Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - The Middle - Scenes #MFRWauthor #writing

The middle of the story is where most of the scenes take place. One must rememberthat each scene has one or more of three purposes.

The first of the three is to advance the story. Writing a scene that takes the characters nowhere is a wasted effort. There needs to be something within the scene that advances one or more characters toward their goal. The scene could also show a character being diverted from their goal.

The second of the three is to establish the character - Showing who the character is and how they plan to act will give the reader a way to accept or reject the character. If the character acts one way in one scene and another in a second the reader needs a reason for the change in the character's manner. If none is provided the reader will close the book.

The third of the three is to show the setting. Giving the reader the atmosphere in which the characters operate is important. For me this is the hardest part of writing. But this is necessary since showing the setting gives tone and atmosphere and to draw the reader deeper into the story.

Now having seen the three purposes of the scene think of this. To provide one of the purposes is good. Two is better. Three makes the scene really great and keeps the reader turning pages.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration # Stephen King and Imagery revisited #MFRWauthor #inspiration #imagery

This is the repeat of something from a few eyars ago. The blog posts are now well over 2000 but this is good for another look.

Who better for the 1000th post on my blog than Stephen King. While I seldom read his books since horror chills me, I do admire his ability to build an atmosphere and use imagery to bring the reader into his world.

In an essay he wrote he said a lot of things about imagery and how to build this into a story. He mentioned a lot of rules that the writer learns over time. The following quote is one that sang to me. Particularly since I tend to be concrete in my writing, at least that was how I began. Hopefully I've grown over the years. 

"Imagery does not occur on the writer's page, it occurs in the reader's mind." Imagery isn't concrete descriptions but imagery are those little bits of description that stimulate the reader to build a scene in their heads. Not only descriptions of places but of people. Sort of like this. He was a messy eater. Better would be The meals of a week or even a month stained his shirt. It's that sort of thing that makes the reader sit up and say wow to the picture formed in their head. The great thing about this is no two readers will invision the man or the scene in the same way.

Mr. King has more to say on imagery and I'll be using them to inspire me in the next Tuesday or two.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Meandering On Monday With Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poem #writing #life

Meander 1 Poem - Dodge-em Cars

He chooses a car, red, electrified
That gives an illusion of speed.
He waits for the power to surge.
And tapping his hands on the wheel
He waits for the power to surge.
Now he twists and turns
Through the pack that is trying
To bump and spin him around.
That's not for him.
To him it's a skill
To dodge. To esdape from the trap.
To avoid the jam-ups, the clutter of cars.
To come inches close
But to miss the smash/crash
To wing free and escape quite unscathed.

Meander 2 - When life puts a stop what do you do? Today this happened to me and my morning when I would have managed to do all my posts for the week my computer needed a check-up. I hate when that happens and try to avoid this every moment I can but today I couldn't. I did do some writing and reading, most impatiently. So this afternoon and evening I have to make headway on the things I need to do.

Meander 3 - Writing - Just tore up the plans for a new book and began over. Having all the complications come at the end of the story wasn't a good idea. I had a plan for ten chapters. Now I have one for eight. I also learned about checking my books for errors, a lot of them and putting them into a changed format. That will take time but I will have help. Granddaughter will pitch in.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Book - Healwoman #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance #healing


Born under a dark moon, Norna has to battle rumors that she is tainted by evil and unworthy of being anything more than a servant. Discarded by her mother, she runs away from her aunt, a priestess who wants her to enter the temple.
Instead, Norna chooses to be a Healwoman, and a chance encounter with a novice hoping to be a priest helps her discover she has talents of water, air and fire at her disposal. With these gifts she is called on to battle treachery and attempts to prevent the promised prophecy of the god and goddess. As she battles evil powers, she loses her heart to Shandor, the man she met when her journey first began. She must come to grips with Britha who plots against her. Shandor has his own enemy Vorgan. When the pair of foes unite, the battles begin.

By Emily K on August 1, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written and the story was good

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I agree takes a little getting into but once you have got into the characters and got your head round the story its well worth it. I found it an enthralling different type of story that I thoroughly enjoyed - well worth sticking with it, would have loved more.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At the beginning I wasn't sure why I had downloaded this book to be honest. I found it hard going but once I got into it....found it hard to put down! in fact I was late for work this morning as I wanted to finish it lol. Will download the others in the series :-)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday's Blurbs features Books by Helen Henderson #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance

List 3 of your books and the blurbs and buy marks

Windmaster  (Book One of the Windmaster Novels)

Windmaster is a romance-filled, action-packed fantasy described by readers as a fascinating story that will keep you up all night turning the pages. Revenge set Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon, on the path to her destiny, but prophecy controlled the journey.

Despite his insolent attitude, Ellspeth is attracted to the dark-haired dockworker she hires to help unload the vessel's cargo. When the supposed dockhand reveals he is Lord Dal, the last member of the Council of Wizards, and her passenger, Ellspeth breaks a cardinal rule--fraternizing with the paying customers. Bringing him back from near-death releases Ellspeth's latent powers and threatens her captaincy. For to have magic she must give up the sea.

Dal has his own reasons for Ellspeth to embrace her powers. In accordance with an ancient prophecy, he allows Ellspeth to be handfasted to him without her knowledge or consent. However, the prophecy doesn't state whether she will return his love. A likelihood threatened as the deception is unveiled and Dal is captured and stripped of his powers by fanatical clerics bent on ridding the world of magic and those who wield it.

Trapped within the Oracle's Temple and marked for sacrifice, Ellspeth must choose between her own survival, saving the future of magic, or rescuing the man she loves.

Available at: Amazon  

Hatchling’s Mate (Book Three of the Dragshi Chronicles)

For Lexii and Talann, not even being the only children born to dragon shifters can prevent their souls from clashing. A complication Talann can't afford. He needs a dragon form. A cult means to possess Lexii and destroy all shifters including Talann's parents. But no dragons sang a welcome at Talann's birth. The magic to take on dragon form was not to be his.

And caught in the middle Lexii’s bodyguard risks not only her life, but her one chance at love in the name of duty.

Freedom of the skies comes with a price.

Available at this List of Stores

For the crime of healing without payment, the Brethren imprisoned Dylan’s soul in stone. Centuries later, he senses the touch of another’s mind and hope for escape soars. However, his potential savor is unaware of her latent magic.
Cuhlwich, the current head of the Brethren plans to control any and all who have magic. Although displeased with his son, Colwynn, who like the long-imprisoned Dylan, uses his powers to heal those unable to pay the Brethren’s toll, Cuhlwich orders Colwynn to father a child by a woman of the Brethren’s choosing. The Brethren will have their demand met, even if it means using magic to enforce their will. Only Colwynn wants to choose his own mate--an unknown woman who calls him from afar.
Caught in the middle of this tempest is a young woman trapped by fate. She has the power to free Dylan, but her only knowledge of him comes from an eerie message on the wall and nightmarish dreams.
A spell kept secret for generations.
A brotherhood thirsting for power.
Demands that cannot be obeyed.
A woman who stands to lose everything.
Four paths--one destiny
With the power to bind souls and control all magic in the balance

Available at this List of Stores

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday's Guest features Helen Henderson #MFRWauthor #fantasy #romance #adventure

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

That is a very hard question to answer. I’ve been an administrative assistant, computer programmer, systems analyst, technical writer, historian, museum director, feature story writer... Whew. I’m out of breath, so I’ll stop there.

The varied jobs influence my writing in two main ways. The technical fields gave me an appreciation of logic and flow, and writing in different styles. The historical work gave me the knowledge I use to add realism to my fantasy worlds and accuracy to my historical westerns.

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

Although I’ve been published in both non-fiction and several genres of fiction, lately, I’ve been hanging out with mages and dragons. My most recent releases are fantasy that straddle the fence. There’s so much romance in the stories that romance fights with adventure to determine their category. It’s a coin toss whether they should be in the fantasy sub-genre of romance or the epic shelf of fantasy. As to why I haven’t settled in one area, I blame it on my Gemini sign.

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

Definitely. Maybe it is my Gemini sign, but my favorite authors are direct contrasts. Ann McCaffrey and Barbara Hambly call to the fantasy in my soul while Louis L'Amour takes me back to the past. Of more contemporary authors, I reach for Carol McPhee, Judith Griffith Gill, and Kinley McGregor. The tradition of storytelling, action, strong heroes and heroines, all call to me.

4. What's your latest release?

My latest release is Windmaster, published by Books We Love. Ellspeth, captain of the Sea Falcon, is determined to make her own destiny, but fate decrees she has to decide between the sea, magic... or love.

5. What are you working on now?

I’m finalizing Windmaster Legacy, the second book in the Windmaster Novels, and First Change: Legends From the Eyrie, a companion book to the Dragshi Chronicles. First Change is a collection of novellas and short stories of duty and honor, love and loss, happiness and despair from the world of the dragshi. Unlike the Dragshi Chronicles which journal the paths of the trader girl Anastasia, Lord Branin, and his dragon soul twin Llewlyn, the tales in First Change come from their history and legend. And, when the book stops fighting me, the Windmaster Novels are to continue with the telling of a legend from that world’s past.

6. Where can we find you?

Goodreads –

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene from Confrontations by Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #fantasy #worldbuilding #action #magic #elements


The time has come. Ash bolted upright. Her heart pounded with a beat reminiscent of one created by a mad drummer. Her gaze swept the room. She saw the other young women slept. Had someone spoken on the winds or had the words been part of a dream she couldn’t remember? When her racing heart slowed she cautiously opened her senses to read the winds of the keep. Using her affinity for Air she searched. The only person awake was the doma and the cry hadn’t arisen from the elderly woman.
Fingers of moonlight slid through the shuttered windows. She moved to the edge of the bed and pushed her feet into her house boots. Ash crept to the window to peer outside. She knelt on the stone bench and opened the shutters a crack. A gasp pushed past her lips when she saw the birds, one light and the other dark. The pair circled the keep.
She rubbed her arms to banish the chill of the late winter night. “Mama, Papa,” she whispered. “What does your arrival mean?”
Since the destruction of the Wesren henge the birds had appeared at auspicious moments. Sometimes the pair signaled safety and other times they brought a warning of danger. What was the meaning of this sighting?
“The time has come.” Softly she whispered the words. Like a jolt of lightning a thrill of excitement swept through her. Did that mean her and her halfling companions were ready to leave the safety of the keep and venture forth against their enemies? There were more opponents than she cared to face. She considered the number of doms and domas who followed Dom Senet, the four halflings he’d trained plus Zand’s former step-mother and her two sons. A shudder rolled through her body. There was also the voice of evil she’d heard on the winds.
Two years and a season had passed since the return from the quests for the remaining halflings, the heirs and the talismans. The sixteen companions had worked hard to gain mastery of their affinities of the elements. Four whose element was  Air, four Fire, four Earth and four Water united in four mixed quartets. A sliver of fear stabbed. Were they ready? She fought a desire to return to her bed and pull the covers over her head.
As the edge of the sun appeared above the distant mountains Ash closed the shutters. She thought about the birds and knew hiding was as impossible as a return to sleep. Not while her emotions rose and fell in waves. Should she wake the others and tell them about the birds? She frowned. If she did Ky, her younger sister, would scold and rouse everyone in the keep.
Ash grabbed her clothes and dashed to the necessary to wash and dress. Before she stirred the others into action she had to speak to Doma Jandia. Perhaps their teacher could interpret the meaning of the words and the arrival of the birds.
As she hurried down the stairs she quested for the doma. The elderly woman wasn’t in her room on the fourth level of the keep. The doma’s mind scent rose from the stillroom. When Ash dashed from the third level to the second she heard stirrings from the chamber where her brothers and the other male halflings slept. Since she wanted advice before those with affinities plied her with questions she grasped the railing and sped downstairs.
On the first level she scurried along the hall and opened the door of the stillroom. Shelves on one wall held jars of various herbs, spices and flowers. Ash tasted the air as she’d been taught and isolated attars of roses, lavender and the scent of rosemary.
The elderly woman who had taught Ash and her siblings since the day they’d found refuge with her sat on a bench at a stone table. She rested a pestle in the mortar, turned and smiled. Hair turned to silver by age framed the doma’s lined face. The gaze from her brilliant green eyes met Ash’s. In contrast to the copper-hued skin of the halflings, Doma Jandia’s was as pale as linen bleached by the sun. Until this moment Ash hadn’t realized how much the doma had aged.
“You’re astir early,” Doma Jandia said.
Ash nodded. “I heard a voice and saw the birds.”
The light of knowing flashed in the elderly woman’s eyes. “Tell me the entire story.”
In a few words Ash spoke of her awakening. “Do you think the time has come for us to leave the keep?”
The doma nodded. “I believe so. Though I would rather keep you here and safe you young people have a destiny. You have learned all I can teach you and more since you aren’t afraid to try new approaches. Yes, you’re ready to begin cleansing the princedoms. Once that is accomplished you can confront Senet and his allies.”
Those words caused Ash to straighten her shoulders. Fear and excitement slithered through her thoughts. Her breath caught. “Are you sure?” The time had come but she wavered between action and retreat.
The doma left the table. “Senet is on the move. I don’t know what he plans but the air in the highlands shimmers with strange energies.”
Ash’s hands clenched. “How much danger do he and his cronies pose for us?”
Doma Jandia grasped one of Ash’s hands and uncurled the tightened fingers. “He has full use of all four elements. Alone he can overpower any two or three of you unless you are joined in quartets of both mixed or a single element. When you are he cannot overcome the meld formed even when you are distant from each other. Know that to be the truth.”
Some of the churning in Ash’s gut subsided. “Where should we go first?” The desire to avoid Dom Senet was foremost in her thoughts. She fought dark waves of fear threatening to engulf her. She couldn’t forget the times he had invaded her thoughts in attempts to lure her into his web. A vision of a huge black spider with the face of the dom made her shiver.
He’s not here. You have barriers against him.
What if he can break them?
Doma Jandia stroked Ash’s hand. “You are safe. Though in the days to come you will face danger you are strong enough to defeat him."
“I pray you’re right.” Ash swallowed. “Where must we go first?”
“The four princedoms must be cleansed. Begin in Easren, then Soutren, Nortren and Wesren in that order. By the time the four are cleansed the sixteen of you will be ready to face Senet.”
“Why in that order?”
“’Tis the order of the destruction of the henges and the murders of the doms and domas who lived in them. In Easren the damage has lasted the longest. With the approach of spring the conditions have become dire.” The doma stepped back. “Assemble your companions and tell them the time for action has come. Use the inner room where the layers of protection are the strongest. Set no plans in the open.”
“Lest you be over heard by Senet when he’s reading the winds.”
“How will we know where to go?”
“Let your gems lead you.”
Ash paused in the doorway. “Do you think the barriers over the keep have eroded?”
The doma pressed a hand on the long table. “I pray not but where Senet is involved there’s no reason to take chances. As you have discovered there are places in the highlands where the winds cannot be read.”
Ash nodded. “Do you think he’s present in one of those places?”
“Perhaps. I will seek but I may not learn.” The doma smiled. “Go, break your fast, see to your chores and make your plans.”
Ash hurried to the huge kitchen where the sounds of meal preparation and the aroma of cooking food scented the air. She listened to the chatter of her friends and knew her news would end their banter.
Her twin, Bran and their friend, Zand, stood at the fireplace and swung a huge kettle from the flames. Together they carried this to the serving table. Ky and Jay, her younger siblings, stood at a brazier and turned flatcakes and slices of cured shoat. Other friends gathered near the serving table and selected the food they needed to break their fast.
Ash joined the line. She carried a bowl of porridge to the granite table. She sat on a bench and reached for honey. When all were seated she cleared her throat. “We must meet in the inner room when our chores are finished.”
Zand arched a brow. “Why?”
“Tell you when we’re all there.” She bent her head and ate. When she finished she began her day’s chore of cleaning the kitchen and starting soup for the midday meal. As soon as she completed her share she scurried to the room behind the tower stairs. Here, no windows were present. When sealed the single tightly fitted door prevented spying. Even the stones of the wall were bonded with a sealant.
Several stacks of pillows rested against one wall. Ash chose one and then walked to the shelves holding books and maps. She selected a rolled one of the princedom of Easren.
Before long her companions arrived. Sydli, the last to enter, used her affinity for Air to seal the door. Now, no one other than those in the room could hear what was said. Neither could any sound from outside enter the sanctuary.
The others chose their places. Ash noticed how they clustered in their mixed quartets. She waited until everyone sat. In one hand she clutched the map. “The time has come for us to leave the keep.”
Gasps greeted the announcement. Zand leaned forward. “Are you sure?”
Ash nodded. “This is what I heard and saw.” She related the tale of the voice and the appearance of the birds.
“That’s not fair.” Ky glared. “Why didn’t you wake me? I wanted to see them.”
“I was so entranced by the sight I couldn’t move,” Ash said. “They haven’t appeared since we began our studies. When they vanished I dressed and went to Doma Jandia. She said we’re ready to begin. First we must cleanse Easren where the first henge was destroyed and the keepers died.”
“All of us?” Zand asked.
Ky bounded to her feet. “When do we leave?”
Ash waved her impetuous sister down. She unrolled the map of the princedom of Easren. After removing the clear white gem identifying her affinity as Air she held it over the map. “Where should my quartet go?” Slowly the stone revolved. The chain stiffened and pointed north and east. Ash moved along the side of the map. Once again the chain drooped and the stone spun. Ash marked the spot on the map. “This is my group’s destination.”
One by one the others with an affinity for Air used their gems to find the spot in the princedom where they must go. Sydli’s stone halted above Easrenton where the palace stood. Kirlon’s group would travel to where the Ruran River vanished near Soutren. The final group was Mikel’s. They would travel to the lake surrounding the drowned henge.
“What now?” Mikel asked.
“We need to make plans,” Ash said.
Ky bolted to the door. “Let’s go.” The others with a Fire affinity followed her.
“Not yet,” Ash called. “We can’t run around like emmets stirred from their nest.”
“Who has the furthest to go?” Jay asked.
“Kirlon’s group,” Bran said.
Ash drew a deep breath. “We need plans. We’ll need supplies. People in Easren will have little to share.”
Jay nodded. “Fire affinities should check the coursers and see if they’re fit. If any need shod Earth affinities can help. They should also see to the panniers.”
“What are you going to do?” Zand asked.
“See to food supplies.”
Bran rose. “Water affinities will make medicinal packs for us and for the animals.”
“Then Air will see to clothes, tents and sleep saques,” Ash said.
Ky reached the door. “What are we waiting for? Zand, Rogier, Tamlia, come with me.”
Bran halted beside Ash. “Since rain and flooding are the problems in Easren I believe the Water affinities will take the lead in the cleansing. We should discuss this before we leave.”
Ash nodded. “If we can keep Ky from galloping off with her sword spouting flames.”
He chuckled then pointed to the map. “If lines are drawn from the other foci, they meet at the edge of the drowned henge. Do you think that will be true in all the princedoms?”
“I’m not thinking of any place other than Easren.”
He groaned. “You know how I hate surprises.”
Ash piled the pillows at the side of the room. What were the conditions in Easren? She knew about the rain and floods. But what about the people? She decided to search the winds.
Not in here. If she closed the door the barrier would prevent a search. If the door remained open the protection could be destroyed.
She hurried from the keep into the forecourt. There she turned and stared at the gray stones of the tower. Sadness blossomed. The keep was home and family. She brushed her hand over the rough stones. With a sigh she sank on a bench and leaned against the wall. Warmth and comfort seeped from the surface.
Ash opened herself to the winds of thought. Without warning, a stab from the highlands touched her. Like the sting of a scorpon’s tail someone tried to jab into her mind. Help! She slammed her barriers tight. Who? Not Dom Senet. His touch felt oily and tempting. This had been crude and demanding.
Mikel and Kirlon slid onto the bench on either side of her. Sydli crouched before her. Their arrival brought comfort to ease the chill of fear. “What was that?” Sydli asked.
Ash released a held breath. “Not the dom. Rougher. Greedier.”
“What were you trying to do?” Mikel asked.
“Listening to the winds of Easren.”
“Good idea but we should form a circle,” Kirlon said. “I’ll block against intrusion.”
They clasped hands. Ash felt the merge form. She reached for the winds of Easren. Cries of hunger, fear and despair echoed through the meld. Rain fell two days out of four. Rivers and streams overflowed their banks. Soon melt from ice and snow in the highlands would add to the deluge.
When Ash broke the circle she met the gaze of her friends. “The doma was right. If we don’t go now there will be no spring planting. Famine and death will follow.” She rose. “The time is now.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - The Middle #MFRWauthor #amwriting

After the beginning the story moves to the middle. This is where the action takes place. To make the middle, the writer needs to remember the hero, heroine and other characters have several things. Oneof these is their goals and the goals don't always march together. Often one or more characters had goals in conflict with the main character or characters.

These goals cause characters to react and to react. Only in exploring these reactions and actions does the story progress. The goals are bound by the characters motives. Why does he, she or they want a certain goal. Using these motivations drives the story forward. Only when the motivations of the lead characters are of the same level of importance to each other does the story grip the reader.

The actions and reactions of the characters make for scenes. Each scene in the middle of the story must lead forward. If the scenes fall flat so will the story. So dig deep as you write your story. Remember each scene has a goal and the goal can be varied and hopefully will be. There's nothing more boring than to have the scenes in a story have the same goal and become repeats of the one before with the reader learning nothing new about the ultimate ending of the story. Next time we'll look at the three reasons a scene can address. Perhaps one and perhaps more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration Reaching The End #MFRWauthor #writing #inspiration

I don't know about you as a writer or even most writers but the moment I write The End on a manuscript, I get a jiggly feeling inside. Relief that I've finished another tale, one I hope was better than the last one I wrote. I also feel inspired.

Just what do I mean. It's in hoping the just finished mss is better than that last one written and then thinking "Maybe the one that's just an idea in my head will be better than the one just completed."

The striving for perfection and of bettering what one has done before keeps me going. How about you. When you finish a story do you slump and think you'll never write again or do you think that one was great but I'm sure the next one will be better?

So for me reaching the end is also a beginning. What about you?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Meandering On Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #poem #movie #writing #MerylStreep

Meander 1 - Poem - Merry-Go-Round

Tigers and lions, giraffe and a swan seat
But he picks a horse going up and down
And around and around on the circular track
With bright lights in patterns.
Blinking and blinking
In rhythmical time while
Caliope music vibrates the horse
That he rides ip and down
On a circular staircase,
Moebius strop that seems to go
Somewhere but comes back to meet
Him uping and downing
Arounding and rounding
The lights that are flashing
And mirrors are showing
The brass ring so far from his grasp.

Meander 2 - Florence Foster Jenkins - I'm not really a movie person but I went to see this picture, partly because I remember listening to some of her records one night with another bunch of singers. Funny, poignant and a story to learn from. The acting was superb and the story riveting. This is a movie I highly recommend. From start to finish a great job and all the actors are Academy award worthy. Meryl Streep showed once again what a marvelous actress she is.

Meander 3 - Writing - Have finished the book that I've been working on for months. Not my book but one I've written for a friend. Have returned to my regular writing and will be working on The Cancer Capricorn Connection and begun the planning an the Aquarius Leo Connection. Then more typing on stories and also to put some of the books into the new format for Books We Love.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday's Book Features Confrontations - Book 4 of Affinities #MFRWauthor #YA #fantasy #adventure #magic #worldbuilding

Confrontations (Affinities Book 4)

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

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Awesome world building.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday's Visitor - Minxie Wells Talking about Characters #MFRWauthor

1. How do you create your characters? Do you have a specific process?

My heroines are always defiant smart-asses, just like me. My Doms are uncompromising and omnipotent. I stick them together in a fictional situation and try to imagine how they'll react and interact.
2. Do your characters come before the plot? Do you sketch out your plot or do you let the characters develop the route to the end?

Characters always come before the plot. I put them in an initial situation and watch as it evolves. Sometimes, what happens is probably as much of a surprise to me as it is to the reader. Ultimately, I construct the stories I would want to read myself.
3. Do you know how the story will end before you begin? In a general way or a specific one?
I know it's going to be a HEA ending. The trick is maneuvering through the plot and the characters' reactions and thought processes to get them to that happy conclusion.

4. Do you choose settings you know or do you have books of settings and plans of houses sitting around.

I generally make up settings but settings are less important in my books than character, dialogue and plot.
5. Where do you do your research? On line or from books?

Google is my best friend. But I've also researched "the scene" by visiting chat rooms, interviewing friends and accompanying them to parties and clubs.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday's Opening Scene from Searches - Affinities Book 3 #fantasy #young adult #adventure



The midday sun of the late summer day beamed on the caravan consisting of three Rover wagons, several extra coursers and eight riders. Val tugged off his neck cloth and wiped his sweaty brow. Today he rode as rear guard and used his affinity for Water to search for emotions that spoke of strangers. As yet, the group seemed to be the only travelers for miles.

He scanned the horizon. The grassy plains stretched to the east and the west of the old rutted road leading toward a distant grove of trees. The forest could hide attackers, but as yet he sensed no unknown enemies.

The heavy loads stored in the wagons caused the slow progress. Val had to admit Doma Jandia was the best trader he had ever encountered. Not only did they have extra mounts there was enough food and grain to last a month or more along with the tools they needed to repair the abandoned keep. He grinned. They still had credit with the Rovers.

An outburst of angry emotions impinged on his peace. Val’s hands clenched. Four days of travel beneath a hot sun had brought tempers to the fore, especially from those whose affinity for Fire guided their actions.

Ky and her courser tore toward him. With one hand she held the reins. The other hand held a raised sword that blazed with flames. Behind her, Zand galloped. His sword showed a plume of fire. “Take that back,” he shouted.

Val rode toward the pair. “Enough,” he cried. “Dampen those flames. Do you want to set the grass aflame and endanger us all?”

“She called me a baby,” Zand said.

Val sucked in a breath. “What did you say to her?”

“That I was better with a sword.”

Val nodded. “Since you have been practicing with one since you could hold a blade, how else could you be? I say you’re both acting like children.” In some ways they both were, not only in age but in experience. “Why don’t the pair of you spar after evening meal when Dragen can watch and comment?”

The flames on Ky’s sword died. She turned to Zand. “A good idea.”

“Just blades. No flames,” Zand said.

      The pair wheeled and rode off. Val watched them go. Sometimes he wished he could use his affinity for Water to empty a cloud on his friends’ heads. A longing for shade and coolness arose. Would they reach the trees in time to make camp for the night?

Why were there no farms or villages in this area? Was this part of the highlands? He knew the Rovers’ camp was in the neutral ground between the lowlands and the highlands. How much further must they travel to reach the deserted keep Dragen knew? The abandoned dwelling was to be a refuge where they could learn to use their affinities. This meant another change in his life.

His thoughts slid to the many times his life had undergone an upheaval. He had no recollection of his mother’s death and few from the years he and his father had lived off the land before joining the Rovers for several seasons. Those days had been ones of learning and of belonging.

Then his father had been drawn to Cedris. Flashes of memories from the day his father had died at the hands of Dom Senet made Val’s hands shake. He pushed his grief aside and tried to smooth the raw places.

One area remained abraded. He knew the children who had lived with him in Cedris were safe with the Rovers. They had been his family until his affinity had forced a chasm to separate them.

A shudder rolled through his body. A member of his adopted family had envied his talent. Had that been the reason for Larkea’s betrayal or had her dislike of Geni spurred the angry reaction? Larkea’s actions had resulted in his and Geni’s capture by Dom Senet and had placed all their friends in danger. When he recalled the coldness of the dom’s green eyes, Val felt ill.


He had been so deep in thought he hadn’t noticed Bran’s arrival. Val smiled at his friend. With their pale blond hair, green eyes and the deep copper of their skins they could have been siblings except their features were different. Even Bran and his twin had little facial resemblance. Val halted his courser. “Is there a problem?”

“Sort of. Your emotions are so loud I can’t block them. Ash and Kirlon said your bitterness scents the air. We’re worried about you.”

“Sorry.” Val stroked his steed’s neck. “I was thinking about all the changes in my life and lost control. I also miss the children.” How could he explain his losses to anyone?

Bran nodded. “About the children. You haven’t deserted them. Leaving them with the Rovers gives them chances they didn’t have in Cedris. It’s also better for them not to be with us.”

“I know.” Val smiled. “Larkea thrives and enjoys her new knowledge about plants and healing. The boys are gaining farming skills. Even Svana has found a place. Still, I miss them.”

A covey of grass hens erupted from the brush. Val used a slingshot to bring down several. Bran dismounted and gathered the birds. By the time the last one had been flushed they had eight.

“I wonder if any of our companions have been successful hunters, too.” Though sacks of dried foods were stored in the wagons, Val was glad to add to the larder.

“We’ll soon know.” Bran tied the fowl to his saddle, mounted and rode away.

Val followed at a slower pace. He remained alert and searched for stray emotions. The only ones he sensed belonged to his companions. By the time the sun sank toward the horizon, the wagons had reached the edge of the forest. Val tended to his steed and then joined Ash at the fire to pluck the birds.

The clang of swords and Dragen’s calling patterns accompanied his work. Val chuckled. “That should lessen their anger.”

“Being settled will help more.”

The three with Earth affinities arrived. Jay and Dyna carried greens and mushrooms. Geni appeared with huge ground nuts and a basket of summa berries. “I have cuttings and roots for a kitchen garden,” she said.

“Maybe there’s a growing house.” Jay put the greens in a bowl.

Val popped one of the berries into his mouth. “I wonder why the area is so deserted.”

Dragen joined them. “In answer to your question, this area is part of the neutral land. To the west there are several villages where people of the highlands and lowlands have settled.” He nodded to Ash. “You and your siblings stayed near one of the villages when you lived at the farm with my sister.”

“And this keep?” Val asked.

“Is on the edge of the highlands. The place was once the home of distant relatives. When the refugees fled some disaster in their homeland and arrived on our shores, the family of Rangers, farmers, doms and domas decided to move higher into the mountains. Occasionally Jandia visits them. Several members of the family have been her students. One is a talented healer. Ilvan is his name.”

Val spitted the birds and set them over the fire. If the doma visited these people, he hoped they remained friends. With Dom Senet and his cronies, there were enough enemies in the land.

“How long before we reach the keep?” Val asked.

The older man looked up. “Two or three days if we all rode. Five days should see us to what was the home farm and then several hours to the keep.”

Val wondered if any of the crops had gone wild and could be harvested. Living in the Cedris garden had spoiled him. Having fresh fruit and vegetables had been wonderful. For a moment he thought about Cook and her family. Were they safe?

 The moment he finished the meal he grabbed his sleep saque and retreated to a spot beneath the trees. As he drifted to sleep, he wished the days until they reached their new home would fly past. An impatience to be settled and to learn more about his affinity, filled him.

Five days later they emerged from the forest into a field of stunted grain. Their travel had been marked by halts to clear fallen trees and brush from the old road.

Val examined the seed heads on several varieties and grinned. Though not prime grain, they could harvest enough for the coursers and themselves. He stared at the distant walls of the keep. Tomorrow, he thought.

Peels of laughter startled him. Geni and Dyna gathered dark blue berries from a tangle surrounding the fields. Ky and Jay pulled crispins and pesches from trees.

“Would you stop,” Ash called. “I can’t catch what both of you throw and there’s nothing to put them in.”

Val grabbed an empty basket and ran to help. “Don’t be so greedy,” he called to the twins.

The pair jumped to the ground. “There are olla trees, too.”

Val made a face. “We’ll have to pick and render them. Outside, I hope.”

Ash’s grimace matched his. “Agreed. I hope we find a growing house. With three who have an affinity for Earth tending the plants, we can have fresh food all year. I can’t wait to reach the keep.”

Val lifted the basket of fruit. “We need to approach the walls with caution. According to Dragen, the place has been empty for generations. Who knows what pests have taken refuge there. Bran and I should go first and see what creatures we can send away.”

“Sending them away might not be a good idea. What if they return?”

Bran strolled toward them. “She’s right. Ash and Kirlon can scent the air. You and I can call them. 

Zand and Ky can send fire to burn them. I imagine we’ll encounter ratis.”

Val considered both plans and realized Bran’s was more sensible. “Sounds like your idea is the best one. We need to discuss this with Dragen and Doma Jandia.”

“With everyone.” Ash walked toward the fire.

The next morning, the six sent out for the keep. Ash and Kirlon led the group.  The walls drew closer. Val saw parts of the structure had gaps where stones had fallen. They entered where there had once been a wooden gate and halted. The tall central tower seemed intact as did the single story building that ran from the front and around the sides of the tower.

Ash looked at them, “I smell ratis and several scents I don’t know. They are foul.”

“Spiders, snakes and other vermin,” Kirlon said.

“Are they hostile to the ratis?” Bran asked.

“I don’t know. Their odor is unpleasant,” Ash said. “Maybe there are scorpons lurking.”

A yowl startled Val. He turned to see both pair of forstcats move toward the building. He drew a deep breath. “Are we ready?”

“Yes,” the others said.

Val sent a call message. He heard Bran’s urging join his. A swarm of black, brown and white mottled creatures poured from the building. How had so many survived when there were no people? Then he became too involved in destroying the pests to find an answer.

Lashes of flame shot from the swords Ky and Zand carried. Val, Kirlon and Bran used slingshots to pelt the mass. The forstcats caught the stunned creatures and snapped their necks. The stench of burning fur made Val’s stomach lurch. Slowly, the stench faded. He realized Ash stirred the air to drive the odors away.

Val continued to call ratis until only nestlings appeared. The forstcats shredded these with their claws and ran into the single story annex of the keep. Val and the others followed. The four felines flowed into narrow cracks in the walls. They drove vividly colored lizards and bronze striped snakes into the open.

Once the lower level was clear of vermin, the six escorted by the forstcats, moved from level to level of the tower making sure each of the four floors were vermin-free before moving to the next.

The tower stairs were on the right-hand side of the building and had openings on each level into a hall. On the first two floors of the keep tower a large chamber and a bathing room provided sleeping space for groups. The young women chose the first level and the young men the second. On each of the other floors there were four chambers and a bathing room. Doma Jandia and Dragen would be comfortable there.

By mid-afternoon, Val stepped through the door and stood on the walled space of the roof. He stared at the vista and saw fields, forest and the rising mountains.

Ash sent a message to Doma Jandia on the winds. Soon everyone was engaged in cleaning the keep for occupancy. Val smiled. They were here and safe. At least for now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Writing ABC - Opening Scenes #MFRWauthor #writing

As I said last week, Plots are divided into segments. Each one is important. Let's look at the Opening Scene. What's the purpose?

Each scene must have a purpose and the opening one has a few essentials to throw into the mix. One purpose is to introduce one or more characters. The writer must hint to the characters problem that will drive the book. What is their goal? Why are they doing this? What can they lose of gain? Few stories have just one character. Even those told in first person have other people in the mix. So this is one purpose of writing that first scene.

Another purpose is to interest the reader. I've read a lot of books and I've written a few. Most of the time I write that opening scene many times to get the real flow. Have I interested the reader? I always hope so. I've read some stories that have a great opening line or a great opening paragraph and then the story begins to bore me. Why?

Boring things. A great paragraph or situation followed by an enormous dump of back story or of setting or of other things that drag on and on. The backstory dump always makes the reader yawn. Why couldn't the story have started sooner? Does the reader really want to know all this material or can the facts come in later.

When I began writing, this was one of my problems. A lot of back story. These stories came back to me until one editor remarked that she didn't need to know thee heroine's entire life in the first scene. "Just put enough in there to intrigue the reader."

The book I'm about to begin starts with the heroine settling into her new house. Then she hears a motorcycle and this upsets her. Hints as to why are there but not much more until the scene ends.

So the opening has to show a character and give a hint about what the story will be about. The opening has to avoid boring things.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration - inspired by Vogler - Characters - Eager or Reluctant #MFRWauthor #Characters

The third of Vogler's steps on the journey is the Reluctant Hero. As I read what he'd written about this, I wondered if all heroes or heroines were reluctant. For me this isn't necessarily the case. Some heroes or heroines are eager to undertake the quest. This is due to the development of their natures. Are they more or less interesting than the reluctant one? I don't think this is the case. A character who is eager and avid to pursue a goal can be interesting especially if they are faced with an opposite who is equally opposed to the character reaching a goal.

Now we come to the reluctant one. Is fear the only reason for a character being unwilling to take on a quest? Maybe but maybe not, unless fear engenders more that a fear of the unknown. The reluctant character may be afraid of hurting someone. They usually know what pain their actions might cause.

What about your characters? Are they among those who are reluctant or are they the kind that leap into action barely giving a thought to the consequences? Of mine, I think I have written both kinds. Since some of my works are ensemble groups of heroes and heroines, I can have both types in the same story. That often leads to a few complications that weren't planned but add depth to the story.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #Poetry #writing

Meander 1 - Poem - The Steeplechase

A horse of wood sits on a rod of steel.
He is perches on top.
Leaning forward with his feet
Dangling against his wooden mount.
His horse is number four.
He batters feet against
The wood and painted steed.
Hurry, hurry.
The screaming crowd shouts - yells.
Hurry number four.
Om jockey fashion he lifts his arm
And lashes the wooden horse.
It's number one in front
Then three
And here comes number four.
He takes the lead by pressing hard
But slow the ride runs down.
He ends ahead on a circular track
And pays for another ride.

Meander 2 - The Olympics. I must admit I've been watching off and on. Some of the things are main stream events. Yesterday I watched the fencing. Got so involved a half hour passed before I realized what happened. I used to fence. At least I was taking lessons until a car wreck ended my love of swords and actively pursuing the event. But I must admit while watching I became the fencer and lived dreams for a moment.

Meander 3 - The heat makes the mind slow down but I am writing. Now to finish typing two chapters so I can get to the final draft of this story. Have begun The Cancer Capricorn Connection and while there are holes in the plot they'll vanish when I get to the next draft which is the plot draft. Am also typing edits into a story that was written years ago and I'm adding words, not to make the story longer. It's long enough but to smooth the prose. Sometimes I write sentences that need a bit of expansion to make them clear. Am doing this slowly.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday's Book - Searches Book 3 of Affinities #MFRWauthor #fantasy #adventure #young adult

Having found a safe place in a tower fortress, the four and their companions set out to find what they need to defeat Dom Senet and He Who Walks With Evil. They divide into three groups. The first group seeks the focus stones that enhance their affinities. The second group looks for the remaining artifacts, the swords, the staffs, the flutes and the scrying bowls. The third group sets out to find those with their affinities to round the groups to four of earth, four water, four air and four fire. Their strength will be needed in the final battle.

Searches (Affinities Book 3 - Young Adult Fantasy, Books We Love)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday's Blurbs - features Books by Trish McGill #MFRWauthor #romance #contemporary #historical

Kate’s Dilemma (Challenge the Heart Book 3)

What happens when two people who are both of the same mind—this being to steer well clear of emotional entanglements—are struck down by instant attraction.
Kate last met Liam when she was bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. A gangly, uncertain fourteen year old, going through the painful problems associated with growing up, she took an instant dislike to Liam, who made fun of her. When her recently widowed sister talks her into reluctantly accompanying her to her brother-in-law’s home, which was built by its owner, architect Liam, Kate falls in love with the house and, unfortunately for her, finds that she soon has corresponding feelings for the man who owns it.
Meanwhile, Liam cannot believe that the tall, insecure teenager he met at his brother’s wedding years ago has blossomed into this beautiful, talented woman. His inbuilt antennae that had served him well, stood every chance of being annihilated if he didn’t watch out.

A Heart in Conflict (Challenge the Heart Book 2)

Opposites attract, it is a well-known fact. At times this leads to insurmountable conflict, when at other times, sit back and watch the fireworks.
Steve Tanakis considers himself cool and calmly confident. Head of a fashion business, he needs to be in control of his life and his business decisions. He decides it is time to find a suitable mother for his son. Through with the pain that comes along with passion, he now considers what he wants is an unemotional wife, one who will fit well into his way of life.
Georgie McNamara, assistant designer in his fashion house, is flamboyant, vivacious, and gregarious, the antitheses to his idea of the perfect choice. The tiny whirlwind turns Steve's organized lifestyle upside down, somehow worming her way into his, and his son’s life, foiling all his plans to find that uncomplicated wife. Along the way Steve comes to realize there is a lot more to this bundle of feminine trouble than he first thought. Is she more trouble than he can handle?

When Fate Decides (Challenge the Heart Book 1)

For too long Tessa has seen herself as plain and dowdy, just an ordinary suburban housewife. With her confidence eroded after being married to a bully who humiliated her at every opportunity, why wouldn’t she presume she was unattractive, and someone no man would find the least bit worth bothering with?
    But now Tessa is a widow, and relishing her new state of independence. Her world is turned upside down by Jack Delaney, a man she spent hours fantasizing over when he worked for her husband. A man who gave her a deliciously secret outlet from her miserable marriage. When Jack enters her life again, professing he finds her attractive, why would she believe him? Especially as he is now wealthy, successful, still extremely handsome, and to add to that, years younger than her.

Mystic Mountains (Settlers Book 1)

In the early 1800s the penal colony of Botany Bay was an unforgiving and harsh place. Isabella O'Shea is transported to New South Wales for wounding a member of the British aristocracy who raped her, so it is understandable that she loathes members of the upper class and the system that punished her; sentenced her to seven years transportation.
Tiger Carstairs is rich, ambitious and English-so is it any wonder she is determined to hate her new master. Tiger dreams of making a new life beyond the aptly named Blue Mountains, so called because of the perpetual haze of blue surrounding them.
Mystic Mountains is a story of courage and persistence-traits that were essential for the settlers who carved out a new life in a raw land where suffering and heartbreak were commonplace.
Isabella and Tiger face tragedy and many hardships in their quest for a new life in this untamed land.

Distant Mountains Settlers Book 2)

Even in the prospering colony of New South Wales, it would be far-fetched to think a convicted man could consider marrying the daughter of a wealthy property owner.
But Remy has larger problems to contend with than Sara’s bigoted father. Forced to leave the woman he loves behind, Remy faces overwhelming odds and an ordeal that threatens to strip him of everything; his pride, his strength, his health—even his life.
Sara has many struggles of her own and when Remy finally thinks he has a future with Sara within his grasp, he is sent to a place where pain and suffering are everyday occurrences. Will the lovers ever find true happiness?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday's Guest - Trisha McGill talking about writing. #MFRWauthor #genres #timetravel

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?

Thanks for having me once again on your blog, Janet. My books are all romances in various sub/genres. I have always tended to write depending on my current state of mind. My favorite choice is Time-Travel but I enjoyed writing my historical series “Settlers” as like Time-Travels they entailed a lot of digging back into the past, and I am a glutton for research.
My reading choices definitely reflect my writing choices. I don’t read horror, mystery, or erotica so therefore would not attempt to write any of these genres but admire others who do.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?

My heroes top the list there. I tend to fall in love with all my heroes but some are more favorite than others. I don’t mind throwing in the odd villain along the way and that’s another reason I enjoy Time-Travels and Historicals as they invariably need a villain to stir things up.

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 have all been based on whoever was my current movie star favorite. Matthew McConaughey (when younger) featured a lot in my mind early on. They are usually this vague person lingering at the periphery of my mind as I write but I have moved on as my tastes changed, so my favorite model hero changed. I don’t go in for the very young hero as most of mine have been in their 30s. I invariably have a good idea what they look like as I begin to plot the story.

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

Same again, my heroines have changed along with the times. I used to collect images and work with them but haven’t done that in a while. It’s a bit disappointing when you have the exact picture of what you want them to look like and the cover artist’s idea is completely different. So, I prefer now to just have a vague idea apart from height, hair and eye color etc. or descriptions that are vital to the story.

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 villains have most definitely all been human and mostly nasty characters who are out to upset either the hero’s or heroine’s plans, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

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

My latest release is Kate’s Dilemma. Kate of course is the heroine and she is a 26 year old artist. She is determined to remain single but her libido has other ideas as she falls for Liam who is also of the same mind. He’s been hurt by a woman and is set on never falling into the marriage trap. Problem is they have the hots for each other and find it hard to resist this attraction. I guess the villain in the piece is female this time and she tries to come between them of course.

7. What are you working on now?

I’m re-working one of my old time-travels which will be my next release, but as yet can’t make up my mind on the new title. Most that I have come up with so far have been over-used. I am waiting for inspiration to hit as I work on the manuscript. I can say that my English hero travels back to Britain as it was just after the Romans had departed, and meets the woman who has been haunting his dreams.

8. How can people find you?

My Books We Love Author Page: