Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Master Passion--From the Cutting Room Floor

I wrote and rewrote A Master Passion for a period of fifteen years, ending with a novel well over a 1000 pages long. Some scenes, especially those in the beginning which dealt with the far less well-known Elizabeth Schuyler, were cut. This scene, telling us more about the future Mrs. Hamilton, was among the ones that fell by the wayside.

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"Of all the dead old white dudes on the money, Hamilton is the one I can tell you the least about...Waldron's book changes all that..."   5* Amazon Review 

Tench Tilghman had come north, an emissary from the Continental Congress, to attend a parley with the Indians.  General Schuyler and the Americans wished to obtain assurances of neutrality before a war with Britain broke out. 
            Today, though, as if there was no great war threatening, Tilghman and a group of young Albany gentry were on a picnic to the falls at Cohoes, which he had been told was "one of the notable sights of the region."  The Colonel accompanied Betsy in a climb to get a close look at the falls.
             The path Miss Schuyler elected was surprisingly bad. There were rocks to scramble over and around and briar patches to negotiate, but she seemed to enjoy this sort of rough ramble. At first he had wondered if this was one of these female ploys which would end with her leaning on his arm.
            Pray God I will not have to reveal my wretched state to another coquette in search of a husband.
          However, he soon learned that this dainty young lady could more than kept pace with him. Their way was almost vertical, frequently necessitating an undignified down-on-all-fours attack.  The way she'd brought him up, agile and uncomplaining as a boy, demonstrated that she'd made the climb many times.  
          Her stockings flashed, revealing the outline of pretty calves as she scaled the last rock.  Tilghman, following her, had the insouciant thought that the "best view" might possibly be from exactly where he was. 

          At the breathless top, they paused, panting,  and admired the view. Tilghman experienced an unexpected rush of pleasure. The young woman's easy manner almost made him feel he was in male company--almost.
          "Come, Colonel Tilghman!" Betsy shouted over the noise of falling water.  "Here's the place I spoke of."

            When he reached the height, he found himself a bare arm's length from enormous quantities of green water hurtling over a narrow lip of stone.  Falling, it became a spectacular white veil.  The ground beneath his feet shook alarmingly.
            Beside him on that rocky shelf, Betsy dropped to her knees, then stretched out on her stomach to get as close as possible to the roaring water. 
           "Do come!"
            Thunder vibrated beneath them.  The quick climb, vertigo from the height, the sight of a lady young stretched at full length on the ground--and suddenly, he felt giddy.
           The wind shifted and spray blew into their faces.   Betsy turned and smiled, a dazzling flash against her nut-brown skin.

            Later, they withdrew to a less precarious and quieter spot, a rock farther away, but one with a good view.  Tilghman shaded his eyes and gazed west.  Forest stretched away on the other side, an endless pine blanket.
            Below, on the other side, their horses were in clear view.  Secrets, concealed from those below, appeared plainly.  A kissing couple, concealed from the others, attracted their gaze.
            "Oh, wonderful!" Betsy laughed and then covered her smile with one hand.  Tilghman had hitherto imagined such behavior to be the prerogative of the male.  “They were made for one another, but," she added, suddenly serious, "we ought not to spy."
            Tilghman nodded, something at a loss for words. In the south, young ladies would pretend to see nothing of the indiscretion taking place below.  
            "They're both Greens." 
             Tilghman didn't understand what this meant exactly, but he realized that what they witnessed, far from being a charming indiscretion, was the outcome of some long-laid Albanian dynastic plan.  Nevertheless, it was yet another jarring moment, as stimulating as anything he'd felt during his recent visit to the Oneida camp. 

            These Northerners--both red and white—were so--frank! 
           "The sky west is marvelous." Betsy led his gaze away by pointing at the towering clouds of summer, now parading slowly overhead.             
           And it is always a lady's prerogative to change the subject...
            "Yes, indeed, although I fear from the look of those we’ll soon have rain."
            "Later today, certainly.” Betsy smiled up at him. "We shall have to start back soon." Then this charming daughter of the north solemnly posed one of the most amazing questions Mr. Tilghman had ever been asked by a proper young lady.
             "Why is it, Colonel, that you don't try to kiss me?"
               Tilghman felt the sting in the question, yet he could see that it was asked  dispassionately.
            Would any Maryland girl, or any sophisticated Philadelphia flirt, say that?  In Baltimore, in Philadelphia, such a line would be delivered behind a fan, the girl’s eyes snapping with mischief and daring him to come on.
            In her tone he detected only curiosity and a certain melancholy. There was not a hint of flirtatiousness.
            "Well, certainly, I want to—ah kiss you.” He struggled after a chivalrous answer.  "As much as any man wants to kiss a lovely lady."
            Betsy sighed as he bent over her hand.  Apparently the sight of her two Green cousins kissing had put her in a confidential mood.
            "Don't tell tales, Mr. Tilghman.  My sisters are lovely. I'm just 'good-tempered Betsy'.  That's what all my cousins say.  They skate with me, they dance with me and play hide and seek, but they don't pull me behind the curtains at parties.  Or, if they do, it's just to ask whether Angelica fancies them."
            Tilghman did have blood in his veins, so, at the sight of her pensive face, he caught her close and kissed her.  What he received in return was very sweet, so sweet, in fact, that it was far  harder to break off than he had anticipated.
            "You, Sir Marylander, you kiss exactly like my cousins."  Miss Schuyler stunned him again. She bobbed to pick a tiny red and gold spray of Indian paint brush which she then carefully tucked into a buttonhole of his blue jacket.
            Before the astonished Tilghman--he'd never before endured a critique--could find a reply, the astonishing young lady added, "I heard you were pretty warm with those Oneida girls after the pow‑wow."
            Then, before he could collect his wits, Tilghman watched a flash of green and white calico whirling away. 
            "Miss Schuyler! Wait!"
            He soon caught up with her.  The girl's big black eyes--curiously like those of the Oneida girls--were bright with tears.
            Tilghman knew his face was scarlet.  As discreet as he'd thought he’d been, somehow this little northern lady knew what he'd done.  Worse--and again, absolutely unlike her southern sisters--she'd actually dared to remark upon it!
            "Never mind, sir." Betsy lifted her chin proudly. "Most of the men around here had an Indian wife in their trading days.  Even my Papa."
            Tilghman's sensibilities reeled.  Such plain speaking! His throat closed, and suddenly he had to cough and fumble for his handkerchief.
            "Please excuse me, Colonel." Betsy now too seemed embarrassed, "You must think I am--"
            "Not at all.” With a great effort, he managed to reply with only the slightest smile.  "You are simply candid, Miss.  I must say, however, that hypocrisy is more the fashion in my country."


~~Juliet Waldron

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Emotional Involvement in a Story by Connie Vines

Check out Connie Vines Books We Love author page for her books

Are you ever emotionally drained by writing certain scenes, and how real are your characters to you?

For romance novelist the emotional involvement is the 💖 of the story.  Whereas fear would be the emotional of a horror story, etc.

So, like so many other romance novelists of my era, I have one key movie and one key television series which spelled out emotion in capital letters.

  • The opening of the movie Romancing the Stone, where author Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner) is bawling because she has finished her book with a very emotional scene in her book. 
  • The television series,  Beauty and the Beast, starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Pearlman (as Vincent, the beast).  The opening music was enough to make my throat thick and my eyes teary.

 I've read meany books that brought me to tears (Jane Eyre, to name my favorite), and I must admit, I still cry when I re-read scenes in my own novels, too.  Talk that dark moment in Lynx, Rodeo Romance, Book 1, when Rachel turns down Lynx's proposal.  Or in Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2 when my heroine is willing to sacrifice her life to save Brede and his daughter.  Well, you get the picture , ,

I plot my novels and short stories, however, I emotionally live my scenes.  Since my settings are places I have lived or visited, I have memories and sensory reactions. In real life, since  I can feel other people's emotions, which is difficult at times, and it helps for me to write it out through my characters.

Emotional draining? Yes.
Rewarding?  Of course.

Please stop by and see what these wonderful authors have to say by clicking on the links below.

Happy Reading!


At the MATSURI Japanese Festival - by Vijaya Schartz

Damsel of the Hawk, standalone in
the Curse of the Lost Isle series
find it HERE
Since 1984, The Arizona Matsuri festival celebrates each winter Japanese culture and heritage, traditional and modern. The two-day event held at Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix features the sights and sounds of Japan, art, crafts, music, dance and much more...

This year, I left my car to avoid parking jams and took the light rail to downtown Phoenix. Since trains are so prominent in Japan, it got me and my friends in the right mood. As if riding the famous Shinkansen minus the speed. Despite its futuristic looks, however, the light rail is no bullet train.

Having lived in Japanese communities in Hawaii and traveled all over Japan, I'm always glad to refresh my memories of the people, the culture, and everything Japanese, including the language.

The crowd came, and we had to make our way through lines of people, especially in front of the food tents.

So many things come from Japan, we tend to forget. From sushi, sake and beer, to anime, cosplay, bonsai trees, kimonos, and martial arts, we have adopted many cultural aspects of Japan. This is what we saw.

Kimonos are always popular. Some of these were real works of art, hand made, in rare silk, and intricately embroidered. Also popular the delicious foods, the tea ceremony, and the big drums. Did you know the ladies used to stick all kinds of implements inside the obi belt of their kimonos. At the festival, I saw many drumsticks sticking out of them.

This is a lovely picture of my friend Sue (on the left) with the group of Japanese folk dancers, getting ready for their appearance on stage. Notice the fans sticking out of the obi belts.

And here is yours truly, flanked by two formidable samurai in full armor. The sun and shadows of the overhead lattice and vines make it difficult to see them in all their splendor.

Of course, there was much more to see and do. I attended a storyteller show about the Shinkansen, introducing all the principal cities of Japan with their tourist attractions and culinary specialties. I also attended several martial arts demonstrations of Kendo, Aikido, Karate, and many others.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this special day.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll write a novel set in Japan, or in a Japanese-like futuristic society.


 Vijaya Schartz
 Romance with a Kick
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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Stonehenge—Legends and Fact, Tricia McGill

Find out about all my books here on my Books We Love Author page

The authors among us who like to write about past ages, whether it be fact or pure fiction, are universally research nerds. We must love the research entailed in writing time-travels and historicals, or we would never be able to proceed with our work. I’m in the process of re-working one of my older books and this brought to mind the subject of this post, as my characters pass Stonehenge on their journey to the west of England (Circa 450 AD).

Years ago, too many to think about, but let’s say a long time ago, on the way to the west of England with family, we passed Stonehenge where it stood in all its stark glory on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. I am ashamed to admit that I took scant notice of it back then as my interest in history was merely budding and it’s likely I had other things to occupy my young mind. From memory, the stones were not surrounded by any restrictions and I vaguely recall we left the car at the side of the nearby road, walked around, and near them easily. Many of the original stones have fallen or been removed by what can only be called vandals. Thank goodness contact by tourists and visitors to the stones has been prohibited since 1978.

Sadly, no one in my family thought to take a photograph so I have no solid proof that I stood beneath these monumental stones and wondered how on earth they got there. This is one question that has puzzled historians for many years. There are numerous theories and a few myths surrounding Stonehenge. Despite its dilapidation and mistreatment by generations of thoughtless people it is still a sight no one visiting Britain should miss.

Stonehenge is situated in this vast plain, surrounded by hundreds of round barrows, or burial mounds. Will the mystery of who actually built it, and for what reason, ever be solved completely? Some say it is a sacred place, some say it is steeped in magic, some say it was honoured by the ancient folk who went to so much trouble to build it.

Its construction has been attributed to many different groups, but the most enduring conjecture seems to be the Druids were responsible. But then Druids did their worshipping in forests so why would they go to the trouble to trundle such large stones from miles away when they had no real use for them? Julius Caesar and other Roman storytellers wrote of a Celtic priesthood who might have been connected, but by that time the stones were already about 2000 years old. Then there is the guess that the site was started in the late Neolithic period around 3000BC and carried over to the so-called Beaker Folk who, according to archaeological finds, began to use metal implements.

The mystery of how the giant sarsen stone that weighed as much as 50 tons each got from the Marlborough Downs about 20 miles north of the Plain to their final destination, not to mention the moving of the bluestones, remains today. Modern studies have calculated that at least 600 men would have been required to just get each stone across obstacles on the route.

Around 2100BC as the Bronze Age made its presence felt in North/West Europe Stonehenge was dismantled and rebuilt on a more impressive scale, with two rings. It is thought the purpose was to record the cycles of the sun and moon (with accuracy) at summer and winter solstices. The sheer scale of Stonehenge suggests it was meant for some ceremonial practice.

On site, the sarsen stone had to be prepared to take the lintels along the top surface. The mind boggles at the enormity of this task taking place with none of the modern machinery at hand today. Levers were likely used to raise each stone until gravity ensured it slid into a prepared hole. Then, manpower was used to pull the stone upright. It is estimated Stonehenge was finally completed around 1500 BC.

We must not forget the legends surrounding Stonehenge. Being a romantic, I half believe this one as it involves King Arthur’s Merlin. The 12th century writer Geoffrey of Monmouth in his “History of the Kings of Britain” claimed that Merlin brought the stones from Ireland.

Okay the story gets a bit far-fetched when he claims the stones of the original Giant’s Ring were brought to Ireland from Africa (How? you ask) well by giants of course. The stones were located on Mount Killaraus where they had been used as a site for rituals and healing. King Uther and Merlin arrived in Ireland, arranged for the dismantling of the stones to be transported to Britain (by giants and magic) where they were erected in a great circle. This circle was in memory of 300 British noblemen who were massacred by the Saxon leader, Hengest, around the 5th century.

Speculation and experimentation will go on forever and no doubt there will be new evidence springing up in the future. We should not forget the aliens from another planet theory. As space exploration goes forward in search of a new planet for the human race to occupy, new answers may arise. I’m sad that I will not be here to learn the actual truth. But, who knows, I might be reincarnated by then. I only hope I come back as a scientist or space explorer.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Around Europe with Randall Sawka

Rough Business by Randall Sawka

March brought Nancy and Me to other parts of Europe. For two weeks we hiked
around Malta. The weather was just OK thanks primarily to the heavy winds.
It limited excursions for a few days but did allow me to get a great deal of
writing done. My favourite place was the Starbucks knockoff. Here are Nancy
and me in front of the Lion sign.

The third week of March brought us to Budapest. This is now officially our favourite city in the world. Amazing food, amazing architecture, and very, very walkable. Thought I would show you our luggage for the trip. Actually, Nancy is lugging the luggage. Plenty of time doing laundry, but were able to take 6-7 discount airlines with just carry on bags and saved a lot of money.

Our final overseas stop in Paris (Not Ontario). I call it writing intimidation time. We revisited the Latin quarter where we had coffee at the "Les Duex Magots" the Paris cafe famous as a gathering place of James Joyce, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ernest Hemingway, among others. I sip espresso while Nancy sits Beneath the Magots (mandarins, Magicians, alchemists)-your choice.

This morning we took a short walk past the Moulin Rouge and in to Montmartre
Cemetery. Here I am beside the resting place of another great, Alexandre Dumas.

The rain is now moving in for a couple days. Please see the sky in the above image. The flight back to Canada leaves in five days. The trip has been wonderful. I recommend it for anybody.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Story-star Confession: Samantha Parks from Secret: In Wolf Lake

Hello everyone: ) Thank you for stopping in to check out Secret: In Wolf Lake story-star, Samantha Parks, a.k.a. Sam. She actually hates too much attention, so I (DK Davis, writer of her story) took on the role of interviewer. Mostly just to get her talking: )

DK Davis – Okay, Sam, time to get started. Tell everyone a little about yourself – you know, like your age and interests, things you love to do.

Sam – I’m fifteen, actually closer to sixteen. *she looks at me and I nod for her to continue* Okay, let’s see, I love fishing, adore my chocolate Labrador, Koko, and enjoy being at Wolf Lake. I’d rather be there than my other option.

DK – Ahhh, yes, let’s talk about the other option…what is it and why the negative vibes regarding it?

Sam – Mom wanted me to travel with her and Matt. Can you imagine being the third wheel on a European honeymoon? I’d hate it. *rolls eyes*

DK – That’s not really why you chose not to go. Give it up, be honest with us.

Sam – Fine. *big sigh* Matt and Dad were best friends. I mean they grew up together, all through school, like brothers. They did everything together. Now he thinks he can move deeper into my life and replace my father!?

DK – But why would he think that? What happened to your father?

Sam – *eyes shine with water* Dad was killed two years ago. Hit by a druggy driving through the school parking lot where my father taught.

DK – So sorry for your loss, Sam. *Sam nods* Let’s talk about something else, like what are your dislikes as a girl in today’s world?

Sam - *smiles* I have a hard time relating to girly-girls. My cousin, Lisa, is one of those. All she thinks about is guys. Seriously. Well, that’s not all she thinks about…I mean she’s always checking her hair, painting her nails, doing her make-up, wearing clothes that…well, seem tight and revealing to me, uncomfortable.
We used to have fun together, a few years ago…before her every thought included a guy. Now…we pretty much can’t stand each other.

DK – So what’s the best thing about Wolf Lake?

Sam – I’ve always loved Wolf Lake. It was where we went for vacation when Dad was alive. I have good memories from there. Plus, there’s something else I discovered at the lake…a secret…something I promised not to talk about until given permission. Now, I have new memories…and honestly, new friendships, the kind that might last forever.

DK – Well that pretty much sews up our time today – thank you, Sam. I really appreciate you coming along, agreeing to the interview, and sharing as much as you have. I know some of it wasn’t easy for you.

Sam – Thanks for asking me here, DK. Even though some of my story still hurts, I want everyone to hear my story, to know the secret locked inside, and to love and resonate with the ending like I do: )

We hope you’ll check out Sam’s story, Secret: In Wolf Lake, a YA Sci-fi Fantasy adventure. For now – Sam would love to answer any questions or comments you’d like to make. Please don’t be shy…because…she’s shy, but agreed to answer questions; )

DK Davis writes YA sci-fi, supernatural, and fantasy with a good dollop of all the relationships woven in between. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, spending time with grandchildren or her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan.
You can find her at these links:

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Will Someone Pass Me The Nuts?

Will Someone Pass Me The Nuts?

People have remarked that one of the things they enjoyed from my new novel “Thunderbird’s Wake” is the banter between the two main characters, Carol and Charlie. When I was going through all the edits and had others editing as well. Trust me my editing and grammatical skills leave much to be desired. Hey, I just write the stuff and hopefully leave them laughing. I think that humour can be well used and if you can make someone laugh, it not only brightens their day, but should help sell a book. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, Carol and Charlie. Those scenes were done in one sitting and required virtually no editing. That’s when you know you’re in the writing groove and when you’ve got solid realistic characters. They often take over and begin to write the scenes and dialogue themselves.

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From Thunderbird’s Wake

(Charlie has just managed to talk Carol to joining him from her holidays and help solve a case in a penitentiary where Charlie has just got his first job)

“You’ve never worked before?” Carol said as she entered his office. She stared pointedly at the largely blank sheet of paper that was Charlie’s resume. He looked up at her, he had been busy reading from the stack of documents sitting on the desk before him.
“Well, I’m a shaman. You know, live-off-the-land type. Help little animals fight oppression, the lack of nuts and the Freedom of Planting Act.”
“The what?”
“The Freedom of Planting Act. It gives squirrels, chipmunks and even crows and ravens the right to plant fallen nuts wherever they desire.”
Carol shook her head and smiled. “Can’t say I’ve missed this inane banter of yours. But really, never had a real paying job before? How is this possible in our day and age?”
“I’ve had a few small jobs, fishing, selling jack pine mushrooms, got paid in cash. Darn Japanese are crazy, they’ll pay nearly a thousand dollars a pound for the stuff. And they eat sushi, raw fish, yuck.” Charlie wrinkled his nose. “Good to see you too Carol, I knew you were a person of your word.”
Carol scratched at her shoulder where the sunburn hurt the worst. She hated him being right most of the time. “I thought you were a native, eat wild roots, live off the land. Smoke salmon.”
“Yeah, but this is the twenty-first century. We’ve got electricity. Cooked, deep fried, breaded, now we’re talking. Raw! Hell, haven’t you heard of fish lice? They’ll eat you alive from the inside out. That’s it. I can’t read anymore. If I knew I had to read this much, I’d have thought twice about getting hired. “Charlie got up and headed out the door of his office, chucking down the wad of paper before him.
“Hey, where you going?”
“Cafeteria, see if old Sandy will do me up a smoked salmon sandwich. Talking about food gets a guy hungry. Are you coming?”
Carol decided to join him. “You can’t seriously be telling me you rerouted all of the applications so they’d have to accept yours?”
“Okay, so I won’t tell you.” Charlie laughed as he tapped his cane down the hallway.
“How did you tamper with the federal mail? Oh, let me guess.”
“Nephews and uncles.” They said at the same time.
“You’re getting it.”
Carol groaned. He either had great balls to pull off this kind of grandiose lunatic kind of stunt or dumb shit ass luck. Probably mainly the latter, she muttered to herself, remembering the incident earlier in the year with the smuggling out of the deceased shaman’s remains into Stanley Park that Charlie had arranged by another of his ‘nephews’. But she knew this, if he thought the man was murdered, he most likely was. Now they had to find just cause. “Okay take me out to the sweat lodge after we eat.”

And if you enjoy that, maybe my newest video promoting myself and my writing will bring a chuckle to you as well at the link below. Sorry I tried to download it here, but it was many megapixies. Although I didn't know that pixies came in extra large, Learned something new today. Copy and paste and have a chuckle.

And just to let everyone know I'll also be attending The Creative Ink Writers Festival at the end of the month. Hope to see some of you there. 
Link below.

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Frank Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues). PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Or as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps.

Writer by soul. Karma the seed. Words born within.
Paper the medium. Pen the muse. Novels the fire.

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Twitter: @FrankTalaber

A Master Passion--From the Cutting Room Floor

I wrote and rewrote A Master Passion for a period of fifteen years, ending with a novel well over a 1000 pages long. Some scenes, especially...