Melissa T Wins “Be a Character in My Superhero Book” Contest!

Big Chin SuperheroThank you to everyone to who entered my “Be a Character in My Superhero Book” contest! There were lots of entries and so many cute ideas for characters. I’m glad it wasn’t a contest where I had to choose the best one because I wouldn’t have been able to choose just one. LOL!

As promised, I used the random number generator on to choose the winner. The lucky number was 8. I went down the list of entries and found the eighth one and the winner is –


Melissa, who also goes by Mel, said her character can be called Amazing, because that’s what her friends call her. Then she added a wink smiley. ;) Okay, Melissa, you got it! And because the name has a positive connotation, I’m going to name one of the minor superheroes or a superhero wannabe MelAmazing!

Because there were so many good entries, I couldn’t help myself, I clicked the random number generator button again! The next lucky number was 1. And the first person to enter the contest was –

JERRY M FROM WYOMING! (I think Wyoming, I know it’s somewhere in the West!)

Jerry has the nickname Skunk because of his white hair patch. Perfect name for a bad guy’s second-in-command, don’t you think? If that’s okay with you, Jerry, I’d love to name him Skunk!

And because I just couldn’t not hit the button again, a third number came up! Number 6. And the sixth entry was –


Brionica also goes by Brie or B. One of my superheroes, Hayley, owns a nursery – which makes sense because her power is over plants. Her assistant manager has become an important part of Hayley’s business with lots of great ideas. And she just might start suspecting Hayley is Green Thumb in this book or the next. The assistant manager’s new name is Brie!

YAY!!! This was so fun! I hope you all enjoyed it, whether you won this time or not. I’ve decided to run this contest for the next superhero book, too. That one will be out in November. I’ll again pick three winners to be minor characters in the book. To be eligible for the contest, be sure to sign up for my newsletter here on the right.

(A reminder: the only reason they have to be minor characters is because I need to be careful not to get sued for having “your name” do something awful. :) I happen to know Jerry/Skunk, so I think he’ll be fine with his namesake being a bad guy – but not a villain! – but I’ll still get written permission from all of the winners.)

CONGRATULATIONS, WINNERS! :-D Look for your names in Superhero in the Making coming out in April!

More Superhero Books Coming!

PrintHi guys!

I’ve been thinking for a couple of months that I might make a change to my writing/publishing schedule. Due to some personal difficulties last year, I wasn’t able to finish and publish my romantic comedy, Love at the Fluff and Fold, on time. In order to have my next superhero book, Superhero in the Making, ready for WonderCon and Cherry Capital Comic Con this year, I had to put Fluff and Fold on the shelf temporarily.

Once Superhero in the Making is done, I’ll start working on the next book, but which one? The problem with working on the Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series at the same time I’m writing the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke superhero series is that it could mean as much as a year between books in a series, even if I’m writing two books a year. Waiting like that isn’t much fun for those of us who love to read. :)

So I took off my author hat and put on my publisher hat and made a decision that I think will make more readers happy. (That’s you! I work to write stories to please you!) I’m going to keep writing more books in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series for the next year or two. Yay!

Look for Superhero in the Making, book two, in mid-April. Then book three should be out by the end of October, and book four next April. I might get them written and out to you faster than that, but that’s the schedule for now.

If you haven’t read book one yet, Unexpected Superhero is now on sale for $2.99. And the prequel, Superhero in Disguise, is a free short story. Click the link to the right, or download it from your favorite ebook retailer.

I’ll show you the new covers as soon as they’re ready. Now I just have to think up titles for the next books! Any ideas? I’m all ears. :-D

Juggling Tribbles

Tribbles from ThinkGeek

Check out these tribbles from ThinkGeek!

You ever feel like sometimes you’re not just juggling too many things in life, but you’re juggling tribbles? You’re keeping all the soft, furry balls in the air, and then they start reproducing!

Then you think, that’s okay, I’ve got it, they’re so cute, I’ll get a little less sleep or do this other thing moderately well instead of super great, and I’ll have time for all my tribbles. I’ll be able to keep them all in the air. And then they reproduce again!

That’s how I’ve been feeling since early fall last year! I love my life and my job, but sometimes I wonder how I can do everything. As a self-published writer, I’m in charge of the writing, scheduling editors, planning book covers and hiring designers, picking photos from photo shoots, planning promotions, buying ads, organizing and ordering promo items like book marks, business cards, and banners, and so much more!

Then I also teach classes and workshops, speak at schools and libraries, help friends with self-publishing or writing issues (like they help me with mine!), plan blogs and blog tours, participate in industry organizations and events – and I’m writing two nonfiction books based on the classes I teach. That’s just what’s on my calendar for the next few months!


I’m trying not to drop the fluffy brown tribble named “Blog” here, but I do hope you’ll forgive me if sometimes my posts are short and sweet. :)

How about you? What kind of tribbles are you juggling?

Netflix Picks: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the BeastI loved the original Beauty and the Beast TV show in the late 80s. It was both dark and sweet, romantic and full of danger. At least, that’s what I thought when I was 19. When I catch an episode occasionally now, twenty years of changing entertainment later, I think it’s just a bit too melodramatic for me.

Well, that’s one of the parts they kept when they redid the series in 2012. I watched the pilot a couple weeks ago just to try it out. The picture of the couple on Netflix (not the one you see here) is so “glamour-shot”-ized (it looks like a New York City underwear ad, bleck!) that I didn’t even realize it was Kristin Kreuk from Smallville. I love Kristin! I didn’t recognize Jay Ryan, but my Aussie friends will.

They kept the basics of the original show and updated it to make it a bit more modern. Theoretically, I like the changes. Catherine is a police officer instead of a lawyer, and Vincent was part of a super soldier experiment in the military. He was a doctor before, but his family died when the Twin Towers came down so he enlisted.

Now the government bad guys who created him want to kill him like they did the rest of his platoon, and yet Catherine’s cop instincts have her following him trying to figure out how he’s related to her mother’s death. Because of her, the bad guys find him and…

So there’s lots of potentially good storyline, but they play it too melodramatically. Everyone always seems to be full of angst and upset about everyone else’s choices. And some of the more interesting plot bits are glossed over too lightly.

It’s just my opinion, of course. But I found it to be a good show to turn on when I’m doing accounting and just need some background noise to keep me company.

2 stars, Didn’t Like It

Book Marks: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Power of HabitMy friend Lauraine picked up The Power of Habit a couple weeks ago and liked it so much, she bought me and our friend Kathleen a copy before she’d even finished reading it. I started the prologue right away because I was curious – and procrastinating.

Before I got to the end of the prologue, I was hooked! This book is fascinating! By the time I was a third of the way through, I already understood both how habits worked and how to change them. Yay!

If you’re at all interested in habits, what happens in your head when you have a routine, and the neuroscience behind it all, you will love this book. And there is more information, including fun and easy to follow videos, on his web site.

At the very least, you’ll have a simple plan for adding or changing your habits. And changing for the better is worth it!

5 stars, Loved It

Getting Away

j0178677I’m excited to say I am not home this week. I’m not connected to the Internet. I can’t answer email unless I try to do it on my phone (too much trouble and hurts my thumbs). Why?

I’m taking a week away from home to work madly on my new book, Superhero in the Making. Yay! John gets to play Xbox as much as he wants, and I don’t have to stop to eat or pay bills or do laundry or anything. Yay!

So if you’ll excuse me, it’s back to writing with me. I’ll post a picture of the new book covers as soon as I can. I can’t wait to show you!

Happy week to you!  :-D

Netflix Picks: The Finder

FinderSometimes I like to have the TV on when I’m working around the house or doing number-crunching on the computer. I usually turn on Netflix and try to find something I’ve already seen or something that doesn’t grab my attention so that I stop focusing on what I’m doing.

And sometimes I have to stop using that show as my background noise because I start finding it too interesting. The Finder has been that kind of problem for me.  :)

The characters are all different and interesting and just a bit odd, but still nice. That’s my favorite combination of character traits! Sometimes I can get work done while the people onscreen help a client. But sometimes I’m so engrossed in the story, I just have to turn it off! LOL!

That happened to me while writing this post! Episode 6 came on – Little Green Men – and it started with the actor TJ Thyne playing Dr Jack Hodgins, a main character from the TV show Bones! It was this funny X-Files-like scene where Hodgins was trying to convince the main character that there are aliens and that he needs to find one. I had to stop it so I could focus here, so I don’t know what happened yet! LOL! But it was a very fun beginning!

If you like shows like Bones and Burn Notice and White Collar and Royal Pains, I think you’ll like this show.

4 stars, Really Liked It

Be a Character in My Superhero Book

Super_ip09_FINALI’ve got a special fun promotion for my newsletter subscribers this month! Sign up for my newsletter by 10pm PT this Saturday, February 8, and you’ll have an opportunity to be a character in my new novel, Superhero in the Making.

This month’s newsletter will go out on Sunday, and everyone who replies to the newsletter will be entered to win. Newsletter subscribers only, so click on the subscribe button to your right!

Good luck! :-D

Book Marks: To Ruin the Duke by Debra Mullins

ruinthedukeOne of my favorite subgenres of romance is Regency romance. It’s almost always funny in one way or another, and that’s probably one of the reasons I love it so much. I was reading my friend Deb’s blog this month – such a fun blog! – and won a book when my comment was randomly chosen one day.

To Ruin the Duke is a smart bit of fun reading. The heroine, Miranda, is loyal and determined and smart, which makes her eminently likable. The hero, the Duke, is a strong hero without being one of those guys who you’re pretty sure you wouldn’t like in the real world. (You know the type, order everyone around, assume they’re always right. I don’t like that type, and this Duke isn’t that type. Yay!)

There’s even a baby involved, which usually makes me yawn or gag, but the baby had just the right amount of scene time so that we didn’t have to swim through melodrama. :) The story was well-plotted, with characters doing unexpected things at just the right time. I have no idea if this is a series, but all the Duke’s friends are single, so it might be.

If you like Regency romances with sparkle and wit, you’ll like this book!

4 stars, Really Liked It

Spring Cleaning – Not Just in the Spring?

I’m teaching a time management class right now for writers. It’s lots of fun figuring out our goals for the year, calculating (read “guesstimating”) how much time it will take for each goal, and plotting it all out on an annual calendar. (If you’re interested in learning more, see my Classes page. I teach this every January.)

CleanOfficeOne of my goals for June is to clean and organize my office. I know I have files I don’t need anymore. And much as I’d like to read everything that comes my way, I have way too many magazines that I’m just never going to have time to read. When my office started reminding me of the teasers for shows on hoarders (I could barely get to my desk between piles of books and papers), I knew it was time to make a change.

Why June and not now? Or spring? I have a major goal that I am working on right now: to have my second superhero novel ready for WonderCon in April. I’ll have a table in the Small Press area to sell and autograph books and, since it’s a comic book convention, it would be great to have two superhero books there instead of one. Then I’ll be at another comic book convention in May in Michigan – Cherry Capitol Comic Con. So the earliest I can think about cleaning is June.

[Note: If you want to know more about when and where I'll be signing books, sign up for my newsletter at the top right of this page. I'll add an Events page here as soon as I have time. :)]

All that being said, John had to work on Saturday, and I woke up with a rare bug. The Cleaning Bug. I hardly ever get sick like this, so I thought the best thing to do was to let it take its course. And it’s a good thing I did! Not only did I dust and move some things around in the living room and bedroom, but I started going through a pile of papers on my office floor to put them away.

I was surprised by how much of it I threw away, due to the Cleaning Bug, so I went through another pile, and another. Then I tackled a box, and another box, and another box! If I’d known how different my office would look once the bug had run its course, I would’ve taken before and after pictures! (I’m not done going through boxes and tossing things, but there is already a huge difference.) I am sooo relaxed and happy to be sitting at my desk again! When I took out four boxes of papers to the recycling bin, I had to wait and throw one away after the garbage man comes because I’d filled up the bin!

It is GREAT to get sick like that sometimes! I kinda wish I caught that bug more often. Now hopefully in June, when my calendar says I’ll be cleaning my office, I’ll actually be organizing it better so that work goes even more smoothly. I almost can’t wait!

What about you? Do you get the Cleaning Bug very often? Is it usually in the spring, or does it hit unexpectedly?