Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cold Nights and Hot Reads Blog Hop

Oh my! It snowed here in so east VA and I was so caught up in the beauty I forgot to set this up last night! How bad is that?

I'm also excited to let everyone know that my book Honorbound is also on sale at ARe during the blog hop! Here's the link.https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-honorbound-566009-143.html

So here's the excerpt I promised...the chance to win will be below it.

Hidden Desire:

Heather and Storm have had their looks altered and are trying out for a Elite security team.


She sensed him before she saw him. He must have sensed her too, because she saw him looking around. A smile spread across his face when he spotted her. Great, he was going to give her location away. It surprised her when he disappeared from sight. Then she felt his breath on the back of her neck.
“I see you have waited for me.” He slipped his arms around her.
“Not for you, Luprin, but for my partner.”
He pressed a kiss against her mark. She sucked in her breath as her body tightened. “I see you also learned my name.”
“Those handhelds have all kinds of information if you know where to look for it.” She turned in his arms. “They also seem to know everything we’re doing.”
“You mean things like this?” He captured her lips with his, pulling her up against him as he deepened the kiss. His tongue dipped into her mouth, caressing and searching for hers. They got lost in the sensations for a moment. He broke the kiss and rested his forehead against hers. “I wish I could take advantage of this, but we have jobs to do.”
“So I need to be careful of being alone or you might take advantage?” She looked up at him and smiled. “I guess I’m going to have to find spots like this more often. How many times can I push before you come through on your promise?”
He grinned. His fingers slid along the seals of her uniform, opening the upper section enough for him to slip his fingers inside. “Oh, my heart, if you want to challenge me you know I’ll take that challenge.”
She felt his caresses all along her upper torso and knew where he was headed. She stepped back, trying to get him to pull his hand out. “Okay! Time to get to the task at hand.”
“I am.” He captured her lips with his once more while his fingers slipped into her folds. Her breath shortened as those caresses caused her heart to beat faster and her desire to spike. “This is just a taste of what I want to do to you, but I want to take my time with you, find out what you like, get to know you as intimately as possible.”
“You aren’t fighting fair.” Her voice came out soft as his hand continued to work its magic.
“I know.” His voice deep because he was as affected as she was. “They will give us a safe place to sleep tonight. Wait for me and I’ll give you so much more.” Storm captured her lips once more before he released her so she could pull her uniform back together.
Heather took a moment to compose herself. “I will pay you back for that.”
“I sure hope so.” He grinned devilishly. He looked over her head for a moment. “Looks like your partner has arrived.”
Heather turned to look. Loki was standing in the center of the area searching for her. When she turned back to Storm, he was gone. A sigh escaped her as she caught Loli’s attention. The young woman joined her in her hiding place.
“Um, you didn’t seal your uniform right.”

Heather looked down and grinned. Her mate was the only one who could break through her control, and he was having a little too much fun with this. “Right.”

So I have two things I'm asking one is easy - Heather's is now known as Nusi - who is Luprin? 

The second one is I'm asking all entrants to follow my blog. 

See? Both are easy. The Prize? How about an electronic copy of one of the books in my series? That way if you have several you can choose the next one in the series you don't have?

contest is now over

Brr...with all the snow and cold temperatures out there it's great to have a hot book to warm up with!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Comming up this weekend - Cold Nights...Hot Reads

Hi All!

I am participating in another Blog Hop through RHACafe, It starts on Thursday and runs through the first of March! We have some great prizes and wonderful authors participating. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to give away but I promise it will be good!

Hope to see you at the hop!

I will be giving a sneak peek of my new release...Hidden Desire

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Meet my Latest Guest - Connie Vines!

I want to welcome Connie Vines. First, I'd love for you to introduce yourself.

Barbara, I’d like to thank both you and your blog followers and visitors for inviting me here today.
I reside deep in the quirky suburbs of Southern California in a butter-yellow house shaded by mimosa and magnolia trees with my husband.  I’ve published over one hundred fiction and nonfiction articles, eight genre novels and educational student activity books.  I have also worked as a ghostwriter of literary fiction and one screenplay.  I am a member of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers. I’ve served on the executive board of the International Chapter of Romance Writers, and I am currently the president of the Gothic (GothRom) Chapter of Romance Writers.

Tell us about your latest release.

"Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow,” Book 1 of my Sassy & Fun Fantasy Series.
Blurb: Alive, Steampunk novelist Meredith Misso worked hard at living the perfect SoCal celeb life. Now that she is a Zombie, it’s all about the make-up, non-vegan lifestyle, and her soon-to-be ex, who somehow managed to Velcro himself back into her life.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

My favorite villain is the wicked witch of the west from "The Wizard of Oz".
Why is she my favorite villain? She covets (a vice both adults, and children, can identify and understand). She wants Dorothy’s ruby slippers and she will whatever she must. She is a real threat to everyone in Oz. The Wizard believes the Witch’s magic is so powerful that she could kill him if he goes near her.
The Wizard finally offers Dorothy a trip home if she will kill the Witch. That shows how loathsome she is to the embodiment of good in Oz. The Witch actively tries to kill Dorothy and Company several times, with wolves, bees, the winged monkeys, crows. She captures the Cowardly Lion and tries to starve him to death. She tries to burn the Scarecrow to death. She does all of this to force Dorothy to give up the ruby slippers. She steals one of Dorothy’s slippers, by tripping her over an invisible bar. Dorothy finally has enough and throws a bucket of water on her. Why does it kill her? Because water is pure. The Witch is corruption in all respects, and thus the embodiment of impurity.  

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

This is such a difficult decision.  All of my characters are my favorite.  I had such a great time with Meredith, of “Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow”—she is so sassy and seems to make the best of all life tosses at her.  I must confess that Lynx Maddox, my hero in “Lynx” Rodeo Romance, Book 1 is my favorite.  A Texas rodeo cowboy who. . .well, the French say it best: “Un si beau Texan!”

3.) What genre do you write?  What made you pick that one?

I write in multiple genres. I began writing my career writing fiction and nonfiction in children’s and young adult magazines.  However, romance (women’s and YA) is my main genre.

4.) What are you working on now?

As a rule, I work on two books and a novella/YA novel at a time.  My next release is an anthology titled: “Gumbo Ya Ya -- for women who like romance Cajun & men Hot & Spicy”.
5.) What got you to start writing?

 My family tree is dotted with novelists, playwrights, professional musicians and composers.  Therefore, it would have been odd for me not to have an interest in a creative form of expression. 

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I have a sense of time and place (when I am on vacation, a photo may trigger something), then I hear a conversation in my head.  Like when you walk past a table at a coffee shop and catch bits and pieces of a conversation.  I was visiting my youngest son and family in Yucaipa, CA when I spotted a bag of “Zombie Popcorn” inside an organic roadside produce store.  Then, several weeks later, when I was at the dentist’s office (coincidence, it had nothing to do with the popcorn, promise), the x-ray tech was sharing her experience at the Long Beach Zombie Walk.  Then, ZAP, I had the nucleus of my story.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

 My readers wouldn’t be surprise if I divulged that I collected “Monster High Dolls” but they might be surprised to learn of my gingerbread collection.  In fact, one of my Pinterest boards is Gingerbread Boys Love Gingerbread Girls.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I have freelanced many a time as a writer.  At one point, I worked as a fragrance consultant at a perfumery.  I tested women’s PH levels by touching a wand (not magical) to her wrist and developed a list of compatible fragrances. To learn more, you will need to read my next release.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Never give up.  Never miss a chance to improve your craft.  Write, Write, Write!  Why do I remember these words of wisdom?  Because there are no short cuts in life.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I know I should select a Plato. . .or Jonas Salk. 
However, I’m going to name Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel (Coco Chanel) a French fashion designer as my person of choice.  After all, she was the designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is the only fashion designer listed on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

"Walking on Sunshine" and on some occasions, possibly, “Weird Science”.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A Spotted Saddle horse. I was toying with the idea of returning as a black Gypsy Horse with a flowing white mane and feathering on my legs—until I remembered these horses are on the chunky-side.  I’d prefer not to live another life worrying about the size of my ‘behind’.


“You and Elvis have done a great job on this house,” Meredith said as her older sister led the way downstairs toward the kitchen where the tour began. “Sorry I couldn’t get over, until now, but I’ve been sort of… well, busy.” Slipping her Juicy Couture tortoise-shell framed sunglasses into a bright pink case, Meredith crammed them into her black Coach handbag. She hoped her sister didn’t ask her to define busy. Becoming a zombie, and dealing with the entire raised from the dead issue over the past six months, was not a topic easily plunked into casual conversation. 

Pippa waved the comment aside. “I’m glad you like it. We had such fun decorating. Of course, we couldn’t do it all at once, but it’s more satisfying putting it together treasure by treasure.” 

Meredith glanced from Pippa’s impish features and short spiky black hair to the perimeter of the room. Taking in every detail and nuance of Pippa’s decorating talent, she let her gaze rest on a collection of figurines by fantasy artist Jasmine Beckett-Griffith crouching at the top of the ebony stained cabinets. A black arch-top fireplace mounted against the wall, flames flowing from a bed of clear river stones, and HOME SWEET HOME embroidered on a sampler with a tiny vine of blood-red roses tangling though out the letters completed the focal point of the room.

Even though Meredith was on the best relations with her sister, she couldn’t help but feel a sharp nip of jealousy. It hadn’t been so long ago that she’d had her own happy home. Unfortunately, she’d filed for divorce from Viktor and then there’d been that bizarre little accident where she’d ended up dead, and then undead. 

While Pippa’s two kids, Ethan and Emma, played in the living room, to the accompaniment of 1960s rock-and-roll musical on TV, Meredith sat in the kitchen with her sister, fiddling with the end of the tea bag that dangled from the rim of her China cup.

Since her sister was contemplating the contents of a tin filled with Danish cookies, Meredith found herself cataloging the events that led up her ‘accident’.

A charter member of the SoCal Arts Association, she’d been participating in the annual Zombie Walk Festival in Long Beach when it ‘happened’. Crowds always made her uncomfortable, but this particular event was to raise money, so she was obligated to attend. And, it only went to reason; this year’s participation broke all past records. 

Twelve-thousand gleeful ghouls stormed Long Beach’s renovated Promenade. The crowd became so large that it spilled out over Pine Avenue for an all-out downtown invasion. Meredith didn’t recall much about the accident, nor who or what, reanimated her. She remembered over-hearing a security officer informing a pungent-smelling zombie that he couldn’t purchase an alcoholic beverage (apparently he didn’t match up with his photo ID). Within moments, a shoving match between the two men ensured, quickly escalating into zombie chaos: shouting, running and chomping.






Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing - Session 2

Sorry I missed last week - but I'm back and have the next two commandments for you:

3.) Write your passion: Most of us do, but the key here is to write what moves you. Don’t chase the trends. Unless you have the book already written and just sitting there waiting for the perfect moment, you run the risk of cutting corners and compromising your work by pushing to get the book done. Instead stick to what you do best. Writing from your heart.

4.) Love the Process: Writers are a different breed. We think far too much and about things that don’t exist. There are days when you sit down in front of your computer and nothing comes out. There are days when it’s flowing so fast you can’t write quick enough. Whether it is feast or famine you do it every day. You have to or your characters will haunt you.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest - Diane Burton!

I want to welcome Diane Burton. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks for having me here, Barbara. I’m a wife, mom, grandmother, and a writer. Not necessarily in that order. Apologies to my grown children and husband, but Nana duties come first. <g> I write science fiction romance and romantic suspense. The commonality between my books is adventure. I love action/adventure movies, especially if a relationship develops between the main characters. Romantic comedy movies is another favorite, so I try to incorporate humor in the stories I write. I live in West Michigan and can never get enough watching Lake Michigan sunsets.

Tell us about your latest release.

The Case of the Bygone Brother is a PI mystery. It’s the first in what I plan as a series of adventures featuring Alexandra (Alex) O’Hara as a private investigator carrying on her retired father’s business. You won’t believe the scrapes she gets into trying to find a missing man.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Professor Snape in the Harry Potter books. I know he isn’t really a villain, but he acts like one until the end of the series. He is so skillfully written that the reader doesn’t know his intent.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

Oh, gee. That’s like asking me my favorite child. I always love the heroine in the book I’m writing. Jessie in Switched has a special place in my heart. Her story was my first published book.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

As I mentioned above, I write sci-fi romance. I fell in love with Star Wars. Action, adventure, and romance all in one. That’s the kind of science fiction I love to read—not weighty tomes with so much technical data that I’m put to sleep. (I know others love that. Just not me.)

I also write romantic suspense, which I love to read. My PI mystery, The Case of the Bygone Brother, has a little romance, but it’s more mystery oriented. Again, I write what I like to read.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on the 3rd book in my Outer Rim series—stand-alone stories connected by the locale and recurring characters—about strong women on the frontier of space. In this one (no title yet), the heroine tries to take down a slave ring that dares to come into her colony.

5.) What got you to start writing?

The prospect of an empty nest. My children were in their last years of high school and would be going off to college. I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom and was a volunteer in sports, scouts, school, and church activities. I kept the family together through all the moves with my husband’s job. I figured it was my turn to do something for me. I loved to read so how hard could it be to write a book? LOL I found out.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I don’t know. I used to clip newspaper articles that I thought would make a great story. I never used them. I think my Muse must work overtime, whispering in my ear while I sleep.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

That I hated science in high school. And now I write science fiction romance. Go figure.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Besides being able to quote movie lines? LOL I love to garden. I always took small sections of plants from my garden at one house to the next. I still have plants that originated in my grandmother’s garden (lilies of the valley) and my mother’s (irises, tiger lilies, and Shasta daisies). Arthritis in my knees and back make gardening difficult, though, so Hubs does the work while I “supervise”. I also like to quilt and hope to get back to it soon.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Don’t give up. We all hit bad times, either in our writing careers or personal life. Persistence will win. Friends from my writers’ group (Mid-Michigan RWA) had to remind me of that advice when I was going through a bad personal time a few years ago.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Madeline L’Engle. I read A Wrinkle in Time to whatever elementary class I was teaching when it came out. I would ask her what inspired her to write that series. It was so far ahead of anything I’d read at the time.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

You Don’t Always Get What You Want.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A family dog. Faithful, loyal, and fetches slippers. LOL At least I wouldn’t have to cook.

The Case of the Bygone Brother Blurb:

After taking over O’Hara & Palzetti, Confidential Investigations from her dad and his partner, Alex O’Hara’s bottom line has taken a plunge. So when a femme fatale offers her the case of a lifetime along with a huge advance, Alex sees her finances on a definite upswing. But someone doesn’t want her to find the long-lost brother. Complicating matters is the return of Alex’s old heartthrob, Nick Palzetti. Is he really there just to see her or does he have an ulterior motive? The Lake Michigan resort town of Fair Haven is abuzz with the news that O’Hara & Palzetti are together again.


“Hello, gorgeous.”
I whacked my head on the display shelf.
Well, what would you do if you were lying across the top of a four-drawer lateral file cabinet, and your arm—yardstick attached—was wedged between the wall and the cabinet, trying to retrieve the license renewal application that if you mangled, crushed or couldn’t get would mean the end of your business, and the ex-love-of-your-life stood in the doorway looking at your butt?
The shelf shook on its braces from contact with my head. Never mind that the encounter didn’t do much for the aforementioned body part. The Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce awards rattled, and signed Detroit Tigers baseballs pelted my head, shoulders, and the back of my thigh. I dropped the yardstick and swore.
“I thought you promised your mother you wouldn’t swear anymore.” He would remind me of that vow.
“Relapse,” I muttered as I looked over my shoulder.
In that loose-limbed, cocky manner I once thought scary, sexy, and so cool, Nick Palzetti stood in the doorway to the spare office. He even dressed the same in a black leather jacket, black knit shirt, and jeans that molded his hips. Lordy, he could still make my mouth go dry.
As I wiggled back and sideways across the long cabinet, I felt my skirt ride up. Of all days to wear a skirt. With my foot, I searched for the desk chair I’d climbed to get on top of the cabinet. I’d kicked off my high heels before standing on the chair, probably the only smart thing I’d done so far.
“Red panties, you naughty girl.”

Buy links:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hidden Desire Cover Reveal

I am so excited! I've been waiting to reveal the cover for my next release Hidden Desire! It is gorgeous! And I finally got the final copy of my cover today!

Here's the blurb:

Heather wants to fight beside her people, not watch from a safe distance. So when her brother comes up with a way to disguise her she jumps at the chance. Now she can try out for an elite team to help defeat Reasta, who has a stronghold on their planet. No one knows who she is, including her mate, who has also been disguised. They must find each other, qualify for the team and help rescue the elders without being found out.

And here's the cover...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Meet My Newest Guest Kathryn Jane!

I want to welcome Kathryn Jane. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Tell us about your latest release.
Voices is Quinn and Rachel’s story. Rachel has a few quirks—like she hears voices, and she also had a healing gift she doesn’t quite understand. Quinn is a psychologist who works with people suffering from PTSD. When his wife, who’d disappeared two years earlier, shows up needing his help, he’s determined to hang on to her this time, but she’s determined to get him and his family’s security firm involved in solving a bizarre string of accidents with racehorses that’s left their handlers dead. They begin with an adventure, and discover there’s much about each other they didn’t know. Details that may prevent them from ever having a life together.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

I don’t like villains, so this is a hard question for me. Hmm. Ah, I’ve got it, Sylvester the cat who’s always trying to capture Tweety-bird.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

Oh but I love them all! I suppose Cass, from Do Not Tell Me No, because she has so darned much gumption, and she’s funny. But then there’s…Rachel, Grace, and Liz, and I can’t wait to write Angie’s story…But wait! There’s the men. And well, what’s not to love J

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

Romantic suspense/adventure/paranormal/humor. I always sat down to write a mystery, but a romance would creep in. So now, I celebrate both by writing romantic suspense with side dishes of ESP and humor.

4.) What are you working on now?

One of the first full length books I wrote. I absolutely adored the story so it deserves a rewrite for publishing.
5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve always written to purge pent up emotions. A few years ago I dug some of it out to see what it looked like and oh my, the sad and dark writings of a teenager should never see the light of day!

As for books, well, I confess, I was about to turn fifty and thought, my goodness, what have I got to show for fifty years? I’d always said that one day I’d write a book, so I sat down at the computer, and in less than two months, I’d done it—felt like I’d just scaled Everest and I wanted that feeling again so I wrote another book. And another, and so on. I’d written six before a friend read them and asked why I wasn’t getting them published. That’s when the next adventure began.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I have no idea. My stories always begin in my head with a character. I see and opening scene and begin to write so I can find out what happens next.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

I don’t like to be the center of attention. Unless I’m teaching, that’s different.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

For over fifteen years I made my living training racehorses. I had an affinity for, and great success with the ones others had given up on.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

You can’t fix a blank page, so just write…it’s true. As long as you put words on the page, you can always fix them later.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Oprah, and I’d ask her what she knows for sure.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

If you’re goin’ through hell, keep on moving, don’t slow down, if you’re scared don’t show it…

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

A cat – I adore cats, their attitudes, their supple bodies, their freedom, their confident ability to seek attention, or shun it as they please.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Personal Note

I do apologize for being so sporadic with this blog this year. I'm the care giver of  my mother-in-law and she's been spending an awful lot of time in hospitals lately. We get her home and she ends up back in one a little to quickly for me. She's 87 and I'm happy to say the visits are normally simple things, but when she's away from home it take more time out of my day and my blog has suffered.

I promise to try to do better from this point on but bear with me as I deal with theses things. Thanks goodness I have the interviews or my blog would probably be dormant.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest Beverly Bateman

I want to welcome Beverley Bateman. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m Canadian. I live in the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia with my husband and two Shiba Inu dogs. It’s beautiful country here. There are mountains, lakes, beautiful beaches, apple, pear, apricot and peach orchards, plus raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and lots of other fresh produce. You can shop at little stalls on farms and orchards. It’s also wine country where we produce world class wines, which I feel is my obligation to sip while I write my Romantic Suspense and Medical Thrillers. My latest books include the Hawkins’ Family series – Hunted and Missing. My Assistant PI Holly Devine series set in Florida: A Cruise to Remember and A Murder to Forget. And my chat room murders, where my reference was a sheriff in Reno who worked the chat rooms - Don’t Go.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is A Cruise to Remember.
It’s the first in my Holly Devine, Assistant PI series. My husband and I were on a cruise and I thought it would be cool to write a story set on a cruise ship. There are also so many jewel stores in the Caribbean for the tourists I thought jewel theft should be part of it.  The rest of it just kind of came together, you know, those voices in my head. 

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

I’m not really a fan of villains, so I’m going to pick one that makes me laugh – Wile E. (Ethelbert) Coyote. He tries so hard to kill the roadrunner and is so incompetent. Everything backfires on him. And there’s no conversation. It’s all visual. I love it.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

I think I’m going to say Lillian, from A Cruise to Remember. She’s a secondary character. She’s been widowed for three years and has early Alzheimer’s. She’s wealthy, warm, friendly, a kleptomaniac and she enjoys manipulating the lives of others, but in a good way.  

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I write mostly romantic suspense. I love romance and HEA endings, but I also love murder, mayhem and dead bodies. This way I can write both.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on a serial killer who haunts teen chatrooms. The heroine is a Washoe County detective, who works chatrooms to catch and convict those trying to meet teens. My resource was an actual detective who worked the chatrooms. The hero is a Reno police officer who doesn’t want to work this case. They start out like oil and water, but have to work together to save a girl’s life and find a serial killer. Together they help the other grow while tracking down the killer.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Like so many authors, I’ve been writing most of my life. I can’t remember when I wasn’t making up stories, even in my head. I used to make up stories with my dolls. Then I’d write short stories and ghost stories. I wrote locked room mysteries when they were popular. I have books filled with ideas and plots. It’s kind of an addiction.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I honestly don’t know. It might be something I see, or I belong to a Kiss of Death writing chapter and I do a tour once a year – often police, homeland security, fire departments, ATF, FBI and lots of other interesting places. I get lots of ideas from there. It might be something I read in the paper or even a thought that hits me. What if…?

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

Hmm, that’s an interesting question. Maybe that I’m a Canadian since my stories are all set in the US.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

No. I do watercolor painting, Tai chi and ran a half marathon but I don’t consider any of that a talent. It’s just stuff I do.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

I got a lot of good advice from other writers and editors. I think the one that sticks with me is write every day. I had a spell where I wasn’t writing. I had too many things to do that all came before my writing, but I wanted to write. I took a class to see if I could break through my block. We were assigned partners and had to be accountable to them to write every day. I used my usual excuses and she said to me – ‘take 10 minutes before you go to bed and write. You don’t have to have a chunk of time to write, like two or three hours. Just write – even ten minutes.’ It worked, and I still use it when I start procrastinating.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

I think I’d say Kathryn Hepburn. I loved her as an actress, but I respected her life. She was a fascinating person. She was independent back in the 30’s and did her own thing as a young woman. Long before many of us were fighting for equality. She never married and she continued to act into her eighties. I would ask her about her life, what she felt was important for women to do to live successfully and maybe why she never married.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Pick Yourself Up - Pick yourself up - Take a deep breath, / Dust yourself off. / And start all over again.
Rejections, mistakes, whatever doesn’t work out I just learn from it and move on.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?

That’s hard. My two favorite animals are pandas and wolves, but I’m not sure I’d want to be one. I write dogs into most of my books, so maybe I’ll stick with that. I’ll be a Shiba Inu.

Amnesia, a cruise ship, a jewel theft ring and attempted murder combine to make it a cruise to remember. Hallie Donald has been in an accident and has amnesia. She’s traveling on the cruise as a companion. And someone is trying to kill her.
She doesn’t remember anything but someone, Interpol agent Eric Norby searches for jewel thieves on a Caribbean cruise, but his main suspect is the woman he loves.

She leaned back slightly, and Eric’s jacket slipped to the deck. Bending to pick it up she felt rather than heard a buzzing sound, something like a mosquito, around her left ear.
As she sat back up she noticed a hole in the back of the deck chair.
Funny, I don’t remember it being there before I picked up the jacket.
She ran her finger over the hole and shrugged, turning her attention toward Eric as he approached.
“Here we go.” Eric carried a couple of tall, colorful drinks consisting of a mixture of red, orange, and yellow colors and topped off with parasols. “What were you doing?”
“I’m not really sure. There was a funny sound, like a mosquito, and I think this hole just appeared.”
“What the hell...?” Eric placed the drinks on a nearby table. He ran his finger over the hole. “It’s a bloody bullet hole.”
“A what? You’re kidding?”
“No, I’m not. Where were you when it happened?” Eric looked at the hole, squinting back in the direction it would have come from.
“I guess that’s when I bent down to pick up your jacket.”
“My God, you could have been killed.” Eric pulled Holly into his arms, squeezing her against his chest. “You’re sure you’re all right?”
“I think so. I mean, I wasn’t hit or anything. I just can’t figure out what’s happening. This has to be one of the worst nights of my life.” She relaxed against Eric’s strong, muscular chest, feeling secure and safe.
“I’ll report this to the Captain; make sure it gets to the right authorities.”
“Uh, uh, uh...” Holly couldn’t speak. Her eyes widened as she realized the implications. She shivered as ice water dripped slowly through her veins.
What if that was really a push earlier and now this--someone taking a shot at me? Why? What kind of person am I that someone wants me dead?
“Are you sure you’re going to be all right?”
Holly’s teeth chattered.
Eric tipped her chin up, brushing her hair gently off her face. He kissed her forehead. “It’s okay. I’m here. It’s okay.” He moved his hands gently over her shoulders, checking for any injuries.
“I-I don’t understand. Could it have been an accident?”
“I don’t think so.”
 Eric stroked her cheek gently, trying to calm her. “There aren’t a lot of gunshot accidents on the deck.”
“So someone deliberately tried to kill me, but why?”
“Maybe it has to do with your past?”
“But I don’t have a past. How could that have anything to do with it?”
“Maybe they’re afraid you’ll remember your past and want to make sure you don’t. Or maybe you made some enemies in your past. Who knows? We’ll probably have to wait until your memory returns to find out. Now sit down.” Eric kissed her cheek and gently pushed her into a chair away from the railing.
“It’s too much--first Jack, then a gunshot and I think someone tried to push me overboard. I even had a flashback in between.”
Eric took her hand. “Someone tried to push you overboard?”
“I think so. It could have been accidental, but after this, I’m not sure.”
“I’ll take you back to your cabin and report it. We need to check and see whose onboard that might be capable of this.”
“I guess.”
 “Come on, you need a good night’s sleep. So you’re beginning to remember?”

Buy Links for A Cruise to Remember:
Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/1bfHaeQ
Where to find me:
Twitter @kelownawriter

Thanks so much for having me Barb. This was fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing

I found another great handout to share with you. This one came from Writer’s Digest and was written by Raymond Obstfeld. Once again I’ll be putting it in my own words. I will also be breaking it up over five sessions.

1.) Take yourself seriously: What good advice. If you don’t take yourself seriously how can other people? As an author of erotic romance I get more flack about what I write. I’ve have people try to be funny and call it smut. That’s not funny to me. I write romance. I make a difference in people’s lives. My work is important to me, don’t make fun of it. It’s hard work that occupies a lot of my time. It is serious to me and my friends and family need to respect that.

2.) Act like a professional: Always. If you are speaking to an editor you are selling yourself. They won’t read your work until you send it in. Your readers expect to see a professional as well. Again, you’re selling yourself, especially if they’ve never read your work. It doesn’t matter what you write. You are an extension of your books.