Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine’s Day encompasses romance for all ages. People go out of their way to show their affection for the one they love with flowers, candy, perhaps a special meal. Just how did this day come to be?

Valentine’s Day can be traced back to the third century, when Emperor Claudius III of Rom decided young men made better soldiers than those with wives and families to care for. Valentine, a young man who preached the word, felt this was injustice at its worst. He defied the emperor and secretly performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Once his actions were discovered, the emperor ordered he be put to death.

Today, we honor his memory by celebrating romance with the one we love. To honor St. Valentine, Solstice Publishing presents Cupid’s Arrow Vol. 2, a collection of tales of love.

An essence of bliss makes everything delicious.

Her last word before kissing him was, “Hush.”

Never say never...

She's not your grandmother's matchmaker.

Separated by the winds of war

They meet time after time…

Can love possibly come again?

Real life isn't a fairy tale... or is it?

Love is a wonderful spell.

Love is a special feeling between couples. The sweetness of caring deeply for each other. A waterfall of romance is brought to you E.B. Sullivan, Jeffery Martin Botzenhart, A.A. Schenna, Adam Zorzi, K.C. Sprayberry, A.J. Kohler, Veronica Peters, Noelle Myers, and Palvi Sharma

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How Tough Luck Lane was Born

     Tough Luck Lane was born as a short story originally created for a writers' group. I joined the group because I needed a hobby - working full time and being my Dad's caregiver during what proved to be a very long, debilitating illness, I needed some fun. So once a month I attended this writer's group at a local book store. 

     I didn't have a clue what to write. Then, one day, my boyfriend, John (now husband), and I were driving around Lake Okeechobee (I'd never been), in the middle of practically nowhere, I saw the Tough Luck Lane street sign. I asked John to turn around and drive down the street. There were trailer homes up and down the street, straight to the berm of Lake Okeechobee. As we turned back onto State Road 78, "I was born in a trailer off Tough Luck Lane", hit me like a bolt of lightning. I wrote the story when we returned that very night.
     The story was a hit at the writers' group. I then decided to keep on with it and it grew into the novel, Tough Luck Lane. Writing allowed me to be home with Dad, in the same room, with him watching TV and me writing at my keyboard. John. a musician, would be upstairs practicing for his band. A homey little group, were we.
     In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma visited us in a big way. My Dad passed away shortly after and, when we took a drive up to Tough Luck Lane, it was pretty much gone, too. Today, the street sign still stands and not much else. Portions of the road are unpaved and every time I go back, in my mind's eye, I still see the pink trailer with the rose garden all 'round it that set my imagination aflame with Tough Luck Lane. 

    John and I married the following year, 2006, Tough Luck Lane was completed in 2007 and published in 2017 by Solstice Publishing. Finishing a novel is a lot like having a baby. First, there's this "now what do I do!?" panicky feeling that goes down to your core. Then, you realize you have it and, like a child, you have to nurture it to grow into something great. That includes editing, agenting, editing again, agent rejections again and then, finally, you get the Great Green Light to go forward.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Welcome back Tough Luck Lounge Peeps! 

We're hanging here with Debbie De Louise, author of The Cobble Cove Mysteries: 
Written In Stone (#1), 
Between a Rock and a Hard Place (#2) and, now, 
A Stone's Throw (#3) 

debbiedelouise.com this is Debbie's Link!

What tools do you use to keep your series and characters consistent?

I keep a running character list with all the attributes of the residents of Cobble Cove (appearance, personality, quirks, dressing habits, hobbies, etc.) but I have to admit that I sometimes have to check back in the original books for info.

In "Tough Luck Lane", Stacey, my heroine, is special to me because she's so ordinary but has the most unusual things happen to her. Since she's "smarter than the average bear", she sniffs out trouble quickly but usually winds up getting to the bottom of things because she finds she cares when nobody else does.

What makes your heroine, Alicia, "special" to you?

Alicia, like myself, is a librarian. Also, like me, she tends to be cautious in making decisions or taking risks. 

In her first book, that trait nearly costs her a special relationship. In later books, as she becomes more assertive and risk-taking, her inner strength emerges. Sometimes, however, she still needs some help especially from her feisty and thrill-seeking friend, Gilly who plays a large role in the latest mystery as the two try to solve a murder case together and end up in more trouble than they expected before the mystery is revealed.

Tough Luck Lane actually started out as a short story. How did the Cobble Cove mysteries come to be?

When I wrote A Stone’s Throw, the first book of the series, I did not envision it as a series nor a cozy mystery. I was planning a romantic suspense, standalone novel. I started with the concept of a hit and run accident that would turn out to be a murder and a librarian protagonist who was the wife of the victim and would learn, through the course of the book, what actually happened to her husband and would find romance as well as danger along the way. When I was through writing the book, I found that I’d become attached to the characters and thought their story could be continued as a series. Reviewers were also saying they considered the book a cozy mystery because of its small town location, quirky characters, library cat, pet dog, non-explicit violence and sex. Thus, the Cobble Cove Mystery series was born. 

Tell us a bit about John, Alicia's love?

John is a bit of a complex character. He was very in love with his first wife who died in childbirth. He can be quite sensitive and emotional at times. Besides being the publisher of the town’s newspaper, the Cobble Cove Courier, he also becomes a mystery author later in the series. He’s handsome and athletically built with a debonair dimple in his cheek, dark hair with just a touch of gray, and piercing blue eyes. He also enjoys cooking especially the family recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He has an elderly father, Mac, who plays a big role in the series, but his mother’s been dead for several years.

     (hmmm... if I wasn't married...)

What other genres have you written in? I have a romance novella, When Jack Trumps Ace, and several short stories from various genres including science fiction and fantasy. I especially like to write stories with twilight-zone themes. My latest story, The Missing Mistletoe, in Solstice’s Winter Holiday Anthology myBook.to/holiday2017 features time travel from current day to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

What is your favorite form? & Why? Story, Short Short, Novella, Novel, Series....

I enjoy writing them all. I like the variety and challenge of shorter works, the character development and continuing storylines of a series, and also the beginning to end plot of the one-time standalone novel.

What inspires you to write? (I people-watch & get a lot of ideas from that)  you may be moved by articles you've read, true news, etc.

Pretty much everything – other books I read, TV’s and movies I watch, real-life and past experiences, etc.

How do you write?

With the Tough Luck novels, I'll roll the characters & scenes around in my head until they're crystal clear then will sit down and write them out.

Do you use outlines, chapter charts, etc.?

I work a lot like you, Lois. When I go to bed at night, I think about the plot of my current work and ruminate on it. When I wake up, I ruminate some more and then start writing very early with the ideas in my mind. I’m a pantster which means I don’t use any major organized tools when I write. I do create a character chart as I mentioned above and occasionally I jot down plot ideas, but most of the writing I do spontaneously and let it flow in whatever direction it takes. I find it better to work that way than concentrate too much because my subconscious is where most of the creativity exists. When I go back and edit my work later, that’s when I let the serious part of my mind take over for corrections.

Now having finished the 3rd book in the series, do you keep a CODEX to keep everything straight and, if so, are you planning to have it published as well in the future?

No. I don’t use a codex. I never thought of that. I only have an ongoing character chart and the books themselves to refer back to for information.

What else is in the works?

I’m glad you should ask. I’m working on several projects now that I hope to finish in the New Year. Besides the first book of a new cozy that is almost complete, I hope to continue writing Book 4 of the Cobble Cove series. I also have a psychological mystery/thriller that is part of a Kindle Scout Campaign. If Amazon awards me a contract for my novel, Sea Scope, all those who endorsed it will receive a free eBook. People can nominate it at this link until December 8 https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2372SIVNZ28O0 

I am also hosting a Facebook holiday event with 12 other cozy mystery authors. Sneaky’s Cozy Holiday Paw-ty is on Friday, December 1s,t, from  2 to 9 pm. For more details and to RSVP, visit this site: https://www.facebook.com/events/937992293019499/.

My latest Cobble Cove mystery, Written in Stone, myBook.to/CC3ebook, is part of an Amazon holiday giveaway for a free paperback edition. US residents only. To participate in the giveaway, follow the instructions in this link. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

Tell us, again, how we can find you?

Website/Blog/Newsletter sign up: https://debbiedelouise.com
Twitter: @deblibrarian https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian
Amazon author page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouisedebbiedelouise.com

Best Luck Debbie! And thanks for taking a moment to hang with us at the Tough Luck Lounge!

It was a lot of fun, Lois. Thanks for the chat.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Welcome back Tough Luck Lounge Peeps! 

We're hanging here with David W. Thompson, author of "Sister Witch" now available on Amazon and... (fill me in here again please)

Is this your first book, Dave? It is- my debut…well first published anyway

How did you come to be published?

       I started Moll’s story right after retirement several years ago. I honed it over and over until I thought I had it where I wanted it. I sent it out to a dozen or more folks, and received a dozen or more rejections. One response, and the only one that did not appear to be a form letter, said they loved it, but modern readers needed a kick start at the beginning with minimal backstory. Back to the computer I went! I did rewrites until I was again satisfied with the manuscript, then sat on it for 2 years! Well, I don’t know how much stock you put in dreams, but when my deceased Mom told me I needed to submit it again, I didn’t argue!

Who is your publisher?

      Solstice Publishing

Why did you go with them?

       After my Mom set me straight, I sent my manuscript to four small to medium size publishers, and received three acceptances. At that point I went on Amazon to look at the different authors each published. I did the “take a peek” option, and went with the publisher I thought had the best authors.
What makes Sister Witch "special" to you?
The story of Moll Dyer has always been special to me. It’s a story of love over hate, good triumphing over evil, and the strength found in family even in the face of devastating loss. It’s the life of a woman pushed to her limits, and forced to accept an aspect of herself she’d rather ignore in order to save all she loves.

            For me, the Tough Luck world is as real as the 3D world we live in today. I love going there and hanging with the Tough Luck peeps and finding out what happens next. I love the beach, the bar where Stacey bartends, and the cast of characters. The villains are deadly and justice is swift.

         Tell us a bit about Moll Dyer...?  Moll is a stubborn, hard as nails (to all outward appearances) woman not afraid to buck the social injustices of her time. Usually a bit of an introvert, she will climb up on her soapbox if circumstances require it with no holds barred. She is loyal to a fault, and a thorn in the side to those who make her their enemy. Sadly, most colonists chose to be the latter.

What other genres have you written in?

       Paranormal romance under a pseudonym, and I’ve had short stories published with Solstice, and with outdoor magazines.

What is your favorite form? & Why? Story, Short Short, Novella, Novel, Series....

       I really like the e-book length novels that are popular now. It gives you time to develop the characters, and set the landscape without getting weighed down too heavily with narrative.

What inspires you to write? (I people-watch & get a lot of ideas from that)

       I listen to people to pick up on dialogue flow, but stories? Wow, some from newspaper clippings, or as with Moll- legends of old, and of course those pesky ones that attack when you’re trying to sleep! There’s no shortage of ideas keeping me up at night.
How do you write?

     I start out with a vague outline, but as the characters tell me stuff (mostly when trying to sleep), I have to reevaluate the direction I thought the story should go. My outline ends up looking like a toddler’s hen’s scratch before I’ done. Strange how characters become almost real to you, isn’t it?

With the Tough Luck novels, I'll roll the characters & scenes around in my head until they're crystal clear then will sit down and write them out.

Did you just sit down and create Sister Witch by the seat of your pants or was it a process and how did you do it?

     I’ve had a pretty good idea about Moll’s character for a long time, and I jotted down notes of how I thought Moll would see each one. The story’s told almost entirely through her eyes (via her quill). There were so many conflicting myths about her, so I needed some prep work to answer the “what if?” and “How could this happen?” questions, and weave it all together.

What else is in the works?

       # 2 and 3 in the series! The second will be set around 1810 and the final book in modern times.

What do you like to read & what are YOU reading right now?

       Poe, Thoreau, Camus, Straub, Tolkien, some Stephen King...yeah, I’m pretty much a mixed up fellow. I’m currently reading “The Sequel” by fellow Solstice author Dina Rae. Concurrently reading “Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness. Big plus about getting published is getting a lot of books to read.

Tell us, again, how we can find you?


Best Luck Dave! And thanks for taking a moment to hang with us at the Tough Luck Lounge! Let's down these drinks and get back to storytelling...

Thank you, Lois! I’m in with the storytelling, but definitely your turn. I’m rather parched!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Official Release Date for Tough Luck Lane is FRIDAY, January 27th 2017!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Coming Soon!  Tough Luck Lane my debut novel! Stay Tuned...