Thursday, 31 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Tina Pinson discusses the setting of "When Shadows Fall"

The setting of When Shadows Fall starts in Maryland and the Capital in 1862. During the Civil War.

Maryland was with the Union, but there is fear they could attacked at any time.

Rebekah's family lives out in the country in nice homes and continue on with life pretty much unscathed by the war, while Rebekah's home is in West Virginia where the battles rage.

She lives in a little log cabin with a rustic barn and dilapidated out buildings. The land seems to have taken on the temperament of war itself, battling her as she tries to find food and keep her land.

Then we head to Missouri on a wagon that travels through enemy lines and connects with a train that will hopefully reach its destination without incident.

Independence Missouri is filled with people trying to leave the war, and people with sentiments drawn on both sides. Blacks are traveling on the trail, but they have to be careful.

Once the train finally leaves Independence, there are miles to go along a vast prairie filled with bugs and Indians and buffalo and all kinds of pestilence. They travel in grueling heat, their bodies practically drinking dust.

They pray for cool breezes and shadows. They pray for rain but only the mists, otherwise the rain pushes their wheels into the muck. They stop to bury those who died. Dropping of household goods because the wagon is too heavy and the oxen are tired. And the land is sloping upward. There are long stretches of trash from other trains. And crosses line the way.

Then comes the mountains, which they hope to reach before winter so they get across. They are both a blessing and a curse when one thinks of using pulleys and ropes to pull the wagon over the passes, considering blistered hands and sore backs. But they signify the trail is coming to an end.

Then finally about 6 months later, they pull into Oregon. The land is green and lush. There is no war that they can see or hear. They have found the new Eden and home.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Tina Pinson talks about researching "When Shadows Falls"

To research When Shadows Fall, I spent a lot of time at the library going through old books. The old and mustier, the better. Why? Because I find the older the book, the more history.

Then we took a trip to Washington State and stopped at all the Oregon Trail centers along the way. My children were ecstatic. But hubby was a trooper.

We also took a trip to Georgia. And we stopped at the forts and visited different sites along the trail. Also visited Andersonville and an old naval museum in Charleston, SC, but those are for another story.

I also purchased the Oregon Trail Game and played it to see where my characters were going, what they might deal with. I bought my stores, and feed for my oxen and headed out. I think I sank my wagon and lost it all on the first river fording. It's a good thing we don't have to worry about wagons and water. Unless of course we're speaking station wagons and bottled water from a gas station.

It is also amazing to me, how the trip took several months. And today we can cross that distance in a couple of days driving. Now we have restaurants and gas stations and rest areas.

During the time Rebekah is on the trail, she makes mention of the amenities they have in 1863. Which was an eye opener to me. I would find her trip hard. And she was thankful that the trail was easier.

How would I have fared on the Oregon Trail with the bugs and sickness? Would I have gone stark raving mad? I'd like to think I wouldn't… but who knows?

When Shadows Fall
In the Manor of the Ghost,
Touched By Mercy
Website Twitter @Tina_Pinson
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD... " Jer. 29:11

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Character Interview with Rebekah from When Shadows Fall

Tina-- Rebekah, do you mind if we talk about When Shadows Fall?

Rebekah -- Oh it's you… my creator. Perhaps you should tell the story.

Tina-- It would be better coming from you.

Rebekah -- I'll have to hurry. The steward is taking me to my godfather, President Lincoln.

Tina -- It must be wonderful meeting with him?

Rebekah -- It will be lovely. But… We are in the midst of a Civil War and I've come to ask for his help to get my husband, Robert Montgomery, out of a Yankee Prison.

Tina -- I'm sorry.

Rebekah -- "Why are you sorry? You wrote it that way.

Tina-- Oh yeah.

Rebekah -- It's dreadfully hot in here? And someone dressed me in wool.

Tina-- I'm sorry about that too. But we writers have to give our characters conflict.

Rebekah -- My concern is how much conflict. Will things work out?"

Tina -- I believe so. You're strong and smart.

Rebekah -- Will Abraham help me with Robert?

Tina -- I believe… Hey, I'm the one asking the questions.

Rebekah -- I'm sorry. I just wished I could be on my way. There's a man staring at me.

Tina -- A man is staring at you?

Rebekah -- yes, he acts like he's not but…

Tina --- maybe you should tell the steward.

Rebekah -- (stealing glances) He's looking at me in an odd manner. Almost as if he knows me… Oh my… I… It can't be.

TP-- What?

Rebekah -- (Fighting to get her hat on) Him?

Tina -- Him?

Rebekah -- Oh… I don't know. And the steward has led me into the hall and now I can't see to make sure. It sure looked like him. You know, can't you tell me?

Tina (with a woeful sigh)-- I can't. We writers aren't supposed to inject ourselves into the story with omniscient comments. Who do you think it is?

Rebekah (sighing) Someone I thought I'd never see again. Matthew. My first love.

If you'd like to see my cast…

When Shadows Fall
In the Manor of the Ghost,
Touched By Mercy
Website Twitter @Tina_Pinson
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD... " Jer. 29:11

Monday, 28 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Tina Pinson

STEPH: I don't know much about "When Shadows Fall." What's it about?

TINA: When Shadows Fall is what I call my Oregon With the Wind novel. Because it takes place in 1862, during the Civil War and then on the Oregon trail.

It is the story of Rebekah St. James-Montgomery and her plight to find her husband and keep her sanity through the turmoil and loss of war. When she finds Robert he is barely alive and has lost both his legs. She fights to save him, but loses the battle. And nearly forfeits her sanity in the process. Seeing an old friend, and love, Matthew Cavanaugh, has her dreaming of things she believes could never be hers. When she learns that Robert wanted to go west, Rebekah decides to stop dreaming and wallowing in what might have been. She makes plans to head west to the Oregon, the new Eden, in the hopes of finding life again.

Matthew learns of her plans and her loss and decides he is going to be the one who helps her west, whether she wants him to or not. Because his dream isn't the west, his dream is to have Rebekah for his own.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

TINA: It took a year and some 900 pages. I wrote the story twenty years ago and found it was too long and no one wanted it. So I cut it into a serial and sent it to Desert Breeze and Gail took a chance on me.

STEPH: How much research did you have to do?

TINA: I did a lot of research about the trail and some on the Civil War. I really wanted people to get a taste for the lives of those during that time. That was my main reason for story in the first place. I was tired of reading stories where the people went on the Oregon Trail or the Santa Fe Trail and within a chapter had already reached their destination.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?

TINA: The cover encapsulates a scene in the story where Rebekah stands over two crosses under a weather-bared tree with her son, Andrew. The gray and black signifies her life and the life of the country. The touch of light is a reminder that even in the darkest days there is hope.

STEPH: Rebekah is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?

TINA: Her strength is her ability to fight for those she loves and keep pressing ahead. Her ability to forgive. Her weakness is that it takes so long for her to forgive herself and trust in someone's love when she didn't anything wrong. And maybe her strength is sometimes her weakness, because in some aspects it makes her mule headed to make things right.

STEPH: What does Matthew find appealing about her?

TINA: He's loved her since she was a child. And he loves her strength and her tenderness.

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

TINA: I've considered the theme in detail, and I suppose it would be that through the toughest times, through pain and sorrow, through Shadows there is someone to walk with you.

I have a little poem in the beginning of the story that Rebekah wrote and it talks about the Shadows of life. How some are good, like the shadow that cools off the day, or the shadow of man cast across the land. And some are bad, that the shadow of loss or longing, or the shadow that fills your mind and torments you.

That says a lot about the story and why I gave it the name I did.

STEPH: As a writer, where do you draw inspiration from?

TINA: I draw inspiration from the world around me. From things that seem of little consequence. The mundane. I draw inspiration from my life. Rebekah is one character that has been cast after me and how I see myself. I believe God gives me inspiration, and hope that my stories will inspire others.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

TINA: I have a second edition Kindle. I like it. Although I have tempted to get something newer. Maybe an IPAD. Someday.

STEPH: Fun question: What are your plans for Memorial Day?

TINA: We plan to head to Colorado and clean out our trailer and move some things in our shed. Now, don't everyone get all envious and want to go along. Sounds like we'll have too much fun. Or not much at all. But we will get to see family while were there and I'm looking forward to that.

When Shadows Fall
In the Manor of the Ghost,
Touched By Mercy
Website Twitter @Tina_Pinson
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD... " Jer. 29:11

Friday, 25 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Janus" by Gail Delaney

Thank you all for supporting Gail during her spotlight week. If you would like a copy of the free read "A Lifetime Ago," the prequel to the Phoenix Rebellion Series, leave a message in the comments below along with your email address. Also, **everyone** who leaves a comment will be entered to receive either a free copy of "Revolution" (Book 1, The Phoenix Rebellion Series) or "Janus" (Book 1, The Phoenix Rising Series). Remember - leave your email so I can get ahold of you. Now enjoy this excerpt from "Janus."

Moderator Steph


Briggs was hot on Montgomery's heels, which seemed to be her preferred position, and President Tanner beat them to the door, opening it for them. As soon as they were alone, Jenifer took the single stride needed to bring her into John's space. He straightened slightly, but didn't move to back away from her intrusion. With him leaning on the counter, they were nearly eye level. He inhaled, his jaw working. She just stared, her hands planted at her waist, then arched a single eyebrow.

He actually chuckled and looked down, a humorless grin tipping his lips. "I'm no' hidin' anythin', Jenifer. Yeah, we looked at everythin' Nick mentioned when decidin' where I'd go, but I told him I didn't want to go to Chicago. The other cities ruled themselves out for various reasons."

"Why not Chicago?"

He raised his chin again, but his eyes didn't meet hers. He focused downward, staring at maybe her chin to avoid her eyes. "Silas was supposed to go with me."

She almost asked, "What's that got to do with anything?" but her brain engaged before her mouth and she stopped. Drawing a slow breath, Jenifer nodded. "You didn't want to take him back to where his mother died."

"He still remembers." He did look straight at her then. "He was five years old. He remembers the bombin's, and runnin' with his mother and me to find safety." John paused, his jaw working as he ground his teeth. "He remembers his mother dyin'."

Jenifer forced her shoulders to relax and looked past him, finding a chipped spot of paint on the wall to stare at. Some of her anger drained away, unable to maintain it once she understood the reason for his decision. She'd once pegged John to be just like every other politician she ever had the misfortune of dealing with -- egotistical and fake -- but the more she shared space with him, the more she learned of him as a man, the less she believed he was the typical politician. Creating a new problem for Jenifer. It was easier to protect someone she didn't like, because every choice and action was based on reaching a final outcome -- keeping him alive, whether she thought he deserved to be, or not. The fact she actually liked John Smith had the potential of clouding her judgment, and changing her perspective. Caring didn't equate with getting the job done.

If she was smart, she'd walk away now and leave him to his own devices or to the care of Connor Montgomery and his Firebirds.

If she was smart.


The Phoenix Rebellion video:


My site:

Facebook for general writing:

Facebook for the Phoenix series:

Publisher's Buy link is:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Author Spotlight - What's the world like after "the" war? By Gail Delaney

At the end of The Phoenix Rebellion, mankind -- with a new group of allies (I don't want to give away too much for those who haven't read it) -- fights back against their enemies and oppressors. The war is short, fighting lasts only three days, but the effects are devastating.

Phoenix Rising brings us back to a post-war/near-apocalyptic Earth. Entire cities were leveled in the attacks before the actual war ever began, a show of power by our enemies intended to keep us submissive. More than 3/4 of the planets population is dead. Our eco-system is suddenly floundering after being carefully controlled by technology for decades, and now not only is the technology gone, but we suffered a planetary war. Even or continents look different because entire portions have been destroyed. Coastlines are reformed, oceans and waterways rerouted. Technology, something we had begun to rely so heavily on, is spattered and undependable. Providing shelter, food, and medical care to the citizens of his world are the primary concerns of the planet's newly appointed president.

Phoenix had once been the rebellion. They had been the men and women hiding in secret to take down the enemy. Now, they control the planet. They are the saviors of a fumbling world. A new rebellion has begun, the Xenos. These are humans determined to rid our planet of all alien influence, despite the fact the DNA of our allies runs deep within our own genetic make up (That's explained in the first series, sorry...) They are not rebels, they are terrorists, killing their own for a pointless, blind cause.

But, despite all this destitution and destruction, there is hope. We have beaten back those who wanted to make us little more than slaves. We have reclaimed our world. We have made allies with races willing and able to aid us, not oppress us. We now know we aren't alone in the universe. We are regaining our sense of self, reviving old traditions and beliefs, finding our paths back to our forgotten truths. Faith and hope walk hand in hand, and we are revived.

No one believes for a moment it will be easy, each day is a struggle, and full recover could be decades away, but as the tagline says...

Out of Ashes Humanity Will Rise Again.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Author Spotlight - What's the future like before "the" war? by Gail Delaney

I love writing speculative/futuristic romance because I can really let my imagination ask the question "What if..." The big 'what if' question in this whole series is "What if we made First Contact in 2008 with a superiorly advanced race who claimed to be our ancestors?"

There are many tangents that question can take, but I'm going to focus on the way I see our world changing given this situation. Since I am writing these books set mid-21st Century, I had the latitude of adding advances while still making the world feel very similar to our own. When you consider the fact those people who would be middle aged in this series would be children now. How would this decade affect an adult in the future?

I had to consider the fact that after that point of first contact, everything changed. There might be set points in time, such as the earthquake in Japan, but social events would change. Since in this theoretical timeline, George W. Bush would have been president at first contact, I theorize everything after that would be different. It is very likely Barack Obama would not have been president as the political situations that encouraged his election would not be at play after we suddenly share our world with aliens. There would be a focus shift. And all elected officials after that, right up to the first planetary ruler in 2017, would be different.

So, in the 2050s when the Phoenix world begins, we no longer have individual countries and governments. The Earth is governed by an elected president, but prior to the 'war' our government had begun to be strongly influenced by our alien 'benefactors'. Medicine has advanced to include genetic screening, DNA manipulation, and we were just flirting with the idea of planned parenting (in that individuals would be matched for reproductive purposes with the best possible income). Many genetic defects have been theorized to have been removed from our gene pool.

Religion has slipped from our everyday lives as people have fallen under the influence of our extra-terrestrial benefactors who have convinced far too many that belief in a being greater than themselves is foolishness. Holidays as a whole, whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, any country or ethnic holiday, have been slowly removed from our calendars.

We have space flight, but only so far as our benefactors will allow, slowly feeding us tiny bits of knowledge so we feel as though the world is progressing when in truth we're being held back.

But, beneath all this are those few who think beyond the words of the aliens. Those who don't swallow the lies. Those who seek the truth. That story begins in The Phoenix Rebellion, and continues in this new series... Phoenix Rising.

Come back tomorrow to read how things are 'after' the war.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Gail Delaney casts the characters in Janus

John and Jenifer came about in an odd, organic kind of way. When I wrote The Phoenix Rebellion series, I had no definitive plans to write another series. So, when I decided I wanted to do another series I revisited the first for possible new stories.

John Smith XXXIV (yes, that's the thirty-fourth -- John says the Aretu of people of habit) of Aretu was introduced in the third book of The Phoenix Rebellion -- Gaining Ground. While he played a significant role, he wasn't a primary character. In my mind, John Smith was modeled after Christopher Eccleston, a British actor. For those of you who may be fans of Doctor Who, you may notice the 'double meaning' in his name. ☺

Christopher Eccleston isn't your usual hunky, good looking hero... but there is something about him I find very appealing. So, I played on that in Janus. John Smith is known across the planet as the Aretu Ambassador to Earth, and much to his chagrin, he's also considered a bit of a sex symbol. As Connor Montgomery asks his second-in-command (a woman). "So, is it the whole alien thing?"

If John was a secondary character, Jenifer should have been little more than a blip on anyone's radar. She appeared in two whole scenes in the first series -- at the end of book two -- Outcasts and the beginning of book three -- Gaining Ground. John and Jenifer have connections to each other, but never meet. That whole 'six degrees of separation' kind of thing.

My best friend and partner in crime, Jenifer Ranieri, was in a way inspiration for Jenifer. When writing the series, Jenifer asked me to write a total kick-butt heroine, even if she was there and gone, and name her Jenifer. So, I did. Little did I know she would be the perfect match for John Smith in another series.

As far as picturing Jenifer, I see Clair Forlani. She's beautiful, but there is something hidden deep behind her eyes.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Gail Delaney

STEPH: I don't know much about "Janus." What's it about?

GAIL: Janus is the first book in a new "Phoenix" series titled Phoenix Rising, which picks up almost a year after the end of the series The Phoenix Rebellion.

It's been a year since Humanity rose up against their alien oppressors and took back Earth from the Sorracchi. The war left Earth devastated, crippled, but not beaten. Under the leadership of President Nick Tanner and in collaboration with their new Areth and Umani allies, the Earth seeks stable ground again.

John Smith of the Areth was a soldier before his queen asked him to serve as ambassador to Earth, and he is out of his element. Restricted in his position from carrying a weapon, he has no way of defensing himself or his adopted son when the Xenos -- a group of Humans wishing to purge the Earth of all alien influence -- decide they want him dead.

Jenifer is a soldier for hire, and answers to no one but her own common sense. She first refused the "job" of serving as John's bodyguard, but a glimpse at the heart of the man convinces her to accept the responsibility.

John has two faces: a soldier and an ambassador of peace. Jenifer has two faces: the steel-skinned warrior and the forgotten person she once was. Too many people hide behind masks, and it's those hiding who want John dead.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

GAIL: Way too long! I began the novel in 2008. Yes, 2008. I had several false starts, and ended up setting it aside to write a different novel -- Something Better -- contributed to the Borealis anthologies, and finish revisions on some other novels. I picked it up again this past year, and finally found the right road. Once I got started it took about 8 months.

STEPH: How much research did you have to do?

GAIL: Not much, in truth, as it is set in the future. On occasion, I would look up a scientific fact so it read true, but other than that much of it is speculative. Most of my 'research' was going back to the original series and looking up facts and details so things read true from one series to the other.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?

GAIL: The book is titled Janus because Janus was a Greek god of two faces -- reflecting beginnings and endings, masks we wear, etc. This is a theme within the story: People hiding who they really are behind masks, lives beginning, parts of their lives ending. The cover was created with a reflective image to illustrate that duality.

STEPH: Jenifer is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?

GAIL: Her strength is her independence. She is, overall, a very strong personality. She lives on her own, for herself. She has a strong sense of loyalty to those who have proven themselves worthy of it, but she takes no guff from anyone. She lives by her own rules.

In actuality, this is also her weakness. She has put up so many walls, and pushed aside so many elements of herself, she has lost who she could be behind who she feels she has to be.

STEPH: What does John find appealing about her?

GAIL: Her mystery. John is Areth, an alien, and nearly every Areth citizen has what is known as a Talent -- a psychic ability (often more than one). One of John's many Talents is the ability to sense others emotions, their intent. He can't read minds, but if you are upset but hiding behind a stoic expression, he can feel it. But Jenifer is a blank slate to him. In the beginning, he senses absolutely nothing from her. And he finds this both frustrating and appealing. He admires her strength, admires her beauty, her intelligence, and even her sharp wit. She draws him because she pushes him away.

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

GAIL: Duplicity. Although the clearest element of this is illustrated with John and Jenifer -- both have pasts and elements of themselves they hide from everyone -- there are other forms of duplicity as well. Duplicity of the worst kind. Enemies in the guise of friends.

STEPH: As a writer, where do you draw inspiration from?

GAIL: Oh, all the place and often never the same place twice. But, per inspiration, I'd have to say much of it comes from dreams. I suppose one could argue dreams are influenced by every day events -- books we've read, things we've watched on television, conversations we've had, things we've seen but perhaps didn't even register at the time -- so, it really does come back to 'all over the place'.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

GAIL: I have two. I first had a Nook first generation, which I still love. But, last year I was given an iPad as a birthday gift and I use the iBookstore app on it to read. I really love the size of the screen, the ease of changing font size and screen brightness, and the overall 'look' of the page. But, I would recommend both. If you want 'less' in your reader (don't need apps, bells and whistles) then the Nook is great.

STEPH: Fun question: What are your plans for Memorial Day?

GAIL: I actually don't have any at the moment. My husband and I had discussed flying back to the East Coast for the weekend to take care of some family matters, but then 'other' family matters came up and I think that has been put on hold. In all likelihood I'll end up just catching up on other work. I'm going to a one day writer's convention the following weekend, so I might be packing. ☺

Friday, 18 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt from "Breaking Point" by Delores Goodrick Beggs

Thanks so much for supporting Delores during her spotlight week. Leave a comment on the blog today, Saturday, and Sunday and on Monday I'll pick a name randomly to receive a PDF copy of her book. Don't forget to leave your email so we can get ahold of you if you win. Enjoy the excerpt!

Moderator Steph


"Good colt. I'm Stemson Arroyo Smith, by the way."

Each crisp word shot a thrill of pleasure through her. Her eyes widened, and she smiled. He didn't drawl the way Tennyson's cowboy friends did. Cultured, she thought, and with a deep voice she could hear well.
"He needs work, a lot of work."

"A little at a time will do it. He's young yet."

"The house is over there." She nodded in Tennyson’s direction, drinking in the wonderful experience of not having to tilt her head in order to hear him.

Stemson made no move to leave.

Mauranie ground her teeth and clenched her fists, staring at him. She glanced past him to where Tennyson stood pressed against the veranda rail, her body rigid again, a grimace on her face.

"My sister sometimes keeps her suitors cooling their heels. I warn you, yours will be a long wait if you remain here. Tennyson’s hand-made boots have never seen the inside of a corral." Mauranie turned her back to Stemson and clicked the colt into motion.

"My business is with Mauranie Wells." His deep voice caused her to pause and turn back to better catch his words. "I daresay it’s you? Scott Ringer at the feed store in Mescal Flats told me your sister is a blonde. So you see, I am, after all, where I should be."

Warmth started in the core of her being and spread to engulf her. At the same time, uncertainty struck her. Had she heard him right? This nice man had come to see her? She well knew how her poor hearing sometimes tripped her up. She tensed. She had to check if she'd heard him right. She drew Showman to a stop and led him to the pole fence where the stranger stood.

"Me? What can I do to help you?" She scanned the crinkled corners of his silvered eyes, letting her gaze drop down smooth cheeks darkening with new afternoon shadow. Her tight muscles relaxed. She lifted her gaze and stared into the smile of those silvery-blue eyes.


You can find Delores at:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Author Spotlight - A Smorgasbord of Words by: Delores Goodrick Beggs

I have observed over and again how people react in different ways to items they come into contact with, make selections from the smorgasbord of life of those offerings they most enjoy to return to for satisfaction time and again.

For me the dish I continually craved and pigged out on when possible was books.

It started when I was a preschooler. My older sister played school with her friend and the two of them sparred, vying to see which one could first teach their younger preschool sister how to read. My sister never knew what a gift she gave me with all that personal reading coaching.

My mother had a set of 1912 - 1920's James Oliver Curwood novels that were given to her by her Aunt Irma. These books were passed on to me and I still thumb through those worn pages from time to time. I never tire of them, Back to God's Country, especially. One day my sister took me home after another day of playing school with her friend. I picked up one of my mother's Curwood novels and discovered I could read the words. I couldn't put it down. Isat on the floor in front of the bookcase and read all four Curwood books almost nonstop in just a few days. Curwood's books and later Zane Grey's series of Western novels, hooked me on reading for life. I have read all of the Zane Grey Western novels, and still have my favorite, Wildfire. My brother has the rest of the set.

When I began to write my own first Western Historical, Breaking Point, I went back and reread Curwood and Zane Grey because I wanted to write my stories the way I saw theirs - smooth, clear prose that journeyed up hills and down valleys across the pages and kept me reading, entranced, unable to put them down. Now my Western Historical series is being published.

I wonder, does my prose come across clear and journey up hills and down? The jury is still out.

Breaking Point was released by Desert Breeze Publishing on May 11, 2012.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Author Spotlight - The Inspiration of Horses by Delores Goodrick Beggs

I wrote some of my first published short stories sitting on a California mountaintop while I watched Moonrise, my part Appaloosa mare that I'd trained, play in the exercise corral at the hilltop stables that was situated so high a hazy snow cloud once hovered close enough overhead that I reached up into it and felt my hand grow icy and watched it disappear, the only time I have touched a cloud.

Moonrise was a feisty mare with personality plus, and always did something unexpected. She was never what you'd call a tame, broke horse. She was perfectly capable of ignoring a command if I neglected to make it the correct way I'd trained her since she was a young, unbroken filly. She gloried in keeping me on my booted toes as well as providing inspiration for my stories.

One time I remember well was the day the exercise corral had a number of tumbleweeds rolling about in the wind. She began to nudge at them with her nose, and then picked one up in her mouth, carried it close to where I sat somewhat sheltered from the blowing gusts, and dropped it. She cantered away after another rolling bush, caught it in her muzzle, and brought it over to pile on the first one she'd dropped. She repeated that until she'd piled four tumbleweeds in a neat stack while I watched her play with them.

In my 1989 short story Aestart and the Shadowfolk, part of a published collection of my skyhorse stories, Aestart the skyhorse saved the heroine from the swarming Shadowfolk by covering her with dried brush in a similar manner as how I'd observed Moonrise pile tumbleweeds that day.

Moonrise was also a part of one of the most special events in my life. My daughter and I were riding at the stables late one afternoon, I on Moonrise and her on her big bay, Beau, which she kept at the stables also. We rode around the barn to overlook the exercise corral,and watch the city lights come on far below, savoring the end of another nice ride together. We turned the horses around to go put them up just in time to see a huge, milk-white moon rise over the barn roof. We halted our horses and stared watching it climb on up into the sky, glorying in the specialness of experiencing the moon rise together.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Unexpected Moments by Delores Goodrick Beggs

Perhaps there are persons who sail through life without any unexpected moments, but I have never known one. My experience has been the persons I have known have been working to minimize issues occurring in their lives and in spite of their efforts found they were still challenged by unexpected moments they could do nothing to change.

Such a happening occurs in my debut historical romance novel Breaking Point, when the heroine Mauranie Wells, who has been in conflict with her younger sister Tennyson, finds a breaking point comes where she is backed into a corner and has no choice but to let Tennyson go and experience life for herself.

The sisters were left orphans when their parents were killed in a horse and wagon crash.
As a result, Mauranie, who has a hearing disability, is thrust suddenly into the role of adult and runs the ranch in an effort to make a living for them from their Wells Double Bar ranch, their father's legacy to them.

Sometimes coming of age happens when a young woman finds herself at an unexpected moment in a sudden point of time where she must utilize the lessons she neglected to take advantage of before, and this is what happens to Mauranie's sister Tennyson, who comes to realize growing up involves more on her part than a constant stream of new gowns and partying with bad boy Jasper Greon.

But life holds unexpected moments, in the form of lessons for everyone. Mauranie has
something to learn also, a new understanding of her sister, when she agrees to cowboy banker Stemson Arroyo Smith's impromptu invitation to attend the town dance, and hastily stitches together a gown for herself from her dead mother's wardrobe so she can to wear it to the event.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Delores Goodrick Beggs

STEPH: I don't know much about "Breaking Point." What's it about?

DELORES: Breaking Point is about sisters Mauranie and Tennyson Wells, whose tastes are totally different. Mauranie wants to move their horse ranch forward to a paying proposition in order to support them both. But Tennyson lives for the bright lights of town life. Mauranie has always taken a back seat to her social sister, preferring that because of her poor hearing. She is happily shocked when banker-cowboy Stemson Arroyo Smith rides into the Wells Double Bar one day, and does the unthinkable. He passes by her petite, beautiful sister on the veranda, and stops his horse at the corral where Mauranie is working the black colt Showman. He wants to speak with her, not her sister?

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

DELORES: Mauranie became my best friend for about a year's worth of long evenings at home after my day job, evenings spent listening to her tell her story in my head as I typed it. Like Mauranie, I have a hearing disability and television in those days, without captions, held no appeal for me. Radio was just noise. My children, two sons and a daughter, led busy lives and were seldom at home evenings.

STEPH: How much research did you have to do?

DELORES:My memory was loaded with what Mauranie did with the horses because I grew up with horses and ponies. My father owned his own acreages and himself built the house we lived in and the outbuilding, so most of the information I needed was there to draw upon. The actual research I did was to determine what kind of writing I wanted to tell the story in. Earlier in my life I read my mother's old favorite books by James Oliver Curwood - she passed that set of books on to me - and the entire set of Zane Grey novels, of which I still have "Wildfire," my favorite one. My brother has the rest of the set. My father read western paperbacks constantly, and when he finished one I read it. I grew up reading western after western, and I knew I wanted to write that kind of stories.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?

DELORES: I feel the cover is perfect. It so reminds me of my days riding Snowball, and my heroine Mauranie Wells grew up working horses with her father. She is at home breaking and training her horse of promise, Showman, just as the woman on the cover looks natural, with a fine seat on her horse, including feet in the proper position for what the horse is doing.

STEPH: Mauranie is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?

DELORES: Mauranie knows what she is doing. She has adapted over the years while growing up, learned from her father how to handle and work horses, and to solve, or at least minimize, problems. She had that strength to fall back upon when she and her sister Tennyson suddenly became orphans.

Her weakness is her younger sister Tennyson. Tennyson grew up used to socializing in town with their mother and Mauranie tries to allow her younger sister to continue her own socializing way of life until their banked funds mysteriously disappear and money becomes an issue between them. She still continued to put Tennyson's unreasonable demands first, even when foreclosure on the ranch loomed, and she'd promised herself to finally say no.

STEPH: What does Stemson find appealing about her?

DELORES: They have much in common, their love and knowledge of horses, sibling issues, and neither spends much time on the social scene. Stemson takes advantage of an unexpected opportunity to get to know Mauranie better after he meets her, and is delighted when Mauranie accepts his impromptu invitation, even though she qualifies it that she isn't into "improper."

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

DELORES: Families are forever. Even when her own family has problems, Mauranie Wells goes the extra mile to reunite a mother with her two children, and hero Stemson, is moved to take his own younger sister under his care.

STEPH: As a writer, where do you draw inspiration from?

DELORES: Relaxation. My story ideas pop into my mind when I am totally concentrating on something else. Gardening among my clover plants, working a puzzle, cooking... all are fertile ground for my mind to interrupt with a new story idea. Even a real life experience can unexpectedly bloom into a story idea later in a moment of relaxation. This happened after I trimmed the tree back from between my driveway and my neighbor's. I stood in weeds and brush to lop the branches short. I moved to a new position and stepped in a nail that went completely through my foot and out the top of my tennis shoe. I was home alone and on my own. The nail had been driven through a board hidden among the brush and the only way to get free was to stand my other foot on the long end of the board and pull my foot back off it. At a later time this experience turned into my 1991 published short story "Sweetgum," about a tree gone wild on a people.

STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?

DELORES: Yes. I have had a Kindle (2nd generation) for a while and I read all books on it! I have it set exactly the size I want to read without my glasses, and it is SO quick and easy to search by author name, then select to download from Amazon. I am hooked on ebooks!

STEPH: Fun question: What are your plans for Memorial Day?

DELORES: I will be reminiscing about my beloved parents and spreading more clover seeds in my containers. When I was a small child, my father taught me the art of finding 4-leaf clovers and the Irish luck of his family. I know this is going to sound strange, but in 1998 I had a surreal experience. I was thinking about him while I alked in a park near my California home. I looked down at the grass beside the walk, and spied a 4-leaf clover. A few steps further, another...when I finished my walk I had a whole bunch of 4-leafers in my hand. Later I started growing my own clover, and have found numerous 4-leaf clovers in my own gardens. I was privileged last spring to show one of my granddaughters how to find 4-leaf clovers and she came up with a handful of her own. I was delighted to discover she, too had the touch. I work each spring at enlargement of my Lucky Clover Garden, a memorial to my father and my heritage.

You can find Delores at:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Excerpt for: Noah's Ark

Thank you all for supporting Vijaya during her spotlight week. Leave a comment, today, Saturday, and Sunday along with your email so we can get ahold of you. On Monday, I'll pick a winner to receive a print copy of "White Tiger."

Moderator Steph



When Trixie's star freighter, Noah's Ark, drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M‑class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers aboard her ship.

Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.

Everyone on this voyage to seed a new planet with life, is running from something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, he would get lynched on the spot if anyone suspected who he really is.

But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding them for evil purposes... And when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will have to fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love...


Kostas glanced at the man’s retreating back and smiled at Trixie. "Captain, may I have a word?"

"Make it brief." She rubbed her gloved hands together.

"I took the liberty of loading two large pallets of weapons." Kostas pointed to the place in the column where he’d positioned them.

"How typical!" Trixie’s voice erupted loud and cutting, with a hint of exasperated sarcasm. "I specifically requested survival supplies only." She counted on her gloved fingers. "Livestock, food, medicine, tools..."

Her attitude sluiced Kostas like an icy shower. Tempted to clam up, he decided otherwise but struggled to keep his tone neutral and low. "You’ll need these weapons if whoever shot us down comes looking for us."

"We were shot down by automated defenses on the small moon." Trixie shook her head in obvious frustration. "No one manned the guns. We detected no ships in the vicinity."

Trusting his instincts, Kostas refused to capitulate. "Still..."

"Still what?" She took a quick breath. "You military types are all alike. Shoot first, think later.
These pallets could have carried more food rations."

Kostas ground his teeth, then struggled to keep his voice civil. "I beg to disagree, Captain. Whoever built that moon station did it for a reason. Some advanced civilization staked a claim on this planet, and they may return at any time."

"If they ever return." Trixie’s visible efforts to calm herself failed as her voice rose again. "That battery of cannons might have been on the moon for centuries. That race may never come back, or not in this millennium. But without food, many of these people will die of starvation or related disease before the end of the winter."

"Hold it, Captain." Kostas wouldn’t let her blame him for doing the right thing. "We still might be able to get more rations tomorrow."

"Orders are orders, soldier." Her voice dropped to a quiet but threatening level. "I expect you of all people to follow them to the letter."

Kostas refused to apologize for his actions. "May I remind you, Captain, that we are not on your ship anymore. You have no authority on land, and I am the survival expert on this expedition."

She just stared at him, open-mouthed. Afraid he’d say something he might regret, Kostas tightened his jaw and held Trixie’s glare without flinching. She didn’t flinch either. So much fire in those cool blue eyes. Damn! She was beautiful when angry.


A paperback copy of WHITE TIGER (Book One in the series) will be sent to one commenter. Please leave your email so we can contact you about where to mail the book.

Hope you enjoy this series.

Find Vijaya on the web at:
Friend her on Facebook:
Follow her on twitter @vijayaschartz
Find all her books on Amazon at:,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Finishing the series gives a writer the blues - by Vijaya Schartz

It’s only been a month since Noah’s Ark was published, and while I have temporarily turned to a different series for another publisher, I’m still grieving. Leaving a world I’ve been living in for several years is always a sad thing. So sad that I’m already thinking about returning to the world of Kassouk. It’s going to be a while, but when my current project is over, I’ll probably add another book to the Chronicles of Kassouk. Whether it’s the story of Humans finally finding the planet where the original settlers crashed, or something that happened between the prequel and Book One, I still don’t know. But deep in the recesses of my brain, somewhere out of my reach, a new story of Kassouk is brewing.

I miss the swords and blasters, and the courageous humans fighting for their freedom from bondage against impossible odds. I miss the snow. Would you believe it? I don’t even like the cold. That’s why I live in Arizona.

When I first started writing White Tiger, it was destined to be a short story, a novella at best. It was also a challenge to overcome my distaste for the cold. What better than a frozen planet? Little did I know that this short story would end up taking me on such a wondrous journey. With five complete novels, this series is becoming some kind of entity with a life of its own. Kassouk might someday find its way into the encyclopedias... or at least Wikipedia. Why not?

I’ve always loved to get lost in a world created from a writer’s imagination. Long ago, when I was still in France (where I was born and raised) I used to read the DUNE series by Frank Herbert. It was a fascinating world of dunes, a sea of sand. Little did I know I would someday create a world of my own, and sustain it through the course of many novels.

A writer is allowed to dream. What’s next for this white, snowy world? A Kassouk TV series? A blockbuster movie? Don’t be afraid to dream. In this world of instant media, anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Pardon the cliché.

In the meantime, I invite you all to read the complete CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, in eBooks from the Prequel down to the four next books. And if you only read print, WHITE TIGER (book one) was just released in paperback, for a very friendly price...

Find Vijaya on the web at:
Friend her on Facebook:
Follow her on twitter @vijayaschartz
Find all her books on Amazon at:,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Why science fiction authors write medieval novels – By Vijaya Schartz

As an author, I write romance in futuristic and medieval settings, and sometimes, I mix both into the same series, like in the Chronicles of Kassouk, where I pit a medieval society against an advanced technological race. And contrary to modern logic, medieval humans are smart, very resourceful and full of surprises... enough to outdo their betters. Everyone enjoys seeing the oppressed win in the end.
A number of new authors are now also writing medieval as well as science fiction novels, but this is not a new phenomenon. Marion Zimmer Bradley in the eighties and nineties wrote in both science fiction and medieval genres with her Mists of Avalon (Arthurian legends) series and her Darkover (speculative fiction) series, and she met with great success in both genres. Most of her readers did cross over the genres to read all her books. I was one of them.

Writing the past or the future is not so far apart. Research is still research. For the future, instead of researching historical facts, you research modern science in order to project where the next logical evolutionary step will lead, and what kind of future society it will likely engender. Creating an unfamiliar world and making it real to the reader, whether in the past or in the future, requires the same skills, the same kind of imagination that projects into a world with different sets of rules, a different political climate, different dress codes, eating habits, different laws and ethics, different religious beliefs, different taboos, etc.

The only thing that doesn’t change through the ages is people. Although we would like to believe that we evolved over the last millennia, we really haven’t. Despite our fancy laws, we still have serial killers and terrorists. Given the opportunity, any human being will behave in the same noble or despicable manner now as he or she would have centuries ago. And in the future, it will probably still be the case.
Of course, in the future there also might be robots, cyborgs, and clones which might operate under a different set of rules. But is that so different from the rules controlling the slaves of ancient times?
The struggle for justice, however, like the need for love and freedom, are timeless and constant themes that keep repeating in the past, the present, and will most likely endure in the future. Because these needs are inherent to human nature.

In conclusion, whether a writer tackles the past or the future, what carries a story, beyond the action, adventure and plot, is human emotion.

Hope you enjoy reading the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK SERIES as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Find Vijaya on the web at:
Friend her on Facebook:
Follow her on twitter @vijayaschartz
Find all her books on Amazon at:,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Chronicles of Kassouk, an example of how societies evolve

I’m glad I had the opportunity to write the prequel to this series. NOAH’S ARK does explain a lot about how these modern humans who came in a spaceship lost their technology and reversed to a medieval level of civilization. It’s not a natural evolution. It was forced upon them by the powerful aliens who claimed and exploited the planet where they crashed. Of course, it had to be an exciting adventure, with a central romance, lots of action and worthwhile conflicts to forge the beginning of this new society. I believe NOAH’S ARK is all of that.

In Book One, WHITE TIGER, after several centuries the human settlers have all but forgotten their true origins. All that remains of their past are legends mixed with superstition. By then they have adapted to this wintry world, they have their own history, and they are ruled and kept ignorant of technology by a powerful advanced race who exploits them for their own purpose. The heroine, White Tiger, raised by a military man, is a captain in the human cavalry. She knows there is hidden technology, although she doesn’t have access to it. The hero is a highly educated handsome Mutant, Dragomir... the result of breeding experiments mixing human and alien DNA. And boy, is he gorgeous!

In Book Two, RED LEOPARD, a few generations after White Tiger, the hero is the first human to access the governing council of Kassouk. Terek is highly educated, although the population at large is not, and he is in charge of the city in the king’s absence. The heroine is a cool, double edge sword alien female, a warrior princess, who has more human than alien traits, and is considered flawed among her people. The issue here is one of trust.

In Book Three, BLACK JAGUAR, the planet is warming and the human population has reached the stage of building large sea-faring galleons. Our hero is a Zerker prince, Kahuel of Yalta, a descendant of White Tiger’s mortal enemies. They now have evolved into a civilized society. When he embarks on a voyage of adventure and discovery, he finds primitive humans who can read minds where no humans should be. As for the heroine, Talina, she is innocent and pure, highly spiritual, connected to the land and her people, and she can read the heart of this warrior prince, who fits the prophecy of her people.

In BLUE LIONESS, still further in time, the kind Mutant king dies a suspicious death and is replaced by a Mutant council hostile to humans. Ariela of Kassouk, a Black Sword captain educated beyond the allowed human limits, feels she is the only one who can help the human race avoid slavery. She needs help, and Starro, crown prince of the Star People, the mysterious tribe from beyond the sea, might just provide what she needs... but he has frightening supernatural powers...

I believe all societies are in constant flux and subject to all kinds of influences. I’m fascinated by history, so writing a society of my own and watching it evolve from book to book was a very exciting experience. I enjoyed writing every page.

Find Vijaya on the web at:
Friend her on Facebook:
Follow her on twitter @vijayaschartz
Find all her books on Amazon at:,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank

Monday, 7 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Q&A with Vijaya Schartz

STEPH: What is "Noah's Ark" about?

VIJAYA: It’s about the female captain of a star freighter full of human settlers and domestic animals, and plant seeds, and frozen embryos, on a scientific mission to jump-start life and settle a new planet. When they fall out of jump space in the vicinity of an M-class planet, she realizes they are lost in an uncharted part of space. Then they are shot down, and crash land on the planet, which happens to be habitable, although freezing cold. Her survival expert is a Space Marine, Kostas, but as a military type, he has a very different idea of what must be done.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

VIJAYA: It takes me about five to six months to write a full length novel. For most authors, it’s considered slow. But I want my books to be unique and fascinating. I want my characters to come alive on the page, I want an unpredictable plot and action, as well as deep emotional conflicts.

STEPH: How much research did you have to do?

VIJAYA: Funny enough, for this fifth book in the Chronicles of Kassouk series (although now it comes first in the series) I had to research... my own books. I had to reread and take apart all the other books in the series, because it’s been a while since I wrote the first books, and for this prequel I had to gather all the tiniest clues and threads I had sewn into the tapestry of this world I had created. It’s like writing a story backwards. In the previous novels, I alluded to all kinds of things that happened in the past and had turned into legends or traditions. Now I had to dig out these legends, like an archeologist, examine the evidence, and reconstruct the true facts behind the myths. It was kind of fun.

STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?

VIJAYA: I love the cover. It’s perfect. The star freighter is marooned in the snow, in front of this medieval citadel of Kassouk, which is the background for most of the covers, and most of the stories in this series. It’s incongruous, just like the situation of my human settlers, faced with medieval technology. But of course, there is a lot more going on...

STEPH: Trixie is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?

VIJAYA: She is a leader, a captain, and her responsibility is to keep crew and passengers alive and well. But she also hide deep wounds. She didn’t do so good in her private life. She is fleeing from an overbearing father and running away from a disastrous marriage. She swore she would never let a strong man control her life again. Yet she is a lover and an optimist to a fault. She wants to believe that this planet is their lucky break despite the tragedy that befell them. It takes her a while to realize that the hero was right, and their situation is not exactly what it seems...

STEPH: What does Kostas find appealing about her?

VIJAYA: Her optimism. He is the exact opposite, and for good reasons. As the survival expert of the expedition, he points out everything that can and will go wrong. And he is a warrior, not a lover. But secretly, he admires her ability to keep a positive outlook and to make the most of any bad situation. He cannot help being attracted to her bubbling, charming personality (even when she berates him for not following her orders).

STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?

VIJAYA: We can overcome any odds and love can triumph in any circumstances. Love is just as important as hope, food, and technology for a community to survive in the direst conditions. Love and compassion is their salvation, whether or not they are aware of it. Another underlying theme is overcoming racism, not just skin color, not just cultural differences... not even alien races. It’s something much more insidious, invisible, yet fundamental and gut wrenching...

STEPH: As a writer, where do you draw inspiration from?

VIJAYA: Night dreams, hours of daydreaming, the science channel, the history channel, I’m avid for knowledge of the past and the possible futures. I read, I watch movies. My mind is constantly absorbing, analyzing, digesting, and plotting new stories.

STEPH: Do you have an eBook reader? If so, which one?

VIJAYA: I love my kindle. Since I bought it I can’t stop reading. I’m discovering new talented authors. This eBook revolution is the best thing that ever happened to enrich the human mind.

STEPH: Do you plan another story in the Chronicles of Kassouk?

VIJAYA: Not at this time. But if I did, it would be a much later story in the chronicles, the story of the humans of Kassouk making first contact with humans from earth. What if a vessel from earth came to them? How would both parties react to the way their cultures have changed over many centuries? It would be an interesting confrontation. Would they be friends or enemies? That story is brewing in the back of my mind and might one day surface as a novel.

Find Vijaya on the web at:
Friend her on Facebook:
Follow her on twitter @vijayaschartz
Find all her books on Amazon at:,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank

Friday, 4 May 2012

Author Spolight - Excerpt from "Perfect on Paper"

"Are you going somewhere?" he asked. "I don't want to keep you."

"No, it's ok," she said tossing her purse and keys back on the little table by the door. "I was mostly looking for a diversion. Come on in."

"I was afraid of being too early." Jake looked a little sheepish, and she couldn't help but smile back at his disarming face.

"I've been up and at it for hours. I'm an early riser. My best work is done before

"What kind of work did you get into this morning?" Jake asked. "Creative difficulties

"Hardly." She glanced guiltily towards the pizza. "I unpacked a few boxes and ate cold

Jake looked over at the pizza box on the table, then back at Anne questioningly. "Well,
shoot. You left the restaurant hungry last night. That really wasn't the plan."

It was Anne's turn to look sheepish. Just for a moment, she hoped he didn't notice that the pizza box was now empty... There were some things a lady never revealed, and one of those feminine mysteries was her ability to devour pizza.

"I was bitterly jealous of your steak," she admitted.

"I wish I'd known. Seriously, this wounds my small town boy sensibilities."

"Don't worry about it." She waved her hand, dismissing it. "The pizza also let me drown
my sorrows a little bit."

"That is sort of why I dropped by." His warm, brown eyes met hers and he held her gaze.
"Are you ok?"

"Why do you ask? I didn't think pizza was a cry for help." She gave him a quirky smile.

"Not the pizza," he chuckled. "I just noticed that things seemed... I don't know, strained
towards the end of our..." His voice trailed away.

"Business dinner?"

"Business dinner. Did I do anything to upset you?"


Find Patty on the web at:

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Do you believe in soulmates?

My heroine, Anne, is a diehard romantic. She believes in soul mates, a man created especially for her. But how do you recognize "The One?"

I'm a big romantic. I've always been this way. I read poetry. I believe in miracles. I believe my husband was made for me, and I have a few reasons, looking back over our lives before we met. I believe he's "The One" meant for me, so that means that I could never be happier with another man. Rationally, I think that my attitude makes our marriage that much more blissful. There is no Plan B here. He's IT, and I never wonder if the grass might be greener, because to me that 's impossible.

What about you? Do you believe in soul mates, or do you think that the relationships in our lives are what we make of them? I'd love to hear your take on it!


Find Patty on the web at:

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Author Spotlight - It's all about Meeee by Patty Froese

I love creating characters, but they aren't so unique as some might think. A lot of times, I create characters from people I've known in my life, people who have affected me in some way, or just people I've watched in the street thinking, "Well, now, that's an interesting fellow..."

Once they're on paper, I have to put myself in their shoes and figure out what I'd do if I were them. That pretty much brings it back full to circle to ME. A lot of myself goes into characters. Many of the stories from Charity Falls came from my own family history. Some of the stories are purely fiction, and others are purely fact. I wonder if you'd be able to guess which is which?

A. Jake's grandmother hits her father over the head with an iron skillet when he is drunkenly beating her mother.

B. A man married his sweetheart before going off to war and comes home to a surprise--a toddler at her knees!

C. A church is demolished, either burned down or swept away in a storm, four times during its lifetime in a little town.

D. A miner nearly walks over the edge of cliff underground and is saved by a friend who reaches out and catches him by the back of his coat.

These are all little stories from the town of Charity Fall in my novel, but two of these stories are real from my family history. Can you guess which ones?

Find Patty on the web at:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Author Spotlight - Patty Froese talks about small vs big towns

One of the major tension in this book is the small town of Charity Falls versus Anne's previous home of New York City. It might seem like a bit of an overdone dichotomy for a novel, but this one is personal for me. I grew up moving all over the place in Canada. I went to high school in a small town (much like Charity Falls) and then went off to college in the largest city in Canada. I'm a city girl at heart. I love traffic and hubbub, smog and pigeons. I was in my element living right downtown.

When I got married and we moved away for work, we ended up in a small community again. I didn't think I'd settle in as well as I have, but I just love it! I love running into people I know from church in Walmart. I love that we have about five main thoroughfares, a mall that has about fourteen stores in it, and parks sprinkled liberally all over the place. This is a beautiful little place to raise our son, and I'm grateful for the change of pace. That said, there are still times that I stand, looking out the window at night thinking, "I miss pigeons. And China Town. And that smell of garbage in the summer..."

How about you? If you had to choose between small town and big city, which would it be?


Find Patty on the web at: