Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday - My Series. A Sudden Seduction #MFRWauthor #Suspense

Matt's story in the Seduction series was to be the last. He was the fourth member of the Grantley family to suffer the curse. Was the seduction a sudden one or was he really under the family curse. Matt is a playboy who has no desire for marriage. He sees his sibs marrying and this is not for him. That is until an accident and a concussion puts him into the heroine's space. What he doesn't remember that years ago, when they were in high school, she asked him out and he acted like a real jerk as teenage boys can be. When he went to apologize, she had moved and he forgot about her. When knowledge finally comes, he has to eat a lot of crow because's he's fallen in love and once again he can't find her.

Actually the series didn't end with Matt's story since my publisher combined the first three stories into a single print volume and Matt was left alone. I couldn't allow that to happen so there are two more stories to talk about.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday's Blurbs Books by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Suspense

Amber Chronicles

Amber Chronicles Collection: Emme, a witch and the heir to the throne of the world called Amber is banished from her home to find love. She believes she can command a man to love her but this does not work. Angry at being told no by the crown prince of Rivand she casts a spell on the Riva family. Every hundred years when the moon is full at the summer solstice she will call the crown prince. If he refuses to cede his love to her he will enter the amber orb and vanish. Four times she fails and the princes find adventure on other worlds. One turns an enchanted amber dragon into a princess. The second is imprisoned in an amber tower and must select a bride. The third must free the heroine from an amber cage. Emme slowly learns her lesson and returns to spend her childhood with the fourth prince. Hoping knowing each other will help. She has fallen in love with the crown prince and enters the amber orb in his place. Can Emme who is Cast in Amber be freed and gain the love she has sought for all those years?

Amber Chronicles  

In Paper

Code Blue

In the medical suspense Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters, published by Books We Love and previously published as Obsessions, nurse Susan finds the body of the hospital’s “gossip queen” in the orthopedic storage room. She doesn’t realize this is the first of a series of murders involving her colleagues or that her life is in danger. She is a widow and is exploring a new romantic relationship that promises love but she fears the man she is falling for is as controlling as her dead husband. The arrival of courtship gifts, at first, seen as innocuous soon takes on a sinister note.

Code Blue   


Murder and Mint Tea

Katherine Miller has retired from two careers, one as a nurse and the other as a church organist. Though she has no desire for a third career, she may be forced to become a detective. Her latest tenant has brought trouble to the neighborhood. When Rachel's body is found in Katherine's garden she recognizes the murder weapon and knows any of her near and dear could be the killer. She refuses to accept that a friend or relative could be a killer and seeks to find the culprit.

A Marriage Inconvenient

A marriage of convenience will give Carrie the means to care for her ailing mother and work one rather than two jobs. Who better than her childhood friend? Love old and new changes and they find marriage inconvenient. Will they find a way to make this marriage work?

Words Perfect – Becoming Your Own Critique Partner

Not everyone has access to a good critique group. If you're on your own and need someone to help polish your manuscript so it shines in the eyes of agents and editors, look no further. Using examples from their own work and a huge dash of humor, veteran authors Jane Toombs and Janet Lane Walters guide both the new writer and the experienced through the labyrinth of self-editing.Show more

When Nicola Gordon and her younger sisters travel from India to England, she goes to a marriage she doesn’t want.

Drew Barlow has no desire for marriage, but his distant cousin and Nicola’s grandfather, ran the estates into debt. Drew agrees to the marriage for the money and to please the Dowager, Nicola’s grandmother, but he has no trust for women or for love.

When the two meet they clash and come together, igniting a blazing attraction they cannot resist.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday's Guest Author, Heroes, Heroines and Villains featuring Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Suspense

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I bill myself as the eclectic writer but lately I’ve realized most of my stories are romances but they fit into subgenres of romance. Except for some of the YA stories but even there, there are boy/girl relationships that can be developing. Even my mysteries hold a bit of romance for the heroine that takes five books to lead to her marriage. Some of my romances are contemporary, some paranormal, fantasy, historical and suspense. They range in heat level from sweet to spicy.

My reading choices are just as different. I read most everything but not all books are enjoyed as much as others. With the number of books floating through the internet and my Kindle handy, I read a lot. I do not read horror.

As to what I wouldn’t attempt to write. Anything with hard science. I know nothing about technology and while I admire people who do I’m not going to try. I don’t see a horror book in my future. Though sometimes I can write dark horror is beyond dark to me.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

There are days and days. Sometimes I have difficulty reining each of the three into form. I’m usually more able to identify with the heroine and her emotions. The heros often give me trouble, especially when they speak. They don’t always come across as male but a sort of neuter kind of person. Now villains usually come easy because that allows me to let some of my evil nature escape.

3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

I turn to Astrology to develop my hero. After the idea for a plot comes into my head, I begin to look at what kind of hero I need. Turning to my many Astrology books, I find a sun sign which will show my character’s inner nature. This may be different from the face he shows the world. For that I look for an Ascendant that fits what the character is becoming in my head. For the emotional quality, I look at his Moon Sign. This usually gives me how his emotions differ from the two other elements. This makes for a complex character. And often tells me what his interior conflict will be. The outer conflict can also be found in the three elements of his character. Once this is in place, I develop the other characters, though one or both of them may have entered my imaginary world before.

4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

For my heroines I also use the same process as I do the hero. There are times when the heroine appears before the plot and I must find a hero and a story for her. Using the what if can bring a heroine to life. Many of my heroines are nurses or have other skills that are somehow medical. Here I can pull things from women I knew when I worked as a nurse. Something will remind me of a trait or a worry one of these former colleagues displayed. Also in my heroines, there is a little of myself. Not myself as I am but myself as I wish I was.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

Villains for me are the easiest to write and they aren’t necessarily the bad guy. In my latest release in both paper and electronically, the female lead begins as a villain. To make her human meant she needed lessons to be learned. She did love her land and her parents but she performs an act that makes her seem not to be a good person. Through the first four stories in this collection, she remains unknowing of what she must do. She needs to learn how to love. Each story gives her a small hint about love and the final two stories show what lessons she has learned.

The trick with making villains is giving them traits that make them human. This is easy with the opposing character who isn’t a true villain but one who has his own ideas about the lives of the hero and or heroine. This person can have good reasons for their feelings and can be made while not likeable at least interesting. The character who is truly evil is harder to find a reason to make them seem less that evil. The trick here might be to develop their degree of evilness in increments through the story. At least that’s the way it works for me.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

Actually, there are two. The Amber Chronicles is the latest released in electronic and also in print. Here the heroine, Emme is also in the beginning the villain. This is a series of short stories that tell of her quest to learn about love, how to give and receive so buy the end of the story she is the heroine. Since these are short stories and novellas, the heroes are varied. This was a fun set to write and did not begin with the first story in the book but that was the last one written since I had to figure why she’d been banished from her world.

Code Blue has just been released in print and has been in electronic form for a long time. The heroine is Susan who is a nurse with a dead and controlling husband. She’s finally recovered from his death and has known the hero Patrick for a long time. He’s divorced and has two children who he wants custody of. Susan fears he is another controller. The villain will remain unnamed but he is my favorite villain of all time. He is a man with a deep love for his dead mother and blames the hospital personnel for her death. He is relentless in his quest for what he believes is vengeance and in his obsession with Susan.

7. What are you working on now?

My current WIP is called Toth’s Priest and is the third of a fantasy Trilogy set in an ancient alternate Egypt. In this book the hero is Namose, a young man kidnapped by the villain and forced to translate some ancient script giving the villain some powers belonging to the priests of Toth. The heroine Amara is a young woman who escapes to this land to avoid being taken by the nephew of a drug lord. She has much to learn and her payment for the rescue is to rescue Namose and return the stolen scrolls to the Toth temple. The villain is one Hebu, a priest of Aken Re who has schemed to bring his god to the Two Lands. He has been the villain in the other two books but has escaped the other times. Can Namose and Amara defeat him using the same powers he has stolen.

8. How can people find you?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday's Hero _Matt from A Sudden Seduction by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Suspense

You’re next.”
Matt Blakefield choked on the piece of wedding cake he’d been about to swallow. “Not in a million years.”
His gaze slid around the table in the inn’s dining room spearing each couple with a glare. Friends and family had gathered to celebrate this morning’s marriage of his brother to the mother of his recently discovered son. Since the nine-year-old was the only other unattached male present, Matt knew the whispered remark had been addressed to him.
“I have a friend,” one of his sisters said.
The other grinned. “She’d be perfect.”
“No sale.” Matt dropped the napkin on the table.
“Remember the curse.” Mark grinned. “None of us has escaped.”
Time to hit the road. With this decision made, as though in answer to his desire, Matt’s cell phone vibrated. Salvation,
He answered. “Matt here…You did…Great news…I’m on my way…Yeah today…Doesn’t matter.”
As if he’d stay here where plans he wanted no part of were being laid. He’d been present for the important event. There was no reason for him to linger and a huge need to escape. Although the meeting with the Good Magazine Group’s investigator wasn’t until Monday morning, Matt seized the opportunity. “Have to leave. Have information on this year’s make-over house for Good Livin’.”
“On the weekend?” His father, CEO of the magazine group and recently married to his teenage sweetheart, arched an eyebrow.
“Yeah. It’s the Smiton house. You know the one I intend to use as the project for showing people how to convert a house from energy sucking to energy efficient. Jules has a line on the owner. I want the contract signed so we can start work.”
His father’s eyes narrowed. “If there’s a problem find another house. Who knows what condition the Smiton’s house is in? No one has lived there for years.”
“I checked. The place is sound.”
“Find a house where the owners are in residence. They’ll appreciate the free upgrade.”
Matt groaned. “And spend hours complaining about being inconvenienced or wanting changes that won’t work.” Matt pushed to his feet. What he didn’t say was that he planned to buy and live in the house.
He kissed his new sister-in-law. “Let Mark spoil you and Davey. My brother has a few years of making up to do.”
Matt strode to the coatroom to retrieve his leather jacket and helmet. He’d planned to hang out here until tomorrow but not with the schemes buzzing in the ladies’ heads. He leaned over the counter, kissed the middle-aged woman’s cheek and dropped a ten spot in the tip dish.
He dashed out the door and down the steps to the parking lot and his bike. As the engine roared to life the relatives gathered and protests began.
So much for a quick escape. He braced for the arguments.
“Stay,” his new sister-in-law called. “You can have one of the cabins all to yourself.”
“We won’t bother you. I promise,” his step-mother said.
She wouldn’t but her promise didn’t include his sisters. “Another time.”
“Matt, it’s going to rain.” The voices of four females rose in a chorus.
“I won’t melt.” He slipped on his helmet. With a spray of gravel he headed to the road.
Exit Matthew, fleeing a bunch of women intent on ending his bachelor state.
What about his father, brother and his sisters’ fiancés. He bet the guys envied his freedom.”
“You’re next.” Had someone said that or was it his imagination.
He waved. “Not today. Not this year. Maybe never.” The engine’s roar drowned any comments.
Visions of being followed by a parade of match-makers crowded his thoughts. Instead of heading for the interstate he decided to cross from Vermont into upstate New York. Exploring new territory was a perfect ending to his escape.
Once they’d found the perfect mate, why did happy couples believe every bachelor should be part of a twosome? He wasn’t ready to take a wife or enter a long term situation. He enjoyed his single state and found pleasure with a variety of women. Granted there’d been a dry spell lately—not his fault. He hadn’t met a woman who’d tempted him for even a night.
As he sped along the serpentine roads, a misting rain began. Moments after crossing into New York the storm turned earnest. Water fell in wind-driven gusts. Thunder rumbled like a mad drummer played a kettledrum. Lightning streaked across the sky in a brilliant display. Although the time was late afternoon the darkness spoke of night.
Time to find a motel, bed and breakfast or a rustic inn with a room for the night.
He reached a crossroads and paused to read the signs. The nearest town was fifty miles away. He dug out his cell. No service. He wiped the face plate of his helmet and chose a road. The headlights cast a tunnel through the gloom. Shadows impinged on the narrow band of light. He sent the bike down the road. Off on an adventure, hopefully with a dry room at the end of the road.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Series and Characters #MFRWauthor

An important element of a series is the characters. While there are a number of kind of series characters are needed. The reader must have a character to grasp and to understand. In a series where one character is the star in every story in the series there are some important factors to consider.

Consistency is the most important. This doesn't mean the character doesn't grow and change but this growth and every change in their nature must be consistent with the character as they develop. I'm reading a series that is fourteen stories long. Yes the main character has changed but he has remained consistent. Certain traits haven't changed. This is his consistency. As elements in his life change these consistent factors make at least this reader come back.

Another thing in the series where one character remains the focus through out the story are those who surround the character. The secondary characters need to be there. This is a family surrounding the character. While they may not be related they are family in a sense and their actions must follow the pattern of consistency. They may also grow and change but their attitude toward the main character needs to be the same.

Series that have different characters but are based on a setting or a group of friends or neighbors who each have their own story are a bit different and the elements making them have a consistency are different. That's for another time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - Outline Value #MFRWauthor

There is both joy and pain in having an outline for your story. Many people just dive in and write and write and write. Then say they have no idea where the story is going until the reach the end. I'm not sure this is the case. Some people do all this in their head. Having a plan for the story gives a goal to work toward. I have a friend who has been writing her story for years and it's taken her a long time to figure what's wrong. This is a romance but she kept the hero and heroine apart for chapters and chapters. Now this can work depending in the kind of story you're writing but not a romance. The hero and heroine need to have a closeness, even when they're apart. So she's finally writing an outline and has found there's a lot that doesn't belong. She'll be rewriting the story but this time I think she'll learn how important it is.

Knowing the beginning, the middle and the end are important. The joy of having an outline means you have an idea where you're going bit it doesn't mean you have to follow this like it's the only road in town. As a story develops, the characters change and grow. One important thing is when you have a plan for the story is to remember is there's nothing wrong with changing the plan if things happen. That cute point in the plot you've been depending on to make the story come to a conclusion suddenly you learn won't work. The direction needs to be changed. Then it's time to sit down and see where the outline has gone wrong and bring the changes into the new direction of the story.

Having an outline or a plan for the story is important but it's also important to remember the plan needs flexibility. Nothing about writing stories is carved in stone. Not your words or your plan.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Meander 1 - Have decided on a new Friday and Saturday bits on this blog. 2 reasons. the first is that a number of my friends and fellow authors would like to appear again and they've already answered the sets of questions. This time we'll be looking at Heroes, Heroines and Villains for Friday and for Blurbs on Saturday. I'll do the kick off one but will be asking for guests first from HVRWA and then from my publishers. I think this will be a fun one since who doesn't want to be able to sell their books and hopefully reach a new audience.

Meander 2 - I learned that Code Blue is not available world over in paper. We'll see how that goes. The cover looks fascinating especially the back bit. I do love the blurbs that sell a book and that's how I decide what I will buy. It's not the covers for me.

Meander 3 - Am almost finished with Toth's Priest. Well maybe a month away from finishing but I will see the end soon and I am so glad. At least I haven't reached the point where one more draft will make me ill,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday - My Series - A Second Seduction #MFRWauthor

A Second Seduction is the third book in the Seduction Series.

Mark Blakefield gets the shock of his life when he looks at pictures his friend took at a Vermont Inn where he stayed-It's the girl he fell in love with in college-and her son, who looks remarkably familiar.

A photograph sends Mark to find his college sweetheart who vanished out of his life and dropped out of college. The boy in the picture looks like pictures of him as a boy and he believes her son is his. Since she left he's been a playboy kind of guy and a victim of the Blakefield curse. "Once a Blakefield finds their perfect match there can be no other." He finds her at an inn she inherited from her father and sets out to woo her again. Passion erupts but can it last?

Here's the buy link Second Seduction, A 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday's Excerpt from Business Or Pleasure by Ashley Ladd #MFRWauthor


Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.

Gunshots rang out as they turned onto Guy’s street.
Tommy looked at him and mouthed, “Shit! You don’t think…?”
“I hope not. I don’t know.” Guy pressed the gas pedal to the floor and the car shot forward, fish-tailing.
Tommy fisted the door, hanging on tight. “I hope we’re wrong.”
Guy’s intuition told him he wasn’t. His knuckles turned white they held the steering wheel so tightly. Unafraid for himself but scared for his dad, he pulled into his driveway and jumped out of the car, with Tommy close on his heels.
The woman next door ran outside screaming, tearing out her already tattered hair. She pointed at her front door. “Your father’s shooting up my house and is holding a gun at my dad’s head. He’s going to kill him. You’ve got to do something.”
Tommy yelled as he began dialing on his phone, “I’m calling the police.” As if on cue, police sirens blared in the distance and grew louder by the second.
“I’m going in. I have to stop him.”
“Wait for the police. Don’t put yourself in danger,” Tommy ordered forcefully.
“I have to take the chance. He could kill someone before the police get here. I can’t let that happen.” He put himself in harm’s way for animals, so certainly he could risk his life for his own father and other fellow human beings. He had no choice. It would be his fault if someone got hurt.
So he ran through the open door flailing his arms, hoping he would be in time. “Dad! It’s Guy. Don’t do anything. I’m here. You’ll be okay.”
He’ll be okay? What about me? He’s got a shotgun pointed at my head threatening to blow it off,” the elderly neighbor cried.

Buy Links:
·         I hope to have more buy links before this posts – I’ll let you know
Author Bio:
Ashley Ladd bio.jpg

Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.

She's been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

How you can contact Ashley:

Friday, August 22, 2014

How She Does It featuring Ashley Ladd #MFRWauthor

We all know there are six elements of fiction. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I believe the first five lead to the sixth which for me is plot. What's your take on this?

 The six elements of fiction build the plot and interweave to create the storyline. It is the vehicle to transport the characters from point A to point B through a pattern of what, when, where, and why so that they eventually wind up at the end of the story with a plausible and pleasing ending.

1.       How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?

I write character charts with goals, motivations, and conflicts for each primary character. I also write down their physical characteristics, likes, dislikes, and everything else about them to keep everybody straight throughout the story.

2. Do your characters come before the plot?

Usually but not always.  In my July release, Cooking Up A Storm, I knew the characters would be competing chefs. Many of the other plot points came later as I wrote the story.

3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?

 Almost always. I’ve written more than 70 books, so there have been a few where the precise ending eluded me for awhile. Spooky Sojourn, my upcoming October 23rd release, is one of those.

4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?

Most of the time I choose settings I know very well. Since I’ve lived in South Florida for twenty five years and it’s considered a romantic vacation destination, I set a lot of my stories here. Recently, I set a story in San Francisco where I honeymooned . At the moment, however, my wip is set in Seattle and I’ve never been there.

5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?

Mainly online from pictures and descriptions. I visit many of the city’s official sites as well as many informal blogs to get information.

6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?

Recently I’ve been revising as I go along—to break writer’s block. Usually I have several scenes and most of the characters mapped out in my head before I start writing the story, but I’ll admit more also develop as I write.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Simon from Rekindled Dreams #MFRWauthor

“Asshole.” Pressing his hands against the metal desk, Simon Parker glared at the head of the Narcotic’s Division. His teeth clenched. He would not lose his temper and shout the words circling like poison darts in his thoughts.
His left leg tensed. The quads tightened. Though the wound had healed, the agony of the day the bullet tore into his flesh returned with a roar. An image of his dead partner’s blank eyes fueled his anger. Only a few threads of sanity kept him from erupting in an action he would regret. At the moment, his single desire was slamming his fist into the sorry bastard’s face.
Captain Paley half rose from his chair. “I’ll ignore that comment.”
“I’d rather you didn’t.” A burn seared Simon’s gut.
“You’re still under my command and you’ll do what I order.”
“I don’t think so.”
Paley grasped the edge of his desk. “You’re cleared for duty. You’re going undercover with the Garsis’ gang.”
“Not going to happen.” Simon pulled two envelopes from the pocket of his windbreaker.
“You’ll do as ordered.”
“This isn’t the army.” Simon drew a deep breath that did nothing to calm his temper. I asked for a transfer to any division or precinct. I’d even go back to walking a beat. Anywhere but Narcotics.”
“Your transfer was denied,” Paley said.
“Where’s the letter?”
“You’re needed here. Your experience is valuable. Just shove your hissy fit in a drawer and follow orders.”
Simon dropped his badge and gun on the desk. More of his control frayed. He didn’t care that the office door was open and every ear in the outer room was tuned to the discussion in here. He wanted out before his temper erupted.
Drawing a deep breath he held his fists at his side. “I won’t work another day for an asshole.” He stabbed the envelopes with a finger. “My resignation is effective immediately. Here’s a copy of my request for a transfer. You can’t bury them in your files this time. Copies have been sent to everyone I could think of.” He whirled and strode to the door.
“Parker, get back here.” Paley’s voice reached a level even the dead could hear. “We’re not finished.”
“I am.”
“Just listen to me. Pull off this job and you’ll be golden.”
Simon stomped to the door. “Too late. I quit. I’m done. I’m out of here.” Could he make his decision any clearer?
“I’ll recommend you for a promotion.”
“Not going to bite your carrot.” The words he’d held back seeped closer to an eruption. He nearly turned to blast the man and halted the action. No sense being arrested for assault. Cops fared poorly in prison.
“Why walk out?” The shouted question reached Simon. “Give me a good reason.”
“To save my life. Not gonna let you or anyone put me on a slab.” He slammed the door to Paley’s office and stomped into the outer room. Anger snapped the last thread restraining his temper. If he’d had his gun he would have shot the bastard.
The desks in the outer office were mainly empty. The few men and women present pretended to be busy. His glare must have warned them not to poke.
At the elevator he pressed the down button in a series of impatient thrusts. What now? He had no idea but anywhere but here would do. The doors opened. Not anywhere. There were a few places he never wanted to visit again like the abandoned warehouse and the hospital or…
Not going there.
When Simon stepped outside, the smells of the city slapped him. Exhaust fumes from passing cars. The odors of people passing by. Hints of cooking food, garbage and some unidentifiable stenches.
Sounds made his head ache. Horns blared. Rap, pop, and strains of other music rushed past. The buzz of passing conversations reminded him of swarming bees.
Instead of taking a series of buses, he hailed a cab and gave his address. He sank against the cushions to find the calm center he’d lost days ago when he’d learned his request for a transfer hadn’t been received.
At the apartment building, he paid the cabby and rode the elevator to the third floor. He opened the door and wrinkled his nose. Place smelled stale just like his life. He opened several windows hoping to catch a breeze. The April day had turned warmer than predicted.
He strode to the kitchen for a beer. The red circle around the date brought a scowl. A former female friend had circled dates on every page for special days. Happy Birthday. Number twenty eight. Big deal.
He grabbed a beer and peered into the nearly empty shelves. Should he hit the corner deli? Maybe tomorrow. He tapped a number and ordered a loaded pie. Maybe he’d light a candle. One would suffice.
Back in the living room he kicked off his shoes, took a swig and groaned. He needed a life. The weeks since his release from the hospital had found him spending more tine here than usual. Trips for physical therapy, to a local restaurant or to the deli marked his social schedule.
His gaze swept over the room and he noticed how few personal touches had accumulated in the five years he’d lived in the apartment. A few snapshots, a diploma, books and the small wooden box he’d taken from Fern Lake when he’d run. The apartment could belong to anyone.
One month left on the lease. He had until then to decide whether to renew or not. Until he decided what was next on his agenda, he couldn’t sign for another year. He loved being a cop. Hadn’t minded Narcotics until the asshole Paley had been made boss.
Pizza arrived. He set the box on the glass top of the coffee table, pulled a slice free and turned on the TV. Until he found a new path he was a man of leisure.
Thoughts of doing nothing made him swallow a huge bite. He had enough in the bank to last a year or so. His jaw clenched. Doing nothing wasn’t his style. He’d never just lazed about.
As he finished a second slice, a persistent buzz annoyed him. Not his cell or the burner phone. What the hell. Who would call on the land line? Only one person ever did. He dashed to the kitchen and grabbed the receiver of the wall phone.
He recognized the voice. Was she calling the way she always did on a major holiday or his birthday? “Aunt May, guess you remembered.”
She gasped. “I’d forgotten. Happy Birthday.”
Simon’s hand tightened on the receiver. He heard huskiness in her voice. Had she been crying? “What’s wrong?” The sound of her blowing her nose reached him.
“It’s Randy.”
What had his cousin done to make his aunt cry? There had been several calls from her over the years when Randy had been in trouble. “Tell me.”
“He was killed in an automobile accident last night.”
Simon wished he was close enough to offer her comfort. She’d always been strong and Randy had been her most troubled child. “When?”
“Around midnight.”
“He and his fiancé were on their way from dinner at the Club.”
Simon felt like he’d been kicked by a mule. A memory of the winding road from the building high on the hill outside Fern Lake flashed into view.
“Fiancée? What do you mean?”
Though he and his aunt had talked on Christmas Day, his cousin hadn’t been mentioned. Had he missed something? About two years ago, Randy had married Simon’s high school sweetheart. “I thought he was married.”
May cleared her throat. “He and Dana divorced seven months ago.” She sighed. “Their parting shouldn’t still upset me since he didn’t treat her nicely.”
Simon sucked in a breath. A dozen memories from the days when he’d lived at the Grantlan mansion crowded his thoughts. He shoved them away. Anything that happened back then would stay there. Moving forward was his style.
“Did he abuse her?” He couldn’t contain the question.
“Not in a physical way.” She paused. “His drinking and womanizing were painful for her. She received little support when she tried to get him to seek help. Robert didn’t approve of the marriage. Neither did Patricia.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Come for the viewing and stay for the funeral. There are things we need to discuss.”
Simon’s gut clenched. The small scars on his back itched. Randy was dead. Didn’t change any of Simon’s feelings toward most of the Grantlan family. He cared for Aunt May. His mother’s sister had welcomed him even though she hadn’t spoken to his parents since they’d eloped. After their deaths she’d insisted her husband give him a home.
He drew a deep breath. What new bomb would blow up his life? He’d resigned from a job he’d liked because he’d refused to obey Paley’s orders. Years ago he’d taken off because Dana had denied him what he’d wanted. He’d been an asshole that day. He groaned. Every time he reached a turning point he walked away. Move forward and don’t look back, he’d told himself. Would returning to Fern Lake be a mistake?
“Simon, are you there?”
“Will you come?”
He swallowed against the huge lump forming in his throat. He’d lived in the Grantlan mansion for eight miserable years. No day had passed without being told he wasn’t worthy of being part of the family. Only the huge fortune his aunt had inherited from her family had made her suited to become a Grantlan.
“I’m not sure I can take the time off.” His face burned but he couldn’t tell her he didn’t care about Randy. In fact he felt glad.
“I’m sure they’ll give you the days for a family funeral.”
Since there was no one to grant him leave, she was right. His own reluctance to retrace his tracks held him back.
“Simon, please. I’m afraid trouble is brewing.”
“What kind?”
“Patricia is out of control. She’s making wild accusations and spouting conspiracy theories. Said Dana sabotaged Randy’s car or Melanie grabbed the wheel. You know how close she and Randy were.”
“Can’t Robert control her?”
“He’s angry about something to do with the business. Keeps saying Randy picked a bad time to die.”
Is any time good? “Why?”
“I don’t know. He doesn’t discuss business with me. What if Dana comes to the funeral home? She and I have become friends. What if Patricia attacks her?”
He shouldn’t care but he did. Simon released the breath he held. He had no place to be. “I’ll come tomorrow.” Would he regret the decision?
“I’ll have your room prepared.”
“Don’t. I can’t stay there.” Thoughts of being in that house again brought a rush of acid into his throat. Ten years ago he’d vowed never to enter the Grantlan mansion again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Novel, Novella or Mixed Series #MFRWauthor

Some series only contain novels, others only novellas and some have both. Is there a reason to stick to one form or another. Part of that depends on the writer and maybe even the editor. There are some series that are editor driven and they may not have the same author for every story. Often these are novel series.

Only novella series are generally at the author's choice. Writing at this length seems comfortable for some people to have stories under 40,000 words in length but to have the characters have some connection with each other.

Why then, are there series that have both novel length stories and novellas? I know what has happened with me since I've attempted both kind of series. One set of novella stories worked very well. I still wonder about the other since I believe I complicated the plots too much. But that's the breaks. I know the fourth story in the grouping will be longer. But back to the point of mixing lengths in a series. There are some characters who visit the writers and their story isn't a long one but they belong in the series because of one of the reasons for writing a series. The location, the relationship to the other characters and the need to fill in some blank space in the development of a family or a group of friends.

The writer must choose the length of the stories in their series and the balance of stories. Writing is always a matter of making decisions.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration -- The Intimidation Factor #MFRWauthor

Just what is the intimidation factor? Something most writers suffer from. So let's look at just what it means.

We've all read some of the classics and wondered how they became known as classic works of fiction. So we aim to product something that's as wonderful as those. But we can't for we're not imitators. Sure, soem writers may steal a line here or one there. That doesn't lead to the intimidation factor. This is what happens.

The book you pick up to read may not be the next best seller, but something about the book hits a chord with you. You start thinking. "That story is so good. The writing is so wonderful. This is a book I wish I'd written."

While feeling this kind of envy is fine what many times happens with the next thought. "I'll never write anything as wonderful as book X,Y or Z." This is the truth or at least part of the truth. What it really means is you won't write that book or one similar to it. Well, maybe you will since often one book that startles everyone and ends on the best seller list brings lists of imitators. Sometimes a new sub-genre is born.

But what can happen is the writer can become intimidated by the success of others. The writer sets out to write a book just like the one they thought was so wonderful and thus become a victim of  the intimidation factor.

The moral of this bit is simple. While you may admire someone else's story write your won. You can't write that book that has become a best seller since someone already had. Write your own story and know it could also become a best seller.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Meander 1 - Boring books when one must read all or part of doesn't make me happy but I'm glad to do this for the organizations I'm part of. How many pages does one have to read before they are bored, bored, bored. I've heard it said three pages will either hook or turn off an editor. What about a reader? I've decided it's when the reader doesn't want to turn the page to read the next. So far for the past two conferences I've judged, I haven't found one book I'd want to move on to read to the end. Some almost made the cut. Oh, well, there will be another contest to be judged before long.

Meander 2 - Summer is drawing to an end, Actually there is another month of the season. My writing productivity always slows down during the summer and this is odd because there's little different about my routine during the summer months. Perhaps I'll figure this out one day.

Meander 3 - Writing on Toth's Priest is progressing but there are about eight or nine chapters that are proving stubborn to flow with the smoothness I want. I'll continue to hack at them until I discover a way to make them shine.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday - My Series - A Silken Seduction #MFRWauthor

This is the second of the Seduction Series and was fun to write. Megan's rules come crashing down when she's talked into picking up the magazine group's photographer at the airport. He's had an accident on a shoot and has a broken leg. She feels sorry for him and she also gets into some interesting situations when she agrees to help him until he can reach his sister. Of course, Steven wished his sister will stay away from the phone for a long time. The following is the blurb.

Megan had a set of life rules that she had to constantly remind herself of whenever Steve Morgan was around. From the time he’d come to work at the magazine, she’d wanted him in the worst kind of way. The problem was, she wanted forever and Steve only wanted for a while.

Megan is different from her sister, but lust has a way of turning into love.

Enjoyed writing about this magazine called Good Lookin' that explores clothes and all things beauty and also finding a great hero and bringing my heroine a love.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday's Excerpt from Somewhere Down The Line by Angela Drake #MFRWauthor


His skin was warm from the sun, and he smelled of Old Spice and coconut oil. Alana closed her eyes, letting the familiar scent of him surround her, and she knew the moment he leaned in to kiss her.
His lips brushed hers, just barely touching at first, moving back and forth in a lazy, mesmerizing pattern. Chills skittered along her spine as she moved her hands up to encircle his neck. She opened her mouth, inviting him in. She had waited a long time for this moment. She was finally kissing Trey Morison, kissing him deep and long and—
She felt him groan against her mouth as his tongue found hers, and the intensity of their hunger increased. Heat building within her, she laced her fingers in the hair brushing his collar and fought the urge to press herself into him, to feel the need she knew was swelling in him. She hadn’t planned on sleeping with him tonight, but she also hadn’t counted on the power of what they’d kept bottled up all these years.
He stopped. Suddenly pulling back, he turned from her, raking his fingers through his hair and leaning on the opposite counter. She saw the rise and fall of his chest as he struggled for air, but her breath wasn’t any steadier.
She went to the fridge and retrieved a bottle of water. Closing the door, she twisted the cap and took a long swallow. Then she went to stand next to Trey, rubbing her hand on his back.
He turned, his face etched with a pain she didn’t understand. She held out the bottle and thought for a second he was going to refuse; then he took the bottle and tilted his head, downing half the contents. Handing the container back, he seemed to study her for a moment before reaching out to finger the necklace.
“I can’t believe you still have this.” He rubbed his thumb over the heart pendant before letting it fall back into place. “That was the only thing I could do to show how much you meant to me, Ali.”


“It was a nice gesture.” She smiled sadly. “But I didn’t need a trinket, Trey. I’ve carried the memories with me every breathing moment. Even when I thought things were good between Don and I, you were always here.” She tapped her chest. “Of course, I didn’t have the courage to walk away from my family the way you did.”
“Courage didn’t have anything to do with it, Ali. If I’d had courage, I would not have left you behind that night. I was a coward. I couldn’t face Margie knowing how I felt about you. If she’d ever asked if I ever cheated on her, I’d have ended up quoting song lyrics. I did cheat on her, and on Debbie, if only in my mind. We were married, Ali. Just to the wrong people. I wish I could fix that for everyone involved.”

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday's How She Does It featuring Angela Drake #MFRWauthor

We all know there are six elements of fiction. Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. I believe the first five lead to the sixth which for me is plot. What's your take on this?
I agree. We have to touch on all of the basic elements to draw our readers into the story. But once we have them there, we have to give them a road to travel and that's where the plot comes in.
1.      How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific method?
I think about their heritage. Then unless a name calls to me, I start researching names in The Character Naming Sourcebook. That is my name Bible. Then I refer to the Chinese Zodiac to determine their charcteristics. If the characteristics I have in mind don't fit the profile I'm seeing in my mind, then I change their birthdate or order. I usually know their profession going in and it's quite interesting to see how everything seems to align as I begin writing.
2. Do your characters come before the plot?
I usually have at least one of the characters in mind, such as my upcoming Nano 2014 project. I knew he needed to be a firefighter and that the story would take place in coastal Maine - Boothbay Harbor area. From there the plot has begun to materialize. 
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
In a way. I always know there is a Happy Ever After. But I look forward to how they actually get there that makes me smile. 
4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around?
Locations come to me as easily as my characters. From there I start researching houses, local history, etc. For Somewhere Down the Line I knew the area. Although I'd never been until a couple of months ago, I knew the area because some of the singers/ songwriters/ musicians I promote are from the Austin area.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?
Mostly on-line, though I try to do as much on-sight research as I can. I need to absorb the essence of the locale if I can. I think that helps me make the setting more real for my readers. If I love the place, they will too. When I start playing with my historical series, I have a ton of books I've been collecting for the purpose.
6. Are you a draft writer or do you revise as you go along and why? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?
I write a rough draft. I want the story down on paper. I wrote the rough of Somewhere Down the Line in 18 days. I love when the story pours out of me. I just wish they all did. Though if I hit a stuck spot I've found going back through what I've previously written to be helpful, and I'll fix little things that catch my eye.
Most of the time I start with an outline and a time-line. There are key points that HAVE to happen to keep the story on track. But I always leave room for the characters to explore the path. Since most of my stories revolved around a holiday or at least a season, the time-line is important for keeping details straigh.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Rafe from Shattered Dreams by Janet Lane Walters

“Manon!” Rafe Marshall leaped from the examining table in time to catch her before she hit the floor. He cradled her against his chest. “Didn’t mean to scare you,” he whispered. Why did she think he was dead? He knew news of his accident had been kept quiet because the police believed he’d been deliberately forced off the road. Who had told her? Had the informant been the driver of the dark car his rescuer had seen speeding from the scene?
The citrus aroma of her shampoo brought memories of years ago when he had buried his face in her sunlit hair before they made love. His body responded to her presence and the sensual recollections. Thank heavens the gown was cloth. The urgent rise of his cock would have punctured paper.
Carefully, he placed her on the table. He stroked her face with his fingers and brushed his lips over hers. Any anger remaining from the past vanished beneath the heat of desire.
Manon was beautiful and his. The knowledge rung true. Even if she wouldn’t admit the strength of the bond, he knew. How could he explain why he’d taken so long to find her? Would she believe that any trace of her had vanished in Europe three years after she’d begun touring with her father?
He stepped back from the table. He had many things to tell her. Some of the revelations would cause anger, denial and pain. At this moment, he didn’t know where to begin. She wasn’t the teenage girl who had loved him. Had her love morphed into hate? He could handle that but not indifference.
Why hadn’t she answered the letters he’d written after the amnesia had cleared enough for him to remember her? Those notes had been sent months after her eighteenth birthday. Had she received the messages? That was one question he intended to ask. He needed to clear the past so he could move forward.
He had to tell her about the accident, the multiple injuries, the surgeries and the months of rehab. He wanted her to know though he’d left on their prom night, he’d decided to come for her after her eighteenth birthday.
Those days after the accident had been filled with frustration, especially after he remembered who he was and why he’d left Fern Lake. After discharge from rehab, he’d stayed for several months in his step-grandmother’s house and then her vacation cottage. No one had known he was in town. The suspicions surrounding the accident had forced he and Gran to keep news of the accident a secret. Besides, Manon had left for Europe. He wondered how she had escaped her father’s plans for her life.
Manon opened her eyes. Blue-gray like the waters of the lake on a cloudy day. As she sat up, a flush spread across her face reminding him of a younger Manon.
Rafe watched her slid from the table. Her dark blue skirt slid over her thighs. He held in a groan of regret. Shame to cover those incredible legs. A moment of memory of her legs wrapped around his hips flared. He couldn’t repress a groan.
“Did you hurt yourself catching me?”
“I’m fine. That wasn’t the way I intended to greet you. I should have had your nurse warn you.”
Manon shrugged. “She must have had reasons for keeping quiet. She didn’t put your name on the intake sheet. A warning wouldn’t have helped.”
Rafe stared at the way her chest moved when she took a deep breath. Was she reacting to his presence the way he reacted to hers? There was no way to learn. Her lab coat acted as a barrier.
“Told her not to mention my name.” He looked away. “Maybe next time.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She reached for the chart. “She’ll hear from me.”
“Don’t blame her. Told her I was an old friend you haven’t seen for years and wanted to surprise you.”
“You did that. Why are you here?”
He grinned. “After losing track of your existence, I heard you were in town. I always though you’d found someone in Europe and married. You disappeared.” He met her gaze. “Where’s your father?”
“He died in January.” She turned away. “I stayed on the concert tour for three years. Those were the most miserable of my life.”
“How did you escape?”
“On my twenty-first birthday, I gained control of the money my mother left me. I came back to the states and enrolled in college using her maiden name.” She strode to the counter and opened the folder. “Enough about me. I’d like the nurse practitioner at Employee’s Health to do your physical and for you to find another physician. I’ll give you several names.”
“How can you ask that?”
Thoughts of her hands on his body sent a rush of blood to his groin. “Wouldn’t embarrass me. You’ve seen me in the raw.”
Her face flamed. Her shoulders straightened. “That was in the past and will stay there.”
“We need to talk about that time. There are facts you should know.”
She turned toward the door. “There’s nothing you can tell me I don’t know.” She glared. “What job are you applying for? Maintenance?”
Rafe laughed. “I start tomorrow as CNO, better known as director of nursing. Actually, I’ll be working with Gran Ruth, uh, Mrs. Patton until September.”
Her reaction startled him. “Men can be nurses just as women can be doctors.”
“I know that. What made you decide to become a nurse?”
“An accident. Happened the night I left.” Did she believe he had remained that teenager more in tune with motorcycles than with people? “Gran plans to retire and she recommended me. Since I was finishing my doctorate and a consulting job, I had a Skype interview and was hired.”
Manon whirled. “Haven’t you heard?”
“About what?”
“This morning Mrs. Patton was admitted with angina. We’re monitoring her condition and ordering tests.”
He slid from the table. “How is she? Is this an emergency?”
“She’s stable.”
“Why wasn’t I notified? I’m her emergency contact.” He had been since he’d come to live with her on the day his mother had left.
Manon frowned. “I was busy stabilizing her. I’m sure one of the nurses made the call. Emma said all her attempts to reach you to change your appointment went to voice mail.”
He reached for his jeans and extracted the phone. “Damn. Forgot to charge. Are you sure she’s stable?”
Manon leaned against the door. “I wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t. She’ll be undergoing a few tests so we can determine what’s going on. Why don’t I give you the list of doctors and notify the nurse practitioner you’ll be in tomorrow for the physical. Get dressed and I’ll handle matters.”
Though he wanted to see Gran Ruth, her illness changed matters. Tomorrow he had to be ready to work. He returned to the table. “I need to be cleared for tomorrow.”
“Check with the nurse practitioner. If anything she’ll come back to do the exam.”
“Why bother her when I’m here? One thing I remember is the physical must be completed before starting to work.”
Manon scowled. She closed the door and walked to the counter. “I’ll do an EKG, the EENT exam, check your blood pressure and your lungs. If I discover any problems I’ll have to refer you.”
“Whatever works.” Thoughts of having her near stirred his cock. The flush on her face convinced him she had noticed. Though she acted like an ice maiden, he believed with luck he could warm her.
Her gray-blue eyes flashed with anger. “Why did you return?”
“For a job.”
“Is that the only reason or are you back to show everyone you’ve become a responsible adult?”
“I’m here so Gran can retire and not worry about what happens at the hospital.”
He had another goal. Until he and Manon discussed the false reports of his death and his reasons for leaving so abruptly, he couldn’t tell her why he’d returned. He wanted her in his life. He wanted to know why she hadn’t answered his letters or if she had even received them. Though he ached to kiss and pleasure her until she cried his name, he would wait.
Manon stepped toward the table. “I’ll make this quick since I think you should head to the hospital. I’m sure Mrs. Patton is worried about your non-appearance.”
“After the exam I’ll visit Gran and come back for you.” He smiled. “We’ll ride to Fern Lake and recapture memories.”
“In your dreams.”
Her scent flowed toward him. He tamped the urge to kiss her, this time with desire. He would show her his need to possess her and find the future they deserved. Before that happened, she needed to know why he’d left. The story might cause anger and denial but he had to speak.
Manon approached. He braced not to react to the sensations evoked by her scent of her hands on his skin.