23 Books Skidoo

It’s an old expression, 23 skidoo. I remember my mom using it … though I had no idea what she meant by it. I heard it yesterday on a sports broadcast and still was clueless, but the announcer had mentioned running backs with it, so…

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Altered States of Middle Illinois

I lived in a dumpy apartment in a sketchy neighborhood after I graduated from college and moved to Quincy, Illinois. It was what I could afford on the starting salary of a news reporter. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to the town ……

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Greg Cox is Tied-In

THE MAKING OF A MEDIA TIE-IN WRITER (AS IF I EVER HAD ANY CHOICE) A guest-blog by Greg Cox on sale now             How does one end up writing new stories about other people’s characters? Looking back, it seems as though I was always destined…

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Tied In With Keith

Keith DeCandido is one of the authors who contributed stories to Turning The Tied, the IAMTW’s charity anthology that releases in March. Keith R.A. DeCandido has written novels, short stories, and comic books in more than thirty different licensed universes over the past two-and-a-half decades,…

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Reddick Mansion and Me

I was a guest speaker Saturday night at the Galena Library’s Lit Fest. It was a lovely online program. An annual event, it had previously been held live. I’d been invited because I won the Illinois Author Project Soon-to-be-Famous Award for my thriller, The Bone…

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Black Heart of the Dragon God

It’s an awesome feeling to have a book released. Giddy, excited, a dash of proud. Black Heart of the Dragon God comes out at midnight. Oooooh! I want to hold a copy in my fingers. It has a gorgeous cover … with a dragon on…

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Blonde not Blonde

My Kenosha buddy Miya is a daring soul who often colors her hair in vibrant colors. They look good on her. Since the Covid lockdown, I’ve been doing that too, trying on different shades (courtesy of a sale on such hair products on Amazon). They…

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A Box of Rocks

I am a box of rocks sometimes … especially when it comes to technical things with web programs, macros, codes, and the like. More, I’m sometimes savvyless (yeah, it’s not a word, but it fits) when it comes to presentation. So I’ve been taking a…

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Listening to the Night

I’ve always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, giving me time to play with the pieces while I mentally plot whatever book I’m about to dive into. Lately, however, I find it fun to play with the puzzle pieces while I listen to a book. Never used to…

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Oh, Horrors!

My buddy Steve Sullivan (Stephen D. Sullivan) has an AWESOME NEW BOOK OUT (Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors) and I read it and LOVED IT. And Amazon won’t let me post a review because they say I am biased and too-connected. Okay, they might be…

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Finding Faith

SPELLS FOR THE DEAD available July 28 … Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and more Nell Ingram faces a dark magic with no known origin in the newest pulse-pounding paranormal procedural in the New York Times bestselling Soulwood series. Nell is a rookie PsyLED agent, using…

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Just Wanna Write

I have all these ideas bouncing around in my head about ghosts and mysteries and murders and working a dog or two in a story and trying to figure out who the villains are and what to do to mess with the lives of the…

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Feeling Good

It is wholly wonderful to finish a novel and send it into production. Makes me feel good, awesome really. Makes me want to go outside and toss tennis balls to my dogs until it seems like my arm will fall off … and that’s just…

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Snoopy Dancing

I entered a contest this past spring, the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project. My buddy Don Bingle told me about it and encouraged me. AND … pretend you hear a drum roll … I won. Two categories for indie-published authors, Adult Fiction and…

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The Lawn Chair is Empty

Wrinkles Lord of the Lawn Chair Oct 20, 2006 – Sept 16, 2019 My feet are cold; there is no dog laying across them. He was always there, Wrinkles, from the first day he arrived at my house. Always at my feet, drooling on my…

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Dog Tired and Trying to Write

I have an old dog with health issues, and I get up during the night to check on him. I have a puppy that’s not yet housebroken … a youngling that needs to go outside every couple of hours. I get up for her, too.…

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Five Questions (and answers)

One of the hosts for my The Dead of Summer blog tour emailed me five questions to answer. Then something happened and he couldn’t make the post. Well … I figure I might as well post it here. If you could give “Past You” one…

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Back to Back to Back

I probably could have written two chapters in the time it took me to finalize what I wanted on the back cover of The Dead of Summer. I devoured posts about creating sell copy, tips for what to include and what not to include, and…

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I am a FAILURE

Everyone wants to be a success, right? Succeeding is important. As a writer, I hope to produce a successful book (trying to finish the third Piper Blackwell adventure right now). In general, I want to succeed at life. But as a foster dog-mom, I am…

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Writer’s Block Walks on Four Feet

I subscribe to Tim Waggoner’s newsletter. He’s a great writer, and there are always some grains of wisdom I glean by reading his missives. He tackled writer’s block in one of his recent issues. Great advice, he offered. If you’re a writer or a fan…

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Judgmental Judy

Bruce and I celebrated our anniversary at the end of February with a trip to Peoria, Illinois. Nothing exotic, eh? No tropical breezes. I sooooooo would have liked a tropical breeze to chase away this hanging-on winter. But we had a great time. There was…

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I am a Fish

Just try to catch me I swim in a sea of short story submissions. I’m reading the slush pile for Galaxy’s Edge Magazine. It’s a wonderful publication edited by my friend Mike Resnick. I love reading slush. It provides a nice break from writing or…

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It Blows Up Real Good

I’ve read all of Donald J. Bingle’s novels, and a great many of his short stories. He keeps getting better … and the explosions and threats get bigger. Wet Work grabbed me from the first page. Contemporary, and exciting. And Dick Thornby intrigues me. I…

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I Measure My Life in Dog Years

I really do … count my life in dog years. The number of years I share with dogs. I only briefly did not have a dog, and that was when I graduated college and moved to Quincy, Illinois, and rented a wholly dumpy apartment (which…

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Fantastic Fantasy with an Urban Flair

Witchbane reads fast, the story moves, and the writing is smooth. A master of urban fantasy, Gail Z. Martin and her other-persona Morgan Brice stopped by on the Witchbane blog tour for a Q&A. Here’s the quick recap for Witchbane: Seth Tanner and his brother…

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Sister Mary Can Handle Racy Books

I received a copy of the Dominican Sisters of Racine, WI, newsletter today. It made me think of Sister Mary…she’s probably the one who put me on the mailing list for it. She’s a 92-year-old Dominican nun who I met at funeral of a buddy’s…

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My Guest Writes of Metatron!

I turn my blog over to Laurence St. John today. He has a nifty novel coming out the middle of the month, and you should hear about it. Terror on the East Coast – Two Million Dead!             TOLEDO, OHIO, March 15, 2018 – Yesterday,…

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The Bone Shroud and a New Beanie Baby

I do the Snoopy Dance when I have a new book coming out. Always have. There’s something exciting about it, the culmination of a lot of effort. And it gives me the opportunity to put a new Beanie Baby on display in my office. Yeah,…

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