Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Nick Russell writes and publishes the The Gypsy Journal RV Newspaper and is followed by thousands of RVers. His newspapers can be found at most campgrounds with the latest travel and entertainment information. He is also a New York Times best selling author of THE BIG LAKE SERIES, THE FRUGAL RVER, and many more. Check out  Nick Russell's Amazon Author Page.  Follow his blog The Gypsy Journal Blog and like him on Facebook His review on Amazon warmed my heart and captured the essence of my first book COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST. Thank you Nick.

A wonderful story of travel and growth, November 23, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST (A CAT AND A GHOST SERIES) (Kindle Edition)
This is an excellent story of a woman finding herself after the death of her spouse, and the author pulls no punches when she describes life with her late husband Jack. We learn that while he had an abusive side, he could also be loving and tender, and even in death his opinion is still important to her. As she makes her way across the country in her motorhome with her cat Sportster she grows in self-confidence with every mile and realizes that while a big part of her died with Jack, that which is left is stronger and able to carry on alone. Life without Jack will be different. Not necessarily better or worse than it was with him, but a life she comes to embrace as she puts the past in her rearview mirror and looks through the windshield and into the future.

 Anne Johnstonbrown is an actress,  excellent narrator and and author. Check out  Anne's Amazon Author's page. Anne's narration of both of my books is perfection. She captured the characters' moods and personalities and brought the stories to life. I am grateful to Anne that I can proudly offer the audio versions in time for the holidays. Read her review and then listen to the five minute excerpt. I'm sure you will agree.

I had the honor of producing the audio version of this book, and I have to say that Ms. Howard's writing gripped me on several levels. I usually try to "detach" when I narrate, in order to stay focused and productive. However, I found myself having to take many unscheduled breaks to compose myself. whether due to tears or laughter. Her subject matter is very relatable, but she also has a way of delivering a story that is compelling and thought provoking. I would highly recommend this book, especially the audio version (hint hint), as it will enlighten and engage any reader.

I entered a contest offered by The Writers' Digest for self-published authors. This was the response from one of the judges  after reading COAST TO COAST WITH A CAT AND A GHOST.
Title:Coast To Coast With A Cat And A Ghost
Author: Judy Howard
Judge Number: 30
Books were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.
Structure and Organization:4
Grammar: 4
Production Quality and Cover Design:4 
Plot (if applicable): 5
Character Development (if applicable): N/A
What did you like best about this book?
The novel is top notch from start to finish. A nice cover design and professional presentation including excellent, attention-grabbing back cover copy. As a judge of memoirs, I must note that it reads more like fictional”very smooth and entertaining. I'm particularly fond of the humor within. The author has done a great job of adding emotional depth to the storytelling. This is a well crafted, professional read that is both humorous and full of heartache with new beginnings looming on the horizon. It comes with a dose of therapeutic tenderness that will twist your insides and inspire you to keep on going when the road gets tough.
How can the author improve this book?
As a judge, I'm supposed to come up with one hundred words as to how the author could improve this book but I'm finding this task a difficult one. So, my advice here will be mostly from a marketing standpoint. The author should work to make sure you get this book out where readers can find it. I don't believe I would have ever stumbled across this book if I weren't a judge in this contest. Getting this type of well-crafted novel into the hands of your target audience (really any woman I've ever known would fall into this category) should be your top priority.
Below is the very first review from one of the editors at Createspace -A Division of Amazon.
I am constantly asked how do you self publish. My answer always is Createspace. Everything I learned, and I knew nothing when I began this adventure  three years ago, I learned here. The folks at this website will guide you through the process of publishing for free, or purchase their professional services and they will make your experience even more pleasant. Read what Jennifer wrote. I was off and running after that first  shot in the arm and I haven't looked back!
Praises for Coast To Coast With A Cat And A Ghost
This well written story engrosses the reader as it entertains and inspires. The narrator navigates through difficult subjects—for example, alcoholism, cancer and spousal abuse—with good humor and aplomb. At the manuscript’s end she emerges victorious, both in spite of and because of her human flaws……………………”
“ The principal characters of the narrator and her husband are very well-rounded and where
necessary, believably contradictory. …………………..”
“ Sportster is certainly an endearing and memorable companion and crucial character to the
“The manuscript handles flashbacks and other repeated moves from far past to near present
 remarkably well…….the dialogue was believable and varied….”
“The style supports a tone and shifts from joy to grief and back again…….such as where the
narrator tests her wings and crashes her Gold Wing…..”
Jennifer, Creataspace Editor
And finally the review below is the one I cherish most. Every author has the opportunity to change people's lives by allowing the reader to see and experience life through the eyes of the characters the author has created
Nancy from Austin, Texas you have inspired me. I hope we can meet some day. Nancy wrote:
The book so inspired me, I "followed my dreams" of decades: I bought a used Minnie Winnie with very low mileage and I'll be hitting the road, like Judy did, a single older woman but with 2 small dogs and 2 cats. Thanks, Judy, for writing the book and getting me to do what I had dreamed about...Nancy near Austin, TXhe book so inspired me, I "followed my dreams" of decades: I bought a used Minnie Winnie with very low mileage and I'll be hitting the road, like Judy did, a single older woman but with 2 small dogs and 2 cats. Thanks, Judy, for writing the book and getting me to do what I had dreamed about...Nancy near Austin, TX

There are many  more reviews on my website Judy Howard Publishing all of which have moved me and kept me writing and studying  in order to bring you the  next best story ever, INVISIBLE HEROES which  I hope to release summer of 2014. 



Friday, November 1, 2013

Caves and Cliffs

Fifty miles out of Roswell there were still signs of Aliens. These aliens were carved out of wood. I choose the more conventional carving. He’s going to look great on my patio.

I stayed in Silver City and rented a car to drive up to the Cliff Dwellings. The first day with the car I drove to the City of Rocks, twenty miles outside of Silver City.  I would love to spend a few nights here. This is New Mexico wilderness and the night sky would have to be incredible  Another come back to place.

They were only forty-four miles away but signs were well posted that those forty-four miles would take two hours to drive up the the twisting, hairpin curves.
The hike up to the caves was a half a mile up and another half mile down. It would have been a fairly easy hike if the elevation had not been 6000 feet.

My fear of heights followed me as I made my way up the trail. The higher I climbed , the more nervous I became, but the experience  of being able to enter and explore the caves pushed me on.

 The view cannot be captured here. The reverence, and silence of the place will stay with me for a long time.

Facing fears. Well worth the effort.

Out Of This World In Roswell, New Mexico

Mac Donalds is shaped like a space ship.

Store front of a loan company.

Even the book store played on the Alien theme.

A music store.

This store was called Alien Zone.

Can you see the Alien with the sombrero?

I spent my first night in a Walmart parking lot. What a great experience. As you can see, I was not alone. The light poles all had signs,  " 24 hour security." That was nice. MacDonalds was inside and Chili;'s Was across the parking lot. So every need was covered, security, shopping, restaurants  all at the right price. $00.00. There are no rules in the parking lot so generator time is not restricted.  What a deal. I choose not to shop or eat out. I heated up soup my own chili and cornbread in the microwave and watched TV.  In the morning I headed out for The Roswell UFO Museum.

I could have spent hours contemplating the state of our universe and the government's involvement. The Museum has an entire wing for their research library.
But I had to move on.  By the afternoon I had added up the miles ...this time taking me closer to home. One last major sight remained on my itinerary before my to do list was completed. Stay tuned for  a visit to the Gila Cliff Dwellings.