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Archive for the 'Real Life' Category

Patricia W. Fischer: Imperfection to Escapism
Saturday, August 8th, 2020

As a writer, you’re only as good as your editing.

Misspellings, misuse of homonyms, and horrible punctuation will ruin even the greatest stories, and yet, there are times when our brains simply can’t figure out how to fix what’s so obviously wrong.

Take me, for instance. Back in 2005, I’m about seven months pregnant in the summertime in San Antonio, Texas.

For those who’ve never had the experience of walking around in the 100+ degree heat while in your last trimester of pregnancy, consider yourselves blessed. That along with my pregnancy brain in full force, it was truly amazing I never forgot to put pants on every day.

One of the writing organizations I belonged to at the time was the Association of Health Care Journalists. Back when people posted to message boards and Yahoo loops, I posted a response to a question from a fellow member that went out to everyone in the organization.

For whatever reason, I had to use the word “subtle” in my response. I couldn’t tell you what the question was or why I needed to use that particular word, but that day, I could not spell it. And when I said I couldn’t spell it, I mean, just that.

I tried. S..u…t?

Wait. That’s not right. S…u…t..t..l..e?

Shaking my head, I took a deep breath and tried again.


And again.

S…u…(exhale)…t? Dammit!

I closed my eyes and attempted to let my fingers sail across the keyboard, hoping that part of my (pregnant) brain would kick in and spell the word subconsciously.

Nope. That didn’t work.


Nope, it kept correcting to settle, scuttle, or shuttle.

After spending a good ten minutes on this one word, I said screw it and sent it out into the professional writing world, knowing I’d misspelled it. My brain and body were simply too tired to care, but I knew I’d hear from someone.

And I did.

Within a few hours, I got a private message stating, “By the way, it’s subtle.”

That’s right! There’s a B in the middle of it.

I could’ve been totally annoyed, but whatever. One stinking mistake didn’t make me a failure. I emailed back, explaining I tried for ten minutes to spell the word and my pregnancy brain simply wouldn’t have it.

The response I received couldn’t have been scripted. She wrote, “Really? I’m the editor for *Fit Pregnancy Magazine. We’re doing a survey on pregnancy brain. Are you having a boy or girl?”

I wrote back, telling her we were having a girl and decided I might as well bite the bullet and pitch her a short story for their “How I told him” page.

And she bought it.

These are the kinds of real situations I make sure to include in my stories. Whether I’m writing about a family who lives in the Texas Hill Country, a woman who’s navigating her life after running out of her wedding, or a group of doctors and nurses re-inventing themselves in Montana, those real, insane, imperfect events have to be my favorites. It makes true escapism so worth it and if I may say, my wonderfully flawed characters are waiting to sweep you off to their imaginary worlds.

How’s that for some subtle self-promo?

Check out Patricia on social media and her website (that’s getting a facelift right now).

Anne Rainey: The Struggle is Real
Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Life brings challenges. We all know that, right? As we find ourselves doing battle with a terrible virus that has swept the globe, it’s caused many of us to wake up and realize what’s truly important in life. Family and friends top that list. Without them, we struggle. I know that too well. A few years ago, I found myself floundering. Some big life things hit me, and I lost my love of writing. I even lost my passion for reading. I’ve always been a reader, and yet, I didn’t care about those fictional worlds anymore. Then the dreaded menopause monster kicked me while I was down, sucking the life right out of me. I honestly thought my writing days were over and that sent me into a downward spiral. After all, without writing, what am I? All those story ideas in my head, those characters talking to me every day had suddenly gone silent.

Writer’s block is the official term. Honestly, it was so much more than that.

I felt as if I had nothing that I could call my own. It’s a terribly dark place to be. The people in my life tried to help, but it’s a solitary journey, to tell the truth. It wasn’t until my health started to suffer, that I realized I needed to take control. I started with exercise, which inevitably led to eating better. My mood improved, and the mental fog began to clear. The story ideas started trickling in. Yes! Before I knew it, I was writing and reading again. I’m thankful for authors like Shannon McKenna, Laurann Dohner, Delilah Devlin, Nalini Singh, and Lucy Monroe for getting me through the darkest days. Their stories kept me sane.

And since August of last year, I’ve managed to release six brand new books. I’m proud of that accomplishment, but it’s only a drop in the bucket. My writer’s brain never sleeps now. And you won’t hear me complaining, lol. I’ve started a new steamy contemporary romance series titled, Men of Silverlake. The first three books are available for purchase: And I’ve dipped my toes into the paranormal romance genre. I’m having such fun, too! The first two books in my Zenarian series can be found here:

Dyre: Zenarians, Book 3 (Coming Soon)

She will test his allegiance…

As the leader of the red guard, Dyre is aware that most Zenarians fear him. He’s often been forced to use that fear to uphold the six laws and protect the Zenarian race. With the rebel faction increasing their numbers every day, all his focus is centered on securing the mountain they call home from any and all threat. When he spots a human female much too close to their border, Dyre quickly captures her. His intention to interrogate the pretty brunette goes up in smoke the instant his wings encircle her small, curvy body. She stirs his creature. When Dyre notices the cuts and bruises littering her fair skin, he breaks protocol and brings her home.

Jade is on the run from the law. Or more accurately, the law according to Granger Wasser. As sheriff of Macone County, Granger has appointed himself judge and jury and everyone in town is too afraid to oppose him. When Jade turns down his marriage proposal, it sets off a chain reaction that forces her to flee to parts unknown. Imagine her surprise when she runs smack into a crimson-winged alien! His gentle touches ignite her blood and Jade wants nothing more than to surrender to the wildfire brewing between them. Still, Dyre is a man. And trusting a man is how she ended up falling down the rabbit hole to begin with.

Read more about the Zenarian race here:

Find me and say hi:
Rainey’s Readers Private Group:
Website: –download the first chapter *free* of all my books!

Happy reading,
Anne Rainey

Last day of July! Open contests! NEW PUZZLE-CONTEST!
Friday, July 31st, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Elaine Mulder!

I checked the calendar this morning and had to do a double-take. We’re at July 31st! July 31st! Has this year flown by for you like it has me? Sure, it’s been a very strange year. One for the history books in so many ways. A year where we’re living from one disaster to another. Plus, we’re stuck at home.

I had to think back to my childhood where we stayed glued to the TV through JFK’s assassination, the moon landing, the Viet Nam war. (An aside, one of my most vivid memories was watching a reporter get shot and having a South Vietnamese medic wrapping his leg with a tourniquet—while he continued his report!) Now, we (maybe just I?) can watch news 24/7. I’m listening to the news while I’m typing this! It’s crazy. Not healthy, I’m sure, but I feel like I have to know the second when the zombie apocalypse starts! Because that’s next, right?

In the meantime, it’s the end of July. I did plenty of work this month but don’t yet have a new book to share. That happens in August.  Check out Cage, if you’re ready for another sexy bounty hunter. I did a s*$t-ton of editing for other folks. I painted my ass off. I spent a lot of pool time with the kids. So, I wasn’t lazy. I just wasn’t writing fast enough. I realize I’ve been using my family’s self-isolation as an excuse to…watch more movies with the family, participate in meal preparation, playing with the little ones, playing with a new hobby that provides me joy… Maybe that makes me a bad writer, but I’m not caring. 🙂

These contests are still open!

  1. Susan Saxx: Nathan Unwrapped (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
  2. Storytime — A Puzzle Contest — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Gabbi Grey: Why gay romance? (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!

The Puzzle-Contest

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me the story that goes along with this picture! 

Storytime — A Puzzle Contest
Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Eileen Airey!

Does it feel as though the days are just blending together? I had to check the calendar to figure out what day of the week it was. There’s a sameness that’s just a bit numbing to my days now.

There are bright spots. The 7-year-old has decided that my bed is the softest, so she comes toodling in at bedtime with a smug smile. She knows I’ll flip back the covers and let her join me. Then we’ll lie side-by-side in the dark and talk about what’s happening with her favorite YouTube personality. The pool is another highlight. I mostly bob around on a noodle, enjoying the giant bathtub (the pool’s temp is right around 90 degrees!). It’s so relaxing if I stick to the side opposite of where the 7-year-old and 11-year-old are trying to drown each other in “sea battles.”

I have a book to finish and two sets of edits to work on. Plenty to keep me busy. And I’m trying to slowly get control over my craft room/office sprawl. So, yes, plenty to do.

The fall will look a lot like the summer, minus pool time. Our school district is offering an online option for students, so we’re opting for that. Gah!

The Puzzle-Contest

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, tell me a story about what’s happening in this picture!

Enter these contests while you can!

  1. Poll Results! And Tell Me a Story! (Contest–2 winners!) — Win a FREE cowboy book!
  2. Susan Saxx: Nathan Unwrapped (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
Just Chillin’ — and Open Contests Ending Soon!
Friday, July 17th, 2020

Yesterday, I took the day off. I turned off my computer. *gasp*

Yes, I was tired after finishing two sets of edits on Wednesday. The thing motivating me to move away from my desk was that my daughter, SIL, and granddaughter pitched in to help me get control of my overflowing office/craft room. Since they moved in, I gave up my office and crammed it into the back of my craft room. Then my mother’s art supplies were also dumped into my craft room for sorting later. I’ve been living like a hoarder (and I know I already was moving in that direction, but I do try to have an orderly hoard). I had to circumvent boxes of mysterious things (I call them undiscovered treasures while my dd refers to them as trash).

It took three hours. We went through an enormous amount of stuff—and surprise! Most of it was actually usable treasure rather than trash. For instance, my mom had a box of still packaged paint brushes, acrylic and oil paints, stamps, and stamp pads, and on and on. Sorting was a matter of putting her things with my things and figuring out what was dried up or just excess packaging. Now, I can walk into my office without breaking toes (I kept stubbing my toes on boxes—and yes, I’ve broken two). It was time.

I still have work to do. My “library” was reduced from three large bookshelves to just two against the back wall of the craft room, and I have to find room for all my collectibles along with the books. I’ mean, doesn’t everyone collect McDonald’s kids meal toys? I have all the dragons from How to Train Your Dragon, all the Hotel Transylvania figures, bobbleheads from Marvel and DC superheroes, a singing bust of King Henry VIII that sings “I’m Hen-er-ree the eighth I am!” All things necessary to keep me happy when I’m writing. Truly. Uh-huh. But I’ll tackle “the library” another day…

Oh, and if you didn’t see this picture before… This is the shelf above my monitor. Yes, it needs organizing, but everything crammed into it is treasure! After all that clearing out, we all jumped into the pool for a well-deserved break.

Ah, life during COVID-19!

Enter while you can!

  1. Diana Cosby: Nature’s Beauty – In The Forest (Contest)This contest ends soon! Win a signed book!
  2. What would you like to see in the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology? (Contest)This contest ends soon! Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Ava Cuvay: What’s in a World? (Contest & Excerpt)3 Winners! Win a FREE book!
  4. Lizzie Ashworth: Captives of Desire (FREE on KU!) — Everybody, get a FREE book!
Sharing a Picture and Open Contests!
Sunday, July 5th, 2020

In between the rains, we did our own little fireworks thing last night. The little ones love the sparklers and poppers. Here’s the 6-year-old showing off her “technique”. See the streamers? Barely, I know.

We had a few of the bigger fireworks, but after the horses and dogs spooked and this kid declared she was scared by the loud noises, we decided we’d donate our leftovers to someone else. Next year, we’ll stick to the small stuff. We had to bring every dog we own into the house to hide in closets or under the beds. And the poor horses? They hid out in the barn. Not doing that to them, again. It was bad enough the neighbors up and down the road went at it until the wee hours of the morning. Life in the country!

These contests are still open! Enter while you can!

  1. Come Play the Puzzle-Contest! — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Rochelle Bradley: Summer Goals (Contest) — Too many prizes to list!
Happy Fourth of July!
Saturday, July 4th, 2020

2020’s past the midway hump. Can you believe it? It feels like the first six months lasted a decade! Here’s hoping for a better rest of the year!

Weather permitting, we plan to light some fireworks in the front yard, and then sit outside to watch the neighbors’ fireworks from afar as well. With COVID spiking all over the country, please be safe. Please mask/socially distance/wash your hands, if you go out. We will get through this if we all work together to keep each other safe.