Everyone loves choices.

Need a beach read? Need a book to read while traveling? Want a nostalgic look at the 80’s and college days? Want a little romance and intrigue? You can have it all in “Your Every Move,” out in print and e-book.

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“Your Every Move” is coming soon.

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Nothing is working out like she planned. 
Amanda Cook doesn’t know who is following her or why. She is just a simple college student planning out her future, working at the neighborhood taco shop and living with her great aunt. 
When her best friend’s cousin, Mitch, arrives in town he immediately steals her heart, but someone else wants it more. Her paranoia grows when she spots the same car at odd places around town and starts getting strange letters in the mail. 
One night after class, a man tackles Amanda and wrestles her to the ground. As she fights for her life, she has the heartbreaking realization that her stalker could possibly be someone she knows.

2017 – What will you bring?

Last year was challenging for many, but there were lots of good parts, too. Family. Friends. Good Memories. Good conversations. Good books. Good food. See, it’s not all been bad.

We have a new year upon us. How is it going so far?

With ignited enthusiasm, I’m writing and editing like crazy. Hopefully, that will translate to a new book out soon. I tried the agent search method the past six months with nibbles but no bites. So, again I will adjust my path back to the smaller, independent publishers out there. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m going through “Every Move You Make” and doing what I hope are final edits, after sharing it with my critique group and other writing buddies, whose opinions I respect.

For those of you readers who are looking for another book in the feisty family series, I will resume working on it next. I have a good start beginning five years after “Patchwork Family” ends. The kids are growing up, Peggy has her own cafe business with Tom in the kitchen and Tillie supplying the desserts. Tad is in college and Megan is in high school and thinking college might not be what she wants. But we all know she is the most book-smart of the kids and Peggy is concerned her little sister is going on the wrong track. Oh, and did I mention Megan may be in the midst of her first crush?

That is all for later.

Let me tell you a little about “Every Move You Make, I’ll Be Watching.” Just like the song Sting sang in the 80’s, someone is watching Amanda Cook – at work, at home, at school, everywhere she goes. At eighteen she’s a bit oblivious since she has her own inner struggles with the departure of her parents, the relationships with her best friends Sarah and Andrew, as well as her first love, Mitch Roman. Even though Amanda has the adorable Great Aunt Faye to live with she feels lonely and afraid of the future. I’d better stop before I spoil the surprises in store for readers and Amanda in this New/Young Adult novel.

Sorry, I haven’t blogged much the past year. (I’ve been really busy editing and looking for an agent.) You can find writers advice from me and other talented authors on Author Expressions blog. I post there once a month. It’s a good place for writers to hang out and find support.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed the two feisty family novels I’ve published so far and will be patient while I make my next stories even better.

Good luck to us all in 2017.

FFV Excerpt

Frowning at her friend, Regina said, “Tillie, what’s wrong? For several weeks now you’ve been more lethargic and surly than that silly cat.”

Ms. Pickles gave a defiant lift of her head and step-hopped over to rub against Tillie’s shin.

“Damnable feline,” Regina said. “I still can’t believe I let you talk me into keeping that filthy flea bag.”

“She’s a sweet kitty.” Tillie gave the cat an affectionate scratch. “The only one with sand in her knickers around here is you.”

“Quit avoiding the question. Since Annabelle’s been here you’ve been sleeping more and more, and your skin is the color of oatmeal. And if you get sick, I’ll be stuck with my useless cousin and that idiotic fur ball for companionship.”

Excerpt from Feisty Family Values

She tossed off the covers and stretched her stiff back. Time to check out the garden. It would be good to smell the fragrant earth again.  She missed the early days with her husband David on her daddy’s farm.  Time before he had shown her the power of his fist.  Annabelle buttoned up a blue cotton house dress while she pushed her thoughts away from those images.

“Tillie’s right. I’m a Morgan, too,” she said aloud. Exiting the room, Annabelle passed the farm painting over the stairs. She sighed. Regina got the house, the paintings, the car, and the diamond earrings, while all she’d gotten were Grandma’s string of pearls and bruises. Proof again just how low on the food chain she lived.

What is a writer?

When I started writing seriously back in 1999 I was driven.  I wrote daily and submitted a work of fiction to contests and literary journals on a monthly basis.  The rejection folder grew and grew, but so did my writing skills.  In 2001 one of my short stories, Crossroads won an award and was published in the Sheridan Edwards Review. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

Meanwhile I was working on a couple of novels, one of which is Feisty Family Values, which comes out in February 2010.  I started it in 2000 while I was finishing up my Bachelor of Arts degree at WSU.  One of my instructors, Carol Konek, had encouraged me to write and was the physical inspiration for Regina in FFV.

I had trouble in 1999 calling myself a writer. I felt more like an obsessed dabbler.  But I attended a writer’s retreat at Ghost Ranch with Emily Hanlon and realized that’s exactly what I had become.  Some of us wrote fiction, some non-fiction, memoirs, children’s stories, poetry, journaling and essays.  The key here is we were all “writers”.

So, if you doubt you are what you are, think about it in terms of what you do with your time. It doesn’t matter if you’re published or not, what matters is that you write.

BD

Writing

You read that right…it’s Writing in the Mood…not in the mood to write.  I find that sometimes when I’m in “a mood” is helps to write.  The muse can relate to my emotional state better than I can at those times.  We all get down once in awhile, work might be really stressing you out, or you’re having trouble with the spouse or kids, whatever the cause – we all go there from time to time.  So why not use it?

Writing is a passionate, emotional, visceral experience, at least it can be.  Tap into that. Use it to create depth in your characters, life in your dialog, and tension in your story.  Let it fuel the scene.  Make it work and let the words flow from the gut.  It’ll make the story real.

Go for it, my writing friends.
BD

Evanovich: How I Write

If you’ve never read the Evanovich Stephanie Plum series you are missing a great time.  They are funny, fast paced, irreverant, sexy, and are packed with quirky characters.

I picked up a copy of Janet’s book on “How I Write” and enjoyed it as well. For the beginning writer she has good insights and encouragement.  She has tips for writers who are “emerging” into the publishing world.  And gives excerpts from her books as examples.  She talks about the creative process, her writing process, the publishing industry, marketing and promotion and gives good resource references.

Her recommended resource list is similar to mine in that it contains Stephen King’s “On Writing” and Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”, so it makes me feel like I’m on the right track as a writer. I’m adding this one to my list of “writers should read” as well. I suggest you writer buddies of mine check it out.

Oh, and she throws a little humor in, which is a trademark of Evanovich in my opinion. She not only cares about her readers, but she cares about us writers, too.

See you along the road,

BD

Characters

We’ve all met interesting people on our travels that come to mind when we’re writing and creating new characters for our stories. And while sometimes it is the physical characteristics that catch our eye, or mannerisms, or the way they speak – they can be the jumping off point for a very interesting character in your book that everyone loves or hates.

Maybe the check out girl at the grocer who constants chews gum and blows bubbles comes to mind. Or perhaps the dentist that hums old show tunes while he works sticks in your memory. The check out girl inspired a gum popping receptionist for the doctors office (in my case). There are no humming dentists in the story yet, but perhaps you’ll write about a serial killer that hums or sings while he does his thing.

You can never tell who will inspire you to write, so be aware and watchful for that someone memorable.

BD

Good Writer Resource

I picked up a copy of “Writing Basics” presented by the Writer’s Digest Yearbook.  Wow.  It’s crammed with good information.  I haven’t read all of it, but I have read about “The Anatomy of a Writer’s Website” and “How to write your book in 15 minutes a day” as well as “Rough up your first draft.”  The Writer’s Digest pubs are great resources, but this one has something for writers in all stages of their journey.  There’s information for beginners, grammer info, prompts and stuff about the business side of writing.  Okay, can you tell I like this magazine?

I have subscribed off and on to Writer’s Digest, the Writer, Poets & Writers, and occasionally pick up a Writer’s Journal.  They are all great resources.  I’ve marked my old copies with post-it notes and put a one or two word comment, basically indexing the articles and information I want to be able to refer back to.  Have I gone back to them?  YES.  Many times.  The basics don’t really change that much.  But the industry does, so I’ll continue to subscribe to one of the above mentioned pubs so I can get the latest author interviews and publishing business scoop.

I always feel like I make better decisions if I have good information.  How about you?

Write on, my friends.

BD