Thursday, February 26, 2015

Death by Roses by Vivian R. Probst

Excerpt from
By Vivian R. Probst

If Mae Rose McElroy had known that by evening she would be dead à la commode after a fit of rage at her husband, she might have made different choices. Of course, if she’d done things differently, she might not have died while sitting on the toilet.
But on that frosty March morning, as she stood by the kitchen window washing breakfast dishes, Mae Rose was preoccupied with the effects of the last night’s storm. Everything glistened in sparkling crystal coats of ice that most would have found beautiful. As she anxiously surveyed the backyard trees, the barn, and the gardens and fields of their farm home, Mae Rose was far from feeling awestruck.
This was because today—of all days—her husband would be driving her meticulously restored 1974 VW Beetle to the mechanic shop where she worked. “Please be very careful, Art,” she said without looking up from the sink, “the roads could be very slippery.”
After thirty years of marriage, Art understood the meaning of Mae Rose’s words. They meant she didn't trust him and was worrying about her precious car. Her fretting did not dissuade Art from feeling an uncharacteristic joy.
Mae Rose could tell from the noises in the background that he was indeed ecstatic. The hangers clanged merrily as he removed his coat from the closet. Even the zipper sang with an abnormal enthusiasm as he closed his jacket against the cold.
“You know I’ll be careful,” Art replied, planting a dutiful kiss on his wife’s stern cheek. Earlier, while shaving, he had practiced saying “I love you” to Mae Rose. Although her obvious unhappiness made him decide not to attempt it now, nothing—not even his irritation with her remarks—could suppress his buoyant feelings of hope.
It was rare for Art to drive Mae Rose’s car. But once his new client at the shop saw the car’s spectacular restoration, he was certain the man would confirm his intention to pay the large expense of having his own antique Beetle refurbished. And Art hoped for much more—surely his impressive sale would help to renew Mae Rose’s faith in him and their marriage.
Three decades of marriage to Mae Rose had left deep creases across his forehead. Each crease could have been labeled: the upper line for shock at Mae Rose’s intensity, the middle for his resistance to her relentless drive, and the lower for the wavering boundary where Art tried to keep his identity from being discarded as irrelevant.
As he squeezed his tall frame into her car, he put the keys into the ignition and waited patiently for the engine to turn over. It was understandably reluctant, but as if it knew how important the day was, the engine gave in to Art’s persistence. He headed down the long gravel drive, turning left on the two-lane country road with caution.
As the sun melted the icy coating on the asphalt, Art was able to relax and enjoy his drive. Everything glistened in the soft, feathery frost—so breathtaking that Art considered it the best possible omen for a successful day. He couldn't help that his right hand caressed the leather upholstery he had so lovingly used to recover the seats of Mae Rose’s car; he felt pride, perhaps even a mild flirtation, as he touched the dashboard and turned the radio dial to his favorite oldies rock ‘n’ roll station.
He’d have to remember to turn it back to Mae Rose’s country music station later, but just now he needed to mark his territory. Art loved nothing more than working on old VWs, the only car, he claimed, that possessed a personality all its own, and the possibility of working on another old VW Beetle gave him an unfamiliar sense of exhilaration.
“I’d hammer ‘bout justice!” Peter, Paul, and Mary sang, and Art joined in: “I’d hammer ‘bout freedom! I’d hammer ‘bout the love between,” and Art, who loved to change the words of a song to suit himself, sang, “A man and a Beetle, all over this land!”
As Art brought Mae Rose’s car to an obedient stop at the four-way before proceeding into town, he downshifted through each gear, listening for the purr of pleasure as one cog slid into the next. But today the car growled low and mean as if to remind Art to drive straight through town instead of turning right, as he often had years ago for a cup of coffee and some fornication with Maggie Whitman. Back then, he felt justified in doing this because of Mae Rose’s increasingly insufferable nagging and her proportionately deflated interest in sex.
A trip through Fairview included passing Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, a cornerstone of the McElroy’s lives. It housed times of great joy: when Art and Mae Rose had married and when they had baptized their son Art Jr., and eight years later, their son John. It radiated with the beauty of Mae Rose at the piano and organ, and more often than not, a flower arrangement she had created adorning the altar. But the church also held their deepest pain in its stone structure as the wounds of Art’s affair had been exposed in quiet confidence to Pastor Frank. The hope of a happy marriage had faded into an ever-sensitive, tender scar.

Excerpted from the book DEATH BY ROSES by Vivian R. Probst.  Copyright © 2015 by Vivian R. Probst.  Reprinted with permission of SelectBooks.  All rights reserved.

Q &A with Vivian R. Probst
author of

  1. What would you say is the defining characteristic of Death By Roses? What would you say makes Death By Roses different from other love stories?

Death by Roses touches so many life issues with its characters that it creates a broad appeal. It also ends with brilliant hope for this lifetime and perhaps, if the muse is correct, hope for the next.  It is possible that life and relationships don’t end when we die. Many non-fiction works now exists based on what are considered real life experiences with the afterlife.

As many people have said after reading Death by Roses, “I hope that there is a next life and that it is EXACTLY like what you wrote in the story.” I do, too.  
Finally, the creative resolution of so many life issues that occur because the characters learn they have choices about outcomes is perhaps the most mesmerizing theme.  Other than that, it’s simply an outrageously fun read—or so I’m told.

  1. Mary Lee finally writes a screenplay that wins an Oscar. How do you think she felt when she learned that the screenplay was based on a true story told by her muse, Mae Rose?

My sense is that Mary Lee understood that she was writing something that was real to Mae Rose from the very beginning.  Mae Rose and Mary Lee became very close and I’m sure they shared intimate details of their lives.  Mary Lee saw a great story and a chance for an Oscar—but she had to let Mae Rose write the script. I believe it was a mutual effort and that Mary Lee did not feel at all badly that the story was about Mae Rose’s family.  She cared only about winning an Oscar.

  1. In five words, how would you describe Death By Roses?

Hilarious, transcendent, sassy, mesmerizing, and uplifting.

  1. What do you think readers will enjoy most about Death By Roses?

How much they laugh while they read, the tears they might shed as they recognize tragic consequences, and yet how good they feel when they finish reading!

If you would like to purchase Death by Roses, please click here.

No Absolution: A new release from N.M. Bell

Jack the Ripper like you've never imagined him! This is not a “I know who Jack the Ripper is” book, or an “I’m going to catch Jack the Ripper” crime novel. The author has created a character who might have been Jack the Ripper, shaped by his past and by the conditions he lived in. N.M. Bell has attempted to give the man in the shadows a human face, and while she doesn't want the reader to like him, she does hope they can feel just a teeny tiny bit sorry for his tormented soul. He is portrayed him as a schizophrenic, without actually coming out and saying that. His actions speak louder than any words of explanation the author could offer.

Jake Winncott has a troubled past and living in the cesspool of London’s East End in the Victorian era isn't helping to ease his mind any. Bedeviled by his dead father’s evangelistic shade, Jake sets out do his bidding and cleanse the tainted women of Whitechapel in their own heart’s blood. This is Jack the Ripper as he has never been portrayed. The author takes the reader deep into the tormented heart of the man he might have been and explores a fictional past that might explain his savagery. While the text is gritty at times, and roughly follows the historical timeline of the facts, Jake Wincott is purely a figment of the author’s imagination. N. M. Bell gives the infamous mad man a human face.

Buy Links 

Author Bio

Nancy M Bell has publishing credits in poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Nancy has presented at the Surrey International Writers Conference and the Writers Guild of Alberta Conference. She is currently working on Book 3 of her series The Cornwall Adventures.

Please visit her webpage 

You can find her on Facebook at

Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso 

You can find out what she’s up to on the 18th of every month at the Inside Books We Love blog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nowhere to Hide by Joan Hall Hovey - Blurb, Excerpt, Reviews and my two cents.

First, I have to say this is one of my very favorite authors.  Joan is an exceptionally talented suspense writer. It's not often that a book can get my heart pumping but Joan knows just what and how to write a suspense scene. You don't want to miss this book. That said, let's get on to the blurb and excerpt.

Eppie Award  Best Thriller

Raised in an atmosphere of violence and unpredictability, Ellen and Gail Morgan have banded together, survivors of a booze-fertilized battleground, forming a fierce united front against an often cold and uncaring world. When their parents are killed in a car crash, Ellen becomes the mother figure for Gail.

When fifteen years later Gail is brutally raped and murdered in her shabby New York basement apartment, practically on the eve of her big breakthrough as a singer, Ellen is inconsolable. Rage at her younger sister's murder has nearly consumed her. So when her work as a psychologist wins her an appearance on the evening news, Ellen seizes the moment. Staring straight into the camera, she challenges the killer to come out of hiding: "Why don't you come after me? I'll be waiting for you."

Phone calls flood the station, but all leads go nowhere. The police investigation seems doomed to failure. Then it happens: a note, written in red ink, slipped under the windshield wipers of her car, 'YOU'RE IT.' Ellen has stirred the monster in his lair … and the hunter has become the hunted!

"If you are looking for the suspense thriller of the year-look no further…you will find it in Nowhere To Hide..."Jewel Dartt Midnight Scribe Reviews

Val at "You Gotta Read" Reviews has given Nowhere to Hide by Joan Hall Hovey their highest rating, You Gotta Read! (publisher Books We Love)

You Gotta Read - Our highest rating - very few books will earn this award.

Val says, "This is one heck of an exciting, edge of your seat read! Nowhere to Hide had EVERYTHING you could want in a suspenseful thriller. The character development in this book is unreal. I was actually holding my breath long before the ending. Ms. Hovey has done an incredible job of getting into the mind of a serial killer. If you haven't gotten this book yet, I highly suggest you do. You will not be disappointed as this is one of the best thrillers I have read yet."


It was nice to be alone. As she brushed her hair, Gail launched into her favorite fantasy of buying her sister a white Ferrari. Ellen's birthday was coming up in May; she'd have the car delivered right up to her door, a big red bow tied on the antenna ... dream on, girl she told herself, grinning at her reflection in the mirror.

Tiger padded into the room just then, winding his sleek, warm body around her bare ankles, purring like an old washing machine.

I owe her so much, Tiger, Gail said, reaching down to stroke the cat's soft, glossy fur. If it wasn't for...

Suddenly, Tiger's back arched under her hand and he hissed. Gail's heart leapt in her breast and her hand drew back as if burned. "What the...?" But Tiger, fur standing on end, had already fled the room. Gail turned in her chair just in time to see his electrified, retreating tail...

Then she caught a movement from the corner of her eye. Turning, she froze at the sight of the closet door slowly opening.

Chapter One
August 6, 1979

The closet door was at the top of the stairs at the end of the hall. To get to it he had to pass by two doors, one on either side, both now partly open. He could hear talking, very low. Farther away, the sound of running away. In three quick strides he was past the doors and inside the closet. He knew he was smiling. He felt excited the way he always did when he got past them. Even if anyone had got a glimpse of him, it wouldn't really matter. He was invisible. The invisible man.

The secret door was to his right, just behind the wide rack of musty-smelling winter coats in varying sizes. He ducked beneath them, and opening the door, let himself into the narrow, cave-like space.
The space separating the inside and outside walls went nearly the whole way round the third floor, stopping abruptly at the wall of the stairwell where he had to turn around and go back the way he had come. Once, this space had been used for storage - old bed springs, broken chairs, trunks - but the doors, except for the one in the closet which he had come upon quite by luck, and through which he had come again and again, had long since been replaced by sheetrock and papered over with rose-patterned wallpaper.

It was pitch black in front of him and all around him, like he was all alone in the world. He had his flashlight, but didn't turn it on. He knew the way. Besides, it might shine through someplace.
As he made his way along the darkened corridor, breathing the stale, hot air, his progress slowed by the long, heavy skirt he wore, he had to stoop. At seventeen, though narrow-shouldered, he was nearly six feet tall.

Sweat was trickling down between his shoulder- blades, and under the wig, his head felt squirmy, so he took the wig off and stuffed it into his pants pocket, under the skirt.

And then he was there. He could see the thin beam of light shining through, projecting a tiny star on the wall. It was coming through the place where two Sundays ago, when they were all at Chapel, he had made a peephole. He'd made it by simply pounding a nail through, then drawing it cleanly back out so that there would be nothing detectible on the other side - no more than a black dot.
A giggle floated through to him and the smile froze on his face, his fists clenching involuntarily. No, it can't be me they're laughing at. They can't see me. They don't know I'm here. I'm invisible, remember? Calming himself, he slowly brought his face to the wall.

Eight narrow, iron-framed beds faced him, each covered by a thin, grey blanket with a faded red stripe across the top and bottom. Twelve beds in all, but the two at either end were cut from his view. A few religious pictures hung above the beds. The one facing him said 'Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me'. It had a picture of a lamb on it. Only three of the beds were occupied. It was still early. Some of the girls were probably downstairs watching their allotted hour of T.V. Others would still be doing kitchen duty. At least one troublemaker would be doing 'quiet time'. He grinned.
He understood now that the laughter he'd heard had come from one of the two girls sitting on the edge of the bed flipping through a teen idol magazine. He'd caught a look at the cover - some weirdo with a green punk hairdo and a guitar slung around his neck. The two sluts, heads together, were still at it, giggling, whispering, low and secretive. He felt a hot surge of hatred course through his veins. He wished SHE would walk in on them right now. He knew what they were doing. They were talking about who they liked, who they thought was 'cute', who they would let do it. They were thinking and talking about that.

Two beds over, a fat girl with short brown hair that looked as if someone (guess who? Ha-ha) had cut it around a bowl, lay on her back with her hands behind her head, staring at the ceiling. A jagged scar travelled from a spot between her eyebrows right up into her hairline. He could tell she'd been crying; her raisin eyes were all red and puffy, practically disappearing in her moon face. They cried a lot in here. Mostly in the middle of the night when they thought no one could hear. It always excited him hearing their soft muffled sobs. Sometimes, though, it just made him mad like it did when they laughed. Then he wanted to fix it so they didn't make any sound at all.

His gaze wandered back to the girl who had first caught his attention, the one who sat under the lamb picture, and who he'd wanted to save for last. She was sitting cross-legged on the bed, a writing tablet balanced on her knees, her long, pale hair fallen forward, though some damply dark ends curled against her neck. He watched as she scribbled a few lines, then frowning, looked over what she had written. She would chew on her yellow pencil, then write some more, the pencil making whispery sounds on the paper. He watched her for a long time, taking in the flushed, shiny cheeks that made him think, as had the darkly damp curls, that she might just have stepped out of the bath. Yes, he remembered hearing the water running. He liked to see them when they just got out of the bath - all that damp flowing hair, pinkly scrubbed skin, soft necks. Sometimes they changed into their flannel nightgowns right there on the edge of their beds, right there in front of him - though of course they didn't know that.

That was the best part. Them not knowing. It didn't matter that they dressed so hurriedly and so slickly that he often didn't get to see much. Though occasionally there was a flash of white shoulder, a curve of breast.

I'm watching you, he thought, and had to stifle a giggle of his own.
And then she raised her head and those clear blue eyes were staring right at him, stabbing fear into his heart. He couldn't move.

She was frowning, not in the way she did when she was thinking of what to write, but with her head cocked to one side, as if she were listening for something. A terrible thought struck him. What if he hadn't just almost laughed, but actually done it, right out loud? Adrenaline pumping crazily through his body, he backed slowly away from the peephole. Standing perfectly still with his back against the wall, he waited. When after several minutes there were no screams, no sudden cries of alarm to alert the other girls - and HER, especially HER - he began to relax. His heartbeat returned to normal; once more he brought his eye to the hole. She was back to writing. Of course she was.

He smiled to himself.

He hadn't laughed out loud, after all. And she hadn't seen him. Of course she hadn't. His gaze slid down to her breasts, their shapes round and firm as little apples under the flannel nightgown.

But you will, he thought. You will.

You can buy Nowhere to Hide by Joan Hall Hovey at Books We Love Outlet Store by clicking here.

Or on Amazon by clicking here

Saturday, February 14, 2015

American History is not Black history; Black History is not America's By Leonce Gaitor

As taught in mainstream culture, American history propagates this nation as the womb of freedom, justice, and liberty.  There are American creation myths as exemplified by the "Founding Fathers." There are founding documents as revered as biblical texts for their promise of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

That is why the argument that 'black history is American history' is naive to the point of insipidity.  For most of the nation's history, blacks were not 'Americans.' First, we were owned,, and then we were barred from exercising the rights of citizenship.  That's why our history puts the lie to American history's mainstream myths. Almost half of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, some of whom wrote so eloquently of freedom, owned other men as slaves.  For most of it's history, this country profited immensely from forcibly denying us freedom and liberty, by keeping us in chains, and from our labor as sub-citizens.  Our history puts the lie to America's history as popularly told.

Do we want to continue to teach our children black history through a white racial frame? That is the practical effect of stating "black history is American history."  It states that the majority veil should be placed on the history that we teach our children. It states that we should forego the right that every other culture assumes--the right to teach our history from our own point-of-view, and to be the heroes of our own stories. --and instead, subsume our history within the majority's. It states that we do not have the right to express our rage at the barbarities we endured, for those are histories that the majority has little willingness to accept and examine, for good reason: they out the lie to treasured American myths.

To pronounce that "black history is American history" says that every black child should learn that after Vernon Dahmer's home was firebombed in Mississippi and Dahmer died from his wounds, the outraged white community worked to rebuild the Dahmer home.  It says that black children needn't learn that in Brookhaven, Mississippi 1955, Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn in broad daylight by a white man for the crime of organizing blacks to vote, and that the know killer was never indicted because, per the Southern Poverty Law Center, "no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man."

To say "black history is American history" approves the endless repetition of a Martin Luther King quote like:

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love with have the final word."

It says black children needn't bother with another strand of King's thinking:

        "It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied, subtle and sometimes not so subtle--the disease of racism permeates and poins a whole body politic."

To insist that black history is American history says that the majority should be allowed to use our history to paint themselves the warmest light, but we should not be allowed to do the same.  The two are mutually exclusive.  To understand the challenges and triumphs of the American descendants of African Slaves, it is imperative to understand that almost every aspect of the might of this nation was to cripple us.  To understand how far we've come, the battles we fought, the blood we shed and the triumphs and defeats we suffered, you must understand the weight of the spiked boot that was placed on our necks.  To do that, you must indict America for crimes she would rather forget.

American history is not black history, and our history is not America's to dictate.  Until we understand that, and begin teaching our history to ourselves in ways that serve our own cultural needs instead of the majority's, we will continue to internalize this nation's prejudices against us, instead of arming ourselves  to appropriately demonize and deflect them.

Leonce Gaiter is a prolific African American writer and proud Harvard Alum.  His writing has appeared in the NYTimes, NYT Magazine, LA Times, Washington Times, and Washington Post, and he has written two novels.;His newly released Novel, In the Company of Educated Men,( is a literary thriller with socio economic, class, and racial themes.

Book Links:

In the company of Educated Men

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Q&A with Marie Ferrarella

Q&A with Marie Ferrarella
author of

  1. How does it feel to be releasing your 250th book?
It feels unreal, like any second, I will wake up surrounded by all the rejection slips I received (and held onto) before my first sale. When I really have time to think about it, I get very excited. It’s that walking-on-air feeling.

  1. After so many novels, how do you continue to come up with original and exciting plots and characters?
It just happens. I always refer to my going to write as sitting down and making magic because writing is a magical process. I hear something, see something and suddenly, it becomes a whole book. Case in point, when my kids were little and I picked them up from school, they were fighting in the back seat. Trying to quiet them down, I didn’t come to a full stop at a stop sign. Two seconds later, I was being pulled over. The patrolman took one look in my back seat, said I had enough to deal with and let me off with a warning.  He became the hero of Borrowed Baby. You just never know where the next book is coming from.

3.  What are the three ingredients that make up a perfect romance story?
A strong hero (with a soft center he might not want to own up to), a strong, snappy heroine and my first requirement—natural sounding, quick dialogue.  When I am particularly lucky, the characters talk in my head and I just try to keep up (case in point, It Happened One Night).

4.  If you could choose one literary hunk to come alive and jump off the pages, who would you choose?
I am married to a hunk, so the need for that has never been great. However, if I had the power to have a hero come to life, it would be Rhett Butler. He really deserved someone so much better than Scarlett.  He was strong, kind, thoughtful and he grew as the story unfolded.

5. Do you have any writing rituals or quirks?
I have a schedule, but not a ritual.  I like to break up a chapter into very rough draft, then going over it to double the length (from 10 pages to 20 if possible). I do a chapter a day until it’s done, then go back to the start and take about 3-4 days to go straight through tightening, fixing, etc.  I do love buying pens and unique looking pads (in school supplies, the ones with the cute covers). To me, a new pen and pad represent endless possibilities for storytelling.  I am also fortunate in that I can write any place, any time and have done chapters in 10-20 minute increments. Better to write something than nothing.

6.  What is the first book you remember reading by yourself as a child?  
In second grade, when I first discovered the library (it was a class field trip), I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  We each received a temporary library card and I took out a biography. There was a line of books that illustrated their books with shadows or silhouettes (now there’s a coincidence) and I don’t remember what they were really called but I always referred to them as “shadow books.”  The first one I read was: Jessica Fremont, Girl of Capitol Hill. I was so taken with the name (I’d never heard it before) that I “held” onto it until I had my daughter. Sadly, when Jessi was born, that had become the name for girls.  She had 3 other “Jessicas” in her kindergarten class and there was even a Jessica F besides her. Loved biographies, especially about women (this was pre-Women’s Lib Movement).

7.  What are three things about you that might surprise your readers?
English is not my first language. I spoke Polish and German until I was four. I learned English watching John Wayne westerns on channel 13 (in New York) and twanged when I spoke for the first couple of years. I was determined to speak well and by 6th grade, the teacher thought I came from England because I enunciated so clearly.

My husband is my first boyfriend, my first love, my first everything. I met him when I was 14 (he sauntered into my 2nd period English class, dressed all in black—Fonzee before there was a Fonzee). We started dating when I was 18 and have been married forever.

I didn’t want to be a writer at first. I wanted to be an actress. Since there were no good parts for women in those days, I started coming up with stories with strong heroines I hoped to someday play.

8.  What are you working on for your next book?
Currently working on three books (in different stages) at once. I love the Cavanaughs, so I’m making notes for their next book, plus I have a couple due before that one so I’m doing an outline for another Forever cowboy series as well as working on a continuity book I was tapped for. I am busier than God—and loving it.

9.  What’s on your reading list right now?
I hardly get time to read any more. I have a current Mary Higgins Clark book and a James Patterson book (his Michael Bennett series) on my nightstand as well as a book about the Secret Service. I love mysteries.

Q&A with Andrea Laurence

Q&A with Andrea Laurence
author of

  1. Is there such a thing as a perfect husband or a perfect marriage?
I don’t think so. It’s a lie we tell ourselves as we strive for something better. The truth is that no one is perfect, so no relationship will be either. It’s work. It’s easy to look at a couple hitting a big milestone anniversary and think that it’s because they have a perfect relationship. But if you ask them, they’ll tell you that you have to put in an effort every day to make it happen.
  1. Tell us a bit more about the relationship between Tyler Dixon and Amelia Kennedy.
Tyler and Amelia are best friends and have been since high school. I think they were always too afraid to mess up their friendship by muddying the waters with romance so they never really let their minds go that direction. Because they were best friends, they also saw “behind the curtain,” so to speak. Your best friends know you, warts and all, unlike a romantic relationship where you try to be on your best behavior. It’s harder to see your friend as having dating potential when you know all his bad habits. It takes a little desperation and a big condom failure for them to look past all that and see the potential in their relationship.
  1. How important is friendship to a romantic partnership? Is passion more important?
I absolutely think that friendship is important to a relationship. You don’t have to be best friends like Tyler and Amelia, but you’ve got to like each other! You’ve got to want to spend time with them, have common interests with them, be able to enjoy conversations with them... Passion is good, passion is important, but that fades over time. Great sex isn’t enough to make up for it when you don’t really like the guy! (At least in the long run.) True companionship, in and out of the bedroom, is what makes a relationship last for thirty, forty, even sixty years.
  1. What’s your advice to those thinking about trying to turn a friendship into more?
I’m no relationship professional (fiction is a different animal!) but I think that you really need to consider why you’ve never dated before and why the idea is coming up after a long stint as friends. The answer lies there. Sometimes the timing is just wrong and you’ve never been single at the same time. If that’s the case and you’re both finally single and interested – go for it! If you’re good friends, but there’s no spark, it’s tougher to say. I think it’s easy to turn to a friend when you aren’t finding that compatibility in your dating pool, but sometimes it isn’t because you’re attracted to your friend, it’s because you’re impatient about finding both friendship and passion in one person. That guy is out there! Maybe he’s your friend. Maybe not. Just go into it with your eyes open and know that you may not come out of it with the friendship intact.

Q&A with Abby Green

Q&A with Abby Green
author of

  1. How have your years working in the film and TV industry helped to shape your writing?

I think they’ve helped because I’m used to working in an unconventional environment and largely for myself. Even though working on a film is with a lot more people, you’re still freelance. It’s also helped because I’m used to breaking down scripts into their various components, which comes in very handy for knowing how important the continuity of a story is.
I’m also used to working under pressure which helps coming up to deadlines!

  1. What inspired you to make to the move to being a romance writer?

I’d wanted to get out of being an Assistant Director for a while, and at first I wanted to write a screenplay but then I thought about it and realized that perhaps writing fiction might be more practical in the long run. (The percentage of scripts that actually make it to the screen is tiny!). I had lived with a friend who had first talked about submitting a manuscript to Mills and Boon and that’s where the germ of the idea started, so it’s all thanks to her.

  1. If you could make any literary hunk in history come to life, who would it be and why?

At the moment, it would have to be Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books because he’s just the most perfect hero. He starts out as this incredibly sweet and honourable guy, virginal to boot, yet very instinctively Alpha. He grows into this very complex and charismatic man who has the most amazing love of a lifetime with the heroine, Claire. He develops through the books into an incredibly rich and complex character. Brilliant, and very sexy.

Friday, February 06, 2015

What Century Is This? by Shirley Martin (Author blog post)

How would you like to travel back in time, to the year 1762?  This is what happened to Gwen, my heroine of "Dream Weaver."  Gwen has been having strange dreams about an isolated cabin in the wilderness, and a tall, dark stranger who lives here.  On a hunch, she visits a restored village near her home in western Pennsylvania.  There, a freak accident sends her back to colonial times in the eighteenth century.  She arrives at the doorstep of the very same man who has haunted her dreams.

Now imagine what life was like in colonial Pennsylvania in the year 1762.  Unless you belonged to the upper class (highly unlikely), you lived in a log cabin of one or two rooms.  If you were lucky, you had a wooden floor.  Otherwise, an earthen floor would have to do.  Rats and snakes were frequent visitors.  A flea-infested bearskin kept you warm on cold nights.

Life was hard in those days, household chores keeping you busy from before daybreak to sunset.  Just making candles was an arduous chore that occupied the entire day.  But adjusting to life in the colonial Pennsylvania--a life without indoor plumbing or all the conveniences she's used to--is the least of Gwen's worries.

The hero, Christian, doesn't know what to think when this strange lady arrives at his doorstep.  As a doctor, his aim is to inoculate all the settlers against against small pox.  When Gwen tells him she's from the twenty-first century, he suspects she's a spy for the French, concocting a crazy story to avoid suspicion.  Either that, or she's "got maggots in her head."

He lives near the English for, Fort Pitt (present day Pittsburgh) and is a frequent visitor there.  When Gwen overhears Christian talking to a friend and expressing his suspicion that she's a spy for the French, she's scared out of her wits.  If turned over to the English authorities and found guilty of treason, it's bad news for Gwen.  Very bad news.

How can Gwen convince Christian of her innocence and prove that she really is from the twenty-first century?  As a former teacher of American history, she knows that Indian troubles loom in the very near future.  This problem plagues her night and day.  She must convince Christian that danger threatens the settlement.

This excerpt reveals her dilemma:

  Christian gave her a long, thoughtful look.  "I still don't understand you.  Why did you come to this part of the country?  What is your purpose here?"  He shook his head, a hint of a frown on his face.  "You're a puzzlement, to be sure."
  She rolled her eyes.  "Why do you bring this up again, after all this time?  I thought we worked this out before."
  "You thought we'd worked it out, but you've never fully explained your reason for being here."
  One idea after another flitted through her head, each quickly discarded, until she settled on a compromise.
  "I believe everyone has a purpose in life," she said.
  One idea after another flitted through her head, each quickly discarded, until she settled on a compromise.
  I believe everyone has a purpose in life.  She said.
  "What is your purpose then?"
  "Umm."  She thought about all the things she wanted to tell him--the coming Indian attacks, her trip back in time to save his life.  Would he believer her?  Not a chance.  "How much time do you have to listen?"
  He inclined his head.  "As much time as you need."
  She forced herself to speak in an even voice.  "I believe my presence here is closely connected with the Indian rebellion, which I already told you about and which you don't accept."
  "Right on both counts."
  After a pause, she went on.  "I think I may be able to save lives in this struggle with the Indians."
  "Oh, really?"  Christian folded his arms against his chest.  "How will you do that?"
  "By warning people, for one thing, as I've tried to warn you.  I might even talk to Captain Ecuyer at Fort Pitt."
  "You do that.  I'm sure he'll appreciate your advice.  But why stop there?  Why not go all the way to Colonel Bouquet even Sir Jeffrey Amherst?"
  Gwen lifted her chin.  "It's certainly worth a try to talk to Captain Ecuyer.
  (By way of explanation, Captain Ecuyer was Swiss, as was Colonel Bouquet, who was based in Philadelphia.  Both men served England.  Sir Jeffrey Amherst headed to all the English forces in North America)

  Here is the blurb from "Dream Weaver."

  Strange dreams haunt Gwen's sleep of a lonely cabin the woods and a tall, dark stranger she's never,  While visiting a restored village, Gwen is flung back in time and meets the man of her dreams!
  All Christian wants to do is practice medicine in the Pennsylvania wilderness.  He doesn't want to deal with the crazy lady who shows at his doorstep, claiming to be from the future.  And the last things he wants is to fall in love.

But Gwen and Christian can't deny their past or their future.  They must deal with the dangers that threaten them...or die together.

Sent back in time, Gwen must save her lover's life.  She failed them once before.  She can't fail him again.

Gwen has her own video.  Please check it out by clicking here

"Dream Weaver" was a nominee for CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Award.)

"Dream Weaver" is available electronically and in print.  You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

To read it in print, check at your local bookstore.  Here's the ISBN: 978-1-77145-271-7

I'd love for you to look over all of my books with Books We Love LTD.  You can find them by clicking here.

I write historical, paranormal, and fantasy.  You're bound to find a book you'd like.  And thanks for reading about Gwen's travels and travails.