Importance of Beta Readers

Let’s say you have your novel done, maybe even the editing portion, or maybe not. You’re staring at the document, wondering where to go. Do you get it formatted? Proofread? Or just upload it to Amazon, ready to publish and say screw it?

Remember when we talked about the fears of rejection? Maybe you are experiencing that. You are wondering if your story is any good. Or if there are plot holes you just can’t see. Does the story flow? Is it consistent? Is the dialogue realistic? Can readers relate to the characters or are they flat and blend?

So many questions, insecurities, and doubt! Your head is spinning, and the fear starts to choke you. Your finger hovers over the delete button, the fears holding you captive.

Believe me, I go through the same thing and emotions every time I finish something. I’ve been there, experienced that range of emotions on a gigantic size roller coaster, it isn’t even funny!

However, there is a solution!

Beta readers.

How you may be wondering huh? What are they?

Beta readers are individuals you send your manuscript too to get reader feedback BEFORE the book goes live. They can be people you’ve met on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, maybe even a few personal friends.

However, I really wouldn’t go the route of family or close friends. I’m always looking for HONEST feedback and I would wonder if they were being honest or just didn’t want to hurt my feelings. For me personally, I put the call out on Facebook, to other writers, authors, and even people I don’t know but love reading! I send sometimes up to 10 copies or so and I give the deadline of at least a week, sometimes two depending on any existing deadlines.

Then I wait, bated breath, and wondering.

Do they like it? Hate it? Are things missing? There is that range of emotions again!

Beta readers are so important because they catch mistakes, plot holes, inconsistencies, and so forth. They may even offer suggestions on what they think is missing, what could make it better, etc. My process always consists of beta readers, sometimes before the editor and sometimes after. It honestly just varies and depends on the process of the author/writer.

My own personal process consist of:

  • Writing the book (if you all would like me to write a blog of my personal writing process, please comment and let me know!
  • Revise
  • Beta Readers
  • Review/Revise
  • Proofreading
  • Revise/Edits
  • Editor
  • Format
  • ARC Readers before going live
  • Publish

I may be missing a few steps but overall, this is mine! As you can see, the beta readers have it before my editor, but in the long run, my editor has it twice. You’ll see I actually have an ARC team, which consist of readers who post reviews of the book once it goes live and there is a difference between beta readers and an ARC reader. The beta reader looks for multiple mistakes and anything wrong with the book while an ARC reader gets the final but Advanced Reader Copy.

I hope this helps!

Stay sane and stay safe friends! Thank you for reading!

Fear of Rejection

I think everyone fears rejection and, in my opinion if they don’t, they aren’t human! For some reason, it seems ingrained in our daily lives, in every aspect we do and accomplish.

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer, an author, since I was eighteen years old (please don’t do the math LOL). When I was thirteen years old, I discovered my mother’s romance novels hidden beneath her bed. Now granted, up until then, I had a major reading problem in school. Could barely read and write. Just didn’t have that interest or inclination.

I didn’t care. I was bullied in school and was just focused on hiding, on being invisible and making it through each day.


Until I discovered the stories that piqued my interest. I remember hiding in my room, staying up late on a school night reading, sometimes until two in the morning. I even snuck my novels in class. I did get in trouble a bit for that! It was all I did. I was a huge bookworm. To me, it was an escape, an escape from teenage drama, fights with siblings, stress, and anxiety.

It was diffidently an awesome way to travel the world! And I soon graduated out of the special Ed program for reading. My grades improved!


At eighteen, I discovered I wanted to write. I wanted to write my own stories, be in control of every aspect of my characters and in a way, make friends outside of my little slice of the world, a world where the bullies either saw the light or got their own version of Karma.

But the fear of rejection was always there.

What if people didn’t like my stories?

What if I didn’t have the talent that some of the authors I read did?

What if I tried but failed?

How could I, an eighteen-year-old girl just starting out, compete with them?

Every scenario possible hit me.

Fear. Rejection. Doubt. It was all there.

Then I started to write, and it was like a whole new world opened. To combat some of my fear and rejection obstacles, I did eventually go to school and obtained my Master of Fine Arts in English and Creative Writing. I learned so much and through the years, I’ve honed my craft. I’ve gotten better, as would anyone studying the craft of writing and storytelling, and now, with age, I honestly don’t care. I know I’m a good writer but it’s not just that. I think I’ve grown as a person, as an author through the years but how does someone just starting out, or even not starting out but going through those same fears of rejection, handle those doubts?

Write. Study. Research. Read.

Don’t give up.

That fear will always be there. If I’m honest with myself, (and I always try to be whether I want to deal with it or not) I still deal with it occasionally. It hasn’t left me entirely, but it has dimmed, and it will for you as well.

Write. Study, research. Read.

Rinse and repeat.

You’ll get there and you won’t be sorry!

Never give up on your dream. Sometimes, it’s all you have in this crazy world!!

Stay sane and stay safe my friends!

Why Wattpad Might Be A Bad Idea

When authors think of marketing their writing, their books, themselves basically, they consider multiple ways of getting it into the hands of readers, even large chunks for free as to draw them to the sale.

And that’s not a bad idea.

If there weren’t such high risks involved.

Mainly, plagiarism.

The main one that comes to mind is Wattpad.

You wouldn’t believe how often I see writers and authors post on social media asking for advice, if posting the beginning, or even their whole book, is a good idea.

The simple answer?

It’s not.

Why? Because there is nothing stopping someone from downloading or copying your book, word for word, maybe changing a few things, and publishing it under their own name. Then when you go to publish it on Amazon, they flag it for copyright issues and from the horror stories of others who I’ve heard from, it’s not pretty to prove that you, as the author of the original work, wrote it.

Not. Pretty.

So don’t. There are safer ways to get your work out there, creating awareness without all of the headache, stress, and anxiety.

Another aspect of Wattpad is the fact that if you did publish to the platform, you can’t change it. Once it’s up, it’s up unless you take it down. Something else to consider is the content itself. A lot of the books featured are full of the same genre and if you post a genre outside of that, your read levels remain low. It doesn’t do any good.

However, and this is just my opinion, the main concern for many authors and writers (and what has honestly stopped myself, is the plagiarism aspect.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to worry about my work being stolen.

Hell to the no! We all work our butts off on creating our worlds, investing a significate amount of time building and fine-tuning our characters and plots, the details that drive us crazy but give us such satisfaction. That’s a lot of work to just threw away.

Or even risk it.

That’s about it for me today!

Stay sane and stay safe my friends!

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional

There are many stigmas of self-publishing, but I do have to say that when I started out ten years or so ago, it was even worse and not as common. I was often told that anyone who was self-published wasn’t really an author.

Yeah, I was told that, constantly.

Which, I will say, made me go the more traditional route and thankfully, I obtained a contract for my paranormal series and contemporary romance series.

But today it’s different. Self-publishing is more common and even well-known authors are becoming self-published, going that route, detouring from the more traditional path, the familiar path.

Now you might ask, why??

It’s simple.


Most of the explanation, honestly, in my opinion, boils down to control.

Traditional publishers are great because they do shoulder a lot of the expenses and burdens of the publishing process. The editing, the cover art, the formatting, the launch itself, all of it. Even some of the marketing.

However, you will read that I said “some” of the marketing.

In the book community today, with advanced technology, most publishers will flat out tell you that it’s your responsibility to market your books, to get your name and brand out there.

  • Websites
  • Social media
  • Book signings
  • Contests
  • Paid Ads (Facebook and Twitter)

It’s all very possible but it is time consuming and sometimes, it feels like you’re barely getting ahead. You take one step forward (creating an account to market such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), then you fall two steps back on trying to create awareness of your new book or series. It’s hard. I won’t lie to you.

But also rewarding and honestly, it’s a great feeling.

But now I’ll get into the meat of this article. What’s the difference, the true pros and cons, of self-publishing vs. traditional publishers?

Pros of Self-Publishing

  • Control – You own the rights
  • All royalty and sale profits
  • Marketing
  • Easy and fast to do.

Cons of Self-Publishing

  • All expenses
    • Editing
    • Cover design
    • Formatting
    • Marketing
  • Mass competition

Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • A name behind your brand
  • All expenses paid

Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • No control – You don’t own the rights for several years designated within the contract.
  • Split royalties, usually a 40/60 but it all varies with each publishing house.

It’s all a matter of perspective, of what you as the author, want. What’s best for you in the long run.

Now I’ve had a few people ask me, “how can I self-publish only?” To some experienced authors out there, you might be looking at the question in bewilderment, astonishment, and think it’s silly. But it really isn’t. Remember, you were in the shoes of those just starting out. You didn’t know much in the beginning either so cut those people some slacks. Honestly, self-publishing is so easy today.


The mega company of the world.

That’s right. You heard me.


You can upload your manuscript and cover to Amazon, and it’s published within 72 hours but please remember, if you are going that route, don’t slack on editing, formatting, and cover design. Believe it or not, the appearance of the book, internal and external, carries a lot of weight with readers. If a book is riddled with errors, mistakes, grammar issues, it’s going to get a lot of low reviews but that’s a blog for another day!! 😊

Thank you all so much for reading and love to read the comments!

Stay sane and stay safe my friends!

Writing Software – How It Changed My Life

Through the years, as I began and continue my writing journey, I’ve tried multiple software applications, programs, and routines when writing my books. Even going so far as to watch numerous YouTube videos on a regular basis, searching blindly for ideas, thing to be more organized and the best way to get stuff arranged, established, and accomplished, if that makes sense. Some of them I have tried are the obvious word processors such as Word, Google Docs, LibreOffice, and Apache OpenOffice, to name a few and none really seemed to excite me, even the famous and well-known Word.

Then I discovered Scrivener. For those of you who don’t know what Scrivener is, it’s a writing software with multiple features installed within the program, such as a word processor, outline, corkboard, timeline features, even formatting the project once it’s done! This is only a few of the features. It can organize your book down to chapters, scenes, Acts, and makes it so easy to rearrange and organize those scenes. It contains character templates and a research folder where you can insert WHOLE websites into that folder and once all your research is conducted and completed, you never have to leave the program! A writer can literally do all their brainstorming, outlining, research, and writing without ever leaving the software and to an organized writer such as myself, it has been a blessing and god send. It is diffidently worth the $50 bucks to purchase it BUT still on the fence about it? (This is NOT sponsored or endorsed by Scrivener. All views and opinions are my own.) You can even try out the program for 30 days but that’s not concurrent. You have thirty days of USE. That means if you open it up for two days but then not for a week, you STILL have 28 days left to use and try it out. Believe me, I don’t usually purchase software, but this was an investment I don’t regret. And do you compete in NaNoWriMo? Where you write 50k in 30 days? If you successfully finish, the software is actually 50 percent off! You honestly can’t beat that price for all you get!

Now there is another software I am about to try and it has a free trial as well.

When I’m writing, there is an issue I always have.


Do you ever write a story, and the timeline of events gets screwy? Does something happen or you mention something and then never mention it again? Or an event happens that should have repercussions and you completely skip over it? Yeah, I am extremely bad at that. In fact, that’s the problem with over half of my WIPs (works in process) and I’m extremely excited to try this one out. Remember the beginning where I said I was constantly watching YouTube videos? Yeah, I wasn’t lying about that. LOL

It’s called Aeon Timeline, a software where you document the events of your novel and it pulls it all in a timeline. Again, excited much? This could change my whole routine, my inability to complete projects, my confusion over the events that transpire within my story, etc.

I will diffidently update this on my thoughts!

Everyone, please stay sane and stay!!

Thank you all so much for reading my ramblings! 😊

Working Project!

So today, I want to talk about my current project. The working title is called The Perfect Witness. I don’t know if it’s going to stick but just something about that title always hooks me. When I’m in reader mode, if the title grabs me, then I’ll look at the cover. If the cover is attractive, enticing, a hook, then I’ll look at the blurb. Now I obviously don’t have a cover yet but I’m getting there! I do, however, have a working blurb:

He gets off on their terror.

He gets off on their pain.

He gets off on their screams.

Back then, she had made a vow. She wouldn’t give him what he desired most.

She’s the only survivor.

Now he’s back. She’s cost him everything. He was a highly respected doctor and now his name is linked to thirteen murders and it’s all her fault.

He’s escaped but this time, will she survive again or will he finally get his wish – her pleas for death.

Sound like something you would read? I’ve been working on this novel for a few months now and I have over 57k and no where near done yet. It’s my longest work yet and I’m so excited! There is just something about these characters that grab me as I’m writing.

How about a small excerpt? I would love your thoughts! Please comment and let me know what you think. Does it grab you, make you want to read more? When writing, I will leave you all with a small piece of advice. Always start off with a hook, with drama, with heart racing action that hooks the reader immediately. It never fails. 🙂


Gabbi awoke, a blinding pain in her head as the motion of the car rocked her slightly. She tried to move, to twist but realized in horror of the tight space where she was at. She looked around at the little she could see; which wasn’t much. Tears filled her eyes, streaming down her cheeks as her cheek rested on the carpet, which was surprisingly clean for being a trunk. She could smell a chemical smell coming from the brown fibers and harsh shudders racked her small frame.

He’s done this before. The thought was instant and horrifying, the finality of it sent her mind reeling.

Her heart seemed to explode in her chest and a scream lodged in her throat. She had left the fear at the door and now dealt with pure horror at where she was, at the situation she found herself in. The motion and sound of the car turned from the smooth ride to bumpy, the crunch of tires loud in the silence of the small space.

A gravel road, she realized.

The car seemed to slow and come to a stop with a subtle jerk. She held her breath and sweat coated her twisted body. It was cramped and hard to breath, the dust of the grovel road stung her nostrils and she coughed. Her mouth wasn’t covered, which let her know instantly that no one was around to hear her.

Her heart pounded furiously, and pain radiated up her arms when she tried to move. Her hands were tied behind her back and her ankles in front of her, her legs bent. The trunk was small, her knees pressed tightly against her chest and her whole body hurt.

She heard a click and the trunk opened. She flinched as white light blinded her, and his dark frame filled her blurry vision.


It’s coming along!!

Building Your Online Presence

Good morning Friends! Today’s blog might be a little short but today’s piece of advice for you all is growing your online presence, even if you haven’t published yet. When I first started writing, I didn’t think of anything beyond that.

Writing. Getting my book written. Pages in my hand.

And yet something nagged at me even when I was writing.

I kept thinking, when I’m done, how am I going to get it into the hands of readers beyond the simple act of publishing? There has to be more to it than that. How am I going to market it if no one knows it’s published?

I have found, through the years, that the number one mistake writers make, is getting the story, their book, published first, and then they start to build their platform, their online presence.

Me and a friend were talking a few years ago and she’s in the process of writing her book. I told her to build her presence and her response was, “but it’s not done yet. I’m not technology an author yet so what’s the point?”


Just because you haven’t published yet doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t build your presence. In fact, it’s better to start early, to grow. A few steps you can take are simple.

Develop an attractive professional Facebook Page. Work on growing it. Build your base.

WordPress and WIX is free. Develop your website. Design it yourself. Believe me, you will be very proud of yourself when you do. If you aren’t confident enough, hire someone to build it.

Create a twitter account. Create LinkedIn. Create Pinterest. Start an author blog or more generic one. Since the internet has revolved, it’s been so easy to grow your product, your brand, beyond your own little world and family.

I wish I had known all of this when I was first starting out but if you focus on growing your presence, even before you publish, it will be a lot easier to sell when you have your audience in front of you.

For me, I began to develop it as I published my first paranormal romance. I created all of the above, worked on networking, posted teasers with specific hashtags, etc. It was after I was published so a little late but heck, better late than never, right?

There are so many paths you can take to build your online presence. Never be shy of promoting yourself even before you publish.

You won’t regret it.

Stay tuned, stay sane, and stay safe my friends!

The Publication Process

Good morning my beautiful friends!

Today I’m going to talk about the publication process. I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the publishing process, what is involved and so forth. I even saw one comment on Facebook that it took thousands to publish a book! Talk about OUCH! That’s not true though. It doesn’t take THOUSANDS to publish a book. And if it does take you thousands, then you were scammed and I mention more about that towards the end of this blog.

For me personally, I am an author of six books and currently working on two more. My genres are paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. Yes, I know. There is a common theme of romance so I guess one could argue I’m a romance author LOL.

So, what exactly is involved?

Well, first, you need to write the book. That doesn’t cost you anything. Get your story down and written. It could be fiction, your own personal story of struggles through life, a story about someone else’s life, your beliefs and religions, anything. Every writer is different. It’s your dream and you can make it whatever you want. There is someone out there who will read your story, who will enjoy it and maybe even be helped by it. My fear when I started was that no one would read my story, that no one would like it, that I wasn’t good enough. That’s just not true and please don’t fall into that rabbit hole of self-doubt.


Now let’s say it’s done. You’ve written an awesome story, a novel, something you want to publish. Then where do you go? NOW it’s time to invest in your dream. The first step is to find an editor. There are many editors on Facebook and online. Find a good one you click with and get the book or story published. Once that’s done, then you need a cover. Again, there are a lot of cover artists online. Purchase a cover. Then comes an internal designer. In order words, a formatter.

So, for the costs range from the following:

Editor = $300-$500

Cover Artist = $100-$200

Formatter = $50-$100

Please keep in mind that these prices can vary and aren’t set in stone but I do recommend professionals, a professional editor, cover artist, etc. A family friend is great and all but if they don’t do it for a living, then they unintentionally might miss a lot, not used to the grammar rules, spotting plot holes and inconsistencies, and so forth.

One all of that is done, then I recommend a few beta readers. Beta readers go through your story and look for inconsistencies, plot holes, errors, opinions, etc.

Then you receive it back. Fix those mistakes, and bam! Done!

Then what comes next??

Well, that is up to you as the author. Do you self-publish it on Amazon or other platforms? Which is free by the way. Or market it to small publishers? (Which is what I did and also free.)

Or do you market it to Literary Agents and try for a larger publisher? (Which is what I want to do now and again, also free.)

The next steps are all up to you as the author but I will leave you with a piece of advice. Never PAY to publish your book. That is called a vanity press and yes, THEN you will pay THOUSANDS and it is all a scam. Don’t fall for it. Many people do and it’s a rip off.

Now please keep in mind that the above is my process, with my opinions. Other authors may have a different publication process and that’s okay.

I hope I’ve helped a bit, to explain the process in a way that’s understandable and clear. If not, please comment or email me and I would be glad to help further or explain specific parts of each process.

Also, if there is anything you all would like me to talk about, to blog, to explain, please don’t hesitate to comment or email! I would be more than happy too!

Thank you all for reading and please stay tuned, stay sane, and stay safe!

Research For The Perfect Witness – The FBI

I’ve been working on a thriller for the past few months, a new one. I have multiple and intense thrillers already in my queue but something about this plot, these characters, really has me hooked and I’m only the writer! I’m praying my readers feel the same way once I get it done. Now I’ve always known what the problem is when it comes to FINISHING the story. I start to stutter, and the flame is extinguished once I get to the investigative part of my plot. It always happens but like I said, something about THIS story, THESE characters, THIS killer, really got to me. Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me how. I have no clue!

So, like always, I began to stutter at the 50k mark. It was nothing new, nothing I hadn’t been through before but unlike the other times, I wouldn’t let the unknown get to me. I couldn’t. I refused.

At this point, you might be asking me, what did you do if you are still working on it?

Funny you should ask.

(Laughs evilly)

I contacted multiple FBI agents! Yes, that’s right. I contacted Federal Agents from all over the United States, Agents who have experience and similar cases to my actual thriller.

One came through for me, willing to talk in detail, and you wouldn’t BELIEVE the phone call we had! I had emailed him some general questions and the synopsis after the first contact, and a phone call later, my brain is still spinning with all the new information I obtained. The amazing part is that the MAJOR plot holes I THOUGHT I had, I didn’t! Oh sure, I’m in major revisions of what I have now but I don’t have to change the whole story and that part is amazing, as is the knowledge I’ve gained to finish my other thrillers! I’m stoked. I’m excited. And I’m still working! I’m now up to 57k on the novel and going strong. I probably have another 10k to add before even progressing the novel forward. He also told me to save his number and he would be available for future questions or help if I need it, which I ALWAYS need it. LOL

He went over the plot, the characters, the occupations of the characters, the crime scenes, who would be involved, who WOULDN’T be involved, etc. It was an awesome eye opener and let me tell you, Criminal Minds and the other shows don’t go into this much detail or knowledge, and I’m so grateful to this Agent for being willing to assist me in my research, and the fact I have him on speed dial is just icing on the cake! Hahaha

Is there anything you WOULDN’T do for a story? What is the craziest thing you’ve had to research when writing a story? I would love to know!

Writer’s Block

So, this morning, I felt in the mood to vent and if my children weren’t sleeping, to scream!

To give a little back story, I’m an author of six published novels, two in a paranormal shifter world (with another in the works), three in a series of contemporary romance, and one romantic suspense. Now for the paranormal, I wrote those two books a few years ago and am currently into about 26k of the third and final book of that series.

Now this is where writer’s block comes into play. I’ve been stuck in this plot, outline, and chapters for a few years now! I have tried to take walks, clear my mind, take a step back and work on something else, all of the advice from other authors but SOMETHING isn’t working and I’m not sure what it is. So for the first time in a year or more, I’ve opened the doc, transferred everything into Scrivener (an awesome writing software), and tried to get back into it. It’s a good story. It has potential but something is missing, and I haven’t figured it out yet! It’s beyond frustrating. The first and second leaves the overall plot hanging, a cliffhanger, and I really need to finish it, to ty up loose ends, and I swear, for those awesome readers who are following Travis and Vanessa’s plot, the characters, I’m sincerely trying!

Any writers/authors out there with advice? It would be awesome if I could finish this novel for my publisher. Anyone who ever says that writer’s block doesn’t exist hasn’t met me and please consider themselves blessed that they have never gone through it! It’s not fun and extremely frustrating to have a novel half unfinished and stuck on where to go. Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong, now that I’m thinking about it. I don’t know how it ends. Maybe, just maybe, I should focus on the ending instead of where I’m at within the story. Maybe if I had the ending, I could write to that conclusion. It’s a thought and something I will try! Any other advice would be really appreciative!

Stay tuned, stay sane, and stay safe my awesome friends!

Connect with Desiree

The Writing Zone and Much Needed Coffee for the Hectic Writer!

Different Things I Do For The  “Writing Zone.”

I get asked a lot what I do to get into the zone, my routine so to speak. There isn’t one thing I do or don’t do.

Without coffee, I’m a zombie so that’s the first thing I do! Make me a nice and hot cup of coffee and sit down at my kitchen table, taking in the quiet.

Then I consider the scene I’m writing. Is it during an adrenaline rush? Is it slow? Is it romantic? Is it tragic? Depending on the scene, I begin to listen to soft music in tuned with what I’m writing. It’s also early, around 6 AM and I have found that is the best time for me, when my brain and thoughts are at full capacity. It also helps that the whole house is sleeping and it’s so quiet and peaceful.

I read the last scene I have written or revised and then begin. My process isn’t complicated or dramatic. It’s actually pretty boring when you think about it. There is no magic or this awesome strategy I do to crank out the words. It varies each day. Except the coffee. I ALWAYS need my coffee!!

I do seem to have a writing buddy. She’s so sweet and always wants to be around my clicky click keys of sound it seems LOL She’s not evil though, promise!

What’s your daily routine like? Do you do anything special during the day?

Author Spotlight/Feature!!

Please welcome Dr. Dawn Menge!

I decided that I wanted to occasionally feature authors and for readers to possibly discover their next great read! Beyond me of course! LOL I’ve never done this before so please, if there is a better way of featuring a wonderful author such as Dr. Dawn, please let me know!

Dr. Dawn Menge has won forty-one national awards as a self-published author of the Queen Vernita’s Educational Series. Her published works also includes The Six Federal Individual Educational Goals and the Effectiveness of Their Implementation in Preparing for Transition.

Dr. Dawn has a Ph.D in Education. She specialized in Curriculum and Instruction. She has a Master’s and a clear credential in moderate/severe disabilities and a Bachelor’s in Human Development. She has been teaching professionally severely handicapped students for sixteen years.

On a little more personal note, Dr. Dawn is the mother of three and the grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren!

To get in touch with her and stay updated, her social media links are below!

Snippet of The Perfect Witness

I know this is my second post today, back to back, but I wanted to give you all a small teaser of my thriller, Perfect Witness!


He watched the woman run, her long legs straining as she flew across the hard ground, stumbling through the woods. His night goggles glowed in the dark and the heat from her body was bright red, different shades, signaling her location as clear as day.

He grinned; his smile wide as a thrill raced through him. He followed her with his eyes, her frantic movements and it was almost time.

His way of playing with the women had completely changed from before. He found he had another method of spiking their terror.

Oh, they screamed at the end, even while running, trying to escape, screaming for help, their voices loud and shrill. He still cut them to pieces while they begged but now he played with them before tying them up and getting his pleasure, his satisfaction, in multiple ways and that thrill always gave him such a high, he could go on for days reliving it. And he could relive it. He had cameras set up everywhere through the woods and in the basement of the small cabin he had rented about an hour from town. That was something else he had altered, his souvenirs. He now had video of the women he could watch over and over again, coming hard as their screams filled the room. He didn’t know why he hadn’t thought of that before but now he didn’t, and his collection was growing.

Another thing he enjoyed was the beauty of the location. It was isolated and someone, a woman, could scream as loud as she wanted and there was no one around to hear her.

He had let this woman escape three times and even as that thrill coursed through his veins, he hated to be disappointed. He loved the chase, the anticipation but always seemed to be disappointed. They all gave up before way too soon. This was his third in the area and they were all the same but so far, all had given him pleasure.

All except one.

Project Updates

It’s been a while since I’ve been this emersed in writing, in a plot and characters. I have two projects I’m currently working on, one thriller and my paranormal, the third in my Vendetta series, Shattered Ties. It’s also been a while since I committed and completed Nano. Life can get hectic and what I’ve always wondered is why they made Nano in November?? The month of family and the month before Christmas! That month is always so busy for me and for a lot of people. I always have such high respect for authors and writers who complete and succeed in writing 50,000 words in that month!

Now even though I posted on Facebook that I was considering Nano this year, I’m still undecided. If I do it, I will be a Nano Rebel this year, using that month to complete one of my projects on my plate. It’s been a few years since I’ve published Bear’s Shadow, the second in my series and I have one left in that series to complete, Samantha and Aiden’s story, with Miranda and Jackson as a subplot. The overall plot is about an underground fighting ring where an evil and deadly organization is using drugs developed to halt the shifting process in its track, forcing them to live in their animals and fight to the death. That project so far is abot 26k words and no where near done.

The other project, just started a few months ago, is my thriller called Perfect Witness (not totally sure if that title will remain but it works for now.) This story is about a serial killer who tortures woman and murders them. Gabbi Barnett is the only survivor and was actually saved by the serial killer’s son!

Here is the blurb in the works and would love my reader’s thoughts on it!

He gets off on their terror.

He gets off on their pain.

He gets off on their screams.

A year had passed and back then, she had made a vow. She wouldn’t give him what he craved. She had survived but she’s the only one; the only survivor out of thirteen murdered women. Or was she?

A year. Now he’s back. She’s cost him everything. He was a highly respected doctor in a small community and now his name is forever linked to thirteen murders and it’s all her fault.

He escaped right after the trial and this time, will she survive again, or will he finally get his wish, her pleas for death?

Both projects are being worked on and I’m so excited that I’m making progress! Finally, after a few years, they are coming along! The thriller is already over 57k words and nowhere near done!

Wish me luck!

Stay turned and stay safe!

The Impact of Words

There has been a familiar saying throughout history. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” (Cupples, 1872). The saying is basically persuading the victim of name-calling and bullying to ignore the taunt and refrain from physical retaliation and to remain calm and good-natured. The point of this saying is that there is an impact to each and every word uttered since the beginning of time, and the saying rings true for propaganda.

Propaganda, the impact of those specific chosen words work towards the same initial goal; this is to persuade an audience and crowd that something or someone is right in their point of view and to encourage the public in believing the same thing.

Words, as with actions, have consequences. A recent event within the political world is a perfect illustration of how words can impact those around them, not to mention the consequences of those words and the actions that follow.

Todd Akins, a U.S representative, made some remarks on national television about his opinion on rape and the possibility of pregnancy. Because of those remarks and the impact of his words, the viewpoint and opinions of millions were altered, the consequences and aftermath of his chosen words harsh. The impact of words, when it comes to propaganda, has both negative and positive aspects. There are positive effects to the impact of words and propaganda, such as with the following example.

The American Red Cross endorses blood donations and advertises band aids; the end result being that the action of the blood donation saves lives, and the wound is really not painful and will heal in a day. Advertising also promotes attentiveness of health and safety issues, as with the assistance of seat beats and what could happen if seat beats are not used, the tragic effects of car accidents and that anything could happen with one twist of fate.

Advertisements also has negative effects on society as well, such as with the smoking aids that also deal with propaganda as well. Smoking ads endorse the constant social acceptability and encourage the inappropriate belief that the majority of people smoke. Because of those chosen words and the language that is used, people get the impression that smoking is ok, the health risks intentionally left out. It is easy to generate false images within the mind of the consumer. Advertising influences society as a whole, with both negative and positive effects.

The impact of words has been known to ruin reputations and as with bullying, can cause death and suicides. Caution is recommended and a thought about the consequences of those words is highly desirable, as society has grown, and technology increased.

My Journey

Over ten years ago, my journey began but the reality is that I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I started my first book at seventeen. Now I never finished it and unfortunately, I lost the manuscript and let me tell you, even years later and knowing what I know now and didn’t know then, it really had potential. Everyone, I believe, has a pivot point in their life on their dream and what they want to do with their life.

Mine, even 20 years later, I can still remember as if it was yesterday. I’ve had a lot of influences in my life when it comes to writing and those influences had a major impact on the direction and path I took.

Karen Rose

Lisa Gardener

Nora Roberts

Cynthia Eden

Catherine Anderson

Laura Griffin

Andrea Kane

Lisa Jackson

And the list goes on and on. This list by no means defines my own writing but they have indeed influenced my desire to create my own world. Now let me return to that pivot point of my life. I was eighteen years old and wanted to write some of my favorite authors, to ask for advice, etc. I write ten authors; ten famous and well-known authors whom I loved.

Only one responded. Only one wrote me back. Only one took the actual time to write an aspiring eighteen-year-old girl back and to tell her to follow her dreams, to write and never give up, no matter what.

That author, that wonderful and caring author, was Andrea Kane.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, she’s a romantic suspense author of over 30 novels. Because of that one small act of kindness, she not only has my respect as an author but as a wonderful person who took the time to let a young girl know about a few organizations and to wish me luck in my goals and ambitions through life. It meant the world to an eighteen-year-old girl and still does to this day. It’s who I want to be; someone who is looked up too, who gets letters from fans, and who takes time to respond to each and every one, to maybe have a small impact on someone else as they struggle to navigate their own way through life.

Stay safe and take it one day at a time!

The Struggle

Writing has never been easy. Anyone who tells you differently is either a machine or crazy. That’s just my opinion. I’ve been off work for almost a year now and I’ve always told myself that if I had the time, I would write, write, write, and publish, fulling my dream of becoming a full time author. It was always a catch 22. I worked full time, the mother of two, and taking care of my parents. When did I have the time? It was a struggle. Now the so called traditional job is gone and yet I’m still struggling. Why? Well, let me tell you.

Reality. A cold hard reality that life doesn’t play. Life can be messy. Life can be unstable and unpredictable. I’m still a mother of two and taking care of my parents, errands, appointments, and helping my family when I can. So now it’s time to really sit down and analyze what I can do in order to fullfill my dream. A schedule. I really need a schedule and I think I’m working on it. I am writing but I’ve had to make some sacrifices, such as sleep! I get up anywhere between 4 and 5:30 am. I make my coffee and open my laptop.

So I’m getting there! Now I need to find the motivation behind my dream. I had it, was so close! And then I lost it again, somewhere along the way of this appointment or that errand. It never fails. Even struggling, I still get up super early. It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. The kids are sleeping and so innocent-looking as I breathe deep and just relax. I think that has a lot to do with my lack of motivation and drive right now. When I get up early, it’s MY time. It’s my time to decompress. It’s my time to drink my coffee in silence. It’s my time to think about the future, to wonder if I’m raising my children right, with good morals and values. I think I am but again, it’s MY time and it gets to the point of being selfish as I sit, relax, and just let the silence flow over me.

But now it’s time. It’s time to get back to writing, to creating this world and the characters struggling to survive in a world of blood, danger, and suspense.

I’ll get there, promise.

More updates coming! I plan on updating my current writing project and my process behind the scenes.

Stay tuned, stay safe, and take it one day at a time!