Friday, September 28, 2018

Interview with Traci Highland, Author of Miss Behave @tracihighland

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“Dear Miss Behave,
Last weekend I was at the pool with the children, and there was a woman naked and walking around the locker room. 
I hate to be prissy, but to be naked around young children like that just isn’t right.  She comes to the pool regularly and I am not the only one who has happened upon her strolling around the locker room without clothes.  Now I know there are showers and that people change in locker rooms, but showers should be taken while wearing bathing suits and there are private changing rooms that are clearly marked. 
How can I convey to her the accepted rules of decency before any of our children become hopelessly corrupted?
-Agape at the AquaPark”

--From Traci Highland’s Miss Behave

Traci Highland writes funny books for sassy ladies.  She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Master’s from Quinnipiac University.  She uses this education to write books, bake cakes, garden and make homemade jams.  Her children say she’s bossy, her husband says she’s high-maintenance, but the dog thinks she’s perfect.

She's great at giving advice, too bad she never takes it…

Anderson wants to be a serious journalist at a serious paper covering serious news. Instead, she’s stuck at the Pendleton Falls Herald, where her massive investigative skills are wasted penning the paper’s advice column, Miss Behave.

Her shot at a meaty story comes when she’s assigned to write up a profile of a local business, Brookes Jewelers. She is determined to write the piece so she can use the article to impress a real paper.

Unfortunately Hunter Brookes, co-owner of Brookes Jewelers and the Pendleton Falls Herald, is rather persistent, in his own hot little way, that the piece should be nothing more than a glorified sales pitch.

But when diamonds disappear, Piper may get the chance to do a real investigation, leading her to confront family secrets and worst of all, turn to her mother for help.

Piper soon realizes that there is more to Mr. Brookes than a tight ass and a ridiculous fascination with name tags. Together they deal with roasted pigs, crazy cat ladies, and gun-toting fashionistas.

In all the chaos, they just might find the one thing that neither one was looking for: true love.


Hi Traci! Romantic Comedy has to be at the top of my must read list and your new book, Miss Behave (The Anderson Family Series Book 1), sounds exciting! What was it while writing this book that set your fingers on fire?

Traci: Oh darling!  Romantic Comedy is absolutely my favorite as well!  I think the part of this book that really got my fingers flying has to be the Miss Behave columns.  I just adored Dear Abbey as a kid and wondered what would happen if her column was taken over by some snarky body-double that said horrible, terrible, no-good things in that column.

Can you tell us a little about your main character, Piper Anderson? She sounds like a fun character!

Traci: She is a rather delightful, if somewhat cheeky, young lady. She is a journalist that wants more than her small town assignment and her task as the local advice columnist, so she is desperately trying to write the worst advice column ever so that she gets taken off the assignment.  But in Piper’s world, things never go as planned.

What about the rest of the Anderson family to which you base your new series? Who are they?

Traci: It starts with Ann, Piper’s mother, who is a bit too proper for Piper’s tastes, and Piper’s Aunt Elise, a gun-toting, hard-stomping, wrestling obsessed family matriarch.  Then there are the four Anderson sisters, Mags, who has a terrible temper and somewhat unhealthy habit of speaking her mind, Betty, the beautiful, career-obsessed producer, and Stacy, the artist.

There is a love interest for Piper. Can you give us a little glimpse of who that might be?

Traci:  He is everything that Piper is not.  He is always put-together and a tad bit uptight.  Hating disorder, he and Piper are on something of a collision course.

Where does your book take place and why did you choose that location?

Traci:  It takes place in the fictional town of Pendelton Falls, CT.  Small, in the quiet corner of the state, the central focus of the town is on the lovely lake at the center and the charming local shops that attract weekending New Yorkers.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Traci:  The scene in the hotel at the end.  You will see!!

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Traci:  The scene with the scarf.  Scarves can cause a surprising amount of trouble, darling.

Have you started on book 2 yet?

Traci:  Book two, Mags’ book, is completely written and will be released very soon!  Here is a wee bit of a blurb:

Mags has gotten herself in a ton of trouble: she's lost her job, any hope for references, and she's going to run out of money.... fast.

Yeah, sure, it may be her fault for punching her boss, but the jerk totally had it coming. 

Nobody listens to her until she reaches her boiling point, and by then, well, she’ll admit that there’s no stopping Mr. Fist To The Face.

Now her years of hard work as a speech therapist are about to go down the drain unless she can find some way to salvage her career.  So when her Aunt Elise calls to say that she has a job for her, it’s not like she can say no, even if the job is up in the wilds of Vermont. 

Between stuffed moose, sloppy dogs and sexy men, Vermont proves to be a lot more interesting than she expected.  But when she uncovers a scheme that would put her new employers’ livelihood in jeopardy, more than just hydrangea bushes are about to get squashed.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Traci:  So many favorites!  I think the scene towards the end with the she-cult, or maybe the scene with the gun-happy fashionista.  Both were incredibly fun to write.  (My dog prefers the scene with the hero’s dog, but she’s completely biased).

Is there a genre you haven’t written but would love to?

Traci:  I have not yet written a true cozy mystery, and I think I would enjoy it!

What’s next for you?

Traci:  Well, this interview wore me out, so I think a margarita is in order.  After that, I’m writing Betty’s book.  I’m having so much fun with this series and the Anderson girls!

I hope you enjoy the reads and thank you so much for having me on your site!

Love and Margaritas,

Monday, September 24, 2018

Interview with Morgan Malone, Author of Taking Control: Rick's Story @mmaloneauthor

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Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?”

From Taking Control: Rick’s Story by Morgan Malone

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

She fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.

Book Description:

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?


Welcome Morgan! I find it interesting that you write sexy contemporary romance novels and focusing on independent women. What sparked the interest of writing this genre and independent heroines?

Morgan: I'm so happy to be here to talk about "Seasoned Romance." I have children older than the heroes and heroines of most contemporary romances. Also, after becoming a widow the age of 35, I started dating again in my 50's. Finally, I retired ten years ago from a thirty-year career as an Administrative Law Judge and Counsel. I was looking for romances that featured characters older than my kids, celebrated the notion that woman who were Baby Boomers could have an active romantic life and were about women who were not just looking for a man to support them, rescue them and make decisions for them. Ten years ago, I began writing romantic memoir and racy romance that featured women like me, my friends and colleagues. Along the way, I discovered many other authors and hundreds of readers who were looking for the same thing. We have some great groups on Facebook, like Seasoned Romance and Romance In Her Prime.

Are you a detail freak when it comes to writing your novels?

Morgan: I am a pantster-I write by the seat of my pants. That being said, as a former lawyer and judge, I am detail-oriented. For Taking Control: Rick's Story, I spent time reading about military ranks, pay grades and retirement benefits to make sure my heroine could afford to live on the Jersey Shore. I looked into how dogs the troops adopt in Afghanistan can be brought back to the States. I even checked out local bars and diners near Surf City, New Jersey. My next project involves office has stacks of pirate books that threaten to topple over every time my grandson comes toddling into the room.

How hard for you was it to sit down and start writing your novel? Did you have all these ideas swirling around your head or did it take some time before you were actually ready to sit down and begin?

Morgan: I write most of my novels in my head before I ever sit down at my computer. Rick, the hero of Taking Control, was a character in my first romance novel, Out of Control: Kat's Story. As they say, he didn't get the girl in that book and many readers have approached me over the last few years asking if Rick was ever going to have his own HEA. I knew that he was, but I couldn't get the feel for who would be the perfect woman for him. A passing conversation with my son, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, gave me the idea for Britt, the heroine of Taking Control. Once I sat down to write the story of Rick and Britt, the characters took over and the story went in a direction that I had not planned, but I think is a much better romance than the one I originally envisioned.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that?

Morgan: I'm not a loner by nature...except when I'm writing. I don't do well in a writing group or at a writer's retreat when I am actually trying to get the words out. Before and after, I'm pretty much a people person, but I like to write in solitude. Until last month, my only company was my beloved chocolate Labrador Retriever, Marley. Sadly, Marley passed away in July at the age of 13. I've been having some difficulty coming up with words for my next project since then, so I have been editing and researching. I've just started on my new book and I am missing my furry brown muse a lot.

I am so excited about your novel, Taking Control: Rick’s Story. Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters?

Morgan: Rick is 51. He is a former Marine, who acts asa consultant on motion pictures but is also often sent out to hot spots by Uncle Sam because of his years in active combat and clandestine operations. He has returned to his cottage on the Jersey Shore in time for his Fourth of July birthday. All he wants is some peace and quiet. Then he spots a woman emerging from the surf in the early morning light-a striking woman with scars, a nasty diving knife strapped to her arm and a rambunctious yellow Labrador Retriever. He discovers she is staying in the cottage next door. Britt is in her forties, an Army veteran, who was badly wounded and betrayed in Afghanistan. She, too, seeks peace at the beach with her beloved dog, Alex. But, this is a romance novel so sparks fly upon their first meeting. Rick and Britt are wounded warriors who dance around each other, neither willing to let their guard down and make the first move. Once they are in each other's arms, barriers start to disintegrate and their feelings begin to emerge. But, there are ghosts from their pasts that they both have to put to rest before they can find their happy ever after. I love that Britt and Rick explore some of the serious issues facing our veterans of past and recent wars. Also, the book is set on the Jersey Shore, one of my favorite beach locations so it is a great summer read. Finally, a character emerges in this story who I had not planned: Mick, who is Rick's former comrade-in-arms and a widower living on the Shore. I already have Mick's book outlined; I just fell in love with him.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in Taking Control: Rick’s Story?

Morgan: Rick has control issues. He was into a lot of control, domination, really, ostensibly to protect himself and the women with whom he became involved. Because of his control issues, he left Kat, the heroine of Out of Control, before he could fall in love with her. I wanted to find a way for Rick to lose some of his need to dominate and open himself up for love. In Taking Control. Rick lays out his need to control their intimacies in a pivotal scene with Britt. Britt then shares with Rick an experience that changed her life, with the unspoken inference that maybe the same experience could help Rick. Britt participated in a program for veterans that was created by Saratoga WarHorse Foundation in Saratoga Springs, NY. The program matches vets suffering from PTSD with retired thoroughbred race horses in such a way that the vets experience a repair of the emotional short circuit they suffered when they experienced their traumatic event during their military service. This is a program that is local to me and is near and dear to my heart. I did research with Saratoga WarHorse and pledged to donate 25% of my profits from the sale of Taking Control: Rick's Story to the Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. What I learned from them changed the outcome of Taking Control: Rick's Story in ways I could not imagine when I started writing this book. The story is more than I ever imagined.

What’s next for you?

Morgan: I'm in final edits for The Dance, a memoir about my late husband. I'm also writing Treasure, a novella featuring a couple in their fifties, which is the present-day prologue to my long-planned Pirate trilogy. And, of course, Losing Control: Mick's Story, the final installment of the Love In Control series, is just waiting for me to let the words out of my head. So many stories, so little time. I'll just have to learn to get by with no sleep at all.

Thank you for this opportunity to chat with you.

Remember: Love, like wine, gets better with age


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Blitz! Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin @mike54martin #bookblast

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Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin, Mystery, 280 pp.

Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: 280
Genre: Mystery

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the Darkest Before the Dawn.




Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Writing in Between by Carol Jeffers #writing

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Writing in Between
by Carol Jeffers
            I hear a mourning dove’s rustle in the tree outside our bedroom window. “Sunrise,” I yawn and pull up the covers. In the gray dawn between night and day, the bird calls to another somewhere across the condo complex. “I’m here,” comes the response and the two continue to chorus their reassurrances as I drift off in the time and space they have opened between night and day. I will hear the pair again at dusk. An evening vesper, a lullaby meant to soothe, to sing “Day is done, gone the sun….all is well, safely rest…”
            I like in-between places, those quivering, blurred places not clearly defined that add nuance and richness to human experience. The rich grays between black and white. Where rivers empty into seas. The moment a plane lifts off and begins its climb.
            I especially like the in-between places that are unmapped, territories hard to define or locate. They exist, though, and are revealed when dualistic pairs like the “subjective” and “objective” are forced apart, when the line between “truth” and “fiction” is erased. Spaces that, in the rupture, open up intriguing, sometimes awkward or jagged places that power explorations of meaning, another kind of truth. What is the meaning of life lived somewhere between the real and the surreal? While this may be appealing to some, it raises another question: How can we capture such a place?
            For me, the answer breathes in the oxygen of speculative nonfiction. This hybrid genre relies on imagination, invention, even fantasy to reveal a deeper truth. It takes creative nonfiction into a different place, and willfully sprawls across the line between truth and fiction.
            Writing my new book, The Question of Empathy: Searching for the Essence of Humanity, brought me face to face with the character of Empathy, and I knew this was to be a work of speculative nonfiction. Empathy rose up off the screen, demanded to talk and thrust me into an uncharted territory. Empathy told me it lived in the spaces between nature and culture, between self and other, competition and cooperation. I found it hovering between self-sacrifice and self-preservation, between truth and meaning, between the real and surreal.
            To understand more, I drew upon art and science, philosophy and psychology, explored the overlap between these traditions and the spaces between them, a thicket of competing theories and assumptions. No single discipline could answer all the questions about Empathy and its fleeting nature. What is it? How do we recognize it? Encourage it? Understand its role, its work in making us who we are. It took the space between them to even raise the thorniest question of all: If we are hard-wired and evolutionarily-designed for empathy, as the scientists tell us, then why, oh why aren’t we more empathic?
            Writing about it, trying to tell the story of this wandering, exasperating character pushed me to the boundary between fiction and non-fiction. I was now the one hovering in a challenging, jagged space between, and yet it felt right. I am reassured.
About the Author

Through her writing, Carol Jeffers blends narrative nonfiction and fiction to more fully explore the human condition. She is the author of works both in short- and long-form. Her forthcoming book, The Question of Empathy, was named a semi-finalist in the 2017 Pirates’ Alley William Faulkner Writing Competition (Walter Isaacson, judge). A Professor Emeritus of Art Education, her interest in empathic listening began in the classroom years ago when she and her university students explored works of art that served as personal metaphors. These experiences and related interactions with art, self, and others were the subjects of Carol’s academic writing published in refereed journals, edited volumes and a single-author book (Spheres of Possibility: Linking Service-Learning and the Visual Arts) during her university career.



About the Book:

Author: Carol Jeffers
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 209
Genre: Creative Nonfiction/Speculative Nonfiction

What if we all had a power to connect with others, to understand what they are feeling, what they are thinking? What if such a power was flighty, unreliable, open to true understanding or total confusion? Would that make us better human beings? In The Question of Empathy, Carol Jeffers explores a power that exists today within each of us and its ability to connect and to delude.
Have you ever wondered about empathy, what it is and why it matters? What makes us human and capable of incredible caring, total savagery, or worse, complete indifference toward each other? Are you looking for ways to better understand yourself, the people around you and across the world? The Question of Empathy entreats you to explore this hard-wired capacity, not through rose colored glasses, but with an honest look at human nature. Philosophy and psychology, neuroscience and art lead the way along a journey of discovery into what makes us who we are and how we connect to others. It isn’t always easy, but then neither is real life. The Question of Empathy offers a roadmap.



Monday, September 17, 2018

A Very Crooked, Rocky Path to Publication by Brenda B. Taylor

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A Very Crooked, Rocky Path to Publication

By Brenda B. Taylor

For most of my life I dreamed of becoming a writer of wonderful novels about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. While studying history in school, I imagined the many ups and downs, the twists and turns in the lives of the characters we studied. Sometimes stories and even conversations between the characters ran around in my head. My teachers called my thoughts, daydreaming, and I suppose they were a daydream of sorts. At times when I finished my school work, I found a clean sheet of paper and began a story. The first one I completed was about a horse similar to Black Beauty. The plot had a happy ending and my parents enjoyed reading the two-page story. Their smiles made my day.
After that first attempt at being an author, I wrote short stories for my family’s enjoyment, but never shared with others outside the family circle. I felt too embarrassed about my attempts at writing and my ambitions to be an author. After finishing high school, a college degree became my goal and ambition. In the meantime, I married and had children, but finished a degree in elementary education. Life became hurried and hectic with a husband, children, and teaching career. Writing was pushed to the background, but as I stood over a stove cooking one of many meals, stories popped into my head. I engaged in daydreaming again, while watching the beans boil or waiting for bread to bake. I wrote many stories in my mind, but never on paper.
After retirement my husband and I bought a recreation vehicle, traveling most of the United States and Canada. During that time, I began putting thoughts on paper and making copious notes. Several of our trips were made to the home sites of my ancestors, especially those who resided in Missouri. The Wades of Crawford County series came from those RV journeys to Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri.
 Through genealogy research I discovered my Scottish roots and heritage. My ancestor, Duncan Munro, immigrated from Scotland to North Carolina in the early 1800’s. He married, then moved his family to Alabama. After the Civil War, his son immigrated to Louisiana where his daughter met and married my great-grandfather. I traveled to Scotland three times in search of my Scots family and found them in the Highlands. While in Scotland, I toured the seat of Clan Munro, Foulis Castle, and the land of Ferindonald or “the land of Donald. Donald, ancestor of the Munros, ventured to Scotland from Ireland as a mercenary soldier to assist King Malcolm in fighting Viking invaders. After visiting Scotland, the Highland Treasures series was born.
My efforts in traditional publishing were fruitless, and self-publishing loomed as a viable means of getting a manuscript out to readers. I joined several author organizations and attended conferences. After studying the self-publishing process, I decided to form a company and publish my own books. Also, I came to the conclusion that I don’t have enough life left to go the traditional publishing route.
I view my writing and publishing as a fulfillment of a long-time dream, and I encourage other writers to go ahead and jump in there. Don’t give up, write those fantastic, amazing stories. Someone is waiting to read them.
About the Author

The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.

Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.

Her latest book is the Scottish Historical Romance A Highland Emerald.

Author Contact Information:
Historical Heartbeats
Amazon Author's Page
BookBub Author Page

About the Book:

Author: Brenda Taylor
Publisher: Bethabara Press
Pages: 268
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth. William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart. Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. The novel tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.


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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How to Write a Book with Multiple Points-of-View by M.T. Ellis @mtellisauthor #Azrael #writing

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How to Write a Book With Multiple Points-of-View
I learned a few things while writing my debut crime thriller, Azrael. One of them was how much work goes into writing a book with multiple points-of-view. Try these tips when writing your next story.

No head-hopping.

When writing a book with different points of view it is important to make sure each scene is only from one perspective. If the scene is from Jane’s first-person POV make sure you don’t write things like, “She saw the fish swimming in the lake,” if your previous sentence read, “I walked towards the lake, fishing rod in hand.”

You can change POV or perspective if there is a clear distinction like at the end of a scene or chapter — just don’t do it mid-sentence or mid-paragraph because you will confuse your reader.

Consistent voice.

Keep each characters’ voice consistent throughout the novel. If Jane is a strong woman who swears like a sailor in her first few chapters and all of a sudden she starts crying all the time and says things like, “Oh darn,” the reader may not believe the story’s ending if it turns out that Jane needs to stand up to an aggressive person in the final chapter.

Make it obvious who the scene or chapter is about.

Start the scene with a sentence that lets you know who it’s about. You could use the character’s name or you could be more subtle and use description to show the reader who’s involved. For example, “Her blonde hair swayed as she walked,” would show that the scene is about the female character with blonde hair.

Give each character obvious differences to help the reader keep up with who the chapter is about. Jane may speak with short sentences and aggressive words and Peter may stutter and always use his manners.


Play around with tense when writing your novel to see which suits each character. For example, the main villain might be scarier written in first-person where you can hear his thoughts but it might sound right for the same story if the detective’s POV is in third-person and the narrator tells the reader what’s going on.

Be organised.

Write out a sentence or two summary of each scene or chapter and move them around until it feels right, then write the chapter in that POV. This is especially helpful when trying to figure out which character should be the one to reveal each new clue or turning point in the story. 

It may help to keep a list of character traits and a description of each character handy to make it quicker to look things up when writing the story.

End each chapter or scene with a hook.

In a novel with multiple points-of-view, it can be a few chapters before you get back to each one. Leave the reader wanting to know what happens next so they don’t forget each character by the time they get back to a scene with their POV.

About the Author

M.T. Ellis is a Brisbane/ Lockyer Valley-based author. Her debut crime thriller, Azrael, won Bronze in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Suspense/Thriller Catagory. Her short story, The Ballerina in the Box, was short-listed in the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction Competition. Two of M.T. Ellis’s stories made it onto a billboard during the Queensland Writers Centre’s 8 Word Story competition.
Her dogs, Opal, Zeus and Matilda, occupy a lot of her time. She would write books about their adventures if she thought people were even half as interested in them as she is.
M.T. Ellis is an Australian Writers’ Centre graduate, freelance writer and journalist. The second novel in her Detective Allira Rose Series will be out on October 1, 2018.
Her latest book is the crime thriller, Azrael.



About the Book:

Author: M.T. Ellis
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 340
Genre: Crime Thriller

Emily thought her ordeal was over after she escaped a brutal kidnapping. She’s wrong. He’s coming for her again.

The body Detective Rose is looking at bears a striking resemblance to Emily, a woman who survived a horrific, sexually motivated abduction five years ago. Her fear is confirmed when Emily goes missing again.

When another woman, Grace, is abducted, Detective Rose finds herself doubting the instincts that tell her the disappearance is the result of intimate partner violence. She connects the cases and recruits Grace’s partner, Ethan, to help in the search. Together they must find Grace and Emily before it’s too late.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, September 10, 2018

Interview with Shawn M. Beasley, Author of Killing the Rougarou @mamashawnbeasl1 #romantic #suspense

12:30 AM 0 Comments

“Being from South Louisiana, you hear a lot of folklore. You never actually believe the old tales. You pass the stories on down to your babies and so on. You never quite believe in them until you meet a monster. Maybe then, you wonder: Could these stories be true?”

--From Killing the Rougarou by Shawn M. Beasley

Author Shawn Beasley was born and raised in small town Louisiana. She has a BSRN and has traveled the world only to return to the same small town where she was raised. Shawn has three grown children, one girl and two sons. She lives with her oldest son and grandson and has three other grandchildren that she adores. She has two fur babies, Pete and Taz. Killing the Rougarou is her debut novel and is the first book in a series of five. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Book Description:

Author Shawn Beasley captivates readers with the enthralling saga of two southern families-the Gauthiers from the South Louisiana bayou country and the Thomases from rural Texas-and the nightmare that will ultimately touch them both. In her sweeping and richly evocative novel, Beasley unfolds two remarkable family histories, populated by unforgettable, deeply human characters, and then rocks their worlds with tragedy and true horror. A novel that succeeds brilliantly on many levels, Killing the Rougarou is, at once, moving and terrifying, tense and thrilling, while capturing the sights, sounds, and vibrant life of Louisiana's Cajun country and Brazos County, Texas.

Welcome Shawn! Your book, Killing the Rougarou, sounds absolutely thrilling! For those
not familiar, can you explain what a Rougarou is?

Shawn: A rougarou is the Cajun werewolf.

Killing the Rougarou is your first novel in a five part series. How long did it take you to complete this first one and have you started on the others yet?

Shawn: It has taken me a little over 31/2 years to get to where I am now. I am working on 6 stories now. Four are with the series.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters?

Shawn: James and Cat are the main characters in this story. James is a Cajun beauty and is a little off-balance due to the vicious attack on her as a small child. Cat is the typical alpha male until he meets her.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. Can you tell give us one of the pivotal points in your book?

Shawn: I think one of the pivotal points in this story is; when her daddy sees her in the hospital for the first time after the attack.

Can you explain to us why it was important for you to write your story?

Shawn: I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. It took a while but I did.

I noticed that you are a member of Romance Writers of America. Did being a member of this organization help with writing your series?

Shawn: Absolutely.

Final question (promise!): do you have any advice for the yet-to-be-published writers reading this?

Shawn: Breathe and write!

Bravery at the Heart of a Romance Story by Charlene Whitman

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Bravery at the Heart of a Romance Story

By Charlene Whitman
What would a Western romance be without bravery? We expect our heroes to be brave, but, really, so many characters can show bravery and in many ways.
Bravery lies at the heart of my Western romance stories. I've mentioned in earlier email blasts how those who ventured west to carve out new lives on the frontier had to muster a lot of courage. Settling in newly founded towns, amid many dangers, was not for the fainthearted.
But there are other types of bravery, and sometimes the hardest is summoning courage to face your inner demons and fears.
Gennie Champlain, in Wild Secret, Wild Longing, harbors a lot of fear. She's suffered greatly, and  living alone tucked deep in the Rockies in isolation is no walk in the park.
It takes tremendous skill and inner strength to survive day to day alone in the wilderness. But that isn't the hardest challenge for Gennie. The far greater challenge for her is in not losing her mind, or her will to live. She is utterly lonely and miserable, and facing the approaching winter and being stuck inside her cabin for months, with hardly any food reserves, has brought her to the brink of despair.
Yet, she needs courage to do more than face another lonely winter. And this kind of bravery is even harder for Gennie to muster.
And that's summoning the courage to step out of her tiny "safe" world and into the bigger world of society. Nothing seems more impossible to her than that.
Facing down a grizzly? No problem? But leaving the mountain to join other humans, become a part of society, even in a small way? Not gonna happen.
This is LeRoy's challenge, then. How can he convince a woman who's lived years of her life sequestered in the mountains away from other people to break out of her shell of fear and take one scary step after another down the mountain of her fear?
How do you get someone who has been wholly beaten down and abused to trust again, when there are no grounds for trusting?
It's not easy. But Gennie has such a need for love, for human touch, for companionship. And that need trumps her fears. Still, it takes tremendous bravery for her to even consider leaving the familiarity of her little cabin and the routines that have kept her alive thus far.
But what kind of life does she have? A terribly lonely one. A life without fellowship with other humans is agony. We are social creatures, and we need companionship.
Gennie's story is unique, but not unbelievable. I was inspired to write this story because of a movie I saw years ago (based on a true story) called The Ballad of Little Jo. If you find the story of Wild Secret, Wild Longing a compelling one, you might enjoy watching that film to get a better idea of the difficulties single women faced in the Wild West.
Charlene Whitman is the author of The Front Range Series of heart-thumping romance. Colorado Hope is the second book in the series, although the books can be read in any order. Get the thrilling prequel novella Wild Horses, Wild Hearts for free when you sign up HERE for Charlene’s mailing list. Learn all about the Front Range in the 1870s and get deep into Charlene’s characters and plot. You’ll be the first to hear of new books, as well as receive sneak peeks and insights into her riveting stores. Don’t miss her new release! Get Wyoming Tryst here!

About the Author:

Charlene Whitman is the author of The Front Range Series of heart-thumping romance. Colorado Hope is the second book in the series, although the books can be read in any order. Get the thrilling prequel novella Wild Horses, Wild Hearts for free when you sign up HERE for Charlene’s mailing list. Learn all about the Front Range in the 1870s and get deep into Charlene’s characters and plot. You’ll be the first to hear of new books, as well as receive sneak peeks and insights into her riveting stores. Don’t miss her new release! Get Wyoming Tryst here!

The author of "heart-thumping" Western romance, Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado's Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George "Dix" Whitman, her love of thirty years. 

Front Range series of sweet historical Western romance novels (set in the 1870s) includes Wild Horses, Wild Hearts, set in Laporte and Greeley. Colorado Promise, set in Greeley, Colorado; Colorado Hope, set in Fort Collins; Wild Secret, Wild Longing, which takes readers up into the Rockies, Colorado Dream (Greeley), and Wyoming Tryst, set in Laramie, WY.



About the Book:

Author: Charlene Whitman
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Pages: 360
Genre: Sweet Historical Western Romance

Two ranching tycoons. A decades-old feud. A sheriff bent on ridding the town of lawlessness . . .
In the midst of the trouble brewing in Laramie City in 1878, Julia Carson yearns to be free of her parents’ smothering and wonders whether she’ll ever find a man worthy to love in such a violent town rife with outlaws.
But when Robert Morrison sneaks onto her ranch the night of her sixteenth birthday party, Cupid shoots his arrows straight and true. Aware that their courtship would be anathema to their fathers, who are sworn enemies, Robert and Julia arrange a tryst.
Yet, their clandestine dalliance does not go unnoticed, and forces seek to destroy what little hope their romance has to bloom. The star-crossed lovers face heartache and danger as violence erupts. When all hope is lost, Joseph Tuttle, the new doctor at the penitentiary, is given a letter and a glass vial from Cheyenne medicine woman Sarah Banks.
The way of escape poses deadly dangers, but it is the only way for Robert and Julia to be together. It will take the greatest measure of faith and courage to come through unscathed, but love always conquers fear.



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