The Eclectic Writer is about writing and the things that effect a writer. About my books and those of others.
Inescapable (Oliveri Mafia Book One):
Jessie has sworn off
relationships until she can exorcise her secret celebrity crush from her
thoughts. More importantly, her fantasies. Crushing on someone rumored to be in
the mafia was a red hot no for her. When she comes face-to-face with the man
himself, he is more dangerous than she initially thought... and not just to her
Gio Oliveri is the wealthy heir to the dubious Oliveri business empire. Ruthless in business and his personal life, Gio never lets an insult go unaddressed. So when a woman embarrasses him, in his own club no less, he sets out to teach her a lesson, only to set his sights on her friend. After a disastrous first impression, be buys himself three months to woo Jessie, who challenges him at every turn. He has to find a way to keep Jessie before his family responsibilities tear them apart forever.
As he pursues his deepening desire for Jessie, unknown threats to his business and her life begin to appear. In addition to uncovering the mysterious threats, he has Jessie’s misgivings about his chosen profession to contend with. He must find a way to make his temporary relationship permanent.
Exposed to Gio’s mobster persona, Jessie cannot deny the devastating violence he wields so effortlessly and questions if she could one day be on the receiving end.
As they navigate their new relationship and the dangerous parties seeking to destroy them, it will take a devastating loss and deep soul searching before they trust each other enough to fight for their love.
1. What were you before you became an author? Did this influence your choices as a writer?
Before deciding to write, I worked as a credit
risk strategist. My responsibilities drained me of all my creative energy, but
circumstances pushed me into uncertain waters. I had worked in Corporate
America since college, always moving from one position to another without ever
thinking about what would make me happy. So when I was forced to either
continue on that path or do what gave me joy, I chose to pursue joy. To some
extent, what I write now was influenced by what I used to do in that it is the
complete opposite. Whereas I shied away from risky things in my professional
life, everything I do as a writer is risky. From the sub-genre, word choice,
character, plot, setting and more, every choice I make is a gamble in the hopes
it resonates with readers.
2. Are you genre specific or general? I don’t mean major genres but subdivisions or romance, mystery or paranormal.
I am genre specific right now. Specifically, I
write interracial mafia romance. That may change if my readers want to see me
expand out. With one book published, there is still a lot to explore in this
genre, so it may take some time before I become a generalist.
3. What is your latest release?
My debut novel, Inescapable (Oliveri Mafia Book
One), was released in July
4. What are you working on now?
I am working on the second and third book in the
series now. They are at differing stages of development, but I hope to get a
draft to my publisher by the end of the year.
5. Does your reading choices influence your choice of a writing career?
Absolutely. I read a lot of romance, though my
specific sub-genre is only a small part of what I read. I go on spurts where I
will read a ton of books with a specific sub-genre or trope before I revisit or
discover new-to-me authors and books. I love to see how different authors
resolve conflicts and what aspects of the characters resonate with me.
6. Where can we find you?
Streams of people eddied around Nora Harte, the pile of luggage and the double stroller. She scanned the faces of the crowd. A babble of voices filled the air. In an impatient rhythm, she tapped her foot against the floor.
Where is he?
Since Thursdays were almost a universal doctor’s day off, the trip had been scheduled for today. He knew the flight number and the time of arrival. The plane had been on schedule.
She groaned. The simple baby run had become anything but easy.
The loudspeaker crackled. “Would passenger Nora Harte pick up one of the courtesy phones?”
When the words blared a second time, with a start, Nora realized the message was for her. Yeah, right. She stared at the three suitcases, one diaper bag and the pair of car seats. She would need the arms of an octopus to fulfill the request.
What had kept Dr. McKay from the meet?
One of the twins
puckered his mouth and added his screams to the cacophony in the baggage claim
area of the
The strident voice issued the command again. “How?’ she asked. The logistics of the move defeated her. She couldn’t abandon the babies or the luggage to search for a phone. She’d been deputized to deliver Molly and Todd Jamison to their guardian and she took this duty seriously.
The sight of a man
in a gray uniform pushing an empty luggage cart solved the problem. “Sky cap,
over here.” She used the voice that had parted crowds on busy
“Take these bags and the infants.”
“Don’t load babies on the cart, ma’am.”
“Sorry. I know that. I meant the infant seats. I have to answer the phone.”
“Excuse me.” His expression projected the idea she had flipped.
Maybe she had…last week when she’d agreed to deliver the babies to their guardian. “The page. Nora Harte. That’s me.”
He pointed to the far wall. “Courtesy phone’s over there.”
“Thanks.” Nora gripped the stroller handle. She pushed through the crowd like a subway rider aiming for the last seat. The noise level made her wonder if she’d be able to hear the message.
An easy trip, she
thought. A way to add to her dream house account. Just fly to
So far nothing about the trip had been a snap. Why had she thought her experience as a nurse would make the mission a breeze? Even a three month tour of duty in a busy city hospital nursery hadn’t prepared her for the reality of caring for twins.
She hadn’t counted on the surround-sound screams that they’d raised in protest of being air-borne. Or of juggling two infants who wanted a bottle at the same time. Not finding their guardian at the airport had been the final episode in her nightmare of the week.
She lifted the courtesy phone receiver. “Nora Harte speaking. I believe you have a message for me.”
The voice on the
other end of the line explained that Dr. McKay had been unavoidably detained.
Ms. Harte was to proceed to the car rental desk to pick up a car and the
directions to the doctor’s house in Prairie,
She gritted her teeth. This deviation from her agenda added another problem she should have expected. Why had she believed anything about this trip would work?
Drops of frustration splattered her thoughts. If Dr. McKay had attended his foster sister’s funeral, this disaster would have been avoided. He could have taken custoddy and faced the journey from hell on his own.
She waved to the sky cap. “Where’s the car rental desk?”
“This way, ma’am.”
Join the authors @MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some great excerpts. Mine is from Children of Fyre the final book in the series
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 sound of thudding feet and shouting voices woke Cerene. She crawled from her place beneath the ladder and stretched. What was happening? She waited for the hatch to open and frowned. What did the wizards have to offer as a trade? She couldn’t think of a thing. After sipping water from the leather flask, she climbed the ladder and peered through the crack in the cover and watched the activity on deck.
Sailors bustled about. Sails were raised to catch the wind. When she saw her father, Zondo and another wizard, she nearly fled down the ladder. As the ship moved away from the dock, she realized the three intended to travel aboard and she believed she knew their destination.
How many days away was the
Zondo turned his head. He seemed to be looking in her direction. She scrambled down the ladder and returned to her hiding place. Being discovered now would thwart her plans to escape.
She huddled against the wall of the hold. The light from the crack in the hatch cover momentarily vanished. She tensed and pulled her knife from the sheath. To her relief and surprise, a huge tawny feline came down the ladder. The cat entered her hiding place and stared. She reached to touch the soft fur. The creature remained silent for a short time, then meowed and set off to explore the nearly empty hold.
Cerene reached into her pack and selected a piece of flatbread and cheese. She ate and sipped water between bites. The cat approached and rubbed against her legs. She broke off a piece of cheese and set the tidbit on the deck. The cat purred and ate.
Some time later, she regretted the brief meal. The swaying motion of the ship caused her stomach to lurch. For what seemed like hours, she fought to keep from spewing. Finally her stomach settled. With a knife, she cut a notch on the ship’s ladder to keep track of her time aboard. Thus began her journey.
Some sleeps later, when she woke, she found the boards of the deck had warped. Sea water oozed to form puddles of stagnant water. At least her selected corner had remained dry. She counted the notches on the step.
Would the ship survive a storm? She needed to leave this hole. Her supply of food was gone and just a few sips of water remained. The single time she had ventured forth to replenish her supply, she’d nearly been caught. Why had she left her fyrestones in the lifeboat? Having the power of the yellow to cast shadows about herself would be useful. This time she had to find a different hiding place.
Melodrama is rather like using spices in cooking. Too little and the story falls flat. What happens when melodrama istoo heavy. Melodrama when used right allows for suspension of disbelief. It this isn't done with care, the reader will scratch their head and thing "I don't believe a word of this." You want to make them see the possibility working.
Melodrama is extreme and raises strong emotions. What you need to do when writing this kind of scene is make it seem ordinary by your use of language. You need to turn this from a curse to a blessing.
Meanser 1 - Reading - Finished Chance's way and enjoyed the story. Perhaps there will be another story in this thread. Read Canada By Jove and found it an interesting bit of history and at times a bit hard to read but finally enjoyed the story. Back to Valdemar for the rest of the week.
Meander 2 - Thoughts - Have some kind of flu that's knocked me into sleeping and lack of appetite. Hope rest will cure this.
Meander 3 - Writing - Am now typing in the changes and hope to finish by the end of the month.
Take one doctor who’s made a career of temporary positions and avoiding commitment. Add a nurse who dreams of security and a settled life. Stir in infant twins bequeathed to him by his dead foster sister. Pour them into a small Texas town that wants the doctor to stay.
As war looms over Europe, wealthy businessman Adrian Bryce is ordered by the British government to leave his mistress and accompany his estranged wife Gabrielle to Belgium. They require proof Gabrielle’s uncle is supporting the German Empire. What Adrian discovers plunges him and Gabrielle into a nightmare of betrayal. Forced to run for their lives as Germany invades, they must trust each other in the midst of danger, brutality, and injury.
Gabrielle enjoys her role of mother of their two children. Wanting only to be with her lover, and now fearful of exposure, she readies herself and her children for a difficult trip. With no way out, Gabrielle knows the visit with her aristocratic family will be a trial, and Europe is on edge. She had no idea the danger she, Adrian and her children would be in.
Will Adrian and Gabrielle reach safety? If they do, are they out of danger or will the intrigue and treason follow them back to England?
Lies of Gold
Their love affair ended in anger and painful consequences.
In Regency England, Lady
Katherine Ashford has guarded a secret through years of abuse from her husband
and now, after his death, from his brother who is also guardian to her
Hard living and fighting wars has numbed Julian Ashford, Lady Katherine’s former love. Then, as so often happens, fate steps in.
A traitor is smuggling gold across the Channel to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julian is ordered back to Halton Hall and Katherine, the woman he’s tried for years to forget. It's her secret and their increasing danger that rekindle the love they once shared.
Even when a murder reveals the shocking truth of the gold smuggling, nothing can prepare them for the devastating betrayal that awaits when they finally face the mastermind behind the sordid operation. Will they survive—and will their love?
They met on the eve of a
battle. One enlisted to avoid prison, the other enlisted to avoid the money
lenders. On the bloodied fields of France, Harry Connelly collapses beside the
corpse of Andrew Conroy. It is a risk, a hanging offence—and his only hope for
a future. Harry swaps identity discs.
Now as Andrew, he is just another face in post-war London until a letter arrives with a proposition. Accepting is out of the question, refusing pushes him into a nightmare of greed, blackmail and murder. To survive he must live this lie without a mistake. Then he falls for Lacey and her secrets. Will the truth set them free or embroil them even further in the webs of deceit that surround them.
Thank you very much Janet.
1. Are you a panster or a plotter or perhaps a bit of both?
I’m definitely a pantser. Each book began with an idea or from something I’d read. For example, the comment, ‘we aren’t the same people we were twenty years ago’ and an article on gold smuggled across the Channel to fund Bonaparte’s army inspired my book Lies of Gold.
2. Which comes first - characters or plot for you?
The plot, or idea for the plot first, with the main characters coming in close behind.
3. What are you working on now? Is this a book in a current series or something totally new?
I’m just catching my breath after writing The Moon Crossing with the amazing sci fi author Eileen Troemel. It’s 2030 with the rich and famous enjoying the ‘out of this world’ luxury at the resort on the moon. So why are scientists and academics being sent to the dark side of the moon, never to be seen again?
That was something totally new for me and a lot of fun.
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.
I write historical fiction (except for my trip to the moon) so I try to present an authentic as possible background for the era of my stories. Having said that, a lovable animal usually sneaks in. A plough horse in Perilous Love, a war horse in Lies of Gold, and dogs in The Proposition and The Woman Behind the Mirror.
5. Do you write everyday or just when the spirit hits?\
I try to write every day and some days are better than others.
6. Where can we find you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Selbourne/e/B0184OSZ6E/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
7. Who are your favorite authors? What about a book you’ve enjoyed?
So many favourite authors, where do I begin?
Historical fiction – Georgette Heyer, Philippa Gregory, Ken Follett.
Contemporary – Neville Shute, John Grisham, Fiona McIntosh.
I loved Anne Krist’s Burning Bridges.
JOHANNA GORDON RAKED HER fingers through her short curls and glanced at the clock centered on the wall between her diplomas. Seven-thirty. No wonder her shoulders ached. She’d been hunched over the desk since four.
With a sigh, she closed a folder and added it to the neat stack on a corner of the desk. She pursed her lips. For two weeks, the budget for the nursing department at the hospital had consumed her time. Unfortunately, money would remain her focus until she found areas to cut costs without compromising patient care or breaking the current contract with the nurses. Not that Hudson Community’s CEO cared about either option. She stretched to ease the tension between her shoulder blades.
“Why couldn’t I...” An idea occurred and she smiled.
Something to consider. Richard Jamison didn’t care which programs were dropped as long as his pet projects remained intact. Just this morning he’d reminded her she belonged to administration and to remember where her loyalties lay. Not with him. She’d risen through the ranks and saw more than the profits and losses he tossed around.
The loudspeaker on the wall crackled. “Dr. Red to the Emergency Room.” In staccato fashion, the operator repeated the message three times.
With a well-honed response, Johanna rose, grabbed her briefcase and, in three strides, reached the door. The call for any surgeon meant an emergency requiring immediate surgery. Her body quivered with excitement. She dashed through the empty outer office, crossed the hall and hit the call button for the elevator.
Just like an old fire horse, she thought. The alarm clangs and I’m off running. She stepped into the empty car. What was her hurry? How much help would she be? She’d been away from the bedside for ten years.
As she exited on the first floor, she nearly collided with Rachel Hill. Her friend’s dark hair had slipped from the neat bun at her nape. Like a sail, Rachel’s lab coat flew behind her. She carried two units of blood.
Johanna frowned. Rachel usually worked the day shift. “Bad accident?” Johanna asked.
“The worst. A six-year-old hit by a car. And to think I volunteered to switch.”
As Johanna matched strides with her friend’s half-running gait, the soft leather briefcase slapped against her thigh. “Need an extra pair of hands?”
“Hardly. If there was another body in the room, they’d be standing on the patient. Be glad you’re out of the zoo. Not that I blame people for caring about a child, but if the patient was old, indigent or dying... Don’t let me get started.”
“Want to talk?” Together they dashed up the five steps to the emergency room level.
Rachel straight-armed the door. “Maybe I do. Dinner on—” The door closed and cut off the rest of her words.
Johanna frowned. By the time they found an evening to fit Rachel’s schedule, she would have forgotten the incident that had triggered her anger. Instead of talking about the hospital, she would discuss her children. Despite their closeness, this topic always added to Johanna’s aching knowledge that she had no one.
She continued to the exit. For the past few months, she’d wondered if the climb up the administrative ladder had been the right choice. Ten years ago, she’d been an ER nurse, meeting challenges and solving a dozen crises every day. The decision to leave the ER had been made for financial reasons. The higher salary had paid for her sister’s and her parents’, home health aides. Six months ago, the family obligations had ended, leaving Johanna with an empty social life.
For a moment, she stared at the red brick building. The hospital’s center section was five stories, while the angled wings were four. The sight always made her think of a bird in flight. Lately, her office here had seemed more like home than the house eight blocks away.
A reluctance to move held her prisoner. Spray from the lawn sprinklers misted on her face and arms. She studied the bank of peonies along the walk leading to the hospital’s front entrance. Their sweet scent mingled with the aroma of wet earth. With a sigh, she overcame the inertia and crossed the street.
carried her down the hill. In the distance, the
She paused beside the yew hedge surrounding the yard of the house where she’d lived all her life. As she strode up the walk, her hand brushed the clipped edges. The scent of roses reached her. Red, pink and white blooms covered the trellises at either end of the porch.
She climbed the steps, turned and paused. With arms crossed on her chest, she stared at the street. As though trying to erase a chill, her hands moved along her arms. A soft sigh escaped. The ice of loneliness couldn’t be rubbed away like frost from windows on a winter morning.
http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some intriguing excerpts. Mine features the isle of Fyre and the wizards along with a dragon
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?
Retreat to the beginning. He wasn’t sure where that was. Slowly emerging memories burst the cocoons tightly coiled in his head. Cregan had pushed him into the fyrethorn tangle. Thick spikes had pierced his skin. Pain had been constant and excruciating. His body had heated like being immersed in the sun. Bitter drinks swallowed brought heated perspiration and gentle touches.
He tried to sit. The lies and the truth meshed. He opened his eyes. Her sky blue eyes reflected her smile.
Who was this comely woman? Her hair was as dark as midnight. She wore a drab gray dress that hid her body from his sight. Memories of her gentle touches swamped him.
“Who are you?” His voice rasped as though unused.
“Lorana. Do you feel well enough to sit up? You’ve been four days recovering from a massive dose of fyrethorn poison.”
Her response gave the answer to one of his questions. His gaze focused on her mouth. Her lips were pink and the upper formed a perfect bow. Had she kissed him? His hand touched his forehead and he felt a small trace of heat. There? Yes. His fingers brushed his lips. They remained cool.
“Can you sit up?” she asked again.
“I can try.” With his elbows he managed. Dizziness made him waver. He gulped deep breaths.
She slid his legs to the edge of the mattress. He swayed but managed to remain upright. Lorana dropped a robe over his head. He slid his arms through the openings. The soft black cloth settled around his body hiding his reaction to her presence. He inhaled the sweet scent of lace flowers rising from her skin. Beneath the aroma he smelled not just any woman but Lorana.
Regaining his strength became important. There were other challenges he must win. More than anything he wanted to win the council seat and the reward,
Melodrama is emotional rather than logical. Melodrama often comes from a character acting before thinking. This could result in a great scene or a fiasco, All writing techniques have assets and deficits. Learning how to make the most of the melodrama in a scene comes with time and practice. Melodrama is an event or a person that is larger than life. This can be hard to contol.
On the plus side melodrama enhances a scene, On the negative side it takes over and shoves everything else inth the background. Used properly there can be an instant rapport between the reader and the writer. Melodrama can cast a spell or be an annoyance. So handle melodrama with care to avoid losing the reader.
Meander 1 - Reading - Finished one Vandemar trilogy and enjoyed. Time to step away from Mercedes Lackey and read some books no in that world. Read Grace, Lady of Cassio by Rosemary Morris. A medieval story that shows the beauty and ugliness of medieval times. Read Vijaya Schartz's Angel Brave, the third book in the Angel trilogy. Enjoyed this action packed book of the fight between good and evil. Reading Chance's Way by Nancy M. Bell. The third of a trilogy. So far, the hero has a hard road to travel. More about this next week.
Meander 2 - Thoughts _ Intresting conversation. Willbe going in November to play games at Kline inst. Been doing this for years and I wonder how my scores will stand up since it's been several years because of the COVID episode and break in the action. Answered some questions about life in the past year. Somehow I wonder how normal I am. I haven't felt the distancing and isolation that seems to be prevalant in people. I have no trouble amusing myself. I don't go frantic when I can't see people in person. Interesting.
Meander 3 - Writing - Am on the cleanup draft of Incal and there are twochapters to finish typing before I can key the changes in. Looks like I'll be several thousand words short of the 50,000 words I'd like to have the book end up. We'll see how amny I can add in the cleaning up process.