Tuesday, January 31, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Mia Jo Celeste


     It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh.
     Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Bound to her by cords stronger than death, Lord Victor Lowell is both the man of her dreams, and her darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess. Drawn to the compellingly gallant and vulnerable soul behind his mercurial humors, Evie can only watch as protecting her forces Victor to sacrifice yet more of himself to the ancient evil long tethered to his soul. 
     Trapped in an ever escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will to do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. Battle lines drawn, the soul mates resolve to find redemption or die trying.

OTHER THAN, a Gaslamp Fantasy/ Paranormal Historical Romance

Wild Rose Press       Amazon        Kobo       Itunes

     He materialized in the inky shadow.
     Or rather his apparition did. His ghostly frame hovered before her, sinuous and lithe. Against his shadowed form, the string glimmered like liquid silver. Slowly he unwrapped her, tossing the spectral bands to the floor until a coil lay between him and her.
     Something inside her chest fluttered. “You followed me.”
     An accusation.
     He nodded. With a slight shrug, he spread his hands. “You shouldn’t be alone.”
     She wanted to turn, giving him her back, but her betraying gaze remained fixated upon him. When he paced around her, she waved him away. “Don’t.”
     He caught her hand and placed an insubstantial kiss in her palm. “Let me help you…please.”
     A gallant gesture, perhaps, but her skin-slider sensitivity noted the rigidity of his stance, the twitch along his jaw, and the slight narrowing of his eyes. How could he think of helping her when he was in so much pain?
     Ordinarily, she might be grateful. Might…if loss hadn’t hollowed her.
     She ripped her cooling flesh from his spectral arms. “I don’t deserve kindness.”
     “Good.” He gave her a rakish smirk. “Because I’m not kind.”
     She shook her head, biting back the emerging smile that had no place on her countenance. She couldn’t be civil, couldn’t risk the involvement. “I can’t go on like this—stuck betwixt life and death.”
     “You must. Don’t you see, sweet dove? You’re beyond both. You’re immortal. Like me.”

Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise when she chose to pursue both careers. She grew up watching horror movies and reading romances. To her, the two genres go together like salty and sweet in kettle corn.


Friday, January 27, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Thursday, January 26, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Jean Adams

The Write Way Café welcomes Jean Drew. A prolific author with a fondness for anything Greek, she shares tidbits about herself and her book Honey's Greek Billionaire.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?  
I told a publisher friend I wanted to write and he suggested I try Mills and Boon. I bought some and it was love at first read. When I discovered that American publishers liked the male POV,  I was hooked. I like to know what the man is thinking and feeling.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I researched Greek weather at certain times of year and what I thought a billionaire’s home might look like.  Then, the hero being Greek, I gave him what I thought his family would consider good taste and found a beautiful home which I drew on. I still have the pictures stored on my computer. I also had to research the island of Limnos so I could throw in a taste of its history. Since I had already published several books through TWRP, I offered it to them and they accepted it?

Where did the idea for your story come from?  
Like most of my ideas — right out of the blue.

Why did you pick the setting you did?   
I wanted a contrast between cold, wintry London and a warm climate.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?  
They are totally imaginary.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret? 
The only block I did have was in the proposal, whether it was binding or not. Since I couldn’t find any reference to that I had to leave it open.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after? 
I’ve uncovered a deep and abiding love for Greece and everything Greek. I’ll watch anything Greek (films set in Greece always seem happy, i.e. My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Opa!)  and I’ll read anything about Greece.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about working with your love interest, about Greece and billionaires?  
This is the second book I’ve set partially in Greece, the first being No Other Love, and I’ve fallen in love with it. I could happily live there. The people are warm, friendly and welcoming. The other thing I discovered is that rich people, not just billionaires, get bad press from movie and TV writers. They are always shown to be greedy and petty, when in truth they haven’t got time to be. They are also very generous with their time and knowledge to anyone who wants to learn.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I’ve recently moved house so my writing space is a jumble at the moment. The jumble doesn’t bother me and I’ll clear it gradually but writing must come first.

What are some of your favorite books and why?   
So many wonderful books and so many wonderful authors, how can I possibly choose?

What are you working on now?
I love ancient history.  I’m working on an archeological paranormal set partly on Atlantis (Greece, of course J) and am enjoying working with ancient characters. I’m also working (very slowly) on a trilogy set in ancient Egypt during three pharaonic periods.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why? 
I sometimes think I might like to write thrillers, a la Agatha Christie, so if a story hits me in the eye, maybe I will.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
I would love to have been an archeologist.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?  
Long love scenes. Don’t get me wrong.  I adore writing love scenes, but I’m always afraid they will turn out corny or stilted. I usually leave them until last because by then I know the characters really well and can fit the love scene to suit the couple concerned.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
I have two heroes. Is that allowed? In Forbidden by Helen Kirkman, the hero, Wulf, is a prince, now slave, and although he says and does nothing in the first chapter, you can feel his frustration, humiliation and anger.  My other favorite hero is the Duke de Jervaux in Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale.  Both these books are keepers of mine.

In an effort to stop his embarrassing flirtations, Honey Preston jokingly asks her billionaire boss, Paris Magdalinos, to marry her.

Much to her surprise, he accepts, and no amount of wriggling on her part will induce him to let her off the hook. Besides, she doesn't believe she's good enough for him.

Paris has his own agenda. He's using Honey's innocent proposal to help him out of a sticky situation. And their marriage will only be for a short time...until he kisses her and discovers she's the woman he's been seeking. She's perfect for him, and he wants to stay married. But Honey's beliefs are hard to shake.

Preorder for Kindle from Amazon.com
Or in paperback from the publisher, Wild Rose Press

Release date: January 27, 2017

About Jean: Jean is a firm believer in happily-ever-after and enjoys writing books with happy endings. She has published nine romance novels. She is working on several other books, including a trilogy set in ancient Egypt. She likes dark, mysterious heroes and strong heroines, who are their perfect match. They are soul mates, and their love for each other goes soul deep. Jean is the founder of Romance Writers of New Zealand.

Find Jean:  Twitter    Facebook      Website

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Jami Gray - Marked by Obsession


Marked by Obsession, PSY-IV Teams #3

Some betrayals hide behind love, others obsession...

The loss of her beloved brother and a series of unexplained events plunges Meli Dwyer into a dangerously unfamiliar reality. Alone and floundering, she turns to the sexy and unsettling Wolf Kincaid, PSY-IV Team’s skilled telepath, for help even as her battered heart whispers to steer clear of a man more dangerous than what hunts her. 

Will Meli find the answers to her personal nightmare before one man’s obsession costs her the heart of another?

Available in paperback or e-book at: jamigray.com  Or anywhere books are sold!
Muse It Up Publishing     Amazon      
Barnes & Noble       Kobo

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.  Hunt her down at:   Twitter       Facebook       Goodreads

Friday, January 20, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Imagination is a place where all the important answers live. 
- Joe Meno
Thursday, January 19, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Sherry Lewis

The Write Way Café welcomes Sherry Lewis, who's learned that sometimes books just need to evolve organically.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? I can’t remember exactly, but I know I was just a girl and I was younger than 11. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve always known that I wanted to write books.

Where did the idea for your story come from?

The character of Katie Scarlett O’Malley first made an appearance in my head about 15 years ago. I had a very clear sense of her and tried several times to write her story, but apparently I got her story wrong because none of those other incarnations worked. Then one day I heard her say, “If you make me shoot you, I’ll never forgive you.” That line of dialogue intrigued me so much, I decided to try again. This time, she opened up to me in a way she never had before. Once she revealed a few key elements of this story to me, we were off and running.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 

Because Yellowstone National Park is probably my favorite place on earth and during one of my attempts to tell Scarlett’s story, I spent a few days in West Yellowstone, Montana. Montana is home to me, so setting a book there is always a joy for me.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
The characters in this book are completely imaginary. I couldn’t even tell you for sure that I know someone like any of them. As for reflecting aspects of myself, I would have to say yes. I can’t tell you what those aspects are because it’s not a conscious connection, but unless and until I find an emotional connection with a character, I find it very difficult to write them. There’s something of me in Scarlett and in Kat, and probably even in Fergus. Maybe I’ll figure out what it is one day.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret? 
I faced many blocks while writing this book, beginning with trying to put Scarlett in a romance novel (she wasn’t having it), moving on to submitting a proposal to my publisher who wanted to wait to make a decision about the book since it was different from anything I’d written for them up to that point, and moving on to long periods of time when Scarlett wasn’t talking to me. I handled all of them by not giving up, by regrouping, revamping, and trying again. Persistence is a much-needed commodity in the life of a writer.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about women in law enforcement and about Montana? 

This is the longest book I’ve written to date, so I learned that I can, indeed, write a longer book. I’d researched women in law enforcement for an earlier book, and as I said earlier, Montana is home to me, so I set books there frequently. I also found joy in writing this book, which is something I’d lost to some degree after many years of writing to deadline. I let this book evolve more organically than I’d been able to do with books in recent years, and that made writing it a pleasure.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.  
My writing space varies by the day. Most days, I work in my living room in a comfortable chair. Many days I work in my office, which is a lovely, sunny room overlooking my front yard. Other days, I pack up my laptop and work at the library, a restaurant, or a park near the beach. That’s one of the things I love about being a writer: I can work anywhere I want.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  

I like anything by Susan Howatch. She’s a master at deep point-of-view and character motivation. Right now, I’m working my way through the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I love big, rich, thick books and long for the return of the family saga.

What are you working on now? 
I’m just beginning the first in a series of eight related romance novels At this point, I think they’ll be set somewhere along the Gulf Coast, which is where I’m currently living. I have a very loose idea of how the stories are connected, but I’m just beginning the work of deciding on the characters and plots. I’ve always wanted to write a book based loosely on a fairy tale, and that’s what these books will be.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why? 
I’ve written contemporary romance, time travel romance, romantic suspense, and mystery, but I’ve always wanted to write mainstream historical fiction. I have always loved historical fiction, and for many years I’ve nursed the dream of writing a huge, rich book set around the Revolutionary War.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?  

That’s a hard one. For many years, I couldn’t think of anything else I would want to do. Then I spent some time serving on the board of directors for Romance Writers of America and realized that I quite enjoyed that. But now, I think the only other job I might want would be retired grandmother with nothing more demanding to do but spend time with my grandkids.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
Filling all the logic flaws and making sure the character motivation is working.

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?

It’s not possible to pick just one from my own work, so I’m going to say Kendrick de Piaget from Lynn Kurland’s wonderful Stardust of Yesterday.

Scarlett (don't call me Katie) was raised by her father after her mother walked out when Scarlett was just three. Now thirty years later, Scarlett learns that her mother was killed when she lost control of her car less than 50 miles from Scarlett's home town. The news is unnerving, especially since Scarlett had no idea her mother was anywhere around.
Frankly, Scarlett doesn't give a damn. She'd be happy to ignore her mother's accident completely, but that proves to be impossible once her egg donor's ghost shows up in Scarlett’s bedroom Not only has Kat failed to go toward the light, she’s become attached to Scarlett for some reason neither of them can understand. When Scarlett's aunt asks her to prove that Kat's death was no accident, Scarlett agrees, but only so she can send her ghostly visitor on to her great reward.
Together, Scarlett and her amnesiac ghost of a mother look into the accident that claimed Kat's life. It doesn't take long for things to get worse and soon they're caught up in a web of secrets and lies that turn Scarlett's whole world upside-down.

Available for pre-order: Amazon

Sherry Lewis is the award-winning, national bestselling author of more than 30 books across several different genres. She’s also the owner/instructor at Dancing on Coals Workshops for Fiction Writers. Sherry is the mother of two wonderful daughters and the world’s best son-in-law. She’s the grandmother of two delightful granddaughters, and makes her home along Florida’s Emerald Coast with the two most uncuddly cats on the planet. 

Website        Facebook        Twitter: @SherryLewis        Pinterest

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 | By: HiDee

Traversing Slippery Words

Photo by HiDee Ekstrom The threat of winter storm Jupiter kept me homebound. The forecast called for an ice storm. I wanted to avoid slippery roads and I knew I could enjoy the beauty of nature from the comfort of my home.

I spent the weekend traversing slippery words instead.

Here are some lessons I've learned while editing:

For me, editing on paper is easier than editing on the computer. I find it helpful to spread out on my desk or the table with my hard copy and a colored pen. The words flow as I write, adding layers to my story. I can’t write nearly as fast as I type, so by the time I get the first words written, more are spilling out of my thoughts and onto the paper. This is a better use of my time than staring blankly at the screen.

Use a different font and/or color for each POV character. Whether I’m working on the computer or on paper, I can keep an eye on the balance of the story.

I use cheat sheets when I’m stuck. Writing pages I follow on Facebook often share tips like these:  Emotional expressions. When to show. When to Tell. Words to use instead of looks/seems like. Character defense mechanisms. 

Search “crutch” words and try to remove some if they occur too often. Words such as: very, only, almost, glance, gaze, seem, believe, like, sudden, began, would, and should. For a list of other crutch words, try searching “crutch words in writing” and see what comes up!

A lot of sources say to read backwards or read out loud to catch missing or wrong words or awkward sentences. If something stops me as I’m reading and editing, I like to read that section slowly and deliberately, letting the words sink in. Usually, I am able to rewrite so the words flow more smoothly.

Let it rest. Sometimes I have to take a couple days off from editing. My brain gets caught up in the story and knows what is supposed to happen, and it tends to glide over words instead of really reading them. Taking a break resets my brain and allows me to edit with fresh eyes and a fresh brain.

I don’t want to lose anything I’ve written. Just because I cut this paragraph here, doesn’t mean that I can’t or won’t use it somewhere else.  I have a “Cuts” file but I also save my files with a date. For example, MyWIP011717.  I’m a packrat when it comes to my files. I save them on my computer, on my USB drive, and either in Google docs or by emailing them to myself. You never know when you might want to go back to a previous version for some reason.

It’s hard to cut words you’ve written, even when you know they don’t belong. There are more lessons to be learned so I will continue learning and improving. After all, isn’t that what editing is for?

What are your favorite editing tips? Please share.

Friday, January 13, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
– Jimmy Dean
Thursday, January 12, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Problem with Books by J. Arlene Culiner

The Write Way Café welcomes J. Arlene Culiner. She writes with sincerity and talks about why it is important to tell a great story.  

(Note: Arlene will be checking in over the weekend as she is traveling today.)

Thank you so much for having me back at the Write Way Café to talk about my latest release, The Turkish Affair. But first, I’d like to talk about other people’s books and why I love or don’t love them.

I’m lucky: five or six absolutely wonderful books with humor, exciting language, an original way of telling a story, have recently made their way onto my reader. But there have been others too, well-written, almost interesting. Almost interesting? Yes, a certain amount of research has gone into them, and I can’t complain about the writing. It’s just that, for me, there’s something missing. It took me a while to work out what — but now I know: sincerity.

No, we aren’t all alike, and no, we don’t all like the same books, thank goodness. But I do think one of the reasons many of us read, is to have a peek into someone else’s life. A story doesn’t have to be autobiographical, but there have to be elements that show the author is writing about something he or she feels absolutely passionate about, or about a personal experience. And, for me, that experience can’t be a few glossy impressions gathered during a visit to a tourist destination. It has to come from a real emotion, even one as tiny as feeling alone and desolate one afternoon, or having a terrible crush on someone unavailable, or a failure of some sort. Those experiences make us human, and sharing them brings us closer to each other. Here are a few examples of what I mean:

I’ve recently been reviewing books for an English site. One was written by a young man drifting around England on his broken down bicycle. Everything he owned was tied onto the back, and he spent the nights either camping or dropping in on friends along the way. His one great passion is music, and he earns his way by busking, playing his guitar and singing his own compositions under bridges or on busy street corners. He wrote about how frightening it can be sleeping rough but how beautiful to wake up with the birds, rabbits, and deer. Yes, his grammar is shaky and words are misused, but the book is personal, and sincere, and touching. And fascinating. Haven’t you always wanted to have a peek into that sort of life? I have.

The next book was a story written by a man but from a woman’s point of view. The heroine wanted to be a writer for the BBC, and she tried, then flopped, tried and flopped, tried and flopped again before having a bit of success… then flopping once more. Not only that, her love life was disastrous. But the book is so warm and funny, I roared with laughter all the way through. The author had also once been a writer for the BBC, and you knew this was his own experience. And it worked. It was wonderful.

Another book arrived: a romance between a seamstress and powerful Scottish laird in the nineteenth century. There was even an element of suspense and danger thrown in. Well written, the grammar was fine, there were no misused words. The seamstress got her man; the laird got his seamstress; the villain got his comeuppance. It was happily ever after. And I was happy it ended. I could forget it. It had nothing personal in it. It was a pure invention — and not very deep invention. It was written to sell, but not to open a conversation or to share. I was pretty certain the author, living in American suburbia, had been on a vacation to Scotland and seen a few castles. That was it.

Am I making my point? Two first books made my life richer; the third wasted my time. Do you need that personal element too? Leave a comment below; I’d love to hear how you feel about this.

Okay, I can hear your question: how much personal experience did I put into my romance, The Turkish Affair?

Many years ago, like Anne, the heroine of The Turkish Affair, I was living in central Turkey and working as a translator. Sometimes, I’d head out for other parts of the country. Once, the bus I was traveling on pulled off the main road, down a rutted lane, and into an archaeological site — we were to deliver a package of some sort. While we waited, I stared idly out of the bus window and caught sight of a man ambling in the direction of a tumble of pillars and ruins. He was lean, supple, and the bright sun caught the golden blaze of his hair — he was a very romantic figure. Who was he? An archaeologist? I never found out. With a puff of noxious smoke, the bus sprang to life, turned, roared back toward the main road. Where was that site? I did go that way again, but never found it. But the blond man’s image has remained with me all these years; he was slated to become my hero, archaeologist Renaud Townsend.

Another time, I was living with a Turkish archaeologist. We had been at a friend’s house — another archaeologist — and were enjoying ourselves. Time flew, and before we knew it, it was too late to go home: back in those days, there was a curfew, and you would be arrested if caught out in the street. Therefore, we had to spend the night at the friend’s house. Around an hour later, there was a knock on the door. It was the police: some antique coins had been found in the baggage of tourists leaving the country — it’s highly illegal to smuggle antiques — and the two archaeologists were ordered to drive down to the coast, verify the worth of the coins. I accompanied them, and the way both men summed up the situation and helped the tourists (who would have had a terrible time of it, and probably would have gone to jail without trial) is told in The Turkish Affair.

Another time, I got myself into a dangerous situation on a road out in the backcountry. I shouldn’t have gone walking on my own out there — it was a very stupid thing to do. I was lucky to be rescued by a very brave and rebellious young woman, Leyla, and I couldn’t resist putting her, her unpleasant mother, the whole incident, into The Turkish Affair.

In fact, I always put experiences from my own life into all my books, no matter what the genre. But I think I must be very fortunate: I’ve had quite an original wandering life and many adventures.

Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

A top notch Washington journalist before a liaison with the wrong man implicated her in scandal, Anne Pierson has been hiding in backwoods Turkey and working as a translator. She’s determined to keep her past a secret, to avoid personal relationships. But after meeting Renaud Townsend, her discrete little world is turned upside down.

Archaeologist Renaud Townsend is troubled by Anne Pierson’s refusal to talk about her past, but instinct tells him he can rely on her. Or is it only desire speaking? A lusty love affair for the duration of the summer dig is a very appealing idea.

When Anne’s bad reputation links her to stolen artifacts and murder, the budding romance with Renaud comes to a halt. If they learn to trust one another, her name can be cleared. But is there still enough intensity to give love a second chance?

Published by Crimson Romance
ISBN 10: 1-5072-0121-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-5072-0121-3
eISBN 10: 1-5072-0122-2
eISBN 13: 9 978-1-5072-0122-0


     The door opened. Anne looked up. And froze. Speak of the wolf and you see his tail. Renaud Townsend. She stared at his long, tight body, the tousle of sun-bleached hair. Noted again his casual, elegant saunter as he entered. Remarkable. But what was he doing here? What mad coincidence had brought him to Necmettin’s café? And now that he was here, how could she avoid him? Get up and go home? Her fingers inched toward her purse strap in preparation for the getaway, while she lowered her head and pretended to read. But, despite her desire not to look, she couldn’t help glancing up.
     He was watching her.
     Their eyes locked. Time became fluid, spilled out into a long, loose eternity. Until, finally, he was moving again, easing his way toward her, stopping beside her table, his blue eyes radiating intimacy. Intimacy she didn’t need. Or want.
     “Hello.” His voice was warm, coaxing. Very different from the tone she’d heard this morning.
     Speech temporarily deserted her. His eyes scanned her mouth slowly, and her throat closed. His gaze was as intimate as a caress.
     “I’m happy I’ve run into you again.”
     He meant it; she saw that. Did it mean he’d been looking for her? Combing the scruffy town until he found her? Ridiculous. Why be preoccupied by a woman he’d met only briefly?
     “I want to apologize for my rudeness at the site this morning. I felt guilty all afternoon.”
     She stared at him blankly. Humility was the last thing she’d expected. She fought her curiosity … and lost the fight. “Guilty?” He didn’t look like the sort of man who’d know what the word meant. She had him pegged; she knew his type. He was a man who helped himself to what he wanted and ignored the rest. As easy to read as a fluorescent billboard.
     He nodded. “Please, let me explain.”
     But he didn’t look quite so sure of himself now. And she felt herself relenting. “You don’t have to explain anything.”
     “Of course I don’t have to.” His lips twitched into a faint smile. “I want to. My behavior was offensive.”
     She forced herself to shrug, as if his explanation didn’t matter to her. She had to discourage him, because friendliness was the last thing she needed from him. Arrogance she could deal with; it would be easy keeping him at arm’s length with that. But warmth? Sympathy? She didn’t think she was strong enough to handle those, not when his very presence excited her, made her want to open up to him.
     “Explanations really aren’t necessary, Mr. Townsend. Please don’t bother—”
     “Not Mr. Townsend. Renaud. Just Renaud and Anne, okay?”
     How calm, how vibrant his voice was. There wasn’t the slightest trace of the aggression she’d heard this morning. And first names were too intimate. She wanted to stop him, say, “I don’t want you in my territory. You spell trouble.” She didn’t want complications and emotional upheaval. Those would churn up her daily life, turn it into complete misery.
     Yet it was a nice name. Renaud. She tried the weight of it in a part of her mind. “Yes,” she heard her own traitorous mouth murmur.
     He indicated the second chair at Anne’s small table. “Mind if I sit?”
     Of course she minded. Or did she have a mind left at all? She shook her head. He’d traded in the tight T-shirt for a loose, beige shirt that managed to suggest all the tight muscles it hid. He still wore jeans, though. Tight, worn jeans outlining his thighs. His hair had been brushed back into a semblance of order, but a few unruly curls invited her fingers to touch.
     “It’s the first time I’ve been on a site in Turkey. I know nothing about local customs; I don’t speak a word of the language. And having responsibility for the site dropped onto my shoulders only days ago made me less than pleasant this morning.”
     “I wasn’t particularly charming either.” She hadn’t wanted to say that. Oh, why was he making her say things she’d had no intention of admitting? The last thing she should be doing was encouraging him, opening the door to easy conversation.

     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 French village of no interest and protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She works as an actress, a photographer, a contemporary artist, a musician, writes mysteries, history books and perfectly believable romances. Her heroines are funny and gutsy, her heroes, dashingly lovable. All are (proudly) over the age of forty. The Turkish Affair is her fourth romance.
     Two of her books have just been re-released: a mystery, Death by Slanderous Tongue, by Club Lighthouse Publishing; a non-fiction book, Finding Home in the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers, by Now and Then Books.
     She’ll be starting a podcast, In a Small French Village, in February. Some of her cartoons can be seen at http://jillculiner.over-blog.com/ and her short fiction at http://anecdotes.over-blog.com/

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Unimaginable Lover with Rosalie Redd

Rosalie Redd

A shifter and a human together? Unimaginable…

One careless decision. The colony betrayed. Tanen’s only course is a desperate hunt for justice, but his solo mission is cut short when he’s mortally wounded. Rescued by a sweet, innocent woman, he can’t deny the passion that burns between them. Now he must choose between his duty and honor or his desire for the precious, but forbidden, human female.

Broken promises and ruined love hardened Sheri’s heart. When she finds an injured and extraordinarily sexy man on her property, she’s pulled into a world she never imagined. As she nurses him back to health and they bond over their love of books, she’s torn between the lessons she learned from her rough past and the need to seek solace in Tanen’s arms, but she must learn to trust him, and herself, in order to survive.

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     A nervous chuckle bubbled from her lips. “See, Coop, no problem—”
     Coop pushed past her, and a low growl eased from him. In all the time she’d had him, he’d never reacted this way before. She gripped his collar, holding him in place.
     Her heart skipped a beat before revving into overdrive. Adrenaline surged through her veins, her face tingling from the rush of blood. The urge to flee overwhelmed her, and the muscles in her legs and arms tensed.
     “Ahhhh…” a distinctive male voice eased from the gloom.
     Coop lunged, yanking against her grip. His barks continued.
     “Quiet, Coop!” Her companion hushed, but he strained against her hold.
     A dark form slumped against the far wall.
     She inhaled and took a step back.
     The man groaned louder.
     “Who are you? What are you doing in my shed?”
     The only sounds, his labored breaths and her own heartbeat.
     She emboldened her tone with as much confidence as she could. “You’re trespassing. I’m calling the police.”
     “No…don’t.” His words were short, strained, yet the tenor of his voice weaseled its way into the deepest recesses of her soul. The sensation warmed her insides. She held her breath.
     He moaned again. His dark form moved.
     Her medical training kicked in and she had the urge to rush to his side and help him, but she remained wary. “Are you injured? Should I call an ambulance?”
     “Is it dark outside?” His strained speech carried across the small space.
     A strange desire to hear him speak again washed over her. She fisted her hand. “What difference does it make if it’s dark outside? If you’re injured, you need help.”
     “Please, tell me…is it,” a quick intake of breath, “…dark yet?”
     The cultured way he spoke made her still. She’d never heard his accent before. Sweat broke out on the back of her neck, dampening her collar. He seemed in pain, but she wasn’t sure. Her curiosity warred with her fear, and she wavered between barricading herself in her house with Coop and rushing to aid him. Instead, she remained fixed in place.
     “It’s dusk,” she choked out, her throat tightening from her confusion.
     He leaned his head against the wall. She couldn’t see his features, but from his outline, she could tell he was a large man. “Don’t…fear me. I’ll leave…soon…dark.” His words washed over her again, stroking her insides.
     With a quick move, he stood. A stifled groan eased from his lips, and he rested his shoulder against the wall.
     She took a step back. It took all of her inner strength not to run.

About Rosalie:  After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for award-winning author Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She pens paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy romance in her office cave located in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing.

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Friday, January 6, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe
And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. 
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, January 5, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Romance Subplot in Fantasy by R.R. Brooks

The Write Way Café welcomes R.R. Brooks, a prolific and imaginative writer, and author of Justi the Gifted.

     Fantasy books all contain some element of the unnatural, i.e., magic.  This important type of book includes many subgenres: from high, epic, and heroic to steampunk, urban, comedic, and dark, from magic realism, paranormal, and romantic to historical and juvenile.  In all the subgenres, authors often use the secondary plot line of love between the protagonist and another character.  Quite natural, since romance is an important part of the human experience.  Examples are easy to find.     
     In J.M. Barrie’s children’s fantasy Peter Pan, the main story of a boy who refuses to grow up is inaugurated by Peter’s visit to the Darling family children.  He teaches them to fly to Neverland.  His love for Wendy Darling, however, causes trouble: the jealousy-driven misbehavior of fairy Tinkerbell.
     In David Eddings’ classic epic fantasy Belgariad series, the main story pits hero Belgarion against the evil god Torak.  But Belgarion soon learns he is destined to wed the Tolnedran princess Ce’Nedra as a way to unite kingdoms and realize his status as the Rivan King.  The road to romance is rocky, for Ce’Nedra is resisting, willful, and demanding.  The developing love between Belgarion and Ce’Nedra drives the hero’s learning about himself and the ways of women.
     Dean Koontz’ modern day fantasy Odd Thomas series relies on the love between Odd and Stormy to frame and explain  his sadness, resolve, and desire to help avoid tragedy.  Koontz keeps this going even after Stormy dies.
     J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels (children’s fantasy read by everyone) deal primarily with Harry achieving mastery as a great wizard in the fight against He Who Must Not Be Named.  Woven into the story and developed as the young characters age is the love thread between Hermione and Ron and between Harry and Ginny.
     In some cases, the romance angle can dominate the fantasy.  Certainly the classic Beauty and the Beast achieves this as the merchant’s daughter finds her true love, proves her worth, and saves the Beast as the adventure is resolved.
     In my own YA epic fantasy novel Justi the Gifted, the protagonist Justi must seek another gifted child, Mercerio, to balance his powers (a wild gift of directing flame that can kill).  The fact that she is his age and beautiful complicates and changes the whole flavor of his quest.
     The love-angle serves an author’s purpose in several ways:
  • It seasons the main dish (not necessary, but sure helps) to sustain reader interest.
  • It sets up an undercurrent to what is going on with the main plot line (one wonders if Odd who communicates with the dead may also contact his lost love Stormy).
  • It forces or modifies choices of the protagonist (Justi has to go after the kidnapped Mercerio immediately; Justi has to join the Zellish battle because Mercerio says so; Ce’Nedra must lead an army to support Belgarion).
  • It can spark inner dialog of both characters.
  • It helps define your characters by showing them through eyes of another party with interest.
  • It provides a second set of gender-specific eyes to view events (contrast Ron and Hermione’s view of Ron’s behavior; Justi sees Mercerio as lacking understanding and she views him as stubborn and unfeeling).
  • It may widen your audience, both male and female.
  • It may sustain the reader through other, slower plot developments (a romantic moment offers a tangy respite from battles and scheming).
Love may be a side dish, but the meal wouldn’t be the same without it.

What if a gift from a god is damaged?

Barbarians, bringing death and slavery, invade and all but destroy the Kingdom of Zell. The only hope for the people's salvation lies with a young peasant boy. Gifted with a sense of justice by the god Li, this child, named Justi, will grow to be a young man blessed with the power to save the kingdom, meanwhile cursed with a power to kill-a power beyond his control. The prophecy of this wounded land has foretold of Justi's coming and his meeting with another of the gifted, a young and beautiful girl his age who carries a great secret. But those who stop at nothing, influenced by the dark power of Dar, use kidnapping, assassination, and seduction to block their union and prevent them from fulfilling their destiny. With help from many Zellish, Justi must use powers at his command to avert disaster and to face the one fear that has haunted him: killing an innocent.

Read a chapter
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble

About R.R. Brooks:  Bob Brooks (R.R. Brooks) spent his career doing pharmaceutical research and development.  Now living in western North Carolina, he’s published fiction and nonfiction, including science fiction and fantasy stories exploring strange encounters and issues of doubt and belief (e.g., “To Believe or Not” and “The Diest”).  He is the author of the epic fantasy novel Justi the Gifted, released in 2015 by Leo Publishing.

His themes for novels is eclectic.  A psychological mystery novel The Clown Forest Murders, co-written with A.C. Brooks will be released in a year or so by Black Opal Publishing.  A science fiction tale of espionage is being finalized, and second fantasy novel to conclude the adventure of Justi is underway.  He is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group, the Appalachian Round Table, the Brevard Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and the N.C. Writers Network.  He maintains author’s pages on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Hot for Teacher Bundle

Lynn Crandall

Reading, writing, and 'rithmetic aren't the only subjects these ten passionate couples explore in this fun digital romance bundle. But are their relationships strong enough to make the grade? Turns out love doesn't always follow a lesson plan. . .

  • The Professor's Secret: English professor Claudia Manchester secretly writes spicy romances under a pen name to keep her side job under wraps till she's secured tenure. But when she meets historical romance writer Bradley Davis while dressed as her sexier alter ego at a conference, can they build love on lies?
  • Just for the Weekend: Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. When he meets role-playing kindergarten teacher Cleo James at a sci-fi convention in Vegas, she seems like the real thing. Then - surprise! - he wakes up married to this sexy stranger . . . only to find Cleo has vanished. Is he looking for a swindler or the love of his life?
  • 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.
  • In the Shadow of Evil: After ten years with Maryland's Special Crime Unit, very little rattles Jared McNeil. Then his nemesis resurfaces, with his sights set on Jennie McKenzie, the fifth-grade teacher and face from the past that Jared is honor bound to protect, no matter what.
  • Between the Sheets: The Western Washington Choral Directors' annual retreat is the perfect setting for music teacher Maggie Schafer to turn over a new leaf in her love life, but a pretend romance with handsome Randy Devers gets surprisingly real.
  • The Look-Alike Bride: High school gym teacher Leonie Daniel leads a double life, often standing in for her glamorous older sister who works as a government agent. All Leonie has to do this time is spend a few weeks in Zara's lakeside cabin near Hot Springs, Arkansas, behave like Zara, and avoid Adam Silverthorne, the man her sister is interested in. But now Adam is falling for Leonie . . . or is he?
  • The Marrying Kind: Professor Jane O'Hara takes a sabbatical to follow her bliss to a horse farm. She doesn't expect to find it with the owner's son, Mark Hannon - but their connection is sudden and sizzling. Will their pasts prevent them from having a future?
  • The Gettysburg Vampire: Ghosts are a popular draw in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, so college student Abby Potter takes advantage of the phenomenon by inventing a vampire folktale for the annual holiday production. Problem is, her leading man - a history professor at the college and a renowned Civil War re-enactor - is a little too convincing in the role.
  • Winter Fairy: Recuperating ballerina Penelope Glazier can enchant the young girls in the Fairy Dreams class she teaches, but will her magic work on Carson Langley, the sexy but straight-laced single father of her most talented student? Or will she dance out of their lives when her big break arrives?
  • Inventing Sin: English professor Gabriella Kurtz tells her colleagues she's dating the perfect guy: big, masculine but gentlemanly, and capable of mind-blowing sex all weekend. Problem is, he's not real . . . until ex-military man Duncan Sinclair enters the picture, posing as an accomplished academic to take down a terrorist.

Available January 9, 2017!    Amazon

Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down.

Where to find Lynn:
Website        Blog        Facebook       Twitter

Amazon Author Page     Goodreads  

Buy links:  
Amazon     Barnes & Noble       Crimson  Romance

Other authors in this bundle include: Peggy Bird, Susanne Matthews, Nancy C. Weeks, Liv Rancourt, Kathryn Brocato, Judith Anne McCarthy, Susan Blexrud, Lola Karns, and Alicia Thorne

Sunday, January 1, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe