Category Archives: Uncategorized

Author Interview with Anastasia Abboud ~ New Release: Tremors Through Time #WRPbks #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Anastasia Abboud…

Thank you for joining me, Anastasia. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

We live in Texas! My husband and I have been married for over forty years. We have two sweet sons, one beloved daughter-in-heart, and two precious grandchildren. Our home is nestled in a suburb southwest of Houston, surrounded by family. Our younger son and his family, our brothers and their families, my husband’s sister and her husband, a nephew and his family, plus more extended family and close friends are all within a ten-minute drive or closer. It hasn’t always been the case and while I would love to live in a rural area, better still, in the mountains, I don’t know if I ever will – at least not full time. This is so much fun, not to mention convenient.  Our younger son and his family are five minutes away. Our elder son just recently moved out of the neighborhood, but he still lives close by.

Where did you get the idea for Tremors Through Time? Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I’ve always loved historical romance. Once I became acquainted (and in love) with time travel romance, I thought it might be fun to write one myself. But there are so many great stories out there. I decided to take a chance on a slightly different twist, having the hero fall forward in time rather than the heroine fall back. Lachlann’s not a typical hero, either – neither a chieftain nor warrior, possessing neither magical powers nor education. He’s a farmer, albeit a gorgeous one.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I’m so glad you’ve asked! There are a couple of things I’m downright eager to share. The most important is about the ending. Dear Readers, it surprised me, too. The characters wrote it. It was the most startling feeling. They took over, and I honestly felt there could be no other way to end the story. At the same time, I count it as a happy ending. The main characters get their HEA. Trust me, there’s more coming, and I believe you will love it!

As for the process, I wrote the book before ever traveling to Scotland. I did sooo much research. So much! I like to say that I stopped jumping down rabbit holes and just tunneled from one to the next. When my husband and I visited that beautiful country for the first time this past fall, I was enormously pleased to see how accurate my research had been.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, delegating time to write is the very most difficult thing.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

Just time, nothing more, nothing less.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?

I have a few, but if I’m going to name just one, it’s Quo Vadis by Henri Sienciwicz.  It has history, romance, religious faith, and perfect symmetry.           

What’s your favorite childhood book?

Again, there are a few options. Today, at any rate, I think I’ll go with Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read [your book]?

I hope that they come away thinking about time, love, and the ties that bind, and that they care about the characters and want to spend more time with them.

What is your favorite quote?

Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:8

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

I would be Deidre from Tremors Through Time. She loves gardening and the simple life, is a medieval history professor, and she’s in love with a delicious, medieval farmer who’s in love with her. She’s also tall and curvaceous, which I’d like to be one day (when I grow up).

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They’ve shown me so much love, support, and encouragement. I am deeply grateful for them and to them.

How did you come up with the title? 

It got a little hair-raising! It was funny, really. I originally called it simply Tremors — in reference to the earthquake that occurs in the story. When The Wild Rose Press picked it up, I was informed that I had to change it because there’s a movie by the same name. Apparently, the movie involves giant, omnivorous worms — not a good connect! But since I’d used the word “tremors” several times in the story (as a play on words in addition to seismic tremors), I wanted to keep it as part of the title.  For a few weeks, there was a lot of Tremors this and Tremors that in my conversations and random phone calls to family and friends, and running through my head while I was driving, and, of course, as I tried to fall asleep at night.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Yes! There are a couple of themes that run through all my novels:

There is much more to a person than what you see on the surface.

Love conquers all.

And for Tremors Through Time in particular:

Time is more fluid than we might realize one might think and love is timeless.

In the infinite vastness of time – past, present, future, past – love prevails.


Lachlann sauntered across Deidre’s driveway just as she was locking her front door. She turned toward him, smiling. He froze. She was wearing a saffron-colored leine, or tunic, underneath a blue, fitted surcoat. He should have known! She was a woman from his own time. His heart and head began to pound as he stared at her.

“Lachlann?” Deidre’s voice reached him, soft and hesitant. “Don’t you like my costume?”

Costume. Of course, it was a costume. He struggled to regain his voice as his heart rate calmed. “It’s great,” he managed, giving himself a mental shake. Fool!

“Thank you,” she replied, her voice still uncertain. She looked at him inquiringly. “I surprised you, didn’t I? I’m sorry. I should’ve warned you. I like to wear something fairly authentic in case I run into some of my students.”

“You do look authentic.” He managed a wink. “Bonnie as well.”

She blushed. “You’ve probably seen lots of costumes like this in Scotland.”

“Not so many, and none in Texas.”

It was a wonder to him that he was still standing. Her costume, as she called it, was perfect. She might have fallen through time like himself. It was an even greater wonder that he had not yet carried her off to bed. He’d never wanted anyone as he wanted her.

Now, dressed in such a familiar manner, she suddenly seemed more tangible than ever. She looked magnificent, the clothing emphasizing her generous breasts and hips, her deep red tresses flowing freely down her back.

His mouth went dry as he wondered how he might persuade her to dress like this more often.

Their eyes met. To hell with time.

He stepped toward her.

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For me, playing is the best — playing outdoors in nature or in my garden, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time with those I love. I also enjoy disappearing into a good book, attempting crafts, learning, writing, exploring, discovering. I especially like to mix it up and have yet to perfect any of it; and I’ve come to realize that perfection’s not the point. It’s all wonderfully fun. That’s the point!

​I prefer authentic and natural, be it food, lifestyle, people. I passionately enjoy both history and science, and certainly sociology to a degree, and I am most truly a romantic.

​​My husband and I have been married for over forty years. We reside near Houston, Texas, surrounded by loved ones. We have a blast with our little grandchildren.

​I thank God for this wonderful life.











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Kisa by D. V. Stone ~ New Release #WRPbks #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, D.V. Stone…

Way back when I first began to write, Felice was the first book I published, knowing that it would be a series about sisters. I’d planned for there to be three. I like three. It’s one of my favorite numbers. I also like circles. They are my favorite shape. Ask my husband what kind of door I dream of, and without hesitation, he’ll tell you a round one like Bilbo Baggins. Sorry, squirrel

So much has happened to me since that time I first pushed the “Publish Now” button. I’m a hybrid author who is both traditionally and independently published. Contemporary books have embedded themselves into my genres. But I always return to fantasy. 

Over the years, I realized how little I knew about writing and publishing. Every time you learn more. About the craft. About publishing. About yourself. Earlier this year, I pulled Felice from the listings and had her re-edited and recovered in anticipation of launching Kisa into the world. 

I also learned that the three sisters have a long-lost relative. I learned that there were dragons in the Darrian world. I learned not to kill someone off in the first book and then try to bring them back in the second.

So, Kisa’s been a long time coming. I hope you fall in love with the middle daughter of King Dar, who wants to take care of everyone. Who finds herself trying to balance her needs against the world’s. Who often resents being the caretaker but also is compelled to do her duty. Something I think many of us struggle with. 

In a war between humans and shifters, sparks, and fur fly…Until scales appear.

Princess Kisa, the middle daughter in the shifter nation of Dar, is often overlooked and underestimated. Always the devoted caregiver of family and country, she’s come to terms with her future as a Shield-Mate in a political marriage. Many, including Kisa, are surprised when her father names her as heir to his throne.

Kalman, once a privileged son of the former protectorate Sorota, is an outcast and a man without a future. The people of Ruinae consider him a weak, self-indulgent man. Only his trusted servant knows the heart of the soldier beneath the veneer.

Forces are gathering against the two countries, and now dragons, long banished to the outland, have returned. Kisa and Kalman are charged by King Dar to find out how entrenched the dragons are with the enemy. Since a long-ago meeting, Kalman never forgot the spitfire Lynx-shifter. He’s no longer the boy she’d met, but a man. One determined to have her despite their differences. But Kisa can’t fall in love with the enemy. Can she? Would her people accept not only the son of Sorota but one whom her family also seeks retribution?


Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 1, 2022


“How may I serve you, Father?” Kisa glanced around. “It’s been long years since I’ve been in here.”

This was his personal lair. Darkly masculine with shelves filled with books. Maps lined the walls and a side table with a miniature replica of the kingdom and surrounding areas. It was where he could find peace from all the demands of running the empire. Though no respite from the ghosts who haunted him.

Amaya’s portrait stared down at him with accusation I left my daughters in your care. You’ve disappointed me, Shield-Mate.

“We have much to discuss.” He turned from the portrait, his chest tight with pain as he walked behind his writing table and lifted the stack of papers he’d collected. “These are all Shield-Mate offers for you.”

She stared first at them and then him. Barely a whisper squeezed out, “So many?”

“Is it love and Shield-Mate you want?” He asked with a penetrating look. “What is your greatest desire, daughter?”

Kisa’s mouth opened and closed as she stared at him. He had never asked her about her dreams. Shouldn’t a father know his child? “Well, what is it?”

“What do you mean?” She tugged at her earlobe as she’d done since she was a babe.

“If I throw this pile of papers into the fire —” he grasped the stack into his large hand and pointed to the hearth with them, “—will it disappoint you? Or give you relief?”

She blinked at him. “I don’t know what you are asking me.”

“It’s simple––disappointment?” He shook the papers. “Or relief.”

Kisa whispered, “Relief.”

Dar threw the communiqués into the fire, where they flamed and sparked. Neither spoke while the letters—some paper, some parchment—curled at the edges, turning brown, then black, then nothing but ash.

When the last cinders drifted away, his daughter sobbed, and he thought he would too. “Someone must rule when I’m gone.”

 “What?” Her voice cracked. “I always thought you intended to bind Lansdowne and Dar into one kingdom, and Orsolo and her Shield-Mate would co-rule.”

“Orsolo is shrewd and intelligent but frivolous. Before her Shield-Mating, I informed your older sister that she would not be Queen here.” Dar folded his arms across his chest. “Before you ask, she was relieved.”

“I know as children of the Darrian royal house, there is no guarantee to ascend the throne.” Kisa hugged her arms around her waist. “Who did you decide it would be?”

 Dar went to the matching high-backed chairs near his desk and, with a groan, sank into the cushions. “Come, sit. This will be a lengthy conversation.”


D. V. Stone is an award-winning, multi-genre, traditionally and independently published author. She writes books people want to read. Whether romance or fantasy, contemporary or mid-grade, her stories are about the importance of friends and family. About overcoming obstacles while often with humor.

Around the Fire is a popular weekly blog where she introduces both established and new authors giving an insider’s look into their lives and books as well as tidbits about her own life.

Now retired, she is a full-time author and incorporates her life experiences into her books.

A former Emergency Medical Technician, she volunteered in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At the same time, she worked as a professional EMT in a women’s state prison. She was the proprietor of a coffee shop, and a small restaurant/ice cream stand in the years that followed. The years following were as a manager in an animal emergency hospital, while her last position was in a human medical office.

When not behind the wheel of 2Hoots—a 41-foot long 13.2 feet high 5th Wheel camper, she rambles around town in Northern New Jersey in a white Camaro. She also loves travel and history.

D.V. is a wife to an amazing husband, mother to one son, and not your average grandma to three beautiful grands. A woman of faith, she believes and trusts in God.

“My greatest pleasures are spending time outside with friends and family, cooking over the open fire, sipping a glass of wine, and reading.”

Hali, her rescue dog, always reminds her to let readers know, “Woof, woof.” Which is loosely translated as support your local animal rescue.”

You can learn more about D. V. by following her on social media.

Link Tree For one-stop connections

Website  Amazon Author Page  Facebook  Twitter Instagram

Pinterest    Bookbub Goodreads Newsletter YouTube Around the Fire with D.V. Stone    

Books by

D. V. Stone

Independent Releases

Shield-Mates of Dar Series


Book one of the Shield-Mates fantasy romance with magic, mayhem, and family devotion.


Book two of the Shield-Mates A Fantasy Romance Series where a war between humans and shifters. Sparks and fur fly…Until scales appear.


Agent Sam Carter Series

The Mystery at Branch Lake

The Mystery at High Pointe Tower

By The Wild Rose Press

Impact Series

Rock House Grill

One man’s choices. One woman’s Impact

Jazz House

One woman’s choices. One man’s Impact

Lake Unami Stories

Rainbow Sprinkles

After the storm come the rainbows.

Sophia’s Magic Beans

A single mom in a small town where sometimes fairytales do come true. 

Contributing Author

Australia Burns



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Author Interview with Jennifer Ivy Walker ~  New Release: The Lady of the Mirrored Lake ~ #WRPbks #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jennifer Ivy Walker…

Good morning, Jennifer…Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I am originally from New England but now live on the beach in Florida. I have six grown children, a husband, and a very fluffy golden retriever.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?  

I love paranormal fantasy, myths and legends, dark fairy tales,  and medieval romance, so I took a French legend (“Tristan et Yseult”) and adapted it into a blend of all those genres.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I took actual places in Ireland, England, and France, along with French legends from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande, and incorporated real places with French folklore and fictional characters.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.  One of my absolute favorite book s ever!

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I am a former high school French teach and current college French professor.  I love teaching the language and culture of France.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

I dislike watching TV.  I prefer to read, write, or walk on the beach.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?  

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.  When I read it, it was like my childhood growing up on a tidal bay in Maine, blended with my current life on the estuary of the Indian River in Florida. I related so much to the character Kya. It spoke to my heart.

Your most prized material possession? Why?

A Louis XV bombé chest with seagreen marble top. I love it because it is French, antique, with the scrolled shape I love, and my favorite color (like the ocean) for the marble.  It symbolizes two things that are part of my soul—French and the beach.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes—“The Emerald Fairy and the Dragon Knight”, the conclusion of my trilogy, will be published soon by The Wild Rose Press.  And I have just completed “Winter Solstice in the Crystal Castle”, which I am submitting with the hopes it will be contracted for publication as well.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

I would walk on the beaches of Avalon with Ronan, the Elven blacksmith.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They came from my imagination and my heart.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

Queen Morag, the Black Widow Queen.  She is selfish, evil, conniving, and deadly.

How did you come up with the title?

There is a lake in the French Forest of Brocéliande called “Le Miroir aux Fées” (Mirror of the Fairies). My heroine became a healer on Avalon by learning from the Lady of the Lake, and she is a forest fairy, so I decided to make her The Lady of the Mirrored Lake and incorporate the French legends with the real place.

Mirror, mirror, on the lake.  Reveal the path the queen will take.


“I love you, Tristan. You are my warrior. My friend. My teacher.  The only one who ever believed in me. Who promised to fight for me. Beside me.”

 Rising onto her knees, she took both of his hands in hers and kissed them. Her eyes glistening, she whispered, “You gave me weapons. Trained me to fight. To defend myself. And that…” she choked, gazing up at him, is not only the greatest gift I have ever received. Italso saved my life.”

She kissed his hands again. “You are helping me to grow, Tristan. To believe in myself. To face the wicked queen who denies me my birthright. Who killed so many of those I loved.  Whose evil threatens us all.” Lying down at his side, she laid her head over his pounding heart. He softly stroked her long blond hair. “You have made me strong, whole, and complete, Tristan. I am totally, utterly, undeniably yours.

He held her for a few moments. His wild rose. Then, rising to his feet, Tristan took her hands, and pulled her close. He wrapped his arms around her waist, gazing intently into the deep green eyes of his Muse.

 “Toi et moi. So it shall be.  You and I are entwined. Eternally.”

Buy link(s):


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Author Bio for Jennifer Ivy Walker

Enthralled with legends of medieval knights and ladies, dark fairy tales and fantasies about Druids, wizards and magic, Jennifer Ivy Walker always dreamed of becoming a writer. She fell in love with French in junior high school, continuing her study of the language throughout college, eventually becoming a high school teacher and college professor of French.

As a high school teacher, she took her students every year to the annual French competition, where they performed a play she had written, “Yseult la Belle et Tristan la Bête”–an imaginative blend of the medieval French legend of “Tristan et Yseult” and the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”, enhanced with fantasy elements of a Celtic fairy and a wicked witch.

Her debut novel, “The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven”–the first of a trilogy– is a blend of her love for medieval legends, the romantic French language, and paranormal fantasy. It is a retelling of the medieval French romance of “Tristan et Yseult”, interwoven with Arthurian myth, dark fairy tales from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande, and otherworldly elements such as Avalonian Elves, Druids, forest fairies and magic.

Explore her realm of Medieval French Fantasy. She hopes her novels will enchant you.

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Trip the Light Phantasmic (The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries, Book One) by Judith Sterling ~ #Blog #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s featured author, Judith Sterling…

Book Blurb

Gwyneth Camm has just inherited her great-aunt’s house in Salem, Massachusetts, along with an extensive collection of gothic romance novels. As a PhD student who prefers “serious” books, Gwyn has always avoided pulp fiction. Now, in honor of her beloved Aunt Ethel, she gives one of the gothics a try…and promptly falls asleep.

When she wakes, she finds herself inside the story, thrust by forces unknown into the heroine’s role. There’s magic afoot, and the only way back to her own life is to play her part and solve the mystery.

When fiction becomes fact, anything can happen…


I stepped out into the crisp, fresh air of an autumn evening and inhaled deeply. To my eyes—and lungs—the terrace was Heaven, illuminated by electric lights whose glow reached partway down a wide stone staircase. Darkness hid the rest of the grounds and whatever else lay beyond.

I turned to my savior as he closed the doors to the dining room. “How can I thank you enough?”

“By telling me the real reason why you wanted to leave.” He closed the distance between us. His broad shoulders looked sturdy, dependable.

“I’m not sure you’ll like it.”

“I still want to know.”

“I’m sensitive to cigarette smoke. I was okay with it for a while, but then I had to get out of there.”

He performed a little smile. “You sound just like…”

I held my tongue, expecting him to elaborate, but the wait was wasted. “You were saying…”

He shook his head as though shaking off a memory. “Never mind. Why didn’t you tell the truth?”

“I didn’t want to seem rude. But I suppose I did anyway.”

“You’ll have to forgive Mother. She’s had her share of tragedy.” He took a deep breath, then sighed. “She was once a prima ballerina…world-famous. Until she married my father. They were happy for a time. Then she had an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.”

“How horrible.”

He nodded. “Being confined to a wheelchair is…difficult for her, perhaps harder than for most.”

Out of nowhere, an icy gust swiped me. I shivered and rubbed my bare arms.

“You’re cold.” He removed his jacket and placed it around my shoulders. Though haunted by the smell of smoke, it infused me with his warmth and an odd sense of intimacy. He lingered behind me.

“Thank you.” Twisting around, I looked up into his finely chiseled face and detected a hint of interest.

His pupils expanded. “It’s the least I can do.”

Oh yeah? What more could you do if I let you? Best not to think about that.

A slight movement at one of the windows caught my eye. Penny, the maid, watched us from inside the house. Before I could acknowledge her presence, she dropped the curtain, hiding herself from view.

Okay. That was interesting.

Edgar followed my gaze. “What is it?”

“We had an audience.”


“Penny was watching from that window.” I pointed to the one in question.

“Ah, Penny. I’ve known her a long time, and she’s a curious girl. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if she had company.”

I turned to face him. “Meaning?”

“This house has many eyes, and they’re always watching. You’d do well to remember that.”

Dude, you just upped the creep factor by half. “I’ll try.” I doffed his jacket and handed it back to him. “Thanks for this. I’m going now.”

“Where to?”

“My room. I know it’s early, but—”

“You’ve had a long day.”

You have no idea. “Yes. Should I go back through the dining room?”

“Better not. Roland will still be smoking. Go through the drawing room, over there.” He indicated the other set of French doors. His eyes held understanding, and if I wasn’t mistaken, regret. “Good night, Gwyn.”

“Good night.”

Buy Links


Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Barnes and Noble





Author Bio

Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Through gothic paranormal mystery (The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries), medieval/time travel romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) and young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), she loves to whisk readers away from their troubles and remind them of the hidden magic all around us.

Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

Social Media Links

Website –

Facebook –

Goodreads –

BookBub –

Amazon –

The Wild Rose Press –


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Enter Your Published #Fiction #ShortStory or #Novel in the #NESTContest2023

The 2023 National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) sponsored by Central Region Oklahoma Writers is open for entries!

If you have a fiction novel or short work published in 2021 or 2022 you are eligible to enter!!​

***Early bird rates if you pay before January 1, 2023: Novel: $25, Short: $20  

~ Seven categories with two winners in each category–one for novels and one for short stories/novellas.

~ Prizes: First place winners will receive…

      * A lovely customized engraved award

      * Your book/win shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

      * Featured in a ‘winner’ trailer that will be shared on Social Media and on this website 

      * Winners and finalists will receive certificates.

~ FEES: $30 for novels, $25 for shorts.​​ (If paid before January 1, 2023, the fee is $25 for novels and $20 for shorts)

(Entries must have an original publication date of and must have been for sale in 2021 or 2022)


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Horror Short Stories ~ On Sale for #99Cents while on Pre-Order ~ #HappyHalloween! #Fri13thStories

A new group of Friday the 13th Series stories coming soon… They are currently available for pre-order at only 99 cents each! The price will go up after January 13, 2023 when they are released. Check them out here:

Strangers on a Street by Tamrie Foxtail

Mister 13 by Alicia Dean

Tormented Whispers by Krysta Scott

Hell is Empty by Mark Edward Jones

Eyes to Die For by DJ FitzSimons

The Devils Sheds a Tear by Robert Herold

The Surrogate by Brenda Clark Thomas

Stripes by Christopher Farris

Rosemary by Connor Treadway

House on 13th by Dex Rivers

The Thirteenth Victim by Mary Coley

Avenging Angel by Michelle Godard-Richer

The Grimoire of Caligari by Stephen B King (Link coming soon)

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Get Your Fright on this Halloween….for Cheap! #99Cent #Horror #Ebook #ShortStories

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12 Week Course – Idea to First Draft: $75.00

A new class begins November 1st…sign up before the spots are taken!

Want to whip your ideas into shape and turn them into an exciting novel? Develop habits that will increase your productivity as you learn the secrets even the biggest names use to write their stories?

All this and much more in this 12-week, interactive course for beginners and seasoned authors alike.

Each week, you’ll have the chance to ask questions. You’ll also have 3 opportunities during the course to brainstorm with me or submit scenes to me for feedback.

*** Classes start on the first day of every odd month. (Jan 1, March 1, May 1, July 1, September 1, November 1 – Max of 10 authors per class)

Week 1 is all about PREPARING TO WRITE.

In just the first week, you’ll learn:

How to condense your story idea into a few powerful sentences

Tips for turning off your internal editor and freeing your creativity

How to increase productivity and form a daily writing habit


How to create an overview of your main character(s) and their role in the story


Questions to answer that will lay a solid foundation for your novel


The Inciting Incident, turning points, middle twist, black moment and climax. Even pantsers will benefit from sketching out these story parts, and plotters can go a step further and actually write out a list of scenes.


Elements to include in a scene


How to conduct successful writing sprints to increase productivity


Tips to defeat writer’s block


What is needed in your opening scene and what is not


Learn which parts of your novel are most important and how to make them shine


Learn about showing vs. telling, head hopping, and more


Tips on polishing and revising

Week 12: WHAT NOW?

An overview of what steps need to be taken, depending on your goal, once you finish your novel

To sign up for the course, complete this form: 12 Week Novel Course Signup

Contact me at for questions

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Author Interview with Terry Segan ~ Spirit in Tow / Paranormal Mystery

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Terry Segan…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I grew up in Commack, NY, which is on Long Island. After nine years in Los Angeles, I finally settled in Las Vegas thirty years ago. Between my husband and I we have three grown daughters, two grandsons, and two grandpuppies. Since we live full time in our RV and travel a lot on weekends, we don’t own pets. The benefit of being in an RV Resort—we get to love on everyone else’s pets.

Where did you get the idea for Spirit in Tow?

I’ve always enjoyed paranormal mysteries, and I combined that with my Long Island roots.

 Why did you choose this genre?

Whenever I’ve tried to write a straight-out mystery, the paranormal side of my brain takes over. I wouldn’t describe it as a hostile takeover, but the voices in my head insist on leading the way. I guess I’ve found my calling. My last book, Precious Treasure, involved a ghost with a mystery. The first one, Photographs in Time, featured a couple who sent women of the present back in time to meet their soulmate in a past decade.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

I love living full time in our RV. When my husband and I first moved in seven years ago, we both had to downsize our belongings. The more we let go of things, the easier it became to not be a slave to our ‘stuff.’ This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but I find it very liberating. Honestly, I really didn’t need 18 pairs of pumps and a box of rubber Smurfs from the eighties, but I kept my standup mixer. How else could I make gingerbread cookies at Christmas?

Do you collect anything?

Yes, travel memories. When I first met my husband, I told him not to give me stuff but to take me places. Adventures together are so much more valuable to me than things sitting in a drawer or on a shelf.

What was your first job?

Working in a bakery—I discovered almond paste and life on this planet has never been the same for me!

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Spirit in Tow?

It’s okay to laugh at yourself and not always take situations so seriously.

What is your favorite quote?

Not all those who wander are lost.

Your most prized material possession? Why?

A silver ring which belonged to my mother. It had been one of her favorites and, like me, she loved to travel. Whenever I wear it while on a trip, it’s as if she’s traveling along with me.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They’re very supportive, especially my husband. His goal is to be a chalk outline in one of my novels one day. All I can say is his death will be epic (fictionally speaking, of course)!

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

I’d have to say Murphy. He’s a slimy criminal with poor fashion sense and probably couldn’t spell the word ‘monogamy’ let alone practice it. Me, I’ve caught my limit—it’s one.

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted something to fit with the ghost theme as well as relate to the spirit in this first book of the Marni Legend Series.

Your favorite…

Movie – Shirley Valentine

Music – Classic Rock

Place you’ve visited – Stonehenge

Place you’d like to visit – Australia

TV show from childhood – Dark Shadows

TV show from adulthood – Firefly

Food – Seafood

Sports team – Vegas Golden Knights (hockey)

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? – Board Games, especially Scrabble

Thanks so much for joining me today, Terry…now please tell us about your book…

Can she help a lost soul, jumpstart her love life, and dispatch her nagging mother’s spirit?

Marni Legend is about to publish her thirteenth novel. Gus Zuckerman has been hanging around since his death in nineteen-ninety-five. With her deadline looming and her recently deceased mother refusing to move on, can Marni dispatch both spirits and still have time for romance?

Armed with sarcasm and a warped sense of humor, her innate ability to stumble into awkward situations lands Marni in the midst of a car theft ring. As her circle of friends becomes populated with felons and possible murderers, the lines blur around whom she can trust.

Juggling a hot new beau with one hand and rekindling an old flame with the other, she may need to put on the brakes with one. Should she pick the probable criminal who may know Gus’s fate or play it safe with the sweetheart from her past? She’ll need more than her special abilities and quick wit to navigate the twists and turns of this paranormal mystery.


The usual cadre of fishermen dotted the docks. If I boldly stepped onto the ship, would they know I didn’t belong? Could one be a sentry in disguise? I sauntered past, trying to catch a glimpse of any crew hanging about. The boat was in complete darkness.

Gus waited on my favorite perch. “It’s about time you showed up. Why aren’t you in all black so nobody can see you? God, you look like an amateur.”

“Perhaps because I am an amateur. I’m not the one with a criminal record.” I sat beside him.

“Who says I got a record? I ain’t never been locked up.”

It never occurred to me he’d never been caught. Maybe I should have consulted him—had he bothered to show up earlier. “This way I blend in with the tourists. If anybody comes, they’ll think nothing of a woman enjoying the fresh air.”

“You got a lot to learn.”

Breaking and Entering 101 wasn’t a class I wanted to take. “Enough about my lack of burglary skills. Go check the boat, and tell me if anybody is aboard.”

“Okay, okay. Stop barking orders.” He disappeared.

I tapped my foot on the wooden dock, concentrating on the staccato noise. It soothed my racing mind as it conjured all the things that could go wrong. My plan had two parts—break in and don’t get caught. Simple, right?

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About Terry:

Terry Segan resides in Nevada. The beach is her happy place, but any opportunity to travel soothes her gypsy soul. The stories conjured by her imagination while riding backseat on her husband’s motorcycle can be found throughout the pages of her paranormal mysteries.

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Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror by Diane L. Kowalyshyn ~ A Friday the 13th Story Series ~ #Fridaythe13th

Happy Friday the 13th! It’s release day for a series of horror short stories revolving around Friday the 13th. I will be sharing each story on my post, one per day. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Diane L. Kowalyshyn with her story,  Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror…

Fun Fact:


I’m fascinated my Native American mythological creatures. I wrote about the windigo in Crossbones, the skadegamutc in a Friday the 13th Short Story, and the chepitchcalm in When the Earth Moves (WIP). There are two more Native American creatures I’ll be bringing to life in the Earth, Wind and Fire series sequels.


Officer Pauline McCrory arrives at Alma Wildberry’s cabin under the impression the elder died of natural causes before her hungry one-eyed cat consumed parts of her face.

When the medical examiner rules the case a homicide, Pauline must determine who drained six pints of blood and removed a pound of flesh from Alma’s head and neck.

The investigation brings an age-old Passamaquoddy legend, the Skadegamutc to life, and Pauline must find the ghost-witch before it kills again.


Bob. Alma’s one-eyed cat. A bad eye infection forced the local farm vet to remove the diseased orb and sew up the empty orifice. “Hi Bob,” Birdie exclaimed, just to break the sinister silence in the room. “Where’s Alma?”

Bob didn’t pay any attention. He waddled toward the kitchen and disappeared behind the center island separating the two rooms.

A stale smell, like rotting garbage, wafted from the kitchen.  Many locals used a compost heap for table scraps and burned what little garbage they generated. Her footfalls slowed when she noticed broken glass shimmering like sparkle dust on the floor. Slivers crunched underfoot, despite her trying to avoid them.

The antique mirror hanging on the wall between the bedrooms and the kitchen had fallen to the floor. A shattered bulls-eye of beveled glass leaned against the baseboard. Alma loved that mirror. She loved finding and restoring treasures from tag sales and repurposing them.

Bob started to meow. Soon it turned into languishing yowls. The cat had to be hungry.

Birdie’s progress ground to a halt.

Maybe Alma had gone out to gather mushrooms or flowers and herbs to pulverize and dry, but it didn’t make sense she would leave the broken mirror on the floor. It made Birdie worry that Bob might cut himself so she jumped to attention. She’d sweep up the flakes of glass and take the smelly garbage to the compost before Alma returned. She bee-lined for the closet beside the fridge and pulled out the broom and dust bin. When she spun, she saw a pair of moccasin clad feet—feet that had been previously obstructed by the position of the island—jutting out from the end. Bob sat hunched over Alma’s face gnawing on what remained of her nose.

“Oh, my God, no.” The broom and dust bin clattered to the floor and she ran toward her friend.

Birdie’s stomach roiled when she got closer. It sent her reeling over to the sink where she wretched up the remains of her lunch. Several bouts of nausea assailed her. She splashed some water on her cheeks and forehead and when the heaving subsided, she reached into her pocket and dialed.

“911. What’s your emergency?”

“Alma Thornberry is dead. I found her body in her kitchen. I think she’s been gone a while because her cat’s been eating her.”

About the Author:

Diane L. Kowalyshyn writes heart-hammering, high-voltage thrillers—adventures that run on action, intrigue, and romance. Her first book earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is an avid sailor who’s listened to her fair share of marine storm warnings and relied on the intermittent pulse of a lighthouse beacon to bring her safely back to port. When she’s not on the water, she loves to travel to faraway lands where she navigates rustic landscapes and meanders through ancient and decaying palaces, and castles. Her books are available in paperback and ebook through Chapters/Indigos, Amazon, Google, Nook, iBook, and Kobo.

Crossover, March 2021 (Goodreads)
Double Cross, August 2021 (Goodreads)

Crossbones, February 2022 (Goodreads)

Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror by Diane L. Kowalyshyn


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