Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About the Book)

Our guest author today is Shauna Aura Knight, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.

Shauna is an author, artist, event planner and speaker. Her work is inspired by the mythic stories of heroes and of the darkness we each must overcome. She’s the author of several urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and erotic romance stories including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. She has published, and has forthcoming books and articles on leadership, facilitation, and personal transformation, and travels nationally offering intensive education on those topics. Shauna is inspired by creating experiences, stories, spaces, and artwork to awaken mythic imagination.


5 Things You Don't Know About Werewolves in the Kitchen:

1. I had nightmares about wolves as a kid and used to be terrified of them.

2. I wrote the sex scene with Ellie, Jake, and Kyle first, and then discovered that Jake and Kyle were werewolves by the end of the scene.

3. I actually lived at a spiritual retreat center for a time. It was lonely, monastic work; out in the woods, there really weren’t any dating prospects. Definitely no sexy werewolves! So I found myself coming up with rather a lot of steamy story ideas while I lived there. This story idea came when I was in the catering kitchen washing my clothes.

4. The title for the book almost ended up being “The Silk Scarf,” though I ultimately changed that because I thought it might imply a theme of BDSM that wasn’t present in the book. Kyle and Jake are certainly a bit Alpha, Kyle more than Jake, but nobody’s getting tied up in the story.

5. I’ve always been more of a “vampires” girl so it was kind of a surprise to me that werewolves ended up being so sexy. There will definitely be more shape shifters in my future stories, and Jake, Kyle, and Ellie have cameo appearances in a Paranormal Romance novel I’m finishing up called A Golden Heart of Glass. I might give the triad some standalone short fiction in the future too; they were so much fun to write.


When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shape shifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?

To Buy Werewolves in the Kitchen go to:
Jupiter Gardens Press:

You can find Shauna Aura Knight at:

Thanks for checking out Shauna Aura Knight and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, let us know. Shauna will be around to answer your questions.

And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets.

Monday, January 27, 2014

MISSING - Now Available

My second book in the Hawkins Family Ranch series is out. It’s available on most e-book reader sites.

The Hawkins Family Ranch series takes place in a small Montana town called Duster, Montana.

The Hawkins family have ranched there for many years. Sam and Annie have two sons of their own, Cody and Gabe.  Their other two sons are adopted. Luke is the son of Sam’s brother. Kye is a Native American whose parents were killed and Sam and Anna adopted him.  And then there’s Gran.

Each book in the series is the story of one of the brothers.

Missing is Luke’s story. Luke is one of the adopted sons and the only one who isn’t a rancher. Luke became a doctor because when his mother became ill she had to be sent away for diagnosis and treatment. Luke wanted to provide treatment to the residents so they don’t have to leave their home and die in a strange hospital, away from family.

In MISSING, running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor.  Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.

Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped.  Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.  

Here’s an excerpt from MISSING.

       Allie pushed open the door to the clinic and stepped into the small, crowded waiting room. The slight scent of antiseptic tickled her nose. She stopped.

Silence crept across the room. One by one, heads turned toward the door.

It might be the novelty of a stranger, but more likely it was the novelty of a stranger in fancy city clothes with a run in her stocking. She threaded her way through the patients to the reception counter. Patients watched her. A few of them put down the magazines they were thumbing through.

She’d bet a month’s salary those magazines were three or four years old. The furniture in the waiting room had seen better days, but it was serviceable.

The men and women stared at her, probably wondering who the heck she was. Several patients smiled at her. She managed to return the smiles. At least no one laughed.

A man stood behind the counter, tall, broad-shouldered, and maybe thirtyish He had curly dark hair, a strong, square chin and he caught her attention right away. His cobalt blue eyes, under long dark lashes, latched on to her as she walked toward him. Even partially covered by his lab coat, his muscled chest strained against the white t-shirt.

If he was the doctor he was definitely not the old geezer she’d expected.

A few feet from the counter, she stopped. His electric blue eyes locked on her. She couldn’t look away. Sensuality oozed across the space between them. Her breath hitched into an irregular rhythm, kicking her pulse up a notch.

“Good, you finally got here. I thought Jean would send someone a little faster.” His rich, smooth voice rolled over her. “Look, we’re backed up. Patients’ files are over there and the appointment book is on the desk. Check them in, pull their file, and put the file in the slot by the examining room door.”

“Excuse me?” She stared up at the man snapping orders at her. She’d run away from one tyrant and had no intention of putting up with another overbearing one, even if he was knock-down gorgeous. His firm abs, linebacker-type shoulders and muscular body did not compensate for his attitude.

Who did this jerk think he was?

Her back stiffened. She assumed he was the doctor, but his manners confused her. If staff and working partners were expected to put up with this, no wonder they hadn’t been able to find another doctor.

“You’re not going to make me repeat all that are you? I have a room full of patients. When I asked Jean to send a temp over from the hospital, I thought she’d send someone with training and at least a vague idea of what they were doing.” A sigh slipped through his lips and he rolled his eyes. The look he gave her placed her one step above an idiot.

He pointed to a huge pile of folders. “The patients’ files are…”

Allie pulled her shoulders back, raised her chin and tightened her lips together. “Excuse me. I believe you’ve made a mistake. First of all, I’m not stupid. Second, I’m not your damn temp. I’m a doctor, Alexandra Parsons, M.D. I understood you were expecting me.”

“You’re the new doc? Shoot. I didn’t expect you today.” The heart-stopping man stared down at her. His full lips drooped in apparent disappointment.

The disappointment could be her or the fact he still didn’t have a temp. She couldn’t tell.

“I arrived early, so I could acquaint myself with the town and find a place to live. I dropped by to introduce myself.”

He focused on her, drawing his eyebrows into a frown. “You’re the new physician? I should have known by that fancy outfit, it screams big city.”

“Sorry. I’ve just arrived and haven’t had time to get my jeans and plaid shirt yet. I’ll move that to the top of my list, so I’ll fit in.”

        A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, but he controlled it, as he ran his fingers through the tangle of dark curls.

You can check it out at these links   Amazon   Sony Nook

Comments welcome.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Heroines - or How to Get Roarke

Okay, I’m a JD Robb fan and I love Eve Dallas and Peabody. And if a heroine can get a hero like Roarke, then that’s the woman I want to write.
I know, I should have posted a picture of Eve, but honestly, I'd rather look at Roarke. How about you?

Our blog this week is what type of heroine draws you to a story. Now you now my type of heroine--it’s Eve Dallas. I love the way JD Robb develops her characters. She weaves traits into the personality and story that readers, at least this reader, fall in love with. Her heroine is tough, smart, sexy, honest, and know what she wants. She’s very moral and she helps others grow to their potential. She’s socially awkward, but works on becoming a good friend and support. She has a terrible childhood and background but has overcome it. It’s made her stronger and the person she has become.

I think I’ve always like strong women. Even if they aren’t strong at the beginning of a story they develop into someone who can overcome their challenges and survive. I also like heroines who are smart, have goals and work toward them as the story develops.

Do I write this type of heroine? I wish I could say yes, but I struggle to write the heroine I really want her to be. I know her in my mind, but I find it’s a challenge to weave all the characteristics into the story so the readers will fall in love with her and root for her, without doing an information dump or telling--not showing.

I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts on heroines and the heroines they write.

You can check them all out or follow the trail by going to Diane Bator’s blog at

The other sites to check out are:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About My Book)

Our guest author today is Anna Markland, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.

Anna Markland is a Canadian author with a keen interest in genealogy. She writes medieval romance about family honour, ancestry and roots. Her novels are intimate love stories full of passion and adventure. Following a successful career in teaching, Anna transformed her love of writing and history into engaging works of fiction. Prior to becoming a fiction author, she published numerous family histories. One of the things she enjoys most about writing historical romance is the in-depth research required to provide the reader with an authentic medieval experience.



Thanks for having me as your guest, Beverley. I’m writing today about five secrets/things readers may not know about Dance of Love.
1. Unusual Setting
This book differs from my other historical romances, most of which are set in Normandy and England. This story wanders into the history of Aragon, which in medieval times was a separate kingdom.
So where the heck is Aragon? Mention the name and most people think of the Queen divorced by Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon.
In the Middle Ages, Aragon was a kingdom in the northeastern part of Spain. It included what is now Catalonia. A large part of Spain was still dominated by Muslim peoples. The struggle by the Christian kings of Spain to reconquer Spain went on for hundreds of years, and is also part of the plot of my book, set in 1107.
In modern times, Aragon is a region of Spain that does not extend to the coast.
My hero and heroine cross the Pyrenees Mountains into Aragon from France. It is a land of castles, monasteries and magnificent scenery.
2. Unusual Weapon
A weapon you might not be familiar with plays a central role in the story. A Shamshir is a type of sabre with a curve that is considered radical for a sword: 5 to 15 degrees from tip to tip. The name is derived from Persian shamshīr, which means "sword" (in general). The radically curved sword family includes the shamshir, scimitar, and others.
The shamshir is a one-handed, curved sword featuring a slim blade that has almost no taper until the very tip. Instead of being worn upright (hilt-high), it is worn horizontally, with the hilt and tip pointing up. It was normally used for slashing unarmored opponents either on foot or mounted. The tip could be used for thrusting.
Izzy de Montbryce, the hero of Dance of Love, suffers from debilitating arthritis in his hands. Imagine a warrior unable to wield a sword.
Enter the heroine, Farah, who has travelled from Jerusalem with a shamshir. She is a dancer who uses the blade in her performance of the Sword Dance. The weapon proves much easier for Izzy to use, but for Farah it is a treasure whose value goes far beyond the material. It is a link to her past. Can she part with it when she has to leave Izzy to continue the journey to her destiny?
3. Medieval medicine
Readers might be unaware that medieval Islamic physicians concocted many recipes for the treatment of afflictions such as arthritis. Fortunately, Farah has studied medicine in the east, particularly the treatises of a physician known as Al-Kindi. Abu Yusuf Ya’qub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi was born in Basra three hundred years before my story, which is set in 1107 AD. His father was the emir of Kufa. He was highly revered as a great physician by Muslim peoples.

Farah compounds one of Al-Kindi’s recipes for easing the pain of arthritis. Here is the medieval recipe for Drug for the Spirits:
(modern weight equivalents included)
Colchicum 12 mithqals 53.53 grams
Leaf of Meccan Henna 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Caper leaf 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Pepper 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Long pepper 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Cinnamon 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Indian cumin 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Ginger 1 mithqal 4.46 grams
Dry Storax ¼ mithqal 4.46 grams
Cuttlefish bone ¼ mithqal 1.115 grams
Sal ammoniac (fossil salt) ¼ mithqal 1.115 grams
Salt ¼ mithqal 1.115 grams
The ingredients of this recipe are pulverized and kneaded with honey. One dose is 5 dirhams (15.625 grams), which is taken with food.
4. Unusual Monastery
While researching the monasteries of Spain for Dance of Love, I found this gem. The monastery of San Juan de la Peña is a religious complex south west of Jaca, in the province of Huesca, Spain. It was one of the most important monasteries in Aragón in the Middle Ages. The monastery is built in a natural cavern beneath a huge rock. Its two-level church is partially carved into the stone of the great cliff that overhangs the foundation. San Juan de la Peña means "Saint John of the Rock".
The second floor contains a royal pantheon of kings of Aragon and Navarre. It’s the resting place of the following kings of Aragón: Ramiro I, Sancho Ramírez, and Peter I of Aragon and Navarre. Sancho Ramirez is the one we are interested in for Dance of Love.
Legend had it that the chalice of the Last Supper (Holy Grail) was sent to the monastery for protection and prevention from being captured by the Muslim invaders.
The background of the book’s cover is the interior of the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña.
5. Well Known Pilgrimage Route
Izzy isn’t the only character with an affliction. Farah herself bears a hideous facial scar. They are forced to embark on a pilgrimage by King Alfonso of Aragon, Farah’s half- brother. The two set off on a route still followed by pilgrims today, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The scallop shell, often found on the shores of Galicia, has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Over the centuries the scallop shell has taken on mythical, metaphorical and practical meanings, even if its relevance may actually derive from the desire of pilgrims to take home a souvenir.
The scallop shell also served practical purposes for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. The shell was the right size for gathering water to drink or for eating out of as a makeshift bowl. It gave them privileges to sleep in churches and ask for free meals, but also warded off thieves who dared not attack devoted pilgrims.


They rode in silence, side by side. Most of their fellow pilgrims were on foot, and of peasant stock, yet they were everywhere greeted with respect and wished Good Journey more times and in more languages than they could count. There were few women among them. It was plain to see many were ill.

While Alfonso’s guide made sure Izzy and Farah were provided with sleeping accommodations that befitted their rank, he suspected most of the pilgrims slept on communal straw mattresses, trying to share warmth, willing to endure the inevitable lice that abounded in such close conditions. Izzy shivered, revolted by the thought of his beloved Farah being subjected to such deprivations.

His anger at Alfonso rose anew in his throat. Farah was too quiet. The journey was taking a great deal out of her and he worried about her health, recalling how ill she had become after the journey across the Perinés. Compostela was still a long way away.

At least they had the means to pay for good food, which he suspected most of the pilgrims did not. Many of them probably drifted off to sleep with less than a full stomach. Food and lodging was supposed to be free for pilgrims, but even well intentioned ecclesiastical orders had a limited ability to provide meals.

Izzy had experienced firsthand the dangers from bandits along the Camino. Peasant pilgrims had no protection from such hazards or from unscrupulous ferrymen, toll collectors and money changers. The so-called safe conduct pass did little to protect them from bad elements.

Potable water was a constant problem and most pilgrims had only shoes, some of them sturdy, some not, a cloak, a staff, a gourd for water, a leather bag, and a wide-brimmed hat. Every one proudly sported the ubiquitous symbol of the pilgrimage, a small scallop shell, around their necks. Izzy refused to wear the token, though Farah wore one tucked into her bodice. She put her hand over it in silent prayer when she thought he was not watching.

Izzy marveled at the resilience of these folk. Travelling the camino on horseback was tiring enough. They had obvious faith in the grueling pilgrimage to the far flung reaches of Spain. Many of them would be away from family, friends, and loved ones for at least a year, if they made it back at all.


TO BUY DANCE OF LOVE go to Amazon; Nook; Kobo; Sony and Smashwords

You can find Anna on these links Social Media

Thanks for checking out Anna and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, let us know. Anna will be around to answer your questions.

And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time Management - Help!

Writers write - right?
Silly me, that's what I used to think. And I know it's still the most important thing. You need to write the best book you can and when you finish it you write another book. But in this day a writer needs to do so much more. If you're a New York times best seller you may not need to do as much as other authors. But whether you're published by a top publisher, a small press publisher or you're an Indie author you need to do a lot of your own Public Relations (PR).
You need to be on social media. Let's start with Facebook. You're supposed to post at least once or twice a day. One blog I read the author said she spent about 3 hours a day on Facebook - reading all the posts and responding and making friends. (Gulp!)
Then there's Twitter. It's fairly quick, but it's said you should post 4 times a day.
You should have a website which you update yourself or have someone update for you.
Some people say you should have a newsletter. So how often do you write and send one out - monthly, every 3 months?
Then you need a Blog. And the importance of a Blog is to post regularly. I'm not sure how often that is - daily? 2 or 3 times a week? It may not be a long Blog but it still takes time and then you need to reply to comments. (By the way, I love the comments and sometimes people often wonderful suggestions that I try or pass on. And I love hearing what people think.)
You also need to check other blogs and maybe comment.
Whew! I'm already exhausted and there's still more I need to do.
I need to join online groups to get information and even assistance to my writing and publishing.
And I need to read books. I'd like to read more and maybe post a short review on some of them. (in my spare time)
Then there's Pinterest and Goodreads. And I know there's some I've missed.
I'm very bad at posting to online loops, although I do tweet and post to Facebook when asked.
I seldom manage Pinterest. And some days I don't have time to check online loops and other blogs.

What about the rest of you?
How do you balance all the additional marketing and PR and write your wonderful books?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

I’ve posted several holidays, and from the Canadian view. We don’t have another holiday until Easter, although we do celebrate Valentine’s Day. So I’m giving the Americans equal time with their special days, from a Canadian’s perspective. The next one, on Monday, January 20th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. So back I went to Wikipedia to find out the information.

Martin Luther King, Jr was born Michael King, January 15, 1929. His father changed his name in honor of the German reformer, Martin Luther. Martin Luther King was an American Baptist minister, activist and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He’s best known for the advancement of civil rights. Based on his beliefs as a Christian minister he promoted nonviolent civil disobedience.  He died April 4th, 1968.

Martin Luther King, Jr Day is held the third Monday of January each year, around his birthday.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began shortly after his assassination. President Reagan signed it into law in 1983 and it was first observed in 1986. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

             Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.                                      
                                                        Martin Luther King, Jr.
                 Comments welcome - and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day everyone.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About My Book)

Our guest author today is Vijaya Schartz, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she also travels through time, and feels just as comfortable in the future as in the far past. Her novels collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She will make you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Find out more at:

"Phenomenal world building, characters the readers care about, and an intriguing mystery... all the elements one expects from a Vijaya Schartz story! Easily recommended!" Debbie - CK2sKwipsandKritique

So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and her compelling stories will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line.

Nowadays, I think in terms or series rather than individual books, as my ideas tend to spread that way. Today, I’ll tell you 5 secrets about the CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK series, which includes: NOAH’S ARK - WHITE TIGER - RED LEOPARD - BLACK JAGUAR - BLUE LIONESS... and SNOW CHEETAH to come out November 1, 2014.

Secret #1:
This entire series started as a short story. Since I had problems writing short, I decided to do it as an exercise for a writing class I was taking at the time. That short story later developed into book one in the series: WHITE TIGER

Secret #2:
The working title for that initial short story was: “The Snows of Kassouk.”
To increase the challenge of writing short, I picked a setting that made me very uncomfortable. I live in Arizona, lived in India and Hawaii, and love the tropics and the heat, so the theme for that story was cold and snow. The fortress of Kassouk is on a frozen planet. Of course, there are ways to warm it up in places. Alien technology, etc. So it’s not just about snow. But snow and cold are defining factors in the development of this particular world and society.

Secret #3:
The first book was written as a single title, just one story that was it.
After I finished the class and continued writing that story, it quickly developed into a full length novel. Later, I found a publisher for it. When White Tiger first came out from a defunct publisher which I shall not name, I was finished, done, and I moved on to creating different stories in different worlds, with different characters.

Secret #4:
White Tiger was tied up for months in a bankruptcy scandal.
When the publisher which shall not be named dragged its authors into a lengthy bankruptcy battle, the copyrights of all their books were ceased by the court as assets for many months... then sold on the auction block. Fortunately, the publisher who eventually bought the rights returned them to the authors, or offered them a contract if they were erotic romance. White Tiger was not.

Secret #5:
in 2009, White Tiger was given a second chance and became a series with Desert Breeze Publishing. When I sent White Tiger to a new publisher, who was familiar with the award-winning novel and wanted to publish it, they rejected my other back titles (too racy for their lines). They just loved that particular book and the world I created for it. In a strike of genius, I said: “If you want more of the same, I can base an entire series on that world.” They loved the idea, asked me for two more book titles, a series title, and sent me a three-book contract. Now there are five books in the series, and the sixth and last one to be published in November.


Blurb from White Tiger.
On the frozen planet of Kassouk, where a few aliens rule as deities on a medieval Human world, Tora -- a Human warrior trained by tigers -- seeks her father's murderer. But what she finds at the point of her sword confuses her. How dare Dragomir, the handsome Mutant, question her bloodline and her loyalties? And could a new enemy control the savage hordes of the fringe?

Dragomir offers to help, but Humans and Mutants are forbidden to fraternize under penalty of death... Should Tora trust her mind, her instincts, or her heart?

In the vortex of war, treason and intrigue... among blizzards, avalanches and ambushes... will Tora solve the mystery of her father's death and unveil the secret of her birth? Can she and Dragomir escape persecutions long enough to save their planet from the invaders and fulfill their destiny?

To Buy Vijaya’s books her are on Amazon,p_82:B001JP7UJ4&sort=daterank
And many other links on my website at
 Thanks for checking out Vijaya and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, let us know. Vijaya will be around to answer your questions.
And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author's secrets.