Books are the gateway to imagination

Books are the gateway to imagination
Morgan welcomes you to her personal blog

Monday, December 29, 2014

Disappointed in Amazon

Okay, I'm trying to understand this
It isn't supposed to happen this way. At least I don't think it is. 

The other day I submitted reviews of four books I'd read to Amazon. Within a few hours, all four were rejected, saying they didn't fit the Amazon guidelines.

I wrote a complaint email to them asking why one word reviews like, "funny" or "awesome" fit their supposed guidelines and yet my reviews, that did adhere to those guidelines, were rejected. I copied and pasted three examples of one to three word reviews of a Janet Evanovich book to illustrate what I meant.

Never got an answer. Didn't know if I was acting paranoid, but I decided I must be on some sort of list where my reviews will automatically get rejected. That couldn't be possible--could it? 
Something is rotten in Denmark

Just for fun, tonight I decided to copy one of the four they rejected without making any changes whatsoever, and then submitted it from another Amazon account. An hour later, when I checked to see if it was published, there it was. This review that supposedly didn't fit their guidelines, was now published.

Maybe that's why I never received a reply to the complaint email, wherein I asked for justification of why those one word reviews, like "funny," that so clearly didn't fit their guidelines were published and mine didn't. Probably didn't receive and answer because there was no justification other than my account possibly being on some sort of a blockage list. 

Aha. A  great idea.

I'm going to try submitting the other three rejects tomorrow to see if the same thing happens. If it does, I've gotta say it ticks me off. It makes me wonder how many reviews of my own books might have been caught in a "round file" conundrum. I do know of two that were rejected the same way because they were sent to me directly after they were rejected.

Stay posted.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Here is your chance to get a Kindle copy of TERROR IN A TEAPOT, the second Silver Sisters Mystery, FREE on Amazon Worldwide from 12/17/14 through 12/19/14


U. S. Amazon Best Sellers Rank on 12/17/14 at 10:00 am : #5,156 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#56 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Cozy

#65 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > General Humor

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Big Story Writers Conference

I will be one of the speakers at THE BIG STORY CONFERENCE. If you are attending, please introduce yourself to me. I love to meet my "cyber friends" in person whenever possible.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


My life has changed a lot since July 2012 when I was operated on for breast cancer. The good news--it was caught early, the disturbing news--I needed the dreaded chemotherapy. 

Actually, I could have opted out of the chemo because I was borderline, but when faced with something like that, you want every advantage possible--at least I did. Fortunately I only needed four courses of chemo followed by 25 radiation treatments. My attitude appeared to be helping so much, the radiation oncologist released me after 17 treatments and said I no longer needed it. However the entire cost had I not had insurance was a HUGE STATEMENT on why you need health insurance if at all possible. When I added up all of the bills including chemo and radiation, it came to over $300,000. Without insurance that would have been devastating. With insurance, the impact was not huge.

I kept a very positive attitude, did not complain, tried to be as productive as possible except for the day or two after a chemo treatment when I slept like Rip Van Winkle--sometimes 18 to 20 hours. Even when my hair fell out, I had an array of cool wigs available.

That kept my mind active and my spirits high. I even worked on the book LA BELLA MAFIA, the shockingly true
story of Bella Capo, by working with my co-author Denny Griffin and Bella herself as much as possible throughout treatment. All of my doctors felt my positive attitude helped me to heal as rapidly as I did. In fact, they were quite surprised I bounced back as fast as I did.

In February 2013 we gave up our residence in Marina Del Rey CA and moved into our Las Vegas home full time. In March my husband had hip replacement surgery and did not heal well. Just slightly over 2 months after my cancer treatment was completed, I was thrown into the role of caregiver. Still I kept my spirits high, positive and continued to be productive although my time was now not as available.

He got worse, and it was discovered in early 2014 that he had fluid on his brain. Add another $200,000+ of medical bills that were thankfully covered by insurance. Until that diagnosis, there was lots of falling on his part and lots of stress for both of us. They thought it was Parkinsons, but when the cause was finally diagnosed as the fluid on the brain, one treatment did result in an improvement. While still impaired and unable to drive, the falling and lapses in memory disappeared. Score one for the team!

In April 2014 after a routine follow-up appointment with my oncologist, I was on my way to the doctor who had performed the breast cancer surgery for another follow-up. My appointment was at Cedars Sinai Medical Tower in L.A. and as fate would have it, I tripped over a speed bump as I neared the elevators in the parking lot, went flying, and fractured my elbow and sprained my ankle. Now I had a husband who could no longer drive or work and I was dealing with my own injuries and had to drive back to Las Vegas with my left arm in a splint and my left ankle wrapped in bandages. But, I did it.

I continued to do everything I could to remain positive, cheerful and productive. During 2012-2014 more books were produced and I made it a point to help others, including participation in a fund raiser for abused women.

I am generally a very private person when it comes to personal information. This is the first time I've shared a photo of me 2 months after radiation ended and my hair, now platinum white, began to grow back. 

The reason I've shared all of this today is that it is a known fact many people become overwhelmed with their personal situations during the holiday season and depression seeps in. If you don't allow that to happen, and fight against it by trying to remember good times, concentrate on what you can do rather than what you can't, and be aware of the needs and emotions of those around you, life will feel better. It's that old saying of turning lemons into lemonade. I've only touched on a few of the things that happened from 2012-2014, but suffice to say I had enough lemons for a really successful lemonade stand, so I drew on every bit of strength I had to get through what could have been debilitating.

If you are dealing with stress, I hope this helps you get through a season that should be filled with cheer. A man at a dinner party the other night said, "I have the best blessings in the world. When I get up and feel the carpet beneath my feet, I know I have at least one more day."

God Bless.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Last night hubby and I had a wonderful evening with friends. My friendship with Graylyn dates back to the days when we both were involved with Federal Prison Industries. She decided to throw a spur-of-the-minute dinner party and invited us, another couple from New York who were from the same neighborhood as hubby, and a couple who are her neighbors.

Since hubby can no longer drive, and he'd always been the one who drove at night, my challenge was whether I could drive to her house in the hills of Henderson NV after dark. Sometimes things just fall into place. I'd been to my optometrist the day before and she changed my contact lens prescription, and viola! Suddenly things were much clearer. She also changed my driving glasses prescription, and I was able to pick up the new ones yesterday. Decision made. With my night vision far improved, we embarked on the 10 mile drive. Yep. I was able to do it without a hitch. Yippee!

The two couples we didn't know turned out to be great folks that we would like to get together with again. What a fun evening. Graylyn is the consummate entertainer. She and her husband Bob had decorated their new home beautifully, the table setting, complete with placecards, looked like something out of a movie, and the dinner she said she just threw together, was outstanding.

But the greatest thing was the active conversation. There wasn't a quiet person in the bunch. Graylyn and I regaled the others with stories from the time we'd both been involved with furniture manufactured in Federal Prisons--she was Chief of Sales for UNICOR, the government corporation that maintains about 100 manufacturing factories on prison grounds throughout the country, and I was a sales representative for a contractor that provided marketing services for the furniture division. I was constantly on the go with a territory that covered Southern California, Southern Nevada and Utah. We met each other back in 2000 at a meeting at Coleman Prison in Florida and clicked right away. 

When Graylyn and her husband Bob moved to Las Vegas after they both retired, the friendship picked up again and we always have a great time when we get together. Friendship is so golden, particularly during the holidays if you don't have family around you. The invitation to the dinner was one of the nicest things she could have done.

I should mention that my stint representing UNICOR was the inspiration for my book RIPOFF--a funny fictional crime caper whose diabolical plot involves ripping off the prison system for millions with a very clever scam. Gotta make sure to give Graylyn a copy of that book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Click the link to listen to the live broadcast at 6:00 PST/ 9:00 EST TONIGHT. 
Got questions? Use the Guest Call-in number: 646 478.0982. 

The WRITING WITH A PARTNER Show will be archived 
for future listening shortly after broadcast.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Presentation is something we don't always think about and it isn't limited to writers.

Presentation is how people perceive you, whether it is your personal presentation--grooming, the way you dress and your manner of speaking, or the materials you use to market yourself. When it comes to the marketing aids, it is important to make sure that they project quality.

Poorly printed cards or other aids, rendered on flimsy paper, say just that about the person or the product they are telling you is the best thing to come down the Pike. Sure, it takes a little budgeting if you are working with short funds, but in the end it is worth it. Shop around. Don't take the first quotes, and if you are your own designer, run your masterpiece past other people soliciting their HONEST critiques and suggestions. 

Take a few minutes and read my full post about presentation on the Writers of Southern Nevada BLOG .