Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I spent the first four or more years as a writer with the voice of doubt standing on my shoulder and shouting in my ear that I couldn’t do it--I was ridiculous to believe that I could write anything worthwhile. Ever. I was wasting my time.

It took a lot of inner conversations to dispel the self-doubt and to start growing the seeds of self-belief. To believe myself when I say, I can do anything that I want to do if I want to do it bad enough to put forth the effort.

Still, with every rejection or setback, that voice of doubt jumps out again and yells at me for trying to be brave—for trying to accomplish my goal.

I am finally getting better at ignoring that nasty voice. He’s a hateful slug. And yet, it doesn't take much for it to show up again.

Some writers who’ve been writing as long as I have may look at me and wonder what’s taking me so long. Many of them my same age or younger, have eight, ten, twenty published books to their credit.

Why do I have so little to show for the amount of effort I’ve put in? I wonder the same thing sometimes.

After going to Time Out for Writers, the 21st annual writers conference hosted by the American Night Writers Association Inc, I have the answer to that question.

It’s that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that I can’t. After all, it’s hard to get a lot accomplished when I’ve got an invisible someone following me 24/7 telling me to quit. It’s like dragging an extra 100 pounds around.

The keynote address at the conference was given by James A. Owen, author of Drawing out the Dragons. His life has not been easy—he almost died as a child, and his drawing hand was crushed in an auto accident—and yet he’s accomplished so much in his life. It’s because he has always believed that he can, so when he hits a snag of life, he works his way around it or over it.

He says: “If you really want to do something, no one can stop you, but if you really don’t want to do something, no one can help you.”
Here are a few more of his words of inspiration: “Never, ever, sacrifice what you want the most, for what you want the most at that moment.”
“Live deliberately."
"Get joy out of life by doing things you love.”
I'm taking his advice. I'm going to go forward. I'm not looking back. And I'm going to focus on what's good in life.
To learn more about James Artimus Owen, his books and his art, visit his website: http://jamesaowen.com/


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


How lucky am I that I’ve read two books in a row that I found clever and well written?!!

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter, is part of her Nantucket Love Story series. I haven’t read the others, but this one was great. I give it two thumbs up!

Kate Lawrence has built a thriving career for herself as a marriage counselor. But, her goal was to help people before they get married, so she wrote a book titled, Finding Mr. Right For You. The story begins on her wedding day. Dr. Kate’s book release has been carefully planned for the same day. It’s a huge media frenzy-type affair geared to launch her book into orbit. Figuratively, of course.

Lucas Wright is an artisan woodworker, and is making an ornate gazebo for Kate’s wedding. He’s rented the office and small apartment above his workshop to Dr. Kate for the past year, and has loved her from a distance.

Part of the media slant for Dr. Kate’s wedding is that she’s kept her groom a secret. The big groom-reveal will be at the wedding. The photographers are piling in; the reporters are ready with pen in hand; she even gets a request from Dr. Phil to guest on his show.

The gazebo is late, so Kate drives to Lucas’ workshop to see what’s holding him up—and she gets the call. Only hours before her media-hyped wedding, the groom decides he loves someone else.

This works out perfectly for Lucas and he takes full use of the situation by offering the logical solution: He will stand in as the groom. It’s a crazy idea. Kate believes in the sanctity of marriage, and yet ...

You guess it. In a moment of sheer desperation, Kate agrees to marry a man that she barely knows, and one whose slow, methodical habits drive her crazy.

The rest of the book is sheer entertainment as he tries every conceivable way to show his love for Kate without scaring her away. She resists with every ounce of willpower she has, and still comes up short. Dr. Kate, the expert on finding Mr. Right, cannot fall in love with a man who is her exact opposite! Can she?

Great, harmless fun! The book is well written, the characters are real and well thought out. The story is interesting and above the classification of ordinary love story.
To find out more about Denise and her books, go to:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review. Not because I haven’t read a book, but because I haven’t read one that I felt prompted to write about. Until now.

Hearts Through Time by Marie Higgins is worth writing about. Knowing that I had an interview with her coming up, I bought it for myself as a sort of Christmas present. It was money well spent.

People ask why I’m still buying hard copies of books. The answer is simple. I have a tablet and it’s too big to carry around with me at work, I don’t have a locker, and I don’t have another safe place to keep it at work. So, I still frequent the bookstore.

Back to the book review:

Nick Marshal is a scandal-rocked lawyer who left Hollywood licking his wounds and realizing that his womanizing past had to stay in his past if he wanted to rebuild his career.

Abigail Carlisle is the daughter of a wealthy newspaper tycoon, who died in1912.

When she shows up in Nick’s office asking him to solve her murder, he thinks it’s a practical joke played by his buddies. At first. When she plays a couple of ghostly tricks on a would-be girlfriend, and a client, he starts believing.

The murder is old and most of the people involved in her life then, are dead. As the two of them delve into her murder, they become attracted to one another. As their attraction grows, she becomes more lifelike and less ghostly.

When Abigail’s locket, a gift from her grandmother, is discovered and returned to her possession, Abigail and Nick are whisked back to 1912, but she doesn’t remember him. Nick only has two weeks to discover who wants her dead, prevent her murder, and convince her of his love.

This was a really fun read. It was clean and engaging. There weren’t any parts of the story where I felt the author skimmed over a needed explanation, and the story came to a full and completely satisfying end.

You might ask if this isn’t the case with all books. I would have to assure you that unfortunately it is not. So, if you’re interested in some good romantic fun with a cozy mystery thrown in, I heartily recommend Hearts Through Time by Marie Higgins.
To learn more about the author and her other books, go to:


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There are so many good looking book covers out there. I never realized what a huge undertaking it is to get just the right image for your book. Sheesh!

My novel, Farewell, My Denmark, is about Mormon immigrants in 1863. The main character, Catherine Erichsen, loves the gospel and planned to immigrate with her family, until her longtime beau proposed.
The book opens just as she’s about to discover the answer to her silent question: Does Isaac love her, and respect her enough to read her Book of Mormon? If you guessed by the title, Catherine ends up immigrating with her family and 700 other Scandinavian Saints.

So, what should the cover look like? Since a good portion of the book is aboard the John J. Boyd, the ship that carried the actual immigrants, there should definitely be a ship.

But, most of the novels nowadays also have a person on the front, and that’s where my problem comes in. Most models don’t wear peasant/immigrant clothes of the 1860 variety, or any variety. And, since the story is about a Danish immigrant, it seems silly to put a wealthy English woman on the cover.

And so my story goes ...

Hello world! Are there any stock photos of Danish immigrants out there???

Still looking.