Okay so it looks like I fell off the planet. Promise - I'm still here. The last four years have been ... hard. There's no other word for it. Everything is fine. I'm fine, but I've been the caregiver of my mom who has Dementia. Between her needs, work, etc I seem to have lost control of my time. I am still writing and am trying hard to get back to my blog.

In case you weren't aware Phaze and HSWF which where under the Mundania Umbrella have closed. I was smart enough to get my titles back before all this happened. I'm happy to say the three books I sold to HSWF have been picked up by Melange Books and are available through their Satin Books imprint. I have even sold a new title to them called Magical Quest due out in 2022

I have also been lucky enough to find a publisher for my Vespian Way series. I'm now with Blushing Books under the name of Bethany Drake. I have five titles out with them right now and am close to submitting two more. There's Desire's Destiny, Desire's Duty and Desire's Promise. Then there is two in my werewolf series, Tears of the Queen and Legend of the Tears. I have just finished the rough draft of the third book in the series and have plans for a fourth one the moment I submit it.

I'll probably still be sporadic here on the blog. Unless I win the lottery and can hire someone to help me I can't avoid it, but know I'm still here still working hard in the background and am hoping to do better at keeping my blog alive.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: Interview Questions For Your Characters - The Secret Self

I found another great handout. This one is going to be hard to put in my own words because they are interview questions for your characters. The worst part is there is no author listed. I know it is from the 80-90's. So lets dive in. This is another one I'm going to break up into sessions so I don't overpower with too much info.

The Secret Self:

1.) What is your character keeping secret?

2.) What is your character lying about , ven if it only to themselves?

3.) How well does the character know themselves? Do they like themselves?

4.) What does your character secretly love?

5.) A casual acquaintance describes your character's personality? How would that discription be wrong? Why?

6.) In what situation is your character's self-esteem most at risk?

7.) In what sort of situation is your character scared?

8.) In what sort of situation is your character brave?

9.) How well do your character's friends know your character? Are they easy to know?

10.) What does your character's lover know about the character that no one else does? What kind of power does this give your character's lover?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest: Iris Blobel

I want to welcome Iris Blobel. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

A big hello to you, Barbara, and all your readers from this end of the world.

Who am I?

I’m a German girl who escaped the German way of life and is now enjoying the laid-back life style in Australia. I’m married and have two beautiful girls.

As you’d guess, yes, in my spare time I write and write some more, I read a little, and present a German radio program on our community radio.

Life’s busy, but fun.

Tell us about your latest release.

“Let Me Love You” is the second book in the Australian Sports Stars series. It’s all about baseball player Oliver, who’s met his coach’s niece, who he can’t get out of his head anymore. Even though his coach warns him “She’s off limit”, he’s never been one to play by the rules.

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 person that came straight to mind is the character Silva played by Javier Bardem in the Bond movie Skyfall. The long –uncut- monologue about the cannibalistic rats is intense (although creepy), his seductive tone when he talks to Bond is brilliant. He’s clever and intelligent, and a former secret agent.

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

I love each of my character, they’re like children to me. But if I really had to choose, I’d say Daniel from my first book Sweet Dreams, Miss England. He’s Irish, he’s a charmer, he’s caring, and he’s sexy … I loved him from the very start.

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

I write Romance.  The idea of bringing two people together makes my day. Even though I’d love to write crime or mystery as well, I’d be useless at it. I have the greatest respect for crime / mystery writer … any writer obviously, but more so those who are able to come up with an awesome ‘who dunnit’ story.

4.) What are you working on now?

I am currently writing on the third book in the Australian Sports Stars series. It’s the story about Markus, the third friend in the series.

I’ve also started a book, tentatively titled Echoes of the past, which is about a man who was born in Australia, grew up in the UK, but returns to his hometown in his late twenties, only to find out that most of his memories of this place is based on lies.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Boredom? Basically. I’d never considered myself as a writer / author. But one day I put my daydreams to paper and … voila …. years later I’m still writing. And loving it. English is my second language, so there are heaps of hurdles to overcome, but I work with two very generous and patient publishers who’ve given me a chance.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Life around me. You get ideas watching or listening to people. But I’m also in a small group called Tuesday Tales. It’s a group of authors writing to a prompt every week. I love it. It gives me heaps of ideas.

9.) Do you have any special talents?

I wish. I’ve got a photographic memory for faces. Does that count?

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

Never give up. Never ever give up. If one person doesn’t like your manuscript, so be it, if ten don’t like it, so bit it, but one day there’s that person who will … your time to shine will come!

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

Possibly Lee Child – asking him how he comes up with all the Reacher ideas, about his research, writing techniques etc.

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

Nena’s “Fragezeichen”

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

I love Dolphins, so I’d go with Dolphins.

 Let Me Love You
By Iris Blobel


Oliver Dempsey, pitcher for a Melbourne baseball club, loves the women, and they love him…

But he keeps them at an arm’s length, and when he meets Tamara, he’s unprepared for the attraction he feels for her.  Told by his coach that she’s off limits, only draws him in more.

Tamara Amis moved to Melbourne to find some distance between her past and herself…

With the help of her uncle, the coach of a Melbourne baseball club, she quickly finds a job, and a place to live. Yet, one meeting with the handsome pitcher stirs unexpected emotions that threaten to overwhelm her.

It’s Oliver’s injury that brings them together, but as they find out about each other’s pasts, how can they be ready to share a future?


Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Buy Links:

Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Aq2J7r

Where to Find Me:


Sweat ran down Oliver’s back, soaking his shirt. He’d been on the field for a couple of hours, but frustration grew in him with every ball he missed. He placed his hands on his knees and took a deep breath, fixing his stare at the ground. For Pete’s sake, he was a pitcher, not a hitter, and well known for his fastballs as well as his perfect curveballs. Alas, he had neglected his hitting. Today, his swing was below average, and, unable to focus, he walked over to the bench where he spotted Coach Becker shaking his head towards him.

Pointing his finger back towards the field, the coach said, “Head right back out there, Oliver. You need to improve your hand-eye coordination. I want to see more, and better.”

Oliver cursed under his breath. “It’s not going to happen. My shoulder’s killing me. It’s been a long day.”

Coach Erik Becker rubbed his face.

“It’s not gonna happen today,” Oliver persisted.

With a grimace on his face, his coach nodded.

"Righteo, call it a day. But I want you back out there again in the morning, though.”

Oliver eased off his gloves and shoved them into his back pocket, before removing his helmet.

The coach gave him a gentle slap on his back. “I need you to concentrate more tomorrow. Remember what I told you. You need to focus on your proper stance as well as swinging the bat. Keep your eye on the ball as it comes towards you. Try to connect the bat with the ball, preferably at the fat of the bat. We have a game coming up soon. Go and deal with the shoulder issue. Check in for a massage.”

Oliver wiped his forehead with his arm when he noticed a woman standing in the coach’s shadow. Raising his eyebrows, he nodded towards her as to ask who she was.

Erik turned slightly. “Oliver, this is my niece, Tamara. She’s moved here from Perth. Tamara, this is Oliver.”

Oliver extended his hand towards her. “Nice meeting you.”

She ignored his hand and took a step back. Taken aback by her reaction, Oliver instinctively checked his hand for dirt or sweat. Questioningly, he looked at his coach.

Erik ignored the situation and simply said, “Have your shower and see me before you head off to discuss your training schedule.”

Nodding, Oliver took another quick look at Tamara. For a brief moment, their eyes met, and he was puzzled by her expression. It seemed as if her intense blue eyes were trying to hide something. The distant look in them was almost mysterious, and combined with her body language, he couldn’t help but get the impression something was wrong. She was very guarded.

With one last look towards Tamara, Oliver turned and left.

As soon as he got to the locker room, he peeled off his t-shirt. Pain shot through him the instant he lifted his right shoulder. He’d been ignoring the twinge during the training session, but knew he had to have it looked at. The fucking skateboard rider had nearly knocked him over the previous day when he came out of nowhere. Oliver hadn’t had a chance to move out of the way fast enough and slammed his shoulder into a post.

He slowly stripped out of his track pants before grabbing a can of Coke out of his bag. Leaning against the wall, he chugged half of the drink while enjoying the quietness around him. Everyone else was still out on the field trying to please Coach Becker. He choked a laugh, hoping his mates would put Erik in a better mood than he had. They had a few important games over the next few weeks before the season ended, and for the first time in years, the club was doing well.

As he walked to the showers, he thought about his training session and wondered whether his shoulder was to blame for the bad hits, or his lack of training. But who was he kidding, he always liked to throw everything he had at people, yet was hopeless in receiving anything thrown at him. That applied in baseball and in life. When he’d been to see his first baseball game as a kid in Los Angeles, he’d known he was born to pitch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The Ten Commandments of Fiction Writing - Last post

Well here is the last two. I hope my comments helped you. Writing is always a learning process.

9.) Trust Your Editors: As an editor of a small press I agree. We work hard to make your book as good as it can be. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few authors win or final in contests with the books I edited. That lets me know I’m doing my job. I will put an author be aware on this. When you hire an editor for self-publishing be sure to do your homework. See who else they have edited. Make sure they are a good fit for you.

10.) There are no Certainties: This is so true. You could right the next Pulitzer and not be able to get a publisher to buy it. And as sad as this is you could write a ton of books, but not make what you thought you would and decide not to write anymore. I’ve heard some authors are making this decision. It breaks my heart. We all know writing is subjective. Someone will love your book no matter how many flaws and others will nit-pick every little detail.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Welcome My Latest Guest: Starla Kaye!

I want to welcome Starla Kaye. First, I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m very happy to be here today, Barbara. I wear many hats professionally and as a writer. I am the community coordinator for a Midwestern accounting firm, a gerontologist who volunteers with an active group of senior adults, a mentor/teacher of writing, and a multi-published author. I write romances of many sub-genres: contemporary, historical Western, medieval, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and Regency. To date I have published 20 novels, 38 novellas, 8 anthologies, and 18 short stories.

Tell us about your latest release.

Cowboys in Charge is a short story collection, which includes seven stories of strong, loving cowboys and the women who try their patience. This is actually a new, updated, much revised version of the collection first published in 2011. The stories are contemporary, erotic romance, western, with bdsm that is basically discipline spanking in loving relationships.

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 have many favorite villains in movies, but I’m going to admit I have a favorite villain from one of my own stories: The Great Scottish Devil (a medieval romance, from Blushing Books), Alastair Sutherland. In a vengeful act against Braden MacKay he stole Annabel (the heroine) as a baby and gave her to some traveling tinkers. Let’s just say he was not a nice person.

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

That is a hard question because I like all of them. During the writing process, each of them become friends, family, and special to me. Brody Durward, The Great Scottish Devil, is probably my favorite hero. He faced so many trials in his life: fighting in the Crusades, believed dead, returning to his home in Scotland without his memories, and finding Annabel, who doesn’t understand the word “cooperate.”

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

As I said earlier, I write in many romance sub-genres. I will admit that the majority of my stories involve cowboys, whether in the American West or contemporary. There is just something appealing to me about a good-looking man in worn jeans, a sexily tipped hat, scuffed boots, and having a somewhat gruff, stubborn personality. My women have got to bring them to their knees.

4.) What are you working on now?

I work on multiple projects at the same time, because I slip from one story line to another when I reach a “thinking point” while writing. At the moment, I am nearly finished with Trusting Love Again for Black Velvet Seductions. This is a contemporary story about an emotionally abused divorcee trying to start a new life by returning to her hometown. The hero suffered a cruel loss from his ex-wife’s betrayal. This is a story of challenge and recovery.

I am also working on a third story to go with my first two medieval books for Blushing Books (Maggie Mine and The Great Scottish Devil). The Highlander’s Rose is actually a contemporary story with ties back to the medieval stories.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve been writing for a very long time, but only seriously for the last twenty. I inherited my father’s imagination and just have to do something with it. I also mentor a lot of local writers and love doing it.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

My ideas come from things I’ve read about, places I’ve traveled to, or people I’ve observed. Story ideas are never something I lack. What I lack is the time to write about everything and everyone.

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

That I also write a cow romance series. My Blossom the Cow stories started out as writing exercises in a writers group I belong to and have continued on (per their request) just for fun. They’re really great fun to write. Now I’m rewriting them as children’s books.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I’m not sure I’d call them “special” talents, but I make small art quilts based on travel photos. I also make other small quilts: family collages, quilts of my books covers, and others.

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

Write because you enjoy it and don’t count on getting rich doing so. Sometimes writing is stressful, but I wouldn’t continue with this if I didn’t enjoy it. And I just want to make enough money to pay for the traveling I like to do. So far that is working out fine.

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

I know she is somewhat controversial, but I’d like to talk to Angelina Jole. She fascinates me with how she combines a big family life, her work as an actor, and with her work for others.

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

Let it go. Maybe that isn’t the actual title, but I love it. I don’t like to dwell on the bad things that happen to us all or in the world. I try to get along with everyone and them for who they are. And I forgive myself for my many, many mistakes through the years. I’m not perfect. So what?

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

I love so many different animals that this is actually a hard question. Maybe a cat. I’m pretty independent, but I like being with people, too. When I choose, how I choose. I’m free-spirited, but protective of those I care about.

Snowed in with Her Cowboy
James wants Kelly to quit work and start a family, but she resists the idea. Will he give up the idea of a family or will he give up Kelly?

Too Much Red at Christmas Time
Lizzie has a bizarre addiction to Christmas shopping and she can’t help herself, even knowing she will face the wrath of her husband who believes in domestic discipline.

For the Love of His Cowgirl
Amber missed the fun little games she and Adam used to play. There never seemed to be time for steamy sex, or even the spankings he’d occasionally given her for various infractions of rules or for misbehavior.

Could she entice him back, get the dwindling fires of their love going again?

Cowboys and Their Toys
Jennifer loved Jason and she’d trusted him as he led her into the BDSM lifestyle. But now he wanted to take things to a more intense level and she balked at it. Would she lose him if she didn’t agree to go 24/7?

Naughty, Naughty Cowgirl
Spankings had not solved all of their problems. Justin had known something was wrong with Nicci. He knew he should have tried to talk to her sooner, but he’d avoided that until she moved out and shattered him.

All I Want for Christmas (Biggest Prize Ever)
Krystal loved the bad-ass bull rider, but she wasn’t into sharing Ryan with all of the rodeo bunnies who lusted after him. She’d spent too many years living for his visits home. It was time to move on and find someone she could depend on to be there all of the time.

A Special Gift for Her Cowboy
Christina wanted time and attention from Joshua but he’d become sour, lost his sense of humor, rarely made love to her. He hadn’t even spanked her in months. She’s not willing to give up on her cowboy. Maybe a Christmas gift on the edgy side will help win him back.

EXCERPT – Snowed in with Her Cowboy

“Kelly, honey…” He hesitated because he didn’t want to fight with her, especially before she went into Kansas City for another long day of work.
“Don’t ‘Kelly, honey,’ me!” She stepped back into the closet. “We are not discussing this again! I’m not doing this to trample on your ego, cowboy. This isn’t about you. It’s about me.”
After three years of marriage, he had a pretty good handle on his wife. She liked her independence and he gave her as much as possible. She spoke her mind without much thought first, which he also tolerated for the most part. She was easily twice as smart as him in many ways, which he admired. Her biggest flaw was once she made a decision, she stuck to it, even if that decision proved to be a bad one. Like this job. He was tired of watching her come home exhausted from the tension of a frustrating day at the office. He worried about her on the hour drive back to the ranch.
“You’re wrong.” He set the steaming cup of coffee on the dresser next to the door. “This is about both of us. You’re my wife, dammit. It’s my job to watch out for you, to step in when you’re—”
“Watch it, macho boy!” She stormed out of the closet and tossed a skirt and blouse on the rumpled bed. Her brown eyes sparked with fire as she faced him. “I don’t have time for you to go all Man in Charge on me this morning. I still need to take a shower and get dressed.”
He curled his hands into fists at his sides. She’s tired. She’s stressed. But, damn, so am I! “Watch yourself. You’re pushing this old boy right to his limits.”
Her eyes continued to flash with irritation, her posture rigid. Then slowly she seemed to go limp. Her lower lip quivered. Tears glimmered in those weary eyes. All of the spit and fire went right out of her. “James,” she whispered.
What the hell? Her sudden change surprised him as much as it worried him. He moved in front of her, his irritation gone. He wrapped his arms around her and clutched her to him. He could stand a lot of rough things in life, but the sight of his woman in tears gut punched him. Tears after he spanked her for one reason or another was different, those he expected and understood. For any other reason, though, they unmanned him, made him feel helpless.
“Baby, I’m sorry.” He stroked her bare back, smoothed his hand over the wavy mass of long dark hair. Its silkiness, its sweet scent always got to him. But not anymore than the feel of her much smaller body in only lacy bra and panties did. His erection beneath his jeans immediately pressed between them. “It’ll be okay. I’ll make it okay.” How, he didn’t know.
She snuggled even closer, trembling. “I don’t deserve you.”

Book Title: Cowboys in Charge
Publisher: Black Velvet Seductions
Date Published: February 5, 2015 (original December 2, 2011)
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, western, bdsm
Heat Rating: 4


Social Media Links

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 commandments of Fiction Writing - Session 4:

7.) Be Critical of your work: You know others will be so you need to be too. The editing process (not the writing process - while in that process you just write) is where you have to use a critical eye to look at your work. Look at every scene and make sure it moves the story along. Make sure the words you’re using are the best ones to say what you want it to say. Does it flow properly? Are your words concise? Are your Characters likable? Is your villain strong? Is it three dimensional? Are you using all the senses? And the questions keep going...

8.) Develop Thick Skin: The writing world is filled with rejection. Editors will do it. So will readers and reviewers. If you don’t develop a thick skin some of those not so kind words will hurt and make you question your talent. People will cut down your work and sometimes is doesn't make sense. I once got a rejection letter from a publisher that was addressed to my husband. They took the name off the mailing label, totally ignoring the cover letter and cover sheet on the partial I mailed in. I've had not so nice reviews as well. Do they bother me, sure, but everyone is allowed their opinion and I try not to let them get to me.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Welcome My Newest Guest: Chris Redding!

I want to welcome Chris Redding. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m a published author of romantic suspense and romantic comedy.

Tell us about your latest release.

A View to a Nerd
Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes it pretty clear that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t talking… until a series of events convinces her she needs protection, especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both their lives.

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?

Lisa Gardner wrote a book called The Perfect Husband. The so called perfect husband is such a great villain that if I were to say his name many years after I’ve read it, it would still give me chills. No, I am not naming him.

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

I think Miriam in A View to a Nerd. She is most like me.

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

Mostly I write romantic suspense. I kept trying to write straight romance and people kept getting killed. I think it chose me. All those Agatha Christie books I read as a kid.

4.) What are you working on now?

Right now I am working on book one of a trilogy set on a winery. Three brothers in inherit a winery, but have to work there part of a year before they can do anything with their inheritance. Each brother gets a book and he has to find his place at the winery. Of course they will each find love.

5.) What got you to start writing?

I’ve been writing so long that I can’t remember that.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. I work part time at a winery so that’s where I got the idea for the winery trilogy.

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

That I can talk. A lot. My writing tends to be sparse so it does not reflect my personality.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I say what everyone in the room is thinking, but is unwilling to say.

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

Write every day. I did not believe it until I began doing it and it really does work.

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

Julia Child. I’d have her teach me how to debone a chicken.

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

Not sure there is just one song. Sorry.

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

A house cat. No one expects them to do anything, but sleep.


Waking up next to a dead guy can ruin your whole day. When a wise-cracking interior decorator wants to put her past behind her, the dead body of the mayor’s son makes her realize that won’t happen too easily. A conservative former computer geek for the FBI is holding on too tightly to his past. His wife died under suspicious circumstances and he believes the decorator has the information to solve the case. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t speaking until a series of events convinces her she needs protection, especially when her biggest secret threatens to destroy both of their lives. This was originally published as A View to a Kilt.


“I just got a call from the Commissioner. He talked to the Mayor. If you weren’t finished, you would be now.”
The detective grumbled, but obeyed the order, turning off the recorder.
The Lieutenant shook his head as he ushered Miriam out of interrogation and down the hall to his office. “I’m sorry, Mim.  He’s a little overzealous. He’s new at this.”
“I’m sure he’s just doing his job, and considering what the situation looks like, I understand his position. By the way, someone hit me on the head.”
Bob stopped to examine her. “Guess the killer wanted you out for the count. I’ll get someone to take you to the hospital to get checked out.” He paused. They both stopped to face each other in the drab gray hallway. No pictures adorned the walls. He shuffled his feet then looked at her. “May I ask what your relationship with Joe Waltney was?”
She stared up at him. His eyes found a spot on the wall behind her to look at then the floor.
“I’ve given you no reason to believe you have the right to be jealous. Haven’t I made things clear? I’m only interested in friendship.”
They stared at each other for a moment before he nodded his head as if in agreement.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Release by Katya Armock - Monica's Match


Monica has the ability to see a guy’s aura light up the first time he touches his soul mate, but she’s kept it a secret since her parents shamed her as a child. Still, she decides to start her own matchmaking company—even if she doesn’t advertise her unique ability. Business is so-so until she gets a call to find matches for the singles of the small town of Perry Grove. She’s not looking for love herself but has an immediate attraction to one of her clients. Too bad another woman lit up his aura.

Hunky dairy farmer Jeremiah wants nothing to do with his grandpa’s hare-brained matchmaking scheme but agrees to play along to appease the man who raised him.  But when he meets the sexy matchmaker, he starts to rethink his single status. Too bad she’s intent on pairing him up with another woman. If there’s one thing he knows, though, it’s how to be stubborn.

Buy links:


Monica Morgan slammed the door of her red Camry and kicked the offending tire for good measure. “Ow. Darn it!” Her sensible black flats were no match for the doughnut wheel. Smooth move, Sherlock. Get your head in the game. You need this job or your business is toast.
She took a moment for one deep breath then hurried to the entrance of the Perry Grove United Methodist Church. Before she reached the double door, it swung open and Ed Thompson greeted her with a kind smile. His white hair was a bit shaggier around the edges than when they’d met in person seven weeks ago. She’d spent that afternoon in Perry Grove meeting with only the town council, as she had a strict rule that she couldn’t come into contact with any potential bachelors or bachelorettes in public.
That edict had raised a few eyebrows, but in the end she had sold them on her “process” with no mention of the true reason for the rules. No one needed to know she saw a guy’s aura light up the first time he made physical contact with his soul mate. In a public setting, even one as small as Perry Grove, she ran the risk that more than one woman or man could brush against a man at the same time and mess up Monica’s aura-reading mojo. So she insisted on one-on-one intake interviews with each client early on. Then she oversaw each potential couple’s first contact with no other parties in the room under the guise of wanting to see their first impressions of each other in a closed environment.
Now that she was here for her extended stay, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson would be her hosts for the next month.
Mr. Thompson held the door for her. “Glad to see you made it in one piece. Lucky you were close enough you could make it on a doughnut, but now that you’re here, Sherman’ll get it fixed right up for you. He already ordered the tire. It’ll be in tomorrow.”
Pasting on her best professional smile, she headed down the walkway, hoping he hadn’t witnessed her meltdown. “Glad to be here and to see you again, Mr. Thompson.”
The crinkle around his cornflower-blue eyes deepened with his smile. “At your service. And I told you before to call me Ed. Now let’s get you settled. We have the bachelorettes from the dating pool in the fellowship hall downstairs and the bachelor in an adjacent room, as you requested. Pat Staley—she’s the church secretary in case you don’t remember her—called all the men for today to let them know the appointments have been pushed back a few hours.”
She did remember meeting Pat briefly, as she had made a point of recording everyone’s name, occupation, and relationships in the town. “Thank you for taking care of that, Mr. Thompson. I apologize again—”
He waved a dismissive hand as they reached the stairs. “Ed. And there’s nothing you can do about a flat tire except deal with it.”
She rolled her shoulders to ease some of her tension. She hated being late. “So your grandson is still up first, correct?” An involuntary shiver echoed through her just thinking about her first client’s dimpled smile and the striking blue eyes that stared at her from the photo she’d received along with his profile information—and how inappropriate that thought was. No dating clients.
“Don’t look so glum, girl. No one blames you for being late. Although, I should warn you that Jeremiah isn’t too excited to use your services. I have to admit I strong-armed him a bit, and he’s been stuck in the Sunday school room for a few hours. I was afraid if I let him leave, I’d never get him back, if you know what I mean.” He laughed and winked conspiratorially.
Well, that explained why he was one of the few clients for this job who hadn’t made the time to come meet with her at her office in Grand Rapids. This day just kept getting better and better. She focused on the steps. Grace wasn’t her strong suit, which was the main reason she wore flats for business and not heels. Not that she hadn’t tripped in flats before.
Mr. Thompson paused at the door to the fellowship hall. “Now, I don’t mean to scare you. He’ll behave himself. My wife and I are getting older, and we just want to see him settled and happy.”
Looking into his kind eyes, it was obvious how much he loved his grandson. The desire to help people find their happily ever after was why she was here—well, that and the money. With that pragmatic thought, her eyes lost their momentary mistiness. “I best get started. Point me in the right direction.”
He opened the door and ushered her in. She smiled politely at the single women and returned the wave from Edna Murray and Bea Walters, who were manning the refreshment station. She’d met the two older women during her planning session with the town council. Edna and her husband Gary owned the hardware store in town. Bea was a retired schoolteacher who’d appointed herself the town social coordinator and was Monica’s main contact for the biweekly social dances scheduled throughout her stay.
Ed also waved to Edna and Bea, then pointed to his right. “Down that hall. First door on the right.”
“Thank you.” She put on her practiced confident smile as she set off down the hall, her shoes making a quiet susurration on the threadbare, brownish carpeting. This was by far the most complex job she’d undertaken in the eight months she’d been in the matchmaking business, and she didn’t want to disappoint Ed or the other town council members. Everyone was so excited and hopeful that she’d find matches for their singles before any more of the younger generation gave up and moved away.
At the door, she paused and took a deep breath. She disliked the unknown of the meeting-the-client part of her job. Some had unrealistic expectations; others had no idea what they wanted. Some treated her like a therapist, and still others were just plain whacked. She’d yet to meet someone who had been coerced into the process as Jeremiah had. This was going to be fun.
Yeah, right.
She put her hand on the doorknob but paused again when she heard the murmuring of voices. Jeremiah should be alone, so she wondered if he was talking to himself. In different voices? Maybe he would fall into the whacked category after all. Or…
She flung the door open to see him seated on a table next to a buxom blonde with ridiculously high heels and an equally ridiculous low-cut top. Monica’s ire flared. “You didn’t follow instructions. I was clear that each client could not meet his or her potential dates until I was present.”
He didn’t flinch. Not a hint of remorse on his handsome face. “Monica, I presume? You were supposed to be here hours ago.”

About the Author

I like books that are funny and fun to read, but also make me think or look at the world in a new way. These days you’ll find me living my happily ever after in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. I love to hear from readers, so please come find me on the Internet.

                    Website: http://katyaarmock.com/
                    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katyaarmock

                    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KatyaArmock

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

I decided to keep this holiday clear from my interviews. Don't worry they'll start right back up next weekend, but I knew I was having family in town and trying to unload an interview while they were here would be a little beyond me.

I did want to take this time to wish everyone a Happy Easter. I'm so glad spring is finally here. I've had enough of the snow and I don't live in the north where they got far too much.

Enjoy the day. Try not to eat too much candy. Hey, I know. I did the same thing.

Last thing, try to write tonight...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing Session 3

Sorry I have been so sporadic. I'm hoping everything will calm down so I can get back to posting these great handout I have.

5.) Read – a lot: I agree with this. The one thing I find helps me with my writing is editing for another publisher. Most of what I read isn’t published books anymore because of my editing job, but boy has it made me a better writer. So read as much as you can. Everything and anything. Don’t just stick to one genre switch them out every once in a while.

6.) Stick to a Schedule: I can be a pretty good procrastinator. I think most of us are in one fashion or another. If you find you get sidetracked easily then you should set aside a certain amount of time to write every day. Try to do it at the same time each day. I know some authors who get up early to write, others write at night. And you don’t have to set a lot of time aside. Just fifteen minutes will do. You’ll find some days that fifteen minutes is all you’ll do, but other days that fifteen minutes will turn into several hours. Personally I start my writing around 8 p.m. and try to write until I go to bed. I get interrupted by my family but that is part of my routine and it works for me. Find something that works for you.