Wednesday Words: 4.25

Howdy, howdy. It’s Wednesday. Do you know what that means? You have a couple of days left to vote for Ostrich Mentality in the Suspense/Thriller category for a RONE award. Aren’t you excited you didn’t miss it?

What? You want to know why you should vote for me? Did you not get a free download last week and already read this fabulous bit of entertainment? sigh ok.

Here’s the review I got which nominated me for the award…

and here’s a bit from the review in case you don’t want to click over and read the whole thing.

An interesting take on a time period in the not so distant past, “Ostrich Mentality” is an eye-opening tale with a colorful cast. Despite being 316 pages, the reader will fly through this fast-paced novel, immersed in its intelligent suspense. The fact that this novel is not far from the truth gives the story a sinister feel. Overall, “Ostrich Mentality” is an engaging work of espionage and biological warfare. 


Best Selling Author Jenifer Ruff had this to say “Packed with insightful intrigue from the first page to the last, Ostrich Mentality has me convinced the author is truly an international spy.  If you like intelligent and sharp-witted espionage novels, you’re going to love this book!”

Did I convince you yet? Don’t make me use my international spy skills on you.

Okay, okay, how about this? I’ll make Ostrich Mentality free again today. Go download and check it out. Then head over to the RONE Suspense/Thriller category and click the little button next to my name.

Pretty Please!


Voting is Open


My hands are shaking so hard I keep hitting the wrong keys. LOL.

This is the FIRST time I have been recognized for my work outside my loving friends and family. The FIRST time my work was held up by someone who makes their living judging books and who said this shit is good.

Every one says it’s a thrill just to be nominated. And it is. Beyond thrilling.

But imagine if I won?

To win, I need to get through to the finals. And that rests entirely on you, readers, voting for me.

Go over to indtale and vote for Ostrich Mentality in the Suspense/Thriller category

Ostrich Mentality ad from indtale

Camp Nanowrimo Day 6 Update

Hello campers and regular people with other things to do this July,

I’m not going to lie, it was hard to write today. It was hot, AGAIN. Too many hot days in a row turns my brain to mush. And then just as I got into a really good flow I hit a geographical quandary. I had to stop and consider my options. I’ll sleep on it and hopefully know what I am about tomorrow.

I did write 477 words today. (A little shy of goal but I really need to figure out which port makes the most sense for my terrorists to be landing their ship at before I go on.)

Total 3881/3000 I’m still ahead. Holy Cow Bat Man!


Galatea returned to the work room in time to hear Stanley yip gleefully. “There you are.”
“You have something?”
Gareth and Talon both sat upright.
“Yes, I have your ship.”
“Do tell.”
“The Al-Uzza is a Liberian ship based in the port of Monrovia. According to known intel it is a ship for hire if the work is dirty and the money clean.”
Talon opened his mouth to tell Stanley that was information they already knew or could have surmised given the situation but Galatea forestalled him with a quick shake of her head. “Go on, Stanley.”
“It last left Monrovia 22 days ago and is not expected to return.”
“Wait they filed that they don’t intend to return?” Talon needed clarification.
With a sigh, Stanley went on, “They didn’t file a return date, so they are classified as no expected to return.”
Talon nodded but didn’t feel particularly put out by Stanley’s insinuation he should know this, he was SAS, what did he know about boats.
“It was last spotted in the North Pacific about five days ago.”
Galatea nodded and smiled hoping he would get to something relevant.
“And that’s about it unless you want to see the floor plans now.”
“That’s it? No information on where it might be or where it might be going? Who’s running it?”
Stanley shook his head. “It’s not like boats file flight plans or carry beacons like airplanes. Once they leave port, they’re invisible until they pull into the next one.”
There was stunned silence for a few beats. Then Gareth cleared his throat. “That’s not necessarily true.”
All eyes turned to him. He opened his eyes, slowly lowered his legs from the coffee table to the floor, and sat up. “They pull Local Notice to Mariners, right?”
“I suppose so. I thought those got sent automatically from the map company.”
“Notice to Mariners and Summary of Corrections do but you can radio in for a Local Notice to Mariners. When you’re approaching an area and you aren’t sure how up to date your map is.”
Stanley frowned and began typing like a hacker, which was essentially what he was preparing to do.
Galatea returned to pacing, Gareth leaned back in the chair and closed eyes once more. Talon attempted not to watch Galatea’s body as it roamed the room with her usual casual grace.
The assistant breezed through with take away which they fell upon immediately with gusto. It took Stanley long enough that mere remnants remained in the bottom of the cartons when he announced he had something.

Friday Fun/Camp Nanowrimo Day 3

I think by some strange gift of positive typing, writing my spy novel has become marginally fun. I still find myself getting really angry, like when I forget a scene I am supposed to weave in that the rest of the novel hangs on. sigh. But the last two days have gone well. I am even toying with the idea of killing one of them off. I’ve already written the ending, true, like three years ago, where they all survive. But it’s not too late for a rewrite. LOL

I wrote 1035 today. Bringing my current total to 2879/1500. I’m still ahead. At this rate I will finish July 16. Wow.


The interrogator had worked herself up into quite a little temper tantrum. She had resorted to slamming the chair out of her way, then picking it up and slamming it into the table moments later as she went on ranting at Galatea who had yet to say a word.
Someone rapped on the glass behind the interrogator and she glared at Galatea for a long moment before stomping out of the room without a word.
Galatea did a few mental calculations. It had been long enough.
When the interrogator returned she seemed to have calmed down. “You’re being transferred to (british federal agency). This is your last chance for me to help you.”
Galatea smiled.
“Do you want to go to prison for life. They’re saying you’re a terrorist.”
Galatea snickered at the preposterousness of the situation. Many countries in the world probably would consider her a terrorist. But as far as she could remember she had not done anything terrorist worthy in England or even Greater Britain for that matter.
“Whether or not you talk, they will prosecute you. Tell me something I can use to help you.” She implored.
Galatea shook her head. “I’ll wait.”
“Where have I heard that accent before?”
Galatea returned to her bland smile.
There was a rap on the door this time and a head popped in, “They’re here.”
The interrogator shook her head. “I wish you had let me help you.”
Galatea stood and moved to the door with no further response. The gentleman took her arm and directed her along the hallway. At the office area Talon was waiting.
“Are you sure just one of you can handle this?”
Talon flashed a look of scorn and reached for Galatea. “Her belongings?”
As the man turned around Talon reached down and unlocked her handcuffs. He took the bag and tossed back the the cuffs. “Thanks.”
Without further ago, he walked out the door with Galatea in one hand and her bag in the other.
As they cleared the airport door and crossed the side walk to the waiting Rolls, “Took your sweet time.”
Talon chortled. “Because getting someone out of security is such as easy task.”
“You did it now didn’t you?”
Talon exhaled harshly. “Try to find a little gratitude.” He opened the door and used the arm he had to propel her into the backseat. She slid in and found herself face to face with Penelope. “Good evening.”
“Good evening to you.” Penelope took a long look at Galatea.
“Do I have you to thank for my release from that boredom?”
Penelope nodded. Talon slid in after stowing Galatea’s bag in the trunk. “I had a bit to do with it.”
The two women looked to each other and burst out in laughter. Talon swallowed and tried to prepare himself for a long ride to ops headquarters.

Camp Nanowrimo Update Day 2

Good morning, I have written 1118 words already today. Kiddo is at camp and I am in an air conditioned and blissfully quiet library. Hence the word flowage. According to the Nano stats page I will finish on July 17th if I maintain the rate of work. I don’t think Nano has ever predicted I would finish early. LOL.

Officially I have written 1844/1000 words. That’s +844 words. Nice to be me today.

I share a snippet I wrote this morning. Keep in mind I know it’s rough. It is a nano after all.

They landed at Heathrow, Talon breezed through customs, he assumed Gareth was not far behind. Galatea he could see loitering to the back of the foreign nationals line. He moved on straight out of the airport without a backwards glance. He grabbed a cab and headed straight to the office, hoping to catch Penelope before she left for the day.
She was on the curb about to step into her butter yellow Rolls Royce.
Talon leaned forward to the glass partition, “Lay on the horn, eh? I need to get my mother’s attention.”
The cabbie complied.
Talon smiled to himself, the mother card worked every time. Penelope glanced up at the cab which slid to a stop just behind her precious Rolls. Talon tossed the obliging man some cash (whats appropriate?) and leapt out. “Mom.”
Penelope’s eyes narrowed. She hated when the agents did that. She smiled at the cable driver as he pulled back out into traffic.
“Sorry bout that.”
“Let’s just get in shall we before anyone else wants to be adopted.” Talon took her arm and slid her into the back of the car. The door barely closed behind Talon when the driver pulled away from the curb.
“How was your sight seeing trip?”
“Interesting. But I can’t get into that right now. We ran into a little snag on the return part of our journey.”
“Is that so? You seem to be in all one piece but your decision making skills do seem impaired.”
Talon smiled, “Next time I’ll tell the cabbie you’re my mistress.”
“Milo Sterling, you will do no such thing.” Penelope sounded shocked with a small dash of flattered.
Talon laughed and attempted to kiss her hand but Penelope was having none of that.
“What do you need?”
“The mossad agent on our team, she ran into a little trouble with her passport upon entrance at Heathrow. She’s being detained and we need her back.”
“We need her back or you need her back?”
Talon studies Penelope for a moment. “Does that really matter? You’ll help me.”
“I will.”
There was silence as they say at a stop light, then Penelope slid forward and directed the driver to reroute them to Number Ten Downing Street.
“The PM?” Talon was surprised.
“Big problem calls for a big solution.”

Friday Fun

So I’ve decided to update you all about my spy novel on Friday and call it Friday Fun in the hopes that repeating Fun will leak into my brain and make me think writing on my spy novel is fun again. I know it’s a crazy thought process, but I’m a writer, crazy is where I’m at. LOL.

So this week I wrote only 212 words on my spy novel, which puts me like 6000 words behind. I know I have the rest of the day to write on my novel but I have doubts that I will get much more done today. The dog still needs to be walked. I need to go to Costco. And we have a play date this afternoon. So in light of this I have bit the bullet and signed up for Camp Nanowrimo starting July 1st. I have set my goal at 15000 words, which will put me back on track for my 2K a week goal and catch me up for all the weeks I am behind. Hopefully that momentum will carry through August and September and I can wrap up in time to prep for Nano proper this year. Here’s hoping for a good cabin.

So last night I sat down and played with the color on the pic everyone else likes.

IMG_2710 (3)

What do you think? Better in color play? or Black and White?

The Pitfalls of writing over a long period of time

When I wrote my Wednesday Writers Cafe recap, I sort of glazed over the whole Mongolia and Moscow situation in my spy novel but I thought touch on that a bit more.

See when the night started I thought my characters were in Uzbekistan. I had just finished editing the most recently written section of my novel, where my main characters infiltrate the home of an arms dealer and force him to tell them who he stole the warhead for and where it is now, not that he knows the latter. But in that section I have the arms dealer speaking Uzbek to his son, who tries to defend Dad, it’s a long story, about 40K words right now. So at the start of the cafe I was grumbling about how to get them out of Uzbekistan without sending them back through China which is how they got there.

My writing friends, like true friends, began throwing out all sorts of suggestions, and I started checking into the feasibility of them, flight distances, etc when I suddenly realize when I started writing the section, 18 months ago, all of my distances, and travel times, and issues have them going from China to Mongolia. Mongolia, not Uzbekistan.

Crap, somewhere in those 18 months I forgot where I put the arms dealer’s house. I started writing based on where I thought I had left them and because really I wanted to be able to say he spoke Uzbek.

Sigh, so now not only did I have to rewrite some stuff but my spies are in Mongolia and I need to move them out of there. Repeat the previous fun and games where I try to figure out how to get them out of Mongolia without going back through China. sigh.

This is the problem with writing a novel over the course of 2 1/2 years at current count, and it’s only half done. Plus I just decided to change the bad guy because of that whole mess with North Korea and the movie. All my North Korea research is for naught and I must start again. This time however I picked a bad guy I know something about, having taken a class in it while pursuing my degree. This will hopefully cut down on the amount of research I need to do.

Ok new goal. If I want to finish this spy novel before this year’s Nano how many words per week do I need to write….There are exactly 23 weeks until November first. If I write 2k words per week for 20 weeks, that leaves me 3 weeks to research this year’s Nano before it’s time to write. That’s not bad. I think I can actually do that. But that does raise the question, what am I going to write for Nano 2015? Don’t tell me one challenge at a time, I don’t work that way.

So Many interesting prompts….

Usually I post up here then check out what all the folk I follow have been up to lately in my reader. today for some reason I went the other direction.

So the first prompt that caught my eye was sleep, we spend 1/3 of our day doing it, write about it.

LOL. 1/3 of our day. snort. The prompter must not have small children. I am currently in the midst of trying to change my sleep patterns. When I got Jersey back from the new-old home, I decided I needed to rework my schedule to give him the best chance at being happy here. Not to mention I was only managing to yoga once every three days with my son’s current busy schedule. So away with spending the first two hours of my day drinking coffee and working on my novel and/or blog. Given my 7 – 730 wake up time that was a problem. So I need to roll it back. Today I was woken at 530 and rolled out of bed at 6. I get that isn’t an extreme wake up time but I am a night owl. I never want to sleep before midnight. Actually I took a melatonin last night so I could fall asleep by ten. And that’s my plan, melatonin until my body gets used to sleeping by ten and up at 530. Grand plan isn’t it. LOL. This means I can drink coffee and write until 7, walk the the dog and yoga before by 830 or 9. Get everything done by the time we have to leave the house or start home school depending on the day. The price for this miracle? Giving up all my alone time at night. I love my alone time at night. When the house is quiet and the world is black and comforting outside. I love the vague sensation I am the last human on the planet. Just me and my trusty dog curled up at my side.

But everything costs something and if I want my dog, my health, and my writing I have to pay the price.

Next fun prompt, “Be careful – No man that has gone in there has ever come back alive” “Good thing I’m not a man.” Thanks to Kristen P. You can check her out here.

In honor of said prompt a little snippet from my spy novel highlighting Galatea.

Talon and Galatea both nodded their assent. They checked their clips, their knives, and pulled masks down over their faces. A masked assailant always had a psychological advantage over an open one. The unknown was always more frightening than the known.
They slipped out of their fox hole and moved silently towards the house. Ideally Talon and Galatea would take the guards on patrol at the same time and at opposite apexes of their path. They split off from each other moving to where they had decided they should cover the wall. With a quick four step run up each planted a foot part way up the wall and used their momentum and an outward push with the planted foot to grab the top, pull up, and vault through and over with a noiseless landing.
Galatea slipped out one of her 12 inch throwing knives. It weighed less than a pound and felt like a feather in her hand as she adjusted her kneeling stance and prepared to let fly. The guard walked heavily and quickly, marking time rather than looking for actual intruders. She raised her throwing arm back and released halfway through the arc towards straight and parallel to the ground. She continued her arm’s swing to move her body forward into a three pointed crouch. When his body hit the ground she leapt forward into a low sprint and reclaimed her knife wiping the blood off onto his body and replacing the weapon gently in its sheath. She slipped around the cool mud exterior in the shadows of the many plants unwisely allowed to grow too close to the home. With excellent cover she moved to meet Talon.