Wednesday, October 31, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Vanished by Nancy A. Hughes

Nancy Hughes
by Nancy A. Hughes
It was supposed to be the kidnappers’ last job, snatching the infant of a poor single mother for an unsuspecting wealthy client. But the kidnappers grab the wrong baby—Billy, the son of high-profile bankers, Kingsley and Todd Henning—from their employer’s secure daycare. Realizing their mistake, the kidnappers plant evidence to implicate the parents and dismantle their operation. No ransom call comes. Detectives, convinced the parents are guilty, interrogate relentlessly as they uncover planted evidence.

The parents can’t face the mosaic of guilt, blame, and despair or help each other. On day ten, they are called to the morgue. The deceased is not Billy—this time. Shaken, they recommit to each other and vow to find him themselves. They scrutinize the bank’s security footage for incongruities only insiders might spot and follow the flimsiest clues into the murderous underworld of illegal adoptions. As novice detectives, they are exposed to extreme danger, skirting the law while keeping one step ahead of the villains and the police.

But is it too late? Will the kidnappers eliminate all trace of the baby? Or are they no match for two angry, determined parents?

Kobo         Scribd      iTunes       Smashwords

Nancy A. Hughes, a native of Key West who grew up in Pittsburgh, lives with her husband in south central Pennsylvania. Following graduation from Penn State where she studied journalism, she spent most of her career in business writing, specializing in media, community, and public relations for small to midsize businesses.

In recent years, Nancy turned her attention to murdering people—on paper, that is. Her debut mystery novel, The Dying Hour, was released on October 15, 2016, by Black Opal Books. A Matter of Trust, the first of the Trust trilogy, followed on May 6, 2017, Redeeming Trust on December 9, 2017, and Vanished on October 27, 2018. Her focus is character-driven crime-solving mysteries; her sub-genre amateur sleuths.

When she isn’t writing, Hughes is devoted to shade gardening, volunteering at the VA, and spending time with family and friends. Visit her on her website at

Friday, October 26, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.
- Kate DiCamillo
Thursday, October 25, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Michael Stein

The Write Way Café welcomes Michael Stein, who has a penchant for American History and exploring the question What if?

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? 
After publishing a non-fiction environmental eBook about six years ago I tried my hand at two novels. Black Buffalo is my third attempt and I’ve finally written something that I’m very excited to publish.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I’ve always been an avid reader of American History, both fiction and non-fiction. This led to a natural interest in the Native Americans, partly because they were here first but mostly because my school text books gave me nothing more than a brief overview of their culture. Learning about the various tribes, chiefs, and cultures became a healthy obsession, the hard part was trying to figure out which of these colorful characters to include in the novel. I was tempted to write about all I’d learned, but that would not be fiction. After two years of writing and over a year of editing I published Black Buffalo online and will soon print it out as well.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
The initial idea came from the many tales of Tecumseh I’d read over the years. As the leading Shawnee war chief of the nineteenth-century Tecumseh tried to unite all the native tribes against the westward movement of the Americans. The fact that he came so close to success, but failed due to a few small mistakes that were largely out of his control, always frustrated me. I kept asking myself what would’ve happened if he had been successful. Would the natives and the early Americans been able to reach an accord? Would the natives remain a cohesive unit or fall back into their tribal animosities? These ideas caught my attention.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 
I chose the Civil War era because it was the one period of American History when the nation could have easily been torn apart. We may now take it for granted that the North was destined to win, but that is far from the truth. The protagonist in my story, Niles Lambert, knows this and conspires to take full advantage. He uses his knowledge of historical figures like Grant, Sherman, and Custer, to find cracks in his opposition’s strategy and goad the generals into battles on his own terms. His first challenge is to create a coalition of tribal nations, his next is to create a sovereign state for them.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
Most of the main characters are fictitious but the rest are all real life figures who lived during the mid 1800s. In Black Buffalo we meet icons like Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Quanah Parker, Crazy Horse, and Cochise. Since they were all fighting in separate parts of the country at that time I wondered what it might be like if they were brought together? When I began the novel my protagonist shared many of my qualities but I quickly found this to be boring. I could not have done what he set out to do, so his character became much stronger as I got to know him. He’s a natural leader with a dangerous temper who doesn’t shy away from the spotlight.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? 
Many blocks. For quite a while I had no idea who would be victorious or how long the peace would last. I was determined to make the story plausible, which meant that Niles would be constantly challenged and have to improvise during many stages of his mission. It was a brutal period of American History and Niles needed to experience this first hand; not to bring violence into the novel but to show how the natives actually lived and interacted with each other. I got past the difficulties in writing because my personal curiosity wanted to know how things would unfold.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I was surprised by the ending, since I had no idea what it would be when I started writing. I was also surprised how difficult it was to edit out certain chapters that I loved. Most writers have this problem because we hate to see our hard work erased from the page. It was only after getting feedback from friends and family that I decided to shorten the book and stick with the story rather than a history lesson.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about history professors, the Civil War, and Native Americans? 
I learned that my fascination with Native Americans is mostly based on the fact that their lives were so different than my own. I can’t imagine living with the privations they were forced to endure or fighting endless battles for so many years. The injustice that was forced upon them, and still remains today, was the motivation for the book, but I learned about the complexities that led to their downfall. Just one example is that many of the more belligerent tribes were killing off their native neighbors for decades before the Americans arrived. In no way does this exonerate the brutality of the American military, but it puts certain atrocities into perspective.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
Though I’m happy to write anywhere I’m more focused when I get away from home. For many years I had a yoga studio in New Paltz, NY, and most of my writing was done in the office next to the studio. It was a small, solitary space where I could shut myself off from the world and go back in time for a while.

What are some of your favorite books and why? 
I love all the history books by Joseph Ellis because he’s so good at deconstructing many the psychological hurdles the Founding Fathers had to go through while creating a country. I also loved Slipping into Darkness by Peter Blauner, partly because it takes place where I grew up in NYC, but also because it sheds light on many of the issues within our legal system. The Last Algonquin is also a great story. Most of it takes place in the same time period as my novel but it tells the tale of an Indian who is all alone in the world.

What are you working on now? 
I’m currently working on a novel about a woman who takes on the job as supervisor in a lunatic asylum in the early 1900s. She becomes fascinated with a certain patient who never speaks or shows any trace of emotion yet creates the most vivid artwork she’s ever seen. He began living in the asylum after killing his wife.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why? 
Since literary fiction offers so many possibilities I doubt that I will try another genre anytime soon. I may, however, like to write a short piece on why the Native Americans are still being treated so unfairly in the modern USA. When I learned the basic history as a child I assumed that we had evolved past the point of pushing people off their land or arresting them for non-violent protest. Unfortunately, our obsession with cheap fuel is just as pervasive today as our obsession with gold was in the mid-1800s.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be? 
If there was a way to get paid for mountain biking that would be for me : )

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
Starting. Since approaching the blank page is so daunting I often find other chores to do before I get down to writing. Most writers do agree that we need to fill hundreds of pages before we get a few that we’re happy with. Though writing can be fun and fulfilling this has been my main challenge.

by Michael Stein
History Professor Niles Lambert was raised in the modern era by Sakima, his Shawnee Grandfather, who taught him to hunt and fight like a Native American. As a child his upbringing felt like nothing more than a game, but unbeknownst to Niles his Grandfather had a secret plan for him all along.

Using an ancient blood ritual, Sakima sends Niles back in time to 1859, where he must face the harsh reality of his mixed race heritage. Narrowly escaping slavery, Niles is captured by the Cheyenne and goes through a torturous sequence of events that eventually earns him the respect of the tribe.

He finds himself in the disconcerting position of being a tribal sub-chief who must lead his people to safety through the plains while also knowing every detail of the Civil War.

Niles embarks on a five year mission which takes him from Colorado to Arizona and eventually north to the Dakotas. Along the way his stunning predictions earn him the title of “Prophet” and he sits in council with Cochise, Red Cloud, Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Quanah Parker, among others. He uses his vast knowledge of their personal lives to enlist their support in his burgeoning coalition.

Uniting the tribes proves to be only the first step. With the Civil War finally over, Niles and his lieutenants must lead thousands of warriors into battle against the technically superior, but often beleaguered, United States military. Knowing the tactics and inner motivations of leaders like Grant, Sherman, and Custer, Niles is able to stay one step ahead of the Federals while engaging them in a series of bloody conflicts designed to sway public sentiment and gain independence for a sovereign Indian state.


Michael Stein first got the writing bug as a student of song composition at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has since written numerous magazine articles and short stories, in addition to one non-fiction and three novels.

Michael has been fascinated by history for as long as he can remember. In recent years he has immersed himself in the study of American history, particularly the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. His latest novel, Black Buffalo, is the culmination of five years of research into the conflicts between Native Americans and the United States military.

Born and raised in New York, Michael lives in Bath, England, with his wife and teenage son. When not writing, he enjoys yoga, mountain biking, and his ongoing study of history.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Veiled Memory by S.P. Brown

by S.P. Brown     When Celtic historian, Dr. Madeline Alleyn, abandoned her husband, it was to protect him and her unborn triplet daughters. Now, nearly eighteen years later, her 17 year-old girls are smart, normal, but something has never been right with Madeline. There are compulsions she doesn’t understand and secrets she’s intent on keeping from her daughters, secrets her dead father never fully divulged, secrets her mysterious mother took to the grave giving her birth.
      Now, the people Madeline is hiding from have discovered a way to unite the clans. They seek her mother’s archeological find, ten stone tablets with a story to tell of the existence of the Community, the secret origin of Stonehenge, and of quantum sorcery. But the secret community is divided, and the most dangerous among them think the time is ripe for showing themselves to an unsuspecting humanity. They must conquer. The prophecy of Tarkus demands it.
      Madeline is desperate to keep her children hidden. She knows the prophecy from the night her husband revealed his true nature to her. But time is running out. Will she be able to find her mother’s hidden artifacts before her enemies discover that her children are the key to world conquest?

Amazon        Black Opal Books       Smashwords

About S.P.:  Born on August 30, 1953 in Plaquemine, Louisiana, to a painter (Joseph Harry) and a homemaker (Vivian), Stanley P. Brown as a child always had heroes. These were mostly in the form of his big brother, Harry, and those populating the pages of Marvel Comics. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff to be a superhero himself, he concentrated on academics at Louisiana State University and The University of Southern Mississippi (where he earned his doctorate in Exercise Physiology). He went from there to his first academic post at The University of Mississippi. Others followed, as did many, many scientific publications and several textbooks. But the call of storytelling remained strong in him and he answered that call. The Legacy, his debut novel, is the result of that. Other novels (Veiled Memory and Fallen Wizard) are following in short order, with sequels planned for the three fictional worlds he has created.

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Monday, October 22, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: Dark Ride

Dark Ride
by Angela Smith

“Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” Adrienne Fuller plodded over weed clumps in the middle of the night, still wearing her Crocs from work. She slapped at a mosquito on her arm, but more of the beasts bombarded her neck. Sweat from the hot and clammy night crawled down her spine.

Her flashlight sliced through the sluggish darkness but didn’t stifle the shadows. The country was different at night. The buzz of locusts eased the transition between sun and moon, but the baying coyotes left a harsh echo as the world held its breath, unmoving as it waited for the sun to return.

She should be used to it—she had grown up here—but fear skated down her spine every time she imagined snakes coiled in trees and shiny spider-eyes levitated around her. And yet the night creatures were safer than the human ones.

She choked back tears, coughing through a curtain of regrets. Her whole life was falling apart, and she had no idea how to fix it. This temporary living arrangement was harder than she anticipated. Sidney disappeared a week ago, and she couldn’t lose Tonka, too. Which was why she was out here at almost two o’clock in the morning, the bugs buzzing in her ears making her shrink inside.

“Tonka. You little rascal. I’m going back inside.”

In hunting mode, Tonka burrowed himself under the tree closest to the road, his butt up and ears twitched as he focused on his target.

She crouched and snapped her fingers, regretting that she hadn’t brought his packet of treats to shake. He’d darted outside as soon as she had opened the door, but she usually didn’t have to lure him back inside at this hour.

Headlights from down the road lanced through the trees. Eyes glowed around her, floating out of the darkness in a kaleidoscope of colors. Adrienne had lived here long enough to recognize the creatures. Owls, foxes, coons, and deer to name a few. Wolf spiders—one of the many beasts to creep her out during Texas summer nights—grew like monsters in the darkness. Twigs twitched and she jerked her flashlight around. Probably a coon.

Tires screeched. Tonka darted toward her. She stood, almost stumbling backward in the dirt. Lights approached, two cars barreling toward her like demon talons in the moonless night.

They were likely drunk. Looked like they were playing a dangerous game of chase. She patted her pocket for her phone and cursed when she realized she’d left it in her purse. She’d grabbed the flashlight she kept stored in a flower pot but left her purse and phone inside when she rushed to catch Tonka.

She ducked behind a tree. She was way too close to the road, and she didn’t want the headlights to illuminate her. Best to hide and wait it out.

She waited and watched, fear tightening her chest. This was no game.

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She’s a witness to a human trafficking ring. He’s the undercover agent meant to bring them down. When fate thrusts them together, falling in love could be the key to their survival.

She’ll risk her heart and her life to expose the bad guys…
As a nurse, Adrienne’s job is to help people, but that’s the last thing on her mind when she witnesses the accident in front of her home. When the man involved claims to be an undercover FBI agent whose mission is to bust a human trafficking ring, and now they are out to get her, she has no choice but to trust him.

He has to pretend to be the bad guy…
Henry “Zan” Duncan is undercover when he spots the woman with the fiery red hair hiding in the bushes. She’s now a witness to a crime, and he has no choice but to take her, unaware he just raised the stakes on his mission, blew his cover, and failed in his effort to never fall in love.

Dodging bullets, fights, and explosions…
Adrienne must learn to trust the man who claims he wants to protect her, and Zan must open his heart to the woman he is starting to love.

📚  Find Angela Smith here:

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