What Hooks Me to a Book #Wednesday Words #Open Book Blog Hop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I don’t judge a book by its cover. When I read or hear about one that sounds interesting, I read the synopsis. If I find the book  on Audible and am not familiar with the author or narrator, I play a sample to get an idea of the style of writing and narration. Because of my limited vision, I have difficulty reading Kindle samples. So, I hope for the best. I never return a book if I don’t like it because I still want to support the author.

Once I start a book, I can’t always guarantee I’ll finish it. If a book contains too much strong language or too many vivid descriptions of sex or violence, I no longer care about how it will end. If a book turns out to be too unbelievable, it’s not worth it for me.

I have a nasty habit of letting myself get too drawn into a story. Over and over, I tell myself it’s just a book and the characters’ tribulations are not my problem, but that doesn’t always work. Sometimes, a story keeps me awake at night, and I can’t let it go. If I have a bad feeling about how a book will end, I don’t finish it because I don’t want to know.

When I was younger, I enjoyed reading mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and even some horror stories. Now, I’m more selective about what I read. Isn’t it interesting how tastes change as we age?


The above was inspired by Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop question for this week. If you’d like to participate, click here.


Today’s the day. I’ll be performing at noon Mountain Standard Time at the Wyo Theater here in Sheridan, Wyoming, as part of our local senior center’s live music streaming series. The event will be held virtually on Facebook, but even if you don’t have an account, you should be able to watch my program live by clicking this link. Please share this information with all your friends. I hope you can come.


By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.


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Thursday Book Feature: Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Mastering Suspense, Plot, and Structure

By Jane Cleland

Copyright 2016


From the award-winning author of the Josie Prescott Antique Mystery series comes a how-to manual on creating gripping stories that leave readers on the edges of their seats. Jane Cleland provides what she calls a road map on working suspense and other elements of fiction into a story. Assuming you’re already working on a novel, each chapter offers an exercise to help you apply what you’ve learned to your own work. At the end, she emphasizes that if you follow her instructions, you’ll write books that sell and are loved.

At first, I was skeptical when one of my writing groups decided to read this book and do the exercises, sharing the fruits of our labors to our email list. I don’t read or write thrillers or mysteries or any kind of book with a lot of suspense. Once I got into it though, to my surprise, I found myself applying what I’d learned to my own novel, The Red Dress, which is now in the hands of the publisher, DLD Books. Jane Cleland’s methods can also be applied to short stories. So, if you like to write fiction and are looking for ways to improve in this genre, I definitely recommend this book.


My Books


My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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