Thursday, May 31, 2012

Giveaways galore

Next week is my birthday and I'm not asking for presents but am going to do a half-century giveaway special. From June 5 (my birthday) through August 2 (no Sunday or holiday giveaways), I will do 50 giveaways. No purchase necessary. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog and correctly answer the question and be the number of the day to win. Tune in Tuesday for the first giveaway. (Hint: These cute little critters stole the show in Savannah in November of 2011; if you need to figure out what is being given away, you can check the JGDS blog under the Savannah Children's Book Festival postings).

So let's all celebrate my birthday and hope you enjoy the prizes.

Of note, no matter how many times you enter comments, once you have won a prize, you can't win again for ten days; so that's like giving you all five chances throughout the giveaway time to win something. Stay tuned and let the celebration begin.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writers On The Move: Writing Retreats

This is a repost from the Writers on the Move blog.

Writers On The Move: Writing Retreats: Is there a particular place you like to go to write? It could be a room in your home or somewhere outside. Perhaps it is in the area you...


First, I want to congratulate Mariah Tighe from Columbia, SC for having her name drawn for the baby kindle from the SC Author Connection at last weekend's event. I hope the kindle has arrived safe and sound.

Next, I only had two comments on my Kindle/Nook covers pricing question, so I decided that both would be winners. So, Susanne and Faye, thank you very much for weighing in on the pricing issue, but I'm still no closer to nailing down a price - lol. I hope to have buttons next week and to get your kindle covers to you by the end of the week.

Congrats to all the recent winners. Stay tuned for more giveaways on this blog coming up. Watch the postings daily and leave a comment or answer the daily question and you may be that day's winner. There will be 50 chances to win something throughout the summer months starting on June 5 and running through August 2 (no postings on Sundays or Holidays, although I think I may do a special one for the 4th of July since I'm all about the states). Kindle covers, bookworms, ebooks, print books and many other items will be given away this summer. See you all in the postings.


School is winding down and I've had a few really great questions from a couple of classes this year, considering this was a new feature to my blog in January. I hope you all have enjoyed the various WWYWWQ postings and have found my answers helpful in guiding you on your writing adventure. WWYWWQ will resume in September. I will try to gather more questions in August and start back with the WWYWWQ postings right after Labor Day. Think about your writing questions and ask your teacher to submit them to me. See you all in the fall - Mrs. E :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writers On The Move: How to Write Anniversary Articles

Annie who hails from England shows us some excellent tips on writing anniversary pieces whether it be for a major newspaper or other place. Stop over and see how the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will be the big news for days to come.

Writers On The Move: How to Write Anniversary Articles: photograph by Michael Gwyther-Jones  on Flickr under CC licence Here in England. people everywhere are  preparing for next weekend's ...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Memorial Day is the remembrance of those men and women who have served in the Armed Services and have fallen for the United States. My father was in the Army and both my brothers served in the Navy. I don't think any of them saw war fronts, although my father almost did end up in Vietnam during the war but his orders were changed and we ended up in Germany.

I'm sure I know some families who have had soldiers give their life for our country but at this moment, I can't think of any.

On this Memorial Day, I ask you all to remember all those brave men and women who chose to serve in a branch of the military and defend our country. Prayers go to all those actively serving and their families and hoping they return safely.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This and That

Other than the in-person sales last Sunday at the SC Book Festival, I've had nothing else.

I've had two comments on my new product posting. Remember to leave a comment about how much you think I should price the kindle/nook covers. I'll reveal all the comments on Wednesday when I announce the winner of the kindle/nook cover.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day so there will be a brief posting for that. I will have a special announcement on the 31st for a giveaway extravaganza - stay tuned - E :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Writers On The Move: The Many Faces of Murders

Come see how Faye Tollison handles murder in its many forms.

Writers On The Move: The Many Faces of Murders: Murder can come in many forms. It can be done with a gun, a knife, or poison. The victim can be pushed down the stairs or off a cliff or bui...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Product

While at the SC Book Festival this past weekend, an idea for something new came about due to having my sample pieces for the colors for my afghans. Someone asked what they were, "kindle covers?" and I wasn't really thinking Saturday or Sunday due to other things on my mind. While working Monday after trying to recoup from the weekend, I started thinking about the kindle cover comment. I looked up some patterns for crocheted kindle cases or covers and wasn't really liking any that I found. Since I've been using this alternating V-shell stitch for my afghans, and really liking that pattern due to its simplicity and quickness, I decided to make my own pattern using what I was currently working with. The result is a rather quick kindle or nook cover. Using the same colors as what I was going to make my afghans up, I made several. I've not sewn the Aspen one together so don't have a picture of it. I'm totally out of Monet yarn but as soon as I get some of that color, I'll make up a couple and go from there. The only thing missing from the completed ones is the button.

Colors available right now are the Marrakesh, Melonberry, Woodsy, Aspen, and one of the Bonbon Print (that was the last part of a skein that my daughter had on hand and it worked out to be enough to make one case), Primary and Old Glory (red/white/blue varigated).

My problem is not knowing how much to sell them for. So dear readers, how much would you pay for these carrying cases for your Kindle 3 or Nook (don't know which generation it is but it is basically the same size as the Kindle 3)? Leave a comment with how much you would pay and I'll do a random drawing next Wednesday from all the commenters to win a case in your choice of colors. The majority will determine the price at which I will sell these. I'm leaning somewhere between $7.50 and $10.00, and if you would pay more, great but really I'll go by the majority of comments for same price. I won't publish the comments until Wednesday afternoon so as not to sway anyone's opinion.

Price comments will be taken today, Thursday, May 24, through Tuesday, May 29, 11:59 PM. Don't forget to leave your comment on this posting and be entered to win a carrying case for your kindle or nook.

Here are the colors completed without the buttons.

Marrakesh - this was my first one and I've adjusted the flap a bit since making this one. I started doing a shorter flap and liked it better so ripped out 3 rows on this one but didn't take more pictures of it - the shorter flap works great, now to just find the buttons to add

Marrakesh with the flap opened and my kindle showing so you can see how it sits inside.

Each case has a decent length of chain stitches to make a carrying strap. If you don't want to use the strap, it tucks right inside the case without a problem.

Bonbon print (this is the only one of this color since I am out of yarn, so until I can replace yarn, once this one sells, there won't be any more of this color for a while)

Bonbon print


Woodsy #2

I have the melonberry completed and the Aspen completed but haven't taken pictures of the Aspen one yet; I've not yet done the primary or Old Glory ones, but you can see all the sample colors on my website under the gifts tab. They are all the same as the bookworms and afghans. For now, I'll complete the afghans started (primary and melonberry) and then will work on adding more afghans later towards the fall events.

Remember to leave a comment and tell me what you would pay for these crocheted kindle or nook cases. Comments are moderated and will not show up until Wednesday when the poll ends and the majority price wins out. Leave your comment and be entered in the drawing to win one of these kindle cases. See you all in the postings - E :)

UPDATE (05/28/2012): I was at Walmart the other night or morning (it was after 3 something in the morning) and they had a couple of skeins of the Monet color, so I picked up one skein to make the kindle covers. I have now completed all the colors available right now to include primary, Old Glory, Monet, Woodsy, Marrakesh, Melonberry, bonbon print, and Aspen. I'm still looking for some buttons to go on them. There is a fabric place that is opened once a month for three days and it happens to be opened the weekend that I will be going to that town. I hope to find some fabric for my "Ma America" costume and buttons and yarn to continue making the afghans and the kindle covers. More when I see what the offerings are. E :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Faye M. Tollison

Today, my guest is Faye Tollison, author of To Tell the Truth, which I reviewed here. I originally met Faye through either the Sisters in Crime group or the SC Writers Workshop group, so we have a personal relationship. We have even done one event together since she published her book. I recently caught up with Faye to ask her a few questions. So without further ado, here is what she had to say. And I would like to thank Faye for taking the time to answer my questions and for being a guest on my blog.

FT: Thank you for having me, Elysabeth.

EE: Faye, tell us a little bit about yourself. Your likes, dislikes, what you like to do for fun (basically anything you would like readers to know about you)

FT: I love movies. I find a good movie very relaxing. And I love to read. Of course, it has to be a good mystery or suspense. But writing is my passion. LOL, the thing I hate the most is going to the dentist. I do it, but I really have to make myself.

EE: How long have you been writing? When did you first know or think you wanted to be a writer and possibly make a career out of writing? What kinds of things do you generally write? What have you read that has inspired the way you write (in other words, which writers have inspired your writing style or the genre you write in)?

FT: I've been writing since I was a teenager, but I didn't get serious about it until my kids were about grown. Then I got serious enough to join a writer's critique group, the South Carolina Writer's Workshop. I worked hard at developing my writing skills. I'm not sure just when I started my first book, but then I put it away and didn't do anything else with it until I had to quit work. A friend of mine brought it to my attention that it was a good time to get serious about my book and finish it. So I did and published it. I've read mysteries every since I can remember. I've always loved them. I think Agatha Christie had a great influence on my interest in the mystery genre, but M.C. Beaton made me realize how important a good character is to a book. She is the writer I admire the most.

EE: How long have you been a member of Sisters in Crime? As a member of Sisters in Crime, what do you feel the benefits have been over the years?

FT: Gosh, I can't remember exactly what year it was I joined Sisters In Crime, but it's been several years. This group has been great for my writing because of the types of speakers they have. The speakers are always informative, and I come away from the meetings with information I wouldn't have gotten on my own. Plus just being around other writers is inspirational. You learn so much from fellow writers and get such great inspiration from them. S.C. has so many good writers, and I feel privileged to be a part of them.

EE: What kinds of things have you been doing to promote your books and trying to gain visibility?

FT: Well, of course, I did a book signing with Fiction Addiction, which was really great. They do a press release for you. Also, I was a guest speaker at the St. James Place Book Club. I have appeared on Your Carolina with Jack Roper and Kimberly Clark. Also, I have created a page for my book on Facebook and have done a lot of promoting through Facebook and through Twitter. I try to stay at it constantly. I also mention my book at every opportunity when out in public. I do my best to help push other writers books on Facebook and Twitter. They will reciprocate and have so that is a good method of promotion. I have given out free books to some people as a promotion tool as well as my business card and bookmarks. Everything like this helps. And I'm constantly on the lookout for opportunities to push my book.

EE: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

FT: There is no place like home, Elysabeth. If I could, though, I would love to have a mountain home. I love the mountain and would love to live there.

EE: Thanks again, Faye for your time and gracing us with your wonderful insight.

FT: Thank you for having me, Elysabeth. I appreciate the opportunity to be a guest on your blog. I am working hard on my second book, The Bible Murders, so check out my page on Facebook, and join the adventure of John and Anna in this murder mystery. It's the second in my detective series. Also, visit my website.

Faye also has several blogs she keeps up with as well as posting monthly on the Writers on the Move blog.

Author's Bio: Faye Tollison has loved mysteries for as long as she can remember. After 27 years in the medical field, she decided to devote herself to writing her own mystery.

She has written several articles on writing, which were published in The Quill and a short story published in Catfish Stew, an anthology by the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop of which she has been a longstanding member. As a member in her local chapter of the SCWW, she wrote a number of critiques, and they were published in the chapter’s newsletter, Printed Matters.

Faye resides with her three cats in upstate South Carolina and is presently writing her second mystery novel.

Stay tuned next week for a special announcement leading up to a 50-day giveaway celebrating my half century. See you all in the postings - E :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ellis Vidler's Unpredictable Muse: That Moment Called Murder

An added bonus - My friend Faye Tollison, whose book I reviewed not too long ago and who will be my guest tomorrow, was featured on another blog yesterday.  Ellis is also a member of the same Sisters in Crime group that Faye and I belong to.  Our small community of women mystery writers promoting women mystery writers - stop over and see what Faye has to say about pacing, especially a murder scene - E :)

Ellis Vidler's Unpredictable Muse: That Moment Called Murder: Buy at Amazon  or Kindle Mystery author Faye Tollison is my guest today. Faye is the author of To Tell the Truth and the soon-to-be-...

Writers On The Move: MId Year Evaluation

Great ideas for taking your writing career to the next level and keep advancing.  Stop over and see what all Terri does for her mid-year evaluation.  E :)

Writers On The Move: MId Year Evaluation: It is almost the middle of 2012 and a time for evaluation of goals, both writing and personal. I do this between mid May and mid June so tha...

Writers On The Move: Dealing with the First Editor

On your way to publication?  Have you had to deal with your first editor yet?  Come see what Shirley has to say about dealing with the first editor - E :)

Writers On The Move: Dealing with the First Editor: One of the biggest deterrents to creative writing is the presence of your internal editor. She—or he—loves to interfere with your thought...

Writers On The Move: How to Select a Writing Journal

Do you journal or just write in notebooks?  Come on over and see what the general consensus is about pretty journals and spiral bound notebooks.  E :)

Writers On The Move: How to Select a Writing Journal:  A friend of mine was shopping for a journal. She was debating whether to purchase a school themed notebook or a pretty journal.  ...

Monday, May 21, 2012

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Random Act Of Kindness - Elysabeth Eldering

Here is Susanne's feature blog about me.  I can't thank her enough for her kind words as well as all the folks who stopped by and left messages.  Susanne, I hope you know that I will reciprocate your kindness by featuring you when you are ready and reviewing your books when you have them published.  E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Random Act Of Kindness - Elysabeth Eldering: Elysabeth Eldering is one of two people that I chose to honor for the Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ!  If you didn't get a chance to see the ...

Guest Carol Baldwin

Today's guest is Carol Baldwin, author of "Teaching the Story." Carol is currently working on her first fiction piece, an historical YA novel, Half-Truths. I can't remember my first contact with Carol, whether it was by her blog which was kind of by accident and then in person or if it was in person and then I found her blog, but I've had the opportunity to take a workshop that was presented by Carol as well as attend an SCBWI conference with Carol. Carol also has a newsletter that she co-writes with Joyce Hostetter, which goes out quarterly. I enjoy reading the newsletter even though most of them are geared toward teachers. Carol wears many hats and I've asked her to write an article on "juggling" and balancing everything.

Juggling the Writer’s Life
by Carol Baldwin

When I worked on my high school newspaper and literary magazine, I didn’t realize that I should learn juggling skills along with reporting and creative writing.

But as I research and write my first young adult novel, teach an adult education writing class at Central Piedmont Community College, co-publish Talking Story (a digital newsletter), blog, write occasional pieces for the SCBWI Bulletin and Pen & Palette, coordinate a critique group and a tutoring program, help friends with their manuscripts, judge stories for the Center for Writing Excellence, PLUS maintain connections with my children, grandchildren, and friends, juggling would have been a good skill to have in my back pocket.

Although my inferior hand-eye coordination rules out juggling, I use several principles to keep up with these tasks.

Time management

I am the freshest in the morning, so I allocate that time for working on Half-Truths, my novel. After answering email and doing a quick Facebook check, I quit Outlook and Facebook and try to devote two-to-three hours to writing. My goal is not to interrupt this time; if the phone rings I check caller ID before answering it.

If I need to check on a fact, I try to wait until after lunch or in the evening to call or email. Once my email program is opened; it is almost impossible not to read and respond to incoming mail.

On a good day, I will conclude my productive writing session by printing out the pages I have written and read them at lunch. Afternoons are devoted to a combination of housework, yard work, and exercise.

Since I work part-time at my husband’s dental office and take my elderly mother to her doctors’ appointments, I don’t always follow the same schedule. But I have found that some writing-related projects can fit around other commitments. For example, I worked on this post while waiting at the doctor’s office with my mother.

During the evenings I read my friends’ works, blog, judge stories, work on Talking Story, add links to my class wiki, or read. I watch little TV, but I visit Facebook for relaxation or networking—but keep that to a minimum too.

In other words, I have found it important to prioritize, focus and set boundaries.

Prioritize, Focus, and Set Boundaries

I love to write, but on any given day I am faced with choices of how I will spend my time. I decide what is most important in terms of deadlines, goals, and my family. If my grandchildren are in town, they take priority. If I have the day to myself, my novel usually wins.

I have to work at staying focused and setting boundaries. Co-producing Talking Story with Joyce Hostetter has reinforced these strategies. Joyce and I use an online site, where we share information about upcoming issues. Not only does that prevent losing information in our inboxes, but it also establishes boundaries in our working relationship.

Sometimes, my writing projects overlap. Recently I was researching out-of-the-way museums for the May issue of Talking Story. In the process, I found an historical society which may be a great resource for Half-Truths. If I blog about tutoring or a writing event, then my time has served double-duty. When I teach a class, I use handouts from my book, Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8.

At the same time that I juggle different projects, I also work at not allowing writing to become an idol and taking over my life. There are times that I say “no” to writing and “yes” to the Lord, family or friends. As a Christian, I am learning to honor the Sabbath Day and keeping it totally writing free. These boundaries are as important as setting aside writing time.

We each have 24 hours to work with. It’s how we juggle our time that matters.

(photo courtesy of Jean Hall)

Carol Baldwin’s most recent book is Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2008). She has coordinated a SCBWI critique group for over 15 years, blogs here and is writing her first young adult novel. The three Gs in her life are gardening, grandchildren, and learning how to golf.

This and That

This week's posting will be short and sweet.

Overall sales from KDP (Kindle) 0; in person sales 1 (see SC Book Festival Day #2 Posting); total Nook 0; total smashwords sales 0.

Tomorrow, my guest will Carol Baldwin and Wednesday my guest is Faye Tollison. Not much else to report this weekend. See you all in the postings - E ;)

SC Book Festival Day #2

Ann Eisenstein joined our group today. It was nice having someone I know to talk to. She kept me on my feet that is for sure.

The festival was only 12 to 4 today, so a short day. Sarah sold a few books (again, don't know her numbers since she left in such a hurry and didn't even help break down the booth completely). Ann sold either 3 or 4 books (she believes she sold 3, I think she sold 4, but she had to leave to go take care of an Alzheimer's patient and didn't do inventory before leaving).

I sold a bookworm to the guy next to me before the crowds graced our hall today and then had a lady who bought 30 bookworms all at once for a baby shower in July that is "book" themed and she said they would make perfect gifts. I sold 3 more after that for a total of 34 today and 25 yesterday for a grand total of 59 bookworms sold over the weekend. I also sold a copy of State of Wilderness today so yay!!!, someone will be reading one of my state books.

Totally exhausted when I got home but I survived. - See you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

SC Book Festival Day #1

The book festival's doors opened at 10 a.m. For a good bit there was a steady stream of folks walking the vendor hall and looking. I saw a lot of familiar faces and even made a connection I was hoping to make this weekend (a little later than I had hoped to do so, but I'm glad she showed up when she did). Sarah says she sold 11 books today, but it seemed she sold more but who knows. I sold two copies of Sybil Nelson's Priscilla the Great and nothing else bookwise. No state stories; none of Finally Home and none of the Leslie Dubois books or Little Prince Publishing books that were available (Sybil = Leslie = Little Prince Publishing who actually publishes a couple of different authors besides Sybil/Leslie).

Now don't feel too bad for me with no book sales. I did sell 25 of my bookworms. Not enough to cover a lot of expenses on the trip but enough to get me dinner and gas in the van and some water and/or a couple of candy bars.

Overall I think it was a good day. --- See you all in the postings - E :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

SC Book Festival Bound

Today, I head out to set up the SC Author Connection exhibit at the SC Book Festival. If you happen to be in the area and are looking for something to do, we would love for you to stop by booth 521 and visit with 2 of the 4 group's authors (Sarah Renee and myself). The SC Book Festival is in its 16th year and the lineup of presenting authors and exhibits looks great. For more information, check out their website. Did I mention this is a free event to the public? Hours are Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday 12 to 4 - see you all in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Special End-of-School Bookworm price reduction

So, I was running a special deal on my bookworms, trying to really raise some money for my trip to the SC Book Festival this weekend (having already had to cancel my hotel, hoping a friend will put me up but still need gas and food and change money for the booth) and have had no takers at the 25 for $30 deal. I decided that now until Friday noon to reduce the price to $1 each, order as many as you want or as few with a minimum of 5. This is only good for the next 36 hours or so. Still free shipping. These bookworms make great student gifts, teacher, librarian and staff gifts. They also are a fun way to start off the VBS season. If you would like to order a batch of bookworms, please paypal to, indicate in the notes how many of each color you would like. Thanks - E :)


Numbers are limited of each color (between 10 and 15 right now) so may have to mix and match when ordering. Looking forward to hearing from all of you placing orders - E :)

Writers On The Move: Engage in Social Networking the Twitter Way by Don...

How do you use your social networks?  See how Donna uses her twitter to network - E :)

Writers On The Move: Engage in Social Networking the Twitter Way by Don...: Engage in Social Networking the Twitter Way By Donna McDine To be an effective social networker/marketer setting up your pro...

Writers On The Move: “Writing Down Goals and Objectives Can Keep You Fo...

How do you handle your goals?  See how writing them down helps keep Mayra on track - E :)

Writers On The Move: “Writing Down Goals and Objectives Can Keep You Fo...: I have kids, a husband, pets, a house, and many errands to run on a weekly basis. So how do I find the time to write? Well, first of all, ...

Writers On The Move: 10,000 Hours

Interesting thoughts on becoming an expert in any field you choose - find out more by clicking below and reading what Jean has to say.  E :)

Writers On The Move: 10,000 Hours: The guacamole was amazing. So was the atmosphere. Somewhere off in another part of the restaurant a Mariachi band played music. We ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writers On The Move: A Smartphone: The Latest Addition to this Author’s...

Do you have a writer's toolbox?  What kind of tools do you use?  See how one author is using his smartphone as a tool for writing related work. 

Writers On The Move: A Smartphone: The Latest Addition to this Author’s...: When I first became serious about becoming a children’s book writer, there were many items I picked up along the way to help me learn ...

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bookshelf Muse: Random Acts Of Kindness BLITZ...For Writers!

The original RAOK posting - stop on over and pick up your free gift from these two ladies.  My random act of kindness is reposting random blog postings. - E :)

The Bookshelf Muse: Random Acts Of Kindness BLITZ...For Writers!: WOOO-HOOO, release day!  I know we've been teasing you with something epic, and so here it is: we are opting not to do a traditional laun...


I've been chosen by Susanne which was totally unexpected and truly a random act of kindness.  Susanne is one of a handful who comments on my blog on a regular basis.  I have a few other but I think Susanne comments the most and makes feel like at least one person is reading my blog and that I'm not just blogging to dead air.  So, many, many thanks, Susanne for bestowing upon me this kind act. - E :)

PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER: Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ!: A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Writers On The Move: 6 Steps to Article Content Properly Formatted and ...

Karen shares tips on how to make your articles postings searachable - E :)

Writers On The Move: 6 Steps to Article Content Properly Formatted and ...: As the founder and manager of a marketing group that utilizes article marketing, I've noticed that some writers don't know the proper form...


Kathy Stemke offers advice on giving away books in order to make sales - E :)

Writers On The Move: AUTHORS: IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE MORE BOOKS AWAY!: DO YOU KNOW THE PHRASE, "IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE MONEY?" This is surely true for new authors unless you are already a celebrity. Gi ve yo...

Writers On The Move: Report from the Mass Poetry Festival

Margaret Fieland's report from the Massachusetts Poetry Festival - E :)

Writers On The Move: Report from the Mass Poetry Festival: Recently I attended the Mass Poetry Festival. Back when the event was in the planning stages, I got an email about a reading of po...

Writers On The Move: You Need What King, Grisham and Roberts Have!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's posting on hiring a publicist.  (I'm not a firm believer in hiring folks to publicize my work when I've done the work but this may work for some of you; I also don't have the money to hire a publicist who can't do what I can do for myself and that is get out there and talk about my books personally since I've written them and know the characters and plot and whatever thers is to know about the story.)  If you are looking to hire a publicist, this posting will be of benefit for you - E :)

Writers On The Move: You Need What King, Grisham and Roberts Have!: If your name isn't Stephen King or John Grisham or Nora Roberts you've probably already figured out that you need a publicist. That publici...

Writers On The Move: Get Your Fantasy Story Published: Insider Manuscri...

Rebecca shares her tips on getting your fantasy novel published - E :)

Writers On The Move: Get Your Fantasy Story Published: Insider Manuscri...: I was recently contacted by a rep at Writer's Digest Books & Magazine. If you are not familiar with this awesome writer's resource, be sur...

Writers On The Move: The Month of May

Martha highlights all wonderful ways to celebrate throughout the month of May - E :)

Writers On The Move: The Month of May: The Month of May May Day, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.   All three days are days of celebration and days of remembrance. ...

Writers On The Move: How to Handle Flashbacks

Heidi gives some excellent points on handling flashbacks, which is very appropriate to my newest story, Imogene.  I have written a prologue but feel it was just so I wouldn't overlook a specific point that comes out in the story later.  Thanks for the wonderful post, Heidi - E :)

Writers On The Move: How to Handle Flashbacks: Once the reader’s interest is caught, after the storyline is firmly established, the reader may want to know that past history that brought ...

Writers On The Move: Feeling blocked? Take a walk!

Dallas shares some interesting insight into getting back on track - E :)

Writers On The Move: Feeling blocked? Take a walk!: Ever since I’ve been focused on making my Mondays {and every day} marvelous , I’ve been able to appreciate them much more and find moments ...

Writers On The Move: Mother's Day Poetry (and freebie)

Maggie Ball's Mother's Day posting with an offering of a copy of her poetry book (co-written by Carolyn Howard-Johnson) for free through the 14th (tomorrow).  Stop by to find out how to get a free download of this book - E :)

Writers On The Move: Mother's Day Poetry (and freebie): It's almost Mother's Day (or Mothering Sunday if you're in the UK). Here in Australia, Mother's Day is Sunday the 13th of May. Since I'...

Writers On The Move: What Does it Mean to be a Writer

Come see what Virginia S. Grenier's guest has to say about being a writer - E :)

Writers On The Move: What Does it Mean to be a Writer: The World of Ink Network is currently touring award-winning author Fran Orenstein’s contemporary woman’s novel with paranormal overton...

This and That

First, Happy Mother's Day to all my readers who are mothers and hope your day is extra special. It's definitely spring as my allergies are acting up and I've had a hard time with the runny nose and itchy eyes; one reason I try to not to go outside too much.

Yesterday's welcome center event was pretty successful on several accounts. First, one of the folks there was a representative for a hotel in Greenville, which is the town where our local Sisters in Crimes group meets and he gave me contact information for the owner or person who books their meeting rooms. Hopefully we can get the room booked when we need to for months that we can't have the Runway Cafe without paying a fee to book the meeting room. What's even better is they have a restaurant on site.

I did make a sale of Finally HOme from my car to same representative for his niece when I was packing up some of my things (but that is a hush hush sale since we aren't technically supposed to sell anything at the welcome center secondary to it being a Federal Right of Way). When I got home I checked my kindle stats and noticed I had sold a copy of Finally Home.

That leads me into sales for the week. I sold 1 physical copy of Finally Home as noted above, 1 kindle copy of Finally Home and someone apparently ordered a print copy of Finally Home from Amazon as per my createspace accounting. I had a copy of "The Proposal" sell for kindle during the week and yesterday a copy of "The Tulip Kiss" sold in the UK - pretty good week for me - considering that I've not sold any copies of Finally Home since March at the SCASL conference.

All my ebooks are now available for all ereaders - nook, smashwords (which includes the Sony, Kobo, and computer files to read online), and kindle, except "Bride-and-Seek" as I'm waiting for Heather to get me a correctly sized cover for the nook and reformat the interior for smashwords. When Butterfly Halves is released, during my half a century celebration, I'll offer free downloads of several of the stories from smashwords. (My 50-day giveaway postings start June 5 and run through August 2, minus Sundays and holidays (but I may run a special giveaway for the 4th of July, after all, my JGDS series all about the United States, and what better giveaway than red/white/blue themed one.))

I hope to have at least 2 more afghans completed this week which will be available at the SC Book Festival next weekend. I'd like to have most of them completed, but I took some time away from them to work on a special order and with work and crazy things happening, I just haven't worked on the afghans steadily like I should have. If anyone wants to order an afghan that isn't completed yet (so far Bonbon print is the only completed one but Primary is half completed and Melonberry is started), I will be happy to complete that one before the others. Now is the time to start thinking ahead for presents for the holidays. Afghan orders can be made through my author website or the JGDS website under the gifts tab. Bookworms are still available in all colors and I'm still running my special of 25 bookworms for $30 through Thursday of this week.

Don't forget that chances for the red, white and blue granny square afghan are available throughout the year as well. These can be purchased on either website under the events or calendar of events tab.

This week coming up, tomorrow I'll talk about "website promotion versus book promotion, are they really that different?". Wednesday will be an open day as I've exhausted my WWYWWQ questions and didn't realize I had another week to go before taking a break. Thursday will be a pre-SC Book Festival posting. Saturday evening will be an update of the day's events and Sunday will be a 2-posting day as I'll post my This and That posting and then probably upon returning home after seeing what the event held as far as sales and what not goes. Hope you all have a great week. See you all in the postings - E :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

End-of-School Year Bookworm Special

Teachers, are you looking for a small gift idea to give your students for the end of the school year? Librarians, would you like to show your appreciation to the teachers at your school?

I have a special deal on my bookworms for the end of the school year. The bookworms are normally priced at $1.50 each and for orders over 20 I've got them priced down to $1.25 each. For one week only, you can place an order and get 25 bookworms for $30. This is like buying 24 and getting the 25th for free plus free shipping. This is a $13.75 savings from regular price including the shipping. Shipping outside the United States is $5 for the completed package.

Colors available include Aspen, Melonberry, Primary, Woodsy, Marrakesh, Old Glory, Christmas, bonbon print and Monet. For pictures of the actual colors, please visit the JGDS website, gifts tab and check them out there. This offer ends at midnight EST May 17, supplies are limited so hurry and place your order. All orders must be paid for via paypal ( prior to shipping. Please indicate how many of each color you would like. See you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Today's questions come from Ms. Jurkowski's third class. These are the last two left as next week is a guest author posting and then school will be out shortly. I hope to gather some questions over the summer to start back in September after Labor Day for the WWYWWQ blogs again.

D.G. asks: How do you come up with so many books?

Answer: (I think I've addressed this before) The ideas are all around us. For me, it was winning second place on my first ever contest submitted piece of writing. That one story spurned on the idea of a state series, which obviously will be a 50-book series. All my short stories have come about from contests and have placed first, second, third, runner up or have been selected for an anthology. Finally Home came about from a vision and then after writing the original story, I did a complete rewrite. I'm in the process of writing a novel that was inspired by several pictures from an interactive creative writing prompt site; the trick will be tying all the pictures that spoke to me originally together in one story. The story won't be illustrated but I think I can describe the pictures well enough when they appear in the story. It's an illusion basically.

The object is to write something everyday and before you know it you too will have several or many books. Thanks for the question, D.G. and keep on writing.

The second question comes from D.J. D.J. asks: How do you plan your writing?

Answer: This goes to outlining or not outlining in my case. Writers are either planners or pantsers. By this, you can take an idea and storyboard or outline until you think you can write it or you can take the idea and just write what comes to mind. Having written several stories by the seat of my pants, the problem you tend to come up against is not developing the story or knowing your characters well enough to really write their story. On the other side of the coin, there are definite times you have to be a pantser such as when writing short stories for contests or anthologies. Most of these type of stories aren't afforded time to get to know your characters or the plot of the story. Since all of my short stories were written for contests, except the one that was selected to appear in an anthology, I basically was on the contest's deadlines and themes.

The story I'm working on now, Imogene: Innocence Lost, I've done a tentative outline from the pictures to help guide me from the pictures through the story. I also sent the sequence of events (which is what your outline basically is) to my editor so she knows how the story is supposed to progress.

For my state stories, I don't really outline but I don't really write them by the seat of my pants per se. The process for these stories is a little different. The whole idea behind the stories is to present facts in the form of clues for my readers and the characters to guess the state. So, the process goes like this: 1) Research - this is completed for all the state stories; 2) Clue picking - since I have my research completed, I have to go through all the factoids or trivia information and decide which 25 will be the most fun to read about and to write around; 3) Once clues are placed, I send to my editor and illustrator for a title to the story. Since the title is also a clue to the state, I tend to write the story around the clues and the title. This also gives my illustrator a heads up of what I want on the cover and helps her start working on the interior illustrations; 4) Place clues in an order that allows a bit of a challenge to the readers but aren't too difficult for those who are familiar with the state. Since the characters playing the game in the stories hardly go back to previous clues and all their "interactions" are based on the current given clue from the game, I don't want the clues to come across as too difficult or too easy right up front. I do try to progress from more difficult clues down to easy clues, so that the readers have a chance of guessing the state early on, somewhere in the middle or even as late as the last clue. The 25th clue will be something the state is known for, usually something everyone would think of that state immediately. The 26th clue is the state flower and geographic center of the state. The 27th clue is the state bird and state capital. 5) Write story - this can be the tricky part sometimes but for the most part, I just start off with some dialogue, which places my characters either at school, the park, the library, at home, or somewhere in their town, which is basically an Anywhere, USA. This is my jumping off point and once I've decided who is playing the game, sometimes I'll have them make small wagers to see who can guess the state first and sometimes they will just play the game. They discuss each clue as it is presented and move on. 6) Edit/revise - once the story is written, I go through it the first time to make sure it makes sense and then I send to my editor for her feedback so I can then revise and send back to her for all the final edits. 7) Publish story - once I've finished all my edits, I send the completed story to my illustrator who then places all the illustrations in the proper place and then she formats the book so that it is in the correct format for the printing process. Once I have those files back, I upload them on and do my interior review and then wait to see if the book meets their specifications and then order a proof copy. Sometimes, if there are noticeable problems on the interior review, I let my illustrator know so she can fix them before I get to order the proof copy. Once I have the proof copy in hand and I've gone through it to make sure everything is as it is supposed to be, I then release the book so that it is available everywhere.

So, D.J., as you can see there are several ways to "plan" your writing, and the only advice I can give you is that you need to use the method that works for the story at hand as each story will be different for you. Some will require that you outline or write the key plot elements out, timelines, character maps, et cetera while others will be written to someone else's specifications and may not allow you the time to outline so you would basically have to write by the seat of your pants. Others still will mean you have to research first before taking a direction for the story to go. Keep writing and try different methods for different types of stories.

I would like to thank Mr. Hughes' sixth grade class and Ms. Jurkowski's third grade class for participating in my Wednesdays Weekly Young Writers Writing Questions. You all have provided some interesting questions along the way. Good luck in all your writing projects. Mrs. E :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Sisters in Crime and Domestic Violence

You may wonder how these two topics relate. If you are a mystery writer, it's always best to be as factual as possible with your details. What better way than to have experts come in and share information that you can use in your book.

Last week's guest speaker at our local Sisters in Crime meeting was the executive director of a local safe house for abused women and children. She presented information on domestic violence and some key notes on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an abuser and victim. What came from the meeting was some very interesting information about domestic violence but in turn, several members in our local group revealed that they too had been victims of such violence.

The numbers are staggering and what was even more surprising is that South Carolina is at number 7th in the nation for domestic violence. According to our speaker, since she started working in the domestic violence arena, South Carolina has never been out of the top 10 states in reported domestic violence cases.

There are many reasons for domestic violence and many cases unreported each and every year. Being informed of the signs of an abuser and a victim should help get more cases reported, but unfortunately, it doesn't happen.

One person mentioned to me that there are four A's that are lethal to women: Acceptance, Approval, Affection, and Attention. When women strive to feel these from a man, they usually turn against them, because the abuser will use these as a way to wear down the victim's boundaries and cause her to lose sense of herself; she no lnoger exists as the person she was known to be but exists only for him.

I encourage everyone to get the facts and if they suspect abuse of someone they know that they take action and report it and hopefully prevent the death of that person.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not but our local chapter has some of the best meetings. We bring in guest speakers every month who have a lot to offer writers and readers. We've been told that fiction really should be as realistic as possible, so these speakers share their expertise which hopefully makes our stories more believable or plausible.

What the persons who secure the guest speakers usually do for our meetings is alternately bring in a professional in some field and an author, so the topics range from things like FBI agents, drug trafficking officers, arson inspectors, 911 operators, weapons experts, forensic psychologists, lawyers, K-9 units as well as writing related topics from the authors. In the four or so years I've been a member and attending meetings, we have had some excellent speakers. The line-up for the next few months include Maggie Toussant who blogs over on the Murder Must Advertise blog, and funny thing is just last week she posted a delightful posting about marketing, a topic that is near and dear to me. I think Maggie was surprised how many people actually read and commented on her posting. I think one author coming is the author of a book titled The Blue Virgin which is set in Oxford. It looks to be a fun and interesting year with the Greenville Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

If you are writer and have the opportunity to attend groups that are similar or offer professional guest speakers for minimal fees, I highly recommend you join the group. What can be better than getting free (depends on the venue; ours is the cost of dinner and gas since none of live very close to the meeting place, but even still for less than $20/month) advice on how to make your characters or stories more believable? Check out your local Sisters in Crime group and if there isn't one near you, get one started and seek out guest speakers who can really help you with different aspects of your mystery writing, or your writing in general.

See ou all in the postings - E :)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

This and That

On the sales front for the week ending May 5, one copy of "The Proposal" sold and when I looked at my month-to-date report, I'm showing 2 copies have sold, so that means there was a purchase this morning sometime. This is in the US. No other sales are showing in the past six weeks.

I meant to do a quarterly update last month but forgot, so numbers for the first quarter of 2012 are as follows:

State of Wilderness 1
State of Quarries 0
State of Rservations 0
State of Successes 10 - these were all at the SCASL event
State of Heights 0
State of Nature 0

Passport Across America 0 (I don't promote this since it's not really a book but a travel companion)

"The Proposal" 5 476
"The Tulip Kiss" 3 378
"Bride-and-Seek" 11 366
Finally Home 2 N/A

From my numbers in April and May so far, it looks like "The Proposal" is my most popular ebook, but that can change at any time. For the first quarter, although I had more actual purchases of "Bride-and-Seek", "The Proposal" is still the most popular book. Those purchase and download numbers are total to include in the US, UK, DE, FR, ES, IT.

There isn't much else to report on the writing or sales front this week, other than "Train of Clues" is in the final revision so hopefully it will be available again all corrected and prettied up for you all. Hopefully, Heather is working on a cover for "Butterfly Halves" which tentatively will be available by the end of this month or first part of next month. I decided that the cover for "Bride-and-Seek" needed something to it or a total revamp and so Faye Tollison and I brainstormed a bit and came up with a great idea for the cover (well, Faye came up with the idea and I like it), so that is waiting for Heather's magic.

Tomorrow's posting is a reflection of last week's Sisters in Crime meeting with some information about domestic violence. There will be the WWYWWQ posting this Wednesday and Thursday, I'm still up in the air what the posting will be about. Next Saturday I'll be at the Fairplay SC Welcome Center for a couple of hours promoting my books and the authors of the SC Author Connection. I'm thinking I need to reprint some travel booklets to hand out again this year but I won't have any crayons to go along with it, maybe.

Until next week, see you all in the postings - E :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Government Ranting (soapbox time)

This morning I received an email from my father which had a video attached to it. The video is an explanation of the Healthcare reform bill 3200 that is needing to be passed.

We all know what the HR 3200 Bill is right? Maybe we just think we do. Yes, we do need some healthcare reform in this country but at the expense of the citizens of the country itself? Literally at our own life expense.

I've not been paying attention to what the healthcare reform was all about but after watching this video and seeing some key points explained, I'm totally outraged that the government is trying to take over our entire life. Did you know that this healthcare bill allows the government to decide how you will die? How much funding for healthcare you receive a year? That they will have access to your personal bank accounts and will control many other aspects of your medical care?

I'm outraged that there is a bill that is at least 500 pages long for healthcare reform, and that we are supposed to be able to read said 500 pages and really understand what it all means for us in the long run. (I finally found a text of the bill and guess what, it's not 500 pages but 974 pages long. I tried reading some of the lingo in the bill and couldn't make heads or tails of much of what I was reading and it sounded very contradictory to a previous paragraph; the language is very difficult to understand. Understand that the bill was originally written in 2009 and has been revised and amended and changed so the video probably doesn't agree with the exact pages any more.) I'm outraged that the elderly and the special needs groups will be targeted the most since they are apparently not the best groups representative of society. I'm outraged that the government will be mandating our lives through this healthcare reform. It sounds like we are moving from a democracy to a communist state in one fell swoop.

What can you do to prevent this from happening? Watch the video, have a better grasp on what the healthcare reform entails and contact your representatives and tell them not to sign the bill. This is an election year and if the government officials that we elect are smart, they will listen to their constituents and do as they request. Remember the push of a button or the checking of a box can put them out of office if they are unwilling to listen to the American People; the very people who put them in office in the first place; the very people who have the power to remove them from office by putting someone else in their place with the hopes that the newly elected officials will listen and do the right thing.

The video is about 10-1/2 minutes in length but it is worth watching the whole thing - see you in the postings - E :)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Today's question comes from J.H. in Ms. Jurkowski's third class. J.H. asks: How many pages are you allowed in a chapter book? How can you write a chapter book?

A: Well, J.H., when talking about lengths of books, we usually don't worry about how many chapters a book has, we base it more on the word count. If you are targeting early readers, 1st and 2nd grade, you want to keep your word count pretty low. Once the book has gone through layout, even if your book is only 500 words long (this is about 2 double-spaced, typed pages), you will see that for the proper amount of pages, there can be fewer words per page. We try to stay within our guidelines. Here is a breakdown of word lengths for various books and another one specifically for children's books

You will find that each source varies and that most of the time, the story length is determined by the type of story. My state stories could be considered chapter books for the most part, word count wise, as they are all about 4,000 to 10,000 words. Since I don't divide the story in chapters, they are basically short stories that are illustrated.

You may want to consider this eHow article on writing chapter books for more on deciding if you are going to write a chapter book or not.

As for your second question, how does one write a chapter book, same as other books you are writing. Making chapters in a book is really how the author feels about that book. I covered breaking your book into chapters on an earlier post here which was a question posed by a sixth grader in Utah.

It is very hard to take one aspect of writing any book and say this is the only way to do something. There are many elements involved in writing process that need to be taken into consideration. The main thing is to brainstorm what type of book you want to write, then get the basic story written and worry about chapters and word length during the editing and revising process. Remember that you should always have someone else edit your story (professional, not family or friends) before submitting for publication.

Hope this helps you in deciding if you want to write a chapter book or not. Thanks for the interesting question and allowing me to do what I enjoy best - research. Mrs. E :)