Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - The Seeds of the story #MFRWauthor #Amwriting

Suddenly the idea appears. This is the seed for a story. So what do you do. Some people plunge right in writing thousands of words and then they're stuck. The idea has run out of steam. So what do others do when there is a seed for a story.

Not sure about what others do but I take that idea and plant is deeply in my unconscious mind and allow it to germinate. Sometimes. Other times I play around with the idea adding little bits of newness to the idea. Then I bury it again and allow the idea to germinate.

Ideas are always inspiring but not all ideas will ever bear fruit. Sometimes that idea is limited in its scope. Sometimes that idea needs a catalyst to make it germinate. I'm working on an idea that came to me when I was writing the first few books in a small series. Books one and two were finished and I was sure I knew the idea for the third book had come. But it didn't. The seed never sprouted then. So I put it with all those other seeds that seemed to go nowhere. Until several weeks ago.

The seed sprouted and sent tendrils in many directions. I sat and followed those tendrils and suddenly I had a sort of outline for the story. At least I thought I did. Then the story stalled. I put it away for almost a week. Some of the tendrils had died leaving others to flourish. This time the plan for the story emerged from beginning to end.

The moral of this is that most story ideas need time to germinate. Forcing them seldom works. So bury them for a bit longer and go onto another idea. When the seed is ready to sprout, you'll know.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #amwriting #romance

Meander 1 - Finding time. These days I'm having to pull time out of the air. About five hours of my day is taken up with things other than writing. Then my study was moved that means I have to traipse up and down stairs about ten times a day. The TV is also in my study now. Thant can be a time waster but I've learned to mute the beast during my favorite shows and write during those times. Usually I stop writing at nine PM. Not these days since I need the time.

Meader 2 - Promoting I am not doing. But books seem to be selling slowly and surely. The blog is taking off. This month there have been almost my personal high in views. Not in comments but few people comment. I belong to a blog run by one of my publishers. Every day when I go on to read, I try to make a comment. Try to comment on others that I read but my granddaughter's name comes up on them. Not sure how to get it off but she has commented on a few other blogs.

Meander 3 - The latest of my books is now in the mode where it has to rest for a short amount of time. I will do the CAF sheet for it soon. I've started on a new one and hopefully the rest will go as good as the first chapter seems to be going.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday's Blurb - Five-Alarm Fudge by Christine DeSmet #MFRWauthor #mystery

Five-Alarm Fudge

By Christine DeSmet, published by Penguin Random House, April 2015

The national-bestselling Fudge Shop Mystery Series continues with Ava Oosterling and her Grandpa Gil getting mixed up in a fun fudge felony—this time involving romance, royal relatives, and revenge. And of course more yummy, original recipes.

In this installment, a Belgian prince asks Ava to unearth a priceless, 1800s divinity fudge recipe. A legend says the recipe was hidden by a famous nun who was an immigrant to Door County, Wisconsin, and whose life was miraculously spared during the time of the Great Fire that swept the area. The handsome prince’s request fans the flames of foul play, with murder possibly marring Ava’s Cinderella dreams.

This contemporary fairy tale brings to life real history and places from Door County, Wisconsin.

At bookstores everywhere, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday - Christine De Smet is talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #mysteries

Interview with author Christine DeSmet, The Fudge Shop Mystery Series

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 create stories in many forms or fields, often see-sawing among three or four projects. While my Fudge Shop Mystery series is my latest big project, I’m also working on a TV series proposal, short scripts, another mystery book series, and I’m marketing a true-story screenplay that won an award several years ago.

The stories themselves gallop across genres, including romance, mystery, historical action, and contemporary women’s fiction.

            My reading choices vary. I try to read many genres so I’m aware of the broad marketplace. I just finished a delightful middle-grade novel with a Hispanic boy protagonist by Bibi Belford called Crushed and Canned, and Michael Perry’s first adult novel, The Jesus Cow. I’m currently reading Lucy Sanna’s new historical women’s fiction novel set in Door County, The Cherry Harvest, as well as the new suspense novel, Weepers, by one of my past adult students, Nicholas Chiarkas.

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

            I love my heroines because they seem to present complications to me all the time. Ava Oosterling in the Fudge Shop series is a woman who’s made big mistakes in her past and she’s still making mistakes, often with plenty of humor involved. She came easily for me at the start because I like writing humor. She also loves her family, especially Grandpa Gil. Her love of her Grandpa makes her a joy to write.

            Next favorite are the villains and murder suspects. I like figuring out what tips a person over into “evil” status. Evil is somehow comforting to a villain. I find that fascinating.

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 heroes in my stories walk up to me in my imagination. I’ve never cut pictures from magazines or used photos of models or movie stars.

The heroes usually come after the plot and story idea, but it always feels like they’re lurking in the background just waiting for me to hurry up and get them on stage in the story. Dillon Rivers was so eager to get into the Fudge Shop series that I actually had to hold him back.

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 come from my imagination. I don’t use pictures or photos to conjure them. I woke up at 5 a.m. one day three years ago, for example, and “just knew” who Ava Oosterling was. I heard her voice and the cadence in it. I saw her movements in the fudge shop. She moves very differently from me—a lot more agile, for sure. This creative conjuring is what gives me joy about writing.

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?

            In cozy mysteries, the antagonist can sometimes be the love interest and also a foil who is causing the protagonist/heroine lots of trouble. Because I set up Ava Oosterling as a woman who makes mistakes and needs to learn why she makes them, I needed to find somebody to bug her about that and force her to change. Thus Mercy Fogg entered my story.

Mercy Fogg is a no-nonsense school bus driver and the driver of the county snowplow and road grader. She’s literally “down to earth.” Ava needs that type of foil to keep her from being too silly. Mercy Fogg’s pestering of Ava makes Ava work harder to be successful.

            As for the villain or murderer, sometimes I wait for several good candidates to show up in my manuscript. In my latest novel, Five-Alarm Fudge, I didn’t know who did it until almost halfway into the book. My characters were arguing with me as to which one got the role of murderer. On the other hand, I knew before writing First-Degree Fudge who did the deed. 

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

            My latest is the April 2015 release, Five-Alarm Fudge, part of the Fudge Shop Mystery series from Penguin Random House.

When a visiting European prince asks Ava Oosterling to unearth a priceless, 1800s divinity fudge recipe, the request fans the flames of foul play, with murder marring her Cinderella dreams.

            Ava is the heroine. With her Grandpa Gil, they run Oosterlings’ Live Bait, Bobbers & Belgian Fudge & Beer on the harbor in a fictional village set in the real Door County, Wisconsin, which is known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest.

            Dillon Rivers is back as her love interest and this time he’s changing in big ways. Dillon is refurbishing the Blue Heron Inn and trying to change his bad-boy ways.

I can’t reveal the villain, but there are plenty of foils for Ava. Those include Mercy Fogg—the former village president now driving buses and road graders for a living, and the collection of church ladies who insist on helping Ava run her fudge shop, to Ava’s despair at times.

A true hero in Five-Alarm Fudge is Grandpa Gil. He steps forward to save Grandma Sophie from some nasty rumors and a family secret which threatens to cause much grief and embarrassment. The love Grandpa has for his family is of true heroic proportions.

7. What are you working on now?

            I’m working on a new cozy mystery series set in Wisconsin, and a TV series proposal about a true-story female missionary in California in the early 1900s.

I also teach fiction for University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, including online and in person at our events including the annual June “Write-by-the-Lake Writer’s Retreat,” the UW fall weekend for novelists, and the spring Writers’ Institute conference. I stay very busy helping other writers get their start and find success in publishing. 

8. How can people find you?

            Website:  www.christinedesmet.com and also at University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies, http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/writing

            Email:  cdesmet@dcs.wisc.edu

            I’m also on Facebook.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday - Just released - The Gemini - Sagittarius Connection #MFRWauthor #medical romance

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday's Villain - Vorgan and Britha from Healwoman by Janet Lane-Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasy

Vorgan rose from his seat at the fire. As he strode toward the trees where he’d hidden his
pack, he glanced over his shoulder. The priest poured water over the burning wood. Shandor
stirred the ashes with a stick. Vorgan smiled. They hadn’t seen him leave. With luck, he’d
reach the temple before dusk.

Join forces. Be a partner. How foolish of mid Chu to propose such a union. Vorgan
would impose his own brand of partnership on Shandor. Let the other aspirant risk his life by
entering the temple. Vorgan planned to find a hiding place and watch. If Shandor succeeded
and returned with a trophy, Vorgan intended to claim it as his own.

This was his chance to gain a victory over his rival. He was tired of always being second
to Shandor. The muscles of Vorgan’s back tensed with memories of the lashings his father had
meted with his flail. As he completed the training with the Tutors, Scribes and Bursars, he had
been second to Shandor’s first. The Scourge Supreme’s flail had been his reward. Vorgan
sucked in a breath. This time, he would be first no matter what he had to do.
When he saw the walls of the temple, the sun had just slid over the horizon. There would
be no moon tonight. He donned his chameleon cloak and found a hiding place in a stand of firas.

Britha paced across the courtyard of the posada. Two days wasted. Two days of
boredom. Two days of assisting Mabe while she treated the commoners. At least the Militos
had left and taken their laughter and joking about her prudishness. They had no idea who she
was or how experienced she was in love play. She hadn’t been about to waste her talents on
common soldiers.

As she peered down the road, she saw a man wearing a gray cloak that changed colors.
He didn’t walk, he swaggered. When he drew closer, she smiled. This man was no commoner
and he wasn’t much older than she was. His ice blond hair hung to his shoulders and his skin
was a deep rich brown, almost the color of chocha. She leaned against the wall.

When he entered the courtyard, his eyes appraised her. She met his gaze and read interest
in his dark eyes. He entered the posada. She followed and stood near the entrance to the
common room. He removed his cloak. Her gaze lingered on his broad shoulders and muscular

“Publican, a room for the night.”

The burly man bowed. “Your name and reason for traveling?”

“Vorgan, aspirant to the priesthood on a quest for the Gate of the Shadows.” He flipped
the man a gold coin. “This should cover my stay and the things I’ll need when I leave.”

“I’ll have a room prepared and make sure the bathing room is available.” The publican
bustled away.

Britha stepped closer to Vorgan. “Don’t you take a risk by traveling alone?”

He turned. “I’ve no fear. Soon I will be Thiasi mid Vor. Healwoman, what is your

The timbre of his deep voice sent shivers along hr spine. “Britha, cousin to Bodlesa,
Keltoi of Keltoi.”

His eyes narrowed with interest. “Have dinner with me.”
“I would enjoy that.”
“Give me an hour to get settled.” He raised her hand to his lips and ran his tongue over
the knuckles.
“I’ll be ready...and waiting.” Britha hurried to her room on the woman’s side and opened
her pack. She pulled several vials of skin oil she’d blended. After sniffing each, she chose one
with an earthy spiciness. This Vorgan was delicious. Recalling how her fingers had itched to
stroke his skin brought heat to her lower abdomen. The speculation she’d seen in his eyes when
she had mentioned her cousin made Britha believe she might have found an ally for her own

She returned to the entrance area and sat on a bench. When he arrived, he held out a
hand and tugged her to her feet. His thumb traced circles on her palm and sent heat spiraling
through her and made her nether lips pulse. The aroma of an herbal soap with a hint of musk
teased her. He escorted her to a table for two.

As he held the chair for her, Mabe entered and took a seat at the long table where she
could observe. A scowl twisted her lips.

Britha ignored the other woman’s reaction. She had a right to accept a man’s invitation.
Until she entered the gates of Bethsada, no one could tell her what to do. Even then, she would
obey only when she must.

Britha leaned forward. “Where are you bound?”

“To the Enclave to present the trophy I acquired.” He grinned and his teeth flashed. “At
the end of Frost Moon, I’ll enter the Gate of the Militos.” He signaled the drab. “A flask of
wine and two dinners.”

Britha smiled. “And after the Militos?”

“The priesthood.” He pressed his knee against hers. “I thought your cousin hated

“She does, but she has her reasons for ordering me to join them.”

“I see. And do you have your own plans?”

Britha moistened her lips. She believed she’d found a kindred spirit. “Perhaps.”

He arched a brow. “I believe we have goals that could march in tandem.” He topped her
goblet. “Your aura speaks of great talent.”

She touched her goblet to his. “Why else would I be joining the Healwomen except for
training?” She sipped. A warm glow spread through her body.

“Then after dinner, stroll in the courtyard with me. We can discuss our mutual desires
without an audience.” He glanced toward Mabe. “I must be on the road in the morning. ’Twill
take me more than four sevendays to reach the Enclave.”

Britha glanced at the scowling Mabe. “If I can get away. As you can see, she watches
me.” She lifted her fork. How dare Mabe disapprove? The older woman had spent an evening
with the Militos.

“I’ll assure her there’ll be no more than talk. As an aspirant to the priesthood, I must be
cautious in my dealings with women. An intimate relationship would endanger my chances.”
Britha’s smile faced. His scent, the heat in his eyes had stirred her. She’d been too long
without a man. Who knew how long before she would have another chance?

When they finished the meal, Vorgan rose and went to Mabe. He spoke softly. Mabe
nodded. When he turned and motioned to Britha, his grin was cocky.
As they left the posada, he chuckled. “Your guardian saw no problem with us spending
time together. She is well versed in the customs of the priests. Come, let us explore each other’s
goals and see how we can be of use to each other in the future.” He circled her waist with his

Britha leaned toward him. “And what are your goals?”

“My father is Scourge Supreme. I will follow him and gain control of the Seven Gates of

She laughed. “When I’m Keltoi of Keltoi, we can unite the clans.”

“How can you expect to have the title? You’re Bodlesa’s cousin, not her daughter.”

“She has but one daughter and she named her misbegotten. Bodlesa avoids her spouse’s
bed. Since she denied Norna, she must name the closest of her unwed female relatives as her
heir.” His eyes narrowed. Britha nodded. “I am that relative.”

He swung her into a secluded niche and pressed her against the wall. “This meeting is
fortunate for us.” He caught her lower lip between his teeth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Featuring Hints For Final Editing by Alice Orr #MFRWauthor #amediting

Alice has been a friend for a long time. She's just had a new reelase.

Interrogate Your Story to Find Your Very Best Work
A Guest Blog Post by Alice Orr
“The proof is in the pudding,” my grandma used to say and she was always right. Guess what. Dessert time is here and the dish you serve had better be as delicious as you can make it.

 I'm talking about your story – the one you submit to book editors and literary agents or directly to readers if you’re an Indie Author like I am. Let’s say you’ve just finished a manuscript. You type "The End" and your immediate reward is a huge burst of enthusiasm.

 The person who set the spire on top of the Empire State Building could not possibly have experienced a greater sense of accomplishment than you’re experiencing now. You want more than anything to share your shining achievement with the world.

 Stop! Stand up from the keyboard and walk away this very instant! You’re not ready to be anywhere near a Send key of any kind. Not yet. You are in a state of euphoria and euphoria is the enemy of objective critical judgement.

 You must never submit your work to anybody at this point. Not even somebody who loves you a lot. Especially not to somebody who loves you a lot. They may tell you your story is wonderful – because they love you a lot – and that could blast you back to the Send key too soon again.

 Put the manuscript away. Stash it as far out of sight and out of mind as you can stash it. Do something else until the euphoria has passed. Wait a few days at least. Then – and not before then – open up the manuscript and read it all the way through. Preferably at one sitting.

 At which point you will most likely experience the opposite of euphoria – POS syndrome. I’ll call it Piece of Slop Syndrome for the sake of delicacy. You’re now as convinced your story is a POS as you were convinced of its glowing perfection a few days ago.

 In truth your work lies somewhere between Euphoria and Piece of Slop. What you need now is to discover where your story actually resides along that spectrum. Once you’ve done that you will nudge your story toward the positive and publishable end. In other words you will Rewrite.

 Rewrites are as crucial to strong storytelling as your first write has been – maybe more so. Rewrites are where the story deepens and springs to life. Rewrites are where the story becomes marketable. Rewrites are the difference between a story that succeeds and one that doesn’t.

 Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial also. Don't think of rewrites as drudgery. Think of rewrites as artistry. Anticipate rewrites with pleasure. Now you get to play in the fields of your story where you can romp and dance while you add depth and delicious details.

 Back in the first draft phase of writing you were intent on creating story. Coming up with compelling events. Giving birth to intriguing characters. I hope you did that at white heat speed because a fast-paced first writing is more likely to produce a fast-paced page-turner story.

 When an idea came for a change or addition you didn’t stop and rewrite right then. You made a note and set it aside. That’s what sticky notepads are for. At the end of a writing session you printed hard copy and attached your sticky notes to the appropriate pages.

 Why bother with a hard copy? Because your work looks too perfect on the computer screen – like it’s shimmering on TV. Who can objectively edit shimmering words? Edit on hard copy with sticky notes flapping. A rough look so you can see where it needs to be made smooth.

 Meanwhile your story stews in your imagination preparing for the Rewrite Phase where you’ll spice the mix and fine-tune the flavorings. But first take one more crucial step toward marketability. Ask, "How can I make this story more attractive to agents, editors and readers?"

 That’s a big question. Too broad – too incomprehensible – maybe even too scary. Let's boil it down to less intimidating size. Six Critical Questions with a couple of sub-questions for each. Use these to interrogate your story. The answers will tell you what and how you need to rewrite.

 1.      How can I give my story a stronger narrative hook? In other words how can I make my initial story idea more intriguing? How can I make my story opening more dramatic?

 2.      How can I make my main character more sympathetic to the reader? In other words how can I make the reader care more about her? How can I make her more admirable and heroic?

 3.      How can I make my villain more formidable yet still believable? In other words how can I make him a more serious threat to my main character? How can I make him three-dimensional and human? How can I be sure he sees himself not as a villain but as the hero of his own story?

 4.      How can I make my plot work better? In other words how can I create more problems for my main character? How can I make each downturn lead to another downturn? How can I give every upturn a down side? How can I plant secrets and lies everywhere?

 5.      How can I keep the middle moving?  In other words how can I position story downturns as chapter or scene ending cliffhangers? How can my characters discover secrets and uncover lies? How can I make each revelation create a plot twist and change the direction of the story?

 6.      How can I make my ending more satisfying?  In other words how can I milk every drop of drama from the final confrontation scene? How can I explode out of the story as powerfully as I exploded into it?

 Rewrites grow you as a writer. They teach you to find your writing strengths and capitalize on them. They encourage you to discover your writing weaknesses and minimize them. Each book becomes better than your last and the pudding is more delicious with every batch.

 My current story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – available at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. This is my 13th novel and I interrogated it thoroughly before bringing it to you. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - The Book Is Done #MFRWauthor #amwriting

You have just finished your book be it 100 pages of 1000, so what do you do? Now you could send it off to the publisher after a query letter or by invitation. Perhaps you feel this is the best thing you have written to date. But will you settle for idleness?

There are other things you can do, one is to revise picking out scenes that could be stronger. Some writers might think what you are doing is busy work. Maybe and maybe not. You might find the scene that doesn't quite work and find a way to make it better.

You could go over the manuscript word by word making sure you've chosen the right word and those you have misspelled or somehow a word with the right letters has snuck in. For example instead of lion, you have loin. Or it's one of those words people can often mistake for the right one. flair or flare. Just which one do you mean.

You could send it off and wait for an editor's suggestions to come back and do revisions and corrections then.

But if the book is the best one you can write at the time and you've checked and revised, what do you do? The best thing after sending it off is to start on a new story and hope this one will be the best one you've ever written.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #amwriting

Meander 1 - Flipping Channels - I don't like commercials and seldom watch them so I flip through channels. There are times when the flip helps me with my writing. Once the Discovery Channel saved my book. I learned the time period I chose in ancient Egypt had no camels. Since camels were essential to the book as were horses. They had horses but no camels. The time became one in an alternate Egypt. Other programs have helped me design rooms in houses or apartments, discover hairstyles and food preparations. So flipping channels has been important to me as a writer.

Meander 2 - The car fixed itself but today decided to unfix. I have an early hybrid car that is nearing fifteen years old. Tomorrow I will take it to the shop and pray it's not the hybrid engine that's gone wacky again. I don't want a new car. I don't like hatchbacks nor dashboards that look like they belong in an airplane. Mine is simple and simple is what I want.

Meander 3 - Nearing the end of the revisions of Divided Dreams my Cancer heroine and Gemini hero. The book is longer and taken more since most of the stories in this series have been around 30,000 words. This one looks to be abour 45000 words but stories must be as long as they need to be. I'l expecting a book back for edits and then I will have a new one up. Still working on the first of seven that should be mine back by the first of the year. We will see what happens there.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Book Sunday - The Aries - Libra Connection by Janet Lane Walters #medicalromance #MFRWauthor #romance

Jenessa 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?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Angela Scavone #MFRWauthor


A Journey Home blurb:

Stephanie Tyler’s sole job is to fly overseas to war torn areas of the world to retrieve and escort the bodies of fallen soldiers back home to the United States. It is a tough and emotional job but she is honored for the privilege. Her duty also helps her to escape her past and her failed marriage.                                                              
 But those flights have become increasingly more dangerous and she is forced to have a partner accompany her. Much to Stephanie’s surprise and dismay, she is partnered up with her ex-husband, Captain “D.A.” Douglas Aston.            
 From the moment Captain D.A. enters the scene, he irritates her. It could have something to do with the fact he slept with her best friend while they were married. As they go on several missions together, Stephanie is forced to be courteous and professional with D.A. even though the very sight of him irritates her beyond comprehension.        
Then, Stephanie’s cheating, husband stealing, ex-best friend is killed in Afghanistan and Stephanie and D.A. must escort her body home. While executing this difficult duty, a myriad of conflicting emotions makes Stephanie ponder how short life really is . . . and to question her own ability to forgive. 
Available Now!

Love by the Book blurb:

Fairytales don’t always work out the way you plan.
Jenn  Taylor has been with her husband, Jack, since they were in college.  They had a fairytale life plan.  They were going to finish college, get married and have three, perfect, children all two and a half years apart.
What happens is, the three perfect children become the four, not so perfect, children.  Jenn and Jack are so busy keeping a handle on work and children that they don’t have the time, or energy, to keep the spark  in their marriage.  Jenn has noticed, lately, that the romance in her marriage is fading therefore she reads romance novels to ensconce herself in a world of romance.
Jenn complains to her friends about the lack of romance in her marriage, her friends suggest that to help spark up the marriage to recreate some of the scenes from her much-loved romance novels and surprise her husband.
Several attempts at recreating  scenes from different novels are made, each one becoming increasingly complex and each one failing in a hilarious fashion.   All the while she is trying to contend with three boys who do not know how to stay out of trouble, and a, environmentally and socially conscience, daughter who is trying to obtain her goal of becoming a vegan.
Is her marriage doomed to stay in a rut forever? Will she finally succeed in bringing the romance back? Or will she end up permanently injuring her husband with all the romantic scene mishaps?

Available From: Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday - Angela Scavone - 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?
So far I have only written Contemporary Romance but I would love to dive into mysteries and children's books ... one day :)
Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? I love to read anything, but I prefer to write romance :)
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt? Horror, never ever ever ever will I ever write horror (I like to sleep at night without having all the lights on).
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? I love to write them all! The strong hero, the woahing heroine and the nasty villain, they each have their own personalities and it's fun to see how each of them will deal with each other and the situations I throw them into. 
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? Pure imagination, they come after the story idea appears.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story? Same for heroines, they come out of pure imagination after the story idea appears.
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? Depends on the story, I try to make them as real as possible, I will take the scene in the book and put myself in their shoes and think how would I react if I was this person? If I am against what the Hero/Heroine are doing then how would I be opposed to this situation? It helps me to get inside their heads.
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain? My latest release is called A Journey Home. The Heroine is Steph, she is an air force Captain who's job is to fly over to war torn parts of the world to pick up the bodies of fallen soldiers. She is then partnered up with her ex husband Captain DA you can only imagine how well that goes :)
7. What are you working on now? Right now I'm working on a Christmas story based on the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas. It's a fictional story about the actual author of the very famous poem and her life.
8. How can people find you?
Website:     http://angelascavone.com/       

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday's Villain - Odon from The Amber Cage - Amber Chronicles by Janet Lane Walters #fantasy #MFRWauthor

Aria sipped the remainder of the wine provided with the dinner that had appeared on the table. Three more days, hundreds or forever to remain in this amber cage. The competition for the chance to turn discord into melody would end and she dreaded the moment. What if whoever won the chance failed? Worse, what if a man she detested won?

Her thoughts turned toward the basso. Odon’s attitude reeked of arrogance and frightened her. Her eyes widened. The barrel-chested man strutted across the lawn.

“How fare thee, fair Aria.”

His deep vocalized greeting brought images of operas where the villain strove to capture the heroine and carry her to his lair. She sought words to respond but none appeared.

He was handsome enough if she liked men with granite carved features, massive shoulders and a permanent sneer. His physique aided the production of notes so deep they sent chills riding her spine.

“I am fine.” The waver in her notes belied her answer.

“I hear eagerness in your voice. You will be pleased to hear I added a second in voice to my first in instruments.” He grasped the bars with meaty fists. “Soon you will be mine. You will be mine, mine, mine.”

If the Goddess Euphonia would hear her prayers he would fail. “I will be yours only if the pipes answer to your touch.”

“How can they not? I am a master extraordinaire of all musical instruments. Under my touch discord will become melody. Harmony is my kingdom. The riches of the land will be mine, mine, mine.”

The last of his low notes wavered in the air. He turned and strolled away.

Tears burned Aria’s eyes. What would she do if he won? One thing became clear. Odon was not a man to take failure well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - First Person Viewpoint #amwriting #MFRWauthor

Last week this was about the most common types of viewpoint - first and third. Today here's a bit about First Person.

When choosing first person you need to remember several things. First is only what the I character sees, hears, smells, touches, tastes can be shown to the reader. The second is not to let your I character go off on tangents. This can muddy the waters unless you want them muddied.

You can choose the main character to be the I character. This can be effective in mysteries especially the cozy kind. New writers often choose to use this view point since writing seems to come easier. For me not so much since I began writing third person, first person became a struggle and I seldom use it. One thing to watch is the use of I. The repetition can be annoying and finding other ways to show the speaker's observations can be useful. Another thing to remember is this character must be humble and not always be praising himself or herself for something they have done. While your reader will identify with the character they may become tired of reading the story. You really can't do much to describe the main character without them seeming vain. So choose this carefully.

Using a supporting character as the first person viewpoint can solve a few of the problems at least with the description of the hero or the heroine This narrator can say things about the main characters without giving the bragging tone to the character. Choosing this viewpoint can keep the reader from becoming bored and he  is not as restrained as the hero or heroine in the first person.

First person Minor character which means the narrator is a bit distant from the action. One problem is the reader can only participate in the events where this minor character is present. This brings some restrictions into the story.

First person Shifting. This means more than one character has the first person viewpoint. I've seen this in many New Adult stories. There can be more that two characters using this viewpoint. This may scatter the reader's attention and not be able to identify with any of the characters

So which ever of the variety of first person viewpoints you choose, you need to remember the first two points. What the character experiences and avoiding tangents.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday's Inspiration - Creativity and Limits #aminspired #MFRWauthor

The inspiration for this bit was taken from Creativity and Madness by Rollo May, a great book I've read several times. "There is no such thing as unlimited creativity. It is within limits, often very narrow limits, that a creative work comes into being."

Thought about this for a long time. Then I began to think about my own limits when writing. Do I enjoy every kind of fiction? The answer to this was no. I don't read horror and I definitely have limits when it comes to writing stories that have horror elements. Thus there is one limit. There are genres I really enjoy but I have limits when thinking about writing them. Science fiction is one. I just don't have the scientific knowledge to write novels about space. I tried several times but needed more research than I was comfortable in writing. So there are some limits. Self-imposed maybe or perhaps imposed by my education and interests.

What are your limitations? Does your family limit you when you are attempting to write? This can happen. What about your own take on the world? Knowing your limitations can make you a better writer since you can work within your narrow limits and produce gems.

So look at your limitations and use them to write the stories inside waiting to sneak around those limitations.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #amwriting #MFRWauthor

Meander 1 - Was watching a program on humming birds. What amazed me the most isn't the scientific stuff but the beauty. They are as colorful as the flowers they sip nectar from. I wonder if the flowers they visit have an influence on their color. Amazing creatures. Some are hardly bigger than bees. The interesting thing was how they developed because butterflies couldn't visit flowers in the Andes. Also they are found only in the Western hemisphere. Another thing unique to this interesting land of ours.

Meander 2 - Summer is fast approaching. The weather is heating. Today I made one of my favorite summer meals. Green bean and tuna salad with scallions. Put together with a bit of mayo this is a great way to beat the heat.

Meander 3 - Am nearing the end of Divided Dreams though there are six chapters to re-write and make more interesting. Will read one scene further in the book on Tuesday since I want to know if it works and what re-writing will need to be done. Am revising and smoothing an old book getting it ready to switch publishers when the rights come back to me, hopefully soon but there are six books there to do the same to. Will be starting The Wizards of Fyre soon and have an inde for the fourth Opposites In Love story. Moving along very well.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My Book Sunday - Marriage Takes Two #medicalromance #MFRWauthor #BooksWeLove

” This is medieval.” That’s Carrie’s response to the reading of her grandfather’s will. The money will allow her to provide for her ill mother and give her the chance to give up one of her full time jobs as a nurse. The money won’t be hers until she marries. This creates a dilemma. She has no time for dating and doesn’t know who would marry her until she thinks of her former best friend, Tony. But can she ask him? Two months later time is running out and she decides to take the plunge.

Three years ago, Tony and his wife divorced. Last year he obtained custody or their child. When Carrie asks him to marry her he decides since this won’t be a real marriage, he can accept. Years ago, he loved Carrie but never said anything to her. Now burned, he doesn’t believe in love. To help her uncomplicate her life he agrees.

Can Tony and Carrie get past the reason for the marriage and find love and make a home for his son?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday's Blurbs - Books by Jamie Gray

THE KYN KRONICLES (Urban Fantasy series w/Black Opal Books)

WRAPPED IN SHADOWS, Kyn Kronicles .5
(Things That Go Bump For The Holidays Anthology)

The magic of the holidays can be hell…

Celebrations abound during the holidays, but this Christmas an engagement celebration goes horrifically wrong.  What appears to be a simple murder/suicide hides a vicious surprise. The type of gift Raine and Gavin, elite member of the Kyn, didn’t want humans to unwrap, because revealing the monsters in the shadows isn’t the way to spread holiday cheer.

SHADOW’S EDGE, Kyn Kronicles #1
Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…

When the supernatural lurks in the shadows of the mundane, hunting monsters requires unique skills, like those of Raine McCord. A series of deaths threatens to reveal the Kyn community and forces her to partner with the sexy Gavin Durand.

As the trail leads to the foundation haunting Raine’s childhood, she and Gavin must unravel lies and betrayals to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.

SHADOW’S SOUL, Kyn Kronicles #2
Some nightmares are born of love…

A simple assignment turns into a nightmare when Raine McCord follows Cheveyo to the Southwest on a consulting gig. When the most feared beings of the Kyn kidnaps Cheveyo and leaves Raine for dead, her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand. 

Unraveling the Southwest Kyn’s web of secrets and hidden vendettas will either bring them together or tear them apart forever.

SHADOW’S MOON, Kyn Kronicles #3
Even wild hearts can be broken…
Tracker, Xander Cade, confronts an enraged Shifter in a crowded human nightclub, fraying the thin secrecy shielding the supernatural community from public scrutiny. Danger stalks the pack and she must protect her alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis, even if he doesn’t want it.
If they don’t find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond they risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.
SHADOW’S CURSE, Kyn Kronicles #4
Death and chaos can devastate even the best-laid plans…

After tragedy strikes the Northwest Kyn, leaving the houses in chaos and the Wraiths hungry for blood, the fallout threatens Natasha Bertoi’s carefully laid plans. When the Council sends Darius Abazi, the one man guaranteed to skew the odds, she faces her toughest opponent yet.

As death stalks the Northwest Kyn, can Natasha trust Darius, a man well versed in subterfuge, to uncover the truth before treachery destroys them all?

Coming Fall 2015:

A collection of Kyn shorts, including WRAPPED IN SHADOWS

PSY-IV Teams (Paranormal Romantic Suspense series w/MuseIt Up Publishing)

Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…

Changing the past is impossible, a fact ex-marine, Cynthia Arden, understands all too well. Struggling with the aftermath of a botched mission, a panicked phone call brings her home to face a killer’s game. Unfortunately, the distracting Kayden Shaw returns as well, the one man she thought would stand by her, until he chose his job over her.
To survive, will Cyn risk her heart or lose the man she loves and her life?

Coming Spring 2016:

Trusting him with her secrets is dangerous. Trusting him with her heart could be fatal.

As a specialized consultant for the Department of Defense, Risia Lacoste understands the bargaining chip of a well-kept secret. When her current assignment threatens to unearth her deeply buried skeletons, she’s forced into a high-stakes game of lies and loyalty where even her ability to foresee the future can’t predict the winner.

Darkness lies under the skin of every man, and PSY-IV Team operative and touch empath, Tag Gunderson, has the demons to prove it. Scarred by betrayal and disillusionment, he’s not Risia’s top pick for a partner in the game, but he’s all she’s got.

As the game draws them deeper into a pit of intrigue and their list of enemies grow, will Risia trust Tag with more than her secrets or will his demons destroy them both? 


Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.

You can find me at:

Black Opal Books:    www.BlackOpalBooks.com 

Muse It Up Publishing:  http://museituppublishing.com

Website:     www.JamiGray.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI

You can find all the buy links for both The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams, in all formats at:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday - Jamie Gray - Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #Urbanfantasy

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?

Much like my reading choice, I tend to write in more than one genre, although romance will play a part no matter the story. My first series, The Kyn Kronicles, is Urban Fantasy, while my second series, PSY-IV Teams is Paranormal Romantic Suspense. I’m in the midst of planning a third series which won’t have magic, but is set in a post-apocalyptic timeframe and yep, there’s romance.

My reading choices are all over the fiction board. I grew up on high fantasy (nope, won’t ever try my hand at that one), sci-fi, mystery, thriller, romance (of all kinds), and urban fantasy. Lately I’ve been in a romantic suspense with military overtones, plus my normal UF fare. I try not to read in the genre I’m currently working it, just because…no sense in tempting the writing gods.

Other than high fantasy, I don’t think I’ll ever venture into erotica or horror. Those genres require a uniquely artistic touch I’m not blessed with.

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

Wow, this is a tough question. Is it a cop out to say all three? Let me explain. The relationship between your hero/heroine and your villain is symbiotic. If one side is weak, so is the other. Developing strong heroes/heroines means you, the writer, need to know what drives them to face down insurmountable odds, despite high costs. You villain should be worth of that type of passion, so you, the writer, need to develop your antagonists as intricately as you do your protagonists. I started out with heroines, strong, kick-butt type, who face down equally determined and strong villain/villainess. On SHADOW’S MOON, the third book in the Kyn, I decided to venture into a hero’s mind, and alternated between a male and female protagonist. I’ve discovered that certain stories make it easier to connect to one or the other. While heroines tend to stay close to my heart, I found it easier to relate to my hero in the second PSY-IV book, TOUCHED BY FATE (out in Spring 2016).

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

I’m a character driven writer, so most of my story ideas come after a character emerges in my head. I start with personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, then move on to motivation. Once those start to come together, I’ll haunt the internet for some visual aids for physical descriptions. My story tends to develop around my characters. My heroes have to help balance my heroines. In SHADOW’S EDGE, Gavin’s ruthless practicality offsets Raine’s temperamental reactions, and together they’re a very lethal duo.

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

Same deal as my heroes. Most of the time my heroines come to life before my heroes. It makes it easier to craft my heroes if I know what type of man will stand best beside the woman. In SHADOW’S CURSE I faced a daunting task of telling Natasha Bertoi’s story. As queen of the demons, she can an extremely intimidating woman, so forging a connection with my readers meant delving into her motivations behind her decisions/actions.

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?

Your villains/villainesses have to be as motivated as your protagonists, and a reader has to be able to connect to the reasons behind those motivations. Any one can be a villain, because it comes down to perspective. You believe you’re outnumbered by a race of beings who can do things no human can, how do you even the odds? What would you do to ensure your survival? Understanding why your antagonists have chosen their paths, also helps me, as a writer, create conflict for my protagonists. Like I said before, it’s a very symbiotic relationship for protagonists and antagonists.

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

My latest release was SHADOW’S CURSE, the fourth book in the Kyn Kronicles. Our heroine is Natasha Bertoi, head of the Amanusa House, and she’s joined by Darius Abazi, our hero. Together they take on an unknown traitor who’s working for the Council.

In Spring 2016, TOUCHED BY FATE, the second book of my PSY-IV Teams series, follows Tag and Risia as they face down a ruthless businessman with very little scruples or patriotic loyalty.

7. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a collection of short stories from the Kyn worlds to come out in Fall 2015. I’m also in the midst of planning a new series, and the next Kyn novel.

8. How can people find you?
Website/Blog:  https://www.jamigray.com
            Twitter  https://twitter.com/JamiGrayAuthor
            Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter