Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters


Meander 1 _ Touched a bit on this last week but I'll do a bit more about novellas and the rushed ends. I'm of the theory that a  book should be as long as it needs to be. I'm guilty of rushing the ending of a story since I want it to fit into a shorter length. I've read many that really need more and I've felt let down when the end rolls around and the end doesn't seen to fit the pace of the rest of the book or there are things that should have been explored that were skimmed over. Spoke about this to some of my writing buddies and they agreed. Sometimes the publisher draws a line and says this is the length a novella should be. They also mentioned coming to the end and having to capsulate the action. Others have set themselves a word goal. That's what I've tried to do. Sometimes this works and other times it doesn't and though the story is there, there are places where the story could have been expanded. I'm working on a story now that was planned as a novella but it's going to be longer than the 25,000 to 35,000 words my publisher says is a novella length. But at least I'll be allowed to write the story and the words won't count against me. This is one novella that may be a short novel and hopefully I'll be happy with the end.

Meander 2 - What do you do when life gets in the way? For me it's to live life in double time and try to do both jobs as best as I can. Though being a bit impatient sometimes I get rather tense and want to scream. I'm playing nurse to my husband who is feeling his age and his physical problems. I'm giving up my study so he can move to the first floor. The writing may suffer a bit but I will accomplish all I'm trying to do.

Meander 3 - My WIP is going well and I've finally reached the point where I can sketch out the last third or half of the book so I know where I'm going. Called Divided Dreams and part of the Moon Child series. He's a doctor who doesn't like the choice he made on many levels. He's always wanted to be a writer and now he has a three book contract. She's returning home after twelve years and thinks he's not around. She is one of the choices he made under duress. She hasn't been able to forget. A car accident where his sister dies and he ends up with the baby and some other problems along the line. She's a Pediatric nurse practitioner. The thing facing them is the past. While they can handle the today, can they think about a tomorrow?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sunday's Talking About My Books - Bast's Warrior #MFRWauthor

Though the third of this trilogy, Toth's Priest has just come out, I'll talk about Bast's Warrior, the story that began it all. Here's the blurb.

Tira flees a threat to her life and encounters two elderly women who offer her the chance to be sent to an alternate ancient Egypt with no thought of return. She has had a fascination with Egypt and can even read hieroglyphics. Once there she will be given a task. Failure could mean death. Dare she take the chance and can she find the lost symbols of the rule before an enemy finds them?

Kashe, son of the nomarch of Mero is in rebellion. His father desires him to join the priesthood of Aken Re, a foreign god. He feels he belongs to Horu, god of warriors and justice. He decides to leave home, meets Tira and joins her in the search for the symbols of the rule. Will his aid bring good fortune and will their growing love keep them from making a fatal mistake?

I've been fascinated with Egypt for as long as I can remember. Probably happened when I read some children't book that I really can't remember. I have books and books about Egypt, even some that are translations of letters and other writings from several eras. What fascinated me were the days around the invasion of the Hyksos a mysterious group. At this time there were many men vieing to become pharaoh and the land was in turmoil. This was the period I decided to base the series.

After finishing the rough draft of the story that I thought was a time travel, I was flipping channels and saw something about camels. Since I wanted camels in the story I paused. Then the words came that said there were no camels in Egypt during the period I had chosen to fit my story. I got a little upset and then re-thought several things. First the people from the present would be traveling to an alternate sphere where the Egypt of the history had some changed, including camels. This necessitated other changes and among them was a slight change in the names of the towns. Also I decided instead of a multitude of gods my created Egypt would have only three Bast, Horu and Toth.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Joan Curtis MFRWauthor

Blurb for The Clock Strikes Midnight:

Releasing 11/25

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the fa├žade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.



Blurb for The e-Murderer
Releasing Spring 2015

THE E-MURDERER is a race to find a psychotic killer before he kills again.

On this anything but typical Monday morning Jenna Scali, who works part-time for a shrink, opens an email that depicts the brutal death of a young girl. On that same day the police uncover a dead coed two blocks from Jenna’s house. The e-murderer’s description creepily echoes the death described in the newspapers.

When Jenna receives other emails, she takes what she knows to the police and thus begins her journey in the path of the e-murderer. Her curious nature impels her from e-messages to dead coeds to a ring of prostitutes. With the help of her quirky friends, Jenna learns that she’s more than a conduit for the killer. She’s his target. New secrets unfold, and finally her love life takes a tumble when the true killer emerges.


           


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Friday with Joan Curtis Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor

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?

As for fiction, I write mysteries. The Clock Strikes Midnight did not start out as a mystery, but it became one. That tells me that mysteries are my natural genre for fiction. That said, I’ve published four business books and several memoir stories. So, I have written in different genre, but I’m certainly not as eclectic as you are!

As for my reading choices, that’s where I’m more eclectic. I read mystery, literary fiction, biography, woman’s fiction, memoirs and some YA (The Book Thief). In essence, I love to read character-driven books.

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

I love to write the villain roles or at least add a little flaw or two to my characters. When the character is too sappy, I get bored with them. That means even my protagonists are not too “hero-like.” For example, in The Clock Strikes Midnight, the reader knows right off the bat that Janie, our heroine, has done some bad things in her life. Her sister is nicer, but flawed. I suppose I enjoyed writing the Janie character more because of her darker side.

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?
You say, the man I want readers to love. Peter is the heartthrob man in The Clock Strikes Midnight. I’d say he’s a mixture of several of the men in my life. I must say he was not a planned character, but once I created him I really liked him and enjoyed writing his history. In an earlier version of the book, there was much more time spent developing Peter’s character (he had a more prominent role). But many edits later that changed. Nonetheless the earlier version enabled me to have a good understanding of Peter and his motivations.

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?
All my books start with a heroine. Marlene was the heroine in The Clock Strikes Midnight when I began the book. Janie (who later became the heroine) was not even around. She showed up later. I’m sure both characters are a mixture of me and my sister but they really do not resemble either of us. As for pictures, I really do not see the character. I tend to feel them, get in their heads and explore the world through their eyes.

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’m not sure I choose a villain. They seem to jump into the story. I must say with Ralph in The Clock Strikes Midnight as soon as the “stepfather” walked on the stage, he became a villain. That’s very odd because I have a wonderful stepfather. So, go figure.  Nonetheless there are some endearing features about Ralph and I do hope some of my readers will pity him rather than hate him.

In the mystery series I’m currently writing, there is a killer (of course) but the killer isn’t necessarily a villain. Not to give too much away, but the villain in my current WIP was the one actually murdered.  That means that whomever did him in could be considered a hero J

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
 My latest release is The Clock Strikes Midnight. As I said earlier, Janie is the “heroine” and Ralph the “villain.”
7. What are you working on now?
 In the Spring of 2015, The e-Murderer will be released. That is the first in a series starring, amateur sleuth, Jenna Scali. Right now I’m working on the second book in that series titled, Murder on Moonshine Hill.
8. How can people find you?
            Website http://www.joanccurtis.com
            Blog http://www.joanccurtis.com/blog
            Twitter http://www.twitter.com/joancurtis
            Facebook http://www.facebook.com/joanccurtisauthor

People can also find me on my Amazon Author page (http://www.amazon.com/Joan-C.-Curtis/e/B0024JEG6E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1411586310&sr=8-1)  and on my publisher’s website. http://www.museituppublishing.com  MuseItUp has a great site which includes the book trailer to The Clock Strikes Midnight and all my author information.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thursday's Heroine - Amara from Toth's Priest by Janet Lane Walters Pub. by Books We Love LTD #MFRWauthor

A chill walked Amara’s spine and broke her concentration on the movements of the martial arts exercise. As she hit the wall to propel herself into the air, she slipped and landed in a heap on the matted gym floor of the church run community center. She peered toward the door. The local drug lord and his nephew paused in the doorway. Ramos was probably headed to Father Joe’s office for his weekly visit. Her hands coiled into fists.

Ramos moved away but Miguel sauntered to her side.  He stroked her cheek with a finger. Her body shook. Every day he grew bolder.

Miguel leaned closer. “Gonna own you, babe. Make you mine.”

She shook her head. “No.”

He leered. “Once I take you hard, I’ll own you body and soul ‘til I tire of you. Then my boys will have a taste.”

Words of defiance froze on her tongue. His hooded gaze stripped her naked. He squeezed her breast. “See you soon.”

She rose and completed the final exercise of today’s martial arts training session. A quick glance at the door showed he was gone. She should have felt relief but her hands shook and the sour smell of fear remained.

“Ready for a match?” another of the students asked.

Amara shook her head. “I have to leave.”

The teenager stepped closer. “Wonder what Ramos wants?”

“Father Joe will know but I don’t intend to ask.” With shaking hands she pulled on her jeans and tee shirt and tied her sneakers. In a half-run, she hurried to the door and left the community center.
Outside, aromas reached her. Cooking food, exhaust from cars and busses. Her own fear-laced sweat. Noises penetrated. Music, horns, people’s voices. Her head darted from side to side. Was anyone watching her?

What could she do?  Each time she’d encountered Ramos’s nephew her fear strengthened. Each time his words carried the same threat.

“Gonna plow you good, babe. You’ll sing for me real sweet.”

She had no one to guard her back. Hadn’t had anyone since her father’s death. She sighed. She’d almost had a friend. An undercover cop had saved her. Then Ramos had discovered the man’s identity. Seth had vanished. Was he dead?

As she scurried toward the apartment building where she lived with her uncle and his family, she fought to control the fear rocketing through her thoughts. Her breathing came in quick gasps. After her father’s death and her mother’s suicide, her uncle had reluctantly given her a home. Social Security benefits had been the reason but she would soon age out.

When she reached the building instead of stopping on the fourth floor she continued up the stairs toward the roof. She wasn’t ready to hear her uncle’s demands for her to quit school and find a job. She rubbed her arms. There was no one to help her.

The sound of feet on the stairs from below reached her. She crouched and peered through the railing. She sucked in a breath. Would her pounding heart shatter her ribs? Why was Ramos here? One of his bodyguards pounded on her uncle’s door.

When the men entered the apartment, she raced lightly up the rest of the stairs and opened the door to the roof. The heavy metal slab nearly slipped from her hands. She paused for a moment to use a piece of wood to block the handle. She ran across the roof. Once she reached the edge, she slipped over the low wall and placed her feet on the fire escape. Step by step she made her way down until she reached the fourth floor and the windows of her uncle’s living room. Had she missed anything of importance? The unseasonable heat of the autumn day meant open windows. She crouched where she could hear.

“Mr. Ramos, what do you want from me?” Her uncle’s voice vibrated with fear.

“I have come to offer safety for you, your wife and children. There will also be money allowing you to relocate.”

Ramos’ smooth voice sent chills darting over Amara’s skin. Her hands clenched.

“What do you want me to do?” her uncle asked.

“You have a beautiful niece. I have a handsome nephew who is my heir. Miguel wants the girl. Bring her to me and all will be as I promise.”

Would her uncle accept? Amara knew the answer. He had no love for her other than for the money she brought into the house. Her body tensed. The metal of the fire escape burned her hands.

“What if she won’t obey me? She holds herself apart from the family.”

Ramos laughed. “You will make her obey. Aren’t you the man of the house? Bring her to me. She was seen entering the building not long ago.”

When her uncle said nothing, Amara felt a moment of hope.

“I said now,” Ramos barked.

“But…” Her uncle rose. Would he tell the drug lord she hadn’t come home?

To keep from crying out, Amara bit her finger. Time to move. She had to escape but where could she go? When they didn’t find her in her room would her uncle remember how she often went to the roof? She eased to her feet. No time or way to reach her room and the stash of money she’d hidden. She needed a place to hide. With care she climbed to the roof and rolled over the wall.
After her breathing slowed, she searched her pockets. Phone. Twelve dollars, mostly singles and some change. The paper Seth had given her before he disappeared. If she ever needed an escape, today was the time. She read the words.
Life got you down? Have unsolved problems?
Looking for an escape? The answer is in your stars.
A counselor is available night and day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday's Writer's Tip Step 3 in Planning Your Novel "MFRWauthor

 Karen Wiesner in her book From First Draft To Finished Novel calls the third step Blueprint. In this step there are a number of levels. This becomes an outline and includes a number of features.

Character sketch begin the process for her. For me the first step is designing the plot in a very general way. Much depends on if you're a plot person or a character person.

Let's look at the character sketch. This means writing down everything you can think of about the character. For me I choose a character's Sun sigh, Moon and Ascendant. This gives me a number of character points. Some go together and some are in opposition giving the character questions about what they want and why they want it. I generally don't really know my characters until I finish a rough draft of the story.

Plot Sketch is her second point. As you saw I'm the reverse. The plot sketch depends on the type of story being written. A mystery has one kind of plot. A romance a different one and there are many variations. I decide on the beginning and the end. The middle will come as the rough draft is written.

Then there's the Setting sketch and this can be a minimal or as worked out as needed. This for me is world building and the world may be contemporary, historical or fantasy. Al;l the features here are included even the houses,

These three sketches form the blueprint of the plan of the story you;'re creating.

Tuesday's Inspiration - Painting Bright Pictures - Using Sight #MFRWauthor


John D. MacDonald made this statement in an essay. "The writer must provide the materials with which the reader will construct bright pictures in his head."

When I thought about what this meant I realized those words meant the sights, sounds, taste, smell and touch of things. Describing those give the reader a way to associate with the story and build a picture of what the world you've created is all about. Think of writing about a house. Sure you can describe it as a rectangular box but then add the little details and you can make the house any house you wish. Let's give it a try.

The house next door is a Victorian. This does bring a hazy picture to the reader. But add something like this. The "Painted Lady" next door wore her coat of pale lavender with purple touches. Brings the house in clearer. Perhaps this house is different. The purple shutters on the Victorian house next door hung like limp fingers. Gives a different picture.

In other inspirations we'll look at the other senses. Sight is one used ofted by writers but the use is more like "She saw a tall man. Or she saw three children. Or he saw a car." I could go on forever but you get the picture. Without the little picture the reader will glaze over what the characters see and forget. He saw a sleek red convertible and envy filled his heart. She saw broad shoulders and wondered how his shirt remained intact. Of the three children, one caught her eye. The little girl's yellow curls resembled a dandelion making her wish to run her hand across the child's head.

Hopefully you get the picture. But using sight beyond the mundans helps the reader form a bright picture in his head.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor


Meander 1 - I always wonder how one manages to combine writing with promoting. To do both takes a lot of twisting and turning with ones life. Then add a four ball where one must add something else into the mix and there's no real time to do much of anything. I'll get through the twisted time in my life but it becomes hard to do all one wants to do.

Meander 2 - Been reading and I always wonder about books someone raves about but that leave me cold. I've started one just recently that has several people saying what a great movie it will make. I don't see this but I'm only on chapter 2 so maybe the story will pick up. I sure hope so.

Meander 3 - While I'm writing it's going slower than it had before I hope that doesn't mean I'm running out of steam. The story should be a good one when I finish. I like the plot. Divided Dreams is into the third try and what I have so far seems good to me. A romance but never a typical one. The trick to getting into main stream romance is to have the hero and heroine together from almost page one. They don't come together in my story until the end of chapter 1 some 3000 words from the opening. That's why I'll never make the best seller list. I plain don't like to write exactly to a formula.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sunday - Talking about My Books - Pursuing Michael West MD

Michael West MD has a five year plan before he can consider making a commitment. He’s happy dating women who have no desire for a long-term affair. Encountering Zelda, the pest, the menace, the little girl next door who has impacted his life makes him want to run. She managed to ruin his senior prom and sent several of his dates running. Now she’s grown and the nurse manager of the surgical unit where he will see her every day. What’s a doctor to do but run?

Zelda has loved Michael for year. She knows of the odd accidents her presence has caused him. After an encounter in the condo swimming pool, the accidents become hers but she refuses to give up her quest. The problem is his dating system. He seems to be on an alphabetical quest. He’s just met G and she’s Z. Can she find a way to turn his thoughts to her or must she give up her pursuit?

Writing this story was a lot of fun, especially since it's a tongue in cheek nurse/doctor romance. One day the character of Michael came to me and I realized he was dating women in an alphabetic order. Suddenly I needed a heroine to suit him and Zelda was born.

Her first acquaintance with Michael was when she and her single mother moved into the house next door. Zelda leans over the fence between the backyards, falls, hits Michael who is holding a football that breaks a window in his parents' house. He is four years older and at this point girls aren't of interest. But Zelda continues to plague him through high school and even appears at his college.

Michael has a ton of student loans for college and medical school and a father whose idea is a man pays his debts before he does anything else. Michael is haunted by these debts and decides he won't get serious until they're paid off.

Zelda has other ideas and her own unique way of pursuing him. Check out the story and read the trials of Michael as he tries to avoid Zelda.  The real question is who will succumb to love first.

Saturday Victoria Chatham talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains

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 historical novels, especially Regency which is my first love. I also have two novellas in a trilogy that is set in the Edwardian era. Book 3 in this trilogy is coming soon. I’ve loved the Regency period since I read my first Georgette Heyer novel, Frederica. Since then I’ve read many more Regency novels by various authors including Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley and Lisa Kleypas. I also have several outlines for contemporary western romances, these prompted by authors Linda Lael Miller, Diana Palmer and Jo Goodman. These outlines are still under the bed but could work as a series as all the characters are linked. Paranormal, science fiction and fantasy are subjects I just wouldn’t attempt as I do not have the particular mind-set to even want to try. I’m a slow writer and it would take me far too long to dream up my own ghosts and vampires and other worlds, especially when there are so many talented authors who already do that.

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

I like my heroes and heroines to be as equal as the genre will allow so I can’t say that either is favourite. Usually I begin with whichever character makes the most chatter in my mind. Something akin to the squeaky wheel getting all the attention.  Villains I have a hard time with as I tend to not make them villainous enough! I have to dig really deep to make them truly nefarious within the context of the story.


2.      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?

This is a really good reason to look at guys and I find magazines for men and adverts in which men are featured to be really useful. I collect these pictures and put them in a file and often will build up a physical picture from these.  Although I must say I think I’m lucky in that my characters usually come to me pretty well fully formed. Sometimes a name will pop into my head which starts me off building the  character. Other times I ‘see’ the character and then have to come up with a name. I will write a timeline for each character, starting with their date of birth so I can use astrological signs to build their strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. The characters always come before the plot. They are usually so clear to me and then I have to decide what happens to them.


3.      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?

My heroines appear as do my heroes so I follow the same process with them. I recently met a young lady with a very pretty name and asked her if she’d mind me naming a character after her. She was thrilled. I’m not sure yet in which book that character will appearbut she’s pretty feisty already as I like my heroines to be capable of standing up for themselves.

4.      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?

Picking or creating a villain or villainess comes after I have created a plot. Who will mostly be affected by my hero and heroine’s relationship? Who wants to keep them apart? What does that person hope to gain? Whatever I come up with I have to work at making the situation worse but I always like to create a feasible reason for my villains to be the way they are and there are so many emotions to choose from whetherit be revenge, fear, or just plain envy. 

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

His Dark Enchantress came out in paperback in August. The hero is Lucius, Earl of Avondale and the heroine is Miss Emmaline Devereux. I actually have two villains in this novel, Lady Rosemary Darnley and her nephew Sir Peregrine Styles who does all her dirty work for her.

6.      What are you working on now?

I’m finishing the third book in the Buxton Chronicles trilogy, Shell Shocked. It’s set right at the end of World War 1. My characters in this series are Lord Randolph and Lady Serena Buxton. Whatever I am writing I am always jotting down notes for other stories as ideas come to me so I don’t think I’ll ever be short of material.

7.      How can people find you?

Website/Blog  www.victoriachatham.webs.com.
            Twitter                        www.twitter.com@VChathamAuthor
            Facebook         www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaChatham

           


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friday's Blogs of books by Victoria Chatham

A London season is the last thing bright, beautiful Emmaline Devereux wants. But her grandfather knows he is dying and insists that she find herself a husband and secure her future. But Emmaline has a past that, if revealed, will undoubtedly bring disgrace on her and those with whom she associates.
Lucius, Earl of Avondale, has sworn to not marry until he is forty, but fate brings Emmaline to his door. Intrigued by her, Lucius swears to unravel her mystery even if it does mean a marriage of convenience with her to appease her grandfather. But then Emmaline’s past catches up with her and she is abducted. Will Lucius want to find her and will the truth tear them apart or strengthen their love?




Lady Serena Buxton follows her husband from England to Cold Creek, a gold mining town in northern California. But, when she arrives, Randolph is missing.
The sheriff seems to be keeping a watchful eye on her. She cannot trust Douglas King, the mine manager who treats her as if she is already a widow. The bank manager refuses her request for access to Randolph’s funds. With no husband and no money, what is a girl to do?
Serena has an unsuspected and quite shocking talent. Two enterprising local ladies help her prepare for a public performance but the only suitable venue in town belongs to King with whom she strikes a bargain. The whole town turns out to see the show, the venue is packed.
But who is in the crowd watching? Will King insist on exacting his fees and will Serena be reunited with the husband she loves?


Lord Randolph and Lady Serena Buxton’s orderly lives are upset by Pinkerton Agent Stuart Montgomery’s unexpected arrival at their estate in England. And this is no ordinary social call!
Montgomery is investigating four suspicious deaths at an American aviation company, and of the two remaining partners one is the old friend of Lady Serena’s. Can Montgomery convince his friends to return to America with him in hopes of finding the missing piece to the puzzle that will help him close the case?
Serena has her doubts. Her concern for her friend, Sir Hilary, is overlaid by her fear that Randolph may once again find his life in danger from an old adversary who once left him for dead. Does Montgomery really want their assistance? Or is his case just an excuse to renew a potentially scandalous association with her?  Time is running out as events escalate revealing more secrets than ever suspected.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thursday's Heroine - Zelda from Pursuing Michael West MD #MFRWauthor

Zelda Carter wanted to pinch herself, but she knew Michael’s arrival wasn’t a dream. She’d heard rumors, but hospital’s grapevine bred stories as fast as mold multiplied in a dungeon. She sat at the desk and stared at nothing. Co-workers bustled past. The loudspeaker crackled. The phone rang. She sighed. He had returned home to practice surgery. She would see him every day.

Maybe this time he would open his eyes to the possibilities. Perhaps the strange and awful occurrences wouldn’t happen. Could she find a crack in his stone heart and prove she was the right woman for him?

Never had.

You’re wrong.

This time she would find a lure he couldn’t resist. She sucked in a breath and swore the citrus scent of him overpowered the sharper hospital odors.

“Ms. Carter, lab on line one,” the unit clerk said.

Zelda grabbed the receiver and jotted some values she’d wanted checked. She turned to the clerk. 

“Karen, if anyone wants me I’ll be in my office.”

“I’ll let them know, boss lady. You need to call Nan.”

“Will do.” Zelda strode down the hall. She needed to let the staff recruiter know there would soon be an opening for a nurse on the unit.”

She shut the door, reached for the phone and punched her friend’s extension. After Nan answered, Zelda mentioned the opening. “Need someone with dynamite qualifications. I’ll email you the specifics.” A gasp burst free when she saw the paper airplane perched on the edge of her desk.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” Her heart hammered. What did he want? Visions of Michael filled her thoughts. She drifted into a dream. His green eyes glittered with interest. He asked for a date.

“Zelda, are you there.” Nan’s shout shredded the daydream.

“Just spaced out for a moment.”

“What’s he like?”

“Who?”

“The new surgeon. The house is buzzing with rumors and more. Thought I’d come to the one who has surely met him.”

Zelda laughed. “I have first dibs. Don’t you remember him?”

“If I knew his name I might.”

“Think four years ahead of us in school. Think red gold hair, though now it’s a dark auburn. Think broad shoulders, football, basketball, and baseball. Think handsome as sin.”

Nan chuckled. “Michael West.”

“Yes.”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.” Zelda hung up. She smoothed the paper airplane. He remembered the hundreds of notes she’d sailed over the back fence.

Must mean something.

Sure it does. Maybe.

The voice of doubt sounded again. She stared at the words he’d written and started the process of deciphering the scrawl. How could he? She’d loved him for years. Granted he’d ignored her years ago.

Professional. An order. As if she was anything but a professional here. A glance at the signature and she burst into uncontrollable laughter. Your former neighbor.

Tears rolled down her face and she gasped to catch a breath. She couldn’t wait to see his face when he learned she lived in the same building. Heavens, their bedrooms were separated by a very thin wall.

She folded her arms. Michael West, you’re in for a surprise. She brought the note to her nose and inhaled the citrus scent permeating the paper, or maybe her imagination. She tucked the note in her pocket. This belonged in her box of Michael mementos. Had he saved the notes and other items she’d given him over the years? Hope grew like bacteria in a Petrie dish. The missive proved his interest. So did the way he’d watched her this morning. His stares had ignited her body.

Michael, watch out. She would find a way to capture more than his sideways glances. She knew something he was too blind to see. She was his perfect mate.


Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Step 2 From First Draft to Finished Novel #MFRWauthor

 In From First Draft to Finished Novel, Karen Wiesner talks about after brainstorming comes Research. Her take on research is more extensive than my take but more on that later.

During this phase of the story the first thing is to discover the areas where you'll need to do Research before beginning. The place you've chosen, the occupations of the main characters, the era you've chosen. Anything that needs to be discovered about person, place or thing. Once you've discovered all the things you'll need to discover while writing the book, you can Collect the material you need. For me, this often means books or on-line sites marked to return to again and again. Those are written down, though I do love books to leaf through and force myself not to start reading and reading. Reading is the next step in the process Karen speaks of. This is not a good time for many writer since one interesting fact leads to another. From here you go to Using. How and where in the story you're planning to write will you use this material? You may also find doing this research ideas for other stories. That's a good plus.

For me, I begin my stories by fitting a set of characters to plot and the plot to the characters. Then I decide what I might need to know and do my research after the story is roughed on paper. There are notes throughout my first drafts that say things like. Look up. Talk to. Find what can be used. But I always know before I begin what the story features, where the story takes place.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - Words from John Donne


"Go and catch a falling star." Those words are ones that live in my head every day. They remind me of times spent with my grandfather. He taught me how to read. The poems of John Donne were among his favorites and this one especially.

I remember him saying after reading a poem or a story to me something that has stuck with em as well. "Words are magic." And words are, taking you to a new world or an old one seen by someone else's eyes.

Each author creates a world that is new and different and theirs. This may be the world we see every day but it's not really that wold. I believe if a dozen writers were given the specifics of a world, city, town or rural place, each would use those elements to make a different world.

So, "Go and catch a falling star. Get a child with mandrake root." Words are magic and use that magic to create a new world.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meandering On Monday With Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor


Meander 1 - Talk about a busy week and weekend. Three books to do the final edits on. Then the releases surprised me. Pursuing Michael West MD was released late on Saturday and is now available at Amazon. Then Toth's Priest is released on Sunday and will be available on Monday. The third revision is for me since I'll be re-releasing it one of these days. Will be good to get back to writing.

Meander 2 - Novellas. I've been disappointed lately with some of the novellas I've been reading. Not that the story isn't a good one or that the writing isn't great. What's been bothering me is that the endings seemed rushed and rather leave me cold. Would like to say something to the authors but I won't since they are given a word count to restrain them. So I won't be buying many more novellas. That's a shame since some of the stories are good.

Meander 3 - My writing has almost come to a standstill because of revisions but not completely. What I did was tear up seven roughed in chapters since the book I was working on looked to be 70 to 80 thousand words and there's wasn't enough plot for that size of a book. Aiming for 40 to 60 thousand so what I had to do was go in and take out some of the subplots that were taking over the story. I'm back on track now and I'll see where it goes. This is called Divided Dreams and is part of the Moon Child series. The heroine of course is a Cancer and this Hero is a Gemini. That may be where the subplots came in because I was doing divided thinking like a Gemini.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday - Talking About My Books - A Double Opposition #MFRWauthor


When I began writing books about Astrological opposites, I came to the Gemini woman and her opposite in Sagittarius. What I knew about those born under Sagittarius is a good bit since I have a son and several male friends who were born under this sign. One thing they do is open their mouths and put their feet into the opening. Geminis are often looked upon as having split personalities. Not necessarily so but they do like things to be in pairs. What better than to make my heroine a widow with twin sons. Her former husband was a volunteer fireman who lost his life being a hero. Liz doesn't want any heros in her life. She doesn't want to be married again but the hero finally changes her mind.

The hero is a widower but he had a happy marriage and hasn't looked for love since his wife's death. There was a dark night at the lake when he shared sympathy and a bit more with a woman. The lack of moonlight kept him from really knowing who the person who offered him a chance to talk about his wife and their love.

Writing the story was fun, especially keeping her twin sons from taking over the story and being the catalyst for joining the couple together. The villain in this case, another nurse who had her eyes set on the hero and also on the nurse manager position the heroine is given gets what she deserves and also plays a role in bringing the couple together.

Writing about nurses and doctors is fairly easy for me though I do have to look up the latest developments and make visits to look at computers and all the latest. I kind of avoided those things in this book for a number of reasons. First the book was written before these things became prevalent. The second was most of the action takes place away from the hospital.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday's Blurbs featuring books by Liz Matis

Playing For Keeps (Fantasy Football – Season 1)

     Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won’t let her join the club. Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn’t hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it harder. As a tight-end for the team she’s covering, he is strictly off limits.
     Ryan Terell is a playmaker on and off the field, but when Samantha uncovers his moves, he throws out the playbook. Just as he claims his sweetest victory, Samantha’s investigation into a steroid scandal involving his team forces him to call a time-out to their off the record trysts. But then a life threatening injury on the field will force them both to decide just how far they’ll go to win the game.
Winner of the NECRWA First Kiss Contest.






Going For It (Fantasy Football – Season 2)

     Pro football player Jake Miller’s game plan for winning back supermodel Hannah Hahn is play action in the bedroom. Once he sees beyond the swimsuits and lingerie, feelings of love blindside him, changing the rules of the game.
     Hannah owns the runway, but that success came with a price and a secret that’s kept her from trusting a man until Jake crashes through her defenses.
     The paparazzi love the beauty and the beast couple but the tabloid rumors turn ugly and test the fragile trust between them. Then Hannah loses an ad campaign to fashion’s new ‘it’ girl. Her desperate reaction will cause Jake to challenge everything she’s ever believed about herself.

     Reviews:
RT Book Reviews: Readers will wholeheartedly enjoy the cat-and-mouse game the main couple plays. Expect a large dose of spice, surprises, and a story that's perfect for the front page of a tabloid. The sequel to Playing For Keeps is a touchdown!

       Book Junkie: I loved GOING FOR IT because falling hard        
       and fast for two witty, feisty and completely honest  
       characters that do nothing if not capture your heart and
       take you on the wild ride that is their love story.




Huddle Up (Fantasy Football – Season 3)
     When Angel O'Malley is left penniless by her deceased father's gambling debts, she is forced to sue pro football player Billy Burner for child support. Blindsided with a five-year-old daughter, he tackles fatherhood with the same commitment he gives to the game, but he has his eye on a bigger prize: Angel's heart.

     She agrees to Billy's plan to play house to ensure the new father makes no rookie mistakes. Though their passions burn hotter than ever they must overcome old betrayals, past hurts, and new insecurities if they are to prevent history from repeating itself.

    Can a long ago summer love turn into an everlasting one?









The Quarterback Sneak

A recovering alcoholic, football player Liam McQueen seeks redemption on and off the field. So when the team's owner, the man who gave him a shot at a comeback, demands that Liam pretend to be engaged to his wayward daughter, it's a favor the reformed bad boy feels he can't refuse.

After violating her probation, heiress Hayden Middleton must prove to the court she's changed her wild ways. To appease the judge, the tabloid queen agrees to a fake engagement, but there's nothing fake about the heat that sizzles between her and her father's saintly star quarterback.

Mastering the sex playbook isn't a problem for this wild couple. Outside the bedroom, this mismatched pair must plan a game strategy to confront their demons if their temporary arrangement has any chance of going long.

Will love come into play as the sinner and the saint go head to head?






Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday's Guest - Liz Matis - Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor

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 contemporary romance but plan to dabble in a young adult zombie story and new adult sci-fi story.

I love historical romances but I would never write one. Scratch that… I attempted one but my voice lends itself to the contemporary.


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

Heroes and Heroines! I love to write the push and pull between them.


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 find my heroes through real life and pictures. I post the pictures above my desk for inspiration. It depends on the story whether character or plot comes first.

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?

Same as above, but I admit each heroine I’ve written has a little piece of me in her or a piece of something I wanted to be.

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 can’t say that I have any villains. It’s mostly the hero and heroines internal struggles that are keeping them apart.


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

The Quarterback Sneak is my latest release and is available for preorder. Liam McQueen is a sexy quarterback looking for redemption on and off the field. Hayden Middleton is a wayward heiress looking to stay out of jail.

7. What are you working on now?

Summer Dreaming. Release date, August 4, 2015. It’s a new series that I’m writing with Wendy S. Marcus and Jennifer Probst.

8. How can people find you?
           Website:   http://www.lizmatis.com
           Blog:    http://www.taoofliz.blogspot.com
           Twitterhttps://twitter/lizmatis  or @LizMatis
            Facebook:   Liz Matis Fan Page
              Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lizmatis/


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday's Heroine Liz Jordan from A Double Opposition by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor

Mom, how much longer?"

"Hours. It's been hours."

As the twin whines rasped her eardrums, Liz Jordan's hands tightened on the steering wheel. "Forty-five minutes isn't hours. We'll be there soon."

"Don't know why we have to move to some hick town."

"Yeah, we'll be bored."

Their voices inched toward supersonic wails. She glanced in the rearview mirror and saw twin scowls. Justin and Brandon had inherited their father's handsome features and his hazel eyes, but their hair was dark brown like hers. "Guys, why not give Eastlake a chance? You lived here for two years."

"We were babies," Brandon said. "How we gonna remember anything?"

"Yeah, babies know nothing," Justin added his comment.

They had celebrated their fifth birthdays in Eastlake. Now they were nine going on two or forty-two depending on their mood. Maybe they didn't understand why she'd made the decision to return to here, but her reasons were valid. In the city, they'd been prey to pressure from a gang of boys headed for juvenile hall. This move was right for them. And her?

As the car rounded a bend, she saw a shopping mall that hadn't been here four years ago. What other changes would she find? She knew the hospital had expanded. The unit where she'd be in charge had been opened just three years ago.

When this fact popped into her thoughts, once more she wondered if making a lateral move had been the right choice. Being nurse manager of the ortho/neuro unit at Eastlake Community Hospital had to be less stressful than the same position at a city hospital. Here she wouldn't have to cope with nursing students from three different programs or with interns and residents. What about prima dona surgeons? She chuckled. That breed came with the territory.

At Eastlake, she'd be with the friends she'd made during the two years at Grantley College. She'd been the oldest of their clinical group and the one they'd come to for advice. Three of them lived and worked here. How great it would be to be with Jenessa, Laurel, and Megan again.

What about the unit's neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeff Carter? She remembered golden hair and summer blue eyes, broad shoulders and a lean body. She recalled memories of a dark night and the scent of wild roses. Don't go there. As the memories surged, her cheeks heated. That evening she'd made a foolish mistake, one she'd never make again.

"Mom, why do we have to live here?" Justin asked.

"Because I have a new job, and it's here."

"If it ain't that far from our home, why can't you drive every day?" Brandon asked.

"Yeah. Then we coulda stayed with our friends." Resentment filled Justin's voice.

And I would have gone gray from worry. "Enough. You'll live in Eastlake and like it."

"Or lump it," the boys said in unison.

"Is Pop still behind us?" Justin asked.

"If he gets lost, we'll lose all our stuff 'cept our collection." Brandon thumbed the box on the seat between Justin and him.

"Your grandfather's there," Liz said. "Justin, sit down and fasten your seatbelt." Would he ever learn to think before jumping into action?

"Just had to check."

"He's always doing dumb things."

"Am not."

She heard a grunt. "Guys, enough. Do I have to pull over?" She had to stop them before they came to real blows, something that had never happened. Though they were identical in looks, their personalities were opposite. Like his dead father, Justin plunged into action without thinking, while Brandon plodded and planned.

The noise from the back seat ceased. Liz spotted the sign announcing their arrival in Eastlake and released a sigh of relief. "We're almost there."

She saw her sons turn in their seats to look out the windows. The sight of houses with lawns instead of blocks of tall apartment buildings made her smile.

"Is our house like them?" Brandon asked.

"Maybe a little bigger." She turned the car into Main Street. Many of the shops she remembered were still there. "There's the Hot Doggery. We'll go there for dinner some evening. Best chili dogs I've ever had."

"Tonight?" the boys asked.

"No. Some of my friends are coming by after work to help us get settled."

"That's not fair," Justin said. "We had to leave our friends."

"Do they have kids?" Brandon asked.

"Laurel and Alex have a son. I think he's six."

"A baby," Justin said. "Who wants to play with a baby? Now me."

"Your choice," Liz said. "You don't have to play, but you will be nice to him."

"All right."

"Where's the hospital?" Brandon asked.

"When we come to the next corner, look up the hill. The brick building at the top is the hospital."

"Wow," Justin said. "Think of coming down that hill on a bike."

"Think, but don't do," Liz said.

"You're no fun."

"Not supposed to be. I'm your mother."

Three blocks beyond the street to the hospital, Liz made a left turn and pulled into the driveway of the house her friend had bought just weeks before her wedding. Lucky for me, Liz thought. Laurel had agreed to rent with the option to buy.


Since her husband's death, Liz and her boys had been apartment dwellers. Sometimes, she resented the loss of the house she and Derek had bought, but the sale had allowed her to attend Grantley for a BS in Nursing. Once again her old resentment flared. Volunteer firemen who were determined to be heroes seldom left their families large legacies.