Chance to Win $25 Amazon Card

Today and tomorrow are your last chances to sign up to win a $25 Amazon Card from Celebrate Lit. All you have to do is visit these sites, read the great reviews for Alice’s Notions, and sign-up to win. It’s that simple.

Blog Stops

May 11: Genesis 5020

May 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 12:  Inklings and notions

May 13: Carpe Diem

May 14: Christian Bookaholic

May 15: A Reader’s Brain

May 16: History, Mystery & Faith

May 17: A Bakers Perspective

May 18: Have A Wonderful Day

May 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 19: Jami’s Words

May 20: Mary Hake

May 21: Daysong Reflections

May 22: Vicky Sluiter

May 23: Bigreadersite

May 24: His Grace Is Sufficient

Click here to purchase your copy.


Picking the Bad Guy

by Carole Brown

Most stories have a bad guy, or at least the loser for the maiden heart, etc. etc. Since I write burglar-thief-freemystery and/or suspense, I ALWAYS have a bad guy and sometimes more than one. Many times I’ll start out with one in mind…and lo, and behold, someone else insists that, “I’m your man!” Wow. A surprise for the author.

Let me give you a couple examples from my own works.

In one of my books, I had a young man–a twin, no less–planned as the culprit. But the farther I advanced into the mystery, someone else stood out in bold outline as the person behind all the evil deeds. Yes, the first one, the young man, was a bully and easily swayed by the wrong companions, but it was soon evident, that the real mischief maker was the guilty party.

In the second book I want to use as an example, there was a planned harasser, a bully and a person who believed a lie. He was a very bad trouble maker, the perfect patsy of an antagonist for this book. But, again, I got a surprise when a quieter person, one most would never suspect ended up being the “bad guy” of this story for a different, one might even call it, more sinister reason.

What do you do when your characters change from one thing to another? Well, you go with the flow after reasoning, digging into the message and plot of your book, and deciding that it does make sense to listen to the characters, but most of all, to your heart that validates the changes will truly make your book more interesting.

What do you do when your characters tell you that that certain changes will strengthen your writing? Do you listen?

Check out my two cozy series to see if you can spot the changes I’m talking about here.

The Denton and Alex Davies series:book-cover-centered-small

  • Hog Insane


  • Bat Crazy





The Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series:sabataged-christmas1-front-cover3

  • Sabotaged Christmas
  • Knight in Shining Apronfront-cover1-w-apple-blossom
  • Undiscovered Treasures

Happy Reading!

Five Ways to Stay Healthy in Winter

by Carole Brown

It’s easy to get into a sluggish routine during the winter season. To fall into habits we shouldn’t have. Our health is vital and important to our jobs as servants of the High King! Here are five ways that can help us, as much as possible, to be at the top physically:


Eat well. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?  But in the winter months, it’s oh so easy to allow ourselves comfort foods that are, perhaps, delicious, but filled with fat, salt and sugar. Instead, focus on eating soups and stews loaded with veggies and lean cuts of meat. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals.


Stay hydrated. With the cooler weather, it’s easy to forget that our need for water doesn’t diminish. Try for at least two liters a day. If your taste for plain water isn’t abundant, then go for herbal teas.


Get plenty of sleep. Proper sleep can help keep the body’s immune system healthy and to fight off colds. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can affect one’s sleep, so avoid these. If you have trouble falling asleep or remaining asleep, try regular and moderate exercise, relaxation techniques and/or establishing a regular sleep routine which might improve sleeping.


Watch the Weight! As more and more years go by, even small weight gains begin to add up. Ditching the exercise as well as the salads during winter is not a good idea. Tempting as it is to hide behind bulky winter clothes, you’ll be much healthier if you stick with your exercise plan and a healthy diet year around.


Boost your immunity.  Although it’s important year around, winter time has its own difficulties with colds and influenza. Supplements containing herbs and nutrients such as echinacea, garlic, vitamin C, and zinc will help to support healthy immune function.

Next week, we’ll talk about some other ways to stay healthy in winter! What is the most important item you’ve found that keeps you healthy in the cold weather? 

Stop…and Revitalize!

by Carole Browngerm-free

Flu! Colds! Draggy! Depressed! Just totally worn out!

Has winter and the “illnesses” associated with this season caught up with you? Do you find yourself wishing Spring would put its running shoes on and get a head start? 

So do I at times. Here are some tips to help keep you mentally healthy during the long, dreary months of winter: 

  • Get plenty of rest. And yes, I know we get so busy at times that our immune systems weaken and that’s why viruses and colds and the flu catch us “unaware.” Make sure you get the sleep your body requires.


  • Stay active. Many who don’t particularly enjoy winter and cold, hibernate inside, and that’s okay, sometimes. But don’t forget to get some exercise even inside your residence. Don’t let the cold encourage you to neglect the walking, running, or whatever you are so faithful to during good weather. Climb the stairs, do sit ups, run in place, use your exercise machines, buy an exercise video, or whatever else works for you. 


  • Stay active mentally. As those who know me know, I’m an advocate for making lists. Not only do they keep you organized, but they are encouragement in what I call mind-happiness. So make your lists, add some things for fun, and then check those items off as you finish them. You’ll find your mind feels more relaxed and your body less stressed.



  • Get out. Visit with friends and family. Go to some activities for fun and work. Volunteer. Find a fun temporary job (if you’re older). Go out to eat and if you’re by yourself, study the scenes around you. Go out to lunch at a nearby cafe, if you’re an author, for lunch and take your laptop or tablet, and write while sipping your favorite beverages. 


Make your own sunshine! What? Yep. Don’t let the cloudy skies get you down. Stay positive by staying active, getting involved, make your lists, get plenty of rest and think of others. Even implementing a few of these will cheer your heart, put a sparkle in your eyes and a little warmth in your cheeks. Before you know it, Spring will have sprung! 


How do you overcome the winter time blues? 

P.S. Coming the next two Fridays: some great hints on staying healthy physically!



Helpful Books for Authors and a visit from Becky W. Waters

by Carole Brownbecky

I’m happy to host Rebecca Waters, author of Breathing on Her Own and the Writing to
series today on this post. She’s a sweet and fun author friend, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading a little of her writing life. 

Q. How long have you been writing? What led you to become an author?
A. I have been writing ever since my second grade teacher published one of my stories in our school newspaper. Through the years I wrote stories for my children. I put to paper the stories my grandmother told me concerning our family history and more academic articles and reports to the department of education than I care to count. When my husband and I decided to retire, I decided to become the author I knew existed inside me. I decided to get published.

Q. Where did you start and how did you get published?
A. I actually sat down and wrote out a business plan for myself. It included a plan to write daily including short stories, articles, and freelance pieces. I called these my exercises. As a result I published:

  • two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul,
  • two articles in The Lookout magazine,
  • one article in the Christian Communicator, and
  • an article in a publication for church libraries.

These early publications started as “exercises.”

The second part of my business plan included an education element. I needed to learn more about writing, editing and publishing. To this end, I researched the field online and attended a writing conference in Wheaton, Illinois called Write-to-Publish. I pitched my novel to Eddie Jones of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and soon had a contract for my first novel.

Q. You’ve mentioned the “business plan” a couple of times. You recently came out with a series for writers called Writing to Publish. I know the first book is about writing a business plan. Tell me more about the series.

A. Happily!

  • The first book is called Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing. It is a handbook—a practical guide if you will, to help writers create a road map to becoming published.
  • The second book is called Marketing You and Your Writing 101. Most new writers are surprised at the amount of marketing they need to do even if they are with a big publishing house. This book starts with basics and gives authors practical steps to take to keep the marketing game from overwhelming them.
  • Book 3, Writing with E’s explores five habits every serious writer must develop to meet with success. Hint: All five begin with the letter E.



Q. What was your biggest challenge after having your first book published?

A. The first and biggest challenge for me was to not get too full of myself. Let’s face it, getting a contract for a book is pretty heady stuff. When it is released, it’s hard to not make it the topic of every conversation. It’s kind of like having a baby or grandbaby. You want to tell everyone and show pictures and have everyone tell you your “baby” is beautiful and wonderful and so on and so on. But then the next biggest challenge hits you and pulls you back to earth: Marketing your book. Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned.




Rebecca Waters’ freelance work has resulted in articles for Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Lookout Magazine, The Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, and Home Health Aide Digest. Prior to publishing her first novel, Breathing on Her Own, Rebecca was a college professor and speaker on the Ohio Writing Project circuit.

Here are the full  links:

Breathing on Her Own

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing

My blog, A Novel Creation can be found on my website

Thank you, Becky, for sharing your book with us today! 

What I Love About January!

by Carole Brown


January can be a long and dreary month, especially when snowbound. But this year I want to look at it positively, so I’m choosing to find ways to LOVE this month. Smiling. Here goes, and hoping you’ll find your won reasons to love this cold month (at least in the north. Lol):


  • I have special birthdays this month of two people I adore! My second son, Jon, and his son, Jonathan. They both mean the world to me, and because they were January babies, it makes the month lighten up. A great reason to enjoy this month.


  • Snow. I know. I know. I hate traveling in. I hate traveling on ice and slippery roads. But snuggled up at home, or watching the winter activities of the younger set, makes me smile. The softly falling flakes are beautiful, and besides, what better season than winter to capture some fantastic pictures? 


  • January is the beginning of a brand new year. Almost everyone sets goals or hopes to achieve better or more results and, at least for a time, strives toward gaining those desires. For me, I picture a brand new slate, ready to fill with wonderful new experiences and adventures. 


  • January means I have twelve whole months–the good Lord above willing–to achieve my writing goals. This year?

I hope to finish and see published the second book in my WWII series: A Flute in the Willows. It’s nearly there…

I’m hoping I can finish the third book in my Denton and Alex Davies Mystery series: Daffy’s Duck. I’ve made a great start; now we’ll see how that goes. (Fingers crossed, but determination is burning brightly!)

Next on my writing list desires is to write and finish the FOURTH book in my Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series. It’s just beginning, but I’m so excited to give this one a shot because, with this one, I’m focusing on the man as the main co-protagonist. (The first three had a woman as the main co-protagonist, if that makes sense! 🙂 ) I’m calling it Toby’s Troubles and promises to be another fun, entertaining book with some mystery tossed in for good measure!

Lastly, for this year, and this one might mean a toss up between it and the previous one listed, is to write the finishing touches on a historical romantic mystery that shouldn’t take too much longer to finish. Title? Caleb’s Destiny


  • Lastly, this month I’m beginning to increase my relationship with my Savior. I want to study the Bible more, pray frequently, and allow my faith to grow stronger. I want to remember that the sun is always shining–even when I can’t see it! 

Happy, happy New Year, and a continuing good year!

New Books on the Block

By Carole Brown

One of the best moments in an author’s life is when a book of theirs releases. And probably one of the top pleasures it gives those who love to encourage, is to share the reward of a new book out from a fellow-author-friend. 

Today I want to share with you some new books that recently released and hope you’re intrigued enough to check them out! Here goes…



Coloring Journal. Author: Sharon A. Lavy.

Why should you buy this book?

  • Throughout history, successful people have kept journals.
  • Writing letters and keeping a diary is an ancient tradition that dates back to 10th century Japan.coloring-journal3


  • We now know that journaling has a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, and modern psychologists contend that regular journaling strengthens the immune cells.
  • Many artistic types swear that three pages a day of free writing by hand boost their creativity.




  • Couple that with the accepted benefits of coloring for calming stress relief and we recognize the usefulness of providing a combination coloring journal.
  • As you fill the following pages with your thoughts and your unique style of expression, please dwell on the goodness of the creator and His great love for us.

Remember, Sharon has a many Adult Coloring Books for your pleasure and relaxation. Do check them out here: 

Sharon A. Lavy’s Amazon Books


* * *


Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing (Writing to Publish Book 1)

Why should you buy this book? 

  • Do you see yourself as a writer?
  • Is your dream to publish?

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing helps you create a map you can follow to make your dream come true. The examples, reflective assignments, and challenges walk each reader through the process of constructing a thoughtful and achievable plan. While the handbook offers examples of structure, it is in no way formulaic. The plan you design to be a published author is customized to fit your personality traits, your specific gifts, and your busy life.

Check it out HERE:

Rebecca W. Water’s Amazon Book

THERE you have it! Some books to catch your attention this month! Enjoy.