Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for November 2015

The Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology Is Out!

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Folks, just a short and sweet blog-let today, to remind you that the Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology is now available for purchase (link is here: .

Why should you care? Well, I have two stories in this anthology, both about Marja (an older woman of size, and a shapeshifter) and her lover and partner, Tomas — a telepathic mountain Troll. They are short, humorous paranormal romance fantasies (say that five times fast; I dare you), and I enjoyed writing them immensely.

The other authors in this anthology are all members of the Exquisite Quills writing community, which contains award-winning authors who’ve hit multiple bestseller lists. (I can hear the wags now — “So, Barb, why are you there, hm?” — as thus far, I’ve not hit any bestseller lists, nor have I won any awards as far as I know. Fortunately, the Exquisite Quills community welcomes all different sorts of authors, including relatively new ones like me.) So you should enjoy the anthology quite a bit, if you give it a chance…plus, we all included a holiday recipe as an added bonus.

(Mine, of course, was my late husband Michael’s famous shortbreads. I thought it appropriate.)

So, please, go check out the new anthology today — it’s available in both a dead-tree edition and as an e-book (the latter being priced at $2.99).

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Friday Fun, Holiday Edition — Two Bits of Exciting News!

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Ready for some Friday Fun, holiday style?

I know I sure am, as I continue to work off my turkey hangover…so let’s get to it!

First, I’m delighted to let you know that author Nicholas Rossis featured A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE over at his busy blog today.  He also made sure to let people know that the first book in the Elfy duology, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, will be ninety-nine cents until the end of the year.

Thank you so much, Nicholas! I appreciate your help greatly.

But that’s not all…the Exquisite Quills Holiday Anthology will be out soon. I have two holiday-themed short stories in this anthology featuring shapeshifter (and woman of size) Marja and her lover/partner Tomas, a telepathic Mountain Troll. And as we also added holiday recipes, I figured my late husband Michael’s famous shortbreads should be my contribution…they are divine.

Here is a link to the Amazon pre-order page, and here is a way to help me get the word out about the EQ anthology — it’s a Thunderclap campaign, where many Tweets and mentions go out at the same time, to raise visibility as much as possible.

So, it’s a short, but very sweet, holiday edition of Friday Fun!

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Elfyverse!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Instead of the usual blog, I thought I’d take a cue from author Charles Yallowitz today and tell you what my characters in the Elfyverse are thankful for.

So, without further ado, here we go!

Bruno: “I’m thankful that Sarah is in my life, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.”

Sarah: “I’m thankful for Bruno, of course!” Then, she muttered, “As if I’d be thankful for anything else right now. Really, Barb!”

Reverend Samuel: “I’m thankful for my family, for my friends, and can’t wait to share my wife’s bountiful Thanksgiving dinner with them.”

Rebecca (Samuel’s wife): “I’m in a hurry, cooking right now, but of course I am thankful for my family, and my new friends Bruno and Sarah — you know, that boy eats twice his own weight and is still hungry.” (Then she shooed me out of the kitchen.)

Mikayla (Samuel and Rebecca’s daughter): “I’m thankful for my new boyfriend, Jason, my family, my friends…and for the knowledge that Elfys exist.”

Reverend Keisha Madhrogan: “I’m thankful that Sarah has grown up hale and healthy, despite her parents’ noxious influences, and that Bruno’s with her. I’m also thankful for a life of learning, love, and happiness — and that I don’t have to cook dinner today.” (She’s going to Rebecca’s house, you see, along with Bruno and Sarah.)

Adept Shirley Wilson: “I’m thankful for the Elfys, and for my forefather Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck).” Then she gave me a sidewise wink and asked, “Is it too late for me to invite myself over to Rebecca’s house?”

Five-year-old Andrea Wilson: “I’m so, so, so, so happy that Bruno’s finally here! I dreamed about him for a long time, before he came to Earth…I knew he’d be my friend, and he is! It’s the best Thanksgiving ever!”

And, finally, Dennis the Dark Elf…

“What? You’re still here?” He sniffed loudly. “The only type of thanks I’m going to give is when all the Elfys are dead. And despite all my trying, we’re not there yet…so just go away and leave me alone!”

So that’s it, folks…may you have a wonderful day of feasting ahead! (And on a personal note, I truly hope the Green Bay Packers will beat the Chicago Bears today. Brett Favre’s number is being retired on the Packers Ring of Honor in Lambeau Field, and I would love to see the Packers win today because of that.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 26, 2015 at 10:11 am

My #Thanksgiving Gift to You: #FREE Short Story #ASMSG #IARTG #BlackFriday

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How can you possibly go wrong with a new, free story from Mrs. N.N. Light?

It’s free today, November 25th…go get it right now!

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 25, 2015 at 3:27 pm

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The Amazon Review Policy Elephant in the Room

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An absolute must-read. I worry about this as a book reviewer; I reviewed books long before I sold AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and my reviews cannot be bought by anyone — not friends, not family, not *anyone*.

That said, Amazon is worried about people who cannot give unbiased opinions, and they’ve taken to purging reviews.

Like Jo Robinson, I’m not going to take down any reviews I’ve already written. That would be pointless.

But this new review policy has caused me to review far less frequently than before. at Amazon..and for good reason.

Jo Robinson

The whole Amazon review policy debacle that started a while ago is not going to go away, so we should probably make firm decisions as to the way forward as far as how we are each personally going to review books in the future. There’s a great post covering the whole subject very thoroughly on Anne R. Allen’s site right now – definitely a must read for anyone not a hundred percent sure about what is going on with this issue. I’ve posted on this briefly over at Lit World Interviews a while ago but it’s worth revisiting on a personal level. Anyone with published books on Amazon needs to take this seriously.
Firstly, we must accept that Amazon can, and does, remove books for sale on their site if they feel that the author has violated their terms of service. Many of us have over the years reviewed books…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

November 25, 2015 at 8:01 am

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Guest Author Sally Cronin

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Sally Cronin is a wonderful person with a generous spirit — and she’s also a highly entertaining author with a new book out. Check out this interview she did at Darlene Foster’s blog, and get to know more about her — and her new book, TALES FROM THE GARDEN!

Darlene Foster's Blog

It is my pleasure to welcome Sally Cronin as my special guest. Sally has a daily blog covering a variety of subjects close to her heart including writing, health and music, which is apply called Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life. Sally is a generous person who shares blog posts and promotes other writers. Please check out her site and say Hello. Her Christmas grotto has some wonderful gift ideas.

DSC_0869 a

Without further ado, here is the lovely and talented Sally Cronin!

Thank you Darlene for offering me the opportunity to talk about my new book and also some background on my life and those that have influenced me.

1. You have had a very interesting life Sally. Can you tell my readers a bit about yourself.

My father was in the Royal Navy and we travelled with him whenever it was possible to do so. This…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

November 25, 2015 at 7:25 am

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Quick, Drive-By Blog Thank You

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Sometimes, you just need to say thank you — and not only on Thanksgiving.

I need to thank three people today: Mrs. N.N. Light, Chris Nuttall, and Charles Yallowitz. All three have been extremely helpful and went out of their way to let people know that my writing exists, and I deeply appreciate their efforts on my behalf.


Well, yesterday, Mrs. N.N. Light spotlighted A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE over at her blog, POTL.

Today, I sent off a guest blog about the problems I had editing my novel to Chris Nuttall and asked Charles Yallowitz if he’d be willing to let people know at his blog that A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE is out there, too. And I figured it would be a few days — maybe even a week or two — before either thing would go up.

Oh, how wrong I was.

As you know from the previous blog, Chris put up the guest blog I sent him an hour ago.

And now, Charles put up my announcement as well, plus a quick excerpt that’s different from either the one Chris has, or the one Mrs. N has. (I like variety, and I hope you do, too.)

I may not be a wealthy person as far as money goes, but I am wealthy in my friends.

Thank you.

And bless you all.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm

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My New Guest Blog Is Up at Chris Nuttall’s Blog

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Folks, I am happy to report that Chris Nuttall accepted a guest blog from me about editing. I called it “Adventures in Editing: Going over A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, 12 Years Later.”And it’s up now over at Chris’s busy blog, the Chrishanger.

Why did I write this, exactly? Well, back in May, I wrote about the struggles I had in going over my final edit of A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE. I ended up adding some scenes, pruning back others…I actually did more than my editor asked for in certain respects, because I felt my book deserved more.

And because ELFY was originally one book, I needed to write a brand-new first chapter, too, plus I added a “What Has Gone Before.”

I didn’t talk about all of that at Chris’s blog, mind. I thought his readership might be more interested in why I did what I did, and what the difference is between what I call a full-on edit (otherwise known as a full line-edit plus a conceptual edit plus a consistency read) and editorial changes.

Here’s a bit of that blog where I discuss exactly what the differences are between a full-on edit and editorial changes:

When you are dealing with editorial changes, you move more quickly through your manuscript – at least, I do – and you aren’t as concerned with the intrinsic wholeness. You have to believe in your editor, and trust that he or she knows your writing well enough that you won’t be steered off-course…and you have to trust that you will make the right changes in the right ways.

But in a full-on edit, you are looking at everything. Word choice, even if no one else has mentioned it. Whether you should add something at the beginning, because you now have two books where you once had only one. Whether you need additional scenes to clarify things, and if so, what?

And when you’re done with your edit, you go back and make whatever changes are necessary.

In other words, I analyzed my manuscript as if it were written by someone else. I saw where it had weaknesses, as well as strengths. I tried to shore up those weaknesses. And I looked for ways to be consistent, without messing with my earlier style whatsoever – as, over time, I’ve become a slightly different writer.

In addition, I added a short and funny excerpt from Chapter 2, which is a scene I decided to add after I was done with my final edit. (The only place this excerpt appears besides Chris’s blog is at the Twilight Times Books site in my sample chapters; this is at the beginning of chapter 2.)

But that’s not the only reason to read my newest guest blog,

Please do go and take a look at this guest blog, as I put in four tips at self-editing that may help you out a little.

And while I believe every writer needs an editor besides himself/herself, you can help your editor out a great deal if you at least try to go back over your manuscript and attempt to read it as if it were written by someone else.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm

N.N.Light’s Blog Features A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE Today!

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Folks, I’m very excited to report that Mrs. N.N. Light has featured A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE at her blog today.

You see, Mrs. N. has a much bigger following than I do. So it’s quite possible someone will see my lengthy excerpt from Chapter 5 (not included in the sample chapters up at TTB, but I have permission from my publisher to share this additional excerpt — she actually said I could share anything I liked, to build interest, as goodness knows I need to build some interest ASAP), enjoy it, and maybe also figure out AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (book 1 of the Elfy duology) is also available?

Anyway, I am very appreciative that Mrs. N. was able to do this so quickly. She’s a great friend, and I appreciate her help more than I can say.

So please, if you are interested in reading more about A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, go over to the POTL blog (AKA N.N. Light’s blog) and take a look.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 23, 2015 at 9:43 am


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Folks, I’m very happy to be able to finally report that my second novel — and the second novel in the Elfy duology — A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE has been released. It’s available right now at Amazon and OmniLit…the latter will be most useful if you need an e-pub version of the file.

Edited to add: Barnes and Noble link is now live as well. Now returning you to your regularly scheduled post…

ALittleElfyinBigTrouble_medIf you have never seen anything at all about the Elfyverse — or read book one in the Elfy duology, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE — this little blurb may help you with what’s going on:

Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies — human, Elfy, and ghosts — that the Dark Elf can’t possibly expect. Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?

And here’s a short excerpt — note, it first appeared here, as part of the Marketing for Romance Writers Book Hooks blog hop:

Bruno took Sarah’s hand and led her back outside. He looked with his mage senses, and felt nothing; no Elfy magic, no Human magic, and as far as he could tell, no Elf magic, Dark or Bright.

He put up a light shield that should help conceal their voices, and decided it was safe enough to talk for a bit.

“Tomorrow is Baaltinne, Sarah.” Bruno rubbed his fingers through his hair and tried not to look too hard at Sarah. Goddess, she was beautiful. But he had to stay on topic. “That’s your May Day. Tomorrow.” He shook his head and tried not to frown. “How can we get everything together in time to stop Dennis the Dark Elf?”

“I have faith in you,” she said. Her eyes darkened. Bruno felt as if he were falling, before she gently brushed her lips against his.

————————— End Excerpt ————————————-

If this has intrigued you (and of course I hope it has), but you aren’t sure you will like my book yet, I also have three sample chapters available at Twilight Times Books’ website — here’s the link for that:

A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE continues to make me laugh. I’ve enjoyed writing about Bruno, Sarah, Reverend Samuel and his family, Lady Keisha, even Dennis the Dark Elf…and I hope to write more about them, ’cause I have a hunch their stories are not over.

At any rate, most of you know the labor of love that kept me working on Elfy for years. I’m ecstatic that both halves of my novel have now been published, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

Anyway, both novels are available now as e-books. So what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy — or copies — today! (And be sure to tell your friends. ‘Cause, really…how can you go wrong?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm