cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgI’m very excited to welcome Wendy Unsworth back to Author Wednesday. I’ve been anxiously awaiting her second book in the Berriwood Series, after having read The Palavar Tree. The wait is almost over. Beneathwood is a novel filled with drama and suspense and will be available in e format on November 24, 2015, and in paperback on December 8, 2015.CoverBeneathwood

Welcome, Wendy. It’s so nice to have you back.

Hello and thank you for inviting me back to your lovely blog; it’s great to be here.

Next month you will be publishing the second book in your Berriwood Series. Can you tell us something about the idea behind the series?

Berriwood is a fictional village in the beautiful and ancient county of Cornwall in England. I was lucky enough to live in that part of the world for a few years and anyone who does couldn’t fail to be inspired by its windswept moors and rugged coastlines. The house we lived in was built in 1745 and, amazingly, that’s not too unusual for that part of the world. History is everywhere. When I had the idea to write a series of novels featuring the characters of one village it had to be set in Cornwall!

I wanted to write a series about characters from within a small community so that the common theme in each book is the connection to the village. I have a fascination (I think this is a writer’s lot in life!) in people. I might be sitting in a crowded train or plane or in the window seat of a coffee shop, and as I watch, I wonder about the lives and motivations around me. So, that was how I imagined Berriwood; on the face of it a pretty place where folks go about their ordinary lives, but what is ordinary? I should say right now, this is no quiet, nothing-ever-happens, kind of a village. I like to test my characters!

photo 2In the first book of the series, The Palaver Tree, I took my ‘ordinary’ character, Ellie Hathaway, a woman who had grown up in Berriwood and was perhaps quite naive about the wider world, and sent her on a journey as a volunteer teacher in Africa. Ellie had come to a crossroads in her life and was looking for new purpose. I knew that, beneath her gentle exterior, was a strong and resourceful woman (as so often in the case!), and I was eager to explore how she would respond when the chips were down and her life and the lives of others were at stake.

In Beneathwood the story is centered entirely around the village where the stakes, are, for one family, similarly high!

I loved The Palaver Tree (click here to read my review). I visited Cornwall and I understand how the setting would be perfect for your literary purposes. Beneathwood is an interesting title, how did the name come about?

Houses are important to me. I have lived in quite a few different ones, but each, in my mind, defines an ‘era’ of my life. Beneathwood is the name of a house and is very central to the whole story. I once saw an old and weathered sign to a house of the same name. It was on a winding country road, but the building wasn’t in sight. It must have been tucked far down a track and obscured by trees. I was intrigued. The name stuck with me, and I knew that one day I would recreate Beneathwood in a style and setting of my own. I also liked the way it fitted in my mind with the village of Berriwood. Beneathwood is a part of the village, but is indeed, on the edge, beneath it, so to speak.

That’s a perfect name and one word titles are easy to remember! Can you tell us a little bit about the story within Beneathwood, without giving too much away?

It’s all about that house, or so it seems to be. After Postmistress Beryl unexpectedly inherits Beneathwood from her Aunt there is plenty of restoration work to be carried out, and her husband, Gordon, recently retired and beginning to suffer from boredom, thinks the project is heaven sent. Olivia, the Carroll’s daughter, would honestly rather see her father do a quick tidy up and get the house on the market. She hated the place even before she found Auntie Edith’s body on the floor of the sitting room. But Gordon approaches his new task with a typical eye for detail and the process becomes a labor of love.

When an accident leaves Beryl unable to continue to work at the post office, the Carrolls decided their best option is to move in.

Beneathwood is a story about secrets and how they can unravel, even though the passage of many years might seem to make them safe. It’s also a story about preconceived ideas and misconceptions and how a situation, even amongst close, family members, can be so differently interpreted. Finally, the story is about love, as most stories, even in the most oblique of circumstances, are.

It sounds lovely, and I look forward to reading it. What’s in the works at the moment. Will we be seeing more in the Berriwood Series?

Yes, for Berriwood, I have two more books planned. Book three has a working title of The Devil You Know and is a story featuring Caroline Duke, the owner of the village newsagent’s shop. Caroline is married to Pete Duke; he is a man who has succumbed to addiction, unlike his twin brother who is Oh! So perfect!

Book 4 is still very much still in the outline stage but is probably going to feature again Tiffany Harris, the gullible young woman from The Palaver Tree who has learned a lesson or two since we last saw her.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00056]I also have a great time, in between longer projects, writing for children. My Come-alive Cottage series is written purely for fun, and I adore creating characters such as Aunt Kitty, the witch, the eccentric Colonel Culpepper and the very silly, Aunt Sillime. Keller Culpepper is the heroine of the stories, and she always manages to save the day!

I also have an idea for a new adult book, possibly stand-alone, but that is nothing more than a little seed at the moment, plenty of water and nourishment required. If only there was two of me!

Thank you again for asking me here today. It is a real pleasure to be ‘out and about’ in the writing community.

First, I’m happy you’re bringing back Tiffany. She was memorable and probably learned the most in The Palaver Tree. I’m delighted to find you reveling in your work. Writing children’s books is a noble endeavor, and it’s wonderful to see you having a good time with it.  Congratulations on publishing Beneathwood. I hope you’ll return when Book three is ready for publication.

photoAbout Wendy: Wendy Unsworth was born and raised in Lincolnshire, England. Her passions are her family, travel, beautiful gardens, and reading and writing stories. Wendy lived in Ndola, Zambia, and Nairobi, Kenya, throughout the 1980s and early ’90s before returning to the UK to acclimatize back to the English weather in a Cornish cottage close to Bodmin Moor. She has also lived in Portugal and hopes to go back there in search of some sun.

Click below:

The Palaver Tree – Amazon US

The Palaver Tree – Amazon UK

Amazon Author Page







I’m happy to announce the release of my romantic baseball story, Third Base. The writing of the love story between Adriana Moretti and Tomas Vegas is my tribute to love on many levels. First, I wrote about a team that has captured my heart in the past five years. The Pittsburgh Pirates were in a major two-decade long slump when I moved to the Steel City. I’ve watched them grow, improve, and win, so I put them as the winning team at the forefront of Third Base. Also, the couple’s instant attraction, despite the road blocks in their way, rises above it all.

It’s my favorite kind of love story, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. Thank you for your support for all my writing efforts.

Purchase Links:







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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.


Author Wednesday – Janna Yeshanova

???????????????????????????????Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Janna Yeshanova, the author of romance stories set in Russia. Love is Never Past Tense, the first in the series, on the Black Sea where a couple meets and falls in love. A speedy courtship led to a quick marriage, then the world showed up. A divorce inspired by outside forces sent them on separate destinies, always wondering “what if…” Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? LoveisNever large

Welcome, Janna. I’ve been impressed by your biography and your stories, so tell me when did you first discover your voice as a writer?

Approximately twenty years ago when traveling with my husband and my daughter through North Carolina, we decided to stop at a fruit market. Suddenly, a strong smell of peaches brought back a memory of my childhood:  my six year old friend and I are sitting on the grass and consuming a huge box of furry peaches one after another…  Two carefree kids in a world of blue sky, lilac, sunshine and juicy peaches… I captured those memories on a piece of paper that I found in the car. Later, I edited the story, but it was lost when we were moving to a new house.

Somehow you made your way back to writing despite that loss. You’ll either recreate it or it wasn’t meant to be published. One of my heroes is Rachel Carson the author of Silent Spring. In one of her last interviews she said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Describe a time when a subject chose you.

A scene from In The Land of Scarabs (the second book in this series), describes a problem with customs in Egypt.LandScarabsKD2stories kyra This actually happened to me in Bucharest, when I stepped in the Romanian airport several years ago. After being held in their basement office for two hours I had to call the American Embassy in order to leave safely. In this case the subject definitely chose me! Love Is Never Past Tense… is based on a true story. So, it seems that subject chose me as well.

It does seem to happen that way–it’s the great thing about being a writer. We can always say something happened to give us an idea for a novel! What messages or themes do you try to convey to your readers?

I try to convey the message that my Mom left for me. Once we talked on the porch sitting in the chairs facing each other. I was sad. My mom looked at me and said: The most beautiful thing in life is life. I thought a minute, and then, asked: Mom, what if it becomes so ugly that you do not want it anymore? She looked at me attentively and replied: Janna, the most beautiful thing in life is life.

What a beautiful message. Sometimes we have to hear it several times before it hits us. Write a paragraph as if you were a reporter writing about you for a newspaper article on up and coming authors.

Janna Yeshanova’s life is a lens that looks back at recent history and forward to a happy future. When ethnic and political turmoil overwhelmed her homeland, as is currently happening in Crimea, she led her mother and daughter out of the collapsing Soviet Union to America, with $126 in her pocket and nobody at all in her address book. As a life coach, she reveals the value of optimism in creating the future you want. As an author, past and present meet and intertwine through her contemporary romance novel Love Is Never Past Tense…

If anyone can attest to the importance of remaining positive and moving forward it is you. You are doing your work as a life coach and spreading your message through fiction. That’s excellent, Janna. What’s are you writing now?

I am finishing up and launching a series of sequels to Love Is Never Past Tense. The first, In The Land Of Scarabs was released May 26. I rewarded myself with a trip to Israel on the same date! The next, Zebra Fish, has just been released. ZebraFishKDlast kyra

Congratulations on both books and your trip to Israel. I’m impressed that you reward yourself. We sometimes forget to do that. What knowledge have you acquired recently that might assist other writers?

1. Do not give up!

2. Do not share with anyone who may rain on your parade!

Excellent advice. I believe and follow both of these. You mentioned the message from your mother as finding its way into your fiction. Does this mean all your books have a common thread?

All my books involve the same main heroes. The first book, Love Is Never Past Tense, is based on a true story. The sequels are fictional, but based on the premise set in the first book. Because my name is in the books, I was debating how to deal with sex scenes: to cut them out or to keep. Couldn’t quite decide… Just to let you know, if I keep them, please know that all is fiction. If I do not, please know why.

OK, we’ve been forewarned. Great teaser! Why did you chose to write about love?

How can you not write about love that keeps the world alive?

How does setting play a role in your books?

Love Is Never Past Tense is set mostly in Ukraine. Odessa, Crimea, some other parts of my country… Half of this book was written in Crimea near my favorite Black Sea, under my favorite blue sky… Crimea is generously described in the book. In The Land Of Scarabs and in Zebra Fish are set in other locations where the story itself depends on the setting.

How is the current situation in Crimea and Odessa, Ukraine affecting you?

I was thinking about visiting there this past spring, but given the events that are happening there I can’t. If you are interested about my recent visit to Crimea, click here to read my blog article about it.

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

Love Is Never Past Tense… was as much of a cultural experience for me as it was an enjoyable read. The novel did an excellent job of immersing me (an American reader) in Russian culture, through the eyes of a character experiencing extremely turbulent times for that region. It is a sensual love story set across contemporary Russian culture. It is inspiring as a reminder of passionate love beyond early youth.”

That’s very nice and especially gratifying that you brought another culture to the reviewer’s world experience. What’s your one sentence pitch for Love Is Never Past Tense…?

“This intriguing and often painful love story spans for decades of life-altering years, and life-altering events, but proves that true love will endure as long as the human heart beats.” I saw this on Amazon reviews. I agreed with it.

I love the title. How did you choose it? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

The title is representative of the underlying message of this story. The title came momentarily as soon as the book was finished.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?

The book is self published. I wanted to publish it as fast as possible.

Who is the antagonist in the book?

Serge’s inner daemons are antagonists. His character is very colorful, smart, handsome, and controversial. Sometimes he is afraid to make decisions, and sometimes he gives in on his innermost values and then regrets it. You tell me what you think about him!

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

During their first three days together, Serge (as they called our hero at the time) was the quieter of the two, once in a while muttering some insignificant phrases. The first time he saw her, he silently followed her for a long time. She walked along easily, shifting her long, rather well-proportioned legs. Her thin leather skirt swung from side to side, barely hiding her shapely hips. A green blouse tightly covered her beautifully straight back. All the while, Serge followed her like she was a vision, lacking the courage to come closer or to back away. He knew that making her acquaintance was a long shot; she was simply out of his league. How could he possibly know that she, a complete stranger, would inexplicably impact his life and be with him forever, whether she was at his side or not?

What else do you want readers to know about your book?

Anyone who’s ever pondered the eternal question, “What makes life worth living?” can find the answer within the international romantic saga of Love Is Never Past Tense.


IMG_2591 (2)About Janna Yeshanova: Originally from the former Soviet Union, Janna Yeshanova, M.A., M.Ed., escaped to the United States when persecution became violent during the crumbling of her country. Arriving in the United States with her mother and daughter in tow, $126 in her pocket and knowing not a soul, Janna’s talent, experiences and education have helped her become a high end organizational training and development professional. Her exodus story is included in the book.

Founder and principal of Life-Spark, LLC, Janna is a dynamic and powerful life coach, premier trainer and motivational speaker. She leverages her passion and engaging style to help others to overcome adversity and spark the possibilities of their lives.

Love Is Never Past Tense… was published first in Russia and Ukraine in 2009, and is now available in English. It is a fascinating adventurous romance based on a true story.  The two fictional sequels In The Land Of Scarabs and Zebra Fish were published in 2014.




Twitter: @NeverPastTense


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Week 18: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

I’m participating in my first blog hop, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey as we blog hop our way through some new reads. A blog hop gives readers an opportunity to find some wonderful authors you might have missed. Be sure to follow our blog hop and be introduced to some exciting reads as well as works in progress. Below you will be able to learn a little about me. You’ll also find links to Kathleen Heady’s, Phanessia Harrell’s, and Daniel Alexander’s blogs. They follow me on the blog hop in Week 19. Be sure to check out both Kathleen and Phanessia. You’ll be impressed.

Special thanks to S.I. Hayes for asking me to participate. Check her out at

Twitter:  @shannonihayes


Blog:  A Writer’s Mind, More or Less


P. C. Zick’s Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

 Q: What is the working title of your book?

Trails in the Sand

 Q:Where did the idea come from for the book?

During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, I worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Agency as a public relations director. I was very much involved in the wildlife response efforts during the crisis. I handled all the media relations for a project involving the relocation of hundreds of sea turtle nests from the Panhandle beaches of Florida to the Atlantic coast. Nothing of this magnitude had ever been attempted before, but the sea turtle experts were very concerned the hatchlings wouldn’t survive in oil-infested waters. I wanted to write a story that involved the horror of the event and the efforts to restore. The oil spill plays a background role in one family whose lives have been impacted by many “trails in the sand.”

 Q:What genre does your book fall under?

I refer to it as an environmental love story, but no one’s come up with that category of writing yet. It’s contemporary fiction and could be considered women’s literature.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Susan Sarandon as the matriarch, Gladdy; Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson as the main love characters (if they can go from age 18 to 50); Lindsay Lohan as the troubled young woman trying to figure it all out.

 Q:What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

As the oil spill threatens the coast of Florida, one family’s past secrets threaten their future, but the road to healing for both paves the way to recovering what was lost.

 Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will self-publish this book, just as I did Live from the Road. The experience has been satisfying as it gives me more control over my work.

Q:How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me a year to complete the first draft. I began it sometime in 2011, although I was exploring the topic in late 2010. I finished the first draft in February 2012 and sent it out to two beta readers. During this past summer, I wrote the second draft based on their comments. I made quite a few changes the second time around. After another round of comments, I’m revising the second draft and hope to have it to my editor before Thanksgiving.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure I’ve read anything like this. Karen White wrote about the Gulf coast after Katrina, but she didn’t really delve into environmental issues. Pat Conroy has written about sea turtles, using them as a way to bring a family together (Beach Music), and there are many novels depicting southern families and their dysfunction. Trails in the Sand is unique and should be taken as such with each reader.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I was dealing in real life with the oil spill, I was also embarking on a new relationship. However, that “relationship” actually began forty years ago in Michigan when my husband and I were teenagers. We lost contact with each other for more than three decades. I wanted to write a story about the environment and about how love can survive even through separation.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Stokley clan is an interesting conglomeration of folks from the sisters named Candy, Cookie, Sugar, Apple, and then finally the tortured Gladys, to their father, who went from coal miner to doctor. His past overshadows the present as his granddaughter and Gladdy’s daughter, Caroline, seeks the answers to the past to heal the present.

Next Wednesday, October 31, Kathleen Heady, Phanessia Harrell, and Daniel Alexander will join The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Please visit their sites and join them on the blog hop as they answer questions about their work and introduce even more authors for you to discover.

Kathleen Heady:




Phanessia Harrell:

Blog: WhileWaitingOnMyWings

Blog: Expressions Of Me


Daniel Alexander