Sunday, October 19, 2014

Taking it to the farm book signing... :0) Super fun!

Book signing today at Michigan Feral Foods Farm. It was cold, but it was a great time!! I was among an awesome company of artists, craftsmen, glass makers, painters, sculptures, photographers, coffee makers, farms, earth lovers, and all around fantastic people.
Image by: Irvin Hayes of Occasional Photography

 My beloved farm. (Not really my farm but I claim them because I love the farm and the people so much) 

The sweetest! Ms. Ashley taking care of peoples thirst needs. :0)  She's so darn cute!

One of many vendors and craftsmen at the fundraiser:
 The fantastic Villa Villelyon and their goats milks soaps. salsas and duck eggs. 
Image curtesy of Occasional Photography:

 Vender Cool Critters: 
These are the best! I had a hard time holding back my credit card. 
Image by: 

 I did get one Cool Critter, though. :0)  I'm still trying to name him. Either Felix or Cornelius? 

Beautiful pottery by Anne Beyer! 

Farm peeps!!! Can't love them enough! 

Milan Coffee Works kept everyone warm with delightful cups of artisan coffee!

There is so much more to post but these were a sample of my favorite pictures from today's heart filling event :0) 

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is a Beta Reader? by Jami Gold at Anne R. Allen's place

Many others do a better job than I ever could when it comes to sharing their wealth of information about writing and being an author. So, I pass on their wisdom with pleasure. Feel free to click their links and pages and explore their treasure troves of information. 

~Kimberly J Fuller~

What is a Beta Reader? Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Getting and Giving Feedback on your WIP

This week we're proud to host author and editor Jami Gold, fresh from her role as a presenter at the RWA conference in San Antonio

If you missed the conference, Jami's posts on the highlights of the annual Romance Writers Association event are fascinating. You'll find them on her blog at JamiGold, Paranormal Author.

Jami's blog is a must-read for new authors. She's formed a great community there. Comments are long and informative. Not only does she know more tech than my poor aging brain will ever comprehend, but her "beat sheets" for outlining and structuring your fiction are a fantastic resource.

Check out her Writing Resources page. It's a goldmine.

I discovered her blog a couple of years ago when I was looking for information on how to find beta readers, so when readers asked me for a post on the subject, Jami was my go-to expert. 

So What are "Beta Readers"?

...and how do they differ from editors or critique groups? 

The term first came from fan fiction, and it means a person who reads your work-in-progress (or "WIP") when you, the writer or "alpha," are ready for feedbackbefore it goes into final draft to be sent to your fanfic page, editor, or agent. 

Lots of writers may have betas without knowing the term. Betas don't need professional-level editing skills and don't have to be members of a group. They only need to be willing to read your manuscript and give helpful feedback about what works and what doesn't.

They differ from editors since they usually comment as readers, not industry professionals. It's not necessary they have perfect grammar skills or knowledge of the genre (although they need to be aware of the conventions, so they don't try to turn your sweet romance into a gritty thriller, or vice versa.)

They differ from a critique group because they usually read a whole manuscript in a few sittings rather than hearing it over a period of months or years. This means a beta can offer better feedback on big-picture aspects: story arc, character development, pacing, etc.

Beta readers can be fellow writers who will exchange reads, or they can be friends or family who can read with a critical eye. They may become your moral support system and cheerleaders as well.
Like critiquers and editors, beta readers have to be able to leave their own egos out of their feedback and not try to change your story into their own.

When you've found someone who can do that, and still give honest, constructive, useful advice, you've struck gold...Anne

This is #3 in a series on GETTING FEEDBACK 

#1 Ruth Harris on EDITING 
#2 Anne R. Allen on  CRITIQUE GROUPS

Beta Reading: How to Find Readers and Become a Better Reader for Others

by Jami Gold

Ever struggle to make readers’ interpretations of your writing match your intentions? We probably all have.

Maybe readers come away with the wrong impression of a character. Maybe a plot twist is too obvious or from too far out of left field. Or maybe our subtext is too subtle or too “on the nose.”

As writers, we’re so close to our stories it’s impossible for us to know how readers will interpret our words. A good beta reader will go through our “the best we can make it by ourselves” draft and give feedback about what we can’t see. And that’s just one reason why we all need beta readers.
Sounds Great!

How Do We Get Beta Readers?

You can keep reading here: Anne R. Allen

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"The Mirror" a Poem by Unique Bowser

©Unique Bowser
"The Mirror" 

Let he who is without sin 
Cast the first stone 
And watch that mirror tell truth when their all alone 
While they try to hide 
Their eyez full of lies 
But the innocent get exposed when that light shines 
They're busy pointin fingers 
They say their all guilty 
They're on a soapbox screamin loud playing judge and jury 
They have fists of fury 
Feel the pain 
They contradict themselves every time they changes lanes 
We are livin in the last days? 
We're walkin blind? 
Let me check my watch 
Yea it's the end times 
No peace of mind...Night sweats 
When your numbers called...No regrets 
It's all written...You can read about it 
You wanna take a stand 
Don't talk about it be about it 
When you take a stand sometimes you stand alone 
But have your own thoughts 
And keep your own mind 
Never piggyback another's thoughts just to save time 
We're in a state of crisis 
I have my own vices 
How can I tell another how to live like I'm ALL RIGHTEOUS...or the ALMIGHTY 
I'm not on the mount....talkin to everybody 
It's a damn shame 
This world's full of pain 
I see the future and there aint no change 
But if we grab a mirror 
And start there 
The change we're lookin for just might appear

by Unique

Friday, June 27, 2014

A cathartic book...The Fault In Our Stars

I read Fault In Our Stars while going through treatment for the same cancer as the main character. One would think that was ill advised... but for me, even as an adult who loves YA genre, it was very cathartic. 
John Green does cancer a service and an honor in this book and I am proud to share his work and the music of Troye Sivan, who sums it up with beautiful melody and heart. 

May cancer one day have an answer. And may all of us in the family of cancer fighters have the support and love that every beautiful human deserves. 


And John Green:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writing info and tips...

It seems a lot of people feel they have a book inside of them, or at the very least something they need to say to the world. However, I don't feel I have the experience or the know how to give advice to aspiring authors, or anyone that would like to embark on their writing journey. Normally I'm a very grace oriented, positive person but when it comes to being asked, "How do you write a book?" my face shrivels up as if someone just poked me in the eye. Mostly because I think, "Oh man, you really have to know how much WORK goes into writing." And as many old time and new time Authors will tell you, "You better darn LOVE it."  
What I tend to call, "lottery Authors" are not the norm, so if you think you can just make a quick career and some fast money you'll be burned out before you even have a chance to succeed. that my two, maybe three cents has been stated. If you really would like to write...if you really find it to be a passion or pressing on your dreams, I say GO FOR IT! 

Here is a recent post by some amazing ladies, Ms. Anne R Allen and Ms. Ruth Harris, they do a much better job at helping aspiring writers with their journey. The blog is a wealth of information so don't hesitate to visit there anytime you have questions

They can be found here:

Know Your Genre: Tips and Secrets from the Experts for Writing Bestselling Genre Fiction

by Ruth Harris
Romance with a side of horror? 

Happens in real life—oy!—but not such a hot idea in fiction.

Cozy mystery with a soup├žon of blood and gore? 

 Only if you want readers coming after you with shoulder-fired missiles.

Sci-fi in a gauzy, vintage-y mood? 

Not unless you want to find an IED in your driveway.

Genres come with rules that create guidelines for writers—and set up expectations in readers. Break those rules, disappoint those expectations and the reaction will be a polar vortex of one-star reviews.

You can’t build a house without a solid foundation, so before you start playing around with wildly inventive and creative genre mash-ups, you first need to learn to stick the landing. 
  • Romance can be contemporary or historical, steamy or sweet, Gothic or Regency. The characters can be pirates, soldiers, doctors, knights, noblemen or, of course, billionaires. No matter the tone or the period, though, romance requires a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending or, at the very least, a Happy For Now (HFN) ending. Period!
  • Women’s Fiction. If the heroine decides she’d rather take a job at an archaeological dig in Kyrgystan than settle down with the boy next door, you’ve left romance territory and entered the world of Women’s Fiction. 
  • Horror requires scaring the cr*p out of the reader.
  • Chick Lit/Rom-Com needs humor and a light-as-meringue style (and shoes).
  • Thrillers must have a hero-heroine and a vile villain. Thrillers can focus on the CIA, the NSA or even the NRA. The backgrounds can be military, medical, political, legal or psychological.
  • Mysteries better have a crime that needs to be solved and a detective to solve them.

Here's a list of some of the most popular genres with links to expert advice on how to write them:


Over half the books sold in the US are categorized as Romance. It’s the Big Mama of genres, competitive and potentially lucrative.

Romance University is Harvard for romance, useful to beginners and advanced students alive. Professors (successful romance writers and editors) tell all about how to write and how to market romance. (And it's FREE!...Anne)

We’ll stay in the Ivy league with Everybody Needs A Little Romance, a group blog written by romance writers who share their opinions and insights, their triumphs and—sometimes—their tribulations. Romance writers, it turns out, are just like us.

Contemporary Romance, a chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) is devoted to the writing and marketing of contemporary (as opposed to historical) romance. Pros who write in genres and sub-genres ranging from “spicy to inspirational to young adult to adult” keep readers and writers informed and up to date via discussion forums and workshops. (This site requires RWA membership, but if you're a Romance writer, RWA membership is well worth the price...Anne)

Have a good time and learn at Romance Divas an award winning, website and discussion forum dedicated to romance.

Romantic Suspense

The suspense must add to the romance and the romance must add to the suspense. Nora Roberts lists some of her favorite Romantic Suspense authors—Mary Stewart, Sue Grafton and Elizabeth George (among others)—and explains the necessary balance between romance and suspense. 

New York Times bestselling author, Lisa Gardner, lists 7 Tips for writing Romantic Suspense ranging from setting and research to character and plot.

Patience Bloom, senior editor of Harlequin Romantic Suspense, shares 5 Secrets for creating compelling Romantic Suspense.

There is much more to this post, so for further reading here's the link: 

*image found: 
(I am not aquatinted with the artist or seller)