C. S. Lakin: Professional Help


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While in the process of writing my first novel, I followed an agent’s blog who warned those wishing to query her not to, unless the manuscript had been professionally edited. She offered a list of recommended copy editors. From this list, I chose C. S. Lakin.

Lakin offered a critique service as an important first step in making sure one’s manuscript contained the essential story elements needed to be a successful novel. So, when I completed my 80k word book, I took a deep breath and emailed it to Lakin. Continue reading

Promoting White Bird Publications


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wbpublications_book_coverIn the early days of writing my book, I researched and followed agent blogs. I expected to submit my synopsis and the first five pages to one, and then wait three months for the traditional non-reply rejection.

However, during the course of the revision process, I’ve learned that the publishing business has changed. Many writers self-publish to keep more of the profits, but I didn’t want to take another year to learn all the pros and cons.

I joined a local writers group and discovered White Bird Publications, an independently owned, traditional publisher who didn’t require an agent, and wasn’t a vanity publisher.

I’m pleased with my decision to add Defiance on Indian Creek to White Bird Publications growing number of quality books available from fiction and non-fiction genres.


Set in West Virginia 1775


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defiance_on_indian_creekSeven out of Seven 5 Star Reviews!


*VERY good!! I was unable to move and read the entire book in one day!

*…I know the book was written with a younger reader in mind but I feel any age will enjoy this book and look forward to the next one with great anticipation.

*This story of Mary Shirley is mesmerizing! …It is a page turner for sure as I could not wait to see what is going to happen next…

*…This glimpse at the life of a 13-year-old girl at this time in our nation’s history is refreshingly recounted by the author.

*The book was captivating from the very beginning.

*…I started and had to stay with it until I finished. Very well done.

*I enjoyed the historical story and look forward to reading what happens next!

*Read the full reviews at  https://amzn.com/1633631737

Sign into your Amazon Smile account to order and they will donate 5% of your purchase to your favorite charity. How cool is that?

Book I Defiance on Indian Creek


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defiance_on_indian_creekAvailable on Amazon

This Young Adult Historical novel, tells the fictional account of young Mary Shirley who just wants a normal life with friends her age and someday, suitors. She is brave, tenacious, and prone to be rash.

The settlers along Indian Creek in Western Virginia are siding against King George, except Papa. He has declared loyalty and intends to remove the family to Kentucky territory.

After discovering surveys with strange riddles, Mary witnesses her papa exchange documents between a patriot neighbor and a known loyalist. She believes Papa is a cowardly traitor, endangering the family.

Internal struggles lead to lost trust and acts of defiance until Mary is faced with a dangerous decision: loyalty to Papa or loyalty to a cause. Lives are at stake no matter what choice she makes—one, puts hers at risk.



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dangerous_loyalties_seriesMy Dangerous Loyalties Series, is a fictional account of Mary Shirley and her family’s lives during the American Revolution. It’s set in Western Virginia shortly before Mary’s real life 13th birthday on February 17, 1775. The Shirley family really did live on 527 acres of Indian Creek land.

These posts will reveal their non-fiction story, as well as links, and notes about my research. New information will be added from time to time so please visit often and feel free to leave comments or questions.

Have a great day and–be strong!


Black, Orange, and Chocolate Cake


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Phyllis 7Because I have a late October birthday, my parties as a kid involved a Halloween theme. Black and orange balloons (sometimes mixed with other colors) hung above a tablecloth of black cats, ghosts and witches. The centerpiece was chocolate cake with chocolate or white icing.

Sometime after my seventh birthday, I realized how much I hated the color scheme and chocolate cake. By my next birthday, I mustered the courage to tell my mom. Continue reading