Thursday, May 30, 2013

J.M. Kelley - How I Became A Writer

I'm very pleased to present author J.M. Kelley who shares her journey in writing.

                            ~ * ~

How I became a writer….that’s a convoluted story. Like most writers, the origin is rooted in reading. As a child, I was obsessed with reading. I remember craving new stories to read, so much so that I’d get in trouble at school for getting my mitts on the reading material for the year and chewing through it in a week’s time. I’d read on roller skates, and in the bathtub (ruining so many good books). I read when I walked, and when I should be sleeping. Reading could cause injury, it was that necessary to have a book in hand.
Along the way, I started crafting alternate storylines in my head. What if Laura Ingalls did this? What if Fudge did that? Sometimes I’d write out shaky and unsophisticated stories involving characters I couldn’t get enough of, and I loved trying to envision those fresh scenarios.
I like to claim that my first published work was a story I wrote in kindergarten or first grade. Our town’s newspaper had a weekly feature in which local students submitted, via their schools, original stories and assignments. If published, you received a crisp one dollar bill in the mail. My first dollar came when I wrote a fascinating tale of winning the lottery and buying a horse. That was the story. Two lines. When I grow up I will win the lottery. Then I will buy a horse. Compelling, no?
But, that win created a monster. I wanted more dollars! I wanted to see my name in print again! Over the elementary years, I may have seen two or three other so-called stories published in that Junior Dispatch, but I was writing other things.
My worst endeavor was what turned out to be a horrific clone of the Sweet Valley High characters. I might as well have named the twins Belizabeth and Bessica Bakefield, it was that much of a rip-off.
More writing happened as I grew older, but it was secretive and angst-ridden as the middle school and high school experiences turned into the typical wallflower/target-for-all-the-bullies life unfolded. The stories often reflected life on the fringes of school society. There was a moment I thought was glorious when a story I’d written was read in front of my entire lit class. I was proud of it, this assignment we’d been given. The goal was to write a story inspired by Washington Irving’s  The Devil and Tom Walker, and I’d concocted a rather complex story about a mailroom clerk in a Chicago business of some sort, who met the devil. Well, the devil disguised as a taxi driver. He jokingly sells his soul to the devil, aka Mr. Taxi Driver, and wonder of wonders, experiences a meteoric rise in the company. The story ended with the devilish taxi driver and the businessman running into each other in an elevator, and the devil collecting his soul with the push of a button.
The reaction of the classmates? Weeks of relentless mocking, naturally. That was when I began stifling the urge to write, and in time, I’d given up all together. It had become a source of embarrassment, and I didn’t need yet another target drawn on my forehead.
Sad, letting those fools win, huh?
At any rate, let’s fast-forward in time. In 2007, my father passed away after a short but vicious bout of lung cancer. It was emotionally devastating, considering I was still grappling with the truth of our relationship as father and daughter. You know how it is—you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
I needed an outlet, and I returned to writing short stories, again with the angsty overtones. They were terrible…rusty, adverb-riddled, and full of horrific dialogue tagging. But, it was good for working out the kinks and getting the vibe back. Eventually, I started craving a full-length novel to call my own, and opportunity knocked with a pink slip from my accounting job. I was laid-off. Booted from the business. Kicked to the curb with a piddly severance package, all for the sake of the almighty bottom line.
Without any work to be found, I had all the time in the world to do it, so I finally really, truly buckled down and wrote it. The official thought was, “What the hell do I have to lose now?”
That story was Drew in Blue. It was published in December of 2010. My second novel, Daddy’s Girl, was released in January 2013, and is my official thank you to my father for getting me to chase my dreams at long last. Add to that list Almost Magic, coming this month, and She Let Herself Go, to be released in March of 2014, and I think it’s safe to say the chase is on, with no end in sight.

“Need help?”
Janie turned around and grinned in spite of herself when David appeared from the living room. Her eyes lingered on the red sleeveless cardigan he wore over a crisp white work shirt. “Nice sweater vest,” she said. She held a crumpled bag out to him.
“Thanks,” he said, too brightly to have read the sarcasm in her words, Janie figured. She rolled her eyes and followed him out into the kitchen.
“So, what are you doing here?” She shed her coat and hung it over a chair.
David started unpacking the bags. “Antiques Roadshow. Didn’t your father tell you?”
Janie snorted. “Well, yeah, but I thought he was joking. You guys really sit around and watch that show?”
David stepped aside to grant Janie access when she reached for the boxes of cereal. “It’s intriguing.”
“Oh, yes.” The sarcasm was back. Janie carried her armload to the pantry. “I saw it once. They had an intriguing analysis of a step stool. I’ve never been so moved in all my life.”
“You mock what you do not understand.”
Laughing, Janie walked back to the kitchen table. “So what was the big item of the night?”
David scowled. “A pair of eyeglasses.” He paused. “They had reason to believe they could have belonged to Benjamin Franklin.”
Janie made an O shape with her mouth and fanned her hand at her face. “Be still my heart. I think you should get permission from the doctor before you subject my father to such drama. What’s he doing, anyway?”
Unfazed, David tossed a pear at her. “He’s asleep in his chair.”
“Shocker.” She pulled a bowl from the cabinet and placed the pears inside. “Oh, by the way? I’m mocking what I do understand.”
“Yeah, well, you have your shirt on backwards.” David grinned and folded his arms over his chest as Janie pulled the neck of her shirt out and peered at the tags.
“Crap,” she whispered.

About J.M. Kelley:

Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event.  When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.

J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN).

You can find J.M. Kelley on the web at:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Holly Gilliatt - How I Became A Writer

This week I'm very pleased to present author Holly Gilliatt who shares the story of her journey into becoming a writer.

Writer of stories that tug at the heart. Usually fun, sometimes flirty, often touching.

I think I came out of the womb as a writer…I just didn’t understand language yet. But as soon as I learned how to read and found these marvelous things called books, I couldn’t imagine anything better than writing one.

My favorite part of school was when we got to write. They would give us those big, lined pieces of paper with the dotted lines to aid our newly learned handwriting skills, and I was in heaven. While my classmates were content to fill that one page, I would routinely ask for a second or third sheet to finish my story.
When I think the writing bug really got me was in third grade. One of my all-time favorite teachers, Mrs. Woodard, really encouraged writing and we got to do the most exciting school project I’d ever encountered—we actually got to make a book. I remember vividly how we sewed the pages together, picked out the fabric for our cover and ironed it with heat-activated adhesive to the cardboard to stiffen the cover. When it was done, I was in awe. I had made a book! I could hold it in my hands. Others could read it. It was, quite simply, amazing. So I made two more!
I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Make real books. The kind I saw and devoured from my weekly trips to the library, when I always picked out six books to take home with me (my mom had to impose a limit or God knows how many I would have lugged home).
In grade school, I won two national writing awards. One was for an essay about Harry Truman, for which my school earned a plaque with Truman’s likeness and my name engraved on it. The other contest was about the Statue of Liberty, and I won a cash award. I think it was twenty-five dollars. I remember thinking how unbelievable it was that someone had paid me to do something I loved so much. What could be better?
When I was twelve, I wrote my first novel and submitted it to a house that published works written by young people. They didn’t publish it, but since they worked with kids, they were kind enough to offer constructive criticism and praise for what was good. They liked a lot of it, and I knew more than ever that I wanted to be published someday.
In high school I was on the newspaper and yearbook staff. Won some national awards for my work, furthering my desire to someday write for a living. I considered becoming a newspaper reporter, but then I figured the crazy hours they keep wouldn’t be conducive to raising a family, which was probably the only thing I wanted more than being a writer.
After graduation, there was college, jobs and marriage. Then kids. Along the way, I would have periods where I wrote feverishly, then I’d take a break. It really took a backseat to the rest of my life. But then, as I entered my late thirties and forty loomed ahead, I made a decision. I needed to pursue writing, finish a novel, and try to get a contract for it. It was now or never. I had to make it happen or put those old dreams to rest. Turning forty was a good deadline.
I spent about a year and half writing, polishing, editing, and editing some more. I started sending out queries and then wrote a second novel, ‘Til St. Patrick’s Day. I turned forty in December, 2011. Three months later, I was offered a contract for ‘Til St. Patrick’s Day by Turquoise Morning Press. Within two weeks, I was offered a contract for my first novel, Enough.
I had done it.  I was no longer just a writer.
I was a published author.

 For three best friends, one winter will change everything.
Chronically optimistic Jayne is surprised shes still single at twenty-eight. But as always for Jayne, theres hope. This time his name is Graya successful, gorgeous marketing VP that she cant believe is going out with her. Shes never given up on the belief that the right man for her is out there. Maybe Gray could be the oneif she just works hard enough to make it happen.

Her cynical friend Karen is suspicious of Jaynes new guy with his model looks and over-inflated ego. Shes concerned for Jayne, but has her own relationship to worry about. Not that anythings wrong with her boyfriend. Hes actually perfect for her, which is why shes terrified. Not sure she can ever fully trust a man again, she considers bailing on yet another relationship.

Claudia is always there for her friends, mothering them like the children she craves to have. Happily married, Claudia anxiously awaits the day her husband finally agrees its time to start a family.

Til St. Patricks Day is a novel about the depths of friendship and what happens when love doesnt go according to plan.

'Til St. Patrick's Day is available at Turquoise Morning Press

Holly Gilliatt can be found on the web at
twitter: @hollygtweet 

Friday, May 17, 2013

How I Became A Writer - Allison Knight

This week, I'm pleased to welcome author Allison Knight who shares her journey into writing.

                                ~ * ~

 Years ago, my little sister and I played opera.  So what on earth does that have to do with being a writer? Why, I was into pretend. Of course, I was always the heroine. As I grew, I  read. One of my greatest joys was sneaking off to a private corner where I could read.  Once a week, we'd go to the public library and during those years I read every Cherry Ames Nurse books. Okay, so right away you can tell I went for  romantic stories.

It was about then I began to write, at first poetry.  In the eighth grade, one of the local organizations offered a scholarship award, a whole fifty dollars, based on the best essay. I abandoned poetry and turn to writing essays. I won the scholarship and I knew then I would be a writer. The question - what would I write -  never entered my mind. I would be a writer. I do have to smile though, remembering my college English professor. Nothing about my writing ability pleased her. In fact, if I remember correctly, she begrudgingly gave me a "C-" for a final class grade.

After college, I began  to teach, and met the love of my life, married and began our family. I discovered the romance genre. I found I loved the feel good, happy endings you always got with romances. One day I began a book which became the genesis for my passion to write historical romances. The book was well written - I thought. But I found problems with the book. The heroine's eyes changed color twice. A mother-in-law who played a small part disappeared, never to be heard from again. An important character suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and I remember thinking at the time, where did he come from. I sat in our bedroom, my reading corner and stared at that book. I just knew I could do a better job.

I dragged out the typewriter and announced I was going to write a book. My children thought it was hilarious and my daughter told me, "Oh, yea, Mom. When cows fly."
My husband didn't crack a smile, bless his heart. He built a place in the basement of our home so I had a special place to write. When I started having trouble planning the action, he suggested I plot the story out using a time line. He even supplied the paper. When I sold my first books I came home from school to find a stuffed toy cow, adorned with a set of wings flying around the family room attached to our ceiling fan.  It seemed "Cows could fly." I dedicated that first book to my children, telling them to look up.

I've learned a lot over the years but I do believe if I hadn't read so much and didn't love books, I would never have tried to write. And I found you can never learn too much. If you don't continue to grow, to develop, to improve, you can not succeed. Looking at each of my seventeen books I can truthfully say, I have learned, I have grown, I have improved. Am I finished developing, learning? Nope, not a chance. There's still a lot more to learn.

Available at Champagne Books

In the hospital they keep calling her Sam and telling her she's married to Alex Porter but she doesn't know this Alex. Then she discovers she's lost more than a year of her life and Alex can't, or won't, tell her what happened. He refuses to let her see or talk to her father and there is also something very important about Samantha, she can't remember.

Alex Porter can't explain how Sam was either pushed or jumped from a moving car traveling away from him, or why Sam's memory disappeared but he's sure her father played a role. All he can do is offer support as she recovers and wait for her to come to him as she had before the accident, hoping against hope, Sam's father has not ruined his marriage and driven away the woman he is starting to love.

You can find  Allison Knight on the web at:
"Heart-warming Romance with a Sensual Touch"

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Here A New Book, There A New Book

This a busy and exciting month. I have not one, but two books releasing this month. Let me introduce you to a few new characters and their stories.

First up is my contemporary romance novella, Dark Horse, part of the Dark Heroes series from Champagne Books.

Dark Horse was fun to write in that I got to write a borderline unlikable, but redeemable hero with a dark side. Brax was fun to get to know. His full name is Braxton Hicks. Yep, named for labor pains. And he tries to live up to it.
Available at Champagne Books and at

Here's a blurb and excerpt:


Private investigator Vanna Marbury arrives in Lexington to search for a stolen thoroughbred. She boards her daughter’s horse at Big Sky Stables and soon becomes curious about the mysterious black colt the owner keeps sequestered in the barn. Stable owner Braxton Hicks lives up to his name. He can truly be a pain with his grumpy demeanor and arrogant attitude.

To Brax, Vanna is nosey, over-bearing and too damned attractive, and he considers telling her to take her horse elsewhere. Especially after she tells him she is an investigative journalist. The last thing he needs are more headlines and a snoopy woman looking over his shoulder.


            “What the hell is going on in here?” Brax strode into the barn, toward the shrill whinnying and snorting. He stopped in front of a stall where a large, jet-black thoroughbred colt reared up on his hind legs, kicking at the air.
            “This horse is just plain crazy.” His brother, Pete, edged out of the stall. “He’s gonna kill one of us—probably me.”
            Brax stood with his hands at his waist staring at the colt. “Ever think it’s you that makes him crazy? I think he’s magnificent.”
            He cautiously opened the gate and slid into the stall. The young horse stomped and took a few steps back, snorting. His wild eyes rolled as he seemed to study Brax. “Easy, now. Settle down.”
            “You’re nuts,” Pete muttered. “As crazy as that horse. And maybe you’d like to let me in on what he cost us and what you plan to do with him.”
            “I didn’t buy him, and he’s not costing us anything. The owner prefers to remain anonymous, and he’s paying us good money to take care of his horse while he’s out of the country. He has a vet and trainer in place, and he’s paying to repair the old quarter-mile track.”
            “I fail to see the need for all the mystery, unless there’s something illegal going on. Why not just board this colt at one of the local thoroughbred stables and train him there?”
            Brax shrugged. “I guess the owner wants to keep him under wraps until he’s ready to race again. Supposedly, he had an injury and is now recovered and able to resume training.” He scowled at his brother. “I don’t ask a lot of questions. We board horses and the owners pay us for it. This owner is paying us quite well, and all I have to do is muck out the stall and give him his special feed.”
            As if wanting to end the discussion, the colt reared and rolled his eyes.
            “He’s completely wild. Look at him. He’s got the devil in him.”
            “I told you I’d handle him. Shhh. Easy, boy. Can’t have you getting injured on my watch.” Brax soothed the frantic animal, his voice low and calm. “You can leave, Pete. I got this.”
            Brax rubbed a palm over the colt’s velvety muzzle. “Thatta boy. Easy now. You’re really something. It may take time, but you and I are going to get along just fine.”
            “Hello? Is anyone here?”
            The colt startled at the high-pitched female voice and whinnied, dancing sideways in his stall.
            Brax reached back with one hand and fumbled to open the gate. He stumbled out of the stall and his heel caught, sending him backward onto the hay-covered cement floor. Instinctively, he jammed a foot against the gate to prevent the colt’s escape. He found himself flat on his back, looking up at the blue-eyed blonde who now stood over him.
            The woman gasped. “Oh, are you okay?”
            He examined his left hand, which had inconveniently landed in manure residue. “I’m fine, no thanks to you.” He scrambled to his feet and reached into a bucket for a rag to wipe his palms. “Why the hell would you come in here and screech like that?”
            She gasped again. “I did not screech. I went up to the house and then I walked around outside, but no one was around.” She looked at the agitated colt. “He’s beautiful. What’s wrong with him?”
            “There’s nothing wrong with him. You startled him.” He shifted his gaze from the horse to the woman. His quick and not-so-covert evaluation told him she was probably about thirty, just shy of his six foot height, and with the bluest eyes he had ever seen. In horse terminology, she was a fine-looking filly. “What can I do for you?”
            “I’m Vanna Marbury. I spoke to someone earlier about boarding a horse.”
            “Vanna? Like the letter turner on TV?”
            “Vanna as in Savannah. You know, a city in Georgia.”
            He extended his hand, then dropped it when she shifted her gaze from his palm to the rag and then to the spot on the floor.
            “Braxton Hicks.”
            The corners of her mouth—a very tempting mouth—twitched with the usual reaction. “Did you say Braxton Hicks? You’re kidding, right?”
            “Am I smiling? Most people call me Brax. Besides, you’re named for a city.”
            “Yes, and you’re named for labor pains.”

* * * * *

Coming the week of May 12 from Turquoise Morning Press is my newest women's fiction novel, Unconditional.

How do we know love is unconditional? When it demands more of us than we believe we have to give.

I'm happy to share this early review from one of my own favorite authors:

"Unconditional is an important story about love, redemption, family and the amazing power of forgiveness. The heart and love can expand endlessly and these characters are setting the pace."

Kris Radish
Bestselling Author of A Grand Day to Get Lost


Meg Flores has it all—a loving family, a fulfilling career, and marriage to her best friend, Thomas. She is devastated when her husband announces he wants a divorce so he can pursue a relationship with his secretary—his male secretary. For Meg, the betrayal goes beyond that of a cheating husband. She is losing her best friend and the hopes for adding a child to her life. But when Thomas is diagnosed with terminal cancer and his lover walks away, Meg must decide if she can move beyond Thomas’s betrayal and love him 'til-death-do-us-part.'


            “I never meant to hurt you.”
            The clich├ęd words bounced around like a bullet ricocheting in my brain. I stared at my husband. “What? What did you say?”
            “I said I never meant—”
            “No.” I waved a hand in front his face. “Before that.”
            He glanced away. “I said I’m…I’m gay, well bi-sexual, and I think it’s best if we separate. Divorce.”
            “You’re gay. You?” A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. “That’s a good one, Thomas. You almost had me going.”
            He shoved his hands into his pockets and pressed his lips into a narrow line. “I’m not joking, Meg.”
            I regarded him for a moment. Thomas, my husband. My lover. My best friend. The man who knows me better than anyone else. The man I thought I knew. “That’s ridiculous. What? You noticed how good looking some other guy was and now you think you’re gay? That’s normal.”
            He shifted from one foot to the other, looking like a teenager who had been caught with contraband beer. “It’s more than that. There’s someone…”
            My chest burned as if I’d swallowed too much Italian ice too fast. I grasped the back of the kitchen chair I stood behind and stiffened my arms to steady myself. “You have a boyfriend?” A shrill laugh escaped me. “Do you know how ridiculous that sounds?”
            Thomas stepped toward me, but I backed away. “Don’t come near me.” I began to shake. “Don’t…don’t do this.”
            “Let’s sit down and talk.”
            “I don’t want to sit down and talk. I don’t want to know any more.” I backed up again, literally against a wall.
            “Meg, I’ve tried, but I can’t deny who I am any longer.”
            My stomach roiled, and I twisted my body around the door frame. I stumbled through the living room and into the powder room in the front hall where my stomach ejected the dinner I had prepared.
            Thomas tapped on the door. “Are you okay?”
            “Go away.” Tears stung my eyes.
            “We have to talk about this. I’ll wait until you come out.”
            I sat on the floor beside the toilet, dropped my head back against the wall, and closed my eyes. ‘I’ll wait until you come out.’ Until I came out?
            A few hours earlier, I had rushed in from an afternoon at the mall. New thong underwear and a lace-trimmed cami lay in the Victoria’s Secret bag by the front door. I had decided it was time to revisit the baby discussion. Thomas’s announcement did not fit with my plans for our evening.
            I pulled myself to my feet and straddled the fault line that opened beneath me, splitting my life into before and after. Before Thomas spat out his terrible truth. After my life turned inside out. After a shelf of my heart cracked and slid into the abyss.
            As I stared at my image, something shifted inside and I snapped. Thomas wasn’t telling me something he had just learned. He was revealing a fact he had known for a long time. Shock gave way to rage. I turned the knob and slammed the door open. The brass knob hit the wall with a loud crack.
            I stormed back into the kitchen, blood pounding in my ears. “You son-of-a-bitch.”
            Thomas’s eyes widened and he stood. “Let me—”
            “Explain? You have an explanation?” I picked up the first thing I could—an empty glass—and hurled it at him. He ducked and the glass crashed into the sink. I shouted above the roaring in my head, “Go ahead. Explain this to me. Help me understand how the man I’ve been with for the past six years—married to for four—has had this sudden epiphany and realized he prefers men.”
            He lifted both hands in a gesture of surrender. Or maybe it was self-defense in anticipation of the cutlery flying his way. “Can we please sit down and be civil?” He pulled out a chair opposite me and waited.
            I obliged, not because I was in the mood to be civil, but because I wasn’t certain my legs
would hold me much longer. My body shook as if something inside had shorted out.
            “Thank you.” Thomas picked up the wineglass in front of him and set it out of my reach. “I know this is a shock. I struggled all day to find a way to tell you, but there was no easy way to say it. I can’t pretend any longer. It’s not fair to you.” He reached for my hand.
            I drew back and pressed both hands together in my lap. “No, it’s not fair.” I studied the solitaire diamond set in a platinum band on my left hand. “I don’t understand. You and I have been together for six years. We make love. You make love to me.” I shook my head. “This doesn’t make sense.”
            Thomas dragged fingers through his thick dark hair. “I’ve been talking with a therapist. We’ve reached the conclusion that I’m bi-sexual.”
            “You talked with a stranger about this, but not with me?”
            “I needed objectivity. You’re a therapist, you know how that works.”
            I stared at him—his beard-shadowed square jaw, dark eyes, tawny skin befitting his Latino heritage. “Then you’re not actually gay.”
            “Technically, no. But—”
            “But you want to pursue a relationship with a man.” My stomach threatened a second revolt and I swallowed. I suddenly felt deflated. “If you can choose, why can’t you choose us?”

* * * *

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How I Became A Writer: Graeme Brown

I'm very pleased to welcome author Graeme Brown to tell us his story of how he became a writer.
                                 * * *

The turning point for me as a writer came when I decided to tackle a hurdle so universal that a November writing subculture has been devoted it. Those who have made it through NaNoWriMo can relate to how good it feels to get a manuscript finished. For me, tackling my first novel-length story was of my own volition, but I did it quickly, over six weeks, just to convince myself I could do it.

That wasn't enough. I wrote another, then spent several years trying to salvage both of them. The first one, a science fiction that grew into the beginning of a lengthy series, now rests peacefully in a box (awaiting an appropriate time for it's resurrection). The second one soon took over, claiming my energy, since it ventured into the fantasy world I had been creating since I was a boy.

Over that time, I also started reading notable masters of epic fantasy, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, and George R. R. Martin, to name the three who I admire, and have been influenced by. So, realizing I had a lot further to go, and struggling against a weekly stream of rejection letters from agents, I considered completely rewriting my second manuscript. Before this, though, I took a break, then wrote what I intended to be a short story.

The result was a novella. I called it "The Pact."

I got mixed comments from beta readers. One hated it (note: she also hated George R. R. Martin). Two others had lots of objective comments, and told me the characters were enticing, the description captivating, the story compelling. One reader loved it. I took his comments to heart - he's the George R. R. Martin fan. So, I sent The Pact out, then a month later was looking at a contract from Burst Books.

I tried to get back into the earlier manuscript, but the world of The Pact pulled me in. After a bit of plotting, I realized the stories are connected, and have been able to work in that first fantasy manuscript into another (far distant) one. This last November, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I jumped in with two feet to the world of The Pact, and realized there's a lot to be done.

I've been writing all my life, but it was the discovery of the rich epic within, the story that will take a lifetime to unveil, that has turned me into a writer. There's a true joy I feel when I'm writing, and a reason I make time every day, no matter what, to develop my story a little bit more. I've had all sorts of interesting curve balls as a result of this commitment, the best one being the day spent writing on a Safeway patio, with several wasps tormenting me (I managed 300 words, none of them curses). Wasps or no wasps, it pays off knowing that this commitment takes me closer to sharing another story with other people.

So, that's how I became a writer, but underneath this all is the why, and to me this is more important:

Because it's the only way I can take the stories I see so clearly, the stories I love and enjoy, and share them with other people.


Will Lesterall has grown up in the safety of his father's castle, where tales of the outside world ruled by warring kings and creatures of nightmare have never seemed a threat. Yet on the night celebrating the two hundredth year of the sacred Pact that has kept Fort Lesterall safe, an old intrigue ripens, and in the course of a few hours Will is confronted with a choice greater than he can comprehend. Join an unlikely hero as destiny pulls him into the middle of an ancient conflict between fallen gods and ambitious women, one that demands blood, both holy and wicked, and the power of an ancient fire bound in steel. As swords clash below a watching wood, hope and betrayal war as fiercely as fear and valor. 

Whether he lives or dies, Will Lesterall will never be the same...

* * *

Next week: I'll be sharing more about my May releases, UNCONDITIONAL with Turquoise Morning Press, and DARK HORSE (A Novella) with Champagne Books.