September 25 Writing Tips

Birthdays: Jim Murphy (1963), James Ransome (1961), Charles Edward Russell (1860), William Faulkner (1897), Robert Laxalt (1923), Shel Silverstein (1930), Luanne Rice (1955), Kristin Hannah (1960), Bell Hooks (1952), Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1964)

Tip: Don’t make enemies of other authors by doing selfish things that benefit only you and hurt others. It will come back to haunt you and only give you a bad reputation among your peers.

Thought for the day: “Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of writers come and go — published and unpublished — and what I’ve learned is that the ones who make it keep writing no matter what. When life is tough, they write; when the kids are sick, they write; when rejections pile up, they write.” – Kristin Hannah

Jumpstart: You’ve been named in the will of someone you didn’t even know. A very rich someone. You will inherit everything, but only if you…(what?) and why did they leave it all to you?

September 24 writing tips

Birthdays: David Drake (1945), Eavan Boland (1944), Eleanor Catton (1985), F. Scott Fitzgerald (1940), Horace Walpole (1717), Richard K. Morgan (1965), Robert Lewis Taylor (1912), John Brunner (1934), John Kessel (1950)

Tip: Figure out the GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) in your story. Every story should have this. In fact, each scene should have this. Try: (who) wants (what) because (why) but s/he can’t because (why not). For instance: Dorothy wants to go home because there’s no place like home but can’t because she needs to defeat the wicked witch and learns running away doesn’t help.

Thought for the day: “All fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentences. They make sentences move.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jumpstart: “I’d never have done that with you if I’d known…”

September 23 Tips and More

Birthdays: Anne Desclos (1907), Emmuska Orczy (1865), Frank Cottrell Boyce (1959), Jennie Shortridge (1959), Justine Larbalestier (1967), Wesley Chu (1976), Euripides (480 BC), Jaroslav Seifert (1901), Jerry B. Jenkins (1949), Bruce Brooks (1950), Peter David (1956), Bill Phillips (1964)

Tip: Different genres usually have different lengths. For instance, category romances tend to be around 60,000 words while a high fantasy can be 110,000 or more. Like everything, there are exceptions to this, but in general, check the standard word lengths for what you’re writing.

Thought for the day: “Do not despair when you are rejected. Welcome to the club. There isn’t a writer in the world who hasn’t been rejected. Many, many times.” – Justine Larbalestier

Jumpstart: You’ve just won a three-minute shopping spree at your favorite store. Where do you go and what do you buy?

Spotlight: Darlene Fredette

This summer, ice cream entrepreneur Carly Redd’s only focus is expanding her business—until she’s coerced into attending her ex’s engagement party. Showing up without a date is unthinkable. She reluctantly agrees to be escorted by her brother’s co-worker, although doing so breaks her rule of not dating firefighters. The daughter of the town’s fire chief should wear a Do Not Touch sign, but firefighter Noah Harding’s interest blazed the moment he saw Carly. Agreeing to be her fake boyfriend is a no-brainer, but convincing Carly to trust him with her heart is harder than extinguishing a fire. Overstepping the platonic-only rule is as dangerous as fire and ice swirling into a tempting combustion.

The premise and research for this story were so much fun because who doesn’t like ice cream!

In my story, Cherry Red, the heroine, Carly Redd, creates new flavours of ice cream. While going to college, she worked as a bartender. She blended her knowledge of ice cream and alcohol and came up with several favourites for her adult customers.

While anyone can make their own ice cream float, it is important to pair the right flavour of ice cream with the equivalent beverage.

Here is one of Carly’s most requested ice cream creations.

Mimosa Float


1-1/2 cups champagne

1/2 cup no-pulp orange juice

1 cup vanilla ice cream

Shaved chocolate (optional)

Maraschino cherries (a must)


Pour 6 tablespoons champagne and 2 tablespoons orange juice into a 6-ounce champagne flute. Stir in 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream. Add a sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Top with remaining chocolate shavings and cherries.

Author Bio:

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador.


“This might seem like a strange question, especially since we’ve just met, but would you be interested in going out for a coffee? Or an ice cream?” Noah rested an arm on the bar.

Carly glanced down at her jeans and black T-shirt embroidered with the company name and logo…a cluster of red cherries. In a room full of women all dolled up in fancy—and some a bit scanty—dresses, why would this incredibly handsome man ask her on a date? “I appreciate the offer, but I’m not interested…”

Noah raised a brow. “I know you like ice cream, so is it the coffee, or me?”

“What? No. I mean, yes.” She took a second to collect her scrambled thoughts. “I like coffee. I just don’t hang out with firefighters.” Not that he was a real firefighter. Did impersonators count in her rules of men to avoid? She never dated a stripper, but she wasn’t sure she could have a relationship with a guy who was paid to take off his clothes and have other women fawn over him. Not that the guy asked her on a date…just a simple coffee. His frown made her feel badly. “I’m sorry. It’s nothing personal.”

“Burnt in the past? No pun intended.” He smiled.

She couldn’t help but smile back. “Something like that.”

Buy Links:

This link will bring you to my website which has links to all distributing sites for my books.

Universal Purchase Link:

Social Media Links:

Author Web Site:


Amazon Author Page:


September 20

Birthdays: Arthur Geisert (1941), Charles Williams (1886), Donald Hall (1928), George R.R. Martin (1948), Jude Deveraux (1947), Upton Sinclair (1968)

Tip: When creating a title, keep it short, use common words…and check online to make sure there aren’t thousands of other books out there with your title.

Thought for the day: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon

Jumpstart: You’re playing an online game that gets successively harder, but you stick with it…and win. The next thing you know, the FBI knocks on your door and say you have to come with them…

September 19

Birthdays: William Golding (1911), Ingrid Jonker (1933), Keorapetse Kgositsile (1938), Penelope Mortimer (1918), Rebecca Skloot (1972)

Tip: Make friends with your local bookseller by not just stopping in, but by purchasing books from them. Talk with them. Get to know them before you ask for a signing.

Thought for the day: “Write a page every day. That’s about 200 words, or 1000 words a week. Do that for two years and you’ll have a novel that’s long enough. Nothing will happen until you are producing at least one page per day.” – John Grisham

Jumpstart: I’ve never done anything like this. It’s not who I am. But today, I…

September 18

Birthdays: Samuel Johnson (1709), Anna Deavere Smith (1950), Christopher Ricks (1933), Lynn Abbey (1948), William March (1893), Richard Kluger (1934), Drew Gilpin Faust (1947), Steven Pinker (1954), Chris Hedges (1956)

Tip: When you get a contract (yay!), if you don’t have an agent, be sure you go over every clause carefully and ask about the ones you are unsure about. If nothing else, take it to a knowledgeable attorney and have them go over it for you.

Thought for the day: “Finally, one just has to shut up, sit down, and write.” – Natalie Goldberg Jumpstart: You’re remodeling your home, a place you’ve lived for at least a few years. While tearing out a wall, you find a skeleton…

September 17

Birthdays: Bjorn Berg (1923), Paul Goble (1945), Gail Carson Levine (1947), HA Rey (1898)

Tip: Finish the manuscript you’re working on, put it away for a week or more, then edit it, send it out…and then start on the next one!

Thought for the day: “Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.” – Doug Larsen

Jumpstart: If you had one month to live, what would you do? What if it was a week? A day?

Spotlight: Andrew Grey

Title: New Leaf 
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Currently a Standalone Title
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance 
Publisher: Self Published 
Release Date: Sept 14, 2021
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook 
When Dex Grippon’s mother dies, he takes it as a sign—it’s time to give up acting and return to his hometown. If he can find a way to save his mother’s bookstore, he can preserve the one link he still has to his parents. But keeping an independent bookstore afloat turns out to be more difficult than he anticipated, and Dex isn’t the only one who wonders what else his mom might have been selling.

Former cop Les Gable might be off the job, but he has to know what was going on at the bookstore, and he’ll do anything to satisfy his curiosity—including befriend the new owner with an offer to help sort out his new business. Something about the bookstore doesn’t smell right, and Les is going to find out what.
The problem is that his curiosity about Dex soon far outstrips his interest in what happened at the store. But as curiosity matures into love, the store’s past threatens their future. Can Les and Dex untangle the mystery of the bookshop and escape with their relationship—and their lives—intact, or will the whole thing go up in smoke? Continue reading “Spotlight: Andrew Grey”

Catching Up on Reviews

Okay, I admit it, I’ve been bad about keeping up with posting reviews. In my defense, I had a book to edit. And another one to finish writing. And sick family. And… life. It’s what happens when you’re making other plans, right?

So… new reviews:

Under “Romance” – a sweet contemporary “Unexpected” by Jana Richards, 4 Sparklers

Under LGBTQ for Adults: a contemporary romance “New Leaf” by Andrew Grey, 5 Sparklers

Under Nonfiction: (5 Sparklers all!)

Tarot Journal for Beginners by Dawn Marino – a good introduction book

Easy Gluten Free Baking Cookbook by Jessica Kirk – delicious recipes for your GF shelf

Easy Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cookbook by Silvana Nardone – more great recipes for both GF, DF kitchens

Be Calm: A Guided Journal to help relieve anxiety by Christopher Hutcheson – a definite need in these times

And there are also two new reviews by Teresa for her Agatha Christie Book/Movie tie-ins.