Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG - December 2017

It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Be sure to link to IWSG and display the badge in your post.

IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh

Every month, a question is offered that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional.

December 6 question - As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

IWSG's awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are Julie Flanders,Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Be sure to stop by and thank them for their time. 

I admitted to a friend a few days ago that over the course of the year I had lost my confidence. So much had happened safety and health-wise that I found myself waiting for the next bomb to drop. This dear friend looked at me and nodded. She said it was natural for me to feel this way. The problems I'd faced had come out of nowhere and continue as such for almost the entire year. One thing happened after another.

She helped me realize that I'm not the only one out there who feels this way. We sit here waiting for the year to end in hopes that all our fears will end with it. 

What is confidence? The ability to have faith and to believe everything will be alright. And don't we generally feel that way? Until stuff happens. And more stuff. Life isn't always compliant. Nor should it be. But while we're in the thick of things, it is very nice to have IWSG to go to. Thank you, Alex.

I recently signed up with promotion site called CarterNovels for a very reasonable price. They're placing the cover of my books and audiobook everywhere. For more info click on

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG: October 2017

It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Be sure to link to IWSG and display the badge in your post.

IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional.

IWSG's awesome co-hosts for October 4 are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

Please stop by and thank them for their time. 

After 5 months, I'm so glad to be back at IWSG. It's been a whirlwind year. For the last three days I've sat staring at this screen, though, wondering, now that I'm back what I could possible say to encourage anyone. The 90s and first 8 years of the new millennium were challenging, so I assume when life changed for the better at the end of 2008, I had survived because I was meant to help others by sharing what I'd learned. It was the reason I joined IWSG. Not once did I see that life wasn't finished teaching me difficult lessons. 

On a positive note: the sense of hopelessness that's hung around my neck all these months is finally gone. What took its place, I've yet to determine. 

Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I've gone to great lengths to never reveal anything personal into my characters. To do so would feel like a betrayal. Betrayal to whom, beats me; thoughts for another post, I suppose. I do know I'm incapable of not influencing my characters. After all, my stories come from me, and I'm a product of my existential judgements. 

While I purposely avoid using personal data from my life,  I did write a Vietnam War thriller after studying for months with a Crew Chief who served on a Huey during the war. He helped me understand exactly what the day in the life of a grunt was like, right down to the rotten crotch, bed bugs and the razor-sharp elephant leaves. I'll never be able to thank him enough for taking the time to help me, a young mother from small town Canada, write such authentic scenes. Little did either of us know that one day, many years later, my youngest son would serve in Afghanistan. I can still see the relief on his face when he understood that I was never going to ask him to explain what his days were like. 

Monday, September 25, 2017


Can't believe it's been 3 months since my last post. Much has happened that I won't go into now. 2017 has been a stressful year. While I am healing nicely from hip replacement surgery, ten days ago I fell backwards from the entrance to our RV and caught my ankle in the step. I torn three ligaments in my foot. And I was so close to walking without a limp! 

No sense crying over spilt milk. Focussing on what has been or hasn't been is never productive. Instead I'm reading your posts and learning all about your joys and accomplishments. Inspiring, yes. 

At IWSG, James Newcomb reveals his techniques for recording audiobooks. He has some great secrets to share. 

Alex Cavannaugh has a upbeat post about news, films and interesting sites. 

Your awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan! Please stop by on that date and thank them for their time.

HallowCon is a horror convention in Chattanooga, TN, taking place Oct. 27-29. Novels by Dancing Lemur Press are being offered as giveaways. 

Horror writer Keith Pyeatt celebrates 8 years with a $1.99 sale. 

Canadian writer, Careann's Musings, A Strange Start to September. Carol writes spiritual posts about the beauty of British Columbia's lower mainland. Her photography is outstanding. 

Crystal Ra Laksmi, Touched by the Mauna Kea. Crystal's posts are grounded in the wonders of being alive. 

Lynda Young, W.I.P. The Annual IWSG Anthology. You have until November 4 to enter. 

Long-time blogger, Hillary Melton Butcher shares a trip from Greenwich to Westminister in Positive Letters.

Alexandra Sokoloff writes about one of my favourite subjects: The Unreliable Narrator. 

Standing Into Danger, The Lansdowne Letters: The Unfairness, Unjustness, and Inhumanity of It All  I've been following Louise's blog for a long time and her letters are very moving. 

Giveaway at Mason Canyon's: Christmas At The Lake. 

I have a new website in the works, being created by professional web designer Sara Fraser. Can't wait to share it with you. 

Congratulations to everyone who has a new novel out. A huge congrats to Chrys Fey's mother. Her children books look wonderful, Chrys. Please pass along my regards. 

I'm also running a giveaway. When you purchase the audiobook version of my suspense thriller Matowak, send me proof of purchase minus the payment information and I'll send you my ebook Maski. Be sure to state which format you'd like. Offer ends midnight September 3oth. 

While I was composing this post, I had three visitors. Apologies for taking the photo through a screened window. If I'd gone outside for a better shot, they would have bolted. 

The Twins' ears are huge!

Happy Writing and Reading, Everyone. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

MASKI and MATOWAK giveaway

Mason Canyon is presenting a book tour for my audiobook Matowak: Woman Who Cries, and my ebook for Maski: Broken But Not Dead. I hope you'll take advantage of the free giveaways and visit the bloggers below. Have a wonderful Fourth of July and Canada Day, everyone. Stay safe.

We finally sold our house, so please wish me luck. My family and I are hosting an estate sale at Cluculz Lake June 30th - July 3rd.

◊ Maski: Broken But Not Dead
◊ By Joylene Nowell Butler
◊ Psychological Thriller
◊ Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press LLC
◊ eBook ISBN 9781939844385
To the Breaking Point…
When Brendell Meshango resigns from her university professor position and retreats to her isolated cabin to repair her psyche, she is confronted by a masked intruder. His racial comments lead her to believe she is the solitary victim of a hate crime.
          However, is all as it appears? After two bizarre days, the intruder mysteriously disappears but continues to play mind games with her. Taught by her mother to distrust the mainstream-based power structures, and with her stalker possibly linked to a high level of government, Brendell conceals the incident from the police. But will her silence keep her safe?          Then her beloved daughter, Zoë, is threatened and Brendell takes matters into her own hands. To save Zoë, Brendell searches for the stalker and confronts not just a depraved madman but her own fears and prejudices.
◊ Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries
◊ By Joylene Nowell Butler
◊ Psychological Thriller
◊ Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press LLC
A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…
                   When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder. The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.Danny finds himself with a difficult choice-indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…
The audio version of Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries is available through Audible and Amazon. Click on the links to hear an audio sample of the book. 

June 26 – Random Thoughts – Excerpt
Dreams, Goals and Adventure – Feature
Thoughts in Progress – Feature
June 27 – Mythical Books – Guest Post
June 28 – Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit – Excerpt & Feature
JBronder Book Reviews – Feature
June 29 – Hank’s Blog – Excerpt
June 30 – Reviews by Crystal – Excerpt
Pat Garcia Book Reviews – Review of Maski
Deal Sharing Aunt – Guest Post

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Moxie's Decision by Hank Quense!

I'm pleased to be part of author Hank Quense's MOXIE’S DECISION Blog Tour with MC Book Tours today. A blogging friend (and a delight to know), Hank has been a guest on this blog many times, adding satire and hilarity to my day. Hank has proven time again that laughter is the medicine for everything. 

Entertaining from beginning to end, MOXIE'S DECISION is uproariously funny and satire at its best. Selected as one of 2016's best YA novels: Huffington Post. It’s also a top pick! Indie Reader: 5 stars

You can enter to win a copy of MOXIE’S DECISION today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details below.

◊ Series: Princess Moxie (Book 2)
◊ Paperback: 306 pages
◊ Publisher: Strange Worlds Publishing (October 15, 2015)
◊ Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure,
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 0985779195
◊ ISBN-13: 978-0985779191

Moxie has a plan; she’s determined to rule as queen after her father, King Smedley, dies.
But Smedley refuses to acknowledge her as his heir. Her uncle also wants the throne and he’s already tried once to eliminate Moxie as competition.

Moxie recognizes she hasn't been trained to rule and she needs lessons about the real world. Moxie goes on a quest to learn how to rule and to learn about life outside the castle.
Moxie faces unexpected obstacles as she struggles with adventures in a brutal reality that tests her mettle and determination.
This is a fantasy coming-of-age story that is decidedly different than the usual ones. The book is filled with satire and humor. What more can a reader wish for?

It takes place against the backdrop of Camelot, but this isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe where the Knights of the Round Table play football and Guinevere coaches the team’s cheer leaders. The wizard Merlin struggles to understand the Magic of the Mind using primitive ink stained diagrams and Stonehenge is a theater-in-the-round.
Moxie’s rollicking adventures are the stuff of comedy. Enjoy!

Add MOXIE'S DECISION to you Goodreads shelf!


Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories.

He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of
articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie novel that takes place in the Camelot era.

He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.

Be sure to visit Hank’s Amazon Author Page:


This tour-wide giveaway (prizes courtesy of the author) is for five (5) eBooks copies (worldwide) of MOXIE’S DECISION and three (3) print copies of MOXIE’S DECISION (U.S. entries only). The giveaway ends at 12 a.m. (EST) on Monday, July 3.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. If the widget doesn’t appear, just CLICK HERE for a chance to win a copy of this fun book.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy stories with bits of fun blended in?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Featuring: Dreams, Goals and Adventures by Michael D. Ditton

I haven't been around much since I fell and broke my femur. Hip replacement surgery was successful, but immediately following that we sold our home of 25 years and need to be out before August 1, 2017. Yes, my world is spinning. I'm healing slowly, feeling a bit overwhelmed--BUT--I'm blogging today because today is special. 

I'm honoured to be included in my dear friend Michael D. Ditton's book tour for his book titled Dreams, Goals, and Adventure through MC Book Tours. I read Michael's book two years ago after meeting him at a La Cruz writer's group meeting in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico. I was so impressed with his story that I wrote a review. 

Michael is one of those rare people who comes into your life and brightens it immediately. He's known adversity, heartache, and pain, but he's risen above it. And now he wants to help others do the same. I hope you'll take time to check out this wonderful book full of inspiration, hope, and encouragement. I promise it'll lift you up.  

My Review: A Simple Guide to Obtaining Your Goals.

Dreams, Goals, and Adventure is a small book filled with wonderful insights into creating the life of your dreams, no matter the circumstances. Michael Ditton's shows, through examples from his own life choices, that anyone can obtain their dreams. It's not magic. It's not about money. It's not about fate or luck. Goals and dreams are obtainable through planning and determination. Adventure is the icing on the cake. It's about believing in yourself. Creating doable goals and taking a chance on life. It's about faith.

I loved how as a young boy Michael Ditton knew instinctively that if he wanted to make something of himself, he had to dream, plan, and do. Yes, sometimes bad things happen to good people, but with strength of mind, by removing "can't" from your vocabulary, you can overcome anything. Life won't give up on you, so why would you give up on life? I applaud Mr. Ditton for using excerpts from his own experience to help me understand that if I'm not where I want to be, it's me holding me back, nobody else.

Dreams, Goals, and Adventure is a wonderful book that ended far too soon. I read it in one afternoon. I was right there with him when he got the dream job of running a hamburger stand while still too young to have a driver's licence. I was there when he saw Alaska for the first time, along with its endless possibilities of adventure. I was there when his buddy yelled at him in Costa Rica that they had to go because their boat's anchor hadn't secured, and their boat was travelling backwards through the harbour without them.

The best thing I got from this book ... I reached the last page knowing that life is about embracing happiness over defeat, that never surrendering means being too stubborn to giving up. There is no end to where I'm capable of going. Thank you, Michael. 

Michael and Crystal in Hawaii living the Dream

◊ Paperback: 148 pages
◊ Genre: Self-Help, Motivational
◊ Publisher: BalboaPress (October 19, 2015)
◊ Language: English
◊ ISBN-10: 1504335880
◊ ISBN-13: 978-1504335881

From broke to retired in ten years . . .

Returning home from Desert Storm, I found myself mentally and financially bankrupt. Newly divorced, I had no job, no help, and no hope. My reasons to live were gone. At the lowest point in my life, I fell back on simple truths from my childhood: hard work gets results, and it's okay to dream. And dream I did, setting goals that launched me from poverty to a life I could not have imagined. And you can do it, too.
            Dreams, Goals, and Adventure will inspire you to dream big, work toward your goals, and live your life as an adventure every day.

* Don't be afraid to dream.
* Don't accept “no” as an answer.
* Remove “can't” from your vocabulary.
* Small goals are stepping stones to much larger goals.
* Learn how to spring forward from failure.
* Know you will have to adjust.
* Live life as an adventure.

"Your experiences are so extra-ordinary and you're fascinating
to listen to. Your speaking style is humble and respectful of both your role as a speaker and of your audience, as one would expect after hearing of what you were trained to do. If others would open their lives to adventure as you have they would love their life even more."
~Jim Cathcart, author of the bestsellers: The Acorn Principle and Relationship Selling. CEO of 

Michael Ditton is an entrepreneur, personal development coach, and student of life. In addition to helping others realize their dreams, he can be found sailing or traveling in search of new adventures.

“When met by unexpected challenges, embrace them wholeheartedly as opportunities for adventure and education.”

I developed Goal-Setting Basics to help others interested in learning how to set goals. In my twenties, I had to gather these valuable bits of information a piece at a time. This site offers you an array of information, tools, and resources to help you in identifying, setting, and accomplishing your goals, whatever they might be. In these tools are free worksheets and examples to help you succeed. You will find Goal-Setting Basics is your single source for all of your goal-setting needs.

Financial Independence means having control over your time
without worrying about the ability to pay your bills” … So many think they have to be as wealthy as Bill Gates to live a rich life, that is so far from the truth … Let me show you how.

Meet The Author Event, La Cruz

I was a dreamer from an early age. To this day I believe anyone can do whatever they choose to put their mind to.

I didn’t go from eight years old to semi-retired in the length of one sentence. Nor was it easy. But I did follow a simple, time-honored process.
I was in my twenties before I fully understood the true importance of goal setting. After that, I was able to be more focused, see where I wanted to be, how I was going to get there, notice when I needed to make adjustments, and had the satisfaction of reaching goals. I enjoyed the benefits of reaching a goal and putting a big, fat check mark on my list.

Here’s how those goals paid off:
At 8, sold vegetables door to door from my little red wagon
Age 13, supervisor, World’s Fare Hamburgers
Age 15, assistant manager trainee, Pizza Hut
Age 16, assistant manager, Round Table Pizza
Age 18, began a 20-year commitment with the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, retiring in 2005 as a staff sergeant and Desert Storm veteran. Over my service career I became a leader and was recognized and awarded for my achievements and outstanding service.
Age 20, found my true calling as a sales professional
Age 31, began a successful career in real estate and real estate investments
Age 36, semi-retired
Age 37, owned and operated several companies
Age 41, semi-retired, sold everything and sailed south on his 45’ sailboat

Although I found success at a very early age, I became painfully aware of how quickly it can all be taken away. In 1991, after I returned from Desert Storm, I found myself bankrupt, mentally, physically and financially and divorced.

It was the lowest point in my life. Four years later, I had clawed my way back to even, and started to build from there. Two years after that, following my roadmap of goals, I reached my first level of financial independence. The rest is history.

For more on Michael, you can connect with him at the following sites:

For those following his tour, Michael is offering a special price on the Kindle eBook format of DREAMS, GOALS, AND ADVENTURE at a reduced cost of just 99 cents! Readers can also get a FREE copy of Michael’s GOAL SETTING BASICS in the eBook format. For one or both of these special offers just CLICK HERE!

Thanks for visiting during Michael’s tour stop. Are you following your dreams?