Editing: Filler Words

Editing is a daunting task. There are so many things one doesn’t realize needs to go.


Filler words are one of the most important things you can strike from your document.

Here is short list to go by:

  • Just
  • Very
  • Really
  • Literally
  • Quite
  • Perhaps
  • In order
  • Actually
  • Rather
  • Stuff
  • That

You don’t always need to clear out these words, but for the most part if you take them out of a sentence, it will still make sense and it will tighten your pacing.

Stay tuned for more editing advice!


It’s not about the presents; It’s about the presence…

I could have chosen a happy family with Christmas decorations saturating a warm festive room, but we all know that’s not exactly how all Christmases go. But hey, it’s family and it’s ours, so we love them. And being with them is what matters for Christmas.


A lot of times, I get too carried away with how much money I have to spend on gifts and who I may have forgotten, when this time of years barrels through. Because let’s admit, it doesn’t just roll around. It slams you like a hurricane with gale force winds.

At least it does me.

I always promise I’m going to start shopping sooner, but I never get around to it. I swear, I did all my shopping the night before Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Eve. When I started in with my buggy, I wanted to blow up the store and anything I saw that had to do with Christmas Cheer. When my buggy was full of a lot of good deals, I started getting a little happier. I was able to invest a little of my emotions into the holiday. By the time I got to check out, I wanted to spend my whole bank on Christmas and every one I knew.

But I was frugal and still had money to spend on groceries for about half the week. I don’t know what we’ll do for the rest of the week after that, but we’ll sure have presents. And I won’t feel bad that my kids won’t have something to open up.

Part of my buggy had all the makings for a scrumptious family dinner. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most. I can’t wait to look across the table at all my family, share what we’ve done this year and talk about how we plan to start our Christmas shopping in January.

Like that’s going to happen. 🙂



Cover courtesy of Winter Bayne. Model: Vikkas Bhardwaj.

Excerpt from Black Soul Book One of The Forbidden Series

I had forgotten how alarming my abilities might be to a human. I was here then there. In front of her.

Her jaw dropped and her knees gave as I leaned in to catch her. She would find my breath hot and strangely sweet as it tickled her face. I couldn’t stop the effect.

Her pupils narrowed, but she didn’t flinch.

With a curled forefinger, I lifted her chin. “Don’t fear me.”

“Noah?” She whispered incredulously. Her aura alternated between purple and orange, back to purple, then red, then back to purple. Love, fear, love, anger, and ended up on the one I hoped for. Purple:Love.

Caroline reached out. Her fingers grazed the dark, cool skin on my chest. The sensation was as flame to ice. She stroked the muscles that hadn’t been there only minutes earlier.

I clenched my eyes shut and tried to focus on her safety, but my blood boiled and molten lava made a downward spiral into the pit of my stomach.

“You’re real,” she breathed. Her touch trailed over my skin, exploring me.

My eyes flashed open. I dropped a want filled gaze on her. With my jaw taut, I stood straighter, my breath coming in jagged spurts.

At that moment, Caroline would have flushed red if she could have read my aura. I was sure there wasn’t a color for it yet.

Her hands ended their exploration at my waist. “You can feel that?”

“I can feel…everything.” My voice was even different. Low controlled tones, filled with raw masculinity I hadn’t felt in years, if ever.

Caroline leaned toward me, letting a soft kiss fall on the new ridge of my right pectoral muscle. Her lips parted slightly when she looked back up to me.

I was sure the venom from my skin had momentarily paralyzed her. The taste of my mouth would daze her that much more. I took full advantage of her shock as I pulled her to me. I wouldn’t kill this human so the force had to be slight.

Caroline’s hair fell into my fingers, and she trembled under my kiss. She released a little moan into my mouth as I found soft skin just under her shirt tail.

My thumbs grazed her sides. A thrill of heat pin-pricked my fingertips. Hoisting her up, I sat her on the counter.

She held my face between her hands and pulled me deeper into the kiss. A childhood taste of cotton candy and the sweet smell of vanilla filled my nostrils. How could this be? She was using…her own venom?

I swayed under her spell as Matthew’s words prodded my mind.

I shoved them away. Not now. I didn’t care what she was. Duty no longer drove me.

My reckless abandon didn’t last long when I remembered the night before.

How could I be insensitive as to what this might do to her?

With a groan, I backed away.

She pulled at me, fear of another sort in her eyes.

“Don’t stop,” she whispered.

“Look at me,” I urged her.

“Oh, I am,” she whispered.


Hope you enjoyed this tidbit. As you wait for more Noah and Caroline, sign up for my newsletter at https://madmimi.com/s/0aea49.


Ever Tempted by Odessa Gillespie Black

Megan Morgan

Today I’m hosting Odessa Gillespie Black and her paranormal romance Ever Tempted. Odessa is giving away a digital copy of Ever Tempted, so make sure to comment, check out the other stops on the tour, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Enter to win a digital copy of Ever Tempted

Leave a comment and check out the other stops on the tour for more chances to win!

An infinity of lives, only one eternal love…

When Cole Kinsley asked Allie Knowles for her hand in marriage, he meant it. Death be damned. Nothing could keep them apart, not even a hundred years or more. Not even the vindictive spirit of Allie’s dead sister Grace. Released from her watery grave, she offers Cole a devil’s bargain. But to Cole, no price is too high when it comes to his beloved.

Allie thinks it’s almost too good to be true. A week of…

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What Doesn’t Kill Me Makes Me Stronger

I posted this a while back, but it was worth reposting since my wonderful husband has shown even more devotion to me by allowing me to write during my free time. He’s the most amazing man ever.

Odessa Gillespie Black-Best Selling Author

My daughter often jokes and says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Mama. Don’t get mad, get pumped.” But I remember to days back in 2004 and I wonder how we made it through. To date, you all don’t know much about me. That’s my fault. I haven’t shared.

In 2004, my husband became ill and eventually went into a coma. The doctors told us many people hold the misconception that we can come to them and they can “fix it.” That wasn’t true for my husband. No one knew how he’d gotten ill or what to do to “fix him.” That puts a wife in a very helpless situation.

In July of 2004, Brant went into the hospital with respiratory symptoms that acted much like the flu. He was put on life support and within ten days came home. He had lost around 30 pounds and this made…

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It sickens me to think that someone purposely set the fires in Western NC this last month. They were so close to my sister’s house, she could almost feel the heat off them. And to think, it was just some bored teenagers.

According to the news, two teens walked through the forest tossing matches. Did they even care that the forest’s animals would be left without a home, if they made it out of the fire at all? Did they care that the fires could have spread to people’s homes and killed them? Did they want animals and people to suffer?

Who ever knows what a person is thinking. It’s so hard this day and age to get children to understand that their decisions have a snowball effect. In this case, they had a wildfire effect. What the teens did spread from them, out into the world, and created catastrophe.

Kids, your actions have a reaction. Think before you act. Ten seconds of thinking at a time like that could literally change your world.

Chapter One Image

I’ve learned so much about marketing over the last few weeks. Having good contacts is priceless. I’ve made new friends through Facebook, so it’s been wonderful to pick author’s brains on how to get your novel out there.

  • Make a newsletter. A site like mailchimp.com is a wonderful way to start. It’s user friendly and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. There’s a first time for everything. Some of these applications can be a bit daunting but playing around with them and asking a mentor when you get hung up is the best way to navigate them. Most of the time, they are self-explanatory or they have help buttons to guide you through the process.
  • Post your newsletter link to all your social media. You can share the URL or add it to the site by using the URL in your widgets sidebar on your blog.
  • Try to get the newsletter out before a novel release so that you can acquire a list to mail your release info to. You can build up excitement by giving tidbits of your novel, freebies, or deals to the people who have signed up. It makes them feel special and more likely to keep reading your newsletter.
  • Keep an online presence. People want to talk to you, find out what you’re up to, even if its washing your cat. Your life matters to them. If they like the way you write, they’ll enjoy knowing you.

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