Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Book of the Week- The Daughter-In-Law Syndrome

I'm pleased to welcome Stevie Turner and her book The Daughter-In-Law Syndrome

To pre-order a copy, please leave a message on her website or contact Second Wind Publishing (details below):  (my website) (publisher) (Facebook) (WordPress blog) (Twitter)

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome has just been accepted for publication with Second Wind Publishing.  It delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla.  In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.


Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare.  Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.  

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships.  After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother.

Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride.  Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive.  After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…..


5 stars.  "The best yet"
A wonderful journey across one woman's understanding between herself and her in-laws. The way she finds out the intricacies of her relationship with her mother-in-law is cleverly done, with clear insights into the past and observing her own behaviour with her family around her. Well-written, the best I've read yet from Stevie Turner.

1. What inspired you to write this book?
The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is my latest book, as yet unpublished.  I wrote it because after hearing many tales of woe over the years I came to the unhappy conclusion that sometimes the life of a daughter-in-law just sucks, and of course this led me on to thinking how this fact could be good fodder for another Stevie novel!  

2.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been married for about 450 years, and have two grown children and four grandchildren.  If I’m not writing or at work you’ll find me walking around my pretty chocolate-box village in the country, thinking about what to write next but also trying to keep fit. I also love going to rock festivals and soaking up the atmosphere!

3.  How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life it seems.  I remember winning an inter-schools essay competition in junior school, and it just seems natural to me to write things down.  Writing has also been very therapeutic for me in the past.  

4.  What sort of conditions are most conducive to productivity?
Before I can write there has to be total silence.  I cannot concentrate with music or the TV on in the background.  As long as I’m alone in a room and there is no sound I can create away to my heart’s content!  I can also think up some good plots if I’m out walking around my village too, as long as nobody else is walking with me!  I am wonderfully anti-social, but at my time of life I revel in it.

5.  What’s your favourite aspect of being a writer?
It satisfies my creative urge.  If I’m not in the middle of writing a novel, then I’m a bit on the sad side.  Also I get to sit on my own in a quiet room and think my own thoughts, which to me is absolutely wonderful!  Also it’s that email you get when you’re not expecting it that tells you you’ve won an award (A House Without Windows has been chosen for a medal in the New Apple Book Awards 2014 Suspense/Thriller category).

6.  What do you do for a living?
I’d love to say I was a full-time writer, but at the moment I work as a medical secretary in a busy hospital.  I’ve learned a lot through my work though, and am glad of the chance to have worked in the good old NHS.

7.  What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 
Ha ha; marketing - the writer’s bugbear.  I now find I have to spend just half a day writing and the other half day marketing the previous books.  

8.  Who’s your favourite character from one of your books?  Why?
I think it has to be Lyn Fuller from ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal!’ She had the guts to do what thousands of middle-aged women only dream about doing; leaving an unfaithful husband and making a new life for herself.

9.  What is your writing process like?  Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in-between?
Somewhere in-between, I think.  I have the outline in my head to start with, but once I start writing I let the plot take me where it will.  Sometimes the book ends up entirely different to how I had envisioned it to start with!

10.  What part of the world do you live in?
I live in a lovely village in the East of England, UK.  Sometimes it feels as though time has stood still, and it’s a far cry from the younger life I led in London.  However, now I’m middle-aged I prefer it; if I’m out walking, people smile and say hello to me (you won’t get that in London!).

11. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?
After I had read a few of Mark Edwards’ psychological thrillers, which is my all-time favourite genre, I would love to work on a book with him.  He writes the words and has the plots which I like to read.

12. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft?
About three months.  I edit and re-write as I go. I’m not one for re-writing the whole novel when I’ve finished; I would find that too depressing.  I’ll read it through a few times, check spellings, change some words and add chapters here and there, but that’s as far as it goes.  Once I’ve finished there’s no way I’m writing the whole darned thing again!

13.  What are your favourite books?
I have my all-time favourites from my youth that are my comfort blankets; L.P Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’, A.J Cronin’s ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’, and Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’.  I know the last one doesn’t really gel with the other two, but it’s the family life I like reading about, not the violence….

14. What writing tools do you use, if any?
Just my PC and keyboard.  I will happily tap away until the day comes when I cannot tap any more.

15.  If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to turn back time, and return to being 20 years of age and know what I know now.  Ha ha (say no more)!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guest Author - Linda Watkins

I'm happy to welcome Linda Watkins and her book Mateguas Island to my blog

1. What inspired you to write this book?

a.  At the time I started writing MATEGUAS, I lived on an unconnected island off the coast of Maine. Access was only by private boat or ferry. I also had recently purchased a new invention called the iPad. I had a lot of "down time" either on the ferry or waiting for the next one so I decided use the iPad to try to write a novel. I'd written songs and poems before, but I always had stories rattling around in my head and it seemed the right time to attempt to actually put one down on virtual paper.

2. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

a. That's a hard one. In my genre, one of the obvious choices would be Stephen King. I love his early writing (THE STAND, IT, SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING) and his collections of short stories. But I think, if I had to make a choice, I'd pick Shirley Jackson. Her THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE is, in my opinion, the best haunted house story ever written. I also loved her very dark WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE. And she was born in San Francisco and grew up in Burlingame, not far from where I used to live on the Peninsula.

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I'm a retired, single lady, living in a big rambling house with three special needs rescue dogs - Splatter, Spudley and Jasper. I was born on the East Coast but my family moved to Michigan when I was very young. After college (Carnegie Mellon, '70), I moved to the San Francisco Bay area where I lived most of my life. I think I will always consider the Peninsula 'home'. 

I worked at various jobs before ending up at Stanford University School of Medicine, staying there for twenty wonderful years working as a Senior Financial Analyst in the Department of Pediatrics. When I turned 50, I was lucky enough to be able to take early retirement, sold my home in Belmont for a bundle of money, and moved to the high desert in Central Oregon. That's where I adopted my three dogs and became involved in animal rescue. From there, I moved to the aforementioned island in Maine and then, full circle, back to Michigan where I live now.

4. What do you do for a living? 

a. I'm retired so the only "work" I do is writing and promoting my writing. My dogs - one blind, one with difficulty walking, and one diabetic - take up a good deal of my time, too.

5. What part of the world do you live in?

a. Right now, Michigan. Tomorrow, who knows? I'm thinking about the southwest - maybe Sedona.

6. How long have you been writing?

a. Novels - only about four years. Before that, I wrote mostly songs and poems for fun. When I was quite young, my sister and I used to write comical plays based on popular TV shows of the time. When we were finished, we'd record them on a big old reel-to-reel tape recorder my father had. My sister, by the way, is also a writer.

7. What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between? 

a. I am definitely a pantster. Outlines, index cards and stuff like that make me cringe! I write in my head late at night, then sit down at the computer in the morning and regurgitate it. Or I just sit down and write. 

8. When and where do you write? 

a. I write directly into the computer. I used to use the iPad a lot but not anymore. Since I'm a morning person, I do most of my best work before noon.

9. What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity? 

a. I like it quiet. I don't play music or anything. And I take lots of breaks. I'll stop and play a computer game or do something around the house or walk the dog, then come back to what I've written and read it aloud to see how it sounds.

10. What's your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

a. The fun stuff I get to do with my characters. You can't do those things to people in real life! I get to kill them off, put them in horrible situations, ruin their lives, make them fall in love with the wrong people, etc. 

11. Your least favorite?

a. Marketing and promoting - I don't know any author who really enjoys that stuff. It takes up so much time that could be better used for writing!

12. What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 

a. Right now getting the third novel in the MATEGUAS SERIES written! I've have the prologue, the epilogue, and some pieces of the middle done, but I'm having trouble with the beginning. It was the same with RETURN, getting everyone to the island is difficult and not the fun part of writing a supernatural novel.

13. Who are some of your favorite writers and why? 

a. John Fowles because he wrote my favorite book of all time, THE MAGUS. Stephen King's early work because I love his characters, especially the younger ones. One of my favorite books of his is THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON, a story about a young girl who gets lost in the Maine woods. Baseball plays a big part in it, too. And, last but certainly not least, Vladimir Nabokov because he wrote LOLITA! 

14. What are your favorite books?

a. My all time favorite book is THE MAGUS by John Fowles. I don't know how many times I've read it, but each time I come away with something new. Another favorite is THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein. I'm a dog lover so this book has a special place in my heart. A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson is another great and fun read. SHADOWLAND by Peter Straub - very dark horror. And THE STAND and THE SHINING by Stephen King - both masterpieces.

15. What writing tools do you use, if any? 

a. If by tools, you mean writing programs, I don't use any - just the computer and WORD. 

16. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft? 

a. The first draft of MATEGUAS ISLAND took me two seasons - from April to September. RETURN TO MATEGUAS was done in pieces. I wrote about two-thirds of it in a couple of months then left it for six months or so. Then I rewrote the whole thing. 

17. Your final draft?

a. It took me about three years to get to a final draft of MATEGUAS ISLAND that I was happy with. RETURN was quicker, probably about a year and a half. I was actually working on both of them at the same time - polishing MATEGUAS while writing RETURN.

18. Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

a. Gotta be Karen. Many people don't like her, but I do. She's not your average heroine - she's selfish, bitchy and sometimes mean. But she grows and learns - and that's why I like her.

19. If you could have one superpower what would it be?

I'd like to be able to teleport! Not fly, but be able to just move through space instantaneously from one locale to another. I'd like to get up in the morning in Michigan and, if it was snowing, be able to transport myself (and my dogs) to a tropical beach for the day. Or maybe to the wilds of Australia. No driving to the airport, going through TSA screening, struggling with luggage, missing connections - none of that. Just one moment I'm here and the next, I'm there!


What could be more idyllic than to live on an island off the coast of Maine? That's what Bill Andersen thought when he moved his family to Mateguas. But Mateguas is more than just pristine beaches nestled between rocky shores. No, Mateguas is something quite different....


MATEGUAS ISLAND:  On a remote island, a troubled family is trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and start over. But unbeknownst to them, the property they have inherited is steeped in ancient magic - magic that could seek to consume and destroy them.

An arcane locked box, a strange and foreboding trail into the woods, a seductive young woman, and tales of a malevolent Native American spirit are just some of the perils Karen Andersen must face in order to find a way to save her family.

MATEGUAS ISLAND was the 2014 Gold Medal Winner in Supernatural Fiction awarded by READERS' FAVORITE INTERNATIONAL BOOK COMPETITION and the recipient of an Honorable Mention in Fiction from the 2014 HALLOWEEN BOOK FESTIVAL.

MATEGUAS ISLAND is available:

In print or eBook on Amazon,
In print only, Barnes&Noble,
As an eBook, iBOOKS,
As an eBook, GOOGLE,
As an eBook, NOOK,
As an eBook, KOBO,

RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND: A young woman searching for answers...a man trying desperately to remember what he has forgotten. What secrets lie buried? What really happened that night of the storm? 

Journey with Karen Andersen and her family back to Mateguas Island - a return to the mythos, passion, and magic that lie sleeping just beneath the surface - waiting and longing for this chance to be yet again reawakened! 

RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND is currently only available as an eBook on Amazon, The print version is expected to be available by mid-March, 2015. 

SECRETS, A STORY OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL: SECRETS is a short prequel to MATEGUAS ISLAND. It fleshes out the two years prior to Bill and Karen's move to the island, giving the reader more insight to their characters and motivations.

SECRETS is available as an eBook only on Amazon,


Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Linda Watkins moved to Michigan when she was four years old. After graduation from college (Carnegie-Mellon University '70), Ms. Watkins relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area where she lived most of her adult life. A Senior Clinical Financial Analyst at Stanford University School of Medicine, Linda was always writing. At work, she created 'long forms' and business plans; at home, she wrote whimsical stories, poems and songs for the delight of her friends and family. In 2006, retired, she moved to Chebeague Island, Maine where she wrote her first novel, MATEGUAS ISLAND.

Today, she resides in Western Michigan with her three rescue dogs (Splatter, Spudley and Jasper) and has just completed the sequel to MATEGUAS, aptly titled, RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND, which was published in December 2014. She is actively at work on the third full-length novel in the MATEGUAS ISLAND SERIES that she hopes to have ready for publication in late 2015.

For more information, please stop by her personal website,, or her novel website

You can also follow her on Facebook:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Guest Author- PJ Fiala

I'm pleased to welcome another PJ to my blog today.   Folks, meet PJ Fiala and her new book, Rydin' the Storm Out.

1. What inspired you to write this book?

a. I was and am inspired by life.  Have you seen the news? Read the papers?  Good grief, life is complicated, unusual, interesting and mind boggling.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear or read something and think, that is some crazy stuff.  Keep in mind that my day job is as a paralegal, so I hear some crazy stuff.  So, back to my inspiration.  Because of the complexities and unusualness of life, I write stories that have a little angst (not too much, life gives us that), a little adventure and a lot of love (sometimes, life doesn’t give us enough of that).  

2. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

a. I love Sylvia Day.  She is my inspiration and I would absolutely love to know how her mind works, what her writing process is and how she puts it all together.  

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

a. I live in Wisconsin, just outside of Green Bay, though I was born in Missouri and spent my summers with my grandma’s family in Kentucky.  I call Kentucky home more than Missouri.  I still have family in Kentucky, and visit at least once a year to see them all.  I have four children, all grown and three beautiful grandchildren.  My husband and I ride motorcycles.  We ride whenever we can.  We’ve been on some fabulous trips and are looking forward to so many more.  With retirement only about a year away, we are hoping to be on the road several months each year.  I come from a long line of Veterans. My great grandfathers, grandfathers, father, brother and two of my sons.  My two sons both have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and my youngest is still in the Army Reserves.  I have a concealed carry permit and believe strongly in the right to keep and bear arms and do so proudly, but not without the understanding of the awesome responsibility of carrying.  Our whole family will go to the gun range together, or as many of us who can, to practice.  It’s a fabulous privilege.  And, lastly, I love to write steamy romances.

4. What do you do for a living? 

a. As I mentioned, I am a paralegal.  The law office I work in deals mostly with business related law.  I have my bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management with a minor in Paralegal.  The law I work in is heavily geared to employment law, business law, and litigation.  

5. What part of the world do you live in?

a. I live in the United States, just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

6. How long have you been writing?

a. I have been writing for about three years now, though I have wanted to write my whole life.  I let fear stand in the way for a very long time and finally decided I deserved to do what made me happy.  My husband has been a huge supporter and encourages me to follow my dreams.

7. What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between? 

a. I’m totally a pantster.  When I sit to write, I usually have my basic story in my mind, never on paper.  When I have the basic story in my mind and sit down to write, I can go all day.  The story just flows and usually takes me places I didn’t intend to go when I first started.  My characters usually misbehave, but if I left them go, I’m usually happy with the direction.  That’s not to say there aren’t major revisions along the way.

8. When and where do you write? 

a. I write when the mood strikes me, as long as the mood strikes me when I am not at work.  When I have a story mostly puzzled out, I will set aside a weekend and let everyone know this is my writing weekend – Leave Me Alone.  I have a dedicated office at home, but lately have found that I prefer to stand while writing, so I will often take my laptop into the kitchen and stand at the counter for long periods.  

9. What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity? 

a. I like having music on or the television, especially home DIY shows.  I need noise or music. I find that when I need to, I can tune out things I don’t want or need to hear. When I need a break, I have the background noise to fall back on.

10. What's your favorite aspect of being a writer? 

a. The creativity.  I love being able to invent people that I would like to know or be related to.  I love inventing scenarios and situations.  

11. Your least favorite?

a. Marketing.  YUCK.  It is so dang time consuming.  There is so much out there and it’s so darn frustrating sometimes.  And, it takes away from my writing time.

12. What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 

a. Time, always time.  Still working full time, I have to fit the writing, marketing, editing, cover design, teaser creation, formatting, uploading, swag creation, etc. into a few short hours a week.  It never seems to be enough.  My to-do list seems to grow rather than shrink.

13. Who are some of your favorite writers and why? 

a. I mentioned Sylvia Day before.  I love her books, her characters and her writing style.  I like Jill Shalvis.  She is so darn funny and her characters are light-hearted and fun.  I like S.C. Stephens.  Her writing style grabs hold and hangs on.  Lauren Dane is fabulous.  Gosh there are so many fabulous writers out there.

14. What are your favorite books?

a. I love steamy romances, not necessarily erotic, but I love being titillated and some steamy, panty melting scenes.  But, I want there to be a story to go along with it. I love it when two people need to fight to stay together. Not always fight with each other, but there are usually outside forces to battle and win. 

15. What writing tools do you use, if any? 

a. My mind and my laptop.  I suppose you could say Pinterest.  I create boards for every book.  Any inspirations I have for characters, clothing, places, foods, drinks, houses, bikes, anything, I locate and pin to my Pinterest boards and look at them often for additional inspiration.  I also create music lists on Spotify to go with my books as well.

16. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft? 

a. It depends.  My first book is 455 pages.  That took me about a month to write.  It went through many revisions and, even recently, another revision as I am republishing it this month.  Dog Days of Summer took about that same about of time for the first draft.  Rydin’ the Storm Out took about three weeks.  I have others coming soon, that have taken about 2-3 weeks.  I like to write them and then put them away for a little while.  I’ll pull them back out and look them over in a few weeks and usually make some changes.  Two weeks ago, I wrote a short story for inclusion in an anthology in a day.  I started on Saturday morning and before six o’clock Saturday night, I was finished with it.  That was a fun day.

17. Your final draft?

a. Oh, that can be a while.  As I mentioned, I’ll put them away a bit and come back to them.  I would say another month or two after the first draft.

18. Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

a. Grayson Kinkaide from Second Chances is my favorite H.  He was my first and he’s simply unforgettable.

19. If you could have one superpower what would it be.?

a. Ooooo, I would like to be Storm from X-Men.  I could control the weather.  I would like that.  People I disliked would find themselves in perpetual thunder, lightning and just plan crappy weather all the darn time. While people that I cared about would enjoy all the warmth and sunshine they wanted. 

Book Info:

Title: Rydin’ the Storm Out
Publication Date: January 9, 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 226
Publisher: Rolling Thunder Publishing
Format: eBook and Paperback
Universal Amazon Link:  
Barnes & Noble: 

Tag Line:
Storms roll into our lives when we least expect them. It’s our passion and desire that help us hang on and keep Rydin’ the Storm Out.
Working at Rolling Thunder Motorcycles has been enough for Ryder, until now. He's always been the shy, quiet one. He watched his father find love and didn't think it was possible for him. Until he met Molly. Something stirred inside of him, but would he take the leap out of his shell to ask her out?
Molly has always been head strong and devoted to her work. Building up her photography business has always been top priority. Vowing to not make the same mistakes as her mother, she put love on the back burner. That is until she is hired to shoot a wedding and the groom’s son catches her off guard.
Is Molly ready to take that leap and realize not all men are the same? Will Ryder and Molly be able to move past their own insecurities and calm the storm that rages inside them? Or will they be Rydin’ the Storm Out alone?

Author Bio:
I was born in Bridgeton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.  During my time in Missouri, I explored the Ozarks, swam in the Mississippi River, played kickball and endless games of hide-and-seek with the neighborhood kids. Spending summers in Kentucky with my grandmother, Ruth, are among my fondest childhood memories.
 When I was thirteen, my family moved to Wisconsin to learn to farm.  Yes, learn to farm! Taking city kids and throwing them on a farm, with twenty-eight cows purchased from the Humane Society because they had been abused, was interesting, to say the least.  I learned to milk cows, the ins and outs of a breeding schedule, feeding schedule, the never-ending haying in the summer, and trying to stay warm in the winter. During our first winter in Wisconsin, we had thirty-six inches of snow from one storm, and we were snowed in for three days!  Needless to say, I wasn’t loving Wisconsin.
I’m married with four children and three grandchildren.  I have learned to love Wisconsin, though I still hate snow. Wisconsin and the United States are beautiful and my husband and I travel around by motorcycle seeing new places and meeting new people.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people are interested in where we are going and what we have seen along the way.  At almost every stop we make, the locals will ask us where we’re headed and offer advice on which roads in the area are best for travel and seeing the sites. They are also more than willing to share what others before us have told them about great rides and the best scenic routes to take. 
I come from a family of veterans.  My grandfather, father, brother, two of my sons, and one daughter-in-law are all veterans.  Needless to say, I am proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.



Street Team: