A Very Special Day #theloveofmylife #Mondayblogs #NaNoWriMo

Hello, dear friends.  Today is a very special day.

First:  It’s the last day of National Novel Writing Month and I’m happy to say that I met my goal of 50,000 words on Thanksgiving Day, giving me the weekend to relax and live in the moment.  Yay!

Second and most important: It is the birthday of the man who enabled me to complete NaNoWriMo in record time.

Getting ready for a time lapse of the sunset at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Getting ready for a time lapse of the sunset at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.

Every day I’m thankful he is in my life.  For his birthday, I dedicate the following song as sung by the late great Etta James.

“How far would I travel to be where you are

How far is the journey from here to a star … “

lyrics by Irving Berlin, ~1932


Cyber Monday Sale on His Revenge – Kindle Version US $0.99 UK £0.99 #RRBC

Your procrastination has been rewarded! For a limited time, John Howell’s new novel, His Revenge, is on sale for 99 cents (U.S.) during Cyber Monday!! Check his link for details. Now stop procrastinating and get your copy!! You heard me 😉

Fiction Favorites

His Revenge front final

One of the reasons I decided to self-publish was to be able to control my promotional events. I am therefore pleased to announce beginning at 12:00 am PST (6:00 am GMT) on November 30th (Tomorrow) until 12:00 pm PST (6:00 pm GMT) on December 1stHis Revenge will be on sale for $0.99 in the US and £0.99 in the UK. This is a thirty-six-hour sales event for the US and UK markets and is in support of CYBER Monday.

If you want to read His Revenge, for a limited time it is available for less than what you would pay for a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips at the gas station. (And better for you)

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So Close Yet So Far … #Mondayblogs #NaNoWriMo

A very quick post here to record my progress in NaNoWriMo so far:  41,311 words.  Unless I quit now (which I won’t), I should complete 50,000 by end of the month.  And then I will have 50k+ words of pure confusion.  What I’m working on originated as a short story, written in response to a real event in my neighborhood.  It’s the classic “Don’t piss me off or I’ll put you in my story” scenario.

I don’t know if this story really merits being lengthened into a novel, but I did want to use NaNoWriMo to produce backstory for the characters and setting.  Unfortunately, three-quarters of the way into writing, I switched from third-person to first-person, deciding that delving into the mind of my main character would be more fun.  Not.

I simply don’t know what I have here.  This may be my first NaNoWriMo where I can’t wait for it to be over because I’m bored.  I’m a pantser, writing without a plan or an outline or even an end in sight.  The short story had an ending but that’s where I decided to pick up, and so it goes.  If time wasn’t so precious, I’d read over what I’ve written so far.  But that’s too dangerous for me.  Once I start reading, I start editing and that is a huge No-No during NaNoWriMo.  So I’ll plow on through, even though my tank of enthusiasm is running on empty.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to all you who celebrate it!

Yesterday Road is now just 99 cents

One of my very favorite authors, Kevin Brennan, is putting TWO of his novels on sale, in the buildup to his release of Town Father in Kindle format. Take advantage of this sale NOW! I’ve read ALL of Kevin’s novels and LOVED each one of them. Am I making myself clear?


yesterday road small-cover

You heard me right. To build up uncontainable excitement for the December 8th release of Town Father in Kindle format, I’ll be running sales on my other two indie titles. From now till the release, you can nab Yesterday Road for 99 cents.

Occasional Soulmates will go on sale for 99 cents on December 3rd.

Meanwhile, you can pre-order Town Father for a neatly affordable $2.99. (Be among the proud, and the few!)

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Eating Bull Has Launched—Let the Extroverted Games Begin

Since I’m a little ahead of myself with NaNoWriMo, I’m taking a bit more time to see what my friends are up to. Well, last week, Carrie Rubin announced that her latest novel, Eating Bull, is available! The novel has two of my favorite subjects: public health and serial killers. Read on for more and to see how you can get your own copy of Eating Bull!

Carrie Rubin

eb for release post

A few days ago I opened my Word documents and clicked on my Eating Bull file. I wanted to see when I first started the novel.

Thinking it was only a couple of years ago, I did a double take when I spotted the date stamp of the first saved document: 10/13/2011.

Four years. Four years filled with outlining, researching, writing, rewriting, self-doubt, boredom, excitement, angst, confidence, fear, editing, querying, and publishing preparation. Oh, and endless thoughts of “what in the world am I doing?”

But the book’s release date is finally here, and I’m happy to announce it is now available in both e-book and paperback forms.

And We All Know What That Means…

It means it’s time to pull up the big-girl pants and dust off the social mask, because for the past month I’ve been preparing for real-life marketing, from contacting local newspapers for interviews to prepping for…

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What Kevin Brennan talks about when he talks about writing

I must reblog this guest post by Kevin Brennan! I always enjoy hearing (or reading in this case) about the “back story” of a writer’s novel, what propelled him or her to write this particular book. And, what for me is icing, Kevin mentions Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Yes, that kind of name dropping does get me excited 😉

Cinthia Ritchie

Guess who’s visiting today?

Kevin Brennan (can you tell that I’m excited?).

Not only is Brennan one of my favorite writers (author of Occasional Soulmates, Yesterday Road, Parts Unknown and Our Children Are Not Our Children), but he writes women characters that are so authentic, so complex and flawed and human and real, that it’s impossible to believe that they were written by a man. I think this is because he secretly harbors a woman’s soul, which is one of the biggest compliments I can give a writer.

But I’ll shut up for now, grab some chocolate and let Brennan take over.

(P.S. I couldn’t get the caption to come through but the vivid painting at the top of this post is Welcome to Utopia by Julia Di Sano.Source: fineartamerica.com. See more of her work here.)

Sonoma County Kevin Brennan contemplating his next book with his dog, Hitch.

Thanks to…

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Midway: To Hell and Back #NaNoWriMo #Mondayblogs

Hello, dear friends, I’m pausing for a few moments to let you all know that I’m still alive and well (or as one of my yoga friends puts it, “still vertical and sucking air!”).  NaNoWriMo is going well as far as my word count:  reached just over 30,000 words today.  Yay!  Except my fingers now feel frozen in that claw-like pose I use for typing, and my butt has gone completely numb (not comfortably numb, mind you).

Still, cranking out the quantity this weekend buys me a few days.  It simply feels too much to be on the computer all day at work only to come home and turn another one on, so writing during the work week is hit and miss for me.

And then there was the news.  I’ve often joked that Friday the 13th is a lucky day.  I will joke about that no more.  I’m sorry to end this post on a sad note, but my usual “happy face” just feels so false right now.


Available Now: His Revenge by John Howell!

Announcing His Revenge by John W. Howell is now available in paper and ebook on Amazon.

His Revenge front final

The sequel to My GRL titled His Revenge is available and a new story continues where My GRL left off.

His Revenge is available in the US in Paper and Kindle editions

In Canada in Paper and Kindle editions

In the UK in Paper and Kindle editions

Here is the blurb:

America loves John Cannon, its newest hero, and the President wants to present him with the highest civilian medal for bravery for saving the Annapolis midshipman from a terrorist plot to destroy them. While in Washington for the award ceremony, John unwillingly becomes an accomplice in another plan by the same group to attack the credibility of the US President and the stability of the worldwide oil market. There is no way out as John either becomes a traitor to America or causes thousands of innocent people to die if he refuses.

The second John J Cannon Thriller moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena and disrupt confidence in the government at home. If John refuses, Matt plans to murder innocent Americans including John’s latest relationship. John’s only way out is to pretend to go along with the plan and hope for a miracle.

Excerpt from Chapter one

The water rushes over my head. I’m sinking and don’t know why. With my breath held, I have trouble stopping the air from escaping since the pressure drives the air up and out. I try to keep my mouth closed, but the water pressure pushes the air out more and more. Will I pass out? In the distance, the light is dim. To rise to the surface in time might not be possible─I need to breathe right now. Toward ending the pain in my chest, my rambling mind rationalizes taking a deep breath—even knowing it will end my life. In conflict with the irrational thought of ending it, my body won’t let me suck in the water, as it fights to retain the little bit of oxygen left to fuel my brain.

The despair is nearly overwhelming, and my mind considers other ways to battle the feeling. What more could I have done with my life? The pressure becomes more intense, and I’m about to lose it all, and I decide I’ve lived the way I wanted and have no regrets. I close my eyes and hear only the roar of the sea. I’m so tired. Exhausted. Sleep will fix everything, and I want to give in.

Photo by Tim Burdick

About the Author

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a blog at http://www.johnwhowell.com. John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets. He can be reached at his e-mail johnhowell.wave@gmail.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241or Twitter at @HowellWave

My GRL_johnwhowell

His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold



One Week Down and Who Am I? #MondayBlogs #NaNoWriMo

One of the pleasures of participating in NaNoWriMo is losing myself in my writing.  When I come up for air, I might be a 30-something, petite, blonde who works as a city attorney, wheeling and dealing with developers while trying to keep safe her own parcel of heaven.

Or I might be one of those developers, in particular the guy who looks like he just walked out of the Dukes of Hazard, leather-skinned and chewing tobacco, but astute enough to own practically the whole town.

Or maybe I’m the newly appointed county sheriff, brought down from one of the northern states to try and get this southern backwater law enforcement agency back in shape, without getting killed in the process.

Then again, I could be the former sheriff, the guy who was forced to resign because nobody could stomach the depth of his corruption anymore, especially after the gruesome death of his wife, to which he claimed complete innocence.

I’m sure you can imagine which characters make for a small word count because even I can’t stand be in their presence very long.  And, yet, I must.  Crazy is as crazy does.  And writing is how I get my crazies out.

So I’m still plugging away.  Right now (on a late rainy Sunday afternoon), I’m at 15,051 words.  But tomorrow is Monday and somehow the workday just makes it hard for me to find time to write.  But I have some rewards waiting for me, urging me on to that 50,000 work mark.

First, this wonderful collection of treats from author of Dolls Behaving Badly, Cinthia Ritchie!

Chocolate, chocolate, and flower seeds!

Chocolate, chocolate, flower seeds, stones and shells–all from Alaska!

And while I’m enjoying my Alaska chocolate bars with my hot Alaska chocolate drink, I’ll be reading this:


Kevin Brennan’s latest novel!

And this:

His Revenge front final

John W. Howell’s latest novel!

And possibly at the same time since I have one novel (Kevin’s) in paperback and one (John’s) on my Kindle.  Yup, that’s the other pleasure of NaNoWriMo:  When you’re done amassing 50,000 words, you can put the laptop away, shut down the computer and just READ.

(Comments are closed while I busy myself with writing and visiting your blogs!)

And It’s NaNoWriMo Time Again!


Yup, here I go again.  Time for NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writing Month for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last several years). I signed up again for the insanity of writing 50,000 words in a month.  I’m starting to think that this is truly my preferred method of writing, and that I may never publish.  Just participate in NaNoWriMo once a year and spend the rest of my time knitting.

I’ve tossed about story ideas for this go-round.  Should I be my typical self and just sit down and write whatever?  Or should I try a little planning, maybe use NaNoWriMo to polish one of my many rough drafts?  At this very moment (which will be gone by the time this post is actually published because I’m writing all this on the afternoon of Sunday, November 1), I’m still undecided.  I’ve signed up, but I thought I would rehabilitate a short story that I wrote several years ago.  It needs a lot of work, and I was thinking that turning it into a novel would be one way to do some “world-building,” dig into the details of the landscape and characters more than I did with the original story.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Jane Hilton is a young lawyer and native Floridian working desperately to save what little remains of her family’s once extensive plantation in the Florida Panhandle.  Justus Tanner is also a native Floridian, and his and Jane’s families share a long and adversarial history.  Tanner is Jane’s nemesis, a developer prone to making deals based on threats rather than promises.  He wants that last spit of land that Jane calls her “Green Bubble,” the only legacy she has from her mother.  Jane is determined to keep Tanner from getting it, even if it means one of them must die.

Yes, yes, yes, again someone is likely to die in this novel.  I do have a (bad) habit of killing off characters.  But, you know, therapy.

So, off I go to write, write, write.  And because I’ll be spending so much time writing (a draft of) a Great American Novel, my blog posts for this month will be skimpy and closed for comments.  Priorities, my friends, priorities.

To tide you over, here are some photos from our road trip last month.  Scenes from our hotel room in Staunton, Virginia.

My husband's camera all set up and ready to take a timelapse of the setting sun, in Staunton, Virginia

My husband’s camera all set up and ready to take a timelapse of the setting sun, in Staunton, Virginia

The sun will be setting soon ...

The sun will be setting soon …

Here comes the rosy glow of sunset ...

Here comes the rosy glow of sunset …

My favorite photo!

My favorite photo!

Okay, it's pretty much set now.

Okay, it’s pretty much set now.

The next morning ... for all you golfers out there :)

The next morning … for all you golfers out there 🙂

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