Thursday, March 31, 2016

Goodbye, March...

So this, the last day of March, should be out like a lamb.  Since we had nasty weather at the beginning...middle...and end of the month up here in the Green Bay, WI, area, we should be golden.  LOL!

Today is the day the Eiffel Tower opened, back in 1889.  It is 300 meters tall and the tallest building of its time.  Can you imagine what that would've been like, seeing that in person as it was unveiled?  I know there's a plot in there somewhere. Someone's life is getting interesting as the tower is built, only to get to the most interesting place when it's unveiled.  Then someone else takes the limelight, leaving the person on the way out, just like when another building is built that's better than the Eiffel Tower.  It's kind of like the buildup for 'in like a lion and out like a lamb.'

March is always an interesting month for me.  Since spring starts in March, I look forward to it every November (winter kind of starts before winter up here in Wisconsin).  Now, I can say it's the Eiffel Tower month, too.

On to bigger and better things for April.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Attack of the New Plot Idea

I know, I know.  No plot is completely new.  I gotcha.

But in my head, where the little psycho muses play, there is a new plot a-brew-in.  Actually, about four of them.

What do you do when you have all that going on in your head at once, along with a few songs playing over and over again, while wondering what's for dinner?

You take a mental road trip.  No kidding.  Let yourself dream.  Get out of the groove and explore your mental space in your head.

Sound stupid?  Try it.  Sit down in a quiet room, close your eyes, and let it all play out.  Before long, you'll have an entire plot worked out for a book or a movie script.  Just remember to turn everything else off.

Time to go zen right now...and let that baby plot develop.

What about you?  Anything new like that?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Homemade Bread. Yum.

Imagine this...you wake up to the scent of homemade bread that just came out of the oven.  That yeasty goodness that you smell...could it be fairies baking in the middle of the night, or just your bread maker signaling that it's done?  That'd make a cool story.

Yum.  Hot bread out of the oven.  Nothing like it.

I bake bread at LEAST once a week in my bread maker, sometimes more.  Using the manual dough recipe, I bake six tiny loaves at a time and freeze them, since we don't have many people left in the house.  I put the frozen loaves out in a plastic bag in the morning and by dinner, voila...fresh bread.  Sometimes, I even warm it in the oven for dinner.  Nothing quite like it.  Delicious!

Here's my latest version (using a bread maker). 

Here's a picture of the breadmaker and the pan I use for 6 rolls.  If you want to make 12, use a muffin tin (like in the recipe).



It's to-die-for and easy to make (or I wouldn't do it):

Yummy Rolls

Ingredients/directions:

Add to bread maker and let proof (get frothy):
1 heaping tsp yeast (about 1 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup milk, warmed (80-100 degrees, about 30 seconds in microwave)
1 tbsp sugar

Then add:
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt

Put the salt in last, in a corner so it doesn't touch the yeast.  Yeast hates salt.

Let the breadmaker work on ‘manual’ setting.  When done, take it out and divide it into 12 greased (use Pam) muffin tin holes (or 6, like I did).  Let rise again to about double.

Here's a picture of what it looks like when rising again.  I covered it with a tea towel, and set it on top of the cold stove (not heated) to rise.


This is what it looks like after it rises for about an hour (or less, depending on how warm your home is):



Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until brown.

This is what it looks like baked.  I let it cool just a bit before removing them from the pan.




These are delicious!  If you have a bread maker, you can do this.  I put a little bit of butter on the top.



If you don't, you can STILL do this, by beating the ingredients on your own (it takes a bit of elbow grease to mix it), letting it rise twice (punching it down after doubling the first time), and baking.

I'm thinking of a plot for this recipe, to incorporate it into a short story.  Hmmm....

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, March 28, 2016

Locked Out by a Rabbit...

Way back in 2007, we got this lion head bunny named James Kirk (also known as Boo-Boo Bunny) at our home for our youngest daughter for Christmas.  He was a very interesting pet.  He was allergic to Timothy Hay, which they eat.  When he'd eat it, his nose would run.  He also had major attitude.  He liked some people and hated others.  He'd make a great character in a book.  Quite the curmudgeon but in a loving kind of way.

Anyway, one day, James was running around the house.  We'd let him out of his cage three times a day, when the ferrets weren't out.  James was an indoor bunny.  My daughter and I went out the sliding door off the kitchen.  Since the latch doesn't always work on that door, we put a slat of wood at the bottom to 'lock' that door.  We thought nothing of going outside, closing the door, and doing whatever we had to do outside (probably weed the garden).

Well, good old James had to see what we were doing.  While he was watching us out the window, he kicked his feet (we think) and pushed that old slat into place, locking us out.  That was our only way back inside.  He stared at us through the door, as if to say, 'why are you out there?'  OR 'I finally got rid of you.'  Not sure, because both of those comments would've fit his personality.

Fortunately, our other kids were home at the time.  So my daughter and I ran around the house to the front door and rang the doorbell.  Our other children thought we'd answer the door, thinking we were inside and the person at the front door was a stranger.  So we kept ringing the doorbell over and over again until our other daughter opened the door.  She wondered why we were ringing the doorbell until we explained that our rabbit locked us out.

We still laugh about that story.  Good times...in hindsight, but not at the time.  James--what a hoot.  He's going to be a character, some day, in one of my books.  Just you wait.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

For all of you who celebrate, may you have the best Easter season yet!  




Have a wonderful week!
SweetTale Books

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Can You See the Deer Face in this Tree?

Because our dog's knee was operated on, I've been spending time in our living room, hanging out with him.  I sit in this one chair that looks outside to our front yard.

There's this one tree that looks like the face of a deer to me.  Of course, my family thinks I'm crazy.  Can you see it?  I'll point it out so you know I'm not nuts.  Well, not that nuts. LOL!

The tree:


The marked up tree:




Did you see it?  I should write a story about a lady who sees things in other objects that come true.  If that were the case, I'd be worried a deer is watching me.  LOL!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Roller Coaster Ride of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is one exhilarating ride.  After you publish that book, you're on a 'high,' waiting to see if your book sells.  It's thrilling to get your first sale, your first review (especially if it's a good review), and your first fan.  You're at the peak, and unfortunately, the only place to go is down.

When you go down that hill, it's not as thrilling as the ride up, unlike on a roller coaster.  It could be that you get your first bad review (they really sting, for all you troll haters out there), your sales momentum decreases, or you get some haters who are just plain mean.  But be hopeful.  When you're down, either the ride's over or you're on the way up again.  And usually, you're on the way up.

So hang in there.  There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and eventually, it'll all even out.  Enjoy the ride and take more journeys by writing more books.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Can't Fix Stupid

Have you ever said, 'Can't fix stupid?' in your lifetime?  I use it a lot.  And lately, it's fitting more and more situations that I come across.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Someone I know is in a political war (don't even get me started on that junk) saying the other side isn't sensitive to their needs, and even yelling about it.  Um...it's ironic to me that they're yelling about sensitivity when they're not sensitive themselves.  Even so, everyone knows you don't talk about politics, religion, or any push-button topic of the times.  Period.  I wish more people would do that, and stop yelling at the other side of anything.  But then again, you 'can't fix stupid.'

Another example:

My kids whine about other people whining about their lives when my kids' lives are so much worse and they have the worst problems.  Irony, much?  Um...'can't fix stupid' there.

See what I'm dealing with?  Can't fix stupid these days.  Just move on and let them deal with it themselves, I say.  LOL!

Have a wonderful week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

There Are Always Two Sides to Every Story

Let's face it.  Romances (and other genres) are about relationships.  Relationships between a couple, about their families, extended relatives...and even communities.

In the past month, someone I know (but am not directly related to) went into a nursing home.  The family has been fighting about the woman's stuff while trying to clean out her apartment.  The fight got out of hand and it must've been a horrible scene.  I heard one side of the story, certain the other side was as evil as anything.  Then I heard another side of the story from an innocent bystander, not so sure of the first person's description of things.

How can two different people give such differing accounts of the same situation?  And, how can any of these people consider themselves to be adults from the way they bickered and fought?  If I'd have been there, I think I'd have called the cops, it was that caustic.

Regardless, I now have another plot in mind, just from listening to two accounts of this story.  Let the writing begin...some day.  LOL!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hilarious -- NOT!

This made me laugh but my middle kid (the redhead with attitude) was not amused as much.

She was having a crisis (usually, it's my youngest, but they tag-teamed and now it was the middle kid's turn) last week.  She felt like a failure.  Her college work wasn't going well.  Yada, yada, yada...heard it all before.

If you think I'm the worst mom in the world, you'll have to get in line after my kids, because they tell me that all the time.  But, every time they tell me that, I tell myself I'm doing something right, because I'm forcing them to face their problems and figure them out themselves, or I'll do it MY way.  That's a fate worse than death in their minds.  You see, I'm a fixer and not much of a sympathetic ear.  I'm more of an action type than a 'I don't care and won't do anything but listen' type.

So Redhead with Attitude was having a crisis.  I said something like 'hashtag If-I-can't-fix-it, it's-not-my-problem un-hashtag.'

Amidst her tears of failure, she burst out laughing.  'Un-hashtag, Mom?  Un-hashtag?  You don't have to un-hashtag anything.'

But if it's like HTML code, like used for websites, you have to close the command.  Why not close a hashtag?

She put me on speaker to tell one of her roommates.  So, I did.  Now the roommates are afraid of me!  You know what I said?  'Good!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!'  (That's my maniacal laugh).

Anyway, I thought it was HILARIOUS, but apparently, the roommates and Redhead with Attitude don't seem to think so.

Have a great week and have a laugh on me!
SweetTale Books

Monday, March 21, 2016

When Characters Attack

So I was writing a scene and all of a sudden, I had the urge to have one character attack another one.  Ever have that happen, where your story derails itself from the original plan?  Don't trash the new stuff...it's usually better than the original, or so I've found.

With a knock-down, drag-out fight (two women fighting over one man), someone's bound to get hurt.  That ups the ante for drama in a story.  Keep it.

But is there a psychological reason these characters attacked each other?  Could it be because my kids were crying about their lives yet again, over the phone?  Could be.  Or did I need a jolt of action in my life, since things are rather boring?  Yep.  That makes sense, too.

If your characters get out of hand, keep the camera rolling.  See where it goes.  It may not lead to anything, but it might be just what your plot needed--more conflict.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Name Those 5 Songs--The Answers




Did you play along yesterday?  I asked if you knew the lyrics for the following five songs.

Here were the questions:

1.  It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
     And the manager gives me a smile
    'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
    To forget about life for a while


2.  I've done a hundred songs
     From fantasy to lies
     But this one so real for me
     That I'm the one who cries

3.  Oh, I've been dreaming through my lonely past
     Now I just made it, I found you at last

4.  Come with me now to see my world
    Where there's beauty beyond your dreams
    Can you feel the things I feel
    Right now, with you
    Take my hand
    There's a world I need to know

5.  Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
    In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
    Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
    The islands and bays are for sportsmen
    And farther below, Lake Ontario
    Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
    And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
    With the gales of November remembered


And, here are the answers:

1.  The Piano Man by Billy Joel

2.  This One's for You by Barry Manilow

3.  I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by Abba

4.  Strangers Like Me by Phil Collins (played in Disney's Tarzan movie)

5.  The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot

So how did you do?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Name Those 5 Songs

I keep playing these games on the Disney site.  Why, I have no idea.  But they're addicting!  Here's one that took me HOURS to complete, but I did it: Quiz:  Can You Guess the Disney Movie from the Letter?

It's fun but really hard to do.



We're going to play another game.  I'm going to give you five song lyrics and you tell me the song.  They can be any lyrics in the song and NO CHEATING (if it were me, I'd just google the stuff anyway, but I'm not telling you what to do).

Here goes:

1.  It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
     And the manager gives me a smile
    'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
    To forget about life for a while

2.  I've done a hundred songs
     From fantasy to lies
     But this one so real for me
     That I'm the one who cries

3.  Oh, I've been dreaming through my lonely past
     Now I just made it, I found you at last

4.  Come with me now to see my world
    Where there's beauty beyond your dreams
    Can you feel the things I feel
    Right now, with you
    Take my hand
    There's a world I need to know

5.  Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
    In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
    Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
    The islands and bays are for sportsmen
    And farther below, Lake Ontario
    Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
    And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
    With the gales of November remembered


Let me know what you think.  Do you know any of these without cheating?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Friday, March 18, 2016

Have You Ever Played With Someone's Head?



I was having this email conversation with our youngest daughter.  She's always having a crisis of  college major.  It's just who she is.  Anyway, she found something she really likes doing.  It's SEO for websites (and no, I have no idea what she's talking about so don't expect me to explain it).  

I said, cool!  I can see you doing this in a job.  * Note, I don't even understand it, but encouragement goes a long way. *

She said the other kids make fun of her because she's not coding but is doing graphic design work and SEO work.

I told her that all entrepreneurs are treated badly.  I'm sure Bill Gates and Thomas Edison were made fun of at first.

She was surprised.  "I'm going to be an entrepreneur?" she asked me.


I wrote:  "Um…guess I jumped ahead in time a bit.  I forgot to tell you…I can time travel.  Forget I said anything.  Butterflies…"

(For those of you who've seen Heroes, that'll make sense.) 

It took her a while to respond, but she believed I could time travel.   She wrote, 'You're joking, right?  You can't be serious.'

I laughed so hard, I about shot coffee out my nose at my laptop screen.

Some days, kids just crack me up!

Have a great and fun weekend!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Social Media Can Be Annoying




I admit.  I use social media.  I post things every day on Twitter and Facebook.  I don't have many followers on either account, but I post things anyway.  I do get more hits on Twitter than Facebook even though the content is the same (I figure no one's on my Facebook account, so why not use the same feed).

For the posts that get the most shares and likes, they're usually pictures of something, or a blog posting with a number in the title (like I published #48!).  Why, I have no idea.

The things that bug me about social media are the people who don't post.  They don't use the social media.  So when I go to retweet someone's posting, I'm finding the same stale posts they had weeks ago in the same spots.

Thus, if you're going to use social media, use it.  Give me a reason to go back and see what you have that's new.  I'll retweet if it's PG rated.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Latest in Web Design

Our daughter is in web and media design in college (her major).  She's learned a lot about designing websites and told me about Google's Material Design concept.  Google has a whole website area devoted to how a website should be laid out.

It's a lot to take in, so I asked my daughter to give me the overview.  She pointed to various websites to show me what she's talking about.  It uses big blocks of bold color with a sans serif font.  Here are some pages with examples:

10 superb examples of material design websites
Google Design

I like these too:
Khan Academy
Socratic.Org


Here's more:
What You Can Learn From Google's Material Design


So I tried to incorporate this idea into my SweetTaleBooks.com site.  It's very cool!  Here's a screen shot from last Sunday for my site (it changes every day according to my twitter and blog feed at the bottom):



And here's another iteration, after I realized it took way too long for the top to load (this was changed yesterday):



Now I'm just waiting for my daughter to come home on Friday for Spring Break to tear it all apart and tell me to start over.  LOL!


If you're thinking of changing up your website, this would be a cool idea.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Martian

I finally got around to watching The Martian.  My husband rented it for me, since he saw it in the theater with our son, while I stayed home and babysat our dogs.

What a cool movie!  That must've taken years of research, alone, to figure out how to do the calculations for some of those things.

If you haven't seen it, go rent it right now.  Don't sit there and read this, go rent that movie and watch it.  You'll be glad you did!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Pi Day!!!

For all you non-nerds out there, today is Pi day.  Pi day, you ask?  Check it out:  Pi Day.  Every March 14, nerds get all excited because Pi is represented as 3.14 for the first three digits.  3.14 is also March 14.  Last year, it also went two more digits:  3.1415 or 3/14/15.  Pi is the constant used to find the circumference of a circle (2*Pi*r) or the area of a circle (Pi * r^2).  Pi is considered to be an infinite decimal, in that the digits after the decimal go on forever and don't repeat.  Thus, Pi is irrational.  Derived from the fraction of circumference over the diameter of a circle, it's approximated to be 22/7.

Because this number is very important in many calculations in nature, physicist Larry Shaw decided to start Pi Day in 1988.  It was a hit.  Now, people celebrate by eating pi(e), wear Pi t-shirts, have a countdown to 1:59 (3.14159 are the first digits, thus 3/14 at 1:59, play Pi games, and even run a 3.14 mile course.

Here's more:

How to celebrate Pi day
10 Pi facts for the most irrational Pi day of your life
Ask Dr. Math FAQ about Pi

So enjoy the day.  Have a slice of pi(e) for me!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Do You Play Games for your Brain?

I was out for coffee with a friend of mine (she's a hoot) and we talked about getting older and how it's the pits.  We can't remember anything.  She, and I, both play games to keep our brains sharp.  I play a bunch of different games every day--7 little words, TriPeaks Solitaire, Bubbles, two different block puzzles, a maze, two math games, TileMap, Magnetic Balls, Mahjong, Mancala, backgammon, scrabble, and Sudoku.  I have all the games on my Nook.  Most of the games were free.  I play them to stay sharp.

Why play games for my brain?  The older we get, the easier it is to lose brain cells, I think.  I know my memory's not what it used to be.

If you're younger, start playing the games now.  Just pick anything that makes you remember, concentrate, or think.  It's fun, and trying to beat your score is kind of fun.

So play along with me.  Enjoy it!  I'm really good at backgammon and Sudoku. LOL!

Have a great week!  Don't forget to change your clocks if you haven't done so already (spring up, fall back).
SweetTale Books

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Plot Thoughts

I’ve watched all the episodes of Leverage, and love watching them over and over again.  If you’ve never seen it, I’d highly recommend it.  The team’s goal is to take on the bad guys, to give the little guy leverage over the bad guy, and to finally win and get back what they deserve.  Here are the opening credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v7fSmmvfJg.  If you do a search on Youtube.com, you’ll see entire episodes of the discontinued series.

The team employs different versions of con games to get the job done.  So I thought, how cool would it be to write some stories where con games are used to get what is due for the little guy, like in the show, Leverage.  It’s been done many times, in various movies (here’s a list of con game movies: http://www.mademan.com/mm/10-best-con-artist-movies.html).  Helping the underdog win is a theme to these types of shows (see the Equalizer at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Equalizer).  Personally, I just love with the underdog wins.

Thus, I looked up different con games.  It seems there’s a whole list or two or so of various con games.  I had no idea they were so famous.


Taking the ‘twisted plotster’ into account, I wonder what would happen if you mixed a con game with something else?  Romance?  Oh yeah…the Romance Scam.   Paranormal?  Oh yeah…the fortune-telling fraud.  Wow.  There seems to be a con for everything.  I’m thinking this might be a good idea for a plot.  Some of the cons are really convoluted, so the tough part is to figure out how to explain it so it makes sense in the plot.

Anyone up for a con story?  Stay tuned…some day I’ll figure out how to write one.  

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Friday, March 11, 2016

When Cover Pictures Don't Work

I've been noticing a trend in cover art.  It's been around for a long time, but I suspect it's overused now, that people aren't liking it as much.  It's the 'floating heads above a scene' idea.

Here's an example of one of mine, that my daughter did a LONG time ago:




See the floating head/face in the upper right?   Don't get me wrong--I love the cover (even though it's a bit dark).  But the floating head with a blend between the other parts and the face has been done--a lot.  I find it mostly on romance novels, but it's used in other genres as well.

So if that's not effective, what's next?  What big cover idea is hot now?

I went to Amazon's top 100 for literature and fiction and noticed that very few had floating heads on the cover.  I did see this one (The Thought Readers (Mind Dimensions Book 1) but other than that, almost ALL of the books had a simple picture or just color.  They're also not as dark as the older covers used to be, at least what I thought they were.

Even if you go to the romance page of top books you don't see many floating heads anymore.  It's all simple.

When covers don't work or are out of date, sometimes you have to bite the bullet and redo the cover.  When I worked on 'Death's Sidekick,' my sister told me the cover wouldn't work.  I said 'we'll see,' and put it out anyway.  She was right.  I recently redid it, and it looks a lot better.

Here are the before and after shots for that book:

Before (too cluttered and childlike):


After:



Which one would you buy?  I also learned to put a border around any white or light-colored cover.  That way, you can tell the boundaries for the cover for placement on blogs, etc.


I guess the point is to keep an eye on the trends.  No use sticking with old trends if they're not selling.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Thursday, March 10, 2016

How's That Font Workin' For Ya?

Have you ever seen a great book cover but the font is the pits?  It's either the wrong color or you can't read it...or it's not the right font.  For example, a romance cover with two people kissing doesn't need to have a font that's for a thriller (see slasher font).  It just doesn't work.

Also, is it tougher for you to pick a font than the picture for the cover?  It is for me.  I create most of my covers (probably 95% of them) and sometimes, that font takes me a LONG time to pick.  I bought fonts a while back so I have more fonts than I care to even consider.  That makes it even tougher.  Then there are the fonts I love but aren't right for some reason or other.  For example, I love the Beach font.  But it's too long.  Or the Calamity Jane font.  LOVE that font.  But it's really light weight (even if bold) and hard to read.

Here's what I'm describing:


Then there's the problem of the distance between lines.  Some have too much space while others have too little.  I know I can move the text, but it's just a pain.

My biggest problem with font is the choice, though, like I said before, because of too many fonts to choose from.  For example, I have about 1000 fonts installed on my machine (I think that's the limit).  Let's say I want one that looks handwritten.  I have a handful of those.  I have to scroll through the entire list to find those fonts.  Frustrating?  You bet.

Then I stumbled onto this page:


FANTASTIC!  There is was, so easy to find.  It even tells me which ones are good for which genres.

So if you're ever stuck, check out that page.  It has a lot of tips on there.  YAY, tips!!!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What's Your Passion?

Now that my daughter is undecided on what she wants to do for the future (see this post: When Others Get Ahead), my son decided this tag team idea should be continued.  He called me with a crisis.  What should I do?  Should I go to grad school or not, and if so, what in?  He feels unfulfilled in his job.  He's a programmer for a small telecommunications company and is the only mobile applications developer there.  His degree is in applied math and communications.

He's considering aerospace engineering but doesn't think he has enough of a background to do it, so he'll have to go back to college to get a second undergrad degree.  But what does he REALLY want to do?

Thus, I played counselor once again.  I figure if I can get through the 20s for my kids, I'm golden.  Right?  My mom says otherwise.  'You'll always be a mother,' she says.  'They'll always come to you with their crises.'  Yeah.  Guess so.  I take this all to her, too, so I'm doing the same thing.

Anyway, I started looking up references for my son, to see what he'd really like to do.  I started with 'what should I do with my life' or something like that and came up with aptitude questionnaires.  I took a few, to see if they make sense.  I mostly came up with artistic or a writer, but one said I should be a 'family man' (http://www.youthink.com/quiz.cfm?obj_id=106953).  No kidding.  And no, it didn't ask my gender (I'm a female).  Hilarious!

This site: http://time.com/2923415/what-should-you-do-in-life/  talks about finding your passion in life.  What's your passion?  What are your gifts?  What are your values?  Then you go from there to see what career fits those things.

Wow.  What's my passion?  I'd love to be able to help people.  That doesn't really fit with my curmudgeonness much, but hey...it's a goal, right?  Gifts--I listen a lot, even though I get GREAT think time when people talk.  Values?  Things that don't hurt others and are morally right.  I'm not into that 'the world is full of shades of gray' junk.  Uh, no.  Right or wrong, for me.

What does that mean I could be 'when' I grow up (I'll never grow up...I'm a Peter Pan type of person)?  Um...the world may never know.

What's your passion?  What do you want to do to make yourself happy?  What job wouldn't feel like a job to you?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hey. What's for Dinner?

Ever get that question?  Hey...what's for dinner?  I get that a lot.  My characters even ask me that.

What do you like to read about for meals?  Some readers don't care what the characters eat, but some like to enjoy the rich savory juiciness of the meal, feeling as if they'd just eaten it themselves.

Put it this way...would you rather read this:


Frank sliced into his steak, the reddish-brown juices running out onto his plate.  He forked a piece into his mouth, the delightful spices mixing with the tender beef before he swallowed.  It kept his mind off the bomb planted in the business next door.

OR would you rather read:

Frank took a bite of steak, but his mind was on something else--like the bomb planted in the business next door.

Some readers don't care as much about detail, but just want to get on with the plot.  Who cares if they ate a piece of meat or not?

I'm thinking romance readers want the sensations, but thriller readers want the action.  What do you think?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Change the World and Other Fun Things to do in Your Free Time

Wouldn't it be fun to do something that changes everyone's life?  I'm thinking of things like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), or even Thomas Edison (various inventions including the lightbulb) have done to make people's lives easier or even more complicated.  Love 'em or hate 'em, they did something to change the world.

What if you had that opportunity?  What if you could do something to make everyone know your name?

In my latest release, 'Remember the Yellow Rose,' Rosie McCord has just that opportunity.  She's sitting on a bunch of information, that could change the world.  She has to act on it, because millions of people could die if she doesn't do something.  For her, it's not 'fun,' but imperative.

If you could do something to change the world, what would you do?  How would you go about it?  I'd love to be able to do that, myself, but just haven't thought of a method...yet.  LOL!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Sunday, March 6, 2016

It's Close to Vacation Time

Most people take vacations in the summertime and on spring break, here in the States.  The kids are out of school and the weather is fantastic.  Best time to take a vacation.

For us, this year is our 25th wedding anniversary.  But I don't think we'll be taking a vacation this year.  We WERE considering taking a trip to Europe, because my husband and I have never been there.  But considering the climate there right now, and a medical issue with me (my foot hurts--bone spur), I'm thinking we might take a 'staycation' instead, where we stay at home.

Thus, the life of old people.  I just need the rocking chair and a walker and I'll be set.  LOL!

But what about you?  Going any place fun this year?  I can live vicariously through my reader's vacations, right?  :)

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Book a Day...My Dessert Reading

Imagine you live in an ideal world.  But in this world, you have to read a book a day (you're a speed reader, and can read a book in an hour or less).

If you did that, what would be your 'dessert' reading, the thing you craved the most?  What would you want to read?

For me, it'd be a funny romance or a funny mystery.  I love reading those things.  I'd trudge through any required stuff (like my kids would tell me I HAVE to read something...ugh...the worst) just to get to my funny stuff that I enjoy.  I used to read funny mysteries (the Bubbles books were my favorites) and savor every word.  I miss those days when I could just while away the hours in a fun book like that, laughing so hard, I'd spit my coffee out my nose.  I used to take books like those with me when waiting to pick up kids at school, arriving up to 1/2 hour or more early, JUST so I could read.

What would you read if you read a book a day?  What would be your 'dessert' reading?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hot Hero Occupations

Quick...if you were to read about the hottest hero, what would his job be?  Did it include anything like a doctor, cop, or someone of power?

Well, I looked it up (of course) to find out for myself.  However, I honestly believe it's different for every reader.  For example, I like reading about men in power who are sensitive at the same time.  I'm thinking doctors, cops, spies, cowboys, Navy SEALs, businessmen, lawyers...powerful jobs.  But people in those professions might thing otherwise.

This article: 10 Most Popular Professions for Romance Novel Heroes  talks about a book that looks at the professions for romance novels.  The authors looked at 15,000 Harlequin romances and came up with a list. Here are the top 10 from that article:

1. Doctor
2. Cowboy
3. Boss
4. Prince
5. Rancher
6. Knight
7. Surgeon
8. King
9. Bodyguard
10. Sheriff

Hmmm...doctor/surgeon, cop/sheriff, cowboy/rancher, businessmen (boss).  The only things I'm missing are the royalty (prince, knight, king), and a bodyguard (could be considered a spy/cop type).  And yes, I made my list before I found this article.

What makes a great hero job when you read a romance?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books


-------------------------------------------------------
More References:


Macho all the way…13 occupations for romantic heroes
Creating Great Heroes and Heroines
What's My Line? Character Professions in the Romance

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Cravings: Should You Give In?

I get these flyers from my doctor a few times a year.  This time, there was an article entitled, 'Food Cravings:  Should you give in?'  I thought that could apply to any vice...including books.  Any overindulgence can be bad, right?

Wrong.  According to that article, if it's fruit or veggies that you crave, go for it.

Well, according to this expert (yeah, I'm no expert, but I play one on my blog), if it's a book, yes!  Give in!  And if it's for one of mine, DEFINITELY!  Email me and I'll even try to make it worth your while to give in with a freebie of mine.

So yes.  Give in.  Indulge and enjoy the book!  It's worth it and your mind will thank you later!  (see here:  http://sweettalebooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/why-should-i-read.html)

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The 'I hate you, I hate you, I hate you...let's get married' syndrome

I've read my fair share of romances through the years.  The ones that crack me up the most are the ones I call the 'I hate you, I hate you, I hate you...let's get married' syndrome ones.

Based on the old Doris Day comedy movies (at least I think so), the hero and heroine started out hating each other.  Thus, when they did fall in love, it was against all odds and a bigger 'win' for the viewer.

This is a classic way to write a romance these days.  But some authors have taken it a step farther, to the point of being unbelievable.  Who would believe a woman beating up a man, either figuratively or literally, and then turning around and marrying him in a short amount of time?  No one.

Have you ever read a book like this?  Drives me nuts!  What do you think?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Would You Move? Location, location, location!

I had an email, once, from one of my fans for Eryn Grace.  She wanted to know if the town of Three Cross, Texas, existed, because she would love to live there.

If it did, I'd be on a plane right now, give up everything where I am, and move there in an instant.  The town is incredible where people help each other and care.  The weather is pretty perfect, and it's just a cool place to be.

Would you ever do that?  If you could pick one place to live that only exists in a book, would you move there?  Where would be your ideal place to live, that only exists in a book?

Have a great week!
Markee/SweetTale Books