Friday, May 25, 2018

Guest Blogger: Monette Bebow-Reinhard





Please tell us about your latest book.
Adventures in Death & Romance: Vrykolakas Tales is one in a series of adventures for the vyrkolakas (Greek Vampire) Arabus Drake. At first wrongly called a paranormal romance, this is a historical adventure of a man’s search for love and acceptance across time—a man who hated being resurrected as a vampire, and works hard to control these demons inside him. This first series of adventures details how he comes to terms with his desire to find Althea again, and the unusual solution he has for a mortal love partner. This is not a romantic genre read, but it is filled with love, action and adventure. The history should feel real to you.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working simultaneously on his two further adventures. One is Misadventures in Death & Friendship, with is a similar adventure across time, involving his quest for friendship. There is a sub-plot of romance throughout. And the third is his contemporary romance, related to the first two and to a novella that’s available online, called “Isinis Connection,” which is a romance between Arabus Drake and an alien that uses the theory of a universal source for human consciousness. This contemporary literary romance is called “BloodLove.”

How do we find out about you and your books? I have a website at www.monettebebowreinhard.com where I recently posted the first part of BloodLove. I’m seeking a beta reader. I am doing another edit of Misadventures and hope to have a beta read ready soon. There are sample chapters of all my published novels there as well.

Why did you decide to write “Arabus” novels?
For the longest time I thought of them as paranormal romance, but several who asked for a free copy to review found how different it is, so the best way to describe it is literary historical. Arabus Drake came to me in a dream, and came to life when I decided that Armand Assante should play him in the movie version. (Yes I am working on the script of the first story in Adventures.)

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I think that I tend to write a lot about death and the human consciousness from a pagan perspective because that’s what I’m most interested in. You’ll find out that Arabus was Mikos in his mortal life and he was a coward, even though he was a brave Turk soldier in the Ottoman army. We are all flawed beings, and in Arabus, his Mikos soul is trapped so he can still feel human, even though he needs human blood. He’s so different – and I believe so much more real – because I tend to believe I can feel what it’s like to be dead. He has numbed skin, which cannot heal because the blood he takes keeps the corpse from disintegrating. His organs don’t work, he doesn’t breathe, and he cannot eat or drink, except blood. He doesn’t have to sleep in a coffin but does have to keep his skin covered from the sun’s burning rays, as sunburns do become harsh and don’t heal. I’m also doing research on the source of human consciousness and some of that shows up in my work.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I was five when I found out I was a Grimm. That’s why I decided I had to write my own short fairy tale collection. It was finally published in 2016. I was six when I started writing short Bonanza stories. In 1999 I published my first Bonanza novel, as the only authorized Bonanza novelist in the world. Because of Bonanza, and because of Arabus Drake, I earned a master’s in history in 2006.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Oh, forever! History books need a lot of research. I can’t write straight genre, although I would love to try my hand at a murder mystery.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Pretty much feel I have to write all the time. I’m lucky to have a job where I spend a lot of time waiting to be contacted, and can work on editing there. Otherwise, I don’t watch much TV, and my husband does, so that gives me a lot of spare time.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
To work on it exclusively until I get stuck. When I get stuck, try to figure out why. Right now my unfinished novel has been put aside because I don’t know if I want it set in Wisconsin or Missouri. Fortunately I have enough other projects to work on. Along with my two Arabus novels in edit, I have a major nonfiction to market and a lot of little stuff, along with the one I feel is done that I’m marketing, which is a literary historical thriller. So to keep going I fully believe in having more than one project alive at a time.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
My cat loves to pester me when I’m writing! Not any other time. I got her an office chair to sit on, and she loves to be spun around. She’ll come in and pester me until I play with her for a little while. Then she’s happy again. My husband will sometimes ask me to watch something on TV with him, but I’m free to say no.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Read. I do have some favorite Netflix, and DVDs. And go to movies. I’m also working on a film career. I’m waiting to hear back on whether I got a speaking part in a professional full-length film.

Where do your ideas come from?
I like to say that whatever I write about is in honor of someone in my life. My historical thriller I call a fiction memoir, so it’s an interesting way to include my own life experiences in a completely new character. Arabus Drake is a compilation of Adam Cartwright and my father, who died when I was 14.

What kind of research do you do?
Before you start a new project, you should know enough to be able to figure out if your idea will even work. For instance, in Dinner at Marshall Field’s (also available for beta read at my website), I’d never written a historical set in the 1900s before, so I started digging around to figure out what I could and couldn’t do. I started writing what was in my head to get the idea out, and then I wrote the story treatment. More research can fill out the novel along the way. One for instance is I had to know what day of the week Bobby Kennedy died. It’s fun that these things can be found out online.

What do you think of critique groups in general?
I think they can be helpful if you’re willing to be critiqued and aren’t just looking for praise. I ran a writer’s support group for three years, but the problem was that no one wanted to hear the difficulties of being a writer, and all ended up just wanting to self-publish. I ran a book fest for three years, and after I turned it over to self-publishing, they weren’t able to get the fourth one off the ground. If you don’t want to know the difficulties, if all you ever want is the easy way, you shouldn’t be writer.

There is no easy way.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Getting ready to accept an Academy Award for best screenplay! Seriously, I hope I’m still writing, and getting published.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
Along with the one published at Solstice in 2016, I’ve had two at All Things that Matter Press (in 2016 and 2017) and the two Bonanza novels were published in 2001 & 2005, and 2009; that publisher retired so I put them up myself as SP at KDP. I also have one as SP only one because it is co-authored and he became too impatient. I always hope to find publishers, preferring not to SP, but I’m also a professional editor; the problem is in knowing when my work is ready. I put an Arabus novella at KDP because the comments from editors indicated it was ready, just “not for them.”
I’ve got another five that are finished and in edit, and another two that are unfinished. And more ideas! Darn it.

Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting? What are the elements of a great romance for you?
Character first. Arabus came in a dream. The Cartwrights were well established, I just needed new storylines. In Grimms, most of those were situation first, I think. I wanted a fairy tale-esque kind of setting that the characters could walk into. Dancing with Cannibals was researched by Dicho, who was looking for someone to turn it into good English. He needed a lot more than that! I also created a character I felt the book was missing, but most of it was within the universe he created. Saving Boone is my most recent novel, a historical about a “half-breed” in the 1800s who loses his mother and is off alone at age 12. Character came first here, because I was already researching the time period and wanted to explore real-life experiences of people called “half-breeds.”
A great romance involves trust. You’ll see that so clearly in Saving Boone. In Arabus’s tales, he wants women to accept him for what he is and that seems pretty illogical, but I think you’ll understand where he’s coming from, because he talks most about love with the soul.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I think about that when sales aren’t going well. I should just give this up. I’m reading “Light Between Oceans” and wonder why people respond to this (over 13,000 reviews) and not to Arabus. If I don’t get it, should I even be a writer? Maybe it’s just my eternal quest to “get it” that keeps me going.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
You may feel you don’t get it, but if you want to, if writing burns inside you so hot it hurts, then keep writing. If you find you are easily distracted from your project, put it away until it calls to you. A writer without the passion to write really should find something else to do. There are all kinds of ways to be passionate. Right now I’m volunteering for the local library on a transcription project, and I’m loving it. Learning the truth about history is another of my passions. We all have more than one, and we are best able to contribute to the world when we follow our bliss.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Guest Blogger: Judi Getch Brodman



Please tell us about your latest book.
She’s Not You is a mystery with what I call “a splash of romance.” It’s set in rural Cape Cod… the fictitious town of Oyster Point, a small, isolated fishing village on the tip of Cape Cod, a place where the town’s jail has one cell with a broken lock and the police force consists of the chief and two deputies. So far this summer, two bodies have been discovered on the morning tide, both resembling each other and Jamie Janson.

Jamie returns to Oyster Point to clean out and sell her grandaunt Pita’s Cape Cod cottage, a place filled with family memories—when there had been a family. Her homecoming is marred by the discovery of a woman’s body during her morning run along the beach. Huddled around the seaweed encrusted form is a group of men, including Oyster Point’s Chief of Police, Jack Hereford. Is their meeting destiny, chance, or orchestrated by Pita? Jack soon realizes that Jamie’s emotional fragility belies her inner strength and courage—unspoken qualities by Pita when she asked him to watch over Jamie. That deathbed promise will turn out to be the toughest part of his job and maybe the best part of his life.

As Jamie settles into her life on the Cape, an unknown male with camera in hand shadows her everywhere—on the beach, around her cottage, even at Jack’s sister’s house. With her life spinning out of control, Jamie’s visions resume, dreams she hasn’t had since her parents were killed when she was sixteen. Making a vow to confront the stalker and keep him from forcing her to live in fear, she and Jack devise a plan to entice the suspected stalker out into the open. The scheme backfires and Jamie’s gone…


What can we expect from you in the future?
A sequel to She’s Not You is in the works. Jamie and Jack were just too engaging to let them end in the first novel. I’m also finishing up an intriguing time travel novel where Rachael, the female character, is pulled back to 1804 where she falls in love with a sea captain and has been tasked with changing history – keeping him alive. Does she leave or stay? I’m also working on another manuscript – a mystery/romance based in Boston and Paris. As you can see, never a dull moment for me!

How do we find out about you and your books?
I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn – Judi Getch Brodman
I have a website: judigetchbrodman.wordpress.com And a blog, A writer’s dream continues… https://judigetchwriter2.blogspot.com/
My books and my author profile can all be found on Amazon.

Why did you decide to write “mystery/romance” novels?
Not sure I chose it or it chose me. I’ve always loved mysteries and so I think I just naturally gravitated to writing them. I like to write in a splash of romance… a pure romance novel usually bores me, but a mystery where two people are thrown together unexpectedly and eventually find themselves not being able to live with the other – that’s fun to write and hopefully fun to read.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I think every writer has to fall back on their own personality traits and experiences… you don’t replicate them, but you definitely dig deep uncovering what you felt when your dog died, or your mother or father died, when you loved and lost, or loved and won for example. Every experience that you have lived through or every place you’ve traveled to, every person that walks through your life… they are all potentially in your manuscript.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve always written… journals and travel logs. I loved to capture things that were happening to me so I could remember later. Then, when my trip to Ireland occurred, the published three-part story was about Ireland, but mostly why I travelled there. Then when I had a number of deaths close to me including my mother and sister, I wrote as a sort of therapy. Sounds weird I know, but writing helps me to cope, to make it through those first few months without those closest to me. When my sister died, I wrote the children’s book that she had always talked about writing, Fiona, the Lighthouse Firefly. It’s on Amazon and I started a scholarship fund in her name and the proceeds go into that. I had been working on She’s Not You for years, it had another name and the characters were even different. It was good but not great. Finally, I took a stimulating on-line writing workshop last winter and ended up rewriting much of it and then said… let it fly. The rest is history as they say. The feedback on the story has been awesome.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Well since I’m never writing just one book, it’s hard to say. I find that if I have three or so manuscripts going at the same time, I can work on one and when I feel bored with it, go back to another another, and keep switching… it’s keeps the stories fresh for me. I would say that it takes nine months to a year to have a good draft written.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I write every day… four to six hours or so.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I’m the type of writer who is always editing as I write. I know a lot of writers like to push out that first draft and then edit, but I HAVE to edit as I go along. So when I finish that so-called first drat, it’s in pretty good condition.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

When I’m in my office/studio, it’s quiet. I have my radio on, my view outside the window, and I’m in the zone.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
It sounds silly probably, but writing relaxes me. I usually take a break and go for a long walk with my husband. I like to garden and just working in the soil relaxes me… but my real recharging spot is Wellfleet on Cape Cod… my home away from home. I spent summers there as a kid and so I go there and let the memories wash over me. We also love to travel and that’s always fun.

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
I’m a very high energy person, so motivation isn’t necessary. In my writing? I think creating the best characters I can and building a great story around them. I truly love the process of writing.

Where do your ideas come from?
A lot of my stories come from my imagination… some come from reading a newspaper or magazine where an incident strikes me. I can then build a story around it.

Do you feel humour is important in mystery/romance and why?
Not really in my type of storytelling, but when I wrote the children’s books, the Fiona series, I included some humorous events for the characters to go through.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
I don’t find them difficult to write mostly because I don’t make them too explicit… I’ve always loved to read slow building love scenes. I think that’s how it happens in life. You are attracted to someone for whatever reason and the affection grows sometimes without you even realizing, there’s the look, the touch, the dance, the kiss and before you know it, bam. At that point I close the door and leave my characters alone … J

What kind of research do you do?
I do a lot of research, even when I think I know the characters and settings well. In the about to be released story set in the 19th century, I had to research outfits, ships, trading routes, what women studied, how long they were in mourning, etc. For the Paris one, even though I’m very familiar with Paris, the characters drive outside the city to places I’ve visited but I have to make sure I was remembering them correctly.

Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
I don’t really think so… I’m very content with the stories that I’m writing now. I wrote the travel stories, the three part series about Ireland, I’ve written two children’s books… and I must say that writing for children is very difficult, but I loved it. Nope, I’m really right where I want to be.

What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing?
He’s in awe of what I do, given that my career has always kept me in the technical world. He calls me the Renaissance woman J

Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
Absolutely not. He waits until the manuscript is done and then reads it.

Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I grew up in a great family – I was always encouraged to do my best. My parents were 1st generation Americans and so to them, education was very important. Given they had three girls, to my Dad, it was always important that his “girls” could survive on their own. Thus we were all very well educated… my degrees are in Mathematics and Physics with a Masters in Computer Engineering. I do the same in my family, encouraging all to study hard. As I said earlier, I garden, walk, paint, knit… I’ve tried it all.

Fill in the blank favorites –
Dessert – something dripping with chocolate; City – I love every city I’ve visited/worked in – Paris, Madrid, Rome, London… LA, Seattle, Dallas, Honolulu, and tons of others, but I always come back to Boston: Season – Spring, when everything is coming alive; Type of hero – strong but flawed, not too confident, but able to speak his mind; Type of heroine - vulnerable but resilient, intelligent, good listener, but strong-headed when necessary.

What are some of your favorite things to do?
Walk… the beach. Spend time with family.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
I like a lot of authors… I love reading Nora Roberts novels, even her paranormal ones. I love the House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt – she writes to you can see and feel and smell your surroundings. My goal is to write like that.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
I think I answered that in the previous question.

What do you think of critique groups in general?
If you mean writers group, I’m all for it. There is nothing better than having other eyes read your material and constructively tell you when you missed the mark. I’ve always been in a writers group… what a way to learn from other writers. I’m not a fan of the groups that meet and write. I like to write on my own and submit the piece to the others via email and then discuss it when we get together.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Sitting there on the Best Seller List and walking down that red carpet at the premier of my story J If you don’t have dreams, what do you have.

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing forever. In my career I’ve written technical books and papers galore. And yes, I’ve always wanted to write creatively, but it took some work to be able to do it and do it fairly well.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
She’s Not You is my first published novel – but not my last. As I said earlier, I had a three part travel log published as well as a short story and then the two children’s books.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
Funny but I love to go back to the Fiona books and read those… with the illustrations, they still strike me cute.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
As I said above, I love Fiona the Firefly and all her animal friends. As for the adult books, I always fall in love with my male characters J

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
As I said earlier, the children’s books are the hardest I think. You have to write at their level… not easy. The adult novels are always fun or I wouldn’t be writing them.

Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting? What are the elements of a great romance for you?
I think the story comes first and then the characters. But now that I say that, obvious in the sequel I’m writing, the main characters are fixed so that makes the story the only thing. In my new novels, I think finding that nugget of a story that I can’t wait to write about comes first and then I introduce my characters to the story and let them lead me through the chapters. My setting usually comes with the story.

What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
I think the hardest part of writing is building a character or set of characters that are believable and that my readers care about. If they don’t care about the characters, they aren’t going to care about the book. The easiest part is following the characters through the story.

Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
I haven’t. Most of the time I can’t wait to get back to writing so I can find out what my characters are up to today.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
For me, creating a character or two and making them come to life on the page. How can you beat that? And then, have someone else love them like you do.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
Painting. I’m also a professional watercolorist and painting is my second love. It was my first, but I have to admit, I’d rather be writing than painting these days.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
First, study your craft. Writing is not something that comes naturally. You need to read, invest in magazines that have good articles and guidance like Writers Magazine. Take course, join writers groups and lastly, study your craft. J Never give up. You have to put in the time and effort if you want to produce a good product.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Guest Blogger: J.D. Sanderson

J.D. Sanderson – Author of “A Footstep Echo”


Please tell us about your latest book.
My debut novel is called “A Footstep Echo.” It’s the story of an old widower named Bernard whose life is turned upside down after he meets a young woman who can travel through time. She can’t speak, and is therefore unable to tell him who she is, where she’s from, how she can travel this way, or what is chasing her.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Hopefully more stories in the “Echoverse.” I think I’ll call it that!

How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find me on Facebook @AuthorJDSanderson, or on Twitter @ascifiwriter!

Why did you decide to write science fiction novels?
I’ve been a fan of the genre ever since I first watched Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad when I was five.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Most of me is in there somewhere, as is much of my life, even if it’s only a hint. Writing is a wonderful form of catharsis.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve been writing short stories since I was old enough to hold a pen. I’ve had six or seven abandoned book attempts over the past 15 years. I’m 35 now, and last year I just decided to stop trying to plan it out and emulate my influences.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
This one took me 13 months.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Whenever I find time, which is usually at the end of the day.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Watching one of my favorite films always helps!

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
I love telling stories. I’ve tried it with art and music, but I find it the easiest and most rewarding when I’m writing. I love being able to build a whole other world! At the end of the day I just love to create.

Where do your ideas come from?
That one’s tricky. I tried to start with a premise that seemed interesting that I hadn’t heard of before and just let my fingers and imagination churn away. It’s difficult to come up with an original idea when there have been so many amazing science fiction stories, whether you’re talking about film, novels, television, or even old time radio. I used to want to write in a similar style to one of my favorite authors, or tell a story that was similar to what I grew up loving. Once I just threw that all out and started winging it, I found more ideas than I could handle.



Do you feel humour is important in science fiction and why?
Humor can have a place in any kind of story. I personally just like to use it like a scalpel rather than a club. If I wanted that, I’d write a comedy. What annoys me personally is when humor becomes a crutch. Stories these days are literally bathing in bathos, especially at the theater. Humor is used so frequently that it ends up coming at a dramatic cost. I like my humor subtle and dry, but that’s just me.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?
I’ve actually never read a real romance novel. I suppose I have no problem with romantic interludes in a story if it serves the narrative, but I’ve yet to tackle it myself. I doubt I could sell it.

What kind of research do you do?
I spent weeks looking online for scientific papers on gravitational waves, black holes, green tech, time travel, and so on. I lived on Futurism.com, and listened to tons of free lectures on YouTube. I’m not a physicist, but I believe that if you’re writing any form of “hard” sci-fi, you should have something there to make it plausible.

Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
Science fiction is my first love. A Footstep Echo has elements of mystery and cli-fi, both of which I’d be interested in diving deeper into.

What does your wife think of your writing?
Oh man, I was so happy when my wife told me she liked what I was writing. She has incredible taste, and when she said she found the characters and story interesting, I was literally sighing in relief!

Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
All the time!

Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
My wife and I live in South Dakota with our daughter and dog. I’ve been writing professionally since 2011, although most of it was in website content and SEO. I did have an exciting few years where I wrote for several great websites, including Heroic Hollywood, about movies and television. I love animals, film, and I collect old time radio plays. I’m obsessed Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, and grew up dreaming of the future.

Favorite Dessert? Pumpkin, cherry, or key lime pie
Favorite Season? Fall

Favorite Type of Hero? I’m partial to anti-heroes and vigilantes most of the time. (Batman!)

Favorite Type of Heroine? Either Wonder Woman or Dr. Louise Banks from Arrival.

What are some of your favorite things to do?
Walking my dog, going to the movies, or frequenting an awesome coffee shop.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
My favorite author is Charles Sheffield. My favorite book, however, is Watership Down.



Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
Frederik Pohl, Clifford D. Simak, Ted Chiang, David Weber, and Keith Laumer are some of my all-time favorites.

What do you think of critique groups in general?
I’ve never taken part in one, although I’m not opposed to the idea.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Writing!

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was ten, and it was probably terrible! I never thought I was good enough to be a writer, or have a book published. It wasn’t until I just started going for it last year that I realized I might have the right stuff.
H
ow many books have you written, how many have been published?
This will be my first one. If it does okay, I’d love to continue the story.
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t planning on it!
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
Watership Down is my favorite book, followed by The Ganymede Club and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. As for my favorite hero, I have to defer again to my love of DC comics – Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman…

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?
Well, this is my first novel I’ve ever completed, but it was much easier than all my previous attempts. Hard work, yes, but I had a ball doing it!
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
I started out with two characters that I thought would be interesting to write, then I thought of a broad outline for the story. The setting and world building kind of wrote itself.

What is the hardest part of writing and the easiest part for you?
The hardest part of writing was keeping it unique. It’s so difficult to reinvent the wheel, but I tried as hard as I could. The easiest part was the dialogue. That’s where my stories live and breathe.

Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Thankfully it wasn’t much of a problem this time around!

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Creating a world and seeing it play out.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
As in a different career? I’d love to work with rescue animals.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Well, I don’t know if I’ve earned the right to offer that yet, but here goes – just write and get published wherever you can. Start with a small website. Get your work seen and get feedback. A couple of years ago my writing on a movie was seen by someone starting their own website. He
offered me a gig writing about superhero movies. That gave me the confidence to write my own novel. Write whenever you’re not writing, if that makes sense. Think about scenes, characters, and twists that you would love while you’re just walking around. Above all else, keep it original!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Guest Blogger: Sheila Gale



5 Things you didn't know about author Sheila Gale

1. When I was eleven, I foolishly tried to get my pony, Flash, to jump over a solid wooden gate. He stopped dead at the gate and I fell on top of it. I injured my back, but didn’t find out until many years later that I had damaged a kidney.

2. Me and my friend, Bev, ran away from home when we were eight. We started walking along the main road towards the city of Chester. Our local doctor was driving home and spotted us. That was the end of our adventure.

3. In my early teens, I dreamt of taking up fencing. I think I fancied myself leaping around with an epee, slaying my opponent.

4. I didn’t like the guy who had taken a shine to me at the local dance. Rather than tell him to stop following me around I climbed out of a washroom window and ran home.

5. I really did marry the guy next door. We’ve been married for thirty-three wonderful years!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Guest Blogger Debbie De Louise





5 Things You Don't know about Debbie De Louise

1. I'm a morning person. I usually get up at 5 a.m. to write each day.
2. My favorite snacks are dark chocolate, peanuts, and popcorn with raisins. I also chew a lot of Extra peppermint gum.
3. I have bookshelves in every room of my house and even keep books in my car, garage, and attic.
4. Before becoming a librarian, I worked as a secretary.
5. I like scented shower gels especially vanilla and lilac ones.



Interview with Debbie De Louise
Please tell us about your latest book.
Reason to Die is a standalone mystery featuring Detective Courtney Lang who is investigating a series of murders of handicapped people in the small town of Baxter, Connecticut. Previously, Courtney was involved in a case of muggings in the town that ended up with her partner and lover, Bill Thompson, being shot and crippled. Now, with a new partner who she has become romantically involved after Bill broke up with her, Courtney believes the muggings and murders are connected and sets out to prove it, putting herself in danger as well as the two men who are vying for her affections.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m finishing the fourth book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and am also reprinting my first paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, with Solstice Publishing. I also have several other projects in the works.

How do we find out about you and your books? You can check my website at https://debbiedelouise.com and my Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2bIHdaQ
You can also connect with me on social media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian Google+ google.com/+DebbieDeLouise Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiedelouise/

Why did you decide to write mystery novels? I enjoy reading the various types of mysteries and writing plots that involve twists and character conflicts.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I believe all authors put some of themselves and their experiences into their writing. In my Cobble Cove mysteries, my main character, like me, is a librarian and mystery author. In my new mystery, one of the main characters is handicapped like my husband.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve been writing since I was young. I still have some notebooks full of handwritten manuscripts from my college days. My first submitted manuscript was a short mystery story for Cat Crimes Through Time, an anthology of mystery stories featuring cats. “Stitches Through Time” featured a time-travel theme involving a young girl and her cat who travel to the past and meet Betsy Ross. I submitted that manuscript because I was a fan of those annual anthologies and queried the editor with my story that I thought would fit into their current project. I had also been writing articles for pet journals at that time and submitted those pieces because I wanted to meet the requirements to join the Cat Writers Association, of which I am still a member and recently received a Certificate of Excellence from them for another short story, my “Path to Rainbow Bridge.”

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
I usually aim to write 1,000 words a day, so I can normally finish my first draft in two to three months. However, it usually takes another three months or so for me to edit and submit the manuscripts.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I write each morning from about 6 to 7 a.m. (sometimes later on weekends or when I’m off from work). I aim for 1,000 words at each writing session.

What is your writing routine once you start a book? As I said above, I try to write 1,000 words per day in the morning until I finish the first draft. Then I give the book a rest for a month or so and then go back and edit with fresh eyes before I submit it.
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions? My family is great. My daughter is usually still sleeping while I write, and my husband tries not to bother me.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? I watch Netflix shows with my husband at night, usually spy or mystery shows. I also read and take walks.
What truly motivates you in general? In your writing? In general, I’m motivated by praise and by my interest in something. In writing, I’m motivated by good reviews and positive reader feedback as well as my desire to write.

Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere. Books I read, shows I watch, my past, my present, news events, happenings at work, my imagination, my dreams, combinations of everything.

Do you feel humour is important in mysteries and why? I think a bit of humor is important in any genre. Although mysteries are mostly serious, I try to add some humor from time to time to relieve the mounting tension of the story.

What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write? I always try to put some romance into my books. However, I don’t feel comfortable writing explicit sex scenes and that’s why most of my books are cozies or feature limited sex scenes.

What kind of research do you do? Most of my research is online or through the library where I work. I have spoken to experts in certain fields to lend authenticity to my books. For instance, in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, my second Cobble Cove mystery, I spoke with a pediatrician and mother of young babies, so I could get a better understanding of the development of the infants in this story.
Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre? I do write other genres. I’ve written a romantic comedy novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and my paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, which will be reprinted soon. I’ve also written several science fiction, fantasy, and romance stories. I prefer writing mysteries, both cozies and general mysteries.
What does your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend think of your writing? My husband doesn’t read it, but he says he hears it when I edit it because I speak the words aloud to see how they sound. He’s a great support to me, though, and encourages me to keep at it even when I go through a slump.

Do you ever ask him/her for advice? Not related to writing, but I have asked for computer help related to my work on the book.

Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I’m a librarian, am married, and have a 13-year old daughter. I enjoy reading, cats, walking, and watching mystery and spy TV shows.

Fill in the blank favorites - Dessert. City. Season. Type of hero. Type of heroine.
Dessert – Black Forest Cake
City – New York
Season – autumn

Type of hero – Intelligent but sexy and very romantic

Type of heroine – Smart but with a few vulnerabilities, pretty but not gorgeous, curious and sometimes ruled by her heart over her head.

What are some of your favorite things to do? Read, walk, visit gardens, mansions, historic homes, museums, libraries.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book? I like to read a wide variety of authors and genres. Some of my favorite authors include Nora Roberts, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sandra Brown. My favorite books include The Eight by Katherine Neville, Winter People by Phyllis Whitney, and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? As listed above. I also like to read debut authors as well as popular authors.

What do you think of critique groups in general? They can be helpful, but it depends on the people involved.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I’d like to be published by a large publisher, and maybe be on a national bestseller list for one of my books.

How long have you been writing - have you always wanted to be a writer? I’ve been writing as a hobby since I was in second grade. My first professional publications were a short story for a mystery anthology and articles in cat magazines when I was in my early thirties. I also wrote for my college newspaper for which I won an award in my Sophomore year.

How many books have you written, how many have been published? I don’t have a figure for the number of books I’ve written because I haven’t had a chance to go through notebooks from earlier in my life, but I’ve currently had 5 books and a novella published. I also have two unpublished books that I’m querying to agents.

After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it? I always buy a copy, but I usually just glance through it to check for printing errors. I occasionally read bits and pieces, but I’m always afraid of finding typos or mistakes I’ve missed.

Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine? A Stone’s Throw, the first book in my Cobble Cove series, is one of my favorites because it’s the first book that was accepted by a publisher. I like the main character, Alicia, who is a librarian, but I especially like Sneaky, the Cobble Cove library cat, who is loosely based on my deceased Siamese, Oliver. Sneaky, while not playing major roles in any of the books, has some cute scenes and even “paws” his own blog at https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com.

What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun? I wouldn’t say any of them are especially easy or hard. The editing is often the difficult part. As far as being fun, I enjoy writing all of them.

Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting? What are the elements of a great romance for you? I usually start with the main characters and add more as I go along, but the story or plot is pretty intertwined with the characters and setting. To be honest, I don’t read a lot of pure romance. I like romantic suspense books and romances that are sub-plots of mysteries. I believe the best elements of romance are attraction, ambiance, a lovely setting, and two people who are drawn together and sometimes apart by circumstances but end up happily ever after.

What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you? The hardest part is finding the time to write and the time to promote the book once it’s published. The easiest part is coming up with ideas and letting the characters lead me into their scenes.

Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it? I haven’t really experienced writer’s block, although I’ve had periods where I felt stuck in a certain scene but then realized that I was thinking too much. For me, I have to write without worrying about spelling, grammar, or other technical issues of the manuscript so that my creativity is free to take over.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer? The most rewarding thing I’ve found to being a writer is recognition from readers and finding fans who enjoy your work and ask for more. There’s also nothing that compares to seeing your words in print and your book on a bookstore or library shelf. It’s like seeing your child for the first time, a bit surrealistic.

If you weren't writing, what would you be doing? I’d still be involved with books because I’m a librarian, but I don’t think I’d ever stop writing even if I don’t publish another word because it’s too much of who I am.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? I believe there are more opportunities than ever to be published today because of the Internet and the rise of eBooks. There are many wonderful small publishers such as Solstice Publishing who are committed to helping their authors achieve success. There are also many self-published authors who do well, and others who publish with large publishers. The important thing to remember is to write what you feel and not to take rejections personally. If you believe in your work and yourself, someone else will believe in you, too.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Guest blogger: K.A. Meng




Ivory Ames has caught the attention of four gorgeous guys. At Los Roshano University this isn’t normal, even when all the upperclassmen have perfect physiques, flawless complexions, and hypnotic looks. That’s not even the weirdest part. The town has a strict sunset curfew because of wild animals attacking.

To keep her friends and herself safe, Ivory must figure out the truth behind the town’s mysteries before it’s too late.








5 Things you don't know about author K.A. Meng

1. I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science, and I only use it to build my website. 

2. I have a teenage son. 

3. My son and I can't share anything. We have our own cats and dogs, so two of each pet. Our dogs have two different colored eyes. 

4. Whenever I am nervous, I either talk fast or I giggle. 

5. My favorite sweets are s'mores and red velvet cake. I'm still trying to find a way to combine them. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Guest Blogger: Dina Rae


Book One Of Two When Maya Smock writes her first novel, everything seems to go her way. Her book practically writes itself. She marries her gorgeous agent. Her name is on all of the best seller lists. Billionaire author Jay McCallister takes an interest in her meteoric rise to fame and invites her into his world of alien-believing celebrities. Her life changes forever when he tells her that they were both created inside of a laboratory. These authors are embedding an alien genetic code within the pages of their novels that originated from Nazi Germany because... The time has come. They are here.



5 Things you don't know about author Dina Rae

1) I have been on over 100 radio shows as a conspiracy theorist.
2) I am a teacher and tennis coach.
3) I plan my vacations around conspiracy theory.  
4) I LOVE dogs.
5) One day I hope to have a prepper property to prepare for New World Order.