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Monday, April 23, 2018

Movies and Books by Victoria Chatham

For my seventh birthday, I was treated to a trip to the movies to see Walt Disney’s Cinderella. 
Cinderella and her Prince colored my world in a way that books didn’t and since then I've been a die-hard (no pun intended) movie fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love books. I was taught to read at home, pre-school. I was, and am, an avid reader of anything that takes my fancy. My books fueled my imagination, but movies had me holding my breath and perching on the edge of my seat as I watched the action.

I think I was eight or nine when I started going to the Saturday morning movies on a regular basis. It very much depended on whether there was a movie theater where we lived. Moving around with my soldier dad was a bit of a potluck lifestyle. I do remember having to do chores to earn the one shilling and sixpence ticket price to enter those magic portals and sit through a B movie, Path̩ news, and then РWOW Рthe all-important feature film.

The cinemas I remember were more like theaters with their music pits in front of the screen, sometimes with actual live music depending on the movie, curved tiers of seating and fancy boxes and always those magnificent tasseled, velvet drapes. Oh, the anticipation when the lights were dimmed and they opened to reveal that magical silver screen. Girls carrying trays of ice-creams and cigarettes paraded the aisles during the breaks. How I envied them! In my innocence, I thought they saw all the movies they wanted for free. The truth, as I later discovered from a friend who actually got a job in a movie theater, was very different.

I still love going to the movies, but today I see them through different eyes as I’m far more aware of the beats in a movie – especially since reading Blake Snyder’s book ‘Save the Cat.’ Although Blake passed away in 2009, his trilogy of books on screenwriting and story structure make him a still recognized writing mentor. I’ve never been interested in scriptwriting, but I’ve found his book and his beat sheets have helped me with my own story structure as did Michael Hague’s workshop on the three-act structure.

There are so many good craft books and great workshops and I know I’ll never get bored with learning about the craft of writing. But there comes a time when, regardless of structure or how many craft books writers have on their shelves, you just have to let loose and bleed on the page. That’s where story comes from, the heart and soul of the writer. Write the story first, then apply the finesse of the craft.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Muse’s Thoughts

To buy this novel go to Amazon

A Muse’s Thoughts

 ”So how do you know you’re an author?” The question has been asked many times of writers.
“In my soul.” Is always my answer.
But no one has yet asked “When did you know you were an author?”
To answer the question that no one has yet asked of me, I would say “I guess in Grade Three”. The project that day was to write about a recent field trip. I won’t go into detail but my memories had everyone in stitches laughing; a couple of my classmates said later that they’d never laughed so hard.
Somewhere inside of me that little muse grinned from ear-to-ear and very quietly began to poke away at my sanity. Muses do that, you know. That, and make you remember very important things, like never run from a hungry grizzly. Well except when he’s on TV, then you can run, poke your tongue out at him and tell him funny jokes. Although bears never get funny jokes, I’ve discovered. In fact the only thing they really understand is “Hey there’s a few rotting salmon in the next stream. Way better on your preference ladder for snackies than my scrawny body.”
Later, in High School, is when my muse woke up. She hasn’t shut up ever since (bit like my wife, but that’s another story). Now I know where the strange term “Jabberwocky” came from.
The first day of a creative writing course our assignment was to write half-an-hour non-stop on anything and everything. Staring at the blank, lined, pages I could only ask “I have to write for half-an-hour non-stop? About what????”
The teacher replied, “About anything and everything.”
So used to being told what to do in school in those days, the idea that I could just do something on my own and be let loose, seemed beyond bizarre.
“I’ll give you a zero if you don’t fill the page,” was his response.
Incentive, then. The muse wrung her hands in mirthful glee.
I simply stared in bewilderment at the blank page and wondered what kind of easy five-credit course did I think I had signed up for in a moment of insanity.
My hand shook as I held the pencil to the paper and very thoughtfully put down, ‘the walls are beige; the girl in front of me is a blonde; I wonder how old the gum stuck under my desk is; and I am so frigging bored. (I thought if I can put anything down, then the odd cuss word should be acceptable).
But at some point, after about a week, the muse lost patience and snapped. She (I know it’s a woman, she whacked me upside the head and took over, controlling bitch. [Back to the wife again, but, as I said, that’s another story]). The flow began, just as the teacher had said it would. By the end of the day I’d filled four to six pages, my pencil a blur trying to keep up with the whirling dervish inside my subconscious. She hasn’t shut up since, and I don’t intend to have her stop either. You’ll probably find me on my deathbed, pencil in hand, a hundred and three, and there will be a long jagged line scribbling down the page, stating…
To Be Continued.
Because some stories never end.

My Stillwaters Run Deep Series
To Purchase Link Below


Here's the links to videos of the first two books, for you to enjoy and tempt you to buy.

My Author's Facebook Page

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Introducing new BWL Publishing author Bernice Bohnet

I feel I have achieved the pinnacle of success because my novel is being published. I’ve fallen in love with this form of writing. Novels require the use of virtually every facet of the brain; imagination, organization and verbal fluency. 

I never planned to deliberately write historical fiction. It chose me.  I find the World War 2 era fascinating. There were few people at that time not impacted by the war.  

My protagonist, Anna, initially lives in London, England and suffers a boring job in a munitions factory, deprivation as the result of rationing and the very real experience of danger. “Anna clutched her heart. Air raid sirens railed. Would she have time to get to the tube? A loud, terrifying buzz filled the air. Dear Lord, it must be one of the vicious German V1 bombs that were as frightening as they were deadly.”

When she comes to Canada, she isn’t accepted by the fanatical in-laws she is forced to live with. “Repent, Anna, repent or you will go to a fiery hell. First, it will be your feet, then your legs; finally your whole body and it will never end. You will burn for all eternity.”

Anna’s husband, Daniel, also suffers. His experiences in Normandy leave him with nightmares and frightening flashbacks. Even farm work brought back the war. “The crash and clang of the hail striking the metal became the sounds of the anti-tank shells bombarding his Firefly. “

In a separate flashback, “The beach was filled with brains and guts and blood, men screaming and crying.” Daniel is a good person under monumental stress. The novel begs the question, “Is war ever justified?”
Despite all this, Anna and Daniel share a great, consuming love. They are very happy in each other’s company.

I hope my readers will enjoy Till the Wind Blows Silent as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Bernice Bohnet

Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring IS Coming! by J.Q. Rose

Welcome to the BWL Publishing Insiders Blog!

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Mystery, paranormal
Click here to find mysteries by JQ Rose at BWL Publishing

Shocking. That's what it was. Snow! A thick, six-inch layer of snow covered the lawns, heaped up in piles along the cleared (thank goodness) roads, and blanketed the tender leaves of spring flowers tentatively breaking through the unfrozen soil to face this wintry spring weather. We drove from Florida back to Michigan last week through rain, wind, snow showers and black ice only to discover our part of the world was still smothered with that white fluffy stuff!! 

So, for all of you (including me) still dealing with winter in the middle of April, I'll share some of my spring photos from years before to give you a taste of what surely WILL come. Don't give up. Spring is on its way.


Forsythia bush

Pink tulips

Flowering crab

Tulips and creeping phlox
Let's party!!

One good thing I can find about this extended winter weather is the fabulous opportunity to stay in and read a book! Then, this summer, you can read a book at the beach. Anytime, anyplace is perfect for reading.
Wishing you a wonderful spring!

Click here to connect online with mystery author J.Q. Rose.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jury Duty: Torture or Writing Research? by Stuart R. West

Much more fun than jury duty!
My wife got the mail that fateful day, said "uh-oh," as she tossed the inexplicably foreboding government letter toward me. Surprise! I'd been chosen for jury duty! (Cue the wah-wah-wah-wahhhh mocking trombone).

Noooo! (Rendering it an even larger injustice, for years my wife has actually longed to pull jury duty. It's a cruel world).

Well, I'd managed to dodge the jury duty bullet twice before in my life time. (Years ago, I'd written the Government that my dad was in a wheelchair {true!} and that I was needed to take care of him {kinda true, but not really!}. It'd worked twice.) Feeling invulnerable, I figured I could dodge the bullet a third time. I wrote that my mother was ailing (true and constantly!) and that I was "on-call" at all times to take care of her (sorta' true if you kinda smudge the boundaries of what's "true" and whatever). This time, the cold-hearted judge didn't take pity on me.

So, on a recent bitter, snow-storm threatening Monday morning, I hauled myself through gridlocked highway traffic to the Kansas courthouse. Like lemmings driven to their death, tons of people grumpily shuffled across the sidewalks toward the courthouse. As it was Monday morning, I'd never seen such a collection of bleary-eyed, clearly hung-over, grumpier people together at once.

At the security check, I de-shoed, unbelted, emptied my valuables into a bucket, got beeped at, then was sent through the puzzling labyrinth of the courthouse. Worse than a rat in a maze, I had to go down a flight of stairs to a room, up another flight, down the hall, down another flight, then up another flight. Finally, I entered the courtroom.

A woman who made Fran Drescher sound absolutely dulcet directed us toward assigned seats. She looked at my paperwork and laughed. Actually brayed! "You're juror number one," she managed between sadistic guffaws. 

This didn't bode well. So much for a fast exit. All week long, I'd been working on a strategy to be dismissed during the "voir dire" process (oral and visual examination of the potential jurors). I figured I might try a surly and crazed "hang 'em all and hang 'em high" attitude. But all now seemed lost as I settled into chair number ONE.

And there I sat for an hour. By my estimation, over a hundred potential jurors crammed into the courtroom. Grimly, I stared at my non-existent wristwatch. An older man sat down in front of me, flying his flannel and sporting a mess of Grizzly Adams beard and hair. My peer. Breathing like a pneumatic nail gun, his face redder than a fire hydrant, he turned around and angrily huffed at me like some kind of out-of-control Lifetime movie husband. At that point I figured it was gonna be a long trial.

Not Fran Drescher did her best to entertain us, answer questions, and warn of the oncoming snow storm. While she couldn't get into the specifics, she did say this was a criminal trial--a big one!--and could take up to several weeks. I had a sudden change of heart. Even though I didn't want to be there, the trial might provide some excellent writing research and ideas. I began to brainstorm a courtroom thriller! Because I had nothing better to do!

Some woman asked Fran Drescher's twin how they picked potential jurors. "Driving and voting records and bad luck," she answered. The woman's question was two-fold, however. "This is the fourth time I've been here this year," the woman implored. "What's up with that?"

Pseudo Fran Drescher responded, "That sucks." (A truly governmental response if I've ever heard one.)

Suddenly a yuppie--flashy in Friday casual wear--took the podium. He said he was our judge (No robe, no liver spots, no tremors while rattling a gavel. Feh. Not my kinda judge.) and apologized for keeping us waiting. Apparently they'd reached a plea agreement and we were free to go.


Just as I'd resigned myself to a long drawn-out affair, almost excited about the sordid adventure awaiting me, then POOF, we were ushered out of the courtroom (and up stairs, then down stairs, then up again, and...).

Oddly disappointed, I trawled home. But at least I wouldn't be called again for another year. Then again...that "rule" didn't hold true for the poor four-time lottery loser in the courtroom.

A jury of reading peers has found Bad Day in a Banana Hammock guilty of hilarity with a finding of a 4.2 rating. 22 jurors surely can't ALL be wrong.
Hear ye, hear ye, click here to read the book in session!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Coming in April from BWL Publishing

These covers have just come off the drawing board and represent the newest releases coming from BWL Publishing Inc. in April.  Coming soon to our website where you'll find purchase links with the covers.

Our newest Alberta author Bernice Bohnet brings us this dramatic historical set in the tumultuous period following WWII.

From war-torn London in 1944 to the prairies of Western Canada, Anna’s life is not always pleasant but it is always interesting. She receives two marriage proposals, one from Daniel Armstrong, a handsome, empathic Canadian solider who eventually becomes her husband. Daniel suffers from nightmares and frightening flashbacks, the result of his experiences in a tank on the beaches of Normandy. Anna must overcome a vicious rape that results in an unwanted pregnancy, as well as the religious fanaticism of her in-laws. She is a strong character in often difficult circumstances.

:  Single and sick of it, Gina is looking for a decent long-term relationship in this city new to her. She’s headhunted for deputy at an international business college, and her new workaholic boss couldn’t possibly meet her exacting criteria. Especially as they have a history: she recalls them at high school together, their fierce competition in class and in the swimming pool, arguments alongside a budding attraction. Tragedies at age seventeen means they lose touch; she believes he holds a secret to do with her family that she has a right to know.  He worries whether he can, or should, keep this secret while working with her. She worries that what he could tell her may be too upsetting. Meanwhile, at work she clashes with him over his autocratic management style, while undercurrents of their old rivalry surge between them.  Are they now mature enough to cope with each other? And can they maintain the barrier between the professional and the personal?

Review Snippet   a quirky female lead, adversarial relationships and funny first date stories set against a background of business management…

Also, don't forget the April 99 cent specials, they'll be gone come April 30, so get yours now before they move back up to regular price.

Books We Love Coupon Specials
Only .99 cents Click covers
Use Smashwords Coupon
Coupons Expire April 30, 2018


Movies and Books by Victoria Chatham

For my seventh birthday, I was treated to a trip to the movies to see Walt Disney’s Cinderella.  Cinderella and her Prince colored m...