Sunday, December 26, 2010

Writing Goals for 2011

One of the writers in my writing group threw down the challenge to write a minimum of ten minutes per day in 2011.  Well, I’m extending the challenge to each of you—only hey, let’s make it 11 minutes!

I’ve already started and it’s working out pretty well so far. I forgot to ask her if we were excused for weekends and holidays. After all, one of my goals for 2011 is to lighten my load a bit so that I have a little free time to do frivolous, fun things.

The official guidelines will be posted at by the first part of January for Cougars on the Prowl. It looks like the competition will be pretty stiff for this anthology! I look forward to reading your submissions.

Wishing each of you writing success in the New Year!

Linda Fisher
Mozark Press

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fisher to Sign Hot Flash Mommas Friday, December 10

Sedalia, MO. Linda Fisher will sign A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas at Sedalia Book and Toy, December 10 from 3-5 P.M. Her prizewinning story “New Identity,” set in Sedalia, is one of twenty-five captivating fiction stories written by talented authors across the U.S. Fisher edited the book published by Mozark Press LLC.

Note from Linda--Update!! Tonya from the Sedalia Democrat interviewed me today and the following story is online at It should be in this week's SWOOP section.

The article in the Sedalia Democrat announcing the signing:

Janice Votsmier: Flashes from a Hot Momma

Janice Votsmier author of "Flashes from a Hot Momma" is dressed in her hillbilly formal for the Ozarks Writers League awards banquet. I told her I was just going to tell everyone that Missouri Hot Mommas always wear tiaras and dress in glitz. Janice's story follows Marie through a day where she deals with her hot flashes by spending extra time in the frozen food aisle--at least until the store manager makes her get out of the freezer. And, she is really HOT when she tries on a sexy silk gown.
About the Author: Janice Havlik Votsmier was born in Berwyn, Illinois, just west of downtown Chicago and grew up in a Czech family and neighborhood. She met her husband of forty-four years when they were juniors in high school. Never having liked the cold Chicago winters they settled in Houston, Texas, where they remained for the next thirty years. After raising a son and a daughter, she joined her husband in his insurance agency. Getting ready for semi-retirement sparked an interest to move to a cooler climate and Arkansas proved to be a nice half-way point between families. New hobbies include gardening, fishing and writing. Janice has written several children’s short stories for her youngest grandchild and is now venturing out into a wider variety of stories.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cheering them on!

Read this article by a local author about Susan Thomas and Sonia Todd's signing at Hastings.

Cheering them on!

Hot Flash Mommas Sets Record at Idaho Hastings Bookstore

Sonia Todd and Susan Thomas arrived at Hastings Books in Moscow, Idaho, for their 11:30 – 3 p.m. Hot Flash Momma book signing cautiously optimistic. They had contacted friends, distributed flyers and the Mozark Press press release was published in local papers.

By 1:00 p.m. the two authors had signed and sold all forty copies of A shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas. They stayed and visited with approximately twenty disappointed shoppers who wanted to purchase books. Sonia Todd said, “We broke their store record for most books sold at a signing and we outsold Twilight today at the Moscow Hastings. We had a great time meeting folks and telling them about the book and Mozark Press! So much fun!”

Kudos to Sonia and Susan for their successful signing! Moscow Hastings plans to order more books to have in stock.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thomas and Todd to Sign Hot Flash Mommas at Hastings Books, Moscow, ID

Susan Thomas and Sonia Todd will be available to sign copies of A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas at Hastings Books,  Moscow, Idaho,  December 4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Ms. Thomas’ humorous story, “The Business of Finding a Husband,” won first place in the contest associated with the anthology. Ms. Thomas lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her husband, Aaron, and their three children—Yesenia, Dakota and Novik. She loves to write, quilt, speak Spanish and help out at her Southern Baptist Church and at various local charitable organizations. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Idaho and is president of an ACW writers’ group, called We Is Writers. She has previously written for Keys for Kids, The Secret Place and Focus on the Family.

Ms. Todd’story, “Mirror Image” was one of 25 stories selected for the anthology. Ms. Todd is a member of two writing groups and ACW. She lives with her husband and two sons in Moscow, Idaho. She blogs at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sylvia Straub Sells Hot Flash Mommas at Holiday Bazaar

Sylvia Straub gave permission for Mozark Press to share her November 21 email:

I wanted you to know that of the 20 books I ordered to sell at our church holiday bazaar, 19 have been sold. I have no doubts that the 20th will be snapped up. A member of the church bought a book prior to the bazaar and, after reading several stories (mine included), decided to take it to a reunion with her sisters. She wants each sister to read a story aloud to the others. Several people bought the books as gifts. The other box of books I ordered will be Christmas presents.

I hope sales are going well. By the way, my name, the names of the anthology and my story, and the publisher were printed in the Mystery Writers of America newsletter. I'm almost certain that alumni magazine will have a blurb about the anthology and my story. I'm going to email my sorority sisters from college and tell about my story and where they can purchase the book. They are scattered all over the country.

Sylvia Straub "Dog's Best Friend"

The Story: Maggie Boyd loves animals and will not tolerate abuse. Sylvia Straub's story, "Dog's Best Friend," details Maggie's mission to rescue animals from her neighbor, Jake. Of course, Jake is suspicious that Maggie took his dog Lucy, but the sheriff can't prove anything. When Jake replaces Lucy with Doberman-shepherds, Maggie's rescue efforts get slightly out of hand. Maggie feels a real need for a pot of Darjeeling (with five jiggers of rum) and several slices of her cranberry bread.

About the Author: Sylvia Straub turned to fiction writing following careers in academia and non-profit management. An earlier version of her novel-in-progress, Blood of the Shepherd, earned a second-place award in Shepherd University’s writing competition. “Dog’s Best Friend” was inspired by her experiences rescuing animals for a Humane Society in Indiana.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Are People Saying about A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas?

 Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas: This anthology has just come out of Mozark Press, and it's brimming with wonderful stories about the forty or older woman and her search for happiness, or love, passion or perhaps revenge.

I’m not sure what each character is searching for because I haven't had time to read each and every story. But I've enjoyed the ones I've read so far. And I'm so glad that this story of mine found a home there. There's a little piece of me in that forty-something woman who bumps into a long-ago lover in the Senoritas. -Cathy C. Hall "The Funny Thing in The Bathroom at Casa Del Rio." You can read the the full blog post at

Holding my copy of A SHAKER OF MARGARITAS: HOT FLASH MOMMAS in my hand, I'm wowed by the sheer beauty of this printed book - it elevates words into art, and I'm so honored to be a part of it. - Kathy Holmes - "Viva Las Vegas"

It's an honor to have my story, "Criminal Minds," included in A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas. The anthology is a professional publication from front to back cover, and I've enjoyed reading the stories inside. Thanks for letting me be a part of such a delightful publishing experience.
Cheers! - Donna Volkenannt

Found at

Why am I promoting it?
There's a story called House of Wreckers that I wrote (many moons ago) in it. PLUS--After reading some of the shorts (I'm not through reading all of them cause my daughter swiped it from me), I have to say it's captivating, especially for women (even young girls). And it's not sleazy pornography, just good clean fun. . . . So...check it out. It may turn out to be the next Chicken Soup series. - Kaela Montano

I entered the Shaker of Margaritas anthology contest almost on a whim and didn't really expect anything to come of it. My story seemed to just about write itself while I was vacationing in a peaceful Tennessee state park last summer. Now I am published and have my own author's copy to prove it's real!  I've almost finished reading the book and I've developed quite a new appreciation for the judges, as well as further amazement that my story is included. I keep wondering "why didn't this one win" and then "why didn't that one win?" That is in no way a criticism of those great stories that did place in the top three, but just recognition that so many "winners" are in the book! Can't wait to see what follows!! – Kathryn Coit “Stepping out in Hope.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hot Flash Momma Stories: Peters, Lehnhoff, and Todd

In Susan Peters’ humorous story “Naked Tennis at the White House Lodge” an adventuresome woman accepts a date with a man she meets on an Internet dating site. Steven invites her on a camping trip to a “clothing optional resort.” Hiding beneath big towels and staying in the deep end of the pool aren’t too bad, but how does one keep middle-age wobblies under control while bouncing around a tennis court?

About the Author Susan W. Peters grew up in Kansas and has recently returned to her Midwestern roots after many years working overseas. Her work has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings, Writer’s Journal, and My First Year in the Classroom, and her poetry has won regional and national awards. She currently teaches at Johnson County (Kansas) Community College and is prose co-editor for Kansas City Voices.

Kim Lehnhoff’s story, “Women Seldom Behave Like Ladies on Ladies’ Night Out,” is a humorous adventure into the night life at the local sports bar. June’s stepdaughter, Ruth, decides that an evening of free drink, loud music, and dirty dancing is one way June could “get a life.” June is disappointed that the  crowd is much younger than the ones on the website and the shenigans going on around her are harder to swallow than the free drinks on ladies’ night.

About the Author: Kim Lehnhoff is a fifty-something wife, mom, stepmom, and grandma who has re-invented herself as she waits for this economy to create her next technical writing job. Kim likes blogging, reading, doing crossword puzzles and has re-discovered her love of cooking and baking, though she readily refers to herself as a Wilton cake decorating class dropout.

In “Mirror Image,” Sonia Todd gives a humorous reflection of how nervous a woman can be when she goes out on her first date in twenty years. She needs her daughter’s fashion advice to wear the right blouse, and the perfect shoes. The mother and daughter bond while they prepare Mom for her evening out on the town.

About the author: Sonia Todd is a member of two writing groups and ACW. She lives with her husband and two sons in Moscow, Idaho. She blogs at

Copyright © October 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Three More Reasons to Read Hot Flash Mommas—Mozark Press LLC

A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas includes twenty-five captivating stories. Last week’s post spotlighted the top three prizewinners, but all stories included in the anthology are winners. Mozark Press would like to highlight three more authors with a brief synopsis of their story.

In Harriett Ford’s humorous story “Harvey Saw Monsters” Ava finds an innovative approach to scare off an intruder. She overcomes her fear to prove her late husband, Harvey, was wrong about women not being able to think and act for themselves in an emergency situation. Armed with a pink slipper and her wits, Ava bravely confronts the intruder she believes to be her neighbor, Crazy Sam.

About the Author: Harriett L. Ford, a veteran investigative reporter, is the author of four books, numerous short stories, and feature articles for a variety of publications. She is a three-time First Place winner in both regional and national writing contests. Her Beyond Fantasy series (a biblically-based paranormal romantic suspense genre) has been adopted by Tri-Lakes Community Christian School in Branson, Missouri. Visit her website at She loves hearing from her readers.

In this E. B. Davis mini mystery, “Implicated by a Phrase,” Janet and Bea’s day of relaxation at the beach, turns deadly. After enjoying Cranberry Fizzies at the Ocracoke Island Pub, they decide to tour some beach rentals. They hide in a closet to avoid being drawn into the middle of a lovers’ quarrel and become ear witnesses to murder.

About the Author: E. B. Davis, an unpublished author and beach bum of note, writes short stories and novels in the mystery and paranormal mystery genres. Ms. Davis graduated from George Washington University with a Masters Degree from the Elliot School of International Service, and continued degrading her writing skills working as a government contractor. Her employment in the construction industry further deteriorated her writing by using undesirable verbs such as cornicing and Tyvekking. An “Ah-Ha” moment revealed her desire to write murder mysteries, which also provided an outlet for her killer instinct. When she is not writing or blogging, she can be found at the beach, the setting for many of her stories. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and its Guppy (The Great Unpublished) subchapter. She blogs at where her blog mates and she explain “the writing and getting published” adventure.

In Fred Farris’ “Titanium Butterfly” Violet is so sure she is on the verge of winning the $94,000 Jackpot at a St. Louis casino that she maxes out her credit cards and spends her daughter’s quarter collection. When Vi runs out of options, she borrows money from Tony who coerces Vi to take part in a blackmail scheme.  Vi is desperate to break free from Tony’s illegal dealings when she realizes her young daughter’s safety is jeopardized. Vi heads to Tony’s room for a final confrontation. Will Vi use the gun she bought to end this nightmare?

About the Author: Fred Farris, a retired advertising executive, now writes fiction for fun. His story, Cello Bells, won second prize In ByLine Magazine National competition for prose. Others have appeared in Goose River Anthology, Sweet Afternoon Tales published by Gulf Coast Writers, Best Times Magazine, and Kansas City Voices Literary Journal. Farris is now working on a short novella drawing from his World War II Infantry memories. He’s also gathering research on Missouri Ozark folklore characters . . . especially a woman named Patience Worth, rumored to have had three eyes. He invites your comments on her sightings. Fred is a member of the Kansas City Writers’ Group and lives in Leawood, Kansblas.         


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hot Flash Momma Author Agreements Sent

We are nearing the finish line with A Shaker of Margaritas: Hot Flash Mommas. The author agreements have been emailed along with a sneak peek of the cover and the anthology.

Within the next ten days, we hope to have a proof of the book.   

The excitement builds! Stay tuned for new developments.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top Three Stories in Hot Flash Mommas - Mozark Press LLC

In Susan Thomas’ humorous first-place story “The Business of Finding a Husband,” Rebecca man-watches from a bench in Friendship Park two days a week, confident she will find the perfect husband. Each prospect is eliminated after closer examination reveals his faults. Finally, in the ethnic food aisle she finds him asking for her advice about artichoke hearts. A man that cooks. He has to be perfect, doesn’t he?

About the author: Susan Elizabeth Thomas lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her husband, Aaron, and their three children—Yesenia, Dakota and Novik. She loves to write, quilt, speak Spanish and help out at her Southern Baptist Church and at various local charitable organizations. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Idaho and is president of an ACW writers’ group, called We Is Writers. She has previously written for Keys for Kids, The Secret Place and Focus on the Family.

Jennifer DeCamillo’s second place romantic mystery “Hungry Man Special” involves murder at Waffle Barn. Sexy Santiago cooks the Hungry Man Special and Anita serves the customers at Waffle Barn. A customer reports a dead body on the sidewalk, and the police are suspicious of Anita’s soiled dress. She and Santiago have been way too busy serving up tall stacks to kill anyone, haven’t they? Where the heck is the night dishwasher anyway?

About the author: Jennifer DiCamillo is an award-winning writer, playwright, poet, and current President of Missouri Poets and Friends. She has won over 160 writing awards including an Honorable Mention from Writer’s Digest, a CAPA nomination, a third place in an RWA contest, an Honorable Mention from ByLine Magazine, and last, but not least, is an Eppie finalist. Her works have been featured in publications such as: Grist, Turquoise, Museletter, The Poison Pen, Ozarks Monthly, Ultimate Horse Lovers Guide, Stride Magazine (U.K.), Storyteller Magazine (U.S.), The Binnacle (Univ. of Maine Press), Taj Mahal Review (Cyberwit, India), True Confessions (Dorchester), Cup of Comfort for Women in Love and Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers (Adams Media).

In Janet Sunderland’s well-written third place story “The Shifting Night,” Jennie the bartender is tired of hearing, “Do you know who you look like?” Dino is a regular, full of bad jokes and unwanted conversation. Just another night at the bar, like any other, until a charming stranger and death drop by for a drink.

About the author: Janet Sunderland grew up on a farm in Marshall County, Kansas, but lived throughout the U.S., in Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She now lives in Kansas City with her husband Cliff Kroski. She received her M.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has been published in The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Writer, KC Voices, The Rockhurst Review, When Last on the Mountain Anthology and other publications. She’s a member of the Kansas City Writers Group and a board member of Whispering Prairie Press. She’s a professional actress and teaches writing at Avila University.

Mozark Press LLC

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time Management: How Do You Eat an Elephant?

It is hard for me to squeeze time into my already overloaded schedule to write a story, chapter, article, or coherent sentence.

Last Tuesday I attended a meeting where the topic was time management.  The speaker, Jo Perusich,  presented a humorous, yet practical, approach to managing ourselves rather than time.

The two tips she had that made the biggest impression on me was (a) eat your spinach first and (b) the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Jo said that she learned early in life that when her mother put spinach on her plate, she expected Jo to eat it. Jo finally learned that if she ate the spinach first, she could thoroughly enjoy the macaroni and cheese or other good food on her plate. She uses that method with work by doing the unpleasant task first. Once, the spinach is out of the way, the rest of the day is enjoyable.

When you are working on big project, you might think it is as big as an elephant. If you break the task down into small bites, and grab up your spoon, you’ll cut the elephant down to size. And, according to Jo, it’s easier if you invite all your friends over to help you eat the elephant.

The thing about time is it just keeps right on ticking, and we can’t slow it down or speed it up, but we can eat our spinach first and then take a bite out of the elephant.