Meet Author & Photographer Mickie Sherwood

Mickie Sherwood, author and a novice photographer, dropped by SlingWords this morning.

Meet Mickie Sherwood

Mickie, author of Cherished Moments, uses her backyard as the backdrop for her inspiration, Mickie loves taking pictures of nature. Her love of photography incites her creativity for writing. Spending time with her family and cruise vacations, also stokes her imagination. With all of her interests combined, fascinating characters and intriguing circumstances can develop.

Mickie also enjoys a good laugh. Revel in the humorous stories she shares about life, at her blog, Mickie's Mutterings.

Find Mickie Sherwood Online

Blog, Mickie's Mutterings:
Blog, Blurbs in Bloom:

Mickie Sherwood and the Dirty Dozen
In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?

My chosen genre is mainstream contemporary romance. I love this genre because I love sappy romantic stories.

What's your most recent book and what's it about?

My newest novel is a sweet romantic suspense entitled Cherished Moments. Senator Jordan Dupré is reluctant to revisit her past. That thought crumbles at the sight of Deacon Burke. His commanding presence and charming smile transports her back to her youth. Back then, she kissed, loved, lied, and left him—taking a life-changing secret with her.

Scorned by Jordan’s dishonesty, Deke swears he never wants to see her lying face again. However, his heart knows better, and he never stops thinking of her. When Jordan’s husband is killed, Deke is summoned to the Senator’s aid, by an unlikely source—Unfortunately, he brings a secret of his own.

Will secrets from their past reignite their cherished moments?

As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?

Readers can expect characters with flair. My characters are compassionate people who aren't afraid to show a vulnerable side during challenging circumstances. However, love for each other and the strength of their convictions help them overcome the obstacles in their way.

How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book."

Exactly, Joan. An avid reader, the characters in novels I select have to appeal to me. I love a touchy-feely romance. Throw in life's chaos and you have the right mix. After enjoying many novels like that, I decided, in 2009, to create my own.

What's the best thing about being an author?

The best thing about being a author is when that idea strikes and my creative juices flow.

What's the worst thing about being an author?

The worst thing about being a writer is when, you probably guessed, an idea strikes but my creative juices seem dried up. What a dilemma.

Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?

Yes, I do. Cutie and the Cowboy Trucker is also available in print.

Do you listen to audio books? If so, what device do you use?

Although that is on my list, I haven't listened to an audio book, yet.

What device do you use to read ebooks?

I prefer my laptop with the 17-inch screen.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

It's okay to emulate your favorite authors. But, strive to find your own writing voice.

If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?

Here's what I would tell readers. If you're like me and love touchy-feely, sweet-to-sensual mainstream romances, then you'll love my novels.

What is your big dream (or goal) as a writer?

I have decided that one of my goals is to get the "Colbert Bump". Are you listening, Stephen Colbert?

Buy Cherished Moments by Mickie Sherwood

All Romance eBooks

Amazon Kindle Edition

Nook Edition

Topaz Publishing

Takeaway Truth

Thanks for the showcase today, Joan. It was a pleasure visiting with you, Mickie. Readers, have you bought your book for the weekend yet? Click a link and grab a book.

Make 5 Promise Rules

Do you remember the golden oldie, Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep? I think that is good advice.

What's your policy on promises? Mine is exactly the same as the song title. I don't make promises I can't keep. That's how I live my life.

If I say I'm going to do something, then I try my very best to do it. This helps me sleep well at night, but sometimes it also makes me really, really tired. Why? Because I often over-commit when it comes to friends, family, and career.

Dealing With Promise Breakers

Often it seems that others I interact with don't understand that simple principle. I've been doing a lot of grumbling to darling hubby because of all those who blow off commitments. Sure would make life easier sometimes if I just blew them off the next time they ask me for a favor.

If you find yourself failing to meet your commitments, here are 5 rules you might want to incorporate into your life.

5 Promise Rules

1. Don't make a promise if you can't, won't, or don't intend to keep it.

2. Learn to say no. That's a biggie. If you blithely agree to everything asked of you, knowing you don't plan to follow through, stop it. That drives people crazy. So just say no instead.

3. When you make a commitment, also make a plan to keep it. Write it down so you won't forget. Then mark a date at least 2 weeks ahead of time so you have plenty of time to follow through. Make a day planner your best tool.

4. Treat all commitments as contracts. If you create deadlines or contracts in business, follow through or renegotiate. An agreement to guest blog should be treated with as much respect as a contract to publish a book. It also applies to showing up for meetings on time and everything else under the sun that in which you interact with others.

5. If you can't keep your promise, contact the person you promised immediately. Let them know you can't do it. If it's something you really want to do then ask for a future time slot. We all have to renegotiate occasionally. Only you know your life and your specific time demands. It's okay to renegotiate if you find you can't keep your original promise. Just be sure to do it in advance of the deadline.

Takeaway Truth

Why keep promises? Other than it's important for business trust, it's crucial to personal integrity. It's also a way of teaching integrity and honesty to your children.

Free or Low Cost TV Options: Network TV

Want to cut the cable?

A lot of people are cutting the cable or abandoning satellite TV service because they're darn tired of paying more than $100 a month to watch TV. Most of the viewers doing this complain that there's never anything on anyway!

We cut the satellite cable last year when we moved. Now we mostly watch local network stations, Netflix (9.95 a month to new subscribers) and Amazon Prime Streaming (99.00 a year which is about 8.40 a month, but I was an Amazon Prime member long before they offered video streaming just for the free shipping for that fee. I order enough books, business materials, etc. from Amazon every year that the membership fee more than pays for itself.).

Let me tell you in today's post and future ones how to make this happen so you too can cut the cable if you're so inclined.

Viable Alternatives

There really are viable alternatives to paying big bucks for TV. If you have a Smart TV, it's very easy to watch your favorite programs without having cable or satellite. If you have an older TV, you may have to do a bit of tweaking to find the best way, but it's not especially difficult.

How To Pay Little or Nothing To Watch Network TV

CBS, NBC, and ABC are the big 3 when it comes to network TV. Those broadcasts are easy to obtain. If you're accustomed to viewing network TV on cable or satellite, here are 3 ways to do it for free or less bucks.

1. HD Antenna

Get an HD antenna, and you can get all your local TV stations free. True, you have to buy one for each TV you want to view, but after the initial cost of the antenna, there's zero dollars out of your pocket. Anything broadcast by the networks is now yours for viewing for free.

The thing to know about HD antennas is that they don't look like the old rabbit ear antennas your grandparents might have had. Today the usual indoor HD Antenna is a small, sleek black box or a paper-thin adhesive square that can hang on your wall and even be painted your wall color to "disappear."

If you're into DIY, you can even get a large indoor antenna, mount it in your attic, and connect cabling from all your TVs to it--just like the cable or satellite installer does. These cost about $50-100. depending on which model you buy, and they are the Cadillac of indoor antennas.

What To Know About HD Antennas

How well an antenna works depends on the location of the TV, the TV's proximity to the television station's broadcast antenna, and the obstacles in that path. If you aren't in an area with hills or mountains, you shouldn't have a problem. If you're in the country, you may have to pay a bit more for an antenna with a long range.

If you live in the country and are not bound by deed restrictions, you have the option of getting an exterior HD Antenna. Again, not like the old outdoor antennas on a 30' pole, but a roof mounted antenna that catches a signal much as the small dishes do that are offered by the satellite TV companies.

If you want to know more, educate yourself about HD Antenna Choices. Just put what to know about hd antenna in your favorite search engine, and you'll find a wealth of information.

There are many HD antennas available. For one that picks up a signal for a distance of about 50 miles, the antenna costs about $30-50.

I recently bought an RCA ANT1450BF Multi-Directional Amplified Digital Flat Antenna (Black)for the big TV in our media room. You can lay it flat in front of the TV, hang it on the wall next to the TV, or use the small metal bracket that comes with it to stand it up.

Since I'm in Houston, there are a lot of skyscrapers between my media room and the broadcast antennas, but I get 2 CBS stations (Houston and College Station), 2 ABC stations (the regular one and the LivWell Network which is like HGTV), NBC, 3 PBS stations, CW, whatever they're calling 20Vision now, Fox, ION, and 2 old movie channels plus a number of Spanish and Vietnamese stations.

(I'm a big documentary fan so I don't have Discovery, ID, and the cable channels I used to watch, but, guess what? Most of those documentaries are on Netflix and Amazon Prime Streaming. Next time I'll talk about those when I discuss Video Streaming options.)

2. Network TV Via The Network Website

You don't have to have an HD Antenna to watch current popular TV shows from the networks if you have a computer. ABC, NBC, Fox, and CW usually show the latest episode the day after it airs on television. In some cases, the episode is shown from 1 to 7 days after airing. Just get to know the network TV websites and when they show the full episode of your favorite shows on their website.

You can watch on your computer, but you don't have to. Buy a cable and connect your computer to your TV. See your TV manual for the right cable. For newer TV's that's usually an HDMI cable which means your computer must have an HDMI port as well. You can get an adapter if the line from your computer isn't HDMI. Search online for the right cable.

Of course, connecting a TV works better if you have a laptop or tablet. A lot of people I know have a dedicated computer connected to their TV and watch everything this way.

3. Network TV Via Hulu etc.

Several websites like Hulu offer your favorite network and cable TV shows. The free version of Hulu and other sites have limited episodes or you can sign up for Hulu Plus, the paid version of Hulu, and a show's full season.

I'll talk more about video streaming via websites like Hulu next time.

How To Get Started

1. Go to each network's website and take a quick look around to see if they have content that interests you. Also look for a page that shows what supported devices can be used for the content. If you like what you see, take the next step which is to sign up for a free account.

2. On the signup page, you should be able to click to read the Terms of Service. Do this so you know how they will use the information you register. In most cases, they will embed a cookie of course, use your information to make sure you don't get content that may be denied by your country of residence, send you notices of new content, and use your info however they can to monetize their site. That's pretty standard, but read the TofS to make sure you're not allowing them something else. Also, in the TofS, the way to opt-out of targeted ads is usually spelled out. If you're okay with their TofS, then proceed.

3. Register your free account. Make a note of your registration details so you'll remember them. (Have you read my post: Everyone Needs a Password Record?)

4. If you need to download any app for a mobile device or register your Smart TV, go back to the supported devices page and follow the instructions.

That's usually all there is to it. Now, you're ready to watch network TV.

Next time I'll offer some Streaming Video Options.

Takeaway Truth

Want to save some money? Invest about $50.00 and tell the cable company: "Hasta la vista, baby."

Ah, the Marvels of Modern Dentistry

I was going to buy a new car this year, but I bought oral surgery instead.

Yep. Broke a tooth that was crowned. Not only did the crown break but the tooth root it was connected to broke also.

Remedy: remove said crown and tooth base and roots and have a dental implant. Friday was step 1: removal, bone graft, install titanium post.

Eventually, a new tooth will be attached to that post, but several months lie between now and the actual new tooth implant.

Step one was not as difficult as I had feared. Of course, regular doses of codeine and phenergan helped. For now, I have a temporary mouth appliance called a flipper with a cute little temporary tooth attached to it to fill the gap where the old tooth was.

I'm not feeling too well today, but it's not as bad as it could be. Ah, the marvels of modern dentistry. Expensive but marvelous. Francis O'Walsh said: A hospital should also have a recovery room adjoining the cashier's office."

Takeaway Truth

So should an oral surgeon's operating room.

Open Letter to Comment Spammers & Those Who Hire Them

Dear Comment Spammers: May I be honest with you and those who pay you to scatter meaningless comments all over the Internet?

I respect the fact that you are just trying to make a living. I've seen the freelance job posting websites where clients pay for posting blog comments containing their website URL.

I know that most of you are not English-first speakers. Even though you may speak perfect English, writing in English is a different skill. I absolutely allow and support bloggers of other countries, but I find it easy to differentiate their legitimate comments from your spam comments.

I know that you willingly contract with clients to post a hundred or more comments for a few dollars. When you do it every day of the week though, it does add up. As I said, I respect your right to earn a living, but I will not let you spam my blog. Even if your comment contains a URL not hot-linked, it still won't be published.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to tell you and those who hire you a few things that you must not know.

1. All blog platforms have automatic spam filters.

Even if you do not have to verify with a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), a spam filter is in place and working behind the scenes to grab perceived spam comments.

A spam post will be caught. I review all comments every week. I delete when it's obvious they're nothing more than a spammer paid to post to blog comments. Your comment will not appear. Ever.

2. This blog has a time limit on comments. Any comment older than a certain number of days (my secret) has to be approved by me before it will appear. So don't bother going back to old posts and sticking your meaningless comment on a post older than a week to the beginning of time for this blog. Your comment will not appear. Ever.

Sample Comments; Why They Were Not Approved

Comments like these below are shown as written with misspellings, typos, and all. These are spam comments and will not be published in the Comments section. Ever.

Comment: Appreciate this post. Will try it out. my blog: NAME OF CHEAP WEB HOST. Posted on Random Friday: Cake, Kindle Unlimited, Latest Plagiarism, Holidays, published 08/22/2014.
Reason for Deleting Comment: The informational post with links to other web pages on which the comment was made had nothing to try out, just something of interest to share with readers.

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Reason for Deleting Comment: Do you really believe I'd think some (adjective-deleted) drunk driving lawyer is reading about installing a widget and thinks my blog needs more attention? So this comment was not germane to the post at all.

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Reason for Deleting Comment: While I appreciate the fastidious job comment, *g*, I deleted this comment for the same reason as the previous one.

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Reason for Deleting Comment: Duh! the fastidious commentator strikes again. I've found that posts about tech of any kind attract lots of spammers.

Comment: The couple must stand closer and closer because the paper raft gets smaller and smaller. Our team of bingo specialists are already consistently working round the clock to bring the best free bingo entertainment with regards to free bingo games, promotions, offers and bonuses to ensure that bingo players locate them interesting unlike other bingo sites. , the main 8 bit Nintendo gaming system in the late 80's. These games require large investments of your energy, energy, and funds to be able to develop your character's experience levels, complete game quests, and fine a team of other players to work with. You could also have fun playing the classics like connect the dots, solving jigsaw or slide puzzles or word search. Some of these you must do spend on to be able to download the product on to your computer to try out usually, but if you happen to be merely wanting in a flash adventure to learn, then you will be in success on NAME OF WEBSITE. Posted on 3 P’s of Internet Marketing, published 06/30/2011.
Reason for Deleting Comment: What a doozy of a comment. This was 181 wasted words so the freelancer must have had a word limit to meet. Comment had nothing to do with the post or the blog.

Comment: Un profond remeгciement à l'administrateur de ce site web Also visit my blog poszt PORN WEBSITE NAME DELETED. Translation: . on How to Add Amazon Slideshow Widget to a Website A deep remeгciement the administrator of this website Also visit my blog PORN WEBSITE NAME DELETED. Posted on How to Add Amazon Slideshow Widget to a Website, published 08/11/2014.
Reason for Deleting Comment: No thanks. I do not visit porn websites nor do I wish to pass the link on to my readers. If they're so inclined in that pursuit, I'm sure they can find you on their own.

Comment: Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the great writing. Here is my site :: NAME OF HACK WEBSITE. Posted on Barbara Graham & Imaginary Friends, an author interview published 11/30/2011.
Reason for Deleting Comment: I wouldn't waste my time to see if you linked to my post. I don't know that I would want my blog mentioned on a hack site. *sigh* I don't know why but Barbara's guest post has attracted major spam attention. Looking on the bright side, she's a wonderful author so maybe her witty words just attract attention.

Comment: View other Seattle Free Stuff articles or visit Cindy's blog at for frugal tips, free stuff and advice on saving money. Photographs are very important for event management companies; hence many opportunities are available in this field for professional photographers. Of course, there are plenty of professionals who never attended a single class, so it's up to you to decide what works best for your career. Here is my web site ... NAME OF PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE. Posted on Read Me! Love Me! Thrill Me!, 11/01/2011.
Reason for Deleting Comment: How lovely that this spammer thinks a post featuring 10 other authors and what thrills them in books is a suitable vehicle to push (a) Seattle stuff (b) Cindy's frugal tips, and (c) a photography course. Not on my blog. Go peddle your multiple spam comments elsewhere please.

Comment: Mentioned below are fours ways in which a broker is able to help you get a greater price for your business. s not that you will always attain success, many a times you may fail but you should keep yourself going and in the end you surely will be benefitted by it. Most limousine companies have a fleet of vehicles of all shapes and sizes. Visit my web-site NAME OF POLISH TOURISM WEBSITE. Posted on How To Dispute a YouTube Copyright Strike, 06/13/2014.
Reason for Deleting Comment: Now, does this comment really have anything to do with a YouTube Copyright Strike or my blog SlingWords in any way? I think not.

Comment: It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon! Feel free to visit NAME OF HOME IMPROVEMENT BLOG. Posted on Netflix Review: The Numbers Station, 07/18/2014.
Reason for Deleting Comment: Oh, but I do have a donate button. Please feel free to click it one time for each word of your spam comment. But that still won't get your comment published. Comment has nothing to do with the post of SlingWords.

Comment: The Nokia 5228 is such a good phone that has the price of a midrange phone and features of a high end phone. The local Palomar College in San Marcos offers some of the best adult workshops I have ever experienced, at a fairly low cost. Learning the basics of good photography can take the help of a professional. My blog post :: PHOTOGRAPHER PUSHING HIS/HER BOOK. Posted on Read Me! Love Me! Thrill Me!, 11/01/2011.
Reason for Deleting Comment: Yes, this interview post featuring 10 other authors garnered tons of spam comments, none of which had anything remotely germane to the post content.

I could go on and on, and some are hilarious, but what's the point? Nearly every post I publish gets multiple spam comments. Some posts seem to attract mega attention from the spammers. Many comments come from the same people. After a bit, you recognize them by their style.

Every week I go in to Comments, review them all, and delete them all. Occasionally, I find a legitimate comment. I immediately let it publish and reply to it.

Takeaway Truth

I wish this post would be taken to heart by spammers and those who hire them, but I doubt if any of you ever read any of the posts on which you leave comments. If you did, you'd realize how ludicrous the comments are. Keep leaving your comments, and I'll keep deleting them. Just as I deleted the 45 I found today.

Random Friday: Cake, Kindle Unlimited, Latest Plagiarism, Holidays

I'm writing this the night before my little bit of surgery. You may or may not hear from me again depending on how zonked on pain killers I'll be.

I've been trying to get all my ducks in a row. It really does help you take control of your life to work at least 30 minutes a day on a project until it's completed.

You know the kind of projects I mean--filing, accounting, updating records--all those pesky details we put off.


Here are a few tidbits for your consumption. Leave a comment on any of these with your email addy and win a free book. All commentators will win.

Friday is Cake Day

First, let's talk about what's really important. Cake. I received the recipe for Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes in my email from Betty Crocker. Yes, Betty and I are email buddies. You've got to try this!

Kindle Unlimited

Feedback from many authors is that their sales have dropped significantly and the "borrows" aren't making up for the downfall.

Readers, have you enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program? If so, do you find yourself reading more or the same?

Writers, have you enrolled? Has it helped or hurt your sales?

Latest Plagiarism Incident

It's spreading like wildfire through the online writers' groups. Please, before you name the alleged plagiarist, please be aware that there is another woman of the same name who is an upstanding citizen so don't go defaming the name without making sure you identify the true alleged culprit.

Some names are pretty common. My own is one of those. I can't tell you how many Google Alerts I get with my name featured. Lots of obituary notices. *LOL* Also a woman who has my name likes to post inflammatory political statements. I really wish she'd change her name.

Yikes! Holidays Are Coming

I don't know how many shopping days until Christmas, but I do know that it's not enough! Want to give your writer friends a special gift? If you need a gift for a writer--or a promotional item--visit my CafePress shop, WriteWay.

One of the most popular items in my shop is the Writer's Christmas Ornament -- use this direct link, and the price is less than if you search for the item in the CafePress Marketplace. The ornament comes in several shapes. The one shown is snowflake.

WriteWay isn't just for writers. There are plenty of items that appeal to readers.

Takeaway Truth

Okay, now let's all go eat cake.

Thursday3Some: Tempered Fire by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy. Award-winning author Pamela S. Thibodeaux is joining us again this morning. Pam is Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and she's multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction.

Her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Find Pam S. Thibodeaux Online

Twitter: @psthib

Today Pam is talking about her novel Tempered Fire, part of the Tempered Series. Watch the video below to learn more about this series.

About Tempered Fire, Book 3: Tempered Series

Amber Harris is a good girl on the brink of womanhood. Stanley Morrison is a young man at the start of his life. Will they survive the wishes of everyone around them with their relationship intact?

When did you write Tempered Fire?

Tempered Fire was initially written as the 2nd story in a “two-book” series (Tempered Hearts & Tempered Fire). However, when the other two (Tempered Dreams & Tempered Joy) evolved over the course of time, Tempered Fire turned out to be the third in a 4 part (one day 5 part) series. Tempered Fire and Tempered Dreams run parallel in time and was initially published by ComStar Media in 2006. The reprint is published by my personal imprint, Temperance Publishing.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

Every daddy is challenged with letting go of his little girl and when Craig Harris, the hero in Tempered Hearts, thinks to himself he would be “made of tougher stock if he had a daughter” I could imagine this big, tough cowboy having to face the fact and let go when his baby girl grows up and finds love of her own.

Why do readers buy Tempered Fire?

Of course I pray folks buy Tempered Fire because they’ve fallen in love with the characters and want to follow the series, but I also hope readers connect with the story itself and find encouragement in dealing with the challenges all parents face in raising their children up in “the way they should go” as the Bible instructs.

Buy Links

Kindle Edition of Tempered Fire

Nook Edition of Tempered Fire

Smashwords Edition of Tempered Fire

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Plan your weekend "getaway" by buying a book today.