Monday, October 16, 2017

Is Your Website up to ADA Standards or Is it A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen?

Our daughter went to college to learn how to do web design and media development.  She's now working at a company doing that type of work.  She mentioned that they have to be careful about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards for design.  Otherwise, they could be sued.

I said, 'what is that?' and 'what time dimension are you from?'  I NEVER heard of being sued because of a website's design.

As it turns out, it can happen.  If your website doesn't meet the Americans with Disabilities Act, it could potentially be the subject of a lawsuit.

So what does that mean?  Check out this article:  Looming ADA rules could affect millions of websites.

Here are also some more articles related to this topic:
Judges Handling ADA Lawsuits Over Websites Not Waiting On DOJ Regulations
Is Your Site ADA-Compliant ... or a Lawsuit-in-Waiting?  (this one tells even more)

If your website is difficult to read or if a blind person's reader can't figure out what a picture stands for or what's in a video, you could be sued.  It usually happens with large businesses, but it's possible for it to happen to any website.

You can check to see if your text is readable at this site:  https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/. You enter the hex background and foreground colors, and see if they work or not.

I've been working on my websites, and it's frustrating, at least.  Needless to say, this is going to be a huge undertaking for any website owner.

I can see where this might include a slippery slope to social media.  My daughter said the original bill didn't include social media, but if it's on the Internet, I can see where someone could take it on.

To be honest, I've seen things on social media that could potentially give someone seizures (check the seizure part here, under part J: Section 508 Checklist.)  Gifs that flash a lot are just annoying.  According to that Section 508:

508 STANDARDPASSFAIL
(j) Pages shall be designed to avoid causing the screen to flicker with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.No element on the page flashes at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second, thus reducing the risk of optically-induced seizures.One or more elements on the page flicker at a rate of 2 to 55 cycles per second, increasing the risk of optically-induced seizures.

Some of the memes really need to have the colors checked (see this page:  WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker).  For example, dark gray on black isn't good for anyone to try to read.  Putting text over a picture isn't good without a solid background color to make it more readable.

Protect yourself and see if you can fix some of these things.  Even if you work with a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly, it's good to check to see if your website is compliant.

Good luck.
SweetTale Books


Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Think Up a Plot

I'm sure there are some people out there who think, 'how do authors get plots.'  For me, my stories are all formulated in my head when I think of one small thing and 'what if.'  I try to go outside the usual 'box' of ideas, to get creative.  Since the competition for selling books is very fierce, I tend to go even farther than I normally would.

For example, the Extreme Travel books of mine started out in my head as a circus.  Kes was a circus performer and was sent overseas to see animals used in the circus in their natural habitat.  No kidding.  Since I'm not a fan of caging animals, I morphed that into her being a reporter to report on the climate in Africa.  I found the toughest place to live--Zimbabwe--and sent her there.  Then I needed a mean antagonist and came up with her single male boss, who was out of bounds for various reasons.  One was his fiancee that was really nasty.  That's how that story started out.  I had to go outside the norm for a reporter and give them a real reason for being there--to start a coup.

I looked up story planning and found this really cool article.  How to Get Story Ideas for Fiction Writing.  It talks about thinking up nuggets, and then writing as much as possible with one of these nuggets.  It'll start to take shape into a story the more you write.

I'm inclined to agree with some of that, but I think it saves time to think in terms of scenes.  Before I write a book, I think of what the first scene should be, and then what the black moment (in a romance, it's the part right before the ending where everything falls apart for the heroine) would be.  After that, I think of the ending scene.  I now know the beginning and ending, so getting from point A to point B has to include scenes that propel the characters toward point B.  I also like considering the three-part act in a play.  For the first part, I make the main character has to choose to do something to propel him or her to stay in the story.  The second part ratchets up the tension toward the black moment, and the third part is the happy ending.  That's how I work, in my mind.  If I don't have the beginning scene, black moment, and ending, I lay down to take a nap.  I blank out the rest of the world to think about how it would show in a movie, and what would work.  That's the fun part.  I let my mind explore tons of possibilities.

If I have those three scenes, I'm good to go, since I'm a 'pantser' (I don't outline or have everything written out before I write, but just go with the flow of the story).  Sometimes, those scenes change when I actually write, but it's okay.  Many times, the characters kind of take over and it works better than I anticipated.

Try it if you haven't written a book.  You'll be surprised how much fun it is to just let your mind wander.  I love it.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, October 2, 2017

Why do updates?

Right now, I'm updating my websites just a bit.  I'm in the middle of it right now, but it's a big task.  I was asking myself last night when I was working on it, why do I do this?  Why update any site?

Think about it this way.  What if you DIDN'T update anything.  The thing would get 'dusty' and people have no reason to go onto them.  They visit once and then forget about you.

So the goal is to keep that website updated with new books, new thoughts, and new pictures.  That'll make customers want to come back.

Have a super week!
SweetTale Books

Great Grammar Guide!

I was sent an email this past week, about a grammar guide that is spectacular.  I was so impressed, that I had to post it here.

It's here:  Grammar Education Resource Guide

It's an all-inclusive aide for grammar issues.  Check it out...it's now on my go-to grammar help links and you might want to add it to yours!

There's more to that site, too, with many other aides here:  Other Resources.  Check it out!  Very cool!

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 25, 2017

What Content Management System (Website program) Do You Like?

I just finished a job working on a CMS (content management system) for a business on the West Coast.  This job used software that is used just for businesses and costs a lot of money per month.  It required knowing HTML and a few things that I knew from over the years.  It took me a while to learn the idiosyncrasies of the software, which is common for every system you pick up.

My next possible client is with another company, also on the West Coast.  They needed something for businesses, as well, that allowed the business to keep a list of clients and have a shopping cart.  Square Space was recommended.  I signed up for a free 14-day trial and made a website for the client, just to show them that it could be done.  It was a success.

If you've ever used Wix, Weebly, or WordPress, you could probably use Square Space.  It's similar to all of those CMS systems, where you plug the information in using WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get).  You don't need to know HTML, but if you want to do simple things (like change the color of the font), it's good to know how to code.  There aren't as many themes as in WordPress, but they support their themes.  Sometimes, the themes in WordPress are sent in by users and aren't supported.

It's been a fun thing to learn.  I've heard of people in NY charging $4500 for one of these websites on Square Space.  Even if I can get a quarter of that for a few hours' work, that'd be fantastic!

If you're an author, you might want to consider one of these CMS systems to promote your website.  Although they can be quirky, overall, they're easy to use and easy to learn.

Or you could just do like I do for all my personal websites, and code it yourself.  It takes longer to learn to do that, but the quirkiness is gone.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 18, 2017

Writing Accents and Slang

Our daughter and I have been watching a Scottish sitcom on Netflix, as well as a few British sitcoms.  They're all really funny, and I think funnier and better than American sitcoms.

Besides the plots, I find the accents very interesting.  We have to watch them all with the closed captioning on.  Our daughter was down the hall and heard the dialogue for the Scottish show.  She said it sounded like a foreign language to her, because she couldn't see the words at the bottom of the screen.

They might speak English but it's not the norm.  For example, in the Scottish sitcom, they might say, 'Innae ye frae doon the street?'  That means, 'Aren't you from down the street?'  They also call a woman a 'hen.'  In the British ones, I've heard words like 'chuffed' (means excited, I think), and quid (pound).  I've resorted to looking some of the words up while watching the shows, just to figure out what's going on.

When I worked on my Scottish Football Series, I did a bit of research into the language.  I didn't put a lot of the different language into my books, because I didn't think Americans would understand it, unless they'd spent time in Scotland.  Even so, the language is gorgeous to listen too all over the U.K.  I even find myself slippin' a few wee words into my brain once in a while.

So, when you're writing a different language or dialect, don't inundate your reader with difficult to understand words.  Slip them in every once in a while and your reader will thank you.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alone Again! YAY!

I love to write but many times, I get a lot of disruptions.  It's so frustrating.  Between kids, the dogs, and a small job I had, I could barely remember what I wrote in the last sentence, let alone in a whole book.

Starting today, that small job is over, the kids are all employed, and it's just the dogs and me at home.  Wow.  I'm so excited!

Have you ever had that problem, where life gets in the way of your dreams?  Welcome to my world...and welcome to some new stories that are bound to come now from SweetTale Books.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, September 4, 2017

To be a writer...

...you have to write.  I forget where I heard that from, but it really struck a chord with me.

It's one of those 'well, duh' moments, I know, but it means a lot more than that.  You can't just say 'I'm a writer' but haven't written much or anything at all.

I've been watching this one series where one of the main characters is a famous writer.  He's worth a ton of money...but you never see him writing.  He's probably a 'one-book' wonder, and now is terrified that he can't write anymore to live up to that expectation.

Have you ever had that fear?  After one book, you know you can never get back that mojo?  We've all done that, as writers, but I go back to the phrase, 'To be a writer you have to write.'  Fear inhibits that writing instinct, so get rid of the fear and just write.

Have a super week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 28, 2017

Believe You Can



Do you have a story inside you that you want to get out to the world?  Why aren't you writing it down?  Are you afraid of failure, or worse yet, afraid of success?

Here's what I suggest.  Write the story down for yourself.  Don't worry about putting it out to the rest of the world, but write it for yourself.  When you're done, if you think it's worthwhile, give it to your friends and family to read first.  Then give it to an editor and take it from there to be published, sharing your story with the rest of the world.

Believe you can do it, because if I can do it multiple times over, you certainly can do it.  I have no special training in writing, but learned from watching what others did.

Believe you can do it, because I believe you can!

Have a fantastic day today!
SweetTale Books

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cleaning up your life...

In the book, 'Ginger, Spice, and everything Not Nice,' (by Paige Ryter, which is 99 cents at Amazon this week), Rick has his friends give Lyra a major makeover, using alien technology.  Her entire life changes, because she's beautiful.  She's lost 50 pounds, had her hair cut, wears makeup, and is now dressed in hot clothes.  Her entire confidence level skyrockets.  Her life has been cleaned up.

We're doing that at our house, too--cleaning up our lives.  We started by going through the entire house and downsizing BIG time.  Yesterday, our daughters and I spent the whole afternoon cleaning out the garage.  It's amazing!  I feel so much better knowing the place is clean.  We just have a little bit more to do and the entire house will be done (we've been working for at least six months on this project).

Have you ever wanted to do that--change your whole life to give yourself a new perspective?  Me, too!  We're downsizing so that when my husband retires, we can move with very few material items.  I told him I want ONE POD.  We'll see if I can do that. 😉

Check out 'Ginger, Spice, and everything Not Nice' on Amazon this week (just 99 cents).  I think you'll like it!


Read the whole first chapter here.

Have a great week!
Paige/SweetTale Books

Monday, August 14, 2017

Candy Crush

I'm a new addict to Candy Crush.  I know...that's so early 2000's, but hey...I'm a little slow.  I blame the show Candy Crush on this addiction.  But I'm not as bad as my husband, who is REALLY addicted to playing it on MY Nook.

I've found a few things out about life from Candy Crush.  Sometimes, you can't get to point B without doing something at point A.  It's kind of like in a book.  You can't present parts of the plot until you have a few things described beforehand, like back story, or setting up a crisis by showing the stuff beforehand and why it's a crisis.

Yeah.  I know.  Candy Crush isn't like a book...but isn't it?  One things leads to another and all of a sudden, you're in a bad place with no way out--what is perfect for books.

Have a super week!  Check out the 99 cent deal this week at featured books on my website.  This week, it's a YA called 'The Improbable Legend of Lucy George,' which is good for ALL ages.



SweetTale Books

Monday, August 7, 2017

99 cents this week: All the Better to Love You With



99 cents this week!

Love Christian romance that's not preachy but just fun?  Check this book out!  It's loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood, but in this case, Red's not so innocent.  She's arrested by Sheriff Wolfe for stealing her granny's car, just so she could visit her other granny.

Here's the web page, so you can read more.  Click on excerpt on that page and you'll get the first chapter.  Enjoy!

Eryn/SweetTale Books

Monday, July 31, 2017

#59! 'Justice for Dessert' by Markee Anderson

Another book out!  YAY!  #59 for SweetTale Books!!!

Here it is:  'Justice for Dessert' by Markee Anderson



Blurb:

When foodie and lawyer Scott Bailey criticizes paralegal Ella Justice's dessert blog as 'DoubtingScotty,' she has to take action. What will she do when she finds out he's also the prosecuting attorney on the other side of her current court case—the man she's fallen for?

Excerpt:

DoubtingScotty hated Ella Justice. From his comments on her blog, he really was out to get her. She could tell he was a man, hiding behind a mask like others online. This guy, though, not only wore that mask, but was a troll, stopping at nothing to be mean.

Good. She really needed a bad guy for her blog. It gave it credibility.

She read DoubtingScotty's comment aloud. "Don't give up your day job, because this is an awful recipe. If I had a dog, I wouldn't feed this to him because it might kill him." She laughed. DoubtingScotty was both her nemesis and her hero, if that was even possible.

Her blog, 'Justice for Dessert,' had close to a million followers. Even though she was a paralegal by day, by night, this blog was her passion. It was also part of the grade for her required class project.

In the big scheme of things, it didn't matter what DoubtingScotty thought, because his biting comments helped drum up more onlookers. She loved to cook, dreaming up strange desserts to keep her readers interested. This blog, though, wasn't just to share recipes, but designed to prove a point.

"I guess he didn't like sponge cake with shrimp and grits." She chuckled. "His loss. It was one of my better awful concoctions." She shook her head. "This guy must have refined taste buds. He's definitely not the fast-food type." She rested her fingers on the keyboard, ready to reply. The more controversy, the better. But before she could type a single letter, six other people posted comments, all disagreeing with DoubtingScotty, proving her point about herd mentality in a blog. People always followed a strong leader, which she seemed to have in spades for the blog. They all seemed to agree with her, no matter what she posted. However, if truth be told, she agreed with DoubtingScotty. The cake tasted awful, but she had to keep up the charade. The grade for this project would be better than she thought.

"JoeMan, you're so right," she said with a chuckle. "'Don't knock it until you try it. Grits go with everything.' Yep. Tell it like it is." She read over more of the comments, laughing as she went, since they all beat up the poor new guy. "Time to pay the piper." She poised her fingers over the keyboard, talking aloud as she typed. "DoubtingScotty, I think JoeMan said it best. 'Don't knock it until you try it.' From all the comments, 'Justice has been served…for dessert.' The jury has spoken. See, Dawg, you just don't know good eats." She chuckled as she pressed enter and then waited.

Her cell phone rang, so she grabbed it and glanced at the caller ID before she answered. "Hey, Cher. What's up?" She put it on speakerphone.

"I'm reading your blog right now. Dawg? Seriously?"

"I don't want anyone to know I have any college background. I want them to think I'm a sous chef or something and learned everything on the job. I want to have street cred." She chuckled, because she, of all people, barely had street cred, whatever that even meant. She'd been raised in an upper-class, white-collar home, with every whim taken care of. But she wanted to prove to herself that she wasn't above anyone and was trying to make it on her own. Her independence was her street cred.

"Yeah. Right." Her friend chuckled. "You're hardly street anything. You have too many legal terms on the disclaimer that you're definitely someone who went to college and are still going."

She put her hands over the sides of the laptop's monitor. "Shh! Don't say that too loudly. Someone online might hear you."

Cher laughed at her. "You're crazy. I think DoubtingScotty has a thing for you."

"You're hilarious. He's probably one of our clients, being charged with murder or something nefarious. For all I know, he could be a serial killer, out to get me. You'll help me if he's a criminal, right?"

Cher was a lawyer in Ella's law firm who was fighting to become a partner in their plush Washington, D.C. office.

Ella, on the other hand, was going to school during the week to become a lawyer. It would be a while until she could take the bar exam, so she put it out of her thoughts and concentrated on one class at a time. Since this was her third class, she had a while until she could finally become a lawyer. Was it her dream job? No, but it would pay the bills and make her family happy.

Cher chuckled. "Sure, I'll help you, along with a few dishy cops. If DoubtingScotty's a murderer, I think it'd be fitting to feed him the recipe on your current post for his last meal. I'd make sure he gets it, too. If he keels over from shrimp and whatever, then it'll save the state a bundle from killing him off."

Ella just laughed. Cher wasn't the type to send someone to their death for any reason. She was more of a bleeding heart, willing to take on any sob story.

"Sure," Ella said, playing along. "I think we should force feed him."

"You read my mind." Cher paused. "Hey, he's talking to you."

Ella looked back at the blog and read aloud. "Dawg, you're no gangsta, so don't go there. You're probably some snotty soccer mom who thinks she can cook because she knows how to make hotdogs in a microwave."

Ella couldn't believe it. "That guy has a lot of nerve, but thank you, DoubtingScotty. I'm sure my ratings just went up." She placed her fingers on the keyboard.

"Don't type yet," Cher said. "We have to make this guy put his money where his mouth is. Make him show that he knows better. Take this off-blog, though, because you don't need a shouting match between you and him. Tell the guy to email you. It looks more mysterious that way."

"You're the boss." Ella typed as she spoke. "Email me. Harassment online isn't nice." She stopped typing but didn't press enter yet. "Is that okay?"

"Yep. Your blog's email address is on there, so hopefully, he'll be able to find it. That is, unless he's an idiot."

Just as she pressed enter, a loud noise in the hallway made Ella turn toward the door. "They're at it again." It was in the direction of the nasty apartment down the hall. All they ever did was yell.

"Is he hurting her?" Cher asked.

Ella listened. "Not yet. But he's screaming. He sounds drunk."

"I'm calling the cops. This is ridiculous."

"Thanks." Ella pushed up her sleeves, ready for a fight. "I'm tempted to go over there."

"No. You stay put. My buddy Rodney will handle it."

Ella couldn't believe her boss. "You just want to flirt with any cop. Admit it."

Cher chuckled. "Yeah. I'm wearing this guy down. Listen for the sirens." She ended the call, so Ella pressed end.

With her phone still in her hand, Ella headed for the door. She put her eye to the peephole and watched. No one was in the hallway, but Dwayne's voice grew louder.

"You don't know?" he screamed. "Let me show you how to chop onions then. Give me that knife."

Ella had to do something. The cops were taking too long and she couldn't let Dwayne kill his mousey wife, Janie. The woman was six months pregnant. They had a five-year-old daughter, Isabel, who was probably in the same room.

"No, Daddy," Isabel screamed. "Don't hurt Mommy!" She cried, along with Janie's loud sobs, confirming Ella's worst fears.

------------------------------------------------------------

Read more here.

~~~~~


Buy Links (updated as they're created)

99 cent book this week: Kissin' in a Kilt!



Imagine you're the heroine in this book. Kelcie Roberts, who just wants to dig on a plot in Scotland to find a treasured artifact that would knock the socks off the current history of Mary Queen of Scots.  However, because of the landowner of that property, she has to barter for each square foot to dig.  He's arrogant and overbearing, but holds the key to that treasure.

What would you do?

Find out more here:  Kissin' in a Kilt Website.  Click on 'excerpt' to read the first chapter.


Blurb:

Kelcie Roberts has finally found the spot in Scotland where she's certain Mary Queen of Scots' chalice is located. If she and her archeological team can dig it up, she'll change history and become famous, finally earning her a doctorate from back home in Minnesota. There's only one problem--the owner, famous soccer player and businessman Graham McGregor, is putting restrictions on the dig, making her play as if she's his girlfriend just to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Graham's mother doesn't like Kelcie because of a centuries old feud between their families, and Kelcie also can't tell anyone she's the daughter of a U.S. Senator who hates Europe. She just wants to get the chalice, but it seems as if the world has other plans for her, played out in the media while Graham worms his way into her heart.


Buy Links:
Smashwords
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

Monday, July 24, 2017

I Love to Read

Most of us at our house have been sick in the past week--even the dogs.  As a matter of fact, my husband is home today, trying not to cough and sneeze.  I'm only at the beginning of this sick journey, hoping I can get it to go faster than my husband and youngest daughter.

Thus, I'm doing little non-physical things around the house.  Yesterday, we sorted through family picture (AGAIN), taking out duplicates.  We'd already sorted them by person/persons, but now, we wanted them down to an easier amount to handle.

I also have been reading old unpublished stories of mine, to see if they were worthy of publication.  Some--not so much.  They'd have to have an entire rewrite because I cringe at some of the sentences.  UGH.  After cringing, I laugh, read them to my husband, and he howls in laughter.

Others are worthy.  I have some of the series for the Rescuers in Action books done, even though I have only the first one out.  It's entitled The Lord is With Me.  In the book, it's up to Destiny to save her sister from kidnappers in Indonesia, even though she has no experience for the trip.  She accidentally meets the leader of a group who rescue people around the world.  They take a trip to Indonesia, coming up against many obstacles.

I have two more of the series, but I need to water them down a bit, since they're rather intense.  But they were an enjoyable read, especially since I wasn't feeling well.

Sometimes, you have to sit back and enjoy the view instead of plow ahead and keep going.  Some day, I hope to slow my life down enough that I can just read for fun, getting books off the Internet to do just that.  But until then, I'm going through pictures and such, reading books that I wrote long ago.

I hope you have a great, relaxing week.  I might be forced to do just that.

SweetTale Books


Monday, July 17, 2017

Mean Manipulative People

Authors love mean people.  They can certainly make the best types of antagonists, and really can set the protagonist on edge.

But in real life, those types can cause chaos.  What motivates these types?  I've had a few of those types on social media recently and I just block them.  They're not worth my time if they're out to be angry or manipulative.  I have enough of those types in my own family than to take on someone else's drama.

When things like that happen to me, I put them in a book and slowly take them down, one peg at a time.  I may have just a little issue with revenge with those types, but they just bother me.

Why are so many people so angry?  I've noticed that society is filled with people whose ultimate goal is to 'step in someone else's cornflakes' and tick them off.

I wish those types would learn the golden rule and see how it all feels.  Time to put them all in a book and teach them some manners.  😁

Have a happy day filled with sunshine!
SweetTale Books

Monday, July 10, 2017

Working...working...working...

Have you ever had a revelation in your life, where things all of a sudden just come together?

Last week, we went to Lifest in Oshkosh for 3 days (off and on).  It's a Christian concert of many many bands.  You bring chairs and sit in an open field, out in the sun, with various big screens set up so you can actually see the stage.

I'd been working on the last of the Three Cross Faith books for the past few months and had come to a stand-still.  I was ready to scrap the entire thing and start over...before Lifest.  I watched the bands and had a revelation about the story that really fit.  As I watched the bands on the stage, I realized that they're just normal people with extraordinary lives.  They get along with their band mates, but have to travel a lot just to make it.  Even so, they do it with a smile on their face and energy like I've never seen before.  I think I've known this in the past when writing the other five books in the series, but this time, it hit me once again.  I needed to make my characters human.

I know.  Weird revelation after writing 58 books.  It's not a new thought I've ever had, but for some reason, it really hit me for this story that I'm working on.  Dylan's love life needs it (he's a character in the series who just can't find love even though he's dated a lot).

So, stay tuned for the last of the Three Cross Faith books.  I like this one as much, if not more, than the other five, and I just loved those books.  It'll take me a while to finish it, but it's coming along nicely.

Have a great day!
Eryn of SweetTale Books

Monday, June 26, 2017

99 cent book this week: Cameo Appearance

This week's 99 cent book!
Cameo Appearance by Markee Anderson
Aspen Dove knows how to get what she wants from every man -- until she meets her match in FBI Agent Evan Blaze. While trying to get a story for a doomed newspaper about a local vigilante killer named Justiceman, Aspen becomes the target of not only the mob, but a gang of vigilante bikers with temporary pony tattoos on their cheeks, a serial killer lacking a few brain cells, and Justiceman himself.


Excerpt:

Cameo Dreyden raised the bat in her hand and stared at the stranger who she was certain had been sent to kill her. No murderer's thug would kill her without a fight, especially not so early in the morning. "Out," she said with a determined voice. "Or you'll regret it. This is your last warning."

The stranger backed up, lifting his hands into the air as if to deflect a blow. "Don't kill me. I mean you no harm." His soft British accent filled the room.

She paused. She was such a sucker for British accents, but couldn't afford to back down. Her fingers tightened on the handle. "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
Read more here.

Pet Peeves in Reading

Do you have any pet peeves in reading?  Does something just grate on your nerves when you read it?  Have you become a reading snob?

I have.  A few things REALLY bug me.  My biggest pet peeve is the wrong use of apostrophes.  I saw one writer this past weekend commit this grievous error.  It went something like this:

Dog's just want to have fun.

UGH!  There's no apostrophe in dogs!  There's no possessive, no reason to have it.  Why can't writers understand this?  I'm not just talking about someone posting on FB or Twitter, either, but a true writer of books.

Ridiculous.

What are your pet peeves?

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, June 19, 2017

Plots smacking me in the head

I must have some sort of weird character magnet.  Once again, something strange happened to me.  I'm not sure if I mentioned a few things that have happened over the years, but here are a few--and these were all strangers:

* Random lady stops me in a grocery store to ask me how to make potato salad (I'm not a good cook)
* Strange man in pickup stops me on the street while I'm walking our dogs to take a picture of the dogs
* Priest is walking by our home while I'm mowing to ask me how to get to the Catholic Church a few blocks away.  (That one still disturbs me...what priest doesn't know where his church is?)

I get these types of encounters ALL the time.  I think I have invisible ink on my head that says, 'talk to me.'

So the other day, I was outside pulling up flags on our property from a failed city contract to redo a street.  I no sooner than grabbed about four of the MANY MANY flags when a neighbor pulled up and stopped in front of me to talk.  No big deal.  She and her husband stop all the time like that just to catch up on gossip.

We were talking when this car pulled in front of the neighbor's car, parked in front of our house, and the woman got out. She was a much older woman but wasn't smiling.  She headed right for me.  I said, "Do I know you?"

She said, "No, but you're hilarious how you talk with your hands."

She kept talking to us when our neighbor figured out who she was.  She's related to someone at the other end of the street and 'different,' to say the least.  The woman finally got back into her car and took off.

I told the neighbor this place is weird and I can't WAIT to move someplace normal.  She laughed because she and her husband would love to move to Florida.  I've been saying I want to move since we moved in, almost 14 years ago.

Anyway, this week, it's time to rethink how much stuff I want to move when my husband decides to retire in about 9 or more years.  One moving Pod.  That's what I'm telling my kids.  After that 'character' encounter with the old lady making fun of how I talk with my hands...it might just be sooner.  😎

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Hook

When any writer starts to write a book, they learn about the 'hook.'  But what is it?




I like to think of it as in a television program.  The first few moments are exciting and makes you want to watch.  Right before a commercial, they leave you wanting more, so you'll come back.  That's like the beginning and ending of every chapter.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book #58!!! Questionable Job Security

Right on the heels of #57 comes this book, #58 for SweetTale Books.

Questionable Job Security, by Andie Alexander, is #6 in the Extreme Travel series.




Blurb:

Kes and two teams travel to Turkey for a two-fold mission—save a kidnapped child and investigate a murder of one of their own agents.  Thanks to her antics, Kes proves to be a force to be reckoned with, especially since she thinks her job's at risk.  It's time to up the ante and actually save the world.



Chapter 1:


Red and blue police lights lit up my rearview mirror, making me think it was going to be a rough Monday morning.

I was driving through the suburbs of Denver to get to work at our travel agency, and had even completely stopped at the stop sign just before I'd turned left. I wasn't speeding, but I was drinking a humungous delicious cup of coffee I'd just purchased at a coffee shop. I didn't think drinking coffee while driving was a reason to pull someone over, but I didn't keep up with any new laws or ordinances.

While watching the police car behind me, I pulled over to the side of the road. The radio was playing my favorite song, too, and I'd been singing along at the top of my lungs.

I turned off the car and flipped on my cell phone, laying it beside me on the passenger's seat just in case I needed to call for help.

As I watched the officer in the rear view mirror, I dug the license and registration out of my wallet. The man got out of the car, adjusted his pants, and put his billy club in his hand. I swallowed hard while trying to see the cop's face. His hat was low on his head, so I couldn't see his eyes. He yanked his handcuffs out of his pocket and approached my car. I was in trouble. Routine traffic stops didn't include handcuffs or a club. It made me wonder what I'd done wrong.

Even though it was a very warm mid-September morning, I wound my window up to about an inch from the top and locked all the doors. I thought my late-model four-door dark blue coupe sedan would be invisible to cops, since it was so generic.

"Good morning, officer," I said with a smile. "Nice day out."

The officer held his pad of paper high while he wrote, juggling his night stick and handcuffs in the hand holding the paper. "Do you know what you did wrong?" His tone was low and surly.

Wait. I knew that voice but couldn't place it right away. "No, sir," I said.

He lowered the paper and laughed at me as he lifted his hat a bit. "Gotcha."

My heart skipped a beat as my hand flew to my chest. "Doug? What are you doing, pulling me over? You almost made me wet myself. Very funny…not."

Doug was a CIA agent in the Denver office where I worked. He and his partner, Dave, were a very good team of agents, and some of the best in the nation. They were also gamblers and practical jokers, so I figured he was up to no good.

Doug glanced up and down the street before he spoke, as if he worried someone might be watching. "I had to stop you, Kes. I needed to warn you about something."

I lifted my humungo cup of coffee to my lips and took a drink before swallowing. "What?" I wasn't about to lower my window any more, in case I was to be the subject of yet another practical joke. I wouldn't put it past him to pull me out of my car, handcuff me, and make it look like he was going to use his nightstick, just to embarrass me. That was Doug's sick sense of humor.

I put my cup back into the holder and glanced up at his dark hair and dark brown eyes. "What did you want to warn me about?"

He was writing and had to concentrate. Men were so linear when they thought and really couldn't multitask.

"I had to write it down." He leaned closer. "You never know who's listening," he said in a low tone.

I sighed. Like my car would be bugged.

"Whisper it to me," I murmured.

"Nope."

He finished writing and pushed the paper through the crack in the window. I grabbed it just before it hit the floor. It said, 'Ian's looking for you for a physical. We're on a mission together.'

"I see." I nodded. "Thank you so much for the ticket."

"There's more," he said with a grin. "Look again."

I read the note again. He'd written something under the 'offense' section.

"Huh?" I asked. "Going too slow a stop sign? How is that even possible?"

"Twenty-five dollars, at the courthouse."

He laughed at his own joke and I shook my head. "You're not serious."

"Sure, Kes. Or, you can pay me now, if you want." He winked. "Red hair and green eyes are just my thing today."

"I'll pay you all right." I pointed to the note. "Who will be joining me?"

He pointed to himself and nodded. I was sure he knew I was talking about the mission.

"Lucky me." I sighed. "First time together, huh? Would you like a flying lesson when I'm with you…without a parachute?" I grinned and winked, because he knew I'd throw him out of the airplane on the mission if I had to. He might have the parachute, depending on my mood.

He swallowed hard. "Not really. I'll take that paper back if you want." He held out his hand for the ticket.

Instead of giving it to him, I laid it on the passenger's side of the car. "No, I think Wilson needs to see this one, and maybe I should show it to the Denver P.D." I laughed at his fearful face at just the mention of our big Washington D.C. boss and local cops. "Don't worry. I'll protect you."

"Thanks. Just think…together at last."

"What about James?" I was asking if my handsome husband would be joining us. James had medium-brown hair, light blue eyes, and spoke with a sexy slightly British accent. He also had a Ph.D. in Psychology.

"Of course." Doug moaned. "Someday, you know…" He winked in an exaggerated manner. I had to laugh at him, because many of the agents had a thing for me. It was almost a competition, even though they all knew I was devoted to James.

I shook my head. "It'll never happen. Hey, thanks for the ticket. I'm going to run some 'errands.'" I used my 'quotey' fingers so I could give him the male visual indicator. With men, I had to make things visual or they just didn't get it.

"Have fun on your trip." He walked away from me, got back into the police car, and pulled into traffic, almost cutting someone off. After flipping on his lights and siren, he took off down the street going about twice the speed limit. I chuckled at his actions while I chugged the rest of my coffee.

As I pulled out into traffic, my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller id and groaned. Good old Ian, just doing his job. There was no way I'd let that guy get his ice-cold hands on me today. No way. He'd have to knock me out for it.

Ian had power. He was the highest-ranking agent in our office, so he was in charge. He was also good looking, with blond hair and brown eyes. Even though he had degrees in surgical medicine and computer science, I considered myself smarter than him, since I had street sense. Thus, his power meant nothing to me because I could out-think him when necessary.

The phone stopped ringing and I made a detour to the travel agency. One nice thing about being independently wealthy--whether married into it or not--is that I didn't really have to work. But if I wanted to get away, I certainly could duck into the office for a few hours and no one would know the difference.

James was the rich one. Because we were married, I got the same profits from all his investments, including the newspaper he owned, the travel agency we both owned, and all his stocks, bonds, and other investments I really didn't care to know about. I was only concerned with what I had to do, including writing an article for the Extreme Travel Division of his newspaper once a quarter every time we traveled with the CIA, and rewriting agency reports for the boss, Wilson.

I drove at least a half block from the travel agency and hid my car in a parking deck. Once I got out of the car, I headed down paths that weren't traveled much to get to the building. As I was ready to peek out at traffic from between two buildings, I noticed Ian's brand new little red sportscar driving very slowly down the street. I moved back a bit and just waited for him to pass. He was looking the other way toward the travel agency building, not realizing I was right beside his car but hidden out of his view.

As soon as he passed, I peeked out of my hiding spot and watched him turn the corner. Once he was definitely out of sight, I ran across the street and entered the travel agency from the back door. He wouldn't stop to find me here because my car wasn't in the usual parking spot.

I walked through the door and closed it behind me. The new girl running the place was seated at the front desk, working on the computer.

I checked the mail bin from the box, but it was empty. "Hello, Donna," I said. "No interruptions today, okay? I'm not even here." I had to take precautions, just in case.

"Sure, Kes." She didn't even look up from her work.

I used the bathroom first, after that huge cup of coffee, and then I entered my office. Once inside, I closed and locked the door and drew the shades so no one could see into the small room. I knew Ian would be looking for me, hoping he wouldn't find me in my office. However, if he called James, I was in big trouble. So, I hid. I knew it was childish, but I did what I had to do.

I opened the drawer to my desk and took out a great novel I'd been reading, turning to the marked page. After reading one sentence, I heard the front door open and close with a bang.

"Have you seen Kes?" It was Ian and he didn't sound happy. I'd know his mean voice anywhere. He shouldn't have stopped here and it frustrated me that he'd figured me out so fast. I made a mental note to find a new hiding place, like on a deserted island somewhere.

I closed my eyes and prayed Donna would listen to me. She was a temporary replacement for my real assistant, Maria, who was out sick. Maria was married to another CIA agent named Jerome, after meeting just two months earlier. She'd been really sick since Thursday, which was about four days of yuckiness. I just hoped I didn't get what she had or Ian would really be breathing down my neck, trying to cure me. I hated the thought.

Donna didn't answer Ian, so he said it again, but louder. "Have you seen Kes?"

"Who are you?" Her tone wasn't exactly pleasant. "Maybe you think you're Mrs. Hamilton's boss or something? I think not. I don't like your attitude either, buster, and you should know better than to come into my place of business and treat me like this."

I could mentally see Ian's mouth hanging open, making me stifle a chuckle. Donna was good. She was an ex-cop, but wanted an easier job with less stress. Ian had no idea what he was up against. He probably thought she was a pushover, because Donna was a beautiful woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was very neat and trim and always put together, but tough as nails. At first glance, someone might think she was just a dumb blonde, but she was all but dumb. Ian was about to find that out firsthand.

"What's your name?" he snapped. "And where's Maria?"

"If you have to know…" Donna's voice had gone up another decibel. "Maria's been sick for a few days, so I'm filling in for her. My name's Donna and I don't take any lip from people like you, got it?"

I was sure she was probably close to his face, and Ian's eyebrows were up as high as they got, with a blush covering every inch.

"Have you seen Kes?" he asked in a quiet tone, confirming my belief that he was blushing.

"Sit down," she ordered. "I'll call and see if I can find her."

I made sure my cell phone tone was off and waited.

The chair in the main room squeaked, knowing Ian had listened to Donna. Score one for the ex-cop, zero for the big-shot CIA agent. We were off to a great start. I crossed my arms and grinned. I really liked this game. I just wished I had popcorn for the entertainment.

"Nope, her cell isn't on." She then dialed my number in my office and I let it ring. "She's not in the office, either. You're out of luck."

"I'm sure she's in there," Ian said. "I have to talk to her. I don't have much time." As he spoke, I heard his voice get closer to the door and knew he was going to try to get in. I sat still.

"She's not there," Donna said.

The doorknob jiggled and heard Ian sigh. "Yes, she is. The door's locked from the inside."

How would he even know that, anyway? He was smarter than I gave him credit for, because no one would know that. Maybe he could peer through the walls or something.

He banged on the door. "Kes. I have to see you."

I looked at the back door in my office. I wanted to leave, but it was locked with an extra digital combination lock on it. James made sure I couldn't get out, because if he really needed to talk to me, he wanted me to stay put. He didn't seem to worry that I might be trapped in a fire. Oh no. His needs came way above my chance of burning to death.

"James, it's Ian. Your wife--"

Ian was now calling my husband. I had to escape. Now.

"Yes. Got it," Ian said.

I put my head on the desk. There was no way I'd get out of this situation any time soon. James had the key to the door, and even Donna had to obey him, because he and I were co-owners. So much for a day off.



Buy links (updated as they come in):
  Amazon
  Kobo
  Apple iBooks

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, June 5, 2017

First Turning Point

If you've ever studied the three-act play, there's a crucial element in the first scene.  The main character has to decide if he's going to choose to get into the story or not.  That one choice decides the rest of the story.




Have a great day!
Markee

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book #57 is out! 'Little Blessings'

'Little Blessings' by Eryn Grace, is out!  It's only 99 cents for a limited time, so hurry and get your copy!

I didn't want to put this one out, because I loved reading it over and over again, but it was time to share it with the world.

I hope you love it as much as I do!  Enjoy!




Blurb:

*** CHRISTIAN ROMANCE ***

Confirmed bachelor, Dr. Calvin Neal, lives next to Gran, an older woman who also goes to his church. This tiny street is about to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, thanks to Cal being willed Gran's two great-grandchildren. According to the mother's will, Cal has to marry in less than a month.

Jordyn Kelley, a single EMT, lives on Gran's other side, two doors down from Cal. She and Cal sing in the same church choir and are friends. However, she's dead-set against dating anyone in the medical field, thanks to her evil doctor father. When she meets the children, she takes on the role of helping Cal by babysitting and making his life a lot easier, just because she feels badly for the little orphans.

Since Jordyn doesn't want to date doctors, Gran decides to play matchmaker, so Cal can marry in less than a month. It isn't long until Cal realizes that Jordyn is much more of a catch than all the potential brides Gran has in mind. She's taken on the role of mother for these two children, which is endearing to his heart. With the help of Preacher Rich, Cal just has to convince Jordyn that he's more than just a friend and she's been chosen for the job.




Chapter 1:


The screen door slammed shut as Dr. Calvin Neal carried bags of groceries into Gran's small home. He told himself this was his good deed for the day for his neighbor. But if truth be told, he liked listening to her stories. The woman had done many things in her life, from being a nurse in the military to becoming a local veterinarian for years. She wasn't his grandmother, but everyone called her Gran. He didn't even know her real first name and was certain no one in the neighborhood did. If they did, they dared not use it or she would've put them in their place. Gran was hilarious and tough as nails, really fitting into Charity Lane in the tiny town of Honeysuckle, Texas.

Gran directed him through to the kitchen. "Did you get me milk?"

"Yes. Whole milk, just what you like." He plopped the heavy bags onto her table and helped her put things away.

She hobbled with a walker, but she was more agile than he figured she'd be. If he were to guess her age, he'd say upper 80s, pushing 90, probably.

"Who's the girlfriend of the week?" she asked him next. He knew it was coming, because she always asked him that question.

"No one. I'm married to my job." He put the butter in the refrigerator. "You do realize that'll be my standard answer even if I've been married for 20 years."

"Yeah." The old woman shot him a grin. "But I'm gonna keep askin' until you finally find some nice girl."

He put the bread into the basket on the side counter. "I've only lived in this neighborhood for four months. I'm definitely an outsider and don't even have that southern twang that's hard to understand. If I found a woman, could I even understand her? Nope. People don't usually come with subtitles."

"I'm sure there are some exceptions." Gran chuckled. "If you hang around here long enough and keep on singin' in the church choir, I know you're gonna find a nice girl who can cook." She winked, the wrinkles around her eyes deepening. "If you can find one that cooks, that's half the battle."

Cal had to laugh at her. Gran was a glass-half-full type of woman.

They finished putting things away, and as he folded the paper bags, he watched Gran fall into a seat at the table. "You're more tired than usual," he said. "Is there anything you want to tell me? I'm a doctor, so I've heard it all."

Gran shot him a grin, but it seemed forced. "It's not me that's ailin'. It's my great-grandkids."

Cal stored the bags in the pantry and sat down across from her at the table. Her eyes were filled with tears and she swiped them away. He'd never known the old woman to cry, because she was too tough for tears—or so she always said.

He leaned closer. "What's wrong?"

"Remember Susan, my granddaughter? Her husband, Doug, was a firefighter. He died while tryin' to rescue Susan's parents—my daughter and her husband—in that fire. It happened a year ago next week."

He'd heard all about what had happened from Gran, the neighbors that lived behind them, and the people at church. No one seemed to be able to accept the deaths of Gran's family. Everything in Gran's world fell apart on that day.

"Yes," Cal said. "I remember. Susan was alone with two small kids. She moved to be with her in-laws, up in Nashville."

Gran shook her head as if trying to will away the sadness. "Susan died yesterday. She had cancer and no one knew it. She didn't tell anyone until she was too far gone. Her in-laws knew it but didn't tell me since I live too far away."

Cal couldn't believe it. "Susan died? What about the kids? She had two, right? A girl and a boy."

Gran nodded. "Baylee's almost five and Jeffrey is going to be three next month. He wasn't even two when Doug died."

That was awful news. "I'm so sorry. Want me to put you on the prayer list at church?"

She took a deep breath. "That's not all the news. It seems that Susan left a will."

That made sense. "She left everything to the kids, I assume."

Gran reached out and touched his hand. "Yes, but she needed a guardian for the kids. Her in-laws are too old and frail to make sure they're raised right." She shook her head. "I don't like 'em anyway. They're not nice people."

Cal leaned closer. "She left them to you?"

Gran seemed to weigh her words. "Not exactly. She and I got to talkin' one day a few weeks ago and I told her about the neighborhood. She wanted someone young enough to put in her will in case anything ever happened to her. I didn't know she was dyin' at the time, but figured since Doug died, she wanted to be ready just in case." Gran studied Cal's face. "She left those two babies to you. She also wants you to marry before Baylee goes to school in the fall, so they have two parents at home. If you don't take 'em, they're goin' into foster care. Susan was adamant in the will."

All time seemed to stand still. Cal took a moment to collect himself before he said another word. "I can't take two young kids. I have a small home next door." He pointed toward his house, still not able to wrap his head around this. "I'm not even home that much because I'm an E.R. doctor. I have to work."

Gran patted his hand. "That's why Susan wanted me to tell her about the neighborhood. The kids can come here when you're at work and I'll keep 'em until you get home. Once you're married, then you can work it out between ya." Her eyes seemed to moisten again. "Calvin, you're the best option for those two babies. I know you can do it and God will be watchin' out for you and your new wife. The kids will be here a week from today. Susan's in-laws are bringin' 'em and they want to make sure you're gonna treat 'em right." She leaned closer. "Find a date before that and you'll be golden."

"A date and a new wife." He let the thought sink in. "With two kids in a week." He couldn't quite grasp the concept. "You do realize I'm a confirmed bachelor right now."

Gran nodded with a grin. "That's why I'm havin' a tea party on Sunday with a bunch of eligible women from church comin' here. I want you to date them all and take your pick. They're all fine women who can cook." And with that, she nodded as if this was a done deal.

Cal didn't know what to do, but he didn't want to upset his neighbor. This was only Thursday, so he had a few days to find a date before he'd probably be fixed up with some homely woman who needed her self-esteem raised. He was sure Gran would do that, too, to give him more than one project to deal with at a time.

He couldn't get out of there fast enough. This was a fate worse than death to him, so he prayed he'd be saved from these potentially disastrous situations—both the tea party and becoming an instant dad.



Web page:  ErynGrace.com/littleblessings.html


Buy links (updated as they come in):
  Smashwords
  Barnes & Noble
  Amazon
  Kobo


Have a great day!
SweetTale Books

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Three Cross Faith: Edits and New Covers!!!

I just finished re-editing and giving new covers to my five Three Cross Faith books.  One reason to do so is that I'm working on #6, and needed to know what I'd written about Dylan, since the sixth book is about him.  Another reason is that I heard from one of my readers that #5 (Remember the Yellow Rose) was hard to understand, since Rosie talked about her work.  So I read over it, and sure enough, I can see why she had problems with it.

I edited all 5, to make sure they were all consistently edited, and to take a little bit of a softer approach to Rosie in Remember the Yellow Rose.

Thus, here are my five 'new' book covers.  I'm working on number six.






All of the books can be seen at http://eryngrace.com/threecrossfaith.html.  Enjoy!

SweetTaleBooks

Monday, May 8, 2017

What is a Black Moment?




Have you ever watched a movie and noticed when the black moment happens?  In a romance, the love interest saves everything, but in other genres, it can be anyone.

We just went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, part 2 (loved it, by the way!).  I won't give any spoilers, but it was so well done, I didn't really notice when the black moment happened.  But now that I look back on it, it followed the three-part play setup, with the black moment right before the ending.

Have you ever noticed the black moment in a movie or in a book?  Romances are pretty easy to figure out when the black moment comes.  The main character (usually the heroine) loses everything, just to be saved by the hero.

Let me know if you've ever noticed it.  It'll give you more of a sense of satisfaction when things go right again at the end.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, May 1, 2017

Do You have a Hero Crush?


I have a hero crush for a LOT of my characters.  My male heroes are usually based on my husband, who's a beta male, a computer geek, and a lover of all things sci-fi.  He's good looking (to me, at least...and aging very finely even if he's going bald) and has a heart of absolute gold.  He never gets upset and takes things very logically.  I consider him to be the perfect male model for all male heroes, even if the heroes are alphas.  Why?  Because he's compassionate and looks at life with a 'glass-half-full' attitude.

Thus, I seem to have a problem.  I have this huge hero crush on a lot of my male characters.  They come alive in my head and live there, entertaining me with their wit and compassion until my husband gets home.  😊

Have a great day!  I'm off to think about James, Ian, Ben, Adam, Austin, Dylan, Andy, Eric, Sean...and a host of other hero characters from my books.  LOL!

Markee



Monday, April 3, 2017

Shareable Social Image: Inner Conflict

What is an inner conflict?  If you're a writer, you need to know this:




Have a great week!
Markee

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Woo Hoo! A Milestone!

I just finished re-editing all my Markee books (14 of those), and about 6 or so of my Eryn books.  I cleaned up any typos, and slowed the pacing a bit on some of them.  It took me about six months to do that, because I re-read them all at least 3 times.  I also 'retired' all my hard cover books.

I'm going to work on the rest at some point, but those books were the oldest and needed to get up to 'speed.'

Next up...I get to WRITE again!  YAY!!!  How exciting is that?  I'm thrilled!

Have a super day today!  :)
SweetTale Books

Monday, January 16, 2017

Singular and Plural Possessive

I'm re-editing a book of mine (Wishing on Mistletoe Mountain) and came across 'Rebecca sat alone in the living room of her parents' home, replaying the night's events in her mind.'

For some reason, parents' home stuck out.  Should it be parent's home instead?  Parents is a group of people.  A crowd's home would be apostrophe s, after all.  Or should it be with an s apostrophe since parents are plural?

Off I went to the Internet.  I found it should be s apostrophe.  That's when I had a revelation.


Parents' home is the HOME OF THE PARENTS.  Parents is with an 's' at the end, so it HAS to be an s apostrophe, like parents'.

Night's event is the EVENT OF THE NIGHT.  Night isn't with an 's,' so it's apostrophe s, like night's.


Wow.  That's not even hard to remember!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Friday, January 13, 2017

Those Late Night Plotting Sessions are Brutal!

The other night, I woke up around 3:30 with a dog's four paws shoved into my back. I was facing toward the side of the bed and knew my bed real estate was diminishing.  I moved my leg...another dog had curled up around my foot and up my calf.  I was just waiting for the third dog to move on top of my head.  It'd happened before.

Usually, I just shove the dogs over to my husband's side of the bed, but this time, I lay there, trying to ignore the claws that were bound to make an appearance if the dog at my back started to dream.  I couldn't sleep, so I plotted.

Why is it the best plots happen in the middle of the night, but when you fall asleep and wake up in the morning, you've forgotten all of it?

I used to have this practice of taking a 'plotting nap' during the middle of the day.  I usually didn't sleep, but I'd close my eyes and get rid of all other thoughts except for the story I was working on.  Since I have other things to do during the day, my plotting sessions are usually brought on by snoring dogs with a hugging agenda.

Anyway, this time, I remembered a lot of the plot.  So a-plotting I go!  Lucky me!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Well I Learned Something New

Have you ever seen H/T or h/t on an article and made up words like here/there?  Well I finally looked it up.  H/T means 'hat tip.'  It gives a nod to someone who gave them the idea or information for the article.

Read more from Merriam Webster on H/T.

Very interesting!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books


Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Fun!


I love to have fun on Fridays.  That's the day we have things like pizza, subs, or French fries--in other words, foods I like to eat.

Today, I wanted to have fun but couldn't think of anything.  So I turned to the Internet and searched on 'Fun Things to Do.'

I found a bunch of things.  Up here in Green Bay, WI, it's tough to get outside in the cold and snow, so I'm thinking of inside fun things to do.

So if you want to have a fun weekend, consider any of the following:


  • play card games or board games and keep a total of wins.  The winner gets a prize.
  • go out for ice cream...even in the cold
  • try a new recipe
  • make a blanket fort and read by flashlight (fun to do, even as adults)
  • make a scrapbook
  • create a tourist booklet for your area for when people come to visit
  • rearrange the furniture in a room or clean a room--sounds daunting but it can be fun to organize everything in your house, starting with a room at a time
  • figure out what's on your bucket list
  • take a free online class for fun
  • set goals for yourself (typical for this week, huh?) for the year
  • go bowling
  • start seedlings from seeds inside, to plant outside later on
  • put together a jigsaw puzzle
  • bake cookies
  • learn how to decorate a cake
Let's see...I want to do all of these.  I guess I'll have to figure out what's best, huh?

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books


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References:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Want Something to Do?

If you've never read any of my books (or if you have), I have trailers for all of them at YouTube.  They were fun to work on and I learned a lot by doing them.  First, I had to remember the plot of all 56 of my books.  That's a feat in itself.  Then I had to pick out pictures and music to tell a teaser for the story.  I used Paintshop, Paint.net, Movie Maker, and YouTube's video creator to make them.

If you're ever interested in making book trailers like this, I think you'll enjoy it.  It's not too bad, actually!

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, January 2, 2017

Cutting Back

I had an inspiration for a book I've been working on for a while the other night, but didn't have time to work on it, because of everything else I have to do.

So I'm cutting back on blogging and social media, just to find the time to write.  Should be fun, so stay tuned!

Have a super week and have a WONDERFUL New Year!
SweetTale Books

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

May you have a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year!



Have a wonderful day!
SweetTale Books