Monday, September 29, 2014

One Enchanted Evening with LA Kelly

Writing for a Series: Don’t Tell Me What To Do. I’m a God in My Own Mind.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. All writers have a dark side. Deep down we’re convinced if people would only do everything we say, damn it, the world would be a better place. Eventually each one of us comes to the sorry conclusion we won’t be elected Ruler of the World. The only way to make up for the crushing disappointment is to write. On paper I wield omnipotent power over my fictional realm. I manipulate lives, kill off all my enemies (in print), and create people way more interesting than myself. Not to mention, being adored by millions of fans (in my mind.) The dark forces rise. Mwah-ha-ha.

Then I got the chance to write One Enchanted Evening for a series.

Writing for a pre-existing series has a special set of challenges. Writers do not necessarily play well with others. We are pasty-faced individuals, bereft of social skills. Banished to unheated garrets with quills in hand, we battle wasting upper respiratory ailments. Writing for a series requires unprecedented cooperation and no small amount of patience. Coughing delicately into our lacy handkerchiefs, we must scurry from the garret to interact with real people. It’s hard.

Build from the fictional ground up.
The first step in the development of the Lobster Cove series for Wild Rose Press was to appoint a coordinating editor. Rumor has it she didn’t duck fast enough and got slapped with the job. Lord knows, it’s not for the faint of heart. Her responsibility entailed devising the original platform; in this case a small town on the coast of Maine. Stories would cover all time periods; past, present, and future. Full length novels, novelettes, and even short stories were welcome along with an array of fiction genres such as contemporary, historical, suspense, paranormal and, yes, even naughty bits of erotica. Like a real town, Lobster Cove would have diversity in spades.

To rough out descriptive details, the editor solicited suggestions early from those who had an interest in writing for the series. Decisions had to be made concerning the size of the town in both area and population. What were the most logical major and minor industries in a Maine coastal resort area? What were typical occupations? The editor created a master spreadsheet with categories and descriptions of places and occupations, male and female characters, town events, and other reference items writers might need. With the basics laid out, next came an actual town map highlighting streets and locations of buildings and service organizations such as the police department, hospital, and public schools. Local landmarks were chosen and situated. Lobster Cove now had a lighthouse, a centrally located park with gazebo, manmade lake, beaches, and an offshore island.

Submissions opened up. Publishing contracts were signed. New businesses and characters were added to the spreadsheet. The map filled in even more. Slowly, Lobster Cove began to resemble a real town. Places, however, need more than people and buildings. Dozens of other details had to be worked out such as festivals, town events, flora and fauna, and the high school mascot. World-building is a pain. No wonder gods are so cranky.

What do you mean there’s no room for Ye Olde Donut Shoppe? Not even a lousy kiosk?
When creating a world from scratch, the author controls the population. Not so in a series. As far as story ideas, it’s first come, first served and all subject to the coordinating editor’s approval. The first person to use a character defines a character. If a contracted story states the mayor is a cross-dressing, Irish-Argentinian cat fancier with irritable bowel syndrome than that’s what goes into the spreadsheet. Anyone else wanting to use the mayor has to take Pedro O’Toole and his kittens, gastroenteritis, and feathered boa as is. Either that or its back to the storyboard.

Lack of control can be a royal pain especially when it comes to the major setting for your story. Food venues seem to be the first to go. It makes sense. Coffee shops, restaurants, or bakeries are all perfect places for social interaction—great venues for story arcs. You may have written a moving, charming, brilliant, and gripping tale about the owner of a donut shop, but if another writer beats you to the punch, and the editor decrees Lobster Cove has enough donut shops, you’re out of luck. Back to the rewrites.

There are additional considerations when coordinating details with other writers. Want your characters to have a romantic walk along the pier on the third Saturday in June? Oops, too bad. Another author has a storm scheduled that day. Have a big denouement in the police chief’s office the last week of September? Pity, another author is having it fumigated. One sticky problem I had was the name of a particular character. He was a minor, but necessary addition to my story. I couldn’t write around him, but he was not my character. His role had already been defined by another. That meant his name had been selected and it happened to be a name I detest. This is not the name for someone who is an asset to a community. This is the name of a kid who sat next to me in kindergarten, grabbing his crotch and making airplane noises. Seriously, I wouldn’t give a gerbil in one of my stories this name, but I was stuck with it. I gnashed my teeth each time I typed it in.

Another problem is time limits. Writing for a series is not for someone who needs two years to crank out a story. Submission dates are firm. If you can’t finish by the deadline, than you need to shop your work around somewhere else.

Give it up for the team.
I had reservations about working on a series. Writing for me has always been a solitary art and I wasn’t sure I could be a team player. I was wrong. Despite minor irritations, working on One Enchanted Evening was a blast. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone. It stretches those literary wings.

The foremost pleasure comes from the collaboration with other writers dedicated to infusing life into a fictional town. Lobster Covians (yeah, we had a discussion about what to call inhabitants, too) are an eager talented group ready to share ideas and research. An innocent query into the writer’s loop about a character or place brings a plethora of links, pictures, and helpful hints. Need someone to read a passage from a work in progress to see if it rings true? Just post a query. Someone will answer and give you the benefit of their experience. It’s a warm, supportive community with an enthusiastic cheering squad. I’m proud to be an honorary citizen of the Cove.

L. A. Kelley writes fantasies with adventure, romance, humor and touch of sass. Her newest release, One Enchanted Evening, comes out on September 29. You can find her at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A ghost story in Lobster Cove

Rory DuMont has had enough of hiding the fact that she sees ghosts. Lobster Cove is a new start and she's determined to shed the mistakes of the past. If that means she ends up alone then so be it. What she can't seem to shed is Travis Reed, Lobster Cove's resident skeptic and biology teacher. Sparks fly when the skeptic and the psychic find themselves alone together but the sparks turn into flames when a ghost takes a personal interest in them.

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 124
Word Count: 32560
978-1-62830-684-2 Digital

To Purchase


Rory blew out a breath. “If I tell you yes, I’m messing with you when I say there were ghosts here tonight then you’re okay with that. You’re comfortable with it. If I tell you no, that there really was a ghost, two in fact, here tonight, then the train derails and you run for the hills.”

He stared at her for a moment with a thoughtful look on his face. “Tell me what you believe you saw.”

“The truth?”

Travis nodded. “The truth of what you believe you saw.”

“That’s a very guarded way of putting it.”

“No. It’s a very scientific way of putting it. I can’t know what to think if I don’t have all the evidence.”

“Fair enough. I saw two ghosts.”

“Whole images?”

“One fairly solid, a little boy and one kind of wavering, an older woman.”

He watched her face as she said it, and Rory held her breath, waiting for the sneer that had always accompanied any talk of her gift in the past. She would be sorry to see him walk away. Even though it had only been a few weeks, she realized she’d come to enjoy his company. Part of her knew she’d been hoping for something more, no matter how much she told herself she wasn’t going to do another relationship. Still, it would hurt, and she steeled herself for the good-bye. At last he nodded.

“Okay, you saw two ghosts.”

“You’re not headed for the door.”

“The kids aren’t packed up yet.” He grinned. “And the train is still on the tracks, Ms. DuMont. Nothing’s derailed yet.”

“Willing to take a chance on a crazy lady, is that it?”

Rory found she didn’t like the words even as she said them. Something about the idea that he would stick around to find out how crazy she was didn’t feel any better than the idea he would walk away because he thought her crazy.

He stepped up to her, and before she could blink, he’d planted a hard kiss on her lips. As he moved back, she could only stare at him, not certain what to say or if she should say anything at all. He shook his head.

“Willing to take the time to find out about a beautiful and very interesting lady that I’ve become attracted to.”

“Wow. That makes me sound worth the effort.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Enchanted clothing has a mind of its own...

New in Lobster Cove

Enchanted clothing has a mind of its own. Restlessness plagued Charlotte Becker. While searching for an elusive something to calm her turbulent spirit, she accepts a sudden invitation to Lobster Cove, Maine. Luke Maddox’s hunting days are over. Wounded in action, he returns to Lobster Cove, the only place to ever bring him peace. Hiding his disability, he accepts life will be nothing more than dull routine until he meets a young woman wearing an unusual cloak. She tells an incredible story of a murderous wolf that walks on two legs. And the hunt begins…

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 226
Word Count: 54600
978-1-62830-636-1 Paperback
978-1-62830-637-8 Digital

To Purchase


Swallowing back her unease, Charlotte rolled up the window and got out. Except for her car, Main Street was empty. She pushed through the scrubby overgrown yard. Clearly illuminated on the door was the By Appointment Only sign. Somebody must be inside and she wasn’t going anywhere without a tow truck. Butterflies fluttered about her stomach as she scampered up the steps and knocked on the door.

“Excuse me,” she called out. “I don’t have an appointment, but my car and phone died and I need a tow—”

The door swung open. Charlotte drew in a breath and set a hesitant foot over the threshold. The interior lights activated, sending her heart pounding.

“Nothing to worry about,” she muttered. “Motion sensors or something. Hello?” she called louder. “Anyone home?”

Charlotte stepped inside. With the interior illuminated, more than a few armoires were visible. The old front parlor was crammed with trunks and bureaus. Battered chests stacked on top of each other lined the walls. Had all this stuff been here before? The size of the building was deceptively small from the outside.

“Great places to stuff a body,” she muttered.

“That’s true,” said a voice.

Charlotte made a leaping half spin around. Her heart shouldered her esophagus out of the way to race up her throat. She swallowed hard to force it back down. The elderly woman with the peasant blouse and purple bandana stood right behind her.

“However, I don’t recommend it,” she said, cheerfully, “as you’ll never get rid of the smell. Did I startle you?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 26, 2014

A tall, dark stranger has secrets....

  After her husband is killed, single mother Julie Whitney opens Julie’s Coffee and Sweet Shop.  Suddenly, her business partner and baker falls ill and she needs a new pastry chef.  If she doesn't find one fast, she'll go bankrupt.

The mob wants Gabe Vaughn dead.  Sleepy little Lobster Cove seems as good a place as any to hide.  The red-headed owner of the coffee shop needs help; Gabe's family owned a bakery.  He could think of worse ways to occupy his time while he lays low.

On one hand, Julie is convinced heaven answered her prayers when she needed help the most.  On the other, the tall, dark stranger with secrets in his eyes has made it clear he is only passing through.  Is her mysterious new employee hiding something? Or is he really an angel in disguise?

To Purchase

Rating: Sweet
Page Count: 200
Word Count: 46120
978-1-62830-642-2      Paperback
978-1-62830-643-9     Digital


He took her lips with his and kissed her deeply.

Did that mean he loved her, as well? She wouldn’t ask. “I don’t want you to go. What if they find you? What if…?”

“No more what ifs. I’ll be fine.”

He hugged her close. Julie thought her heart was going to break. Gabe could die. What would she do? “You’d better be.”

They kissed again. And again. Until Julie’s head was swimming, her body crying for release.
Instead of doing anything about it, Gabe gently pulled away and walked her to the door. “Once I’m a free man, we’ll take up where we left off.”

Moments later, she found herself outside his door, her keys in her hand. Dazed, she looked at him, couldn’t believe he was sending her home when she wanted to stay.

“I’ll see you in the morning, Julie. I have more to do now than ever before.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll be gone a few days. I’ll put as much pastry as I can in the freezer so all you’ll have to do is frost the cupcakes and put out the cookies. You’re a whiz at making the tarts, so they’ll be no problem. It’s the best I can do.”

“Oh, Gabe. I don’t care about any of that. I just care about you.”

“Call it my way of caring about you.”

He kissed her lightly on the lips. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

His door shut, and she stood there, unable to move, unable to absorb the story he’d just unfolded.

She’d known all along Gabe was a man of mystery—a dangerous man. Her instincts were right on that score. But a cop? One who was hunted by the mob? It was unreal.

She walked slowly to her car. She wanted to cry, but her eyes stayed dry.

She had to trust what he said, that he’d come back. Could she?

She hadn’t known when he walked through her front door that she’d fall in love.

Her heart trip-hammering in her chest, she started the motor and drove home.

Gabe was leaving.

Would he keep his promise and come back?

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 25, 2014

He's all wrong for Lobster Cove...

Branson Cudahy is as southern as it gets, a cyber crime investigator from happily-landlocked Lexington, Kentucky. He has been chasing a hacker for three years, and now the trail has led him to Lobster Cove, Maine...which is a real problem for a guy with a shellfish allergy.

Jenna Sanborn waits tables to pay the bills, but she dreams of opening a quilt shop in the heart of town. She’d never even think of leaving Lobster Cove, but the handsome newcomer is tempting beyond her wildest imaginings.

Bran and Jenna never expect the whirlwind romance that comes out of their meeting. As hard as they fight to control their feelings, their hearts are fighting to push them over that dizzying lover’s leap. Will love win out, or will the hacker—and their dreams—slip the net?

To Purchase


He released the orange then pivoted to gaze down the street. He had a stare like a hawk, surveying everything, but clearly on the lookout for something particular as he swept the passersby. Jenna wondered what wheels were turning in his head. Then she wondered what “business” had brought him to town. “Did you find the police station all right?” Nosy, she scolded herself as soon as the words left her mouth.

He didn’t seem to mind. “Yeah, thanks. Listen, since I’m new in town, I could use a few tips on where to go and what’s good to do. Can I grab you a coffee?”

Flustered again, she gestured at her grocery cart. “Milk. Ice cream. Frozen vegetables.”

“Not a stalker,” he said, “I promise.”

“I didn’t think that.”

“Yeah, you did. It’s okay.” He smiled. “Best coffee in town?”

“Sang Freud,” she said automatically. “Up the street on the left.” She grinned. “It’s hard to get lost here. There’s not much town.”

“All right, Jenna,” he said. “Tell you what. I’m gonna be there about four o’clock. If you want to meet me there and talk Lobster Cove, I’ll be all ears. If not, no pressure.”

She giggled. Giggled. Like a teenager going to her first concert with a cute boy. Mortified, and now convinced that her cheeks were as red as a stop sign, she backed away. “I’ll keep it in mind. See you later, Mister Cudahy.”

His grin sent a flutter through her midsection. “Bran.”

“Okay. Bran.” She waved goodbye, then hurried off down the street with her groceries and would-be-truant oranges.

As she walked, she sensed his gaze on her, and she beamed, flattered and flustered, and for once, feeling beautiful.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two Heroes Walk Into A Bar…Diary of a bartender

You see all kinds of people in my line of work, and I have a fairly keen eye for the troublemakers. Last week, I thought I’d have to bring out the bat.

Some people think I’m crazy—the front of my bar is a large painted window—but I like to keep an eye on who’s coming, and how. For example, a single motorcycle, no problem. But a half a dozen or so at once, and my guard goes up.

Oz arrived alone. Six and a half feet of muscle packed tight into jeans and leather. Bald with dazzsil
ling blue eyes. Ouch, he was hot! He sat down at the bar, told me his name (polite guy), and ordered a whiskey.

I got busy serving other customers, so I’m not sure how long it was, maybe thirty minutes, when bright headlights flashed in the window. Pick-up truck. I can tell by the height of the lights. And dark. Probably black. The door opened and in walked this huge, gorgeous Native American. All dressed in black, his long hair hung to his shoulders. I couldn’t tell who was bigger, Oz or the new guy, but let me tell you my warning light went on when the man-in-black sat at the bar two stools down from Oz.
Beer. Big and cold, he ordered.

I served it up, and looked to Oz. He seemed pretty engrossed in the t.v. playing above my head, but I planned to keep an eye of them both. Just in case.

I glanced over from time to time, but as the bar got busy, I lost focus. I was down at the other end when Oz got up and tapped man-in-black on the shoulder.

Oz said something.

Man-in-black stood. (Almost the same height, by the way.)

I inched closer to the bat as they moved to the centre of the bar. I closed my hand around the cool wood grip.

Oz picked up a pool cue, handed it to man-in-black, and picked up a cue for himself. I let go of the bat.

Later, when I went by to see if they needed a refill or anything, they were deep in discussion about….women. It sounded like they were both in fairly new relationships and were feeling one another out for advice.

Maybe my judge of character is slipping.

You can read about Oz and Angela in Charlotte Copper’s SILVER BLADE, and you can find out more about Mitch (the man-in-black) and Sarah in Charlotte’s latest release, HEART SHIFTER.

Charlotte Copper

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Perfect Timing by Lula Diamond

Lula Diamond - Author of Chaos Conquers All

“Is this a good time to talk?”

It’s a question that thoughtful people ask when they call you on the phone, or pop into your office, or catch you resting your forehead on a stack of papers. Usually they don’t want to talk as much as have you listen. Plenty of people don’t bother to ask but come barging into your business, ready or not. If it really isn’t a good time, I’m not shy about letting folks know—or taking a bathroom break that becomes an escape. I have important things to do, deadlines, meetings, children to pick up or drop off, groceries to buy. In short, I’m busy.

But there is one group that consistently refuses to give me a break. They interrupt at the most inconvenient times and refuse to be silent, put it in an email, or ‘hold that thought’. They have absolutely no boundaries and could care less if I’m in the middle of something else. Many a time, I’ve stepped dripping from the shower to grab an index card and a pen because these voices will not shut up. Or I’m in the middle of a relaxing drive with some good music, and the next thing I know I’m hearing an argument or watching two people go at it like cats in heat. Honestly, have they no shame? I cannot safely operate heavy machinery in the middle of a sex scene. And try getting a good night’s rest with this group. Good luck. Just as you’re ready to drift off, one of them pipes up with a blackmail scheme, a heart attack or a car accident. All drama, all the time. Except when I’m ready to put fingers to my keyboard.

Of course, I’m talking about my story characters, those rascals. They will not be ignored and if you make them wait, they sulk. Silently. So I’m the lady sitting in the grocery store parking lot in the summer heat surrounded by my melting frozen vegetables scribbling on my receipt, or the car that swerves off the road not to use my cell phone but to write a scene on an old McDonald’s bag. It’s a good thing I keep a lot of trash in my car. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to hear from them. They are a gift. They make me hoot with laughter, grind my teeth when I can’t get their story straight, and tear up when I finally understand them. I love those guys. I just wish they had better timing.

To Purchase

Lula Diamond

Monday, September 22, 2014

An Interview and Cover reveal with Debbie Taylor

Jess Russell
Cover reveal with Debbie Taylor

As a writer you spend hours and hours imagining your characters, living in their skins, coming to know and love them (despite the fact that my hero is obsessed with clocks and my heroine can’t hold a tune in a bucket). You embrace all their quirks and faults.

But will the cover artist assigned to your book have the same vision as you?

I won’t lie, there are equal amounts of eager excitement as well as finger-gnawing trepidation when you receive the email that the “face” of your debut novel is ready. You close your eyes and hold your breath, your finger hovering over the “open” icon. Will your heroine have three arms? (Yes, this has happened!) Will you fall in love on the spot, or perhaps learn to love this face, or simply grimace and bear it?

Click. Breath expels. Yee Haa!

I am one of the lucky ones. I had Debbie Taylor of The Wild Rose Press as my artist for The Dressmaker’s Duke. Debbie created a rich, painterly cover with two yummy lovers—my Olivia and Rhys. I proposed some minor tweaks and Debbie listened, took my suggestions and ran with them.

The process got me thinking about what goes into creating a cover. At The Wild Rose Press, an author fills out a detailed Cover Art form—what your H & H look like, the setting(s) of the book, a brief synopsis of the story. You can submit covers you admire and get as detailed as you please. But ultimately the publisher/artist know what works and sells.

Today I have Debbie as my guest to talk about a day in the life of a cover artist.

Hi Debbie. Thanks so much for joining me.

How did you come to be a cover artist?

Deb: I have been a graphic artist for many years starting in TV commercials, media, and business advertising. However, it wasn’t until I started writing and publishing my own books that I began paying attention to cover art. I hated what was out there and so I started learning how to make my own. That is why I like working closely with the author. With my 30 years in business and advertising I know what sells. I enjoy creating a cover that pops and that the author loves. Covers are just the wrapping to all the work the author put into writing their book. I am always honored when they choose me to create their cover!!!

What is your inspiration?

Deb: Photos, music, color. I have always loved to see paintings and see every little detail. The magic is there with every stroke of pen or brush.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Deb: I have a lot of artist friends but no favorite one.

How do you begin a cover?

Deb: I ask the author to fill out a cover art form. I get a good idea what the book is about from the input. That is how the cover design forms in my head. They I try to work that image on the cover.

Do you work in layers?

Deb: Yes I do work with layers, many of them. Every change I make is on a new layer. It keeps changes simple. :)

Do you begin with the main figures? Or does it change with every new project?

Deb: I start with the background and work forward. This helps with placement. Those things never really change in any project. What changes is concept, and font. I work for many different companies and each one has their own wants and needs for the cover styles they like. :)

About how long is the process?

Deb: That depends on the concept and the author. For the most part a few hours but at times(very few) the author can be very picky, not know what they want, or not answer communications. I had one take six months to finish. But we got it just right. :)

Do you work with models? If so, do you have a favorite model story?

Deb: Yes I have worked with models but not often. We have lots of fun.

I actually modeled for a romance poster (long ago!) I just remember the male model being very tall (I think my head fit under his armpit.) We ended up having me stand on an apple box. I didn’t mind, it made my legs look very long.

What do you love other than art?

Deb: Music, writing, and gaming!!! LOL Life is awesome. :)

OK, you have to tell us what is your game du jour?

Deb: LOL a few I enjoy are World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Halo, GhostRecon, Fable, Final Fantasy. I normally don’t have time to play much, but they spark my imagination. And as a published author of 7 books and a cover artist, gaming can be very helpful.

I will tell my son that. He will be thrilled.

Deb: Thank you for asking me to join you on your blog Jessica!!! I was so thrilled and honored. I can’t wait to read your new book The Dressmaker’s Duke.

Thanks, Debbie. September 26th! I can’t wait for it to come out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Silly Questions Got me in Trouble by Vicki Batman

Some of you may be wondering who these singers are; however, once upon a time, they were the rage. I am familiar with them and some of their songs, particularly Tom’s “What’s New Pussycat?”

What do these singers have to do with me? I knew you’d ask. Lol

Several years ago, I was returning from a funsister trip with girlfriends when one of them suggested playing car games. (Yes, we groaned.) We were pooped—champagne, late nights, cake, laughs, movies, chocolate, and shopping. The fun things girls do!

So with minimal coaxing, we each took a turn answering. My reply was Englebert as I thought he seemed sexier and Tom was wilder. My other friends picked Tom. Guess they were wilder!

Then my friend tossed out this question: Write the opening paragraph of a book, using the word window.

Panic set in. I am not a spontaneous writer. And if I had some spontaneity, I wanted it to be stellar. So the others—thankfully—went first, giving me time to try to pull something together. My turn came, and all eyes rotated to me. Yikes! I still had nothing. Nothing nothing. So I shrugged.
My friend said that I could write something the following week and email it. Put on the spot, I agreed because I knew my galpals: they would hold me to it.

Two days later after I’d mega cleaned my house because my men had trashed it, I found a bit of time to sit and try. Hands poised over the keyboard, I thought and wrote the word window. Then came:

A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

I liked that—a lot. So I kept picking and piddling and editing and revising and lo and behold, I had eight chapters. Ohmygolly! But what does one do with eight chapters?

I phoned my game friend and asked her to lunch. I explained what I’d done and how I felt and here you go. Panic and surprised washed over her face, but she took the disc and went home.

Two days later, she was back, returning my disc. She said two words, “Keep going.”

I was shocked. But I did. And finished. And learned. And grew. I busted boundaries I’d locked inside of me for a very long time.

When my son was small, Handsome and I had visited a secondhand bookstore because I wanted more Dick Francis mysteries. I’d just discovered him and adored his style. Handsome asked why I liked them so. I confessed my deepest desire, “I wish I could write like him.”

I don’t write like Dick Francis, mostly because I know squat about horses. I write like me—funny and packed with emotion. That is what’s in Temporarily Employed.

And with great glee, my friend is taking all the credit.

Has a friend ever prompted you to pursue a secret desire?

To read more and pre-order click here

Vicki Batman
Sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Winding Path to Becoming a Writer

As with most authors, “becoming a writer” didn’t happen overnight for me. There has been a lot of patience, hard work, and unexpected twists in my life path, to get here. Now that I am here, I find being a good writer is a moving target. I’m constantly striving to improve, to stretch myself, and hone my craft.

I have always loved stories. As a child, even before I could write words, I drew pictures to make stapled, construction paper books. Once I learned to read and write, there was no stopping me. I joyfully read aloud to anyone who would listen, memorized fables and myths to retell, and began writing my own creations.

At sixteen I tried my hand at becoming a novelist. I almost finished that first one, before teenage life distracted me, and I put it away. It’s just as well, as the writing was not great. Over the following years I tried twice more. In my mid-twenties I managed to complete my first fully-realized book, an epic-fantasy adventure.

In the meantime, I got married, had a child, got divorced, went back to school as a single mom, got remarried, and became a teacher. Needless to say, there wasn’t much time in all that for writing. I managed to complete some short stories, a few of which got published in literary journals.

I enjoyed teaching art and special education both. It was a deeply satisfying career, though the writing urge still nipped at my heels. During breaks in the school year I would dabble, even starting another two novels, before realizing I just didn’t have the time to complete them. Teaching, (even more so with special needs students) is an all-consuming occupation. Especially if you love it, as I did.

Three years ago, my health gave out. It was partly a result of overworking and also being exposed to so many cold and flu bugs. I spent my last teaching year struggling against a series of viruses. This triggered an auto-immune reaction in my body. I became seriously ill, so much so I could barely get out of bed, for weeks on end. In time I was diagnosed with auto-immune thyroiditis and chronic fatigue syndrome.

With the help of an excellent specialist, (I will be grateful to her forever), I have learned how to manage my condition. I have regained a portion of my earlier health, though I still function within challenging constraints. One of the limitations is that I can no longer teach.

Giving up my work with children was painful, but I began to recognize a new path was opening. With my medical condition, I have to work at something with flexible hours, and preferably from home. It just so happens my bliss, my life-long passion, WRITING, fit the need perfectly.

Once I saw writing as a profession, rather than a hobby, things began to happen. In the fall of 2013, I sold the first book of a fantasy/romance trilogy, Dragon Clan, to The Wild Rose Press. The novel, Dragon Wife, released August 2014, and the second, Dragon Warrior should release by early 2015.

It has been an exciting time, leaping into the world of publishing, with so much to learn and so much to do. I love being able to share my stories. I have ideas for many more, and now I will have the time and means to write them. It is a blessing for which I will never stop being thankful.

Diana Green

Thursday, September 11, 2014

He's back in Lobster Cove....

Another Man's Son

by: Glenys O'Connell

Kathryn Morgan broke Ben Asher's heart when he returned from military service in Afghanistan to find she'd married her boss, wealthy banker Ket Morgan Jr.

Ben vowed he’d never return to Lobster Cove but now, seven years later, he is back as an undercover FBI agent sworn to expose the Morgan family’s criminal activities. Will his vow to bring down the notorious Morgans extend to the woman he still loves?

When Kathryn’s son is kidnapped, she is forced to swallow her pride and reveal the secret of another man's son. Can Ben protect Kathryn and her son from Ket and his sinister friends, or will old hurts and secrets destroy them all?

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 180
Word Count:45900
978-1-62830-618-7    Paperback
978-1-62830-619-4      Digital


He should have known she’d come to see him. Women like her treated men like something they’d wipe off the soles of their shoes. Once a man got them out from under his skin, they ran back to try and get that old itch scratched again.

He schooled his expression to show none of these thoughts as five minutes later one of the deputies, Roy Webb, showed a pale-faced Kathryn into the office. Ben thanked the deputy, then silently indicated that Kathryn should sit on one of the hard, uncomfortable visitor chairs before returning to the file he was reading. Or pretending to read—the sight of her took his breath away, and he watched her covertly from under his brows. Dark rings under her eyes accentuated her paleness. She was thinner than he remembered, dressed in an expensive designer suit in a pale oyster color that accentuated her pale skin and luminous green eyes. Her features had matured and she had developed a poise that suited her. The pretty girl he had known had become a stunningly beautiful woman.

Finally, when he could put it off no longer, Ben signed his name with a flourish, placed the paperwork back into its file, and dropped it in his out basket. He leaned back in his chair, met her direct gaze, and asked, “What can I do for you, Mrs. Morgan?”

Something flickered across her face at his tone, at the slight emphasis on her married title. She pushed back a stray lock of hair with fingers that shook a little, but her voice was even as she replied. “I’ve come to you because I need help, Ben.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

My Desk is Where Magic Happens

My desk is nestled in a corner where my back is to the rest of the room, and I can gaze out a window. My desk is where magic happens. Every time I sit down, I escape into an unknown world and write the whisperings of my heart.

On my desk, I have reminders of the three little boys I love. The seal beanie baby is just like the one I gave my youngest nephew a couple of years ago for Christmas. He takes his everywhere, so I leave mine on my desk. Whenever I see it, I think of him. My oldest nephew gave me the green Power Ranger to put on my desk to fight writer's block. Lastly, the Green Bay Packers little football dude (my favorite team) is from my god son. These three souvenirs stay on my desk at all times!

During each holiday of the year, I get creative with my desk, so it never looks the same. I especially love to create a haunted desk for Halloween! The wall behind my desk also changes frequently. The new project I am writing is set in San Francisco, so I put up a map of California and a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge.

You may also find one of my four adopted cats sleeping between the screen and keyboard. I call them my writing buddies because they like to keep me company during my writing jaunts.

My career begins at my desk, where I am sitting right now, because this is where I can bring my dreams to life. The entire world is at my fingertips here.

Chrys Fey's eBook, Hurricane Crimes, was published by The Wild Rose Press. They will also be publishing her novella, 30 Seconds, September 10th 2014. Her flash fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Freedom Fiction Journal, and Inner Sins magazine. Her blog, Write with Fey, is dedicated to helping and inspiring writers.