Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Today's Book The Aries Libra Connection #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishingLTD #romance #Medical

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?

December 3, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday The Children of Fyre #MFRWHooks #BWLPublishingLTD #fantasy #Romance #Dragons #Power stones

Join the authors at #MFRWHooks to see what stories they're featuring and find some new reads here Mine introduces the second heroine at The Children of Fyre.
Soon to be published.

In this return to the Island of Fyre, each of the heros and heroines of the three previous books have children. Lorton is the youngest son of the Wizards of Fyre and he has bonded with the yellow dragon. The dragon through the magic of the stones has been rejuvenated and is now green. Dragon sends Lorton to travel to where the Dragons of Fyre are raised. There he meets Arkon son of the hero and heroine of the Dragons of Fyre. There have been four eggs laid and there must be two young men and two young women found to bond with them. On the island where the evil wizards were exiled, Cerene has grown up as little more than a slave. She can use all the fyrestones unlike her father. She learns about the kidnapping of Riara, daughter of the hero and heroine of the Temple of Fyre and vows to save her. The four must unite with their dragons and finally destroy the evil.


Riara finished her session on the temple pyramid where fyrestones were used and dismissed the two orange and three yellow priestesses. “Well done.” She tucked her red stone beneath her tunic. Today they had brought rain to distant farmlands. Over the years since her parents had ruled the temple of Fyre, this land had been reclaimed from the desert. She sank on a bench in the outer courtyard. The bright autumn sun warmed her. Using the fyrestones weakened her and she knew she must eat to regain her energy. Not yet. She closed her eyes and wished her life wasn’t so boring. Her older siblings served in village temples. Her parents kept her at home to hone her skills.
“Priestess, priestess.” A young man dashed into the courtyard. “I’ve come to warn you about trouble ahead.”
Riara looked up and frowned. His hair was a dirty blond color and she couldn’t see his eyes. The wide brim of his hat kept his face in the shadows. “Where are you from and who are you?”
“I am apprenticed to a fisherman from the coast. In the past few weeks, carrion crows have gathered on the shore. They are omens of trouble. One of our village fishermen saw a tra…slaver ship. Haven’t they been banished from the isle?”
“They have.” She continued to study him. Something didn’t seem right but she couldn’t naysay him. “Come with me and speak to the Chief Priest and Priestess.” Perhaps her parents could learn if her suspicions were true or false. She walked into the small audience chamber and beckoned the young man forward.
Her parents sat on their raised chairs. She smiled as they dismissed a young couple facing them. Her mother looked up. “Riara, was there trouble with bringing rain?”
“None. This young man has a story you must hear.” For a moment, she felt as if she would faint.
Her father scowled. “Have you eaten?”
She shook her head. “Not yet.”
“How often must we remind you of the need to sustain your body?”
She felt her face heat. “I thought his was a story you needed to hear.”
“We will,” her mother said. “Go.”
Riara left the inner court and hurried to the refectory. Once again she’d proved her parents right. She knew after using the fyrestones for an extended period of time she must eat. Once again she had neglected the rule. She selected fresh fruit, poultry and mashed roots. Her first taste of food sent her to ravishingly devouring every bite on the plate. Each swallow of food gave her a burst of energy. As she swallowed the list bit, a fledgling priest appeared.
“You are summoned into the presence of the Chief Priestess and Priest.”



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Trimming out the Unnecessary, #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Zumaya #Writing

When you've finished your story, there are things you should do to make it a good read for an editor or agent. I'm not saying perfect but I've learned over the years that's nearly impossible.

1. Look for those repeated words. I remember once reading a contest entry where the writer was entranced by delicious. On the first few pages, I'm sure she used that word at least ten times. He was delicious. The food was delicious. The aromas were delicious. And on and on. I find that when I'm writing a rough draft I don't pay attention to the words. I just want to get the story down. Then I look at it and groan. I've honed in on one word that comes close to the meaning but not exactly. I have to go through and look at all those words and try to find the right word.

Another word is said. This is used as a dialogue tag. Some say the word is invisible. Most of the time said might be glossed over by a reader. But having a dialogue between two people and using he said, she said back and forth said becomes very visible. One way to avoid this is to show the character in action and showing the reader who is speaking. "Go away," she glared. has more punch that "Go away," she said. So look at the times you use said in a dialogue exchange and see if you can find another way to indicate the speaker.

Now we come to it was. This is the most used phrase in writing. We've all heard "It was a dark and stormy night." I find this phrase cropping up in my stories, particularly in the rough drafts and sometimes other drafts. A good friend who went on to write many books showed me her first version of a story. After I'd read two chapters, I sent it back and told her to get rid of as many it wases as she could and send it back.

So this is the first step in trimming your manuscript before sending it off.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Poem #Views #Writing #Prejudices

Meander 1 -- Poem --Merry-go-round --

Tigers and lions,giraffes and a swan seat
But he picks a horse that goes up and down
And around and around on the circular track
With the bright lights in patterns
Blinking and blinking.
Calliope music vibrates the horse
That he rides up and down
Like a circular staircase.
Morbius that seems to go
Somewhere but comes back to meet
Him uping and downing
Arounding and rounding
The lights that are flashing.
The brass rings so far from his grasp.

Meander 2 - Views Then and Now - So much turmoil is in the air these days about all kinds of prejudice and hate. That troubles me. I've just finished a book called Kola, a masterful one dealing iwth the subject. It's a historical and had roots in the Civil War. What this brings to my mind is days when I was a child. I went to a Methodist church where my parents an grandparents had gone. Every summer there was Bible School. My parents thought I should attend. Probably to keep me out of mischief. On the first day of the Bible School, our teacher invited us to bring our friends. The very next day, I did. A pair of black twins who I enjoyed playing with. To me they were little girls I enjoyed. To the teacher and some of the other children in the group, they were aliens. They did not return on the next day and I never could understand why. The next year, the same request was offered for us to bring our friends. I learned from the past year what I believed was forbidden, so I invited my friends from the neighborhood. They were Catholic. Once again I did not understand why they shouldn't be included. Actually I still don't understand who people can't be friends with everyone regardless of their color, religion or status in life. Who can explain this to me?

Meander 3 -- Writing - The book went off to the editor and now I await rewrites. I'm busily getting ready to write another book, one of the Moon Child series. This time my Cancer Moon Child with a Leo hero. It's still in the planning stages but it's going to be fun.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday's Book Murder and Mint Tea #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Cozy mystery #Hudson Valley

Murder and Mint Tea (Mrs. Miller Mysteries Book 1)

Katherine is a retired nurse and a retired church organist. The small Hudson River village where she lives in her Victorian “Painted Lady” makes her the neighborhood matriarch. Along with her Maine Coon Cat Robespierre, she guards friends and families. When amoral Rachel moves into the first floor apartment of Katherine’s house, trouble erupts. The murder weapon is one she recognizes and makes her fear for her friends and family. Finding the killer becomes her goal.


"4 stars! Murder and Mint Tea is an intriguing tale, rick in atmosphere and characterization. There has seldom been a villain as nasty as Rachel Rodgers, and she is so believable and instantly recognizable, that most people will be cheering on her murderer. Katherine Miller is a delight - thoughtful without being rash and a determined tea drinker as well!" Romantic Times Magazine -- Romantic Times Magazine

"Murder and Mint Tea is an engaging and cleverly plotted mystery. Author Janet Walters uses all the traditional touches of a classic British "cozy" and with her own unique voice, transplants them to this side of the Atlantic. Katherine's Victorian home, her garden and her always present mint tea create an atmosphere of warmth and security. Rachel's sleazy displays and her outrageous behavior make for a character who readers will love to hate. The contrast adds to the richness of the plot. Not only is this story intricately plotted, it is rich in characterization. Before Murder and Mint Tea becomes a "whodunit" it's a "who's gonna do it." Each and every character has an understandable reason for wanting Rachel dead. By the time she's murdered, the reader will feel like all the suspects are old friends. Murder and Mint Tea is a thoroughly enjoyable read that will keep you guessing to the last page." -- MysteryBuff Magazine

June 19, 2000
Format: Diskette

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books By Genevieve Montcombroux #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Romance

The Magic of Music (Otter Lake Book 1)

Pizza for Two

Pizza for Two is Piers’ journey. Piers’ privileged background has not prepared him to live with no job, hunger and the specter of living on the street. When driving drunk he killed four people in a crash. Guilt and remorse weigh heavily on his soul. Meeting Nicole gives him hope. He works hard on every fronts to earn her love and gain a measure of peace for himself. Tragedy transforms a somewhat dissolute youth into a responsible man when Nicole hires him as a delivery person for the flagging pizzeria she runs.

Nicole, who has secrets of her own, is desperate to find a worker and hires Piers deliberately not asking for references.

While Piers takes on the task of developing a successful business, Nicole’s heart leads her on the rocky road of love. When Piers helps her find the child that was forcibly taken away from her, happiness is in sight.

The Magic of Music

Marina Standen, a celebrated pianist, comes to the small town of Otter Lake to live with her sister, Rochelle, to recover from a near-drowning after her car plunged through the ice of a frozen lake. The accident left her comatose for several months and now she suffers from amnesia and the haunting danger of suicide her doctors warned her about. She refuses to believe them.

Trent Vargason’s seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, is blind following an accident that killed her mother and baby brother, three years previously. The child’s selective mutism is the result of the trauma she endured. Trent moves to Otter Lake so that Sophie can be near her maternal grandparents.

On Christmas Day Marina accompanies her sister to church. She has to refuse the pastor’s invitation to play for the service but eventually sits at the organ. Music springs from under her fingers, although she doesn’t know what she is playing. Her memory is just a blank.

On hearing the music, Sophie speaks for the first time since the accident, but immediately lapses into silence again. Marina agrees to give the little girl piano lessons, partly in the hope of relearning her own music. Sophie forms a close bond with Rochelle’s dog Kimnik.

Life in a small northern Prairie town is filled with human drama. Marina struggles to recover her memory. Trent, who harbors overpowering guilt over his wife’s death, vowed to remain faithful to her memory but is captivated by Marina. When Marina suggests that Sophie has some vision, life is turned upside down. An unpleasant and traumatic incident unlocks Sophie’s self-inflicted punishment. She had believed she was responsible for her mother and brother’s deaths.

As Marina makes progress in recovering her musical memory, can she ignore Trent’s love for her?

Northern Skies

Northern Skies is set in northern Manitoba, Canada. The heroine, Mattie Spencer, is the lead biologist heading a vital Woodland Caribou conservation project. As a Cree First Nation’s woman, she has to struggle to maintain her position. When her colleagues are sidelined by an accident, she goes ahead alone to do the essential survey of the caribou. 

Josh Weaver is a helicopter pilot and CEO of his own aviation company. He takes Mattie into the land of the muskeg and black spruce where the caribou live. He also directs, with the aid of a manager, the hunting and fishing lodge belonging to his father. Josh has traditional values and his views and opinions are those of the majority of people. Events bring him closer to Mattie when they flee into the wilderness to escape from unexpected danger. We see him adopt a more open minded attitude.

Mattie battles to maintain her position in what many consider a man’s world. She is conflicted by her love for science and the traditions of her First Nations culture. Josh battles his domineering father who believes the world ends with fishing and hunting. 

Mattie and Josh belong to differing cultures that often clash. Can they live with a foot in each world and still forge a lasting happiness?
and FaceBook

Friday, February 22, 2019

Genevieve Montcombroux is Visiting Friday and talking about Writing #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishingLTD

The Way I Write

At book signings I am often asked where I get my ideas from. It is almost impossible to answer, as there are too many things that can trigger a story. Nobody ever asks me what I read. But they should, because that is where many story ideas spring from.

Reading is as important as writing. Since I write mostly contemporary romance, I tend to read a lot of them. I also write historical fiction, not necessarily of the romance variety, set in WWII. This has led me to accumulate a monster library of reference books, online resources and a large collection of novels set in that time period. The series I am currently writing is set in WWII France and there may be there more than three books in the series. As I write, I keep making notes that could give rise to other story ideas.

One thing for certain is I would never write fantasy or science fiction, nor would I write thrillers or crime or mysteries because I do not read much in those genres.

Sometimes my heroines take over the storyline. In others it is more from the hero’s side. My heroes almost always change by the end of the story, whereas the heroines tend to grow into their potential. I do my best not to have stereotypical villains. They usually spend more time off stage, except in my war books.

In romance writing there are proponents of the saying that characters come first – the story is then built around those first two characters. I can’t work that way. When the germ of a story pops into my head and I can see where it will go, I call on my imagination to people the story. In my latest romance, the story spark was a drunk driver causing a fatal accident. Obviously the hero was developed first and was modelled on people I have seen throughout a lifetime. Where I live I don’t have television, or cell phone or radio reception and only a sluggish satellite internet. As a result I do not rely on visual prompts from movies and the like, but I suppose I am influenced by what I see on news websites or videos.

In an earlier novel, my heroine was created first. I am tired of the media portraying First Nations people in a negative light. There are many positive stories that never make the news. My novel featured a young Cree woman who has become a wildlife biologist. I’ll talk about her next time.

 In my latest romance Pizza for Two (BWL Publishing)  you will meet Piers and Nicole. It will be released in April. Last October saw the release of The Magic of Music (BWL Publishing). Marina is the heroine, but maybe Sophie, who is the hero Trent’s young daughter, captures a good part of the limelight.

Back to work now on Silent Tears, book one of the series All the Silences set in Paris during the Second World War, with a release date of May/June.
and FaceBook

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday's Fourth Scene The Wizards of Fyre #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Fantasy #Romance

The ancient dragon stirred. A faint vice crying for help had roused him from his dreams. Slowly memories oozed into his mind. Though he tried to stop the cascade he couldn’t. Once he’d been a young green preparing to take his place as guardian to young reds and blues of his line. The disaster had arrived on white sailed ships.
The men known as wizards had come from afar. The screams of slaughtered dragons filled the air. Three lines had been obliterated. One line had fled to the mountains. His kin. Many of them had died in the attempt to cross the towering peaks. He had been left behind because he’d been too young to make the journey. The cave system had been his home. When the last voice of his kin had faded an ancient yellow had sent him into the deep hibernating sleep.
How many cycles of the sun had passed since his sleep had begun? Why had he roused? He searched for the voices of other dragons and met silence. Anger fueled by memories filled his thoughts. He sensed the presence of wizards. Not the ones who had first come but others. A desire to see his kin avenged roared through him. He needed someone to hear and speak for him. Would the voice he’d heard be the one?
He dragged his aching body to his feet. He lumbered to the entrance into his sleeping place. Slowly he moved along the wide corridor past the cold room and the one where his people’s belongings had been stored. Humid heat drew him to the cavern where heated water bubbled in a pool. The steaming water eased his aching body. He continued to search for the voice that had awakened him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday Children of Fyre #MFRWHooks #BWLPublishing #Coming release #Fantasy #Romance

Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here  for some great excerpts. This week I'm still waiting for the cover but I'm introducing the first of two heroes.

In this return to the Island of Fyre, each of the heros and heroines of the three previous books have children. Lorton is the youngest son of the Wizards of Fyre and he has bonded with the yellow dragon. The dragon through the magic of the stones has been rejuvenated and is now green. Dragon sends Lorton to travel to where the Dragons of Fyre are raised. There he meets Arkon son of the hero and heroine of the Dragons of Fyre. There have been four eggs laid and there must be two young men and two young women found to bond with them. On the island where the evil wizards were exiled, Cerene has grown up as little more than a slave. She can use all the fyrestones unlike her father. She learns about the kidnapping of Riara, daughter of the hero and heroine of the Temple of Fyre and vows to save her. The four must unite with their dragons and finally destroy the evil.


Lorton sat on the floor of his sleeping chamber in the building called the Citadel, once the home of the wizards. He called this home. He rose and paced about the room. A restless urge tor adventure accompanied his strides. In his hand he held three ironwood wands with fyrestones at the tips. His ability to use the yellow, orange and red was less than that of his brothers and sisters, two sets of twins. The four had left home to travel with the desert clans. He was alone.

*Dragon, where are you?* The dragon’s voice rose in his head.
*In the courtyard. Come.*
Lorton strode to the door. Excitement filled his thoughts. Dragon had returned but where had he been? A seven day ago, his friend had flown away without a word to explain his absence. Why had he been so mysterious? Lorton had spent those days worrying that his bond with the creature had been broken. Any time he’d sent a mental call, there’d been no response.
As he walked the corridors to the inner courtyard, he thought of the stories his parents had told him about their adventures with Dragon. When his mother found the aging creature, he had been dark yellow signaling the ending of his life. The healing of injuries during the fight to drive the wizards away had rejuvenated the animal. He was now green.
Lorton stepped into the courtyard and shielded his eyes from the glare of the midday sun. Autumn had arrived but the days remained hot.
*I’m here.* He crossed the flagstones toward his friend.
Dragon sprawled on the cobbles. Lorton settled in the shade from a banon tree. *Where were you?*
*Listening to a call. I’m needed.*
*You and I need to leave.*
*And go where?*
*To one of the lands beyond the mountains. The new home of the dragons is there.*
Lorton frowned. *Why?*
*A miracle will occur. A red and a blue mated and she will lay four eggs. One of the blues will be yours to ride.*
Lorton shook his head. *I don’t understand. Why must we reach this land?*
*There is no green to guide the dragonets to come. I am needed.*
Lorton wrapped his arms around his knees. How could they reach the land on the other side of the mountains no one had ever scaled? A boat could hug the shore and reach this land. He knew nothing about sailing. Maybe one of the clans’ fishermen could teach him but that would take weeks or even months. Dragon said they must hurry.
*There is a large problem,* he said. *How do we get there? A boat is out. Maybe you could fly over the peaks but I can’t climb that high.*
*We must go through the mountain.*
Lorton frowned. *How?* He had a vision of them digging a tunnel when they had no idea how far.
*There’s a cave where your mother and father hid from the wizards to plan the rebellion. There are tunnels there. One of those passages will take us to our destination.*



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday;s Writer's Tip Checklist for Plot #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Plot #Checking

When you're finding those bugs or slips in your plot and need a quick repair or a lengthy one, Here are some things to remember.

1. Your plot line. Man against man, Man against nature or man against himself. Oneof these should be the major theme underlining your story.

2. The six elements.- Wo, what, when, where, why and how. Is each one developed to the max?

3. The nine areas should be examined, Framework, motivations, significant events, the vital idea, the action, the reactions, the goals, the sub-plots, the conflicts both the internal and the external.

Acrually, you could plan your next book while keeping all these in mind.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishingLTD #poetry, #Good news #Writing

 Meander 1 - Poem -- The Fun House --

She wanders through the house of thrill.
Fun house but is she sure
As nightmares come to haunt her steps
Gooseflesh her skin and send her voice
In ultrasonic screams.
The spiders dangle and brush her arms.
Back she jumps to get away
And mirrors show distorting her soul.
Or do they see what others see?
A gust of air lifts her skirts.
She giggles, looks around and hopes.
A maze of horror. Demon laughter.
And she is lost inside.

Meander 2 - Good news - Just learned I'm one of the 10 top writers at BWL Publishing. Actually this year I'm number 5. The news is great in last year's slump in the markets for all books, especially electronic writers. Hearing news like this pushes one to continue in this career one pursues for love.

Meander 3 - Writing - I am coming to the end of Children of Fyre. Typing in all the problems I found from the last draft can be tedious but the book is moving toward readable. When it's done, I'll start on Forgotten Dreams the fifth of the Moon Child series.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday's Book The Wizards of Fyre #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Romance #Fantasy

Wizards of Fyre (Island of Fyre Book 3)

Lorana, sold by her father to the slavers, resides in the harem in the citadel of the wizards. Her desire is to escape before she is given as a reward to one of the two wizard trainees who are competing for a spot on the council. She knows how to brew a cordial from firethorn berries and a poison from the thorns. When Arton, one of the young men is poisoned by the thorns she must care for him. She feels an attraction to him but she must escape. One night she hears the voice of a dragon. She thought the wizards had destroyed all the dragons on this side of the mountains. When the wizards leave to collect men to sell to the slavers, she takes the opportunity to escape with few supplies and a determination to reach the dragon.

Arton is a fledgling wizard and is about to be tested for the council. His mentor has died. His mentor wasn’t his father. The wizard purchased Arton from the slavers years ago. The present chief wizard would like to thwart Arton’s quest because he wants his son and trainee to join the council. Arton and his rival are evenly matched. The escape of Lorana becomes a quest. Which of the young wizards returns her to the citadel will win the competition and gain her as a reward. Cregan the rival decides to search on the desert. Arton chooses the hills. Because of Lorana’s care of him when he was poisoned he is attracted to her and he still craves a seat on the council.

Can Arton find Lorana first and will he make her a prisoner or allow her to remain free?

April 28, 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday's Blurbs featuring Books by Susan Calder #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishing #Mystery

To Catch A Fox

To Catch a Fox
Julie Fox is on the run. A psychotic breakdown has shattered her career in Calgary, her marriage and her love for her child. Julie travels to California to search for her mother and learn the root of her problems.

Clues at a cult-like retreat appear to hold the answers. As the retreat leaders lure Julie into their twisted game, her ex-husband tries to wrest her from their control. Trapped in a tangle of lies,
Julie’s grip on reality falters. Who will catch Julie Fox? Or will she break free, confront the truth about her past and set out on a new journey?

Ten Days in Summer
Calgary, Alberta, gears up for its ten-day Stampede festival. When a hoarder dies in a suspicious house fire, adjuster Paula Savard sets the revelry aside to handle the property insurance claim. But Paula’s interviews with the hoarder’s bickering heirs raise questions. What are they hiding from each other and the police? Are they trying to help or to sabotage the investigation? Did one of them set the blaze to kill a relative and hasten an inheritance?

The case turns personal when Paula’s daughter becomes involved with a suspect and moves into his home. If Paula learns the truth, she can ensure her daughter’s safety. While the police are occupied with keeping order during the Stampede, Paula digs through the hoarder’s life. She unearths betrayal, murder and a long-ago secret that led to his death. Exposing the truth would put Paula at risk, but free a troubled family.

Deadly Fall

Paula Savard’s life has stalled. Her lukewarm love life, job as an insurance adjuster and grownup children are more frustrating than exciting. However, she gets more than she asked for when her once best friend, Callie, is murdered while jogging to Paula’s inner-city Calgary home. The police suggest Callie was coming to Paula for help, which is news to Paula since they hadn’t seen each other in ages. Soon, Paula’s suspicions zero in on Callie’s new husband, Sam.

An ill-considered investigation turns personal for Paula when she begins to get close to Sam, but is Sam’s interest a front to trick Paula? Lies begin accumulating. Suddenly, Paula’s not sure who she should protect and who she should fear. As the truth reveals itself, Paula hatches a plan to draw the killer out. The plan’s success would not only allow her to solve the murder, but also give her life a fresh start.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday Meet Susan Calder Talking About Genres #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Genres #Reading

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? My fingers shift between mystery, suspense and mainstream stories. I’ve also dabbled with magic realism in short stories.

Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices? My reading choices shift between the same genres I write. While I sometimes enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction and paranormal stories, I tend toward realism in both my reading and writing. I often read historical fiction and would like to write it some day, but feel daunted by the research required and my story ideas tend toward the contemporary scene. I’m tempted to try time travel, since it would combine both historical and contemporary.      

Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt? I would attempt most genres in a short story. For a novel, which requires more sustained knowledge and writing skills, I would stay away from genres I’m less familiar with in my reading, like science fiction. While my writing is mostly realistic, I have the germ of an idea for a combination mystery/ghost story.  

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Villains. I find them so much fun to write. One reason is that I don’t have to worry about making them acceptable to readers. They can say and do anything, however outrageous or cruel. And if they turn out to be likeable anyway, that can work too. Even reader indifference wouldn’t be as serious a problem for a villain as it would be for the hero or heroine. My villains also tend to be selfish and single-minded in their goals. This makes their motives in every scene clear – “What’s best for me?” Heroes and heroines usually have concern for people other than themselves, which can make their motives more complicated to understand and portray.          

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? Aside from occasional minor characters, I don’t use pictures or real people to inspire characters.  The basics of a person spring from my imagination; his traits come from a blend of people I’ve known or read about or seen in a film, as well as from myself. I start with an idea for a character and a plot, then both develop in the course of writing the story. I get to know my hero by how he responds to situations, and his actions trigger plot developments.      

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 process for creating heroines is the same as it is for heroes. I start my novels with a few basics for my protagonist—gender, age, some physical and emotional traits, career, plus a story problem, setting, and perhaps some plot developments to occur later in the story. I can’t write character sketches before starting the book. I have to come to know the character through the story. After a couple of drafts, I look for pictures of people on the internet to help solidify my concept of the character. But I never find someone who looks exactly likely the character I’ve envisioned in 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? I make every secondary character opposed to the protagonist’s goal at some point in the story, even if that person is generally supportive. Isolating the heroine or hero increases the pressure on him or her, and helps maintain tension and conflict. I like the complexity of good people who mean well, but disagree with the protagonist’s approach to the story problem. Actions usually aren’t completely and obviously right or wrong. My process of making these ‘antagonists’ human is the same as it is for any character. Even villains should be well-rounded, with good and bad qualities and desires we can understand, even if we think they’re wrong or evil.  

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain? My novel, To Catch a Fox, is currently being released. The heroine, Julie Fox, is a Calgary engineer recovering from a psychotic breakdown. She travels to California to search for answers. The novel has no hero in the usual sense, but Julie’s estranged husband, Eric, comes closest to that role. He’s a decent man, who loves her, supports her quest and is spurred to help when he learns she has landed at a cult-like retreat that could mean trouble. The villain, Sebastiano, is a co-leader at the retreat. His plans for Julie threaten her mental health and best interests. But as the story develops the reader might come to see another story character as a greater villain.      

7. What are you working on now? I’ve returned to my Paula Savard mysteries and have started book three in the series. But my experience with writing multiple narrators in To Catch a Fox has prompted me to try this form in my new mystery book. Rather than write the story entirely from Paula’s perspective, as I did the first two times, I’m adding two secondary narrators.   

8. How can people find you?

My website
Twitter: @Susan_Calder

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday's Fourth Scene The Dragons of Fyre #MFRWAuthor #BWLPublishingLTD #Fantasy #Romance #Dragons

Lagon smiled. A slaver’s ship had docked. The wizards on board would pay well for the dragon’s pelt and they would wait in port until the skin was cured. He left the tower and walked down the path to the rocks. One half of the blue pelt soaked in the brine. Though a red brought more coins, he had a use for the remaining High Peaks dragon. He intended to bargain for another blue gem and a string of red ones for Arana.
When images of her naked and bound to his bed arose, his phala throbbed. He drew a deep breath and fought to control the image. When he took her for the first time she would be in the speakers’ hall after a mating flight. The heirs of the three other towers would witness the event so no one could say the son she bore belonged to another man.
He barked a laugh. She disliked and feared him. He would possess her. Once she gave him a son he would make her his wife. From the moment he’d seen her during the takeover at High Peaks he had desired her. But she had been a child. No longer.
“Come back.” A woman’s shout interrupted his reverie.
He wheeled and saw the only child of his loins running from her nurse. Her ebony-colored hair had escaped its braid and flew in a dark cloud around her face. The girl halted at his side. “Why did you kill the dragon?” Her dark eyes flashed with anger.
“For my own reasons. You have no right to question me.”
“He was brave. I watched the battle from the tower heights. If he had fought one or even two dragons, he would have won. Who was his speaker?”
“He had none.”
She put her hands on her hips. “You should have kept him. He was stronger and cannier than the Sea Cliff blue.”
Lagon’s hands clenched. How could she have a loyalty to High Peaks? She was his daughter, not the get of the long dead lord of that now deserted tower. He grated his teeth. That lord had taken the woman Lagon had wanted. In the end, the Lord of High Peaks Tower was dead and Lagon had possessed the woman until she had ended her life after Lorana’s birth.
“Go to your room,” he commanded. The moment he was sure Arana was with child, Lorana would go to the slavers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday The Children of Fyre #MFRWHooks #MFRWauthor #BWLPublishing #fantasy #romance

Join the writers at #MFRWHooks here  for some great excerpts. Today I'm talking about my coming release. I don't have the cover yet. The book is scheduled to be released some time next month. This is the final story in the island of Fyre series. Cerene is the first of the four major characters.


In this return to the Island of Fyre, each of the heros and heroines of the three previous books have children. Lorton is the youngest son of the Wizards of Fyre and he has bonded with the yellow dragon. The dragon through the magic of the stones has been rejuvenated and is now green. Dragon sends Lorton to travel to where the Dragons of Fyre are raised. There he meets Arkon son of the hero and heroine of the Dragons of Fyre. There have been four eggs laid and there must be two young men and two young women found to bond with them. On the island where the evil wizards were exiled, Cerene has grown up as little more than a slave. She can use all the fyrestones unlike her father. She learns about the kidnapping of Riara, daughter of the hero and heroine of the Temple of Fyre and vows to save her. The four must unite with their dragons and finally destroy the evil.

The first bell of the morning roused Cerene. She stretched and touched her toes before sliding out of bed. A trip to her private necessary and a quick wash sent her back to her room in the hareem of the ancient home of the wizards. From the tales she’d heard about the one they’d been forced to abandon, this one spoke of poverty. The one they’d left had been a massive stone structure with high walls and iron gates. Even their numbers had dwindled since returning to this place. This stone house with wooden fences and flimsy gates didn’t suit her father or the other wizards. Their desire to regain the past colored their days.

For her the fence made for an easy escape to the waterfront, the beach and the woods. She had also discovered secret passages within the walls and had explored. These hidden ways had allowed her to spy on the wizards.
She pulled on wide legged trousers and sat to tuck them into her boots. After pulling a tunic over her head, she laughed. She refused to wear the shapeless chiton worn by the women, slaves and breeders alike. She braided her hair and let the plait hang down her back. Though her hair was the same icy blonde as the wizards, hers had streaks of the colors of the fyrestones, red, orange, yellow and blue. Though she had never seen a blue stone. Her green eyes, unlike the frosted gray of the wizards spoke of her less than pure blood.
Cerene sat on the bed and spilled the contents of a leather pouch on the blanket. Metal chains, metal cages either empty or holding fyrestones and a single red stone. She lifted three chains and watched the caged stones flare to life. The yellow shed a ray of light, the orange a tongue of flame and the red brought her a sense of wellbeing. She hung the necklaces around her neck and tucked them beneath her tunic. She scooped the remaining treasures into the pouch and slid them into a small nook between the stones of the wall.
The second bell rang. “Cerene, get out here now.” Malda, the Hag Mother, shouted.
With brisk steps, Cerene entered the main room of the hareem. A dozen slave women, two breeders and six girls stood in a row while Malda inspected them.
The aged woman turned to Cerene. “Serve the porridge and break your own fast. You will escort the women to the garden to harvest root vegetables. Fall is upon us and the tubers must be stored for the winter. Send the girls into the woods to gather kindling.”
“Yes, Hag Mother.” Cerene bowed her head so Malda wouldn’t catch a hint of rebellious plans for the day.
“The wizards have a confab after breaking their fast. I will see to them.” The old woman wheeled and at the door turned. “Make sure the women and girls remain outside until the meeting ends.”
Cerene went to the cooking hearth and swung the huge kettle from the flames. She ladled cooked grains into bowls. The two breeders carried toe food to the long table. When Cerene scraped the kettle clean, she filled the vessel with water, added grain and swung the kettle over the lowest area of flames. Then she prepared food for Malda and herself.
Malda returned and scowled at the plates Cerene set on the table. She filled a cup with herbal tea. “There is no sweetener but honey. No fine ground flour for bread. We must eat this.” She grasped a piece of flatbread made from crudely ground meal. “The fruit remaining on the vines is for the wizards.” She scooped the eggs onto her plate leaving none for Cerene.
Cerene cut goat cheese to spread on her bread. When she finished eating, she escorted the women to the garden and instructed them to pull the tubers and load the wheelbarrows. Then she escorted the girls to the woods. Once they were occupied, she scurried away.
So the wizards meet. She would hear their plans.
With stealth she found the spot in the wooden fence where she had loosened boards. She slid them aside and slipped into the yard. When she reached the rear entrance, she stepped into the narrow hall. A smile curved her mouth. Once inside the passage, ten steps would take her to the place where she could see and hear the wizards.
Her fingers found the pattern on the stone. Silently the wall parted revealing a wide area that became a narrow passage. She entered and paused to allow her eyes to adjust to the dim light. Walking into the passage, she counted her steps and took care not to raise dust to make her sneeze. Her first visit to these passages had nearly revealed her presence. She’d removed the cobwebs and swept most of the accumulated dust.
At the tenth step, she halted and pressed her face to the wall where a pair of holes allowed her to view the happenings. She saw the conference table and the eight remaining wizards. Since their exile here on the isle where they had once lived had begun, most of the wizards from the captured Citadel had died. Of the nine, only two were first level.
Cemon, chief wizard and her father entered the room. He raised his ironwood tipped wand. The white stone on the tip remained unlit. He rapped the table. “We are gathered here to find a solution to our problems. Our supply of white fyrestones dwindles. Soon there will be none.”
Zondo, her father’s second snorted. “All such stones are found on the Island of Fyre. This small isle has no more to mine. Our trader cousins have reported finding no other sources.”
Her father nodded. “For the present we must learn ways to keep the ones we have."