Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Deceiver Back in e-book!

ATTENTION: The Deceiver, book 1 of The Deceiver Saga is back on Kindle! Don't miss out!
Special re-publication e-book price of $9.99!

I'll be working on the other books as fast as I can!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Behold, the Beauty of Women United - Sisters You Can Do It!

I’ve been to many a women’s event, but I’ve never been to one quite like Sisters You Can Do It, a Women’s Empowerment Summit. I first heard about Sisters You Can Do It from my husband. Yes, a man told me about a women’s empowerment event and thought I should go check it out. That’s an endorsement all in itself! He heard about the summit from a dear friend and co-worker of his. She was participating as a volunteer for the summit and was collaborating with the visionaries and co-founders of Sisters You Can Do It themselves, Sheila Howard and Patricia Adams. She shared that their dream of was to unite women of all diversities and that their desire was to breathe life back into them and inspire them to pursue their dreams. My husband instantly thought their vision for women sounded much like my own, and rushed to tell me about it.

I then heard about Sisters You Can Do It from three different women who had gone to the event previously. They each encouraged me to come and assured me I’d have fun and leave inspired. Their excitement and passion for it was so genuine. With confirmation coming in left and right, I felt this women’s summit was something I was meant to experience. What I wasn’t sure of was if I would leave feeling like it had been worth my time. As it turned out, I wasn’t disappointed. Not one bit. It was not only worth my time, but it was worth every dollar! My only regret was that it didn’t last the entire weekend, just the one day.

I bought my ticket and awaited the day anxiously. When I arrived, I was captivated. Business owners and entrepreneurs lined the hall outside the Hotel conference room and along the interior walls. And they were all “maned” by women! It was like going to a mini Women’s Expo!

Inside were large round tables and comfortable chairs, beautifully decorated, strewn with gift bags and treats for each and every guest. Coffee, tea, juice, and water sat on a table with delicious breakfast delicacies to ensure the ladies would all be ready for an eventful morning. They also feed us a substantial lunch along with desserts later in the day as well. Women love to eat, and it was gooood. The meals alone probably cost the hosts more than the price of the tickets, not to mention the gift bags waiting on the tables for every guest. But that just shows you their heart. It isn’t about getting rich off the women who come, it’s about loving on the people. Isn’t that what we’d all hope to find in leaders? Those are qualities we can easily admire and hope to aspire to.

I found a seat near several of the women who had told me about the event and was greeted by many I didn’t even know. The positivity and excitement in the room was an encouraging beginning.

As the upbeat music started, our hosts took to the front of the room, dancing and rejoicing, greeting the ladies as they passed by, smiling with true joy as they went. I looked around at the faces of the ladies in attendance. Everyone was attentive, waiting expectantly for what came next, and for the event to begin. The energy in the room was tangible and the love pouring out of the hosts promised me that I was in for a special experience. The excitement was contagious, the joy was penetrating. I couldn’t wait.

Each speaker spoke truth, hope, and perseverance into the hearts and minds of the women in that room. Their messages were inspirational, igniting the soul, and reviving many dreams. I’m usually an upbeat and highly driven person, and even I felt inspired and motivated to keep pressing onward and not give up on my dreams and the desires of my heart. I’m just like anyone else. We all could use some encouragement and building up. Even if you think you’re impenetrable to the negativity and discouragement of others, the reality is, you’re not. We might say the words and dismissive actions of others don’t bother us or hurt us, but they still leave their mark. They still sting. And with enough negative words, they eventually burrow deep into our thoughts and slowly coil around your heart, strangling your passions and your dreams so subtlety, that at first you don’t even notice it’s happening. Then one day you can hardly breath. That day, I felt a washing away of those negative words and the truth of my calling ringing clearly once more within my heart.

I was further moved to see the impact of the speaker’s words as they penetrated the brokenhearted and spoke life back into those who had lost their sense of purpose and hope. As I gazed across the room, I could sense many of the women in the audience had never had anyone tell them they were special. Never had anyone tell them they had anything within them of value to offer the world. Never had anyone tell them they were good at anything. But that day they heard, “Sister, you can do it!”  

The day was also filled with laughter, hard truths, encouragement, inspiration, activities, great food, the making of new friends, and of course, shopping! Come on, we are women! We have to throw shopping in there to have a real women’s day out. It was icing on the cake!
As the summit neared the close, many women cried or choked back tears as co-founder and host Sheila Howard sang her closing song. It’s one she’s become known for, called Designer’s Original.

I’ve gone for the past two years and I’ve had a blast every time! This year, it’s their 5th annual celebration and going to be extra special! The theme is, Denim and Diamonds! I was also asked to speak for a 10 minute “Quick Hits” session. I am truly honored to have been asked and can’t wait to share my heart with the ladies.

Now, some of you out there will take one look at the flier below and think, “Oh that’s for black women. I won’t fit in. Maybe I shouldn’t go.” Let me stop you right there and set something straight. Take a moment and re-read the name of this event, “Sisters You Can Do It”. As Sheila Howard put it, “We intentionally choose to call it Sisters You Can Do It, not Sistahs.” The visionaries and hosts of this event just happen to be black women, but above all else, they are simply women.

As Sheila Howard told me recently when I sat down with her and Patricia Adams to talk about their vision for Sisters You Can Do It, “This event is about ALL women, coming together to support one another. Every woman is welcome. Every woman matters. We all have gone through life as women and know what that feels like. We get so happy when we see the conference room full of diverse women; Black, Indian, Hispanic, white!” Sheila Howard further explained that, “This event is about sisters, ladies, women. Yes, we might have had different experiences living our lives as black women or white women, but we’re all still ladies. We need to support each other. Encourage each other. Lift one another up!”

And she’s right! We all know what it feels like to feel less than, second class, underpaid, used, abused, treated as weak or stupid, and told we are just breeders and feeders because we were born a woman. Let’s stop separating ourselves by race, social status, age, or education, and stand up together and start being supportive of one another! Enough is enough! If we can’t respect and support one another, how can we expect men to respect us or the world to take us seriously? Stop contributing to the problem, and become the solution. (Can you tell I feel strongly about that issue?)  

Patricia Adams added, “We want to encourage women to stop being competitive with one another. They get so jealous and resentful when someone else makes it instead of them. Rather than be happy to see their sister thrive, they become bitter. We want to show women a different way to live and that we can love one another.”

“Sisters You Can Do It is about sisterhood,” Sheila shared. “And sisterhood is built on trust, love, support, and acceptance of other women. We embrace and value our differences. We want to teach women to love who they are.”

It seems that with the pursuit of any calling and all good things, there will be those who will doubt your abilities and for whatever reason, they can't see the vision. Patricia and Sheila had their share of doubters, but pressed on and followed their dream anyway. They didn’t let negativity or disbelief stand in their way. And because of their commitment and faith, they are celebrating five years of uplifting and empowering women to realize their potential and go after their dreams!

Sheila and Patricia have very different backgrounds and stories to share. They have each faced their own kind of struggles and battles to make it in life, love, and career. Their experiences have shaped them into two sides of a perfectly crafted coin, designed specifically to be the right women for the significant job of building up others. God knew what he was doing when he brought these two ladies together in friendship. Theirs was a calling that needed a rock-solid partner to share the same vision and desire with, if it was ever to come into fruition.

It is no small feat to organize a huge event like this, find guest speakers who have the same heart and vision as they do, and oversee the creation of the decorations, coordinate with vendors, make creative food selections, and put together gift bags and prizes. It has taken them sweat, tears, and yes, they have had to invest their own money each year. Theirs’ is a sacrifice of love for they truly care deeply for the women who come. Their greatest desire is to see women’s lives changed forever. Their prayer is that the message of hope and empowerment will reach women across the United States, and one day, across the world.

Sheila and Patricia’s mission is, “To see women grow and stop being afraid. They need to just take that first step and keep moving forward toward their dream!”

That leads me to one more thing, though these are women of faith and they openly acknowledge their faith in God as their source of strength and love, they do not push Him on anyone who comes through those doors. All are welcome, and all are accepted and respected. They didn’t create this event to be a “church thing” or a “Christian thing”. It is a women’s event. It just so happens that the founders and hosts love the Lord and believe Jesus Christ is the son of God. It’s simply who they are. So don’t worry! You don’t have to be anxious or afraid that anyone is going to corner you and get all religious on you. But please know that if you happen to decide you want to know more about God and his son Jesus, you are more than welcome to ask.

“Realizing your potential” is the heartbeat of this year’s 5th annual Sisters You Can Do It, Women’s Empowerment Summit. For those who wish to participate, the suggested dress-up theme is to wear denim and diamonds. Don’t worry ladies! You don’t have to own any real diamonds to come sparkling in your bling. Costume jewelry is more than acceptable and no one will judge you for it. And as far as denim (jeans), I think we all own at least one pair. Got holes in the knees you say? No sweat. Slip on those holey babies and come relaxed!

Women – Please come join us on December 2nd at the Holiday Inn Hotel located at 9175 W. Stockton Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95758. The summit starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for shopping and to grab a seat! Enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch as you listen to awesome speakers such as the visionaries and hosts themselves, Sheila Howard and Patricia Adams, main guest speakers Darlene McPhaul and Stephanie C. Harper, and quick hits speakers Niccole Taylor and myself, R. J. Machado De Quevedo. There will even be activities and prizes, and a special presentation, Cookin’ with Candi, which is always fun and comes with a scrumptious treat!

Come surround yourself with greatness and absorb the energy that fills the room when hundreds of women get together in a spirit of unity with their hearts and minds set on one purpose; to be inspired and feed their souls. You will laugh and maybe even cry. You will feel stirred, encouraged, and leave changed. Gifts will be given and prizes won. And the cost is only $45 for this day of fun, uplifting, refueling, and sisterhood. You can get your tickets on

Invite your girlfriends! Invite your neighbors! Invite you sister, mother, or any woman you know who enjoys a good time or who desperately needs to have a good time! I think that’s about all of them. They won’t be disappointed.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Words Commonly Overused In Writing

Its' easy to use the words below over and over again when writing. You could even say it's natural since in everyday conversation, we tend to overuse them. 

Early on in my professional writing career, I had an editor point out to me my tenancy to overuse some of these words. Not wanting to bore my readers, I poked around online for additional information to put together a more comprehensive list for myself. I ended up finding another list of Synonyms For Other Words Commonly Overused In Writing as well that I had to bookmark. 

Here is my list of commonly over used words and the list of synonymous for other words commonly overused I think any aspiring or seasoned writer will appreciate. I hope it helps you clean up some of your writing. I even keep the list handy to pull out and utilize when I feel myself getting stuck in a repetitive grove of dreaded word overuse. 


·      That   - in order, so, in that
·      Very – appropriate, especially, authentically, unquestionably, precise, sure-enough, right
·      Really – certainly, indeed, literally, legitimately, surely, truly, undoubtedly absolutely
·      Like – alike, comparable, related, approximating, close, equally, equivalent, near
·      Just – simply, directly, commonly, frankly, matter-of-factly
·      Actually – absolutely, indeed, literally, truly, essentially, in reality, as a matter of fact
·      Basically – mostly, at heart, firstly, essentially, in substance, inherently
·      Probably – apparently, presumably, perhaps, possibly, likely, doubtless, no doubt, seemingly
·      Definitely – absolutely, doubtless, easily, clearly, finally, obviously
·      Somewhat – a little, considerably, fairly, kind of, moderately, partially, pretty, quite, rather, significantly
·      Kind of – rather, moderately, sort of, to some extent
·      Extremely – utterly, acutely, awfully, exceedingly, exceptionally, excessively, highly, immensely, overly, strikingly
·      Practically – approximately, essentially, virtually, much, nearly, fundamentally, well-nigh, in essence, in effect
Example: Because a great many of the words in this sentence are basically unnecessary, it would really be a very good idea to edit somewhat for conciseness or that might make it too wordy.
Revision: Because many of the words in this sentence are unnecessary, we should edit it.


Amazing- incredible, unbelievable, improbable, fabulous, wonderful, fantastic, astonishing, astounding, extraordinary
Anger- enrage, infuriate, arouse, nettle, exasperate, inflame, madden
Angry- mad, furious, enraged, excited, wrathful, indignant, exasperated, aroused, inflamed
Answer- reply, respond, retort, acknowledge
Ask- question, inquire of, seek information from, put a question to, demand, request, expect, inquire, query, interrogate, examine, quiz
Awful- dreadful, terrible, abominable, bad, poor, unpleasant
Bad- evil, immoral, wicked, corrupt, sinful, depraved, rotten, contaminated, spoiled, tainted, harmful, injurious, unfavorable, defective, inferior, imperfect, substandard, faulty, improper, inappropriate, unsuitable, disagreeable, unpleasant, cross, nasty, unfriendly, irascible, horrible, atrocious, outrageous, scandalous, infamous, wrong, noxious, sinister, putrid, snide, deplorable, dismal, gross, heinous, nefarious, base, obnoxious, detestable, despicable, contemptible, foul, rank, ghastly, execrable
Beautiful - pretty, lovely, handsome, attractive, gorgeous, dazzling, splendid, magnificent, comely, fair, ravishing, graceful, elegant, fine, exquisite, aesthetic, pleasing, shapely, delicate, stunning, glorious, heavenly, resplendent, radiant, glowing, blooming, sparkling
Begin - start, open, launch, initiate, commence, inaugurate, originate
Big - enormous, huge, immense, gigantic, vast, colossal, gargantuan, large, sizable, grand, great, tall, substantial, mammoth, astronomical, ample, broad, expansive, spacious, stout, tremendous, titanic, mountainous
Brave - courageous, fearless, dauntless, intrepid, plucky, daring, heroic, valorous, audacious, bold, gallant, valiant, doughty, mettlesome
Break - fracture, rupture, shatter, smash, wreck, crash, demolish, atomize
Bright - shining, shiny, gleaming, brilliant, sparkling, shimmering, radiant, vivid, colorful, lustrous, luminous, incandescent, intelligent, knowing, quick-witted, smart, intellectual
Calm - quiet, peaceful, still, tranquil, mild, serene, smooth, composed, collected, unruffled, level-headed, unexcited, detached, aloof
Come - approach, advance, near, arrive, reach
Cool - chilly, cold, frosty, wintry, icy, frigid
Crooked - bent, twisted, curved, hooked, zigzag
Cry - shout, yell, yowl, scream, roar, bellow, weep, wail, sob, bawl
Cut - gash, slash, prick, nick, sever, slice, carve, cleave, slit, chop, crop, lop, reduce
Dangerous - perilous, hazardous, risky, uncertain, unsafe
Dark - shadowy, unlit, murky, gloomy, dim, dusky, shaded, sunless, black, dismal, sad
Decide - determine, settle, choose, resolve
Definite - certain, sure, positive, determined, clear, distinct, obvious
Delicious - savory, delectable, appetizing, luscious, scrumptious, palatable, delightful, enjoyable, toothsome, exquisite
Describe - portray, characterize, picture, narrate, relate, recount, represent, report, record
Destroy - ruin, demolish, raze, waste, kill, slay, end, extinguish
Difference - disagreement, inequity, contrast, dissimilarity, incompatibility
Do - execute, enact, carry out, finish, conclude, effect, accomplish, achieve, attain
Dull - boring, tiring,, tiresome, uninteresting, slow, dumb, stupid, unimaginative, lifeless, dead, insensible, tedious, wearisome, listless, expressionless, plain, monotonous, humdrum, dreary
Eager - keen, fervent, enthusiastic, involved, interested, alive to
End - stop, finish, terminate, conclude, close, halt, cessation, discontinuance
Enjoy - appreciate, delight in, be pleased, indulge in, luxuriate in, bask in, relish, devour, savor, like
Explain - elaborate, clarify, define, interpret, justify, account for
Fair - just, impartial, unbiased, objective, unprejudiced, honest
Fall - drop, descend, plunge, topple, tumble
False - fake, fraudulent, counterfeit, spurious, untrue, unfounded, erroneous, deceptive, groundless, fallacious
Famous - well-known, renowned, celebrated, famed, eminent, illustrious, distinguished, noted, notorious
Fast - quick, rapid, speedy, fleet, hasty, snappy, mercurial, swiftly, rapidly, quickly, snappily, speedily, lickety-split, posthaste, hastily, expeditiously, like a flash
Fat - stout, corpulent, fleshy, beefy, paunchy, plump, full, rotund, tubby, pudgy, chubby, chunky, burly, bulky, elephantine
Fear - fright, dread, terror, alarm, dismay, anxiety, scare, awe, horror, panic, apprehension
Fly - soar, hover, flit, wing, flee, waft, glide, coast, skim, sail, cruise
Funny - humorous, amusing, droll, comic, comical, laughable, silly
Get - acquire, obtain, secure, procure, gain, fetch, find, score, accumulate, win, earn, rep, catch, net, bag, derive, collect, gather, glean, pick up, accept, come by, regain, salvage
Go - recede, depart, fade, disappear, move, travel, proceed
Good - excellent, fine, superior, wonderful, marvelous, qualified, suited, suitable, apt, proper, capable, generous, kindly, friendly, gracious, obliging, pleasant, agreeable, pleasurable, satisfactory, well-behaved, obedient, honorable, reliable, trustworthy, safe, favorable, profitable, advantageous, righteous, expedient, helpful, valid, genuine, ample, salubrious, estimable, beneficial, splendid, great, noble, worthy, first-rate, top-notch, grand, sterling, superb, respectable, edifying
Great - noteworthy, worthy, distinguished, remarkable, grand, considerable, powerful, much, mighty
Gross - improper, rude, coarse, indecent, crude, vulgar, outrageous, extreme, grievous, shameful, uncouth, obscene, low
Happy - pleased, contented, satisfied, delighted, elated, joyful, cheerful, ecstatic, jubilant, gay, tickled, gratified, glad, blissful, overjoyed
Hate - despise, loathe, detest, abhor, disfavor, dislike, disapprove, abominate
Have - hold, possess, own, contain, acquire, gain, maintain, believe, bear, beget, occupy, absorb, fill, enjoy
Help - aid, assist, support, encourage, back, wait on, attend, serve, relieve, succor, benefit, befriend, abet
Hide - conceal, cover, mask, cloak, camouflage, screen, shroud, veil
Hurry - rush, run, speed, race, hasten, urge, accelerate, bustle
Hurt - damage, harm, injure, wound, distress, afflict, pain
Idea - thought, concept, conception, notion, understanding, opinion, plan, view, belief
Important - necessary, vital, critical, indispensable, valuable, essential, significant, primary, principal, considerable, famous, distinguished, notable, well-known
Interesting - fascinating, engaging, sharp, keen, bright, intelligent, animated, spirited, attractive, inviting, intriguing, provocative, though-provoking, challenging, inspiring, involving, moving, titillating, tantalizing, exciting, entertaining, piquant, lively, racy, spicy, engrossing, absorbing, consuming, gripping, arresting, enthralling, spellbinding, curious, captivating, enchanting, bewitching, appealing
Keep - hold, retain, withhold, preserve, maintain, sustain, support
Kill - slay, execute, assassinate, murder, destroy, cancel, abolish
Lazy - indolent, slothful, idle, inactive, sluggish
Little - tiny, small, diminutive, shrimp, runt, miniature, puny, exiguous, dinky, cramped, limited, itsy-bitsy, microscopic, slight, petite, minute
Look - gaze, see, glance, watch, survey, study, seek, search for, peek, peep, glimpse, stare, contemplate, examine, gape, ogle, scrutinize, inspect, leer, behold, observe, view, witness, perceive, spy, sight, discover, notice, recognize, peer, eye, gawk, peruse, explore
Love - like, admire, esteem, fancy, care for, cherish, adore, treasure, worship, appreciate, savor
Make - create, originate, invent, beget, form, construct, design, fabricate, manufacture, produce, build, develop, do, effect, execute, compose, perform, accomplish, earn, gain, obtain, acquire, get
Mark - label, tag, price, ticket, impress, effect, trace, imprint, stamp, brand, sign, note, heed, notice, designate
Mischievous - prankish, playful, naughty, roguish, waggish, impish, sportive
Move - plod, go, creep, crawl, inch, poke, drag, toddle, shuffle, trot, dawdle, walk, traipse, mosey, jog, plug, trudge, slump, lumber, trail, lag, run, sprint, trip, bound, hotfoot, high-tail, streak, stride, tear, breeze, whisk, rush, dash, dart, bolt, fling, scamper, scurry, skedaddle, scoot, scuttle, scramble, race, chase, hasten, hurry, hump, gallop, lope, accelerate, stir, budge, travel, wander, roam, journey, trek, ride, spin, slip, glide, slide, slither, coast, flow, sail, saunter, hobble, amble, stagger, paddle, slouch, prance, straggle, meander, perambulate, waddle, wobble, pace, swagger, promenade, lunge
Moody - temperamental, changeable, short-tempered, glum, morose, sullen, mopish, irritable, testy, peevish, fretful, spiteful, sulky, touchy
Neat - clean, orderly, tidy, trim, dapper, natty, smart, elegant, well-organized, super, desirable, spruce, shipshape, well-kept, shapely
New - fresh, unique, original, unusual, novel, modern, current, recent
Old - feeble, frail, ancient, weak, aged, used, worn, dilapidated, ragged, faded, broken-down, former, old-fashioned, outmoded, passe, veteran, mature, venerable, primitive, traditional, archaic, conventional, customary, stale, musty, obsolete, extinct
Part - portion, share, piece, allotment, section, fraction, fragment
Place - space, area, spot, plot, region, location, situation, position, residence, dwelling, set, site, station, status, state
Plan - plot, scheme, design, draw, map, diagram, procedure, arrangement, intention, device, contrivance, method, way, blueprint
Popular - well-liked, approved, accepted, favorite, celebrated, common, current
Predicament - quandary, dilemma, pickle, problem, plight, spot, scrape, jam
Put - place, set, attach, establish, assign, keep, save, set aside, effect, achieve, do, build
Quiet - silent, still, soundless, mute, tranquil, peaceful, calm, restful
Right - correct, accurate, factual, true, good, just, honest, upright, lawful, moral, proper, suitable, apt, legal, fair
Run - race, speed, hurry, hasten, sprint, dash, rush, escape, elope, flee
Say/Tell - inform, notify, advise, relate, recount, narrate, explain, reveal, disclose, divulge, declare, command, order, bid, enlighten, instruct, insist, teach, train, direct, issue, remark, converse, speak, affirm, suppose, utter, negate, express, verbalize, voice, articulate, pronounce, deliver, convey, impart, assert, state, allege, mutter, mumble, whisper, sigh, exclaim, yell, sing, yelp, snarl, hiss, grunt, snort, roar, bellow, thunder, boom, scream, shriek, screech, squawk, whine, philosophize, stammer, stutter, lisp, drawl, jabber, protest, announce, swear, vow, content, assure, deny, dispute
Scared - afraid, frightened, alarmed, terrified, panicked, fearful, unnerved, insecure, timid, shy, skittish, jumpy, disquieted, worried, vexed, troubled, disturbed, horrified, terrorized, shocked, petrified, haunted, timorous, shrinking, tremulous, stupefied, paralyzed, stunned, apprehensive
Show - display, exhibit, present, note, point to, indicate, explain, reveal, prove, demonstrate, expose
Slow - unhurried, gradual, leisurely, late, behind, tedious, slack
Stop - cease, halt, stay, pause, discontinue, conclude, end, finish, quit
Story - tale, myth, legend, fable, yarn, account, narrative, chronicle, epic, sage, anecdote, record, memoir
Strange - odd, peculiar, unusual, unfamiliar, uncommon, queer, weird, outlandish, curious, unique, exclusive, irregular
Take - hold, catch, seize, grasp, win, capture, acquire, pick, choose, select, prefer, remove, steal, lift, rob, engage, bewitch, purchase, buy, retract, recall, assume, occupy, consume
Tell - disclose, reveal, show, expose, uncover, relate, narrate, inform, advise, explain, divulge, declare, command, order, bid, recount, repeat
Think - judge, deem, assume, believe, consider, contemplate, reflect, mediate
Trouble - distress, anguish, anxiety, worry, wretchedness, pain, danger, peril, disaster, grief, misfortune, difficulty, concern, pains, inconvenience, exertion, effort
True - accurate, right, proper, precise, exact, valid, genuine, real, actual, trusty, steady, loyal, dependable, sincere, staunch
Ugly - hideous, frightful, frightening, shocking, horrible, unpleasant, monstrous, terrifying, gross, grisly, ghastly, horrid, unsightly, plain, homely, evil, repulsive, repugnant, gruesome
Unhappy - miserable, uncomfortable, wretched, heart-broken, unfortunate, poor, downhearted, sorrowful, depressed, dejected, melancholy, glum, gloomy, dismal, discouraged, sad
Use - employ, utilize, exhaust, spend, expend, consume, exercise
Wrong - incorrect, inaccurate, mistaken, erroneous, improper, unsuitable

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Upcoming Event!

Sisters You Can Do It presents "Denim and Diamonds"our 5th Annual Women's Empowerment Summit! You will be inspired, encouraged and informed on how to get off the sidelines and into the game as you Realize Your Potential and move towards your purpose in life!  Get your Denim and bling on and let's celebrate you!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Updated Website!

As alluded to in my previous post, fairly recent events with the publisher I had (Tate Publishing) has resulted in the need for me to make some changes. I will be stepping out on my own and self publishing my existing books and my future books (unless I decide to try and trust another traditional publisher at some point in the future). Since they shut down their hosted author websites, please note that my new website is: Or

It is still under construction, so please know that I'll continue to update it and post more information to my site as time permits.

Thank you all for your support and interest. I truly appreciate you!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Deceiver Saga Update

There have been a lot of changes in the publishing industry the last few years. The traditional publisher I had is suddenly no more and leaving the industry. I'll post more as I learn more about how this will effect my readers and fans. But don't loose heart! I won't let their issues stop 
#TheDeceiverSaga from moving forward.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Notice of Website Change

Please note that I am in the process of updating my Author Website.

The new website address will be:

It is presently under construction. More details to follow!

If you would like to order an autographed softcover or hardcover book(s), please write me at the address below and include all of the following information with your order:

Please send a note telling me which book(s) you want to order and if you want softcover(s) or hardcover(s). Please provide me the name(s) I should put on the personalized note and autograph inside the book(s).

Send cash, money order, or check made out to:
     R. J. Machado De Quevedo
     PO BOX 640
     Elk Grove, CA 95759

       Softcover - $15
       Hardcover - $25

        Softcover - $20
       Hardcover - $25  

       Softcover - $20
       Hardcover - $25

PLUS $3 shipping and handling per book.

Thank you for your patience and your support.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Order your 2017 Calendar!

Need a 2017 calendar? Here's one! Or Athens Abell's 2017 Banjo Beauties Calendar! I'm Miss October this year! For fun, I'm AKA "Ginger"! You can even order a One And Only of just me from her store link below too. My hubbie even makes a giest appearance and he did great! Check it out!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Party for a good cause!

Come support the Soroptimist International of Elk Grove! Live music, comedians, martinis, appetizers and raffels!

You'll even have a chance to win an autographed hardcover set of my first three books from their raffle!

Don't miss out!

For more information about this amazing organization, please visit their website at

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to make your readers identify or sympathize with your character

Have you ever wondered how can you make your readers identify with your character(s) or sympathize with them? Here are 7 tips you can use! Earlier last year I went to a Sisters In Crime writer’s conference and one of the presenters was James Rollins. He listed seven fundamental tricks to accomplish just this. he himself, had learned them from another author. It is only fitting that I too, pass them on to any aspiring writers out there!

What I’ve done here is incorporated my own experience and expertise into the seven basic principles and expounded upon them to bring more depth and understanding to the these ideas. I’ve even rephrased the principles.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to incorporate all 7 into your book(s) to be effective! Two or three should be sufficient. You can of course, mix a variety of them up into a series of books if you wanted to. In other words, try not to use the same tactics in each book so as to not become predictable or ordinary. And remember, your first priority is to be able to engage the reader. These tips will help you do that. Your second priority is to carry out the plot.

Seven tricks to building a bond between your character(s) and your readers:

1.     You can have other characters in your book like your main character(s) or express love, affection, respect or goodwill towards them.
       a.      When the reader encounters these positive attitudes and opinions from other characters toward your main character(s), it attaches to the reader and influences their own feelings toward your characters.
       b.      Much like in real life when we hear high praise and the “good gossip” about a person before we’ve even meet them for ourselves, we might often find that we already “like” them by the time we meet them because those feeling  have already been established. It becomes easy to develop a relationship and much quicker as well.
       c.       If we hear negative comments (like the “bad” kind of gossip), we tend to not have good feelings toward that person, even if we never meet them and even if they have never actually done anything bad or rude to us. It is simply human nature to develop an offense or negative impression of that person, even if we don’t intend to. It colors our trust or initial judgment of them.
                                                              i.      On a side note, this is also why it is so important to always try to portray yourself in public the way you’d wish your professional reputation to be known. Because people do talk. A lot. And you never know who is watching, listening or the one you are being rude to. They may know someone who one day, you wish you knew. And if that person gets an ear full of negative tid-bits, chances are, you just shot yourself in the foot.

2.      If possible, try to write your character so that they come across a little funny or humorous. Whether it is slap stick humor in a scene or adding some flippantly delivered or sarcastic remarks or response.
       a.      Everyone loves a good laugh or a chuckle from a witty remark.
       b.      Not everyone is a comedian. But almost anyone can be flippant or sarcastic. Even dry humor can be entertaining to the right crowd. Find what you’re good at and add a touch here and there.
       c.       And studies show that when a person laughs, stress is reduced, anxiety and tension subside, and the mind opens up. Laughter even helps the learning process. So if you can bring some good feelings to your reader through laughter, they will find your books all the more enjoyable and maybe even therapeutic in a sense.

3.     Demonstrate your character showing kindness to someone else in your book.
       a.      This can also be done through a minor character if you don’t want to have your major character acting as humanly.
       b.      Everyone likes to see someone do the right thing. It makes us feel good. It’s how we might secretly wish we were all the time.

4.      Demonstrate in the story that they are really good in their field or even an expert in their field.
       a.      Readers like the feel confident in their favorite characters.
       b.      Do your research properly so it is believable.
       c.       If possible, set up a one-on-one with a real-life expert in that field to talk to about it.

5.     Allow your main character(s) to treat their pets well, show respect to the elderly or show kindness to kids or have fun with kids.
       a.      For the animal and pet lovers, they will appreciate the warm relationship between the character and their pet(s). If you make your character hate animals and do bad things to them, you’re going to turn a lot of people off, except if that is your intent.
       b.      And unless the elderly person is a real crab or creep, treat them respectfully by your “good guys”. Have them treat them the way you want someone to treat your parents (assuming you don’t hate your parents either – which is another conversation all together).
       c.       Little hint: Even if you don’t have kids or particularly really like them much, pretend. It’s a fictional book after all, suck it up and do the right thing – for your audience. No one needs to know you dislike kids.

6.      If there is any way for your character to be the underdog, it will endear your reader to them.
       a.      Readers tend to like the stories about overcoming the odds or overcoming obstacles.
       b.      Examples of an underdog include:  
                                                              i.      They were an unwanted or unloved child
                                                            ii.      They were the ugly duckling
                                                          iii.      They have a mental or physical handicap of some kind
                                                          iv.      They are from a poor family (not raised with wealth or inherited great wealth)
                                                            v.      They live in an underdeveloped, underprivileged area (Examples: ghetto, red neck hick country with poor education, third world country)

7.      Allow your main character(s) to experience a relatable misfortunate event.
       a.      The readers will start to develop sympathy with your character because they may have experienced something similar or know someone who has. If they can relate to your character, they will grow to like them and/or sympathize with them. 
       b.      Some examples of common struggles a reader might identify with but are often overused, so be careful. Try to find your own unique but relatable events:
                                                              i.      Loss of a loved one
                                                            ii.      Unrequited love
                                                          iii.      They catch their significant other cheating
                                                          iv.      They lose their job to unfair circumstances
                                                            v.      Their kids got mixed up with the wrong crowd and got into trouble
                                                          vi.      They went to Hogwarts  :-}

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Gift of Love - A Priceless Gift Indeed

If you’re looking for a meaningful year-end donation for tax write off purposes or simply want to give to an organization that truly acts out selflessness and kindness, please consider giving to Irondale Evangelical Free Church located in Port Hadlock, WA. This church has personally impacted my family in a way that can only be described as a DIVINE MIRACLE. The following article written by reporter Allison Arthur from the PT Leader, sums it up nicely.

These two pastors, David and Colleen Hodgin, have a pure heart of service and genuine love for their hurting community. Without them even knowing it, they were answering my prayers and those of my family.

Please read this powerful article on the link below. If you feel your heart stir and feel so disposed to donate to Irondale Evangelical Free Church, please send your donations to PO BOX 959, Port Hadlock, WA 98339. They are a non-profit organization.

Blessings to you and yours!

My oldest sister Esther is on the right with the long braid. I am on the left in the scarf.
Esther Died on August 25th, 2015.

RIP my Beautiful Sister.
I’ll see you and our dad in Heaven when I’m about 102.
I love you eternally and will miss you every moment we’re apart.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Article in the American Woman Shooter Nov/Dec 2015 Magazine issue

Please check out my article in the latest issue of The American Woman Shooter Magazine found on page 22-23! (November/December 2015)

Featuring a byline on GunLady, Mandy Autrey.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keep It Authentic By Asking The Real Deal – Weapons Training with The GunLady

Being an author, I do a lot research. All authors do, or at least they should. I spend almost as much time researching and digging into things as I do writing some days. It’s important to learn about those things I’m writing about if I want it to sound believable and authentic. Since I love learning, it’s fun for me too which is a big plus. I don’t ever get bored with the process. Whether I think I know what I’m taking about or not, I still study up on the current facts and try to understand how the things I write about work out in the real world. Especially when it’s something I haven’t actually done before.

If you’ve read my books, The Deceiver Saga, you know there’s lots of adventure, action, strong real life themes and also some content of a spiritual nature. There is also a lot of things of a practical nature as well. And sometimes some deep digging and immersion is in order so I get it right.

In my effort to thicken the plots and webs of my storytelling, I must lay foundational knowledge. I’ve talked with Sheriff, PD, Correctional officers, Highway Patrol, SWAT, Psychologists, Attorneys, Pastors, an Ex-Military Colonel, even a U.S. black ops military helicopter pilot, and other sources, all in the pursuit of research and getting it right. But it wasn’t until recently that I got some real hands on training in one particular area that my books will have plenty of – the gun play. Okay, so “play” isn’t necessarily the right word per say. More like, weapons being drawn and training about to commence at this stage in The Deceiver Saga. Yet more is a come ’in folks and that is one of the reasons I wanted to get my hands gritty with some professional hands on weapons training.

Now, I wasn’t about to just go to anybody for my firearms training. After all, I might write fiction but I am also a realist. I don’t want some macho crackpot shoot’em first ask ‘em later cowboy or cowgirl teaching me how to shoot so I can learn their bad habits. So, I did what I’m good at; I did my research.

I looked up several of my area’s highly recommended Firearms Instructors. I read their reviews, looked at their websites and read their bios. I even did google searches on them to see if anything of interest popped out be it good or bad. After a thorough search, I ultimately decided to contact Mandy Autrey, A.K.A. The GunLady. I met with Mandy one on one and we chatted for about three hours. Interviewing her you might say to see if she would be the right choice. She was definitely the Instructor for me. I liked her attitude, her professionalism, how she carried herself, her humility, qualifications, and of course her intelligence. Oh, and I loved her sense of humor. Thank God she was as sarcastic as me! Maybe even more so :o] Again – If you’ve read my books you’ll understand how important humor and sarcasm are to me. My books are full of it! I’d found my perfect “instructor match”.

Mandy Autrey is the founder and primary instructor of GunLady Defensive Firearms Training here in the Sacramento area. And no, just in case you’re going there in your brains, I didn’t choose her because she was a woman. Oh no…Her Yelp reviews did the bragging for her! Men and woman of all ages were raving. Her clear and precise instruction coupled with nearly 30 years of her law enforcement experience and eighteen years as an instructor, said volumes. When I sat down to talk with her I wasn’t disappointed. I soon found out that she’s been up close to the criminals and knows how they think and behave. Her students reap the the unique benefit of her experience and insight, and her extraordinary certifications and knowledge go far beyond the standard textbooks or manual type of instruction.

I signed up and attended Mandy’s CCW training class. For those who still haven’t read my books (shame on you), a CCW is a Carry Conceal Weapons permit. It was a two day, 16 hour class as required by California law. Mandy not only met my expectations, she exceeded them. In fact, I ended up going back for one more day of training during the next month's class to certify an additional firearm and get more hands on experience and instruction. I will definitely be taking more of her other classes to learn all I can. I’m particularly interested in the Combat Focus Shooting class, the 360StreetSense4Women, and the Fundamentals of Home Defense classes!

I shot several different types of guns before I ever went to GunLady Defensive Firearms Training. But what I hadn’t ever really had before was the proper training. That much was perfectly clear to me within the first few minutes of her class. I mean, I do what a lot of people do nowadays when they want to know more about something; I read about it, watched instructional videos on YouTube, I asked people who grew up around guns, even asked other law enforcement officers to show me their grip and stance. Yet I can honestly say, all that went straight to the crapper in her class.

Come to find out, the ‘ol weaver handgrip is outdated and behind the times. There are more efficient and scientific methods to handling your firearm that use the body’s natural mechanics and startle flinch, all of which is incorporated into well-choreographed techniques. She taught our class those steps and encouraged us to practice them repeatedly in order to develop the muscle memory we’d need so that we can respond on instinct and won’t freeze if that dreaded battle over life or death should ever come. Not only did she teach the mechanics of the weapons, but how the body reacts and how the mind perceives things, bringing the two together.

With almost thirty years in Law Enforcement behind her, I felt like I was in expert hands, literally. In fact, one of the certifications that makes Mandy Autrey stand out from her peers, is her certification as a Combat Focus Shooting Instructor. There are roughly only about seventy-five CFS Instructors in the world. However, only about fifty are active; an estimated four of which are women, including Mandy Autrey. Even with her advanced skill set and training qualifications, I quickly learned that The GunLady provides a complete training experience for anyone seeking to learn how to defend themselves. Whether you’re new to firearms or an experienced shooter looking to refine your skills, she has something for everyone.

We all might think we’ll do the right thing in a crisis, but the only way to stack the odds in your favor of survival is to practice and get the proper training from a qualified instructor. Several of the students I meant felt they had found such an instructor since I came to find out that many of them had be taught by her before. They’d attended either her Fundamentals of Home Defense class or had sent their kids to a Private Handgun lesson and were so impressed with the training their kids received that they wanted some themselves.

That’s what happens when you find an instructors who makes training about actual real life situations and not about some supersized-macho-prove-who-has-the-biggest-gun (if you get my drift) type of class where they spend more time talking and bragging about themselves than shooting. Mandy keeps it about the science, the mechanics, the proper technics, keeping a cool head, the laws you need to know as a gun owner and/or CCW permit holder. 
She stresses over and over again the importance of practice. I got to fire nearly 500 rounds in my first two-day 16 hour CCW class. The second time I went for another 8 hour day, I got to fire nearly 350 rounds. Most CCW classes I’ve researched tell you to just bring 50-100 rounds for practice during their “two-day class” and 36 rounds per gun to certify with. How is that proper training?

Mandy, A.K.A. The GunLady was even recently featured on our local ABC Channel 10 news about self-defense planning for women. You can watch that segment by clicking here. Also, I had the honor of writing a couple of articles about Mandy’s expertise that will be featured in the next few issues of The American Woman Shooter magazine. It’s a two part article, so I can’t wait to share those links with you once they post.

For those of you who live in or near the Sacramento area and you want high quality, realistic training from an expert in her field, I strongly recommend you check out Mandy’s website for a full listing of her certifications and self-defense and firearms training classes at And if you’re an author or aspiring writer and you want to sound authentic and knowledgeable about guns, then you have to go to the real deal or you’re just going to sound like you’re making stuff up.