New Stories and Updates

Good Morning.

I’m hopeful with Spring having arrived just the other day, we will be free from snowy and cold weather.  It hasn’t felt like Spring yet.  Since “Love Will Lead You Back” was posted, I’ve not been idle.  I’ve been working on two stories which are part of an overall series that I’ll be posting soon.  I have one story completed which is being edited now, and another about half finished.

Both of these new stories are part of a theme surrounding Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  There is bleed over of characters between the stories, but the stories will remain standalone. All of my personal favorite haunts are included in the stories, which I believe leads to more realistic scenes and settings.  Here’s a clue why: it certainly makes it easier to write when you’ve been there done that.  Not that I surf, break down doors, or temporarily disable surveillance cameras at resorts for nefarious purposes.

I have two other stories in my archives, that when I reread them fit nicely into the Beach theme.  The title for the new Series is “South Lumina Avenue.”  Anyone that has been to Wrightsville Beach, has more than likely been on both North and South Lumina Avenue.  They each have their own set of residents, and vibe.  I hope to try and capture the ambiance and subtle differences in each.  Let’s take a walk on the beach.  There is no telling what kinds of characters we’ll find living or renting these glorious beach homes.  We’ll surely discover secrets even they didn’t know, and they live there.

Each of the stories will be titled by a number and sub-title.  The number corresponds to the address of the house where the people in the story live.  The sub-title is one or two words that identify the topic, action or outcome of the story.  It’s similar to Debbie Macomber’s naming convention for her Cedar Cove Series.  The difference is that all my stories take place on the same street, whereas Debbie’s name different streets within her Cedar Cove community.  If it’s good enough for Debbie Macomber and her Cedar Cove series, it’s good enough for me.

The web-site is functional, but not very zippy or flashy.  I think it needs more zip and flash, but since I’m not a particularly zippy or flashy person, I may need to wait until Simon and Schuster picks up my contract.

I want to wish everyone a Happy Spring!  Get out there and start planting and mowing.

Cheers! Thanks for reading


Welcome to 2018

Happy New Year!  It’s going to be a great year in 2018.  My personal best to everyone for a happy, healthy New Year.

This is the first post of 2018.  And while I’ve been faithfully plugging away and posting weekly (NOT), I made a New Year’s resolution to write more…good stuff.  I know, everyone is thinking, your stuff is always great!  And I believe you’re right.  Alas, I endeavor to improve even the good stuff to make it even better.  Trust me, I know I have a long way to go, to get to good, but I’ll keep trudging forward like a battle column of muddy tanks forging through the Swiss Alps.  Slow but steady and not without a few cliffs to navigate.

With the help of a good friend (GS), I’ve just put the finishing touches on a new story.  It’s entitled “Love Will Lead You Back.”  I thoroughly enjoyed writing this story.  I had a chance to bring two themes-my love for romance and music-together in this tale.  I can’t claim any personal ownership of the title since it happens to be the title of a song included in this story by Taylor Dayne.  It was this song that formed the backdrop for the story itself.  I would strongly encourage all readers to listen to the songs mentioned in the story to help set the stage for the characters, their emotions, and scenes written.  I’d like to think it creates a richer experience for the reader to hear the lyrics of the singers, while reading the story.

“Love Will Lead You Back,” is a story about two people that through the help of a mutual acquaintance find the love they each so desperately seek.  Although, their journey is not without false starts and relationship impediments (that’s where the fun is!).

I’d like to hope my writing is improving.  At least it feels that way to me.  I do it, because it’s fun and it focuses me back to fundamentals.

For those interested, this story is also being submitted on Lit and should be available in their format a few days from now.  No telling how the critics there will view it.  But as I’ve always believed, the comments are more helpful than any other thing I could ask for as a writer.

It’s cold here in North Carolina as I write this.  I can only hope you and yours are safe, happy and warm wherever you are.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the opportunity to share my stories!



The Mouse Trap

The Mouse Trap just published on the blog.  It’s a fun little tale about scents-fragrant and common.  You’ll have to pardon the little play on words.  Read the story to find out.

I’ve been writing several different stories throughout the summer.  Long story short, this one was a pleasant interlude, while I eek out the Great American Novel, one painful word at a time, strung together aimlessly to form a coherent sentence.

I won’t spoil the fun of the Mouse Trap, but there are a few decent turns in it to warrant the time to read.  I’ve always had a great interest in electronic surveillance.  I learned a little bit as I wrote this story that opened my eyes.  It also gave me the idea to center the story around what a suspecting husband would do in a difficult situation.

I’ll admit, that Martin the husband does go a bit overboard in his reaction, but things generally turn out alright for all involved.  Some more so than others.


Enjoy your fall colors and cooler temperatures wherever you call home.

Thanks for reading!


Finally a new Post

OK.  I admit, I’ve been remiss in updating the blog.  And since I’m retired, I won’t fall back on the old excuse of, “life gets in the way.”

I suppose, I haven’t felt like I had anything to add to the blog lately, but that’s simply not true.  I’ve written almost daily.  I stress almost, since there have been days when I have not.  Shame on me.

I have taken a few turns (at high speed) since I last updated the blog.  As a consequence, I’ve got a few things in the hopper that are not pure romance or even romance with a twist.  In fact, they are further from romance than I had originally intended.  But maybe that’s the point of exploring different topics and writing.

I am trying to find my voice, and test the boundaries of what I can write.  I’ve crafted a few characters, that I like, and hopefully you will too.  I’ve taken the best of what I think to be the best and thrown an amalgam together of all the traits of my lead character in Mitchell Donovan.

Mitchell is a spy at his core.  He’s dishonest to most, but loyal to a few.  Yet he is so much more.  He lives dangerously in his work life.  Plays hard and dangerous in his free time, and he feels like he’s missing out on the white picket fence, wife and kids.  Think of a James Bond with a conscious that really does someday want to settle down with Moneypenny.  He may someday settle down with Moneypenny, but not anytime soon.  And she’s willing to wait and work side by side.  What a refreshing trait.  One that I have so much experience with in my own personal life.

He’s unflappable as I write him.  He’s bold, makes his own opportunities, but prefers the less ostentatious lifestyle outside of assignments.  She is tough, strong, athletic, and just plain gorgeous (his Moneypenny that is).  He’s getting there, slowly, understanding what life is all about.  Certainly not disarming nuclear bombs in Russia, but doing good deeds with good old fashioned hard work, and chutzpah, plus a few martial arts moves if required–but only if necessary.

I’m going to introduce Mitchell to you in the Sneak Peaks section to the right.  Feel free to comment, and share your thoughts.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot.  I did get an editor.  She is tough but fair.  She edited a story for me about a six weeks ago.  I’m still trying to get the red out.  So just when I thought I was improving, the professional editor helped me understand, I needed to step up my game.  Thanks Alice.

As always, be happy in whatever you pursue.

Back to roots


Weekly Updates

Good Day!  The site is getting a little more traction which gladdens my heart.  I promised an update at least weekly.  I want to stay true to that promise.  There have been no comments regarding the previews for “Silk Stocking Diaries”, or “Southern City Customs”, so I’ve decided to pursue another avenue in the interim.

As a note, “Southern City Customs”, is completely outlined in detail.  Characters have been written, plot lines mapped, and conclusions drawn.  It could be a very long story — certainly capable of novel length — and not one I think I want to embark upon without an editor.  At a minimum, I could use some guidance to get the plot solidified.

For those of you that have screamed for an editor, I may have found one that is willing to take on the job.  The editor is busy until after St. Patrick’s Day, so I’ll muddle through until then.  And that means, everyone reading has to muddle through as well, without the editor’s ruthless scythe at my bulging prose.

I started an exercise the other night, that is very narrowly focused.  It’s an attempt to “Do more with less.”   My goal is to write more powerfully, with fewer words.

I set myself a goal to write a brief (for me anyway) romance in less than ten pages.  I am about half way through the exercise.  At the five page mark, I have two characters, that share a common bond, although they don’t know it yet.  I’ve just introduced conflict into the story.  It’s time to play out the tragedy towards resolution and conclusion.

After reading it, I realized many readers would think this is very depressing story.  And for the first part, I’ll admit it is.  But if you stick with it, I’d like to think there is redemption as the story concludes.

If I look at love and romance without tragedy or even minor conflict, it seems flat, almost lifeless.  But through conflict resolution, redemption, and renewal, love becomes powerful.

Along with my self-imposed limit of ten Microsoft Word pages (so let’s call it 5K Words), I’ve also focused on meaningful dialog.  I find dialog, as I’ve previously mentioned in other posts, one of the most challenging aspects of writing.

If I’ve created a character that is two dimensional, dialog adds the third dimension.  It makes characters real.  Admittedly it adds the spice, the true inner workings of the character based on what they are saying and feeling.  If I have paper and clay to mold the outline of the character, the dialog adds the life.

Stay tuned for more blog posts as I close on this week’s writing assignment.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll keep writing until someone tells me to stop.  And even then, I’ll likely debate.



Laura and Bill’s Story up on Lit

OK, so “Laura and Bill’s” story is up on Lit.  Instead of the Romance category, it got published in the Loving Wives category on Lit.  Tough category no matter how you look at it.  Some great writers there all around.  Some less so.  You be the judge.

Some constructive, some less than constructive, feedback as I would have envisioned.  I’ll take the good feedback and attempt to incorporate into future writing.  The less than constructive?  Well, let’s just say after having spent a virtual lifetime getting feedback that is less than constructive, a little more won’t make much difference.  Nuff said.

On to other things…

I just published the opening scene to “Southern City Customs” in the Sneak Peaks.  This one has been burning a hole in me lately, since it has Sheikhs, Princesses, car guys, and the entire alphabet soup of US agencies.  Hopefully there are some other interesting characters to carry the load too.  What could they possibly have in common?  You might be surprised.  Yes, it is a romance, (since I like to view life that way) but at its core, it’s a story about freedoms.  Freedom to do what one wants in life.  Hell, that’s what I’m doing.  Why shouldn’t everyone.

There are those that take their freedoms frivolously, and those that have none.  And of course, in order to have freedom, ther must be those brave souls to protect it.  I like to think of this story as the knitting of the haves and have nots, into what I hope to be an interesting yarn.

Let me know if there is interest in this story or the “Silk Stocking Diaries.”  I’m on the fence, as to which one to pursue next.  You can check Prior Previews for previous Sneak Peaks at stories I’m either writing or considering.

As always, thanks for reading!


Laura and Bill’s Story

“Laura and Bill’s Story”, just published on the blog.  The last 7 pages of this story went through no less than ten different revisions.  The ending remained the same throughout the revisions.  The journey to the end was the real challenge.  I knew how I wanted it to end, but the road to it, was what presented the difficulties.

The ending is almost all dialog, which I’ve struggled with, yet feel gratified, when I get it right.  It was an exercise for me to try and make it perfect.  Try to make up your own characters and get them to talk, but make them like real people.  Seriously, try it sometime.  I’m sure there are areas that still need improvement.

I had at least 8 different endings envisioned, originally.  Instead of making everyone wait, I thought it better to simply publish.  I went with my best ending out of the eight and let the cards fall will they will.  There is a Version number after all, so I can always update it later.

I’m always interested in comments, feedback, and constructive criticism.  Plus as I teased in my last blog post, I’d be interested to know if anyone can pick out the character that I most enjoyed writing.  Drop me a comment, public or private, if you think you know.  I’ll tally any results and drop a post in a few weeks.

For anyone that is interested, this will publish on Lit, soon.

Enjoy the story.  And thanks for reading!