A Grateful Author on Wednesday

It’s a different twist on my usual Author Wednesday fare, but I purposefully didn’t schedule anyone for today’s slot. I knew I would be releasing ffs_boxset_finalmy Florida Fiction Box Set, which I did. I also knew that the new box set, 5d833-heroes2bto2bswoon2bfor_ebook_mediumHeroes to Swoon For would be in pre-order phase, getting ready for release on December 8, which it is. And I knew all of you would be busy with your holiday activities with little time left over to read my blog. So on this day before Thanksgiving here in the States, I’d like to offer my humble attempt at expressing gratitude for my life.

Yesterday as I prepared for the holiday, I received a call from my daughter. “I’ve got some bad news, Mom.” My heart sank. It’s not a call you want to receive, and those are words you never want to hear.

It seems books I’d had mailed to her place in Florida for two upcoming book signings had arrived. Only the mailman decided that the best way to deliver to her apartment would be to leave the box in the parking lot on a day of torrential rains in northeast Florida. She sent a photo of the books, and my heart sank to see those babies of mine all warped and useless. I fumed; I fussed; I used the “f” word in more ways than I did in this sentence.

And then sometime this morning in the wee hours of sleeplessness on how to proceed, it came to me. They are books. They are things that can be replaced. My daughter and others I love cannot. Perspective, my dear readers, changes everything.

Anna and MomI am grateful to my daughter Anna who has always encouraged me to be a writer. She was the first to tell me to jump from teaching to writing way back when. And she’s been unwavering in her support ever since.

My husband Robert is the reason I can write full time (all you writers know that’s a fallacy as an Indie Author) without worrying about a job outside of the home. He believes in me and what I do. ???????????????????????????????He loves my work and is proud of my determination despite the lack of economic contribution to our finances.

60 CelebrationI am grateful for my friends who are my cheerleaders.Two of them were my earliest supporters when everyone else thought I’d gone bonkers to think I could write a novel. Tonja gives me kudos and support at every turn. Having her at my book signing in September made me feel like I had my own little private fan club. Then there’s Linda, who buys my books first, reads them first, shares the news first. She buys all versions and shouts out to the world my virtues as a writer. If my success depended on her view of me as a writer, I’d be as famous as that “gray” shady lady.

I am so grateful to my fellow Indie Authors who inspire and encourage me on a daily basis. There are so many of us and so many of them who not only manage to write books, but they are tireless promoters for the rest of us. I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing today without them.

And last, but never least, I am so grateful to all of you who take the time to read this blog, comment on and like the posts, and read my books. It’s a crowded field out there, and I have trouble hearing my voice heard above the roar. That makes me all the more grateful for all of you.

016So a few wet books and a less than smart mailman are mere pebbles in the road.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. All my friends in the East–drive carefully or stay home and mark your blessings.

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what makes you smile with thanks today.

With gratitude,




#Cover Reveal – Heroes to Swoon For

Heroes To Swoon For Boxed Set
11 Sizzling Contemporary Romances

Multi-author boxed set
Genre: Contemporary Romance Anthology
Release Date: December 8, 2014

New Release Sale Price: $0.99 Limited Time.
Purchased separately, the books in this set would cost over $30. Nine
Full-Length Novels, 1 Novella, and 1 Short Story from NY Times, USA Today,
National and International Bestselling Authors.

We all need a hero! Preferably a hot, muscled, romantic one who’s not afraid to fight for the woman he loves. From firefighters to athletes, and artists to rockers, these swoon-worthy heroes will keep you on your toes and weak in your knees. Slip into a reading adventure that will have you panting for more: fun, steam, and thrills.

Barnes & Noble: (pending) 
Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/1BOJLLC
KOBO: (pending)
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1p2WAfy
Preorder Now!!

~~Join Our Facebook Release Party~~
Join the Heroes To Swoon For authors for their LAUNCH DAY
PARTY! The authors and their friends will be celebrating the
release, December 8th and 9th 2014, from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EASTERN TIME).

Prizes Galore, Q&A, Authors, Readers, Books, and FUN! So what are you
waiting for? Come join us and have a blast!

~~Included in set~~

ArousedJade Kerrion
Can falling in love with a gorgeous male escort lead to anything
except inevitable heartbreak?
Blazing LoveChantel Rhondeau
An emotionally injured veterinarian
assistant struggles to resist the heat of a blazing hot firefighter, but she
can’t avoid the flames of his passion.
Roaring Hot!Rachelle Ayala
A playboy motorcycle racer hires an aspiring actress when he is
challenged by his grandmother to bring a real girlfriend to her birthday party.
The Right Pitch Lyssa Layne
Colie Adger is torn between the lavish
attention from a big shot pitcher and the common sense of a solid friend. Can
Colie figure out her own heart and hit a homerun off the right pitch?
The Art of LoveMichele Shriver
After watching her parents’ marriage crumble, jewelry artist
Chelsea Matthews doesn’t believe in love, but a sexy painter sets out to win
her heart and prove that good guys do exist.
Behind the AltarP.C. Zick
All seems perfect in Leah’s life until tattoo artist Dean rides
his Harley into her heart in this story of forbidden love.
Lost AvalonK.S. Thomas
Blaise Nolan has it all – brooding good looks, a haunting voice
and troubled lyrics of a soul gone lost. Only he didn’t wind up brooding,
haunted and lost by accident…
Second Shield – Stacy Eaton
Agent Drew Bradley goes undercover to find an officer gone rogue,
but what he finds in Detective Sergeant Mackenzie McAllister is nothing he ever
Amber Rules – Melinda Curtis
One of the first assignments of life coach to the rich and famous,
Amber Rule, is to improve the game of Evan Oliver, one of the biggest bad-asses
in the NBA. Will Amber up Evan’s game? Or will he teach her a new set of rules?
Wild Irish RideJennifer Saints
Sexy, Southern Suspense. Jesse was Alexi’s forbidden fruit, the
one man she couldn’t forget and can’t resist. After twelve years he’s back for
her—so is a killer.
How You Remind
– Julie Leto
Can a former party girl take a chance on a sexy guitarist who knows her deepest, darkest secrets?

Barnes & Noble: (pending) 
Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/1BOJLLC
KOBO: (pending)
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1p2WAfy

Author Wednesday – Stacy Eaton

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday once again. Today I welcome new author friend, Stacy Eaton. Stacy and I met through Rachelle Ayala and the Romance in a Month class, but really became connected when both of us became a part of the romance box set, Heroes to Swoon For, which will be released on December 8. Stacy is tireless in her work and in her writing. I’m very happy she’s here today to talk about her books.Heroes to Swoon For_ebook_medium

Hello, Stacy. What a treat to have you here today. I’m always curious about writers and their process. One of my heroes is Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. She said in an interview once that she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Does this happen for you?

My subjects have always chosen me. I can’t remember a time that someone said, “Hey, can you write about this,” and I did. The stories come to me, they dwell, and then they want to come out.  They can be so forceful that it’s almost painful not to write them down and get them out of my head.

That’s a wonderful thing. For years, I had to write what others told me to write, and it certainly stifles the creative mind. Do you have similar messages or themes running through your different novels? 

Cover-NookI write in a few genres: paranormal, romantic suspense, relationship and such.  Most of my books, I can’t say that I am trying to convey a message, but in the three novels I have written on domestic violence (Whether I’ll Live or Die, published, and two to be published early next year, You’re Not Alone and Barbara’s Plea), I teach. My point in writing those books was not only to entertain, but to help people understand what domestic violence is, and why it’s not so easy for a victim to leave.

I love it when fiction can be used to a purposeful end, and that’s a very powerful message. Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created? 

Favorite characters, whew… I have a few of them. I think my two favorites are Jay and Tasha in Six Days of Memories. I absolutely love the chemistry SixDaysofMemories-Amazonbetween them and how strong both of them are. With that said, I just finished writing a book, Barbara’s Plea, and the lead male is Grey Bloodstone. I think I am a little bit in love with him (shh…. Don’t tell my husband). He’s an all-around good guy who grew up with morals and principals and believes in family. I loved writing him and so far my Beta team is fighting me for the head of his fan club!

I’m going to have to check this fellow out! Tell me about the title of your books. How do you choose them? 

With almost every single book, the title has come from a sentence written on the pages within. Most titles come to me pretty early on in the writing process. I knew the title to Whether I’ll Live or Die, before I even put my fingers to the keyboard. My latest story, Barbara’s Plea is the first one that I really had to dwell on it to come up with the title. The final title wasn’t decided until I had finished the story.

That’s happened for me. My newest release had two titles prior to the final Native Lands. I like the title Barbara’s Plea. You just needed incubation time to come up with it. How long do you spend on your books, from an idea to a published product?

Most times, when I come up with an idea, and it is jumping up and down in my head, screaming let me out, I get the idea and start working on it. Six Days of Memories was written in twenty-eight days, from conception to final first draft. Barbara’s Plea was a total of six days, five of them were writing days. That story was an obsession that needed to be released before I could do anything else. Other books have taken me longer. Second Shield took me a few second-shield-Amznmonths, as did Distorted Loyalty and You’re Not Alone. It all depends on what character wants to talk and how loud they are speaking. It also depends on how much time I get to write. My work schedule is sometimes not very pliable and I might find myself without time for a few weeks, then I have a long weekend off and get some major writing done.

Second Shield is a part of our box set, Heroes to Swoon For, which is very exciting. I’m pretty sure you don’t get much of it, but what do you do during your down time?

Down time? What the heck is that? Lol… Actually, writing is my down time. Being a detective in real life, my days are stressful. Coming home and losing myself in the lives of my characters, where I can have almost complete control (I say almost because they can get out of hand and take over), is where I find my relief. I step out of real life drama and fall into fictional drama. If I’m not doing those, I own a business and I play taxi to my very social and active 11 year old.

Unbelievable! You are my hero, for sure. I wonder if you ever have time to read. Are you reading something now? 

I am actually re-reading a series that I have read before. I wanted something hot and spicy with major alpha men and didn’t feel like searching for something. So, to answer your question, I’m reading JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I love those books!

After talking to you, I’m even more honored that you managed to spend a few minutes with me for this interview. You are an amazing woman, and I’m honored to be working with you. I hope you’ll come back one day with one of your new books about domestic violence and talk to us more about that subject.

StacyAbout Stacy Eaton: Stacy is a full-time police officer who enjoys crime scene investigation, and above all else, taking a passion in putting the pieces together to figure out the crime. She is also a business owner where she helps people get the awareness out for the causes they care most about. She is a mother of two, a son proudly serving in the United States Navy and a young daughter. Her husband is also in law enforcement. Stacy is currently serving on the board of directors for her local domestic violence center. She is very much into photography and carries her Nikon Digital SLR with her almost everywhere, just in case.

Click below to connect with Stacy


Twitter: @StacySEaton


Amazon Author Page  – Purchase her books here.






How to help Indie Authors – A Primer

Help an IndieHow to help Indie Authors – A Primer for family, friends, fans, and other Indie Writers

It’s not easy taking the route of Indie Author or any route as an author. The field is crowded, and it’s hard for readers to sift through it all. So in addition to writing, most of us Indies spend a great deal of time promoting our work. Most of us try not to annoy our friends and family, but it’s inevitable that many of them will see our promotional stuff. So as we move into the holiday season, I’d like to give some advice to anyone associated with an author. Also, there’s a little bit of advice for other authors as well. I wish you peace and relaxation during the coming season. Take the time to read a book, maybe even from an Indie Author in your life.

Besides buying the books of your favorite authors, there are other things that can be done to help raise the visibility of Indie Authors, who are adrift in a massive sea of other Indies trying to be seen, heard, and read. So here’s a primer for simple things you can do to help raise us up. It all has to do with SEOs and Google searches, and believe me, it all helps. In the case of Facebook, it means more people see the post if there are likes and comments on it. It’s amazing to see what happens to a post on Facebook when even a few people hit the “like” button. Your vote does count in a huge way.

Amazon and other book purchase sites

  • Leave a short review after reading an Indie Author book. If you’re related or somehow related to the book, leave the review to someone else. If you’re not, leave a short review. I’m a believer in the short, but sweet, reviews. They all help. Here’s one of the best ones for my book Live from the Road.
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Worth Taking May 29, 2012
    By Marisella Veiga
    Format:Kindle Edition
    This novel is a spirited travel story. It is packed with humor, understanding, and difficult conflicts. What is more, it is sprinkled with insights,love and no love. If you’re looking for a fun read that shares nuggets of wisdom, this is the book for you.
  • Press the “review was helpful (or not)” button on other reviews.
  • If you don’t purchase the book, at least add it to your “wish list” and then push the Twitter button about it.
  • Tweet after you purchase a book (buttons are provided on Amazon).

 Blog help

  • After reading a blog post (large hint here), “like” it. I get tons of notices about blogs every day, and I can’t read every one of them, but I open many of them and at least give a “like.”
  • After reading a blog post, leave a comment.
  • Press any of the share buttons at the end of most blog posts.


  • Leave a comment on posts by Indie Authors.
  • Follow or like author pages.
  • Share posts by Indie Authors if you feel your friends might enjoy something.

 To Indie Authors

  • If you are featured on someone’s blog, go to the post, and “like” it AND post a comment.
  • Follow the blog where you’ve been featured. Check back for comments by others for a few days after post. Comment on comments!
  • Like all comments on posts where you’re featured.
  • Share the post on all of your social media sites.
  • If you have your own blog, reblog to your followers.
  • If you’re a blogger, respond to every comment left on your posts. Also, now that WordPress gives you the choice of liking comments, do so.
  • And as you were taught as a child, send a thank you note to the blogger who featured you. Remember your manners.
  • Treat your fellow Indie Author as you wish to be treated as an Indie Author.

I hope this helps. Helping out an Indie Author is really quite simple and easy, but it might mean the of a sale of one book or the addition of one follower. I think of my journey as an Indie as a domino effect, with one thing leading to another.

Give the gift of “like” to your favorite Indie this year. What did I leave out? Please let me know, by leaving a comment below. I promise I’ll respond.


Book Review Friday – A Time of Traitors

A Time of Traitors

David Lawlor has written another action-packed historical thriller, where Liam Mannion and the other characters come alive on the pages of A Time of Traitors. Some of the traitors in this third book of the series are obvious; others subtly disguised as compatriots; and yet others a complete surprise as the novel unfolds. From Ireland to London, the story sweeps from back rooms, cozy parlors, and seamy joints in London’s Soho District.

The story, while set in 1921, is timeless despite the specific details of the struggle between the Irish Republican Army and the British. Mr. Lawlor shows the horrors of war and expresses some universal themes about love, loyalties, revenge, and treacheries. There are times when this universality allows the reader to forget time, only to be delivered into a place where life can change in an instant and turns on the simple decisions made in anger and jealousy.

The characterizations in A Time of Traitors are rich, adding depth to even minor characters such as Charlie Curtis:

His head was large and square, with thick lips and wide nostrils. In fact, everything about him was over-sized – as though he had been cobbled together from parts in his own scrap yard – from his wide nostrils to the thick folds of skin that ran up each side of his mouth, from the shovel hands to the broad, bony shoulders. The only thing delicate about his block– like appearance was the care and attention he bestowed to his thinning hair. Charlie had spared no effort in its oiling and sculpting – somehow working its sparse tendrils into a swirling sinuous wave that, miraculously, managed to cover his large dome, albeit forsaking the back and sides as a lost cause to be left bare to the elements.

Liam’s fiance Kate is a strong female lead and a match for Liam and his loyalty to his family, friends, and country. In the midst of violence and danger, their love is sweet and romantic–a much needed antidote to the war and not-so-peaceful truces between the opposing factions. The young boy Albie is not soon forgotten with his Camelot-like devotion to his mentors. Mr. Lawlor turns him from an idealistic young boy into a Dickensonian character with shocking outcomes. Liam’s father Dan is modeled after Mr. Lawlor’s own father, and the affection for his character is deftly drawn in this novel, as well as the previous two.

The evil characters come across as the worst nightmares for anything civil and gentile, and serve as a perfect foil for the heroes of this book.

I’m a fan of both David Lawlor and Liam Mannion, and I fervently hope that just because this is the third book in the series, it is not the final one.

Tan coverthe-golden-graveA Time of Traitors



Author Wednesday – David Lawlor

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgI am very excited to welcome back David Lawlor, the author of the Liam Mannion series. He’s just published the third novel in the series, A Time of TraitorsA Time of Traitors

Please click here to see my reviews of the first two in the series, Tan and The Golden Grave. I’m a great fan of David’s fiction. I must disclose here that David was the editor of my new release Native Lands. I chose him because of his meticulous writing and attention to detail in his own works. I also know he’s a journalist and editor, and his sample edits on the first three chapters of my novel showed me he was just the person I needed to kick my rear into motion for revisions. It worked. So without any further introduction, I’ll let you get to know a bit more about this talented writer and editor.

Hello David. It’s so nice to have you here for an interview. I’m curious about when you first called yourself a “writer”?

I’ve only become comfortable with that tag in the past year or so. I’m not sure why exactly. I’ve had quite positive feedback overall about my writing, but that’s not the reason. I suppose once I stopped chasing after book deals and sending out submission letters, something settled inside me. I just got wrapped up in the process of writing as opposed to getting published.  There are people who like to paint or to sing, I like to write. I don’t feel embarrassment any more in saying so. I am a writer (some people may not like my writing, and that’s OK, too.).  Being a writer is just part of who I am as a person. I’m a husband, a son, and a father, too. I don’t have to wear the ‘writer’ tag exclusively.

I find that intriguing because your career has been all about “writing.” I agree about chasing the traditional route for publishing. I had the same feeling come over me. Now that you’ve written the third novel in the Liam Mannion series, what’s next?

I wrote a modern crime novel, High Crimes, a few years ago, which I’m re-editing. It is very, very different in style and tone to my Liam Mannion novels. The subject matter is quite dark – it is a story told through the eyes of a stalker and his five victims. The stalker is written in the first person. He’s had a very bad upbringing and is clearly unhinged. He is also arrogant and cruel. When I first put fingers to keyboard, I  knew I would have to jump right in and really go for it if he was to be believable. I was nervous (still am, actually) about how I might be perceived having written such a character, but I think he works really well, in a creepy kind of way.  I also have a couple of books to edit for other people. I’ve started an editing service for authors. I enjoy (mostly) the editing process. Getting to read other author’s works and trying to help them a little with story arcs and characters gives me a bit of a buzz.

You do a good job of it. The new book sounds very dark. Even though you’re taking a different route, do you think you try to convey similar messages in all your books? 

I suppose they do, but it’s not intentional. Each of my books tends to deal with betrayal in one form or another. My first Liam Mannion book, Tan, had a character who betrayed his friends and community for personal gain. My second book, The Golden Grave is about a group of veterans who return to the Flanders battlefields in search of lost gold. As they get closer to their goal, greed asserts itself in some, causing all manner of double-dealing.the-golden-grave

Trust is a very precious thing. To have trust in someone and to feel trusted is marvelous, but to lose trust in ourselves or our friends can have a huge impact. The whole notion of trust and what prompts a loss of trust amongst people interests me. My new novel, A Time of Traitors, also looks at the theme, by exploring what motivates people to break trust with others.

That’s such a universal human theme. Trust is everything in relationships. I’m curious about the characters you’ve created. In the two books I’ve read so far, you have created some interesting folks. Who’s your favorite?

Tan coverIt’s  funny – given that I have written three novels about Liam Mannion, you might think he was my favourite. I think, though, deep down, my favourite character is that of his father, Dan, who is a widower. He reminds me a little of my own father – he’s small, pot-bellied, and wears a cap (that’s my dad, too). His accent and his words of wisdom aren’t necessarily my own dad’s, but his manner is (there are no airs and graces about him, what you see is what you get). Sadly, my mam died a few days after I published my first Liam Mannion novel, Tan. So, now my own dad is even more like Dan – lonely, missing his wife and trying to reassess his role in the family. Dan is very proud of his son. I think my own dad is proud of my writing (although he doesn’t say it in so many words). The bond between Liam and Dan in my novels is something of a mirror between my own bond with my dad. That’s why Dan is so special to me.

That’s the reason Dan comes across as so believable. He’s one of my favorites, too. (By the way, I decided not to “edit” your spelling of favorite!) What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

I’ve had some very nice reviews from people, thankfully. One in particular that stands out was by a lovely writer, Jim Wright. Jim described my thriller The Golden Grave as having ‘more twists than a snake on a tilt-a-whirl’. I’ still don’t know what a ’tilt-a-whirl’ is exactly, but I’ll take it as a compliment. It’s a line I sometimes use when promoting my book, and it makes me smile every time.

Ha! A tilt-a-whirl is a carnival ride very popular in the States. You sit in a round box open on one side that’s set on a circle on a large round platform. The circle twirls around as the platform spins. Your whole world tilts depending on how you and your companions tilt in the seats. I got very sick on one once, and will never do that again. However, your novel did not make me sick, but I agree with Jim there are many twists and turns. The analogy is apt. Let’s talk about your new release, A Time of Traitors. How did you choose the title? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

The book was originally called Kill Collins and focused on a plot to assassinate the Republican leader Michael Collins during the Downing Street treaty talks in 1921. However, given that every Irish person and many others know that Michael Collins was not assassinated during those talks, I felt I was giving the game away a little in terms of the plot. In any case, I felt the bigger issue in the book was that of traitors – the search for them and the bid to understand what motivates them to act in the way they do. The Irish War of Independence has not, I feel, been given the full scrutiny it deserves. There is a romanticism about it. I wanted to look beyond that at the primal, less noble urges of some of those involved. I think the title reflects that.

It’s a good choice given your motive in writing the book. How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished book

It took me about nine months (ha!) to finish the book. It was slower than my previous books, in part because I couldn’t settle on how I wanted it to begin. At first, I was very clear on what course to take. I had an exciting opening scene. Then I came up with another exciting scene that could open the book, and – wouldn’t ye just know it – then I came up with yet another. So, here I was with three potential openings. I tried each one of them out and rewrote all the following sections (including slotting in the other possible openers). I did this three times until I was sure I knew which one would work best. I’m happy with how it turned out. In fact, my original opening scene became the closing scene for the finished book. As you can imagine that all took a lot of time and head scratching. The other thing that slowed writing down was that I managed to lose about seven thousand words of the story. There were manly tears shed that day, I can tell you…

I remember when you told me about that. Believe me, all writers cried with you, including me. Thanks for stopping by, David. I look forward to reading A Time of Traitors. I hope you’ll come back when your fourth novel is published.

David Lawlor on David Lawlor:David Lawlor I’ve worked as a journalist for the past twenty-five years and am currently Associate Editor with The Herald newspaper in Dublin. I’m also a book editor. To date, I’ve published three novels in my Liam Mannion series – Tan, The Golden Grave and A Time of Traitors, which are historical fiction thrillers set during the Irish War of Independence, in 1921. I’m in the process of publishing a fourth book – a modern novel called High Crimes.


Click below for links to David and his books:

Website: History with a Twist

Twitter: @LawlorDavid




The Golden Grave

A Time of Traitors

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/Wy2SIg

Veterans Day Book Review – Warrior Music

WARRIOR MUSIC COVERSpecial note: In honor of Veterans, Denise Kahn is donating all the sales from Warrior Music, from November 8-15, to the special Veterans group, Warrior Cry Music Project. Please click here for the interview I did with Denise about her cause and her reasons for writing this book.

Review of Warrior Music  

War and love are antithetical to one another as concepts, but are classic topics for novels about the times when countries engage in conflict against one another. Denise Kahn melds two of her loves–her son and music–into this novel about the Iraq War. The story could be called a romance because of the love that exudes between several different couples, but in particular, the young man Max and the smart and talented Samantha.

It will soon be categorized as a historical novel because it superbly chronicles the life of a soldier in the desert of Iraq, post 9/11. It’s hard to believe that the sunny September day that changed so many lives forever occurred more than fourteen years ago. But it’s true, and in this novel, Ms. Kahn captures the spirit that embraces the young when a country is pushed into war. Just like after Pearl Harbor, the young men and women of the United States eagerly signed up for duty to serve. It is this love of country that brings them into danger and disaster every moment of their lives when they are at the battlefront.

For Max, the son of famous parents, it is his call to manhood from a childhood of self-indulgent behavior. For Samantha, it is the call to belong to something after the death of her parents. Both of them suffer and both of them do it willingly. Their paths cross and the love of music both of them share brings them closer. It is the passion of the music that lures them back together again when war does its inevitable separations.

Ms. Kahn’s son is a veteran of the Iraq War, and this novel is her love song to him. Her pride of him and all veterans shines through in this novel of love, war, and music. One of my favorite lines from the book, remains with me. Max tells his friend Haf, “Music is a rainbow, Haf, with all the colors that merge together flawlessly. If everyone saw it as you and I do, we would have the world’s most beautiful symphony.”

The mystical quality I enjoyed in Ms. Kahn’s Spilt Second Lifetime is present here in a few places, but particularly when Max’s mother, Davina, imagines she can see the souls of her ancestral musicians as Max and other soldiers play for the troops. “They were not only great warriors, they were also magnificent musicians,” Kahn writes. From Max’s great-grandfather in World War I to his grandfather in World War II, warrior music is created and united through the ages.

The descriptions of war are graphic and powerful. I imagine the suffering of Davina while her son is at war, echoes what Ms. Kahn must have felt when her son was in Iraq. She captures the nerves, the nightmares, and the tortures in excruciating detail.

From Boston to New Orleans to Iraq and back home again, Warrior Music soothes and celebrates those who serve.

Thank you, Veterans. You are the best of our country.


#Veterans Day with Denise Kahn’s Warrior Music


All sales go to support our Veterans, November 8-15

I welcome Denise Kahn (see my interview with her from 2013), author of the Music Trilogy series and Split-Second Lifetime (my review). She has a special message, and a special offer where you can help our Veterans. During the week of November 8-15, she is donating all of the proceeds from the sale of the third book in the trilogy, Warrior Music, to the Warrior Cry Music Project. The book is on sale for .99 cents and well worth the price. But I’ll let Denise explain a little more about her donation and her giveaways in honor of Veterans Day.

From Denise Kahn:

Warrior Music is in honor of my son, who gallantly served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For this reason, during this Veterans Day week, November 8-15, I am doing a promotion to honor and help our Veterans. It is but a small part, but one which I believe in and hope will help, even in a small way. I am DONATING ALL SALES of Warrior Music to the Veterans. The Kindle price has been reduced to .99 cents. So, for less than a cup of coffee, readers can download the book by clicking right here.

In addition, the reader will receive a free Photobook and will be entered in the Kindle Fire/$100 Amazon Gift Card giveaway. Books can, of course, also be gifted to friends and family just in time for the upcoming holidays. With this promotion, I am honoring and remembering the sacrifices of all Veterans and hoping to get some results for them. For the readers who have it in their heart to participate, thank you. Please download, share, and spread the news. Let’s try to get the most for them. Please click here to visit my website for more details.

MUSIC TRILOGY COVERMy very first memory of life was the sound of my mother’s glorious voice singing to me, most likely a Brahms lullaby. I’m convinced that is why music always has a delicious way of creeping into my writing, and becomes one of the most important elements. I find that music is almost synonymous with being in a state of trance, and that is how I become when I write. I get very focused and live the scenes with my characters. As each mise en scène blooms, music envelopes my mind with a melisma, or a melody that already exists.

I wrote my book Peace of Music for my son, so that he could have the story of his ancestral family. It became a novel (much more fun that way) as I could take a few liberties, such as the scenes in China’s 13th century Song (what else?) Dynasty.

While about ten percent is fiction, the rest is fact, and since the characters/family members were opera singers and concert pianists, I thought their stories would make a good novel.  My tag line is ‘Spreading the Power of Music through Words,’ and in this book, music proves how it can unite and keep people together and strong, especially in difficult circumstances. Throughout the book, music is the glue that keeps this family together.

I continued this family saga in my second book Obsession of the Heart. The third book of The Music Trilogy, Warrior Music, is focused on the war in Iraq. Of course, it is also contains a romance that develops in the ancient sands of that country between a Marine and a nurse from a Combat Support Hospital.

Denise Kahn photoAbout Denise:  Denise Kahn spent twenty years in Europe because of her father, who was with the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, and her mother, who was an opera singer. She worked mainly as a simultaneous interpreter and translator as she is a linguist and speaks several languages, five fluently. She also worked in the airline and music industries. Because of her exposure to people of different nations, her writing includes many foreign settings and cultures. She is a proud mother of a gallant Marine who served in Iraq, and among the members of her household is Louie the cat (aka King Louie), so named because of his clawing love of Louis XV and XVI furniture, and surely thinks he must have been a fearless Marine in one of his former lives.

At the moment, Denise is working on a historical novel, The Lavender Coat of Arms, which includes the French Revolution, Catherine the Great, survival, nasty bad guys and yes, of course, romance. It is scheduled to come out just before the holidays. For updates look for news on her website, Denise Kahn Books.

Click below for links to Denise and her books:

Amazon Author page

Peace of Music

Obsession of the Heart

Warrior Music

Warrior Music trailer

The Music Trilogy


Twitter: @DKpolyglot








#NaNoWriMo – It’s that time of year

nanowrimoFor years, I’ve wanted to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. Each time November rolled around, I was busy with something else or in various stages of publishing another novel.

This year I published my last project, Native Lands, on October 29, 2014, which means by November 1, I was ready to embark on my next project, Behind the Bar.bb_PBOOK005 I’m one week into writing my second romance and the second in a series. It’s fun. I like having the challenge of meeting a certain word count every day. Every job during my career has involved serious deadlines, so I’m wired to work with that way. I have to set my own arbitrary deadlines for my writing now. That’s why I like Amazon’s new pre-order feature. If I set a publication date, they set the deadline I must have the manuscript uploaded to them.

So I’m a nerd. I admit it. I like looking at my word chart on the NaNoWriMo site. So far I’m ahead of the curve, and if I keep on doing what I’m doing, I’ll have a 50,000 word draft by November 24. We’ll see. I know that I’ll have something by the end of the month, and then I revise before sending out to beta readers.

I get discouraged many days about marketing, sales, and social media. I have no idea what works and what doesn’t. I fumble around in the dark searching for answers on the worst days. But I’ve found several communities of supportive Indie Authors, and I find their experiences helpful and inspiring, most of the time. The braggarts can be more discouraging than not, but I try to remember they’re probably bragging because they need it to boost their own writing egos.

I have many goals for my work in the coming year. I approach 2015 with a renewed commitment to my writing. I believe there’s a purpose to what I do and what I write. A strong premonition came over me today that I have not yet written THE BOOK, but every book I write now is leading me to that one. In a few months, I turn sixty. It’s made me reflective. In all areas of my life, I seek peace with where I am at any given moment. It’s been astounding to do that every time I get worked up about something or other. I stop and look around and see my surroundings. The other thing disappears.

ffs_boxset_finalIn my writing, I feel a shift. It’s been happening for two years, ever since I finished Trails in the Sand in a hotel in San Antonio. It was there that I realized my success as an author comes from how I feel about what I do. I was in tears at the end of the book because I loved the story. I didn’t need any outside sources to tell me what they thought of it. I was satisfied with what I’d created. It hit me the other day as I formatted my Florida Series Box Set. I was working on Tortoise Stewa book I wrote in 2005. Again that feeling came over me. I was satisfied with what I wrote. I set out to show a particular slice of life in Florida where land developers and environmentalists constantly clash. I accomplished it in that book, even though it might not be as popular as some of my other novels. It only matters that I embrace what I wrote.

I love it when serendipity comes slipping into my life. While I was in San Antonio, one of my former interns, wrote me that they were moving to San Antonio. She recently published a book of her essays in Naked Salsa. This month I’m accompanying my husband on another business trip to San Antonio. While there Crystal and I are doing a book signing together. “Wining and Signing” is Crystal’s name for the event.  I hope the beautiful city on the river survives the craziness that occurs when we get together.


I’ll keep you posted on my progress with NaNoWriMo. Who’s participating this year? Who has participated in the past?


Author Wednesday – Elaine Cougler

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgHello and welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome back Elaine Cougler for an interview about her latest historical novel, The Loyalist’s Luck, Book 2 in her Loyalist Trilogy.Loyalists Luck She visited one year ago to talk about her first novel The Loyalist’s Wife. Loyalists Wife

Welcome Elaine. It’s been one year since you visited me to talk about writing. So let’s start with you as the writer. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author”?

What a great question! It’s one everyone seems to face and I am no exception. When I first started working on The Loyalist’s Wife, my first historical novel, I didn’t call myself anything. I didn’t even tell anyone what I was working on. Only my husband knew. The more I researched and wrote and got involved online, the more I realized that in some way I had to meet my writer self head-on and talk about what I was doing. Then the question for me was just what you’ve asked, P.C. I had in my mind that an author was a writer who had climbed the steep slope to publication. If I wasn’t published I was a writer, not an author. Funny thing is, though, once I was published, this question which had consumed so much of my time on my six-year journey to publication just went away. Now I call myself either writer or author. I guess the proof is in the doing and not the naming.

So true. I called myself a writer first thinking “author” sounded too presumptuous of me. Now I don’t hesitate to call myself either. In your two novels, which are a part of a series, have you tried to convey a common message?

The things that intrigue me about the Loyalists and others who find themselves trapped by circumstances over which they have no control are varied. Kings and presidents make decisions and we, the little people, have to find ways to survive because of those decisions. John and Lucy are on the side of the British in both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. All they and their children want is to build their lives in safety on their property. This is impossible not once but many times over. The theme that is most interesting to me, then, is how ordinary people rise up against extraordinary circumstances and survive.

Why did you choose to write about the Loyalists?

I guess I have a great respect for the abilities of people once they decide to conquer their problems and just try. Here in Ontario, many of us are descended from Loyalists who wanted to stick with the King and fought to do just that. When their lands were confiscated with no recompense, they started again in different parts of Canada. I’ve focused on the Niagara Peninsula where my own people started out. The links between my own background and the fictional story of the Garner family in The Loyalist Trilogy have made this an eye-opening and delightful journey for me. I got so intrigued, I even did a photo book for my wee grandchildren showing them ten generations back. So, in a sense, writing about John and Lucy was writing about me and my family. Don’t get me wrong–these people are fictional. But what happens to them could have happened to my ancestors.

That is so interesting, and I love how you’re now providing something for the younger generation. Fiction is a wonderful way to educate while still entertaining, and you’ve managed to do that very well by bringing history alive. Talk about setting in your novels. It must play an extremely large role.

In historicals, setting is extremely important as wars can figure prominently, and they are most often about land. The first book in the trilogy sees John join Butler’s Rangers to fight for the British and leave Lucy behind on their farm in the wilds of New York State. Her job is to hold onto the land. His is to try to help the British keep their foothold in the thirteen colonies. Again, in the second book, land figures in the settling of the Niagara Peninsula and in the War of 1812. In many ways there would be no story in either book if not for the time period, the place and, indeed, the warring atmosphere.

What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

I’m not sure this is the best thing, but it’s one of the things for which I’m most grateful. I had occasion to meet Terry Fallis (www.terryfallis.com) several times through my writing journey, and he kindly agreed to read my manuscript and write a back cover comment for me. (Terry is the winner of the prestigious Stephen Leacock medal here in Canada.) Here is what he said about the first book in the trilogy: “Elaine Cougler has written a page-turning novel of the American Revolution through the eyes of a conflicted loyalist soldier and his indomitable wife. You’ll feel the hardship of homesteading, the fear of the enemy, the blows of battle, and the pain of separation. You’ll be transported through history. This is not just a novel written about another time, it seems written in another time.”

That is a wonderful comment, Elaine. I thank you for stopping by today and sharing a bit of your writing life with us. I hope you’ll come back when the third book is published.

ElaineAbout Elaine Cougler: A native of southern Ontario, Elaine taught high school and with her husband raised two children until she finally had time to pursue her writing career. A prize-winning author, she loves to research both family history and history in general for the tales of real people that emanate from the dusty pages. Telling the ongoing stories of Loyalists from the American Revolution and the War of 1812 is very natural as her personal roots are thoroughly enmeshed in those early struggles out of which arose both Canada and United States.


Links – Click below





The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon  http://amzn.to/1wNWN94

The Loyalist’s Luck on Amazon  http://amzn.to/1tm6x6D