Friday, June 1, 2018

After the Tears ~ Short Story

She stood there for a long while, listening to the wind, the occasional eruptions of drizzle and eventually walked to the edge of the grave. She bent her head. “Bye Dad. I love you. I am already missing you.” Before she could move her head back, a tear rolled from her cheek and splunked upon the coffin surface punctuating the dirt cross. Everyone else had left, but she wasn't yet ready, she needed time with just Dad, just her and the man who had been her rock all of her life.

After awhile, she retreated about forty feet away but was still in view of the grave. She watched the caretakers lower his coffin, and then cover it with damp earth. She imagined him being welcomed home. Some of the soil splattered against the engraved name of Emily Watkins, Cyndy's mother. She had been passed before Cyndy could remember her. It had been just her and Dad.

Cyndy Watkins started at the graves and cried. Alone.

Would she always be so? Nearing thirty and being attractive, she had her share of dates, but she never clicked with anyone, never found that special love. Her dad threatened quite often to set her up with a blind date. He had a lady friend, who had a son, a real nice man with green eyes and a gentle manner. His friend had met Cyndy once, thought her perfect for her boy. Cyndy didn't remember the meeting, and would always manage to avoid any parentally arranged dates. Funny she thought of that now. Then again, while in the final stages of cancer, he had so worried that that she wasn't settled, as he put it. "Oh Dad," she whispered, and felt her chest tighten with the throbbing ache of emptiness.

Once the final shovel-full of earth was moved and raked smooth, the sun as if cued, began to push itself through the clouds slowly turning the dull pall of the mid-morn rain into a beautiful spring afternoon, almost magical, signifying a new beginning.

Cyndy continued to sob gently, sucking in shallow, painful breaths, allowing hurt to express itself.

Like the slow, intrusion of the sun a few moments before, a man’s voice encroached upon her grief. At first it was just a low murmur, then as if the wind had deliberately turned direction, it picked up the voice and brought it to her like a gift. She turned, surveyed the landscape but did not see anyone though she still heard it. The voice. Where? It danced upon the air. Playfully. Though obviously male, she could not discern what he was saying, just that he sounded happy with the buoyancy of an entertainer. Drawn, like a child to a puppet show, she moved toward the theatrical tones and intonations.

Back to her, he knelt there, right on a grave. She took a quick step sideways and hid behind a tall monolithic granite monument. Watching. Listening. A man, clad in a green slicker with the hood up rose, his face still hidden from view. He sat upon a green and white blanket that had been arranged neatly. He didn’t notice her. The blanket was perfectly square to the stone he faced. A brown wicker basket squatted to his left. Open. Food occupied two plates before him while adjacent the plates, she spotted two bottles of water. “A picnic?” she muttered, shaking her head, brows knitting.

An occasional laugh interrupted his loud speech. A gesture or two marked many of his sentences. Again, playful.

She thought, how inappropriate and insensitive. This was a cemetery, for goodness sake! What right did he have to be so disgraceful? So disrespectful? She moved closer with all intentions of saying something in a scolding Sunday school teacher way. She was just in the right mood to scold someone, even though a small voice told her she shouldn't. The closer she walked the more she began to hear even though the breeze kept distorting the intonations.

He sat Indian-legged with a leather-bound briefcase setting in his lap. He read from the case. Laughing. Teasing. Gesturing. Talking to the headstone as if it were a friend and loved one. Showing moments of seriousness. Stopping for emphasis. Sipping some water. Eating a grape. Looking down at his portfolio, studying a minute then talking again. Turning the pages slowly. Entertaining the stone.

His actions brought her pause. They were so wonderfully personal. Private. She felt the pull of embarrassment because they were so private.

She crouched behind another stone, listened to his stories, becoming engrossed when he talked about a baseball game he saw and the foul ball that bounced two seats away. A genuine heart-felt humanity emerged when he talked about a calico cat that got into his home and hid under his bed for two days, tormenting his dog. He finally caught her and found her a home, and he wished he had known her better. The ‘her’ she first thought was the cat. Then she realized it was the person buried. More tears emerged when she heard his voice crack under the abrupt intensity of emotion. “I truly miss you. I wish we had had more time. When it was just getting good, you were taken. I have been blessed to have you, but hurt that you are gone.”

New tears streamed down Cyndy's cheeks.

He rose. Collected his picnic. Kissed two of his fingers, touched the stone and said, “See you next year. Don’t go anywhere. Okay!”

Cyndy smiled at his humor remarking beneath her breath, “What a gentle, caring man.”

He walked away without ever looking in Cyndy’s direction. She waited until he was gone then curious, believing that it had to be his wife, approached the headstone. She read it and saw that the date of death was the same as today, but many years earlier. She calculated date of birth and death. It was his mother. A flash of bonding with the soul and spirit of the unknown man formed, a bond, born in the loss of a parent on the same date. Their date. This man she had been about to scold became a distant, even though unknown, friend. May 12th connected them. Forever.

Her tears stopped. Cyndy somehow didn’t feel quite as alone.

A year passed, she had forgotten about the man, but not about visiting her parents' graves. Unlike the day of the funeral, it was a glorious day, truly spring with the promise of summer. She knelt before the tombstones and began a long discourse about her work, her life, her lack of romance.

Suddenly a man's voice interrupted. "Care for some water?" He held out a water bottle. "My name's Charles."

She looked up into kind green eyes and remembered the voice, the tender modulated tones from the year before.

At that moment something clicked, something solid and right. "Thank you," she said, and instantly knew in a strange warm wash of certainty that she'd never be alone again.

In the heavens, Charles' mother and Cyndy's father grinned at each other. They finally managed the blind date their stubborn children had once refused.


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sometimes I Really do Wonder

Sometimes I really wonder why I do the things I do. I just spent the last few long months wrestling with the second volume of my space opera epic. Made several changes, additions, and went through the beast until I was cross-eyed and finally sent it off. Before that I was putting the income tax nonsense into some kind of order. Now, with that finished and the manuscript off my plate, I could get caught up on all those other things I’ve been letting slide.

Like my office. The children have warned my wife not to enter it on her own without tying a rope around her waist so she can find her way back out. Even I have to admit it’s been getting a bit unruly in there.

But then ideas keep bubbling. You know the feeling. It’s an itch that requires scratching. What to do? Two new plots were struggling for attention. Now what?

I chose the path of least resistance and decided to start on both of them and see where that led me.

The first option is one in the series of Housetrap Chronicles novellas. I always find these relaxing as I can have a lot of fun throwing in everything (including a kitchen sink) into my fantasy detective series and work out any frustrations. Slight problem, this particular plot requires more planning than I’m used to with these. Normally I come up with a mash-up of a mystery title and then write a story to fit the title.

The second option is a more-or-less straight fantasy tale that bit me when I wasn’t looking. This thing has decided it wants to be full novel length but is unsure whether to be teen, young adult, or adult. Only the bedroom scenes may eventually decide that rating.

After writing the opening chapters of each of these ideas, I decided I really had to get a serious grip on these creatures; and work on only one writing project at a time. So I did.

Glancing around my office, it is still sinking under the weight of the paper piled on my floor. But that is not surprising, my desk and shelves are full.

Carry on writing, especially if you enjoy it. I often write so I can find out how the story ends.

Why do you write?


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)

Struggling With a Space Opera - Part Two

Back at the start of last year I decided to try writing something new. I needed a change from dragons and damsels, or detectives facing vampires and wayward housewives. I decided it was time I ventured deep into outer space.

As usual I started with a scrap of a plot and plunged right on ahead. I knew what the opening chapter would look like, and the final dramatic scene. All I needed was the middle part of the beast. My Beta reader uncovered the usual number of faults but I pressed on. Unlike some authors and betas, we look at each other’s work as it goes along, a few chapters at a time. We don’t wait until the completion before we do the swapping of manuscripts and the serious critiquing. The advantage to me is I pick up on any problems early enough to incorporate the fixes as I create the next section and repair the last.

I usually write quickly. I’ll start each day by reading and editing what I wrote the day before, and then charge on ahead. I also go back, adding scenes, inserting comments, sprinkling in incidents as they pop up.

Decided on a working title: “Of Destiny’s Daughters.” So, what happened after I finished this epic? Sent it off to the publisher and settled down for the usual waiting period, chewing nails to the quick. Of course, the brain keeps active during this period and the ending had generated some ideas on what might happen next in the story.

Might as well keep on writing, eh?

My beta reader complained the start of volume number two was a bit slow. Okay, I add an opening scene with a flashback complete with explosions. Somewhere during this process I also imagined a third volume. Then of course I changed my mind and compressed the projected third volume into the end of book two, which had a working title of “Hammer Across the Stars.”

Might as well finish this off and send it to the publisher so she can get an idea of how the tale unfolds beyond the first book.

Of course, as I put volume number two to bed there is an itch in the back of my head. The revised ending has given me a brilliant (I may exaggerate here) idea for a third volume. No, I haven’t started on this one yet, but the ideas are percolating.

One reason I haven’t started anything on book three (working title unknown although “Expedition to Earth” has a nice ring to it) is that I’m now up to my eyeballs in edits on the first volume. The publisher has said “Yes!”

The moral here, persistence pays off. Now about that book three…


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn (Book 1, 2, of 3)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Once Upon a Chat

Once upon a chat in a land far away and a time long ago, we became long winded while answering questions at a Romance Café.
We thought to take this opportunity to share some of our responses with a bit of curtailing and a bit of enhancing.

Did you always want to become a writer?

A: Was born with a story in my mouth.

Z: Yup, her first words were gagagoba dada... which means... Once upon a diaper change.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

Z: Most interesting... although we work in seclusion we're actually on a stage, displaying for the world the strange workings of our minds in the form of stories... all for the sake of entertainment

A: Less interesting... Zi makes great coffee

Z: Ang that has nothing to do with writing.

A: Sure it does... fuels my thoughts... energizes my body... puts me in a good mood

Z: You usually drink tea.

A: Well, there is that.

How did you celebrate your first release? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?

A: I sent smile-face e-mails to all my closest friends and family, engaging them to atta-girl me, and they do.

Z: The question asked about ritual. Ok, here's my ritual. My neighbor has this immense weeping willow tree, and after a book release, I wait for the blackness night in the heaviest rain, strip naked and run helter-skelter through the drooping branches screaming, "Look what I did... Look what I did... Look what I did..." Then I dress and act as if it never happened.

So tell us about your very first release as a writing team. What is it about, what inspired it and is it a stand-alone title or a series book?


A: (Making a note to avoid the office when it is a heavy rain and the middle of the night) ... is a stand alone at the moment but there is the possibility of a sequel, working title LOVE LETTERS.

Z: Our inspiration came from Angelica's handmade spoon doll collection and the simple words what if... All coupled with the state of our world and the post-9/11 fear of terrorism. We are both strong proponents that you confront fear not hide from it, and our small slice of storytelling is both cathartic and, hopefully, a place where some might find strength or closure. Obviously, that is a very serious point and we hope our tone and texture has reflected it but we are both humble enough to understand we may not have.

If you could meet any paranormal creature, who would it be and why?

A: A wyvern... there is so much intrigue in a flying dragon. Could I see myself as the damsel in distress with the valiant hero racing to rescue me. Damn straight I can. Then again, I can also envision flying in on a dragon to rescue a hero in distress...a nice hunky hero. (Big grin)

Z: I'm kinda liking cupid... kinda short and pudgy, wearing a diaper, running around with a bow and arrow, popping people in the name of love. Is that a gig or what? Now, if he gets a good annual out of it, I can see that as a future job possibility. Though a diaper in my size would require me jumping a fence and measuring the arse end of a cow. But, hell, money and arrows, cool.

If you could change places with one character from any book, who would it be and why?

Z: Killjoy, the clown from Stephen King's IT. To be both humorous and diabolical and to wear a funny nose and wig, wouldn't that be a hoot. Don't make me laugh I just might have to kill you.

A: Ssisapho from our book SNAKE DANCE... She's not the heroine but she is one sassy, sharp, determined shero.

Z: Yeah, a big you-know-what and is half dressed all the time. I change my character to anyone who is near her.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

Z: I'd visit Ben Franklin during his kite and storm incident and get the poop about the key and the lightning. I don't believe it happened and he has gotten so much pub for something that couldn't have happened but people believe it must have happened. I need his publicist.

A: I want is to go into the future when we can to travel to other planets. Imagine playing chess with Zisot from the planet Kilatot.

Z: Future... I saw Demolition Man. I think I might like that mental fornication. What do you think? Put on that little metal helmet, bingo, bango and whoa, whoa, whoa... Then again, chess is nice.

Where can readers go to find out more about you, your books and other good stuff? As well

If you could meet your favorite celebrity and spend the day with them, who would you choose and what would you do?

Z: Tiger Woods and help him count his money. Do you remember Scrooge McDuck with his huge vault of coins? The richest duck in the world. Quote, “Me I’m different, everybody hates me and I hate everybody.” That would be me. He he he...One...two...three...million...he he he... Then we’d golf. And since it’s my fantasy, obviously I’d win every hole by two strokes each. And we were playing a million dollars a hole….

A: Are you done yet?

Z: Maybe… Ok… ok… you’re turn.

A: Took too long… I forgot what I was going to say.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -

Friday, April 6, 2018

Even An Armadillo Needs Love

Sharing Cover Art by Angelica Hart
The singular most important emotion a human spirit craves is to be loved. It seeks it out. It needs it. It craves it. Walk into any book store and check out the romance section, it dominates. There is a reason for that which isn't just about sensual romance. It goes back to that basic need that we long to be loved. There are many romances that play down the aspects of sexuality, take that of a story about a boy and his armadillo, a generational family saga, even a story about war, all play the emotional gambit yet somewhere in each, you will find love, be it for a pet, a child, or your country.

The further we are from love, of feeling loved, of being loved, the more isolated we become, cynical sometimes, and at its worse a life without being loved can poison the body. The closer any emotion comes to love, the more that emotion vitalizes and nourishes the body. Negative emotions seep into our spirit and spread emotional distress that could actually make us ill. Therefore, it is empathically accurate to say that love can cultivate well-being, and in well-being there is joy.

The human spirit constantly searches for that connection, that cannot be found in a new electronic toy, although, one wouldn't mind having that, or a cruise, or a piece of pecan pie. Ok, maybe, the latter is true love. Seriously, no material or emotional love in this world can touch us, encourage us, protect us, fulfill us, strength us, bless us, provide for us, care for us, feed us, house us, clothe us, or heal us like love that comes from inside us, love that we wish to share.

As authors, we choose to share our love with the world though our writing. In our early books from CBG, starting with KILLER DOLLS, the love is more mature, more dynamic, more intense, that snap that comes with instant attraction all centered around the possibility of loss and death. Whereas, in SNAKE DANCE, the love is fresh, new, just as instantaneous but with a connection born from something mystical. CHASING GRAVITAS cuts into the ache and desires of the heart, a yearning that might not be realized, a mysterious truth that might destroy. Yet, in each of these stories there is one truth, the characters have a basic to love. It isn't just the sexual attraction, or the culmination of that passion, but about the real reasons one loves, about see the soul and knowing that soul melds perfectly, that the yin of one cannot exist without the yang of the other.

Some say the romance genre is just a disguise for soft porn. We strenuously disagree, reading romance is partnering with love, championing it, recognizing the fact that love will win out, every time. Maybe, that isn't always the truth of reality, but dang, isn't it wonderful that there is a place where we can play and know for certainly happily-ever-after does exist?

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Balance in Writing (An Equal Opportunity)

Given all the chatter recently about the need for a proper gender balance in our lives I thought I’d take a look at my writing to see how I’ve fared so far. I consider myself a story-teller and certainly not a literary writer. When I began creating novels I was looking at the tale, not the blend of characters. So, how did I do?

My first published novel was The Dark Lady. The POV main character was female, and most of the main villains were male. One strong male character gradually appeared though the trilogy and I even added a nasty female villain. I’d consider it a good balance, with the ladies taking a larger percentage of the main parts.

My second trilogy was The Queen’s Pawn. The POV character here was a young hapless male way out of his depth. The tale had at least three strong female characters and a pair of male villains. I think they evened out well.

A stand-alone novel that followed, Alex in Wanderland, had two POV characters, Alexis and Alexander, a pair of husband and wife protagonists. The villains were also equal opportunity gender balanced. I don’t think any side was left out.

A stand-alone novella I wrote, Knight’s Bridge, started out as a short story about a defeated warrior who reluctantly rescues a fleeing woman. That turned into a four-part POV novella consisting of: the knight’s story, the villain’s story, a young squire’s story, and the woman’s story which brought all the elements finally together. Because she got to wrap it up, I’d give her at least the equal billing.

Looking at my fantasy detective series, the Housetrap Chronicles, I have a male detective matched up with a strong female counterpoint, his assertive secretary, Girl Friday, partner in crime solving. The villains through the series so far are a mix, though some of my personal favorites tend to be the strong females who delight in mayhem. I’ll give this one a draw, although the hero is frequently overwhelmed.

I try to choose the characters who best fit the tale. I suspect that being good or bad, weak or strong, are gender-equal opportunities. At least in the stories I try to write so far.

In a space opera pair of volumes I’m close to completing I didn’t know who would be the main character when I began. A brother-sister pairing opened the story. I gave them both the chance to run with it, but in this case, the sister assumed command and took over. The aliens in these tales are another matter completely. I just write the stories down. The characters I create tend to gallop off in all directions. I apologize to the reader in advance if I leave anyone out. I just do my best to treat or abuse everyone alike as the normal part of the story-telling process.

Do you deliberately think about this issue when you begin to layout a tale?


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Facebook Fallout

Drop out of Facebook? Never. As a writer, I have too much fun roaming the world on the internet. It’s like a surprise package every time I open Facebook to see what goodies they’ve come up with for me to enjoy.

My characters travel the world. I often look for the most expensive hotels in remote parts of the world as well as the worst accommodations possible. One of my first excursions abroad was to take the Blenders to Johannesburg. As they are all extremely wealthy, I sent them first class through Germany. I really, really want to get rich and travel like that! Champagne and caviar all the way. Petit fours and tea. Sigh.

Unfortunately the tour package they’d arranged put them up at less than desirable accommodations in Johannesburg. But along the way, they made friends with a very nice police officer who also turned up at their elegant safari lodgings following a murder.

All this research brought a swarm of adverts on Facebook for lodgings, airlines, and crime stories about South Africa.

Then we went to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Now there’s an interesting place. Al and Larry were on this sojourn and had to get kidnapped and abandoned in the Gobi Desert. I learned about the annual horse race, more than I ever wanted to know about Ghengis Khan, and Soviet-era apartment blocks. I also learned that although officially it is illegal to discriminate against gays, it certainly is done. Larry and Al had to be very circumspect, something they were used to in their younger days in the States.

At the moment I’m staying in Honolulu in a first class hotel and about to put someone up in the cheapest possible room. Some of my people were in Seoul and I needed to know a high crime area. I learned that alcoholism is a huge problem in Korea. The statistics are disturbing, especially among the youth of the country. Far worse than occasional binge drinking, and that’s serious enough.

Each time I look something up, there it is – a surprise. Sometimes I look for certain style clothes for my characters to wear, and there they are waiting for me on Facebook. 

Give up the fun? Not on your life.

But they won’t get my bank account or social security numbers.

Veronica Helen Hart is the award-winning author of The Blender Series, The Prince of Keegan Bay, Swimming Corpse, Safari Stew, and Midnight in Mongolia. Her other books, The Reluctant Daughters, Elena – the Girl with the Piano, and Silent Autumn are all available from Champagne Books, Create Space and/or Amazon.

Friday, March 2, 2018


Alter-ego Day!

From the desk of ~
We are so happy and eager to this interview with J. S. Marlo! So, rather than dicker and dacker, we are off for our Love of Literature Leap immediately!
Tattle and Wrye leap into J. S. Marlo’s kitchen.
T: Ta Daaaaaa! We’re baccccck.
W: Aren’t ya glad to see us. (Tosses J. S. an apple) We’ve been eating healthy lately and encouraging others to do so.
T: (Chews quickly so her chipmunk cheeks won’t give away that she just squirreled away two cookies before they left) Yum, yeah, right… errrr…. I brought grapes and plain water. (Can’t help crossing her eyes cause she hates plain water)
J. S.: Hey guys! I’m guessing you didn’t bring any melted dark chocolate for me to dip the fruit in, did you? Nevermind, I’ll melt some right now. Make yourself comfortable.
W: (Grabs a chair and straddles it backwards) So, it’s like this, doll face.... and instantly starts dipping into the melted chocolate. Tattle snatches the biggest strawberry before he can get it.
T: (Interrupts) Doll face? Really? What century are you in?
W: (Blinks, checks his notes) Oh, wait, sorry, I was just reading a gangster dime novel from the thirties, got my timeline confused. (Gives big puppy eyes) Please accept my apologies for being inappropriate.  Book/genre hoping can throw a guy off.
J.S.: No worries, I’ve been called worse. I was in charge of an election office a few years back, and you should have heard what some people called me when they were too late to vote. Come to think of it, you don’t want to know what these guys called me.
T: And with that, we are jumping right into our interview. Be warned, we are getting downright serious with our interview. We have totally become investigative reporters, so brace yourself! (Gives J. S. the narrowed eyed ultra- serious look) What character do you think about most when you are alone in your car?
W: (Mouths) That’s all you got?
T: (Mouths back) I’m new at this serious stuff.
Both look at J. S. awaiting her answer.
J.S.: Let's see…if I’m alone in my car, that means I’m driving, right? And when I’m driving alone, I like to sing-along my playlist. That way I don’t scorch anyone’s ears. Between you and I, I’m an awful singer, and I couldn’t carry a tune if my life depended on it, but I still like to sing. So, to answer your question, I don’t think about any characters.
W: Now let’s get down to business. (Pops up from his chair, walks around J.S., eyeing like a private detective from that dime store novel he had been reading. A toothpick appears in his mouth) What would be the soundtrack to your HEART and ENDURANCE series?
J.S.: “Never Surrender” by Corey Hart
…So if you're lost and on your own
 You can never surrender
 And if your path won't lead you home
You can never surrender
 And when the night is cold and dark
 You can see, you can see light
 Cause no one can take away your right
 To fight and never surrender…
It’s a beautiful song. Perfectly fitting. You need to google it and listen to it.
T: Will have to do that, sounds beautiful.  If your characters Hope Craig, Sheriff Morgan and Colonel Matheson from your Novel COLD SWEAT came for dinner, what would you cook for them?
J.S.: Hopefully they would come during the summer so I can barbecue. I live in northern Alberta, so sorry but I don’t cook outside at -40C (-40F). I’d barbecue T-Bones, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and I’d make a giant garden salad.
T/W: If you could live in one of your books, which book would it be?
J.S.: Tough choice…It’d be a toss between living on Riley’s ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta (in Unscripted – Duty Bound Series #1) and living on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Prince Edward Island (in Unearthed – Duty Bound Series #2).
T/W: Do you remember the first galactic alien you ever met? (Feel free to use your imagination if you hadn’t met any.) And what book of yours did it want to read and why?
J.S.: I knew my imaginary friend Bob wasn’t imaginary. He’s an alien! Sorry Bob for mistaking you for a figment of my imagination all these years.
Bob loves “Cold Sweat – Heart & Endurance #1”. He read it three times. He’s fascinated, and a bit infatuated, by Hope and her abilities, resourcefulness, and resilience.  See, Hope is deaf, but she can read lips and people better than Bob can, and she refuses to let anything or anyone stand in her way. She’s a tough cookie, the kind Bob loves.
T: Is being a writer a gift or a curse? If it is a curse, would you like to curse someone else and who would that be? (Tattle points to Wrye)
W: Hey, I am already a writer and I think it is a gift.
T: I know, silly-smarty-pants, I just like it when you turn red and sputter.
W: Oh… ummm… Cheese doodle on a cracker, ye-literary-goofer, that was a conversation ender. Sooo, m’dear,  J. S. (Offers J. S. a gentlemanly bow) As always it has been a pleasure.
T: Yes, thank you for your time. You are indeed a delight.
As they escort themselves out, Tattle leaves a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
J.S.: Thank you, guys! It was fun. Come again. My door is always open….except when it’s cold. Then you have to knock, and hurry in. Au revoir!
Book Titles:
Unscripted – Duty Bound Series #1
Unearthed – Duty Bound Series #2
Untamed – Duty Bound Series #3
Cold Sweat – Heart & Endurance #1
Thin Ice – Heart & Endurance #2
Hot Water - Heart & Endurance #3 (coming in August 2017)
Links to buy your books:
Champagne Book group
Barnes & Noble
Social links
Until next time, keep reading!
We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -

Thursday, March 1, 2018

How do You Create Your Masterpiece?

Working at a book table during a recent Con set me thinking. You get to meet and talk with a lot of new or developing writers at these busy events. Some come looking for hints, or just want to talk about the writing world in general.

One young gentleman’s comment that he only writes in longhand in a notebook got me thinking. When I mentioned using computers he was dead set against them. Pen to paper was the only way for him. He intended to work that way until he had his final draft of his manuscript completed.

I too started out writing in a notebook. I still have them buried in my office somewhere. Then I graduated to a manual typewriter. (I’m a two-fingered typist and I like it that way.) The typewriter certainly made for easier-to-read work. I also went through large reams of paper and whiteout by the jar or strip.

Then I graduated to a Commodore 64 computer and 5 inch floppy discs. I was in my glory. Unfortunately, I still have two novels that never escaped from the floppy discs. Fortunately, I do have hard copies buried around the office somewhere, if I ever get the ambition to transcribe them on to my latest computer while editing out all those beginner errors at the same time.

Now I have three laptops, numerous thumb drives, and an external hard drive. Which brings me to the moral of this lengthy tale and why I’m quite happy I kept moving on up through the equipment in search of something better.

I was wrestling with my latest epic recently. My Beta reader was working me over. I decided she was correct, again. I needed to make some important changes. First, was completely re-writing the opening. Then, I needed to make several changes through the manuscript. Next I had to add some new scenes to make sense out of the revised opening. I shudder to think of doing this amount of revision work on a typewriter or even the trusty Commodore. Never mind scratching around in a notebook!

I can give another better example. A couple of years ago I turned in a manuscript that came to somewhere north of 100,000 words. That particular publisher decided it was a bit long for them when they brought out the print editions. Their request, cut the manuscript into two, flesh those two out to a decent length of somewhere over 80,000 words each, and then write a third novel to turn the whole project into a trilogy.

I can imagine doing the above using a handwritten notebook. One final thought on the subject. I keep a separate file on the computer of notes for each project that I can call upon and bring up as I am working. Useful stuff such as, “How did I spell that character’s name?” or “What did I say was the color of her eyes?”

Experience is a good teacher. Bottom line, writing is a very personal exercise. Write in the way that suits you best, and take all the advice from us old timers with a grain of sea-salt.


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Happy Valentine's Month

Just because Valentine's Day hasn't arrived doesn't mean the entire months shouldn't be celebrated. 
So, we compiled a compiled a few quotes to help keep the mood going.  

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart. 
~ by Josiah G. Holland ~

There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.
~ by George Sand ~

Love is an act of endless forgiveness
A tender look which becomes a habit.
~ by Peter Ustinov ~

Love is a fruit in season at all times,
and within the reach of every hand.
~ by Mother Teresa ~

The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.
~ by Helen Keller ~

The courses of true love never did run smooth.
~ by William Shakespeare ~

But true love is a durable fire,
In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never old, never dead,
From itself never turning.
~ by Sir Walter Raleigh ~

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.
~ by Flavia Weedn ~

Seduce my mind and you can have my body,
Find my soul and I'm yours forever.
~ by Anonymous ~

So dear I love him that with him,
All deaths I could endure.
Without him, live no life.
~ by William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet ~

To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven.
~ by Karen Sunde ~

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself
But if your love and must needs have desires,
Let these be your desires:
• To melt and be like a running brook
• That sings its melody to the night.
• To know the pain of too much tenderness.
• To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
• And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
• To wake at dawn with a winged heart
• And give thanks for another day of loving;
• To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
• To return home at eventide with gratitude;
• And then to sleep with a prayer
• For the beloved in your heart
• And a song of praise upon your lips.
~ by Gibran Kahlil Gibran ~

Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it .. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
~ by The Holy Bible, New International Version Ephesians 5:25-33 ~

Love doesn't make the world go round,
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
~ by Elizabeth Browning ~

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a free ebook (choose erotic or romantic thriller) and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -