Monday, March 27, 2017

Emotional Involvement in a Story by Connie Vines

Check out Connie Vines Books We Love author page for her books

Are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

For romance novelist the emotional involvement is the 💖 of the story.  Whereas fear would be the emotional of a horror story, etc.

So, like so many other romance novelists of my era, I have one key movie and one key television series which spelled out emotion in capital letters.

  • The opening of the movie Romancing the Stone, where author Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner) is bawling because she has finished her book with a very emotional scene in her book. 
  • The television series,  Beauty and the Beast, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman (as Vincent, the beast).  The opening music was enough to make my throat thick and my eyes teary.

 I've read meany books that brought me to tears (Jane Eyre, to name my favorite), and I must admit, I still cry when I re-read scenes in my own novels, too.  Talk that dark moment in Lynx, Rodeo Romance, Book 1, when Rachel turns down Lynx's proposal.  Or in Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2 when my heroine is willing to sacrifice her life to save Brede and his daughter.  Well, you get the picture , ,

I plot my novels and short stories, however, I emotionally live my scenes.  Since my settings are places I have lived or visited, I have memories and sensory reactions. In real life, since  I can feel other people's emotions, which is difficult at times, and it helps for me to write it out through my characters.

Emotional draining? Yes.
Rewarding?  Of course.

Please stop by and see what these wonderful authors have to say by clicking on the links below.

Happy Reading!


At the MATSURI Japanese Festival - by Vijaya Schartz

Damsel of the Hawk, standalone in
the Curse of the Lost Isle series
find it HERE
Since 1984, The Arizona Matsuri festival celebrates each winter Japanese culture and heritage, traditional and modern. The two-day event held at Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix features the sights and sounds of Japan, art, crafts, music, dance and much more...

This year, I left my car to avoid parking jams and took the light rail to downtown Phoenix. Since trains are so prominent in Japan, it got me and my friends in the right mood. As if riding the famous Shinkansen minus the speed. Despite its futuristic looks, however, the light rail is no bullet train.

Having lived in Japanese communities in Hawaii and traveled all over Japan, I'm always glad to refresh my memories of the people, the culture, and everything Japanese, including the language.

The crowd came, and we had to make our way through lines of people, especially in front of the food tents.

So many things come from Japan, we tend to forget. From sushi, sake and beer, to anime, cosplay, bonsai trees, kimonos, and martial arts, we have adopted many cultural aspects of Japan. This is what we saw.

Kimonos are always popular. Some of these were real works of art, hand made, in rare silk, and intricately embroidered. Also popular the delicious foods, the tea ceremony, and the big drums. Did you know the ladies used to stick all kinds of implements inside the obi belt of their kimonos. At the festival, I saw many drumsticks sticking out of them.

This is a lovely picture of my friend Sue (on the left) with the group of Japanese folk dancers, getting ready for their appearance on stage. Notice the fans sticking out of the obi belts.

And here is yours truly, flanked by two formidable samurai in full armor. The sun and shadows of the overhead lattice and vines make it difficult to see them in all their splendor.

Of course, there was much more to see and do. I attended a storyteller show about the Shinkansen, introducing all the principal cities of Japan with their tourist attractions and culinary specialties. I also attended several martial arts demonstrations of Kendo, Aikido, Karate, and many others.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this special day.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll write a novel set in Japan, or in a Japanese-like futuristic society.


 Vijaya Schartz
 Romance with a Kick
 Amazon - Barnes & Noble Smashwords

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Stonehenge—Legends and Fact, Tricia McGill

Find out about all my books here on my Books We Love Author page

The authors among us who like to write about past ages, whether it be fact or pure fiction, are universally research nerds. We must love the research entailed in writing time-travels and historicals, or we would never be able to proceed with our work. I’m in the process of re-working one of my older books and this brought to mind the subject of this post, as my characters pass Stonehenge on their journey to the west of England (Circa 450 AD).

Years ago, too many to think about, but let’s say a long time ago, on the way to the west of England with family, we passed Stonehenge where it stood in all its stark glory on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. I am ashamed to admit that I took scant notice of it back then as my interest in history was merely budding and it’s likely I had other things to occupy my young mind. From memory, the stones were not surrounded by any restrictions and I vaguely recall we left the car at the side of the nearby road, walked around, and near them easily. Many of the original stones have fallen or been removed by what can only be called vandals. Thank goodness contact by tourists and visitors to the stones has been prohibited since 1978.

Sadly, no one in my family thought to take a photograph so I have no solid proof that I stood beneath these monumental stones and wondered how on earth they got there. This is one question that has puzzled historians for many years. There are numerous theories and a few myths surrounding Stonehenge. Despite its dilapidation and mistreatment by generations of thoughtless people it is still a sight no one visiting Britain should miss.

Stonehenge is situated in this vast plain, surrounded by hundreds of round barrows, or burial mounds. Will the mystery of who actually built it, and for what reason, ever be solved completely? Some say it is a sacred place, some say it is steeped in magic, some say it was honoured by the ancient folk who went to so much trouble to build it.

Its construction has been attributed to many different groups, but the most enduring conjecture seems to be the Druids were responsible. But then Druids did their worshipping in forests so why would they go to the trouble to trundle such large stones from miles away when they had no real use for them? Julius Caesar and other Roman storytellers wrote of a Celtic priesthood who might have been connected, but by that time the stones were already about 2000 years old. Then there is the guess that the site was started in the late Neolithic period around 3000BC and carried over to the so-called Beaker Folk who, according to archaeological finds, began to use metal implements.

The mystery of how the giant sarsen stone that weighed as much as 50 tons each got from the Marlborough Downs about 20 miles north of the Plain to their final destination, not to mention the moving of the bluestones, remains today. Modern studies have calculated that at least 600 men would have been required to just get each stone across obstacles on the route.

Around 2100BC as the Bronze Age made its presence felt in North/West Europe Stonehenge was dismantled and rebuilt on a more impressive scale, with two rings. It is thought the purpose was to record the cycles of the sun and moon (with accuracy) at summer and winter solstices. The sheer scale of Stonehenge suggests it was meant for some ceremonial practice.

On site, the sarsen stone had to be prepared to take the lintels along the top surface. The mind boggles at the enormity of this task taking place with none of the modern machinery at hand today. Levers were likely used to raise each stone until gravity ensured it slid into a prepared hole. Then, manpower was used to pull the stone upright. It is estimated Stonehenge was finally completed around 1500 BC.

We must not forget the legends surrounding Stonehenge. Being a romantic, I half believe this one as it involves King Arthur’s Merlin. The 12th century writer Geoffrey of Monmouth in his “History of the Kings of Britain” claimed that Merlin brought the stones from Ireland.

Okay the story gets a bit far-fetched when he claims the stones of the original Giant’s Ring were brought to Ireland from Africa (How? you ask) well by giants of course. The stones were located on Mount Killaraus where they had been used as a site for rituals and healing. King Uther and Merlin arrived in Ireland, arranged for the dismantling of the stones to be transported to Britain (by giants and magic) where they were erected in a great circle. This circle was in memory of 300 British noblemen who were massacred by the Saxon leader, Hengest, around the 5th century.

Speculation and experimentation will go on forever and no doubt there will be new evidence springing up in the future. We should not forget the aliens from another planet theory. As space exploration goes forward in search of a new planet for the human race to occupy, new answers may arise. I’m sad that I will not be here to learn the actual truth. But, who knows, I might be reincarnated by then. I only hope I come back as a scientist or space explorer.

Visit my web page for excerpts from all my books

Some of my books are now available in Print. Find purchase information
on my web page or my Books We love Author Page

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Around Europe with Randall Sawka

Rough Business by Randall Sawka

March brought Nancy and Me to other parts of Europe. For two weeks we hiked
around Malta. The weather was just OK thanks primarily to the heavy winds.
It limited excursions for a few days but did allow me to get a great deal of
writing done. My favourite place was the Starbucks knockoff. Here are Nancy
and me in front of the Lion sign.

The third week of March brought us to Budapest. This is now officially our favourite city in the world. Amazing food, amazing architecture, and very, very walkable. Thought I would show you our luggage for the trip. Actually, Nancy is lugging the luggage. Plenty of time doing laundry, but were able to take 6-7 discount airlines with just carry on bags and saved a lot of money.

Our final overseas stop in Paris (Not Ontario). I call it writing intimidation time. We revisited the Latin quarter where we had coffee at the "Les Duex Magots" the Paris cafe famous as a gathering place of James Joyce, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ernest Hemingway, among others. I sip espresso while Nancy sits Beneath the Magots (mandarins, Magicians, alchemists)-your choice.

This morning we took a short walk past the Moulin Rouge and in to Montmartre
Cemetery. Here I am beside the resting place of another great, Alexandre Dumas.

The rain is now moving in for a couple days. Please see the sky in the above image. The flight back to Canada leaves in five days. The trip has been wonderful. I recommend it for anybody.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Story-star Confession: Samantha Parks from Secret: In Wolf Lake

Hello everyone: ) Thank you for stopping in to check out Secret: In Wolf Lake story-star, Samantha Parks, a.k.a. Sam. She actually hates too much attention, so I (DK Davis, writer of her story) took on the role of interviewer. Mostly just to get her talking: )

DK Davis – Okay, Sam, time to get started. Tell everyone a little about yourself – you know, like your age and interests, things you love to do.

Sam – I’m fifteen, actually closer to sixteen. *she looks at me and I nod for her to continue* Okay, let’s see, I love fishing, adore my chocolate Labrador, Koko, and enjoy being at Wolf Lake. I’d rather be there than my other option.

DK – Ahhh, yes, let’s talk about the other option…what is it and why the negative vibes regarding it?

Sam – Mom wanted me to travel with her and Matt. Can you imagine being the third wheel on a European honeymoon? I’d hate it. *rolls eyes*

DK – That’s not really why you chose not to go. Give it up, be honest with us.

Sam – Fine. *big sigh* Matt and Dad were best friends. I mean they grew up together, all through school, like brothers. They did everything together. Now he thinks he can move deeper into my life and replace my father!?

DK – But why would he think that? What happened to your father?

Sam – *eyes shine with water* Dad was killed two years ago. Hit by a druggy driving through the school parking lot where my father taught.

DK – So sorry for your loss, Sam. *Sam nods* Let’s talk about something else, like what are your dislikes as a girl in today’s world?

Sam - *smiles* I have a hard time relating to girly-girls. My cousin, Lisa, is one of those. All she thinks about is guys. Seriously. Well, that’s not all she thinks about…I mean she’s always checking her hair, painting her nails, doing her make-up, wearing clothes that…well, seem tight and revealing to me, uncomfortable.
We used to have fun together, a few years ago…before her every thought included a guy. Now…we pretty much can’t stand each other.

DK – So what’s the best thing about Wolf Lake?

Sam – I’ve always loved Wolf Lake. It was where we went for vacation when Dad was alive. I have good memories from there. Plus, there’s something else I discovered at the lake…a secret…something I promised not to talk about until given permission. Now, I have new memories…and honestly, new friendships, the kind that might last forever.

DK – Well that pretty much sews up our time today – thank you, Sam. I really appreciate you coming along, agreeing to the interview, and sharing as much as you have. I know some of it wasn’t easy for you.

Sam – Thanks for asking me here, DK. Even though some of my story still hurts, I want everyone to hear my story, to know the secret locked inside, and to love and resonate with the ending like I do: )

We hope you’ll check out Sam’s story, Secret: In Wolf Lake, a YA Sci-fi Fantasy adventure. For now – Sam would love to answer any questions or comments you’d like to make. Please don’t be shy…because…she’s shy, but agreed to answer questions; )

DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.
You can find her at these links:

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Will Someone Pass Me The Nuts?

Will Someone Pass Me The Nuts?

People have remarked that one of the things they enjoyed from my new novel “Thunderbird’s Wake” is the banter between the two main characters, Carol and Charlie. When I was going through all the edits and had others editing as well. Trust me my editing and grammatical skills leave much to be desired. Hey, I just write the stuff and hopefully leave them laughing. I think that humour can be well used and if you can make someone laugh, it not only brightens their day, but should help sell a book. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Carol and Charlie. Those scenes were done in one sitting and required virtually no editing. That’s when you know you’re in the writing groove and when you’ve got solid realistic characters. They often take over and begin to write the scenes and dialogue themselves.

Buy at Amazon

From Thunderbird’s Wake

(Charlie has just managed to talk Carol to joining him from her holidays and help solve a case in a penitentiary where Charlie has just got his first job)

“You’ve never worked before?” Carol said as she entered his office. She stared pointedly at the largely blank sheet of paper that was Charlie’s resume. He looked up at her, he had been busy reading from the stack of documents sitting on the desk before him.
“Well, I’m a shaman. You know, live-off-the-land type. Help little animals fight oppression, the lack of nuts and the Freedom of Planting Act.”
“The what?”
“The Freedom of Planting Act. It gives squirrels, chipmunks and even crows and ravens the right to plant fallen nuts wherever they desire.”
Carol shook her head and smiled. “Can’t say I’ve missed this inane banter of yours. But really, never had a real paying job before? How is this possible in our day and age?”
“I’ve had a few small jobs, fishing, selling jack pine mushrooms, got paid in cash. Darn Japanese are crazy, they’ll pay nearly a thousand dollars a pound for the stuff. And they eat sushi, raw fish, yuck.” Charlie wrinkled his nose. “Good to see you too Carol, I knew you were a person of your word.”
Carol scratched at her shoulder where the sunburn hurt the worst. She hated him being right most of the time. “I thought you were a native, eat wild roots, live off the land. Smoke salmon.”
“Yeah, but this is the twenty-first century. We’ve got electricity. Cooked, deep fried, breaded, now we’re talking. Raw! Hell, haven’t you heard of fish lice? They’ll eat you alive from the inside out. That’s it. I can’t read anymore. If I knew I had to read this much, I’d have thought twice about getting hired. “Charlie got up and headed out the door of his office, chucking down the wad of paper before him.
“Hey, where you going?”
“Cafeteria, see if old Sandy will do me up a smoked salmon sandwich. Talking about food gets a guy hungry. Are you coming?”
Carol decided to join him. “You can’t seriously be telling me you rerouted all of the applications so they’d have to accept yours?”
“Okay, so I won’t tell you.” Charlie laughed as he tapped his cane down the hallway.
“How did you tamper with the federal mail? Oh, let me guess.”
“Nephews and uncles.” They said at the same time.
“You’re getting it.”
Carol groaned. He either had great balls to pull off this kind of grandiose lunatic kind of stunt or dumb shit ass luck. Probably mainly the latter, she muttered to herself, remembering the incident earlier in the year with the smuggling out of the deceased shaman’s remains into Stanley Park that Charlie had arranged by another of his ‘nephews’. But she knew this, if he thought the man was murdered, he most likely was. Now they had to find just cause. “Okay take me out to the sweat lodge after we eat.”

And if you enjoy that, maybe my newest video promoting myself and my writing will bring a chuckle to you as well at the link below. Sorry I tried to download it here, but it was many megapixies. Although I didn't know that pixies came in extra large, Learned something new today. Copy and paste and have a chuckle.

And just to let everyone know I'll also be attending The Creative Ink Writers Festival at the end of the month. Hope to see some of you there. 
Link below.

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Frank Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues). PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Or as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps.

Writer by soul. Karma the seed. Words born within.
Paper the medium. Pen the muse. Novels the fire.

My websites

Twitter: @FrankTalaber

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dedicated to My Grandmother, Maw

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Romantic suspense
For more information about BWL books by J.Q. Rose, 
and to purchase, please visit J.Q.'s 
My Grandmother, Maw by J.Q. Rose
My grandfather and my grandmother Maw
My grandmother Maw, as we called her, was an intelligent woman who passed her love of reading and teaching to me. In fact she was the one who encouraged me to write stories. I dedicated my latest romantic suspense novel to Maw whose real name is Beulah Lee. March is the month of her birthday. She would be 125 years old this month, and I'm sure she was celebrating with the angels in heaven.

We always had fun together. When I went to her house to visit, she usually had several doll outfits for my beloved Ricky Jr doll for me. She created them using her foot pedal sewing machine. She could look at a dress in a magazine and make it. What a seamstress.
Maw and I had a special connection and not just because we loved to shop. (When her social security check came in, she cashed it into small bills and stuffed them in her wallet. She delighted in showing me the stack of cash she had for us  to spend on our shopping trip.) Besides shopping, we were readers and loved words and books.

Her reading probably spurred my love of reading which in turn developed my desire to write stories for others to read. I began writing little stories when I was in second grade and developed a writer’s bump on my middle finger from writing constantly. (Anyone else get that bump?)

In seventh grade I decided to tackle writing my first novel. The story line was about a horse and a girl probably influenced by my love of the book, Black Beauty. I wrote the entire book on lined yellow tablet paper and shared it with Maw. Taking those awful scribbles of sentences and typing them into a manuscript became her major project.

Antique typewriter
Courtesy of  thaikrit at
Maw's blue eyes twinkled with excitement when she handed me the typed pages. I was so overwhelmed with joy when I saw the typed manuscript, I cried. I was overcome with the idea she spent so much time "publishing" my book for me. She was delighted at my reaction, but she really worked on the project because she loved the story. Maw encouraged me to write more stories for more people to enjoy. From that day forward, I knew I wanted to tell stories and have them published so I could share them with readers.

I wish Maw were here now to be a part of this writing experience in the 21st century. I recall her typing away on her old typewriter. She would be amazed at these keyboards and laptops, wouldn't she? To be honest, when I work at my laptop, I feel her presence. I'm sure her blue eyes are sparkling with pride.

Author J.Q. Rose
Who influenced you to become a writer? a reader? Please leave a comment below and let us know. Thank you.
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About J.Q.
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

J.Q.Rose blog
Books We LoveAuthor Page 

Emotional Involvement in a Story by Connie Vines

Check out Connie Vines Books We Love author page for her books Are you ever emotionally...