Thursday, August 21, 2014 | By: Cafe

Never Give Up

Prolific author JoAnne Myers shares with The Write Way Café encouraging thoughts about following your passion.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an artistic flare-whether that be for writing, painting, sewing or drawing. I recall as a child how much I enjoyed drawing. The writing came later. My seventh grade English teacher was Mrs. Henderson-a young mother and wife. She gave us a writing assignment and after gifting me with an A+ told me I should consider writing as a career. She meant as a journalist. I did not take her advise and become a journalist (one of my many misgivings). My mind went toward other things as many young girls dream of-a husband, home, and family of my own. I put my love for writing and painting on hold for years.  I unfortunately married a man who like my mother never encouraged me to be artistic. It was not until my children were grown and I no longer had a husband, that I went back to my first love-art.  I got a late start, but always encouraged my children and others to partake of artistic endeavors.  I now have six books under contract with two publishing houses. So my words to you all, is that no matter what road you choose, never forget your passion, and always keep it close to heart.  Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from enjoying your natural talents.  You might need to put art on a temporary hold, but never ever give up.

Blurbs for “Twisted Love” 12 cases of love gone bad

It’s a chilling reality that homicide investigators know all too well: the last face most murder victims see is not that of a stranger, but of someone familiar.

The End of Autumn-To keep from paying child support for his three children, Rodney Williams, plots with his parents to kidnap his estranged wife, 25-year old Autumn, in broad daylight. This 2011 crime shocked the small community of Logan, Ohio.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing-In 2011, 53 year old Russell Strothers, and his teenage accomplice find their victims through Craigslist and strike with calculating and deadly force.

A Senseless Killing-This 2010 case uncovers how a 40 year old likable barmaid was lured to her death after she rejects her young admirers sexual advances.

The Death of Innocence-This 2011 murder case involved 4 year old Marcie Willis, and her evil stepmother 25 year old Cheryl, from the small bedroom community of The Plains, Ohio.

The Girl Not Forgotten-This cold case took 26 years to solve, but brought justice for 13-year-old Holly Buford, and put serial rapist, 40-year-old Stanley Snead, behind bars.

The Possession-When 29-year-old Valerie Harris severs the penis of her sexually abusive father, it makes national news in 2007.

Home Town Hero-When deaf students are murdered in the prestigious Rose Brick College of the Deaf in 2008, everyone is shocked when discovering the killer is one of their own.

The Spell Caster Murders-When 42 year old Fortune Teller Sally Vu and her 21-year-old daughter Veronica are discovered murdered and physically desecrated, in 2001, evidence points to revenge and a spell gone wrong.

All For the Family-In 2003, as a way to erase her 22-year-old husbands criminal past, 19 year old Molly Abbott devises a ghoulish and desperate strategy.

Thicker Than Water?-When 52 year old Kim Michaels is found dismembered inside her burned out home in 1996, officers find the crime more confusing than a jig saw puzzle.

Mail Order Murder-The last thing the beautiful Russian mail order bride Anna dreamed of in 2001, was being murdered by her controlling and older American husband.

Where’s Christopher?-When four year old Christopher Ellis goes missing, numerous excuses and an odd odor emanating from the backyard in 1991, raises eyebrows.

Here is an excerpt from MAIL-ORDER MURDER:

     Few women find themselves in such a bizarre relationship, as did eighteen-year-old Anna Tonkov, a Russian native. Speaking minimal and badly broken English, the family expressed high expectations for their tall, voluptuous raven-haired daughter. Anna was the only child of senior and ailing parents, and her mother said she and her husband only wanted the best for her.
     In a country where the average yearly income was three hundred dollars per person, Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov, believed that Anna’s future happiness lay with the United States.
     Mrs. Tonkov recalled how Anna did not want to leave. It was the parents’ idea for her to be a mail-order bride. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna said, “‘what if I don’t find a husband? What if you and papa waste your money?’”
     Mr. Tonkov recalled telling her daughter, that she was never a waste of their money. She was everything to them, and they wanted her to have everything America offered.
     Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov then took Anna‘s photograph in a dress she had made, not like many of the other women posing for the magazine-loose women, half naked. “No good man wants them,” they said.
     Anna was a lady, explained Mr. Tonkov-a good Christian girl. Hardworking and responsible. She was raised the right way, they both said.
     In the spring of 2007, Anna became number M245 in a Russian mail-order catalog with a circulation of over twenty million viewers. The magazine was bursting with dozens of glossy, full-color photographs of young hopeful women, all looking for husbands to rescue them from their poverty, stricken and unhappy lives.
     It was not long before Anna had her first letter from a perspective admirer. She returned to her small four-room home from her part-time job at a nearby bakery, and her glowing parents greeted her just inside the front door.
     Mrs. Tonkov recalled how surprised Anna was when she saw her and her husband smiling. She then handed her daughter the pink envelope with trembling hands.
     At first, Anna was afraid to open the letter, said Mr. Tonkov, but he told her it was from an American man. He said he and his wife watched as Anna read each word silently; her large dark eyes wide with anticipation. They said she was hesitant to respond to the sender. Maybe friendship would bloom. “If not you brush up on language skills,” said Mrs. Tonkov.
     That made Anna laugh, recalled Mr. Tonkov. He still remembers her pretty laugh, “as if (she were) a small child without cares.”

About JoAnne:

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Three fun facts about JoAnne:
 1.  What book influenced your writing?  Black Beauty and Charlotte’s Web
 2.  What would your muse say about you?  That I am quiet and shy
 3.  Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?  I canvas paint

Other Available Books:

Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Wicked Intentions- a paranormal anthology
Loves, Myths, and Monsters- a fantasy anthology
The Crime of the Century- a biography true crime
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Books:  Flagitious-a crime/mystery anthology

Other places to find JoAnne and her books:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | By: HiDee

Creative Women

Women are the creative ones in my family.

One aunt is a published poet. Another aunt designs family calendars which she shares with all of us each year. My mom designs and makes her own Christmas cards. My sister draws and paints, and she sews unique Halloween costumes for her young son every year.

I’m a writer, a fledgling photographer and a scrapbooker. I love taking pictures, and I definitely prefer being behind the camera rather than in front of it.  Once I print the pictures, I can spend hours laying out designs until I get them just right for my scrapbook pages.

From the time we were little, my mom encouraged us to read.  By the time we started school, my brother, sister, and I were competitive readers.  We often read more books than our classmates.   By the time I was in junior high, reading ignited a desire to write my own stories and poems.  As a teenager, some of my poems were published in poetry anthologies. Between romance novels and my crushes, romance was definitely on my mind!

I wrote this poem in high school, and it remains one of my favorites.

Moments of a Kiss
Vividly remembering
the moments of a kiss,
wondering at the
the control
that went amiss.
Aroused emotions
played a part...

Slowly descending
your lips met mine -
tentative at first,
gentle yet firm;
growing bolder -
exploring, plundering,
giving and taking -
consuming us both...

Then my heartbeats
the silence,
just as the memory
my peace of mind.

Unpublished work © 1981 HiDee (Silverwood) Ekstrom

What creative outlets are your favorites?

Friday, August 15, 2014 | By: Cafe
You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

Thursday, August 14, 2014 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Charmaine Gordon

The Write Way Café welcomes author Charmaine Gordon, who knows a thing or two about sleep reading and other useful tidbits.

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today. Here goes a bit about me.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
As an actor for many years, my comfort zone was performing so when my voice was attacked by spasmodic dysphonia, a rare disorder of the larynx, I knew I had to kiss the sweet time goodbye. A friend suggested I put my creative juices to writing and that’s how my new career began. And yes, recently then I was widowed and knew about survive and thrive so I wrote about a woman whose husband left her and she had to build a new life.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I didn’t know the first thing about writing, formatting and the word query was like foreign language to me. Determined, I bought a few books and taught myself. Actors have a tough hide. When we’re rejected we must believe it’s no biggie and move on so a few rejection letters didn’t bother me. And then, to my surprise, Vanilla Heart Publishing expressed interest in my first book, To Be Continued and offered a contract. Thrilled that somebody loved my baby, I signed with them and we’ve found a good home there.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
The idea came in my dreams. I call it sleep writing. I pictured this woman and what happened almost word for word in the beginning. In the morning, I began to write. Since then, To Be Continued has been optioned for a television movie.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Moving along to Farewell, Hello, a recent release, suddenly I couldn’t forget the picture of me as a fifteen year old girl in Chicago going after the most popular boy in high school. This is true. I had the nerve to go after this adorable senior to ask him to a dance and how he said yes without knowing who I was.  So I began to write. The story evolved. The first half is based on truth, meaning there’s fiction woven in to the story. The second half is fiction. The words flowed until the story ended. It’s very important to recognize The End and not proceed just because of word count.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I cried and laughed a lot while writing but then I always do. Writing is emotional and I don’t hold back. That’s why I love my quiet office although cats wander in and out demanding attention.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about dealing with crises, tornadoes, and the Korean War?
I learned, once again, not to be afraid or be lazy to Google for a bit of research. MS, hospitals, dogs, and planes all required hit save and google before I moved on. It’s an adventure all by itself. And then Telegrams with STOP between sentences. How well I recall them. A trip down memory lane.

What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished Housebroken. No, it’s not about a dog. . .yet. Empty nest syndrome hits a mid-years couple and they move to a wonderful town, River’s Edge.  Housebroken is Book 1 in this new series.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
At this moment, I dearly love Joy Davison and Danny Wilson in Farewell, Hello. They will always bring back memories of when I was young in love and married my high school sweetheart who died suddenly at age 58.

One more thing: I learned a lot reading scripts, watching directors like Mike Nichols, Rob Marshall, and so many more and working with wonderful actors like Gene Wilder, Billy Crystal, Anthony Hopkins, and singing with Harrison Ford in Working Girl. I’m a watcher and I pay attention. When writing, that’s a good trait. Anthony Hopkins told me to learn my lines and don’t trip over anything on the set. Then we had lunch. How cool is this? Now I’m 83, writing daily and loving it.

Readers, leave a comment about what you love to do. I’d like to know.  For a chance to win an e-copy of Housebroken, leave a comment about empty nest syndrome - share a quick story with us!

Thanks with best wishes, 
Charmaine Gordon

Farewell, Hello is available at:

Watch the video trailer here: 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | By: Lynn

Love is and Other Memorable Quotes

A long time ago, the local daily newspaper would post a single cartoon,Love is..., that pictured a young woman and a line about love. “Love means taking out the trash on a snowy night.” I just made that up but you get the idea. Reminders about love in a little box in the newspaper. I cut out those little boxes and tacked them up on a bulletin board in my bedroom. I wanted to savor the concept and gain hope from the upbeat messages. “Love is…” made an impression on my young heart.

I love quotes, sentences, phrases, sayings. For as long as I can remember I have collected them and jotted them down on paper. When I’d hear an interesting line on a television show or movie, I would write it down. Often the quote or saying or sentence I wrote down spoke to my heart, either as an inspiration or a succinct perspective that my insides resonated with.

The phrase or line or quote doesn’t have to be upbeat to set off that bell of, “Oh man, so right.” Yesterday I heard a line from a Bob Dylan song that gave me that bell:

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you.

Well said for certain situations.

As I mentioned, I have tons. Here’s another one I enjoy.

And this one.

I think phrases, quotes, sentences, and sayings resonate with all of us, whether to give us a good laugh or remind us of the beauty around us. For the moment we read it or hear it we feel someone gets what we’re about, what we’re going through, and we’re not alone.

What is one of your favorite quotes or saying? Share?

Friday, August 8, 2014 | By: Cafe
The faster I write the better my output.  If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble.  It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.
- Raymond Chandler
Thursday, August 7, 2014 | By: Cafe
Meet John and Rowena, interesting characters from author Ashley York's The Saxon Bride. Let's take a peek at their interview.

Ashley: Welcome, John. It's so nice to meet you in person. Are you comfortable enough in all that chain mail? Would you like my assistance in removing some of it?

John: I'm fine. I'm a soldier, after all, this mail is for my protection in case I need to fight.

Ashley: Do you enjoy fighting then?

John: It's what I know how to do. I believe the king believes I am good at my duty.

Ashley Q: Yes, I heard that was so. He even gifted you with an earldom? And a bride?

John: True. True. Don't understand why he would, though. I've no need of property. It will only tie me down.

Ashley : And the bride?

John :...well, I've no need of a woman, really, and warm beds are a luxury a soldier cannot expect. I'm more at ease on the field of battle, with strategies that have worked well in the past and will in the future. I know what to expect and how to handle most situations.

Ashley: And a woman, then? No strategy there?

John : Hardly! There are willing wenches if my body demands one but a woman to coddle me? No. That is not for me. I don't need it—never have, never will.

Ashley : Oh, welcome, Rowena! So nice of you to join us.

Rowena: It is my pleasure, Ashley. (curtly) John.

John: (inhales deeply before continuing) Ah, may I present my wife...Lady Rowena. You look lovely today, Rowena.

Rowena: Thank you, my lord. So kind of you to notice me.

John: What do you mean by that? I can't help but notice you. You walk into a room and you're all I see.

Ashley : Is that how you truly feel, John?

John: What? No. I need to get back to the field. These Saxons are a brutal lot.

Rowena: I would beg to differ ! It is the Normans who are the brutal ones here. Forgive me for interrupting, Ashley.

Ashley : No problem, Rowena. Would you care to elaborate?

Rowena: Well—

John: No, you'd best not get into that. I need to settle the villagers. William will be here by Spring and he'll be expecting their obedience.

Rowena: (aghast) Obedience? My lord, you have much to learn about winning.

John: Strange that you say that since I have been involved with so much winning.  As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've ever been on the losing side.

Rowena: John, you found my people exhausted. It was not a fair fight.

John: They fought til the very end-a good showing. I wish only for peace now.

Rowena: As do I.


Ashley : So do you think you two can work out these differences?

Rowena: No

John: Yes


Ashley: Well, it was very nice to meet you both. Thank you for stopping by.

Be sure to leave a comment below to be eligible to win an e-copy!

About Ashley York:  Always an avid romance reader herself, Ashley York enjoys bringing history to life through vibrant and meaningful characters, writing historical romance novels full of passion and intrigue set in the 11th and 12th century British Isles. Her newest release, The Saxon Bride, is the first in The Norman Conquest Series.

When she is not writing, talking about writing, or thinking about writing, Ashley relaxes with visits to the local pubs listening to live Celtic tunes. She lives in southern New England with her husband, three children, and three very spoiled animals.

Available exclusively at Amazon:    The Saxon Bride        The Bruised Thistle