Author Beware: Another Scam

A new scam targeting authors was exposed last week. I know you're tempted to say, "Oh, no! Not another one!"

Yes, another one. It seems there are so many people dreaming up ways to take advantage of hard-working authors.

This one was exposed by Angela Hoy on her newsletter, Writers Weekly. I've been a subscriber for several years to her weekly newsletter.

You should subscribe to Writers Weekly by Angela Hoy too. Angela offers good information that's applicable for all authors, not just freelance writers who are her main audience.

This scam begins with an offer from an alleged ebook author to swap ebooks with you the selected author victim.

It ends with the author victim finding his/her ebook uploaded to a website where it was being downloaded for free.

The Details

Read all about it on Angela's newsletter. While you're there, subscribe to Writers Weekly. I've been a subscriber for several years.

What To Do

This doesn't happen all the time, thank goodness, but it does happen.

I guess the best practice is not to exchange ebooks with anyone unless you know them or know someone who can vouch for them. Networking pays off in unexpected ways.

Takeaway Truth

As in all things to do with online contacts--especially social media--be conservative and always verify.

In What Direction Are You Moving?

I wanted to call your attention to one of the quotations I Tweeted this week.

It's something Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said: "The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving."

I think we often become mired in the misery of where we are at a particular moment in time--especially if that moment in time finds us troubled, unhappy, and low-spirited.

We tend to think life will always be that way. We tend to focus on that moment, that unhappiness, when we should be looking to the future and better times. Look not at where you are, but at where you want to be. In your thoughts, move toward where you want to be. Action follows thought.

I read the quotation from Mr. Holmes many years ago and have often comforted myself with those words, telling myself, "This isn't forever. I'm moving toward better things."

Holmes Vs. Holmes

Did you know there are two famous Oliver Wendell Holmes? They were father and son--senior and junior--and each were accomplished in their respective fields of endeavor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, poet, and polymath--a person whose education or knowledge encompasses many different subject areas so that he/she can draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.

Mr. Holmes Sr. lived in Boston and was acclaimed as one of the best writers of his day. He is quoted often. I find what he had to say about love was especially profound.

"Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."

"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness."

"The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer."

His son, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932 and was Acting Chief Justice of the United States from January–February 1930.

Mr. Holmes Jr. is also quoted rather often. His words, like his father's, resonate with truth.

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."

"Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society."

"We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe."

Takeaway Truth

Food for thought gives the nutrition your brain and soul need.

Saturday Recipe Share: Whole Wheat Biscuits

When I was growing up, my mother made biscuits every morning for breakfast and cornbread every evening for supper.

Both of those breads were mouth-watering delicious.

I make cornbread when it goes with the food I'm serving, but I make biscuits only once every few months. They're a weekend or holiday treat for the family.

The biscuits my mom made were the best I've ever eaten. Those are the ones the family prefers, but sometimes I make a healthier version of the melt-in-your-mouth white flour and fat biscuits of my youth. My Mom sent me this recipe too.

So that's what I'm sharing with you today...

Whole Wheat Biscuits

(1) Turn on the oven and set at 400 degrees.

(2) Prepare a baking dish by spraying with Pam or a similar product.

(3) Mix these ingredients thoroughly.

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 heaping tablespoons whole wheat flour

A note about the 6 heaping tablespoons of flour.

My Mom rarely measured anything. This is about 3/4 cup.

After adding the liquids, if this is too "wet," sprinkle in a little more flour. Keep in mind that you'll be sprinkling flour over the cutting board and the dough. If the resulting dough is too dry, add just a tiny bit more buttermilk.

(4) With the ingredients above, make a “well” in the center and pour in these ingredients:

3 tablespoons cooking oil (I use sunflower oil, but any light cooking oil will do.)
3/4 cup buttermilk (If you don't have buttermilk, use regular milk but add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to it. Let it set for a couple of minutes for it to clabber.)

Mix well.

(5) Sprinkle a clean cutting board or a sheet of wax paper lightly with a bit of flour. Dump the soft dough mixture out on it. Sprinkle a little flour lightly on top of the dough then knead the dough only about 8 or 10 times. Sprinkle lightly with extra flour to keep the dough from sticking, but don’t use too much.

(6) Pat the dough out about ½ inch thick, cut with a biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in flour so the dough won’t stick to the rim. Place in prepared baking dish.

(7) Bake about 15-18 minutes. Serve hot with a bit of butter and jam or jelly. My sister-in-law's homemade plum jelly is what we're eating today.

Takeaway Truth

Everyone finds delight in food enjoyed in childhood. Thanks, Mom.

If Only I'd Known: Writing Lesson by Paty Jager

I'm happy to welcome Paty Jager, one of my friends from our group blog Smart Girls Read Romance.

About Paty Jager

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32+ novels, a dozen novellas, and a passel of short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.

This is what Mysteries Etc. says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

Visit Paty Jager Online

Paty's Blog, Writing into the Sunset  

Paty's Website 

Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter * Pinterest

Sign up for Paty's Newsletter 

If Only I’d Known: Don't Believe Everything You're Told
by Paty Jager

Thank you for inviting me to give my 2 cents on what I wished I’d known when starting out in the writing/publishing business.

When I first tried to break into publishing, I was writing a mystery book that had been inspired by Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series. The books were told in first person--Kinsey Millhone’s point of view.

I used first person in my female protagonist’s point of view. I sent the manuscript to an agent who told me mysteries weren’t written in first person, but he saw promise in my writing. So, I rewrote the book, putting it in third person. He declined the book.

What I learned from that little episode was to not believe what everyone in the publishing business said. I knew it could be first person because Ms. Grafton had a whole series written that way and she was NYT author. But I let someone who I thought knew the business tell me to change my book.

Later, I was told you couldn’t write books with multiple subgenres.

Those were the books that called to me. So, I wrote them. And while the big publishers would say, “I like your book but I don’t know where to place it on the shelves,” my multi-genre books found a small press who liked them, and they were well received by readers.

It was suggested to me when my books were picked up by a small press that I should self-publish. I felt I didn’t know enough. And who would ever think I was a legitimate author if I self-published?

I wish I had started that journey when I was first approached. My friend who was self-publishing at that time is doing very well now, and because I waited, (went self-publish in 2011) I missed the first big flow of readers who could find your books in the smaller pool of books.

Now, I’m trying to find ways for those and other readers to find me in the sea of self-pub and traditionally pubbed books.

If only I'd known? Don't believe everything you're told by
so-called industry professionals!

Fatal Fall
Book 8: Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series
by Paty Jager


When the doctor is a no-show for her appointment, Shandra Higheagle becomes wrapped up in another murder.

The death of the doctor’s elderly aunt has everyone questioning what happened and who’s to blame. Shandra’s dreams soon tell her she’s on the right path, but also suggests her best friend could be in grave danger.

Detective Ryan Greer knows not even an illness will keep Shandra from sneaking around, and he appreciates that. Her insight is invaluable.

When she becomes embroiled deeper in the investigation, he stakes out the crime scene and waits for the murder to make a tell-all mistake. But will he be able to act fast enough to keep Shandra or her friend from being the next victim?

Add Fatal Fall by Paty Jager to Your Library

 Takeaway Truth

Thanks, Paty, for sharing your wisdom with us. Readers, the weekend is here. Why not grab a great mystery like Fatal Fall for your weekend reading fun?

Carpe diem. Carpe librum! (Seize the day. Seize the book!)

Escape to the Country

Escape to the Country? Yes, that's what Darling Hubby and I did last night. We're finishing up the landscaping at our house in the country and praying we don't play unwilling host to another armadillo--ever!

Escape to the Country is also what I got sucked into this morning. The news was too depressing as I had my morning coffee. I turned that off and cruised Netflix for an interesting documentary.

I found Escape to the Country, a BBC series, that proved to be far too addictive. You can also see episodes on YouTube.

Instead of writing all day, as was my plan, I binge watched this series where real estate agents show country properties to English city dwellers wanting to escape the urban environment.

In watching, I visited Wales, Dorset, Leistershire, Devon, Shropshire, the Midlands, the Scottish Highlands, and so many other locales. It was like a scenic tour of England's countryside.

For a writer, this would be an amazing series for research and local flavor. For this writer, it game me lots of ideas.

If I ever win the lotto (yeah, I know I have to actually buy a ticket instead of just thinking about it), I plan to buy a thatched cottage in Dorset. (My husband's family is from Robert Ryves of Dorset. We even have the documentation to prove it.)

We'll be the weird Americans from Texas that everyone will gossip about. (I think I better buy a new western hat and some boots to fulfill the image.)

Takeaway Truth

I pried myself away from the television. Now I write.

Take 5 With Darcy Flynn

Good morning, Readers! Got your cup of coffee or tea or whatever your favorite morning beverage is?

Please welcome author Darcy Flynn who is joining us for some Book Chat. Her featured book today is Eagle Eye, and it has really great cover art.

Darcy will also be answering some fun questions about herself and her writing.

About Darcy Flynn

Darcy Flynn is known for her heartwarming, sweet contemporary romances. Her refreshing story lines, irritatingly handsome heroes, and feisty heroines will delight and entertain you from the first page to the last.

Miss Flynn’s heroes and heroines have a tangible chemistry that is entertaining, humorous and competitive.

Darcy lives with her husband and a menagerie of other living creatures on her horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee. She raises rare breed chickens, stargazes on warm summer nights, and indulges daily in afternoon tea.

Although published in the Christian non-fiction market under her real name, Joy Griffin Dent, it was the empty nest that turned her to writing romantic fiction. Proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

Find Darcy Online

Website/Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Amazon Author Page * Goodreads * Pinterest * Google+ * Sign up for Darcy's Newsletter.

And now, let's get to know Darcy and have some fun!

Take 5 With Darcy Flynn

Q: What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to food and drink?

Darcy: Lemon squares! Admit it, you thought I was going to say chocolate, didn’t you. And yes, I do love chocolate, but lemon squares, with a hot cup of Starbucks Café Verona is my fave!

Q: What's the worst review you ever received?

Darcy: You had to bring that up! *LOL*

Q: What did you do, if anything, after reading that review?

Darcy: Like most authors, I bitched, moaned, screamed and cried…a lot, and ate... lots and lots of lemon squares!

Q: What's the best review you ever received and what did you do, if anything, after reading that review?

Darcy: I’d have to say it’s one I received for my first book, Keeper of My Heart! This reader/blogger loved it so much she included photos and music throughout the review! Then, I sent it with a note to my husband and said, “See. This is not a hobby!”

Q: If Eagle Eye were made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters and why?

Darcy: I would cast Tom Mison as the hero. With his long hair and short beard as Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow, he’s perfect as the disheveled homeless man my heroine meets on the street corner. Later, as the clean-shaven, short haired, New York City journalist, one would have a hard time recognizing him as the same person.

I’d cast Emma Watson as my leading lady because like my heroine, she’s a petite brunette and has a wholesome, trusting appearance. Something about her makes me believe she could convince a homeless man to come inside a fine hotel for an hour of warmth and a hot meal.

About Eagle Eye by Darcy Flynn

Could one little mistake derail everything she’s worked for?

Undercover journalist, Cameron Phillips, is known for his forthright exposé articles uncovering scandals of New York City’s rich and famous. Using the pseudonym Eagle Eye to hide his identity, he is free to wield his finger pointing, no-holds-barred articles at leisure.

Jillian Jeffrey, teen fashion industry’s latest darling, has a heart for the less fortunate. Her goal is to raise enough money for fashion icon Anna Delany’s, Like No Other charity foundation. The donation will not only keep the charity afloat, but will place Jill in the running for a coveted position on LNO’s board of directors.

In a moment of weakness, at the charity gala, Jill reluctantly accepts a bet from her ex-boyfriend and uses a homeless man to raise twenty thousand dollars. Unknown to Jill, the homeless guy is the cynical, undercover journalist, and Jill has just become his latest exposé target.

In a twist of fate, Cameron is soon hired to shadow Jill as she volunteers with the charity. Shorthaired and clean-shaven, he looks nothing like the bearded, disheveled man Jill had encountered the night of the gala.

During their time together, he not only discovers the noble reason behind the bet, but witnesses first hand his article’s negative impact on her business. Faced with the prospect of losing her, will Cameron come up with an antidote for Eagle Eye’s toxic exposé before Jill loses everything she’s worked for?

Add Eagle Eye by Darcy Flynn to Your Library

You'll find this captivating romance at: Amazon * B&N * iBooks.

Takeaway Truth

Readers, this sounds like a fun romance. Why not get a copy today?

Movies I Wish Were Better

The remake of The Saint, starring Adam Rayner and Eliza Dushko who is so thin she looks like a cancer patient.

Roger Moore and Ian Ogilvie, both of whom also played The Saint, appear in cameo roles. I couldn't get past the first half of them movie.

Sadly, this remake misses. What should be lighthearted and witty is a paint-by-numbers cliché. What a shame to waste such talented actors.
Van Helsing borrows from popular vampire and zombie movies and TV shows. "Waking from a coma, Vanessa finds soldier Axel protecting her during a vampire apocalypse known as The Awakening." Yep, The Awakening was the first season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. The twist? Vanessa now has supernatural powers.

I made it to the middle just to see if something compelling happened, but my time was not rewarded.

A Kind of Murder, a retro thriller, also suffered from poor pacing. Obsessed with an unsolved murder case, a crime novelist fantasizes about murdering his wife. Then she turns up dead.

Starring Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel. This was billed as a sixties film, but the vibe is more like mid-fifties.

Handsome, a Netflix Original, was a disappointment. I really wanted to like this take on the detective genre, but what should have been funny and/or quirky seemed forced and artificial rather than organic. Maybe they just tried too hard.

Takeaway Truth

Movies, like books, can sometimes fail despite a great cast, an interesting story, and good directing.

Sometimes all the elements just never come together in a compelling story.