Monday, December 11, 2017

I Surprised Myself

Many of you participated in and succeeded in the NaNoWriMo. 😃
I’ve NEVER participated in the NaNo because it’s a bad month for me. Like many of you, I love the holidays. And, when November approaches, things start to get crazy. We have a large family for Thanksgiving dinner. Usually family travel in to visit and enjoy Brett’s delicious turkey. We are thankful for our family and spend hours planning for their visit as well as lots of food for our immediate family. The one time I tried the NaNo project, it became too stressful. But, I ran across some suggestion that you might want to try.

If you’re new to it, here’s how it works. Starting November 1, write, write, write, reaching a goal of 50,000 words by 11:59 PM on November 30. This happens each year and many of you have reached that goal and some, like me, have not. On their website, there are steps to get started and even support. By the end of the month, you have a rough (I mean rough) draft of a complete 50,000 word novel. Congratulations to those that reached that goal last month.

On November 6, I read Kristen Lamb’s blog, NaNoWriMo: Training to Go Pro and Stay Pro, that inspired me to try NaNo this year (actually, I didn’t sign up on the site because I was afraid I’ll give up if stressed and it was already six days into the month, so I was already behind), but after reading her blog, I changed my mind. It’s a great blog and if you’ve ever thought about writing 50,000 word in November – read these tips by Kristen:

I tried her idea. First I decided on a goal, then divided it according to what I had to accomplish throughout the day. It had to be a reasonable goal because I knew if I reached too high, I’d give up long before the end of the month. My writing word total for the day was to be 600. I figured I could write 600 words a day if I divided it among my list of tasks. 

First thing in the mornings, I made my list of things that HAD to get done that day, including 600 words written. I made a decision to write only 200 words three times throughout the day in-between completing the home tasks (dealing with a retired hubby, cleaning, laundry, cooking, getting ready for guest, etc.). To my surprise, I was able to get my 600 words completed by the end of the day.

What surprised me even more was how I was able to focus on my writing when it was time to write, and most times I wrote more than 200 words.To my surprise there were days that I wrote over 2000 words! (Did this sound confusing – sorry).

Did I write 50,000 words in November? No, but I did write over 16,989 plus I wrote several paragraphs for the rest of the chapters and added scenes that could happen in each chapter. These were words I wouldn’t have written if I hadn’t tried Kristen Lamb’s suggestion. Thanks to her I now have the entire novel laid out and ready to dive into. 

I didn’t reach the NaNo’s goal of 50,000 words, but I’m way ahead with my story and know what, where, how and when everything is happening. I have a smile on my face because my story has moved forward in a month (minus the first 6 days) that might have taken me two months. If November is a busy month for you, maybe you might want to try these suggestions in 2018.

I know this is a long blog, but one more thing. I was excited that Karibou Magic was a finalist in the 14th Annual Best Book Awards Sponsored by American BookFest

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hair Color & Other News

Before I get to  hair colors, I'd like to share about my busy October. By the end of the month I will have spent ONLY seven days at home! If you’re on my Newsletter list, forgive me for repeating a couple of things, but I wanted to let those on my blog list know how much fun I had at the Utah Readers Luncheon.
If you’re an avid reader, or not, but enjoy a good book once in a while, you should think about attending the 
Utah Readers Luncheon
October 13, 2018.
Registration starts April 1, 2018

I love readers. The readers that participated in the luncheon received a swag bag filled with goodies and they left with tons of gifts given to them at the author’s table they signed up to sit with. Readers are amazingly happy and smiling people. What a joy to be around them. All the readers were given a chance to meet the authors at the beginning. They were given a sheet with twenty-three authors’ names, giving them a chance to go around and meet each author and get their signature. Once their sheet was filled with signatures, they received a ticket for a huge door prize. All authors’ tables were decorated with a theme and each guest received tons of gifts in appreciation.

Mary Martinez, Stanalei Fletcher and I shared a table with some awesome readers.  

I encourage you to join me, along with other wonderful, local authors October 13, 2018. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when registration starts.

Now, Hair Color:

As a writer, how do you decide the color of your hero/heroine’s hair? I started a novel (western historical 1868) and my heroine’s name is Lenora Bennett, now I’m trying to decide on her eyes and hair coloring.

When I think about light-colored hair, I think blonde (spelled blond if masculine). Of course, the popular culture of blondes have a stereotype of being more sexually attractive and even known as flighty, shallow or even dimwitted compared to darker haired females. By the way, there’s also sandy, strawberry and dirty blondes, even towhead is used to describe people with yellowish hair. Oh, don’t forget fair complexion or faired-skin people are usually blonde. Aren’t they?

Did you know there’s both masculine and feminine forms for brunet/brunette too? The most common spelling and usage for these two colors are blonde and brunette. Brunettes are usually called brown haired and they’re usually stereotyped as serious, sophisticated and intelligent. Writers use the words chestnut, walnut, golden, and ash in place of brown-hair.

The noun redhead is a term for a variation of red hair colors: auburn, copper, ginger and even orange. The wording reddish-brown is used often. Redheads also have a cultural stereotype as being hot tempered, as well as having a high libido.

Differences in hair-color is subjective, as in strawberry blond can be a type of red hair too, or auburn can be referred to as brown hair or reddish brown.

Black-haired people use to be considered exotic, gothic, slutty, and sexy.  What about the trendy colors? What does that say about your heroine?  Blue, purple, pink??

If you know a person with blonde, brunette, red, or black hair, then you’re probably like me and don’t really believe in the hair-color stereotype. I’m sure you have many more words that describe your character’s hair-color and even some unusual descriptions. I’d like to hear them.  

With that said, I’m still deciding the color of my character’s hair in my WIP. I just finished writing my heroine’s background and I’m getting to know her personality better, forming an image which is beginning to show hair color. I think the more you discover about your hero and heroine, the more they will appear giving you a total image of skin, hair, and eye coloring.

One last thing.
If you’re in the area, you’re invited to the following event:

Fourth-Annual Local Authors & You Event
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Noon - 5PM
Library's Viridian Event Center
8030 South 1825 West
West Jordan, UT 84088

I'll be there with many other published authors, providing free writing workshops, and book signings.  More information:

Happy Reading,

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Planting Seeds of Love

I’d like to welcome author, N.N. Light. She writes Contemporary Romance, New Adult, and New Adult Romance. 
Her newly released novella, Planting the Seed of Love is now available for $.99, for a short time only (September 22 – 24)

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two-year-old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

The next morning, Sally woke to the smell of sizzling bacon. She stretched in bed before putting on her robe. She glanced at the clock. It was already eight. She looked out the window. As far as she could see, snow covered everything like a warm glittering blanket. She hugged herself.

“So, this is what it means to be in love? I like it.”

She crept down the stairs, to see what Trevor was cooking. A smile lit her face and she sat in her grandpa’s rocking chair, watching Trevor in the kitchen. He wore a green plaid robe, his hair ruffled from sleep and there was a slight pillow crease across his left cheek. He flipped pancakes while whistling a classic rock song. She hugged her knees, reveling in her domestic bliss.

“I could get used to this,” she whispered.

He turned around and grinned.

“Good morning, beautiful. Want some coffee?”

She walked into the kitchen, giggling as if it was Christmas.

“It’s like I’m dreaming, what with you here, making breakfast.”

He handed her a mug of steaming coffee. She took a sip.

“Ahh, it’s just how I take it. Heavy cream and sugar.” She took another sip.

Trevor pulled her into his embrace.

“You are a vision in white, my angel.” He kissed her senseless. Her body responded and she burned with desire. She peppered kisses along his jawline.

“I want to go back to bed,” she whispered in his ear. She raked her teeth down his ear.

He moaned.

“You drive me crazy when you do that.” His hot breath seared her neck.

“Mmm…” she whispered.

He playfully slapped her butt.


She laughed seductively.

“Now go sit at the table and wait for breakfast.” He refilled her coffee. “Tsk tsk tsk, distracting the cook.” He winked.

What Readers Think:

“The author does a splendid job of building the internal tension as well as some wonderfully lighthearted interactions that play out perfectly and keep the reader engaged. The secondary characters are well thought out, and bring an added dimension to the setting.” – USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar

“Great descriptive narrative, vivid dialogue that not only breathed life into the characters but provided a window into life in a tight knit countryside community. The countryside community was portrayed so positively, it even lured this committed city girl into sampling a taste of country life with a farm visit next holiday.” -- Ariel C.

“For a short story, this one is so well-developed and full of wonderful characters, it was a pleasure to read.” – K. Westrope

Buy Links:
99 Cents at Amazon US (September 22 - 24)!
Free on Kindle Unlimited Worldwide!


Author Bio: N. N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

Sign up for their author newsletter to get exclusive content, sales and be entered to win a $5 Amazon US Gift Card every month: 

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dwindling Summer

Dwindling Summer really means Autumn. Right! Hope you've had a wonderful summer (winter for those of you down under).

Much to my regret SUMMER is coming to an end in Utah. I know…mid 80s to 90s during the day doesn’t seem like summer’s ending. But, our mornings are cool and the nights are cooling down. Plus, I don’t feel as if the 90s are as hot as it was in July and August (sure, maybe my imagination). Moving on!

Since my new release, Karibou Magic, I’ve been working on two stories. Why two? Because they’re stuck in my head and need to be written! One is a fourth book taking place in the western town I invented in the Silver Sage Creek Novels. I love the town and have a character that wants to live there and meet some of those characters from the first three novels. The other story that I’m working on (outline so far) is more of a futuristic Sci-Fi – we’ll see how that goes.

For right now, I want to share with you the herbs I grew during the summer months. 

I’ve been harvesting my herbs and decided to make a mixture for use during the fall, winter, and spring months. I’m excited. I took all my herbs that I grew in my herb box and flower garden (the herb box is in the background behind my lavender plant):

Basil & Red Peppers, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme & Oregano

I also grew chives, dill, Anaheim peppers, and Jalapeno peppers. By the way, take a look at my spicy bell pepper and pumpkin 

Okay, back to my herbs. I cut and dried several herbs, combined a mixture and put them in an air tight jar. Then I labeled the jar and gave it to my husband who does a lot of grilling and smoking. 

Ingredients:  Rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, sweet basil, dill, oregano, red peppers, Anaheim peppers, garlic salt, Jalapeno peppers, lemon balm

 Before grilling, smoking, or baking meats, sauté the herb mixture in melted butter, then coat meat.

My hubby sautéed the herb mixture in butter, then coated the pork roast for smoking (he’s also used it on grilled chicken). It was delicious.

By the way, his buddies do lots of smoking and asked him if I would sale them a jar. He said, “Sure. $5.99!” They each bought a jar and love it! I loved it!

So I guess I’ll be making more.  Interested? Email me if you’re interested in purchasing a jar of Judy’s Homegrown Herbs

Do you have an herb garden? If so, do you use them and how do you harvest them? I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy what's left of summer.  Judy


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Amazing Heroines

Do you have a favorite movie heroine that’s a kick ass woman? My husband and I went to see Atomic Blonde. They say she is probably the female 007. 

Then, I started thinking about some of the strong heroines that I liked. Since my favorite movies are Sci-Fi, I listed some of my heroines that I really liked the best. 


Leia Organa
Sarah Connor

River Tam





Black Widow

If you recognize these amazing women who are kick ass heroines who can shoot and stab their way through their adversaries, then you must enjoy the sci-fi movies too. I like the women that recognize their own femininity, yet are capable of becoming a full-on warrior to survive as a walking-weapon (Wonder Woman), and actually take control of a situation. There’s a diversity of awesome women in all genres, not only in movies, but in books.

When I was in middle school, I checked out a book from the library titled, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was enthralled with the character, Scarlett O’Hara. A spoiled, self-centered brat learned to claw her way out of poverty, meeting war, famine, and heartbreak head-on – to survive, she fought hard and long. To this day, she’s still one of my favorite heroines.    

Oh, right back to Atomic Blonde, a cold war spy thriller. I have to admit, I didn’t like the character, Lorraine Broughton. I’m not really sure why. I’m still mulling that over. Yes, Charlize Theron did a great acting job and ballet choreographing fights, but there was something about her character I had a problem with – not sure what yet. Yes, the character is complex. She has a mission to complete causing her to be a fighting machine (lots of fighting). Now, I really liked her character in Mad Max, and thought she actually made the movie worth watching in Snow White and the Huntsman, or is it just Huntsman. Of course Chris Hemsworth wasn’t hard to watch.

Do you have a favorite bad-ass heroine that’s beautiful, tough, and a force of nature to recon with? Movie? Book?      

Friday, June 30, 2017

Christmas in July

I’m celebrating Christmas in July for my new release Karibou Magic. 

Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I decided a July Christmas would be prefect to celebrate my release. Besides, how could I wait to release a Christmas story, December is too far!

An old veterinarian brings Christmas magic back into her life with his special reindeer. Will his handsome son shatter that belief?  

Christmas is magic. At least that’s what Eva Mars Bowman thought until that tragic night. Running from her past, she accepts a job with an old veterinarian in a small town in Wyoming. With Doc’s help and his magical reindeer, she has a reason to believe in Christmas magic once again.

Her newly found Christmas magic shatters. Doc’s estranged son, Trebek Nickolas, returns with plans to change all that his father has built, including getting rid of the reindeer.

Compared to his father, Trebek is coldhearted and wants nothing to do with Christmas? Can she convince him that forgiving and loving will bring back the Christmas magic he knew as a child? Will Christmas magic be stripped away from her life again, forever?

Join me for FIVE DAYS in July in celebrating  a Christmas story filled with surprises, magic, love, and the Christmas spirit in the small town of Karibou, Wyoming. 

If you enjoy reading about magical, fantasy Christmases, I’m happy to send a present your way.

All you have to do is open the wrapped present under the tree. 

Merry July Christmas.

xoxo, Judy

Friday, June 2, 2017

News Alert and Cutting a Watermelon

News Alert:  Karibou Magic is now available.

June’s here and summer’s around the corner, and I’m excited to announce my Christmas Fantasy novel is now available.


Christmas is magic. At least that’s what Eva Mars Bowman thought until that tragic night. Running from her past, she accepts a job with an old veterinarian in a small town in Wyoming. With Doc’s help and his magical reindeer, she has a reason to believe in Christmas magic once again.

Her newly found Christmas magic shatters. Doc’s estranged son, Trebek Nickolas, returns with plans to change all that his father has built, including getting rid of the reindeer.

Compared to his father, Trebek is coldhearted and wants nothing to do with Christmas? Can she convince him that forgiving and loving will bring back the Christmas magic he knew as a child? Will Christmas magic be stripped away from her life again, forever?

Link:  Amazon
I’m also working on another western novel where one of my characters grow watermelons. 

I love a sweet juicy watermelon. I have to confess, I can eat an entire watermelon all by myself!   Here’s a few tidbits on picking out the best watermelon:

Check for a Field Spot: these are natural field spots, which you can find on the watermelon indicating where it rested on the ground. This means it’s the best one to choose. The watermelon should have a creamy-yellow or orange-yellow spots. Pick these, they’re the best.  

Check for Webbing indicating the times the bees touched the flower, which means more pollination, the sweeter the melon.

Did you buy a Boy or Girl Watermelon? Yup, watermelons have genders. The elongated watermelons are ‘boys’, while the round, stout watermelons are ‘girls’.  One other thing, remember the boy watermelons are watery while the girls are sweeter.  

What Size is your watermelon? Sometimes we think ‘bigger is better’.  Not always. The best watermelons are average-sized – not too small, not too big, just right.

Last, but still important. The Tail:  Indicates its ripeness. Green tail means it was picked too soon – not good. A dried tail means the best tasting watermelon.

I found a short video on how to cut a watermelon, check it out – it works.

Happy Watermelon tasting,


Writing Tips


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