Read an eBook Week!

Holy cow! I nearly forgot to post this!

In all the excitement of this week’s focus on eBooks, I nearly forgot to share this information with everyone.

It’s never too late to jump in and read a book, but this week is set aside specifically to focus on the exciting world of eBooks!

March 1 – 7, 2015 is the official Smashwords ‘Read an eBook’ Week.  So go to your favorite eBook outlet store, download an ebook … or two or three or more… and read!

To find GREAT ebooks from Smashwords, Apple, and Barnes and Noble, for example, go to or simply click on the image below!  There you can find out where and how to access books priced from free to … whatever!  At Smashwords alone, there are over 50,000 free ebook titles to choose from!

The best part about all of this is you don’t have to stop reading ebooks on March 7th!  Not at all!  Go find more great books… and just keep reading!

Read an eBook week 2015 (1)

A Winner! – NaNoWriMo Challenge 2014

My very first time participating in the National November Writing Month challenge, was so much fun!  I was able to complete the 50,000+ word requirement in 22 days… very satisfying… and, as with all the other participating writers who met the challenge, I was awarded the NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge Winner Certificate.

NaNoWriMo - Winner Certificate 2014

Not only do I intend to participate in future challenges, I realize I can produce a flash draft of a novel in a relatively short amount of time… a month even.  My NaNo effort this time was to create a draft as a sequel to Unwitting Alliances, published September 2014.  The working title is Justified Betrayal but it’s not finished.  I will likely double the word count before my editor gets her hands on it!

To create a flash-draft on a tight timeline is exhilarating!  It proves you can do something when you put your mind to it.  It provides an opportunity to produce a skeleton of a story.  Within that skeleton you can begin to create interesting elements and characters quickly without worrying about a lot of details for now.  It provokes a type of mental stimulation that stirs up those creative juices.  Sometimes, during this challenge, I couldn’t write fast enough as ideas flowed easily and abundantly.  At other times I’d just write stuff down to keep the story going and maintain an adequate pace to ensure I’d reach my goal.

With excitement I submitted my 51,395 word draft for validation and received the WINNER! certificate for 2014.  The beauty of this challenge is simple… you don’t need to wait for November to do it again and I won’t.  I now have two drafts.  The first one is a draft I wrote last May 2014, Relentless Obsession, as a sequel to Desperate Rescue.  I challenged myself to test the feasibility of cranking out 50,000 in 30 days.  In just about three weeks time I’d done it… just like this time.  It is so doable!

Do you love to write?  Want to get a book out there?  If you didn’t know about the NaNoWriMo challenge before, you do now.  But don’t wait until next November!  Make a personal challenge today… right this very minute.  Pick a month… any month and write a 50,000 word book draft.  Stick to it!  Test the adventure!   Besides, you’ll be better prepared for the National November Writing Month 2015 challenge… I know you can do this!  So write on!


e-Publishing is Here to Stay!

Just got home from an amazing and very exciting day with the folks at BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association) and had to send this out to everyone right now!  An eager crowd of folks, all with ties to indie publishing in one form or another, had the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker, Mark Coker, founder of as he spoke on the ‘Ten Trends and Contemporary Events Shaping the Future of Publishing.’   After a lunch break, Mark was back for the afternoon workshop consisting of three segments: ‘Introduction to eBook Publishing’, ‘eBook Publishing Best Practices’ andHow to Hit the eBook Bestseller Lists with eBook Preorders.’

Once told by a prominent traditional publishing agent that he was ‘delusional’ about the future of epublishing, Mark now points to recent statistics showing over $30 million in retail sales for ebooks.  Delusional?  Heck no!  ePublishing is most certainly here to stay!  Will print books become a thing of the past?  Absolutely not.  There’s room for both, but epublishing has opened up opportunities for excellent writers to get their stories and information out there, without having to deal with the subjective ideas and opinions of a few, but key, individual decision-makers associated with traditional publishing.

Over all, I had an amazing day and met some wonderful folks, and want to give a few plugs to some I had the opportunity to visit with this time around:

  • Mark Coker, founder of
    Electronic publishing is rapidly growing as a truly viable avenue for eager and worthy writers and publishers.  In 2008, Mark Coker founded Smashwords with the philosophy that anyone should have the right to publish.  He’s spent the past six plus years building a legacy of helping aspiring writers do just that.

    “In June 2010, The Wall Street Journal named Mark one of the “Eight Stars of Self-Publishing.”  In March 2012, MediaBistro named Mark one of the “Five Ebook Experts to Watch.”  In June 2012, Forbes profiled Mark in feature story titled, Apple’s Biggest (Unknown) Supplier of E-Books.  In both 2013 and 2014, Forbes Magazine named Smashwords one of America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies.”
    – excerpt from
  • Becky Parker Geist owner of Pro Audio Voices 
    Have you thought about formatting your book to audio?  There is a relatively untapped audience out there craving books and other written material but in audio format.  So Pro Audio Voices provides that option.

    “As a writer actively engaged in the publishing world, [Becky] understands the challenges of creative people taking on the business of marking their books. [She has] developed (and continues to develop) a wide network of resources to whom [she] can refer. Unlike most other audiobook production services… Pro Audio Voices helps authors and publishers navigate the maze of acx (Audible, Amazon, iTunes), saving them time and avoiding frustration, and then take it the next level by helping market all the audiobooks [they can] produce.”
    – exceprt from
  • Rosina Wilson of
    “Rosina Wilson, a wine and food professional for over 25 years, lives within the thriving wine country… of Napa and Sonoma counties.  She is the author of ‘Seafood Pasta and Noodles – The New Classics‘ and ‘Drink Wine With Dinner.’  She has also written countless articles on food, wine, and travel, in addition to teaching the “Wine and Food Pairing” class for ten years at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.”
    -excerpts from
  • Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator of
    “Cynthia’s mission is to help you create a family that strives for harmony and to solve family challenges together. Since 1994 Cynthia has educated hundreds of parents on how to create a strong foundation of mutually respectful family interactions.”
    -excerpts from
  • Gloria Dunn-Violin, Retirement Life Coach of
    Retired?  Celebrate by “Creating a fulfilling life now & after retirement!”  Gloria spent twenty-five years working as a trainer, coach, and consultant in the field of Organizational Development and Behavior.  She is the author of ‘From Making a Living to Having a life‘, was a Cable TV talk show host, and has written many articles for publication.  She now utilizes her skills to support clients in creating fulfilling lives… after retirement!
    -excerpts from
  • Val Sherer –
    Val is a long-time BAIPA board member and has served in various capacities.  She is the owner of Personalized Publishing Services.  She is an InDesign expert specializing in book design and layout for small publishers for fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.  Her company motto is ‘your book… your way.’  Val is also a member of the ‘Marin Professional Women’s Network‘ (Marin County, California, USA) and involved with ‘Every Dollar Feeds Kids.  She is the recipient of the Jack Mason award for excellence in publishing.”
    -excerpts from

  • Christina V. Kueppers of
    “Christina is the author of Prince Alexander and his Moustachioed Adventures, available at
    Born in Russia, she grew up in the Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 2003.  She currently resides in California.  Writing fairy tales was always Christina’s passion and she uses this type of storytelling to reinforce kind-hearted modern-day messages that children and adults both love.”
    -excerpts from

Peggy Lea Baker – author, artist, entrepreneur, published writer at

Unwitting Alliances [Book Cover]

PUBLISHED: Unwitting Alliances – Book #1 in the Hunter Blake Series

The first book in the Hunter Blake Series, Unwitting Alliances hit electronic bookstores September 27, 2014 via Smashwords!

If you are intrigued with private planes, helicopters, suspense, action, and a touch of romance, get acquainted with Hunter Blake, a successful actor and private pilot, who has suddenly become the target of an unknown organization seemingly intent on capturing or killing him.  Now forced to take desperate steps to elude his pursuers and find answers to disturbing questions, he initially teams up with Janet Feldman (of Desperate Rescue) in an attempt to thwart his assailants’ sudden relentless and destructive measures.

Unwitting Alliances reveals how seemingly trusted friendships and relationships can at times be manipulated to support another’s ulterior motive.  It isn’t until the intent of some of those affiliations begins to unravel that the shocking truth becomes apparent.  Deceit and corruption form the foundation of an organization with far-reaching implications, including the murder of some key players.

Hunter, his dog Buster, and a handful of old and new-found friends must pull together, develop trust, and forge a new alliance to overcome the devious and corrupted plans of once trusted associates.  Mix that with an unexpected reunion with someone from his past, Hunter comes to the realization that you may not always know a person’s true character – good or bad.  Whatever the outcome he knows his life will never be the same.

Other publications at Smashwords:

Writing Update: Publishing Countdown…

Unwitting Alliances

The book draft is back from Margaret, my editor, and I am so excited… in part because she is so excited with this draft!  So the next two to three weeks are dedicated to working on edits before one last read then we publish at Smashwords!  Aiming for the middle to the end of July to make that happen!

In the meantime…

Relentless Pursuit has been re-titled to Relentless Obsession and has an entirely new focus.  Eager to get started on it, I discovered the NaNoWriMo website and became aware of their November challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Okay… I decided to challenge myself ahead of time to see how doable that would be and I did it!  I wrote 50,000 words in just two weeks.

Here’s how it breaks down… if you average writing about 2,000 a day, you can make it happen!  Even if you only type at 40 w.p.m, that would take  just under one hour a day for only 25 days!

When I hit that 50,000 word mark, I was stoked!  Wow!  To create a rough draft that quickly.  It does help to have an idea to work with, of course, but after that, it’s just a matter of taking the necessary time to go back in and flesh it out.  Granted that will definitely take more than two weeks but at least I have something constructive to work with.

Building those writing skills…

As I continue to hone my craft, I spend a great deal of time collecting and studying various aspects of writing, in particular all the nuances of grammar.  Margaret pointed me to yet another great website, Grammar-worksheets, which I have devoured and will add to my arsenal of writing tools and resources.  I would encourage you to check it out.

How my current eBooks are doing…

Alright so I’ve been tracking the daily downloads of my eBooks at Smashwords and was tickled to see a really nice running total for the two books I haven’t seriously marketed.  Out of the over 300,000 published works at Smashwords, people just find them, which I think is pretty cool.  Granted, I don’t have any best sellers… yet… but I am grateful for each and every one of those downloads.

But when I recently took some time to check on a recent quarterly report, I was surprised at how well they are doing via the numerous retailers Smashwords has partnered with.  Names such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Scribd, and Oyster to name a few, posted an additional 90% more downloads (over and above Smashwords) that same quarter and from 28 different countries (to date)… AND… I’m still not heavily marketing them!  That added up to many, many thousands of downloads all totaled.

Yikes!  Seriously?  Yes!

Like I said, they may not be best sellers, but these numbers are exciting and very encouraging.  So, June marks the end of another quarter and I am very anxious to see what the numbers will look like when that report comes out.

Are you an Indy writer?  

If so, share your writing and publishing experiences with us!


At Smashwords, find:

Writing Update: “Unwitting Alliances”

It’s for certain…

…my blogs are not overwhelming my readers!  I laugh at myself sometimes, especially when I keep thinking I need to produce more blog commentary.  If I didn’t need sleep…well then maybe.  Unfortunately there are only so many minutes in a day.  I still have a ‘day job’ (helps with the bills and such for now), in addition to being a novelist.  Blogging is important, but finding time to squeeze regular posts into my already hectic schedule is challenging.  Even so, I am currently on a six-week hiatus from work and making use of every moment to write! I finished my final draft of Unwitting Alliances and it’s in the hands of one last test reader.  Then it’s off to my editor!  Once I get it back from her, I’ll polish it up and submit to Smashwords for publication…hopefully in June 2014!  I still need to finish the cover art and write a ‘dust cover’ synopsis, but beyond that…I’m very excited!

This novel finds our hero, Hunter Blake, a successful and award-winning actor, facing a series of mysterious, unexplained, and in some cases, life-threatening events.  Couple that with an unexpected moment of truth from a close friend and the return of someone from his past,  add to the suspenseful flavor of this novel and forces Hunter to come to grips with unscripted life outside of Hollywood.

So with this extended time off…

…I’ve made it a priority to develop the framework for two more novels.  Each will be a sequel.

1.  Relentless Pursuit finds Janet Feldman, of Desperate Rescue, getting adjusted to a new life in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, she is going to have her hands full attempting to discourage a very determined, albeit unwelcome and mysterious, suitor.  So how do you fend off a mysterious suitor?  One who calls at work and sends cards, flowers, and even arranges deliveries of your favorite Chinese take-out to your desk?  I guess we’ll find out.

2.  Justified Betrayal picks up where  soon-to-be-published Unwitting Alliances  leaves off.  Hunter Blake is thrown into further mysterious events and situations.  But this time he also has two women in his life that he promised to look after.  Heart strings are tugged in different directions as he struggles to maintain a balance, not only in his personal relationships, but also in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Although things wrap up pretty well as Unwitting Alliances concludes, as with any story, there’s usually some loose ends that never quite get cinched up completely.  We’ll find out more in the sequel.

Here’s another little tidbit…

Janet Feldman is in the Hunter Blake series as well.  She’s more grown up but with the same spunk and determination she pulled together to rescue her best friend in Desperate Rescue.  Because I’ve received a lot of requests to build a series around Janet I decided to go ahead and do that, continuing with Relentless Pursuit.  In the meantime, since I already had her written into Unwitting Alliances, she has now grown into a more mature woman in her later twenties and now has the opportunity to explore new horizons and continued adventures with Hunter Blake.  Eventually the Janet Feldman series will tie in nicely with Hunter Blake’s.  And who knows… I may even find some other interesting spin-offs to play with later on.


I do have some other items of interest to share, regarding writing in general, how my currently published eBooks are doing, and the continuing excitement developing with ePublishing!  With my extended time off, I should be able to push out one more blog post before heading back to work in a few weeks.

In the meantime…thanks for dropping by!

At Smashwords, find:


Taking Things to the Next Level

We live in exciting times!  And as I continue to transition to a more aggressive level of writing and publishing,  I recently decided to take down another website (bearing my name).  Maintaining it and this site was time consuming (so I wasn’t doing a good job at keeping up with either site) and at times, redundant.  Besides, time is precious.  I chose to keep this website/blog, since I’ve had it longer, and  I chose to rename it, Peggy Lea Baker, with the tagline, and my personal motto, “Pursue Your Dreams…Whatever They Are…Just Never Give Up!”  This is my passion and I consistently strive to instill it in others.  Too often our hopes and dreams are scoffed at or downright shattered by others…those who generally don’t seem to have any aspirations at all other than to wander through a routine day and wrap it up sitting in front of the TV for hours on end.

For me, like so many of you, a monotonous daily ritual isn’t part of our game plan.  We want more.  We hope for more.  We dream of more.  A familiar phrase, popularized by a movie a few years back, is “bucket list.”  Although not exactly a glamorous term, it does serve an important purpose.  What is on your bucket list?

I have a few things on mine, such as being a successful novelist, getting a private pilot’s license, setting my own schedule, sleeping in when I feel like it, and having the freedom to take a few days to go visit my mom or a distant friend on the spur of the moment.

I want to travel to parts of the United States I’ve never seen before.  I want to talk to people, hear their stories, find out what they hope to achieve in life.  It  can be anything!  Doesn’t matter what…just as long as they look forward to something.  I love to create interesting characters for my books, based on people I’ve met.  Whenever I’ve asked someone if I can use either their first or last name, or simply the essence of who they are as a character in one of my stories, everyone, so far, has said yes!  In fact, some have even asked to be a villain, believe it or not!

To achieve success as a writer (or anything for that matter), requires a plan.  Part of my strategy is to begin a more routine program of blogging.  I want to strengthen that discipline for a number of good reasons, but specifically to keep me more accountable to my writing, as a whole, and making the absolute best use of my time.  Although I do have a regimine I currently follow when working on a book, I want to connect with more people who love to explore life in a variety of ways.  You don’t have to travel the world to discover fascinating people, places, and things of interest…at the very least, connect with all kinds of people via the power of the internet.  Life is all around us.  So, as I continue to blog more, finding new friends and fellow creators as I go, I look forward to learning, growing, and sharing.   I promise, however, to continue to keep my posts infrequent, just more frequently…infrequent.

As my writing career continues to develop and grow, the dream of becoming a private pilot also gets closer to reality, and then so does increased opportunities to actually travel beyond Google Maps and my task chair.  Even if everything on my bucket list does not come to fruition, I can at least feel good that I didn’t just try… I did all I could.  Remember Yoda?  I like to remind others to adhere to, what I call, the Yoda Motto:  “Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”  So stop trying to do something and just make up your mind to do it!

I recently enjoyed a post written by Marya Jan, author of the blog, Writing Happiness, which I follow.   The post was entitled, “Why You Don’t Need to Become a Popular Blogger.”   She pointed out quite well that blogging, as a hobby, is very much different than blogging for business purposes.  I love to write, and fully expect my passion…which is to create interesting stories for others to enjoy…to eventually become my business…my livelihood.

Over the next weeks, months…years…one part of my plan is to maintain and track my writing journey with more diligence.  It should be interesting, even fun in most instances, to see the progress, the achievements, and milestones, as well as deal with the glitches, the setbacks…and the ongoing learning curve.  I look forward to experiencing more and more satisfying moments where that creative essence culminates into something wonderful and exciting.

I want to continue to connect with others who, like you, either have or continue to, travel a similar journey.  I want to hear your wonderful and exciting experiences.  I want to embrace our shared, and varied, passions.  I want to provide encouragement and share ideas, as well as glean wisdom from you.  I want to help teach others the value of believing in dreams…those ambitious desires…and help cheer you on to achieve the things that inspire and excite you!

So, to all those who have one or more dreams, excellent!  Keep dreaming!  And again, to repeat my personal motto, which you are welcome to embrace and share…

“Pursue your dreams, whatever they are…just never give up!”

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