"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

For Love

It's Valentine's week, and while I love flowers and chocolate my family and friends know my favorite gift is a good book.

Not sure what to get the writer in your life? Check out this list of suggested Valentines day gifts for writers or check out these 
Six Ways to Participate in Romance Week at 

This year's Goodreads challenge can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1161-romance-week-2018

Want to share the theme of love with children? Check out these 10 Best Children's Books About Love.

So many of us love reading and writing. We have favorites that we return to again and again. How about you? 

What is your favorite genre? Favorite author? Favorite book from childhood? Are you doing something special this week?

Happy Valentine's!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Savoring Single Tour Giveaway!

“Savoring Single is the perfect book for girls in this generation. Sometimes it feels like everything in the world just draws attention to our singleness resulting in us feeling even more alone. Shelley has written a book that exposes the truth about being single and leads by example how we can cherish -not waste- this important season of our lives.” – Kiara
Last month, Livy Lynn contacted me, requesting that I be part of an exciting Blog Tour, for Christian Author, Shelley Black! Shelley has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart.
Her debut book, Savoring Single, is such an encouraging offering for the young women of this generation. I was happy to get behind this book, and Shelley’s mission of helping God’s daughters truly EMBRACE the season they’re in.
For my portion of the Tour, Shelley is giving away 4 Autographed Paperback Copies of Savoring Single!
To enter, simply use the Raffelcopter form below, to follow Shelley Black, and the Tour Coordinator, Livy Lynn, on their Social Media accounts and get connected with both of their ministries.
The Giveaway begins February 3rd and ends March 3rd! Have fun entering and getting connected with these lovely ladies! (Oh, and good luck!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Coordinated By: Livy Lynn Blog! Are you a Christian author? Let me plan your next Blog Tour! Visit www.livylynnblog.com!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG: Love Your Genre

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

FEBRUARY QUESTION: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

MY ANSWER: Happy Endings. While I've written a few cliffhangers, or downright unsettling endings for my characters, I usually prefer the "Happily Ever After" conclusion. Real life is hard with many disappointments. Even though my characters struggle, I want them to achieve their goals and dreams - at least for a little while.

How about you? What is your preferred genre and what do you like most about writing it?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Bible Heroes Devotional

Valentine's is fast approaching, and I'd like to recommend a great book as a gift for your little ones.

My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional - I believe this book has been directed at children ages 7 to 10. However, depending on your child's reading interest and abilities, I can see this book being appropriate for both a few years younger as well as a few years older.

Easy to read with colorful and high-quality illustrations, this book can encourage young readers to spend time in the Word. 50 different heroes are mentioned each with full-color illustrations, accompanying bible verses, prayer starters, and life application questions for guided discussion with friends and parents.

While your child can certainly enjoy this on their own, and will receive a very basic introduction and outline of the Bible, this book can also be used as a family guided devotional for deeper involvement as well

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to leave a review.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Story Starter Card Game

One of the hardest things for students, and many writers in general, is just "getting started." I see it frequently in the classes I teach. They freeze up, sometimes their eyes just glaze over, and others get that 'deer caught in the headlights' look. This is usually the point where we talk briefly about writers block... and then we play the Story Starter Card Game.

The game is simple:

There are seven decks of cards. Each card has one suggestion to be used in a story.

In deck one each card has a dynamic character listed on it such as Ebeneezer Scrooge, Scout, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, Katniss Everdeen, Aladdin, Jean Valjean, Edmund Dantes, Buzz Lightyear, etc.

In deck two each card reflects a fatal flaw such as pride, excessive trust, rage, blind ambition, inferiority complex, etc.

Deck three lists suggested opponents, deck four has external conflicts such as physical and environmental, deck five is a set of interpersonal conflicts (brought on by others), deck six is internal conflicts (brought on by self), and deck seven is a goal to be reached or a loss to avoid.

The rules are even simpler:

1) Pick one card from each deck.
2) Use at least three of the suggestions on your cards in a story.

I find this gives them enough guidance that they feel like they have a safety net. It also allows enough freedom for creativity.


If you'd like to play, but don't have the time or inclination to create your own cards, consider using a deck of Tarot, Dungeons and Dragons, or such... pull out a few random cards and see what ideas arise.

Have you tried anything like this? What kind of cards would you use? What would you add to your own deck?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Polka Dots, Stars, and Writers

Today is National Polka Dot Day. It's also the day Minnie Mouse will receive her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can find out more about that here.

Many of my family members are Disney fans. As you can tell from the mention in this post, the cheesy picture here, and my social media accounts I'm a little obsessed with most of Disney myself. I've also passed the sickness along to my children. My husband has accepted, and loves us anyway ;-)

I'm from Southern California, and even thought I live in Texas, we head back as often as possible to visit family and friends. I took my girls to Hollywood for the first time in July 2017. They loved it. Their favorite memories of the day there include lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe', seeing the famous Hollywood sign, and finding Daniel Radcliffe's star. You can see pictures here.

The reason I mention all of this is because the original article I read announcing Minnie's big day led me down a rabbit hole of reading. I became curious about writers who have earned a star on that famous walkway. I knew of a few, but I was surprised at the number. Some of these authors I know have brought joy to many and will be immediately recognized: Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, Stephen J. Cannell, Frank Capra, quite a few others I recognized, and a few I didn't. Here is a list the Los Angeles Times has comprised of all the writers who've earned that coveted star.

Which authors are your favorites? Who would you like to see earn a star? Are you Disney fan? Are you celebrating National Polka Dot Day?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Conferences, Workshops, and Literary Festivals: Texas and Louisiana List

I will try to provide a broader national and international list at a later date, but for now here are a few of my favorites for Texas and Louisiana:

Unconfirmed so check back - Houston Writer's Guild Conference - https://houston.scbwi.org/

2/17 - Southwest Louisiana Book Festival - https://www.swlabookfest.org/

3/3 - Jambalaya Writers Conference - http://mytpl.org/jwc/

3/9-18 - SXSW Film and writers festival in Austin - http://www.sxsw.com/

3/21-25 - New Orleans Literary Festival -  http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/

3/24 - Galveston Island Book Festival - http://galveston.bookfestival.network/index.php/component/users/?view=remind&Itemid=101

4/28-29 - Austin Writer's and Illustrators  Conference - https://austin.scbwi.org/events/austin-2018-writers-illustrators-working-conference/

6/9-10 - Dallas Writer's Conference - http://dfwcon.org/

6/29-7/1 - Austin Agents and Editors Conference - http://www.writersleague.org/38/Conference

9/6-9 - New Orleans Mystery Convention - http://www.bouchercon.com/

9/14-23 - New Orleans Story Con -  http://nolastorycon.com/

10/13 - Louisiana:Bayou Writers - A Bridge to Publication

10/25- 11/1 - Austin Film Festival -  https://austinfilmfestival.com/

10/27-28 - Austin Book Festival - https://www.texasbookfestival.org/

Please feel free to comment with any you would like to see added to this list or the national one I am working to complete. Anyone know of any in other countries besides the US? Please feel free to comment with those as well. You never know when an opportunity will arise. Right? :-)