Moonlight And Mystery

Life starts all over in autumn

Life starts all over in autumnLife starts all over

when it gets crisp in the fall…

One of my favorite quotes, from my all-time favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, is when secondary character Jordan says, “Life starts all over when it gets crisp in the fall.” It always gives me a chill of exitement. Maybe it’s all those years of being a student and the sense of expectation, that this school year would be the one when everything was different and my life changed and got exciting. (My father always called the school years, “the best years of your life”. But they certainly weren’t for me.)

The Celts believed

the wheel of the seasons began on November first, and they celebrated the end of the old year on October 31. This celebration was called Samhain, which became our Halloween. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was very thin and the spirits of your ancestors might visit you. They had feasts so that there would be food to feed their spirit guests, and it’s likely some of the rituals we associate with Halloween—dressing in costume and carving faces on turnips and other vegetables (they didn’t have pumpkins in Europe), were ways to scare off the spirits, in case they were vengeful or malevolent.

I like the idea of autumn

being a time of new beginnings, especially in terms of writing. My garden is dying, which means I can invest more of creative and physical energy into writing. Instead of nurturing plants, I will nurture my book, and watch my characters come to life and grow and show me the way in the story. Fall brings the death of many plants, but they leave behind seeds and roots, the promise of new life in the future. Fall connects our past, scary or wonderful as it is, with a new beginning and a new opportunity.

Writing tip:

Learn the words you overuse and make a list for when you edit your book. Add to the list when you find new words you overuse. Then you can do a search for the offending words and eliminate most of them before you start the rest of the editing process.

Marketing tip:

The most successful writers develop a brand and stick to it. Even if you write in different genres, you need to create a sense of what links your books, and promote that. My brand is intense, passionate stories that connect to the past. Even when I write lighter, more humorous stories, or create modern characters, there is a thread of seriousness beneath the humor and some connection to another historical time period.

The idea for Lady of Steel

came to me over 20 years ago, and I even wrote a completely different version back then. But I think I had to get grow older (and hopefully wiser) to really understand the crux of the story. Women in medieval times had very little power. I wanted to show how a medieval woman, without stepping outside of traditional female roles, could take charge of her life. And of course, she needed a hero who would appreciate her for who she was, and admire her strength and resolve. Lady of Steel is the first book in my Medieval Ladies series. I hope readers enjoy Nicola’s and Fawkes’s story.

LADY OF STEEL, The first book in the Medieval Ladies Series, Coming in early 2018


One rapturous hour together sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. But when Fawkes returns from the horrors of the Crusades, he discovers Nicola is surrounded by a web of treachery. The battle-hardened knight and secret, wary woman must learn to trust each other. For only if they dare to allow the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the ruinous plot that threatens to destroy all their dreams.

About Mary:

Mary Gillgannon is the author of sixteen novels, mostly romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel..










Moonlight And Mystery

Do Characters Feed Your Muse

What Do You Do When You’re Stuck?

My current WIP is driving me over the edge. I’m on page 151. I was on page 151 yesterday, last week, and six months ago. My fear is I’ll be on page 151 a month from now. The story started off with a bang, and I flew through the first chapters as one idea after another popped into my head. My fingers couldn’t type fast enough.

And then…nothing. I hit a wall.

I’ve tried all the tricks…long walks, copious cups of coffee and wine, rehashing the plot, and free typing in the hopes a new idea will pop onto the page. I even changed my writing location and listened to inspiring music. Nothing. Zip. Not one fresh idea.

Can Your Characters Help When You’re Stuck?

I discussed my writer’s block with another author who’s published a long list of best sellers. She thinks I’m stumped because I’m not listening to my characters. I’m forcing them to act in ways against their natures. An author has to know her characters inside and out.

I respect this author, so I’m doing as she suggests. I’m re-examining my hero and heroine’s goals and motivations, figuring out what they desire above all else, and what they fear. Hopefully, this strategy works and I’ll conquer the dreaded page 151 and move on to page 152, 153, and onward until I type those two wonderful words…The End.

Author Writing Tip:

Read. Read books in all genres, both fiction and non fiction. Study how other authors craft sentences and paragraphs, develop plot and conflict. But mainly read for the pure pleasure of the written word.

Promo Tip:

Add a personalized author signature to the end of every email you send. This way someone can easily find out more about you or your books.

Can Your Characters Feed Your Muse


Sharla-Jean Bromley returns to her hometown after a seventeen-year absence with vengeance in her heart. From the very beginning, her plans go awry when she meets devastatingly handsome Josh Morgan, the man to whom her father left half of his multi-million dollar lumber mill.

Josh, suspicious of Sharla-Jean’s reasons for returning to town after such a long absence, vows to keep control of the company he feels is rightfully his. She is equally determined to prove she can run her father’s mill, even though it means working side-by-side with Josh, a man whose very presence evokes an attraction that is increasingly difficult for her to ignore. In the process, they must overcome a villain who’s determined to destroy both the lumber mill and their lives.

Will Sharla-Jean succeed and heal the anguish that has long filled her soul? Wills he and Josh find the passion of a lifetime?

Author Bio:

Bitter Legacy is C.B. Clark’s third romantic suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. My Brother’s Sins and Cherished Secrets were released in 2016. C.B. has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

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Moonlight And Mystery

Travel Experiences In Writing

I have been lucky in my life

I’ve traveled a lot. My mom, an artist and part time teacher, dreamed of going to France but my dad wouldn’t leave the country. She made contacts with people over there and one day, she went without him.

On her first trip, she was cat-sitting for a friend at her apartment in Paris. She had a blast. Another year, she met someone through a friend and landed an opportunity to stay in the south of France, in the charming Provence region. She did a lot of sketches which she used throughout the rest of her career as a print-maker.

I have some of her Provence scenes, she loved the stone buildings, steps, windows, churches, and the gardens around them. They are beautiful etchings I treasure, and she sold a lot of them too. With printmaking, you can make multiple originals, which she loved, as she dreaded selling a one-of-a-kind painting.

On that visit

she met a cousin of her host. He had a family with children around my age, and his wife and my mom discussed an exchange. So, when I was in my early 20s, my mom sent me to the south of France to stay with this family. The town where I stayed, and the old farmhouse, are in my next book, STOLEN. My French mom took me to Monaco once, during the day. The glamorous city made a huge impression on me.

More than a decade later

I met my husband who also loves to travel. He really needs to travel. On our honeymoon, we went to Europe and we visited my French family. My hubby charmed my French mom with his efforts at French, while I disappointed her with the rustiness of my French, which she had worked so hard to help me develop. I just never had much opportunity to use it, but her teasing was great, and I’m so glad we visited her, because she died young, before I could see her another time. I’m so glad she met my husband and vice versa.

On the last night in France, my husband and I were in Nice, because we planned to fly out of there in the morning. We decided to squeeze in one more country, and drove up to Monaco. It was quite dark when we arrived.

Monaco is gorgeous at night

in some ways, more so than daylight. We drove out to the Musee Oceanographic, which is a museum and aquarium for studying and teaching about the oceans of our world. It is built into the side of the cliffs on “the Rock” which is the local name for the old district, officially called Monaco Ville (Monaco City). The museum was closed but we could access the grounds and we ascended to the beautiful old brick streets and then to a lookout with a monument (a cannon with a pile of cannon balls). From there we could see back to the beautiful casino and the lights and landscaping of the Monte Carlo district, on the mountain opposite the harbor.

Port Hercule, with the yachts and the cruise ships glowing, was also stunning. As if that weren’t enough, in the other direction stood the palace, occupied by the king and queen of Monaco. It was white, with beautiful golden light shining all around the building and grounds.

Climbing back down to our car, through deserted terraced gardens, we both thought, this place would be great in a book. I wrote a novella in that setting and now I’m turning that novella into a novel, which I’ve called STOLEN. I hope to have it out this year, but it will probably be early January.


Travel Experiences In Writing


When risk manager Rain Cohen recognizes the diamond her company insures at a client in Monte Carlo as the one belonging to her murdered grandfather, she steals it back, but as she escapes, she’s kidnapped. When the kidnapper risks his life to save her and sets her free, she finds she can’t just forget him and escape with the gem.

Israeli secret agent Zev Ben-David is closing in on the people selling chemical weapons to the highest bidder when a thief steals the jewel at the center of the operation. Zev nabs the thief, who turns out to be the beautiful American woman he’s been watching. Why would an insurance lady steal a diamond from her client? Unless he can get the op back on track, millions of people will die.

With a killer after them and political forces pulling them apart, perhaps the greatest threat to Rain and Zev is the powerful attraction driving their choices.

Where to find Nicci:

I hope you will connect with me on social media. I love to stay in touch with my friends while I’m working on books, and if you sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook, you’ll know when the book is released. You can also find my other books, contemporary romances, on my website.





Moonlight And Mystery

How much is enough

Facing Down the “To-Do” List

Everywhere you look you’ll find articles about saving time or doing more with less time. I know, because I follow that click-bait like a rat to the cheese. Sometimes I’ll find a few suggestions to incorporate into my day, but unfortunately often it’s more of the same. As a society driven to be “on” 24/7, it’s hard to determine how much is enough.

As a fiction author, freelance writer, wife and mother with a day job, I often feel like some days I’m internally freaking the freak out that I’ll never conquer my to do list or sort through the endless emails filling my inbox.

One simple trick I’ve discovered

that helps calm my internal freak-out over my overflowing inbox is to go directly to my SPAM/Clutter/Junk emails. I know. What? Isn’t that the stuff we don’t want? Yes. Exactly.

I open that folder and scan through it quickly; just in case something important was shoved in there and then…I delete it. Eliminating twenty or more emails with one click feels awesome. I trick my mind into thinking I’ve made a ton of progress in a few seconds and now I feel ready to tackle my real emails. Shhh- don’t tell me that it was all junk. See if I wanted this post to be click-bait I could’ve titled about How to Save Time by Emptying your Email Folder with One Click. How much is enough for you?

Writing Tip:

Write blog posts or complete other promo in batches. It’s more time efficient once you’re in the flow and aren’t stopping and starting. For blog posts, I’ll determine the title for two to three upcoming blogs, put my bio at the end, maybe a few bulletins if I know the direction of the post and then start writing them. For tweets I’ll go to Hootsuite and schedule at least one tweet a day for the upcoming month.

Promo Tip:

Promotion is a marathon not a sprint. Instead of focusing most of your time during a release or a sale, do at least one thing to promote each day. Whether it’s a tweet, a post on your Facebook or a blog post. Your book may be a year old, but it’s still brand new to someone.

Evil Speaks Softly

How much is enough

Everyone has a story to tell. Even the dead.

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Author Bio:

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keep her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu, her teen twins & alpha hubby keep her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.






Moonlight And Mystery

Conjuring Stories From October Allure

October Sparks Mysterious Musings

Full, ripe, and abundant, October could be the harlot of the calendar months. Its hills and valleys are rouged with gleaming red, orange, and gold, and amber hues. Costume parties, county fairs, and harvest festivals dot our date books.

October makes us all a little giddy and dreamy as the temperatures cool enough to make sipping hot cider and mulled wines inviting. We may awaken to bright sunshine and be emerged into eerie fog before sundown. Its dropped leaves hide dangers lurking below.

Her salacious sunsets defer to spooky moons as the light wanes and those feathery evergreens twirl their skinny tips as though beckoning us further into the forest. With breathlessness comes a shudder. Shadows become stalkers.

This is why I adore October.

It sparks mysterious musings that flirt shamelessly before dashing away. That is, unless I grab them and put them to work for me. Conjuring stories from October allure feeds my muse.

See if you can find October’s influence in the opening chapter of Behind The Mask.

Chapter 1

What a spectacular autumn night in Italy for a costume party, Richard Tatinger thought. It’s almost a pity that before the midnight unmasking, someone will be dead. Almost a pity.

His camera was hidden by October’s overripe floral display draping the urn next to the corner bench where he sat, watching and plotting. Though he had avoided the authorities and sneaked back into Venice, it wasn’t solely for the privilege of photographing the tony incognito masquerade attendees filing up the walkway dressed as famous icons. His job tonight was much more important than shutter-snapping.

Instrumental music—Verdi,

possibly Beethoven, definitely not new age, he thought—floated across the Venetian canal. It washed over the arriving guests as they mounted the marble steps leading from the water up to the palazzo, obscuring voices to little more than a hum. Heel taps punctuated the percussion, or often wildly defied it, turning the classical sounds into jazzy beats.

Boats, bouncing to their own tunes, bobbled in the dock. They provided illumination in wavy light rays bent by the low-lying fog, their hulls reflecting the harbor lights in fog-shadowed waves. Occasionally one struck the pole it was tethered to, sending a crescendo into the mix. And then there were the bells…

 So sit back and enjoy.

Conjuring Stories From October Allure Grab your copy of Behind The Mask, pour a nice warm beverage, and cuddle up for a read that will add a little suspense and romance to your October. If that isn’t enough for you, it’s also dotted with lyrical Italian language in its setting of Venice, Italy.

If it’s a ghost story you’re interesting in, please check out The Haunting of William Gray. Perfect for the season, The Haunting of William Gray is just spooky enough to make your spine tingle.

About Renee

Renee Canter Johnson is the author of Acquisition, The Haunting of William Gray, and Herald Angels. Behind the Mask is her fourth novel with The Wild Rose Press and highlights her three favorite things: storytelling, travel and foreign food. Renee has studied in France and Italy, and is a fellow at Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and University of Iowa’s Novel Intensive Workshop. She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and two very spoiled German shepherds named Hansel and Gretel.

Renee Johnson is a member of the North Carolina Writer’s Network, Romance Writers of America, Women’s National Book Association, and She Writes. Her essays have appeared in Bonjour Paris, Study Abroad, and Storyhouse. She maintains two blogs: for travel insights and which is focused on her writing journey.

Behind The Mask

Renee Johnson


“The fog, signora. It was very thick right before you fell into the canal. Most people do not take risks in Venice during such low visibility.” There was a suggestion of culpability in his words that even he heard as they escaped him. His rawness was affecting his ability to remain objective.

“Venice?” Surprise rose in her voice. “Venice, Italy?”

“Yes, signora, you are in Venice, Italy.”

She looked off to the right, cocked her head to one side, and winced. “What am I doing in Venice?”

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Moonlight And Mystery

writing about your own situation

A Broken and Damaged Heroine

Much has been made of the strong heroine and a broken and damaged hero. Many bad boys have been brought around by a strong woman. In the book I just signed a contract for, A Balancing Act, I reversed that.

My heroine, Nora, has parents who owned a circus in the late 1800s. And, while she’s a star bareback rider, there is no real love in that family. When she loses her leg in an accident, they abandon her. It takes a young surgeon, John, to defy convention about getting too involved with his patients, to help her out.

Being confined to a wheelchair myself, I understand her feelings of hopelessness. But needing a HEA, she overcomes the disability with the help of her doctor and his family.

Sometimes writing about something that is close to your situation helps you get through your own problems and depression. Writing has always done that for me. If it wasn’t for the worlds I create, I’d probably be in worse shape than I am. Fortunately, I have support from my family and friends. I was very lucky to have my husband, Mark. He has become my caretaker for things I can no longer do. Appreciate everything, you never know when or if it will all be taken away.

Have you ever written about your own situation?

If you ever encounter a problem in your life, try dealng with it through your writing.

About Ilona:

Ilona Fridl grew up in Southern California where she took Journalism and Creative Writing in school. She moved to Wisconsin with her parents and met her husband, Mark. An adult daughter and granddaughter are the light of her life, along with writing stories. Soon to be eight books out.

Find Ilona

Web page:



A Sacrificial Matter

This is a great Halloween read!


A naked man in a graveyard… Detectives Amos and Sarah Darcy have dealt with quite a few unusual mysteries, but who cut down the naked man in the graveyard with a broadsword at midnight? When Sheriff Sam Lindsey calls on them to help solve the murder, Sarah risks her life to go undercover into a world of spiritualism and crime to find the murderer and the motive.


Around two ‘o clock that afternoon, Sam came in to see them. “Well, we know who the man is. He was identified by his wife and brother. He’s Abner Wells and works as a bookkeeping clerk at First National Bank.”

Amos stroked his mustache. “That doesn’t sound like a wild-eyed pagan to me. Did you get a chance to question his wife?”

“She’s Lidia and was quite upset as you may guess. I asked her if she knew about the spiritualist group and she didn’t know anything about it.”

“How about his brother?”

“His brother is Calvin Wells. He’s a liner captain working for a passenger company and he said he never heard of a group like that.”

Sarah was silent for a moment. “It’s possible she’s covering up something. Seems to me if a model citizen was involved in a group like that, they wouldn’t want it general knowledge what they were doing.”

Sam glanced at her. “You may be right. I’m going to the bank to question people who knew Wells there. Since you’re doing all this research on spiritualism, could you find a way to get into one of these groups?”

Sarah thought for a moment. “Maybe it would be better for me to work undercover. Amos would still be well known in the community.”

Amos studied her. “As long as they don’t try to sacrifice you. Then I will have something to say.”

“I could disguise myself. Kata could help me with that.” Her cousin worked in costuming at the Golden North theater.

Sam nodded. “If you do, keep me informed of where you go and what you do. That way we can keep an eye on you.”

Sarah sobered. “Yes, we know it can be dangerous, don’t we?”

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Moonlight And Mystery

When You Receive A Devastating Blow

Old dogs can learn new tricks.

Yes, you read that right. I have always been a compulsive person, putting my all into everything I did. Then last December I received a devastation blow. I was told I had cancer. I didn’t want to hear that. I didn’t have the time to be sick. Early this year they operated. But I have never been so tried in my life. It took me months before I got my energy back. I couldn’t put my all into anything, and it was frustrating to say the least.

I’d never had to rest before in my whole life. I wasn’t able to complete things on time and it was killing me. When I complained to my doctor he told me I had to roll with it. It would take time for me to feel like my old self again, but he was sure I would.

I started to get back into walking. At first, I walked in the malls that were near me. It was a great place to start exercising again, because I could sit down when exhaustion over took me.

Like all authors, I love watching people and the mall was the perfect place. Not only was my body repairing, but my mind was filling up with great characters.

Now I have my energy back, but I’m never going to ignore me again. I write for two hours a day then I go out and watch people at coffee shops, malls, or parks. I walk, swim, and take care of myself.

The thing that surprised me the most was, I’m actually getting more writing done by spending less time at my desk. I’m amazed.

About Kayden Claremont

Kayden loves sexy, well-crafted stories of lust and love. Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps. When she is not crafting erotic romantic stories, she can be found crocheting or making jewelry.

Kayden is a member of Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Writing Community of Durham Region.

She hopes you enjoy her other books, HELL’S BOUNTY, TIMELESS PASSION, and RED HOT, and look for her latest release, HEAVEN’S WATCHER all published by The Wild Rose Press.

Best Writing Tip

We write characters and after we’ve published several books, we need new character traits to keep our writing fresh. Take time to watch people. Sit down and study their body language, listen to their dialogue. You will find a great nugget to write a character fresh.

Best Promo Tip

I find promotion the hardest part of the business. What I do is find authors I love and watch how they promo. I’m in awe of all the creative ways we can promote. Try everything, then refine your process to the point that works best for you.

Tartan Temptation

Tartan Temptation by Kayden Claremont


Financial planner Cora Siegfried has returned to her hometown to settle her late father’s estate. Get in, get out, that’s the plan. When she’s almost run over by a kilt-wearing hottie on a motorcycle, all her well-laid plans go up in smoke, and all she can think about is getting well laid by her childhood crush. But after what she hoped would be a one-night stand, leaving him might not be as easy. Talk about a tartan temptation.

With his throne on the line, Brodie Murdock needs to secure his kingdom by taking a bride. When the only woman he’s ever wanted steps right into his path, he knows the legends are true. She is his destiny. The feisty female isn’t hard to seduce into his bed for the night, but she’s proving difficult to convince they are meant for forever. And then there’s the secret that could destroy any chance of their future–a secret he’s not ready to confess. Not until his stubborn soul mate admits she needs him for more than sex.

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Kayden loves to hear from her readers.











Moonlight And Mystery

Research Enrichment

The Allure of Research

When I was writing Gylded Wings, my research into angelic lore was intense but intriguing. I read the Book of Enoch, not a book of the Bible but a book of the Apocrypha. It details the Prophet Enoch’s defense of the Grigori who chose wives among the daughters of men and fell from grace. This is mentioned in the Book of Genesis 6.2:

“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”

I was inspired…

to wonder if the angels fell for lust or because they fell in love with the women they married. It would seem to me that it would be love, but then I have a romantic soul.

In the book’s very early stages, I lived in Ft. Lauderdale and spent one evening in the company of a delightful man who was a Jewish scholar and gave me much to ponder from the Torah. He also gave me another interpretation on the following Bible quotation from Isaiah 14:12:

Young’s Literal Translation

How hast thou fallen from the heavens, O shining one, son of the dawn! Thou hast been cut down to earth, O weakener of nations.

He suggested that the roles might be reversed from what we normally think, i.e., that Lucifer is speaking to the King of Mesopotamia, asking him why he has fallen not the King speaking to Lucifer.

I also read a very informative and enjoyable book by Malcolm Godwin called simply Angels. This book has an answer to almost every question you might have concerning angels. Then there is the Dictionary of Angels with names and information on hundreds of angels.

But far and above all the reading

the evening spent with the scholar was the most informative and thought-provoking.

Did Lucifer fall? Is he the angel we think of as Satan? Was Ha Satan just a title for the prosecuting attorney in Heaven? If he didn’t fall, who is the Prince of Darkness? I don’t have answers to these questions but some of them are touched upon in Gylded Wings.

Gylded Wings has been called ‘a beautifully written dark fantasy’. I hope it is as intriguing as the information I found while researching to write it.

About Linda:

Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

She’s won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, and member of the Houston BMW Club. In a former life, she must have had to walk everywhere because today she is into transportation: loving horses and hot cars! She likes to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

Forgiven or Forsaken? A dark angel’s quest to soar once again on Gylded Wings.


Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.

Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.

Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?


The sound I’d anticipated snapped me to attention, a slow, uneven click of high heels halting me in the shadows.

“There you are,” I whispered.

A lone woman staggered into my path. The doomed creature reeked of sex and whiskey. Whoring and boozing weren’t reasons for a fiery execution, but I saw into her black soul. Two years ago, she’d tossed her illegitimate child into a garbage dumpster and walked away from the screaming infant without a backward glance.

She’d make an excellent demon.

I stepped free of the darkness. My hapless quarry glanced up and stumbled to a breathless halt, watching me. Fearing me. I laughed at her doe-in-the-headlights expression, lifted my hands, and loosed the power. Lightning shot from my fingertips. The white bolts struck, engulfing her. She twitched and flopped on her feet for a split second. In a fall of gray snow, she disintegrated. Humans and angels die differently. Daniel had perished in a shower of sparks and trail of colored smoke. Ashes to ashes, the woman had returned to dust.

“See you in Hell.” I saluted the powder drifting away on an ocean breeze.

Whistling The Devil Went Down To Georgia, I hooked my thumbs in my pockets and continued my journey of self-discovery. Tonight, I’d already had sex in a bathroom with a married woman, hurt a sweet girl’s feelings, and French-fried a woman. What else could a devil do on a Friday night?

Gylded Wings published byThe Wild Rose Press

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Editor: Callie Lynn Wolfe

Release Date: September 13, 2017

Digital Price: $5.99

Rating: Spicy—no graphic sex

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Find Linda Nightingale



Web Site: – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog: – Lots of interesting guests & prizes





Moonlight And Mystery

Reviewing Books

Moving Beyond Personal

Reviewing BooksBooks are escapes, experiences, and the cutting and pasting from one soul to another. Books are messages that transcend time and space. Books brought Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy to life in the early 1800s, and here he is, still with us today. By word of mouth Mr. Darcy and others like him have spread across oceans and through time, to where they sit on our shelves even now. I’m grateful for Jane’s mastery of words, but I’m equally thankful for others’ words about her, for through them Mr. Darcy lives on. Those reviewing books pass history to future generations.

Word of mouth…so vital. Jane’s stories have brought pleasure to many, yet not every word written about her work is positive. Mr. Darcy and the literary trend of Jane’s day and culture don’t appeal to everyone, and they shouldn’t. They can’t. How does a reader weed through the concise, “I liked it,” and the “I didn’t like it,” reviews unless the reviewer includes their reasons why? If a lifelong friend gives a personal preference, the whys are inherently known. If someone across the world posts nothing more than, “Couldn’t stand it,” we’re lost.

I spent some time

looking at reviews for well-known and lesser known authors. Some were wonderfully constructed, even if they weren’t five star reviews, because the reviewer said exactly why the book scored the way it did and why that was their opinion. Ouch and amen! Writers want to improve, so reviews that truly critique a work are valuable to them as well as to the reader. The other extreme I saw was, “I didn’t read the book so I give it one star,” or, “I didn’t think I’d like the book so I didn’t read it, and am giving it one star.” These are personal taste, very real to the individual, but of no benefit to readers and writers who don’t know the reviewer. I contacted Goodreads about these sorts of reviews and was horribly disappointed that Goodreads considers them valid. I don’t. You can’t review a book you haven’t read.

So, what makes a good review?

A brief description of the book, its plot, and its main characters. Preferably without giving away the ending, but I truly appreciate the reviewers who warn us that their review does reveal the end. Some reviewers also explain in the beginning how or why they are qualified to give this review, how they came by this particular book/author, and whether this work fit what they expected in light of the above. Potential readers also want to know about the plot – did it work, was it gripping, did it lag or splinter too many different directions. They want to know if the characters were likeable, did they encourage us to rally behind them, or would we wish they were all dead. Thorough reviews can also include the nuts and bolts of a work – was the formatting done well, was it thoroughly edited, were too many characters thrown at the reader in the first paragraph, were the paragraphs streams of sentences all tied into one.

Admittedly, we expect those reviewing books

to say, “I liked…” or, “I didn’t like…” but the best reviews don’t end those sentences with, “it.” We want to hear, “I liked the hero because…I liked that I couldn’t put the book down because…” Or, “I didn’t like the poor grammar, the array of plot points, the weak heroine, the unnecessary wording.” One final thought as to what might be shared, although this is certainly debatable, would be the content information – this book contains sexual scenes, violence, language, etc. If that information is shared, do it without editorial comment. You are portraying a book to a potential audience – some elements of it are fact and others are the reviewer’s opinion and why.

Writing a book is a lengthy labor of love.

A review should be a mini version of that…spend some time, give reasons, be fair and honest to an author who has shared a piece of their soul and much of their time.

About Colleen:

Colleen L. Donnelly is an avid reader of the classics, biographies, plays, and current works of mystery, literary fiction, and women’s fiction. She is also an author, her first book, “Mine to Tell” becoming an Amazon #1 Bestseller. All of her books are historical fiction with a blend of mystery, romance, or moral dilemma entwined.

Blurb for Mine to Tell:

Annabelle Crouse believes her great-grandmother’s, Julianne Crouse’s, story is hidden somewhere in that boarded-up house Annabelle’s great-grandfather sequestered Julianne to after an unexplained two week absence. Both great-grandparents long since gone, the shame lives on, binding all of the Crouse women into ceremonial right living that is never enough to undo their tainted reputation. Against her fiancé’s and family’s insistence she leave the past alone, Annabelle unboards Julianne’s house and moves in, her only companions the shy man down the road she’d ignored during childhood, and the story her great-grandmother had left hidden behind. Walking in her great-grandmother’s past, Annabelle uncovers Julianne’s tale and discovers the two of them – two women, two generations apart – shared a singular path in love, loss, and forgiveness.


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Moonlight And Mystery

Writing advice from the pros

Writing advice

Writing advice from the prosThanks so much for having me on your amazing ABA blog, Casi. You asked me to mention my writing advice for your readers. As an author, I’m asked questions like, ‘where do you get ideas for your stories?’ From dreams, waking and sleeping, doing historical research, family genealogy… sometimes a movie or TV show…

Another question is ‘have you ever killed off any characters?’ Yep. Lots.

I’m appealed to for advice

regarding what I’ve gleaned along the oft twisted, rocky road of fiction writing for twenty plus years. I’ve learned many things, but the most important is to savor the journey. I look back on those early days with poignant nostalgia…the excitement in story discovery, wanting to know what happened next and rarely seeing until I wrote it. I still often don’t know much ahead, but am haunted by thinking I should be more of a plotter. Back then, I was unfamiliar with the terms panster and plotter.

I love the sense of camaraderie with my characters. They become my best friends. Especially in my first book, and still my bestselling novel, Red Bird’s Song. Their hardship, joys, and struggles are deeply imprinted on me. I’ve never written any story I didn’t care about, and I’ve never cared about any as much as I did that first one. I spent months, even years, writing and rewriting it and learning how to write in the process. The rejections ultimately poured in and I learned from those agents, editors, and contest judges who took the time to help me, and I grew. The story improved, but I didn’t love it any more than I always had.

Life has gotten in the way a lot

since then those early days. I used to better clear a path for writing, no matter what, than I do now. I was on fire, bursting with energy. Pass the coffee and I’ll capture a spark of what I once had. Boundless enthusiasm and youth carried me to zenith heights. I’m afraid to let myself get too emotionally invested in a story now. How great will be my fall if I must continually plunge to earth. Finding the path in between soaring among the stars and plodding is my current goal.

I used to think reaching the end of a story was ‘the thing.’ I lost track of enjoying the adventure with my unique characters, sharing their triumphs and trials…their love story. In researching history, I glean tantalizing knowledge of those who have gone before me. I form bonds with people I never would have otherwise. In writing mystery, I immerse myself in solving the puzzle and putting all the pieces together. This brings satisfaction. And I’ve met some really intriguing ghosts…

I want to share my work with readers

but most importantly, I’m enriching myself in the process. The connections and experiences I gain from writing are immeasurable, and the most vital is savoring the journey. I wish I’d appreciated it more then. I do now.

I have this thing about feeling connected with the past. Gardening is also a passion of mine. I’m drawn to growing herbs and heirlooms flowers that my ancestors grew and on back into the mists of time. I included a lovely garden in my new ghostly time travel romance, Somewhere My Lady, and used herbs in the story. It’s richly fragrant.

‘Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews

Story Blurb for Somewhere My Lady (Book 1 Ladies in Time)

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at:

Author Bio

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. Lately, the Civil War. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult shifter romance, I write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction. I have twenty titles out, both novels and novellas, and a novella coming out this fall. My nonfiction works are about herbs, gardening, and country life.

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