Conflicting View on Bestsellers

Which philosophy do you ascribe to?


A best-seller is the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.
Logan Pearsall Smith

Sir, no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
Samuel Johnson


Write What You Want To Read

Surely all authors must do this, right?  I know I do.  Otherwise, where would be the joy in doing it?


“I write what I would like to read–what I think other women would like to read.  If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian Mountains cry and she writes and tells me about it, especially if she says, “I read it to Tom when he came in from work and he cried, too,” I feel I have succeeded.”

Kathleen Norris, on the publication of her 78th book

“Pulls You In”

Chasing Nightmares CoverMy novel Chasing Nightmares got a nice review earlier this month on Goodreads.  Here’s a few of the reviewer’s comments I’d like to share with you:

“Pulls you in and keeps you anchored. The characters each have their own individual personality.”

“Intriguing enough to make you want to know more”

“The world Deb creates is full of deep imagery that makes you wonder where she will take you at each new turn in the plot”

“I enjoyed the book and look forward to seing what follows for Deb.”

via Goodreads – Chasing Nightmares

To read the whole review, click here to go to my Goodreads page.

To read all reviews on Amazon or to buy the Kindle version, click here.

To buy the epub version, go to or

To buy the paperback version go to or


Attend to Your Custard

In case you want to follow Mrs. Cornelius’s advice from last week and serve a “nice boiled custard” with your Apple Island, here’s one of her custard “receipts.”


Put a quart of milk into a tin pail or a pitcher that holds two quarts; set it into a kettle of hot water. Tin is better than earthen, because it heats so much quicker.

Put in a few sticks of cinnamon, or three peach leaves. When the milk foams up as if nearly boiling, stir in six eggs which have been beaten, and two spoonfuls of white sugar; stir it every instant, until it appears to thicken a little. Then take out the pail, and pour the custard immediately into a cold pitcher, because the heat of the pail will cook the part of the custard that touches it, too much, so that it will curdle.

This is a very easy way of making custard, and none can be better. But in order to have them good, you must attend to nothing else until they are finished. You may make them as rich as you choose.  A pint of milk, a pint of cream, and eight eggs will make them rich enough for any epicure. So, on the other hand, they are very good with three or four eggs only to a quart of milk, and no cream.

NEW! Short Story Collections

I’ve compiled some of my favorite short stories that I’ve written over the years into two volumes that are now available on  If suspense novels aren’t your thing, I hope you will check these out instead.

Weathering the StormsThree shifts in thinking. Three women who weather life’s storms with dignity and determination.

BAREFOOT ON BLUEBERRY ISLAND: Looking for peace in the laugh of a loon
THE NEST: A mother and son negotiate loss
NEW MOON: It’s hard to say goodbye, unless he makes it easy for you.

An Amazon e-book – $1.99

You can find all my books at:



Short, sweet, not so sweet, or not too short—how do you like your short stories? A collection of odds and ends.

CUTTING EDGE: The more things change, the more they stay the same  ROASTED: Too much caffeine can make a reporter a little suspicious SANTA CLAWS: Cats believe in Christmas, too CANOE TRIP DIARY: Who wouldn’t want to get back to nature? HOW TO START A BUSINESS: How to succeed without really dying MAGIC HANDS: A mini-fairy tale for grownups

An Amazon e-book – ONLY $.99

Apple Island

From the Young Housekeeper’s Friend, another sweet “receipt” which Mrs. Cornelius calls Apple Island.


Stew apple enough to make a quart, strain it through a sieve, sweeten it with fine white sugar, and flavor it with lemon or rose.

Beat the whites of six eggs to a hard froth, and stir into the apple slowly; but do not do this till just before it is to be served.

The apples should be stewed with as little water as possible.

Put it into a glass dish. Serve with a nice boiled custard, made of the yolks of the eggs, to serve with it.

My Very Own Books

Sherlock Holmes may only be a figment of Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination, but he plugged into reality with the statement below.  Which really good books of your very own did your writing life start with?  I collected the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series as a child, which is when I started writing.  I’m sure there were more books before then, but my best early memories are of my mom making up her very own stories for me at bedtime.

One story in particular sticks out. It was about a poodle that somehow got lost and the scene that lingers is the one where the poor dog had to pee and was embarassed at having to hide behind a bush to do so.  Hmm, I wonder if that’s why I had a shy bladder all through grade school?


It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.

Sherlock Holmes, 1887 to infinity and beyond