Book Reviews

Rachael Herron – Wishes & Stitches

The first time I read a book, I read quickly because I can’t wait to find out what happens. Sometimes I reread a book and the second time around, I pay attention to detail. I notice how the author developed plot, described character. I notice what makes the story a good read.  This is what just happened when I reread Wishes & Stitches by Rachael Herron. Herron expertly juggles several characters, giving them distinct personalities, making them feel real. Plot development is smooth, transitions between scenes are perfect and her characters are a good fit with this story and with one another. Wishes & Stitches contains adult content, which Herron handles tastefully, sometimes with humor and other times with passion as well as compassion between her leading characters. Quotes from Eliza Carpenter, a fictional Cypress Hollow character, headline each chapter. These quotes make Eliza feel like a real person. In…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Ted Moreno – Commitment and Success

Today’s guest blogger is Ted Moreno, success performance coach and certified hypnotherapist. One of my favorite movie quotes comes from “Unforgiven” starring Clint Eastwood. William Munny (Eastwood), is a former murderer and outlaw. He’s got his shotgun aimed at the sadistic town sheriff, on the ground, already shot. The sheriff begs “I don’t deserve this. I was building a house. ” Munny replies “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” You can probably guess what happens next, if you know anything about Clint Eastwood films. It’s a harsh reality. What you feel you deserve has little to do with what you actually get. Because what you feel you deserve is only that: what you feel. And what you think and feel isn’t truth. It’s just what you think and feel. There were many times I didn’t feel like writing my book. Or editing it. Or re-writing parts that needed it. But…


Never Settle! Don’t be afraid . . . — Ellen Britt

Never settle! Don’t be afraid to go after your heart’s desire! — Ellen Britt Dr. Ellen Britt is an award-winning online marketing strategist, Amazon best-selling author and founder of, featuring Fabulous Finds and Delicious Deals for women online entrepreneurs. She has produced and hosted more than a dozen telesummits and has interviewed some of today’s most well-known and respected names in marketing and self-development. Connect with Ellen and her Pink Coattails community on Facebook by clicking here.        


Your best gift or your all-time favorite gift. — Prompt #28

You can use these prompts to write memoir, fiction, poetry, or to just write. It doesn’t matter what your genre is, you can use these prompts to develop the craft of writing.  You can respond to the prompt from your personal experience or as a fictional character would respond. Here we go: There are tacky gifts, insulting gifts, selfish gifts the giver secretly wants, cheap gifts and re-gifted gifts. But some gifts are transcendent. Have you ever received such a perfect gift? One that amazed you with its imagination? Perhaps it was a gift that completely touched your heart, changed your life, opened a new world? Maybe it was a gift so dear you held onto it for a lifetime.  What was it and why was it so special to you? Prompt:  Your best gift or your all-time favorite gift.

Just Write

Three Top Pointers About Writing Personal Essays by Kelly Caldwell

From December 2013 issue of The Writer magazine. “In the Classroom” with Kelly Caldwell. 1. Don’t worry about What is My Larger Subject? in your first draft. Just get out of your own way, write the story and let the universal themes of the essay reveal themselves. 2. When you’ve got that first draft, ask yourself, “So what?” and write down the answer. 3. When you reach a point in the essay where you want to make things up because they would be more interesting or more satisfying or just prettier, don’t. This is creative NONfiction, after all, and yes, that matters. Also, those are usually places where you need to dig deeper, because that’s where the richer, more meaningful material usually lies.      

Book Reviews

Rachael Herron – How to Knit a Love Song

Rachael Herron’s novel, How to Knit a Love Song, is a cozy read and contains all the elements I enjoy in a book  –  loveable characters, gorgeous writing, intrigue and a satisfying place to escape for a few hours while reading, and more hours after as I think about the characters, their predicament and wonder what the resolution will be Gorgeous writing from How to Knit a Love Song: ~ High white clouds skittered, their color matching the sheep that ambled below. ~ “Well, howdy!” she called. As soon as the words left her mouth, she wanted to take them back. Howdy? The shape of the word in her mouth hadn’t felt right and she could tell by his pained look that it hadn’t sounded right either. ~ Cade pulled up a chair and sat, suddenly too close to Abigail. She smelled hay and sunshine and something rougher. He placed…

Places to submit

Writers @ Work Annual Fellowship Competition

Writers @ Work Annual Fellowship Competition is pleased to announce its annual Fellowship Competition for emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — a great opportunity for emerging writers to have their work vetted by a talented panel of judges, well-known in their respective fields. 2014 Results First Prize: $1,000; Publication in Quarterly West; tuition for the 2014 conference; featured reading at the conference. Two Honorable Mentions: $250.  Eligibility: Any writer who has not yet published a book-length volume of original work in the genre in which they submit a manuscript. Unpublished work only.  Work appearing in online journals is considered published.  Work on personal websites or blogs is considered unpublished.

Guest Bloggers

The Truth About Fiction — Guest Blogger L. Avery Brown

Guest Blogger L. Avery Brown writes about The Truth About Fiction. “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction.  Fiction has to make sense.” – Mark Twain Smart fellow, that Mark Twain. He really understood the difference between storytelling via the written word as opposed to the tradition of oral storytelling. Case in point . . . my father was a master storyteller. And any little thing could trigger one of the stories in his ginormous mental Rolodex of memories. Every time he told a story it was slightly different and yet it was always the same. The people, the setting, the ending – they were always fairly consistent even if he left out little details. But that was fine, because his storytelling did what it was supposed to do . . . it planted the seeds of memories I didn’t realize had even taken root until years later when…