Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Trouble with Charisma

Please repost: Available now:

The Trouble with Charisma

Release Date: December 20, 2015

Grace spent time in prison for a crime she did not commit. Her now-ex fiance framed  her and hired a corrupt attorney to see to it she went to jail in his stead. Now she is out and wants to clear her name and get her life back, if she can escape the clutches of the stalker her ex has set on a path to keep her from doing that. Love is not on her agenda.

Sal is an attorney, rising to the top of his firm and trying to make partner, but when he meets Grace, all he wants to do is help her find justice and end the sadness and mistrust he reads in her eyes toward him as a man and a lawyer. Then he falls in love...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I'd Rather be Writing

Most days I’d rather be writing, but these darn editors, and life, keep getting in the way.

A month ago and a bit I attempted to fly down a flight of stairs without a parachute and wound up slowed down by one leg. This means my physiotherapist sees more of me lately than my wife does.

Then, when I sit down to write something new and brilliant, my editor sends back a manuscript loaded with comments and deadlines. Volume two of the Queen’s Pawn (working title today: The Queen’s Man) is under final massaging and smoothing out. This should keep me off the streets for another couple of weeks.

I have other things I’d much rather be doing.

I’m working on the final polishing of Queen’s Pawn 3 (Today’s working title: The Queen’s Game). I also have a couple of Housetrap Chronicles tales just screaming to be let loose. I think I’ve finally figured out how I’m going to work a kitchen sink into one. (You know, “everything but…”). But, brand new scribbling will have to wait.

One thing I have found consistently, in getting ready for the editors, and later working with them, it is amazing how many errors remain in that perfect manuscript I have already read over a dozen times. I shudder to think what would come out in print if it were not for the firm glove and large stick carried by my editor. I obviously cannot be trusted on my own.

Threw away my cane last week. Still have more tests on the leg. Gives me plenty of time to stare at the computer and write, or re-write, I suppose.
However, as the lakes are freezing over, is there anything we'd rather do?


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1 - with 2 & 3 coming)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge

Monday, November 2, 2015

Where Do These Weird Ideas Come From? Part Three

                                                          Plotting in Reverse

Sorry I’m late with this folks. Had a brain freeze plus a weekend working at a Comic Con for three days selling books and talking to readers and writers.

My last essay on the idea topic comes from something that works well for me but it is a bit off-the-wall.

I write a series of fantasy detective novellas under The Housetrap Chronicles. Seven published so far including two collections.

First I come up with a title, usually a mash-up of a well-known mystery story. My first title I mangled was based on Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” That is where I came up with “Housetrap.” Once I have the title, I create a plot and write a story that will fit the title and has no bearing on the original title at all. My detective is set in a world of elves and goblins and mongrels and whatever else I throw into the mix. Someday the kitchen sink will make an appearance.

To give you examples of some of the other titles in the series: “Dial M for Mudder,” or “The Hounds of Basalt Ville,” or “Murder in the Rouge Mort,” or “The Treasure of Sarah Madder.”  You get the idea.

I have a lot of fun writing these things and they give me a break from being serious. The only time I ran into a problem, is once after I came up with a plot the normal way and discovered I had a terrible time finding a title to fit.

Anyway, the bottom line is, a writer can find an idea for a story anywhere. Just grab it and run with it!


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge

Friday, October 2, 2015

Where Do These Weird Ideas Come From? - Part Two

            People often ask me where the ideas come from for my novels. Some days they just seem to drop into my lap. I usually have more plot ideas than I will ever be able to use.

            For example, take the plot for my second published novel, The Queen’s Pawn. I can’t remember how it first began, but for some reason I was thinking about the fall of Troy. I might have recently read a book or saw a documentary. I started thinking about how it would feel to be trapped in a burning city that has fallen to the enemy. It would be quite unpleasant. I decided to write a story based around that opening. I needed a main character, so I came up with a poor seminary student in a panic with chaos all around him. What happens next?

            He flees, of course. By this time I suspected I might be about to treat the topic lightly. Who does he meet? How about a dying prince, a wizard, and the usual opportunity for the old mistaken identity theme, with a twist? So what will I do with these characters? Let’s rescue the beautiful queen of the city, and give her a bratty daughter to drive my hero mad. Let’s make him an inept hero that gets by more through luck than skill. To torture him further, let’s throw a lot of lustful females in his way, and have him with no idea of what to do about them.

            The plot then, hero reluctantly has to rescue the royal family from a burning city and get them to safety a long way away. And I’m off to the races with no idea of who the villains are, why the city is burning, or a reason the princess acts the way she does. Backstories fill in as I go along and get to know the characters better.

            One character who surprised me was the queen. When I first met her I thought she was a bit dizzy, she soon set me straight. I like surprises when I’m writing. Which just goes to show why my writing style is “pantser” (I write by the seat of my pants) as opposed to “plotter” (or plodder?) where you must lay out every minute detail before you can begin writing the tale.

            The bottom line is, you write the way that works best for you. I notice when I got into writing a second and third book for each of my first two novels, I had to do a wee bit of plotting to make sure I would end up where I thought I was going.

            The second volume in the Queen’s Pawn Trilogy (I didn’t realize I was writing one) is in editing now, still without a title, and the third (and final?) tale in the series is about ¾ finished and at least I know what the ending will be.

            Have fun writing, or reading, and don’t be afraid to reach outside of your normal comfort zone.


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Where Do These Weird Ideas Come From? (Part One)

            People often ask me where the ideas come from for my novels. Some days they just seem to drop into my lap. I usually have more plot ideas than I will ever be able to use.

            For example, take the plot for my first published novel, The Dark Lady.

            I was watching TV one night, or I might have just been passing through the room, when I noticed a head and shoulders shot of an actress. The first thing that popped into my head was: she would be an excellent choice to play the part of an evil queen. That generated another random thought: I wonder how evil queens get their bad reputations. This was before Wicked.

            Naturally I started kicking around ideas. On my daily morning walks before breakfast I had already dreamed up a setting that I might use someday and one that would be suitable for any number of situations, a grim ancient castle that was the seat of a once-mighty empire. It was built on an island in the center of a lake. That sounded an excellent location for this project.

            I started off with the idea of let’s have a young girl who wakes up one morning to find her parents dead and everyone wants to control her and the kingdom. Before I got too far into the story I was thinking of another somewhat parallel situation, that of the young Queen Elizabeth the First and how she was surrounded by plotting nobles and how she had to struggle, and be quick-witted in order to survive. I think that changed the direction of the story slightly.

            Although I liked the background idea of the evil queen theme, that became more of a secondary feature. Eventually my heroine might not be all that evil; however that was how some people, including her grasping neighbors, saw her. Some of that was also defensive propaganda and I made her headstrong with a bit of a temper to fortify her reputation.

            Once I became familiar with the heroine and the main characters surrounding her I had enough on which to build my tale. When we decided to turn The Dark Lady into a trilogy I had a firm base on which to continue: my heroine was still young, while things had stabilized somewhat she was constantly in peril, and that gave me the basis for the next two books, Dark Days and Dark Knights. By the end she was old enough for me to add more than a hint of romance to the mix.

            Am I satisfied with how it turned out? Yes. While I drifted a bit from my original question, my main character still retained enough backbone and determination that if those around her were not careful she could still turn out someday to be an evil queen, or a dark lady, whatever that might be.
            One of the main reasons I write is to find out how the story will end. Sometimes even I’m surprised.


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge






Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Charlotte Boyett-Compo’s magically woven tale of Dargue Phantasy speaks to the reader through emotion and truth, spinning a web and catching us up in the magic of the heroine as she falls in love with the hero. Aisling is a good witch, and Darque is a werewolf, but never was there a better match made in Heaven than the two characters who brought peace to their lands, even though they have both seen sorrow and pain in their past. They have survived, and they’ll now thrive, and they’ll be better for all they have endured as they lead their people from the throne of their kingdoms, united as one. But first, many trials and tribulations must be endured, for Aisling, for Darque, and for their respective families and friends trying to tear them apart. Read Darque Phantasy, a story set in medieval times, and live the tale as it spins out. Charlotte Boyett-Compo won’t fail you. She’ll give you a ride through times past, or time future, a ride you won’t soon forget.  
Darque Phantasy.Final .niina  178x300 Just Released: Darque Phantasy by Charlotte Boyett Compo #newrelease #fantasy #paranormal 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

This is a Busy Writing Summer for me.

Let me give you a quick picture of what I have put on my writing plate for the next few months.

My first published novel, The Dark Lady, became a trilogy last year. Now I’m trying to get the word out, using a virtual book tour and trying to remember to update some of my blogs. Readers who I’ve met face-to-face are asking for volumes two and three so that is always a good sign.

My second published novel, The Queen’s Pawn, is undergoing the same process. I’ve written book two (untitled) and it is now in the editing process. I’ve started book three but been sidetracked the last couple of months. That is something I have to get back to shortly before I lose my train of thought completely.

When I wrote both of these first two novels I had no idea whether they would ever go beyond a single volume. I don’t do extensive pre-plotting but fortunately had enough ideas to carry the story forward. My advice to beginning writers who are not plotters is to make certain you have plenty of notes as you go on to subsequent books in the series. You don’t want to have to re-read your first book to catch up on the details you will need for the second and third volumes.

I also write a series of fantasy detective novellas, The Housetrap Chronicles. Number seven will be out in a few months and last winter I started on episode eight. I haven’t touched it in months. I suspect I will have problems getting back up to speed. The danger in allowing a story to languish while you work on others is you may lose interest. Already I am brewing up the plot for number nine. As a caution I’d recommend working on one thing at a time, unless like me you are easily distracted and thrive on confusion.

While all of this is going on I have several manuscripts that have been accepted by publishers and now will be going into the editing process. I’m aware that some writers view this as a form of torture, where “other” hands tear and shred their precious work. Think of it more as a co-operative process. Do you have a very good reason for leaving in a particular scene? Then say so, outlining your reasons. If the editor disagrees, accept the verdict and move on. No matter how many times I review my own work I am always amazed about the number of my serious sins an editor will uncover. Difficult as it may be, attempt to learn from the comments and try not to repeat your mistakes. Each publisher may have a slightly different philosophy. Your editor knows what these house rules are and will help you work your manuscript into an acceptable format.

Lastly, one of the best pieces of advice I ever received from a well-established author had to do with how well we treat those involved in our industry: authors, publishers, editors, critics, readers, etc. Don’t get argumentative, feud, or fight with others. The aggravation and damage to your reputation is not worth it, demeans you, and will ultimately hurt your reputation. This doesn’t mean you can’t have or state an opinion, just be careful how you go about it. If you can’t take outside criticisms, don’t read them.

Enjoy writing and reading, I certainly do!


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volume 1 to 7)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Research...skydiving style:)

Image result for one room schoolhouse
So...back to school.
Those three little words that create excitement for some, terror for others.
I'm a teacher, and I fit into both categories. I love the students, well, most of them, and I love to teach, well, most of the time, but I can't write as much during the school year, so that 's a major minus in my book of pros and cons.

Still, the summer has been great, and I had written a sky diving scene into one of my books, a year ago, and I'm in the editing process now, so - call it research - I went skydiving, and the scene is so much better now, and I literally felt the jump all over again as I wrote the scene.

Now, that doesn't mean I'd want to live out every scene in all my books, but wow, this research and living it up was very cool. I can't wait to do it again. I'm fifty, and my kids want to go with me. It's on their bucket lists. It was never one mine. I just went with my cousin one day to pick up her boyfriend that works and the airfield/sky diving business, and ...the next thing I knew was in an air plane, a perfectly good one, and jumping out of it.

So, if you gotta research, go for it, like I did...:)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: Charlotte Boyett-Compo


 In Wild Rain, Charlotte Boyett-Compo spins a yarn that is a boot stompin’ good time set in a period reminiscent of the Wild West, but time warped into a futuristic world where the hero and heroine, Rain and Kirree, must come to terms with their pasts and figure out what they want to do with their futures. If it were only that simple, and so many people weren’t out to not only destroy their but kill them, and wipe out everyone they love as well. This story is one filled with terror and pain, instituted by the bad elements, but the good people are overflowing with love and kindness and understanding, fighting off evil from all sides, not just from their own townspeople but from the surrounding cults and intolerant cultures that can’t seem to find a way to mix and mingle and get along…until Rain and Kirree force them to join together and accept their forbidden love. A love which is contagious and thrilling, shown to the reader through the art of Charlotte Boyett-Compo’s work, a book I couldn’t put down once I picked it up. Thank you Charlotte for telling Rain and Kirree’s story, and give us more, please.

Monday, July 20, 2015


          March Morgan still believes in true love, but her faith in finding her soul mate is slowly vanishing.  She’s been married but never in love.  So, it is a miracle to find that fantasy exists on the last page of a glossy women’s journal.  Mayfair Electronics, Ltd., in black and white, offers Love for Sale.  The London firm has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from human.  She flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life.

Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight.  He’s handsome, cultured…absolutely perfect…and a little different from the other androids.  He has an unexpected independent streak.

March signs on the dotted line, buying her dream man.  They return to Houston, but soon her past and his future threaten their Happily Ever After—indeed their lives.


At a light touch on her shoulder, she spun. He stood inches from her, the airspace between them electric charged. “Liz was here, and in my bedroom! Why? Were you doing her in my bed?”

“No.” He had the decency to look stunned, his eyes widening and darkening. “She was teaching me to dance. The closet doors are mirrors.”

March resisted the urge to slap his perfect face. “Why? You aren’t going to be a stripper.”

He shrugged. “You don’t trust me.”

“I don’t trust her.” March’s face felt hard and cold. God, how she hated the emotions seething in her. She was almost physically ill.

“She cannot tempt me.” He shook his head slowly, his eyes glittering blue. “Don’t you understand I am attuned to you alone?”

“You weren’t supposed to be able to get angry.” She was unraveling, like a ball of yarn thrown across a room. “You did.”

Her heart shattered as he turned and walked away. Grief winded her. At the door, he glanced over his shoulder, again shaking his head. He was stunningly handsome, looked sad and hurt, but there was no apology in his intense gaze. Hands fisted at her sides, she tried to control the storm of fear, anger, resentment and pain.

“Where the hell are you going?” Her voice came brusque, short.

“For a walk to let you think and cool down.” Light and shadow chiseled his face, and her breaking heart skipped a beat. “I am not going to Liz. I have learned all I need to know from her. I shall never see her again.”

“You can’t walk out. It is impossible for you. You are faulty in some circuit somewhere. I’m going to return you.”

The most beautiful man in the world froze with his hand on the door. “Please don’t. This is a misunderstanding.” He blew out a long breath. “However, if that is what you want, I must advise you that Mayfair Electronics, 21 Dover Street, London, W1S 4LT will accept return of a flawed unit for a full refund.”

“Stop! You sound like a robot.” Her fisted hands struck the air.

He didn’t flinch. “I am a robot. That’s why this is an inane conversation.”

“Inane? I find you with another woman in the bedroom, and this conversation is silly? Oh, no, Christian. Did you invite her here?” Why couldn’t she stop hurting herself and let him go, lock the door and email Mayfair for a courier pickup?

Folding his arms across his chest, he leaned against the door. “She knocked. I answered and kept her outside until it started to rain. She was talking about the club and telling me, again, that I’d be a success as a male dancer. Being a success at something would be a bloody miracle. At any rate, half-jokingly, I asked her to teach me to dance. The End.”

“Not quite. Why did you slip her out behind my back?”

“I wished to avoid a scene like this.” His voice shaded deeper, darker. “And I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“There, it’s said. You can come back in now and stop pretending you’re leaving.” She waved a hand, half-heartedly beckoning. “You’ve got nowhere to go.”

He inhaled sharply as if she had punched him in the stomach. “I’m quite aware of that fact. I do not like seeing you this upset. Please call Mayfair tomorrow. I’ll voluntarily deactivate. They will dispatch a FedEx pickup for me.”

She raked a hand through her hair. “Oh, my God, what have you done and why? What have I done? Paradise Lost.”

“Why can’t you trust me?” His sad expression pierced her heart.

Nearly human. Though he didn’t have a heart, his emotions could be damaged.

“Because I don’t trust men.” An angry sob caught in her throat. When she could again speak, she croaked, “In general. Well, almost. I learned that lesson at my mother’s knee.”

“I’m not even almost any man.” He lifted his hands in a pleading gesture. “Return me to Mayfair for reprogramming. I don’t care. I only want to stay with you.”

“You have a funny way of showing it,” she said in a lethal whisper, her voice then rising in outrage. “If I’d been earlier or later, would I have found you bucking in bed?”

Looking stricken, he stood silent and straight, a bare-chested god with ice blue eyes.

Available on Amazon in print and eBook or from The Wild Rose Press

For a free, continuing vampire story, visit my web site at  Thanks for stopping by!  Check back. I will be hosting giveaways!  Linda

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Would you like to be a monthly blogger on my blog?
We can pick out a day of the month you'd like to blog each month, and you upload the blogs and control the content on your own. Just let me know via contact form.