Thursday Tidbits: Making Changes

You know I’m suffering through a house remodeling project. You’d think that to be enough upset, right? Naw! Now I’ve decided to remodel my website too. This will take a while since I plan to design a new header, organized the sidebar, and probably change the background. (It’s kind of washed out, don’t you think?)

Please be patient while I work out all the changes. Right now I’m going outside to do some yard work. Nature has a way of clarifying my thoughts.


Summer Reviews & Excerpts

Dear Readers,

Monday Author Meetup is going on hiatus for the summer. Instead, I will post a favorite review (or review excerpt) for one of my books each week, along with an excerpt from that book. Please forgive me for tooting my own horn. This writing business is, well, a business. It’s not enough to write a good book; an author must also market her or his book. I will try to entertain you whilNew cover 2013e also trying to tempt you to buy my books.

Let’s kick off Summer Reviews with a 5-star beauty for Darlin’ Irish (Texas Devlins – Book One).

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

A psychic in the American old West is the focus of this interesting novel, the first book of Lyn Horner’s trilogy. A tale of an epic adventure, the book introduces us to two different lives – one is the extraordinary life of Jessie Devlin who inherited a gift of second sight from her Irish Druid ancestors, and the other is the mysterious life of Captain David Taylor who was banished from Texas after fighting in the War Between the States. The two souls are attracted to one another but a shattering battle between good and evil is as imminent as their fateful meeting. Violence gets in their way. Will they end up happily ever after? Or will love fail and they will be gone forever?

A romance-historical novel, “Darlin’ Irish” is undoubtedly a fascinating adult romance story that is worthy of five stars. This novel truly exemplifies the meaning of fantasy. The paranormal element works successfully. It easily becomes the controlling metaphor of the story. Yes, it is more than a romance novel that deals with sexually explicit scenes, some rough language and violent fight scenes. You will get to realize that the characters are very realistic and find yourself relating to their lives although they are far removed from your own. It is how the author relates the experience of these two heroes that look at life with a straight face. The writing is so addicting that you will never want to be disturbed. The conflict of the characters’ relationship can be appalling to the traditional and conservative readers but it is worth it. Real tension in a novel has never been this exciting! (paperback) (Nook)

Book Excerpt:                                                          PROLOGUE

Chicago; April 1872

“Saints above! Where is it?” Jessie muttered, slowly making her way across the dark, fog-shrouded field. She couldn’t see one blessed thing.

The moon had shown brightly when she left the boarding house, but this irksome blanket of white had rolled in off Lake Michigan when she was halfway here. She’d thought of turning back, but her errand was too urgent.

She shivered in the chilly, moist air. Tugging her shawl tighter about her throat, she stepped cautiously, afraid of slipping on the wet grass or tripping over a snag. Encased in worn leather high-tops, her feet ached with the cold. Not for the first time, the wooden bucket she carried whacked the side of her knee, drawing a pained gasp from her lips.

After blindly crisscrossing the field twice, she was growing frantic when, suddenly, the bucket struck a hard, immovable object. Stopping short, Jessie reached out and touched rough stone beneath her questing fingertips.

“At last!” She’d found the artesian well. Situated within this small clearing on Chicago’s West Side, the well was surrounded by wooden cottages inhabited by working class families much like her own, but she doubted she would meet any of the occupants. Unlike her, they weren’t mad enough to risk their necks in this fog, not for a mere bucket of water. Still, she cautiously listened for any rustle of footsteps in the grass, but heard only the croaking of frogs and the wild hammering of her own heart.

She expelled an uneven breath, wondering if she truly was mad for coming here. This well had never been blessed like those in the old country; surely it held no power. Yet, instinct had driven her here tonight, compelling her to honor the old ways in this, her desperate undertaking.

And why not? Wasn’t she living proof that her mam’s tales of ancient magic were true? Besides, she didn’t dare attempt this at the boardinghouse. Da’s temper would explode like a firecracker if he caught her at it, especially after the row they’d had over supper.

As always, their quarrel concerned her lack of a husband. She had spurned another “foin Irish lad” – the latest in a long line of prospective beaus Da had cajoled into meeting her. Furious over her choosiness, he’d threatened to arrange a marriage for her. It was an old threat, to be sure, but from his determined tone, she’d known he meant it this time. She’d decided then and there that she must act before it was too late. However, now that the moment was upon her, she dreaded what she might learn.

She gnawed her bottom lip. Never before had she deliberately sought one of her visions. They had simply taken hold of her, always as she gazed upon flickering water. She shuddered, recalling one ghastly vision – Chicago engulfed in flames. To her horror, her premonition had proven true last October. Shying away from that terrible memory, she prayed her gift would be kinder tonight. She had to know if he, the man in her nightmarish dreams, truly existed.

“Get on with it then,” she whispered, impatient with her fear.

Trusting the fog to conceal her, she set her bucket down and drew a stubby candle and a lucifer from her skirt pocket. It required three tries before she managed to strike the match on the well and light the candle. Grateful for the light, she placed the candle atop the low wellhead then bent to lift a small bunch of lilacs from the bucket. Drinking in the flowers’ fragrance, she gently laid them aside and set to work pumping water into the bucket. When it was nearly full she positioned it at the base of the well so that the candle flame reflected in the pail’s glistening contents. Finally, she knelt and propped her flower offering against the well.

The cold dew swiftly soaked through her skirt and petticoat, chilling her legs and making her shiver once again, but the lilacs’ sweet scent calmed her. Breathing deep, she gazed at the flickering light in the water and chanted softly,

“Water, water, tell me truly,

Who is the man I shall love duly?

Under the sky, upon the sod,

Show him to me, in the name of God.”

Jessie repeated the incantation in Gaelic, and something shifted inside her, like a hidden door opening. Eyes focused on the candle’s reflection, she gradually lost touch with her surroundings. She no longer felt the cold or smelled the lilacs or heard the frogs. Sight was the only sense left to her, sight that reached out, searching.

Monday Author Meetup: Rebecca D. Myers, Break the Chain of Abuse

Friends, my guest today is Rebecca D. Myers. Following her interview, learn why she is a strong advocate of stopping abuse in all its forms.

Rebecca D. Myers

About the author: Rebecca is married, a mother of two who recently discovered how much she enjoys writing. Writing, not editing or correcting! She loves to cook (creole cook but not too much cajun cooking) and make crafts when possible. She says, “Love my church and Jesus. I am so thankful that I know Him.”

Rebecca is originally from New Orleans, LA. She grew up in the Big Easy until the age of 14, then moved to Metairie, a little town right outside of New Orleans. Before marrying her sweetie, she lived in Slidell, LA for approximately four years until moving to Milton, FL. She misses New Orleans food, but not the crime.

Welcome, Rebecca!

Lyn, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for this forum you provided for authors. I realize your time is valuable and so appreciate that you invest your time for these interviews.

Thank you for saying that. I truly enjoy introducing authors to readers. Let’s begin with an often asked question. Are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

I am self-published. In fact my publishing company is Writestyle Publishing. I decided to go this route because being an indie author a lot of publishers will not take your work and I hate rejection. Also, a publisher takes too much money to do the same exact thing I do. So, I accomplished two things by using my own publishing company. One, I did not subject myself to numerous rejection letters, and two I saved the publisher’s fees thereby saving money.

Those are good reasons. What about your book covers? Who designs them?

I can say proudly I do. Although I did not start out doing so, with my first book I had a hard time getting the hands to looking right. Near the end of the process my husband and I took pictures of our hands and they ended up being the better picture and therefore on the cover of My Journey to Heaven and Back.

Can you write amid noisy distractions, or do you need absolute quiet?

I can write, read, and study with the TV on. In fact I do better with the noise. My husband cannot understand I can do this. I can write and tell you what’s going on with the television program at the same time. I’ve always done this. Even as a child in school, I had to have distraction. Through college and nursing school I studied with the TV going. I’ve never got accustomed to listening to music and or the radio, just the television.

Do you ever wear your PJs or nightgown all day while writing?

It’s funny you should ask this. I am in my nightgown sometimes all day and all night. Other days I may get out of my nightgown right before dinner. I hate being bound with clothes and shoes, but I’m not brave enough to write naked. That just scares me. Because I am in bed approximately 95 % of my day due to pain, the nightgown works just fine. In fact when I skype you may see I’m still in my sleeping apparel.

Sorry to hear you live with pain. That’s no fun! Does your significant other and/or family support your writing career?

Yes, my husband has backed me 100% through my three books. My Journey To Heaven and Back, a near death experience, Remember, Not a Word, a story of abuse and survival, and Break the Chain of Abuse, a workbook whereby the reader can take two quizzes to determine if they are in fact being abused and/or how to get out of an abusive relationship. My daughter has also been my cheerleader and a very dear friend of mine has always lent a helping hand or good advice and support. I would not be able to write without their full support. It is always nice to have someone behind you saying you are doing a great job.

I agree, a pat on the back helps. What are your favorite TV shows? Movies?

My favorite TV shows are Dance Moms perhaps due to the fact I took dancing for ten years. I took tap, ballet, jazz, and acrobatics. I also have a teacher’s certificate for dance. Although if my dancing teachers ever yelled at me the way Abbey does, I would leave the dance studio pronto. Another favorite TV show, believe it or not, is Deadliest Catch. I love snow crab legs and did not realize the dangers involved in catching crabs. I feel for those poor guys out in the cold rugged freezing water. Someone has to do that job and I’m sure glad it isn’t me. My favorite movie would be Fiddler on the Roof. There is so much history in that movie and the songs tickle my funny bone. I just love the main character. I also love For Richer or Poorer. Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley both do an excellent job of portraying their characters. I love to laugh.

If money were no object, what extravagant thing would you do or buy?

If money was no object I would love to be a philanthropist and give money away to help as many people as I could. I would also love to build a shelter for abuse victims where security was a high priority. I would also love to own several apartments and/or house that abuse victims could live in for a long period of time until they get on their feet. It takes so much time and money to start over and it’s my dream to help those victims.

Very worthy goals! Do you have a favorite quote? Please share it.

Actually I have two. One is “A Man doesn’t own his marriage, he is only the steward of his wife’s love” by Edwin Louis Cole. My second favorite quote is “He whose head is in the heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave” by Matthew Henry.

Thank you again for allowing me this time. I hope your readers will enjoy the interview.


Rebecca’s latest release is a poignant personal memoir: Remember, Not A Word

Remember, Not A Word

As a little child, Rebecca and two siblings were abandoned by their mother for three days. All alone, her fear heightened because her six- week old brother was starving, dehydrated, and crying uncontrollably with cigarette burns all over his fragile body. Both Rebecca and her other brother were hungry and dehydrated also. Rescued by their paternal grandmother and separated by authorities, life for Rebecca was forever changed. Both Rebecca and her brother never saw the baby brother again.

Abuse started at the age of six by the hands of her grandfather. While Rebecca’s grandfather was abusing her sexually, her grandmother was physically and mentally abusing her. Unfortunately, this sexual abuse continued for eight years until the death of her pedophile. Rebecca attracted another abuser, her very own husband of ten years, whereby enduring tremendous physical, emotional, sexual, and mental abuse.

After suffering abuse for a total of twenty-two years Rebecca finally broke the chain of abuse. Although this story is about abuse, it is also about survival. It is Rebecca’s desire to reach the many victims of abuse and help them realize there is hope, there is life after abuse– a life that is worth living. The first two chapters are dedicated to educating abuse victims on signs of an abusive relationship and how to survive abuse. Remember there is NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE!

Find all of Rebecca’s books:

Remember Not A Word

My Journey to Heaven and Back

Break the Chain of Abuse

Visit Rebecca on these sites:

Remembering 9/11

I watched the CNN broadcast of the 9/11 Memorial Museum dedication this morning. Unavoidably, it triggered memories of that terrible day. As on most mornings, I was sitting in my office typing on the computer when my husband called to tell me a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center towers. He’d heard about it at work, where someone had a TV on in the break room.

After his call, I immediately turned on our TV and, a few minutes later, watched the second plane crash into the South Tower. Shocked and horrified, I called our daughter in North Carolina, where she lived at that time. She was at work and had not heard about the attack yet. Of course she was shocked to hear about it. I listened to her shout out the news to her co-workers. Then we hung up.

Glued to CNN, I continued to watch the terror unfold. When the South Tower collapsed I cried out in horrified disbelief. How could this be happening, and how many poor souls had just died?

Honestly, I don’t remember the sequence of what I did next. I think I called my husband first; then I again called our daughter. When I told her one tower had gone down, she mouthed several words I can’t repeat here. She again passed on the terrible news to her co-workers, and I heard them cry out in shock. I recall we both hoped desperately that the North Tower would not fall.

Our hopes were dashed a short while later. For the rest of that day and the days that followed, I remained close to the TV, praying rescuers would find more survivors in the twisted, burning rubble, and grieving with the rest of our nation and people around the world.

Where were you on 9/11? What were you doing? How did you learn about the attack? I suspect the memory is burned into your brain, as it is in mine.

5 Tips for Effective Author Marketing: Small is the New Big

Great article about growing your brand from a small beginning.

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Lynda Bouchard

Lynda Bouchard, Spanx, Writers In The Storm

What can an author learn from a pair of Spanx?A lot.

I was in a mall last week with my aunt and, as we walked through the pantyhose department, I noticed that one brand stood out. Spanx.

How Spanx got noticed and the unique marketing of this product is a brilliant lesson for all authors. Small is the new big.

1. Fill a void.

As an entrepreneur you want to stand out from everyone else who has a book. Spanx was CREATED to fill a void. Ask yourself what VOID your book can fill – where can it be presented, signed or stocked where it will be noticed.

2. Packaging matters.

People DO judge a book by its cover. Spanx created a recognizable brand image that stands out. Simple and red. Keep it simple – it will be read.

3. Small is the new big.

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Monday Author Meetup: C. Henry Martens, Monster of the Apocalypse

My guest today iSONY DSCs C. Henry Martens, sci-fi visionary.

About the author:

C. Henry Martens has a rich and varied life that has included owning and running businesses, raising cattle, winning at poker, and delivering babies in back country cabins under emergency conditions. He and his wife play in the outdoors with passion. He likes to build stuff, do art, garden, and has a special interest in animals. An unapologetic pragmatist, he embraces reality in politics and religion. For him, a good cheap wine, old friends or complete strangers with something to say, and a great view…sublime.

Welcome, C. Henry. Please tell us how you began writing?

I had something happen that destroyed my confidence in humanity. Diagnosed with severe depression, I decided to self medicate by taking out my frustrations on my keyboard rather than eat pills. I’m not sure if I made the right choice, but I enjoy speaking the truth as I see it through my character’s eyes.

Describe your favorite place to write.

I have a window with an old library table in front of it. It’s cluttered with notes and a dictionary and two thesauruses, plants, and the occasional cat.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?

I’m an indie author. I have to say that most indies that are worth a read are better than the big houses. Indies don’t write by a formula.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

Pantser for sure. I like having a goal that shifts, bobbing and weaving as it entices me in the chase to catch it. I’ve started with a simple idea that I thought would be arrived at quickly, only to find it last in some way or other through page after page. It’s fun to have a surprise available.

How do you develop your plots and your characters?

The idea for the Monster of the Apocalypse trilogy came to me once I understood what artificial intelligence and robotics could be capable of. We are in trouble, and once the two technologies are viable, we will find that out.

Do you see yourself in some of your characters?

I am my characters. I may base the appearance of characters on people I know, and roughly their personality querks, but the desires, motivations, and good or evil inside of them is me.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

That there are educated people in the industry that accept me as a decent author. I had written and had published some articles in newspapers, but when I took a chance and approached an editor with experience and she offered to partner with me, believed in me that much, I was blown away.

What project(s) are you working on now?

I have the second book coming out soon. It will be published by the middle of July. And book three is over half written and it will finish the idea. The circle will be complete.

Do you have a favorite quote? Please share it.

Don’t believe everything you think.

LOL I love that one! Now please tell us a little about your latest release.

My pleasure, Lyn.

Monster of the Apocalypse

Monster of the Apocolyps

Book blurb:

Twenty years ago plagues swept humanity to the brink of extinction. The very few that survived were left in a world of plenty, but resources start to become scarce with the passage of time, and people have lost most of their abilities to do anything but forage.

Two orphans, born after the apocalypse, flee a once safe and nurturing community grown from gathered wanderers now controlled by evil men. There are no laws to be enforced, there is no social conscience to be adhered to, and there is nothing politically correct. The civilized hysteria of the past has given way to hiding when you can, running when you must, and fighting if you are cornered.

A dark stranger immersed in regret, and dangerous to himself and everyone he meets, confides the secret of why the world is as it is.

Two orphans must survive and find someone to trust.



twitter: @chenryauthor

Facebook: C. Henry Martens – Author

Monday Author Meetup: R.C. Drake and A Supernatural Mystery

Visiting today isclip_image001 my friend, R. C. Drake. I met R.C. on Amazon’s Meet Our Authors forum, where she hosts a very popular thread called The Writer’s Corner, now in it’s 17th edition.

About the author:

R.C. Drake is from a small town in Southeast Texas, where she owns and operates a small business. She is married with two fine sons, two beautiful granddaughters, and a wonderful grandson. Currently she has seven books published, all of which are available in paperback, five of which are available on eBook.

Her latest release, “Where Is She Now?” is a murder mystery, set in the beautiful Colorado mountains. She is currently working on a trilogy, a fantasy about dragons and mythical creatures. A post apocalyptic setting is the backdrop for this novel, due out in late 2014-2015. Follow the Author’s website for updates on this and future upcoming events.

She thoroughly hopes you enjoy her work, and invites you to email her or visit her website. (See link below)

Welcome, R.C. Let’s start by having you tell us how you began writing.

Sure thing, Lyn. I hadn’t even considered writing until I was in my late 50’s. I was digging in an old box of collected things that had belonged to my mother, and there were some old poems I had written in there. They needed polishing and that was the restart of a beautiful relationship.

Did someone inspire you to write? Who and how?

When my mother was alive she tried very hard to encourage me to write, because she liked the poems I wrote. The muse didn’t hit me until after she passed away and I was much older.

What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hour a day do you write?

At odd times during the day I am struck to write, but mostly when I’m alone and everything is quiet. There are many days I am not inspired at all, so that is why I set no deadlines for finishing a novel. I can’t properly collect my thoughts unless I am in the muse.

I can certainly relate to that. Do you use scented candles, music, wine, chocolate, etc., to put you in the mood to write?

I am a coffee drinker, so a nice cup of hot coffee is a good drive for me.

Describe your favorite place to write.

Have laptop will travel. I sit in bed, go outside on my patio, stare out the window from my desk, sit in my swing in my front yard, whenever I am in the mood to write, the location can be random.

Do you ever wear your PJs or nightgown all day while writing?

Ha ha ha! Yep, been there, done that.

Do you ever write naked? Winking smile

You are funny, Lyn. Nope can’t say I’ve done that, not yet anyway.

Can you write amid noisy distractions or do you need absolute quiet?

I must have peace and quiet. The TV has to be off or turned down very low. I can’t talk to anyone when I’m writing because they interrupt my train of thought. I prefer the house to be empty, with no traffic in and out.

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you choose it?

R. C. Drake is the name I write under. Rhonda is my first name but my middle name doesn’t start with a C. I chose ‘C’ for my youngest son Cody. He aided me with suggestions for my dragon series, which was actually the first book I started writing. Drake is my real last name.

Are your books published by a large publishing house or small press? If so, how did you come to be with this publisher?

My first five publications are with a large publishing house. However, I do not recommend them to anyone. I was unhappy with the price tag they placed on my books as well as the way they charged me for every single thing they did promotion wise.

Are you self-published? If so, what made you choose this route?

I self-published my last two novels and will continue to self-publish from now on. I love the freedom of self-publishing and knowing exactly where and when my books sell. As well as the personal contact with the Readers, that is not something you get with a publisher.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?

I actually just write and the plots flow, I change things, of course, as something more fresh hits me, but no, I can’t say I plan or plot ahead. I do have the ending of my novel in my head before I begin to write, and always aim toward that goal.

How do you develop your plots and your characters?

They truly ‘develop’ as I write. I can’t say I have ever come up with a character BEFORE I started writing. Their personality, name and looks, anything that is part of them just seems to flow as the story takes shape. I always have to go back and write my character list while the story is developing. Their age and mode of dress come to me as they grow within the context of the story itself.

Do you see yourself in some of your characters?

Always Lyn, I am a character in every book I’ve written. Not my entire persona, but bits and pieces of me are there.

How and where do you research for your books?

I like getting personal information about locations and weather from people that actually live in the locations I use. I communicate with individuals that live there. Sights, sounds and the temperament of a location are something best described firsthand by being there.

Does your significant other and/or family support your writing career?

They support me, however my husband and one of my sons simply do not read. I am lucky that my mother in law and oldest son like to read.

Have you ever written a book together with another author?

Not to date, but that is a prospect I would not reject, if presented.

Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?

Oh goodness yes, they are the lifeblood of my writing. I don’t know what I would do without my Beta Readers. I have three that I treasure. Of course I always gift copies to my friends and family and they critique as well, and my fellow Authors give me inspiration and critiques as well. When my Readers speak I listen to them too. Another great thing about self-publishing is that, even after the book is released to the public, you can alter insufficiencies that are found within the text. I have learned a lot from my Readers. They are after all, the ones I am working for. I write to please myself and because the muse just demands it, but I am all about my Readers.

Are your books professionally edited?

Yes it is necessary, as far as I am concerned, to have professional eyes be the last thing that touches your books before you release them out into the world. Even professional editors can miss things though, so at times even after going through Beta Readers and being critiqued, once the Editor has finished their final edits, mistakes can still be found. Just another reason I like self-publishing, you can still repair the damage and make your book the best that it can possibly be.

Who designs your book covers?

My publisher designed the covers for my first five books. I designed the one for Crystal Clear, A Supernatural Mystery, and I had the design for Where Is She Now redone a bit by a professional cover designer.

Your cover for Crystal Clear is mysterious! Congrats for doing such a good job! Now here’s a little peak into the book.

Chrystal Clear

Crystal Clear, A Supernatural Mystery

Book blurb:

Susan is unable to cope with the losses she has recently suffered, so to ease her pain, she clings to her memories.  However, she is unaware of the history of one of her family members.  As she clings to her loved ones memory she inadvertently opens a portal between our world, the realm of the living, and the chasm of the lost. In this void, lurks evil, an evil no human eyes have ever witnessed.  Susan unknowingly allows this portal to remain open far too long, allowing this entity to see into our world.  Through this opening between the two chasms, this evil entity now desires what it sees.


Crystal’s aura swept in front of Alice’s face with the hideous imagery of four eyes sitting in hollowed out eye sockets.  The mouth opened wide as if it intended to swallow Alice whole.  Black hair billowed all around the drifting image of an inhuman form.  A most vociferous sound was emanating from the imagery.  The noise, which seemed to resonate from within the shell itself, thundered within the walls and echoed painfully in Alice’s ears.  The stench within the room that permeated from the sheer evil that had established itself there, was almost intolerable.  Alice quickly realized that she had underestimated Crystal’s fury.  She knew immediately that she was no match for this entity.  Crystal had grown immensely in strength as her wrath had increased.  Alice would have turned and immediately left the room, but at that moment Crystal decided she no longer wanted her to leave.  She prevented her from exiting, by forcefully slamming the door shut.  Then she flung several pieces of furniture hazardously in front of the door to further block any means of escape.

Alice began to shout at Crystal above the incessant din, “What is it you want from me?”

Suddenly, Crystal’s gaping mouth closed and the ghost-like image backed away from Alice.  Then the likeness of Caroline reappeared, almost angelic in nature, and began to slowly float around the room.  Crystal was presenting herself in human form once again, as she stole the likeness of Caroline’s innocence.

A sadistic smile slowly began to spread across the stolen face, as Crystal shouted at Alice, ‘You old fool, I want nothing from you.  This is the body I desired, and you have now stolen it from me!”

Buy link:

Also available for Nook on Barnes & Noble, and on Smashwords. Paperback is available through Amazon and at Createspace:

Look for all of R.C.’s books on Amazon or her website.

Visit R.C. on these sites:

Or you may contact her here: