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Tragic news from Las Vegas makes us reflect on what is important. #ThrowbackThursday

#ThrowbackThursday and more tragic news

Tragic news from Las Vegas makes us reflect on what is important. #ThrowbackThursday

Sadly, the tragic news from Las Vegas is the latest in a long string of atrocities we’ve witnessed. In this post from 12-19-12, I reflect on where I was and what I was doing.

It’s sad that we need a tragedy to remind of us of what is important – our families.Click To Tweet

Tragedy after tragedy reminds us of what is important

The tragic news from Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized the nation in support of dozens of grieving families. Blame will be cast and speeches made, urging reforms on gun ownership and mental health treatments. We can only speculate on whether our government takes action on any promises.  It’s easy to talk when tragedy overcomes our nation.

I’m at an age that I can look back at several tragedies in American history.

November 22, 1963

A Friday. School officials let us out early. Only after we arrived home did we learn an assassin had taken the life of our president, JFK. Before the birth of CNN and FoxNew and a hundred other cable stations, we had three local stations. All weekend, our family was glued to the television, watching NBC’s coverage of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I was eight years old.

January 28, 1986

I watched in horror and a sick fascination as the images of the Challenger exploded over and over and over again as we tried to make sense of a senseless act. We watched the launch because of the novelty of having a teacher on board. If not for this anomaly, coverage probably wouldn’t have taken place.

I was home on maternity leave. My daughter was six days old.

October 14-16, 1987

The nation was glued to the developing story of Jessica McClure, an eighteen-month old girl who fell down a well. It took rescuers fifty-eight hours to pull her out alive. I was six-months pregnant with my son.

September 11, 2001

A man I worked with received a call from his wife, and he informed us of the hit on the first tower. We listened in horror on the radio as the plane flew into the second tower. I heard Jim Miklaszewski report live from the Pentagon as the third plane slammed into it. Someone turned on the television in the cafeteria, and we watched as both towers collapsed. Numb, the events too surreal to comprehend, we tried to stay focused on work. I was to attend a five-year anniversary dinner for my investment club that night. Instead, I spent the afternoon scrambling for emails and phone numbers (this was before yahoo groups) to tell the members the easiest decision I’d ever had to make: Go home to your families.

Columbine, Waco, Oklahoma City and now Newtown, CT. The names run together in a sea of senselessness and grief.

Your character’s angst isn’t important. Deadlines can wait. Forget the little things that keep you apart from the ones you love.

Pick up the phone, email a note, Skype, do whatever it takes to breach that gulf between you and estranged family.Click To Tweet Hug them, hold them, show them how much you love them. Do you want to go to bed tomorrow, feeling guilty, with their names on a list circulating the globe?

Hug your family today. Never forget what is truly important.

2017 Cheryl returning.

Don’t let the news of last week’s tragic news stop you from mending fences with loved ones. Life is too precious, as we’ve learned over and over.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the latest victims of senseless violence. Let us hope the Las Vegas/Mandalay Bay tragic news is the last we see and hear.

Blessings to you,













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Writing a book blurb is very difficult if not impossible for writers.

The pain of writing a book blurb

Writing a book blurb or description for book distribution sites such as Amazon, ibook, Kobo, etc. is a painful process for writers. You might as well ask us to stop writing. The process of distilling our 80K, 90K, 100K+ book into 100-150 words is impossible. Writing a book blurb is a thousand times harder than writing a synopsis because a) it’s shorter b) it’s on public display forever.

Writing a book blurb is very difficult if not impossible for writers.

The easy way to write a book blurb

Like all writers (or all that I know), I’m on a continual hunt to find the easiest, fastest, less brain disrupting way to do any writing related task. Including writing a book blurb. So, I did a little research (Pinterest is my go-to search engine now). The best book I’ve found so far on writing an effective book blurb is Libbie Hawker’s Gotta Read It! 

Gotta Read It outlines 5 steps to take in writing a perfect book blurb

For an easily affordable 99 cents, you’ll learn the five steps to a perfect pitch:

  1. A character who
  2. Wants something, but
  3. someone or something stands in her way, so she
  4. struggles against that force and
  5. something important is at stake

Ms. Hawker goes into more detail, including why you shouldn’t write the blurb as a mini-synopsis; what not to write; what elements you need to flesh out your basic blurb; and how to write a book blurb with more than one protagonist, including romances.

My early attempts at writing a book blurb for my upcoming release, Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe

Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe

(New attempts are separated by *****)

Rosewyn loved her family, but love wasn’t enough to give her brothers and grandmother a better live.


As village baker on the edge of the Enchanted Forest, Roseweyn struggled to keep her family afloat.


For Rosewyn, baking for the village on the edge of the Enchanted Forest isn’t enough to give for her brothers and grandmother a better life. So far, her ambition and what little magic she possesses means they barely scrape by.

When the newly crowned King lands at her feet, she sees a clear path ahead. What could be more simple than seducing a King with her charms and a little magic?

Living with the deceit he won’t understand, Rosewyn must face the reality of her decisions. Has she jeopardized their relationship? Is her magic strong enough to stop his change? Or do mysterious forces in the Enchanted Forest control them both?

Final copy

I spent a couple of hours arriving at this, and I bent a rule, but this is what will appear on Amazon, etc

In the second book in The Enchanted Series, Cheryl Sterling once again follows a commoner in pursuit of a better future and a royal fighting for his place.

Rosewyn lives a precarious existence as village baker on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. Any setback—an illness, a fire—threatens her ability to care for her Grandmother. After both strike, her desperation climbs. When the handsome, newly crowned King lands at her feet, she sees a clear path ahead. Using charm and a little magic, she inflames his desire.

Oliver Wolfe has lived with the secret of his werewolf blood for years. When he returns home from the exile his father imposed, he seizes the opportunity to restore the neglected realm and make a difference. While sweet Rosie eases his nights, a missing treasury and his subjects’ unrest hamper his plans. Then his right to the throne is challenged. With his future dependent on an unreliable witness, and his trial set the night of a full moon, can he trust Rosewyn with his secret?

With the fate of the man she loves weighing on her, Rosewyn must test the limits of the power buried within her. Is it strong enough to break his ancient curse, or will she lose everything?

Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe is an adult fantasy loosely based on enchanting fairy tales. Strong heroines and sexy heroes battle outside forces that threaten their love story.

Tell me what you think in the comments.

p.s. Stay tuned in the next day or two to receive news of the official launch of Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe and a special offer.




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Birth order part 2 #TT only child

Birth Order Part 2 #TT

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, and we’re revisiting a 2/20/12 post about birth order, part 2 of the series. (Birth Order Part 2 #TT)

Part 1 can be read here.

Birth Order Part 2

Last week, we looked at the peculiarities of the first born and middle child. In Birth Order Part 2, we’ll examine the last born, only child and twins. The way they behave can help you in crafting your story’s characters.

Last Born Children

Birth order part 2 #TT. The last born child.

Bess-Hamiti / Pixabay

Last born children fight hard to get noticed. They are often the class clown, the maverick, the life of the party. Their older siblings consider them spoiled.Click To Tweet

Characteristics of the youngest include:

Manipulative Charming Show off People person Casts blame on others
Engaging Good salesperson Precocious Risk taker Outgoing


Careers include “On stage” professions – TV announcers and anchor people, salespeople (because of their ability to manipulate people). They like jobs where they can work alone and do things at their own pace.

Strengths Weaknesses
Outgoing, affectionate, creative, confident, uncomplicated, Spoiled, manipulative, immature, self-centered, impetuous, feel they live in the shadow, rebellious, absentminded


Why? “Taught out” parents let the kid fend for himself.

They are suckers for praise and encouragement. Their attention-seeking antics can be turned around with a “I’ll show them” attitude.

Famous last born children include Howard Stern, Jay Leno, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin.

Continue reading Birth Order Part 2 #TT

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