Thursday, July 30, 2015 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Red Jameson

The Write Way Café welcomes Red L. Jameson, who shares her unique perspective on writing and addressing writer's block.


When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I began creating stories before I could write the alphabet. I loved cursive writing, still do, so back then I’d string a lot of curlicues together to create my “words,” tape or glue everything together, then force my poor brother to listen to my tales while he was strapped into his highchair. 
     Then, a few years after that, when my friends and I played Barbies, it was always with these outlandish plots. I swear to God that a friend of mine and I created the television show Lost WAY before it ever aired. Eventually, Barbies gave way to just talking about our “stories.” And by the time of middle school our “stories” were all about romance. 
     It’s odd, but from high school until many, many, many years later, my writing didn’t have much in the way of romance. It took me a long time to steer back to romance, and I’m so much happier for it.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     It wasn’t until more than ten years into writing that I suffered my first block, and, man, it sucks. I think each writer’s block is personal. So, for me, I had to figure out what was personally blocking me. I hadn’t taken a break for many years. I mean, I hadn’t even taken a break when my mother passed away. I kept writing and working my day job and going and going and going until eventually I had my block. The words weren’t coming to me; the story wasn’t coming to me; nothing was happening. The more I panicked over the situation, the worse it got. That’s when I—forgive me for sounding all new agey—stepped into my panic and surrounded myself with the block. Instead of fighting it, I surrendered to it. It helped me see I needed to take a break every so often. It helped me to understand what I was going through, and, in turn, that helped my writing become more emotional and more creative. I think having the block aided my writing, but, again, it does suck when going through it. 

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     Duchess of Mine follows the real travels of Detective Frank Geyer on his now infamous case of trying to find missing children. I knew his trek would begin in Philadelphia and go to Cincinnati, Detroit, Toronto, and other cities of late-nineteenth century America. What surprised me the most was Detroit’s history. I’d driven through the city only once, and I never would have imaged it had been called the Paris of America. It had been the epicenter of culture, art, as well as an economic stronghold. Now, when I think of the abandoned buildings of Detroit, I can see it’s beautiful past. 
     And what’s surprised me after writing the book? Hmm...how many compliments I’ve gotten for the cover. I don’t know why that surprises me, but it does. J

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     I converted the guest room into my office. It still has a small bed, but now my dog sleeps on it. Yes, spoiled black lab he is. I have a huge 1970s desk that I love to write on, a filing cabinet for my research, and other assorted office supplies. Oh! I almost forgot to talk about my laptop! You see, I finally made the big religious conversion of switching to a Mac, and I am in love with all things Apple now. I have seen the light and I could go on and on about user-friendly computers, but I’ll rein it in now. 

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     To Kill a Mockingbird will continue to be a favorite of mine until eternity. As I age and reread it, I am more and more amazed at the power of that story, the craft of it, how beautiful it is. Yeah, I love that one.  
     I didn’t start reading romance until ten years ago. So I have a lot of catching up to do. And I feel if I started listing off favorite books of mine, I’d forget something really good. So let’s just say, I have tons of favorites. And lately paranormal romance has been my favorite subgenre. 

What are you working on now?
     Ha! The last question segues into this one perfectly! I am working on a paranormal romance series now. I love time-travel romance and always will. BUT I really wanted to work with a more modern setting, modern jargon. Plus I’ve been dying to work with some contemporary military heroes, which I can do now! Squee! The new series features many paranormal elements with military men. Wish me luck with that!

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     Well, I don’t think I’ll ever veer far from the romance genre, but I do want to dive into more subgenres. I’ve had a contemporary crossover mystery idea I’ve been thinking of for more than twelve years. It would be much darker than anything I’ve written so far, but I can’t wait to write it. And erotic romance is something I’ve thought about a lot too. Gosh, I’d like to write it all! 

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     Honestly, if writing wasn’t available, I think I’d shrivel up into a dustball. I LOVE writing and I can hardly think of doing anything else. 
     And even though I’m an historian, I don’t think I’d like to do much more in academia. Sorry to all those in Academia Land, but if I had to figure out one more index, I’d have torn out all my hair. So, if I really had to pick something else it would be a close call between photography or fashion. I’m in love with all the artistic things photographers can do and am a hobbyist photographer myself. But I would love to make clothes that looked beautiful for real-sized women. Maybe I’d do both!

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     It wasn’t until I was published that I ran into some serious trouble. See, I’m a people pleaser. I don’t mind getting a bad review. But my problem is I want to make that particular reviewer happy. So sometimes I’d be writing my next story, thinking about how to make that reviewer happier with the next book. BUT I can’t do that. I need to only focus on what will make THAT particular book better. And sometimes there will be no pleasing some people. I had a negative review for tying up all the loose ends at the end of my book. And there have been a few times where the negative reviews might not even be about my books. I had one review where the reviewer talked about characters I had never written about. 
     I have to say that writing has really helped me with my people please problem in that I don’t do it nearly as much. Instead, I try to focus on what’s best for that particular book. And I ask my editor and my critique buddies too who’s opinion I value but don’t feel the need to please. See, that’s why I love writing! Helping me personally as well as professionally!

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     Of my own books, I have to say my favorite hero and heroine are in my latest release, Duchess of Mine. Gabby Murray and Michael Cameron had me laughing a lot while writing about them. Sometimes, they had me in tears too, which I love to connect that much with my characters. 
     Of hero/heroines of all time...gosh, that’s a toughie. Well, my first thoughts are of some of my favorite movies. I love The Fifth Element, for the kick-ass heroine Leeloo who saves the world, and the scarred but sweet Korben Dallas. There’s Hawkeye in the movie rendition of The Last of the Mohicans, saying, “Stay alive. I will find you. No matter how long it takes. No matter how far. I will find you.” Oh, my heart flutters when thinking about that. And I loved Broken Sword and Flying Snow in the movie Hero, even though they had a sad ending.  Maybe I just loved them because of the amazing cinematography of Hero. It really is one of the most visually beautiful movies of all time, but I did enjoy the love between the hero and heroine, both assassins. So cool!  




**Book 4 of The Glimpse Time Travel Series, where mythical muses play naughty matchmakers**

Seventeenth century Highlander Michael Cameron should have been prepared for his journey to Philadelphia in 1895. After all, it wasn't the first time he'd been kidnapped by two mischievous muses, who delighted in taking him by surprise and shuffling him off to far-flung lands and eras. But nothing could have readied him for angelic Gabriella Murray, the Duchess of Northampton. She’s a beautiful, lovely, gorgeous—did he mention just how bonny Gabby is?—duchess, and he’s a lowly Scot. How is he going to solve the missing children case the muses have given him with such a distracting woman?

Becoming friends with a muse, Gabby feels her life has taken a turn for the fantastic, which suits her fine, since being a duchess is gray and depressing. So, when that muse asks her to go on an adventure imitating her idol, Sherlock Holmes, of course she says yes. However, Michael, who is to play her Dr. Watson, is quite possibly the most handsome and intriguing Highlander she’s ever encountered. Lord, Sherlock never had to contend with an overwhelming desire for Watson. How can she concentrate on the case when he’s more fun than she’s ever had before?

As Michael and Gabby hunt through the mean streets of cities such as Chicago and Detroit, they dive deeper into a world of danger and violence. Fighting against their growing attraction to each other, they race against time to find the children, knowing that with every corner they turn, they might be too late.

Amazon       iBooks        Barnes & Noble     Universal link for Duchess of Mine
Also available at other retail book sellers

About Red:   As a military historian by day, sometimes Red does feel a bit clandestine when she writes romance at night. No one knows that while she researches heroes of the past and present, she uses everything for her characters in her books. Her secret's been safe . . . until now.  She lives in Montana with her family and far too many animals but never enough books.  She loves her readers, so please feel free to contact her at http://www.redljameson.com 

You can find Red L. Jameson at . . .
Website          Blog          Facebook          Amazon Author Page 
Pinterest          Goodreads        Twitter: @RedLJameson






Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Jessica James

Jessica James
www.jessicajamesbooks.com


“Reminds me of American Sniper and Lone Survivor, but accompanied with an epic and beautiful romance that is completely unforgettable." – Lauren Hoff, United States Air Force

     It started as a chance encounter on the beach, and ended 24 hours later when they parted to go their separate ways.
     Or so they thought.
     WHEN LAUREN CANTRELL said goodbye to the guy she had just met on the beach, she had no way of knowing their paths would ever cross again. But fate had another unexpected meeting in store for them—this time in a place where danger was part of the culture and the stakes were life and death.
     THE LAST PERSON in the world Rad expected to see at a special ops briefing in Afghanistan is the girl he met at the beach two weeks ago—the one he can’t stop thinking about.
     From the sundrenched beaches of Ocean City, Md., to the snowcapped mountains of Afghanistan, this thrilling tale of espionage and intrigue takes readers on a spellbinding journey into the secret lives of our nation’s quiet heroes—and answers the question:  What do you do when the person you most want to protect is the one risking everything to make sure you survive?

MEANT TO BE recounts the dedication of our military, the honor and sacrifice of our soldiers, and a relationship that is tested and sustained by the powerful forces of love, courage and resolve.

Book Trailer

Available at:  Amazon        B&N          Smashwords        KOBO  


Excerpt

     When she felt a shadow pass over her, Lauren instinctively tensed as if sensing someone was near. But before she opened her eyes, she remembered where was. Relax. You’re at the beach. It’s just a cloud blocking the sun.
      “Are you okay?”
     Realizing her first instinct had been correct, Lauren jerked her head up and squinted.
     The owner of the voice stood directly beside the rising sun, making it difficult to see. After blinking a moment at the brightness, she recognized the jogger who had retrieved her hat.
     “Sorry,” he said. “Just checking to make sure you’re okay.”
     Lauren stared into his mesmerizing eyes as she tried to calm her pounding heart. She couldn’t believe she had let her guard down like that. There was no excuse for being careless, even on a quiet beach.
     “I’m… just thinking. You know… about … stuff.” She groaned inwardly at her inability to make a sensible statement or even put a cohesive sentence together.
     The man, apparently on his way back from his jog, sprawled out on the sand beside her, still breathing heavily. “Oh, well, it gives me a reason to take a breather anyway.”
     A little startled by his boldness, Lauren glanced over at him and decided he was probably in his mid-30s—slightly older than she.
     “You find something worth keeping this morning?”
     Lauren cocked her head, unsure of his meaning as she dug her sunglasses out of her sweatshirt pocket so she could stop squinting.
     “In the water.” He nodded toward the shoreline. “Before you lost your hat.”
      “Oh, yeah.” She patted the pocket. “A nice shell. Got it right here.”
     She didn’t elaborate. Her mind was racing. So much for her situational awareness skills—being cognizant of one’s surroundings at all times. Not only had she let down her guard in a big way, but she was sitting beside someone who apparently had not. He’d been aware of what she was doing on the beach before she even knew he existed.
     A flicker of apprehension coursed through her, but the reason was more complex, or at least more confusing, than this stranger’s attentiveness to his surroundings—and her lack of it. Lauren could not understand why her heart throbbed with so much force she could feel it in her throat, a circumstance she found both ridiculous and frightening—and therefore bewildering. Conversing with complete strangers as part of her job, even heads of state and military officers, had never been a problem. Yet making small talk with an incredibly attractive man on a social level was suddenly beyond her control.
     The jogger didn’t seem to notice—or care—about her discomfort. “You come here a lot?” He tilted his head and stared at her, waiting for a response.
     Lauren shrugged to show outward calm, but the trickle of trepidation creeping up her spine began turning into a wave of anxiety. Is this guy trying to make polite conversation or pick me up? She was so unaccustomed to being in a civilized society, she didn’t know if she should be thrilled or scared to death.
     “Sometimes,” is all she said.
     The man smiled and held out his hand, ignoring her intentionally vague statement. “My friends call me Rad.”
     Lauren stared at the hand, then into his gray eyes—now more blue—and finally extended her hand.  
     “Lauren.”
     Trying not to appear startled at the strength of his grip, Lauren studied him a moment once he’d released her hand. His smile appeared playful, yet she had the feeling he didn’t really use it that often. He seemed like a very serious guy, trying to act casual. Her usually—suspicious nature began to ramp up as she continued to analyze him. This just didn’t make sense. Why would such a good-looking guy be paying attention to her?
     For a moment they both sat silently, engrossed in watching a sailboat float across the water toward the orange fan of color created by the sun. Once the craft had glided over the glassy-hued reflection and returned to the dark mass of water beside it, Rad picked up the conversation again.
     “Now that we’re no longer strangers, maybe you can tell me how long you’re staying.” He leaned back on his elbows and crossed his legs as if chatting with an old friend.
     Lauren’s heart thumped again. “I leave tomorrow morning. Just came for some quick R&R.”
     He sat back up and put his arms over his knees, sighing heavily. “Yeah, me too, actually.”
     Lauren felt a sense of relief, swiftly followed by a wave of disappointment. The dueling sentiments surprised her, but she didn’t have time to question them.
      “Since time is so short, maybe we can get together later this morning… you know, for coffee or something.” He did not say the words tentatively as if testing the idea, but rather seemed to imply that such an arrangement was the only possible remedy to their predicament.
     Flattered by the invitation, but still leery of his intent, Lauren almost laughed out loud. Good looking as he was, she had no intention of having a one-night-stand with the man—or ever seeing him again for that matter. She had responsibilities—big ones—and a job that pretty much prevented her from even considering the idea. Tomorrow she would be on a plane to the other side of the world, with no plans for returning to the United States in the near future. What would be the point of getting involved with someone?
     Lauren tried to act casual when she finally answered, but his cool stare when she lifted her gaze unnerved her. “N-n-o,” she stuttered. “Sorry. I have plans.” She tilted her head down to look at him over the top of her sun glasses and felt like he had read every thought with his searching eyes.
     “You’re not a very trusting person, are you?”
     “Should I be?”
     He stood and brushed off his sweatpants. “I guess not. You’ll probably live longer that way.”
     He bent down and shook her hand again. “Nice to meet you, Lauren. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
     Lauren nodded and watched him jog away. She put her head back down into her knees and chastised herself. What are you afraid of, Lauren? Maybe he was just trying to be nice. Not everyone is the enemy for heaven’s sake.
     When she raised her head, she almost expected him to be standing beside her again and was disappointed when he was not. She lay back and stared at the sky, forcing herself to think of something else.      But try as she might to delete the last hour from her mind, her thoughts kept drifting back to him.
     He was a tall man. She liked that. Physically imposing, strong, masculine. She liked that too—almost as much as the way he grinned from one side of his mouth and the way his eyes seemed to sparkle. In fact, if she had a list of things she wanted in a man, she could pretty much look at that guy named Rad and check them off.
     Lauren sat back up, put her chin on her knees, and stared out at the water. But she didn’t have a “man list.” She didn’t have time for things like that. Not with where she was going and what she would be doing.
     She laughed to herself. What did it matter, anyway? He was gone now. She turned her head and scanned the empty beach. Yep. Definitely gone. And once the beach got crowded, there was no way she’d run into him again. In another hour or two every vacant foot of the beach would be filled with umbrellas, chairs, blankets, and people.
     Lauren stood and dusted the sand off her pants, her mind preoccupied with a single regret. If things were different, she would have acted differently. She wished she could have told him that.



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Friday, July 24, 2015 | By: Cafe
The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
- Robert Green Ingersoll

Thursday, July 23, 2015 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Luanna Stewart

The Write Way Café welcomes Luanna Stewart, who shares her path from rough draft with hairless, naked characters to full blown story with unforgettable characters.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I’ve always enjoyed writing in journals and diaries but it wasn’t until about ten years ago that I thought I’d try my hand at a novel. I’ve read voraciously for as long as I can remember, with romance fiction being my favourite genre. I had an idea for a story bopping around in my head, so one day, while the kids were at school, I opened a notebook and started writing. That story will never see the light of day – boy, is it bad. I broke just about every “rule” there is for romance fiction. But by the end of the story, over 400 pages, a year, and a few online classes later, it’s not half bad. It would require too much work to fix though, so it remains in the deep dark recesses of my hard drive.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     Portrait of a Girl started as an idea several years ago. I brainstormed the plot and characters with my critique partners, got to the mid-point, then got sidetracked by a new and shiny idea. When I returned to the story, I’d changed my mind about the heroine’s past, so I had to rewrite a good bit of the beginning. But from there it was easy sailing. My first draft is the bare bones of the story with very little description of anything. Quite often my characters walk around naked, with no hair and colourless eyes. It’s only after I’ve gotten to know them, usually by the mid-point of the story, that I can fill in the details that bring them to life. I spent many hours looking online for a special piece of artwork that my villain desperately wants. And I lost myself in the French countryside via Google Earth searching for the exact kind of location for one of the scenes to play out the way I needed.
       Once the book was finished, I shared it with my critique partners, chapter by chapter, took their feedback and made the book better. I submitted the manuscript to Entangled Publishing and signed the contract a few months later. And then the real work began! I thought my critique partners were picky, but they have nothing on my editor, for which I’m extremely thankful. She helped me apply the final polish.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     I’ve always been intrigued by family secrets. When I was a young girl, my dad was considering changing jobs, but for one reason or another, we were told not to talk about it with our friends – it was a family secret. I thought it was cool to have a secret like that, it sounded so important. For this story I needed a secret that was bigger and badder, and would have far reaching consequences. Learning that one’s father had been an art thief fit the bill.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     Portrait of a Girl starts in Portland, Maine, but it’s my version of the city. I don’t name streets, and the few businesses I mention are fictional. The large park by the harbour where my heroine runs into the hero is actually based on Point Pleasant Park in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A portion of the story also takes place in France. It’s been many years since I visited that country, so I relied on Google Earth for familiarizing myself with the landscape. My high school level French was fine-tuned for the book by a friend who lives in Quebec.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     I’d like to say my main characters are completely imaginary, but I doubt any writers out there would believe me. There are bits and pieces of me in the heroine – I love cats, and I love to bake. My hero is a photographer – my husband is an avid amateur photographer. My villain will do anything for his young son – I’m a parent who will do anything for my children. Well, except for the illegal stuff. There is also that big, bad family secret that may or may not be drawn from real life.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     The only thing that surprised me in the story was how much I cared about the villain. But that all changed after he did that really bad thing that he did, and then I wanted him punished.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     My writing space changes with the seasons. Right now I like to spend as much time out of doors as I can, so I set up a little folding table on the back deck, under the shade of the pergola, and use my laptop out there. I can keep an eye on the two cats and make sure they stay in our yard. And I can rescue any chipmunks who were too slow to escape the jaws of death. In the winter I’m in my office, sitting at my Grammy O’s desk, with a knitted shawl over my shoulders. The most important feature of my office is the door that can be closed. I need quiet in order to write.

What are you working on now?
     I’m working on another romantic suspense novel set in the world of international art thievery. This time my heroine runs a catering company. I can’t keep away from cooking and baking!

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     If I were to write something completely out of the romance world, it would be a cozy mystery. I love Agatha Christie and have read and re-read all her novels. But in order to do so, I’d have to do a certain amount of advance plotting and planning, and I tend to write by the seat of my pants.
     Within the romance world, I’ve published two contemporary romance novellas under the pen name Grace Hood, but have found I prefer to write the longer, full-length novel, because more stuff can happen. I’ve written a paranormal romance with Wiccan elements, I wrote a retelling of The Princess and the Pea fairytale, and I’m working on my third historical romance set in the Victorian era.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     Oh, I bet you can guess I’d own a bakery. I started baking at my mum’s knee and haven’t stopped. I bake all our bread, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. We have dessert after every supper, and if the boys are home from college, it usually contains chocolate in some form.

Portrait of a Girl 
Shortly after Tony moves into the big house, Heather needs an excuse to visit– to be neighbourly, NOT for another chance to get up close and personal – so she bakes a batch of Whoopie Pies and delivers them while he’s in his bedroom.

Wicked Good Whoopie Pies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In bowl of mixer, combine butter, oil and sugar. Mix until well blended. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat well. Add half of flour mixture, followed by milk and remaining flour mixture, stirring after each addition until well blended.

Drop by tablespoon  onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 9 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. They are done when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack and cool completely. Place frosting between two cookies and sandwich together.

Frosting
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons milk or cream, or as needed to make a soft icing
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Blend confectioner’s sugar and butter at low speed of mixer. Add milk and vanilla extract, blend at low speed until fully incorporated, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth, adding more milk by the teaspoon if needed.

http://www.entangledpublishing.com/portrait-of-a-girl/


About Luanna: 
     Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered, and devoured, her grandmother's stash of medical romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
     Luanna writes full time, concentrating on sexy romantic suspense, steamy paranormal romance, and spicy historical romance.
     Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, two cats, and one surviving gold fish. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she can be found in her kitchen whipping up something chocolate.
     Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press. Now she is super excited to have a book published under her own name with Entangled Publishing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 | By: Cafe

What's On Your Bucket List?

The words “Bucket List” seem to be in the air these days. My husband and I watched, again, the movie by that title starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the story of two dying men trying to make the most of their last days. I was hosted on a blog a week ago for which the question was asked, “What’s on your bucket list?” Is it a new concept or one that has been around for a while?

According to Slate magazine, the phrase “to kick the bucket” dates back to 1785, when it was used in the context of dying. But it has evolved since then.

“In 2004, the term was used—perhaps for the first time?—in the context of things to do before one kicks the bucket— in the book Unfair & Unbalanced: The Lunatic Magniloquence of Henry E. Panky, by Patrick M. Carlisle. That work includes the sentences, “So, anyway, a Great Man, in his querulous twilight years, who doesn’t want to go gently into that blacky black night. He wants to cut loose, dance on the razor’s edge, pry the lid off his bucket list!” wrote June Thomas, a Slate culture critic.

Hence, the bucket list has become in popular culture a list to make of all the things the list maker must do before kicking the bucket, or before dying. In the movie, The Bucket List, the characters listed things like kiss a beautiful woman, skydive, see something awesome, and find the joy in your life. A lot of people might list exotic places to visit, like the Taj Mahal or Paris.


I think somehow making a bucket list gives life a purpose, a direction. Narrow living down to completing activities or visiting places that have meaning and life will have been worth living. The list maker takes satisfaction in taking control of his or her life, not letting it simply happen. By taking control of life armed with a bucket list, when death approaches there will be less regret, if any.

I think the concept is interesting. But when asked the question, “What’s on your bucket list,” I couldn’t think of any one thing or list of specific things I longed to do before I die. Maybe as a writer I should have a bucket list of things I want to write: poetry, literary fiction, a children's book. I could try to do those things, bu I'm content with the books I'm writing already.

Turns out, I’m not a bucket list person. I like structure, planning, and purpose, but I’m living my life as it comes, remaining open to whatever as much as possible. I can’t imagine knowing what is ahead, so why would I prioritize a certain path that includes specific actions or places? It feels like pressure, to me, to have to meet certain goals in order to be ready to leave this life.

But I do think it’s a fun game. So, what’s on your bucket list? Are you a bucket list maker? Please share.

Friday, July 17, 2015 | By: Cafe
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.
- Roald Dahl
Thursday, July 16, 2015 | By: Cafe

It Isn't Over 'Til It's Over

A seventies-year-old prolific writer and near-death experiencer visits The Write Way Cafe today. We welcome Charmaine Gordon, who exemplifies the phrase, It isn't over 'til it's over.


When I was young, was I ever young? I never dreamed of writing books. My plan was to  have many children and so it was. Of course I never expected to have a near-death experience with my sixth baby but that happened and somehow, as I made my way down a corridor of light so seductive, I thought I can't leave my husband with all those children and I didn't. We women are remarkable. I returned to life to raise, love and protect my family.

What has this to do with writing, you may ask. Here is my story.

One day while shopping at the local Shop Rite, I overheard two young women gossiping. Gasp, gasp. Edging my full cart closer, I listened. "Did you hear about Dr. Sorenson? He left his wife in the middle of the night with nothing but a note saying goodbye." "Oh no, when did that happen?" They put their perfectly groomed hairdo's together and whispered so I couldn't hear. Damn. What a great idea for a book.

I enjoy reading Romance and Suspense and this repartee between two strangers appeared to be a fascinating start For. A. Book! So this homemaker with many children rushed through the checkout to pay the bill and drove home, scenarios running through my mind.

Shakespeare wrote "There's nothing new under the sun." Did he mean there are a zillion variations of stories floating around and why can't an everyday housewife write one? I believe he meant that or something similar so I wrote, cooked, wrote, cleaned, and wrote some more and I never stopped until I wrote The End and then I cried. I needed another book to write.

Writers, has this happened to you? I got lucky. Not too many rejections and then a request for a manuscript followed by a contract. It happens, folks. In my seventies, a new career. Five years and twenty three plus stories later, I'm building a platform of Contemporary Romance/Suspense and mature Romance Books where the motto is "It isn't over 'til it's over."

My latest story is Spreading Her Wings:
Kindness to strangers in River’s Edge rubs off on all who live there. Sally Kirkwood responds to an emergency call from a friend one early morning. A daughter is missing and with Sally’s skill as a reporter, she finds her at an audition in NYC. Thus begins an adventure of show business, unfaithfulness, forgiveness and success.

Available now:  http://www.amazon.com/Rivers-Edge-Trio-Volume-Trios/dp/0692441549

You can find Charmaine here:
https://authorcharmainegordonwordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon