I let the first week of January slide by me without writing. Which was a mistake. But as ever, procrastination let me come up with another idea for my book. Which I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

At the end of the second week, I was at Chapter 17. It will probably run 33 chapters, which means I’ve lots of chapters to go. Not looking good, unless I really get cooking. And stop reading so much. Look at that list below. With Sherry Thomas not writing oodles and oodles of books right now, I found Meredith Duran to take her place. Have gotten hooked on her romances now.

And now it’s February already. Good news is that I am at Chapter 19.5. But still reading too much (if there is such a thing.) 

Happy Groundhog day, ya’ll.






WHAT I READ SINCE LAST POST: Luck Be A Lady by Meredith Duran, Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran, Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran, Endurance by Scott Kelly, Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. Him by Ernie Lee. The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran. The Case of the Purloined Pyramid by Sean McLachlan. California Bound by Frank Kelso and John O’Melveny Woods. A Second Helping by Beverly Jenkins. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Catch up with the books I’ve already written at https://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

2018 Year End Goal

I’ve got very ambitious writing goals (by my reckoning) for myself in 2018.

January, February, and March are set aside to write THE CIMARRON BRIDE.

April, May, and June are set aside to write BROWN.

July, August, and September I will write CHECKING OUT THE DEAD DUDE.

And October, November, and December will bring me THE COWBOY’S BABY TAKES A BRIDE.

That’s a historical romance, a quirky detective novel, a small-town murder mystery that will either end or continue my Boo-Done-It series, and a contemporary fairy tale-based romance that will end my Cowboy’s Baby series.

Four books. One year.

I expect I’ll fail. But I’ll probably get two of them whipped into shape.

Along with writing goals, let’s add “play more with the cats” to my list. And “listen to music.”

You can find my books at https://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix 





WHAT I READ SINCE LAST TIMEComeback by Dick Francis. Second Wind by Dick Francis. Wild Horses by Dick Francis. Littlest Death by Eric Witchey. That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran.

THE TRUE-BADOUR edited by Ernie Lee, author of Aquasaurus

Last year at the San Antonio Book Festival, scores of visitors stopped by my table where  my sister and I were  selling my books to ask if I was the author of the giant crocodile (which wasn’t as extinct as expected) story. Alas, it wasn’t me, but I’d met Ernie Lee earlier, knew where he was sitting, and directed all of them past me to AQUASAURUS.

Wish I had written it. Ever since the movie Lake Placid (starring the wonderfully handsome Bill Pullman) I’d wanted to make up some sort of quirky, giant menace horror tale. So far, the closest I’ve gotten to that goal has been my walking, murdering, macadamia nut tree stories (ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT). 

Anyhow, Ernie and I met again this fall at the Texas Book Festival and he invited me to submit a story to his literary magazine The True-badour. I sent him one of the walking, murdering, macadamia nut tree stories. And he published it  in the Winter 2018 issue (available  right now) of his literary  magazine THE TRUE-BADOUR https://www.aim-hibooks.com/true-badour-issues   NO-MAN’S-LAND. Give it a look. And while you’re at it, subscribe to his newsletter where you’ll meet lots of new Texas writers.


(Ernie’s got another new book out, HIM, which I have bought but not yet read. I bet it’s as good as AQUASAURUS.)


WHAT I READ SINCE LAST TIME:  The Button Man by Mark Pryor.  Republic by Lindsay Buroker. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill. Protectors by Kris Nelscott.

Disclaimer: The blue sky photo at the top is Austin, not San Antonio, and it’s the Food Festival, not the Book Festival. Looks nice though.

See my books at https://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix

Gretchen Rix and Tam Francis at the Texas Book Festival 2017

I took fellow author and friend Tam Francis (left) with me to the Texas Book Festival this year, my usual companion Roxanne (sister) being at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio representing me and my books. Tam and I had a great time. As vendors. Selling our indie-published books.

We could have attended the author panels, as audience. God’s truth, though, on Saturday so many people went through our tent and stopped to talk with us that we had a hard time getting away for the port-a-potty. The port-a-potty that was positioned right behind our table (but a street-width away in a parking lot). We feared it would smell, especially by day two, but it did not.

No complaints at all about our tent. The first one on the tent path. The one with the great view of the Texas Capitol Building lawn. The one that was open to the elements. We were lucky. No real rain, only a few little sprinkles. No real cold, just enough for a sweater. No real heat. All the other vendor tents had covered sides. I think they sweltered a little bit in the afternoons. We had the breeze.

We also had the crowds. (So did they, but we got them first). Thousands of book-lovers paraded past us Saturday, and hundreds on Sunday. Some of them stopped. Less stopped to buy, but that’s how it goes at these things.

Our fellow authors want to know a few things about our experience. Like, was it worth it?

I did not make enough sales on my side to pay for the cost of the table. But Tam and I, as a team, just about did.

Having two writers at one table both hindered each of our sales and helped. Neither of us sold the number of books we would have sold if the other hadn’t been right there selling her books, too. But I sold some of Tam’s books, Tam sold some of my books, and she graciously allowed me the use of her credit card swipe thingie. And honestly, if we’d each had our own tables and only sold our own books BUT had been placed next to each other, we’d still have cannibalized each other’s sales.

Both the folk-tale/recipe author on my right and the Texas history author on Tam’s left outsold us by leaps and bounds. What’s that they always say: location, location, location. Ours, not theirs. They had a product that drew in the readers. We were sandwiched between them. By the time the crowd walked our way, their money had been spent.

But the crowd was friendly. We met some very interesting people (my vote goes to the snake-and-tornado-story man myself). We made a couple of new friends. And we learned more about hand-selling books. Tam is right. Giving out bookmarks helps.

But was it worth the $375.00 the table cost? Depends on your definition of success (and how much disposable income you’ve got). The competition was fierce. I mean, Tom Hanks, Lemony Snicket, Sherry Thomas, the Bush sisters, and tons and tons of literary authors (as opposed to genre writers like we are). The Texas Book Festival really is set up for them and not us.

So, not really. And yes.



Photo by Nita McBride.


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Beneath the Sky by Dan Thompson. The Exotic Mermaid by Leonora Raye.



In preparation for the World Fantasy Convention next week in San Antonio, Texas, here are the covers for my fantasy books (includes space opera, comic horror, weird western, impossible quirky short stories, and romantic adventure bordering on the type of fantasy represented by the Tarzan series). Fantasy.




You can still get the paperback version of ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT at Bookpeople in Austin. Logos, Buffalo Clover and Printing Solutions, all stores around or near the courthouse square in Lockhart, have my books for sale. Or go to Nook http://barnesandnoble.com/c/gretchen-rix Smashwords http://smashwords.com/books/view/494824 Amazon https://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix or Audible https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Ill-Met-by-Moonlight-Audiobook/B0744QRVDD

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Forged in Blood I by Lindsay Buroker.

Crawling towards the middle of the book

THE CIMARRON BRIDE advances slowly. Mostly because it’s that time of the year when lots of fun stuff happens. Halloween. The Texas Book Festival. Thanksgiving. Dickens on the Strand in Galveston. Movie events at Alamo Drafthouse. Cool, invigorating mornings that invite walks. The Fall TV season. I could go on and on and on and on.

So, I’m working on Chapter 11 now. In bits and pieces as I force myself to get off Facebook, abandon Twitter, forget about Mah Jong for the night, all sorts of other things to do other than write. Emails. Checking book sales. Sleep.

Here’s a snippet of what I’m writing:

Marcus Wilde in cahoots with Alain Valentin?

May Ling followed her bodyguards to the outside door to study the features of Valentin’s guest. The dust from the stampede still swirled. Shadows began to emerge, quickly coalescing into the form of a man. Her heart skipped erratically. If she hadn’t intimately known her lover’s size and shape and way of walking, she’d have mistaken Marcus Wilde for Junyur Wilde. But the age difference told.

Marcus Wilde had lived life. Junyur Wilde had just begun. Her lover  seemed almost a blank slate compared to this man. 


WHAT I’VE READ THIS WEEK: A couple of the books in Lindsay Buroker’s Emperor’s Edge series. I’m up to Forged in Blood 1 right now. About half-way done.

I’m at chapter eight now!!!

I’m redrafting a historical romance I started writing on a train ride to Dallas, Texas and back (Austin) more than a year ago. It might have been two. THE CIMARRON BRIDE.

When I dragged it out of mothballs to edit, I didn’t like the main character, and some of the plot was ridiculous. So very glad I waited on this one.

I’m at chapter eight now, which I feel might need a few more revisions in the long run, but I’m soldiering on into chapter nine. It’s Stephen King’s advice, to keep writing forward, and it has helped turn me from a writer with six or seven partial novels in my desk drawers, to a writer with twelve published books who is working on her thirteenth and has part of the fourteenth stored under the keyboard I’m typing on right now.

Yea, Stephen King!  

Here’s a very small sample:  

It was Valentin.

Everyone in the room recognized that voice. May Ling was surprised she hadn’t. The deputy seemed scared. While he sucked on his bruised and cut hand, Big Jim cautioned him. “Better pour some spirits over that, and I mean right now. Wrap it in some cloth.” Everyone else stood stupefied, even the previously manic Squash Blossom.

May Ling wanted verification that it was truly Valentin out there. To see with her own eyes. She moved toward the door.  Big Jim pulled her back into the office. “It’s him all right. No need to meet him head on, Miss May Ling.”

The three horses inside had retreated to the back of the room and stood with their heads hanging down. “That’s not a good sign,” Big Jim commented. “I’m going to open the door back up and let them out.”

Richard walked over to shut the exit door, but stopped in the threshold to watch what May Ling could no longer see. “They’re gone,” he told her, talking over his shoulder in her direction. He wafted his hand in front of his face to disperse the settling dust. “And here he comes,” he added. “Earlier than I expected,” he told Big Jim.


You can find one of my books in Austin at Bookpeople. You can find all of my books in Lockhart at Logo’s and Buffalo Clover and some at Printing Solutions. Go to http://barnesandnoble.com/c/gretchen-rix  for NOOK books and https://amazon.com/author/gretchenrix  for KINDLE books.



WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Deadly Games by Lindsay Buroker. Conspiracy by Lindsay Buroker.

New writing

THE SAFARI BRIDE is the first of three non-related romance novels I’ve planned. You can see it here http://amzn.com/B00PUVCBGK. I haven’t re-read it recently, but I liked it then, I’ll probably like it now.  

THE CIMARRON BRIDE was the second planned book, and it’s what I’m working on now. That was another story. I started it about two years ago on a train ride to Dallas and back, plus all the time in the hotel room. It’s been finished for quite a while, but when I took it out to check for typos, etc, I found I didn’t like what I was reading.

THE CIMARRON BRIDE is undergoing what is called a re-draft. I ruthlessly cut out all the chapters I didn’t like reading, and am working my way through the rest, which I do like. Quite a bit.

It’s very interesting working this way, and a lot easier to get it right the first time through than with a re-draft. And I’d considered it, too. Just tossing the whole thing, keeping the characters and the plot but none of the actual writing at all.

This will be a more traditional type of romance novel than I’ve attempted before. I’ve got the marvelous novels of Sherry Thomas to thank for that. When I finally ventured from Not Quite A Husband to the rest of her books, I began to realize what was wrong with THE CIMARRON BRIDE. Thank  you, Sherry.

Wish me luck. I hope to finish my book by the end of October. Then I’m going to wait. Until I can read it with fresh eyes. Hopefully, I’ll like it this time. If not, I’ll be trying the re-write from scratch method.

P.S. I really hope the redraft method works because I’ve had something really special just waiting for me to get good enough to fix.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEKThe Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker.  The Western Star by Craig Johnson.