Thursday, October 22, 2020

Featured Author: J.Q. Rose


BWL Publishing Mysteries by J.Q. Rose
Click here to discover JQ's mysteries at BWL Publishing

Hello and welcome to the BWL Publishing Insiders Blog. Thank you to BWL Publishing for featuring authors on the blog. Today it's my turn to introduce myself to you.

Life Experience is Fodder for Authors by J.Q. Rose

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard
I always thought of horror writers as eccentric, peculiar people. But my perception changed when a horror story sprang from my own mind. You can imagine my surprise when my first publisher categorized my novel as a mystery/horror tale. That made me a published author of horror stories. BWL Publishing released that revised horror story as Terror on Sunshine Boulevard, the perfect read for this scary month.

Right away, I must tell you I am not an eccentric, peculiar person. I am just a regular woman who is an aunt, sister, sister-in-law, wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. I like eating a burger at McDonald's, shopping at Walmart, and reading mystery novels. But, perhaps some would think my childhood was different. You see, my father was an embalmer and funeral director. I was reared in a funeral home.

An author’s life experience shapes the stories in their minds. I based my romantic suspense, Deadly Undertaking, on growing up as a funeral director’s daughter. The story is fiction, but my funeral director brothers helped me with some details for the story. So, it is loosely based on the real funeral business. The keyword here is loosely.

Deadly Undertaking

In the story, I include how I helped my mom and dad in the business. I dusted caskets, set up the display of funeral arrangements for the visitation/funeral, hauled them to the church for the funeral service and rushed in after the service to load up the flower car to race out to the cemetery to set the flowers up around the gravesite. I always felt the colorful flowers from friends and family helped to soften the stark setting of the casket among the tombstones. I loved working with my parents and doing something to comfort grieving families.

Arranging a Dream: A Memoir
                                       To be released by BWL Publishing on January 1, 2021 

My husband, Ted, and I dreamed of being entrepreneurs in the greenhouse business because he had a hobby house attached to the garage at our home in Marseilles, IL. Instead of working at his dead end job in a windowless building, he was ready for a new challenge and so was I. We made that dream a reality when we purchased a greenhouse operation along with a flower shop.  I used the knowledge I gained from setting up the funeral arrangements in my future role as a floral designer.

Revealing my life experiences as a mom, floral designer and business owner, I penned my memoir, Arranging a Dream a Memoir. BWL Publishing will release the paperback book in December and the digital book on January 1, 45 years to the day we became entrepreneurs. This work of creative non-fiction is about that first year when we became shop owners and moved to a town of strangers with our one-year-old baby girl. We had no friends or family in that city and no experience in the fresh flower business!

Come along with me and discover the laughter and tears, the struggles and triumphs that first year as I learn about the floral industry, floral arranging and motherhood.

About JQ:

            J.Q. Rose, author
Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery books. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by 
BWL Publishing. 

Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information in articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines J.Q. taught elementary school for several years and never lost the love for teaching passed down from her teacher grandmother and mother. She satisfies that aspect of her character by presenting workshops on Creative Writing and Writing Your Life Story. 

J.Q. features writing tips on the Focused on Story blog and hosts guest authors from diverse genres.  When J.Q.  isn’t writing, she stays out of trouble with photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and traveling with her husband. They spend winters in Florida and travel up north in the summertime to be with their four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect online with J.Q. Rose

J.Q. Rose blog 

BWL Publishing


J.Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page 


The Rose Courier October 2020 Edition
Want to keep up-to-date, with JQ? Sign up for the Rose Courier delivered to your inbox once a month. Click here to subscribe for articles, excerpts, prizes, freebies and more.


Thank you for stopping by.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!




Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vampires with Napoleon? by Diane Scott Lewis

October, the month of Halloween, or All Hollow's Eve, the one night when the division between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. People would set a place at the table for their lost loved ones, hoping to see them one more time.

Ghosts, witches, and vampires. Many believe these entities really exist. The legend of vampires is usually traced back to the Romanian nobleman, Vlad the Impaler, in the fifteenth century. A man who took care of his enemies in a brutal manner-his name says it all. Next, in 1818, when Mary Shelly wrote her famous novel, Frankenstein, another participant, Dr. Polidori, penned his short work of prose: The Vampyre. Of course, Bram Stoker's Dracula, published in 1897, made the creature who rises from his grave and lives off human blood famous.

Throughout history similar creatures were mentioned in fables. A Saxon grave in England had men, women, and children, nailed down to prevent their rising and walking among the living. Though that sounds more zombie than vampire.
It was thought if you wore garlic around your neck you'd be protected. A wooden stake through a suspected vampire's heart was supposed to kill him. But since vampires are already of the 'dead', perhaps it's to keep him in place in his coffin. Vampires could also change into bats and fly where they wished, to await their next victim.
Vampire, 1895, by Edvard Munch

Years ago I'd written a novel set on the remote, South Atlantic island of St. Helena. I had so much research about the oddities of this isolated rock in the ocean, its strange flora and fauna, and the man who made it famous: the exiled Emperor Napoleon. After Waterloo, and Napoleon's surrender, the British wanted him as far away from Europe as possible.
An old map of St. Helena

What better place than an island at the bottom of the world. An island of mystery. Discovered by the Portuguese in the 1500s, St. Helena was eventually taken over by the British as a way-station, a place to drop off their sick sailors, and obtain more water and food for long voyages.

I came across a novel written about vampires involved with Napoleon's army in Russia. For my novel, A SAVAGE EXILE, to add conflict and danger, I decided to include a few vampires. In Napoleon's entourage and ones already on the island, who is hiding a dark, dangerous secret? The seductive Countess de Montholon? His officers? Napoleon's devoted valets? The Emperor himself? And who is the monster rumored to live and hunt for prey in the hills? People with strange bite marks on their necks are found murdered on the island. The beautiful maid Isabelle, who serves the feckless countess, is determined to find who is responsible before another person is killed.

 Isabelle is likable heroine, and I enjoyed watching her make the best of a bad situation. Anyone who enjoys historical romance with a paranormal twist might want to check it (A Savage Exile) out.
~ Long and Short Reviews

To purchase my novels, and my other BWL books: BWL

Find out more about me and my writing on my website: Dianescottlewis

Diane Scott Lewis lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty puppy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Excerpt from Terror on Sunshine Boulevard: a Scary Read for Halloween

Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Paranormal mystery
Click here to find more mysteries by J.Q. Rose released by Books We Love Publishing

📙🎃 📙🎃📙🎃📙🎃📙🎃

Hello and welcome to the BWL Publishing Insiders Blog.  I'm sharing a short excerpt from my "terrifying" novel that is perfect for a scary Halloween read, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard.

A reader told me she discovered she shouldn't have read Terror on Sunshine Boulevard before bed. She was too scared to turn off the lights and go to sleep!
📙🎃 📙🎃📙🎃📙🎃📙🎃
Back of the Book: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose
Rescuing a naked woman lying in a geranium bed or investigating mysterious murders are not the usual calls for first responder Jim Hart. He expects slip and fall accidents or low blood pressure emergencies in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge Senior Community and Golf Resort. The ghastly crime scenes turn the winter time fun into a terrifying season of death and mystery when the authorities cannot track down the predator responsible.

Jim and his wife Gloria could escape the horror and grief by returning to their northern home, but concern for their friends and residents keep them in Florida. With the entire community in a dither over the deaths, the Harts participate in the normal winter activities of golfing, dancing, and pool parties with their friends to distract them from the sadness and loss.

Can Jim and Gloria work with the authorities to discover who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard and stop the increasing body count?

Excerpt: Terror on Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose, Chapter 8
Warning: This is the chills part of the blog post, not the giggles.

Turning on the warm water in the bathtub, she placed her hand under the faucet to gauge the temperature. When it was just right, she turned the shower on at full force, ready to step in for a relaxing indulgence with the warm water raining over her body.  Before Pamela could step in, she heard Noel’s moan from the bedroom. Terror clutched her throat. Oh, Noel, please don’t have a heart attack now! She yanked open the bathroom door and stood frozen in the doorway. The moonlight through the window added shimmer to the yellow stripes crawling across Noel’s naked body. When a blazing yellow light filled the bedroom, she slammed the bathroom door shut. The animal instinct to escape kicked in. Clambering onto the toilet and stepping onto the granite counter, she yanked the screen off the bathroom window and dove headfirst into the cool night air. She landed face down on top of the flowers in the wood-chipped flower bed below. Pamela’s screams pierced the night as she lay naked among the be continued.  

Do you enjoy being scared? Haunted houses? Horror movies? Scary books?
Please leave a comment below and let us know.

Happy Halloween!!
Click here to connect with J.Q. Rose online.
You are invited to return to the Insiders Blog on Thursday, October 22. 

On October 22,I will be featured as the author of the month and will have the opportunity to talk about how my life experience has influenced my writing.

Click here to join me on Thursday. Thank you.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Hail and Farewell by Helen Henderson

Windmaster Golem by Helen Henderson
Click the cover for purchase information.

First I want to say that although the title traditionally applies to someone leaving, that is not really the case. The hail and farewell is to Captain Ellspeth, Lord Dal, and the other characters who I have lived with for many years. With the publication of Windmaster Golem this month, the tale of the Windmaster Novels is over. At least if the characters agree to do so. Let me just say they have not always been cooperative.

As a reader, I love series. Even if no new stories are written, I still have the option of going back, re-reading the tales, and visiting with characters and their world. Things are different as an author. Even though I can technically go back and reread the tales, the special connection that exists between author and characters during the writing process breaks, or at the very least slowly dissipates into non-existence.

I first met Ellspeth as the captain of Sea Falcon. The visit turned interesting when she hired the archmage, Dal, to help unload her cargo. Their adventures continued in Windmaster Legacy. At that time, I thought the series was complete. Then on a clear, star-filled night, two bright lights caught my attention. They reminded me of the legend of of the star-crossed lovers, Pelra and Iol, and I realized there was unfinished business so I chronicled their story. Eventually Dal and Ellspeth said I needed to acknowledge their friends, Kiansel and Brodie. So that I wouln't get on the bad side of two powerful mages, I fulfilled their request.

There has been scientific evidence that when a book is complete, an author can feel the loss as we say goodbye to friends we have lived with for months, years, or sometimes even decades. The emotion can be even stronger when it is a series of books and we know we will never visit the time and place in the same way.

There is one way to help ease the transition ... Start a new book.

~Until next month, stay safe and read. Helen


To purchase the Windmaster Novels: BWL

Find out more about me and my novels at Journey to Worlds of Imagination.
Follow me online at Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter.

Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky and a feisty who have adopted her as one of their pack.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Author Voice by Nancy M Bell

To learn more aobut Nancy's work please click on the cover above. What is Author Voice? Does everyone have one? What does it do exactly? I found a quote by Richard Nordquist which I thought summed it up quite well. “Voice is the music in writing that makes the meaning clear.” Sounds simple, but of course it’s not. Voice is hard to define and seems to possess chameleon-like characteristics. Changing from one minute to the next. Everyone has an author voice if you write anything at all. Even shopping lists. Some of you will make bullet points for your list, some will list items and where they plan to shop for them, others might categorize the list by price point. It all depends on your personal outlook and how you communicate. So, no matter what, we all have an author or writer’s voice, some of them are just more developed than others. What is Author/Writer Voice? Your voice is in reality the expression of you on the page. A unique collection of your world view, your passions, fears, beliefs and attitudes. A very good friend and mentor told me many years ago that you meet the writer in her books and stories not in her living room. I was young at the time and nodded sagely like I totally understood. It wasn’t until much later and with the seasoning of a few years that I understood what she meant. As writers, we reveal parts of ourselves we would never drag out into the light of day in a conversation or everyday life. Ah, but in our writing we can let those hidden aspects surface and run freely across our pages. Voice is unique to each writer and it’s about having the courage to express yourself on paper. To be a bit more technical: Voice is the unique and individual way an author puts words on paper, a compilation of idioms, syntax, punctuation, development of your characters, dialogue and sentence structure in a body of work. Voice is not choosing to write in first or third person, nor is it a specific technique or style. Voice isn’t about branding. An author’s voice tends to be consistent throughout their work. There will be slight variations depending on the genre an author works in. To complicate things a bit. There is also Character Voice, which exists within the Author Voice. No one wants to read a book with cookie cutter characters who all speak and act in similar ways. So the author must develop the characters in the story and give then each a unique voice, which will inevitably be some part of the author’s own unique voice and outlook. Each character will have their own way of speaking, certain phrasing and ideas they express that drive the story line forward. Every facet of ourselves can be given free rein in our work. Your cast may include authoritative characters, shy, warm, funny, silly, conceited, angry etc. All of these will reflect some part of the author, we can’t escape that fact. Our characters spring from our own wellspring of experience. The trick here is for each character to have a voice that is appropriate to their role in the work, consistent and believable. What is the Function of Voice in our Writing? A well rounded and honed voice makes every word count, set up a consistent thread through the work and speaks to the reader in a way that captures their attention. What is the Difference between Tone and Voice Tone is subset of Voice. Tone is the mood of the story or work while Voice is the personality. So while your voice might be described as ‘serious’ the mood of the individual piece may be quite humorous. In creating a Tone the author sometimes will use jargon or culture specific references. While this might be important if you are writing in a specific genre like Sci-Fi or Chick Lit, you also date your work and limit your longevity. Your writing will be around for years and if you reference a certain movie star or current trend, thirty or forty years from now most readers won’t identify with that. So, don’t be lazy and tell your reader the heroine looked like a Kardashian, or Helen Mirren, or Edward from Twilight. The more diverse your audience becomes the more important it is the you aspire for simplicity and clarity. Avoid slang and culture specific references. The exception to that, is of course, unless you are writing in a genre that your audience will expect it. Just know that you are aiming at a niche audience when you chose to write in that genre. Finding Your Voice Let’s explore how you go about finding that elusive Voice. There are three major elements to consider here: What do you want to communicate about yourself, of in the case of business writing, about the brand you’re representing. If you could ask your readers to describe your work in a few descriptive words, what words would you like to hear from them? What is the purpose of your writing? Your voice will moderate slightly if you are writing a novel, a movie review or an obituary. Decide what you want to convey to your reader. Will you need to use short blunt sentences, or longer descriptive passages? Who is your target audience? This will dictate the style and tone your Voice will acquire. Both of those being subsets of Voice. Take a minute to think about those three points and come up with a few words that apply to your voice. If you’re having trouble with that, think about what you don’t want to say. How is your voice different from anyone else’s? When you have a decent list, start to whittle it down. Scrap any words that aren’t really important, make sure the ones you keep are fairly specific. Pare your list down to four or five words. You can repeat this exercise every once in a while as your descriptors will change as your Voice develops and becomes fuller and multi-layered. Types of Voice Stream of Consciousness: narrative that is made up of the thought process of the characters. Examples are Faulkner’s The Sound and Fury. Character Voice: We spoke about this earlier. Character Voice allows the reader to experience the story from the eyes and POV the character. This can be achieved by the use of third or first person POV, depending on the genre and content of your work. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is a good example of use of Character Voice. When she is writing in Claire’s POV it is first person, but when she switches to any of her other characters’ POV she uses third person. A clever convention to keep the reader from being confused while sub-consciously never letting them forget it is Claire who is the main character of her books. Unreliable Voice: The character speaks directly to the reader in a highly exaggerated and excitable way. This is usually employed in first person POV where the character is biased, childish or ignorant and tries to deceive the reader. This is a Voice that can be quite useful in horror or thriller genres to take the reader deep into the POV of the killer or psychopath. Poe uses this Voice in the Tell Tale Heart. Epistolary Voice: This voice is a narrative one which uses letters or documents to tell the story. It may employ multiple characters’ voices, or no character at all if the author has chosen to tell the story through various documents and letters. Shelley’s Frankenstein uses this Voice. Third Person Subjective Voice: This is a very passive Voice where a narrator relays the thoughts, opinions and feelings of the characters in the story. Hemingway’s Old Man and Sea uses this POV. Third Person Objective Voice: The story is told by a narrator who doesn’t touch on the character’s emotions or thoughts. It supplies an objective and unbiased (except the author’s own ingrained bias) POV. I’ll close with a quote form Rachel Gardner: “So how do you find your voice? You can’t learn it. You can’t copy it. Voice isn’t a matter of studying. You have to find it. And the only place you can find it is within you.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

Past Promotions - Looking Back over the Years #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Promotions #Interviews


Past Promotions


Years ago and we’re talking about many of those years, the first promotion I received for a book sale was in the local newspaper, the Butler Eagle where we lived. I was interviewed by a reporter and the article started out with my sale. That took up two lines. Then the post went on to say I was married to Dr. Walters MD. The next two columns were all about him. I still laugh over this. He was so embarrassed.


The second took place in the same town. It was on a local television station, with phone in calls from listeners. The first thing was make-up. Since I’m very allergic, I brought mine and endured. The session was for two hours and I wasn’t sure how to fill the time. The host began by asking me questions about my writing and about selling my first of three books. We chatted about writing and how I moved from short stories to novels. Then the forum was open for questions. I thought no one would call. Surprisingly there were a number of calls. Some were from my friends but there were some serious called. I found I really enjoyed helping others find ways to write their stories. When the two hours ended, I was exhausted. I also found I’d created a problem. Though I’d worn a pants suit and boots, I wore panty hose. When I reached the house, I discovered this woman who had been complimented for being so calm during the interview had ripped out both feet of the hose. I vowed I would never do this again.


Fast forward a few years, probably fifteen. I was once again asked to do a television interview. This was in a town two and a half hours away. Reluctantly, I agreed. This was not a call in show but I was grilled by a man who thought romance wasn’t real literature. I believe I held my side very well and I challenged him to read one of my books and gave him a copy. Not sure if he read the book But a did receive a nice letter saying I had enlivened his evening.


Would I do this again. Maybe.

By the way the first books of all my series are on sale

Thursday, October 15, 2020

National Boss Day - good or bad? by J.C. Kavanagh


The Twisted Climb 

Book 1 of the award-winning Twisted Climb series

I read on my calendar that today is National Boss Day. I live in Canada and have never heard of this 'national' day, promoted by Hallmark and of course, bosses. I had to chuckle. Boss Day?

And then I had to wonder...  how did National Boss Day come about? I found the answer courtesy of Google and Wikipedia. 

In 1958, a woman by the name of Patricia Bays Haroski from Deerfield, Illinois, wanted to show appreciation for her boss in a special way. It just happens that Patricia's boss was her father and his birthday was October 16, thus Boss Day. Being his daughter and aware of the trials and tribulations of being boss-man and perhaps, a maligned boss-man, she wanted her colleagues to better understand and appreciate the work, dedication and challenges faced by her dad - their boss. The idea must have gone over well because it slowly gained butt-kissing traction, and in 1962, the Illinois Governor officially proclaimed October 16 as National Boss Day.

Now I'm all for a national day - more so when it's a national 'holiday' - but Boss Day? Truly, isn't every day 'Boss Day' when the employee does their job and makes their boss, and therefore the company, look good? Greeting card company Hallmark encourages workers to buy a National Boss Day card (which Hallmark started printing in 1979) so the worker can extol the generosity and fairness of their boss, via the honey-tones of the adjective-laden, bleeding-heart cards.

Let's not destroy the concept, though. Perhaps a reversal? Instead of the employee thanking the boss for being kind and fair, the boss should thank the employee for making his/her job less challenging. I mean, what goes around, comes around - right?

Here's what Mark Stevens, president of the marketing firm MSCO and author of Your Marketing Sucks, says about National Boss Day.

"The dumbest idea I have ever heard of."

Uh huh. I've been my own 'boss' as an author since 2014 when I lost my career job due to business restructuring. Say no more? 

Question for readers: is being bossy the same as being 'bully?' Check out Jayden's character from the award-winning Twisted Climb series and decide if her view of life and her sassy approach to all things not going her way, is bully or bossy. 

Cheers... Happy National Boss Day to me!

J.C. Kavanagh, author of
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2)
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll and Best YA Book FINALIST at The Word Guild, Canada
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)