Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thursday - My Heroes, Heroines and Villains from Havens - Affinities Book 2 #MFRWauthor #fantasy

The Heroine - Kylandra

Ky listened to the even breathing of her siblings.  The aromatic aroma of the fir needles had grown faint.  She slid from her sleep saque and added another fire brick and more of the needles.  After pulling on her boots and poncho she crawled from the tangle.  Had Dom Senet and the guards arrived at the hut or had Ash imagined the evil man was near?  Ky drew a deep breath of the chill air.  She had to know.

What did the dom plan?  Did he suspect she and her siblings were near?  Snow swirled in the air but the fall was lighter than it had been when they’d sought refuge here.  With care, Ky made her way through the forest to the log house.

A spiral of smoke rose from the chimney.  As she drew nearer she saw the brush barrier someone had erected.  She peered into the enclosure and saw five war steeds and a courser.  She edged past.  Other than a restless pawing and some snorts the beasts ignored her.  She slid around the side of the building.  A shame there were no windows but there were places where the clay had fallen from between the logs.

The Hero - Jaydren

With a burst of speed Jay turned from the hut and raced toward the camp where his siblings waited.  Ky’s call had held an urgency that spurred him to hurry.  The path he took wound in a serpentine manner around clusters of firs and stark stands of hardwoods.  Towing the sled through the maze would be difficult.

He passed the first place he’d noted as a possible shelter.  The fallen trees and bushes formed a space resembling a cave.  Dead leaves lay in a thick mat on the ground.  There was room to pitch the tent but he was glad he’d continued past.  The abandoned hut could shelter them for days while they decided where to go.

Jay sighed.  If only Ash would search the winds for signs of people they could have formed an idea of where they were.  He understood her fear.  With the twin bond he had experienced some of Ky’s panicked reaction when she’d been Dom Senet’s prisoner.  Being separated from her siblings had been hard, but when the two-way conversation had been cut off, her hopes must have vanished.  His had.

He caught the scent of burning wood and then saw a great cloud of smoke.  Finally he was close enough to see leaping flames.  Why had they built the fire so high?  If there were people nearby they would come to investigate and they might be enemies.  He stretched his legs into longer strides.  “What happened?”

The Villains -

The door opened.  Dom Manton ushered the four older boys into the room.  The four young men swaggered.  Their lips curled into sneers.

The one with Fire sent flaming balls around the room.  Several passed so close Bran flinched.  The boy with Earth formed pieces of metal into links and formed a chain he said could be used to choke someone.  The young man with Water brewed a potion Bran knew was a poison.

The fourth boy spoke.  “I am Air and thus leader.  I read the winds and tell my circle where to strike.”  A sly glint appeared.  “Doma Jandia is angry with you.  She wants you to select Dom Manton as your teacher so she can be rid of you.”

Bran tightened his barriers.  Zand broadcast his fear of betrayal.  Bran wished he could tell his friend the older boy lied about the doma.  Had Doma Jandia sent a false message on the wind?  To help Zand regain his calm, the one who had Air had to be shown to be foolish.  “If you can read the winds so well, can you tell me where the boy who ran away can be found?”

“Why should I?  He was a weakling who listened to a girl.  Can you believe she insisted she had a Earth affinity?  Girls can’t have an affinity.  They don’t have the stomach to fight.  If she were still here, she would have been taken away by the Master on his next visit.  He would have sold her as a slave.”

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Craftsmanship Part 2 #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Strive for impact - No matter if the novel is regional or universal make the settings as real as possible. If regional authentic settings reverberate with the readers. Keeping the time period accurate is very inportant.  In universal novels think about the social aspects of the time period. Though the settings are part of the story and are often invented base them on real places.

Try for a pnaoramic view of places honing on the general rather than local can draw the reader into the story. This is good for showing the mores of a particular time and place and can show a variety of influences taking place in the story. Not only the main characters but the impact that where and when has on them.

What about situation? All stories start with a basic situation and all the methods of expression can and should be used to explore the situation. Along the way when writing a novel other situations occur. An argument over dinner, a new acquaintance, a huge problem facing one of the characters. Each situation should be brought to life using exposition, narration, action and narration.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Triggered By Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott #MFRWauthor

By Set Design Ms. Lamott means the setting.
Years and eyars ago when I began writing an editor once remarked "Your characters are existing in a vacuum." The plot was moving along. The characters were well defined and motivated. What I had was a a lot of dialogue and action with a minimal bit of showing where the characters existed. Carefully I started to develop the setting for my stories. This was hard at least for me. So I had to go to the drawing board and I sketchedn rooms, I wrote long descriptions of weather, places, environments all I could think of.

Fault number one or two since no scenery was mistake one. I put this setting material in large blocks of prose. Another editor sent the mss back with a sorry. A little note mentioned that setting should be established through the characters' interactions with the environment and should be fed in small bits. Also just pick a few things to orient the reader to the palce, the season and other setting bits.

A few attempts later and I had this down. I still have to remind myself about setting as I move through. How about you?

Monday, December 28, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry #writing

Meander 1 _ This poem is the only one I ever recieved money for. Copies of magazines are nice but the thrill when someone feels the poem is worth money can't be espressed.

Piano Lesson

I used to sit
Petrified, terrified
Waiting to be hit
I was afraid of you
And everyone laughed.
Who could be afraid of you?
Tendons tightened.
A stiff rod up my back.
Trying to protect my shoulders
From the non-descending blow.
No freedom to play the music I felt
Half the time I couldn't see the notes.
I quit -
And now relaxed I play.

Meader 2 - The year is coming to an end and a new one approaches. I'll make no resolutions since they're broken almost as soon as they're made. What I'll do is try to continue as I have been pushing out new words, making old ones better and hoping. There are times when I'd like to see my name on the NY Times best seller list but I know that's no for me. One has to be willing to find a niche and stick to it. That is not me. I get bored if I must write the same kind of story over and over again. Not that they're the same story and this is hard to explain. Maybe it's sticking to one kind of genre or sub-genre but there are so many other stories I'd like to tell. So I will'

Meander 3 - Writing days. For now and along time it will be typing. I've considered investing in Dragon but I need to know what I need to make this work. What I really wish for as the kind of gadget where I could write what I like to write and have this go from my cursive to the computer to come out in script. That would cut out a lot of time. I am slowly working on the third of the At First sight Novellas, Seducing the Innkeeper. Boy has my writing changed and become freer since the original story. Also I can't believe the errors in the mss. In ten pages at least ten.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday's My Book - The Taurus-Scorpio Connection - Opposites In Love Book 2 #MFRWauthor #medicalromance

Available at most venues.

Her mother was a hired nanny and her father the Mellwood Bank. This is the way Taurus Laurel Richmond describes her family. After burning out as a nurse with an international health agency, she returns to Eastlake, the one place she where she felt connected. She studied nursing here and made a number of friends. Her one problem is her wealth. Soon she will receive a fortune. But money hasn’t given her the things she wants, a home, a family and love. Since a chance visit after summer camp with a friend made there, her idea of a man to love has been Alex Carter. 

Alex Carter is a Scorpio, a single dad with a five year old son. He’s a general practitioner at Eastlake Community Hospital. While attracted to Laurel, he has one problem. His ex and now dead wife had a lot of money and little sense. Drugs and her fast friends were her life. She abandoned their son who cried for hours until his father returned. Alex has no love for women with money. Attraction or not he refuses to admit he’s falling for Laurel. 

With the help of Alex’s son, Laurel sets out to prove to Alex she’s in town for the long haul and she will make the perfect wife and mother. 

Janet Lane Walters has written a charming tale. 
As a child, Laurel Richmond was trapped in a car with her dead parents for hours. After losing them, Laurel's next of kin was a bank. Laurel hides her immense wealth, traveling internationally as a nurse, helping the sick. She decides to settle in Eastlake, a small community. 

She once summered with her friend Megan, developing a huge crush on Megan's brother, Alex, who is now a divorced doctor raising his young son Johnny. Alex is leary of wealth because his rich ex-wife had no time for him or Johnny, but Johnny takes to Laurel right away. 

The glimpses of a family life that Laurel experiences with Johnny and Alex leave her longing for her dreams to become reality. Can she get Alex to realize that money may bring power, but love offers peace? 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Coming new books. One cover reveal #MFRWauthor #fantasy romance #contemporary romance

Wizards of Fyre is the third in the Islands of Fyre series, The heroine has been sold by her father to the wizards and she vows to escape before she becomes the reward for one of two young men who will fight for the empty council Seat. Lorana desires neither of them. She won't be a slave. Though the seat rightfully belongs to Arton, he is denies since rather than a wizard by birth he has been adopted. He also has powers different to the other wizards. They can only use the white fyrestones. He can sense power in all the colors. His rival Cretan, is the son of the chief wizard and craves power. He plans to overthrow his father and defeat Arton, taking Lorana as his possession.

There are two books being re-released soon. Each of them has had a complete re-write. Though the story hasn't changed but the language has been edited and changed in places with a few updates.  The covers aren't finished yet but will soon be.

There will be six novellas in the series once they are re-written and edited. The Series title is At First Sight. The First book is seducing the Chef and revolves around a magazine feature and an ancient family feud plus a family curse. The second is Seducing the Photographer and involves the family curse and a photographer who needs to be seduced from his series of one night stands into a committed relationship.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Greetings and Wishes #MFRWauthor #Poetry

A very Merry Christmas to all. One hopes everyone recieves what they want and perhaps even what they need on this day when we celebrate in honor of the Prince of Peace. I wish we could strive for that goal rather than being divided by hatred, envy and other negative emotions. I'll share this poem written many years ago.

We Are A People

We are a people diversified,
Unified and yet
From underneath we hear a bead,
A strum of even taps
Bordering all the land.

We are a people unique,
Our common bonds are few.
The stories and the songs we sing
Are blended, stirred, become
A chorus crying loud.

We are a people stretching
With timid hands we reach
To send hope to one another.
It is the young and raw land
That gives us birth and is born
We are a people growing,
A children coming of age.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

THursday's Heroes, Heroines and Villains Escape - Affinities #1 #YA #fantasy #MFRWauthor

In Affinities, Escape, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, two sets of halfling twins, Ashlea, Brandien, Jaydren and Kylandra sent away from their home by their parents to protect them from trouble, search for mentors to teach them how to use their affinities. Each of these young teens has an affinity for one of the elements. Ash for Air, Bran for Water, Jay for Earth and Ky for Fire. During the escape, they face many problems forcing them to use their affinities by trial and error. They also meet Alizand, the son of the ruling prince of Wesren. Zand has an affinity for Fire and this will keep him from gaining the rule. Dom Senet, an advisor to his father, and once a friend of the quartet’s parents suspects Zand’s affinity. He wishes to corrupt the teen and use him to gain control of the four princedoms of the land and of the highlands. The evil dom has all four affinities. The four must reach a secret place and find teachers before the evil man discovers them

There are two heroines and three heroes and multiple villains in these stories. 

Ashlea is the first of the heroines.A flash of lightning brightened the sleeping chamber. Ash woke with a start and burrowed into the pillows. The scent of trouble rode the air currents that threaded through the open window slats. Her heart thudded in her chest. Like the beating of a giant’s club against a massive drum, thunder sounded. Again, lightning flashed and cast green, red, white and blue slashes across the sky.
The air held no threat of rain. ‘Twas like the heat storms of summer, unnatural at this time of year, for the waning days of autumn marked the season.
Ash calmed her racing thoughts and tasted the air, for that was her element. A frown formed within and without. From the land beyond the four walls of the henge, she caught the odors of fires, animals and men. 
 Brandien is the first of the heroes
As Bran entered the passage, he stumbled. The raw emotions of his parents and siblings battered his mind and strengthened his own fears and sadness. Tears flowed down his cheeks. He nearly dropped the bundle of torches he held. Without knowing why, his free hand moved to press the blue crystal against his chest. An easing of the feelings caused him to sigh. Soon he was barricaded from the keening emotions of his parents. He’d never been bombarded in this way before. During the training sessions with his mother and father, the feelings they’d evoked had been mere whispers. These thoughts screamed.
“Bran, Bran,” Ky tugged on his arm. “Ash says we must hurry.”
Her words penetrated the haze and his control slipped. He pressed the stone and sucked deep breaths. The groaning noise made by the entrance as it closed damped his parents’ sendings.

Then their voices rose as one. 

Here is the first set of Villains - Mandir and Lodar. Their villany is mild compared to the others you will see as the stories continue.

Mandir grabbed his arm. “Happy name day, halfling.”
“Where’d you get this?” Lodar reached for the stone. He yelped. “You dare hit me when you have no armed guard at your back?”
“I did nothing.” Alizand struggled to keep fear from his voice.
Mandir’s ebony eyes glittered with menace. “Where’d you get the bauble?”
“A gift from my mother.”
Both boys laughed. “Do they dead walk?” Mandir asked.
Lodar dug his fingers into Alizand’s arm. “Give me the crystal.”
Mandir whirled Alizand around. “You dare deny us?” He reached for the stone and stumbled backward. He rubbed his hand.
The second bell rang. Lodar twisted Alizand’s arm behind his back. “Give me the pretty or I’ll break your arm.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Craftsmanship Part 1 #MFRWauthor #Writing

When I first read abou regional novels versus universal novels I wasn't sure I understood. In Structuring Your Novel :From basic idea to finished manuscript after several readings I understood. and was able to provide this to my own stories.

A regional novel is one that's situated in a particular region about events that can only happen in that place. The writers mention Gone With the Wind as being this type of book. When thinking about my won stories, my fantasy novels mostly fit this description since they can only happen on the world I've created. The elements of magic couldn't happen here.

A universal matter may be set in a particular area but the same things can happen in other places. They mention Madam Bovary. Most of my contemporary novels, though I've chosen a place either real or a town invented for the story but what happens between the characters can happen in other places as well. For example there are hospitals and medical personnel in many places and people can fall in love in my places or in the other places.

This classifying only refers to  settings, events or time periods. All novels can havea universal theme such as intolerance and justice as well as a long list of other themes. So look at your stories and try to decide where they fit in the scheme of things. Knowing can help the writing.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Dialogue - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly #MFRWauthor

Reading Bird By Bird and came to the chapter on Dialogue. This is a great book and inspires me every time I read it. Not going to talk much about what was found in the chapter but my take on Dialogue.

Good Dialogue flows and when read aloud sounds like real people talking. The speakers use some words that shwo their statue in society, their upbringing and their career choice. You can listen to what they're saying and suddenly know that's a doctor, a lawyer or a mill worker. Suddenly other pictures leap into your mind.

Bad Dialogue for me is where every character sounds like the other character. There's no sense of their gender or anything else that might give the reader a clue. Bad Dialogue is easy to write. It often flows from my pen onto the paper. Then I have to go back and look on the bits of speech and make then better.

Now the Ugly Dialogue is something I must explain. Using bits of dialect isn't bad. Overuse can be dreadful. I had a writer who I devoured every book she wrote until the last one of hers I ever read. The entire parts where dialogue was used was done in dialect. Before long I hadno idea what the characters were saying unless I sat and thought. The flow of the story was lost. I had no idea what the storywas about. I read three chapters and dropped thebook in the circular file.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry #Solstice

Meander 1 - Poem today is called Harbinger and is perhaps tongue in cheek.


She comes into the room.
A nurse in a white uniform.
Fading smile on tigthtened lips,
A sideways galnce.
A measurement - perhaps
Of how you'd fit a coffin.
Her fingers with brightened tips-
Talons- blooded with red bright polish.
A floral scent pervades the room.
The whole garden come inside
To test your lings.
Her face - a painted mask.
And fluttering eyelashes
Flick her glance on everything but you.
Cousin of Florence Nightengale
But surely daughter to Sairy Gamp.

Meander 2 - Solstice. Today is the say when the days grow longer and brighter. I try on this day to meditate on what I want for the next year. Sometimes I recieve what I desire and sometimes not. Still it's good to think of the future and of brighter days when the light lingers until evening and until the next solstice when the sun starts to fade.

Meander 3 - Writing - I have finally begun the final look through Wizards and hope to have it finished before January 10th. Then I will be working on a friend's book and two of the ones I plan to re-release. One is done completely and the other one a third. Once the covers are done I'll be sending them off with the blurbs and other stuff to my publisher. Then there are four more of these novellas to do and one big book and another pulbisher will be gone. Sorry to do this but it's best at this stage in my life to have all my books in one place.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday - My Book - The Aries-Libra Connection #MFRWauthor #Medicalromance

The Aries-Libra Connection

Janessa is Aries, a nurse, union advocate and likes a good fight.

Eric is Libra, Director of Nursing, and believes in compromise.

Can these two find a way to uncover the underhanded events at the hospital? They’re on opposite sides but the attraction between them is strong. She’s a widow who fought to save her husband’s life during a code. She feels guilty because the love she and her husband shared had died before his death. He assisted at the code but he feels guilty since he was the one who was responsible for the short staffing the night her husband died.

Now they face falling in love and trying to solve the problems between the nurse’s union and the president of the hospital’s Board who wants a take over of the hospital by his hospital group. Is their connection strong enough to survive?

Available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo,and at  Smashwords, All Romance

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books By Jamie Hill #Mfrwauthor #romantic suspense

The three books in my Witness Security Series are all BOGO from Books We Love, buy one get one free!

Pieces of the Past
Witness Security, Book 1

The past is closing in on Christine Scott. Uprooted from her pleasant life in Chicago, she and her two children are thrust into the Witness Security Program when the mistakes of her husband catch up with him. He lands in prison, while she and the kids are transplanted to a quiet Kansas town. Christine does her best to keep life normal for her active ten-year-old son and persistently moody seventeen-year old daughter. But when they start receiving gifts from an anonymous sender, reminders of their old life, it becomes obvious that someone has found them.

Doug Jackson’s been in service with the US Marshal’s office for fifteen years. He hasn’t lost a witness yet, and doesn’t intend to start with Christine or her family. If he can get them to cooperate, his job might be easier. Unfortunately, no one seems concerned about making Doug’s life easy. Not the man in the white sedan who eludes him, nor the pretty Christine, thoughts of whom he can’t seem to shake. Their lives depend on Doug keeping his head in the game, and he’s determined to do just that.

Time To Kill
Witness Security, Book 2

US Marshal Jordan Burke is happy for her partner when he takes a month off for paternity leave, but she’s not happy about her substitute partner. Nick Pierce worked for the Topeka Witsec office years ago and left under less than the best of circumstances. When he’s asked to fill in he hesitates, but curiosity about Jordan makes him accept the job. The minute he sees her again he doesn’t regret his decision. From Atlanta to Los Angeles, Jordan and Nick discover that danger, and help, can come from the strangest sources. While they struggle to protect their witnesses, the bigger challenge seems to be keeping each other alive. And there’s always the possibility that they might kill each other first.

We featured the blurb to Cover of Darkness yesterday, so instead of repeating I'll include one of my favorite stand alone romance titles, Secrets and Lies. This can be your fourth choice in the BOGO deal with my series!

Secrets and Lies

Natalie Jameson has a handsome husband, three wonderful children, and one very big secret. She’s managed to keep it under wraps for over twenty years, but recent events lead her to decide she has no choice but to reveal the terrible truth.
Alex Jameson has had one goal in life since the minute he met Natalie on their college campus. Do whatever it takes to make this woman happy. When circumstances threaten to unravel the web of secrets and lies they’ve built around themselves, will their love be strong enough to survive?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday - Jamie Hill - Before She Was an Author #MFRWauthor #romanticsuspense

Jamie Hill visits

1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?

I've had several jobs and am currently a financial advocate and surgery scheduler at a busy orthopaedic surgeons' practice. Every day is a new challenge and I love keeping busy. Prior to this, I ran a child daycare in my home for 21 years. That's actually when I took my writing to a new level. I'd jot down ideas during nap time, and write evenings and weekends (much as I do now, minus the nap time!)

2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many sub-genres of the above.

All my books are romance, I enjoy a good police story or mystery, so I'd have to say romantic suspense is my favorite. Within the romance genre, I've written paranormal, which was fun because I could make up whatever I wanted with witches, genies, etc. I've also done a little sci-fi and some horror, which is trickier.

3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?

Absolutely. I generally read contemporary romance or romantic suspense and that's exactly what I write. I don't care for historical and choose not to read or write them. There have been a few exceptions when I've read some historical books by Books We Love authors and in those cases I read them because I enjoy the authors. I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the books. Jane Toombs' The Californios series comes to mind. But I'll never write a historical novel because I'm not a fan of research and my story would not be accurate!

4. What's your latest release?

Cover of Darkness is book 3 in my Witness Security series, and was released this month from Books We Love.  Here's the blurb:

It’s US Marshal Ben Markham’s job to keep witnesses alive, but providing protection to BDSM social club owners who stumble onto double murders isn’t at the top of his bucket list. Still, keeping Mitzi Pomeroy safe until trial has its perks. Like close contact with gorgeous, smart-as-a-whip Assistant DA Addison Decker. Too bad Addie doesn’t come with a warning label. Who’d have thought an ADA has so many secrets? Or that those secrets will keep Ben and his partner Nick Pierce scrambling to keep them all alive?

5. What are you working on now?

I'm taking a holiday break but in the new year I'll be back at work with the fourth and final book in the Witness Security series, Darkest Before Dawn.

6. Where can we find you?
 My blog/website can be found here:

Follow the links there to find out about all my books. Find Cover of Darkness and all my titles at Books We Love:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday - My Heroes, Heroines and Villains - Moon Summoned - Kobe, Dian, Sargon #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Moon Summoned - Hero - Kobe

A gong signaled the first call for breakfast. Kobe, oldest son of Prince Genrai, pulled the rough woolen blanket over the thin mattress. His narrow cell in the Citadel of the Gladius for the Lord of Shadows held the cot, a small chest and a row of hooks on the wall next to the door. He put a spare uniform in the pack along with the few things he planned to take home.
He stood near the door and thought about the reasons for his journey. Like the other sons of the princes, the wealthy merchants and the landowners, he had been sent here for military training. The champions of the Gladius were supreme warriors.
Kobe pressed his lips in a firm line. He was different from the rest of the sons for he had talents like those of the priests. These talents had brought him to the attention of Sargon.
What he had to do would be difficult. As soon as he reached his father’s stronghold, he would demand an audience and declare his intention to give up his position as heir and enter the priesthood. His father had to agree. There were other sons in the inner court. Since he was her only son, his mother would weep. She would lose her place as first woman. Still, becoming a champion was a greater challenge than being a satellite of a father who would live for many years.
A knock startled him. “Enter,” he said.
A serving woman dressed in a gauzy chiton bowed her head. Her gown resembled flames, revealing yet concealing her lush body. “Kobe, son of Genrai, the Gladius summons you to attend him in the mustering hall.”
As he followed her swaying body down the hall, he repeated the vows he’d taken after he’d drawn his sword from the elements. “I will take no woman to my bed until I am sworn to the Lord of Shadows. I will eat no rich food or imbibe fermenti until I can control my talent. I will wear no fine clothes until I don the silks of the champions.”
None of his peers had taken these vows. He had, and he would keep them.
Until recently, he’d not been tempted to transgress, but during the past few months, the scantily dressed servants and their musky perfumes had stirred desire. Too often he’d prayed to move quickly through the ranks and be allowed a woman.
The servant continued past the door to the hall. Kobe entered. Sargon sat on the dais at the end of the room. Kobe knelt before the chair and touched his forehead to the stone.
“Rise and join me.”
Kobe got to his feet and sat on a stool beside Sargon’s chair. “You honor me.”
The Gladius smiled. “You leave this morning for your father’s stronghold. Is that not so?”
“What have you decided?”
“There is no other choice. My father will have to name another as heir. To deny the gifts given by the Lord of Shadows would be wrong. To use my talent without proper training would bring disaster.”
The Gladius saluted Kobe. “Your decision pleases me. When you return your training will begin. As I was when you drew your sword, I’ll be your mentor.”
“I’m honored.”
“Your potential is great, my boy. I’m concerned about this visit you make to your home. Can you resist the temptations your father will place in your path?”
Kobe swallowed. His mother would push his father to do his best to sway him. “I must. I’ve no desire to stand in my father’s shade. I will carve my own place.”
Sargon smiled. “Well said. I believe you can resist rich food and strong drink, but I fear you will be sorely tempted. The women of your father’s inner court are comely and you’re of an age when the juices flow hot. I’ve watched your gaze follow the serving women. Heed this warning. To fill a woman’s empty vessel before you’re trained will sap your talent.”
Kobe saluted. “I hear and I will stand firm. Have I your leave to break my fast before I depart?”
Sargon clapped his hands. “This morn you will eat with me. There’s a task I would have you do.”
Two women arrived. One bore a tray with boiled ovas and bread. The other carried mugs of steaming bitter kafla.
Kobe waited until the Gladius took his portion. “Tell me what you would have me do.”
“Your father discovered a nest of women who would be soldiers and took one as a prisoner. He sent no word to me of the captive. I would know why.”
Kobe frowned. What was his father planning? He needed the favor of the Gladius to remain in his place as prince. “I will learn the truth.”
Sargon nodded. “If this tale is true and he holds one of those sworn to the Abomination, bring her to me. The time approaches when I will have need of such a one.”
“I hear and obey.” Kobe drained his mug.

“May the Lord of Shadows strengthen your resolve.”

Moon Summoned - Heroine Dian

Shadows gathered in the corners of the room. Dian rolled to her side and tried to sit.

“Good. You are awake. I must prepare you for the Prince’s visit, but first you can eat.” The woman’s pale eyes shone with sympathy and concern.

“Who are you?”

“Binet, once of a house of healing. Now I am but a slave. ‘Twas an evil day when the gray priests followed the invaders to this nome.”

Her words touched a flood of memories. Dian recalled the day the enemy had swept into the village where she lived with her mother, a skilled weaver. The soldiers had taken the cloth and one of the under-officers had moved into her mother’s house and claimed her as his woman.

A year ago, he’d refused to pay Dian’s tax for she had no skills at the loom. She’d been slated for the pens, but her mother had sent her into the forest. For weeks, she’d wandered until she encountered a band of those who honored the Mistress as warriors.

Tears trickled from her eyes. “Why did this happen?” she cried.

Binet walked to the door. “’Tis bad to remember what was. You must learn to endure.”

How, Dian wondered. I must escape.

Seek the Place of Choosing.

She looked around to see who had spoken. Binet had left and there was no other in the room. What and where was this choosing place?

A short time later Binet returned with a tray. Dian ate the stew, bread and fruit. The food filled the hollow in her stomach, but added nothing to her confused thoughts.

As she drank a cup of tea, Quanta arrived. She motioned to Binet. “Remove the tray. Genrai comes.”

Sammi entered and crossed to the cot. “Did you eat?”

Before Dian could answer, a tall man with the broad shoulders of a swordsman strode into the room. Russet hair framed his face and touched his shoulders. He pulled the sheet away.

Dian tried to grab the covering. Quanta grasped Dian’s arm. “Do not fight. He is your owner.”

Dian closed her eyes to hide her anger. She wasn’t a slave. She was a warrior in training. If she had a sword, she would challenge this man. She flinched away from his touch.

“He won’t hurt you,” Sammi said. “Father, are you pleased?”

“Very much so. You’ve accomplished what your uncle, the great physician, deemed impossible. 

You’ll be rewarded. I’ve plans for this one.”

Dian opened her eyes. “I can’t stay here.”

He laughed. “A slave does as she’s bid.”

“Can I have her as my attendant?” Sammi asked.


Quanta glared. “Will you take her to your bed?”

He chuckled. “She’s for Kobe. My son returns home with the thought of becoming a champion. Sargon lures Kobe with tales of a talent. One such as this slave could make him wish to break the vows he unwisely took.”

Quanta bowed her head. “You are wise, my prince.”

Sammi clapped her hands. “Dian, how wonderful is your lot. You will be my brother’s first woman. Though you can never be first woman in his inner court, you’ll have a special place with him.”

Dian shook her head. “You cannot keep me here.”

Prince Genrai snorted. “Do you expect that ragtag band of women to invade and extract you from my stronghold. Very unlikely. You will do as I order and be thankful.”

Once they left, Dian pulled the sheet around her. “I must escape.”

Binet bowed her head. “There is no way.”

“I need to be away from here. There is a place I must reach.”

“Did the blow to your head and the wound fever destroy your memories of what has happened? The Three are dead. The Mistress was defeated.”

“As long as we believe in Her, the Mistress lives.”

Binet stared at the floor. “I am shamed. Blessed be.”

Dian lay back. “What do you know about this Kobe?”

The older woman frowned. “Since I was brought from the pens, he hasn’t been home. He’s been with the priests studying their ways of war.”

“I pray he refuses me.”

Binet shuddered. “If he won’t take you, the prince will give you to his soldiers or send you to the pens of the Gladius. ‘Tis not a good place to be.”

Dian slid to the edge of the cot. “Hear me. I must escape.” She traced the symbol and watched 

Binet’s eyes widen at the red glow. “Where is the Place of Choosing?”

“North and west in the Shanara Mountains. You do not have the strength to leave this room let alone travel that far.”

“Then help me exercise.”

Binet helped Dian from the cot. For a moment, she felt dizzy. The furniture seemed to tilt. She sucked in a breath and waited for her vision to clear. Then holding Binet’s arm, she took a step. “Tell me how I can leave this place.”

“There is no way. ‘Tis a prison,” Binet said. “The door into the hall leads past the bathing room and into the common room of the inner court. The only way to escape is to be summoned to a man’s bed.”

There must be a way, Dian thought. I won’t remain a prisoner. I won’t fail the Mistress.

For the rest of the day and at regular intervals during the night, she walked about the room and performed exercises to strengthen the muscles grown flaccid from inactivity. Soon after sunrise she wrapped a sheet around herself and ventured from the room. The dimly lit corridor led in but one direction. She passed the arched doorway into the bathing room. As she strode across the stone floor, she heard children’s laughter. The aromas of food made her stomach rumble.

She entered the large room at the end of the hall. Low tables were scattered around the area. Heaps of pillows in many colors brightened the dull brown walls. The stones of the floor were warm and she wondered how they were heated. Children pelted each other with pillows. Their laughter made her smile. Quanta appeared from behind a beaded curtain and clapped her hands. The children dropped to the pillows and bowed their heads. Other women arrived with platters of food and pitchers of fragrant liquid.

The early morning sunlight streamed through narrow windows on one of the side walls. On the other, glass blocks formed a wall and a door opened into a small garden. Though she wore no shoes and the hand of winter chilled the air, Dian stepped outside.

High stone walls enclosed the area. She ran her fingers over the rough surface. If she found no other way, she could climb the wall and creep across the room. First, she’d have to find clothes and boots.

Moon Summoned - Villain - Sargon

Sargon, Gladius for the Lord of Shadows, held the sword he’d created during his initiation as one of the champions. He’d drawn the elements from the earth and forged the sword with the power of his mind. The body of a slave had been used to quench the glowing metal.
As his concentration deepened, the blade glowed with a bloody hue. The muscles of his massive arms and shoulders tensed. Flames rose from the sword and crimson images formed.
“I would see what happens in the nome,” he said.
The first scene showed Lugal and his serpent rod. As he watched his co-ruler’s frustration, Sargon laughed. What had the Cabal so stirred? He acted as though he’d lost something of value. When Sargon tried to mind read Lugal, a barrier slammed shut. No matter, Sargon thought. In time, he would learn. Does the fool think I know nothing of his schemes?
He sent the flames searching for Gamish and watched the Thamaturg destroy another fetch in a frantic search for someone. He also thinks to defeat me, Sargon thought. He will fail for who can stand against fire?
Just as he started to quench the flames, another image appeared. A young woman danced in the fire. Her many braids of silver-blonde hair moved to music he couldn’t hear. She turned to face him and in her eyes, he read a challenge.
Who? Where? Behind her, he caught a glimpse of a winter-touched garden and a brown stone wall. How dare she challenge him?
His hands clenched the sword. His rage grew. Taut muscles spasmed. The flames on the sword lengthened. Fire scorched the walls and set the bedding afire.
Sargon fought his blazing anger. Slowly the flames died. Prince Genrai’s prisoner was indeed the one he sought, the one he needed at his side when he faced his co-rulers. Though she seemed young, she had to be one of the warriors from the Hall of Defense. With this one subject to his command, the others of the Triad would be defeated.

He frowned. Should he warn Kobe of the danger the young woman posed? Too late. Kobe was on his way home. The young man faced a greater trial than Sargon had envisioned. But Kobe wasn’t alone. He bore the sword he’d drawn from the elements. In the making, as a way to keep the young man obedient, Sargon had keyed the weapon to himself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Top - Keeping the Reader Interested Part 5 #MFRWauthor #writing

We've come to the last of the tips for this all important information for the writer. Keeping the reader interested is vital to both the reader and the writer. No one wants someone to toss their book in the middle and never return.

Tip 9 is about characters. Keeping the characters structured and plausible is important. We've all read books where we've wanted to strangle the heroine for taking actions that aren't logical or plausible. Or wanting to shoot the hero since he certainly isn't someone we'd want to know or love. Or the villain who remains in the story when we're all shouting, "Kill him." Those kind of flaws aren't going to make a reader continue to turn the pages or look for your next book.

Tip 10 is about which of the four kinds of prose will keep the reader turning pages.  Exposition, description, narration and action all have a part to play in story telling. Action is what will drive the reader to continue reading. There's also a downside to this. Too much action and the reader becomes breathless so passages where the other techniques are used can give a breathing spell but not too long a one,

Hopefully all these bits have helped you in learning about the reader and keep them turning the pages.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Plot - triggered by Bird by Bird #MFRWauthor

Plot is one of the important elements of any story. According to Anne Lamott plot "is the main story of your book."

This is an exercise in thinking. Which came first the plot or the characters? Different writers will answer plot while others will yell characters. A good story needs both.

For me when I start a book I have a general plot in mind. A very general one. Then I find characters who might carry this plot to the end of a book. These characters are vague with some traits. For me writing means an interaction of characters with the elements of the plot. Each drives the other and I am the conductor.

My style of writing is quite different from Anne Lamott's. I begin by telling myself a story and once I have this down, I have both plot and character but nothing I would show anyone else. Once this is done I begin layering. I have friends who struggle over each word before they come to the end. A friend and I once did an experiment. She is character oriented and the plot comes from her characters. I'm the opposite. I write drafts. She writes and rewrites each chapter until it's perfect. The strange thing is that it took us the same amount of time to complete the story.

So, for you which comes first - the plot or the characters? A good story needs both.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poetry #Christmas ornaments

Meander 1 _This week's poem


Your fingers gently flowing
Velvet love tattoos on my breasts
Exploring in patterns -- tracings
Moving ever downward
Etching love upon my body
Tracints toward fulfillment
So we meet -- unite -- join
In a brocade of love.

Meander 2 - Christmas ornaments.

Just finished the Christmas tree adding decorations one by one. They're bringing memories of friends who don't inhabit my life these days. The tiny Christmas sweater given by a friend. The piece of glass made by another friend. The ornaments made by a friend now in Florida at out first critiqie Christmas party. The peace sign made many years ago by another friend. As I hang them I wonder if they remember the days when the ornaments were gifts. There are others. One from my childhood with the green year to hang it on the tree. There are the ones from the first tree of my marriage. And all the ones mates to those given to the children in their stockings. I still do that. So now there are 300 ornaments on my tree and 300 memories.

Meader 3 - Writing

I am still plowing through Wizards. Hopefully by next week I'll be able to start the final draft. I'm also working on my friend's last book and pulling all the things I must learn about to make this story sing. Will I manage. I'll do the best I can. Sometimes I hear her speaking when I'm writing.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday - My Book - Confrontations Book 4 - Affinities #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Confrontations - Book 4 of Affinities

In Confrontations by J.L. Walters, a Books We Love Young Adult Fantasy, Ash, Bran, Ky and Jay along with their friends have now mastered their affinities. They now control their ability to use Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The time has come for them to face Dom Senet and He Who Walks with Evil. They have learned a disturbing fact. He Who Walks With Evil is able to exchange an old body for a new one. Dom Senet wishes to obtain the secret and he is willing to sacrifice even his own son to gain this power. The four sets of companions set off to rid the doms and domas of Dom Senet’s bonds and to defeat the two evil men. Can they or will they become pawns to evil?

Reviews: 4 Stars - Barnes and Noble

1131 days ago

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Starla Kaye #MFRWauthor

Trusting Love Again
Genre: Contemporary romance
Buy Links: AmazonB&NiBooksKobo

All she wants is to start over, live a peaceful life…

After an abusive marriage and an ugly divorce, Toni needs to rebuild her self-confidence and start a new life in her hometown. Going home again and confronting people she’d hurt when she’d left is never easy. She’d hung onto the idea of buying a long-abandoned old house and remodeling it to help her recover. But a man from her past has recently purchased it for his business. That’s her emotional breaking point and she does something reckless. Now she must pay the legal consequences of her foolish actions…by working for him.

All he wants is to focus on his work…

Chad’s job as a lawyer working to protect the rights of the abused elderly consumes his time and energy. It cost him his marriage and an aborted child he hadn’t known about. Now he works harder, guards his bruised heart. Yet the return of someone he’d held secret feelings for comes back to town. She upsets his world, starting with minor destruction of his business property and causing him minor injury. He shouldn’t become involved in helping this troubled woman, yet he can’t keep from doing so.

Two heart-damaged people have trouble trusting love again.

Holly’s Big, Bad Santa
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, holiday romance, Christmas romance
Buy LinksAmazonB&NiBooksKobo

Jared had left Danville, Kansas, a confused and angry teenager. The black sheep of his family, he’d done his best not to look back. Then a letter from home made it impossible for him to stay away.
Holly was leaving Danville for a new life in California. Suddenly he was desperate to return home, to convince her to build a life with him.
But convincing Holly proved to be more difficult than he’d thought. Holly had always loved Jared, but after fifteen years she’d given up hope of him returning to Danville and she’d decided to move on with her life, a life which didn’t include Jared.

Cowboy Dreamin’
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, gay romance, ménage, western romance
Buy LinksAmazonB&NiBooksKobo

Kendra spends her days and nights running a business, sculpting, and leading a Tahitian dance group in Kauai. She can’t squeeze anything else into her life, but she dreams of cowboys. Sexy, hot cowboys in tight jeans, low-tipped Stetsons, and dusty boots. Men who know all about how to please a woman. She enjoys her fantasies, but can’t imagine ever settling down. But one night with one would be so nice. Surely that would get her dreams of a white knight cowboy sweeping her off her feet out of her system.

Because of an accident that Shane believes left him “less of a man,” he doesn’t see a wife and children in his future. Carson, his ranching partner—and sometimes lover—thinks Shane is wrong. Carson refuses to let Shane settle for a life of rodeo bunnies who only want a romp in bed with a bull rider. Shane deserves more than that. He manages to sign Shane up with a matchmaking service to, hopefully, meet another kind of woman, maybe someone who will appreciate Shane for the man he is. Except Madame Evangeline expects both of the cowboys to go on this special one night date. It doesn’t take long for either cowboy to realize that one night with the purple-haired, hip-shaking beauty in Kauai might not be enough….

Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT/gay, multicultural
Buy Links:   AmazonB&NiBooksKobo

Being the CEO of a major architectural company in California has taken over far too much of Chase’s life, leaving no time for romance. But when a handsome Spaniard offers drinks and conversation, talking leads to one spectacular night and an awareness of what he really wants. But once Rico returns home to Spain, Chase will be alone, again.
Rico lives on his family’s strict schedules with no time for contemplating what is missing in his life. He doesn’t expect to meet someone special on this business trip. But he is drawn to the big, striking blond American. Giving Chase someone to talk to, takes Rico’s mind off his problems. And a mutual attraction gives them both a chance to forget everything else and let their passionate natures run free.
Chase has a company to run and Rico must return home to Spain, a truth they must both accept, but will acceptance be enough when it comes to waking up alone?

For Ruby’s Love
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, gay romance, western, ménage
Buy Links:  AmazonB&NiBooksKobo
Calhoun’s a simple cowboy with more problems in his life than he can handle at the moment. After nearly two years, he struggles to hang onto a relationship with Daniel, his first male lover. Daniel is worried about him because of the fire, his concern for his prized breeding mare, and because he is determined to buy the neighboring ranch to expand. But Daniel isn’t a businessman without goals of his own for expansion, a fact that frustrates Calhoun as well. He doesn’t want to lose Daniel, but will their differences finally be too much?

Daniel considers himself a lucky man to have met the rancher, someone almost his opposite and someone who he doesn’t want to live without. Standing beside the moody Calhoun has been difficult since the fire that burned down a horse barn, took the lives of two valuable horses, and traumatized a favored mare. Along with all of that, his harried friend is determined to expand his ranch holdings. Daniel is against the purchase and would prefer to find a way to slow the man down. Lately, he’s also begun worrying if maybe he isn’t enough to satisfy his lover’s needs.

Complicating everything even more, Ruby shows up later than expected at Calhoun’s ranch to honor a job as a horse therapist that her father had agreed to before his sudden death. She knows what happened to the mare and is certain she can help her, if given the chance. But the stubborn rancher can’t get past the idea of her being a woman, someone not strong enough to work with such a damaged horse. They butt heads over the matter until she finds an ally in Daniel. He is concerned and yet believes in her abilities. Another problem arises, though. She and Calhoun have been skirting around an unwanted attraction, and then she discovers another surprising interest between her and Daniel.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday - Starla Kaye Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor

Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?  - I have published over 75 stories and have played with many sub-genres of romance. My first love is writing about cowboys, either contemporary or historical. But I also have written a lot of contemporary and medieval romances. And I have written about a pirate, a couple of Regencies, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal.
Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Yes, although I also read mysteries.
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt? Not really. I just haven’t gotten around to trying them.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? - I like to write the heroines best, mainly because I put myself in their place. While I write a story, I am that woman.

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?  - My heroes are created before the plot. I start with creating the story title, and then the characters, and finally the plot line that fits all of that. Because I’m a visual person, I always have pictures of my characters to refer to as I write. Pictures can come from stock photos, magazines, real life people, or wherever I find them.

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? – As I said, I come up with the story title first and then the characters. I come up with my heroine before the hero. Sometimes I come up with the heroine and then her background and her goal. Those things will determine what kind of hero she needs to butt heads with, to fall in love with.

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 don’t normally have villains or antagonists that get in the way of my characters and their goals. Most of my conflicts are between the hero and heroine, with some side issues they have to face and conquer. – My three medieval stories, though, did have villains. A good villain, in my opinion, needs to have strong goals and fairly good reasons for them. Unfortunately he/she is dead wrong and the hero and heroine need to deal with him/her and, of course, win.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain? – My latest release is Trusting Love Again, a contemporary romance. The heroine (Toni) married the wrong man in her youthful stubbornness and suffered an emotionally abusive marriage until she found the inner strength to get a divorce. The hero (Chad) had once wanted to date Toni, but waited too long and lost her. He married someone else and they grew apart, and upon his divorce he found out that she’d betrayed him by having an abortion. These two heart-wounded people struggle with learning to trust again, and to love again.

7. What are you working on now? – I always work on several stories at the same time. But the main one I’m writing now is the sequel to Trusting Love Again. Corrupting the Sheriff is the story of two people from the first one: Dakota and Alex. They had a single date years ago, went their separate ways, and are now figuring out how to live in the same town together. The attraction is intense between them, as is the determination to fight it, particularly from Alex’s side. He has come up with a list of Wife Qualifications and Dakota doesn’t fit any of them.

8. How can people find you?