Search This Blog

Sunday, March 18, 2018

SCHRÖDINGER’S TRUNK, by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer

 Trunk in the Attic, by Valentina Rota
Trunk in the Attic, by Valentina Rota

There is a trunk in the attic with my past in it. Not all my past: I moved around a lot when I was young. Still, therein lies a cornucopia of experiences, now so distantly removed from my current life, they seem like those of another person.

There is the first cat story I wrote, in fourth grade, about my tabby Two and a far-off land where everyone lived in houses with diamond walls.

There is a sketchbook from my days in Chicago, pages of dark scribble and slashing lines depicting inner city buildings in the shadow of 1968.

There is a photo album from when I was a hippie living on the farm. In some of them I am naked, innocently swimming in a country lake. In some, I’m ensconced with other bell-bottomed, bead-bedecked flower children. In one, I’m playing pool.

Other things have accumulated in that magic trunk as well. A flotsom of greeting cards, letters, notes with a loved one’s name penned longhand nest at the dusty bottom. Some of those loved ones— too many—have been lost along the way.

There used to be diaries in the trunk, but several years ago I shredded them, consigning my youthful craziness to the ash pile. At the time I felt release— no longer bound by my indiscretions. As a writer, I suppose I should regret the loss, but I don’t. I did keep the poems and drawings; the rest was so much hooey.

I think about the trunk from time to time. I’d like to post the pool player photo on Facebook; I’d like to read a birthday card from my grandmother; I’d like to check out the cat story, see if it’s as great as I remember. It’s probably not, but as long as it stays buried in the trunk, I can pretend.

The trunk remains closed. A decade ago, workers redid the attic beams, and in their effort, stacked my trunk underneath a small mountain of other clutter. Every so often, I look at it, gage the amount of work it would take to dig it out, and go away again. It’s on the list, among other jobs to be done... but not in winter because the attic is too cold and not in summer because it’s stifling hot. I can’t do it alone because some of the items are heavy and awkward, yet I don’t want anyone to do it with me. Besides I have no place to put it once I get it out. The dust makes me sneeze. 

Someday I’ll want the trunk badly enough to overcome the obstacles. Until then, I can remember. Schrödinger’s trunk: its nostalgic contents can be whatever I decide.

Check out more blogs by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer at:
Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

I'm old enough to remember television before "reality tv" became a thing. I was underwhelmed when the first reality shows came out. I didn't understand the fascination and swore I would never watch them. As I have done so many times before, I had to eat my words.

There are several reality shows that I enjoy, among them: Chopped, Project Runway, and Ink Master. It took me a while to realize that the shows I like have certain traits in common: competition and creativity. I enjoy watching various creative processes from the beginning to end. Give the contestants, whether they are chefs, fashion designers, or tattoo artists, the same challenge and each one will have a different interpretation and the end results will be completely different. Why? Because each artist is an individual with different experiences and different thought processes. 
Image courtesy of

It's the same with writers. Each of us sees the world through different eyes and will be inspired by different things. Romances in particular seem to get a bad rap. Many people think they are all the same. I beg to differ. Each author approaches their stories from their unique perspective.

What inspires me? All sorts of things. My Kudzu Korners series was inspired by a rescue cat named Zombie.

I was also inspired by the story of Melissa Dohme, a domestic abuse survivor who married one of the EMTs who rescued her. The next installment in my Kudzu Korners series, Dances with Werewolves, features a Sydney, a heroine who learns to love after domestic abuse. I didn't specifically have Melissa's story in mind as the when fleshing out Sydney but I know that it was there in the back of my mind as I did.

My most recent inspiration comes from a video I saw on Facebook. You can view it HERE. There will be a scene loosely based on this video in an upcoming inspirational romance titled Choosing Love.

What inspires you?

Sign up for my newsletter here:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New Release - The Stars at Night by Celia Yeary - @prairierosepubs #firestarpress #romancenovel

New Yorker Kate Norwood meets Jesse McCoy on her trip to Texas with her young nephew. She learns her plan to leave Nicky with his grandmother – Jesse’s mother – is hopeless, and faced with the improbable prospect of rearing the boy herself, she turns to Jesse for help. Kate and Jesse bond easily, but problems arise which may drive them apart and leave the child with the wrong person. With hearts full of love and hope, they work together to find the answers they need under THE STARS AT NIGHT.


With narrowed eyes, Jesse McCoy watched a black SUV fly by him. The guy's going to kill somebody. He snapped the strap of the helmet under his chin and adjusted his mirrored sunglasses. In a single motion, he kicked back the stand with the heel of his boot, hit the starter, and put the motorcycle in gear. The sleek, black machine roared to life as he raced onto the highway, spewing gravel into the air behind him. Unconsciously, he flicked the switch to turn on the sirens and the red and blue flashing lights.
Damn fool must be going ninety.
The live oak and juniper trees blurred as he revved up the big bike to catch the speeder. Once or twice, he lost sight of the SUV as it sailed over a hill and left him in a swale, or it disappeared around a curve. As an officer of the law in the Texas Hill Country, he knew what he was doing, and without a doubt, he would catch the perpetrator.
• ♥ •
"Oh...darn." Kate glanced at her young nephew, wishing she hadn't used the word, even though she didn't classify it as a curse word. But you never knew what a kid would think.
"A cop. Nicky, fix your seat belt, honey. Quickly, now. I know you keep slipping out of it, but please adjust it. Oh, geez, now, I'm going to get two tickets." 
"I don't want to. I don't like it." Slumped in the front seat, Nicky whined and kicked his heels back and forth on the edge of the soft leather.
Glancing in the rear-view mirror, she told him, "I know, but shush, now, sweetie, and be still. Hurry and buckle up for me." 
Kate brought the huge vehicle to a stop onto the wide shoulder. How fast had she been going, anyway? Since she didn't own a car and had to rent one, she wasn't as familiar with driving as most people were. The cruise control always acted wonky, and she could never get it right. Before she knew it, her speed zoomed way over the posted limit.
Now, so near her destination, a police officer stopped her. Why hadn't she flown down here to Texas, anyway? The idea of an adventure was turning out to be a bad idea after all, just like her mother said.
She and five-year-old Nicky had been on the road four days. Her nerves were shot, not only from driving on interstates, but also from spending three nights in motel rooms with a child who only wanted pizza and hamburgers, and stayed glued to the television.
The uncertainty of what she was doing, bringing him to Texas to leave him, kept her awake at night, knowing in her heart it was not right. Guilt ate at her every minute. But what else could she do?


Monday, March 5, 2018

Across a Sea of Stars by Michael Gonzales

Across a Sea of Stars by Michael E. Gonzales – February, 2018 #blogabookscene #Spaceopera #PrairieRosePub @PrairieRosePub #FireStarPress

I sat editing another story the other day when I stopped to consider just how many times I have read, reread, and read this story again and again (was that redundant? It was meant to be.) Then it dawned on me, I will never know what it is to read any of my stories for the first time. And no, I don’t count all the work that went into creating the story as the first time.
I have literally spent a week writing a single paragraph, to get it just the way I want it. A paragraph that a reader will gloss over in a second or two.
I’ll never know the reaction of hitting that first plot twist, never know the feeling of tension that I worked so hard to build.
And the climax, as well as the ending. What did if feel like for them?
Book sales and reviews are a measure of how well I’ve written, but I will never know the feeling of that first-time reader.
Makes me a little sad. What better way to judge your own work than to read it for the first time?

Across a Sea of Stars
From an inexplicable anomaly on the surface of the Moon, an astronaut, Captain Cris Salazar, is mysteriously conveyed to a distant planetary system halfway across the galaxy. At the insistence of a strange old man, he departs on a trek across the planet thinking he is seeking someone with the ability to send him home, but he is being manipulated, and soon his strange situation becomes immensely complicated.
His epic quest sees him ally with an alien woman, a near giant, and a robotic intelligence.
With these three he must face a vast army with no fear of pain or death, an enemy with supernatural powers, a madman with a vast armada, and a dark secret. How can Cris possibly hope to return home…Across a Sea of Stars?

Tattie simultaneously hit the launch button and the violent detonation threw Cris against the padded wall just under the hatch. The escape pod hurtled away from the ship. Instantly, Tattie saw that they were about to collide with the rear of the spinning ship. "Brace yourself!" she called back to Cris, and then fired her engine at full throttle. In her monitor, she saw the stern coming closer. The great ship appeared to be ablaze as the friction with the atmosphere increased. The G-forces on their bodies climbed to incredible proportions as Tattie pushed the little pod to get out of the way. It looked as if she were not going to make it. They had cleared the hull, but one of the extended engine housings was now headed right for them, a collision was inevitable. There were only seconds remaining. Tattie shouted over her shoulder, "I love you, Cris!"
The moment Tattie looked back at her monitor, the heat from the reentry melted through the engine's support, and the entire housing broke loose and was pulled down into the planet's atmosphere. The escape pod then bolted free and into open space.
"Cris—Cris, we are free!" Tattie screamed.
"We made it? We're still alive?"
Now Tattie's voice was much more serious, "Cris, come here and look at this."
Across a Sea of Stars is available on Amazon.

Images by Mike Gonzales.

Order Across a Sea of Stars here:

Web site:
Follow me on Face Book:

Labels: Across a Sea of Star, Action, Action Adventure, Alien worlds, Aliens, battle, Dark Moon Rising, Michael E. Gonzales,, Romance, science fiction, syfy
Email This
Share to Twitter
Share to Facebook
Share to Pinterest

Labels: #FireStarPress, #NewRelease, Across a Sea of Star, Action, Action Adventure, Adventure, Alien woman, Alien worlds, Aliens, Magic, Prairie Rose Pub, robots, Romance, science fiction, Space Opera, witches and wizards

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

New Release — The Case of the CatWalk Saint (A P.I. Berger Mystery Book 1) by Harol Marshall @prairierosepubs #firestarpress #mystery

When stripper Cinda Mae Bradbury walks into private investigator Polly Berger’s Hollywood office, she brings a dazzling smile and a whole lot of trouble with her! Polly is always up for a challenge, and the gorgeous entertainer at the nearby CatWalk strip club brings Polly a case she just can’t resist jumping into with both feet. 

But Polly and her stand-up comic secretary, Bunny, barely scratch the tip of the iceberg before things turn deadly. What’s happening with the strange Señora at the Botanica de Angeles, the Mass of Santa Muerte, and the dead bodies that keep turning up?

When bullets fly, Polly could never guess she’d be so glad to have her ex-husband, Johnny Birdwhistle, helping out on the case. A crack detective with the Hollywood Police Department (HYPD), Johnny has his own reasons for lending a hand. But can Polly go back into a relationship—business or otherwise—with Johnny? Polly finds herself knee-deep in one of the most dangerous cases she’s ever taken on—one that involves murder and human trafficking…and it all started just down the street at The CatWalk.


     “You’re the P.I.?” My visitor’s question sounded like an accusation. “P.I. Berger?”
The door to my office framed a silhouette Bunny would kill for. I looked her over. Long blonde hair flowed over her shoulders like cheese sauce over nachos. My stomach grumbled as she entered the room, her red knit dress locking in curves better than a Ferrari at the Grand Prix. I had her number already.
     “That’s me, how can I help you?”
     “You got credentials?”
     I pointed to the certificates hanging on the wall behind my desk. She sauntered over for a look, all hips and plenty of cheek. “I got a question,” she drawled, surveying the certificates, “are you a real P.I. or are those just your initials?
     I sighed. “Both.”
     “Did you make up that name ‘cause you’re a detective or did you decide to be a detective ‘cause that’s your name? I mean Pauline Isabel Berger ain’t your normal everyday detective name.”
     “I agree, it ain—er, isn’t. Can I help you with something?”
     “That’s why I’m here. What do I call you, Paul or Pauline?”
     “I go by Polly.”
     She grinned. “You wanna cracker?”
     Her wit lacked creativity, but I smiled anyway. “You know how many times I’ve heard that?”
     “Yeah. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Wasn’t that the name of an old timey movie star? Polly Berger?”
     “Bergen.” I said. “With an ‘n.’”
     “Well, I guess nobody’s gonna mix you up with her, anyway.” She shrugged, sending me an apologetic look. “I didn’t mean that that the way it sounded. Polly Berger’s been in heaven for a while now, I think.”
     I held my tongue. These days I couldn’t afford to be fussy about new clients. As my secretary liked to remind me, “lose your patience, lose your patients.” Bunny found that funny. I didn’t, but I had to admit it helped me hold my temper.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

WRITING IS LIKE…, by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer

Google the phrase, “Writing is like…” and you get pages of insights from all across the board.

Writing is like building a bridge while you’re on it. Writing is like giving yourself homework. Writing is like a sport… prostitution… sex.

But what is writing really like to real writers, the ones who have been successful enough for us to know their names?

Today I am passing on the wisdom of others, fellows actually on the writing path.

 “If you are not a reader, don’t even think about writing.”  
~Jean Auel

“There is a certain degree of faith required in writing fiction… You have to take a deep breath, let go of your usual control, and then begin walking in the dark.”   
~Elizabeth Berg

 “Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today- explode- fly apart- disintegrate. The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire too?”   
~Ray Bradbury

 “Writing is like being in love. You never get better at it or learn more about it. The day you think you do is the day you lose it.”   
~James Lee Burke

“Two questions form the foundation of all novels: ‘What if?’ and ‘What next?’”   
~Tom Clancy

 “I never started a book that I expected to finish.”   
~Steven King

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”   
~Jack London

And a special favorite of mine:

“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”   
~Kurt Vonnegut

Do you have any favorite quotes about the writing path?

Check out more blogs by Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer at:

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Release -- The Gypsy's Kiss by Jill McDonald @prairierosepubs #firestarpress #newrelease

City girl Sofia Marchant has just inherited something she does not need—a country estate! A quick trip to settle up with her solicitors and get the once-grand Mere Hall up for sale turns into more than she’s bargained for, and she ends up staying longer than she intended—in spite of the cluttered mess, the damnable country quiet, and the ghost of Great-great Aunt Eleanor!

To top it all off, her handsome, well-built neighbour, Jake Hartley, seems determined to interfere—and so much more! Gypsy Jake, as she comes to think of him, has an irresistible way about him—but he also has his own secrets. Though Sofia prides herself on her fierce independence, she has to admit that she’s awfully glad when Jake comes to her rescue on more than one occasion.

When Sofia’s greedy ex-boyfriend, Edward, and Gypsy Jake meet up, it makes for an explosive situation—one that forces Sofia into making a decision that will affect the rest of her life.

The secrets of Mere Hall are slowly revealed, and Sofia finds herself growing strangely fond of the old place, the beautiful yellow roses, and of Great-great’s ghost. But everything is not as it appears, and Sofia must make a choice… Will she give up the familiar city and start a new life here in the country? Can she risk it all on THE GYPSY’S KISS?


With visions of her precious car disintegrating beneath pointed hooves, sharp horns and rough tongues, Sofia panicked and pressed the horn hard once more, at the same time shouting at the top of her voice.
“Leave it alone, you stupid creature! Get away! Will you!”
That was a mistake.
The sudden noise startled the animals and they lurched clumsily away from the source of the scare, jumping, kicking out, tossing their big heads and moaning loudly. The little car began vibrating and shuddering as tons of beef buffeted it in their haste to escape the noise.
Sofia squealed, screwed up her eyes and covered her head with her arms, ducking as far down behind the wheel as was possible in such a small car, convinced it was going to be up-turned and trampled to a pulp beneath the bull’s sharp, heavy feet. She would die horribly in the middle of the stinking country and no one would know about it.
The banging and moaning seemed to end abruptly, to be replaced by a harsh, masculine voice. Still Sofia didn’t dare look up.
“Get on you lot. Dot, come bye! No! Oh, what the… Don’t be stupid all your lives, take a day off occasionally. Move your fat backsides. Get on! Away there, Dot! Dot! Awaaay!”
He sounded rough, he was most definitely angry, and to make matters worse, he was talking complete gibberish. Typical of these inbred country bumpkins. If she kept her head far enough down, maybe, just maybe, he wouldn’t see her. Yeah, right. Fat chance. Was there such a thing as a prayer to the gods of camouflage?
“You okay in there, miss?”