The Insecure Writers Support Group Monthly Blog

Welcome to this month’s IWSG blog post. If you’re looking for my Midweek Tease, it’s just under this one.

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThis month’s question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

The biggest pitfall I’ve dealt with are unscrupulous publishers. I’ve been scammed twice, but my biggest disappointment came from one of the big five who bought out my smaller romance publisher, waited a year, and then closed the imprint, basically, feeding all of us authors to the dogs.  Now, I’ve embarked on indie publication and I face another pitfall–that of getting my name recognized and my books out there. Since I don’t have the money to hire a publicist, I’m stuck with branding myself as best as I can at the lowest cost possible. Either that, or toss in the towel and give up my dream, something I just can’t do no matter how many times I’ve been tempted to do just that.

Do I have any answers? No. I will just say, when you look for a  publisher or an agent, research, research, research. Don’t let your desire to see your book out there overwhelm your commonsense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But, don’t give up on your dream either. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.

Check out the other posts.


Midweek Tease: More from Same Time Next Year

MWTease15Welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease.  Thanks to Angelica Dawson who makes this blog hop possible each week.

Today’s my birthday, and to celebrate, I chose to release a book that is near and dear to me, one that allowed me to relive some of the bittersweet memories of my youth. This is a work of fiction. It isn’t my story, but it could be the story of any young girl who dealt with adversity during a time when women and girls, as well as many others had no rights, a time some claim was better than today. It’s also the story of falling in love and the heartbreak that goes with it.

Here’s the blurb:

Same Time Next YearA novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

This picks up where I left off last week.

With a trembling hand, Twyla unfastened the button flap and opened the bag, revealing all the treasures she’d been certain had ended up in the trash.

Thank you, William.

He was the only one who could’ve rescued this when he’d helped pack up her brother’s things. Had he looked through it? Why hadn’t he given it to her?

Twyla removed the items she’d hidden in it on that last morning, including her Brownie camera with its roll of undeveloped film, no doubt ruined by now. Here were the funny cards he’d given her, each signed with a silly pseudonym. Next came the rocks she’d collected on the beach the day they’d gone fishing. Beside it, she placed the dried daisies pressed between tissues she’d zipped into the compartment in the lining, along with the slip of paper with his address and phone number. Next came the small tin that had held mints and finally, the photograph. She placed each item on the lid of the box beside her except the picture. She swallowed and forced back the tears stinging her eyes.

Examining it, she realized why William had chosen to keep the bag hidden. He was every bit as handsome as she remembered. His sister had taken this picture the second Sunday she’d been there, and he’d given it to her the last time she’d seen him. As she stared at the photo, her heart began beating rapidly. How could she have missed this?

Lana stepped around to get a better look at the photograph.

“Oh, Grams! Even in black and white pictures, you’re gorgeous. I wish my hair were as curly as yours. Who is he?” Her blue eyes shone with curiosity. “He’s too young and way too tall to be Grandpa. I’ve seen pictures of the two of you together, and you were the same height. It doesn’t look like Uncle Ethan, either.”

Twyla blinked her eyelids, forcing away the sudden tears. How long would she be at the mercy of her emotions like this?

“No, just an old friend,” she answered, her voice hoarse as memories clogged her throat. “I doubt he would know me if he saw me today.”

“Don’t be silly. You haven’t changed a bit.” She scrunched up her face. “Where was this picture taken?”

“At the Colonel’s Inn, a resort along the Rideau Canal. My mother grew up in Ottawa and loved going back there whenever she could. She had a group of friends she met there each year. This was taken the last time we were there.”

“What’s he wearing?” Lana asked, her nose scrunched up as she studied the photo. “He looks like an armed bellhop.”

“An 1867 military uniform. That year, Canada celebrated its centennial, and since he worked on the locks, he had to dress up on the weekends. The tourists loved it.”

“Well, he looks kind of hot. Men in uniforms … yum, yum, yum.” Lana frowned and pulled the picture closer to her eyes, scrutinizing it.

Twyla licked her lips, suddenly nervous. Would she see it? It was hard not to. The eyes and the chin were dead giveaways.

“There’s something about this guy … he looks familiar. Has he ever visited?”

Twyla swallowed. “No. The uniform makes him look like one of your father’s Civil War reenactor friends,” she lied. “A lot of people look like others, especially when they dress the same.” She tried to hide her discomfort behind humor. “Aren’t we all supposed to have a twin or two out there somewhere?”

“Twin or not, you look as if you were head over heels in love with him.”

Twyla chuckled softly, hiding her sudden pain. Her heart or heartache?

“I thought so at the time,” she lied, “but when it came right down to it, it was only puppy love. I married your grandfather seven weeks later.”

“That was fast. Was it love at first sight?”

“Love at first sight?” Despite her efforts to stop it, the words were bitter on Twyla’s tongue. Those were the four words she’d associated with the man in the photograph, not William. “More like love on the rebound.” Although there had been no love involved, but a promise was a promise. “I was still smarting from the sting of rejection when William asked for my hand. Everything was a mess, and he offered me a port in the worse storm of my life. With both my brother and my father dead, our finances in ruin, and my mother hospitalized, I was scared and alone. He offered me a name and a home, safety and security when I needed them most. We had twenty-five good years together.”

“You married him out of gratitude? That’s so sad,” Lana said, leaning her head against hers.

“Sweetheart, don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a good life, and while I may wish some things had been different, I certainly don’t regret it. Without your grandfather’s support, I would never have become an author. William and I may not have had a grand passion for one another, but we were content, and your mother brought us both great joy.”

Lana smiled, but her eyes were shadowed with sadness. “If you say so, but it still sounds sad and lonely.”

She couldn’t deny that.

Lana frowned. “What happened to him?”

“He died twenty-five years ago. He was only fifty-two, but cancer isn’t selective. I thought you knew that.”

“Not Grandpa, that guy,” she indicated the picture. “What was his name?”

“Michael Morrison, and I don’t know. I never saw him again after we left the inn,” Twyla admitted. “We were supposed to stay in touch, but it didn’t happen. I had to leave sooner than I told him I did, and we never got to say goodbye. Not that it really mattered in the end. He’d gone to military college and had to spend five years in the army…” She couldn’t hide the wistfulness in her voice.

“Wouldn’t you like to know what became of him?” Lana challenged. “We could search for him on the Internet.”

Twyla frowned. Did she want to know? Yes … no… He’d broken her heart and had probably gone on to live a happy life without giving a single thought to her.

Get your copy today!

Now, check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

This is a Blog Hop!

Tuesday Tales: From the Word Puzzle

New TT imageWelcome to the last day of July and this week’s edition of Tuesday tales, the weekly blog where a small group of authors share their works in progress with you. Books are born here and you get to experience the growing pains. These posts are all unedited, first drafts of the work to come.

This week, the word prompt is PUZZLE and to use it, i had o create a conundrum in the story. So, I begin by expanding on the last paragraph from last week’s post. Enjoy!

“You must bring a gift for his wife,” Izzy said, rising from the table and retrieving a fine porcelain bowl from the cupboard on the wall. “This belonged to my mother. I painted the rosebuds onto it myself at C … France.” She licked her lips, her gaze finding that of her husband across from her. “All women love beautiful things,” she faltered. “I’m sure she will, too.”

Lucien frowned. The silence around the table was deafening, every member of the household suddenly fixated on the food on their plates. Why had the near slip of the tongue on a word beginning with the letter c or k upset them so much? It was baffling. As he dredged up the scene in his mind, he realized Sophie and the seigneur’s wife weren’t the only ones distressed by it. Strange, but this puzzle wasn’t his to solve. While the idea of never seeing Sophie again saddened him, it was a reality he had to accept. Shelving the memory once more, he finished his breakfast and helped Okwaho and Yves pack up their camp.

The Montagnais village was barely three hours away at a regular pace, but this morning, the trek would be longer, especially with the sled of supplies they lugged behind them. At least two feet of fresh snow covered the landscape, bowing birches and cedars with its weight. Thanks to the snowshoes they wore, they skimmed its surface, their strange footprints the only blemish on the pristine world around them.

They’d been traveling no more than an hour when a dark spot on the snow ahead claimed Lucien’s attention. He stopped and raised his hand to shade his eyes. The sun shining on the snow was enough to blind a man, but thanks to the hand-carved, bone sunshades with narrow slits to see through, a gift from the Montagnais chief years ago, the brightness was almost inconsequential.

“It looks like they’ve sent out a welcoming party,” Yves said, indicating the dark spot that was growing in size and assuming the shape of half a dozen men.

Lucien frowned. “I’m not so sure of that. A welcoming party infers they knew we were coming, or that we were here. I saw no sign of that when we made camp nor while I kept guard during the storm, and I sent no message ahead. Something’s wrong.”

That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Sunday Special: Happy Father’s Day

light sunset people water

Photo by Negative Space on

Wow! Talk about time flying by. It must be moving at WARP speed these days since we’re half way through June–almost halfway

through 2018.

Today is Father’s Day here. It doesn’t take much to be a father– a shot in the dark as they used to say–but it takes a very special man to be a dad, and that’s the kind of men we honor today.

On this day, we honor the men in our lives who have made a significant difference, men like my father, my husband, and all the others who put themselves out there to support their families in every way possible. They work to put food on the table and supply the day to day necessities, the things we all take for granted until we have to provide them ourselves.

action athletes ball barbed wires

Photo by Pixabay on

So here’s to the guy who changes diapers, the one who helps clean the house and do laundry, the one who does outside maintenance, and still has time to tie shoes or take the kids to the park. Here’s to the one who taught you to throw a ball, swim, or skate, the one who coaches soccer, T-ball, softball, baseball, hockey, and more. The one who umps or refs, long after his own kids aren’t playing anymore. Here’s to the guy who loves and will protect his little princesses with everything in him, and will stand by his sons through thick and thin.

woman holding her child walking near windmills

Photo by Josh Willink on

Here’s to the read dads out there, and the women who take on both roles, because sometimes a mom has to be a dad, too.

Happy Father’s Day!



Friday’s Featured Author: Samantha Anne and her re-released novel, KIRBY

books in black wooden book shelf

Photo by Pixabay on

Join me in welcoming, Samantha Anne, a former Crimson Romance author like myself who’s elected to re-release her novel, Kirby.

Thanks for joining me today, Samantha. I know why I’ve decided to re-release my Crimson novels, but why did you choose to re-release Kirby?

I really wanted to give Kirby new life after my original publisher, Crimson Romance,
shut its doors earlier this year. It’s a really fun read that I’m happy to say has made quite
a few people giggle and happy-sigh! I decided to re-launch it on my own because there is
also so much more I can do with it now that I have the rights to myself.
I can certainly agree with that. What do you hope to do with Kirby now that the book is all yours again?

I’m working on adapting the story into a screenplay, because a lot of readers have said
that they can see it on screen (I admit, I can too!). I also want to ultimately release an
audiobook version, and – well, there’s one more surprise that I’m working on (at the
persistent request of readers who have already devoured Kirby), but you’ll have to wait
until the book comes out!

Everyone loves a surprise.  Any fun facts about Kirby that you would like to share?

• Kirby started out as a defunct screenplay that sat in the bottom of a blue bin in my
closet for close to five years. 2012’s So You Think You Can Write contest came
around, and I decided immediately that I wanted to participate. What ended up
happening was that Kirby was written from start to finish in 12 days!
• The man who inspired the hero (assuming he hasn’t tossed it, of course!) has not only
a copy of the original edition, but also has an early treatment that I wrote for the
screenplay. The latter was not my best work, so I’m fairly certain that made it into the
trash. But see below to find out who exactly inspired the book’s hero, Joe “AJ”

Interesting. It’s always nice to have someone to inspire a character.  Who inspired your  two main characters?
• Rachel was always meant to be an amalgam of myself (well, who I wanted to be) and
Anne Hathaway, though lately I’ve “dream casted” actress Jessica Stroup if it should
ever make it to screen.
• Joe “AJ” Pavon, forever known as Hottie McCoffeehouse in the pages of Kirby, was
100% inspired by Joe Manganiello. The teasing smile he gave me when I told him (I
fangirl-traveled to see him perform in a play in Connecticut) reinforced how happy I
am that I did. 😉

Meeting our heroes in real-life is certainly a thrill. How do you get inspired to write?

Sometimes, music does it. Other times, people-watching is a sure fire way to get me
going. Then of course there are times where inspiration pops up out of nowhere! Those
days are why I have a notebook on me at all times.
I find places can be great sources of inspiration.  What’s the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing for me is being able to clean my brain out on a daily basis. Sometimes, just
having the ability to write my thoughts out is a huge blessing. When someone reads it and either relates or enjoys it, well – that’s just ten times more awesome.
On that we can agree. Talking about your book with someone who read and enjoyed it is definitely the ultimate thrill.  What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I tell everyone the same thing that was told to me: Write. Seek inspiration. Then write

Any final words?

Thanks so much for supporting the re-release of my first Contemporary
Romance and 2014 Rone Award Nominee, Kirby!

Kirby, is up for pre-sale. 


Kirby Front Cover 2018“What she wanted to find was her heart’s desire. What she found was her sassiest self – and Hottie McCoffeehouse.”
Rachel Sirianni is a twenty-seven-year-old native New Yorker with dreams of becoming an editor for Equinox Publishing, one of the top imprints in the city. And it seems she’s finally gotten her foot in the door, until one wild morning turns her fast track into an uphill climb.
Unable to pay her bills, she takes an unlikely second job to make ends meet and finds herself struggling to maintain two lives – her own, and that of her alter ego. Kirby is a sassy, imaginative, and extroverted fireball whom Rachel had no idea was lying dormant inside of her.
Enter Joe, a larger-than-life, brutally hot writer with a heart of gold. Rachel can’t seem to control herself around him, despite the fact that she’s sworn off men until she can get her career back on track. Their backgrounds and interests very nearly run parallel, and the Universe seems to keep pulling the pair together – in every aspect of Rachel’s life.
What happens when two worlds collide, particularly where it concerns Joe? The ride of her life may just lead to love – or it could lead back to the drawing board.

The Amazon Pre-Sale begins today June 15th! Click here to order:


“I’m screwed.” Rachel sat across a small round table from her best friend Camille, as they both sipped from two abundantly filled glasses of riesling. Camille raised an eyebrow and gave her a smirk. “You make it sound like a bad thing.” Rachel pursed her lips and fought a smile. “Cami, I’m serious! I’m only making a dollar more an hour than I was at StarChefs.” “I thought we were here to celebrate,” Camille teased, “You’re in the company you’ve wanted to work for since freshman year. So you’ve got to start back at the beginning. Suck it up and wow them, now! And if that doesn’t work, just sleep your way to the top.” Rachel snickered and tilted her head to one side. “Cami, please.” Camille gave Rachel a wink and turned to hail their waiter. “Don’t you worry Rach, we’ll make this week disappear and you can start fresh on Monday.” Rachel smiled at her best friend. Camille had just turned thirty, and somehow seemed more worldly than most women ten years her senior. The fact that she was a fashion photographer might have had something to do with it. She’d been to many different countries, and had met some of the world’s most interesting people. The way Cami told it, the most interesting were usually found in back alley bars, local watering holes, and hole-in-the-wall pubs. She’d seen it all, done it all, and captured it all. Buying Cami a glass of wine would get you hours of some of the best stories ever told — and Rachel got to hear them all for free. A waiter approached and filled their glasses once more. Camille held her glass up to toast Rachel. “To the finest junior editor the publishing world has ever seen,” she announced with a smile, tossing her thick ash blond locks behind her shoulder. Rachel blushed. “The finest almost junior editor.” “Semantics,” Camille replied with a sly smile, “Your future is set, and I say that it’s so. Now clink my glass and drink already!” Rachel laughed and saluted her buddy, taking a long, satisfying sip. Camille studied her closely, and allowed herself a serious moment. “Honey, listen,” she said, placing a comforting hand on Rachel’s forearm, “This may be a setback, but it’s a minor one. I know how talented you are, and I know how much you love books and the business. You will get the position you were hired for; I know it. You’re already a star, now you’ve just got to prove it.” Rachel smiled. “Thanks, Cam. And thanks for dinner! I’m not going to need to eat until Monday! Then again, I can’t really afford to.”
“Now, now, enough of the pity party,” Camille chided, “You know if you need money I
can lend it to you. It comes with an open-ended payback policy, and zero interest.”
“Thanks, but I think I’m just going to have to find another job again.”
Rachel breathed a heavy sigh at the mention of a second job; she was so tired of it! Losing sleep
to barely get by wasn’t her idea of living life. She’d expected to have that under control by now.
But, it was the price one often paid to live their dream.
“It’s only six months,” Camille insisted, “You can make it. You’ll be fine by the end of
the year.”
Rachel leaned back, stretching her arms. “God, I hope so. I’m pretty much over the four
hours of sleep routine.”
Cami took a long sip from her wine glass. “You can get through it. What you can’t do,
however, is be late again.”
Rachel nodded, giving a yawn. “Let’s call it a night. Or at least let’s get a bottle to go and
watch some movies at my place.”
“Is the roommate home?”
“Nope, she just left on an improv tour.”
Camille stood. “Throw in a couple of Diane Keaton movies and I’m there.”
Rachel grinned. “Annie Hall?”
“Annie Hall.”

SM_picAbout the Author:

Samantha Anne is the author of Kirby and Company Ink (nominated for a 2014 Rone Award and a 2016 Rone Award Finalist, respectively) and has been writing Contemporary Romance since 2013. She grew up writing fan fiction for her friends (dubbed ‘Daydreams’) and their first book boyfriends, as a result, included the likes of Joey McIntyre, Kevin Richardson, and JC Chasez.
Her writing style was built on a healthy diet of Anne Rice, Nora Ephron, Amy Heckerling, GarryMarshall twisted with the comedic stylings of Mel Brooks and National Lampoon set to the tune of The Ramones, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, and Joan Jett, and it often shows in her work.
When she’s not writing about flawed heroines and their charming love interests, Samantha loves playing bass, baking, feeding her friends, podcasting, singing and drowning in Disney movies and 80’s/90’s pop culture. Learn more about her at

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group Monthly Post


Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeWelcome to the June edition of the IWSG’s monthly blog post. This is open to all writers. Click on the link below for more information. While your post doesn’t have to be about the question, one is always provided.

June 6 question – What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Interesting question. Until recently, that is the ‘cockygate’ thing and trademarking issues, I never had a problem with titles. It didn’t bother me to find other authors had selected the same title that I had–in fact, I never checked to see if there were books out there with the title I’d chosen, because it wouldn’t occur to me to try to trademark words. Am I naive? Maybe. For example, there are several books called Fire Angel and variations of it, just like there are many Echoes of the Past out there, including one written by a close friend. I don’t worry my readers can’t find my books because my name’s there, too. Will I be concerned about titles in the future? Probably, although I have no idea where one would look to see if a title or series name had been trademarked.

As far as names go, I usually name the hero or heroine after friends, but sometimes I just pick a name I’ve heard and like. I can’t name babies anymore, so book babies are the closest I’ll get.

Looking forward to hearing how others are dealing with this. Have a great Wednesday.  Check the sign-up list for other great posts and answers to this question.


Friday’s Featured Author: Connie Ann Michael

Welcome to another Friday’s featured Author. Once more, I bring you one of Anaiah’s Press’s authors.  These inspirational novels are good for all ages.


Publisher: Anaiah Press

Genre: Inspirational Young Adult


Oli left the safety of her home to spread God’s word to a world that’s forgotten He exists. She never expected to become a pawn between a mother she thought was dead and two competing sanctuaries, all of whom see her as nothing more than a tool to gain more power. But when the Governor shows up to take Oli back to the barrier, she discovers a horrible truth: her mother used Oli as a bartering chip to save herself, and she’s about to do it again.

Oli finds an ally in a scarred boy named Matty—and now he’s her only hope of survival. Unfortunately, the only way to safety is to head into a city full of Screamers. Along the way, they encounter Luca, a man who realizes Oli’s true potential, and he’s going to use her to cement his position as a powerful leader.

Forced to go The Station, a true house of horrors that might hold the answer to the illness, Oli must save her friends and get out before she becomes the next test subject.

You can pick up a copy of Forgotten from Amazon!

10431934956741AUTHOR BIO:

Connie was born and raised in Seattle Washington but recently moved to Montana. She lives with her husband and her two dogs and enjoys any activity which will get her outdoors. Connie has two sons who have successfully graduated from college.


Find her at her WEBSITE, Facebook, or on  Twitter.