Sunday, September 27, 2015

Getting one of my older titles ready for print

When I decided to self publish my historical westerns, I did well in getting them all up on Amazon but then life interrupted me and I either got lazy or busy or maybe both. Anyway, I managed to get two of my westerns into print format but I failed to do so for the others. With a little nudging from a friend and my mother, I'm making time to finally see the deed done.

I'm happy to report that while it took me a full day to do it, I have finished the first leg with create space and I'm now awaiting an e-mail regarding Eliza's Copper Penny. While it's the third in my Western Treasures Series, it's one of my favorites so I started with this one. I'll do the second in the series next (Julia's Golden Eagle) and last but not least will be Kaitlin's Silver Lining.

So - what took all day? First, I didn't have the gutter size right and had to resize. Next, I didn't have fonts embedded. It took a while to figure out the best way to save in order for the fonts to embed correctly. I discovered that the best way was to first save, then save as Adobe PDF. Before I hit save after selecting this option, I went to Options. I clicked on PDF/A - 1a:2005 and finally managed to upload a file without errors. Thought I'd mention this in case anyone else has difficulties like I did.

The cover took a wee bit of time as well, but hopefully I got the spine dimensions correct and the bleed. I'll post here when it's actually available.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book of my Heart

So I have several books that are special. Celestial Dragon was my first published book and will always hold a special place in my heart but The Keeper of Moon Haven is probably the "book of my heart". The one that really kept me writing until all hours of the night. With the coming of my new novel, The Rose Hunter, I thought it might be fun to revisit The Keeper of Moon Haven. Why? Because The Rose Hunter is set on the same world. You might call it a sequel of sorts. :-)

Please enjoy and excerpt for The Keeper of Moon Haven:


On the southern fringes of the Mendip Hills sits the Castle Hamingjur, an abandoned structure most fear haunted. Yet, on the rare occasions when the Hunter’s Blue Moon occurs, the Keeper occupies this mysterious castle where he guards the bridge to Alfheim Haven.

Noreen Willshire discovers more than fairytales hidden between the pages of Beletania’s diary. She opens the ancient book and finds a pathway to a Faery Realm where all manner of mythical creatures reside. In her naïveté, she summons the Keeper before his scheduled time in the human realm. In that brief moment, the mysterious wizard touches her soul with more than magick. She promises to return the diary during Mefylleth, a time when the barriers between the two realms melt away, but danger stalks her path. Torn between her desire to make a new life for herself in America and her growing love for the Keeper, she must bridge the gap between magick and time to follow her heart.
An unearthly wind whooshed over the page. Noreen stopped reading mid-sentence. She shivered. Cold seeped into the room. Her gaze scanned the bedroom, but no one appeared.
          Twenty-three. She groaned at the number of times she’d read the story. Her throat ached from her efforts, yet she couldn’t quit. Tomorrow she would be gone from Somerton Manor, and she wanted the issue with the book resolved before then.
          She rubbed aching eyes, still perplexed at the absence of Old English text. For a story written over eight hundred years ago, it read as if written just yesterday.
          With bent head, she continued, determined to read the entire passage once more.
          “Sir Fenot! Come quick!”
           “Wizard Tartel Fenot froze at the terror he heard in the child’s voice.” A deep, masculine voice read in unison with her own, then continued when she stopped reading. “Only fear for his life would garner such strong emotion in the young elf.”
          She whirled toward the sound and shrieked. Jumping from the rocker, she turned her back to the man and slammed the book shut. A cloud of dust flew. Panting, she set the heavy book on the bed and leaned over it. Merciful heavens, the man had been bare-chested.
          She closed her eyes and fanned warm cheeks.
          “Is that anyway to greet a guest?”
          She shrieked again, picked up the book, and held it like a shield.
          “Ssh. You’ll have the entire household here posthaste if you keep crying like a banshee.”
          She froze. Her breath came rapid and loud. Slowly she turned to face the intruder, keeping her eyes averted. She couldn’t stare at the man because of his state of undress, but she couldn’t turn her back on him either. Her gaze fixed on his face. “What do you want?”
          “Want?” The corners of his lip lifted. “I was under the impression, ’twas the other way around. I believe you summoned me.”
          The book slipped from her fingers and landed with a thud on the hard floor.
          The Keeper? No, it couldn’t be. Her gaze fastened on the now closed book. Why was he still here if she’d broken the bridge? She’d expected another troll, not a virile man. What sort of monster had she summoned?
You can find the book at Amazon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Liberated - a new release from Laura Miller

Cover Design
Cover by Charlene Raddon of Cover-Ops


This book is a biography of a woman I have loved and admired for the whole of my life.
In December 1944 a German family of seven were captured and convicted of war crimes for harbouring Jews.
I have known this story for most of my life. In the twilight of her years, this lady has decided that it is time for her story to be told, so it will be recorded for future generations.
The woman and her sister were interned in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp until Liberation on 13 April 1945. This is a true account of her experience.


Hanover, Lower Saxony


The house looked the same as every other dwelling in the street. Two story, attached, weathered stone. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom with indoor plumbing upstairs. An attic, where family treasures were hidden, could only be accessed through a removable panel in the ceiling of the main bedroom closet. Downstairs was a small but adequate dine in kitchen, a sitting room and a storeroom. Inside the storeroom was a staircase which led down to a basement.

The house sat opposite the banks of the Leine River. It was home to Inga Albine and her family. She had one older sister, two older brothers and one younger brother. They loved summer when they could swim and play in the water.

Inga’s father, Adaulfo, was a well-known and successful Banker. An unusual occupation for an Aryan as most Bankers were Jewish.

Inga’s mother, Alisz, was a talented seamstress but with her husband being more than capable of providing for the family, sewing was a hobby rather than a chore. Although sewing gave her a great deal of joy, her first love was her family. She adored being with her children.

Being only children, both Alisz and Adaulfo had always dreamed of having a large family. Their dream had come true. They had five healthy children, blonde haired, blue eyed. Perfect Aryans in Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Klaus, 18, Manfred 17, Elke 15, Inga 13 and Oskar 8. The girls and Oskar attended private school while the two older boys studied Engineering. They all played the violin and with the exception of Oskar, they played very well. Neighbours often praised Adaulfo and Alisz on how polite and well-mannered all five children were.

The family were prominent in the local community. They never hesitated to help people who were less fortunate than themselves.

That was to be their downfall…..


Non-Fiction, Historical, True Life

Laura is a middle aged lady who was born in England. She has a compassionate nature, a great sense of humor and is a loyal friend. She also has an insatiable love of history.
Growing up, Laura would spend hours with a member of her family who she loved dearly. Over the years she was told the story of how this amazing lady had suffered at the hands of the Gestapo and German SS.
Laura had always had a strong desire to write. She felt a responsibility to record the story as a part of her family history.


All Buy Links:!liberated/c24vq

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Guesting at Katie's Place

I'm so excited that Katie Hart, author of Finding Destiny, has asked me to be a guest on her blog.She had some awesome questions for me. So come on over and take a peek.

In the meantime, here's the blurb and cover for her book, Finding Destiny:

When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colorful world inhabited by humans and robots. Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Excerpt from On Timeless WIngs of Gold

I've been watching the Vikings on the History channel and really enjoying the series until it got a bit too bloody for me but it came out after I'd written On Timeless Wings of Gold and On the Silver Edge of Time. I truly enjoyed seeing their interpretation of that period of time and how it correlated to my own research of that era. Anyway, I'm feeling nostalgic and I truly loved these two books so thought I'd entertain with an excerpt.

Excerpt from On Timeless Wings of Gold, a Viking Historical Time-Travel Romance:

Torin wanted no part of this alluring mystery, but the storm brewing across Rurik’s features promised dire consequences should he refuse to accept his new responsibility. No one deserved Rurik’s wrath, not even a misplaced witch. He squared his shoulders, resigned for the time being.

Truly magnificent in her stance against Rurik, she had sparked his interest. Memories of his first days of captivity flooded his thoughts. The fear, the pain, the degradation. Aye, the lass would do well to accept her fate and not fight.

He’d turned his back, expecting her to follow. A scuffle sounded behind him, and he glanced over his shoulder.

Rurik dragged the woman toward him. Mindless of her bare feet, she dug her heels into the hard ground. Torin’s nostrils flared, and his fists itched to pound the beast for manhandling the woman. She struggled against Rurik’s hold, and he backhanded her.

“You’ve no cause for brutality, Herre Rurik.” Torin could stand no more. He stepped forward. “Release her. I’ll accept your gift.”

“No.” She fought harder.

“Hush, lass. Ye’ve given these men enough fodder for one day.”

“I just want to go home. If kidnapping is your game, I promise I’m not worth all this fuss.”

“Your prattle makes no sense. No one means you any harm.”

She raised her hand to her burning cheek. “I’m standing here in my birthday suit, surrounded by candidates for a boxing club, and...”

“I do no’ fully ken the situation, but I suspect your home doesn’t exist in this time.”

“What—what do you mean?” She dropped her hand.

Torin didn’t want to tell her she’d traveled to the past, not with so many witnesses about. He assumed she’d not accept the news with grace. Better he wait until they were alone.

“Ye’ve no other safe harbor from the elements, and the jarl has commanded you to my protection. Best do as ye’re told afore he changes his mind. Methinks ye would not survive his swift temper.” Already a purple bruise formed along her jaw line.

Behind them, the murmurings of disgruntled men grated on his ears. She’d be a fool to stay and subject herself to more of the Finn-Gaills’ welcome. Not waiting for an answer, he started down the path again. He could have hauled her over his shoulder and forced the issue, but he refused to give Rurik the satisfaction.

The crunch of small rocks and dirt alerted him to her progress. He resumed walking, knowing she followed at a discreet pace. The short distance gave him little time to contemplate his prize.

“Could you slow it down a bit?” Her voice sounded breathless. “I like exercise, but I think the excitement has worn me out, and I’m not used to going about barefooted.”

He rolled his eyes but did as requested. Afore long, the pixie came abreast. He shot her a sour glare and chose a stride that kept him a pace ahead. He’d accept the care of this strange woman, but he refused to do so graciously.

“Great. I’m saddled with a baboon.”

“Name calling will no’ secure you a place in my heart.” He continued toward his hut, refusing to acknowledge her attempts to claim some power.

“A place in your heart is not where I want to be. Home on the other hand...” Though her words held a ring of sarcasm, he detected the fear she tried to hide. His attitude softened. Having been subjected to a similar fate two years prior, he could almost sympathize.

“For whatever purpose, ye’ve been given into my keeping. I, too, am no’ happy about it, but alas, I have no say.” He inhaled a sharp breath. The salty air stirred memories. A sudden pang of homesickness clutched his insides, and he almost cried out with the senselessness of it all. He yanked open the thick slab of rawhide draped over his doorway with more force than intended. “Get inside.”

The shuffling of her feet stopped. She drew herself up and took a step back. “I won’t be manhandled by another Richard.”

He had no idea what a “richard” was, nor did he care. “I’ll no’ ask again.”

“That’s a relief.” Another step backwards put more space between them. “Ouch.” She lifted her foot and rubbed.

“Ach, ye’re right. Run. The wild beasties will take care of my dilemma.” He shrugged and ducked through the portal. Carting her inside might prove entertaining, but if she entered without force, she’d give him less grief. Aye, he’d once tamed a stray dog in much the same way. But then, the stray dog had more sense.

The wattle and daub house proved dismal compared to Jarl Erik’s laborious abode, but it kept him warm and dry at night. Rather spacious for a thrall’s quarters, Erik had gifted him with a few amenities. The jarl’s way of relieving guilt, he supposed. His interest shifted to the wide bench that served as his bed. Would they both fit? No other place would allow rest unless he arranged deer hides on the ground. Nay, that wouldn’t do either. No doubt, she’d scream at the first insect that crawled along her smooth skin.

He picked up a knotted stick and poked at the coals in the center pit. Herre Erik and Rurik thought to bind him to this land forever with this gift. No other reason made sense.

Hidden within the tangled arms of the forest, supplies and a half-built raft awaited him. Two years serving the Finn-Gaills had given Torin many opportunities to leave, but he bided his time. Having suffered the bite of Rurik’s lash after his last effort to escape, he’d make sure his next attempt would prove successful. The time for going home neared—unless the girl interfered.

The book can be purchased from Amazon.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Organizing the Closet

So today is cleaning day. I'm trying to make order out of chaos in my small cabin. As I was organizing, I realized how much this resembled my brain and the chaos there. Sometimes it's a real feat to organize my thoughts. I have so many story ideas, it's sometimes hard to sort them all out so today is also going to be an organization of my brain closet.

Typically, I write by the seat of my pants. Most writers are either pantsers or plotters. I start out a story by just writing a scene in my head. Once I do that, I go back and look at the characters. How can I develop them based on what I've already written. So - essentially the first organization day for a story is to flesh out the characters. I tend to do this using astrology and numerology. I find a name that suits their character based on numerology then I figure out a birthday that gives them an astrological sign that also goes along with their personalities. Backstory? Well, that's where the pantser comes into play. That's the back of the closet that gets organized last, so to speak. We'll think of them as shoes. Big grin.

I write six to eight chapters before I realize clutter is beginning to appear. That's when I have to go back and organize. I have to reread and structure an outline of what I've written. Think of it as backwards plotting but this helps me figure out where to go next and it helps me keep facts straight - most of the time.

So, the story I'm working on now needs straightening big time. It's been almost ten chapters since I last outlined. Time to organize. People always ask, what do you like least; editing or writing first drafts. Neither. It's outlining and organizing what I've written that's my least favorite thing to do. I only realized this today as I was mopping my floor. But - it has to be done.

I also need to go through and organize my story idea files so I know what I want to work on next. So many projects, so little time. Arggg. Best get to it.