Book Review: Boy Band by Jacqueline Smith

My friend Ben’s take on my friend Jacqueline E. Smith’s new book Boy Band. Although I am not yet finished with it, it is an amazingly fun and interesting book. As Ben says here, young or old, man or woman, there’s something for you here! Pick up a copy today!

The Midnight Writer


Boy Band

by Jacqueline E. Smith

5/5 stars

Boy Band surprised me. I wasn’t sure going in if I would connect with the characters of a modern boy band. Author Jacqueline Smith however is a tremendous writer with a gift for storytelling. Her characters are rich, successful, influential, but still relatable. There’s something very human in their struggle for acceptance and love. And I never knew how lonely or lost people at the top could feel. Add to this the relationships: oh, god, the relationships! They were a rollercoaster ride but I won’t give anything away. My favorite part of Boy Band was that though there was a degree of humor and YA silliness, the author was not afraid to get serious: whether it was the crushing double-edged sword of success or the pitfalls and ramifications of normal breakups. There are also several other observations on life that I found…

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Talking in the Library?

I am so excited! This coming Saturday, I will be at the Melissa Public Library giving a talk to a writers group about the writing and publishing process. I was always told to be quiet in the library, but this time, I get to talk! How cool is that?

It is interesting to me that I would be speaking to this writers group in this little town. You see, my mother was born in Melissa, Texas. She  passed away in 2004 and it is a sign to me that she is up  there in Heaven watching over me and watching this accomplishment. That’s such a comfort to think she knows what is going on with me.

Writing a children’s book a bit different than writing for an adult novel. For one thing, one has to think about the illustrations. What kind? How many? Photos? Drawings? Age of the child reading the book. Those types of things. I am also in the middle of writing my first novel for young adults and adults and let me tell you it is pretty different and in some respects, easier than writing for children . No matter who you write for you, you want your reader to be satisfied.

So many things going on and more engagements upcoming. After this weekend, May 1-2 , to be exact, I will be in Dennison, Texas at Authorfest! I cannot wait!  Then, the book signing at Half Price Books in Rockwall, Texas May 16. I have some things just after that and will let you all know about them when they are firmed up.

Thanks for hanging out with me for a bit. Have a good night . I hope you are reading something good. If not, try reading Boy Band by Jacqueline E.  Smith. She has one more amazing book on her hands. Enjoy!

Book Review: Jack Learns to Grill by Paula Walker Baker

A review on my book!

The Midnight Writer


Jack Learns to Grill (Volume 1)

by Paula Walker Baker

5/5 stars

Jack Learns to Grill is a great story. People may not think this of children’s books, but it’s true. Jack is an adopted dog taken in and nurtured by a loving family. He finds his way in the world through curiosity and playful humor calling his owners “mom” and “dad” respectively. Not only will children love hearing and reading this book, but I think there’s a more important message behind it. We should treat animals kindly and with love; not only because they need us, but because we need them too.

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Boy Band

Congratulations to my good friend, Jackie Smith on the release of her third book Boy Band! Woohoo!!!!

A Platform of Sorts

Well, it’s here!  April 21 and Boy Band is officially available on Kindle, Nook, and on!  It will be available on and probably iBooks shortly.  I say “probably” with the iBooks because I swear, I have never gone through more aggravation trying to get something done than uploading Cemetery Tours to iBooks.  It is a pain in the butt.

But I didn’t come here to gripe about my lack of iBooks skillz.  I’m here to celebrate!


It’s pretty cool.  This is a book I never planned to write.  It wasn’t even in my head when I began writing it.  It all began with my friend, Savannah ( telling me that she was participating in National Novel Writing Month and that I should sign up also.  At first I thought, “No way. I hate being timed. Besides, I should write because I want to write, not because…

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First Book Signing

Today was my very first book signing. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I was filled with a strange calm-as if this is where I was always meant to be. Those who know me well, know my nerves constantly get the best of me. But, today, I was determined not to let that happened and it didn’t. I felt at home , at ease in the C.F. Goodwin Library in Royse City, Texas.

Many friends and relatives came out to cheer me on and get their books signed. I read part of  “Jack Learns to Grill” to my audience and left them to find out the ending for themselves. That was hugely fun for me- to read my own book to an audience for heaven’s sake. “Who’da thunk it?”

The book was well received , was oohed and awwed over and everyone loved the artwork in the book. I have to call the illustrations artwork because they are watercolor paintings by my friend, Tana Jacks. She is an amazing talent and I’m so glad she is my illustrator.

My best friend (since 9th grade) was there, cheering me on and fixing up my table with my books, cards , setting it up so professionally. Thank you Kathy!

My good friend and mentor, Jackie Smith took time out of her busy schedule to attend and it made all the difference for me. She has held my hand and guided me along and still is. She has written three books and working on another. She is an amazing author and if you haven’t read her books, they are Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and Boy Band (to be released this month!) Gosh, she is just so talented. I want to be just like her when I grow up! No kidding. She’s that good.

Anyway, thank you to all who came and made the signing such a success. Here are some photos to enjoy. Now, you’ll be at the signing too!


Signing a book
Signing a book


Blame it on the Weather

I don’t know about these weathermen. Last night, I was trying to decide whether to let the horses stay out in the pasture like they usually do or whether to put them in the barn in case of rain. I decided to watch the news and see what they had to say. You


know the weather in Texas- if you don’t like it- wait a minute. But, the weathermen were calling for severe storms and I didn’t want the horses out in that, lest they get hurt by hail or lightening strike. So, by the time the ten o’clock news came on, the storms had subsided a bit and weren’t as strong. “It should be dry until morning and then watch for severe storms in the afternoon tomorrow,” said one. Okay, they’d be okay for the night out in the pasture. Good. They don’t care for barn life. They want to be out in the open, watching what’s going on. Anyway, we went to bed and soon enough, a crash of thunder woke me.

I rolled over, “Honey, that was thunder.”

Stephen: “uhhuh”

Me: “I thought it was going to be dry til tomorrow.”

Stephen: “uhhuh”

Me: “Should we move the horses”

Stephen: “mmm, I dunno.”

It’s 4:45 in the morning. It’s not like morning doesn’t come fast enough as it is and I have now turned on the television news to find out about the rain, thunder and lightening. At 4:45 in the morning- the a.m.-before the crack of dawn!

We decided to leave the horses out in the pasture. It didn’t rain very much , but there was a lot of thunder. When we woke up (at the proper time), I took the horses to the barn because it was to storm this afternoon. Dadgum if the storm didn’t bypass us!

Now, I’m not saying I want it to storm because spring storms here can be brutal. I’m just saying the poor horses have been in the barn all day waiting for a storm to no avail.

I don’t know why I can’t get this right- a thing like knowing when to put them in the barn, but I’m going to chalk it up to the weathermen and Texas weather. That sounds good to me!

Excited and Honored

It would not be an exaggeration to say I am so excited about current events in my life that if I could climb up on the roof and shout it out , I would! Ever since Jack Learns to Grill came out on March 12, things and events and doors have been opening up like nobody’s business.

I have just been accepted to the Denison, Texas Authorfest , which is being held the first weekend in May. I have a book signing on April 18. April 25, I have a library talk , May, of course is Authorfest and another book signing and in September, I will be going to Indie Vengence Day- a day of celebration , book reading and book sales for independent authors. I went last year as a bystander. I told them I would be there this year as a participant. And I will be!  I’m not even maxed out on excitement. It just keeps building and building. My poor husband is overwhelmed! But, we are both loving it!

Thank you to those who are helping me out in my new career! I can’t tell you how much you are appreciated! Thanks also to you who read my blog so that you can imagine me gushing in person! me

Mirrored Voices: Best New Poets

If you like poetry- you’ll love this!

The Midnight Writer

I am featured in the next book for the Mirrored Voices series, Mirrored Voices: Best New Poets. Please check out myself and the fantastic poets who have contributed their work.

ben This combined poetic anthology embraces free thinking of the untapped mind and spirit. A vast array of talented best poets from around the globe share their voices together in harmony.

Find it on:


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5 Excellent Quotes by Steve Jobs

The Midnight Writer

Steve Jobs was no doubt a visionary. I wrote after his death in 2011 of “a man who had his hands in Pixar, Atari, Apple and every facet of innovation in pop culture, a college dropout who slept on floors and went on to change the world.” And it is no less true. Whether through personal computers or the life altering and beautiful motion pictures of Pixar, he has and continues to shape lives. These are five of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

“the people who are…

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I can’t get enough of this spring weather. I live in Texas and generally, spring means tornadoes and storms. I care not a whit. I love springtime and the feeling of newness in everything I see. I even feel new. It’s like hibernation time is over and now playtime can begin.

I love the way the grass is the greenest it will be just right now, the way the flowers are starting to peep out and bloom into the miracles they are, and I love the smell of spring. Brilliant. Fragrant. Beautiful.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Go outside, let the sun bathe your body, take a few whiffs of the air- not just short whiffs- I’m talking about deep whiffs of fresh, fragrant air. We don’t have a very long springtime, but man, is it a good one!