Thursday, February 11, 2016 | By: Cafe

Romancing the Sweet Side with Trinity Blacio

Romancing the Sweet Side Anthology
99% of sales will go to One Way Farm (Cincinnati, Ohio), a house for abused children.

The Write Way Café welcomes Trinity Blacio, who believes in second chances and through her anthology, hopes to inspire others to be believe as well. 

When did you first have the thought you'd like to put together a Charity Anthology?
At Lori Foster’s Gathering last year.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? 
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to host the breakfast for the following year, so I wanted to create this book, my way to help out. So, I went around the event gathering names of who would like to join me.

Of course, authors had contract issues, deadlines and some had to drop out, but our 9 authors turned out to be a nice bunch of ladies.

Your anthology is titled Romancing the Sweet Side.  Why did you select erotic authors to write sweet romances?  
I thought it would be fun and challenging for each of us to come up with a story that was sweet. Plus, this anthology is for a Childrens home for the abused so we wanted to keep it a little less erotic.

Tell us about your story in the anthology.
My story is about second chances. In some ways the children in this home are being given a second chance, at a safer home.  I kind of wanted that aspect to be brought into my storyline. Showing, us that at any age people can get a second chance.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
Yes, my characters are imaginary, but like in most of my stories I want to give some aspect of me in them. My heroine in some ways is like me. She knows she’s raised her children and now in her later years, it was her time.

Did you face any blocks while writing this story, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret? 
No blocks in this story, but it was hard not to have the characters rumble in bed. No secret really the idea was there before I created the anthology, I just changed the theme for the story a little to fit what I was doing.

What have been surprises you've encountered while coordinating the anthology? 
Author’s time schedules was one of the hardest to overcome. A lot of us had deadlines with publishers, but the nine of us did it finally.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about working with other authors, and putting together a Charity Anthology? 
I learned quite a few things. One to make sure all the details are one ahead of time before I ask other authors, that took a lot of the time, trying to agree with everyone. Each author is different and has done things their way, but we managed. Also, another hard aspect was trying to make sure this book was different from all those .99 cent anthologies.  I wanted this one to stick out more, since 99% of all funds would be going to the charity.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
I have two writing spaces, unless I’m traveling. One is in my rocker recliner in the living room in front of the fire and the second place is the makeshift office I made, which I’m sitting at right now. I’m usually in the second place in the morning trying to get the block of my work done then. In the evening, I’ll take a laptop and join the family in the living room watching TV while slipping in some writing.

What are some of your favorite books and why? 
My favorite books that I have written so far are, My Cat series,  Fantasy series, Lovers of the Galexy Series and my Grandma’s Need Loving Too series. As you can see I love to write a series. I have many of them.  As far as why, the first three are science fiction, fantasy mixed in.  I love writing and creating for those worlds. The last one is for older ladies like myself. This series is all about the change in life after we have raised a family and deciding what we want to do with ourselves afterward. So a  little challenge in that one.

What are you working on now? 
Right now, I’m working on the first book, of a four book series, Forgotten Dreams: Vegas.  I’m hoping to pitch at Romantic Times Convention, in April. Think paranormal, destiny and earthquakes mixed together.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why? 
I would love to try and write a historical mixed with a little bit of future in it. Sort of like your Back to the future story, but with a twist.  I have ideas already written down too, so one day when I get time I’ll visit that line of stories.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
Reviewer of hotels. I love to travel so I would so love to review hotels and such.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
Editing. I have a few handicaps when it comes to writing, which I’m sorry to say I’ve passed onto my daughter.  I’ll learn one rule and forget the other three I just had down pat. My short term memory is horrible.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine? 
Another author’s story would have to be Kenyon’s, Bride and Vane, in Night Play. I can so relate to them. My stories would have to be Maya and Akaos story line. She’s a  fighter, tough, but when it comes to her men , especially Akaos. All she wants to do is curl up in his lap and be held, she melts in his arms.

Romancing the Sweet Side is available at:
All Romance Ebooks        Kobo       Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Trinity Blacio has been writing now professionally for ten years. Currently, she has available titles from Freya’s Bower, Ravenous Romance, Ellora’s Cave and Riverdale Avenue Books, and a few self-published books, with more to come.  She is always excited to be writing and hearing from readers.

She lives in Elyria, Ohio. Married for twenty years, has two children, Cheyenne and Rudy, two cats Smokey and Missy. When Trinity has time you can find her reading all sorts of romance novels. But as you have figured out her favorite are Dark Fantasy, Erotic, Ménage, Horror and Science Fiction.

You can find Trinity here:

Website       Facebook       Twitter       Goodreads       Pinterest

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Maureen Bonatch

Maureen Bonatch 

The car accident totaled Sabrina Post’s convertible and reinvented her memories. She can't recall dumping Cole Dawson ten years ago. What her new clairvoyant visions tell Sabrina is he’s her husband. Any practical girl would question her sanity. But if Sabrina wants to make this imaginary future a reality, she'll have to regain Cole’s trust and eliminate her rival, the coffee shop waitress who’s pegged Cole as husband #4. To prove she’s foreseen their destiny, Sabrina stirs Cole’s interest by revealing specifics about him she couldn’t have otherwise known. 

Unfortunately, the one detail he vividly remembers is the pain when she left him and their "rinky-dink" town in her rearview mirror.

If Cole can't believe she's a changed woman, can Sabrina accept the only second chance she has at love exists in her memories?

Amazon      The Wild Rose Press     Barnes and Noble

Kobo     IBooks  

     The boxes of candy hearts Julie forgot spilled across the floor.
     Cole hunkered down and gathered the papers. His mouth formed a hard line as he glanced at Sabrina’s leave paperwork with the end date prominently circled. He replaced it on the table under the keys.
     “No really, I can do it. You stay, Cole. I’ll be right back.” Sabrina caught her reflection in the mirror on the wall. The quest for a coat resulted in her hair looking as if she’d stuck her finger into an electrical outlet. Her appearance matched her desperation. She ran her hands over her head, but the static filled strands resisted smoothing.
     “I need to check on Dad anyway, and it’s on my way. I’ll take Josie.” Cole extended his elbow, and Josie latched on like a lifeline, her fingers digging into the leather of his jacket. She skittered across a few of the remaining candies, crushing Be Mine and Love Me on the floor. “Thanks again for dinner, Marge.”
     “Cole wait.” Despair leaked into Sabrina’s plea.
     He glanced toward the papers on the table and sighed. “I waited for years, Rena. It’s you who waited too long.”
     As the door closed behind him, so did the future with Cole that she’d imagined. Her shoulders fell. She knelt to collect the candy hearts scattered on the floor. Forget Me Not and Hug Me taunted her with their cheerful words. Lacking a garbage bag, she shoved a handful of the candies into her jacket pocket. Several hearts were trodden into tiny pieces, like her own.

Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Amazon Author Page
The Wild Rose Press

Friday, February 5, 2016 | By: Cafe
We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
- Charles Swindoll
Thursday, February 4, 2016 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Richard Whitten Barnes

The Write Way Café welcomes Richard Whitten Barnes, who shares his backstory about writing Enemies, a historical World War I novel.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
     I was new at writing short stories; got involved with a writing group who convinced me that one of my stories was too big for the genre, and a book was there waiting to be written. I had never even considered I had a book in me.
     So…I began writing, and 100,000 words later I had a manuscript.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     That manuscript (a historical WW2 novel) sat in my drawer for a year while I tried my hand at a mystery, which I self-published at iUniverse. It was only after that, and more than 100 queries to publishers that I was picked up by Wings Press, Inc. who liked my WW2 novel.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     That first book idea came from my long time infatuation with the strange Pacific island names of WW2. Names like Tarawa, Truck, and Leyte. The book was about a merchant marine “Liberty Ship” that traversed the Pacific, calling at many of those places.

What are you working on now?
     Trying to promote my latest (eighth) novel, Enemies, another historical war novel set in WW1.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     My father and my father-in-law both served in WW1. (we were both youngest children, and they were very young when they served). I always thought how interesting it would be for two men to meet after having had an encounter in the same battle. The story is woven around that concept.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     Yes, the characters are imaginary. One is a young boy from Northern Ontario who joins the Canadian Expeditionary Force, while the other is a young German who is conscripted into the German 238th Infantry. I used a detailed history of the 238th as a template for the German boy’s movements, and dovetailed it with engagements of the Canadians. I had to use a Canadian, because the Americans fought in France and the 238th fought in Belgium, mostly. It was fascinating to follow the footsteps of my father-in-law.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     There are always blocks. Simply writing a fictional account of a series of battles is not a problem, but weaving it around an interesting plot that holds the reader, then tying it all together at the end in an original way is the challenge where blocks can occur. My time-tested cure for a block is to talk it out (usually with my wife). For me, merely verbalizing the problem seems to result in a solution. I usually come up with the answer myself.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     While I have always had respect for the hardships the WW1 soldiers endured, researching the book gave me a whole new outlook, certainly a magnitude more horrific than I had conceived.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about soldiers from different backgrounds, and about World War 1?
     Nothing much has changed in this world. We still have politicians and generals who send young boys into battle to die for our inability to get along with one another. If I didn’t know that before writing Enemies, I know it now.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     Ha! When I started writing seriously, I made myself a cozy office in an (empty nest) bedroom away from the rest of the household goings-on. You know… comfortable chair a step away from the computer. Now I write wherever I happen to be in the house; sometimes in the den, sometimes in the rarely used living room, sometimes in the original venue. I’m a vagabond in my own house.
     The reason I can do this is because I write my first draft in pencil in a spiral notebook. I enjoy the tactile process of writing in longhand. I can take that notebook anywhere. After about 500 to 1,000 words, I’ll transpose it into the computer. I like doing that, because it serves as a first edit.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
Jeff Shaara’s trilogy on WW2 in Europe
Robert Parker’s Spencer series
Anything by David McCullough
Phillip Craig’s Martha’s Vineyard series.

     Why? Shaara found a way to tell history in a fascinating way by giving dialogue to real historical characters. I copied that in one of my books, Luzon, where I had FDR speaking with my main character.
     Parker is no-nonsense in his depiction of Spencer and his sidekick, and psychiatrist girlfriend.
Craig has interesting stories in a limited venue much like my character Andy Blake in my St. Joseph Island mysteries.
     David McCullough needs no praise from the likes of me.

What are you working on now?
     I am just getting started (Enemies was just published this past December) on a new Andy Blake mystery. She is a single, 40-something detective with the Ontario Provincial Police. The story will center around a religious cult that goes bad and she must deal with the consequences.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     By all means, a classical (or maybe jazz) musician. I think writing is a lot like being a musician, anyway; but that’s for another whole interview.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     A) Marketing and promoting my work. It takes a tremendous amount of effort and time; both are in conflict with writing, itself.
     B) Devising a book’s plot that is, at the same time, continuously interesting (page turner) and has an ending that leaves the reader with a feeling of satisfaction. Don’t you hate it when the book just stops cold?

     It is November 11, 1968, fifty years to the day since the armistice of the Great War. The seventy-year-old German diplomat Jürgen Stern is in Ottawa, Canada on a special assignment. He rescues a portfolio mistakenly left behind in his hotel lobby by a man near his own age. Inside are drawings that are obviously from a soldier’s perspective of WW1. One of the sketches is so intriguing he is compelled to find this man and learn the truth about it.
     As war rages in Flanders and Picardy, two young men enter the military a half world apart. The callow, inexperienced Jürgen Stern has been conscripted as part of Germany’s draft, and torn from the arms of a girl he’d thought he could never have.
     Brian MacLennan, the talented young artist from northern Ontario, aching to be on his own and free of the family farm, enlists in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Their lives come together almost fifty years later in a way they could not have imagined.
     ENEMIES portrays the daily lives of the two soldiers and their comrades. The story follows the trails of the German 463d Regiment and a company from the Canadian 119th Battalion as history has documented their time in that horrific conflict. ENEMIES is a story of bravery, cowardice, fear, heroism, and ultimately, humanity.



Enemies Video Trailer

About Richard:  Richard Whitten Barnes was born in Minnesota but grew up on the north side of Chicago. A band scholarship took him to Michigan State University, where he majored in chemistry. He is now retired from a long career in international chemical sales and marketing, taking him all over the world. Barnes is a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and an avid sailor. He lives in Lake Wylie, S.C., but spends summers with his wife Marg and dog Sparty at their cottage on St. Joseph Island, Ontario.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | By: HiDee

Learning to Read as a Writer

Spread out on my table, the printed draft of my novel is colorful. It’s filled with typed comment bubbles, handwritten notes, and highlighted sections that mark passages I need to clarify, facts I need to verify, and loose ends that need resolved.  Colored pens, highlighters, and post-it notes – all tools of my trade – are within easy reach.  But after hours of editing, I can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t quite right.  Something is still missing from my draft.

My bookshelves are full to overflowing with writing books containing suggestions on how to tackle
every aspect of writing.  While helpful at times, I’ve reached the point that reading about how to write is not the answer.  I need to experience first-hand how my favorite authors handle the craft of writing.

Armed with an open and curious mind, I’ve selected a variety of books to read for craft.  I plan to be a sponge, absorbing how some of my favorite authors balance things like point of view, narration versus dialogue, and telling versus showing.  I want to discover how they draw the reader in. What do they do that causes the reader to emotionally invest in their characters from page one?  How do they maintain the secret ingredient that captures attention and refuses to let it go?

While searching for suggestions on how to read for craft, I discovered a post on The Center for Fiction by author Gabriel Roth, who notes that there are at least three different ways to read a novel: as a reader, as a critic, or as a writer. He offers the following words of advice for reading as a writer:

With every sentence you read, you have to ask: Why did the writer do that? What could she possibly hope to achieve that way? This character is annoying -- what’s he for? Why am I reading faster than I was a few pages ago? How did we get to the point where I’m interested in all this crap about hunting/topology/the glove industry?

Because the writer you’re reading is solving problems right in front of you, and those are the same problems you’re going to face when you sit down to work tomorrow. And it’s going to feel like the waiter is never going to come, and two more bodies just turned up by the docks. Better be ready.

Great advice!  Apt description for a writer feeling lost in where to go next, what to do, and how to do it.

So now the real work begins.  I’m ready and eager for my brain to absorb what is necessary to solve my novel story problems.

What do you look for when you read for craft?  Please share your tips!

Friday, January 29, 2016 | By: Cafe
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
- Ernest Hemingway
Thursday, January 28, 2016 | By: Cafe

Best Writing Advice by Ellen Parker

The Write Way Café welcomes author Ellen Parker, who says her decade of membership in a writing group has been educational sprinkled with laughter and fun.

What is the best writing advice I’ve received?

Join a writing group.

     These four words, given by the instructor of a one day writing workshop, opened a new world to me.
     “Join a writing group.”
     They’d take me? I’m an unknown, unpublished, medical technologist writing on the side? Aren’t writing groups multi-published authors sitting around discussing high literary concepts?
     A little detective work at the public library followed. I managed to find the website of Romance Writers of American in a craft book. Click, click, click and I learned that a chapter held their monthly meeting two miles from my home. They were making it difficult to turn down.
     I visited one spring Saturday. I gathered my courage and walked into a room without knowing any of the twenty or so women present. I listened to a presentation by an author I’d never heard of from another part of the state. People mingled. They offered introductions and asked non-threatening questions. I was hooked.
     A few months later, after events in my personal life began to settle, I walked into another meeting. This time my dues to national had been paid and I filled out the form to join.
     That was ten years ago. It’s been an education sprinkled with laughter and fun. I learned I knew less than I thought. And then a member would point out a resource useful to fill in the gaps. Others found fault with my writing – and then suggested two or three or more ways to improve it. I’ve attended workshops and presentations by experts in their field, travelled to new places, met writers from other cities struggling with the same concepts.
     And I was forced to learn more and more computer skills. Like writing, I’m far from a being a computer “expert”. (I yelled “help” to my geek sons recently when my CPU tipped over and filled the screen with gibberish –errr…code.) But I can do a little more than last year.
     So….if you want to write and release the voices whispering -- or shouting -- in your head, I’ll pass along important words from years ago.
     Join a writing group.

Letting go of the past is the only way to grab the future with both hands.

Grasping the future with both hands requires letting go of the past.

     Tucking a weapon into a holster is part of getting dressed for Detective Maylee Morgan of the St. Louis Police. Her new assignment is the case of an unidentified body, and she soon discovers her new neighbor is more than a potential jogging partner.

     Surgeon Dave Holmes is optimistic about his future. He has a new job, a new apartment, and an immediate attraction to a woman running in the park. He intends to discover more than her beautiful legs and unusual name. Then his boss is murdered and Dave lacks an alibi. Maylee’s questions and the handgun on her hip revive horrible memories.
     Maylee’s search for hard evidence clears Dave, but brings her to the personal attention of the killer. In a tangle of career, family, and budding relationship all their lives could unravel if the wrong thread is tugged.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble

About Ellen:  Raised in a household full of books, it was only natural that Ellen Parker grew up with a book in her hand. She turned to writing as a second career and enjoys spinning the type of story which appeals to more than one generation. She encourages readers to share her work with mother or daughter – or both. When not guiding characters to their “happily ever after” she’s likely reading, tending her postage stamp size garden, or walking in the neighborhood. She currently lives in St. Louis. You can find her on the web at or on Facebook .