Friday, October 18, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
- Maya Angelou
Thursday, October 17, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Mysteries With a Financial Twist!

The Write Way Café welcomes Cathy Perkins, who combines money with mystery in creating her Holly Price Mystery series.

Tell us a little about your Holly Price Mystery series.
     The series features an accountant. I know, I know. Some people don’t like math or taxes or any of the things she deals with. One of my favorite reviews starts, wow, this story is about an accountant – and it’s not boring!
     On that optimistic note, let me give you a bit of background for the series: Holly Price never expected to be back in Richland, Washington. She bolted out of the small town in eastern Washington for college—with no intention of returning. She also never expected her father to have a mid-life brain-fart and run off with his yoga instructor. His defection stranded Holly’s mother both personally and professionally. Without Holly’s CPA license, her mother would have to close the family accounting practice.
     Now Holly has all kinds of choices to make—should she stay in Richland and run the family business, which to her astonishment she finds she enjoys, or head back to Seattle and her high-flying position with Falcon, managing multi-million dollars deals? Then there’s the issue of JC Dimitrak, former fiancé and Franklin County detective who doesn’t want to be so former. Her family and clients end up embroiled in crimes where her forensic skills (and general nosiness) leave her scrambling to unravel the clues.
     And of course, there is the llama. And the pig.

What was your path to getting So About The Money written and published? What type of research did you do?
    So About the Money started as a riff on the adage, Write what you know. I’d written several dark suspense novels and wanted something lighter. Holly grabbed hold of me and said, Let’s go for a ride!
     While a traditional publisher reached out and asked for the novel to launch their new mystery line, unfortunately they decided right after releasing the first few novels to pull the plug on the imprint. But their decision worked well for me! I enjoy the freedom that comes with independent publishing and being a hybrid author (both independent and traditional) lets me have the best of both worlds. After receiving the rights back for So About the Money, I went on to write several Holly and JC novels, as well as novellas that feature other characters in the series.
     I didn’t do much research for the first story in the series. It draws on both my day job experience and the area I lived (when I wrote So About the Money). Subsequent novels took more research and I’m hugely grateful for a network of friends and friends of friends who answered my questions about everything from cars to guns to supply chain management.

Where did the idea for So About The Money come from?
     Sometimes a daydream offers a story start, but ideas and inspiration can show up in the strangest places. My husband and I were hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in So About The Money, the first book in the Holly Price Mystery series). We had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer, whose mind really can go strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn't this be a great place to find a body?”
     That germ of an idea kept growing. Why would the heroine be at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place? And, of course, who would want her dead?

What is a forensic accountant?
     While all forensic accountants “follow the money” to dig into a company or individual’s finances, some prepare their results for legal battles. I head in the other direction and dig into the sometimes hidden dangers behind a planned company transaction. So, my branch of forensic accountants looks for fraud and other crimes, which of course is fertile ground for a mystery novel.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     I picked the setting for the series for a couple of reasons. I live close to Seattle now. Before we moved to our current home, we transferred to Washington (well, actually we transferred to a small town in eastern Washington) from South Carolina. At the time, when people heard about our planned move, everyone said, “I love Seattle.”
     Because clearly Seattle is the only thing in Washington, right?
     We love Seattle too. But there’s the whole rest of the state. Eastern Washington is the complete opposite to Seattle. It’s conservative, sunny and dry, and home to fabulous vineyards and wineries. There’s access to tons of outdoor recreation…and a dearth of restaurants.
     As an author, I often see conversations, characters and settings in terms of story potential. Once we settled into eastern Washington, I knew I had to write a story set there. A story about a woman who had to come home, not as a failure with nowhere else to go, but as a woman who loved her nutty parents and put her ambitions on hold to bail out the family and their business.
     Besides, I could have fun with the wineries, Native American casinos…and assorted farm animals.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the series?
     There have been so many surprises! The ideas for the external plots always come as a surprise. For example, In It For The Money features rockcrawlers. I know, say what? At a party, a friend’s nephew regaled me with (way too many) details of the specialized monster truck he wanted to design and build. While those details went completely over my head, I couldn’t help but relate to his passion for the project. And my writer’s brain went, Hmm… Rockcrawlers…That’s different. What can I do with that?
     The twists and turns in Holly’s relationships with her parents seem to unfold as the stories do. And who would have expected Max, the yoga-instructor-homewrecker’s son, would turn into a good friend during Calling for the Money?

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     There are so many! Where to start…
     While I’ve had a life-long love affair with reading, I didn’t start writing until a few years ago. This probably isn’t how most people start, but I had a long-term consulting job in a city about 90 miles from my home. I’d listen to music and daydream during the commute. Pretty soon, the daydream developed dialogue, characters and a setting, and I thought, hmm, this is turning into a good story. That particular book lives in a box under the bed, but I was hooked on writing, creating worlds and characters.
     Once I screwed up my courage and showed friends my first story, they encouraged me to continue writing. I heard about a week-long writing retreat sponsored by the RWA Lowcountry chapter. I learned so much at their Masterclass, I joined a critique group when I returned home, hoping to learn more. Other writers encouraged me to join RWA and enter a few contests, including the Golden Heart. The Professor won those contests and was a Golden Heart finalist. I kept writing and learning and more of my books were published. Definitely a “dream” come true.

What are you working on now?
     I’m working on several things right now. I’m nearly finished with Calling for the Money, the next novel in the Holly Price series. Set in Los Angeles, where Holly’s working on a major transaction, she also has major decisions to make about her family and job, while helping a friend search for answers in another friend’s disappearance.
     In other news, my agent is preparing to shop the first book in a new series. The Body in the Beaver Pond won the Claymore Award from Thriller Nashville and I’m really excited about the possibilities for that amateur sleuth series. So, the second thing I’m working on is Peril in the Pony Ring, the next book in that series.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
     There is a book I’ve wanted to write for ages! It’s a more literary mystery/thriller that spans three generations of a South Carolina family. Maybe this year…

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     That’s a harder question than I expected! I actually love the intellectual challenge of my day job. Working with so many different people and companies around the world kept it interesting.
     Playing with that dream idea, let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be an astronaut. Or else ride my own gold dragon and fight Thread with Anne McCaffrey’s Pern characters.

Thanks for letting me visit with you and your readers!

by Cathy Perkins
Holly Price knows how to make a deal. When her father runs off with his yoga instructor, she strikes a bargain with her mother. If Holly will leave her Seattle-based merger and acquisitions team and run the family accounting business for a year, her mother will never again mention the words "marriage" and "children" in Holly's presence. Finding her friend's body beside the Snake River isn't supposed to be part of the package.

Focused on the victim's abusive ex-husband, Detective JC Dimitrak would far rather push Holly's buttons than follow up on her suspicions about fraud in the victim's financial statements. As Holly unravels the web of interconnecting corporations, someone apparently decides CPA stands for Certified Pain-in-the- Ass. A few too many accidents later, her conspiracy theory isn't sounding quite so half-baked. And Holly's stick-her-nose- into-everything curiosity could mean she's about to lose more than a good friend.

Universal        Amazon        Barnes & Noble       Kobo

iBooks        Google Play

About Cathy: An award-winning author of financial mysteries, Cathy Perkins writes twisting dark suspense and light amateur sleuth stories. A contributing editor for International Thriller Writers' The Big Thrill, she also coordinated the prestigious Daphne du Maurier contest.
     When not writing, she does battle with the beavers over the pond height or heads out on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.

Facebook        @cperkinswrites      Bookbub        Instagram

Goodreads        Amazon Author Page        Website

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Second Chances by @lcrandallwriter

weren't quite ready for the first.
To be honest, I grew up thinking my family was pretty special. I think every kid thinks that about their family until they learn otherwise.

That thought is not as sad or negative as it sounds right off. It’s just often a fact of life. In my case, I knew my parents loved me, but I learned as I grew up that my family had problems and we were hiding them well.

My experience of family exerted an influence on my early choices and it took me some time to truly become the individual I wanted to be, not just a reflection of other people’s ideas of who I should be. A common experience I believe. But life is kind if we’re paying attention, and gives us second chances at a life in which we can thrive. This is a theme in my new contemporary romance, Then There Was You.

Here’s the blurb:

Cherish Moss is well aware that most people would do anything for the life she has: accomplished attorney, daughter of a wealthy family, and hours away from her wedding day. But on the inside, she is barely breathing and no one even notices. When she leaves her fiancé at the alter she waits for the feeling of remorse…so why as she runs out of the church and down the street does she feel like she’s reclaiming her life?

Grayson Steele is hiding out having left his dream job in Chicago as an investigative reporter. After exposing police corruption, the threats on his life came fast and furious and now he has to not only protect himself but his family too. He’s not interested in a relationship. He can’t be, because he won’t put anyone in danger. But after meeting Cherish at a local bar, his longing for her is intense and it won’t go away.

The timing is all wrong for them both, but Grayson and Cherish must face the unwanted fate they helped create or follow their hearts to survive.
by Lynn Crandall

Here’s an excerpt:
Soon it all will be over.
Cherish sank into the delicious thought. No more decisions between lace or silk, salmon or pork tenderloin, Tahiti or Switzerland. Poetry or not.
Her wedding, just one day away, would make her Mrs. Devin Raye, emphatically not Moss-Raye.
Cherish slumped deeper into her chair. As with the selection of the dress with a huge bow at her waist capping a long train, she had acquiesced, and agreed to ditch her surname.
She shook off details. They weren’t important. She just needed to focus on the man she loved, right? Devin could be sharp, downright explosive at times, but he had his good points too. He could persuade anyone to do anything. He called that charm. When it came to the courtroom or what he wanted in his career trajectory, he was a gladiator. She admired that.
She chewed on her thumbnail, surveying her wedding dress. It stared her down from across the room. She eyed it back. Since the bridal shop delivered the enormous concoction to her office yesterday, she’d kept her distance. The delivery person had given her a strange look and asked how she planned to get it to the church. It was a reasonable question, but Cherish knew what she was doing. She was getting used to the dress. It hung on the lip above the closet, and in its see-through garment bag, she could regard its glossy silk skirt and sleeves dotted with tiny pearls. It was stately, her mother had told her at the bridal shop. It was sophisticated and dramatic.
Cherish began sweating, remembering standing in front of her mother draped in heavy silk.
She had said, “But Mom, it’s not me. It’s too, umm…stuffy.”
“Don’t be silly, Cherish. You look elegant. The silk really sets off your copper hair. Devin will have eyes for only you when you walk down the aisle in this dress.”
End of discussion. Emma Moss was always right.
She’d learned early it just wasn’t worth the fight to stand her ground because one way or another, her mother’s way was the way. Cherish sighed, as memories wafted over her.
“Cherish, you’ll never get into law school if you don’t go the extra mile and graduate at the top of your class.”
“Don’t wait to get in your application for a summer internship with a prominent judge. Summer isn’t the time to shirk off, it’s the time to further your career. You know I only want what’s best for you.”
Her mother’s guidance didn’t have a beginning, it just always had been there, and how could she argue with her mom’s insistence? Even when it came to Devin, she supposed Emma Moss was right.
Tap, tap-tap, tap. The sound of her fingers’ staccato beat on her desk echoed in her office. Time had flown since she’d said yes to Devin’s proposal six months ago and set off a metronome that marked a steady march to the big day. And here she sat, a matter of hours from a new life.
She counted backward in her mind to ten months ago and her first date with Devin. That was the day her parents predicted she and Devin would make a good match.
She hadn’t dated in months. After back-to-back betrayals, she had plunged into her work. Then she met Devin at a lawyers’ conference when she and her parents sat at the same table as Devin during lunch. He’d given her the hard court press, and dazzled her. Her parents admired him right off and didn’t hesitate to make him a fixture in the Moss family life, inviting him for dinner at their house and expecting her to show up. Devin had charmed her parents first, then he’d aimed it at her. He charted a flight to New York City and took her to the theater. He booked a room in a fancy Chicago hotel for the weekend and they took a cruise on Lake Michigan. His dynamic personality entranced her. It was so different from hers. With his endorsement from her parents, she hadn’t put up much of a struggle to give the relationship more time.
Her mother’s words surfaced in her memory. “You’re twenty-eight, the perfect age to settle down with someone. Devin is a good catch.”
Ugh. Good catch? Really? Her mother had made it seem as though Devin was an object and she was chasing him with throngs of women down streets of the city of Dunes Bay.
Anxiety spiked in her chest. Her parents had better be right about Devin and her belonging together, because as soon as all the fanfare ended, everything about the rest of her life would actually begin. The until-death-do-we-part time.
She breathed in and out deeply and shifted in her chair. Of course, that would be the good part. Waking up in the morning beside Devin, then kissing good-bye as they went their separate ways to work, hers to her family law firm and his to Wellington, Raye, and Black Law Firm.
Oh my God.
The antacids on her desk called to her. So much for being a joyful bride-to-be. Her stomach twisted into knots on a daily basis until two weeks ago. Now, it knotted hourly. Her parents assured her pre-wedding qualms were natural, and she believed them. Yes she did. Her nervous stomach and hair-thin patience didn’t mean she was about to get lost in a life she didn’t want.
She chewed the fruity tablets that promised relief from her self-created discomfort. She was doing this dance of nerves, inexplicably. Devin was a prominent lawyer in Dunes Bay. He was smart and fun. Who wouldn’t want to marry him?

I’d love to learn about your thoughts on how second chances led you to a happy-ever-after in some form. Share?

Then There Was You is on Amazon for preorder now, and releases November 12. Learn more about the book on Pinterest, my Facebook author page, BookBub, and Goodreads, and more about me on my Website, where you can sign up for my newsletter and receive two free stories.

Monday, October 14, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci

...a taste of romance

by Belle Ami

It was nearly closing time, and there were few people left in the North Pavilion where pre-1700 paintings and sculptures were displayed. Natural light from the ceiling cast a warm glow, washing the precious masterpieces in a filtered luminosity. Alex Caine entered one of the gallery rooms and noticed a young woman sitting by herself. Something about her stillness drew him.

Her midnight hair, secured in a bun atop her head, and her black-framed glasses couldn’t hide her beauty. The prim accoutrements enhanced her high cheekbones and full mouth. He moved closer to get a better look at her. She was oblivious of him and showed no sign that her private sojourn had been intruded upon.

With her hands folded in her lap, the young woman sat like a statue. Her dark eyes were riveted to a painting. A portrait of a young man captured in eternal contemplation. The subject’s eyes were hidden from the viewer. Why Botticelli had chosen to paint the young man with his eyes downcast was a mystery. The youth was handsome, almost beautiful. Thick dark waves of hair framed his face. He wore a stylish red velvet tunic that distinguished him as a man of royalty or rank. However, wealth could not dispel the overwhelming sadness imbued in his face. In three-quarter profile, his finely etched brows portrayed a man of extreme sensitivity, his face and demeanor more of a poet than a man of commerce.

He recognized the painting of Giuliano Medici—he’d seen it before, in Berlin. But never had he witnessed such a visceral reaction to a painting as this young woman had. The woman was so deep in contemplation that he could have broken out in song and she wouldn’t have flinched.

He hovered for a few moments, inexplicably drawn to her serene beauty. She began to whisper as if she were speaking to the painting, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying. Peculiarly, the lights dimmed, and an encroaching darkness descended upon him and the young woman. Looking up, he noticed the skylight showed a clear, blue sky.

What the hell is going on?

A fog swirled up from the floor, forming a cloudy curtain, separating them from the other visitors to the museum, who seemed completely oblivious.

A sudden flash of light over the painting propelled Alex to protect the woman. He rushed to crouch in front of her, but she continued to stare at the painting as though in a trance.

“Are you all right?” he asked her with concern. He felt compelled to protect her, but protect her from what?

What happened next made him doubt his sanity.

Her eyes changed color, turning from dark brown to forest green. Her gaze fixated on the young man in the portrait as though he were alive and standing before her. Her expression reflected radiant, passionate, love. Intense. All consuming.

It took his breath away.

Alex’s eyes shifted back to the portrait and what he saw sent his pulse racing.

The young man in the painting came alive, turned his face, opened his eyes and stared at the young woman, his dark eyes mirroring the same intensity as hers.

Alex was stunned. Never in his life had he witnessed such intense love in just one look, let alone directed at a portrait of a young man who’d died more than five centuries ago.

He shook his head, trying to clear his vision. Any minute he expected to hear Rod Serling’s voice.

Another flash of light, like a lightning bolt, shot out from the painting toward them. Reacting on pure instinct, Alex covered the woman with his chest and arms, feeling the jolt hit him in the back. Not pain, exactly. But certainly a shock.

He pulled away from the woman, hoping she was okay. And then something remarkable happened. She looked him straight in the eyes, laid her hands on either side of his face and spoke to him.

Ti amerò per sempre.” I will love you forever.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her as she spoke.

Sei l’unico uomo che amerò mai.” You are the only man I will ever love.

Alex had lived most of his life in Europe and was fluent in Italian. He understood every word she said.

She leaned in and pressed her lips to his, provoking him to respond. Desire seized him, his fingers tangled in the silk of her hair, pulling it free from the confines of her bun. A waterfall of dark waves cascaded down her back. Their tongues danced together and for long, breathless moments, he lost himself in her kiss.

Regaining his composure, he pulled away from her luscious mouth. The woman gazed at him with the same intense love she’d directed at the painting only moments before. Her eyes, still the color of forest-green moss. He was mesmerized. A yearning flowed through him, the likes of which he’d never felt before. He wanted this woman with every fiber of his being. Shocked at his own visceral response, he let go of her and leaned back, his gaze straying to the painting of the young man. He was relieved to see the portrait had returned to “normal” and the young man’s visage was turned away once more.

The young woman turned his face back to hers. “Siamo insieme in questo,” she whispered. “Devi aiutarmi. È il nostro destino.” We are in this together. You must help me. It is our destiny.

And without another word, she got up and left, walking through the swirl of gray mist.

The gallery filled with light again, the cloud lifted and the buzz of visitors walking by filled his ears. There was nothing to indicate anything out of the ordinary had occurred.

His heart was pounding, and he got up from the floor and sat on the bench. His face felt hot and feverish. The surprise kiss had unglued him. Hell, the entire experience had unglued him. He sought to find a plausible explanation.

He hadn’t had a PTSD attack in about two years. It had taken a year of intense therapy to mitigate the effects of four deployments in Afghanistan, capped off by a compound fracture that had nearly cost him his left leg when the Humvee he was driving was blown up. He closed his eyes, breathed deeply, and focused his mind until the raging storm passed. This didn’t feel like PTSD. This was something completely different.

Inanimate objects don’t come to life. It must have been the light playing with my imagination. And the kiss? Yeah, it’s been too long… This case must be getting to me.

Want to read more?

In the spirit of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown comes a suspense thriller that unravels an unforgettable mystery  . . .The Girl Who Knew Da Vinci by Belle Ami.

by Belle AmiOne painting, three lifetimes, will her visions lead her to the truth?

Art historian Angela Renatus is haunted by dreams of Leonardo da Vinci and a mysterious painting of Giuliano Medici and his mistress Fioretta Gorini. A painting that, as far as the world knows, doesn't exist. Compelled by her visions, Angela is determined to find out the truth.

When Angela is contacted by art detective Alex Caine, she's shocked to learn that he too is seeking the same painting. Alex's client, a wealthy German financier, is determined to clear the name of his late uncle, Gerard Jaeger, an art historian, who went missing in Florence, during World War II. In letters written before his disappearance, the historian describes his love affair with a beautiful young Italian woman named Sophia Caro, and the discovery of an extraordinary painting by the great master himself—a painting depicting Giuliano and Fioretta.

Angela and art detective, Alex Caine journey to Florence in search of the priceless treasure. Is it a lost da Vinci, potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars, or a wild goose-chase that will only lead to a dead end? But someone else is searching for the elusive painting—Alberto Scordato is a powerful man in the art world and a sociopath who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even murder. Scordato knows something about Angela that even she doesn't know, something that could threaten both Angela and Alex forcing them into the crosshairs of fate.

Amazon          Softcover          Audiobook

📚  Find Belle Ami here:  @belleami5     Website        Facebook        Bookbub

Friday, October 11, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
It takes backbone, not wishbone, to make success.
- Unknown
Thursday, October 10, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Layng Martine Jr. is Given Permission to Fly

The Write Way Café welcomes Layng Martine Jr., author of Permission to Fly, who infuses his writing with the same heart that made his songwriting successful.

Tell us a little about Permission to Fly.
Permission to Fly tells the true story of a boy born into a kind and happy family who grows to realize the executive world his father inhabits may not be his destiny. Thanks to my remarkable mother, I was given “permission to fly” early on. Armed with optimism, curiosity, creativity, determination and a wry sense of humor, I began my journey of many painful-but-educational steps and missteps. Permission to Fly is about love, raising kids, sticking to what matters and paying the price for doing that. It’s about recovering from failure and heartbreak, maintaining friendships, and it’s about how much help we all need to get anywhere good in the world.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

In general, I would say sensitive, curious people of either sex and of all ages. More specifically, I think my target audience is women, book clubs, and NPR listeners of all ages.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
As a 32 year-old wannbe Nashville songwriter carrying our 3-year-old child through a wet field in the rain after an interstate breakdown while late for my job loading trucks I thought “if this dream ever works out it would make a good book”.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The cover is a photo on my wedding day. The rocket-fuel for Permission to Fly was provided by a story I wrote 10 years ago about my wife’s and my life since she was crippled in a mid-90's car accident. That story was published in the New York Times and drew enormous response from all over the world.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
I would say my Mom and my wife.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I received a letter from a reader who read the book and told me how much it made her laugh and touched her. She said she hadn’t been moved like that by a book in a long time. It almost brought me to tears.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Can’t pick just one. I would say I always admired John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, John D. McDonald, Willa Cather, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Pat Conroy.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Just keep working at it. If it’s something you love and have a passion for, just keep trying.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Just what they do with other writers…read it and if they enjoy it, pass the word on to other readers. Word of mouth helps a writer more than anything.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m not sure at this point but I am thinking about writing another book.

by Layng Martine Jr.
PERMISSION TO FLY tells the true story of boy born into a kind and happy family who grows to realize the executive world his father inhabits may not be his destiny. Thanks to his remarkable mother, Layng is given "permission to fly" early on. Armed with optimism, curiosity, creativity, determination and a wry sense of humor, he begins his amazing journey of many painful-but-educational steps and missteps. PERMISSION TO FLY is about love, raising kids, sticking to what matters and paying the price for doing that. It's about recovering from failure and heartbreak, maintaining friendships, and it's about how much help we all need to get anywhere good in the world. Walking Layng's uncharted path beside him, we witness the highest degrees of love, risk, hilarity, tragedy, resiliency and success. We encounter fabulously colorful characters and experiences that propel him towards the freedom and fulfillment he craves.

Layng Martine Jr. is a master storyteller. He writes his most American and inspirational of stories with charm, humor, and humanity.

Amazon         Barnes & Noble           Parnassus Books

Layng Martine Jr. grew up in Fairfield County, Connecticut. He was educated at Mount Hermon School, Denison University, and Columbia University. After a stint on Madison Avenue writing ads and a fling as a restaurant owner Layng and his wife Linda moved to Nashville, Tennessee where they now live and where they raised their three sons. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and wrote such songs as “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” (Reba McEntire), “Rub It In” (Billy Crash Craddock), and  “Way Down”(Elvis Presley) and the author of a NEW YORK TIMES most-emailed Modern Love essay.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Tuesday Special: Loving Phoenix

Trinity Blacio

Nava Torres’ life was one of turmoil and danger. Considered a freak of nature by her peers and hunted by the government, she never expected to find a place where she could feel safe – until she heard about a town called Magic. For the first time since her parents’ deaths, she felt awe, hope, and something even stranger – attraction to a man who could heat her blood with one look!

Special Ops Marine, Saxon Wehurst, had sworn off women – at least until he met a fiery redhead with black streaks that made him want to run his hands through the colorful tresses. There was nothing in the world that could fire up his protective instincts faster than a woman with trouble nipping at her heels and fire in her hair.

When outside forces threaten Nava and the town, Saxon and his men are more than ready to gear up to protect them both. For Saxon, it is personal – nothing stands between a Bull Dog and his mate – not even the government. Will Saxon and his men be able to protect the woman he loves and save the town, or will she be taken from him forever? Whatever happens, it is time to feel the Burn.

*This was a KindleWorld Book before-published before.

Amazon        Amazon CA        Amazon MX        Amazon DE

Amazon UK        Amazon AU        Google Play        Smashwords

Barnes & Noble        Kobo        iTunes

Trinity Blacio has been writing now professionally for over thirteen years and is part of RWA, a Pan member. Currently, she has available titles from Riverdale Avenue Books and Decadent Publishing with more to come. She has many self-published books and has reached the mile maker of over 100 published stories. Trinity is always excited to be writing, hearing from readers, and helping fellow authors.

She has a BA in Psychology from Cleveland State, Associates degree in Social Work from Lorain County Community College.

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Monday, October 7, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: Touch of Breeze

...a taste of romance

The Common Elements Romance Project
by Kelynn Storm

Chapter One

            London Satos shivered on her home’s front porch in the October chill, but she welcomed the cold. It calmed her nerves. She stared out into the clear night sky and wrapped her arms across her chest.
            “Lincoln, where are you?” Her voice hitched. She couldn’t help it. She had bodies to prepare at her mortuary and families to console, but all she could do was think, and all her thoughts raced in circles repeating one question: Linc, are you alive? All her life she and her twin brother had shared an intuitive knowing of each other’s thoughts, but now when it would mean so much, she couldn’t reach his.
            Wind blew strands of hair across her face, and as she brushed them away, a charge of electricity snapped.
            Little hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as the air crickled and cracked. Torn between shifting into jaguar form and staying in human form, London just stood still, waiting. Parts of her wanted to run or hide. The strongest part of her wanted to face the danger and demand Lincoln’s return. A sob stuck her throat. He couldn’t be dead.
            Maybe she was mistaken, spooked. Maybe the hunters weren’t coming.
            Leaves rustled and scuttled across her yard in a gust. A low thunderous rumble sounded in the distance and clouds rolled in dark swirls in the sky above the open field behind her cabin. Lightning flashed inside the cluster of clouds. Blam, blam, blam!
            She ran inside her cabin and peered out the large window. Lightening flickered in rapid succession across the reflection of her face in the glass. The lightning storm was magnificent and beautiful but so full of malice. It advanced on her property. It was just like the one she had seen four days ago when they’d captured her brother. She knew its appearance now was no coincidence. The hunters were coming for her. A rare white jaguar just like her twin, she was a prize to Wentworth’s Crew, as the hunters were known among the Jag Council. Headed by Max Wentworth, the elite hunters were intent on adding to his collection of shifters and had already left an untraceable trail of missing persons and dead bodies. Now she knew why they’d been so hard for the supernatural community to find. They traveled by thunderclouds.
            London focused inward, deep inside her chest to where her connection to her second identity was always with her. She closed her eyes and allowed the transformation to shiver through her. In less than a minute, her hips and torso, her legs, arms, and shoulders slid in one smooth tremble into her innate animal. Through her cat eyes she saw the lightning storm slither closer, heard the thunder break near her porch, and felt the electricity firing in the air. Oh yes, the Crew was here for her. She clenched her teeth. But they would not capture her, not today. Getting captured would not help Linc at all.
            She stood in place, reaching out with all her senses for her brother. Nothing. Maybe the electric storm blocked their connection to each other. Damn it. She heard, but didn’t wait to see, the hunters appearing on her property below their evil ship in the sky. London ran down the stairs to her basement and butted her head against the hidden escape wall. It flew up and she slipped in to the tunnel before the trap door closed behind her. She waited to hear the thud of the lock.
The hard dirt floor was dry and solid against her paws. The scent of it filled her nostrils, and she breathed deeply as she trotted through the winding tunnel. When she reached the hidden door at the other end, she strode through the opening out beyond her cabin, her yard, and into the surrounding woods. Among the trees, she crawled under a row of bushes, ducking her head to peek through the low-hanging branches. She gulped hard at the sight of hunters scanning her property, assault weapons at the ready. Geez, if they came for a lone female jag loaded for a fight, did they think she was a monster? Were they expecting, an entire prowl of jaguars?
The lightning storm blotted out the full moon and stars, but her keen night vision had no problem seeing the men in the darkness. She counted them: one, two, three, four. Then another four rounded the cabin from the back. Eight men all hell bent on either eliminating her or making her their living trophy. They motioned to one another in silence as they tramped around the property and entered the cabin through the side door.
            Now was her chance to get a better look. She crept low out of her hiding place and toward the localized storm hanging in the sky until she crouched almost beneath it. Winds and lightning inside the clouds buffeted her about and she flattened into the grass. Linc, are you in there?
Her ears cocked for sounds of the hunters’ return, London opened her mind. Linc?
She held her focus tight and didn’t breathe. Linc. Are you okay? Where are you?
She released a breath. Drat. Nothing.
Footsteps grew closer and one man walked through the front door. She scrambled back to cover.
“She’s not here,” hollered the man on the porch. “Max, what do you want to do?”
“Her scent is everywhere.”
London’s ears perked. He could pick up a scent? Curious. The man’s voice coming from inside sounded like he’d been a smoker since he was eleven. She heard him perfectly. She ran her tongue over her mouth, eager to get a look at Max’s face. He strode out the door, his gaze narrowing. She shuddered. The left side of his face bore shiny, raised stripes and his left eyelid drooped. Clearly, at least one of his prey had gotten the upper hand.
“Tarsus, Faron, take the others outside,” he ordered. “I’m going to look inside a little more. See if I can find clues of places we might find her.”
“You’re the boss, Max. Let’s go guys. We can check the trees.”
            Her nerves jolted her to run. She sliced through underbrush on the other side of her yard and scaled a tree. Her pale gray-spotted white fur didn’t blend as well as a dark jaguar’s, but the dense forest hid her well enough in the treetops. If her pulse pounding in her ears would stop, maybe her brain would calm and her fears would subside. But images flashed in her mind of Linc fighting the nets the hunters had dropped over him, and how the more he fought the more it entangled him. His frantic growls still pierced her heart. Guilt gnawed at her insides for following his demand she stay hidden while he tried to draw the hunters away from her. It was her job to take care of him, not the other way around. She had watched them stun him and disappear into the lightning storm with him.
            From her perch, London held her breath and watched the men search the ground beneath her for tracks.
            “The dirt is too dry,” called one of the men. “There’s no tracks, no sign of her anywhere.”
            The men retreated and filed toward her cabin. Their scent was in her nose. Human. But it was an easy guess that their boss was a were-jag. She extended her claws. A traitor to his own kind. She heard the men exit her cabin but couldn’t see them. For hunters, they were awfully noisy.
            “Let’s get back to home base, men.” Max circled his arm above his head. He held some of London’s photographs and what looked like her daily planner.
            Damn him, stealing parts of my life. Her planner was old-school, but when it came to managing her life, a cellphone, a desk calendar, and wall calendars in every room helped her stay on top of things. Linc teased that she was obsessive, but her system worked for her and helped keep anxiety at bay. She huffed. Her planner would tell Max where she had been and where she would be.
            London climbed out of the tree and strode closer to the edge of the forest, then scrambled up another tree to get a better view of the men. The men stood en mass beneath the storm and in synchrony pressed a button on their belts. Instantly, they all disappeared.
            Like a dirigible, the storm slowly trolled across the sky into the night.
            London sat still in the tree, her heart hammering. How had they found her? The cabin had belonged to her grandparents, then it had passed to her parents and still had their names—Hisao and Akira Sato—on the deed. The world of were-jags was carefully guarded, and all were-jags knew the harsh penalties for exposing their kinds’ existence: life-long solitary imprisonment in a secret location. That they had found her meant another werejag had talked. But who?
            Oh God. Of course. Max had tortured Linc to get information. And here she sat cowering in a tree. She wanted to puke. Her muscles bunched, and she burned to race after the men but it was too late. Sounds of the Wisconsin autumn night—mice scratching around on the forest floor, raccoons splashing in a nearby creek, coyotes yipping in the distance—clued her the danger had left. She jumped to the ground and made her way to the secret passage.
            Inside she arched her head to the ceiling and roared. Anger and frustration streamed from her throat. Her cabin was in complete disarray, an indication the hunters had ripped through her belongings. Wasn’t one predator, the Oni, the evil spirit that had haunted her family for generations, enough for one Japanese American family?
She shifted back into her human form and closed all the blinds in the living room. It was a flimsy attempt to protect herself from what might be lurking outside, but it helped calm the turmoil in her gut. In her bedroom London’s shoulder’s drooped. Her drawers stood open, her bedding lay on the floor, and boxes in her closet sat opened and empty. She dropped to the floor and breathed in and out deliberately, trying to keep herself from screaming, from falling into a panic attack, or breaking something in rage. Her brother’s human face, contorted with fear and pain just before he shifted to fight off the hunters, filled her mind. She pounded the carpeting, helpless agony washing over her. “This can’t be happening.”
She didn’t want to look at the remaining photo on the wall of the two of them, but it pulled her attention. Their faces were all smiles and laughter. Good times. Would she ever see Linc again?
Fear bloomed in her chest and she had to get up, move around, get away. She couldn’t simply sit on the floor and cry. She searched for her cellphone. If the hunters had stolen it they would learn so much about her. Panic sent her running to the living room and the bookshelf where she always stuffed her phone before she shifted. Books had been pulled off and left in piles on the floor. The iron box filled with small rocks she and Linc had collected as children sat in its place, but she didn’t breathe a sigh of relief until her fingers touched her phone hidden behind it. “Oh, thank God.”
Trembling, she held it close. She had to get a grip, but all she could do was stare at the mess, her eyes following the slow movement of pages of one book atop a pile of her favorite thick, classic hardback books. The pages flipped slowly, one after another.
Her pulse pounded. She focused her mind. “Linc, is that you?”
The pages flipped faster, furiously, until finally the entire book moved eractically and danced to the floor.
“It’s you, I know it is. Where are you? Tell me something,” she begged. She perched on her knees waiting for something more concrete from Linc. A visual, maybe, of his location.  Her legs started to ache, but she didn’t move, hope burning in her chest.
Finally, she gave up, her brain exhausted. Her cellphone told her it was nine o’clock. How could she sleep in her ransacked home?
She pulled on a pair of jeans, a dark T-shirt, and a pair of running shoes. The two-mile run to her mortuary would give her body something to do besides stew. Maybe she’d even find a way to tell her parents that Linc had been kidnapped. She wouldn’t tell them she suspected he’d been tortured.

Want to read more?

by Kelynn Storm
A rare white were-jaguar, she’s on a mission to save her twin brother from certain death. She didn’t plan on teaming up with a Jag Guardian who would just as soon break her heart.

Mortician London Satos works with the dead by choice. Using her were-jaguar ability to witness their final moments, she helps them pass over in peace. Those special moments contrast greatly with the life she leads haunted by an ancient Japanese spirit with revenge on his mind. On top of that, her twin brother is missing. Just when she thinks she has enough on her hands, Breeze Dawson stumbles into her path and runs into the evil spirit. Feeling responsible, she thinks she must help him survive the evil spirit, but it doesn’t stop there. She is forced to team up with Breeze to rescue her brother from an evil madman intent on using him to fulfill a diabolical prophesy.

Recently suspended from his job as a Jag Guardian, were-jaguar Breeze finds himself looking for anything to distract him from his troubled life. So when the beautifully captivating mortician needs help fighting battles on several fronts, he becomes embroiled in a murderous plot that not only threatens his Guardian team but the supernatural community in general. Together, Breeze and London race to locate the madman’s stronghold where he has imprisoned London’s brother, all the while fighting mutual attraction that will only complicate everything.

Touch of Breeze is presently available for preorder at 99 cents, releasing October 22, 2019.

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Friday, October 4, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe
A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.
– Unknown
Thursday, October 3, 2019 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Meet Anne Joyce

The Write Way Café welcomes Anne Joyce, author of Arid, who got an early start on her writing life.

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book?  
I was in first grade and we made these little animal stick puppets. We were supposed to come up with a story and use them to act it out. I made up something on the fly and I guess I impressed everyone because some adults I’d never met approached me and asked me if I’d just made that up. When I said “yes”, their mouths fell open.

What was your path to getting Arid written and published? What type of research did you do? 
I watched a lot of educational videos and consulted a few friends who were knowledgeable on certain aspects. I used Google too.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
I watched a conspiracy theory video on TV about how lakes and rivers were mysteriously being drained and politicians were purchasing large aqueducts, and no one really knows why. It just got me thinking.

Why did you pick the setting you did? 
It seemed appropriate because in a post-apocalyptic world where water is extremely scarce, the desert land would be the most adversely affected.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself? 
Xiomara is many shades of my mom. I didn’t plan that, but when I began fleshing out the characters, she kind of turned into Mom. You could say that Josh has some fragments of my personality. The rest of the crew have their own personalities entirely.

Did you face any blocks while writing Arid, and if so, how did you handle them? 
Sure. I think everyone does when writing a novel. Things just don’t always happen how you originally planned them. Jogging has always helped me form new ideas. Being in motion gets my creative juices flowing.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing Arid and after? 
I was surprised at some of the directions the plot took and by who didn’t make it in the end. I don’t want to go into detail, or I’ll give away too much.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about our county and our water supply?  
I learned how to be a better writer. I read books and attended seminars to help make that happen, but writing this book alone helped me grow as an author. What I learned about our water supply is that water is basically an exploitable good throughout most of the world. Slovenia is one of few countries to declare water a natural right.

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble? 
Fight scenes, especially when there are multiple people involved. It’s so hard to coordinate. I can’t even tell you how many times I rewrote chapter 19, but it was a lot!

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you. 
My writing space is usually my living room couch. There is always a cat laying on my legs. It works because I live alone, and no one bothers me while I’m writing

What are some of your favorite books and why?  
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Dystopia by Janet McNulty. I think these authors do a great job or creating a believable dystopian future.

What are you working on now? 
I’m currently writing a prequel to Arid called “Parched-The Days before Exile.”

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why? 
I’m open to the idea. I’ve thought about writing horror or comedy. I’ve been told I should do comedy.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?  
I think I would’ve made a good scientist

by Anne Joyce
When the water's all gone, what will you do to survive?

It's the distant future. The earth is scourged by nuclear warfare and natural resources have become scarce.To top it all off, the country is overtaken by wealthy moguls who dominate the water supply and sell it back to the public at ridiculous prices. After a drastic crime increase "indigents" who can't afford water are stripped of their belongings and forced out of town by an army of brutes called Purifiers.

Life becomes harsh and ominous for Joshua Wyman and his group until they begin to occasionally receive food and other basic amenities after Joshua is deemed useful. When a blatant abuse of Purifier power during a routine visit leaves them reeling Joshua and his friends reach their breaking point.

They devise a plan to steal the Purifiers' vehicle during their next visit and escape their hell. Their journey across the uncharted wastelands filled with murderers and thieves proves to be far more than this civilized, benevolent crew bargained for. Growing tensions within the nearby towns may cause the two worlds to collide, creating an epic storm.


Anne Rasico (AKA Anne Joyce) was born in a small town in Indiana you’ve probably never heard of.  She composed short stories and comic books as a child to amuse her family and began writing poetry at the age of thirteen. In 1998 she received an Honorable Mention for Literary Excellence for her poem "She Didn't Come Home."

In 2013 her novella “When the Chips Are Down” was named a Finalist in the MARSocial Author of the Year Contest. When she is not writing, thinking about writing, or going insane from writing she enjoys camping, fishing, swimming, and otherwise spending time with loved ones.  She is mother to three extremely spoiled cats. Crazy cat lady? Probably.

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