Music City Romance Writers: Ami McConnell, Guest Speaker






I am pleased that I, at last, was able to attend a monthly meeting of the Music City Romance Writers. MCRW is a local chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the national organization to which I belong. Everyone was so welcoming!

I picked the perfect day to attend. The guest speaker was publishing pro Ami McConnell ( She knows everything about editing and publishing. I learned a lot. 🙂

Ami’s current project is a writers’ conference, Writer Fest Nashville ( The conference includes track for authors, songwriters, and screenwriters. If you are a writer, whether aspiring or published, you owe it to yourself to check out this exciting, new conference.

I am a writer. I write novels. My name is Tina Murray.




CD-Launch Party: Perfectly You


Recently, I had the great pleasure of attending Laurie O’Shea’s launch party for her new music CD, Perfectly You.  Laurie is an accomplished singer-songwriter and musician. I thoroughly enjoyed her inspiring concert, which featured cuts from her new album. She is, indeed, a budding celebrity.

The event itself was well-attended, a testament to Laurie’s popularity. The venue for the launch was Unity of Music City in Nashville, TN.  Prior to the show, guests devoured yummy treats, while chatting and networking with one another.  After the concert—and a standing ovation—fans lined up to buy signed copies of Perfectly You. If you would like to preview and purchase a copy, please visit or  I highly recommend it.


Back on the Road in 2019


The Factory, Franklin, TN


Now that I have regained my eyesight and obtained a new driver license, I can drive again! This is very exciting for me. At last, I am able to post here on my blog, Celebrity Road Trips.

This weekend, I attended the Tennessee Antiquarian Book Fair at The Factory, a popular venue in Franklin, Tennessee., where I happily wandered amongst the booksellers’ stalls.

I am fascinated by old books. Like works of art, they are artifacts from other times, long lost. A significant book can take on a mythical status, especially signed first editions.

Years ago, when I was an aspiring author, I attended writers’ conferences and book signings often. That is when I began to collect signed books.

For example, I now own books signed by Al Franken, Sue Grafton, and Norman Mailer, among other celebrity authors. Who knows? Perhaps, someday, these books may become the valued treasures of other bibliophiles. Do you like old books, too?

i saw some wonderful things on display. Here I have posted photos of books I admired, but did purchase, at the rare-books-show.

My latest novel: A BIG FAN OF YOURS

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest novel, A BIG FAN OF YOURS, by ArcheBooks Publishing ( A BIG FAN OF YOURS is my third novel. It is Volume 3  of my Starlight on the Gulf Series. Volume 1, A CHANCE TO SAY YES, and Volume 2,  A WILD DREAM OF LOVE, are available, as well. All three novels may be found at or may be purchased from any other favorite bookseller. Please visit my website at; Reviews welcome.ABFOY-Cover

Hurricane Irma: Florida writers write out the storm

161by Tina Murray

Sept. 12, 2017

Creative expression cannot be squelched, even by a Category 4 hurricane. If anything, it was intensified this week, as 130 mph winds, blasted the Florida Keys and devastated the Sunshine State’s southwestern coast. All the while, the metaphorical keys of electronic devices clicked in wild abandon

A few weeks earlier, I had been reading the cheery posts of authors such as Beth Ciotta, author of “The Weekend Wife,” presented by James Patterson. Then, Loretta Wheeler, author of “The Verandah,” and other Texas-based authors began posting their harrowing experiences while riding out humongous Hurricane Harvey. Stunning in its ferocity, Harvey overwhelmed the city of Houston.

Only days later, I found myself inundated by posts about a huge new storm, Hurricane Irma, as it tracked its way towards the Florida peninsula, eventually unleashing its torrential wrath on a new set of authors, my Florida writer-friends on Facebook.

As an author of Florida fiction myself (, I had a poodle in this fight. My novels, “A Chance to Say Yes” and “A Wild Dream of Love” and the yet unreleased “A Big Fan of Yours,” are set in Naples and the Caribbean isles. However, I was not in Florida at the time Irma struck. I had to rely on the observations of others.

If you want vivid, first-hand accounts of natural phenomena, who better than bestselling authors to deliver the literary goods–with photos!

Some of the writers, such thriller-author Susan C. Klaus, sheltered in place as the storm advanced. So did mystery writers Jean Harrington, author of “Murder on Pea Pike” and Nancy J. Cohen, whose latest  bad-hair-day tome is “Hair Brained.”  Nancy shared advice about weathering hurricanes and posted a photo of herself, cute and comfy, inside her safety closet.

Other writers, such as sci-fi author Linnea Sinclair, headed out of harm’s way. Bestselling women’s fiction author Heather Burch, whose new release is “Something Like Family,” chose to seek higher ground. While there, Heather updated readers on the status of her sons, who evacuated safely. Fantasy authors Sandy Lender, “Choices Meant for Gods,” and M. B. Weston, who penned the Elysian Chronicles, evacuated, also. When Sandy flew the coop, she took all her pets birds with her!

Numerous other local authors, including Lynnette Austin and J. W. Thompson, posted their experiences. Each author made a unique contribution to what became the gripping, ongoing saga of a state under siege.

On the east coast, writer Dave Barry turned anxiety into laughter in his humorous piece on Hurricane Irma preparations, which appeared in the Miami Herald. Technically speaking, Dave and I are not Facebook friends. I have never even met him. However, he is a Florida writer, and his humor did help break the online tension. Other writer-related reports brightened my outlook, as well.

In battered Key West, Hemingway’s cats were pronounced safe. No doubt Mr. H. would have documented the whole event on social media had it existed in his day. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? What would Ernest Hemingway have posted on Facebook? Who knows? He might have created a page devoted to cats.

Speaking of Hemingway, you might want to check out the latest book by may Hawaiian writer-friend, James Charles, “My War with Hemingway.” I hope to blog more about it in the future, but not now. This post is about Irma!

Regardless, I am grateful that Hurricane Irma petered out as it moved north, sparing my friends, family and the mausoleum building housing the grave of my parents. As millions of people return home, survey the damage, mourn the lost, and await the coming of gasoline supplies and electrical power, they can be proud of their state’s organized response to impending catastrophe.

Life in Florida, as you see, can bring more than lazy daze on a sunny beach. It can bring intense drama and tragedy, with a smattering of comic relief.

What better place for writers?

Seriously, my heart goes out to all those affected by Hurricane Irma. I wish you blessings and a speedy recovery. Thanks to all the emergency responders who sacrificed to help the victims of the storm. Thanks to the writers who shared their stories. Thanks to my non-writer friends, such as Krista Denizeri and Sonja Miller, who also kept me informed. Thanks to everyone whose posts I shared on my Facebook page (

Speaking of writers, I am sending a good word here to bestselling author Dakota Cassidy, a social-media friend of mine who is recovering from heart surgery. My prayers for you, Dakota. I look forward to receiving your charming posts once again, and a return to cheerier times.

Stay safe, Florida.

Women in Film: Writer-Director Claudia Murray prepares to premiere “Gringa”

_MG_8227by Tina Murray

September 2, 2017

Although beautiful enough to have become a movie actor, Claudia Murray was intelligent enough to become a screenwriter, director, and producer instead, when she first arrived in The City of Angels, not long ago.

Now directing her debut film, a theatrical short, “Gringa,” Murray could not be sitting prettier. Drawing upon her own heritage–she’s Cuban-American on her mom’s side and Southern American on her dad’s–her first film reflects the resultant emotional and intellectual duality she has experienced since her childhood in Florida, as well as her empathy with the plight of the Cuban people.

Co-written with colleague Lana Link, “Gringa” features established actors Lidia Porto, Ruben Rabasa, Jorge Emanual Berrios, and Mario Barra, with Ana Cecilia in the title role. It has been produced by The Moving Picture Institute (, a non-profit film company which specializes in making movies about freedom.

No stranger to success, Murray is also a member of the team who won a Webby in 2017 for a political-humor site: (

For more information and updates on the production and release of “Gringa,” please visit, like, follow and share:


Self-Motivation for Creative Souls: Five essential steps on the pathway to your dreams

198by Tina Murray

August 20, 2017

Do you have dreams? Of course you do. Everyone does. You probably have one special daydream, right this minute, that you wish would come true. Perhaps you wish to go back to school, start a business, or lose weight. Maybe you long to write a book, create a work of art, or compose music. Whatever your dream, it is important to you. So, let me ask you a second question.

Do you believe you can turn your dream into a reality? Not everyone believes that. If you do believe it, I applaud you because not only are you imaginative, you are creative, as well. More power to you!

To fuel that power, I would like to offer you five common-sense suggestions to aid you in realizing your dream. These five essential steps, along with other steps specific to you and your situation, will assure that you are headed in the right direction: up!

Believe me. I have been there. I have trekked the trail of self-motivation more than once.

As someone with three college degrees and three published books on my Dreams-Come-True Done List, I have learned a thing or two about hiking the creative hill. Although I have not yet attained all my own dreams, I have learned how the process of accomplishment works–and I have realized something else. This process can be applied to any creative endeavor. I am still using it, and you may use it, too.

To those authors and thinkers who have inspired me, I thank you. The following steps represent ideas drawn from various sources, combined with lessons gleaned from my own observations and experiences–the result of trial and error–namely, what works for me. My five essential steps for attaining your heart’s desire are:

— Turn your dream into a goal with objectives.

— Believe and go for it.

— Encourage yourself.

— Stay focused.

— Finish what you started.

Sounds too easy? Not really. Please follow along as I explain each step. If you want to create a dream come true,

Turn your dream into a goal with objectives. This first, crucial step takes place inside your conscious mind. You alone are in control of it. Decide to change your life by focusing on how to bring about the result you desire rather than by crying, “If only blah-blah…” When you receive your first inkling of how–that is, what action steps are possible–you will change from being a dreamer to, a goal-setter.

Consider all options. Keep those ideas coming. Formulate the how’s into a specific plan of action. But be flexible. A meme I read on Twitter declared, “If your plan doesn’t work, make a new plan. But never change your GOAL.”

The list of actions–the behaviors needed to reach your goal–are called objectives. When I studied Education in grad school, we learned how to write lesson plans. A lesson plan was comprised of an overarching goal with measurable objectives for reaching that goal.

Objectives can be checked off the list as you complete them. The lesson-plan concept can be translated into everyday projects, as well as, big dreams.

For example, if my goal is to bake a cake, my objectives include such actions as purchasing ingredients; assembling utensils and bake ware; preheating the oven and so on. On the other hand, if I wanted to write a book, I would develop a different list of objectives. One of my objectives might be, “I will write three pages a day for the next six months.” This would help me complete my manuscript. That is how objectives guide you to your goal.

If you want an in-depth explanation of such goal-setting strategies, read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reaching Your Goals” by Jeff Davidson. Once your plan is established, however, implement it, and work hard at achieving results.

Believe and go for it. Activate your faith. “The Power is Within You,” wrote Louise Hay, in her book by the same name. As you embark on your journey, hold your goal in your imagination, as recommended by Neville Goddard, Wayne Dyer, Ernest Holmes, Mitch Johnson and even loftier spiritual leaders. Keep the goal uppermost in your mind. This practice helps to actualize your goal–but you must not stop there!

For the mental work to pay off, you must act. Do not give into fear, doubt. despair, or ridicule. Do not second-guess yourself. In his gripping book, “Dare to Succeed,” Mark Burnett, the wildly successful creator of “Survivor” and “The Voice stated, “Success is about results, not intentions. It’s about action, not inertia. It is about wanting something so badly you refuse to quit, no matter what.” This type of drive is generated by intense focus. You can develop that, too.

Stay focused. Mental focus creates desire. Desire is the foundation of stamina and perseverance. Results come to those who persevere. To carry your plan to fulfillment, you must persevere, no matter what obstacles you encounter. Perseverance is nurtured by visualization, hope, faith, and belief. Sounds too intimidating? Really, it is not. It is just a mindset. Raise your own awareness by realizing that every obstacle can be overcome if you work in tandem with the infinite intelligence. It helps to–

Encourage Yourself. A most important step to take when advancing towards your goal is to become your own encourager. What you say to yourself matters. Positive self-talk will carry you through hostile, rough terrain. Negative self-talk can derail your efforts. “Attitudes are more important than facts,” wrote Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of perennially popular books such as “The Power of Positive Thinking” and “You Can if You Think You Can.” Above all, maintain your internal flame. Make sure your thoughts, words and actions align with the higher power.

Seek out humans, too– mentors, believers who are like-minded and ambitious, as advocated by Napoleon Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich.” Ignore the negative comments of people around you who may want to see you fail–or who don’t know how to bring dreams to pass. Whatever the source, negative thoughts are debilitating. Shut them out. Override them with positive, encouraging affirmations in your own mind. If it helps, think of this practice as running a powerful, new software program in your brain. You are in charge of which thoughts you choose to entertain. Finally, be grateful for the folks who encourage and support you. Such people can be invaluable to your success. Reciprocate wholeheartedly..

Finish what you started. Once you have reached the summit, this final step can feel as though you’re slogging through snow. But without it, failure is assured. You do not want failure. After all your effort, you want success. If you have dropped a project, pick it up again and work on it until it is completed. Resting is okay. Quitting is not. Do the very best you can. Do everything you can think of, and lovingly attend to each detail as you work to achieve your goal. In the end, standing on the peak, you will be triumphant. Even if you are exhausted from the struggle–even if you have to limp your way there, wounded and weary–keep going. Even if you think the thing is no good, finish it.

Please ponder this statement attributed to the sage, Lao Tse. “By being as careful at the end as at the beginning, failure is averted.” I learned that lesson the hard way. I urge you to develop the lifelong habit of finishing what you start. If you do, you will never be mired in regret, regarding what might have been–and you will be free, always, to move on to your next, exciting bout of dream-creation. Besides, you will love the view from the mountaintop. If the end result is not what you had hoped, then learn from your mistakes and apply your hard-earned wisdom to next-time.

Looking back, let’s review our essential five steps. Dreams come true if you turn your dream into a goal with objectives; believe and go for it; stay focused; encourage yourself, and finish what you started. You can learn to turn dreams into realities, one dream at a time.

Remember, like everything in life, this procedure will take practice. I believe in your dreams of good. If you do, also, and you would like to share your results, I would love to hear them.

One of my dreams–now a goal–is to make a difference in the world. “In fact, the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want,” wrote Deepak Chopra in his book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” What’s the connection? If I can help you to realize your dream, it will go a long way towards helping me realize my own. Therefore, I hope you a have happy and fulfilling journey from Dreamland to Manifestation.