Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Darlene: I write contemporary romances on the sweeter side. I like focusing on the relationship between the hero and heroine. I also enjoy mixing a few twists and turns into the plot.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Darlene: I wasn’t really influenced by anyone in particular. I love reading, so one day in my teens, I picked up a pencil and plotted the story spinning in my head.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Darlene: This is going to sound crazy, but my answer is housework. While cleaning the house, a new story will suddenly come to life in my head, or ideas on a current story will work its way through a difficult scene.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Darlene: My favorite cartoon character is Snoopy. I love dogs! Snoopy is adorable. I can draw him, and I have several Snoopy pins.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Darlene: I have two. 1. Carol Burnett, because she is my favorite comedic actress. 2. Michael Buble because I love his music. My husband got us tickets to see him in concert in 2020, but due to Covid, the concert was cancelled. I was heartbroken because I was this close to seeing Buble live.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Darlene: Good question! Probably read or catch up on the movies I have recorded. Or maybe design a new video book trailer for one of my books. I’d probably waste most of my free day wondering what to do, lol.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Darlene: I am writing the next book in my Redford Falls Series. The next five books will focus on the Marley brothers, starting with the eldest brother, Ethan. I am also plotting a new book that follows Cherry Red, my ice cream story (coming soon!). The spin-off will have Brando, Carly’s firefighting brother, getting a big surprise.
Blurb for Under The Apple Blossoms
A tragic accident tore them apart. She left him behind and broke his heart. Is he strong enough to risk it again?
Police officer, Tyler Kringle, keeps his heart locked behind bars. His first and only love, Maripier Nadeau, left Redford Falls many years ago after a family tragedy. She moved on, leaving him to pick up the shattered pieces of his heart. But now Maripier is home to care for her father and to attend a dedication ceremony in her mother’s honour. Her return rattles Tyler’s cage, causing old emotions to resurface. Once he discovers the truth from the past, can he reclaim the love of his life and lock-down their future before she leaves again?
Excerpt for Under The Apple Blossoms
Glancing in the rearview mirror, she lifted her foot to let the vehicle slow. Stupid. Fleeing the accident and speeding away from the police was a rash judgment call. The kind officer seemed quite taken with her car, and the pony warranted the enthusiasm. The policeman, whose tall, fit body filled out his uniform, had short dark brown hair with layers blending into the top. She sensed a strange pull toward him, and when he removed his sunglasses and she looked into his eyes, she understood the attraction. It took only a second to make the connection. The hot police officer was none other than the ex she left behind so many years ago. The revelation soured their casual banter. Seeing Tyler stole her breath, and the clear blue sky turned dark and stormy. Thankfully, he hadn’t recognized her. Maripier expected to see him at some point, but not within minutes of arriving. Taken aback, she ran. Just like before.
Buy Links for Under The Apple Blossoms
Social Media Links
Author Web Site: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/
A typical teenager of the 70’s, he spent hours playing baseball, tennis, band, and dumping hard earned quarters into his favorite arcade games.
He retired from the Air Force in 2000 and began working in the technology department of a local sheriff’s office, where he will soon retire.
A lover of both PC and console games, Bob has spent many hours immersed in the lands of role playing and make-believe with friends and family. This is where his love of writing took off as he and his online friends spent hours writing epic tales of fantasy, love, and adventuring. Oh, and dragon slaying. One can’t forget that.
He is married to his best friend and love of his life, Pam. They live on their small ranch/farm in Clarksville where Pam keeps him busy with the multitude of chores that come with having three horses and four cats. He has three great kids who are the lights of their life.
Fate Takes a Hike
This book is a result of a challenge I set myself in July of 2020. I’ve always been a puttering kind of writer. Small stories here and there, usually a result of some game I was playing or some small moment that caught my eye or popped into my head.
One evening in July of 2020, my lovely wife and I were watching a Hallmark movie. We enjoyed watching them as they always make you feel good and we had our favorite sets of actors/actresses.
For some reason, that one night, I turned to my wife and said “You know, I think I could write one of these stories. I’d make it a bit more edgy, but I could do this. Guy, gal, plot, love story, conflict, happy ever after. I could do that.”
She looked at me with that quirky smile of hers and said “You probably could.” Then she went back to her reading.
For the next couple of days, I let my mind wander over story ideas. ON July 7th, I opened of a Google Doc file, and 4 months later, I had my first draft of the story.
I hope the story lets the readers know that when you let it, love can heal a broken heart and bring life and love back into your life.
Mist from the early morning rain clung to the trees and mixed with the light breeze to cool the sweat on my face as I walked up the small trail.
Just past the halfway point to the glade, I stepped over the roots of old Splitjaw. At some point in its past, the aged fir tree had been bent over and broken, creating a necklike structure where the shattered ends split open, making the trunk look like the opened jaws of an alligator. Kara, my fiancé, named it Splitjaw during our first hike in this area.
I smiled, thinking back to that day and her silliness. She’d insisted that Splitjaw needed to be fed. She had dug through her backpack and pulled out some beef jerky, which she opened and stuck in its jagged “mouth.” Pleased with herself, she’d shouldered her pack and continued with our trek.
Digging into one of the cargo pouches on my pants, I pulled out the strips of beef jerky I brought with me for this very moment. I unwrapped them and placed them into Splitjaw’s mouth. Pocketing the wrapper, I patted the tree and proceeded on my way. Tradition satisfied.
It was close to noon when I stepped out of the trees and into the clearing. Sunlight bathed the meadow. The tall, waving grasses forming a sea of green, almost like a calm lake. The lone Oregon white oak dominated the center of the clearing, a soldier standing guard over the meadow and its denizens. I had no idea how that acorn made it to this area, but I was happy that it had found a home here.
Its branches spread outward to provide shelter and shade to all those who gathered below them, perfect for the task I had given it.
I drew in a cleansing breath, shaking myself from my reverie, and continued walking until I stood under the oak’s branches. I unshouldered my backpack and set it down against the tree before letting one hand rest gently on its trunk.
“Sorry I’m late. I was finishing up some drywall in one of the upstairs bedrooms and lost track of time.”
I bent down, opened up the pack, and pulled out a collapsible rake. Unfolding it as I stood, I began clearing the detritus of small limbs and leaves from around the area.
“It took longer than I planned, but I got the flooring finished in the kitchen. I know we talked about that white checkered slate tile, but it was out of stock and the backorder was going to take too long. So, I ended up doing a grey, sixteen-inch tile that has four small black diamonds in the center. I think it looks fantastic against the backsplash.”
I continued my rundown of my construction highlights as I kept raking.
Satisfied that no limbs or leaves remained, I collapsed the rake, stowed it back in the pack, and pulled out a small set of shears. I squatted down on one knee and began trimming the grass around the two small bronze markers. I worked in thoughtful silence, letting the metallic snip-snip of the trimmers soothe my mind and heart as I cleared back the grass and weeds that had grown since my last visit.
Once everything was pruned to my liking, I stowed the shears and retrieved a small rag and bottle of brass cleaner. Pouring a small bit of the solution onto my cloth, I began scrubbing the bird droppings off the markers.
With the bronze gleaming again, I stowed all of my tools and supplies and gazed down at the markers, telling myself I wouldn’t cry even as the first tear worked its way down my cheek. Every time I thought I had cried myself out, I found that with these two, I never would.
“I love you both,” I whispered, letting my fingers lightly brush the metal.
I stood up, grabbing my backpack and swinging it up and onto my back. I shrugged my shoulders a couple of times to seat the straps comfortably, then fastened the belly band, tugging on it to make sure it was tight.
With a final, pained glance at the markers, I turned and headed east, passing quickly out of the meadow and into the trees beyond.
Buy Links for Fate Takes a Hike
Amazon - both formats
Barnes and Noble - both formats
Google Play - EBook
Kobo - EBook
Social Media Links
Yes, I delete scenes. Earlier when I was writing one of my fantastic scenes and when I read it over it added nothing to the story. I knew I couldn’t leave it in, but it was so great. I put it in a folder so I could use it later or even in another book. I never did reuse it.
I still delete scenes. These days it’s usually part of a scene., usually part of a scene. I find myself writing into a corner and I may not find my way out, so I cut it and start over. I hit writer’s block and when I go over the scene, I try to write I find I’m trying to make my characters do something that goes against their personality and beliefs. So, I cut the scene and go back to where the character wants me to go. When I cut them now, they get tossed. I’ve learned if they get cut they probably aren’t that good.
When I’m writing a scene there are some things a good scene needs. The setting needs to be clear to the reader at the beginning. The scene needs to share important information to the reader about the characters and/or the story. There needs to be a clear goal about what the scene needs to accomplish. Conflict and action are important and should result in an emotional change and end the scene with an ending that keeps the readers turning one more page.
I’m looking forward to reading about other writers have to say about their scenes.
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2n4
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com
Beverley: What’s your name and where did you grow up?
Gillian: Hey. I’m Gillian Davis from Sugar Creek, Missouri, outside of St. Louis. If you’ve never heard of it like most people, it’s a little town outside of Kansas City.
Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?
Gillian: My story in Becker Circle and Dark Energy, Return to Becker Circle is current. Luckily all of the craziness in my life happened before the pandemic hit. The outcomes may have been entirely opposite if the timing was different.
Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
Gillian: I worked hard to graduate early from Harvard last December then start over in Dallas with a good accounting job and my own apartment in Becker Circle. I’d be happy anywhere but Sugar Creek after Mom’s death and losing Dad to the bottle. Then there’s what my ex did on my last birthday. Boston’s not big enough for both of us. They say Becker Circle is the “it” place to live. I call it home now, but the fresh start has been way harder than it should be.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?
Gillian: Why does crime always find me? Or do I find crime? All I want is a good job, a few friends who accept me for who I am, and to be happy. Meeting a fun guy who’s good to me wouldn’t be so bad either. I’ve met amazing people and had three job opportunities, but luck hasn’t been on my side.
Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?
Gillian: I’ve come so far since moving to Dallas. Taking the bartending job was a blessing and a curse. It’s how I met Jon but also where I saw someone die. It led me to Pinkie and my new career but almost got me killed. Then the FBI arrested Pinkie for a cryptojacking scheme leaving me to run his two bars. It’s been tough. Now I’m not sure if I’m an accountant, bar manager, or crime fighter.
Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?
Pinkie is my mentor and my friend. I will not let him go down for something he
didn’t do so I force myself to trust the cops, people who had hurt me, and
others I know are criminals. Those criminals upped the ante in
this war. Now it’s our move. The good news is no one except for me knows what
our move might be.
Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Gillian: I always keep my word, no matter what, even if it gets in the way of my happiness. That’s why rule eighteen of my new life is, “Never make a promise I can’t keep.”
Blurb for Dark Energy:
Cybercrime doesn’t talk. It creeps in and destroys lives right under Gillian’s nose when a cryptojacking scheme lands her boss, Pinkie, in jail. Gillian had just started over with a new career, boyfriend, and confidence after escaping a vicious murder investigation that shattered her ability to trust. Then Pinkie’s arrest leaves her struggling to run his two bars while also unraveling the conspiracy.
Gillian will not let her mentor and friend go down for something he didn’t do. Neither will Jon, the most talented musician on the bar’s stage and the perfect boyfriend...until his good fortune sends her reeling. Gillian forces herself to trust the cops, people who hurt her, and known criminals. Will it be enough to free Pinkie and save her life? Watch the book trailer https://youtu.be/tK0s7Y6FP2Y.
Excerpt from Dark Energy:
I lock the front door behind him, stash the cash in the safe, and log the receipts, just realizing how not enough rest has caught up with me. Sleep will be welcome after last night. I turn off the last light and head through the heavy back door to the parking garage when strong arms wrap around me from behind.
A rag covers my face, garbling my scream. Exhaustion converts to fear. All I see is cloth and concrete.
I swing my body around with everything I have to escape my captor’s hold before everything goes black.
Time passes before I come to. How much, I have no idea. I struggle to break loose. My arms and legs are tied to a chair, and my face is covered. “Where am I?
Who’s here?” My heart might pound through my ribs.
“Hello, Gillian. Sorry to drop in uninvited.”
“It’s you. Again.” I’ll never forget the voice I heard the first time someone held me hostage after Bobby died.
“Indeed, we meet again. Trust me, this is a friendly visit.”
“Then why am I tied up and blindfolded?” My heartrate slows. For some odd reason, I’m not afraid I’m about to die.
“Please don’t take it personally. It’s purely so I can remain anonymous.”
“We have these things today called phones. Don’t you guys use burners so no one can trace the calls? Might try that next time.”
“You being here is much more personal.”
Then why can’t I see him? Footsteps travel across the room.
“You and Pinkie have a nice place here.” Carl’s pots and utensils clank together like off-tuned chimes.
“I heard about Pinkie’s misfortune. If you want to keep this nice place, we need to work together.”
“Why would we work with some guy who keeps kidnapping me?”
“I always like your spirit, Gillian Davis. Your question is smart. There’s someone new in town. He’s trying to control Dallas. Keep hard working entrepreneurs like Pinkie and me from running our businesses.”
Buy Links for Dark Energy:
Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-energy-addison-brae/1137002173
Author proceeds go to Hope’s Door New Beginning Center to help fight domestic abuse.
Social Media Links for Addison
Connect with Addison on her website, Tirgearr Publishing, Amazon, BookBubInstagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Text “AddisonBrae” to 888.431.1137 or visit addisonbrae.com/contact and be the first to receive a text message (no more than 1 per month) on book launches, appearances, and book sales.
Summer is here and so is climate change apparently. Out here we’re setting records for high temperatures and forest fires. In other areas, they’re having torrential rains, winds, and tornadoes. How’s your summer going? I hope you’re managing whatever weather you have.
I‘m doing a little writing. I’ve finally set some goals. I’m editing and rewriting my latest WIP. It’s in a rough draft. I don’t have a title yet but I’m trying a few different ones. The two I’m working with at the moment are SHE SAW SHE RAN… MURDER UNLEASHED. I’m open to suggestions. If you check out my website for July, you’ll find an excerpt from the book there. https://www.beverleybateman.com/Scroll down, it’s under the picture of the wolfhound, one of the main characters. I’d love to hear any comments.
I also just posted the Wednesday question on https://www.facebook.com/WordbyWordWomen Would love to hear your answers.
Changing eating habits to be more climate-friendly is not only good for the environment and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it can also have an overall positive effect on our health. Choosing locally grown produce, fewer packaged items, and better-quality meat, eggs, and dairy are all habits that can lead to weight loss or maintenance as well as contributing to an overall feeling of nutritional wellbeing. What makes the climatarian diet so appealing is its lack of firm rules, which means you can incorporate as few or as many of the following suggestions as you would like.
- Eliminate or reduce the consumption of beef and lamb. Cattle that have been raised for milk, meat, or manure are responsible for roughly 65 percent of livestock emissions of greenhouse gases. If you’d still like to enjoy beef, buy it less often and look for local, organic options that come from reputable farms with a focus on animal welfare.
- Choose sustainable seafood, meaning it comes from an abundant, well-managed source. Look for the Ocean Wise Canada label wherever you buy seafood or browse the online directory for recommendations on buying in-season, responsibly harvested fish and shellfish.
- Opt for locally grown, seasonal produce whenever you can. Signing up for a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) box or shopping at the farmers market is not only beneficial for your health and the well-being of the environment, it’s also an impactful way to support the local economy.
- Cut down on food waste as much as possible. A 2017 study examining food loss in North America found that Canadians wasted 396 kilograms of food per person each year (the research accounted for food waste at all stages of the food supply chain.) Ideas for reducing food waste include buying only the food you need, following a strict grocery list, not grocery shopping while you’re hungry, and learning how to properly store and freeze leftover food.
- Learn how to dispose of food in a more environmentally friendly way. From urban composting to finding municipal recycling depots that accept food packaging and other flexible plastics, there are plenty of ways to rethink how common food waste is traditionally discarded.
- Be mindful of disposable products. Decrease your carbon footprint by bringing your own reusable cup to the coffee shop, keeping a stash of cloth grocery bags in the glove compartment, switching to washable cloth rags instead of paper towels, storing food in jars and resealable containers, and carrying a refillable water bottle with you at all times.
I’d love to hear your comments on this.