Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author, Marianne Jones


20160208_161649_001-1 (616x640)Today I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, Marianne Jones. Here’s a little bit of background about Marianne, then I’m going to ask her to answer three questions for us!

Marianne Jones is a retired teacher, actor, and choir director from the wilds of Northwestern Ontario. Married, with two amazing daughters and two gorgeous granddaughters, she is the author of seven books and contributor to numerous magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Her work has won awards, and she was named International Christian Poet Laureate by Utmost Christian Writers. Although not all her words are carved in stone, three of her poems are, in permanent installation at Prince Arthur’s Landing at Marina Park in Thunder Bay.

Wow, poems carved in stone! How special is that! Now … onto our three questions. Firstly, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time?

I was 10 or 11 when I decided to become a writer. I loved reading more than eating—and I love to eat! I had been writing descriptions in my mind since I could remember, trying to find the perfect words to express how things made me feel. I wrote poetry for fun, and was looking at a poem I had just written one day when it all came together for me: what better way to spend my life than by devoting myself to writing?

How true. Now, next question … what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they being their writing journey?

Read, read, read. There is no better way to learn the craft. As you read, you are internalizing information about how to structure an effective paragraph, what makes a powerful sentence, how to do transitions—everything that makes for good writing. It will teach you more than any number of courses and conferences. Secondly, I will pass on the advice I read that helped me the most. Success in writing belongs to the undiscourageable. There will be many discouragements along the way, but you’ll get there if you don’t give up. Thirdly, I’d say to write about what moves you the most. If you are passionate about your subject, that will sustain you through the hard slogging.

What great advice–it is so easy to become discouraged, but if you have a story to tell, there will be someone (or many someones) who will be better for having read it. Now, for the last question – what makes you happiest as an author?

Getting a cheque in the mail for my writing makes me pretty happy. Hearing from a reader that my words touched her or him is a special moment. But I think the satisfaction of completing a good poem, or page, or paragraph makes me the happiest. Any day that I get some writing done is a good day.

I agree on all fronts! So, let’s learn a bit about some of your books, and where we can find them.

My books can be found on Amazon–both as ebooks and print books.  Here is the link to my author page.

The Serenity Stone Murder is a humorous cozy mystery about two middle-age best friends and church ladies, Margaret and Louise, who get embroiled in trying to find out who killed the manager of the Thunder Bay Casino. It’s a hilarious, gentle romp with a hint of potential romance. Sequel to follow!

Great-Grandma’s Gifts is a children’s picture book that is a tribute to “crafty” moms and grandmas. It was inspired by my mother, who turned her love of sewing into clothes, dolls, stuffed animals and quilts for her many grandchildren. It celebrates those special ladies who express their love of family with gifts from the heart, rather than the store. The sweet illustrations by Karen Reinikka add to the charm. It’s a perfect gift for children, moms, aunts and grandmas!


The Serenity Stone Murder Paperback                   Great-Grandma's Gifts Paperback

Thanks for being here today, Marianne. I’m sure my readers will love getting to know you.


I need a little help with my Copperhead Creek series …

Hi lovely fans, romance readers and other “clean indie read” enthusiasts, I’m about to take my series wide (to a number of other retailers out there in addition to Amazon) and as part of that I’ll need to do some fairly expensive adverting.

Here’s where you can help.  If you’ve read book 1, A Chance to Come True, a review on Amazon would be greatly appreciated. Some advertising sites require numerous reviews before they’ll even consider a book, and while I’m grateful for every one of the 91 reviews I already have, a few more would be even better.

A review needn’t say much more than that you enjoyed the book and perhaps a bit about why— just something that gives potential readers a bit of insight. I often say things like “I cared about the characters” , or “I loved the setting and the authors style of writing” or “I couldn’t put the book down”  or other little things.

Anyway, thank you in advance for any help you can offer. (Just click on the photo to go to the Amazon page, then scroll down to where it says write a review)

Sandy 😊😊




A Chance to Belong – FREE – just for a few days

Book 4 in my Copperhead Creek Australian Romance series, A Chance to Belong, is NOW FREE – but just for a few days.

Get it on Amazon (US) by clicking here

or grab it on Amazon (AU) by clicking here

Copperhead Creek Series December 2018 - with awards

Merry Christmas (I know, it’s history now) and Happy New Year everyone

Sandy 🎄🎁☃️🎄🎁☃️🎄🎁☃️






Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads author, Kelsey Gietl

KGietl - Author Pic NewToday I’d like to introduce my fellow CIR author, Kelsey Gietl.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Kelsey Gietl grew up with a love of books and excessive use of her library card. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Graphic Design from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and has made a career in fields from event planning and proposal writing to product management and communications. Her novels stem from her belief that the present reflects the past, and always involve a healthy dose of romance and a dash of intrigue. In her free time–when she’s not writing, reading, or researching–she enjoys yoga, musical theatre, beach vacations, and gallivanting around St. Louis with her amazing husband and two beautiful children.

Welcome, Kelsey! I like the sound of that … a dash of intrigue! So, before we learn about your books, I’ve got three questions for you! Firstly, what three things would you say are the most important for an aspiring author to keep in mind as they being their writing journey?

Go out and experience things. You can improve your writing skills by writing more and your storytelling skills will improve by reading, but there’s only so much you can learn from books. Leave the house and have an adventure. Travel, try a new skill, take an interesting class. Listen to how people interact, and find stories in the world around you.

The road can be long and daunting, but it’s worth it. Not everyone will like your work, but someone will. Write for those who need to hear what you have to say. Consider criticism along with praise, and make sure your work is as perfectly polished as it can be before publishing.

Have fun. Make friends with your characters, even your antagonists; they will tell you where they want to go. And more importantly, never give up.

Great advice to aspiring writers! Now, next question, do you write from your own experiences, or do you simply sit down and make stuff up?

Both. Personally, I think I write better when I am able to draw at least a bit of inspiration from my own life. Does that mean my characters are based on specific people or that I’ve actually done everything in my books? Of course not; it would scare me if I had. Sometimes my characters craft the story as we go, and I couldn’t even tell you where it came from. But I will say that first-hand experience makes it much easier to write about it. See item one in the question before this—go out and experience things.

How true–I find the same thing when I’m writing about an experience I’ve actually had it can be so much easier, but not nearly as much fun as making stuff up!  Now, for one last question–how much time per week would you spend writing? Or are you a full-time author?

Wow, that’s a loaded question. I think writers are always writing, even when we don’t have a pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard. We’re world building on the drive to work, brainstorming ways to get past a tough plot point while in line at the store, and constantly taking in the world around us to fuel new ideas. We analyze character development in movies and draw scene emotions from songs on the radio. We might not even realize that we’re doing it. For me personally though, I dedicate at least one hour each day to physically sitting down and writing, editing, or researching for my novels.

You’ve said that so eloquently! Yes, even standing in the long queue at the post office, waiting to post a Christmas parcel, there is inspiration to be had from the people around you!

So, how about telling us a bit about your books, and where to find them.

Set during the 1910’s, the Hope or High Water series will take readers on an emotional voyage through the lives of its characters, charting a course from Edwardian England to St. Louis, Missouri in a journey they won’t soon forget. Across Oceans and Twisted River, the first two books in the series, examine the fine line between what makes us and what breaks us and the happiness we all must find in the most unexpected of places. Book three, Broken Lines (in progress), continues the story leading up to America’s entrance into World War I, when words like love and loyalty become enough to divide a nation, divide a family, even divide oneself.

The books can be found on my website, or on Amazon.



FREE – A Chance for Snow – limited time only

A Chance for Snow, book five in the Copperhead Creek Australian Romance series, is FREE for a few days so don’t miss out.

The town of Willows is a buzz of activity with Christmas approaching, along with a double wedding, but for some residents their lives are changing and change can be daunting. This sweet Christmas story has two romances intertwined, along with the making of some unusual friendships.

It can certainly be read as a stand-alone but you’ll see familiar characters if you’ve read earlier books in the series.

Get it on Amazon now, by clicking here.

ACF-SNOW cover