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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Welcome My Guest April Marcom!

I want to welcome April Marcom. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Thanks, Barbara! I’m a young adult author/substitute teacher/mommy. My husband, 3 kids, and I live out in the country in central Oklahoma and love the peaceful seclusion. We share our home with 5 rowdy dogs, a cat, and a few noisy chickens. It’s a busy place, but a lot of fun.

Tell us about your latest release.

In my teen romance, titled Good vs. Evil High, Kristine’s just been adopted into North Haven High, an ice castle hidden in the farthest reaches of the north for orphaned teenagers who possess an unfailing disposition for good. And she’s just in time for their Winter Competitions, a rivalry held each year between NHHS and Southland Cinder High, a school made up of the exact opposite sort of teens. Here she finds Knight, a Cinder she grew up with but lost contact with years ago. And even though it’s forbidden, she begins to fall for him. Of course, her North Haven boyfriend’s got a thing or two to say about that. But Kristine doesn’t care. She’s happier than she’s been in years as she gets closer and closer to the man she’s falling completely in love with and having crazy fun with her new roommates.
Unfortunately it’s short lived, because everything begins going wrong. Her school’s track star is attacked and left for dead. Knight’s snowmobile explodes during the Snow Riders’ brutal competition. And it’s enough to get the two schools’ headmasters thinking—maybe they should just call the whole thing off. As things spin further and further out of control, Kristine finds herself tangled in a mortally dangerous web of love, caught between a man willing to kill for her, and one who will die for the same cause.

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 love Sirius Black from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkeban, but he turns out not to be a true villain. So I guess I’d have to say Poison Ivy from Batman. I love the colors, makeup, and outfits she wears.

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

Probably Katy from Young Love in Old Chicago. She’s the heroine’s sister and ridiculously outspoken for a girl of their time (1930). She’s hilarious, someone that would be a lot of fun to be around.

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

I’ve written one middle grade story that hasn’t been published yet, but I tend to stick to writing young adult books. And there always has to be lots of romance. It might be because young adult stories are what I like to read. My teenage years were so fun, I wish I could go back to them sometimes. It’s almost like being able to relive them when I’m buried deep inside one of my stories as I’m writing it.

4.) What are you working on now?

After wrapping up a new adult romantic sci-fi novella, I’m throwing around some ideas and having trouble sticking to just one. I’m thinking something dark and spooky, with a bit of magic.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and I stopped and started different ones several times growing up, but I didn’t take it too seriously until a few years ago. As soon as I got going, it was hard to stop. I just loved doing it! And that love’s never diminished.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

All over the place. I can be watching a movie, listening to a song, or catching pieces of an exchange between others and get a random idea. I keep a list in my desk drawer full of story ideas and another with miscellaneous ideas I refer to at the beginning of each story I write.

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

Maybe that most of my writing is done in the complete chaos of kids and dogs. Or that I don’t like to read books about romance, even though I can’t write a story without it.

8) Do you have any special talents?

Baking, fashion, and survival skills are all things I enjoy and feel reasonably confident that I have a fair amount of talent in.

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

After Young Love in Old Chicago and before Good vs. Evil High, a friend of mine, Jane Nickerson, told me that what got her story into the hands of agents was a unique part of her story that helped it stand out against all the other manuscripts submitted. I always keep that in mind when writing a story now, the idea that it needs to be as unique as possible.

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

I’d like to talk to a pirate who’s famous for having plundered loads of treasure that’s never been recovered. Then he could tell me where it’s all buried. Ha ha!

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

Little Big Town’s Boondocks. All though I wasn’t raised out in the boondocks, I always wanted to live in them, and now that I do it feels like home. I never want to leave them.

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

A peacock. To me, it’s the most beautiful animal in all the world. And I would love being able to spread my wings and soar through the air.

Thanks for stopping by April. Good luck with your book! Here's the link to April's webpage:


Fifteen minutes later, my roommates and I wheeled our suitcases into an empty elevator. Connie didn’t have to ask where we were going.
“What did you guys bring to do while we’re in the air?” Harmony asked, practically bouncing on her heels.
“Magazines and my sketch pad,” Sassy said. “I’m gonna get to work designing my dress for next year’s dance.”
“I brought my notebook and A Guide for the North Haven High School Student,” I said.
“We’ve all got cons,” Nadine added. “What else do we need?”
Harmony gave us incredulous looks. “Man, it’s a good thing you have me. You’d all be bored out of your minds after an hour if I weren’t here. Don’t you remember last year?”
Nadine and Sassy looked at each other. “Yeah, I pigged out and slept it off. Then we were there,” Nadine said.
“That’s not fun. I brought games and puzzles, a notebook we can fill up with everything about our trip, and stickers and markers. I even brought a flashlight and a sheet we can huddle under together and tell ghost stories. This year we won’t get bored.”
Sassy and Nadine laughed as we got out of the elevator. “You’re right, Harmony,” Sassy said. “What would we do without you?”
“I think it sounds great,” I said.
We were met by chaos in the giant underground hangar. Students were everywhere. The many jets were parked in a row beside one wall, with their doors open and stairs leading up to each one. A few kids would stop and ask a teacher a question, then head to the jet they were told to get on. But most of them were moving or standing around talking.
“Let’s go ask Miss Tripside which one we’re in,” Sassy said. We made our way to the tall, boxy woman with her head down, skimming through the papers she was holding. “Good morning, Miss Tripside. We were wondering where we’re supposed to go.”
She looked up at us through square spectacles. “Good morning, girls. Let me have a look here. You’re all in the west wing, right?”
“Uh, huh.”
She flipped through several papers before she stopped. “Here you are. Harmony Foxen, Nadine Rodriguez, Sassy Johnson, and Kristine Fayre, you’re all in Jet Seven.”
We walked toward the jet with a white seven painted on the wall behind it and saw Mr. Westhyme standing in the doorway. “We get you?” Nadine asked. We climbed the stairs, leaving our suitcases with all the others. Each one was tagged so they wouldn’t get mixed up.
“Sorry, Nadine, but you’re stuck with me all the way to the Southlands and back.”
“You’re my favorite pilot. You know that.”
Mr. Westhyme chuckled. “I’m just pulling your leg.”
We walked into the same jet I’d been picked up in, this time with a huge extension to the table and lots more chairs. Not to mention the ten other girls already inside.
Miss McCree walked over to us as we sat in a circle on the floor beside the edge of one long sofa. “Hello, lovelies. You remember where the toilets are, Kristine, behind the stairs there. But if yah’ get sleepy, you can go through those doors you always see me comin’ in and out of, and there’s a load of pull-out beds. It’ll be too crowded for sleepin’ in here, I’m afraid.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
“Good morning, students,” Connie’s voice came over the speakers. I sat up on my knees to look out a window and saw that everyone outside had stopped to listen, too. “The time is seven-fifteen a.m. We will set out in fifteen minutes. Please load the aircraft you have been assigned to as soon as possible.”
“Fifteen minutes to takeoff!” Harmony said.
Three more girls walked into the jet, followed by Mr. Westhyme, who shut the door and locked it behind him. “Looks like everyone’s here,” he said. “What do you girls say about taking off a little early?”
A chorus of “Yeah!” went up from everyone.
“I’ll check with Headmaster, but I don’t think he’ll mind. We’re all ready to get there and start the Winter Competitions, right?”
Another loud chorus of “Yeah!”
Mr. Westhyme climbed the stairs and disappeared into the cockpit.
“See why he’s my favorite?” Nadine said.
We got up to sit on the end of the sofa for takeoff.
I twisted my neck around to look out the window behind Harmony and felt a shiver pass over me when I saw that boy, my little stalker from the frosty garden. He was watching me again, both of us turning away at that moment.
“Good morning, passengers,” Mr. Westhyme said over the intercom. “Headmaster has given us the all clear. If you haven’t already done so, please get in takeoff position.” I scooted back just before the straps wrapped across my chest.
“All students and faculty, please clear the runway, as Jet Seven is initiating takeoff,” we heard Connie say. Kids began running toward the side of the building the jets were on as the engine started. We moved forward and turned to the left slowly and carefully.
Once we got to the end of the room and began the incline, we really sped up. And then we were shooting forward and climbing into the dark morning sky.
I waited for the belts to release me from their grasp to say, “Could we go ahead and get under your sheet, Harmony? There’s something I wanna talk to you guys about.”
“Sure.” Harmony reached in the pack she’d brought and pulled out a folded blue sheet as we walked to a corner of the room. “Everyone turn on your cons.” We pulled them out of our bags and pockets and turned them on. “Harmony Con, stay.” Harmony looked at us, so we each did the same thing. “Here, Nadine.” Harmony handed a corner of the sheet to Nadine and they draped it over the cons. The only problem was that the floating sheet tent was a couple of feet off the ground. We instructed our cons to move down until the problem was solved.
Then we climbed inside. “Someone’s following me.”
“At North Haven?”
“Yes…” I told them about the times I’d seen him before and that morning.
“It does sound strange, but why would somebody want to follow you?” Nadine asked.
“I don’t know, but what if he keeps it up?”
“First let’s see who the mysterious man is,” Sassy said. “Sassy Con.” The sheet rested against her back as her con moved down.
“What can I do for you, Sassy?” Connie asked. It felt like she was talking way too loud, since the rest of us had been speaking so quietly.
“Please show us all the male students at North Haven.” Her con lay horizontally in front of her so we could all see the screen. A row of guys with names, birthdates, and enrollment dates beside them came up. “Tell me if you see him.”
I scooted closer to Sassy and watched as she swept her finger over the screen. We got through a bunch before I saw him. “That’s him.” I pointed to the freckled brunette with a small gap between his front teeth. Everyone leaned in to get a better look.
“Henry Lancaster,” Sassy read. “He’s only been here eight months. Must have been recruited pretty soon after last year’s competitions. I’ve never seen him before.”
“I have,” Nadine said. “He’s in my algebra class. It seems like he has a really hard time talking to people, so I’m not sure he has any friends. We could confront him about why he’s always watching Kristine.”
“No,” I said, thinking it sounded like he had a hard enough time already. “Maybe it’s some weird coincidence. I just wanted to see what you guys thought.”
“I think we should wait and see if it keeps happening,” Harmony said.
“Yeah, it could be a crush,” Sassy winked. I hadn’t thought about that.
“Don’t worry,” Nadine said. “We’ll help watch out for him. If he really is following you all the time, we’ll notice, and then we’ll confront him together.”
“You know we got your back, girl,” Sassy said, sending us all into a fit of laughter.
Harmony reached into her bag and pulled out a flashlight. “Now, who’s ready for a ghost story?”

Here's the buy link: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/aprilmarcom/gvehigh.html

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Release By Adriana Kraft! #rhacafe

The Heist, by Adriana Kraft
Romantic Suspense: 80,000 words 


A heist? A murder? It’s villain’s choice.

A special-order art theft? Tedious, but seamless – until small town museum director Kara Daniels calls in the experts. Furious her favorite trio of priceless impressionist paintings has been stolen from its traveling exhibit on her watch, Kara is determined to save not only the paintings, but her future in the art world. She’ll stop at nothing to entrap the thief.

Ted Springs knows the underbelly of the criminal world a little closer than he might like—but he’s turned it to good advantage, first as a police officer, and now as detective for the Upper Midwest Arts Council. His job? To guarantee the security of the valuable paintings in the Council’s traveling exhibits.

Heat sizzles when Ted and Kara collide—can they work together, before it’s too late?

Five stars at Amazon and Goodreads: “The sex is hot and I loved the phone sex scenes. Never did I expect the ending. It was brilliant. The Heist is a winner!” Sheila


“I and my staff have already done fairly thorough background checks on all the museum employees,” Ted said.
“Oh.” Kara scowled. “I’m not sure I like that.”
“But you expected it?”
“Of course. At some point.”
“I believe in being efficient. Even before certain added incentives.”
“I can always change my mind. I don’t know a thing about you.”
“You know enough. I have large hands.” Ted chuckled when she winced. “I’ve worked for the Upper Midwest Arts Council for five years.”
“And before that?”
“I was a Chicago cop.”
“I went into the army right out of high school and completed my BA degree at U.I.C. while on the force. Funny, isn’t it? While you were working on your MA at the University of Chicago, I was patrolling the streets of Hyde Park and South Chicago.”
“That’s right.”
“Maybe we bumped into each other.”
“I highly doubt that. I wouldn’t forget bumping into you. Remember?”
“Oh, right.” Kara’s flush returned.


Adriana Kraft is the pen name for a husband/wife team writing sizzling romantic suspense and erotic romance. The award-winning pair has published over thirty romance novels and novellas to outstanding reviews. Romantic pairings include straight m/f, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.


Ohh this one sounds good - and now available - yeay!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meet My Guest: JoAnne Myers!

JoAnne is back and with her own set of questions...

Welcome JoAnne!

Tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out? My biography true crime anthology, Twisted Love,   has been released through Black Rose Writing.

How would you describe yourself using only five words? shy, awkward, quiet, plumb, ambitious

Do you have any guilty pleasures? food/desserts

If we asked your muse to describe you using five words, what do you think they would say? quiet/shy/ ambitious, helpful, friendly

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you. that I suppress my feelings

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? French Riviera

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?  just think of something to start a story with whether that be a character or setting

If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?  my fantasy anthology “Loves’, Myths’, and Monsters’,”  because it stars characters that are not often written about, such as the Mothman, the Chupracabra, mermaids, a demonic cellmate, a love curse, and reincarnation.

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?  have a steak dinner

Could you tell us a couple of favorite books that inspired you to write? Charlotte’s Web- Black Beauty

Blurb for “Twisted Love” available here: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/other/twisted-love

            A collection of true crime cases from Ohio and surrounding states, featuring riveting cases of obsession, lust, murder, secret lives, and sexual depravity. It showcases the chilling reality that homicide investigators know all too well: the last face most murder victims see is not that of a stranger, but of someone familiar.
            Whether only an acquaintance or a trusted intimate, such killers share a common trait that triggers the downward spiral toward death for another: they are masters at hiding who they really are. Their clever masks let them appear safe, kind, and truthful. They are anything but — and almost no one can detect the murderous impulses buried deep in their psyches.
            In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, I, the author, speak for vulnerable victims who loved or befriended the wrong people.
            My book begins with the startling investigations, of the kidnapping and murder of young wife and mother Autumn Renee Williams. In March 22, 2011, a small-town alley was the setting for this ambush and kidnapping.
            What really happened to the victims depicted in “Twisted Love”? Baffling questions remain unanswered, for hundreds of people. If anyone had detected the depth of depravity within these psychopathic killers, perhaps their victims who loved or trusted them would have been saved. In these riveting cases of obsession, lust, murder, secret lives, and sexual depravity, I expose the twisted truth behind the façades of Twisted Love-12 cases of love gone bad.

Author Bio:

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvas paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dog Jasmine, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild, Savvy Authors, Coffee Time Romance, Paranormal Romance Guild, True Romance Studios, National Writers Association, the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams. My original canvas paintings, can be found at: booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com

Other books by Jo Anne:

"MURDER MOST FOUL" a detective/mystery anthology
"LOVES', MYTHS' AND MONSTERS'," a fantasy anthology
"THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY," a biography true-crime
“WICKED INTENTIONS” a paranormal anthology

Other books soon available:

“FLAGITIOUS,” a crime/mystery anthology available in August

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Writing Down the Bones: Common Plotting Faults and What to do About Them

Found another one of those gems. There is no author attached to this so I don't know who to give credit to but please enjoy.

  • Symptom: Story line wanders - never seems to go anywhere.
  • Diagnosis: Author has started writing their story without any clear idea of its direction.
  • Treatment: Give the main character a stronger motivation and make things more difficult for them. Recommend you rewrite without looking at the old version.
My comment: Now I'll be honest I'm a pantser not a plotter so I can't say that I have a clear cut direction when I start but I always have a goal to work toward and I figure out how I want to reach that goal pretty quickly.

  • Symptom: Story is confusing - too many characters - too much going on.
  • Diagnosis: Author has not decided who the story belongs to, or hasn't figured out how focus the narrative on their main character.
  • Treatment: Reduce the number of characters - replot and rewrite.
My comment: Remember most of these handouts were written in the 80's and for romance writers. So many people wanted to write for Harlequin that a lot of these thing were aimed at that. In romance you're supposed to keep your cast of characters down to the hero, heroine and nemesis, maybe a side kick or two (best friends, relative, that sort of thing). More than that and you could have been rejected because it didn't fit the norm of the time. But you don't want to have a lot of walk on characters. It does get confusing for your reader trying to keep up with all of them. In Dominated by Desire I had several walk on characters who said a few things then never showed back up again. They became Fridon who is now one of my larger characters in my The Vespian Way series.

  • Symptom: Plot looks complete, but the story seems pointless.
  • Diagnosis: The author has forgotten that their reader needs to care about the main characters and care about what happens to them.
  • Treatment: This isn't a plot problem. All you need to do is go back and build your characters more.
My comment: Your characters need to be as three dimensional as possible. They need to be real to your readers. They need to bond with them and root for them when all the odds are against them.

  • Symptom: The ending disappoints.
  • Diagnosis: The ending is disappointing because it is too obvious. The author didn't plan ahead for the ending.
  • Treatment: Don't treat the just the ending. Go back to the beginning and replot.
My comment: You do need to know where your story is going, have that climax always in your mind. As you write your scenes you should be asking does this lead me to the climax? Does it foreshadow something important? Does it develop my characters or their relationship?

*This one was hard to put in my own words and I felt some of the items listed were a bit harsh - that's my personal opinion.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shameless Bragging!! Cover reveal! Stolen Desire - book 7 of the Vespain Way

I am so excited to be able to reveal my newest cover today! The book is due out July 29th 2014. This is the seventh book in the Vespian Way series.

Here's the blurb: When Heather is confronted with her time traveling self she fears the worse. The woman came to warn them of a terrible accident but something isn’t right. The visitors her future self says are there to help only wants to kidnap her and kill her mate. Using her mind she tries to protect her friends and family. Yet she wakes up as a prisoner after seeing the ship Storm is in blow up. She is now alone, and trapped. Somehow she has to figure out a way home and hopefully reverse all the horrible things that have taken her family from her.

Are you ready? Here's the cover!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Meet my Latest Guest: Margaret Fieland

I want to welcome Margaret Fieland! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Tell us about your latest release.
     I have three published science fiction novels. The third one in the series was published last July, and the second in the series this past November. Yes, the third one appeared first.  The first two novels in the series, Relocated  and Geek Games, are young adult sci fi novels. The third one, Broken Bonds,  is an adult sci fi romance. I'm finishing up book number four in the series, another adult sci fi.

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?

     Captain Hook. I was a huge Peter Pan fan as a kid. I saw Mary Martin on Broadway in the original Peter Pan. I loved Barrie's novel and read it over and over. Hook was pure evil but was not so scary that he gave me nightmares.
     My sister became a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and dragged me to see Rear Window. Unfortunately, the movie terrified her, and she had nightmares. I am still not a fan of horror movies.

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

     At the moment it's Imarin Namar from Broken Bonds. He's passionate, possessive, and possesses a great personal integrity. In spite of his love for Ardaval, there are lines he refuses to cross. He won't compel – but he will remind Ardaval of the love they once shared.

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

     I write sci fi and fantasy. I'm a huge sci fi and fantasy fan, but up until 2010  I'd never written any, mostly because I had a fear of the world-building. So in September, 2010 I decided to write a sci fi novel of my own for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), which takes place every November. I spent the six weeks I had mostly on creating my aliens, their culture, their history, the history of the Terran Federation the politics, the art and literature. I spent less time on the plot, ending up a couple of pages of notes, but enough to give me the overall arc of the story.  In November, I started writing. I spent from January to June or so revising.

4.)What are you working on now?

     I'm finishing up the fourth novel in the Novels of Aleyne series. I'm very close to being done, but I still don't have a title.  I've also started work on a fantasy about a young man who lives in a cave in a future ice age. It involves animals with near-human intelligence.

5.)    What got you to start writing?

     I wrote poetry for years before taking it at all seriously, but around 2005 or so I wrote a couple of poems I wanted to keep. Since even then I was frequenting more than one computer, I searched for a way to store them online, and became involved in a couple of online poetry communities.  I came across a contest on one of the ezines I likes and was a finalist. I started taking my poetry more seriously, submitting it for publication, working more on it, and hanging out more online. I discovered the Muse Online Writer's Conference, and met Linda Barnett Johnson. Linda required everyone who joined her writing forums to write both fiction and poetry. I got started and became hooked. Before that it never occurred to me to write fiction at all.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

     Everywhere. The initial impetus for the Aleyne novels was a reaction to a story I read years ago about aliens who formed foursomes, but they were basically two couples. My reaction? I wouldn't write it like that. And when the time came, I didn't.

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

     I can write backwards and wiggle my ears. When I was in college, I'd give up going to the library in order to study for exams. I'd become bored. Then I'd reread Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I also taught my self to write backwards and wiggle my ears. Thankfully, I had – and still have – a good memory, because as you might gather, I was not a terrific studier.

8.)    Do you have any special talents?

     Other than those? Yes, I play the flute and the piccolo. I also enjoy playing with digital art. My mother was an artist who specialized in portraits in oils, and it left me with a lifelong love of art and art supplies. When my sons were little, we carried a restaurant bag with crayons, colored pencils, paper, and playdough in the back of the car to keep them amused. Fortunately, they all liked to draw.
     You can check out my Pinterest boards to see some of my digital art work. I use GIMP, a free program with a lot of the features of Photo Shop. Be warned, however: it's quite addictive. 

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

Keep Writing. Don't get hung up on how awful whatever you're writing is – if you don't get it down on paper, you can't work on improving it.

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

Charles L. Dodson – Lewis Carroll was his pen name. He was a true eccentric, a mathematician by profession. I'd ask him if he had any poems he hadn't published.

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

Yikes. I can't think of a song to describe my life. I'm really terrible with song titles. I am very fond of Greensleeves, even though I'm far from suffering from unrequited loved. I have a poem/song of mine I like a lot:

Green Peas, A poem-song
by Margaret Fieland

1. Mom: Tune: Greensleeves

Alas my son you know it's wrong
to leave the table discourteously.
Don't give me "pretty please," come along.
Sit down and finish your green peas.

2: Son: Tune: Red River Valley

How can you serve these peas, knowing
I hate them; I've told you six times.
Don't give me that stuff about growing.
You must think that I'm still a child!

3: Sister: Tune: Sixteen Tons

Sixteen year old, is this what I get?
If you want to chase me out, well, now you're all set.
If Peter calls, just say I'm out, that's all you know.
Can't stay another minute, Mom, I've got to go.

4: Dad: Tune: Good King Wenceslas

What's this fighting all about?
Please give me a reason.
Everyone can hear you shout
clear over at the Gleason's.

Give him a break just for tonight,
you are being cruel.
All you do is scream and shout.
I think you're a fool.

5: Mom: Tune: Greensleeves

Green peas were for the boy,
but green peas aren't worth a fight.
Green peas have brought no joy.
Forget about eating those green peas.

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

     My family thinks I should be a Portuguese Water Dog:  dark curly hair, intelligent, and doesn't follow the rules.


Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has lived in the Boston area since 1978.  She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein's “Farmer in the Sky” for her tenth birthday, now long past. In spite of earning her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to put up the first version of her website, a clear indication of the computer generation gap. Thanks to her father's relentless hounding, she can still recite the rules for pronoun agreement in both English and French. She can also write backwards and wiggle her ears. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Melusine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved.  She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of  Relocated, Geek Games, and Broken Bonds,  published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems.  A chapter book is due out later this year.

Broken Bonds

Sex with aliens? How about romance with aliens? A treason accusation? Brad Reynolds has his hands full. When Major Brad Reynolds is assigned to head the Terran Federation base on planet Aleyne, the last thing he expects to find is love, and certainly not with one of the alien Aleyni. How can he keep his lover, in the face of political maneuvering and of Ardaval's feelings for his former partners -- and theirs for him?

Excerpt (PG):

Brad took a deep breath of cool night air, inhaling the nutmeg scent of the flowers planted around Ardaval's front door. Before Brad could knock, the door opened and Ardaval stood in the doorway. Brad hesitated before putting out his hands palm up.
Ardaval placed his hands over Brad's. "My heart, my home, my hearth."
"My hearth, my home, my heart," Brad murmured in response.
Smiling, Ardaval directed his gaze at Brad's eyes; it evoked the same curious flutter in the pit of his stomach as the last time they'd met. Ardaval held open the door and gestured for Brad to enter. "You've come to discuss Gavin."
"I have." Brad followed Ardaval into the front hall where tiles of local stone sparkled on the floor and a padded bench stood under a window. Through a doorway on one side, a glance revealed a kitchen furnished with dark wood cabinets, clean and a bit bare.
"Come." Ardaval gestured toward the back of the hallway where a doorway led into a center courtyard, open to the cool night air, and motioned to a small table. A red-leafed tree in the center spread its leaves overhead. Brad sat, and Ardaval sat beside him.
Brad needed to talk about Gavin Frey's political views. Views that, as far as he could tell from the records, were the opposite of his own. A breath brought him the scent of Ardaval's skin, musky, with a hint of clove. Was it duty or cowardice keeping him from reaching for Ardaval's hand and kissing the palm?
Ardaval clasped Brad's hand in his. "Tell me more about why you were posted to Aleyne."
Should he remove his hand? No. He enjoyed Ardaval's touch and what was the harm, really? When he glanced up, he found Ardaval regarding him with evident amusement.
"I recommended that a man who used psi to save his squad be given a dishonorable discharge." Brad hesitated. "Although the soldier deserved a medal rather than a court martial, he was a fool to admit he caught a thought.”
Ardaval nodded.
"About Gavin Frey. Is he your shan?" The thoughts slipped out.
Ardaval stared into Brad's eyes for a a second or two before he replied. "As you surmise, he is my son; my shan, because I didn't raise him."
Might as well ask this, too. "His mother never told you about him?"
Ardaval shook his head. "No, she didn't. He spent six months here after she died. Then we disagreed over a matter of ethical principal and he left."
Given what he understood about Frey, Brad would have been surprised if they hadn't.
"He married, but his wife died. He has a son who is now fourteen by Terran Standard years."
"His mother possessed a strong psi talent."
"She contacted you?" Brad's eyebrows rose to his hairline.
"She did. I suggest you keep an eye on the boy."
"Do you believe he has gazal?" If the boy developed Aleyni mind speech abilities, he'd need careful watching. Brad's own family had been fairly accepting but how would Frey react if he discovered his son possessed gazal? And what about the terrorists, who might try to exploit Keth's talent?
Ardaval nodded. "I do, though of course we've never met. Gavin doesn't, or at least if he does, he keeps his mind so locked down it's the same thing."
Brad sighed and rose. He'd completed what he'd said he'd come to do.
"It happens this way with us, at times." Ardaval paused for a moment. "We'll meet again."
Brad turned to leave. He couldn't ignore this connection, wish it away, any longer. Only Ardaval's assurance kept him moving out the door.

Publisher's website:


Barnes and Noble:

Where to find me on the web: