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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

#NewRelease -- SNOW SOUNDS -- #Giveaway!

Three years ago, heartbroken nurse Melaine Landa found escape from her painful divorce in handsome Tanner Harris’s arms. Their one magical night is behind them, but the memories and feelings they experienced resurface when they come face-to-face again. Tanner heads the ski patrol, and Melaine has been hired to run the health clinic at a ski resort in California. But this job is important to Melaine for a reason she’s shared with no one else—her young step-daughter lives nearby. 

Melaine can’t look at Tanner without remembering the precious hours when he was her everything. Desire for this complex and sexy man still simmers inside a heart that is vulnerable, unwise, and reckless. 

Tanner is determined not to let his emotions get the best of him where Melaine is concerned. She’s said he didn’t understand—and he still doesn’t. Things seem more complicated now, and there’s even more at stake. 

But when the mountain rumbles and a deadly avalanche comes rushing down on them, everything changes. Love, living, and being together are all that matter, in these SNOW SOUNDS…

     The mountain waited. It could be patient for the blan-keting snows that turned Mammoth Lakes into a mecca for California's skiers. For tens of thousands of years, the seasons had played their songs on rock and trees and water and earth. Antlike people scurried about its base, putting last winter behind them and preparing for the next. Those who toiled to control the mountain might not have ageless perspective, but the mountain did. Long after these intruders left, the songs and seasons would continue.

     Although this wasn’t her first time here, Melaine Landa couldn’t imagine looking up at Mammoth without being touched by the mountain’s power. Until a few seconds ago, she’d been filled with awe and peace, the sense that she’d come home.
     But that was until the builder of the nearly completed first-aid clinic she stood in had said the one name she hoped she’d never hear again.
     Tanner Harris.

     Now, there was only the name. And the memories.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Release -- LOVE, COME TO ME: Boxed Set For New Adults -- 99 cents

LOVE, COME TO ME is a wonderful collection of love stories from different time periods that is sure to make you long to read each one to the very end without interruption.  Each story is heart wrenching in its own way, guaranteed to have you falling in love with the characters and the stories of their lives. Take a look!


Augusta Thompson has lost everything—her parents, her husband, her home…and now, her only child. If she can share her grandmother’s old home with handsome Olympic contender Charles “Web” Webster for one year, she will inherit it.

As time goes by, Web realizes Augusta’s heart and soul have been wounded by her ex-husband. Can Web’s love for Augusta heal her broken heart and allow them a future together? Will the conditions of the inheritance prove to be a help or hindrance for these KISSING COUSINS?


Annie and Stuart Rayburn’s lives are idyllic until their baby dies of SIDS, and Annie falls into a deep depression. In a moment of weakness, Stuart turns to another woman.

When the “other woman” is killed in a car crash, Stu learns his night of infidelity produced a baby girl—and he now has custody. He begs Annie’s forgiveness but Annie must face her demons and make her decisions. Can she forgive Stu and love the innocent child? Or will she divorce him and move on without the only man she’s likely to love?


Pit a feisty, she-cat against a reluctant interloper and watch the sparks fly.

When Elizabeth McDaniel's reclusive, sheltered existence on her grandfather's farm is invaded by Derek Huston, she cannot imagine the result of his intrusion into her life. Derek is soon enchanted with the lovely, spit-fire redhead.

A budding romance, the flowering of Elizabeth's musical talents, and Derek's acceptance into the family follows their first clash of wills. But Derek has a hidden agenda that, when revealed, turns Elizabeth's world upside down.

Is there any hope that Derek can regain her confidence and her love?


Jennie Howell has a secret, including being thought of as a loyal wife to her husband serving in Afghanistan, a husband who has demanded a divorce.

When Jennie begins to explore her genealogy, family members make it clear they won’t be a part of it—from Grandpa Mike, who wants the biggest mistake he ever made to remain hidden in the past—to  family members Jennie never knew existed.

Is Jennie willing and emotionally strong enough to learn what her family has kept hidden?


Genevieve Beaumont is haunted by dreams of a drowning man and her helplessness to save him. When she buys a violin at an estate sale, her life is changed forever. The pictures inside the case are of the man in her dreams, and the news clippings detail his death.

She travels to the small town where he died 90 years earlier, and steps through the threshold of time. It's 1927 all over again, and she has only days to prevent John's death—if she's able. THE VIOLIN has brought Genevieve into the past, and now she must make the decision of a lifetime. Will she return to her life in the future, or stay in the past with John? No matter what she decides, she must find a way to keep the dream of his death from becoming a reality...

FIRE STAR PRESS is proud to offer this wonderful boxed set, chock full of a variety of authors and stories that we know you are going to love. And the price?  Hold onto your hat! You’ll be getting FIVE FULL LENGTH NOVELS for only .99! That’s right—this wonderful boxed set is one we know you’re going to enjoy, and the fantastic price is only one of the reasons why you’ll be glad you snapped up LOVE COME TO ME!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


 “Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative…” ~Wikipedia
Without what is known as the suspension of disbelief, there would be no story. At least there would be no fiction, and I bet a good percentage of essays and memoirs would take a hit as well. Suspension of disbelief is the leap of faith the reader must take to enter into worlds not their own.
Without suspension of disbelief, old ladies could not be young again in the arms of the handsome prince, stranger, outlaw, bad boy, bad girl, or alien. Without suspension of disbelief, space ships couldn’t zoom across space “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Without suspension of disbelief,  a small New England town couldn’t sustain a murder a week for 12 years. Without suspension of disbelief, zombies couldn’t apocalypse, heroes couldn’t save the world, cats couldn’t talk, and pigs couldn’t fly. You get the picture.
How does a writer achieve suspension of disbelief? It’s far more complex than tossing out a quirky plot to see where it lands. A reader must be drawn in gently as if into a trap, inch by inch without ever realizing they are being led. That requires a preliminary foundation, baby steps down the rabbit hole.
by Artist Cyra R. Cancel
In my sci-fantasy series, Cat Seasons, I need my reader to believe cats can save the world from alien and otherworldly threats. To do that, I first must convince my reader that cats can talk - within the first chapter! I personally have no problem accepting miraculous cat behavior – I wait longingly for Tinkerbelle or Little or Red to say something! Anything! It doesn’t have to be profound or prophetic, just a hi, how are you would be fine - but some readers need more convincing. It turns out my protagonist does, too. As the cats convince her, they convince the reader as well. It’s not just dialogue, though – “Hi, I’m a talking cat” doesn’t cut it. There has to be more. Environment, a dream-like state, an intense sensitivity to scents and sounds,  and a sprinkle of deviant moonlight all help to persuade. I try to create a picture so compelling, the reader wants to believe.
In my Crazy Cat mysteries, I parallel  a truer universe, one where people work and volunteer and pay bills and go to the bathroom. But then suddenly the path takes a twist into the unfamiliar, landing the reader in the midst of murder and mayhem, where hopefully, they don't in reality go.
Mystery Cat by LadyTashigi
Suspension of disbelief is in the details, the mix of fact and fantasy. It’s in the description, both what is offered on the page and what is left out. It’s in the presentation of evidence that, unlike law, is not beyond reasonable doubt. It is the miracle of possibility.
Do you believe? Do you want to?

Elf Ranger by cypritree
Check out more blogs by Mollie Hunt at:
 Happy reading!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Commas and FANBOYS

I have discovered one of the difficulties of becoming a professional writer later in life is someone, somehow, has changed English grammar.

In eighth grade back in the dinosaur days, I aced English grammar. I was still of an age where I was comfortable with “rules.” Like math, where two plus two always added up to equal four, if there was a hard and fast grammar rule, I ingrained it in my brain. Through the years I’ve fallen back on those rules to get me through my school term papers, my creative writing efforts (which were few and far between while I raised my six children), to correct my children’s term papers, my business correspondence on my jobs, and my reports and grievance files as a union steward.
Then I started writing fiction—novelettes to full-length books—only to discover someone along the way has changed the rules, especially in regards to the use of commas. I first noticed it when a ran across either a blog post or Facebook discussion about it no longer being necessary to use a comma before ending a sentence with the words “too” or “also.” Example: “I want to go to the store, too.” is now written as “I want to go to the store too.”

WHAT?!? That comma in the sentence is a rule. That has stuck with me from dinosaur days until now. However, after doing a little research, I discovered that current style manuals have declared that little ol’ comma is no longer necessary.

My most recent line editor just shattered for me another rule. It involves FANBOYS. What are FANBOYS? That almost sounds a little risqué. No such luck. It is an acronym for:


I don’t recall any rules about FANBOYS from my eighth grade grammar class up through college. I was kindly told by my latest copy editor friend there is a reason. In the “old days” coordinating conjunctions which joined independent clauses always had a comma before them. Example: “I went to the store, and he insisted he go with me.” Now those commas before the “and” (or any of the FANBOYS conjunctions I might have used in its place) is no longer necessary unless the author wants to place them there for effect, or to create a pause for emphasis, or as part of a character’s speaking style.

WHAT?!? We can be creative? There are rules, but we don’t always have to stick to them? My thirteen year-old grammar ace self would not have found that acceptable. Neither would have my eighth grade English teacher.

And, it used to be a big no-no to start a sentence with any of the FANBOYS. Nor, did you use a comma after a FANBOYS at the start of a sentence because starting a sentence with a FANBOYS just was not done. But, it may be done now for effect. Yet, if the author wants to use a comma for effect, he or she may. Or not. For "someone" have changed the rules. So, someone like me who loves to start sentences with FANBOYS conjunctions finds that particular change in the rules to be a good thing. 

But, any writer who wants to be published needs to find out what set of grammar rules their editor or publisher prefers and write in a style acceptable to that publishing house.

In other words, find out what style manual your publisher uses and how hard and fast said publisher sticks to it.

I actually have a style manual in my possession I purchased decades ago. It is the one published by Merriam-Webster. Unfortunately, I have never hear of anyone declare they use that style manual. Several publishers like The Chicago Manual of Style. The rules in the various style manuals will be similar, but not always the same, because someone, somewhere, somehow has changed some of the grammar rules in the last half century.

Or, if you are really lucky, your editor may rely on what she learned in her eighth grade grammar class back in the dinosaur days.

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press. Her novelette, A Christmas Promise, along with the first two novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A Resurrected Heart, was published by Prairie Rose Publications.

Please visit and follow the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Behind the Literature

A couple of years ago, my husband and I moved  from San Francisco to the Sonoma Valley, or the Valley of the Moon, as it was called by the indigenous people.  About eight miles from where we live in Sonoma is a little town called Glen Ellen.

Even before moving to Sonoma, we liked to picnic in Glen Ellen at one of my favorite wineries there. I have since found out that both Jack London and Hunter S. Thompson once lived in Glen Ellen.  It seems that neither of them had great luck there. Thompson only lived there briefly in 1964.  He initially arrived to find that the house he had arranged to rent was no longer available.  He found another place to settle, but was allegedly evicted from there for shooting gophers in the front yard. London's stay was longer lived, from 1905 to 1916, during which time he purchased and developed a 1000-acre ranch. 

Although London had innovative ideas, his ranch was an economic failure.

In 2014, my dad and I took a trip to the Jack London State Park where we explored the Jack London ranch, grave, house, museum, and the Pig Palace.

I found out a lot more about Jack London than I ever knew just from reading The Call of the Wild in school.  For example, London was an entrepreneur and experimented with growing eucalyptus trees for use in building.

The wood turned out to be unsuitable for building, however, so London, ever the optimist, turned to breeding livestock.  London's piggery, the Pig Palace, was built in a circle to save labor and had a central feed house for efficiency.

London spent $50,000 building an impressive house that he called Wolf House.  He never got to live in his dream house, however, as it was destroyed by a fire, presumably ignited by spontaneous combustion.

London died at age 40.  He had requested that a red boulder from the ruins of the Wolf House be used to mark his grave.

Although he only lived to be 40, London lived a life of adventure, on top of his great literary contributions. 

If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit to the park.  I also suggest looking into the history of your own town or area.  Were there great literary or historical figures living in your back yard?  You might be surprised at what you find!

Angela Crider Neary is an attorney by day and writer by night.  She is an avid mystery reader and especially enjoys reading novels set in interesting locales.  She was inspired to write her first mystery novella, Li'l Tom and the Pussyfoot Detective Bureau: The Case of the Parrots Desaparecidos by one of her favorite areas in San Francisco, Telegraph Hill.  To learn more, visit her on Facebook and Amazon.