It’s Work In Progress Wednesday, and I’m delighted to welcome author Neva Brown to Comptonplations.

NEVA profile pic (5)

MJ: What are your top three dream destinations, and why?

NB: Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales. I have ancestors from these places and would love to spend time where they lived and do research.

MJ: Name one thing most people don’t know about you.

NB: I am, by nature, shy.

MJ: What’s the top book on your TBR pile?

NB: The Traitor,  by Grace Burrowes

MJ: If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?

NB: Watercolor and oil painting

MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

NB: Religious- “Amazing Grace” / secular – “Love Me Tender”

MJ: Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?

NB: Yes. Gone With the Wind.

MJ: What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

NB: Hot tea and toast spread with crunchy peanut butter.

MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.

NB: Writers in the Storm

MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.

NB: A printed article on POV, a notebook with all kinds of notes for my WIP, a copy of my first book, Casey’s Courage (to remind me I can write).

MJ: Great idea! Do you listen to music when you write?

NB: No. I like the quiet with just the characters talking to me.

MJ: Do you collage your story before writing?

NB: No. My characters refuse to go along with me. I go along with them and hope for the best.

MJ: What do you love most about your WIP heroine?

NB: The strength of the heroine when things get tough.

MJ: What do you least like about your WIP heroine?

NB: Her not recognizing her own worth.

MJ: What genre is your current WIP?

NB: Historical

MJ: What is your favorite genre to read?

NB: Romance.

MJ: How did you come up with your hero and heroine’s names?

NB: I often change the hero and heroine’s names after the story is well under way. Usually the way they handle themselves brings to mind a name that seems to fit.

MJ: Do you ever base characters on people you know?

NB: Never!

MJ: How did you chose the setting for your current WIP?

NB: I read an old diary of a man who traveled the southern route to California in the early days of the California Gold Rush 1849—the route the Texas Argonauts traveled.

MJ: Now it’s time for the lightning round. Cinco de Mayor or St. Patrick’s Day?

NB: St. Patrick’s Day

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

NB: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games)

MJ: Favorite TV Show?

NB: NCIS (The original, with Mark Harmon)

MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school (Marching band doesn’t count)?

NB: BobWills

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

NB: Coke.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

NB: Mexican.

MJ: Now to the meat of the matter. Can you share the first few sentences of your current work in progress with us?

NB: This is from By Clear Water.

The crack of rifles, death screams of her father and brothers shattered the peace. Leslyn jerked to her feet. The dish pan full of fresh-washed tin plates and cups clattered to the ground and rolled into the creek. She stifled her outcry with her fist. It’s happening just like the wagon master said it would. Blood-chilling screams sent her running toward the wagon where her mother prepared beds for the night.

MJ: Oh, great hook! And you have a book coming out soon, too. As in, today! Gorgeous cover. It’s available at Amazon.

APrettyPenny_400 (7)


MJ: How can readers stay in touch with you?

NB: My website, on Facebook, via Twitter, LinkdIn, and Google+ .

MJ: Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!


It’s zucchini season. I am not fond of zucchini. Or yellow summer squash. I prefer the heartier winter squashes. But TV Stevie likes them, so periodically I try to find a way to cook them that isn’t too disgusting. I think I created a keeper. And I was clever enough to write down what I did immediately after supper that evening.

Pour about a quarter inch of olive oil in a large skillet.

Add boneless skinless chicken breast that has been cut into bite-sized pieces.

Season heavily with McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken seasoning.

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Cook over medium heat.

When the chicken is is done, add chopped onion and garlic–I used a lot of chopped garlic–to the pan.

Cook this for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent.

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Add 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced, and 1 medium summer squash, thinly sliced.

Season well with Mrs. Dash Grilling Blends for Chicken.

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When the squash is thoroughly cooked (15-20 minutes, stirring often)

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add 1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes.

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Cook for several minutes.

Drizzle in some balsamic vinegar.

Cook for several more minutes.

Transfer to glass baking dish (I use a round quiche pan).

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Top with shredded mozzarella

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and microwave for 1 minute (or until cheese is melted).

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That’s it. Yes, it’s heavy on the seasonings, but one of the reasons I don’t care for summer squashes is their lack of flavor. They are all texture and no taste.

It’s Work-In-Progress Wednesday again, and today’s guest is Caroline Warfield. Welcome Caroline.

Carol RoddyLet’s dive right in, shall we? What are your top three dream destinations and why?

CW: So many so many! The highlands of Scotland. I’ve seen the borders and I’d like to see the rest. Cappadocia to see the cliff churches Argentina because I haven’t been to South America yet.

MJ: What is the top book on your TBR pile?

CW: The Whisky Laird by Donna MacMeans.

MJ: Other than writing, what would be your dream job?

CW: International Relief worker.

MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

CW: My theme MUSIC would be Beethoven’s “Appassionata Sonata”.

MJ: Oooh. Nice choice! Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

CW: My Cell phone, of course.

MJ: If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be and why?

CW: The Pope’s secretary. I admire him greatly and think of the visitors he gets. What great conversations.

MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space.

CW: Right where I am surrounded by my books in a room full of windows looking out at trees.

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process.

CW: Generally I try to be at my desk at 8 taking care of social networking and marketing, and then I write for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. I need to walk in between.

MJ: What book do you wish you could have written?

CW: Simply Love, by Mary Balogh, What Angels Fear, by C.S. Harris to name but a few.

MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.

CW: Kindle, Roget’s Thesaurus (the real deal), a tall glass of water.

MJ:  Do you listen to music when you write? Explain.

CW: I usually find music to suit the mood of the story and set up a Pandora channel. One of my children’s books required blue grass. Dangerous Secrets demanded Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and traditional Italian.

MJ: Do you collage your story before writing? Explain.

CW: I don’t collage but I set up a Pinterest board with visuals for inspiration.

MJ: What do you love most about your WIP hero?

CW: He believes he can fix anything and anyone, even if they don’t want it. He is loyal to a fault.

MJ: What do you least like about your WIP heroine?

CW: She ran when faced with what she saw as an insurmountable problem.

MJ: What genre is your current WIP?

CW: A Regency romance.

MJ: What is your favorite genre to read?

CW: Regency romance and historical mysteries.

MJ: How did you chose the setting for your current WIP?

CW:  I often start with a setting. Dangerous Secrets began with, “I wonder if I could write a Regency romance set in Rome?”

MJ: Great answers all around. Now for the lightning round: Wine–red or white?

CW: Red.

MJ: Cinco de Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day?

CW: St. Patrick’s Day.

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theatre?

CW: Jersey Boys.

MJ: Favorite TV show?

CW: Justified.

MJ: Paper or e-books?

CW: E-books.

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

CW: Coke

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

CW: Extrovert.

MJ: Ready to reveal your current work in progress?

CW: That would be Dangerous Secrets.

Rome, 1820

“Major Bently? Are you in there?”

Bently? Jamie Heyworth covered his ears. Some damned fool wants my Uncle Charles.

Pounding, urgent and loud, echoed through his room.

He ignored the noise. Perhaps it will stop.

It didn’t.

“Major Bently!”

There it was again. Uncle Charles can answer.

His Uncle Charles lay dead these eight years. Jamie peeked out from under his ragged pillow and stared at the cracks in the ceiling.

MJ: I’m hooked! Now, I understand you had a book come out just last week.

CW: Yes, Dangerous Works was released a week ago today. It’s available on Amazon at



MJ: Where can your fans catch up with you?

CW: My website, my blog, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

MJ: Thanks again for joining me here today, Caroline, and best of luck with your books!





I am sometimes awakened by the sound of doors slamming. The doors, however, are not on this plane of existence. There is a certain echoing quality to the sound that alerts me to the fact that I am not quite awake, and the slamming doors aren’t real. Nor am I dreaming, but lost somewhere between dream and wakefulness.

Lately, however, I’ve been encountering an identical sound while participating in conference calls. The exact sound. It’s not the heavy teletype sound when we can hear someone typing over the speaker phone (which is odd in and of itself–I’m probably the only person in the whole company for which I work who knows the heavy sound of typing on a teletype machine, or even what a teletype machine is). I wonder if ghosts are listening in and laughing at us.

I wish I knew if my slamming doors indicated coming or going. Probably going.

Do you ever have visitors from another plane?

I am utterly delighted to welcome Beth Carter to WIP Wednesday this week. In addition to her children’s books, Beth has a new release, Thursdays at Coconuts, which is a contemporary women’s romance. Welcome Beth!

b carter

What are your top three dream destinations and why?

BC: Maui, Hawaii, because we honeymooned there and it’s gorgeous!!! Florence, Italy because of the architecture, beautiful language, and the pizza. We ate a whole pizza every day for lunch and I didn’t gain a pound. Of course, I was ten years younger. AND I met Rod Stewart there! Alaska. Even though I’m not a fan of being cold, I’d love to see the whales!

MJ: Rod Stewart? That had to have been exciting! Name one thing most people don’t know about you.

BC: I’m adventuresome (I swam with sharks!) and am pretty athletic (I played softball for years—loved playing first base and occasionally pitched). However, I also have what I call Lucille Ball moments. I do the craziest things that could never be repeated even if I were offered a million dollars (like losing a contact and finding it in the cuff of my pants—in the BACK of my pants! Finally, I was a single mom for a LONG time—16 years. Oh, you said name one thing.

MJ: If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?

BC:  I’d like to pursue photography. I entered my first-ever photography contest last year and won both first and second place with two photos! I couldn’t believe it. And I took the pics with my cell phone camera. So, now, I’m hooked and am always snapping pictures. Sadly, most are “stuck” inside my phone camera.

MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

BC: The Cheers theme song, “Where everybody knows your name.” I’m such a people person, and my daughter says I’m a creature of habit. I tend to frequent many of the same places (Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and T.J. Maxx). Most employees know my name, the fact that I’m an author, and even the kind of coffee I drink: skinny vanilla latte.

MJ: Good choice! Briefly describe your writing day/process.

BC: Coffee. Facebook. Email. Facebook. Occasionally Twitter and then I write in the afternoon. That’s the plan anyway.

MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.

BC: I am addicted to  this short genre and have been published in three six-word collections alongside celebrities and famous authors, including two six-word memoir books and one six-word desk calendar. I’m a calendar girl! Hemingway was challenged to write his memoir using just six words and I liked that backstory.

MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.

BC:  Laptop, Post-it notes, family photos, coffee mug and books–and PILES of junk to be filed. Wait. It’s not junk. I’m sure somewhere in the mess is the next Great American Novel, right?!

MJ: Do you listen to music when you write? Explain.

BC: NO. I need quiet to concentrate. I occasionally try to write from Barnes & Noble or Starbucks just to get out of the house and can only manage this when in the early draft stages (or if I need ideas for characters!)

MJ: What genre is your current WIP?

BC: Women’s fiction with romantic elements, plus suspense and humor. The title is Thursdays at Coconuts. However, many of my mystery writer friends are telling me it has a lot of mystery in it. What can I say? I’m a genre straddler.

MJ:  What is your favorite genre to read?

BC: Women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and thrillers.

MJ: Do you ever base characters on people you know?

BC: Yes! Usually the ones I don’t care for.  They are easier to write about for some reason. But I mix and match people I know and create most characters from “scratch.” I’d rather not be sued.

MJ: Oh, I hear you there! Okay, now for the lightning round. Addams Family or Munsters?

BC: Addams Family

MJ: Wine-red or white?

BC: White (chardonnay)

MJ: I Dream of Jeannie or Bewitched?

BC: Bewitched!

MJ: St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo?

BC: Cinco de Mayo–I love Mexican food!

MJ: Favorite TV show?

BC: The Voice (probably because I can’t sing and am amazed by the talent). Plus, Adam and Blake sure are cute!

MJ: Paper or e-books?

BC: Paper but I’m thrilled to join the 21st Century with my first ebook!

MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school (Marching band doesn’t count)?

BC: Doobie Brothers and Eagles, hands down!

MJ:  Coke or Pepsi?

BC: Diet Coke

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

BC: Extrovert (but I was terribly shy as a young girl and have a scar to prove it). I’ll let you ponder that.

MJ: Thank you for that. Now for the meet of the blog. What are you working on now and please share the first five to ten lines.

BC: The tentative title is Cowboys and Coconuts:

The teacher’s lounge was eerily quiet. Hope rubbed her eyes and poured a cup of much-needed coffee. She wrinkled her nose. Hilltop High School was known for award-winning sports teams but was no Starbucks. She glanced at the gray clock against the old brick wall. It was 7:45 a.m.  She could hear students clanging their locker doors, chatting and laughing as they waited for the first bell. Hope walked to the refrigerator to see if yesterday’s peach yogurt was intact as the school bell sounded a long, loud alert. Hope groaned. Damn it. I love spring but hate these twisters. She grabbed her purse as her phone rang. She didn’t answer, closed the lounge door per school procedure, and rushed to the cafeteria while herding students.

“Hurry. Move. Let’s go to the cafeteria. This might not be a drill.”

MJ: Love the title! Very catchy. How can people purchase your current release, Thursdays at Coconuts?

BC: It’s available on Amazon at

coconut 02

MJ: And can readers follow you on social media?

BC: Absolutely.  My website is

My blog is

I’m also on Facebook at for my contemporary romance, women’s fiction and for my children’s picture books.

I’m on Twitter at, Pinterest at and LinkedIn at

MJ: Thanks again for joining me today, and good luck with sales!

If you read my blog at all, you know I’m a bit of a Toby Keith fan.

I was stunned when Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill opened in the local mall.

toby keith bar and grill 2The chain doesn’t have that many locations, and my poor, rust-belt city isn’t exactly the kind of market I would expect a place like this.

I’d heard rumors about tax issues–as in, the restaurant isn’t paying its taxes and isn’t long for this world here.* So one night, I convinced TV Steve (not a country music fan) to go there for dinner. I mean, I had to experience the place once. Right? Actually, I think TV & I negotiated the outing, with him probably bribing me along the lines of: “If you’ll go to the mall with me, I’ll buy you dinner at Toby Keith’s.”

So we went. It was a Tuesday night. The mall was dead. The restaurant was dead. It’s a huge, echoing barn of a place. Texas line-dancing lessons were happening over by the stage. No one sat at the bar. Only one small section of the dining room was open. It was about half full. There was a twenty minute wait for a table. So we waited. 

Once we were seated, another ten minutes passed before anyone asked if we’d like something to drink. I ordered Purple Cowboy wine because of its name. We read the menu. Several times. Another ten minutes passed. Someone asked if we’d been waited on. Um, no. Finally our drinks were delivered and someone–not our assigned waitress–took our food order.

We made the mistake of ordering pulled pork sandwiches. Why was that a mistake? We live in Dinosaur country, home of one of the top barbecue places in the USA. Why did we bother?

Our assigned server eventually found us, but was too late to change our impression that it’s a restaurant on a downhill slide.

Toby Keith: I don’t love your bar & grill. Sorry.

*Rumors only. I have NO idea if they are true or not.

Today I am delighted to have Anna Steffl join me here on Work in Progress Wednesday. Anna lives in Athens, Georgia, home of the New World gods of football and alternative music. She has held a string of wildly unrelated jobs, from frying chicken to one that required applying for a Department of Defense security clearance.  She is a past president of Georgia Romance Writers and a Golden Heart Award finalist. Welcome Anna! Share a life memory you recall frequently and tell us why you think about it.

AS: I was 13 and an excellent swimmer. I swam out to a dock in the middle of lake, and then noticed small fish were circling the dock. Having a raging fish phobia, I refused to swim back to shore. An older girl had to carry me back in. Is it any wonder I feature big, scary lake creatures in my stories?  Well, even the little lakes creatures are scary.

MJ: Wow! What are your top three dream destinations and why?

AS: Iceland, New Zealand, Yellowstone. Why? They all have amazing thermal features.

MJ: Name one thing most people don’t know about you.

AS: I’m a libertarian, so some of my answers will not conform.

MJ: LOL! What’s your secret talent?

AS:  I play the accordion

MJ: What is the top book on your TBR pile?

AS: An ARC of the Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick, whenever she gives it to me.

MJ: Do you have any recurring dreams? If so, will you share one with us?

AS: I’m always in a house that has hidden, scary rooms and the kitchen contains odd things—like a toilet just sitting there.

MJ:  If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?

AS: A song writer.

MJ: Other than writing, what would be your dream job?

AS: Architect. I studied architecture for three years in college.

MJ: If you had a theme song, what would it be?

AS: Beer Barrel Polka

MJ: Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

AS: My glasses and cat hair on my clothes. That’s two, but they are always on my person, and I warned you about the libertarian thing.

MJ: Yes, you did! If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be and why?

AS: A Buddhist monk so I’d know what it would be like to really meditate.

MJ: Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?

AS: Babe.

MJ: What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

AS: A good quality bagel, like Masada, and lots of coffee.

MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space.

AS: A locked room with no food.

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process.

AS: Eat bagel. Drink coffee. Walk. Write.

MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.

AS: Wikipedia.

MJ: What book do you wish you could have written?

AS: War and Peace.

MJ: Plotter or Pantser?

AS: A little of both

MJ: What romance convention/cliche most sets your teeth on edge?

AS: The words for the lady bits and gentlemen bits.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

AS: Granite or marble? Mine is just a chunk of concrete from a cracked driveway.

MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.

AS: Beer. Pill bottle. Nylon Strapping. OMG—I am a freak.

MJ: Love and true love – what is the difference and what do your characters believe about LOVE?

AS: With true love, you become willing to set your best interests aside for the higher good of the relationship. For some of my characters, like Arvana and Degarius, that means honoring pledges that may destroy the relationship—but otherwise, the relationship would be doomed by their guilt. Plain old love? You are attracted to the idea of the person, rather than the reality, and how that person reflects on you. Chane Lerouge…cough, cough.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

AS: Yes.

MJ: Do you listen to music when you write? Explain.

AS: Mostly Brahms.  He believed in inspiration and craftsmanship. He also burned anything he thought unworthy. I’ve had my own bonfires.

MJ: Do you collage your story before writing? Explain.

AS: No. That would complicate my desk even more.

MJ:  Synopses: love them or hate them?

AS: Is there a stronger word than hate?

MJ: Ready for the lightning round? Addams Family or Munsters?

AS: The Simpsons.

MJ: Ha! Wine–red or white?

AS: Dirty martini.

MJ: Beer–can or bottle?

AS: Both.

MJ: Stephanie Plum or Eve Dallas?

AS: Tiffany Black.

MJ: Cinco de Mayo or St Patrick’s Day?

AS: St. Joseph’s Day — I’m Polish.

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

AS: How to Train Your Dragon II

MJ: Favorite TV show?

AS: Sherlock Holmes.

MJ: Paper or e-books?

AS: E-book.

MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school (Marching band doesn’t count).

AS: The Church

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

AS: Coke.

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

AS: Introvert.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

AS: Ma Po Tofu.

MJ: And now what we’ve all been waiting for: Can you share the first few lines of your current work in progress?

AS: Of course! This is from The Unchosen:

Mariel, following her father’s lead, pressed a handkerchief over her nose. The wind was lofting the ashes. The floating ash might have been beautiful, like the first snowfall, but instead of smelling fresh and clean, it carried the stomach turning scent of the burned flesh of their fellow villagers of Caraquet. It was forbidden to enter a hant, even one that had once been home. But, they had to find her mother’s necklace. It was why the draeden had punished them, had incinerated Caraquet.

MJ: And that is a hook! Do you have any books out now? If so, how can people find them?

AS: The Solace Trilogy is available through Amazon. Click on the covers for the buy links.

The first book in the Solace trilogy follows Arvana, the only Solacian capable of seeing the Blue Eye’s revelations, as she reluctantly leaves her cloistered refuge to seek a champion to wield a relic against the resurrected draeden. The obvious champion is the charismatic Prince Chane Lerouge, who possesses the one remaining sword the ancestors used to end the Reckoning. But the unknown warrior, Captain Degarius, unrelentingly pursues a rumored lake monster with a blade whispered to be blessed. Will Arvana’s mission earn her the elusive solace she seeks or spiral her heart—and the world—into a second Reckoning if she chooses the wrong man? Downplaying magic in favor of romance and fantasy, Arvana’s adventure boasts strong characters in an immersive, realistic new realm.



One relic is lost in an act of fidelity when Paulus’s blessed sword falls into undeserving hands. One relic is won by testing the strength, endurance, and mercy of the champion who proves himself worthy of the Blue Eye. But two souls are shattered in the process. Though Arvana serves her penance by choosing a champion, the pure joy of a shacra evades her until a forbidden moment of tenderness. Will the single kiss endanger the fate of the world and destroy her heart’s longing for solace? This fascinating trilogy continues with greater stakes and deeper romance in an unforgettable fantasy world.



This final installment of the Solace Trilogy finds Arvana contending with the choices she’s made and the fate of the world on her shoulders. In the depths of winter, the Scyon releases the powers of Hell to bring forth a second Reckoning that will overturn world order. But from the deepest desperation, the fugitive outcasts reluctantly embark on an impossible quest. Armed only with a single blessed sword, a dangerous relic, and the remnants of a shattered love, will solace arise?


MJ: Gorgeous covers! And are you on social media?

AS: Yes. I have a website —

I’m on Facebook —

I’m on Twitter — @Solace Trilogy -or- @AnnaKurtzSteffl

Pinterest —

LinkdIn —  Anna Kurtz Steffl

Google+ —  Anna Steffl

MJ: Thanks again for joining me for Work In Progress Wednesday, and good luck!



Toke Lobo

I’ve been waiting to hear from my editor at Soul Mate Publishing about the second werewolf book The timing of my submission could have been better: my editor was on her way out the door to San Antonio for the RWA National Conference when I sent her the manuscript.

But the wait is over. Stoker Smith, keyboard player for Toke Lobo & The Pack, gets his own story, And Jericho Burned. And if you’re not sure who or what Toke Lobo & The Pack is, check out Moonlight Serenade.

Category: Writing  Leave a Comment

This week’s WIP Wednesday guest is Nancy Henderson, multi-published author in historical and paranormal fiction. Welcome, Nancy! Can you tell us something most people don’t know about you?

NH:  Hmmm…tough one.  Oh, I know!  I like dogs just as much as cats.  But everyone who knows me calls me the crazy cat lady!

MJ: What is your secret talent?

NH:  I can train a housecat to fetch a milk ring usually in a single afternoon.  (Milk rings = those plastic rings around the top of the milk cartons.)  Hey I never said it was a good talent! LOL!

MJ: If you didn’t write, what would be your creative outlet?

NH: I’d probably do clay pottery, or do more with gardening.

MJ: Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

NH: A tote bag.  I have to have it loaded with books, something I’m writing at the moment, and pens.

MJ: What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

NH: Coffee.  That’s about it during the week.  On weekends I go to the local diner with my husband.

MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space.

NH: A writing room that’s decorated with Adirondack/rustic furniture, a fireplace, a large window looking out over a remote body of water.  Sigh…

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process.

NH: I wish I had a process!  I write in brief moments when I can.  I have a day job, so I write before work, during lunch hours, etc.  I usually don’t write on weeknights because my brain is fried. I write a lot on weekends, especially in the morning.

MJ: Name one writing-related website you use a lot.

NH: Comptonplations —

MJ: ::blushing:: Plotter or pantser?

NH: Pantster. I’ve tried to plot and it never works for me.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

NH:  No.  For me, it’s plain laziness.  Or being overwhelmed.  When I’m overwhelmed, I freeze up and do nothing.  That’s when I need to take things one day at a time.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

NH: Yes, I’m both small press and self published. I love, love, love the freedom of self publishing and plan to do a lot more of it.

MJ: Thanks, Nancy. Now it’s time for the lightning round. Addams Family or Munsters?

NH: Munsters!

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

NH: Tammy.

MJ: Favorite TV show?

NH: Don’t currently have one.

MJ: Paper or e-books?

NH: Both!

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

NH: Coke.

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

NH: Extrovert.

MJ: Now it’s time for the real meat of the blog. Tell us about your current work in progress.

NH: The title is Bounty:  hero is paid to escort heroine to her betrothed.  But will he lose his heart on the journey?

                 He slapped her hard enough to make her head spin.

                Delilah Van Allen opened her eyes.  Her father was enraged, and she could have done nothing to avoid the blow.  She did not back away, for self-protection was a sign of defiance, something Papa had little tolerance for.  Instead she met his hard pale eyes, refusing to look away.


MJ: Wow. That was  definitely a hook!   Do you have a current release?

NH: Yes. Stranger in Her Bed  is available on Amazon (Click on the title for the link).

MJ: Do you engage in social media?

NH: Yes. Website —

Blog –

Facebook —

Twitter —

MJ: Thanks again for joining me today. Good luck!



capitol organTV Stevie and I attended Capitolfest this past weekend. We love the Capitol Theatre in Rome, NY, and their annual three-day, silent/early talky movie marathon is always a high point in our year. The above photo is of the theatre’s 1928 original installation Moller organ. This beautiful instrument more than earns its keep over the film festival weekend.

The very first movie of this year’s event was a 1922 silent western, Partners of the SunsetWithin the first few minutes of the film, I found myself grinning. Some aspects of story never change. Ninety two years ago, the story started with two “poor relation” sisters inheriting a ranch out west, from a distant uncle, with the stipulation they must live there for one year in order to inherit. The movie was a romance novel on the big screen. I loved every second.

Miscellaneous observations: George Bancroft and Alec Baldwin share a certain look at times (and camera angle), as do William Powell and Tom Hiddleston.

One of my favorite movies of the weekend was something called High Treason, a dreadful 1929 “futuristic” pic that contained precognitive flashes of both the Holocaust and 9/11. If I had known about this movie back when I was producing my bad movie TV show, I would have tried like crazy to get my hands on a copy. It was so bad, it was good, like Plan 9 From Outer Space. 

The best movies of the weekend were three dramas:

  • Ladies Man (1931)
  • Forgotten Faces (1928) (silent)
  • Laughter in Hell (1933)

Good story telling doesn’t rely on gimmicks, and these three movies prove that. I did, however, think the HEA ending of Laughter in Hell was a bit abrupt, but many movies this festival had the same issue, like rock songs before the Beatles started composing specific endings.

One more miscellaneous observation: I had a “tiffany” this weekend. If you read my blog, you know I hate special effects used for the sake of using special effects. I loathed The Dark Knight for that reason alone. Bang-bang-blow-em-up makes me crazy. This weekend I realized I don’t like a lot of 1930s movies for a similar reason. But special effects weren’t the new toy in that era. Sound was. And far too many movies have a gratuitous scene of a woman singing. Frequently, she’s not even a particularly good singer. But we have sound, by gum, we’re going to put a song in the movie. Most often, the singing-scene could be cut and the story would lose absolutely nothing.

And that’s a wrap.



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