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Stacy Finz | Going Home

My aunt owns a cabin in the Sierra Nevada woods. Every summer my family goes up for few days. We bring our hiking boots, bikes, bathing suits and floatation devices. Sometimes we float on the river for hours, yelling for the kids to come rescue us when our river rafts go too far down stream–why […]

Jennifer Faye | When All Looks Lost

Sometimes life has a way of throwing up so many roadblocks at once that certain aspects of life can seem utterly hopeless. I know. This happened to me with my writing career. I almost gave up the pursuit because I gave up the hope that one day I’d be sitting on my front porch writing […]

Miranda James | Miss Marple Hooked Me

I have always had a predilection for female amateur detectives, ever since I first discovered Nancy Drew over forty years ago with The Secret of Shadow Ranch. That was the first mystery I read, and when I graduated to adult mysteries, I discovered Agatha Christie and her spinster sleuth, Miss Jane Marple. I was hooked. […]

Mary Sullivan | The Fishbowl of Fame

My eleventh Superromance, NO ORDINARY HOME, is currently on bookstore shelves. I can’t believe I have eleven books out and ideas for more stories continue to pop into my head! One of the themes I explore in this book is the question of how much of themselves celebrities owe to the public. Have you ever […]

Anjali Mitter Duva | Music and Movement in Writing

Music is at the heart of FAINT PROMISE OF RAIN. The setting for the story—16th century Rajasthan in Northwest India—had already been laid down by multiple visits to that stunning part of the world, where temples and fortresses rise up from golden sand, where textiles are jewel-toned, and the sky is devastatingly blue. Take away […]

Heather Heyford | A Birthday Toast to A TASTE OF CHARDONNAY

Last December while I was balancing on a rickety ladder to hang a string of lights above my fireplace mantel, I got ‘the call.’ I almost didn’t answer. I’d left the phone lying over on the kitchen counter—within sight, but out of reach. I told myself by the time I scrambled down and dashed over […]

Lucy Monroe | Pets for Vets Charity Anthology: HOMETOWN HEROES

A few months ago, a dear friend approached me about being in a charity box set. My first reaction should have been to question whether I had the time, but it wasn’t. Because some things just have to happen. In reality, I responded with a resounding yes. Pets for Vets, the charity we are raising […]

Jennifer Barnhart | The Many Masks of Halloween

I love Halloween, but I particularly love the many masks of Halloween. Scary, magical, campy, thrilling, and haunting, Halloween reveals its many faces in delightful and creepy ways. That’s why the entire month of October I’m dedicating this column to Halloween! From magical to hilarious to horrific to revisionary, I’ll select books that delight, terrify, […]

Stephanie Laurens | The Traditions of BY WINTER’S LIGHT

BY WINTER’S LIGHT is an unabashedly holiday-themed novel. How did that come about? The concept was fortuitously created by the characters, rather than being a deliberate choice made by me. In the Epilogue of the preceding Cynster novel, THE TAMING OF RYDER CAVANAUGH, at the Cynster Summer Celebration in August of 1837, the older group […]

Cheryl Sawyer | La Créole: The Slave Who Never Gave Up on Freedom

I often notice that writers who visit Free Literary Mentor, my blog about new fiction seem very aware of fear: fear of not being able to finish a novel; fear that the path to their goal is not clear; fear that publishers and agents won’t be interested … My heartfelt advice is: always remember that […]