Showing posts from August, 2011

WereWolves Among Us by Martin Gonzalez

My older son was the inspiration for, Werewolves Among Us. At the age of twelve I would help him with his paper route. He had seen a news segment on TV about the, chupacabra (goat-sucker), and the next morning he brought along this large flashlight to scare off any creatures of the night, and the, chupacabra. Needless to say I got a good chuckle at his expense. A few months later I took over his paper route & expanded it to include some backwoods, hard to get to areas. Being a fan of horror since I was a young boy, I nervously laughed at myself when I too imagined strange creatures coming for me in the pitch black of the countryside. Thus Werewolves Among Us was born.Although I was very familiar with the folklore of, werewolves, vampires, etc. I thought I would modify the perception of the werewolf myth and ideology a little, and though it’s been done before I changed a few things in my story. Some were, consequence of be injured by silver, the full moon, and the …

The Pluses at Killer Nashville

One of the major pluses of any conference is meeting new people and seeing friends you've made at other conferences, and Nashville was no exception.

Though this photo was taken at the PSWA conference, it is of a friend I've made because of the conferences--Shauna Washington. Mystery author Michael Black introduced her to me at Mayhem in the Midlands, and we met again at another PSWA conference and this past weekend at Killer Nashville. She has become a special friend to me. We sat together during a couple of panels and had lots of fun visiting with one another.

A bitter sweet connection we made at this conference was with the Nehrings, John and Radine. We've become great friends over the years at many conferences. Radine is like a best friend that I always know we can pick up right where we left off. We both admire one another's writing and we have a lot more in common. When I went to a conference without hubby, John always took it upon himself to look out for me--and …

A Visit from Mitzi Kelly, author of the Silver Sleuths Mysteries

Mitzi KellyAuthor of The Silver Sleuths Mystery SeriesFrom Mitzi Kelly's keyboard:
I grew up in El Paso, Texas in an idyllic childhood setting.We were always encouraged to use our imagination, to stay active and to read anything and everything we could get our hands on.
I moved to San Antonio, Texas in my late teens and eventually met my husband of 30 years.We have one terrific son and five very spoiled dogs.
I started my writing career doing feature articles for magazines and soon discovered that really wasn’t what I wanted to do.True stuff was boring!I wanted to create a world in which I had control of the characters and the drama.I used my love of creating fiction to start manuscripts in different genres:romance, mystery, drama.It was a ‘hit and miss’ process, though, because I was busy raising my son, holding down a full time job and helping my husband in his construction business. Thankfully, my dream of writing novels never waned and I was officially published in 2010.Clas…

Killer Nashville

Had a great time at Killer Nashville. Everything was great but most of all seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

We were tickled to spend lots of time with the Nehrings and my Oak Tree publisher, Billie Johnson. We also enjoyed spending a bit of time with Mike Black and Shauna Washington.

The panels were good and learned a few things and shared whatI knew on the panels I was on.

We also made new friends we hope to see again.

We will be leaving early tomorrow morning.


Creep by Jennifer Hillier


Why Dave Knop Chose the eBook Publishing Route

I’d like to say it’s because I get to keep more money. That is partially true, but no, the real reason is I really wanted to get published. Oh, I did all the things you were supposed to do. I am a long-term member of a great writing group. I had friends outside of the group edit my manuscript as well. I did all the good writerly things (rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite), and I went to all the writers’ conferences in San Diego and LA. I talked to agents. I talked to editors. I talked to Big Name authors.I did my research. I went online and found agents and editors who would be interested in my genre. I think I developed a list of nearly one hundred, or so. I sent out query letters, and when requested, I sent out synopses, bios, chapters, and manuscripts. Whatever the submission guidance of a particular agent/editor required, that’s what I sent them. Most of them answered my letters. Some were form-letter responses, some looked like a human had composed them. Most of them said the same…

Blacberry vs iPhone

Today I'll be flying from Bakersfield to Nashville TN to attend Killer Nashville.

So while I'm doing that, I thought I'd leave my thoughts about the Blackberry and the iPhone.

I started out with a Blackberry and I loved it. I loved the keyboard that it had and it was easy to use. I was able to set up everything on my own. Time passed and I used the heck out of that little phone--except not much as a phone, though I didn't have any trouble using it that way.

Some thing went a little haywire with it after a lot of use, don't really remember why, but it was time for an upgrade so I marched myself down to the ATandT store. The goodlooking young salesman told me it was time to have and iPhone. "You'll love it," he said and she showed me all the wonderful things I could do with it. Unfortunately, he didn't tell me how to turn it on.

A friend of my grandson's stopped by the house and showed me how to turn it on. However, neither of us co…

My Birthday

Yep, I'm another year older--how old I'd rather not say. It's pretty easy to figure out though since I'll be married 60 years this October. Yep, 60 years to the same fellow. How he's managed to put up with me, I'm not sure.

Not going to do anything special because we're headed off to Nashville TN in the early a.m. I'll call that trip my birthday present.

I don't feel as old as my birthdays tell me I should--at least not inside. I realize it when I have to hurry up, climb up stairs, try to stay awake to watch a TV show.

Anyway, it is my birthday today.


Nipomo Book and Craft Fair

I'm glad this photo is so small, because I look a lot like I felt. I'd been ill the night before--all night--from eating wild mushrooms in a salad. That's what I get for wanting to try something new.

The highlight of being in Nipomo at this book festival was seeing good friends, Barbara Hodges, Victoria Heckman and Sue McGinty. Besides all being authors, they are also members of the Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime--and I am too.

Hubby and I stayed at the Santa Maria Inn, always a fun place, but our Saturday night dinner at the Inn wasn't so great for me either. The chef was heavy handed with the salt in both my Oysters Rockefeller (which I had last year and they were wonderful but not this year) and my Tortilla Soup.

Breakfast is part of the hotel deal, and I will say the oatmeal was terrific. That's what I had both days.

I'm glad to be home, even though we'll only be here for three days, then we're off again. Am determined to go with only two…

Widowhood is Not Funny by Alanna Kvale

Feb. 23. 2004, after 35 years of marriage, my husband, Mel, had a sudden heart attack & I found myself a widow, unprepared, uncertain what came next & terrified of a future without him.

I was fortunate that my children were grown when this all happened, though my daughter still lived at home with us. I'm actually grateful that she did, she really helped me with everything, including supporting me in my desire to write this book.

My husband Mel and I were working together on his custom engraving business, making big plans for our future, looking forward to our last child leaving the nest. Our son was already married & had a son of his own at that time.

I was working doing copywriting jobs for Mel, helping him market his business, & acting as his office manager and as he called me "his creative director." In a single heartbeat, all of that disappeared. I had no husband, no business partner, no income. All our carefully laid out plans and dreams …

My Love Affair with E-Mail Has Waned a Bit

Don't get me wrong, email is one of the many things I do right away everyday. Though I get a lot of junk mail every day, I also receive some interesting letters, often a request to be a guest on my blog, or the information I've requested for someone to guest on my blog.

I love hearing what friends and family are up to, but Facebook has mostly replaced email for that kind of interaction.

I'm on a lot of lists which I enjoy reading and often get ideas for books I'd like to read, a new promo idea to try, a request for a program design for someone wanting to open a residential care facility, and much much more.

In the not so olden days, after snail mail, email was the next best thing for sending out invitations, finding out how someone was doing, letting people know what I've been doing, announcements about my latest book. Again, Facebook and Twitter and other social sites have taken over--and quite nicely at that.

I still carry my Blackberry along with me where I go a…

Great Granddaughter, Kay'Lee

Kay'Lee is now eight years old. I don't usually babysit anymore, there are lots of grandmothers around who can do the job.

The other day though I had a call from my grandson who asked if his daughter could come and stay at my house until he got off work. Kay'Lee had spent the week with her mom and two sisters camping way up in the mountains and she'd had enough sleeping in a tent on the hard ground.

When she arrived she wanted lunch--her choice, a whole can of tuna mixed with a little mayo. After she polished that off, she ate 6 Oreo cookies and two glasses of milk.

She'd never played checkers before so I taught her and once she caught on, she won. I wasn't surprised.

It was time for me to go get my haircut so her grandma came over and they watched a movie together.

From my house she was going to her another grandma's. This girl has more grandmas then anyone I ever heard of, some of them for real, others who've become grandmas for one reason or another.…

From Shadows and Nightmares

From Quintin Peterson:
I am a contributor to a recently released anthology of tales of horror and the paranormal; From Shadows and Nightmares, edited by Amber L. Campbell, which is available at,, et al. James Dorr, Jeffrey Wooten, and Michele Wyan are among the 22 authors featured in this anthology, which has something for everyone who enjoys creepy stories. My contribution is ‘Round Midnight, a cop/ghost story. Hard-boiled chills and thrills.I am known for crime writing – “the retired DC cop who pens crime fiction” – but considered it an interesting challenge to generate a ghost story rooted in the crime fiction genre.So, I combined a cop story with a ghost story and came up with ‘Round Midnight, the story of a DC cop’s on and off-duty ghostly encounters with a childhood friend who died in his youth. It begins:Police work had taken everything from me and over time had left me virtually hollow. Seeing humanity at its worst on a daily basis had taken its toll and left…

In Honor of Kay Dibblee

My daughter recently sent me the obituary of an old friend, Kay Dibblee. I hadn't thought about her in years, but as I read what was said about her, memories and tears flooded me.

Kay was one of the professionals who worked for Ventura County Camp Fire Girls way back when I started as a Blue Bird leader. Back then, trainings were held for the leaders on all sorts of things. Kay was often the person who did the training. As time went on and my girls grew older we started camping. It was Kay who taught me everything about camping and cooking out doors. I spent a lot of time with her at Camp Cielo and visiting her at her home and once she and her great husband came to visit us.

But it was other things Kay taught me that have stuck with me throughout my life. Kay was fearless. Once a bunch of leaders were headed to above Santa Barbara for a weekend training. The head honcho of CFGs didn't want us to go because the weather was horrible--it had been raining for days.

To get to the c…

John Bray's Latest, The Confidential

My newest novel, my second, is entitled THE CONFIDENTIAL, released this July by BeWrite Books.. The story is a fictionalized version of events that took place in the early 1970's. I was a lieutenant in the NYPD, admitted to the bar and recruited to work in a unit known as the Department Advocates Office. Our task was to prosecute charges brought against members of the department which were tried before a Deputy Commissioner of Trials acting as judge. During that era the NYPD went through major upheavals i.e. Serpico and a detective named Robert Leuci, His story was made into a movie entitled PRINCE OF THE CITY. Tim Dees played a clip from the movie at the PSWA conference. I left the department after 17 years, taking a vested interest pension and opened my own law practice. Some of that experience in my law practice filters its way through the book. Much of THE CONFIDENTIAL is pure fiction but I used events and people I had dealings with to form the framework. Not much research was…

Headed to Nipomo

Isn't that a great name for a city? Never heard of it before? It's on the Central Coast, just south of Santa Maria.

Truthfully, I don't know a whole lot about Nipomo except for their library and I have a good writer friend who lives there, Barbara Hodges.

Because of Barbara, for the last two years, I've participated in a sale the library has had. In the front yard crafters and other vendors put up tents and sell their wares. Barbara and I set out tables up with our books on the covered porch. (My husband loves this one because he only has to haul a table and two chairs and help me with selling my books.) Inside, the library sells used books.

This fun event is on Saturday, August 20th. Because we must set up quite early, we'll head over to the coast the day before. We love going to the coast, the weather is great and we know we'll get some great food. We're planning on staying at the historic Santa Maria Inn once again--in the old and possible haunted part.



In this story told in the form of a letter from a middle-aged man to his deceased father, Hanson invites us to journey with him through the final days of the father’s life, finding a magical transition waiting at the end of that journey. With a style that is highly personal, the narrator describes revelations, discoveries, and growth, as well as evolutions of family relationships during this period of transformation. The story weaves end-of-life reality and spiritual questioning into a sensitive and revealing tapestry of Truth and Wisdom. The tapestry is colored with true stories of mystical experiences that inform the spiritual path of the son. Like so many families today in our world of highly effective medicine and life-support, the family in this story faces the difficult and wrenching questions our culture must face: When does life begin and end? What are the complexions of distinction between bare and primitive "life" on the o…