Sunday, July 29, 2012

This Week's Guest Blogger - Laci Paige

I would like to extend a warm welcome to this week's guest blogger on our Tasha Turner Coaching - Virtual Blog Tour, the charming young author, Laci Paige. Welcome Laci!

Pretty Much A Pantser

Doug thank you for having me as a guest on your blog page this week! I am glad to be here with today’s question; Plotter Or Pantser?

I am what you’d call a pantser when it comes to writing. Sometimes I will type up a quick five minute one page info dump before I begin a manuscript. Which is weird. For my young adult books I don’t do anything of the sort, but for some reason with the adult stories I need a little more guidance in my head.

It’s not like I need a written full blown outline or diagrams and charts (like a plotter might utilize). I don’t even use those sticky notes. Just a one page document I type up on my Word program keeps my head straight. And oddly enough, after I type it up I may never look at it again.

I read how some authors for the big publishers use outlines, and one day thought maybe if I used outlines I could become a better writer. Not so.

I find that if I write an outline I try to follow it too much and that distracts from the free flow of my creativity. Basically it holds me back and hinders my thought process. So I choose not to be a serious plotter because writing by the seat of my pants is what works best for me.

What works best for you when you write a blog, a school paper, or a novel? Do you plan it out, or wing it like a pantser?

Laci Paige is the author of Let’s Keep On Truckin’ by Decadent Publishing. Laci lives with her husband, children and a cat in the state of Virginia. When she isn’t writing or reading she enjoys photography. 

Blurb from “Let’s Keep On Truckin’” (By Laci Paige and Decadent Publishing, heat level 4).

Lily loves traveling on her job since no one can do it better than her. Being out on the open road gives her plenty of time to reflect and avoid unwanted attention, but somehow it always finds her....

When she comes across Ryder, first at a grocery store, then at a rest stop, sexual desire sparks and she knew she had to have him. If only her ex hadn't shown up, igniting a fantasy she never thought possible.

Seeing Alex in a whole new light, Lily realizes second chances are in order, but will she have to choose between the two men? Or could she be happy with both?

Thank you for joining us today, Laci. It has been a pleasure visiting with you!

Writing Secrets Escape!

Oh Oh! Allison Bruning let my writing secrets out of the bag. Check it out at

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Author Bruce Blake Talks About His Passion

My guest blogger today as part of our Tasha Turner Coaching - virtual blog tour, is Canadian author Bruce Blake who writes about something dear to the heart of all authors - our passion for writing. Welcome Bruce!

On Writing and Passion
by Bruce Blake

What makes a writer want to write? Why do we sit down at our blank screens to stare at a blinking cursor and torture ourselves into conjuring up words when we don't want to?  I've asked myself these and similar questions many times, often at 5am as I drag my sorry ass out of bed to get some writing time in before I head to work for the day. What makes a reasonably sane man get up at such an insane hour of the day? At one point in my life, I would have told you there was only one 5 o'clock in a day. Sometimes, I still wish that was the case. But something drives me to set that alarm for an hour before the worms who are trying to avoid the early bird get up.

Is it money? A quest for fame and recognition? A desire to see my name on a poster at the front of my local bookstore and a pile of my books on a table inside? Do I want to hit the road for a book signing tour and have to fend off hordes of rabid book groupies? Is there such a thing as book groupies?

Truth be told, the answer to all of the above is yes. I would happily accept money, fame, recognition, a rock star style tour, and women throwing themselves at me. Who wouldn't? But none of them are actually what get me out of bed. If there was no chance of earning a dime, or being famous, or having to run from a mob of crazed babes like I was starring in a Beatles movie, I'd still write.

Why? In one word: passion. It's not a great explanation but, plain and simple, I don't write because I want to, I write because I have to. If more than a couple of days goes by without some writing happening, I begin to get antsy in the way my lungs feel distress if I stop breathing for more than a short while. I may not die without writing, but I'm sure not pleasant to be around. So passion is both a blessing and a curse. It drags me out of bed when I don't want to get up, but it lights up my day even when it is still dark.

There are billions of people in the world, many of whom never find their passion, so I consider myself fortunate. My wish is that everyone find theirs and live a more fulfilled life. And maybe then I'd have someone to talk to at 5am.

What is your passion? What do you do or sacrifice to feed it? How do you feel when you're living your passion? How do you feel when you're not?


Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.
Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the "u" out of words like "colour" and "neighbour" then he does shovelling (and darn that extra L). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.
Bruce has been writing since grade school, but it wasn't until five years ago he set his sights on becoming a full-time writer. Since then, his first short story, "Another Man's Shoes" was published in the Winter 2008 edition of Cemetery Moon, another short, "Yardwork", was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod, and his first Icarus Fell novel, "On Unfaithful Wings", was published to Kindle in Dec., 2011. The second Icarus Fell novel, “All Who Wander Are Lost”, was released on July 17, 2012, and the first book in the four-part “Khirro's Journey” epic fantasy is due soon. He has plans for at least three more Icarus novels, several stand-alones, and a possible YA fantasy co-written with his eleven-year-old daughter.

On Unfaithful Wings
I was alive, then I was dead, now I’m stuck somewhere in between.
My name is Icarus Fell. I am a harvester.
The archangel Michael brought me back to collect souls and help them on their way to Heaven--that’s what a harvester does. If I get enough of them before the bad guys do--if I do a good job--I can have my life back. Now people I knew in life are dying, killed by a murderer’s knife, their bodies defiled, and the cops think I’m the killer.
I’m not, but I think I know who is.
But how does a dead man, a man who no longer exists, stop a psycho? I’m not sure, but I’m going to stop him before everyone I know is dead.
I have to stop him before he gets to my son.

Thank you, Bruce, for being my guest today, and sharing your passions with us. Bruce can be reached at the following links.

Twitter: @bruceablake

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dacque LaRose, Just an Average Nice Guy

Dacque LaRose is the hero in my first three completed novels, and he will certainly retain that honor in future manuscripts. Only the first novel, Soul Awakening, has been published. 

The following article outlining Dacque's story and his rise to hero status was written as a blog post for a blog tour that I am joyfully participating in as part of the tour organized and sponsored by Tasha Turner Coaching.

Dacque LaRose, just an average nice guy. How did he become the hero in a series of inspirational novels? Take a peek at

Monday, July 16, 2012

Linda Bolton - Aspiring Contemporary Romance Writer

Today is a beautiful day! Today my guest blogger is Linda Bolton, a beautiful young lady who is diligently working on making her dreams come true. They will come true! Linda receives inspirations from 'unknown sources' just like I do. That is all of the support she will need to become a successful author. Welcome Linda!

Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas

Where did the idea for my book, Perfect, come from? Well, it started as just daydreaming at first. They were about my favorite actor, Gerard Butler. Then, I joined one of his fan sites. ( I know, I know, don’t judge me!!) And the final straw? I watched every interview I could find. I realized I was a bit obsessed and decided I had better find a sane outlet for all this. I began writing.

Obviously, Gerry was my main male lead. I paired him with an everyday, run of the mill, woman he just happen to run into. She just happens to have the qualities he wants and needs in a partner.

The two of them travel to places I have seen or wish I could visit, Scotland being at the top of my wish list.  I took them to the Island of Dominica, Haiti, Vegas, Dallas and, of course, California. Iceland was my other personal favorite.

You might be asking, “How did you plan it out?” For this book I just went with the flow. It just came to me. I didn’t plan a thing. I outline at the end. The voices, or muses, in my head take over and control everything. I am, unfortunately, a terrible date. I will stop mid-sentence, fish out a piece of paper and totally ignore who I’m with to get an idea down before it eludes me. I’m also notorious for waking up in the middle of the night and having to write. I get my best ideas at 3 am.

Am I crazy for writing a book based on an actor? Based on an obsession? Do you have favorite vacations/dream vacations? Send them my way...need ideas for the next book!

Thank you very much, Linda, for dropping in today and sharing your inspirational story with us. All the best wishes to you for the future, make that near future, publication of Perfect.

Publishers, and the rest of us too, can find Linda in the following locations.

Linda Bolton is an aspiring contemporary romance writer.  She is looking for a publisher for her first book, Perfect.  While working on a future projects Linda can be found:

Her romance blog at 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Women of Fortune by Allison Bruning

Today's guest blogger is the delightful, Ohio-raised author, Allison Bruning. Allison likes to create stories involving Native American women back in the days when the British and French colonists were overtaking the Native lands. Welcome, Allison.

Women of Fortune

“What inspired you to write Calico when you’re not even Native American descent?” 

I cannot tell you how many times I get this question. To tell you the truth I absolutely love it, too. Growing up in Ohio I was bombarded with funny names such as Chillicothe, Wapakoneta, Mohican, and Cincinnati. The memorials of the Native American tribes who had once inhabited Ohio were in the names of our towns, camps (I went to Camp Wakatomika as a youth), and streets. Although my family had no Native American heritage I was often drawn to the history and culture of these people. As I grew older I began to realize just how one sided the American history books are when it comes to dealing with Native American history, especially in the media.
When I began to write Calico I had one thought in my mind. We often see the Shawnee in movies, television shows and books portrayed as bloodthirsty savages bent on raping women and killing men. It dehumanizes them. American history teaches us that the British and latter the Americans were rescuing women and children from the Shawnee. They’d raze their settlements, rescue the poor white damsel in distress then off they go back to civilization with the female where she’s joyfully reunited with her family. The End! Isn’t that a nice fairytale? The savages are defeated and our hero saves the day. 

But did you know that many of the women who had been “rescued” by the British or Americans actually ran right back to their captors? Why would these women go back to the natives who had captured them? Was it some sort of Stockholm syndrome? No, the white women of the 18th century often times left for their captors because they had more freedom in a native village than in a European colony. 

This thinking goes against what we have been taught about the native population. The media teaches us the natives were cruel to their women, especially the Shawnee. This is not so. A woman was valued more in native cultures than a man. When she was traveling with a man she would carry their belongings and be behind him. Why? So she would be protected! Think about it. The Shawnee were at war with the white man for a long time. He couldn’t carry his belongings and be prepared to fight should they be attacked. It was his duty to protect the women, children and elders. 

In camp, the women were in charge of the fields and housework while her husband was laying around. Why was the man so lazy? He wasn’t.  He was often hunting, fishing and protecting the village. Sometimes a man needs his rest but don’t think he wasn’t aware of his surroundings. In a moment’s notice, he would be able to defend his wife and family should the village be attacked. 

"But Allison, Shawnee men never looked at their wives when a white man was around."

Of course not, do you want your enemy to know which women meant the most to you? He ignored her to protect her. You never know just how far someone would go to hurt another. Another thing to think about. If the Shawnee did not value their women then why did their laws insist anyone who hurts a woman receive double the punishment than if they had hurt a man?
When I wrote Calico’s character I had decided to make her the daughter of a French Fur Trapper.  Why? Because I wanted to show my readers the truth. The British were so hell bent on saving every single white woman from the native population they never took time to consider whether or not the women was actually British. As long as someone looked white the British would retrieve them. The problem with this is that not all white women were actually British. Some of them were the daughters of French traders who had married into the population. A French woman would marry into the tribe to secure a tighter trade relationship between her father and the native population.
If, in the event, a European woman was ever captured she would walk the gauntlet and then be adopted into a native family. Why? To replace the dead wife or child of a native person. Men on the other hand were often considered a threat. The natives knew if a man was adopted he might cause more harm then good. It was all about survival. I wanted my readers to understand these points through the eyes of a female who lived with the Shawnee. 

Before I wrote Calico I had read a book called “Follow the River” by James Alexander Thom. I had watched the movie with my husband. While it was a good attempt to show a different side of the story that is to honor the Shawnee I felt it was lacking a lot. I decided to write Calico to fill in the cultural gaps this book left.
An interesting thing to think about is this as well. The natives were not the only ones who were kidnapping women and children. The British did so in order to provide labor for their slave market.  The native populations didn’t just attack a British village for kicks, they often times did so in order to free those who had been captured by the British.

Now it is time for us to hear a little more about Allison and her activities.

The Executive Director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection, a non-profit agency of writers who promote young authors throughout the state of Kentucky, Allison originally hails from Marion, Ohio. Her father, Roland Irving Bruning, was the son of German immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Her mother's family had been in the United States since the 17th century. Allison is a member of the Peter Foree Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution. Her linage traces to Private Reuben Messenger of Connecticut. Her educational background includes a BA in Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology and a Texas Elementary Teaching certificate. Both were acquired at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. Allison received National Honor Society memberships in both Theater Arts and Communication. Allison was also honored her sophomore year with admission into the All American Scholars register. She holds graduate hours in Cultural Anthropology and Education. In 2007 she was named Who's Who Among America's Educators. She is also the recipient of the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.

Allison lives with her husband in Kentucky.  Calico is book one from the series, Children of the Shawnee. It is available at She is currently working on the sequel, Rose.  She is also working on another series, The Secret Heritage, which traces the life of her great great grandmother at the turn of the 20th century in Ohio. Allison's interest includes Ohio Valley history, anthropology, travel, culture, history, camping, hiking, backpacking, spending time with her family and genealogy. Her genres include historical fiction, paranormal, romance, and suspense.

You can reach her at:

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter: @emeraldkell

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Looking Back Is Seeing Forward

Do you believe in survival of the soul and reincarnation? Do you believe we can learn from the past to shape our future? Canadian author Doug Simpson gives you pause for thought.....Joe McCoubrey

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Today's Guest Blogger - Anjie Harrte

I would like to extend a warm welcome today to author Anjie Harrte, visiting with us all the way from Guyana. Anjie does not really tell us if her touching story is purely fiction or inspired by actual experiences, but maybe that is best left to our imagination. Welcome Anjie!

Beyond the Valley

We were four when we met. Our parents were vacationing in the Amerindian Village of Moruca, miles from where we both lived in two different cities. It took boat rides on two different rivers; the water gushing off the side of the speed boat as I clung to my stepmother for dear life, for to us reach the peaceful serene atmosphere of the indigenous village.

My father and brother were seated in the seat in front of us. I remember thinking that one day I will be as brave as them, able to sit with my feet cocked up on the railing and enjoy the way the sun glistened on the black water. You were on the opposite side of the speed boat pointing out everything and asking lots of questions. Our parents had met on the little cliff overseeing the valley, between the mountains, for lunch. They had all laughed out loud when they realized they had planned a picnic in the same spot. My stepmother had smiled and invited your parents to join us. It is here we met. You followed my fourteen year old brother around and I sat quietly in awe of the large greenery before me. At four it seemed to all swallow me, the way the two mountains parted leaving the lush greenery that ran in between them as though protecting a hidden treasure. Eventually, my brother had asked you to “get a life” and saddened by this, you sat next to me. I touched your arm and said, “He is just a mean old booger.” You wrenched your arm from my grasp and turned to back me. I am not sure if it was that day that I fell in love with you, or if it was ten years later when we met again in that spot.

Our parents had remained in contact over the years. To celebrate your father starting a new business and my brother’s graduation from college, they planned to meet for vacation again in the Amerindian Village of Moruca. By this time my father’s business had flourished; he had made it big in the chicken rearing business, so we flew up in the cabin of a small airplane. Your family would reach the village by boat.

The first day of our vacation our families met for lunch at the same spot; atop the hill overlooking the valley; still green and lush in its beauty. The two mountains to the side still high and mighty. You smiled with me shyly and I blushed. My brother who was now twenty four tried to get you to go down with him to the creek to catch fish; you told him, “I don’t want to” Your dad urged you to go, you shrugged and sat down in our spot. My stepmother asked me to lay out the picnic; she was busy with her twin boys now six years old who tried to run off behind my brother. I watched them and smiled remembering the four year old who used to run after him. You kept glancing at me, making my heart skip a beat. I remember you so well at fourteen; with your pink smooth lips; and small round nose; your dimples that pursued when you smiled and your thick curly hair that was well kept and shiny from hair spray. You were slim and tall, and smelt of a woody musky scent, the same scent that I got from your father when he patted me on the head and said, “You have grown.”

I was nervous and excited. I had never forgotten you and waited eagerly for this vacation. Eventually, I slid down on the grass next to you. My long lanky legs outstretched in front of me. You turned and smiled with me and looked off into the distant valley. I wrung my hands together and it felt like hours before you said something.

“What do you think lies beyond that valley?” you asked me, pointing to the majestic greenery before us.

I smiled broadly because I too had wondered the same. I pulled my knees towards my chest and hugged them, resting my chin on them.

“I believe there is a beach with pearly white sands and blue waters washing in, where indigenous people live, people who dress in drabs of gold and silver and they dance and laugh all day long.”

You laughed and your eyes sparkled.

“How would they eat and survive if they danced and laughed all day?” you asked me.

“They eat fruits from the trees.” I said, trying to stifle my own laughter from the ridiculous ideas that were floating around in my mind.

“What do you think lies beyond that valley?” I asked

“A jungle with big tiger cats, and lions, and snakes and a water fall,” you answered.

I looked off into the distance as you spoke.

“But I like your idea more,” you added.

We sat and talked for hours, you brought our meal to us there while the rest of the family had their picnic not far from us.

Later that day we walked hand in hand down to the creek, leaving everyone chatting and laughing atop the hill. At the edge of the water you looked back and noticed that we were now out of sight.

I was wringing my hands together again, nervously looking around and drawing circles in the sand with my feet. When I turned around, we awkwardly bumped into each other. Our foreheads connected and we rubbed it. Soon we were laughing hysterically. Then you were staring at my face, my awkward looking face that had a few pimples. I looked down and suddenly felt very self conscious, wondering what you were thinking. When I looked up you were closer to me. You leaned in and I knew what was going to happen; tightness formed itself in my chest and something seemed stuck in my throat. But, I didn’t allow them to prevent me from leaning in too.

First our noses crashed into each other and this time instead of laughing your rubbed yours against mine and my face felt flushed. I felt you smile as I closed my eyes and felt the warmness of your lips on mine. You pressed them against mine tenderly and then you parted my lips and kissed me lightly. I heard the birds chirping in the trees, the leaves swishing with the wind and the creek water lapping against the sand. The sound of my little brothers’ hurry down the hill towards us caused us to break away and awkwardly back each other. We would not get another chance with such privacy.

Today, ten years later I sit on the same hill overlooking the valley. I wait for you to join me. With my backpack on; ready to trek through the valley to the undiscovered land beyond it. I wait for you. Will you to come to me my love? A tear runs down my cheek and I wipe it away, I promised you I wouldn’t cry. I held your hand all the way to the end; I kissed your forehead even when it was pale and lifeless, feeling the coldness against my lips. I kept hope alive in my heart and courage in my soul that you would be here to take this journey with me. I see you ahead of me, standing at the beginning of the valley calling me. I am coming my love. I look back behind me to the trail which I walked to this point, leaving the village in the middle of the day with no word to anyone. This trek was supposed to be you and me alone and this is the way it will be. You and I alone will trek through the valley, to the undiscovered land beyond it.

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *                             *

Sometimes the most unexpected of stories are born from the sight of a photograph. This is the story that my mind conjured up when I saw this photograph. I can be a bit morbid in my writing sometime, even though I try to give happy endings to my novels.

However, I would like to know what do you think when you see this picture? What do you think lies beyond that valley?

*             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *             *                          

Anjie Harrte  - Romance with some Caribbean flavour

Anjie Harrte is a twenty nine year old mother of one who resides in sunny Guyana, South America. Sometime between running a small business, having a full time job and being a mother and partner she finds time to pursue her passion for creating stories. Anjie dreams up stories of contemporary fiction splashed with some romance, a little dose of murder or an ounce of suspense and sometimes when no one is looking she dashes in a little twist. When she isn’t doing any of that, she is decorating a cake, knitting a chair back or sewing her latest design. Anjie even finds time to lurk around and stalk people and pages on facebook and you too can stalk her if you like at ; you can follow her on twitter @anjieharrte; keep updated with her writing at or check out one of her stories @