cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgToday a favorite author of mine drops by o share her thoughts on her new novel. Francis Guenette has visited Author Wednesday several times. I’ve been a great fan of her Crater Lake Series, so I wondered how it would be to read a very different sort of book by her. She addresses that very issue from her perspective when she sat down to create her latest work, Maelstrom.Maelstrom 6x9 Cover JPEG


So here’s Francis to tell us a little bit about how it was to leave her friends at Crater Lake for a bit so she could bring Maelstrom to light.

Many thanks to Patricia for hosting me yet again on her blog. Pat has been a solid supporter of my books and I can’t thank her enough. She has posed me a challenging question to answer in light of my recent release of the stand-alone novel, Maelstrom.

How did it feel to switch writing genres and leave the Crater Lake Series behind?

I wondered more than once if I could manage. My main concern was how I would expand the room in my head to accommodate another group of characters. The abundance of personalities worried me more than any issue related to genre.

While working on Maelstrom, I confess to having all the doubts that a soon-to-be parent would have when contemplating the arrival of a second child. Will I love this new one? Will I have enough energy for child number two without scrimping on what I want to give to my first born?

In my novels, plot and setting are character driven. I can imagine myself writing in any genre as long as I am able to create fully-developed characters with well-thought out story arcs. A book’s setting becomes a matter of backdrop. In saying that, I don’t wish to denigrate the research, time and effort required to create a realistic arena in which to let loose one’s characters. For me, such work is governed by where the characters demand to be taken.

With the writing of Maelstrom, I discovered that the prime real estate in my head could only be occupied by one group of characters at a time. The Crater Lake gang had to be willing to wait in the wings and at times, I had to push them back with force. They are a demanding group!

With Maelstrom finished and launched out into the world, I am currently storyboarding the next book in the Crater Lake series. What joy to discover that I have a whole crew of characters who are more than willing to accept an invitation to take up residence once again in my thoughts.

About Maelstrom 

A shot is fired into the still night air and a young woman dies on Suicide Ridge. A dangerous game has begun. Over the course of one blistering, hot week, winds of change sweep through an isolated valley in small town America.

Sheriff Bert Calder, with the help of Mayor Amos Thatcher, has held the town of Haddon under his thumb for twenty-five years. As things spin out of control, Calder works the angles, ensuring he can make the most of the upheaval that is to come.

Rafael Destino, facing his own mortality, races against time to gain control of the railroad – a lifeline essential to the town’s survival. His goal – to financially destroy Thatcher, the man he believes responsible for the death of his beloved sister. His tool – adopted son Myhetta. But how far down the road of revenge will Rafael push the young man who owes him everything?

Myhetta is poised on the edge of controlling Destino Enterprises, the job he has been groomed for. While money, power, and influence are his to command, the past continues to torment him.

In a clash of powerful men, with fathers pitted against sons, no one will be left unscathed. Maelstrom is a page turner that speeds along like a runaway train.

Francis Guenette - author photoAbout Francis:  Francis Guenette has spent all of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their off-grid, lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher.


Website – Disappearing in Plain Sight

Crater Lake Series

Purchase Maelstrom by clicking on links below.

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Author Wednesday Posts

November 6, 2013

May 21, 2014

May 27, 2015

Book Review Friday – Crater Lake Series

Disappearing in Plain Sight

The Light Never Lies

Chasing Down the Night



Important: New Rules on Amazon

I want to share this information from Jackie Weger, the founder and leader of eNovel Authors at Work.

I’m happy to be held to high standards, both as an author and an editor. I hope Amazon enforces and uses the new rules properly and doesn’t listen to the trolls out there who leave reviews just to hurt competitors.

Click here to read Jackie’s post. 


cropped-typewriter.jpgI’m excited to welcome James Moushon to Author Wednesday today. James has been a tireless supporter and promoter of Indie Authors, so it gives me great pleasure to return the favor. He stops by today to talk about his latest release, Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories, featuring the character Jonathon Stone.moushon1-alphadog300

Welcome, James! I’m so happy to have you here today. Let’s start with some information about you as a writer. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”

Actually, I have been both. In 1994, I became a published writer in national business magazines. At that time, I was writing about the coming digital conversion of books and business forms and what it would do to companies and their products.

In 2011, I became a published author with the release of my first novel, Call Off the Dogs. This title is being rewritten with the working title: Cajun Ghost (release date in the Spring 2016).

Do all your books have a common theme or thread? 

All my books are centered around my main character, Jonathon Stone. Jonathon is a CIA agent, working domestically for a secret CIA division called DOT. Because the CIA isn’t allowed to operate in the U.S. by law, this division is off the books. Jonathon attempts to catch terrorists and assassins while he struggles with drinking, gambling, and the ladies.

Sounds like a bad boy American James Bond. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

It comes from a review for Operation Alpha Dog:

These stories… don’t waste any time and jump straight into the action. Some excellent plot ideas that work well in the short space given to them, quite different in locations and style but all very compelling and rewarding reading. So good, I devoured it in one sitting.

What’s your one sentence pitch the new collection of short stories?

A six-pack of complete Jonathon Stone Mystery short stories filled with murder, mystery, and espionage.

Sounds intriguing! How long do you estimate it took you to write, and then publish, this collection?

There are six unique stories. I would estimate two months of writing and editing, but the elapsed time was much longer.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

This is a self-published collection. I started from the technical part of creating eBooks in 1994. That transferred to learning the whole publishing process. Choosing self-publishing was next.

You were really in at the beginning. I didn’t start until 2012 with the Indie Author movement, although I’d been published traditionally since 2000. What is the best thing someone could say about Operation Alpha Dog?

It is a quick, interesting read with twists and turns for the reader to enjoy.

That’s always good for readers living in such a fast-paced world. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

The collection is an extension of Jonathon Stone Mystery series and the various assignment the CIA has had Stone conduct.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?

This is part of the fun I have writing. I very seldom write about a location I haven’t lived or visited. I study terrorism, the CIA inner workings, current events and specifics of the locations Stone must visit to carry out the op.

I love doing the research for my books as well. Not everyone does, so that’s a good start. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

Jonathon Stone catches an assassin in “Operation Red Dragon.”

Jonathon Stone’s plans for a quiet gambling experience is interrupted by the sighting of a known gun for hire from Mexico. A casual weekend in the desert for Jonathon changes into an apparent assassination plot. With the FBI and the Secret Service involved, Jonathon tries to apprehend the elusive hit man before he can do damage.

Thank you so much for stopping by Author Wednesday, James. I wish you great success with this new collection of short stories. And I hope you’ll stop by again–maybe for a guest post on the wisdom you’ve gained through your experience and research on being an Indie Author.

moushon1About James:  James Moushon is a Mystery author and a published writer in the electronic document field. He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published two books: Black Mountain Secrets and Game of Fire, and Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories featuring Jonathon Stone. He is currently wearing two hats. He is a mystery author and a book publishing blogger.

Social media sites

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Author’s Blog: eBook Author’s Corner

Blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Blog: HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Twitter: @jimhbs


Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Google+: Check Out Google+

Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Spotlight post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

Links to books

Black Mountain Secrets

Game of Fire

Operation Alpha Dog




sun_eBOOK_NEW (1)Flo and Brittany. Brittany and Flo–a relationship born in shock and fascination, breaking down age barriers immediately. No spoilers in here, but the opening of When the Sun was Mine is filled with mystery and love stories, which leads the young Brittany into an exploration of herself and her views on the elderly. Flo guides her through both.

I enjoyed When the Sun was Mine because of the growth and development of the relationship between the young Brittany and the much older Flo.

Set mostly in the nursing home, Happy Hearts–the greatest misnomer of all–this novel addresses something rarely touched in writing. The author takes us inside the mind of Flo, suffering from the early stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s–or is she? Because of the mystery slowly unraveling at the center of the plot, the reader is never sure if Flo is faking the symptoms to aid her investigation, or if she really doesn’t remember some things. It’s a brilliant literary touch because it creates a confusion in the reader that provides a brief glimpse into how it must be for Flo, who moves back and forth between and through the shadows of her memories and her present existence.

Those beginning stages of this disease can be the most challenging for loved ones and the most terrifying for the patient.

I know from experience with an aunt and a brother. When both of my relatives knew they were declining and knew they were defenseless against what was happening, they broke my hearts in their helpless knowledge. My brother, a respected and innovative mathematician, felt frustrated in those early days.

“There’s plenty of material out there for the caretakers of the Alzheimer’s patient,” he told me. “But I can’t find a thing about how it is for me, the patient.”

He still had those moments of lucidity, and in those moments, he was anxious to find out all he could before he had a setback where he wouldn’t even be able to remember the word for what he had.

Ms. Jones takes the reader on that journey into the mind of the Alzheimer’s victim in her characterization of Flo. Yet she manages to prevent the novel from devolving into a dark abyss by using humor through Flo’s own antics and the inexperienced fumblings of her young accomplices, Brittany and two of her friends.

Mystery mixed with contemporary realities provide for an enjoyable read because once the reader sees Flo in all her naked honesty in that first chapter, the ride surprises us with its twists and turns.

It takes a talented author to bring us contemporary issues that not only entertain but cause us to pause and wonder at the possibilities for our dreams, no matter our age or condition. And Darlene Jones has achieved that in her latest novel, When the Sun was Mine.

Links to find out more about Darlene Jones:

Author Wednesday posts:

January 13, 2016

April 3, 2013

Book Review Friday – Embattled

Purchase Links for When the Sun was Mine – $0.99 for a limited time

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK








It’s time for Author Wednesday and to bring back another of my favorite authors to celebrate the release of her new book. Darlene Jones recently published When the Sun Was Mine, which is a departure from her Em and Yves Series. The new book is contemporary fiction and explores generational friendships, Alzheimer’s, and family in a mystery format. Look for my review on Book Review Friday this week. Today, she’s going to tell us how she created this novel. Welcome, Darlene!sun_eBOOK_NEW (1)

The Seeds of a Novel

By Darlene Jones

In her feature on Author Wednesday in October, author Christina Carson wrote, “Somewhere in the back of our minds saturated with intellectual and emotional experiences, a seed exists around which a story begins to form.”

I agree with Christina (although I could never express it quite so elegantly), for When the Sun was Mine sprouted from one of those seeds. If you were to ask me the moment the idea came to me, or how the idea came to me, I wouldn’t be able to answer. I have no conscious recollection of the beginnings of the story as they formed and grew in my mind.

I had published the Em and Yves series—the “seed” for those books stemmed from my experiences living in Mali—and I’d completed the compilation and publishing of the Mali to Mexico and Points In Between stories. I was floundering with nothing to write but had no “brainwaves” for the next novel. In fact, I feared there wouldn’t be a next novel. I needn’t have worried for suddenly I was writing. The story of Flo and Brit, the main characters of When the Sun was Mine, seemed to grow naturally, with little effort. Once I had the bare bones on paper, I reworked it, building on Flo and her background for she was the essence of what I wished to convey.

The friendship between Flo and Brit is, perhaps, an unusual one, but I had a similar experience (although not as a teen) when I shared a hospital room for many weeks with a much older lady who became very dear to me. We remained close friends until her death at age eighty-nine. Perhaps that friendship was one of the seeds Christina refers to.

Looking back on my writing I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that teens play a significant role in each of my novels, and I suspect they will in anything I write in the future. I was an educator for many years. More seeds? A natural development in my work? I believe so.

Last night I had a dream that I had found the perfect seed for my next book. Of course, when I woke, the details evaporated. Frustrating? Yes, but a clear sign that now it’s time to relax for a bit and wait for another seed to germinate in my mind and another novel to be written. I know that, whatever the new story is, it will be a pleasure to write, for I can’t imagine a life without writing—and reading.

P.C., I hope that you and your followers enjoy When the Sun was Mine. Thank you for featuring me and my work.

You are very welcome, Darlene. I love to hear how others find those seeds that turn into novels. I’ve had the first line of books pop into my dreams, diverting me to writing a novel I never knew I could write. We never know when the ‘muse’ will come to us, but being open and receptive to those seeds flung to us on the wind is the first step. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

100-0059_IMGAbout Darlene Jones:  Many years ago a young girl left the safety of Canada for adventure in Africa. This was in a generation when young girls didn’t go anywhere on their own and certainly not to the “the dark continent.”

I had to adapt to the climate, the culture, the language, and above all time travel, for most Malians lived the way they always had. Modern conveniences consisted of basic items such as kerosene lanterns and little else.

It was the plight of Malians that inspired me to begin writing my novel series. Since I couldn’t wave a magic wand to make life better in Mali, I chose to do it fictitiously.

Now that the Em and Yves series is complete, I’ve found that I’m hooked on writing and have moved on to other genres. I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Author Wednesday 2013  – Darlene Jones

Embattled jpg for KindleBook Review Friday – Embattled

Darlene Jones Website

Purchase When the Sun was Mine by clicking below:








cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgHappy New Year! It’s Wednesday and time for 2016’s first Author Wednesday. Today’s offering is unique as Diane Rapp stops by to gives us some information about her new novel, Golden Legacy, which blends historical adventure with modern-day mystery. Stepping back to 1888, Diane has provided us with a character interview with Genevieve Elizabeth Donnelly as if it was conducted by me! Read and enjoy.Golden Legacy Cover_edited-3

Interview with a Victorian Lady

Written by Diane Rapp


Ginny Framed_edited-2


Genevieve Elizabeth Donnelly steps through a shimmering light that suddenly opens in my office. Although warned to expect a time-travel portal, I feel unnerved. The lovely woman resembles an old-fashioned portrait brought to life before my eyes. She’s an attractive tall woman with chestnut hair pinned back into a neat bun. Her lively hazel eyes look intelligent and inquisitive. As she enters my domain, her gaze explores the room, noting my laptop computer, cellphone, and my casual attire.


I offer my hand to the genteel lady. “Hello, Genevieve, I’m Patricia Zick, an author friend of Diane Rapp’s. She arranged for your interview today.”

She says, “Do call me Ginny.” Removing a pair of kid gloves, Ginny shakes my hand and smiles. Her mellow voice sounds calm, but I notice a slight tremble in her fingertips. She adds, “I felt incredulous about your kind invitation to chat. I hardly anticipated a female writer from the future might summon me through a time-portal. Of course, having read the Time Machine by H.G. Wells in 1895, I felt eager to take an excursion into the future. It felt ever so exhilarating.”

Eager to know more, I ask, “Did you ever meet H.G. Wells?”

Ginny’s laugh contains a musical contralto resonance. “Not all English citizens mingle in the same social circles, you realize. No, I’ve never been afforded the opportunity to meet the lauded author. Perhaps the experience of time-travel during this interview might provide a proper means of introduction.”

She wanders past my book shelves and fingers several titles with a quizzical expression. The scent of roses fills the room as I observe her old-fashioned clothing. Ginny wears a demure plum-colored silk jacket over a ruffled white blouse and long skirt in a slim design. She carries a small velvet reticule and white parasol.

“What a lovely outfit you’re wearing, but I thought women in the 1880s typically wore bustles. Please make yourself comfortable.” I point to an armchair opposite my desk.

Blushing, Ginny replies, “Thank you for the kind compliment.” Smoothing her skirt, she sits primly upon the chair, maintaining an erect posture. “Truthfully, I seldom dress in current vogue, preferring to delay until I’m forced to alter my habits to suit society. However, travelling the seas wearing cumbersome bustles grew tiresome, and consequently, I relished the idea of a change. I made the acquaintance of a French fashion designer on a long voyage to Japan. I found her a woman of uncommon talent and daring as she outlined a plan to make a name for herself by marketing avant-garde fashions sewn from Japanese silk. Amazed by her illustrations, I knew such attire would make life more tolerable for modern women. In Tokyo, we purchased luxurious materials and hired tailors to create new garments to my measure. I promptly cast aside my entire wardrobe. Can you imagine the comical sight of servants strolling through Japanese streets wearing unwieldly bustles?” She lowered her gaze and blushed. “Pardon me for prattling on like a magpie. It’s a disagreeable habit for which Father often chides me.”

I quickly interject, “Please don’t stop, Ginny! I enjoy hearing such charming details and the information will be useful for my article.”

She fidgets, picks up an open microfiber pen from my desk and fingers the tip. When ink mars her white finger, her eyes grow round. “I’ve never seen such a marvelous writing implement. A fountain pen proved an invaluable tool for me.” She points at my laptop and eagerly leans forward to watch me type. “Is this another magical invention like the time-portal?”

I stifle a laugh and nod. “Computers are inventions that replaced the common typewriter.”

“Extraordinary! I deemed the typewriter an ingenious device, but this astonishing machine displays words upon a glowing picture frame as you strike the keys. I fear no one in my time period will credit the veracity of my observations.” She eyes the clock on my desk and says, “We must commence the interview forthwith. I’m informed we have but an hour available before the portal dissolves. Diane said you inquired about my journey through the American West during 1888?”

“Yes, let’s begin.” Sighing, I peruse my list of interview questions and state, “You claim to be a spinster at the age of twenty-five. You are obviously beautiful, so how did you remain unmarried?”

Touching her shapely lips with an ink-marred finger, she blushes before beginning an explanation. “Mother died upon my birth, therefore, I grew up as an impressionable girl surrounded by gentlemen. My attitudes and conceits were formed by interactions with the masculine gender, who tolerated my opinions. When introduced into society as a sixteen-year-old debutante, I balked at the notion that a husband could become my lord and master. An inheritance from my American mother’s fortune included a dowry of ample size to secure a proper husband, but young gentlemen who courted failed to capture my heart. During two seasons, I attended fancy balls, elaborate hunts, and weekly picnics. I grew utterly bored by members of the ton and subsequently refused several proposals—much to Father’s chagrin. He claimed I became a spinster by choice, and I admit he was correct. At the age of twenty-one, I gained control over my capital and became free to travel.”

Rapidly typing to record the dialogue into my laptop, I pause to ask, “Why did you travel to Ouray, Colorado?”

Ginny’s lovely hazel eyes become somber. “After visiting the Sandwich Islands, the ship I booked passage upon landed in San Francisco where I hoped to enjoy a congenial holiday with cousins. A telegram arrived from Father that changed my plans entirely.” She leans forward and comments in a hushed tone, “You do realize that telegrams seldom carry good news, which is better conveyed in a nice long letter. The cryptic communication from Father alerted me that Johnny, my twin brother, lay injured in hospital—shot by miscreants. Father implored me to cut my visit short and rush to Johnny’s bedside in Ouray, Colorado. Luckily, by 1888 American railroad companies offered expanded routes that allowed for civilized travel across rugged terrain.”

My fingers fly across the keyboard until I sense Ginny watching me again. “Was it common for a woman to travel alone in 1888?” I meet her steady gaze.

I notice a slight flinch at the question but she soon replies, “I felt safe enough, after all, I followed the example of a fellow English gentlewoman. As a girl I faithfully read all the journals published by Isabella Lucy Bird, the daughter of a clergyman and celebrated travel writer. Twenty years prior to my adventure, Miss Bird’s solitary travels afforded me the courage to venture into the wilds of the Colonies on my own.”

The hands on my clock creep forward, and Ginny glances nervously at the shimming light that would soon snatch her back a hundred years. I explain, “Diane Rapp just published Golden Legacy, a novel that features your journal. It sounds like you experienced an exciting and dangerous adventure.”

Ginny shushed me by raising her finger to her lips. “We must not reveal too many secrets from my journal. I allow that I encountered a modicum of danger, even adopting a disguise to thwart those dreadful bandits, but I felt compelled to carry supplies to the hidden mine—armed with a fountain pen and two hat pins. You see, my brother’s business partner, Nick, had no knowledge regarding Johnny’s injuries or the threat of villains watching the trail. I admit my audacity nearly caused me harm, but I faithfully recorded the events. Later I directed my descendants to follow my journal to discover the gold mine and secure their fortunes.”

“Descendants? That means you didn’t remain a spinster. Did you fall in love during your trek to the mine?” I leaned forward, eager to hear more.

Flashing an enigmatic smile, Ginny declares, “A modern woman should never accept less than true love in her story. I shan’t spoil the book by revealing too much, but realize that a splendid love story always contains a handsome hero. My mettle was tested in ways I still shudder to recall. The escapade prompted me to institute a similar test of courage and intellect for my future heirs.” She stands and puts the kid gloves back onto her slender hands. “I hope you enjoy reading my adventure. Be sure to examine the photos taken by descendants inside the tome and discover more clues for the treasure hunt.”

Ginny’s silk skirt swishes as she rushes back through the time-portal. The shimmering light vanishes after she waves good-bye. I feel anxious to peruse the description of the book and view a slideshow of photos at Diane’s website.

Description of Golden Legacy blends historical adventure with modern-day mystery in a novel that follows two time lines. Embarking on a harrowing treasure hunt, two daring heroines tackle the hazards of gold country more than a century apart. Although a stand-alone novel, readers who have already met Kayla and Steven in the High Seas Mystery series, may enjoy their continued love story in the Rockies. See real places around Ouray, Colorado, through actual photos within the narrative.

Diane AloneAbout the Author:  Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she opened a dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner. She sold real estate, owned an office supply/copy center, and performed freelance advertising design. During those hectic years, Diane wrote stories as a cure for insomnia. After joining her daughter on a research trip for a Caribbean tour guide, Diane’s daughter suggested the idea of writing a mystery novel set on cruise ships. Although part of the High Seas Mystery series, each book is a stand-alone story.

In Murder Caribbean-Style, readers meet the main characters and learn about life aboard a ship while solving a murder. When Kayla teams up with Steven Young, a handsome British magician working undercover for Interpol, danger and romance get mixed into the action.

The second in the series, Murder on a Ghost Ship takes readers cruising to Bermuda and the Azores. Kayla and Natalia are summoned back to work by Emily Schultz, who bought a ship haunted by a very unhappy ghost. The women must learn who murdered the ghostly victim before another passenger dies.

Take an Alaskan cruise in Murder for Glacier Blue and solve and murder and art heist. While preparing for her own wedding on Glacier Bay, Kayla and the gang must protect six valuable paintings—six chances for thieves to strike. Her dream wedding hits a snag when Steven’s ex-wife shows up alongside his school chum planning trouble for the newlyweds!  Readers enjoy photos of Alaskan wildlife and natural landmarks mixed into a tale of art theft and murder.

Diane Rapp also writes a  science/fantasy series and a fractured fairytale.

Visit to learn more about all of Diane’s books and see photos.

Connect with Diane at and follow her on Twitter at