Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: The Poe Consequence with Keith Steinbaum

Keith Steinbaum

In a section of Los Angeles near Dodger Stadium, two rival gangs rule the streets. For the Alvarado Street Diablos, it’s been a year since the murder of one of their closest members at the hands of their sworn enemy, the North Rampart Lobos. A drive-by killing in his honor is planned, but things go wrong and an innocent bystander is the victim. Several hours later the one who pulled the trigger suffers a horrifying death, caused by something never before seen in its uniqueness. Many more such cases follow, but all of them involving only these two gangs among the hundreds throughout the city. And each death occurs at the same time of day. The exact same time of day.

What can these two enemies do to survive against an unstoppable power intent on their mutual destruction? How is a gang-hating young boy’s attempt to save the life of a gang member tied into preventing a loved one’s soul from eternal damnation? What does a mysterious psychic’s prophecy conveyed earlier in New Orleans have to do with all of this?

Exploring both the darkness and hope that define our emotions, The Poe Consequence integrates social and ethnic divisions through acts of fate and supernatural horror for the reader to observe and imagine.

Audiobook links:    Audible.com         Amazon.com        i-Tunes

About Keith:
After several years devoted to poetry, followed by about a decade and a few minor achievements as a professional song lyricist, I eventually developed a strong desire to write a novel, culminating in the completion of The Poe Consequence, a modern day supernatural thriller/human drama. I’m quite grateful for some acknowledgments that it’s received. In its first year after being published, the book was awarded Supernatural Thriller of the Year by Books-and-Authors.net, an online literary website. In 2015, Kirkus Reviews selected it as one of its top Indie books of the year, and in 2017 it received a Finalist placing in the international Book Excellence Awards competition.

My forthcoming second novel, published by Black Opal Books, is entitled, You Say Goodbye. It’s a whodunit murder mystery featuring The Beatles, a one-hit wonder ex-rock star, and a little girl with cancer who's a big fan of the L.A. Lakers. The child's character was inspired by the life, and unfortunate death, of Alexandra Scott from the Alex's Lemonade foundation.

Although I pay the bills through a long career in the landscape industry, in my heart I’ve always considered myself a creative writer first and foremost. As I’ve often replied when asked about my license plate that reads, Do Write, I make my living through landscape, but my loving through writing. 

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Here are my personal website links: 


Friday, July 27, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.
– Rosa Parks

Thursday, July 26, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

From Paperback to e-book with Maris Soule

authorThe Write Way Café welcomes Maris Soule, who shares her fascinating story-making process.

From Paperback to e-book. Easy, right?

Back in 1992, I was writing for Silhouette Romance, and two things triggered a story idea. (1) I heard about Munchausen by Proxy, a mental illness where a parent, usually a mother, makes up fake symptoms or causes real illnesses so she can keep taking her child to the doctor. Hmm, I wondered, how would that affect the child as an adult? And, (2) I loved reading Gary Larson’s single-panel cartoon The Far Side. The cartoons were funny yet thought provoking. Hmm, again. What if my hero was a cartoonist?

I decided the story would feature Greg Lyons, an artist who published a very popular cartoon featuring a savvy lion, Leo, who gave advice and made people laugh. And, of course, Greg had been raised by a mother who suffered from Munchausen by Proxy. Now, what if the death of his mother turned him against all doctors and his cartoons became so vitriolic, newspapers no longer wanted to publish them, and it was suggested he take a break? And, what if during a walk across the U.S., he broke his ankle and ended up having to stay in the home/office of a physically scarred, but wonderful country doctor, Amy Fraser?

Lyon’s Pride was published in 1993. It came out as a paperback and in large print and did fairly well, even though I didn’t like the cover.
by Maris Soule 1993 - Silhouette Romance

(She’s supposed to have scars on her face. The artist evidently didn’t like scars.)

Years ago I’d gotten the rights back for the book, so in 2016 I decided I wanted to give that story a new life and put it out as an e-book. I’d written the story on a computer, so I should have the file on a disc (or a zip drive). Right?

Wrong. From 1993 to 2016, we’d moved twice. I have no idea what happened to that file. That meant I either had to scan the paperback copy I had or retype the story. Scanning by hand would have taken me forever and even then I would have to go through it to catch scanning errors. Hiring to have it done would have cost money. Why spend money if I could retype it?

Actually, I’m glad I typed it myself. As I went along, I realized how much things have changed since 1993. No cell phones back then. Even how doctors treat broken ankles has changed. I had to decide whether to up-date the story to present time or keep it set in the early ‘90s. I finally decided I would have to make too many changes if I set it in 2016 or later, so I decided to set the date to 1993. Nevertheless, as I retyped the story, I did make a few changes. Just a few.

It took me a lot longer to transcribe the story than I’d expected. Almost a year. And I wasn’t sure what I wanted for a cover.

The cover. I guess I am drawn to men who have long hair. So far I have 3 e-book covers with long-haired men. I wanted Greg’s hair to look like a lion’s mane. I needed Amy to be positioned so her scars wouldn’t show. My cover artist, Florence Price, and I looked at hundreds of images of couples, most only remotely meeting my criteria. Finally we decided to forget the couple angle and concentrate on finding a “Greg.” More looking at images. Hours of staring at long-haired men in various poses. (My husband was starting to get suspicious.) I don’t know how many hours Florence spent trying to find just the right image. I gave up after a week. Meanwhile, Florence had come up with the layout for the rest of the cover. We just needed that head shot. And finally, we thought we had it. I took a print of the mockup to a friend. She said the image looked like Jesus. “Is it a religious book?” she asked. Oops, not the impression I wanted. Back to the drawing board.

by Maris Soule 2018
This month I finally published Lyon’s Pride as an e-book. I really like this story. Poor Greg can’t tell Amy he’s the cartoonist who’s been drawing and publishing these tirades against doctors, not while he’s confined to her house. And, to make matters worse, he’s starting to like this woman, even if she is a doctor. In fact, he’s starting to think not all doctors are terrible. But what is she going to do when she finds out who he is?

This is the cover we finally decided to use. I kind of like this guy. I just hope no one mistakes him as Jesus.

Lyon’s Pride is available on Amazon and on several other sites.

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

For more information about Maris Soule, visit http://marissoule.com or LIKE me at Facebook/MarisSouleAuthor, or follow me on Twitter (@marisSouthHaven), or Friend me on LinkedIn, or visit my Pinterest Page.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: All of Me by Rose Grey

Rose Grey

Two blue eyes. One toothless grin. And Jock Durrell’s heart is gone, gone, gone.

Jock is having a lousy week. Learning he is a father has been a shock but it’s the lack of sleep that’s killing him. The kid is five weeks old and cries all night, every night. He needs childcare. Yesterday. He’s hoping for Mary Poppins.

Charlotte Aubin is good at getting hired. Staying hired is more of a challenge, especially since she knows nothing about babies. But most worrisome is Jock himself. He’s kind. She hates that in a man - it’s so much more deceitful than open hostility. Falling for the baby may be unavoidable. But falling for Jock would just be stupid. No man can be trusted, especially when it comes to love.

But Charlotte’s past follows her, endangering everyone she holds dear. Will she flee to safety? Or risk it all for the man who has stolen her heart?

Amazon: Coming Soon!

Barnes and Noble       Apple iBook       Kobo

Goodreads: Coming Soon!

Rose’s idea of an emergency is realizing a long weekend is coming and the library is closing in an hour. She loves finding cool seashells, knitting sweaters which start out right but inevitably turn out too large, and petting stray dogs. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and suffers from the sin of boundless pride when it comes to her four grown children. 

Rose’s books include All Of Me, and Waiting For You, the first two books in the Durrell Brothers Trilogy. In addition, she has just published an ebook for young children, Isaac and the Slow Oven. Rose’s novels may be found at online retailers and on her website, http://rosegreybooks.com.

Friday, July 20, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.
– Unknown

Thursday, July 19, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Welcome to Bronxland with Paul Thaler

The Write Way Café welcomes author Paul Thaler, who embraces childhood memories and transports readers to life in the 1960's.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?
Bronxland is my first novel after having written two nonfiction books earlier on, so that pull to write “long” has been there for quite a while. I suspect the idea began brewing during my early professional career as a journalist. I found that I wanted more to say beyond the 750-word story, so writing books was a natural extension. And it’s been empowering, energizing and a wonderful form of legitimization as a writer.

What was your path to getting Bronxland written and published? What type of research did you do?  
Bronxland was six years in the making and the end result of a rather “interesting” (read: “agonizing”) journey both in terms of the writing process and then publication. The novel actually began as a memoir centered on my years growing up in the Bronx of the early 1960s. After spending several years with that book I thought I was done and ready to publish – only for that thought to come crashing down. Among other colleagues, one friend pondered whether my own family members might be interested in reading this memoir—but that was the extent of my readership. Since I was going for a slightly larger audience than my wife and kids, I went back to my computer. As it turned out, I was grateful for my friend’s honest if somewhat brutal appraisal. Unshackled, my memoir morphed into a much more enjoyable ride for readers (at least I hoped so). The publishing part, however, was less pleasurable—and I won’t bore you with all the gory details. Only to say, that I finally found my publisher (and thank you Black Opal Books), after a year of wandering in the desert in search of an agent and publisher. Rejections became so deflating that I was tempted to send off my manuscript and cover letter signing off as Stephen King. But somehow I didn’t think that a book about a Bronx kid would fool them. 

Where did the idea for Bronxland come from?
It’s been said that most fiction is autobiography, and that is certainly true of Bronxland. The time spent with the memoir was put to good use, and a number of events and characters from the novel were born from this original source. One reviewer called the book “a memory dream,” and I think that’s an apt description of Bronxland.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
Real life has certainly informed this story and that includes a cast of characters that form around my alter ego, 13-year old Paul Wolfenthal. While I have changed names, I’ve kept close to actual people from my past. Here is the bully (“Tommy Branigan”) that besieged me back in my early Bronx days; the Irish girl (“Dee-Dee O’Hara”) with the hazel eyes and dimpled smile who broke my heart; my seventh grade math teacher and Marilyn Monroe look-alike (“Miss Bonnet”), who stirred my imagination, and not in a good way. My family and relatives are also present; to honor them I’ve used their real names. Historic figures are also woven into these Bronx episodes. They include John Kennedy, who also was a Bronx kid (yes, it’s true), and plays a part in my growing up (both in my fictional and real world). Other famous characters make an appearance as well, among them Richard Nixon, Roger Maris, and Harry Houdini (who Paul “visits” one Halloween). I admit to also using names of current friends as an unscrupulous way to get them to buy the book in search of their “character."  

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them?
Because I had so much “raw material” I didn’t run into too many blocks with Bronxland. But there were those times that I’d run into a wall, the result of poor planning (I don’t outline my books), or, simply, a nonfunctioning creative side of my brain. If I was stuck, I would take a break, walk away from the computer for even an entire day, and, hopefully, come back more clear-headed. This usually worked for me. However – your question dredged up a memory that I thought I had repressed. A number of years ago, I had been given a significant contract from a major publisher only to fall victim to the writing block of all blocks partway through the project. I made my way to Chapter 7 of a historical book only to stop—for good. I discovered I just had nothing more to say. Unfortunately, I was about 200 pages short of the promised book. I wound up with no book, a folded contract, and a vow never to take on a subject that was better left to other writers. A lesson there about reaching too far past your writing comfort zone.  

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
The main drawback in my process – a problem always – is in trying to be too “perfect” with each word, sentence, paragraph. The computer thesaurus is both a blessing and a curse, stopping me in mid-sentence for the “right word” or phrase. I would be better off just, well, writing, then coming back to do all the polishing that is necessary, but can wait. Best to just get the story down. Writing dialogue can also be a challenge, but in Bronxland it became much more fun once I found my characters and their voice.  

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I’m not sure if this qualifies as a surprise, but I felt something of a sense of loss after giving up Bronxland to my publisher. I had lived with my characters for so long, that I found myself missing my daily engagement with them. As corny/crazy as it sounds, I kind of wanted them to stick around, only grudgingly sending them off. There is something intensely personal about writing fiction; essentially, giving birth to characters and their world. I felt that in Bronxland though and wouldn’t be surprised if other writers have suffered from such insanity. 

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about life in the Bronx?
Writing a book truly inspires a sense of confidence; the equivalent to running the marathon—that you have broken through some barrier that seems out of reach for most people. But more than that, this novel in particular gave me the chance to return back to a special time and place in my life. They say you can’t go home again – but it really was nice to visit. 

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
There is my computer, printer, desk – and a closed door. Some writers can work with other distractions around. I can’t. I need solitude. I remember an interview with Jonathan Franzen after publication of The Corrections. Working out of his Harlem apartment, Franzen told an interviewer that he writes while wearing a blindfold and earmuffs to avoid any sensory distractions. I’m kind of like that without the blindfold and earmuffs. I just need to get lost in the silence.   

What are some of your favorite books and why?
A tough one with so many. Sometimes a book just enters your life at the right time and place. Growing up there was the science fiction crew of Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, among other sci-fi writers. Philip Roth was a must read (how could any Jewish boy avoid Portnoy’s Complaint?). Really got lost in Doctorow’s Billy Bathgate, Ragtime and Daniel. (He was also a Bronx kid, so that was an added plus). I continue to be a fan of historical novels, and Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden are two of the best storytellers in this genre. I’ve also read everything that Dennis Lehane has written including, Shutter Island, Mystic River and The Given Day. There are the more “serious” reads that satisfy a different part of my brain and fuel my other life as an academic (my day job is as a university professor).  

What are you working on now?
I have a few ideas in mind. Among them is returning to my alter ego, Paul Wolfenthal, older, no longer a resident of Bronxland, but still trying to avoid having the rug to be pulled out from under him. 

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
At least for the time being, I will be playing it safe and keep writing fiction that intuitively feels right. I might enjoy, say, a good crime story, but I would not want to denigrate the genre and insult those readers by pretending I know anything about forensics outside of what I have watched on CSI.  

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
Playing clarinet in the New York Philharmonic and soloist in Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

The top-rated novel on Goodreads' list of "Best Historical Coming of Age Books"!

Welcome to Bronxland by Paul Thaler—and this uproarious and heartrending coming of age novel set in the Bronx circa '60s. Paul Wolfenthal is a peculiar 13-year-old kid grappling with the absurdities of his young Bronx life circa 1960. He visits the dead, hears voices in his head, despises Richard Nixon, is infatuated with his Marilyn Monroe look-alike math teacher, and is a choice victim for the neighborhood’s sadistic bully. And then Paul really starts running into trouble.

Paul is, in fact, a kid in search of heroes, alive and otherwise, and finds them in John Kennedy and Harry Houdini, both of whom cross into his life. But these are strange and even dangerous times. Hovering in the shadows are “the demons” that haunt Paul’s young childhood dreams, only to come alive and shatter his world. One steals away a neighborhood child. And then his president.

Set against the turbulent history of the times, Bronxland tugs on a kaleidoscope of emotions. A place of the heart known to all of us, with our own story to tell of growing up, of trying to make sense of our life, with everything that comes along. 




Bronxland buy links:   Amazon        Barnes & Noble

Paul Thaler
is a former journalist and the author of the critically acclaimed The Spectacle: Media and the Making of the OJ Simpson Story, and The Watchful Eye: American Justice in the Age of the Television Trial. Bronxland is his debut novel, released (October 2017) by Black Opal Books. In addition to his writings, Paul has also been an on-air media commentator for numerous television cable news programs and documentaries including those on CNN and HBO. He holds both a Masters of Arts in Journalism and a Ph.D. in Communications from New York University. Paul is a longtime resident of the Bronx, New York, where he lives with his wife, Amy, and their three children, Matthew, Robby and Rebecca.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: The Clock is Ticking...

Lainee Cole ●  Lynn Crandall 
●  Rena Koontz


Three talented authors. 
Three love stories. 
Three approaching deadlines.


 July Summer/Winter Sale
$1.50 Now through July 31st!

Midnight Casanova 
by Lainee Cole
Stranded at midnight by a broken-down car, dog trainer Maddie Lockhart finds refuge in a deserted farmhouse. When the owner of the house, Chance Marlow, tries to oust her, Maddie uses the stray mutt he calls Casanova to convince him she can help with his collection of homeless animals. While their paths seem incompatible, working side-by-side to rescue animals, they discover otherwise.
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Two Days Until Midnight 
by Lynn Crandall
Time is running out for reclusive billionaire Tamier Rein to save himself from transforming into a cheetah, and bird-shifter Lark Ellis is his only hope for surviving past midnight. 
Website     Facebook     Twitter

Midnight Deadline for Love  
by Rena Koontz
T.B. Amanscott is Harrison City’s wealthiest man and his kidnappers want one million dollars ransom by midnight or they will kill him. Every possible resource is available to Sergeant Ariana Jeanne Lozione, who is heading up the rescue attempt. There’s only one problem. A.J. wants him dead.
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Friday, July 13, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
– Thomas Edison

Thursday, July 12, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet God Father's Day Hero - Attorney Justin Martin

The Write Way Café welcomes author Lynda Rees, who gives us a peek inside her hero's life with a revealing character interview.

Handsome, successful, attorney, Justin Martin rushes home to care for his ailing father and unravels an evil past threatening to destroy Justin’s perfect life. Vulnerable at his lowest point, Becky’s strength carries him through. She keeps men at bay for her and her son’s safety, but Justin’s broken spirit penetrates armor opening her fragile heart. Neither of them believes in love, and they certainly aren’t seeking it. Becky can’t compete with his wealthy fiancé. Justin discovers what matters most—in perfect time to lose it. Certain death looms in the sleepy, lakeside town. Vicious confrontation is eminent.


Thanks for joining us today, Justin. I’ve heard you were a big-shot real estate attorney in Nashville, hob-knobbing with the elite, but recently returned home to your father’s lakeside resort.

JUSTIN: Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure being here. Yes, my career has certainly taken off since I met tycoon Landon Bridges, a real estate developer. Landon took me under his wing and opened lucrative opportunities for me.

I hear you enjoy more than a business relationship with Mr. Bridges. Rumors are you’re wedding to his daughter. True?

JUSTIN: (Clear’s throat and gives small laugh.) Yancy Bridges and I have been dating for a while now. She’s a fabulous woman, gorgeous and exciting. We’ve discussed matrimony, but I can’t confirm today.

Why the leave of absence and move to your rural, lakeside, Kentucky home town?

JUSTIN: My father, Richard Martin, has developed a critical condition and is unable to manage the resort alone. I want to spend what time Dad has left enjoying his company. I’m here to make his life as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

How are you managing a critically ill father and his business alone?

JUSTIN: I have help. Luckily Dad’s amazing cardio nurse when he was hospitalized, Becky Simms, helped us. Her sister, Sadie Watkins, also a cardio nurse, now lives at the resort as Dad’s full-time nurse. Dad adores her. Sadie Watkins is a delight. She’s extremely competent and brings needed sunshine into our home.

What’s in the cards for your future, Justin? Is there a love life you’re not talking about?

JUSTIN: That’s a complex question. I don’t believe in fairy-tale, forever-type love. It’s a figment of the imagination—a trick nature plays on us to enable procreation and continuation of the species. I don’t expect to engage in such a thing. Should I marry in the distant future, it will be for the right reasons—position, money and power.

(Interviewer gives a snide laugh.) Is that right? Does a broken heart have anything to do with your attitude?

JUSTIN: I’m not sure what you’re getting at. Losing my mom at a young age was devastating, both to me and Dad. I watched his agony. I’ll never subject myself to such pain. Why bother? I’ve been an attorney long enough to realize love never lasts.

I’m sorry you feel that way, Justin. I hope you change your mind and find true love. Tell me about nurse Becky Simms.

JUSTIN: (His face breaks into a genuine smile, engaging tiny wrinkles beside his eyes, making an already darkly handsome face appear more human and vulnerable.) Becky is a fine woman, compassionate and giving to a fault. She watched over Dad like a hawk, and helped me get through bad days with him. She convinced me I’d need professional help to care for him once I got him home, and arranged for us to meet her sister Sadie. Sadie is an answer to a prayer Dad and I didn’t realize we’d sent out. Becky and her son, Evan, visited Sadie last weekend at the resort. That little scamp was delightful. Dad enjoyed having them as guests, and he seemed to feel better with them around.

So nothing can be done for your dad? That’s very sad. You have my condolences.

JUSTIN: No, nothing. We’re taking it day-by-day. It’s rare having the opportunity to say things gone unsaid and to make memories to fondly recall later on. We’re enjoying the time and learning a lot about each other. It’s been enlightening. (A troubled look filters through Justin’s eyes, but he quickly blinks it away.)

I suppose you’re uncovering some secrets.

JUSTIN: (Justin snickers.) Indeed, we are. Things are never as they seem. Be careful what you ask. Once you learn something, there’s no going back.

Wow! That sounds eerie. What other books has Lynda Rees written?

JUSTIN: Two are suspense novels about descendants of past mobsters—God Father’s Day and Madam Mom. Her debut was a historical novel about a young widow’s struggle during the savage 1890’s Alaskan Gold Rush. It’s called Gold Lust Conspiracy. She also co-authored a middle-grade children’s book with her ten-year-old granddaughter, Harley Nelson, called Freckle Face & Blondie. Lynda has authored 9 books in The Bloodline Series, starting with Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine. These romantic suspense novels are set in race horse country of rural Kentucky. Two of these, Real Money and The Bourbon Trail, incorporate Kentucky’s mobster heyday history into the plot. Lynda is a U. S. history buff and loves showing how history affects today’s world.

How about that cocktail you promised?

JUSTIN:   GOD FATHER’S DAY COCKTAIL: Kentucky bourbon, vodka and Coke in equal parts, shake and pour over ice.

Where can the books be purchased and how can fans reach Lynda?

Fans can find Lynda at:

Website     Facebook       Twitter       Pinterest         Bookbub

Email: lyndareesauthor@gmail.com

Please give a review. Or follow me at newsletter:

Lynda Rees is a story teller and dreamer whose dreams come true.  She lives on a farm in Kentucky with her incredible husband and herd of critters watching her children and grandchildren breath—fascinating. Born in the splendid Appalachian Mountains the daughter of a coal miner and part Cherokee Indian, Lynda grew up in northern Kentucky when the Mob reigned supreme in Newport and the city prospered as a gambling, prostitution and sin mecca. She’s fascinated with how history affects today’s lives and it works its way into her written pages. After a corporate career in marketing and global transportation this free spirited adventurer with workaholic tendencies followed her passion with for writing.
Gold Lust Conspiracy, her award winning historical romance, launched Sept, 2017 by Sweetwater Publishing Company along with Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary and Wine, the first of The Bloodline Series of romantic suspense set in Kentucky horse country. Books 1-5 launch before 2018 with others schedule in the spring. Stay tuned.

Lynda’s first children’s book, Freckle Face & Blondie, is co-authored with her granddaughter Harley Nelson launching early 2018. Enjoy her stories. She hopes you become life-long friends.