Friday, October 28, 2016

Always Thinking About My WIP

Above is Robert Smith's band arrangement of The Inferno. I heard it played last night at the Colts Neck Community Band's concert. (It's a great piece of music, though I do believe hell wouldn't be so melodious.) I should have taken a video of the band in action, but my mind went wandering--as if often does because I am a writer.

One of the writers' credos is the maxim to write everyday. While I know this is sometimes impossible, I do try to adhere to this practice--even if I only write one hundred words or so when life gets crazy as it often does.

When writing a book, I find the everyday rule keeps me focused on the story. So even if I am driving somewhere, doing laundry, or attending a concert as I did last night--my mind wanders off and I begin plotting or editing in my head. That's a good thing. 

Last night, as I listened to the band play The Inferno, I realized I could have added a detail to a scene in my current WIP which would give it more emotional impact. Was it the tone of the music that caused me to put that thought together? I don't know. However, if I hadn't written the scene before I went to the concert, I doubt I would have had anything to fix in the manuscript.

Write everyday. Even if it's only a little bit. Keep your mind in your story.

And then go do some laundry or attend a concert. :-)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Guest Post by Jenn Nixon!

Please welcome Jenn Nixon, today's special guest. She's got a great series and a great sale happening this week. Don't miss out on this exciting offer. 

Fan Favorite, Baldwin Bates, finally gets his own story and HEA in book three MIND: The Reckoning.  To celebrate the new release, books 1 & 2 are both on sale for the rest of the week! You can find all three books here: MIND: The Beginning .99c, MIND: The Emergence $1.99

Baldwin Bates has only wanted one thing since joining MIND, to take care of his friends and keep them all safe. While the Meta-Alien Investigation and Neutralization Department is busy monitoring an emergence of human psychic and alien activity, Bates takes his first solo assignment searching for a woman who claims to see the future, only to botch it up and let her get away.  

After helping to destroy an alien device called the Transcender, Lexa Quinn wakes from a two-week coma a very different person than she was before. While her abilities grow stronger, her feelings for Bates begin to interfere with the MIND team's mission, putting everyone at risk. Secrets from her past threaten the present and future, forcing Lexa to decide who she is and where she belongs. 

When a powerful, ancient enemy lays claim to the Earth and brings his judgment upon the population, Bates, Lexa, and the entire MIND team must do whatever it takes to save the human race before the reckoning is complete.

Excerpt from THE RECKONING:

As Bates bypassed the crafters and artists, the scent of Asian BBQ wafted through the air. He grumbled along with his stomach and hoped a few of them stuck around so he could pick something up on his way out.

"How’s it going?" Dina Ranger asked via his earcomm, jolting him.

"Shit! Forgot I had this bloody thing in," he replied, taking a breath and shutting his eyes for a second. 

"Have to get used to it if you want to be in the field...alone."

"Unlike your brother, I need some me time, Sherlock." This time, he chuckled when he felt her brush his mind with calming thoughts. "How’s Lexa? Any change?"

"No, nothing. Never changes. I...just don’t get it."

"Me either," he said with a sigh, quickly putting it out of his mind to maintain his focus. "I just got to the park. I’ll check in before I leave."

"Okay. And whatever has you so hungry bring some back. Talk to ya."

Shaking his head, Bates waited for the static of the comm to fade before pushing farther into the park, eyeing the tables and tents, but mostly their occupants, searching for a face. Miss Takashi had a pretty face, although older now, since the photo from the collective Meta-alien Investigation and Neutralization Department database was almost one hundred years old. 

When he neared the end of the first row of vendor tents, he took in the sight of the city across the river, and then found the second and final row of vendors left to search. 
He politely declined several offers to purchase various items like candles and potholders, wondering why his ‘blah face’—a term his new friend Kim called his usual stern fa├žade—wasn’t working.

Toward the middle of the second row, Bates slowed, eyeing a colorful booth, shrouded in light purple curtains, and a sign that screamed for attention. When a face-painted toddler, followed by a frantic parent, came running out of the booth, he barely sidestepped out of the way. The parent offered Bates a weary shrug. He nodded politely and carried onward, finally seeing a sign for "Madam Takashi" two booths down.

Author Bio: Jenn Nixon’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.
Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Love of Horses

According to the American Horse Council in 2009, New Jersey had 83,000 horses. Wyoming had 99,000. Of course, New Jersey has a lot more people than Wyoming. Despite the expense of keeping a horse, the Garden State has many horse lovers. While horse racing is popular and there are several tracks, there are also many beautiful trails and parks where horses and their owners can go riding.

I went horseback riding a few times while I was in college. The horses I rode took advantage of my good nature and absence of handling skills. If the horse saw a particularly appetizing clump of grass, the horse stopped to eat it. I could not encourage the horse to move along. One time, a friend who had gone riding with me, fell off her horse. Fortunately, she was not badly injured, but it was scary. Horses are rather large and it's a long way to the ground.

I learned quickly that horses have minds of their own.

Nevertheless, one of our daughters developed a love of horses in her teenage years. Horseback riding lessons are expensive, but she saved her money and took as many lessons as she could.  She became a volunteer in the SPUR program just so she could be around horses. She truly enjoyed the company of the massive beasts with their ravenous appetites for carrots. (Carrots disappeared from our refrigerator on a regular basis.)

Our daughter was too young to drive at that point, so I wound up taking her to her horseback riding lessons and taking her to the local SPUR facility. I found it difficult to watch her ride because I was always afraid she would fall off the horse! Still, I did not mind being in the stable and watching the horses--who were always watching me and hoping for a carrot.

Due to that experience, horses wound up being channeled into my books. In THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, the Brants have a farm in New Jersey with horses. They went into debt to build a stable. In the story, that debt is threatening their livelihood. In THE PIRATE'S WRAITH, the heroine meets up with a horse on an island. There's Smialek (Polish for daredevil) in THE BEAST OF BLACKBIRCH MANOR and in PATRIOT'S HEART, there is another horse. In THE COWBOY'S MIRACLE, which will be released in December, there's Navigator, an aging but trusty companion for the hero.

I have as much fun naming imaginary horses as I do naming my imaginary ships. :-)

I'm sure if my daughter had not been so enamored of horses, there would be no horses in my stories. But--thanks to her--there are. I once heard Mary Higgins Clark speak about writing and she said, "Everything is grist for the mill." She was right. :-)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Win A Reusable Shopping Bag!

This lightweight, reusable shopping bag could be yours! It's adorned with the new cover for my December release, The Cowboy's Miracle, from Prism Book Group. If you're feeling lucky, comment below. I'll select one winner on Friday, October 28, 2016. So be sure to sign up now.

If you win, you'll have a cowboy to carry your groceries home for you. :-)

Friday, October 14, 2016

One Sleazy Man and a Notebook

There are sleazy men in the world who grope women when they can, who feel entitled to do it, who don't think it's a big deal, and who think women enjoy it. I met one of those sleazy men on the Red & Tan lines when I was commuting to college.

I went to Jersey City State College, which has since been renamed New Jersey City University. Most of the time, I rode the bus to Journal Square from Cliffwood Beach--five days a week. My father had taken the same bus, with the same bus driver. The same people rode the bus back and forth everyday--except on Fridays and Mondays when it was crowded with weekenders.

Back in those days, there were no backpacks. Everyone carried their books in their arms, except for those who were lucky enough to afford a briefcase. I wasn't one of the lucky ones. Although, I discovered that was a good thing.

I got on the bus to go home one day and sat by the window as I usually did. A man in a business suit sat next to me. I didn't know him. He wasn't one of the usual passengers. Once the bus really got rolling on the NJ Turnpike, the man caressed my thigh. (Those days, short dresses were the style--short coats, too. And this was before the dress code was abolished.)

I was mad. I was not going to take it. I opened my notebook forcibly and slammed his hand. He got the message, but for me the rest of the ride was very uncomfortable. Still, I knew the bus driver and half the people on the bus. So if the man beside me didn't behave himself, I figured I had backup.

I was lucky. I was in a safe place. Some women aren't as fortunate.

I am really angry about all this recent talk of men grabbing and forcibly touching women. IT'S WRONG! Sleazy men should be prosecuted--and I don't care who they are.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

What's Your Favorite Season?

Two weeks ago, I walked down this stairway on a trail in Cheesequake Park. The leaves hadn't  changed color. Abundant, lush green foliage was everywhere. The chipmunks dashed about in the underbrush. It was still warm.

Yesterday, as I was driving around I noticed many of the maples had taken on their bright autumn hues. When I woke up this morning, it was forty-six degrees on our back porch. It seems we went from summer to fall in a matter of days. I don't mind. I love the cooler weather. This is my favorite season. Crisp, cool air energizes me.

What's your favorite season, and why?

Friday, October 07, 2016

My Birthday Card for Bruce Springsteen

This is a photocopy of a card I made for Bruce Springsteen's fortieth birthday. The local newspaper ran a contest and I entered it. I wrote a poem inside the card, which I neatly lettered by hand in calligraphy. My friend, a former music teacher, collaborated with me and set the poem to music. She recorded it on an audio tape. We sent the card and the tape to the newspaper. We didn't win, probably because the poem was so corny and dreadful, which is why I'm not including it in this post.

The front of the card is supposed to be me, the forty-year old housewife, cleaning while singing Bruce's songs. I was born five days after Bruce Springsteen--so we are almost the same age. I've never been to one of his concerts, though my youngest sister had been to one.

My son-in-law-to-be gave me Bruce Springsteen's autobiogaphy, Born to Run, for my birthday at my daughter's suggestions. (He's very smart!) It's not autographed, but that's fine with me. I haven't finished reading the book as yet, but I am enjoying it. There are plenty of interesting details and I can relate to them. Bruce grew up in Freehold, I grew up in Cliffwood Beach, about fifteen miles away. The atmosphere was similar. The times were the same, though my circumstances as a child were different.

NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Bruce Springsteen. You can listen to the interview HERE. However, if you grew up in New Jersey in the same era, you should read the book. :-)

Monday, October 03, 2016

Name That Book Contest

and specially priced 99 CENT books through October 7th.

Fill out an entry form now at:

I will be giving away a $5 gift certificate to Amazon at
8 p.m. on October 7, 2016

There will be MANY prizes offered by other Prism Book Group authors. 

Make sure you LIKE Prism Book Group's Facebook page at:

 One of the books published by Prism Book Group which will be on sale this week for 99 cents is my own. 

​Download a copy now at