Thursday, June 30, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

New Facebook Discussion Group for Romantic Suspense Readers

The Write Way Café welcomes author Jo Grafford, who dares you to join in the suspense... Romantic suspense, that is!

Did you ever read “The End” on an un-put-down-able suspense novel and then couldn’t wait to tell someone about it?

Well…for those of you who cruise through a romantic suspense novel or two or fifty per week, we have the perfect place for you to swoon and rave all about it. It’s an all-new discussion group on FB that is growing by leaps and bounds as new readers discover us.

Our emphasis is on our lively book discussions. We are a NO-SPAM group where even the author members are allowed to do very little promoting.

Here’s a sneak peek at our Reader Rules of Engagement:

1. DO start a discussion on the romantic suspense novel you're reading now.
2. DO mark spoilers so people can avoid them.
3. DO ask for book recommendations.
4. DO post only about romantic suspense books. We are a dedicated group; no other types of novels will be discussed.
5. DON'T be rude.
6. DON’T post about politics or any other sensitive, divisive, or inflammatory subjects. Opinions on such topics belong on your personal profile, not in this group.
7. NOTE: Romantic suspense novels cover a wide range of stories, including some that contain sexually intimate situations, violence, or foul language. If you are offended by such stories, please reconsider joining this group.

Our authors include NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, and we love reading books as much as we love writing them. We also love to host fun Q&As, super awesome giveaways, and opportunities for you to get involved in our book worlds behind the scenes. This may include (but is not limited to) helping choose book covers, character names, and spending time with us at book signings, conferences, and other booklover events.

Go ahead and join us at:

We dare you!

Jo Grafford

Also, check out Jo’s latest sizzling release: Designed for You, first book in the FOR YOU SERIES:

Jillian Lang’s interior design company soars to a new level of success after hiring the world’s sexiest, most gorgeous office manager. Holland Sparks makes everything spike — her sales, her heartbeat, her temperature…

When a pesky stalker suddenly moves his game from the cyber world to the real world, Holland becomes the one person she trusts implicitly. An anchor in the midst of her chaos. A man whose ruthless business instincts turn to devastating tenderness after hours.

Until his own secrets start to unfold, leaving Jillian to wonder if her beautiful business partner is actually the one spinning the deadly web that’s fast closing around her.


• “Heart-pounding suspense mixed with fun, quirky characters, lit by steamy scenes, and riddled with so many twists that you’ll be guessing until the last page.”
• “One heck of a roller coaster ride”
• “Gutsy heroine, alpha men, heart-pumping drama”
• “Highly entertaining. Not a dull moment. Didn’t want to put this book down.”
• “5+++ stars!”


Tuesday, June 28, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Fuel Love

Stunned. Again. Senseless killing. Again.

It's been a few weeks, but it’s still hard to process the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub on Sunday, June 12. More than one hundred people shot, fifty killed. So much destruction. So much sorrow and grief. So much anger and disappointment.

So much blind hatred that finds expression in devastation. It touches us all, regardless of any personal beliefs. This is our country, our home, our loved ones, and our way of life – all precious to us.

Emotions overwhelm me as the story is recounted. A young man who at one moment was talking and dancing with friends and in the next watching them fall, bloody, wounded, lifeless. Parents still waiting to learn if their child is alive. Survivors and their families elated that they are alive, but also devastated that others did not. I wonder at how people survive an ordeal of such great magnitude that it won’t stop replaying in their head, with all the horror still fresh. When it seems as though the world has stopped turning, how do we go on with our normal lives knowing that for so many there is bottomless sorrow, and that the senseless death will probably strike again? Things are so complex and there are no simple solutions.

I think the answers to those questions are varied. But in general, I’ve answered them for myself by grounding myself in the power of love yet acknowledging the pain and the joy; the suffering and the support. We can be tender and raw with emotions and still go on. I think we must go on with our lives, but we can do so living with more awareness and with more attention to doing what needs to be done in our own lives. I can be tenderhearted with my words and chose to speak with consciousness. If I have a project to complete, I can work at it with recognition that I have an opportunity to do so. If I go to lunch with a friend, I can be really present for that person. When I sweep my kitchen floor, I can appreciate that I have a home. Awareness of the tragedies in life can bring up close the pleasure of a cup of our favorite coffee, available to us so easily. And maybe if we have to stand in line for a bit to get it, awareness of the suffering other people endure can temper our impatience. Maybe we can smile at the server and offer a sincere thank you, knowing that in other places here and around the world, there is deep sorrow and despair.

We can’t fix the world or rescue everyone. But we can do what we do and do it with heart. By living with attention and awareness, we make the world a better place, I believe, and fuel love, not hatred.
Friday, June 24, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Writing a book is an adventure: it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master, and finally a tyrant.
- Sir Winston Churchill
Thursday, June 23, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

June 30th Release: The Thorn of a Rose

The Write Way Café welcomes Augustina Van Hoven. She sharies an excerpt from the second book in the Rose series, The Thorn of a Rose.

We are all chess pieces on a board … in a game played by supernatural forces.

John Leeds sat on the crooked edge of his stone, blinking in the light. He rubbed a dirty hand over his face and stared at the unfamiliar surroundings. Large oak and pine trees shaded the ground. A clump of overgrown thorn bushes stood on his right. The wind came in gusts, and it whipped his long sandy-colored hair around his ears and neck. Something had happened, but he couldn’t figure out what it was. The last thing he remembered before he died was leaving Porter’s Saloon with a bottle of whiskey and walking home. He stretched his arms and legs. Every joint and muscle felt stiff. A quick inventory showed his clothes hung in tatters. To stretch his muscles, John took a few tentative steps but found his movements limited to the confines of his burial plot. He turned in time to see a woman in strange clothes disappearing through the trees. What was going on?

The Thorn of a Rose – Release date June 30th

Pre-order link

Newly elected state senator Ashley Halliday is over her failed engagement and ready to help make Idaho a better place to live and work. She has no time for romance … until she and Richard, a handsome state representative, take their friendship to a new level. But then there's John, an aide to the governor of Idaho. Both hold power … but only one is a good man. The other is on a mission to destroy lives. Will she learn the truth in time to save lives and keep her friends safe from dark influences?

Sports bar owner and state representative Richard Fowler is happy for his best friend Stephen and his bride, Rose. He knows their secret--Rose came back from the dead to save Stephen from his lofty ambitions. Richard himself has no time for any supernatural goings-on or for romance, not with his work to save state education funding. Until he sees the vibrant Senator Halliday through new eyes, that is. But to win Ashley, he must keep her safe from a rival who wants her for darker reasons.


A villain has returned from the dead, summoned by a demon, and given another chance to do what he failed at the first time. He'll gladly take down anyone else who gets in his way. And his new post in the halls of state government? A devilish chance to play corrupt lobbyist, and foil the plans of those with loftier goals.

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.

Twitter: @augustinavhoven

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Shirley Martin

Shirly Martin

When a good witch grants Morgana her deepest desires, the young woman gets more than she bargained for. And a handsome prince gets the surprise of his life.

When Prince Keir attends the fair in a faraway city, he never expected to meet his future bride. But seeing a beautiful woman with blue eyes and blonde hair, he knows this lady was meant for him.  Clad in satin and fur and riding a sleek white horse, she surely must be a princess.  Prince Keir will accept nothing less than a princess as his bride.  But he is in for a surprise, for Morgana is not what she seems to be.

Tired of drudgery and housework, Morgana wishes she could attend the fair and meet other young people. When a good witch grants her these wishes,she gets more than she bargained for. But when Prince Keir comes to her house, he is the last person she wants to see.

Midnight for Morgana is on countdown from June 15 to June 22, priced at $.99!

About Shirley:

     Born in western Pennsylvania, Shirley Martin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught school for one year, then obtained a position as flight attendant with Eastern Air Lines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there. After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she'd always wanted to do.
     With a vivid imagination and a love of storytelling, Shirley has always enjoyed writing. Her first published novel, "Destined to Love" reflects her familiarity with western Pennsylvania and her love of romance writing. From this historical romance, she blossomed out to other romance genres. "One More Tomorrow" is a vampire romance, one her publisher dubbed "a sizzling seller." With several fantasy novels and novellas, her writing should appeal to just about every lover of romance. Her books have been sold at Amazon and most major bookstores and have garnered great reviews.
     A widow, Shirley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her two cats.

Twitter        Facebook        Books We Love        Amazon

Friday, June 17, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
When you wish to instruct, be brief. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. 
- Cicero
Thursday, June 16, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Liz Crowe

The Write Way Café welcomes Liz Crowe. A prolific author, Crowe likes to craft new worlds for her romances.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     I am a voracious reader of almost all genres. Back in 2008 I was pretty busy selling houses and helping a craft brewery get off the ground when I got my hands on a few really great, sexy romances (a first for me as a reader) and followed them up with some that were, frankly, not so great. After some digging around I discovered that while there were a lot of choices in that genre, many of them were in the “not that great” category for me as a reader. But I’m not the type to say “this sucks” or “you suck” to a specific author. I’d never written a book after all, so I really shouldn’t judge. So I set myself a challenge (actually my spouse did but that’s another story): write one and see for myself how hard/easy it is!
     I’m nearly 30 books into this journey now, and have been published by several small houses (2 of them no longer in business). I just began a self-publishing experiment last year and was asked to contribute something to a new firefighter anthology and so…voila, FireBrew!

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     This book was written upon a direct request for a new work to go into an anthology about fire fighters. I’d never tried that sub-genre and so I agreed to do it. I researched how fires get started and behave as well as the rankings at fire departments to make sure those bits rang true.

Where did the idea for your story come from?
     Where most of mine do: my imagination! I have lots of stories swirling around in there. The challenge is capturing and corralling them and making them palatable to readers!

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     I live in Ann Arbor but my daughter lives in Detroit, which is rapidly reviving in such exciting ways, I was eager to set another story there. It felt natural to have Trey want to locate one of his fund-raising brew-pubs there.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     Completely imaginary, but no author can deny injecting a bit of themselves here or there. Jane sells real estate, as do I and she has a smart mouth—ditto.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     Actually, this book flowed faster than just about anything I’ve written. I tend to write in marathon sessions though—I consider anything less than 5000 words in a day’s work a “half day.” But that’s just my method. I don’t write every day because my paying job selling houses keeps me too busy. As this was the first book I ever wrote in first person POV it really just burst out of me!

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     The story takes a turn for the tough about 2/3 through when Jane has to face a “rape culture” attitude about her choices. I made a decision to leave in a scene that some readers find offensive, and I struggled with it but after a fair number of revisions and discussions with other authors about the scope and point of the story, I decided to leave it in. I was surprised at how angry the scene made me. But it had to be included.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about real estate agents, firefighters, and craft beers?
     Ha! Well, I have the the whole “real estate agent” thing fairly well covered having been one for 12 years. As for “Craft beers,” since I helped found a brewery and am Cicerone certified (it’s the beer equivalent of a wine sommelier) I feel like I know what I need to know about it already. What I like is crafting new worlds a bit outside the usual romance settings in order to bring new readers into my books.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     My writing space is wherever there is a level surface for my laptop—be it at my kitchen table, a desk in my office, a table at a coffee shop, in an empty open house, or in a pinch, my “lap.” I don’t need certain spaces or atmospherics to write. I go blind and deaf to anything around me when I’m in the zone—just ask my family!

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     As I said earlier, I read across genres and have found favorite books in so many different styles and settlings it’s hard to pin down. I tend to think in terms of “the most recent great book I read” so here goes: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Bennett by Seraphina Donavan. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood.

What are you working on now?
     I have 2 MAJOR projects in varying stages of submission and revision/resubmission to two of my career goal targeted publishers. Both are series starters set in the brewery world. Wish me luck!
     I’m also writing in 4 different Kindle Worlds this year which has REALLY been a lot of fun. Watch for Liz Books in Susan Stoker’s Special Forces, Paige Tylers’ Dallas Fire & Rescue, Cat Johnson’s SEALS, and Desiree Holt’s Omega Force worlds.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     I have actually. I wrote and had a major (expensive but worth it) story consolut on a 110k word novel set in future Detroit. Alas, I have yet to get an agent or publisher to bite on it.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     Hmmmm…. Because I just re-read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot, I think I’d be a large animal vet!

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     The part where I want to be more successful than I am! But I keep trying and hoping and writing, writing, writing and writing some more to get better!

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     Hands down: Rhett Butler and Scarlet O’Hara

A Firefighter Romance

Jane Terrance has her life in perfect order. Great job selling commercial real estate in Detroit—0ne of the hottest markets in the U.S. Cool condo in Midtown with her best friend. Plenty of her own money plus complete control over all aspects of her active love life—Including a sexy, no-strings-attached boss.

When she meets a new client at an abandoned fire station, figuring him for one more greedy investor, she realizes just how tenuous that control truly is.

Trey Lattimer seems a little young to be retired from firefighting, and at first, he's just another guy to conquer. But the harder she tries, the more out of reach he gets until his continued presence does nothing but wreak havoc on her carefully constructed world.

WARNING: Don't Read This Book....
...If you like your firefighter romances predictable or sweet.

˃˃˃ "Liz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it's anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul."
#1 New York Times Best Selling Author Audrey Carlan

˃˃˃ "Liz Crowe is one of those rare authors who knows how to take the emotions of her characters and make them real for her readers, binding you to the story."
Internationally Best Selling Romance Author Desiree Holt

Buy Links:
Amazon       Barnes and Noble       iTunes       Kobo       Smashwords

About Liz:  
     Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse. 
     Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”
     With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
     Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Old Words, New Words

By Lynn Crandall

If you don’t know what the world “Hella” means, you now can look it up in the newest version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It means “a lot of” and “very.” You also can now look up bitcoin, TMI, life hack, and cold one.

While some of us wordsmiths may not agree, the dictionary is not the Bible. It does not remain unchanged over time. Merriam-Webster’s website assures us that editors are hard at work watching new words coming into our world and assessing whether or not they’ll make the jump from newly common words to accepted words listed in the dictionary.

According to dictionary’s website, “Each day most Merriam-Webster editors devote an hour or two to reading a cross section of published material, including books, newspapers, magazines, and electronic publications; in our office this activity is called "reading and marking." The editors scour the texts in search of new words, new usages of existing words, variant spellings, and inflected forms–in short, anything that might help in deciding if a word belongs in the dictionary, understanding what it means, and determining typical usage. Any word of interest is marked, along with surrounding context that offers insight into its form and use.”

After words are noted, they move to the Citations file, where they are assessed for usage frequency. A word must be found in a wide range of publications, giving it a large number of citations. From there, the word becomes a new entry when the editors decide evidence proves it is firmly established in society’s vocabulary.

This process allows dictionaries to remain as fluid as our language and reflect our real speech. For example, in a Words We’re Watching blog post, Merriam-Webster writes that the word “athleisure” has been considered. It is a word used to describe casual clothing worn as both every day and fitness apparel. It’s a big word in fashion these days. With its entry in the dictionary, we may no longer purchase “sweats,” “gym shorts,” or “workout cloths.” I imagine the term “gym suit,” is already long gone from our vocabulary and I hope the garment from anyone’s physical education locker.

It’s important that our word authorities keep sources up-to-date. I know this. But sometimes I find myself using a word that I rarely have used. It just pops up. It’s become outdated, but the sound and the feel of it when spoken triggers memories. Some of the memories are not mine, but of an era I’ve only learned about. Those old words can harken images of men sitting on benches outside of small town retailers, passing the evening in conversation. Or of women in aprons setting up a church potluck on the lawn while children run around in bermudas (the first time they were in style) and striped pullover T-shirts.

It’s probably not important to keep up the usage of “shucks,” or “fiddle-faddle,” “piffle,” and “neato.” Why exclaim “that’s the cat’s pajamas” or “far out” when we can say, “Awesome” or “Way Cool?” Or use a whole sentence, “He’s ignoring my phone calls and messages,” when we can say, “He’s ghosting?”

Sometimes I get agitated at some of the ways our speech is changing. I’m not fond of “va cay,” or “kray kray.” Is it really so hard to say, “Vacation,” or “Crazy?”

What new words do you find pleasurable to use? What words do you miss?
Friday, June 10, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You can take for granted that people know more or less what a street, a shop, a beach, a sky, an oak tree look like. Tell them what makes this one different.  
- Neil Gaiman
Thursday, June 9, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Humor Writing Tips with Mark Hunter

What's so Funny? The Write Way Café welcomes author Mark Hunter, who knows humor.

     This may come as a surprise from someone who eagerly awaits the newest episode of The Walking Dead, but I like humor in my entertainment. The only mindless entertainment on that show is when someone’s brain gets eaten.
     But of my eight published works seven have humor in them, including a collection of humor pieces based on my long running column, Slightly Off the Mark. This spring I took it a step further by publishing a book about Indiana history: a humor book about Indiana history, called Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All.
     See how often I used the word “humor”? That means it must be true.
     Humor was easy for my romantic comedies; not so easy for the history of our local fire department. But it’s doable, and what I like to do. If I was a TV writer, it wouldn’t be for The Walking Dead: It would be for Supernatural.
     As an author, there are three big mistakes you can make: Try to establish a career while writing in more than one genre; mix genres in one book; and presume to tell someone how to write humor.
     I’m kidding, there are lots more mistakes than that. But since one out of three ain’t bad, I won’t presume to tell you how to write humor. In fact, I only know three humor writing tips: Stay away from politics, don’t make fun of your mother-in-law, and use the Rule of Threes. (See what I did, there?) I make the rest up as I go along.
     Still, I’m living proof that you can insert humor into any genre. It’s easy in some cases. In my second romance, The Notorious Ian Grant, it comes from Ian’s personality. Here’s part of the conversation when he first encounters Beth Hamlin, a teenager who’s soon to become his partner in crime:

     “If you don’t move on pretty soon, Fran’ll come over here and shoot you.” The girl gestured toward the State Trooper, who now watched him with a deepened frown.
     “Well, I need to get to a little town called Hurricane.”
     “Are you a looter?”
     “Not lately. Oh, sorry—I’m Ian Grant.”
     Her blue eyes widened, for an instant. “I’m Beth. Is looting a regular hobby in California?”
     “It depends on the election cycle, and who’s on trial.”

     But it’s not so easy in other cases. My first draft of Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century of So With the Albion Fire Department was entirely devoid of humor. It was a history book, after all, sold as a fund raiser for the local volunteer fire department. (You’ll never guess the town’s name.) But in the final draft, I managed to insert a little gentle fun:

     In some communities the law stated everyone had to own at least one bucket.  As the alarm spread, people would throw their buckets out the window, where they’d be grabbed up, until everyone formed bucket brigades to splash water on the fire.
     How many concussions resulted from falling buckets hasn’t been documented.

     It’s not Shakespeare, but then some people claim Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare, either.
     Beth pops up again in The No-Campfire Girls, a young adult adventure set at an Indiana summer camp. In fact, Beth is a prime example of one of those characters who takes such a hold in the author’s imagination that she runs wild and does whatever she wants. She appears in four of my books, and takes over every scene she’s in.
     With The No-Campfire Girls the humor is a bit broader, and in some cases more physical, as the girls plot to end a drought. In this example, as they discuss the fire danger, it’s Beth’s friend Heather who steals the moment:

     “I’ve got good news.” Heather pulled an extension cord from her suitcase, and draped it over another case; smaller, but still her third one. “Now I can get everything plugged in.”
     “Heather. This is camp.”
     “I know, it’s so unfair. There are no boys within five miles, no air conditioner within five hundred feet, and no Starbucks this side of Evansville. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have my makeup and curler with me, in case … well, suppose there’s a fire? Hunky firefighters.”

     “You’re fifteen, and they’d be busy.”

     If done right—in fiction, at least—humor comes from the characters and the situation they find themselves in. Ian Grant is incapable of taking anything seriously, even when he does take things seriously—cracking jokes is all he knows. So in tense situations he might still be funny; but when things turn serious for Beth Hamlin, despite her normal sunny disposition, she turns serious, too.
     Any situation, including a zombie apocalypse, can have a little humor in it. In my Storm Chaser Shortns story collection, two firefighters have just gone through a scary moment when a roof collapses on one of them:

     “You okay?”
     “Sure I am.” Getting back to his knees, Rich craned his neck to examine himself. “Am I on fire?”
     “No –“
     “There you go, then.”

     In non-fiction? Well, then you can make fun of anything, as long as you’re willing to face readers who don’t happen to have a sense of humor. In Hoosier Hysterical I don’t shy away from the fact that Indiana, the state named after Indians, kicked all the Indians out.
     It’s more than the politically correct who might take offense. My aim wasn’t to teach history: It was to show history can be fun. Archeologists might have fits when they read this, about the pre-Indian culture:

     Some ancient graves have been discovered of abnormally tall people, so much so they’re often called giants. This led, of course, to the phrase “corn fed” to describe tall people. Researchers later determined corn alone won’t account for unusual growth, which lead to the theory that mastodons were tasty.
     Early natives left great mounds all around Indiana and neighboring states. The purpose of those mounds remained a puzzle, until a twelve year old boy from Clarksville pointed out the natives seemed to have no outhouses. This came as a tremendous shock to archeologists of the time, who were known to be very hands-on.

     Maybe I’ll get lucky, and they won’t read it. Actually, I’d rather they did read it: Nothing means sales like a little controversy. Isn’t that a funny concept?
     At least, I hope so.

Mark R Hunter’s newest book is possibly his strangest hybrid: a humor-history book, Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. In addition he’s the author of two romantic comedies, Storm Chaser and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also wrote a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark. He collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Ghost in the Blue Dress with R.A. Slone

R. A. Slone

Fifteen-year-old Jenna Moores is struggling with her father’s recent death. Not long after his passing, a ghost from her childhood returns. When she was young, Jenna’s father convinced her that the ghost was just her imagination and that he would always protect her. But now he’s gone, the ghost is back, and Jenna knows she’s not imagining it. As the entity grows stronger, its threats move from alienating Jenna from her friends and family–to killing her. Alone and afraid, she must find and destroy the link that holds the spirit to this world…before Jenna, too, becomes a ghost.

About R.A.:
     I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I’ve always loved to write. I remember taking pieces of paper, cutting them into squares, and stapling them together to form a small book when I was a kid. The Witch and the Kitty is one book that I remember creating. I didn’t really have a plot, though. I just wrote about a witch that lived in the basement of my home.
     For Christmas one year, my parents bought me a Smith Corona typewriter, and I would stay up at night typing away about horses galloping into the sunset. Again, I didn’t really have a story line.
     Later, after I grew up and had some life experience, I tried my hand at writing again. This time I started with short stories. One of my short stories was called Picture Girl. It was about a picture of me when I was four years old that was possessed by a ghost. This originated from a nightmare I had when I was in middle school. (It must’ve been scary since I could remember it all these years later.) After a dear friend of mine read the short story, she pushed me to turn it into a book. So, I wrote a middle and an ending and finished my first novel Ghost in the Blue Dress.

Website      Facebook        Twitter

Ghost in the Blue Dress is available at: 
Black Opal Books
Barnes & Noble

Saturday, June 4, 2016 | By: Lynn

Fierce Hearts the Complete Series releases

 An epic showdown will pit love against evil in this shapeshifter romance series as the were-lynx colony faces off with the all-powerful Nexus Group determined to wipe them out. Only the strong and dedicated will survive - and only those willing to risk it all will find their soul mates in this thrilling and value-priced digital collection.

  • Secrets: Casey Mitchell has always kept his identity as a were-lynx secret. But he's drawn to Michelle Slade, and when he begins to help investigate the circumstances surrounding a mysterious disappearance, the situation soon spins out of control. Their survival depends on trusting each other with secrets better left unspoken. Will these two lonely souls triumph and find true love . . . or lose everything?
  • Cravings: A victim of kidnapping and torture, were-lynx Kennedy is suspicious of everyone and unsure of her path forward. Sportswriter and were-bobcat Asher Monroe has been trying desperately to ferret out the truth behind why the sinister Nexus Group is kidnapping and experimenting on were-cats. As their need for the truth takes them into escalating danger, they discover explosive secrets that could bring Kennedy and Asher together - or rip them apart forever.
  • Heartfelt: When investigative reporter and were-lynx Asia Blue suspects the Nexus Group is behind her mother's disappearance, she reaches out to former friend and colony mate Conrad Pike, now an investment banker and serial heartbreaker. They must once again join forces to save their tribe, but will this strong-minded duo risk opening up their hearts and owning up to their long-simmering attraction?
  • Probabilities: Bubbly were-lynx Tizzy Sands planned to teach kindergarten, eventually marry, and start a family. But cancer changed that goal, and she's now determined to take down the nefarious Nexus Group - and steer clear of any romantic involvements. Quinn Arons's genius IQ makes him the least socially skilled were-lynx in the colony, but he might just be the man to show Tizzy there's more to life than saving their world.
  • Unstoppable: When veterinarian Lara Monroe's fellow colony cat - and secret crush - Booker Chase needs help, she's willing to use her special healing touch to help him survive his emotional hell. As a top-notch physician, he's not convinced anything can repair his soul, broken from the loss of his wife and burdened with PTSD from his service in Afghanistan, but Lara is showing him flashes of what might be. But they can't grab this second chance at love unless the colony takes its biggest risk of all to shut down the Nexus Group forever.

Paranormal Romance/Sensual @lcrandall246

Lynn Crandall started spinning stories as a child when she tried to entertain here younger sister at night when they were supposed to be going to sleep. In the dark, her stories typically took on a scary or paranormal element -- didn't do much to put her and her sister to sleep. Today, she hopes her stories still fail to put readers to sleep, but rather take them on a journey. That's what she's been on since she decided to make writing her focus.
Friday, June 3, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don't write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid's burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance. 
- Richard Price
Thursday, June 2, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Getting to Know J. Arlene Culiner

The Write Way Café welcomes J. Arlene Culiner.  She's led an itinerant life, learned from her experiences, and done some crazy things in the name of love! 

Tell us a little about Felicity’s Power.
     Felicity’s Power is the story of a couple whose romance didn’t work the first time around. It starts out in the hippie days in San Francisco, when Marek, my wonderful hero, is finishing a doctorate in literature. He needs security, success and a family — his own father is violent and alcoholic — but when he meets Felicity, a very unlikely partner, he is immediately attracted. Felicity is rebellious, adventurous, sexy — all the things that are exciting in life. However, the last thing she wants is stability. She needs to see the world, be useful, and when she refuses to settle down, marry, have a family, the romance is doomed.
     Years later, Felicity seeks Marek out again. She’s been living in the world’s danger spots as an aid worker, and is now ready to come home. She has always loved Marek, but can she convince him to give their romance another chance? It doesn’t seem likely. Now a famous author, Marek lives in isolation. He hates travel, and certainly has no desire to have Felicity break his heart a second time. But Felicity is a very determined woman, and she’ll do her best to make him change his mind.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
      I’ve led an itinerant life, putting myself in highly uncomfortable situations in places where I knew no one, understood nothing, had no reference point. Those experiences kept me alert. With no one to communicate with, and totally dependent on my wits, I had to keep my eyes open, observe what was going on around me. And, unable to communicate, I kept journals. That was the first step in becoming a writer…

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
     Read. Read. Read more. Read books that are different from what you would normally choose: history books, experimental novels, intelligent travel accounts, and certainly non-mainstream works published by small publishers. These last aren’t money-makers, or popular genre fiction, but they do have the finest writing. Also, expand your vocabulary, devour grammar books. Having a good knowledge of grammar not only helps you produce better work, it can assist you in tricky situations. Like several other authors I’ve met, I’ve found myself (although rarely) confronted an editor or two who just didn’t know their job — a very embarrassing situation. These people want to change your style, your sentence structure, add unnecessary conjunctions, remove important commas, but they miss the real errors. They are dangerous.
     I’d like to add here, that my editor for Felicity’s Power at The Wild Rose Press, Eilidh MacKenzie, is wonderful. This is the second book I’ve worked on with her — the first was A Swan’s Sweet Song — and she is just a pleasure.

What “keepers” are in your home library?
     There are so many, and most are non-fiction. But since we’re talking about novels, I’ll mention two fiction titles, both wonderful satires: Chrome Yellow by Aldous Huxley; Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     Oh, I’d love to be Felicity Powers, the heroine of my book. She’s so smart, so determined, so much fun. And she gets to be with Marek Sumner, my hero.

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
     For years, I’ve traveled alone, often crossing countries on foot and sleeping in fields. Doing this sort of thing has dropped me into some admittedly tricky situations. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get out of them, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, safe, sound, and answering your questions. I was arrested on a false charge of espionage in Turkey, was twice held in custody by very corrupt police in the Sahara desert. I’ve had to hide from one ambusher in the mountains of Spain, from another under deep snow in Turkey. I’ve escaped rapists, a murderer or two, a few Mexican gunmen, an all-night stalker on the Slovakian border, and I once got lost in a minefield in the middle of a war zone near the Mauritanian border. How did I manage to get out of such conundrums? By sensing the danger, keeping a cool head, having a good line of chatter… and lots of luck, I suppose.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
     Rejection slips are pretty tough criticism, but when I look over the stuff I sent out years ago, I understand why it was refused: most of it was pretty awful. However, the toughest criticism I’ve had, was unjustified (and this does happen, often enough, in the world of non-fiction.) I had sent out a manuscript; the publisher liked it, was considering it for his list. Then, because it was an historical work, he sent it to a friend, a university professor. She immediately attacked me, claiming I had no right to write about that subject because I wasn’t a professional in the field, and wasn’t attached to a university. It wasn’t a shattering experience — I knew my cousin, a specialist in pre-historic, middle-eastern wells (!) had the same thing happen to her twice — but it was very annoying. The best compliment I’ve had, is praise for my style and content.

We’re adding books to our Café menu.  Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert?  What would you call it?
      A drink, I think. Heady, fun and bubbling. I’d call it Pure Felicity

Tell us about the book in your closet.
     It’s a rather strange autobiography — strange, because it doesn’t concern me, but the people I’ve met over the years. It isn’t at all politically correct, thank goodness.

And now for the fun stuff!

If you aren’t a full-time writer, what is your day job?
     I’m a contemporary artist, a photographer, and I also work as an actress and baby-boomer model. However, an enormous amount of my time is spent on music. I’m only an amateur musician, not a professional, but I play in three orchestras, one band, and several chamber groups. I have rehearsals and concerts all the time, and all the excitement, tension and pleasure that comes along with performing. What instruments? Oboe, English horn, baroque oboe, oboe da caccia, flute, piccolo and saxhorn.

Are you a dog/cat/other person?
     My cats and dogs are part of my entourage; I love hugging them all, and I need to feel their fur under my fingers. When I’m away from them for more than a day, I miss them terribly. However, I love every creature: bears, foxes, bees, wasps (I’ve had some great relationships with wasps who had their nests right at face level, but knew I wouldn’t hurt them), snakes, and spiders (they’re all so different and so beautiful, I watch them for hours).

What is your favorite season and why?
     Winter, when the snow is deep, and dark comes early. I love the atmosphere in cozy, lamplit, warm places.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of love?
     Oh boy. I’ve done some crazy things, believe me. Changing countries, hopping on a plane, or boat, or train, abandoning all for a moment’s passion; racing across Europe just to meet someone for a few hours; climbing out of windows, shinning up walls; hiding for an entire day in a locked, 15th century chapel with a new lover, while a previous one, wildly jealous, pounded on the door. However, I suppose the craziest thing I’ve ever done was risking my life, sneaking through night streets after curfew, just to get to the hotel where a lover was waiting. Soldiers with machine guns were patrolling everywhere, and I might have been shot – certainly I’d have been arrested if I’d been caught. I now shake my older, wiser head at such follies, but I never know what adventure might be waiting for me next…

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
     I work in a closet. No kidding. The apartment we live in (just outside Paris) for part of the year, is so tiny, I moved my computer and tables into a closet (without windows, of course.) Thus, I spend much of my life as a closet writer.

Contemporary Romance from The Wild Rose Press

The evening Marek Sumner opened his door to the wild-looking Felicity Powers, he knew nothing would ever be the same again. But he needed stability, Felicity craved adventure, and love and passion couldn’t keep them together.

Years later, having lived in the world’s most dangerous places as a foreign aid worker, Felicity is back, still offering her love. Why would Marek risk having his heart broken a second time? Now a well-known author, he loves his calm, solitary life in an isolated farmhouse. He and Felicity are just too different; their relationship could never work.

Yet Felicity is just as fascinating and joyful as ever. Can she convince him that love can be even more delightful the second time around?

Amazon        Wild Rose     Barnes and Noble

About J. Arlene:  
     Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone's dismay, she protects all living creatures -- especially spiders and snakes -- and her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve.
     In her perfectly realistic contemporary romances, heroines are funny, and heroes are dashingly lovable. All are proudly over the age of forty.