Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Featuring Books by Anabelle Bryant


Is there a lady in the land who can resist this scoundrel’s charms?
At her step-mother’s command, Isabelle – and her irrepressible step-sister Lily – are leaving the pleasantries of the English countryside behind them, and heading straight to the bustling heart of a London season. Isabelle couldn’t care less about fashionable society, and is even less interested in the name on the lips of every ballroom gossip - Lord Constantine Highborough, reputedly a scoundrel of the highest order! But once he sets eyes on the stunningly beautiful Isabelle, London’s most notorious rake knows exactly where to direct his devilishly bewitching smile.
And everybody knows that Constantine always gets what he wants, usually leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him…

Rumors of insanity taint his past...undeniable passion dictates his future. Is the temptation of true love strong enough to obliterate the darkness?
Devlin Ravensdale, Duke of Wharncliffe, has created an existence void of society. Content in his solitude, Wharncliffe is hardly prepared for the responsibility of a ward...especially not a woman as breathtakingly beautiful as Alexandra Grantchester.
The lady shuns marriage the same way he deflects social obligation, yet a the lady harbours her own secrets and while a stronger force pulls them together in a tumultuous future of confrontation and disbelief it will take true love to find their happily-ever-after.

A gentleman by day…
 Phineas Betcham, Viscount Fenhurst is one of the country’s most eligible bachelors...which - to the heartbreak of each season’s new debutantes - is the way he intends to keep it. Because the broodingly handsome Viscount has vowed to keep emotions out of the bedchamber. And he is a man who always stays true to his word.
 So when Penelope Rosebery arrives at his home, impoverished and in need of help, Phin is every inch the gentleman. But, beneath the surface, Penelope stirs a protective and passionate instinct within him. With her untamed beauty and lack of social ties, she’s something of a wildflower – delicate, spontaneous, and rare. And before long, Phineas finds himself tempted to abandon his rulebook…and leave etiquette behind until daybreak.   

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday - Anabelle Bryant 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 historical romance, Regency early 1800s England. I'm locked into this period by what I love to read and write. If there was ever a way for me to return to this timeless era, I wouldn't hesitate. I marvel at authors who dabble in several genres. I find I'm very much rooted (and happily so) in historic England. I wouldn't attempt paranormal since I'm scared of my own shadow.

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

Oh, heroes, definitely heroes. I love writing from the male point of view and find my heroes always have more dialogue, more scenes, more everything in my novels, even though I don't intentionally shape the story that way. I'm not sure what it says about me, that I'm more comfortable with the male's journey rather than the female's. At least it makes for a unique and interesting delivery.
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 stories are character driven, so almost everything begins and ends with a personality trait, a shared conversation or interesting quirk. Rarely is plot a impetus to the romance. My heroes are flawed, very human, and often bothered by an unresolved issue, either emotional or circumstantial. Of course, they're always handsome; inspired by handsome men in real life, yet they're never the "perfect" male because perfect is not real and I want my love stories to be believable.
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?

My heroines are strong, independent thinkers who possess their own dreams and desires without needed a man to complete their life's goals. I became inspired to write this type of heroine after tiring of the "damsel in distress" so often portrayed in romance novels. I strive to write my heroine's goals as being as important as the hero's. Equality in all things as they find love along the way.
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?
My romances don't have "villains", but of course there is conflict. Circumstances which lead to problems, interrupting the ebb and flow of the relationship. Conflict can evolve in all forms and isn't always a person in my novels. Weather, finances, pride and stubbornness can be "villians" without ever introducing a new face.

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

The Midnight Rake releases on January 13th and is Phineas' story. Penelope is the heroine. Both characters have sworn off love for personal reasons. Additionally, they've buried secrets that come into play as their relationship progresses. Phin is a boxer and he finds his toughest fight is against the desire he has for a woman promised to someone else.
7. What are you working on now?

I've started a new series that has me very excited. Regency set, this quartet revolves around a silver bracelet that affects each novels' love story in different impactful ways.
8. How can people find you?
            Website -
            Blog -
            Twitter -

            Facebook -   

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday's Heroine - Emme from the Amber Chronicles by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

The light of the moon brought a shimmer to the amber sphere.  Emme slid from the globe and stretched.  She had remained with in the globe for years awaiting the light of the full moon to strike the surface.  She had until moonset to live on this side of time.  How long had the amber been hidden in the dark.  Had the time of her release come?  Could she again attempt another trial with the rulers of Rivand?

As her strength grew, she saw the man on the road.  “Who is he?  As she peered at him, she knew he wasn’t the man for whom she had entered the globe.  She knelt beside the body.  Someone had beaten him.  “Who are you?”

He groaned.  “Kristen.”  He tried to rise but fell back.

She saw the horse and knew she couldn’t tend to the young man here.  She would have to get him onto the horse.  She gathered the things the thieves had strewn about and put them in the pack.  When the horse drew near, she commanded the beast to remain as still as one carved from stone.

With a struggle, she got Kristen to his feet and managed to shove him across the saddle.  She fastened the haversack to the saddle, put the amber globe in her tunic and mounted.  She felt herself begin to fade and pulled the sphere into the moonlight.  She prodded the horse along the trail and came upon her cottage.

A cry erupted when she saw the ruined garden.  Though spring had arrived little green showed.  The cottage remained but the wooden door and shutters had rotted away.  She halted the horse at the door and using Kristen’s blanket she managed to drag him to the house.

Dust and debris that had blown through the door and windows crunched beneath hr feet.  She started a fire and found a large pail for water.  When she returned, his eyes were open.  She heated the water and washed his wounds.


“Yes,” she said.

“How did you come?”  He looked at the amber globe on the table.

“For one night each lunar, I can be in this world but only when the light of the full moon shines on the amber can I be released but at moonset I must enter the amber again.  Be still and let me tend you.”

With gentle touches, she washed the blood from the knife wounds on his arms.  She took leaves she’d found on several plants and placed them over the cuts.  As she washed, she studied him.  He looked a bit like his grandfather and the other princes she had loved.  He was leaner and the signs of dissipation were in his eyes.

“Why do you harm yourself?”  she asked.

He shrugged.  “There is nothing left for me to do and no way to serve the kingdom.  All the positions belong to my brothers.”  He winced when she cleaned the wound on his head.”

“Nothing?”  she asked.

“Marriage to someone I’ve never met.  Travel to another country to live as an exile for all my days.”

She washed the blood from his hair.  “Then we have that in common.  I was banished from my world to search for a man to love me.  I found love, at least I thought I did.  But my love was never returned.”

“Then stay with me.”

“I can’t.  I must see this to the end.  One day when a hundred years of less has passed a crown prince will arrive to answer my call. Perhaps he’ll be the one.”  A line of pain crossed Kristan’s face.  She gentled her touch.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

He pushed into a sitting position.  “The night my grandfather died, he told me the story of how you came to live with him and what you did for love.  I think if his honor had not meant he had to marry his betrothed, he might have chosen you.”

She shook her head.  “Sometimes when the moon was full and shone on the amber globe, I left the stone and saw a man who was happy with his life’s choice.”

She looked outside and picked up the globe.  “Sleep now.”  She caressed his forehead until his eyes closed.  Then she let the amber globe envelop her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Setting Background or Foreground #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Setting is important to the stories. The setting can be a background against which the characters are portrayed. Setting can be the foreground and actually become an integral part of the story.

So how do you use setting. An important element of the story is the atmosphere. One can go through paragraphs and paragraphs where the setting is shown in detail. Now this can be boring to the reader.

A better way is to show the setting as the characters view it or as they interact with what is there. Suddenly the setting becomes important to the characters and to the story.

The setting can also define the mood of a story. You can use a house to create a scary moment or one of wealth. Using the senses during the writing of the setting. There's a restaurant. What are the aromas. The vase what does it feel to the touch.

So define your setting to draw the reader into the story and to show the atmosphere of the story.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - What's a Good Novel #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

When I was reading an old essay by  Ira Wolfert I had to read the first line twice. Though I've never read anything the man wrote, he certainly knew how to grab attention. He's also a Pulitzer prize winner. Here's the line.

"Although many have succeeded, no one has ever tried to write a bad novel." Think about it. Now we've all read bad novels but the authors thought they had something to say. The saying may have been flawed. The characters could have been one dimensional. The characters could be operating in a vacuum with no setting defined. What every the reason, the author didn't start out to write what we didn't want to read.

Mr. Wolfert goes on to mention several things that make a novel a good one. People read for many reasons so a good novel must satisfy the reason a reader wants to read a particular book. A novel must be an experience. The words must be written by someone with a powerful imagination that draws a reader into the story. The characters must appear human, even if they're not. I once read a science fiction story where one of the characters was totally not human but the story kept me reading word after word. The setting should make the reader feel as if they are there or would like to be there.

So when you sit down to write your novel, remember you want to make this a good novel and use your imagination to draw the readers and make them recognize some part of the character is inside themselves. Or the setting is what they know,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Meander 1 - Dilemma- What do you do when you've promised someone to read their story and you start and can't get past page five. She ahs made every mistake in the book. The book has been published. The right margin is erratic making reading difficult. The first five pages are back story. Yes, it's part of a series but is billed so you think you can read any book in the series without needing to know the back story. Problem is you see the backstory continues for another few pages. Then there are at least ten characters introduced in those five pages. This is my dilemma and I will slog on but can I give it a review. Probably not. I don't like to review the books of others and do it very seldom. I don't like to bad=mouth other people's works.

Meander 2 - My Kindle is while not dead is very sick. I will hve to replace it and I need to know if I have enough money in my account. Will check when I have a moment.

Meader 3 - Writing is going poorly. There isn't enough time to do what I must but I will at least try. to complete this book before the deadline. I thought March but it's now February. Oh well, I'll live.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday's Featured Book - Choices by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Hospital politics mix with romance. 

Johanna Gordon devotes her time and energy to her job as Director of Nursing at Hudson Community Hospital. With budget cuts hanging over her head, Johanna suspects the CEO of scheming a plan that threatens her job as well as the hospital, and she’s determined to find out why.

The choices she’s made for herself and her career leave her with no social life until she meets Dylan Connelly. He’s everything she’s always wanted, loving, devoted to his kids and everything she’s never had. Just when she finds love with the new man, an old flame returns with promises of a life together. Johanna has to decide between security and companionship, while trying to recapture the past, or moving forward with her new life.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs Featuring Books by Jude Pittman #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Since I mentioned this one in the responses, here is the link to purchase Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula and a short blurb

What’s a girl to do? Katherine Shipton has a painting that talks, an ancestor who won’t stay in her own century, and a former boyfriend with a serious ax to grind against her new fiancĂ©. She already has a full plate, but when said ancestor sends her tripping back and forth between the 15th and 21st century without benefit of psychedelic drugs, the poor girl begins to doubt her own sanity. Then her best friend, a high fashion model with more than her own share of psychic energy, and her troubleshooting aunt show up on her doorstep in response to a psychic SOS Katherine swears she didn’t send. Life couldn't get more complicated. At least, that's what she thinks until her oilman fiancĂ© disappears in the Gulf of Mexico and a DEA agent knocks on her door.

My latest published book is a Trilogy containing the first three books in my Texas detective series.  A Murder State of Mind.
A Murder State of Mind Trilogy
A three book mystery trilogy featuring Texas private investigator Kelly McWinter.

Deadly Secrets: A retired cop who suffered a personal tragedy is coming to grips with his grief and considering returning to law enforcement. That decision escalates when he finds a friend murdered. Coincidences, the emergence of a secret life, a treasure, an heiress searching for her birth mother and the ulterior motives of some regular citizens all have Kelly McWinter scrambling to uncover the truth before his best friend ends up behind bars.

Deadly Betrayal: With his new PI license, and an arrangement to help out Augustus Graham at the Fort Worth PD, whenever needed, Kelly McWinter is back in the saddle again. Just in time to catch a call from good friend Stella Davis. Stella's niece Marcy is an up and coming young singer from Nashville and she's pregnant. The married lover is a playboy named Alex Wyatt and Stella's afraid Marcy is about to get hung out to dry. Kelly agrees to look into the case and heads for Houston to meet up with Stella.

Deadly Consequences: Two Texans, Cam Belscher and feisty redhead Stella Davis have picked a remote lodge in Oregon to tie the knot. Flash forward to the middle of the night. The sound of lodge owner Bubba Tate banging away on the cabin door is enough to put a damper on any honeymoon, and when the reason for Bubba's late night intrusion turns out to be murder at Gillian’s riding stable in Fort Worth, the wedding trip is over. Don't miss this third and final volume of the Kelly McWinter PI mysteries.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday - Jude Pittman 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?

Mainly I write mystery, however, I’ve also co-written a paranormal time travel with author Gail Roughton.  My reading choices definitely reflect my writing choices, I’m an avid mystery fan and always have been.  I would never attempt horror because I’m sure I’d scare myself too badly to finish my book.  I’m also not a fantasy writer – my mind is too full of this one world without trying to invent worlds on my own, but I really admire people who can do that – what a job building an entire world for your characters to inhabit.

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

I love writing hero’s – especially detectives and high profile investigators, They come easiest to me, and it’s the most fun for me to imagine myself in one of those personas. 

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?

The hero’s in my stories just seem to find me. I have an image of what they’re going to look like before I even have the story.  I don’t know about all writers but for me it’s important that a hero possesses characteristics that I feel are important in a person I would admire.  The characters always come before the plot in my stories. I have a general idea of what’s going to happen and where I want the story to go, but it doesn’t always happen that way, sometimes right out of the blue a character will take off in a completely different direction than what I envisioned. 

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?

               Heroines are harder for me because they always have to be smart and good at what they do and strong with definite ideas and attitudes, so I have to be careful not to let the heroine overshadow the hero.  Again, my heroines do pretty much the same as my hero’s, they just come along when I’m writing and  sometimes they take a much bigger role than what I had originally envisioned for them.

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

               Villains are always bad guys in my stories.  I have very definite ideas of what a makes a bad guy, and they are usually characters that are composites of people that I have known, heard about or read about.  They don’t come to me as full blown characters the way my heros and heroines do – maybe because I do not admire them and am not open to their worming their way into my head, but they are definitely made up of what I consider the least attractive features of my fellow men and women – I just take a bunch of characteristics, shake them up in a jar and pull out the ones that will work the best for the bad guy I’m writing about at the time.

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

My latest release is Sisters of Prophecy, Ursula. This book, co-written with another Books We Love author, Gail Roughton is the fulfillment of a dream of mine.  I’m descended from Mother Shipton of 15th century England.  She’s in the history books as a reputed prophetess who prophesied about all kinds of events hundreds of years before they happened.  Like the Civil war in the USA before America was even discovered and planes and submarines, all kinds of stuff like that.  All my life I wanted to write about her as a young woman, but I’m not a historical fiction author, and it wasn’t until Gail and I met up in Hawaii and started chatting about what if Mother Shipton appeared to Shipton descendants and had them carrying out certain tasks that needed to be done back in the 15th Century, but the girls were modern and the timeframe of the book was contemporary, with little side jaunts back into the 15th century.  The more we talked about it the more the story grew until we were both so excited we could hardly wait to get it written.  It’s definitely one of my favorites.

7. What are you working on now?

               I am working on another Kelly McWinter mystery.  This one, A Murder State of Mind, Deadly Lights  brings back some of my characters from my original Murder State of Mind series, Deadly Secrets, Deadly Betrayal and Deadly Consequences.

8. How can people find you?
               Twitter            @judepittman

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday's Heroine - Aria from The Amber Cage by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Aria sat in the audience chamber near the dais where a pair of thrones stood. Her father, King Palos, stood to sing the pronouncements for the last case of the day presented for judgment. His magnificent tenor vocalized the decision. She heard a slight waver. She clasped her hands to control the tremors. The end of his time as ruler of Harmony had begun.

She stared around the room. She would never rule alone for though her soprano voice held a rich and extended range she had no skill with composition. Her ability to use musical instruments was average though she excelled in strings. Aria drew a deep breath. She knew where her duty lay. How she wished there would be love in the marriage she must make but she would do her duty to Harmony.

The moment the audience ended her father came to her. He placed his hands on her shoulders. “You know what lies ahead.”

The sadness in his voice spoke of his need for comfort as well as his gift of the same to her. “I know and I am duty bound.”

The king sighed. “So many generations have passed since the heir to the throne had to wed for duty rather than for love.”

The rich tenor held the birr she’s heard earlier. Soon the entire kingdom would know the king had reached the end of his rule and would become Emeritus.

Aria stepped away. She drew a deep breath. Her answer flowed on pure soprano notes. “Though I yearn for love I will do as I must. I pray a man with a strong voice and talent in the other areas will sit at my side. A man whose melodies will blend with mine.”

Paulus kissed her brow. “You must gather your clothes. The special wardrobe, bed, table and chairs are being carried to the forecourt.” His notes held deep sadness. “I go to fetch the Pipes of Discord.”

“The Pipes. The Pipes of Discord will seal my fate.” Her soprano echoed her father’s emotions.

Aria rubbed her arms. Once her father played the strange instrument she would remain in the amber cage until a man appeared to turn discord into melody. The man who claimed her hand would excel in composition and have a mastery over musical instruments and voice. Hope and fear caused her heart to pound with the booming depth of the sound of a kettle drum.

She gathered simple gowns she could don with no help for she would be alone. When her choices had been made she called the servants. She followed them to the forecourt where they hung the clothes on one side of the wardrobe. The other side was a small room where she could wash, dress and attend to private needs.

Servants brought a bed. Aria stared. Curtains enclosed the space but she was glad she'd packed no nightshifts. Sleeping in her clothes made sense since she would be where she could be seen.

A frown wrinkled her brow. Though she’d read tales of the amber cage she had no idea how food, drink and water would appear. Was magic involved?

Words tumbled in her thoughts. Questions and ponderings that needed music to make them complete. How she wished for the skill to change sad thoughts into a solo. Alas, the music remained trapped between her head and her heart. She placed her lute on the table. The instrument was a necessity. She would need to strum chords for the short recitatives exchanged with her father and the curious who came to view her and the cage. Would the man she would wed arrive soon?

Her father approached. She saw The Pipes of Discord. He held the bag over his shoulder and the mouthpiece beside his cheek. She walked toward him.

“Are you ready?” he sang.

She gulped a breath. “I will miss our quiet times.” Notes of sadness colored her song.

“As I will miss you, my brave daughter. The Academy is prepared to judge those who will try to qualify. Summons have been sent to every corner of the land. Already men flock into town and take a number for their place in the line of aspirants.”

Aria watched her father stride to the steps. Members of the palace staff, the king’s advisors and the noble families stood behind him. Guards formed a line around the square of grass where the cage would appear.

The king primed the pipes and pressed the mouthpiece between his lips and played. No song but ear-hurting noises like the squalling of fighting cats, the screams of a dying rabbit and the growls of forest beasts filled the air. The cacophony caused Aria to press her hands against her ears. Her muscles and joints screamed with pain.

The ground beneath her trembled. Aria’s eyes widened. A slab of amber covered the grass beneath her feet. Along the four sides bars rose to a height at least thrice hers. From the bars amber flowed and met over her head.

“I am enclosed. I am entrapped. I am a prisoner until the man who possesses the three talents needed by a ruler arrives.” Her soprano notes rose above the screeching instrument.

“She is enclosed. She is entrapped. She waits for her rescuer to arrive.” The great mass of people sang in chorus echoing her plaintive song.

Her father approached the bars. He stretched his arm through the narrow space. “It is done, my brave daughter. And now we wait.” His voice reached its lowest register.

“Now I wait. I wait for the man who can turn discord into melody.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Ways of Revealing Your Characters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Now that you know who your major players are and you've forbidden them to do all those things characters shouldn't do, how do you let the reader know who this person is?

There are many ways. One of my favorites is to have other characters give their impression of the character. This can be done by their observation but better in a conversation between, say the heroine and her best friend or the villain and his crony. Of course the heroine's best friend could be kind of a villain or just one who has her doubts about the hero. As for the villain, he wants to paint the hero black for the heroine, but he might be more subtle when talking to a crony.

Another way is to have the character, hero, heroine or villain do some introspection to reveal what he or she is really like. Don't have them look at themselves in a mirror though. This has been overused. Also be careful about the heroine who talks about her glorious blonde tresses. She probably wouldn't think about hair color, eye color of herself but would relish hearing someone else praise her assets.

Showing the character at work can also give a bit about their character. Having someone dash off a note or send a dozen emails might show one kind of character. I've often used this when I'm writing about nurses and doctors. Characters can be one way on the job and different in other ways. I used this contrast in Pursuing Doctor West. The heroine is very serious at work and her life becomes a comedy of errors off the job.

Giving a character something that's important to them and becomes their symbol is a good way to show character. This could be a word, an object but something that belongs to the character and appears when they do.

So there are many ways of revealing the characters. Try to use one of more as you show the readers jsut what your character is like.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - A Bit More From Pearl S. Buck #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

Chuckled when I read this bit in an old essay by Pearl S. Buck. "An extrovert finds himself boring and turns to anybody else he can find." She goes on to say "The novelist, therefroe, who is an extrovert by nature or cultivation, stands a fair chance."

I never thought of myself as an extrovert in the way she describes but I do find my life is boring. The life of the characters I invent is more interesting than anything that occurs in my life. What about you? Do you find your fictional characters more interesting than yourself?

I've thought about this for a time. I also find when I'm investing in a character I'm curious about what's happening in his or her life. One I'm finished writing about their story, I'm ready to move on to new characters. Does this mean the writer is also fickle? I'm afraid so.

I've been asked many times which is my favorite of the characters in my stories. My response is I really can't choose but the one I'm working with now is my favorite for the moment.

I remember my father once telling me and I'll try to get it right. This was a long time ago. "Men are like streetcars. There's another one along every minute." Well that's the way this writer feels about her characters. There's another one along, maybe not every minute, but every time I start to write a new book.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor, #BooksWeLove

Meander 1- Contests. Starting in October, I become a contest judge as well as a writer and numerous other jogs. I judge in three contests. One has three parts beginning with reading just three chapters, moving on to entire books looking for the books that will go into the final stage. This is fun and also interesting to see that there are some books I love and some I hate. They are always published books. The first contest is for unpublished works and this is something interesting. What a joy to find pages that tease me to want more. The third is again published books and a preliminary round where a variety of sub-genres arrive for me to read. Have I found new authors when judging published authors. Definitely. Now I don't enter contests. It's not that I don't think my books are wonderful. I just don't enter contests any longer.

Meander 2 - I have nearly finished undecorating the house for Christmas. There are  few more ornaments on the tree to take down. Some of them I can accomplish but others are too high. This year the tree is seven feet, a change from last year's six feet. I could stretch but I can't stretch that extra foot.

Meander 3 - The Goddesses of Solunda is moving, not as fast as I want but I think it will more smoother when I finish cleaning up the old and I do mean old manuscript and can work on beating the story into shape. I did receive the cover for the book. After some tweeking and changing the hero's picture the cover looks great. The hero and heroine are twins so there must be some resemblance between them. Hopefully it worked. I'm really not a cover person.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday - Code Blue by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Code Blue is available both electronically and in print. Having been a nurse I experienced one of those moments when this idea came about. So many medical suspense books are about evil doctors who have diabolical plans and murder at will. So I decided to twist things just a bit.

Medical suspense with a twist
Code Blue

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

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

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Diane Scott Lewis #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

***Announce I’d like to do a Giveaway of A Savage Exile, depending on how many comments we get. People should leave their email addresses so I can send as a Kindle gift. I will choose, no problem.
Day 2

For this day, send me the blurbs of books you have available. Not them all since there are some of us who have many books, but if you write in several genres or subgenres, send one. Include the buy links so people can find your books. Limit this to five or six blurbs.

Here is the blurb of my recent release.

My historical vampire story, A Savage Exile: Vampires with Napoleon on St. Helena
Isabelle, a young French maid, follows her notorious mistress to the island of St. Helena after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. She discovers quickly that a “beast” roams this remote island, and people are vanishing or found drained of blood. She falls in love with Saint-Denis, Napoleon’s valet, but this enigmatic young man hides a deadly secret. Hudson Lowe, the island’s governor—a vampire himself—plans to destroy the French. Isabelle rushes with her lover to stop the vicious outcome, and save her own life.
Buy Link:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday, Diane Scott Lewis is talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #BooksWeLove #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 started writing historical fiction when I was a child and it’s still my preferred genre. I do read a lot of historical novels, and non-fiction for historical research. I recently wrote a vampire novel, A Savage Exile, but the setting is historical, on the remote island of St. Helena during Napoleon’s exile in 1815.
I used to think I wouldn’t attempt horror novels, but my vampire novel nudges in that direction.

 2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
In my recent novel, A Savage Exile, I loved writing the villain, Hudson Lowe, a person with few boundaries and ugly intentions. Great fun! Heroines come much easier than heroes, probably because as a woman I can delve deeper into a woman’s mindset, emotions and so forth.

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 always flawed and never the Alpha-males with muscled, perfect bodies so popular in romantic fiction. I like a man who is real, has a temper, harbors secrets, can be selfish, mysterious, but always, deep down, good at heart. Oh, but, he’s usually very handsome. Sometimes I’ll base my hero’s looks on a movie actor, with his own quirks of course.
My heroes at first come from the plot, but as I write (I don’t outline a story) he grows and changes as I get to know him better.

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?
 My heroines are me inside, tough, determined, and outspoken, but beautiful on the outside. They are never perfect, however. They have insecurities, and other flaws. In my research into the eighteenth century, my favorite time-period, I found many women with the strong qualities mentioned above. Many believed in women’s rights, wrote books on the subject, so don’t let anyone tell you that those ideas didn’t materialize until the twentieth century.
As with the hero, my heroine grows and changes as I get to know her.

 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’ve only ever been in one villain’s POV, in A Savage Exile. I did give Hudson Lowe some good qualities; his love for his wife is one, his agony over what happened to turn him into a vampire is another, so the reader can understand him as a person.

 6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
A Savage Exile is my latest release. The hero is Ali Saint-Denis, a conflicted man with a terrible secret. The heroine is Isabelle, a French maid, who falls in love with him, despite her suspicions as to his strange predilections. I’ve already mention the villain, Hudson Lowe.

 7. What are you working on now?
A historical murder mystery set in Cornwall, England during the American Revolution. It’s called The Apothecary’s Widow. Here’s a blurb: Who poisoned Squire Pentreath’s scold of a wife? The apothecary who prepared the infusions—Pentreath owns Jenna’s building and wants to sell and push her out, one of the manor’s disgruntled staff, or the beleaguered husband himself? Two disparate people, Jenna and Pentreath, must come together to solve the crime before either one of them is sent to the gallows.

 8. How can people find you?





Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday's Heroine - Jalese from The Amber Tower by Janet Lane Walters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

The strains of a waltz filled the air with a poignant melody.  This evening the king of Lamau hosted a ball.  Women in brightly colored dresses swirled around the room on the arms of courtiers equally garbed in brilliant shades.

Jalese sighed.  As usual she hadn’t been asked to dance.  Why would any of the courtiers want to escort a plain, ordinary and often clumsy young woman, even if the king was her uncle?
When her cousin, Cyna, glided by on the arms of a handsome man Jalese sighed.  Cyna’s bright pink gown clung to her lush body while the paler gauze draperies moved like a cloud around her hips and legs.

Envy shot into Jalese’s thoughts.  Cyna was all she wasn’t.  Cyna’s blonde hair hung in ringlets down her back.  Her eyes were the blue of sapphires.

We should be friends, Jalese thought.  But we’re not.

One day soon their uncle would name as his heir the niece who found a husband who would be trusted with the rule.  A princess needed a prince and there were none available in the nearby kingdoms.

The music ended.  The king rose from where he sat with his friends.  Jalese left the secluded window seat.  The sorceress of Lamau appeared at the king’s side.  Her appearance was magical.  She raised her hands and sent clouds of scented flowers through the room.  “A prince has been summoned and will soon arrive.”

A hundred voices murmured and the sound rose in pitch.  Jalese drew in a breath and felt her hopes vanish like rain puddles after a summer storm.

Cyna clapped her hands.  She whirled.  Like a homing pigeon she appeared at Jalese’s side.  “Isn’t the news wonderful?  A prince has been found.”  She patted Jalese’s shoulder.  “Do you know what this means?”

Jalese did but she refused to cede the crown to her cousin who had arrived at the castle eight years ago.  Though Cyna had been born on the same day in the same hour and minute as Jalese when she appeared the king had been surprised to learn of her birth.  His estrangement from his oldest sister had been complete.

Jalese’s thoughts raced with questions.  When would this mysterious prince appear?  What kind of man would he be?  Her uncle was a good king who cared for the land and the people.  Would a stranger possess these qualities?  If he did could he maintain them with Cyna as his bride?

The sorceress bowed to the king.  “Be prepared for his arrival. He will be found and must be freed.”  She vanished.

Once the buzz of voices became whispers the king walked toward the refreshment room.  “Come, food and drink awaits.”  He led the way to the buffet tables.

A cluster of courtiers surrounded Cyna.  Jalese tried to escape but her cousin grasped her arm.
“Join us for the repast.”  Cyna’s honeyed voice added to Jalese’s edginess.  “The sorceress’ announcement will bring you much attention.  When I wed this prince there be any number of my court who want to wed a princess.”

Cyna’s unspoken words were clear to Jalese.  “I’m not hungry.”

“I won’t let you run off the way you usually do.  Did none of the courtiers ask you to dance?  If you continue to lurk in dark corners you’ll never wed.”

Jalese stumbled several times in the journey to the buffet room.  Twice she almost fell.  Her thoughts were as scrambled as breakfast eggs.  One of the courtiers pulled out a chair at one of the tables for her.  Why all this attention, Jalese wondered.  Being with these laughing maidens and men made her wary.  If only she could escape.

The courtiers strode away.  With grace Cyna lowered herself onto one of the chairs.  “Someone must take you in hand.  When I’m queen you’ll need a home elsewhere.”

Jalese’s hands fisted.  “The palace has been my home since I was two.”

“And mine since I was twelve.”  Cyna smiled.  “When I’m queen I’ll make many changes.  Uncle is too generous to the people and the taxes are much too low.  The entire palace must be redecorated.”

Jalese stared at the table.  Cyna would also spend money on jewels and fine clothes.  She would beggar the kingdom.  Jalese looked for an escape but her cousin blocked the aisle.  A man servant filled goblets with deep red wine.  The courtiers arrived with plates of food.

Cyna lifted a carydad and turned to Jalese.  “Try one.  They’re delicious.”

“And poison to me.”  Jalese jerked back and her hand hit one of the goblets.  Dark red liquid spilled across the table and spattered her bright green gown.

Cyna’s hand flew to her mouth.  “Oh dear, you’ve ruined your gown.  A blessing though.  That color makes your skin look muddy.”

Jalese pushed her chair back and fled from the room.  Instead of going to her chamber she slipped from the palace.  Surely her cousin would invade her privacy with dulcet words of sympathy for another ruined gown and jab holes in any self-confidence that remained.

Jalese wanted what she could never have.  She wanted to be the queen.  Her uncle spent hours teaching her the things a ruler should know leaving little time or inclination to learn the graces of a lady.

When she reached the towering trees of the woods behind the palace grounds she sank to the ground.  Though autumn had arrived the night was unseasonably warm.  She pulled her shawl around her shoulders.  She cried until no more tears would come.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Choosing the Characters #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Now we're looned at all the things characters shouldn't do, the time has come to look at which characters will tell the story you want to tell. According to Karen Wiesner in From First Draft To Finished Novel there are main characters, secondary characters and minor characters. She also thinks in most books two main characters hero and heroine with perhaps a villain are all that's needed.

I sometimes agree with her and sometimes not since I write what I call as ensemble books where there can be a number of characters telling the stories. This can make life confusing but hopefully not the story.

So how do you choose the characters to make your story sing. Characters for me follow the plot. I have the story idea and know where I'm going. Then I devise my characters. I use Astrology for their traits. Their inner self, their outer self and their emotional self. I also look at something else. Who has the most to win? and Who has the most to lose? This brings two characters into conflict. When I look at the secondary characters I make them choose sides and also to have their own agenda. Often this gives me a villain, one whose agenda is very different from the hero and heroine.

With secondary and minor characters, the writer must give them a role. Minor characters may be there for a single scene but what they contribute must be vital to the story. Secondary characters have a larger role and need more development. If the character isn't needed, leave them out.

The story I'm currently working on is a fantasy and there are two main characters but they aren't the romantic hero and heroine. They're twins. She is a Healer, he has been a shepherd and thought to have no talents. The other major minor characters are a Sensitive, a Singer, an Elder and a young man named as a Teacher but he has no talents. He becomes the villain.

So while two or three characters can make a story, Sometimes more are needed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Quote from Pearl S. Buck #BooksWeLove #MFRWauthor

Pearl S. Buck wrote With simplicity and yet there is much to learn from her writing. This quote I found to inspire me. "Communication is quite as important, no, more important than self-expression." Thought about this for a long time and decided what she meant was for the writer to step outside of their own importance and write simply and with passion.

Sitting with a Thesaurus and finding new words or the dictionary takes the writer out of the work. Suddenly what they're writing self-conscious. How can I make this sound fancier. What new metaphor can I add to the strings of metaphores that abound in my work. One stops looking at the story and becomes the one who wants to show just how erudite they are.

We've probably all done this. I remember having a dictionary and a thesaurus at my side as I began writing. Looking frantically to find another word to add to my list of words. One day I became bored with this and put those books aside. Oh, I still use them when I want to know how to spell a word or when a word I've chosen isn't just right. But mostly I write with the words I use most of the time. Trying to make my communication simple enough for others to understand. Doesn't always happen but one must try.

What about you? Are you working with the words you know and adding to them slowly but not to use them to impress people? Have you learned to communicate you must write whatothers can understand and not drown them in words.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveAuthor

 Meander 1 - I fear my Kindle has died and there are books on there I want to read. Tomorrow I will have to explore why I can open the book. Then when I close the Kindle when I come back on the book is gone from the list. Also I've had to re-program the reader every day and sometimes once or twice. This is frustrating but I will persist and solve the problem.

Meander 2 - We are having weird weather. I know it's winter and it should be cold but cold enough to freeze the hot water and let the cold go full force. Almost a week of doing dishes by hand is too much. Tonight we achieved the hot water and the dishwasher runs.

Meander 3 - Writing. Though what I'm working on is going well, there is a lot of typing to do and I'm hoping to finish this about 80,000 word mss by the end of March. Did fill out the art form. Once again this is an ensemble story and doing the art and writing a blurb for a book that sometimes reminds me of Pilgrim's Progress or sometimes The Magic Flute with the journeying around and the strange people who are met. Work is slowed by the fact that my husband requires a lot of hands on care. That will hopefully get better so I can return to six hours of work instead of three, Enough complaints. I can do this and I will,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday - Talking About My Books - Melodic Dreams #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveAuthor

As usual, the heroine Maria was born under the sign of Cancer. She arrives in Fern Lake with her nephew. His mother died at his birth and she has been looking for the child's father, All she knew was his first name until she was sorting through papers in the attic after her mother's death. She finds the name of her nephew's father. Having just finished her studies to become an Occupational Therapist, she hears about an opening in Fern Lake the town where Jay lives. She applies and accepts the job. Her move is a stealthy one, not wanting her greedy brother to know where she has gone and where the child's father lives.

Jay is a music composer born under the sign of Taurus. When his wife left and her threat to abort the child he wanted, he goes into a downspin. He searched for her. but found no trace. For several years he didn't touch the piano or do any composing. The detective he hired discovered his wife's death in a car accident but there was no mention of a child. He finally straightens himself out and starts to compose again. Then a woman and a child appear on his doorstep. She claims the boy is his son. The child does look like his ex-wife but also like Maria. Then he sees the boy's green eyes that are so like his.

Will Jay accept this child and learn to love him? Will he allow the attraction to Maria die because of her dead sister. For Maria, has she hidden from her brother or will he come to make trouble?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Karla Stover #Books We Loveauthor #MFRWAuthor

     “I really think the vicar has wigged out.” Isca exhaled lungs full of cigarette smoke. Her smoke rings drifted away.
     Ever since my friend, Isca Haines, began a part-time job on a sex phone line, I’d been hearing about her clients and their needs. Some were funny, most were routine but her stories were always entertaining.
     “Okay, now, I have two problems with that statement. First, does anyone say, ‘wigged out’ anymore and second, what’s with the word, vicar? It’s an English term.”
     “Entirely irrelevant, both of them.”
     “Or irreverent—for a vicar. Get it?”
                                                           Murder on the Line, chapter 1, page 1

     I had been writing a gothic novel but my writer’s was pitching a fit about it. One night, when I was working swing shift in a hamburger booth under the grandstand at the Washington state Fair after my full-time, day job at Merrill Lynch, hoping to earn enough to pay for a class at UW since I’d gone back to college, Billy Ray Cyrus was singing “Achy Breaky Heart”, business was nil, and I came up with this opener for a murder mystery. My group liked it but I did find out there is a pro/con debate about whether books should begin with dialogue. The publisher, Books We Love (BWL) changed the original title (Dial 9 Uh! Oh!) because they didn’t want an exclamation mark in the title but didn’t seem to care about the “dialogue” issue, and the book came out.

     Fog rolled down from Canada and pressed against the smoke a Northern Pacific engine emitted, obliterating the view outside the train’s windows of old-growth timber on one side of the tracks and Commencement Bay on the other.
                                                          A Feather for a Fan, chapter 1, page 1

     I was editing (a process I hate) the sequel to Murder on the Line and writing A Feather for a Fan at the same time. I’d spent the better part of a year reading Tacoma, WA newspapers from the 1870s because that when the book takes place, and I was eager to capture what the protagonist experienced her first day on Puget Sound. Then someone quoted to me Elmore Leonard’s first rule of writing: Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a charac­ter's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead look­ing for people.” Well, dang. I follow his rules to never use a dialogue attribution other than “said”, and to avoid prologues, which I never read, anyway, but I couldn’t let my opening sentence go. Fortunately, GALE Cengage Learning, who published it, had no weather issues, but, honestly . . .

The day I saw Alice Thorndyke’s body pulled from Hood Canal was the day I gave up eating crab. I knew what they ate. Dungeness and Red Rock crab soft-shell season had just started, and I shuddered at the thought of a chilled crab cocktail.
                                                     Murder, When One Isn’t Enough, chapter 1, page 1
The sequel to Murder on the Line came out at the first of this year. So far, no complaints about crabs’ diets, but I did have to change the title from Tahuya Daze. Tahuya is a small community on Hood Canal where the book mostly takes place.

I can’t imagine what I would do if I didn’t write—certainly not be a better housekeeper. Happily, I discovered nothing is dusty if I remove my glasses and if items always remain in their same spot. Move them and a dustless ring shows. Murder mysteries are hard for me; I thought about one set in a brokerage house (I worked at Merrill Lynch for 42 years, six months and half-an-hour: guess what I did during the last half-an-hour), however there are too many possible suspects among the angry clients, jealous brokers, assorted people having affairs, jealous brokers’ wives, gay and straight relations, etc. that the idea overwhelms me even though I have a great title: Fill or Kill. The term means different things depending on the exchange the order goes to. So right now I’m editing ( :(  ) Feather for a Fan’s sequel and planning a fiction book about prostitutes. I love to hear from readers and Facebook is probably best.


Karla Stover on facebook

A Feather for a Fan: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walmart
Murder on the Line: paperbank and Kindle Amazon
When One isn’t Enough:  Kindle Amazon   

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friday, Karla Stover Talks About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLoveAuthor

     To kill a conversation, tell people you’re a history nut. Generally, their eyes glaze over. I don’t know why I am so attracted to ye olde days. I certainly wouldn’t want to live without modern medicines and conveniences, but history it is in my writing—both fiction and non-fiction.
     When I wrote my two murder mysteries, I set them back a mere twenty-five years to avoid what I call “the cop-out” of using computers and cell phones to ferret out clues. I’ve noticed a lot of writers are doing that now. My first historical fiction book, A Feather for a Fan, took me to Tacoma in the 1870s, and I had the fun of reading local newspapers from the period, striving for accuracy. I’ve read so many old newspapers, magazines, and memoirs, I’m really critical when reading today’s historical fiction. That being said, if it is well-written, I will read anything and try to pick up helpful tidbits. The one exception is Sci-fi. I don’t like it and have never seen Star Wars. How’s that for being a total Luddite? The closest I come to the genre is a good ghost story, and even they “harken back” to another time. Sadly, that genre seems to be out of favor.

     I’ve been asked if I’m a fount of ideas, do my fingers flow over the keys ( I wish ), and which characters I prefer to write? Heroes are the hardest for me; I find it difficult to create a sensitive but manly man. To do so, I try and give him as little dialogue as possible because I can’t think like a man in order to come up with realistic dialogue. I have been known to eavesdrop on men talking at coffee shops, but mostly for my heroes, actions speak louder than words. For descriptions, I think of my favorite actors. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Take Brad Pitt’s features, one by one: eyebrows and narrow eyes that slant down at the corners, a nose that flares out at the nostrils, and a thin upper lip and full lower lip. The description doesn’t sound that great, but, oh, the package

     Villains are fun but it is important to give them some good traits; even serial killer Ted Bundy worked on a suicide hotline. Mrs. Danvers in the book and movie, Rebecca was wonderful. I love, when she’s talking to the second wife: “You're overwrought, madam. I've opened a window for you. A little air will do you good.” Yikes! It’s a second story window.

     My heroines are mostly me, which doesn’t always work out well.  Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes was one of my heroes because he was plain talking. Unfortunately, I’ve been known to make my women sound like him—a bit cynical. Like author Gil McNeil, I put most of my sarcasm in inner dialogue, but it’s something of which I’m always aware.

     In one of the Anne of Green Gables book, Anne is writing a story to enter in a competition. She tells her neighbor, Mr. Harrison, about the story, saying her heroine isn’t very unmanageable. The Mr. Harrison doesn’t understand and probably most non-writers don’t know that our characters quickly take on their own personalities, and manipulating them isn’t always easy. A friend of mine who is a Tarot card reader read the cards for the protagonist, Mercedes, in my first murder mystery, Murder on the Line, and nailed the way Mercedes was emerging, but the description wasn’t how I had envisioned her.

     A Feather for a Fan came out just before Christmas. The heroine is a young girl, the hero is a teenage boy who is part French and part Native American, and the villains are distances and time. I’m working on the sequel and the villain is a smuggler—much more traditional.

     I have a blog on Blogspot, a website on weebly, and a Twitter account but no time to keep them up. I’m always available on Facebook under my name, Karla Stover (that’s pretty easy). The disadvantage to writing is that it is a lonely occupation, so I’m always glad to hear from someone.