Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 SECRETS (What No One Knows About My Book)

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

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched series, she is the author of The Pilot, the first book in a series about strong women on the frontier of space. One Red Shoe is her first romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.


5 Secrets about One Red Shoe

1. Originally, One Red Shoe began in a New York City subway station restroom; big problem—there are no restrooms in the subway. At a writers’ conference in New York, I made my friends ride the subway with me so I could see for myself.

2. I wanted Daria to be from Michigan, but most people think cars not farming in Michigan. Iowa seemed a better choice.

3. I set part of it in Holland, Michigan because I knew about the city from when our daughter went to college there. Holland State Park (which doesn’t appear in the book) is one of my favorite places to watch the sun set.

4. I’ve driven through Iowa but never stopped. I based the small town of Prairieville on a small farming community in Michigan where I used to live.

5. My Dutch ancestors settled in Iowa. My great-great-great grandfather was the Dutch consul to the state of Iowa based in Keokuk. I have the proclamation signed by President James Buchanan.

Blurb for One Red Shoe:

Wannabe writer rescues wounded spy while risking her heart.

Daria Mason’s life is too predictable. Nothing ever happens in her small Iowa town where everybody knows everybody else. But when she travels to New York City looking for a little excitement, she never expects to bring home a wounded spy.

From the moment agent Sam Jozwiak steals intel vital to US security from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist.

Sam and Daria flee cross country with the assassins right behind them. Sharing danger and excitement—and a few kisses—with Sam soon has Daria convinced he’s the man for her. He thinks she’ll be better off once he’s out of her life for good. With their lives on the line, can she convince him they belong together?

To Buy One Red Shoe is available at:

You can find Diane on these links.

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Thanks for checking out Diane and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions Diane will be around to answer them today.

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

Monday, February 24, 2014


I finally managed to find time to read a couple of books and I found a couple of 5 Stars.
I thought I’d share then with you.

The first one I read was Gone Tropical, a romantic suspense,  by Robena Grant.

Danger, intrigue and smuggling in Australia, once you start reading you can’t put this book down. It pulls you into the story from the first paragraph. The characters are all well developed and integrated into the story. The transitions are smooth and the plot fantastic. 

Robena takes you to Australia, where you can actually visualize the country as you follow the hero and heroine, Jake and Amy, from Sydney to the remote resort of Bungumby. Amy is a strong heroine with quirks you love.  And Jake is a sexy, delicious hero. It’s fun to watch them struggle with their personal demons and goals as they search for Amy’s despicable ex-husband. The secondary characters--Sarge, Meg and even Brian are characters you can relate to.

The tension builds and grips you to the last page. I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s available on Amazon

The next one I read and loved was Dare To Believe, a romantic suspense,  by L.A. Sartor.

Kidnapping and suspense grip you when a child goes missing in the first pages. Six years after Catherine Hemstead broke off with Jason St. Pierre they are brought together to find Catherine’s daughter. At first it looks like she may have wandered off but then the realization sets in that Jason’s employees have kidnapped her.

Fighting their love, which has never died, they track Catherine’s daughter, trying to figure out a motive.

Once they find her their relationship will once again disappear as neither can go back. They love each other  but the hurt is too hard to overcome – or is it?

The characters are well-developed and the plot grabs you from the first few pages and won’t let you put the book down. I also recommend this book and it’s also available on Amazon.
If you've read the books, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Or if you've read another great book, please share. 

Friday, February 21, 2014


I look forward to our monthly group blog. I love reading the other writers talking about the same topic. We all have such varied ideas and post so many thought provoking posts. Today we’re talking about heroes.

What do you think of when someone says the word heroes?

My mind skirted from my personal heroes, to those who fight for their country, those who travel to foreign countries for the Olympics, to those who serve in the diplomatic corps in embassies around the world, firemen and policemen. There are so many. Then I thought about the heroes I write.

What could I write about all these heroes, which should I chose?

Then I started thinking about the characteristics these heroes have. Soldiers are strong, have a love of country, they’re trained, they’re focused on a goal, dependable, they’re someone you respect and probably would like as a friend (or lover).

Olympic athletes, a different brand of heroes but they are strong, love their country, they’re trained and focused on a goal, dependable (If they practice hours every day to get where they are – they’re dependable) you respect them and what they do and would probably like them as a friend.

Police, firemen, diplomats, while different, they all have a core of similar characteristics. You get the picture.

So when I’m working on a hero for my book I realize these are the same qualities my heroes should have. Yes he might be tall, dark and handsome, drink too much or have other quirks that aren’t in the above lists, and maybe he’s struggling with some of the qualities. Maybe he has a physical defect, but these are secondary qualities. It’s the core characteristics I’ve mentioned that I’m going to be focusing on from now on.

What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Does he have to be sexy and gorgeous? I’d love to hear from you.

Now don’t forget to check out Ginger Simpson’s blog next at

And then work your way through the rest of our group and compare our very different takes on the topic of Heroes.

Diane Bator at
Marci Baun
Lynn Crain at
Connie Vines at
Aimee -- A.J. Maguire at
Rhobin Courtright at

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

5 Secrets (What No One Knows About My Book) with Angela Smith

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

During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys creating, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.

5 Secrets you don't know about BURN ON THE WESTERN SLOPE:

1. Although deer abound in Texas where I live, I have a fetish with moose. The moose featured in the story is actually an image I had in my head and after writing the story and almost giving up, I found the exact stuffed moose that I had been picturing. I found it in a gift shop and it now sits on my desk.
2. Burn on the Western Slope took five years from the start of my writing to me finally pursuing publication.
3. Reagan shares my love of mint. I don’t mind putting mint on just about anything.
4. I had a lot of edits with this story before submitting for publication, and ended up deleting about 15,000 words.
5. The original title was going to be Slopeside.
Blurb for Burn on the Western Slope

Reagan McKinney is on a mission to discover more about a deceased uncle who mysteriously left her a sizable inheritance, a condo in the mountains and a stash of stolen jewels. With both her graphic design career and her love life in shambles, the opportunity to begin a new life couldn’t have come at a better time. When she becomes involved with the sexy FBI agent next door, she finds her struggle is not only to keep her heart intact, but her life.

Grief stricken after an undercover investigation ends in the death of his partner, Special Agent Garret Chambers goes home to find solace in the arms of his mountain retreat. That is, until his boss assigns him to investigate the spirited brunette staying in the condo next door. He is assigned to investigate Reagan’s involvement with a large jewel fencing organization, but his investigation becomes compromised when his attraction to her heats up. Will his discovery destroy everything he has come to love, including Reagan?



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Thanks for checking out Angela and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions Angela will be around to answers them.

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

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Only at Scriptscene. All are welcome, you don't have to be a member of Scriptscene or RWA to take this class. Class Link Wordpress & Blogging 101 WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. It’s used on many hosting…

Monday, February 17, 2014


It’s Winter Olympics. Are you watching the coverage of the games? Do you watch all the events? Are there events you particularly enjoy? Who are you hoping for?

I’m Canadian so I have to cheer for the Canadians. And for a very brief time about four days into the Olympics, Canada was in first place in the medals. (Okay, it only lasted about 12 hours and Norway knocked us out, but it is a historical event. We’ve never been in first place in the history of the Olympics.)

You know me, I love Wikipedia, so I headed over there to check out the history of the Winter Games. This is what I found out. The Winter Olympic Games is a major international sporting event that occurs once every four years. The first Winter Olympics was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The original 6 sports were bobsleigh, curling, military patrol, ice hockey and Nordic skiing which consisted of the cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping, and skating, consisting of both figure skating and speed skating. Games were held every four years from 1924 until 1936, after which they were interrupted by World War II. The Olympics resumed in1948 and was again held every four years. Until 1992 the Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years, but in accordance with a 1986 decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympics after 1992 was in 1994.

The Winter Games has evolved since its inception. Sports have been added and some of them, such as Alpine skiing, luge, short track speed skating, freestyle skiing, skeleton and snowboarding have earned a permanent spot on the Olympic program. Others (such as curling and bobsleigh) have been discontinued and later reintroduced, or have been permanently discontinued (such as military patrol, though the modern Winter Olympic sport of biathlon is descended from it). Still others, such as speed skiing, bandy and skijoring, were demonstration sports but never incorporated as Olympic sports. The rise of television as a global medium for communication enhanced the profile of the Games. It created an income stream, via the sale of broadcast rights and advertising, which has become lucrative for the IOC. This allowed outside interests, such as television companies and corporate sponsors, to exert influence. The IOC has had to address several criticisms, internal scandals, the use of performance enhancing drugs by Winter Olympians, as well as a political boycott of the Winter Olympics. Nations have used the Winter Games to showcase the claimed superiority of their political systems.

The Winter Olympics has been hosted on three continents by eleven different countries. The United States has hosted the Games four times (1932, 1960, 1980, 2002); France has been the host three times (1924, 1968, 1992); Austria (1964, 1976), Canada (1988, 2010), Japan (1972, 1998), Italy (1956, 2006), Norway (1952, 1994), and Switzerland (1928, 1948) have hosted the Games twice. Germany (1936), Yugoslavia (1984), and Russia (2014) have hosted the Games once. The IOC has selected Pyeongchang, South Korea, to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. No country in the southern hemisphere has hosted or even been an applicant to host the Winter Olympics; the major challenge preventing one hosting the games is the dependence on winter weather, and the traditional February timing of the games falls in the middle of the southern hemisphere summer.

Twelve countries – Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States – have sent athletes to every Winter Olympic Games. Six of those – Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States – have earned medals at every Winter Olympic Games, and only one – the United States – has earned gold at each Games. Germany and Japan have been banned at times from competing in the Games.

People from all countries watch the Olympics. Let me know if you’re watching, who you hope for and your feelings about the Olympics.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Reggi Allder's 5 Secrets (What No One Knows About Her Book)

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

Reggi is an author of romantic suspense and contemporary novels. Reggi likes nothing better than tales of love lost and then found or stories of heroes and heroines who discover love and then wonder if they'll live long enough to enjoy it. Her main characters cope with longings, secrets, lies and betrayals. They control their panic and manage their passion as each fight to discover a hidden strength. It's a strain for them to remain motivated as the world offers temptations and puts them in untenable situations. Can they survive multiple ordeals and carry on to reach their goals and find true love?
She studied screen writing and creative writing at UCLA and is a past chapter president of Romance Writers of America and current member of RWA.

1 The Title: The book was almost called Money Power and Passion. Although it is a complex mystery/ suspense novel, it is also a passionate romance. It navigates the journey of a woman and a man who struggle with inner turmoil and outer conflicts when dealing with relationships. Almost as soon as they meet and without understanding why, the hero and heroine sense a connection that goes beyond their mutual wish to discover answers to who poisoned a billionaire software developer. Their passion runs to the core of who they are as individuals and complicates their search for the answers needed to solve the mystery.

2. The book: This is a stand-alone novel. Still, it is written in such a way to make it a series. It is possible to write two more books that allow the reader to follow the hero and heroine of the first book as they meet new characters and solve a mystery that started even before the heroine was born. The other two novels could stand alone and would have their own hero and heroine.

3. The setting: As it is about a software developer, it seemed obvious to set the book in the Silicon Valley, with its many big name companies and even more startups. However, I’ve spent many summer vacations in Carmel-by-the-Sea / Monterey, California. My husband, my kids and I kayaked and swam and went sightseeing. We loved Point Lobos State Reserve, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seventeen Mile Drive, just to mention a few of our favorites. Watching the waves on the beach during one of the visits, I realized the tranquil beauty and perfect beach weather of the area could be a counterpoint to a dark mystery punctuated by imminent danger.

4. The hero: For this book, I needed a strong male who wouldn’t be put off by threats or danger, a person who wouldn’t stop even in the face of his own fears. In order to bring us TV’s nightly news reports from all over the world, foreign correspondents are often in life threatening situations. According to ABC News, 70 journalists were killed on the job in 2013. I admire these brave men and women for their dedication to protect the people’s right to know. An investigative journalist, back home after being wounded overseas, was the right person to be my hero.

5. The Emphasis: From people who lived in the Silicon Valley, I’ve heard of high-end parties with amazing catered food. I’ve listened to the lengths the party planner and caterer go to bring off large dinners for the rich and famous. When I decided to write this book, I contacted chefs in the catering business and discussed menus that would be appropriate for a high end birthday party. Though I later decided to focus on the book’s romance and mystery rather than the food, I enjoyed my time reading recipes. I’ve put some healthy and tasty recipes on my website. There is a chocolate meringue cookie that is low in fat. Also posted are other entrĂ©es and desserts. Please come by my website and take a look.

Five star review of Money Power and Poison from Amazon-“…This book has it all. Fast-paced, plot-driven conflicts and characters that you can't tear yourself away lift it from an ordinary story to a darn good read.”


Can love win against the odds?

Why would business woman Kathryn Carlyle poison software developer she only met once? Reporter Holt Rand needs a scoop and won’t stop until he gets answers. When he meets Kathryn his life is changed forever. Kathryn feels an immediate bond with Holt but can she depend on a man who is using her to further his career? Will she live long enough to find out?
You can find Reggi at these links:
Youtube video for Money Power and Poison

Thanks for checking out Reggi and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions Reggi will be around to answers them.
And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets about their book.  


Monday, February 10, 2014


It's Valentine's Day on Friday. How do you celebrate?

Once again I checked out my favorite source of information-Wikipedia.

Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is observed on February 14th every year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them.

Like many of our traditions, Valentine’s Day began as a Christian celebration of one or more early saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

Valentine’s Day was first associated with romantic love in the times of Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering candy, and sending greeting cards, known as valentines. Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards and in the 20th century online greeting cards are becoming more and more popular.

Valentine's Day is an opportunity for people in Canada to tell somebody that they love them in a romantic way. It falls on February 14, the name day of two saints, St Valentine of Rome and St Valentine of Terni. In pre-Christian times, the middle of February was a time of pagan fertility festivals in Europe and allegedly the time when birds chose a mate.

Many people send letters, cards, presents and gifts to the person with whom they have or want to have a romantic relationship. Valentine's Day cards are often red or pink and decorated with images of hearts, red roses, teddy bears, presents or happy couples kissing or embracing. They may be in brightly colored, perhaps pink or red, envelopes.

Many people give gifts to loved ones on Valentine's Day. Common gifts are: Flowers, particularly red roses; chocolates and/or candy; teddy bears; toy hearts; sparkling wine; cosmetics; clothing, including lingerie and jewelry.

Some people celebrate Valentine's Day lavishly. They may treat their partner to a themed meal in a restaurant or a night in a luxury hotel. Others may take short breaks or vacations on Valentine’s Day. Valentine's Day can also be an occasion for a more general celebration of love and appreciation of people who are personally important to an individual. School children may help decorate their classrooms with hearts and spring birds and make cards or presents for their parents. Stores may also sell Valentine's Day themed cakes, cookies or candy. Teenagers and young adults may hold Valentine's Day parties or dances on or near February 14.
We usually spend the evening at home with a nice dinner and a little wine.
How about you?
I'd love to hear how you celebrate if you do or if you don't. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Do you enter contests? Is it to get comments to improve your writing? Does it help sell books? Any other reasons? How much do you spend in a year on entry fees?
I'm not a contest person. Years ago I entered contests but found the critique provided, as well as the scores varied from 2 - 5 out of 5 in one contest. Which suggestions do you take?
However, I have entered the JABBIC because it's for one of my covers, which I really like and I want to recognize my cover artist.

Here's information on the JABBIC. Judging for the Readers' Choice Award in Houston Bay Area RWA's 2013 Judge A Book By Its Cover contest is now open.  The Readers' Choice winners will be featured on HBA RWA's website at
Anyone can judge, so spread the word.  We know you're proud of your covers. Let the whole world see and judge them.
The following link will take you to the Readers' Choice page.  Follow the instructions there to vote on all the covers.
My cover MISSING, is listed alphabetically under the Contemporary series.

If you'd like to score my cover I'd be thrilled, but there are also a lot of other great covers, so if you have time, scroll down each category and score as many covers as you'd like. Maybe there are names there you recognize. I've seen quite a few from various loops and organizations that I belong to and I've scored all of them.

It's kind of a neat contest. I'm not sure how they pick a winner but it's a great way to display some awesome covers.

I'd love to here from you on your opinions about contests and if you're in the JABBIC, post with the name of your book so I can check out your cover.