“There are rules. Never to be broken.” Freda looked Ann directly in the eye, and said, “Number one rule— never miss Knitting Club.”
Ann wondered, but not for long, what the consequences of missing a session might be, but Freda broke into her thoughts with, “Deadly consequences.”
Oh, is that all? Ann thought it might be something more serious like you’d be responsible for hosting the next meeting or be forced to eat more of Freda’s cooking.
The look on Freda’s face made Ann realize she was serious, which also made Ann want to burst out laughing. She looked around the circle, but no one was laughing. All heads remained lowered. How can these women take blankets and scarves so seriously? After all, it’s just knitting.
But it wasn’t just knitting. Knitting had very little to do with this knitting club.
“What are the other rules?” Ann wanted to know, since the first one was so pleasant.
Freda sat back down and relaxed her demeanor. “There are but two more.”
Karen, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: This is a great book! Interesting suspense that keeps you guessing until the end! It’s a very different premise that’s a pleasure to read. You’ll also need some cookies to munch on as you read!
Brigitta, Goodreads Contributor, 5⭐: The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. I like cute covers. Couldn’t pass up on the puppy and cookies. When I first started the book I was not sure if I was going to enjoy it. But, then I reached a point where I could not put the book down. I lost some sleep with this book. Yes, we spent the night together. The author kept me engaged, wanting to discover more about this knitting club and their rules. The women each tell a heartfelt story which forms a bond with the reader. The characters are well-formed. The story is written well with a few chuckles. The recipes sound delicious. They are a nice bonus. I definitely recommend this one.
Jeff, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: The Future Diary of Ann Jones is well written and has many levels— romance, mystery, recipes, and humor. Made me smile. The female characters within the knitting circle share their own personal stories that pull at your heart. The action builds to a twist at the end. A good read.
John, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: Recommended by a friend and far afield from my normal interests, The Future Memoir proved well worth my time. Really fun read – perfect for summertime. The “vision” of Ann Jones transports the recent widow to a new town, new friends, and very new experiences. Curiously, her new acquaintances have more in common than pets, socializing together and their own common backgrounds. Coincidence? The book kept me guessing until the surprising twists at the very end. I’m looking forward to Ms. Bailey’s next adventure.
Alex Bailey was a bored writer/editor of documents as monotonous as vacuum cleaner manuals. She left that life behind to create more exciting worlds than the one she lived in. The Future Memoir of Ann Jones is the first book under her assumed identity. She also writes children’s books under the name of Hoot N. Holler. When Alex is not listening to friends reveal wild stories about their future, she tends to her organic garden while belting out show tunes. Alex and her husband started the garden with the intent to donate fresh organic food to their local food bank, and so far, it has been a smashing success. Ironically, Alex does not have the patience to sit still long enough to knit. But, some of her favorite hobbies include: embarrassing her children in public with her rhythmically-challenged dancing, cleaning the small disc around the stopper of the bathroom sink, and dallying.
For the 18+ reader: Strong language and descriptive sex scenes.
Elvie is not only cautious but she’s a workaholic. Winning an all expenses paid Mexican getaway is just the type of vacation she needs to get away from work and escape reality. She craves whimsical romance and adventure. What she gets is far more than she ever imagined in her wildest fantasies. Once on the island, Elvie meets Thad who is both handsome and exotic. She feels an instant attraction to him not realizing just how much her life changed the second she encountered him. Romance takes on an entirely new meaning for Elvie when she becomes intimate not only with Thad, but his best friend, Giann. This is completely outside her normal existence, but at the end of the week, she learns her adventure is just beginning. Now she is flitting among the stars, living a new life, and destined for a new world.
For a time she sat at the table sipping her coffee. Elvie reached up and fingered the diamond settings of her collar and smiled while her thoughts drifted over all that had taken place in such a brief time. Just a few days earlier she had been getting ready for a sad return to the reality of her real estate job and never seeing Thad again. Now she was married to two fantastic men who loved and cherished her. She was onboard a for real spaceship, not the ones from her childhood fantasies, and now she was fliting among the stars. On the way back to their rooms she stopped and activated one of the view screens located in the corridor.
Elvie gazed out at the blackness of space and the millions of pinpoints of light that permeated it. “I’ve really done this,” she whispered to herself. “I’ve consented to leaving Earth to be with these wonderful men. Just as my tattoo says, I’ve truly become a child of the stars. And compared to their age, I really am a child. Leaving Earth to live among the stars isn’t the only thing I’ve consented to. I’ve agreed to be their baby factory.”
Gentle fingertips glided across one of the dimple dermal piercings on her back making her aware she was no longer alone. Moments later Thad’s chin rested on her shoulder. “Good morning, my precious gift,” he said. He embraced her, and his hands moved down along her curves. He laced his fingers together just below her navel and rested them on her lower stomach. “Are you okay?” he asked and brushed his lips to her shoulder.
Her grip around her mug tightened and shivers raced along her spine. “I feel fantastic.”
“Not anymore. I used some of that miracle paste Giann gave me.”
“None. Just feeling a little melancholy about leaving my home forever, but being with the two of you is the only thing that matters to me now.”
“You mean everything to us as well, precious.”
“It’s strange, we’ve only known each other for a few days and yet being separated from either of you has become unthinkable. I’ve come to think of you as my men.”
“That is part of the bonding process we are going through. We are joining in mind just as much as we were physically joined last night. Giann and I, think of you as our woman as well. Speaking of, I see our woman didn’t conceive last night.”
“It will probably take time to get the birth control medicine out of my system.” She laughed. “With the amount of semen you and Giann put in me, I feel certain I’ll get knocked up soon.”
“Good morning,” Giann said in his baritone voice. He pinched her chin between his fingers and turned her head to kiss him. His lips were soft and his face scratchy with a morning growth of beard. Together they were arousing. Everything either of these men do is arousing.
“I’m going to get some coffee,” Giann said. “Do you need some more?” he asked her.
She rested her head back against Thad’s chest while he continued to caress her, stoking the embers inside her again. “Yes please,” she said.
“I’ll bring you a cup as well, Thad,” Giann said and strode away.
When he returned, the trio stood gazing at the display and taking sips. “Where’s Earth now?” she asked.
Giann reached out and twisted a knob located below the screen. The view magnified and narrowed to a smaller section of space. He punched in numbers on a keypad located next to the knob. One of the tiny points of light began to pulse slowly.
“Earth’s sun is hard to see and Earth itself is too small to locate, but that pulsing star is Earth’s sun.”
Elvie gazed at the tiny point of flashing light among the vast number of other points and sighed.
“How about we begin your first flying lesson?” Thad asked to pull her away from her melancholy thoughts.
Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”
He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.
G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Rexx)Nobody is ‘born to write’. I am no exception. I’d never been particularly good with grammar, and had no idea about the more complex rules (I probably still don’t, truth be told). How to write dialogue was beyond me, and I had no idea where to start with plot.
The closest I’d ever come to ‘proper’ writing was when I entered an Interactive Fiction competition in 2004 (IFComp) and wrote a text adventure based on the legend of the origin of Tai Chi. I really enjoyed describing locations and creating puzzles, and I was happy with that, so it never occurred to me to write a novel.
In 2011, I met my partner, Kris. He wasn’t a particular fan of many of the TV programs I enjoyed, but I convinced him to watch a boxset of that 90’s classic, Babylon 5, and he fell in love with it. Around this time, I convinced him to start using a wheelchair because of his disability and, after some strong initial resistance, he took it up and found the wheelchair liberating. In 2012, I started a new job at a software development company that focused on behaviourism, and while working there I realised that I could *learn* to write. It was just a skill other people learn, after all.
By 2013, Prompted by my love of Babylon 5 and games like Mass Effect, I had started making notes. Kris provided the inspiration for several character notes and plot points; I was desperate to write something scifi that involved a wheelchair, but didn’t ‘fix’ disability. Once I’d convinced myself I’d got enough notes to start forming a plot of sorts, I started reading books about the various components of writing and finally put pen to paper / fingers to keyboard. At this point, Kris started training to be a fitness instructor, so I used the time while he did his courses to begin writing.
Come the end of 2013, I’d completed the first draft of Synthesis:Weave. It was another year of editing (and seven more drafts) before I handed it over to my editor and subsequently rushed to publish it. Now, years later, and after having written the sequel, I regretted that decision and went back to tear it down in a rewrite, which has now been published as a second edition in August 2018.
(Kam) I’ve read many backstories and I find yours to be one of the most intriguing ones I’ve read. As for Babylon 5: I’m more of a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” kind of gal. I love Picard! BTW: Kris, in the photo above, is an inspiration to all who think that something is impossible. There’s no shame in trying. If you fail, that’s ok, at least you tried.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Rexx) For me, writer’s block seems to come about because of two things that actually have the same cause: lack of information.
I’ll get stuck because I’ve not thought of some way for characters to get out of/into a situation, or not enough backstory. I’ll also find myself paralysed when I don’t know where the plot should go next – usually because it could go in far too many directions. Both of these are down to not having a vital piece of information – be that something I need to think of in backstory, or some way of limiting what can happen next.
I’m a plotter, although I don’t go to such depth as planning chapters and scenes. Instead, I plan ‘waypoints’ – information I want to relay to the reader, significant events I want to happen, problems that can occur, and occasionally fully-written scenes I want to insert. I don’t necessarily know the order of these when I write them, so once I’ve got enough I’ll go through and group them into themes which often end up representing the start, early middle, late middle and ending of the book’s plot.
I start writing and then see where each of these points leads, so getting stuck is a consequence of not having the right piece of the puzzle to put in next to continue the flow. It can sometimes be remedied by writing on paper instead of using a keyboard; the medium forces me to go forwards without being able to stop and edit what I’ve put down. Other times, prompting myself about the problem before driving to work or doing some other menial task will mean I suddenly have an idea when I’m not expecting it.
Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?
(Rexx)I currently write science fiction, although I like to veer slightly off-genre to mix things up a little. Only recently, I discovered that my work falls into ‘solarpunk’. While I will read dystopian, I wouldn’t want to write it and prefer upbeat/optimistic scifi.
When I’m not writing or doing my day job (as a systems developer), I like to play computer games. I don’t spend as much time reading as I probably should, but I do read to my partner before bed, so I guess that counts.
I’ve been in a group of RPG players for just over 10 years now, and we play 3rd edition D&D – although it took them nine years to convince me to have a go at running the game myself. They enjoyed it, and I recently convinced them to give Traveller (scifi rpg) a go. I think playing D&D has fed back into my writing and given me a way to understand the characters I write and get into their heads. Similarly, writing has furnished me with the tools to make up my own adventures and encounters with greater ease.
(Kam) I’ve played D&D once in my life. My husband introduced me to it because he spent so much time playing it in his youth. He hoped I would love it too but I didn’t. Guess I’ll stick with Yahtzee, Uno, and Scrabble.
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Rexx) If I think people might be interested in scifi, I’ll mention my novel(s). I’m actually more proud of the fact that I write than of the work I do every day, simply because it’s easier to talk to people about writing than it is to explain the technicalities of my day job.
My relatives and friends are proud of my writing (or so they say), but at times it’s a delicate balance to keep from getting obsessed with writing and have it getting in the way of my relationship with my partner.
Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Rexx) I’ve read mostly ‘classic’ scifi and fantasy authors, and very few contemporaries, hence my skewed favourites.
Ursula Le Guin
Arthur C Clarke
Alan Dean Foster
(Kam) Some of these names are not familiar to me. For that, I say thank you. I love being introduced to new authors/reading material.
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?
(Rexx) I’m going to be self-indulgent. I want to see Synthesis:Weave on screen. I wrote it to feel like a movie.
Bill Nighy (the British actor, not the science guy) as a particular enigmatic figure.
Rachel Weisz as Monica Stephens
Tom Hiddleston or James McAvoy as Sebastian
Bryce Dallas Howard as Sebastian’s sister, Janyce.
Emily Blunt as Karan
Ben Cross as Agent Gladrin (I had him in mind when writing the character)
A genuine amputee (double or otherwise) to play Aryx. Favouring Kurt Yaeger, although there are several paralympians who would suit, if they could act!
The laws of physics are about to change …
A tsunami on a space station. An explosion with no trace of the bomber.
Cyber-security expert Sebastian knows evidence doesn’t magically disappear, yet when he and his colleague Aryx, a disabled ex-marine, travel the galaxy to find the cause, there seems to be no other explanation.
Can they unravel the mystery before his family, home, and an entire race succumbs to an ancient foe?
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Rexx) I’ve finished the sequel to Synthesis:Weave, and at this time I’m working on the cover for that, along with plotting the final book in the trilogy. I’ve also got ideas for an unrelated mild scifi set on present-day Earth, which I want to centre on a female character – it’s going to have a completely different feel to anything I’ve written so far.
Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?
(Rexx) Ebooks are available on Kindle, Kobo, Google play and Nook (all DRM free, so you can read it on any of the devices you own, regardless of which platform you purchase it from). Paperback and hardback formats are also available.
The preferred reading order is the order in which they were written. Synthesis:Weave was written first, followed by the short story prequel, Synthesis:Pioneer, which, when read after S:W, gives the ‘oh, so that’s what they meant!’ factor.
Synthesis:Weave 2, Afterglow is due out in March 2019, and follows immediately on from Synthesis:Weave.
When Calendula accepted the post of linguist aboard the Fluorescent Lightingale, she felt as though she’d been accepted as a token crew member. Little did she know what pivotal role she would play in Earth’s future.
Please note, Synthesis:Pioneer is a prequel short story to the Synthesis novel series only, and not a full-length novel.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Rexx) By contact form on rexxdeane.com, or on Twitter @RexxDeane – I don’t tend to use Facebook much now and have been distancing myself from that platform, although I do have a page there.
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Rexx)I would like readers (and perhaps writers) to remember that just because a book has a character with a disability, it’s important not to make the disability the focus of the book. Disabled people just want to get on with their lives, and quite often get sick of being lectured or constantly presented with books that say they should behave a certain way. To be presented realistically, disabled characters should be the same. Just have them “get on with it,” and readers will love your book for it.
Your final comments (Q10) are absolutely true. People don’t want to be seen for what they can’t do but praised for the things they’ve accomplished. Disabled or not, we are all capable of truly amazing feats.
I want to thank Rexx for sitting down with me today. I also want to thank everyone who’s reading this and decides to share, comment, or purchase Synthesis: Weave and/or Synthesis: Pioneer. Remember, reviews are helpful to authors. They love them. I’m sure Rexx especially loved the ones posted to Goodreads.(See below)
Chris B. (Synthesis:Weave), 5⭐: A Scifi story that keeps you gripped from beginning to end, with many twists & turns, a must read for all Scifi fans, it’s an excellent read, looking forward to a second book in the future 🙂
Alastair (Synthesis: Weave), 5⭐: I read this, and I liked it. Full of inventive ideas, spaceships, aliens and mystery. What’s not to like?
Rose E. (Synthesis: Pioneer), 5⭐: This is a very short SciFi story about 30 minutes of reading in which we get an introduction to ‘The Synthesis Series’, and a brief insight into the very varied crew on board the ‘Fluorescent Lightingale’.
This tale centres around the linguist aboard who goes by the name ofCalendula a talented young woman who uses all her senses. I particularly like how the author describes what she smells and hears upon boarding the ship.
I really do not wish to say more otherwise the story may be spoiled, but I do know that I will be moving the main story up my reading list.
(Kam) Yes, I know the last review had a typing error but I didn’t think it was appropriate to change it. It’s their review, not mine. Plus, I don’t think the error undermines the love Rose had for the story. 😛
She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…
After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold.
An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart.
Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Time travel stories and movies capture viewers’ interest because many of us have pondered when and where we would go, if given the opportunity. I myself have considered, many times over, whom I would like to meet.
In Between The Shadows, Casi McLean takes us back in time to the Civil War era. There, readers are thrust into one suspenseful moment after another while York and Kenzi attempt to save a woman’s life without altering the present.
That’s the real issue with time traveling… you can’t alter history. York took steps to make sure history was left intact. (For you history buffs, you’ll be pleased to know the missing Confederate gold is the main focal point in the plot and Casi addresses it again before we reach The End.)
Whether you are traveling to the past or coming to the present, the experience can be overwhelming. On the trip to the present, this is where Casi does a fantastic job of showing how our simple luxuries can be confusing to a person.
Suspense, love, bit of history, couple surprise moments, and a HEA……. All of these combine to make a story readers will want to relive time and time again.
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.
Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
A Norman loyalist, Lady Jocelyn bristles when ordered to marry Wulfstan, a Saxon sorcerer. She nurses a painful secret and would rather bathe in a cesspit than be pawed by such a man…until her lifelong dream of motherhood rears its head.
A man of magic and mystery, Wulfstan has no time for wedded bliss. He fears that consummating their marriage will bind their souls and wrench his focus from the ancient riddle his dying mother begged him to solve. He’s a lone wolf, salving old wounds with endless work. But Jocelyn stirs him as no woman ever has.
Their attraction is undeniable. Their fates are intertwined. Together, they must face their demons and bring light to a troubled land.
Wulfstan’s expression shifted faster than the midnight clouds. “Why are you here?” he asked in a low, tight voice.
Keeping her distance, Jocelyn eyed the wolf behind him and willed her voice to sound calm. “Why do you think?”
Wulfstan’s eyes were like ice. “I think…that you’re spying on me.”
She held his wintry gaze. “Then you think rightly.”
“What? No denial? No protestations of innocence?”
“Would you have me lie?”
He clenched his fists. “No.”
“Then you cannot—”
“Nor would I have you pound your pestle into my private affairs.”
Heat swept through her. “Pray, what affairs have you that are not private?”
“I’ve given you a free hand with the servants and the keep. What more do you want?”
The wolf turned away and padded toward the forest. Her courage doubled. “More.”
Her mind made up, she strode past Wulfstan and approached Woden’s Stair. She raised her foot above the first step.
“Stay!” he shouted above the wind.
She stopped short and turned to him. “Are you addressing me?”
He tore his gaze from the forest and settled it on her. “No. The wolf.” With powerful strides, he bridged the gap between them.
Her stomach quivered. He stood but a foot away. “Good,” she croaked. Then she cleared her throat. “For a moment, I thought you ordered me to stay, as you would order a dog.”
Humor softened his features. “Now there’s an idea. I must say, it does have a certain appeal.”
“A dog can be trained to please its master, but the master also enjoys pleasing the dog. Some hounds are spoiled, in fact.”
She frowned. Something in his tone was…suggestive. “Were I a bitch, I would not be so easily managed.”
He grinned. “That I believe. And I know you’re no animal to be trained. You’re a strong woman with a mind of your own. But even the strong-willed like to be pampered. Wouldn’t you like it?”
“I…I wouldn’t mind being pampered.”
“And pleasured?” His hair looked like spun starlight.
She stepped backward, and the heel of her boot met stone. Flustered, she clambered onto the step.
Wulfstan’s demeanor darkened. “Get down from there.” His large hands invaded her mantle and encircled her waist.
She wriggled free of his hands and backed onto the second step.
He crossed his arms. “Didn’t you hear me? Come down. That’s an order.”
Her body heat flared anew, and she climbed three steps higher. “I heard you, but I’ll not play the bitch to any man.”
“This isn’t a game.”
“No? What would you do if I ran all the way to the top?”
His words, exactly measured, were a promise. “I would stop you.”
“You could try.” She whirled around and started upward.
He grabbed her from behind and hoisted her several inches off the stairs. She struggled and kicked, and her left foot connected with his flesh.
“Woden’s blood!” He hauled her away from the stairs and planted her on the ground.
She twisted in his arms to face him. “Your nerve is unparalleled.”
His face was mere inches from hers. “Trust me, it bows to yours.”
“You’ve a clever tongue, my lord.” The hard, hot length of his body pressed against her.
His eyes were now dark and inviting. Expectant. “Would you care to see how clever?”
Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and Shadow of the Swan are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.