Author of OUTBACK LOVE a contemporary romance novel set in Australia, JETTING AWAY a short story prequel to OUTBACK LOVE, MOON OVER MADNESS a paranormal romantic comedy and BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS a collection of short stories and poems about life and love. All are available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel and Kobo. On Twitter @TeriHeyer

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows - A Collection of Short Stories and Poems

"Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" is a collection of short stories and poems touching on issues that all may face at one time or another, from lost love to life changing crossroads to moments of pure joy.

Writing "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" was an emotional rollar coaster ride, as I laughed and cried right along with the people in my stories and poems. Life is like that, sometimes sad and sometimes happy. I can't help but think that if we didn't have those sad times we'd never truly appreciate the happy times.

So that was my inspiration for writing this book. It was a labor of love into which I poured my whole heart and soul. Even the saddest of these stories has a happy ending, the gray cloud with a silver lining, the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

Life may put obstacles in our path now and then, but then it offers us many sparkling moments to embrace and treasure. I like to think that's what you'll experience in reading "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows."

Buy "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" at Amazon.com and/or read a free excerpt:  BUY or READ

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fiction vs. Reality

It has come to my attention recently that some people who read fiction are expecting reality. Now I have to ponder that a moment. I have never considered reality as a definition of fiction. So maybe it's time to check with Webster's.

Webster's says of fiction: "to shape, fashion, feign," "something invented by the imagination or feigned," "an invented story," "fictitious literature (as novels or short stories)," "an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth," "a useful illusion or pretense," "the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination."

Well, I think that pretty much covers the definition of fiction. Now what about reality?

Webster's says of reality: "the quality or state of being real," "a real event, entity, or state of affairs," "the totality of real things and events."

So this is what I think/believe. Fiction is not meant to be reality. Fiction may be close to reality, a kind of embellishment of reality, it may even mimic some of reality. Some fiction touches on the darker side of reality, or the sadness and turmoil of reality. Other fiction is imagination, make-believe, fantasy, escapism, romanticism, I could go on and on. Basically, fiction is a story. It may contain bits and pieces that are close to reality, but it is still a story.

For those readers who demand that fiction be reality, perhaps they should read non-fiction instead? Or perhaps they should be more selective of what they read? Some fiction is closer to reality than others. Mainsteam and literary fiction is definitely closer to reality than say, paranormal fiction, sci-fi or fantasy.

I write fiction, because that's what I enjoy writing. I don't claim that my stories are "true stories," though you may find some truths in what I write. That is true of most authors of fiction.

When I sit down to read a piece of fiction, I'm looking for a story I enjoy reading. I want to hear an interesting voice telling an interesting story. It may be contemporary, historical, fantasy, suspense, but I want it to be a story that catches me.

I read a lot of books of all kinds. I don't stick to one genre or another. I like to be surprised when I read. I'm not talking about a bunch of action or surprise endings. I'm talking about a new way of viewing things in general, or a new view of an old story, or just a darn good read.

I'm usually reading because I want to escape. If I want reality, all I have to do is turn on the TV and listen to the news. That's about as much reality as I care to deal with, thank you very much. In reality, the ordinary girl doesn't always get to marry the prince. In reality, the prince doesn't always win the girl.

I like feel-good stories when I want to feel good.  I like scary stories when I want to be scared, which I have to say isn't all that often. I like to read about the good guys winning over the bad guys. I like my characters to find the love of their life and to have a fairytale ending. This is just me. Others read for other reasons.

It's just, as far as I'm concerned, if you're wanting to read reality, you probably won't find what you're looking for in fiction.

Since all of us have a different definition of fiction, I'd love to hear yours.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" - Now Available at Amazon.com

My latest book, "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows," was just ePubbed yesterday on 11/11/11. What a cool date to get published.

This is a collection of eight short stories and eight poems that touch on issues that all may face at one time or another, from lost love to life changing decisions to moments of pure happiness.

I enjoyed writing this book and hope you will enjoy reading it.

Here's a link to "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows," available now at Amazon.com for only $1.99.  BUY NOW

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Sneak Peek at "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows"

Here is a sneak peek at the cover for my latest ebook, "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows." I love how it turned out. My husband, Ben Heyer, did another great job in designing this cover. There is a big advantage having such a talented husband.

"Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" is a collection of short stories and poems about life, love and other important issues. It should be available on Amazaon by mid-November.

I was originally aiming for a November 1st ePub of my book, only I was sick for all of last week, which delayed the launch. I'm really excited about this collection. It's more mainstream fiction with only a touch of romance.

Some of the short stories in this collection are: "Harry's Garden," "Checking Out," "A Kiss is Just a Kiss"  and "The Night of the UFO." I hope that gives you a tiny hint at what's inside.

Some of the poems in the collection are: "Bayou Blues," "Cartwheels," "Sweet Lips of Time" and "In a Cafe."

I'll let you know the minute "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows" is available online at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learning to be an Indie Author - Part 1

Some things in life are more difficult than others. Learning to be an Indie Author is one of the more difficult ones. I love to write and have been doing so almost as long as I can remember. But translating that into ePubbed books is a long process of trial and error, learning all along the way. This is definitely not something for the faint of heart.

First off, you need a book: a short story, novella or novel. Then you have to edit until you don't want to ever see it again as long as you live. And then you have to edit some more. It helps to have other eyes look at it too. But in this busy world, it's not always easy to find someone who will go through your book with a fine tooth comb. At best, a friend or family member will read the story and let you know what they would have done if it was their book. Not sure if this is really helpful.

I've heard authors say they bribe their friends to read and edit. Oh, yeah? And just where did you find those wonderful friends? I don't know anyone who has the time to carefully read and edit a novel, let alone a short story.

Even when I belonged to writers' groups, they only edited anywhere from the first three pages or, if lucky, the first chapter. No one edited a whole book for someone else, not even when I was a member of the Cactus Rose Chapter of RWA. I still have all those old edits on partials that I boxed up years ago. Gee, I really loved the comments like, "I wouldn't put a kid in the story if I was writing it." Well, if I took the "kid" out, it wouldn't be the same story. Sheesh! Or how about, "A four year old wouldn't talk that way, she'd talk baby talk." Huh? My two and a half year old twin granddaughters don't even talk "baby talk." They talk in full sentences and the words are very clear. So edits like that don't help a writer at all. Those kind of edits/comments are just someone else's opinion and nothing else.

For instance, my husband wrote a sci-fi story that was edited by a writers' group. One of the edits was, "Your premise is all wrong." So what are you supposed to do? Throw out the whole story? Another writer said, "I loved your story." So do you keep the story? Or throw it out? Or completely rewrite the thing?

Having friends/family members edit could cause life-long resentments between said parties. I'd hate to lose a good friend over some stupid comments made about my story, novella, novel. Of course, I have some great friends who, for some perverse reason, happen to like what I write.

So now we come to the aspect of having a stranger edit your book. There's the major problem that Indie Authors are usually pretty poor and can't afford to pay a few hundred dollars to have someone edit their books. Yes, there are "starving writers" out there, just like there are "starving artists." Several hundred dollars per book for edits just isn't in my budget right now. This is where I apologize to my readers. I can't afford an independent editor.

There are some advantages though. I have a Bachelor of Arts in English. That has to count for something. I know how to edit and have edited other peoples' writing, so I should be qualified to edit my own. Plus, I did technical writing for years. I mean, I was actually paid to write. So that should count for something. So I can and do edit my own work. It doesn't mean I'll catch everything, but I do the best I can.

Now we're back to square one about learning to be an Indie Author. You've written your book and edited the heck out of it. Now you have to make sure it's formatted correctly. So you go over and over it with another fine tooth comb to correct any formatting problems. You and Word have become close friends and adversaries at the same time.  You learn to plead with Word and praise it and, at the same time, curse it's quirks. But eventually you get the formatting right too.

Now, you have to learn how to ePub on Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords and if you're really daring, on other sites. The first few times is often trial and error. What's a vetter error? You'd better read the Smashwords Style Guide. KDP has it's own quirks too, so you have to read the Kindle Direct Publishing Style Guide too. In fact, you start reading style guides and how-to-ePub books like they're going out of style. You learn some things, but mostly just get confused. Eventually, you just jump in there and ePub your first book.

You think the second book will be easier to ePub, but you're wrong. By the time the second book is ready to ePub, you've forgotten everything you learned the first time around. The third book isn't much easier. I'm told that eventually it all starts to click in your "old brain" and it gets easier. I'm still waiting for that moment.

Before I forget, Indie Authors need to learn about book covers. Remember all those gorgeous book covers that you've taken for granted for years? Well, now you have to create one of your own. If you have an enterprising, talented (though very stubborn) husband like I have, then you're halfway to a good cover. I must say some interesting arguments (fights?) can occur over book cover design. In the end, if you're lucky (and still married) you have a great book cover. Then you have to figure out how to add the cover to your formatted book. Nope, nothing is easy in the early learning process, but it has to improve somewhere down the line. Doesn't it?

I'm realizing now that this post is a really long one. So I'm breaking it into parts in order to get Part 1 out there. Part 2 will be posted soon. Thanks for your patience. Oh, did I forget to mention that patience is one of the most important parts of being an Indie Author? Well, I'll get into that later.

(NOTE - Please forgive me for any errors in this post. I don't have time to do a fine-tooth-comb edit of this post. I just wanted to get this info/advice out there for anyone thinking about becoming an Indie Author. I don't intend to discourage anyone. My intent is purely to let you know that it's not easy. Read all you can about ePubbing and it will help you along the way. I would spend more time on this post, only I have my next ebook, Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows, which is running behind schedule. I intended to make the book available online today. Only I was sick for the last week and lost all that time. So please forgive me for the delay. Bayou Blues... will be available in the next week or so. Thank you for being patient. Please check back over the next few days to read more posts about "Learning to be an Indie Author.")

Thursday, October 27, 2011

JETTING AWAY is Now on the Amazon Top 100 Free eBooks List

JETTING AWAY went FREE on Amazon sometime last night after I had gone to sleep. So I woke up this morning to a great surprise. By the time I checked on my sales at Amazon/KDP, 328 people had already downloaded my free book. At that point I was really excited.

If you don't already have my ebook, please use the link below to download a FREE copy of JETTING AWAY on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Jetting-Away-ebook/dp/B005JGE9R0/ref=zg_bs_154606011_39

I had always intended for JETTING AWAY to eventually be offered as a free ebook since it's a short story prequel to my contemporary romance novel, OUTBACK LOVE. Of course, both books can be read as stand-alones, but I hoped my readers would decide to read both books.

I lowered the sales price of JETTING AWAY to free on Smashwords first. Barnes and Noble quickly followed suit and so did Sony. Though I contacted Amazon, they decided to keep the book at .99 cents. I tried to explain to them how important it was to make the book available as a freebie, only I kept getting the same answer back. No.

So I was ultra-excited this morning to find that Amazon finally decided to make JETTING AWAY a free ebook. I must say, it has been really fun today watching the free sales increase and the ranking go up, up, up. The last time I checked the stats, 2192 free copies of JETTING AWAY were downloaded. That was in less than 24 hours. In the morning the sales ranking was #574 out of millions of books on Amazon. By afternoon my book was ranked #89 and on the Top 100 Free list. As the afternoon progressed, the ranking went higher to #82, then #39 and the last time I looked #33. My other two books are selling too. So this is very exciting for a new indie author.

I am excited by this day and humbled too. For someone who has been wanting/dreaming of being a writer since I was of grammar school age, today has been the best of the best. I thank all who have downloaded my books. It means a lot to me that you are willing to try a new writer. I strive to be the best that I can possibly be. I'm sure I have much to learn. This will be an evolving, growing, strengthening process. I have so many stories to tell. Yes, I am humbled by you all being willing to take a chance and read my books. Thank you so very much.

For those of you who haven't yet read one of my books. Please download a FREE copy of JETTING AWAY on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Sony or Apple. Please tell your friends and family members about my books too. It's very difficult for a new indie author to enter the book market, so I need all the support I can get.

A little story about today. I've been sick since last Friday with a sinus infection due to seasonal allergies. I try to avoid doctors and can usually get well on my own. But yesterday I lost my voice. Yep, laryngitis. So when I woke up this morning to all that excitement over my books, I wanted to scream with joy, only I couldn't even squeak, let alone talk or shout. So while all this excitement over sales and rankings were happening this afternoon, I was at the doctor's office to get antibiotics so I can get well. Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to scream and shout with joy. For now, I'd like to get my voice back so I can at least talk. I can't even call my family or friends on the phone today, because no one can hear what I'm saying. I have to admit that it's rather funny than I can't talk about this. Everyone who knows me, know that I love to talk. But for today I have to be quiet and write out my joy and thanks.

I have to say a special thanks to the gang at Twitter who helped make this all possible. In particular, indie authors Ruth D. Kerce, Russell Blake and David Bain helped along the way. They would RT (re-Tweet) all my Tweets and their Followers would RT and so on. I could never has done this all without you.

Also, indie author Russell Blake fought really hard to get his ebook, ZERO SUM, to go FREE on Amazon, which happened a few days before my book. He fought the good fight for all of us indie authors for price matching on Amazon.

I also need to thank Amazon too for finally making the decision to let JETTING AWAY be a free ebook on Amazon.

 I also have to say a special thanks to my friend of many years, author Ruth D. Kerce, for pushing me every step of the way to get my books out there for others to read. Note - Ruth offered lots of advice and moral support too. So thanks to a very special friend.

Special thanks to all my family members, friends and author/friends who forwarded my emails to others who forwarded them to even more. Believe me, it takes a really big village to sell a book. I know I'm forgetting names here, but you all know who you are. As my five year old grandson would say, "We're a team."

I know things will slow down again, but I intend to enjoy every minute of this high. I also intend to get busy writing and finishing my next books. I have two new ebooks that you'll be seeing soon. BAYOU BLUES AND OTHER SORROWS  is a collection of short stories and poems that I've wanted to publish for a long time. MOON OVER MISTLETOE is a paranormal novella that should available by the end of November.

(Please forgive all the extra adverbs, adjectives, etc. in this post. I'm too excited to edit them all out.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Importance of a Great Book Cover

I realize now the importance of a great book cover. Until I started ePubbling my own books, I never thought all that much about covers. Sure, I was attracted to an eye-catching cover, which always made me look inside the book. Only I never thought about how that happened. I guess it was just an automatic reaction, which I never realized I was doing. Now I study covers voraciously, online and at the bookstores.

I've come to the following conclusions. I've always look at any book with a moon on the cover. Don't ask me why, I just do. I guess it's because I've been totally fascinated with the moon since I was a kid and my dad brought home a telescope. I was instantly hooked. Although, until recently, I didn't realize it made me pick up certain books. Having "moon" in the title is also enough to make me take a second glance at the book.

Well, I love horses, dogs, flowers, seashells, the beach and tranquil landscapes too. So I realized I tend to look at books that have one or more of those elements. It doesn't mean I buy every book, but it does ensure that I stop and look. I now realize that if your book cover doesn't catch the reader's eye, you probably won't sell many books unless you're a big name author. On the other hand, I've been known to buy a book, now and then, just because I fell in love with the cover.

I'm a history fanatic, so I tend to look at books with medieval covers, particularly with knights and/or castles.. I've had a lifetime fascination with the westward movement, maybe because some of my ancestors traveled the Oregon Trail. So I look at books with covered wagons or just about any image that depicts pioneers. Maybe that's why I first fell in love with Louis L'Amour's books? I own just about every one of his books and so far have read more than half of them.

As a kid, I made my mother buy me every one of Marguerite Henry's books because of the beautiful covers of Chincoteague Ponies. I had the whole Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House Books," because of the pioneer covers. I first fell in love with "The Phantom Tollbooth," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Savage Sam," "The Enormous Egg" and "Island of the Blue Dolphins," because of the wonderful covers.  I still have my childhood copies of those books. Of course, it helped that the stories were incredible too.

My husband, Ben Heyer, is designing the covers for my ebooks. We're going through a trial and error period. I'm pretty picky about what I want on a cover and he's just downright stubborn. So, at this stage of the game, my covers are all a compromise. I'm getting better at conveying what I'd like to see on the cover and Ben is getting a bit more patient with all my changes. For now, it's still a learning process.

Ben is already designing covers for some of my upcoming books. I'm excited about what he's creating and anxious to get the books finished just so the cover can be attached to the book. Now isn't that a silly reason to hurry up and finish writing a book? However, it's also a good incentive to keep writing.

In the meantime, Ben just redesigned the covers for "Jetting Away" and "Moon Over Madness." I like these covers better than the original ones.  He just made a few changes here and there, which made all the difference.

So it comes down to this. I look at a book because of the cover. I may even buy it just for the cover. But finding a great story inside is what makes me keep the book and continue to rave about it for years and years.

My goal now is great stories with great covers. Gee, that's asking for a lot. Will I succeed? I certainly hope so. I have lots of stories to tell, so Ben will have lots of book covers to design.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Contests, eBooks, eReaders and More

My "Moon Over Madness" Contest was a bust. Apparently no one wanted a free copy of my ebook. Okay, I understand, I think. Who wants to take a chance on a new author? I can understand not wanting to pay an enormous amount of money for an unknown. But free? That surprises me.

As I've said before, I'm a voracious reader. So when I discovered the Kindle eReader, I had to have one. What an incredible invention, to be able to carry hundreds, thousands of books in one little device that fits in your purse. Believe me, I carry my Kindle everywhere I go. Gee, I might get stuck on the top of the three mile bridge going over the bay. Hey, that's happened to me before, twice. So I just pull out my trusty Kindle and start reading until the traffic starts moving again.

What I love about having a Kindle, or any eReader for that matter, is the fact I have a whole library at my fingertips. So I can switch what I'm reading to fit my mood of the moment. My Kindle currently contains 429 books, everything from classics to history to romance to mystery to paranormal, to mystery/suspense, you name it. I have another 640 books in my Kindle archive, which I can transfer back to my Kindle at any time.

So here's the thing. New indie authors, and occasionally big authors, offer a book for free. Sometimes it's via a contest and other times on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple, etc. I'm always looking at the freebie books. It's wonderful to discover a book I may never have noticed. So I download freebies that catch my eye and I've discovered some wonderful books. I also enter book contests whenever I can, even though I've yet to win one of those contests. Oh well, there's always a first time.

I've discovered some really wonderful indie authors by reading a freebie ebook first. I've also come across some big authors I used to read, but who sort of slipped by the wayside. So my Kindle has a goodly number of those freebie books. But it also has bunches of ebooks that cost .99 cents to $3.99. That's my impulse price range. If the book looks interesting I buy it with a click and give it a try. Wow! It's like stepping into paradise, a world of books and all there by a single click.

Okay, I admit, I'm a book addict. I can't get enough books. I have bookshelves all through my house. Shelves of old favorites to be read again and again. Shelves of history books. I absolutely love reading history. Shelves of classics. I've been reading classics since I was a kid and still love them. Shelves of art books. Yep, I love to paint (landscapes and still-lifes in oils or acrylics), so art books and art magazines are a must. I have bookshelves just for paperbacks and others for hardbacks.

Yep, I'm definitely a book addict. Even though I own more books than I could possibly read in a lifetime, I still buy more. My husband grumbles from time to time. After all, he doesn't enjoy reading, unless maybe a science or travel magazine from time to time. Though he's a voracious reader on the Internet.  Huh!? And why did I marry a non-reader? Well, that's something I'll have to write about on a later post. Anyway, he grumbles from time to time and then continues to ignore all my books.

Well, I could ramble on and on about books. Suffice to say that I'm disappointed no one wanted to enter my contest for "Moon Over Madness." It's a really fun book, so I hope there are readers out there willing to take a chance on this ebook by a new indie author. The price for "Moon Over Madness" is only .99 cents and it's currently available online at Amazon and Smashwords. My two other books, "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away," are available online at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple and Sony.

For those who have already taken a chance and have started reading my books, I can't thank you enough. It's nice to know my books are getting read and enjoyed by other readers. For my, as yet, small following, I have many more books in the works. So please check back to hear about my latest releases. I should have two more books out there before the end of the year. One is "Moon Over Mistletoe," a paranormal novella sequel to "Moon Over Madness." I've yet to decide what the second book will be. I have several different books in progress. It will depend on which of my characters insist that their book has to be released next.

Once again, many thanks to my readers. Thank you too for letting me take this time to rant. Oh, before I forget, my ebook, "Jetting Away," is currently a free download on Smashwords and Sony. It should soon be a freebie on Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. "Jetting Away" is a short story prequel to "Outback Love." As I've mentioned before, they can be read as stand-alone books, though I hope you'll enjoy reading both.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Moon Over Madness" Contest

I am excited about the recent release of my paranormal novella, "MOON OVER MADNESS." If you love quirky characters, witches, vampires, ghosts, dragons and dogs, then this is the book for you.

Here's a link to read a free excerpt of "Moon Over Madness" on Amazon.com (when you get to the book page, click on the "Look Inside" feature on the book cover).

http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Over-Madness-ebook/dp/B005T8MQD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318115374&sr=8-1

I had a lot of fun writing "Moon Over Madness." Some characters weren't planned and just wriggled their way into the story. I swear, I didn't even know the dragon lady's name was Sabilla until my characters told me. Sometimes they know things I don't.

Since I love dogs, particularly big ones, most of my books will include a colorful doggie character. Jake, the overgrown puppy in "Moon Over Madness," is modeled after a real life dog that I met at PetSmart. The real Jake was shopping for new toys that day. He was a big, lovable guy with soulful eyes and giant puppy paws. Like I said, I love big dogs.

Well, I've decided to try another CONTEST. I tried this before with my novel, "Outback Love," but no one seemed interested. So maybe I can do the contest the right way this time? So HERE'S THE DEAL. All you have to do is COMMENT BELOW and make sure you leave your email address.

There will be THREE WINNERS, picked at random by my giant puppy, DUDE, who turns one year old this month, weighs over one hundred pounds, and you can see photos of him on my blog. I'll read off all the comments and see which three he responds to. Yes, Dude is very vocal and "ah-roooooos" all the time. He also tips his head from side to side in listening and is in love with tapping my keyboard with his giant head. ( NOTE - Since Dude will be the judge in this contest, it might be to your advantage to mention something about dog biscuits or treats in your comments.)

The CLOSING DATE on the CONTEST will be SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th, 2011 at MIDNIGHT. The WINNERS will receive an eBook Kindle Copy of "MOON OVER MADNESS," which is why I need your email address.

Thank you so much to everyone who enters my contest.

I love hearing from my readers.

(Please note, my eBook, "Moon Over Madness" is available at Amazon (US/UK/DE/FR) and Smashwords. "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away" are available at Amazon (US/UK/DE/FR), Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and Apple. They should soon be available on Sony, Kobo, Diesel and Scrollmotion.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Moon Over Madness" Released

I am really excited to announce that my latest ebook, "Moon Over Madness," a paranormal witch/vampire/ghost novella was released today. It is now available online at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. This was a really fun book to write with lots of twists and turns and interesting characters, including a hundred pound puppy named Jake.

Amazon link to "Moon Over Madness"

http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Over-Madness-ebook/dp/B005T8MQD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317957417&sr=8-1

Smashwords link to "Moon Over Madness"

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94451

Thursday, September 29, 2011

October Release of "Moon Over Madness"

October and Halloween are almost here. What a perfect time to release my latest book, "Moon Over Madness," a paranormal witch/vampire/ghost novella. This ebook will be available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com for .99 cents in the next few days.

Chantel Deneuve is a half-witch who chose to deny her witch heritage and move away to East Hill, Florida, to raise her two young daughters. Unfortunately, her long ago ex-husband, Colin Rowe, has implicated Chantel in an antiquities theft he committed years before. As Halloween nears, danger and madness ensues. How will Chantel combat the assortment of ghouls who come to take back the treasure?

First off, Chantel didn't know anything about the theft. So how can she give back something she's never seen and doesn't know how to find? Enter vampire, Riordan "Rio" Martainn, who just happens to live down the street from Chantel. Rio arrives at Chantel's doorstep late one night and offers his services.

Chantel is wary, but charmed, by the handsome Rio and listens to his plans to help her seek the missing antiquities. She needs his help, whether she wants it or not.  Now the lives of her daughters and herself are at stake. In the midst of this madness, Rio's vampire friends help out, along with an assortment of witches, ghosts and more. As the chaos increases, Chantel and Rio find themselves drawn to each other. Neither is looking for a romantic interest, but as everyone knows, you can't fight love.

"Moon Over Madness" is a light-hearted read. Although there is romance in this novella, nothing too racy ocurrs in the story. Chantel and Rio try denying their mutual attraction, but in spite of their efforts, their relationship grows beyond their control.

You'll be able to read more about Chantel and Rio in upcoming books. The next Chantel Deneuve novella, "Moon Over Mistletoe," will be released in early December.

I hope you enjoy "Moon Over Madness." I had a fun time writing this story and hope you will have as much fun reading about the adventures of Chantel, Rio, and their friends.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Winners

There were no winners for my "Outback Love" contest.  I guess no one wants to win a book by a new indie author. Oh, well. Maybe sometime down the line?

This brings to mind writer/author, Karin Cox's, recent blog post about "Respect." It's all about the need for respect between authors and the need for respect from authors for their readers. I think all writers/authors should read that post. You can find it at: karincox.wordpress.com

I'm noticing there's a great deal of animosity from established authors against indie authors. I haven't personally experienced animosity directed at me, but I've heard from other indie authors, ones who have been out there in the fray longer than I have. In some cases, it's carried to the point of hatred. Apparently, established authors think indie authors are going to take away their books sales and fans. Well, if an indie author is good enough to attract fans and book sales, then bravo. That's an author who should be published, whether it's with a big name publishing house or ePub.

The ePub industry is here to stay, whether established authors like it or not. I understand, that's a scary proposition. Will paper book sales drop? Yes! Will ebook sales increase? Yes! That's a fact of life. Times are changing. We can't stop progress. So we just have to learn to live and work with it.

I have to admit the ePub industry is a Godsend for me. I started writing seriously in my college days. I got zillions of rejection letters, but none were rejected due to the content of my writing. I was told one novel, "Firefall," sounded great, but it was too long (899 pages) for an unpublished author. I was advised to write something shorter. I wrote "Outback Love" and was told that they'd publish it if I was already a published author. Huh?

I received rejections from agents, my favorite being, "If I could only have worked with you from the beginning." The beginning of my novel? The beginning of the romance industry? The beginning of the publishing industry? The beginning of time? I never got an answer on that.

Yes, I kept every one of those rejection letters. I wanted to keep a paper trail of my writing career. Due to all those rejections, I wrote in spurts. A year or two of writing and then years of working, family and living life. More years of writing. Then more years of living. This pattern went on and on. All those years in between just added more fuel to the fire. It gave me more life experiences to write about, more travels and locales to add to my books.

I'm not the kind of person who gives up easily. Though the years I've just kept writing. A poem was published in a literary magazine. Several articles about boating were published in national boating magazines. I wrote bunches of short stories, none of which were published, but I enjoyed writing them. My favorite rejections on my short stories were received on "Harry's Garden." I received two rejection letters on the same day for "Harry's Garden." At that time, I'd long since given up sending my stories out to just one magazine at a time. I was sending the stories out to two or three at a time, supposedly a no-no, but I did it anyway. Oh, my!

Anyway, two rejection letters arrived simultaneously for "Harry's Garden." One said, "I love the beginning of your story." The other said, "I love the end of your story." Huh? I thought, why couldn't the two get together and decide they loved the whole story? By the way, I love "Harry's Garden" and it will eventually be ePubbed in my collection of short stories and poems, "Bayou Blues and Other Sorrows," which I plan to ePub before too long.

Rejection letters don't mean you're a poor writer. Acceptance from a publishing house doesn't mean you're a great writer. It's all about writing the best novels, novellas, short stories or poetry that you can. Then it's about timing. Was the reader having a good or bad day? Had the reader just finished three manuscripts ahead of yours, all with the same theme? Did your reader just happen to love your hero or heroine, because the reader identified with one or both at that particular moment in time? It also has a lot to do with luck. Did the stars, moon and planets align in the precise way on that particular day?

I don't regret getting rejection slips through the years. They made me a better and more determined writer. For several years I was a member of RWA and the Cactus Rose Chapter. Along with a couple other writing friends, we started Desert Rogues, our own writing group. Several writers came and went in our group, but eventually there were just four of us, whom I mentioned in a previous blog post, but here they are again: Ruth Kerce (who writes erotica, ruthkerce.blogspot.com ), Michele Bardsley (who writes urban paranormals and romantic comedy, michelebardsley.com ), Nancy Lynn (who wrote a really fun romantic comedy) and me, Teri Heyer (contemporary romance, paranormal and trying other genres). So now all four of us are published authors. Really cool.

At some point, I'd like to think the animosity between authors will eventually ease up. After all, we're all in this great big pot together. Some are on the top of this stew and others are simmering on the bottom. But when the chef comes along and stirs that pot, we're all going to get mixed up. Hey, I love food, so I had to use that analogy.

Anyway, I respect all writers/authors, big and small, established and indie. All of us have some great stories to tell. I'm a voracious reader myself, so I respect all readers too. I know what it's like to have a big name author treat a reader like crap. Yep, a couple big-time authors have been on my "Do Not Read" list forever, because they were so rude to me when I met them that I'll never again buy one of their books.

Writers/authors need to remember that every person out there is a potential reader. So be nice. Play nice. Treat your potential readers with respect and they'll stick by you forever, through thick and thin. They'll forgive your writing a slow, boring book now and then, so long as you follow it up with something good down the line. But treat your readers like crap and they won't buy your books no matter what you write. And it could be as simple as your reader saying, "Oh, it's so nice to meet you." Only you don't respond and turn your back on said reader. Believe me, it happens and all too often.

For those of you who are interested, I'm going to keep writing. My next release is a novella, "Moon Over Madness," which will be ePubbed by next week. It's a light-hearted paranormal about witches, vampires, ghosts, and those are the good guys. There's some bad guys too. It's a fun read for October and Halloween.

Many thanks to all who have waded through and read this particular blog post. I needed to say these things and I hope you all understand. Many more thanks to the readers of my books.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Win a Free Ebook Copy of My Novel, "Outback Love"

Here is my CONTEST. I have decided to award a FREE ebook copy of my contemporary romance novel, "OUTBACK LOVE," which is set in the Australian Outback, to the WINNER of this CONTEST. See entry rules below.

Priscilla Alexander is a city girl from San Francisco who desperately needs to get away from her high-stress advertising job and her dysfunctional parents who are getting a divorce after 30 years of marriage. So, in spite of the fact that Priscilla doesn't like to travel, anywhere, she decides to take a lengthy adventurous holiday through the Australian Outback. Alone.

Priscilla isn't interested in finding Mr. Right, particularly not in Australia, half a world away from her comfortable city life. But sometimes life doesn't go the way you have it planned.

Ian MacAlister, an Aussie who looks more like he should be wrestling crocodiles, isn't looking for his soul mate, particularly not stranded on a muddy Australian road. So what is he to do when he comes across Priscilla and her van which is stuck in the mud on a lonely highway?

Priscilla doesn't want Ian's help. And he doesn't want to help her. Only he feels obligated to come to the aid of a damsel in distress. Sparks fly and an adventure begins. Will Ian convince Pris that he really is her Mr. Right? Will Priscilla accept the fact that Ian is actually her one true love? Follow their romantic adventure through the Australian Outback.

ENTRY RULES: Now here's the deal with the CONTEST. I'm going to award a free ebook, Kindle copy, of my novel, "Outback Love," to the person with the best romantic destination. The contest will end next Tuesday at midnight on September 27th.

HOW TO ENTER: Tell me about your ideal romantic destination. Is it somewhere in the Caribbean? Or maybe in the South of France? Or what about the Scottish Highlands? Or maybe it's in you own backyard? The person who writes about the best, most unique, most romantic destination will win the free ebook, Kindle copy, of  "Outback Love." Enter by posting a COMMENT below at the bottom of this blog post.

I'm going to invite my author friend, Ruth D. Kerce, to help me decide on the winner. Ruth has two new, really HOT, short story ebooks, "Into the Storm" and "G-String Gentleman," now available online at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes&Noble.

The winner will  be announced on my blog and also notified by email on Wednesday morning, September 28th. The link to the free ebook copy will be emailed to the winner. So please be sure that I have your email address.

Many thanks to all who decide to enter this CONTEST. I'm looking forward to hearing about your romantic destinations. I might even write a book set in your romantic locale.

Please note that "Outback Love" is available online at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble and Apple. My ebook, "Jetting Away," a short story prequel to "Outback Love" is also available at the same online venues. Both "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away" can be read as stand-alones, but I hope that my readers will enjoy both books.

"Outback Love" was inspired by a three week long, 5000 mile trip, that my husband and I took a few years back through the Australian Outback and other parts of Australia. The trip was a wonderful, grand, exciting adventure. I feel very fortunate for having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel there. Australia is a beautiful, exotic country. Definitely a romantic place to visit. According to my baby sister, Lisa, it's also a great place to live and raise a family, as she's been living there for the last three years.

I hope you all enjoy reading my books, "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away." Also, my newest release, a paranormal vampire/witch/ghost novella, "Moon Over Madness," should be available online in early October.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Love of Books - Part 1 - Childhood and Teens

My love of books goes back as far as I can remember, which happens to be a very long time ago. I  was around two and a half then, because that is when my brother came home from the hospital and he was a tiny baby in my first memories of books.

As with most children, our mom and aunt read lots of books to us: picture books, story books, fairy tales. My very first favorite book was a beautifully illustrated copy of "Thumbelina." To this day I can still picture her tiny elfin figure among the flowers and leaves. I'm sure I actually held the tiny Thumbelina in the palm of my hand way back then. A next favorite was a pop-out book about Santa Claus and his reindeer. I had to be three and a half then. The illustrations of Santa were classic, with his big round belly, chubby cheeks, pink nose, white hair and beard, red suit and jaunty red hat. Rudolph was there with his bright red nose leading the other reindeer and, of course, the sleigh was filled with a big bag of toys.

I know Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" were favorites of mine at an early age. So too were the Terhune dog stories that Mom read to us. I also loved O'Henry and Mom read my favorite stories to my brother and I over and over again. To this day, my favorites are "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief." Now all that was long before I could read on my own.

I have early memories of going to the library and sitting on the floor looking at shelf after shelf of books. How excited and proud I was to check out story books and bring them home for Mom to read to us. I can still picture those bookshelves and the musty smell of the library as if it was yesterday.

I remember the very moment I learned to read. It was like one minute I couldn't read and was just staring at the pictures and words. The next minute something clicked and I could read the words. The book was "Dick and Jane." From that moment on there was no stopping me. I read every book in my path. It meant at the library I could move up to the shelves for early readers and oh what a treasure trove that was to my young eyes.

From there I moved up again to the "Betsy and Tacy," "Five Little Peppers," "Little Women," Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew series. I read every one and most more than twice. Other standouts from those early years were "The Enormous Egg," "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates," "Old Yeller," "Savage Sam," "Island of the Blue Dolphins," "Hetty, Her First Hundred Years," "The Bronze Bow," "Silver for General Washington," "The Wrinkle in Time," "The Yearling" and "The Phantom Tollbooth."

Back then, I remember meeting Scott O'Dell at a bigger library in the next town over. When he signed my copy of "Island of the Blue Dolphins," I told him I was going to grow up and be a writer someday. He said, "Good for you."

In 5th grade something bewildering happened. My teacher decided I was reading too many books. Can you imagine a teacher saying that these days? My parents were called in for a parent/teacher conference and I had to be there too. The teacher insisted that I read too many books, so that I daydreamed too much and therefore didn't spend enough time playing with the other kids. Huh? Was this actually a problem? To this day I fault that teacher for her reasoning.

I have been and always will be a dreamer. Put me on a desert island with absolutely no books and I'll still daydream. There are stories in my head and they'll never go away until I take my final breath. So my teacher's thinking that taking away my books would stop the daydreaming was ludicrous.

To make a long story short, my parents and teacher came to a compromise. By the way, no one listened to what I had to say about books. Anyway, for the rest of the school year I wouldn't be allowed to read any fiction, only non-fiction. This teacher, who loved science, decided that fiction was the culprit. Sheesh! What did she know?

So I just moved into another section of the library and read nonfiction. I read every biography, travel book, science book and adventure book that the library had to offer. Daniel Boone, Davy Crocket, Francis Marion the Swamp Fox, pioneers, cowboys and Indians were added to my favorites. Gee, I had better, more vivid, daydreams after that. I have to admit that I even read our classroom science text book from cover to cover too. So my love of history and science came about because of that teacher. Reluctantly, I had agreed to spend recess time running around the school grounds with the other kids. Funny thing, the other kids and I talked a lot about books when we weren't galloping around pretending to be wild horses.

That brings me to all the horse books I read. "Misty of Chincoteague," "Stormy, Misty's Foal," and all the other Marguerite Henry books. "Black Beauty" was another favorite. I was obsessed with horses at the time, so I read every fiction and non-fiction book I could find on horses. I even slept with a ceramic palomino pony on my pillow, but that's another story for a later time.

I think I was around nine or ten when I told the librarian that I'd read every book in the Children's section of the library. I was very distraught. Were there no more books? I remember that librarian's secretive smile as she led me to the Adult section and introduced me to a new treasure trove of books. Conrad Richter's Awakening Trilogy: "The Trees," "The Fields" and "The Town" were the first ones I read. Then it was on to every classic I could get my hands on. "The Last of the Mohicans" (one of my favorites to this day and which I've read many times), "Treasure Island" and  "Robinson Crusoe." Jessamyn West's "The Friendly Persuasion" is one of my favorites from that time. I read so many books then, I could go on and on.

About that time I realized that my favorite Disney movies were actually taken from books. So I read Mary Stewart's "The Moon-Spinners," which is my number one favorite to this day. Then I read "That Darn Cat," "The Prince and the Pauper," "Kidnapped," "The Swiss Family Robinson," and so many others.

At fifteen I came down with mono and was extremely sick for several months. I missed two months of school and a teacher was sent to my house to tutor me. What a brave soul he must have been. About the only thing he really had to tutor me in was math. To this day I really dislike math, but that tutor made algebra seem fun for the only time in my life. Again, that's another story. However, I remember that the tutor and I talked a lot about books.

The really great part about being sick with mono was that I read every waking moment while propped up in bed. Primarily I read classics for those two whole months, because that's what my mom brought me to read. By then we had a little magazine/bookstore just around the block from us. So Mom would stop by there and buy me paperback books. I reread old favorites like "The Moon-Spinners" and "Far from the Madding Crowd," and ones I'd never read before, of which "The Portrait of a Lady," stands out as an all time favorite.

In high school I read all the required books: "A High Wind in Jamaica," "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "The Temple of Gold," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Scarlet Letter," "Great Expectations," "The Great Gatsby," "The Red Badge of Courage," "Frankenstein," "The Catcher in the Rye," "Daisy Miller," "Turn of the Screw," "Wuthering Heights," "Jane Eyre," "Hamlet" and "Romeo and Juliet," All were added to my favorites.

Outside of high school I read a lot of classics: "Pride and Prejudice," "The House of Mirth," "Lady Bovary," "The Age of Innocence" and more of Shakespeare (I received a BA in English Lit due to my love of Shakespeare). That's also when I read "Gone With the Wind" for the first of many times. Then I discovered James Michener, of which my favorites were "Hawaii" and "The Source." Other favorite books at that time were "The Thorn Birds," "Roots," "The Turnbulls," "Christy," "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace." I'm sure I've left out a bunch of my favorite books from back then.

I graduated from high school at the age of sixteen, just a month short of my seventeenth birthday, and started college three days later. My college days brought about an even greater love of books. So I'll save that story for Part 2.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Procrastinating

I'm probably better at procrastinating than anything else. I have no problem finding one thing or another to distract me from what I should actually be doing. Though I like to think I'm not alone in this trait. I must be related to Scarlet O'Hara, because I'd rather think about or do something tomorrow rather than today.

Well, this isn't a good trait for a writer. So I'm having to write against the grain, make myself do now what I'd much rather do later. Oh, I have lots of story ideas bouncing around in my head and as many more partials in boxes in my closet. Those are all stories/novels I'll finish later, much later.

Anyway, it was a milestone for me to ePub my books "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away," because I would have rather finished them later. But I did something uncharacteristic for me and wrote both of them in record time. I write fast, when I make myself  sit in the chair and write. It also helped to have a fair amount of nagging from my husband, mom and best friends. But now I'm in the groove so to speak. I've made a bargain with myself. I give myself time to procrastinate and then I sit down and write, usually around 2,000 words a day.

So let's see, there's that box of partials in my closet. I will get to them, one by one, eventually. But in the meantime, these new stories keep popping up in my head and insist that I write them first. I guess it's pretty much a case of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." The stories that clamor the loudest in my head get written first. The others have to wait their turn, because I'm busy procrastinating.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm procrastinating right now. I should be finishing my novella, "Moon Over Madness," which will be released as an ebook in early October. Instead, I'm writing this blog post about procrastinating.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dude: The Story of a Hundred Pound Puppy

This is the story about my hundred pound puppy, Dude. I rescued Dude from the pound last January. I had lost my sweet Nikki, a ten year old Lab/Chow mix the previous October and was still mourning her loss. Then on a Friday afternoon in January, I swear my dog Nikki told me to make a trip to the pound.

I looked at the twenty-four dogs offered for adoption. They were all mature, older dogs, not what I was looking for. I was sure Nikki sent me to rescue a puppy. I started to leave and a man came out of the back building and walked up to me. Hmm! I decided to ask if they had any puppies. He told me no, none available for adoption. Then he asked what kind of puppy I was looking for. A big one, I explained.

I told him about losing Nikki following two and a half years of diabetes, then kidney failure and uncontrolled seizures. Nikki had been on Vetsulin, twice a day for two and a half years. The last year she was totally blind, but had no problems getting wherever she wanted to go. Nik was a happy dog right up to the very last day. The kidney failure came on over her last few months and the seizures only in her last few days. She was able to recover from her first grand mal seizure, but a week later she seized again and it couldn't be stopped. I took Nik to the vet's and was with her to the last moment of her life. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Just the previous year in November, I'd lost Maggie, my ten and a half year old Lab/Chow. Maggie had been with me since she was ten weeks old and I had a really rough time dealing with her loss from Hemolytic Anemia, a type of blood cancer. She was doing fine one day, sick the next and passed away seventeen days later. It's very difficult recovering from such a sudden loss of a very dear companion and family member.

So as I talked to this man at the pound, I explained all this. I only had one of my three dogs left, Shani, an eighty-five pound, fluffy, Collie/Chow mix. Yes, I love Chow mixes as they tend to have wonderful temperaments and are very sweet and lovable. I wanted a puppy who would be a companion to Shani and I. We were both still mourning the loss of Maggie and Nikki.

The man at the pound thought for a minute and then said that he had my puppy, who had been brought into the pound just a half hour before. He said the pup was around four months old and nineteen pounds, that an elderly woman brought him in (to be euthanized) because she couldn't afford to feed him. He was just too big. So this man took me into a back area and showed me the pup.

The puppy took one look at me and started wagging his tail which wagged his whole body. The man said the elderly woman thought the pup was a Lab/Burmese Mountain Dog mix and he asked if I wanted the puppy. Well, of course. So he went to talk to his supervisor. While the pup and I were communicating through the chain link gate, the puppy slid his front white paws under the gate so we could meet properly. I was sold. There was no way I'd leave that puppy in the pound facing an uncertain fate. The life or death decision was to be made that night.

When the man came back, he took the pup out of the pen so I could hold him, which was quite a fete with a wriggling bundle of fur, nineteen pounds in size. The man said that if I wanted the puppy I'd have to adopt him right then, because the shelter was closing in thirty minutes and the pup might not be there the next day.

I went to the front desk and paid the $76 adoption fee. I was told the puppy would be neutered the next morning and I could pick him up in the afternoon.

I went home and didn't say a word to my husband, Ben, who had decided we weren't getting any more dogs. Hmm! What did he know? The next afternoon, Saturday, as I was heading out the door, I told Ben about the puppy and he wasn't too happy. Too bad, I was getting him anyway.

At the pound I took custody of my new puppy. He didn't have a name, the elderly woman hadn't told them what name, if any, that she'd given the puppy. This pup was a wiggly, golden bundle of fur with four white feet, a white chest, and floppy ears. All the way home I tried to pick out a name and then decided I'd leave that up to Ben.

As I walked in our front door carrying the wiggling puppy in my arms, Ben said that was the biggest puppy he'd ever seen. Shani, on the other hand, took one look at the puppy and decided she didn't want him in her house.
I went into the back yard and we walked around. Shani ventured out and decided to get a closer look. The puppy was excited to have a new Mama Dog, but Shani wasn't sure she wanted that role.

Ben stood on the patio and looked skeptical. He knew there was no way he'd get me to take this puppy back. So he gave him a name, Dude, and the name stuck. First off, we discovered that Dude liked to retrieve tennis balls and chase and retrieve a Frisbee. He also had a penchant for my flower pots on the patio. He'd empty out the flowers and potting soil and then roll around on the grass with the pot. He'd also toss the pots around (never broke any) and carry them with him everywhere. Well, I'd never seen a puppy or a full grown dog who loved pots. We also discovered that Dude didn't bark, he "ah-rooooooed" instead. And boy was he a talker. He would "roo-roo" and "ah-roo-rah" and had quite a vocabulary of sounds. Well, I love talking dogs. Nikki had been a talking dog too.

A couple days later I took Dude to the vet and was told that the puppy wasn't quite three months old, instead of four months. That meant he was going to get really big, eighty to one hundred pounds. Oh well! Like I said, I love big dogs. The vet also said he didn't see any Burmese Mountain Dog in Dude, but thought he was some kind of retriever mix. When we came back home, Ben pointed out that it would take a lot of food to feed this pup. Well, we'd just buy giant bags of puppy food, the kind for large puppies.

For all the months since January, Dude has been a wonderful, enjoyable, goofy, wiggly, lovable bundle of fur. Now we couldn't ever imagine him not being in our lives. Shani reluctantly decided to be his Mama Dog and the two are now inseparable.

Dude hit the hundred pound mark at around nine months of age. Now, at ten and a half months, he's well over one hundred pounds. I need to take him to Pet Smart to get weighed, as Pet Smart is closer than the vet's office, which is twenty miles away.

Dude carries a tennis ball in and out of the house. He even sleeps with one. He still loves Frisbees, but he ate the last one (spit out most of the pieces). So he doesn't have a Frisbee right now. Most of the new tennis balls I've given him, he's buried in the backyard. The one he carries around is an old tennis ball that used to belong to Maggie. Maybe he knows that Maggie left it for him?

Dude outgrew his love of my flower pots and now leaves them alone. He gathers sticks and leaves and brings them inside the house and puts them on his bed. He goes outside after dark and chases tiny frogs and moths. However, he always wants a bodyguard/escort when he goes outside. That's because a few months back a Mockingbird thunked him on the top of his head and then some bats chased him. Dude has a long memory and wants Ben or I to go out with him to chase off the birds or bats. Hopefully he'll outgrow that. After all, he's a giant puppy and should be able to take care of himself.

Surprisingly, Dude is now red in color instead of gold. He has a beautiful coat and a long, powerful, fringed tail that he wags like a fan. We think he's probably a mix of Golden Retriever, Irish Setter and Rhodesian Ridge Back Hound. His fur rises in a ridge whenever he get scared and he "roos." Both are traits of Rhodesian Ridge Backs. He has webbed feet which means he's some kind of retriever. His coloring is definitely Irish Setter and he has the height of an Irish Setter, but he's more solid like a Lab or Retriever. He requires lots of ear and belly rubs. He's a really sweet puppy dog who loves everyone, including our three grand kids, our neighbors and everyone at the vet's office.

Our grandson asked not long ago if Dude bites. I assured him, no. "But Nana," he said. "Are you sure about those teeth?" Yep, Dude has really big teeth.

You'll be hearing lots more Dude and Shani stories, plus a lot of pictures.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let Me Review Your Books

Now that I have two of my own ebooks out there, "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away," I am finding that book reviews are hard to come by. I offered free copies of my books to anyone who would write a review. Obviously, that did not go over very well. However, it has come to my attention that I am just one of many writers who are not getting reviews on their books.

So here's the deal. When I'm not writing I'm reading, which means I usually read a couple books per week. I know that's not a lot, but then I do most of my reading at night as I'm a night owl. Well, I've decided to offer a free review to anyone who would like me to read their book. I don't know if anyone will take me up on this offer. But it's worth a try. I don't expect anything in return, it's just something I'm willing to do.

Since I do most of my nighttime reading on my Kindle, I would prefer a Kindle copy of your book. In return, I'll write the review on Amazon.com. I already write reviews on books from time to time on Amazon. Those are on books I've read and particularly liked. If you look at my reviews, most are pretty short. However, I would be willing to write a lengthy, detailed review if you'd like.

I'm not going to write a 5-star review if I don't think your book merits it. On the other hand, if I don't feel that a book should receive 4 or 5-stars, then I don't write a review. So if I read your book and don't feel it should receive a 4 or 5-star rating, I won't post the review unless you want me to. In that case, I can send the review to you first if you'd like.

There are a lot of books out there I'd love to read. Unfortunately, my book budget is limited at this time. So my reading your book and writing a review would be a win/win deal for both of us. I'll get to read a great book and you'll get an honest review.

I've never made this offer before, so I don't know if anyone will take me up on it. I'm not about to accept pay for a review. This just seems like a nice thing to do and something I would enjoy.

At this time I would only be interested in reading Contemporary or Historical Romances or Romantic Suspense, as that's what I usually read. Since I'll only have time to read one or two books per week, it would have to be on a first come, first served basis.

For those who might be interested, my qualifications are: a BA in English Lit, years of tech writing, love of reading, I do a lot of blogging, and the fact that I've pretty much been writing one thing or another forever. My first two ebooks, "Outback Love" and "Jetting Away," are available on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble and Apple. Both will also be available on Kobo, Sony, Diesel and Scrollmotion in the near future. I have other books in the works. "Moon Over Madness," a paranormal witch/vampire novella, will be released in early October 2011. "One Family's Secret," a mainstream novella, and "Moon Over Mistletoe," a sequel novella to "Moon Over Madness," will be released before the end of the year. "Murder on Sunday Beach,"  a mystery/romance novel set on the Florida Gulf Coast, should be released in early 2012.

I'm looking forward to hearing from any interested authors.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking for Readers/Reviewers for "Outback Love"

One of the things new authors need more than anything else is readers who are willing to review their books. For that reason, I am offering a free copy of my debut novel, "Outback Love," to the first few people who respond to my request. It will be a Kindle Edition and sent to your email address. Since I have to pay for these copies, I will only be able to send a few free copies. In return, I would appreciate it if the reader would follow up with a review on Amazon/Kindle. Of course, I can not force you to write the review, but hope that you will do so in return.

As a new indie author, I don't know if this is the appropriate way to do things. So please understand where I am coming from here. I wrote what I believe is a very entertaining novel, a contemporary romance set in the Australian Outback. This book was a labor of love inspired by an adventurous three week, 5000 mile trip my husband and I took through Australia a few years back. It was a grand adventure and I write about all the locales we visited on our trip.

Priscilla Alexander is a city girl from San Francisco who never travels anywhere. However, her high-stress job, in addition to family problems, drives her to escape as far away as she can get. So Priscilla ends up in Australia with an old conversion van and a plan to drive through the Outback on her own. Only her vehicle gets stuck in the mud at the very start of her trip and things after that don't go quite as planned.

Ian MacAlister, who comes across Priscilla and her van, doesn't have time to help a damsel in distress. On the other hand, he still feels obligated to help her out. Priscilla doesn't want Ian's help. He looks too dangerous to her. Besides, she's an independent female and believes she can do everything on her own.

"Outback Love" is the story of Priscilla and Ian and their trip through the Australian Outback. Priscilla fears she has found her Mr. Right, but at a time and a place that is totally wrong. Will Ian be able to convince Priscilla and himself that they're meant to be together? Please read "Outback Love" to find out.

As I've already said, if you'd like to be both a reader and reviewer, please let me know. I'm anxious to hear from you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Outback Love" - The Story Behind the Story - Part 1

It was very exciting this morning to see that my debut ebook, "Outback Love," is now available at BarnesandNoble.com. This is one more milestone for a new indie author. "Outback Love" should soon be available online at Kobo, Sony, Apple and Diesel. Now all I need is some more readers.

For those who don't already know, "Outback Love" was inspired by a three week, 5000 mile road-trip, my husband Ben and I took through the Australian Outback a few years ago. It was a grand adventure that we began in the end of June, which was the beginning of winter in Australia.

We arrived in Melbourne, New South Wales, Australia in the middle of the night following a 13 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles, California. We were tired, exhausted, ready to get some sleep, because I'm never able to sleep on a plane. Unfortunately, our new luggage was damaged in flight due to a hydraulic fuel leak on the plane. So here we were in the middle of the night with an oily mess of luggage. When we unzipped the luggage, much to our horror, at least half of our clothes were covered in that same oily mess.

It took close to an hour to convince the airline that they were responsible for the damage. Finally they handed us a bunch of red, white and blue striped, zippered bags and told us to put whatever we wanted to keep in those bags. Then they took our two duffel-style roller suitcases and gave us a receipt. We were told to come back at 9:00 the next morning to receive a check for $200 in damages.

I then called the hotel I had booked to ask for the free transportation that was part of our hotel stay. Only the desk clerk who answered said they didn't do airport pick-ups after midnight. Huh? No one mentioned that when the hotel was booked. Well, the next step was to get a cab. Only it turned out the cabbies wouldn't accept American dollars and the money exchange booth at the airport was long since closed for the night.

At this point I was about ready to sit down and cry. I had done all the bookings for this trip and it was all starting out bad. Then a Good Samaritan stepped forward in the form of a friendly, middle-aged, Australian business man. This kind man said he'd listened to our whole ordeal over the luggage, no transportation from the hotel to pick us up and now no Australian money to get a cab. He handed me a twenty in Australian dollars and assured me that would be enough for the cab ride to the hotel. I tried to offer him American dollars in exchange and he declined. He said that sometime down the line I was to help out another stranded tourist in return. Definitely a "pay it forward" kind of agreement.

Totally exhausted, we finally made it to the hotel. By this time we were well into the wee hours of the morning. After a quick shower we fell asleep in very hard twin beds. No, I hadn't requested twin beds, but the desk clerk said all the doubles were already taken. I managed to fall asleep in spite of the hard mattress.

My husband's older sister, Barb, and her husband, Dick, were traveling with us. They'd managed to sleep on the plane so hadn't been as tired. Their luggage and clothes were not damaged by hydraulic fluid. Though their hotel room also had hard twin beds.

In the morning I was counting our blessings. Only half of our clothes were oily. So the oily clothes were in separate striped bags from the good clothes. We'd traveled pretty light, so we didn't have much of a wearable wardrobe. We got some weak coffee for breakfast, but that was better than nothing, but no food was available. I swear that when I booked with that hotel they'd advertised a free continental breakfast.

To make a long story short, we exchanged some money at the front desk so we could all take a cab to the airport. Then, after a little haggling, we finally got our check for $200 U.S. Then another cab ride to the rental place where we were supposed to pick up our rental conversion van to start our trip through Australia. My husband, who was going to do all the driving, noticed immediately that the van's four tires plus the spare were all bald. We weren't about to venture into the Outback in a vehicle with bald tires. So after more haggling the rental people agreed to put new tires on the van. Only we had to wait in their lobby for several hours while that was done.

It was mid afternoon before we were ready to start out. I was very apprehensive by that time. I'd planned our trip day by day, having figured out how many miles we could travel each day and had booked all the hotels in advance. We had our doubts about making it to that night's destination. Because of the long delay waiting for the tires we didn't get to visit the sights I'd planned for us to see in Melbourne. We had to head out immediately and didn't even have time to search for a market where we could stock up with some food and other supplies.

I think at this point Ben, Barb and Dick were not that happy with me. With the trip starting out this way, what would happen next? I had my fingers crossed and I was praying that the rest of the trip would go smoothly.

Please continue to check back to read the rest of "The Story Behind the Story" of "Outback Love."

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Do You Like To Read?

Everyone has their own favorite genre of books they like to read. Sometimes that never changes and the reader sticks to the same type of books over and over again. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with that. Reading is a very personal thing and we all read what we like the best.

Others read a variety of books. I fit in that category. I read everything. Sometimes I get on a kick and read all I can get in a particular genre or subject. Yet my reading is often as changing as the weather and is maybe even influenced by the weather or the seasons. I love history so I read a lot of non-fiction history books, but at the same time I read a lot of historical fiction. Then again, I'm always a fan of contemporary fiction, romantic suspense, mystery/romance, paranormals, chick lit and even suspense/thrillers.

So now that Halloween is approaching I'm reading Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse Novels, starting with "Dead Until Dark." I read that one on my Kindle and finished it last night. What a great read! Of course, I'm a "True Blood" fan on TV, so it's about time that I read the books.

I read a lot of books on my Kindle. Some of the ebooks are by new indie authors. I love finding a new author to add to my favorite authors' list. A few indie books that I've read recently are "Eyewall" by H.W."Buzz" Bernard, "Murder on the Rocks" by Karen MacInerney, "Beneath the Honeysuckle Vine" by Marcia Lynn McClure, "Hot Tea" and "Sweet Tea" by Sheila Horgan, "Wading Home" by Rosalyn Story, "A Little Death in Dixie" by Lisa Turner and "Love at First Flight" by Marie Force. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of those books and recommend them all.

I'm usually reading more than one book at any given time. Always a history book, a paperback novel and something on my Kindle. I never leave home, even for a short excursion, without either a book or my Kindle. So I can honestly say I'm addicted to books.

When I used to live in Las Vegas, which which several years ago, I was a member of the "Cactus Rose" Chapter of Romance Writers of America. Then three of us broke off from "Cactus Rose" and started our own independent writers' group, "Desert Rogues." An assortment of writers came and went, but eventually there were four of us who stuck it out. Two of the four have gone on to be very successful writers: Ruth D. Kerce, who writes paranormal and contemporary erotica, and Michele Bardsley, who writes paranormal urban vampire books and romantic comedy.

Ruth Kerce's two latest short story erotica indie books are "Into the Storm" and "G-String Gentleman." Both are really fun to read if you're into something hot, hot, hot. Ruth also writes for Ellora's Cave and Changling Press. Her books are available online via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, etc. and at bookstores everywhere.

Michele Bardsley's latest book, "Must Love Lycans" is a new Signet release. It's the latest in her Broken Heart Vampires Series. Michele's books often hit the best seller lists and are available both online and at bookstores everywhere.

Nancy Lynn, the third member of our "Desert Rogues" group, wrote "Whatever It Takes" which came out in paperback a few years ago. Nancy stopped writing for a few years, but I'm pleased to announce that she's back to writing again and "Whatever It Takes" will soon be re-released as an ebook. I'm looking forward to other books she'll be writing.

I was the fourth member of "Desert Rogues." I wrote "Outback Love" and "Firefall" but neither book was published back then. I was known as "The Queen of Partials" because I wrote the first 3-4 chapters of about a zillion books. I finally burned out and turned to painting, first acrylics and later oils. After painting well over 150 landscapes, still-lifes and a few figurative paintings, I finally burned out from painting. Though for several years my paintings were available and sold from art galleries in the Vegas area and in Florida.

Fortunately, with the ePub industry, I've been able to publish two of my books, "Outback Love," a contemporary romance novel set in the Australian Outback, and "Jetting Away," a short story prequel to "Outback Love." Both books can be read as stand-alones, but I like to think you'll want to read both. Retired now, I have lots of time to write. So one by one my books will be available online as ebooks via the usual venues: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple and Diesel. I hope that eventually some of my books will come out in paperback, but for now they'll just be offered as ebooks.

I'm currently working on "Moon Over Madness" a paranormal witch/vampire novella, which should be available by the beginning of October, in time for Halloween. I'm having a fun time writing that one. Half-witch, Chantel Deneuve, and vampire, Rio Martainne, have a very interesting relationship. My next book, "Murder on Sunday Beach," a cozy mystery/romance novel, is also in the works. Artist, Abby Love, and Deputy "Bo" Bodine are faced with solving a murder that has hit too close to home. This novel should be released  in early 2012.

I like to think you'll enjoy reading my books and will add my name to your list of favorite authors. I have lots of books that need to be written. So please keep checking back for my latest releases.

In the meantime, keep reading, both your old favorites and new authors like me. We authors have lots of stories to tell and need a bunch of dedicated readers to enjoy our books.

Many thanks to all my readers. Thanks for trying out a new and upcoming author.

I hope that in the comments section following that you'll mention books you've recently read and would like to recommend to others. We're all always looking for new books to read.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Indie Authors

I've started wondering if indie authors are supporting other indie authors. I can't help but feel that's important in this ePub industry. After all, if we don't support each other, like buying each other's books, then who will? I, for one, buy a lot of indie books. Finding a new author is exciting. So I search for the indie authors and download one ebook after another onto my Kindle. What a wonderful surprise as I read each book. And the coolest thing, I keep going back for more. Am I addicted to indies? Maybe so.

So what I'm asking is, am I the only one? Or are we actively buying each other's books? This is important. We're in this together and, it seems, we need to stick together. This is a "Paying it Forward" kind of thing. I buy your books and someone else buys mine and so on to keep the ball rolling.

Remember, as indie authors we're starting out at a grave disadvantage. No one knows who we are. That's a scary proposition to readers who want to know what to expect. We're an unknown quantity. But, trust me on this, we indie authors have some great stories to tell.

So set aside some money each month, whatever feels right, and spend that amount on indie ebooks. Try out new authors, new story ideas. Take a chance. I've been doing this for a long time and have come across some great books by some wonderful authors. In fact, I did this long before I became an indie author myself.

Think of it this way. What if you threw a party and nobody came? That's how it is for us indie authors. We're having a party and right now we're waiting to see if anyone walks through that door.

Well, enough said. I just had to get this out there. Sorry to anyone who might be offended by this. It doesn't mean we're abandoning our favorite authors in order to buy unknowns. No, we'll keep reading our favorites and at the same time discover some new favorites.

It's like when my grandson was asking me about my giant 100 pound puppy, Dude. I assured him that Dude was really sweet. "But Nana," he said. "Are you sure about those teeth?"

Well, I can't guarantee that every indie book you buy will be the best of the best. But chances are, you'll discover some really great reads.

A special thanks to all readers who take a chance on us indie authors.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stormy Nights

Stormy nights are not necessarily conducive to writing. For the last three days and nights we've been whopped by Tropical Storm Lee here on the Florida Panhandle. Lightning strikes, thunder so heavy it sounded like we were under siege, deluged by rain. Though I have to admit we needed all that rain since we've been under drought conditions for ever so long.

Tornado Watches and Tornado Warnings are a bit unnerving, particularly when a tornado or water spout is spotted nearby. Two sleepless nights in a row. The first night I did some writing. The second night I couldn't think clearly. Too tired even to read, which is saying a lot.

Now I'm instantly reminded of why we evacuate in the face of a hurricane. The winds, rain, lightning, thunder, are not particularly fun. I love the clean air after the fact, even love the sight and sound of the rain, but the rest can be a bit much. Tropical storms, being less than hurricanes, we just hunker down and endure.

My dogs, Shani and Dude, finally decided that it is okay to pee and poop in the rain. Dude, the pup, even found that playing in the rain can be fun. But this morning the winds are so strong even a dog might blow away.

I think the storm blew away most of our tourists here on the Panhandle. There's news footage of tourists complaining of not being able to swim in the gulf and having sand blown in their eyes. Ah! Sorry, but we can't schedule perfect weather here for holiday weekends.

I have to get back to my writing. More coffee is what I need to get my brain kicked into gear. Two cups isn't enough, so I'm going for three. At some point the light is going to click on and I'll be back in the game. In the meantime, I'm watching The Weather Channel, CNN and HLN and seeing that we got off easy here on the Florida Panhandle. No real flooding here. Only "baby tornadoes," so very little damage. Lots of leaves and tree limbs to pick up. In a few days we'll be back to wanting more rain. Go figure.

Friday, September 2, 2011

"Moon Over Madness"

This is the season for witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls. So it's the perfect time to be writing my latest book, "Moon Over Madness." Imagine a half-witch meeting up with a vampire. Add a couple precocious kids, a hundred pound puppy, some meddling neighbors who happen to be witches, a grandmother who wants to be part of the action, a couple dragon hunters, an angry female dragon, some really bad guys and you get the picture. This is a really fun novella to write and should be as much fun to read. So I'm working really hard to get "Moon Over Madness" finished in time for an early October release.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What to Write?

What to write? This is a big question for all writers. Of course, we write what we personally enjoy. That's a given. But often that isn't what others want to read.

I've been studying the book market. Paranormals are big, I mean really big. Vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts and others I still know nothing about are more popular than a sweet romantic comedy or a historical romance.

How many times have I heard the words, "Write what you know." Duh! Then my writing, and the writing of so many other authors, would be sooooo boring. Personal experience is limited, so the corresponding fiction would also be limited.

Write what you love? I love dogs, horses, travel, family, friends, laughter. That sounds like romantic comedy to me. Do I write that? I guess I do. My contemporary romance novel, "Outback Love," and my short story prequel, "Jetting Away," can be considered romantic comedy. So do I keep writing in that genre?

I love romantic/mystery/suspense. In fact, I read a lot of books in that genre. So is that what I should be writing? I guess that's why I'm working on "Murder on Sunday Beach" at this time. I find it difficult to write about blood and gore, so mine is more of a cozy mystery. Will others want to read it? I certainly hope so. Abby Love has so much promise. She's trying to get by in the world. Trying too to hold her sometimes loving, sometimes crazy, often dysfunctional family together. Can she keep her sister, Chelsea, out of jail? Chelsea has been a challenge since day one, when she entered this world, and Abby feels totally responsible for her actions. It doesn't help that Deputy Chase Bodine keeps getting in the way. Of course, Abby doesn't mind looking at Chase, he's a sight to behold. No, Abby doesn't mind looking at Chase, but she sure as heck doesn't want to be confronted and dogged by him. Chase has an attitude and an agenda, both of which conflict with Abby's struggles to hold her small world together. Well, it goes without saying that I will finish writing "Murder on Sunday Beach," the first in my Abby Love Mystery Series.

Now comes another question. Will I write something that would be daring and edgy for me to write? Something so not me? Yep, I'm doing just that. Chantel in "Moon Over Madness" has come charging onto the scene. Chantel is struggling to deny her genetic inheritance. After all, she's only half a witch, from her mother's side, and half what else? Normal? Not exactly! But her college professor father certainly doesn't fit into the witches and warlocks category. So who or what is he? Chantel never wanted to know about that side of her genetics until now, when it matters. The answers are threatening the welfare of those she holds closest to her heart. Then there's the problem of her neighborhood going downhill, big time. What with the new crowd who's moved in, witches next door and vampires down the street. Yep, the neighborhood is going downhill.

As for the question, what to write? I guess I'll write everything I can think of. And the characters who pester me the most will get their book(s) out there first.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ePub of "Jetting Away"

Yea!!! The ePub of "Jetting Away" happened yesterday. It's a short story prequel to my contemporary romance novel, "Outback Love," but it can be read as a stand-alone. "Jetting Away" is available as an ebook at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

It's so exciting to now have two books out there. Once again, I'm on a "high" and can't wait to finish writing the next one, "Murder on Sunday Beach." Guess I'd better get busy in order to meet my self-imposed September deadline.

My dogs, Shani and Dude, think I'm spending way too much time writing my books. However, all I had to do is remind them I'm earning money to buy them dog treats. Hey, that's all it took. Now they're taking a mid-day nap and snoring away.

Friday, August 26, 2011

To Family and Friends

To my family and friends, if you happen to discover your likeness in one of my books, please forgive me. Your character strong-armed me and insisted on being a part of the story. Believe me, I have no control over this. And remember, only you and I know who you are.

In the meantime, the latest one to push his way into a story is my ten month old, 100 plus pound, liver-red puppy, Dude. Part retriever, part setter, part hound and 100% love. He's a big, goofy pup who loves everyone he meets. Just be careful, because he's been known to knock people down in his exuberance. So far, two and counting. Dude doesn't bite, but as my grandson asked, "Nana, what about those teeth?"

Dude rarely barks, but he is a talker, with a "Roo-roo" here and an "Ah-roooo" there. Well, Dude wriggled his way into my latest book, "Murder on Sunday Beach." In the doggie character by the name of "Roo," he takes center stage from the moment the story opens.

"Murder on Sunday Beach" is a mystery/romance set in the quaint beach community of Sunday Beach off Scenic Highway 30A. Sunday Beach is my creation, but 30A is a very real, beautiful part of the Florida Panhandle.

Now as I was saying, some of you may have cameo appearances in my books, while others, like Dude, may hold center stage. Enjoy reading about your alter egos and please forgive me for any parts you don't like. Remember, these stories are fiction and I have a very vivid imagination.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Jetting Away"

I'm just finishing up writing a short story prequel to "Outback Love." This is the story of what happened in San Francisco that made Priscilla Alexander want to escape to the Australian Outback.

Things were not going well for Priscilla at work. The morning's big meeting was disastrous. At first, Priscilla locked herself up in her high-rise office. Then a co-worker, Darcy, convinced her that she needed to get out of the office for a few hours. Maybe head to the salon to have her hair and nails done?

Priscilla escapes from the office and heads to the salon, stopping en route to buy a couple of yummy donuts from San Fran Donuts. Then she stops at a magazine kiosk and buys a copy of "Travel Adventures Magazine." That's how the escape idea comes about.

A couple weeks later, Priscilla is jetting away to Australia and an unforgettable adventure into the Outback. She's already dreamed about meeting a to-die-for hunk in the Outback. But she isn't looking for any guy, hunk or non-hunk. She doesn't need a Mr. Right. She doesn't need anyone. Priscilla wants to make this escape all on her own. Or does she?

"Jetting Away" should be available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com in the next few days. It will be offered as a "freebie" eBook download. So don't hesitate to get your free copy of "Jetting Away." You'll want to escape to Australia right along with Priscilla.

Great News for "Outback Love"

I'm excited to announce that "Outback Love" is now available as an ebook on Smashwords.com, in addition to Amazon.com. More venues means more readers. Now I'm waiting to hear if "Outback Love" will be accepted for premier publishing, which will make it available on Barnes & Noble online and Sony online. I should know about that in the next week or so.

This is all happening so fast. One minute I was unpublished and the next published. Really cool. This makes August an important month for me. And I just thought August was a hot summer month. Go figure.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Outback Love"

I'm really excited about the ePub of my debut novel, Outback Love, a contemporary romance set in the Australian Outback, which is now available as an ebook on Amazon.com. It's currently listed for .99 cents, which is a bargain in this economy. Please buy my book today and help out a "starving writer." That said ... I had a fun time writing Outback Love and hope that you will have just as much fun reading my story.

Priscilla Alexander, a city girl from San Francisco, is taking an extended vacation, alone, through the Australian Outback. She is not looking for Mr. Right, not in Australia and not in the Outback. But Ian MacAlister, an Aussie hunk wearing a bush hat adorned with crocodile teeth, comes to her aid. Will Priscilla decide that Ian is her Mr. Right after all? Will Ian decide he wants to fill that forever role in Priscilla's life? Please read this story of Priscilla and Ian's romp through Australia and the Outback as they struggle with their momentous decision to stay together or walk/run away.

The inspiration for Outback Love was a 3 week, 5,000 mile journey through the Australian Outback which I took with my husband, Ben, a few years back. It was a grand adventure and many of the locales we visited are written into the book. We traveled the Outback in a conversion van and actually stayed at all the hotels and motels I wrote about. We came back home with bunches of photos, a very long home-movie and lots of memories and dreams. Would we venture back to Australia and the Outback? Yes, in a minute, only we'd take more time to visit all those places we missed in the first trip.

As far as writing goes, I've been writing since my grammar school days. I had a vivid imagination even then and wrote about cowboys and Indians, traveling the Oregon Trail, dogs, horses and adventures.

I'm so excited that, with today's technology, books can now be published as ebooks. So Outback Love is my debut novel on Amazon.com. It's now available as a download to your Kindle, PC, iPhone, Blackberry, Nook or any other eReader.  If you don't own a Kindle, then just download the free Kindle Reader App from Amazon.com. It's a wonderful way to enjoy reading.

Outback Love should be available on Smashwords.com within the next few days or so. I'll be sure to announce it here on my Blog when that happens.

I'm currently working on my next novel, Murder on Sunday Beach, which is a mystery/romance set on the Florida Panhandle amidst the white sugar-sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first book in the Abby Love Mystery Series, which should be available on Amazon.com and Smashwords.com in the next few weeks.

My husband, Ben Heyer, and I also wrote a Futuristic/Thriller, Firefall, which will be offered on the same venues as Outback Love. The trilogy, which should be available in the fall, is Firefall: The Rising (Book 1), Firefall: The Journey (Book 2) and Firefall: The Dawn (Book 3). I'm working on the final edits now.

In future posts I'll be adding some of the photos I took in Australia, in addition to photos of our beautiful Gulf Coast beaches.

Please check back to hear the latest news on my writing, future ePubs, and adventures.

You can read more on my Facebook page and my Amazon Author's Page.