I got pulled kicking and screaming into the new computer age.  Loathe to upgrade, I waited until my computer crashed with no hope of revival to throw in the towel. First decision was what machine to get. I browsed the aisles at Office Depot and Best Buy but saw only one model on the floor that I liked. The sales guy said it was out of stock. I called another store, and that person said it had been discontinued. So I went my previous route and ordered direct from Dell. I got an Inspiron 580.

After a breathless wait, the new machine arrived about a week later. I just needed the CPU because I had all the peripherals. Or so I thought. When I saw all the usb connections on the CPU and the parallel and serial ports on my printer and ergonomic keyboard, I gulped with dismay.

Fortunately, I’d saved the extra usb cable that had come with my monitor, so we switched cables and that worked fine. Then we found a usb cable for my five year old printer, too. My computer consultant fussed with the printer driver and got it to work.

No luck with the keyboard, though. It’s years old but has saved my wrists from carpal tunnel problems with its split keyboard and touch pad.  So add this item to the List of MUST HAVES:

  1. New ergonomic keyboard

I already knew my scanner wouldn’t work and set that aside as a loss.  Add this as a maybe:

  1. New Scanner  (or more likely an All-In-One color laser printer)

Next we start up the computer, connect it to the Internet, and install my only new program so far, Microsoft Office 10 ($279.99). I knew I’d have to buy it because my version from 2003 was seven years old.

My heart sank as I tried to install my other essential software that now has to be replaced:

  1.  Screen Shot by Parsons Technology that allowed me to print whatever is actually on the monitor screen with the Print Screen button on the keyboard. 
  2. Adobe Photodeluxe.  I’ve been using a free version for years.  Maybe my camera program will work instead. I have to install that disk yet. Let’s hope it works.
  3. WordPerfect.  All of my old files are in WP, so even if I want to use Word primarily now, I have to remove the WP codes before converting the files. I still need WP for things like my brochures since I don’t have Microsoft Publisher. But after installing WP 12, my Outlook crashed. I restored my computer to an earlier restore point and Outlook worked again. WordPerfect Office X5 is another expensive program at $159.99. I don’t want to get it unless I know it’s compatible with Outlook  10 but I may have to take the chance.
  4. Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred 10.  I have version 9. It would not install on Windows 7. Dragon 10 says it works with Vista 64 bit and will work with Windows 7, but is it really made for the new system or will they be coming out with an upgrade soon? I already turned down the chance to get Dragon 10 for the initial upgrade offer of $99 and now I’d have to buy it for $199. Plus the specs say you have to have a processor with SSE2 instructions. They refer you to a free online program to determine if your computer meets this requirement. Why does technology have to be so complicated?

Meanwhile, I am struggling to figure out how to do the simplest things like address an envelope, change the font, and print selected pages in Word 10. Everything seems to be there but in a different place.  Where is the Select All button?  How do I change the lines per page?  What are all these new tabs for?

I am so lost!

Next Day:  I’m getting used to this interface and even learned how to print what’s on my Internet page by using a new tool call Snippet with Windows 7.  I’m ready to resume my normal activities and will just have to learn as I go. Still have to add Dragon and WP and my photo program, but one step at a time.

***AUTHOR INTERVIEW TODAY at Smart Girls Love Sci Fi   Come check it out!

Leave a comment  and you’ll be entered into my July drawing for a $7 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

Author Roast and Toast

For a super space blast, hop over to and join the party. Prize drawing from all commenters. It’s a hilarious visit to Bartlett Space Station where Silver and Jace are toasting the success of their mission.

My new computer arrived. Now my printer and ergonomic keyboard won’t hook up because they don’t have usb connections. Will have to get some sort of converters for serial and parallel ports. Oy.


Ever wonder how a writer constructs a scene? Check out my blog on Scene Structure today over at Savvy Authors:

Congratulations to the winners of my guest blog/interview Prize Drawings:

The Galaxy Express:  Erica Anderson

SFR Brigade: Mason Canyon aka Pamela Mason

You still have a chance to win a $7 gift certificate to TWRP by commenting on any of my sites in July.

Also watch for my discussion on Diversity versus Intolerance in Science Fiction Romance over at


This is a frenetic week with lots of online visits re blogs and author interviews.  Visit the Science Fiction Romance Brigade TODAY to read excerpts from Silver Serenade and author interview. Leave a comment to enter a drawing for a free pdf copy of my new release.
We’re in Orlando helping our son move so I’m using our condo computer. Every now and then, this one makes strange noises. I cringe, because this will probably be the next machine to break down. When we get home, I have to work on my laptop until the new Dell desktop arrives, then hope I can reinstall everything including my email files. We’ll see. This may be the first time I use the restore feature on Mozy online backup. It leaves me unsettled and anxious not to have an office computer up and running. I use an ergonomic keyboard so I miss that as well when I use the laptop. And in another week is the RWA conference so I won’t have time to do much in the interval.
If you’ve sent me important emails recently, please be advised that I am doing my best to print or save them or send them to my alternate email addresses but things may get lost in transit. Resend if you don’t get a response.

Cheryl’s Book Nook Review

Review of Silver Serenade:                                 Silver Serenade

 Cheryl’s Book Nook
Silver Malloy works for Earth Centrum Security Integrated Network. Her latest mission involving taking down Tyrone Bluth. Tyrone is the leader of Tyrone’s Marauders. The toughest bandit crew around. Silver almost had Tyrone when she came face to face with another opponent. His name is Jace Vernon.

Jace is also tracking Tyrone but for a different reason. Jace doesn’t really want or planned to team up with Silver but in order to achieve his goal, Jace must work with Silver. Who will win…Silver or Jace?

Silver Serenade by Nancy Cohen is a fun, entertaining, out of this world read! I really liked this book. It was a nice change from Mrs. Cohen’s mystery novels. Though Silver Serenade has all the same great elements that I have come to expect from Mrs. Cohen’s books…great characters, a strong storyline and the need to want to read more. Silver can kick some serious butt. I like that she had a take charge attitude and could hold her own with Jace. Speaking of Jace…can anyone say H-O-T! Jace and Silver were good together. I would recommend Silver Serenade to anyone.


SILVER SERENADE is now available in print and digital formats from The Wild Rose Press!

You can read all about it  over at The Galaxy Express where I’m interviewed by Heather Massey.   Prize drawing for a free copy of Silver Serenade from all guest commenters on her site!  Winner will announced at The Galaxy Express on Sunday night.  Interview goes live at 9am today.

And don’t forget about the drawing for a $7 gift certificate from all my blog commenters in July for here and blog tour! See Appearances tab for other dates.


STARLIGHT CHILD, book three in my Light-Years Trilogy, is now available in digital format.               Starlight Child

When terrorists kidnap the Great Healer’s daughter, Mara Hendricks offers her extrasensory powers to help rescue the child. She joins Cmdr. Deke Sage on a journey to the distant planet Yanura, but their mutual passion threatens to distract them from their goal. Sage is unwilling to open himself completely to this tempting woman, until he realizes that without her powers their mission will fail.


Mara Hendricks is assigned to the team sent to rescue her best friend’s abducted daughter. Her psychic ability aids in tracking the baby’s location. But instead of being impressed by her talent, the handsome mission leader is repelled by her unusual gift. Agonizing over his rejection, Mara realizes they’re meant to be together when she sees the rose light of love shining from his aura. Before their mission is complete, she vows to show her daring warrior the joys of enlightenment.

Commander Deke Sage is dismayed to meet the lovely cultural specialist assigned to his rescue team. Not only does she disagree with his political views, but she possesses a powerful weapon that threatens to undermine his goals. When they’re together, she lifts him to heights of passion he hadn’t known existed. Can he resist the spell she casts over him to complete his mission?

Order this book at Belgrave House.

***Prize Drawing From All Blog Commenters in July for a $7 gift certificate from The Wild Rose Press

Happy Independence Day!



MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY is now available in digital format from Belgrave House.

I love the cover!  The colors are perfect and so is the couple.Moonlight Rhapsody

This story is book number two in my Light-Years futuristic series.

What is this paranormal romance about?

Disguised as a trader, Lord Rolf Cam’brii goes to the slave planet Souk on a secret mission to establish contact with the resistance. But his ship crashes during a storm and he’s taken prisoner. Maintaining his cover, he’s thrown into a slave labor camp where he catches the eye of the beautiful human female overseer, Ilyssa.

Ilyssa sees in him the chance to obtain her freedom. She possesses the gift of siren song wherein any male who hears her sing becomes mindwashed. The pasha Ruel uses her to tame his enemies, and he holds her parents hostage against her cooperation. She pleads with Rolf, a pilot, to help her. Entranced by her beauty and charm, he agrees, and they begin a trek to freedom. It’s a journey frought with perils, not in the least of which is their forbidden passion for each other. Ilyssa’s gift comes with a curse, and to follow her heart means to lose her lifelong dream.

The original edition of this book, published by Dorchester, was featured as a prop in the movie, View From The Top, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  How cool is that?