10 Most Common Grammatical Mistakes

As an author (or reader) I see grammatical mistakes everywhere and cringe. While I see it primarily with friends, family, collages and fans – I cringe most when I see other authors doing it. Yes we edit our work – but I try incredibly hard NOT to make those mistakes (especially on social media) because the idea of an author’s online social status is representative to their writing. If someone reads those mistakes from their favorite author online, they may begin doubting their ability to write in general.

So to help those – I’ve put together a list of some of the most common grammatical mistakes I see in hopes that you (even my younger writers) will be able to advance your skills a bit. Please note: I am not perfect. I make mistakes too – and I can completely understand the dreaded auto correct issues on the phone, I am just hoping some of these will help.

Then vs Than

Then describes time or organization. Than is an alternative. rather than – then you will go…

Your vs You’re

Read your sentence out loud. If you can put the word ‘are’ after you, you need the apostrophe.

Could’ve instead of Could of

What it sounds like and what it should be differ; what you hear is not how it is spelled. Same with should’ve and would’ve.

To vs Too

If you could replace the word too with also, you should use the one with 2 o’s.

Effect vs Affect

A reader can be affected negatively if they read the wrong cause and effect.

Lay vs Lie

I won’t lie I have a hard time with this one myself. You can lay the pen down but not lie the pen down. The past tense of lay is laid; so she laid the pen down yesterday, otherwise I may have lied to you.

Its vs It’s

It’s important to know if you can say it is important – you need the apostrophe.

Lose vs Loose

Count the o’s. If your pants are loose, you have too much material (extra o’s) and you may lose your pants which would be one less o and a bit less coverage.

Peak vs Pique

It may pique your interest to know that the mountain’s peak is snowy.

In to vs Into

Don’t get into the habit of walking in to stores without shoes.


I know there are many more but these are the ones that stand out the most to me. Master these and some day I may have to add a new list.


Categories: Education, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Thank You with Pictures!

This weekends Celebration of Authors dinner in Austin was amazing! Not only did we get to meet some amazing Texas talent, eat a wonderful meal and receive awards and recognition for our books, we were blessed by God!

From one conversation to the next, I heard inspirational stories, faith-based discussions, conversations of prayer, thank yous to God and even the comedian discussed her Sunday School classes. God surrounded us all night long and it was a true joy.

Texas authors realizes that the talent came from Him, that the success is thanks to Him and the goals for the future is up to Him.  Some how, we need to help the rest of the country realize that. God Bless all of my readers, fans and friends!

Award Winning Texas Authors

Award Winning Texas Authors

Shoulda been doin' my Happy Dance

Shoulda been doin’ my Happy Dance

Celebration of Authors Dinner

Celebration of Authors Dinner

Barnes & Noble Book Signing

Barnes & Noble Book Signing

And a Special Thank You to Alan of the Texas Association of Authors. You work so hard for us; helping Texas Authors gain exposure for their books, paving the path into bookstores and tradeshows across the state. You create the connections within the media, talk us up to anyone you meet and are one of the main reasons for our successes. To anyone who is interested… become a member of the TAA – www.txauthors.com You will be glad you did.

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DEAR Texas – April 12




Takes place on Sunday, April 12th and while the Texas Association of Authors wants everyone in Texas to stop what you are doing and pick up a good book today – we also want you to know that there will be:

86 Texas Authors  in  24 Cities  and  30 Book Stores

 Participating in book readings and signings

– so go out and…

Support Our Texas Talent!


  • Meet an Author

  • Buy a Book (or 4)

  • Gather some Autographs

  • Read some Excellent Writing!


Of course, I will be one of those authors…

You will be able to find me at the Barnes & Noble Arboretum in Austin Sunday, April 12 – 11 AM to 1 PM 10000 Research Blvd #158, Austin, TX 78759

 Learn more and find out where other authors will be on the DEARTexas website www.DEARTexas.info

Categories: Author, Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

DEAR Texas Kickoff, Press Conference & Dinner

It’s coming quick – I’d love to see you there!

The DEAR Texas Kick-Off at the State Capital, Austin, TX on April 11th


Noon-3pm the winners (myself included) of the 2015 TAA book contest will be presented on the south steps of the capital. The press conference will have speeches by Texas senators and house of representatives and will promote reading and Texas Authors.


Then, that evening is the Celebration of Authors Dinner at 7pm


The Shearton Hotel, 701 East 11th Street Austin Downtown, Creekside Foyer and Dinning Room we will network, discuss being an author, enjoy an amazing dinner and get our funny bones tickled by comedian MzT.


Finally, Barnes & Noble Arboretum Book Signing April 12th at 11am-1pm


Winners from the 2015 TxAuthors Book Contest will be at the Barnes & Noble store in the Arboretum.  Each author will read from their book and then be available to autograph their book purchased at the event.


Again, I hope to see you there!!

Categories: Author, award | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamilton Troll meets Fiona the Dog

Announcing the Newest Book
of this Award-Winning Children’s Series:

Hamilton Troll meets Fiona the Dog


This tenth book of the series debuts that adorable little white dog, the family got for Christmas (as seen in “the Case of the Missing Home”).  Springtime has arrived and while the animals are cleaning up after winter, Fiona is out exploring.  All the animals know is; their stuff is going missing.  Rudy Rat’s hat, Merle’s mat and… Hamilton Troll? Yup, Fiona even carries Hamilton off to her pile of toys and when Hamilton asks her why she’s taking everyone’s stuff, do you know what she says?


Mine, mine, mine!

Learn what Hamilton does to solve the problem before Fiona gets in big trouble. This is an excellent book for children who pick up things they shouldn’t or walk away with items without asking for permission. Plus, Fiona is just the cutest, sweetest, most innocent little puppy dog – who couldn’t help but smile and fall in love with her?

Learn more at: www.HamiltonTroll.com

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Conversation from a fan

Message from mother of a new young fan:

My son wanted me to tell you, he loves your book. He asked me, “Mom is it ok if I read it again?” My response was, “Of course, it’s yours – read it all you want!” He goes on to say, “You have to hear this, so I’m going to read it to you too!” He loves it soooo much. Thank you, this book has been THE book to get him reading on his own.

Want to get your young one reading chapter books?

Try Dream World Defenders.

3d DWD book

amazon-app-logo  bn-square

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Ready to Meet Fiona the Dog?

Oh my! Things are going missing!

Don’t believe me? Here are real live testimonials from a dog, a frog and a bunny. Enjoy!

New Book Coming VERY soon!


Categories: Author | 1 Comment

Another Amazing Young Entrepreneur


Not only do I get to sell my books at a tradeshow every single weekend, but I get to meet some amazingly creative people – many of which are children! Today’s amazing Young Entrepreneur is Racquel and what she does is truly creative.


From a distance, walking by her table at the show this weekend, it looked like yarn, knitted together to make these displays. It wasn’t until I looked a bit closer and then, even touched one, I realized she made these out of rubber bands! I swear – I’ve never even been able to start a rubber band ball and she created this!


She started by teaching herself rubber band bracelets. Once she mastered the simplicity of a bracelet she began getting creative by adding a cross to the design. Eventually, she started making Joseph (wearing green), Mary (in light blue), Baby Jesus (white swaddle in brown manger) and even a little white lamb (with a pink nose). She figured out how to make Mary kneel in prayer and Joseph stand upright.  I think at her age, I had mastered paper dolls – flat paper dolls.


The creativity and amount of work that went into these were mind-boggling.  For a young girl to put forth so much effort, on her own, is inspiring. I pray she will continue to put forth so much effort into everything she does for God – we all will be blessed for it.

If you were inspired by her work, let her know – I will forward your comments to her.

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Wiki? Hamilton Troll

Hamilton Troll – Species Classification

(A short chap with a cheery smile, whose face can be seen as far as a mile)

Hamilton Troll

Hamilton Troll

The word troll brings about fear and disgust in many people. There are plenty of stories and variations of troll species, most of which exhibit unfavorable traits and bad behaviors. Some say trolls are ugly, hairy giants with hooked noses and humps on their backs. They’ve also been known to smell bad and do mean things, but that is just a stereotype. Not all Trolls are disagreeable and mean. Some trolls live around people and manage to get along and interact quite well; they also love animals and can be quite creative.

There are dozens of types of trolls that vary in size and appearance. There are forest trolls, ice trolls, river trolls, bog trolls, rock trolls, desert trolls, mountain trolls, stone trolls, hill trolls, cave trolls, snow trolls, and so many more. While that seems like a lot, there are also various types of magical creatures that are very similar to trolls like; elves, dwarfs, gnomes, leprechauns, sprites, assorted faeries and a huge list of other unpronounceable international creatures. Depending on where the story originates on the earth, Norway, Scandinavia or abouts, the name too, takes on its own very special meaning.

Trolls are known for taking on the general characteristics of their natural surroundings, but with the age of modern technology, transportation and such, trolls have grown with the times. They have sprouted out, explored the world and over time adapted to become helpful additions to natures society. Hamilton Troll is an excellent example of this, but before we get into that, we should explore his origins first.


hamilton happyWhile Hamilton’s past is mostly an unknown, we know that he did have a mother who taught him to take pride in his attire and clothes. She taught him to always look his best: (Wearing neck tie and vest, he was taught to look good. He was taught by his mother, that he always should). The general consensus is that Hamilton’s mother must have been a Norwegian female troll which are said to be beautiful small humanoids with red-hair. This is where Hamilton gets his colorful yet visible tangled red hair.

Hamilton’s father however is an unknown. There are thoughts that he was a Tomte, a small three foot tall creature with a kind face, who wears knitted caps and is attracted to bright colors. Some think he was a Risi, a heroic and courtly being, but very little is known about them. Others have said he might have been a helpful elf or a curious gnome. Gnomes are small humanoid creatures that live under the ground. The fact that Hamilton chooses to live in a hole, next to a chopped down tree could be indicative to his gnome genetics. The important part is that Hamilton Troll won’t be defined be his past predecessors.

Intelligence & Behaviors

ht fix tie2Folklore and fairy tales are not accessible to Hamilton in the woods that he lives in, so he hasn’t read about how mean and horrible most trolls can be. His mother was nice to him and so he is nice to others. (He walks through the woods, helping all of the bugs, gather food, nuts and grain and giving out hugs) He is curious about everything and wants to explore the world, going on adventures, asking questions and learning about this beautiful planet.

Once Hamilton learns something; he enjoys sharing what he’s learned with others. Education is very important to Hamilton, both his own, and in doing so for others. While Hamilton is not college educated, he doesn’t feel that should be a stop-factor, as he feels he has something genuinely important to share with children; love, guidance and understanding.

Roles with Humans

Whether Hamilton Troll realizes it or not, he is leading the way towards a better understanding of the once disgusted troll species. Not all trolls are made equal and Hamilton aims to prove just that by being the ambassador of education for this generation. So fear not, the fact that Hamilton is a small green troll is a wonderful thing, because he alone intends on changing the perspectives of the planet, one happy child at a time.

Physical Characteristics

His head is the shape of an upside down pear, and it’s topped with a mop of tangled red hair. He wears a flat hat with a patch on the rim, so everyone he knows will be sure to find him. His eyes are like chocolate, big brown and fat. His pants are red-patched on the place that he sat. His heart is as big as a giant brick house, even though Hamilton is as small as a mouse.

Educational Aspects

hamilton lightbulb2Through his curious nature, Hamilton Troll learns about animal characteristics: Young skunks cannot control their scent gland, bees are color blind, owls need to be taught how to hoot, beaver teeth are constantly growing.

Through his interactions with others, Hamilton learns various social skills; how to make friends, face your fears, practice makes perfect, do not bully, do not steal…

When he asks questions, he learns scientific data, like; how petrified wood is made, where fossils come from and the names of Texas wildflowers.

htcampfireAs his adventures continue in this educational children’s book series, Hamilton will learn even more and thus teach the children reading his stories. Children can inevitably grow-up with Hamilton Troll, learning with him and from him, all while reading these fun rhyming stories.

To learn more about Hamilton Troll, please visit www.HamiltonTroll.com

Categories: Author, Education | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Prompt! “Never once thinking this could happen…”

What would you write to the phrase in purple below? Write a sentence or two in the comments field and see where it takes you.

“Never once thinking this could happen…”

I fell to my knees and sobbed in the middle of the neighbors yard. I didn’t care if anyone was looking. I had no intention on pulling it together or even explaining myself. This was happening to me and this seemed like the only thing I was capable of doing at this exact moment.  

Categories: Writing Prompts! | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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