Today’s Work-In-Progress guest is Brenda Stinnett. Welcome Brenda!

MJ: Let’s jump right in. Do you have a life memory you think of often that you would be willing to share with us?

BRENDA: I remember when I was young and my mother would read stories to me at bedtime. I loved it because it was our special time and I didn’t have to share her with my older brother or sister.

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

BRENDA: Tuscany, Italy, Cobh, Ireland, and Lourdes, France. I love Italy for the art & architecture, Ireland for its ghostly feel, and France for its spiritual healing.

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

BRENDA: When I was young, I was so terrified of water that baths scared me, I was afraid I’d go down the drain with the water.

MJ: Well, that is a scary thought. What’s your secret talent?

BRENDA: I’m pretty good at chess.

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

BRENDA:  I’m determined to read Vanity Fair.

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

BRENDA: Yes, I do have a recurring dream. Sometimes when I’m in strange situations, I dream that the ‘bad guys’ are after me and I’m running away from them.

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

BRENDA: My creative outlet would be learning to play the guitar.

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

BRENDA: I would love to be a marriage/family psychologist.

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

BRENDA:  “What You Gonna Do”

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

BRENDA: My pink lipstick, no matter what I’m wearing, I have to have my pink lipstick.

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

BRENDA: I would love to be Stephen King one day and just see what goes on in his mind.

MJ: Now that’s scary! Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?

BRENDA: The Life of Pi. Somehow, I think I ‘got’ the book more when it was a movie, and I especially liked the special effects.

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

BRENDA: I like pizza for breakfast, but most days I eat the eggs & bacon my husband loves.

MJ: Describe your ideal/dream writing space.

BRENDA: My dream writing space would be a lanai overlooking a warm, tropical beach.

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day/process.

BRENDA: I get up, eat breakfast, and write for a couple of hours, then go do other important family stuff, do my media stuff, write for another hour or two, and then do something fun, go to the show, Disney World, or read.

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

BRENDA: Addicted to Ebooks.

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

BRENDA: The Language of Flowers. It’s Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s first novel, and it’s fabulous.

MJ: Plotter or Pantser?

BRENDA: Definitely a pantser, even though I admire plotters tremendously.

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

BRENDA: I think all romance conventions can be good if they are done originally.  I do think smart, snarky characters can be overdone.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

BRENDA: Yes I do, and I also believe in Santa!

MJ: Name 3 things on your desk right now.

BRENDA: A small quilt made by my sister talking about Faith, Hope, & Love, a calendar, and a clock.

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

BRENDA: I think that all love can be true, but we just have to give it a chance. If love isn’t true, then it’s not really love. My characters all want to believe in love, but they are often afraid of confronting it, and sometimes find out that it wasn’t what they expected, but they will know real love when they find it.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

BRENDA: Yes, I have self-published my last book.

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

BRENDA: I love to listen to music when I write, but I have to have the rough draft already committed to paper before I can do this.

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

BRENDA: No, but it sounds wonderful. It sounds so creative and flowing, but I don’t do it.

MJ: Synopses: love them or hate them?

BRENDA: Yes and double-yes. I have to have a synopsis, but I find them difficult to write.

MJ: Thanks for the insight into your writing. Here’s the Lightning Round. Addams Family or Munsters?

BRENDA: Addams Family.

MJ:  Wine-red or white?


MJ: Beer-can or bottle?

BRENDA: Bottle.

MJ: Stephanie Plum or Eve Dallas?

BRENDA: Stephanie Plum.

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

BRENDA: St. Patrick’s Day.

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

BRENDA: Jersey Boys.

MJ: Favorite TV show?

BRENDA: Big Bang Theory

MJ: Paper or e books?

BRENDA: Paper.

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

BRENDA: Rolling Stones

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

BRENDA: Please, no contest, Coke

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

BRENDA: Introvert.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

BRENDA: Mexican.

MJ: Now for the meat of the blog: Please share the first 5 to 10 sentences of your current WIP.

Escorted by a guard, her face frozen into a sculpture of ice, he watched Anna head toward his booth where nothing divided him and her but a wall and the Plexiglass window. The corridor, greasy gray, same as the cinder-block walls, echoed with each footstep she took.

When she finally reached him, he cut his eyes away, but then slowly drew his gaze back to her. He admired the way she pretended these were normal circumstances.

A folding chair awaited her, close, but not too near the window. She glanced at the guard, and he nodded.

“If you need anything, press the buzzer along the panel on the wall. I’ll be right over there, at the end of the corridor.”

MJ: Wow. Great opening. Do you have buy links for any current releases?

BRENDA: You can purchase Tenth Degree of the Paranormal on Amazon at

cover2MJ: Great cover! And how can readers find you?

BRENDA: My website:, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

MJ: Thanks so much for joining me today. Good luck with your books!


Just finished reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.

The book is about women in the work place and how nothing has changed in several decades, how the home place also needs to change to enable women to get to the top. She makes a lot of valid points, but says nothing new. Hopefully a new voice taking up the rallying call will galvanize some change.

Granted, my “career” in the corporate world has come and gone (see bio link above), and I was lucky enough to work in a business that allowed for flexibility when it came to my children. I am also married to great man who was a very hands-on dad. When something came up, we would compare schedules and adjust things as needed. If that meant I worked mornings while he stayed home with a sick child, then he went in in the afternoon, we did it. He prefers working late anyway, so I would drop the children off at after school activities/classes (or car pool with other other parents to do this), then he would pick them up on his way home.

Sandberg is lucky (she doesn’t like that word, but what’s true is true) in that she works for innovative companies (Facebook, Google) that are changing the world starting with the workplace culture. Her maternity leave options were way different than mine were. I do recall telling the first woman general manager of my company that we needed access to personal products in the restrooms. A week later a machine was installed. And that was cutting edge at the time.

I think Sandberg’s relative youth bothers me, too, because she doesn’t always connect the dots, especially if the dots were drawn before she was cognizant. Example: why people are working more hours. She blames technology. I blame reduction in workforce, spreading more tasks to few people. The work still has to get done, even if you do lay-off your entire graphics department. DUH!

If I were a younger woman, I might find this book valuable. I found nothing new, some ignorance, and probably shouldn’t have read it because it mostly annoyed me.

Attitude is a decision.


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Due to a SNAFU, the scheduled author was unable to make it today, so here are the first several lines of my next werewolf book, tentatively titled, And Jericho Burned.

Toke Lobo

Toke Lobo


Summoned as if she were a disobedient child, Lucy Callahan stood with her sister before her crazy brother-in-law, her hands, teeth, and stomach muscles clenched. She tried to focus on her irritation with Michelle instead of the wariness Randy inspired.

“You can’t leave,” he said, slamming his fist on his dilapidated wooden desk. “Michelle needs her family.”

His voice was too big for his physical presence and had a mesmerizing effect on certain segments of the population, much like the Pied Piper and rodents or St. Patrick and snakes.

Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney kicked off his US tour in a city a few hours away from where I live. TV Stevie somehow managed to get tickets (the concert was sold out in 28 minutes or so). Yes, I saw the two living Beatles within 10 days of each other. Our seats were shockingly good–not on the floor, because I hate floor seats, being just under five feet tall. Crowds tend to trigger claustrophobia in me.

We arrived in Albany early enough to take our time finding a place to park (free, on the street, about 6 blocks from the venue) and to find a restaurant that would seat us without reservations for a light meal before the show. I love taking my time like that.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the story about the couple from Rochester, NY who held up signs: “He won’t marry me until he meets you,” and “I have the ring, and I’m 64.” (ABC Nightly News showed the story, although they had the concert location wrong.) It was a lot of fun seeing the whole thing–especially when the security guard kept trying to drag the couple off the stage–as it happened.

The whole concert was–incredible. Just seeing a legend perform would have been enough, but Sir Paul played for 3 hours. The ROI was in the black. Sir Paul looked good, sounded great. He connected with the audience in a way I’d never seen before, even in smaller venues. When women in the front rows screamed, he jumped back and said, “Don’t do that to me. Those days are gone!” He paid tribute to John Lennon and George Harrison. There were pyrotechnics during “Live and Let Die,” something I’ve never seen at a concert before.

Other Sir Paul quips:

“People have these signs, but I can’t really read them, because I’m trying to remember the words and the chords for the songs I’m playing.”

“People always applaud when I play a song from my new album, but when I play something really old, they whip out the cell phones and start recording.”

Now, I’m going to admit, I was never a huge, die-hard Beatles fan. A co-worker once quipped: “One was either a Beatles fan or a Rolling Stones fan.” I replied, “Neither. Dylan.”  That’s not to say I didn’t like their music, but I also didn’t consider them the be all, end all. In retrospect, they probably were tied with Dylan as Be-All, End-All. And I’m really, really glad I got to see Sir Paul perform live.


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Today I am most pleased to welcome Angela Archer to WIP Wednesday here on Comptonplations.

Angela, what are your top three dream destinations and why?

ANGELA: Ireland, Bora Bora, and Alaska. I’ve always wanted to see Ireland to see the beauty of it. In all the pictures I see, it just looks like such beautiful countryside. Bora Bora, is my dream beach destination, or really any of the Islands of Tahiti. And, lastly, if I don’t do anything else on my bucket list, or go to any of the other places, one thing I will do someday is see the Northern Lights.

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

ANGELA: I don’t know about creative, but my other stress outlet is riding my horse. I wish I had more time in the day to write and ride, but alas, time evades me most days. I also love cooking and baking–especially from scratch. I’m working on adding a bunch of yummy, healthy, homemade recipes on my blog.

MJ: If you ever need a taster . . . okay, other than writing, what would be your dream job?

ANGELA: When I was young I wanted to be a marine biologist and study whales. When I found out how much school that job required I reconsidered. :) I was never really one that loved school. I don’t know why, I just didn’t like it.

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

ANGELA: The Last of the Mohicans. I fell in love with the movie before I read the book. When I started the book, everything was different and I freaked out and stopped reading it. Probably not the best thing to do, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around all the changes.

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

ANGELA: I’ve been trying to live a more healthier life and lose a few pounds, and since to do that you should eat a breakfast, I eat one. Usually, a banana, Greek vanilla yogurt, and raspberries.

MJ: Plotter or pantser?

ANGELA: I’m a plotter. I have an insane outlining process. I don’t just write a few sentences, I do paragraphs about each chapter and scene. If I don’t, I get lost with what to do next and then weeks go by and I haven’t touched my manuscript because I’m stuck.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

ANGELA: I believe in writer’s block with my own personal writing. Every author is different, though so while I might get stuck or write myself into a corner, or head down a direction I didn’t plan that sends me slamming my head into the wall or my desk, other writers might not ever experience that. To those lucky enough to never have it, I bow down to their awesomeness.

MJ: Name three things on your desk right now.

ANGELA: Haha. Seriously? A Jessie doll from Toy Story, stencils, markers, and paper, and a bowl of my homemade potato salad. What? I’m hungry, and I have a 21 month old and a 7 year old.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

ANGELA: Yes, I would. I’ve gone back and forth with it, though. As with everything I believe there are pros and cons with traditional publishing and self publishing. Each writer is different and has different goals for their work. If a certain writer thinks self publishing is the better route for them, then I say bravo for doing what is right for them. I have a few friends who are self published and their books are doing really good.

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

ANGELA: I listen to instrumental music, it helps me immensely. While I prefer Celtic music, really any instrumental music works, and I really love soundtracks. A few good ones are The Last of the Mohicans, BraveheartSecretariat, and Harry Potter.

MJ: Thanks for sharing that! Now, for the lightning round. Beer-can or bottle?

ANGELA: Bottle

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

ANGELA: How to Train Your Dragon 2

MJ: Favorite TV show?

ANGELA:  Game of Thrones

MJ: Paper or e-books?

ANGELA: Paper.

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

ANGELA: Def Leppard (And they are still my all time favorite ever!)

MJ: Would you be willing to share the first five to ten sentences of your current work in progress?

ANGELA:  Of course! This is from When the Black Roses Grow, a Historical Romance set in 1692 during the
Salem Witch Trials.

The gentle breeze blew the soft flower petals against my chest. Laying
against my black, cotton dress and clutched in my arms, the bouquet
fluttered from side to side as my feet crunched through the twigs and
rocks along the dirt path. Of course, the flowers were nothing more than
the wild vegetation that bloomed around my home, not like the pretty
sprays of flora most set upon the crosses of their departed loved ones.
Nice flowers weren’t allowed in this part of the cemetery.

I tiptoed down the path past other mourners crying over different
headstones or huddled in the arms of another while they prayed—their
whispers the same echoed prayers I’ve heard dozens of times. Tightening
my grip on the stems, and tucking my chin deeper toward my chest, I
lifted my hand to my face to block my eyes and continued down through
the maze of overgrown weeds, debris, and the broken, rotten wood gate.
A few of the mourners watched me, knowing where I traveled to, and
judging me for my betrayal to God, the Church, and to everyone in Salem.
How dare I mourn my loss. How dare I visit her, my mother—the condemned

Along the outskirts of town, near the peddlers road, and buried in the
plot of land furthest from the church, the damned and cursed lay in
shallow graves, unmarked, unless a family member willing to bear the
burden of the shame bestowed them with one. Outlined by overgrown brush
that never received care, this cursed part of the cemetery was rarely

In all honesty, I shouldn’t have traveled here.

MJ: Oh, my! You’ve certainly hooked my attention here. Where can readers purchase your current release?

ANGELA: The Woman on the Painted Horse is available on Amazon. (Click the title for the link.)

MJ: And where can readers follow you?

ANGELA:  I have a website–,

a blog–

a Face Book page–

plus I’m on Twitter and


MJ: Thanks a lot for stopping by today. Good luck with your writing and your sales!



Ringo Starr.

I’d seen Ringo one other time, over twenty years ago, and his concert was more like a variety show. It wasn’t just Ringo, but a lot of other rock n’ roll stars. Some things don’t change. The only difference this year was we took the Chromos with us so they could say they’d seen at least one former Beatle live, in concert. Oh, and the All Starrs were different.

The venue was a nearby casino, so getting there in a timely manner was relatively simple.

We had pretty good seats–kind of high up, but straight on to the stage. And we could definitely see the musicians.

And what an All-Starr line up! Besides Ringo, there was Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Gregg Rolie (Santana and Journey), and Todd Rundgren (successful solo career).  The high point of the concert (for me) was Richard Page doing “Kyrie,” which is one of the few songs of the 1980s I not only tolerate, but love. Whoever would have thought I would actually get to hear Richard Page perform it live?

The concert would have been better with more songs and less jamming. X-Chromo & Y-Chromo both said: “There didn’t need to be a guitar solo after every number.” And they were correct. That has always been one of the sources of my indifference to Santana and several other bands. I am not into the jamming. While I like music, I am a word woman.

Other high points included audience participation in “Yellow Submarine” and, at the very end, “Give Peace a Chance.”

The low point. Unanimous vote in my house, Ringo’s “Anthem”, from his latest album.

Here’s a link for the complete set list.

Overall, I’d give the concert 3 of 4 Starrs.

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I am absolutely delighted to have my great friend and critique partner, Kris Fletcher, here at Comptonplations today.  Kris, do you have a life memory you recall often and that you’d be willing to share with us and tell us why it stays with you?

KRIS: Our adoption of our second daughter, from Russia, involved a rather grueling court session with many difficult questions. It was nerve-wracking and intimidating, and her future literally hung on what we would say – but there came a moment when I realized I was kind of enjoying it. The judge and ministry representatives had many questions, HARD questions, but I was handling them all and staying calm. I remember looking at the officials and thinking, go ahead, try to trip me up – I’ve got this. It was a rather empowering moment and reminds me that I can do more than I think I can.

MJ: I can see why that one sticks with you. It also sounds like you’ve done a bit of traveling. Do you have any dream destinations you’d like to visit?

KRIS: Wherever my kids are at the moment. I really hate traveling, so the only reason I ever want to go someplace is to see people I love. 

MJ: Do you have a secret talent?

KRIS: Coming up with fun and sometimes honest answers to interview questions. 

MJ: OUCH! Okay, what’s the top book on your TBR pile?

KRIS: At the moment, The Last Original Wife, by Dorothea Benton Frank

MJ: Do you have any recurring dreams you could share with us?

KRIS: I’m in a house and discover a secret room that keeps opening into other rooms. And they’re all awesome.

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

KRIS: Singing. Knitting and other needlework. And I would love to learn how to play the piano, saxophone, and bagpipes.

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

KRIS: “Just a Gigolo”

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

KRIS: Clothing.

MJ: I wish more people felt that way! If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be and why?

KRIS: Hillary Clinton. I think she has accomplished some amazing things in her life, and I would love to know how it feels to operate at that level.

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

KRIS: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The animated version, never ever ever the Jim Carrey one.

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

KRIS: Some peanut butter & grape jelly slapped on a slice of whole wheat bread & eaten as I get folks ready for school – and then a blissful, solitary iced latte once they’re all gone.

MJ: Describe your ideal or dream writing space.

KRIS: A cabin in the woods, on a not-too-hot summer day, with no Internet or family expectations, surrounded by other writers. Also chocolate.

MJ: That sounds heavenly. Briefly describe your writing day/process.

KRIS: Procrastinate. Procrastinate. Panic. Write frantically. Lather, rinse, repeat.

MJ: Is there a book you wish you could have written:

KRIS: Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie.

MJ: Plotter or Pantser?

KRIS: Planter working to become a plotter.

MJ: Ha! Do you believe in writer’s block?

KRIS: Yes. It’s very, very scary. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

MJ: Name three things on your desk right now.

KRIS: Hand lotion, my Kindle, and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

MJ: Do you listen to music while you write?

KRIS: Yes, but only soothing instrumentals – lots of Bill Leslie and Jim Brickman. Otherwise I end up singing instead of writing.

MJ: Do you collage your story before writing?

KRIS: Not with pictures, but I do make a soundtrack, which I consider a musical collage.

MJ: Synopses: love them or hate them?

KRIS: They’re like exercise: I hate them while writing them, but once they’re done, I am ever so grateful.

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

KRIS: Addams Family.  Mostly because every time I speak French, I imagine Gomez kissing his way up my arm.

MJ: Wine-red or white?

KRIS: Whatever tastes most like Welch’s Grape Juice.

MJ: Beer-can or bottle?

KRIS: Can. Shoved inside a chicken on the grill.

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

KRIS: Cinco de Mayo for the food, St. Patrick’s for the leprechauns.

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

KRIS: Muppets Most Wanted. And I loved it.

MJ: Favorite TV show?

KRIS: Now: Big Bang Theory. All time: BBT, Soap, and Alienation.

MJ: Paper or e-books:

KRIS: Both!

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

KRIS: Coke when I want high-test, Pepsi for diet/uncaffeinated.

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

KRIS: Introverted all the way.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

KRIS: Canadian. Bring on the poutine and doughnuts!

MJ: Now’s the moment! Will you share the first five to ten sentences of your current work in progress:KRIS: The man hovering at the entry to Ian North’s garage was very tall, very blond, and very late.


“Hey Ian. Long time no see.”

“Xander?” Ian tugged his work gloves from his hands and set them on the anvil where, moments earlier, he had been happily pounding the hell out of a piece of hot iron. With a quick glance to make sure everything in his home forge could be safely ignored for a few minutes, he ventured toward his old college roommate. “What are you doing back here?”

Xander pulled sunglasses from his face and hooked them casually over the neck of his silky black tee. “I came to get my dog.”

MJ: Oh, I can’t wait to read this! Do you have buy links for any current releases?

KRIS: Oh, yes.

MJ: And where can people find or follow you?

KRIS: Here you go!






MJ: Thanks, Kris! Good luck.






I’m on a mini retreat, so my typing is focused on my novella, where I’m trying to blend both genres in which I write into one book. Here’s a picture of the view.

Talty cottage


I had an amazingly productive day yesterday.

Here’s what we drank when we broke for cocktails last night.

50 SHADES OF WINESee you on the other side!


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It gives me a great deal of pleasure to have Samanthya Wyatt as my guest today.

MJ: Samanthya, can you share a life memory you recall frequently and tell us why you think about it.

Samanthya: “Granddaddy, are you my friend?”

We took our granddaughter to Myrtle Beach on vacation when she was 4yrs. We were in the hotel pool and she looks at my husband and asked this question. We were so awed. I’ve never forgotten and when it often comes to mind. I’m around children a lot. They are so open and so innocent. And you never know what goes through their little minds or what may come out of their mouths.

MJ: That is too precious! What are your top three destinations, and why?

Samanthya: Scotland, Ireland, New York City.

I would love to see the country and castles. There is so much history and so many stories behind those walls. As for New York, I want to see the Statue of Liberty.

MJ: What’s your secret talent?

Samanthya: Writing romance. My family and friends do not know.

MJ: Wow. That’s a pretty big secret. What’s the top book on your TBR pile?

Samanthya: The True One – Stephen’s story, the sequel to The Right One.

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

Samanthya: Painting. I’ve done some Tri-chem pictures, and I love working on family photo albums – decorations, adding memorabilia.

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

Samanthya: When I retire, I will be doing my dream job of writing romance novels.

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

Samanthya:  Anyone who owned a totally private farm and had a pool where I could relax, do nothing and have no interruptions.

MJ: I think all writers long for that! Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version of the story?

Samanthya: Gone With The Wind. It is the greatest movie of all time. Everyone knows it. I don’t think that could be said about any book.

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

Samanthya: Coffee – coffee- and coffee!

MJ: Let’s talk a little more about  your writing. Can you describe your ideal or dream writing space?

Samanthya: A library full of books and a huge desk with lots of space. A wall of current research books, a shelf of cubby holes for all my projects and an assistant to file and keep up with my sticky notes. I am a very organized person. But with my writing, my fingers can’t keep up with the sporadic thoughts running through my brain, so I jot down notes and desperately need them sorted or filed. LOL.

MJ: Briefly describe your writing day and your process.

Samanthya: Get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and go to my computer. Of course this is only on the weekends and when no one else is in the house.

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

Samanthya: I use many, and I google topics searching for new sites to get all the information I can.

MJ: Plotter or pantser?

Samanthya: A little of both. Typing my thoughts without trying to perfect what I’m writing works best. But I still make a plot and do a character sheet and work on GMC. I have some type of sketch or idea of where my story is headed.

MJ: Do you believe in writer’s block?

Samanthya: Of course. If nothing comes to mind, I leave, go do something else and come back.

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

Samanthya: I love a lot of things. I love a lot of people. But true love – in love – with the man of your dreams is a feeling like no other – and what every reader wants. I try to capture that with my characters.

MJ: Would you consider self-publishing?

Samanthya: No. Having a publisher gives me the assurance my work is good enough to be published.

MJ: Do you listen to music while you write?

Samanthya: Some days I have the house Rockin’. The music is in the living room and I am in the bedroom/office.

MJ: Synopsis: love them or hate them:

Samanthya: Before I perfected my first one, I hated them. Now, they are okay. Most publishers want a pitch/hook before they even consider a synopsis. Hooks drive me crazy.

MJ: OK, now it’s time for the lightning round. Addams Family or Munsters?

Samanthya: Munsters.

MJ: Wine–red or white?

Samanthya: Red

MJ: Beer–can or bottle?

Samanthya: bottle/glass

MJ: Stephanie Plum or Eve Dallas?

Samanthya: either

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

Samanthya: Love both!

MJ: Last movie you saw in a theater?

Samanthya: Thor

MJ: Favorite TV show?

Samanthya: Person of Interest

MJ: Paper or e-books?

Samanthya: paperback

MJ: Favorite band when you were in high school?

Samanthya: The Commodores

MJ: Coke or Pepsi?

Samanthya: Coke

MJ: Introvert or extrovert?

Samanthya: Extrovert.

MJ: Favorite ethnic food?

Samanthya: I love Italian.

MJ: Now for the nitty-gritty. Please share the opening lines of your current work in progress.

Samanthya: I’m currently working on Firemen of Station 8 series.

A red image appeared in Cassie’s peripheral vision. Turning, her gaze landed on a Portsmouth fire truck. Right in front of the building.

A silent alarm went off in her brain – the same way it did every time she heard a siren or any emergency vehicle roaring down the road. Ever since her cousin’s house burned a few months ago. The shock of flames climbing six feet above the roof had paralyzed her and brought reality crashing down. She remembered the desolation seeing their home in ruins. The sudden realization of how quickly one could lose everything.

No lights.  No siren.

Still, a little pang of fear sent her pulse racing.

MJ: You’ve got my attention! I understand you have a book coming out today?

Samanthya: Yes, today is release day for my second book, Something More. You can purchase it here:











And my first book, The Right One, is still available —



MJ: And how can readers stay in touch with you?

Samanthya: Through my website and blog - or on Goodreads.

MJ: Thanks again for joining me. Good luck!

Bernie Williams was in town last weekend. It was Father’s Day, and TV Stevie wanted to go to the ballpark to see him. Well, hear him. You see, Bernie is now a professional musician. His CDs have been nominated for Latin Grammy Awards. And Bernie was scheduled to play the national anthem on guitar. So we went to the game. I hadn’t been to a game all season. It was nice to be back, although we couldn’t get our old seats (we were season ticket holders for three years, and I wrote a blog with the woman in the seats next to us:  From Section 207). Still we did sit in 207 and got to chat with our former neighbors.


And we got to see and hear Bernie.

We left the game early (me with a nice sunburn), grabbed take out from a local Italian restaurant, then went downtown to hear Bernie in concert.


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No, I did not take photos during the concert. I am under the impression that to do so is illegal. Too bad the jerk in front of me didn’t care. Every time he turned on his camera to record Bernie, he blinded me. So I would kick the back of his seat. Childish, I know, but he was completely rude and completely oblivious.

The concert was nice. Bernie is incredible on the guitar. I never knew he actually went to a performing arts high school in Puerto Rico–studying music.

But . . . there’s always a but, isn’t there?

I am not a fan of big, brassy music. I know many people who are huge Chicago (the band) fans. I am not one of them. And Bernie’s band had a lot of brass, soprano sax, etc. After a while, the music all started sounding alike to me. To me. That is not a criticism of the performances. The musicians were all amazing. The band leader/saxophonist was indescribable, especially on the alto sax. The style of music just isn’t my cuppa.

But hey! I got to see Bernie Williams in concert, and baseball fan that I am, that’s enough.