But like many endings, it also heralds the beginning of a new blog. 

For all of you who have commented, read, or just peeked at Just another day in the life, I thank you with mucho big thanks!

Please stop by and visit my brand new blog and website. http://authorshawnathomas.blogspot.com


This sucks.

Why am I still reading it?

I’ll answer that question later.

Have you ever had trouble getting into a book? Did you ever wonder why? Did you keep reading? As a writer, these questions are important to me. Namely because I never want a reader to think this about one of my books.

Okay. Now to answer the questions– I told you I would. Have I ever let you down?

Well, that’s easy. I’ve read several novels by a certain author… in fact, I think this was the 5th or 6th book I’d read and I know he can write. Boy do I know he can write. So I knew it had to get better. So I trudged through the first half of the book, making myself read, waiting for the payoff. Why? He’d already sold me. I was reading the author, not just the book. I had confidence in him and his writing.

Which leads me to another lesson. If it had been his first book, I may have still finished (because I’m anal about things like that) but I would never have picked up another written by him.

First books are like first impressions, they stick with you.

You might think I’m going to say to make sure your first book totally rocks the house. I’m not. The problem? I could have just as easily picked up this book first. If so, I’d have never read the other 5 which I thoroughly enjoyed.  

So my point? Every book counts. If it’s the first of the fiftieth, make sure it rocks the house.

The good news?  Once you have a following, if one of your readers stumbles through one of your books, chances are, it’s not going to break the relationship.

 Consistency is the key.

As a writer, what lessons have you learned by reading?

As a reader, do you continue to read a book that just doesn’t grab your interest?

Friday funnies.


Here we are, already discussing the future President of the United States, beginning with the Year 2013. For those of you who would like THE VERY BEST choice for President, we have a solution: It is probably time we have a woman as President.

One choice is a very special lady who has just about every answer to assist in helping us to solve our problems. PLEASE give this a thought when you have a moment… Don’t just take my word. Learn where she stands on some very important issues.

Maxine on “Driver Safety” “I can’t use the cell phone in the car. I have to keep my hands free for making gestures.”

Maxine on “Lawn Care” “The key to a nice-looking lawn is a good mower. I recommend one who is muscular and shirtless.”

Maxine on “The Perfect Man” “All I’m looking for is a guy who’ll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and then go away. Or wait nearby, like a Dust Buster, charged up and ready when needed.”

Maxine on “Technology Revolution” “My idea of rebooting is kicking somebody in the butt twice.”

Maxine on “Aging” “Take every birthday with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita.”

MAXINE FOR PRESIDENT! Very eloquently put… don’t you think?

I’ve always loved horses. I love everything about them. I went through that horse stage in early adolescence; had horse figurines; read every book in the Black Stallion and Misty series; always wanted one. Still do really. But growing up in the city, I’ve never really been around horses

I’ve been on the back of a horse three times now. The first time I was about 10 years old: “Here, sit on here. (the saddle ) It’ll steady ‘em.” The “em” being the horse that was about to get its feet inspected. Oh yeah, and the little thing stuck in the frog, let’s just dig that out. By holding on to the mane, I managed to keep seated through the first buck. The stirrups dangling way below my grubby tennis shoes were no help. The owner grabbed the halter just before the second try to throw the little girl from the saddle. It’s a good thing too. I think the first was practice.

Second attempt a year or so later: “This is a gentle horse, we’ll just walk.” Okay… this time the stirrups were actually adjusted for my feet, reins in hand… hey it’s kinda cool. I could get used to this. How do you make this thing turn? Then my companion (and her horse) decided to trot down to the birch trees by the river. Well, my horse wanted to tag along. Did you know you have to hold on really tight with your thighs? I didn’t.

Third attempt five years later:

Mom–You should really go out with this guy. He’s nice.

Me–Sure why not?

Guy– Let’s go horseback riding.

Me–Sure, why not?

Get there and guy decides to ride double bareback. Well… okay, he knows what he’s doing, right? I get to sit closer to the head, further away from the slope that is a horse’s rear. It’s all good. We ride through the orchards, he decides to trot. I remember to hold on really tight with my thighs and um… there’s no stirrups. That kinda helps you stay on the horse but so far so good. Then the horse decides to run. Guy pulls back on the reins then… he’s not there. A second later, a weightless feeling and lack of warm hairy flesh (horse not guy) is followed by the solid impact of California hardpan. I look up. Horse is nibbling on grass a few yards away. Guy is laying on the ground in the other direction. Except for a throbbing pain in my knee, I seem to be okay. I make my way to the guy. He’s bent over. Says, “I think I have a concussion. Guess I shouldn’t have picked I forgot horses name. He hasn’t been ridden in over a year.” I almost kicked him… maybe would have if not for the throbbing knee.

Fast forward to yesterday. Husband says, “Babe, I’d love to go horseback riding with you.”

I’m back

Please don’t tell me you didn’t notice I was gone… ; )

For the last few months, I’ve been:

A. Extremely busy

B. Locked out of this account

C. Working hard on my non-fiction

D. Publishing two more books under my pen name

E. Falling in love!!!

F. Contracting a The Devil You Know with Carina Press!!!

G. Dealing with one sick kid after another!

Leave me a comment if you want to know more about any of the above. I’ve missed you all!

 Have you ever struggled to continue reading a book? Skip a few chapters to read ahead, go back, read a bit more, skim again. Look longingly at the next book in the TBR pile that is starting to look really, really good? It happens.

Not too long ago, I was reading just such a book. It took until page 100 or so before it really grabbed my interest. And then I got to thinking—because that’s what I do—Why was it so hard to get into the story? I like to learn for other author’s mistakes whenever possible because I make enough mistakes of my own, so I really thought about it. 

The writing was good, the characters were interesting, but there was just a little too much world building. Too many details in which I was not interested. Now I realize that might be is subjective. You might be very interested in those details. For me, they just weighed down the book. Nothing was happening. That’s why I kept reading ahead. To see what happened, because I knew something had to happen sometime.

It cemented in me the importance of action in any genre. I think it’s admirable when an author plans his or her world out. I love maps, realistic means of transportation and currency, customs and sense of history… but that’s flavoring, not meat.

I don’t need to know that a fence lies between the river and the farm and that the fence still has new-looking boards from the time Uncle Pete got so drunk on ale he couldn’t see the wheel barrel until he fell in, careened down the hill, through the fence and into the river. Sure woke him up in a hurry.

Details like that add character, flavoring to a story, but too much… have you ever over salted a roast?

 The salt so overpowers the taste of meat that it ruins it. And I think that’s what this author did to the first 100 pages of his novel and that leads to the next question.

Why did I keep reading? I’ll answer that one later.

Have you ever had trouble getting into a book? Why?

The ick

I am sitting here with a hot cup of some cold preventative stuff fizzing on my desk.
I think it’s too late for it to prevent, but I’m hoping it kicks some virus butt anyway.
You see, this is the second time in the last 3 weeks that I’ve had the ick. Considering I’ve only been ‘better’ for 4 days, that’s frustrating.

My youngest was sick, then the oldest and now the 9 yo, but did they come down with the same ick? No, like any well-adjusted child, they all have a strong sense of individuality and came down with separate icks.

What that means is that I’m cycling through all of them one at a bloody time.

I wish I had something profound to say about that and I’m quite sure it ties into writing somehow, but I’m short on creativity today. Any suggestions?

That said, I am so enjoying the rainy/cloudy grab-a-jacket weather. Just last week it was 103!

I hope your week is going well!