Archive for the ‘blogwords’ Category







The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers.


It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young girls share a bond—and experience a tragedy.


Seasons is the telling of their stories and Mercedes Renaldi’s story is first in The Long Shadows of Summer.


Mercedes’s friend comes to her and she must now keep Simone’s secret. But Mercedes finds more than she bargained for—keeping Simone’s secret from their friends Pearl and Scarlett, and from her own family, and then Mercedes realizes that they, too, have secrets.


But as Mercedes plays detective to her friends’ questions, she discovers something far more shocking—she herself is not who she thought she was.





remI’ve always had stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!


I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa  in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.


I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.












#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book, The Long Shadows of Summer, Robin E. Mason, Seasons Series, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, The Silent Song of Winter, The Whispering Winds of Spring

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Sorry, folks, #TDRD is closed today…

Tuesday slipped up on me and Monday got away from me – and the review just didn’t get written. That said, I’ve moved it to the first week of March and the sequel to the second week of March – because they’re all about Irish legend! So maybe it worked out after all, maybe it wasn’t so much of an “OOPS” don’tcha know???


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review,OOPS, No Review This Week

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It’s been a difficult week for me. I’ve been teetering on a decision I needed to make but it was not a pleasant choice. I addressed the issues (involving another person) and sadly, got the answer I expected.




When you get words like that, it’s never easy. But it had to be done. I did all I could to maintain the connection. Doing so freed me to shake the dust from my feet and walk away with a clear conscience.




Yesterday, after doing all that was in my ability to do, my decision was made.

And lo, a great weight was lifted from me. A weight I hadn’t realized I was bearing. A freedom settled in my spirit.

And the topic for today’s post was clear—Behold, I am doing a new thing.




Father spoke it to me as I drifted to sleep last night. I awoke today (Saturday as I write this) with a renewed sense of excitement and expectation. That’s my Word for 2017, after all.




My season of waiting, long agonized waiting, years of waiting—is over. Promises are being fulfilled. I’ve felt tangled in a spider web and it’s now dropped away. I am free to fly.




Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.



I’m ready for a new thing, aren’t you?


#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, New Thing, Isaiah 43:19, Expectation, Freedom, Flying, Rivers in the Desert

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“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.



Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her 26 published novels.



rem:  Hullo, Robin, and welcome to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  I was born and raised in Louisiana…now living in Little Rock, AR. I have 3 beautiful daughters and two precious grandsons.

rem:  Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I love to scrapbook. I’m a “planner person” and the only birds I like are cardinals & hummingbirds


rem:  I’m a planner-type person, too, Level OCD. Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

ROBIN:  Sweet tea or white chocolate mocha coffee, but not first thing in the morning

rem:  That truffle bit sounds decadent! What do you do as a hobby?

ROBIN:  I’m a huge scrapbooker and planner person. It’s a way to be creative with actually making something, and letting my subconscious work out plot issues in the background

rem:  I love that plotting / writing happens in the background! Then again, when does it not happen in the background? What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

ROBIN:  My Edgar Allan Poe and Maleficent action figures

rem:  Hmmm…  Very interesting… Do you use sarcasm?

ROBIN:  It’s my first language. J

rem:  So I suppose that makes you fluent, then? Huh? Does it? Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  My life verse is Philippians 4:13: I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.

rem:  We all do well to remember that when Father gives us an [otherwise] impossible task! If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  Stephen King because I admire his body of work, his sense of humor, and I’d love to just sit and chat with him


rem:  What a great choice—talented AND prolific! (Can I sit in with you?) What is your favorite bird and why?

ROBIN:  Hummingbird. I’m not a fan of birds, but a hummingbird is like a butterfly on steroids.

rem:  On steroids! LOL They are quite aggressive for their miniature-ness. Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  It’s not a like/dislike…it’s more of a “I’d rather fly than drive” option for me. Jamaica is the furthest I’ve actually flown

rem:  Jamaica is also hard to get to if you’re driving. Jus’ sayin’ When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  August 19th

rem:  August is packed with birthdays in our family. What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  They’re both the same: the year my husband and I went to Jamaica and for my birthday, we climbed Dunn’s River Falls. Was such a great time.


rem:  Sounds wonderful! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  I think Christian fiction is great stories with real characters, but leaving the reader filled with hope. As I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, I think it’s a part of me and a part of my relationship with Jesus.

rem:  Oh yes, I’ve found that as I write (which is something He gave me) I draw closer to Him and learn more of who I am, which draws me closer to Him, and my writing is stronger for it. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  If I get bored, I stop reading. Life’s too short to waste time reading the boring. J Pet peeve? Oh, I have so many. LOL Probably head-hopping. It bugs me.

rem:  I so agree! ‘specially since I read at bedtime! Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  Both because if I don’t care about the character, I don’t care what happens to them. On the other hand, I can love a character, but if they are in a boring plot, I lose interest in them.

rem:  I totally agree, gotta have both. What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  Event planning

rem:  Really! I had thought I’d try that a few years ago—then came the diagnosis (RA) and I don’t have the energy, le sigh… What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  Trying to decipher my handwritten WIP notes that I jotted at 3am

rem:  pahahahah – unique handwriting, eh? What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I love Tom’s Hot Fries, sweet tea, and M&Ms


rem:  Not so big on the hot fries but I’m right there with you with the M&M’s. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I’ve written for as long as I can remember. I’ve always made up stories for characters in my head. One day, I decided to just write everything down.

rem:  The charactersssss, they speaks to ussss… What inspired you to write suspense? You lived in Louisiana, how much did that influence your writing?

ROBIN:  I write Suspense because that’s what I love to read. Louisiana living is a different way of life. The people, culture and food….I like to pull little bits of that into my books.

rem:  I’mma gonna gotta visit there one day. I’ve too many friends who live there or are from there! You are Executive / Conference Director for ACFW (we need to talk). How do you balance that with writing and—life?

ROBIN:  I’m a big multi-tasker. Always have been. I’m a little OCD and organization is a main component to my happiness. I love my spreadsheets and planners and checking items off my to-do list. With my ACFW job, we have an amazing team in place and we all do our jobs well. When one of us are on deadline, we know how to pinch hit for the other. We’ve worked together for years, so it’s a natural flow. My husband works with me, so he understands the craziness at times. And my kids are amazing….they pick up where I leave off so there’s minimal upset in the house, even when I’m on deadline. We laugh…a lot, and don’t take things too seriously.


rem:  A fellow spread sheet aficionado! Hi, my name is Robin, and I love Excel spreadsheets! That’s so great your family is so supportive. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  I don’t really have a routine…I assign myself deadlines when I’m not on one with a publisher and try to stay on task. I usually write in my office at home. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I’ll write in my recliner. Sometimes, if my husband is working his day job in the field, I might ride along with him and write while he does inspections.

rem:  Never a dull moment, that way. What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  The constant changing within the industry. [Publishing] Houses going out of business, or no longer publishing fiction…it’s more than just the ebb and flow of changes. It’s the big upsets and how it affects others that I struggle with. I don’t know if any of us handle it…I think we all just do the best we can

rem:  Maybe it’s our creative minds that allow us to adapt… Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN:  I actually like both, but I guess the creating best. Because it’s new. It’s exciting to get to work on a brand new story. New characters. That’s kind of cool.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  Honestly? I’m a bit of a control freak, so it’s really fun to be able to control EVERYTHING in my stories. LOL

rem:  Muwahahahahah. #bestansweryet What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  Get into a good writers’ group. Go to a conference—more if you can. Study the craft as much as you can. Don’t compare yourself to any other writer. Don’t try to write for the fads of today. Don’t take criticism personally.

rem:  I’m planning to be at ACFW this year—look for me? Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?


rem:  Exactly! How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I use names I like…I use the Baby Name Survey Book….if I see a cool name on a namebadge

rem:  Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Nope

rem:  Me neither. Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  Right at this moment, I’m working on the sequel to Torrents of Destruction because I’ve gotten the most emails from readers asking for it

rem:  Gotta love that kind of reader response! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  My next release, Weaver’s Needle, releases in June. I LOVED writing this book. With recovery specialists, Native American legends, a hunt for a real treasure in the Superstition Mountains in AZ…what isn’t to love?

rem:  I’ve fallen in love with stories with Native Americans! Please give us the first page of the book.

ROBIN:  The Legend of the Dutchman’s Lost Mine


In the rugged Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, located somewhere in a twisted labyrinth of canyon juts, lies the Dutchman’s Lost Mine. The Apache Indians—Shis-Inday or “Men of the Woods”—had a secret gold cave hidden in the mountains. These mountains were the home of their Thunder God, and they held the area in reverence.

As news of gold in the Superstition Mountains spread, fortune hunters came from around the world to search. The Apaches, fierce protectors of their Thunder God’s Mountain, killed everyone who dared trespass.

As legend goes, in 1871, two German adventurers, Jacob Waltz and Jacob Wisner, came to Arizona. Waltz met and fell in love with an Apache girl, Ken-tee. Her relatives soon became convinced she had betrayed the location of their secret mine. According to their ancient ones, the gold had been placed there by the Thunder God for them to use only in time of desperation. When Ken-tee led Waltz to the mine, and they returned to Phoenix with nearly $70,000 worth of gold, the tribe warriors raided within hours. While they murdered Ken-tee, the Apaches failed to kill the Dutchman Waltz.

When Waltz was eighty years old in 1890, he decided to hide the location of the mine. As legend tells it, when he had completed his mission, he told many that “you could drive a pack train over the entrance to the mine and never know it was there.”

Several months after Waltz hid the mine, he contracted pneumonia. His only reported friend was a bread baker from Louisiana named Julia Thomas. History records the great February 1891 flood, which bore down on Phoenix, as the most ruinous in the American Southwest. It is reported Waltz survived the flood by climbing into a small mesquite tree, where he was stranded until someone cut him loose and took him to Julia Thomas’s home, who was known to take in victims of the flood.

Julia tried to nurse Jacob back to health, only he was so old and his body so feeble, he couldn’t resist his illness. He died in degrees over the summer. In October 1891, he attempted to tell Julia exactly where the mine was hidden. It’s recorded he said, “. . .the northwest corner of the Superstition Mountains. The key is a stripped paloverde tree with one limb left on, a pointing arm. It points away from the rock, about halfway from between it and the rock, and two hundred yards to the east. Take the trail in. I left a number of clues.” After speaking these ominous directions, he died.

All the Dutchman’s clues seem to focus around Weaver’s Needle. . . .


rem:  What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN:  That with God, there is always hope

rem:  There surely is. Robin, thank you so much for chatting with us on my blog today!


Where can we find you online?








“Caroll has written an engaging whodunit, with scenes that unfold expertly and keep the action moving and suspense alive. And though the romance plot line is sweetly written, the characters’ faith journeys are also deeply explored. Fans of suspense will be pleased with this light but entertaining read.”~  Publishers Weekly





#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Caroll, Weaver’s Needle, Native American Legends, The Legend of the Dutchman’s Lost Mine, Torrents of Destruction, Framed, Bayou Justice, To Write a Wrong, Bayou Betrayal

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Love Puts These Two On the Edge!


Grand Canyon, 1914


Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals.


Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?


Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?




Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. Her published novellas include, “Alarmingly Charming” in Austen in Austen Vol 1 from WhiteFire Publishing, “Desert Duet” and “Starlight Serenade” from Forget Me Not Romances, after many unpublished contest successes including two finals for the Daphne DuMaurier award. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends















Blogwords, Special Edition, Featured Book, Why Not, Debra E. Marvin, Novella Collection, Valentine Matchmaker


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note: I share my books this months because it’s my birthday month!


 Reading is My SuperPower

Bookworm Mama

Singing Librarian

Faithfully Bookish

Radiant Light

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

Fiction Aficionado

Bibliophile Reviews




 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!




Evil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.

But she did. And she believed them.

Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.


What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?


Can the lie be undone? Is there a word powerful enough to break the curse and undo the unsavory heritage?


AUTHOR’S NOTE: Cissy is not easy reading. She faces evil and succumbs to it. She is seduced at a young age, and learns to wield her body to manipulate and wound those most dear to her. There are no graphic scenes, but neither do my scenes merely allude to what is happening.

Cissy is the dark and gritty, high-tension climax to the unsavory heritage series.



I hate you and I wish you was dead.” The window thrown wide, Cissy eavesdropped through the smudged glass of the attic window as her twin sister, Clara, permitted Virgil to kiss her, a token of their betrothal. Cissy welcomed the arctic air.



My ministry and my writing platform really become evident in this story—our words have power to shape our lives, either for good or for evil.




Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction



I can’t rate it – I wrote it!


#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, Cissy, Robin E. Mason, unsavory heritage series



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“I love helping authors polish their work.”


“If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world—twice… so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.”


rem:  Hullo, Robin, and welcome! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

ROBIN:  My family moved to Londonderry, New Hampshire, when I was three years old. I went to college in Boston and lived in that area until my husband and I moved to Oklahoma in ’96. We’ve been in in Edmond, OK, ever since

rem:  That’s gotta be some culture shock! Tell us three things about yourself.

ROBIN:  I’ve been told I’m a good cook, I love to entertain, and I desperately hate to clean.


rem:  We have more in common than our name then. What is your favourite quotation and why?

ROBIN: “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” C.S. Lewis. I’m not sure that this is my favorite quote, but it’s the one that comes to mind. I love it because I’ve known a lot of folks who’ve spent their lives scribbling “darkness” in their self-imposed prisons.

rem:  It’s a good quote, and very true, and I’m guessing that someone who reads the interview needs to hear it. If you could go back in time, what era would you choose and why?

ROBIN:  I’d like to experience America in the years between the Revolution and the Civil War when we as a nation were discovering who we were and what we were about. I would especially like to experience the Second Great Awakening. I’ve been thinking a lot about revival lately—and praying for another great revival in America—so perhaps that’s why I would like to see it firsthand.

rem:  Don’t see much on that piece of time—can I come with you? Would you bungee?

ROBIN:  Definitely!

rem:  Let’s do it! Favorite season? Why?

ROBIN:  Autumn, because I grew up in New Hampshire, where the leaves explode in indescribable beauty every year. Unfortunately, Oklahoma leaves leave much to be desired.

rem:  Ya, in New England I guess that’s a given. 😉 Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

ROBIN:  Psalm 1:1-3. It was one of the first verses I memorized after I became a believer over twenty years ago, and it helped to solidify for me the need to memorize and meditate on Scripture. Even today, the Lord teaches me from this passage.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.


rem: So powerful in its simplicity. If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

ROBIN:  My son is currently studying at Youth with a Mission in Hawaii, and I’ve learned a lot about the man who started that ministry, Loren Cunningham. I would love to get to know him and to hear his thoughts on revival in America and around the world.


rem:  I’ve heard of YWAM. What is your favorite bird and why

ROBIN:  I’m going to have to say the robin, and not just because I’m named after them. There’s something special about a robin bird. They’re not exotic. They’re not particularly special, and they don’t have the most beautiful plumage of the birds, and yet look how God allows those common birds to soar. I feel like a robin bird sometimes—commonplace, but with God’s love carrying me, even I can fly.

rem:  I love your reasoning—and ya, I can fly too! Do you like to fly? What’s the furthest you’ve ever flown?

ROBIN:  I love to fly! My father was an airline pilot, so I’ve done a lot of flying in my life. The furthest was probably to Rome when I was about 15. I was involved in an exchange program, so I went by myself to Rome to stay for a week with a family I’d never met. It was an amazing experience that began on the flight when there were no seats in coach or first class, so they bumped me upstairs to business class. The seat was so big, I slept on it like I would a twin bed. It was total luxury.

rem:  When is your birthday?

ROBIN:  December 12, just 13 days before Christmas.

rem:  We’re close, month-wise if not year-wise. What is your favourite birthday memory? All-time favorite birthday gift?

ROBIN:  Not that they were all birthday gifts, but many of my favorite gifts are the robins I’ve collected over the years. Most were gifts from my mother, but I’ve received some from my husband. A dear friend did a small drawing with colored pencils of a robin, which is a treasure, and my sister-in-law took a photograph of a robin just hatching in a nest. When I was young, I thought the robins were silly, but now that I’m older, I treasure them.




rem:  Oh! They’re all so lovely! And I’m a wee bit jealous! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

ROBIN:  Being a novelist is hard work. Attempting to write stories that glorify God and reflect truth is even harder. Dealing with rejection can be torture. My relationship with Christ has grown as I’ve learned to trust Him with all of it—the stories, the themes, the rejection. I have become more patient and more faithful as I’ve waited for the Lord’s timing in my writing.

rem:  Robin, you are so right. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

ROBIN:  I hate it when heroes and heroines do things that don’t make sense. If you want the heroine to go into the creepy basement all alone (like in every horror movie I watched in my youth) she’d better be on the hunt for a shotgun. When a hero or heroine behaves like they’re too stupid to live, I often don’t want them to.

rem:  Haven’t heard it put quite like that, but great point! LOL Which is more important: plot or characters?

ROBIN:  Yes to all. Without one, the other is irrelevant.

rem:  What would you do if you weren’t writing?

ROBIN:  I’d be an editor. Oh, wait, I am an editor when I’m not writing. J

rem:  Touché! What are you reading right now?

ROBIN:  Donald Maass’s The Emotional Journey, Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert, and I’m about to start James L Rubart’s The Five Times I Met Myself. I’m a little scattered with my reading these days.

rem:  What do you munch on while you write?

ROBIN:  I try not to munch, but I drink loads of coffee and tea.


rem:  Good on you! Such discipline! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

ROBIN:  I wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember, but for most of my life, I lacked the courage to try or even admit that dream. I didn’t start writing my first novel until I was forty, just (ahem) years ago. Once I started, though, I haven’t been able to stop. Through this journey, the Lord has given me the courage to share my work and the ability to do what I’ve done. He gets all the credit for the good things. The bad things—those were all me.

rem:  Yeah, well, you’re ahead of me! I was past fifty when I started… But yeah, can’t stop. What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

ROBIN:  I usually write standing at my kitchen counter, though sometimes I sit at the kitchen table. I love to write in coffee shops, but it’s hard to justify the cost when I can write at home for free.

rem:  I love the ambiance of a coffee shop—but I get too distract—squirrel… What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

ROBIN:  Every aspect of writing is hard. Every aspect of writing is joy. It just depends on the day. Right now, the problem is trying to figure out how to get my hero and heroine into the danger that will culminate in the climax. This isn’t the kind of problem normal people have at work. J

rem:  No, and I wouldn’t trade to normal for nuttin!! You’re a writer and an editor—do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

ROBIN: I write because you can’t edit a blank page. I much prefer editing.

rem:  Ha! Good point! Which came first, the writing or the editing?

ROBIN:  I’ve always been both a writer and an editor, but for me, editing is much more natural than writing. That’s why I rush through the first draft—because the magic happens in rewriting.

rem:  What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

ROBIN:  I get to do what I love all day, every day. It get to make up stories for a living. I get to string together letters and words and sentences and paragraphs and create something from nothing. It’s the greatest job in the world.

rem:  So true. What do you enjoy most about being an editor?

ROBIN:  I love to take a mediocre passage and make it sing. I love to take a scene that’s falling flat and make it soar. I love doing that with my own stories and with other people’s stories.

rem:  What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would you recommend not doing?

ROBIN:  What to do: 1-Read a lot of books, both within your genre and without, and both in the CBA and in the general market. 2-Read craft books and go to writers workshops and then try to implement what you learn. 3-Find some great critique partners. What not to do: 1-Take every piece of advice as gospel truth. 2-Discard every piece of advice because you’re sure you know better. 3-Break rules for no good reason or because you never bothered to learn the rules. Picasso is a great example of this. Before he painted his signature rule-breaking pieces, he spent years and years studying and perfecting the techniques to his art. Only then was he able to break the rules with style.

rem:  Super analogy! (and one of my cardinal “rules” – know the rules so I know how to break them.) Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

ROBIN:  I have no idea. The ideas just sort of come. It’s terrifying sometimes, because what if no more ideas come? And then I have to remember that God will provide the next idea when I need it.

rem:  Sheesh, we think a lot alike! How do you choose your characters’ names?

ROBIN:  I’m terrible at names and titles. Often, I’ll start with a nationality. For instance, the hero in the story I’m writing right now comes from a Germanic background, so I looked for German names and chose Garrison Kopp. The heroine’s last name is Messenger. I chose that because at the start of the series, she’s the only Christian in the group of friends—the messenger. I doubt any readers will pick up on that, though.

rem:  I dunno, I rather imagine some will. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

ROBIN:  Usually, I have a good idea how a story will begin, I know what the major plot points will be, and I know how it’ll end. I like to follow the plot outline in Save the Cat, so I try to have a lot of those blanks filled in. But even if I plot the stories really well, I always end up changing things around when I’m writing, so I’ve learned that for me, a rough outline is the best plan.

rem:  Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

ROBIN:  I just released the second book in the Hidden Truth series. It’s a romantic suspense called Twisted Lies. Here’s the blurb:


She thought they’d never find her.  And then her daughter vanished.

Marisa Vega’s life as an adoptive mom in a tiny Mexican village isn’t what she’d dreamed while growing up in New York, but as the target of a man who’s convinced she stole millions of dollars from his financial firm, Marisa believes hiding is her only way to stay alive. When her daughter is snatched and held for ransom, Marisa must discover who really stole the money in order to rescue her.

Months after being kidnapped, tortured, and left with PTSD, Nate Boyle is ready to live a quiet life in rural New Hampshire. When the source of his breakout newspaper article—and the woman who haunts his dreams—begs for help, he gets pulled into a riddle that’s proved unsolvable for nearly a decade.

Can Nate and Marisa unravel the years-old mystery and bring her daughter home?


rem:  What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

ROBIN:  The heroine, Marisa, has spent eight years in hiding because she was afraid of the people who had her fiancé killed, the people who believe she stole millions of dollars from them. But now her daughter has been kidnapped, and in order to save Ana, Marisa comes out of hiding to fight for her. I love the courage of a mother willing to face death to save her child.

rem:  Nothing like a mother (bear) fighting for her cub! Tell us about why you wrote this book.

ROBIN:  I started writing it because of the hero, Nate.  He was a secondary character in the first book of the series, Convenient Lies. Here was a guy who endured serious trouble in order to protect a woman who’d dumped him. And what he had to go through for her…well, I won’t give it away, but he captured my heart. He deserved to have his own story told.

rem:  Stories lurking everywhere, even within stories. Please give us the first page of the book.



Nathan Walter Boyle had come to New York City with a handful of dreams. He was leaving with a truck full of nightmares.

Well, not a truck, exactly. He stopped at the bay window and looked out front. There in his driveway sat the weird container his father’d had delivered. The Pod was as big as a Dumpster, only shiny and white.

Nate had called his father before the delivery truck pulled away. “A U-Haul would have been fine, Dad.”

“This will give you time to sort it all out.”

Nate had a lot more to sort out than just the paraphernalia he’d accumulated in the fourteen years he’d lived in the city. If only he could figure out how to pack the nightmares away along with the detritus of his life.

He grabbed a packed box from the kitchen table and headed for the front door. He stepped onto the front porch, where he took a deep breath and blew it out slowly, like he did a thousand times a day. All was well. The guys who’d taken him were dead. He was safe.

Tell his pounding heart that.

It was sunny and chilly, mild for late March in New York. Spring had always been his favorite season in the city. The once slushy streets were clear. Trees budded along the sidewalks. Flowers bloomed. Even the people seemed to reawaken after their long grouchy winters. As the weather warmed more, kids would soon skateboard along the sidewalks, cords dangling from their ears. In city parks, the thump-thump of dribbling basketballs would serve as the rhythm for the season, while little children’s laughter would supply the melody.

For just a moment, Nate wished he could stay.


rem:  Well that says a lot in a few words—as any good beginning should. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

ROBIN: Nate is suffering from PTSD and feels like he can never play the hero—he tried that, and he failed. At the end of the story, his friend says something like, “A hero is someone who’s scared but does what he has to do anyway.” I hope the reader leaves with the truth that heroism isn’t the absence of fear but the courage to face yours fears and do what you have to do.

rem:  Face the enemy and don’t back down. Anything you’d like to add?

ROBIN:  It’s been a pleasure. You ask some hard questions!

rem:  Well, ya know, gotta dig a little to know you better. Robin, thank you so much for joining us today!  It has been my pleasure to have you here!

Where can we find you online?







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“Robin’s red pen is the best thing that ever happened to my writing. Her grammar and punctuation edits are right on target, and her content suggestions always make my stories flow just a bit smoother. If you’re looking for an editor who’s unafraid to tell you what’s wrong, while freely praising what’s right, you’ve come to the right place.” – Sharon Srock, author of The Women Women of Valley View series.




#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Robin Patchen, Robin’s Red Pen, Twisted Lies, Convenient Lies, Chasing Amanda, Finding Amanda

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