Sunday, March 19, 2023

Full Moon Confessions - Kindle Vella

Recently Nancy Williams wrote an article about Kindle Vella for the WEP. That has all the ins and outs of making it a success.

Something I tried a year ago with no success, but since following her advice, I actually had someone read my stories.

Nancy is making money and has the skinny. So be sure to check out How To Make Money With Your Writing - Kindle Vella

Here is what I've learned:

This was the cover I wanted, but Kindle Vella cut out a round and created the cover below. I had little to no control except for the picture above. Notice they don't even allow the apostrophe above the e in Renée. But things are always changing. 

So I did a little more work and managed to add the title to the round part of the picture. Why? Because the only thing they post on the page announcing your story is the round part of the cover. Some add the title. Some don't.

I have joined several Kindle Groups on FB, thanks to Nancy's advice. But right now, trying to write and take care of everything else, I've not had time to concentrate on participating. I figure one step at a time. I know, my downfall.

Full Moon Confessions: TheOdd Cases of Detective Cypress

Find Full Moon Confessions here: 

Donovan Horatio Cypress is a dedicated man. Handsome, skilled, and perceptive, and he invariably always gets his man. But his cases are notoriously odd. His love life is even more so. Falling for his suspects leaves him questioning his choices.

Are you ready to meet Jack the Ripper? The murderous monster in the basement? Would you step into a fog for a romantic first meeting? Or do you prefer the ordinary everyday folk with murderous intent? It's all here, with a romance on the side. Enjoy!

Episode 1:

          Double Chocolate Homicide – The Peacocks plan a Halloween dinner party. Then one of them ends up dead. But no fear, the party must go on…

Episode 2:

          Psycho Bitch – Is murder contagious? A couple attended the Peacock's murderous dinner party, and not four hours later, one is dead. I won't lie. Psycho was my inspiration. But folks, this one has a new twist.

Episode 3:

          The Ripper confesses – The fog means another death, but this time the cops make their arrest. Too late for the victim, but is the detective's attention on the details or Jenny's figure? Jenny is an officer with great legs and a quick mind.

Episode 4:

          Perfect Opportunities – A hurricane is the ideal opportunity for murder, or is it? Where's Jenny, and why is Cypress in a new state, flirting with a murderous?

Episode 5:

          Karma's A Bitch: Uh, oh. Is the detective caught in the spider's trap?


Please note the first 3 episodes you can read for FREE!

After that, you'll need more tokens. I was awarded 2000 tokens just for signing up. 

And don't forget the thumbs-up. It's what gets the author paid. Give it a try, but first read: How To Make Money With Your Writing - Kindle Vella. Nancy gives lots of info, and I hope I've added a bit more here.

To find Nancy's stories go here: King Julian of Gil-Lael

Good luck!

Thanks for reading. 

I hope you'll give my story a chance. If you do, I would love your critique.



Monday, February 27, 2023

Needed Inspiration

 "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." — Mae West

"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."– Thomas A. Edison

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."– Albert Einstein

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."– 

Babe Ruth

Wednesday, February 15, 2023



Photo by Kaleb Dortono on Unsplash


 The winds howled and tore all the warmth from the cave. As though their only purpose was to press the deep, frigid Arctic air into even the smallest crevice. I huddled under three blankets in a sleeping bag built for extreme temperatures. Yet I still felt the chill. But the sound, the whistling and whooshing, the cracking of countless branches, and the crashing of the large ice cycles, ice on ice, from the frozen waterfall, haunted my waking dreams.

Even though I'd sought shelter in a cave surrounded by solid rock. I was convinced the winds were hunting me. The beast from Alaskan legends, Kushtaka, had found a way into my shelter. The shapeshifter had turned to deadly frigid air and was seeking his prey.

Was it Kushtaka's purpose to destroy the last shred of warmth in existence on this mountain of pure ice? Was I the interloper? A passenger on a downed plane in the Alaskan Triangle. Was I the unwanted trespasser on alien land? I tried to push such silly thoughts from my mind, but the way darkness had fallen and the storm had arisen was unnatural.

Was the disappearance of my fishing pool under the ice a playful otter? Or the sudden howling whistle and the change in temperature, the supernatural work of a mythological beast, or an imagination run wild with fear and grief?

Surreptitious squalls twisted and coiled around my rock abode to extinguish the fire. My only genuine warmth. I'd built it with the last of the wood Chet had cut for me before returning to the crash site. Two days past his time of return didn't offer me hope. Instead, I felt a profound sadness and the hollowness of loss. I knew with certainty that I would never see Chet again.

The wind gusts became more violent as though they recognized their victory. Kushtaka had found me. A woman alone, vulnerable, and afraid. The perfect plaything for the mythological creature intent on torture.

Weakened by loss, fear, and hunger. I was the ideal victim. Had I already given up?

The bright orange flame of the fire shrank with each gust. Is it possible for a fire to surrender? I swear I saw it bow to a stronger foe without a crackle or hiss of attempted bravado. The flames died or burrowed under the cold ashes until their bright colors faded to black, gray, then solid white. Testament to the hue of the Snow God.

Is that how Kushtaka saw his role? As an Ice God defending his territory from any hint of warmth?

I watched the flames die, knowing with certainty that Chet had also left this existence. My tears froze the instant they fell. Ice crystals stuck to my exposed skin like newborn babies seeking sustenance. I tried to brush them away, but more formed until I had no more tears to give. I held them in my hands until they were again part of me. Absorbed into flesh.


Ice against ice.

Salvation abandoned me. A piercing chill deeper than any I'd ever felt encircled me. Moving from the outside in until I was completely absorbed. Shrouded in ice.

At first, it was stinging, almost burning, then so bone-chilling I wondered if my insides would shatter like the ice cycles. Profound shivers took control. I was sure I put out enough energy to run a small generator. But even that lasted only a short time.

Eventually, my body relaxed into the Ice God's embrace. Into a faux warmth, but just the sustenance I was seeking.

All along, it had been right here.

Deep inside, the glacial frostiness of this massive beast that held me so delicately in his arms. He wasn't fierce or unkind. He offered himself, and I sensed his concern. Felt the purest of love and surrendered wholly.

I closed my eyes.

The beast held me intimately. Naked. Free. No more restraints or fear. No more feelings of abandonment or loss. Everything was gone, just like the howling wind.

I embraced the Ice God. And let go of my last ember of warmth. My final exhalation danced, twisted, and swirled in a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors before crystalizing into ice crystals in a flash of brilliance.

Just as the Ice God enveloped me in the warmth of pure love...


721 Words

Yolanda Renée Stout © 2023


 TAGLINE: Surrender does not mean giving up.

This is an excerpt from the 7th book of my Alaskan Series. Murder on Mount Fairweather. Where survivors of a plane crash are fighting to survive the element's, hungry wolves, and the mythology of the Alaskan triangle.

Kushtaka or Kooshdakhaa. Are from a Tlingit myth that claims the Kushtaka is a shapeshifting otter-like creature that lures people into the wilderness, sometimes tricking them to their deaths.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Is it too early?

The Daffodil

so beautiful

the first of spring

it means everything

to all arising

the ruin of winter

a bright new dawn

the seeds of tomorrow

awaiting root

passion ignited

love blooms

seeds rooted

the cold booted

beauty and growth

in God's green Earth



and all that's between

like the Daffodil

it all began

in the spring.


YRS © 2023


Friday, January 13, 2023


Renée Stout © 2023

                                                      A Confession

See that sky. Isn't it beautiful? Majestic? The dawn of a New Day. An epiphany upon waking.

Even before I saw it this morning, I knew. Today would be different. Today would genuinely be the first day of my life.

I know trite. But it's true. Today I feel as those I were reborn. Today I know who I am. I know what I want. And by damn, I'm going to have it!

Last year I found myself in a blue funk. One of those where you wander around, being and yet not fully existing. I was a ghost. Searching, and yet not knowing what it was I was searching for. Dreaming dreams that were nightmares. And while I was in this so-called blue funk. I did not know that I was. But something was off. I was off.

I didn't know whether to blame it on the pandemic, the stupidity of the political climate, or the frighteningly dangerous failed-class clowns we elected to run this magnificent country. Or the war where Nuclear disaster was tossed around like babies playing a nerf ball game. Or was it that I gave myself 10 years to succeed at writing?

Your guess was as good as mine.

For periods, I would rally. Working on my posts for the WEP October Challenge was the highlight. I love Halloween and enjoyed writing and posting two months of poetry and short stories. That was when I felt like myself.

But at the beginning of the year, I had set specific goals to finish, and by finish, I mean publish at least 3 of the 4 projects I was working on.

It wasn't happening.

I was stalled!

Almost full stop. Except for the WEP challenges. They were the only real writing I could accomplish. WEP was a lifesaver in a sea of doubt and uncertainty. I didn't even participate in NANO. Something that always brought me success.

Where the hell was I, and when would I find my way home? Again, I had no idea. I even looked outside of my writing for fulfillment. Taxes, can you believe it? What can I say? As a former accountant, taxes were always fun. I know, odd, but what do you expect from a horror writer? 😊

Still, while studying and preparing for the new tax season, I thought I'd found my calling.

I didn't!

Today, Friday, January 13th, 2023, I know for sure, and most likely for the first time in 12 years, that I am a WRITER!

It's my craft.

My happiness!

My life's mission!

Hell, writing is my everything!

Hello world, I'm back!


2023 GOALS

1.   Re-claim my real name—Renée Stout. Yes, folks, I'm dropping Yolanda. It's my first name. Given to me by my mother. She loved the combination—Yolanda Renée. So did my aunt. They were both pregnant at the same time. I was born first, so I got the name. Which was good because my cousin Steve would have hated growing up as Yolanda Renée. 😊

But I was always called Renée. Mom made sure to tell all my teachers to use my middle name. It's really who I am. Yolanda means violet. Violet? That's not me.

Renée is of French origin, and the meaning of Renée is"reborn." Apropos, don't you think?

So I'm only going to be using Yolanda Renée on the last book of the Quaid series and Renée Stout on all other books.

2.   Re-Edit & Re-Publish:       Love & Revenge: Tales of Murder & Romance.

3.   Publish Murder by Proxy – NOW Murder on Mount Fairweather. The last of the Alaskan Series. An ode to the love story between Detective Quaid and Sarah.

4.   Publish my second book of poetry. My memoir.

5.   Publish the 1st book of Myrtle Beach Mysteries: Her Mona Lisa Smile

6.   Finish A Stylish Murder, book 2nd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries

7.   Finish Moonlight Goddess, the 3rd of the Myrtle Beach Mysteries.

8.   Support and cherish the WEP writing community. They, above all else, kept me sane in an insane year!

Renée Stout -!


I know it seems like a lot, but oh, how much time I wasted studying taxes? 😉

Friday, January 6, 2023

Announcing the WEPs 2023 Challenge Calendar

As it was the Movie Poster we found

most inspiring we'll be starting off

in February with


Remember, it's all about what inspires you:

GWTW can be the springboard for a million ideas- civil war, love, the definition of beauty (‘Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful but men seldom realized it..’), racism, slavery, strong women, gun violence, plantations, breaking conventions, the bond between fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, the love for a piece of land, a lament for a vanishing society…alternatively, even an essay on the stars or the film director or the author Margaret Mitchell or some aspect of the making of the film...endless opportunities for creativity.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Wishing You All...


Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season

and a bright and prosperous

New Year!


Are you ready for 2023

a whole New Year it's promised to be

with shocks, delights, and changes

no one can foresee

life has all kinds of stressors

love, money, and

a multitude of depressors.


I'm hoping and wishing

that we all see

less narcissism


and hate

prayers that it can be

replaced with love, trust

forgiveness and peace.


May you find 2023

has all you need

to make your

existence a rock-um

sock-um experience.

Yolanda Renee (C) 2022

Photo by Vasil Korzh on Unsplash