Friday, May 31, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
And what, you ask, does writing teach us?

First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.
- Ray Bradbury
Thursday, May 30, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Putting the Facts in Fiction

The Write Way Café welcomes Tracy Solheim, an intrepid researcher who appreciates the value of in-person research.

People seem to think the best thing about being an author is that we writers get to sit around in our pajamas all day as we create. While definitely a perk of the profession, most of us do get dressed every day. In my case, mainly because I’d fall asleep at my desk if I didn’t!

What’s really the best part of being a writer in my opinion? The research. Okay, I hear some authors and even readers groaning out there, but nothing makes fiction more authentic than getting the facts right. And that means not only surfing the web but getting your hands dirty, too. Kicking a few tires and walking in a character’s shoes. I call it the “Walter Mitty Component” of the job. Definitely more fun than wrestling a plot into submission.

Whether it’s interviewing an NFL placekicker or trailing a wedding photographer around for a weekend, I try to invest the time it takes to get down to the nitty-gritty of my characters’ actions and motivations. My Second Chances series is based in a historic B and B on the coast of North Carolina. The fictional inn is a compilation of several inns I’ve stayed in up and down the East Coast, right down to the tigerwood molding from a B and B in Asheville.

But when it came down to writing my current romantic suspense novels, I really had to up my research game. The series centers around an unbreakable bond of brotherhood binding together three West Point classmates who, after serving in the Army, now work for the U. S. Secret Service. The trio of special agents, dubbed the Heartthrob, the Brain, and the Enforcer, are devoted to their demanding jobs, thriving on the daily pressure and adrenaline. They work hard and play even harder in the Capitol Hill townhouse they share. All three vow to remain bachelors, knowing long-term relationships are not conducive to a career in the Secret Service. Or so they think!

Having lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for many years, I was familiar with the monuments, the Metro, and the restaurants my characters visit. I’ve also been inside the White House a time or two—just not the residence or the pastry kitchen tucked away on a mezzanine floor. Fortunately for all of us, the lovely folks at the White House Museum host an amazing interactive website. And yes, I used my author powers to make my heroine a pastry chef because I wanted to spend two weeks hanging out in the pastry kitchen of my local country club. My baked goods weren’t as pretty as the chef’s—not even close—but I can say I did my part taste-testing for quality.

The action scenes necessary to make the series suspenseful were a different story altogether. I’d never handled a gun much less fired one. My heroine needed to kill one of her assailants to protect a Secret Service agent—a bit of a role reversal plot twist, I know. To get a feel of what it would be like to shoot a gun for the first time, I toddled off to Writer’s Police Academy, a conference offering an interactive, hands-on experience for writers to learn all aspects of homicide investigation and forensics. There, law enforcement professionals instructed other attendees and me in the proper handling of a Glock. The experience was invaluable when trying to describe how my character would feel the first time firing a gun.

One of the other characters in the series is a zoologist who works with elephants. Of course, that meant I had to get up close and personal with pachyderms, too. Thanks to the wonderful Friends of the National Zoo, not only was I able to make sure I had the layout for the elephant trails exhibit correct, I was able to handle the elephant poop. Yeah, they weren’t letting me get THAT close to the elephants, but it was a day I’ll always remember, that’s for sure!

Tell me authors, what fun/crazy things have you done to research your books?

Here's a peek at SHOT IN THE DARK (Tule Publishing), book 2 in the series:

by Tracy Solheim
If there’s anything zoologist Josslyn Adams abhors more than guns, its poachers. She’s made it her life’s mission to eliminate the animal thieves from existence. But when an African “fact-finding” mission with a wildlife conservationist group results in one of their members being shot, the entire team must escape for their lives through the jungle. In order to obtain sanctuary from the local government, Josslyn calls in a favor from her older half-sister, the First Lady of the United States.

After suffering a serious concussion in the line of duty, Adam Lockett, commander of the Secret Service’s elite team of snipers, is forced to work on a boring protective detail. Making matters worse, he’s assigned to guard the First Lady’s wild-child younger sister, a woman hell bent on ditching her detail every opportunity she gets. Still, Adam is determined to bide his time until he is cleared by the doctors to return to the job he’s best at, even if the tree-hugging pacifist with the smoky eyes makes his job difficult.

Josslyn is back in Washington D.C. hot on the trail of a major importer of illegal animal products. The last thing she needs is a gun-toting, tower of testosterone dogging her every move. But when the poachers discover who is on to them, it’s suddenly Josslyn’s skin that needs saving. As the chase heats up, so does the passion between the two. Can these two opposites find happiness? Or is it just a shot in the dark?

Grab your copy at any of these fine retailers:

Amazon        Amazon CA        Amazon UK        Amazon AU

B&N        Google        iBooks        Kobo

About Tracy: After years of writing reports and testimony for Congress, Tracy Solheim decided to put her creative talents to better use. She’s the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary sports romance, romantic suspense, and small-town women’s fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing her curling—bottles of wine, that is. She’s been known to cook dinner, but no more than two nights in a row. Most days, she’d rather be reading, which to her is just necessary research. She lives in the suburb of Atlanta with her husband and a neurotic Labrador retriever. Her two adult children visit, but not often enough. (See the note above about cooking.) Check out what she’s up to next at Connect with her on Facebook at or on Twitter at Follow her on BookBub at

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Never Give Up? by @lcrandallwriter

In the heart of an author there are words.

These words string together to make sentences, then paragraphs. These words find homes in poetry, songs, scripts, short stories, and books. Writers long for their words to go into the world for others to read and think about, and maybe be changed by the words.

Recently I’ve heard a lot about writers struggling to find an audience or even minimal attention for their writing, and it’s discouraging. Writers are talking about giving up. It makes me sad, but I understand. Things have changed in publishing and it can feel like it’s just an up-hill battle stacked against us to see our writing flourish commercially.

I have danced the dance of giving up or not giving up writing many times. I posted a graphic on Instagram not very long ago stating I was done with asking myself that question. I concluded, I write, no more questioning. But still, like many writers these days, I looked at my writing career
recently and questioned if I should continue or let it go. So it was delightful to see what Facebook offered me yesterday. It was a Memory post of four years ago. It’s the graphic at the top of this page. It was delightful because it was from a moment when I vowed I would not give up on my writing or my life and settle. For me, writing has been a tool of self discovery. They have gone hand in hand. So I have taken satisfaction in that pairing to grow and thrive in life. Four years ago my books were being released regularly and I still questioned things: were they good enough; did I have what it took to promo successfully; and could I keep writing with self-doubt hounding me? As I then vowed to persevere and never give up, I favored sayings that bolstered my determination. A real writer can’t quit. Follow your heart. Believe in yourself and make your dreams come true, essentially themes on "Never give up."

Now days, I see changes in the publishing world and notice the numbers of authors fearing they have no choice but to quit. It’s expensive to support an indie publishing career and it can be exhausting. I respect those who decide to stop because it’s not working out as they dreamed. Why not put energy and heart into something new? It’s a choice with no shame or regret if it’s made consciously, I feel. And what I believe about my writing choices isn’t a statement about any other writers’ decision.

For me, it’s not at all easy to ignore a passion for words. So though contemplation of quitting happens, it’s not a serious thought. I have decided to refocus, but not to change fields, just to open up to changes and use them to adapt. Writing is a passion but it’s also a business. I have decided that instead of insisting my outcomes must be the things I have always wanted with writing, I am looking at new ways that make me relevant. I’m asking questions with an open mind about how I can promote work when sales are low and I don’t want to go in debt, and considering newer platforms I have ignored because of my insistence on having what I’ve always wanted. I don’t know how it’s all going to work out, but I do know I’m not done with writing.

I don’t believe in giving up writing. No, I am going to write, knowing that at a point in the future I’ll cut back or stop. But it will be because the timing is right and I’ll make that choice with no regrets or books left unwritten in my heart.

Are you a writer struggling with your writing career? What are you doing to achieve your goals or make a decision that is best for you. Share?

Monday, May 27, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: The Highlander's English Woman

...a taste of romance

by Ruth A. Casie

He opened the cemetery gate and made his way to the small building where the 9th century remains of William the Brave rested. In the building was a hidden passage that led inside the castle. A dangerous place for boys to play. He and Richard prided themselves on being the only people aware these tunnels existed. Forgotten over the centuries, it had taken them weeks to clean out the debris and shore it up to make it usable.

The hair on the back of his neck stood. Someone was with him inside the cemetery. He crouched behind a tombstone. In the distance, a dark shadow proceeded along the path.

Jamie took stock of the man as he made his way to the Reynolds’ family graves. He thought at first Reeve came to pay his respect to Richard, but the form was all wrong. This shadow was bigger, more agile. The man stopped and waited. For whom? For what?

Jamie moved for a closer look. He brushed against a tombstone and knocked loose pebbles that rested on the top to the ground. In the complete silence, the cascade of stones sounded like boulders echoing in a valley.

In an easy, elegant move, the man drew his sword. No, this wasn’t Reeve. Jamie did the same.

The darkening shadows made it impossible for Jamie to identify who he fought. That didn’t stop either man. His attacker put him on the defense. Jamie retreated in a matter of seconds.

Jamie and the shadow parried and lunged. Evenly matched, neither gave signs of tiring. Several times he almost had the man, only to have him bound over an obstacle and come back for more.

Just like...

“For a moment I thought you fought like Lord Richard,” Jamie said. The man answered with a barrage of strikes.

But Jamie held his ground. He fought stroke for stroke until they came into a close battle position, the hilts of their swords locked against their chests. Clouds moved and the man’s face was revealed under the moonlight.

Jamie dropped his sword and froze. His heart pounded. The man threw his head back and laughed.


The laughter subsided. Richard put his arm around Jamie and squeezed him close. “I wonder if Father has any ale? How I would love to taste it one more time.”


by Ruth A. CasieLaura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor.

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together.

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts, she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy.

📚  Find Ruth A. Casie here:    Website        Email:

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Friday, May 24, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
You would not exist if you did not have something to bring to the table of life!
– Herbie Hancock

Thursday, May 23, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

How You Know You're Doing It Right... by Jami Gray

The Write Way Café welcomes Jami Gray, who offers a genuine reality check for the voices in your head.

Story telling seems fairly straight-forward at its most basic level, right? You follow some (really) fundamental concepts—beginning, middle, end—in which your Main Character conquers increasingly difficult challenges until they face the Big Bad and triumph. The End.

As highly simplified as that sounds, it’s mind-boggling how complex and difficult writing can actually be.

I’m a series writer and I’ve been published since 2010 and writing for freakin’ ever, but I’m going to let you in on a rarely admitted truth—every time I write a new book, I swear it’s harder than the one before.

I didn’t notice it happening until about book four, when doubts starting holding weekly tea parties, to gossip about what they felt was wrong with the story, and they were far from nice. It took a lot to drown them out so I could keep slogging forward. A few more books along and this phenomena kept repeating, frustrating me to no end.

Scenes that came so effortlessly, were slower and slower to build. Characters kept changing their personalities and motivation until I wanted to lock them in a room with rabid ferrets. The gossiping biddies of doubt were cackling in glee.

Writing should not be so darn hard, right?


Sam Sykes, author of The Aeon’s Gate series, said in a guest post*, “If it’s hard, you’re doing it right.”

It took a while before I believed him, but I’m a full-fledged, foot stompin’, hand-raisin’ believer that Mr. Sykes nailed it on the head.

The reason? Because as writers we are continuing trying to improve our craft, whether it’s honing skills to create our pretties, diving into the dark depths of research, or re-writing that one sentence twenty-two million times. With every story we release into the wild we are constantly learning what to do, what not to do, how to do, how not to do… you get the point.

The fact that it gets harder to write each book is a good thing because it means every book you put out will be better than the last. All those “things” we learned? They’re sitting in a big spectator box behind you while you face down your monitor and keyboard, reminding you of all you’ve learned.

“Nope, can’t do that, that’s the wrong verb tense.”

“Eh, I don’t think you want to use that word, what about…”

“Don’t you dare intrude on the reader’s story, get your butt back behind your character’s POV…”

“Um, you may want to remember there’s this thing call ‘five senses’, not three…”

“Really? Red? You’re going with just red? What about amber? Ruby? Garnet? Crimson? Deepest heart’s blood? C’mon, dare to step outside your comfort zone, writer person!”

All those lessons are sharing space with your creativity, and while it may feel like it’s dampening your artistic flame of inspiration, it’s not them growing bigger and taking up more space, it’s you. So the next time you’re frustrated because your Work In Progress is making you consider which white jacket with buckles is your style, remember “If it’s hard, you’re doing it right.”

*Link for Sam Sykes’ guest post:

Jami Gray is the coffee addicted, music junkie, Queen Nerd of her personal Geek Squad, Alpha Mom of the Fur Minxes, and award-winning author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams, and her latest Romantic Suspense series, Fate’s Vultures. She writes to soothe the voices in her head.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: The Gate to Eden


by Cathy McDavid
Expert crackshot Maddie Campbell will do whatever it takes to survive in this female Robin Hood of the old west story -- including evading bounty-hunter-for-hire Scott McSween who's intent on bringing her in.

Not your ordinary thief, widow and mother Maddie Campbell likes to think her wealthy victims are merely "donating" to herself and the hundreds of other widows and children left abandoned by the mining company after a devastating accident took the lives of their menfolk. Maddie's secret excursions are quite successful...until ruggedly handsome former lawman Scott McSween arrives in Eden to investigate the recent string of crimes. Despite her efforts to throw him off track, they can't resist each other. He knows she's somehow involved and is determined to draw out all her secrets in the most exquisite ways--with soft caresses and passionate kisses. But when finally confronted with the truth, that Maddie is actually the thief he's been hired to hunt down and bring in, will Scott choose the woman he loves or his duty to the law?

Audible          iTunes             Scribd   

The Gate to Eden is also available in 2-book set:


As a sophomore in high school, NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing award-winning contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold, most of her 47 titles with Harlequin. Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins is married to her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who bust a bronc, fight fires or serve and protect, all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Monday, May 20, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: Bloodlines & Lies

...a taste of romance

by Lynda Rees


      Riley’s spike-heeled Jimmy Choo pump hit the sidewalk with her phone to her ear finishing up, as usual, one last call before the evening. She was anxious to buy and delivering dinner for her parents’ wedding anniversary on her way home—something special so they could celebrate a fabulous love they shared.
      Something didn’t appear right as she emerged onto the Cincinnati street. Rose petals littered the sidewalk. Her glimpse upward led to a gold-gelded, white horse-drawn carriage. Then the most handsome man Riley ever laid eyes on emerged. The familiar long drink of cowboy’s booted feet stepped onto the walk and strode toward her with cocky confidence only Levi Madison could get away with. The last rays of evening sun caught his unruly mane of blonde hair casting a golden wheat image flowing in the breeze. The sight of the man she adored more than any other filled her with joy. 

     What the heck was he doing in Cincinnati? He should be hard at work on his horse ranch in Sweetwater, Kentucky. This was an unexpected treat.
      Levi’s smirking smile and smoky gaze churned her belly to gelatin making her knees go weak. Those long legs bent onto one knee, and he slipped a black velvet box from the pocket of his western-cut shirt. He flipped it open, extending the jewel container toward Riley.
      She hadn’t realized her breath was held and her heart had ceased beating until a gush expelled from her lungs. The sparkle of a square-cut, gigantic solitary caught the glow from the fading sun and jolted a shot of electricity shocking her back to the present.
     “Riley Powers, I can’t live without you. Take mercy on this old soul. Marry me.” Levi’s swanky, southern drawl filtered words into a sexy melody rolling across his delectable tongue.
      Reality interrupted her muse of how Levi used it to make her tingle inside and out. She glanced around, aware of surroundings for the first time. Levi had a tendency to make her forget everything and everyone but him when they were together.
      Her parents, Leona and Earl Powers, stared in anticipation. Leona wrung her hands grinning. Earl looked a combination of excited and proud. To the other side Corrie Parrish, Levi’s s0ister stood beside Riley’s best friend since college, Lemon Sage Gordon. The pair of females looked like they’d swallowed a canary begging to sing. Her close friend and assistant,
      Dory Engle’s red Chanel suit set off her glowing dark almond skin and mass of bushy, brunette curls cascading her shoulders. If Dory wasn’t a gorgeous black woman she and Corrie could’ve passed for sisters. Corrie completely contrasted Dori with similar, only blonde hair and ivory complexion. Standing together they made a spectacular pair.
      A chuckle came from behind. Riley spun finding her remaining staff.
      “You guys? Dory, how did you keep this secret and follow me so fast?”
      “Hell, Riley, we thought you’d never head home. I texted Levi the second you picked your coat up. Soon as you closed your office door we high-tailed it onto the next elevator, following you.”
      Riley grinned and hugged her pal. “Confidentiality is your specialty. You sure as hell can keep a secret. No wonder you’re indispensable.”
      She hugged Sage and Corrie. “You gals drove all the way here for this? It’s so sweet. I can’t believe you kept this secret from me.” Riley play-punched Sage’s shoulder.
      “I couldn’t miss my little bro’s big moment. Levi’s been a basket case anxious for this moment. Sage and I drove into town this morning, did some shopping, drank our lunch in margaritas, and are heading to the spa after this. We’re treating ourselves while we were here.”
      Corrie tossed her long tresses across a shoulder. As CEO of Adele Industries, her family’s corporation, Corrie generally wore pricy designer attire. Today she was decked out in jeans, sandals and a tank top covering her slim, voluptuous figure.
      Sage hugged Riley, and her long, brunette ponytail bounced as she swayed. Her college roommate and best gal pal’s slim frame and long runner’s legs dwarfed Riley, who stood half a foot shorter than her friends. “We wouldn’t miss this for the world. You’re right. You read me like a book. Good thing you’ve been tied up here at your corporate office for the last week. I’ve been dying to call and chat, but was afraid to talk with you. You’d surely have realized something was up in my voice, and I’d have given in to any pressure. I can’t keep a secret from you. Avoidance was the best I could do.”
      “Sage, you’re the most trustworthy woman I know.” Riley gave her a peck on the cheek.
      “Not with you, sister.” Sage smiled sweetly, and her big, brown eyes sparkled.
      “Hey, I disagree.” Levi ambled his elongated frame towering closer to Riley. “I am not a fan of you being tied here in the city. I’ve missed you at the farm.”
      “I’ve missed you too, Levi.” Her hand cupped his square jaw. Tiny bristles tickled her palm sending a twitch of electricity racing straight to her core. Apparently she was into the All-American, blonde-haired, blue-eyed type, because Levi was one sexy hunk of manhood.
      “Who would’ve envisioned it? Not me. A year ago romance was the last thing I considered needing in my hectic life.”

Ad executive Riley Power’s fiancé, Levi Madison, and his Native American horse trainer, Calvin Coldwater, prepare for triple-crown racing. A stunning redheaded flame returns to Sweetwater targeting Riley’s man while Riley’s preoccupied with her dad’s health instead of focusing on wedding plans. Police search for a drug ring when her home is broken into and a neighbor murdered. Riley and pals Lemon Sage Benton and FBI Special Agent Reggie Casse follow another line of investigation. Danger follows them home.


To read the rest you have a couple options. I’m looking for a handful of Advanced Readers to read and review my book. Contact me via email below if you’re interested in a copy for review. I’d appreciate your opinion. You can purchase Bloodlines & Lies from my Amazon link below in print and eBook. I hope you enjoy my work and we become life-long friends.

Lynda Rees, an award-winning romance suspense, historical and children’s book author of Freckle Face and Blondie is a children’s suspense middle-grade co-written with her eleven-year-old author granddaughter, Harley Nelson. Lynda’s suspense novels about descendants of mobsters are—Real Money, God Father’s Day and Madam Mom. Her award winning historical novel Gold Lust Conspiracy depicts Jessie’s struggle during savage 1890’s Alaskan Gold Rush. Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine, is Book One of The Bloodline Series and a Golden Heart and RITA finalist. The Bloodline Series, consisting of the following books, is set in Kentucky race horse country. They are:
Blood and Studs - Hot Blooded - Blood of Champions
Bloodlines & Lies - The Bloodline Trail - Horseshoes & Roses
Real Money - The Bourbon Trail launching fall 2019

The Thinking Tree launching fall 2019

Get these fine books and join Lynda’s VIP Group for specials, news and freebees. Use these links. Get a FREE Goal Setting Planner on Lynda’s website and a complete list of her books.
Also she provides a FREE one-page-lesson on How to Submit a REVIEW, eliminating mystery and time from the simple act.
Join the VIP Group for a FREE copy of Leah’s Story, the novella prologue to The Bloodline Series.
Amazon Author Page
Become a VIP:

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Friday, May 17, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.
– Gilbert Highet

Thursday, May 16, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Advice From Elizabeth Meyette

The Write Way Café welcomes Elizabeth Meyette, a prolific author who offers great advice, surprises, and a lot of heart.

 Tell us a little about The Last Crossing.
      First let me thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog today. I always enjoy visiting with you, Lynn and HiDee.

by Elizabeth Meyette
The Last Crossing blurb
      It was the whistle of the train at midnight that signaled another ghost.
      Jesse Graham wants to concentrate on planning her wedding to Joe Riley. But try as she might, she can’t escape the spirits who haunt her.
     This time the ghost is seven-year-old Timmy, whose disappearance fifteen years earlier coincided with the abduction of several boys. His family is convinced he drowned, but Jesse suspects something more sinister.
     Until Timmy appeared, Jesse’s biggest problem was that her best friend, Maggie Keegan, aka Sister Angelina, a Catholic nun, might not be allowed to be her maid of honor. But that pales in comparison to what Jesse faces now: Timmy was Maggie’s little brother. And Jesse knows that if Timmy is ever to find peace, he needs to reveal the mystery of his disappearance—which could subject Maggie and her family to some painful secrets and truths.
     As for Maggie? Well, she’s been navigating her own crisis of the heart and soul, as she tries to deal with—and resist—her deepening feelings for local cop Marty D’Amato. Learning about Timmy’s appearances only drives her further into confusion and anguish, but pray as she might, she’s finding no answers.
     To complicate things even more, Jesse’s investigation into the fifteen-year-old cold case has tapped into someone’s fear of being caught. She receives anonymous threatening notes, followed by a destructive attack on Bert, her beloved Volkswagen Beetle. And now, the mysterious assailant has escalated his attacks, putting Jesse in mortal danger.
     It looks like this time her spectral encounter is too personal, and it may cost her a friendship. It may even cost Jesse her life—unless the ghost of a seven-year-old boy can keep her safe.

The Last Crossing is available at Amazon (both Kindle and paperback) and at Barnes and Noble (paperback only).

If The Last Crossing was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?

     I hesitate to say who I picture in the roles of my characters because readers tell me who they think would play them and it’s usually different than who I think would. For me, it would be a mix of cross generational actors plus a prince, but all of them at about age 28-30.
     Jesse would be played by Julia Roberts. She’s a stubborn, intelligent, independent redhead who is beautiful (though she doesn’t realize it and decries her long red curly hair). She resists her attraction to Joe in The Cavanaugh House, but, well, who can resist Joe for long?
     Jesse’s fiancé, Joe Riley, would be played by Prince Harry. If that’s not possible with his royally busy schedule, then James Norton, the British actor who plays Sidney Chambers on Grantchester would be lovely. Joe is tall with light red hair and hazel eyes. He’s laid-back with a lazy grin and patience, until things go too far putting Jesse in danger. He’s desperately in love with Jesse and will do anything to keep her safe.
     Maggie (Sister Angelina) would be played by Audrey Hepburn, as Jesse states in the book. Maggie is gentle and intelligent and petite with short dark hair and dark brown eyes. She’s the kind of friend who tells Jesse the truth no matter if it makes Jesse mad. Marty D’Amato, the Italian cop would be played by Matt LeBlanc, Joey on Friends. Marty has thick black hair that is usually mussed up, and he’s loud and funny and adores Maggie. He teams up with Jesse to help her solve crimes.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     My husband, Rich, has been incredibly supportive. We have “staff meetings” though some might call them “cocktail hour.” He listens to me work through story problems, wrangle with stubborn characters, and float new story ideas. Usually, he just listens—he’s a great listener—while I talk a lot, circling around the same point, doubling back, and finally reaching an “aha” moment. At that point, I jump into his arms and thank him for helping me. He always says, “I’m happy to help.”
     Rich has done the covers for all my mysteries and for my historical romance, Love’s Courage. He’s a fabulous photographer, and I’ve had many readers tell me they bought my books because of the covers. We’re a great team.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given? What’s your best writing advice for others?

     The best advice came from my Journalism professor, John Palen, who told me to put away my writing for a while, then revisit it. Looking at a rough draft with fresh eyes enables me to see plot holes, character arc issues, and necessary revision that I might not notice without some time away.
     My best advice for other writers is HOKBIS. Hands on Keyboard, Butt in Seat. Also, what works for others may not work for you. Listen to your inner voice. My family has a saying: “Don’t should on yourself.” There are so many “shoulds” in the writing industry, from whether you should always plot a book to when a first kiss should occur. Rules and conventions are good up to a point, but a writer needs to listen to her inner voice and do what is right for her.

What “keepers” are in your home library?

     I have so many! In non-fiction I have Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Stephen King’s On Writing, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat, Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
     In fiction I have Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Nora Robert’s The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Karen White’s The House on Tradd Street series.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     I would be Jesse Graham from my Finger Lakes Mysteries series. I just love how brave she is. And impetuous. And we share an Irish temper. I love her fierce independence, yet her ability to love Joe Riley so passionately and deeply. I love her years-long friendship with Maggie, and her “buddy” friendship with Marty. But I didn’t have to search for a family the way Jesse did. I was born the ninth child in a wild and rowdy Irish family.

We’re adding books to our Café menu. Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert? What would you call it?
     I would have to say The Last Crossing is a dessert. A delicious chocolate devil’s food layer cake. There is the ghost layer, the mystery layer, and the family relationships layer. The icing on the cake and between the layers would be the romance in the book. So, the ghost and mystery are rich and dark, the romance is sumptuously sweet.

Do you have any compulsions you must do for no particular reason?
      Yes. I am admittedly OCD. I must close closet and cupboard doors. Rich has one foible—leaving cupboard doors open while he’s cooking. I trust you see the irony here. Also, I must use the bathroom before I leave the house—even if I did so five minutes earlier. I must straighten things like the vertical blinds on the sliding glass door from our sunroom to the deck. And don’t get me started on how to load the dishwasher.

Tell us about the book in your closet.
      I am researching a book based on Rich’s ninth great-grandmother. She was accused of being a witch in Quebec, Canada back in the mid-1600s, and her experience is the first recorded occurrence of poltergeist activity in Canada. The French did not treat witches like the Puritans of Massachusetts did. Instead of hanging them, they cured them. And his grandmother was cured and lived to marry and have eight children. Thank goodness!

What is your favorite social media? Why?
      My favorite way to connect with people online is my blog, Meyette’s Musings. Though my initial vision was, “Sharing the Joy of Writing,” now I blog about all sorts of things like washi tape, tornado prep (Yes, I included a photo of me under a desk in the basement with a bicycle helmet on, much to my children’s dismay), and supernatural visitations. My post from July 2013 called “Chakras, Totems, and Finches, Oh My!” still gets at least one view a day where readers share similar sacred visits they’ve experienced.

And now for the fun stuff!

What is your biggest shopping downfall?
      Office supplies—hands down. I can cruise through clothing stores, furniture stores, shoe stores, you name it. But get me near sticky notes or pens and I’m reaching for my credit card. Book stores are next.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
      Glass half full. I make Shirley Temple look like a Goth girl.
      I try to see the silver lining. I believe in quotes like “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~Walt Disney. Except for golf. I dream the most beautiful shots, and then I walk twenty yards to where my ball actually landed.

What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
      I sing and act. I’ve been cast in Brigadoon (chorus), To Kill a Mockingbird (Mrs. Dubose), Company (Sarah), and Les Misérables (the Hair Hag and an old prostitute). None of this was type-casting.

What is your favorite season and why?
      Spring because it’s so beautiful with all the trees and flowers blossoming, and summer is still ahead of us. There is no green like Spring green. And, isn’t it Spring when “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love?” (A nod to Alfred Lord Tennyson.) And don’t we all love to read about that?

If you had to write with a pen instead of a computer, what type of pen would be your preference?
      Actually, I still have my handwritten first draft of Love’s Destiny written on yellow legal pads. I used a ballpoint pen then, but if I had my druthers, I’d use a beautiful fountain pen.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
      Funny you should mention that. So often do my good ideas come to me in the shower that my daughter gave me Aqua Notes for Christmas. They’re a specially treated pad of paper secured on a suction cup so you can hang them in the shower and write on them even when they’re wet. I let them dry before I bring them to my desk.

      It’s been delightful visiting with you today. Thanks for inviting me.

About Elizabeth Meyette:

Believer in dreams-come-true and self-confessed chocoholic, Elizabeth Meyette is the author of a little history … a little mystery … a little romance.

Before pursuing her writing career full time, Elizabeth taught English, Journalism, and Library Science/Technology. After retiring from teaching, Elizabeth embarked on her writing career full-time and, in addition to her six novels, has published poetry, magazine articles and her blog, Meyette’s Musings. A friend said of her, “You haven’t retired, you’ve refired!”

Her Finger Lakes Mystery series includes The Cavanaugh House, Buried Secrets, and The Last Crossing. These mysteries are set in 1968 in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Her historical romance series, The Brentwood Saga, includes Love’s Destiny, Love’s Spirit, and Love’s Courage , historical romances set during the American Revolution.

Elizabeth is an Amazon Best-selling author, a PAN (Published Authors Network) member of Romance Writers of America.  She is also a member of Sisters in Crime, Grand Rapids Region Writers’ Group, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Elizabeth and her husband Richard live in west Michigan where they enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. They have an agreement that she cannot cook on writing days after he endured burnt broccoli and overcooked chicken.  Fortunately, Richard is an excellent cook.

Visit Elizabeth at: