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.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meet my Latest Guest: Margaret L. Carter!

I want to welcome Margaret L. Carter. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

My fascination with vampires began when I read DRACULA at the age of twelve, and I started writing at age thirteen. From vampires and horror, I branched into reading all kinds of speculative fiction. Inevitably, I decided to major in English in hopes of getting paid for reading. I’m married to a retired Navy Captain, and in the course of our numerous moves, I earned degrees from the College of William and Mary, the University of Hawaii, and the University of California (Irvine). My dissertation, on the Gothic novel, included a chapter about DRACULA. I’ve had stories in various fantasy anthologies such as Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Sword and Sorceress” series. At book length, I was first published in literary criticism; after that, my first novels were SHADOW OF THE BEAST (from the viewpoint of a female werewolf coming to terms with her heritage) and DARK CHANGELING (from the viewpoint of a half-vampire coming to terms with his heritage—note the pattern?). My husband also writes fantasy. We’ve collaborated on a sword-and-sorcery trilogy, beginning with WILD SORCERESS, and a prequel, LEGACY OF MAGIC, was recently published. He’s the primary author on those books. We have four sons, eight grandchildren, and a couple of great-grandchildren, as well as two cats and a St. Bernard.

Tell us about your latest release.

In “Merry Twinness,” an erotic paranormal romance e-book short story with a Christmas setting, the heroine discovers that her lover has a secret he must reveal to her before he can formally propose marriage. It was inspired by the telepathic twin motif I’ve encountered in numerous SF stories.


“Bear Hugs,” an erotic shapeshifter paranormal romance e-book novella, has just been re-released in the trade paperback URSA MAJOR, paired with Lena Loneson’s “Alpha Mountie.”


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?

Hannibal Lecter. He’s incisively intelligent and cultured as well as, in a sense, utterly alien to normal humanity. (The prequel, HANNIBAL RISING, loses that last quality.) It’s impressive how, even though he’s manipulating Clarice Starling for his own purposes, he also proves himself to be a brilliant psychiatrist, who helps her work through the traumas of her past even while he’s in a maximum security cell (and, later, in the psychodrama he sets up at the end of HANNIBAL).

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

Roger Darvell, protagonist of DARK CHANGELING and CHILD OF TWILIGHT. He’s the earliest fully developed vampire in my published works, so I have a special fondness for him. As a forty-year-old psychiatrist suffering from dark cravings and a very strange midlife crisis, he discovers he’s actually only half human, his mother having been a member of a naturally evolved vampire species. He embodies my favorite fictional theme, the character who discovers hidden truths about his own nature.

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

I started as a horror fan and writer, then expanded into fantasy. I’ve also published several books and articles about the supernatural in literature, mainly vampires. Now I write mostly paranormal romance. From the beginning of my interest in horror, what really fascinated me were relationships between human and nonhuman characters. I wanted to read fiction from the viewpoint of the “monster,” which was much harder to find in my early years. When paranormal romance became a separate market category, I recognized it as the genre I’d wanted to read and write all along. (In fact, the first complete story I ever wrote, as a teenager, involved love between a man and a ghost.)

4.) What are you working on now?

The next-generation sequel to FROM THE DARK PLACES, a horror novel with Lovecraftian elements and a romance subplot published by Amber Quill Press. I started planning the current novel-in-progress over thirty years ago, before I’d even completed the first book, but I never got around to writing that sequel until now. I decided it was about time. Oddly, I now have the opposite problem from the one I had when I first plotted this work. Back then, while writing the earliest draft of FROM THE DARK PLACES, which occurs at the same time it was originally written (the 1970s), I contemplated its sequel as a near-future story, set about twenty years after the first book. I had to imagine a plausible future that would eventually be made obsolete by real life, no matter how accurately I guessed what those two decades would be like. Now reality has overshot my sequel heroine’s twenty-first birthday by almost twenty years! So I decided to keep her the age she needs to be, yet set the story approximately in the present; a 1990s time frame would simply confuse readers. I’ll include a prefatory note stating that the time lapse has been fudged.

5.) What got you to start writing?

After reading DRACULA at the age of twelve and delving into all kinds of speculative fiction, I started writing at thirteen because the library didn’t have enough books of the kind I wanted to read, particularly horror. What I really wished for, as I mentioned above, were stories sympathetic to the “monsters.” I devoured all the ones I could find, but in the 1960s they didn’t have a thriving market the way they do now. An occasional gem buried in an anthology barely satisfied my longing. So I wrote my own.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Mostly from other fiction that I admire. I yearn to create stories like the ones that especially enthrall me—but with my own slant.

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

I worked for over twenty years as a legislative editor for the General Assembly of Maryland, proofreading material very different from horror and fantasy (although some ideas the legislators come up with can be rather horrifying).

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Aside from writing? Other than being a meticulous proofreader, the kind of person who can’t help wincing at all the errors in published works, I can’t say that I do.

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

Not exactly advice, but support: When I had the privilege of briefly meeting Madeleine L’Engle, one of my idols, I told her I wanted to be a novelist. She said, “If you want to be a novelist, you are one.” The memory of that kind remark has encouraged me through the difficulties of pursuing publication.

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

C. S. Lewis, who’s near the top of my list of favorite authors of all time. I’d love to hear him read scenes from whatever he’d be working on now, if he were still writing. Maybe the story of what happened to Susan, left alone in our world after THE LAST BATTLE? Also, I’d like to ask his opinion of many changes that have occurred since his death in 1963, such as space travel (he was dubious about humanity’s spreading its corruption to other planets) and female clergy in the Anglican church (in his lifetime, he was against that).

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

“God Only Knows (What I’d Do Without You)” by the Beach Boys; it was released shortly before my husband and I got married, and it encapsulates my feelings about our relationship. If I hadn’t married a future naval officer, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today! I might have spent my whole life in or near the city of my birth. And without his encouragement, I probably wouldn’t have worked up to a PhD in English, in which case my writing career would have been very different if it existed at all.

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

Cat. Domestic cats have it made. Nothing to do all day but eat, sleep, and be petted, and unlike dogs, they’re not expected to cater to human commands.

Explore love among the monsters at Carter’s Crypt: http://www.margaretlcarter.com

At midnight on Christmas Eve, Nicole goes home with her lover, Cal, to spend the night at his house. Knowing he plans to give her an engagement ring, she hopes to find out why he hasn’t previously invited her to stay at his place longer than one night at a stretch. Before proposing, he confesses the truth he’s been hiding—a secret that may destroy their relationship or transform it.

Excerpt from “Merry Twinness”:

“Time for the special gift.” He plucked a tiny box wrapped in red foil from under the tree. “Wait,” he repeated when she reached for it. “Before you open this and answer the question that goes with it, I have something important to tell you. Or more like show you.”

His hesitant tone and the apprehension in his eyes chilled her. “So you do have a dire secret?” She didn’t quite succeed in keeping her voice light.

“I hope you won’t think it’s too dire. But it will come as a shock.” He set the box on the couch and clasped both of her hands in his. “Please don’t freak out.”

Footsteps muffled by the carpet sounded in the adjacent dining room. The door leading to it opened. A man stepped through, took three paces toward the fireplace and halted. Nicole blinked up at him, at first too stunned to process what she saw.

Cal’s double.

Except that he wore a University of Maryland sweatshirt instead of a pullover sweater with a white shirt and Christmas necktie, he looked identical to her lover. No, not quite—the mane that grew to just below his ears was less tousled than Cal’s but a bit shaggier, as if overdue for a barber visit. The clothes and hair, though, didn’t negate her first impression. She couldn’t doubt his identity. 

She sprang to her feet. “You have a twin brother? And you never told me?”

“I don’t exactly have a twin. I am twins.”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation The Romance Novel Pt 3 - Supportive Characters

A day late again but it's that time for me to work on the next section of the hand out created by Janice Bennett. This session we're dealing with those wonderful supporting characters.


1.)What secondary character(s) do you think you need to create for your manuscript to help your hero and heroine with their overall goal? What character(s) do you need to make that goal harder to reach?

2.) You must ask yourself if the secondary characters and their sub-plot necessary for the book? Is it strong enough to last the length of the book and not overpower your main plot? Does this subplot work well with your main plot?

3.) Are your secondary characters developed and believable? Will your readers remember them? Can you control them so they don't take over?

4.) Are these characters unique? Do they help move the plot along? Do they compliment or contrast each other and the main characters to make the story strong?

next week will be on story structure....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest - Dena Garson!

I want to welcome Dena Garson. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi, Barbara! Thanks for letting me drop in. I’m Dena - I’m a Process Improvement Consultant by day and an author by night. I write contemporary romance as well as paranormal and fantasy romance. In addition, I’m a mother of two boys who keep me on my toes - they play lots of sports and xbox every chance they get.

Tell us about your latest release.

Risky Business is a book I published with Ellora’s Cave a few years ago. But after getting the rights reverted back, I have re-released it with only a few minor tweeks (and a new cover). It’s a story about two co-workers who are drawn together during their company’s annual party because of a bet.

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?

Loki from the Marvel Universe. He’s one of my favorites because, like Snape from Harry Potter, you really can’t be sure if he’s a bad guy or a good guy. It keeps you guessing every time you see him.

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

I really enjoyed writing Katie from Ghostly Persuasion. The world building we did as a group (it’s a multi-author series) made writing the book fun. Katie just blossomed as I wrote the story.

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

Romance! I have several contemporaries, a couple paranormal and one fantasy. I just write the stories that pop in my head - it really isn’t a matter of choice. My only choice is which story I want to work on at the time.

4.) What are you working on now?

As soon as I finish edits to my newest contemporary and send it off to the publisher, I plan to finish working on a Native American/historical/paranormal story I started last year.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Actually, it was a conversation I had with my BFF. We both read a lot and exchange books. One day while we were talking about a book we had just read, she turned to me and said, “One of us should be writing this stuff.” I agreed so I began researching how to do it. I joined a local writing group, attended RWA National Conference where I could take a bunch of writing workshops and started putting words on paper. A few years later I published my first work with a local magazine. It was a couple more years before I published my first book with Ellora’s Cave.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas come from a variety of places - conversations with friends, scenes I witnessed while shopping, articles I read, or even lyrics from a song. It’s always the “what happened next” and “who are these people I’m seeing in my head” that drive the story.

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

I’d like to think there was a lot because I’d hate to be normal! It’s usually the other way around though - people who know me are surprised to learn that I write sensual romance. It’s really kinda funny! But I suppose most people are surprised to learn that I’m a Rock Chick. I love rock and roll - the louder the better - everything from Five Finger Death Punch to Rob Zombie to the Rolling Stones.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I do a variety of crafts but other than writing, my favorite pastime is making jewelry and other beaded pretties. I could play with my beads for hours.

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

“Give yourself permission to write crap.” That was from Candice Havens. I am a bit of a perfectionist - I struggled with my writing in the beginning because I’d get caught up in finding the perfect word instead of getting the story down on paper. I got nowhere fast doing that! Candice’s advice helped me mute my inner editor until after I’d gotten the first draft done.

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

Cleopatra. I want to know what the real story is and see how she lived her life.

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

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling (with Lzzy Hale). It’s a song about that feeling of being stuck and afraid of taking a chance but then you finally do. Love it!

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

I’d like to be a bird. I think the sensation of flying - the soaring, the dipping and diving, the wind in your feathers - would be fabulous. And the views you could see from up there! Oh, how marvelous!

Here’s the burb for Risky Business:
Mia Sanford has admired Jake Hudson from afar ever since she transferred to Marketing. She might be comfortable tangling with the company playboy in meeting rooms, but not in private. Facts and figures she can handle, but that blue-eyed devil is out of her league.

Jake was impressed with Mia, the sexy analyst who provides his monthly Marketing data, the first day he met her. Not only is she smart and reliable, she has legs that have inspired a few sizzling hot workplace fantasies. However, her girl-next-door demeanor and the company’s no fraternization rules force Jake to keep things strictly professional.

When Mia becomes the target of an embarrassing betting pool at the annual office party, Jake alerts her to the danger. But since he never expressed an interest in her until now Mia isn’t certain if he’s really looking out for her, or just trying to win the pool himself. If she trusts him, it might place both her reputation and her heart on the line.

Excerpt for Risky Business:

Thankfully, Mandy’s smug grin was hidden behind her glass when Jake stepped up to their little group.

“Ladies.” Jake’s deep, smooth voice rippled through Mia. Her skin tingled and her hair stood on end, as if to beg for his attention. She shifted her stance to adjust for the moistness she felt gathering in her nether regions as soon as Mandy mentioned Jake’s name.

“Jake,” Mandy said politely.

“Are those stiff accountants you hang out with behaving over there?” Robin asked.

Jake chuckled and looked over his shoulder in the direction he had come from. “For now.” He stepped closer to their little group and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone, but that’s the real party crowd. They’re just waiting for Patterson to leave so they can bust out their moves.”

Almost as one, Robin and Mandy leaned to the right so they could look around Jake’s broad shoulders. Jake and Mia shared a grin. When Robin turned back, it was clear she wasn’t sure what to believe.

“Are you serious?” Robin asked Jake.

“Very. Give those guys a little beer and a few wild women and you’d better watch out.”

Robin was looking more interested by the second.

Mandy elbowed Robin. “What do you think about going and introducing ourselves to some of Jake’s friends?”

“Works for me,” Robin said with a grin.

“You two aren’t really going over there, are you?” Mia asked in disbelief.

“Sure.” “Why not?” they said at the same time.

Mia looked at Jake for help, but he simply pasted an innocent expression on his face. Mia shrugged and said, “Whatever. Have fun, I guess.”

“Thanks for the inside scoop, Jake,” Robin said with a wink.

“See you two kids later,” Mandy added with a lift of her glass.

“And off they go,” Mia mumbled as she watched her traitorous friends weave their way across the room, leaving her alone with Jake. She turned and looked up into his eyes. Even though the lights were too low to see the exact shade, she knew they were the color of well-worn denim. “I hope you’re aware of what you unleashed on your pals.”

She considered the man standing before her. He was tall with broad, strong-looking shoulders. She knew he played ball with some of the guys in the office because she’d often heard them talking about the games over coffee in the break room. The way his shirts fit indicated he worked out. Add that to his classic blond hair and blue eyes and he was definitely drool-worthy, as Mandy would say.

The biggest question in Mia’s mind was whether or not he would ever see her as anything but an analyst with more opinions than boobs. Thankfully she had the data to back those opinions up.

“They may thank me in the morning,” Jake said with a twinkle in his eye.

“They might,” she conceded.

He stepped closer to Mia. Close enough that she could feel the warmth of his body radiating to her already flushed skin.

“Besides,” he lowered his voice and held Mia’s gaze. “It served its purpose.”

“What purpose is that?”

“To get you to myself.”

Buy Links







Dena’s social media links:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation: The Romance Novel - Part 2

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday. Time got away from me...

And we're back for another section of the handout I'm working off of. Once again this came from a handout created by Janice Bennett and I will be updating and putting my own spin on it.

Now we're going to the next section she labeled as the Hero and Heroine Profiles:

You want three dimensional characters. The more of their background you know the stronger your character will be. When stuck ask the next five questions.

1.) Is there a goal for your hero and heroine that can cause them to struggle or make a major sacrifice to reach that goal?

2.) Have you created internal conflicts that would tear your charcaters apart when a major decision must be made?

3.) Does both of your characters have that 'fatal flaw' that can make the opportunity to reach their goal difficult? Is it enough to to build suspense and make your reader doubt they will be successful? And make them happy when your hero and heroine are?

4.) Are your characters matched in their strengths, talents, skills, motives, desires and determination to create a strong conflict?

5.) Can your reader bond with them? Do they draw an emotional response from your reader?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Meet My Latest Guest Marilyn Meredith!

I want to welcome Marilyn Meredith. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

I’m the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, as well as other books. Tempe is a Native American resident deputy in an around the fictional town of Bear Creek in the Southern Sierra. My husband and I live in a similar area. We have a large family and are fortunate to have many of our offspring nearby. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and though I’ve written in many genres, nowadays I’ve been concentrating on mysteries. I’ve taught writing in many venues, including the Writer’s Digest School and the Maui Writers Retreat. I belong to Mystery Writers of America, three chapters of Sisters in Crime and I’m the board of the Public Safety Writers Association.

Tell us about your latest release.

Spirit Shapes is the latest in the Tempe Crabtree series and the official blurb is: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.

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?  

Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs) is no doubt the most sinister and scariest villain I’ve ever read about and watched in the movies made about the books. Just the fact that he pops into my mind whenever I think about a villain makes him the answer to the question. The fact that the fictional character was based on a real person makes him even scarier. In the books and movies, despite what he was capable of doing, he had a fascinating persona.

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

Tempe Crabtree is a favorite because she is based on three strong women: a Native American woman that I know, a resident deputy I interviewed for a newspaper article, and a police officer that I went on a ride-along with. All three women had attributes that I melded into Tempe. Because I’ve written so many books about her, she seems like a real person. I know everything about her, how she thinks and how she will react in any given situation.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I stick to mysteries now. I’ve always loved to read mysteries, beginning with Nancy Drew. Though I’ve written in other genres, creating a mystery is the most satisfying to me.

4.) What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished the latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery which I’ve titled Not as It Seems. My critique group still has to hear the final chapters before I do a final edit and send it off to the publisher.

5.) What got you to start writing?

My first writing efforts started before I could actually write—I drew pictures of my own stories. When I could write I started with my own version of fairy tales—starring fairies, went on to stories similar to the Little House on the Prairie books, and plays for the neighborhood kids to act in. As an adult, because I married young and had a big family, for a while I stuck to writing the PTA newsletter and plays for my Camp Fire Girls to perform. Eventually my children grew up and I began to concentrate on fiction.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

Ideas are everywhere: in newspapers, TV news, conversations (and yes, I do like to eavesdrop and it’s certainly easy to do now with folks talking loudly on the cell phones), and sometimes when I dream ideas for books I’m working on.

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

That I’m nothing like my main character, though she has some of the attributes I had when I was much younger. I’ve never been in law enforcement or had ambitions in that direction. However, many of my relatives have been or still are policemen or deputies.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

Over the years, I’ve done many things that I’m proud of and suspect took a certain amount of talent: I’ve taught children with special needs, disadvantaged kids, owned and operated a licensed care home for women with developmental disabilities, taught classes for adults about different phases of having a care home, I’m a good cook and like to make up recipes, and I’ve tackled many jobs that I’d never thought I could do and succeeded.

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

Never give up. If I’d let the many rejections I received when I started sending out that first manuscript discourage me I would never be where I am today with over 35 published books. I would add to that advice to learn as much about the craft as possible, and be ready to learn from criticism.

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

I’m never sure how to answer this question—there are so many.  Of course I’d love to talk to many of my favorite writers, and I’ve had the chance to do that over the years, but going into the past, it would be fun to talk to Agatha Christie and learn the answers to some of the questions you asked me.

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

I don’t know any of the popular songs of the day. And the songs that I do know are old—perhaps “Sentimental Journey” from the ‘40s.

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

A cat, because after a full and busy lifetime I’d be ready to laze around and be pampered.

Chapter 1

“Delia is nuts. She makes me so angry I could kill her.” The shrill outburst came from a slender woman not much out of her teens stomping into the dining room of the Bear Creek Inn.
The diners turned to stare at her, including Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband, Pastor Hutch Hutchinson.  He leaned closer to Tempe and asked, “Who is that?”
“She’s probably one of the movie people who are filming on the reservation,” Tempe said.
“She doesn’t look like a star.”
Hutch was right. The woman in question had a puff of short, curly red hair. Freckles polka-dotted a plain but animated face. She wore cutoff jeans and an oversize pale blue shirt that hung off one bony shoulder.
Claudia, the owner of the inn, came rushing after her. “Excuse me, dear, what can I do to help you?”  Claudia appeared to know the girl, or at least who she was.
She whirled around to face Claudia, but didn’t lower her voice. “Delia doesn’t like the food she ordered. She wants something else and she wants it right now.”
“Come with me to the kitchen. We’ll see what we can do for her.” While casting apologetic looks to the many other patrons as she passed, Claudia took the girl’s arm and led her away.
Hutch returned his attention to his dinner. “I wonder what that’s about.” 
“I’m guessing she is Delia West’s personal assistant. It sounds like she has a difficult job.” Ever since the movie company invaded Bear Creek, Tempe had been hearing rumors about the problems they caused. Thankfully, nothing she had to take care of in her capacity as resident deputy of the mountain area surrounding the small town of Bear Creek—at least not yet.
Hutch finished the last of his steak and pushed the plate aside.  He focused his gaze on Tempe. “I’m still surprised the Tribal Council gave them permission to film on the reservation.”
“Me too. But from what I’ve heard, the production company promised the movie would promote a positive image of the tribe and bring tourists to the casino.  That weighed heavily on the decision. Not everyone is enthusiastic about the project.”
“Did they have an opportunity to read the script?”  .
Tempe admired her husband before answering. The wire-framed glasses perched on his nose helped his pastoral image, but contrasted with the twinkle in his eyes and his tousled auburn hair. “I don’t know, but I would think so or they wouldn’t have agreed.” Tempe glanced around the room. “Some of the other people connected with the filmmaking are having dinner here. I suspect the assistant’s remarks will get back to Ms. West.”
“I figured that’s who these strangers are. They kind of stick out.”
Besides being strangers, the extra people didn’t dress like the citizens of Bear Creek. Some of them wore what they might have thought mountain people might wear: brand new shorts and slacks, crisp shirts, and boots, looking like they stepped out of a Land’s End, J. Crew or L.L. Bean catalog.
“I hope that young woman doesn’t get into trouble.” Hutch pushed his empty plate aside. “This is one time I’d like to have Nick Two John fill us in.”
Nick Two John was Claudia’s partner in life, the main chef at the inn, and a good friend of Tempe and Hutch. Over the years, Nick educated Tempe about her Indian heritage and culture. Hutch didn’t always approve, but despite some disagreements their friendship grew.
Almost as though he’d heard Hutch, Nick stepped out of the kitchen following Claudia. She continued on to the front desk, but Nick pulled a chair up to their table. “Claudia told me you were out here.” His long black braids hung down over his white shirt, tucked neatly into worn Levis.
Hutch obviously couldn’t contain his curiosity. “We couldn’t help but wonder about that young woman. Where did she go, by the way?” 
“Her name is Kate Eileen Shannon and she is the personal assistant to Delia West, the movie star.”
“She doesn’t sound too happy about her job,” Tempe said.

“Ms. West is difficult. I cooked a special meal at her request, but it didn’t suit her. She blamed Kate Eileen and ordered her to fetch something else. I fixed up a plate of tonight’s special and sent her out through the kitchen.”

Buy Links:

From the publisher, all formats:

For Kindle:

Amazon paperback:

For Nook

My website:

My blog:

I’m on Twitter and Facebook under my name: Marilyn Meredith

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Writing Down the Bones: Story Construction and Evaluation The Romance Novel

Oh! I found another great handout. It's another long one that I'll break into bite-sized blogs for easier digestion. This one is by Janice Bennett for a program she did called Writing the Popular Novel.

Her outline is broken down into a lot of good points. The first one is before you start to write that novel.

A.) The premise:  (remember this is for romances) Does the premise focus on a character trait of your hero or heroine and does it strengthen or weaken as it interacts with the conflict of your story?

I love this question. It is one that can help you get your plot developed when you find the plot weak.

The next section covers the hero and heroine profile - which I will cover next week.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

David Russell is Visiting My Blog Again!

I want to welcome David Russell back to my blog! David was here just a little over a year ago. First I’d love you to re-introduce yourself.

Tell us about your latest release.

It is a collection of erotic poetry and artwork, Sensual Rhapsody, self-published and available on Amazon.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers. And for my readers you’ll find these to be a new set. I had to come up with a second set of questions for those who wanted to come back and visit.

1.) Who is your favorite author? Do you feel you write like them?

Anais Nin is one of my favorites; I hope I write like her.

2.) What was your favorite book growing up?

The Castle by Franz Kafka

3.) Are you a plotter or a pantser and why did you choose that method?

I’m not sure what a pantser is. I am a poetic, painterly writer.

I’d say you’re a pantser because poetry isn’t something you would need to plot out. A pantser is someone who writes by the seat of their pants. They don’t use story boards or plot out their manuscripts. They Just write.

4.) Do you consider writing a career or a hobby? Why?

I have to consider it a hobby because of poor sales.

5.) What are you working on now?

A mythological, time-travel story.

6.) What one piece of advice would you like to pass on to an up and coming author?

Persevere, and face adversity bravely

7.) If you had the ability to time travel and your first visit was to see a younger version of yourself what would you say to that younger self?

I’d love it if you could take my hindsight on board.

8.) You just got a million dollars, whether it’s from an inheritance, the lottery, or a sweet book deal doesn’t matter. What would be the first thing you would buy for yourself?


9.) If you could un-invent one thing in the world what would it be?


10.) What is your favorite movie/TV Show? Why?

From Here to Eternity, because of the Beach Kiss

Bio: David Russell is a poet with an excellent command of language. In Sensual Rhapsody, he offers twenty-four poems accompanied by eighteen unique pastel illustrations to enhance his words. Russell's drawings remind me of the work of Gauguin and other well-known abstract artists; each depicting bodies in motion that mirror the fluidity of his poetry. The erotic theme is sustained by the presence of water and swimmers as a metaphor to the attraction of two people who are discovering each other.
Although the poems are titled, the collection is so closely interwoven, it gives a feeling of one long prose poem. The book begins with That First Adventure as the narrator leads us through the emotions of first love, or at least a new love. I am enchanted by the images evoked by lines such as: "Framed in an idyllic memory" and "as the cloud-clad sun disrobed." And I especially liked Lyric, a three stanza rhyming poem and would have liked to see more done in this form. Both humor and suspense are found in Strip Card Game, the last poem in the book.
As with all poetry, Sensual Rhapsody is a book to be read again and again, discovering new food for thought with each reading. And with Russell's book, also finding new meaning in the unique illustrations that accompany his words.


My Goddesses and Muses 

My goddesses and muses, gather now; 
Embrace as sisters, stride in pride 
Of jewels, luminous diaphanous silks – 

Sisters – burn now in total strength; 
Let me slough off the patriarchal dregs 
That so oppress me too
Through all repression's sedentary rocks. 

In glory, pride, flaunting the sun. 

Disrobe as one – be joyous in your fire 
display to me 
your shining amazons’ corsets 
Now draw together yearnings of centuries 
Into one beauty.

Strip me in your lust to make me grow, 
To be the sun, the earth, to flip the two as one. 
Let now my deep succession be simultaneous in spirit! 
Take me, draw me in 
For our own luscious satiation 
And writhe the world to health.

Blog: http://www.davidrussell-author.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sensual-Rhapsody-Erotic-artwork-Russell-ebook/dp/B00VKJ2LKC