Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Author Dora Badger and book Lemonade Songs


Comments in blocks [ ] are my own.

Author Dora Badger is a resident of Detroit, Michigan, where she lives with her partner and a whole pack of rescue dogs. She also has a grown daughter. Since the 9-5 job isn’t really her style, she’s a freelance web designer when she isn’t writing. She’s also the Primary Vendor Coordinator for Woodward Press, a company that pairs up independent authors and professional editors, cover artists, and other people to help authors self-publish.

Lemonade Songs is a short horror piece loosely based on a nightmare where her daughter, as an infant, kept “singing the dead back to life”! These ghoul-like characters kept showing up at her home and demanding lemonade. [How imaginative, and what a horrid nightmare to have!]

It was released in July, 2014 and is available on Amazon at . At its very core, Lemonade Songs is about the lengths that a parent will go to in order to protect a child. She hopes to invoke in her readers that “deeply disturbing moment when a protagonist is forced into actions he/she would otherwise never consider. [Very cool!]

Dora is currently engaged in writing a sequel titled Ash Lake, a full-length novel that will pick up 15 years after the events in Lemonade Songs. Its projected release date is late 2015 or early 2016. She also had another full-length novel coming out in mid-2015 called Uncurled. Another book by Dora is called When You’ve Been Bad, and along with Lemonade Songs, are intended as introductions to her writing style and are frequently offered as freebies through Amazon. She also uses social media networks to promote her books.

Dora is a member of GoodReads and participates in a few groups on that site. Her website is, on Twitter @dorabadger, Pinterest: and Google+ For information about Woodward Press, see


**Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of the books in question as I haven’t read them, so I can’t vouch for their contents.**


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holidays Are a Time to Reflect

With so many Americans (and possibly other nations) getting ready to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, it's a time when we should slow down in our busy lives and really reflect on what we have and what we're thankful for. I've already written my #Thanksgivingblog, so I won't talk much about that today. But I am going to talk about food!

Holidays are a time when we tend to gorge ourselves on a feast of food that would probably sustain the family for a week were it not prepared on the same day! I grew up having the traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing (not stuffing), gravy, and so on. So, this is what I prepare for my family each year.

I'm not too good at roasting a turkey in the oven, so I tend to choose a smaller turkey, or a turkey breast, and put it into my CrockPot with butter, cream of chicken soup, and water for the day. It slow cooks poultry to near perfection. It's never dry, always flaky and moist, and it saves my oven for other things to cook. My mother, if I remember right, used to start the turkey in the middle of the night, the day before Thanksgiving, or in the wee hours of the morning, so that she'd have the oven available later for dressing.

I make cornbread dressing, just as my mom always did. I cheat a little and use Jiffy cornbread mix, but I always add about a tablespoon of sugar to each batch. Then I chop up hard-boiled eggs, onions if I have them, and mix poultry seasoning, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper into the crumbled cornbread. Then I crack a couple raw eggs into it, fill it with water, and stick it into the oven.

For my gravy, I cheat a little bit too. I take cans of cream of chicken soup, add poultry seasoning, sage, salt, pepper, and chopped up hard-boiled eggs. I also use some of the juice and drippings from the turkey in the CrockPot and mix it all together. My husband says that my dressing and gravy should be considered the 5th food group. Although, with recent changes to the "food pyramid" that we grew up with, I'm not sure how many groups they actually have now!

Then, of course, we have the required mashed potatoes, usually a green bean casserole (with the crispy French onions), sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and brown sugar, yeast rolls, and cranberry sauce! We may have other odds and ins in depending on what we were feeling like having when we went shopping.

I've never been one to bake pies well, so we usually end up buying a premade pumpkin pie and usually a pecan pie too. Sometimes, I'll splurge and get a chocolate cream pie for myself, since I don't like pumpkin and can no longer chew pecan pie :( . Chocolate's my thing!

So, the family will gorge itself on all this food at around 2:00 in the afternoon, then we'll collapse into turkey comas for a few hours, only to wake again and return to the buffet to pick and choose at a favorite dish. And then comes the turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, or any dish you could substitute chicken with turkey for, just to try and get the leftovers eaten before it's time to throw them out!

Now that I've gotten you salivating at the thought of Thanksgiving dinner, I'll offer up a challenge: leave me a comment on a special dish you serve at Thanksgiving, or any other holiday, or one you remember from your childhood. Maybe we can find a new "special dish"!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Featured Author Nancy LaPointe and book Masked in Deceit

Comments in blocks [ ] are my added comments, not citations.

Nancy LaPoint lives in the state of New Mexico (which she reminds us IS a part of the United States!) with her family and “two little white dogs”, in her home nestled in the Lincoln National Forest [Billy the Kid is said to be buried in the area.]. She’s a retired pastoral counselor and her current job, which she loves, is “writing”!

Masked in Deceit is a Christian mystery novel about a newspaper reporter who uncovers a sinister plot to manipulate citizen into gun control. [Is this fiction, or non-fiction?? ;) ] She was inspired to write it by hearing so many conspiracy theories that seem to have a bit (or more) of truth to them. Eyewitnesses to tragic events around the nation are identified as being the same people, it poses the question to the reader: conspiracy theories, or possibilities? Masked in Deceit was released in July of 2014, published through CreateSpace and available at Amazon or through Nancy’s website at .

Nancy wishes to give the reader a good, clean mystery while undoubtedly asking themselves some important questions about how the media handles tragic events in our country, as well as the culpability of our government to push emotional responses from its people. [Again, fiction, or non-fiction? Can you tell my husband is a conspiracy nut?]

Another book Nancy has available is a non-fiction titled Living in God’s Rest…at Peace in a Chaotic World which is an inspirational guide to overcoming stress in difficult times. This book is published with West Bow Press and is available in print through all major retailers, and in e-book format as well.

Nancy routinely uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as marketing tools. She’s also a member of GoodReads and Bookbzz as well. She welcomes her readers to join her at either or both as well as her Facebook page.

You can find Masked in Deceit at Amazon  and it’s currently ranked at 5 out of 5*! [Nice job, by the way!] Joyce H. says, “Loved this book. It kept my attention from the beginning.” And Patsy Raef stated: “This book was well written, I did not want to put it down.” So if you’re looking for an excellent read with a conspiracy background, go check out Nancy’s book! I know she’ll appreciate it!


**Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of any of the subject material, as I have not read the book, and cannot vouch for its contents.**

Monday, November 17, 2014

Worse Than Writer's Block!

I've recently become aware of something that could potentially damage myself as a writer, more than likely a side-effect of the chemotherapy I've recently endured. It's something that I'm not sure medical science can fix or repair, and I'm not sure if I myself can do anything about, except for just watching closely for it to occur and correcting it when it does.

I've discovered that I have some type of writing disorder. Oh, I've not been diagnosed with it by a medical doctor, but if it hadn't been for my new-found writing career, I may not have ever noticed it. I was just typing a post on one of my social media networks, and I typed the word many as "namy", which of course my computer's spell checker alerted me to. This was when I began to think back about numerous other times I've done something similar in the past few months. I thought about all the times I'd written the word with the correct letters, but oftentimes in the wrong order.

I guess this goes hand in hand with the times when I'm either speaking or writing where I have to stop and think for a good long time about the word I'd intended to use. Often, it's on the tip of my tongue (or my fingers), and I just can't pull it out of my brain as fast as my hands can type. Sometimes, I never can come up with the word and I'll have to go ask someone, "What do you call it when [fill in the blank]?". I remember recently I was trying to use the phrase, "Sometimes a spade is just a spade," and I just couldn't pull out that last word! I finally had to ask my family, "Sometimes a spade is just what? As in something that is exactly what it appears to be?" It was dad who finally came up with the end word of the phrase.

At first I thought this might be a type of dyslexia, but I've read a little about that and it seems that dyslexia is more of a reading and learning disorder. Whatever it is has made me curious enough to bring it up to my doctor the next time I see him. It may simply be that there's a misfiring of sorts going on between my brain (that says type the word many) and my fingers (which ends up typing the word "namy" instead). Today isn't really the first time I've noticed this, and it seems to occur more often when I'm typing on the laptop with both hands, as opposed to when I'm typing on my phone screen using only my thumbs.

As a writer, I've never relied completely on the technology of the spelling or grammar checker that comes with word processing software on a computer. Often, I ignore some of the grammar suggestions it makes because I actually intended to say what I typed. Sometimes, whether in novels or non-fiction, we tend to use poor grammar, for example, in a dialogue (using less formal language lets the dialogue seem more believable), and we don't need it to change. I've always been a stickler for proper spelling and grammar myself; I even have difficulty not capitalizing names, for instance, in web addresses, or using text or Twitter shorthand. So I've relied more on my own knowledge of proper grammar to get me where I am today.

With this kind of condition, I'm going to have to watch myself even more closely. Generally speaking, my computer alerts me to spelling errors even when I'm posting to Facebook, or writing a post here. And that's a good thing that it does; it has caught me several times transposing letters in a word. But I don't want to get into the habit of letting my computer do all the work for me. Sometimes the spell check won't alert you; in other words, if you had typed the word "if" but left off the letter "I", it would be nothing but a letter f. So you can see why it's important to have human eyes to help you edit and proofread your work. Often a fresh set of eyes will catch a typo like mentioned above, where your eyes (because you wrote it) may well just skip clean over it!

I'm by no means suggesting that you turn off your grammar and spell check on your computer software. Absolutely, use it in your writing. But just take what it tells you with a grain of salt, and if you can get someone else to proof your work, by all means, go for it! As indie authors, we often can't afford to hire the services of a professional editor, but there are other ways to get your work edited. If you know other authors, offer to exchange editing for editing. You send them a chapter or two for them to look over, and you do the same for them. Maybe you can even find readers in your area who would do it for you, and you could email them an excerpt that you'd like edited. Even if you don't change to their suggestions, it will make you stop and take a look at your writing from another perspective, and that will help to improve your writing.

Writing is a Work in Progress, and that process doesn't have to stop at the printing press. As indie authors using a print-on-demand service like CreateSpace, or digital services like Amazon's KDP or Smashwords, we have full control over our work and how it looks. I've already released 2nd editions of all my books, print and Kindle versions. The changes I made weren't to the book content (except for a couple spelling errors), but were purely cosmetic, such as page number styles and location, working table of content hyperlinks in the Kindle versions, and so on. I'm continually striving to make my writing be the best it can be.

Cover Art for Audiobook
And I'm going to use this post as a way to introduce the cover art for my audiobook version of Once Upon a Western Way, just started in production today! I'm using the same castle as I did on the 2nd edition print cover. Mind you, the requirements for the cover art on ACX is that the picture be square, unlike that of CreateSpace or KDP, where the art has to be rectangular, taller than it is wide. I've always loved the castle photo for this story, as it's told during a time of kings and queens and royalty. It's the same image I used when I originally published this book with Smashwords in 2012, and when I first worked up the cover for it at CreateSpace, I couldn't get the resolution quite good enough, so I chose the cover I used for the 1st edition. Now, I'm glad that my 2nd edition has the castle image again. It always was close to my heart!