For the Non-Quintessentially Cool

 Disclaimer: This book is not intended for the super cool.

If you begin every day by setting an intention while doing yoga on a paddleboard (and somehow not falling off), you’re out of my league. If you are even semi-fluent in the Urban Dictionary, there’s little chance we’ll connect. And if you use a vaginal steamer, well, I think we’re done here. Especially if you don’t have a vagina. 

On the other hand

if your spirit animal is the blobfish or you regularly and inexplicably choke on your own saliva, we might be related. If you find intermittent fasting to be both cruel and unusual, I feel your pain. If your athletic abilities could best be described as blundering and oafish, I’m right there with you. It’s possible that we speak the same language. 

We should talk. 

Available on IndieBoundAmazon, and B&N

From Amanda Turner (aka AK Turner), the New York Times bestselling author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, Hair of the Corn Dog, Vagabonding with Kids, Vagabonding with Kids: Australia, Vagabonding with Kids: Brazil, and Vagabonding with Kids: Alaska. She hosts an annual writing retreat in Todos Santos, Mexico. You can learn more at

Events at The Cabin

The Cabin in Boise is an active resource for both writers and readers. You might want to subscribe to their monthly newsletter (nicely not too frequent) to keep abreast of happenings, which this month include:

Scary stuff!

Read Freely vs. Banned Books

  • Success: $10,000 was raised and 1,000 banned or challenged books were distributed by 100 local volunteers

And there’s always more…

Like I said, you may want to sign up for their newsletter. (Scroll toward the bottom of their home page for a form.)

New Environmental Thriller

At the apex of his career, Doug Diehl becomes superintendent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and just in time to watch Congress drill it out from under him. The largest refuge in the country. The largest terrestrial megafauna migration on the planet. Turned into an oil patch, and on his watch. And now he has to live with it. If he can.

This debut novel by Boise author Todd Graeff promises to be a page-turner: Rick Arranger of Limberlost Press says, “I don’t know of another environmental novel since Ed Abbey’s that can get your hackles up the way Good as Given does.”

If this is your cup of tea, find Good as Given, with it’s unmistakable cover art by Ward Hooper, at:

More about the author

An aficionado of the anything-worth-doing-is-worth-overdoing school of compulsive behavior, Todd Graeff has dedicated his first 73 years to conserving wild places, pursuing adventure beyond the borders of good judgment, and writing about his more harrowing experiences. While his non-fiction and fiction have been widely published, Good as Given is his debut novel. Todd, his wife Mary, two high-test English setters, and one lap dog live in Boise, Idaho, where he continues to push the boundaries of good judgment.

Long Live Romance!

Romance Writers’ Week is coming 24-28 October 2022. This is a free week of writing training with expert authors, publishers, and marketers (including NYT bestselling author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones & the Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and more).

Did I mention it’s free. Register here. And no travel cost: it’s all online.

  • Learn from award-winning romance authors including Sarah MacLean and Lizzie Camilla Blackburn
  • Connect with fellow romance authors in daily networking events
  • Gain valuable knowledge and practical skills to help you obtain your writing goals

Sponsored by ProWritingAid.

Photo by 德綱 曾 on Unsplash

Read Newspapers @ Library

Yes, there are lots of newspapers and magazines to trawl through at your local library — but your library card may be your passport around those irritating paywalls, as well.

(A brief aside, recognizing that work deserves monetary compensation, including writers and responsible journalists, and the organizations they work for. All true. But we still are irritated by paywalls, aren’t we?)

Check with your local library to see if their services include subscriptions to magazines and periodicals such as: Idaho Statesman, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, New York Times, and more.

If you’re in Boise, check out this page in the BPL’s Research and Learning section for what you might be able to access.

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Nancy Weston

With books running from mysteries to memoir, Nancy notes: “As I have matured, met people, had encounters, failures and triumphs and learned about life, I have filed away hundreds of interesting characters, events, encounters and sights. Now my mind fills with stories to share and my challenge is to select the one that is right to tell right now.”

Her works include:

  • Digger’s Izzy
  • Valley of Shadows
  • Ice in the Guise of Fire (published August 2022)
  • The Cruelty of Swallows (to be published later in 2022)

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

Not really.  I have a list of stories in my mind that I want to tell.  Once I find the one that inspires me at the moment, I pretty much devote myself to getting the outline, then a rough draft of the story.  Then I may set it aside and work on something else or do something entirely different than writing.  Once I come back to it, my mind is fresh and I read it again.  This helps a lot!  Once I get a complete story arc that I like, I get an edited copy for my beta readers.  While they read the manuscript, I take another break.  Once I get their feedback, I may mull over their commentary or not, but I don’t rush into the next draft.  Time is my best friend in the process.  Once I start work again, it is to complete a final draft of the work, although that may be many revisions later.  When I have a complete final draft, I send it to be edited again. 

Continue reading “Nancy Weston”

Genalea Barker

Genalea has an Associate’s Degree in English Literature and a deep-seated passion for stories which highlight mental health and body positivity. Her short fiction has been recognized by Idaho Creative Authors Network, Idaho Writers Guild, and Women on Writing. Select works have been published with Bookends Review, Grande Dame Literary, Gemini Magazine, and Writers in the Attic: Rupture.

Watch for these Young Adult Contemporaries:

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I’m a busy mom to four young children, so my “routine” is mainly to write whenever I have both the time and brain power to do so. Usually late at night after everyone is in bed, and occasionally during the school day when I only have my toddler at home with me. 

Continue reading “Genalea Barker”

Sometimes, a Shepherd…

Remember when discovering a new book was always a fun experience? Any more, one feels battered by vendor advertisements or lost deep in the machine that is Goodreads.

Enter – now in beta, but eminently functional.

Tell me where else you could find human-curated (actually, author-curated) lists of:

Or browse by Wikipedia topic and find a treasure trove of books on friendship, China, or Magic-Supernatural, for example.

Recommended by your website editor as a fun and positive and most interesting browse.

First ‘Trouvères’ Adventure

A new book from our recently-profiled Idaho author, Ellis “Skip” Knox.

Theft, illusion, and murder in a ruined paradise

The Compagnie des Trouvères are to perform at festivities on the beautiful island of Capreae. When a young illusionist is accused of stealing the duke’s signet ring, Val and the other Trouvères step in to prove his innocence.

Young lovers are here for a betrothal. Powerful nobles are here to put their mark to a peace treaty. But someone is out to ruin both, and no one seems to care if an obscure illusionist pays the price for their schemes.

No one, that is, except for the Trouvères.

About the world of Altearth

The Signet Ring is the first in a series, but it is the fourth book that is set in Altearth, a world where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell. These include:

  • Goblins at the Gates, which tells how magic first came to Altearth
  • A Child of Great Promise, the story of a girl who thought she was half-elf and half-human, but discovers she is neither.
  • Into the Second World, an adventure story that reveals central mysteries about Altearth.
  • Mad House, a novelette about the unlikely pairing of a sprite and an ogre, and a house going insane.

And now The Signet Ring.

Here you can meet Valentin, Charlot, Enzela, Miron, and Tusco—acrobats, actors, and magicians—who will fight for you when no one else will. In subsequent books they will travel across Italia, into Germania, and then to Gaul. They will seek justice for the wrongly accused, but eventually must face their own accusers.

Ellis “Skip” Knox

Ellis L. (Skip) Knox is a writer, medieval historian, and the creator of the fantasy world called Altearth, a place where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell.

His work includes several short stories published in online magazines as well as these intriguingly titled novels:

  • Goblins at the Gates
  • A Child of Great Promise
  • Into the Second World
  • The Signet Ring (released August 2022)
  • Mad House

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I have a study with my books, computer, and table. I write four days a week (I’m retired), usually for two to four hours.

Continue reading “Ellis “Skip” Knox”