Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Cut the Clunky

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Eliminate unnecessary phrases that make your writing ‘telling’ and wordy.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…


Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.


A lot of writers, even seasoned ones, have a tendency to include unneeded ‘head’s up’ or qualifier type phrases, mostly at the beginning of sentences, that aren’t needed. Eliminating these phrases can make your writing tighter and less telling.

Some examples…

“You’ll never be the kind of woman I need, Victoria.”

Hurt by what he said, she burst into tears. “How can you be so cruel?”

See how the ‘hurt by what he said’ isn’t needed? We know that’s why she burst into tears.

He skirted the building, looking for a back way in. As he did, he drew his weapon.

‘As he did’ isn’t needed. We know he was doing it, so yes, he drew his weapon ‘as he did’ it.

Her gaze scanned the room, stopping on the photo resting on the mantel. In that moment, she realized whose house she was in.

Eliminate ‘In that moment’ – We know that’s when she realized.

Mary opened the door and stepped inside his office. As she entered, she held the stack of papers out to him.

No need for ‘as she entered’ because when she stepped inside, she’d already entered. 


That’s it, just some brief reminders of phrases that can clutter your writing and don’t add anything to the story.

Until next time…Happy Writing!


Get your  two-minute tips all in one handy reference guide:

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final



*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 



How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here


Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Author Interview with Marilyn Baron & New Release: Stumble Stones: A Novel

Please help me welcome an author friend, Marilyn Baron, with an interview and her new release: Stumble Stones: A Novel 


  1. Where did you get the idea for Stumble Stones: A Novel? The idea for the book was sparked when my former next door neighbor who moved to Stuttgart, Germany, e-mailed me and told me about some stumble stones that were placed in front of his house. Stumble Stones is a real project. German artist Gunter Demnig has placed five thousand of these brass plaques—known as Stolpersteine or “stumble stones,” cobblestone-sized Holocaust memorial stones—in Berlin and some fifty thousand of them in eighteen countries in Europe. Every letter on every plaque is hand carved by the artist or one of his apprentices. Every plaque contains a name, the year of birth, the date the victim was deported, and the place and date of death. They are located in the last known home of the person or persons who lived in a house before they were taken. Sometimes the stones are placed where the victim worked or studied. There is often a ceremony including music, poetry and flowers at the placement. No one I’ve talked to about stumble stones has heard of this unique Holocaust memorial project, but once they find out about it, they are fascinated. In my book, the hero witnesses a stumble stones ceremony in front of his house and finds a cache of diamonds from WWII during a remodeling project and sets out to find out who they belonged to.
  2. Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)? I’ve written romantic suspense before and it’s one of my favorite genres to write. This story is set in contemporary Europe and WW II Europe. It involves Nazis, art theft and the Holocaust. Those themes almost ensured it had to be a mystery/thriller.
  3. Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc., you’d like to share? Yes, most chapters in the heroine’s point of view start out with a soap opera script. The heroine is obsessed with Polly Winthrop, the character she writes for As the Planet Spins and her life often mirrors that of her alter ego.
  4. What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? Finishing it.
  5. What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular? Judging the right balance between dark and light—the darkness of the Holocaust women’s stories and the comedic elements of a contemporary romance between the rabbi’s daughter and a German-American hedge fund manager in Berlin, who cross the great religious divide and cultural prejudice to be together. I want readers to contemplate the horror of the Holocaust and at the same time be satisfied because of the hopeful ending.
  6. Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story? I have to come up with a title and the names of the characters before I start a book. Sometimes, listening to the music of the period where the book is set is helpful to get in the mood to write.
  7. What book have you read that you wish you would have written?  The Outlander series.  
  8.  Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? I’m a public relations consultant and I write and edit newsletters, annual reports, brochures, ads, etc. I really enjoy what I do because I love to write.                                
  9. What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do? I love to watch soap operas. My grandmother got me hooked and now I watch (or record to watch later) two shows: The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. That’s where I learned to write dialogue and why I made my heroine in Stumble Stones a soap opera writer.
  10. What’s your favorite book of all time and why? That’s a difficult question because there are so many great books and I’m an avid reader. But one of my favorites is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak because it’s written from the POV of death and the voice was amazing. My favorite childhood book is Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder because that book inspired me to become a writer.        
  11. If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be? I would make Stumble Stones: A Novel longer.                                                          
  12. What genre have you never written that you’d like to write? I’ve written in a variety of genres, including women’s fiction, romantic thrillers/suspense/mystery, historical and paranormal. So about the only one left is Young Adult. 

** GIVEAWAY: Readers should leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Marilyn’s romantic suspense Landlocked and a Stumble Stones logo notebook. The question they have to answer from Stumble Stones is “What is the name of the Berlin suburb where Alexander lives?”




Teaser: Stumble Stones is multilayered, dark and humorous Romancing the Stone-style suspense novel about a cache of priceless diamonds hidden in World War II that sparks a hasty wedding on the high seas and a dangerous chase through Europe that holds the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of lost love. 

Hallelujah Weiss, a writer for the steamy sudser As the Planet Spins, gets a second chance at love when she flees to Italy to get over her recent divorce, courtesy of her cheating ex-husband’s credit card. A woman scorned, Hallelujah has sworn off men and is determined to reinvent herself. The new Hallelujah is eager to live life on the edge, more like Polly Winthrop, a character she writes and idolizes.

Lonely Berlin hedge fund manager Alexander Stone, a number cruncher who puts his faith in numerical data, still believes in destiny, despite the fact his fiancée just dumped him. Always a man with a plan, Alexander did not plan on Hallelujah.

After a chance encounter on a flight to Rome, the unlikely pair faces danger when they team up to return to their rightful owner a stash of WW II vintage jewels.


Life was better in Business Class, especially when your cheating ex-husband was paying for it. Hallelujah couldn’t wait until Lloyd got the bill—for the airline ticket, the set of top-of-the-line TUMI luggage, the fashionable, Italian-worthy wardrobe, a two-week stay at a first-class hotel in Florence, an expensive day of pampering at the hotel spa, dinner in the city’s finest restaurant, and front row seats to the Il Volo concert. It’s not like Lloyd Evans couldn’t afford it. It would hardly make a dent in the bastard’s bank account.

Her short-term plan was to spend as much of Lloyd’s money as she could before his skanky secretary/fiancée Olivia Brewster got her greedy little hands on it. Polly would be proud of me.

 But she wasn’t Polly. Polly lived life on the wild side, and she had a vindictive streak. Hallie Evans was practical. She believed in playing it safe and paying her own way. But she deserved this final fling. She had scraped together the last of her savings, and she would use those funds when Lloyd’s credit card was tapped out. Then she would go back to the single life and the single paycheck and try not to dwell on how much her ex had hurt and humiliated her. But right now, Polly was in the pilot’s seat. And, from now on, Hallie was determined to live life on the edge, just like Polly.

Settling into her roomy Magnifica seat, she signaled the Alitalia flight attendant for another amaretto sour before the plane took off. Getting properly sloshed mid-air was a strategic and recent addendum to the plan. Oh, and part of her plan was to swear off men.


Bio Marilyn Baron

Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. Stumble Stones will be her 11th novel published with The Wild Rose Press. She’s also published five short stories with TWB Press and self-published three books, including a musical about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane. AmazonEncore republished her book Sixth Sense on September 15, 2015. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is a Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) Maggie Award winner, a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and GRW and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm. She serves on the 2015 and 2016 Roswell Reads Steering Committee. She was selected as a featured author in the 2015 Atlanta Authors Series. She presented on two panels at the AJC-Decatur Book Festival (the largest independent book festival in the country) on September 6, 2015. She was a 2016 Nominee for the 52nd Georgia Author of the Year Awards (books published in 2015) in two categories—Detective/Mystery for Landlocked and Romance for The Widows’ Gallery. She’s a member of two book clubs. Read more about Marilyn at www.marilynbaron.com.

Contact links

Website www.marilynbaron.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4722647.Marilyn_Baron

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Marilyn+Baron&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Marilyn+Baron&sort=relevancerank

Buy Links:

Amazon Pre-Order E Book


Stumble Stones E Book The Wild Rose Press


Stumble Stones Paperback The Wild Rose Press


Barnes & Noble Nook


All Romance ® eBooks





Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

A Plethora of 99 Cent Ebooks!!!

99 Cent Ebooks galore

Check out our monthly list of 99 cent reads. All different genres, all great bargains!

***Just click on the cover to be taken to the purchase page.

PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE ORDERING!!! – We are not responsible if prices are no longer 99 cents

Hope you discover some enticing reads!



*** Sale Ends August 31st!!

A gothic mystery romance, based on a supernatural phenomenon in Quapaw, Oklahoma

Find Alicia Here: http://bit.ly/2bvN8wX




Drake Kincaid needed a biddable bride to secure his inheritance. He hadn’t counted on Pearl Parker.

Find Caroline Clemmons here: http://amzn.to/2bxYO5j



High school sweethearts meet 12 years later & sparks still fly. Both are shocked to learn the truth of their breakup & who was really responsible for their breakup. Is it too late to rekindle the love they once shared or will their dreams be shattered forever?

Find Diana Stout at http://sharpenedpencilsproductions.com/



Powerful Family, Powerful Loves. Fall in love with the Sherbrookes of Newport. Box set contains the first 3 books in the Amazon Best Selling Series.

Find Christina at www.christinatetreault.com



Nine stories including BBW, Contemporary, F/F, M/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Regency, Shape-shifter, Speculative Fiction, and Stepbrother Romance from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati.

Check out the Naughty Literati Bookshelf for more 99¢ anthologies! http://naughtyliterati.com/naughtybookshelf



A story of mystery and suspense that draws upon a creepy urban legend and the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. When Eve Parrish returns to her hometown, she is haunted by rumors of a mysterious creature known as the Mothman—and targeted by a killer with a secret to conceal.

Connect with Mae Clair at: https://maeclair.net/



Mix a Spanish chef with an Italian winemaker–create some mayhem, Malbec Mayhem!

Find Cathy here: http://amzn.to/2aXaUQL



A jilted girl… A wicked boy… A forbidden kiss…

A happily ever after?

Stalk Maggie At http://maggiewayauthor.com



Carlotta is determined to resist the bad boy hockey player from her past. She knows how to protect her heart this time around. But a love charm throws its magic over her Martha’s Vineyard home…and the bad boy knows how to use it.

Please visit with Carly Carson on her website: http://www.carlycarson.com



Find your next book boyfriend in this steamy military romance anthology. 15 stories featuring hot alpha men in one box set, only 99 cents for a limited time.

Follow Carly Carson on her website: http://www.carlycarson.com



Akasha is a pretty little calico who, along with two of her kittens, has drowned and passed on to Catarau. Now she must journey back to earth to save the kitten left behind.

Follow Sandra at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zj7pbgt



Finding Love is hard…especially if you’re a mutant.

Follow Sandra on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zj7pbgt



The truth is that life is uncertain. Meg Quinn is co-guardian of her dying best friend’s son along with her friend’s brother, a former Marines. As the couple for a missing veteran, they find out the truth about life and love … and murder.

Find Edie here: http://edieramer.com/



A sensual tale of a missing archaeologist, treasure hunters, and a naturalist in search of his Aphrodite



Would you go on a one-way trip to save humanity? Pre-order sale.

Find Diane Burton here: http://bit.ly/2bkV9IO



In 1886 Montana Territory, a surgeon’s secret keeps him from the rancher he loves—a spirited woman who must remain a spinster to protect her land and family. Book 1 in the Harper Ranch series.

Find Louella at www.LouellaNelson.com



A disaffected hospital doctor mistakes a businessman for a gardener and an unlikely love blossoms. But she has a past she wants to forget and he lives by strong principles of truth which drive them on separate, painful journeys of self-discovery.

Find Lynette Sofras at http://www.lynettesofras.com/



The warrior returns… but he never really comes home. Allegra has longed for the return of her soldier husband. But when the war ends, he is more distant than ever. And, finally, she gives up on him. To win her back, he must leave the war behind and truly come home to her for good.

Find Alicia Rasley here: http://amzn.to/2aYdl5W




Miss Laura Stokes is a man with a mission. The wicked Marquess of Marstoke ruined her sister’s life and she will exact justice–even if she has to dress as a gentleman to do it.

Find Deb Marlowe and some Behind the Book fun at www.DebMarlowe.com



A forbidden romance between a gargoyle shifter and a tree witch on a mystical Scottish island. Hot shifters in kilts — Meet the five rebellious brothers in the Knights of Stone today!

Find Lisa Carlisle here: http://www.lisacarlislebooks.com/



A demon warrior, a werewolf princess. Will their differences tear them apart?

Find J.L. Sheppard at: http://www.jlsheppard.com



Be charmed! from RT: “Boston comes vividly alive in… Queen’s Scotland Yard Exchange… an engaging heroine with charm, humor & sass. …laugh-out-loud moments, a fast-paced plot & spellbinding characters … a stellar not-to-be-missed standout!”

Visit Stephanie Queen at www.StephanieQueen.com for the latest on new releases & fun.



From today’s hottest USA Today and Bestselling authors comes a collection of 10 novellas, featuring hot alpha, beta, and omega shifters. If you like tigers, bears, wolves, and more you’ll love this box set. Each story is either a first in a series or a stand-alone novella.

Discover the imaginary worlds of Beth Caudill at http://BethCaudill.net/



Six months in an isolated Moroccan village will give self-sufficient Emily Ryan the chance to clear her debts and start afresh. But her charming, infuriating employer has other plans.

Find Madeleine McDonald at http://madeleinemcdonald.blogspot.co.uk




“…filled with lust, romance and tons of hotness. Oh and add in a touch of comedy. Everything a spring break should be.” – Book Nook Nuts

Visit with Elise at https://www.facebook.com/elise.covert.writer



Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic…

Find out more about all the stories featured in the anthology here: http://www.maureenbonatch.com/books/2051/



1,400 miles. 3 countries. 2 men she can’t trust. What could go wrong?

Follow J.J. DiBenedetto at http://www.writingdreams.net



Mystery, marriage, medical school – and murder! How much can Sara handle?

Follow J.J. DiBenedetto at http://www.writingdreams.net




She must choose between a life of adventure with the man she loves or a settled, secure life with her betrothed.

Connect with Brenda B. Taylor ~ http://www.historicalheartbeats.com



Eight western novellas from Bestselling & Award Winning authors. Think Cowboys and Ghosts! Only 99 Cents!

Connect with me at: http/ketaskeep.blogspot.com



Book 2 in the series. Sarah appeals to the Champion of her youth to smuggle her out of North Carolina, and the price is steep.

Connect with keta here: http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com


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Filed under Ebook Deal, Uncategorized

Interview with Author Elizabeth Rose ~ New Release: Touch of Gold

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Elizabeth Rose with an interview and her new release, Touch of Gold.

First off, I’d like to thank Alicia for inviting me to be her guest today. My name is Elizabeth Rose, and I have been married to the same wonderful man for the last thirty years, and have two grown sons who are just as wonderful. I grew up and still live in the suburbs of Chicago, although I am more of a country girl at heart. I’ve spent a good part of my younger years visiting my grandparents on a lake in Michigan, and have used instances from my own life as inspiration to write my 12 book Tarnished Saints Series.


My Tarnished Saints Series is about 12 brothers who are sons of a preacher but far from saints. Matter of fact, they are nothing but trouble. It takes place in a small town and on a lake in Michigan. I invite readers to start reading this series, and right now if you sign up for my mailing list, you can get the Tarnished Saints Christmas Prequel free. Just use this link: http://bit.ly/freetarnishedsaints . While this is a contemporary series, I also write medieval, western, and paranormal, which brings me to my new release, Touch of Gold. This is book 4 in my Tangled Tales Series and also the twisted, tangled, romantic retelling of the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin.

My hero, Kin de Bar (Rumpelstiltskin) is one of the cursed de Bar siblings and everything he touches turns to gold. This happens to come in handy since he is escorting Olivia de Mil to the baron’s castle and because of the girl’s father’s boastful lies, he thinks she can spin wool into gold. Other books in this series so far are: Lady and the Wolf (Red Riding Hood), Just a Kiss (Frog Prince) and Beast Lord (Beauty and the Beast.) Touch of Gold will be followed by the rest of the siblings’ stories which include; Rapunzel, Cinderella and the Snow Queen.

I grew up loving fairy tales, and I’m from the days when Rocky and Bullwinkle had their Fractured Fairy Tales, if any of you are old enough to remember that. I also love watching the TV series, Once Upon a Time. I also love anything paranormal, so rewriting the fairy tales which often had horrific endings, and making them happily ever after as well as romantic was a fun challenge.



  • Are there any tricks/habits you have when creating a story?

Yes! Since I also have a degree in art, I love making my own covers. I create the cover of the book before I write it, and include things in the cover in the story as well. For example, in my medieval book, Lady of the Mist from my Legacy of the Blade Series, my heroine is a pirate. On the cover you’ll see a woman with a sword wearing an ornate necklace. She’s also in front of a ship and there is a sea hawk in the air. In the story, that is her ship and hawk, and the necklace she is wearing is a big part of the plot. As long as I’m creating my own covers, you’ll always know exactly what the hero and heroine look like.

  • What’s your favorite childhood book?

It was a book called The Wednesday Witch. It had a witch that rode a vacuum cleaner. This sparked my interest of paranormal things and characters.

  • What do you want readers to come away with when they read your book?

If it is a medieval, I like them to feel they are learning something about history that they didn’t know before. For example, my Barons of the Cinque Ports Series tells about a part of history that no one seems to know about. There truly were barons of the Cinque Ports – the five major trade ports of England. If it’s one of my contemporary books – I want my readers to fall in love with the heroes and get involved in their lives. And if it’s a paranormal book, I hope my readers can open their minds and delve into the world of supernatural events. A lot of my books also have underlying morals weaved into them.

  • If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

I couldn’t be just one character. It’s too hard to choose. If I were in one of my Greek Myth Series, I could be a goddess. Or if I were in one of my Elemental Series, I could wield the power of controlling fire, water, air and earth, like my heroines do. Of course, I’ve always wanted to be able to ride a horse and wield a sword and live in a castle, so any of my medieval books would do as well. I’d like to trade off from day to day.

  • Have you written any other books that are not published?

Here is a story I have to tell. It is all related to the question. My first book was published by a traditional publisher back in 2000. Then four more followed. But alas, I had young children and many bills and ended up going back to work after awhile. I had maybe fifteen books written that weren’t sold to publishers – not for lack of trying. (I stopped counting the rejection letters after 100.) So I worked and had no time to write. Then about 3 ½ years ago, I lost my job. Another writer friend of mine suggested I self-publish my books on amazon. (Lord knows I had enough of them stored in the closet.) So I did just that. I published all my backstock and then went on to write new books and am now an amazon all-star and bestselling author of historical romance and in the top 100 in this category on amazon. I have one book – a contemporary western – from the past not published. And that’s only because when I changed over from my old computer, it got lost somewhere and I have yet to find it on disks and places I stored them from so long ago. When I do find it, I’ll publish it as well and add to the 54 books I have published at this time.

  • Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

A little of both. If my family and relatives ever actually read my books, they’ll be surprised to find characteristics of themselves in my Tarnished Saints Series. Actually, the old couple that own the bed and breakfast in Doubting Thomas – book one of the series, are a lot like my parents! Hee hee. And the house is really the house they live on now at the lake. (For the record, I convinced both my parents to read this book and they did. Not that they saw any similarities to themselves, of course.)

  • What do your friends and family think of your writing?

This is interesting. Of course since I have boys in their twenties, they are horrified to think of mom writing love scenes and as far as I know they don’t read my books – nor do I want them to. My parents are very religious, so I was the one horrified when my first book came out because I knew they would read it – descriptive love scenes and all. But I’ve always been the rebel of the family and tease them and tell them that is what they get for making me sit out in the hall in gradeschool while the other kids were having sex education. In reality, my mother started reading and enjoying my books after her best friend (my biggest 80-year-old fan) started telling her how wonderful they were. And the biggest surprise is that my mother’s favorite books of mine are the paranormal ones. Huh? Who would have thought she’d really like shapeshifting, vampires and sirens. You never know!

  • Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

Like I said, I like to weave in morals and lessons subliminally in some of my stories. For example, The Dragon and the DreamWalker has a good vs evil storyline with a huge moral at the end that you’ll just have to read for yourself. Touch of Gold is another one with a moral. This moral being that too much of a good thing can often turn terrible if you’re not careful.

  • My Favorite:

Movie: Lady Hawke

Music: Jazz or Acoustic Guitar

Place You’ve Visited: Machu Picchu, Peru

Place You’d Like to Visit: Castles of Scotland and England

TV Show From Childhood: I hate to admit it but, I liked the sitcoms like Brady Bunch, Monkees, Green Acres, Happy Days (anything you can find on METV now.) And Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. And later on, soap operas like General Hospital.

TV Show From Adulthood:  Ok, I still like sitcoms, but I really love reality TV like Amazing Race, Survivor, Master Chef, Big Brother – you name it. I enjoy Once Upon a Time, Lucifer, and Reign and Vikings, but when they start killing off all the major characters, I’m thinking about not watching them anymore. I like happy endings.

Food: Pizza and Coca Cola. Okay, I like junkfood – hotdogs, burgers, chips. And salads too!

Sports Team: None. I am not into sports, sorry.

Board Games or TV? Both. I grew up playing Life, Monopoly, Clue, Masterpiece, etc. I don’t play them anymore really so I guess TV is the answer, but I still like both.


CONTEST: I have recently started putting my books into audiobook form. My tenth audiobook, The Baron’s Bounty will be available next month. So as a prize, I will choose three winners to win an audiobook copy of any of my books that are in audiobook form now. Just leave a comment telling me which of my audiobooks you’d like to experience. The books in audiobook form the winners can choose from are: The Baron’s Quest, (Barons of the Cinque Ports Series), Daughters of the Dagger Prequel, Ruby, Sapphire, Amber, Amethyst, (Daughters of the Dagger Series), Onyx, Aidan or Ian (MadMan MacKeefe Series.) If you’d like to know more, please visit my website at http://elizabethrosenovels.com where you can see all my books and read excerpts of any of them.

Thanks again to Alicia for having me as her guest, and I hope you’ll all pick up a copy of my new book, Touch of Gold which comes out on August 17th. It’s only 99 cents, but the price will go up to $2.99 shortly after release, so you’d better hurry. Amazon buy link:



My pleasure, Elizabeth! I enjoyed your interview. and, wow, what a story about your journey into self-publishing. Congratulations on your success. I also love old sitcoms on METV, but I’m not a fan of reality shows, I must say.:) Thank you for the awesome contest!!


Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 83 – Elvis Week – The 39th Anniversary of His Death

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]


This coming Tuesday, August 16th, marks the 39th anniversary of Elvis’ death. I know I’ve said this before, but it just does NOT seem like it has been nearly four decades since we lost him. 

‘Elvis Week’ is, as the name implies, a week honoring Elvis. It began in 1978, the year after he passed away, starting with a small group of Elvis fans. It has grown like crazy and now is a huge event spanning several days and including multiple guests and a horde of attendees. More evidence that no other entertainer ever has, or ever will, have the kind of impact on the world that Elvis had.

I have yet to visit Graceland during Elvis week. On one hand, I would love to so that I can help be a part of something so monumental and be with thousands of other Elvis fans. On the other hand, I prefer visiting Graceland when it’s not quite such a frenzy of people and activity.

There are many events during Elvis week I would love to see, especially the presentations by those who actually knew him, his friends, co-stars, etc. But something I have no interest in whatsoever—and it is one of the main things Elvis week features–are the Tribute Artists. As I’ve said many times, I do NOT like Elvis impersonators. If it’s not the real thing, then it is nothing to me, not even the slightest bit interesting, appealing, or entertaining. I don’t understand why Graceland and those who knew and loved Elvis are so gung-ho about these guys who try to dress and sing like him. Yes, I know they changed it to ‘Tribute Artists,’ presumably to sound less like they are simply imitating and, in some cases, not very well. To me, rather than being a tribute, I find it a little disrespectful. I know ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ but again, I don’t need an imitator. I need the REAL thing. But maybe that’s just me?


Here are some events that I would love to attend:

  • A Sock Hop with DJ Argo  – Elvis music, dancing, games, and giveaways.
  • Hound Dog Tour: A Musical City Tour Celebrating Elvis by Backbeat Tours – A tour going from BB King’s Blues Club on a bus playing Elvis music. It shows where he grew up, where he went to school, where he worked, and sites important to his early career. It includes an optional visit inside the Presley family apartment at Lauderdale Courts – meticulously restored to its 1950s appearance, a visit to Apartment 328 of the Courts is like taking a step back in time, offering an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of Vernon, Gladys, and young Elvis. The tour includes exciting sites such as Sun Studio, Elvis’ Audubon Drive home, Humes High School, the Overton Park Shell (the amphitheater where he performed his first big show in 1954), Lansky Bros. clothing store, the Memphian Theater and the Chisca Hotel (home of the WHBQ radio station).
  • The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley – Performances by gospel singers who shared the stage with Elvis, and some who were influenced by his music. Elvis imagery and videos will play on a big screen throughout the performance.  
  • Conversations on Elvis: Elvis Co-Stars – Two of his co-stars this year that I would really like to see are Warren Berlinger, one of his co-stars in “Spinout” and Celeste Yarnall, a co-star in “Live a Little, Love a Little” This is Elvis and Celeste from the movie:


  • An Afternoon with Elvis’ Piano Man, Glen D. Hardin – Elvis’ Piano player shares music and stories.
  • The Sound and Soul of Memphis –  Blues music by local musicians. Performances of Elvis song and other rock, blues and soul music.
  • The Candlelight Vigil
  • George Klein’s Elvis Memorial Service

 Some interesting tidbits about Elvis week can be found here:


Maybe I’ll try to go next year. The 40th anniversary of his death should be quite a blowout. Thank you for joining me.   Have a wonderful weekend!

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:


END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan.:) As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.


All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

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Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Author Interview with Charlotte O’Shay – NEW RELEASE: The Marriage Ultimatum

Please help me welcome author Charlotte O’Shay…

Thank you for joining me today, Charlotte. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Hi Alicia. So happy to be on your blog.

I’m a born and raised New York City kid. I grew up in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, the middle child and now the eldest female in a large family. From a very early age I dreamed up stories about the people I encountered and always had my nose in a book, usually romance.  I also love detective stories, non-fiction and history.

I met my husband (who after many years of marriage is still my best friend and love of my life) at my first legal job, became a lawyer and a mother of four in ten action packed years. During those years we lived in the suburbs of the city. Recently, we moved back to Manhattan and I have fulfilled a lifelong dream of writing romance.

We have a very sweet, adopted cockapoo who has a way of getting treats from everyone in our family as well as everyone in our building.

The Marriage Ultimatum is the first of three loosely tied together tales of women and men who are either born in or travel to New York City to make their mark in the world. My hero Vlad and heroine Sabrina view the city as the place to transform their dreams into reality. At the moment they least expect, they meet and begin the journey to happily ever after.

For me, choosing New York City as the setting, with all of its energy and chaos, makes the city a character of each story. I chose a contemporary setting because it’s what I most like to read. The most difficult thing to me about writing this book or any book is the discipline of staying with it when life’s little and large interruptions happen. Sometimes it’s easy to get side tracked.

The hero and heroine in The Marriage Ultimatum came to me full force and I just started writing. Sabrina and Vlad are two New York strivers with every reason to distrust each other but who are instantly attracted to each other.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story? Sit down and write. If the words won’t come, take a walk and then force yourself to write even if it’s stream of conscious.

What book have you read that you wish you had written? I’m a fan of so many books I couldn’t possibly choose one. The books that stay with you, that you don’t want to end, where the characters are so real you could reach out and touch them——those are the ones that I wish I had written. What’s helpful about having all of those favorites for me is that they have helped me find my unique voice, my place in the large world of writers.

Do you collect anything? I collect signs, large or small, of many materials, whether  wood or framed or ceramic that have some saying or blessing to do with HOME.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read The Marriage Ultimatum? First and foremost, I would hope that my book is a page turner, that my reader had a good escape from her or his usual life by coming into the world of my story. I would want them to realize that instant attraction doesn’t happen all the time but it is very real. I want them to see that when you peel beneath the layers of anyone, we all want the same thing: love and home.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review? No review or a review that is thoughtful but might have some constructive criticism. Personally, when I really don’t like a book, I don’t review it.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write? Historical early American colonial period. I’m a total history nerd and that’s my favorite time period.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? The character of Sabrina was informed in part by some women I met as a lawyer. Women who are struggling to hold families together and feel beaten down and fearful of the system. From that point on every other character and the conflicts are all dreamed up by me.

How much of the book is realistic? Even with a contemporary romance I believe a larger than life aspect in the characters and the conflicts is essential for the escape into the story. Fantastic things happening in the lives of real but also flawed characters. It’s a tall order when you think of it and I’m still finding my way and trying to get it right.

How did your interest in writing originate? I’ve always written, notes, compositions, short stories. Always. It took me a while to want to share my writing with anyone else. I have also always wanted to paint. I dream in very vivid color.

Your favorite…

Movie The Terminator (the original)

Place you’ve visited: Italy and Ireland

Place you’d like to visit: Wyoming

TV show from adulthood Game of Thrones, VEEP

Sports team: Baseball (Yankees) and softball

Which do you prefer board games, card games or television?: I like cards and charades and anything interactive with people as opposed to a phone or a board.


I welcome readers to come take a look at and sign up to my WordPress website charlotteoshayauthor.com for news about my upcoming release entitled A Model Engagement.

 I will gift a signed paperback of the Marriage Ultimatum to one person, chosen at random, who has signed up to my blog.


Thank you SO much for an interesting interview, Charlotte, and for the giveaway offer.  You DID pack a lot into ten years.:) Sounds like a great life. And, thanks for the writing advice. I believe it’s the most important thing a writer can learn to practice. Now, please tell us about your book…




Dead-end job? Dreary apartment? Disastrous love life? Check, check, and check. Toddler who makes it all worthwhile? Absolutely. Juggling work, college, and the care of young Alex was never Sabrina’s plan. But Sabrina’s dreams are bigger than any curve ball life can throw at her. Her top priority is keeping her small family together, no matter what the cost. Vladimir Grigory doesn’t believe in dreams. He earned his position at the top of New York’s corporate ladder with his own sweat. His empire is his baby, and he’ll destroy anyone who threatens it. Even the sexy employee who challenges him on every level. When the New York tabloids and the world call him the baby daddy of Sabrina’s son, Vlad believes Sabrina is part of a plot to expose the secrets of his past. He threatens to destroy her future. But since Sabrina has secrets of her own, she has no choice but to agree to Vlad’s marriage ultimatum.


Once again, she passed through the gauntlet that was the VGI executive floor and kept her head up, gaze focused straight ahead. The whispers buzzed feverishly around the woman in the train wreck of an outfit as she strode down the corridor—this time with a toddler in a stroller.

“Ms. Boyd,” his assistant stepped in front of her, guarding the domain of the boss like a rabid pit bull, “you can’t—”

Sabrina looked her straight in the eye. That was what you did to make a dog back down. Or was that what made a dog attack? She couldn’t remember, and she didn’t care.

“I’m not leaving, so you might as well move before I shout this place down.”

There was steel in Sabrina’s tone, and her voice was pitched loud enough for the hapless woman to know that she couldn’t care less who heard.

The assistant stepped aside. “Now this should be interesting,” she muttered.

She shoved the door open and pushed the stroller inside as if she did it every day of the week, then nudged the door shut with her elbow. “It’s not gonna be that easy to get rid of me.”

“I get the feeling nothing is easy with you,” he said.

Buy the book here:


The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4358-the-marriage-ultimatum.html

ISBN(s) 978-1-5092-0814-2 Paperback

978-1-5092-0815-9 Digital

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Ultimatum-City-Dreams-ebook/dp/B01FCBBAMI



Kobo: ISBN: 10:1509208151

ISBN: 13: 9781509208159


Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marriage-ultimatum-charlotte-oshay/1123790857/

ISBN-13: 2940158185540


Find Charlotte here:

Website: (wordpress)               http://charlotteoshayauthor.com

Facebook: Charlotte O’Shay   http://facebook.com/charlotteoshayauthor

Twitter: @charlotte_oshay      http://twitter.com/charlotte_oshay

Instagram: charlotte_oshay_author


Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Tuesday Two-Minute Tip – 5 Tips for Writing Better Settings

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Sharing Jody Hedlund’s blog on writing setting.

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others:). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…


Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

I wanted to share a post about setting, but since it’s not one of my strengths, I thought I would share an excellent article I found that I am going to refer to while writing. Hope you enjoy…Until Next Time…Happy Writing!

Source: 5 Tips for Writing Better Settings


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