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Crickets #mfrwauthor

When I saw the topic list for 2018, I knew from the start that I wouldn't complete all 52 posts. There were just some that were either too personal or not relevant. At first I thought this week would be one. The temptation to rant would be too much. However, I decided to write a few words. If you've followed me on this challenge and the one in 2017, you'll note that I tend towards darker thoughts.

First, I'd like to say I'm not a contest person. Maybe it's my Scotch blood but I never had an interest in gambling. Spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on contest entries to me was just throwing money away. Now you could say that you are paying for exposure, or the possibility of having an award sticker on your website. That idea never held much water for me, just as I wouldn't give away novel after novel for the privilege of exposure.

I admit that I experimented with contests as a method of promotion. It didn't matter if it was a cover war, a reader's contest, consideration for a publication contract, or for actual money. The result was the same.

It didn't matter if I was with a publisher where the authors swore to assist each or the entry was as an independent author struggling against the tide. 

It didn't matter how hard I promoted or begged for votes. The results were the same -- the sound of crickets. 

Now I choose to believe that the non-existent votes were not the result of poor design or poor writing. More than one author has expressed the feeling that many contests are popularity contests. A point to note, never in my life was I the popular girl. Never the lead cheerleader standing in front of the crowds, I was the one who did the grunt work to make the event happen.

Will I ever enter another contest? Maybe. Will I ever expect to win? That answer is for me to know and you to guess.

~till next time, be sure to visit the other authors in the challenge.


Hooked on Windmaster, An Enemy Engaged #MFRWHooks

(Book 1 of the Windmaster Novels

Prophecy decreed Ellspeth marry the Archmage. However, despite the attraction to him, Ellspeth’s heart fought the announced destiny. For to be with Lord Dal meant she had to take all that came with him, including magic. Love meant the loss of her ship and crew because to a mage the sea meant death.


The air tingled with Bashim’s presence three heartbeats before his raspy voice reached her. The warning was so subtle, if her senses had not been in battle mode, she would have missed the advance notice. “Greetings, Ellspeth, my little wizardling.”

Her pulse froze. Bashim knew her name.

The air thickened into the specter of a man. His dark hair curled tight around his head, and his cloak blew in the breeze. Except for the gaunt look around his eyes, he appeared little different from the sketch Dal showed her on the Sea Falcon.

“You should not have killed my brother,” Bashim chastised. “However, I forgive you. You will be a much better companion than him. You already know the price if you refuse me."

~ * ~

Windmaster - published by BWL Publishing

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Ebook and paperback Available At: Amazon / Amazon UK

We're all hooked on books. Click on a link to hop to the next blog.


Never Say Never #mfrwauthor

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Week 11, that means the third month is almost done. Nine more to go. If you're a James Bond fan you might remember  "Never Say Never Again." No matter how much we swear not to do something, life is not always under our control. I was going to write about several moments in my life that I would not want to repeat: planning the funeral of a family member, watching the towers fall, and from my professional life reliving the destruction of two projects each of which represented decades worth of work. One project ended because another author published a similar book and his collection of artifacts was more impressive. The other project died because the new leader of the organization denied history existed before him and since the anniversary wasn't about him, he unilaterally cancelled everything.

But the official topic was "If I Never Had To Do This One Task Again." So I will focus on the word "task." A task I will gladly say "never again will I" tell someone that a friend or loved one had died. It never gets easier.

In the vein of things that aren't fun to do, announce to the world that an anniversary celebration a year in the making will not be held.That memory is still too raw so I will go elsewhere

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Now for the record, I actually like to chop wood and shovel snow. However, I would not want to redo the snow clearance of the Blizzard of 2006. It wasn't the tasks of shoveling the driveway, nor the three hundred feet of sidewalk, or even the narrow path to the elderly neighbors front door that puts the task on the list. It was the tossing of the snow onto a pile that was several feet over my head. Then doing it again and again when the snowplow knocked five feet of the pile back into the driveway. And did it not once, or twice but several times until I finally stood in front of the driveway and refused to move. I never want to have to stand firm again.

In a postscript, every time we see on the news that another winter storm is hitting the area, we are glad that we moved. The town had taken out the one-stone wide slate sidewalk which practically cleared itself and replaced it with a 100-foot long and more than six-foot wide concrete sidewalk. Way too much to shovel within the 12-hour stopping of snow law.

That's my story. Hope you'll visit the other authors in the challenge. ~till next time, Helen