Thursday, September 21, 2023

New Release: The Weighmaster, by Bart Ambrose


Find it on Amazon HERE

Sean O’Conner returns home as a decorated hero after being wounded and surviving intense action as a commando behind German lines on D-Day, 1944. He suffers the heartbreaking loss of his parents while in a British hospital and decides to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona. His first case is to investigate a girl gone missing from a transients’ cotton picker camp west of Phoenix. The seemingly routine disappearance leads Sean down a twisting and dangerous path to a man known as the Weighmaster and a mysterious place called the Orange Palace. His efforts reveal the Weighmaster's vicious kidnapping of teenage girls from the cotton fields to sell them into prostitution in a human trafficking operation that leads through the Orange Palace to organized crime in Detroit.

Sean’s relentless efforts to find the missing girls lead to attempts on his life and more tragic personal loss as he pursues the Weighmaster. The two men become locked in a revenge-fueled struggle that only one will survive.

The Weighmaster will keep you turning pages to follow the perilous investigation and breakup of a criminal organization that leads from Detroit to Phoenix and finally deep into Mexico.

Bart Ambrose was born in Phoenix and grew up on an Arizona cotton farm. He spent long nights on the farm reading novels and teaching himself to play guitar. Books such as Moby Dick, The Grapes of Wrath, The Old Man and the Sea, and many others gave him an early appreciation of literature and a desire to one day become an author.

Bart worked as a natural resource conservationist after graduating from Arizona State University. His work took him all over the western U.S and the Pacific Basin where he gained a special appreciation for the land, history, and cultures of the region.

Along the way, Bart performed as a guitarist and vocalist with several groups in Arizona and California. His interest in songwriting led him to Nashville after retiring from his career as a conservationist. He spent many years in “Music City” writing songs, coaching other songwriters, and teaching guitar for songwriters.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The joys of Arizona living... or, when the bugs attack - by Vijaya Schartz


ANGEL GUARDIAN - October 2023 release
The extreme heat this summer has brought another problem to Arizona. BUGS. Big ugly sewer roaches, looking for comfy air-conditioned places with pet food aplenty and well stocked kitchen pantries.

Sunrise from my balcony
Unlike private homes that can be tented, mega apartment complexes are not easy to control. I’m talking about twenty-two large three-storied buildings totaling over 870 apartments.

So, they recourse to drastic measures, doing sweeps building by building, asking residents to remove everything from drawers, cupboards, pantries, closets, and even linen drawers, for an extreme fumigation operation. It’s backbreaking work, like moving out, then moving back in, on very short notice. Everything is supposed to be piled up on couch and bed, or on the balconies, and everything must be covered with tarps or sheets, or blankets, to protect it from highly toxic fumes. Not conforming to the instructions carries steep fines and a do over.

Of course, you have to leave the apartment for four hours, and pets are to be removed from the premises…

And they are planning a follow-up in a week, but without the backbreaking work of moving everything out. Although, it will require leaving the premises for four hours again.

And all this is happening while I’m polishing my next novel, ANGEL GUARDIAN, to be released in October.

I was afraid King Pasha would panic, but he took all these upsetting events in stride, like a champ. Not a peep, not a complaint. He remained perfectly cool in his pet carrier, and took a nap in the management lobby, while I was working on my book.

But don’t worry, everything will be fine in the end, and ANGEL GUARDIAN promises to be an exciting story, with epic battles in space with angels and demons, Mythical goddesses wreaking havoc, and a hero with amnesia, who doesn’t know he is an angel.

amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

In the meantime, you can read ANGEL SHIP, the first book in this series, although all my series novels can stand alone. You can also read the sister series, Azura Chronicles, and the Byzantium space station series. Happy reading!

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amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats

Thursday, September 7, 2023

New Release: Nurse Florence(R), What is a Heatstroke? by Michael Dow


Find it on Amazon HERE

Sometimes it seems only a nurse can bring technical information down to an understanding that an ordinary person can grasp. The Nurse Florence(R) book series provides high quality medical information that even a child can grasp. By introducing young kids to correct terminology and science concepts at an early age, we can help increase our children's health literacy level as well as help to prepare them for courses and jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We need more scientists so I hope that many children will enjoy this book series and consider a job involving science. Introducing Some Medical Words to Kids in Every Book

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

What Are You Reading? by Kathleen Cook


I love Pat Conroy; as one reviewer put it: “Few writers write as well, but none as beautifully.” He has a way of making everything so real, so earthy, so gut-wrenchingly emotional. You always finish the book with a sense that you’ve been part of something special, and that in some small way, you understand humanity just a little bit more than you did before reading his work.

 South of Broad is one such example. Set in Charleston, South Carolina, against the backdrop of high school romance, murder, suicide, Hurricane Camille, loss of loved ones and sexual predators, the book enfolds you in a lifelong friendship from High School through later years. The bond between this group of friends remains strong throughout the decades, with each one willing to sacrifice, in adulthood, to find one of their childhood friends. A lost lamb riddled with AIDS, they hope to bring him back to die in his Charleston home surrounded by love.

The author obviously knows Charleston very well. As someone who lived as a teen in the Carolinas, I can relate to the sights, sounds and smells and attest to their authenticity. South of Broad is hilariously funny, painfully heartbreaking, an upper and a downer all wrapped into one. In the end, however, you can’t help but believe that the world is a beautiful place because there are still good people in it, friends who will love you forever no matter your sins.

Kathleen Cook is the Arizona Authors Association Editor as well as its Website Administrator.  

Thursday, August 24, 2023

New Release: Rescue Ranch Rising by Haidi M. Thomas


Find it on Amazon HERE

Samantha Moser rescues horses…horses with the power to heal. She’ helps troubled teens and veterans with severe PTSD through her passion and her equine friends. Harsh Montana winters, abandonment by her fiance, in addition to limited finances, dishonest contractors, and a disastrous barn fire turn her dream of a healing center to ashes.

When the man she loves doesn’t appear to share her feelings, she’s left to overcome a mountain of doubt and fear alone.
Once again, Samantha is at a crossroads in her life. Can she reignite her romance while resurrecting her dream from ashes, or will she have to choose between them?

About the author, Heidi M. Thomas: 

Raised on a ranch in isolated eastern Montana, Heidi Thomas has had a penchant for reading and writing since she was a child. Armed with a degree in journalism from the University of Montana, she worked for the Daily Missoulian newspaper, and has had numerous magazine articles published.

A tidbit of family history, that her grandmother rode steers in rodeos during the 1920s and 30s, spurred Heidi to write three award-winning novels based on that grandmother's life: Cowgirl Dreams, Follow the Dream, and Dare to Dream. She also has published a non-fiction book, Cowgirl Up! A History of Rodeo Women. Seeking the American Dream and Finding True Home are based on her mother who emigrated from Germany after WWII. A new series following the next generation of the Moser family begins with Rescuing Samantha and the sequel Rescuing Hope.

Heidi is a freelance editor, teaches community writing classes, and is working on the next book in her "Rescue" series.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

New Release: At What Cost, Silence?: The Texian Trilogy, Book 1 - by Karen Lynne Klink


Find it on Amazon HERE

Adrien Villere suspects he is not like other boys. For years, he desperately locks away his feelings and fears—but eventually, tragedy and loss drive him to seeking solace from his mentor, a young neighbor Jacob Hart. Jacob’s betrayal of Adrien’s trust, however, results in secret abuse, setting off a chain of actions from which neither Adrien’s wise sister, Bernadette, nor his closest friend, Isaac, can turn him.

At What Cost, Silence presents two contrasting plantation families in a society where strict rules of belief and behavior are clear, and public opinion can shape an entire life. Centerstage are the Villeres, a family less brutal than the Harts, but no less divisive. Often-absent Papa Paien Villere guards several secrets he has kept from everyone—including one which could destroy his entire family. Years after Jacob’s betrayal, Adrien falls hopelessly in love with his former mentor’s erotically precocious and beautiful young sister Lily—whose father has affianced her to a wealthy older man.

What will happen if Lily’s violent brother learns of Adrien and Lily’s clandestine affair? Will Adrien aid in freeing Isaac―an enslaved Black man―as promised? Will Bernadette find the unconventional life she seeks? Or will their entire world end as states secede and war creeps ever closer?


“Klink has written a rousing chorus of a novel, creating an intricate song of life in antebellum Southeast Texas. At What Cost, Silence?  tackles complex questions related to power, enslavement, and the legacy of violence. . . . There is a yearning that burns bright in all the characters and propels the story forward at an engaging pace.”
—Kate Anger, author of The Shinnery

At What Cost, Silence is a family saga that transforms the way we see the past, turning over little-known stones of history by focusing on the antebellum world of East Texas. This is both an epic novel spanning decades of history, culture and politics, and an intimate, passionate tale of love and morality, rooted deeply in the contradictions and complexities of its many characters. Klink has captured it all with great care and compassion and understanding.” 

—Molly Gloss, author of The Hearts of Horses

"Karen Lynne Klink’s At What Cost, Silence? oozes with deep southern charm and boiling point angst as she breathes life into a colorful cast of mid-19th century Texans on the cusp of the Civil War. Her descriptive language, lively dialogue, and swift pacing enhance this multi-faceted narrative. An impressive debut!”
—Ashley E. Sweeney, award-winning author of Hardland

About the author:

Karen began reading before entering first grade and began her career drawing imaginative adventures in the margins of schoolwork which, unfortunately, few teachers appreciated. 

After completing her formal education at Kent State University and San Diego State, her love of nature sent Karen to wandering the U.S. west and parts of Mexico and Central America hiking and backpacking before settling in Tucson, Arizona, with her cat buddy Dickens. Although she enjoyed minor success as a watercolor painter, she discovered her true passion when she began writing fiction at the age of sixty. Her interest and experience in psychology and therapy inform her writing about individuals who persevere through difficulty and crisis in order to become stronger and accept themselves for who they truly are. Karen is a child abuse survivor, and humbly hopes her stories give readers pleasure and confidence to face their own difficulties, knowing they are not alone. 

Karen believes in taking risks, for this is how we grow. With over fifty years of overcoming her own fears and challenges she hopes to help others find their own true selves, to not only survive, but to thrive.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Arizona heat... not a joke - by Vijaya Schartz


Sizzling summers are the norm in Phoenix, Arizona. This year, however, we are setting new records. We have been named the hottest place on Earth, with the highest consistent heat records in night and day temperatures, going for over three weeks now.

I remember being amazed as a newcomer to the Valley of the Sun, when people actually fried eggs on the sidewalk to prove their point. The excuse of “but it’s a dry heat” didn’t seem to matter then. Yet, it was child’s play compared to what we are experiencing this July.

My cell phone keeps running out of juice. At first, I thought it was the phone, then I learned it’s only the heat. Part of normal life in Phoenix Arizona.

This year, both ABC15 News and Channel 12 experimented with cooking a pizza on the dashboard of a car parked in the sun. It took four hours, but these pizzas were thoroughly cooked. I don’t want to think of how the inside of the cars will smell for weeks to come.

But besides the funny experiments, the heat is no joke. Over the last three weeks, 18 people have died from the heat… another record. The mountain trails are closed, public services are distributing cold water on the streets. The many homeless souls living in tents on the sidewalk are being evacuated to air-conditioned centers, but many refuse to leave their tents.

Several fans waiting in line for a concert at the stadium had to be treated for heat exhaustion. Their phone batteries overheated and drained from the heat. Some clever concert goers kept their phones in the cooler with the ice to avoid drainage. And the stadium allowed them to bring sealed bottles of water inside.

We are eagerly waiting for the monsoon rain, praying that it will come and cool things out a bit. But be careful what you wish for. With the violent monsoon storms come the power outages, the floods and the mud, and the cars carried away by the current.

Yes, this is a bus, swept away by Arizona monsoon flood (courtesy of ABC NEWS)

Did you know that in Arizona we have a stupid motorist law? It’s true. That’s its official name. It states that you should not cross a flooded stretch of road. And if you do, you are subjected to a steep fine. The reason is that the water is always much deeper than it looks, and a car can be carried away by the current in six inches of water. Many have lost their lives in such accidents, yet, still some drivers are stupid enough to take their chances.

Stupid motorist law - Courtesy of

But for now, we just want relief from the sweltering sun.

Stay cool out there. Stay indoors with the AC, grab a book, and escape to cooler places, like space. Find all my books at these venues: amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo 

Happy Reading.

Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
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Thursday, August 10, 2023

Nurse Florence®, What is Atrial Fibrillation? by Michael Dow


Find it on Amazon HERE

Sometimes it seems only a nurse can bring technical information down to an understanding that an ordinary person can grasp. The Nurse Florence® book series provides high quality medical information that even a child can grasp. By introducing young kids to correct terminology and science concepts at an early age, we can help increase our children’s health literacy level as well as help to prepare them for courses and jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We need more scientists so I hope that many children will enjoy this book series and consider a job involving science. Introducing Some Medical Words to Kids in Every Book

Monday, August 7, 2023

Three Punctuation Errors That Plague Me - By Jennifer Wren


I’ve just spent hours doing tedious global “Find and Replace” searches to correct several punctuation errors that continue to torment me. I look up these same rules on average about once a year and then find myself making the same mistakes over and over. I am hoping that looking them up yet again and writing them down here for you will finally cement them in my brain!

1. SINGLE SPACES BETWEEN SENTENCES: My son, who teaches writing at a university in New York City, admonishes, “Mom, the use of two spaces at the end of a sentence is archaic.” Oh gee, now I’m not only old, I’m archaic! Here is the RULE: after a period, question mark, exclamation mark, quotation mark, or ellipsis (anything that signifies the end of a sentence) USE ONLY A SINGLE SPACE, not two as you may have been taught in typing class. In fact, if you use two spaces it automatically dates you as having learned to type on a typewriter prior to the advent of computerized word processing. Yes, I am that old. [Hint: To autocorrect these, do a “search and replace.” In the search bar, type a period followed by two spaces, and in the replace bar, type a period with one space. Repeat this process using a question mark, exclamation mark, quotation mark and ellipsis.]

2. LOWER CASE DIALOGUE TAG: You can find people who argue this until their faces turn red and their hands curl into fists, but the rule nevertheless is a RULE: After a dialogue fragment OR sentence, start the tag with a LOWER CASE LETTER (unless it starts with a proper name). Example: “That’s a bunch of crap,” he said. I’ve even had MS Word autocorrect and put in a capital, so I go back to the Internet and confirm: use a lowercase! BTW, periods always go INSIDE the quotation marks and most often, commas do as well. Semicolons and colons are never placed inside quotation marks unless they are part of the direct quote.

Remember, if dialogue ends in a period but has a dialogue tag added, switch to a comma. Check the example: “That’s a bunch of crap.” he said. You’ll note that this is incorrect because the dialogue ends in a period with a tag added. Switch to a comma as shown in the previous paragraph. However, look at the following example: “That’s a bunch of crap!” he said. This is correct. Don’t you just love English?

3. PUNCTUATING AN ELLIPSIS: If you want to indicate a pause, pregnant or otherwise, you may use an ellipsis. RULE: It depends. In most fiction, an ellipsis is THREE dots in a row, no spaces between, with spaces before the ellipsis and after it. The last space is eliminated if the ellipsis ends at a quotation mark. Example: “But I thought …” You can see a space before the ellipsis but not after, since it ends at a quotation mark. Take another example: “But I thought … you knew.” In this case, there is a space both before and after the ellipsis, but no spaces between. (Note that if you added a dialogue tag to that quote, you’d switch the period after “knew” to a comma.) In nonfiction and formal writing, you may see ellipses written with spaces before, between, and after them. They are still three dots (although in certain circumstances there may be a period before or after the ellipsis, which makes it look as if it has four dots). Everyone warns against overusing this handy little device, as it becomes very tiresome for a reader to see that a character, or worse, all the characters can’t seem to speak in a full sentence! Example: “I … don’t know … maybe … it’s just that I … you know ...”

I hope this helps some of you and if you want to argue with me, that’s okay too. Maybe I’m still getting it wrong, but I tried to find at least 3 sources to confirm each rule above.

Arizona Authors Association member Jenny Wrenn lives in the Canelo Hills of Arizona in the borderlands with Mexico. She writes speculative fiction, paranormal romance, and poetry. With degrees in zoology and medicine, Jenny has always lived an outdoor lifestyle full of adventure, with a fascination for the natural world. All of these flavor her writing. While she hasn’t yet published her novels, she admits to having “four or five sitting in my computer.” The Association looks forward to their future release. 

Friday, July 28, 2023

New Release: Nurse Florence® Why Do We Have to Drink Water? by Michael Dow


Find this book on amazon HERE

Sometimes it seems only a nurse can bring technical information down to an understanding that an ordinary person can grasp. The Nurse Florence® book series provides high quality medical information that even a child can grasp. By introducing young kids to correct terminology and science concepts at an early age, we can help increase our children’s health literacy level as well as help to prepare them for courses and jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. We need more scientists so I hope that many children will enjoy this book series and consider a job involving science. Introducing Some Medical Words to Kids in Every Book

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

New release: Casseroles, Can Openers, and Jell-O: American Food and the Cold War, 1947-1959 by Elizabeth Aldrich


Find it on Amazon HERE

An "all-you-can-eat" tour of American life in the postwar period, told through the foods we loved.

Casseroles, Can Openers, and Jell-O provides insight on how American food culture developed during the early years of the Cold War. Highlighting gender roles, the promotion of democracy and capitalism, and the impact of mass market advertising, the book draws on cookbooks, popular magazines, television advertisements, government publications, and industry pamphlets to paint a vivid picture of what Americans ate and how food was enlisted as a symbol of America’s postwar dominance. Featuring eighty recipes, the book shows how the food industry promoted new processed foods to an increasingly industrialized nation. For anyone wanting to better understand how America’s food culture developed during the mid-twentieth century and for those who were raised on TV dinners and Campbell's soup, the book offers an engaging and evocative look at the story of American cuisine during the early years of the Cold War.

Elizabeth Aldrich is Curator Emeritus of Dance at the Library of Congress. She is the author of From Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Dance.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Science fiction is becoming science fact - by Vijaya Schartz


The race to space is suddenly a reality, like the gold rush of old, and everyone wants a piece of it. 

As a Science fiction writer and science fact enthusiast, I am excited by the many advances in space exploration.

According to the scientists and experts studying our chances of survival as a species, it seems that sooner or later, our planet will suffer a fiery end or near end, with the next extinction event, which is already overdue… eventually… in a century or ten thousand years.

Be it a space rock from the Kuiper belt, like the one that ended the dinosaurs, or a mega solar flare, or the consequences of pollution, the next pandemic, or the end of natural resources due to overpopulation, we are doomed. In truth, our very presence is destroying our planet.

But we also discovered that our galaxy harbors billions of habitable planets, that Mars was once similar to Earth, with an atmosphere, and water, and green forests, and may have supported civilizations. And that its end may have been the consequence of wars between ancient, advanced races... which destroyed another planet, resulting in the debris of the asteroid belt.

The Mars Rover

No wonder the US decided to establish a Space Force as a branch of the military. But we are not alone. Other rich countries are suddenly financing extensive space programs, to establish permanent bases on the moon and Mars. 

Blue Origin capsule

Private companies are building rockets and shuttles to take us there. They also plan to exploit the mineral riches contained in the asteroids floating around our sun.
SpaceX Dragon capsule

The Chinese and the Japanese are already ahead of the US with a robotic presence on the far side of the moon, lunar satellites, and their own space stations. Nations are recruiting volunteers for a one-way trip to whatever real estate on Mars, the moon, or an asteroid on which they can stake their claim. Like the pioneers of old, adventurous souls with the right kind of expertise and survival skills, are lining up to volunteer. Already, nations are holding talks on how to divide the spoils.

Asteroids in the Kuiper belt are full of precious minerals

Robots will go to Mars first, to build the habitats needed to sustain human life. Then humans will follow.

Soon, bases on the moon will be manufacturing spaceships with the metals mined in space and will serve as Earth’s launchpad for Mars, and farther scientific and/or corporate exploration.

The Byzantium series is set on a human space station
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As a science fiction author, writing about a galaxy already colonized and populated by humans, living alongside other races, I can imagine the excitement of these early days of exploration, the dangers, the failures, and the victories. The first encounters with more evolved civilizations, what we can learn from them…

It won’t take very long, but we may not all be able to take that trip to the stars. In the meantime, you can read about exciting space adventures in my books.

The Azura Chronicles are set on an alien planet 
amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo

Happy Reading!

Vijaya Schartz, award-winning author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats
amazon B&N - Smashwords - Kobo FB 

Monday, July 3, 2023

New release: Cosette and Oreo: The Case of the Night Raiders - by Caren Cantrell


Find this book on Amazon

Will Oreo be sent back to the shelter?

Cosette's dream comes true when she rescues Oreo from the animal shelter. Now she has a little dog to play with and love. But messes keep happening in their home - overturned trash cans, half-eaten cakes, and spilled flour bags. Cosette's mom is sure Oreo is the one creating all the trouble. Mom threatens to send him back to the shelter if Cosette can't make him behave.

Cosette knows Oreo is a good dog. He wouldn't have made any of those messes. She'll need to use all her detective skills to find the real troublemakers and save Oreo!

A fun book about the love between a child and her adopted pet. Cosette's curiosity and her desire to keep Oreo lead her to find a way to solve the mystery and uncover the real culprits. Included are two activities your child can do at home to hone their own detective skills - writing secret messages with invisible ink and lifting fingerprints.

As an author, Caren Cantrell writes books for children. She has numerous picture books published to date, and she also writes an eBook series for Kindle called Planet Discovery Books for Kids under the pen name Matthew Taylor.

Her business is 102nd Place. Here she assists others who wish to indie-publish to get their books out to the world. She provides ghostwriting, editing, interior design, and cover development services. When she’s not writing or visiting with her eight grandchildren, you can find her on the golf course. She lives in Cave Creek with her husband, Bill and their little dog, Daisy.

Find out more about Caren on her website HERE

Monday, June 26, 2023


 Knowing that artists and other creative professionals join the Arizona Authors Association, I use this column to explore both technical and creative means by which our members can expand the effectiveness of their personal and professional experiences, as well as the impact of the works they produce. 

In my last article, I discussed the promotional as well as sales opportunities provided by trips beyond our home area. Regardless of whether speaking engagements are included, travel can offer multiple chances to introduce ourselves to the general public and professionals who may work in fields related to ours.

By planning our journeys with care, we should be able to enjoy each phase of our travel experiences. There’s no way of knowing who or what we may encounter along the way, but I can state positively that I have established new readers and organizational contacts, with whom I have remained in touch beyond our initial meeting, at events or at points along my journey. 


As we move into the third quarter of the year, the majority of us are facing a considerable increase in the heat we will experience on many days. Therefore, when deciding to embark on a trip for personal and/or professional purposes, I urge you to choose aspects of travel that can serve multiple purposes. Despite the challenges of the season, are there variations in the potential pleasure of the very mode(s) of travel you choose? Which mode may provide the greatest likelihood of meeting people with whom you will enjoy conversing, and who may prove useful in enhancing your journey and even future life experiences?


At this time of year, there are a multitude of literary events in which authors and readers of their books can partake. Some are one, two, or more days in length. Even if you are unable to participate personally, you may be able to schedule someone from an organizing body to man a booth for you—or at least a slot of time within the event. If you are a member of the organization, you may not need to pay for such services. Conversely, depending on your circumstances and schedule, you may want to hire someone to represent you for one or more occasions. If so, you may need to sign books in advance that will be offered for sale, or provide book plates with your signature.

 Because people often take vacations at this time of year, families (that believe the perils of COVID have abated sufficiently) may choose to schedule a large gathering. Even when such an assembly may seem wholly personal, there will be opportunities to announce one’s latest project and/or upcoming events featuring our books or other artistic creations. At this time, two members of my husband’s family are regular readers of my Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian mysteries. With their expressed disappointment that there has not been a new offering since COVID, I have been pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Yen for Murder, the fourth volume in the series.

Companies and community organizations also use this time of freedom from schooling and/or work to plan teambuilding events that may include their employees’ family members. In addition to participation as an organizational member, you may find such events ideal for your complete or partial sponsorship. Perhaps there will be an event flier, ad, or brochure in which you can place promotional images or text. You might have images of yourself or one of your creative projects printed on T-shirts for members of something like a little league soft-ball team.


In several articles, I touch upon the importance of one’s appearance in our interactions with the public. Often, authors and artists feel there is no reason to be concerned about the look they project. In fact, many feel that projection of a casual (or even lackadaisical) look is an indication of their artistic professionalism. To this perspective I ask, “How does such a choice leave a positively impressive memory of you...and the potential quality of your work?” An opposite argument can be that the elegance of one’s dress and coiffure might indicate that one’s work is not equal to one’s appearance.

Admittedly, there are times when a less-than professional appearance is appropriate to our activity, such as hanging an art exhibit, or dashing to a printer to finalize materials required for a public showing of our work. However, one’s preparations for an event are not complete until we are prepared to greet other professionals and attendees of the event.

I recall an instance when the director of a large metropolitan event completed technical preparations for the annual occasion almost single-handedly. Unfortunately, he subsequently appeared on television disheveled, wearing the same attire in which he had moved sets and furniture throughout the day. While the focus of the evening was admittedly on its participants, it would surely have helped the image of, and support for, its sponsoring organization for him to look professional.

Beyond toiletries, cosmetics, and emergency items of clothing, I suggest that we carefully plan how we will look throughout a journey—and at the events in which we may participate. Since it is possible that our luggage may not make it through every phase of a trip, try to carry essential items for maintaining the quality of your “look” on your person or in a handbag and/or carry-on pieces. If you are using a vehicle to transport clothing and promotional materials, you will need to check that the items on which you will rely are available at each point at which you stop. Men may often find it useful to pack multiple ties, handkerchiefs, and cufflinks. Beyond the packing of items for our toilette, dressing, and promotion, it is also useful to carry materials for cleaning stains as well as a small sewing/repair kit.


While business cards are the traditional staple for greeting people one may meet, authors and artists have more visually stimulating pieces to distribute during our travels. I have found it particularly useful to wear a jacket with pockets. During the warm seasons of the year, this means wearing one that is not heavy, or even lined. One friend, who is an artist, always makes a point of wearing a scarf or jacket that offers one or more images of her work.

For me, the ideal choice is wearing something that offers an image suggestive of Hawai`i. In my pockets I carry folding business cards and bookmarks with images of my mysteries. In my handbag I usually have fliers describing the mysteries and/or special events or releases of new work. Sometimes I even carry small packages of candy or nuts from the islands. But because one cannot know who may have allergies to such items, they must be packaged and kept away from other objects I might distribute.

Wishing you the best in your creative adventures, 

Jeanne Burrows-Johnson, author, narrator, consultant, and motivational speaker
For more ideas to aid your career as an author or artist, visit:
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Jeanne Burrows-Johnson is an author, narrator, consultant, and motivational speaker who writes works of fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of the award-winning Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mysteries, featuring pan-Pacific multiculturalism and history in a classic literary form that is educational as well as entertaining. She was art director, indexer, and a co-author of the anthology Under Sonoran Skies: Prose and Poetry from the High Desert. Drawing on her interdisciplinary experience in the performing arts, education, and marketing, her authored and co-authored articles have appeared in literary, professional, and general readership publications such as Newport This Week, Broker World, the Hawai`i Medical Journal, and The Rotarian.