Canon printer quit. Wouldn't power on. Fortunately, I had a new Epson still in the box from when I bought my MacBook Air many months ago. It took a little doing to get the whole thing configured (scanning was a little challenge), but it works fine.

     Speaking of judging:  I'm a first round judge in the Genesis Contest for the seventh year. I learn a lot from reading the entries and applying the judge's scoresheet, so I get back more than I give. It's humbling and a weighty responsibility to score someone's baby, and I think I've improved over the years, giving positive feedback as well as pointing out problem areas. I know I always appreciate balanced feedback for my own entries.