Paper Pirates Possibility

While I haven’t found any of my books on eBay, I HAVE found them elsewhere. I notify them of copyright infringement, they take it down, and a few months later, it’s back. Folks, this problem is here to stay and it’s up to us to remain vigilant. Let’s do all we can to take care of our intellectual property, and if we find another author’s work in a suspicious place, let them know about it. We’re all in this boat together.

Jo Robinson

Something’s got me seriously confused. I saw a post about getting your books taken down from some pirate sites, so as a matter of interest I googled mine again, and found that not only has African Me been loaded on to heaps more torrent sites for free or paid download, but that now Shadow People has joined the pirate party as well. The thing that’s got me wondering is that they’re both being offered on ebay too as paper books. I stopped looking after four different sellers there. (Click on pics to see them bigger)

African Me Satellite TV Robinson Jo 1492719102   eBay.png1

At first I thought it could be a reader selling them second hand, but when I had a proper squiz I saw that they’re being offered as brand new/unopened. The sellers have multiple copies too – ten each mostly in stock, and they’re selling them for less than what Amazon’s charging for them.

Shadow People The Finding Robinson Jo   eBay

I looked…

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~Easy Chicken Pot Pie~

Writers have to eat, too. We may be hip deep in a fantasy paranormal shape shifter suspense novel, but when the stomach rumbles, we go in search of something to eat. Today’s blog offering is all about food—easy and delicious.

Are you sick of the cold? Are you weary of snow drifts? Are your kids getting on your nerves because you can’t send them outside to play? When was the last time you saw your car? You know it’s there–somewhere under that mound of snow. Not to rub salt in anyone’s wound, but it’s summer south of the equator.

If you’re tired of wearing four layers of clothing, here’s a delicious recipe from Amanda Gayle over at Night Owl Kitchen that will take your mind off the weatherman saying, “Another winter storm is on its way.” Really? Drag everyone to the kitchen and make this yummy rendition of chicken pot pie. While it’s baking, you can huddle around the stove and thaw out your toes. When the timer goes DING!, you’ll have a dish that not only smells good, but tastes good, too.

Night Owl Kitchen

I hope everyone is staying warm on this Tuesday. Goodness, I cannot get over just how cold it’s gotten here in the south. I’m definitely not complaining, I actually love it! Anything that will delay the onslaught of mosquitoes is fine by me 🙂 I know many of my friends, however, are longing for spring and warmer temps. They’re tired of having cold noses, stinging cheeks, and their teeth chattering all the time. But hopefully today’s recipe will warm you back up in no time!

In all honesty, I’ve always been intimidated to make a chicken pot pie. Well, perhaps not as intimidated by it as say yeast breads…I’m thinking of my Mom and hearing her words “but it’s so easy now!” My response:


Alrighty, I never attempted to make a pot pie because I don’t have good luck with doughs. I’ll just be honest, the dough usually comes out…

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Mirroring and bonding

I found the following post to be quite enlightening—detailing how a person gets snared by a sociopath and what happens when the bloom is off the rose. I know one young woman who found herself caught in this spider’s trap and how difficult it was to get out. Anyone who has ever crafted a twisted and cunning antagonist will appreciate how complex the human mind is.

Dating a Sociopath

I have been researching histrionic personality disorder. I am interested in the similarities between male and female, and why males are often diagnosed Sociopaths and females diagnosed Histrionic Personality Disorder (not always, but it is common).

I came across this article about psychopathic mirroring on Psychcentral. I don’t usually copy and paste articles to this site. I was really impressed with this article, thought I should share.

Psychopath mirroring

A psychopath will mirror your identity at the beginning, middle and end of a relationship, only in different ways at each stage. Initially, in order to win you over, he will pretend to be like you and to like everything about you. Robert Hare and Paul Babiak describe in Snakes in Suits how during the “assessment phase” of the relationship a psychopath will convey to his target four main messages: 1) I like you; 2) I share your interests; 3) I’m like you…

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Writing Tip: Kicking Procrastination to the Curb!

pro•cras•ti•nate – (prō-krăs′tə-nāt′); 1) To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness; 2) To postpone or delay needlessly.

I think the definitions should be reversed. I want to believe that more people are #2 than #1. Number 2 can happen to any of us at any time. It’s a fact. It’s reality. It could be a sick child. A sick spouse. Skinned knees. Parent/teacher conferences. Your friends invite you to lunch. Family and friends call. They come over unannounced. A faucet springs a leak or

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Courtesy of

the toilet overflows. Your dog swallows a child’s plastic golf ball. A tree limb falls on your house during a storm. You’ve gained new followers on Facebook and Twitter. And if you have a 9 to 5 job, that stress alone can drop a manhole cover on your well of creativity.

Life intrudes. It squeezes between good intentions, frays our nerves, and wrecks our plans. There’s no escape. Things pile up until we’re in over our heads. We’re in its clutches, and when that happens, we don’t know what to do. We can’t NOT address life’s challenges. Yet we freeze up. The more we think about it, the worse it gets. Pretty soon, our writing begins to suffer until the day comes when we realize it’s been weeks since we sat down for some serious writing.

So, how do we wear all the hats in our lives and still find time to write the next bestseller? Is there a miracle answer? No. And there’s no magic pill to set the minutes of our day on the course we want to go. If you’re having difficulties or know someone who is, I hope what I’m about to share will help you the way it helped me.

It’s time to kick procrastination to the curb! All of us have the power to put an end to the very thing that holds us back. Here are some things to think about:

1. How long can you devote to writing? Don’t think hours. Think minutes–10? 15?

2. Make an honest commitment to set aside time each day. Use a timer.

3. Stop thinking in terms of pages and word count. Think sentences.

Courtesy of Ulfbastel;
Courtesy of Ulfbastel;

You see, my grandson challenged me to a race. How many sentences could I write in an hour versus how many math problems he could solve. He usually has 25-28 math problems and he challenged me to write 35 sentences. I set the countdown timer and away we went. We got done about the same time. He did all his math problems and I had 35 sentences. When he asked me how many words I had, I was surprised to discover I had almost 400. Just for one hour! We’ve been doing it every day since then.

Select a time and a place. Use a timer. I can’t stress that enough. Be realistic in how many sentences you can complete in the time you’ve chosen. The number of sentences is based on an average sentence of narrative. If you’re writing dialogue, you’ll get more. Even the sentence “What?” counts. The following numbers are approximate:

• 1 hour = 30-35 sentences or 1 sentence every 2 minutes

• 30 minutes = 15-18 sentences

• 15 minutes = 7-8 sentences.

• Even a ten minute session can get you about 5-7 sentences.

Four hundred words a day doesn’t sound like much, but it is. If your plan is to write an 80,000 word novel, you can write the first draft (not counting the weekends) in about 200 days. For a 50,000 word novel, the first draft will take approximately 125 days. It’s doable.

Don’t worry if you have trouble. Last summer, when I was suffering with a bout of insomnia, I was lucky to get a few words a day, let alone a few sentences. In the six weeks it took to re-establish a regular sleeping pattern, I probably wrote about one page–not a page a day–just one page. I know what it’s like to sit there, staring at a blank page with the cursor blinking at me–mockingly.

Increase your time slowly. If you can consistently write for fifteen minutes, raise it by five minutes until you’re getting a full hour. After that you can decide if you want to increase the time more. Or, you may have to decrease it. But that’s okay. Writing is letting you inner muse out to play. It’s work, but it should be fun to create, too.

Courtesy of Ekko;
Courtesy of Ekko;

The whole idea is to get you back into the game gradually, without falling into the trap of beating yourself up for “failing.” There IS no fail. Repeat that! It’s all about taking the manhole cover off your well of creativity, not dropping it on your foot.

So, go ahead! Kick procrastination to the curb! You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. In fact, you might be writing a bestseller!

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate each and every one of you. Please say hello, and if you’re interested in reading the original post about my grandson’s writing challenge, you’ll find The Thirty-Five Sentences Writing Challenge by following the link.


A Victorian Greeting Card
A Victorian Greeting Card

It’s here at last! The day of romance and wonder. The day girls often dread because their clueless boyfriends/husbands always buy them something they hate. The day guys dread because they can’t figure out what to buy and are running around the mall in panic mode. This isn’t an exhaustive list, because there isn’t enough room on the entire internet for ALL the bad Valentine’s Days gifts that exist. So here’s some of what I found:

  1. Gift Cards – nothing says “I forgot” more than a gift card.
  2. Costume Jewelry – if it turns her finger or ears green, it wasn’t a good idea.
  3. T-Shirts with tacky lingerie drawn on it. A drawing of a voluptuous, naked woman with big ta-tas isn’t any better. Trust me.
  4. Small Appliances – never good unless she loves to cook and specifically asks for something. Otherwise, it’s just something to make her work more, and it will take up space in a closet, OR you’ll wind up using it yourself.
  5. Gym Membership – “What? You think I’m fat?” Then she’ll cry, and you’ll find yourself sleeping on the sofa for more than a few nights over this faux pas.
  6. Red Roses, a Box of Assorted Chocolates, and a Stuffed Animal – how predictable can you be? Roses aren’t the only flowers on the planet and some of those boxes of chocolates don’t taste very good. If you can find (even online) a good place to buy candy she DOES like, you’ll hit one out of the ballpark! And the stuffed animal? Don’t EVEN go there.
  7. Padded Panties and Push-Up Bras – it’s as bad as a gym membership. They sort of go together. We women know–we KNOW that eventually the cute butt of our younger years will one day be knocking on the back of our knees. We also KNOW that our once perky ta-tas will sink south, as well. What we DON’T want is you reminding us.
  8. Nothing. Probably the worst of them all. She’ll think you don’t care enough to even try. After all, you’ve known for 364 days that February 14th would eventually show up on the calendar.

Antique-Valentines-Day-CardsNow, before the guys get mad because I haven’t mentioned them, I WILL say that it often seems harder to buy for the man in your life since the whole holiday seems geared toward women. That said, here are a few things that might be a HUGE turn off for guys:

  1. Gift Cards – again? Yeah, it’s just not romantic. Sorry.
  2. Stuffed Animals – ditto for guys. He won’t be caught dead with one of those cutesy, dust catchers in his bedroom.
  3. If a woman screams at the thought of a Gym Membership–ladies, don’t turn around and buy your guy a Self Help Book to help him do ANYTHING! Don’t help him get organized, or to become a better communicator or to help him get in touch with his feminine side. If you do, it’ll find a happy home under the stuffed animal you bought him last year and eventually disappear into the round file.
  4. A Tattoo with your name. Funny how guys live to regret that one!
  5. A Gift Basket of Grooming Products – just like women and their sagging everything, men don’t want to be reminded that, not only is their hair disappearing from the top of their heads at an alarming rate, but it’s growing out their noses and ears. If he doesn’t do body hair removal, don’t think for one moment that having all the tools to make it happen will–uh, make it happen. Resist the urge to include tongue scrapers, bald head wipes, and breath freshener. Remember, you have 364 other days of the year to talk about hygiene. Valentine’s Day isn’t that day. And while you’re at it, ditch the gift basket. Even filling it with manly tools, knives, guns, and boxes of ammo won’t hide what it really is–a gift basket!
  6. Video Games – if your guy is already spending too much time killing zombies, why would you give him a gift will cause him to spend even MORE time away from you? Might as well shoot yourself in the foot. Unless, of course, you love killing zombies, too.
  7. A Tie – I learned this one the hard way a looooooong time ago. I don’t buy my husband clothing items of ANY kind. He always returns them. Ties are also on the so predictable list. He gets one from his mother. He gets one from his grandmother. He gets yet another one from his sister. Beware predictable!
  8. Nothing – most men I’ve known don’t seem to mind if they don’t get anything. Maybe deep down they want to be remembered and we should let them know how much they mean to us. And the Golden Rule would seem to apply here. Ladies, if you want to be remembered on Valentine’s Day, then DO some remembering of your own.

Most of all, don’t buy any combination of the above items. It will only end in tears for her and frustration for him. She’ll be alone for the day while he goes off with his friends to drown his sorrow in beer and games of pool.

Instead, enjoy the day and enjoy each other’s company. That’s what it’s really about. Loving and being loved. There’s no gift under heaven that can truly express what it means to have a special someone in your life. Tell them today. Don’t wait.

Fun Friday

A gem from Joanne Guidoccio’s blog. Here’s a tribute to all the excuses we make in life. Pertinent to authors and the choices we face, but also to every person on the planet who walks and breathes. Take heart, though. The more we hesitate, the more mistakes we make–eventually we learn from it and it turns into wisdom. After that, nothing can stop us!

Joanne Guidoccio


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10 Key Questions That Can Determine Your Success As A Writer

Jonathan Gunson of Bestseller Labs has put together ten key questions that will cut to the heart of our fears as writers. He then answers the questions, stripping away the

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Courtesy of

insecurities that plague us, holding us back and preventing us from even trying to reach our goals, our dreams. Are we stalled in the middle of a project or is there a story in our heads, but have yet to begin writing it? Perhaps we sit at the computer or laptop, staring at the blank page and watching the cursor blink endlessly. Are we allowing daily life to intrude on our writing time?  Do we even HAVE a writing time?  Are we afraid of what others will think of our work?

He asks this very important question:Do you know WHY you are writing? Get clear why you are doing this.There’s no doubt you’d like to earn some money from your work, but essentially it is vocational. Being a writer embodies more than putting words on paper.  It reaches deep within.  It’s who you ARE.  Furthermore, most writers are not aware of the extraordinarily powerful advantage they have: IDENTITY:  I am a writer.  Very few people on earth know who they are, or what their purpose is. But you do.”

Read the entire post here.

Fiction Friday: 8 Things Writers Forget When Writing Fight Scenes

Not all historical novels will have fight scenes, but when they do, here are eight tips from YA author Lisa Voisin to help us write better and more realistic battle scenes, whether it’s between two characters or a cast of thousands.

Lisa Voisin


Recently, I attended VCON, a science fiction and fantasy conference in Surrey (part of Metro Vancouver) and attended a session called “Writing About Fighting.” The panel consisted of writers and experts who were disciplined in multiple martial arts, including authors Lorna Suzuki and T.G. Shepherd, and Devon Boorman, the swordmaster of Academie Duello in Vancouver. (I lost my program, so if you remember who else was there, please leave it in the comments, below)

For me, this talk was so fascinating, it was worth the cost of admission to VCON. In fact, I spent days thinking about the topics discussed and tried to incorporate them into The Watcher Saga. These are just a few of them as I remember it.

Eight Things Writers Forget About Fight Scenes:

1. It’s not about the technical details

First of all, if you’re not technical and don’t know the details of fighting, you…

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