Some Writing Updates And Other News

Hello Readers!

How are you all doing in this crazy time? Well, I hope. So far my family and I are doing okay. My eldest son did get the virus, but, thankfully, mildly. He wasn’t with us at the time, so we weren’t in any danger of getting it handed to us. I am considered at risk, so it was good he was living elsewhere at the time.

I don’t mind the isolation. It’s given me the opportunity to chill and get back to writing and some deeper Bible study. I haven’t been in a store in months. We do the online shopping/pickup thing with Walmart and Aldi. And, of course, Amazon. I may never see the inside of a store again. Nor will I be buying some products from local stores. Got better deals through Amazon for a few staples.

I apologize for the long interval in posting. When last I wrote, we were in the process of buying a new place, and I’m afraid all writing projects got shelved for some time. I’m sure you can imagine the fun of packing and moving . . . and then unpacking . . . I’m determined that this will be our last move! I am the one who does 99% of the packing and unpacking, so yeah . . . last time! Getting too old for this crap!

Each time we have moved, more stuff seems to get lost. Which is annoying, but it’s certainly pared down what we have to find places for. This is a much bigger place than our last one. We came from stuffing ourselves into a bitty little mobile home – about 600 square feet for four and some animals. Very small yard with NO privacy. I have social anxieties, so in the five years we lived there, I never went outside much – to a mobile home 14X80. And a yard that’s at least private on one side and much, much bigger. AND a river that flows on the private side. So cool! Oh, and train tracks just across the river. Love hearing both the sounds of the river flowing and the trains going by. Although, with the Covid thing, they haven’t been running as often as they were before.

I have a bigger office to write in, a bigger master bedroom, and a bedroom for the boys. Closets! There were no closets in the last place. The place has a sun room that for us is more of a sunny mudroom. After a year here, that room still needs some tending to. Hoping that can happen soon. Like this week . . .!

Even our animals are happier here than where we were. We’re able to let our cat, Sinatra, outside. In fact, we no longer have a litter box in the house. Took a year for him to get used to the idea, but it finally happened. So  happy!

Our Rat terrier mix, Kai Cei, goes out to sun herself on the porch. We have to hook her up, or she’ll wander off. She’s 14 now, and hard of hearing. Pretty mellow little girl, who doesn’t chase anyone’s cats anymore. But–don’t let her catch sight of a chicken.

And our neighbors have several. So far we’ve only had to fear for them once. I don’t mind them wandering over when they are let loose for a while. They eat ticks and other such creatures, so I’m happy to see them over here on the rare occasions they’re allowed out of their pen.

As for my writing endeavors, I’ve resumed writing the third in my romance series, and have done many new edits on the others, which I haven’t released yet. As the third book is a continuation of the other two – kind of, sort of – I need to make sure they all mesh before I release them again.

Which I’m eager to do, as they have brand new covers, brand new titles, and have been updated a good bit. Gotta love ebooks. So easy to fix the flaws, add new content, make a new cover, and republish. Now if I could only  hit upon the sweet spot for price.

Ride ‘Em Tough continues to be the most popular of my short stories. Thanks to Eustace got a new cover and has seen some action for that. I revised it as well, and am much happier with it. Ending is much better now, I think.

Once I relaunch the romances, I’ll be reducing their price back to where it was. And I’ll be bundling the three together. So I’m hoping I can finish Stormi’s story soon. I reread what I wrote in an earlier version and absolutely hated most of it! I don’t know what I was thinking. What I have now is so much better. So letting some time go by does help the creative process for sure.

A train is going by now. With bells and whistles! It’s 2:15 am. I should be in bed! Heading off now. Seems like that train is longish one. Could be 100+ cars! Love those!






Ride ‘Em Tough doing well!

Just a short post to relate how happy I am that I finally got Amazon to make my short stories permanently free.  And my revised version of Ride ‘Em Tough has gotten downloaded almost 50 times in about a three week span. Maybe not a deluge to some, but to me, it’s just amazing! Which goes to prove, those who had criticized the story to almost oblivion don’t always know what readers care about. So much of the feedback would’ve brought a more sensitive writer to tears and likely have made them give it up forever. I did have to stew a while before I could reply in a calm and professional manner in the forum at the time.

So much of it nitpicky. Like they couldn’t wait to jump in and rip it to shreds. And some others had no idea how a rodeo works in the first place or any knowledge of the equipment used on a saddle bronc or a bareback bronc.

But those commenters made me mad enough to revise, fix some of their issues that I decided I could and would change, and even come up with a new and much better ending. Which possibly you’ve read right here. I did away with downloads here, but if you wanted a copy of your own, Kindle on Amazon or other formats from Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, or a host of other stores online have them ready and waiting for you! And if you do pick one up somewhere, please consider leaving a brief review! I’d much appreciate it!

I can’t wait to see how well it does over the coming months. Meanwhile, I’ll keep tweaking covers for both stories to see if I can entice more readers and have them finally take a chance on entering my world over there near Newport, RI and those fabulous mansions.

And score some great reviews. Have I mentioned that? 🙂 That’d be so much appreciated!

Have a great holiday weekend!

Panic Over!

The panic is over! Thomasyna is back up.

The issue was over Amazon’s bots finding all my free chapters posted here and other places where I’ve uploaded a few sample chapters.

I’ve since cleaned out the junk from that email address, unsubscribing from a bunch of newsletters I was no longer interested in, so that important email gets seen in a timely manner. Had I discovered Amazon’s first message in time, none of this would’ve happened. All it needed, turns out, was for me to simply republish the book.

So, if you’re an author who has published a book to KDP, and at some point you revise that book and republish, you might find yourself in a similar boat. If you do have content up for free – you know, because you’re trying to interest people in your work. Amazon won’t publish your stories for money if you have them, or appear to have them, listed for free elsewhere.

I explained my reasons for the crazy amount of free content I have here for all my books, and they were fine with it. I republished and the book is back up, as are all of them now. So, if you find yourself in that situation, don’t panic. Check your email for their alert and if you’ve caught it within that five day period they allow for you to republish, you’ll be fine!

I’ve gotten them to list my short stories as free, so no longer a .99 item. I’m thrilled to say, people began downloading them right from the first day they went free. I have my novels listed in the back matter of the stories, so I’m hoping whoever downloads them will buy the novels. Leave a review. A review for the short story would be great as well!

I had my work spread wide, which means I had had them in many other places than Amazon. However, I’ve decided, despite what I’m hearing about Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited, to temporarily take them off the other places, and give these two programs a try. And do it up right. See if I can find readers and get a review or two. I really need nine and more to be able to use the promo services I’d like to us. So far, I’ve got just the one review for each of the books. Don’t think any of the shorts have any on Amazon.

I have more to say on Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited, but that will be for another post.

Thanks for stopping by! See you soon!

The Blocking of Thomasyna Tollefson . . .

Every author experiences some sort of woe from Amazon KDP at some point or other. Sometimes it’s not a real big deal, and other times it is. For me it’s The Blocking of Thomasyna Tollefson by Amazon KDP.

Yes, I logged into my KDP account Sunday and discovered The Courting of Thomasyna Tollefson and Ride ‘Em Tough had been blocked. Blocked means not for sale at this time. No editing, no new changes, no nothing.

Did I panic?

Not really. A little. Mostly I was bugged. Their concern was they found free content on the web that matched what I am selling on Amazon. Now, my short stories are available everywhere in the world for free and have been from the start. Only Amazon doesn’t let you do free unless you’re in their KindleSelect program, which I am not going to do as it means I have to be exclusive to them. So, you have to put your stuff for free wherever you want to sell from, wait a while, and then go beg KDP to make them free on Amazon.

With Thomi, I explained the sample chapter thing. It’s not the whole book. I haven’t heard from them about that, because while I thought I was making my point clear, I see that I didn’t make it clear that I was talking about the novel. So, now I have to go do that.

Not sure what they’ll say about my posting almost half of the story here, but I can say that traffic has increased since I have. Now, if that would convert to sales, that would be awesome. And half the story isn’t ALL of the story, so I am hoping I won’t have to take any of it down. If I do have to, I’ll be leaving up the first nine or ten chapters.

I do have half of Joleigh up, but, then, she’s only ten chapters, so I guess they were okay with her free samples. Thomasyna has 33 chapters total. So lots of story left after the first seventeen here.

And I do hope lots of readers will want to find out the rest of the story! 🙂

Why I didn’t panic, is because I don’t deal with only Kindle Direct Publishing. I have my books and stories with Barnes and Nobel, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and other places, including a few hundred places in Europe and Asia. Which is where many of my free downloads originate. And none of these places are as strict as Amazon is. iBooks doesn’t like it if you mention in your back matter that your books are for sale in those other places, but they don’t require an author to be exclusive to them, nor send their robots out to see if it’s free somewhere.

I think the German Tolino had an issue with an image which was easily fixed.

Just thought I’d mention this in case anyone went to Amazon to order and discovered it’s not there. Of course, the best place to get any book is from DreamWynd Publishing as I would receive 100% of the royalties.

I’ll post when Thomi is back up on Amazon, but till then, be aware than Amazon isn’t the only player I’m dealing with, and you can purchase at so many other places when you’re ready to get the rest of the story!

Changing Covers and Title Again . . .

Hello Readerly Friends!

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with posts and such here. Trying to rectify that . . . So much to do do, so little time! And I need to be three people or more to do it all.

Plus, Life always has to throw a few wrenches into the works.

After looking over the sales of the books for last year, I’ve decided to retitle Thomasyna from All for the Love of Thomi back to the original title The Courting of Thomasyna Tollefson. Actually the original title didn’t include her last name. I’ve just decided to see if that will make a difference to anything. It just felt right to try it.

So that calls for another cover to be created. I canvassed friends, relatives, and members of forums I belong to, and decided from that feedback to keep the image of the wine and rose but change the background, the fonts and their colors. After I finished with Thomi’s new cover, I decided to do the same for Joleigh-Anna. Instead of trying to tie them together with the background colors, I elected to chose different colored backgrounds, and just keep the same fonts to show that they are belonging to the same series.

So much goes into creating covers. I have no budget for this, but have done my own covers forever. I am embarrassed by the first few of my covers . . . awful! They say it takes about 1000 covers to become good at it. I’m not sure if I’ve done 1000, but I have created a few hundred, I’m sure. So perfection has to be coming closer! Moreover, I’m taking courses in design to help me achieve a better cover. I’ve learned a lot, but some stuff I’d already learned on my own. And that was a nice boon to my confidence!

Here are my new covers:

I am hoping the covers will attract new readers, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, I will get back to finishing the third in the series. You’ll notice that I’ve decided to add the series title to the books.

Thanks for stopping by and please visit again!

Novels Summer Sale!

There’s a Novels Summer Sale going on until the end of September. Possibly, I’ll include October, but for now it’s for the summer.

Thomi and Joleigh are on sale at all online bookstores for – are you ready??? – 99¢! That means Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Torino, and everywhere else I’ve got them for sale. There may even be some new places since I published them. Definitely, some new library options now.

I haven’t run a sale in a long while and thought it was time to toss one out there. The price will go up in price to $8.99 at the end of the sale period.

I really hope that if you take advantage of this fantastically reduced price, you’ll also take a few minutes to leave a review at whatever outlet you purchased from.  🙂  I’d love to take advantage of some marketing opportunities that require an author to have five, ten, or more reviews, usually on Amazon, before they even consider taking your money for their offers. Very frustrating when it takes about 100+ sales to get one review.

Thomi and Joleigh are now elegible to be given away on Amazon, so maybe I’ll do a giveaway at some point and see how that goes. I can do them for free – except for the cost of buying the book to be given away. So, very affordable right now with the sale going on!

I have a new review for Joleigh-Anna from a reader on AuthorsDen. I’ll post it here later on.

That’s the news for now! Have a great day!

New Cover Reveal

Here are my new covers for Thomi and Joleigh! I hope people will like the new colors. My family did. Yeah, surprisingly they gave me their opinions. They usually don’t like to. You know, because they might hurt my feelings if they hate it. 🙂

I chose shades of pink as I’m going to brand the series with these colors. I’m working on Stormi’s cover now. Hers seems a little more challenging to work with since I want to use hearts and lightning bolts to illustrate it. I may actually outsource the cover to a place I’ve recently discovered which does decent work for affordable prices. Book trailers too. I’ll tell them what I want, and see what happens. If I like it, I’ll see what they can do for these as well. A great cover is key after all. And it would free up my time for writing and promoting.

I have to admit, though–I do love to design. It’s addicting.

The covers and new book files have been uploaded to all outlets. For now, I’m staying with the wide distribution of the books, but if things don’t change by the time I’m ready to release Storm, I will take another shot at Amazon exclusively for them. The short stories will stay in every outlet.

I’ve updated my Goodreads pages, and will try to be more regular there. Also in AuthorsDen. My sons recommend Reddit, but that place confuses me! Yes, I have a Facebook account and a Twitter as well as others. I need to use them better as well. Another bewildering endeavor for me. What can I offer to others that would be of interest to them? When I figure that out, I’ll get busy with them.

Here are the new covers:

Relaunching the Romances

Yes, I’ve decided it’s time to relaunch the romances. After having my romances up on Amazon for eight years with just a handful of sales, I’ve designed new covers and have done extensive edits with rewrites. I had thought of retitling Thomi, but that would involve a new ISBN, and they are way too precious to waste, especially when I have only three left of my block of ten.

I’m debating sending them to print at some point; maybe I will, maybe I won’t.


Because I can make all the changes and fixes I want and need to to an ebook, and have done so all along. But once it goes to print, it’s pretty much set in stone. More hassles to fixing a flawed print book, so I’m hoping this last pass while be, indeed, the last pass in that case.

I also wanted to be sure that the two stories work well with each other, since Joleigh was originally a stand alone story, until I discovered they could be linked through Stormi. To that end, I changed a scene in Thomi’s story where upon learning at 1 AM, that Matt has been killed in an accident, she and Halleigh hop out of bed and dash right over to Joleigh-Anna’s and stay for hours, instead of merely commiserating over the phone.

Why I never realized before that that is what she would’ve done, no matter how crappy she was feeling herself, I can’t say. But it works so much better, and so when she’s dashing to Joleigh’s aid in Joleigh-Anna’s story, it rings truer.

I’ve never done a book launch, never mind a relaunch. So, I’m doing some research on it. I honestly don’t have the patience to wait to get them up there. I want to just do it! Now!

I’ll also be changing the price, and maybe taking them out of the other online stores for a while – they aren’t doing anything at any of them, anyway – and giving KDP Select another shot. I didn’t use it to the full the first and only time I tried it. Plus, I wasn’t happy I’d have to take them off my site – where they’d been selling at a higher price at the time, and selling more than I was on Amazon. Go figure.

I’ll post a cover reveal in a day or so, as I want to be sure I’m absolutely happy with them. I’ll also be offering a substantial preview of Thomi, since her story is 32 chapters long. Joleigh’s story is only ten chapters, so three chapters is what I offer for free there. I will have them on site here, and in PDF form if you want to download them. I will probably post them before the relaunch, so the new version won’t be up at Amazon yet.

One thing I have to say – each time I go back through the books, I love those stories and people more and more! Stormi’s story is coming, I hope soon. But after revisiting that manuscript, I see it’s in need of considerable rethinking on how I want that story to go. Plus, I have to introduce Rikki and Halleigh’s men in this . . . Should be fun!




Bye, Bye, Buy the Book Page

Yes, Bye, bye, Buy the Book page . . .

I’ve decided to eliminate the Buy the Book page for a couple of reasons. In the past, I was selling enough copies to justify having such a page. But, I suspect that people nowadays are afraid their sensitive information might be compromised even though the CHEC payment gateway I was using is a secure page and website. Books would’ve been delivered immediately.

So, I’m going to recommend those interested in purchasing a copy of the books to visit Amazon, iBook, Nook, or Barnes & Noble. International readers can also visit Tolino. At some point I’ll either post or make a page with links to all the places you can buy the books.

You can also buy at The site is McAfee secure, and uses the secure CHEC payment and delivery system.  There is a page there with a list of all the places worldwide where my books are offered. That list is here.

When you get to whichever site you want to buy from, just search for the book’s title, or my name. I would be absolutely thrilled if you would also leave a review once you’ve read the story or stories. If even a small percentage of readers would be so kind as to do that, it would be awesome. But so far, only one person has taken the time to do that.

One reason that reviews are so important is, of course to persuade other people to jump into an author’s world. In this case, Mine! But, when an author is trying to promote her/his books, and would love to use say, BookBaby to help to that, any author with less than ten reviews on Amazon or elsewhere, will not be welcome to start a campaign with them.

So . . . on all of my stories, and my recipe book, I need nine more reviews. So, I do beg of you dear readers . . . pleeeeeaaase, please, leave a well thought out, constructive review for us struggling authors!

Hmmm . . . maybe that will be the subject of a future post!

Until next time, keep warm if you’re experiencing winter, as I am, or keep cool if you’re having some nicer summer temperatures!

New Site Coming!

Yes, I have a new site coming., which I’d purchased when I thought I’d lost this one. If you’ve wondered where I’ve been lately, that’s one of the projects I’ve been striving at getting up and running. Always real life stuff to deal with, plus working on writing projects, and graphics for books and headers, memes, etc. If I had a bigger budget, I would so outsource the covers, even though I enjoy designing them myself. Just, I’d rather be writing!

Losing a site is traumatic. All that work gushing down the proverbial drain!

What’s happening to my emails all the time it’s out of play? What am I missing? Probably nothing important, but who knows?

Most of the pages, I  had on my PC, but the posts were gone. Wah! I lost heart for a while. Then bought the new domain, which is still under construction, for this domain came back into public domain finally, and all my stuff was back. Yay!

Yeah, I just couldn’t throw away $80 at the time to buy it back once I realized I’d missed the grace period for renewing it. Was hard at work, at the time, learning to build PowerPoint videos, and I totally missed all the reminders because I neglected to check my email. As this domain wasn’t the only one I had to worry about, I had to make a choice, so I bought back the publishing site, and let this go. So, that’s the sad story of that event. I shall be ever more vigilant in future!

But now, what to do with the new site? Still working that out, but here’s the thought. This site is going to be about the books exclusively, and the site bearing my name will be about me and whatever is going on in my life at the time. Writing life, personal life, muses, and all that sort of stuff. I know I need to add more stuff to both sites, some links to my favorite sites, some guest posts, and maybe a contest or two. My son feels I should be posting more than one chapter of the novels for public reading, so I am considering it. Considering a donation button if I do that, for I’ll be posting at least half of the books. But we’ll see.

I’m hoping to go live with Neenah today, but we’ll see. I need new author pictures but haven’t had the funds in the budget for that. Last professional pictures I had taken were about eighteen years ago. I use those for my other writing endeavors.

That’s the news for now! I’ll announce when the new site is open and have a link to it.

As always, thanks for stopping by!