1. What were you before you became an author? Did this influence your choices as a writer?
Friday, April 30, 2021
Friday Janina Grey is visiting and talking about Who She Was Before #MFRWAuthor #Journalist #Long Island, NY #Crisis counselling #Pagan romance
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Thursday's Opening Scene from Rekindled Dreams #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Former cop #Former nurse
“Asshole.” Pressing his hands against the metal desk, Simon Parker glared at the head of the Narcotic’s Division. His teeth clenched. He would not lose his temper and shout the words circling like poison darts in his thoughts.
His left leg tensed. The quads tightened. Though the wound had healed, the agony of the day the bullet tore into his flesh returned with a roar. An image of his dead partner’s blank eyes fueled his anger. Only a few threads of sanity kept him from erupting in an action he would regret. At the moment, his single desire was slamming his fist into the sorry bastard’s face.
Captain Paley half rose from his chair. “I’ll ignore that comment.”
“I’d rather you didn’t.” A burn seared Simon’s gut.
“You’re still under my command and you’ll do what I order.”
“I don’t think so.”
Paley grasped the edge of his desk. “You’re cleared for duty. You’re going undercover with the Garsis’ gang.”
“Not going to happen.” Simon pulled two envelopes from the pocket of his windbreaker.
“You’ll do as ordered.”
“This isn’t the army.” Simon drew a deep breath that did nothing to calm his temper. I asked for a transfer to any division or precinct. I would even go back to walking a beat. Anywhere but Narcotics.”
“Your transfer was denied,” Paley said.
“Where’s the letter?”
“You’re needed here. Your experience is valuable. Just shove your hissy fit in a drawer and follow orders.”
Simon dropped his badge and gun on the desk. More of his control frayed. He didn’t care that the office door was open and every ear in the outer room was tuned to the discussion in here. He wanted out before his temper erupted.
Drawing a deep breath he held his fists at his side. “I won’t work another day for an asshole.” He stabbed the envelopes with a finger. “My resignation is effective immediately. Here is a copy of my request for a transfer. You can’t bury them in your files this time. Copies have been sent to everyone I could think of.” He whirled and strode to the door.
“Parker, get back here.” Paley’s voice reached a level even the dead could hear. “We’re not finished.”
“Just listen to me. Pull off this job and you’ll be golden.”
Simon stomped to the door. “Too late. I quit. I’m done. I’m out of here.” Could he make his decision any clearer?
“I’ll recommend you for a promotion.”
“Not going to bite your carrot.” The words he’d held back seeped closer to an eruption. He nearly turned to blast the man and halted the action. No sense being arrested for assault. Cops fared poorly in prison.
“Why walk out?” The shouted question reached Simon. “Give me a good reason.”
“To save my life. Not gonna let you or anyone put me on a slab.” He slammed the door to Paley’s office and stomped into the outer room. Anger snapped the last thread restraining his temper. If he’d had his gun he would have shot the bastard.
The desks in the outer office were mainly empty. The few men and women present pretended to be busy. His glare must have warned them not to poke.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Murder and Bitter Tea #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Cozy mystery #Hudson Valley #Maine Coon Cat
Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some intriguing excerpts. Mine is from Murder and Bitter Tea and following Katherine as she decides to go undercover as a nurse at an exclusive nursing home
Katherine’s newest tenant is estranged from her family and is the granddaughter of one of Katherine’s friends. When her friend falls and fractures her hip, the elderly woman is taken to Hudson House nursing home, an exclusive house.
Katherine’s friend becomes concerned about several recent and unexpected deaths. When she dies Katherine’s curiosity and suspicions send her undercover as a nurse. Soon she’s deeply involved.
Can she learn who is behind the scheme to end the lives of wealthy patients without becoming a victim?
After unlocking the brakes, I pushed her along the hall to one of the elevators. We exited on the ground floor and moved through what had been the ballroom and now was a dining/activity center. The wide French doors opened onto a terrace where a ramp allowed easy access to the gardens. I found a sunny spot beside a white bench.
“Why all the secrecy?” I asked.
She heaved a sigh. “The intercom.”
Her answer puzzled me. Yes, health care facilities had intercom systems, but listening in on conversations was difficult. Sometimes, the static and crackle made the patients who called for help hard to hear. “What don’t you want heard?”
“In a minute.’ She clutched her purse to her chest. “Yesterday afternoon, I heard the man across the hall arguing with one of his sons. The man refused to sign some kind of paper. The son shouted. ‘If you don’t, you’re signing your death warrant. I need the power of attorney. Steve is just the one to see you dead.’ A nurse sent the son away.”
“Sounds like a family quarrel. People often say things they don’t mean when they’re upset.”
“That man died last night. I heard the nurses call the code and saw them pushing that red cart into the room.”
“Are you sure the one who died was the same man you heard earlier?”
“His room was directly across the hall from mine.”
“Do you know why he was here?”
She shook her head. “Another odd thing happened at dinner. One of the other residents asked why my neighbor hadn’t come to the dining room. He said they had planned a card game. The aide said the patient was too tired to leave his bed.”
“He could have had a relapse.”
“I suppose. When I asked the nurse what had happened, she said he’d had a heart attack. She also said deaths were expected when people are old and in poor health. I just thought his death coming so soon after the threat was odd.”
“Are you worried about yourself?”
She shook her head. “No, but I am pushing eighty.” She frowned. “Last night, Marcus and I had words about Jenna. I don’t understand his anger toward her. She wasn’t the driver. He insists a witness saw her behind the wheel, but he refused to say who saw the accident. I told him I planned to make some changes in my will.”
“How did he react?”
“Told me to think long and hard. I didn’t tell him the changes had been made months ago. I mailed two letters to the attorney just before the accident. They’ll explain why I acted the way I have.”
“Why not tell him?”
“I wanted them to be surprised.”
Though a million questions swirled in my thoughts, I kept silent. “How are you feeling?”
“Tired. A bit short of breath.”
“Have you noticed any swelling in your feet or ankles?”
“Hard to tell when you’re not moving about.”
“Why don’t you ask Dr. Brookes to stop by?”
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Tuesday's Writer's Tip _ Exposition - How to Get the Facts Across #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Exposition #Writing #Ways to tell
You have all that lovely information you've researched. You have created a new world with many customs. How do you inform the reader of the things you think they should know. Turning your story into a non-fiction discussion isn't the way to go but there are some ways to show and tell your reader about these unique and interesting things.
The first way to do this is build it into your scene. Find a way to have the characters show the information in a subtle way. Remember when you create a scene, you are doing several things. You are showing the characters with their assets and faults. You are advancing the plot and letting the reader know about the background facts including the setting.
A second way isn't as easily done and that's to put a writer intrusion passage between a scenes. Remember, there needs to be a lead in to this material and an exit that fits the story. A much harder way and keeping the reader's interest could be difficult.
The third way is to let the characters do the reveal. A dialogue between two or more characters, but try not to be disgorgin information all of the participants know. This could turn the reader off with thoughts like they already know that. Using a character's inner dialogue is a way of letting a character let you know what's been happening in the past or to allow a bit of that research to enter the story.
So build in the information you need is important but make sure you just don't want to give the reader a history lesson, a primer on methodsof death or how your world came about.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Reading #Writing #Thoughts
Meander 1 -- Reading - The past week was more of the Witch World of Andre Norton. Re-reading books one ahsn't read for several years is a great experience. New things are learned and the renewal is great. Also read Gumbo YAYA a collection of stories by Connie Vines - Nice romances all with touches of Louisana culture.
Meander 2 -- Thoughts - The trial is over and the verdict is in. This was a fair one and the prosecution lawyers laid out a case of murder hard to dispute. Just what does this mean? I'm not sure but I hope it means there will be less injustices by the police. I was remindedof the rule that police are taught. If you draw your gun shoot to kill. I'm not sure this it the right thing. What's wrong with disabling someone? If the person is exchanging fire, there's an excuse to shoot but when they're not, who does someone shoot. Perhaps things will change. Let's hope so.
Meander 3 - Writing -- Am busily typing the last of the corrections into Haunted Dreams. Then I must do all the busy work of getting it ready to send off to an editor. The writing for Incal is moving smoothly forward and hopefully I'll stay on schedule for this oen. I'm enjoying the story as it unfolds. Some of the writing is the best I've ever done in a rough draft.
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Sunday's Book Rekindled Dreams #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Policeman #Former nurse #Second chance romance
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2016
Simon’s aunt asks him to return to the town where he grew up for his cousin Randy’s funeral. When he does, he meets Dana whom he has never stopped thinking about.
Dana and Randy have divorced but, when Simon meets her, she is pregnant. Randy, the father, wanted nothing to do with her or the child. He claimed he was not the father.
When his cousin Randy’s daughter is born Simon falls in love with her, and wants nothing more than to marry her mother and become the baby’s stepfather. But Dana doesn’t know if she can trust him.
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Saturday's Blurbs feature Books by Alice Renaud #MFRWAuthor #Paranormal romance #Cowboys #Mermaids #Mermen
Blurb for Cowboy Desire, a BVS anthology
Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories. Including contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.
These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.
The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.
Blurb for Space Cowboy Blues, a story by Alice Renaud in Cowboy Desire
Josh is a space cowboy. His job? Taming alien species. But on the blue planet Albastra, the beautiful Melynas is more than a match for him. He'd love to get close to her... but everything on Albastra is lethal. Including her...
Buy Link for Cowboy Desire
Blurb for Mermaids Marry in Green
Caltha Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas. She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock, Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water monster, she can't say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for Jonty grows... and they soon fall under each other's spell. But will his past and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic, the one that binds two souls together?
Buy Links for Mermaids Marry in Green
Blurb for A Merman’s Choice
For centuries the shape-shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands have lived incognito among humans. But one of them, Yann, has developed some bad habits. Like rescuing humans, even when doing so risks revealing his true nature. When he fishes Alex out of the sea, he doesn’t expect her to reappear eight months later, and turn his life upside down by asking him to be her guide.
Alex is determined to fulfil a promise to her dying grandmother, by gathering pictures and stories of the Morvanns. But she soon discovers that, on these remote Welsh islands, legends have a habit of becoming true!
Over the course of a few days, Yann and Alex grow close. But some mermen hate humans. Their hostility, and Yann’s secret, threaten to tear the couple apart just as they are discovering that they are soul mates. Can Yann overcome the obstacles in his path and make the right choice?
Buy links for A Merman’s Choice
Friday, April 23, 2021
Friday Alice Renaud is Visiting and Talking about Panster or Plotter #MFRWAuthor #Panster #Plotter #Characters #Paranormal romance
1. Are you a panster or a plotter or perhaps a bit of both?
Very much a bit of both! I start off with the best plotting intentions, but then discover that my lovingly crafted plot does not work as well on the page as it did in my head. Or my characters decide to do something different from what I had planned.
2. Which comes first - characters or plot for you?
The characters come first. Before I start writing a book I do a detailed outline for my hero and heroine, with their physical appearance, personality, goals and desires, habits, tastes, etc. Then I imagine them interacting. Only then do I start to write the plot, usually a chapter by chapter outline (just a few lines per chapter).
3. What are you working on now? Is this a book in a current series or something totally new?
I have just finished writing a new book, How to Win a Sea Witch, it will be the first book in a new series, “Conjuring Love”, about time travelling witches and warlocks. I am now drafting the outline for the characters in the second book in the Conjuring Love series, “Dangerous Blessings.”
4. Do you have some kind of object or place that figures in most of your books? I use gems a lot, hospitals and caves.
Water plays a big part in all of my books. They are all set near the sea, or a big river. My series Sea of Love, which won its category in the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award 2020, follows the lives and loves of three shape shifting merfolk. The colours blue and green also feature a lot. For example the third book in my Sea of Love series is called Mermaids Marry in Green, and my sci-fi romance story “Space Cowboy Blues” in the BVS anthology “Cowboy Desire” is about a cowboy who travels to another planet, where everything is blue and lethal to humans… including the beautiful alien he falls in love with!
5. Do you write everyday or just when the spirit hits?
I have a family and a full time job, so I write mostly at the week end and during my holidays. I don’t wait for inspiration to strike – if I have time to write, I write.
6. Where can we find you?
Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B
Newsletter: @BVSBooks First to get freebies! Deals! And latest news! Hot and steamy! Soft and tender! Romance you will love! Become an Insider, sign up to our newsletter.
7. Who are your favorite authors? What about a book you’ve enjoyed?
I love fantasy, and have recently finished Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series. She’s an author I admire greatly. I’m now reading A Court of Wings and Ruins by Sarah J. Maas and enjoying it very much.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Thursday's Opening Scene from Murder and Sweet Tea #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #Hudson Valley #Robespierre
I waved to Maria and Sarah and started along the sidewalk. The July sun shone in a cloudless sky. For a moment, I halted and studied the “Painted Lady” across the street. Several vans filled the driveway and men carrying sheetrock and wood strode to the house.
The Victorian had been mine for many years and until I’d converted both floors to apartments, the house had been a single family residence. The new owners, Jenna and Richard, had begun a second conversion to return the house to its original purpose. A smile curved my lips. This pair had married in June and had begun making the house into a home.
I turned the corner onto my street. Sun glinted on the
dark waters of the Hudson River and revealed the construction of the new
My thoughts drifted to my husband. Our first anniversary would occur next month and I had visited with two of my friends to plan a barbeque. My kind of party. Lars would have made reservations at the Cedar Inn where our second reception had been held. I had missed the affair and so had Lars. An out of state friend had needed my help and I speeded to her side. Lars and I had our differences but love and friendship allowed us to compromise. Our marriage is based on a long friendship, first as two couples and then as two who had lost their mates.
Robespierre ambled up the street toward me. When he reached my side, the Maine Coon cat butted my leg with his head. Was this a welcome home or a bid for more food? At twenty pounds, he was large. His black, brown and white long hair made him seem larger.
As we passed the vacant “Dutch Colonial” next door to my new abode, I noticed a For Sale sign on the front lawn. The news brought curiosity. Who would buy? The elderly couple who owned the house had moved to a senior complex last year.
Moments later I reached home, a sprawling ranch house situated at the river’s edge well above the shore. The cat dashed to the kitchen. Lars sat at the table cradling a steaming mug of coffee. I sprinkled a few bits of dry food into Robespierre’s dish and filled a glass with spearmint iced tea. I joined my husband.
Lars glanced away from the newspaper. “Don’t leaving Megan with us for the day. He’s heading to the city.”
“Possibly but he has an appointment with some publisher for a freelance bit designing book covers.”
“Sounds interesting. We’ll have fun entertaining the child. You know, she’s my fourth grandchild.”
He groaned. “You only have one. Megan is your step-grandchild the same as ----- is mine.”
“By blood, you’re right. Robby adopted me and so did Jenna after her grandmother was murdered.” I met his gaze. “The house next door is for sale. The sign went up this morning.”
Lars shook his head. “Are you worried about the Dunns?”
I glared. “Why would I worry? I know where they are. I’m hoping we acquire good neighbors.”
“And no bodies for you to find.”
I tapped his hand. “Bodies find me. I don’t seek them.”
“Is that a promise?”
The twinkle in his blue eyes dissolved my anger. “I’ll leave the next one for you.”
“Thanks a lot. You’re the one who collects corpses like a berry picker fills their basket.”
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Murder and Tainted Tea #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Santa Fe #Family intrigue #cozy mystery #kitten #New Mexico
Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some great excerpts. Mine is from Murder and Tainted Tea when Katherine visits a friend in Santa Fe she finds family intrigues.
Katherine heads to Santa Fe, New Mexico along with a Maine Coon Cat kitten to spend New Year’s Eve with Lars. Her guilty feelings over the organist’s death has her needing an escape. When she reaches Santa Fe, she discovers Lars is missing. She seeks and finds him and steps into another mystery.
Lars’ daughter dislikes Katherine but when the young woman is kidnapped, they are puzzled. The murder of Lars’ daughter and one of his employees makes solving the mysteries necessary. Can she learn before Lars becomes a victim.
With every book, I think the Katherine Miller Mysteries can't get any better. I'm always wrong, because they always do. ~ Writer Gail Roughton
The directions Lars had sent took me into a area of large houses. Most of them were behind walls. I counted gates. Had he said four or five?
Then at the foot of the dead end street, I saw the sign. Casa de Oro. House of gold, indeed. Bonnie had chosen the name, but in a way it suited Lars. Years ago my husband had teased Lars about his Midas touch for nearly every business he touched prospered.
The gate stood open. I frowned. Lars had said I’d have to announce myself and he’d open the gate. I’ll surprise him, I thought and drove into the compound.
At the top of the rise I saw the reason for Bonnie’s choice. Bathed in sunlight the two story house at the top of the rise appeared to glisten. The golden adobe wasn’t my destination. On the lower end of the horseshoe drive stood two smaller houses.
The adobe with a long porch on the left side of the drive was Don’s. The H-shaped ranch on the right belonged to Lars.
Though Bonnie’s choice was above the gate, Lars’ name amused me. He called the estate Las Casas de Los Tres Osos. The houses of the three bears.
Laughter bubbled free. Was I Goldilocks? Not according to my hair color. Mine is a rich auburn shade courtesy of my beautician.
I pulled into the carport beside Lars’ silver Mercedes, twin to the car he drives back east. The house seemed larger than my “Painted Lady,” circa 1890. The difference was that mine has two stories and an attic while this house is on one level.
With the kitten carrier in one hand and my purse in the other, I walked to the front door and rang the bell. To my surprise, the door was ajar.
When no one answered, I rang a second time. Where was Lars?
What now? My foot beat an impatient rhythm against the flagstone walk. The kitten cried and scrambled around the carrier making my hold iffy.
I pushed the door open. “Lars, I’m here.”
He didn’t answer. I set the carrier on the slate floor of the foyer. Since the door had been left open and his car sat in the carport, he was probably in the rear of the house or at one of his children’s. I returned to the car for my suitcases.
I left my luggage in the foyer and stepped into the living room. A portrait of my friend hung above the massive fieldstone fireplace. Several Navaho rugs hung on the cream colored walls.
Through the archway I glanced into the dining room. The table was set for one. The sight of a partly-eaten breakfast sent fear surging through my veins.
“Lars, are you here?” My voice echoed in the deserted room.
What if he’s had some kind of attack? A stroke or his heart.
Those thoughts propelled me through the dining room and into the kitchen. I glanced into the pantry and stepped into the sunroom.
Lars, where are you? Had something dreadful happened? Was my visit responsible for his disappearance?
Don’t be a fool. The world does not revolve around Katherine Miller. He’s at Don’s or Bonnie’s.
Those thoughts failed to staunch my rising panic. Though I felt like an intruder, I made a quick tour of the house. I found three empty bedrooms, a deserted office, two powder rooms and three bathrooms and nowhere was there a sign of my friend.
I returned to the dining room. The food was cold. A fork lay on the oak floor. What had happened here? Lars and I are in our sixties. He’s my senior by six months, but his health has always been excellent.