Friday, December 2, 2016 | By: Cafe
I always read. You know how sharks have to keep swimming or they die? I’m like that. If I stop reading, I die.
- Patrick Rothfuss

Thursday, December 1, 2016 | By: Cafe

Captured by Christmas

December Special: Captured by Christmas
by Lynn Crandall and Lainee Cole

Release date: December 5, 2016 

It’s Christmas, and the season of holly, Christmas trees, and goodwill is drifting on air in merry holiday wishes. Romantic suspense and paranormal author Lynn Crandall and contemporary author Lainee Cole present in their own way two stories of love in Captured by Christmas. However it finds you—under a Christmas tree or drifted in snow in a backwoods cabin—the spirit of the season will wrap you in love.

In Snowbound, Lynn Crandall lets readers check in on favorite Fierce Hearts series were-lynx characters Kennedy Mitchell and Asher Monroe as they uncover the identity of the creature scaring the humans in Octavia, a small rural community in northern Michigan. Plans for an intimate getaway and family-style holiday are crumbling as the snow piles higher and Kennedy and Asher find themselves snowbound with a killer outside their door.

In The Mistletoe Effect, Christmas is second-grade teacher Tess McCall’s least favorite holiday, but she’s doing her best not to let it show. Learning he’s a father to seven-year-old Holly makes Alex Randle anxious about the upcoming holidays. When Tess’s class starts reading to shelter dogs, Holly and the antics of shelter dog Mistletoe lead them all to rediscover the magic of Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | By: Lynn

Finding Finn

I'm having a great day. Feeling productive and happy with my present WIP and excited about the upcoming release of a Christmas anthology. I feel like celebrating, so I'm going to do that by doing something here a little different for me. I'm going share a portion of my short story, Finding Finn.

Finding Finn is loosely related to my Fierce Hearts series. Here's a brief 5-star review:

Once again Crandall has created a vibrant and fast paced tale that easily held my attention throughout. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters and how they fit in with her shifter world. This unique look is a fantastic introduction to this world and will definitely leave you wanting to get to know them so much better. It is such a sweet tale that I simply fell in love.

This was a fantastic companion tale to Crandall’s Fierce Hearts series. It was an absolute blast to read and really highlighted the other side of the story for me. - Pure Jonel

I hope you enjoy diving into this short story. I plan to post more portions, but if you're interested in getting right to the story from beginning to end, you can find it on Amazon  .

Finding Finn
By Lynn Crandall

FINN MONROE PULLED NISSA BELLO behind him, swiftly removing her from the group of young men gathering around her. Tension hardened his muscles. “Back off, jerks!” He made himself a wall between his friend and the four menacing guys staring him down. “Mind your own business.”
Students gathered to catch the warm afternoon rays of sun in early May dappled the university quad, all of them tightly focused on their own little space in the grass, so much so Finn and his predicament didn’t penetrate their attention. He didn’t budge from the spot under the sprawling limbs of an old oak tree near the Genetics and Complex Diseases building where he worked every day in his research lab. Most days with Nissa, a fellow researcher.
The largest guy in the group stepped closer. “She is our business. Get out of our way or we’ll remove you, and you won’t like our method.”
“Yeah, we’re warning you. Once.” Another hulk shook his finger in Finn’s face. “It’s your choice to go easy or go hard. Either way, this little stand of yours won’t matter. We’re taking the girl.”
“Finn,” Nissa whispered in his ear, “stop this. Just let me go.”
The trembling in her voice gave away her fear. His heart clenched at the same time bile burned in his gut. No way he was backing down. Yes, the four of them were built like athletes, but he was no slouch. In a physical fight against them, though, probably he had zero chance of winning.
His mind whirled with possibilities. Thoughts of what these overgrown students had in mind for Nissa twisted his lips. Size doesn’t matter. Not to him. Confidence in his ability to talk his way out of this filled him. He knew from an IQ perspective, he was on the high side and them, cumulatively, he’d bet not so much. “I can see you’re determined, but she doesn’t want to go with you.” He tried for nonchalant. “So we’re at an impasse. I’m not going to let you take Nissa anywhere, especially since she clearly doesn’t want to go. And in the United States, it’s her inalienable right to choose. You understand that word, don’t you. It means indisputable, undeniable. So you go on your way before I call the police and we’ll all just chalk up this little fiasco of yours to, oh, I don’t know. A case of brainless syndrome? Finn took hold of Nissa’s arm and made to walk around the group on his way into the building, not taking his glare off the men.
Instantly, two of the four muscled him back around the corner toward the side of the brick building and shoved him to the ground. Finn kicked his feet at the one holding him down and rolled his head from side to side in an attempt to avoid hits. The punches from the other guy hit soundly, one after another. Blood trickled in his eye, but for a split second, he caught a glimpse of the other two men marching Nissa farther down the side of the building.
From deep inside, he drew up all his strength and raised his head. Before the next hit came, he pulled up from the other man’s grip and slammed his forehead hard against the hitter’s.
While the man toppled back, Finn wrenched free from the second man’s hold and took a stumbling step toward Nissa. “Let her go,” he hollered.
Nissa looked over her shoulder at him. His breath caught at the sorrow in her lovely brown eyes. Realization dawned in his mind. She wasn’t afraid for herself, she was afraid for him.
If only he had the abilities of his brother Asher, the were-lynx. Asher could stop these thugs in their tracks with his nudging, his special mind control ability. But as the only member of his family not to express the were-lynx gene, Finn had no preternatural abilities or superior strength. Just his brains, and right now that wasn’t counting for much.
He stretched his stride to catch up with the men holding Nissa, his heart pumping with determination.
It wasn’t enough. Without breaking a sweat, the two chasing him caught up and slammed him against the stone wall. “Hold him still,” one demanded.
“What is wrong with you?” Finn yelled. He imagined the men were on some kind of drug to display such strength and wild tempers.
One man holding him still laughed. “There’s nothing wrong with us. We’re just better than you. The girl belongs to us, and we’re taking her. You should never have butt in.”
Finn could have sworn he heard a barely perceptual growl in the guy’s voice. A chill ran through him, suspecting this group of Neanderthals was like his brother—were-cats—but unlike his brother in that their brand of cat was vicious and violent. “I know what you are.” He tried to yank away from the hold. He held his breath as he nearly slipped free.
But another one of them pressed him down to the ground and held tighter. The man narrowed his eyes and grimaced. “You couldn’t possibly imagine who you’re up against here.”
“Oooh, I’m really scared.” Finn rolled his eyes. “Let me guess, you’re the boogey man? Well, that would explain your face.”
One of the men holding Nissa motioned one of the others. “Help him hold the girl.” He stared at Finn. “Keep him still,” he commanded while striding closer. He squatted to the ground beside him and shoved Finn’s shirtsleeve up above his elbow. “You’re such a smart guy? We’ll show you another world you’ve never imagined.”
Finn fought back the terror igniting in his gut. “You can’t do this?” he hollered.
“Just watch us. It’s not going to be so fun for you, but we’ll enjoy it.”
Finn knew, just knew what they were threatening to do to him. They were going to initiate in him something that would destroy him. He would no longer be the person he’d always been, the non-were-lynx member of his family. He’d always been proud to be different from his brothers Asher and Kendall and his sister Lara. He was proud to be simply human.
“Finn!” Nissa screamed, wild and hysterical. “Stop it, just stop it.” She pulled free of the other two men and raised her fists.
Finn startled, watching her first drive a punch into one man, then roundhouse kick the other. Wow! She’s got quite a punch. His brain was going fuzzy, he was certain. From the corner of his eye he saw one of the men shimmer as he’d seen his brother shimmer, shifting into a were-lynx.
The were-lynx growled low, then sank his fangs into Finn’s arm. The bite burned. Shock roared through him. This couldn’t be happening. He knew what being bitten meant and he wanted no part of it. He willed his body to reject the serum in the were-lynx saliva. A cloud of sensations and images exploded in his mind.
No one held him down any more, but he lay on the ground, still, removed from the reality he was caught in. Removed from the whooping Nissa was raining down on the four men, essentially taking them out of commission simultaneously.
He attempted to get to his feet, but the sounds of tree limbs blowing in the late spring breeze and people’s voices from around the quad blared in his brain. He rolled back and forth on the ground as everything possible slammed into his senses. He put his hands over his ears, trying to block the onslaught of sounds. Scents assaulted him, strong and demanding attention. He had to close his eyes to an overwhelming tsunami of images his vision was picking up.
“Finn. We’ve got to get out of here.” Nissa’s soothing voice tamped down the earnestness lacing her words. “Can you stand? I’ll help you.”
Her long brown hair fell forward, blocking her face and raising her fragrance to his nose. In one whiff, her melon and seawater scent filled his head and he was rendered speechless. How had he missed this intensely beautiful scent before? They’d been collaborating on a research study for six months and he’d never thought of Nissa in a romantic way. She was all about the work and that was something he’d respected. He didn’t have time for romantic diversions, not when his brother’s life depended on him finishing his work. He hadn’t told her that he had a personal stake in finding the cure for the newly discovered disease they were researching. Giving her too many details would have potentially revealed his secret; his brother was sick with the disease that was only affecting individuals carrying were-lynx genes.

She tugged on his arm. “Finn, did you hear me? We’ve got to leave. Now.”

Thank you for visiting The Write Way Cafe. I'd love to learn your thoughts about Finding Finn.

Friday, November 25, 2016 | By: Cafe
When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author.
- Sherman Alexie
Thursday, November 24, 2016 | By: Cafe

With Gratitude at Thanksgiving and All Year Long

To all the authors we've highlighted here at The Write Way Cafe and all the visitors and readers who have taken time to share and support the blog and our authors, thank you for a wonderful and enriching 2016. We wish you all a wonderful holiday.

HiDee and Lynn
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Charmaine Gordon with At Your Service

Charmaine Gordon

This is a Romance of another kind; Love stories come in many disguises. This time, for me, it began with a fall.

"Of course," I said, "I'll sleep over, make breakfast for CassidyRae, see that she's dressed, teeth brushed,and gets on the bus." Easy, right? Granny's do that after raising a batch of kids. 

6 a.m. I woke up to the sound of garbage collectors. Dark outside as I peeked out the window to check my watch in light cast from the outside street lamp. And then I turned. "I'm falling", registered in my head. That was the end of life as I knew it for many months. I heard my 8 year old granddaughter scream,"Mommy, mommy, granny's on the floor and she's not moving." Daughter running with her cell phone calling her school- getting a sub, calling 911 for an ambulance, calling my husband. 

And now the love story begins just like the song from South Pacific:"Some enchanted evening, you will meet your true love  across a crowded room."

Picture a rehab hospital: me, a former actor, dancer, now an author of many books, slumped in a wheelchair amidst other folks in pain. Suddenly dogs wearing red jackets appear, they head toward me, their handlers smiling. "Are you Charmaine? Judy Audevard put the word out. Meet Cooper, He's here to give you some love." A Golden Lab laid his head in my lap, then gave me kisses, and leaned in close. 

I straightened up, my hands stretched out to embrace the pooch; the healing began. With daily doses of a multitude of dogs, both small and large, my spirits rose and I grew determined to overcome a fractured pelvic, serious concussion and more. Daughter brought my computer and I was in business. 

At Your Service is the title of my latest release. I wrote and wrote in my little corner of the world in a private room. So many Therapy dogs, trained, oh yes, they take a six month course before they get the diploma. Then the pooch wears a red jacket to show he or she is qualified and the handler, the dog's proud owner, are on their way. They are qualified to go to West Point where they comfort cadets before taking stressful tests, visit returning veterans, attend schools where children with learning difficulties improve when a therapy dog cuddles up to rest his head and so much more. Your heart will warm on a cold night to read these short tails/tales.

Thanks for your support, my friends. We appreciate reviews. All proceeds go to Paws for a Cause.

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About Charmaine: I was an actor for many years on daytime drama, One Life to Live, Another World, All My Children. Movies; my first was Working Girl where I sang Happy Birthday to Melanie Griffith and shared a Hot Dog with Harrison Ford during the break. The Road to Wellness with Sir Anthony Hopkins,"call me Tony" he said and invited me to lunch at the special room for the leads and staff. What fun and delicious filet mignon. The sweet time in my life after caring for a large family in the loving days of momhood. Then my voice failed me and I began writing. How I love this career and my publisher, Kimberlee Williams, Vanilla Heart Publishing.

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Friday, November 18, 2016 | By: Cafe
One of the best things about reading is that you’ll always have something to think about when you’re not reading.
- James Patterson