Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Book Giveaway in Progress…Tell Me Why You Like Romance!

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Folks, it’s rare that I have to ask twice to give away a book.

But I’m asking now.

I’m friendly with writer E. Ayers, who’s a best-selling romance writer. She has a new book that will be out on June 16, 2015 called A RANCHER’S DREAM. (Here’s a link to my previous post about that.)

My own quirk was to ask readers why they like romance novels. I asked that someone tell me why they enjoy romances. (It doesn’t have to be fancy.)

So far, I haven’t had anyone who’s been willing to comment.

This is a wee bit frustrating.

I know I have a number of regular readers of this blog who enjoy romance novels in addition to science fiction, fantasy, mystery, nonfiction, or other types of books.

So maybe you need more information about Ms. Ayers’ work to make up your mind, hm?

I’ve only reviewed one of Ms. Ayers’ novels at Shiny Book Review thus far, A SKELETON AT HER DOOR a fun, fast Halloween-inspired contemporary romance. But I’ve read a number of her novels, and I’ve enjoyed every single one.

Anyway, all I need is a sentence or two saying why you enjoy romance novels…or, in a pinch, why you want to read A RANCHER’S DREAM…and I will be glad to send you an e-book copy in any format you desire.

What could be better than that?

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My Writing Adventure Continues (Slowly)

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Just a quick update here, folks, as I’m in the process of trying to get a new story out to the Writers of the Future contest as their quarter ends at 11:59 PM PDT on 3/31/15 and my story is, at best, three-quarters finished.

Once that’s done, I hope to be able to blog about a few subjects near and dear to my heart, including baseball, my opposition to Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom and Restoration Act” which looks to me like anti-LGBT legislation (and thus needs to be either rescinded or amended, stat), and some discussion about words, their meanings, and whether or not some words should ever be off-limits (whether in baseball or in politics) because they’re considered overused, hackneyed, trite, and/or politically sensitive.

But for now, I’m alive, and I’m writing. Recovery is in process, and while it continues to be slow, I’ve been able to gain a little ground in regards to my final edit of A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE and with regards to this proposed story, which I fully intend to send to the WotF contest if I can only finish it…

Anyway, back to work.

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 31, 2015 at 12:36 am

Time for My First Ever Book Hook BlogHop! #MFRWhooks

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Folks, I’ve never done this before. But as I recently joined the excellent group Marketing for Romance Writers, I’ve discovered some new things to do that might interest old readers and perhaps entice some new ones into sampling my work.

So here we go . . . it’s time for Book Hooks Wednesday!

MFRW Authors Blog


To set the scene for my novel, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE . . . here’s a short blurb to whet your interest:

Bruno the Elfy believes he’s very young, has no power, and has no enemies.

He’s wrong.

Quickly sent to our Earth (the Human Realm) and told to watch for magic, Bruno must unravel the lies, keep his mentor from being tortured, and—oh, yeah—figure out why he’s so strongly attracted to young, Human Sarah.

Because his life depends on it.

Now, here’s eight lines or so of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE from page 11, when my Elfy hero Bruno (originally named Jon) first starts to realize that Sarah, the young Human girl he’s destined to fall in love with, is worthwhile:

What had he gotten himself into?

And what, if anything, could he do to get through to her parents? He had to have sunlight, and food, and companionship …these people could starve him to death without even realizing it, and if not for their daughter he wouldn’t have had any companionship in more than two days.

And she did seem to be rather good company. At least, Jon was hoping that was why he’d had the sudden urge to give her his name. He just had to ask hers first, as Elfy etiquette demanded.

Sometimes Elfy etiquette was so stultifying.

* * * *

Why is he in trouble? Why is Sarah helping him? And why is he even there?

You need to read the book to find out!

Here’s a link to five sample chapters, to get you started . . . then go either to Amazon (link is here) or Barnes and Noble (link is here) and grab yourself a copy of AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE today!

And after you do that, please take a look at these other fine Marketing for Romance Authors’ posts . . . they’re a great bunch of authors with some fine stories to tell, and I’m proud and honored to be affiliated with them.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, gentle YA romance counts with these folks. (Thank goodness.)

* * * * *

NOTE: Here’s the list of people participating in Wednesday’s Book Hook Bloghop . . . we’re supposed to use a LinkyTool, but for whatever reason it didn’t agree with my blog, so the actual list (including my own blog link) is reproduced below.




Written by Barb Caffrey

August 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Fourth of July!

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Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Floats in the parade, music galore, fireworks at night (and scared little dogs, natch) . . . just a few of the things our country does as it celebrates Independence Day.

What are your Fourth of July plans?

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 4, 2014 at 6:45 am

Answering Questions

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Folks, here are the questions I’ve been asked the most over the past week-plus:

Q: When will you start talking about the Milwaukee Brewers winning streak?

A: Today, I suppose.

Really, I’ve watched the Brewers with great interest over the past nine games.  (Well, I always watch with great interest.)  I’ve appreciated that they’re winning, that their pitching has improved, and that most of the hitters are starting to come around (with the noted, and glaring, exceptions of Rickie Weeks and Alex Gonzalez).

But I’ve been sick the entire time.  And unless something really captivates me — and possibly even if it does (such as Jean Segura’s amazing feat of running the bases backward and getting away with it) — I just haven’t had the energy or health to comment on it.

Still, I’ve enjoyed watching the Brewers play.  And I hope their much improved play will continue, even though at some point their current winning streak will come to an end.

Q: Barb, will you be playing the next concert with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Community Band?

A: No, unfortunately not.

I’ve been feeling very poorly for the past five or six weeks, folks.  I just haven’t had much energy.  And I continue to feel lousy, which is not conducive to playing a woodwind instrument, to editing, or too much in the way of writing, either.

But I urge everyone to go out and support the Community Band, some of the best music being played in the Southeast Wisconsin area that has mostly been overlooked.

Q: What’s the status of your writing and editing?

A: Right now, I remain in a holding pattern.  The bronchitis I’ve been dealing with seems significantly better, yes, but I don’t feel that much better.  My concentration has not improved, my energy level has remained very low, and I’m concerned as to why.

Until I can regain some concentration, I just can’t do that much.  Which is why my blog hasn’t had an entry since last Saturday’s book review and after-action report . . . and it’s why no editing of substance has been done in nearly two weeks.

Believe you me, I’d rather be healthy.  (Or at least healthier.)

Q: What’s going on with ELFY?

A: ELFY remains on the schedule at Twilight Times Books, bless them.  That’s all I can report right now.

Q: Do you plan to bring any of your husband Michael’s stories back out any time soon?

A: Actually, I do.  But I must have more energy to first make sure they read well, then try to do the file conversions for e-books — something I’m not particularly good at, and something that worries me.  So I need to be feeling better in order to get this done . . . eventually, I should feel better.  (Right?)

Q: Why is your health so bad right now?

A: Beats me, but I wish I knew because I’d put a stop to it, pronto.

That’s all I know, but I hope this question-and-answer blog has been informative.  Further information waits upon events, as always . . . maybe that’s all we can do in this life, is wait upon events no matter how much we, ourselves, want to be seen as acting rather than reacting.

Rest assured that when there’s some good news to report, I will be very glad to report it.  (Promise.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 24, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Ill this week

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So far, folks, 2013 is starting out the same way 2012 did, as I am under the weather.

As I need to save my energy for the paying (or potentially paying) work, right now my blog is going to have to take a rest.

I hope to resume writing next week.

As for any reviews, expect them next week also.


Written by Barb Caffrey

January 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Saturday Early Morning Roundup

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Time for a roundup, folks.  (Otherwise known as, “What has Barb been doing all week that’s kept her from giving any sort of update whatsoever?”)

As you can see from my previous blog, I just wrote extensively about US Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Republican from Tennessee.  DesJarlais’ behavior is so offensive that it cried out for a full blog.

But considering that is the only time I wrote anything during the entire week, regular readers of this blog might be wondering what I’ve been up to that’s kept me from blogging.

Mostly it’s the same stuff that I mentioned the last time: I’m still getting up to speed with the editing internship.  I’m still working on two extensive book edits.  And I’m doing my best to hash out some plot points in AN ELFY ABROAD (the direct sequel to ELFY), plus re-start some other projects as ideas occur.

I also sent out four stories in the past three weeks; one came back to me tonight with good comments, but no sale.

For those of you who are new at the fiction writing game, when an editor gives you comments, it’s a very good thing.  Editors are busy people (I know this for a fact when I’m wearing my editor hat), and they won’t generally bother with even a one-line comment unless they see something in the manuscript — or the writer — that they want to encourage.

So that’s a positive step — the editor read the story and liked it, but just didn’t like it enough to buy.

Anyway, back to blog subjects — AKA, the things I would’ve blogged about if I just hadn’t run out of time.

There was one state story, that being the fact that the Wisconsin Assembly (our lower house) elected Robin Vos (R-Rochester) as their Speaker.  Vos is one of the more hard-line members of the Assembly and isn’t willing to compromise, which may lead to further problems in months ahead here in Wisconsin.

But much of that story will have to play out in coming months; for all I know, Vos could have a change of heart and decide he’s going to behave in a more bipartisan manner from here on out.  (Pigs could fly, too.  But neither is too likely of an occurrence.)

There was one local story that nearly passed muster, that of the City of Racine setting off fireworks after a roundabout, of all things, was completed near City Hall.  This seems like a tremendous waste of money, all for a roundabout that no one really wanted outside of the city fathers (and, perhaps, mothers).

But while that was annoying and stupid, it didn’t seem to warrant a whole blog, either.  Which is why I initially let it go by without comment.

And there were a few sports stories that I felt like blogging about this week, too.  One was about Ryan Braun, because I was certain he would not win the National League MVP award even though he was as deserving as anyone (but Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was nearly as worthy, so I didn’t have that big of a problem with it when Posey won).  One was about Tim Tebow, who got slammed — anonymously — by several teammates in the media, to the point that his own coach, Rex Ryan, then slammed the anonymous players in return.  And one was about the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and how it needs to be seriously revamped . . . but then, the BCS has always been controversial, so my thoughts against the BCS weren’t so important that I just had to get it down now, right now, or forever hold my peace.

Nevertheless, these were all topics I considered blogging about.  And if I’d had more time, I assuredly would’ve written blogs about Vos, the silly roundabout coupled with the even more silly fireworks, Braun failing to win his second MVP despite being a deserving candidate, Tebow’s teammates and their bad behavior, and probably the BCS, too.

But I just didn’t have time.  (As it is, I’m cutting into my sleep cycle to write this blog, not to mention the previous one about the odious Rep. DesJarlais.)

Oh, yes.  I reviewed THE UGLY DUCHESS by Eloisa James over at Shiny Book Review on Thursday.   So that should give y’all a little bit more to read, should you be so inclined.

Anyway, that’s about it . . . though you might be looking for my review of Lois McMaster Bujold’s CAPTAIN VORPATRIL’S ALLIANCE in the next few days over at SBR.  (My hope is to get it written and up on Saturday evening, but that may not be possible.  We’ll see.)

Now, back to the salt mines.  (Or at least to sleep.  Whichever.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 17, 2012 at 4:56 am

Posted in Uncategorized


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