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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Writing Down the Bones: Ten Things You Should Know about Editors Pat 2 @barbbradley

Here's the second installment of Ten Things You Need to Know about Editors (Whether You're Published or Not) Written by Paula Ekyelhof. I know, I know, I should have posed this a while ago. Sorry it took so long.
 As usual I'm going to try to put them in my own words.

6.) Editors care about their authors and there books. Now this is written for the brick and mortar houses where the editor can push your book for you. In the electronic world your book is edited by your editor from their home. There is no fighting for shelf space so each book is treated equally.

7.) This is your book not the editors and we want to keep it that way. It's not our job to rewrite your book the way we would do it but the way we think you should do it.

8.) We want your book to sell as much as you do. Understand that your editor, cover artist, anyone involved in your book gets royalties just like you do. If it doesn't sell we don't get paid.

9.) We can each you a lot. A good editor can help you sharpen your writing. We catch those things that you can't see notice patterns you might not.No matter how seasoned you are always eep an open mind and be willing to learn.

10.) As an editor I'm always hoping your book is the next great book. The one that takes readers by storm. The one that you can't put down. The one that makes me forget to edit because I'm so caught up in the story I forget to do it.

Publishing is hard of the author as well as the editor. It can be harsh, and a bit cruel but we're all an optimistic bunch.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Welcome My Latest Guest! Jannie Lund @jannielund

I want to welcome Jannie Lund! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi, Barbara. Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.

I’m from Denmark, and I’ve been fortunate enough to publish my work in English and Danish since 2008. When I’m not writing—and it does happen from time to time—I love reading, cooking, and exploring history in books and out in the real world with my camera and a notebook. I’m very creative, which mainly comes out in crochet, various paper arts, and needle felting.

Tell us about your latest release.

I’m releasing my Morello Cove series this year. The first book, Vintage Dreams, was released in February, the second one, Dreams of Home, will be out in August or September, while the third and last (for now anyway), Dreaming With You, is set to be released at the end of the year. In Vintage Dreams, the scene of Morello Cove is set, and two very stubborn people come to terms with the fact that they’re meant to be together when Scott comes to town with one goal—taking away the dream Danielle’s worked so hard to come true. Sparks fly! In Dreams of Home, a wounded soul is healed with the love of a good woman.

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?

Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. I know. He’s horrible, truly horrible. And I probably only liked him at first because he’s played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the TV-series. I love the vulnerability portrayed, though. It slips through the cracks from time to time, and to be able to write a character with so many despicable actions, yet make him seem vulnerable, is amazing. George R. R. Martin does that so well.

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

In the unpublished Madigan River series I’m currently writing, one of the Madigan brothers, Julian, has captured my heart completely. He’s an angry, broken young man, who desperately needs some love. I also have a real weakness for Jake in my Morello Coves series. If you’ve read Vintage Dreams, you’ll know him already, and in the third book he’ll get his chance to shine for real. 

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

I write contemporary romance, mainly because that’s what I read. Initially, it was the dream of writing historical fiction that made me start taking my writing seriously, but I have a healthy dose of respect for writing historical, as I have a background in history and am afraid of writing against sources without intending to. I will follow the dream one day, though.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’m working on a new series, currently battling the beginning of book three. It’s tentatively titled Madison River and features the dashing Madison brothers and their troubles with siblinghood, romance, and getting along in general.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I think there’s a basic need in humans to tell stories. As a child, I stuttered a lot and had a difficult time getting the words to come out of my mouth. So to tell my stories, I wrote them down. I never stopped.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. A cliché, I know, but it’s true. I see something, hear something, feel something, and then I twist it. Ask “what if?” a lot, and out comes an idea. When an idea for a book, a scene, or even just a line of dialogue suddenly pops up unexpectedly, it’s the most exhilarating feeling.

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

That I’m Danish might surprise some. I’ve experienced it a lot, and it’s as big a compliment every time. 

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’d like to think I have a talent for juggling writing in two different languages at the same time.

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

Before I wrote my first novel-length manuscript, I read a university level book about the craft of writing fiction. I felt so smart afterward. Then I discovered that I could apply none of it to writing what I wanted. I like good advice, but what’s more important is that you find your own way and what works for you. No two authors work exactly the same way, and perfecting your own method is your life’s work. The most important piece of advice I’ve ever received is to never stop writing though. If you do, what’s the point?

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

James Joyce. We’d have a couple of pints and discuss Dublin, my home away from home.

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

I honestly can’t think of a specific one. I tend to jump from genre to genre depending on what I’m writing, and while I listen to a lot of music, most of the time I have no idea which bands or artists I’m listening to.

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

Oh dear. It always makes me unpopular when I say it, but I genuinely dislike animals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fly, a puppy, or an elephant—I just don’t like them. I’m also allergic to the furry ones. But I guess if I had to choose one, I’d say a mountain goat. Imagine hopping around from rock to rock in the Pyrenees. I think I’d like that.




                                    VINATGE DREAMS Excerpt
Chapter One

Danielle fussed with the delicate, cream colored lace and took a step back to let her critical eyes take in the dress she’d been up half the night finishing. Not that there’d been any rush to get it done, but whenever one of the dresses she created started to take form, she felt a burning need to see it complete and on display at the boutique. Adding the turquoise and mother of pearl necklace completed the vision, and she took another step back. A smile bloomed on her face and satisfaction spread in her body. The dress looked exactly like she’d envisioned when she’d first put pen to paper, and that exact moment was her favorite in the whole process.
“Fleur. Come look at how awesome we are.”
Danielle’s best friend, business partner, and sister in all but blood came out from the back a moment later. She looked in a bit of a daze, which meant Danielle had interrupted her work. She almost felt bad, but then she looked back at the perfect vision of romance and dreams her dress and Fleur’s jewelry made. Fleur would forgive her the interruption.
“What?” Fleur was usually the picture of gentleness and patience, but she became mama bear when someone got between her and her work.
“Look,” Danielle said.
Fleur looked, and Danielle watched the sun rise after a stormy night on her friend’s face. The annoyance gave way to awe and pleasure. “Wow. We did good, Dani.”
“We did better than good, honey. We did amazing.” Danielle slung her arm around Fleur’s shoulders and kissed her cheek.
Danielle and Fleur had been fourteen the first time they’d created something together. Danielle had altered a thrift store dress with her grandmother’s old sewing machine and a few yards of lace, and Fleur had made a necklace for it out of lace scraps and pearl beads. They’d been prouder than peacocks, and from that moment their future had been decided. They had worked hard to learn and to save money, and the result was Annata, the boutique they’d opened on the boardwalk of their hometown of Morello Cove in Monterey Bay. Initially, they’d discussed if it was the right location to sell pricey vintage dresses and handmade jewelry that matched, but they had decided against moving the operation to the city. A wise decision, it had turned out. Women traveled far for the right outfit, and after two years Annata was a definitive success.
“It looks like a dream, doesn’t it? A romantic dream full of moonlight and dancing without music.” Fleur sighed happily.
Danielle squeezed her shoulder. “I’d have said that it’s a piece of art, but your description sounds better. What are you working on this morning?”
“The black garnet pieces for the burgundy satin dress. And the sunrise this morning inspired me so much that I sketched two different wedding sets. Not sure why I see them as wedding sets, but I do. I’ll show you later.”
“I can’t wait.” Danielle looked at her watch. “All right, go hide in your cave. We open in ten minutes, and Susan and Trish will be here any minute.”
“All right. Call me of you need me.”
Danielle nodded, knowing she wouldn’t. There would have to be a code red crisis of epic proportions before she called Fleur out to assist with the customers. Fleur hated it, preferring to hide in her little workshop in the back. She wasn’t even comfortable coming out to say hello to customers who wanted to meet the woman behind the stunning jewelry they bought. Fleur tolerated it, but only barely. Danielle spent as much time with the customers as she did making her dresses. She’d trained Susan and Trish, their two employees, and they were equally at ease with the customers as they were carrying out Danielle’s strict orders stitching hems or beading skirts. They were absolute gems.
When the two arrived a few moments later, Danielle spent a few minutes going over the plans for the day with them. Weekday mornings were usually pretty slow, so she sent both Susan and Trish out back. Trish was helping her with a wedding dress that had a train with an unbearable amount of glass beads, each one stitched on by hand. Danielle couldn’t wait to see it finished. Fleur had created a diadem that resembled a crown of light when its gems sparkled, and Danielle almost envied the yet unknown bride who would wear it.
Susan was asked to deal with the fabrics that had come in earlier that morning, so Danielle had the front of the boutique to herself. This meant that she fussed, corrected a lace collar here, an earring there, and made sure that every dress and every piece of jewelry shone in its own right.
The bell above the door jingling put a smile to her face. As much as she loved creating, finding the right body for her own and Fleur’s creations was exciting, too. However, when she looked up, the body in the door opening was not ever going to fit into one of her dresses, Tall, dark, and handsome came to mind, although that did not do the man justice. Tall, yes. Dark, yes. Handsome, no. More than handsome. Sexy. Devastatingly so. The short, black hair and the icy blue eyes made a stunning combination. The black slacks and white shirt was not enough to hide the muscles beneath, and when he smiled at her, a dimple emerged on the left side of his mouth. She fought the urge to sigh dreamily like Fleur so often did in the presence of real beauty.
Danielle, puzzled at the quivering sensation the stranger invoked in her, pulled herself together and smiled a welcome. If this guy was considerate enough to buy his wife or girlfriend a handmade dress and handmade jewelry, he was pretty much perfect in her opinion. And he hadn’t even opened his mouth yet.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Welcome my latest Guest Rosemary Morris!

I want to welcome Rosemary Morris Multi-Published historical novelist.

Tell us about your latest release.

I am delighted to announce that my *5 Regency, romance, mystery and suspense novel, False Pretences, has been published by Books We Love, and is available as an e-publication and a paperback.

“Five-year-old Annabelle, who does not know who her parents are, arrives at boarding school fluent in French and English. Separated from her nurse, with few memories of her past, a shadow blights Annabelle’s life.
When high-spirited, eighteen-year old Annabelle, who is financially dependent on her unknown guardian, receives an order to marry a French baron more than twice her age, she refuses. 
Her life in danger, Annabelle is saved by a heroic gentleman, who promises to help her discover her identity. Yet, from then on nothing is as it seems. To protect her captivating champion, broken-hearted, she is forced to run away for the second time.
In spite of many false pretences, even more determined to discover her parents’ identity, Annabelle must find out who to trust. Her attempts to unravel the mystery of her birth lead to further danger, despair, unbearable anguish and even more false pretences, until the only person who has ever wanted to cherish her, reveals the startling truth, and all’s well that ends well.”



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?

Viscount Ravenstock, who appears in my novel Far Beyond Rubies, set in the early 18th century in England is my favourite villain. He is a libertine, who challenges anyone who casts the slightest slur on his reputation to a duel to the death, and takes pride in his expertise with a sword.

In spite of Richelda Shaw’s determination not to obey her half-brother’s order to marry Ravenstock, when she met him, “she could not help gazing at the viscount, whose cheeks were delicately tinted blush-rose pink, giving color to his milk white complexion. Perhaps marriage to him would not be as bad as she imagined. To be successful, a womaniser must know how to please her sex, and more than likely, Ravenstock was gentleman enough to treat his wife with respect… Every feature of the earl’s heavenly countenance conspired to belie his shocking reputation.”

Ravenstock is as determined to marry Richelda as she is determined not to, but when he proposes he is honest.

“ “Why do you want to marry me?” Richelda asked.
“Would you believe me if I said you have captured m’heart?” He scrutinised her. “Ah, judging by your icy expression, you would not believe me. I suspect you are the rarest of creatures, a clever young lady”…“Mistress Kemp, instead of courting you with sweet words, I shall be honest. Please believe me when I, a connoisseur of beautiful women, say you are so exceptional that I might fall in love with you.” He tilted his chin. “Who knows whether you might reciprocate my love? It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that we could sail on the sea of matrimonial felicity.”
Richelda shook her head, unable to imagine sailing on any sea with him.

Ravenstock intrigued my fans. He would like to be the hero in another novel, and I am trying to decide whether or not to grant his wish.

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

Kate, Countess of Sinclair in The Captain and The Countess., set in early 18th century England.

Kate, known as ‘the fatal widow’, an acclaimed beauty, is mentally strong, and wealthy, but, behind her façade, in fashionable early 18th century English society, is a lifetime of pain. If she is to find happiness and peace of mind she must put the past behind her.

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

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed reading quality historical fiction and studying historical non-fiction, as well as visiting places of historical interest. My profound interest in times past led to my writing historical romance, mystery and suspense.

4.) What are you working on now?

I am writing a series of novels which take their titles from the nursery rhyme, which begins “Monday’s Child is fair of face.” Sunday’s Child and Monday’s Child set in the ever-popular Regency era, will be published by Books We Love as e-publications and paperbacks. Each novel is independent of the previous one, but some characters provide the link between them.

I am now working on Tuesday’s Child, which is set in Brussels between Napoleon Bonaparte’s escape from Elba and the Battle of Waterloo.

5.) What got you to start writing?

My imagination was vivid even when I was a small child. For years I made up stories. At school I always received excellent marks for English composition and essays that I enjoyed writing and excelled at. In my early twenties I wrote my first novels, which remain unpublished. Real life intervened. I had no time to write, but an imaginary world lived with me, and I knew that one day I would write more novels.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

The plot usually arises from historical non-fiction. For example, I read about Charles II’s brother James II. Most of the country did not want a Roman Catholic king. The majority of those, who knew him disliked him as a man, and his countrymen and women deplored his politics.

After James fled to France, his daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange succeeded to the throne. After their deaths his younger daughter, Anne became queen. However, the peers of the realm had sworn an oath of allegiance to James. Some of them refused to pledge their loyalty to James’ successors while he lived.

What, I asked myself, would happen to the children of those noblemen who did not swear an oath of allegiance to the crown during James’ life?

In my novel, Tangled Love the heroine goes from riches to rags to riches, and the hero, who has been brought up in France, comes to England after the deaths of his father and his king, James II.

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

I was born in England, lived in Kenya for twenty years, then lived in an Ashram until I returned to England.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I am a keen amateur organic gardener. Although my front and back gardens are small, I grow fruit, herbs and vegetables as well as flowers, shrubs and trees in the cottage garden tradition. My home grown produce is put to good use in my vegetarian cuisine.

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

At a time when I thought I would never be published a dear friend, a successful novelist, told me not to be discouraged by rejections because, one day, I would be published. Encouraged I kept on writing.


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

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whose translations of classical literature, such as The Bhagavadgita As It Is, and their purports, are fascinating.

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

Off hand, not a song, but the 23rd psalm. The Lord Is My Shepherd. With faith in the Supreme Lord I do not want.

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


I don’t want to come back in any form; when I leave my present body I want to go to heaven.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Welcome my Next Guest Regina Paul! @reginapaul

I want to welcome Regina Paul. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi Barbara,

I'm happy to be here today. I live in Seattle, WA with my husband of twenty-seven years, and work in a busy hospital for my day job. I've been writing my entire life, and my first published piece was a poem when I was ten years old.

I write speculative romance fiction which basically means I love to mix genres. I write everything from sweet to erotic. When I'm not writing I love to read, color, go to powwows, create Native American beadwork, create paintings in the whimsey style, create digital art, and spend time with my husband, not necessarily in that order.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is actually an adult coloring book called Pretty Mandalas. It has twenty-five mandalas for coloring. This is a relatively new venture for me, but I love drawing and creating mandalas, so I'm hoping my readers enjoy them as well!

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 Zetara, the villain in my book Alien Deceptions. Why? I think because even though I wrote her, I had a hard time predicting what she was going to do in the book, she was constantly surprising me.

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

Honestly, I don't think I could pick a favorite character since I love all of my characters, but if I absolutely had to pick a favorite, for now it would Rain from my upcoming release The Last Jumper. Why? Because I can identify with him, he's Native American, was raised with Native American spiritual traditions and he's endured a lot of really difficult life experiences. I can relate to his emotional pain very well.

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

Oh, man that's the thing I write in multiple genres because I can't just pick one, and I love to mix them. I have books that are Native American Romantic Suspense, Erotic Science Fiction, single partner, multiple partner and everything in between. About the only thing that is a sure thing is that most of my characters have Native American ancestry. I choose to write in multiple genres and to mix genres because my storylines just don't fit one genre by themselves.

4.) What are you working on now?

I'm working on polishing up a story I call The Last Jumper.  Here's the tentative blurb for your reading pleasure:

From the moment his family was murdered, Rain has been on a mission to kill or send back to hell as many demons as he can. To do so he has had to "jump" from one body to another, allowing him to live the equivalent of several lifetimes, and to follow humanity and the demons out into space. When Rain awakens, it is not in the place he fell asleep. It isn't even on the same planet, and there are no more Jumpers. He discovers that while he was sleeping the demons have been very busy.

Connor, Stephen, and Jessie are husbands and fathers. On a world where some men are able to procreate, quad relationships are the norm, and Jumpers are just a part of their ancient history, Rain is something of an anomaly. But maybe a welcome one. The three men take Rain home with them, and help him to recover, at least physically. It becomes clear though that Rain hasn't just been fighting demons outside himself, but ones from within as well.

Will these three men and their sons be able to help Rain heal? Love isn't part of the bargain for Rain or so he thinks, but bonding with Connor, Stephen, and Jesse may be the only thing that can save his new family and their world.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I've always loved telling and reading stories. I used to tell my friends and my younger brother stories. As I got older and began having my own ideas for stories (and believing I could do a better job than some of stories I was reading) I started writing them down. Eleven years ago I finished my second novel which became my erotic scifi romance Alien Deceptions.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere you can think of. I got the idea for Alien Deceptions from a dream I had. Sometimes I get ideas from asking "what if?" about particular scenarios. Sometimes I get ideas from movies and TV shows, or books I've read. I've even got ideas from looking at photos online and asking myself about the people or animals in them.

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

I'm actually a very outgoing person. My characters tend to be rather introverted, and I'm exactly the opposite!

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Besides writing, I create cover art for authors and edit books. I also paint mixed media paintings, create 3D digital art using a program called Daz Studio, and create Native American beaded jewelry. Also I occasionally I fiddle with photography as well.

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

Never stop writing regardless of what anyone tells you about your writing. It was the one piece of advice that stuck with me because there are those out there who will tear apart an aspiring author's book, and not in a nice way, but in ways that tear you down not just as a writer but as a person. I ran into a few in my early career, and I nearly stopped writing forever. It was only when I hooked up with other published authors who had also experienced this, and who encouraged me to keep going that I kept writing.

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

Black Elk. I've always been interested in how to fit Native Spiritual traditions into modern life, so I would be talking to this elder about that.

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

Don't worry, Be Happy.

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

That's easy, a wolf.





Excerpt from Through a Dark Mirror by Regina Paul

“In the news tonight, several artifacts have been stolen from a Native American museum on the Warm Springs Reservation.”
Summer listened as the talk turned to the robbing of graves and how it was now a felony to do so. “Should’ve been made a felony from the get-go,” Summer said to herself.
The news moved from the topic of Indian artifacts, grave robbing, and recent thefts to the Iraq war, and that was when Summer flipped the channel again. Something light; I’ve had too much heavy stuff lately. She switched to the Disney Channel and watched as Cody and Zack got into trouble on The Suite Life.
She didn’t often have time for television, but when she did, she could usually be found watching one of the kids’ channels. The responsibilities of maintaining her shop were heavy enough without enlisting the help of nighttime television, although she enjoyed watching shows like Medium and Charmed. She found some of the newer episodes of Charmed to be rather hilarious, but missed the older ones where they’d stayed truer to the core of Wicca. Although everyone knew there was little there that could be termed reality.
Summer finished her dinner with the end of Zack and Cody’s antics, turned off the television via remote and decided to call it a night. It was only 9:00 pm, but she hadn’t slept well the night before, bent over her steering wheel and wondering how she was going to get some help. Leaving her cell phone back at her apartment was not the brightest thing she’d ever done.
She rinsed off her plate and glass in the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher. Preparing for bed was easy enough, what with the fact she had already changed into loose cotton pants and t-shirt. It was just a matter of settling in.
Summer turned on the bedside lamp, intending to read for a bit, and climbed underneath the comforter. It felt so soft against her skin, and the weight was just enough for her to burrow in and feel cozy. She picked up Dark Celebration, the latest in Christine Feehan’s Dark series, and prepared to be surprised at the turn the story was taking, only to fall asleep and fall into a dream.
Where was he? She wondered. She had been watching for him for hours while she worked on the wounded. Had he been wounded or killed? Her heart clenched at the thought; she wouldn’t be able to bear it if he had.
Her energy levels were waning, and she called on the Spirits to help her to replenish them. At the same time, she laid her palms on the ground, allowing the energy from the wound to drain into Mother Earth. With this action she felt the minute pain pass through her as well. She continued the song she’d been singing beneath her breath, and flushed the wound with fresh water once more before packing the opening in the man’s side with dried purple coneflower root to prevent infection, and wrapping it with clean elk skin.
She left the lodge, her eyes quickly scanning the horizon. Where was he?
A branch from a tree outside Summer’s window scraped across the glass, wrenching her from the strange dream. She sat up with a start, the book she’d been reading falling with a thump to the carpet.
Summer went over the dream in her mind. She knew a little about Native healing practices, but nothing with the amount of detail she’d felt herself having in the dream. Afraid the details would escape her if she waited until morning to write them down, and feeling they were somehow important, she pulled a spiral notebook from the bedside table drawer and began recording what she could remember. It was a technique her Aunt had taught her when she was small and having nightmares after her parents were killed. Her Aunt had explained that if she could remember her dreams and write them down, even the scary ones, that she could then begin trying to understand what they were telling her.
Summer smiled fondly as she recalled her Aunt, gone for four years now. Her dreams had become more rich and detailed once she’d started writing them down. In time, the nightmares had faded away with the understanding she’d gained from recognizing the symbols within her dreams and what they meant to her personally.
However, she’d never had a dream where she appeared to be someone else and possessed knowledge that she did not have in waking life. She’d heard of reincarnation, of course, and didn’t discount the possibility, but since she’d never experienced anything that had led her to believe she had lived before, she’d filed away the information as a possibility not applicable to her.
Suddenly, the landline in the living room began ringing insistently. Summer threw back the covers and got up to check the caller ID. She glanced at the clock and saw it was 10:30 pm. Who could be calling at this hour? The few friends she had, and her many business contacts, knew better than to call her after 9:00 pm. When the phone rang twice more, she raced into the living room.
The caller ID screen on her wireless was blank, giving her no clue as to who it might be. Figuring whoever was on the other end was blocking their number, she hesitated before finally picking it up.
“Hello?”
Summer could hear someone breathing harshly on the other end, but the person didn’t respond. “Hello?” she repeated firmly, in case it was someone hard of hearing. This time someone answered her, but the language wasn’t English. The voice sounded like shoes walking over gravel, and there was a static sounding over it when the voice spoke.
 “I think you have the wrong number,” she said. Since the person wasn’t speaking English, clearly someone had dialed wrong. She had hung up and turned to go back to bed when the phone began ringing again.
When the caller ID was again blank, she turned off the ringer and made her way back to the bedroom, resigned to a crank caller. If the second call was from someone she knew, they could just leave a message on her voicemail.
Yawning loudly and stretching up on her toes before twisting from side to side, Summer heard her spine crack and laughed. The sound echoed eerily, startling her. While the building was old, it was odd that anything would echo, as though the rooms were empty.
The glow from her bedside lamp spilled into the living area, casting shadows on the walls and windows.
Her eyes glanced over to the bay windows in the south of the room. A chill raced up her spine when for a second, an image seemed to appear in the glass, and it was not a pleasant one. Whatever it was seemed to be nothing more than skin hanging off of a skeleton and glowing red eyes.
Summer put one hand to her throat, backing up. It can’t be real! she thought. The figure almost seemed to loom from the glass and enter the room. Her throat closed on a scream, but then she blinked, and the image disappeared.
She sprinted to the different light switches around the room and turned them all on before she felt like she could walk up to the glass and look out. Nothing. The parking lot beneath her two-story apartment and shop was empty, but well lit as usual. No one was walking around, and her Benz appeared unharmed by the illusion she’d seen.
The vision on top of the dream and the strange phone call had rattled her. What does it all mean, if anything? Were the incidences even related?
          For the first time, she was uncomfortable and didn’t feel safe in her own home. Summer wrapped herself up in a hug, for once wishing that she didn’t live alone. Maybe it was time to get a roommate…

Bio:

Regina Paul lives in Seattle, WA with her husband of twenty-three years. A long time resident of the Pacific Northwest, she cannot imagine living anywhere else, although she would love to see more of the world, particularly Hawaii, Greece, Australia, and New Zealand, not necessarily in that order. 

Regina has several books available which include No Place to Run, A Gift From Home, Lilly's Choice, Lilly's Christmas Surprise, Destiny's Choices, Destiny's Holiday, Through a Dark Mirror, and Frost, Flame and Flower. Regina calls her writing speculative romance because she writes across genres and heat levels depending on her mood.

When Regina is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading m/m paranormal romance, which is her all time favorite, writing, painting, creating Native American beadwork and  3D art. 

Regina loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to e-mail her anytime at regina@reginapaul.com

Regina's Links:



Newsletter for freebies and updates: http://eepurl.com/bhEOCL

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

To Series or Not to Series - that is a question! @barbbradley

I'm Back!

Sorry about Saturday, there was a small snafu - but don't worry the guest I had scheduled will be here in a few weeks. And I know, I promised the second half of the hand out I've been working on - 10 Things You Should Know About Editors (published or not) but I read something a couple weeks ago that has me thinking. Right, that's dangerous at times.

But...

I belong to lots of on line groups and will read a blog that catches my attention. I read several telling us (writers) to write our books in a series. That's what readers want. I've known lots of authors who have done well with series. They've built up a great following because of those books.

Then I read a blog a couple of weeks ago that said the word 'series' turns off readers. What? I did a little research and did notice several books that are part of a series had a little reminder that this was a book in blank, but they aren't tagged as part of a series. Does that make sense? Like with my series I'd say a book in the Vespian Way.

So which is it? I'll be honest the second one does sound a little more professional and I think it makes the book look like a stand alone even though it is part of a series, but I'm one of those readers who gets excited when I see a book in a series I've been reading.

I don't ave a problem with the word series, maybe because I know that it doesn't mean serials and I know some series are like serials where you have to read the books in order to understand what is going on.

I'd love to know what you think...

Barb:)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's Vacation Time!!!!! @barbbradley

Hi All!

I know I've been a little slack on my handout posts and I do apologize. I want you to know I have the second half of the 10 things to know about the editor almost done but I need to add the last one to finish it and haven't gotten it done yet. I also have another post I want to upload but again I haven't gotten it done.

There seems to be a pattern, huh?

Anyway I want to warn everyone that I am going on vacation so I won't have a guest this week and I realized that I've never offered any of my readers/followers to be a guest on my blog. So guess what? Are you a published author? Would you like to be a guest? All you need to do is e-mail me at ttromwriter at yahoo dot com and I'll send you the questions.

New release or a book from your back list doesn't matter to me. Genre or heat level doesn't matter either all I ask is that your excerpt is PG-13 because I don't have this blog locked behind a firewall.

The rest of the years is wide open so  hope to hear from a ot of you.



Barb:)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Please Welcome my Latest Guest Jean Lamb!

I want to welcome Jean Lamb! First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Tell us about your latest release.

Phoenix in Shadow is a large fantasy novel with a romance at the heart of it, though many of the branches go off in other directions. It is also the first of a series about the same fantasy world. Lady Idabel is a young woman with strong ambitions of her own, most of which have to do with revenge against the evil forces that destroyed her family, and the city that they once ruled. She has been raised in the Temple in Anyakora, and its leader is using her as a weapon, though she doesn’t really mind. Lord Treasurer Fennoy seeks her hand—but is he really the right man for her? Or should she vow herself to the Maiden, as the Priestess-Mother would like?

Then there’s Tar-Kapel Demytry, who knows he must marry, but hides a sad secret that keeps him from trying. He desires women, especially the tempting Lady Ardry—but fears he cannot have children. Who can heal his heart and release him from this curse? His friends include the aging spymaster Afac Stellin, who protected Demytry when he was a child from his ill-tempered father, and Dar Wolfraven, Demytry’s sword-brother and truest friend.

Demytry and Idabel must find each other in a world full of betrayal, the evil forces from the south who will do anything to keep them apart, and finally, love. There seem to be times, though, when even love might not be enough. They must find the courage to be honest with each other, and to survive the worst that life can deal to them.

This world, unfortunately, is full of graphic and sometimes sexual violence, and there are times when the reader might wonder if those who are guilty of it will receive their just deserts. Still, there is also hope, atonement…and always, there is love.

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?

The Penguin on Gotham is a very bad person and I should not like him. And yet, I do. He manages without any special superpowers except his mind and tongue, I am perpetually amazed that someone hasn’t managed to kill him yet. The first time I saw him, I was, “OMG, that’s Tom Riddle’s weird American cousin!” He has a hit or miss record on manipulating people, but even with that really strange psychiatrist doing his best to break Mr. Cobblepot, under extreme stress he bounced back. Ok, it was in a really creepy Norman Bates way of bouncing back, and I’m sure Fish Mooney really, really wants to talk to him again, but I can’t look away when he’s on screen.

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

Tonio Vitor, from Dead Man’s Hand. He begins as a typical somewhat spoiled brat (I think of him as Tony Stark’s younger, crazier brother) and then I put him through hell, from which he emerges as Ravin Gambrell, aka the Ghost. He was really fun to write, because even though he’s scarred up rather badly, he still does so many things competently (he’s way better at gambling than I am, just to name one). He’s sociable, highly emotional, doesn’t mind if he’s down on his luck or back up again, and can sail the Inner Sea all he wants. If only he could stop seeing ghosts. Or having people interested in that ability.

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

I write in several genres. So far, the only published ones on Amazon are romance and fantasy, but I have several books planned in other ones. I read very widely, and have 30 books planned, including a mystery series, an SF series or two, and even a Western saga series moderately planned out. The three fantasy books up now (Dead Man’s Hand, Hatchling, and Phoenix in Shadow) are all the beginning of their own separate series. Keeping track of everyone’s ages and other personal data as they age—well, that’s what spreadsheets are for, and I’m not joking. I worked a lot with spreadsheets in the past couple of decades, and they are your friend!

4.) What are you working on now?

It’s called The Dragon’s Pearl, and it’s the sequel to Hatchling. I already have a version of it done in Crappy First Draft, and will spend the next few months revising it. I take my young hero Tameron dayn Sidian, and dump him in a new land where he doesn’t know the language. Just for fun, he picks up a local children’s disease, only a lot harder, because he’s not acquainted with the local microbes. That keeps him in one place long enough to pick some of the language he needs to know, and that delay complicates his life in other ways, as well.

As a treat for making my daily quota of words for revising, I allow myself Candy Crush, or to play with a little fanfiction—I write Harry Potter fanfiction under the name of excessivelyperky on Fanfiction.net. Note: my husband is a chemistry teacher, so just *guess* who my favorite character is. I have both short stories and a really long one on that site.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I have always made up stories since I was a child. I just like getting paid for them now <G>. I began working on a story in the universe where Phoenix in Shadow takes place back in the 1980’s, because it was something to do that wasn’t school or babies when I was using the GI Bill to learn accounting. I became active in the National Fantasy Fan Federation back then, and also joined an Amateur Press Association (APA) called Imaginapa, and that was a lot of fun. I attended several SF conventions and knew I wanted to be one of the writers up at the front of the room sitting on a panel. The print publishing world has become ever more interesting as time went by, and I thought I would rather publish my books independently rather than spend a decade or so trying to submit them to print publishers (Baen Books, one of the few SF places that looks at work without an agent, once took a year and a half to look at and return an earlier version of Hatcling). So instead of playing agent roulette, I went the Amazon route, and have had both low and fairly decent sales (some people will buy anything with a dragon on the cover, God bless them!).

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

I get free movies in my head of stuff that hasn’t happened yet. Sometimes I run scenes from more than one character’s point of view, so when I switch to that character, they already have an opinion of what happened to someone else. I could so write holo-novels!

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

That I once learned how to do a barrel roll in a T-38. See, I was in Air Force ROTC, and as a cadet went on four weeks of field training (which is basically boot camp for officer wannabes). Part of that training involved going down to Webb AFB (no longer with us, think the cockroaches finally took over) and getting to sit the in the back seat of a T-38, a training jet, and seeing how well our stomachs held up to Fun Flight Maneuvers. Fortunately, mine was just fine, so I got to learn a few things, and even got a little bit of simulator time to play Take Off and Landing Without Crashing. Alas, I was two inches too short for navigator school (this was back in the old sextant days, and for some reason people had objections to me becoming a flying nunchuck during turbulence. Hey, I *said* I’d wear heels…). So I spent four years in the Air Force flying a desk and having the NCOs wonder if I was really old enough to be out of school yet. But flying is just way cool.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I can mimic voices, and when someone speaks or talks, I can feel in my throat and mouth where and how they are speaking or singing. Also, I love to dance, and it’s very easy for me to choreograph any kind of music. I once won an Undanceable Music dancing contest at a science fiction convention, because if there is sound, I can move to it. Music just feels nice inside me.

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

(uses high-pitched Thermian voice from Galaxy Quest: “Never give up! Never surrender!”)

Seriously, no writer really knows what is going to hit and what isn’t, so you may as well write what you want to write and hope for the best. And always do your best, no matter how horrible that one writer you know who is making bazillions out of his or her last book even though it patently sucks royal as far as you can tell. Your voice can only come through more clearly if you take the time to do it right, and I think we all know what that really means (although, if after the last rewrite you hate the characters and want them to all die, you are better off going on to Warcraft and whacking some orcs before going back to the manuscript). A book is worth the extra work it takes to make it good.

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

I would love to talk to Oprah Winfrey, because establishing a career is still different for women than it is for men, most of the time. She struggled with an early family life that was quite unpleasant, and still managed to create a wonderful life for herself (also, she struggles with her weight, too, so we could pass each other dieting and exercise tips). Seriously, she overcame some huge hardships to become the woman she is today, and I would love to find out how she set priorities when, at time, they were set for her by others.

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

Rhapsody in Blue, by Gershwin—it has quiet moments, loud moments, sentimental moments, jazzy moments—it contains an awful lot in just 16-18 minutes (depends on the version how long it is, there’s quite a lot of improvisation there which also describes my life pretty well).

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

A swan. Though awkward-looking as hatchlings, they grow into grace and beauty. Plus, those wings and beak are wicked strong. I live near a very large lake, and a friend of mine lives where she has the lake in her back yard. She can’t have picnics because the local swans come up into her yard and demand to be fed. Ok, perhaps I’ve revealed too much about swans…but I still like them anyway.





Excerpt:

Idabel never forgot the horror of the burning city.
            Cleophis once sat peacefully in the mountains at the southern edge of the Phoenix Empire and overlooked the passes to the land of the enemy. Dar Nidas Idarlo and his Lady Consort Denali ruled the city and the territory surrounding it. Idabel had been a child then. She was excited when her oldest sister Minshall was betrothed to Tar-Kapel Demytry, even though Minshall herself was less enthusiastic.
            That had been over half her life ago. She was only eight when Cleophis fell to the armies of General Durchan, leader of the Dramen who lived to the south. Idabel had been the youngest of seven noisy girls. Now she was alone.
            As she sat inside the Temple in Anyakora, she relived the bumpy wagon ride barely ahead of the flames consuming her home. Father had wanted to send them away two weeks ago, and Idabel still remembered the argument she’d overheard.
            Father had been right. Now he fought with his troops to cover their retreat. Idabel sat in the wagon and saw nothing but the back of her mother’s head. Her sisters huddled together and moaned in fear, despite Minshall’s attempts to calm them. Shouting and the sounds of fighting filled the air everywhere around them.
            Idabel was more excited than frightened. Father had let her begin arms training a few months ago. Shosann, one of her other sisters, showed her some of what she had learned of weapons when no one else could be spared to teach her once the Dramen army began their siege. Now they had to run, though Idabel wished they could stay and fight.
            Lady Idarlo screamed and lashed the horses to greater speed. Idabel didn’t understand. Mama always told them to be gentle with the beasts. The wagon lurched forward. All of them shrieked in terror when something hit the wagon, and a spear point stabbed through the heavy canvas at the side.
            Idabel coughed from the smoke. This couldn’t be real. As if in a dream, the pins fell out of her mother’s hair, except for one at the top. The long, looped braids fell. Streaks of white hair winding through black looked like ribbons. Her mother’s face, usually kind with her olive-skinned, fine-boned beauty, was now a mask of fury.
            The wagon stopped. Then it moved again. Idabel could tell they were off the road now. She held her hands over her ears to stop the horrible noise. Wood cracked and popped as something battered the frame of their cart beyond endurance. Gigantic green-skinned warriors on horseback seized the reins from her mother, though Lady Denali struck them with her whip.
            Idabel struggled to move closed to her mother, but Minshall pushed her down beneath a leather trunk. Why did she do that? The heavy thing squeezed her, and she found it hard to breathe. She wiggled first one way, and then the other, to escape the pressure. I only want to help! Why won’t Min let me?
            The wagon stopped. Idabel heard her mother and sisters shouting, and then weeping. One side of her prison broke wide open, and she slid down to the ground along with the trunk. Dramen warriors in dusty armor rode by laughing, while others pushed her family into the dirt. How dare they! What did they mean by taking turns?
            She finally pushed her way out from under the trunk, scooped up a fallen dagger, and flew at the enemy with a scream of rage. They paid her no attention till her blade sank into a soldier’s leg. One sweeping stroke of a spear-butt sent her flying. The last thing she remembered seeing was a torch being thrown onto the shattered wagon.
            Idabel never knew how long it was before she opened her eyes again. At first she didn’t understand why she wasn’t in her room. Everything shimmered and her head ached dreadfully. Her dress was partly burned, while one of her braids was charred to a stump. Her face hurt on that side, too.
            The wagon—the wagon was gone. A heap of smoldering embers sat in its place.
            Idabel struggled to her feet and looked for her mother. Mama would know what to do. The soldiers were gone. She was glad of that. 
            She looked at the bodies on the ground without understanding at first. One of them had a green skirt, though it was now soaked with blood. Shosann always wore that color.
            The young girl was afraid to look at the faces. It was so quiet.
            She heard someone screaming. She wished they would stop. Then she realized why her throat hurt. She was the one screaming. She was screaming because the bodies on the ground were her mother and sisters—one, two, three, four, five, six—that wasn’t right. She had one mother and six sisters, that should add up to seven bleeding lumps, not six.
            Then Idabel forced herself to look at the faces, the frozen horrible faces. Minshall was gone. Just…gone.
            She thought she heard a whisper. Oh, merciful Mother. Mama was still alive.
            “Idabel,” Lady Denali murmured. Her mouth bled. “Look in my hair…under the left braid…”
            “Yes, Mama.” She gently lifted her mother’s head and searched through the filthy, crusted hair. She found a hard lump the size of a large bean under the braid’s beginning. She was afraid to yank on it. Her mother had other lumps on her head now.
            “Take it,” the dying woman said. “It won’t hurt much.”
            Idabel pulled it out, like a small bead sewn into a small cloth bag. She held it tightly in her hands, because she knew it was the Rose of Cleophis, a flaming ruby with a tiny flaw in the center like a miniature rose. It had been the talisman of the Idarlos for centuries. She didn’t understand why Papa didn’t have it with him, though.
            “Take it to your father,” her mother said. Then the light fled from her eyes. She was like everyone else on the ground now.
            It was quiet again. Mama had told her what to do. Where was Papa? He’d told them last night that they were going to Anyakora. Maybe the Tar-Kapel could help—he had a spymaster who told him everything, her father had said. Maybe he would know where Papa was. Maybe he could find Minshall, too.
            Anyakora was in the north on the map her tutor had shown her. I want to go home! But she couldn’t. The Rose was her responsibility till she could give it to Papa. Idabel took a few steps and fell down. That was silly, she was much too old to trip like a baby. She stood up and started again.

I would like to thank https://spittyfish.wordpress.com/ for my beautiful cover! She adapted one of her premades to my needs, and I am delighted with the outcome.