Thursday, August 7, 2014

Using a Pen Name - by Tia Dani

As promised we are giving our friends and readers a chance to get to know us a little better. The second question that pops up after why write as a team is "Why write under a pen name?"

Using a Pen/ Pseudonym is a personal decision. There are many reasons to use one. For us the decision was made because at the time we still had plans to publish stories on our own and when we did we would use our real names. Plus the first story we published was erotic and we were a bit self-conscious about how our families might react when they found out.

After our second book was contracted and became successful, we made the decision to put all our future work fully under Tia Dani. We registered the trade name and formed a partnership.  From that time on we looked at our writing as a business and Tia Dani was our business name.

How we came up with the name Tia Dani is interesting as well. We thought long and hard on a name to use and first, Bev came up with the suggestion to put our 'middle' names together. That didn't work because Christine doesn't have a middle name. However Christine really liked the name KrisTia. She used it for a while but eventually shortened it to Tia.

Bev's middle name is Ann. Tia Ann didn't quite have the ring we wanted. So we decided to go to the mall, walk around, and brainstorm.  While running through a few names to go with Tia (not to mention trying on so many pairs of shoes our feet hurt, spraying ourselves with various types of perfume making us smell like a bordello, and…of course…sampling assorted chocolates and caramel corn) the name Dani was thrown in the mix. We both loved it. Bev likes being called Dani. It fits her. So Tia Dani was created. It was later we realized that Tia Dani in Spanish means Aunt Dani. But we don't care, it's a pretty name and seems to be well liked. So far, no one has asked whose aunt we are.

As most of you know writers are generally a shy group. This is why a pen name has worked well for us. Not that we are shy in front of others but using our pen name makes it easier and a little more fun. It's kinda like acting. When we give a workshop as Tia Dani, we like to role play. It takes away the Christine and Bev thinks, to Tia Dani says…

Anyway, that's our pen name story and we're sticking with it.

A second thing we thought about is several of our friends use a pen name to keep their writing identity secret from employers of their day jobs. It might work but it's not that easy to remain anonymous. Publishers are required to report to the IRS (via Form 1099) of payments made to writers, which means they need your real name along with your social security number.

Well…that was fun reliving our beginnings, but now we need to get back to work. We are wrapping up our next story, a paranormal set in the northern part of AZ. We have shape-shifters, ancient legends, apache warriors, magic, and reincarnation. And always a little romance. We hope reading Call down the Darkness will bring you as much joy as we have had in writing it.

See you next month,

Tia Dani
Authors of, Time's Enduring Love.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Action Heroes of My Past by Jamie Hill

Last month I talked about how Channing Tatum would make a good hero in my cop novel, Family Secrets. The post had me remembering who I was fond of in the past. Yes, you will see a Teen Beat Magazine image below. No, it is not from my personal Teen Beat collection. (I got rid of that a couple years ago. heh heh heh)

Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky movie sent me to the theater for more than one showing. I had certainly never seen abs like that before. 

In the photo below, he looks like he'd make a good cop. I have a thing for writing about cops, in case you aren't familiar with my work.


Sam Elliott in Lifeguard sent me to the theater even more than Sly. That was an amazing movie, which I'm sure has not withstood the test of time. LOL


Sam Elliott in Mask is also a sight to behold. That movie has stood up to time. I loved Cher's performance and will still watch that show every now and then.


Beau Bridges was a hottie back in the day, I can't name you one movie he was in except The Other Side of the Mountain (he died, I cried).

And if we're talking TV shows, Paul Michael Glaser, er, I mean, Starsky and Hutch was one of my all time favorites. I even wrote an episode script for them in high school, and another for S.W.A.T., co-starring Mark Shera.

Gosh, I guess my love for hot cops started early!

Don't even get me started on musicians. Bobby Sherman had me wishing my name was Julie for about a year. And then there was Mickey Dolenz, and the Bay City Rollers, and....I'm suddenly off topic here and can't even remember what the topic was.

I hope my memories have brought a smile to your face. I'll leave you with an old scratchy photo of me back in the day with my aunt's dog Tuffy, my vacation playmate since I had no cousins my own age. You can tell by the long-suffering expression on his face that I enjoyed our play dates more than he did. And by the way, my grandma was a great card player though I always teased her that she cheated.

You can find my collection of hot cops and other stories here:

Until next month, keep cool! ~ Jamie Hill

Sunday, August 3, 2014


by Diane Bator

I spent a few days away at a friend's cottage this week with my kids. I labeled it a "vacation," but is any writer every truly on vacation? Unlike some people, a writer's brain has no off switch. We tend to think of everything as a prompt, the start of a plot outline or a great hook. For example:

          Feeding the chipmunks led to thoughts of a children's book.
          Paddling on Lake Huron on a piece of fiberglass-covered Styrofoam gave me ideas toward a Young                      Adult book I've been battling with for years.
         Walking on the beach watching the waves rush to my feet, sent my mind reeling with thoughts of                              messages in bottles and bodies washing ashore.
          Building sandcastles...see above.

So after a few wonderous days of swimming and miniature golf, I find my hands busy with laundry and cleaning and my brain buzzing with ideas. Apparently, "vacation" time away from a keyboard to try new things can do a writer a little good!

Stop by and visit me at my website:

Saturday, August 2, 2014



Housekeeping and tidying up. Not my favourite topic or occupation, unless we are taking about tidying up my garden. In particular my rose garden, which I tend with loving care, because roses truly deserve special treatment. No chore to tidy up here. I banish any weed the moment it rears its ugly head near my “lovelies.”

Roses are my favourite flower. My husband thinks I am obsessed with them.  I always wear rose perfume, Bush Rose, Musk Rose. The Yardley (English company) Rose has a lovely perfume, as sweet and fragrant as its namesake. How many wonderful people have you met who are called Rose, Rosy, Rosemarie, Rosemary?

I have to confess that my garden is full of roses. Hubby hates them with a passion because he thinks they deliberately jump out and stick their prickles into him.

I love the old fashioned roses the best. They may not be quite as colourful as the modern day varieties, but they always have a gorgeous perfume.  Just Joey, a beautiful large bloomed orange rose with a delightful perfume is one of my favourites.  Another favourite is a blood red rose named Oklahoma, the perfume is as heady as wine. My garden has recently acquired a rose called. The Chocolate Rose. I have to say that although the bloom is pretty, it isn’t stunning, but it certainly has a chocolate perfume, and you can take that observation from a chocoholic. If there is one thing I know, it is the smell of chocolate.

It amazes me how often I seem to give the characters in my novels a floral name. It must have been an instinctive thing because I don’t recall actively trying to do this.

A few examples. In Haunted Hearts, the heroine’s daughter is called Rosie. In A Mortal Sin, the heroine is named Daphne. Iris is the wicked mother-in-law in Make Love Not War

I have also written a short story with the title Call Of The Apple Blossom.  Can you see a pattern here?

There is rarely a novel of mine that doesn't have at least one rose garden scene.
So, there you have it. I wonder if there is such a thing as a roseaholic?

Falsely Accused has recently been released  by BWL and is available on Amazon.
On board the convict ship taking them to the penal colony of Australia, Maryanne Watson and Jake Smith meet and fall in love, but Jake hides a terrible secret that will take him to the gallows if it ever comes out.
On arrival in Sydney the lovers are separated. Maryanne is sent to work for the lecherous Captain Fitzhugh. After he attacks her she flees into the wilderness and eventually meets up with Jake who has escaped from a chain gang.  They set up home in a hidden valley and Maryanne falls pregnant.  Will Jake come out of hiding to protect his fledgling family? And how can love triumph over such crushing odds?
















Friday, August 1, 2014

Love's Treasure by Shirley Martin

romance : bride and groom silhouette kissing  Hi everyone,
I recently started a fantasy romance, and this is the first scene from the second chapter. I'm using this scene because it has more dialog than the first scene of the first chapter.
                                                  LOVE'S TREASURE
                                                   by Shirley Martin
"You'll have to hurry, son. I'll explain the situation as you get ready. I've already ordered the stable boy to prepare a  horse for you."
    Inside his bedchamber within the palace of Airen Tir, Garth pulled on his trousers, all the while focusing his attention on his father. He wondered what the 'situation' was.
    "As you know," his father explained, "we have a few spies planted inside the palace of Volanar. They act as servants of the palace, but they serve us. Now let me backtrack a bit. Have you heard about a cache of gold hidden inside a cave of Misty Mountain?"
    "Misty Mountain?" Garth paused while pulling his linen tunic over his head. "I've always thought that tale was a myth. You think there's some truth to the story?" 
    King Treherne nodded. "I have reason to believe so. The story has persisted throughout the years, and my grandfather spoke of it in his last days, regretting that he'd never sent anyone to find the treasure. There surely must be truth to the tale."  He leaned forward, his hands on his knees. "Yesterday, one of our spies was in the archives room of the Volanar palace--"
    Garth fastened his belt. "The archives room? What was he doing there?"
    "He followed Princess Olwen, clandestinely, of course, and checked the room after she left. First lighting a candle, he saw an open book that revealed a map of where the gold is hidden far to the north of Elucera in Misty Mountain."
    "Wait a minute," Garth said, dropping several coins in a purse attached to his belt, where his sword already resided in its scabbard. "How do you know this?"
    "A carrier pigeon brought the news early this morning on a slip of paper. A small map was included."  He drew the paper from a pocket and handed it to Garth. "Study this map later, when you have time.. Another spy saw a young man he couldn't identify ride off in the middle of the night."
    Folding the paper inside his tunic pocket, Garth sat to pull on his boots. "That still doesn't prove that the man was headed for Misty Mountain."
    Treherne smiled slyly. "Remember I once told you about a hole drilled in the wall of the king's study, behind a painting? One of our spies heard the princess talking to her father about the hidden gold." Briskly, he stood. "Enough talk. I want you to ride as if your life depended on it." His eyes narrowed. "You need to redeem yourself, son. There is still your unexplained absence from the kingdom earlier this year."
    "And if I arrive at the cache of gold the same time as this unidentified young man?"
    "Why, you kill him, of course."  
Find all of Shirley's books at Books We Love  


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