Friday, September 22, 2017

IQ "Schmei-Q" by Leah St. James

I think most of us have seen those online quizzes that start off with something like: “Only 5 percent of the population can get a perfect score on this test.” And then when you do get a perfect score, the screen flashes a message that you’re a genius.

I’m pretty gullible, but I’m not gullible enough to think that having a basic knowledge of, for example U.S history, makes me a “genius.” But I’m not averse to having some online quiz creator think I am! :-)

Yes, I aced it! :-)

A few weeks ago, however,  I clicked on a link for an online IQ test–the real thing. The first couple were easy find-the-number-pattern type of questions, so easy, in fact, that I convinced myself I must certainly be a certified genius by that test’s standards. Then the questions got a little harder, and I had to think about the answers. The majority were math based, or maybe engineering based. Actually, I’m not sure what discipline they fell into, but I do know there were only a few that dealt with words and vocabulary (my strength). I should have known then I was doomed.

Halfway through the assessment, the difficulty quotient jumped even higher, and I had to skip a few. Then my sister called and I blabbed to her for about 20 minutes. By the time I got back to the test, I was selecting answers by the eenie-meenie-minie-mo method and wondering what kind of sadistic jerk could have devised such a torturous series of “brain teases” for his or her fellow humans?! 

A really smart person would have skipped checking the score, but I did, which confirmed that I am, in fact, not a genius. In fact, my score was so low, it’s a wonder I can function at all.

After that, I moped around for a few days, convinced that I’d passed on sub-standard intelligence genes to my two sons, and agonizing for the future of my family’s blood line. I’m over it now (sort of), after reading that the test was timed, so taking longer than x-number of minutes would lower the score, but for some reason, I want another shot at it. Why? Why am I torturing myself?

I haven’t figured out that answer, but I did a little research into these online IQ tests found what I think might be the ultimate site for mind-gaming:  American Mensa’s Virtual Game Room.

Despite some easy sounding names, my first inclination was to X-out of the potential disaster. But then that inner demon took hold, and away I clicked.  I selected something called “Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters,” which is similar to the Wheel of Fortune TV show.

I was nervous but told myself this game was more up my alley – it had letters, words and phrases, the stock of my trade! And once I got the hang of how it was played, I started to score fairly well. I even wagered my entire winnings on one of the Lucky Draw rounds. For me, that’s huge. I don’t make bets. Ever. But I looked at the clue, looked at the possible answers, and it was a no brainer!

A few minutes later, I was in the lightning round, starting to sweat and wondering when I’d turned into this creature who wanted to spin the dial. Would I bomb, like that offensive, so-called IQ test, or would my love of letters and words come through for me?

And joy of joys, I won! I won I won I won I won I won!

But am I going back for round two? Heck, no. I’m done. I’ll quit while I’m ahead, forever a winner of Pat Sajak’s Lucky Letters on none other than I may never take another IQ test again.

What about you? Do you torture yourself with online quizzes or IQ tests?


Leah writes stories of mystery and suspense, good and evil and the enduring power of love. She blogs here on the 6th and 22nd of each month and hangs out online most often at Facebook. She loves visitors! To learn more about her writing, visit her website at

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Talking about critiquing by Barbara Edwards

Talking about critiquing.

I did say I’d share my experience so here It is.

My chapter talk turned out a little weird. 
Four people were in attendance. Instead of doing the formal talk I’d written I did a question and answer session. 

I asked why they wanted a CP. One member didn’t know anything about critiquing and was nervous about sharing her work. Another asked her how she expected to get past an editor? 

I had to go back to the basics. I explained you need rules like how often, how many pages, meeting online or in person, what do you want from the critique? An overview, grammar, dialogue/ plot or character focus?

What do you do if it doesn’t work for you? 

The end result was the four of us are going to start a group. 

We’ll share the pages on-line then meet next month to discuss the critiques.
I’m hoping it is productive. If not, then no harm no foul.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Come meet the Blautsaugers, a family of vampires living in Amber Heights, Missouri. Each book features one of Andris Blautsauger's children and their search for a soulmate.

What happens when you pray for an angel and get a vampire instead?



After a spell goes horribly wrong, Morgan must learn to use her magic to save the vampire she loves.



He was both her hero and enemy. She was his best student and biggest regret.

The conclusion of the Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series deals with Dr. Michaela Blautsauger.

An icy she-vamp and a red-hot human 
Detective make for an explosive combination.



He’d just had sex, twice now, with a vampire. Been inside the living undead. Even as the idea boggled his mind, he found he only wanted a chance to do it again.

      Because, vampire or not, he had feelings for the lovely and cool Dr. Michaela. From their first kiss, he'd known there was something about her. Something that drew him in. Not just animal magnetism, but the almost indiscernible vulnerability he'd glimpsed in her eyes. Anyone who thought her cold and unfeeling had obviously never looked below the surface—or had her in the sack.

      She was open in her lovemaking. Kept nothing hidden, and it made him wonder why she considered it so necessary to keep her passionate side hidden the rest of the time.

      The front door suddenly slammed open. Hitting hard against his hip and almost knocking Michaela off of him. Their private time ended as three men clambered through the broken door.

      Seth instinctively reached for a weapon that wasn’t there.

      “Dad!” Michaela squealed and everything inside him froze solid as ice. Scrambling off Seth's body, giving a flashing view of that lovely backside, she attempted to use his body as a shield.
Even as he sat up straight, she was tugging at him, and cowering behind his back.

Catching the look of pure venom in Andris Blautsauger’s eyes, Seth slapped a hand to his forehead, and groaned.

      Things were about to get really ugly.
To buy or see what else I'm working on - hint: it's a novella - come check out my website:
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