Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2019—1 year—365 days of new opportunities

cj Sez: Can you believe the new year is 2019? 

". . . and I still have so many unanswered questions! I haven’t found out who let the dogs out...where the beef is to get to Sesame Street... why Dora doesn’t just use Google Maps...Why all flavors of fruit loops taste exactly the same, or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop...why eggs are packaged in a flimsy carton, but batteries are secured in plastic that’s tough as nails... why “abbreviated” is such a long word; or why is there a D in ‘fridge’ but not in refrigerator... why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor yet dish washing liquid is made with real lemons... why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections... why is it that when you “put your two cents in,” you only get a “penny for your thoughts” … and where’s that extra penny going? ... why does The Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same tune... why did you just try to sing those two previous songs... and what exactly is Victoria’s secret? …does anyone know where Waldo is?... Can you hear me now?... and …"

  Okay, I admit. I’m not really that witty. I stole this from a Facebook friend who got it from someone said to have stolen it from her brother’s girlfriend’s, uncle’s cousin who lived next door to an old classmate’s mailman. (Yeah, right.) 

   The stories in HOMETOWN HEROES, A Christmas Anthology are not just seasonal. Their uplifting messages can be enjoyed year-round. The highly rated anthology is still available (free on Kindle Unlimited) here: 

After you’ve read the stories, I hope you will consider writing a review. (Please and thank you.)

cj Sez: That’s it for the last post of 2018. I wish you a new year of days filled with God’s blessings of health, peace, prosperity, and success in all your endeavors.

Find my books on

Sunday, December 23, 2018


From my house to yours, Merry Christmas

I pray your celebrations are filled to the brim 
with the love of family and friends.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

cj petterson

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Contest Scams: Things to Look For

cj Sez: Hometown Heroes, A Christmas Anthology is a perfect holiday gift. 
  Buy a copy (the Kindle is still 99 cents) and make a donation to the Cajun Navy organization with one click of the mouse . . . a portion of the proceeds benefits the Cajun Navy, a volunteer group of neighbors helping neighbors in times of distress.

   Writers seeking recognition, especially unpublished writers, often enter writing contests in hopes of winning both recognition and a cash prize.

   Unfortunately, not all writing contests are legitimate. This article from Wiki How to Do Anything offers tips on things to look for:
 Think twice before sending money. If the terms of a contest demand a fee to enter, read the fine print and investigate the contest sponsor. Most often, not always, but often enough to raise red flags, paying money to submit your work involves a scam. There are many people in the literary world who believe no writer should ever pay a fee when submitting work for consideration. A healthy publishing environment seeks new, talented writers and pays them for their work; the writer is not asked to pay for the privilege of someone reading his or her work. 
   Here are some common reasons contest sponsors give for charging an entry fee:”


   If, like me, you’re remembering a loved one who isn’t with you this Christmas, here’s a wonderful poem from police procedural expert Lee Lofland that speaks to a lifetime of loving memories. The following excerpt begins a touching verse that is sure to touch your heart.
It seems like just yesterday when they were last here,
Sharing their laughter and their love,Playing silly games and offering warm hugs. 
   Read the entire beautiful piece here:

   Great reviews for HOMETOWN HEROES continue to stream … and here’s one of the 5-Stars:  
Hometown Heroes: A Christmas Anthology is a wonderful set of stories that I loved reading. Having stories that are set around Christmas and then adding in some romance gives you that heartwarming feeling that the season is all about. There is no doubting the magic of the season as you read each story. The woman in these tales are fiery, independent, and strong. While the stories are not long they have enough emotion in them that I found myself with misty eyes and a smile on my face. I found that these stories stayed with me and I thought about them even after I had finished the anthology. Some are set in the past and others are in the present day. All make a lasting impression on your soul. I have read stories by some of the authors and enjoyed reading stories by them again. I also have discovered new authors and look forward to reading more of their writing. This is a wonderful group of stories that have amazing characters. Highly recommended.”
   Buy Hometown Heroes, a Christmas Anthology here: 

   After you’ve read the stories, I hope you consider writing a review. (Please and thank you.)

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.


A book is a gift that gets opened again and again and again.

Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes has one of my favorite childhood memories in it. "Dancing with Daddy" is written under my maiden name.

The anthology is still available on Kindle.

You can find more of my books on

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Elements of a romance novel

cj Sez: Hometown Heroes, A Christmas Anthology launched Dec 4 . . .
   The contemporary romance stories in Hometown Heroes are all about the magic of love, the embodiment of the Christmas season. For anyone thinking about writing a romance story, I picked up the following quote several years ago (source is long lost):
"Writing a romance novel is a creative process and far from formulaic. But romance readers pick up each and every novel with certain expectations firmly in place. To write a winning romance, you have to meet these expectations each and every time:
*         A sympathetic heroine
*         A strong, irresistible hero
*         Emotional tension
*        An interesting, believable plot
*         A happy ending"

Reviews for Hometown Heroes are streaming in…an excerpt from one lovely and long review follows…and they tell me that the anthology met romance aficionados’ expectations. Be sure and let me know what you thought.

   “All the stories are so engaging and believable- with wonderfully written plots, and well developed characters. I have read books by several of these talented authors before- but three of the authors were new to me… so I was excited to not only read the work of the authors I knew and loved, but also get an introduction to some authors who are new to me. So, settle down for some wonderful reading, which will entice you with heartfelt romance, some suspense, a bit of mystery, history, some paranormal, action, drama, adventure, and more. 

   "There is something here for everyone! I really recommend this Anthology- you won’t regret buying it! It is worth every cent of the purchase price- and by purchasing this anthology you will be helping out a charity in the process, as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Cajun Navy Relief! #Win-Win! Thank you to all the contributing authors!”

Buy Hometown Heroes, a Christmas Anthology here: 
After you’ve read the stories, I hope you will consider writing a review. (Please and thank you.)

That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

A book is a gift that gets opened again and again and again. Here are some for your consideration:
The anthology is still available on Kindle.
Choosing Carter
Deadly Star
The Posse, a Western anthology
Pieces, a Mobile Writers Guild Anthology

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Two days until launch, MWA, and . . .

cj Sez:  Only two more days until the launch of Hometown Heroes, A Christmas Anthology.
Available now on Amazon
   "HOMETOWN HEROES, A Christmas Anthology" is scheduled to launch on Dec. 4, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cajun Navy. I'm excited to be one of the authors in the book and to share my contemporary romance short story titled "Hobbes House Noel."

   As of the time of this blog post, the Kindle version is 99 cents and Kindle Unlimited is free. Paperback will also be available. 

   After you’ve read the stories, I hope you will consider writing an Amazon review. (Please and thank you.)
Mystery Writers of America Withdraws Fairstein Award  November 29, 2018 – New York, NY – On Tuesday, November 27, Mystery Writers of America announced the recipients of Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Awards, special awards given out annually. Shortly afterwards, the MWA membership began to express concern over the inclusion of Linda Fairstein as a Grand Master, citing controversy in which she has been involved.”
Read more here:

Hallmark Publishing news
“Hallmark Publishing is not currently open to unagented submissions. However, we will have a reading period for unagented submissions of full-length novels in February 2019.
 Follow us on Twitter, @HallmarkPublish, to be the first to learn about future calls for submissions.”
cj Sez: Do you have what Hallmark is looking for and don't have an agent? If so, mark your calendar for February 2019, and when you’re ready to submit your novel, go to Hallmark submissions:

   If you tried the NaNoWriMo challenge, I hope you met the goal you set for yourself. Now go rest a while. I didn’t try, but I did do some writing in November, two short stories in fact. One was a revision/edit of a personal essay I had posted on Lyrical Pens years ago. The other was brand new from the first word to the last, both in idea and in genre: I attempted my first cozy mystery. That was the one I had the most fun writing.

   Both of the anthology publishers had November 30 deadlines, so I was working without a critique group or beta readers, but I took a chance and submitted the stories anyway.

   Now comes the waiting. Will they or won’t they (be accepted). Of course, I’d love for them to be accepted for publication, but I can tell you I had fun writing them. If they’re not accepted, I’ll file them away for a while and work on them again when I can get more eyes on the manuscripts.

   Have you submitted any of your work recently? Are you working on something to submit soon?

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

   A book is a gift that gets opened again and again and again. Here are some of my stories for your consideration:

The anthology is still available on Kindle.  Buy button

Choosing Carter

Deadly Star

The Posse, a Western anthology

Pieces, a Mobile Writers Guild Anthology