Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Bringing A Story to Life

Every author has a different story, which is why I enjoy introducing readers to the people behind the books they read. Today's guest in My Writing Corner has a fascinating story to tell. Author Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio.  Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she tells us she has never allowed her disability to define her.  Instead, she has used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want.  Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding came out in 2015, followed by Forgetting My Way Back to You, 2018.  She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart! 

Tell us about your road to publication.

I queried 120 companies before getting published the first time, in 2015. In the case of my new novel, Brother of Interest, it was a long one, too. It’s a sequel to my debut novel, Husband in Hiding, so I naturally hoped the same company would publish it. Long story short, that didn’t happen, and I ended up shopping it—as well as tweaking it—for over three years before The Wild Rose Press accepted it.   


What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?

It’s Brother of Interest, and as I mentioned before, it follows up Husband in Hiding, which revolved around Minka Avery, a deaf detective. I was hesitant to write a sequel to it because of the stigma about sequels, but my writing coach really encouraged me to do it. When I committed, I pondered what I touched on but didn’t delve into in Husband in Hiding, and that was Minka's relationship with her brother. He played an integral role in her decision to be a cop, but you never saw the two of them together. Brother of Interest explains why!    

Let's get a blurb:

Minka Avery thought her days of hunting down fugitives were behind her…until her brother becomes one! 

There’s nothing more heart-warming than a brother and sister’s bond—or is there?

In Minka Avery’s case, her relationship with her brother, Robin, has been strained for years, but never more than it is in Brother of Interest. 

For the past fourteen months, Minka's been basking in the joys of new motherhood, a far cry from the life she had as a deaf police detective. She sometimes misses the rush of chasing criminals, but she finds more excitement than she ever wanted when Robin ends up at the top of the list of suspects in a high-profile assault investigation.

She may not have a badge anymore, but the sister and law enforcer in her impel her unofficially explore the matter on her own. Will she find her runaway brother? Will the evidence she unearths exonerate him...or point to his guilt?


Sounds like a great story! What’s your next project?

My historical love story, Wrong Line, Right Connection, is coming out later this year, also published by The Wild Rose Press. I submitted it two months before I decided to submit Brother of Interest, never imagining they’d eventually accept both! It follows a switchboard operator and how she unexpectedly finds love by transferring a caller to the wrong number.


What do you enjoy about being an author?

I love being able to create your own world and scenarios. There’s no right or wrong—just room for improvement. 


What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

Staying optimistic amidst all the rejections and disappointments. Writing’s the easy part; the business end can drive you crazy!


What advice do you have for beginning writers?

View every rejection as one step closer to an acceptance letter.

Isn't that the truth! Thank you Karina for being my guest on My Writing Corner. Here are Karina's social contacts and buy links:

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Walmart | Books-A-Million

Social media: 

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Does anyone have any comments or questions for Karina?

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Right Combination

A missing dog, a potential poisoning, and a suspicious death.

Doesn't that sound like just the right combination for a book you want to pick up and read on a cold, snowy winter day--or any other day for that matter? That's the tagline for the new book by author Darlene Fredette who is today's guest in My Writing Corner.

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where, she says, the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene tells us that she loved to develop the many stories that kept coming to life in her head. She now writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. Darlene’s favorite pastime is taking summer daytrips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.

Her newest book is Finding Home Again, which was just released by The Wild Rose Press. Let's get a blurb:

Caretaker of a historical home, Jordan McKenzie, promised to keep a secret, but doing so gets harder by the minute, especially when an innocent kiss misses its intended target. Entangled in a web of mysterious mishaps, she discovers a surprising family connection. Is putting her trust in her boss' handsome nephew a risk worth taking?


Chef, Logan Crane, returns to Redford Falls hoping to claim an inheritance to open a restaurant, but he side-lines his plan after meeting Jordan. When past secrets intermingle with a present attraction, will Logan open his heart to the possibility of a future in Redford Falls…and with Jordan?

Will Jordan and Logan find their happily-ever-after before another mysterious accident occurs?


The characters sound fascinating so I wanted to question them to find out more about them and their lives. Let's start with Jordan:

What are you looking for in your life right now? 

I’m good. I have the perfect job renovating a historical home, and great friends, but my heart is lonely.

What draws you to Logan? 

Logan knocked me off my feet. Literally - physically, lol!

What frightens you about becoming involved with him? 

I’m keeping a big secret from him, and my heart wants to trust him, but my head is conflicted.

Tell us about your family. My mother and grandparents live in Toronto. 

I moved to Redford Falls for a teaching job, but I soon find out about a deeper connection I have to this small town.

Tell us about this house. 

The inn is over one hundred and fifty years old. In the past, the home was a first-rate inn and housed many elite socialites such as kings, lords, and princes. During the second war era, the inn served the function of military lodgings, and the land was used as an exercise ground for troops. Also, at one time the house acted as a hospital to aid the wounded.

Now, let's hear from Logan:

Why did you return to Redford Falls? 

I was sent an invitation to attend a meeting with my aunt’s lawyer, but I may have had my own ulterior motives.

What about Jordan appeals to you? 

She is a beautiful person, inside and out.

What frightens/worries you about her?

I think she is hiding something. I can’t put my finger on what exactly is going on, but she definitely has a secret.

What is your goal in life at the current time? 

To get my aunt’s forgiveness, and to win Jordan’s heart.

What do you want for your future? 

Jordan is my number one priority, and to be a chef in the kitchen where I learn to cook.

Want more? Let's dig in with an excerpt:

“That kiss was meant for your cheek. You moved.” Jordan pulled on her helmet then waved a hand for Miska to jump into his seat. She tossed Logan his helmet. “You weren’t supposed to kiss me.”

“A beautiful woman plants one on me and I’m not to respond?” He stepped beside her and ran a finger down her cheek. “Unfortunately, I can’t tell your boyfriend our outing was strictly platonic anymore. Because I kissed his girl, and I liked it.”

Blushing, Jordan nudged her shoulder against his before getting into her ATV and driving away.

Logan shouldn’t have kissed her—and he shouldn’t have flirted. But dang it, he truly enjoyed both—and given the opportunity, he would do both again.


If you want more information on Darlene and her books, here's where to look:

Universal Purchase Link: 


Author Web Site: http://darlenefredette.blogspot.com/

Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Fredette/e/B005NAF660/

The Wild Rose Press Author Page: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/authors/darlene-fredette

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darlenefredette_author/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneLF

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/DarleneLF

Book Trailer Teaser: https://youtu.be/2_STxHh37A4

Other Books by Darlene Fredette

Law of Attraction

Twist of Faith 

Hershey’s Choice

His Candy Christmas (Redford Falls Story 1)

Kissed By Winter (Redford Falls Story 2)

Under The Apple Blossoms (Redford Falls Story 3)

A Recipe For Forever (Redford Falls Story 4)

Cherry Red

Thank you, Darlene, for being my guess today on My Writing Corner.  Any questions or comments for Darlene?


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A New Journey

 Every week writers visit My Writing Corner to discuss their new books and to tell readers a little bit about themselves and how they began the writing process.  This week I am turning my spotlight around. For a writer, one of the best parts of being an author (besides getting to play with all those characters roaming around in our heads and visiting places around the world in our mind, is seeing our work placed before readers so they can share our journey. This week I get to share a new journey with readers as my latest book is released. Seeing that book for sale is another goal for writers. 

My newest book, Secrets of Sara is now available to readers so you can also visit the special world I had the opportunity to create. I have to admit, for me, one of the best parts of writing is being able to share that special world with readers, transporting them to the places I envision in my head, and introducing them to those characters who inhabited only my mind for years. 

First, let me begin the way I normally introduce my other guests who visit My Writing Corner. I often like to say that writing has been my chosen way of life for decades. Beginning from my teenage years, fiction books and non-fiction writing have been my major focus. I began devouring anything I could read in my teenage years and even spent summers walking to the library every week, checking out at least two books a week to read. From spy novels to romances to historical fiction, those books were my constant companions.  At the same time, I began making up stories, writing down in a notebook the latest creations that came to mind. While I read books in all genres, the stories that I wrote were in the Romance and Romantic Suspense genres. (though I had no idea what those ideas even were at the time) I simply knew I fell in love with the characters and I wanted to see them prevail no matter what sort of obstacles I gave them. I created plenty of dilemmas as I scribbled away in notebooks of all shapes and sizes or just plain old notepaper. In later years I got my first typewriter and began typing them up. I spent weekends writing fiction. In one of my apartment buildings, people knew me as the “typist” because they would come by my door on the way to the elevator and I always seemed to be “typing” on weekends. 

Even now, I like to say writing has been my way of life because I seem to be writing just about every day. That way of life began in college where I pursued journalism as a career and got my first job on the college newspaper. We put out a paper five days a week so that meant I had to turn out a story a nearly every day and thus my life began ad a daily writer. Weekdays I turned out news stories and on weekends I wrote fiction. I even learned the meaning of “breaking news” in that job when someone burned down the oldest building on campus following a week of protests. We all came in to work and turn out a special edition of the paper. I still have a copy of that paper and I’ve never forgotten it even though in later years I would have to work other “breaking” news stories all the way from Mt. St. Helens (working in Seattle at the time) to the Los Angeles  riots, to several earthquakes and major fires. As a newswriter and producer and even as a newsroom manager, writing stories was a daily way of life.

My nonfiction life and my life of writing fiction have now converged and solidified in the past twenty years as my fiction work began to get published. My first fiction appeared as a short story in an anthology and that was followed by my first fiction novel. But I never have forgotten my journalism career. Many of my stories or characters come from that world I knew as a journalist and that career gave me a solid foundation in writing. 

One of the questions I often ask writers who visit my blog is “what advice do you have for other writers?” My answer to that question would be SIT DOWN AND WRITE. Make it a habit. Writing fictional stories does not come easily, but if you make writing a daily habit, the stories and characters will come. In my first days as a newspaper reporter, I often started by writing the story down by hand. Working against a deadline changed that. And working in a fast-paced television newsroom demolished it. There was no time to “write out a rough draft. Many times it was difficult to “think” it out in advance. With the clock constantly ticking on the wall, viewers weren’t going to wait for a story to suddenly come to me. The story had to be written and ready to air.... sometimes with only minutes to spare. There was no time to wait for the “muse” to show up.

Even now I find myself able to sit down just about anywhere, any time and write. It has become a habit. I can sit in a crowded airport and write, in a quiet library, or in a room full of other writers. Practice your own writing habits and see what works best for you and then embrace it. Sit down at the computer and write. Do it every day. Oh, I still do write things out by hand at times, but that is a fun endeavor. I have always carried a notebook in my purse wherever I go. Often when I would be at lunch, whether in an airport or restaurant, I would get an idea for a scene. I’d write it out by hand and take it home to be placed in the book. 

One thing I have learned over all my years of writing. Imagination is always with you, so always be ready to write! Always be ready to deal with those characters who keep popping up in your head. Give them their story. 

That brings me to my final point – the joy of seeing your book become available to the public. My newest book, Secrets of Sara, was last week and it’s a story that started as a short story and evolved into a full novel. It is set in southern Colorado (where I grew up) and it came from an idea that  hit me while traveling through the plains of eastern Colorado. 

When Marianne Lopez arrives in the small Colorado town where she was born and raised, she knows she must face Brad Calhoun, the man who once broke her heart. Rancher Brad Calhoun has never forgotten the special time he spent with Marianne, but he also knows they want different lives. Deserted by his mother and an ex-wife, Brad wants only a calm life to raise his children. Both carry memories of a night of stolen love… and a special connection that draws them together.  But there is something…or someone… watching them… Do the secrets of Sara hold the key to their future?

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy Secrets of Sara.  

My next book, Dead Man’s Treasure will be released soon. If you would like to learn about my other new books coming out or to contact me, here are my social contact and buy links:






If anyone has any comments or questions, I am ready to reply. Thank you all for joining me in My Writing Corner.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

An Author of Many Talents

So many readers love to read in various genres these days and there are so many variations offered now that it makes sense for authors to write in different genres. That's the case with today's visitor to My Writing Corner. 

Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. What a great variety! She tells us that she’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi. Her latest novel, The Case of the Missing Botticelli: A Massimo Domingo Mystery, was released just last week. The book is her 28th work of fiction. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn is past chair of Roswell Reads and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee. 

Her newest work is The Case of the Missing Botticelli which is Book One of the cozy mystery series: A Massimo Domingo Mystery.  Let's get  a blurb:

American art history major Hadley Evans joins an art detective agency in Florence, Italy, working for Massimo Domingo, once a major player, now the ‘Inspector Clouseau’ of the art world. Determined to save the flailing agency and prove her worth, Hadley and her sexy Carabinieri boyfriend, Luca Ferrari, take on a mysterious client behind her boss’s back. Hot on the trail of a missing masterpiece, they discover a hidden cache of stolen Nazi art in a Venetian villa and encounter an enemy with a link to an evil past. 

Doesn't that make you want to start turning the pages? Let's get an excerpt:

Hadley wrote down the phone number and her jaw went slack when she heard and inscribed the rest of the message. “Tell him it’s about a missing Botticelli. It’s urgent.” 

A shot of adrenalin coursed through Hadley’s veins. Sandro Botticelli. Her favorite artist in the whole world. Creator of the Italian masterpiece, Nascita di Venere, The Birth of Venus, the ancient Goddess of Love, dated circa 1484. She wasn’t aware a Botticelli painting was missing.

“Is there any additional information you can give me? The name of the painting? The provenance? Capito. I understand the need for utmost secrecy. We can set up a meeting and I’ll make sure Signore Domingo will be there.” 

She jotted down some more notes. “Piazzale Michelangelo? At sunset?” 

Hadley tilted her head and chewed on her bottom lip. That was a strange destination for a business meeting. Although it offered the most scenic view of the city, perched atop a hillside overlooking Florence, meeting at a park after dark was reminiscent of a murder scene in a film noir. Where the heroine, Hadley, would later be found, dead, her virtue compromised and her throat slit. 

Was the female caller from a museum? A high-end gallery? An auction house? Was she an art or antiquities dealer or a wealthy private individual or was she representing a government agency? And, if so, which government? Enemy or ally? She would soon find out. 

Was it advisable to go to a park at night? Definitely not. The woman could be representing a client from the criminal art world. That’s why Luca had to accompany her. She intended to sweet-talk him into helping her. 

After all, he was in line to become a detective. He was used to investigations. He’d welcome the practice. And above all, Luca was a protector. It was inbred in him. 

“You’re staying at L’Hotel Bernini Palace?” 

That explained it. The five-star hotel was near the Piazzale. So, a high-end client. Just what the firm needed. 

“He’ll be there,” Hadley assured. 

Hadley held the message in her quivering hand, pursed her lips, then stashed it in her new Furla handbag. What if the message had somehow been unintentionally misplaced without Signore Domingo seeing it, and she contrived to meet the contact alone? Once her boss saw she could solve a case on her own, he would finally bring her into the fold and teach her secrets of the art theft underworld she was so desperate to learn.

Hooked yet? Sorry, but you'll have to buy the book to get more. 

Thank you Marilyn, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner.  Here are the buy links for her new book as well as her social media links:

The Case of the Missing Botticelli: A Massimo Domingo Mystery Buy Links:




Social Media:

Thank you Marilyn for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Marilyn?

A Writing Quest

With the cold days of winter in the rearview mirror and spring taking a firm hold, it's time to look forward to all the reading we want ...