by Dame Betty Dravis

betty with jack black bottles big smile 10 2012I was laughing like crazy when this picture was taken. Happy because mine and Barbara Watkins’s Six-Pack of Fear was just launched and doing very well. It was Halloween and I had some skeleton-head rings to dress my fingers and found some Jack Black bottles with skeletons on them. Since both books in the Six-Pack series have skeletons on the cover, that amused me…to put it mildly.

This photo gave me the idea to ask some authors what made them happy. I think you’ll enjoy their stories. And do get copies of their books. I also request comments at end of this blog and on their various sites, if you have time in your own busy schedules. 🙂



Author Inglath Cooper Is Most Happy When…

Inglath Cooper

Inglath Cooper

Maybe we’re happiest when we’re with the people in our lives who know us best. Over the years, I have made many friends in different periods of my life. Many wonderful and amazing friends… But I am never more comfortable, more free to just be me than when I am with my mom and sister. We share so much history, so many good times, and our conversations are always peppered with those memories.

Here I am at dinner with them during a recent vacation to Palm Beach, Florida. It was a carefree week with much laughter and teasing. Another memory I will treasure.

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Author Laurel Rain-Snow Had “Miles to Go”

Laurel Rain-Snow

Laurel Rain-Snow

Picture the setting:  Circa 1970.  The world is our oyster, to coin an old cliché.  In this photo, I am in love and cooking Christmas dinner for my new man, who would become my second husband within a few days.  Shortly after he flashed this photo, I would drop the pan of gravy on the floor, but no worries…  I salvaged most of it.  And I kept smiling.

It was our very first Christmas dinner together and I was still a novice at big feasts.  He was teasing me about my domesticity (or lack thereof) and I laughed because I was nervous, but also happy.

Now imagine a scene from my novel Miles to Go when Lindsay and Jack are brand new and loving every moment of their lives together.  They would not begin to realize what would come charging around the bend within a very short time.  But in that moment, they are happy and in love.

In this photo, I was living parts of that story, one that I would create more than thirty years later.


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Author Ashley Fontainne, Mother of the Bride

Ashley Fontainne

Ashley Fontainne

This photo of author Ashley Fontainne was taken at the rehearsal dinner of her middle daughter the night before her wedding. Ashley and her husband Michael were happy campers that night and throughout the wedding ceremony and celebrations. They were absolutely delighted to see their daughter and her groom so obviously in love, committed and glowing with happiness.

The entire family was there to celebrate the wedding. What a fun night! (This is a fun blog and I thank Miss Betty for inviting me to participate.)


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Author Lin Stepp Enjoys “Miles” of Smiles

4 smile picAuthor Lin Stepp stands smiling at the beginning of a hiking trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; happy for Spring to be here at last and happy that her fifth Smokies-set novel, Second Hand Rose, was just released this month and that her hiking guide The Afternoon Hiker will soon follow this summer.

To read more about Lin’s books and to see beautiful Smokies photos, see her website at:

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What Makes Barbara Watkins Grin from Ear-to-Ear?

barbara smileOh yeah – that’s me sitting in my writing room with a big grin on my face! All you have to do is look closely at the photo to understand why. I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of two extraordinary directors–Armand Mastroianni to my right and Dimi Nakov to my left–and behind me is none other than the one-and-only…my sweetie, Johnny Depp! No such thing as ‘writer’s block’ when you’re surrounded by this much inspiration.

In 2012, I was thrilled to collaborate on a book of short stories entitled Six Pack of Blood with the legendary Betty Dravis, and then I struck gold again in 2013 when we released our second installment, Six Pack of Fear. pure gold! In 2011, I wrote my first novel, Hollowing Screams, and am confident it, too, will bring home the gold in the near future.

“Good things do come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.”

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Young Wayne Zurl… The Story

Wayne zurl as a kid...Here’s a picture of little Wayne, the erstwhile sheriff of Brooklyn, New York and part-time singing cowboy, smiling as he remembers a fond moment from his younger days. Travel back to 1955, and stare into that twelve-inch, round, Dumont console TV. It’s Saturday night at . . . maybe 9 o’clock. James Arness (Matt Dillon) just shot Arvo Ojala (the bad guy in the black hat) in the opening credits of Gunsmoke. Every boy in the audience pulled out his Mattel Fanner 50 cap gun and twirled it on his trigger finger. Little Wayne was no exception.

The scene shifts to the Long Branch Saloon on the main street of Dodge City, Kansas. Doc Adams (Milburn Stone) is leaning against the bar sipping a whiskey and Chester Goode (Dennis Weaver) is holding a mug of beer. US Deputy Marshal Matt Dillon walks through the swinging doors and sizes up the barroom. Dillon is six-and-a-half-feet-tall. He stands with his legs moderately spread, his thumbs hooked over his gun belt, but he’s ready to pull out a long-barreled Colt if some hombre makes a false move. On that day, the outlaws of Kansas were busy robbing stage coaches on the prairie and all looked peaceful in Dodge.
Matt joined his friends, asked the bartender for a beer, and tipped a ten-gallon Stetson back on his head. The camera panned left as she descended the main staircase. Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) wore a dark, low-cut silky dress, the color of which was anyone’s guess; it was black and white TV. She stood on the ground floor for a long moment before joining those three characters at the bar.

Ninety-nine percent of the young cowboys in the TV audience shrugged and kept twirling their nickel-plated six-shooters, showing no interest in the woman, but not little Wayne. He looked at Miss Kitty and smiled. The kid was in love and prepared to face off against Dillon if the marshal tried to keep him from scooping her up into the saddle as he galloped down Main Street on his Appaloosa.

But Dillon didn’t have the nerve to let the kid draw first and he turned his back as little Wayne and Kitty rode off into the sunset.
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Author Adelle Laudan Had Fun Viewing Old Photos

Let me start by saying, I was, and still am very camera shy. It was a chore trying to find a photo of me laughing. I had my daughter look through some older pics and she came up with this one. It was taken twenty-seven years ago at a surprise wedding shower. I remember being less than impressed at being caught with no make-up and wearing comfy clothes. By the looks of me in this picture, I got over it and had a fun time! LOL

What fun it was taking a trip down memory lane with my youngest. Thank you, dear Betty, for inviting me. I wouldn’t have had this special time, chatting

and giggling at pictures from years gone by if it wasn’t for you. I think next time I have my kids together, we’ll do it again.

Wishing You All Miles of Smiles

DOD Happy Author blog april 17 2013

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It’s release day for the 6th installment of my Women of Strength Series. It is titled Dani and you can take a sneak peek on my blog.


Former Playboy Bunny Victoria Taylor Murray is Happiest When Writing

vickie 2I was happy when this picture was taken; I was celebrating signing the contract for my first four-book series, The Lambert Series: Thief of Hearts,” Forbidden, Friendly Enemies, and Le Fin.  Since then I have written eight other books, Passed Down Through  Four Generations, The Shadow of Her Smile, Exposure Behind Closed Doors, The Scarlet Ribbon, and The Hall of Mirrors Series: The Hall of Mirrors-Book One, The Hall of Secrets, The Rock of Ages, and The Hall of Veils.

My current writing project is on the second book in my Passed Down Through  Four Generations series of cookbooks.  I’m from a family that consists of  four generations of male chefs and I must admit each and every one of them is a far better cook then the females in my family (smile).  Some of the family recipes are truly to-die-for.  I also have a book of poems…a work in progress.  I have won numerous awards and honorable mentions for some of my poems and song lyrics.  I have written two songs to my credits as well as 200 poems, long before I even penned my first book. 

Funny story about why I even started writing books.  What started out as a joke between two sisters and my sister’s favorite soap opera turned into a series of four books.  Who knew?  No one was more surprised than I.  I was visiting my sister one day during her favorite soap opera (Days of Our Lives) and she was angry over the storyline the show was heading in. She looked at me, shook her head and said, “Anyone could write a better storyline then the writers they have now.”  She cleared her throat and then said, “Hey, I’ve got an idea,,, Why don’t you write a soap plot and send it to them.”


I rolled my eyes and responded, “Thank you, I think.”  To our mutual surprise, I did just that! As it turned out, she loved the first book so well it turned into afour-book series.  Like I said before. no one was more surprised than I.  Anyway that’s how I began writing books. 

vickie's bookMy newest novel, The Hall of Mirrors, is my first attempt at writing a paranormal-suspens, a new genre for me.  I usually write romantic-suspense (my favorite), so my newest story has some romance in it. And I just can’t seem to stay away from the suspense or intrigue of a storyline.  My characters are always colorful and never dull.  In The Hall of Mirrors I have a few past lifetimes interfering with the present and what a delicious blend of past and present it is.  Hint: What does the son of darkness have to do with the daughter of light? Guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out.