The Magician’s Doll Review Published in the San Francisco Book Review

Looks like the Sacramento Book Review published its review of The Magician’s Doll in its sister magazine, the San Francisco Book Review! Subscription details and information on how to purchase individual issues can be found on its site, You can download issues of the magazine to your Ipad or Android tablet – including Kindle Fire – or as a PDF. For those of you who love to read, the magazine is chock-full of information about books, from the classics to the latest, in virtually all categories. Check it out if you have a chance!

Kindle Owner’s Lending Library

I’ve been reading up on Amazon’s KDP Select program and I’ve decided to give Select a try for the ebook version of The Magician’s Doll. The majority of my sales are coming from Amazon anyway, and I’m interested in the opportunity I have to lend my book out through the Kindle Lending Library with Amazon Prime.

I had actually tried Select with Encounter Way and hadn’t found it to be very effective, but The Magician’s Doll is a full-length novel whereas Encounter Way is a novella, so maybe the results will be a little different. I figure it’s worth it to experiment and see. I like to tinker!

The commitment to Select is ninety days so Amazon will be the place to go if you’re interested in purchasing The Magician’s Doll. If you’re a member of Prime, you’ll be able to borrow the book through the Kindle Lending Library. Feel free to give it a try!

Work Has Begun

I’ve started work on the sequel to The Magician’s Doll! It’s so nice to be digging into a new piece and experiencing all the elation and frustration and outright fun that comes with creating new stories. I know I’ve written about how difficult I find writing to be at times, but there is a reason people write, and I tend to forget that there’s real pleasure in the process, as well as excitement and joy in the discovery. I’m so happy to be working again with Natalie and Phillip (my characters from The Magician’s Doll); I get to catch up and reacquaint myself with them and see what’s been going on in their lives, and that’s a total blast!

On some days writing is easier, on some days it’s harder, but when you’re hanging with Natalie and Phillip, it’s all good…. 🙂

Journals and writing

I love writing in a journal. People who know me well know I’ve always kept one. I’ve even found scraps of paper, tucked away in secret drawers, scribbled with the feelings and angst of my grade-school self. The need to put my thoughts into words has been there a long time, and even now, I feel a sense of panic when I get to the end of one journal and discover I don’t have another one on standby. Journal writing has always been there for me, like a safe haven.

For me, writing stories is something different entirely. It ain’t no safe haven. When I write stories, I feel like I’ve sailed into a wild sea with no idea which way is north. The process tosses me around, submerges me in dark waters from which I sometimes feel I cannot surface.

Yet journal writing has helped me with story writing. When I started writing stories, the process of putting the thoughts running around in my head onto the page was a familiar one. Rooting around in my brain for just the right words, trying out different phrases to fit exactly what I needed to say, and the patience and persistence I sometimes needed as I circled the elusive thought was something I was used to. Journal writing helped link my head and my heart to my pen, and it carried over to the keyboard.

Maybe writing stories is hard because I don’t feel a sense of control, and sometimes I tend to try to control too much. I don’t try control my journal writing, I just let the ideas flow with no sense of responsibility. Perhaps I could learn again from journal writing and let up a little on that pressure that the writing has to be something. Maybe letting up will give the writing the actual freedom to be that something.

Or maybe writing is just damned hard, and I should just suck it up. Maybe if I do that I’ll feel less angst about it.

Hmmm, something to feel angst about. I should write about this in my journal! 😉


Fostering Love by Dr. John DeGarmo

9781462718542Dr. John DeGarmo is an old friend of mine from my traveling days, and he has a written a book that I recommend highly, and not just because he is a friend of mine.

Fostering Love is John’s account of his experience as a foster parent, and the book blew me away. John doesn’t shy away from how tough a job fostering is, but his and his family’s optimism, humor, compassion and tireless efforts shine through in what ended up being an absolutely compelling read.

I feel the need to continue to recommend his book because John’s diligence to shine light on the issue of children in the foster system never wavers, and it is so important that those children have someone who champions them, because it so easy for them to get lost.

I read his book last summer, but John continues to write and teach and enlighten about the needs of foster children. His blog was updated for February.

I wrote a review of his book on Goodreads. You can find it here.

As I said in the review, although not everyone can foster, it is worthwhile to read and be informed of the ways people can and do help. Ultimately, it’s worth it to the children.

Fostering Love is available on Amazon and Crossbooks and Barnes and Noble.


Thanksgiving is just as good a time as any to start a blog. Thankfully, my list has pretty much stayed the same over the years.

I give thanks for my family without whom, life would mean nothing. I give thanks for my friends without whom, life would be bleak. I give thanks for the luck I have, living in a country where people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, because as I turn on the news, I see people who must still fight for said right, and I realize that it is something I can never, ever take for granted.

And then there’s chocolate. As anyone around me knows, I am always thankful for chocolate.

Happy Thanksgiving!