Friday, August 29, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well. 
- Agatha Christie
Thursday, August 28, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Native American Spirit Trilogy by Paty Jager

Learn about the book of her heart, a book in a trilogy focused on a band of Nez Perce, by author Paty Jager, who The Write Way Café welcomes today.

Growing up in an area rich in Native American history has made me curious and empathetic to the band of Nez Perce who summered in Wallowa County many generations before Lewis and Clark entered their lives.

The Wallowa, or Lake Nimiipuu as they call themselves, are a band of the Nez Perce(Nimiipuu) who moved like nomads across the Pacific NW and into the plains with the seasons. They wintered along the Imnaha River in the lower warmer regions of Wallowa County, spent the early spring in the camas meadows of Idaho, and summered at Wallowa Valley, fishing the Columbia in the fall and returning to their winter home before the snows became too treacherous. The warriors and some of the women went out on hunting expeditions to the plains for buffalo.

They were nomadic, but they had a fierce love of the land in their hearts.

Spirit of the Mountain, the first book of the trilogy, shows their love of the lake area and how they came to carry it so deeply within them. The heroine, in this book, carries the mountain in her heart and when she falls for the spirit who looks after the mountain and its occupants, she loses her heart to him as well.  (I will give one lucky commenter an ebook of this book. So leave a comment to get entered in the drawing.)

Spirit of the Lake, is the second book in the trilogy. This book deals with the Whiteman encroaching on their land and the way the Nimiipuu are willing to look the other way to avoid being forcefully taken from their home.

Spirit of the Sky, is the third and final book in the saga of the sibling spirits and the freedom of the Nimiipuu. This book takes place during the exodus of the non-treaty Nez Perce.

The spirit entity in these books is all a figment of my imagination, but it felt real to me. My fascination with the Native American culture, their healing herbs, chants, legends, myths, and vision quest all primed my imagination when I came up with the spirit siblings who are the main characters in the books.

In the first book, Spirit of the Mountain, I use the vision quest as the means to bring the chief's daughter to talk with a white wolf, the hero and spirit of the mountain. In her vision quest, her weyakin (the spirit who visits her) is a white wolf. So when her life is thrown upside down by her believing her vision quest means she must marry a warrior from the enemy Blackfeet tribe, she feels talking to the wounded white wolf she encounters is natural. When he turns into a handsome warrior, doing her duty becomes harder as she must leave the mountain and spirit of her heart.

The second book, Spirit of the Lake, has Wewukiye (Bull Elk) as the hero. He is the white wolf's younger brother and a spirit as well. He lives in the lake as the antlered legend who comes out of the lake and takes bad children. Yet he is the fun loving practical joker of the three sibling spirits. In his book, he befriends a Nimiipuu maiden who has been raped by a White man and becomes pregnant, but the band believes she is not telling the truth to avoid trouble and perhaps being tossed from their land because the treaty of '68 was not signed by Old Joseph, yet the government believes the other chiefs who signed spoke for all the Nez Perce.

Sa-qan (Bald Eagle) is the youngest of the three. She soars in the sky above all the Nimiipuu land watching over them. In the third book, Spirit of the Sky, she is desperately trying to keep the Nimiipuu from annihilation as the U.S. Army chases them from their homes on a four month, 1400 mile trek where they fall short of freedom and end up on reservations far from home. During the campaign she falls in love with a cavalry officer and together they try to save the Nimiipuu.

This spirit trilogy is my proverbial book of my heart. I spent countless hours on research to make sure the Nez Perce culture is correct in the books and the historical information is accurate.

Blurb for Spirit of the Mountain
     Evil spirits, star-crossed lovers, and duty…which will prevail?
     Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, loves the mountain and her people—the Lake Nimmipuu.  When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, she knows it is how she must fulfill her vision quest. But she is torn between duty and her breaking heart.
     Himiin, as spirit of the mountain, watches over all the creatures on his mountain, including the Nimiipuu. When Wren shows no fear of him as a white wolf, he listens to her secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he must watch her leave the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.
     When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin rushes to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…
Buy Links:       Nook      Amazon      Apple      Windtree Press      Kobo 

Blurb for Spirit of the Lake
     Can a spirit set upon this earth to see to the good of the Nimiipuu stay true to justice when revenge burns in his heart?
     Wewukiye, the lake spirit, saves a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and bringing shame to herself and her family. Learning her people ignored her accusations against a White man who took her body, leaving her pregnant,Wewukiye vows to help her through the birth and to prove the White man’s deceit.
     Dove slowly heals her heart and her distrust as Wewukiye, the warrior with hair the color of the sun, believes in her and helps her restore her faith in her people and herself.
     On their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But will these abilities seal their future or tear them apart?
Buy Links:     Nook     Amazon      Apple      Windtree Press  

Blurb for Spirit of the Sky
     Can enemies not only work for peace but find love?
     Sa-qan, a Nimiipuu eagle spirit, must take a human form to save her mortal niece when the Nimiipuu are forced from their land by the U.S. Army. Sa-qan strives to remain true to her spirit world and her people, but finding an ally in a Cavalry Officer has unraveled her beliefs.
     During battle with the Nimiipuu, Lt. Wade Watts finds a blonde woman hiding a Nez Perce child.  He believes she is a captive when her intelligent eyes reveal she understands his language. Yet she refuses his help. Their paths cross several times during the skirmishes, and he finds she is his savior when renegade warriors wound him.
Buy links are not yet available for Spirit of the Sky
please watch Paty's website for more information!

About the Author
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.  On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

Her first book was published in 2006 by Wild Rose Press since then she has published seventeen novels, two anthologies, and five novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

Learn more about Paty 
-- at her blog Writing into the Sunset
-- at her website
-- on Facebook!/paty.jager
-- at Goodreads
-- on twitter @patyjag.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 | By: Lynn

The Gratitude Game

I’ve noticed a lot of people are participating in the gratitude game on Facebook these days. It’s kind of nice to read what people consider things to be grateful for. I think the point in the game is to prompt all of us to see the beauty in each day, despite how bad the day.

I started about a year ago making a habit of ending each day writing a list of things that made me smile. My lists included things like, talking with my son, riding my bike, the wind, my cat sitting with me, eating a baked potato.

I tend to be an Eeyeore personality, so I can get into and enjoy a pretty good funk. But at the time I started making lists, I had entered a very difficult “bleak.” I wanted to have a more balanced outlook and experience in life. Over the course of the year or so I’ve been mindful of the pleasant elements of each day I’ve shifted, organically, to a state of near constant gratitude. Uncomfortable and undesirable things occur all the time. But I feel my awareness of the complete picture, desired and undesired, has helped me become more resilient and open.

I’ll be one of the first to give voice to the fact that life is hard. And maybe right now the world’s population is under more duress than in the past, giving rise to the popularity of a grateful attitude. It’s a way to cope and maybe even thrive in tough times. I don’t think it’s denial, at least not for me. It’s acknowledgment that there is always something there for us to grab onto and get a lift in spirits.

The Examined Existence reports on results of research on the effects of gratitude and how it may be worth the effort of reframing our days.

“In an experiment about gratefulness, participants were divided into two groups. The first group was made to list down a maximum of five reasons that make one grateful, while the other listed down five annoying or bothersome reasons once a week over a course of ten weeks. In the results, the participants in the group expressing gratitude felt more content and positive about their lives. As a matter of fact, they also showed improved health signs through a lower number of symptomatic ailments such as nausea, headaches, cough and even occurrence of acne.”

The website posts a saying that addresses the chicken or the egg aspect of gratitude bringing more happiness or the other way around. It says:

Regarding the Facebook game, another website RevGalBlogPals notes that the gratitude game can actually promote negative feelings in those reading the post. 

“First among these problems is “bragbooking”– using your gratitude posts as an excuse to throw your good luck in everyone else’s face: ‘I’m thankful I can eat as much chocolate as I want and stay a size 5.’ ‘I’m grateful that my daughter got straight A’s for the tenth semester in a row.’ ‘I’m thankful that I’m an upstanding, moral citizen and not a destitute sinner like most of my ‘friends’ who are reading this.’ “

I can’t help laughing about that situation. Facebook does stir up emotions, or rather people posting can elicit emotions.

I think sharing what we’re grateful for has the potential of helping others get a boost. It can be a reminder that although life is tough, it also has sugar cookies and chocolate and pets and birdsong and so much more. So please tell me, what are you grateful for today?
Friday, August 22, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
When you have an idea, don’t be afraid to run with it. Just take one small step after another.
- Coulter Lewis

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Never Give Up

Prolific author JoAnne Myers shares with The Write Way Café encouraging thoughts about following your passion.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an artistic flare-whether that be for writing, painting, sewing or drawing. I recall as a child how much I enjoyed drawing. The writing came later. My seventh grade English teacher was Mrs. Henderson-a young mother and wife. She gave us a writing assignment and after gifting me with an A+ told me I should consider writing as a career. She meant as a journalist. I did not take her advise and become a journalist (one of my many misgivings). My mind went toward other things as many young girls dream of-a husband, home, and family of my own. I put my love for writing and painting on hold for years.  I unfortunately married a man who like my mother never encouraged me to be artistic. It was not until my children were grown and I no longer had a husband, that I went back to my first love-art.  I got a late start, but always encouraged my children and others to partake of artistic endeavors.  I now have six books under contract with two publishing houses. So my words to you all, is that no matter what road you choose, never forget your passion, and always keep it close to heart.  Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from enjoying your natural talents.  You might need to put art on a temporary hold, but never ever give up.

Blurbs for “Twisted Love” 12 cases of love gone bad

It’s a chilling reality that homicide investigators know all too well: the last face most murder victims see is not that of a stranger, but of someone familiar.

The End of Autumn-To keep from paying child support for his three children, Rodney Williams, plots with his parents to kidnap his estranged wife, 25-year old Autumn, in broad daylight. This 2011 crime shocked the small community of Logan, Ohio.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing-In 2011, 53 year old Russell Strothers, and his teenage accomplice find their victims through Craigslist and strike with calculating and deadly force.

A Senseless Killing-This 2010 case uncovers how a 40 year old likable barmaid was lured to her death after she rejects her young admirers sexual advances.

The Death of Innocence-This 2011 murder case involved 4 year old Marcie Willis, and her evil stepmother 25 year old Cheryl, from the small bedroom community of The Plains, Ohio.

The Girl Not Forgotten-This cold case took 26 years to solve, but brought justice for 13-year-old Holly Buford, and put serial rapist, 40-year-old Stanley Snead, behind bars.

The Possession-When 29-year-old Valerie Harris severs the penis of her sexually abusive father, it makes national news in 2007.

Home Town Hero-When deaf students are murdered in the prestigious Rose Brick College of the Deaf in 2008, everyone is shocked when discovering the killer is one of their own.

The Spell Caster Murders-When 42 year old Fortune Teller Sally Vu and her 21-year-old daughter Veronica are discovered murdered and physically desecrated, in 2001, evidence points to revenge and a spell gone wrong.

All For the Family-In 2003, as a way to erase her 22-year-old husbands criminal past, 19 year old Molly Abbott devises a ghoulish and desperate strategy.

Thicker Than Water?-When 52 year old Kim Michaels is found dismembered inside her burned out home in 1996, officers find the crime more confusing than a jig saw puzzle.

Mail Order Murder-The last thing the beautiful Russian mail order bride Anna dreamed of in 2001, was being murdered by her controlling and older American husband.

Where’s Christopher?-When four year old Christopher Ellis goes missing, numerous excuses and an odd odor emanating from the backyard in 1991, raises eyebrows.

Here is an excerpt from MAIL-ORDER MURDER:

     Few women find themselves in such a bizarre relationship, as did eighteen-year-old Anna Tonkov, a Russian native. Speaking minimal and badly broken English, the family expressed high expectations for their tall, voluptuous raven-haired daughter. Anna was the only child of senior and ailing parents, and her mother said she and her husband only wanted the best for her.
     In a country where the average yearly income was three hundred dollars per person, Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov, believed that Anna’s future happiness lay with the United States.
     Mrs. Tonkov recalled how Anna did not want to leave. It was the parents’ idea for her to be a mail-order bride. According to Mrs. Tonkov, Anna said, “‘what if I don’t find a husband? What if you and papa waste your money?’”
     Mr. Tonkov recalled telling her daughter, that she was never a waste of their money. She was everything to them, and they wanted her to have everything America offered.
     Mr. and Mrs. Tonkov then took Anna‘s photograph in a dress she had made, not like many of the other women posing for the magazine-loose women, half naked. “No good man wants them,” they said.
     Anna was a lady, explained Mr. Tonkov-a good Christian girl. Hardworking and responsible. She was raised the right way, they both said.
     In the spring of 2007, Anna became number M245 in a Russian mail-order catalog with a circulation of over twenty million viewers. The magazine was bursting with dozens of glossy, full-color photographs of young hopeful women, all looking for husbands to rescue them from their poverty, stricken and unhappy lives.
     It was not long before Anna had her first letter from a perspective admirer. She returned to her small four-room home from her part-time job at a nearby bakery, and her glowing parents greeted her just inside the front door.
     Mrs. Tonkov recalled how surprised Anna was when she saw her and her husband smiling. She then handed her daughter the pink envelope with trembling hands.
     At first, Anna was afraid to open the letter, said Mr. Tonkov, but he told her it was from an American man. He said he and his wife watched as Anna read each word silently; her large dark eyes wide with anticipation. They said she was hesitant to respond to the sender. Maybe friendship would bloom. “If not you brush up on language skills,” said Mrs. Tonkov.
     That made Anna laugh, recalled Mr. Tonkov. He still remembers her pretty laugh, “as if (she were) a small child without cares.”

About JoAnne:

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Three fun facts about JoAnne:
 1.  What book influenced your writing?  Black Beauty and Charlotte’s Web
 2.  What would your muse say about you?  That I am quiet and shy
 3.  Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?  I canvas paint

Other Available Books:

Murder Most Foul-a detective/mystery
Wicked Intentions- a paranormal anthology
Loves, Myths, and Monsters- a fantasy anthology
The Crime of the Century- a biography true crime
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming Books:  Flagitious-a crime/mystery anthology

Other places to find JoAnne and her books:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | By: HiDee

Creative Women

Women are the creative ones in my family.

One aunt is a published poet. Another aunt designs family calendars which she shares with all of us each year. My mom designs and makes her own Christmas cards. My sister draws and paints, and she sews unique Halloween costumes for her young son every year.

I’m a writer, a fledgling photographer and a scrapbooker. I love taking pictures, and I definitely prefer being behind the camera rather than in front of it.  Once I print the pictures, I can spend hours laying out designs until I get them just right for my scrapbook pages.

From the time we were little, my mom encouraged us to read.  By the time we started school, my brother, sister, and I were competitive readers.  We often read more books than our classmates.   By the time I was in junior high, reading ignited a desire to write my own stories and poems.  As a teenager, some of my poems were published in poetry anthologies. Between romance novels and my crushes, romance was definitely on my mind!

I wrote this poem in high school, and it remains one of my favorites.

Moments of a Kiss
Vividly remembering
the moments of a kiss,
wondering at the
the control
that went amiss.
Aroused emotions
played a part...

Slowly descending
your lips met mine -
tentative at first,
gentle yet firm;
growing bolder -
exploring, plundering,
giving and taking -
consuming us both...

Then my heartbeats
the silence,
just as the memory
my peace of mind.

Unpublished work © 1981 HiDee (Silverwood) Ekstrom

What creative outlets are your favorites?

Friday, August 15, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

Thursday, August 14, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Charmaine Gordon

The Write Way Café welcomes author Charmaine Gordon, who knows a thing or two about sleep reading and other useful tidbits.

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today. Here goes a bit about me.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
As an actor for many years, my comfort zone was performing so when my voice was attacked by spasmodic dysphonia, a rare disorder of the larynx, I knew I had to kiss the sweet time goodbye. A friend suggested I put my creative juices to writing and that’s how my new career began. And yes, recently then I was widowed and knew about survive and thrive so I wrote about a woman whose husband left her and she had to build a new life.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I didn’t know the first thing about writing, formatting and the word query was like foreign language to me. Determined, I bought a few books and taught myself. Actors have a tough hide. When we’re rejected we must believe it’s no biggie and move on so a few rejection letters didn’t bother me. And then, to my surprise, Vanilla Heart Publishing expressed interest in my first book, To Be Continued and offered a contract. Thrilled that somebody loved my baby, I signed with them and we’ve found a good home there.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
The idea came in my dreams. I call it sleep writing. I pictured this woman and what happened almost word for word in the beginning. In the morning, I began to write. Since then, To Be Continued has been optioned for a television movie.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Moving along to Farewell, Hello, a recent release, suddenly I couldn’t forget the picture of me as a fifteen year old girl in Chicago going after the most popular boy in high school. This is true. I had the nerve to go after this adorable senior to ask him to a dance and how he said yes without knowing who I was.  So I began to write. The story evolved. The first half is based on truth, meaning there’s fiction woven in to the story. The second half is fiction. The words flowed until the story ended. It’s very important to recognize The End and not proceed just because of word count.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I cried and laughed a lot while writing but then I always do. Writing is emotional and I don’t hold back. That’s why I love my quiet office although cats wander in and out demanding attention.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about dealing with crises, tornadoes, and the Korean War?
I learned, once again, not to be afraid or be lazy to Google for a bit of research. MS, hospitals, dogs, and planes all required hit save and google before I moved on. It’s an adventure all by itself. And then Telegrams with STOP between sentences. How well I recall them. A trip down memory lane.

What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished Housebroken. No, it’s not about a dog. . .yet. Empty nest syndrome hits a mid-years couple and they move to a wonderful town, River’s Edge.  Housebroken is Book 1 in this new series.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
At this moment, I dearly love Joy Davison and Danny Wilson in Farewell, Hello. They will always bring back memories of when I was young in love and married my high school sweetheart who died suddenly at age 58.

One more thing: I learned a lot reading scripts, watching directors like Mike Nichols, Rob Marshall, and so many more and working with wonderful actors like Gene Wilder, Billy Crystal, Anthony Hopkins, and singing with Harrison Ford in Working Girl. I’m a watcher and I pay attention. When writing, that’s a good trait. Anthony Hopkins told me to learn my lines and don’t trip over anything on the set. Then we had lunch. How cool is this? Now I’m 83, writing daily and loving it.

Readers, leave a comment about what you love to do. I’d like to know.  For a chance to win an e-copy of Housebroken, leave a comment about empty nest syndrome - share a quick story with us!

Thanks with best wishes, 
Charmaine Gordon

Farewell, Hello is available at:

Watch the video trailer here: 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | By: Lynn

Love is and Other Memorable Quotes

A long time ago, the local daily newspaper would post a single cartoon,Love is..., that pictured a young woman and a line about love. “Love means taking out the trash on a snowy night.” I just made that up but you get the idea. Reminders about love in a little box in the newspaper. I cut out those little boxes and tacked them up on a bulletin board in my bedroom. I wanted to savor the concept and gain hope from the upbeat messages. “Love is…” made an impression on my young heart.

I love quotes, sentences, phrases, sayings. For as long as I can remember I have collected them and jotted them down on paper. When I’d hear an interesting line on a television show or movie, I would write it down. Often the quote or saying or sentence I wrote down spoke to my heart, either as an inspiration or a succinct perspective that my insides resonated with.

The phrase or line or quote doesn’t have to be upbeat to set off that bell of, “Oh man, so right.” Yesterday I heard a line from a Bob Dylan song that gave me that bell:

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you.

Well said for certain situations.

As I mentioned, I have tons. Here’s another one I enjoy.

And this one.

I think phrases, quotes, sentences, and sayings resonate with all of us, whether to give us a good laugh or remind us of the beauty around us. For the moment we read it or hear it we feel someone gets what we’re about, what we’re going through, and we’re not alone.

What is one of your favorite quotes or saying? Share?

Friday, August 8, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The faster I write the better my output.  If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble.  It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.
- Raymond Chandler
Thursday, August 7, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Meet John and Rowena, interesting characters from author Ashley York's The Saxon Bride. Let's take a peek at their interview.

Ashley: Welcome, John. It's so nice to meet you in person. Are you comfortable enough in all that chain mail? Would you like my assistance in removing some of it?

John: I'm fine. I'm a soldier, after all, this mail is for my protection in case I need to fight.

Ashley: Do you enjoy fighting then?

John: It's what I know how to do. I believe the king believes I am good at my duty.

Ashley Q: Yes, I heard that was so. He even gifted you with an earldom? And a bride?

John: True. True. Don't understand why he would, though. I've no need of property. It will only tie me down.

Ashley : And the bride?

John :...well, I've no need of a woman, really, and warm beds are a luxury a soldier cannot expect. I'm more at ease on the field of battle, with strategies that have worked well in the past and will in the future. I know what to expect and how to handle most situations.

Ashley: And a woman, then? No strategy there?

John : Hardly! There are willing wenches if my body demands one but a woman to coddle me? No. That is not for me. I don't need it—never have, never will.

Ashley : Oh, welcome, Rowena! So nice of you to join us.

Rowena: It is my pleasure, Ashley. (curtly) John.

John: (inhales deeply before continuing) Ah, may I present my wife...Lady Rowena. You look lovely today, Rowena.

Rowena: Thank you, my lord. So kind of you to notice me.

John: What do you mean by that? I can't help but notice you. You walk into a room and you're all I see.

Ashley : Is that how you truly feel, John?

John: What? No. I need to get back to the field. These Saxons are a brutal lot.

Rowena: I would beg to differ ! It is the Normans who are the brutal ones here. Forgive me for interrupting, Ashley.

Ashley : No problem, Rowena. Would you care to elaborate?

Rowena: Well—

John: No, you'd best not get into that. I need to settle the villagers. William will be here by Spring and he'll be expecting their obedience.

Rowena: (aghast) Obedience? My lord, you have much to learn about winning.

John: Strange that you say that since I have been involved with so much winning.  As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've ever been on the losing side.

Rowena: John, you found my people exhausted. It was not a fair fight.

John: They fought til the very end-a good showing. I wish only for peace now.

Rowena: As do I.


Ashley : So do you think you two can work out these differences?

Rowena: No

John: Yes


Ashley: Well, it was very nice to meet you both. Thank you for stopping by.

Be sure to leave a comment below to be eligible to win an e-copy!

About Ashley York:  Always an avid romance reader herself, Ashley York enjoys bringing history to life through vibrant and meaningful characters, writing historical romance novels full of passion and intrigue set in the 11th and 12th century British Isles. Her newest release, The Saxon Bride, is the first in The Norman Conquest Series.

When she is not writing, talking about writing, or thinking about writing, Ashley relaxes with visits to the local pubs listening to live Celtic tunes. She lives in southern New England with her husband, three children, and three very spoiled animals.

Available exclusively at Amazon:    The Saxon Bride        The Bruised Thistle

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Margo Bond Collins

The Write Way Café welcomes author Margo Bond Collins, who sees vampires, ghosts, and other such things everywhere. 

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I’ve always known that I wanted to write, for as long as I can remember. The first story I remember actually writing down was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since. I've thought about writing romance on and off for a long time, too—but I didn't actually write a romance novel until just last year.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
When I was living in the Bronx, I was walking home late one night past the (very Gothic-looking) Fordham University campus, and thought how easy it would be for a vampire to leap out of one of the trees hanging out over the sidewalk (these are the kinds of things I think about when I'm out at night . . . )

Why did you pick the setting you did?
I was living there! New York has such a fascinating history—I loved learning about it, and incorporating vampires into that history was great fun. 

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
My characters are probably an amalgamation of people I know. Although she's much braver than I would ever be, Elle's snarkiness definitely reflects a part of me most people don't see. But no character is entirely based on any one person.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
This was a NaNoWriMo book—I wrote the bulk of it in 30 days, then finished the draft the next month. So I didn't have time for a serious block! Don't get me wrong; I get stuck, like everyone. I do hit writer’s block sometimes. But when that happens, I usually switch over to another project or go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll go back and try to work on editing what’s already done. But I loathe editing and revising. I know it must be done, but I hate it with a fiery passion. So that usually prompts me to go back to writing!

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about vampires, lawyers, and New York City?
About me: Because this was the first full-length novel I wrote (though not the first to be published), the main thing I learned about myself was that I could do it! Until then, I had written only shorter pieces. 
About vampires: In my day job, I am a college English professor. Right before I wrote this book, I taught a vampire literature course—so I had just been steeped in vampire lore. My favorite part of that class is always teaching about the "Vampire Scare" in the 1700s in Austria—the newspapers in England wrote "eye-witness" accounts of vampires, and this information probably brought the idea of vampires over to England.
About New York City: There are tons of abandoned buildings that would be perfect vampire hide-outs—and some of them look like castles!

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers. I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block. I write something every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog. Having a dedicated work space makes it easier for me to focus.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
Ha! Never ask an English professor to discuss books unless you want the multi-paragraph answer! Like most novelists, I am a voracious reader in my field, which means that I read all kinds of urban fantasy and paranormal fiction. But in addition to being an urban fantasy writer, I have Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature. This means that any time anyone wants to talk books, I have more than my share to say!

In early British literature, I love the classics—but especially the stories with heroes and monsters: BeowulfSir Gawain and the Green KnightThe Knight’s Tale. I love Shakespeare’s plays, but my favorites to teach are Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream because each is such a great example of its genre. Hamlet’s tragedy seems virtually unavoidable, and Midsummer’s comedy hits all the high (and low!) points.

In my own sub-specialty of eighteenth-century British literature, I love the early novels written by some of the first women to make a living writing in England, such as Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, and Delarivier Manley. Behn’s 1688 novel Oroonoko tells the story of a king who became a slave and found the woman he loved in the process, only to kill her and their unborn child to save them from slavery. In Haywood’s Fantomina (1724), a young noblewoman sets off on a sexual adventure full of disguises and intrigue. And in Manley’s The Wife’s Resentment (1720), a young woman takes revenge against her unfaithful husband with a gruesome murder. These early novels influenced later gothic tales, with virtuous damsels in distress and monstrous villains out to destroy them.

I think these various loves in more traditional literature—monsters, heroes, strong women, and gothic settings—are all parts of what have influenced my love of urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, romance, and horror. I love seeing many of the same tropes and ideas in more recent publications that influenced earlier works, as well.

What are you working on now?
Piles of things!  I am, of course, working on the sequel to Legally Undead. I'm also working on sequels to Waking Up Dead and Fairy, Texas. I have a three-book romance series, the Hometown Heroes series, coming out with Entangled Press in the next year, so I'm finishing up those books, as well (that series kicked off with Taming the Country Star in June). And I have lots of other plans, but I try not to think about those yet!

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
Yes! I would love to try my hand at science fiction—I love the fact that it extrapolates what could happen and then makes it all seem so beautifully real. Plus, science fiction often deals with heroes and monsters and huge social issues, and what could be more fun than that?

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About the Author:  

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Connect with Margo
Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:

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Friday, August 1, 2014 | By: The Write Way Cafe
A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts. 
- Brandon A Trean