Saturday, June 30, 2012

Start July With Author Laci Page and What A Simple Picture Inspired

Laci Page is an author who joined the Tasha Turner Virtual Blog Tour and I am thrilled she could be my guest. Her assignment was to take a picture and write what we call, "Flash Fiction". Ms.Page's story is not only heart warming but shows her versatility and talents as a creative writer and author. Thank You Laci for being my guest! 

I want to thank Nikki for having me on her blog today!
Nikki and I are participating in the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour. This week our assignment was to use a photo prompt to write a story. This story is what came to mind when I looked at the picture of the baby koala bear…

Her Vacation, by Laci Paige

Kai stood in front of a baby koala bear in Australia. Tears rolled down her cheeks. It was a bitter sweet moment. All her life she dreamed of going to Australia to see a koala in person. The time had finally come and she was living her dream. Standing there in the park many people came and went around her. She looked over to her right and saw a handsome gentleman staring at her. She kindly smiled, and went back to watching the koala.
     Joe, her husband promised her for many years they would go, but as time passed the trip was never made. Money was sparse in the beginning of their marriage, but then when the cash was flowing in he was always too busy with work.
     Kai made a very bold decision a few months ago. She divorced her husband of almost twenty years. She loved him and always would, but he loved his job more than her. It was too painful to live that way. It would have been one thing if the man was having an affair, but she followed him and asked around and he was always at work or at home working. He had an unhealthy addiction to his job.
     When she sat down and tried to talk to him about it for the hundredth time, he shrugged it off. Told her they would have a good retirement one day. As he walked away she asked him, “Do you still love me?”
     He stopped with his back to her, and hesitated longer than he should have. Quietly, he said, “Yes.” Without looking back he walked away and went to bed.
     That was all the answer she needed. She went the next day and found a divorce lawyer.
     “Excuse me.” A male’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
     “The parks getting ready to close. We are asking everyone to leave so they don’t get locked in.” The man chuckled.
     “Oh, certainly. I’m sorry, I lost track of the time.”
     “It’s no problem. The park opens again tomorrow at 8.”
     “Thank you for the information.”
     Kai spent day after day of her vacation visiting the park. She spent most of her time there reading, eating, and watching the animals. Each day the same man would be there alongside her.
     Day three the man finally spoke to her. “Hello. Nice day we’re having isn’t it?”
    Her head snapped up. “Oh.” She looked to the sky and then to the man’s face. “Yes, it’s a beautiful day.”
     “I wasn’t sure you’d notice. For days now you’ve had your head in a book or staring off into space.”
     “What?” Kai felt unnerved. Was this man following her?  “Have you been watching me?”
     “I have a good excuse. I run the place.”
     Some of the tension drained from her body. “Oh, I thought you were some crazy man following me.”
     “Well, I am kind of crazy, in a good way. And I wasn’t exactly following you, but I don’t normally spend so much time on the grounds as I have been.”
     “And why have you now?”
     Taken aback she rose from her bench where she was seated. “I have to go now. It was nice to meet you.”
     “Wait. Don’t leave on my account. You stay. If I make you uncomfortable I should be the one to leave. But let me explain myself first. Please?”
     Kai nodded and sat down on the edge of the bench ready to run if things got weird. It was then that she looked into his earnest eyes and noticed they were blue. He really was a good looking man.
     “I walked past you the other day and I stopped dead in my tracks. Never have I seen such beauty. Each day you returned and I had to see you. I made excuses to my staff as to why I needed to be out here. I told them I was observing the park as a visitor. I think they knew better, only this morning Betty told me to talk to you and get it over with. So this is my attempt.” Kai was aware of her increasing heart rate, and it wasn’t out of fear. She felt her face warm, and knew her cheeks probably were a nice shade of pink. It had been ages since someone paid attention to her, and she could remember the last time someone commented on her beauty.
     “Who is Betty?” She asked, looking down to her lap she smoothed her skirt over her thighs.
     “She is the elderly woman who greets people at the gate, and she’s also my grandmother.”
     “Oh, Betty, she’s lovely. Always very friendly and helpful. She gave me directions to a really good restaurant for lunch the other day.”
     “Shall we go ask her for a recommendation on dinner?” His eyes sparkled.
     “Are you asking me out?”
    “I think I am.”
     “I don’t even know your name.”
     “I’m Kai. Nice to meet you Robert. I must be crazy, but sure let’s go ask your grandmother where we should go for dinner.”
     Kai and Robert walked hand in hand to the gate as the sunset in front of them. Betty watched them, and smiled with an all knowing look.
Laci Paige’s Bio:

When Laci’s not reading or writing she can be found spending time with her husband supporting their children. Laci enjoys camping, hiking, & photography. And she loves to chat with fans on Twitter and Facebook. Laci and her family currently reside in Hampton Roads, VA. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Introducing Author Linda Bolton and What She's Reading

Linda Bolton is my guest author as part of the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour. Thank you Linda for allowing me to host you and to learn yet another great author I need to put on my "To Read" list!

What Am I Reading Now

Find out what author Linda Bolton has to say about Fifty Shades of Grey

Ok, so I gave into the hype...I’m reading 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of it, it’s everywhere! It’s one of the first erotic romance novels (with BDSM - Google it) to cross into main stream media. Everyone is talking about it, from the Ellen Degeneres Show to Saturday Night Live. It’s even sold at Target.

I know you’re wondering if I’m enjoying the read...I’m not that impressed. Yeah, yeah, there’s sex - and things I’ve never done or considered - but I’m missing the story. It’s just not very believable for me. I know its fiction, but I need to feel a connection to the characters and their story. I have to be inside their heads, be in their world. I’m just not feeling it.

I do have a favorite quote:
“The only man I’m ever attracted to and he comes with a bloody contract, a flogger and a whole world of issues.” Don’t most men! Ugh! See what I mean? When was the last time you had a partner make you sign a sex contract? Did they spank you afterwards? Never mind, I don’t want to know.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it, especially if you’re curious.  I have a bunch of friends who love it. They’ve even read book 2 and 3 - yes, it’s a series. You never know, you may like it!

You’re probably thinking, “Well Linda, you write romance. Isn’t it like yours?” Not really. I spend a lot of time trying to make my characters feel real and believable. I know a few kinky folks but no one has a red room of far as I know...

What are you reading now? Have you read 50 Shades of Grey? What did you think?  

Linda's Author Bio and Links

Linda Bolton is an aspiring contemporary romance writer.  She is looking for a publisher for her first book, Perfect.  While working on a future projects Linda can be found:

Friday, June 15, 2012


Favourite Author? Are You Kidding?

When I decided to participate in Tasha Turner Coaching's Virtual Blog Tour (or TTC VBT, as the cool kids call it), I figured there would be some tough assignments, some things to make me really think about what I do and, perhaps, who I am. But pick my favourite (yes, yes, I'm Canadian) author or book? Are you nuts? That's an impossible task.

You may as well ask me to stop masturbating.

Since I can do neither the former nor the latter, I thought I'd start at the beginning and work through how things progressed.

The first time I touched myself was in the bathtub when I was-- Oops. I was supposed to be writing about my favourite authors and books, wasn't I. Sorry, I'm easily distracted.

The first book I remember really affecting me was Dawn of Fear by Susan Cooper. I'm not sure if this book is well known or not, to be honest. Ms. Cooper is best known for her The Dark is Rising series (of which, the first book was made into the unfortunate movie The Seeker), but I found Dawn of Fear in my local library when I was in grade school and it was not only the first book I read more than once, it was also the first book that made me cry (I have goosebumps thinking about it as I write this). Now that I think about it, it's quite possible Ms. Cooper is responsible for making me want to write. If someone could make me feel that much through words on a page, then I wanted to do it, too.

Probably the most prominent and influential writer from my formative years of reading is Stephen King, as I'm sure is the case for many around my age. Cujo was the first of his novels I read and it started a love affair that lasted until Tommyknockers. I fell for his well-drawn but flawed characters that he made you really care about, and his ability to draw the reader into a scene. Salem's Lot scared the crap out of me; The Stand made me want to be one of the last people on Earth; It still makes me long for childhood and all three endure on my all-time best list.

Two other classic novels from my school years: To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies. Both were assigned reading for English class and I remember slumping down in a chair the night before I was to have To Kill a Mockingbird read, bitter at having to suffer through a book that sounded so boring. Where were the scares? The action? I would read it because I had to, but I wasn't going to enjoy it, damn it.

Wrong! That sucker sticks like super glue. And Lord of the Flies? How could an author do something like that to a character like Piggy? Hmm. I decided then and there I wanted to kill innocent people, too.

As an adult, the number of books and authors I love and that have influenced me grows and grows, especially with the explosion of amazing independent authors on Kindle that might never have been discovered if the gatekeepers hadn't been circumvented. The list is too long, so I'm going to mention four of the traditionally published authors who influenced me leading up to my own publication.

Orson Scott Card. How can you question the inclusion of the only writer to win both the Hugo award and the Nebula award for back-to-back novels? Ender's Game is a fantastic piece of writing, but it's the sequel, the brilliant Speaker for the Dead, that has a very good shot at being at the top of my list as the best book I've ever read.

Neil Gaiman. Truthfully, my relationship with Mr. Gaiman began earlier than adulthood. His comics, Sandman and the Death: the High Cost of Living mini-series, were favourites of mine, but it is American Gods—another “Best Novel” contender in my world—which catapults him onto my list of the best. The richness, depth and complexity of his writing astounds me. He manages to be literary without losing the connection to the reader that I find sometimes happens with literary authors.

George R.R. Martin. I know this is the current cool choice to go on everyone's list of fantasy authors, but I was reading A Song of Ice and Fire even before the fourth book was released. Sean Bean probably hadn't heard of Ned Stark when I discovered this amazing series. Thank the Old Gods they've done such a great job adapting it to the small screen. (And while we're talking about Mr. Martin...George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien. Coincidence? I think not).

Mike Carey. Another comic-book-writer-turned-author. Mr. Carey is one of those authors I feel like I discovered. No one told me about him or suggested his books, I simply came across the second book in his Felix Castor series, Vicious Circle, at the library and immediately fell for his in-your-face noir style, interwoven story lines and original fantasy world of a present day London in which the dead have come back to life in the forms of ghosts, zombies, loup-garous,etc., to the point they are considered citizens. Of all the authors I admire, Mr. Carey is the one my own writing is compared to most often, and I am flattered beyond words every time it is; I can only dream of creating what he has created.

So there you have it. Ask a simple question like “who's your favourite author” and you get a thousand words of rambling nonsense. Thanks for taking the time to read what I had to say, I hope you enjoyed it. And even if you didn't, take my advice and pick up some of the books and authors I mentioned. I may have disappointed you, but I promise you, they won't.

Now, back to my story about masturbating...

Who the Hell is Bruce Blake?

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue,and his dog is far too small to pull a sled, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" than he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.

Bruce's first short story, "Another Man's Shoes" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon. "Yardwork" was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod. "On Unfaithful Wings" is Bruce's first novel and his second Icarus Fell novel, "All Who Wander Are Lost", is due to hit Kindle in mid-July with many more to come.

Twitter: @bruceablake

I would like to give a big "Thank You" to Bruce Blake for taking the time to be a guest on my blog! I hope you all rush out and discover who he is and get one of his books!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Meet Allison Bruning Author of Calico: Children of the Shawnee Series

When I was little, I use to dream about the day I would reunite with my older brother. In 1986, a year after my father lost his battle to lung cancer, the song “Somewhere Out There” appeared in the movie An American Tail. In the movie Fieval and sister, Tanya, are separated. They sing the song together looking up at the moon dreaming of the day they would be reunited. Every time I heard the song, I dreamt Eric and I was staring up at the same moon dreaming of each other. I would crank up the volume and sing my little heart out with the dreams of my older brother.
Eric and I were born twenty years apart almost to the day. I was born January 22, 1976 in Cleveland, Ohio. Eric’s mother died in 1979 and a year later our father married my mother. When I was four years old, my parents and I went to dad’s WWII reunion in New Jersey. There dad reunited with Eric for a brief moment and told him he had a sister. I vaguely recall the union. That was the last time Eric saw dad alive. My parents divorced when I was six years old. Dad drifted in and out of my life for a few years. Then when I was eight, dad came back into my life and my parents started to talk of salving their marriage. By then it was too late, dad grew ill with lung cancer. I can recall the times he was well enough to speak to me. He told me, “Peanut, I’m going to beat this. Your mom and I are going to remarry. I made a lot of mistakes in my life but this time it’s going to be different. We’re going to be a family. We’ll move to Florida and live on a houseboat close to your brother.” Despite his best efforts, dad lost the fight in July of 1985, only a month after his sixtieth birthday. His dying wish for me was simply enough. Find Eric, tell him he died, he always loved him and to give him some of dad’s possessions. For twenty – six years I’ve searched for Eric and just when I had given up Eric entered into my life.
It’s funny how just when you least expect it the impossible happens. I had given up on finding my brother for a couple of years. A piece of me was always missing. I felt a longing to find out more about my father’s side of my family but I felt the pain too many times. Each time my hopes were raised they’d crash down. It was a vicious cycle that had to end or I’d go mad. My father’s older brother died in 1997 after the funeral I called one of his daughters. It felt good to talk to her. I had hoped she knew where my brother was but the first thing she asked, “Do you know where Eric is?” I felt my hopes once again shatter. They hadn’t heard from him in years. Determined I continued to search for him. I found Eric’s law office, called him but his secretary never told him I had called. Once again, my heart broke. I was so close to him!

In 2001, I married the love of my life. I told him about my dad and missing brother. He urged me not to give up the fight. Last year, I searched the internet for any Eric James Bruning I could find. I knew his birthday, the state he lived in and that he was a lawyer. When I was little, dad had a picture of Eric with his wife. I use to stare at that picture so much so I had memorized his face. With a mental imagine and facts stored in my mind, I searched MySpace, Facebook, and other social network I could think of. Finally I found an Eric Bruning in Florida and sent him a message. A year went by with no reply. My heart fell again. Thoughts rolled in my head. Maybe he doesn’t care he has a sister. I saved the picture of him he had on his MySpace account so I would have an updated photo of him. I thought to myself, he may not care about me but he’s dad’s son and I care a lot about him. I held that picture near and dear to my heart and vowed to end my search forever. Enough was enough.
Last year, I received an email stating Eric Bruning Refound You. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this a joke? If it was it was a cruel one! I read the email and my heart lifted a bit. I recognized the man in the picture. Eric was talking to me? Can this be real? I close the email and looked through other emails he sent me. I read every single one. He told me details only he would know and left me a phone number. He wanted me to call! I picked the phone and called him immediately. We’ve been talking ever since. My brother loves me and I love him.
The Executive Director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection, a non-profit agency of writers who promote young authors throughout the state of Kentucky. Allison originally hails from Marion, Ohio. Her father, Roland Irving Bruning, was the son of German immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother's family had been in the United States since the 17th century. Allison is a member of the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution. Her linage traces to Private Reuben Messenger of Connecticut. Her educational background includes a BA in Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology and a Texas Elementary Teaching certificate. Both acquired at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. Allison was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in Cultural Anthropology and Education. In 2007 she was named Who's Who Among America's Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.
Allison lives with her husband in Kentucky. Calico is book one from the series, Children of the Shawnee. It is available at She is currently working on the sequel, Rose. She is also working on another series, The Secret Heritage, which traces the life of her great great grandmother at the turn of the 20th century in Ohio. Allison's interest includes Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family and genealogy. Her genres include historical fiction, paranormal, romance, and suspense.

You can reach her at:
Facebook Fan Page
Twitter: @emeraldkell

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More with author Raymond Frazee: Can You Hear The Music?

Can You Hear the Music?

There’s no question, when I’m writing I love having music on. Last August, when I was writing my first published story, Kuntilanak, I had a system for determining word counts. I’d load up music from YouTube, play it, note the time spent on each song, get my word count totals for the listed time. I was very crazy about this, and did it throughout NaNoWriMo as well.
These days, I’m not as nutty about that, because I’m writing now, and I don’t need to be as anal about my word counts as I once was. But, I still like music. I need to listen to it while writing. I need to have it on so that my mind has something to keep it from wondering, “Why is it so quiet?”
For my stories, however, I don’t think of them as being associated to a particular song or songs. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t think of music when I’m writing.
Take my novel—or should I say, “Trilogy”?—Transporting. When I began working on that novel, I saw one of the main characters as having a love with music, and as such, they’d play those songs a great deal. Over time, I began thinking of what songs the character would listen to at certain segments of the story, because it felt like the music fit—
If one were viewing the story like a movie, and you required a soundtrack.
That’s not to say music isn’t played. It’s mentioned that Close to the Edge is played while flying over a volcanic island. While doing some other flying, my main character is listing to, at various time, Turned to Stone, by Electric Light Orchestra, and Vacation, by the Go-Gos. They put on Rocket Man, by Elton John, while orbiting a planet. They have a full-on meltdown while Bridge Over Troubled Water plays in the background. And lastly, they invade a planet while blasting out songs from the Japanese OVA Bubblegum Crises—which is something no anime has probably done.
So there is music in my novel. And there’s even more. Back on my computer, I have a list of songs, maybe 25, that would totally set the mood were this story to ever be made into a movie.
However, that has nothing to do with the music that defines the work.
Because, to be honest, I would never use music to define this story—or any other story.
I’m torn with music in movies these days. I grew up watching a lot of films from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, and while music was using, in a lot of movies there would be huge stretches when you heard nothing
but dialog. When there was music, it was usually swelling violins (for romance), or bombastic orchestrations (for fights and chases).
These days, it seems like there are a few composers who spend a lot of time writing music that sort of “tells” us how we should feel when we are viewing a scene. Music can be so particular to the scene, in fact, that you instantly hear the notes playing even if viewing a still.
So what music defines my work?
I want my readers to have their own soundtracks. I want them so listen to the cadence of the dialog; feel the tempo of the paragraphs; absorb the work as a whole and create their own music. If I define my work by a series of songs, then I handcuff the reader into hearing that tune all the time.
I’ll supply the reader with a vision—
Let them supply their own soundtrack.

Please visit: and look for Raymond Frazee on Facebook at: