Tuesday, December 31, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Changes at The Write Way Cafe

As 2019 comes to a close, we at The Write Way Café have mixed feelings announcing that today is the last day for our blog. Starting January 1, we are moving in a new direction, and we hope you will join us on that adventure!

We want to thank everyone who has blessed us with their input, their sharing, and their support over the past year. So thank you to all authors, readers, and visitors. We have truly appreciated doing our part to bring you all together.

As we review the journey we've been on since The Write Way Café debuted in 2012, we think back to our primary goal of establishing an inviting space where writers and readers could engage, share, vent, and celebrate. We had no idea when we started how many authors would touch our lives with their stories. To date, we've featured more than 180 authors, some more than once. It's been our treat to get to know the breadth of authors, and come to call some friends.

But things always change, and we, HiDee and Lynn, have decided it’s time for change at The Write Way Café. We need to evolve personally and devote more of our time to our writing.

Please join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheWriteWayCafe/ and Twitter at https://twitter.com/writewaycafe2, where we plan to continue promoting books for our fellow authors.

Authors: please continue to send your book information (Title, genre, buy links and preferred social media links) to us at thewritewaycafe@gmail.com and we will post on our Facebook page and Twitter. How often we post will depend on how many submissions we receive, but we sincerely want to continue helping you by promoting your books.

Again, a huge thank you to all the authors we've featured at The Write Way Café, and to all the visitors and readers who have taken time to share and support the blog and our authors. We hope you will continue to support this circle of life in our writing world!

Best wishes and happy reading!

HiDee and Lynn

Monday, December 30, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: The Seeds of Change

... a taste of romance

by Augustina Van Hoven

The door was stuck on the outside and hard to open, but they managed it. Dex stepped out on the ground of his new home. It was freezing. The wind blew snow everywhere, limiting visibility. He wore a heavy coat, gloves, and a ski mask, but the wind cut right through him as if he were naked. Just as he turned to go back inside, he saw them: three large, fur-covered figures about his height.

Wonderful, we crash on an alien planet, and we’re going to be eaten by yetis.

They stopped a few yards from him, and the center creature held up its hand. It held a red box. The creature yelled something he couldn’t understand. Then a voice came from the box. “We are representatives from New Ardor, and we are here to help you.”

Behind Dex, his little band of survivors shuffled and whispered. He was taking a huge risk allowing the aliens into the cargo bay, but it was too cold to stay outside. Besides, he wasn’t one to shy away from risk, and luck had been on his side so far today. He gestured for the trio to follow him.

“Are you crazy?” one the men whispered.

“There’s more of us than them,” Dex said. “Now help me get this door closed.” The muttering subsided as the men worked to close the door. As soon as they were finished, they aligned themselves in a half circle, flashlights held like weapons.

What he had thought were the creatures’ own fur was actually a removable coat; they removed their hoods to reveal the humanoid heads. The one with the red box had to be a woman. She had long, silky, deep-blue hair. Her face was angular and quite attractive, but it was the eyes that got him, bright green eyes with oblong pupils. They reminded him of Jimmy, the cat. She spoke again. The language sounded like a combination of Arabic and Chinese. Like before, it took a moment, then a voice came from the red box.

“You must seal the breach in your hull and power up your ship. Nightfall will be here in sixteen hours, and the temperatures will drop. If you do not do this, you will not survive the night.”

He stood stunned.

“How can we help?” the woman asked through her translating device.

“What’s your name?” Dex asked instead. He couldn’t just keep thinking of her as the alien.

The leader of the alien delegation reached up and moved her deep blue hair away from her shoulder, exposing the red box. It translated Dex’s request into her language. She looked surprised. The answer came back. “Laize.”

“I’m Dex. Can you tell me where we are?”

“Your ship came to rest on an ice pack at the base of Mount Denair in the northern hemisphere of Kao.”

The Space Exploration & Colonization Group’s Starship Halcyon wasn’t supposed to be here. It, along with two other ships, was supposed to land on Nedrion.

But because of treachery and sabotage by members of the SE&C Group, the ship, its crew, and the colonists it was transporting were now stranded. How long would it take the Lexington and the Aryton to notice the Halcyon was missing? He shrugged. It didn’t matter; both ships were too far away to be of any help. The survivors of the crash were on their own and at the mercy of their new alien neighbors.

“Do you have any portable power generators?”

She seemed to take his change of topic in stride. “Yes.”

He addressed all three aliens. “We have six cargo haulers and two shuttlecraft flying somewhere above us. Can we use your power generators to light up a landing area?”

Laize listened to her translator, nodded, and then spoke to her to companions. They wrapped themselves in their cold weather furs and headed to the door.

“Sir,” said one of the five men who had come to the cargo bay with him, his tone edged with uncertainty.

Dex pushed ahead; he didn’t have time to dither. “We have to trust that our new neighbors are people of their word. We’re going to need their help to survive here. This will be our makeshift infirmary until we get the power back on and the hospital and clinics are operational. Look around for anything you think we can use.”

The men fanned out, their flashlights soon becoming little specks of light, like fireflies in the darkness.

Want to read more?

by Augustina Van Hoven
The last thing Dexter Thompson expected was to get a field promotion from being a member of the ship’s construction crew to the ship’s ambassador. When the Halcyon crash lands on Planet Kao, he’s the first one to interact with the aliens who showed up to help. The blue haired beauty, who led the delegation, haunts his thoughts and dreams.  Is it possible for them to have a future together?

Laize never believed in the prophesy that a new species was coming to their galaxy.  She didn’t believe until the day when a ship dropped from ski and landed at the base of Mount Denair. When the Council sends her to be their emissary, she’s surprised by the size of the ship and the humans inside. She’s even more surprised to find the handsome human ambassador is slowly melting her frozen heart.

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📚  Find Augustina Van Hoven here:    Website     @augustinavhoven     FaceBook     Pinterest


Friday, December 27, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.
- Jim Watkins
Thursday, December 26, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Time Traveler Professor Series with Elizabeth Crowens

The Write Way Café welcomes Elizabeth Crowens to tell us more about her Time Traveler Professor series.

Tell us a little about your Time Traveler Professor series.
The first book, Silent Meridian, is like a 19th century X Files meets Doctor Who featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and his paranormal enthusiast partner. Its sequel, A Pocketful of Lodestones, can be described as Slaughterhouse Five meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on the Western Front. If you know anything about Arthur Conan Doyle’s background, he was essentially a Victorian ghostbuster. He wanted to kill off Sherlock Holmes and concentrate on paranormal studies and writing. Historically, he befriended Houdini and eventually fell out of favor with him over these issues.

If The Time Traveler Professor series was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
I used to be a professional photographer, and for most of that time I specialized in doing stills for motion pictures and television. Therefore, I have a good eye at spotting actors and how they can be transformed with hair and makeup effects. For Conan Doyle—Hugh Jackman. He’s got the height and build and easily transformable facial features. For John Patrick Scott, Robert Sheehan, an Irish actor who was recently in The Umbrella Academy. For H.G. Wells, Edward Norton. For Francois Poincaré, Sasha Baron Cohen. Other roles would be up for grabs.

What was your path to getting these books written and published? What type of research did you do?
The path was long and circuitous. The first draft of book one, Silent Meridian, was completed in 1983. It was resurrected in 2010 and finally published by MX Publishing (London) in 2016. Its second edition was published by Atomic Alchemist Productions in 2019 along with the first edition its sequel, A Pocketful of Lodestones. Research? At least five trips overseas to countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and Russia and purchasing many antiquarian books.

Where did the idea for your series come from?
Coming across some bizarre antiquarian books and a series of strange incidents that happened afterward.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the books and after?
Having the right book or piece of information I needed pop up out of the clear blue. However, I’m still seeking material on WWI espionage from the German point of view—written in English. That’s been a challenge.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I wouldn’t exactly say my space is working, because I live in a space that should only be my office. I’ve pretty much outgrown my tiny Manhattan apartment but can’t afford anything larger at the moment.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
Steven James. I took a writers intensive workshop with him and Robert Dugoni, but Steven’s book, Story Trumps Structure, is one of the best I’ve read on the craft of writing. Paula Munier’s books are good, too.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
A quote from Galaxy Quest, “Never give up! Never surrender!”

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Some of the toughest criticism was on Silent Meridian. I had a lot of ideas, but I had never written a novel before. I hired three freelance editors before submitting it to publication. Definitely a learning experience and a good chunk out of my wallet.

One of the best compliments I received was in my blurb from Jim Freund who is the host of the long-running SF/F radio show Hour of the Wolf. He compared my style of writing in Silent Meridian to Tim Powers (The Annubis Gates) and Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time and The Seven Per-Cent Solution).

What are you working on now?
Trying to decide where to go next, because I have three works-in-progress at the moment. I had to fire a bad literary agent and am looking for a new one to send out two, completed novels in a Hollywood mystery series I’m writing. So, I wonder whether I should complete book three of that unsold series, book three of the Time Traveler Professor series, A War in Too Many Worlds, or another project I’m working on which is a chick-lit mystery.

by Elizabeth Crowens
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is obsessed with a legendary red book. Its peculiar stories have come to life, and rumors claim that it has rewritten its own endings. Convinced that possessing this book will help him write his ever-popular Sherlock Holmes stories, he takes on an unlikely partner, John Patrick Scott, known to most as a concert musician and paranormal investigator. Although in his humble opinion, Scott considers himself more of an ethereal archeologist and a time traveler professor. Together they explore lost worlds and excavate realms beyond the knowledge of historians when they go back in time to find it. But everything backfires, and their friendship is tested to the limits. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future. Silent Meridian reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other notable luminaries in the secret diaries of a new kind of Doctor Watson, John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. Stay tuned for A Pocketful of Lodestones; book two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.


by Elizabeth Crowens
In 1914, the war to end all wars turns the worlds of John Patrick Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Rebecca West and Harry Houdini upside down. Doyle goes back to ancient China in his hunt for that “red book” to help him write his Sherlock Holmes stories. Scott is hell-bent on finding out why his platoon sergeant has it out for him, and they both discover that during the time of Shakespeare every day is a witch-hunt in London. Is the ability to travel through time the ultimate escape from the horrific present, or do ghosts from the past come back to haunt those who dare to spin the Wheel of Karma?

The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two: A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES, sequel to SILENT MERIDIAN, combines the surrealism of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five with the supernatural allure of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell set during WWI on the Western Front.


Elizabeth Crowens writes in both the Hollywood suspense and speculative fiction genres. Her first novel, Silent Meridian, an alternate history novel was published by MX Publishing in London. As of September 2018 it is out of print and will be re-issued along with its award-winning sequel, A Pocketful of Lodestones, in the summer of 2019. Silent Meridian won First Prize in Chanticleer Review’s Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction and First Prize in the 2017 Independent Book Awards for Steampunk. It was a finalist in the 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards and on the short list of finalists for four other competitions.

Crowens has two suspense novels completed in the Alice’s Adventures in Hollywoodland series and is currently seeking new literary representation. She received First Prize in Chanticleer Review’s 2017 Chatelaine Awards for Domestic Suspense and an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s fiction short story contest for Emerging Writers for an excerpt from Dear Mr. Hitchcock, the first book in that series.

She has also published a variety of non-fiction articles and is currently writing a column called The Poison Apple in the World Fantasy and Alfie Award-winning publication, BlackGate.com.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Out of Time


by Cathi Stoler
It was supposed to be a simple and quick assignment for Marina DiPietro and Nick Donahue regarding Marina’s client, Adnan Haddad—protect his fabulous race horse from human predators who threaten the stallion with death if millions aren’t paid in “protection money.” Just post a few guards around the horse then catch the predators in the act, right?

Not so fast! Turns out, the threat against the horse is just a ruse to get into Haddad’s science lab and steal his latest invention. Now Nick must stop the perpetrators, ISIS, from getting their hands on the ultimate weapon of war—a tool of unimaginable terror, a cloaking device, that could tear the world apart.

Then events spiral out of control. Haddad’s niece is kidnapped, Marina is kidnapped, and Nick becomes enmeshed in a web of betrayal and deceit. ISIS is determined to have the cloaking device, and Nick has to use all the cunning, skill, and subterfuge he’s acquired as a gambler to discover the ‘tell’ that will help him turn the predators into prey.

And, there’s no time to lose.


Just ask Marina.

If you want to know how I wound up tethered like a sacrificial goat to a flimsy spire swaying in the wind on top of the world’s tallest building, maybe she can explain it.

Probably tell you I had a special knack for getting into trouble. And, she’d be right.

From where I stood, the Arabian Gulf looked like a giant swimming pool. The water shimmered in a sensuous ripple. Its surface blue and sparkling tinged with golden light from the afternoon sun beating down from above. A sight that normally would have drawn a wow if I hadn’t believed it would be one of my last.

A half-mile below people scurried in and out of streets and buildings like the streams of black-bodied ants they resembled. Not one of them poked a nose into the air and noticed the man far above struggling against his bonds. Had the citizens of Dubai become so used to the Burj Khalifa in their midst, they didn’t even glance at it anymore? Seemed so. The people who put me here hadn’t even bothered to gag me. I could scream all I wanted and not a soul would hear.

The Salafi thought I was their insurance, like a Blackjack player protecting his bet, while hedging that the dealer has twenty-one. They already had what they wanted. At least I thought so.

Believe me, I was scared. Being trussed up and hung above the city were just the beginning. They were waiting to make sure the other player hadn’t pulled a switch. Either way, I was sure they’d kill me. I wasn’t going to be the one to tell them I thought he had, that what would happen if he had given in would be unthinkable.

The sun had almost dropped below the horizon, the water turning cool and steely, the wind picking up and creating ripples along its surface. After hours under a blazing sun, a night up here when the desert turned frigid was going to be even more brutal. Shivers ran up my spine just imagining it. I tucked my chin toward my chest and tried to conjure up warm thoughts. It wasn’t working. All that came to mind was Marina, her green eyes wide with surprise, then anger, as that big black Glock pushed into her. Watching as they led me away, dumped me in the car, and drove off. My anger had been the equal of hers, my mind reeling with thoughts of what they might be doing to her. Was it possible she’d escaped and made it back to Adnan’s villa? Or was she still in their clutches, desperate in some blistering desert wadi? The fear came later when they put me up here.

This was actually Marina’s case. I’d just come along to keep her company, to be a sounding board when she needed one. Then, before I knew it, I was smack in the middle of things. So, if you want to know how this happened, I’m not sure either one of us could tell you. I just hoped we’d live long enough to try.

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Cathi Stoler is an award-winning author. Her new series, featuring Blackjack player, Nick Donahue, includes the just released OUT OF TIME, a mystery/thriller. The prequel, NICK OF TIME, will be released in 2020. Cathi Stoler's Urban Thriller Murder On The Rocks series includes, BAR NONE, with The Corner Lounge bar owner, Jude Dillane. The next two books in the series LAST CALL and STRAIGHT UP will be published next year. She is a three-time finalist & winner of the Derringer for Best Short Story, “The Kaluki Kings of Queens”. Cathi is a board member of Sisters in Crime NY, and a member of Mystery Writers of America & International Thriller Writers.

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Monday, December 23, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: Cupcakes & Kisses

...a taste of romance

by Minette Lauren

Melvina Banks was put down by vanity—literally.

She’d flipped her hair down, then up, while blow-drying herself into a heated frenzy. As a result, she lay on the cold tile of her bathroom, moaning in pain. That last toss and swish was her back’s final undoing. Tucked into flesh-colored Spanks, she lay on the teal-and-white-checked floor. Small bullets of sweat beaded on her freshly painted face.

Hell, there goes my makeup.

Patting her hands on the floor around her, she searched for her cell phone. Hoping she’d knocked it from the corner of the sink in her fall from grace, she winced as another spasm shot through her lower back. Then she remembered it was in her bedroom on the bed. Probably lost beneath the mound of clothes she’d plucked from her closet while trying to decide what to wear.

If I die here, they’ll eventually discover my lifeless form gripping my roller brush for all eternity.

She wished she’d accepted Mona’s invitation to set her up on a blind date. At least the poor fellow, whoever he was, would be able to hear her scream from outside and call for help.

Instead, she had shaken her head, saying she didn’t need the additional complication in her life. Besides, sitting across from a stranger, making awkward small talk while he silently judged if she were worthy enough for him to pay for her dinner, was not Melvina’s idea of a romantic night out.

She’d had enough of those dates in her twenties and thirties to know they never turned out great. She usually ended up paying for her own meal and sometimes her date’s dinner as well. She was embarrassed to admit she was left with the check more than once.

Melvina tried to push herself up from the cool floor and gasped as a lightning bolt of pain shot along her spine and down to her hip. She was due at the Magnolia Ladies dinner in twenty minutes, and it took fifteen minutes to drive to town. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to miss a Magnolia Blossom Ladies League dinner, but she had a role in the actual event. She was meant to introduce Cecilia Lockwood, reigning president, so that Cecilia could then introduce their esteemed guest for the annual fundraiser.

This year’s proceeds were allocated to the construction of another fire station in the growing community of Magnolia, a blossoming suburb of Houston. The guest speaker would be none other than Riley James Nash, renowned chef and area native, recently making his big splash on the Food Network. He was the owner and head chef of Braised, the hottest new restaurant in Houston, and there were rumors two other locations were opening in New York and San Francisco.

Ah, to be a Food Network star….

If that happened, she would be able to open her dream cupcake shop, maybe even expand to other places. On many occasions, she’d imagined building a cupcake mini-empire, including big cities like San Francisco. She’d flown there once for a cupcake convention and had fallen in love with the small town of Half Moon Bay. With a population of only ten thousand residents, Half Moon Bay was more her speed than San Francisco proper. But the folks who visited the small coastal town on the weekends would provide plenty of business for her booming imaginary bakery.

Unfortunately, she would never own her own business if she couldn’t make the right connections and get someone to back her dream. A dream that wouldn’t materialize if she didn’t get off the floor and make it to that dinner. Riley Nash could very well be her lucky lotto ticket to owning her own bakery.

She placed her hand on the white cabinet door and slid herself across the tiles, squeaking again with pain. Putting both of her heels as close to her buttocks as possible, she pushed hard with a heaving grunt and then repeated the motion several times until she’d slid herself into the bedroom to the foot of her bed. Reaching up, she fumbled her hand around on the mattress and tugged. A mound of clothes showered her, and a button on one of the dresses tangled in her freshly brushed, long blonde hair. She tried to swim free of the many layers of fabric, blowing out her breath hard when a scarf floated over her face.

“Ow,” she complained, finding the loop in her hair to release the oversized button. The sultry beat of the old but catchy Junk in the Trunk, by The Black Eyed Peas, blared from above, taunting her rather curvy rump, currently stuck on the bedroom floor. Melvina had chuckled when her friend, Mona Calhoun, had downloaded the tune onto her cellphone the last time they had cocktails at Bubbles.

Melvina imagined her skinny, small-bottomed friend wiggling around on her own front porch, centered in the middle of High Valley Estates Golf Community. Mona was a trust fund baby who was still spoiled rotten at the age of forty-one and was one of the first people who’d bought in the elite new housing community.

Some of the stauncher neighbors had complained about Mona’s lively paint choices for her mini-mansion and the amount of time she sipped margaritas while watching Louis, the lawn guy, trim the hedges. More than likely, the residents were upset about the laughter coming from inside Mona’s house after the lawn work was finished. Louis was a twenty-something attractive Latino and Mona was almost twenty years his senior…but age never stopped Mona.

She often bragged about her cougar status, telling anyone who’d listen, “As long as they’re of legal age, handsome is handsome.” Right along with, “What’s good for the goose….”

Want to read more?

What does it take to make it Hot in Magnolia?
One cup of sexy
Two tablespoons of sizzle
And a whole lot of heart

Magnolia, Texas, might be booming with single men, but as far as Melvina Banks is concerned, it’s a bust. Between her volunteer work with the Magnolia Blossoms, tutoring at the local library, whipping up cupcakes for the local firefighters, and working at her dad’s diner, she has no time for blind dates let alone finding “the one”. Melvina would much rather spend her precious down time fine-tuning her plan to open a bakery. When celebrity chef, Riley Nash comes to town for a Blossoms fundraiser, Melvina hopes for a chance to pick Riley’s business-savvy brain. With Riley’s nationally acclaimed talents and his successful new restaurant, Braised, he just might be the one who can help Melvina whip her blossoming idea into a recipe for success. Trouble is, she can’t seem to keep her mind on business when it comes to Riley’s devilish good looks and sizzling charm. The heat is turned up when Magnolia’s handsome fire chief, Manny Owens, sparks an interest in Melvina. Torn between two of Magnolia’s hottest bachelors, she can’t help but feel the burn. Can Melvina separate her rising affections for both men, or will she end up with egg on her face?

Cupcakes and Kisses is the first book in the delicious new romantic comedy series, Hot in Magnolia, by award-winning author Minette Lauren. Set in the burgeoning town of Magnolia, Texas, this hot new series is brimming with laugh-out-loud moments and chock-full of endearing characters who will have you rooting for love and cheering for happy endings.


📚  Find Minette Lauren here:      Website        Twitter