Category Archives: Blogs
Welcome to Pen of the Dreamer, where I welcome guest authors with their beautiful covers on UnCover Monthly!
I also enjoy sharing a little of my life once in a while to let you know more about me. This weekend I was so fortunate to meet my new little nephew, Dean Lewis! He’s just over 4 months old and lives several hundred miles from us, so this was my first meeting with the little hottie (to-be) and he absolutely stole my heart. I can’t express how exciting it was to spend two days with little monkey butte! He seems to always have a ready smile, no matter who or what it’s for. My husband and I made this cute coat hook/night light for him. His nursery is done in sailor/ocean theme and he seems to like this new piece! (I do take orders for these, contact me at email@example.com.)
Lots of pics were taken, though not nearly enough! LOL Say hello to Dean!
So, I’ve changed the days I post this feature to the second Monday of each month, instead of the first Monday. Go HERE to get the application, read carefully, then hurry and submit your covers! Remember, the early bird gets the prime slots. 😀
For now, enjoy more awesome cover art by the incredible authors and artists who make them possible for you to gaze upon each month. It would be great if you leave a comment letting everyone know what you think about them and maybe even check out a few author links to meet those behind the books. Or just say hi. Don’t forget to tell your friends to stop by so they can appreciate some greatness, or get in on the fun, too!
This feature is only to highlight the authors and artists, instead of the actual book (though if you see one you want to buy I’m sure the authors won’t mind 😆 ). Enjoy this months’ covers to ogle and explore. If there is one provided, you can follow the artist links by clicking on the name, if there’s an artist link provided, to learn more about the amazing creators of these beautiful covers.
- Normally I wouldn’t post with so few covers to share but, due to promises to these authors, I am sharing just two lovely covers this month. Please enjoy! Send your covers to the link below to see your books here!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Title: Crimson Heart
Crimson Series, bk 2
Author: Georgiana Fields
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel 327pgs
Heat Level: 4- hot- sex
Publisher: Gilded Dragonfly Books
Cover artist: Gina Dyer
Release date: March 28, 2016
Reporter Caitlin MacPhee lives in two worlds. Celebrating her 200th birthday, she has finally found her true mate. Following her mother’s advice to throw sexy human detective Raven O’Brien to the floor and have her way with him is not her idea of romance.
Caitlin has never revealed to Raven her true nature or the depth of her desire for him or his blood. Conflict over her continued involvement in a series of bizarre murders leads to passionate declarations.
Raven is intrigued, not afraid when he learns of the Dhampir, but finding out about Caitlin doesn’t prevent him from worrying about her when the actions of a vindictive reporter places Caitlin in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
Will Raven and Caitlin be able to survive a kill as well as their differences to build a life together?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Knights of Honor, Bk 5
Author: Alexa Aston
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 4
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Cover artist: Dar Albert
Release date: August 21, 2017
1375 A.D. – When Sir Christopher “Kit” Emory’s beloved mother falls ill, he decides to seek the help of someone he met briefly at the royal court years ago—Lady Alys de Montfort, a renowned healer despite her young age. While traveling to her home at Kinwick Castle, Kit is accosted by a band of highwayman, who beat and rob him, leaving him to die. Fortunately, an escort party comes across him and Lady Alys insists they take the stranger home so she can use her skill in the healing arts to save his life.
The man awakens and has no memory of his identity, but Alys believes he might be Kit Emory, a young man she’d met once when she was a young girl. Kit comforted her when the queen died and Alys never forgot his kindness to her. Alys does what she can to jog Kit’s memory, even as she struggles with her growing attraction to him, knowing Kit was betrothed and must now be wed. Kit also finds his desire deepening for Alys, but he doesn’t know his own name, much less if he has a wife or family. Until he recalls who he is, he refuses to commit his heart to Alys.
Once Kit regains his memory and realizes he is free to pursue Alys, their road to love is anything but smooth.
Join Kit and Alys as they overcome events that continue to tear them apart and threaten the love they have for one another.
*Each book in the Knights of Honor series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Thank you to the authors who submit their covers
and make this a special place to share!
To see YOUR cover here visit the
page for detailed instructions.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Please note: There’s a heat level rating for covers, a 1-4 scale, for my readers’ benefit. You should never see a *5* rating on the Ranch–aka my blog– since that’s not what I write, and I try to maintain my genre brand.
Some author links may be shortened due to the site format, but the hyperlinks still direct readers to the page link provided. If any link does not work when clicked, please let me know so I can fix it asap. A note in comments or by email is good.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know about covers being revealed here, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can leave it in a comment or email through my contact page https://calisarhose.com/say-hey/.
For other guest spots, visit the Ranch Guideline page https://calisarhose.com/ranch-guest-guidelines/ and email me the appropriate information, then we can set your date.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Writing is like building. The more you add, the more people want experience the thrill for the first time. Readers are a big part of the writing process. There’s nothing worse than having a reader fall into the murky depths of a book they can’t relate to in even a small way. You want a strong “bridge” off the bat to help your readers get to the end and then, want to revisit that bridge again, and again. 😀
Writing your first draft is the model of your intended project. Once you have an acceptable model, you begin the framing and creating–rough draft edits 1-1000– until you have that finished masterpiece that others will see. Edits build a better, stronger ms, but you can’t edit what you haven’t written.
Wait to do improvements until it’s first finished. No builder remodels his bridge before it gets finished, and others have a chance to give it a test run.
Here’s a little extra for you. I subscribe to Writer’s Digest blog for their informative articles and tips on writing. Here’s one with tips on first drafts (what you’re writing during NaNo), by Kathy Leonard Czepiel.
Just a reminder. Keep holding that inner editor at bay. Wait until you reach day 30, or 50K, before you turn that editing minion loose. Personally, I like to take a short breather from a completed first draft.
What about you? Do you have to take a week to congratulate or reward yourself for surviving NaNo? Two weeks, maybe you need more, to allow your brain to relax before jumping back in. I usually end up taking notes for my next project, which is usually already steeping on a back burner before I get half way on the current wip.
Here’s a thought, go check out Silver’s website and books while you let that wip set up. Multi-genre talent there, folks. Fantasy (embrace your inner fae!), paranormal (love you some alpha wolf shifters?) and contemporary romance (Sigh-cowboys). She’s a self-published author, small epress author and HQN~Big 5. Seriously, check her out!
After you’ve finished your NANO word count for the day, of course. 😉
Day 12! Almost to the half way point.
How do you avoid the dreaded “sagging middle?”
Do you know what your story is about? Are you one of “those?” You have a 75 page synopsis to guide you. A pre-story that you will follow to an astounding T, or damn near, if not exact. You know when your characters will pee, though you won’t show that to readers (or will you? O^o). Do you know when they will take their next breath. Do you know what that breath will sound like before you even write that scene?
You…are a true plotter.
I congratulate you! Foresight like that is a real gift! I mean, freakin’ psychic!
I, on the other hand, am like this cat. I eat plot bunnies for dessert! Thank you very much. What a dreadful thought. I take that back. 🙂
However, I do not begin with a synopsis, and if I do, it might be a whole page, or not, of random thoughts. Will my heroine go pee? Well, who knows? I sure don’t! 😆 Will they breathe? Um, they’d die if they didn’t, so… Yeah? I assume at least one will take a breath. When? What will it sound like?
I am a pantser.
We-e-e-ell, maybe not 100%. I’m told I’m not a true pantser anymore. Nope. I’m not a true plotter, either.
I used to be a solid pantser. Really. But, I spent most of October trying to figure my story line out before NaNo began. I took notes. I MADE A PLOT BOOKLET! Yes, I did that. I even used a page or two in it.
Okay, I admit, I wrote in it mostly because it’s such a stinkin’ cute thing, and also because I wasted a day making it, so I had to at least write something in it.
Guess what? I haven’t looked at it since! Nope. I just looked and it wasn’t where I thought I’d seen it last.
I semi-plot-pantz, or since I’m a pantser first, do I semi-pantz-plot. Either way, I’m a hybrid.
I am a plotser.
You might be completely out in left field, maybe you’re an outliner. Another method many use, and I do not. I tried it; didn’t work for me.
What I want to know is, will that bunny still have me with his tea since I’m part plotter?? LOL
Just remember, whatever method you use, as long as it works for you to get words written, that’s all that matters.
Don’t let anyone tell you how (they think) you HAVE to write to be successful. Whatever it is that keeps you writing one word after another, one page or chapter after the last—you just keep doing what YOU do and you are already a success! You are a writer.
Thanks to Silver James for this fun meme that kinda reminds me of my Trouble Kitty.. 😉
NANOWRIMO Day 9- Are you playing it safe or jumping in head first? #nanowrimo2017 #jumpin #mfrwauthor #amwriting
I’m a couple of days behind. Okay, a week. But that’s because I’ve been trying to get as many words written as I can each day. I’m going to make these next few short and sweet, hopefully even a little inspirational for all of you! If you’ve been reading these meme posts all along, I am so very sorry to have left you hanging on day 8!
So, here we go!
Really, what’s there left to say that inspirational Silver James doesn’t say with this “throw caution to the wind” meme?
As my mama used to quote from Doris Day, que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
Short and sweet to do a few catch-up memes, because life is busy for us all and I fell too far behind. 😆
So technically this post should be the one on nutrition, but I didn’t know this one was coming. lol I can only thank Silver James for this. LOL (Good thing I love ya!)
I will reiterate that eating is important. I’m one of those who, when I get into a writing groove, the words fly, adding up and before I realize I’ve reached or passed my daily goal…and lunch or dinner with it. Those are days I love, but suffer for the most. 😆
So, we move into week two with a better handle on my characters and their story. Words are coming easier now that I’ve passed 500 for at least five times over the past two years. Yes, this is a new story, because I haven’t been able to find the right beginning, so ten pages into it I would lose the thread, the motivation, the whatever-it-is-I-need-to-keep-the-story-moving forward. Some of this is because I’m more panster than plotter. Part is that I’m writing the story wrong, and my characters don’t cooperate, won’t “talk” to me, until I finally get it right.
Eventually I work my way through the rut and all will be okay again. 🙂 Most of the time this is by writing. I won’t say daily, because I can’t always write. But when I can, I do. Sometimes that nets me five words and six deletions, but it’s writing, all part of the process.
Day 8- 1382
Welcome to the last day of week 1!! We’ve made it seven days, though my word count is suffering drastically by this time. This week I’ll have to make up the difference by padding my word count each day. I’ll let you know how it goes right here each day. I appreciate you hanging with me as we go through November NaNo.
Here’s Silver James‘ Day 7 meme for your pleasure.
Since I don’t have my precious Trouble kitty, I’ll have to entrust my new Bitsy Boop to take over. If she could, but for all her cuteness, she can’t write MY story. Only you can write your story, so distractions aside, keep writing even if all you manage to squeeze out is ten words a day. That’s ten words you didn’t have before you sat down.
Day 7- 203
If you need inspiration, visit the NaNo site. There are forums, tips, ect. Join in and get the boost you need.
In the meantime, I have more writing to get done just to catch up. Check in tomorrow and see what progress I make.
This week is the first Monday of the month which means UnCover Monthly time. To give that post, and the authors who waited so patiently to have their covers shown, respect I decided to pause on my daily NaNo blog. Now, of course, I have a three day catch up to get done. It’s just too bad I can’t count all the blog posts I’ve racked up this week as NaNo word count! I’ll make these next three short and sweet (so I can get back to my NaNoing!), then later tonight or tomorrow I’ll post today’s post.
To start off I have another fun NaNo badge from the most awesome Silver James. Folks, when I say this woman is awesome, or any number of nice things, it’s not simply courtesy from one author to another. She truly is a sweet and kind and patient (one of the most patient I know) woman. I am also proud to call her a friend and fellow Okie. If you want to meet someone who you’ll love, visit Silver and say hi. Seriously! She’s letting me steal her NaNo badges! 😆
So, I’ve been doing pretty good at not rereading or editing every word (too much) while I write during NaNo. Choppy has been pretty quiet this first week, which I thought might be why I haven’t been able to write a lot. Well, I’ve told him to stay on the back burner and just let me write, make mistakes, write horrible content, during this month. He didn’t like that, but he’s been compliant (notice where he insists on sitting when I ignore him –>).
<– Ok, so he butts in once and a while. Yes, I let him. Have you met Choppy? We-he-l-l-l, let me introduce you…
While you get acquainted… 😆
Day 6- 139 words
At the Orthopedics office, for Andee’s appointment to get results of her knee MRI, I was able to open my wip (Word version since I haven’t purchased the Android/Windows Scrivener app yet) on my phone and wrote while we waited. People, I don’t have a ten inch phone and my 10 inch tablet was at home. I wrote these words on a small 5.5″ screen. LOL Just goes to prove anything is possible if we try. 😉
Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to write more Tuesday with a day of errands, but it’s more words than I’ve been getting.
As my Daddy always said–God rest him–Tomorrow, the good lord willing and the creek don’t rise, is another day. 🙂 Happy NaNoing!
Still hanging in there? Awesome!!!
Ready for more Silver James NaNo inspiration? Are you borrowing her badges too? She said it’s ok. 😉 So, Day 5. Her badge makes me remember I forgot to eat lunch, so I guess nutrition is a good tip for today.
Good thing hubby made me breakfast early this morning. But a midday snack never hurts progress at the keyboard, which I totally spaced on today. Do you have a “writing treat” you must have when pounding the keys?
In case you missed my hint the other day, I keep Hot Tamale candies close at hand most days to nibble on, and sometimes a Milky Way Simply Caramel mini bar, those two bite sized ones in a pack of 6. Hubby gets half of those. 🙂 I also have either water, coffee or Dr. Pepper at the ready.
I’m not a total junk-food-junkie, I also try to keep something protein at hand.
Okay, on to NaNo word count.
Day 5- Two sentences or about 23 words.
Not great by a long shot, my characters are giving me a bit of a hard time. Then it’s my turn to make them suffer. <evil grin>
But a wise woman said today, “Even if you only write 5 words, 500 words, 5000 words, or 50,000 words, it’s a win because 1) new words, but more importantly, 2) YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT WRITING!!!” ~ Silver James
She doesn’t even know I’m quoting her. I prefer to think I’m “sharing her wisdom”! 😆 I believe that’s what counts in the end though.
Of course, she also went on to say she’d gotten almost 3000 words yesterday… Some people just make it look too easy. LOL
If you are struggling with keeping up a steady 1667 words per day with NaNo (I am), it’s ok, and it’s ok to tell yourself it’s ok. If I don’t finish Nano…well, hell. I’ve already done better this year than I did in 2016, which I dropped on day 2 because I had a lot of stress going on in my personal life and I couldn’t handle my world, much less a fantasy one.
This year is different. This year is the first I’ve wanted to write in four years! Oh, I wrote here and there, but not always on the same WIP, which doesn’t get me very far on any one. But 2017 is MY year to make a comeback and I’m thrilled you are here for the ride!
Glad you stopped by! Tune in Monday for a new NaNo post and UnCover Monday will also go live at midnight tonight.
Are you having fun? Day 4! Week one NANO back stretch! #nanowrimo2017 #mfrwauthor #amwriting #lovemyjob
I love today’s Silver James NaNo badge! If it looks like coffee, I’m on board. Seriously!
Why not go let her know what you think by clicking any of the badges from any of my NaNo posts.
Writing is work. Hard work at times. No one who ever tried to write, seriously write, anything will tell you it’s easy. At least, I won’t. But at any job, whether you write full time or work at a job place, you should be able to have some fun, be able to enjoy the job. If you can’t, why do it? While working at my retail day job over the last two years, I did not particularly like my blah job where I had to wear solidblackonblack (my least favorite color) every day (except on OU game days I was allowed to rock the crimson 😉 ), but I still had fun when I could.
This last year was spent using one arm because I injured my right shoulder and had to wear a sling at work until surgery. But even though I was in pain more often than not, and hated the painful bi-weekly PT I had to do, I still tried to have fun with my co-workers, whom I loved.
Writing, for me, is like that. I have to enjoy what I’m writing at any stage, yes, even through a gajillion repeat edits. 🙂 Don’t we all just love those like an ingrown toenail? LOL
After all, if we don’t love what we’re doing, again, why bother?
What about you? Do you write because you love it? Or, maybe you’re more like me. Even though I enjoy writing, sometimes ask myself what the point is when there is so much tough competition out there. All those others are so, so much better than I am, right?
No. Not even a tiny bit right.
But writing is a challenge, and I write because I can’t NOT write. It’s in my veins, it’s who I am.
I’m. A. Writer.
I love that about me.
So keep writing. If you love it, don’t let anything discourage you. And if you’re NaNoing, buddy me! If you aren’t, that’s okay. Thanks for reading and commenting. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be buddies next November!
Day 4- this blog post (and only because I’d written most of it last night, too).
0 NaNo words
Hubby had me helping him today, so I planned to write until bedtime (or 1 am, which ever came first). Again, why I avoid planning very often. My pc suddenly went to a blue screen shortly after writing this post last night, so the ‘0’ stands for this day. Thankfully, the blue warning screen seems to be resolved after a restart. I’d forgotten time fell back last night, now I’m wondering if that had anything to do with the blue screen? At any rate, I didn’t get to post this so it’s a day late, which means I need to spend time this evening writing today’s day 5 post. That’s fine. I’m also trying to get UnCover Monthly put together and scheduled to go live at Midnight+01, but it’s still early. Plenty of time! 🙂
Yesterday I ended up doing a restore on my pc to try to get rid of spammy game sites that kept ghosting open with every link I clicked on, anywhere. At times there would be upwards to ten individual windows open! Grrr So far, so good. Keeping fingers crossed. 🙂
In the meantime, I can always use more NaNo buddies, so hit me up! For those doing NaNo, how is your week shaping up? Better than mine I’d guess. 😛
PS. For anyone who is new (or maybe forgot), or merely curious, osiyo means “hello” and dodadaghovi loosely translates to “until we meet again” in Cherokee, of which I’m one fourth and proud. 🙂
I’m sharing the third NaNo badge, courtesy of author Silver James. Click on any of her badges to visit her website.When working on any WIP, we, authors—and yes, as-yet-unpublished writers ARE authors!—are encouraged NOT to edit along the way. The goal is to get the words out of our pretty heads and onto paper, or monitor. Editing slows the creative progress, ‘they’ say. I guess some writers may have a hard time actually completing that manuscript (MS) when we start each day editing what we’ve written the day before. And editing again, and again, before we start adding new words to the end count.
As 79% pantser, 21% plotter (I just pulled those numbers out of my writer’s hat so they are probably not accurate lol), I am not one of these writers as a rule. My daily goal is to get words down, out of my cluttered brain without worrying about what went on the day before. And that is a total lie. I can waste a day editing one sentence! I just try hard not to. I think there may be a club for people like me. LOL So don’t feel bad if you’re a member too.
BUT— But, as an editor…holy hot tamale do I have a devil of a time NOT editing every little thing I’d wrote ten minutes ago, never mind what I wrote a whole day ago!
Come on, now. I can’t even watch a good movie anymore without editing scenes I have absolutely NO control over! What makes ‘them’ think I won’t edit MY OWN work…that I DO have control over??? (And now I want hot tamales, the candy…and I’m fresh out. )
Anyway, with NaNo it is actually harder for me to edit along the way. I (we—all NaNoers) have to write 1667 new words per day, while at the same time moving closer to that all important 50,000 word count by November 30th. That’s not December 10, or December 1. And if I spend all my time fleshing and fluffing pre-written words, I’ll never get to The End by the last day of the NaNo month, November 30.
Which, of course, is the whole point of NaNo. 🙂
So, I haven’t edited anything…yet. Unfortunately, it’s just the end of day 3… So many words ahead… Oy.
Day 3- NaNo blog post catch-up, 0 words (at the publishing of this post)
Luckily, I’m a night owl and there’s plenty of night ahead still!
On to a new day, in which I will post all progress I make, as well as any words I manage to get down tonight. Again, I would love to be NaNo buddies so find me here, and thanks so much for following my NaNo progress.