Saturday, August 29, 2015

Welcome, Janet Lane Walters

1: Thank you so being for being here Janet Lane Walters. 
First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
 If we don't count papers and doodling with stories in high school or care studies in nurses' training, I'd say my first attempts began in 1967. I was first published in 1968 with a series of short stories and some poetry. Then I graduated to novels when an editor said my short story sounded like a synopsis for a novel.
2:Great way to start. Tell us, What or Who inspired you to write?
Not sure anyone inspired me. I've always been a reader with a library card since I was four years old. Actually I wanted to be a journalist but college was out of the question so I became a nurse. Reading was my inspiration. We were living in a small town with a limited library leaving me with nothing to read. That's when I decided to write my own stories. Took a few years of reading books on "How to" and sending stories out in the mail, retyping them when they came back and sending them out again before I sold a short story. Then I was hooked.
3:Ah the dreaded rejection and felling of elation from that first sale. I remember it well. What do you like the most and least about writing?
There is nothing about the process of writing I don't like. To me they're all part of the process. From the idea to blocking the story to writing and re-writing, revision I find each part has its own joys. To me all is a challenge and knowing I'll reach the end of a story always spurs me on.
4: It's definitely a challenge. Okay tell us, what do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?
When not writing I do a lot of reading, crossword puzzles, listen to classical musicals and catch up on favorite crime show. I also spend a lot of time tending to a semi-invalid husband. Plus phone calls to distant in location grandchildren and visiting with the ones close at hand.
5:Sounds like a busy life. So, which authors do you like to read?
This is a very hard question since I read a lot and read a variety of authors. There are many of the BWL authors stories I enjoy, plus people I've been reading for years and contemporary authors. As to picking a favorite often it's who I'm reading or re-reading at the time. The list would take a page or two on your blog so I'll just say they cover every genre except horror. 
6:Great answer. I always found that question difficult to answer also. Tell us one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
Interesting question And I really can't think of much. Maybe that I'm a Cancer with six planets in that sign a Taurus Ascendant with Uranus, the planet of the unexpected sitting on the Ascendant. Makes life interesting.
7: Wow, sounds interesting. Tell us about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.
My latest published novel is part of the Opposites in Love series. This one is called The Gemini - Sagittarius Connection. The heroine is a nurse with a pair of ten year old twin sons. She's a widow and has brought her sons to Eastlake to remove them from bad influences in the city. She has a connection to the heroines of the other stories in the series since they all went to the same college nursing program. Liz doesn't want another husband. Her dead husband was a hero who died rescuing children from a fire. She figures once is enough. She is a Gemini.
The hero is the Sagittarius and he often suffers from foot in mouth disease. He's a widower and isn't looking for another marriage. His first one was perfect in his eyes until she died. He is taken by the twin boys and steps in to be a male figure in their lives. Once he realizes he loves Liz he knows he must find a way to persuade her to take a chance.
8:Sounds like a great book. I'm a Gemini. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Tips for the aspiring author. 1. Write every day even if it's no more than a paragraph. 2. Persistence pays so continue writing and sending your stories out for people to read. 3. Listen to what your editor says. 4. Remember your words aren't carved in storm. You can delete and change them at will.
9: Great advice. A question I'm sometimes asked, do you base your characters on real-life people?
Perhaps in a general way but not on particular people. Sometimes I use people I know traits but most of my characters are pulled from the air and from my observation and by using Astrology to develop their inner nature, their emotional nature and the face they show the world.
10:I love using Astrology for my characters traits. So then where do you get your ideas?
I'm not sure where my ideas arrive. A number of my stories are based on my love of ancient Egypt. Four of the YAs were inspired by my grandchildren. My work as a nurse definitely inspired other stories. I may have a twisted mind and something I read or see might trigger the idea for a story.
11:I know what you mean, it's strange where our ideas come from.  Off the topic of writing, what’s one thing no one knows about you?
I'm not sure there's anything that someone doesn't know. I've met and made friends of many people in my many years of life.
12. Who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?
There are a number of books I've read more than once. One author is Jane Austen and I've read all her books more than once. Tolstoy is another. Read all his books. I really can't name a favorite author or book but Anna Karenina comes close to being a favorite. This book also nearly found me kicked out of school in the third grade.
When she reached the nurses' station, she halted abruptly. Jeff Carter, the man who'd resided in her daydreams for years, stood at the unit clerk's desk. "Where's the new nurse manager?"
"Here," Liz said. "I'm Liz Jordan, and you are?"
"Dr. Jeff Carter, not to be confused with my son." He smiled.
Liz grasped the edge of the counter. "Since I know Alex, there'll be no confusion. Is there a problem?"
He nodded. "On Friday, there was a medication error involving one of my patients. I was told the incident report was in your office. I want to see it."
She frowned. She'd looked through all the papers that were in the basket and hadn't seen any incident report. "Let me look."
"Don't you think incident reports are important?"
"I didn't find one on my desk, but I'll check the drawers."
As they strode down the hall, he told her what he'd learned. "Someone on this unit is responsible. I spoke to the pharmacist on duty. He said a nurse had insisted she'd spoken to me, and I'd ordered penicillin on a patient who's allergic to that medicine. No one called my office. I want to know who's behind this."
"So do I." Liz checked the papers on her desk and searched the drawers. "Not here. Maybe Delores put it with the things she removed from the office."
"Find her." Ice coated his voice.
"On my way."
"One thing you'd better make clear to your entire staff. Any time there's a question about one of my orders, I expect a phone call."
Liz turned. "That's standard practice. Who signed off the order and sent it to the pharmacy?"
He shrugged. "Writing's on a par with mine."
Liz smiled. “Won’t be a problem when the computers arrive.”
“Not you, too. Find that incident report.”
Liz found Delores in the lounge. "Dr. Carter would like to see the incident report from Friday. It wasn't in my office."
Delores smiled. "Maybe I accidentally put it with my things. I'll check my locker and bring it to you."
"Thanks. He's a tense man."
Delores laughed. "Maybe he should be."
Ten minutes after Liz reached the nurses' station, Delores arrived. "Found it. Dr. Carter, I understand your patient was fortunate."
Jeff Carter's mouth formed a taut line. "Weren't you in charge Friday? Where were you when the incident occurred?"
The blonde rested one hand on her hip. "Taking some comp time. I'm sure I told the clerk to call your office."
The thin woman wheeled in her chair. "You never."
"Then I must have told the patient's nurse. These new grads let everything fluster them."
By the time the stories were checked, Liz had no idea what had happened. The incident report was no help. She frowned. Delores had signed the report, yet she denied being on the unit when the wrong medicine was given. "How could you sign a report when you weren't here?"
Delores opened a drawer. "Pre-signed forms. The nurse manager only needs to sign that the nurse made it out."
Liz lifted the forms from the drawer. "This won't happen again."
"Better not." Jeff picked up a stack of charts. "Mrs. Jordan , I'll speak with you after I've seen my patients and talked to their nurses."
Liz watched him walk away. She would rather hide, but she couldn't. She returned to her office and added more items to her growing list. How could one person sort out chaos?
"Mrs. Jordan ."
His deep voice sent chills along her skin. "Dr. Carter, come in."
He closed the door. "I know it's your first day, but do you have any idea when you'll have a smooth operation here?"
She wanted to laugh, but that would be the wrong approach. "I've a list of areas where improvements are needed and some ideas of how they can be accomplished. But to give you a date, sorry."
"I wish you luck."
"Thanks. I'll be speaking to all the doctors and asking for suggestions. Do you have any?"
He smiled. "A few hundred. We should name a time and place for a meeting."
"I'd like that." She mentally ran through a list of those who should be included.
"How about joining me for dinner on Friday?"
"Sure. No, wait . . . ." She'd answered before she thought, before she remembered this was real and not part of a fantasy. She shook her head. "Not dinner."
"Strictly business."
"We can meet here, or you could tell me now." Did he hear the panic in her voice?
"Can't today. I've office hours, and I need to organize my ideas. Not here either. Too many curious eyes."
She frowned. "Why would anyone be curious about a meeting in this office?"
"Don't ask."
"Let me talk to Eric. I'm sure we can use the conference room and ask the other doctors to come."
"Friday. I'll pick you up at seven."
"Tell me where, and I'll meet you." She'd also ask Eric and Jenessa to join them.
"You're new in town."

"Not that new. I went to Grantley with Megan." She chewed on her lower lip. Why had she reminded him? Evidently, he didn't remember how she'd made a fool of herself. Liz stared at her desk. This was the moment she'd dreamed of for years. Dreamed was the key word. Reality wasn't safe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Welcome, Victoria Chathman

1: Thank you so much for being here, Victoria Chatham

First up is the obligatory question. When did you first
begin writing?
As soon as I could hold a crayon. I wrote letters and words, never pictures of cats or dogs, and it was not at all appreciated by my family. I could read and write before I started school so I suppose short story and essay writing came relatively easily to me. I won several first prizes for essay writing and I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen, but did not pursue a writing career until I was in my fifties.

2:Sounds like so many authors. So what or Who inspired you to write?
My husband Nitch (a nickname – only his mother and the government referred to him as Neil John) really pushed me to write. I think he got tired of hearing me talking about writing but never doing it. He found me a writers group and made sure I went to an open evening, he bought me a typewriter and later my first computer. Every day he asked if I’d written anything yet and if the answer was no (it usually was, I managed a busy self storage facility at that time) then he’d take over what needed to be done so I had the time to write. My only regret is that he passed away before seeing my first book published. With his photo above my writing desk I don’t dare give up now! As far as other authors go, I really liked Maeve Binchy for the way she developed her characters and Rosamund Pilcher for her descriptions and the flow of her writing. However, my first love was Regency romance as portrayed by Georgette Heyer, and I was a Jane Austen fan from when I first read ‘Emma’ at school.

3: I’m sorry your husband never sat your first book published, but I’m sure he’s very proud of you. A question I’m often asked, what do you like the most and least about writing?

I really love getting new characters and ideas and can easily get lost in any research I might have to do but then comes the hard slog, the actual writing. Getting myself organized to sit down and write gets punctuated with procrastination. I think it’s residual fear that this book might not be good enough for a reader to enjoy it but I am getting past that. One thing I still struggle with is making my villains villainous enough. I think I’m too tender hearted as I always try to find the best in them, or explain why they are the way they are.

4: Even villains have some good points. Tell us what do you do for fun and relaxation when not writing?
Oh goodness! Have we got time? I love being outdoors so walk, hike and trail ride when I can. I love horses so volunteer at Spruce Meadows a world class show jumping center south of Calgary, listen to music – depends on my mood as to whether it be classical (especially Mozart), blues or good old rock ‘n roll. I love the movies too and have a good movie buddy but in between going to the theatre I’ll watch movies on Netflix. And I read a lot which really is a prerequisite for being a writer.

5: Sounds like a busy life. Which authors do you like to read?
Other than those previously mentioned, I really like Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley, Jo Goodman, Tami Hoag, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follet. I think it goes without saying that I’m also a fan of all our great Books We Love authors, Juliet Waldron, A.M. Westerling and Killarney Sheffield particularly. I have to say that even though I was not a fan of history when at school because I could never remember dates, I now find it fascinating.

6: Funny how we change with time. So, what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
You do ask some difficult questions Ro! I really had to think about this one. I suppose though that, despite being an on the plump side, bespectacled 72 year old grandma, I still have an adventurous soul and like to challenge myself.

7: I love adventures. Tell uw about your current novel, where can we find it and your website/blog.
My most recent release was the boxed set trilogy, The Buxton Chronicles, comprised of Cold Gold, On Borrowed Time and Shell Shocked. It’s available at My current work in progress is Loving That Cowboy, a western contemporary romance which should be available in September and I have to say that switching from historical to contemporary is more of a challenge than I thought it would be. There’s more about me and my books at

8:Wow, that is a drastic change. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Writing is by nature a lonely path, so I’d recommend anyone to find a good, supportive writers group. Attending workshops and presentations helps a lot as does having good craft books and actually reading them, not just having them decorate your bookshelf. Once you are comfortable with your writing, a good critique partner who can provide you with constructive criticism can be invaluable too.

9: Great avice. A question I’m often asked, do you base your characters on real-life people?
I think all writers do to a certain extent. I know I’ve seen people do something, heard them say something, and made a note to myself for future reference or use when building my characters.

10: Very true. Where do you get your ideas?
I’m maybe lucky in that characters present themselves to me. I first have an image of them, they soon tell me their name and the era in which they live. Then I Google what happened in that year to see if I can use historical facts to build a plot around them.

11: Ah,you are lucky. Tell us one thing no one knows about you?
That when I was a teenager and in the Territorial Army (army reserve force in the UK) I drove a tank. I’m not sure whose heart beat faster, mine or my instructor’s!

12. Wow, that sound like a story waiting to be written. So, who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?
It is still Georgette Heyer and especially her book Frederica as whenever I reread it I find it as fresh and funny as when I first read it.

 Excerpt from Cold Gold, Book 1 in The Buxton Chronicles.

Serena considered the irony of the two women’s situations. Lorelei, with her genteel
upbringing, now owning a bawdy house. Maggie using her proceeds from prostitution to fund respectable businesses.
“So,” Maggie’s voice broke the silence. “What do you intend on doing with your Randolph gone?”
Serena put her cup down. “I have to find him,” she said. “But I really don’t know how I shall accomplish that, especially as Mr. Harris will not allow me access to Randolph’s funds.”
“Will he not?” Maggie’s face flushed with outrage. “The old skinflint.”
“Well, unfortunately he does have a point.” Serena told them about her meeting with Frank Harris. “So you see, I am in a rather difficult position. I have next to no money, no access to funds, and absolutely no idea what to do next.”
Serena didn’t like the mischievous glint that appeared in Maggie’s eyes, or her suggestion that she should apply to Lorelei for a position in her house.
“’Course, if I told you some of the positions that could earn you some very good coin, you might not believe me.” Maggie rolled her eyes suggestively and Lorelei giggled and cuffed her arm.
“Don’t tease her, Maggie. I’m sure we can find something for her to do.” Lorelei looked hopefully at Serena. “Can you teach?”
Serena shook her head.
“I can barely thread a needle.”
“The only time I have ever set foot in a kitchen was to discuss menus with our cook.”
“Well, what can you do?
Serena didn’t think horse riding and pheasant shooting would be of any account, but she did have one skill. If she dared do it. She looked from Maggie to Lorelei and back again.
“I can sing.”

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Welcome, Joan Donaldson-Yarmey

1: Thank you so much for being here, Joan Donaldson-Yarmey. First up is the obligatory question. When did you

first begin writing?

My first attempts at writing were back in the 1970s when my children were small. However, I didn't have anything published until 1987.

2: Same thing with me. What or Who inspired you to write?
I was a stay-at-home mom and I loved reading. I decided to try writing as a hobby.

3: Wow, that’s pretty much what I did. So tell us, what do you like the most and least about writing? I like research, coming up with story ideas, and seeing a finished book published. I sometimes don't like the writing process, especially when it is going slow.  

4: Nothing worse than a slow moving book. I’m experiencing the same thing with WIP. Okay, so  what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

I live on a small acreage with lots of fruit trees so in the summer I love going out and grazing for fruit. In the winter I enjoy reading.

5: Sounds like fun. I used to love gardening. Which authors do you like to read?
I like mystery novels so I try to read a variety of mystery writers.

6: My favorites also. Tell us the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I love life.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it
and your website/blog.
My latest novel, published by Books We Love Ltd, is called
The Criminal Streak. It is science fiction and the first of two books from the Cry of the Guilty-Silence of the Innocent series. It can be found on Smashwords as an ebook and will be in print this fall. The second one is called Betrayed and it will be out as an ebook in October.

8: Sounds interesting. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
In the beginning take some courses just to give you an
idea of how to put a story together. But know when to stop taking those courses and start writing.

9:Great advice. Do you base your characters on real-life people?
 Not really but I sometimes give them names from real people in my life.

10: Tell us where you get your ideas?
The usual places like news stories, overheard conversations, and sometimes an idea just comes to me. That is where I got the idea for The Criminal Streak and Betrayed.

11: I love using overheard conversations. What’s one thing no one knows about you?
There are a lot of things people don't know about me and a little mystery never hurt anyone.

12. LOL great answer. Who’s your favorite author and what’s your favorite book?
I don’t really have a favorite author. There are writers I like to read but after a while I find their books all start to sound the same. The one book I read that really made me look at writing differently was Barney's Version by Mordecai Richlier. I really liked the way he wove the tale and presented the ending.

Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors evolved from being hunter-gatherers to growing and harvesting their own food. They also began inventing tools to make their lives easier. This two-book story could be one explanation as to why.
Two asteroids collided out in space. Both were bumped out of their orbits and one broke into pieces. Two of those pieces soared towards an occupied planet. One hit land, throwing a thick layer of dust into the air and starting countless raging fires which consumed towns and cities. The other landed in an ocean, creating massive tidal waves on most shores. The waves submerged islands and swamped half the land on the continents, drowning all people and animals in its path.
The dust formed a blanket and the plants on the land not hit by the waves died for lack of sunlight and moisture. The masses of inhabitants who survived the fires and tidal waves choked to death or died of starvation. When the water finally subsided it exposed the islands, now bare, and left huge lakes on the continents. It took months for the people living on the untouched areas of the planet to assess the destruction. One‑third of the planet’s former landmass was under water or covered by a dust mantle and half of the planet’s population had died.
During that time the true horror of the catastrophe done by the asteroids was revealed. The bump occurred when the planet was in its equinox and that was how it stayed. The middle section or equator permanently faced the sun as it rotated. Over the next few years the hotter rays burned off the ozone layer at the equator. The sun shone with a brilliant white light and the land for long distances on both sides of the equator could no longer support life.
Great bands of habitants trekked north and south looking for a new place to live. Fences, patrolled by armed guards, were erected around the towns and cities in their paths, but they were hungry and angry and could not be stopped. Thousands were killed as they swarmed through the towns and cities, looting stores for food and water and clothing, and setting fires. But when that was over there was still no place for them to go and no food for them to eat and hundreds of thousands starved to death before tent cities could be set up and meagre rations of food distributed.
Fear, and the knowledge that this may be their only chance, drove all the countries of the planet to join as one large Global Alliance. Leaders worked together to find the best way to save their species. To the north and south, where the ozone layer was thicker, the weather was more temperate. The alliance decreed this land was to be used to grow grains, vegetables, and domesticated animals sufficient to feed the people.
In what became known as the Great Change, twenty mega-cities known as megalopolises were built on huge tracts of arid land close to the farmland. They consisted of levels dug into the ground and ones rising above ground. Once they were completed, all the people who weren’t farmers were moved to the cities where they were given jobs and provided with rent-free apartments until they could afford to buy.
The villages, towns, and cities were then demolished so the land could be turned into more farmland. Special forests were planted for the cultivation of medicinal plants as well as for the small percentage of air purification they provided. It took years for the farmers to kill the remaining plants and work the land for seeding. They went as high up the mountain sides as trees had been able to grow and claimed the edges of the deserts through irrigation. What was too rocky or had substandard soil was turned into feedlots or pasture for the animals. Any other species of animal not of direct benefit to the dominant race was exterminated.
Scientists developed new strains of grains and vegetables that grew faster and larger so that six crops could be planted in a year. Animals were fed growth hormones and were ready for market in half the normal time. Great fishing farms were set up in the oceans and lakes.
At the same time there were purges. The Leaders decreed that everyone must have a job. So began the Tech Purge. Technology that had been developed over hundreds of years, first to make life easier and then to increase company profits by eliminating the worker, was banned. Walled‑in industrial parks were erected beside each megalopolis and any company that wanted to move there had to convert back to people power. Soon, the equipment that had taken over assembly lines, the apparatuses that had mixed and built, and the computers that had done the thinking were thrown into Tech Dumps. Residents ran the looms to make cloth, used the scissors to cut the patterns, made the garments. They worked in the assembly lines that built everything, they filled the ledgers, and they made the bread.
When a walkway in the megalopolises had to be repaired, the residents mixed the moon dust compound by hand and carried it in buckets to the repair site. When the streets needed sweeping, they were out in force with brooms. When a new level was to be constructed they carried the materials, mixed the moon dust, poured the bricks, and built the apartments. Everyone capable of working had a job and everyone earned enough to look after his or her needs. It was only where the lift and carry was too heavy for the workers or the distance of transport was too far that limited machinery was used.
Some remnants, such as telephones for communication and television for in-home entertainment, had been kept. Only government run agencies had computers. Education, especially history, was encouraged.
During the Corruption Purge, it was decided that anyone who committed a crime was not to be tolerated. All first time convicted criminals, no matter what they had done, were sent to the Fringes, former cities near the megalopolises, for five years. What they did there was of no concern to the justice system, but if they were caught back in the giant cities during their term, their sentences were doubled and they were sent to the Orbital Prisons. Anyone in the megalopolises who committed murder or sold drugs, which included tobacco, was automatically jailed in the prisons. Those sentences ranged from ten years to life.
Present life was good. The population was growing slowly, the food supply increasing. The one drawback, though, was crime. It, too, was increasing and they were running out of room to house their prisoners.