Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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What’s in a name?

  By Piper Huguley Recently an editor sent out a tweet that said that a hard to pronounce name can ruin books for some readers and that it’s better to have a boring name than an annoying one.Seeing this tweet made me wonder about how tolerant some people are in reading about characters of different […]

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Sandy Elzie - September 11, 2014 - 5:58 am

I find it easier to read…and maybe relate…when I can readily pronounce and recognize the name. Since I write hearth & home type family stories, that’s the feel I want my readers to get, so I stick to the more traditional American-type names. (Since I sell books overseas, I wonder how they feel about my “traditional names”???)

I’ve read books about other countries or characters from other countries and if the name is really unusual to my ear, I find myself skipping over the name (much like the students). I don’t think the reader feels as close to these characters.

Sandy Elzie - September 11, 2014 - 6:02 am

You know Piper, I used to work with a man from Nigeria who had a long name that a lot of us found difficult to pronounce. He shortened it to a nickname. (The first 4 letters of the name) Maybe if authors introduced the character and then had him/her suggest a shortened version, a nickname, it would avoid the whole issue and readers couldl still feel close to and connect with the characters.

Maxine Davis - September 11, 2014 - 8:57 am

Hi Piper, I enjoyed your post. I must admit, when I read a book with unfamiliar names, I try my best to pronounce them–once or twice, then immediately give them nicknames–the firt letters of their name or a variance. It slows my reading to have to stop every time and pronounce the unfamiliar. I have often wondered, should I be so lucky to sell in another country, how they would pronounce my characters’ names.

Susan Carlisle - September 11, 2014 - 9:03 am

My name is a pen name but my real name also. My middle name is Carlisle. I have written a nonfiction book about WWII a think my real name is too dull or not educated enough sounding so I’m going to have another pen name. In my case I thing it will really matter.
On the other side my editor for romance questioned why I wanted to use a pen name.

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 10:01 am


These are naming conventions that we as authors have to keep in mind for the comfort of our readers–shorter names that are less “difficult”. In life at schools I’ve taught where there are students with names that are more difficult, I am reminded that those names are meaningful in some way in the family. As a storyteller, I’m very often attracted to what the story is in the name, and there often is one. For me, when I find out the story of the name, I try harder to say it–even as I and they know–it will be changed elsewhere.

Thanks for stopping by!

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 10:04 am

Hi Maxine,

We don’t want readers slowing down for any reason. This is why, I think, naming historical characters is easier. The names were more simplistic and easier to use, even the biblical ones. We are getting closer as a planet, however, and your question is certainly a valid one. Thank you for stopping by!

Piper Huguley - September 11, 2014 - 10:09 am


Wow! I admire that you are able to keep all of those names straight! I’m not sure what you mean by “educated enough” about a name, though. That’s the first time I’ve heard that description applied to a name. Thank you for stopping by.

Unoma Nwankwor - September 11, 2014 - 10:12 am

Thank you for this post. Im glad to see not everyone thinks like that editor. As an American born Nigerian, I have found my self using my “English” name at work so it wont be “murdered”. However when I wanted to launch my writing career I started to use my native name. Which is my first name. All the characters in my books have African names as well. So far my readership doesnt have a problem. For which Im glad…I have readers who send me emails asking what the names mean and I also make it a point to explain the name in my writing. Point of note though, if there was a foreign name I couldnt pronounce as a reader, it would NEVER take away from me enjoying the story.
I personally, I think that if the person is a celeb, more effort would be made in trying to pronounce the name.

Piper Huguley - September 11, 2014 - 10:17 am


You make several great points. People do make more of an effort for a celeb, but they do have to get to that level of fame first. I wonder how stellar the accomplishment has to be for people to make the effort. I think it’s cool readers ask (see my comment below–I always ask people I’ve met about their name meanings). Have you considered putting the meanings and pronunciation guides in the front—depending on the audience? Thank you for your comment and for stopping by!

Anonymous - September 11, 2014 - 10:23 am

I choose my characters names according to their story. In Nigeria, babies are named with care according to the circumstance of their birth or what their family prays their destiny would be. For my book, I choose simple names and always tie it in to the story and explaining the meaning.I do this because I want all my readers to understand. The African readers dont need this ofcourse but I love all my readers and wont want anyone to pass on my work cos of the name. The pronounciations…hmm I never thought about that…good thot, will look into it.

Unoma - September 11, 2014 - 10:29 am

Children in African(Nigeria specifically) are named according to the circumstance of their birth or what their parents confess as their destinies to be. In my books I choose simple names but these names are explained and tied to the story. I do this so my non African readers would unsterstand and not feel lost.
Havent thought about the pronounciations…will try that for my next project. Great advice

Tamara LeBlanc - September 11, 2014 - 10:53 am

What a thought provoking post! I read a book once called Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean. Auel (I think that’s her name) anyway, I LOVED that book and all of the others in the series. I gobbled them up…even though I couldn’t pronounce 99% of the names in them. What I ended up doing was coming up with a pronunciation in my head. My own way of saying the names that made the most sense to me. Not sure if that’s politically correct or not, but it helped me enjoy a book that I might have otherwise stumbled over.
Best wishes on your self-pub career!!
have a great weekend :)

Piper Huguley - September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

No problem! And correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me if people try, there’s more appreciation than avoiding it? Thank you Unoma, for continuing your thought!

Piper Huguley - September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Is this your thought too? Thank you again Unoma!

Piper Huguley - September 11, 2014 - 12:15 pm

Yes, I read the Clan of the Cave Bear series too and did the same thing. I wonder what it is that makes some people try to pronounce certain names, but not others.
In those books, some of the names (depending on the tribes) got very similar sometimes. Hmmm. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment,Tamara!

Marilyn Baron - September 11, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Think about the daunting cast of characters in Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And that was a blockbuster. We ought to be able to keep track of two main characters. When I’m not sure about how to pronounce a name I just do the best I can. Later, when they make the book into a movie I sometimes find that I’ve mispronounced a name. I still enjoyed the book. My problem with names is that I always seem to start the characters’ names with an M without realizing it. But the characters are what they are.

Connie Gillam - September 11, 2014 - 2:01 pm

I have a difficult time with unusual names. I make the best guest at the pronunciation and use that for the rest of the book. I have a Nigerian friend who has a beautiful, lyrical first and last name, but she’s obviously had problems with others pronouncing her name correctly and now calls herself “Joy”. I think that’s a shame she has to go to such lengths, because her given name is so lovely.

Connie Gillam - September 11, 2014 - 2:02 pm

That should have read- best guess.

Walt Mussell - September 11, 2014 - 5:35 pm

In one of my Japan WIPs, I have a male hero named Tsuneomi. However, I immediately nickname him “Tomi” to get people used to it. In another Japan WIP, I have three brothers with four syllable names. I given them all nicknames to shorten their names. I’m always worried about people getting lost in the names of my characters.

Tanya A. - September 11, 2014 - 7:19 pm

Piper, Thank you for the thought provoking post. I’m hanging my head down in shame, but when I was 18, I gave up on The Hunt for Red October because of the multitude of Russian names.
But fast forward to the internet age. I read a book where I had no idea how to pronounce a name and I went to the internet and typed in the name and up popped a pronunciation website that sounded out the name for me. I think this is a wonderful tool for people who want to know how to pronounce a character’s name.
Ultimately I think it’s important to be challenged every once in a while to step outside one’s comfort zone. Read a book with different names. Get to know someone and ask them how to pronounce their name.
Thanks for your insights. I always enjoy them.

Louise B - September 11, 2014 - 7:42 pm

It’s interesting that the comments above talked mainly about present day books. I have found some fantasy novels to be impossible to pronounce. Just what sound does an apostrophe make? So I do my best guess when reading accept that is how it is said. Lately, I’ve been reading books set in India, and again, if the name seems unpronounceable to me, I use Spanish language conventions for the letters and keep reading.

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 8:01 pm

I’m hanging my head Marilyn, but I haven’t gotten around to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo yet. And isn’t that funny how when you go to the move you finally learn the pronunciation? Sometimes it’s hard to change back!

And yes, sometimes you can get hung up on a certain letter in naming. M is off limits to me right now as well… thanks for stopping by!

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 8:03 pm


When someone does that, sometimes I’ll ask them if that is how the name translates. I hope so. I don’t want people to think I’m throwing their name overboard. I have an unusual name (more so growing up than now) and I know how that feels. Thank you for your comment!

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 8:04 pm


As you can see, there is a certain segment of the publishing population who want names to be easy to say. I think you’ve found a solution that will work for you. Go for it! Thank you for stopping by!

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 8:07 pm


I’m such the nerd that I grieved for a long time that I did not have a patronymic. I’m over it though, and I’m glad to be who I am. And your solution is brilliant! I should have known the Internet would have a solution. I’m looking forward to some hard names to test it out. Thank you for stopping by!

Piper - September 11, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Louise, you are so right! Fantasy names can be very difficult! And I’ve been reading books set in India lately myself. I love them! Thank you for stopping by!

'Cilla - September 11, 2014 - 9:31 pm

Love your blog. I will read a book with a foreign name just because the spelling and sound of it is intriguing. sometimes I will give them a nick name or shortened to initial. The mystery, history and meaning of the name can bring on something different for me. ( I know I am weird) :-)

Pam Asberry - September 11, 2014 - 10:35 pm

I would never let unique names keep me from tackling a recommended book. But I guess I tend to gravitate towards more ordinary names in my own writing. Good stuff to think about. Thanks, Piper!

Piper - September 12, 2014 - 9:52 am

You are so welcome, Pam! Thank you for stopping by!!

Carol Burnside - September 12, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Obviously, it’s not very important to me that my characters have unique names, seeing as mine are Sam and Rosie, Travis and Claire, and so forth. The Annie Rayburn works are a bit different. Since they are of an alien race, I use a lot of different spellings, but keep the names fairly normal (Brekke and Teriza, for example).

I’ve come across some fantasy books where the names are just ridiculous in the author’s attempt to create a unique language. Like another commenter mentioned, the use of one or more apostrophe’s or dashes in a name can be quite confusing. I admit that in that particular instance, the names were a detraction from the read because I was continually stumbling over the pronunciation.

Shelia Lowery Brown - September 13, 2014 - 8:10 am

I tend to skip over words and names that are unfamiliar so that I can understand the passage. So it would not bother me that much. Still, I’m just starting to read fiction again. So it’s something to think about. Will keep the above comments in mind.

Piper Huguley - September 13, 2014 - 8:14 am

I think a lot of people do that Shelia–you aren’t alone. You may take it into account more often as you pick up reading more fiction. Thank you for stopping by!!!

Piper Huguley - September 13, 2014 - 8:15 am

I agree Carol. The fantasy books can get out of hand. I wonder if that’s why I don’t read them. I will have to broaden my view in this area too! Thanks for commenting!

Welcome Author PAM MANTOVANI

The day after the Facebook Launch of my debut novel, Cowboy On Her Doorstep, my family threw me a surprise party. The gathering was, like so many of our get-togethers, noisy and chaotic. At one point my niece was telling me the story of how she was explaining to her children that I’d been writing […]

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sandra Elzie - September 10, 2014 - 5:40 am

Hi Pam,

First of all, congratulations. I’m glad you hung in there and didn’t give up. Loved your encouraging words and I gotta say that you must have a fantastic family since they all wanted to celebrate with you and honor all your hard work & committment to a long-term goal. Way to go girl!!!

Marilyn Baron - September 10, 2014 - 6:30 am

Your writing journey sounds familiar. I think a lot of us had a similar experience. I’m glad you didn’t give up and now we can all celebrate your success. Congratulations.

Missy Tippens - September 10, 2014 - 7:29 am

Pam, I’ve been so excited for you over your new release!

You know, you made a really good point I hadn’t thought of about hanging in there because of the friends you’ve made in writing. That was probably one of the reasons I stuck with it for so long (along with my stubbornness). :) I just can’t imagine my life without my writer friends.

Congrats again!

Piper - September 10, 2014 - 7:57 am

How nice of your family to recognize your accomplishment by giving you a party. Not everyone gets that kind of acceptance in their family. They’ve been there like that for you along the way–what a gift. So glad that the young girl was there, able to see you a a teaching role model. These days, she sees that people have to be quickly satisfied. She learned something from your patient example. Congratulations to you!

Pam Mantovani - September 10, 2014 - 8:15 am

Thanks so very much to the PFHT gals – and guys! – for having me today. I remember when this group got started. Everyone has always been so supportive and enjoyable. I know today is going to be fun.

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:16 am

Sandra, I have a tremendous family! I know they wondered a time or two why I didn’t give up but they always said they admired me for continuing to try

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:17 am

Marilyn, you’ve always been such a bright spot during my journey! Thanks for all of your support

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:19 am

Missy, Thanks so much for the congrats – and all the encouragement. I truly believe my life would be so empty without everyone I’ve met and all the friends I’ve made

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:21 am

Piper, Im so blessed with this family I married into…especially since my own childhood was not nearly as supportive. I’ve often said that in this family everyone believes your business is their business :) At times that can be a little difficult but I also know that if I ever need a one of them, they’ll come as soon as I call. THere is tremendous comfort in that knowledge

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:54 am

So, to start at the beginning…how did everyone get started writing? Did you always write? Did some event happened to get you on this pathway? Tell all :)

Maxine Davis - September 10, 2014 - 9:50 am

Pam, Major congratulations on the publishing, the debut, and I am so glad that you are going to continue writing! It is so very nice that you have such support from your family. They know a good thing when they see it! :)

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 9:55 am

Thanks Maxine! You are just about the sweetest person it’s my pleasure to know. As I said, sheer stubborness will keep me going if nothing else will :)

donnell - September 10, 2014 - 10:19 am

Terrific blog, Pam. I love that you had absolute stubbornness. I might call it another word. Drive and that no storyteller can allow her work to go unfinished!

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 10:22 am

Thanks Donnell! Drive? Funny but I’ve always questioned if my drive was strong and determined enough. But I have to admit it sounds better than stubborn :) I like also that you use the term storyteller. I’ve never considered myself especially good at the ‘technical’ aspects of writing but instead have always thought of myself as more of a storyteller. Thanks for all the support and becoming acquainted with all the writers at BelleBooks is one more sparkle to this journey

Pam Asberry - September 10, 2014 - 11:04 am

This was exactly what I needed this morning, Pam. I have come so close to giving up so many times. The next time I’m feeling the urge, I’m going to come back here and reread this blog post. Congratulations and continued success! You richly deserve it!

Sia Huff - September 10, 2014 - 11:08 am

Welcome to PFHT, Pam. Love the Churchill quote. Logan and Kendall have a wonderful HEA. So happy others will read and enjoy their story. And so happy for your success. {{Hugs}}

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 11:14 am

Pam, I feel your pain. And don’t for a single second think that just because I managed to cross that invisible line that I don’t still worry about everything I worried about before I got to this point. We all need a dream, a passion, to give us joy and pleasure and satisfaction. Good luck!

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 11:15 am

Sia, You should know since you were there at the beginning of their story :) I cherish your friendship. Thanks for always believing in me.

Maureen Hardegree - September 10, 2014 - 3:19 pm

So glad your tenacity paid off. I was hoping I’d be the GRW prez who handed you your first sale rose, but since I was not, I’d like to say what I would have said. You are a prime example of what happens when we don’t give up on our dreams. We succeed!

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Oh Maureen, you’ve made me teary-eyed! You are certainly one of the people I would have missed terribly if I had quit. Thanks for everything

Connie Gillam - September 10, 2014 - 4:32 pm

Congratulations, Pam. I so happy you hung in there. As Marilyn said, many of us have traveled that same road. I’m glad yours ended (or began)beautifully.

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 4:43 pm

Thanks Connie – I know you’ve traveled the same road and I’m glad we’ve shared the ride

Walt Mussell - September 10, 2014 - 5:17 pm

Pam, congrats on your debut. I love the story of your family throwing you a party. (My teenager keeps asking me if I’ve sold my book yet. My wife knows not to ask.)

Hope it goes well!

Sandy Elzie - September 10, 2014 - 8:09 pm

Hi Pam,
Just popped over and bought your book. I’m flying this weekend, so it’s a perfect time to read it. Can’t wait. Again, congrats!

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:23 pm

Walt, trust me when I say my family finally got to the point where they stopped asking me if I’d heard anything about any of the submissions I’d made :)

Pam - September 10, 2014 - 8:24 pm

Thanks Sandy!
Hope you enjoy it. And thanks again for letting me part of the PFHT blog today. It’s been fun!

Mary Marvella Barfield - September 11, 2014 - 12:33 am

Pam, your journey is heading in the right direction and will only lead to better places!

Susan Carlisle - September 11, 2014 - 8:55 am

I’m so proud of you. You are right rejection is just part of the process. I look forward to reading your book. I have money in hand to get one at M&M.

Pam Mantovani - September 12, 2014 - 8:30 am

Susan, you crack me up! I’ll be thrilled to sign a book for you. Thanks for all your support

Carol Burnside - September 12, 2014 - 5:20 pm

Pam, I could have sworn I left a comment before going to bed early Wed. morning, but I must’ve been so tired I forgot to click “post comment.”

Ah, well, I still congratulate you on your perseverance and wish you many more book sales in your writing career. Obviously, hanging in there was the right thing to do. I think at one point, we stood on the Maggie finalist podium together, didn’t we?

Pam - September 14, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Don’t you just hate it when the computer doesn’t read your mind and do what you want it to? :) Thanks for taking the time to comment and your good wishes. And yes, I believe we did share a Maggie finalist podium once.

Book Review Time

Review by:  Maxine Davis You knew I would have to review this book when it came out! Blurb from Amazon: When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days-as he has done before-and […]

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Pam Asberry - September 9, 2014 - 12:43 am

Sounds like a great read Maxine! Thanks for the review!

Marilyn Baron - September 9, 2014 - 3:56 am

Wow! What a great review. Now I have to read this book and the first in the series. I didn’t know she had come out with any other books. I bought her first book written after the Harry Potter series but haven’t read it yet. I never knew she had written this series.

sandra Elzie - September 9, 2014 - 6:51 am

Oh my…I can’t wait to get her books and read them. (Two weeks on a ship sounds like a good time for them) Thanks, Maxine

Connie Gillam - September 9, 2014 - 11:37 am


I read the first book- The Cuckoo’s Calling and enjoyed it. The first book didn’t have the twists you say this second book has but it was good.

Sia Huff - September 9, 2014 - 1:51 pm

Thanks for the recommended read, Maxine. Like you, I love HP, but I haven’t read her Robert Galbraith books yet. Sounds like I need to.

Maxine Davis - September 9, 2014 - 2:34 pm

Pam, it really is. Read the first one first (he Cuckoo’s Calling). Thank you for commenting.

Maxine Davis - September 9, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Marilyn, I didn’t read the first book after HP. When “Robert Galbraith” came out with the first book, the reviews said a retired cop really knows how to write detective stories before they knew it was JK Rowling. Thank you for commenting.

Maxine Davis - September 9, 2014 - 2:37 pm

Sandy, It is, but I’d miss things on he trip by being unable to put down books. Thanks for commenting.

Maxine Davis - September 9, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Hi Connie, The second book really kept me busy remembering he differnt people and situations. Thank you for your comment.

Maxine Davis - September 9, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Sia, Ihope you enjoy them. Totally different from HP, but you can still her her voice occasionally. Thank you for stopping by.

Walt Mussell - September 9, 2014 - 10:36 pm

If you don’t review Agatha Christie, then I will have to do it some day. :-)

Carol Burnside - September 10, 2014 - 1:50 am

Great review, Maxine. The books sound great.

How to Drive a Parent Nuts

“Dad, you can drive.” I stared at my son. “What? Why don’t you want to drive to band practice?” “The band director likes people there ten minutes early. It will take me longer to drive there than you. We don’t have time.” “That’s ridiculous. We can leave right now. Plenty of time.” My teenager’s expression […]

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Sandy Elzie - September 8, 2014 - 6:19 am

Oh Walt…I feel for you and your wife. I have stories and more stories about this subject. Our little darling had the opposite issue…she wanted to drive all the time. We lived w-a-y out in the country…on a dirt road and my little darling (15 yrs old w/ permit) asked if she could practice on the dirt roads…alone. Sure, no problem.

Next thing I know, she’s been gone for over 20 minutes & upon checking she was out on the county roads driving in a huge square around about several hundred acres of land…past four stop signs. We clipped her wings for a month.

Marilyn Baron - September 8, 2014 - 8:07 am

My father was the opposite of you. He did not want me to drive. I grew up in Miami and as a result, I still can’t drive there. I can drive anywhere else. I finally got my license when I moved to Atlanta and got my first job after college. I have heard of kids who don’t want to drive and I can understand that. I remember one funny driving story. My brother got his learner’s permit but my father wouldn’t let him drive except to move the car up and down the driveway. Finally, my mother got in the car and told my brother to drive to Miami Beach on the expressway. And from then on, he was driving.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 8:47 am

Sandy, I didn’t have any dirt roads but I did grow up in a small town. I think that helped me get used to it.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 8:51 am

Marilyn, I think I’m that way because our son needs to drive. It’s one thing for him to be a junior and needing to drive before he eventually goes somewhere to school. However, he also has a line on a summer job next year through one of the faculty at his school. Though his job would not require him to drive, one of the requirements of working there is that he be able to get himself to and from work. He’s excited about the job opportunity, so he’s pushing himself a bit to drive.

Connie Gillam - September 8, 2014 - 9:01 am


My mother taught me to drive. Correction- attempted to teach me to drive. I must have driven around the parking lot of everything shopping mall in the area. (in the morning when they were closed.)
One morning my father asked if I wanted to drive. I said yes. He gave me the keys to his Cadillac.(think 1960s Caddy) I asked where were we going. “To your job,” he said. I was working at the YMCA across town for the summer. My voice rose two octaves. “But it’s in traffic,” I said. “How else are you going to learn?” he said.
That was the longest drive of my life!

Pam Asberry - September 8, 2014 - 9:15 am

My middle child was like your son when it came to driving. He actually failed his behind the wheel test twice before passing it the third time. That was stressful!

Susan Carlisle - September 8, 2014 - 9:24 am

Out of all the things I did as a parent teaching my three out of four children to drive was the worst. I thought I was going to die daily. There is still a spot on the floor in the passengers seat where I pushed the break constantly. Mine never listened and always thought I was over reacting even when he drove all the way off the road. I don’t envy you. The hardest is when your other child will get in the car with him and they drive off.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 9:55 am

Connie, the day I got my permit, my father tossed me the keys as soon as he got home from work. He wanted me to practice night driving. We drove all over town.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 10:43 am

Pam, I don’t want to think about my son failing the test. That would scare me.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 10:44 am


At this point, my younger son is afraid to get in the car with his brother. However, I can see why the thought of two of one’s children in the same car is scary.

Piper - September 8, 2014 - 12:02 pm

My one and only is three years away from this milestone and right now I have the feeling that he’s just fine being chauffeured about. Hearing these stories and comments, I’m just fine with it too. We have a history of learning how to drive late in my family–I was 30 before I learned.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 12:16 pm

I have a cousin who’s in his twenties and doesn’t drive yet. Still, I think it’s something one should learn. When I used to live in Japan, I didn’t drive. However, there, you don’t need to drive.

Tanya A. - September 8, 2014 - 9:35 pm

My 16 year old daughter has her learner’s permit. She will be 17 in January, and we are in the same boat. For years, she didn’t want to drive because of the responsibility of driving and fear for hurting someone else. Now that she has her permit my husband and I have both taken her out for practice. The last time he took her driving she almost caused a wreck when the car behind her almost slammed into her when she stopped on a road because there was a stop sign on the perpendicular road. Good luck. Keep us updated on your son. I want to know whether he gets his license before our daughter.

Walt Mussell - September 8, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Tanya, he drove home from Scouts tonight and nearly moved into a lane with an oncoming car. He understands it’s harder to judge at night. He wants practice in snow and rain.

Sia Huff - September 9, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Oh, poor Walt. I’m on the tail end of my younger son getting his license. He’s eighteen. A year ago April, I did a mental calculation and realized if he didn’t get on the ball, I’d be driving him to college. He got his license Aug 12th – school started Aug 18th. Do you think he cut it close?
Let me tell you, our kids aren’t the only ones. Plenty of teenager have no desire to drive.
As a parent, you’re doing the right thing. Your son needs confidence behind the wheel. It will only come with practice. Hopefully one day soon you can smile at the additional gray hairs. :)

Walt Mussell - September 9, 2014 - 10:34 pm

Sia, if he can’t drive within a week before college, we’re in trouble. :-)

Carol Burnside - September 10, 2014 - 1:45 am

I have a feeling I was the one giving my mom gray hair because I didn’t learn how to drive until almost graduation time. Well, that’s not exactly true. My sister-in-law had me on Texas highways going over 80mph and passing eighteen wheelers the summer I turned fifteen, so turning corners, stopping and parallel parking didn’t seem too difficult, in comparison. I thought it best not to divulge my previous experience to my mom.

I would agree that your son needs practice on snow and in rain. We lived in Denver when my kids learned how to drive and they both learned on snow. We practiced in big parking lots after the stores closed. Great place to show them how to stop short, park between the lines, set up parallel parking areas, etc.

Where in the World is Constance Gillam?

  Can anyone tell me where this picture was taken? The person with the correct answer wins a $5 Starbuck gift card.

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Marilyn Baron - September 5, 2014 - 3:04 am

I don’t know, but wherever it is, it sure is beautiful.

Tina Radcliffe - September 5, 2014 - 3:44 am

Papau New Guinea ?

Tina Radcliffe - September 5, 2014 - 3:47 am

But aren’t you at the Writer’s Police Academy today-in Greensboro, North Carolina??? Second Guess. :) Say hi to Debby Giusti and Lisa Carter for me.

Walt Mussell - September 5, 2014 - 6:27 am

I’m voting for Thailand.

Walt Mussell - September 5, 2014 - 6:28 am


I grew up in NC. Trust me. It’s not Greensboro. :-)

Piper - September 5, 2014 - 8:04 am

Tahiti. Enjoy yourself!

Maxine Davis - September 5, 2014 - 9:02 am

Connie, I don’t really think it is, but I’ll say Hawaii.

Anonymous - September 5, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Hey, gang, I’m just checking in.

No, Tina, it’s not Greensboro. But I’m having a great time at the Writer’s Police Academy in Greensboro, N.C. The day starts at 6 a.m.

No it’s not Hawaii, Tahiti, New Guinea or Thailand. Stay tune for next Friday, and I’ll tell you where I went on my summer vacation.

Constance Gillam - September 5, 2014 - 10:43 pm

Sorry, I forgot to enter my info. Anonymous is me.

Carol Burnside - September 7, 2014 - 12:38 am

Comment from my FB page via Rosemary Simm: Crater Lake, Oregon ???

Sia Huff - September 9, 2014 - 1:31 pm

Looks beautiful, Connie. Where ever it is. hope you enjoyed your vacation.

Great Books By Some Great Authors

by Susan Carlisle At the beginning of the year I spent a couple of months reading books I had to judge for a contest. I decided than that when I was through with those I was going to take some time to read books by some friends. Below are the ones I’ve read so far and I still have […]

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Marilyn Baron - September 4, 2014 - 3:32 am

Thank you for featuring my book, Under the Moon Gate, in your post.

Susan Carlisle - September 4, 2014 - 8:20 am

You are welcome. I enjoyed it.

Maxine Davis - September 4, 2014 - 8:57 am

Susan, I agree. it is fun to read books by my fiends. I enjoy the imagination and talent it takes to write them. (I always enjoy your books, too). I think it is important for us to support eah other.

Susan Carlisle - September 4, 2014 - 12:22 pm

I agree Maxine. We should support each other. These are good books to start with.

Debbie Kaufman - September 4, 2014 - 12:39 pm

Susan, I’ve been making an effort to read more of my friend’s books lately! Love those Susan Carlisle medicals! Enjoyed Snowbound with Dr. Delectable and going to try your new release, “The Doctor Who Made Her Love Again,” next! Just finished Sixth Sense, by Marilyn Baron. Deft humor and just a plain good read!
I am so far behind on everyone’s books that just the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales authors would keep me going for awhile!

Sia Huff - September 4, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Susan. I collect books and life and writing get n the way of reading. Silly, since reading is my de-stressor. Time to make it a priority.

Susan Carlisle - September 4, 2014 - 2:14 pm

I enjoy your book also. Great history lessons as well as romance. We-Petit Fours and Hot Tamales does keep you reading. We have a lot of talented people in the group. I look forward to more books.

Walt Mussell - September 4, 2014 - 9:12 pm

One of the best things about being in GRW is all of the great writers I’ve met.

Susan Carlisle - September 4, 2014 - 9:18 pm

Sometimes when we write the reading goes by the wayside. You are right a good story is a de-stressor.

Piper - September 5, 2014 - 7:05 am

I agree Walt. Thanks for the recommends, Susan!

sandra Elzie - September 6, 2014 - 6:30 am

Hi Susan,
I love to take time for myself occasionally and read the books that our own authors…or our guests have written. I’ve read yours, Susan, and Piper’s…and Under The Moon Gate. Like so many others have said, I have so many others still waiting. Maybe the upcoming 2-week cruise will help me get to some of them since they’re waiting patiently for me on my Kindle and I plan to take the Kindle with me on the trip.

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Welcome Author MERRY FARMER !!

  SECOND CHANCES I had so much fun writing Fool for Love. It was one of my favorite writing experiences. I loved the characters (I mean, who wouldn’t love a protective cowboy with a heart of gold who just wants to be loved?) and I seriously love the world of Cold Springs, Montana. But the […]

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Marilyn Baron - September 3, 2014 - 12:10 am

What an interesting story. I never would have thought to pair these two together but that’s what makes it unique. Best of luck.

sandra Elzie - September 3, 2014 - 5:45 am

Great article and great premise for your book. Yes, I love characters who are strong enough to stand up again after life knocks them down. Probably because that’s my outlook on life in general.

Do you have another book on the drawing board? If so, tell us about it. I’m popping over right now to buy your book.

Thanks so much for being with us today!

sandra Elzie - September 3, 2014 - 5:49 am

Wow, when I went over to buy your book I found that there is a LOT to choose from. How am I ever going to choose only one…or two…or??????? (g)

Piper - September 3, 2014 - 8:10 am

A great premise, Merry and a great cover! What era do you write your historicals in? Thank you for coming to PFHT today!

Connie Gillam - September 3, 2014 - 9:00 am


It sounds like a great book! I like putting two characters from different worlds together.

Maxine Davis - September 3, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Merry, What a great story line. Can’t wait to read it. Best of luck, and thank you for stopping by PFHT.

Carol Burnside - September 3, 2014 - 2:24 pm

Great premise in Fool for Love. I love American frontier stories. Thanks for introducing us to your books, Merry!

Mary Marvella Barfield - September 6, 2014 - 6:45 pm

Your books sound wonderful! I’m impressed.

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