Cami’s Makeover: A World Apart


Camelia Miron Skiba's AvatarDesert Muse founder and military romance author Camelia Miron Skiba recently re-released A World Apart with a fantastic new cover! Here is what she has to say about it:

As promised since beginning of this month I have a $ 25.00 giveaway going on for anyone stopping by to see the new cover. All you have to do is leave a comment here with what retailer you’d prefer the gift card from.

For a limited time A World Apart is up for grabs for only $.99. Hurry up before the sale ends!

And now . . . drumroll please!


Trauma surgeon Lieutenant Cassandra Toma begins her deployment at the Joint-Unit Air Base on the wrong foot. On her first day, she clashes with her new commander. Her rebellious nature and sassiness rival her excellent performance in the operating room. It might be the only reason she’s not reprimanded … or is it?

Major David Hunt is unsure how to handle the brilliant and beautiful Cassandra. As her commander, he can’t consider a relationship. A forbidden passion consumes them with the intensity of an erupting volcano, leaving her heartbroken and him with tarnished honor and pride as an officer. The only way out for David is disappearing into the dangerous war zone in Iraq.

When their paths cross again, Cassandra and David find they have a common goal—to find Cassandra’s brother, Major Robert Toma, kidnapped by insurgents while on patrol. To rescue him, they must put aside their resentments and fight their common enemy. And the fire between them is back.

Cassandra wants to give David—and their love—another chance. But she doesn’t know that his mistake, his secret, could cost them both the love they’ve finally found.

Camelia Miron Skiba HeadshotCamelia Miron Skiba – I write. I live. I love. I dream. I write. Who I was yesterday … I’m no longer today, nor will I be tomorrow. Each day I grow a little. I stumble, get up, and learn something. I wish and dream and want and look to the future. Who I am is not important, but what I leave behind is.


Ads Gone Wild


Micro Crystals in Polarized LightThis blog post is going to be something of a rant. Have any of you tried to read an article on a web site lately, only to be thwarted by constant pop-ups, extraneous advertising, floating links, and boxes to click? I find the current Internet experience both frustrating and off-putting.

Advertisers have gone nuts with populating every corner of a website with adware, friendly suggestions, annoying irrelevancies, and plain ol’ obnoxious content. These ads may or may not have anything to do with the page you’re visiting or the content you want to view. I have to assume companies believe this will drive revenue. For me, it’s an instant signal to click away from that website and get my information elsewhere.

I’ve started to grab screen shots of some of the more exasperating examples.


Jimmy Kimmel's Staff Reads Texts


Before I can even get to the web site, I’m already being asked to sign up for a newsletter. How will I know if I like the site before I even get there? And this pop-up recurs as I browse with annoying regularity.



Jimmy Kimmel’s staff reads texts from their mothers. Supposedly, they are funny. When do we get to the texts?



…but this is what I had to contend with before I even got to the above screen.




What does any of that have to do with Jimmy Kimmel?






Somewhere in that mess is a news article about Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin. Can you even spot it?






CNN breaking news! Important stuff! But look at the visual mess you have to wade through to get to the news. CNN doesn’t make it easy on my eyes.




I clicked on a FaceBook link on Child Stars: Then & Now. That was my first mistake. The link led me to this mess. To view the pictures, you have to scroll up and down. To make matters worse, the captions for the pictures are even lower on the page, and the floating annoyware adware keeps blocking efforts to see the content.



In case you can’t tell (I couldn’t), the above screen shot is the Then, and this shot is the Now. Enjoying this experience? Me, neither.




I saved the best for last.



I went here to read the quotes from Pride & Prejudice. Anyone want to hazard a guess what this page is even about? It eludes me.

I’m hoping this trend fades away quickly. I prefer websites that are clean, tidy, and well-organized. And for those advertisers who think this will encourage anyone to click on ads (unless by accident, because the website is JUST THAT CROWDED), think again. You’re actually working against yourselves.



What If Writing Wasn’t As Hard As Everyone Makes It Out To Be?


Reposted with the permission of Eric W. Ruben, Attorney At Law, P.C.

What if writing wasn’t as hard as everyone makes it out to be?

My point is not that writing is easy or that anyone can do it. Like anything worth doing, writing takes skill, talent, perseverance and diligent work. However, there is a culture among writers to promote the difficulties of writing rather than the joy. Social media is filled with posts from writers complaining about the hardships of what they claim they love. I’ve begun to wonder why people who are so passionate about writing, the act itself and reading the work of their favorite authors, spend so much time grumbling about it.

The truth is that we live in a culture of complaint. It is not limited to writers or the other people in publishing. We as a society are addicted to complaining and it does not serve us. When I discovered how much I complained, I was stunned. It started when, as an exercise, I was prompted to notice how much I complained, even just in my own thoughts. The important aspect of this exercise was to notice these complaints without judging them or myself for having them. This nonjudgmental noticing resulted in a clearing up of the complaint mindset. I started by deciding to have a complaint free day and then notice when a complaint snuck in. Then, rather than feel bad, I just hit the reset button and started over.

So why is it a good idea to stop the complaint addiction? We all know that you can’t do two things at once. If you’re complaining, you’re not writing. And a negative mindset rarely creates positive results. Additionally, people, especially readers, are not attracted to people who complain. Authors are shooting themselves in the foot from a public relations standpoint by griping to their public.

Ultimately, when I began to complain less, I experienced a more peaceful, pleasant, and productive life. I believe that I am not unique and that this is possible for all of us. This is not the final word on the subject, but I think it is discussion worth having.

Headshot of Eric RubenA graduate of New York’s Cardozo School of Law and a veteran entertainment professional, Eric W. Ruben has over twenty-five years experience as a counselor, litigator, literary agent, talent manager, and professional performer. His unique perspective is valuable to business owners, entertainers, writers, and people like you. Working in partnership, he assists his clients in determining how best to achieve their personal and professional goals. Read more at http://www.rubenlaw.org


The Miracles of Nature


There’s something refreshing and magical about new life emerging as spring comes to the land! This time of year, I start watching for fuzzy baby animals.

Lately, I’ve been watching a mated Bald Eagle pair as they care for their two little eaglets. These dangerous predators move carefully around the nest to ensure they don’t step on the babies, and show remarkable patience as they tear tiny strips of fish or mouse and deposit them into hungry mouths. The babies are already growing feathers and tottering around on oversized orange talons. I captured some good screen shots.

Mama Eagle Nesting Parents & Babies

Daddy's Off to Hunt!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 9.21.44 AM

Mama Feeding the Babies

Picture of Daddy Eagle Landing in the Nest































I also spotted a mama quail with a dozen tiny balls of fluff racing after her. In fact, they crossed right in front of my car, and I swerved to avoid them. I didn’t get a good pic of them, but here’s a photo from wildnatureimages.com.

Mama and Baby Quail







I’m also watching the extraordinary journey of baby hummingbirds! These tiny babies haven’t even opened their eyes yet! So stinking cute!

Baby Hummingbirds







I’m anxious to see how all these tiny balls of fluff grow into savvy adult birds.


Desert Dreams 2016 Recap


Leslie at Book SigningI had so much fun at Desert Dreams last week! I got to reconnect with old friends and make some cool new ones. The group who dedicated 2 hours listening to me talk about writing military protagonists seemed to get good information from the workshop. I got to spend quality 1-on-1 time with my agent, Sarah E. Younger, and even listened to practice pitches from anxious writers before they sat down with their agent/editor of choice. The beautiful Scottsdale weather made it perfect to relax on the terrace.

My favorite workshop was Paula Chaffee Scardamilia’s class on using Tarot to write sparkling, engaging scenes. While I’m familiar with Tarot cards, I’d never thought to use them to unstick me from a touchy scene or figure out what my protagonist needed to be doing.

Our 2 keynote speakers were Top 10 New York Times bestselling mystery/thriller author J.A. Jance and New York Times and USA Today bestselling authorPhoto of J.A. Jane's Keynote Address Alexandra Ivy. Both were engaging and funny as they recounted their journeys to publication. And although I didn’t win a raffle basket, we raised quite a bit of money to donate to Literacy for Life.

I’m already looking forward to the next Desert Dreams in 2018!


DD2016 SEY & Me


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