The Mighty May Lay on Lies

Whew!  I’m into round one of edits for Sliced Vegetarian, and the terrific Alice Duncan has been my editor once more.

Alice Duncan, Author

I’m lucky to have Alice Duncan as my editor

You may know Alice by one of her pen names: Alice, Emma Craig, Rachel Wilson, Anne Robins, and even Jon Sharpe.  She writes historical mysteries, historical romance, and even, under the name Jon, westerns. Obviously, I’m working with a well-experienced writer and am lucky to have her as my editor.

I submitted my copy to Alice at the end of July and she went right to work.  Mind you, I’ve had several people read the Sliced Veggie story now, so you’d think the work would be pretty polished.  Not so, my friend.

The edits I received from Alice challenged my grammar, punctuation and storytelling skills a lot.  I love this!  I feel like I’m learning all the time, and to me, that is truly exciting.

For example, on several occasions, Alice challenged me to change “may” to “might.” Growing up, I remember my elders correcting my “Can I have an apple?” to “May I please have an apple?” quite often (but that is a story for another time). Somehow, I got that may and turned it into a statement like, “I may go to the store.” Oops. Though the sentence is structurally correct (thus no help from Microsoft Word), the meaning of the sentence was often incorrect.

Alice's latest book, Dark Spirits

Alice’s latest book, Dark Spirits

May means to have permission to or admit that the possibility exists:

I may go to the store; mothers says I may.

I may think differently about it in the morning.

On the other hand, might, other than being a word of force, means permission or possibility, but in a past tense way:

If you had your wits about you, you might have seen the knife next to the dead body on the floor.

To be honest, I’m going to have to study those two words more.  The line between them is as slim as hope on a dark and stormy night, but obviously there’s a big enough difference to be caught and questioned in the editing process.

And here’s another set of words that challenge me to bits: lay and lie. I know that to tell a fib is definitely a lie, but does something lay on a table or lie on it?  And when do you use which tense?

Thing is, I looked up lay in the dictionary and found it has fourteen definitions–and that in the transitive verb form alone.  Just wait until you get to the intransitive verb form. Wow!  All this and I haven’t begun to explore lie.

Needless to say, if you are a wordsmith and have any happy tips for remembering the differences between may and might and between lay and lie, please send them along.  Not only will I publish your clever thought, but I will probably ask you to be my BFF.

Meanwhile, I need to run along today.  Big project up in my other life as a marketing person.  Thanks for sharing time with me, and have a great week.


IT’S BOOK LAUNCH DAY!! Thank You, Thank You!

I’ve been awake since about 4:30 this morning, waiting like a kid on Christmas for the day to begin.

Faith on the Rocks Book Cover

My first novel’s launch is today!


Today is the day Daisy Arthur steps away from the publisher’s desk and onto bookshelves around the country. I’m not sure what is supposed to happen on a launch day, but I’ll take notes and let you know, should anything at all exciting occur.  Here are some bookstores that, to the best of my knowledge, have agreed to carry “Faith on the Rocks:”

  • Amazon.Com – They aren’t shipping until mid-July, but you can pre-order at this date.  Check this link to see the page online.
  • Barnes & Noble – Again, no shipping until July, but yes, you can pre-order here as well.
  • Who Else! Books – This is a small bookstore on Broadway in Denver.  I’ll be doing a book signing here on July 13th.  Owners Ron and Nina have been supporting local authors for years, and they are a delight to work with.  Stop in and see them when you get a chance.
  • Three Chimneys Natural Surroundings – Located in the heart of old town Littleton, this wonderful gift shop has books and much more to browse through.  I’d save at least a half hour in your day for a visit to this shop.  You’ll find a clean, fun-filled array of items to delight the eye and capture your interest.


So now, the question becomes not “when” but “is it worth it?”  To help you decide, here are some of the reviews I’ve received so far:

Publishers Weekly Review 4/5/13
This title publishes JUNE 2013
. . . entertaining first novel . . . Gabe, the single father of one of Daisy’s special-needs students, lends some romantic interest . . . cozy fans will look forward to seeing more of Daisy.
Kirkus Review 4/15/13
This title publishes JUNE 2013
A Colorado widow with dreams of a writing career finds that sleuthing just might be her métier. Malik’s debut mystery offers some interesting characters along with enough motives to make everyone in Littleton look suspicious.
Gumshoe Review 6/13/13
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432827137
“Daisy is a likeable if inept sleuth. Her humanity, humor, and determination will endear her to readers.”
Joan Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of Wyoming Bride:

“Malik shows great promise as a debut novelist.    Her characters are fun and quirky, and I kept chuckling right through to the end.  A great read!”  


No project great or small is the result of one person’s efforts alone.  Life wouldn’t be worth living and projects wouldn’t be successful without the generous spirit of the people in our communities.  So here is my meager effort to acknowledge people who have made “Faith on the Rocks” possible.  Thank you to all my friends, including:

  • Rocky Mountain News where the story behind the story came from
  • My GREAT family – sisters, brother, husband, children, glorious granddaughter – you give me my spirit
  • My family of friends both next door and afar who ask about my work and keep their fingers crossed for my writing success. I am humbled by the wonder of community
  • My dear Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers friends. The learning I have had in your care has been wonderful.
  • Writer’s Digest – I have subscribed to this magazine for most of the 35 years I’ve spent interested in becoming a “real” published author.
  • My SUPERB critique group from the Southwest Plaza mall.  My Thursday evenings over the past ten years have been a delightful journey not only in skill development, but in reading some great works of art.  I only wish I could have mentioned every one of the 70 or so members from this group in my book’s acknowledgement section. I can’t thank you enough for all of your help.
  • FIVE STAR PUBLISHING – Especially Deni Dietz who is a successful author, editor, and all round special person who had the faith in me to keep me going.  Thank you Tiffany Schofield for your patient and superb direction of this project from the minute Five Star acquired this manuscript to today.  Thank you to Alice Duncan and Tracey Matthews for your terrific edits, and to the great marketing and sales department who have given me a wonderful book cover, publicity, and (fingers crossed) super sales prospects.


If you are reading this, and believe in “Faith on the Rocks” I hope you will send a link of this post along to your mystery-reading friends.  New “unknown” authors have a limited budget for promotion, so the help of well-meaning friends is invaluable in their success.  Thank you for coming along with me on this journey to first publication.

I wish you every success in your making your dreams come true and happy reading always.