Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Surviving Christmas

Whew! Had a wonderful Christmas whether we could afford it or not. The biggest problem was where to put the things in the 'absolutely necessary and the best I could do' things - you know, which line of credit could stand it I mean. Well, we did it I think. Anyway, we ate. We had a few (practical) gifts. We celebrated. We enjoyed. Now the the question for 2010 - can we survive and get our debts back down to a (reasonably) manageable level and still eat and have a roof over our heads? I think so. I hope so. We're working on it. LOL. Getting some of these debts down to managable is my only resolution for the new year aside from the one I make and break every year: "Engage brain before putting mouth in gear!"
Happy New year and good luck to all of us - oh yeah, one more thing.
The publisher who gave me a contract on my Merrivale series (Zumaya Publications, their new mystery imprint, Enigma) arranged for me to do a blog tour at Pump Up Your Book so please do visit and leave comments or questions on my guest blogs. Go to Pump Up Your Book and visit all of them. I'll answer every question and really enjoy meeting new readers and writers and fellow bloggers too.
Happy New year and good luck to all of us. Break's over!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Free Excerpt/Take Time to Laugh

Here's a day-brightener for friends, fellow readers and writers. It's an excerpt from my LIGHTEN UP which is now on Kindle for $0.99.

Tis the season of more feelings than Peace on Earth and jolly whoopee. If the madding crowd doesn't stampede and stomp you to death in the mall, and you don't have a stroke from frustration trying to find someone to wait on you, the other shoppers will take deadly aim at you as you cringe in your car at the mercy of traffic lights (both working and non-working) in the snarl of traffic where you've got hemmed in and can't move in any direction.

All the scary scenes aren't in the movies set on a dark and stormy night. Some of them are right out in bright sunlight in the middle of a mob of lunitics, all bad-mouthing each other for the delay in their ritual celebration of peace on earth, good will toward men (which doesn't include their vehicles.)

The worst is yet to come. Some of the things you'e had delivered or managed to get into the trunk of your car are in boxes stenciled with the three words that can make any family man's blood run cold - Some Assembly Required. This is the absolute epitome of understatement. What's in that innocent looking cardboard carton is a lot of bits and pieces along with a little plastic sack labeled hardware. There's also a leaflet with 'simple' instructions for the simpleton who bought the thing. Included, is a picture of the product the way it's supposed to look - if all the pieces are there; you have an engineering degree; and there are no interruptions; and you are blessed with the patience of Job.

You lay out all the neatly numbered pieces, never mind the hardware yet. This is the point where you notice the instructions are in English, Spanish, and French, implying any simpleton in any location in the world should be able to do this job, so you should be able to also. This is the first stab of self coubt packed into this Pandora's Box of troubles.

All the big and little odd shaped pieces have numbers or letters on them. Some of them have both, the hardware too. It helps to keep the picture of the finished product where you can see it. It may begin to look like you're getting there by the time you get most of it assembled. In some cases reasembled, because piece E should have been insered in chunk 10A before putting 10A into slot 2B.

By now you are sure you will be through by Christmas. But Christmas what year? The next stage is when the monster, if you use just a little imagination, resembles the pictue of the finished product. So you decide you can do witout shelves three and four. And what difference does it make if you don't put on that door that you had on upside down and had to remove on that extra shelf? Who need it, anyway? The thing is now functional and somewhat resembles the picture, give or take a couple of shelves. So you call it done.

The struggle it took to get that far makes you wonder how the French and Spanish buyers made out with their projects. As you close the instructions, on the back side of the brochure there's more print in some other foreign language. The picture looks like a screwdriver being inserted into an electical outlet. I bet that cuts down on the number of complaints!

Break's over - Merry Christmas! :-)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Audio Books Coming Soon!

Hope everyone is looking over the three books I put on Kindle since two of them are small enough to order to read on your computer if you want to. There are audio books coming in the near future too - it's really going to be hard to get away from me isn't it? You may as well give up and order a couple of my books.:-)

I'm thrilled that when Books in Motion schedules Spanish Eyes for their audios, MP3s and other goodies I'll be published in all formats. Of course, I'd be a lot more thrilled if I weren't still squeezing ink cartridges out of the grocery list. It really is true that a writer must write. I like to write as well as read and I plan to keep writing as long as I can see the monitor.

My Merrivale series will begin in December (this month!) with The Devil in Merrivale and The Nelson Scandal will follow next year, there will be a new one each year. Come visit Merrivale and also when you visit here, please sign my guest book and leave a Hi! or a comment. I love meeting readers and other writers and would like to hear from you.

Five Star will publish my Dead on Arrival in January of 2010, the first of a new mystery series. Merrywinds, a young adult adventure novel will follow in December of 2010.

Whatever you're reading, have fun and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.

Break's over!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Ninety-nine Cent Books!

Well, it had to happen with the economy in the toilet - ha! I tried to lower my price on three ebooks to $0.00 but Kindle wouldn't let me - price has to be "between $.99 and $200.00." So now I've got three items on Kindle for ninety-nine cents as early Christmas presents for anyone who wants to read them. I'm a newcomer to Kindle and have been putting things on it since the last of May or the first of June. The 'freebies' I hope you (fellow readers and writers ) will like are: LIGHTEN UP which is random articles from the humor column I did several years ago before I got so many deadlines to meet; THREE M ANTHOLOGY is three different stories involving mystery, magic, and mischief; and the third one is CHRISTMAS TREK which also has the reading script for anyone who is curious to see a reading script can get a look at what they look like-this one's a family story set in the future when we've let polution run us off Planet Earth to colonize another home in outer space.

I just can't stay in here a minute longer, I'm going out and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather - hope everyone is stocking up on books to read when winter comes.

Happy reading. Break's over!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Now Hear This!!!

The good news is: I've just signed a contract with Books in Motion for an audio book of SPANISH EYES (HC from Five Star and LP out in Nov. 2008). Don't know when it will be scheduled but am really pleased about it. It's my first audio book (couldja tell? LOL).

The Merrivale cozy mystery series will begin Nov. 2009 with the first one, THE DEVIL IN MERRIVALE and there will be another each year from Zumaya Publications.

I'm waiting for Pat Browning's book, WINTER MOON, the second of her Pearl series. Watch Krill Publishing and Amazon for announcement. ABSINTHE OF MALICE, the first of the series is now available and is the first of the Pearl series. No cozy mystery lover should miss this series, you'll be returning to Pearl as often as Pat Browning will let you (me too :-))

Also, please watch here and at Amazon for two 'Christmas presents:' I'm changing the price on two e-books to $0.00 till the end of the year. If they turn out to be popular, will probably leave them as gifts. Like everything else in publishing, it will take a while to get into the system; make the changes; and wait, wait, wait, till the changes are made. These two e-books will give anyone who needs a little ray of sunshine in our daily lives some laughs and chuckles. Will announce soon as I can get it done.
Break's over! :-)

Friday, 14 August 2009


jjgbreaktimewithjackie.blogspot.com will take you directly to my latest blog. Somehow another entry on the net takes you to an entry back in August years ago!? So be advised, go to jjgbreaktimewithjackie.blogspot.com to get the latest blog, news, one writer to other writer's and reader's discussions and gossip, and general sharing, whoopee, and keepin' in touch. I love to hear from fellow writers, readers and anyone who wants to share experiences and news bulletins that all of us enjoy on our respective digests and lists. One of the very best things about being a writer is meeting so many wonderful, talented, and just plain interesting people. And please, when you come to visit, sign my guestbook. :-)
Break's over!

Angel's Flight

Heads up, cozy mystery lovers! I've discovered Alice Duncan's Mercy Allcutt and want to share the good news with you. ANGEL'S FLIGHT is the second in her series and it sent me hunting the first one. LOL. In fact, I paused a bit (lack of money is holding me up - doesn't it always?) to put a review on Amazon and give it the five stars it deserves. I don't know whether it took or not so just in case I'm posting it here:

"ANGEL'S FLIGHT is an adventure that makes the twenties live again. Mercy Allcutt will have you in her corner rooting for her as she insists on a career in a society that's nearly deaf to all women and working women in particular. Doing what Mercy wants to do whether it's socially acceptable or not gets Mercy into trouble just being herself. She works as a secretary and assistant to Ernie Templeton who is a private investigator, former policeman, and the current love interest in Mercy's life. When Ernie turns down a job involving a suspected phoney seance, Mercy attends the seance instead and is on the scene and questioned by the police when one of the guests is murdered. This infuriates Ernie and Mercy's mother who chooses this unfortunate time to visit from Boston and express her disapproval of her daughter's current life style in LA. Her presence makes Mercy's daily escape to the office both necessary and entertaining for the reader. Alice Duncan has done her homework on her chosen period of time with styles, events, and the death of Rudolph Valentio as an intresting backdrop. Scenes and settings of ANGEL'S FLIGHT are well done and the colorul characters involved in the plots twists and turns will keep you turning pages right up to the cliff-hanger climax. Alice Duncn's Mercy Allcutt series is a must for cozy mystery lovers. "

If anyone has any helpful suggestions about posting reviews or any other useful information about the mystrious workings of Amazon let me know :-)

Break's over!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

http://www.comicbooksuperheroes.net/ Go here to see pictures and read about Superman, Wonder Woman, and all the magical 'good guys and gals' you've read about from comics to movies. I've put an anthology on Kindle and my first story in it is Wonder Mom. A suburban housewife who wishes on a star for Wonder Woman's powers - and gets them! Jay at the above address let me use my favorite, Wonder Woman, on my cover for my book.

Another fellow writer and friend used the statue of Superman in her Metropolis series. If ever we needed the 'good guys' and heroes worthy of our affection and attention, it's now. I'm a life long fan of Wonder Woman and a born optimist so of course all my novels have a happy ending. I may make the going ruff and tuff, but the good guys win and peace is restored. I don't know who wrote it (if anyone knows where it came from, please let me know) but it's a good thing to inspire us right now and give us hope:

"As you travel on through life,

Let it always be your goal

To keep your eye upon the doughnut

And not upon the hole!"

So keep your eye on the doughnut fellow readers and writers.

Break's over!

Saturday, 4 July 2009


DEAD ON ARRIVAL , the first in my Maggie and Joe series is scheduled to come out in January of 2010. The cover will soon be up on my web site.

I've also put some things on Kimble and some scripts are included. If you're curious to see what a reading script looks like they're there. I'm hoping some agent or maybe even an actor looking for a vehicle will see them since options are available (long as I'm wishing I might as well go first class and I'd love for someone looking for a vehicle to look at my scripts and think it's 'just right' for him or her.

The in print books all have a page on my web site. Some of the ones on Kimble do too, but all of them are there on Kindle if you can't find them in print. One of the things on Kindle is LIGHTEN UP, which is a random selection of some of my early humor columns - funny to look at the ones with problems that we're STILL having!? It's strictly for entertainment, it will give you some laughs.

Come by and visit, I'd love to hear from you!
Break's over,

Monday, 15 June 2009

Kindle Announcement:

Kindle now has seven items from me. Browse to look at an anthology (Magic, Mischief, Mistery); Humor from my previous humor column; even some scripts if you haven't read a reading script before; along with novels too - and there will be more coming when I have more to list. Prices are low - enjoy! Also feel free to comment here, ask questions, just visit - I'd love meeting you and enjoy talking to readers, writers and fellow bloggers.
Break's over!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Interesting Blogs

Terry Odell's blog is a good place to visit if you are a cozy mystery fan (http://terryodell.blogspot.com.) I'll send you some more good blog locations too from time to time :-).

At the moment, I'm going the happy dance around my chair waiting to hear from a publisher who says my submission 'sounds interesting' and I will hear from her shortly.

I'm also reading Pat Browning's ABSINTHE WITHOUT MALICE again to consider putting a brief review on the blog soon. I went to it on Amazon to put the review on and give it the five stars it deserves when for some reason I couldn't get it to work(?) I'll try later.

In the meantime, the weather man seems to have lost his umbrella (or someone tired of treading water swpipped it) and we're having a week of glorious sunshine. Go out and enjoy if you are too!
Break's over!

Friday, 5 June 2009


This is to announce some new things on the blog and ask for advice and opinions - fellow readers and writers feelings on things in general.

In addition to thumbnails and news about the books I've got coming out (and already on my web site) I'm going to add some reviews, excerpts of some of the novels and hopefully make the information more helpfull to readers looking for cozies, romance/suspense, and of course, a few laughs along the way.

The next post will have a brief review and something about the novel and the author and it will be ABSENCE OF MALICE by Pat Browning. I'm not going to give a set time frame since my life is just not programmed for that right now. I will post reviews and further information ASAP and am looking forward to hearing from fellow readers and writers.

Break's over!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Who needs a calendar? As the economy flounders deeper into the toilet, everybody and his dog (or accountant) is sending out their monthy bills earlier and earlier. Do they they think you'll make a mistake and send them two payments? Not until I and the rest of the people pinching pennies and clipping grocery coupons start getting those checks of ours twice a month. It's just not going to happen.
Wouldn't it be nice, fellow writers, if the accountants who get out advance and royalty checks did that too? Oh, well, I know that's just not going to happen either.
On a brighter note, the book I talked about in my last blog is out now. STRANGER IN PARADISE came out in hard cover from Five Star. And I actually got a royalty check for the large print of SPANISH EYES that came out in Nov. of 2008.
Last month I was asked to speak at the opening of a beautiful new library in Jacksnville, Arkansas (eleven miles away from Cabot where I live.) I have always had a soft spot in my heart for librarys and said fine - I'll be there. Then I found out they wanted me to speak on "How to Write a Novel." That was a challenge, since there are as many ways to write a novel as there are recipes to fix spaghetti or homemade chili.
I approached the problem like I write (I hear those who know me chucking already). I just wrote down all my thoughts, problems, hopes, wishes, everything except profanity (and I don't write erotica either) then eliminated about 90% of it and voila!
This brought me up to questions from the floor which is always fun. The best thing about writing is the people you meet. Writers, other readers. And the friends you make along the way. Not to mention the fun it is to read all the good novels you hear about.
The main things I stressed was if money is your main ambition, you should find another line of work. If you love to write, write. And never ever get discouraged. One of the best quotes I've heard from another writer I've got typed out and taped beneath my monitor. "Nobody can call you a failure until you quit!"
Break's over!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

First Merrivale and DEAD ON ARRIVAL

New cozy mysteries and sample chapters are coming soon. The first Merrivale cozy mystery novel from Zumaya Publications is scheduled to come out in November, 2009 and sample chapters will be posted on its page at my web site. The Maryvale name is changed to Merrivale but my characters still have all their good points, freckles and all, so come get acquainted with them and the gifted citizens too. The first of the series is THE DEVIL IN MERRIVALE and it's a big and beautiful (and comfortable to read) trade paperback.

I will be speaking at the grand opening of the new and beautiful new library in nearby Jacksonville, Arkansas on April 26 at 10:30 AM and I'll say more about this series then. Please stop by and say hello if you are in the area. They have asked me to speak on "How to Write a Novel" so I have my speach all finished and my 'props' ready. One of the things I'm taking is an article about Janet Evanovich to give those in attendance the courage not to give up when they get discouraged. I'll also have a drawing for an ARC and explain what those are.

The main body of my talk will be how to JUST GET STARTED, giving some of the tools and helpful things available for a budding writer.

Of course, the first thing I'll point out is there are as many ways to write a novel as there are recipes for spaghetti - so do come by if you can. There will be questions from the floor and your two cents and your presences are welcome. That's another good thing for writers, to talk with and network and enjoy meeting other readers and writers.

Keep checking on the sample chapters on my site, as well as news about other things.
Break's over!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Lost in Googleland!

Hi, everyone! Anyone? I hope there's someone out there - this is the first blog with my new e-mail address. I'm now a gmail user and off we go!

First of all I'm still trying to find my way around and recover some addresses and things I seem to have lost in the rush.

Mainly, my new books coming out now are:
STRANGER IN PARADISE: HC from Five Star, romance suspense 3/09
THE DEVIL IN MARYVALE: TR from Zumaya Publishing, first of the Merrivale cozy mystery series, 11/09
DEAD ON ARRIVAL: HC from Five Star, first of a new Maggie and Joe cozy series 1/10

Late bloomer or not, I love to write and plan on writing as long as I can see the monitor LOL :-)

The very best thing I've discovered about writing is meeting new friends, fellow readers and writers - so please, visit often and sign the guest book and know your input is welcome. Since I have a gripe-in session once in a while, please feel free to tell me all your good news and bad news, and of course, any funny or helpful or warning experiences you want to share. I look forward to hearing from you.
Break's over!,