Sunday, July 15, 2012

Please go to my new site

I am combining my website and blog into one.  Come on over!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Read aloud to your dog? Emerging readers do!

The first dog I ever owned was after I was 50, so I was a complete dog novice, but when I saw Ollie in the cage at Petsmart he was looking right at me and clearly was more connected to people than other animals.

I hadn't gone in to get a dog. I needed cat food. But I came home with a dog, all the same. And I never looked back.

This people pleasing trait led me to go in to my local hospital when they put out a plea to members who had dogs to become therapy dogs. Turns out there are multiple therapy dog programs in the world. Because the hospital used Therapy Dogs International, we did,too.

Now Ollie loves people in general, but has always had an affinity for children specifically. He stands about 15 inches high and at 20 pounds is big enough to be safe with uncoordinated toddlers, small enough to cuddle. When I met another member who was getting volunteers to go to local libraries I was intrigued. My first graduate work was in elementary education, and in my work with people with disabilities I have seen lots of ideas around motivating people to read. The basic fact is, to learn to read you have to READ.

In this program Ollie sits or lays next to a child while they read a book out loud to him. I keep my mouth shut and encourage parents to not interrupt what is happening between the child and the dog. No corrections! The child often self-corrects because s/he wants Ollie to understand the book.

In this loving, no judgment opportunity to read books out loud, the children improve their fluency, learn to decipher the book from picture and word clues, and go way beyond sounding out words alone. And they LOVE to read because they love my dog.

My dog was on the front page of the paper a few weeks ago. Well, his photo was in the banner teaser for the front page of spotlight section, anyway. Here is are links to that great photo and another featuring my boy, both by Bee photographer Mark Crosse.

The wonderful article that accompanied the photos is by Rick Bentley, and is found at

As a result of my love for my dog and this kind of volunteer work, I have written therapy dogs into my third book, Return of Joy, scheduled for release in October from Desert Breeze Publishing under my writing name, Lynette Endicott.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How smart IS that cat?

I love my pets. I didn't really have pets until in my 50s, when my daughter asked why we let her father decide whether or not we had animals in our lives. We adopted two cats almost immediately. Those two , Sprite and Dr. Pepper, show up in my first book, More Than A Job. The black and white cat is Pepper. Slainte' (pronounced slawn' cha) was an abandoned, injured adolescent when I found her outdoors at a local  bakery shop. She was hungry and thirsty and the forecast for that day was over 110 degrees. They said to me, "Oh, don't give her food or water. We want her to go away." I made the mistake of picking her up, found the place where her leg was torn, and knew if I put her down there she would die that day. She was thin, pitiful, and yet let me pick her up. I didn't have a box or anything so I took her to my car. She ran around in the car a couple of times but got over her panic in seconds and laid next to me on the seat. I carried her into an animal hospital.  It is expensive to rescue a cat on your own. The shelter doesn't charge full price for the medical care. Slainte' needed to be spayed, had to have some of the dead tissue around her torn leg removed and then the leg sutured, needed de-wormed, and antibiotics to address the infection in her leg. I had just been laid off so had no regular income. What was I thinking?

But as soon as I picked her up I was committed. And she has definitely been worth it. Once she acclimated to the other cats, life settled in and we learned that we had added a very spunky, snuggly cat. She is the model for Dr. Al's cat in Animal Instinct. While my little calico has never saved my life or revealed ancestral secrets, she is a very positive part of my life. When we added a dog - Ollie - she and he vied for the top position in the house by sitting back on their haunches and boxing of all things. Today, though, they curl up together on the bed or on the pet bed in my office.
When my daughter and her husband added a beagle/basset puppy, she let Molly know who was boss, and is the only animal that Molly doesn't attempt to tromp.

Amimal Instinct will be available August 21.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How do two writers work together?

Tami Dee and I are pleased to showcase the cover for the first book in our Time After Time Saga, a series of six books that follow (erratically) the lives of the women of the Heartmark, those who have been marked by an enemy determined to pursue them through time and destroy their happiness.

How did we come to write together? Good question, since we have only met twice in person, and not for long either time. I met Tami in an on-line critique group and because we really enjoyed each others' stories we stayed in touch. Tami was the one who reached out to me a year ago and asked, "Have you ever submitted those books I read?" and urged me to contact her editor. My three contracts and counting with Desert Breeze Publishing are a result of that contact.

Tami has published a time travel series, so when the first thoughts that became this set of books began percolating in my head I dropped her a note, asked her thoughts and in the email back and forth that followed, the ideas for a series came tumbling out.

I know that working with another author keeps me writing and keeps me accountable. We share each work as it unfolds, so although one writer takes the lead, both are involved in crafting the story line and in connecting the book to the others that are coming in the next couple of years.

So join us in celebrating our first cover for this series. The book will be released August 21.                    

Buy link at Desert Breeze Publishing:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Read this and you will want more! The Up Side of Down

The heat from the midday Texas sun seeped through my dark gray sweats, my standard uniform of late, bringing my body temperature to the boiling point. 
After trying the door of the Lexus, I realized I'd locked the keys inside. The alarm system was armed, the cats had returned to their roosting place, and something strange was wrong with my eyes. They'd begun to sting and water leaked from them. 

Tears? Oh no, no, no, no, no. 

It had been almost two days since I'd shed a tear over my pitiful situation, and I was not about to start that up again now. 

I began walking as fast as I could down the gravel road leading to the water tower, where the local high school kids used graffiti to proclaim their date with freedom. I'd reached the half-way mark, when I heard the noise of a vehicle quickly approaching behind me. From the sound of its engine, I guessed it was at least the three-quarter-ton variety. 

Too late, I realized I was standing in the middle of the road close to a sharp, ninety-degree corner fittingly dubbed 'Dead Man's Curve'. I managed to vault for the ditch just as the truck's driver spotted me. To his credit, he gave it all he had in an effort to avoid hitting me. Unfortunately, this landed his vehicle in the opposite ditch. 

It took us both a minute to come to terms with our situation. We'd both been lucky that there wasn't a crash and no one was hurt. My pride was a little bruised, but I'd survive that. 

I watched as the man in the truck got out and looked around in a daze. "Are you all right?" he asked, as he crossed the road to my ditch. 

"I'm fine. Sorry about the near miss. It doesn't look as if anything's hurt, though. You should be able to drive right out of that ditch." I glanced at the huge black four-by-four truck he drove. Not that uncommon for this part of Texas where everything was larger, including the vehicles we drove. 

He ignored my observation. "Did you have car trouble down the road?" I could feel him looking me over. By this point, I was perspiring like crazy. My face was shiny with sweat, and he was staring at my hair. My hand went up to it automatically. For the life of me, I couldn't remember if I'd brushed it today or not. Or for that matter, this week. 

"I'm fine. Thank you for stopping." I turned to continue going wherever I was going before the run-in, when he stopped me. 

"Wait. Can I take you somewhere?" He looked around the deserted area in confusion. "Do you live around here?" Now there was the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question I'd been avoiding since I'd arrived in Down two weeks earlier. 

"Um, sort of." I could tell my answer only served to pique his curiosity. Maybe he was imagining me as the neighborhood burglar, or the town's only homeless woman. 

He reached for his wallet before awkwardly asking, "Do you need some money?" 

Shocked by his assumption, I was unable to do more than stare back at him with my mouth agape. Do I look that desperate? I thought about how embarrassed poor Thelma, the champion of the less fortunate, would be if she could see the pity in this man's eyes. 

"Here." He shoved some money into my hand and headed back toward the Black Beast. "Get yourself something to eat and maybe a change of clothes." 

He easily maneuvered his truck out of the ditch and waved politely as he drove away. I glanced down at the money in my hand in shock. He'd shoved a hundred dollar bill into it. 

Learn more about Mary at, check in with Mary on Facebook  and buy today at 

Review: Mary Eason's The Up Side of Down

Blurb: Laney Winters is living the life she thought she’d always wanted—perfect home, wealthy husband and a successful, if somewhat mediocre, romance writing career. At forty-one, Laney discovers she’s expecting her first child and can’t wait to rush home and surprise her husband with the great news. Her husband, Tom, has a surprise of his own waiting for her. She walks in on him with his much younger secretary. He wants a divorce and wants Laney out of his house. Having signed a prenuptial agreement, she has little choice other than her oft-imagined revenge scenarios.

My reviewMary Eason turned the light of humor, warmth and values onto the subject of divorce through her heroine, who returns to her small hometown and eccentric aunts pregnant and on her way to single. The characters are well-drawn and interesting, and I couldn't put the book down. The Up Side of Down will take you through the tears, frustration, anger and craziness of the life of Laney, an author whose success is put on hold while her life falls apart and then, with the love and support of her wacky family and the caring warmth of more than one friend, begins to come back together again. You will love this book! 

Mary Eason grew up in a small Texas town famous for, well not much of anything, really.Being the baby of the family and quite a bit younger than her brothers and sisters, mary had plenty of time to entertain herself. Making up stories seem to come natural to her.

As a pre-teen, Mary discovered romance novels and knew instinctively that was what she wanted to do with her over-active imagination. She wrote her first novel as a teen, (it's tucked away somewhere never to see the light of day), but never really pursued her writing career seriously until a few years later, when she wrote her first romantic comedy and was hooked.

Today, Mary still lives in Texas, and still writes about romance. In fact, she can't think of anything else she'd rather do.

Check out all Mary's books:
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Check out more of Anne Patrick's great books!

Single mother, Jenny Holloway, has her hands full running a 1200-acre ranch, and keeping her daredevil son out of the emergency room. So when her foreman suggests she hire on his son Gil Montgomery, who just got home from the war, Jenny jumps at the opportunity of having another skilled cowboy around. 

Gil was used to taking orders, even from women. What he wasn't prepared for was the feelings this little firecracker of a woman triggered in him. Jenny is a lot like the bronco she's rescued and is now trying to break. The unexpected death of her husband has left her jaded and afraid to risk her heart getting broken again. Somehow, he has to gain her trust and prove that he isn't going anywhere. 

Fire Investigator Sadie McGregor has been called to her hometown of Emerald Point, Missouri to investigate a suspicious fire which claimed the life of a local college student. By appearance the fire looks like the girl was just careless. What Sadie and Sheriff Quinn Harrington discover will not only affect those close to them, but will rock the entire community of Emerald Point and put Sadie's life on the line. 

Sadie's life isn't the only thing at stake. Struggling with the guilt of having been responsible for the fire that killed her family, when she was only seven, Sadie doesn't feel she's worthy of God's love and forgiveness. Will Quinn be able to prove otherwise before it's too late? 

District Judge Katie McKinley takes her career very seriously. No one knows that better than her old childhood friend and first love, Graham Bishop. Her ruling cost him his family’s ranch. So it’s no surprise when an attempt is made on her life that the sheriff turns his suspicions to Graham. 

Katie feels horrible knowing what her ruling cost her old friend, and knows his outburst in her courtroom gave the sheriff every right to suspect him. But the Graham Bishop she grew up with would never harm her. Even when all the evidence points to him she refuses to believe it. Could she be wrong? Download today:

Anne Patrick
What is Anne Patrick (Dame Tourmaline) up to now? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways and our July Anniversary Giveaway Galore!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Always looking for Animal Lovers to Interview!

Do animals fit into your stories? 
Yes, in several of my books.  For instance, the first three books in my Wounded Heroes Series have dogs in them. In Kill Shot, Zinger, a German Shepherd, plays a big part. He was given to Kory after she left the army by her best friend and former teammate. 

In Trespasses, Mackayla's yellow lab is named Tag because as a puppy he used to play tag with her daughter.  Book three has Mozart a red chow, belonging to my heroine Trudy.
So how do animals impact your life and your writing?
Keisha and Sailor.jpgMy animals (2 cats and a German Shepherd named Zoe) have inspired a few scenes in my books. They have wonderful personalities. One of the cutest things Zoe does is when our kitten, Keisha, gets into something Zoe will look at me like 'Do you not see what she's doing?'  Now if Keisha is doing something wrong where Zoe can reach her, Zoe will go and nudge Keisha away with her paw or nose. Zoe is the queen of the house and both cats pretty much know it.  
Where and when do you write? 
I write evenings and weekends in my office, but usually not at my desk. I'm most creative in my rocking chair.
Where do your story ideas come from? Life. Stories are all around us. In newspapers, conversations, even photographs. My book, A Familiar Evil was inspired by the female model on the cover.  I came across her photo while searching for models for another cover and I wondered what would cause the haunted look on her face. That was all it took to entice my muse.
Anne Patrick
What is Karen Woods (Dame Coral) up to? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Patriotism from Kill Shot, Wounded Heroes Series by Anne Patrick

Kory in Kill Shot, book #1 in my Wounded Heroes series.
"I don't like talking about the war, Sean. Because when I do it brings up memories I want to forget. Today I convinced myself that in order to forget I have to first process them -- that's what I'm trying to do. But I want you to know I am proud of my service. I'm glad I was able to take part in something much bigger than me. I just wish I didn't have to, you know what I mean?"

Also read Book Two in the Wounded Heros Series, Trespasses. Buy now at

You can read them today if you download for the 4th of July!

Anne Patrick
What is Anne Patrick (Dame Tourmaline) up to now? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways and our July Anniversary Giveaway Galore!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Check out new Release from Anne Patrick

Kasey Montgomery has returned to her hometown of Fire Creek Montana after the apparent suicide of her cousin. Within days of Beth's funeral, Kasey begins to find inconsistencies in her death. The local sheriff is quick to dismiss the allegations as figments of a writer's imagination. Kasey is determined to prove otherwise. Does the bronzed skinned stranger from Beth's funeral hold the answers?

Local park ranger, Jimmy Little Raven suspects foul play too. Beth was engaged to his best friend who died months earlier from a mysterious accident.  Risking his heart and his job, he teams up with the famous mystery writer to find the answers to both deaths. 

Download eBook NOW at:  You can also purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most online bookstores.


Kasey rounded the corner onto the street where she’d left her car. She stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of Jimmy Little Raven leaning against the hood of the Firebird, his arms folded across his chest.

It took several seconds to recover from her initial shock before she walked over to her car. "What are you doing here?"

"Never mind that. What were you doing in Woodward’s office?" he demanded.

She avoided his glare, as her mind raced to come up with a logical explanation. Lying was out of the question, not that it'd do any good anyway. He had no doubt seen her through the window, explaining the noise she heard.

"Do you realize how much trouble you could get into if anyone was to find out you broke into his office?"

"No one’s going to find out... unless you rat on me. Besides, I didn’t break in, I had a key."

"You what!"

Before she could answer, her breath was yanked violently from her lungs as he lifted her up and dove, with her in his arms, onto the hood of the Firebird. The sounds of crunching metal, breaking glass and squealing tires followed. The earth seemed to rumble beneath her as their bodies rolled together onto the hard cement below.

Anne Patrick
What is Karen Woods (Dame Coral) up to? Find out at Join us for monthly book giveaways! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

How I doubled sales of my book in the last period

I am a novice as promoting my work. As a newly published author (More Than A Job came out in March) I am still learning the ropes. My first check as an author was both exciting - Hey I can get paid to do this! And deflating - All that work for this little return?

So I started paying attention to what other authors were doing. Here is a short list of ways I am promoting them and me:

  1. I post to this blog at least five days a week, and feature other authors who (hopefully) bring their readers to my blog, and I can showcase them to my readers.
  2. I make the blog visual, and as often as they will share personal pictures, personal. Since I have a lot of pet lovers among my readers, (I find posts about pets get a higher hit rate) pet pics are welcome here. This isn't just about selling my books - it is also about developing a group of friends who read them. I want to connect and animals are a great way to do that.
  3. I tweet the blog posts 2 or 3 times a day. Finding a hook - something catchy, controversial or racy -- always brings more lookers to the blog. As do cute animals and the word Christian.
  4. I ask my guests to post that they are visiting on their social media - lists, twitter, Facebook, etc.
  5. My tweets are automatically posted to Lynette Endicott's Facebook page, and then I like from my my real name and the author page hosted by that name, so they show up to all my people.
  6. At least once a week I post something about my writing journey to my real name on Linked In with a link to my blog or website.
  7. I "like" other authors, read their posts, retweet, share and otherwise promote the interesting things they are saying.
  8. I visit other blogs to be interviewed there.
  9. I explore other venues. Right now Klout and Pinterest are possibilities that I'm tracking.
  10. I watch the numbers. When there is a spike in blog visits or website visits I check to see why.
In all of these, I have several strategies:
  • Set up an account in my author name that is separate from my real life and focuses on writing.
  • Get the word out to as many people as I can to like, join, follow. Continually ask readers to act to follow the cause.
  • Support other writers, and they will support me and sometimes even become my readers.
  • LIMIT the time spent on all this. I set a goal of finishing within an hour a day.
  • Keep up with the latest through subscriptions (usually in digest form) regarding marketing on the internet, social media, 
Result? Well, my second check was more than twice as much as my first, so the good news is that I'm getting better at this. Since the next book, Animal Instinct with Tami Dee, is out August 21 I want my skills to be up to the task.

Tami, by the way, has an author ap on Android, iPad, iPhone etc. Download it and check out her books and this new ADDITIONAL way to market!