Friday, August 28, 2015 | By: Cafe
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
- Charles William Eliot
Thursday, August 27, 2015 | By: Cafe

Growing Up on Margaretta Street by Rena Koontz

The Write Way Café welcomes Rena Koontz, who enriches her stories with details from real life. But should she?

I grew up on Margaretta Street.

I share that because, if you read the dedication in my new book, “Crystal Clear Love,” it mentions the kids who grew up on Margaretta Street, a cobblestoned incline that stopped at the edge of a mass of dense trees we fondly called “The Woods.”

Margaretta Street was a self-contained world for the more than one-dozen of us who lived there, all right around the same age. Because it was a dead-end street, the only traffic belonged to the residents, mostly our moms and dads, who knew enough to drive the hill slowly while watching for errant wiffle balls and out-of-control sleds. Those cobblestones turned as slick as ice in the winter. Yep, we played in the street. The skinny, wooden telephone pole, right about in the middle, served as home base for our hide-and-go seek games. Old Man Tucker’s car always marked the outfield for our pick-up baseball games. He never seemed to move that jalopy.

I wrote about all that in “Crystal Clear Love.” Yes, it’s a work of fiction, but it is also a case of real life landing on the pages of a contemporary romance novel. I discussed it with my lifelong friend, Cherrie, who becomes Sherry in the book. “You can write whatever you want, Reen. And I wouldn’t mind if you made me a little bad.” She’s always been a “good girl.”

I hashed it out with my buddy Mike, who is the fictitious hero and whose last name is different by just two extra letters. He threw his head back and laughed. “When it’s a best-seller, I’ll change the spelling of my name to his.”

And so I wrote the book, tapping into childhood memories, reliving specific antics, and capturing the joy of the kids I grew up with and the wonderful world we lived in. No drugs or alcohol crept up that dead-end street. No crime. We defined “bad” by a broken bone, a gash that required stitches, or a dented bumper.

We didn’t know – and didn’t appreciate – the idyllic youth we had in our little dead-end corner of the world.

Real life is portrayed on my pages in the flashbacks of the hero and heroine.

And now, I fret. What if Mike is offended by the depiction of his father, who did indeed smell like beer and drank a little too much of it? But knowing it and seeing it in print are two different realities. What if revealing a whispered intimacy secret crosses a line with Cherrie?

Authors are often advised to write what they know and I don’t think you can keep real life out of your books. I don’t know any other way to write than from my heart, and “Crystal Clear Love” is exactly that kind of book. But what if it wasn’t the right thing to do? What if it hurts feelings and reveals too much?

What do you do when real life nudges its way onto your pages?

For more about “Crystal Clear Love,” or Rena Koontz, visit her website at www.renakoontz.com

About Rena:  Rena Koontz broke into the publishing world in 2012 with her debut novel, “Love’s Secret Fire.” It was quickly followed by “The Devil She Knew” and “Thief Of The Heart,” – all three romantic suspense novels that critics praised for keeping readers on the edge of their seats.
     But Rena had a love story in mind, just begging to be told – the book of her heart. “Crystal Clear Love” is Rena’s first contemporary romance, inspired by childhood friends and memories, and fictionalized from stories gleaned from her career as a journalist. Working as a news reporter at two of the country’s top 20 newspapers provided a writing journey that took Rena into the sports arena, politics, feature writing, editorial writing, and, her favorite, cops and courts. Along the way she met killers and kids who left an impression, victims and victors who beat the odds, and reported stories on life, loss and love.
     Her novels are the realization of a lifelong dream to write stories that combine romance, suspense and strong female characters designed to mirror today’s women.
     A Pittsburgh native, Rena lives in Central Florida.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Rolynn Anderson and Amazon Encore!



JOIN 12 ROMANCE WRITERS TODAY (August 25th) 
AS THEY CELEBRATE THEIR RE-RELEASES 
IN THE AMAZON ENCORE PROGRAM!  


WHAT is AmazonEncore?  Says Amazon: “Discover Hidden Treasures. AmazonEncore helps readers discover extraordinary, previously-published, overlooked books from emerging authors.”

WHEN?  11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.  (I’m on from 8-9:00 a.m. but I’ll be available to chat most of the day)

WHERE?  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/957325384328701  Do sign up!

WHY?  For fun, for prizes and for the chance to check out some high quality novels!

SPECIAL TO COMMENTERS AT THE WRITE WAY CAFE (You can win prizes at the party, too), What’s your favorite place in Alaska and why…if you’ve never been to Alaska, what part of the state intrigues you?  LIE CATCHERS takes place in Petersburg, Alaska, a town full of Norwegians, and a great setting for my mystery/suspense/romance!


I’m proud to present my suspense novel, LIE CATCHERS. 

Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.

Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.

Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.

Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?

Lie Catchers is available at Amazon.

Please visit my Website for more information about my books!

Friday, August 21, 2015 | By: Cafe
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas A. Edison
Thursday, August 20, 2015 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Maris Soule

The Write Way Café welcomes Maris Soule. Living in a quiet town on Lake Michigan inspires mystery and intrigue in her writing.


When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I was on a flight back from California, I had my husband and two pre-schoolers with me, and I’d just finished reading a book that I liked but didn’t feel the author tied up all the loose ends. The book was a mystery with strong romantic elements. I told my husband, “I think I could write a book like that.” And he said, “Then do it.” So I gave it a try.
     At the time I wasn’t reading romances, but I soon discovered that’s what I liked writing. It took me 3 years and 8 months to learn the craft (many rejections along the way) before I received the call saying Harlequin wanted to buy my book.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     Eat Crow and Die is the third book in my P.J. Benson Mystery series. I ended the second book in the series, with P.J. at home, fearing she’s pregnant and her boyfriend Wade on Wade’s boat for a final fishing trip with his six-year-old son (before Wade’s ex took the boy out of state). I start Eat Crow and Die with that boat exploding on Lake Michigan. Wade and his son survive, but Wade’s ex and her new husband don’t. Wade is now the prime suspect in their murders.
     It took me a long time to figure out how to plant a bomb on that boat without Wade knowing. I also had to research how Wade, being a sheriff’s deputy would be treated by the investigating sheriff’s deputies from another county, and how an underwater crime scene is handled. In the story I have a scene take place in a casino, so (of course) I had to visit a couple casinos to get the atmosphere right. And I had to come up with reasons why others might want a bomb to go off on that boat. I can’t tell you all of the research I did without giving away part of the plot.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     A boat blew up not far from where we keep our boat in the summer. I have pictures from right after the explosion, and I visited the site the next day. Four people were on the boat when it exploded. Two were thrown in the water (a boy and a woman) and two were badly burned. One of those two died as a result of the accident. Although that boat was in a slip at the time and the explosion was due to improperly fueling the boat, it started me thinking about Wade and his boat, and what if it exploded? I really didn’t want his ex taking Wade’s son away from him. And that’s how the story started.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     The P.J. Benson Mysteries (The Crows, As the Crow Flies, and Eat Crow and Die) all take place in an area where I’ve lived for over forty years. South Haven, Michigan is a beautiful tourist location on the east side of Lake Michigan. Zenith (the village P.J. lives near) is fashioned after Climax, Michigan. It’s fun to use places I know in the story.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     In some ways P.J. thinks as I do, but both she and Wade are imaginary. They are bits of people I know or have met. The one thing about P.J. that’s very much me is she bought a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. When I started The Crows, I went out and bought a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. He grew up with the series. The sad part is my dog is now gone. Thank goodness P.J.’s dog is still alive and well.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     My main block with Eat Crow and Die was coming up with a “How did they do it?” I couldn’t write the story until I knew. Otherwise, I rarely have writer’s block. If I find I can’t move forward with a story, it’s usually because I’m asking my characters to do something they wouldn’t do.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     I’m very pleased how well Eat Crow and Die has been received. After As the Crow Flies was published, I had a lot of people wanting to know what happened next. Was P.J. pregnant? Did she get together with Wade? I was afraid they would be disappointed, but so far everyone’s been happy.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about boats, sheriffs, and mysteries?
     I learned it’s nice when people want a follow-up book, but it sure puts pressure on you. I learned there is a place in southwest Michigan that trains explosive sniffing dogs, that a lot of old people spend hours and hours at casinos, and that people (law enforcement and coast guard auxiliary) are more than willing to answer questions. As far as writing mysteries, I always try to have a twist at the end. That’s not always easy. And readers of mysteries always try to guess who the villain is, so when they say I surprised them, I’m really happy.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     Ha. My writing space is a corner of our bedroom. It works because we now live in a condominium and it has to work. The positive is I can look out the window next to me and watch boats going up and down the river. The negative is I can look out the window and watch boats and people instead of writing.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     I like reading mystery/suspense. I like a fast read and one that has me guessing what’s going to happen next. On the other hand, my favorite books aren’t usually mysteries. The Secret Lives of Bees, Help, Room, To Kill a Mockingbird, and many more. I’m not sure why I like those books above others, but they are stories that I remember weeks, months, and years after I’ve read them. Most of the other books I read I forget in a week.

What are you working on now?
     I just signed a contract for another suspense story that will be published by Five Star/Cengage/Gale. It’s totally different from the P.J. Benson Mysteries. The working title is Echoes of Terror and it should be out sometime in 2016. Right now I’m working on a short story that will feature P.J. and Wade. I’ll probably self-publish it.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     Well, I’ve written 25 romances and 5 mysteries so far. I like those two genres. I think I’ll stick with them.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     My dream job is being a writer. However, I also have a degree in art, and I love to paint, draw, and sculpt. So when I’m not writing, I’d be doing that.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     Nowadays my biggest problem is finding uninterrupted time to write.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     Of my books? I think right now my favorite heroine is from A Killer Past. Mary Harrington is an amazing woman. Even at age 74 she’s beautiful and poised. And she’s deadly.

About Maris:  Maris Soule has had 4 mysteries and 25 category romances published. She’s a two time RITA finalist, as well as a winner and finalist in many other contests. Born and raised in California, Soule was working on a master’s degree in art history at U.C. Santa Barbara when she was swept off her feet by a red-head with blue eyes. The Soules now live in Michigan in the summer and Florida in the winter. She writes a weekly blog on writing (www.marissoule.com/blog/) and is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. For more information, visit her at www.MarisSoule.com.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015 | By: Cafe

Pet Peeves and Opportunities for Growth

I don’t want to suggest that I focus on the negative side of life. I truly appreciate all the simple beauty around me and the amazing people, plants, and animals on this planet. Life is always changing and presenting a huge range of opportunities to grow. That in itself is amazing.

But…there are a lot of things that drive me nuts. These crazy-making things cause stress. When I’m feeling peaceful inside these things are less disruptive. But only for a while. These things and many other small annoying things make me say, what the heck?!

Things that drive me nuts:

-Shoe commercials. I love shoes, but shoe commercials go overboard, depicting women who can’t have enough shoes. They go all googly eyed over shoes, smiling and dancing and prancing. Over shoes. People, we’re trying to be less shallow and materialistic. Stop trying to get us to fill our lives with shoes.

-Car commercials. I like my car. It was purchased new and it is sky blue. It has a very good rating for gas efficiency and low emissions. Those things matter to me. But car commercials that suggest the way to happiness, more sex, more luxurious living, more respect, more freedom…I could go on…drive me nuts.

-Music on hold. I call a company, I get the little speech about how important my call is to the company, BUT everyone is too busy to answer my call. Hence, I’m put on hold and all bets are off. I may be subjected to country music, elevator music, old pop tunes, or worse, advertisements. I appreciate the company’s effort to assure me my call has not been disconnected, but the on-hold music needs to be reevaluated. Since waiting on hold is in itself stressful, why not treat the person on hold to classical, soothing tunes, nature sounds, instrumental music, harp music? At least those kinds of on-hold sounds wouldn’t threaten us with an unrelenting ear worm from a catchy song.

-Drivers. I’m old enough to remember when drivers were courteous, at least sort of. Drivers didn’t race onto main roads from side streets, they stopped. Drivers left ample room between cars while driving. I imagine the laxness in following driving laws and just being discourteous to a dangerous degree has something to do with technology. We’ve all gotten so used to nanosecond responses from our various devices, such as our smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc., that even though there are no cars behind me as I drive down the main road, the person at the side road pulls in front of me, never considering that there isn’t room to accelerate and more importantly, there is NO CAR behind me. What wait? Five seconds? Inconceivable.

-Misnamed body parts. I think we can thank the Kardashians for the current misunderstanding about female body parts. Anyone who took health class, which we all were required to do when I was in school, knows a woman’s vagina is not visible just by looking up her skirt when she’s not wearing underwear. The vagina is inside a woman’s body. It drives me nuts when women don’t know their own body.

-Shoppers in a grocery store who are unknowingly discourteous to other shoppers because they feel they are the center of the universe and no one else exists. You know them; they stand in the middle of the isle, staring at the shelves, obstructing the lanes, completely unaware of others around them.

Okay, that’s enough about my pet peeves. While these things and others get under my skin, I realized a few months ago that having so many opinions about things – I don’t like country music, I don’t like people to act like bigots, I don’t like the use of incorrect grammar, etc. – was wearing. I made a list of all the things I could think of that I had strong feelings about. No holding back, just making a list. Then I let all that go. It felt like I could breathe easier. I didn’t have to make sure everyone and everything did what I thought was right. I still sputter when another car tailgates me or point out a spelling mistake on a sign. But some days I can just laugh at a sign using an apostrophe for a word that is simply a plural, or mute the shoe commercial.

Life is full of opportunities to grow.



Friday, August 14, 2015 | By: Cafe
In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.
- Mark Twain
Thursday, August 13, 2015 | By: Cafe

Nancy C. Weeks Dumps the Excuses and Dives into Writing

The Write Way Café welcomes Nancy Weeks, who advises writers to dive into their own world and get the book written, no excuses.

Tell us a little about your Shadows and Light series.
     First of all, I’m so thrilled to be back on The Write Way Café. Thank you for hosting me.
     The seed that spouted Shadows and Light: The Complete Series came from a common, but powerful adage: love conquers all. From In the Shadow of Greed to In the Shadow of Vengeance, I engulf my heroes and heroines in one conflict after another and demand they learn to trust each other and love follows.
     As law enforcement officers, my five brothers’ lives constantly intersect with the worst that mankind has to offer. While each brother feels his world is too dangerous to share with that one special woman, fate butts in and gives an extra hard push. But falling in love for any one of the McNeil brothers isn’t your typical fall-in-love. It changes their understanding of the world. I have also surrounded them with a large family of secondary characters who give their all to help my couples reach their well deserved happy-ever-after.
     After reading one of my books, readers might come to the conclusion that I just love to blow things up. Well, that’s true, but what I really loved about this series was writing my hero and heroine’s love story. The romance that begins in chapter one and follows my characters through to the last page is such a joy to write. The external dangers and evil surrounding them will keep readers turning the page, but it’s their internal emotions that will tug at the heart strings.

If In the Shadow of Vengeance was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
     What a wonderful thought!  As I was writing Vengeance, I envisioned Elizabeth Merlot as a combination between Julie Gonzalo and Stana Katic. They portray such strong, spirited women.  For my villain, I have a little confession. I use to be an avid General Hospital fan and my favorite character was Sonny Corinthos. When I started writing my first novel, In the Shadow of Evil, I used the darkest side of Sonny for my inspiration for Elías Mendoza. So Maurice Benard would be my choice. He knows how to be charming one minute, and on a dime, completely ruthless. As for Noah McNeil, I’ve haven’t found an actor that I can say, “He’s a perfect Noah.”  Maybe your readers can give me some suggestions.
     If your readers are interested in other inspirations I used for the series, I have created story boards for each book. You can find it here: Nancy on Pinterest

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     I have had some amazing people who have supported me in my writing journey. First on the list has to be my mom. She used to constantly ask when was I going to write my book. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. Sadly, she passed away before I had the courage to take that first step. As for that first step, my wonderful sister, Mary gave me that shove. When she decided to quit smoking, I told her I was her sponsor of sorts and would do anything to support her. She challenged me to send her the first ten pages of my first chapter. I started In the Shadow of Evil and she loved it. After a year, I had a finished novel and she was smoke free for 365 days. Awesome moment for both of us.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
     The most profound advice I have received came from one of my favorite authors, Heather Graham. I met her at a conference in 2013. She told me to never allow anyone to tell me what to write. Write the story I want to write and then write the next one.
     My advice for new writers is dump all the excuses why you shouldn’t be writing in the trash and set your butt in the chair, hands on the keys, and dive into your own world. If you decide it just isn’t for you—if it isn’t giving you pleasure, then move on and find your passion. It’s out there waiting for you. But if you find you love writing, give it the time it needs to grow. Learn everything you can about how to write in your genre. It takes an incredible amount of self-devotion. Allow yourself the time and commitment to write. And don’t ever let anyone ever tell you you’re not good enough … because someone will.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     You have to promise not to laugh…but I would love to be a main character in the Harry Potter books. I
love the supernatural and even use it my Shadow series.

What book do you wish you could have written?
     The Harry Potter Series. The whole world fell in love with these amazing books by J.K. Rowling. She had the ability to entice young children and adults, who seldom picked up a book, to read! That is a true gift. My own kids would read them in almost one sitting and begged for more.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
     The roughest criticism I’ve received came from automatic rejection letters before I sold my first book. I knew the editor or agent didn’t even read my query letter and never opened the chapters they requested. I think their slush piles become so overwhelming, they let them all go. To new writers that are going through this, just keep submitting. Your day will come.
     On a more positive note, the best compliments I have received have come from my readers through amazing reviews and heartwarming emails. People who know who I am stop me in places like the grocery store and say the nicest things.  One in particular stands out. A woman from my church stood up right before Easter Mass and shouted across the church, “Nancy Weeks, I love your books. When is the next one coming out?” I was shocked she even knew my name.
     My readers fuel me on to be the best writer I can be. From my heart, THANK-YOU!

We’re adding books to our Café menu.  Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert?  What would you call it?
     Shadow and Light: The Complete Series is definitely rich, creamy chocolate like a thick multi-layered chocolate cake covered in rich fudge icing. I would call it Sinfully Indulgent.J

What is your favorite social media?  Why?
     I have thoroughly enjoyed my blog. I started blogging at the same time I published my author website just to get my name out there. It has become a place I can share this amazing dream I’m on as well as a venue to help promote other wonderful dreamers. There is more to me than just an author. This is a place readers can meet me. In the very near future, I will publish a closed Facebook page for readers who would enjoy having a more one-on-one relationship. If anyone would like to be included in this new group, you can keep up with me by subscribing to my newsletter.  I post news there first. Please know that I will never—ever abuse their email address.

Do you have any compulsions you must do for no particular reason?
     I go a little crazy around creepy-crawlers. I spend a lot of time writing outside on my deck in the summer. I have tried to talk to the bug population about invading my small space. I don’t like to smash or hurt them, but when spiders drop in my hair or a beetle flies down my cleavage, I’m not responsible for how I behave.

Tell us about the book in your closet.
     I’m taking this question as the books I want to write that I keep hidden in a closet or in a secret file on my desktop. I don’t have a stockpile of unfinished stories but there is one story I want very much to write. It’s a spiritual woman fiction about a young mother who dies when her child is only five-years-old. She is so angry to be taken from her child’s life, she yells at Saint Peter, “Who is going to be there for my child and teach him how to deal with life if not me?” Saint Peter grants her a special wish. I’ve titled it, What She Didn’t Say. This story is about the deep connection between a mother and child and faith. After the series I’m working on is complete, I will write this story because it lives in my head and heart.

And now for the fun stuff!  

If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be?
     Exclamation mark! According to Google, an exclamation mark is a punctuation mark that indicates strong feelings. I over use them because I think if I place a few!!! on the page,  people will listen to me. Sadly, it doesn’t work.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
     I have always lived by the glass-half-full model. I’m the first to admit that I explore my world with rose-colored glasses. I know the ugliness is out there, but I focus on the beauty that surrounds us instead.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 
     When I’m right in the middle of a scene and become stuck, the one thing that always de-clogs my brain is brushing my teeth. I have no idea why that simple, mindless act works, but by the time I write The End, I have very clean teeth.

What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
     My super power is I’m a super-baker. If we can have an Ant Man, then surely Superbaker is a thing. I make great cakes and cookies that everyone seems to love. I also ship them all over the country, mostly to my kids and their friends.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of love?
     Let me just say up front that this isn’t a cop-out answer. I’ve been married almost 34 years to the best man ever. Marriage isn’t easy. So what’s the craziest thing I have ever done in the name of love - I’ve worked like crazy to keep my marriage strong, passionate and alive. I also ask for help from the man upstairs that if He will just keep us together, I will keep us together. That sentence makes sense if you think about it.


SHADOWS AND LIGHT: THE COMPLETED SERIES
Meet five Irish brothers, all sworn to protect and serve - and the smart women who help them take down the terrorists gunning for their family. Lock up your heart: when it comes to love, the sexy McNeils know how to walk this beat.

In the Shadow of Greed: Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created - and it's up to FBI agent Jason McNeil to make sure she stays alive long enough to do it.
In the Shadow of Evil: After ten years with Maryland's Special Crime Unit, very little rattles Jared McNeil. Then his nemesis resurfaces, with his sights set on the woman Jared is honor bound to protect.
In the Shadow of Malice: Adam Blake, ex-CIA operative, has gone to great lengths to keep his identity a secret, but his cover's blown when he ends up on the run with waitress Calista Martin to protect his little girl.
In the Shadow of Pride: When Lexie Trevena's matchmaking friends accidentally place her smack in the path of a terrorist who intends to use her as his pawn, the only person who can help her is Special Agent-in-Charge Luke "Mac" McNeil - the man she holds responsible for her husband's death.
In the Shadow of Vengeance: Elizabeth Merlot can't afford to let handsome Detective Noah McNeil discover her secret past. But when trouble finds her son, Noah may be the only one who can save their lives.

Sensuality Level: Sensual
AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE

About Nancy:  Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

I love to interact with readers. Please keep up with what’s going on here:
Website         Blog          Facebook          Twitter: @NancyCWeeks
Goodreads          Pinterest          Amazon

To get a little tease of my stories, free chapters from SHADOWS AND LIGHT: THE COMPLETE SERIES can be found here: BOOK PREVIEWS




Tuesday, August 11, 2015 | By: Cafe

Tuesday Special: Red L. Jameson

Red L. Jameson
www.redljameson.com


Kidnapping mortals to different eras is such fun. Trickster muse sisters, Clio and Erato, call it a glimpse, but military historian Minerva Ferguson, Erva, is fairly certain she’s gone nuts when she wakes two hundred miles from her apartment. And two hundred years in the past to Brooklyn, 1776. In an unfamiliar manse, during the American Revolutionary War, she’s not too sure how to regain her sanity. Especially when she realizes whose mansion she’s just woken in, the one British general she studied more than anything else, Lord William Hill.

When Will hears Erva’s screams of panic, he breaks down a door to save her, even if he can’t quite remember why she’s visiting. She calms, though, the instant she sees him, as if they’ve known each other for eons. From the second he sees her dressed in a toga made from a bed sheet to later when she’s with his troops, wooing them with her musket skills, he realizes he’s smitten. But he’s a weary soldier, shrouded in grief, while she reminds him of a sun goddess. Is she too good for him? Lord, how he wants her to want him.

How could Erva not fall for a guy who accidentally quotes a Cheap Trick song? But now she has to get to the bottom of if Will is really a rake, how to stop one of the most important battles of the war, and lastly how to stop her insane crush on the general. After all, he’s going to die in less than a week.

The muses have to work fast for this glimpse. But that’s when they work best. And as explosions erupt through New York, sometimes it’s not from the artillery.


Excerpt
     “Why are you—” She stopped herself again. This time she bit her lush bottom lip and looked away.
     “Why am I what?” He should have let her question falter, but he had to know for himself if she were a spy or not. The more questions she asked, the more she would reveal herself.
     The anomalous thought flittered through his mind though that he wasn’t too sure if he cared if she were a spy.
     She glanced back up at him, her eyes wide and timid. “Why are you here?”
     That, he hadn’t expected. A spy would wonder about his men, his drills, his arms, anything else that mattered to the war. Not a philosophical question about why he was here. But even the reason why he was here could be used against him, if court martialed. He hadn’t realized that thus far. Then again, he’d thought he wouldn’t have survived this long in the war. In his mind, he would have no reason to be court martialed. He wouldn’t be alive for it.
     She licked her lips and slightly shook her head. “I mean, you didn’t vote for any of the acts the Americans protested. The newspapers said that you didn’t support any kind of action against the Americans. You don’t support this war, yet here you are. Why?”
     “Why not?” He tried to deflect the conversation.
     She narrowed her eyes, no longer looking sheepish but challenging, ruthless, and so lovely. He liked her best like this, shooting faster than most of his men, speaking of sedition to his superiors, the Howe brothers. Lord, how he liked it when her eyes caught fire and turned back into dark red-brown honey. His veins pumped his too hot blood through his body.
     “Why not, hmm?” She gave him a wicked smile. “Why not, indeed. I think you don’t want to be here.”
     “On the contrary, there is no other place I’d rather be.”
     She blinked, then caught his meaning that standing so close to her was exactly where he’d love to be. Arching a blonde brow, she said, “You know what I mean, obtuse man.”
     He silently chuckled at his new name.
     “I think you don’t want to be in this war.”
     He felt his own mirth leave his face. “You might be right.”
     “Then why are you here? Why do you fight? Especially so efficiently?”
     “Do I?”
     She growled, making Will grin again. “Quit evading the questions with your own.”
     “Why? This is fun.”
     She smacked one of his shoulders, then he caught her small hand in his.
     “Is this fun for you too?” he asked, carefully gauging her reaction as he twined his fingers through hers.
     She didn’t look at their hands. Instead, her gaze was focused on his chest. He especially enjoyed that, as if she found him desirable. Lord, he hoped so, that he wasn’t making a fool of himself.
     She never answered, but looked up at him, her long lashes batting. He took hold of her candle and set it on a nearby table. In so doing he’d gotten that much closer to her, and just as he was thinking of holding her other hand, she reached up, probably on her toes, and kissed him.
     This time he reacted immediately. His lips melded with hers. She tasted strongly of mint, and he licked the seam of her lips to enjoy. She opened for him, and he dove his tongue into her mouth. God, she was sweet. Her arms wrapped around his neck, and he pulled her closer by holding onto her not-corseted waist. Next her tongue was inside his mouth, and he couldn’t help but pull her even closer, her stomach against his, her breasts crushed against his chest.
     Will felt Erva fiddle with the ribbon at the nape of his neck, and his hair was released from its hold. Instantly, her hands raked through his mane. It gave him silent permission to finally take hold of her tresses with one of his hands. Pure silk ran through his fingers. He loved her long hair, so wild and free this moment. Like the color of corn silk, Erva’s locks were close to white with a light dandelion sheen. He fisted what he held, which tilted her head back, all the better to deepen the kiss. She moaned into his mouth. All his blood rushed south. That little noise was his undoing.


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

Buy Links:
Amazon       Barnes & Noble      iBookstore       Universal link for Enemy of Mine


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

Friday, August 7, 2015 | By: Cafe
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
- E. L. Doctorow


Thursday, August 6, 2015 | By: Cafe

An Interview with Rolynn Anderson

The Write Way Café welcomes Rolynn Anderson. Anderson's zeal has given her persistence and an appreciation for the joy of revisions.


When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
When I retired from a high school principal position, I began thinking about what I’d like to do next.  I wanted to see if I could craft the kinds of novels I always enjoyed reading (romantic suspense), so I started writing in 2000.  First book published in 2011 (Wild Rose Press); I’ll have six novels published by the end of 2015.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
A long and winding road describes it best.  I almost threw FEAR LAND under the bus, but the subject was worthy, so I kept going, even when my editor called for a complete reconfiguring of the plot.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
I had a minor trauma in my life and, as a result, decided to do some research on it.  I began thinking about how certain people might be more susceptible to trauma than others, which led to the ‘could we screen out certain vulnerable men/women from combat?’ question.  Soon I was writing about a whole range of anxious behavior!

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I wanted my character (a child psychiatrist…a researcher) to go from a small town college (and a minimum of colleagues) to a big-college setting where she was forced to deal with lots of adult co-workers.  She hears rants from adult minds, so she avoids adults (works with children, instead).  But this new project forces her to work with lots of adults…lots of conflict!

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
My characters tend to be better (and the villains worse) than people I know, to push the envelope.  My ‘good’ characters are people we want to become, because when they are faced with challenges, they (finally) step up, like we all hope we’ll do.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
As I said, above, I struggled mightily with the characters and plot in this story.  At first I had a double mystery, sort of side-by-side plots.  I decided to entwine the two plots, requiring a major rewrite.  Plus I dumped one villain!  As I said, the topic/theme was worthy, so I kept at it until I got the characters and the plot right.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I discovered that the Armed services have been trying to figure out a way to screen out recruits for emotional problems since the Civil War!  I also learned that, today, we have almost as many suicides among soldiers who have never been in combat compared to those who have served in battle.  So much about trauma, its symptoms as well as ‘cures’, is still a mystery.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about anxiety, PTSD, and neuroscience?  
I’ve become a big supporter of the whole range of science of the brain.  Trauma, dementia, anxiety, depression…these are brain problems, chemical issues we could address if we had enough knowledge about the brain’s workings.  I hold out hope that in my lifetime, scientists will find ways to address brain problems.  As for me and this novel?  This is my first try at a ‘normal’ paranormal, coupled with the tricky area of PTSD/anxiety.  But I learned I am above all, persistent.  I’m thrilled I finished the novel and hope readers enjoy it!

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.  
I write in the morning when I’m fresh and I am a pantser, surprised every day with what I type onto the page.  Of course, the next day I have to polish, polish, polish…but then I write something new as well.  I do enjoy the magic of revision.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  
I was an English teacher (high school/college level) so my favorites would fill pages (Catch 22, Brave New World, anything Shakespeare, for instance), and I still read about a book a week.  I’m fond of Gabaldon’s Outlander series; enjoyed Doerr’s ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.  But don’t get me started, I love lots of books, yet I rarely read them more than once, nowadays, because I’ve just grabbed a new one!

What are you working on now?  
BAD LIES, a story about a talented golfer whose biggest challenge is a mystery she and her coach can’t solve.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?  
I’d like to learn how to write short (short stories).  FEAR LAND is a ‘normal’ paranormal…a new genre for me!

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?  
A philanthropist with a ton of money to solve a major social problem.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?  
Detailed descriptions of actions and deeply emotional scenes.  Body part positions-yikes!

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?  
Because I know them so well, I pick Claire and Jamie from Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

     Tally Rosella, an acclaimed psychiatrist who helps children fraught with anxiety, avoids adults because their brains rant at her.  But the chance to start a second child study and connect her findings to PTSD, sets her squarely among devious colleagues at a big California university.
     Army Major Cole Messer, Tally’s new neighbor, won’t admit that trauma from combat tours in Afghanistan, destroyed his marriage and hampered his ability to lead.  As a teacher of college ROTC and single parent, he’s focused on enrolling his highly anxious son in Tally’s study and getting back to active duty.
     Someone is dead set against Tally’s presence at the university, and blowback from her battles with co-workers put Cole and his son in jeopardy.  Watch what happens when people struggling with shades of anxiety collide with corrupt, revengeful foes.

About Rolynn:  Scandinavian, Army Brat, English Teacher, High School Principal, Golfer, Boater, World Traveler, Author.  With her experiences, Rolynn Anderson is fairly bursting with stories about extraordinary people and amazing settings, real and contrived. Now add her competitive nature and her love of ‘the makeover.’  As a principal, she and the staff she hired, opened a cutting-edge high school; as co-captain with her husband on INTREPID, she cruises from Washington State to Alaska and back.  As a writer, she delights in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges.  Her hope: You'll devour her ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because her stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart.

Buy links for Rolynn's books, Award-winning Suspense Spiked with Romance:

LAST RESORT          FADEOUT          SWOON

LIE CATCHERS           FEAR LAND       

www.rolynnanderson.com



Tuesday, August 4, 2015 | By: HiDee

County Fair Ambiance

The arrival of our county fair always conjures up fond memories.

When we were tweens, our parents would drop us off at the gates with a promise and a threat: a promise to pick us up at a certain time, and the threat of punishment if we were late. Waving goodbye, my best friend and I would head straight for the ferris wheel. From the top, you could pretty much see everything...especially the boys we wanted to hang out with!

As soon as we exited the ride, we’d head in the direction we’d last seen them. Looking back now, it was funny how we always acted as surprised to see them as they were to see us. We were so obviously chasing each other!

Once we met up, we’d wander through the games, sharing big bags of pink cotton candy. Loud, obnoxious carnies mocked the boys, coercing them into showing off, trying to win stuffed animals for all the girls. They were always trying to outdo one another, and we were so easily impressed.

Later, hugging our stuffed animals, we’d wait in lines for rides we didn’t care if we rode or not, except for the fact that the rides put us in very close proximity to the boys. The best rides were ones that squished us against their sides, or scared us half to death so they would put their arms around us. And if we were lucky, our night would end with a stolen kiss before we scampered off to catch our ride home. Yes, we were shameless in our pursuit of those poor boys, but we never heard them complain.

Under cover of darkness, the kaleidoscope of lights and the cacophony of carnival ride music created an ambiance not found anywhere else. The county fair had it all. Critters, fair food, stuffed animals and the Midway. Loud music, warm bodies and ... what we thought was romance.

Some things never change. Our county fair rolls around every July. We enjoy looking through the exhibits, and usually attend the rodeo. Four-legged critters hold more appeal now than the two-legged ones of my youth, and wandering through the barns is one of my favorite fair activities.  

As my husband and I recently strolled through the Midway, munching on Culler’s french fries instead of cotton candy, those memories from long ago were fresh in my mind. Carnival music and laughter filled the air, and I felt like a kid again. I moved a little closer to my husband. County fair ambiance is alive and well - no rides or stuffed animals necessary.

What’s your favorite fair memory?