Today, is publishing a short story by Garden Variety blogger and Mystery Boards moderator Becke Davis -- writing as Becke Martin -- as the site’s holiday gift to viewers.  A published author of several non-fiction reads, Davis also is a rabid fan of -- and advocate for -- romance fiction who’s working hard to become published in that genre.


To make sure you can say you “knew her when – and to seriously get into the holiday spirit -- set aside a little just-for-you time to read Davis’ tender and heartwarming, “Silver and Gold.”  In it we meet small-town bookseller Aiden Flynn, a guy who doesn’t realize he’s put his life on hold until a pretty waitress and her little man remind him he’s got some hope left where his heart used to live.

New to town, Ginny and her son, Joey, are starting fresh – first day on the job, actually – after some hard knocks. Ginny’s got her hands full trying to make ends meet, yet all six-year-old Joey can think about is finding a Mall Santa to lay claim to a copy of the year’s impossible-to-find bestselling kid’s book. 


Could be the way Ginny serves up a slice of homemade apple pie with a weary, yet winsome smile – or maybe how Joey causes Aiden’s heart to sing like it hasn't in years. Whatever the magic they’re weaving, they’re rekindling some sweet, golden memories for Aiden and teasing him with a little glittering optimism when – and where -- he least expects it.

Now a short story is a thing of beauty and, in some ways, more difficult to write than a novel – or so they say.  For I don’t write books, though my  husband, whom you often see commenting here as Male Perspective Guy, would very much like me to.  While he encourages my creativity, I think his wanting my success has more to do with his seeing my regular Nordstrom card bills than anything else.


Writing books takes guts. But being an author is even tougher.  Harder than both combined is the occupation of aspiring scribe, not so respected here in the states, though I understand in Europe, as long as you’re working on a manuscript, you’re considered a “writer.” But you know those Europeans: they’re all serious about the arts ‘n stuff.

So many folks end up online commenting, blogging or reviewing books because they want – or wanted – to write novels.  I thought about writing a book for about a nanosecond until I realized my dubious talent lies in composing columns, articles and blog posts about romance books and authors.

What’s your story: How did you end up online, reading and/or commenting at blogs and boards?  Are you – or were you – writing a manuscript for a novel?  Tell us about it!

All info giving in comment boxes of this post are intellectual property of any writer giving deets about her/his manuscript, idea, etc.

by 1lovealways on ‎12-18-2009 05:20 PM

Hi Michelle!


Merry Christmas to You & Yours first of all!


Well!  How I ended up commenting about books is simple.  I came to looking for books to buy.  I saw all of the different headers and noticed one that said Book Clubs.  Being the inquisitive person I am about anything that remotely concerns books, I investigated.  At first it was just reading recommendations from other posters about the books they enjoyed.  I so loved reading them all and read as many as I could.  They were so right on.  Most of the books I bought in the beginning were because of these reviews.  Being laid off and struggling to survive was all I could think of for a long time and I hadn't read a book in ages.  That's why I'm reading backlists.  What's old to others is new to me and I'm in discovery mode about a lot of the writers that others have been reading for awhile.


In my exploring, I discovered readers making their personal comments in regard to different articles about romance novels.  My first thought was, How thrilling!  I'd been reading romance for years and it had always gotten a black eye.  I couldn't believe it!  And then I thought, I've got to add my own point of view to the mix.  So, here I was with my new laptop just itching to express myself.  I believe the first article I ever read was something about Alpha Males by Eloisa James and then I wrote my thoughts.  People were reading what I thought by viewing what I'd written.  This was and still is a big turn on for me.  To have someone be interested in my POV is one of the most appreciative things ever for me.  As I very much value others views, it gives me pleasure to no end to know that they value mine as well.  Eventually, I found the subscription to Heart to Heart and I've been here reading and enjoying everyone's opinions and contributing my own ever since.


As for writing my own novel.  I don't have the discipline for it.  Short stories in school was as far as I got.  There were dreams of writing the great American novel one day, but I got sidetracked by working in the business world.  My explorations into the literary world was just that.  I'm a reader, not a writer of the ilk that can I can write something and have someone yearning for my books.  I'm not a selfish person, but in this regard I would be.  It's like what Sally Field said year's ago when she won the Academy Award.  "You like me.  You really, really like me."  Something to that effect.  That's what I'd want as a writer.  My readers acceptance of my work would always be the icing on the cake for me, because they really, really liked what I wrote.  I'd never not get used to that adulation and would be forever in their debt.  I don't think I'd ever get used to them not liking something I wrote that met with disapproval, so maybe that's another reason I'm not a writer.


When I can write a review of a book I read and give my honest opinion, that satisfies the writer that exists in me still and is as fulfilling.  Maybe someone will buy a book based on my review or recommendation.  That I like ... very much!  :smileyhappy:

by on ‎12-18-2009 06:23 PM

Well one day I was ordering books, and there was this little gold tab that said BOOK CLUBS. What that? Click. Want to join, click here for preview. Click. OH wow Tolkien, HP, Golden Compass, Sci/fi, and paranormal discussions. Oh cool a book forum. (chuckle) Ok so now it's over 4200+ posts, my username not only pops up on google but has moved up the search ladder (scary that, why are more people googling me?), friends to chat with about all the stuff my husband is bored of listening to, great book recommendations,...... in short FUN.


Does this affect my personal writing, not yet, but you never know.


by on ‎12-18-2009 06:31 PM

Oh yeah and a big GO BECKE!

by 1lovealways on ‎12-18-2009 08:41 PM

Hi Becke!


Your story was so beautiful and heartwarming!   As soon as Joey entered the picture, I fell in love with him!  I'm such a sucker for kids!


It was wonderfully written, a pure delight to read and a nice holiday treat.  Thank you Michelle for sharing it with us.  I loved it!  Congratulations Becke!  You rock!!!   :smileyhappy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-18-2009 10:32 PM

I do feel a little like Sally Field right now, after reading all the wonderful comments about the story. I want to say right off the bat that it improved a lot under Michelle's editing expertise. 


I would say I'm almost equal parts reader and writer, and compulsive about both. As a kid, I would read cereal boxes if I didn't have a book handy. Luckily, I married a guy who understands my obsession with books and is resigned to living in a house overrun with books.


I've always written -- poetry, articles, essays -- and for several years I worked for major newspapers and publishing companies, back in the days of hot lead. My dad edited a local paper and had a mimeograph machine in the garage, so I think I grew up with newsprint in my blood. When my kids were young I realized I was working around writing -- by selling ads, writing newsletters for others -- without seriously looking it as a job. I sold the first garden article I ever wrote and became a professional garden writer before I realized it. 


I was 55 before I got the nerve -- and the motivation -- to put myself on the line and try to write fiction. It's a lot more personal, and more frightening in many ways, than non-fiction. But sometimes you just have to write, regardless what anyone else thinks.


As to the boards at Barnes & Noble, I think it's pretty obvious to the regulars here that I consider B&N a home away from home. I'll never forget the thrill of finding this place full of people who shared my love of books -- and many who wrote the books I loved, too! I used to think I was weird -- I didn't know anyone else who was as addicted to books as I was. Now I know I'm not alone, and I feel as if I've landed in Oz. Everything is in Technicolor, and there's magic on every page.


As a reader, a struggling writer and as a lover of books, I couldn't have found a better group of people to hang out with. Michelle -- thanks so much for giving me this opportunity. If I can paraphrase Dorothy, "There's no place like B&N!"

by Lisa_Kroener on ‎12-19-2009 04:11 AM

Haha about the Europeans being all serious about art and everything. I don't think that's 100 percent true, though (of course I can only speak for Germany but I've learned that all the European countries are similar in things like that). People who are painting (without ever having an exhibition of their own) are usually considered artists (very general, that word, for writers are artists, too) but I don't think you're automatically called a "writer" when you're in the process of writing (that might be because people also do have "real" jobs and do their writing only as a hobby, so when asked, they of course answer they're ... don't know, engineer, or whatever). You "write" but I reckon for being able to call yourself a writer you have to be published.


I ended up online via Karen Rose's website through which I discovered The Goddess Blogs and then gradually got to know the people of the cyber romance world and what different blogs and sites there are. I found RBTB because of a link on Jo Davis's site and then because of RBTB I found H2H and, well, now, here I am. *grin*


I am writing a mansucript for a novel - I think I've already talked lengthy about it *me=chatterbox* - although unfortunately, I don't have much time at the moment. I paint a lot because my scientific work on the seven deadly sins has to be handed in come January 29 (stress!). I'll be graduating next May and after that, I'm gonna be tied to my computer, I tell you that!

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎12-19-2009 09:06 AM

Now a short story is a thing of beauty and, in some ways, more difficult to write than a novel – or so they say.


I'll say it's hard thing to do, and as I said over at RBTB, it was a delightful story. Kudos to Michelle for sponsoring it, and major kudos to Becke for such a great read. Well done.


As for why or how I got online to connect with romance folks, it was due to pneumonia. After a hospital stay in 2002, I wound up at home for two months with nothing to watch on TV, despite 150 channels. So I popped on the internet for a few hours a day and found this wonderful community of romance writers and from there it was the snowball on the hill effect. I completed my second ever novel (I'd written a VERY bad category 12 years before with a reject) and started to submit again with the serious determination to sell, and here I with several small press books under my belt and my NY debut ready to happen in just 16 days. Excitement is an understatement. Forget Christmas, my holiday starts on the 11th day of Christmas (01/05)!! Those 11 pipers piping hopefully are a sign that readers will talk to one another about the book. *grin*



Monica Burns -
Kismet - 01/10 - Berkley Sensation
Don't miss this one!" — Sabrina Jeffries, NYT bestselling author
Assassin's Honor - 06/10 - Berkley Sensation



by Author MonicaBurns on ‎12-19-2009 09:31 AM

As a kid, I would read cereal boxes if I didn't have a book handy.


Ok, Becke. I'm sorry, but that is just plain SCARY! I've got visions of Bruce Jenner in boxer shorts and you're not reading so much as looking for something, oh I don't know what, just something. *evil grin*



Monica Burns -
Kismet - 01/10 - Berkley Sensation
Don't miss this one!" — Sabrina Jeffries, NYT bestselling author
Assassin's Honor - 06/10 - Berkley Sensation

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-19-2009 11:44 AM

Well, Monica, Bruce Jenner wasn't my type -- that was the problem. Now if they'd put piratical guys or leather-jacketed Harley dudes on those cereal boxes, well, yeah. But then I wouldn't know so much about riboflavin!


I'm sorry to hear you were so sick, but at least something wonderful came out of it. I am very excited to read Kismet when it comes out -- you definitely have the cover gods on your side. I'm really impressed that you've achieved so much success in such a short time!


The first story I completed finaled in a bunch of contests but, while it has some good scenes, it needs work before it's a real story. The second story I wrote was so wild and twisted it came in dead last in one contest. And yet, Rosie likes that one a lot! I think I can fix it -- one of these days. 


Lisa - Your experiences in Germany will give your writing a unique flavor that might help sell your book. I haven't lived in England for years, but I lived there just long enough to totally screw up my idioms. Or maybe it's because my husband is English and we watch more English than American TV. I frequently have critique partners call me out for using phrases I could have sworn were American, only to find none of my friends had ever heard them before.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-19-2009 11:46 AM

Ilovealways - Writing doesn't have to fit into a certain box. So you don't have the discipline to write a novel (or you think you don't). Writing in journals or blogs, writing letters (or these days -- emails), writing newsletters or articles -- it's not the same KIND of writing, but it's still a way of expressing yourself. If you want to write, don't worry about how disciplined or talented you are -- just do it.

by 1lovealways on ‎12-20-2009 01:27 AM



Thank you so much for your kind words!  As I said, I fell into the Business world and that had my attention for a long time.  Now I just enjoy writing on the boards as a way of expression.  I am totally so appreciative of being able to do that here.  Like you I always thought no one shared my love of books.  I'm so glad, I found out that wasn't true!  One thing I'd so like to be able to do is read as many books as you!  You are FANTASTIC!  :smileyhappy:


Monica, I'm so putting your book on My Wish List.  Congratulations!  :smileyhappy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-20-2009 10:32 PM

Merry Christmas, 1lovealways, and to all of you!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎12-21-2009 09:44 AM

Wonderful, touching, warm, beautiful story Becke. Yay you!!! I LOVED IT!!!


I ended up on line so I could talk to other book addicts like myself, I love to review books but have no desire to write one (well yet). But you never know.

And now I'm part of a huge community where I've found friends like I could have never imagined.


by PrincessBumblebee on ‎12-21-2009 02:03 PM

Hey, girls! Late to the party, as always! hehe

Well, I was looking for romance novels online, trying to find more info on them, better ones and all that and the search engine took me to RBTB. Then I followed Michelle here and there you have it 3 years later, hehe.

As for me, I love to read, but I also love to write. I've just finished the first draft of a novel I'm working on and can't wait to type it out and get more editing done, as well as reread it. Writing is definatley an interesting experience. Sometimes you're surprised at what happens and where your characters take you. Like Karen Rose said 'Write because you love the characters and you want to find out what happens next." She definately knows what she's talking about. That's exactly what it's like for me.

But, books are definately a big part of my life and reading or writing, I'm lovin every minute of it!

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎12-21-2009 02:05 PM

I almost forgot to mention that I guess I'm not considered a 'writer' here in the States because I'm not yet published. Guess I'll just have to move to the south of France. Darn!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-21-2009 07:08 PM

That's a great quote from Karen Rose, Princess! I think I'd be a little scared to have her stories in my head! Good like with your writing -- I hope we'll get to read your books one day!

by Author Eva_Gale on ‎12-22-2009 12:18 PM

Becke, I haven't gotten a chance to sit and read your short yet, but I am SO looking forward to! Perhaps the day after Christmas with some hot tea and cookies at my side. Shorts ARE so hard to write, I appreciate the work that goes into them. They're not just 'dashed' off.





by 1lovealways on ‎12-22-2009 05:59 PM

Merry Christmas To All!


I periodically come back to topics and read comments that are later added Princess, so don't worry about being late. 


Princess & Lisa how are you both?!  Long time no see Miss Bumblebee (laugh).  Bring on those sexy, to die for heroes.  I'm ready! *rubbing hands together*  Seriously, I just want to wish both of you the best with your endeavors and of course, much success!   :smileyhappy:





by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-23-2009 12:41 AM

1lovealways, I'm with you -- I don't think we can ever get enough of those to-die-for heroes! I'm waiting for my critique partners' stories to get into print so the rest of you can share my excitement about their writing!


Eva, oh I love the image of you reading my short story over tea and cookies. I do the same -- my husband is English, so tea and digestive biscuits are popular at our house (they sound awful, but are simply whole wheat cookies that are great dunked in tea).


I'm always nervous about published authors reading my work, because I'm not pubbed yet and Imposter Syndrome is always lurking in the shadows!


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