Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet "Pages from the Past" Author JoAnn Arnold

I think it's fascinating when authors reveal where their story ideas come from, and my guest today was inspired by a piece of American history. JoAnn Arnold is the author of "Pages from the Past." Welcome, JoAnn!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

When I was a little girl I loved to pretend. I think that pretending feeds the imagination allowing you to take the next step. It’s then you find what you want to be.

My first attempt at writing was Roadshow scripts. Then I moved on to writing children’s musicals for the elementary school in Orangeville, where we lived. My first experience in writing a book was as a ghost writer. That made me want to write my own novels.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

I have to say that all my books are my favorites. They each tell their own story. The book I want to talk about today is, “Pages From the Past” It is a story of Patriotic bravery in the high tech world. Two of the main characters in this book are a Golden Retriever named Dorado, 80-year-old Elmira Redding, and her daughter, Betsy, whose husband passed away suddenly. Thus begins the mystery and the adventure that takes them on a path they hadn’t imagined.

What inspired you to write this book?

I read a book on the constitution and I learned that when the signers of the Declaration of Independence had everything in place to introduce their work to the people, they called patriotic men to watch over the constitution, calling them ‘the Watchers of the Constitution.’ The Watchers responsibility was to prevent the constitution from being misinterpreted in any way or to be stepped on.  I thought to myself; if there were watchers back then, maybe there are watchers still today. This was my inspiration.

How would you describe your writing process?

I get an idea then let it grow until I can see a story forming. I don’t outline too often, mostly I let the characters tell the story and I do my best to keep up with them.

How have you marketed your book?

Cedar Fort is my Publisher. They help to get it out in the stores. Many online stores carry my books and I do giveaways on Goodreads. I have done several book signings at Seagull Book and Tape. The SG&T and St. George has been very pleasant to work with. Readers can also buy directly from cedar Fort or they can buy directly from me.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I would tell them if they want to be an author, go for it and never give up. Pres. Monson put it this way, “Fear not, the future is as bright as your faith.” I might add that we learn the greatest lessons from ourselves. We teach ourselves courage or fear. We decide how badly we want to become what is in our heart.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

Betsy catches her mother with a deep-cleaning facial peel on her face and the conversation covers the reason why she has it on her face.

“I’m doing it as a favor for my beautician. Before she recommends it to any of her other customers, she wants me to test it.” Betsy explains after a full discussion.

“And why you?”

“Because I have the perfect face to try it on: old and wrinkled.”

“Oh, Mother, really. I thought you said that wrinkles are a sign of great wisdom.”

“They are, dear. But we don’t need to strut them in public. It’s best to keep a low profile.”

Even though Betsy is deeply involved in the mystery, she adds humor and wisdom throughout the book. When she wants everyone to pay close attention to what she has to say, she says, “I can’t quote scripture or verse, but what I’m about to tell you goes something like this.”

Where can readers find you and your book?

They can go on-line to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other on-line book stores. They can buy them through Cedar Or, they can buy them directly from me at

Thank you, Kathy for reviewing “Pages from the Past.” I truly appreciate it.

Thanks, JoAnn! It's been a joy learning more about you and your book. I look forward to reading it!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Author School Visit: Why Writing a Book is Like Cooking

Last week I had the privilege of conducting my first school visit as an author! My son's second grade class read "Tall Tales with Mr. K" and the teacher asked me to come speak to the students. Of course, I was delighted! But I wasn't sure how to structure the visit. What do I talk about other than the book? I did a quick Google search and didn't come up with much. So, I just had to figure out my own plan.

The teacher said I'd have 30 minutes during the class writing time. I decided to divide it up into 10 minutes segments: have a discussion the first 10 minutes; answer questions the next 10 minutes then have the students do a short writing assignment the last 10 minutes. That way, I really only had to plan the first 10 minutes. I didn't want to just talk about the book; I wanted to give the kids something they could relate to. After some thought, I chose the theme "Why Writing a Book is Like Cooking."

1. The first thing you need to do when cooking is decide what to make. The kids had fun sharing their favorite foods to cook and eat. I explained that authors do the same thing when writing a book; They decide what to write about. I shared with them how I came up with the idea for "Tall Tales with Mr. K."

2. The second thing you need when cooking is ingredients. Some recipes are simple, like cereal, which requires only cereal and milk. Other recipes require more ingredients, like baking a cake. I explained the ingredients in a book are the settings and characters. Some books have a few characters and others have many. I went on by explaining that often you have to mix ingredients together. In a fiction novel, "mixing" ingredients is like combining things that can happen in real life with things that are made up. I also told the kids that when I invent characters for my books, I take the names of people I know and change them around, or mix them up to invent new names. (The kids thought that was pretty funny and offered their own ideas for character names.)

3.  The last thing you need to do when cooking is actually bake the food. For a book, the last thing you do is write it. This involves creating a beginning, middle and ending. (This tied in nicely because the class had practiced writing beginnings, middles and endings earlier in the year). I also included that books can be as short or as long as you like. The important thing is that they include all the ingredients and to make sure it's completely done baking.

At the end of the 10 minute discussion I did a quick review and asked the kids what the three things were you need to write a book. They easily remembered all of them! The next 10 minutes I let them ask questions. Twenty hands went up in the air at once and bombarded me for the entire 10 minutes! Surprisingly, most of their questions had to do with the publishing process. "How do you make a cover?" "How do you get a book printed?" "Where do you sell your books?" Their enthusiasm was overwhelming!

For the last 10 minutes I had the kids return to their desks and gave them a writing assignment. In each chapter of "Tall Tales with Mr. K" a different student has an adventure in the teacher's lounge. I asked the kids to write one or two sentences describing an adventure they'd like to have in the teacher's lounge. Answers ranged from having the teacher's lounge turn into Disneyland to having it turn into a castle with a dragon where you could take dragon riding lessons. These were some creative kids!

The visit went great and I had a blast! I was really impressed with these second-graders. But the best part was hearing 20 students tell me how much they enjoyed reading my book and asking when the sequel was going to be available! Now that I have 20 suggestions for new adventures in the teacher's lounge, I think my next book just might have to be titled, "Taller Tales with Mr. K!"

If you have experiences with school visits you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meet Barbara Bockman Author of WOUNDS

Today I welcome Barbara Bockman, author of WOUNDS available from Muse It Up Publishing. Barbara is giving away a free pdf copy of WOUNDS to one lucky person who leaves a comment! Welcome, Barbara!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

 Hi Kathy. Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog. I think I have considered myself an author since about age 13. But I was too shy to do much about it for many years. Finally, after seeing the ad for the Institute of Children’s Literature in magazines, I took the plunge and signed up for the basic course. I felt it was a good company to go with because the Dean of Faculty, Alvin Tresselt, was the author of a Caldecott Honor book, Hide and Seek Fog, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin. After having several stories and poems published in children’s magazines, I decided to go for a novel.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

One of my favorite books is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. I am drawn to historical fiction, and this is one of the best stories about life in Puritan New England in the late 1600s. The romance and mystery blend perfectly with the everyday life and religious and social mores of the time.

What inspired you to write this book?

 I was inspired to write Wounds by an incident that happened near my home. Someone attacked a 500 year old oak tree with a chain saw. I was appalled by the maliciousness of the action. At first, I started to write a short story about the tree, but as I learned more about middle grade fiction, I realized I needed to write about a youngster and just have the tree as an element in the story. It’s not a piece of cake being a teenager, and I had no trouble working out a motive for the vandal’s actions. The boy in my story becomes an outcast because of his bad behavior. I did a lot of research, such as visiting the Division of Family and Children office. I  hope my book will show young readers that they can overcome their worst impulses, even if they have done something socially unacceptable.

How would you describe your writing process?

I love it when I have large blocks of time in which to really get into whatever I’m working on. I read some of what I’ve previously written to get back into the frame of mind I was in when I cut off. And then I’m totally involved; nothing around distracts me when I’m deep inside the world of the story. I see what the characters see and feel what they feel. My only hope is that I can convey all that to the reader.

How have you marketed your book?

 I belong to several online sites, such as, The Blogging Mastermind Comment Tribe and LinkedIn, and  of course, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve met with the school district curriculum coordinator to set up book talks in the local middle schools. My daughter is helping me create posters and visuals. I have a blog and I’ve been a guest on several blogs.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I would advise other authors along the same lines as the advice I’ve received from established authors: write the kind of books you love to read; write about what moves you; continue to learn about writing and the publishing business; believe in yourself; never give up.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

(In this excerpt, “Siegfried” is the dog and Craig, the protagonist).

The next Saturday, K’BeTs gathered in the Ark kitchen to brainstorm about their fund raiser. The officers acted as team leaders and formed groups with three other club members and started pitching out ideas. Each team hoped to come up with the best proposal.
            Craig was sitting in front of the TV in the living room. He couldn’t concentrate for straining to hear the voices in the kitchen. Siegfried stationed himself beside Craig.
            Craig felt left-out and it hurt. That was his tree! He sat fuming. When Mrs. Ark came into the living room with a feather duster, she said, in a fake French accent, “Mees-sure, do you mind eff I dust zeez objects d’art?”
            He could tell she wanted to distract him. He made an attempt to accept her friendship. “Go right ahead, Ma-dame.”
            The “objects d’art” in question were the Noah’s arks. Craig admired each item of the colorful and varied collection. I wish my mom had had something pretty, he thought.
            He could think about his mom a little now without much pain. Her curly brown hair that she had a hard time controlling in the Florida humidity. Her big green eyes. Sometimes Julia pushed Charlie into this job or that scheme, but he never held a job for long. Craig remembered how his dad liked to go out with “the boys” and carouse a little. He liked to drink a little. The drinking made it even harder to get a good job.        
            Finally, Julia persuaded Charlie to try his hand at roofing, a job he had irregular experience with. The bank wouldn’t give him a loan, but Bentley Ark did. It went well for a while. Charlie stayed sober. They were about to make it. There was no health insurance because Julia was saving money to buy . . . . Craig’s thoughts were treading into a forbidden area. This was more painful than thoughts about the tree. He forced himself to smile at Mrs. Ark and make  pleasant comments about her collection.
            Before Craig had time to delve into self-pity again, Carson brought her group into the living room. “The teams are scattering because it got too noisy in the kitchen,” she said. “Is it all right if we come in here?”
            “Why, certainly,” Mrs. Ark said and left with her duster.
            Craig clicked off the television and got up to leave with Siegfried following.
            “Why don’t you stay and help us, Craig?” said Carson. “We could use some more brain power.” She looked at Mark and Norma Faith and Chan as if to dare them to dispute her.
            They didn’t. They nodded and mumbled, “Yeah, stay, Craig.”
            He hesitated then decided to stay. He wanted to be a part of the group and Carson was reaching out a hand in friendship. “Okay,” he said. Since Craig returned to his seat, Siegfried returned also, with his front half sitting beside Craig and his back half standing up. “You’re ridiculous, Siegfried,” said Carson. Everyone laughed and the atmosphere in the room seemed friendly.
            “Whatever we come up with,” said Carson, slipping smoothly into the role of team leader, “had better be big. We can ask other people for help. I know for certain that my mother’s business will pitch in.”
            “My dad’s Sunday School class will help, I bet,” said Mark. Mark was a muscular boy with a shock of red hair who was never without a basketball ball. He twirled one on his finger during the meeting.
            Norma Faith was the first with a suggestion. Twisting her hair around a scrunchy, she said, “Okay. I was thinking about a dog show. We take our poodle to dog shows, and it’s expensive to enter. We could charge a lot. Everybody has a dog.”
            “Not everybody,” said Chan. “But lots of people have pets. It doesn’t have to be just dogs. James has rabbits and Nelson has Siegfried. I have a guinea pig. Her name is Tundra.”
            “A pet show is not big enough,” said Carson. “But it’s a good suggestion,” she added, when Norma Faith’s face turned red. “I’ll write that down. It’s a good start.”
            “The weather’s too cold for a dog wash or a car wash,” said Mark. “They’re always fun.”
            Craig cleared his throat, “Huh.” He was going to jump in. “How about a bake sale?” he
ventured. He had seen bake sales in front of the Food Lion.
            Carson smiled at him across the coffee table and across the gulf of exclusion. Then she gently nixed his idea. “The Girl Scouts are selling cookies and the School Patrols are selling candy for their trip to Washington. I don’t think a bake sale would go over right now. We need something totally different.”
            “I know,” said Mark. “How about a chili cook-off?”
            “Just chili?” asked Carson, wrinkling her nose.
            “I wish we could do them all,” whined Norma Faith, and pulled the scrunchy out of her hair.
            Craig thought the way Carson tilted her head was cute. Then she surprised him by shouting,
“Well, why don’t we!”
            She raised her arms into the air as if to embrace all the good ideas. “We could have a carnival in the school gym.”
            “And we could include whatever the other teams have come up with, too,” Mark said. 
            “Let’s go and see what they think about it.” Carson jumped up and lead the way to the kitchen. “I think it should be a winter carnival. We can rent a snow machine and everything.”
            Craig lagged back. It was nice while it lasted, but he didn’t think the rest of the group would want him to butt in. And besides, Craig was expecting Mrs. Dayton. Every week, she advised him to be patient; his life would return to normal, eventually. Eventually. At the time he had not believed her. But after today--with Carson--maybe she was right.

Where can readers find you and your book?

I would love for your readers to visit my blog, Stories a la Mode at
My book is available through my publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, at

I would like to offer a PDF copy of Wounds to one of your readers who leaves a comment.

Thanks again, Kathy, for having me on your blog. I’m looking forward to having you visit mine, too.

Thank you, Barbara! And don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a free pdf copy of WOUNDS!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Guest Post: Tips for Strengthening Your Writing Core with Rochelle Melander

Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor. —Joseph Pilates

A few years ago, I injured my lower back. My physical therapist told me I would need to strengthen my core to relieve the pain and prevent future problems. She taught me a number of Pilates exercises that I still do regularly. When I skip my core-strengthening exercises, my back twinges.

Writing is no different. When I experience writer’s block, I know it is because I have skipped the practices that strengthen my writer’s core. When I succeed at writing, I know it is because I have attended to my core, and I am writing from my strengths. Here are the practices that I use to strengthen my writing core. Perhaps they will support you as well.

1. Reading. Successful writers read widely. Reading opens you up to new ideas, teaches you how to develop a story, and inspires you to write your own stories. Madeleine L’Engle got the nuggets of some of her best novel ideas by reading books on particle physics. Many mystery writers credit magazine or newspaper stories for providing the ideas behind the crime puzzles they craft. In the midst of writing my last book, I studied like a college student at night—reading up on my topic so that I would approach the blank page with more information.

2. Writing practice. Writing practice can be anything from dashing off your three morning pages to composing a daily haiku to doing a writing exercise. Writing practice differs from your daily writing work in that it is not necessarily designed to be productive. In other words, writing practice allows you time to write with the door shut. This is essential for building your writing muscles.

3. Walking. So much research exists on the connection between walking and our brains that any writer would be a fool not to take a daily walk. Walking drives oxygen to our brains and helps us to think better. Walking in nature will reset our directed attention span—something we need to write but that we deplete fairly easily during a typical day of writing or work. Finally, walking gives us time away from our desks to think and dream, time that every writer needs.

Now it’s your turn. The practices that strengthen and support you as a writer will be unique to you. You can discover your core practices by reflecting back on a successful writing experience. Ask yourself, “What practices made it possible to finish that project?” Once you have a list, commit to strengthening your writing core every single day!

Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is a certified professional coach, a popular speaker, and the author of ten books including, Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). Melander teaches professionals how to write fast, get published, establish credibility and navigate the new world of social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at and sign up to be a member of her Write Now! Mastermind class for professionals at

Thanks for the great tips, Rochelle! Point number three is interesting--I actually get a lot of my writing ideas while I'm scurrying around cleaning the house! If you have any tips you find helpful, feel free to leave a comment!

--KSR Writer

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Meet Fiction Author Pat Dale

Today I'm happy to introduce another fellow Muse It Up Publishing author, Pat Dale. His book "The Evil Within" just released last week, and he's here to tell us about it. Welcome, Pat!

Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.

It started when I was in college. I was a music major with a minor in English and my English profs tried to convince me to pursue fiction writing. I loved music and ignored them. Later, I’d get an idea for a story from time to time, but never follow through. Finally, after I retired from teaching, I started writing one day and, three months later, had a hundred thirty word novel all but done. I’ve been writing ever since.

What is one of your favorite books and why?

My latest novel, THE EVIL WITHIN, is among my favorites. In it, I attempted to write a gritty, no holds barred, story in a way I envision John Steinbeck or Ernest Hemmingway might if they were alive and writing today.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always been fascinated by the constant battle between evil and good, and wanted to put a good man in position to see that even he had a streak of evil inside him. I set the novel in my own home stomping grounds, in a location I know well. Not a happy story, but one that tells a story of a man back from war, suffering from PTSD, and looking for a little peace and quiet. What he found was anything but that.

How would you describe your writing process?

I’m laughing here. Basically, I put my butt in the chair and write. Evil was written originally as a NaNoWriMo project and was done in thirty days. Add words every day for a month without going back to edit or looking ahead to plan. After letting it sit for a month I went back and found that I had written pretty much a decent book. Of course, that’s just the first part of my writing process. I rewrite and edit a book within an inch of its existence before bothering my publishers or editors with it. And I’ve learned that, when I think it is done, it isn’t. Lay it aside for a few days and go back at it. After two or three more run-throughs, it will tell you when it is done.

How have you marketed your book?

It released on January 27th, 2012, so I’m just beginning to market it. I put it on the various online groups I belong to. I’ll send out a press release here in my hometown, and visit the bookstore (if it hasn’t closed yet). Oh, and I’ll drop by our libraries to see if they will carry it there. Two of my earlier novels are there and, I’m told, being read by our local population. I love that. Beyond that, I hope to build a little war chest to purchase sophisticated promotion in the near future.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Read. Read some more, and then do it again. You won’t copy other authors’ styles, but you will begin to recognize your own as it emerges. If you truly are an author, your voice will develop over time. Don’t rush it. Our technical devices make writing easy these days, but that will not accelerate our ability to write cohesive long forms. That takes time, and is well worth the patience it takes to enjoy the journey. If you’re going to be a novelist, remember that a full length novel is not a series of novellas stacked up. The long form requires additional sub-plot development, more interaction between characters, and a host of technical details only a novelist will be able to do.

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

Adam climbed into his truck, smiling at his recollection of times past. Maybe it would be good to get back here where he belonged. Time would tell. He slammed into gear and headed around the mountain toward home. Dust swirled up, a rooster tail behind him as he flew down the gravel road, swerving from time to time to avoid little dips and bumps that had been forged into a permanent slalom course on this long-traveled road.

Just like the people. Peaks and valleys, but all of like origin. And that’s what I’m made of, just like my dad and his dad. That’s why living here should be my first choice.

Edward was sitting on the porch when he pulled up in the drive. He got to his feet and smiled. “Howdy, son. You always go that fast down this road?”

“Don’t know about fast. I was just thinking about things. What makes you think I was going fast?”

“I could tell by the dust storm rolling along behind you. We can always tell if our visitors are upset before they get to the house. Little dust, they’re happy. Big storm cloud, they’re mad as hell. Nothing in between.” He laughed at Adam’s surprised expression.

“Ozark philosophy, huh? Makes sense.”

“Thought it might. So what’re you angry about?”

“I’m not angry.”

“Well, not in so many words. But something has you riled up.”

He chuckled. “Now you’re guessing. Saw Hank in town. He wanted me to come in so he could beat my butt at the pool table again.”

“That pissed you off?”

“Naw. Made me laugh. I think I can beat him now. We had a pool table in our day room and I got a lot of practice in. But don’t let on if you see him. This is going to be a long-awaited sneak attack.”

Edward laughed. “’Bout time, too. Hank’s a good guy but cocky. That boy’s cocky as hell.”

“Dad, you said earlier we need a good old-fashioned talk. I think I’m ready for it now, if you’re still of a mind.”

“That I am, Adam. That I am. You know I love you. And your mama loved you, too. Makes me want to cry, she isn’t here to welcome you home.”

“Me, too, Dad. I miss Mom something awful.”

“Yeah, we all do. And I’m sure she’s up there in heaven smiling down on you right now as we speak.”

“I’m not so sure she’s smiling, but it makes me feel good to think so.”

Edward went back to his favorite rocking chair on the porch and pointed to the one next to him. “Sit and we’ll talk for a spell. Sarah’s fixing dinner but I reckon it’ll be a while before its ready.”

“That’s okay. I had a burger at the café and I’m not hungry right now anyhow.”

“Son, you know your Uncle Ernie and I were in the Army back in the sixties. We got sent to ‘Nam. At the same time in the same unit, but we were in different patrols.”

“Yes sir, I knew that.”

“Well, what you didn’t know and still don’t is, both of us got shot up in one battle. Shot up real bad. They thought neither of us would make it home alive. We were ambushed, something like what happened to you.”

“You’re right. I didn’t know that. You guys get purple hearts?”

“Yep. Mine’s in the bottom of my sock drawer. Don’t know where Ernie keeps his but he’s got it. Funny, I always thought it would be neat to have one of those things. Figured I’d wear it on my chest and be proud of it. Not that I’m ashamed. But after what happened, I mostly wanted to forget why I got the damn thing in the first place. Know what I mean?”

“I sure as hell do. Dad, all I can think about when I look at that thing of mine is how my buddies got blown to hell. And how I’m still alive. I feel guilty as sin.”

“That’s what I figured. You’re alive and they’re dead and it’s not fair. That about it? That and the fact you didn’t blow every son of a scum to hell getting even?”

“You got it. I didn’t say anything because I figured nobody would understand.”

“Can’t blame you for that, boy. Can’t blame you for that. But what we got to talk about is, you did come home. Alive. And you’re safe. Your buds are up there somewhere too, like your mom, smiling down on us. There wasn’t a damn thing you could do to save them, so they don’t blame you at all. If you could have, you’d a died over there getting even for them. Maybe died in their place if you could’ve.

“One good reason they sent you home, son. Revenge is not the Army way, at least not on a personal basis. Makes for some good battlefield heroism, but doesn’t get the job done in the larger picture.”

“So, what are you getting at?”

“If you go back, you got to put that shit behind you and act like it never happened; like you’re there for the first time. Otherwise, you’ll come back in a body bag in a few weeks. They know it and I know it and it’s high time you got around to dealing with it.

“I’m not saying don’t go back, boy. Just that, if you do, I want you there for the right reasons and not for revenge. You okay with that?”

“Damn straight. I know I can’t go back for revenge, Dad. The only thing I can do is keep up the good fight for God and country.” He paused. “Crap! That sounds like some kind of corny recruiting bullshit.”

Edward laughed. “You got that right. But corny or not, it’s on the mark. Now, speaking of on the mark, I want to talk to you about something else.

“If you’re going back over there, I’ll need to begin grooming your brother to take over the mill. I’d always figured we’d follow tradition and put you in charge. Now don’t go thinking I want to push you out of the way. You’re the oldest and rightfully deserve to become the boss.”

“Dad, I don’t think I want to talk about mill business right now.”

“I know but I’ve got to make a decision and it can’t wait much longer. I’m getting older, whether you’ve noticed or not, and with my game leg I can’t hold off too long. The lumber business is pretty doggone complex. Takes some time to learn what we have to do to compete with the big boys out west and down south. So far, our Ozark lumber’s been doing pretty well but that could change. Can’t let up for a minute, let alone a year or two. We have to be ready.”

“I understand. Well, I should be able to make my decision in the next few weeks on going back. That soon enough for you?”

“Yep. Plenty soon. I just wanted you to know we understand what you’re going through. And we’ll back you, whatever you decide.”

The sudden absence of sound startled Adam. When he’d come up to the house he hadn’t even noticed the constant whine from the saw mill, located a half mile down the road. Thinking back, he realized it was a sound he’d grown up with. The whine of saw blades, the blast of trucks backfiring, the crack of hunters shooting at game, all echoed through the erosion-carved natural hollow the Watsons had built this home in. “Must be quitting time at the mill.”

“Yep. Five on the dot. Start up at seven and quit at five, been doing it for longer than I’ve been alive.

      He smiled. “That’s downright poetic.”


      The not so poetic sound of motorcycles interrupted their moment of peace. As he and Edward watched, four bikers roared past, kicking up gravel and dust. The same four from the café, he noted.

      “Wonder what the hell they’re doing way out here?”

      “They were in the café while I was there. Probably lost and looking for a highway to take them back to civilization.”

“Well, they won’t find it that way. Road dead-ends just beyond the mill. Reckon some of the boys’ll set ‘em straight on that. Hold your ears, son. They’ll be roaring back by here any time now.”

“I hope.”

“You have trouble with ‘em?”

“Not me. Kelly Samples.”

“The new girl down to the café? Hell, she’s too damn young to get into trouble with creeps like that.”

“Maybe not as young as you think, Dad, but I didn’t mean it that way. They were kind of gross the way they talked to her and around her. One of them slapped her on the butt. Scared the hell out of her. I kept my mouth shut but it wasn’t easy.”

“Just as well. Those guys look like they’d be pretty tough to handle.”

“Came down to it, I could hold my own with the likes of them,” he muttered.

“I’ll just bet you could, Adam. I’ll just bet you could.”

Where can readers find you and your book?

THE EVIL WITHIN is available at: go to author page for Pat Dale and you’ll find it and my other Muse books. Caution: This adults only book contains graphic violence and sex, including rape and murder.

Thanks, Pat! Your book sounds like a gripping read--great character voice, too! I appreciate you joining me today!

--KSR Writer