Monday, October 21, 2013

Dress Up the Holidays in Your Written World

What are you doing to dress up the holidays in your written world? Are you working on a special Christmas book release? Hopping along on a holiday blog tour? Are you entering a few contests to try and win some swag that will fill your own tank of inspiration? Are you joining or starting a holiday book club? Will you be writing letters to family and friends or putting out a special holiday newsletter?
What about articles? Do you write for regular periodicals, and if so, will you be sharing something special to help readers think about the true meaning and blessings of Thanksgiving or Christmas? Are you going to re-design your blog? Are you unwrapping ideas for a new novel?

Okay... enough of the questions. The point here is the approaching holidays are a great time to think about our writing in new ways. I'm not talking big changes or resolutions like we might focus on as we bring in the New Year, though we could include those, but just a way to keep ourselves inspired and fresh, and at the same time encourage one another. Let's brighten each others' holidays with a little bit of written cheer, shall we?
I might simply change up the wallpaper on my blog for starters. What are some of your ideas?

Write on!

Monday, October 14, 2013

To NaNo, or Not to Nano? Thoughts on Accountability and National Novel Writing Month

To NaNo, or not to NaNo, that is the question. To be honest, I have deep, personal issues with accountability. I try to hold myself accountable a lot, but without outside assistance. Yes, my way is ripe for failure, or at least a lot of self-incrimination, but I consider myself fairly self-disciplined in most areas. (Just don't let's talk about dieting.) Inviting others to be aware of my accountability is something I just rather dread.

I have done the "NaNo thing" without signing up. I have used it as a guide to starting or completing projects. In fact, my latest book Paint Me Althena which just released last August, is the result of a busy November 2011. But to log in, sign on, tell the world, "I'm going to do this!" sends shivers up my noncommittal spine.

So, back to my question. To NaNo or not to Nano? Well, I did it. I braced myself, logged into the site, and filed my name among the scads of others out there to do the work. I even joined two Facebook groups to sink myself into committal a little deeper.

Now comes the decision on the project I'll write. I have two in mind. You know, you're supposed to start NaNo from scratch. I admit cheating a little here. Both novels I'm dipping into will be well over 50,000 words at their conclusions, so my goal is to log in those 50,000. This will still require a lot of further plotting and fleshing on my part, so I don't feel like it's much of a cheat. My biggest problem now is to decide which one to focus on.

November is
National Novel Writing Month.
In 30 days, 50,000 words is a novel.
Can you do it?


How about you? Are you "committing" this year? Have you done NaNoWriMo in the past? What do you think of National Novel Writing Month? I'd love to hear of your successes, failures, and future plans.

Write on!
Desert Breeze Publishing has lowered all their ebook prices, even on new releases.
Paint Me Althena is now only $3.99.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Grace Awards Showcase (& Book Drawing) ~ Celtic Knot by Tammy Doherty

Here's a book on my to-be-read list, a suspenseful, romantic, western historical by Tammy Doherty set around the time of the Civil War. Celtic Knot is the third and final book in her series. Please enjoy the following excerpt and character interview, and if you hop on over to Tammy's own blog (link at the bottom) and leave a comment there, you'll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book!

About CELTIC KNOT by Tammy Doherty

When widow Abby Finnegan meets ranch hand Kyle Lachapelle, she figures he’s as deceitful as her family. But Kyle is a Secret Service operative working undercover, and Abby has a disturbing connection to his counterfeiting case. Abby’s protecting her heart while Kyle can’t afford the feelings stirring in his. Love is out of the question…or is it the answer? 


“Look, mister,” Boone stood toe to toe with Kyle, their eyes level with one another. “I’m the law in these here parts an’ it’s my job to know about newcomers to town. An’ I ain’t partial to your wiseacre answers.”

“Well, I guess that makes us even, ‘cause I’m not partial to your lewd, nosy attitude.” Kyle held Boone’s gaze, as if daring the other man to make something of his answer.

Boone stared back, unblinking. He wouldn't back down from a stare-off. Most cowpunchers either worked for Raymond Bigelow or were just passing through Prophecy. Bigelow hands generally knew their place when it came to Boone Warren. Rambling men were naturally intimidated by Boone’s large size and the way he carried himself. This man was quite obviously not intimidated or impressed.
Tension thickened the air as each man waited for the other to back down. Abby noticed that while Boone’s gun rested in its customary place at his hip, the stranger was unarmed. If Lachapelle noted this fact he made no sign that it mattered. And though she well knew how apt Boone was with his fists, she began to wonder if perhaps this newcomer might be able to best him in a fight. She wasn’t willing to find out the answers to any of these questions.

“That’s enough,” she scolded sharply. “I’ll not have such a show of childish violence in front of my daughter.”

Even the sharpness in her voice did not break the staring match. Abby frowned and forced herself between the two men, shoving Boone backwards. He broke eye contact with Lachapelle and turned his gaze to her.

“I’m ashamed of you, Boone Warren.” Her voice was quiet, yet forceful. “You really must learn your manners.”

He dipped his head as if apologizing, but only to Abby and only for a moment. His anger was barely veiled as he looked again at Lachapelle. “Make sure you're on your best behavior when in my town. I don’t tolerate any hooliganism. Understood?”

Character Interview

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with Millie Finnigan. Millie's mother, Abby Finnigan, is the heroine of CELTIC KNOT.

Welcome, Millie. Have a cookie and tell us a little about yourself.
Millie grabs a cookie but waits to eat it. 
Hi, I'm excited to be here today. Let's see, I'm seven years old and I live with my mother in Prophecy, Colorado." She takes a bite of cookie, not talking again until she's finished chewing. "My real name is Millicent but Momma only calls me that when she's cross. I try not to make her angry 'cause she works real hard and hardly ever smiles. Momma has a pretty smile but sometimes her eyes seem to look far away and her face gets sad.

Why do you think she's sad?

It's as if she's looking at a photograph in her memory." Millie fidgets with her dress, dropping her gaze a moment before continuing. "Remembering Daddy, I think. He died when I was four. That's when we moved back to Prophecy. Momma says that Daddy called me his little blessing. I don't hardly remember him. Sometimes that makes me sad.

What makes you happy?

A smile brightens Millie's countenance. 
Playing with my best friend, Jennifer Stanton. Her pa is the town preacher an' her folks are real nice. They always treat me like family. Pastor and Mrs. Stanton worry about Momma an' me, 'cause we don't always have money for nice things. But Momma takes real good care of me.

Doesn't your grandfather own the largest ranch around Prophecy? In fact, he owns most of the town. Why doesn't your mother ask him for help?

Millie shrugs. 
Momma's family isn't very nice. I've never even met my grandfather. Once, I heard someone say that Raymond Bigelow, that's Momma's father, is so mean an d contrary he makes Satan look angelic. All's I know is my uncle Clayton is scary. He says things like teaching the whelp proper respect. That's what he calls me, the whelp
Millie shudders. 
I don't like him.

I'm sure your mother stays away from Clayton, then.

We try but Momma works at the Silver Streak Saloon, as a maid. Uncle Clayton goes there a lot and he looks for Momma. He likes being mean, an' not just to her. I can't understand why Boone is friends with him.

Who is Boone?

He's our sheriff. Boone's real nice. He always wants to buy me stuff but Momma won't let him. She says she don't want to be beholden to him." Millie scrunches her nose. "Not sure what that means. I do know Boone wants to marry Momma. He might be a nice daddy. Still, I want Momma to be happy. She never smiles for Boone, least ways, not the kind of smile she gets when Mr. Lachapelle is around.

Kyle Lachapelle? When did you meet him?

He came into the mercantile one morning when Momma was buying supplies an' things." Millie leans forward to whisper, "He likes lemon candies just like me." She sits back in the chair, speaking in her normal voice once more. "An' he stood up to Boone, didn't let anyone push him around. Later, he walked with Momma and me and he was a real gentleman. I hope he comes around more, 'cept Momma told him she don't want to be his friend. I hope she changes her mind.

I sure hope so, too. Millie, it's been a joy having you here today. Do take one of those lemon candies from the jar for later. Yes, you may take one for Jennifer as well. Thank you for visiting.

~ Purchase Links: Amazon 

About the Author

Tammy Doherty lives on a small farm in central Massachusetts with her husband and two children. A veterinary technician by training, she works for a veterinary supply distributor as well as working on the family perennial farm. Tammy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a Grace Awards board member. Her three historical Christian romance novels, Celtic Cross, Claddaugh and Celtic Knot, are available in print and as eBooks. Currently she is working on contemporary romantic suspense. Visit Tammy on Facebook at, or  on her blog The Mystique of Naultag 

Don't forget to drop by Tammy's blog at the link right above
to enter the drawing for a free book!