Sunday, October 31, 2010

November-December News

Where has summer/early autumn gone?  It’s almost November and there are so many upcoming activities that it’s hard to concentrate on my writing.  For the next 7 weekends, we’re participating in art shows, literary conferences or book signings.  And then there’s a major election just 3 days away!  Ay Yi Yi!

Piñata Publishing now has a strong E-pub presence.  Mike has placed our titles on Kindle and also on the Barnes & Noble Nook.  We’re very pleased about customer sales through that medium.  I, personally, have still not gone that route, but certainly understand why others do.  I just love the feel and smell of physical books.

I’m rolling now on the writing of the Eliza Pinckney story, as yet untitled.  I think perhaps I’ve written close to one-third of the book.  Of course I’ll be re-writing, editing, writing again, etc. but it feels good to finally be inside her head.  I’d love to have more time to spend on just writing, and know that it will come.

Our last title, “Splendid Isolation” was selected as a finalist for the 2010 USA Book News’ Best Book Awards in the Biography: Historical division.  We are so happy about being chosen for this award.  It’s a national honor where we competed against traditional publishers as well as independents and small presses.  Mike and I are always delighted when small and independent publishers are award winners.  We strongly support them, as we support independent films and bookstores.  

A lot of traveling in our imminent future.  Please check out our Event Calendar on to follow our journeys.  We’d love to visit with you in the venues near your homes. 
Enjoy your fall season and the start of winter.  Be safe in your travels.  And have a very blessed holiday season!

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


It’s September 1, and I’m writing my BLOG on time! I think this may be a first! Summer is fading into a cooler fall here in coastal Georgia and we’re so ready for that! Wonderful things have taken place during the summer months as our business and book sales grew proportionately. Three of our books are now being distributed in France by an American/European press. We feel so grateful for our many blessings!

We’re also grateful to be living on Jekyll Island. Found a wonderful song/slideshow  that expresses what we feel. See what we mean and enjoy!

Mr. Richard Freeland from Suite 101 wrote an interesting review on Splendid Isolation coining a word I particularly liked in describing the writing style.

Splendid Isolation weaves a spell centered around the Jekyll Island of the late 1800's and early 1900's. You could call it "faction", a historical novel told from the perspective of the Jekyll Island Club employees, and how they perceived their employers - men like Rockefeller, Goodyear, Pulitzer and Morgan, who met on Jekyll Island every year for some down time from their empires. Their actions while on the island were instrumental in creating history - notably the Federal Reserve. A great read that will open your eyes to how actions from the past impact the future. One of the best Jekyll Island books on the list.

So would you say a “faction” is historical fiction with action? Or factual historical events? Either way, I like it.

I spent about two weeks over the summer in Charleston, S.C. researching my next book on Eliza Lucas Pinckney. The South Carolina Historical Museum has an amazing library with wonderful people eager to help me find what I needed. I also visited the home where Eliza lived at the end of her life: Hampton Plantation. It was there that she and her daughter Harriott Horry entertained President George Washington for breakfast in 1791. How fascinating to actually stand on the porch where he stood! It gave me goose bumps! I shall include photos of this house in the book.

Next step: begin the writing process. Most of the organization is done, so I’ll take a deep breath and plunge in. This is always a leap of faith for authors. We tend to deliberate too long, rationalize why we are not ready to go but we’re really just scared to get the ball rolling. Since it IS my birthday month, I’ve decided to go for it.

Wish me well and stay tuned,


Sunday, June 27, 2010


WHOA, Nelly! Who ever heard of an independent publisher ordering a second book print three months after the “second” first print??? What? Like you, we find this hard to wrap our brains around. Nevertheless, the Lord has blessed Piñata Publishing with our new book! We’re ready to print 5,000 more copies of Splendid Isolation! This has never happened with any of our previous seven books, so we are joyfully giving Him ALL the glory! Much to our delight, this book has been a local favorite since it launched January 2010. We don’t really understand it, but we’ll gratefully take it! It seems the tourists on Jekyll Island truly have a hunger to read about the history of this island through the novel form, and we’ve been the fortunate ones to offer it to them!

Book signings, school visits, and conferences have kept us very busy up to the summer months, and now we’re finally taking a necessary break to travel and enjoy our time together. Family is extremely important to us, and Mom’s 90th Birthday Party in July is a much-anticipated celebration. We’ll join the rest of her five kids, all of her grandkids, and most of the great-grandkids on the west coast for this cherished event! By the way, Mom, thank you for being one of my greatest book critics and customers!

I know I said I would be “resting” and “marketing” this year, and would NOT be entertaining ideas for my next book project. However, fate has intervened. My dear friend Betty Smith of Jekyll Island suggested what she thought my next subject should be. And she was correct! Once she told me about Eliza Lucas Pinckney, I was hooked. So I’ve already begun research on her (an 18th century very independent South Carolinian woman) and am very excited to eventually tell her story. Stay tuned for more details on her life, and thank you Betty!

Stay cool, keep reading, and enjoy your summer! All too soon it will be winter!!! That will be a GOOD THING!



Sunday, May 2, 2010


Whew! Once again the days are rushing by in a whirlwind of activities. It’s all good! (our slogan on Jekyll Island) and we’re giving thanks for all our blessings! Besides our book business--writing and marketing--we wear another smaller business hat. We started renting out the loft above our home: ALOFT and now that Spring is here and Summer’s on its way, we find ourselves busy with book keeping, cleaning and meeting new guests. If you’re interested, visit and type in 259282.

We have all our books as ebooks with Kindle, with the exception of The Kiska Trilogy. We’ve also put Splendid Isolation on Smashwords and other ebook formats. I encourage my author friends to get your books into digital formats: the growing trend in publishing.

Splendid Isolation continues to astound us with amazing sales and great reviews. Right out of the gate its sales and interest have certainly surpassed the other seven books I’ve written. We’ve re-printed 3,000 books for the “first print,” and if it continues selling at this rate, we’ll be printing the second print by Fall. It is featured this week on, a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance affiliation, as “Her Ladyship’s Pick of the Week.” A great deal of its success is due to the independent bookstores and their wonderful employees who hand sell it. Thank you so much to each one of you!!!

The month of May will wrap up school author visits for me with a three-day presentation at Corner Lake Middle School in Orlando, FL. June, July and August will fill up with book signings at both independent and large bookstores. We are booked in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida at this time, and will look into several signings in North Carolina as well. Mike and I love to travel, so this is a great way to combine business with exploration of new areas!

No, I’m not yet researching the next book. I really am taking this year off from researching and writing. The primary activity for Piñata Publishing this year is Marketing. You writers know how important that is, and you know that you are the best one to market your work, so we’re following the advice we give you. But yes, I will begin to read more stories of the south, so that by next year, I’ll have a better idea of what area I want to explore in my next novel. There are so many stories out there, and I’m looking forward to becoming passionate about someone else and his/her life journeys.

Have a blessed Summer,


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Friends, please believe me when I tell you how blessed we are to have received our newest shipment of books! In the last BLOG I mentioned that we had ordered 3,000 more before 2009 had even ended, (when we were down to 800 books) but ALAS: it was too late. We’ve sweated blood and tears for the past 3 weeks waiting for the books to arrive! The local bookstores have graciously ordered from our distributor and Ingrams so they could continue to sell, and I beat myself up remembering that Mike had suggested we re-order at 1,000 books in the garage. But no…I thought 800 would be close enough!

What happened? They arrived in New York and a bitter devastating cold front moved in so the containers could not be examined for 10 days or so. Finally, ours was opened up and released by U.S. Customs but then had to wait 48 hours for another clearing, and then 4 more days until the boxes of books could be sent to Savannah. We grumbled, pleaded and prayed, and finally, 3 weeks after arriving in the U.S.A., our new shipment of Splendid Isolation is in our garage! We are beyond grateful!

People continue to ask me if I’m working on a new book. The answer is NO, not yet. I tell them that I’m resting this year: no research, no writing. But I’m not really resting. Marketing Splendid Isolation has taken up a very large portion of each week. But I’m certainly not complaining, as this book has reached heights we’ve never seen in any of my other titles. However, I have blocked out 2 weeks this month to spend with my 89 (90 in April) year old Mom, who will spend 3 weeks with us here on Jekyll Island. I’ll be taking her back to some old “stomping” grounds at Duke University and Raleigh, N.C. It’s such a pleasure to have these special moments with my mother Phyllis, to whom I’ve dedicated Splendid Isolation. Isn’t it awesome to see how much we learn from our parents?

I would love to hear from you on the BLOG, or Facebook, or on our website at Or if you are in the area, please let me know and we’ll find an opportunity to get together.

All the Best,

Monday, January 4, 2010


I truly love beginning a new decade! So much promise and anticipation for things to come. My resolution for this decade is: “more rest, less stress.” I will pass my worries over to God, who promised to carry them for me. My keyword for this decade is “service,” and I hope to share with others the abundant joy I have because of my relationship with Him.

I am also planning on more family time this year. Mike and I leave next week to spend a few days with his mother in Wisconsin. Then, my girlfriends, sisters, daughter, grand-daughter and I have planned a “Girls’ Weekend” for February in Palm Springs, CA. My mother is almost 90; a treasure of a woman who is still going strong and walking a mile a day. I’ll go visit her in Oregon in March and fly her back here to spend a few weeks with us in Georgia. All of our family will unite to celebrate her 90th birthday in July. I believe I’m off to a good start with plans for friends and family!

Work wise: January 1 was the national launch of Splendid Isolation, although we released her here in coastal Georgia in late November. This book has certainly been an enigma to Mike and me: it’s our only title that recouped expenses in just six weeks! Much to our surprise, we had to place an order for another print of 3,000 copies before 2010 even arrived! We are stunned and grateful for the public’s support, and wish to thank all our local bookstores for hand-selling the book. They know who they are!

Now we’ll sit back and see where this book takes us. Mike and I want to enjoy its journey. It’s book number 8 and because I’ve written 8 in ten years, I’ve resolved to enjoy them all this year and not even look for another topic until 2011. Many of my friends question whether I’ll be able to do this, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I am content with that resolution.

I hope you are blessed with peace, love and joy!