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Thursday, October 30, 2014


By: Celia Yeary

Excerpts—we love them, don’t we? There’s no better way to sample an author’s writing style than to read an excerpt. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to post the perfect excerpt. Many writers have their own methods, from very long, to very short, somewhere in-between, at times concise, and at others, rambling.

In truth, most excerpts are too long, and some are much too long.

What is the best method of selecting a sample of your writing? How can you entice a reader to read your full excerpt?

Choose one that contains dialogue or action, not just narrative, and keep it short and simple.
Consider the short story. The guidelines are: limit to a specific time, place, event, interaction, or character’s evolution. It is, in fact, a mini-novel, complete with a beginning, middle, and an ending, i.e., an abbreviated novel.
A good excerpt should follow these guidelines, too.

Attention span is the amount of time a person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted. Continuous involvement without any lapse at all is as short as eight seconds. The average adult who is engaged in an interesting activity or topic will remain focused for twenty seconds. People are also capable of longer periods up to two and a half hours when they are doing something enjoyable or motivating, such as watching a movie.

Researchers have found that the modern adult’s attention span shortens as time goes on. The phenomenon of instant gratification in our technological world deters the attention span even more.

Now consider the excerpt. The guidelines are perhaps the same as those for a short story: one idea, one interaction, in one short time frame, wrapped up with a beginning, middle, and an ending, approximately three hundred words—a mini-short story with a hook at the end.  

Here’s a test for you. How many words are in this article to this point? (310) How long did it take to read it? (Average adult-one minute.)

EXAMPLE from a short story titled "Starr Bright," featured in the anthology Cowboy Cravings.

Short Excerpt: Conrad and Starr

   Starr laughed low in her throat. "Oh, I don't think I'll need a man to make the decision for me. I know all about stallions, or studs, as you say. However, I have asked Mr. Taylor, here, to accompany and advise me."
   Conrad remained silent. You did? You asked me to advise you? He wanted to laugh, but in truth, he was enormously pleased.
   With no expression, he nodded slightly to her. "Be glad to help."
   There was that tiny smile again, the one that was teasing, while at the same time a little sarcastic. Truth be known, he'd probably crawl through the burning fires of hell to get to her. 
EXAMPLE from a short novel titled RODEO MAN.

Short Excerpt: Cody and Marla

   Smiling lazily, he looked her up and down, at her short white shorts, pink stretch T, and red flip-flops. With that salacious grin, he continued back to her hair, hanging to her shoulders in a tangled mass of curls, but right now, there was no time to brush it properly. Some day she would just get it all whacked off and stop worrying about it.
   “Stop staring,” she demanded.
   “Well, I can hardly keep from it since you’re standing right in front of me.”
   “Oh,” she muttered, straightened, and moved to the side.
   Cody kept staring at her even though she’d moved out of his direct line of vision.
   He drawled, “You know, if there’s anything I like in this world, it’s a woman with red hair.”
   “It is not red. And if there’s anything I hate in this world, it’s a man saying my hair’s red. For your information, it’s strawberry blond.”
   “Strawberry blond. Whadda you know? Now, I like that even better.”
   Narrowing her eyes at him, she said, “Well, I’m just as pleased as punch.”
This short excerpt has three parts: Beginning: Cody stares at Marla while she watches him. Middle: they have a short argument. Ending: She has the last word.
It contains 260 words. Reading time: 20 seconds.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Haunting Legend of Hueneme...and The Bridesmaid! ~Tanya Hanson

You’d never know it, but the word is pronounced “Wye-NEE-mee.” It's a local legend I couldn't resist sharing with you in the month of haunts and spirits.

Hueneme is a peaceful, seaside Naval town named for a beautiful Chumash Indian maiden. The daughter of a great chief, she was not just lovely to behold but also kind, joyful and friendly. Everybody loved Hueneme, even birds who would land on her finger and sing.

Many suitors longed to marry her, but she sent them away. At last she fell in love with a handsome visitor to her village. They were married, and their idyllic union was legendary among the tribes of the valleys and nearby islands.

But jealously reared its ugly head when another woman wanted the husband. Her hate grew as she observed their bliss, and she learned black arts of witchcraft. She cast a spell upon Hueneme’s husband and his love turned to hate. When he looked upon his wife, he saw not her but the other, the witchy woman, who caused him to love her falsely and abandon Hueneme. The witch seduced him to leave with her to her faraway valley.

In grief, Hueneme returned to her home tribe. Her wise father told her to seek out her husband, for love cannot be destroyed by evil. She trusted her father, and searched for her man.

In a cursed valley of vile smells, Hueneme’s voice helped dispel the spell, and her husband followed her as she walked out of the miserable place. Partially unveiled by the curse, he realized he couldn’t live without her. However, the powerful curse hadn’t entirely departed him.

In despair, Hueneme forgot her father’s words, that true love could not be killed by evil. Giving in to her hopelessness, she headed into the cold sea at today’s Mugu Rock.. .(you've possibly seen it in movies and commercials...)

Filled with grief and regret, her husband followed her. And gods changed both of them to stones one can still see when the tide is just right.

Until missionaries came to the area, the Chumash Indians left bowls of food at Mugu Rock for Hueneme and her husband.

Speaking of love stories...I am honored to be part of the Halloween anthology, Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico. (Volume one). Wow, did I have fun writing my first-ever creep-fest. The Bridesmaid ain’t all white lace and a wing-ding bacherlorette bash. There’s a woman drowning in a well.

Except the well is dry...

Four nights in her dreams, a handsome cowboy tries to kiss her...letting Lydia think she's close to finding true love. Off to Colorado for her friend Milly's wedding, she's stunned to realize her cowboy is...Milly's bridegroom.

She's standing right in front of him, the beautiful woman Garner has ached to kiss for four long nights. Milly's bridesmaid. Can he betray his bride...even as his love for Milly turns to terror?

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Just wanted to show off PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS' lineup for this Halloween in case you've missed any of these! I'm giving away a PRINT COPY of TIME PLAINS DRIFTER to one lucky commenter! Be sure to leave your contact information so I can get hold of you if I draw your name. Meanwhile, have fun looking at all our company's offerings for readers of all ages--yep, we've got stories for middle grade readers on up through adults! Take a look and don't forget to comment!

What better way to spend Halloween than with some handsome cowboys and feisty heroines who are determined to fall in love despite their supernatural powers—or lack thereof? Halloween’s a good time to take a chance on love—and to see what these Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Vol. 2 stories might reveal to the unsuspecting reader—YOU!

Cheryl Pierson’s Spellbound will have you on the edge of your seat as safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly Spellbound.

C. Marie Bowen’s Hunter and Lily Graham is an unforgettable tale of a beautiful school marm’s love for her children that surpasses all. When a Cajun bounty hunter known only as “Hunter” shows up, Lily Graham knows he, and no one else, can help her save a young girl.

Have Wand — Will Travel is Jacquie Rogers’s offering about a handsome young mage, Tremaine Ramsey, who has a wand and knows how to use it…sometimes. Will his magic be strong enough to pull off a daring rescue of his father from the evil Gharth? Or will he need the warrior Nora’s love to help him see his Fate through?

Will Kaye Spencer’s character, Mercy Pontiere, be able to break a centuries-old curse and find true love all at the same time? It all depends on Reid Corvane and what he’ll do For Love of a Brystile Witch.

In Kristy McCaffrey’s story, The Crow and the Coyote, Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she’s determined to see him dead. But she’ll need a bounty hunter, The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.

A failed bank robber, Tombstone Hawkins, along with a fake gypsy fortune teller, Pansy Gilchrist, set out to make both their deceased fathers proud in one final spectacular heist. Family Tradition is Kathleen Rice Adams’s tale of the discovery of true love amid the commission of a crime—or the failure to commit a crime—while being overseen by the ghosts of the couple’s fathers. How can there be a happy ending? It’s Halloween, and anything can happen!

Halloween is here along with some romantic western-y ghost tales to share around a campfire! Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 1 is guaranteed to make you wonder what in the world–or in the “other” world—is going on. But are you sure you really want to know?

The Sheriff of Hel’n Gone by Lorrie Farrelly is a supernatural tale of a western lawman who must live one hellish Halloween night over and over, until a young woman from the future finds her way back to save him.

In Tanya Hanson’s The Bridesmaid, a bridegroom is doomed to marry a woman he becomes terrified of…but finds her bridesmaid is the love he’s been dreaming of. But will his sleeping or waking hours become his true nightmare?

Sarah J. McNeal’s The Beast of Hazard is a story about a predator that stalks the small community where veterinarian Joey Wilding practices. But is the vicious animal-killer on the loose of this world, or another?

Author Shayna Matthews makes a riveting debut with her tale of The Legend of Venture Canyon, about an exotic young woman who dances in the circus…where the show must go on—at all costs—and love survives everything.

Cher’ley Grogg’s story, Wild Injuns, Wicked Trains, and Cerulean Blue is an unforgettable tale of a young woman who comes west to get a sensational newspaper article and pictures, but in doing so, finds out that she will never leave.

Veteran author Linda Carroll-Bradd’s story, Wanderer, Come Home, is a poignant tale of the discovery of true love and trust amidst some strange Samhain happenings on a small farm.

Hank Renner enjoys summers and early autumns when he can escape his large family and spend time alone at the cow camp in the Bighorn Mountains. That is, until he starts seeing a beautiful woman with flaming red hair and brown eyes, who disappears as quick as the Wyoming sunshine. Questioning his sanity, Hank begins a search that just might lead him to his heart.

Annie Sullivan wants only one thing more than revenge for a rape and murder that occurred ten years ago…Hank Renner. Haunting the mountain, she’s kept watch over the handsome cowboy. But this year she did something she’s never done before, something that could change everything. She’s let the man see her—and exposed her soul.

Two lonely souls search for the truth that could solve a murder and a love that could resurrect their hearts.

In 1909 on All Hallows' Eve, three beautiful young sisters perished in a tragic accident…or was it? For years, citizens of Council Bluffs, Iowa would report strange sightings around Big Lake Park. Were the sightings due to over active imaginations…or something else? Over one hundred years later, Laynee Rodgers's car accident in the same location takes its toll on her memory, but she knows she isn't crazy. With the help of a psychic, she may remember exactly what happened to her, and unlock a century-old mystery in the process—if she only has the courage!


Codi Jackson and her father have been forced to move again. Codi’s getting used to being the “new girl” in her fifth grade class—but that doesn’t mean she has to like it. Can’t life just be normal? With her mother out of the picture and her father working odd shifts as a police officer, friends are important—as long as they’re not the wrong kind.

When Codi and a classmate, Keith Wright, are assigned to work on a history project, Codi has to make some hard decisions about her popularity in her new school.
But everything changes when Codi picks up an old Texas Rangers badge that belonged to one of her ancestors and he appears right before her eyes! Her great-great-great-grandfather says he’s come to help her, but how? And how is she going to explain the ghost of her long-ago Gramps to her history project partner and her father?


Halloween night can't get any worse when her boss, Joseph Clanton, is a no-show and Kelly is stuck closing up the Dairy King alone . . . or so she thought. A cryptic order from an empty room and late-season twister combine to make Kelly's Halloween night a truly unforgettable one by sending her spiraling back through the folds of time and depositing her smack in the middle of an ancient grudge match between none other than Wyatt Earp and Ike Clanton. Can Kelly survive the shootout in the streets of Old Amarillo while dodging Virgil's knife and denying Doc Holliday's romantic advances all while trying to find her way back home?


Trapped in Indian Territory in 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to the 21st Century. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d'Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers: he is, after all, an Angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni's life and her soul from the Dark One – but can their love survive? 4.5 Stars (Highest Rating) from Romantic Times Cheryl Pierson's fresh, well-crafted novel pits some unlikely heroes against evil incarnate. The characters are vibrant and tell a story of courage in difficult circumstances. An open thread invites a sequel. —Donna M. Brown Romantic Times

When Lola Barton inherits a rundown plantation, she believes her life has finally taken a positive turn. But, when she finds a mysterious trunk in the attic, it takes her into the past and to a man with dark secrets—and she’s married to him.

Kate Kinsella has no choice but to go after Charley Barstow and talk some sense into him. After all, he’s skipped town, leaving a string of broken hearts and his pregnant fiancée, Agnes McPherson. But Kate didn’t count on being kidnapped by a band of criminals along the way!
Ethan Barstow is hot on his younger brother’s trail, too. He rescues Kate, believing her to be Charley’s fiancée, and suggests they try to find him together. Kate’s reluctance has him baffled.

All hell breaks loose when they discover Charley in search of a copper mine—not wishing to be found by anyone; certainly not Kate! But, then, Kate was always trouble—and now she’s brought it to his doorstep, with tales of a pregnant fiancée and his brother Ethan, who he hasn’t seen in five years.

Can Ethan and Kate ever find their own love and happiness with one another through the dark deception and hurt? Or will they both return INTO THE LAND OF SHADOWS…

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Have Wand - Will Travel, by @JacquieRogers #Halloween #Western #Romance

Website | Pickle Barrel Gazette

Have Wand - Will Travel
by Jacquie Rogers
a short story in
Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico: Vol. 2

It’s always fun to just let your hair down and write a fun story without regard to genre expectations and preordained story elements. That’s exactly what happened with Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico—two volumes of stories where the PRP owners (Livia Reasoner and Cheryl Pierson) turned us loose. In retrospect, that was very brave of them.

I’ve wanted to write a story that incorporated Paladin from Have Gun – Will Travel for a long time, but never had the opportunity. Thing of it is, you just can’t improve on the original Paladin played by Richard Boone, so exactly what do you do? My answer was to make him a mage. Only this mage isn’t so handy with his wand as he is with his gun. The first scene is a take-off of the TV show, but everything else, including the hero’s personality, takes a left turn.

His name is Tremaine Ramsey and he rides a horse that is a centaur-unicorn-horse shifter named Abraxus. He and Tremaine have been partners since their school days, and Abraxus is never shy about giving Tremaine a hard time. In fact, Abraxus was pretty sore at me for not making him the hero. See? He’s trying to take over now. Anyway, Tremaine has taken a vow of chastity because he’s convinced that his father’s womanizing ways is what led to his loss of powers and subsequent downfall.

What started out as a take-off of the TV show ended up being a mash-up of Have Gun – Will Travel, Narnia, and The Princess Bride just as soon as Nora Castle came on the scene. I envisioned her as Susan Pevensie from Narnia, but Nora had a different set of tools, including a wu shu iron fan, and lifelong martial arts instruction by the Castle cook, Chan Li. And in the very first scene, some unplanned Beavers of Extraordinary Size showed up. Who knew.

I can’t imagine any other western romance publisher letting me get away with all this, but I have to say Have Wand – Will Travel was one of my very favorite stories to write. Ever. And then it got even more weird when the evil sorcerer showed up with his griffins and a few other scary critters. I also had a good time with Yort Smith (originally named Troy but I already had a T name so reversed it) who is the Castle foreman in the summer and a dime novelist in the winter.

Off we go on an adventure—sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling, and always romantic.

Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 2
Halloween short stories by
Cheryl Pierson, C. Marie Bowman, Jacquie Rogers, 
Kaye Spenser, Kristy McCaffrey, Kathleen Rice Adams

What better way to spend Halloween than with some handsome cowboys and feisty heroines who are determined to fall in love despite their supernatural powers—or lack thereof? Halloween’s a good time to take a chance on love—and to see what these Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico Vol. 2 stories might reveal to the unsuspecting reader—you!

Cheryl Pierson’s Spellbound will have you on the edge of your seat as safecracker Brett Diamond and witch Angie Colton take on a border gang leader who is pure evil. Can Angie’s supernatural powers save them? No matter what, Brett and Angie are hopelessly Spellbound.

C. Marie Bowen’s Hunter and Lily Graham is an unforgettable tale of a beautiful school marm’s love for her children that surpasses all. When a Cajun bounty hunter known only as “Hunter” shows up, Lily Graham knows he, and no one else, can help her save a young girl.

Have Wand — Will Travel 
is Jacquie Rogers’s offering about a handsome young mage, Tremaine Ramsey, who has a wand and knows how to use it…sometimes. Will his magic be strong enough to pull off a daring rescue of his father from the evil Gharth? Or will he need the warrior Nora’s love to help him see his Fate through?

Will Kaye Spencer’s character, Mercy Pontiere, be able to break a centuries-old curse and find true love all at the same time? It all depends on Reid Corvane and what he’ll do For Love of a Brystile Witch.

In Kristy McCaffrey’s story, The Crow and the Coyote, Hannah Dobbin is after an evil Navajo sorcerer who murdered her father, and she’s determined to see him dead. But she’ll need a bounty hunter, The Crow—to help find this vile man. With Hallowtide upon them, more evil is afoot than they can handle; but love will find a way.

A failed bank robber, Tombstone Hawkins, along with a fake gypsy fortune teller, Pansy Gilchrist, set out to make both their deceased fathers proud in one final spectacular heist. Family Tradition is Kathleen Rice Adams’s tale of the discovery of true love amid the commission of a crime—or the failure to commit a crime—while being overseen by the ghosts of the couple’s fathers. How can there be a happy ending? It’s Halloween, and anything can happen!
Available in digital at:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Homesteading in America by Linda Broday

Many homeowners upon buying their property file for a homestead exemption. That means they're protected against the forced sale of their home to meet demands of creditors and it provides a $15,000 tax exemption. It’s easy to quality. It has to be a primary residence and the homeowner can’t have a homestead exemption on any other property whether in state or out.

Much has been written in western novels about homesteading in the old West and it’s been the subject of western movies. The unscrupulous land agent, the large ranch owner who’s intent on running out homesteaders, and the Oklahoma land rush.

So what about homesteading back in our forefathers’ day? Here's a look at the Homestead Act that was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.

It stated:

  • The man or woman had to be 21 years of age or the head of a family

  • Be a U.S. citizen or in the process of becoming one

  • Had never taken up arms against the U.S.

If they met all of those qualifications, they could claim up to 160 acres of free land. Up for grabs were hundreds of thousands of unappropriated public acres, primarily west of the Mississippi River. The government saw this as a way to settle the country fast and boy, did it work. People rushed to cash in. Foreign immigrants flooded into the country. This was the chance of a lifetime to have something few had even dreamed of.

Stipulations that had to be met:

  • Had to live on the property at least 6 months of the year

  • Had to make improvements which usually meant farming

  • Had to live there for five years

Once they played nicely by the rules, the land would become theirs free and clear. Anyone not wanting to wait the five years to get a clear title could pay $1.25 an acre and the land became theirs.

There was also the Timber Culture Act of 1873 which provided claimants to secure an additional 160 acres of land if they planted and kept growing 40 acres of trees for 8 years. That obligation was reduced to 10 acres in 1878.

The Desert Land Act of 1877 was a ploy by the government to attract settlers to the arid regions. It was similar to the Homestead Act except a person could claim up to 640 acres that needed irrigation before it could be cultivated. It was cheap though—only 25 cents per acre with the stipulation that they live on it for 3 years. Or they could purchase it outright for a dollar an acre.

Most early homestead shacks were small, some as few as 8’ X 8’. And building materials were whatever was available. From log homes and frame structures to sod houses and dugouts. The settler was pretty inventive.

The homesteading process went something like this. A claim was filed at the nearest Land Office stating the homesteader’s intention. After checks for any ownership claims, the person would pay a $10 fee as well as a $2 commission to the land agent. Then the prospective homesteader would round up two friends who’d vouch for the truth regarding the stated land improvements and pay another $6 fee when he signed the “proof document.” In exchange, the homesteader received a patent for land. The paper was often proudly displayed on the cabin or dugout wall.

An  interesting side note: 12% of all homesteaders were single women. Yay for us!

But the Homestead Act was not all it was cracked up to be.

1.)  It often attracted unscrupulous people who used the free land giveaway as a scam. They sometimes got the immigrants to file for land too bad to farm on, often in the middle of the drought-stricken plains. Not many homesteaders lasted the mandatory 5 years in this case.

2.)  A problem arose with the Native Americans. When homesteaders pushed them off land they’d lived on for thousands of years, they oftentimes pushed back with results the homesteader didn’t like.

3.)  The homesteader could clash with the established rancher which often led to range wars.

4.)  Not all land was available. Eight years after the Homestead Act passed, 127 million acres were granted to railroads with another 2 million for wagon roads and canals. Land adjacent to such grants could not be homesteaded and had to be purchased outright with cash. They were also limited to 80 acres rather than the 160.

5.)  Only surveyed land was available. No one could gain a title to unsurveyed land.  

For all its advantages and faults, the Homestead Act of 1862 lasted until 1976. Although it continued in Alaska until 1986. Millions of acres of land was given away for a little of nothing. It stands as the biggest government subsidy program in American history.

Have read a book or seen a movie where homesteading was part of the plot?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pinterest for Writers Tutorial - Part 2: Manage Your Writer’s Boards and Pins

Welcome back for Part 2 of my tutorial on how you can use Pinterest to enhance your work as a writer. If you missed Part 1: Set Up YourAccounts, Your Boards and Start Pinning, you can click here and read that. Also, the schedule for the rest of the tutorials is at the end of this blog.

fig. 1
fig. 2

Since Part 1 of this tutorial that was published five days ago, Pinterest has changed the design of their name and photo banner or heading. (fig. 1) It has all the functions the old one did, except it now makes it easier for us to find business help information. (See yellow highlight and fig. 2)



fig. 4
You can create research boards to help you gather images and information for your writing projects. Depending on the nature of the board, you can create them as either a public board or a secret board. For example, I have several fashion boards broken down by decade covering only those years in which I plan to write that are public so anyone who follows Zina Abbott Books has access to those images. (See fig. 3) . I keep these boards public so anyone who follows Zina Abbott Books has access to those images.

I have other boards I create as secret boards (sometimes called private boards). (See fig. 4) In them I collect images and information specific to a particular series or novel. Here are some of my secret boards. The boards underlined in red are for book series. The boards highlighted in yellow are individual novels. The boards that are not marked are general research boards. For myself, I use all caps for the book titles.

The following are some examples of some of the other research pins I store in my secret boards. 

fig. 5
1.  For Armitage, the second novel planned for the Golden Oaks series, one of my characters taught at a Southern military academy for boys prior to the Civil War. I still need to decide which one. I placed this pin (fig. 5) in my ARMITAGE - Private board, not so much for the image, but for the accompanying details. That pin may never go on any of my public boards for Zina Abbott Books. (I keep it pinned on my American Civil War board under Robyn Echols.)
fig. 6

Other research pins I might put in a secret board are images on which I might base a character or locality description. For Armitage, I selected this pin for consideration as a descriptive tool for one of my Armitage family members. (Fig. 6)
fig. 7

I create both public and private/secret boards for the same novels and/or novel series. A portion of the drop-down menu for Zina Abbott Books looks like this. (fig. 7)      

fig. 8

When I create a board, I make sure that in the description box I write the details of what will be included. In a board for a particular novel. I detail the book title (in capital letters) and my name as the author. If I know the publisher and the publication date, even if only the month and year, I may include that, too. That little lock icon means a board is secret board. (fig. 8)
fig. 9

fig. 10

When I decided to write the short Christmas story, I created a private research board. Note the basic details in the description. Even though this story is set in 1873, when I set the board up, I put it in the Film, Music & Books category instead of History. (fig. 9)

For one thing, not all of the images I pinned on that board were historical in nature. (fig. 10)

This is what my private A CHRISTMAS PROMISE research board looked like once I filled it with pins. (fig. 11)

fig. 11

Once I sold that story, I could change these research pins into promotional pins by adding the publication information to the board description. I could have done one of two things.

1.  I could have gone into the edit feature, updated the description and changed the entire board to a public boardHowever, this would not have put those pins into the current feed for either the pinners who are following my boards or for those who are perusing the Pinterest master Film, Music & Books database.

2.  What I chose to do was to create a second public board. (fig.12)  Once I did that, I had two boards, one public that was empty of pins, and one secret that looked like this. (fig 13)
fig. 13

Fig. 12

For some of the pins, particularly those on which I already had updated information on the novel, I transferred them from my private board to my public board using the Edit feature. However, for most of the pins, I wanted my followers and other pinners to see them and be exposed to my book at the time I transfer them to my public board. In order to get them into the current Pinterest feed, I pinned the images (complete with updated details I added in the description) to the new public board.

If you compare the two boards, you can see that some of the pins on my secret board were not placed on my public board.


To change an existing secret board to a public board, edit the board by changing the title (remove Private) and changing it from secret to public. click on the red Save Changes button. (see fig. 14)
fig. 15

You will end up with one public board. All your pins that were on your secret board will remain when the board becomes a public board. You will no longer have a secret board by that name. the disadvantage to this is that the pins will not go into the Pinterest feed to be looked at by followers.

If you wish to keep your secret board but also have a public board, create a new public board. Keep the description in the Description box as Films, Music & Books category. (fig. 15)


In case you accidentally pin an image in the wrong board, it is important to know how to get it to the correct board. You can do so without repinning the image. You can also use this feature to transfer pins from a secret board to a public board without repinning.
fig. 16

In this example, I have a Civil War image I accidentally pinned in my general History board. (fig. 16) Here is how to fix it. Click on the heading of the board on which it is pinned, which in this case is the History board. (fig. 16)

fig. 17

On the History board, locate the pin you want to move or edit. (fig. 17)

fig. 18

Hover the cursor over the image until the task buttons appear. Click on the white pencil button (yellow highlight) (fig. 18)

The pin is set in the board named History. (yellow highlight) (fig. 19)

fig. 19

fig. 20

Change the name of the board to American Civil War and click on the red Save Changes button. (fig. 20)

Now the pin is on the correct board. (fig. 21)

fig. 21
Be aware that you can edit a pin from a secret board to a public board, but you cannot edit a pin from a public board to a secret board.
For example, when I started gathering images for my novel, Family Secrets, I did not know about secret boards. I dumped all manner of pins such as the Vietnam War, war protestors, clothing, the war in Afghanistan, etc. that I thought might apply to my novel into my public FAMILY SECRETS board. 

The board was designated as a Film, Music & Books board. Those Vietnam War images, without anything in the description to tie them to the novel looked like they should have been pinned on a History board. Then there were the images about the war in Afghanistan (Everything or Other) and the red boots (Women’s Fashions) worn by Jennie’s friend, Kaylee. At least until I was ready to have them on my novel board with title and author in the description plus an explanation why they applied to that novel, they should not have ended up on the Pinterest master Film, Music & Books database.

fig. 22

The damage was done for those earlier pins. But, to make them more effective for promoting my novel, I decided to transfer many of those pins to one of my private boards. When I am ready to add a description  in order to promote the publication of this novel, I will pin them back on my public FAMILY SECRETS board.

Because I could not use the edit feature to get those pins from a public board to a private board, I had to pin them. First, I hovered my cursor over the image until the task buttons appeared at the top. then I clicked on the red Pin It button. (fig. 22)

fig. 23

On the Pick a board screen, I changed the board from the public FAMILY SECRETS board to one of my private boards. In this case, because I was so close to the publication date for Family Secrets, I did not create a new secret board for the novel. I chose to pin this image to the secret board for the Golden Oaks series. I clicked on the red Pin It button to pin it to the Golden Oaks Series - Private board. (fig. 23) That same pin was then on two boards, one public and one secret.

fig. 24
Next I went back to that pin of the red boots on the FAMILY SECRETS public board.. To remove the pin, I hovered my cursor over the image until the task buttons appeared at the top. Then I clicked on the white button with the pencil icon. (fig. 24)

In the Edit Pin screen, I clicked on the white Delete button. (fig. 25) that removed that pin from the public FAMILY SECRETS board.

fig. 25


fig. 26
Select a pin you wish to pin from your secret board to your public board. As an example, here is an original pin with the original description and source that was in my A Christmas Promise private board. (fig. 26) To add a description to a pin, hover your cursor over the image and click on the white button with the pencil icon.
fig. 27

In the description box in the Edit Pin window, I left the original description. After it, I wrote some details that tied this image to my story, including the title, author and scheduled publication date. (fig. 27)

Pinterest will only allow you to use 500 characters (including spaces) in the description, so choose your words carefully. When finished, click on the red Save Changes button.

This is what the pin looks like after editing the description. (fig. 28, left) You can also add the description when you re-pin a pin from your secret board to your public board. Hover your cursor over the image again and click on the red Pin It button. Select your public board for your novel. (fig. 28, right)
fig. 28

Or, you can hover over the image and click on the pencil button to reach the Edit Pin window and change the name of board from your secret board to your public board. (fig. 28, right)


fig. 29

If you do not set a particular pin as a board cover, the largest image that shows at the top of your board, it will change as you add pins. You can change your board cover so the pin that is the most descriptive of the contents of the board stays on top. To change or set your board cover, hover your cursor over the large image until the Change Cover button appears.  (fig. 29)

fig. 30


fig. 31
Click on the Change Cover button to reach the Change Board Cover screen. You can use the forward and back arrows to navigate between all the images on the board. You can also position the view box up and down to select the section of the pin you wish to be seen as your cover. After you have made your selection, click on the Save Changes button. (fig. 30)
Your new image will show at the top of your board as your cover. The other pins below will shift as you add new pins, but the cover will remain in place. (fig. 31)

fig. 32

You can create your own pins by uploading images from your documents files on your computer. To do so, click on the title or header of the board on which you want to pin your image. (fig. 32)

fig. 33

On the open board, click on Add a Pin. (fig. 33)

fig. 34

In the Add a Pin from window, click on Your computer. (fig. 34)

fig. 35
In the Upload an image right from your computer! window, click on the Choose Image button.

fig. 36

Search the images in either your documents or pictures folders  on your computer and select the image you want to pin in the board. (fig. 36)

Select the image and add it to your board as a pin. Be sure to tell what the pin is about and give your source in the description. (fig. 37)
fig. 37


The same copyright laws that apply to written works also apply to images. However, before you upload your personal images to your public Pinterest boards, keep in mind that most pinners ignore copyright issues. Even with a copyright statement in the picture, like I did for this image (fig. 38), your photo will become fair game to anyone who pins it to one of their boards.
fig. 38

For one thing, another pinner can remove the copyright notice from the description. If you use your photo editing program to put your copyright notice somewhere on the image itself before you upload it as a pin, unless you emblazon it across the middle which would effectively ruin the picture, it can be trimmed off by another pinner’s photo editing program. REALITY: Expect other pinners to use your images on their blog posts and other projects without requesting permission from you or giving you photo credit.

Pin your own images selectively. Accept the fact that you can consider them in the public domain once you pin them on a Pinterest public board.


This is number two of four tutorials on how to use Pinterest to help you as a writer. If you have not already done so, please sign up to follow both the Priairie Rose Publications blog and the blog for its imprint, the Fire Star Press  ( so you can catch them all. Those tutorials that are past are linked below. Here is the schedule:

1.  Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog

2.  Monday, October 20, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog
     Part 2: Manage Your Writer’s Boards and Pins

3.  Friday, November 7, 2014 - Fire Star Press blog
     Part 3: Enhance Your Novel Release Party Using Pinterest

4.  Monday, November 17, 2014 - Prairie Rose Publications blog
     Part 4: Add Pinterest to Your Blog and Website

Robyn Echols is a fairly new “rose” who is writing historical novels under the pen name, Zina Abbott. Her novel, FAMILY SECRETS, will be published by Fire Star Press, an imprint of Prairie Rose Publications. It is scheduled to be released the last week in October, 2014. Her short historical western romance, A CHRISTMAS PROMISE, is scheduled for publication by Prairie Rose Publications in December 2014.