Do You Trust Spellchecker? Paula Rose Weighs In

Welcome to Writing Talk Tuesday!

Today’schalkboard_quotes_twain guest is author Paula Rose, who shares some thoughts on the fallible spellchecker…



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When Spell Checker Lets You Down . . . and down . . . and down, again.

There is one thing that I’ve learned about spell checker, and it’s not one thing that I will soon forget. Spell checker will keep letting you down because the English language isn’t one to be very clear. Does every language have three different versions and spellings of a same sounding words where the meaning is different in all cases?

A) My favorite example is: There. Their. They’re. To spell checker, each word is spelled correctly. However, when their there is over here and they’re going after it, the application will behave accordingly.

B) It’s only when our own mistakes go deeper than a simple spelling error will this function deem to make some suggestions. My question then becomes what is their suggestion?

1) My sentence version: They’re going their and there what problems can arise?

2) Spell checker sentence version: They’re going there and they’re what problems can arise?

Although, sometimes, this software function will offer up something different. If I choose the suggestion in my own automated way, at the wrong time, I could have just changed my error for another mistake. Can you understand why I would question the suggestions?

It used to be my own assumption that the application will know better than I would. It’s that old artificial intelligence can do what I do better theory.

In many ways, a computer can do better than me, but in some ways, the software will not. Spell checker cannot understand context in language to determine the correct version of any word. It will tell you what is spelled correctly unless the word is an acronym or a proper name or noun that it does not recognize, and it might ask you if you mean something else like when using the words to, two or too.

3) My first sentence version: Sure, I do like to go down the shore but sunburn makes me sore.

4) My second sentence version: Shore, the sun will give me sunburn down at the sure.

C) Spell check did not correct my mistakes in either of the above sentences. Inside number three, the alliteration will get you tongue-tied, but inside number four, I don’t believe the sun will be down at this sure.

D) Exactly, what did I learn from all this?

1) Proofreading doesn’t mean only spell checker is needed, but this function is truly needed in riting writing. In my righting this article, you can see how errors will still pass the computer’s check list, but this previous sentence needs help in construction, in word definition, and in structure.

2) I can see and understand how much editing can help with these types of issues.

E) Now, this next example will prove how I used two different words incorrectly inside two difference sentences in a pre-edited version of Revenge. I will confess that I’ve done this much more than twice! Each word is spelled correctly, but the sentence suffered by my own mistakes.

1) Shaken with fear and concern for the missing, she made it a point to reign rein in her emotional state and to focus on the client.

2) He was given the information asked for in a forthright manor manner, lending to the feel that the emotional scales here were out of line.

This article is one author’s proof that proofreading, editing, and a good story does go way beyond the spell check function. In fact, I’ve learned that rewriting is writing, developmental edits, content edits, and line edits will make a story shine, teach the writer more about their tale, and catch everything from slang and structure to punctuation plus everything else in between the cover of a book.

smallerpaulrosepicnewestAuthor Bio: Author Paula Rose brings an “average” family into extraordinary situations, brushes with life-size strokes of reality, adding just a touch of humor, and coats with suspense inside Christian fiction. Paula’s research gives readers a panoramic view from law enforcement and lends to character authenticity. She enjoys writing in the romantic suspense, suspense, and mystery genres, but when she’s not writing, Paula Rose is reading or playing amateur photographer. Member of ACFW. 2015 Genesis Contest judge. NetGalley member. 2014 Grace Awards judge.

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NOTE from Peg: For obvious reasons, I did NOT run this article through Spellchecker!  Smile

TWEET THIS: #Spellchecker: Bane...or Blessing? Join Author Paula Rose'PaulaRoseauthor on #whispersinpurple and… Click To Tweet

Spotlight on "Anything for a Story" by Cynthia Hickey

Stormi is delightful as the accident-prone and bumbling wanna be detective. What she lacks in skill she makes up for in nosiness. Add in the sexy detective and a slightly nutty family and our lead character has her hands full.
~Amazon reviewer

About the book:
Stormi Nelson, best-selling romance author, moved into her huge Victorian house in the private community of Oak Meadows Estates. When her agent tells her that her characters are becoming too cardboard and that she needs to get out and mingle with people, she comes up with the idea of a Neighborhood Watch Program. The only problem is … she’s the only member. On her first night of patrol, she stumbles over a dead body, meets a hunky detective, who happens to be her neighbor and clearly frustrated with her, and her mother, sister, niece and nephew arrive to shake up Stormi’s peaceful life. As she is immersed ever deeper into the mystery surrounding a neighbor’s murder, she decides to change writing tactics and write a romantic mystery based on her experiences. What follows is a frolicking good time as Stormi finds herself the nosiest neighbor of them all. Can she find the killer before she becomes the next victim?


A note from the author, Cynthia Hickey:

“Why I Became a Writer”

Funny how this roller-coaster business can tug on someone until it’s either write or die. A bit dramatic, yes, but that’s how most writers feel.

I started reading at the young age of five and became hooked on words and stories. Being a shy child, I would make up stories to act out, but it wasn’t until Junior High when an English teacher assigned a

writing project that I realized how much I loved putting the story to paper. I began writing short stories in which my younger brother was featured as the hero, or I’d write a romance featuring me and whatever boy I had a crush on at the time.

When I turned fifteen, I wrote my first “real story” about terrorists taking over a high school. Funny how I have now seen that very plot made into a movie. I couldn’t be stopped after that first “book.” I kept writing, keeping my stories in a notebook, which I unfortunately lost when I married and moved out of state. Then, life happened and I didn’t take up writing again until the age of forty when my children were older and I had time to devote to it.

In 2007, I published my first cozy mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, with Barbour Publishing and haven’t slowed down since. Forty books later, and several genres added to the mix, I have no intentions of stopping this crazy career any time soon. It’s as much a part of me as breathing.

About the author:
Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. She had several historical romances release in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold half a million copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, three box turtles, and two Sulcata tortoises. She has seven grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at

Getting to Know Terri Wangard: An Interview w/Giveaway


Terri Wangard’s first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her occupied as an associate editor.


Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Terri. I’m so pleased to meet you, learn a little bit about you, and talk about your book, Friends and Enemies.

**Note: Terri is giving away a digital copy of Friends and Enemies. See details below**

Okay, are you ready, Terri? Then here we go:

Tell us five random things about you.

  • I’ve lived in all four continental time zones, in Wisconsin, Michigan, California, and Utah.
  • I love chocolate, but it’s an allergy and a migraine trigger, so I have to be cautious.
  • Many years ago, I attended concerts by the Osmonds and the Carpenters.
  • I’ve been to 46 of the 50 states. I haven’t been to Delaware, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
  • I have a Masters of Library Science degree.

Wow, that’s impressive! And I’m jealous that you’ve been to both Alaska and Hawaii.

List five things you must have in your life—people NOT included.

Books (does this count as one thing or would five books be five things??), apples ( preferably Cortland), Sudoku puzzles (I always do the puzzle in the morning paper while eating breakfast), music CDs, and birdsong.

Although ‘books’ is plural, I think they can be counted as ONE item Smile

What do you do just for you?

I used to do a lot of cross-stitch until all the walls are filled with my “masterpieces.” I watch a lot of NCIS and Castle on the treadmill. My library card gets a regular workout.

Describe your writing process.

My research consists of lots of memoirs. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter, although I try to plan the gist of each chapter. After finishing a chapter, I’ll flesh out the next before writing. Since I work full-time and am highly prone to migraines, my writing is restricted to weekends. (Yes, it takes me a long time to finish a project.)

Fun question: If you were born into the animal kingdom instead of the human race, what would you be, and why?

Probably a small dog—Yorkie or Dachshund—because they’re cuddly.

Now, let’s get to the book we’re featuring today:


  • · Title: Friends and Enemies
  • · Publisher: HopeSprings, an imprint of Chalfont House
  • · Release date: January 5, 2016
  • · Genre: Historical. It’s subtitled A World War II Romance, but there’s just a touch of romance.
  • · Stand-alone or series: This is Book One of the Promise For Tomorrow series.
  • · Target Audience: Women who enjoy history. Some readers feel men would enjoy it because of all the B-17 action.


What’s the book about and how did you come to write it?

World War II rages across Europe, particularly in Germany, claiming the life of Heidi Wetzel’s husband. In a bid to escape the frequent bombings of German cities, Heidi and her sister flee Hagen to a farm in the German countryside, where they help care for orphaned children. While there, Heidi comes across an American airman, Paul, whom she knows from living in Milwaukee during her high school years. When Paul’s plane is shot down over Germany, his only thought is survival—until he hears God’s voice guiding him to his late wife’s friend.

Friends and Enemies was inspired by a batch of letters written in 1946-8 from distant cousins in Germany who were receiving care packages from my grandparents. The letters don’t share much about their experiences during the war or what they thought of the Nazis. So I created a story for them.

Give us the back cover blurb.

Widowed seamstress Heidi Wetzel finds new meaning in life by caring for evacuated children on a farm in war-torn western Germany. Never a supporter of National Socialism, she takes pleasure in passive resistance, but must exercise caution around neighbors who delight in reporting to the Gestapo. Having lived in the United States, she wonders about her friend Rachel.

Flying cadet Paul Braedel’s wife dies while he trains for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following bereavement leave, he joins a navigation class. He’s lost his zest for life and heads to England, not caring if he lives or dies.

When he and his crew are shot down over Germany, he evades capture and, for the first time since Rachel’s death, hears the voice of God whisper guidance. “Find Heidi.”

Heidi meets a man she recognizes from her high school days in America. Aiding a downed airman is punishable by execution, but she agrees to help. Then they’re betrayed.

Where can folks find you on the Internet? (social media links, blog/website, etc)


**About the Giveaway:

Terri is giving away one free eBook of Friends and Enemies. Entering is easy. Just leave a comment below with your name and email address (i.e. you-at-abcxyz-dot-com) so we can contact you if you’re the winner. Giveaway ends on Wednesday, February 10, at Midnight, Central Time. That’s it! But please feel free to ask Terri a question, either about the book, or about herself. She’ll be checking in regularly. Thanks!

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Terri. It’s been fun getting to know you, and a pleasure to be able to help promote your book. Many blessings.

Glory Be to The Father . . .

Grace-Prayer-OldmanI love this painting, don’t you? It hung in my mother’s dining room for many, many years and is a precious memory. The painting went to my sister when Mom passed away. Then, about three years ago, I found a print online–don’t remember where, now–and I bought it for my breakfast nook, where it now hangs. It says so much!

Remember, in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6, the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray? Of course His response is known the world over.

Matthew 6:9-13, King James Version (KJV)

9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

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When reading my morning devotions, I often like to compare verses in different translations, so earlier today, I checked The Message for this verse.

Matthew 6:9-13, The Message (MSG)

7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.”

Glory Be Prayer

Winner of the January Clash

Thanks to all of January’s wonderful authors!

Here’s what readers had to say:

All of these books look like so much fun!

When I first saw The Volk Advent by Kristen Wilks, I was intrigued by the combination of a teen trying to escape murder charges and a pack of wolves, and I like to read historical fiction because I can experience other cultures.
Cynthia Hickey is a wonderful author. Engaging characters with twists you don’t expect. I love her books!
Andrea Boeshars’ Seasons of Love—Love reading them.
Beth Wiseman just happens to be the best of the best! Her novels are outstanding at character and plot development
Runaways is a book you start and can’t put down.
Am so looking forward to reading Runaways by Brenda Poulos!!!
Congratulations Brenda Poulos on your new hit, Runaways: The Long Journey Home.
Excellent reading. Great job, Brenda
Introducing Our Winner Congratulations Brenda Poulos!
About the book:
No Mama. An abusive father. A hound dog for a best friend.

A victim of physical and emotional abuse at the hand of his father, Jake runs away following the most severe beating he’s ever endured. Leaving the only home he’s ever known in the backwoods of the Appalachian Mountains, he escapes into unknown territory with only his dog beside him. Jake and Hound face bitter cold and near starvation as they seek a new life–one free from fear, loneliness, and pain. And Father hunts Jake down with the very rifle he used to kill Sam and Mama.

Led by unseen forces. Protected by his dog. Jake experiences acceptance and unconditional love when he is befriended by a kindly older couple.

But, will he be able to put his past problems behind him and embrace a future made possible through the power of forgiveness?

Will he find a new life filled with hope for the future and learn to trust?

And when he is confronted with the biggest decision of his life, will he choose to run away, again, or face his father?

Runaways: The Long Journey Home is available on Amazon

From Brenda:

For years, I had a recurring dream…a boy leaving a wilderness cabin on a cold winter’s night. No coat. No shoes. Totally unprepared for life on his own. And yet, I knew he was desperate to get away.I was compelled to find out who the boy was, what circumstances he was running away from, where he would go, and if he would survive…

At this point, the dream left off, and the story—Jake’s story—began to take shape.

I sat at my computer day after day for almost two years. Eyes closed, I wrote as I experienced the journey along with this determined and resilient ten-year-old boy.

Reviews for Runaways: The Long Journey Home

“Brenda Poulos should be a best-selling author! She is a masterful writer. Her ability to develop characters within the context of a compelling and spell-binding story is captivating. If you are looking for a fun read that will leave you wanting more, Runaways is a great selection. You’ll read this and find yourself recommending it to your friends.” ~by J. Akerson on Amazon“Runaways is a book you won’t be able to put down. The writing style of Brenda Poulos will pull you in as if you’re a main part of the story. You will be on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what’s coming next. And I’d bet the emotions of the characters will be felt throughout and will touch your heart. Wow! Perhaps a top-rated movie in the future?” ~A+ by Jon Peterson on Amazon

“Brenda does a wonderful job developing characters you care about while driving a story that is compelling and inspirational. This is a must read for all people who are looking for a story for the soul.” ~by an Amazon customer

“I couldn’t put this book down! Engagingly written, authentic characters, pain, and grace all intermingle in a believable way. Poulos lit up my mind’s eye with her vivid imagery. I will definitely read more from this author.” ~by Kirsten Samuel on Amazon

Debut Novelist Jean Ann Williams♦Revised♦Giveway


Jean Ann is offering a free download copy of Just Claire. See *below* for details

my-cozy-purple-denHi, Jean Ann, and welcome to Whispers in Purple and my Cozy Den. I’m so excited to have you here to talk about your debut release, Just Claire.

But first, indulge me in some Q & A fun.

Ready? Here we go: What five words best describe you?

Determined, committed, creative, approachable, and my husband says I must add: argumentative! Smile

Ha! Are you a plotter or a pantser, or somewhere in-between?

I’m a pantser.

Me too! What are some of your favorite things to do outside of reading and writing?

I enjoy archery, big game hunting and hiking. Spending time in God’s Word, and with my husband, daughter and thirteen grandchildren. And I can’t forget hugging my friendly chickens.

What authors have inspired or mentored you?

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Francis Foster, Deborah Wiles, Christopher Vogler, Elizabeth George, and you, Peg.

Me? Wow, you honor me. Thank you.

As a writer, what sparks your creativity when feeling drained?

I have to take time reading a great book with fascinating characters and lovely writing.

How did you come to write Just Claire? What triggered the story idea?

Twenty years ago, I felt a need to help young people by taking a grain of truth in my life as a child and creating a story that would be meaningful.

I like that. Good for you.Tell us a little bit about Claire. (Incidentally, that’s my middle name.)

Ha! A good name, to be sure. ClaireLee is a thirteen-year-old who comes to a crossroad in her life where she must face her circumstances and decide how best to respond. Her mother almost dies … and then her mother retreats from reality. This causes ClaireLee to wonder who she herself is and where she fits into the whole scheme of her life in a shambles.

Being thirteen is difficult in any circumstances. How did you choose her name, and the others’ names as well?

I chose her name Claire for her struggle to find clarity in her life, and Lee, in honor of my brother Lee Allen, whom I was very close to. I chose the siblings names: Liam for the strength and tenacity it implies to me, which fits this character; Grayson, for the implications of this character’s humility; Lolly, for how funny she can be for just being a sweet little sister; Feather, for the baby, as a delicate and tender spot in ClaireLee’s life. I decided on ClaireLee’s best friend, Belinda, because Belinda to me means a bull-by-the-horns force to reckon with as is this character; The teacher and mentor, Mrs. Reed, because she gives ClaireLee a book and she gives ClaireLee a journal to write in her thoughts; Valerie, because she validates who ClaireLee really is; Kaye, because she unwittingly is key to ClaireLee knowing the truth of who she really is and what she wants; Wendy, because she is as unpredictable as the wind.

What an interesting way to chose chracter names! I have yet to read this book–but it’s at the top of my list!–so tell us a bit about the setting.

The setting is a tiny wilderness community in Northern California, during a time in 1960, when my father was hired on as tunnel worker. Mr. Temple, Actor Shirley Temple Black’s father, funded a power plant project and building a tunnel was part of the project. My family and I lived there for about a year and a half until my father’s job was completed. I attended fourth grade there at Indian Springs Elementary School and lived in a dilapidated cabin with my family near the Pit River. The cabins were built for the families whose men drove the logs downstream to the saw mills along the banks of the Pit River. The river, which ran through the area, was one of the most dangerous log river driving rivers in the United States, known for its white rapids. I gathered a large box full of research papers, pamphlets, videos, and books to flesh out the setting for Just Claire. I even contacted and conducted phone interviews of two old log river drivers who drove logs down the Pit River. The river in my story plays an important part at the climax of the story.

About the book:

Just Clawire cover

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, she just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, as she says, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

About the author:

JacketPhotoJean 07 2015

Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.

*About the Giveaway*: Leave a comment below, including your email address (i.e. you at abcxyz dot com) so we can contact you if you’re the winner. Download will be a free digital copy of Just Claire.  Giveawy ends Saturday, Feb 6, at Midnight, Central Time. Thanks!

Thanks, Jean Ann, for being my guest here today. It’s been a pleasure. Wishing you great success with Just Claire.

And thank you, Peg, for asking me these questions and featuring me here on your beautiful blog.

A Baptist and a Methodist in Las Vegas

After writing two blog posts for other sites and sending out two interview questionnaires for future guests, I was at a loss for what to write here. So I let it slide for a while and did a few other things.

I ended up on YouTube, and I found THIS for your entertainment today.

This is  6’ 2” Jeanne Robertson, one of my favorite stand-up comedians. So just adjust the sound on your computer, sit back, and watch this eleven-minute laugh fest. Trust me.

Just click HERE   and enjoy!

See you tomorrow with an interview with author Jean Williams, introducing her debut novel, Just Claire.