#Row80 Round 2 Final

I’m a bit late with this post. Sorry, I’ve had my daughter’s 12th birthday/slumber party to plan. Today’s the day. I have a package of Earplugs waiting 🙂 Should be fun. I think I’ve rounded up all my goals. I accomplished more than I thought. My progress was slower than I wanted and I did have to give up a few. No big deal there, I didn’t like those anyway. You can tell how I feel about the goal by it’s color. Chances are goals I didn’t meet and thought I could have done more with are green. Others I gave myself more leeway.


Round 2 Goals:

Red highlights were a total failure.

Blue highlights were either constant progress, which I count as a success or completed.

Pink highlights are goals I’m dropping. Really, no surprise there. I hate them.

Green highlights are goals I worked on but didn’t complete.

  • Promotion.  I worked on this some, but not enough. The reality is, to make it as an indie author you have to make promotion a habit and an ongoing part of your plan.
  • Read 4 books a month. I was one book short in May but I surpassed four most of the time. I am at 37/52 books for the year.
  • Spend 15 minutes a day decluttering. In reality this should be pink and red. I failed at it and gave up.
  • Write two posts a week, not related to Row80. Not a total failure, but I didn’t accomplish it every week. I tried. Sometimes posting on a regular basis can be hard. Especially, when I’m actively writing and editing.
  • Stop binge watching Netflix. I tried. Some weeks were better than others. At the moment I am hooked on Shield.
  • Stay on top of Critique group. Yes. I was actually ready ahead of time this month.
  • Edit/revise “Stella” for possible submission to a contest.
    She is ready for critique. I’d hate to submit her as is, but I might.
  • Use May as revision month for one of the novellas I wrote this year.  With all my edits/revisions I didn’t have time to even start this.
  • Adding for 5/11- Deep Clean house I made it through 1/3 of the house.
  • Edit/revise “Mermaid”– I’m marking it blue. I just need an hour at the computer and she will be ready for submission.
  • Edit/revise “Monster”– Monster is currently with a critique member.
  • New Release to publish Missing Children is now available. So happy.
  • Camp NaNoWriMo.  I won!!! I am happy to have this novella written. It’s been lurking in the back of my mind for a while.
  • Cut the processed foodsThree meals a week with no processed junk. 
  • Eat fresh veggiesTwo meals a week with something fresh. No frozen! 

There you go my Round 2 row80 review.

How did you do this round?



Author Interview- H.L. Burke

Today we have a first! An author interview with fantasy writer H.L.Burke. If you haven’t read one of her books, give it a go. She is the author of Cora and the Nurse Dragon, which I read in February and loved it. I am now passing it over to my young ones to read. It is a children’s book but enjoyable for all ages.



1. As a parent I am guilty of lying to my children. I tell them epic tales and pass them off as true. Do you have a favorite “story” you’ve told your kids and passed off as fact? If so, can you share a little with us?

I have a weird thing where I don’t want to tell my kids that anything doesn’t exist. I mean, I don’t know what’s out there. There could be dragons hiding in the Siberian wilderness … mermaids in the deep sea … fairies. Who knows? I certainly don’t, so if my girls ask me if something is real, I usually respond with, “I don’t know. What do you think?” Because of that, Dragons are real in my household. And Fairies. Not the Tooth Fairy, though. They’re onto that one.

2. You have a new book coming out, can you give us a little secret info? Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors is Steampunk and inspired by puzzle games. I love to play puzzle/adventure games on the computer where I have to explore an environment and solve puzzles to win. I started with that concept, that my character had to explore a creepy, abandoned mansion filled with traps and puzzles, and worked out from that. It has one of my favorite side characters ever, Hart. Hart is a computer, an extremely sarcastic computer with a penchant for bad puns.

You can read more about Nyssa and see the awesome cover at the bottom.

3.  What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten? Feel free to make it up! A caterpillar? Living? Is that weird enough. I was 10 or so and it was a dare. I’ll try just about anything once, though.

4.  It’s always fun to find out what others are reading. What book are you currently reading? Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It’s a good book, very different in style than what I would usually read, very “English.” I’m getting through it slowly because it’s long, my little ones are demanding, and it’s a hardback. I’ve actually found ebooks have several advantages, as far as sneaking a read around kids is concerned. I can have ebooks on my phone and pull them out at a moment’s notice, but a big old physical copy, and I have to think ahead to bring it … plus I can’t push a kid on the swings with one hand and read with the other the way I can with books on my phone. I know we all love to love the paper books, but I get through ebooks so much faster.

7. Choose one: sparker, racer, mayflies, nurse, striker, or steamer. We know you have a favorite. As cute as they are, a nurse dragon is a lot of responsibility, so I’m fond of the steamer. Besides, you can use a steamer if you get a cold, as a backup humidifier. Plus they are blue. I like blue.

8.  I have two tween daughters at home who love to read. What book recommendation can you give them? I really love the works of Shannon Hale, Kate DiCamillo, and Gail Carson Levine. I have a fondness for fairy tales. I do read a lot of indie books now, and some I’ve enjoyed recently are Leandra’s Enchanted Flute by Katy Huth Jones, Malevolent by K. M. Carroll, and Mia and Snouts by Day Jamison. Oh and the Time Drifter Series by Lauren Lynch.

I have several of those authors on my Kindle now.

9.  Luke Skywalker or Han Solo? This is totally no contest. Han was one of my high school crushes, along with Tom Paris (from Star Trek Voyager) and Aragorn (books not movies. I had perfected book Aragorn in my head. Movie didn’t quite live up). Han is possibly my favorite movie character of all time. I can recite his lines. You like me because I’m a scoundrel. There’s not enough scoundrel in your life …

Star Trek and Aarogn, the book, are two of my favorites. I prefer Spock (original) and Commander Tucker (Enterprise).

Burke has a new book coming out this month called Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors, see question 2. It is currently on pre-order. I love pre-orders! It is 99 cents until March 14th, after that it will be $2.99. Here’s the link: mybook.to/nyssa1 

And look at the lovely cover and blurb:



Nyssa Glass is a reformed cat burglar turned electrician’s apprentice, settled into a life repairing videophones and radio-sets. However, when her past comes calling, she finds herself framed for murder and forced into one last job. No one has entered Professor Dalhart’s secluded mansion in almost a decade, at least not that returned to tell the tale.

If Nyssa wants to ensure her freedom, she’ll brave the booby-trapped halls and mechanized maids. Nyssa has skills, but this house has more than its share of secrets. As she steps into the cobwebbed halls lined with dusty mirrors, she has to wonder. Is the House of Mirrors really abandoned?


There’s a rafflecopter giveaway! From 2/28 – 3/19  Just click here.

About H.L.Burke:

Author Bio:

Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic. 

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture. 

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are. 

She is the author of a four part fantasy/romance series entitled “The Scholar and the Dragon,” YA/Fantasy “Beggar Magic,” and MG/Fantasy “Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon,” among others . Her current projects are a young adult Steampunk fantasy and an epic fantasy trilogy. 


If you would like to learn more about H.L Burke you can connect with her here:
mybook.to/nursedragon  Cora and the Nurse Dragon on Amazon


Guest Post- Gloria Weber

Today we have a guest post from Speculative Fiction writer, Gloria Weber. She has an awesome new release, which magically popped on my Kindle this morning. 

Gloria Weber

Thank you so much for having me here, Caren!  I appreciate the support and hope your blog readers enjoy my post.

So that we’re all on the same page, let me tell you about my book, UNMASKING: LEMON’S THESIS.

Inline image 3

 Super Blurb Powers Activate!Welcome to Trowbridge City. It’s home to superheroes, maniacal villains, and everyday citizens. The stories here aren’t about good versus evil, but about hard choices, prejudices, and experiences complicated by superpowers.

Lemon “Em” Law is a super genius and she’s also the daughter of Trowbridge’s most infamous super villain, Yellow Fellow. After being fired, bullied by her professor, and dumped all in the same day there’s only one thing she can do! And that’s work on her thesis. Truth is, the last thing Em wants to be is evil. Unfortunately that thesis of hers is so revolutionary it could be dangerous. Is she ready to learn the secrets behind the masks?

So, yeah.  This is a superhero story.  And, yeah, I named my main character Lemon.  I did it for reasons!  Okay, reasons isn’t a real reason.  But, today, I’ll share some of real reasons and decisions that went into shaping Lemon “Em” Law into a character.

(Because the origin story behind the book’s idea is a little boring and sad.  Long version: I spent summer binge watching ONCE UPON A TIME and reading comics.)

Let’s get to know Lemon!

Name: Lemon Law (Nickname: Em)

Inline image 1While her mother had reasons for naming her Lemon, I named her this because of a Superman cover.  We actually had owned this issue, but recently we sold it to our local comic shop, because we aren’t really Superman fans.  Why did her mom name her Lemon?  Her hair is naturally bright yellow (she dyes it blonde).

Mother: Nelly Law

Nelly gets her own “special issue” in the back of the book, so I won’t be giving away too much.  But how does one end up having a super villain’s kid?  I was inspired by an episode of CRIMINAL MINDS (can’t remember which one, though).  They were looking into murders done by a dead serial killer and their investigation looked into his groupies.  So, she became a super villain groupie!

Father: Yellow Fellow (Super Villain)

If you didn’t guess by his name, this is where Lemon gets her yellow hair.  Why is his hair yellow?  That’s in yet to be revealed origin story!  A story Lemon wants to find out (so she can avoid repeating it).  The only other thing she inherited (thankfully) was his genius.  As for his name, I wanted him to have an urban legend sort of feel like “Bloody Mary.

Superpower: Genius

There realistic depictions of genius and then there’s Amadeus Cho (currently he’s TOTALLY AWESOME HULK) and Reed Richards (FANTASTIC FOUR).  There’s an unrealistic level of genius in comics and that’s why I gave Lemon an established career (Architect) and continued her education (PhD in Criminal Psychology).  She also has two bachelor’s degrees she’s doing nothing with despite not even being old enough to drink alcohol.

What are Lemon’s weaknesses?  Does she find out her father’s origins?  Didn’t her blurb mention a(n ex) boyfriend?  Who is he?  Who are the other villains and the heroes of Trowbridge?

Inline image 2The only way to find out more is to get the book!
(e-book $2.99 * print $9.99)


And please visit my!