Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Decorations & People Gone, But Not Forgotten

These two wreaths are gone now

By now, you may have heard of the Great Flood of July 23, the one which blessed us with about seven inches of water in our basement. I spent a goodly amount of time cleaning up the mess, throwing ruined items away, drying others, washing others, sorting countless photos which got wet.

I thought I was through.

This wreath is also gone
Little did I know when I went downstairs (late to start decorating because I'd been finishing Forever Young: Blessing or Curse) to my horror I discovered I'd missed two containers of carefully packed away Christmas decorations, which had tipped over in the flood, and somehow trapped water inside. As soon as I opened the cartons, I had to shut them fast, then go outside with garbage bags, and wearing gloves, removed what was inside for the garbage.
I only managed to salvage two items, which were ceramic and could be sanitized. Fortunately, I do have photos from prior years to remember my decorations by. Still, they're not the same as the real thing.

It reminds me of other losses that can't be replaced, which have occurred in my family, and everyone's. Those are the people near and dear to us. Only memories and photos are left, instead of the real thing. I'm grateful for those who are still with me -- my husband and family, my friends, both off and online, and my little buddy, Rascal.

A Great Big Thanks to everyone who has enriched my life!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Forever Young: Blessing or Curse is Now on Kindle

It took me a while, but I've finally done it! Forever Young: Blessing or Curse just got released today on Kindle! Smashwords will follow.

Buy Link:

This is the story of the 55 year old widow whose husband had been killed in a hit and run accident. In desperation, she takes a pill to be 24 forever, then finds out the pill isn't all it's cracked up to be. Her husband knew that. Was his death really an accident?

A limp object lay sprawled in the parking lot where Dorrie was to meet her husband. It looked like, no it couldn’t be...

Pulse pounding, she hit the brakes and flung open the door. A few steps, and she stood staring in disbelief at her husband’s still form. That red streak didn’t belong in Larry’s salt and pepper hair, nor should it mar his olive skinned cheeks, and trickle onto his white cotton shirt.

She groped in her purse for the smartphone. Fingers shaking, she dialed 911. “There’s been an accident at the Life is for Living Institute. I need an ambulance. Hurry, please.”

A helpless feeling engulfed her. If only she knew first aid, but in all her fifty-five years, she’d never bothered to learn. She had to do something, but what? Bending down, knees scraping the asphalt, she touched her husband’s hand. “Larry, it’s all right. I’m here.” She wanted to be brave for him, but couldn’t keep her voice from quavering.

He whispered something she couldn’t catch, something about his iPhone.

“I found it on the nightstand, Larry. It’s right here in my purse.”

“Dorrie, I want you to keep it. Something’s…on it,” he gasped.

She bent closer. “I know honey, all those songs and photos. They mean a lot to me, too. Don’t worry, when we get home tonight, we’ll share them together.”

“No, more…Life is for Living isn’t…Forever Young isn’t…”

He struggled to speak, but his voice faded in and out. He probably shouldn’t talk. Where was that ambulance? Her husband needed help.

Larry flashed a weak smile and looked straight into her eyes. “Love ya,” he whispered.

Stifling a sob, she completed the ritual. “Love ya, back.” In their thirty years of marriage, how often had they said those words to each other?

His lips stilled. His hand slackened. His brown eyes stared unseeingly, as his face froze into a smile.

This can’t be happening. Larry, you can’t leave me. It’s too soon.

Blood rushed to her head. Roaring filled her ears. Larry couldn’t be gone. She’d prove it. Dorrie bent to kiss his lips. They felt warm and soft. He must be alive. Soon the ambulance would come, the paramedics would fix him, and he’d be all right.

She glanced again at Larry’s still form. The truth hit, sucking her breath away. She didn’t need a medical examiner to tell her what she could see with her own eyes. Larry had left and would never return. Her stomach convulsed, her chest heaved with sobs.

It shouldn’t end like this, not in the middle of a parking lot. Larry deserved better. So did she.


Morgan Mandel

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two Wrongs is Now on Kindle & Smashwords for 99 cents

Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel
Finally, Two Wrongs has been re-released on Kindle & Smashwords for 99 cents each.

This is my debut mystery set in Chicago, with the climax happening in the Christmas Season.

For more, and an excerpt, please hop over to

Or follow these links for Kindle
And Smashwords 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Soon, Very Soon

I've ignored this blog for a while in favor of getting my books ready. Soon, Very Soon, my debut mystery, Two Wrongs, will be out again in Kindle and Smashwords for 99 cents.

will also be out on Kindle and Smashwords, at
the slightly higher price of $2.99,
since it's a brand new baby!

In the meantime, for romantic comedy fans, my re-release of Girl of My Dreams is still available for 99 cents in Kindle and Smashwords.

Still available on Kindle and Smashwords for 99 cents is my romantic suspense, Killer Career.
Also in print at Amazon for $13.95.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Girl of My Dreams is Now on Kindle and Smashwords!

My re-release of Girl of My Dreams is now finally on Kindle and Smashwords, both at the very low price of 99 cents.

It took me a while to figure everything out, but I did it!

Before I get too smug with myself, I have to remember I still have more work to do. Forever Young: Blessing or Curse is in the very final editing stage. Maybe I can have it ready to go up before Thanksgiving. (fingers crossed)

My re-release of Two Wrongs is also waiting in the wings. I'm hoping that will go smoothly, since it was already published before. Also, I did take notes this time around about things I really need to remember, so I'm hoping that will help.

Of course, my work won't be over after that, because I do have a sequel to Forever Young: Blessing or Curse which needs finishing. It's about one-third done. This one will probably be called Blessing or Curse: A Forever Young Anthology, and it tells what happens to some of the other test market subjects who take the young pill.

My editor has also suggested another sequel starring my original heroine. I'll have to see if I can rustle up enough dire happenings to make another book worthwhile about her.

Now that I'm psyched up, I think I'll hop over and try to update my website. That will be a project and a half. (g)

Kindle Buy Link, For only 99 cents  -

Smashwords Buy Link, For only 99 cents -

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What's Going On

I haven't spent too much time on this blog. That's because I've been enormously busy getting ready my thriller, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse. Right now it's with my editor, Helen Ginger, but I'm not sitting around in the meantime.

Since I received the rights back to my debut mystery, Two Wrongs, and my romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, with the aid of Stephen Walker of S.R. Walker Designs, I have some great, new covers. I'm almost through getting Girl of My Dreams ready for its second chance in the sun, with only a few tweaks to go, before tackling the electronic formatting for Kindle and Smashwords. I chose Girl of My Dreams to work on first, because it's shorter, and I wanted the good feeling of a job accomplished.

It's all a giant puzzle, which I hope will come together very soon!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Please Welcome My Guest, Anne Kelleher, Author of How David Met Sarah


Anne Kelleher is sixteen years older than her brother, and is the author of 11 previously published novels in addition to How David Met Sarah. Anne holds a degree from Johns Hopkins University and has studied English literature at the University of Connecticut. A gifted intuitive medium, Anne helps others connect to inner guidance and deceased loved ones. The mother of four and grandmother of two, Anne lives and writes in Connecticut, surrounded by a large circle of family and friends.

And now, something about her latest book...

Reading specialists, special education teachers and librarians agree that there are no other titles like this available. How David Met Sarah, the first in a series of five books written for intellectually or developmentally disabled individuals, uses vocabulary appropriate for a third-grade reading level.

David is a young man who works in a mailroom and lives at home with his parents. When a young woman named Sarah moves to his neighborhood and begins to attend his church, David believes she’s the girl of his dreams. First, however, he has to figure out to meet her.

David’s carefully structured world seems to contain all sorts of roadblocks, but David is determined to get to know the girl with the long red hair. Through a series of adventures (and a few misadventures) that illustrate the challenges and rewards of life as a differently-abled person, David indeed gets his wish at the end of this first installment in the series: David and Sarah are well on their way to becoming good friends.

And What Anne has to say about it...

How David Met Sarah is totally different from any of my other previously published eleven novels. I wrote the story for my 36 year old brother who has Down Syndrome. He reads at a third grade level but doesn't enjoy stories for third graders. How David Met Sarah is both content and reading level appropriate for someone with my brother's limited reading skills. However, what has truly delighted me is the way the story offers insights into the world of the developmentally disabled to the average-level reader.

I was inspired to write the story because I wanted my brother to have the experience of something that has always been an important part of my life: a good story well told. In order that my brother identify with the main character, I used the broad outlines of my brother's life as the starting point: like the main character David, the real David does work in a mailroom, he lives at home with my parents, and he did fall in love with a girl with long beautiful hair.

As a writer, what was interesting to me was that the story and its sequels are no easier to write than any of my other novels. Initially I had no plan to share the story with anyone other than my brother. When I shared it on a whim with a critique group, because I had nothing else to bring, I was amazed by the positive response. My brother loves his story. We both hope everyone else will, too.

That is fascinating, Anne.
Blog Followers, if you'd like to read her book, or know someone who might benefit from reading it, here's the link:
For more from Anne, visit:

Please leave a comment to welcome Anne today. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Good Paul

Morgan Mandel

Some pics of me and Good Paul with our costumes at the Festival Committee recognition dinner, plus some other members with their costumes. I don't know all their names.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nemo James Reveals the Hidden Music World in His New Book

Book Spotlight - Just a Few Seconds, A Story From the Hidden World of Music and Beyond

Nemo James dreamt of becoming a professional musician from the first time he picked up a guitar following a talent content disaster. Thought of by his friends as being the person most likely to make the big time he turned professional but was continually side tracked by the need to earn a living from music.

His journey takes him all over the world from private gigs for the rich and famous to the roughest pubs. Starting in the late sixties when heavy rock was born, through to the 1980’s and 90’s when discos and electronics decimated live music dance halls.

Just a Few Seconds is an amusing and heartrending story of perseverance showing how the road to success can lead us down the strangest of paths. Just A Few Seconds is a story of one man’s experience in the music business. It is an amusing and true story of a successful freelance musician whose gigs ranged from private parties to the very rich and famous to the roughest London pubs where playing the wrong song at the wrong time meant the difference between life and death. He takes more twists, turns and knocks than a mouse trapped in a pinball machine but the ending shows how the road to success can lead us down the strangest and most desolate of paths. If you are looking for the usual rock star memoirs full of sex drugs and rock and roll then this book is not for you, but if you are interested in a unique insight into the music business that reads like a thriller then this book won’t disappoint.

Here's what Nemo has to say about the inspiration for his book:

Although I was a successful musician, composing was my real love and after 30 years of being unable to a make a living from my compositions I had dug myself into such a huge rut that I knew I had to change my life drastically. Before deciding on what direction my new life should take I had a strong compulsion to write everything down that had happened to me in my old one. I suppose it was a kind of closure from the past and avoidance of the future. This happened twelve years ago during a tour of Switzerland when I had to drive hundreds of miles between gigs and it was during those long drives I practically wrote the whole book in my head. Having spend so many years memorizing everything from thousands of song lyrics to complicated classical guitar solos I was fortunate in being able to remember everything vividly. A year later I finished the final draft and tried to find a publisher but although a couple of them called to say how much they liked it they said it was impossible to sell autobiographies written by unknown musicians and to get back to them when I became famous. I was well aware of how slim were the chances of getting published but it was my last resort so that rejection forced me to look for a new life. It seemed extraordinary to me that the requirement for getting an autobiography published was not good writing and an interesting life but having a record in the charts.

In Just A Few Seconds I wanted to write about what life is like for the 99% of musicians that don’t become rich and famous but still earn a good living often working for the rich and famous. The most interesting stories I have to tell are not about backing artists like Tom Jones and Cliff Richards or playing at private parties for Sheik Yamani or the Aga Khan but stories about holiday camp epidemics, strippers with flatulence and being the cause of US military personnel being Court Martialed. It is amazing how music is such a huge part of everyone’s life and yet so little is known about the ordinary working musicians who supply that music.

12 years later I finally got my big break and so came to live in this beautiful seaside village near Dubrovnik in Croatia. I had the time to return to my book and was determined to publish it even if I had to do it myself. I contacted one of the many publishers that published my music and he advised me not to bother with traditional publishing but to go down the self publishing route. This made sense as for years it has been necessary for bands and songwriters to produce their own albums. Record companies love it because it removes a lot of the risk of signing unknown bands as the band has already produced an album and shown there is a market for their music. I needed to publish my own book and prove there was a market for it and then hopefully a mainstream publisher would offer a solid deal as opposed to small publishers whose only real commitment is to get the book in print.

The more I looked into self publishing the more surprised I was at how sophisticated it had become. I was fortunate in having the I.T. skills to physically produce the book and some loyal fans of my music who offered professional editing and advice so the whole process was plain sailing. I released Just A Few Seconds in February this year and have already been approached by a publisher although it was a small company who were unable to make a firm commitment on promotion so I had the luxury of turning them down. All I have to do now is sit back and dream while I wait for the bidding war. The longer I wait, the longer I get to enjoy the dream.

Amazon Paperback Buy Link:

Kindle Buy Link:

Other Ebook Versions can be purchased from Nemo’s store at

Born and based in England, Nemo James worked as a professional musician and singer/songwriter for more than 30 years. He now lives in Croatia with his wife Federika and their cat Jutko who is becoming intolerable following his rise to fame on Youtube.
Visit Nemo James at his website
Find Nemo James at his tour page at Pump Up Your Book
Watch his videos at You Tube

Please welcome Nemo James to Double M by leaving a comment for him.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Who Has 99 Cents Books?

I've been busy getting my work in progress edited, and have neglected my blog here lately. Still, today I saw a question on the Book Spa Friends egroup which I thought could use some attention.

It was Who Has 99 Cents Books?

I invite anyone with a book selling for 99 cents to let us know and leave a link.

Mine is Killer Career, about the lawyer whose career change could be deadly for her and the man she's come to love. Here's the Amazon kindle link:

It's also at Smashwords for 99 cents at

Do you have a 99 cents book or know someone who does?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Guest, Mystery Author, Marilyn Meredith, Tells Us About Changes in the Writing World

THINGS KEEP CHANGING IN THE WRITING WORLD, according to my guest today, Mystery Author, Marilyn Meredith. Here's what she has to say:

Marilyn Meredith

I’ve been at this longer than most and I’ve seen a lot of changes in the writing world, enough to know that nothing ever stays the same.

When I first started writing, I did it in long hand then transcribed it on a typewriter. So I would have copies when I began with a new page, it was paper, carbon paper (had to be sure to put it facing the right direction), and another piece of paper. It was awhile before copying machines came along.

When sending out a manuscript, I had to have two boxes, one with my return address and postage to put inside the larger box so that my manuscript would come back to me if it was rejected. After all, I didn’t want to type all 500 words over again.

Eventually, I would have to retype the manuscript, though, because after being sent out and returned from about five different publishers, it would become rather shop-worn: bent pages, coffee stains, and smelling like cigarette smoke. When I retyped I often also rewrote. (By the way, my first book was rejected nearly 30 times before it found a home.)

Electronic typewriters came along, ones with a correction ribbon. Oh, what a wonderful discovery. By this time, there were also outfits that had copying machines, so for about 5 cents a page, I could get a copy of my manuscript.

Personal computers were the biggest gift to a writer yet. My first one had two places for floppy disks—and these were big and really floppy—one was for the program being used, the other for your story. Neither held very many words. To learn how to use it, the fellow who sold it to me had to come to my house—he also received a lot of phone calls from me.

I have no idea how many other computers I’ve had since then—each one far better than the one before it. You could even have your own printer, copier and fax included.

The next great change was the Internet and email. Sending a whole manuscript via an attachment to e-mail was wonderful! Think of all the paper I saved. Wow!

The first notion of e-books came along about then—10 years or so ago. I had an e-book published before there was such a thing as an e-reader. Not only did that mean anyone buying the book had to read it on a computer, but purchasing it was not easy. The Rocket e-Reader came along and it was great. Ebooks were easily purchased and downloaded. And of course everyone knows how the ebook revolution has taken over with all sorts of eReaders available. Not only that, people can publish their trade paperbacks and their own e-books in various ways

I recently heard that for 150 ebooks are being purchased for every 100 paper books.

Change is coming faster than ever before and it makes me wonder what’s next.

Bears With Us by
Marilyn Meredith
 My latest book is Bears With Us and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has her hands full when bears turn up in and around Bear Creek, a young teen commits suicide and his parents’ actions are suspicious, a prominent woman files a complaint against Tempe and her preacher husband Hutch, a love affair from long ago comes to light, and a woman suffering from dementia disappears.

Available from the publisher as a trade paperback and most e-book formats at:

The link at Amazon is

All my books are available as trade paperback and e-books. You can see what I have on my website:

My books are also available at Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered through your favorite independent bookstores.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, many award winning, including the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Angel Lost, the third from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She’s also a been an instructor at many writing conferences including the Maui Writers Retreat, Central Coast Writing Conference and many others.

Visit Marilyn online at
and her blog at

Please leave a comment for Marilyn. Maybe you'd like to mention if you've noticed any changes yourself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Really Roughing It

I'm sitting on the deck of my cottage in the Northwoods. Inside, along with electricity and running water, I have basic cable TV with remote control, VCR and DVD players, a laptop computer, an iPhone from which I can get email and connect to the Internet, or in the alternative, connect the iPhone to the computer and read it all there. On the end table by the bed sit my hands-free landline phone and clock radio. The kitchen contains a small stove and refrigerator, and running water. The bathroom boasts a toilet and shower.

Coming Soon
Forever Young-
Blessing or Curse
My husband fishes from the pier or takes his motorboat out when weather is permitting. So far on this trip, weather is very much cooperating.

From the campground further down the road, I can see a Fed Ex truck coming out.

Did I mention all the great restaurants nearby, and the casino a little too close for my pocketbook?

It's a wonder in the midst of all this hardship I can actually find the strength to sit down and get any editing done on my thriller, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse. Despite the enormous odds, somehow I'll have to manage.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tell Us How It Got There

On one of my many walks, I happened to notice a hole in the window of a new house that was for sale. I had a few ideas of how it could have gotten there, but I thought I'd ask you to tell me and everyone how you think a hole in a window could have happened.

Please give a short scenario of how the hole got there - a sentence or two, or if you wish, 1-2 paragraphs.
Later, I'll tell you my theories.

If you like romantic suspense,
Killer Career is 99 cents on
Kindle and Smashwords,
$13.95 in print

Thriller - Forever Young-Blessing
or Curse - almost ready!

Mystery - Two Wrongs coming out
again soon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This Week's Lineup

I'm still working on Forever Young-Blessing or Curse, so I'm not blogging as much. I still managed to get a few posts in, if you'd like to check any of them out.

My 2nd monthly post at The Blood-Red Pencil -

My blog at Acme Authors Link inspired by a Sold sign -

My guest, RJ McDonnell, rock & roll series mystery author. That's not all he does -

Morgan Mandel

Killer Career is 99 cents on
Kindle & Smashwords.
Also in print at Amazon.

Forever Young-Blessing
or Curse Coming Soon

Two Wrongs to be re-
released soon.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Where I Am Lately

You're welcome to make comments at any of these blogs, even if not on the date I originally posted -

At the Acme Authors Link, tell us what your favorite social network is -

On Monday I did a blog about Mishaps and how to use them to advantage in manuscripts. I asked people to mention theirs, and got some unusual responses at

Here's a fun blog called Save the Goober, where you get to show how to fix a mangled manuscript excerpt -

At Spunky Seniors, you can see a blog about me and my pit bull at,
among other blogs from seniors. Thursday, Sept. 8, will be a post where I feature one of my favorites, The DanZman. If you sign up for emails, you won't miss any of the posts there or you can just drop by at any given time to see what seniors are up to.

Morgan Mandel
Killer Career still
99 cents on Kindle
and Smashwords.
Also in print for 13.95

Two Wrongs to be
re-released soon.

Forever Young-
Blessing or Curse
also coming soon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spring Fling 2012 Conference

Get in on the great early registration discount for Spring Fling 2012 conference.
I will be one of the presenters at this conference, speaking about Blog Book Tours!
Here is the information:
Chicago-North Romance Writers of America
April 27-28, 2012
Hoffman Estates, IL

Early Registration opens September 1, 2011
New York Times best-selling authors:
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Mary Balogh
Simone Elkeles

*Over 30 workshops, many presented by NY Times bestsellers, RITA award winners and multi-published authors.
*5 Publisher spotlights

Martin Biro-Kensington Publishing
Tera Kleinfelter-Samhain Publishing
Megan Long-Harlequin
Shauna Summers-Ballantine Bantam Dell
Tessa Woodward-Avon Publishing

Ginger Clark-Curtis Brown LTD
Cori Deyoe-3 Seas Literary Agency
Scott Eagan-Greyhaus Literary Agency
Sara Megibow-Nelson Literary Agency
Paige Wheeler-Folio Literary Management, LLC.

*Agent/editor appointments provided on a first registered first served basis.
*Agents and editors subject to change.

Early registration from September 1-October 31, 2011.
RWA members: $164
Non-RWA members: $174

Regular Registration opens November 1, 2011
RWA members: $184
Non-RWA members: $184

For more information about Spring Fling 2012 and to register for the conference please visit:
Questions? Contact us at:

It would be great to meet you there!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have A Cover For Two Wrongs!

After collaborating with my cover artist, Stephen Walker of S.R. Designs, ,
he constructed a great cover for the re-release of my reverted rights debut mystery, Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel.

A boy's sister is murdered and he knows who did it, or does he?
Prison can turn the most innocent man into a killer. What happens when the person testified against is free?

This novel is set in Chicago when Marshall Field's was still Field's, with references to the Big Tree, Walnut Room and Frango mints during an era when basketball was king.
Lots of Chicago references, including my alma mater,
DePaul University.

As soon as I change the introduction, do a read through and insert a teaser at the back, I'll tackle downloading it onto Kindle and Smashwords. Hopefully, this can be done sometime in September, by October at the lastest. It may also coincide with the release of my new thriller, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse, which is in the editing stages.

I'll let everyone know!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Authors, Be Aware!

Money's tight, so we all need to be alert. I noticed an email ad from Kohl's about free shipping, with no purchase limit, along with 15% off. I then remembered I'd also received a mailer ad containing a 20% off code. I knew what I wanted to buy, so I went online and completed the transaction. What would have been a $51.00 charge became $35.36.

Many readers are out of jobs, or making less money than before. They're looking for deals also. Authors need to be aware of this trend. If you're publishing a book on Amazon Kindle or Smashwords, don't overcharge. Unless you're super-popular, you won't make many sales.

Or, maybe you're entering into a contract with a publisher. If so, think about that publisher's record with ebooks. Are they usually overpriced? What percentage of the sales will you get? Would it be worth it to keep the electronic rights if the publisher will allow it?

The majority of readers still want print, but the tide is still turning. While it does, and probably afterwards, overpriced ebooks don't sell as well. People still want to read, but they're looking for bargains. I know I am.

My current romantic suspense, Killer Career, is priced at 99 cents on Amazon Kindle and at Smashwords. I plan to put Forever Young-Blessing or Curse up at $2.99 at first. I have two backlist books I'm getting ready to also transfer over, and don't plan to go higher than $2.99 for any of them.

What are your thoughts about ebook pricing and book trends?

You can also find Morgan Mandel at
and other online spots.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

In the Mood

My friend, Debra St. John, and I were discussing writing and editing our manuscripts. We both agreed we  get a lot more accomplished if we're in the right mood.

Some people may consider it a copout, but if I'm too tired or too rushed, I can't give my manuscript the focus it deserves.

But what if I'm never in the mood?

Sometimes it's not easy to psych myself up to get back into the mood once I'm out of it.This started to happen after putting aside my work in progress to clear the basement after the recent flooding.

I wanted to get the editing of Forever Young-Blessing or Curse started again, but part of me said I didn't, mainly because I'd gotten out of the habit of being in the mood.

After setting aside a block of time with no interruptions, I went to the manuscript and began editing and kept at it. Soon I was back in the mood, getting into the flow where I wanted to be.

I'm not done yet, but I'm getting there. I used some trickery to get back into the mood, but it worked.

What about you? Do you have to be in the mood to write or edit? Do you sometimes trick yourself into getting back into the mood?

Monday, August 01, 2011

My glam shot

Lots of laundromat visits since the basement flooded over a week ago. I'm still cleaning up the mess of waterlogged items amassed from living in the same place over thirty years.

The good news is I finally had time to do more editing on Forever Young- Blessing or Curse today. Also, soon the basement will look better than it has in years!

Morgan Mandel

Thursday, July 28, 2011

RAIN is a four-letter word

I know lots of four-letter words that I won't list here. During the winter, SNOW is one of them.
These days, I've added RAIN to my list.

All week it has kept me from doing the edits on Forever Young-Blessing or Curse.

After what might be described as a drought, rain came down in buckets last Friday night and more is predicted. That's not good news because our basement took in 6 inches of water while we lay in bed unaware of the floodgates being opened. Lots of throwing out of Christmas items where the dye ran, plus other wet items, some that should have been discarded years ago. A horrible way to clean out the basement which needed cleaning!

Treasures found were photos in a waterlogged Rubbermaid container, which I rescued after many tedious hours of separating them to dry. It was worth the effort to bring back such memories.

I'm very disappointed that the Rubbermaid containers turned into flotation devices and tipped over with lids coming undone. I'd thought they would be more secure.

I keep telling myself it could have been worse, since many people threw out carpeting and other items that got ruined, and we don't keep anything really fancy down there.

With the forecast of more RAIN this afternoon and  tonight, the DH and I are hoping it won't be visiting our basement! If it does, it won't find too much left to get wet.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Post Tip - Please Plus

Morgan Mandel

Google +  (Google Plus) is still in its infancy, yet already has millions of members. This network may have a huge impact on SEO, if it doesn't already. Since that may be the case, if you like a blogpost somewhere, and happen to see a plus sign in the tray at the bottom of that post, please click the plus sign. I believe pluses will have the effect of bringing it to the attention of the millions of Google Plus members,

Plus your post yourself first. Never lose an opportunity.

My Google Plus address is if you belong also and want to connect.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Forever Young
Blessing or Curse

 I've been everywhere lately, and not here as much. I'm still working on my edits for Forever Young-Blessing or Curse and am amazed how much can still be changed. when I thought before it was right. (g)

Also, I've been pushing the new Spunky Seniors blog at for the 50 and over crowd, or those who are just curious to see how our minds work.

Then, to top it off, I've also created a new Facebook Group, called, guess what? Spunky Seniors, also for the 50 and overs and wannabees (yes, there are some), at!/groups/spunkyseniors

So, I've been busy, and now must get back to my editing so I can get my book out!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A New Blog Called Spunky Seniors

I'm excited to announce my new blog especially for and about seniors. It's about all kinds of fun things seniors are doing these days.

I've got some great pictures from these bloggers to go with their posts as well.

July 7  - Maggie Toussaint goes kayaking.

Here's the link for Maggie's post -

July 14 - Pat Bean goes skydiving.

If you're 50 or over and are spunky in some way, I'd be very interested in what you do, and would love some jpegs about it also. Or, maybe a family member or friend, or famous figure strikes you as a spunky senior. I'd welcome a post and pic or two on that also.

I'm keeping the posts short, 3-4 paragraphs are ideal.

Email me at with Spunky Seniors in the subject line if you're interested. In the meantime, no matter what age you are, you may wish to come over and see what our spunky seniors are all about. I've also got a button on the blog for you to follow by email, which is handy for reminders. So far, Thursdays will be the only day a new blog will appear, so people can appreciate the contents all week.

Morgan Mandel

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blessing or Curse

I've finished one of the stories in Blessing or Curse - A Forever Young Anthology. This one is the tale of Consuela who caretakes her husband, Diego, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease. This tale strikes home to me since my own dear mother suffered from this debilitating disease before she passed on.

In Blessing or Curse you'll learn whether the Forever Young pill was a good or bad thing for this couple.
I'm off now to work on another of the anthology stories.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Capable Hands

Forever Young- Blessing or Curse

Forever Young - Blessing or Curse is now in the very capable hands of my editor, Helen Ginger. Hopefully, she won't find too many things wrong with it, but I'll find out. (g)

In the meantime, I'm getting some blog posts ready ahead of time for when I do my Blog Book Tour, and also blurbs to describe the book. It's a busy, fun time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Will Today be the Day?

I'm wondering if today will be the day I finish editing Forever Young-Blessing or Curse. I'm getting very close.

However, the DH is also home today. He's already got plans for grocery shopping, going to lunch and a few other projects, so maybe it won't be the day.

I'll let you know when it happens.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Worth the Bother

I'm on my second personal edit of Forever Young - Blessing or Curse. I'm finding the experience very intense because not only am I reliving what happens in the story, but I'm also checking every little detail to make sure it's filled in and done in the best way possible.

Editing can be fun, and editing can be drudgery. From minute to minute, my feelings change on which it is for me.

I typed it all out single spaced so I could catch the mistakes and mark them in pen. That works fine, except for then having to go back to the manuscript itself and make the changes. I discovered it's way too easy to go through about ten typed pages and mark the corrections. Trouble is then it's a real pain to go to the manuscript itself and make the changes permanent. For my peace of mind, I'm doing only a few pages at a time now instead. I despise the minutiae!

After this, my manuscript is going over to my real editor, Helen Ginger for an even more intense going-over.

Fingers crossed that the Kindle and Smashwords editions will be ready some time this summer. Then I'll tackle Create Space, another project. I'm glad the front cover is already done, but the back is laying in wait for me. I'll need that before Create Space can publish it. So many details, but I'm chugging along. It's worth the bother.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fly Like an Eagle?

I saw many eagles while I was on vacation in Wisconsin. They're graceful birds, but also puzzling.

While I walked Rascal one day, I noticed an eagle being chased by a smaller bird. You'd think the eagle, being so much bigger, would have turned on the smaller bird and attacked it. Instead, it put up with the harassment.

The incident reminds me of what's happening now in the publishing world. The smaller birds, i.e., indie publishers and small publishers, are chasing the eagles, i.e., traditional publishers.

The smaller birds are gaining. The big birds are only starting to realize they are threatened. For the most part, they're still going about their usual business, as if no threat is involved. Maybe they don't think there is one.  Or, maybe they can't find a way to get rid of the pesky little birds, the ones they thought wasn't so important but really are.

And what about the authors published by the traditional publishers? Some are having second thoughts about going the same route as before. They're not sure if flying like an eagle is the best choice.

I'm one of the small birds right now, but each author needs to decide what's the best flight path. The great thing about this whole phenomenon is there is a choice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the Road Again by Morgan Mandel

Good Paul wasn't so successful last time in the fishing department, so we're off again to Wisconsin so he can try again!

Here are a few pics from last time:

My friend, Jeanne's backyard deer.

Rascal sunning herself on a good day.The tee shirt is so she won't get sunburnt.

The frog pond

The Lake

I'll have more for you from the next trip!

Morgan Mandel At the Mexican Restaurant - We'll probably go back there.
Great food and Great prices!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mona Risk, Contemporary Romance Author, Shares Editing Tips

Mona Risk
I'm very happy to welcome my guest and Internet friend, Mona Risk, today.
Mona never thought chemistry would lead her to publishing romance novels! Her Ph.D. in Chemistry trained her to prepare medicinal products, allowed her to analyze water and soil samples, and landed her contracts to refurbish laboratories in foreign countries. As a director of an analytical laboratory, she traveled to more than fifty countries on business or vacation. To relax from her hectic schedule, she avidly read romance novels and mentally plotted her own books. Eventually she left a successful scientific career to dedicate herself to her passion and share the many stories brewing in her head. Mona likes to set stories in the fascinating places she visited and throw conflict at her heroes and heroines.

"Mona Risk writes heroes with heart, heroines with spunk in stories and settings that are simply unforgettable!" -- Roxanne St. Claire, Killer Curves, National Bestseller.

You can reach Mona at  and

Mona says, "If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat."

Her current release is Rx IN RUSSIAN. Here's a little bit about it -

Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer. Duty demands he provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and a big family.
Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. She blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage. When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?
For more, see

AND NOW - Mona has some great tips today she'd like to share with you about editing
Edit your Manuscript
By Mona Risk

Someone said that creating a good book is ten percent writing and ninety-percent editing. Although I believe this statistics to be exaggerated, I certainly spend a lot of time polishing my manuscripts before sending them off to an editor.

For me, editing starts while I am writing. As soon as I type my first chapter, I read it again and again, first to check the story flows well, then for typos, spelling and grammar and finally to make sure that the hook is grabbing enough. By hook I mean, the first line, the first paragraph and the first page. These should be intriguing enough to catch a reader’s—or editor’s—interest. As a result, I keep revising the first line and first paragraph while I continue to write my story. By the time the book is finished, I have at least twenty versions of first paragraphs, all saved. I compare them, send them to my critique partners, and sometimes combine some of them, until I am satisfied with my hook.

While revising my first book for ever—more precisely for three years— I realized that an outline could save a lot of time. Now before starting a new story, I do my homework: an outline for the first three chapters, a summary of the back story, a few lines about the hero, heroine and villain’s characters and one paragraph to summarize the storyline. Only then, do I allow myself to start typing the actual story.

By the time my partial is polished, I am well acquainted with my characters and I have a pretty good idea of where the plot is going.

An outline for the whole book completes my preparations and helps my story to flow. Now I can write without interruption for days and weeks.

To edit the whole book, I tabulate the chapters and scenes, and then check the following items.

Setting: avoid having several scenes in the same setting. It’s boring.

POV: Heroine’s or hero’s. If you have a long book you can add, the villain’s POV.

Hook: strong enough to grab the reader.

GMC: what is the goal in that scene, what is the conflict?

Emotional development: show how the Hero/heroine’s attraction to each other escalates and their romance progresses. You should see a definite increase of tension and emotion from scene to scene.

Action: it’s important to show some stage direction.

Sensual Tension: any eye contact, hand touching, kiss,… Like the emotional development, the sexual tension should increase from chapter to chapter.

Sensorial: smell, sounds and color in the scene. It helps the reader be grounded in the scene.

End hook: Make sure it generates suspense, a question to be answered in the next scene or some emotion that keeps the reader panting.

Pace: how do you evaluate the pace in this scene, fast, medium slow? It should be fast if you have action or dialogue, and slow to emphasize emotion.

In addition to self-editing, I can’t stress enough the importance of sharing your work with critique partners.

You manuscript is ready to go. You need one last reading. I suggest you save the file in Adobe, click on VIEW, and then READ OUT LOUD. It’s an amazing feature I discovered a few years ago. The computer will read your story while you look at the pages on the monitor screen and note on a paper the repetitions, missing words, lack of transition. I prefer this method to printing and reading on paper. But you need one these two methods of final reading to catch the mistakes your eyes have stopped seeing on the screen.

Babies in the Bargain

Rx for Trust

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.

Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.      

Mona’s books are all available at

Mona's website:
Mona's blogspot:

Please leave a comment below to welcome Mona.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I Have A Cover for My Almost Done Book, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse!

 I now have a bright new beautiful cover for my almost done paranormal thriller, Forever Young - Blessing or Curse.

Thank you, Stephen Walker, of S.R. Designs at for doing such a great job!
Stephen was very patient, easy to work with, and open to suggestions.

Now that I have my cover and my editor, I better finish my initial edits and get the ball rolling!

For more details about Forever Young - Blessing or Curse, come on over to

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Have An Editor!

I emailed my former editor, Helen Ginger, who did such a great job editing Killer Career. She has graciously agreed to be my editor again for Forever Young - Blessing or Curse.

Now, I just need to finish going through Forever Young first so I can catch all the glaring errors before she sees them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Almost a Cover

Excitement is building, as my cover for Forever Young - Blessing or Curse takes shape. I'll be sure to share it when it's complete, even before the book goes up!

It's been a while since Killer Career came out. Above, on the blog header, I'm sharing my joy as I visited bookstores, found my book, and signed stock copies. I'm not too sure how many bookstores will still be around soon, which is a shame.

Anyway, with regard to Forever Young, right now I'm doing my own editing process, which will then be followed by professional editing. After that will be when I buckle down and figure out how to put it all up on Amazon as a kindle, then later into print.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Killer Career available for 99 cents
on Kindle and Smashwords.