IMG_2779I love making cards. It’s the way I fill my creative well. And it serves a dual purpose. Making the card makes me happy and giving it makes me happy. I hope the same emotion comes up for the people who get the card. I made this card as a thank you for a group of young teens that sing in church about once a month on Sunday morning. I am usually the kind of person who copies item for item and colour for colour but this card I thought up myself. Helps to have good supplies. I get all my stuff from a site called Papertreyink. Fabulous dies and stamps, paper and ink. Since I’ve discovered that site I’ve spent a little too much money…..but it’s for a good cause, right?

Spring Scavenger hunt is over

scavengerhuntWow!!  The  Spring Scavenger hunt is over and it was a great success. Thanks to all the people who stopped by and entered my contest for my books and cards. Congratulations to Alecia W. who is the winner of the books and cards. And congratulations to the overall scavenger hunt winner, Jamie G. Enjoy your Kindle and the books that came with it! Two runners up, Jean F. and Melanie S. will also be getting a copy of one of my books as well. I sure had fun with this, hope you all did as well. I’m sure we’ll be doing this again so maybe next time will be your turn.

Spring Scavenger Hunt – Welcome to Ruth




Spring Scavenger Hunt Stop #27

My guest today on this stop on your Spring Scavenger Blog hunt is Ruth Axtell Morren.




Ruth Axtell Morren wrote her first story when she was 12 — a spy thriller — and knew she wanted to be a writer.  Ruth’s inner journey of faith parallels her outward journey — seemingly circuitous, sometimes wandering in the desert — yet ever-guided by the Good Shepherd. Living in rural Maine has given Ruth an opportunity to learn to start a fire in a woodstove on a cold winter morning, shovel snow and realize how many stars are in the sky at night.

Ruth Axtell

Welcome to my blog and to the hunt, Ruth. You have been writing for awhile. I know I have a bookshelf full of writing books. Why don’t you tell me which ones are your favourites and why?

writing books 004 Over  the years, writers have recommended numerous writing books and from these recommendations I’ve developed my own list, based on what I’ve gleaned from them as I’ve read and studied these books.

Here are the ones I’ve kept on my shelf to return to again and again whenever I begin a new manuscript:

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. I think this is the one that most helped me to craft a “saleable” story. Swain taught me how to build effective scenes and combine them into chapters. He shows a writer how to create tension in these building blocks of a story so that the reader will keep reading.

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein.  As a longtime editor, Stein has analyzed what works and why in commercial fiction. He shows the writer through examples how to evoke emotion in a reader; how to engage a reader from the first line of a book; how to “show” and not “tell” a story; how to create characters that readers care about; and how to plot a story that ups the ante with each chapter.

Self-editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. Written by two former editors, this is a relatively short book which goes over the nuts and bolts of writing (characterization, plot, dialogue, etc.) with examples (of both effective and not-so-effective writing) drawn from both published and unpublished works, including classics.

Dare to Be a Great Writer, 329 Keys to Powerful Fiction by Leonard Bishop. A bestselling author in his time and a writing coach, Bishop packs a lot of how-to information in a dictionary-type book where you can look up all sorts of topics in writing (examples: “Write Visually” and “Create Authentic Dialogue”).

How to Write a Romance and Get It Published by Kathryn Falk. This is an oldie, which has probably since been revised. It was the first book I read when I first started this writing journey. Each chapter was written by a then-popular romance writer (some of whom are still publishing today) on every aspect of the romance genre, from teen romances to how to prepare a manuscript for submission.

These books have helped me analyze my own writing and make it better (I hope!) It has helped me read my manuscripts through another lens, showing me what will slow down a story, what is not necessary, and how to tighten the tension in what works.

Thanks for the information, Ruth. I know I have a few of them myself that I like to recommend.  Ruth has a new book coming out,  A Heart’s Axtell_finalRebellion. It’s one of the books to be given away in the contest.

Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she’s ready to take fashionable society by storm–and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it. When things go too far, Jessamine will learn that the man who is faithful through thick and thin is more worthy than the one who speaks pretty words. But will her disgrace keep Lance from reconsidering her as a wife? And when tragedy strikes and Lance becomes his father’s heir and a titled gentleman, will he think she only wants him now because of his title?



Thanks for stopping by my site on this stop on the Scavenger hunt. Before you move onto # 28, Ruth Axtell Morren’s site, be sure to write this down as your clue for stop #27:

tells us

The Scavenger hunt begins and ends at It ends on April 6 so you’ve got all weekend to complete it. You need to collect a clue, written in red, at each stop and write them down as you go. First prize includes a Kindle Fire HDX and a $100 gift certificate. Two Runners up will receive all 32 of the books.


Also, if you want to be entered to win the prize I’m giving away here on my own blog, click on the Sign up for my Newsletter on the left side of my site. Thanks and good luck.


And here are the books to be given away for the scavenger hunt:


I’m so dizzy

bookstore-el-ateneo-2I love this picture. I takes my mouth water and my head spin. There are so many choices available here. I would love to wander around here, pull books off the shelf, look at them, revel in the newness of them and try to decide if this is an adventure I want to partake in. But on the other hand, I find this very overwhelming. How in the world is someone supposed to walk in here and choose a book. Or two. Even five would be an ordeal. I’ve been to stores like this and walked out with nothing. Too much to choose from makes it harder to choose. But I also find this a tad depressing. As a writer, my books end up in stores like this. And I see as all the work I’ve done, all the hair I’ve torn out trying to make this story work, all the chiclet-shaped dents in my forehead from banging my head on my keyboard – all lost in the immense offerings of so many other writers. How is someone going to possibly find my little book in all of this? I try not to think of it too much, even though I like the picture. I have to keep my focus on the work I have to do and try to make this book the best it can be. That’s all I have control over. Me in my little corner of the world. So I hope, if you ever end up in a store like this, head on over to the romance section. Check out the A authors. Pull my book out and give it a bit of attention. You can put it back if you want, but at least it got some recognition. Thank you for your consideration.