Monday, March 19, 2018

Mary's New Release

I’m excited to have Mary Martinez as my guest. 
Welcome Mary, we’re looking forward to hearing about your new release, Glenna’s interview by Jane Carver, and how to enter the raffle for a ticket to the Utah Readers Luncheon. Take it away…

Thank you for having me on your blog this week Judy! I’m very excited to be here. I just released my 6th book of my Beckett Series. I had meant for it to be my last, but alas the next generation protested. So on the horizon there are three more books lurking out there. First though I have a fantasy I’ve been dreaming of writing for years.

I thought it would be fun if a reporter from The Calistogan Weekly Trib, Jane Carver, interviewed Glenna Beckett today. Glenna is the featured Beckett in Abandoned (Book VI The Beckett Series).

Column: Local Celebs.
          By Jane Carver
Today I am going to interview one of our own. Glenna Beckett, owner of Glenna’s Surprisingly Vintage. Though she didn’t grow up around her, she’s made her home here in Calistoga and has become a very important member of the community. She helps with our Helping Others program, along with several other organizations. I’m meeting Ms. Beckett at her favorite place for lunch. The Calistoga Inn.

Jane: Thank you for agreeing to have lunch and chat. Do you mind if I turn on my recording app?

Glenna: No problem, as long as you don’t mind if I have a glass of wine. Interviews make me nervous. I’m afraid I’ll babble.

Jane: I don’t mind at all, I’ll join you. Just don’t tell my editor. (giggle)

Glenna: Lips are zipped.

Jane: Tell us a little bit about why you’re on the opposite coast of your family?

Glenna: I’m the youngest of six siblings, need I say more? Actually I love my family and I miss them. Most of the time. But when I was young, all I wanted to do was get away and be on my own without seven people telling me what to do.

Jane: Seven?

Glenna: The sibs and The Elders.

Jane: (Laughing) The Elders? We need to hear about this.

Glenna: All of us call our parents The Elders. So when I say seven, I mean my five brothers and sisters and my parents. I’m not sure who started calling them The Elders, though I suspect Christine. She’s the second oldest and a kick ass attorney.
Jane: Tell us a little about your family.

Glenna:  Tyler is the eldest he is a Federal Agent. He met his wife on a case, he had to take her into protective custody. And now she’s an agent also. Then Christine, as I said an attorney, she’s married to a NYPD detective, he is a friend of the family through Tyler and my brother-in-law Gabe, who is married to Jessica. But before her, Matt is next in line. He is not in law enforcement. He is an accountant, or something in Washington. He works for the World Banking Association or the WBA. And he met Bryn, his wife, there. Next is my sister Jessica who is a math teacher and an up and coming soccer mom. As I said she’s married to Gabe who is my brother Tyler’s partner at the Bureau. Then last comes my sister Reagan and myself, we’re twins, but she was born a whole five minutes before me. Reagan is a Special agent who does something with Cyber Terrorism. And there you have it. They all thought they knew what was best for me and they were pretty vocal about it.

Jane: Sounds great to me, I’m an only child. So we know why you moved out, by why California?

Glenna: I searched for universities to apply for, mostly as far from New York as I could find. But then I looked up Stanford and they had a large department for Humanities and Sciences. I love art and almost everything that was on their list of ‘major fields’ under that category. It was sort of a no brainer. And then I fell in love with Calistoga on a girls weekend to Napa my junior year. I liked Napa and Sonoma, but Calistoga won my heart.

Jane: How did you get into Vintage art and your shop?

Glenna: You mean how did I decided I wanted to open Glenna’s Surprisingly Vintage? I am not an artist. As much as I have tried with classes and anything else, I am only a passable artist. I still love to browse and find treasures that people give away. I love the masters, I love everything to do with art from artifacts to modern art. What better way to fund my collection habit than to open a shop and share. Though I do have a hard time parting with some things.

Jane: I’m glad you do share. I’ve found some treasures of my own at your shop. Thank you for chatting with me today. I do have one more question. I hear you’re engaged.

Glenna: (pause) Yes. We’re getting married in the fall. Lance is an art collector also.

Jane: Congratulations. Thank you again, I’ll be in touch to let you know what edition your interview will be in.

Glenna: Thank you for including me in your column.

         Abandoned (Book VI The Beckett Series)  


Glenna Beckett loves her family dearly, but being the youngest of six can be overwhelming. Moving across country helped her learn who she was outside the family. She’s built a successful business in the form of a quaint shop on Main Street of Calistoga, that sells a bit of everything vintage, the new age term for antique. What more does she need?

Then he walked into her shop. International playboy, Lance Gordon. After a whirlwind courtship he asks her to marry him. Burying a niggle of doubt in the pit of her tummy, she says yes. He’s even agreed to have the wedding in Brooklyn so her family can attend. But he never arrives.

Glenna refused to believe she’d been abandoned at the altar and asks her brother, Tyler, to contact an agent friend on the West Coast to search for Lance.

Patrick McGinnis can’t believe he’s walking into a prissy shop in the high end of the Napa Valley searching for a missing groom. The bride, Glenna Beckett, is everything he feared, drop dead gorgeous, and a spoiled brat. Not that he’d ever tell her brother that. He hates wild goose chases, and this mission is exactly that. Patrick’s certain the playboy fiancé is off wooing some other delectable creature.

Unfortunately, once Patrick started to dig, he finds there’s more to the tale and it will take all his skills as an agent to keep Glenna safe. Especially when the case takes a turn and threatens the safety of his son, Finn.

Buy Links for The Beckett Series
Disappear (Book I The Beckett Series)
Innocent (Book II The Beckett Series)
Quiet (Book III The Beckett Series)
Illusion – Utopia the Beginning (Book IV The Beckett Series)
Profit – Utopia the Conclusion (Book V The Beckett Series)
Abandoned (Book VI The Beckett Series)

Author Bio:
Mary lives in Magna, a little town west of Salt Lake City, Utah. Together with her husband, she has six grown children, and six wonderful grandsons and five beautiful granddaughters. She loves to spend time with family and friends--she includes good books as friends!

Mary and her husband love to travel, especially to the Caribbean for relaxing, and Italy for the wine. And most recently she discovered she was Irish and Scottish, of course they had to visit Ireland and Scotland. Mary fell in love with both, but the green hills of Ireland felt like home.  With the experience from the exotic places she has visited, she is able to fill her books with colorful descriptions of cities, painting a colorful backdrop for her characters. One of her favorite US destinations is New York/Brooklyn, where her beloved Beckett's live. When she visits, she can wander their neighborhoods, favorite parks, and visit their favorite pub, 

They are avid concert ‘Ho’s’! Yes, they pretty much want to do them all. They love outdoor amphitheaters the best and attend as many during the warmer months as possible.

Mary writes mostly romantic suspense, romance, women's fiction, and she has just begun to dabble in young adult mystery. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). During her writing career she has been a conference coordinator, workshop presenter, and chapter president for the Utah Chapter of RWA. In 2007 she was presented with the Utah RWA service award in acknowledgment and appreciation for outstanding service. Mary has also participated in numerous library panels on writing and co-presented a workshop on writing a series at the League of Utah Writers conference.

Mary and her husband are also enthusiastic college football fans. They have season tickets to the UTES, University of Utah Football and they tailgate every game. They love tailgating so much, that they were married at a tailgating in 1999.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Web site:
Google +: 

I would like to invite you to the Utah Reader’s Luncheon October 13, 2018. I am hosting a table with Judy Baker and Stanalei Fletcher. We are having a contest right now to win a place at our table. Join our FaceBook event for updates.

OR the link is:  Starts 3/19/18 and goes through 4/19/18. Good luck!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's Birthday

Today is Victor Fleming's birthday. 

Victor Fleming an American film director was born this day in 1889. He awarded us with one of the most popular films, Gone With the Wind, winning an Academy Award for Best Director in 1939, just ten years before his death in 1949. By the way, his other film that he received the award for was The Wizard of Oz. I love movies, especially movies from books that I’ve read. I do have my favorites books and movies. When I was teaching school in Atlanta, there was a special showing of Gone With the Wind at a theater. Remembering how much I enjoyed reading the book, I was thrilled to relive my favorite book on screen.

The poster I've had for years
I read Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell somewhere around 13 or 14 years of age. I really think that’s the time I became hooked on reading books that took me back in time. Mitchell wrote the novel in 1936, selling more than 28 million copies – can you imagine? So I was curious to know the authors listed for selling 100 million copies or more. Here’s what I found on surfing the internet, which means you might find a different list if you do a little searching yourself! After all, it’s the internet! 

Don Quixote: 500 million, fiction by Miquel de Cervantes 1605 (Spanish)
A Tale of Two Cities: 200 million, historical fiction by Charles Dickens, 1859 (English)
The Lord of the Rings: 150 million, fiction: fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien 1954-1955 (English)
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince): 140 million, fiction by Antoine de Saint-Exupery 1943 (French)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: 120 million, fiction, fantasy by J.K. Rowling 1997 (English)
The Hobbit: 100 million, fiction, fantasy by J.R.R. Tolkien 1937 (English)
And Then There Were None: 100 million, fiction, mystery by Agatha Christie 1939 (English)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: 100 million, fiction, fantasy by Lewis Carroll 1865 (English)

Any of these surprise you? What about Don Quixote? Hmm, not a book for me, but obviously a book for many!  

Many more books have sold over 50 million plus copies. Here’s a short list:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 1950
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 2003
Harry Potter: the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Goblet of Fire, the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince, the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (sold over 65 million each!) 1998-2007
The Bridge of Madison County by Robert James Waller 1992
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 1870
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 1908
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell 1877
Watership Down by Richard Adams 1972
Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White 1952

I'll stop here, the list is long! I’ve read many of these, some not so recently, like The Hobbit (read it back in college). Do you have a favorite on this list?
As a writer, I'm thinking fiction/fantasy is a great selling genre! What do you think?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Countdown to Valentine's Day

Countdown to Valentine's Day!

February 1 – 14, 2018


Books & More

1 - $100 Amazon gift card
1 - $  75 Amazon gift card
1 - $  50 Amazon gift card
2 - Kindle Fire's with Alexa

How can you win?

To enter,  follow the instruction at our site: HERE

For the next 14 Days there will be a book offer from a different author each day. 

My book is offered on February 6, Better She Die

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Origin of The Olympic Flame

I hope the start of your New Year has a positive one, promising to be a great year.  

While working on my project at hand, my fourth book in the Silver Sage Creek Novels, I’ve been doing research, which I enjoy and have to make myself STOP and get back to writing. Anyway, I ran across an interesting article that you might like to hear about – The Olympic Flame.

Come February 8, 2018 most eyes will be trained on their televisions, iphones, ipads, laptops, computers, Androids, and all the other technologies out there, at the Opening Ceremony of The Winter Olympic Games. We’ll be watching the parade embracing the world’s best athletes competing to achieve top-quality performances in all the winter games.

 What’s happening to the Olympic Flame at this moment? Did you know there are and have been 7,500 torchbearers taking part in the Olympic Torch Relay? Starting in November, 2017, following the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece, the torch started its long journey, byway of 17 cities and provinces throughout the Republic of Korea giving the host country along the route a chance to share and feel the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay

Not until February 9, 2018 will the final torchbearer of the lighting of the Olympic cauldron be revealed, the day of the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang.  

Here are a few, and I mean a few, facts about the origin of The Olympic Flame:

The Flame has its origins from the Ancient Greek Olympics. A fire altar burned in an Olympia sanctuary that was dedicated to Hera, the Olympian queen of the gods, the goddess of women and marriage. Many other fires were lit in Zeus’ and Hera’s temples throughout Greece, honoring the gods during Olympic Games.

Skipping ahead to 1928, during the Amsterdam Summer Olympics, the flame was lit at what used to be the same location of Hera’s temple, which at this time there was no torch relay. The recent tradition of bringing the flame to the host city from Greece started during the 1936 Berlin Games.

When Hitler and his Nazi Party, along with its aggressive foreign policy, took over Germany in 1933, Hitler was against hosting the Games. Celebrating any type of multicultural event wasn’t exactly his thing, considering he thought the inventors of the Games were Jews and Freemasons. Many thought he would cancel hosting the Games in Berlin, but Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels convinced him the event was an opportunity to show the world the superiority of their athletes.

The Secretary General of the Organization Committee of Berlin Olympic Games and Berlin’s sports administrator, Carl Diem, thought a torch relay would be a great means as a propaganda machine. Both Hitler and Goebbels thought it fitting to relay a torch from Greece to Berlin to show connections between Ancient Greece and the modern German Reich. Hitler believed that the Ancient Greeks were Aryan harbingers to the modern German Aryan people (Hitler and Aryan Myth could actually be another post). But moving on about the flame…

Did you know the torch has accidentally or purposely gone out during the relay? Now the torch has two different flames in it. There’s a visible one and a pilot light inside, including several miner’s safety lamps with the original flame lit in Greece. It isn’t uncommon for the flame to go out from rainstorms, strong winds, protests, pranks, and accidental extinguishing. Moving on, did you know there have been many, many torches used throughout the decades? Here are only a few...

There is so much more history about the Olympic Flame and if you’re interested, go to  I’m sure there are many more sites to read about the origin of the flame and including the origin of the Olympic Games.
Happy Researching,


Friday, December 22, 2017

Special Thoughts

Hope this special season is a good one for you. My prayers and heart goes out to those of you that have lost loved ones and for those that have lost so much in other ways. We know the world isn’t perfect, and the only thing we really have to hold onto is our love for our family and friends. 

This dream... Click Here

Sending to you and your family, peace on Earth and blessed joy in your world during the holidays and into the New Year. 

Merry Christmas.


By the way, all my Christmas Romance Novels are on sale for $1.99 through 
January 15, 2018:  Click Here

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,

Writing Tips


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