Sunday, March 31, 2024

Forgotten Dreams is featured as Sunday's Book #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Romance #Hollywood #Fern Lake #nurse practitioner #Auto accident

 Chad Morgan is tired of his Hollywood life and his role as action hero Storm. He's ignoring the contracts for two more movies in the franchise. He wants to take a different direction and make a movie of his friend's book. He has bought the rights. But his agent and the studio want more Storm. His personal life is also bouncing from one woman to another. His thoughts have turned to Emma Grassi, the woman he left behind in his quest for fame. He decides to return to Fern Lake and speak to his friend and renew his friendship with Emma.

Emma is now a nurse practitioner sharing an office with her doctor friend. She has waited for Chad to return and has decided this isn't going to happen. She's decided to confront him and put an end to the dream she has remembered and he has forgotten. Life takes a twist when Chad 's auto accident on the outskirts of Fern Lake bring them together. She wants out. He wants in.

My Places



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Saturday, March 30, 2024

Books by donalee Moulton are featured on Saturday's Blurbs #BWLAuthor #Mysteries #Conflagration #Hung Out To Die #The Thong Principle




On a warm spring day in April 1734, a fire raged through the merchants’ quarter in Montréal. When the flames finally died, 46 buildings – including the Hôtel-Dieu convent and hospital – had been destroyed. Within hours, rumors ran rampant that Marie-Joseph Angélique, an enslaved Black woman fighting for her freedom, had started the fire with her white lover. Less than a day later, Angélique sat in prison, her lover nowhere to be found. Though she denied the charges, witnesses claimed Angélique was the arsonist even though no one saw her set the fire.

In an era when lawyers are banned from practicing in New France, Angélique is on her own. Philippe Archambeau, a court clerk assigned specifically to document her case, believes Angelique might just be telling the truth. Or not. A reticent servant, a boisterous jailer, and three fire-scorched shingles prove indispensable in his quest to uncover what really happened.

Angélique’s time is running out as Archambeau searches for answers. Will the determined court clerk discover what really happened the night Montreal burned to the ground before it’s too late?

Hung Out to Die

Meet Riel Brava. Attractive. Razor-sharp. Ambitious. And something much more.


Riel, raised in Santa Barbara, California, has been transplanted to Nova Scotia where he is CEO of the Canadian Cannabis Corporation. It’s business as usual until Riel finds his world hanging by a thread. Actually, several threads. It doesn’t take the police long to determine all is not as it appears – and that includes Riel himself.


Pulled into a world not of his making, Riel resists the hunt to catch a killer. Resistance is futile. Detective Lin Raynes draws the reluctant CEO into the investigation, and the seeds of an unexpected and unusual friendship are sown. Raynes and Riel concoct a scheme to draw a confession out of the killer, but that plan is never put into place. Instead, Riel finds himself on the butt end of a rifle in the ribs and a long drive to the middle of Nowhere, Nova Scotia.


The Thong Principle: Saying What You Mean and Meaning what You Say

The Thong Principle has little to do with beachwear and everything to do with effective communication. It’s about, as the subtitle indicates, a way to communicate that works on all levels. A way of communicating that works for the person sending the message and the person or people receiving the message.

The book delves into the elements that comprise successful communications – conciseness, clarity, care, and much more. It also puts those elements into context. Communications that miss the mark confuse and annoy readers and listeners. They fail to deliver their message. More importantly, they damage our credibility and erode goodwill.

The best communication engages, and The Thong Principle will draw you in and keep you reading with examples, exercises, and information that resonates. It’s also funny. Laughter and learning are wonderful partners.

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EBooks and Print:

Friday, March 29, 2024

donalee Moulton is visiting and talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Panster #Plotter


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

I like it when good wins out over evil, so I tend to embrace heroes and heroines. I can sympathize with the villain, even understand their impulses, but in the end, I want the victory to go those with purer hearts.

That said, I am not a fan of what I call the hero at all costs. The person who disobeys the rules because they are morally above them, the champion who charges in because they know best, the defender who goes to the ends of the earth to solve an injustice and to the detriment of their friends and family. Excess does not appeal to me.

2.  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?

For me, heroes (and in the case of a few short stories anti-heroes) do not have the same origin story. Riel Brava, the main character in Hung Out to Die, started with a bath. I’m a big believer in bubbles, candles, scrubs, essential oils, and music with birds chirping in the background. One night immersed in a lavender cloud I realized it was time to begin writing my mystery. Get off the pot kind of thing. That led me to a litany of possible characters and crimes. Through the mist Riel emerged. Not fully formed but outlined enough that I wrote down my ideas before I even moisturized.

My second book, Conflagration!, was a different book and a different process. The book is a historical mystery and follows the trial of an enslaved Black women accused of arson in Montreal in 1734. This book is part of BWL Publishing’s Canadian Historical Mysteries series, and the idea originated with my publisher. I discovered the level of detail in court transcripts and the timelines set by the trial process meant I had a detailed blueprint for the book before I even began. My fictional character, court reporter Philippe Archambeau, had to fit into this world.

3.    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?

I have just finished the second of two new books that feature three main characters, all women – my first heroines. They meet at a yoga studio and the crime unravels mid-downward dog. Like all my characters, these women started as ideas and blurry images. They became more well-defined – and more real – as the stories unfolded. I am always amazed at the unexpected direction characters take me in. I am acutely aware at times that I am not in control of the writing.

4.    Your favorite book?

Years ago I was asked to do a reading for National Book Week. A group of authors were asked to read from their favorite book. I picked Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I fell in love with Wilbur and Charlotte and all the characters, and I realized this emotion was more than fleeting. This was the power of words: to move us and to stay with us.

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?

        Three-dimensional characters are important. They’re more challenging to write, but they are also more realistic. I usually start with motive. If I can understand why someone would commit this crime or act in this way, then I can begin to understand the person I want the character to be.

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

      My newest book is a historical mystery, Conflagration! It’s set in 1734 and follows the trial of Marie-Joseph Angélique, an enslaved Black woman accused of burning down the town’s entire merchants’ quarter – 45 homes and one convent-hospital. My main character is a court clerk assigned to follow the trial and ensure no stone is left unturned in the search for evidence.

      It’s interesting you ask about heroes and villains. I’m not sure there are any clear demarcations in this book, except perhaps for the system of justice itself.

7.    What are you working on now?

I’ve started a new series. The first book is “Bind.” It is a mystery. It is a story about friendship. It is an exploration of the ties that, well you get it. At its heart, “Bind” is a puzzle. A watch goes missing from a changeroom at a gym. It’s an expensive watch with a loud, arrogant owner. He’s suspect number one. There are a handful of others. Clues are sprinkled throughout the book like dirty laundry in a men’s locker room. Many of the clues are red herrings. Many are subtle indicators that point to the thief. First question that must be answered: is this a crime committed for money or personal reasons? The watch’s owner is a man easy to hate.

      At its heart, “Bind” is about friendship. The main characters are three women who take the same yoga class at a studio located in the gym. The theft brings them together in unexpected and ultimately profound ways. We root just as much for these women as we do for the thief to be unveiled. There is a cast of regulars, including the police detective and the yoga instructor. Each a three-dimensional, likeable, and flawed human being. (Madoff, a pug, makes periodic appearances.)


8.    How can people find you?

I’d love them to drop by and say hello.


9.    Who are your favorite authors?

     Stepping back in time, my favorite author would be Doris Lessing, a powerful writer who moves mountains with the greatest of ease. Her writing is captivating. Today, Delia Owens tops my list. There were lines in Where the Crawdads Sing that stopped me cold. I read and reread them.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Divided Dreams is featured with Thursday's Opening Scene #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #romance #medical #shared child

 You can’t go home again.  Andi Sherman repeated the words she’d heard often. But she was returning to Fern Lake.

Her stomach roiled. Her hands clenched the steering wheel as she sped along the highway leading to Fern Lake. She gulped a breath. Yesterday she’d celebrated her twenty-ninth birthday and she still yearned for a faded dream.

She saw the sign for County Roam 178. On an impulse she turned. Fifteen or twenty minutes instead of five would see her in Fern Lake.

The July sun shone bright in the near cloudless sky. A few wisps called “mares’ tails” streaked the brilliant blue overhead. She rolled down the window and inhaled the scent of growing things. A faint aroma rose from the wild roses along the road. The winding path would take her past the house where she’d spent her childhood. The property lost to greed, slovenliness and criminal behavior, had been sold to pay back taxes. Her escape from the taint of her family had taken guts and determination.

Dead. All but one younger brother had died when the meth lab had burned like an inferno. Dan Sherman, two years her junior and the baddest of her brothers hadn’t’ been home on the day of the disaster. Neither had she but she’d seen pictures of the fire on television.

Andi sighed. The day she’d graduated from high school she’d left Fern Lake to begin a slow climb to success. She knew nothing about her brother’s whereabouts and she had no desire to learn.

Pressing her foot to the gas, she sped past haunted memories and focused on the future. Now a nurse practitioner in Pediatrics, she was on her way to join two doctors who had offered her a spot in their practice.

Her thoughts drifted to Josh and Grace, her new partners. Josh had been in Fern Lake for five years and Grace for three. She’s always wondered why they didn’t become a couple. They liked the same things and enjoyed each other’s company. Maybe she would find a way to open their eyes.

What about you? She shook her head. She had a new career to explore. Eleven years ago she hadn’t dreamed of returning to Fern Lake as a nurse practitioner or for any other reason. Her journey had taken years of hard work and intense study. From nurse’s aide to practical nurse onward to her RN, bachelor’s degree and finally her Masters, she’d had little time for herself.

Those buys days had kept memories of the boy who’d hurt and rejected her. Only after hearing Rob Grantley planned to sell the nursing home/rehab center his father had built for him had she considered returning. The news he’d decided to quit his medical practice had allowed her to accept her friends’ offer.

As she struggled to vanquish thoughts of him her knuckles whitened. Her chest ached. A rush of tears blurred her vision. She had no reason to remember lost dreams and how they had been shattered like crystal spheres. She wanted no memories of the day she’d realized he had never lowed had and hand only used her for his pleasure.

And hers. She had to admit the sex had been exciting. Her teeth clamped on her lower lip. She slowed the car and stopped to wipe tears away.

After sucking a series of deep breaths, she hit the gas. The car reached the snake-like section of the road where trees lines the sides. She slowed. This was no place for speed. A loud noise startled her. She pushed the car around the final bend. A car had slammed into a huge oak. A plume of smoke shot from the car. Andi slammed on the brakes and pulled onto the berm of the narrow two lane road across from the wreck. She grabbed her phone and dialed 911 as she ran to the wrecked sedan.

The crumpled front end curved around the tree trunk. The rear door on the passenger’s side hung open.

An operator spoke. “This is 911. What is your emergency?”

“An accident. County road 178 about two miles from town.” She peered into the front. The driver slumped against the inflated air bag. “Woman driver.” She slid her hand over the jagged glass of the side window. “She has a faint pulse.”

"Help is on the way. Is the car about to catch fire?”

Andi stared at the smashed hood. “The steam has subsided."

A whimpering sound caused Andi to turn her head.” There’s a baby.” For a moment she froze. The mewling became an incessant series of screams. The injured woman never stirred. Andi leaned into the car and unfastened the infant seat and snagged a diaper bag. She carried the seat and bag to her car. Had the baby been injured? She needed to act as a triage nurse. She could do nothing for the woman until someone arrived to extract her. Care for the less injured first.

My Places



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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Keltoi - The other three #MFRWHooks #BWLAuthor #Romantasy #paranormal #Warrior, #Healer #Seer

 Join the authors at #MFRWHooks here for some great excerpts/ Mine is found at and may or may not complete the series.

Two friends have been tested and are acclaimed as a Healer and a Seer. Now the friend who will be the Warrior faces her test. When she succeeds the three travel through a tunnel and down to the lakeside believing they will be sent to an Isle where three crystals stand, one red, one blue and one green. Instead they are told they are part of the Three and three and must find the others.

Three brothers separated as soon as one of them reaches the age of five. They were taken by their father, Prime Voice of Midra in Keltoi. They have all displeased him and have been punished. They escape from their different prisons and must find their way.

Each of the meetings between the two warriors, the two Healers and the Two Seers is an adventure that binds them together. As Three and Three, they must meet the enemy and win.


Keon sat on a bench in the salle. He held the sword he had forged in the smithy across his knees. He waited for his turn to be tested and be named a swordsman. He held back a groan. Six times in the past six months, he had been tested and each time his blade had failed. The seventh trial would see his dreams fulfilled or not. If his sword snapped again, he would be forced to leave the Citadel. What would he do then?

Tension gripped his body. His neck stiffened and every muscle felt locked. He watched the first bout begin. When this one finished, there were eight before his. He glanced at the others waiting young men. He heard their mutters of encouragement and saw them silently applaud a good move. The others of his group had formed bonds to each other. Head none. The first reason he had been ignored was because Prime voice was his father. The others believed that relationship gave him advantages. How wrong they were. His father had never shown more than cold courtesy to his son.

Keon stared at the stone floor. His thoughts drifted to the days before his fifth birthday. Once he’d had two brothers. The first had been born just minutes after him. The second had been a year younger. They had shared a small house in the forest with an elderly couple as their guardians. They had never seen their mother. Their father’s visits had been inspections and lectures. Prime Voice had studied them with cold ide eyes. There’s had been green and in Prime Voice’s opinion improper.

As he relived those days of companionship sadness flooded his thoughts. There had been three until he and his twin had reached their fifth year. Prime Voice had taken them away leaving the youngest behind. For a brief time during the trip he and his twin had had each other. He’d been taken to the Citadel. He had no idea where his twin had gone.

Shudders shook his body so violently her nearly dropped the sword. The strong pain of that separation rocked him. He couldn’t recall his brothers’ faces. Their names had vanished in the depths of time. Did they still live? Were they facing their own tests?

A stir occurred among those seated in the stands. He turned his head in unison with the other candidates. Four remained beside himself. The bouts must have happened while he’d been lost in the past.

He behallowed lip when he saw the reason for the disturbance. Prime Voice had arrived. The tall, skeletal man dressed in a black silk robe stood at the railing of the center balcony. With a swirl of robe, he sat and grasped the railing. Keon’s stomach lurched. The steady gaze of the ice eyes brought anxiety rocketing.

Four more bouts ended with each of the candidates scoring a touch or a disarmament. Keon rose. Forcing memories of his six defeats aside, he strode to the center of the arena.

Keon’s hands shook and he gulped deep breaths of air. He raised his sword to salute the Swordmaster. Je clasped the hilt n recalled the day he’d forged the blade. The heat of the fire, the pounding of the hammer and the clank of metal on metal. With one finger, he traced the edge remembering the days of work. he’d used seven rasps to sharpen the edge.

With a sudden shock, images of the six failed swords rose. All had fractured during the tests. With each new one he had changed the blend of metals. He prayed this time he had made the proper mixture.

With his sword held high, he strode to the center of the salle floor. The Swordmaster waited. He thrust fear aside and clung to hope. He dare not glance at the balcony where Prime Voice sat. He infused confidence into his stride and thoughts. When he reached the center, he faced the older man/ Th e gesture was returned. The swords touched and a metallic click filled the air.

As the bout began, Keon felt a rush of confidence. He moved with smooth strokes to counter the Swordmaster’s attempts for a touch. His feeling he might win strengthened. Twich he can close to disarming the older man, Keon wanted to laugh. This time was his.

“Don’t think to win.” The voice e heard nearly caused him to stumble. Why had Prime Voice tried to distract him. Let me be. He sent that thought toward his father pouring anger to speed the words. With ease he regains his balance and attacked.

Keon met the Swordmaster’s blade and nearly send the man’s sword flying. The two blades clashed and slithered apart. Then disaster struck. The hilt separated from the blade. Metal clattered on the stone floor.

“No.” His cry filled the salle. His spirits sagged. Once more he had failed. With bowed head, he faced the Swordmaster.

“You cane close,” the older man said. “You know how to forge a blade. That is good. You fight with skill and grace but your chances have ended. I have no idea what Prime Voice will decide.”

My Places



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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Types of forbidden Love is featured om Tuesday's Writer's tips #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #writing #Plots #Forbidden Love

 Adultery is the most common fo the reasons for a forbidden love. This is seen in many stories. Often these stories end in tragedy.  These stories are familiar. Anna Karenina is one that I read when much too young and had some comments that would have ended the story differently.

Incest is another form of forbidden love. This is one looked at with horror.

For many years homosexual love was considered among the forbidden kinds of love and this has eased somewhat.'

May -  December romances are usually listed in this category but one must look at the pattern beneath the relationship to make a decision.

My Places



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Monday, March 25, 2024

Meandering on Monday with Janet Lane Walters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Reading #writing #Thoughts

Meander 1 - Reading - Reading some Mary Balogh. She sure gives hr characters hard things to conquer but all does turn out. in the end. Now reading an Andre Norton one from the 1940's interesting WWII story.

Meander 2 - Thoughts - Still concerned on the national level with the election that's months away. Sure wish the fat man would give up the ghost and settle down to putting his house in order. Don;'t like the idea of him begging for maney and I don't trust who he would take the funds from. All I can do is hope and pray for the best,

Meander 3 - Writing - Going slow with this UTI and being tired from lack of sleep. Hope I soon reach the with place so  I can finish wirting and get on to writing another thing while I'm waiting to finish Keltoi.

My Places



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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Divided Dreams is featured as Sunday's Book #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #romance #medical


Rob Grantlan has given up medicine to become an author. As a Gemini, having two careers seems just right. His quiet days are overturned by the death of his wayward sister and his taking guardianship of his two month old niece. When he learns the father of the infant is his old flame Andi Sherman’s brother a plan unfolds. Years ago, he hurt her. He still loves her and he wants to regenerate that love.

Andi Sherman is now a nurse practitioner in Pediatrics. She has vowed never to return to Fern Lake. The offer of a partnership in a friend’s practice is tempting. She refuses until she learns Rob has given up the practice of medicine. She believes he will leave town. On the day after her July birthday, she returns and comes upon the accident, finds the dying woman and the baby. When she learns the little girl is her niece and Rob hasn’t left town she is conflicted. She still loves him but she can’t trust him. News from her brother brings a threat.

Will Tammy’s presence in their lives find a way to allow them to love and trust again?

My Places



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Saturday, March 23, 2024

Books By Karla Stover are featured as Sunday's Blurbs #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Parlor Girls #A Feather for a Fan #Wicked Tacoma


“As madam of Chicago’s most exclusive brothel, it wasn’t often that Minna felt at a disadvantage but she did sitting in Madam Julie’s Shanghai Club. “I have a client who wants to be entertained by one of your girls,” she said.

“And that girl is?”

“Suzy Poon Tang.”

Madam Julie smiled and nodded. “Suzy is very popular and brings in a lot of business.”

“Mr. Smith, as he calls himself, is only in town for a short time and he’s become comfortable at the Everleigh Club, plus, he likes our food. Our arrangement would be temporary and we will, of course, compensate you.”

The Madam rang a small bell and asked that Suzy join them.

Suzy was in her mid-twenties, about five-foot two and 110 pounds. Her thick, black hair was cut short and parted in the middle. She had dimpled cheeks and, other than lipstick, wore very little makeup. Her small firm breasts and slightly rounded buttocks created a perfect hourglass figure. She smiled showing perfect white teeth. Suzy had a reputation among both men and women.

Minna sent word to Mr. Smith, the New York millionaire and offered use of the Japanese Parlor. The next day they were gone.

“How did Suzy and Mr. Smith make out,” Minna was asked at breakfast the next day.

“Apparently better than we anticipated,” Ada Said. “They eloped.


From A Feather For a Fan available through Five Star Publishing and Amazon

“The store’s front door opened and a short, balding man carrying a medical bag came in. Before he could say a word, Mr. Money hailed him. “Doc, you gotta do something about this here tooth. I’m in a pain even whiskey can’t cure.”

“Well, that is bad, then, isn’t it?” said the doctor with a twinkle in his eye. He put his medical bag on the counter, opened it, and took something out. “I’m going to get right to work and I’ll have that tooth out quick as you can say John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt.”

Mr. Money eyed the shiny object. “What’s that, Doc?”

“It’s a dental key. Now, stay where you are and open wide so I can see what miscreant molar is causing you pain.” After a few “ums” and “I sees,” the doctor tapped a tooth. Mr. Money gave a howl and sat bolt upright.

“Holy crawdad, Doc, that hurt,” he said and tears poured down his cheek.

“I imagine it does. That’s as rotten a gnasher as I’ve ever seen. But I’ll have it out lickety split.”

“Well, now, mebbe it ain’t so bad after all.”

“Nonsense, man, the tooth’s gotta come out. It’s probably septic already.” He held up a peculiar looking instrument. “It’s mostly for lockjaw patients, holds their mouth open so I can get some food down ‘em, but I use it for extractions, too.” With practiced hands, the doctor pinched Mr. Money’s nose shut and grabbed is chin. Unable to breath, Mr. Money had to open wide, where upon, Dr. Spinning shoved the mouth gag in place. Then he straddled his patient’s chest and applied the forceps. “Did this very same procedure last week using a bullet mold.”

“Oh, dear,” said Mrs. Money. “I’ll get some sal volatile.”

“He won’t like this next part any better.” The doctor retrieved his medical bag, took out a small glass tube and opened a jar. He fished around and then held up something slimy. “It’s a Dalmatian bloodsucker. Best there is. Now, look here, I’m going to put the little guy in this tube.” He handed Mrs. Money the tube. “You just hold it right there on the gums where they’re all red and nasty looking and the leech will eat all that bad tissue away.” The doctor wiped off his tools, put them back in his bag, and pushed open the door. “I’ll be back and check on the job. Hold on as best as you can to the tube, leeches love to make a run for it right down the throat”

Wicked Tacoma

From Wicked Tacoma available through The History Press and Amazon

“He was an avid reader who liked to live among scholarly people; he preferred peace and quiet, art and good companions; he owned several volumes of rare books, visited used bookstore in the cities he traveled through; collected rare coins and corresponded with other numismatics; he liked golf, nightclubbing and dancing; and in his book, Persons in Hiding, J. Edgar Hoover called him, “the shrewdest, most resourceful intelligent and dangerous in existence.”

“Send me to Alcatraz; all my friends are there.” Ed Bentz


Friday, March 22, 2024

Karla Stover is visiting and talking about Creating Characters #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Characters #Heroes #Heroines #Villains


2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? LOL, grammer check says this s/b “which are your favorites. . .”

I like creating the secondary characters i.e. friends of the heroine. With them, I can be loser about their dialogue, appearance, quirks, etc. Recently, a friend asked me to put her in a book so she is in chapter 1 of the novel on which I’m currently working. I had a friend who sold a “name mention,” apparently that’s a fairly common practice.

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

The Bees Knees Cute Bumblebee Pun | Notebook Blank Journal | My Punny Bone  Artist ShopHeroes are tough and I generally try to think what a famous hunk would do / say / or look like. For dog’s years I thought Harrison Ford was the absolute bee’s knees. Sadly, for both of us, he got too old, so I switched allegiance to Brad Pitt. Then I saw him wearing some sort of khaki skirt and it was sayonara Brad. After binge-watching Sons of Anarchy, I grew mighty attached to Charlie Hunnam - - except for the facial hair: not my thing. In the book I’m working on now, I want my hero to have a smile as cute as that of Rob Morrow in Northern Exposure. I doubt if my readers love my guys but my heroines do and that’s what counts.

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?

I like a heroine with at least one special interest. Pursuing that interest then leads her to situations. I love to read old newspapers and write my characters into what was actually happening in the appropriate town at the appropriate time. In Mr. Singer’s Seamstress, she’s, well duh, a seamstress. In Seamstress’s prequel, A Feather For a Fan, she’s a baker, and in the sequel to it, the heroine is a photographer. The setting for these three books is Tacoma, WA, first in 1878, next in 1883 and now circa 1917, and in addition to newspapers, I’ve been studying early photography techniques. However, my most recent book, Parlor Girls, takes place mostly in Chicago where the heroines are brothel madams. The way I write is that I start creating a setting and the heroine comes along.

However, for both heroines and heroes, I find giving them appropriate names—ones that feel real to me as I write is the most difficult part. Not even the “Name Your Characters” websites help. Right now, my hero is named Will but I’m finding it uncomfortable for some reason. I was watching TV the other day and one of the men was named Rikus. I looked the name up and a man named Rikus plays a key role in a series called Kingdom Hearts. I don’t know the series but I like the name and I think I’m going to use it.

Your favorite book?

One favorite book? An impossible task. If I’m sad, I read Betty McDonald’s books, The Egg and I, for example, but especially Anybody Can Do Anything. If I want something weighty and well-researched, I like Forever Amber. Right now, I’m ploughing through Elizabeth Goudge’s A Child From the Sea and for something a little lighter (not to mention a larger font,) The Widows of Malabar Hill. I could go on; in our car is Helen Rappaport’s Caught in the Revolution, in the truck is A Nurse in the Army of the Tsar, and in the bathroom is the baseball book that caused such a brouhaha, Ball Four. Wherever I am, it’s best to be prepared.

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 have an actual bad-guy in Mr. Singer’s Seamstress but that was a fluke. Generally, what I have are personality conflicts. Doesn’t everyone have friends who bug them? It’s a hoot to create snarky characters.

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

Parlor Girls is my latest book. When I first learned about the Everleigh sisters, Ada and Minna, their rags-to-riches story, their world-famous brothel and genteel retirement I was fascinated. There don’t appear to be any definitive biographies about them so I read and researched to make the two, their “employees,” the local competition, (their only real villains,) and politicians as accurate as I could. Rather quickly I found that the more I looked at old photographs and newspaper articles, the more “you might like this” emails I received. It might not be big brother who is watching but retailers, Pinterest and spammers sure are.

7. What are you working on now?

During World War 1, a local girl went to war as a camouflage artist. This piqued me interest so I researched her, but more interesting to me was the work done by the Women's Reserve Camouflage Corps of which I knew nothing. I subscribe to a newspaper service which gives me access to old papers nation-wide. When I started my current book (and I wish I had a name for it) I had Louise, my heroine, testing a camouflage tarp she made.

 8. How can people find you?

Facebook, mostly. I have an Insta account but have yet to post on it. I looked at it a few minutes go and saw that I have 4 followers. How delightfully strange is that?

 9. Who are your favorite authors?

Ha! Most of them are dead. The afore-mentioned Betty McDonald and Lucy Maud Montgomery, but I just discovered James McBride and Simone St. James. McBride is a black author and sometimes his conversations, actions and descriptions are a struggle for me. St. James writes the best ghost stories I’ve read since I read The Uninvited (a good book and a good movie.) I binge-read all her books and have a library reserve on the newest. Our library system doesn’t have all of McBride’s books but I’m reading what they do have.