Friday, June 22, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up. 
– Robert Frost
Thursday, June 21, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Building a Series, One Idea at a Time by Paty Jager

The Write Way Cafe welcomes Paty Jager, who shares her strategy for writing series.

There is a process that goes on in my head when an idea strikes. My Tumbling Creek Ranch series was just such a spark of inspiration.

I was asked to write a novella for a box set. I did and enjoyed being part of a box set with contemporary western themed stories. When they asked if I wanted to be in another box set, a light bulb went off. These box sets were only up for 6 months. Then the story reverted back to me. Why not write a series and get more bang for my time spent on the stories?

And that is when I came up with the idea of a family cattle ranch turned Dude Ranch. I’m not sure why I set the Tumbling Creek Ranch series in Montana other than I’d been reading my Cowboys and Indians magazine and saw several Dude Ranches in Montana advertised in the magazine.

Then I had to populate the series with a family and decide how many books I would put out in the series. The first book, 8 Seconds to Love was a story that had been spinning in my mind for a while. A good friend’s daughter rode bulls in high school rodeo. I found it fascinating that a woman would want to do that. My character Lacey Wallis came to life. I interviewed the daughter on why she’d ridden bulls, using that and some videos of other female bull riders being interviewed, and I had my character. I gave her caring parents who had once owned the Tumbling Creek Ranch with her aunt and uncle. They sold out to her oldest cousin, who had made the ranch into the Dude Ranch. He also happens to be the best friend of hero, Jared McIntyre, in 8 Seconds to Love. He is a male nurse who had been a medic in the Army.

I gave Lacey a younger brother and her cousin, Brett Wallis, two brothers. In the first book, I introduced Jared’s single brother who will also find romance in a novella. That will make 6 novellas in the Tumbling Creek Ranch series. A good round number, and I can make 2 box sets of 3 from the 6 novellas.

After I came up with the siblings and wrote up some background on each one, I made up a small town and put it in an area of Montana that looked like a good place, on Google Maps, to give the ranch all the qualities I wanted. Good grazing, trails up a mountain, and small falls and creeks.

Using the photos I saw in the magazine, I set out to describe and draw the layout of the main house/lodge and cabins along with the barns, bunkhouse, and other outbuildings.

I put all of this in a notebook and started a timeline to keep track of what people are doing in each book and how their lives move forward.

This is a process I do for all of my series, whether they are western or mystery. When I work on a series, I pull the notebook off the shelf and begin sketching in the new characters and what will happen to the character who is already established in the series. If it’s a romance, I fill out a conflict chart. If it’s a mystery, I fill out a suspect chart.

It has taken me years to figure out the system that works best for me, and this seems to be it. I can’t use all the fancy software that is available to make things easier. I like having all the information in a notebook beside my computer as I write.

Here is book one in the series:

8 Seconds to Love
Book one of the Tumbling Creek Ranch series
Lacey Wallis has put blood, sweat, and tears into her dream of making it to the National Finals Rodeo and isn’t about to let an injury stop her. However, she didn’t expect the ER nurse to be the man she had a crush on years ago, or to discover that crush hadn’t been one-sided.

Jared McIntyre lived through loving and the death of one thrill-seeking woman and wasn’t about to let that happen again. Especially, not to Lacey. But that would mean he’d have to allow himself to love again.

Which will it be, a life-long dream, or the love of a lifetime?

Universal link:
Available in July

Love Me Anyway
Book two of the Tumbling Creek Ranch Series 
Melanie Trask ran away from an abusive husband and is hiding at a remote dude ranch. When she and the ranch owner can no longer deny their feelings, he offers to help her divorce her husband. But she has one more secret she hasn’t revealed…

Brett Wallis has fallen hard for the quiet, competent woman who landed at his ranch when he needed help. But will he be able to choose between Melanie or the ranch when he discovers the truth behind her secrecy?

Preorder universal link:

Now available in a box set!

The Wrong Cowboy to Love
Book three in the Tumbling Creek Ranch Series
Computer geek Ruby Cutter feels like a fish out of water with a makeover her cousin put her through for the bachelorette party and wedding. The only reason she went along with it…her high school crush will be at the wedding. She’d fantasized for years over him and plans to make him see her.

Dillon Wallis is minding his own business getting ready for a gig at a bar when a tipsy, blonde who is with a bachelorette party and doesn’t realize she’s gorgeous, tumbles into his arms and captures his heart.

The only problem…she’s in love with his cousin.

Box Set
Do You Take This Cowboy?

For Better… For Worse… 
In Sickness and health…

Falling for a cowboy is easy, but when weddings happen on the ranch, anything can happen and often does! Roping, Fireworks and Magic…Enjoy seven wonderful tales of love and marriage by some best-selling and award-winning Western Contemporary Romance authors.

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 34 novels, a dozen novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.

This is what Romance Junkies has to say about the Tumbling Creek Ranch series: “There are twists and turns to the story with a nice flow and a depth to the characters. The vivid scenic descriptions made me feel like I was there… I hope to return to Tumbling Creek Ranch over and over again.”

Blog / WebsiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest / Bookbub


Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: The Ghost in the Gardens with HL Carpenter

HL Carpenter

Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn't think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.
by HL Carpenter 
All. The. Time.

She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she's determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.

The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it's too late.

Pre-order links:

Amazon     Mirror World (ebook)    Mirror World (paperback print)

Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

HL Carpenter Stay connected on 
Twitter and 
their Amazon Author Page.

Friday, June 15, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there. 
– Rumi
Thursday, June 14, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Lynn Hammond

The Write Way Café welcomes Lynn Hammond, who uses real-life experiences in her writing and makes the world a better place.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? 
Actually, I was around 16 years old when I would just make believe to be married with children and be rich. I wish I kept the notebook I wrote my story tale in but being a teenager and moving out I just threw it away. I didn’t decide to write again until my father was killed leaving my house May, 1, 2013. That day my world changed forever. Not only did I lose my father I found two years later my real father who I didn’t know about died a month after. He told my siblings that they had a sister and to find me. After finding out all this I decide I’m going to follow my passion and write. Writing gives me peace and lets my mind wonder away.

What was your path to getting Chaplain: Sacrifice for Love written and published? What type of research did you do? 
I looked up what Chaplains do in the military, I talked to some preachers, I looked up military bases in Alaska. My mother-in-law read the manuscript and demanded more. So now I turned it into a series. I’m hoping to get Chaplain series into bookstores.

Where did the idea for Chaplain: Sacrifice for Love come from? 
Well actually a friend of mine told me about a girl who was abused by a military guy and what he did to her. I was just blown away about the story so I made up my own story and added a fairy tale.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 
I love Alaska. I took a cruise there and loved the atmosphere. When I describe the scenery I had help from a friend who lived there and hiked up the mountains.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
All my characters share a little of my life and things I have seen or known to happen. I like to use names of people I went to school with or just know. I think its too much work to search for names.

Did you face any blocks while writing Chaplain: Sacrifice for Love, and if so, how did you handle them? 
I did. In the beginning of the book there are triggers for those who may have witnessed this or had it happen to them, but I thought about it and decided I wanted to tell the whole story. I wanted to put a love scene at the end of the book but with what my character went through I wanted her to feel safe and loved.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after? 
I became really attached to my characters. If I was working, cooking, or cleaning and something came to mind, I would have to rush to my computer and write it down. I loved how my characters in this book kept me on my toes. I wanted more and more for my characters.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about chaplains, and overcoming abuse? 
I learned that I would not do good as a cop. I would let my emotions take over when doing my job. Chaplains have a wide variety of things they can do. Chaplains are there to help any way they can even if they have to pick up a gun in the military. Reading testimonies about Chaplains I learned they have a lot on their plate. I respect what they do because soldiers witness a lot of things and a Chaplain is there to help them through the horror. I was in a relationship in which my boyfriend had anger issues. He threw the coffee table at me one day during an argument. I told him it was over and went to leave. He tried to block me but I got out. He stood behind my car, telling me I was not going anywhere. My father always told me never let a man lay a hand on you. He said there is always fight back. Well I got in the car and cranked it up but he still stood there. So, I did the one thing I could do and that was to put it in reverse and hit the gas. Let’s say I didn’t hurt him too badly but he limped for a while. I don’t understand why there has to be violence. Just sit down and talk about it.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
I sit beside my fireplace in my love seat. I can smell the burnt ashes once in a while. My kids sit across from me watching TV. I like to be in a room with them.

What are some of your favorite books and why? 
I love the Eden Series by Lexi Post. I don’t do much paranormal reading but when she started the series she asked me to try it out. I was hooked. I read it in one day. I love how my mind shuts off and I’m in the characters world.

What are you working on now?
I have two books I’m working on. I have book three of Chaplain series and a Billionare love romance story.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why? 
I thought about Paranormal. I love the different worlds the characters live in.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
I love my job as a nurse. I get to meet new people every day. When my patients leave the office, I make sure to tell them bye and if they need anything they can call and ask for me. Life is already rushed and I feel when they come they just need a little tender care.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
Putting more emotions to my characters. I like short novellas. Some of my readers ask for more.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine? 
I wrote a book Bloom. She has PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). She is being raised by a father who doesn't understand her illness. He tells her she's ugly and fat. All the hateful words put her into a shell until she finds out she has a brother. He is her savior. She learns to take up for herself, she meets friends, and she gets the proper treatment she needs to get better.

Author Note: I must warn the readers that this book contains some very difficult subjects that may be difficult for some to read. For example, rape, PTSD, anxiety attacks, abortions, self-mutilations, child out of rape, etc.

by Lynn Hammond
A religious man. A scarred woman. Both have their faith tested.
When Chaplain Linkin Garland, receives a phone call to help a woman who was raped, beaten, and stabbed, he can’t help but say “yes.” There is something about her that draws him in. There is a spiritual connection but also a chemistry that he can’t explain.
Words that sum up Sophia Rhinehart’s life.
Having survived a horrific abuse from her military boyfriend who she thought loved her more than life, she needs to learn to live again.
With each passing day the nightmares get worse. Sophia wants help but refuses to let anyone in. Until Chaplain Linkin shows up “at her mother’s home.”
Slowly, Linkin gets her to trust him, but will his secret destroy her frail progress?
In the end, will their journey connect them both spiritually or will it destroy them both?

Amazon Kindle      iTunes        Nook Book       Kobo

Lynn Hammond works full-time as an LPN but writes at night. She lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She is an RWA member. She loves to make children’s tutu in her spare time. Every night before bed she takes time to read. She loves romance, paranormal romance, and erotica. She is a proud mother of three beautiful girls, two beautiful grandbabies, two boxer pups, two lizards, four ducks, and loves spending time with her husband riding in her father’s old corvette. She is a new author writing New Adult romance and would love to hear from readers. You can contact her at To find out more, please visit her facebook page or

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | By: HiDee

Avoiding Negativity Bias

My day job requires a 40 minute commute (one way). I enjoy singing along with the radio and hearing the radio hosts banter with each other. Last week I was traveling earlier than usual due to an event at the office. My local station was hosting Life Coach Gina, and I quickly found myself caught up by what she was sharing.

Gina told the story of her friend, a woman who travels a lot for her job, who had just undergone a review. Her boss had complimented her on all that she had accomplished and rewarded her with a $30,000 performance bonus! $30,000!!!! But on the heels of the bonus, the boss shared three items he wanted her to improve upon over the next six months. At the end of the review, instead of feeling joy and success at all that she had accomplished, Gina’s friend was focused on what she needed to improve. So much so that when she talked with her husband later that day, she was so focused on the negative thoughts that she completely forgot to share the good news of her $30,000 bonus!

Gina referred to this as negativity bias. I’d never heard that term before, so I looked it up. It can be defined as:
  • Negative experiences that tend to exert greater psychological impact on us than positive experiences of the same magnitude.1
  • Our tendency to focus more on the negatives than the positives - in ourselves, in others (particularly our parents!), in our circumstances; in the past, in the present and when forecasting the future.2
Bottom line: it’s when we latch on to bad or negative thoughts or feelings, and ignore the good or neutral ones.

In the writing world, there are a lot of good things happening: authors encouraging other authors, and readers and fans who share their love of our books with us. But there are also bad things: lack of interactions with others while we are writing, the physical toll writing takes on our bodies, and mistakes we make in our writing to name a few. Professional jealousy and editor/agent/publisher turnovers also color our world. 

It often seems that the bad things outweigh the good, and that's when we find ourselves in a downward spiral. I think writers are particularly susceptible to criticism. Even constructive criticism can be painful; we often internalize it to mean that we are not good enough. We put ourselves down. I know I’ve done it. Once you start down that path, it's really hard to climb out of the hole and stand confidently at the top again

Gina talked about the tendency to focus on negatives, citing our ancestors as sources. Our ancestors looked for negatives. They needed to be aware of threats in order to avoid problems and protect themselves. It was a survival instinct. Although the world is a different place now, our ability to handle life is constantly changing based on our own personal growth and experiences.

As she concluded her story, Gina offered some suggestions for avoiding the negatives and turning them into positives.
  1. Identify when we are feeling negatively.
  2. Be aware – of the negativity itself and how it is affecting us.
  3. Remember that the problem is not the negative thoughts. The problem is our relationship to the thoughts and what we do with them. How do we relate to the thoughts? Do we let them drag us down? Or are we being curious about why we are reacting and how we are handling the negativity and exploring those thoughts?
While we can't control those around us, we can control how we react. So next time you feel surrounded by negativity, try following Life Coach Gina's suggestions. Take charge for yourself. Be curious. Take the opportunity to learn and to change your reaction, even if you are being dragged along, kicking and screaming, by the negativity surrounding you.

Do you have other suggestions for dealing with negativity? Please share!

For more information,Gina's podcast can be found here: 

HiDee Ekstrom never goes anywhere without a book or a pen and paper. Reading, writing, and chocolate are important elements of her daily life that inspire her to write. She also finds inspiration in and enjoys photography, scrapbooking, camping, hiking, and spending time with her family. Writing as Lainee Cole, two of her short-stories have been self-published in anthologies: Captured by Christmas and At Midnight. Follow Lainee at Facebook Author Page, Facebook Author Profile Page, and on Twitter.

Friday, June 8, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel. 
– Unknown
Thursday, June 7, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Author Janet Raye Stevens Takes Readers to the 1940s

The Write Way Café welcomes Janet Raye Stevens, who caught the writing bug very early, and through writing has learned many things, including patience.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I think the question should be, when did I ever not think about writing a book? I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first picked up a pencil. My mother was a voracious reader, which led to me loving to read too. The combination of so many books around the house and growing up in an interesting neighborhood inspired my imagination and a desire to tell stories. I was also quite the little romantic, so it was only natural I swipe my mother’s romance novels to read under the covers. But it wasn’t until I was in my teens that I infused my scribblings with romance plots.

What was your path to writing time travel? 
photo     I got hooked on time travel early on and my mother was the catalyst for that as well. She was a huge Sci-Fi fan, so of course I became a fan too. I read Fog Magic by Julia Sauer a zillion times as a kid, enthralled by the story of a young girl who steps into the fog—and into the past. I also fell completely in love with the time travel TV show The Time Tunnel (didn’t hurt that 10-year-old me thought the star, James Darren, was dreamy). Grown-up me has
moved on to the TV show Timeless, but I still swoon over James Darren as I recap episodes of The Time Tunnel for Time Travel Nexus.

Where did the idea for your story come from? Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     The idea for BERYL BLUE, TIME COP came from a photograph I found in a junk shop, a picture of a bunch of World War II-era GIs gathered around a table at a bar. The writer in me saw the men in a moment of carefree carousing, tempered by the shadow of war and an uncertain future. The only thing missing was the girl. So, I put her there.
     I wrote a scene between a contemporary woman and a soldier on leave at a rowdy nightclub in 1943. Both realize they’ve fallen in love, both know they can never be together. It was funny and romantic and bittersweet. Finished, I wiped away a tear, looked at my perfect scene and… Now what? I’d written the middle of the story. How did they get to that nightclub, and where would they go from there? Why is she in the past? How did they meet? How will they be parted? I didn’t have a clue.
photo     I twisted my brain for a long time trying to figure out the answers. Blocked, I stepped away, wrote a bunch of short stories and another novel set during WWII. I don’t know if taking a break helped or immersing myself in the early 1940s did the trick, because – *boom* – the story came about a year later, and what I thought I might have to shove into a cyber closet and forget about became a finished book.

Why did you pick the setting you did? What type of research did you do?
     You mean, why World War II? I’ve always had an interest in that era, probably sparked by where I grew up, a public housing project, built as veterans' housing. Practically every dad there, and some of the moms, had been involved in the war, and as a kid, I heard their stories (cleaned up for little ears, I’m sure). My interest in WWII and the US homefront continued into adulthood, so it was no surprise that when I started writing fiction, I turned to that time period for inspiration.
     As for research, WWII is easier to research than earlier eras, mostly because it’s been so well-documented. Films, audio recordings, newspapers, magazines, and photos from the era and post-war are plentiful. And don’t forget the primary sources surrounding me as a child, my parents, grandparents, and neighbors, who all had a story to tell and I was eager to listen. In the end, I found research not nearly as challenging trying to keep the time travel timeline straight!

Fashion, transportation, vocabulary, and technology are four things we imagine could be very different if we were able to travel back or forward in time. Were these some of the issues you dealt with in your book? What other issues did you tackle?
     One of the fun things about writing time travel, as opposed to historical, is being able to comment on the different attitudes and mores between eras. Beryl has a few choice words for the story’s hero, Sully, and his “quaintly sexist” attitude. She also has a few choice words for having to wear a girdle. I deal with more serious subjects, too, like segregation, overcoming fear, and coping with loss.
     One big challenge was figuring out how the ration points system worked (I was—and still am—as confused as Beryl and, I suspect, just about everyone who had to live through rationing). Beryl’s outspokenness, thoroughly modern vocabulary, and lack of knowledge about ordinary things earns her a suspicious side-eye from Sully more than once, leading him to think she’s a foreign spy.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     Mostly imaginary, but when I create a character I use a trait, habit or quirk of people I know, just to give them flavor. The rest, their background and life experience, is entirely fictional (especially my heroes, who all look suspiciously like Nathan Fillion, circa 2003). Beryl is closest to me of all my characters—I use humor as a defense mechanism, and so does she.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     I was surprised how old some sayings are, and how new some others are. For instance, my hero says “go for broke” a couple times, but I removed it once I learned that phrase wasn’t coined until the end of the war, by the Japanese-American troops of the 442nd regiment, a fierce phrase for giving it all you have in battle. Another phrase, “everything but the kitchen sink” wasn’t in common usage in 1943, but I let Beryl say it anyway, increasing Sully’s suspicion of her. Another surprise: eggs weren’t rationed, but there was a big demand for them from Uncle Sam (to make into powdered eggs for the troops), meaning supplies were tight on the homefront. I turned that into a fun scene—Beryl and Sully go to a deli to buy lunch and the owner is all, “Psst, buddy, I’ve got eggs to sell, but it’s gonna cost you.”

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about librarians, time travel, and World War II?
     Well, I learned to be patient as this story germinated, that’s for sure. I learned every agent and editor in the publishing business loves time travel stories, but they can’t sell it, or at least that’s what they told me. I hope I learned how to strike the right balance between humor and pathos, to create a story about real people opening their hearts to love. And I learned librarians really do not like to shelve books.

When will BERYL BLUE, TIME COP be available to readers? 
     I’m working on getting a cover done and I plan to self-publish the story by the end of the year.
     Thanks for inviting me to stop by, it’s been a lot of fun. Now, a question for all of you: if you could time travel to any time period, anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

About Janet:
Contrary to what her kids will tell you, author Janet Raye Stevens was not around during the 1940s, though she regularly time travels to WWII while writing her mystery and romance stories. When she isn’t visiting 1943, Janet spends her time drinking tea (Earl Grey, hot), plotting revenge (best served cold), and indulging in all things time travel. A two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist (BERYL BLUE, TIME COP in 2017 & COLE FOR CHRISTMAS in 2018), Janet lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and one gigantic Maine coon cat with a terrible disposition.

BERYL BLUE, TIME COP, description:
Wannabe librarian Beryl Blue shelves books in her hometown library. Dull, but after being orphaned and years in foster care, she prefers the mild life. Until she meets a woman whose claim to be a time cop from the future isn't as unbelievable as the reason she's come to Beryl: She needs Beryl to stop a rogue time traveler from killing a seemingly random soldier on leave and changing history forever.

Before Beryl can blink, she's stranded in 1943, tasked with sticking like a Band-Aid to Sgt. Tom “Sully” Sullivan. She soon learns two things: Sully's more than capable of taking care of himself and it's her heart that’s in danger—the more time she spends with the sexy, stubborn soldier, the more she comes to care for him. A man from a different time. A man she can never be with. Terminator meets Somewhere in Time as Beryl scrambles to stop a time traveling assassin, protect a man who refuses to be protected, and keep her heart intact.

Website          Facebook           Twitter        Time Travel Nexus

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: A New Beginning by Augustina Van Hoven

Augustina Van Hoven


by Augustina Van Hoven
How do you pack for a trip through time?

Mai Ling's legs tremble as she steps out into the unknown. But step she must. One group of miners in a rough nineteenth-century town is out for blood, including hers. Carrying her few possessions and her family's precious secret, Mai Ling leaves her mother and the world she knows to venture into a new century. Her escort is Captain Harlan Jefferson Baylor, who is joining his wife and his unborn child in the 21st century. They step through a crack in time, not knowing what they will find. Will Harley be able to reunite with Jessica, even though he has no idea of how to drive a car or use a telephone? Will Mai Ling survive in this strange time and find the love that has eluded her so far?

The answers are in A NEW BEGINNING, book two in the Love through Time series.

Now available for pre-order at:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble       Kobo

Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines.  

@augustinavhoven     FaceBook     Pinterest