Thursday3Some: Evil Speaks Softly by Maureen Bonatch

I've got my cup of coffee so get your favorite beverage and let's get comfy so we can visit with today's guest.

Please welcome Maureen Bonatch, one of my friends from Authors Helping Authors. The Thursday3Some Spotlight is shining on Maureen and her novel Evil Speaks Softly.

Maureen writes Humorous Paranormal Romance and Fantasy. To me that sounds delightful.

Giveaway Alert

Not only does Maureen have a great book to tell you about, but also she is running a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card. Be sure and read to the end of the post to find out all the details about the Rafflecopter.

About Maureen L. Bonatch

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

Visit Maureen Online

You'll find her at: Amazon Author Page * Website * Twitter * Facebook * Sign up for Maureen's Newsletter

Q1: When did you write Evil Speaks Softly?

Maureen: Although it’s a new release, I wrote Evil Speaks Softly a few years ago. I started with a draft and became distracted by another ‘shiny story idea’ and then a back injury that delayed the story’s completion.

Q2: What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

Maureen: My stories usually start with a character whispering the first line to me. Their stories are so real. So much that I discover the story as I write and am often surprised at the outcome. This made me start to wonder what if it wasn’t really a character speaking to me, but rather a ghost telling their story? Then what if the ghost wasn’t a friendly one?

Q3: Why do readers buy Evil Speaks Softly?

Maureen: This story is for readers who like a good ghost story with a little humor intermixed. Readers who want a little sweet romance with a strong, independent heroine. Evil Speaks Softly placed second in the 2015 Golden Palm Contest of the Florida Romance Writers in the Paranormal Category.

Evil Speaks Softly by Maureen L. Bonatch

Everyone has a story to tell. Even the dead.

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family.

The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old family home until she met Gage.

His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. 

They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Add Evil Speaks Softly To Your Library

You'll find this captivating paranormal romance at: Amazon * The Wild Rose Press * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * iBooks * Google Play

Giveaway Details

Maureen has made it very easy to enter her Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card. Just click a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter and you'll be taken to a webpage that has multiple ways to get more than 1 entry.

Takeaway Truth

The weekend is near. Grab a copy of Evil Speaks Softly for some adventure this weekend.

Julie Kavanagh Tackles The Dirty Dozen

Today's post is late publishing due to technical difficulties, but it's worth waiting for.

I'm happy to welcome Julie Kavanagh, author of A Sprig of White Heather.

About Julie Kavanagh

Julie loves to write and spends much of her time thinking about writing when she’s not actually writing.
She works in an inner city London Primary school supporting Literacy, and loves sharing her passion of reading and writing with the next generation.

She lives in the same street she grew up in with her supportive husband, one of her daughters and six rescue cats, although she dreams of living in a country cottage in an olde worlde English village.

Julie believes in true love and aspects of the paranormal and can sometimes be found sitting in the dark on a ghost hunt. This fascination can be found in several of her stories.

She also loves to hear from fans so why not contact her on her Facebook page or Amazon author page? Visit Juli Online: Facebook * Website and read on to see how Julie answers 12 questions about her writing process and her life as an author.

Julie Kavanagh Tackles the Dirty Dozen

Q1: In what genre do you write and why that particular genre?
Julie:I write both paranormal romance and sweet romance. I love to write paranormal romances and like to set my characters challenges although I want to see them happy by the end. No matter what genre I write, I like to include romance because I’m a great believer in true love, and that there’s a special someone out there for everyone.

Q2: What inspired your book?
Julie: My inspiration for ‘A Sprig of White Heather’ is my interest in past lives. I like the thought that we can correct mistakes we made in past lives to enhance our present lives. Plus, of course, I love the idea that each of us have a true love in all our lives. My husband says I’m a born romantic.

Q3: As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?
Julie: Readers can expect romance although my characters usually conflict when they first meet. I can’t make it easy for them, now can I? I like to see how my characters change when met by someone who doesn’t agree with their point of view. I also like the happy ending, although in my Demon Witch series of books, I found I couldn’t end any of them with a simple happy ending. There’s just too much happening in Luca’s life, and most of the books in the series end with a cliffhanger.

Q4: How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book.”
Julie: I’ve always written, even as a child. I scribbled stories down on pieces of paper. As a teenager, I penned a truly dreadful novel about a girl who was forever in trouble. I think I might still have it somewhere but it will never see the light of day. I have boxes of handwritten stories which I will, one day, put into my computer. As a teacher and a mother, I would think up stories on the spot to entertain my own children at bedtime, or the Special Needs children I worked with. Children love to listen to stories, especially they have an opportunity to input characters and situations.

Q5: What's the best thing about being an author?
Julie: The very best thing about being an author is getting my ideas, my vision down onto a screen and then, hopefully, on paper. If I don’t write every day, I have what I call a back -up. I have so many ideas and scraps of conversion that I need to get them out of my head and into words. Does that sound crazy? Probably, but the way I remain sane.

Q6: What's the worst thing about being an author?
Julie: Oh, that has to be the isolation. A writer works in solitude and it can be a lonely job. Of course, I’ve got my characters to talk to but it’s nice to discuss a scene or a change of plot with someone real. I have a few friends online whom I talk to and that helps a lot. Plus, of course, when a reader gets in touch and tells you how much they enjoyed your book, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Recently, at my daughter’s wedding, one of the guests came up to me to say she’d read everything I’d written and was my biggest fan. Her words, and the hug she gave me made an already wonderful day into a truly awesome day.

Q7: What device do you use to read ebooks?
Julie: I have an ancient iPad, I think it’s an iPad 2. It’s on its last legs, but it and I trundle along together. I like to think we understand each other although I’m a little impatient when it takes forever to load up, but I like to read in bed and it’s handy for that. I have to confess that I like to read in the bath too and my iPad works a treat – as long as I don’t drop it into the water.

Q8: Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?
Julie: Some of my books are available in paperback, which is very exciting for me. I’m currently working on the first novels in the Demon Witch series to release them in paperback. A Sprig of White Heather will also be available very soon in paperback.

Q9: Do you listen to audio books? If so, where can readers find them, and what device do you use to listen to audiobooks?
Julie: I rarely listen to audiobooks, I find I get too easily distracted, which is the same as television for me. I have a very good friend who keeps telling me to listen to them and that I will change my mind about them.

Q10: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Julie: I’ve been asked this question a lot and this made me think back to when I started writing to publish my work. My advice would be to ignore the critics, to listen to your own thoughts
(and those of your characters) and to just write. Many people think they can write a book, but it’s not an easy as it looks. You have to sacrifice many hours of your day ( and night) to sit at a keyboard and it takes a lot of passion, and dedication just to get the story written.

Q11:If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?
Julie: Take a chance on a new writer, or one you’ve never read before. There’s so much talent out there in the Indie world that you might be missing out on some wonderful stories… oooh and always, always leave a review. It doesn’t to be long or complicated, but reading the words of someone who loves your work is such an amazing feeling. It makes everything you so worthwhile

Q12: What is your current big dream, or goal, as a writer?
Julie: My dream is just to keep writing. I’m currently finishing off the 4th story in the Summer Street Series, New Year’s Love on Summer Street, and the next installment of the Demon WitchDidier’s Diary.

Cameron Mackenzie loses his true love in a brutal attack, and blaming it on his mistress, she curses him and his friends to eternal life unless he can find his true love once again.

After five hundred years of loneliness and guilt, Cameron meets Caitlyn, a woman who has recently divorced her cheating husband. Emotions spark between them, but for the wrong reasons and Cameron suspects she is the evil witch who cursed him.

Caitlyn still reeling from the after-shocks of her broken marriage is attracted to the dark, broody Scot but he frightens her although she can’t explain why.

Something is happening in the remote Scottish hotel Caitlyn has come to experience and she begins to fear for her life.

What is going on and what dark magic haunts her dreams? Can she escape with her life or is the brooding Cameron her destiny?

Add A Sprig of White Heather to Your Library

You'll find Julie's novel at: Amazon UK * Amazon US.

Takeaway Truth

Don't you love to discover new authors? I do. Why not grab Julie's book for the weekend?

Love, Christmas Returns

Last year, my friends and I put together a wonderful Holiday Romance Collection called Love, Christmas.

The title of each book in the collection was a holiday song title.

The set was so popular that it immediately hit the USA Today Bestsellers list.

Now is the time when all the holiday books are hitting the shelves. Since our Love, Christmas collection had been so popular with readers, we've brought it back for this holiday season.

Even better, we've made it super affordable. If you're a Kindle Unlimited Subscriber, it's free! If you're not a subscriber, it's only 99 cents! Now that's super affordable.

About Love, Christmas

Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks
Can a handsome cynic become a Christmas believer?

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour
Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves
In Last Christmas, a sassy chick lit romance, Annabelle gave him her heart. Rick stomped on it. This year, Rick's going to pay!

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk
Pregnant at 18. Adoption would save the baby’s future but may cost her the man she loves.

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Patricia Rosemoor
Live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are now in a cold war of their own over Christmas.

White Christmas by Rebecca York
Was she in a coma, or was she in a Christmas fantasy?

So This is Christmas by Denise Devine
He was her child nemesis, now he’s her best friend forever.

Grown Up Christmas List by Donna Fasano
All she wants for Christmas is to feel safe… then she meets her guardian angel.

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall
Alone for Christmas, Tamsyn helps mystery writer Evan find his mojo—love is a gift neither can refuse.

Santa Baby by Taylor Lee
Lily’s only hope was that this time, he wouldn’t be able to find her.

Let It Snow by Stephanie Queen
A stranger and a snow storm on Christmas Eve create the ultimate test for Dane & Shana.

Merry, Did You Know? by Jennifer St. Giles
Can a Christmas Miracle change the future of a woman who doesn’t believe in love and a man who can't love again?

O Christmas Tree by Alicia Street
Can Piper convince Cody to let go of his painful past and embrace the hope of Christmas and possibly love?

Sleigh Ride by Katy Walters
Miss Sophia Vale faces poverty. Enter the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rake hell with a conscience.

Deck the Hearts by Rachelle Ayala
Can Holly’s jolly Christmas spirit help Grinch Gordon Gills save the town of Christmas Creek?

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar
Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants?

Hark the Herald Angel Falls by Michele Hauf
To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo—her husband—to stop loving her.

Little Drummer Boy by Dani Haviland
How could a mere drummer boy help those stranded in the worst winter storm of the 18th century?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Nancy Radke
When former a former Navy SEAL plucks a woman from the Mediterranean Sea, he discovers a fighter tougher than he.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Cynthia Cooke
A big city girl reunites with a small town boy—magic. A Santa in need of an elf—Christmas magic.

Takeaway Truth

Start the week with romances that lift your spirits. Get Love, Christmas today.

Indie Author Day: 2 Free Books to Celebrate

Today is Indie Author Day.

Amazon and other ebook retailers, as well as indie authors everywhere, are celebrating great writing in self-published books.

Personally, I love being an indie author. I get to decide what I'll write, the length, the genre, and I get to choose the cover art, publication date and how my work will be marketed to readers along with a myriad of other decisions.

Yes, it's a lot of hard work wearing so many hats, but I love every bit of it.

To celebrate Indie Author Day, pick up a copy of my short romance LuvU4Ever. It's free on Amazon Kindle and at other ebook sellers too.

If you'd like another free book from me, simply join Joan's Reader Friends and a download link for one of my most popular romantic comedies will be sent to your Inbox.

(Your email address will never be shared or abused.)

To see what Amazon is doing for Indie Author Day, visit Powered by Indie.

Takeaway Truth

Support Indie Authors by purchasing their books and by leaving a short review when you read a book you adore.

Thursday3Some: Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy

Good morning, Readers. Welcome to Thursday3Some. Today my guest is Joyce McCarthy who writes erotic romance.

About Joyce McCarthy

Joyce says, "I weave stories about the darker shades in human relationships. The many ways in which they unravel and manifest themselves end up creating stories that thrill, that excite, that scare."

In her day job, Joyce works in one of the world’s leading consulting firms in a leadership position. When she's not writing, she loves to travel. She's also a voracious reader and a movie buff. Visit Joyce Online: Facebook * TwitterBlog *

Joyce's novel, Trails of Sin, is an erotic thriller in a corporate setting with a strong element of suspense and a powerful undercurrent of selfless love.

Q1. When did you write Trails of Sin?

Joyce: I wrote ‘Trails of Sin’ about a year back. It took me 6 weeks to finish the first complete draft of the book, and then I worked on a few iterations as of successive drafts of my work.

Q2. What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

Joyce: While the setting of the story is in a London corporation amid the power struggles, the insecurities, the treachery and the hypocrisy that characterize the corporate world, there were a number of interesting characters that took shape in my mind as I started writing the story.

We have a woman grieving over the separation from her lover, being forced to gratify her urges only through their virtual rendezvous, and seeking revenge. We have a woman completely taken over by jealousy and frustration, having lost her love. We have an evil corporate honcho, who is a compulsive womanizer and at the same time, has the responsibility to save his dwindling business, and it is important to portray that dilemma. We have a wife coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity and actually beginning to enjoy the forbidden pleasures herself, and I talk about her journey.

Q3. Why do readers buy Trails of Sin?

Joyce: (1) The book is fast, exciting, and sexy. (2)There's a diverse set of very interesting characters which the readers will absolutely love. I spoke about some of these characters above. (3) The London setting. A story is not just about human characters. The ambience, the milieu, the society, the city, and even the times have key roles to play.

A lot of the action takes place in a corporate setting, in a company manufacturing state-of-the-art phones and personal music players. I touch upon issues like corporate espionage, inter-continental travels, and workplace relationships with sexual overtones. This is a contemporary story that needed a throbbing, ‘happening’ modern-day urban milieu. And what could be a better choice than London?

About Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy

When Andrew Smith, the head honcho of Tech-Me gets into a steamy affair with Emma Atkins, the new intern in office, his secretary and ex-girlfriend Betty Wilson swears revenge.

Soon strategic secrets of the company are leaked out through craftily designed torrid acts of seduction of Tech-Me bosses.

As Tech-Me starts losing ground and there are storms brewing in Andrew’s private life, he realizes there is more to his predicament than professional issues.

He is left searching for answers as shadows of a sinful past haunt him.

Add Trails of Sin To Your Library

You'll find this erotic romance at: Amazon U.S. * Amazon UK * Books To Go Now Store.

Takeaway Truth

If you like danger and hot sex with your romance, try Trails of Sin by Joyce McCarthy.

Why People Hate Jury Duty

Yes, folks, once again I have been called to Jury Duty.

Through the years, I've been called many times. This most recent summons makes me want to shout: "Get someone who has NEVER been called. I've paid my dues."

I did a trial run of going downtown yesterday to see what streets were closed, under construction, and where all the homeless people are camped.

Unfortunately, they seemed to be on most of the sidewalks downtown--especially on the sidewalks leading from the parking garage to the Jury Assembly Room. One poor soul was sitting on the sidewalk having a huge argument--with himself.

Since I've got a book plotted in which a trial is an element, I told myself this would be a good chance to take notes. I'm trying to see the silver lining instead of griping about having jury duty. Again.

I think, in total, I've been called 9 times. I wouldn't mind it so much because I do believe it's a responsibility we have as citizens, but I've learned it's expensive, frustrating, and scary.


Downtown Houston is about an hour's drive away if there are no accidents and no bad weather. You get paid $6.00 a day for Jury Duty.

There's only 1 garage downtown where you can pay $6.00 to park all day. The rest of the parking garages will cost you about $20.00 to $25.00 a day. That adds up fast.

I'm self-employed so time is money. Jury duty at best takes 1 day--if you don't get placed on a jury and are released.

At worst, you end up in a jury pool where it takes days to seat a jury. Then if you actually end up on a jury, there's no telling how many days you'll have to be in court.


Once when I had jury duty, we were taken to the courtroom where the attorneys laid out the facts of the case.

I immediately thought, "Why are they even taking up time for this lawsuit?" To me, it was frivolous at best and should have been dismissed.

This turned out to be an all day event. We were herded across to a restaurant for lunch (another expense since most places downtown are not cheap).

When lunch was over, we went back to the courtroom where the process of summarizing the lawsuit continued. At the end of the summation, the defense attorney asked, "Is there anyone here who has a preconceived notion of this case?"


Everyone raised his/her hand. Then they went person to person, asking each potential juror what their preconceived notion was. To a person, we all said, "I don't know how this case got to trial. It's obvious there's no good reason this man should be suing his employer." Or words to that effect.

The attorneys and the judge conferred. Then the judge said he was going to dismiss us all, but first he blasted each and everyone of us because we were denying this man his day in court. He went on at length, telling us how we were in the wrong and basically going against the Constitution.

He didn't say any of that in a calm voice. He was livid and vitriolic. I believe his last words were, "Get them out of here!"


If you've never been called to jury duty, this is how it goes. You check in with your summons. They review it and tell you to take a seat. Everyone gathers in a large room and waits. The process is usually as slow as molasses in January.

Eventually, they start calling names, and you line up. Then you're taken to the courtroom in which the judge, court reporter, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and all the accused are sitting. You're given a summary of what the case is. You're also told about how long they expect the trial to take.

Then the attorneys and judge question the jurors. They have all the information about you. They point you out, ask your name, your spouse's name, your home address, and any other personal detail they wish. They do this while the defendants stare at each juror as if memorizing the juror's face in case they'd like to pay you a visit at some point in the future or have their friends who are out roaming free visit you.

The paragraph above refers to a few years ago when  I was summoned as a juror in Federal Court. There were hundreds of us summoned. We were told the trial would take up to 6 months!

Six months! Agh.

Everyone in the room groaned aloud. Who can set aside everything in their life for 6 months?

The case involved a big conspiracy with one of the charges being conspiracy to commit murder. There were 10 defendants, each scary enough to star in their own stalker movie.

It was unnerving to have 10 sets of eyes staring at you as you recited your home address. Several of the women on the jury panel were so intimidated that they looked scared to death. One woman was shaking and could hardly speak.

We had to show up for 3 days I believe. If you say anything that sets off a red flag to either of the attorney camps (I say camp because there were multiple attorneys on each side.), they bring you back to a smaller courtroom so the judge and attorneys can ask more detailed questions.

All the defendants are there too, and you're even closer to them as you sit in a chair in front of them, with a light shining on you. Everyone's attention is on you.

I was brought back because part of the case was armed robbery, and I'd worked at a credit union many years ago that had been robbed. I was dismissed because of that.

Takeaway Truth

Next week, I'll be away for jury duty. Wish me luck!

Rafflecopter Halloween Giveaway

No Tricks! Just Treats!
What's great about Halloween?

The Giveaways that are pure TREATS, like this the one from Authors Billboard, a group composed of me and other New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

Rafflecopter Giveaway by Authors Billboard

The top prize in this month's Rafflecopter is a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, but each author is also offering a prize ranging from ebooks to print books to gift cards.

Enter today and tell your friends about it too.

You can also unlock bonus entries and increase your chance of winning one of the awesome prizes!

Don't delay, enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway by Authors Billboard today.

Takeaway Truth

There's always something amazing happening at The Authors Billboard so visit us every day.

Afraid Your Writing Isn't Good Enough?

Have you ever been afraid that your writing isn't good enough?

If you've wondered if it's normal to doubt the quality of what you write, I have some good news for you.

I don't think I know very many writers who finish a manuscript and thinks, "Wow. This is fantastic."

We are all creatures of insecurity.

I've been published by 5 different publishers including my French publisher, and I still doubt everything I write.

I've got more than a million books in print floating around the planet, and I don't know how many ebook sales, and I still feel that way.

I can finish a chapter and be satisfied with it. Overnight I get this gnawing anxiety. The next morning when I sit at the computer, I know what I wrote the day before is pure crap.

When I finish a book, it's so hard to just click the publish button. I felt the same way every time I mailed off a manuscript to my editor. I was always convinced it was terrible, and that it would never sell.

Not Just Me

Guess what? I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I personally know enough "household name" authors who feel the same way!

I think we just get to the stage of: "Oh, hell, just publish the damn thing and move on." If we didn't just let go, there would never be any published books.

The oddest thing is that the people who brag about how good their books are--and I don't mean some kind of marketing statement or obvious promotion statement--but an honest to God conviction that their writing is the greatest thing since sliced bread? Those people are the ones whose books are crap!!!

You have to tread the fine line of perfectionism, knowing that your work will never be what you want it to be in your eyes, and the reality that it really is good enough to publish.

Emotion Married to Fear

Feeling insecure about your writing, lacking confidence in your talent and skill--that's emotion and fear bound together. You will find no joy with your writing career if you are controlled by that ruthless killer of creativity.

Instead, one must learn to intellectualize about the writing. That's using your conscious brain to work for you rather than against you. Doing this will help muffle the little editor inside you who screams, "You and your writing suck!"

6 Ways to Fight the Fear Paired With Affirmation

1. Create affirmations that work for you. An affirmation is a strong positive thought. When utilized properly it can effect change in you. Construct a positive thought to fight against the negative self-talk that defeats you. Arm yourself with a chosen affirmation when you find yourself in a battle with--yourself!

For every negative thought that crops up, immediately replace it with a positive message. That's how to fight fear and win. Make your positive messages to yourself a mantra. Say the affirmation that has magic in it to combat your fears. Say it. Write it. Speak it. Think it. Internalize it. (I am a wonderful person, and I deserve to succeed and win.)

2. Accept that there will always be a certain amount of fear, but work to control it rather than let it control you. (I control and manage any fear that arises.)

3. Instead of doubting and being depressed by every sentence you write, cut yourself a break. Never read a work in progress. Rip through the damned thing from beginning to end then go back to assess and edit. (I am a good writer who sells books and delights readers.)

4. Become conscious of your self-defeating thoughts so that you can defeat them. (I banish negative self-talk and focus on the positive because I am a good writer.)

Word effectively, and remember to play!
5. Accept the truth that writing can be hard work but it should also be satisfying, not drudgery. (I love writing, and it makes me happy.)

6. To write well and be happy, relationships are important. Don't lose sight of the people in your life because you're so obsessed with writing successfully.

Being a writing workaholic is as rewarding as being any kind of workaholic--you may get a lot of work done, but are you happy? (I take time to live my life and enjoy the people I love.)

Takeaway Truth

A final affirmation for you: "I am a wonderful writer, and I deserve to succeed."

Kickstart Your Imagination

Some writers say they have a hard time coming up with ideas for books. I sometimes wish I had that problem because I have too many ideas!

I'm here to help. Here are some ideas from my clippings file that might kickstart your imagination.

The sky's the limit when it comes to imagination. Do a little research and look online for more information.

1. Doomsday Vault, the Gene Bank established in the Arctic Circle, so that life could be established after a nuclear war.

2. 18th century French pirate, The Buzzard, buried a treasure worth millions in a granite cave in the Seychelles. Treasure hunters still search for it. Oher hidden treasures in many countries are still being sought.

3. From 2002 newspaper clipping, "Small-time risk-takers reviving towns along the Mississippi River." About urban dwellers escaping the city and putting their big bundles of cash into old commercial buildings in small towns and succeeding in renewing the towns.

4.The Black Sun in Denmark: millions of starlings in flight. (SciFi premise. What's causing that?)

5. Underwater Waterfall in Mauritius. It's sand being sucked into the ocean. (SciFi, right?)

6. China's Dwarf Village. A small village where half of the inhabitants are dwarfs, and a local legend explains why.

7. The Mystery of Dorothy Eady. Definitely a reincarnation thriller.

8. The Kalachi Village Sleepers. Medical mystery? SciFi thriller? Paranormal thriller?

9. Lost Continents and/or Cities. Lots to select from here.

10. For good measure, there are the usual famous unsolved crimes of the world. Just a few include: Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, The Black Dahlia, Zodiac killer, D. B. Cooper, Gardner Museum theft, the 1000+ women in Juarez, Mexico, who have been found raped, strangled, and dumped in the desert.

Takeaway Truth

Kindle your imagination by reading widely--books, magazines, articles--and by watching documentaries about esoteric subjects. You never know where you may find the big idea.

Serge de Moliere Tackles the Dirty Dozen

Grab your favorite morning beverage. This morning, I'm introducing you to Serge de Moliere, author of Nine Drops of Love. (Isn't that a great cover?)

About Serge de Moliere

Serge lives and writes in New York City where he draws on the great energy and diversity of the Big Apple for his stories of love and passion.

Serge is the author of French Kiss, an erotic romance, which can also be found at Goodreads.

His most recent release is Nine Drops of Love which he dubs "a charming romance." His books are available on Amazon U.S. and Amazon UK. Nine Drops of Love can be found at Books To Go Now as well as at Amazon, Kobo, and Scribd.

Find Serge de Moliere Online: Facebook * Twitter.

Serge de Moliere Tackles the Dirty Dozen

Q1. In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?
Serge: I write contemporary romantic love stories, as well as sci fi and fantasy, and sometimes I mix
these genres.

Q2. What inspired Nine Drops of Love?
Serge: The story, Nine Drops of Love, is actually my favorite novella to date. It’s a bit of a departure from my prior novellas, such as French Kiss because it is romantic and sensual, but not erotic. It started with a vague idea that popped into my head for a love story about a magical love potion.

As I started working on it, the story began to write itself as if the characters magically took control. It ended up being quite different than I intended when I started. The Dominican heroine is inspired in part by a pretty writer I met blended with another charming woman I know. As the narrative flows, altered clones of real people have a habit of inserting themselves into the fictional world. It was a lot of fun to write Nine Drops of Love and there’s a little humor in it that I hope readers will enjoy.

Q3. As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?
Serge: Readers can expect romance, passion and a sensual atmosphere. Nine Drops of Love is the first one that (I think) is funny at times.

Q4. How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book."
Serge: I wrote my first “book” when I was eight in response to my teacher’s assignment of “As You Like” homework-meaning do whatever you want. I decided it would be fun to write a book.
It was very short with illustrations I did myself--not wisely but too well.

Q5. What's the best thing about being an author?
Serge: As an author, you can create your own worlds and characters and control events; that is, you can until the story or the characters revolt and seize control.

Q6. What's the worst thing about being an author?
Serge: It can be frustrating, tedious and time consuming. Writing is difficult. Frustration arises constantly because you never write as well as you’d like to (such as Hemingway & Fitzgerald).

Q7. What device do you use to read ebooks?

Serge: Kindle Cloud when I do.

Q8. Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?
Serge: Yes, French Kiss (a sensual, erotic romance between an aspiring Asian actress and a
French film director) is available in paperback as well as ebook editions. Nine Drops of Love which was just released should be available in paperback too according to the publisher.

Q9. Do you listen to audio books? If so, where can readers find them, and what device do you use to listen to audiobooks?
Serge: Not so far.

Q10. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Serge: The greatest writers of all time urge aspiring authors to write and rewrite. I can’t suggest anything better than that.

Q11. If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?
Serge: Love well and often!

Q12. What is your current big dream (or goal) as a writer?
Serge: To have one of my stories made into a film, preferably with Jennifer Lawrence, Alice Braga, or Scarlett Johansson as the heroine!

Takeaway Truth

I hope you enjoyed meeting Serge de Moliere Be sure and look for Nine Drops of Love at Amazon or the other ebook sellers.

By the way, Serge's new release in December will be Rendezvous at Christmas which features a love affair sparked during the holiday season, of course!

Bumper Sticker of the Day: Entitlement?

Driving home from the country, I spotted a bumper sticker that said:

Contrary to Popular Belief
Nobody Owes You Anything

I imagine the freeway would have been full of blaring horns if there had been another bumper sticker that said: "Honk if you agree."

I love a good bumper sticker, don't you? Pithy wisdom or pop culture humor that shows the driver's personality, quirks, likes, dislikes, or pet peeves.

By the way, if you're a writer, you might be interested in the Writer's Bumper Sticker from my
Writer Aboard In Creative Trance
CafePress shop, WriteWay. It's a measly $4.99 if you use the embedded link.

This bumper sticker actually got me out of a speeding ticket once upon a time. (No guarantees that it will do the same for you are promised or implied. *g*)

Takeaway Truth

Hope this gave you a chuckle. Have a great day!

Fall In Love With New England Romance Reader-Author Conference

The days are dwindling down just like the autumn leaves are falling in New England.

Just a quick reminder that the Fall in Love With New England, Romance Reader and Author Conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, is October 13 and 14.

If you'd like to attend but haven't done anything about it, now is the time to take action.

If you want have a weekend of fun, talking about books and hanging out with authors, the Fall in Love With New England, Romance Reader and Author Conference is the place to be! You'll have tons of fun and make new friends too!


To Register As An Author

To Register As A Reader

Any questions not answered on the website, email ash @ ashlynchase dot com.

By the way, the weekend of the conference is prime viewing time for the glorious autumn leaves.

Takeaway Truth

Don't delay. Visit Fall In Love With New England now to register.

2018 Emily Contest Open Now

Writers, get excited! Most of all, get your entries ready because the 2018 Emily Contest for unpublished romance manuscripts opens today!

The prestigious Emily Contest, sponsored by the West Houston Chapter of Romance Writers of America is open only 2 months.

The contest closes at midnight on November 2, 2017 so don't wait. Get your entry in this week.

The Emily has always had strong final judges and a history of the finalists receiving frequent requests for the full manuscript by the agents and editors who are the final judges.

West Houston RWA is justifiably proud of their first-round feedback for entrants in all of the 6 categories.

If you're looking for a first-rate contest--this is it!

Details for 2018 Emily Contest

Who: Sponsored by West Houston Chapter of Romance Writers of America (WHRWA)

How Much: $25.00 for WHRWA members / $35.00 for all others

When: October 1, 2017 through November 2, 2017.

Entry Requirements: The first 5,600 words of your unpublished manuscript (no synopsis!) in any of the 6 categories.

What You Get: Excellent first-round feedback and top final round editor and agent judges.

Categories and Final Judges:

Contemporary Romance-Long: Editor Norma Perez-Hernandez, Kensington Publishing Corp, and Agent Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Contemporary Romance-Short: Editor Brenda Chin, Entangled Publishing LLC, and Agent Elaine Spencer, The Knight Agency

Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance: Editor Kristine Swartz, The Berkley Publishing Group, and Agent Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore and Company

Historical Romance: Editor Tara Gelsomino, Crimson Romance, and Agent Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary

Romantic Suspense: Editor Laura Costello, Sourcebooks, and Agent Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency

Young Adult Romance: Editor Alyssa Miele, Harper Collins, and Agent Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency Category

Prizes: Winners receive (1) a certificate, (2) the coveted silver Emily pin. In addition, they are eligible for $100 Best of the Best Prize.

Bonus: All finalists may attend, free of charge, the March 10, 2018, Emily Awards Luncheon and All-Day Workshop.

More Information: Visit The Emily Page

Takeaway Truth

Of all the contests out there, this one has a great reputation. It's been around a long time and has helped launch the careers of many authors. Take a chance and enter! Someone will win--it might be you.