Monday, August 1, 2016

2 Texas Chicks and Their Books

I can barely believe August is here already. 2016 has a rocket strapped to its back.

Last month, I told you about my books being on sale for 99 cents. Last week, it was IN NAME ONLY.

This week:

August 1-8
Next week:

August 8-15

Each sale runs Monday-Sunday, and is for the Kindle edition only. The paperback editions remain at regular price.

If you haven't read any of these yet, you're invited to take advantage of the summer sales and give one or more of them a try.


This month, I'm also participating in the cover real for Bish Denham's new book, THE BOWL AND THE STONE. So without further ado - except to say I love how intriguing this cover is is and how well this cover works with her previous two books - here is Bish's awesome new cover:

Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.

It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240 year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.

But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.

They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them? 

Their carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, and Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.

Pre-order today and enter the ghostly tale as soon as it releases.

Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands*. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.

She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”

The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at

To learn more about Bish, visit her blog, Random Thoughts
She can also be found on Facebook
Twitter @BishDenham
And Goodreads

*Although Bish was raised in the Virgin Islands, she's a Texas Chick now. Like me. That makes her a  Smart Chickie, too :)

I will be back here on Monday, September 5, with not one but TWO special guests. This will be Labor Day in the U.S., but the Tiki Hut will be open for business!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Of Books and Blogs and Summer Sales

Some of you may remember that I've shared a little something about the trilogy I'm working on. So, I'm still doing that - although I now have solid drafts of all three books. Yay!

But I'm f-a-r from done. I'm revising and editing like a mad woman. The main character is Grace Elizabeth Hofner. Otherwise known as Gracie.

I have Gracie brain. That means she and her friends and family and problems and chocolate are just about all I think about 24/7. Plus our dogs and Live-In Handyman, of course - they all combine to make sure I move and don't forget them.

As if :)

Oh! Did you notice I've begun the process of cleaning up my blog? I hope it loads faster for you. The blog rolls are NOTICEABLY shorter. If you don't find yours listed here, it means I got cross-eyed in the process and clicked in error. Just let me know, and I'll add you back in. No worries.

I'll be making some more changes here, but not until fall or winter.

One last bit of news to share with you:
Kindle editions of  each of my books will be on sale for 99 cents during the end of July through mid-August. Here are the dates for each book:

July 25-August 1

August 1-8

August 8-15

Each sale runs Monday-Sunday, and is for the Kindle edition only. The paperback editions will remain at regular price.

If you haven't read any of these yet, you're invited to take advantage of the summer sales and give one or more of them a try.

I'll be back here on Monday, August 1. Hope to see you then!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Where the Real Work Gets Done

Last month, I took you with me on my treacherous commute to work. This month, I'm giving you a peek of the inner sanctum :)

I'm a slow writer, and I'm within 10,000 words of completing a trilogy. Not completing as in ready to publish, but completing the first draft. Total word count for all three books: approximately 210,000 words.

Much subject to change, of course, once the editing begins. The word count will most likely climb.

Where have I spent countless hours? My desk.

It's six feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide. There have been days I've needed every square inch. But during the writing of this final book, it's looked much like this. But first the chair.

This is the most comfortable chair in our house! I'm serious. In addition, it doesn't get hot or collect dust and dog hair. Perfect. So when I'm sitting here, I can look left and right. When I look straight ahead, I see the monitor.

Left - my favorite windows. Followed by Flynn and Flo.

Left - actually on my desk - my Kindle in its black cover sitting on top of a couple of things I don't know what to do with yet. And some note cards about the trilogy. The little white box? If I told you what was inside, I'd have to, you know . . .

Right - the dining room you can see from last month's commute. On my desk, my calendar, goals book, glasses cases, my timer, the corner of my Coast Guard mousepad, and the great black space reserved for Live-In Handyman's occasional clutter.

Center - work area with my Book #3 notebook open. See the green tabs on the right? Those represent, by character, the plotlines I'm tying up in this last trilogy book. There's at least one page devoted to each.

The Notebooks. One for each book.

And finally, The Brain. This is what keeps everything in order and me functioning without losing my mind.

This handy-dandy Costco credenza houses everything. One book per basket. Plus the fourth one on the top row contains everything I'll need for taxes. The bottom row of baskets contain reference books, paperbacks of my beach books, extra supplies - like note cards - and knit scarves for those few cloudy winter days when I actually get cold.

Oh, see that little round orange box on top? That's where I put all the note cards after I've completed whatever's on them. When I finish the draft, all the cards will either be in the box or in the trash (if I didn't use them). Then I empty the box, put the cards in an envelope, and put them in the basket with the rest of the book information.

That's it. I hope you've enjoyed this romp through my office space.

Since the first Monday of July is July 4 - Independence Day -
I'll be back here on Wednesday, July 6.

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's Take My Readers to Work Day

I'm back, I'm back, I'm back!

There are no words to express how much I've missed all of you.

Thanks to all who visited while I've been typing my fingers to the bone. Special thanks to those who visited every month and those who commented. You're all some kind of awesome!

I know I said I was going to start work on refreshing this blog. Hasn't happened yet, but it will. I could chat for a while, but I don't know where to start.

So I'm going to show you where I've been.

Almost every single day. For hours.

And I'm still there, working diligently. But I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm beyond grateful. I embarked on this trilogy journey without having a clue. It's been the most amazing writing adventure yet, and I've loved every second. Even when I was pulling out my hair, strand by strand.

I'm also sharing space today with the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie

Thanks again for stopping by.

I'll be around to visit you over the next week or so. For real!

So this has been my journey every day.

First the long, harrowing commute:

Then the traffic jams:

A stop for coffee:

And then straight to work, through the dining room:

You'll notice there's no door from this way or this way:

Which means the two loud-mouthed hair-shedding canines sweet little furbabies have unfettered access to the windows only a step away from my desk. And every delivery truck, bike rider, jogger, squirrel, bird, and cat that comes along.

I hardly notice them barking anymore, except when I'm deep in the story, and they make me jump.

I do love them. Who could resist these sweet faces:

Next month I'll show you my desk. And my trilogy notebooks. And maybe more. I'll see you back here on Monday, June 6.

Now that I'm finally done, I get to participate in the cover reveal for C. Lee McKenzie's new book, SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON.

When a wall of their cave hideout crumbles, three boys discover a skeleton, clutching a treasure map. They set off to trace the story of an old murder, but stumble into a modern crime, and confront ancient Chinese dragons.

Want to Read Link: 

C. Lee McKenzie is a 4 & 5 star reviewed author. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets.