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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Financial Backup Lessens the Stress and Worry of Freelancing

As a freelancer, I find my worries and my stress are greatly lessened when I have a financial backup. If single, one way is to live with a roommate, who will share in all living expenses. This could be with another freelancer (hoping your slow months are not the same but weathering them all the while). Another way is to have a credit card for those slow months. While I hesitate to offer this suggestion, the best way to use a credit card is to never use it. The second-best way is to pay it off monthly (or at least before the 0% interest expiration date). Don't take cash advances as the interest rates are exorbitant.

For some freelancers, PayPal's line of working capital might work for them. It doesn't for me. I'm a service provider, not attending conferences or making costly purchases of equipment or with any employees to pay. So those big-ticket items (seemingly covered by an injection of capital) aren't involved in my business as a copy editor.

Just like decluttering your house can ease back on those interrupting and nagging to-do/should-do thoughts, having a financial backup can lessen those distracting worries and disabling stressors, keeping you working and focusing on more productive endeavors.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Florence. God bless you all.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Computer Running Slow, Hanging Up? Here Are Some DIY Tips

I visited a friend of a friend to get my computer running faster. It worked. Enormously. Thanks Liz and Don.

MY NEEDS: I'm not a gamer or a photographer. I'm a copy editor using Word to Track Changes in my clients' soon-to-be-published manuscripts, using online Webster's to double-check spelling, using the online version of The Chicago Manual of Style to double-check grammar, plus doing some fact-checking via the internet, along with accessing three email addresses to connect with my author clients. Yes, it should be just one central email hub in hindsight, but I was tracking how I got their attention.

Also I have a cloud backup program. I've found that I need to see that little icon appear in my taskbar before everything else speeds up. While that icon seems to be the last to show up, it only takes a couple minutes max. In my downtime, once I've stopped working for the day, I do watch movies on Netflix and YouTube on a second laptop while in bed.

MY SYSTEM: I'm on Windows 10, using 2010 Word, with a wireless laptop (no wired-in desktop computer).

INTERNET MODEM: My service provider is AT&T, and they are wonderful. We finally got them in my neighborhood, and (1) I was happy to switch. They are cheaper than my previous provider (who was the only game in town for years). They provide faster service. They are rarely down. In fact, they seem to run two underground lines from my house to the pole in my backyard. Like my neighbor said, if the system goes down, it's only for about five minutes, as the second line kicks in to keep me connected.

My router/modem is installed in the first bedroom that initially served as my office. However, years ago I had moved my office to the second bedroom, some one hundred feet apart, with many twists and turns and walls and doors in the way. (2) I bought an internet booster that you sync with the modem and then plug in somewhere between said modem and the computer. That helped even before I switched internet providers.

Prior to my visit to the local computer guru, I found two videos on YouTube: (3) one to double my RAM and (4) a clean batch file to clear out the temp files and the prefetch files. I run it every morning to delete the junk. After all that, I then (5) uninstalled computer programs, notably all but two browsers. [I had been checking other browsers to see if they were any faster than Google Chrome.] Google Chrome is my current default, with Microsoft Edge as my alternate, in case I need to see if Google is down.

My new friend, the local computer guru, also checked for software programs that could be deleted, suggested I check for more software that I did not need and was not using that could be deleted. NOTE: I suggest you make a list and speak to your IT tech first before deleting/uninstalling any unknown programs to you, or you could search the internet to confirm what those programs do as well before uninstalling something really important that you need. My computer guru also asked about how close my router/modem was to my computer, asked if I was wired-in or wireless (discussed above).

But his best advice was priceless: (6) Set up a second work laptop strictly for checking my three work-related email addresses. My primary work laptop was restricted to working on my clients' Word docs and doing related internet research. Luckily I have a graveyard of laptops that I had not yet recycled at my local BestBuy, as I resurrected one for my bedroom for movie-watching (nice big screen for a laptop with great audio and video), another one to serve as a second work-related laptop for my office to segregate said three email addresses via two email programs from my other business-related needs.

Once I set up that secondary work-related laptop for checking emails throughout my day, magic happened. My primary work-related laptop no longer froze up every ten minutes (or less). My computer boots up/shuts down in five minutes or less (instead of thirty minutes to an hour or even more).

Now I'm a happy camper. Granted, my system is not as fast as what is depicted on TV with hackers able to do anything in seconds. Is that even possible in real life? I'm no hacker, but I am envious of their computers. However, just doing each of the above-noted tasks has vastly improved the frustratingly slow computer problems that I had been dealing with earlier.

Hope this helps someone out there as well.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lost Your Status Bar in Microsoft Word?

Don't waste hours like I did trying to resolve this problem. Microsoft Word's Help did not address this issue. Repairing Word did not fix this issue but probably needed to be done as I'm still using the 2010 version.

Here's how to recover your Status Bar in Word:

  • Click the View tab in the main menu.
  • Click Arrange All.
That's it! When searching Google, this tip did not appear on the first page load of results. I found it via a Microsoft Edge search.

Now I can get back to work effectively and efficiently. Have a good one, all.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Thursday, May 24, 2018

GDPR Compliance

With the new standards introduced by the European data protection law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I appreciate the added privacy protections. 

I am all for keeping data safe. I understand my Blogger/Blogspot site is owned and/or run by Google and has a GDPR Compliance Notice already posted for review by my European visitors.

BUT, just to be safe, I'm posting this notice as well.

I have no control over these tools or Google's Blogger/Blogspot's operations nor am I affiliated with Google's Blogger/Blogspot beyond using its services as described, and I do not collect any data as a result of this usage. Google may collect and/or process your data in these circumstances. If you have any concerns regarding Google's use of your personal data following use of these related tools, you may read Google's policy   here and here.  

Google's Privacy Policy may also be found by  searching for the Google Privacy Policy .

My Living the Dream Publishing blog relies on its legitimate interests to process any sign-up/subscription data so that I can keep you up to date with further blog posts as added herein. I make no other use of this data.

I respect your personal data (whether you live in European countries or elsewhere in the world). 

I have never and will never sell your personal data to third parties.

My subscribers are in control and can opt out at any stage. 

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Sci-Fi Book Recommendation for Your Summer/Beach Reading: J. W. Garrett's Remeon's Destiny

Remeon's Destiny, Book One of J. W. Garrett's sci-fi Realms of Chaos series, releases on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, on Amazon. It's available for preorder now at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CK5MF2X/ref=pe_385040_112047530_TE_DP
He is the key to a world's survival.
Here's the cover art and the Amazon description to lure you into this wonderful read:

Remeon's Destiny (Realms of Chaos Book 1) by [Garrett, J.W.]

A boy seeking adventure … A world that's dying … A war that may have no winners …

Thomas longs to escape the drudgery of farm life, dreaming of adventure and running away from his demanding parents.

Planet Remeon is on the brink of destruction, fighting a crippling disease that threatens to wipe out their civilization.

Thrust into their world, Thomas is caught in the middle of telepathic mind games between the Day Watchers and the Night Dwellers.

Alliances will be broken. Thoughts will be controlled. Will anyone survive?

* * *


Denise Barker

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Need Some Midweek Motivation? Here Are Four Inspiring Thoughts for You

I love quotes. I've been collecting them my whole life. I have four volumes of quotations uploaded on Amazon to date, each one containing about 2,500 entries. I find them helpful as writing prompts. I find them soothing. I find them inspirational. Each time I read them, I get a new insight from several.

In short, quotes are amazing and can transport us to new and different places, to new and different insights, to new and different mind-sets.

So, for today, here are the four resonating most with me:

Choose based on your highest good.

Do what you can
With what you’ve got
From where you’re at
Be fearless in your pursuit of what sets your soul on fire
I’m not telling you it will be easy. I’m telling you it’ll be worth it.

Fill your mind predominantly with thoughts like these, and just imagine where you could go, where you could end up. Enjoy the trip.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Saturday, April 14, 2018

BookBub Offers Marketing Articles and Services

I subscribe to BookBub's daily email with free and low-priced books. It's like Christmas every day, IMO. But also BookBub offers marketing articles.

Here's one promoting their marketing services: https://insights.bookbub.com/launch-book-using-bookbub-marketing-tools/

Here's another on a free way for authors to engage their readers: https://insights.bookbub.com/recommendations/

Check out BookBub.com for more info.

Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Book Cave Has Great Articles

Not only do I enjoy their daily offerings of books on sale or for free, Book Cave has some really great articles.

The current one is the "23 Benefits of Reading," and I love the catch-all quote that starts off the article:

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.—Joseph Addison

Here's the link for your reading pleasure.



Welcome to My World, Where Every Day Is a Saturday

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)


Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Wonderful Local Writing Group and My Foremost Advice to All Authors

I met with my local writing group this week. It was wonderful. Having a home away from home that nurtures your writing addiction and fosters your creativity and encourages your every step, as well as your leaps and bounds, is priceless, folks. So find one for you in your area.

But this post is about something else.

I have over two thousand e-books on my Kindle, waiting to be read. I hope to read more when I'm "retired," whenever that is. Since I'm a serious workaholic, I don't see me retiring. Regardless, even though I am a copy editor by day, by night I'm a reader. It's not uncommon for me to read two hundred books in a year, on top of the sixty or so copyediting projects that I handle each year (which I read through twice completely, doubling the original document's word count). I read a lot. All the time.

And those two thousand or so e-books on my Kindle are a sort of safety net for me.

I fear running out of good books to read.

Now that is my main message here.

So, as I told the four new attendees (yay!) at our writing group meeting last night, don't hesitate to write what is on your heart. Go with your gut. It doesn't matter what the latest booming genre seems to be, as that will change. It doesn't matter what the best-selling authors may write about. As they change too.

I believe each author has its own designated readership in the world, just waiting for those books to be written, to be published, to reach their eager hands. No one author appeals to every person on this planet. You only need your particular readers to find you, to read your stuff. So don't worry. I believe the appropriate matching of the readers to authors happens over time. So just write. And write some more.

Write YOUR message, YOUR story, YOUR voice, YOUR soul, YOUR uniqueness.

That's today's message, which my own intuition pushed me to write about in this post. And this message is for authors at all stages of your career, whether just starting out or long into this wonderful and sometimes maddening profession.

That's all for now. Gotta run. I have copyediting projects awaiting me, akin to the unread books on my Kindle, which are both like Christmas every day, with packages for me to open to see what lies within.

Have a great week/weekend, y'all!

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Welcome to My World, Where Every Day is Saturday


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My Homemade Sweet Cream Cold Brew Recipe

This is pretty close to what I can get from Starbucks. I still get it there when I'm out and about. What can I say? I'm addicted to sweet cream cold brew. Here's my recipe:

I recycle a Starbucks Trenta-size to-go cup for my homemade version. Fill it to the top with ice. Pour in concentrated cold brew to the topmost line of the two marked on the cup (a little more than halfway) or your own cold brew concentrate. But I like mine strong, especially when the ice starts melting and diluting the ratios. Fix yours how you like it. Just make note if the cold brew you purchased is concentrated or not. Don't dilute those that don't say "concentrated" on the label. Add in water, with about 1" left for the final additions.

Top off with:

  1. I don't like mine overly sweetened, so just two little squirts of Walmart's Great Value brand of Liquid No Calorie Stevia (NO CARBS TOO).
  2. One tablespoon of Natural Bliss's new Sweet Creme Coconut Milk Creamer (I LOVE this). This is 3 grams of carbs well spent, IMO.
  3. Two tablespoons of half-and-half. That's 1 more carb.
Total carbs = 4/serving!

The Starbucks's nutritional info for a Trenta Sweet Cream wasn't available the last time I checked online. But for a Grande, it was 5 carbs. I figured, for a supersize Trenta, it was more like 15 carbs. So my homemade version saves me beaucoup carbs.

I love it. And I have it often at home.


Denise Barker

Seeking Balance in My Freelancing Life: My Ketogenic Experiences

This post has been nagging at me this morning, so let me get this down and uploaded so I can get to work.

As a freelancer, I just paid the IRS my balance due on my 2017 taxes today and yesterday my first quarter 2018 taxes. I have a huge smile on my face at this quite grand accomplishment. It was a big chunk of money (for me), but that just means I had a good 2017 year and seem to be repeating it this year. I'll be better prepared when I do my 2018 taxes next April. Thank you to all my wonderful authors who I am honored to work with year in and year out.

Another part of my freelancing life involves much time spent seated before my computer. I'm sure you've heard that sitting is the new smoking. But I've also heard that good health is more about the meals than the treadmill. I hope so since I haven't exercised in ... forever. Unless you count weekly forays into my yard (the mowing, the weeding, the tree trimming, etc.). Here in the DFW area of Texas, I can mow ten months out of the year. Love being outside in my yard.

Yet I tend to be a workaholic. Gross understatement here!

ANYWAY, this year my focus has been more about balance. While I still work every day of the calendar year (yes, holidays, weekends, my birthday, etc.) whenever I have projects in my queue, I've always been good about having some downtime afterward. This year I'm eating better with an eye toward hitting those hiking and biking trails in my area. Haven't done the hiking trails yet, but it is spring now, and weather.com has taken out all those rain days in our local forecast. So there's hope I'll get to that too. Can't wait.

In the meantime I've been on a keto lifestyle plan since 12.05.2017. DISCLAIMER: I am no fitness expert. These are my individual findings, as you will surely experience your own. Keep a daily food journal. Maybe you can see patterns that will help you better tailor any plan to your body and your life.

Here are some random thoughts from my experience:

  1. I've had MONTHS where I was stalled (per the scale) but continued to lose inches (per the measuring tape), so if you are currently there too, don't despair.
  2. Note: I weigh daily (and try to not get discouraged). I do wish my scale gave me my body fat numbers. Oh, well. I measure monthly.
  3. With the carb-cycling element in play in some keto diets (and seems to be favored for women with their particular hormone mix), I never feel like I failed at any time to follow the keto "diet." That's a huge plus because I'm not entertaining negative thoughts that could derail my progress. Any success begets more success, right?
  4. Don't ever get a hysterectomy. I never had a weight problem until about ten years afterward. And the change in hormones doesn't help with losing the pounds. Listen to me here.
  5. This isn't a diet to me. It's an eating plan. A true lifestyle. One I feel I can easily follow for the rest of my life. And have been for the last four months. Successfully through Christmas, Valentine's Day and now Easter. Wow.
  6. I started out strict (25 carbs or less daily; I even had one day where I had 0 carbs!). However, I've found I don't need to be that strict every day to still lose weight/inches.
  7. For me, I seem to lose weight/inches when I stay around 35 to 50/60 carbs a day.
  8. I was a major sugarholic, have been my whole life, yet I'm getting by with Stevia. Watch out for any Stevia sugar substitutes that may have 0 calories but HAVE CARBS.
  9. I am not eating fruits, and I am missing them at times. But, with my restricted carb limit, I find I'm spending my carbs on my homemade sweet cream cold brew (recipe coming up in next post) and veggies. I love a basic fajita combo of sauteed bell peppers and onions (added to eggs, chicken, beef), but those have carbs, folks! Even the red bell pepper has more carbs than the green. So sign up to MyFitnessPal.com or check carb counts online for EVERYTHING you eat.
  10. Same thing goes for checking labels. My local Aldi's (with their own brands) has condiments and sauces that are much lower in carbs than can be found among the selections available at my local box store. It's great because these are Aldi's everyday brands (not their organic line), and they are less expensive to boot.
  11. As a very general rule, you can have an abundance of green foods (leafy greens for a salad or sauteed, plus green beans) without running up much of a carb count. It's those colorful veggies that have carbs. Watch out for them. Be diligent in counting your carbs.
  12. I was a major carboholic too, have been my whole life, yet I'm easily controlling them. Never thought I'd say that. It's like the daily addiction has been cured. I do indulge when the craving sinks in deep and nags at me (which is occasionally). Hey, I'm a Deep South gal. Food is my life. Ha!
  13. Just to clarify, I don't believe in counting calories. Look at anybody on a high-fat diet who is losing (or has lost) weight to confirm that. Immediately I think of Dave Asprey, Bulletproof CEO and guru. Plus there is the whole element of "bad v. good" calories, just like "bad v. good" carbs/fats/proteins. Keep that in mind too.
  14. I can have pasta, rice, grits, french fries, soft pretzels and the like on this plan. I just must be selective and parse those out. Any of those options are about 40 carbs for 1 cup. But don't go by my rough estimate here. Look it up to confirm. But that's what I have in my head all the time when I'm thinking about what I can eat in one day without going over the 50-carb to 60-carb mark. You'll learn what your favored foods end up being and how to integrate them occasionally into your life too.
  15. I thought I was a major sugarholic. Yet my cravings/splurges are more related to savory carbs. Surprising.
  16. And then my mind jumped to ice cream. If you haven't tried Halo Top ice cream, you're in for a treat. One-half cup of the Vanilla Bean flavor is 11 net carbs. You're welcome.
  17. I find I have better results when I skip breakfast. Almost every single day. I know. I know. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yeah, I've heard that too. But have you seen the more recent findings about how you can eat the same number of calories in one six-hour period instead of one sixteen-hour period and yet lose weight? It's minifasting. Do some online research and decide for yourself. This is the only kind of fasting I seem able to do.
  18. Now, if I'm hungry when I wake up, I eat. Usually scrambled eggs (cooked in lard/bacon fat/olive oil/butter/noncoconuty-smelling coconut oil) with green onions and cheddar cheese and a fresh chopped tomato slice added at the last minute or fried yellow/purple/white onions on the side (like a hash-brown substitute). Or I'll eat a whole avocado and nothing else. Although I do like my scrambled eggs with avocado too. Yum. The point is, if you can't talk your body out of being hungry by distracting it for the next few minutes to an hour later, feed it! Try to offer it something that is on the better end of the food spectrum, if you can.
  19. So I normally eat two meals a day. I eat when I'm hungry. I usually push it to when I'm really hungry (like my first meal may be at 2:00 p.m. or later, and my second and last meal may be at 6:00 or 7:00 p.m.). I may eat the same two meals if I made a big roast in my slow cooker. Or I may eat the roast and roasted veggies (onions, bell peppers, carrots, NOT potatoes) for one meal and a big plateful of salad for the other (substituting any croutons for sunflower seeds). I go by what my body wants. Our bodies are pretty smart when we don't interfere with their normal processes.
  20. I start my day with coffee. While I love a Bulletproof coffee with added Brain Octane Oil and grass-fed butter, sometimes I opt for fresh-brewed hot coffee with cream in the wintertime. I'm known to drink sweet cream cold brew all throughout the year. Sometimes I need lemon water and will go through gallons of it in one week. Other times I want lemonade with Stevia.
  21. I prefer a dribble or two of heavy whipping cream in my hot coffee, but I thought maybe my keto plateau was due to that (even with an organic cream), so I switched to half-and-half, which I like a lot too. Remember though, the heavy cream has no carbs while the half-and-half has 1 carb per 2 tablespoons. Yet I started losing weight again. Go figure.
  22.  I had a thought earlier this week that I should add more good fats to my meals. Get more Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil. I'll record what happens with that and share it later.
  23. Today my interest is piqued about BHB (keto salts). I'll let you know if I go that route and what happened for me.
Okay, that's it for now. Feel free to share any words of wisdom with me regarding the keto lifestyle.

Have a good one!

Denise Barker

Friday, March 9, 2018

Author Highlight: Phil M. Williams

Want your reading to be informative as well as emotional? A fictionalized account of what happens in the real world? Phil M. Williams's novels will show our society at work, both the good and the bad. Pick up his two nonfiction books regarding permaculture and landscaping to help make our planet a better place for future generations.

UPDATE: Per his website, here's his affiliate link info:

The above link is a Genius link, that will route you to the appropriate Amazon store regardless of your location around the globe, and it contains my Amazon affiliate info, so your support goes to me.
I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

My particular number one favorite of his offerings is Sedition. It's a raw emotional read that you won't ever forget. Suggested for mature audiences only.

And, if you haven't gone to Amazon yet, here's his cover art to tempt you further:

Stone Lake The Propaganda Project Initiation Sedition No Conscience Cesspool Fire the Landscaper: How Landscapers, HOAs, and Cultural Norms Are Poisoning Our Properties Against the Grain Farmer Phil's Permaculture Against the Grain YA Edition


Denise Barker

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Author Spotlight: Raymond L. Weil

Here's another prolific author for you to dive into: Raymond L. Weil.

To date, he has written nine different series, sharing his captivating sci-fi stories online since 2011, although his Dragon Dreams series appears to be more fantasy than sci-fi:

1. Dragon Dreams (a three-book series)
2. Star One (a two-book series)
3. Moon Wreck (a three-book series)
4. The Slaver Wars (a seven-book series)
5. Galactic Empire Wars (a five-book series)
6. The Lost Fleet (a five-book series, also a Slaver Wars novel)
7. Star Cross (a five-book series)
8. The Originator Wars (a three-book series)
9. Earth Fall (newest series, with Book 1 released on January 19, 2018)

Check out his Amazon Author page here: https://www.amazon.com/Raymond-L.-Weil/e/B00288AOB2/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

I'm sharing some of his cover art to tempt you further:

Earth Fall: Invasion : (Book One) The Originator Wars: Conflict Unending: A Lost Fleet Novel The Star Cross: The Vorn! Galactic Empire Wars: The Beginning Books 1-3 The Slaver Wars: Books 1-3 The Lost Fleet: Galactic Search: A Slaver Wars Novel Moon Wreck: Fleet Academy (The Slaver Wars Book 3) Star One: Tycho City Survival Dragon Dreams: Dragon Wars

Set aside a few days, even your whole vacation week, to get into just one of these series. You'll be hooked.


Denise Barker

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Author Spotlight: Dale Mayer

SEALs of Honor: Ryder

Eye of the Falcon: A Psychic Vision Novel (Psychic Visions Book 12)

Dale Mayer is a prolific author, creating twenty-nine new titles in 2017 alone, with over 150 ebook offerings at Amazon. Her books cover various genres. My particular favorites are her Psychic Visions series and her Broken Protocols series (set in the future) and her Broken but ... Mending series (a raw emotional read). Of course I adore any of her SEALs series. She has four: SEALs of Honor,  Heroes for Hire (former SEALs), Sleeper SEALs and her newest, SEALs of Steel.

Her Design trilogy and her Biker trilogy and her Time Thieves novel are on my Read Next list.

Dale Mayer's vampire series and her paranormal fantasy series I have yet to read. (So many books, so little time.) Plus she has various romance collections where you can read her contribution among many other authors. The paranormal fantasy romance anthology looks tempting too, entitled Ancient Blood of the Vampire & Wolf.

And there's more. Check out the witch anthology, entitled Every Witch Way but Wicked. And the Darlings of Urban Fantasy collection. There are several fantasy collections, BTW. See also the Vampires, Werewolves & Zombies collection too.

Here's the link to her Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Dale-Mayer/e/B001JPADOI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1519314662&sr=1-1

This list of her books below is incomplete, as it doesn't show any of her four SEALs series, but it's enough to whet your appetite:

By Death: Books 1-3

Books by Dale Mayer

Psychic Vision Series
Tuesday's Child
Hide'n Go Seek 
Maddy's Floor
Garden of Sorrow
Knock, Knock...
Rare Find 
Eyes to the Soul
Now You See Her ...
Into the Abyss
Seeds of Malice
Eye of the Falcon
Itsy Bitsy Spider - Preorder for July 24, 2018 release

By Death Series
Touched by Death - Part 1 - Free
Touched by Death - Part 2
Touched by Death - Full book
Haunted by Death
Chilled by Death

Second Chances...at Love Series
Second Chances - Part 1
Second Chances - Part 2
Second Chances - Full book

It's a Dog's Life- romantic comedy

Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy
Broken Protocols #1
Broken Protocols #2
Broken Protocols #3
Broken Protocols #3.5

New adult/adult crossover books 
In Cassie's Corner
Gem Stone (a Gemma Stone mystery)

Design Series
Dangerous Designs 
Deadly Designs 
Darkest Designs

Family Blood Ties Series
Vampire in Denial
Vampire in Distress 
Vampire in Design
Vampire in Deceit
Vampire in Defiance


Denise Barker

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I Wanna Live in Bear Grass Springs, a Fictional Town Created by Author Ramona Flightner

Granted, this is a fictional town in 1880s' Montana, and I'm a Deep South gal living in 2018 who wants to hug the shorelines, so it won't work in reality.

But this small town draws me in. Meanwhile, the bad guys are evil, and the good guys are put upon. Yet the community still holds this Come Ye All Who Are Downtrodden vibe.

Want to know more? Here's Ramona Flightner's Amazon Author link:


Check out Ramona Flightner's first series, Banished, and her latest series, Bear Grass Springs. Here's the cover art and description for Bear Grass Springs (Book One), Montana Untamed:


Montana Untamed (Bear Grass Springs, Book One): Bear Grass Springs, Book One by [Flightner, Ramona]

A passionate embrace ruined her reputation. A moment of desire forced him to break a vow. Will they find love in a marriage of convenience?
Annabelle Evans arrives in Bear Grass Springs, Montana Territory, in 1884 hoping to reunite with her long-estranged sister. Expecting to attend her sister's wedding to Cailean MacKinnon, she is shocked at Cailean's pronouncement. With his "I'm not marrying a whore" echoing in the General Store, Annabelle discovers that her hoped-for reconciliation will not be as she had imagined. Not one to retreat from a challenge, Annabelle opens her own business, intent on remaining near her sister to repair their damaged relationship and succeeding without the support of a husband.

Cailean Mackinnon swore off marriage twelve years ago when he fled the Isle of Skye in Scotland. A successful livery owner, he is determined to focus on his work and his siblings, adamant that he has no room in his life for love. However, he cannot suppress his fascination for the resourceful and determined Annabelle who, in turn, cannot avoid a reluctant admiration for the strong, virile, loyal Scot. A fateful kiss witnessed by the gossiping town busybody forces their mutual attraction into the open.

Annabelle's independent spirit precludes a man in her life, and Cailean's closed-off heart refuses to allow any woman in. Will Annabelle and Cailean overcome their fears for a timeless love?  
Order today to immerse yourself in the world of 1880's Montana!

Bear Grass Springs Series:
Montana Untamed (Bear Grass Springs, Book One)- Available now!
Montana Grit (Bear Grass Springs, Book Two) March 2018
Montana Maverick (Bear Grass Springs, Book Three) April 2018
Montana Renegade (Bear Grass Springs, Book Four) May 2018
With More To Come!
clean, historical western romance novel, standalone, no cliffhanger ending
For fans of Debra Holland and Carolyn Fyffe comes a new historical western romance series by the author of the Banished Saga.

Book Two, Montana Grit, releases 03.13.2018. You can preorder it now.

Montana Grit: Bear Grass Springs, Book Two by [Flightner, Ramona]

An interrupted wedding. A deceitful bride. A devastated groom. Will they forgive each other and allow their love to rekindle?

After fleeing her past and settling in Bear Grass Springs as the schoolteacher, Leticia Browne has no intention of falling in love with the charming liveryman, Alistair MacKinnon. The pioneer town was to be her refuge. Survival and peace were her goals, not love. She never thought to marry. Never again.

Alistair MacKinnon is a patient man, slow to anger and quick to forgive. He’s waited three years to marry Leticia and his wedding day is upon him. When the door to the church bursts open, interrupting his wedding, he realizes nothing is as it appears. Now, he must face his worst fears , the town’s ridicule, and his hardest challenge yet. 

Battling despair at her treachery, Alistair must fight to regain his trust in Leticia while fending off the courtship of a desperate woman. Leticia, now a shunned woman in town, must find a way to survive by her wits alone while evading an unwanted suitor. Will Alistair allow the interloper to destroy his dreams or will he fight for Leticia and their love?

This is a stand-alone, clean, western historical romance with no cliff-hanger ending.

Books in the series:
Montana Untamed (Bear Grass Springs, Book One) 
Montana Grit (Bear Grass Springs, Book Two)
Montana Maverick (Bear Grass Springs, Book Three)
Montana Renegade (Bear Grass Springs, Book Four)


Banished Series, Banished Love (Book One)

I’m suffocating under the weight of others’ expectations. If I have to sit through one more afternoon tea, listening to my simpering stepmother extoll the benefits of traditional roles for women, I fear I’ll scream, “The world is changing. It’s 1900!” 

I want more from life than she can imagine.

If she knew of my interest in Gabriel, she’d have a fit of the vapors. She’d bemoan his humble beginnings and lack of wealth rather than recognize his integrity or his loyalty to his brothers. If she saw how he stares at me, as though I’m a puzzle he’s trying to solve, she’d lock me in my room. He fascinates me, as no one has since that awful day.

How can we surmount society’s prejudices and allow our love to grow?

Banished Love- Book One in the Banished Saga has a cliffhanger ending. This is book one in a proposed nine-book series.

Novels in the Banished Saga:
Love's First Flames (Banished Saga, Prequel, Book 0.5)
Banished Love (Banished Saga, Book 1)
Reclaimed Love(Banished Saga, Book 2) 
Undaunted Love, Part One (Banished Saga, Book 3, Part One)
Undaunted Love, Part Two (Banished Saga, Book 3, Part Two) 
Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book 4) 
Unrelenting Love (Banished Saga, Book 5) 
Escape to Love (Banished Saga, Book 6)
Resilient Love (Banished Saga, Book 7)

With more to come in the Banished Saga!

Banished Love- Book One in the Banished Saga- romantic historical fiction; a clean romance.

FYI: Set mostly in Boston, MA, in the early 1900s. Here are all the currently available titles in this series:

Love's First Flames (Banished Saga, 0.5): Banished Saga, Prequel Banished Love (Banished Saga, Book 1)  Reclaimed Love: (Banished Saga, Book 2)
Undaunted Love (PART ONE): Banished Saga, Book 3 Undaunted Love (PART TWO): Banished Saga, Book 3.5 Tenacious Love (Banished Saga, Book 4): Banished Saga, Book 4        
Unrelenting Love: Banished Saga, Book 5 by [Flightner, Ramona] Escape To Love: Banished Saga, Book 6    Resilient Love: Banished Saga, Book 7


Denise Barker

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Highlighting Author Brian Paone

Ready for some mind-bending reading from a truly gifted author? Then Brian Paone's works fill that bill. His latest book seems to become my newest favorite. Enjoy!

To follow Brian, see:

Book Descriptions and Cover Art:

Moonlight City Drive
Moonlight City Drive

11:18 p.m. Subject is checking into the Desert Palms Motel, accompanied by an unknown female ...

Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me … Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you ...

What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers? I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.

… I was always easily influenced.

Yours Truly, 2095
Yours Truly, 2095 by Brian Paone (2015-06-01)

Jeff Blue—the victim of a time-travel conspiracy—wakes up trapped in the year 2095. The only familiar face is J0; a robotic copy of the wife he left behind in 1981. But can she be trusted?

J0 could be the only key to unlock Jeff’s journey home, but it will require her to do something against her 
programming—something human.

During Jeff’s perilous journey through the future, he will have to discover the truth about J0’s origins and solve the mystery behind how he wound up in 2095 in order to uncover the reality of his own destiny. 
Armed with a one-way ticket to the moon, Jeff must race against the clock to seize what might be his last chance to return home to his time. A time without hover cars, Justice Computers, or TeleSkins—a time over one hundred years ago.

Welcome to Parkview
Welcome To Parkview by [Paone, Brian]

"Welcome To Parkview" reads the rusted sign along the outskirts of town. The tarnishing letters seem inviting, yet foreboding and mysterious. Is passing through such a wise idea?

The final destination may be more dangerous than the trip itself—an unapologetic journey through a town that thrives on sex, violence, and the macabre. A place built on deceit and temptation. A spot forever cursed with soulless transients, unforgiving lovers, and merciless vampires who hide in the shadows beyond.

The facade is peeled back just enough for you to see past its surface. There’s but a glimpse of the darkness that put Parkview on the map. Then you realize that nothing here is a coincidence. In Parkview, it may be best to keep buried secrets quiet.

In Parkview, even truth can be a deception.

Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts
Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts by [Paone, Brian]

When the lines between a drug-addicted rock star and a die-hard fan begin to blur ...

In Brian Paone's first novel, he chronicles the trials and tribulations of befriending a modern-day rock star. As a die-hard fan of the rock band God Lives Underwater, Brian wins the trust of lead singer David Reilly. This honor comes with its own set of extreme personal highs and devastating shared lows.

During their tumultuous friendship, David fights an extreme battle with drug abuse and depression. Pile on top of all this the throes of a cutthroat music industry and the realization of one's own mortality.

Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts is a novel that convinces the heart of every reader that perhaps dreams are never really finished. Instead, they are passed on from one friend to the next.