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Out with the Old; In with the New

The Girl Who Saw Clouds

GirlSawCloudsFrontCover5 Jan 2022

New GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES Book 1 a novel for YA readers.

Autistic and Orphaned. The nation’s survival depends on her.

Aimee Louise doesn’t see faces; she sees clouds. Happy, sad, and worried clouds, but most importantly, she sees the clouds of danger.

A local transformer explodes, but it’s only the beginning of the coordinated, widespread collapse of the nation’s grid and economy. When the power-hungry criminal discovers the information to stop his plan to take over the US government is hidden at the new family’s farm, the attacks escalate and become personal. The target is Aimee Louise.

Sometimes all it takes is the willingness to Go For It!

A week or so ago, I was on track to finish a new book that’s already set for preorder on March 15 when the admin of a really cool authors’ association announced only two members had submitted books for the upcoming Young Adult Science Fiction promotion that the association was sponsoring.

I had a YA Sci-Fi book! Of course, it was written in 2018 and was my second book. For any authors who are reading this and suddenly remembered your own second books, I heard your groans.

I assumed all Book #2 needed was a teensy rewrite to clean it up a bit; nice thought, but after I dived in, I was shocked at how awful it was. The story was good, the characters were great, but the writing was rough.

My talented editor, bless her fearless, flaming, red pen, and I did a four-day marathon of painful, exhausting writing, cutting, rewriting (me), and ruthless editing (her), and the end product was a brand-new book, Second Edition, Book #20!

I submitted the Second Edition with its own new cover, and BOOM! The Girl Who Saw Clouds, Second Edition, is included in the International Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors, IASFA, promotion from January 23 – January 27. Here’s the link to the promotion where you’ll find 14 sci-fi novels that will be FREE through January 27: https://iasfa.org/get-free-books/

If you’ve read DANGER IN THE CLOUDS or even the original THE GIRL WHO SAW CLOUDS, you already know the story, but the Second Edition has a bit of new material that wasn’t in either of the other two. You might enjoy a fresh read!

If you haven’t read any of the GRID DOWN SURVIVAL Series books, dive into the new second edition. BONUS! It’s free all five days from January 23 – 27.

TheGirlWhoSawCloudsBuy

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Fear of Missing Out

This is my FOMO jar. Fear of Missing Out.

When I reviewed my expenses for 2020 and 2020, I discovered I spent a significant amount of money, especially on the latest and greatest software tools that everybody else was getting, that was a total waste of money and of my  time. 

My reason for buying the Latest and Greatest Whiz Bang tools? FOMO

My reasons for not using the new tools were not impressive: the software wasn’t instinctive; the software tutorials were too much work to listen to; the software wasn’t as good as what I was using; I didn’t have time to spend learning new software; I had trouble with the download because my internet is slow, so I quit; it was foggy outside.  I know that last foggy excuse is pretty lame, but so are all the rest of them.

This year, I have a #FOMOjar. Every time I purchase something because FOMO, I’ll drop a quarter in the jar. Every time I decline a FOMO purchase, I’ll drop a penny in the jar. At the end of every month, I’ll set aside bonuses and penalties based on the cost of the purchase temptations. Penalties for FOMO purchases, and bonuses for saving money by avoiding a FOMO purchase.

The coins will be a reminder and a tracker of how I’m doing, and the bonuses and penalties will go toward paying for gas when we drive the the truck and camping trailer to a national convention next fall that I really want to attend.

Watch for my first report for January 2022 at the end of the month!

Follow my page on Facebook for more FOMO tips! Tap to follow me on Facebook

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Author Goals – 2022

strategy_image 2022

The road to 2022 is particularly appropriate because road trips are part of the plan.

RECAP

2018 Goals: Publish a book Results: Published two books

2019 Goals: Publish four books and earn a prestigious award Results: Published four books and received three prestigious awards.

2020 Goals: Publish four books, receive a prestigious award, sell one book through a bookstore; and stretch goal, end the year with a POSITIVE net income. Results: Published six books, received a prestigious award, sold books in US and UK bookstores, and ended the year with a POSITIVE net income.

2021 Goals: Publish six books including Book 1 of a New Series, sell a complete series through a bookstore, a wild dream of a stretch goal: end the year with a positive net income; and a bonus goal for 2021: Tame the wild unicorn.

2021 Results

  • Published six books including Books 1-3 of a new series
  • Sold 1 complete set of a series through a bookstore
  • Sold 4 complete sets of a series at in-person signing events
  • Sold and signed books at two in-person signing events
  • Wrote a short story that was included in a Halloween anthology
  • Attended a national book conference and incurred travel and lodging expenses but gained an incredible amount of knowledge.
  • Ended the year with a positive net income, and I learned a lot about marketing in 2021.
  • Tamed the wild unicorn! There’s a saying among authors that if a book receives 50 reviews on Amazon, the author receives a Unicorn. I received more than 50 reviews on 6 books: Each Book 1 in all four series, and Book 2 in two series. BOOM! Unicorns tamed!

UnicornsandCoffee

GOALS for 2022

  • Publish six books
  • Publish a Halloween novella
  • Publish a trilogy boxset
  • Write a Survivalist SciFi short story
  • Sell and sign books at four in-person signing events
  • Attend the national book conference (Road Trip, Baby!)
  • There’s a saying that when readers read more than one million pages of an author’s books in one month, the author has caught the Wild Rainbow Trout.

Bonus Goal: Capture the wild Rainbow Trout!

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Tagged by the Holiday Spirit

TJ, aka Black Dog, and Toby, aka Brown Dog, are always on guard. It’s that time of year to be watching for Santa.

A year ago on Christmas Eve, a brown, stray puppy followed our old, brown dog, Sadie down the long driveway to our farmhouse. The county animal control officer told us it was common to find abandoned puppies dumped in our rural area. Sadie must have told him to stay, because he did and became a part of our pack.

You’ll meet another abandoned dog named Toby in the RILEY MALLOY THRILLER SERIES. Book Toby is just as brave, faithful, and handsome as our farm Toby. Book Toby also has an old black lab friend, Jordy, who has a remarkable resemblance to TJ. Imagine that!

TAP to read about Toby and Jordy/TJ in TAGGED BY DEATH

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Operation Santa Paws

Sadie and her puppy Jan 2020 for newsletter_smaller size

A year ago, Sadie, our sweet, one-eyed, deaf, fifteen-year-old German short-haired pointer, walked up our long driveway to the road. We had adopted Sadie from an animal shelter when she was two, and I’d never seen her wander off by herself before. I had a moment of panic because she couldn’t hear, so I couldn’t call her away from the county road, and we weren’t sure how well she could see. I was certain she’d lost track of me and had become turned around as she purposely marched in the wrong direction away from the house.

Before I could make it to the end of the driveway to rescue her from the road, she returned with a puppy who followed her down the driveway to our house.  Sadie had rescued a one-year-old stray puppy, a German shepherd Labrador Retriever mix, according to our vet, that had wandered close to our small farm.

The County Animal Control Officer told us that people dump puppies in the country all the time when the puppies aren’t so cute, grow and eat more, and become too much bother, and most of the dogs are killed within a week by predators or run over by cars, and the rest starve. He said if we were willing to care for the puppy, he was ours. We’ve always had rescue dogs, and Sadie brought him home. He was part of our pack. He followed me home. Can I keep him?

Toby was muddy and smelly, had ticks, fleas, and worms, and both of his ears were infected. The vet gave us a ton of medication and instructions. After a nice bath at the groomers, Toby wasn’t even smelly, and he quickly became Sadie’s protector as he stayed close to her.

Sadie passed away in her sleep last March, but she trained Toby well before she left us. He was immediately housebroken and quickly learned all the household rules.

December is Operation Santa Paws Month. It’s the perfect time to take a big sack of dog food to your local shelter, or send them money. If your money is tight, donate your old towels to the shelter or check into the opportunities to volunteer your time. And if you’re ready to accept the responsibility and joy of a new faithful friend, adopt; don’t shop. Tell them Sadie sent you.

Toby is a star in the TAGGED BY DEATH Thriller Series. Tap here to read a great story inspired by Toby.

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Cyber Monday Shopping

Cat Shopping on Cyber Monday

 

What do you think about on Sunday night after you’ve gone to bed? In the olden days when I was employed in the Corporate world, I’d lie awake and worry about all the stress and deadlines that had piled up from being out of the office for four days. Good times.

Last night after a weekend of being reminded by ads and emails that Cyber Monday bargains were in the works, I wondered when and how Cyber Monday got started. These days, when I wonder about something in the middle of the night, I hop online and do a little research first thing in the morning.

What I learned: In the early 2000’s, savvy marketers noticed a creeping trend of online shopping on the Monday following Thanksgiving. They surmised that people either didn’t finish all their Black Friday shopping or were opting to avoid the craziness of waiting in line in the cold at four o’clock in the morning for a bargain, only to be trampled in the crush when the doors opened at the insane hour of six am or discovered their item had been completely sold out before they made it into the store. More good times.

Each year, more and more shoppers waited until they got to work on Monday to do their online shopping on the faster, more secure Corporate internet. Of course, that was against Company Policy, but pfft.

In 2005, the US National Retail Federation coined the term “Cyber Monday,” and an entire nation became slackers at work on the Monday after Thanksgiving. In 2020, data shows that Americans spent a record $10.8 billion online by the end of Cyber Monday, and 2021 is expected to break that record.

 Not to be outdone, I’ve jumped onto the Cyber Monday train, and TAGGED BY DEATH, Book 1 of the Riley Malloy thriller series, is free today.  As a bonus, Amazon joined me and lowered the price of the $17.99 paperback to the unbelievable price of $9.92! 

 

Now’s your chance for a real Cyber Monday bargain that won’t disappear before you’ve finished your Monday morning coffee or tea!

Only the vet tech who’s a dog whisperer can identify a serial killer if she can put the pieces together before she’s murdered; death follows her.

Want the complete Riley Malloy Thriller Series with one click? Here you go!

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Bingeworthy Thriller

MAGGIE SLOAN THRILLER SERIES

When Maggie and her unusual team uncover long-hidden crimes, the desperate criminals attack, and Maggie fights for survival. It’s kill or be killed.

 

Maggie Sloan, librarian and self-taught spy and her unforgettable, unique team avenge a heart-wrenching murder in I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY, BOOK 1.

In RED IS THE NEW GRAY, BOOK 2, Maggie and her team travel to Galveston Island, Texas. Maggie  persists in her pursuit to uncover the deadly crime and the vicious criminal who has escaped detection for years.

In HIDDEN BY FIRE, BOOK 3, When Maggie and her team investigate the puzzling clues that point to a long ago, unsolved theft of famous works of art, Maggie intends to discover the truth hidden behind the series of fires.

In ONE EYE ON THE KILLER, BOOK 4, Maggie uses her uncanny skills and talents to piece together the deaths of senior center residents and staff and the theft of valuable jewelry. A deadly attack on Maggie leaves her maimed, but the killer wants her dead.

What the Readers say:

A well-crafted story! If you’ve thought you have it all figured out, the story jack-knives off the page and spins you in a whole other direction. Very fulfilling. — Amazon

I love it! Taut, well plotted mystery. Beautiful turns of phrase. Laugh aloud moments. A kickass heroine. Imaginary companions who are somehow tangible. You’ll love it, too. — Amazon

Have you read some of the Maggie books? Tap the download button for the ones you have missed!

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Once Upon a Halloween…

A Wicked and Wild Cozy Mystery Anthology 

Halloween, the day where the veil between the normal and the paranormal is as thin as a whisker on a witch’s chin…
 
Twenty-three cozy mystery authors cook up tales of fun, mayhem, and murder!
 
With a sprinkle of seniors with sharp minds and smart mouths, a dash of witches with familiars with more sass than sense, and a pinch of whodunits in quaint little towns…
 
Don’t miss the Exclusive DONUT LADY Halloween Story, SWEET SCARY DEAL, found only in ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 
PREORDER NOW for your copy of the October 18 Release of ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 

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Hot Summer and Hot Peppers

Our jalapeno plants are producing fat, hot jalapenos. I can’t make jalapeno jelly to go with cream cheese on top of crackers, though, because we’d never be able to eat all the jelly before next year. Pickled jalapenos, however, go with everything – cheeseburgers, scrambled eggs, tacos, enchiladas, mixed with cream cheese for bagels, sloppy joes, spaghetti, fried potatoes…

Our jalapenos tend to be mild, but that’s our New Mexico-Texas taste buds talking. 

How many pounds are in a peck? It depends… the internet appears to be fond of random numbers. For example, a peck of apples is 12-14 pounds;  a peck of tomatoes is 10ish pounds… there’s a meandering trail on the internet of conflicting information if you’re ever tired of scrolling the same old stuff and want to read something different with no memes… be my guest.

While you’re doing that, I’ll be canning on the back deck in the sticky Georgia summer heat because who wants to overtax the air conditioning system with a canning pot that is full of boiling water? 

Bring a big ole glass of sweet tea if you wander by, and I’ll tell you a story about how the ripening of peppers can lead to a grand adventure. Better yet, bring a pitcher because you know one of my stories always leads to another…

 

 

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Series Readers Are Awesome

RILEY MALLOY MYSTERY/THRILLER BOOK 2

For all the readers who are advanced series readers and already read TAGGED BY DEATH, BOOK 1, here is BOOK 2.

For all the series readers who wanted to be sure there’s a BOOK 2, here you go! Also, please read BOOK 1 first, because RILEY MALLOY MYSTERY SERIES is an actual series that follows the challenges of Riley Malloy, fulltime vet tech and part time crime buster.

DEFY DEATH 

Riley, vet tech and dog whisperer, stands in the way of a desperate criminal. Easy fix. Kill Riley.

DEFY Cover Book 2 Jan 31 2021 ebook 

TAP for DEFY BY DEATH

For all the thriller and mystery readers that missed TAGGED BY DEATH, BOOK 1, you are not forgotten either.

TAP for TAGGED BY DEATH, Book 1

 

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