Friday, March 23, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. 
– Amelia Earhart
Thursday, March 22, 2018 | By: Lynn

Get to Know Lynn Crandall

The Write Way Café does something a little different today by interviewing one of the blog's partners. HiDee and Lynn have featured a large variety of talented authors on the blog for a number of years. Today, Lynn Crandall answers the questions we've asked others so you can get to know her a bit better.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?

Casually, I made up stories to tell my younger sister when we were both very young. I wrote a short one-act play when I was twelve. My best friend and I were the only characters and we performed in front of our church. It took me awhile to discover my passion for writing, and in particular romance novels. That first book will never see the light of day. I wrote it in longhand with a pencil in a notebook and it took two weeks. Yeah, not good, but it was a start.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
My first book was published by Kensington, then it took me a few years to juggle my way through family, a day job, and writing to produce another novel. That was titled Dancing with Detective Danger, a romantic suspense. For that story, I interviewed police officers and detectives to help me write about private investigator sisters and their private investigator and police officer heroes. The heroine and the hero carried emotional scars that I needed input from a counselor and real people who had experienced those particular traumas. I do Internet research to get background and familiarity with various elements of the story, but I really enjoy first-hand interviews.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
Dancing with Detective Danger was an exploration of family working together and creating family out of people beyond their biological family. I feel our commonly held beliefs for how family occurs and behaves is often far from the real experience of family. I wanted to explore different ways of finding groups where we get a sense of belonging. All my subsequent books, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance, carry that theme of what makes a family, within the context of the developing love relationship, of course.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 
I only write stories set in the Midwest. There is so much natural beauty everywhere, but I like the variety of the Midwest. So whether the setting is a fictitious town during a Michigan winter, a rural area of Minnesota, or a big city located on one of the Great Lakes, nature is a frame for the characters’ experience. More recently, I’ve been having fun pinning setting images, which include housing fitting the characters, natural landscapes, town scenes, and other relevant elements, in my Pinterest book boards.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
My main characters reflect their individual stories. They are imaginary, but sometimes they may be an amalgam of a variety of personality types. I believe people are born who they are, but are also shaped by their life experiences and behave out of patterns and beliefs, rather than their true selves. Part of their character arcs demonstrate dealing with their understanding of who they are and learning about their true selves and how they want to express their values. So, in a way, that experience for characters reflects my personal goals, abstractly.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret? 
I wish I had magical secrets that would prevent blocks. The closest thing I have to a secret is personal, and it is to write. It’s not unusual for me to get bogged down and not write, which makes things worse. Over and over, when I just sit down and dig in, my muse is there with things to say. And I always say a big thank you to my magical, invisible writing team for showing up, because the next day may begin the same way. I really admire writers whose writing is hard won and they just keep soldiering on regardless of level of support, amount of available time, or bouts of discouragement.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after? 
With each book, I have been happily surprised at being able to write, and finding that I like what I’ve written. I get pretty attached to my characters and their trials. For instance, in Probabilities, as I was writing I realized I was going kill off a young boy’s mother. I really struggled with that. How could I take away his mother??!! I cried during writing the scenes regarding her death and the child’s life after. That was surprising.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about technique, skills, and your goals? 
I love words and streaming them together, and reaching for a way to produce the kind of immersive experience I want readers to get. I always strive to improve my skills. But beyond all that, what I’ve learned from writing is that for me it is a vehicle for personal growth, purpose, and having more and more joy becoming more and more who I really am.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
I lust after the writing space Tom Selleck had in the movie Her Alibi. It was upstairs on the second or third floor in a kind of large attic room with windows and books and disorganized order all around. But…I have a desk in front of a window, two tall bookshelves to my left filled with books I turn to during writing, a shelf with little things that inspire me or tickle my imagination, and filing cabinets. I would love a writing space in a personal library, and a much bigger desk, which would still be orderly in my own disorderly way.

What are some of your favorite books and why? 
Books that have taken my breath away include Persuasion by Jane Austin because of the characters’ palpable aching for each other; Jane Eyre because of the absolute devotion the main characters have for each other; and the Dark Materials series by Philip Pulman for their tremendous depth. I credit Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series with teaching me everything I needed to know about myself. I could go on, because there are the Harry Potter books, the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson, and on and on.

What are you working on now? 
Presently I am writing a contemporary romance I’ve tentatively titled Love and Cherish. It is a runaway bride story that is challenging me.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why? 
I have written romantic suspense, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and a children’s book. I’ve enjoyed writing them all, but I am keenly interested in writing women’s fiction and plan to start one this summer. I also dream of writing dark fantasy.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
I would never not be a writer. LOL But I also would like to study and be knowledgeable about art history.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
I’ll admit, writing skillfully to show not tell keeps being a challenge.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine? 
I’m going to be selfish and pick from my own books. Even picking from those books is hard. I love them all. But because Quinn in Probabilities is not a typical romance novel hero, I have a soft spot for him.

Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the
company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to inspire, empower, and uplift.

Visit Lynn:

Website            Facebook            Twitter  
Amazon            Instagram            Pinterest

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Beg for Mercy with Jami Gray


Choosing a side has never been so dangerous…

The world didn't end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.

An assassin by trade, a loner by nature, Mercy is sent to infiltrate the Cartels and unmask the identity of their new silent partner. Instead, she discovers a darker plan threatening to crumble the entire Southwest and ends up with a hefty bounty on her head. Still, she’s determined to stop the impending attack at any costs, even if it means partnering up with a member of the notorious Fate’s Vultures.

After enduring a brutal, blood soaked lesson on the savagery of civilization’s scavengers, Havoc is well acquainted with the consequences of battling predators. But as a member of the nomadic band of arbitrators known as Fate’s Vultures, he’s determined to cement the necessary allies to oust the biggest threat looming on the horizon. When an enigmatic woman crosses his path, her secrets and troubling loyalty light the fuse on an unexpected craving and his insatiable curiosity.

In order to trap a common foe and derail an impending threat, Havoc and Mercy must turn the tables to hunt a predator. Can an assassin and a mercenary find their balance on the thin line of loyalty, or will it snap under the weight of their wary hearts?

Escape Publishing         Amazon         Barnes & Noble
iBooks         Kobo

Jami Gray is the coffee addicted, music junkie, Queen Nerd of her personal Geek Squad, Alpha Mom of the Fur Minxes, and award winning author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams, and her latest Romantic Suspense series, Fate’s Vultures. She writes to soothe the voices in her head.

Friday, March 16, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out. 
– Steve Jobs
Thursday, March 15, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

When Reality Exceeds Imagination with Susanne Matthews

The Write Way Café welcomes author Susanne Matthews, who offers tips for effective writing of setting.

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here today. This morning, I would like to discuss setting. To me, realistic settings are critical to the story, and I do my best to work my stories into places I’ve been, but that isn’t always possible.

Most new authors work on a limited budget. That being said, while hands-on research is best, a lot of us have to rely on the opinions—and photographs—of others and Internet research.  This picture is one I took in January on Cozumel during my recent Caribbean cruise. Until this year, I had never been any farther south than Williamsburg, Virginia.

Last year, when I decided to create a tropical setting for my novel, Wedding Bell Blues, I relied heavily on research and the opinions and comments of friends and family who’d taken island vacations. Creating an imaginary place as the setting often works better than using a real location, especially if you have limited knowledge of the region, but even then, you need to have enough information about the area, its history, its laws, and its people to make the setting and the story believable. For example, if you decided to set a story in the Mediterranean, you can’t have your characters using machetes to cut back jungle and tropical rainforest. Any reader who lives in that area or has been there will dismiss the story at once and probably give you a lousy review simply because you didn’t do your homework.

Wedding Bell Blues is set on Paradise Island, an imaginary island off the coast of Martinique in the Caribbean.  When I wrote the story, I wanted to give it something different. There are so many romance novels out there, I wanted mine to stand out. So, instead of your typical contemporary romance, I added paranormal elements by suggesting mermaids existed and live among us as well as using Quimbois, the voodoo religion practiced in the area. I added a cursed sunken treasure, a greedy evil practitioner of the dark arts, and of course a romance. This is a second chance at love story where a girl who had a crush on her brother’s best friend actually gets the guy. But, for MJ, the course of true love doesn’t run smooth as whatever can go wrong does.

Since I started the story in the dead of a Canadian winter, I wanted to visualize the sun and the sea, but more importantly, I wanted to be able to describe it so that other armchair travelers would see it, too. When my husband surprised me with plans for a Caribbean vacation this year, I was thrilled. Not only would I get a chance to escape the cold for 14 days, I would be able to see how close I’d come to reality. I wasn’t disappointed.

Here’s one of the pictures I took. I was absolutely awed by the color of the water and the shades of blue reflected in them.

One of the primary images in the novel is the color of MJ’s eyes. Here Paul reflects on them.
There was no way in hell he’d ever forget her incredible eyes. They were a pale aquamarine with a deeper ring of the same color edging the outer iris. They reminded him of sand beaches and warm seas, and he’d never seen any others like them.

Here is MJ’s reaction. Instead of commenting, she stared out at the aquamarine water once more. Were her eyes really that shade?

Another image I used involved the vegetation common to the region. Our vacation coincided with the end of the rainy season, but we saw a lot of downed trees and puddles. The week before we arrived in Roatan, a mud slide had claimed the life of a child. Beautiful scenery could be destroyed in a matter of hours.

Paul and MJ have such a storm during their stay, a fitting backdrop for their own emotional storms.  Picture this beach as MJ sees it after the storm.  If you saw any of the footage from last season’s hurricanes, you can easily visualize the damage. While there were a few broken branches here, the trees had survived intact. Palms are hardy trees, well suited to withstanding storms, and even if they lose most of their leaves, as long as the palm bud or palm heart at the top of the trunk isn’t damaged, it will regrow its branches.
All around them, branches from palm trees and other tropical plants littered the wharf. The water level in the lagoon, which had been a good two feet below the walkway, was mere inches under the boards, and up ahead, along the beach, half a dozen of the majestic Roystonea trees, better known as royal palms, had been uprooted. Two of them blocked the path leading to the main building.

I could go on all day about how everything I saw confirmed or exceeded my expectations, but I will leave you with one last image.

In the novel, MJ falls overboard, and Paul dives in to save her. Because I am severely asthmatic, I could never hope to see what Paul did, but never say never. In Georgetown, Cayman Islands, we took a submarine ride. I was so excited, I didn’t have time to worry about being 112 feet underwater.  Here’s Paul’s description. Diving deeper, he opened his eyes, ignoring the burn of the salt water. As always when underwater without a mask, everything was fuzzy and distorted, but the water was amazingly clear. He looked below him into the darker depths and saw her drifting down, a strange iridescent purple shadow beneath her, almost as if it was supporting her.
And here is what I saw through the porthole. Yes, the water really is blue 112 feet down!

While I will always try for realism in my settings, it’s nice to know that proper research can come close to reality.

Wedding Bell Blues is available in paperback and digital from most online retailers including

About Susanne:
Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. 

Follow Susanne on her:  Website   Blog    Facebook  Twitter @jandsmatt  Amazon author page and   Goodreads author page.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Since Larry Died by Charmaine Gordon

Charmaine Gordon

She drives off on an adventure. Since her husband died, the widow feels angry so she gets on his Harley and drives to the club. She thinks why not? It's my Harley now and I can shoot. Heart aching, she drives.

That's the beginning of the story. A woman lost and wondering what will happen next.

I've been writing for years with many cats on my lap.  Stories of love, humor and therapy dogs, all fun. Enjoy my work and know I write for pleasure. From my heart.

This story is special; I hope you all enjoy it.

by Charmaine GordonJoan finds herself alone after the death of her husband of 37 years. Determined that she will not become a recluse confined to her home, she forces herself to take part in life as a single woman. The work she does helping others with her therapy dogs become part of the strength that propels her to move forward in life and quit blaming her husband for dying.


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.



Friday, March 9, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them. 
– Henry David Thoreau
Thursday, March 8, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

A Writer's Research-Brighton with Emma Lane

The Write Way Café welcomes author Emma Lane, who delights in research and shares a glimpse of it about Brighton, the setting for her Regency romance.

Let’s be candid. Research is a delight and writers probably use every excuse they can get to indulge. I contend it’s my insatiable curiosity that is the culprit. Brighton, located in England, had always been in the back of my mind to discover. In choosing the focus of my next Regency Romance, I promised myself to learn more about that town sitting on the coast. The king to be (George IV) built himself a “castle” there, a home away from home.

Brighton is a beach resort, even today, made popular as a sort of spa by a physician contending that sea water was a health remedy. When Prinny decided to build what some called a monstrosity, his followers flocked to the small town by the sea. Small rentals were built and the town hummed while he was in resident. I plopped a small boarding school off to one side where poor Lady Mary was left for five long years. Her father, an odd man to be sure, left her there without a break for the entire time. Small wonder she used her lively mind to devise ways to fight the boredom.

It didn’t take a large leap to imagine a handsome English spy lurking there on the coast so near France. Lady Jane’s nocturnal jaunts were bound to get her in trouble. Poor young girl had no idea that a kiss could be so very dangerous. Her research and mine were in sync as I looked around the city, and she contemplated the lips of a very handsome pirate. No, he was a spy, but with that bandana tied around his silky fall of dark hair, Jane could be excused for misinterpreting his identity.

photo from Wikipedia
The Royal Pavilion - Photo from Wikipedia

Lady Jane seeks antidote for her boredom much like a writer tackles research for a busy mind. Brighton is a delightful town both historical and present day. Try it, you might agree. That amazing creation on the pier is now a museum open to the public.

Lady Jane's Tryst

by Emma LaneRipe for adventure, Lady Jane welcomes the charming pirate who offers her the excitement she craves.
Five years at Miss Agatha’s Finishing School for Young Ladies in Brighton, without a single day away, leaves Lady Jane longing for any respite to liven her deadened senses. An accidental meeting with a handsome stranger initiates a journey of danger, excitement, affection, and eventually love, even as Lady Jane wonders if a person could be considered an orphan while still possessing a parent.


About Emma:  Enjoying cold winters and velvet summers, Ms. Lane resides in Western NY. As Emma Lane, she writes Regency historicals. Under the pen name Janis Lane, she enjoys plotting Cozy Mysteries. Every once in awhile, she leaves the greenhouse where she plays with flowers to send out another novel or two.

Facebook     Website

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Cruising for Love

Cruising for Love: 4 Shipshape Romances 

Matthews, O'Sullivan, Adams, and Gaddis

Set a course for adventure with these four couples as they take to the high seas only to find new romance.

Little White Lies: (R. C. Matthews)
Attorney Madalyn Russell may have dumped her fiancé at the altar, but no way is she rejecting the honeymoon cruise. Unfortunately, she didn’t cancel the newlywed package, and now she’s stuck as a single in a lovebird world. That is, until a devilishly handsome man with a secret, Royce Spencer, offers a deliciously indecent proposal: He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. She can’t deny their attraction, but will their little white lies make too many waves when Royce’s past finally catches up with him?

Romancing the Seas: (Cait O’ Sullivan)
When a relationship gone bad sinks sous-chef Pippa Renshaw’s plans, she swaps her job in a prestigious London restaurant to become the head chef on a cruise ship sailing around New Zealand. It’s a great escape plan until a mix-up means she has to share a suite with her new boss, the delectable Jonathon Eagleton, who is no happier about the circumstances. These two can handle the simmer… but when the heat turns up, is it a recipe for true love?

Magic Moment: (Angela Adams)
Shortly after the FBI brings in Laura Roberts for questioning regarding activities at the warehouse where she keeps the books, a gang of thugs snatch her off the street. Chase Donovan boarded his boat intending to spend a few peaceful days getting his head together, but instead he finds trouble when he interrupts two men assaulting a woman in his cabin. What’s more, they claim his father told them to do it. Chase doesn’t want to believe his father could hurt anyone. Laura doesn’t understand why she’s a target. Can they put their mutual attraction and time on his yacht to work to discover the truth before someone dies?

Reach for Tomorrow: (Peggy Gaddis)
Nurse Claire Frazier was devoted to her fiancé, until he threw that love back in her face. Disillusioned and burning with shame, she books passage on a world cruise, along with an intriguing collection of fellow passengers: an attractive second officer, a detective, and a confidence artist. Is love waiting once again at the next port of call?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Amazon       Barnes & Noble       iTunes

Google       Kobo       Books-A-Million

About Angela:  Writing and reviewing contemporary romances, Angela Adams’ work has appeared in Romance at Heart, Oysters and Chocolate, Whipped Cream Reviews, Long and Short Reviews. Her short story, “Burgers and Hot Chocolate,” was featured in the anthology, Winter Wonders published by Whimsical Publications. Her romantic suspense novel, Magic Moment, was published by Crimson Romance.
     Angela is a member of Romance Writers of America. Growing up in Philadelphia, PA, her passions are reading, strolling through Philadelphia’s Historic District, and cheering for the Philadelphia Phillies.

You can find her at
Follow her on Facebook at

Friday, March 2, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You've got to believe magic is all around us or it stays invisible. 
- Charles de Lintor
Thursday, March 1, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Freckle Face & Blondie by Harley Nelson and Lynda Rees

The Write Way Café welcomes author Lynda Rees, a free spirited adventurer with workaholic tendencies who is following her passion for writing, and supporting her granddaughter's writing too.

Since my first grandchild was born I’ve written special books for them based on their age groups. These private stories were for my babies, and I’ve never considered publishing them. My ten-year-old granddaughter, Harley Nelson, reads at a college level consuming chapter books like water. Her favorite treat is a trip to the library. Her favorite pastime when she stays with me is dictating short stories. I type them into a book template and print them for her collection. I have a notebook full of these tales.

When Harley started reading thick books like Harry Potter, I suggested she and I get serious about writing a publishable book appealing to middle-grade children. I write mostly mysteries, and Harley enjoys reading them, so we decided to make it a suspense story. We started it a year ago. During the process of getting it to press, we realized it was series worthy. We’re outlining book two now.

Freckle Face & Blondie launches March 1, 2018. Harley’s mom, my daughter Brandy, cried when she saw it on Amazon. The first day it was up for pre-order, Harley’s principal announced on the school loudspeaker he’d purchased his copy and wanted Harley to sign it. She was so excited I could hardly understand her on the phone when she called to tell me.

Harley and I worked as a well-oiled team, and enjoyed the journey. Involved in every aspect of the process, Harley came up with the hook for the story, chose the cover art, character names, and dictated the first round outline, making sure the language was age-appropriate for the genre. With each round of editing, Harley did a re-check to ensure the story never lost its appeal to people her general age group. As a published author, I brought industry insight making sure the story flowed well, was properly written with no loose ends, and managed the editing process getting it to press.

The Freckle Face & Blondie series is about two rambunctious girls, curious about everything, who want to become detectives. They establish their own private eye firm with an on-line presence using today’s savvy tools and skills getting involved with problems of friends and family, and helping resolve mysteries happening around them. They are two ordinary young ladies involved in extraordinary circumstances.

Book 1 of Freckle Face & Blondie Series
Middle-grade Juvenile Fiction, Mystery and Suspense

Rambunctious girls, Freckle Face and Blondie, dream of becoming detectives. They open a private investigation company to start solving mysteries so they’ll be experts by the time they’re adults. When their friend Katy disappears suspiciously and her mother is frantic police search for the girl. They should stay out of it, but Freckles and Blondie follow leads and reveal new clues. Sharing discoveries with authorities, they’re told to stop looking. Timing is critical and could mean the difference between life and death to Katy.
Kindle                 Amazon

Lynda Rees is a story teller and dreamer whose dreams come true.  She lives on a farm in Kentucky with her incredible husband and herd of critters watching her children and grandchildren breath—fascinating. Born in the splendid Appalachian Mountains the daughter of a coal miner and part Cherokee Indian, Lynda grew up in northern Kentucky when the Mob reigned supreme in Newport and the city prospered as a gambling, prostitution and sin mecca. She’s fascinated with how history affects today’s lives and it works its way into her written pages. After a corporate career in marketing and global transportation this free spirited adventurer with workaholic tendencies followed her passion with for writing.

Gold Lust Conspiracy, her award winning historical romance, launched Sept, 2017 by Sweetwater Publishing Company along with Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary and Wine, the first of The Bloodline Series of romantic suspense set in Kentucky horse country. Books 1-5 launch before 2018 with others schedule in the spring. Stay tuned.

Lynda’s first children’s book, Freckle Face & Blondie, is co-authored with her granddaughter Harley Nelson launching early 2018. Enjoy her stories. She hopes you become life-long friends.

To learn more about Lynda's work follow her by clicking here:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: The Killer Who Wasn't There with Bill Brier


Bill A. Brier, author

A murder in a locked room. Yet, the murderer escapes.

Powerful officials conspire against Bucky Ontario's attempt to solve the case, including the KKK, whose members particularly resent Bucky’s friend, Charlotte, a Harvard-educated “Negro” lawyer. When they drag her off to a hanging — her hanging — Bucky reaches the end of his rope.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble

About Bill: 
     Bill grew up in California and went to Hollywood High School, then served as an Air Force combat cameraman. After hiring on at Disney Studios as a film loader, he soon advanced and moved on to other film studios. He earned a master’s degree in psychology. A big help when working with Trumpish Hollywood producers.
     During his more than twenty- five years in the movie business as a cameraman, film editor, and general manager, Bill worked on everything from the hilarious, The Love Bug, to the creepy, The Exorcist, to the far out, Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica.
     Eight years ago, Bill switched from reading scripts to writing mysteries and driving racecars. After completing three award- winning novels, he signed with Black Opal Books. His first novel, The Devil Orders Takeout, is a standalone thriller about a devoted father and husband who makes a deal with a real- life devil to protect his golf- prodigy son after his wife and older son are killed in a mysterious accident — and pays hell for it.
    Bill’s second novel, The Killer Who Hated Soup, is Book One in the 1950s The Killer Who mystery series, and is available NOW! Book Two of the mystery series, The Killer Who Wasn’t There, was released February 24, 2018!
     Bill writes everyday and golfs infrequently (that damn right knee!). His five children and eight grandchildren keep him busy going to birthday parties, and he never misses a one!
     The Brier Patch is Bill’s wildly entertaining blog about his shameless early days in Hollywood. It’s here on his website.
     Bill is a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Facebook       Twitter      Goodreads       LinkedIn

Friday, February 23, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.
- Ray Bradbury
Thursday, February 22, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Murder in the One Percent with Saralyn Richard

The Write Way Café welcomes Saralyn Richard, an author who has power in her passion!

Tell us a little about Murder in the One Percent.
     Murder in the One Percent is no ordinary mystery novel, mainly because the characters are not ordinary. The guests who gather at the Campbells’ country mansion are among the country’s wealthiest elite. One is a friend to Presidents, the former Secretary of the Treasury. Another is the CEO of a large investment banking house. Some inherited their wealth, others earned it, and others married into it. An outsider might think the party-goers haven’t a trouble in the world, but the reader soon finds out differently. The elaborate menu, gorgeous decorations, and plush accommodations can’t mask the fact that there is something sinister in the air.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     I began writing for an audience when I was very young. I remember earning a Girl Scout “scribe” badge, enjoying all the tasks required. All of my teachers encouraged me, but two stand out:  Mari Allmond and Mary Pennington. Both nurtured my talent and pushed me to do more and more.
     Over the years I’ve taught creative writing and journalism, and I’ve had amazing students who inspire me as much as I inspire them. Then there is my writers’ critique group—wonderful people to share the ups and downs of the writing journey with. My other writer friends, including other Black Opal authors, have provided much-needed encouragement and trouble-shooting info along the way.
     I’m grateful to the wonderful, hard-working staff of Black Opal Books for seeing the value in Murder in the One Percent and for working with me to perfect the final product. My publicists at Caitlin Hamilton Marketing have done an outstanding job of representing the book and the author. Their suggestions have been invaluable. Libby Jordan, social media expert par excellence, has weighed in on PR matters, as well.
     My friends and family members who are supporting me with launch parties and other activities to promote the book are a significant part of the journey. The members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes I teach have shown enthusiasm and support throughout the process. And of course, I am thankful for every one of my readers. Without them, there would be no Murder in the One Percent.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
     I teach writing, so I’m constantly giving writing advice to others. I have important quotes written on colorful strips and posted around my classroom:  Hemingway’s iceberg, using all five senses, clarity, specific word choices, connotative language, and more. When we were doing a nonfiction unit, I asked Erik Larson what advice he had for the class, and he said, “Stop in the middle.” What he meant was stopping a writing session in the middle of a sentence, paragraph, or chapter, makes it easy to pick up the writing on the next day. It is wonderful advice that speaks to momentum—an important issue for any writer.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     What a thought-provoking question! I’ve been reviewing many of my favorite books, favorite characters, but most of them have so many problems to overcome—I wouldn’t wish to be in their shoes, even in my imagination. There are hundreds of characters I’ve loved and admired, so picking one to assume the role of is really difficult. At the risk of raising the eyebrows of my feminist friends, I will choose Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus is a thoughtful, educated attorney who practices in Maycomb, Alabama during the race-torn 60s. Many of the people he represents pay him in goods, because that’s all they have. He is so highly respected by the black community that they welcome him in their church and stand when he enters the courtroom. Atticus is both father and mother to his two children, and his loving care for them includes the imparting of deeply philosophical and thoroughly practical wisdom. Throughout the book, we see Atticus facing a variety of challenges, but he meets them all with remarkable kindness, humility, and humanity.

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
     Once I was on safari in South Africa in Krueger National Park. There were five people in the all-terrain vehicle, including the knowledgeable and friendly guide, Brandon. Before going out into the park, Brandon gave us a lecture about staying in the vehicle and making sure all arms and legs remained inside, as well. The animals, he told us, view the vehicle as one giant animal, and they won’t attack, as long as they don’t realize there are small two-legged animals inside.
     We went on several safaris with Brandon, both during the day and in the evening, but one morning, we were driving through the brush, and our vehicle hit a chasm that was covered by brush, and it stalled out. We were tilted sideways at a 45-degree angle, and we couldn’t move forward or backward. We knew we couldn’t get out of the vehicle without becoming bait for lions or leopards, and Brandon’s calls for help weren’t producing results. In fact, another vehicle driving by refused to help, frightened that they would become stuck, as well.
     What I did was show everyone how to keep the vehicle from toppling over by concentrating all of our weight in the opposite direction. That kept our bodies and minds occupied and calm enough, so that we didn’t panic or attract unwanted attention from wild animals. Eventually we were rescued by a larger vehicle. Whew! That was tense!

What book do you wish you could have written?
     I’m not the envious type. Happy to have written books of my own, I don’t wish to steal the thunder of the accomplishments of other authors. That said, I do admire the impact that J.K. Rowling has had on readers of all ages and in countries all over the world. The Harry Potter series has literally changed the literary world, not only by its commercial success, but by its empowering anti-bullying themes. The characters, settings, even vocabulary words from the books have become iconic and memorable details in our culture. It’s hard to realize that an entire fantastical world has emanated from the creative imagination of just one author, and it’s hard not to be awestruck.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 
     As a teacher of writing, I believe in the value of constructive criticism. No one’s writing is perfect every time, and if we don’t embrace comments from readers, we won’t learn and grow. When I was writing Murder in the One Percent, my writers’ critique group was diligent in pointing out places where I had point of view switches. I know all about the importance of establishing and maintaining a consistent point of view within each chapter section, but writing scenes with multiple characters talking and thinking, I found myself slipping in occasional shifting points of view. Once they were pointed out to me, I rushed to fix them, before, like weeds, they would take over with minds of their own.
     As for the best compliment, it has to be when a beta reader told me he hated for the book to end, because he wanted more, much more of Detective Parrott. To me it is a hallmark of an outstanding book when the characters live on in the minds of the readers beyond the reading of the book. Of course, there is no compliment greater than having someone read, understand, and appreciate one’s book.

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? 
     Murder in the One Percent will definitely be an entrée. It will fill up your plate as you follow the twists and turns in the plot. Bite by bite, its richness will satisfy your hunger for a good book, and give you energy to stay up late, reading. I would call it “Murder Wellington,” and I would serve it on the finest silver platter. It’s a dish to die for!

What is your favorite social media?  Why?
     All social media are valuable communication channels for authors, and I’m on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Each one has a different slant, and I try to enjoy the benefits of each in connecting with family, friends, and readers. To choose a favorite seems disloyal to the others, but I suppose Facebook is the one I spend the most time on, both in posting and in reading and commenting on others’ posts. Facebook has allowed me to connect with many old friends in far-flung places. It’s given me new friends through groups with common interests. It’s easy to operate, and you can post as much as you like as often as you like. I love the way you can become friends with your friends’ friends. You can never have too many friends, right?

Tell us about the book in your closet.
     Since it’s in the closet, it’s not ready to emerge, but I’ve written a second mystery novel, Murder at Lincoln High. It takes place in a Midwestern urban high school, where multiple obstacles interfere with the mission of student success. Though it’s a far cry from the setting and characters in Murder in the One Percent, the book pulls back the curtain on the challenges of school administration, and it’s a fun read!

And now for the fun stuff! 

If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be?
     I would be an exclamation point! I tend to be on the emotional side! I feel things very deeply! I’m so excited to be asked this question! And I’m so excited to answer this question!

What is your biggest shopping downfall?
     Given the shopaholic nods in Murder in the One Percent, readers will likely be surprised to know I am not a shopper. I used to have a weakness for shoes. I held Imelda Marcos in high esteem for having over 400 pairs of shoes in her closet, and I enjoyed having a wide array of shoes to choose from to complete every outfit. That was before Hurricane Ike in 2008, which decimated my house and its contents. Since then, I’ve realized how little we actually need, and while I still like a good-looking pair of shoes, my joy in shopping for them has evaporated.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
     Half full most of the time. I’ve seen people worry themselves sick over minor problems, while others in dire situations find a way to make the best of what they’ve got. The latter is far less stressful and more effective.

What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
     I volunteer in a doctor’s office one day a week. I love the interaction with people, and there is always some way I can find to make a difference in somebody’s day. I even saved a person’s life by recognizing over the phone that she was having a heart attack and convincing her to seek treatment.

Are you a dog/cat/other person?
     Ha! Anyone who knows me knows I am a dog person. My Old English sheepdog Nana is the narrator of my children’s book, Naughty Nana, and she is my constant sidekick when I do book signings and appearances for that book. My other dog, Archie, is a Bichon frise. The two of them rest at my feet while I’m writing, and they “participate” during my writers’ critique group meetings.

Someone comes to the party with murder in his heart and poison in his pocket.

When old friends gather for a weekend retreat at a country mansion, no one anticipates how their lives will be changed—or that one of them will turn up dead. Remote and serene, the Campbells’ horse farm is the perfect setting for a lavish party. The guests, members of the country’s elite wealthiest one percent, several of them politically connected as well, indulge in delights befitting their station—gourmet food, fine wines, Cuban cigars—but greed, lust, and jealousy insinuate themselves into the party.

Playboy and former Secretary of the Treasury, Preston Phillips, brings his new trophy wife to the party, unaware that his first love, the woman he jilted at the altar years ago, will be there, enchanting him once more with her timeless beauty. A snowstorm, an accident, and an illicit rendezvous later, the dynamics crackle with tension.

When Detective Oliver Parrott is charged with solving the untimely killing of one of America’s leading financial wizards, he realizes this will be the case to make—or break—his career.

Murder in the One Percent offers relatable characters, memorable moments, surprising twists, and humorous insights. Dive into the world of the one percent, and you’ll come up intrigued and thoroughly entertained.

Barnes & Noble           Amazon Kindle           Amazon paperback        Black Opal Books

     About Saralyn:  Mystery and children’s book author, Saralyn Richard, has been a teacher who wrote on the side. Now she is a writer who teaches on the side. Some of her poems and essays have won awards and contests from the time she was in high school. Her children’s picture book, Naughty Nana, has reached thousands of children in five countries.
     Murder in the One Percent, soon-to-be-published by Black Opal Books, pulls back the curtain on how the privileged and powerful rich live, love, and hate. Set on a gentleman’s farm in Pennsylvania and in the tony areas of New York, the book shows what happens when someone comes to a party with murder in his heart and poison in his pocket.
     When she is not writing, Saralyn likes going to movies and concerts, traveling, and walking on the beach with her husband and two dogs. She is an avid reader and is working on her second mystery.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: In This Life with Terri Herman-Ponce

Terri Herman-Ponce

     When psychologist Lottie Morgan meets Galen, their encounter is as intense as it is eye-opening. Something about him is familiar. His looks. His words. His touch.
     Lottie can’t resist the urge to know more about him, or the smoldering memories that surface every time he’s near. Only Galen’s keeping a dangerous secret, one linked to a life shared thousands of years ago. One that could destroy the relationship Lottie has with her current lover David.
     One that is about to cost Lottie her life. Again.
     Take a trip to mysterious ancient Egypt, where powerful passions ignite and deadly deceptions begin. The Past Life Series starts here.


Terri Herman-Ponce looks for any opportunity to make stuff up. She thinks anything that can’t so easily be explained is worth an extra look and often makes a great story. She loves red wine, scotch, sunrises, Ancient Egypt, the beach—and a host of other stuff that would take too much real estate to talk about. The youngest of five children, Terri lives with her husband and son on Long Island. And, in her next life, if she hasn’t moved on to somewhere else, Terri wants to be an astronomer. Or an astrophysicist, if her brain is big enough. She’s fascinated with the night skies almost as much as she’s fascinated with ancient Egypt.
     Terri is a member of member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and you can read about her at You can also find her on me on Facebook and Twitter.  Come visit. She'd love to hear from you!