Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - Freedom and Limitations #MFRWauthor

"Don't you wish..." As a writer, sometimes one starts to wonder what would happen if I had complete freedom to hide away and do nothing but write? What would happen if there were no limitations?

If there weren't limitations we probably wouldn't write. One has to have the desire to weave words to paint pictures. But if one didn't have to steal time to write or to even dream up the plans. I've heard people say hwo they envy writers and who feel they could do the same if they had time, I doubt they will because they can't embrace their limitations and find those moments when they can.

Limitations can be a number of things. There are writers who have demanding jobs, who have families with young children or older ones who need their attention. There are all kind of limitations but these writers don't stop writing. They find those moments or they use the moments stolen to think and to plan a story.

Think of the writer who has written a book that becomes a massive best-seller, but that person never writes another story. Why? They have the freedom to create but the limitation of having no money or time or whatever pushed them to write is gone. Instead of looking for another limitation they use their freedom in a sad kind of way.

Another way of having freedom is to retire from the daily job, have the children leave home. Many people then suddenly find themselves without that limitation to goad them to write. What happens is often nothing. So when freedom beckons, find a new set of limitations. Wishing for total freedom is a dream that could turn into a nightmare.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters

Meander 3 - going to do this backwards today. Sort of like a count down to the main event. Working on revisions on an old story and that's going well. Should have it finished close to the end of next month. The amount of change in the medical field since I first wrote the book amazes me. And not that much happens at the hospital in the story but really like Michael and Zelda.

Meander 2 - Am thinking about gathering all my books together in one place and will be working on that as the months fly past. Then life may be less complicated.

Meander 3- Book Signings - If I sell one book, the signing will be a success. A friend and great writer told me this and that's what I always think about before I go to a signing.
    Join HVRWA members signing books on Saturday Oct.4 from 12 to 3 PM at http://www.palaiavineyards.com/

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday - Talking About My books Moon Summoned #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Initially I was going to write a trilogy but found that I needed to wind the story of these three women together. The story began with a dream, a newspaper article and my love of medicine. This story uses part of a myth about the three stages of a woman, the young woman cast here as a warrior, the mother figure who is a healer and the crone who became the seeker of justice.

The dream was of an old woman who had been a patient and her husband had just died. They'd been married for 60 years, had no children and she mentioned how she wanted to die. The article was about a gymnast who nearly became a wheelchair person after a fall. And the medicine goes back to my nursing.

The story unwound from there and developed until bringing the three heroes, three heroines and three villains together for a magical battle that rather exhausted me to write. Writing action usually does that to me. But writing fantasy was fun for me. I've read fantasy for years and enjoy putting my won twist when I develop my worlds. Building worlds is fun.

Three Moon Summoned women. Ashiera the Seer who controls the winds and sees into the thoughts of others. Dian the Warrior who controls fire and fights with the sword. Egeria the Healer who controls fluids and heals those who are injured. They are joined in their battle by Sieper a sailor who knows the winds, Kobe once sworn to the Lord of Shadows and Jetan a healer of animals. These three vow to help the three women against those sworn to Evil.
Lugal the Cabal reads the winds and thoughts. Sargon the Gladius controls fire and the armies of the Lord of Shadow. Lugal the Cabal has knowledge of herbs and uses them for evil. These three with their cohorts will face the three and three sworn to the Mistress of the Moons.

If you want to read more about how three dying women are summoned by the moon and are given new life, shared and integrated by three women of a world beyond time and space.

Moon Summoned   

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Juliet Waldron #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

ANGEL’S FLIGHT ~ A Revolutionary War Historical Romance
Forced to trust a mystery man who pledges to escort her on a dangerous war-time journey up river to her Albany home, Angelica expects to encounter brigands, Tories and Indians. What she doesn’t expect is to lose her heart along the way.
ROAN ROSE ~ English Medieval/Wars of Roses 
Loyalty Binds her! From childhood, maid-servant Rose bears witness to the passions, betrayals, battles and the reversals of fortune which shape Lady Anne Neville’s life—and, for better or for worse--her own.
RED MAGIC ~ Historical romance/fantasy
 Forced to marry a man she despises, Caterina, an impulsive, horse-mad teen, must grow up fast. Abduction, adventure, and a touch of magic, change this rebellious girl into an adored and adoring wife.
MY MOZART ~ Companion to Mozart’s Wife
Mozart was her teacher, her mentor, her rescuer--and, finally, fatally, her lover. A tragic and passionate love story, set in 18th Century Vienna.
HAND-ME-DOWN BRIDE ~ 19th Century traditional romance
Sophie agrees to marry a wealthy older man in far off America. Less than twenty-four hours after she arrives in German’s Mill, Pennsylvania, events take a stranger turn than anything she had imagined.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday's Guest Juliet Waldron - Talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

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 prefer historical to everything else, although I’ve tried my hand at S/F a few times. Something to do with Time, I guess—one way or the other. I’ve never tried to plot a murder story or a police procedural, but probably because I’ve never done the research homework necessary. The “semi-biographical” is my favorite form of historical, because the plot is already constructed for you. That form also has burdens, too. Chief among them is that you really, really must immerse in your subject’s life. That means mentally swallowing a mountain of research followed by a long digestion period in which you assemble the character from all the bits you’ve collected.   

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

Heroines, hands down! Once again for me, the easy way—write what you know. I’m female, and that’s my experience of life. Strong women fascinate me as our sex has always been swimming against the societal tide. It’s still, in so many ways, a man’s world, and to be rewarded as a woman, just like the old saw, you must be “twice as smart and twice as fast” as the men against whom you compete.  Not that I’m one of these superwomen. My bold and brave heroines, I’ve begun to suspect, are a form of wish-fulfillment. 

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?

Heroes can be a pain sometimes, especially when writing romantic fiction. To some extent, these are dream guys, so they aren’t allowed to have a lot of faults. Pardon me, but they can’t fart in bed, like real men sometimes do. I have taken up the practice of studying pictures, although contemporary fashions in “good looks” aren’t the same as those in the past, so the reader and I sometimes have a conflict of interest there. I’m currently writing a fantasy historical, however, in which the hero is the chief narrator, so there’s an exception to every rule. This charming guy, BTW, ‘came first,’ long before the plot, so in a very real sense, he’s the center of this story.

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?

In romantic fiction, I often use pictures (and astrology) to build a heroine and to instantly give her a shape. When I wrote Roan Rose, a medieval historical set in the now mega-popular English Wars of Roses period, I decided that instead of using the obvious narrator, one of the doomed royal principals, I’d use a fictional woman. She would be a ‘body servant’ who would naturally be—not a social equal, but, nevertheless, an intimate. Rose, an insider, could relate a “downstairs” view of events. She appeared with freckles, so many freckles that when she displeases her masters, they call her names like “spotted cow.” She’s definitely a girl with attitude.
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?

It’s a tough job, making the bad guy a little more than a cardboard cut-out, particularly, again, in romantic fiction, which has certain conventions a writer must follow. I’d prefer to write stories in which people just are people, with good and bad mixed together, the kind who make enough messes just by themselves without some deadly exterior antagonist to cause trouble and plot twists. It’s helpful, though, to imagine a villain as someone who practices one of the seven deadly sins. That’s ‘human’ as all get-out! In a romance, first choices are lust, envy and greed, with drunkenness, avarice and hubris running close behind.  

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

Black Magic should be released in October. It’s a sequel to a book I never originally imagined would have one. The first, Red Magic, is historical/romance with fantasy elements, but the second book is more ‘creature-feature’ with a shape-shifting hero and villainous vampire with a long memory and a grudge. The love interest never really jelled, so perhaps, with the addition of sufficient Marvel-type bone-crunching and wrong-righting, this one treads closer to fantasy. The hero is one of a pair of noble twins born at the end of Red Magic. Handsome, disillusioned Goran von Hagen returns to a family estate after a decade of Napoleonic Warring to embark upon the life of an ordinary country gentleman. This definitely does not happen. 

7. What are you working on now?

What next? Another Magic character has already begun talking to me, as well as another of Sophie’s German sisters for a sequel to the Pennsylvania set Hand-me-Down Bride. I have an immense semi-biographical ‘drawer baby’ (as they were once called) about Alexander Hamilton and his wife, which I must polish. Note to self: Must, per Nora Roberts, get “fanny in chair.”

Thanks so much to Janet Walters, for such a kind invitation to blog on her excellent site!

8. How can people find you?

            Website http://www.julietwaldron.com

            Blog  http://yesterdayrevisitedhere.blogspot.com/

            Twitter  (Haven’t yet made it into the 21st Century.)

            Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/jwhistfic

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Seth from Horu's Choice by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Though Horu's Chosen isn't out, the book is available for pre-order on Amazon. Come and visit with Seth and see why he has to make the choice to leave his life here.

Seth slumped in the subway seat and shielded his face with a newspaper. Of all the luck. He was on his way to a meet with his handler and he didn’t want to be recognized. With care he moved the tabloid to study Tira. Panic showed in her expression. Perspiration dotted her forehead. Her tee shirt bore dirty smudges. She snatched a piece of paper from the seat beside her and seemed to study the words. As the car slid into the third stop she jumped to her feet and followed the crowd.
Another bit of bad luck. His stop, too. Just before the doors started to close he jumped out and headed up the stairs. When he reached the surface he searched and saw her running across the street. She entered the coffee shop. Strike three. That was the site of his meet.
Damn. Not a good idea to go inside. He would be late but late was better than made. Not that he didn’t trust Tira, but Ramos wanted her and the drug dealer had ways of making people talk. Tira’s sister had been a user and seller. Luci had angered Ramos by not paying what she owed and stealing drugs.
Seth slipped into a dark doorway and waited. Five minutes. Ten. At the fifteen minute mark Tira exited and stopped to use her phone. Moments later she dropped something on the sidewalk and hurried away.
Seth dashed forward and picked up the paper and read.
            Life got you down? Have unsolved problems?
            Looking for an escape? The answer is in your stars.
            A counselor is available night and day.
            Dial 1- 800- 555- ASTR
He read the paragraph again. Truth or scam? Had this piece of paper lured Tira into danger? Should he follow her? He frowned and peered down the street. She had vanished. When he’d warned her not to go home, he’d done more than he should have. But he liked her and knew she’d done nothing wrong. Her sister’s murder had put Tira in danger. The cops would have questioned and released her. Then Ramon would have stepped in. Seth hoped she had a safe place to hide. Holding this thought close he tucked the flyer in his pocket and entered the coffee shop.
As he slipped into the rear booth his handler glared. “You’re late.
“Better late than identified.”
Bob Tolena rubbed his hand over his receding hairline. “What?”
“The girl who just left the shop was Luci Gray’s sister.”
“And you let her get away?”
Seth shrugged. He grabbed the cup of coffee and drained the bitter brew hoping a caffeine jolt would unclog his head. If he didn’t get some rest soon he would make a fatal mistake.
The waitress arrived and refilled his cup. She slammed a plate with a burger and fries in front of Seth. He glanced at the older man. “Yours?”
“Not. Eat. You look like hell.”
As soon as the waitress left, Seth looked up. “That lead to Ramos is dead. What now?”
“If you see that young woman, have her picked up.”
“Why? She’s innocent.”
“Don’t you think someone official should make that call? No matter. We’ll keep an eye on her.” The older man slid a piece of paper across the table. “There’s some new info surfacing. You still have an in at that church-run community center?”
“Sure.” Seth picked up the burger and took a bite. How much longer could he continue undercover? For two years he had slunk through the alleys passing information to his handler. Three drug busts based on what he’d learned had gone down. But the bosses wanted more and more. Ramos would be the biggest.
Seth’s hands shook. Would he ever see the end? He felt older than his twenty-five years. “I want out.”
“Not yet. You’re young. Hang in there for another year or two. About the center, Ramos is sniffing around.”
The burger dropped to the plate. A year was too long. So was a month. He hadn’t gone to the academy or joined the force for this secretive life.
Bob clamped a hand on Seth’s wrist. “You’re good at this. Pete would be proud of what you’ve accomplished.”
Seth rose. He felt sick. “I’ll let you know if I hear anything.”
By bus and on foot he made his way to one of his hidey holes. He stretched on the bed and slept.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Series - Bringing Something New #MFRWauthor

Series often have the same character or characters. Revealing how these characters change and grow is important. To have the characters remain the same can make the reader wonder why since people in real life often change. Changes can happen in many ways and show these characters can move forward one step at a time. Sometimes during a series a clue in the first of the books or something just thrown in there for effect can be sued later to show a change in the character.

One way to show a character changing would be to move them to a different location, one where they become a stranger exploring a strange land. During this change in venue the character chan show changes that will show up in later things.

Making a change in an existing relationship can give new depth to the series character can show the character maturing and growing in a new way, Bringing in a new character for interaction with the main character of characters can bring a change.

A lesson learned is also a way to show the series character changing and developing. The lesson should be what's learned in the last book in the series brought into the next.

For the writer, keeping a list or something showing how they want the character to change and develop can be a help. Having a great memory is another. Sometimes a series develops when the writer has no intention of turning the character into a series character. When this happens, there could be make the reader wonder what happened.

I write series where the characters are the same. One is easy to show the characters changing since they begin in their early teens and end up in their late teens. The other is a character who has a well-developed nature when the series begins. Changing venues and relationships are the keys here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - Because I must #MFRWauthor

Often the question is asked, Why do you write? The answer is simple. Because I must. This disease can catch a person at any time in their life. Many writers decide this at a young age. For me I was a dabbler as a child and it was later when I really knew writing was a must.

I have friends who were great writers. Friends who began writing and writing but suddenly they gave up. They always said I want to be a writer. Want isn't enough. I've watched them give up and put their writing away. The other day I was talking to a friend, one who gave up and might even try again. She thought she didn't try hard enough but that wasn't it. She didn't have this part of her that means she has to write. I hope she gets that inspiration and writes because she must.

So, why do you write. Fame is fleeting. Money comes and goes. Desire can fade. So if there's nothing else you can say other than I must. It's nice to have people read your words and if you're one of those who write because they must the day will come for you. So join the company of those who can think of little else than putting words on paper and creating stories.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Meander 1 There are two new kind of romance books I really can't find an interest in. New Adult and Old Adult. I am old so perhaps the first one mentioned makes sense that I don't understand. Part of my problem with New Adult is that the characters haven't lived long enough to have developed much. Becoming interesting to me takes time and development, just like life. I also wonder when some of these stories head toward the erotic, do they make sense since books are often bought by those younger than the heroes and heroines. Now for the Old Adult story. I really can't find much to identify with with people in their sixties and upward having sex and having it explode on the pages. For me old age is the time for seeing the results of the past life. Yes, they can find love but what they really need to do is make peace with their life not start on new adventures. When I read romance I want fantasy not reality or non-reality.

Meander 2 - Had an interesting problem solved in less than twenty-four hours. I had once done my own print version of a book and then my publisher decided to do the same. On Amazon somehow the only way the book could be ordered was by the ISBN. That's the only way I could find the book. The other version came up as the one to buy. So I emailed and yes the books were separated from each other. I also went on to the other space and put it so the books could now be ordered we'll see if it works.

Meander 3 Am having fun re-writing an old book where the title will change if I can reach my goal of 10% new material. One of the things I'm going through is getting rid of the passive voice. Though that doesn't add words it does make for a more powerful read. Of course this is a fun story but I have found 4 scenes that should have been there in the original story. Now sure why I didn't see that then but nearly 15 years ago I was a different writer and being a writer means learning things anew. That's what I'm doing. I'm also trying to decide how to gather all my books in the same place. That may take a bit of time and there are two I don't think I can move. Time will tell.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday, Looking at my books - Choices by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Suspense #BooksWeLove

Choices was begun as a sequel to a book that had been published but then the line changed. I had just four chapters written and put it aside. Not only because I wasn't sure where to send the book but also I had written myself to the point where I didn't know where the story was going. The heroine originally was in her fifties and had never been married or had much to do with men. Not a great start for a romance.

When I went back and looked at it, I realized I did like the heroine but I'd made her much too old. She now became the Director of Nursing at the hospital where she'd worked since graduating. I gave her an old affair with a doctor who used ehr and walked away, a college sweetheart who couldn't stand the fact that she had a sister who was mentally challenged. I also wanted to put a bit of intrigue into the story. The villain of the story became the hospital's CEO who wanted to destroy the nurse's union by forcing a strike. Not only that but he wanted to farm many of the hospital services such as food services and cleaning to companies used by friends of his.

Now I had that part of the plot so I needed to give the heroine a romance. In a way I gave her two. She rescues a kitted and nearly gets hit by a car. She's rescued by the owner of a local bar/restaurant. He is a widower with grown children and he finds her sad and fascinating. Then back into her life comes the old college flame who has an anemia and he regrets walking away from her. He's divorced. To add a complication here, his nephew is the hospital's CEO.

The story was fun to write and some of the things I put in the book I found in newspaper articles after I'd written the book and it was published. Life can sometimes imitate fiction.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday's Blurbs featuring books by Kat Attalla #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

With oil wells springing up like weeds and the Bedouins getting restless, what's a modern Nadiarian prince to do?

Before he can deal with domestic issues Prince Yousef A’del Sharif must deal with the arrival if his college sweetheart, Honor McPherson. Their passionate affair lasted through his year of graduate school at Harvard. But when it came time to return to the oil-rich nation, Honor wasn’t ready to follow. He took her reluctance for rejection and they parted ways.
One year later Honor hesitantly touches down in Nadiar to be with her ailing father, who works for the royal family. And she has reason to be nervous. Yousef left her with more than a broken heart. She has his son. Yousef is livid and wants revenge. But to insure his parental rights with the child, he must instead convince her to marry him by any means necessary.
But can he win over her heart when he played on her deepest fears to make her stay?

Prince Samir A’Del Sharif is a sexy, sarcastic, bad boy and more trouble than ultraconservative Delilah Jordan has ever known

When she was a child, Delilah Jordan’s Nadiarian father signed a marriage contract from his deathbed to ensure his daughter’s future. Her outraged American mother whisks her back to the states and never says a word. Years later she discovers that the contract was never dissolved. Shocked, but sure her husband will not want to be married either she set out for Nadiar to end her inconvenient marriage. She doesn't count on her attraction to her husband.
Prince Samir A’Del Sharif is also stunned to discover that the marriage is still valid. The last thing the cynical playboy wants is a wife-- even if she is a sensual beauty. Honor bound by a promise made to her hero-father, he cannot give her the quiet divorce she seeks. If she convinces her family to allow him out of the arrangement he will grant her request. But after waiting twenty years for the return of her granddaughter the matriarch of the family will never agree to anything that takes Delilah away from them again.
As they work tirelessly to prove just how unsuited they are they keep stumbling over their undeniable attraction. But can the inconvenient marriage turn into a lifetime of love?

He is no Prince Charming.

With seven older brothers, Rashid Mansour Khalid, black sheep of the ruling family of Touzar will never ascend to the throne. Just as well because the former mercenary has no interest in a royal life. After four years in Afghanistan, he moves to Boston and provides private security to diplomats. His new client-- the king of neighboring Nadiar. Assignment-- provide security for Princess Mona. The catch-- don't let her know she is being protected while she attends graduate school in Boston.
She is not your average Princess.

Mona A’Del Sharif led a sheltered existence. She wants to finish her education in The States while having a typical American experience; sharing an apartment with roommates and working a part-time job. However, she isn’t looking for romance, especially from a sexy alpha-male like Rashid. He insists that because they share similar cultures that he will watch over her.
When a romantic relationship develops, Mona battles with her conscience. She knows what is expected of her as a Nadiarian princess and it does not include losing her heart and soul to a working class man. Falling for the client wasn’t part of Rashid’s plan either. But will she be relieved or shattered when she learns he hasn’t been honest about who and what he is?

AVALABLE FROM BOOKS WE LOVE wherever books are sold

On the eve of a yearlong transfer to Singapore, fabric designer Caitlin Adams threw caution to the wind. Spending a soulful night in the arms of sexy Andrew Sinclair made her want to put hard-won cynicism aside and believe in dreams of a future together. Until she discovered Andrew had lied to her about their chance encounter. A year later, only her cherished baby's face was a reminder of the man she was still trying to forget.
Falling for a spirited woman like Caitlin was the last thing hard-headed businessman Andrew Sinclair meant to do, especially after she'd stormed out of his hotel room before he could explain himself. Now she's back in The States, and he's determined to be a father to their child, even if it means filing a custody suit to get her attention.
Desperate to avoid a legal battle, Caitlin’s only choice is to agree to live in his house for six months-time enough for him to bond with his son. But Andrew is about to learn that love can't be negotiated unless he's willing to make his heart part of the bargain.

When an independent, blue-blooded heiress is placed in protective custody with a controlling, blue collar cop, the sparks fly.

Detective Wolf Krieger blames himself for his partner’s death. Since then, he has trusted nobody: Not his new partner and certainly not himself. Wolf is assigned the job of protecting a witness who has received deaths. He should be on the streets investigating, not stuck in some penthouse, babysitting an heiress. Especially one with brains, beauty and a body that could tempt a saint onto the road to sin.
 Kelsey Winston is not your average heiress. A short and very bitter marriage to a violent man shattered her opinion of the male species. And the dark, brooding detective assigned to protect her, is not likely to change her point of view. Wolf is determined to keep a cool distance. Her defiant attitude fosters his belief that she is a spoiled princess. His assignment is to keep her safe, and he will do his job his way, whether she likes it or not.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Kat Attalla is talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #Suspense #BooksWeLove

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

I write both contemporary romance and romantic suspense. And while I read all genres those are my two favorites. One genre that I particularly enjoy reading is techno-thrillers but I would never attempt to write one. I'm not sure I would be willing to take on horror either.

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

I think my favorites are the heroines. I like them spunky with attitude and a little sarcastic. A lot like me. My heroes are alpha males. I was married for 30 years to a beta man and I wouldn't change it for the world but our great romance would not be a page turning book. I think the villains come hardest to me. I don't think or at least I don't want to think that there is Evil. Even villain has a story. But then in the end I end up making them too sympathetic.

 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 think that the most important thing about a hero is that your reader falls in love with him by the end of the book. I usually have an idea for the plot first. Then I choose the hero. I like them strong, flawed and oozing with sexuality

 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?

Once I have an idea of who the hero is I imagine the exact opposite to pair him up with. I heard once that if your hero is a firefighter your heroine should be a pyromaniac. A bit extreme but it makes the point. External conflict is easy to create but internal conflict comes from the characters. They need to be at odds with each other to carry the book.

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?

I have gotten a lot of my story ideas from the news or just from observing like around me. My latest works have been novellas in the series I titled Married to a Prince. They are all set in fictitious countries in the Middle East where the alpha male rules. A smart and ambitious woman who is aware of what she wants and knows how to get it, matches wits with the man who says "not me."  Usually the stories do not involve villains. Probably the biggest issues are the cultural differences.

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

 My latest release is The Prodigal Prince. Rashid is the black sheep of the ruling family who walked away from his title. Mona is the princess of a neighboring country who wants to study abroad without the constraints of palace bodyguards. The hero is hired by her father, the king, to protect her but never let her know that she is being watched.

7. What are you working on now?

My current work in process is a story between the older brother of the hero in the Prodigal Prince and former roommate of the princess, a feminist with a tragic past.  Despite their opposite beliefs an undeniable attraction has them agreeing to a no strings pure sex relationship. The villain of the story is not so much a person but the paparazzi who find hunting Royals a popular sport and a huge conflict for a woman hoping to prove herself as an equal when they are determined to paint her as no more than a mistress.

 8. How can people find you?
www.kathrynattalla.com  website
Facebook Kathryn Butti Attalla

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday's Hero - Kashe from Bast's Warrior by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Kashe of Mero sat on his bed in his chamber of the family compound. His head pounded. When he opened his eyes he saw the day had progressed into late afternoon. The bright light made him wince. He recalled the past night’s celebration for the retirement of the family’s arms master who had been his mentor and friend. From the Tuten he had learned the skills of a warrior. Last night Kashe had finally defeated his mentor with weapons and a capacity for beer.

“Kashe.” His father’s voice stabbed like a dagger.

He groaned and sat up. The drum in his head banged. Leave me alone, he wanted to shout. The Nomarch of Mero’s anger toward his middle son was nothing new. What did he want now?
As second son Kashe had been marked for the priesthood. He had no desire to become a priest. He found satisfaction in his role as a warrior. Yet, duty called for obedience.

If any other temple had been chosen he might have agreed. He had no taste for this newly risen cadre of men seeking to force their god into the circle of goddesses and gods of the Two Lands. Aken Re had been unknown until the invaders had arrived. The army of those men had been defeated so why did their priests linger?

The beaded curtain jangled adding cacophonic notes to the beating in his head. “Answer me.” The nomarch entered and halted at the foot of Kashe’s bed. “Rise and present yourself in the central hall. We have guests. Your older brother has news of importance.”

Kashe groaned. He and Pian were a year apart in age and generations in philosophy. In embracing the new religion, His brother had seen an advantage for bringing his ambitions to fruition. He believed the priests would smooth his path to the pharaoh’s chair.

Kashe sat on the edge of the bed and considered his brother and his plans. Pian was slender and shorter than Kashe. He fit the picture of an ideal pharaoh in appearance but not in character. He was cruel and selfish. His sense of justice and honor were lacking. He had no love for Kashe. 

“Throwback” was the mildest of the names Pian used as needles to jab his younger brother. Kashe had strengths his brother lacked. Every match on the training field had ended with Kashe as the victor.

He rose. He couldn’t help that in stature and build he resembled the Nubian ancestors his father and older brother chose to forget in their desire for power. If Pian became pharaoh the Nomarch of Mero would become his son’s chief advisor.

“Are you coming?” his father asked.

If he said no who knew what would happen. Kashe stretched. “As soon as I wash and dress.” Though he would rather have bathed he would make do here. He glanced in the polished metal mirror. His warrior’s braid was neat enough. He poured water from a pitcher into a basin and washed. After donning a fresh kilt he fitted wrist and arm bands and selected a collar necklace.As he left the family sleeping quarters he braced for the evening meal, the main one of the day. He entered the central hall and hid a desire to duck behind one of the pillars. On the dais his parents sat with a pair of priests. Their gold medallions glittered in the torch light. His older brother stood before the men.

As Kashe neared the platform he noticed the robes were embroidered with gold-rayed discs representing their god. The pair were opposites. One was rotund, smiling and fluttering his hands while speaking. The other was lean with a hawk-like nose and a somber expression. Kashe noticed his younger brother lingered in the shadows near the dais. If anything was to be learned Namose would know.

The nomarch gestured. He strode past his sisters who were engaged in a board game and gossip. 

When Pian’s voice took on a tone both servile and arrogant Kashe grimaced.

“My lords, Oris and Hebu, beloved of Aken Re, has the daughter been found? I so desire to look in her face and claim her as my chief wife. The honor you offer humbles me.”

The rotund priest’s smile broadened. “As yet we have not found her, but the signs point to where she is hidden. When the auspicious hour arrives we will claim her.” He turned from Pian to the nomarch. “You know the price.”

The nomarch pointed to Kashe. “My lords of Aken Re, this is my middle son. He is skilled with weapons and has a vast knowledge of strategy. He will enter your temple as a priest.”

Both men studied Kashe. Their gazes moved from his head to his feet. Embarrassment and shame over the avidity of their appraisal made him flush. He was not some piece of livestock or a slave to be purchased. A cauldron of anger bubbled.

Oris rubbed his fleshy hands. “Indeed, he is magnificent.”

The thin priest’s eyes narrowed. He addressed his companion in an unfamiliar language. “Nomarch, he will do nicely,” he added.

Kashe wanted to rub his arms to ward off a sudden chill, but he wouldn’t allow the pair to see his distaste and fear. He kept his gaze steady and examined the thin priest. Hebu’s eyes were serpent-like, dull and flat. Kashe’s hands formed fists. Though Oris had been named as the chief priest, his companion was the more dangerous of the pair. Another thing became clear. Hebu belonged to the defeated enemy. Kashe had heard that language from a prisoner his father had brought to the compound as a slave.

Oris nodded. “He will be the perfect battle leader for our men.”

Pian made a face. “He will be yours when I become pharaoh.”

The nomarch shook his head. “He will be theirs when I decree.”

Kashe drew a deep breath. “Father, I beg you to change your mind. I have no desire to serve in any temple. I’m no scholar and have no knowledge of portents and omens. I’ve no wish for easy living or in having my days ordered by rituals that allow no freedom.” He turned to leave.

His father grasped his arm. “You will obey. Your sacrifice will undo all your willfulness and the shame your tainted heritage has brought to me. When this new moon completes the cycle you will enter the temple of Aken Re.

Though he remained until the evening meal ended his thoughts centered on finding a way to escape his father’s command. He had to leave home, but where would he go? He listened to his father, older brother, and the priests as they made plans. Finding the missing daughter of the last pharaoh was their goal. The priests sought her. So did his father. The one who found her first would control the future of the Two Lands.

As soon as the meal ended Kashe retreated to his sleeping chamber. He had no desire to listen as more schemes were hatched and scenarios developed. He thought of escaping to his favorite beer house, but not tonight. The entourage accompanying the priests was quartered on the roof of the house and in the garden. He had no desire to have his departure noted.

He parted the beaded curtain and strode into his chamber. A pile of scrolls stood on the low table. He opened one and crushed the thin papyrus sheet. “The Ways of Aken Re, the True and Only God.”
Distaste curved his mouth into a scowl. He wanted to burn the scrolls or slash them to shreds. Not a good idea, he decided. Know your enemy. His mentor had repeated those words until they were engraved in Kashe’s mind. Though Tuten had meant this advice for contests of arms Kashe believed they applied to his current situation. He would read the scrolls, but not tonight. The crescent moon didn’t provide enough light. Neither would the saucer lamp. He retired to bed for a night’s sleep filled with dreams he wanted to forget.

For two days Kashe read. The contents of the scrolls disgusted him. The priests of Aken Re had diluted and twisted the teachings of the temples of the Two Lands and skewed them to fit their version of the world. They intended to make their god supreme. There were tales in the scrolls telling how Aken Re had defeated the ancient goddesses and gods of the Two Lands, major and minor and eaten their essences.

He finished the last scroll. What now? Did the rotund priest intend to remain here until the moon ended? The serpent-eyed one had vanished. Most of the entourage was now housed near the river. The departure of the strangers had relieved some of Kashe’s fears. Not all, for he had no plan to escape the fate his father had decreed.

With a scowl he scooped the scrolls and carried them to the west loggia. There, he dumped them in a heap on one of the low tables. As he neared his chamber he heard two of the slaves speaking. Their gossip made him smile. The remaining priest planned to leave in two or three days.

Kashe returned to his chamber and went to the window. When a large hawk landed on the sill he stepped back. He stared at the avian. The bird made no attempt to attack. he held out his arm. The hawk dropped a scroll and an amulet that landed on the floor with a click. The avian settled on Kashe’s wrist cuff. He stared into its eyes.

“Horu,” Kashe said.

The hawk’s head bobbed as though in answer. “Horru.”

Did hawks have names? “I’ll call you Horu Ka, soul of the god of the skies.” The bird returned to the window. Kashe picked up the gold amulet. A grin crossed his face as he read the hieroglyphics. “Chosen of Horu.” Here was the perfect reason to refuse his father’s plans for him. Would the nomarch and Pian accept the calling? Kashe was sure he would learn.

He lifted the scroll and read the words.

Three will come from afar, warrior, ruler and advisor will be joined by three from the Two Lands. United, they will drive away those who seek to destroy the land and the people. Success brings prosperity. Failure means death. During the time when each pair works to complete their task they may not join flesh to flesh. Celibate they must remain until their quest ends lest disaster strikes the Two Lands.

He walked from his chamber into the central hall where the family and the priest had gathered for the evening meal. His father gestured. “You’ve been hiding in your chamber for days. Have you decided to obey?”

Kashe shrugged. “I’ve been reading the scrolls. They’re in the loggia. The words left me with no desire to become a priest of Aken Re. What I read sounded like lies.”

Pian jumped to his feet. “You will not usurp my place. I will be pharaoh. All the power and wealth of the double crown will be mine.”

“I have no wish to rule or serve the priests.”

The nomarch glared. “You have been promised to them. Your battle skills will be needed to bring the stubborn people of this land to worship the one and only god.”

Oris smiled. “You cannot resist. You are ours.”

Kashe sucked in a breath. We’ll see, he thought. The amulet burned against his chest. He leaned forward and wondered why they didn’t see the medallion. Was it invisible for a reason? He ate and fled to his room. As he walked down the hall he heard the slap of sandals on the stone and braced for an attack.

“You must listen to them,” his younger brother said. “If you disobey Father, the priest will send serpents after you.”

“Don’t fret, little brother. Come to my chamber. I’ve something to show you.” Kashe parted the curtains so Namose could enter first. “This is why I can’t go.” He held out the amulet. “A hawk brought this to me.”

Namose studied the gold circle. “Chosen of Horu.” He looked up and gasped. “At the window.”

Kashe grinned and extended his arm for the bird. “Horu Ka, this is Namose, my younger brother.” 

The hawk tilted his head. “As you see I’ve been selected by the god of the skies.”

Namose nodded. “And you will leave home.”

“I believe I must.”

“I want to go with you.” The youth’s dark eyes held a plea. “If you can’t serve them I fear Father will send me or one of our sisters to their temple. The priests have a son or daughter from every nome except Mero in their service. They want Father and Pian to follow their orders. Our nome is the largest and richest of all. I don’t trust the priests. If I must serve a god I would choose Toth, the god of wisdom.”

Kashe looked away. Since he had no idea where to go, how he could take a boy who had just reached his fifteenth year? “You must remain here until I can find a safe place. Then I will send for you.”

“Do you mean that?”

“Yes.” He studied his younger brother. Here was the male member of the family with a strong knowledge of the land. If only their father didn’t favor Pian. The oldest son was their father’s favorite. Namose, the youngest, was ignored by the nomarch and favored by their mother.

“When are you going?”

“Not tonight. I’m going to a beer house to think.” He pushed Namose to the door. “Better if you don’t see me leave. If they discover I’m out, you can truthfully say you left me in my chamber.”

Namose paused outside the curtain. “Good thinking.”

Kashe waited until his brother vanished before crossing to the window. He slipped out and crept across the garden to the rear gate. Once beyond the wall, the hawk landed on his wrist guard. Kashe strode to the riverside village. A few mugs of beer and a good fight might be an outlet for the energy coursing through his body.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - On Writing Series Information dumps plus book on pre-order

Avoiding information dumps is a must when writing a series. Having read a number of series, I know this sort of prologue that comes before a new book in the series can become annoying, especially when the book is five or six in the series and the information given becomes a dump. I've read series where the same prologue is used to open each book and frankly, I skip them. So will most of the readers.

Yes, it's important when writing a series to let the reader know what's happened before but there are ways to do this a bit at a time. A character's memory, a bit of dialogue, even a paragraph or two at the beginning that shows the underlying theme of the story. I've done this with a single sentence that opens a story. I've had the characters tell the story in dialogue to show what went before. But it's also important to let the characters know the story stands on its own with perhaps a hint about what's to come in the next book.

The next time you're thinking about doing a synopsis of each story in the previous books in the series, think again. Boring the reader before they start the story is a sure way to lose readers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration plus a release quote Sloan Wilson #MFRWauthor #Suspense #BooksWeLove

  1. Before I begin the inspiration though I must admit seeing a book released is an inspiration for me.
  2. Just released yesterday. An alternate ancient Egypt with no pyramids or the Sphinx but with action and adventure with the avatars of the three gods worshipped aiding the hero and heroine.
"A story is a drastic condensation of a life. It must be given form with a climax sometime before the end."

When I read this, I started to think about what I was doing when writing a story. The quote is right but while the story doesn't follow the character's life from beginning to the end the story is condensed. The important events are highlighted. One may be writing about a man or woman finding love for the first time or again, The writer needs to know a bit about the character's past and feel this deftly into the story. Or the writer could be writing about a criminal or the person who catches them. What makes them what they has to be there bit not every incident in the life, just hints of the apst.

The story has to have a form, something our real lives don't have. There is the beginning the middle and the end. Giving form to this is very important to making the story something readers want to read. Without form the story is a series of incidents with nothing bonding these elements together. The form is the binding, sort of like glue sticking the bits on the character's tree of life.

Why condensation? Imagine how boring the story would be if every minute of the life was written out. Would you read this story? I know I wouldn't. Probably a lot of readers wouldn't either. So give your stories form and condense them to the elements that bring the character's life to the center.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Meander 1 - I enjoy crossword puzzles and sometimes the one in the Sunday Times. Doing them increases my fund of words to use when I'm writing. But while doing one yesterday I found myself thinking about words. I came across a clue where the word though spelled the same way had two diverse meanings. I first chose the wrong one since both meanings had a five letter word that worked. I ended up with the second meaning. This brought me to look at another thing that has always puzzled me. We say hoof that when plural becomes hooves. Why doesn't roof become rooves? Maybe I'll never know. Another thing while doing crossword puzzles is the value of knowing cliches. Often these are the basis of clues or the answers are some or part of one.

Meander 2 I'm going to have a book up for pre-order on Amazon. Horu's Chosen an alternate Egypt story. My publisher has decided to try a trial of this. I'll be interested to see what happens when this is at the end. Will be an interesting project.

Meander 3 - WIP is now For The Love Of Michael and am correcting and expanding on what I wrote a long time ago. Passive voice 20%. These days I freak out if I have more than 3%. This book needs a make-over and if I can make it 10 percent larger it can be published as a new book. The story is a farce, a tongue in cheek romance. An experiment I thought I'd try. Did a lot of this sort of thing years ago, The typical nurse/doctor romance becomes hopefully a tongue-in-cheek look at romance. I have a lot more to go on this and know I need to do some chapter changing. Once I get the words right, then I have to go and see that the chapters are right without too many days settled in each chapter.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday - Looking at my books - Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Suspense #BooksWeLove

Code Blue is the only book I wrote while working as a nurse but the version began during that time was not the version that ended up being published. The character I had envisioned as the heroine became one of the victims of the killer. In the initial version, the killer remained offstage with just hints of him during the story. One of the victims in the initial story became the heroine and a hero was added in but he does play a minor part in the story.

Why did I make the changes? The initial heroine was too young and just beginning her career. She didn't have enough meat on her bones or problems to make her a good heroine. The new heroine was a widow who had returned to work after her husband's death and one facing life changes and a change in a relationship with her dead husband's best friend. Control became the underpinning of the story.

What remained of the original story were the murders, the medical research, especially discussions I had with doctors to pinpoint how the killing blows would effect those who died. There was also information obtained by a patient who was a police officer at the time I was mulling over the book. So much of the original remained but the focus of the story changed. While there were still the three components of a story heroine, hero and villain, this time the hero takes the back seat and the story becomes something between the heroine and the villain.

The book is now available for download as a Kindle book and recently released in print by Books We Love.

So here's the blurb and some reactions from reviewers.

When 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, first seen as innocuous, soon takes on a sinister note.
Previously published as Obsessions
"This book kept me on edge from the first page to the last. Several times I just 'knew' I'd figured out who the killer was, but each time, there was a bit of doubt there until the very last paragraph! I highly recommend this book. 4 Stars (Excellent!)" ~ Tracie's Book Reviews by Kathy's Faves and Raves

"A series of murders, suspense, action, a tad of love makes Code Blue an intriguing tale designed to mystify your mind. If you love mysteries, you'll love Janet Lane Walters newest release. 4 Stars!" ~ Just Views

"Fast-paced mainstream novel. . .Walters plots carefully, each scene constructed to perfection. For readers who enjoy being terrified, this is an author to turn to for entertainment. She tells all, while managing to create paranoia among the characters." ~ Affaire de Coeur 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday - Gianna Simone with Heroes , Heroines and Villains #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 write in a bunch of genres. I'm particularly drawn to those where I can push boundaries and break rules. I love paranormal and fantasy genres, particularly stories that involve magic or some not-quite-human characters, and I definitely read a lot of books with those themes. Adding those elements to my books is a lot of fun. The Harry Potter books inspired me in a lot of ways, some obvious, some not so much. There was a period where my own writing wasn't inspiring me, but after reading those books and dabbling in the fan fiction world, my creative juices were flowing like crazy and they haven't stopped since.

I also love to write historicals – another genre where I can rip apart modern ideas about what makes a relationship, and develop a relationship that is "true to the time." I like some realism in my historicals, those I read and those I write. The Wolf and the Dove is a perfect example of that. One of my all time favorites and one of the first books to make me seriously think about pursuing publication. Of course, now 40 years later, we can take the physical side to much greater depths, and I REALLY like that! ;p

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

It varies with each book, but I will admit I like to write my smoking hot heroes! Especially since I tend to make them villainous in some way. They all have some self-serving goal when the book starts, and they can behave in un-heroic ways. Making them face the error of their ways without losing their edge is a fine line to balance, but it's lots of fun!

My heroines are a different story. They are ever evolving from the moment the first show up on the stage in my head. Half the time, they take a million different turns in personality and end up making me crazy! Kind of like my daughter. Hmm…

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?

It's funny, I've been inspired by actors and actresses, but sometimes, only in specific roles, or for a certain character trait. A picture is a surefire way to spark a character that either immediately, or down the road, takes up residence in my consciousness. And they definitely come before the plot. The character is who inspires the story.

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?

Again, the same as with the heroes, certain people inspire my characters in certain ways. There are one or two actresses who resemble more than a few of my heroines in one way or another. Sometimes they're the first character to come to mind, but a lot of times, she will come after I have an idea of my hero. Probably because she has to evolve into someone who can stand up to him and bring him to his knees.

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?

I tend to make my villains a bit insane on some level. It's hard to humanize them, but their goals are usually formed on the basis of some sort of crazy interpretation of the events and the main characters. Or they're just plain mean. Their motivation tends to be less complicated than my hero's and heroine's. They're just nasty people – and they must die! lol

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

The latest release is Warrior's Wrath, a medieval set along the border of Wales in the early 14th century. Rowan Langley is the hero, but I also have a "sub-hero," if you will, Rowan's friend Gerard. Both of them catch Aeron Dawkyns in their snare. The villain is not just a person in this story, though Owyn Sutton is a pretty vile guy. The secrets in Rowan's past, which he just unearthed, is a bigger obstacle to his relationship with Aeron.

And if I could share something about another title – Claimed by the Enchanter, a paranormal tales in an alternate modern-day New Orleans and the surrounding area. Claimed by the Enchanter was just named a finalist in the paranormal category of NJRW's Golden Leaf contest. Regine Marchand is the heroine who is convinced she must keep total control over her life, even sexually, as dominatrix, and Cameron McIntyre is my hero, who makes her question everything she thinks about herself. He's a dom who believes Regine is a switch and is determined to show her. Unfortunately, the villain has put them in a bad professional situation, which could derail their personal relationship.

7. What are you working on now?

Right now, I am revising a Viking story, and I've started a new book set in the Golden Age of Piracy. I've also completed the third book in the Medieval Warriors series, but I'm taking a different tack with that book than with the others at the moment

8. How can people find you?
                Website  http://giannasimoneeroticromance.com/bio.html
                Blog  http://giannasimone.blogspot.com/
                Twitter   @Gianna_Simone
                Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/GiannaSimoneRomanceAuthor